Samsung Galaxy J2 is one of Samsung’s newest budget phone and it has taken a remarkable change of design; for the first time in Samsung’s budget phone category, they had removed the physical home button, which means you will be using only the navigation bar on the screen.
Why Samsung removed the button we’re not entirely sure spacewise, because the space that houses the now non- existent home button is still there but it was replaced by the brand name. We’re thinking it’s for ergonomic purposes since people who are used to the home button might need some adjusting before getting used to it. It could also be because it is rather redundant to have the physical home button when it’s on the screen itself.
The Samsung Galaxy J2 doesn’t look much on the outside, it doesn’t have aluminum casing or glass back cover but that’s also one of the reasons why it’s so affordable.
Samsung Galaxy J2’s build and design is on par with the rest of the Android phones in the budget department. We compared it to 3 other budget phones that retails for the same price (LG Aristo 3, Alcatel A30 Fierce, Samsung Galaxy J3 Prime Silver) from Metro by T-Mobile (previously called MetroPCS) and there seems to be no significant difference among them (comparison shown in the table below).
Samsung Galaxy J2
LG Aristo 3
Alcatel A30 Fierce
Samsung Galaxy J3 Prime Silver
1.4 GHz quad-core processor
1.4 GHz quad-core processor
Quad Core 1.5 GHz processor
Quad Core 1.4 GHz processor
8MP with LED flash
13MP PDAF with flash
13MP autofocus with LED flash
5MP Autofocus with low light aperture
5MP, wide- angle with LED Flash
1080p HD @ 30 fps
540 x 960
720 x 1280
720 x 1280
720 x 1280
2D Face Unlock
$149, free after all offers
$139, free after all offers
$149, free after all offers
$139, free after all offers
The J2, however, is considerably heavy for its height, weighing 5.8 oz at just 6 inches long. It has 5 inches of screen display on a Corning Gorilla Glass, with a 540 x 960 resolution on a 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s a bummer that it has a lower resolution compared to the LG Aristo 3 which has a 720 x 1280 resolution on the same screen size for almost the same price.
To sum it up, it doesn’t have a stand out appearance and only has the standard look of most Samsung budget and mid-range phones.
The Samsung Galaxy J2 again doesn’t have an ‘edge’ above other budget phones of the same price, aside from bearing the brand name you trust. Nonetheless, its specs don’t really disappoint; it has a huge battery, a good processor, and solid cameras.
It has 5MP front-facing camera and 8MP main camera with LED Flash. However, these cameras don’t have instant focus or PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus) and that means it might not be that great for selfies as it is for still images. Compared to Alcatel A30 Fierce, it has lower camera specs, because the American brand features a 13MP rear-facing auto-focus camera that has an LED flash and a 5MP front-facing wide-angle camera with LED flash as well.
If you’re about taking great selfie photos with a huge group, the Alcatel A30 Fierce has a better chance of nailing it than the Samsung Galaxy J2.
On the other hand, the battery is quite large but still not as huge as the Alcatel A30 fierce, which has a 3000mAh battery size. The Galaxy J2 only has a 2600mAh but still could last you a day of use.
The security features of the Galaxy J2 are not as impressive as the rest in the budget phone department. It doesn’t have fingerprint sensors like Alcatel A30 Fierce or Face Unlock which is present in LG Aristo 3.
If you value trust for the brand, Samsung Galaxy J2 is not bad for the price, although it could have had better specs to keep up with its competitors. It’s not the best Samsung budget phone we’ve seen so far, but we think that losing the home button is one of the remarkable changes the brand has adapted for all its budget phones.
Without the home button, the phone is still intuitively easy to use, that is, of course, if you’ve been a long time Android user.
If there was anything significant that we wanted Samsung could have changed, that is adding a fingerprint sensor. Undeniably, that’s something that makes every budget Samsung phone look and feel so out of date.
Do you want to unlock your phone using the Z3X Box but don’t know where to start? Well, here’s a complete guide that will help you do all the things you need to do to unlock your phone using this method successfully!
WARNING: WE WILL BE ROOTING THE PHONE AND THIS VOIDS THE WARRANTY IF YOU STILL HAVE ONE. THIS ALSO DISABLES KNOX AND ITS FEATURES. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO USE THEM ANYMORE (LIKE SECURE FOLDER) EVEN IF THE FIRMWARE HAS BEEN RESTORED.
TLDR; below is a YouTube video that supplements this guide but all the downloadable materials are in this written guide.
Note: This guide already assumes that you have already installed Z3X Shell, activated the box, and have installed Samsung Tool Pro.
If you don’t already have a Z3X box and you want to unlock your phone, UnlockBase has a white glove unlock program where one of our technicians unlocks your phone remotely over the internet (for a fee). Through this guide you will; (1) know what files needed to be downloaded, (2) know how to root your Samsung phone safely, and (3) unlock your phone through the Samsung Tool Pro software for the Z3X.
Turn off the phone. Remove all SIM cards. Leave the microSD inside. If no microSD, insert one. (We’ll need that later).
Turn the phone back on.
Activate both USB Debugging and OEM Unlock
Go to Settings.
Go to “About Phone”
Tap “Software Info”
Tape Build Number 7 times, until it says “Developer mode has been enabled”, or “Developer mode has been enabled.”
Go back twice.
Go to “Developer Options”.
Enable both “OEM Unlock” and “USB Debugging”.
When prompted “Allow access to device data.” Tap “Allow”.
Copy “Magisk-vXXX.zip (XXX means version number of Magisk), to the phone’s SD card.
If connected, disconnect the phone from the computer.
Loading TWRP recovery.
Turn the phone off. Then press volume down (-), home, and power.
If you see “Warning”, press Volume up.
If you see the Samsung logo. Pull the battery out, put it back in, and keep trying until you get to the “Warning” screen.
