It won’t be a surprise to anyone who follows Samsung and their Galaxy range of smartphones that last years hugely successful S4 is very soon going to be followed up by the imaginatively entitled S5. It is expected to cost around INR 45,500 for the 16Gb version when it is launched April 30th 2014. It is a little more expensive than the initial price for the S4 which launched at around INR 41,500, but then you are getting a lot more for your rupees. So what can we expect from it?
The first thing you’ll notice is its Super AMOLED, 5.1”, full HD display fully utilising all of its 1920 x 1080 pixels; the display is a whole 0.1” larger than the S4. Whilst the screen size hasn’t changed that much, the processor has had a significant improvement. The S5 will now sport a 2.5Ghz Quad core Snapdragon processor and will, as expected, run the latest version of Android namely 4.4.2; also known as KitKat.
The second thing to note is the design. For those of you familiar with the Galaxy range, you won’t be surprised by the design cues Samsung has taken with its new flagship phone. Despite many pre-launch rumours speculating it would be released with a hugely radical different design, the S5 reaches the market looking very much like its predecessors. It also borrows some aspects from the Galaxy Note ‘phablet’, but that can hardly be described as a bad thing. The main change is the back of the phone which is now textured. Whilst it is still plastic, it looks and feels much nicer to hold.
As smartphones get more powerful, the thing you always need is a better battery and the S5 delivers in that aspect too. According to Samsung, the 2800 mAh battery will deliver 12 hours of video playback. Even if you don’t spend all day watching YouTube or the latest movies, it should be more than powerful enough to last you all day. If that sounds impressive, then you’ll love the battery-saving new Ultra Power Saving Mode, but more on that later.
So far, so technical, but what does the S5 have in terms of new features. Thankfully the S5 has a plethora of them. Hot on the heels of the iPhone 5S, the S5 has more in common with Apple’s latest than a letter and a number. The new S5 will include a fingerprint scanner. Not only to secure your mobile payments but also to access what Samsung are calling ‘Private Mode’; an area of your phone that no-one else will be able to access without your fingerprint. It isn’t the only mode the Galaxy S5 has. There is also ‘Kids Mode’ that has dedicated apps to protect your children (or anyone else’s for that matter) from inappropriate content whilst they are using it. While we are in ‘mode’…mode, the potentially most useful one is the aforementioned Ultra Power Saving Mode. In an effort to squeeze every ounce of power from the battery, UPSM will automatically turn your screen to black and white and turn off every feature, other than calls and texts, when your battery is almost dead. Samsung estimate that that last 10% of your battery could last another 24 hours in this mode. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s true.
For the keen photographers amongst you, the S5 will serve you well. If you thought the 13MP (megapixels) camera on the S4 was impressive, Samsung’s latest will pack a rear-facing camera with 16MP. It will also shoot 4K video at 30 fps (frames per second) with options to include video stabilisation, HDR and selective focus. The latter feature allows you to change focus in your photos after they’ve been taken. Fancy.
The other big new feature included in the new S5 is the heart rate monitor, situated just below the rear-facing camera. More and more of our gadgets are increasingly keen to tell us just how fit, or unfit, we are and Samsung is long-jumping on the bandwagon big time. The sensor will work with the pre-installed, much-improved S Health 3.0 app to track your activities. Time will tell just how useful it proves to be, but when paired with one of Samsung’s three new smart watches or even the soon to be released S Band, the trend for fitness monitoring might just have the S5 to thank for kick-starting it.
One key, but often overlooked feature, is especially prevalent for India is that the phone is IP67 (Ingress Protection) certified; a feature shared with the Sony Xperia Z1. This means it is totally protected against dust and also against the effect of water between 15cm and 1m. A feature you’re only happy you’ve got when disaster strikes.
So has the list of new features convinced you to invest your hard-earned rupees on the S5? It’s not long to wait now until the launch and I’m sure you’ll agree the new Galaxy is out of this world.
Tags: Samsung Galaxy S5
Posted in Cell Phone News & Tips | No Comments »
Apple are notoriously secretive about their unreleased products, leaving the tech’ world in an almost permanent state of rumour, wonder and sheer unadulterated guesswork. No sooner does the new and improved iPhone come out than we immediately start speculating on the next one all over again. Of course, last time Apple released two iterations of their phone; the 5S and the colorful, ‘cheaper’ 5C…. so what next? Remember, this is all rumour and speculation, but that’s the fun of it. Will it even be called the iPhone 6? Maybe the iPhone Air? Let the guesswork begin.
