Posts tagged ‘samsung’

January 18, 2015

Smartphones Continue Growth into 2015


The Christmas season has seen a very interesting period of launches by some of the major smartphone vendors in the world. The likes of Apple and Samsung, both world leaders today in their own right, have brought out formidable devices that define a new standard in technology for 2014. These devices present a taste of what 2015 will bring to our markets. Hot behind their heels come a slew of China manufacturers who are coming of age. Their mature offering now redefines a standard of quality and innovation not usually associated with Chinese brands. Indeed, 2015 will definitely bring greater expectations to the hearts of consumers around the world.


Apple has managed to regain world dominance by introducing the new line of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The larger screen sizes are the result of listening to Apple users who wanted larger screens similar to the trend set by Samsung and others in the Android world. In fact, Apple sold more devices in the first few days to break their previous record speaks volumes for the fruit company. Its following of ardent consumers have returned to Apple’s fold, something that was of concern to the company in recent months. Perhaps, Apple had to be pushed back by Samsung in order to dig deep to regain dominance in style and form. By this time, we canall see that Apple is back in the game, stronger than ever, including the China and Korea markets. They listened to market feedback, gave the consumers something to be proud of as an owner of an Apple iPhone and infused technology innovation that Apple has been known by.


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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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January 23, 2013

Gadgets to watch out for in the coming months


I have been keenly watching the development of a few key industry players making further breakthroughs in the fast growing smart gadget marketplace. Allow me to share some thoughts on a few of these devices to watch out for and much information is based on rumors around the Internet and the analysis of technology trends.

I am particularly impressed with Samsung’s Galaxy line of smart phones. The one I look forward to is the Galaxy S4 which Samsung official’s say will be announced soon. This much touted device is expected to have a larger screen than the S3 but the anticipation of a thinner and lighter technology for AMOLED is expected to be incorporated which does not use glass. Samsung has gone far in their R&D in this area, even to the point of developing prototype foldable screens which we can expect in future Galaxy S series.

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September 14, 2012

iPhone 5 is finally announced


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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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May 15, 2012

Samsung S III takes leader role for Android phones


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Samsung has taken the Android devices a notch further than fellow competitors like HTC, LG and Motorola. The recently available Google’s Nexus is now behind this baby.

The much anticipated Samsung successor to the extremely successful Galaxy S2 has just been revealed. To learn more about the device, you can check out Samsung’s official Galaxy S3 site here.

In the same style of the Galaxy S2, the successor is incredibly slim and weightless. The significant appearance change apart from the neat rounded casing is the longer screen. It is now 4.8″ compared to S2’s 4.2″. It is longish as the width is almost identical. Now it looks more like a big screen candy bar flavor. The Super AMOLED is almost as good as the S2.

It is now the fastest Android device with the Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU. It spots a Samsung Mali-400MP GPU. The internals surely give the S3 a full head above the rest of the crowd.

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January 27, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note – An excellent oddity


The Note barely fits the hand

I have been looking at the Samsung Galaxy Note for a while now. It comes in white and black and the advertisements make it very attractive indeed. It also comes with a not-so-new novelty of a stylus. The earlier O2 xda and Palm PDA devices were stylus based as the touch screen being new lacks the precision and the UI designed for the fingers.

Anyway, Samsung has elected to use the stylus for more precise selection like a cut-and-paste action on images. I am not sure how many people will thrive on using that and one can easily loose a stylus.

At first glance, the Galaxy Note is extremely enticing and sexy. The vibrant colors of the super AMOLED capacitive touch screen catches the eyes immediately on the 5.3-inch large screen. As predicted, Samsung will use their AMOLED technology on the larger form factor devices. Samsung first used the AMOLED technology on their high-end phones in the past. One of these days in the near future, maybe in March, Samsung will let us have this super AMOLED on the Galaxy Tab series. Otherwise, Samsung will not be able to compete with the rumored Apple iPad3.

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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.

August 1, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S II: iPhone 4 Fighter First Class


The really sleek and powerful Samsung Galaxy S II

Following up from an earlier review (read here), I managed to get my hands on this “not-so-little” baby of a pda phone. I find the Galaxy S II in a similar looking packaging as the Blackberry, in a cute little black box which is not much bigger than the device itself.

That aside, I unpacked and spent a good week on it practically as my primary phone and here is what I discovered with all its beauty plus a few blemishes which I trust will be rectified soon.

My conclusion is this: A definite iPhone 4 Killer!

And here is why.

Bigger and Lighter

Immediately, the large 4.2″ Super AMOLED screen is surely attractive. Once picked up, the weight was far less than expected. In fact, it is lighter than the iPhone 4 with a larger viewing area.

Problem that men will have is that it will fit very well in the breast pocket of your shirt but not quite pleasant in the trouser pocket. These are the two places most men will place their devices. As for the ladies, they have no problem fitting it into their handbags, even a purse.

Usage Experience

The use of the Galaxy S II is extremely pleasant. It compares really well to the iPhone 4 too. The menu screen slides well as it changes with no lagging felt. The power graphics chipset in the Galaxy S II makes the device work so smoothly. Samsung has included their own TouchWiz UI on top of the Gingerbread OS 2.3. Both are available and you can switch back and forth easily.

