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3 years ago

From the mail bag: Why does my 16GB Galaxy S4 only have 8.8GB of space?


More features mean more spaced used for their files, and the Galaxy S4 takes about twice the storage space as the previous model

Morris writes in, 

I just got myself a Samsung Galaxy S4 (16GB). Upon further storage checking, I noticed the Total Space is only 8.82GB. I am confused. How much memory space actually does Jelly Bean 4.2.2 take?

There sure has been a lot of discussion about the remaining storage on the Galaxy S4's 16GB "disk" after the factory software is accounted for. We're used to seeing a bit of discrepancy between what is advertised and what's really available, but this go 'round the difference is huge and has quite a few people a bit concerned. Morris gets to the root of the issue with his question, once you have a look at what's going on.

The Samsung Galaxy S4's system folder, the one where all the magic happens and the factory installed "stuff" resides takes over 2GB of space (2,235,535,360 bytes for those that like numbers). Compared to the Jelly Bean system files on the Galaxy S3 at 1.1GB, and the Nexus 4 at 495MB, that's quite a bit of difference. By the time you take the rest of the OS into account, and partition space reserved for things like the system cache, that leaves you with about half the advertised space left to use for your own stuff.

We're not going to knock on Samsung for using so much space for the operating system. When you want features included as part of the OS, you need to have the files somewhere. Samsung brings features to the Galaxy S4 that you won't find anywhere else, and the cost of those features is reduced storage left for the user. You also won't find these features on Google Play, so this is the trade-off you have to make. 

Also, there's the SD card slot to remember here as well. While this won't help you when you run out of space to install applications, you can store all your multimedia and documents there. 13MP panorama pictures and 1080p video can take a lot of room, so storing your camera shots on the SD card is a good idea. 

Right now, nobody seems to be selling the 32 or 64GB versions of the Galaxy S4. We're not sure if Samsung is at fault here, or the carriers around the world, but no matter who we point a finger at they just aren't available. In the meantime, 8.8GB is enough for some folks, and for some it's not. Until we start to see the models with more storage become available, this is how it is.

We can't tell you that this does or doesn't matter to you, you'll have to decide that one for yourself. 

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3 years ago

LG Revolution gets bloat-removing OTA update


Updates, patches, and bug fixes are included in version VS910ZVB

Many of Verizon's recent OTA updates have included the removal of pre-installed applications, commonly referred to as 'bloatware.' The LG Revolution's latest update (SW Version VS910ZVB) includes one of the longest lists of apps being removed from a Verizon Android device:

  • Mobile IM
  • Rockband
  • Bitbop
  • Verizon Apps
  • Blockbuster
  • Rhapsody
  • VCAST Music
  • Verizon Video

A few Android security patches are included in the update as well, which is always good see -- especially since it is very possible that the Revolution will not get a newer version of Android from Verizon. The VZW Family locator app has been updated and now has working GPS, and Google Maps Services has been updated as well. A bug involving large file sizes on the network also gets a fix.

As always, help a fellow Revolution owner out by posting in the comments when you start seeing this update going live.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

More Samsung Galaxy S4 units 'now floating into' Sprint sales channels


Samsung is 'ramping up production' for Sprint

Samsung Galaxy S4 supplies have been lower than expected at launch, which has affected multiple carriers -- with Sprint being no exception. In a recent note we received from Sprint, we learned that the carrier's Galaxy S4 orders would be limited mainly to online and over-the-phone orders, with in-store supplies being very scarce due to low supplies.

The new note we received from Sprint today contains much better news: increased Galaxy S4 inventory is now starting to make its way into Sprint sales channels, thanks to increased production from Samsung. New shipments are expected on a daily basis, which will make things much easier on those looking to score one of the year's hottest phones. If supplies continued to be replenished, it shouldn't be hard to find one of these phones in a Sprint store relatively shortly.