First thing anyone notices about a cutting-edge smartphone is, of course, the screen itself. As many of its competitors’ screens grow larger, the iPhone has stubbornly stuck with its 4” screen. That might be about to change. Rumours gaining traction are that the next version of iPhone will not only include a Retina+ Sharp-manufactured IGZO better-than-HD 4.8” screen, but also a version with a larger 5.5” screen; even up to to 6” according to some reports. The real trick is to make the screen bigger without a negative impact on size and weight of the phone. Will Apple release the first phone with a true edge-to-edge screen? Rumours suggest so, even going as far to predict a ‘Smart Bezel’ or a wrap-around flexible screen. Whilst that might be a wish too far, but with screen real-estate being the first-impression everyone sees and the competition in the marketplace getting tougher, it might be foolish to bet against it.
If I told you the next iPhone was going to be made of Liquidmetal, you’d think I’d be watching Terminator 2 way too much, but it’s real and Apple owns the exclusive rights to use the space-age material. Liquidmetal is an extremely strong and fantastically durable material that can be used in small iPhone-sized quantities, giving an Aluminium-like build quality.
This might just be the way to making the next iPhone even lighter and thinner than its predecessor. Incidentally, Apple filed a total of 17 patents all relating to Liquidmetal in early 2014 so its fair to assume it will play an important part in Apple’s future.
Liquidmetal isn’t the only innovative, high-quality, space-age material that is potentially going to be on display…literally. The fingerprint sensor and the rear-facing camera on the 5S were both coated in sapphire glass and with Apple’s half-a-billion dollar investment in the technology pointing towards greater things, will the iPhone 6’s whole screen being made from it? It will certainly help solidify the rumour mill with regard to increased screen size. Sapphire glass is more than twice as durable as the current Gorilla Glass and is rumoured to be ‘virtually scratch free’. Maybe the whole screen will become a finger-print sensor, now that would be interesting when it comes to expanding the screen features, not to mention payment options.
Before the 5S was released, an Apple patent was uncovered detailing a chipset that contained both a fingerprint sensor and NFC (Near Field Communication). We all know the iPhone 5 arrived with the fingerprint sensor intact, so will the iPhone 6 complete the package. NFC has long been championed as the next big consumer payment route, without actually really taking off in great numbers. Is the time right for Apple to take control of contact-less payment, link it with their PassBook feature and change the way we pay for small items forever? iWallet anyone?
Will Apple’s recent acquisition of PrimeSense, the Israeli developer of Microsoft’s original Kinect and other 3D motion detecting technology, play a part in the next iPhone. Many think it will be more geared to the mythical iTelevision, but perhaps some of the technology might filter down to the phone. For those who think sliding a button to unlock your phone is old-hat, maybe building in some gesture control might be exactly what their looking for. How about moving between apps by waving your hand above your phone, or calling your favourite contacts with the click of your fingers. Patents do exist for Apple to even include, what is effectively, SONAR and additional microphones in the body of the phone. This would allow the unit to become more aware of its surroundings using proximity and audio cues to offer greater accuracy of its location. Imagine what developers could do with that!
The new iPad Air and its mini, retina-sporting, brother both came with 128Gb of storage whilst the iPhone has never progressed beyond 64Gb. Is it time for the iPhone 6 to follow suit? As the phone gets technically more advanced, so its myriad of apps continually strive to take advantage of all the new features. Bigger and better apps mean larger and larger file sizes, so storage is at a premium. There is a trade-off, of course. Doubling the storage isn’t free, but it is getting cheaper all the time. Naturally, it wouldn’t be the default specification, but would the ever loyal Apple customers willing to pay a premium for what is quickly becoming the norm for everyone else?
There are many other rumours, each one more fantastical than the last. We’ll probably have to wait until September 2014 to see if none, some or all of the rumours come to fruition. The guesswork will only heat up as we approach the release date. One thing we can be sure of is that, despite all our best efforts, there will be some surprises coming out of Cupertino and that’s the most exciting thing.
