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Found 63 results

  1. As widely expected, yesterday Samsung launched this year's flagship phone offering ahead of WMC2018 in Barcelona. The we-could-have-guessed-eve-if-we-didn't-already-know new handsets, named S9 and S9+ are evolutions of last year's S8 and S8+ - but just how much has Samsung changed this time around? The answer is "actually, not a lot". These are very much iteration handsets, tweaking what was wrong with the S8 and S8+, but without adding anything majorly new or groundbreaking. The biggest change for both handsets is in the camera department , with the S9+ getting a dual camera setup (a first for a Galaxy model phone), while the S9 makes do with Samsung's new "dual aperture" camera design. Here's a quick look at what's "better" on the S9 / S9+ Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+ Galaxy S9/Galaxy S9+ Display 5.8/6.2-inch Super AMOLED, Quad HD+, 18:5:9 5.8/6.2-inch Super AMOLED, Quad HD+, 18:5:9 Processor Exynos 8895/Snapdragon 835 Octa-core, 10nm, 64-bit Exynos 9810/Snapdragon 845 Octa-core, 10nm, 64-bit RAM 4GB LPDDR4 4GB / 6GB LPDDR4 Rear camera 12-megapixel, OIS, Dual Pixel, phase-detection autofocus, 4K video recording 12-megapixel, OIS, Dual Pixel, phase-detection autofocus, 4K video recording / 12+12MP dual camera with dual OIS Front camera 8-megapixel autofocus, F1.7 aperture, QHD video recording 8-megapixel autofocus, F1.7 aperture, QHD video recording Storage 64GB internal, microSD slot (up to 256GB) 64GB internal, microSD slot (up to 400GB) Software Android 7.0 Nougat Android 8.0 Oreo Battery 3,000/3,500 mAh, Adaptive Fast Charge and fast wireless charging 3,000/3,500 mAh, Adaptive Fast Charge and fast wireless charging Connectivity 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack Dimensions 148.9×68.1×8.0mm/159.5×73.4 x8.1mm, 152g/173g 147.7×68.7×8.5mm/158.1×73.8x 8.5mm, 163g/189g Other features AKG earphones, 32-bit audio, Bixby virtual assistant, Samsung Pay, IP68 water & dust resistance, fingerprint sensor, iris/face recognition, pressure sensor AKG earphones, stereo speakers, AR Emoji, 32-bit audio, Bixby, Samsung Pay, IP68 water & dust resistance, fingerprint sensor, iris/face recognition, pressure sensor There is one other, significant change though; one which every user of the S8 / S*+ will be very happy about - the fingerprint sensor has finally been positioned *under* the camera sensors in the middle of the device. You know; exactly how everyone else did last year! View full news
  2. Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+ launched

    The answer is "actually, not a lot". These are very much iteration handsets, tweaking what was wrong with the S8 and S8+, but without adding anything majorly new or groundbreaking. The biggest change for both handsets is in the camera department , with the S9+ getting a dual camera setup (a first for a Galaxy model phone), while the S9 makes do with Samsung's new "dual aperture" camera design. Here's a quick look at what's "better" on the S9 / S9+ Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+ Galaxy S9/Galaxy S9+ Display 5.8/6.2-inch Super AMOLED, Quad HD+, 18:5:9 5.8/6.2-inch Super AMOLED, Quad HD+, 18:5:9 Processor Exynos 8895/Snapdragon 835 Octa-core, 10nm, 64-bit Exynos 9810/Snapdragon 845 Octa-core, 10nm, 64-bit RAM 4GB LPDDR4 4GB / 6GB LPDDR4 Rear camera 12-megapixel, OIS, Dual Pixel, phase-detection autofocus, 4K video recording 12-megapixel, OIS, Dual Pixel, phase-detection autofocus, 4K video recording / 12+12MP dual camera with dual OIS Front camera 8-megapixel autofocus, F1.7 aperture, QHD video recording 8-megapixel autofocus, F1.7 aperture, QHD video recording Storage 64GB internal, microSD slot (up to 256GB) 64GB internal, microSD slot (up to 400GB) Software Android 7.0 Nougat Android 8.0 Oreo Battery 3,000/3,500 mAh, Adaptive Fast Charge and fast wireless charging 3,000/3,500 mAh, Adaptive Fast Charge and fast wireless charging Connectivity 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack Dimensions 148.9×68.1×8.0mm/159.5×73.4 x8.1mm, 152g/173g 147.7×68.7×8.5mm/158.1×73.8x 8.5mm, 163g/189g Other features AKG earphones, 32-bit audio, Bixby virtual assistant, Samsung Pay, IP68 water & dust resistance, fingerprint sensor, iris/face recognition, pressure sensor AKG earphones, stereo speakers, AR Emoji, 32-bit audio, Bixby, Samsung Pay, IP68 water & dust resistance, fingerprint sensor, iris/face recognition, pressure sensor There is one other, significant change though; one which every user of the S8 / S*+ will be very happy about - the fingerprint sensor has finally been positioned *under* the camera sensors in the middle of the device. You know; exactly how everyone else did last year!
