Samsung Bixby now available in the Philippines

Carl Lamiel, writing for Yugatech;

Samsung‘s own virtual assistant called Bixby and its voice capabilities are now available in more countries worldwide, including the Philippines.

The Korean tech giant has just rolled out its proprietary virtual assistant onto 200 more countries, including the UK and Australia. Before the worldwide rollout, Bixby is only available in two countries — the US and in their home turf of South Korea.

It’ll be interesting how many people will be talking to their Samsung smartphones calling it Bixby!

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 refurbished batteries get recalled due to overheating concerns

Brian Heater, writing for TechCrunch;

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall for refurbished Galaxy Note 4 batteries. While the news has undeniable echoes of last year’s massive Note 7 disaster, this time out, the fault appears to fall at the feet of potentially counterfeited batteries supplied by FedEx.

Not the news that Samsung needs, since they are about to announce Note 8, specially after what happened with the Note 7.

Here’s the specs of the Samsung Note 8

Extra;

Here’s the rumored Note 8’s specs;

  • 6.3-inch SuperAMOLED display, squared-corner, resolution 1440 x 2960 in 18.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Processor: Exynos 8895 Soc, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Internal storage: 64GB with a microSD expansion slot
  • USB-C port
  • Dual-rear camera: 12-megapixel sensors (optically stabilized);
    • Primary camera wide-angle with f1.7 aperture with dual-pixel autofocus
    • Telephoto lens with f2.4, 2x optical zoom
  • Front camera: 8-MP with f1.7 autofocus lens
  • Dimensions: 162.5mm x 74.6mm x 8.5mm
  • Battery: fast-charging 3300mAh battery, supports wired and wireless charging
  • Color: Midnight Black and Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, Deep Sea Blue
  • Price: €1,000 or around $1,200 (USD)

This is the Samsung Galaxy S8

This is pretty much the best way to be in the news, specially today is the last day of 2017 Mobile World Congress.

The image perfectly match the purported S8 phone in the leaked video the other day.

We still have 28 more days before the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 – Unbox Your Phone, which will be held in New York this 29th of March. By that time, the only thing that Samsung will need to do is to just make every leaked information about the phone official.

Samsung Electronics Announces Availability of New Facebook Video App for TV

Samsung;

Samsung Electronics announced today that the new Facebook video app for TV is available on Samsung Smart TVs, including its 2017 QLED TV lineup and the app will be available on all of its 2015, 2016, 2017 Smart TV models. Further solidifying its role as the global leader in TV, Samsung is the only TV manufacturer that will support the app at its launch.

To use the Facebook Video app on your Samsung TV, just go to Samsung Smart Hub and download the app then login to your Facebook account.

Samsung Pay Launches in Malaysia

Samsung;

Samsung Malaysia Electronics today announced its partnership with several leaders in the banking industry as part of its strategic move to launch and expand its Samsung Pay ecosystem in Malaysia. CIMB, Citibank and Standard Chartered have joined as partners for Samsung’s mobile payment service Samsung Pay, with Hong Leong Bank coming on board soon. The result is a wide platform for the partners’ respective customers with eligible payment cards1 to enjoy a more seamless digital mobile payment experience. These partnerships enhance Samsung’s existing collaboration with Maybank and are an expansion of its current affiliation with major payment networks, Mastercard and Visa, as well as loyalty card partners, B Infinite, Bonuslink and Sunway Pals.

Samsung reportedly plans refurbished Galaxy Note7 with smaller battery

Evan Blass, writing for Venture Beat;

In a surprising report out of South Korea today (via XDA), Han Kyung claims that Samsung has plans to re-release recalled units of the ill-fated Galaxy Note7 as refurbished handsets, complete with lower-capacity batteries. After utilizing a reported 200,000 returned phones for testing, Samsung apparently still has over 2.5 million left in inventory.

Instead of the stock 3500mAh battery, which was determined to be the primary cause of the malfunctioning devices, Samsung will reportedly equip the handsets with packs in the 3000mAh to 3200mAh range.

The keyword here is Emerging Markets, here’s hoping that the refurbished Note 7 will not have the same problem.

