Monthly Archives: July 2013

Samsung Galaxy S2 Android 4.2 Update May Never Arrive

The news has been dominated recently concerning the updating of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 to a later version of the Android OS, but there may be some disappointment on the way for owners of the Samsung Galaxy S2 as reports are suggesting the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update might never arrive.

Back in March it seemed that the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2 could look forward to at least one more Android update in the form of 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which is after the device got updates taking it from 2.3 Gingerbread to the 4.1.2 Jelly Bean the handset is currently running.

Now though things are not looking so rosy as reports are suggesting that problems with the Samsung TouchWiz Android skin has allegedly led to Samsung scrapping plans to update the Galaxy S2 anymore, so the device will be left on Android 4.1.2.

The cause is being put down to what is being called “adjustment problems in the TouchWiz interface”, but it has to be remembered that the Samsung Galaxy S2 was first released at the beginning of 2011, so the handset is over two years old and it has already seen two major upgrades to its operating system.

Also the update from Android 4.1.2 to 4.2.2 isn’t an overlay large update and things such as the Google Keyboard can now be installed via Google Play as a standalone app. It is claimed though that the later Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus will still be getting the later firmware but this could mean that the original Galaxy Note will also be sticking to Android 4.1.2.

Are you surprised at this news or do you think it can be expected given the age of the Galaxy S2?


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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy Beam i8530 Review


* Projector works really well in darker rooms
* Supplied with two batteries
* Reasonably attractive design


* Very expensive given the spec
* Screen and camera could be better
* Runs an older version of Android

Key Features: 1Ghz Dual Core CPU; 768MB of Ram; 8GB of onboard memory; 5MP camera.

Samsung Galaxy Beam i8530

Samsung may be locked in various legal battles around the world about whether or not it copied design elements from Apple’s products, but there’s no doubting that Samsung has produced some innovative products this year, including the Note 2 and the Galaxy Beam that we’re looking at here. The Beam is essentially an Android smartphone with a projector built-in so you can beam photos and video from the phone onto your wall. However, this innovation does come at a price, as the Beam is quite an expensive phone, costing £419.95 on Pay As You Go from the Carphone Warehouse. You can get it for free on a monthly contract, but the contract payments are quite hefty at £31 a month.

As you’d expect the Beam is a bit chunkier than your average smartphone. In fact it’s about one and a half times as deep as a normal phone. That’s not too bad considering that it doe shave a mini projector onboard, and while it feels chunky in your hand, it’s far from being unmanageable.

Peek at it from the front and it looks pretty much like any other Samsung Galaxy handset. The face of the phone is finished in glossy black, with a thin, chrome plated ear-piece grill above the screen and a rectangular home button at the bottom that’s also finished in chrome. This sits between touch buttons for the menu and back buttons.

Samsung has added a pretty bold looking, but not unattractive, yellow band around the outer edge of the handset, while the back is rubberised to make it nice and grippy. As the lens for the projector has been integrated into the top of the phone, the headphone jack has been shifty to the right hand edge. It’s actually a bit awkwardly placed as it’s easy to snag the headphone connector when you’re taking the phone in an out of your pocket.

Beneath the headphone jack sits the volume rocker switch and below this you’ll find a plastic flap that covers the Sim card slot. On the other edge you’ll find the microSD card slot hidden behind another plastic flap. This takes cards of up to 32GB in size, allowing you to supplement the 8GB of onboard memory. The right hand edge is also home to the power button/lock switch as well as a dedicated button for turning on and off the projector.

As it’s the projector that makes all the difference on this phone, let’s start there. The beamer is integrated into the top of the phone and you turn it on and off via a dedicated button on the right hand edge or by launching the projector app. The latter lets you adjust the focus using a simple slider, rotate the orientation of the projected image and adjust the brightness through three steps – low, medium and high.


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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is an unusual beast. In some ways it seems like a great idea, smartphone cameras have always paled in comparison to their compact counterparts, so why not stick a compact quality snapper on a phone, rather than forcing photo fans to lug both around?

Of course on the other hand sticking a massive lens on the back of a smartphone isn’t the most ergonomic of design decisions.

Samsung has also muddied the waters a little as the S4 Zoom has very little in common with the Galaxy S4 and rather more in common with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, albeit it with a camera stuck to the back.

Likewise that camera isn’t a high end compact – it certainly can’t compete with something like the Fuji X20 for example – but because the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is both a phone and a camera it commands a premium price tag of roughly £440 (around $660, AU$720) SIM free, despite not being a premium example of either.