  3. Having told everyone that the LG V30 is the best phone available at the moment, I thought I should finally put my money where my mouth is and do a full hands-on head to head comparison. The raw specs show the V30 to be the better handset (or at least they did in previous reviews), but what will I think after a week of using both? Firstly, here's an up-to-date comparison table based upon our latest testing criteria. Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature LG V30 Galaxy S 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 148.9mm x 68.1mm x 8mm Weight 158g 155g Screen P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi S-AMOLED 5.8" 2960x1440 570ppi Screen / Body Ratio 81.2 % 83.6 % Battery 3300 mAh 3000 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 4GB 4GB Storage 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), Phase Detection Autofocus, Laser Foucs, IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom 12Mpix f/1.7, Phase Detection autofocus, IOS, HDR Camera (front) 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection, Knox Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 869 Availability Now Now Total points 9 9 As can be seen, the phones are very closely matched when comparing the raw specs. The S8 wins out in a few categories purely because it is smaller (weight, screen resolution, screen / body ratio), whereas the V30 wins out in battery size and camera ability (due to having two of them). This means that any "winner" is going to be based pretty much purely on user experience; performance in the real world; and other personal views of the differences between the two. Screen The S8 clearly has the best screen when comparing resolution and dpi, but the V30 is no-where near as bad as some reviews make out; indeed for 98% of the time it looks just as good as the Samsung one. Sure, it's a pity it can't run at the same resolution as the S8, but that's un-noticable in the real world (I never run my S8 at full res due to how it kills the battery), and the "colour banding / backlight inconsistencies" issues which have been reported regarding the V30 are completely non-existent unless you actually go looking for them, in which case the S8 (certainly in my experience) does just as badly! Battery This is a clear win for the V30 - in a typical day's usage of commuting, being used at the office and at home, my S8 will go through 60 - 70% of it's battery, sometimes more, getting as low as 10% before it's put back on charge. In the same time periods and with the same overall usage pattern, I have yet to see the V30 use more than 55% of it's battery. The difference in size of the batteries may not be significant, but that coupled with the slightly lower res screen (although my S8 is never driven at full res, whereas the V30 is) seems to make a huge difference to daily usage. Charging Both these phones support QuickCharge (or technically Samsung's name for the same tech) and both do well. Charging via USB cable, even when plugged in to a PC rather than a "charger" is admirably fast on both handsets; the V30 feeling like it has a slight advantage in speed. However, when charging wirelessly (using one of Samsung's wireless charging pads) the S8 is noticeably quicker and seems to run the charger "harder", as evidenced by the charger's cooling fan coming on frequently. That said, the V30 is still perfectly capable of recharging itself wirelessly over a 4 or so hour period. Handling This is somewhat more of a personal preference decision... Both handsets are lovely to hold, although the V30 is obviously bigger than the S8, it's shorter although slightly wider than the S8+ and Note 8. The differences are not that significant (1.8mm longer, 7.3mm wider, 0.7mm thinner), but the width feels a lot wider than that 7.3mm would have you believe. It feels more like a "normal" format phone rather than the elongated stick that is the S8. Ultimately this makes one-handed operation a bit harder as there's further for thumb and finger to reach, but it's not uncomfortable by any means. You notice how much thinner it is too. All that said, for my hands, the S8 is the better fit. UI and UX Touchwiz hasn't exactly had the best reputation in times past, but it's come a hell of a long way recently. I actually quite like it, and I found myself wishing I could apply it to the V30. That's not to say the V30 UI is bad - it's not. It is far more stock-Android than the S8, but it's still got some useful additions from LG. For example, if you long press on any application icon, the V30 will pop up a context menu for you with the most commonly used functions of that application. And best of all, this works for all applications, not just the pre-installed LG ones. On the other hand, much as Touchwiz on the S8 is now pretty great to use; Samsung have still been pretty restrictive in some areas - for example it's impossible to change the default Gallery application on the S8, but is very easy to do on the V30, and personally I find their settings app to be confusingly laid out. Features Both phones are pretty comparable on features. The V30 obviously has more versatility in it's camera