América Móvil partners with Samsung to deliver 4.5G networks in Latin America

América Móvil, the fourth largest telecom carrier in the world, has partnered with Samsung to deliver 4.5G cellular networks in Mexico and other Latin American markets. The partnership also focuses on improving the connectivity for IoT (Internet of Things) devices. The companies will test the 4.5G network using the Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S8, and the Galaxy S8+.

Samsung and América Móvil will first test the new networks in Mexico and Puerto Rico. The aim of these examinations and tests is to realize the co-development of connectivity technologies such as 256-QAM, 4×4 MIMO, IoT, VoLTE, and VoWiFi. The companies will try to improve networks so that they provide high-speed and reliable connectivity to smartphones and IoT products all the time.

Angel Alija, America Movil’s Wireless COO (Chief Operating Officer), said, “Through this collaboration with Samsung, we will be able to offer our customers innovative solutions that address a variety of needs and allow them to benefit from the Internet of Things and new technological tools to boost productivity, become more efficient and make their lives easier,” in his official statement.

Galaxy S5 Neo to receive Android 7.0 Nougat update

In a strange turn of events, the Galaxy S5 Neo has been spotted at the Wi-Fi Alliance running Android 7.0, seemingly confirming rumors claiming that Samsung will distribute the long-awaited Nougat update for the handset, which is now approaching the end of its two-year support window.

Android 7.0 Nougat brings a plethora of new features to the table, including enhanced notifications, improved application permissions, new emoji and refined battery saving tools, as well as an abundance of much-needed bug fixes, stability improvements and speed optimizations.

Related: Galaxy S5 Neo Nougat update possibly being tested

We’re a little surprised that the Galaxy S5 Neo is being treated to Nougat. Usually, Samsung forgets about spin-off variants shortly after they hit the shelves. But my colleague Asif humorously speculated a plausible reason for rollout: the firm’s taken on too many interns and is looking for ways to keep them busy.

In case you missed its announcement, the Galaxy S5 Neo is a slightly smaller variant of the Galaxy S5. Under the hood, it sports a 5.1-inch Full HD display, a 1.6GHz Exynos 7580 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 16MP rear-facing camera, a 5MP front-facing shooter and a 2,800mAh removable battery.

There’s no word on when the release is scheduled to start making the rounds.

Samsung releases Bixby Voice in the US

Samsung has just announced that it has started rolling out Bixby Voice capabilities in US English. Bixby consists of four main aspects: Hello Bixby, Bixby Reminders, Bixby Vision, and Bixby Voice. All the Galaxy S8 and S8+ users in the US and South Korea who speak US English will now be able to use Bixby Voice to get various things done just by voice commands. It can be activated after the latest app update using the dedication button on the left side of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+.

Bixby, Samsung’s AI-powered digital assistant, was unveiled along with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ earlier this year. The AI-powered assistant’s voice capabilities were supposed to be rolled out in the US with the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but it was delayed by more than three months. Last month, Samsung started a beta program to test Bixby Voice in the US, and it is now available for everyone in the country. Bixby Voice was rolled out in South Korea in May.

It understands natural language, so you can use everyday speech for voice commands. Samsung claims that everything that can be accomplished by touching a phone’s display can be done through voice commands using Bixby Voice. Apart from all the stock apps on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, Bixby also works with a few third-party apps, including Facebook, Google Maps, Google Play Music, and YouTube. Samsung plans to work with more third-party app developers to integrate Bixby Voice features into their apps.

Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Software and Services of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, said, “At Samsung, we are dedicated to creating the best possible user experience for our customers. That’s why we designed Bixby – it’s an intelligent interface that allows you to do more things with your phone. We want to offer a truly multimodal experience, so that users can interact with their phone in many different ways – through sight, touch, typing or voice – all of the most natural ways to interact with the world, available on your smartphone.

Since Bixby Voice is deeply integrated into the operating system, it can be used to perform multi-step as well as cross-app actions. The digital assistant improves over time, thanks to deep learning technology. It can be used to perform things as simple as turning on the flash light and as complex as finding all the images of food clicked last week and email it to multiple contacts without ever touching the display. Here are a few official videos that show some of the most important features of Bixby.

Reminder: Galaxy S8 and S8+ will retain 95 percent of their battery capacity after a year

Back when the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ were launched, Samsung had made a very important announcement. According to the Korean giant, the batteries inside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will hold 95 percent of their original battery capacity in a year’s time. We’ve mentioned this before, and we thought it would be a good idea to remind our readers that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will not see their battery endurance reduce by much 12 months after one starts using a particular unit.

The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, which have similar battery capacities (with only the S7 edge having 100 mAh more than the S8+), only maintained 80 percent of their total battery capacity after a similar period. Naturally, despite the batteries remaining nearly fully capable after a year, your battery life will depend on your usage patterns. As we recently said in our battery life review for the Galaxy S8+, the device has held up well after two months of use, and it shouldn’t be a lot different ten months down the line.

Of course, the batteries inside the S8 and S8+ are also considerably safer thanks to Samsung’s 8-point battery check process, which the company put into place after the Note 7 debacle. Samsung hasn’t received reports of any S8 or S8+ units catching fire, and along with their ability to hold 95 percent of their charge over a year, Samsung’s latest flagships seem pretty sorted as far as battery life and safety is concerned.

Apple reportedly goes back to Samsung for 7nm A12 processors

Apple stopped offering Samsung manufacturing contracts for its A-series processors after it faced power efficiency problems with the A9 chipset for the iPhone 6s. The US-based consumer electronics giant then started working exclusively with TSMC for the A10 and A11 processing chipsets for iPhones and iPads. Now, it is being reported that Apple is going back to Samsung for its A12 processors that could be used in next year’s devices.

According to a report from The Investor, Samsung has won back Apple’s confidence with its upcoming 7nm FinFET technology. The South Korean electronics brand might manufacture A12 chipset for Apple’s iPhones that are expected to be unveiled next year. The deal was reportedly finalised when Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung’s VP for the LSI chip and memory division, visited Apple’s headquarters last month to meet the company’s higher level officials.

All the iPhones next year are expected to feature OLED displays (supplied by Samsung), so Samsung convinced the officials that Apple could save more money if both chipsets and displays are made by the same firm. Samsung has reportedly ordered extreme ultraviolet lithography machines that will solely be used to manufacture 7nm A12 chipsets for next year’s iPhones and iPads. So, Apple won’t face any supply shortage issues.

The South Korean firm already leapfrogged Apple last quarter in terms of profit, thanks to strong performances in chipset, display, memory, and smartphone segments. If this deal turns out to be true, Samsung will make a lot of money next year. It is also being reported that Qualcomm may move to TSMC for its next-generation, 7nm Snapdragon chipsets. However, nothing has been confirmed officially. Samsung also supplies OLED panels for MacBooks and Apple Watches.

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