Tags: Apple, iphone
Posted in Mobile Reviews, News | No Comments »
As the speed of smartphone sophistication increases year-on-year, 2014 will continue to see the world’s largest electronic companies trying to out-do each other with their phones. The beginning of the year is always a good way to gauge what we’ll be putting to our ears for the coming year. Both the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in January and Mobile World Congress in February will be highlighting which smartphone to get your hands on. Before that lets take a sneak peek of some of the most wanted smartphones of the year 2014:
Apple iPhone 5S
Despite the two big electronic shows attracting the great and the good of the mobile smartphone world, arguably the biggest player doesn’t go to either of them. We’ll have to wait until later in the year to see what the iPhone 6 will look like (if indeed that’s what it’s called… iPhone Air anyone?) but don’t worry. Until then, we’ve got the iPhone 5s to keep us warm. If you listen to the internet or anyone willing to tell you, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the worst phone in the world. It isn’t. Far from it. It’s amazing. It is certainly an easy target and an argument could be made that it hasn’t innovated enough; it looks almost identical to it’s older brother the iPhone 5, but then it is an update to that phone, not a new iteration. The redesigned, flatter iOS7 makes the phone feel completely reinvigorated. The big new feature this time around was the finger-print sensor. Anyone who has used it will tell you its already a much more natural way to unlock your phone, not to mention authorising purchases from iTunes or the App Store and, with the sheer number of quality Apps available, it’ll soon become as ubiquitous as touching the screen. The screen size isn’t as large as some of its Android-sporting competitors but with the Retina display your eyes won’t be disappointed. Let’s not forget the iPhone 5S also has 64-bit architecture under the hood, thanks to the new A7 chipset. We’re still waiting for those killer apps to take full advantage of this and its M7 co-processor but they’re coming soon for sure. It would be a brave consumer to bet against Apple.
Can a smartphone ever have enough letters or numbers after its name? If the name of the next HTC flagship phone is anything to go by, it’s clearly learned its lesson after the HTC One X+! The name is still a rumour, but the phone is very real. Building on the positive reviews their previous phones have been gathering, HTC are working hard to continue that trend whilst hoping to turn good reviews into fantastic sales. The M8 (or whatever it gets called) will have a fantastic 1920 x 1080 pixel screen, an Ultrapixel camera (HTC proprietary image technology) but no physical buttons at all. Interesting. Also, you might not know it by looking at it but it will be also running the latest version of Android, known as KitKat, albeit hidden behind their own Sense 6.0 user interface. Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews for its recent phones, they just didn’t sell in the numbers they had hoped for. Can this phone change that? HTC hope so. OK.
Motorola Moto G
Times are tough and we don’t all have the mega-bucks needed to buy the very highest spec smartphone, so that is where the Motorola Moto G fits in nicely. The brainchild of Motorola, now owned by Google let’s not forget, attempts to pack the premium features all smartphones users enjoy into a price-sensitive budget body. The body is a good place to start. It measures only 6mm at its thinnest point, weighs in at only 143g and even has interchangeable backs so you can customise it ’til your heart’s content. The cutbacks come from the camera being ‘only’ 5 mega-pixels and there is no MicroSD expansion slot, so you’re stuck with ‘only’ a 8 or 16GB capacity.
If that doesn’t put you off and you do plan to pick up this phone to save a little cash, then its ‘Migrate’ feature helps you swap your content from your old phone to this one. Another nice little feature is that it’s coated with a water-repellent covering to keep your phone dry. It’s not quite fully waterproof but it could come in handy from all the tears of happiness you’ll be shedding if you pick up this phone.
LG seems to be playing a constant game of catch-up with both Apple and Samsung, as they fight for world smartphone domination. Maybe the Samsung / Apple battle might just have to find a space for a third contender with the LG G2. The first thing you’ll noticed is the beautiful 5.2” full HD screen. Whilst it’s not completely edge-to-edge, it’s not far off. The side bezel is absolutely tiny thanks to the controversial move of placing the volume buttons to the back under the camera lens, rather than the traditional place on the side of the phone. It takes a little getting used to.
