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All posts tagged "samsung"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Samsung Galaxy SIII Review

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 10:00 AM

"Are you ready for 2GB of RAM? How about a phone that lets you and your friends share the world with a couple of clicks? Do you want to be a part of the next Android global phenomenon? This is the phone that is supposed to bring all of that – let’s see if it did."

It's almost old news now but the Samsung Galaxy SIII is a hit and still a phone people are talking about. I figured there are probably many who are thinking about buying one but haven't made the move. Check out the review after the break.

This phone is well future proofed (assuming Samsung supports it well) with the excellent performance of the Snapdragon S4, 720x1280 3.8" SuperAMOLED display, 2GB of RAM, removable battery, and MicroSDXC. It's one of the first phones that has MicroSDXC as opposed to MicroSDHC. This means instead of being limited to 32GB of MicroSD storage the theoretical limit is 2TB! They advertise 64GB since that's the largest that's available right now. The 2GB of RAM was a smart move too. Many phones have been limited being upgradable to the next version of Android (whatever it was at the time) due to not having enough memory. That will not be a problem with the North American version of the Galaxy SIII for a while.

I have a few friends who bought it and are very happy with it. The battery life seems to be excellent and the performance is awesome. I think the screen looks great on it too even though it is PenTile. Did you buy the Galaxy SIII? Which carrier do you have? How has your experience been with it so far?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1: Mediocre, Less Expensive

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 AM

"When we review a second-generation product there are certain things we tend to take for granted: this new thing, whatever it is, will be thinner, faster, longer-lasting, maybe even with more bells and whistles in tow."

It seems that cheaper isn't always better for the consumer. Samsung has taken their original Galaxy Tab 10.1 and released a "refresh" that is nearly identical, but in some cases have downgraded peformance. But it's cheaper, so it's now competing at the $400 price point with many other tablets (Surprise, Samsung - everybody lowered their prices!). Rather than progressing with design and performance, Samsung took the safe route, and kept to the middle of the road = minimal change. Compromises have been made.

Still sporting a quality 1280x800 display, Samsung has moved the speakers from underneath of the front side, eliminating the muffle effect when lying flat, but they're still buzzy at high volume. Performance lags its Tegra 3 competition, and the user experience is less-than-thrilling, as the OS suffers inexplicable lags and stutters, and the screen becomes unresponsive at times. Battery life comes in at about 9-hours in real life, oddly almost an hour less than the original galaxy Tab 10.1. Apps are pretty standard, on top of ICS 4.0.3 and Samsung's TouchWiz UI-layer. The onboard cameras are pretty dismal, even by tablet standards.

Overall, Samsung has produced an upgrade (or refresh) destined to get lost in the market shuffle of $400 tablets. Really nothing to recommend it over any other tablet in this price range, and there are better choices. Disappointing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Check Out These Videos of the Samsung Galaxy S3

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:00 AM

"We’ve gathered some of the best video hands-on we can find online showing off the Galaxy S III in the flesh."

Unless you've been living under a rock you probably already know that Samsung unveiled their Galaxy S3 Android phone yesterday. It was a huge event in London with a gigantic screen up front that went across the entire stage, a live orchestra playing, and a huge area behind the stage were everyone at the event could go afterwards to try out this new phone. Some hardware of the phone include the 32nm Exynos 4 Quad CPU, 4.8" 720x1280 SAMOLED (pentile) display, RGB notification LED (any color like the Galaxy Nexus!), MicroSDHC slot, 32GB of built-in storage, 1GB of RAM. Some special features include S-Voice which is like Apple's Siri but it listens all the time instead of you doing something to invoke it on the device. It seems like it's smarter than Siri too but time will tell if it is and how useful it really is. Another interesting feature is called "Smart Stay". It will use the front facing camera to check if you're watching/reading the device and if you are it will not turn the display off. I think that's a brilliant idea. They are saying the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be available in Europe at the end of May. They didn't give a date for the US or Canada that I've seen.