More: Galaxy S4 review | Galaxy S4 forums

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S4 now available online


$149.99 up-front, then $20 per month on 24-month not-a-contract

Following AT&T and Sprint's launch last week, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is now available from T-Mobile USA. Right now the device is only available online -- brick-and-mortar stores won't begin stocking the T-Mobile Galaxy S4 until May 8.

T-Mo's GS4, which comes with 16GB of storage in "white frost" and "black mist" color options, will run you $149.99 up-front, followed by installments of $20 for the next two years. That's a total of $629.99, and under the carrier's new pricing arrangements, you'll need to add a service plan on top of that.

Naturally, the Galaxy S4 also includes support for T-Mo's burgeoning 4G LTE network in addition to its more widespread 42Mbps DC-HSDPA.

For more on the Galaxy S4, be sure to read our full review. And if you're ordering a T-Mobile Galaxy S4 today, shout out and make yourself known in the comments.

Source: T-Mobile

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

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3 years ago

Samsung opens up design process in Galaxy S4 'design story' video


Samsung designers tell how they brought the Galaxy ​S4 to life

In the latest installment of its "design story" series, Samsung cracks open the Galaxy S4 design process for all to see, revealing some of the thinking behind the looks and features of its new high-end smartphone. Narrated in sound bites from Samsung designers, the Galaxy S4 is simultaneously described as "not a radical difference, but more of an evolution" and "like nothing you've ever seen before." Samsung's "life companion" branding gets name-dropped more than a few times, too.

Externally, the Galaxy S4 is described as having "natural elements" at its heart, including the new reflective battery cover, said to resemble "precious stone glittering in the dark, or countless stars sparkling in the night sky." So no shortage of flowery language to describe Samsung's latest lump of plastic, glass and silicon.

Check out the video above, and if you've not yet read it, find out what we thought of the Galaxy S4's design in our full review.

Source: SamsungTomorrow on YouTube; More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

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3 years ago

HTC One 1.29 update now live in the UK


Stability fixes, as well as Zoe, camera, Beats Audio and location service tweaks in first OTA

After a limited roll-out in some European countries this past week, the update to software version 1.29.401.12 is now live for unlocked HTC One users in the UK. The update includes stability improvements and bug fixes, in addition to tweaks to the location service, HTC Zoe, camera "parameter tuning" and Beats Audio.

Upon first inspection we're not noticing any significant differences between this and the previous 1.28 firmware, but we'll take HTC at its word that it's been busy on improvements throughout the firmware. The update weighs in at a substantial 229MB, suggesting an abundance of new stuff has made its way into the code base.

The firmware is still based on Android 4.1.2, so it looks like the HTC One will have to wait some more for its 4.2 update.

To grab the new firmware on your unlocked UK HTC One, simply head to Settings > About > Software updates and hit the button. As always, carrier-branded devices may have to wait a little longer for their update to start rolling out. Be sure to hit the comments if you've spotted any significant changes in the new firmware.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus GK brings things back down to a more manageable 5 inches


Think Optimus G Pro, only smaller, and only in South Korea for now

LG tonight has announced the Optimus GK, basically taking the better parts of the LG Optimus G Pro and scaling things down into a slightly more manageable 5-inch form factor in line with its recently release national cousin, the Samsung Galaxy S4

The Optimus GK is a tad taller and thicker than the Galaxy S4 -- and as of this announcement it's only destined for South Korea. But we've been pleasantly surprised by the larger Optimus G Pro, and chances are its little brother will be equally well-designed. It's got a 5-inch IPS display at 1,080 by 1,920 resolution, a 3,100 mAh battery and is running Android 4.1.2 on a Snapdragon 600 platform. 

Plus, this one's got the same Photosphere feature -- called VR Panorama here -- as the Optimus G Pro (thanks, LG, but license that thing out already!) as well as the dual video recording that was first made available in an update for the Optimus G Pro and is also a feature on on the Galaxy S4. Yes, the back-and-forth feature battle is alive and well in the southern part of the Korean peninsula.