The G2 is no slouch technically either. It packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor to push all those pixels around. If you’re wanting your next phone to future-proof the year ahead, the LG G2 is 4G ready and is even compatible with the forthcoming LTE-Advanced protocol. Despite the plastic back, it feels like a quality phone and it has all the standard features you’ll need. If you’re looking for an alternative Android phone, this just might be for you.
In a move that seems to be trying to preempt the ‘next big thing’, 2014 will also see the release of the LG G Flex; LGs first foray into the curved screen phone. Will it prove to the best thing ever or a gimmick? Time will tell, but with Samsung also releasing the Galaxy Round, it’s going to get interesting.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The latest smartphone in the Galaxy range looks very similar to its predecessor; the S3, but as that model shipped around 50 million units, why wouldn’t it! Whilst Apple is derided for their perceived lack of innovation, Samsung seems to escape the same criticism. Still, the Galaxy range remains the only real challenger to the iPhone smartphone crown. Samsung has built on the successes it has learned from the trio that preceded it with gradual improvements. The S4 has got a bigger full HD screen, whilst the handset itself gets smaller! It’s certainly not a phone for those with petite hands, although there is a ‘mini’ version. One man’s innovation is another man’s gimmick and the S4 has plenty of both.
Smart Pause automatically pauses video playback when your eyes stray from the screen; Smart Scroll allows you to continue reading webpages by tilting the phone; its S-Health feature incorporates a pedometer to help keep you fit; Near Field Communication helps you swap files and you can even use it as a TV remote. The list goes on! Incidentally, it makes phone calls too! You might think the combination of large screen and fancy features might have a disastrous effect on the battery but you’d be wrong. It has a large battery befitting its large body to keep you going all day. Whether you’ll use half of the features / gimmicks it has remains to be seen, but it’s a fantastic phone whatever you need it for.
Tags: Apple, HTC, iPhone 5s, LG, Samsung, Smartphones
Posted in Cell Phone News & Tips, News | No Comments »
Google in collaboration with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partner introduced the Google Nexus cell phone. It is based on android operating system and is one of the few devices that are being recommended for Android software development by the Android Open Source Project.
In the line of Nexus, the first mobile was introduced by HTC in January 2010 and named as the Nexus One. It came with android 2.1 Eclair and then in May 2010 it was updated to Android 2.2 Froyo and then to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Google ceased the support for this cell phone as it showed poor results at the UI of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Some of the features of this Smartphone are:
- Height: 4.7”, Width: 2.35” and Thickness: 0.45”, having a weight of 130 g.
- Its processor is 1 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion and memory is 512 MB. Built-in storage memory is 512 MB with, expandable up to 32 GB.
- Battery power is 1,400 mAh Li-ion.
- It has just a rear camera of 5 MP, with video recording facility.
- Some other features may include: multi-touch capacitive touch screen, ambient light sensor, microphone, proximity sensor, trackball.
The next series of Nexus is the Nexus S, that’s manufactured by the Samsung and released in December 2010. It was released with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It was then updated with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in December 2011. This version of Android was updatable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The features this device is equipped with may include:
- Height: 4.88”, Width: 2.48” and Thickness: 0.43”, having a weight of 129 g of AMOLED version and 140 g in the Super Clear-LCD version.
- Its processor is 1 GHz single-core ARM cortex-A8 and memory is 512 MB. Built-in storage memory is 16 GB with no card slot option.
- Battery power is 1,500 mAh Li-ion.
- The rear camera is 5 Mp and the front camera is 0.3 MP.
- Some other features may include: capacitive touch-sensitive buttons, digital compass, Wi-Fi hotspot, USB tethering, SIP VoIP.
In November 2011 Samsung manufactured Galaxy Nexus, with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and then in July 2012, it was updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It incorporates some of the following features:
- Height: 5.33”, Width: 2.675” and Thickness: 0.352”, having a weight of 135 g.
- Its processor is 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM cortex-A9 and memory is 1 GB. Built-in storage memory is either 16 GB or 32 GB with no card slot option.
- Battery power is 1,750 mAh Li-ion in the HSPA+ version whereas 1850 mAh in the LTE version.
- The rear camera is 5 Mp and the front camera is 0.3 MP.
- Some other features may include: Barometer, 3-axis Digital compass, dual microphones, Wi-Fi direct and oleophopic display coating.
