How much money is Samsung spending on their first Super Bowl ad? That’s the question many wondered after Samsung revealed today that their 4th quarter ad would be one of the longest in the game at 90 seconds.
Samsung Mobile shared on their social channels today that they would be “launching a device so exciting that only the biggest game in America can do it justice.” That device is the AT&T Galaxy Note, which goes on pre-order for $299 this Super Bowl Sunday, February 5th.
Sources have reported that NBC is charging companies $3.5 million for a 30 second spot and over $6 million for a 60 second spot. That means Samsung should shell out around $9 million to promote the Galaxy Note on AT&T, a carrier that is dominated by the Apple iPhone.
We don’t know what the content of the ad will include, but most have assumed it will follow The Next Big Thing series that have been playing in full rotation on TV.
In an interview with AllThingsD, Samsung marketing executive Younghee Lee said she wants consumers to be “obsessed with the company and its products.” Lee went on to say that “People are obsessed with Apple. It’s time to change people’s attention.”
Are you a fan of the “Samsunged” campaign? Let us know if you think Samsung’s big Super Bowl ad will score with fans in the comments below.
With Super Bowl XLVI less than a week away, we thought we’d spark up our own little competition: The Android Bowl. This week, leading up to Sunday, we’re asking you to update your And Me Account with your current carrier and manufacturer allegiances. Joining a team is easy, just visit the Edit page and use the carrier and manufacturer dropdowns.
We’ve paired with @NVIDIAtegra to give you three chances to win a Transformer Prime. Along with the quad-core tablet, we’re tossing in the keyboard dock for some serious couch commando-ing.
At the end of the week, we’re going to tally all the user choices and post a breakdown of the current Android ballgame. We’ll name a top carrier and a top manufacturer based on your votes and user scores, and, probably most importantly, we’ll announce three winners who score a free Prime and dock from @NVIDIAtegra.
How to play
To participate in the Android Bowl is very simple. First, if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to register for an And Me Account. It’s free and takes about 15 seconds. Once you’ve logged in, hit the Edit Account page and select a carrier and manufacturer. For now, we’re only allowing one choice for each field. We know the hardcore among us may have multiple carriers or allegiances to lots of manufacturers, but for now we just want your primary choices.
Also, just like in real life, once you choose a carrier, you’ll be locked into that choice for a certain period of time. To keep things level, we’ve done the same for manufacturers. Eventually on the site we hope to use these settings to filter you guys into groups, so we don’t want everyone switching them around all willy nilly. Once you make a choice, you’ll have a grace period of a few minutes to revert, otherwise that choice will be locked in for about a month. Choose wisely!
In the screenshot above you’ll notice a pair of timers, which display how long you need to wait before you’ll be allowed to update your choices. If you play games, these regen timers might look familiar to you. Once it counts all the way down (displayed in proprietary And Me units of time, of course), you’ll again be able to change your choices.
To enter to win today, you’ll need to have at least your carrier set on your And Me Account. Once you’ve set your carrier, come back and leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. If you haven’t set a carrier yet, you won’t be allowed to comment on this post.
Make your predictions
After you’ve set your choices, come back here and leave comment backing your team. Or head on Twitter and mouth off a bit. Half the fun of sports lay in a good rivalry, something Android has no shortage of. If tweeting’s your bag, we’ve included a preloaded Tweetbox below for your convenience.
Of course, come back after the Super Bowl and we’ll have the results of the first annual Android Bowl waiting for you. Break!
When Google announced the Android Design website aimed at helping developers feel more at home with Holo, the theme used throughout Android 4.0, Matias Duarte made it clear that Android development was headed into the next phase. Google is looking to create a more cohesive experience when it comes to developing for Android for both manufacturers and third-party app developers alike.
One way Google is looking to do that is with a deep, interconnected community where developers can network and lend each other a helping hand. Today, Google announced that they’ll be using their own Google+ to bolster that community, starting with an official profile page for the Android Developers website.
Google will use the Android Developers Google+ page for “development tips, discussing updates to the SDK and developer tools, highlighting new Android training classes, and posting video and pics from Android developer events around the world.”
Google will also use the page for Google+ hangouts, scheduled to take place at 2pm Pacific Time every Wednesday. More hangouts will be scheduled at different times once things progress, but for now you can watch the hangouts after they’ve been uploaded on YouTube if you can’t watch live.
The Android Developers Google+ profile makes a nice addition to Google’s blossoming developer community. Along with the Design guide and Android training program, developers have a number of places to turn for advice on any problems they face.
As the smartphone world continues exploding, many users still fear the extra fees that data connected devices can bring. We mentioned last December that a great solution for this would be family data plans, and Big Red even mentioned the possibilities of seeing them in 2012. If the image below is correct, it seems Verizon is very close to having these ready for us.