Connect the phone to the computer.
Connect the Z3X Box to the computer.
Go to “Flash” tab, on the top.
Click on “PDA” on the left side.
Navigate where you downloaded TWRP (twrp_3.2.3-1_sm-g532.tar).
As soon as the phone reboots, IMMEDIATELY pull the battery out. Then disconnect the cable.
Put the battery back on, and then press Volume Up (+), Home and Power.
If you see a red text on the top saying “RECOVERY IS NOT SEADROID ENFORCING”, you just wait.If not, pull the battery out, reinsert and try pressing Volume Up (+), Home and Power. Keep trying until you see the red text on top.
Once booted into TWRP, swipe “Swipe to Allow Modifications.”
Rooting the phone.
On TWRP, tap “Install”.
Tap “Select Storage”.
Tap “Micro SD card”.
Select “Magisk-vXXX.zip” (XXX means the version number of Magisk).
Swipe “swipe to confirm Flash” to start flashing Magisk.
Wait for it to flash. Ignore the red errors).
Once done, tap “Reboot System”.
When prompted (and didn’t automatically reboot), tap “Do Not Install”.
If you see the yellow text “Set Warranty Bit: kernel(0)”. You did everything correctly, so far.
Plug the phone into the computer.
When prompted “Allow access to device data.” Tap “Allow”.
Go where you downloaded Magisk (Magisk-vXXX.zip) (XXX means the version of Magisk), and open it.
Extract “Magisk.apk” under the “common” directory, anywhere (just remember where you extracted it).
Copy the extracted “Magisk.apk” to your phone’s SD card.
Navigate to and install the “magisk.apk” on your phone.When prompted, tap “Settings”, and enable “Unknown Sources”.
Once done, click “Open”.
If both “Magisk”, and “Magisk Manager” has a green check. We are now ready to proceed to the next step.
Unlocking the phone.
Go back to SamsungToolPro
Click on “Model” tab on the top. Type in “G532G” “G532M” or “G532F”, without the quotation marks. Select your model from the list, and then click “Select” on the bottom.
Click the “Unlock” tab on the top.
Click on “Read Phone Info” on the right.
On the right side of “ADB”, click the arrow and select the only option there. (That’s your phone.)
Unlock your phone’s screen.
When prompted to allow USB debugging, check “Always allow from this computer”, and then tap “OK”.
Wait for the phone to ask for Superuser permission or access. Tap “Grant” or “OK”
Once done, the phone should reboot. Your phone is now SIM unlocked at this point.
Once booted. Turn it off.
Put your SIM card. And turn the phone back on.
Use the phone normally.
Now your phone is unlocked! You should be able to use a different carrier’s service without any problems. If you have any questions, let’s talk about them in the comments section!
If you’re not that confident with your tech skills, we offer a Remote Phone Unlock Service where one of our technicians will unlock your phone via a remote session on your PC/laptop. We support several devices (list will come out soon as we launch this service) but for this article we will use a Samsung phone as an example.
Moreover, this article’s discussion will focus ONLY on the things you need to do or prepare prior to the remote session.
TLDR; There is a Youtube video that supplements this written guide, but all the downloadable files are in this article.
A remote unlock session is guaranteed not to exceed 45 minutes in the best case scenario. To make sure your phone will last throughout the whole session, it needs to have at least 50% battery/power.
What you need to have for the remote unlock session are the following:
A computer that runs Windows Vista or later. Windows XP may or may not work. Our unlock software also doesn’t work on a Mac or Linux.
A phone (e.g. Samsung) that you want to unlock and has at least 50% of power in it.
Appropriate USB Cable (since we’re going to need to connect the phone to the computer).
1. Enable USB Debugging on the Samsung smartphone.
In order for the phone to “talk” with the computer, we need to allow USB Debugging on your Samsung phone. Here’s how:
Go to “Settings”.
Pull down the Notifications drawer and then,
tap the gear or Settings icon on the upper right of the screen.
If you can’t find it on the first step, you can also just go to the “Settings” app in your app drawer.
Go to “About Phone”.
Go to “Software Information”.
Tap the build number seven times, or until it says “Developer mode has been enabled” or “No need, developer mode has already been enabled.”
Go back, twice.
Go to “Developer Options”.
Turn on “USB Debugging”.
2. Download and install three things.
After making sure that the phone is now communicating with your PC/laptop, the next thing you have to prepare are the tools and the software we to install for our computers to be able to communicate to each other over the internet.
TeamViewer – Is a tool that allows you to share client’s (you) screen and give exclusive access to another user (UnlockBase technician) to remotely control your computer. Of course, we can only proceed with your permission.
Select “Basic Installation” and under “How do you want to proceed?”
Select “Personal / Non-commercial use” on “How do you want to use TeamViewer?”
When prompted “to allow this app to make changes to your device”. Click “Yes”.
When TeamViewer window opens. Leave it for now.
Samsung USB Drivers – In addition to having a USB cable, this is required in order for your computer to communicate with your Samsung smartphone.
Click “Next”, twice.
Once done, click “Finish”.
UnlockBase Client – This will connect your Samsung smartphone to the technician’s computer over the internet.
3. Connect the phone to the computer using the appropriate USB cable.
Connect one end of the cable to the phone you wish to unlock and the other end to the laptop/PC. To see whether your PC is “seeing” your phone and that it’s been recognized you need to:
Launch the Device Manager
On your keyboard, press Windows Logo and R at the same time.
Type in “devmgmt.msc”, without the quotation marks. Press Enter
Ensure that these two shows up under Device Manager.
“SAMSUNG Mobile USB Modem” under “Modems”
“SAMSUNG Android ADB Interface” under “SAMSUNG Android Phone” or “Android Device”
4. Launch UnlockBase Client
Once you ensure that your Samsung phone is recognized by your PC/laptop, we can then Launch the UnlockBase Client. If you’re logged in to the UnlockBase Client, that means we’re now able to communicate to your computer over the internet.
