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Found 65 results

  1. normal

    Samsung Unpacked 2014 Episode 2

    Over a 1000 people were packed in to see the even in a theatre in central Berlin, and this time it wasn't a mad crush to get it, and things went smoothly getting everyone into the auditorium. The show followed the customary pattern of Samsung President of Electronics, DJ Lee, giving the big announcements, and then senior Samsung bods and a 'celebrity' going into the details. It was quite cheesy at times, and the some of the 'jokes' were nauseating, as was the dramatic drum rolls for each new product announcement, but anyway! The show was themed around the Note 4, and there were lots of sketch motifs running throughout. Samsung introduced 4 new products: Note 4, Note Edge, Gear S and Gear VR. I'll go into each separately. Note 4 A quick speck checklist, Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB expandable storage (only up to 64GB), 5.7" super AMOLED 2560x1440 display, 16mp OIS rear camera, 3.7mp front camera, 176g, 3220mah battery. That's the top line, but there's a lot more to it than that. To start with, there's the styling. Samsung has been getting a lot of stick for it's use of plastics. They haven't abandoned them. The rear is still plastic faux leather (without stitching), but there's a metal frame around the edges now and a slight curve to the glass, which helps to create a more premium feel. It feels very solid in fact, and a little heavy if I'm honest, but there's no pleasing people! I The rear camera has also had a major upgrade by incorporating Optical Image Stabilisation, opposed to digital stabilisation in previous versions, and the front camera not only has a brighter lens, but can also now be triggered by using the heart sensor on the rear of the phone. Not only that, but they've introduced a new panoramic selfie mode for those whose friends / egos all can't fit into a standard picture. As this is a Note, a lot of improvements have also gone into the note taking element of the phone. Screen pressure is now twice as sensitive, and it can notice subtler changes in pen strokes now, but also it's now easier to select multiple texts / images etc, cut/paste and create new notes. The Note app has also had a bit of an overhaul, and quite a cool new feature included taking information from a photo (such as a teacher's blackboard), removing the tilt, and extracting the information, to help create detailed notes of lectures/meetings. How well this works in reality has to be tested though. The phone also takes advantage of the fact it has 3 built in microphones, which help noise reduction, but also mean that it can be used for recording minutes to meetings and separating the audio for up to eight different speakers! Now if only it included dictation software.... Battery life has apparently improved slightly, despite the the bigger, 4k screen, but it can also charge back up to 50% within about 30 minutes, and of course it has lots of power saving modes. There's a whole load of new cases for it in every style imaginable, and of course the obligatory Swarovski one, but there's also a new partnership with Mont Blanc which I thought was a gimmick at first. They've introduced two pens, and having used them, if you're serious about note taking on your Note, I really do recommend them. They're far nicer to hold, and do write better than the S-Pen. There's also lots of 'freebies' included, such as 50GB Dropbox, and it comes out in October. Note Edge The announcement of this got a big whoop from the audience. It's basically a Note 4 with a bit of screen going round on the right side. As some have noted, this might discriminate against left handers, but it looks quite cool. I didn't get any hands on time with one, but the rounded edge is used in a variety of ways. It can act as an app drawer, notification bar, measuring tape (!), slide controller, menu bar. It also has it's own range of cases, but curiously don't protect the 'edge' bit. It does seem a bit of a niche product, and I wonder how comfortable it will be to hold. There's no news on price or release date yet. Gear S This isn't an Androidwear smartwatch, but Samsung's latest attempt to use Tizen again. This time it comes with it's own 3G connection and needs it's own sim. Networks must be foaming at the mouth about this needing it's own data connection, but it does free you to use this without being tethered to a mobile. On the downside, Samsung still insist you buy one of the latest Galaxy range to set up the Gear S, or apply updates. Although this comes with a 2" curved screen, it's no looker. Not even the Swarovski wrist band could make this sow's ear into a silk purse. Bizarrely, it also has an on screen keyboard to write emails etc and you can make voice calls on it. It has the usual gamut of Samsung Health apps and coaching and a full range of sensors. Whilst interesting in Samsung's persistence, I'm not at all excited by it coming out in October, I don't really care what the price will be. Samsung need some serious product design lessons for this. Gear VR Now this was a pleasant surprise. Not because it hadn't been trailed before, but because I got to use it and was impressed. It's a comfortable Virtual Reality Headset, which you slip your Note 4 into to create the display. It recreates a giant screen infront of you. This has been made in conjunction with Oculus, and they've put a lot of work into making it feel as natural as possible, and responsive to movements. The headset has it's own motion sensors in it to make it more powerful, and the super-AMOLED screen means that it has a quick refresh rate to help reduce motion blur. On the down side, because there's a lot of processing going on, they've had to downgrade the resolution of the images, so they're below HD, but very impressive nonetheless. I was very sceptical about this, and even though I couldn't use this whilst wearing glasses, I was won over by it. Oculus did make it clear that this is very much a first generation device, but it is exciting to see what could be done with such an immersive experience. Samsung are already working with lots of companies to create more uses for it.
  2. With rumours of a Pro 12" iPad constantly circulating, Samsung have decided to preempt Apple's launch by launching their own Galaxy Note Pro and Tab Pro 12.2" tablets.Looking decidedly not that portable, these tablets looks like they're more likely to be used on a desk and used collaboratively between multiple users. Running Android 4.4, these 750g tablets will also come with wifi and the option for expandable memory and 4G. What disappoints most is the lack of more thought through keyboard dock and resolution of 2560 x 1600 (247ppi) making this feel sub-optimal. The Note Pro comes with a stylus and Samsung's excellent adapted software, whilst the Tab Pro will miss these additional features. We're sure that someone will find these very handy, but can't help wonder if Apple will make a similar device more desirable. Click here to view the news
  3. Looking decidedly not that portable, these tablets looks like they're more likely to be used on a desk and used collaboratively between multiple users. Running Android 4.4, these 750g tablets will also come with wifi and the option for expandable memory and 4G. What disappoints most is the lack of more thought through keyboard dock and resolution of 2560 x 1600 (247ppi) making this feel sub-optimal. The Note Pro comes with a stylus and Samsung's excellent adapted software, whilst the Tab Pro will miss these additional features. We're sure that someone will find these very handy, but can't help wonder if Apple will make a similar device more desirable.
  4. David

