Author Archives: Nathan Elcoate
Arguably one of the best Android smartphones to ever be produced, the Samsung Galaxy SIII is certainly our favourite amongst the many Androids we have owned and tried.
Rather than write just another review piece, we present to you our Top 10 Features:
Equipped with Samsung’s Quad-Core Exynos 1.4 GHz CPU, and 1GB of RAM, the Galaxy SIII is always ready to keep up with you. Paired with Samsung’s nature inspired Touchwiz UX interface the whole experience is very fluid and fast. Further proof is the 6000+ high Quadrant scores that are easily achievable with this handset. For extra performance, and if you are a little game, there are ways to overclock the handset up to a staggering 1.8Ghz.
At 8.6mm thin, and weighing in at only 133 grams, you can at times be excused for forgetting you are even holding anything, let alone one of the best phones in the world. With Samsung’s new “pebble” design, the Galaxy SIII fits anywhere, even in the tightest jeans and is really a beautiful thing to hold.
Samsung’s expertise with LED displays is very evident in the Samsung Galaxy SIII, being adorned with a gorgeous 4.8″ 1280×720 Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with a pixel density of 306ppi. The display is razor sharp and displays games, movies and pictures in wonderful clarity and dimension. The auto brightness is more than sufficient and is able to be used even in the brightest of day light.
4. Touchwiz 5 User Interface
Samsung’s overall desire with the Galaxy SIII was a “nature experience” and it is evident right through the phone. From the second you swipe the unlock screen and get a lovely watery, ripply effect; to the faint watery and natural sounds that occur with everything from messages received to switching screens, etc.. The whole experience as noted above, is very fluid and natural feeling; and for want of a better word is a very “nice” feeling. Built on top of Android 4.04 Ice Cream Sandwich the Galaxy SIII can take advantage of the latest and greatest that Android has to offer and has done so in a very complimentary fashion.
5. S Software Suite
Carrying over largely from the Galaxy Note, the built in applications S Memo and S Planner are two indespensible applications for a heavy business user of the phone. When synched with your Microsoft Exchange server you can receive in all of your appointments in real time and have them displayed in the familiar “Outlook” style grid and can choose from Daily, Weekly or Monthly patterns with the familiar “pinch and zoom” we are now used to with many software applications. Add and change appointments in real time, even drag appointments through the screens to reschedule to another day or change appointment times. Another great feature is that by adding in the email address of your next client, they will be emailed a confirmation of your meeting time, as well as any follow changes or cancellations!
One of my favourite feature of the Galaxy Note and no doubt what gave the Phablet its namesake as S Memo. Whilst the Galaxy SIII doesn’t ship with the S Pen stylus, we have found that widely available stylus’ will still work just the same with S Memo, however you can purchase an S Pen especially designed for the SIII by Samsung. Take notes in real time just by handwriting them, drop in some pics, cut and paste and take notes all over them, then save the notes, or share to your favourite application. You don’t have to handwrite though as you can simply change over to text entry. Never lose that thought again!
6. 8MP Camera with Best Shot
If Samsung’s expertise in displays is evident in this powerhouse of a phone, their skill with cameras and images in general is every bit as evident in the camera. Producing stunning photos with brilliant colour depth and clarity, the camera features a burst setting with Best Shot. This works by the camera bursting off 8 shots within a couple of seconds then automatically selecting the best picture for you, or allowing you to do that yourself. Never miss that perfect shot again because someone’s eyes were closed or didn’t have that “perfect” smile ready just yet. The camera also features a raft of options from Scene Modes, Speed, Exposure and other fun settings to make sure you never miss out on a moment of the action. Videos are shot in full 1080P for maximum clarity.
7. Accessibility Options
Whilst the large display on the Galaxy SIII comes with a very well sized font set, there will be times that we need to increase font size or enlarge an image. In most applications such as web sites or the like, simply swiping out horizontally on the screen will enlarge the font and pics to suit your needs, however for text messages and other items in general, there is an option to set the Font size under Display settings and further again under the Messaging options simply enable “Use Volume Key” to change text sizes with the volume rocker. Don’t like the way messages are displayed? These can be changed as well with everything from the background, to the message or conversation bubbles having many options to increase contrast, colour or readability to suit the user.