When it asks you that it needs to run as an Administrator. Click “Yes”.
If prompted click “Run”
If prompted that you “want to allow this app to make changes to your device?”. Click “Yes”.
For the ID, type “UnlockBase” (without the quotation marks”).
Then click “Log in”.
Now, contact and inform the technician on Skype, Telegram, Viber, or Whatsapp. Wait for their reply and they can pretty much take it from here. During the remote unlock session, you can see everything that’s happening on your screen. And since both of you are doing this through TeamViewer, you can always get the cursor access back anytime you see anything suspicious. Moreover, you can always uninstall all the software we used AFTER the unlock process is complete and confirmed on your phone.
That’s basically it. You’re just a few minutes away from having your phone unlocked. Wait for a few minutes for the technician to respond. We have multiple channels of communication and our team is here 24/7 and we’re always ready to help you.
Should you have questions, don’t hesitate to drop them down in the comments and we’re cool to answer all of them as fast as we can!
The holiday season is here and surely there will be a lot of gatherings and parties everywhere. You are ready, but what about your phone? If you are looking for the best phone to bring to every party this holiday season, try checking the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 out!
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is accompanied by a powerful S pen that is now connected to Bluetooth for easier control in capturing photos, doing presentations, and watching videos. It is with a 6.3 inches screen display lighted with Super AMOLED technology. It comes with 256 GB internal memory expandable up to 512 GB.
Decades back, the term phablet was born, and it is used to describe phones with a screen size between that of a regular smartphone and a tablet. It gained a negative reputation for being too big for hands to hold and for not being pocket-friendly.
Samsung, being one of the pioneering manufacturers of phablets, did not disappoint the world by releasing the Galaxy Note series, which we know are truly remarkable when it comes to design and build quality. And this year, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 made its debut.
Just like it’s predecessors, the outer parts of Galaxy Note 9 is made with glass and accented with aluminum; it has smooth curves at its edges really identical to the former Galaxy Note 8. Its outer appearance is polished with three different colors— Ocean Black, Midnight Blue, and Metallic Copper.
Its height is 6.4 inches- having an almost bezel-less Super AMOLED screen display.
The processor of this device is the Google Android version 8.1 Oreo. It’s a total bummer because Android Pie was already released before its debut, and that could have added more features and security.
The sim slots of this are in dual nano sim or it could be a hybrid (one nano sim and one micro SD card).
The S pen in Note 9 is now connected via Bluetooth, and it has added functions, too. It can control the camera, pause videos, and much more. It is located at the base of the phone together with the 3.0 mm headphone jack and a USB type- C cable port.
In the back is its dual camera; having 12 mp for the main camera is not bad but still lacking compared to humungous models of other smartphone manufacturers. Its front camera is only in 8MP, which is also a big thumbs down.
We expected the price of this device to be justified by its camera’s finesse. You can get a better camera with other flagship phones for the same price.
The internal storage of this phone is in 256 GB and can be increased up to 512 GB, making it perfect for storing pictures, videos, and files for keeps from this holiday season.
This phablet rivals the iPhone Xs Max in terms of price but if you’ll look into the specs and features between the two, major differences can be seen.
Note 9 and Xs Max have main cameras both in 12 mp. However, Note 9’s front camera is 8MP while the Xs Max only has 7MP. That’s a slight difference in numbers but a huge difference in picture quality.
On the other hand, besides being a little bit cheaper compared to the two, Huawei’s Mate 20 leave a huge gap in the camera aspects, having 24 mp in its front camera, but having only a 12MP main camera.
The only edge the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has it its improved S-pen.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, is one of the most powerful phones out in the market today. You’ll never go wrong with an 8GB RAM in any day. Whether you use this phablet for work or for just having fun, this phablet could be the perfect gift to yourself for this year’s holiday season.
If you are looking for a budget phone with a good camera, advanced security features, fast processor, and the latest operating system, then you should definitely check out the Samsung J7 Star from T- Mobile.
The Samsung J7 Star (SM-J737T) is one of the few budget phones that came with a Facial Recognition feature. The phone retails at $250 on T-Mobile, and if you don’t buy it outright, you can also get it for $10 per month for 24 months with $10 down payment.
You will pay the remaining device balance if you cancel before the contract ends.
Do note that it comes locked with T- Mobile, so if you want it unlocked (for use with another carrier), you can definitely use UnlockBase’s service for Device Unlock App Permanent Unlock.
On the outside the phone looks nothing spectacular; it is available only on color blue just as the Samsung J3 Star is only available on color pink. We are assuming this phone was meant for the masculine market because it has a bigger battery than the J3 Star, which is more likely for gaming purposes.
Let’s first discover its overall features to help you decide whether the Samsung J7 Star could be your next phone.
Below is a table that compares the key features of Samsung J7 Star to that of other budget phones that are also available through the T-Mobile network.
Samsung J7 Star
Moto E5 Plus
LG Stylo 4
8MP with Flash
5MP with Autofocus HDR mode
1080p HD, 30fps
1080p HD, 30fps
1080p HD, 30fps
Build (body) Material
Facial recognition, Fingerprint touch
Black, Gold, Gray, Blue
Octa-core, 1600 MHz
Octa-core, 1400 MHz
Octa-core, 1800 MHz
up to 400 GB
up to 128GB
up to 2000GB(2TB)
Android (8.0 Oreo)
Android (8.0 Oreo)
Android (8.1 Oreo)
Samsung Galaxy J7 Star Design And Build Quality
The J7 Star is a minimalistic looking phone; it could be because of the price or it could be just because they’re trying to keep it consistent with the J3 Star. It has more of a “2016-ish” design compared to the LG Stylo 4, which adopted a more 2018-like design.