Applications work very well. The dual-core Galaxy S II has all the power it needs to grant you a wonderful user experience indeed.

Application Suite

The Android Market still trails behind the Apple App Store. However, there are still many great apps that are already made available on the Android platform. A few fun ones include Angry Bird, GT Racing, Doodle Jump, Fruit Ninja to name a few. And the larger screen of the Galaxy S II certainly allows you to have more viewing space to play with.

As with the Apple iPhone 4 which one can “jailbreak” (not advisable) to install paid apps without iTunes, the Galaxy S II already allows “cracked” apps (not advisable too) to be installed without any problems using Apk Installer. If you find any Android apps from the Internet and you have been warned to attempt at your own peril, you can copy them to the /Download folder and use Apk Installer to install them. Easy!

(The reason downloading Android apps from the open Internet is dangerous because although you can get “illegal” apps, you also get bad apps that won’t work or worse still hang your device. But if you are the bold and willing to try, this is an interesting experiment.)

Once you are done testing them, you can easily uninstall from the Galaxy S II from the built-in Settings->Applications->Manage Applications or from the Task Manager. Android doesn’t hamper your freedom in this case. Again, you have been warned if you attempt to install without downloading from the App Market.

A few apps that deserve mention here includes SwiftKey X (excellent keyboard replacement), Papago! (for MalSing maps and directions), Aldiko (reader with bookshelf), ScanToPDF (photo in PDF format), ABBYY BCR (name card scanner), XE Currency (currency exchange info), PCM Recorder, Viber/Tango (free calls and sms), Profiles (ringing profile for different times), Go SMS Pro (an SMS app replacement), Polaris Office and a host of other free apps that’s quite useful. Although the number of apps are fewer than the Apple AppStore, you will find that there are quite adequate number of very useful apps that will complement your Galaxy S II very well to make it a choice device.

Fantastic 8MP Camera

The Galaxy S II comes with an 8MP camera and gives great pictures. To get the equivalent of the iPhone 4 HDR effects, there are 3rd party apps available like HDR Camera that gives fantastic results. Explore the App Market and you will find an incredible number of camera apps for your liking.

Certainly, with an 8MP, the video is first class. Even in dim lighting, it can produce excellent HD video at 1080p. Since this is not a pro-video camera, as all other PDA Phone cameras, you are best advised to take your photos or videos under good lighting so that you won’t be disappointed.

Challenging Battery Life

Given the larger screen, the battery life is one of the most significant challenges you will face with the Galaxy S II. You can’t have it all, I guess. Typically, the screen consumes up to 40% of the battery life. The GSM phone does not take up that much battery life unless you have long call minutes.

Basically, you get a decent day’s use of the Galaxy S II with a full charge at the beginning of the day. However, if you are an ardent user of Wifi or playing games during the day, note that both of these features will use up the battery much faster than normal.

Somehow, you will need a good regiment of battery saving techniques to prolong the life of the battery, even at 1650 mAH. Remember to turn off WIFI, GPS and 3G when you don’t need them. They will drain your battery faster than usual. Also, in some strange cases, badly programmed apps can also drain the battery. The Galaxy S II is a multitasking phone which means that apps will run in the background at the same time you are using it for something else. As such, remember to regularly check your Task Manager and kill off those programs that are not needed and not closed properly.

Temporary Drawbacks

One of the biggest downside to the Galaxy S II and purely because of Android is that it cannot join an ad hoc network. If you share your Internet from your Windows PC using ad hoc wireless setup, the Galaxy S II will not be able to connect. It is a known Android limitation but it will be fixed in the next release of OS.

There are workarounds available but it requires your Galaxy S II to be “rooted” or taking over the root control of the OS. You will probably lose your warranty by doing so. Not for the casual users for sure.

But if you are those who have a mobile internet plan,this limitation is not really a problem at all. Moreover, you can turn your Galaxy S II into an instant hotspot. This is standard with Android now.

Besides this one, I can’t really think of anything else that’s a negative for the Galaxy S II. Just watch the use of the battery and install Juice Extender if you have the chance and perhaps you can get a bit more out of the device. Keep the brightness of the screen to the minimum you can tolerate and that will work out really well.

Conclusion

I love the Samsung Galaxy S II and it does give the Apple iPhone 4 a definite run for its money. Yes, I daresay that the Galaxy S II competes head on with the iPhone 4 and very well too. Those who are not a particular fan of the iPhone 4 will find the Galaxy S II a MUST HAVE. It is now the KING OF THE PHONES amongst the PDA Phones in the Android and Windows class of devices.

There are rumors that Galaxy S III will be out in 2012 with a triple-core chipset.

With Galaxy S II, we have a Netbook on the palm. With the Galaxy S III, we’ll have a PC on the palm then.

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.

November 5, 2008

HTC and Sony Ericsson Christmas Goodies


Updated: HTC had a launch on their new products on 6 November.  More to follow.

Oh it’s early November but Christmas decorations are already at Starbucks.  How fast did the year pass?  The HTC Viva was just released and we should be able to quickly see a few neat goodies from HTC.  These are the HTC Touch 3G, HTC Touch HD, Sony Ericsson X1 and a new extended battery for Diamond.

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