application (due mostly to having 2 rear camera), but the S8 has possibly the better colour reproduction in those photos. The only significant difference I could find is that the V30 doesn't (yet) allow WiFi calling or VoLTE. Both these features are supported by LG's software, but for some reason they are disabled in the SIM free UK firmware I have. (LG allow the phone's bootloader to be unlocked, so that along with root access will allow you to enable both these features in the phone's build.prop file) Living with the phone Possibly the most awkward one to answer - initially on getting the V30 I was disappointed and kept wanting to go back to the S8. However, having used the V30 exclusively for 6 days now, my mind is far less clear. Ultimately I want a mix of the two - the features of the V30 with the UI of the S8. The biggest difference can be seen in the battery performance, and on that count the V30 wins absolutely hands down! ... so which is the winner...? I fully expected to end up with a firm favourite here, with an obvious decision about which phone to keep. Unfortunately that hasn't proven to be the case and I now like both to equal amounts, albeit for different reasons. Therefore, I'm going to sit firmly on the fence and say ... Both! View full news
  4. Hands on: Galaxy S8 vs. V30

    The raw specs show the V30 to be the better handset (or at least they did in previous reviews), but what will I think after a week of using both? Firstly, here's an up-to-date comparison table based upon our latest testing criteria. Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature LG V30 Galaxy S 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 148.9mm x 68.1mm x 8mm Weight 158g 155g Screen P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi S-AMOLED 5.8" 2960x1440 570ppi Screen / Body Ratio 81.2 % 83.6 % Battery 3300 mAh 3000 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 4GB 4GB Storage 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), Phase Detection Autofocus, Laser Foucs, IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom 12Mpix f/1.7, Phase Detection autofocus, IOS, HDR Camera (front) 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection, Knox Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 869 Availability Now Now Total points 9 9 As can be seen, the phones are very closely matched when comparing the raw specs. The S8 wins out in a few categories purely because it is smaller (weight, screen resolution, screen / body ratio), whereas the V30 wins out in battery size and camera ability (due to having two of them). This means that any "winner" is going to be based pretty much purely on user experience; performance in the real world; and other personal views of the differences between the two. Screen The S8 clearly has the best screen when comparing resolution and dpi, but the V30 is no-where near as bad as some reviews make out; indeed for 98% of the time it looks just as good as the Samsung one. Sure, it's a pity it can't run at the same resolution as the S8, but that's un-noticable in the real world (I never run my S8 at full res due to how it kills the battery), and the "colour banding / backlight inconsistencies" issues which have been reported regarding the V30 are completely non-existent unless you actually go looking for them, in which case the S8 (certainly in my experience) does just as badly! Battery This is a clear win for the V30 - in a typical day's usage of commuting, being used at the office and at home, my S8 will go through 60 - 70% of it's battery, sometimes more, getting as low as 10% before it's put back on charge. In the same time periods and with the same overall usage pattern, I have yet to see the V30 use more than 55% of it's battery. The difference in size of the batteries may not be significant, but that coupled with the slightly lower res screen (although my S8 is never driven at full res, whereas the V30 is) seems to make a huge difference to daily usage. Charging Both these phones support QuickCharge (or technically Samsung's name for the same tech) and both do well. Charging via USB cable, even when plugged in to a PC rather than a "charger" is admirably fast on both handsets; the V30 feeling like it has a slight advantage in speed. However, when charging wirelessly (using one of Samsung's wireless charging pads) the S8 is noticeably quicker and seems to run the charger "harder", as evidenced by the charger's cooling fan coming on frequently. That said, the V30 is still perfectly capable of recharging itself wirelessly over a 4 or so hour period. Handling This is somewhat more of a personal preference decision... Both handsets are lovely to hold, although the V30 is obviously bigger than the S8, it's shorter although slightly wider than the S8+ and Note 8. The differences are not that significant (1.8mm longer, 7.3mm wider, 0.7mm thinner), but the width feels a lot wider than that 7.3mm would have you believe. It feels more like a "normal" format phone rather than the elongated stick that is the S8. Ultimately this makes one-handed operation a bit harder as there's further for thumb and finger to reach, but it's not