The latter also has a bigger screen size, 6.2 in compared to 5.5 in on the Samsung Galaxy J7 star. The LG Stylo 4 also has a better 1080p resolution compared to the 720p resolution on the J7 star. This means that the visual experience with the Stylo 4 is going to be better than that of the J7 Star.
On the front, there is a 13MP camera, which makes it a winner in that department. Selfies with the J7 Star are definitely better than the Stylo 4.
There’s also a 13MP camera at the back with a f/1.7 aperture (a low f-stop means wider aperture and more light comes in). With a better aperture, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Star will have better low light photos compared to the Moto E5 Plus and Stylo 4.
It has a scratch-resistant screen and a handy Home button below the screen
How To Set Up Face Recognition On Samsung Galaxy J7 Star
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Star, unfortunately, doesn’t have any Fingerprint reader, so the only way to secure your phone is to setup a password/pin/pattern or to setup the Face Recognition feature.
But no worries, it’s fairly easy. Just like most Samsung phones, here’s how to get it done.
Go to Settings.
Tap on Lock Screen and Security.
Tap Face Recognition.
Set Up A Secure Screen Lock (Pattern, Pin, Password).
Re-enter Your Screen Lock Security Key.
Read Disclaimer. Hit OK.
Follow Screen Prompts To Setup Face Recognition.
Tap Turn On (Face Unlock).
Congratulations! You’ve setup your Face Recognition security successfully! If you ever have problems opening up your phone using the Face Recognition feature, you can always use your screen lock security key (password, pin, or pattern) to unlock your phone.
How To Unlock Samsung J7 Star For Any GSM Network
As mentioned in the earlier part of this article, the Samsung J7 Star from T-Mobile can only be unlocked using the Device Unlock App. This helpful app will be the only way to get your phone Temporarily or Permanently unlocked for use with any GSM network, and it will be granted as long as you qualify with T-Mobile’s unlock policies.
If you otherwise don’t, you can always use our services to get your phone permanently unlocked! To do it now, simply go to our T-Mobile Device Unlock App service page! Should you have any questions we’re always here, 24/7 to help you out!
The Samsung Galaxy J3 Star (SM-J337) is probably the least among the brand’s phone releases this year, but it is definitely worth the second look. Not only does this phone look chic on the outside, but it is also in every sense worth every penny.
Samsung Galaxy J3 Star Tech Specs vs Other Budget Phones
Samsung Galaxy J3 Star
Motorola Moto E5 Play
LG Aristo 2 Plus
T-Mobile Revvl Plus
8MP with LED flash
13MP+5MP Dual rear cameras
Qualcomm Snapdragon 427
1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
Octa-core 2.0 GHz
The Samsung Galaxy J3 Star doesn’t have any particular specs that make it stand out, and one of the major deal breakers we could easily detect is its lack of a fingerprint sensor.
Other phones in the same price range were able to have it, so why Samsung, why?
Samsung Galaxy J3 Star: Chic Design
If there’s one thing more noteworthy on the outside for the Samsung Galaxy J3 Star, it is its chic design. It has a pale pink color, giving us an impression that it appeals to a more feminine market. It also has curved edges, giving it a smooth feel in the hands, and it is also lightweight weighing only 5.36 ounces. (Perfect gift for mom!)
All the quick access buttons are on the side. The volume rockers are on the left side, while the power button is on the right. It still has the home button located at its usual location.
This phone supports T-Mobile’s Band 71, assuring you of a better connection even when indoors.
One thing is for sure, the Samsung Galaxy J3 Star is not the phone for gamers. Sure, you can play games, but if you use it for heavy apps and gaming you may not totally enjoy using it.
It is because the phone only has 2GB of RAM, which we believe is still fair for the price. We also do not expect budget phones (within the same price range as this one) to have a bigger RAM capacity because budget phones aren’t usually made for gamers. In a real-world experience, the phone would do great if you are doing pretty much just the basic stuff, which includes, emails, Facebook, Google, and some games.
But if you are going to multi-task and use several heavy apps at once, say Facebook and web-based gaming apps, you might experience certain lags. This phone is just not cut out for heavy gaming.
Samsung Galaxy J3 Star: Camera, UI Experience
The cameras on the J3 Star are also just on the so-so scale. Nothing spectacular or special about it, aside from the fact that we know Samsung cameras are always better, crisper, and clearer than most phones out there.
You can also play with your photos and enhance it, but you can always install other photo editing apps. The phone comes with a 16GB internal memory that is expandable upto 400GB so you can store pretty much a lot of data and pictures on this phone.
The Samsung Galaxy J3 Star has a removable battery, so whenever you run out of battery, you can always insert a spare one while you have the other charged up for next use.
Good thing, this phone has a powerful 1.4GHz dual-core processor, which helps improve its power efficiency.
Samsung Galaxy J3 Star: Going Big with Bixby
Last but not least, the J3 Star has the Bixby assistant on board. Samsung’s infamous Bixby will help you with “social streaming.” It is not that helpful for you if you don’t like setting up or dealing with voice commands.
This is Samsung’s version of iPhone’s Siri. Bixby on the other hand just doesn’t have a specific personality like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa.
Among Bixby’s most common uses are social media sharing, like snapping a selfie and sharing it on Facebook using your own voice in the process. Simply tell Bixby to “take a selfie” and “post this on Facebook,” and voila, the errand is done.
Unlocking the Samsung Galaxy J3 Star
People hate bloat apps, but there is one pre-installed app from T-Mobile that you should be thankful for, and that is the Device Unlock App.
With the Device Unlock App on board, you are able to choose between a Temporary or a Permanent Unlock on your device; all can be done if you pass T-Mobile requirements for your phone.