Compared to other devices out there one thing that's clearly different is the Exynos 4 Quad CPU. It's the only Quad-core out there in the mobile device world other than the Tegra 3. Like the Tegra 3 it is uses an ARM Cortex A9 base instead of the newer and faster ARM Cortex A15 which the Snapdragon S4 uses. However, according to some early benchmarks at AnandTech the Samsung GS 3 is no slouch. Also, while the Exynos 4 Quad is larger than the 28nm of the Snapdragon S4 it's still significantly smaller than the 40nm die size of the Tegra 3. That should give it an advantage over the Tegra 3 in battery life. It's also nice that it as a respectable 2100mAH battery. I do wonder how its LTE battery life will compare to that of the Qualcomm LTE chipsets in the S4 devices - which apparently have much improved battery life over previous devices. One other thing I should mention, there have been rumors that the US version of the Galaxy S3 will use a Snapdragon S4 instead of teh Exynos 4 Quad.

What are your favorite features of the Samsung Galaxy S3? Will this be your next Android phone?

Update: The Samsung Galaxy S 3 will be available in the US in June.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Samsung Wants Everyone In Your Family to Have a Different Galaxy Tab

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 03:00 PM

"And now there's the Galaxy Tab 2, with two models (7.0 and 10.1) that are very slightly improved, but not enough to justify a few hundred bucks."

There are two more tablets from Samsung that are not a lot different from the others. With the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 they are coming in at a nice low price point of $250. The 7.0 has a 1024x600 display and the 10.1 has a 1280x800 display - both are PLS (Samsung's form of IPS) LCD displays. Maybe the biggest change compared to previous Galaxy Tabs is that they both come with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Samsung did add a MicroSDHC slot to both the 10.1 and the 7.0 models. They're also using TI dual-core processors which, while they're great, they're generally a little slower than Samsung's own Exynos processors that were in some or all older models. The camera's are nothing to brag about with a 3MP in the back and VGA in the front. If you're not sure, VGA was good in about 1992. At least the 3MP is good enough to do 1080p video which both tablets can record at 30fps. One interesting feature on both Galaxy Tab 2's that apparently isn't new to Galaxy Tabs is an IR port for controlling your home audio and video equipment.

Really, you'd think Samsung could have just put Ice Cream Sandwich on some of their older Tabs that haven't sold and lower the price but I guess "newer" is "newer". Lots of people love their Galaxy Tabs so maybe there is more of a market for these than it seems. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Dual-Core Samsung Galaxy Player 70 Plus

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 06:00 AM

"The Galaxy Player 70 Plus appears to be a powered-up version of its 5-inch device from last year, side-stepping the design tweaks we saw last week on the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 -- the other new (similarly long-winded) Android PMP from Samsung."

The Galaxy Player 70 Plus is another iPod competitor from Samsung. The hardware looks good for a media player with a 1GHz dual-core (I'm guessing it's an Exynos which is a good thing), 16 or 32 GB of storage, 5MP camera (probably not the front camera though it looks like it has a front camera), 5" display, and a generous 2500mHA battery. That battery should last quite a while since it's not powering any cell radio's. Apparently it's only available in Korea right now.

What do you think? Is a dual-core, 5" media player a device you could in your collection?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7: Great Tablet w/Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 AM

"Samsung wants to make an Android tablet for everyone, which is why they have four screen sizes: 7.0", 7.7", 8.9", and 10.1". For many, their 7.0" and 7.7" tablets provide an excellent level of portability while also giving you plenty of screen to warrant a great tablet experience."