uncomfortable by any means. You notice how much thinner it is too. All that said, for my hands, the S8 is the better fit. UI and UX Touchwiz hasn't exactly had the best reputation in times past, but it's come a hell of a long way recently. I actually quite like it, and I found myself wishing I could apply it to the V30. That's not to say the V30 UI is bad - it's not. It is far more stock-Android than the S8, but it's still got some useful additions from LG. For example, if you long press on any application icon, the V30 will pop up a context menu for you with the most commonly used functions of that application. And best of all, this works for all applications, not just the pre-installed LG ones. On the other hand, much as Touchwiz on the S8 is now pretty great to use; Samsung have still been pretty restrictive in some areas - for example it's impossible to change the default Gallery application on the S8, but is very easy to do on the V30, and personally I find their settings app to be confusingly laid out. Features Both phones are pretty comparable on features. The V30 obviously has more versatility in it's camera application (due mostly to having 2 rear camera), but the S8 has possibly the better colour reproduction in those photos. The only significant difference I could find is that the V30 doesn't (yet) allow WiFi calling or VoLTE. Both these features are supported by LG's software, but for some reason they are disabled in the SIM free UK firmware I have. (LG allow the phone's bootloader to be unlocked, so that along with root access will allow you to enable both these features in the phone's build.prop file) Living with the phone Possibly the most awkward one to answer - initially on getting the V30 I was disappointed and kept wanting to go back to the S8. However, having used the V30 exclusively for 6 days now, my mind is far less clear. Ultimately I want a mix of the two - the features of the V30 with the UI of the S8. The biggest difference can be seen in the battery performance, and on that count the V30 wins absolutely hands down! ... so which is the winner...? I fully expected to end up with a firm favourite here, with an obvious decision about which phone to keep. Unfortunately that hasn't proven to be the case and I now like both to equal amounts, albeit for different reasons. Therefore, I'm going to sit firmly on the fence and say ... Both!
  5. News: FIGHT: OnePlus 5T

    With the announcement today of the OnePlus 5T, I decided to include it in the latest of our FIGHT: series of comparisons. So, without further ado, I give you the OnePlus 5T pitted against our three previous winners, the Sony ZX Premium, LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature One Plus 5T Sony ZX Premium LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 156.1mm x 75mm x 7.3mm 156mm x 77mm x 7.9mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 162g 195g 158g 195g Screen Optic AMOLED 6.01" 2160x1080 401ppi IPS LCD 5.4" 3840x2160 807ppi P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 80.0 % 68.4 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 3300 mAh 3230 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Snapdraggon 835 Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 6GB / 8GB 4GB 4GB 6GB Storage 64GB / 128GB 64GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 20Mpix f/1.7 & Wide: 16MPix f/1.7, OIS 19Mpix f/2.0, Predictive Phase Detection & Laser autofocus EIS, HDR, Panorama Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 16Mpix f/2.0 13Mpix f/2.0 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Oxygen OS 4.7 (Android 7.1.1) Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle) Fingerprint (side), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection None Waterproof (IP68) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging Dash Charge Fast Charging, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 499 £ 650 £ 799 £ 869 Availability Late November 2017 Now Now Now Total points 8 5 8 8 ...this newly altered scoring card has produced yet another set of mixed results. While the LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are still kings of the hill, the Sony ZX Premium has dropped back, and the OnePlus 5T has taken it's place. However, this is mainly due to it's impressive camera specifications; should the camera prove to not be as good in reality as it is in numbers (as has been experienced on the OnePlus 5), then we may need to revisit this comparison. As it stands right now, our new 2017 list of winners contains: LG V30 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 OnePlus 5T View full news
  6. FIGHT: OnePlus 5T

    Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature One Plus 5T Sony ZX Premium LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 156.1mm x 75mm x 7.3mm 156mm x 77mm x 7.9mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 162g 195g 158g 195g Screen Optic AMOLED 6.01" 2160x1080 401ppi IPS LCD 5.4" 3840x2160 807ppi P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 80.0 % 68.4 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 3300 mAh 3230 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Snapdraggon 835 Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 6GB / 8GB 4GB 4GB 6GB Storage 64GB / 128GB 64GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 20Mpix f/1.7 & Wide: 16MPix f/1.7, OIS 19Mpix f/2.0, Predictive Phase Detection & Laser autofocus EIS, HDR, Panorama Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 16Mpix f/2.0 13Mpix f/2.0 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Oxygen OS 4.7 (Android 7.1.1) Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle) Fingerprint (side), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection None Waterproof (IP68) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging Dash Charge Fast Charging, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 499 £ 650 £ 799 £ 869 Availability Late November 2017 Now Now Now Total points 8 5 8 8 ...this newly altered scoring card has produced yet another set of mixed results. While the LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are still kings of the hill, the Sony ZX Premium has dropped back, and the OnePlus 5T has taken it's place. However, this is mainly due to it's impressive camera specifications; should the camera prove to not be as good in reality as it is in numbers (as has been experienced on the OnePlus 5), then we may need to revisit this comparison. As it stands right now, our new 2017 list of winners contains: LG V30 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 OnePlus 5T
  7. FIGHT: Hauwei, LG, Samsung

    Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature Huawei Mate 10 Pro Huawei Mate 10 LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 154.2mm x 74.5mm x 7.9mm 150.5mm x 77.8mm x 8.2mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 178g 186g 158g 195g Screen AMOLED 6.0" 2160x1080 402ppi IPS LCD 5.9" 2560x1440 499ppi AMOLED 6.0" 2800x1440 537ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 80.9 % 81.6 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 4000 mAh 4000 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Kirin 970 (AI Engine) Kirin 970 (AI Engine) Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 6GB 4GB 4GB 6GB Storage 128GB 64GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 20Mpix f/1.6 & Wide: 12Mpix f/1.6, 2x Lossless Zoom, Leica optics, Phase Detection autofocus Main: 20Mpix f/1.6 & Wide: 12Mpix f/1.6, 2x Lossless Zoom, Leica optics, Phase Detection autofocus Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 8Mpix f/2.0 8Mpix f/2.0 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, Gigabit LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.2, IR, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.2, IR, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Android version Android 8.0 Android 8.0 Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (front - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Splashproof (IP53) Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 699 £ 799 £ 869 Availability November 2017 November 2017 Now Now Total points 5 4 10 10 From these figures, the Huawei phones can't quite match up with the latest from LG and Samsung; the V30 and Note 8 taking the top spot by some way. It's not all as bad as it looks though as camera quality is very hard to judge by numbers alone, and the only real let-down for the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are it's relatively poor waterproofing and lack of wireless charging.
  8. Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature Google Pixel 2XL iPhone X LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar,stainless steel & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 157.9mm x 76.7mm x 7.9mm 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 175g 174g 158g 195g Screen P-OLED 6.0" 2280x1440 538ppi AMOLED 5.8" 2436x1125 458ppi P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 76.4 % 82.9 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 3520 mAh 2716 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Apple A11 Bionic Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 4GB 3GB 4GB 6GB Storage 64GB /128GB 64GB / 256GB 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) 12.2Mpix f/1.8, IOS, Phase Detection autofocus, HDR Dual 12Mpix f/1.8 & f/2.4, Phase Detection autofocus, IOS, 2x Optical zoom Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 8Mpix f/2.4 7Mpix f/2.2, HDR, panorama 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Android 8.0 iOS 11.0.2 Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Face ID Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 Fast Charging, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 999 £ 799 £ 869 Availability Now Now Now Now Total points 5 4 10 10 ...So there we have it; a newly altered scoring card produces a different result. Whereas the LG V30 had walked away with the "best phone" prize on our previous scoring matrix, now we've included screen / body ratio and a couple of other changes, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has jumped up to claim joint first place. See part 2 of this comparison for more of the 2017 flagship phones, and maybe a full on, definite winner...