    Hands up?

    If you either have a (white) Samsung Galaxy SIII or a Mega. I have mystery (original - natch) accessories for you! Simply send me a PM with your mailing address. David
  5. It's a sad reflection of modern tech business, that when companies aren't busy suing each other for something, they're busy trying to pull the wool over our eyes in benchmark tests. Manufacturers claim that their phone are merely optimised. Some people will say they are cheating.Bristol outfit Gamebench have come up with a new way to prevent manufacturers from 'optimising' their products to work with current benchmark tools. Most benchmark tools take a snapshot of a phone's performance, but Gamebench propose to test a phone over a longer period of time, over a number of popular games to test the average performance of a handset over a period of time. It will merge the results for frame rate and battery drainage to come up with an overall score. This way, buyers will hopefully get a more realistic idea of what phones are capable, rather than the current batch of 'gamed' scores. More info Click here to view the news
  6. Bristol outfit Gamebench have come up with a new way to prevent manufacturers from 'optimising' their products to work with current benchmark tools. Most benchmark tools take a snapshot of a phone's performance, but Gamebench propose to test a phone over a longer period of time, over a number of popular games to test the average performance of a handset over a period of time. It will merge the results for frame rate and battery drainage to come up with an overall score. This way, buyers will hopefully get a more realistic idea of what phones are capable, rather than the current batch of 'gamed' scores. More info
  7. Which? Magazine is well known for it's independent tests, so it was of great interest to see which smartphones came out on top for battery life, given how so many people complain that they struggle to get through the day without having to top up their phones. Samsung must be feeling pretty smug right now, whilst Apple must be feeling that the test wasn't done correctly. It seems that if battery life is your key concern, then the Samsung Galaxy S4 should be your first choice. We do add a bit of caution to the result though from our own completely non-scientific experience, where we find that all the phones there do seem to last much of a muchness, (give or take a couple of hours) during the day, and perhaps pure call usage, or data usage is too simple a summary of how long a phone will last you in day to day usage. I get at least 24 hours usage from all the recent top end phones I've used. It still makes for an interesting read none the less. Source Click here to view the news
  8. Samsung must be feeling pretty smug right now, whilst Apple must be feeling that the test wasn't done correctly. It seems that if battery life is your key concern, then the Samsung Galaxy S4 should be your first choice. We do add a bit of caution to the result though from our own completely non-scientific experience, where we find that all the phones there do seem to last much of a muchness, (give or take a couple of hours) during the day, and perhaps pure call usage, or data usage is too simple a summary of how long a phone will last you in day to day usage. I get at least 24 hours usage from all the recent top end phones I've used. It still makes for an interesting read none the less. Source
  9. Bendy screens are all the rage these days and the Koreans are at the forefront of this new technology, so it's no surprise to hear that Samsung are planning on using it in a new phone launched some time in the next month.Reuters are reporting that during the launch of the Note 3 in South Korea this week, one of their senior bods let it slip that there will be a new phone with a curved screen. Those of you with a long memory might remember this demo from Samsung at CES in January. Click here to view the news
  10. Reuters are reporting that during the launch of the Note 3 in South Korea this week, one of their senior bods let it slip that there will be a new phone with a curved screen. Those of you with a long memory might remember this demo from Samsung at CES in January. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pcJh3yi7ZU
  11. Samsung have finally launched their much-leaked and recently oft-pictured smart watch, the Galaxy Gear. Read on for a hands-on review curtosy of The Verge.Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Gear (pictures + video) over at The Verge. Looks better than the original picture, rather plain but fairly "watch-like". Certainly kicks the Pebbles arse in terms of looks, but then it would have been hard not to! $299 when it launches in the US in early October. Specs are lower than what has been predicted so far: 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display 320 x 320 resolution Single-core 800MHz Exynos process Click here to view the news
  12. Milhouse

