3 years ago

How to tell if your Samsung phone is vulnerable to today's USSD hack


A quick way to tell if your Samsung phone is at risk, and what to do if it is 

There's a lot of confusion as to exactly which Samsung phones are affected by today's big scary USSD vulnerability, which could cause some phones to factory reset themselves upon visiting a malicious web page. Some Galaxy S2 and S3-class phones are susceptible, others less so. In some cases it depends if you're running the latest firmware or not. In others, there's no patched firmware available yet.

Samsung will surely be hard at work rolling out fixes for devices that remain susceptible, but in the meantime we've got a quick, easy to tell if your phone is at risk, without taking the plunge and running the malicious code itself. Find out more after the break.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich finally coming to the Motorola Atrix 2 - but first, a soak test!


Update: We've confirmed that this, indeed, is the Ice Cream Sandwich soak test. Huzzah!

Good news, everyone! Maybe. There apparently is a soak test going out for the Motorola Atrix 2 this afternoon. Is it the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update? Dunno, and Motorola's site still just says "Further plans coming soon." We'll keep our fingers crossed, though.

Here's the text of the message:

Thanks for signing up for the Atrix 2 software test. Our apologies for the delay in starting this test! The software will begin to be pushed out later this afternoon; however, it may take several hours for all targeted devices to receive the update.

We're eager to hear your feedback. Please share your experience on the private community provided, and via the survey I will send out after you've had some time to work with the software.

To ensure we hear you, please follow these guidelines:

  • Please post all your feedback in our private community (link below). This also where you'll find help during the soak.
  • Please do not call or contact Motorola, AT&T or your carrier support for help during the soak. Those teams are not yet ready to support this software.
  • I'm not able to check private messages on the forums during soaks, so if you need immediate help that's not a good route to take. Post in the community instead.
  • If you have any problems accessing the private community, please click here for help.
  • Please do not post questions publicly, on our site or elsewhere.

Please start your visit to the private community here. You'll find additional important information in the Welcome message as soon as you sign in. (Note that you will not be able to post in the public communities during the soak test.)

Thanks so much for your participation! We really appreciate your time and insights.

Keep your ears to the ground, folks.

More: Atrix 2 forums; Thanks, anon

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Sony Xperia acro S now available unlocked in the U.S.


The Xperia acro S has been hanging out in the Sony online store for a few weeks marked as coming soon, and today it goes on sale for $599.99 unlocked. 

Just as a reminder, the Xperia acro S is a solid mid-range phone with respectable (if not top-of-the-line) specs. 

  • 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 display
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and 1 GB of RAM
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 11.9 mm thin
  • 12.1 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • Waterproof coating

You can get a quick glimpse of the device over here in our hands-on time at IFA, or dive into the official product page. The Xperia acro S definitely looks like a high-grade piece of equipment, but how many people will realistically be buying it unlocked? How much longer will it be until we hear some carrier announcements? Would any of you be interested in picking this one up if it was subsidized? 

Anyone with the coin can pick up the Sony Xperia acro S online here with black and white models available. 

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Major security vulnerability in some Samsung phones could trigger factory reset via web page


Update, 09/26: Samsung has told us that the latest Galaxy S3 firmware fixes this exploit. Our own testing has shown other phones, particularly Galaxy S2 models, may still be at risk, however. If you're still concerned, you can check our USSD vulnerability test to see if your phone is vulnerable.

A major security vulnerability has been discovered in some TouchWiz-based Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S2 and certain Galaxy S3 models on older firmware. The bug was first demonstrated days ago by security researcher Ravi Borgaonkar at the Ekoparty security conference. It involves the use of a single line of code in a malicious web page to immediately trigger a factory reset without prompting the user, or allowing them to cancel the process. Even more serious is the possibility that this could be paired with a similar glitch to render the user's SIM card inoperable. And as the malicious code is in URI form, it can also be delivered via NFC or QR code.

Our Verizon Galaxy S3 was not reset by the malicious code embedded in a web page, though we were able to trigger a reset using similar code tied to a hyperlink. Mobile dev Justin Case tells us the issue is fixed in the latest AT&T and international Galaxy S3 firmwares, though devices that have not been updated may remain vulnerable. Others have reported that devices like the Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Beam are also affected. As far as we can tell, though, the bug does not affect Samsung phones running stock Android, like the Galaxy Nexus.