Engadget recently received a leaked image from a secret tipster. This is an image taken from the training material to an updated account management application. Said screenshot includes a new option, which is labeled as “account level data plans.”
According to the tipster, it seems we will be able to share our data, similar to how we currently share our voice minutes. There will be a charge for the main data plan and a $10 fee for every device to be added to said family data plan.
We often hear people say that they would love to have a smartphone, but data plans add up fast and sometimes come close to doubling monthly charges. Family data plans would be a great solution not only for smartphone newcomers, but for many other subscribers, as well.
This solution would make it easy to have other internet connected devices, such as tablets, netbooks, laptops and WiFi hotspot devices. Currently, a bill with a smartphone, a tablet and a WiFi hotspot would add up to at least $90 just in data charges. If we were able to start with a $30 data plan, this fee would go down to about $50. (This is simply an estimated demonstration, and does not reflect what the prices will actually be like).
There is no doubt consumers would be much more likely to get more smartphones (as well as other devices) if this option were available. If you think about it, and as I said last December, we’ve already moved to tiered data plans and are paying for our exact amount of gigabytes. It’s only fair that we’re able to use that data as we please.
We certainly hope we see these changes come soon. Until we hear more details about this, let’s stay tuned and be patient. What do you guys say? Will this move make it better for smartphone new-comers? Will you be more likely to purchase other devices like tablets, netbooks and WiFi hotspots?
Could Google be working on a slightly updated version of the Galaxy Nexus? It wouldn’t be the first time a manufacturer refreshed a device just months after the initial release. A recent benchmark score spotted on the Nenamark site shows a Galaxy Nexus featuring a PowerVR SGX544 graphics processor.
The faster SGX544 GPU is included with Texas Instruments’ upcoming OMAP4470 processor. This is the successor to the original OMAP4460 found in the Galaxy Nexus, that includes the older SGX540 GPU.
While it’s true this result could have been spoofed, we have seen evidence of a Galaxy Nexus with a different processor speed before in a leaked ad for Sprint. Samsung underclocked the 1.5 GHz OMAP4460 to run at 1.2 GHz in the Galaxy Nexus, so it’s possible they could underclock the 1.8 GHz OMAP4470 to run at speeds around 1.5 GHz.
Nenamark2 benchmark: OMAP4460 on the left, OMAP4470 on the right.
Even though the two processors feature very similar model numbers, the OMAP4470 is advertised as offering 2.5x the graphics performance of the OMAP4430. We recently saw the OMAP4470 in action at CES, and witnessed a Nenamark2 score that was around 70% faster than the previous generation.
The Sprint version of the Galaxy Nexus is coming soon, but we still don’t know much about the official specs. Rumors have suggested it could feature an improved 8 MP camera (compared to 5 MP of the original), so it’s possible that Samsung and Google could update the processor as well if a faster one is available in time.
I’m sure a few owners of the original Galaxy Nexus will complain, but I’m happy to see a Galaxy Nexus refresh in the coming months, if these rumors turn out to be true.
Android developer Koush has been working on a touch enabled version of his popular ClockworkMod Recovery for quite some time now. He posted a teaser video on Friday, January 27, and already there’s a beta version available to download for the Galaxy Nexus and GSM Nexus S.
Announced on Google+, both versions (Verizon CDMA, international GSM) of the Galaxy Nexus are supported in the beta, but only the GSM Nexus S is. Not much information was made available on the beta, but so far reports seem good. There’s over 50 comments on the original Google+ post with download links, many of which are users confirming everything works well.
If you’re comfortable with Fastboot and understand the risks involved with flashing a recovery still in beta, head on over to Google+ to download Koush’s touch-based ClockworkMod Recovery now. To get an idea of how the recovery will work, check out the video below. If you decide to install the recovery, let us know how it works in the comments below.
Freely roaming across the US is great, especially when data roaming is part of the deal. Until now, customers have been able to use data while roaming for free, but it’s not free for T-Mobile. They have to pay fees in order to keep you connected. According to the latest rumors this is all about to change, and T-Mobile will start putting a cap on data roaming usage.
This is an attempt to lower the costs for Magenta subscribers who roam where T-Mobile data coverage is not available. According to a poster at HowardForums, T-Mobile’s upcoming data roaming limits include a 100 MB cap for 5 GB monthly data subscribers and 200 MB for those enjoying 10 GB per month.
But don’t fret over unknown fees and charges; will not see any extra fees once you exceed your data roaming allowance. Instead, T-Mobile will simply not allow you to use the internet anymore, at least until you reach a T-Mobile tower or WiFi (of course).
