Samsung Will Soon Unveil a Phone With “New Materials”

Samsung had a terrible 2nd quarter. Last night, through their earnings release, they reported a 25% drop in annual operating profit and had to admit that the rest of 2014 was going to “remain a challenge.” Thanks to an overestimation of smartphone demand, along with growing competition, Samsung said that “Prospects for growth remain unclear as competition over global market share intensifies in the mobile industry.” Ouch.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung will try to slow some of this slide by introducing two new phones over the coming months. One is expected to be a larger device that falls in the Galaxy Note category, likely the Galaxy Note 4. The other, well, will be made of “new materials.”  (more…)

Verizon Plans Response to FCC Over Throttling, Stands by Its Network Optimization

Yesterday afternoon, a letter from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead concerning the wireless carrier’s plans to throttle unlimited data users under its “Network Optimization” policy stole headlines. Wheeler was clear in his letter that he is both “troubled” by and concerned that this move is nothing but a chance for Verizon to add to its revenue streams. He finished by asking for a response from Big Red to three specific questions.

While we wait for Verizon to do just that, the company issued a brief statement this morning noting that it will respond, but also that the purpose of “Network Optimization” is to make sure everyone on their network always has capacity available for use.  (more…)

LG G Vista Now Available From Verizon for $99 on Contract (Updated)

Verizon has quietly gone ahead and made the LG G Vista available for order through their web store. For those not familiar with the G Vista, this is LG’s mid-range and affordable, yet oversized phone that sports a 5.7-inch display. We outed the official specs, price, and release date yesterday, but are still somewhat surprised that Verizon is already selling the phone without ever having mentioned it publicly.  (more…)

The Droid Life Show: Episode 65

The Droid Life Show returns this evening with Episode 65, at its usual time of 6pm Pacific (9pm Eastern). On tonight’s show, we will discuss our latest device reviews (SHIELD Tablet, OnePlus One, and LG G3), Samsung’s newly granted patent for circle watch faces, Instagram’s shot at Snapchat with the new Bolt app, and so much more.

Given that the Summer months are usually a bit slower in terms of major news, we have decided to cut our shows down to every other week, which means each show we will do from now on will be packed with additional news. At least, until news picks back up with Motorola, Samsung, and Google later this year.

We are live tonight at 6:00PM Pacific (9:00PM Eastern).  (more…)

FCC Chairman Not Excited About Verizon’s Plans to Throttle Unlimited Data Users

Last week, we exclusively reported that Verizon planned to begin throttling the top 5% of unlimited data users with 4G LTE phones come October 1, a move which Verizon has since confirmed. The throttling is a part of Big Red’s “Network Optimization” policy, which up until now has only affected 3G customers with unlimited data. As you can imagine, this news didn’t exactly excite those with unlimited data plans who have been long-time Verizon customers. According to a letter sent to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler isn’t excited either.  (more…)

Wednesday Poll: How Important is It to Have an SD Card Slot in Your Phone?

Back when the Galaxy Nexus was introduced, Google made it clear that they would rather not have to deal with micro SD cards in their Nexus devices or Android as a whole. Basically, they think the experience of dealing with one block of storage outweighs the experience of having removable storage.

Many manufacturers, outside of Samsung, adopted this philosophy shortly after Google made this known and removed micro SD slots from their phones for a couple of years. Then 2014 arrived and almost all major manufacturers have included a micro SD slot in their new phones, including HTC and LG. Both the LG G3 and HTC One (M8) have slots for expandable storage.

Our question to you is – how important is it that your phone have a micro SD slot? I think it’s safe to assume that manufacturers think you care or they wouldn’t have abandoned them only to bring them back as quickly. I can tell you that I appreciate the option to take storage with me from phone-to-phone, even with all of the cloud storage options available for free or little cost. But what about you? Would you pass on a phone if it didn’t have an SD card slot? Is it just an added bonus? Or does it even matter?

How important is it to have an SD card slot in your phone?

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