The vulnerability is the result of the way the native Samsung dialer app handles USSD codes and telephone links. USSD codes are special combinations of characters that can be entered in the keypad to perform certain functions, like enabling call forwarding, or accessing hidden menus on the device. On Samsung phones, there's also a USSD code for factory resetting the phone (and presumably another for nuking your SIM). This, combined with the fact that the dialer automatically runs telephone links that are passed to it by other apps, results in a particularly nasty issue for anyone unfortunate enough to run by a malicious web page.

There are, of course, other applications of this glitch -- for example, the ability to automatically run numbers through the dialer could be used to call premium-rate phone numbers. But the fact that just visiting a web site could factory reset your phone, wipe your internal storage and nuke your SIM is a very serious issue. So we'd advise you update your software if you're running an S3, and if you're not, we'd recommend using a third-party dialer like Dialer One until all this has blown over.

We've reached out to Samsung for comment on this issue, and we'll keep you updated with any information they provide.

Source: @Paul Olvia; via SlashGear, @backlon, @teamandirc

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 coming to UK on Oct. 1


Samsung has announced that its latest smartphone/tablet hybrid, the Galaxy Note 2, will land on British shores next Monday, Oct. 1. Like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 before it, the Note 2 will be available first at the Samsung brand store at the Westfield shopping center in Stratford, London, as well as major UK networks, and independent retailers. That roughly fits with what we were hearing yesterday from Phones4U, which expects to fulfill Note 2 orders from Oct 2.

The Galaxy Note 2 will become the first major non-Nexus Android device to hit store shelves with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. And with a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos CPU and 2GB of RAM, it's no slouch in terms of hardware specs either. Like its predecessor, the Note 2 comes with a Wacom-based Samsung "S Pen," which this time around has been redesigned for easier grip and better on-screen action. For more on the Galaxy Note 2, check out our hands-on coverage from IFA.

Samsung informs us that the Note 2 will be available in both marble white and titanium grey colors, so it looks like there'll be no waiting around for secondary color options, as was the case around Galaxy S3 launch time.

Anyone picking up a launch day Galaxy Note 2 in the UK? Hit the comments and let us know. We've got today's press release in full after the break.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

'Martian pink' Samsung Galaxy S3 is official, headed to South Korea


New color launches in South Korea, as sales figures suggest six percent of the country's population now own a Galaxy S3

It was leaked last week, but now it's official -- the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be launching in South Korea in a new "Martian pink" color. Currently, Samsung plans to make available just 100,000 of the pink S3s across South Korea's three main mobile operators.

On its official Korean blog, the company quoted an official as saying (roughly translated) --

"The Martian pink Galaxy S III is refined and sensuous. With its distinctive style, we expect a great response from the younger generation and women."

Samsung also notes that it's surpassed 3 million Galaxy S3 sales in its home territory, which is all the more impressive considering the country's population of just under 50 million. By our calculations, that suggests that six percent of all South Koreans now own a Galaxy S3. Internationally, sales of the phone stand at 20 million, and that's expected to rise to 30 million before the end of the year.

Samsung's accustomed to strong sales of its handsets in Korea. Back in January it emerged that some 5 million Galaxy S2 phones had been sold in the country, the equivalent of 10 percent of the population.

Samsung hasn't announced any plans to launch the new Martian pink S3 outside of South Korea, but given its track record with the pink Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note, we wouldn't be surprised to see this a Martian pink invasion of Europe taking place in a few months' time.

Source: Samsung (Korean, Translated)

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Who needs a car head unit when you have a Galaxy S3?


Looking for something to replace that lackluster 8-Track, cassette, or CD player that came with your car? Instead of using some goofy adapter or FM transmitter, why not replace the entire unit with a Samsung Galaxy S III?

That was the train of thought for Steve, aka youtube user philstuffs. He had an old JVC head unit that just wasn't cutting it. So instead of spend the money on a stand-alone head unit for his vehicle, he used his trusty SGS3. He modified a standard car charger so the phone charges when the car is on and he hooked up the audio-out from his phone to the amplifier in his trunk. Simple and effective.