It’s almost a year since it’s release and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active still has people raving. The Galaxy Active Series started way back 2013 with the Samsung Galaxy S4, but since then it has continued to improve this flagship series into one of the best in its chosen niche.
And if you haven’t been introduced to the Galaxy Active Series yet, let us take this opportunity to indulge you with a few valued facts about this “rugged” flagship.
Let’s jump to the best part, the Samsung Galaxy Active Series is made for every butterfinger. And not just them: it is also for every adrenaline-junkie and outdoor adventurer you know.
For starters, it has a shatter-resistant screen. Dare to drop it if you must.If you are looking for a high-end full-screen phone that can withstand every punishment you can think of, this is it.
Yes. This is it.
It is Mil-std-810g compliant, which means it has gone through a series of “environmental and engineering tests” according to the United States Military Equipment Standards. And for consumer electronics in particular, this includes a series of Drop tests that are 4ft high (or higher) on plywood and concrete bottom floors.
Aside from the rigorous drop tests, this handset device has also gone through extreme hot or cold temperatures, immersion to water, and extreme humidity and dusts to see if there are any negative effects or impairments on the device’s condition.
Do note that having passed “military standards” doesn’t mean you can bring this phone to the actual warzones or frontlines. Again, these tests are within the consumer electronics context.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active, in particular, has a military-grade body and metal framing that is packed with a gargantuan battery (4000mAh) that can last you more than a day on heavy usage. On top of that, it is wireless charging capable.
Lastly, the phone is built with better antennas (600MHz) for greater wireless coverage even in closed buildings and areas where signal usually becomes scarce for normal phones.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Active is rumored to be released between September to November 2018, about the same time its predecessor was introduced last year. However, a lot of reputable tech sites think it’s not likely to be released this year due to the fact that maybe Samsung may need more time to let the other flagships work its way into the market, especially with the “slow sales” the Samsung S9 is experiencing at the moment.
While we’re at it, let us tell you why the Samsung S8 Active is worth the penny over Samsung S9 Active (if it does go out).
**Note: Samsung Galaxy S9 Active specs may not be accurate.**
Samsung Galaxy S8 Active
Samsung Galaxy S9 Active
IP68 dust/water proof
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active and the rumored S9 Active will not have much difference on the interface, except for the latter having the latest Qualcomm 845 Processor, which helps deal with better power and system efficiency, and some most requested physical buttons that Samsung phased out ever since the S8 Active.
If you are not ready to pay a whopping price to have just a slight improvement in the internal processor and a few physical buttons, the Samsung S9 active may not be the best bang for your buck.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is currently retailing at $850 without a contract with T-Mobile, and once the Samsung Galaxy S9 Active is out, there’s a high chance that its price is going down to make way for the newer flagship.
We’ve always seen Samsung devices drop its price for the older flagships and top hefty prices on premium latest releases, so this brings no surprises to your wallets. However, since the S9 Active doesn’t have any release rumors yet at the moment, you can hold your horses until you remove any of your hesitations.
But as for us, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active stays the best unless the S9 Active gives something completely unthinkable and out-of-the-ordinary into the table. We can wait and see.
After Apple’s release of the iPhone X, tech geeks always thought Samsung would come up with something as explosive and grandiose as that of the iPhone X, and that everyone thought of phones that are “foldable” coming from Samsung.
The tech giant already admitted that they are far from making that possible on the Samsung S9, but we are still lowkey expecting something that spectacular is going to happen.
Nonetheless, Samsung S9 is still a commendable phone with commendable features. Looking at it at first glance would make you think it is just like its predecessors Samsung S7 or S8, but it is definitely a notch higher than these phones.
Who champs? S9 vis-a-vis S8
You are probably wondering whether you should upgrade to the S9 or if it’s better for you to just wait and save up for the much grander Android coming up later this year (who knows?). However, Samsung S9 is considerably one of the best phones available in the market today and it has the best specs we expect from a flagship so far.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 may look like only an upgraded version of the S8 but it has a more advanced and capable hardware, which can greatly help preserve the battery life, and it also has a more ergonomic design and user interface that adds convenience and character to the flagship phone.
However, if you don’t own an S8 or S8+ yet and you plan to own a Samsung flagship next, you are better advised to settle with the S8. With the S9 coming in the shelves to replace the S8, the prices are surely going to go down as service providers are sure to offer big discounts and deals on the previous flagship.
Also, an unlocked Samsung S8 is currently over a $100 less than the current price of the factory unlocked Samsung S9, and the price is surely going to go down a few more hundred bucks once the S9 takes off in the market and S8 is going to be replaced.
We will compare both of the phone models in the sections below to help you know just what you are letting go when you choose the S8 over the S9.
Premium glass and metal build
Minimalized curve bezels
5.8 inches for S9, 6.2 inches for S9+
3000mAh (same as S8)
For the design, we’d like to say S9 is the winner. Although they look just similar, the Samsung S9 is a combination of customer inputs from the previous S- series phones that the company had gathered over the years.
S9 still has a 5.8 inch Infinity Display, which is practically the same size with the S8, except that there’s a slight difference on how they designed it. The infinity display on the S8 goes edge-to-edge, that it is almost impossible not to accidentally press the screen and unknowingly open apps when you are merely just holding the phone. Although this design became a novelty with the S6 Edge, it was also quite annoying.
Samsung got the public’s message (3 years later) and that’s why they had changed how the Infinity Display on the S9 looks like. Technically, it is still edge-to-edge except that the curve on the sides is no longer part of the screen.
Samsung S9 looks like a typical 2017 phone; it’s bezel-less and gargantuan in size. We are not sure if the Samsung S9 design is going to be a trendsetter this year, since it’s the first flagship phone to come out this year.