Avoiding the extra fees may be a great thing for most of us, but some people rely on data while roaming. According to the source, this roaming policy will not be applicable to everyone. “Certain account types are excluded, such as employee accounts and some business accounts.”
For those who need data while roaming, let’s hope they provide some extra data roaming plans. But if extra fees are not your thing, T-Mobile seems to be estimating that about 10,000 users will be able to break the contract without an ETF (Early Termination Fee). So you just might be able to switch to another carrier.
According to newguy78, T-Mobile subscribers should be receiving a notification about these changes within the next few weeks. This might be in the form of an actual letter or a notification upon signing on to my.tmobile.com.
Surely many of you will be quite unhappy about this. But let’s take a small step back and wait to see what happens. This is not yet confirmed, and as always, we should take it with a grain of salt. For now, tell us what you think! Are you a heavy data roamer? Will you be switching carriers if you can?
The Asus Padfone has been a long time in the making, but we should finally see the final design at Mobile World Congress on February 27th, according to a report from Paul O’Brien of Modaco. The first of its kind innovation allows the user to dock their smartphone into a tablet docking accessory for a larger viewing area.
Many recent reports keep claiming that the Padfone will feature Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor, but the device was already spotted with a Snapdragon S4 (MSM8960) in some leaked benchmarks. Sean Hollister of The Verge also confirmed the Snapdragon S4 processor was included with the prototype unit that was being shown off at CES.
This could all change however because Asus is expected to reveal a redesigned Padfone that differs from the prototypes that have been shown so far. This means the physical design will be altered, most likely to remove the physical buttons since the Padfone is expected to ship with Android 4.0.
Another interesting feature of the Padfone is that it supports the Asus Transfomer keyboard dock. The prototype unit shown at CES supported the older TF101 dock, but we expect the redesigned unit to support the newer TF201 docking station that works with the Transformer Prime.
Overall, it looks like a pretty unique device that is sure to garner some attention thanks to its unique design. Ultimately, we think it will succeed or fail based on the exact retail pricing of the tablet accessory. Hopefully they can keep it under $150, similar to the mobile docking station of the Transformer Prime.
Bonus video: In case you somehow missed it, check out the first unveiling of the Padfone by Asus Chairman Jonney Shih.
When it comes to new phones, we’re all a little curious as to how they’ll perform when compared to devices currently on the market. Since Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon S4 (MSM8960) CPU with Adreno 225 GPU will be all the rage at Mobile World Congress next month, you can probably imagine our ecstasy to see the first benchmark scores for the new chip hit the web.
Over the weekend, a mysterious device running Android 4.0.3 with a 1024×600 resolution display (a typical resolution for 7-inch Android tablets) hit NenaMark’s website, posting a score of 54.9 for NenaMark2. A score of 54.9 may not sound much higher than the 46.2 the Samsung Galaxy S II received running on a Cortex-A9 paired with the Mali-400MP GPU, but it does translate into an 18.8% performance increase. Add in that the mysterious device is pushing 60% more pixels than GSII, and you have yourself a pretty impressive feat.
Benchmark scores don’t always paint a full picture of how a device will perform in the real world, but they do give us an idea of how a device will be able to handle 3D gaming and multitasking. While we only have one benchmark to go on, it looks like the Snapdragon S4 chip will live up to the high expectations that Qualcomm has set before us.
How many of you are looking forward to purchasing a new phone powered by a Snapdragon S4 chip in the near future?
Previously announced at CES, AT&T has now provided a launch date for the Samsung Galaxy Note. Customers who pre-order the Galaxy Note, starting February 5, at att.com/galaxynote will receive the device by February 17. For those who wish to purchase at retail stores, it will be available February 19.
As expected, the AT&T Galaxy Note will retail for $299 with a 2-year agreement and require a minimum monthly data package (starting at $20/mo). The February 5th pre-order date also happens to be on the same day as Super Bowl XLVI, which Samsung has announced they will debut a new commercial. Coincidence?
“The Galaxy Note brings a new level of efficiency to busy customers who would normally rely on multiple devices,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “This new breed of smartphone helps consumers accomplish more with a single device than ever before. The unique all-in-one experience can simplify daily life while tapping into AT&T’s 4G LTE network to let customers work even faster.”
Highlights of the Galaxy Note include the world’s first 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED screen (1280×800), dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S3 processor, 1 GB RAM, the highly advanced input tool called S-Pen, and support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network.
The Galaxy Note has already surpassed 1 million units sold overseas and we recently got to spend some hands-on time with the device at CES. If you are on AT&T, let us know if you are considering picking up this device when it launches.