That said it’s far from bad. Its 1.5GHz dual-core processor ensures that it’s reasonably snappy, though some way short of the 1.9GHz quad-core Galaxy S4 and a little worse off than the 1.7GHz dual-core Galaxy S4 Mini. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom also has 1.5GB of RAM- which is a match for the S4 Mini.

There’s a disappointingly small 8GB of built in storage, but there’s also a micro SD card slot, so you can boost that by up to 64GB more if you invest in a card.

At first sight the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a rather off-putting device as it looks more camera than phone. It’s hard to imagine using it to text or browse the net, let alone putting it up to your ear to use for calls. But in reality it’s not actually too bad.

Yes you might get a few stares when you start talking into what looks for all the world like a camera, but it’s not uncomfortable to hold either in landscape or portrait as your fingers can comfortably wrap around the camera lens and the protruding edge at the other side, so it’s no more awkward to use than any other phone.

Carrying it around in your pocket is slightly more of a problem, as thanks to the camera lens on the back it’s pretty bulky, coming in at 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4mm.

The length and width aren’t much greater than the similarly specced Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, but the Mini is only 8.9mm thick. If you’ve got big pockets it’s not a problem, but skinny jeans might be a no-go.

Similarly the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is quite weighty at 208g (around 7oz). That’s nearly double the weight of the Galaxy S4 Mini and quite a bit more than even the monstrous Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – which comes in at 183g.

It’s a noticeable weight too and not totally balanced as the side of the phone with the camera lens is disproportionately heavy, though not by much as the other side holds the battery. It’s not uncomfortable and nor is it heavy enough to weigh you down, but it is more than we’ve come to expect smartphones to weigh.

Aside from the fact that the Galaxy S4 Zoom doesn’t look much like a phone it’s a reasonably good looking device. The back of the phone is mostly glossy white plastic, with a large metallic 16 megapixel camera lens at one side featuring 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilisation. It can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps.

There’s a protruding edge at the other side adorned with Samsung’s logo and jutting out as it does gives you something to grip, making it easy to get a firm hold of the handset. Between the lens and the edge there’s the Xenon flash, while at the far side of the lens there’s a speaker.

One issue with having the raised lens and grip on the back is that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is slightly unstable when screen up on a surface.

It’s not going to go anywhere but it does sit at an angle and will rock up and down if you try and use it. On the plus side that sloped angle does give you a better view of the screen than if it were totally horizontal.

The front of the phone looks an awful lot like the front of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. It has a 4.3 inch 540 x 960 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 256 pixels per inch, which is identical to the display on the S4 Mini. Unfortunately it’s also not all that impressive, coming in at a sub full-HD resolution.

The screen is encircled by a white border. Above the screen there’s a Samsung logo, while above that you’ll find the earpiece alongside a proximity and light sensor and the 1.9MP front facing camera.

Below the screen there’s a home button as well as a soft touch, light up button at either side of it- menu to the left and back to the right, but these can only be seen or used when the screen is on.

The top of the handset (when held in portrait) has a 3.5mm headphone port at the right, a tiny microphone near the middle and an infrared port to the left.

There’s also a metallic rim that runs around the edge of the handset, making each edge half metallic and half glossy white plastic. It’s a nice contrast and gives the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom a premium look.

The bottom edge has a micro USB port in the centre – used for charging the phone or connecting it to a computer. It also has another little microphone to the right.

You can also peel away a cover on the bottom edge to reveal the 2330mAh battery, which is removable, and the micro SIM card slot. It’s a neat and discreet location for both of those things, as it negates the need to remove the whole back cover while still making the battery accessible. The cover is easy to open too, but feels securely locked in place when closed.

The left edge of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom features a little plastic cover at the bottom edge, which can be opened to reveal a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 64GB. That’s something which is much needed given the paltry 8GB of built in storage.

The right edge of the handset features a dedicated camera button at the bottom. Having a dedicated camera button is no surprise given how much of a focus the camera is on this handset but it’s still much appreciated given that most Android handsets don’t have one.

It’s in the optimal position too, as it’s where you’d expect to find one on a camera and doesn’t get in the way of either the screen or the lens when in use.

There’s a volume rocker near the middle and a power button- which also sleeps and wakes the handset, near the top. These buttons are all done up in the same silvery metallic style as the rim that runs around the phone, leaving them looking high quality.

All in all it’s a well built, solid handset that isn’t as awkward or uncomfortable to use as we’d expected. We’d go so far as to say that it actually looks pretty good – though we’d still take a conventional smartphone design over it from an aesthetic perspective.