Ergonomic Fingerprint Sensor
Combined Iris Scanner and Face Unlock
Aside from the screen, the S9 also has a more ergonomic placement of the fingerprint sensor. You can easily reach for the fingerprint sensor and it works quite fast as well. We consider this a smart move from Samsung because Apple didn’t keep the Touch ID- which many iPhone fans didn’t like.
Samsung also tried to enhance their Face Unlock by combining the Iris Scanner, which they termed as the Intelligent Scanner . The intelligent scanner works in the same way as that of the iPhone Face Unlock, however, it uses two different biometric data simultaneously.
There were no issues about the Face Unlock with the Samsung S9 as it is smart enough to deny an unlock using a photo. The security seemed very perfectly tailored, the only caveat is that you can only unlock the phone at a certain angle as the phone needs to scan your irises clearly for it to unlock. Unlike the iPhone X which can unlock your phone from multiple angles, the Samsung S9’s Intelligent Scanner doesn’t have 360 degree view to detect your face from any angle.
This results to a rather awkward and unnatural way of unlocking the phone, but we are hopeful that Samsung will be able to improve this feature on the upcoming models.
Display: S9- Slightly better
5.8-inch AMOLED (1440 x 2560)
5.8-inch OLED (1440 x 2560)
Samsung s9’s display is slightly better than that of the S8. It still has an AMOLED screen + HDR for better video quality- pretty much the same specs. The S9 also has a brighter screen and it performs better than its predecessor.
3.5mm Headphone jack
Front-facing speakers (not present on S8)
Samsung is keeping the headphone jack despite the ditch-the-headphone-jack trend that other phone manufacturers are doing.
Apple did it first and now phone manufacturers such as Sony are following the tracks and replacing the headphone jack with a USB type C of audio hub. That certainly doesn’t invite the audiophiles who loves immersive music they can only enjoy with a headphone. That’s one ball in the basket for the Samsung S9.
Also, Samsung S9 now has front-facing speakers which also improves the way sound gets out of the device.
12 MP sensor at the back
Mechanical aperture shift f/2.4 and f/1.5 depending on the environment
S9+ has two times optical zoom (similar to Note 8)
Super slow motion 960fps (HDR)
The S9 also has an improved camera, with two different apertures that shifts mechanically depending on the light. That ensures you can have awesome images both in high and low light and especially useful such as when taking images at night.
Aside from mechanical aperture shift, the Samsung S9 also has a super slow motion feature just like that of the Sony Xperia XZ Pro, and at 960 frames per second, you are sure to get awesome videos out of a mere second in your life.
It seemed like Samsung went all out with their camera this year, because the Samsung S9 also has two times optical zoom which is similar to last year’s flagship Galaxy Note 8. Combine these awesome features and you have an amazing camera phone that you can take with you day and night.
Hardware and Specs
IP68 Water Resistant
Snapdragon 845/ Exynos 8895 (Europe) way better than the S8
It’s no surprise that the Samsung S9 has an IP68 level of water resistance as what the previous models have. What’s surprisingly awesome this time is that Samsung S9 runs on the best chipset available to day, Snapdragon 845. The Samsung Galaxy S8 runs on a Snapdragon 835 headset, which as the numbers suggests, is a second-rate chipset compared to the new one.
The super fast chipset is expected to help the Samsung S9 save and manage its battery life for longer use. With an efficient chipset onboard, multitasking on this phone will not only be seamless, it will also be power efficient.
Novelty: AR Emoji
4GB RAM (S9); 6GB RAM (S9+)
64GB or 256GB ROM
Samsung may have been short of time when they created the AR Emoji as it clearly seemed like a rush development. It’s easy to assume this is how Samsung claps back on the Animoji of the iPhone X, but it wasn’t a bad try.
On the other hand, Samsung runs on Android Oreo, which is the latest version so far, and for that we give Samsung a thumbs up. Samsung S9 is also available on two different memory capacity versions 64GB or 256 GB and that means you can store a whole lot of data on this one.
While that is not a new thing, it’s sad to note that the Samsung S9 only has 4GB RAM, and only the S9+ has a 6GB RAM capacity. That’s a pretty clever marketing tactic right there, but we’re not sure if the Samsung S9+ can rely on that alone to sell.
Although there was clearly no novelty on the Samsung S9, it is surely a sophisticated and convenient upgrade to that of its predecessors. Samsung finally applied the rules of constructive criticism among its flagship products, and they made the Samsung S9 almost infallible in every angle.
They can do better with the AR Emoji and the Intelligent scanner, though.
Among the common phone unlock errors is the “Invalid MMI Code Error”. This error happens rarely on other phone brands except the Samsung Galaxy series that are dual sim, or phones that can cater two different sim cards from two different networks at the same time.
Before we hop onto the troubleshooting, let’s briefly go through the technical aspect of MMI codes.
What Are MMI Codes?
MMI codes or Man-Machine Codes, are special codes you dial on your phone to communicate with your phone, SIM, or with your service provider’s network operator computers. By dialing MMI codes on your phone you will be able to obtain valuable data or change phone/ sim settings you can’t access through the phone’s user interface.
MMI codes usually contain special characters such as the asterisk * and the # hash.
Among the most common MMI codes used to communicate with your phone is *#06#, and it isthe code to get your phone’s IMEI/Serial number.
Another set of MMI codes are USSD codes. They are also known as Quick Codes or Feature Codes, and they are used in GSM cellular telephones to communicate with their mobile network operators. You often use USSD codes to check your prepaid card balance.
How do MMI Codes work?
When you dial the MMI code in your phone, it is processed by your phone’s MMI reader, and if or when it does not recognize the code, it is then sent to the network verbatim.
Say for example, you have sent the code *09876*54321# your phone’s MMI parser will send the “command” to the phone, and if it doesn’t recognize the code as an internal command, it will then send it to your network operator verbatim.