Before you get on his case for the phone not being centered, he knows this. He states in his youtube video description that he still needs to come up with a "prettier facia" and is even thinking about using fiberglass. 

What I want to know is: How does he take the phone with him when he leaves the vehicle? From the looks of it, that facia he cooked up is removable, and he can unhook his SGS3 and be on his way. Not the most practical solution. Maybe his final design will be more practical and user friendly.

Would you replace your entire head unit with your smartphone? How do you listen to music from your phone in your car? Let us know in the comments. Video after the break.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

AOKP JB build 3 released; Samsung devices added, Motorola devices dropped


Image courtesy BlueWall

AOKP has released the JB 3 build of their popular Jelly Bean ROM, with a few new features, some bug fixes, and device support news. Support for the Samsung i9100, Samsung i9100g (OMAP version of the Galaxy S 2), and Samsung i9300 has been added to the project, as well as the return of the two Sprint Nexus devices, the Toroplus and Crespo 4G.

Unfortunately, due to lack of a device maintainer, support for both the Wingray and Stingray (Motorola Xoom devices) has been dropped. This puts a damper on the otherwise good news, and we hope someone can step forward and get Motorola's best tablets back into the game.

The four new features are SMS Quickreply, stopwatch and countdown timers in the clock app, "expert" calculator options (graphing. matrices and the like), and adding IME switching and vibration/ringer toggle to the navigation ring targets. Bugs squashed include the ability to add custom ringtones again, as well as other under-the-hood fixes and improvements. 

Downloads for the various Nexus devices are already live, and you can find them here (as well as the G apps you'll need). Keep an eye out for the newly added devices to be released as the maintainers get things up to speed.

Source: AOKP

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 UK on-contract prices emerge, shipping next Tuesday


UK SIM-free pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 emerged some time ago, but if you're still wondering much it'll set you back on-contract, then wonder no more. The answer, it seems, is a lot. Independent UK retailer Phones4U has published its subsidized prices for the Note 2, which it's offering on Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile and Orange. But if you want to pick up a Galaxy Note 2 for free, you'll be paying at least £41 per month to one of the UK's leading networks.

On O2, that'll get you a free Galaxy Note 2, and an allowance consisting of unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 1GB of data. Though for just a pound more per month, Vodafone offers the same call and text package, but with 2GB of data thrown in. Cheaper plans are available, but you'll pay up to £299 for the phone itself.

Phones4U expects to fulfill orders from next Tuesday, Oct. 2, which would fit with rumored release dates that've been doing the rounds in the past few days.

Source: Phones4U

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Motorola XPRT update brings Gingerbread and bugfixes


The Motorola XPRT, that BlackBerry-like keyboard phone on Sprint, has finally made its move to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Along with bumping up to the next platform version, the update brings a decent grouping of bug fixes for the device:

  • Email User Interface fixes.
  • Contact User Interface fixes.
  • UXD fix to color backgrounds (remove red).
  • Fix the ability to use Bluetooth car kits.
  • Improve EAS GAL (Global Address List) Search.
  • Improve EAS First Sync timing.
  • Fix Forward / Reply markers to original email. (this is if you reply or forward an email from your phone, it would not display in your EAS email account.)
  • SMS fix when using () in SMS body.
  • Bluetooth toasts when syncing contacts improved.

The latest software version, 4.5.1-110-kns-46, is available now and your device should prompt you to update. If you haven't been updated yet, a quick trip to Settings > About phone > System updates should remedy that. As far as Ice Cream Sandwich goes, we think this is probably the end of the road for updates on the XPRT.

Source: Sprint Support

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Motorola Droid RAZR M torn down on video, phone parts found inside


Motorola's latest Android offering, the Droid RAZR M, has a complete and thorough teardown video available now thanks to the folks over at DirectFix. This is a pretty quick turnaround considering the RAZR M just hit Verizon stores, and we're glad there are people out there who are willing and capable of tearing these new gadgets apart. If for some reason you need to know how to replace a part in your new device -- or maybe you're just curious what Moto has packed behind that kevlar back plate, we wouldn't blame you -- then this video may be of interest to you.