By smartphone standards the camera is in a whole other league, but it still can’t match up to most decent compacts and the other specs aren’t much to write home about either, leaving the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom slightly compromised for a device with a £440 (around $660, AU$720) price tag.


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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Review

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is closest of the S4 family of devices to the original model. It offers similar points on the spec sheet when it comes to the display size, the hardware that powers it, and the overall experience that it offers: the same can’t be said of the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini or the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, which are distinctly different.

The SGS4 Active also joins a growing collection of devices offering protection from the elements. Moving away from the “rugged” phone, with chunky rubberised coatings and industrial looks, the latest wave is very much “life proof” as per the expression coined by Motorola with the launch of the Defy, giving you a device that’s still slim, but happy with a splash of water.

The SGS4 Active now goes up against phones like the Sony Xperia Z at the top end, but we feel that the Active is a little more sporty when compared to Sony’s slick design.

* Design

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active sticks to Samsung’s preferred plastics and unlike the Sony Xperia Z approach, you get a removable back cover. While the prospect of a sealed unit might appeal more when it comes to keeping water and dust out, that means that the SGS4 Active brings you the advantage of being able to change the battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is solidly built despite the plastic construction; it looks and feels like a great device in the hand. It measures 139.7 x 71.3 x 9.1mm and weighs 153g, which is towards the top end, but given the waterproofing, the 5-inch display and everything else, it’s not too bad.

There’s a slight throwback to yesteryear with the inclusion of three physical buttons on the front for navigation, with Samsung dropping the normal menu and back capacitive touch buttons for something that will work better in all conditions.

Flip the GSG4 Active over and you have a real nod to protected design, with rubberised ends secured with exposed bolts. Pull the back off and you’ll see how Samsung protects some of the components thanks to an “O” ring around the inside of the cover. Of course this depends on having it properly in place, so after pulling the rear off the phone, it’s important to make sure it’s clicked in place all over, and that includes around the LED flash, to make sure it’s properly seated at the top.

There’s an additional flap on the bottom of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active that protects the Micro-USB charging port. Unlike the Sony Xperia Z however, the 3.5mm headphone socket is waterproofed, so you don’t need a flap to cover it. That’s again a practical move, so pairing the phone with water-resistant sports headphones, means you can head out running in the rain without fear, and without the fuss of additional flaps.

The back of the phone is perhaps a little slippery considering you might be using it with wet hands: we’d prefer something a bit more tactile, but overall, the SGS4 Active is a nicely designed and built device.

* The hardware performance

One of the big selling points of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is that it’s powerful. There’s a 1.9GHz quad-core CPU packed into it, along with 2GB of RAM. That matches the regular Samsung Galaxy S4, with plenty of power for typical tasks. It also means that despite being a tough nut, this phone will keep up with the best out there – well, almost.

There are some points where things feel a little slower than they perhaps should, although it seems to us that this is down to software rather than hardware. Opening a folder on the home page, for example, is nicely animated, but seems rather languid. Tapping the home button is the same, it seems to take its time deliberately, rather than snapping to task.

The same applies to galleries, as there just seems to be too much of a delay at times, despite there being plenty of power on offer. But this seems to be limited to these highlighted areas. Fire up your favourite apps and you’ll find the experience is first class as you’d expect from a device at this level. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active can get rather hot when you get it going. There’s a noticeable warming around the back of the handset, just beneath the camera. At least you can dunk it in bowl of water to cool it down…

As we mentioned previously, with a removable back, you can use a microSD card to expand the internal storage over the 16GB of internal memory. Of that 16GB, only about 11GB is available to the user. Once this is expanded by 64GB it’s not such a problem, but we’re sure there will be those calling for a 32GB version, especially those who make use of large games, which can take up as much as 1GB.

* Display

One of the highlights of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is the 5-inch display. It’s an impressive size and resolution, giving you 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is a sharp 440ppi. It also sees a move from AMOLED to TFT LCD, which might make the colours a little more natural and less saturated, and it’s perhaps a little more power hungry.

The display itself is good. Samsung uses a lot of colour in its user interface, which helps to emphasise the vibrancy of things, even if things aren’t as visually engaging as they are on the SGS4. It’s capable of nice clean whites, perhaps a little on the cool blue side, and the blacks aren’t as inky as those from the AMOLED display. Viewing angles are great and, as we we’ve said, it’s capable of plenty of detail.

