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A Samsung Unpacked drama in 3 acts (or how Samsung mended its event strategy)

BARCELONA, Spain -- Bright lights, orchestras, stage shows, and spin -- these are the trappings of a modern technology press event. Of course, the most basic purpose of these events is to share new product details with the press and, ultimately, potential consumers. But today's press conferences have turned into so much more. If you've never attended one, you're missing a certain blend of magic and despair.

A good tech event is not easy to pull off. And Samsung, despite producing some massive tech stars, has struggled to hit on a winning script. Remember the bizarre and possibly sexist Radio City Music Hall debut of the Galaxy S4? … Read more

The 404 1,432: Where we tell him about the Twinkie (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Samsung Galaxy S5 has tepid design, but plenty of specs appeal (hands-on).

- Are selfies causing the spread of head lice?

- BroApp sends automatic text messages to your girlfriend or SO.… Read more

What mattered at Mobile World Congress, day 2: BlackBerry, Samsung's Galactic dominance, and plucky Kazam

BARCELONA, Spain -- Hard to believe it's only day 2 of Mobile World Congress, which already feels like it's been going on for months. The CNET team is now fluent in Catalan, cannot remember any food that isn't tapas, and has renounced all other religions for that of Lionel Messi.

With most of the main announcements out of the way, it's time for some of the smaller companies to share the limelight. Speaking of which...

CNET's full coverage of Mobile World Congress

BlackBerry unveils Z3 and Q20 Poor BlackBerry. Where once it would have merited … Read more

Women prefer Apple, gentlemen prefer Samsung

When commenters lurch to these pages, their lightsabers raised even higher than their voices, they categorize phones in simple terms.

The Samsung Galaxy, is, in an Apple lover's eyes, a big, bad copy of an iPhone.

The iPhone, to everyone but an Apple lover, is merely a girlie gadget with all the technological sophistication of a 1980s Barbie.

How odd, then, that a piece of research has just appeared before my exclusive eyes to suggest that women prefer an iPhone.

The research, sponsored by cache-cleaning specialists KS Mobile, examined, among many aspects, whether there was a gender bias in … Read more

Samsung's Gear Fit doesn't run Android or Tizen

BARCELONA, Spain -- As if Samsung didn't already have enough operating systems to worry about, it's now adding another. Well, kinda.

The Korean electronics giant loaded its new fitness band, the Gear Fit, with a real-time operating system instead of the Android software used in its phones or the Tizen software used in its new Gear smartwatches.

"It's a much simpler OS, and it helps us keep the battery life three to four days whereas Gear 2 is [about] two days," Seshu Madhavapeddy, senior vice president of product and technology at Samsung Telecommunications America, told … Read more

See the Samsung Galaxy S5's heart rate monitor in action

BARCELONA, Spain -- Exercise aficionados who want to log their heart-rate after a workout and even in between have a new tool in the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Using it is as simple as selecting the heart-rate monitor icon from within Samsung's newly-updated S Health 3.0 app, which comes preloaded in the Galaxy S5. Then, you place your index finger on the center of the flash module, just to the right of the flash.

The app wants you to hold your finger in place for several seconds, while holding still and shutting your yap as the monitor calculates. Your … Read more

Perfect Fit: Why the Samsung Gear Fit might be a hint of wristbands to come

It's way too early to get excited about a product that was just announced -- and that I've barely had much time to play with. But Samsung's latest wearable, the Gear Fit, marks a territory that has been emerging since CES in January: half fitness band, half smartwatch, the little, curved-screen device looks like it's trying to be both a Pebble and a Fitbit; to have its wearable cake and eat it, too.

That's a great idea. In fact, it's an idea I was thinking of last year when the Fitbit Force arrived. Could … Read more

A deep dive into the Galaxy S5's snappy fingerprint scanner

BARCELONA, Spain -- Samsung didn't shed many details about the fingerprint scanner on its new Galaxy S5 smartphone, but I had a chance to set up and use the security feature here at the show.

First, the basics. Samsung's sensor is on the bottom portion of the screen, not integrated into the home button as I originally thought. To unlock the phone with your finger, you swipe along the glowing path about half an inch from the bottom of the phone, going down and over the home button.

Setup took just a few minutes, after swiping my finger … Read more

Galaxy S5: How Samsung built its Galactic Empire (video)

As the Galaxy S5 enters officialdom, Samsung is the biggest smartphone maker in the world -- presiding over an indomitable gadget kingdom. But how did a company best known for Blu-ray players and TVs become the all-eclipsing superpower it is today? In this special episode of Adventures in Tech, we explain the Galaxy strategy, and tell the story of how Samsung forged its Galactic gadget empire. Press play now.

The new Galaxy S5 undoubtedly plays it safe, with a design that's almost identical to that of the S4, and a screen that's only a fraction of an … Read more

Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor lets people shop with PayPal

Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S5 smartphone on Monday and it's full of bells and whistles, like a bigger display, improved camera, and built-in fingerprint sensor.

By no means is Samsung the first smartphone maker to debut fingerprint authentication, but it has done something different -- the Galaxy S5's sensor will also act as password protection for PayPal payments.

Samsung and PayPal announced Monday that they've partnered on the Galaxy S5 to let users pay for items password-free at all online and brick-and-mortar stores that accept PayPal. Users only need their fingerprint to buy goods.

This type … Read more