Source: DirectFix YouTube

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Sony Xperia Tipo mini-review


Sony has released more smartphones than ever before 2012, hoping that strength in numbers will help it overcome Android competition from the likes of Samsung and HTC. One important, but often overlooked area of any manufacturer’s line-up is the entry level -- it’s these devices which attract first-time smartphone users, giving them their first taste of the Android platform. We’re taking a look at one such device today.

The Sony Xperia Tipo is the manufacturer’s cheapest 2012 smartphone -- a budget phone with a basic feature set. When you’re selling a device like the Tipo unsubsidized around the £100 mark, compromises inevitably must be made. But does enough smartphone muscle remain to deliver a compelling user experience? Join us after the break to find out, in our bite-size mini-review of the tiny Xpeira Tipo.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 confirmed across across Canada, still no dates or prices


TELUS, WIND Mobile, and Mobilicity have confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 would be arriving across their respective Canadians networks this fall. It wouldn't be surprising to see Rogers and Bell to soon follow suit soon with equally vague announcements. No dates or prices have been revealed, but a few have put up landing pages in their online store. The UK is going to be getting the Galaxy Note 2 in mid-October for £546, while the American version won't be around until mid-November. That should give us an idea of what to expect in Canada. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the amped-up successor to the original phablet. The specs are pretty sweet, as you can see.

  • Network: 3G: HSPA+ 21Mbps (HSDPA 21Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps); 4G LTE: 100Mbps/ 50Mbps
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • Display: 5.5” HD Super AMOLED (1,280 x 720)
  • OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera: Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, BSI; Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera, BSI; Best Photo, Best Faces, Low light shot
  • GPS: A-GPS; Glonass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LE; USB 2.0 Host; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40; Wi-Fi Direct; mHL; NFC
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM); microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

You can get a closer look at the device in our hands-on video over here. Canadians, any of you interested in picking up the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, or is it still way too big? 

Read more and comment

3 years ago

LG Optimus G 13-megapixel sample pictures


One of the more important features of the LG Optimus G -- of any current smartphone, really -- is the camera. The Optimus G actually will come in a couple flavors. We took the 13-megapixel smartphone for a test-drive last week in Seoul, South Korea. Other regions will see an 8-megapixel shooter, with the added bonus that it gives the phone a slightly slimmer profile.

So how'd the camera perform? Pretty well. We do have to keep in mind that we were using a preproduction unit, but we were told the camera should be pretty darn close to the experience we'll have in a retail unit.  But the camera app was decent enough and had all the usual bells and whistles in the usual places.

Our one main concern was that a number of our pics seemed to be a little hazy. We tracked that down to our greasy fingerprints on the lens, and we found ourselves having to constantly wipe it down before taking a clear picture. That's not something we have to do with every device. (Or maybe we should be more worried about it?) It'll be interesting to see if that's just us holding it wrong, or if others of you will muck it up just as much.

Anyhoo. We've got a bevy of sample pics after the break. Some are in HDR, but we're not going to tell you which ones. The HDR mode actually seems to be kind of weak, so we're curious if you can spot it in action. 

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Sony Xperia T arrives at Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U in the UK


A little ahead of schedule, Sony’s new international flagship, the Xperia T, is now available in the UK. Phones4U and the Carphone Warehouse are offering the device on-contract through their respective websites. Both retailers are selling the Xperia T with O2, Vodafone and Orange contracts, starting at £26 per month. That’ll get you 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of data on Orange through CPW, though if you don’t mind parting with an extra £2.50 per month, P4U will hook you up with 1GB of data, 600 minutes and 3000 texts.

There’s currently no way to buy an unlocked Xperia T online through these retailers, and independent online stores aren’t expecting stock until October. However, we called around a few of our local Phones4U stores, and it seems they’re more than willing to sell you a SIM-free Xperia T when it arrives in-store this Thursday. The Carphone Warehouse stores we contacted were unsure as to when stock would arrive, or if SIM-free sales would be allowed. Neither chain was able to give us any SIM-free pricing details.

Meanwhile, XperiaBlog reports that the Xperia T has gone on sale in Germany, where it’s available through O2. Over there, handset’s currently priced at €449 on Pay As You Go.

via XperiaBlog

Read more and comment

Show More Headlines