Samsung Electronics’ CEO Kwon Oh-hyun will be resigning in March 2018, and a replacement for his position has yet to be announced.

Samsung is one of the most recognized electronics companies in the world, and in the Android space, it’s Galaxy S and Note series are two of the most popular on the entire market. Samsung’s sales for 2017 has been consistently strong, but despite this, big changes are happening under the surface. Most recently, Samsung’s CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun, has announced that he’s resigning from his position at the company.

Along with his role as Samsung Electronics’ CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun also serves as the CEO and board member for Samsung Display. He’s set to resign from all of his roles in March of 2018, and part of his resignation letter reads as follows:

It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off. As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry”

Notice Oh-hyun’s mention of the “unprecedented crisis.” Although he doesn’t disclose exactly what this crisis is in his resignation letter, it’s safe to say that this is in reference to Lee Jae-yong prison sentencing earlier this year. Lee Jae-yong was an heir to Samsung, and he was faced with a prison sentence of five years this past August for totaling bribes of $6.4 million USD with four other executives within the company.

It wasn’t clear at the time as to how this would impact Samsung going forward, but Kwon Oh-hyun’s resignation seems to be the first sign of its ripple effect.

In another part of his letter, Oh-hyun continues by saying:

There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world. We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other. But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life

Kwon Oh-hyun first started working at Samsung back in 1985, and 27 years later, was appointed to CEO in 2012. Samsung has yet to announce who will be replacing Oh-hyun, and it’ll be interesting to see how his departure has an impact on the company. Samsung managed to recover remarkably well following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, and Oh-hyun undoubtedly played a big role in that entire event. Whether or not this is a good move for Samsung is something we’ll have to wait for and see for ourselves.

Samsung heir sentenced to 5 years in prison for bribery




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Google Assistant support on Hulu for Android TV allows for a lot of new voice controls, but where the heck is the new UI and live TV?

Hulu is a fantastic streaming service, and Android TV is a great platform for media consumption. Unfortunately, the two haven’t been known to play nicely with one another. Hulu has been notoriously slow in the past when it comes to updating its Android TV app with new and current features, so it’s refreshing to see an update for Google Assistant support already being pushed out.

Google Assistant just launched on Android TV late last month, and although the platform already supported voice controls, the introduction of Google Assitant brought the voice functionality more up to par with the Assistant voice controls that you have on your phone, Google Home, etc.

You can use Assistant to pause shows, fast-forward, rewind, etc.

With this latest Hulu update, you can now use Google Assistant on your Android TV for playing/pausing video playback, rewinding/fast-forwarding, and skipping shows in a playlist. It’s not ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s an update that’s definitely appreciated.

The update will change the version number of Hulu for Android TV to 2.1.3, and it officially started rolling out on October 11. Unfortunately, we’re still stuck with the same general app design and no date in sight as to when the Hulu Android TV app will receive the major UI overhaul and live TV support that most of Hulu’s other platforms have already received.

Sigh 😞




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This deal doesn’t revolve around tech, but everyone can benefit from effectively free samples.

Is this deal for me?

Prime members, Amazon has a new exclusive deal just for you. Spend $2 on a sample that looks interesting to you, and Amazon will give you $2 in credit to spend on full-sized products from that same brand, including products from Starbucks, Gatorade, and more! There are a few $4 samples too that will credit you back $4.

This deal is very similar to the Sample Box deals Amazon has been running recently, only this time the samples are individual products instead of a giant mystery box.

As a Prime member, you can buy as many samples as you want but only one of each. For each one you buy, Amazon will automatically issue the credit once your sample has shipped. You’ll also get an email with information about the credit and how to use it. The credits expire 180 days after the sample ships, so make sure you use them before then.

While the credit is limited, it’s not limited specifically to buying the full-size version of the sample you ordered but rather to a selection based on the brand. So if you order the Starbucks Cubano Doubleshot Espresso but don’t like the flavor, you’ll be able to spend the $2 credit on some other coffee item like a 15pk of Mocha and Vanilla Starbucks Frappuccinos for example.

Keep an eye on this sample page because the available products and flavors will probably change quite a bit and you never know what you’ll find there. If you’re not a Prime member but want to participate, you can sign up here. Signing up includes a 30-day free trial for new members.