    Samsung Galaxy Gear Launched

    Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Gear (pictures + video) over at The Verge. Looks better than the original picture, rather plain but fairly "watch-like". Certainly kicks the Pebbles arse in terms of looks, but then it would have been hard not to! $299 when it launches in the US in early October. Specs are lower than what has been predicted so far: 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display 320 x 320 resolution Single-core 800MHz Exynos process
  13. Although it's due to be launched on 4th September, it looks like we've got our first picture. It looks like Venture Beat got quite a scoop. Although it looks interesting, there's some serious problems such as size, looks and battery life.
  14. Less than a year after the launch of the Galaxy S III, on May 3rd 2012; today sees Samsung launch it's next flagship device, the Galaxy S IV. In a change from last years' event, the launch of the Galaxy S IV is taking place in Central Square in New York, USA at 7 PM local time.Tonight Samsung have launched the Galaxy S IV; the fourth generation of their flagship Galaxy Android phone. The S IV is slightly bigger than it's previous incarnation, having a screen size of 4.99", but also with a higher resolution, giving this Super-AMOLED HD screen a resolution and pixel density that not only rivals Apple's vaunted "retina" display, but beats it into next week! The phone features a 8-core processor with 2GB internal RAM and internal storage of 16, 32 or possibly 64GB. It comes with an updated 13MP camera and a host of new Samsung software feartures; all designed to "make our lives easier". Technical specifications below: OS Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Processor 1.6GHz Octa-core Exynos processor / 1.9GHz Quad-core Qualcomm processor (varies by market) Memory 2GB Display 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 Glass Gorilla Glass 3 Pixel Density 441 ppi Storage 16 / 32 / 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB) Primary Camera 13-megapixel BSI AF Secondary Camera 2-megapixel BSI Cellular GSM/EDGE/UMTS/DC-HSPA+/LTE Cat 3 (bands vary by market) WiFi WiFi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, HT80 Bluetooth 4.0 LE Navigation GPS / GLONASS Connectivity NFC / MHL 2.0 / IR LED SIM Micro-SIM Battery 2,600mAh Weight 130g Dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm Colors Black Mist / White Frost Click here to view the news
  15. Stuclark