Samsung have built some very smart features into the Galaxy SIII, such as “Palm touch to mute/pause” which simply does what it says, by covering the screen with the palm of your hand, whilst media is playing with the screen on, perfect if you don’t want to be interrupted or un-naturally grab for your phones volume or power button! Also Tilt To Zoom you can zoom in our out on the screen simply by tilting the phone; Turn Over To Mute is handy during a meeting if you don’t want to be interrupted and my favourite Palm Swipe, just swipe your hand over the screen from left to right to take a screen capture! By the use of another feature “Smart Stay”, the Galaxy SIII is even able to detect when your eyes are no longer on the screen (if you’ve fallen asleep through a movie for example) and switch itself off! Now that’s clever Samsung.
9. S Beam
S Beam works by transferring data such as pictures, music or videos between two Galaxy SIII’s just by gentling tapping the backs of the two phones together. This is faster and easier than email, dropbox or Bluetooth and is a direct transfer of information between the two devices.
10. All Share
DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is a standard for home media sharing the all major media and home entertainment makers abide by to ensure device compatibility. The Galaxy SIII is very well equipped with DLNA functionality, picking up all of your home media servers and DLNA devices to share media to and from. Allshare works by allowing to you to send your videos, music or pictures out to your DLNA compatible large screen TV for example. At home, my Sony Bravia 55HX820, LG 47LM8600, LG BD660, Xbox 360 and PC’s, laptops and tablets are all able to receive data from my Galaxy SIII with the touch of a button. This is particularly handy if we have just taken a funny video and wish to share it with everyone on the big screen. By the inclusion of the just announced Sugarsync partership, Samsung are about to expand on Allshare’s capabilities, to be able to beam out to litterally any Allshare device around the globe! Samsung are also building Smartshare and Sugarsync into all new TV’s and Bluray players to even further enhance the experience.
Whilst there are just too many features to list them all (such as S Voice, NFC, Pop Up Play and more), we have tried to capture our Top 10 Features of the Galaxy SIII from a real life users’s perspective.
Everyone has different tastes and these are the features that after some two months of every day use, really catch us as outstanding.
I was just this morning asked to comment on what I like so much about the Galaxy SIII from a prospecitve buyer, my reply was “Light, fast, powerful, beautiful screen, excellent battery life and zero lag”.
That about sums it up. Let me know what your favourite features are below.
It all started with a Tweet. “Locked and loaded, ready to play: we’ve started shippinh Nexus 7 pre orders today”.
One line which will start so much furious checking of emails, credit cards and most importantly, mail boxes!
The Google Nexus 7 Tablet was announced at Google I/O 2012 and is a 7″ Tegra 3 Tablet produced in partnership with Asus.
The pre ordered tablets should be showing up any time soon though as looking on Google’s shipping page reads:
“All packages will arrive via FedEx within 3 – 5 business days of your order. Once your order has been shipped, you will receive an email notification with a FedEx tracking number. Your estimated time of delivery will be determined at the point that your order has been processed and shipped. It may take 24 hours for the FedEx package tracking to return any information for your tracking number.
If you have not received a package tracking number after 2 business days have passed, please contact our support team.”
Have you pre ordered your Google Nexus 7? Let us know below once it arrives!
Get off your phone and be sociable! How many times have you heard that before?
Well how does a little game of Android Laser Tag grab you? Well now you can get off the couch and into an action packed game of lasertag with your mates, all powered by your favourite Android, or other smartphone.
What a classic match of Android Vs Apple!
Powered by most popular smartphones including Android, the Smartphone Laser Tag (AppTag) system from HEX3 works by securely strapping your phone into the laser gun where it connects via a high frequency sound (not Wifi or Bluetooth so it’s very adaptable). No microphone or speakers are required either as the HEX3 system uses your mobile phone for those tasks, although a headset might be warranted for addition volume or for a more stealthy approach.
All the action then takes place in and around you and on your mobile phone screen. There are various levels to choose from, and single and multi-player modes; you can even pick up ammo and health packs around the place!
So what are you waiting for? Get off the couch and get sociable now!
We’ve all been there right? You’re in the middle of a Uni Tute or Client Meeting and you can feel your phone vibrating away in your pocket, you’re ever so keen to have a quick look and see who rang or if that was a life changing text message that just arrived. There’s nothing worse and you can’t wait to get out to a break and check in with the World.
Well now thanks to Sony, you don’t have to wait. Just casually glance down at your wrist and in James Bond style, read your messages or view your missed calls live from your phone screen. Yes really.
Wearable technology has been creeping in to our lives for some time now, but getting the mix right has always been a bit tricky for the hardware makers and fashion houses to get right.