TL;DR

  • What makes this deal worth considering? – These trial-size products are a great way to delve into some higher-priced brands without spending a bunch of money all in one shot. Since you also get your money back in the form of Amazon credit, you’re not losing out on any cash by trying out a couple either.
  • Things to know before you buy! – Each sample is limited to one per Prime member, and the credit you receive must be used within 180 days of your sample’s shipment.

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For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!




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Ready to give Microsoft Edge on Android a shot? Now’s your chance.

Microsoft recently surprised the mobile world with the announcement that it was bringing its Edge browser to Android and iOS. Initially, the browser was only available as part of a preview limited preview on iOS through Apple’s Test Flight beta program, with Android said to be coming soon. Now, as first spotted by Simhar.com, the Microsoft Edge for Android preview has appeared on Google Play and is open for anyone to download and test.

Microsoft’s goal with Edge on Android is to provide a consistent experience between your PC and your phone, with the ability to easily share documents and pick up where you left off — something that has been sorely missing if you’re a loyal Edge user on desktop. As part of that experience, Microsoft is making the “Continue on PC” feature a highlight, allowing you to easily pick up where you left off with the upcoming Fall Creators Update.

Here’s a look at the highlight features of Edge on Android:

  • Continue on PC: Go anywhere and pick up where you left off by seamlessly moving content between your mobile device and PC (requires Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update).
  • Data Sync: Your favorites and reading list are synced across your devices, so no matter the device, your browser is always personalized to you.
  • Hub View: With your favorites, reading list, history, and books all in one place, finding and managing your content is made simple.
  • Reading View: Reorganize the content on a webpage to make it easier to focus on what you’re reading.
  • QR Code Reader: Easily read QR codes at the touch of a button. Microsoft Edge will pull up the reading and information right onto your screen.
  • Voice Search: You can now use your voice to search the web. Ask a question or speak a prompt to use the web in more natural, familiar ways.
  • InPrivate: When you browse with InPrivate mode, your browsing data (like your history, temporary internet files, and cookies) isn’t saved on your PC once you’re done.

Keep in mind that the Edge preview is currently limited to U.S. users (although it is worth a shot; we were able to download it from the UK too). If you’re ready to give Edge a shot, you can grab it on Google Play now.

Just keep in mind that Edge on Android is still in development, and you’re likely to encounter bugs here and there.

Download Microsoft Edge preview (free)




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Disney has teamed up with four big movie studios to make sharing movie downloads between ecosystems as simple as possible.

In 2014, Disney debuted its digital extension, Disney Movies Anywhere, which allowed users to bridge the ecosystem divide for movie downloads. If you bought, say, The Lion King on iTunes and Aladdin on Google Play Movies, DMA gave you access to both those movies on either platform — as well as on Amazon and Vudu.

Now, Disney has finalized agreements with four of the other major studios — Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Warner Bros. — to expand the feature into a near all-encompassing service, aptly called Movies Anywhere. The only major holdout appears to be Paramount Pictures, which distributes popular flicks like Mission Impossible and Transformers.

Available on both Android and iOS or through a dedicated web portal, Movies Anywhere allows users to sign into their Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, or Vudu accounts and, like DMA, gain access to all their movies … anywhere.

It’s a service that our own Ara Wagoner has grown to love, since Disney, which developed the technology, works with the individual platform providers to facilitate the rights management. That means movies aren’t sequestered to the Movies Anywhere app, but can be viewed in Google Play Movies like any other purchase. The other studios initially supported a competing technology, Ultraviolet, which was extremely user-unfriendly and garnered little mainstream use.

It won’t stem the growth of Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, but it’s a consumer-friendly move in an industry that doesn’t always put its customers first.

The unifying move is certainly an attempt to make buying movies a lot more enticing in the world of Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, but it also solves a major problem with platform lock-in. Anyone who’s moved from an iPhone to Android likely had the realization that their iTunes music, movies, and TV shows didn’t come with them. Movies Anywhere doesn’t solve every problem, and not every studio is on board, but it does bring us closer than ever to platform agnosticism.

To incent people to sign up for Movies Anywhere, which is free, the service is offering five free movies when you link two or more accounts:

  • Big Hero 6
  • Ghostbusters (2016)
  • Ice Age
  • Jason Bourne (2016)
  • The Lego Movie

At launch, Movies Anywhere is only available in the U.S., but the companies are working on bringing it to other markets.

Are you interested in signing up for Movies Anywhere? Let us know in the comments below!