Your network has a specific list of MMI codes they use on their own so if it returns with a “Connection Problem or invalid MMI code” message, it means that the MMI code you have used is not recognized or your phone failed to connect to your network.
How To Resolve MMI Code Error
Fixing an MMI code error is fairly easy and in order to resolve the issue, we need to isolate the probable causes. To do this, we need to examine the path that the MMI code goes to before it reaches your network.
First, the MMI code is processed by your phone. The phone then checks whether the MMI code is an internal command; if not, the phone then sends it to the network or your service provider. Your service provider’s network computers then reads the code and sends the message back to your phone.
If you are getting an invalid MMI code error, there are only three possibilities.
(1) You have poor signal or not getting network connection.
(2) You have dialed the wrong MMI code.
(3) Your MMI code was sent to the wrong network. (Dual-sim phones)
Note: Do not mistake the MMI Code to be the same code UnlockBase has sent you. UnlockBase only sends Sim Unlock Codes and do not personally have your MMI code information. You can get the correct MMI code from your current service provider (see sim card information).
Here are 5 quick and easy ways to solve Invalid MMI Code error
1. Check the code you are using. Add additional special characters.
You can try adding a comma ( , )at the end of the code before you send it. The comma, as an additional character will tell your phone to overlook other errors on the phone and send it to the network.
Here’s an example:
If your code is *3457*9# and it results to an error, you can dial it with an added comma in the end. Like this,
If the comma doesn’t work, you can insert + after the asterisk and before the first digit. However, this code only works when the first character when your code starts with an asterisk *. For example:
The plus ( + ) sign will tell your phone to force process the execution and overlook other phone errors that may be in the way.
2. Check your Network Connection Settings.
Another reason why your phone sends you an MMI error is the lack of network connection. If the MMI code you are sending is a code to check your prepaid balance, or anything that is specifically a function of your network operator, you need to make sure that your phone is connected to your network.
If you are otherwise not getting any signal bars, your phone is probably not yet connected to your network and you have to reconnect to it manually. Most of the time it connects automatically but there are also times when you have to manually select your service provider in order to connect to their network.
Here’s how you do it:
Go to Settings
Choose Wireless and Networks
More Networks (If you are using two different sim cards, choose the sim card you wish to use)
Select Mobile Network
Manual Selection (Phone will start searching for available networks)
Choose the network you wish to connect to. You have to wait a few seconds for the phone to connect or you may have to repeat the process over until your phone is connected. Unless you get the signal bars going, you won’t be able solve the MMI code error (network-specific functions).
This is the usual process for most Android devices with stock Android ROM and user interface. You know your phone is already connected to your mobile network when you are getting signal bars that shows 4G, LTE, 3G, etc. You can try dialling the MMI code again.
3. Disable or use only one sim card.
If you are using two sim cards and your calls, text, or data automatically route to one specific network on your phone without asking you to manually choose network, there’s a possibility that your phone is sending the MMI code to the wrong network.
In order to isolate the issue you have three possible options; (1) set your phone to prompt for manual selection of network, (2) disable one of the sim cards, and (3) remove the other sim card physically.
You have to set your phone to prompt for manual mobile network selection to “Always ask” before making a call. You can do this by going into Settings > Sim Settings /Dual Sim Settings > Voice/Call > Always Ask.
On the other hand, if you wish to disable the other sim card, just slide off the network name of the sim card you want to disable using the same route as earlier. The third option no matter how inconvenient, can be the most effective way to isolate the problem. Removing the other sim card physically will automatically make your phone choose the network of the only sim card left.
4. Restart your phone.
Restarting your phone refreshes it from its most recent operations. Sometimes errors on the phone are just a product of simple system hiccups that can be solved only through a restart, so it’s advisable your restart your phone when all the other steps have been taken. Most of the time simply restarting your phone resolves the issue.
5. Go To Safe Mode
There are also cases when the phone’s MMI code error is caused by an app or a specific software installed the phone. Many users have been able to resolve the MMI code error by removing certain apps on their phone that’s hindering the code to go through the network operator.
When you reboot into Safe Mode, your phone will not load any third-party apps and only the stock apps that came with the original OS will be available. Furthermore, this means that all the apps you have downloaded will not be available in Safe mode, and this will help you determine whether any of the apps you have manually downloaded and installed are causing the MMI code error.
Going to Safe Mode is the second to the last resort, if only all the before mentioned possible resolutions have been attempted many times. It is fairly easy to do and your phone will go back to its normal state once you reboot it again.
Here’s how to enter into Safe Mode:
Tap and hold power button (off) for a few seconds until your phone flashes a prompt box that confirms you want to reboot into safe mode.
Tap ok and phone will not restart to Safe Mode.
Once you are in Safe Mode, try entering the MMI code again and see if you are seeing the same error. If you are able to go through this time, then it means one of the apps you downloaded in your phone is causing the problem.
MMI code errors are easy to fix and if you think you are lost or are needing help with this problem, don’t hesitate to talk to us. We are a global enterprise with 24/7 support and we are ready to help you anytime!
Did we miss anything here? Did you experience this error in the past? How did you solve it? Drop it in the comments!
Want to unlock your Samsung phone? Seeing a lot of errors? If you want to unlock your Samsung phone from its carrier, then you’re in the right place. Here at UnlockBase, we continue to innovate and create better and easier ways to get your phone unlocked in a timely manner.
Just like any Android phone, unlocking Samsung is relatively easy and should go smoothly. In fact, we have discovered 3 (three) different ways to get your phone unlocked from its carrier.
Here are your options:
➤ Get an unlock code – for those who don’t want the hassle of unlocking technicalities/ not tech-savvy
➤ Cable Unlock Software – For those who want to unlock their phones sooner and faster
➤ Mobile Device Unlock App (Only applies to T-Mobile and MetroPCS phones)
3 Things To Consider Before Getting Any Unlock Service Or Buying Any Unlock Code:
Make sure your phone is NOT BLACKLISTED.
