Posts tagged ‘android’

July 1, 2013

Gadgets and Devices to Watch For in 2013


2013 is surely a year where there are major product launches. And these new devices and gadgets are also milestone products and worthy of serious consideration if you are looking for an upgrade to your own stable.

For gamers, prepare for the fight of the year where Sony and Microsoft will be launching new flagship products in their Playstation 4 and Xbox One respectively this coming Christmas.

For gadgets and devices geeks and enthusiasts, you will be spoilt for choices like never before. Worthy of consideration is Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra which is pushing the phone/tablet or phablet to a beautiful 6.4-inch display packed with the best Sony can offer.

For notebooks or tablets (noteblets?) which will be in a hybrid design now, 2013 will bring you the best of both worlds from Samsung in their Ativ Q and Apple in a speculated MacBook Pro refresh.

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September 14, 2012

iPhone 5 is finally announced


20120914-123359.jpg

Apple has finally announced the iPhone 5. After much awaiting from last year, the baby is here. Singapore will receive it come September 21. There is much cheer and a lot more skepticism this time round. Here’s a quick round up on this smart phone leader.

The iPhone 5 now spots a lengthened body giving a full 4-inch retina display. There is now 5 rows for icons instead of the previous 4 rows.

On a cursory glance, the looks remain very much similar but not identical to the iPhone 4S. The general shape is similar and the aluminium-glass construction gives it the classy feel. Reports by people who handled the phone tells us that the wow factor is the “weight-less-ness” of iPhone 5. While looking bigger, it actually weighs less, a whopping 20% less than the iPhone 4S. It should give us the same wow feeling when Samsung Galaxy S2 came out that the lack of weight just blew our socks off.

Then comes the intrinsic power. It is now packed with an A6 chip which runs even faster with a faster graphics processor than the A5. Which means that the iPhone 5 just zips through the screen changes faster and smoother than the iPhone 4S. But nobody actually complained that the iPhone 4S was slow. Composing a 360 shot shows an unparallel speed in stitching up the multiple frames.

Then comes the surprises.

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September 15, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S II: Marvellous Fighting Peer to iPhone4


The Samsung Galaxy S II is certainly the hottest device in town right now. Go to any outlet anywhere and it’s moving very fast. Evidently, the Malaysian market has gotten more advance in using such devices and know a great device when they see one.

Anyway, enough said that this baby competes extremely well head on against the Apple iPhone 4. From what is publicly suspected, Apple delayed their launch of new models in June because of this Samsung Galaxy S II and other dual-core devices.

Here are a few ways to make your Galaxy S II more exciting.

The Launcher Pro standard screen with a row of 15 icons for the dock

1.  Launcher Pro

Samsung provides a Home Screen replacement for the Gingerbread standard called TwLauncher. It is a very decent app, clean and stable and improves a little over the standard Home Screen.

However, if you check out the Launcher Pro, you will immediately find significant improvements over the TwLauncher. It comes with widgets, animated screen changes, fancy cube app launcher screen, a scrollable 15 app dock are amongst the nice eye candies with the Launcher Pro.

The cube animation for scrolling the Home Screens

These make the Galaxy S II a really neat piece of work. You can switch between LauncherPro and TwLauncher easily by pressing the Home button and selecting which Home Screen App you want. Alternatively, download Home Switcher from the Market. It will bring up a selection of Home Screens for your selection.

The cube animation for App launcher

2.  Ultimate Faves Pro

This complements Launcher Pro very nicely. The folders in Launcher Pro are not exciting at all. It is standard Windows folder view. Boring ho hum!

Now with Ultimate Faves Pro, we have an animated carousel of apps you can group and display to launch instead of the boring folders. It is really cool to pop up this app and scroll round at the middle of the screen. You can set up multiple carousels to group the apps and scroll up and down the carousels by a up and down swipe on the screen. Really neat!

It also comes with some standard carousels for immediate use like System Controls, Recent Tasks, Running Tasks as well as Running Processes. I find System Controls and Running Processes quite useful.

Exciting Ultimate Faves Pro Carousel of apps

3.  Screenshot

If you don’t know by now, it is impossible to install a screenshot app in an Android device unless you have the device “rooted“. This is similar to the iPhone “jailbreak“. If you root your Galaxy S II, your warranty will be voided.

Now, the best kept secret is that Samsung has built this in for the Galaxy S II. Once you are ready to do a screenshot, press the Home Button and Power Button simultaneously. I find that if I press the Home Button and very quickly press the Power Button and hold them for a second, the device will return a message stating that the screenshot is taken. That picture will be kept in a folder called ScreenCapture.

All the screenshots shown here are taken using the standard Samsung Galaxy S II function.

4.  Vibration Notifier

By now you will have realised that the Galaxy S II does not have any LED lights to notify any events when the screen is off. There is a method to use the Menu and Return key white backlight to light up for notification but that will require the device to be rooted and the kernel modified. What this means is that you don’t want to do it!