It’s a nice bright display, although the power-saving mode can make the automatic brightness a little irregular: sometimes you’ll wake up the phone and you can barely see it, others, it’s no problem at all. You can easily tweak the auto-brightness levels if you feel you need to nudge it up a notch, but we have found ourselves constantly tinkering with the brightness as we’ve been using the phone.

The display offers ultra sensitivity, meaning that you can use it with gloves. That’s great for cold winter mornings, but throw on a pair of ski gloves and it’s still nigh on impossible to control. One thing to bear in mind is that the touch display doesn’t work when it’s underwater. It will sort of work when wet, but water on the display can confuse it. If you’re checking Google Maps during a downpour then you’ll be fine, but if it’s soaked, you’ll need to give it a wipe.

So, although there is a change in display technology for this device, we can’t say it’s hugely detrimental: it’s still a great 5-inch display.

* Software and media

We’ll not spend too long on the software, as, in many cases, it’s the same experience as the original Samsung Galaxy S4 when it comes to features. However, if you’re not familiar with Samsung’s skin over Android, we’ll cover the main points here, as well as look at the handling of media and entertainment.

TouchWiz sits over Android 4.2.2 on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. That’s the latest version of Android (at the time of writing) although Samsung’s phones are now the furthest removed from the pure Android experience, with the likes of Sony and HTC now rolling closer to the raw Google experience.

Everything has been tweaked, menus rearranged, control options added that mean it’s possible to make this device your own in many ways. Some, we have to say, could be deemed superfluous: we love the flexibility, but sometimes too much choice can be baffling. Still, it’s safe to leave things be in many cases, and we suspect the vast majority of Samsung owners do just that.

There’s a selection of innovative features, including an array of gesture controls, options to scroll the device when you’re looking at it and so on, but in general, we don’t find that they really add to the experience. The swipe of a thumb is incredibly natural, and in many cases, Samsung’s energies feel like they could be slightly misplaced: we’d rather have the folders snap open than be able to use many of the Smart Screen functions.

But there’s a lot to like about Samsung’s phones and the user interface is engaging, there’s plenty of explanation, warnings about what you’re doing and so on. We also like things like S Health: it’s a convenient suite of health monitoring features and although you could use any of a number of apps, we like the visual design that Samsung has applied.

Samsung’s keyboard makes great use of the display size, giving you numbers and letters easily, although we quickly found that it wasn’t as adept as some of the third-party keyboards you can download, and we’d still recommend SwiftKey as a great choice.

In some places, there’s a throwback to the skeuomorphic design that companies, like Apple, have said they are moving away from. Take the calendar, for example. It’s incredibly cluttered, with detailing that’s simply unnecessary. Fortunately, the stock Jelly Bean calendar is just a free download away.

When it comes to the handling of things like video, music and photos, there are plenty of options and great sharing through AllShare. We like the design of the Gallery visually, but we found it rather slow to open, and slow when it came to attaching images to messages and so on. The result was that on many occasions we cancelled the action and started again, thinking that the phone had crashed. If you’ve got a large capacity card, make sure it’s the fastest you can get to make sure that’s not contibuting to any sluggishness in the gallery. It’s worth noting though, that the more images you amass, the slower the gallery gets which is bad.

On the music front, we’re impressed by how good the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active sounds. With a decent set of headphones attached, the music performance is great. The external speaker supplies plenty of volume, but lacks the excellent performance of the BoomSound speakers of the HTC One.

Video is a strength of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. It plays smoothly and looks fantastic on the 5-inch display, you get those clever options like the pop-out player and the USB supports MHL if you want to feed it into your TV’s HDMI. We also like the live previews in the video hub, so you have an idea of what it contains.

Overall, we feel that there’s a lot in TouchWiz that’s superfluous, features that simply won’t get used. Visually, it perhaps now lacks the sophistication of HTC’s Sense 5, while it suffers the same problems as Sony in wanting to offer you different routes to content you could just as easily source from Google Play. But there’s no lack of innovation from Samsung and crucially, it’s easy enough to get to what you want and ignore, or turn off, everything else.

* Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active sees a drop in megapixels from the regular S4, with an 8-megapixel camera on the rear and a 2-megapixel camera on the front. Aside from the obvious waterproofing, it’s in the camera that Samsung has made a few tweaks to accommodate your active lifestyle. As such, there’s an “aqua” mode thrown into the mix that is designed to make the most of your shots underwater. This will allow for the natural change of colours underwater, but be careful not to use it out of water, as everything will look wrong.