So if you're looking forward to AT&T's upcoming Optimus G Pro this week (we'll be at Wednesday's launch event in New York City, by the way) but don't want that oversized form factor, this might be the phone for you. Just hang tight and hope we get it here in the states.

Hit the link below for the full translation, and keep on keepin' on for the full specs.

LG Korea

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3 years ago

LG launching Optimus F5 globally, starting with Europe


France the first European country to have the device; South and Central America to follow

The LG Optimus F5, which is the first of the new F Series devices to be unveiled, is ready for a global debut following its unveiling at MWC in Barcelona. The device, which is targeted at a mid-range price point but still packing some high-end design and LTE, is set to be available in France starting April 29th with a whole host of countries in Central and South America as well as Asia to follow. The F5 runs a Qualcomm 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, a 540x960 (qHD) 4.3-inch display, 5MP/1.3MP cameras and runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. LG is also working hard to bring some of the interesting elements of the Optimus G down to these lower devices, with similar hardware design languages and UX improvements like QSlide and QTranslator.

Pricing and availability will of course vary depending on the market, but LG has high hopes for its new device lineups which cover several different price points and feature offerings. Between the G Series, LII Series and F Series, LG is hoping to cover more ground in every different kind of market. That being said, we still wouldn't expect these to hit the U.S. in their current form.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 now available from AT&T and Sprint


One of the hottest phones of the year comes to two of the big four carriers in the states

We've all heard plenty about the Galaxy S4, and it seems like many of you have already made up your minds that the latest Galaxy device is indeed going to be your next smart phone purchase. Well today's the day if you're an AT&T or Sprint customer (or aspiring customer) to make it yours. Both carriers have the phone available in either "white frost" or "black mist", with 16GB of internal storage regardless of your color preference. Pricing is a touch different for each carrier, however.

If you are to order online, AT&T will be charging $199 on-contract for the S4, or $639 without a commitment. Sprint is looking like $149 on-contract if you're a new customer bringing your own number, or $249 for existing customers. Off-contract at Sprint is pegged at $599. As many are aware, there are often subtle pricing differences depending on the store you visit and the standing of your account, so it may be worth it to walk into a store today and find out. Pulled the trigger on one of these today? Many already have. Be sure to join the discussion in the forums.

More: AT&T; Sprint

Read our Galaxy S4 reviewSamsung Galaxy S4 Forums

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3 years ago

HTC posts factory image for HTC One Developer Edition


A factory restore image is your way back to stock when you need it the most, so be sure to grab it and keep it handy

HTC has posted the 1.29.1540.3 factory restore images for the unlocked Developer Edition HTC One on the HTCdev site. Available in two flavors -- a zip file and a Windows RUU executable -- these files will allow anyone to restore their phone back to an out-of-the-box condition as long as there is access to the bootloader. That means no matter how bad you've screwed the system firmware up from monkeying around with it, you have an easy path back to stock settings. Then you can do it all over again. 

Posting two different versions is pretty nice, too. The Windows only RUU is simple to use for folks running Windows (just plug in the phone and run the program), but not everyone uses Windows. For those folks who use a Mac or Linux computer, the zip file and fastboot makes it easy to go back without building a VM with Windows to do so. 

Be aware that these images are only for the unlocked Developer Edition, so don't try to just flash them to your carrier model. Your favorite ROM developer will have something for you instead. It's recommended that everyone with one of the Developer Edition models have these files in a safe place "just in case", so grab the 980MB file at the link below.

Source: HTCdev

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3 years ago

HTC First review


Is it just reference hardware for Facebook Home, or a true candidate for your next smartphone purchase?

There are few things in the mobile industry that have been constant over the last few years, but one that has is the rumor of a mythical "Facebook Phone." The idea of a phone that could only interact with people and services around Facebook didn't make a whole lot of sense to most people -- and apparently it didn't make much sense to Facebook itself either.  Because rather than a proper Facebook Phone, at a press conference on April 4th we were given this, the HTC First.

