NFC

NFC-Laden Nexus S 4G to Get Some Action

Did you know that the Nexus S (both in its original form and its newer 4G state on Sprint) is fully ready to work with NFC mobile payments? Google knows, they built it. Sprint knows, they're apparently working on a deal with Google right this second to release a mobile payments service on the 26th of May, 2011. This service will, if it's real, be available for US customers of Sprint Nextel, so says "three people familiar with the matter" to Bloomberg. Three's better than one, right?

Samsung Execs Reveal Future Plans

A meeting last night held by Samsung executives held some gems in the form of potential new Android devices over the next year. The meeting, which was specifically to discuss ways that Samsung will be going after Apple's market share, was not an explicitly Android event, so we can't be absolutely sure that these will be Android devices, but the chances are good and there were some exciting things to be heard.

Samsung confirms Galaxy S II NFC version for UK in June

Samsung is apparently preparing to bring the NFC-enabled version of the Galaxy S II to the UK next month, having initially launched the Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone in its non-NFC form. The decision was apparently confirmed by two Samsung support staff, who told one would-be GSII customer that "the NFC [model] would be launched in the UK by June." However, they also confirmed that Samsung has no plans to launch the 32GB version of the GSII in the UK, despite the higher-capacity model being available in other regions. Instead, the UK will be stuck with the 16GB model only, though of course that can be expanded using up to 32GB microSD cards. It's unclear if the NFC decision means that there will be two versions of the Galaxy S II co-existing in the UK market - some NFC-enabled, others not - or if the updated model will replace the original. That could frustrate early-adopters, however, who will see those coming later to the GSII game picking up a handset eventually capable of wireless payments and other talents. [via Mobot]

Coupons coming to Android handsets via NFC

French company Ingencio is working with Google to develop a sales coupon service which would deliver special offers to smartphone users via near field communications. The service, would send coupons to a user's phone as they shop and automatically deduct the coupon from a related purchase upon checkout. Initially, Payments would still be made the old fashioned way, by either cash, check or charge.

Samsung Galaxy S II officially launched today

Samsung is officially launching the Galaxy S II today, though UK sales of the dual-core Android smartphone did kick off in the UK yesterday. The subject of a huge Media Day in Korea this morning, Samsung expects to ship the Galaxy S II on over 140 carriers in 120 countries worldwide. As we found in our full Samsung Galaxy S II review, the 1.2GHz Exynos processor and Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen make for a potent combination. Surprisingly, though, the Galaxy S II particularly delivers on battery life, lasting for two days of heavy use. Meanwhile, in Korea there's a version of the Galaxy S II with an integrated DMB digital TV tuner - which adds 1mm to the smartphone's thickness - and there'll be various NFC and non-NFC versions depending on region. Samsung even went to the trouble of calculating the average length of the Korean thumb (58.6mm, if you're curious) and reckon the 4.3-inch display is perfectly suited to one-handed use.

Galaxy S II hits Korea with NFC payment system ready to go

In Korea, KT is rolling out a new NFC payment system that will also users of compatible mobile phones to pay for purchases using their smartphones. NFC payments for smart devices are becoming a big deal all around the world and some of the biggest firms in the tech realm are backing NFC payments systems in the US and abroad. In the US Google is pushing hard for NFC and several major credit card companies are also backing NFC plans.

Tyfone putting NFC in MicroSD Cards

Wow, this sounds like a great idea, Tyfone has developed a system and are now putting NFC chips, controllers, and antenna's into Micro SD and SD cards. This makes it possible for mobile phones and other PDA like devices to easily add NFC capabilities to their device just by simply changing the SD card they are using. Sounds like a great plan, don't have a Nexus S, just get a Tyfone MicroSD Card.

Thunderbolt and Evo 4G Gingerbread update in late June

Both the HTC Thunderbolt and Evo 4G are scheduled to receive a Gingerbread update in late June, according to an email exchange with an HTC representative. The rep was responding to a frustrated customer who vented about the lack of the update in Verizon's premiere 4G handset. The irony is, that Gingerbread has been out for over 4 months and most wireless handsets haven't updated to it. It's a common issue as updates have to go to the manufacturer, then be approved by the provider, before going to an over the air update.

Samsung Nexus S 4G clears FCC

Spring has sprung and a ton of smartphones have made their way through FCC testing, including the Samsung Nexus S 4G. Listed as model SPH-D720, the Nexus S 4G has been cleared for WiMax channels, pointing towards a Sprint release. Sprint has already hinted of a Spring release, but other that that, mums the word. Originally, we reported that Best Buy was going to launch it April 6th. But as of this writing, that hadn't happened, probably waiting to clear the FCC before launching a full court press. There's plenty of time left in Spring, however, so no need to panic yet.

Amazon launching Blaze Dual Core Phone

Photos and specs have been leaked on what looks to be Amazon's entry into the Android smartphone market. The phone is known as the Blaze, and it looks stacked with a 1.2 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8660 processor, 4.3-inch Mirasol display. Other specs include 512MB ram, 32GB of internal storage and a 5MP rear facing camera. The Blaze will also come with a front-facing camera for video chat, and have may also have a near field communications (NFC) chip for electronic point of purchase (ironic considering Amazon is an Internet based eCommerce site).
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