This device is introduced by LG and is the fourth and the latest device of this series. It comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean system. Some of the features of the device are:
- The screen is of this device is 4.7” with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 touch screen.
- The device has a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM and comes in either 8 GB or 16 GB built-in memory with no option for card slot.
- The rear camera is 8MP, whereas the front camera is 1.3MP.
- It is capable of wireless charging and has a crystal reflection glass.
- Height: 5.27”, Width: 2.7” and Thickness: 0.36”, having a weight of 139 g.
- A battery of 2100 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer.
The Nexus series doesn’t only constitutes the smartphones but it also provides its users with other device like the tablets and the media streaming devices. These devices come with different versions of android system and have wonderful features.
Tags: galaxy nexus, google nexus, nexus 4, nexus one, nexus s, nexus smartphone
Posted in Mobile Reviews | No Comments »
Everyone knows that the initial purpose of the mobile phones was to create a way of communication. Then by the introduction of SMS, there was an addition to the way to communicate with others, at comparatively a low cost, and now we have more than these two ways of communication on a single device. But now cell phones are not only use as a way to communicate but it has now given various things to perform on this small handy device, like playing games, watching and listening to movies and music, social networking, browsing the world through internet and so on.
One of the leading manufacturers of mobile phones is the Samsung. Samsung offer a huge variety to its customers and offers latest technology in its devices. Recently is has introduced Samsung Galaxy SII to the world. It is a wonderful device with various new specs and features. Here I’m going to write about some of the features of Samsung Galaxy SIII. So let’s have a quick glance at it:
Samsung Galaxy SIII Features
- It operates on Android
- The organic nature of the phone produces ripples, when touched the screen. The GUI of this mobile uses TouchWin “Nature UX’ interface, which is deeply inspired by organic trend.
- In response to Apple’s Siri, SIII provides the services of Samsung’s intelligent personal assistant, S Voice. It understands eight different languages and we can operate twenty functions through this assistant.
- Provides some commonly used applications like YouTube, Google+, Google play, Game Hub, Video Hub and so on.
- From 2012 Samsung has introduced the facility to transfer music, photos, podcasts, and text messages from iPhone, by using the Easy Phone Sync app.
- SIII has this smart feature to share its screen onto a TV.
- Music Hub in this wonderful device contains over 19m songs. It was created in response to Apple’s iTunes service. Another music feature the Music square is a remarkable one that manages the songs according to the user’s mood.
- By using Vlingo and Google’s voice recognition, the user can use speech-to-text feature on Samsung SIII.
- The device weighs 133gm.
- SIII comes with round corners and the edges are curved.
- Color option for the handset is marble white, pebble blue, garnet red, sapphire black and titanium grey.
- The device is 136.3 mm long, 70.7 mm wide, having a thickness of 8.6 mm.
- SIII offer upto 2 GB of RAM. The device comes in 16 GB or 32 GB for internal storage purposes, the memory is extendable upto 64 GB, using a micro SD card. Using the cloud storage facility of Dropbox, the purchaser can avail a storage space of 50 GB for 2 years.
- The display of the cell phone is 120 mm, with HD Super AMOLED display. The pixel resolution is 720p. The display glass is damage resistant.
- The rear camera is 8 megapixels, can take 3,264*2448 resolution photos and can make video upto 1,920*1080 pixel resolution. Photos can be taken while making a video. The front camera is 1.9 MP.
- The device uses li-ion 2,100 mAh battery. The talk time for 2G, 3G and 4G is upto 21 hours, 11 hours and 10 hours respectively, while the stand by time for 2G, 3G and 4G is 900 hours, 790 hours and 500 hours respectively. SIII uses this smart technology of ’Smart Stay’, to save the battery, by turning off the device when the users is not looking at it. The device can also be re-charged wirelessly by using a special charging pad, which uses a magnetic resonance that creates magnetic field, to transfer electricity.
The Samsung Galaxy SIII is a wonderful device and offers a lot more then mentioned here. It is far better than its predecessors and is also comparable with the latest devices presented by the other well known cellular companies. Check more details of Samsung Galaxy SIII at: http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxys3/.
Posted in Cell Phone News & Tips, Mobile Reviews | 1 Comment »