In many ways the First itself isn't supposed to be the big story. You wouldn't be alone for thinking it is simply a hardware platform to show off what seems to be Facebook's true end-game -- the Facebook Home software. There are far more users in the world that own one of the recent flagships from HTC or Samsung that will install Home from the Play Store than there are who will buy (or even be aware of) the First. This realization certainly calls into question why Facebook even bothered to have its own phone made in the first place.

So does Facebook actually care about the success of the First, or did it ask HTC to throw together a cheap device from the parts bin to show off Home at the press conference? After spending some time with the device, we think it may be a bit more substantial than that. There are a whole lot of intriguing aspects of the First that may just have you considering it as your next device.

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3 years ago

Qualcomm-based Galaxy S4 models now have a root method


AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile versions can now be rooted with a simple tool

Well that certainly didn't take long, did it? With only AT&T's variant shipping to pre-order buyers, Sprint's launch mere hours away and T-Mobile's launch pushed back, we now have a root tool available for these Qualcomm-based Galaxy S4's. The tool, created by djrbliss over at XDA, which was originally made for Motorola devices seems to be working for these Galaxy S4 models as well. Many users in that forum thread are reporting that their devices are being successfully rooted with the tool, which simply takes a few steps of setup and running of a program to root the device.

We'd caution against jumping right into rooting at this point if you're unsure of what to do with it on your new device. As the poster points out, with no custom recoveries or stock firmware images available for these devices you may be in for a world of hurt if you make the wrong move with your newly rooted device. As always, proceed with caution here.

Source: XDA; More: Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums

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3 years ago

HTC One in black appears on Sprint site, looks ready to order


Long-awaited Black HTC One makes an appearance, complete with a button to buy today

If you've been waiting for the HTC One in black, it looks like Sprint just put it up for sale about an hour ago. Of course it's the same One as the silver version, but it's black. A few people are concerned that these aren't shipping right away, but we see nothing to suggest that on Sprint's website -- for all intents and purposes it looks like they are ready to roll out the door.

Now who is going to be the guinea pig and order the first one and see when it ships? Hash it all out in the forums.

Source: Sprint; via: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Galaxy S4 torn apart, looks easy to fix everything but the front glass


Samsung Galaxy S4 given a reparability score of 8 out of 10

The fellows over at iFixit got their Samsung Galaxy S4, and that means it's time to tear shit apart. Unlike most folks who try to take good care of their expensive electronic toys, these people live to break them open and see what the innards look like. This go around, they found most things pretty easy to get to and replace, the front glass and panel being the exception. Here's their highlights:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Reparability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)
  • The battery can be replaced in seconds, without any tools.
  • Very easy to open and access internal components.
  • There are only 11 screws in the entire device, all standard Phillips #0 (no proprietary or security sizes).
  • Most of the smaller components are modular and can be replaced individually, but several of them are adhered in place, increasing replacement difficulty.
  • The glass is fused to both the display and the display frame, increasing repair costs.
  • You'll have to go through the entire phone in order to replace the front panel, since everything is built into the back of it.

The good news is that it looks easy enough to fix things if you ever need to. The bad news is that the part most likely to break, the glass, is the hardest part to replace. The sensible part is that most people will never do anything like this anyway. 

It's still reassuring that someone, somewhere can fix your phone should you do something stupid or just have a string of bad luck. Unlike the HTC One, which was found pretty damn difficult to repair, the Galaxy S4 is one of the easy ones. Be sure to click the link below to see all the steps.

Source: iFixit

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3 years ago

Top Samsung Galaxy S4 forum threads


As devices start to make their way into more hands, the forums are jumping with discussion

There's been more news about the Samsung Galaxy S4 than you can shake a stick at as of late, and that means two things. Firstly, it's time for them to start trickling in from preorders and more people have them. The second is that people want to talk about it. That's where oru forums come into play. You can talk as much Galaxy S4 as you want with people just like you and me, who can't get enough and are excited. Take a look at a few.

So have look at our review, then head into the forums and see what all the fuss is about!

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