Make sure you have all the necessary information about your phone.
Make sure your phone is running on STOCK ROM.
1. How To Get An Unlock Code And How To Use It
If getting an unlock code is the way you want to go, you have to prepare 3 vital information about your phone:
We need to know your IMEI number and locked-to carrier because that’s what we will use to generate an unlock code for your Samsung. Note that we don’t randomly create codes through black magic and second-guessing, we are connected to several vendors and carriers to get the code specific for your phone. This is how we guarantee you that your unlock codes work.
In addition to that, your phone’s IMEI status also lets us set proper expectations if we can unlock it and if you can still use your phone if we can unlock it.
Note: Blacklisted phones can still be carrier unlocked, (provided you have given accurate IMEI and carrier information) however, the possibility of using it is limited. For example, if your phone is blacklisted in the US, you can’t use it in the US but you can use it with any carrier outside the US.
If you don’t know your IMEI Status, you can check it here. If you otherwise know that your phone is “clean” and you have all the necessary information ready, you can proceed to the Samsung unlock page and enter all the necessary information.
We have several payment options that you can choose from and you will be receiving an email confirmation from our team about the status of your order.
The email that we will send you will not only contain one, but 3 or more codes to use. This is because there are several lock levels for many Samsung models.
The unlock codes emailed to you will look something like this: Unfreeze: 12345678 NCK: 12345678 SCK: 12345678 SPCK: 12345678
Most Samsung phones will only ask for the NCK code, however, SCK or SPCK codes apply when 2 or more codes are needed to unlock. You will know which code to apply depending on how your phone responded or prompted after you put a non-carrier sim card.
The Unfreeze code is needed when your phone prompts “Phone Freeze” or “Return for Service” whenever you enter an unlock code. In that case, you have to enter the Unfreeze code first before the NCK code.
However, please note that the Unfreeze code does not guarantee or warranty success as they are issued free of charge as an added bonus with certain Samsung unlocking services. To help you get rid of the Phone Freeze, you can contact a local smartphone specialist or Samsung itself so you can get to the page where you can enter the unlock code you got from us.
The following are the most common scenarios for unlocking through codes:
For older Samsung models, like the Galaxy Note 4, you have to identify how many lock levels your phone has. Please follow the following instructions:
➤Insert sim from your carrier.
➤ Dial *#7465625#
➤Your phone will prompt you a slightly different colored screen that will usually look like this:
[xxx] Network lock
[xxx] Subset lock
[xxx] SP lock
(xxx = Value ON or OFF)
Network Lock ON: Enter NCK code
Subset Lock ON: Enter SCK code
SP Lock ON: Enter SPCK Code
If your phone isn’t giving you any menu after dialing the code, then you can follow the usual unlock process, like that of the S7 Edge that you can see below.
Note that these steps vary per model, so do not take these steps as a general instruction for all Samsung models. Please visit our unlock Samsung page and carefully choose your phone’s model.
For newer Samsung models, it’s pretty straightforward, for Samsung S7 edge the process is more likely this:
Insert SIM card from a source different than your original Service Provider (i.e. if you have a Rogers phone, use a non-Rogers SIM card).
If you received one, please enter your MCK (Unfreeze Key) and hit “Unlock” button. Note: You will get “Unsuccessful message” but don’t worry that’s fine when you type MCK
Now type the NCK (Network Code) and hit the “Unlock” button.
Your phone is now Unlocked !
EXTRA INSTRUCTIONS: if you get “Unsuccessful” again after type the NCK then:
6. Hit “Dismiss” button and compose *2767*3855# on phone keypad.
7. Wait for the phone to restart, this operation will erase all data from your phone!
8. Retry the step 1 to 5 above !
2. Cable Unlock: Faster Software Unlocker Exclusively from UnlockBase!
If you think you are techy enough to download, install and run a software to unlock your device, then our Cable Unlock software must be what you are looking for.
If you have Windows PC and a USB cable you can use and you want to unlock your phone faster or real time, you can order the cable unlock software directly from us!
Good News: Our cable unlock software gives your phone a 100% permanent unlock so whether you upgrade or downgrade firmware or even install custom firmware like Cyanogen or Avatar. Your phone will remain unlocked for life!
You don’t need to root your Samsung phone to unlock your phone, in fact, the unlock process will only ask you a few basic steps. Here’s how:
Right-click on the icon on your desktop, and select “Run as administrator”
Enter the license, hit APPLY
Wait to load details. Click on “Next Tutorial.”
Connect phone through a USB cable.
Click “Next Direct Unlock”
Wait for the software to detect the phone
Wait for load bars to complete 100%
Your phone is now unlocked!
Note: If the software asks you to dial a code on your phone, please follow as per instruction. The unlock process may vary from phone to phone, but if you are stuck somewhere, you can always contact our customer service team to answer your questions or visit our FAQ page to know more.
It is also important to remember that we do not unlock CDMA phones and we only unlock GSM phones through this method. If your phone is not detecting the computer, simply unplug and replug the USB cable, make sure it’s tightly connected and select “debug” on your phone’s USB settings.
If in the unlikely reason that your phone will not be unlocked using this process, you can always ask for a refund and we will void your license and process a refund for you. No questions asked! Your happiness is what we guarantee and you can always try other unlock options for your phone, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or message.
3. Mobile Device Unlock App (T-Mobile and MetroPCS)
However, these two carriers have unlock requirements that you may not be qualified yet at the moment. Nonetheless, UnlockBase can help you unlock your device using the same mobile app. We can remotely register your device’s IMEI as “eligible” on your carrier’s database without any unlock code.