A super AMOLED Plus screen with a pixel density of about 196 ppi (iPad 2 is about 131 ppi, for comparison) at 1280x800 makes this tablet a delight to the eyes. Two models are currently shipping: one with wifi and one with wifi and unlocked GSM/UMTS bands. A 4G LTE version is planned for 2012 from Verizon. An unusual (but interesting) feature, the Tab 7.7 has an earpiece, making phone features a possibility, bit it is not yet enabled in the software. Overall, this is a great tablet, but is currently hampered (per the reviewer) by Android 3.2's quirkiness. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is expected sometime in 2012 Q1. Battery life is outstanding, thanks in part to the Super AMOLED Plus screen's efficiencies. There are currently several resellers, and costs start at $572 for the wifi-only version, or $668 for a version that'll work with an AT&T SIM. With Android 4.x onboard, this may be getting close to the perfect tablet: long battery life, beautiful screen, and fast!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Engadget Reviews the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:30 AM

"We've already established that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a great tablet. Then, just recently, we summarily found that the 1.2-inch smaller Galaxy Tab 8.9 is an even better tablet -- at least for anyone who wants to take their slate places. So, following that logic, the even more petite Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus should be the best of the three, right?"

I'm not a fan of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 because of the lack of MicroSDHC, MicroHDMI, and MicroUSB. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus actually adds MicroSDHC so that's cool but it has a 1024x600 screen instead of the 1280x800 screen on the larger models. Keep in mind though, while the resolution is lower the screen is significantly smaller so it actually has a higher dpi then the 10.1 at 170dpi compared to 149dpi on the 10.1 - so it will look sharper at the same distance. The 8.9" model actually has the same dpi as the 7" at 170dpi. One interesting difference is the inclusion of an IR port and software that let you use the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus as a universal remote. The review shows good performance, thanks to a 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, and battery life so if you're looking for a 7" tablet you should definitely check it out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus: A Worthy Update

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:00 PM

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus retains its seven-inch display from the first generation Galaxy Tab. Now, upgraded with a dual-core Exynos processor, Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, and a number of enhancements thanks to the TouchWiz user interface and some preloaded apps, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus refines on the experience that the Galaxy Tab 7 had promised."

Samsung has taken good 7-inch tablet and made it even better: Light; improved but sometimes laggy performance; excellent 1024x600 display that works indoors and outdoors; expandable storage (up to an additional 32GB SDHC); reasonably good cameras that record VGA or 720p HD video; updated Android OS that is actually designed for tablets; and enhanced TouchWiz. Negatives reported are less than stellar battery life, some performance lags in some apps, and slightly confusing design decisions by Samsung. Some bundled apps and some enhancements made by Samsung make for a better user experience. No pricing or availability information was provided, with T-Mobile expected to offer a Wifi + 4G version.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Samsung's i929 and w999 Get Certification

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Samsung Android Phones" @ 03:30 AM

"Ready for a heavy dose of Android this morning? Then enjoy this Samsung double whammy freshly delivered from China."

Two very interesting upcoming devices from Samsung - the SCH-i929, a fairly normal looking device, and the SCH-w999, a clamshell device with a pretty big screen on the outside and on the top when flipped open!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Samsung Transform Is Heading to Sprint

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android Mobile Operators" @ 06:00 AM

"What big, wireless brother wants, big, wireless brother gets."

QWERTY slider fans, like myself, on Sprint (unlike myself) will soon have a new option in the form of the Samsung Transform. The Keyboard looks rather interesting, it appears that Samsung has decided to go for fewer keys / bigger buttons, which might make this an attractive number for the large finger crowd!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Coming Soon

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 AM

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus tablet with Android 3.2 Honeycomb is available for pre-order on Amazon.Eager customers can now place their pre-orders for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus on Amazon. The device cost $399 for the 16GB model, and $499 for the 32GB version. Shipping dates have not yet been announced."

I think that Samsung will find it tough going competing against the Kindle Fire, especially for twice the price, even though this Wifi-only tablet sports Android 3.2, a 1024x600 touchscreen, front and rear-facing cameras, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. I travel a lot, and regularly perform (admittedly very unscientific) tallies of the types of devices that I see at airports, on airplanes, in coffee shops and restaurants, etc; and I really haven't seen many 7-inch tablets (Kindle readers, yes), so this market segment has room to grow.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Google To Unveil Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, Oct. 18 in Hong Kong

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 02:00 PM

"If you recall, the event was planned for two days ago, but was postponed—the official line being that it was out of respect for the passing of Steve."