Engaging aqua mode also lets you select your control option. Obviously the touch buttons then don’t work, so you can assign capture to the volume controls, with a choice of stills or video. That makes it really easy to get shots in water, as you just hit the volume button. We used the SGS4 Active underwater with no problems, capture was easy and the phone survived. We’re going to try and find something more interesting to shoot and bring you more on this when we get the chance. It’s worth noting that the IP67 rating refers to 1m depth, so don’t go diving with the phone, as it won’t survive.

Aside from aqua, there are plenty of other shooting modes, covering things like beauty shot, continuous shooting, sound and shot. There’s lots of fun to be had, as well as a range of filters you can apply. In regular auto shooting, which we suspect will be how most people use the phone, the Samsung produces average results. The autofocus isn’t as fast as you get from rivals like the HTC One, but it also supports touch focusing, which works well. Colours could perhaps be a little richer, but overall we’re happy with the results.

One gripe is that the camera shutter sound can’t be switched off on its own, although you can stop it by putting the phone in silent. With your notifications set at a level you can hear them in a busy street, the shutter sound is so loud it’s offensive, while also making the back casing vibrate. The low light performance isn’t so good, with shots being blighted by plenty of noise, but that’s typical of smartphones so isn’t a surprise.

When it comes to video, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active produces nice Full HD video. You can pause while recording which we always like as it means you can move around to make a video more interesting. The continuous autofocus is average, perhaps a little slow when you deliberately switch focus, but you can always touch to refocus, which it nice and smooth, without the seeking that blights some video focusing systems. Audio capture will be affected by wind noise, but there’s nothing unusual about that.

* Battery and calling

Sitting under the hood is a large 2600mAh battery. With a large display you’ll need this battery to stand the chance of making it though the day. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active almost makes it, but we found that by mid-afternoon, the levels were looking a little low and in desperate need of a top-up, but that’s with very little regard for preserving battery, so it can be eked out for longer. At least you can carry a spare if you’re looking at a day at the beach, taking photos, pinging them to Facebook, listening to music and so on.

We found the call quality to be reasonable on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. There is noise cancellation in place – which can be switched off – and callers reported no problems. However, the ear speaker isn’t as rich and clear as some.



Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Samsung


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Review: Samsung Galaxy S II Plus

* Design

Samsung Galaxy S II is simply the best Smartphone available with such great features and performance in its category. The Galaxy S II Plus has 4.3 inch HD Super AMOLED display which is almost same in size with its competitor. The screen resolution is bit dimmer too. The body of the device is glossy but strong. The handsets dimensions 125.30mm x 66.10mm x 8.49mm in height, width and depth. Samsung has followed its traditional controlling looks. The combo of three button below the screen with menu and back capacitive keys on either side of physical home key. Above the screen it holds front facing 2 megapixels camera and sensors with earpiece in the middle. On the top it holds a 3.5 mm headphone jack with microphone on its side which helps in active noise cancellation. At the bottom it holds micro USB port for charging and data transferring and mouthpiece. On its right depth it has a power key and the volume controls are placed on its left depth. Sadly, it lacks with a dedicated camera key. At the back, it holds an 8 megapixels camera with LED flash on a metal plate surface and the speaker grill is placed almost at its bottom. The phone is a perfect fit in hand and will grab attention.

* Interface/OS

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system that works best for the device and is user friendly too. Also, its latest TouchWiz launcher nature UX is good in functioning and easy to personalize. The device comes with Dual Core 1.2 GHz Broadcom VideoCore IV processor and 1 GB RAM. It assures fast browsing experience and smoother multitasking.

* Features

S Beam, S Voice, NFC, All Share Play, Group Cast, pop up video, smart key, direct call, etc is a long list of strong features embedded in GS II Plus. All the features are impressive and simple apart from All Share Play and Group Cast which is complicated and tough to set up and use. S beam is built on Android Beam for JB (Jelly Bean) platform. Through S Beam, Sharing Videos, Documents and large photo files with the help of NFC and Wi-Fi Direct becomes simpler and easier as it works flawless. S Voice, another great innovation is Samsung’s reply to “Apple Siri” that came with the launch of Galaxy S III. To launch S voice you need to say Hello Galaxy near to the mouth piece or either by double pressing the home key. S Voice is smart enough to send e-mails, text messages, take images, video shoot, answer call, searching web, voice dial, even launching smart apps and much more. But the drawback is that it consumes battery fast and takes flaws at times. All Share play and Group cast are features that help in multimedia sharing using DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct protocols. Another efficient GS II Plus setting is SmartStay, which scans your pupils from the front-facing camera and if it observes that you are looking on the screen, it would not dim the screen light. This helps when you read, watch video, or study a map. Another interesting feature is direct dial that lets you easily make a phone call by just raising the phone to your ear when you’re viewing a message from someone, a call log entry, or a contact info listing.