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The OnePlus 5 is the safe choice, but you get a lot more for your money with the Mi Mix 2.

Four months after its debut, the OnePlus 5 remains one of the best affordable flagships. With the OnePlus 5, you’re getting a phone with high-end specs, a clean software experience, and dual cameras. The design itself is reminiscent of the iPhone 7 Plus from the back, and features large bezels up front.

If you’re looking for something that’s more differentiated, then the Mi Mix 2 should be right up your alley. The Mi Mix 2 shares a lot of the design principles of its predecessor, which includes a striking design with narrow bezels on three sides of the phone coupled with high-end internals.

What’s the same

The common theme between the Mi Mix 2 and the OnePlus 5 is affordability. Both Xiaomi and OnePlus have built their businesses around devices that offer excellent value for money, and that holds true for the OnePlus 5 and the Mi Mi 2.

Both phones are powered by the Snapdragon 835, and offer 6GB of RAM with the base variants. You also get 64GB storage (128GB in India), global LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi ac, NFC, and batteries that last all day. Both devices are also running Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Category OnePlus 5 Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
Operating System OxygenOS 4.5.8, Android 7.1.1 Nougat MIUI 9, Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Display 5.5-inch 1920×1080 AMOLED panel
Gorilla Glass 5
401ppi pixel density
5.9-inch 18:9 IPS LCD 2160 x 1080
403ppi pixel density
Chipset Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Four Kryo 280 cores at 2.45GHz
Four Kryo 280 cores at 1.90GHz
10nm
Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Four Kryo 280 cores at 2.45GHz
Four Kryo 280 cores at 1.90GHz
10nm
GPU Adreno 540 Adreno 540
RAM 6/8GB LPDDR4X 6GB LPDDR4X (8GB LPDDR4X special edition)
Storage 64/128GB UFS 2.1 64GB/128GB/256GB UFS 2.1 (128GB special edition)
Expandable No No
Battery 3300mAh 3400mAh
Charging USB-C
Dash Charge
USB-C
Quick Charge 3.0 (9V/2A)
Water resistance No No
Rear Camera 16MP (IMX398), f/1.7, 1.12-micron pixels, EIS
20MP (IMX350), f/2.6, 1-micron pixels
Dual LED flash, 4K 30 fps
12MP (Sony IMX 386) f/2.0, 1.25-micron pixels
4-axis OIS, two-tone flash, PDAF, 4K@30fps
Front Camera 16MP 5MP
Connectivity LTE 3xCA, 256QAM, Cat 12
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, dual band, 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, NFC
USB 2.0, USB OTG
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac MU MIMO, 2×2 MIMO LTE with VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.0
GPS/AGPS/GLONASS/BeiDou
Security One-touch fingerprint sensor (front) One-touch fingerprint sensor (back)
SIM Dual Nano SIM Dual Nano SIM
Network FDD-LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66
TDD-LTE: Band 38/39/40/41
HSPA: Band 1/2/4/5/8
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA: BC0
FDD-LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/27/28/29/30
TDD-LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
WCDMA: Band 1/2/3/4/5/6/8/9/19
CDMA EVDO: BC0, BC1, BC6, BC10
GSM: Band 2/3/5/8
Dimensions 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm 151.8 x 75.5 x 7.7mm
Weight 153g 185g
Colors Slate Grey, Midnight Black Black

As you’d imagine from phones powered by the latest hardware, both the Mi Mix 2 and OnePlus 5 breeze through everyday tasks without breaking a sweat. There wasn’t a point where I noticed any slowdowns on either phone, and with 6GB of RAM as standard, both devices are future-proof in this regard.

That’s where the similarities end. Although both phones have near-identical innards, the overall experience is vastly different.

Where the Mi Mix 2 wins

The standout feature on the Mi Mix 2 is the display. Xiaomi moved the front camera to the bottom bar, and the result is that three sides of the phone feature razor-thin bezels. Even though bezel-less designs are commonplace, Xiaomi’s implementation is striking to behold.

Meanwhile, OnePlus hasn’t altered the design too much from last year’s OnePlus 3 and 3T, and as such the OnePlus 5 feels outdated when seen next to the Mi Mix 2.

The Mi Mix 2 has a ceramic back with an aluminum frame, and the back itself is highly reflective. It looks great, but the glossy finish means it constantly attracts fingerprints. The gold accent around the camera give it a certain design flair, and the position of the fingerprint sensor is ideal. It’s located just underneath the camera sensor, and the minor indent lets you find it easily with your finger.