Google has announced that Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, will be announced in Hong Kong on Oct. 18 at 10:00pm Eastern time. This location may sound odd to you but it also happens to be where Google's Andy Rubin was scheduled to speak before the date was moved. You can watch the event live on YouTube. Along with Google at the event will be Samsung to show off their new Galaxy Nexus/Droid Prime/Droid Nexus/Nexus Prime that's designed to run the new OS. Ice Cream Sandwich will be the first version of Android to combine the phone version of Android withe the tablet version of Android. I can't wait to see what other changes are on the way!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

AT&T's Debuts New Android Phones

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Samsung Android Phones" @ 03:00 AM

"Sweet Jesus. AT&T is adding five new Android phones to their portfolio this week. That will bring them up to 19 Android devices in for 2011."

Five new and 19 total! Quite interesting to me, considering AT&T also has this really popular phone by Apple ;) I guess this means the consumer is all about choice (lower cost in this case!).

Tags: samsung

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Androinica Reviews the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:30 AM

"If you know anything about the Samsung Galaxy S phones, then you already know about its world-renowned reputation of amazing displays and ultra slim form factor. With that said, lets get to more specific details shall we. The phone packs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 1.2 GHz Samsung Exynos processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage with the option to expand up to 32GB via SDCard..."

If you go by the review, this is one of the best Android phones out there. I have certainly heard a lot of buzz about it but I'm not sure why everyone is so excited. It sounds like it's got a very fast and smooth feel to the interface. It also has a fast dual-core processor and GPU. But if you ask me, you can't put a 480x800 screen on a current high-end phone. These days it needs to be at least qHD - I'll even take PenTile. I've seen it and I'm happy with PenTile. Unlike Super AMOLED Plus by itself the higher resolution actually increases practical usability by letting you see more on the screen at a time. I'm not sure the move from Super AMOLED to Super AMOLED Plus made enough of an improvement to battery life, which I think is the biggest problem with OLED technology on phones. Prove the battery life to me first compared to LCD and then I'll be interested in a 40,000:1 contrast ratio on my phone. Still, I'd rather have the resolution. Besides the resolution and possibly power usage of the display one other thing I don't like is the lack of a simple LED notification light. It's so basic but so important, at least for how I use my phone. If you don't need one that's up to you but that's one reason why the Fascinate and Nexus S were never on my wish list. Besides these things, questions I would have to get answers to before buying this phone based solely on Samsung's track record last year are: Will it get OS updates in a reasonable amount of time? None of the Galaxy S phones from last year did. And will the GPS work without issues? Most if not all Galaxy S phones last year had significant or major problems with the GPS. I actually don't have a dedicated GPS so I use my Droid X for that and it does an incredible job.

With so many people excited about this phone I know I must be in the minority with my thinking. I'd love to hear why you're excited about the Galaxy S II. If you have one, I'd love to know what you think of it. If you're interested in getting this phone make sure you check out the review!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Samsung Stratosphere Showing Up in the Wild

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Samsung Android Phones" @ 10:30 AM

"We've gotten a few glimpses of the Samsung Stratosphere SCH-I405 in the wild, but the handset could never seem to sit still for a clear or full-body shot. Now this Verizon-bound, LTE-capable QWERTY slider has been fully revealed."

Pocketnow has some very nice photos up of a new Verizon LTE-capable Qwerty slider: The Samsung Stratosphere. Not a bad looking option for those bound to Big V!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Samsung Vitality Comes to Cricket

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Samsung Android Phones" @ 06:30 AM

"If you remember the Samsung Admire at MetroPCS..."

Cricket users will soon have another Android option to choose from! It's always amazing to me how even the value MVNOs get in on the act with Android phones! Sadly I doubt we'll ever see an MVNO score the iPhone!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

T-Mobile to Release Samsung Hercules as Galaxy S II Next Month

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:30 AM

"As the rumored U.S. launch in September approaches, we keep seeing more and more rumors about the U.S. versions of Samsung’s best selling phone. We have previously reported on a supposed version from AT&T. We also discussed that one analyst believes Verizon will get the super phone first. Now, it looks like T-Mobile’s version of the Galaxy S II has posed for some photos."