    Samsung launch the Galaxy S IV

    Tonight Samsung have launched the Galaxy S IV; the fourth generation of their flagship Galaxy Android phone. The S IV is slightly bigger than it's previous incarnation, having a screen size of 4.99", but also with a higher resolution, giving this Super-AMOLED HD screen a resolution and pixel density that not only rivals Apple's vaunted "retina" display, but beats it into next week! The phone features a 8-core processor with 2GB internal RAM and internal storage of 16, 32 or possibly 64GB. It comes with an updated 13MP camera and a host of new Samsung software feartures; all designed to "make our lives easier". Technical specifications below: OS Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Processor 1.6GHz Octa-core Exynos processor / 1.9GHz Quad-core Qualcomm processor (varies by market) Memory 2GB Display 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 Glass Gorilla Glass 3 Pixel Density 441 ppi Storage 16 / 32 / 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB) Primary Camera 13-megapixel BSI AF Secondary Camera 2-megapixel BSI Cellular GSM/EDGE/UMTS/DC-HSPA+/LTE Cat 3 (bands vary by market) WiFi WiFi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, HT80 Bluetooth 4.0 LE Navigation GPS / GLONASS Connectivity NFC / MHL 2.0 / IR LED SIM Micro-SIM Battery 2,600mAh Weight 130g Dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm Colors Black Mist / White Frost
  16. Samsung have launched yet-another Android phone in their Galaxy range. This phone is called the Galaxy Premier and is a half-way house between the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S III mini - in other words it's an updated Galaxy S II.The Galaxy Premier has a much better spec than the Galaxy S III mini, but is still not as highly spec'd as the Galaxy S III. In detail, this phone has: [*]4.65-inch, (720 x 1280) Super AMOLED screen [*]Dual-core 1.5 GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor [*]1GB of RAM [*]8GB or 16GB internal storage (32GB may be an option) [*]Android 4.1 Jelly Bean [*]8-megapixel rear camera [*]1.9-megapixel front-camera [*]Bluetooth 4.0 [*]NFC. ... so that specification is essentially an updated version of the Galaxy S II, but with a higer resolution screen and a slightly faster processor, as well as NFC as standard. If this phone appears in the UK, it could be the answer for all those who think the Galaxy S III is just a little too big! Click here to view the article
  17. The Galaxy Premier has a much better spec than the Galaxy S III mini, but is still not as highly spec'd as the Galaxy S III. In detail, this phone has: 4.65-inch, (720 x 1280) Super AMOLED screen Dual-core 1.5 GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor 1GB of RAM 8GB or 16GB internal storage (32GB may be an option) Android 4.1 Jelly Bean 8-megapixel rear camera 1.9-megapixel front-camera Bluetooth 4.0 NFC. ... so that specification is essentially an updated version of the Galaxy S II, but with a higer resolution screen and a slightly faster processor, as well as NFC as standard. If this phone appears in the UK, it could be the answer for all those who think the Galaxy S III is just a little too big!
  18. No one wants to have all their stuff on their mobile phone wiped out by accident. Imagine how frustrating it would be if you so happen to click a link on a web page and it deleted everything on your phone.It turns out that this is quite possible if you're using an Android handset. Any handset which has not had it's dialer updated in the last 3 months is vulnerable to this. Basically it works off something called USSDs. You know. When you're browsing a web page from your handset, you click a phone number and it calls it for you. It's a special type of URL. Turns out that whilst the most common instruction is to make a call, it can also be used to show you your IMEI number or do a full factory reset..... See below If you've updated to Jelly Bean, or your phone manufacturer / network have released an update for your handset (which you've downloaded and installed), then you should be safe. For everyone else, be aware! To see if your handset is vulnerable, click this link to see if it displays your IMEI number or not (if it does, that's not good) More info Click here to view the article
  19. It turns out that this is quite possible if you're using an Android handset. Any handset which has not had it's dialer updated in the last 3 months is vulnerable to this. Basically it works off something called USSDs. You know. When you're browsing a web page from your handset, you click a phone number and it calls it for you. It's a special type of URL. Turns out that whilst the most common instruction is to make a call, it can also be used to show you your IMEI number or do a full factory reset..... See below If you've updated to Jelly Bean, or your phone manufacturer / network have released an update for your handset (which you've downloaded and installed), then you should be safe. For everyone else, be aware! To see if your handset is vulnerable, click this link to see if it displays your IMEI number or not (if it does, that's not good) More info