  9. In the fifth of our comparison articles, I've decided to compare the various flagship phones from all the major manufacturers. In this, part 1 of that fight, we have Google, Apple, LG & Samsung. The winner is quite interesting, (as is the outright looser), so read on to find out what the numbers tell us... Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature Google Pixel 2XL iPhone X LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar,stainless steel & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 157.9mm x 76.7mm x 7.9mm 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 175g 174g 158g 195g Screen P-OLED 6.0" 2280x1440 538ppi AMOLED 5.8" 2436x1125 458ppi P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 76.4 % 82.9 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 3520 mAh 2716 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Apple A11 Bionic Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 4GB 3GB 4GB 6GB Storage 64GB /128GB 64GB / 256GB 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) 12.2Mpix f/1.8, IOS, Phase Detection autofocus, HDR Dual 12Mpix f/1.8 & f/2.4, Phase Detection autofocus, IOS, 2x Optical zoom Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 8Mpix f/2.4 7Mpix f/2.2, HDR, panorama 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Android 8.0 iOS 11.0.2 Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Face ID Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 Fast Charging, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 999 £ 799 £ 869 Availability Now Now Now Now Total points 5 4 10 10 ...So there we have it; a newly altered scoring card produces a different result. Whereas the LG V30 had walked away with the "best phone" prize on our previous scoring matrix, now we've included screen / body ratio and a couple of other changes, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has jumped up to claim joint first place. See part 2 of this comparison for more of the 2017 flagship phones, and maybe a full on, definite winner... View full news
  10. In the fourth of our comparison articles, I've compared the newly announced Hauwei Note 10 and Note 10 Pro to our (OK, my) old favourite the LG V30 and the "king" of Samsungs, the Galaxy Note 8. Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature Huawei Mate 10 Pro Huawei Mate 10 LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 154.2mm x 74.5mm x 7.9mm 150.5mm x 77.8mm x 8.2mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 178g 186g 158g 195g Screen AMOLED 6.0" 2160x1080 402ppi IPS LCD 5.9" 2560x1440 499ppi AMOLED 6.0" 2800x1440 537ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 80.9 % 81.6 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 4000 mAh 4000 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Kirin 970 (AI Engine) Kirin 970 (AI Engine) Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 6GB 4GB 4GB 6GB Storage 128GB 64GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 20Mpix f/1.6 & Wide: 12Mpix f/1.6, 2x Lossless Zoom, Leica optics, Phase Detection autofocus Main: 20Mpix f/1.6 & Wide: 12Mpix f/1.6, 2x Lossless Zoom, Leica optics, Phase Detection autofocus Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 8Mpix f/2.0 8Mpix f/2.0 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, Gigabit LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.2, IR, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.2, IR, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Android version Android 8.0 Android 8.0 Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (front - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Splashproof (IP53) Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 699 £ 799 £ 869 Availability November 2017 November 2017 Now Now Total points 5 4 10 10 From these figures, the Huawei phones can't quite match up with the latest from LG and Samsung; the V30 and Note 8 taking the top spot by some way. It's not all as bad as it looks though as camera quality is very hard to judge by numbers alone, and the only real let-down for the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are it's relatively poor waterproofing and lack of wireless charging. View full news
  11. It's finally happened. Samsung yesterday launched the much-leaked Galaxy Note 8. Is this just a bigger S8; is it worth the wait; will it's battery explode? Samsung's press release is below, which in some ways answers those all-important questions. I'll summarise for those who can't really be bothered reading the whole thing: Is it just a bigger Galaxy S8? Yes, of course it is. But it's also "so much more" ... Is it worth the wait? That depends. Are you a Note fan who's still using their Note 4? (the Note 5 never officially made it to the UK; the Note 6 didn't exist; and the Note 7 ... well...) If you are still using your Note 4, then yes, this probably is worth the wait. Whether it's worth the £850 Samsung are asking is another issue though... Will it's battery explode? Samsung really, really, seriously, really, hope not! View full news
  12. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launched

    Samsung's press release is below, which in some ways answers those all-important questions. I'll summarise for those who can't really be bothered reading the whole thing: Is it just a bigger Galaxy S8? Yes, of course it is. But it's also "so much more" ... Is it worth the wait? That depends. Are you a Note fan who's still using their Note 4? (the Note 5 never officially made it to the UK; the Note 6 didn't exist; and the Note 7 ... well...) If you are still using your Note 4, then yes, this probably is worth the wait. Whether it's worth the £850 Samsung are asking is another issue though... Will it's battery explode? Samsung really, really, seriously, really, hope not!
  13. Insider Preview build 16241

    The short answer is... not a lot of note. There are improvements to "Acrylic Material" (Micorosoft's new name for semi-transparency in the Windows UI), which make things slightly easier to live with, plus updates for Task Manager and Mixed Reality. However, the biggest changes this week relate to Delivery Optimisation. Microsoft are really going to town on this feature (to recap, this is where your PC can download updates from other Windows PCs on your LAN, or on the 'net if you allow, and equally act as a streaming host to other PCs, a-la P2P networks) and in this build have added a whole skew of controlls allowing you to choose how much bandwith should be available to Delivery Optimisation; to view your download and upload statistics, plus many other tweaks and settings for these features. There's also now a Windows Store item for installing Ubuntu on your Windows PC. I shit you not; MS are really into this Linux on Windows thing now, and reckon you should use their store *nix builds (other distributions are coming soon apparently) rather than trying to do the install yourself. It's actually quite a clever idea, as it keeps the uber-geeks happy that they can stare at a badly scaled text interface, while keeping the sysadmins happy that they're still supporting Windows as the underlying OS. Full release notes are avaialable here: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/07/13/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-16241-pc-build-15230-mobile/#xMd5rXKSEdcpxrRq.97
  14. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Thread