The front of the Mi Mix 2 is where the magic happens. The 5.99-inch display isn’t an OLED panel like the OnePlus 5, but it is one of the best LCDs available today. Colors are vivid, overall brightness levels are excellent, and it’s a delight to read text on the display. That said, videos aren’t nearly as enjoyable as you’ll still see letterboxing in YouTube and Netflix. With 18:9 becoming more and more common, this particular issue should be fixed shortly.

If you want a device that’ll turn heads, get the Mi Mix 2.

With the first-generation Mi Mix, Xiaomi just used the camera sensor from another device (the Mi Max) and slotted it into the device. The company is doing the same this time around, but it’s using the 12MP imaging sensor from the primary camera of the Mi 6, or the Sony IMX 386. There’s also 4-axis OIS, which we saw for the first time in last year’s Mi 5. The Mi Mix 2 doesn’t have dual cameras like the OnePlus 5, so you’ll miss out on features like Portrait Mode, but when it comes to the primary sensor, the phone outshines OnePlus’ offering.

Photos taken with the Mi Mix 2 have more dynamic range, and the colors are true-to-life. The OnePlus 5 still isn’t quite there yet when it comes to software processing, with a few outdoor shots over-processed.

Mi Mix 2 on the left, OnePlus 5 on the right.

The Mi Mix 2 also wins out when it comes to battery life. A slightly larger 3400mAh battery combined with MIUI’s very aggressive memory management allows the phone to last a day without breaking a sweat, delivering a screen-on-time of four to five hours on average. And when you do need to top up the phone, you can use Quick Charge 3.0.

Where the OnePlus 5 wins

The OnePlus 5 is one of the fastest phones you can currently buy. OnePlus’ focus on an uncluttered software experience with OxygenOS combined with the high-end internals lead to a device that’s delightful to use on a daily basis. The only other phone that I’ve used that was as fluid was the Pixel XL, and even after four months the OnePlus 5 isn’t seeing any slowdowns.

The OnePlus 5 also gets the basics right: the phone comes with a standard headphone jack, so you don’t have to use a dongle to listen to music when using a wired headset. Xiaomi is moving away from the headphone jack in its flagships, so if you care about wired audio, then there’s really only one choice.

The OnePlus 5 has all the essentials, including a 3.5mm jack.

The Mi Mix 2′s main drawback on the design front is the position of the front camera. The position of the camera at the bottom poses a unique problem when you’re trying to take a selfie, and you’ll get a prompt to invert the phone when using the Mi Camera app. However, you don’t have the option to do so when you’re using Instagram, Duo, or WhatsApp, so you’ll get photos from an awkward angle. For its part, Xiaomi says it’s working on an update to enable auto-rotation in third-party apps.

Then there’s the software situation. Xiaomi rolled out a slew of under-the-hood fixes with MIUI 9, with the goal of making the operating system much more nimble. While that made a noticeable difference in day-to-day usage, the user interface itself is in need of an overhaul, and looks dated when seen next to OxygenOS 4.5.8.

Which should you buy? Your call

The Mi Mix 2 has a lot going for it: the phone has an evocative design with a durable ceramic back, great camera, and outstanding battery life. The OnePlus 5, meanwhile, offers a much better software experience, and you won’t have to use a dongle to connect your wired headphones.

In countries where Xiaomi will officially launch the Mi Mix 2 (primarily Asian markets), the device will go head-to-head with the OnePlus 5 when it comes to pricing. For instance, Xiaomi introduced the device earlier this week in India for ₹35,999 ($550), putting it squarely in the territory of the OnePlus 5, where the Midnight Black variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage retails for ₹37,999 ($585). Xiaomi is launching a single variant in India, offering 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage.

With not a whole lot to separate both phones in terms of pricing, it all comes down to what your priorities are. If you want a device that offers a clutter-free software experience, fast updates, and a 3.5mm jack, then the OnePlus 5 is the phone to get. If you’re instead looking for a device with a futuristic design, better camera, and all-day battery life, the Mi Mix 2 is a better choice.

Xiaomi will kick off sales in India from October 17, and will make the Mi Mix 2 available in other markets in the coming months. If you’re looking to pick up the device from the U.S. or UK, you’ll need to go through a reseller.

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