Samsung Pay launches in Thailand

Michael Tegos, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Samsung Pay, the Korean mobile giant’s cashless payment service, has officially landed in Thailand, the company announced today. The service has been running in the country in an “early access” fashion for a limited number of users since October last year.

Samsung Pay works with MasterCard, Visa, KCC, Bangkok Bank, Citibank, KasikornBank, KTC, and Siam Commercial Bank. Samsung says that department stores and shops in the country will also accept payments through Samsung Pay.

Samsung to roll out online payment service for Android phones

Yon Heong Tung, reporting for E27;

Samsung has announced it will roll out its mobile online payment service for non-galaxy Android smartphones in South Korea, according to a report by Reuters. The app, Samsung Pay Mini, is expected to be available in the first quarter of this year.

Samsung did not disclose when, if ever, Samsung Pay Mini will be launched in other markets.

So Samsung Pay will exclusively be for Samsung smartphone, while Samsung Pay Mini will be non-Samsung android smartphones.

Samsung Electronics Announces Cause of Galaxy Note7 Incidents in Press Conference

Samsung;

Following several months of in-depth investigations, Samsung Electronics today announced the cause of the Note7 incidents and measures to prevent a recurrence during a press conference held in Seoul, Korea. DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, shared detailed results of the investigation and expressed his sincere apology and gratitude to Galaxy Note7 customers, mobile operators, retail and distribution partners and business partners for their patience and continued support.

It’s basically what Anna Shedletsky of Instrumental Inc., published two months ago.

Samsung to Announce Findings of Galaxy Note7 Investigations at Press Conference

Samsung;

Following several months of comprehensive investigations, Samsung executives will announce the cause of the Galaxy Note7 incidents and quality enhancement plan during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, on January 23, 2017 at 10am(KST).

Samsung Electronics, as well as independent expert organizations who conducted their own investigations into various aspects of the Galaxy Note7 incidents, will share their findings. In addition, Samsung will discuss the new measures the company has implemented in response to the incidents.

The full press conference will be available via live-stream globally, and can be accessed through www.samsung.com and Samsung Newsroom.

Samsung Heir Faces Arrest on Charges of Bribing South Korea’s President

Choe Sang-Hun, reporting for New York Times;

SEOUL, South Korea — The sprawling investigation into President Park Geun-hye of South Korea took a dramatic turn on Monday with word that prosecutors were seeking the arrest of the de facto head of Samsung, one of the world’s largest conglomerates, on charges that he bribed the president and her secretive confidante.

A prosecutor’s call for the arrest of Jay Y. Lee, the vice chairman of Samsung and only son of the company’s incapacitated chairman, Lee Kun-hee, brings new scrutiny to the deep ties between top government officials and the handful of corporations that dominate South Korea’s economy.

It was not a good 2016 for Samsung and looks like 2017 will not be any different, well at least for the start of the year.

FAA lifts airline notification on Galaxy Note7

Samsung;

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision today to remove the requirement for the airlines to make specific pre-boarding notification reflects the exceptionally high rates of participation in the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program.

By leveraging our digital technology to target each device, we’ve had over 96 percent of Galaxy Note7 phones returned to date.

Together with our wireless carriers, we have taken aggressive action to limit the remaining phones’ ability to work as mobile devices, further enhancing participation in the recall. We thank the Department of Transportation, airlines, airports, our partners and Note7 owners for their patience and support during this time.

Samsung Introduces Its Odyssey Gaming Laptops

Jamie Inocian, writing for Unbox;

ASUS has the Republic of Gamers, Dell has Alienware, HP has Omen, and even Lenovo recently released its own gaming sub-brand — Legion. It seems like Korean company, Samsung, wants a piece of the gaming pie by unveiling its gaming laptops at CES 2017 under the name — Odyssey.

This laptop has one meaty specs.

Samsung plans $150m for early-stage AI, VR, and IoT startups

Eva Xiao, reporting for Tech in Asia;

After a rocky year of Galaxy Note 7 explosions, Samsung is starting the new year with good news.

On Wednesday at CES, the Korean tech giant announced the launch of the Samsung NEXT Fund, a US$150 million venture capital fund for early-stage startups in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, internet-of-things, and other “frontier technologies.”