    Thought I'd kick off the thread with a sneak peak
  15. Has LG missed a trick?

    With Samsung out of the picture, LG rightly stole most of the press attention at MWC with the launch of their G6 handset, which, in the most part, is a very nice piece of kit. However, in order to fully capitalise on Samsung's delay, they needed to do one thing, do it well, and do it quickly... Get the phone into the hands of users before Samsung launched the S8. ... they didn't. At the time of writing (after Samsung have launched the S8, *and* anounced it's worldwide availability), we still don't know when a large number of key markets, including Europe, are going to get the G6 (and only in Korea is the phone currently available, leading to a huge number of grey import sales). Epic fail! The Samsung phone bests the LG phone in most ways, apart from ergonomics and the lovely Quad-DAC audio chipset in the Asia-only version of the G6. However, consumers are a fickle bunch, and if they could have gotten the G6 faster, before they knew when they'd have to stump up almost £700 for Samsung's latest, they would have forgone Quad-DAC and Wireless Charging (only available on US G6s), to have the latest phone in their hands. Overall, this is a massive mistake for LG. They had the world eating out of their palm and they missed it. Maybe they couldn't ramp production quickly enough, but if that were the case they should have run a pre-order system like Samsung and Apple do to keep the buzz going. If production quantities were not the issue and maybe the phone's variant models were the issue, LG should have scraped all that this-feature, that-feature crap and given the whole world the same phone, like Samsung do.* They didn't do that either. All I can say is... oops! *Samsung and others vary the frequencies in use for LTE and on some handsets add CDMA support, but mostly their specs stay the same for all world handsets. LG produce 3, 4 or 5 physically different variants of a phone, some missing feature A, some feature B etc.
  16. Comparing phones always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decissions and some may need explaination. For example, the S8 wins the screen category purely because it has the highest ppi (pixels per inch) rating; screen size has been ignored; and the G6 wins the rear camera category because the dual lens feature allows for more flexibility, even if the S8 / S8+ camera has a slightly better f stop rating. (the winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, or where the size of the S8+ is a contributing factor, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point) Feature LG G6 Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8+ Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 148.9mm x 71.9mm x 7.9mm 148.9mm x 68.1mm x 8.0mm 159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm Weight 163g 155g 173g Screen 5.7" 2880x1440 564ppi 5.8" 2960x1440 570ppi 6.2" 2960x1440 529ppi Battery 3300 mAh 3000 mAh 3500 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 821 Exynos OctaCore Exynos OctaCore RAM 4GB 4GB 4GB Storage 32GB + MicroSD 64GB + MicroSD 64GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Dual 13Mpix f/2.4 (125deg) & f/1.8 (71deg), IOS, HDR10, AssistedZoom 12Mpix f/1.7 "dual pixel" IOS 12Mpix f/1.7 "dual pixel" IOS Camera (front) 5Mpix f/2.2 IOS 8Mpix f/1.7 IOS 8Mpix f/1.7 IOS Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE 600Mb, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.1, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE 1000Mb, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE 1000Mb, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Android version Android 7.0 Android 7.0 Android 7.0 Fingerprint Sensor Yes, rear (middle) Yes, rear (left) Yes, rear (left) Protection Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 649 £ 689 £ 779 Availability 27th April 2017 20th April 2017(pre-order delivery) 20th April 2017 (pre-order delivery) Total points 14 18 17 The table speaks for itself, with the highest score, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the winner, narrowly beating it's larger brother, the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
  17. Samsung Galaxy S8 Launched

    We already know the spec of these phones, but I'll run over it again for clarity. I've got to be honest, these are the best spec'd phones on the market at the moment. Format: Candybar; non-modular aluminium sides & glass front & back construction Screen: 5.8" QHD+ 2960x1440 570ppi (S8), 6.2" QHD+ 2960x1440 529ppi (S8+) Size: 148.9mm long x 68.1mm wide x 8.0mm deep (S8), 159.5mm long x 73.4mm wide x 8.1mm deep (S8+) Weight: 155g (S8), 173g (S8+) Battery: (non-removable) 3000 mAh (S8), 3500 mAh (S8+) Processor: Exynos Octa-core (most markets), Qualcomm SnapDragon 835 (US market) Cameras (main): Dual-pixel 12MP camera (F1.7), supporting IOS, Camera (front): 8MP (F1.7) RAM: 4GB Storage: 64GB UFS2.0 internal storage, plus MicroSD slot Conectivity: 3G, 4G, LTE (600Mb download), WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1 Android version: Nougat 7.0. Samsung Experience 8.0 Colours: Black, Grey, Blue, Pink (with more to come) Fingerprint sensor: Rear, to the side of the camera (right hand side when the screen is face down) Waterproofing: IP68 dust and waterproofing Charging: Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 and Wireless charging Cost: £689 (S8), £779 (S8+) Availability: UK release on 28th April. Pre-orders shipped on 20th April if ordered before 19th That cost, it's huge! Samsung really are trying to copy Apple here...
