Just how cool is the Galaxy S 5 going to be, anyway?

Plus, a $50 smartphone coming from Motorola (maybe), Android takes a patent beating, and Samsung pulling the plug on third-party accessories.

Now that the Galaxy S 5 is well and truly on its way, the initial flood of rumors has dried up a little, leaving behind only a trickle of speculation with a thin film of doubt floating on top. It's like climbers getting to the top of the mountain and wondering, "OK, what now?"

Some of the more fevered imaginations of the Android blogosphere are beginning to cool down, plinking and pinging like overheated engines. The wilder rumors like an iris scanner and magnetic resonance wireless charging are now looking less likely, and BGR, for one, is just very disappointed that the coolest stuff is turning out to be bogus.

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Fingerprint reader? Ho-hum. We wanted the iris scanner. And no wireless charging? Please. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that all we’re going to get is the usual barrage of marginally useful camera features and incremental hardware updates, but that’s sure looking like a possibility. I’m not sure whether it’s a good sign or a bad one that we haven’t seen any teaser ads like the infamous series with Jeremy the tapdancing wonder kid as yet – it seems as though Samsung itself isn’t hyping the Galaxy S 5 as hard as it hyped the S 4.

We may yet see goofy Samsung ads as we get closer to the launch date, however – most sources still agree that the Galaxy S 5 will be released in March or April. Russian journalist Eldar Murtazin, however, says that the official rollout will take place earlier, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Feb. 23. Murtazin is a well-regarded source, but it seems strange that Samsung would forgo its usual policy of holding a stand-alone event in favor of announcing at a big conference, where it would have to share the spotlight.

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Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside recently told Trusted Reviews that his company is looking to develop a $50 smartphone, despite having already pushed the lower limits of pricing for reasonably powerful Android phones with the $180 Moto G. The idea with such aggressive pricing would likely be to sell smartphones to people in poorer countries, establishing market share leads and broadening the user base.

Of course, Woodside didn’t mention any specifics of what a $50 phone might look like, nor when we might expect to see it, so take it for what it’s worth.

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An OTA update to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 appears to have disabled S-View functionality for third-party cases. (If you weren’t aware, S-View allows the phone to interact with flip-cover cases, adjusting what’s displayed based on whether the case is open or closed.)

It’s a neat feature, but you’re out of luck if you use a case made by somebody who isn’t Samsung, according to SamMobile. You can get around the issue if you’re rooted, however.

(H/T: Android Police)

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It hasn’t been a great week for Android in the courts, as Google lost a patent lawsuit filed by a company called SimpleAir, which said that Android’s Cloud to Device Messaging feature and Google Cloud Messaging were infringing. The jury couldn’t agree on damages in that case, but SimpleAir is seeking more than $125 million. A second jury will attempt to reach a decision in a limited second trial.

Additionally, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh gave Samsung two pieces of bad news in its ongoing legal battle against Apple, ruling both that the South Korean company had infringed on an Apple patent on predictive text, and that Apple had not infringed on a Samsung patent on media synchronization between devices. Ouch.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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