The Sony Smartwatch is discreet enough that it might just work. For one, you won’t have that Secret Agent look of the 90′s wearing your Bluetooth headset flashing away in the local night spot for one. Although recharging might be a challenge, you might look a little odd having a micro USB cable going from your wrist to a wall socket or PC hub! Just saying.
Available right now from Kogan in black for the great price of only $129.
Many features are available right out of the box, however Sony advise the Smartwatch is customisable with a range of Apps from the Play Store.
One thing is certain, Samsung are the World’s #1 Phone Maker for a reason. Constantly innovating and keeping the market exciting and alive with a constant array of updated models is just what we love and need.
We just received word from MK News in Korea that the Note II (successor to the popular 5.3″ Note), is due to be released by the Korean company at IFA 2012.
Some details have also been announced by a Samsung official, mentioning a 5.5″ screen, Quad Core cpu (Exynos we would assume), a 12MP camera and Jelly Bean as standard.
Unfortunately the Note II will not ship with the UPB Unbreakable Plane Display as rumoured, with Samsung advising this has been reserved for a future unspecified model.
None the less, it appears Samsung are well on track for an October release with Note II, just in time to match Apple blow for blow with the iPhone 5.
Have you owned a Galaxy Note? How excited would you be for Note II? I know I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
This certainly isn’t Android related, however we had the opportunity to spend some time with one of LG’s new for 2012 LED TV’s, the 47LM8600. Here’s our rundown.
It is clear right from the unboxing, that LG have put a lot of effort into the 2012 range of LED TV’s.
From the moment you reach inside the box and feel the panel, it’s a solid feeling of quality. No plastics in sight, this is a solidly built and engineered Television. Wrapped in thick glass and brushed aluminium, it actually feels like one solid piece of billet alloy straight from the lathe, a highly polished and lovingly manufactured one at that.
You just know that before any power even touches it, that this is going to be great! And the pleasure from LG only grows once you have the 47LM8600 up on your entertainment unit, plugged in and powered on.
Following a simple setup procedure, the LG setup wizard easily finds all of your networks, shared media sources, TV and digital radio stations. In under 5 minutes, LG have you up and going. From there, the sky really is the limit for your entertainment needs. Really.
The first thing you notice is the impeccable picture quality. Bright, sharp and solid; the colours seem to leap out and grab you. It really is an immersive experience. And that’s only in 2D, to get the best out of the 47LM8600, head straight into the Apps, using your Magic Remote.
There you will find pages and pages of Apps with everything from Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, to Red Bull TV, Cnet TV and a plethora of media outlets based on your location. For example I quite enjoyed reading the Sydney Morning Herald straight from my TV screen! Want to catch up on the Social Goss but also don’t want to miss a minute of Home and Away? Easy, just call up Facebook from your Apps and watch TV at the same time as browsing all your friends’ Facebook feeds! Ran out of time through the day to watch the latest Youtube reviews or New Releases? No problem, simply call up the Youtube App, login with your Youtube ID and sit back and watch all of your Favourites or Playlists in stunning HD.
Never miss a minute of the World around you with LG.
Whilst in the App World, we couldn’t help but to head straight into 3D World! And the whole family could enjoy 3D World, as LG very generously provide four pairs of their light and easy, Passive 3D Glasses. What are Passive 3D Glasses you might ask? Well, the first range of 3D TV’s shipped with expensive, battery powered Active Shutter 3D Glasses that were to be quite honest, a paint in the derriere! Not anymore, for around $20 a pair you can go down to your local JB Hifi and buy more. No more charging glasses up before a movie or worrying the kids will drop a $100 pair of glasses.
No more loss of colour or headaches and dizziness either.
Inside LG’s 3D World you find a range of various 3D live content from surfing to motor sports to travel shows and animations (we loved the Aquarium videos) to whet your appetite for 3D viewing on your new 47LM8600.
When paired with a 3D capable Bluray player such as the LG BD-660 we tested with, you can enjoy all of your favourite 3D titles any time you like. The TV even features the ability to convert standard 2D content to 3D and 3D settings to set various options such as depth perception and other options to really personalise your very own 3D experience.
Whether watching 2D or 3D content, catching up on Youtube or Facebook or sitting down for a night at the movies with the latest Bluray releases; one thing is for sure – with the 2012 range of LED TV’s from LG; you, your family and guests will never ever be disappointed or wanting for more. You may find though that you need to invest in some popcorn and soft drink machines, and maybe even charge an entry fee!