Go to the Android Market and download Vibration Notifier which will allow you to have vibration and/or beep notification even when the screen is off. However, you must not have the phone in SILENT mode else nothing will happen. SILENT means no beep and no vibration. The device must be audible or vibration set on. For notification of missed calls or SMS received, you can configure Vibration Notifier to notify once every minute for X number of times. The length of the vibration can also be set.

At least now there is a way to be notified of events when the screen is off and locked.

5.  Extended Controls

Apart from the controls that are standard in the pull down screen, this neat app called Extended Controls from the Market allows you to place a bunch of system controls on the Home Screen.

Now, you can have turn on your LED flash as your torchlight, lock your screen, turn on vibration, silent mode, rotate screen, flight mode control, etc. all customizable on your home screen.

I have managed to set up to 7 controls per panel of 1×4 on the Home Screen and multiple panels too.

6.  Advanced Task Killer

One of the biggest silent battery drainer is a bunch of processes that keep appearing in the memory even when you don’t want them to be there. Unknowing to you, many apps that  you happen to install but not actively using are active in memory and possibly use your data network too. It is important to kill these processes but there are those that are persistent who can wake itself up again after being killed.

Here comes the Advanced Task Killer who will wake up every now and then and kill off those apps you choose for it to kill so that they no longer drain your battery or use your network charges unknowingly. This app is available from the Market and there are a few good ones to choose from.

With these apps, your Galaxy S II can be even more fun. Of course there are more like Juice Defender Pro. I have my set of favorites but suffice to share with you this set of fine apps that you must consider to spruce your Galaxy S II.

Is there any downside to installing these apps? No! And will it will give you many good moments to show that you have a better device than an Apple iPhone 4.

Of course, leadership is not static. Apple won’t take this down lightly and by the end of September, Apple is likely to announce the iPhone5 or the likes using dual-core too.

Meanwhile, the weight of the Galaxy S II is fantastic and it is definitely THE leader in its class of Android devices, if not ahead of the iPhone4.

May 2, 2011

New Samsung Galaxy S II


More than an iPhone Lookalike

More than an iPhone Lookalike

UPDATED: Samsung Galaxy S II: iPhone 4 Fighter First Class (1-Aug)

Little did I expect the Samsung pda phone packing so much and giving the Apple iPhone 4 a run for its money. Meet the new and soon to arrive Samsung Galaxy S II.

The anticipated arrival is anytime soon. May is as good a month to welcome a top of the line PDA phone.

iPhone Lookalike
A casual glance at the Galaxy S II makes you wonder how the iPhone grew in size. The frameless round edged profile gives Galaxy S II a similar appearance as the iPhone, at least its front profile.

But that’s where the similarity ends. This nifty baby is 0.2mm thinner than the fabulous SE Xperia Arc. And a whole lot more inside.

For a detailed specification, check it out here.

Dual Core Processors
The Samsung Galaxy S II is amongst the first batch of souped up PDA phones that uses the Dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 proccessor, Mali-400MP GPU, Orion chipset.

Simply put, this is a turbo charged device. It will hum naturally without any noticeable lag as it has turbo for primary processing as well as graphics.

In fact, this can be considered as powerful as the high end netbooks.

Superb Display
The benchmark for device displays is the iPhone 4 Retina Display.

The Galaxy S II uses Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors with – 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches
– Gorilla Glass display
– TouchWiz UI v4.0
– Multi-touch input method.

Samsung has been using AMOLED screens in its high end phones to set them apart from other manufacturers. This is the first time such screens are used in the Android phones. It won’t be long that the Galaxy Tab will spot the screen too.

Battery Life
It is incredible that Samsung is able to pack a hefty 1650mAH battery in that ever slim body. This is truly an amazing engineering feat.

1080p@30fps Video
Using an 8M rear camera, the Galaxy S II can take exceptional photo as well as HD video. Instead of spotting a mini HDMI like the Xperia Arc, Galaxy S II has chosen the new Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL).

The MHL Specification was developed by Nokia Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Silicon Image, Inc., Sony Corporation, and Toshiba Corporation as a standard for mobile wired connectivity, to enable the development of standard-compliant mobile and display products across a broad connectivity ecosystem.

This standard will soon be found on all devices that require HD output. Perhaps the iPhone will catch up on this one soon enough in the next iPhone edition.

Conclusion
The Galaxy S II is certainly a new generation from its Galaxy S predecessor. It comes with 16GB/32GB memory and a 1GB internal RAM.

There in the palm of your hand is a turbo charged netbook equivalent powered PDA phone with no downside really.

The price should be around RM2,100 and can be even lower depending on how aggressive Samsung is going to compete with this beauty of a baby!

Update: The retail price is RM2,099 and is now available from all Samsung mobile outlets. Word has it that the first batch had sold out.

March 9, 2010

Between HTC, Google, Apple and Nokia


Recently, after using a number of cool and latest smart phone gadgets, it’s really time to share some insights to each of these devices.  Granted, the thoughts here are really my personal experiences but it should be fairly representative of these different classes of devices.

I hope you will find this useful as you consider spending some money on new and nifty devices.  I am comparing the HTC Touch Pro 2, HTC Hero, iPhone 3G and the N97.  They should be representative of their own classes of gadgets.

Enjoy!

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