If you've been waiting for the Galaxy S II it looks like next month you may be able to get it from T-Mobile. It's interesting that there may be differences in the CPU/GPU and display type depending on the country. It looks like the US may be getting the Tegra 2 version with a Super Clear LCD. Some countries will get a Samsung CPU/GPU with a Super AMOLED Plus display. The Tegra 2 version could have the Super AMOLED Plus display as well. Check out the Wikipedia article for more info. Either way it sounds like a great 1.2GHz dual-core CPU/GPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a MicroSDHC card slot and an 8MP rear camera that can record up to 1080p video. It's also apparently the thinnest start phone other than some NEC model only available in Japan. Would the fact that it only has a 480x800 display be a deal breaker for you? Would Samsung's past track record of slow OS update releases scare you away? Let us know your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Will a Google-Motorola Merger be a Disaster?

Posted by Jake Ludington in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 PM

Integrating the software engineering culture of Google with the hardware manufacturing business of Motorola Mobility will certainly face some challenges, but will it go down in history as one of the biggest merger disasters of all time? Henry Blodget seems to think so when he says, "But if Larry plans to keep Motorola and operate it as a stand-alone business, as Google said on the conference call yesterday, look out. This deal could easily end up in the same Hall of Shame that enshrines AOL Time Warner and many more of the worst mergers in history."

Patents may be the only part of this deal Google cares about. If it's about patents, there's really nothing interesting to talk about and a disaster is highly unlikely.

From an Android OS perspective, Google owning Motorola won't change much. While Google may insist on a more specific Android experience on Motorola hardware, it still needs HTC and Samsung to make sexy devices or the market for Android phones won't grow. Maybe Google will subsidize Xoom sales to grow the Android tablet market. The biggest problem facing every Android tablet I've tried so far is that it feels unfinished, which is partly due to the fragmentation. Having Google dictate a software release schedule for a set of tablets would push the other tablet makers to keep pace with adding Android features. I'm guessing here, but none of that sounds like a disaster.

The Motorola set-top box business looks like a bigger opportunity than phones. Google hired away some of the people who built Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV product back while I was consulting for Microsoft IPTV. If Google can provide a mature enough TV experience with in-house set-top boxes, they may be able to steal some business from Microsoft, assuming Google has patience for the lengthy sales cycle. The cable companies all buy either Motorola or Tatung set-top boxes, so Google has a great in to offer their own complementary software. Or maybe we need to imagine an Adwords business that offers more direct television ad buying where Google cuts the cable providers in for a slice of the action. Again, nothing that sounds like disaster.

Blodget may be right that the Motorola culture won't mix with Google. But if Google isn't trying to mix culture, there is opportunity for Google software business units to work directly with Motorola hardware business units. What do you think? Will buying Motorola break Google?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S II: The Blueprint For Awesome

Posted by Jason Lee in "Samsung Android Phones" @ 03:00 PM

"At this point, Android phones are officially being created faster than human babies. Samsung's Galaxy phones have been the blueprint for the last year, literally. The Galaxy S II is the new blueprint-and it's a very nice one."

The more I hear about this phone the more I want one. And yet there are little things like NFC and Ice Cream Sandwich right around the corner... What is a fella to do? Probably just sit, wait and grumble. I'll agree though, the Galaxy S II has raised the bar for all Android devices for at least the next six months. I can't wait to see what we get this fall. How about you guys? Excited?

P.S. Touchwiz sucks

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Updated Galaxy Tab 10.1 Reviewed; Includes Honeycomb

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

"When it released the original Galaxy Tab last year, Samsung became one of the first mainstream hardware vendors to deliver an Android tablet. With its new Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung kept the Galaxy Tab name and branding, but the new device has little else in common with its predecessor. Don't let the "10.1" fool you-this is all new."

The Galaxy Tab has proven itself to be one heck of a product! But it get's even better with the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 which includes Honeycomb! Check out this comprehensive review of the new Tab and let us know if you will be purchasing it!

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