  18. The demise of 3D televisions

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38778244 I never knew Samsung had stopped production of 3D televisions. Sony and LG to follow. I was always terribly cynical of 3D in general, especially at home but our Samsung UE55H7000 is brilliant for 3D with the active glasses. The Martian, Avatar and the adventures of Tin Tin are all must sees in 3D. I can see why it never caught on however with the right TV it really does work well.
  19. Samsung Galaxy S8 Launch

    Confirmed launch date for the Samsung Galaxy S8
  20. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 thread

    Some rumours here :http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/mobile-phones/1403047/samsung-galaxy-note-5-release-date-price-specs-rumours-full-specs-leaked Looks like no SD slot or removable battery. Good luck Samsung .....
  21. Following on from yesterday's Unpacked event, Samsung had a further press conference today which looked at it's other products. In a very packed room, we got to see what else Samsung had on their minds.. 4K Ultra HD Curved Televisions were very much on their mind. Samsung were keen to remind us about how they've helped first create the UHD market, then the curved TV market, and now the curved UHD market of television. We were told how people respond better to curved images, and how nature isn't flat, and so people feel better by watching a curved screen. So much in fact, that half of Samsung's UHD sets sold, are curved ones. People seem to like it, although we've not spent much significant time with one to decide if we agree. Samsung have created 16 curved sets which range from 48" to a massive 105"! They also create a curved soundbar to match these televisions. One curiosity was a bendable screen which could be viewed either flat or curved. I was left with one question. Why? If curved is better, who'd want to watch a flat screen? Away from televisions, Samsung have also launched an impressive Chef Collection of kitchen appliances which include a fridge, oven and dishwasher. These are smart aspirational appliances which focus on precision control. The oven for example inject moist air so that food doesn't dry whilst cooking! Other interesting devices included the Blue Crystal Washing Machine which focusses on making it easier to put in, and take out your laundry through a clever door mechanism, and also the Powerbot vacuum cleaner which takes robotic vacuums to the next level. We even got a brief demonstration. Click here to view the news
  22. . 4K Ultra HD Curved Televisions were very much on their mind. Samsung were keen to remind us about how they've helped first create the UHD market, then the curved TV market, and now the curved UHD market of television. We were told how people respond better to curved images, and how nature isn't flat, and so people feel better by watching a curved screen. So much in fact, that half of Samsung's UHD sets sold, are curved ones. People seem to like it, although we've not spent much significant time with one to decide if we agree. Samsung have created 16 curved sets which range from 48" to a massive 105"! They also create a curved soundbar to match these televisions. One curiosity was a bendable screen which could be viewed either flat or curved. I was left with one question. Why? If curved is better, who'd want to watch a flat screen? Away from televisions, Samsung have also launched an impressive Chef Collection of kitchen appliances which include a fridge, oven and dishwasher. These are smart aspirational appliances which focus on precision control. The oven for example inject moist air so that food doesn't dry whilst cooking! Other interesting devices included the Blue Crystal Washing Machine which focusses on making it easier to put in, and take out your laundry through a clever door mechanism, and also the Powerbot vacuum cleaner which takes robotic vacuums to the next level. We even got a brief demonstration.
  23. Episode 1 of Samsung Unpacked was in Barcelona back in February when they unveiled the Galaxy S4 and new Gear smartwatches. This time round, a lot had been leaked before hand, but it was still interesting to see what Samsung had up their sleeves.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. Click here to view the news
  24. 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.
  25. 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.