* Camera/Video

For this flagship phone Samsung Galaxy S II Plus has an 8 megapixel main camera with backlit sensor and LED flash and 2 megapixel front facing camera. GS II Plus has come up with couple of good features for camera like Photo Share with which, you can e-mail or text an image to the person you tag in it. It is received in the receivers Received menu. Another important feature is ShareShot in this camera mode Wi-Fi Direct automatically send photos to the person you shoot.

The Video quality is also amazing. The sound/audio comes in loud and clear, colours remain sharp and crisp. It plays back the video uninterrupted/smoothly that we shoot. And even same with the downloaded videos.

The Galaxy S II Plus has a very impressive but small feature for videos, wherein you can reduce the size of your video to a thumbnail size and you can move it out from your gallery. You can drag the thumbnail any corner around your screen and you can perform other things along. Such as: messaging, browsing web and etc. and video quality remains the same.


* Call quality

Calls made by GS II Plus were loud and clear. Even on speaker mode the sound was audible and clear. Burt in high sound places such as market or eateries the sound come soft but the quality remains good.

* Data speeds

The 3G data speed is fast and blazing. It delivers uninterrupted downloading, with no need to wait for buffering to complete and hassle free web browsing.

* Battery

The Galaxy S II Plus has a 1.2GHz dual-core Broadcom VideoCore IV processor, and it has a 1650 mAh battery, which is good, but not an ideal fit for such a big phone. However the battery life is good and even fair on 3G. But the S Voice drains the battery fast.


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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy S Advance Review

The Samsung Galaxy S Advance is a souped-up version of the Galaxy S that looks like a smaller S2 but packs a curved Super AMOLED screen. Its specs won’t blow your socks off, but they’re not bad if you’re in the market for a mid-range pay-up-front blower provided you’re happy to stomach the slightly stale Android Gingerbread.

The S Advance is a mid-range blower for people who want some Samsung Galaxy S2 magic without burning a £350+ hole in their pocket. It’s possible to nab the super-slick S2 for a cheaper monthly toll starting at around £15 than the S Advance. Unless you drive a very hard bargain down at your local phone shop, it isn’t worth your while shelling out monthly for this handset.

* Design

The first thing you’ll notice when you clap eyes on the S Advance is its screen. This 4-inch panel uses Super AMOLED tech a kind of display that Samsung is particularly fond of. The screen is bright and colourful, with hues that tend towards being over-saturated, which makes colours really pop out.

Look carefully and you’ll see the screen is slightly curved so it fits snugly against your chops. Face-hugging aside, there’s not much practical benefit to that curve, but it’s a subtle design touch that looks quite cool.

The resolution of the display isn’t particularly high, offering up 480×800 pixels (which equates to 233 pixels per inch). That pales in comparison with 720p resolution phones like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the Huawei Ascend D Quad, but those blowers sit further up the smart phone price spectrum so that’s to be expected.

Despite its relatively average resolution, the S Advance’s lightly curved pane is a pretty nice place to eyeball videos and photos offering plenty of room and making your stuff look clear and colourful. The viewing angle is also good. The screen could certainly be crisper but for the cash you’re spending it’s still pretty slick.

Elsewhere, this banana-shaped blower sports a design very similar to that of the S2. A squarish build with rounded corners is the order of the day. While at 9.69mm, the S Advance isn’t as waifishly thin as the S2 (which is 8.49mm thick), it’s still pleasingly svelte. At 120g, it’s also nice and light.

Build quality generally feels solid, thanks to the metallic trim wrapped around the sides of the phone which, coupled with the curved screen, gives the S Advance a premium look from the front. But turn it over and the rear is the weakest point of the design, clad as it is in a plasticky dark grey textured finish. The camera bulges out of one corner. It looks cheap and slightly naff.

On the front of the phone is a single physical key Samsung’s trademark capsule-shaped rectangle. This is easy to press but it does feel on the cheap side. There are also two touch keys, one either side of the home button menu and back. The symbols denoting these keys are invisible until you tap on them, at which point they light up. This can be annoying if you forget which is which as you have to tap the key to find out.

On the right edge of the phone is a physical power key, and on the left, a volume rocker. Both of these buttons feel responsive.

Unusually, Samsung has sited the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom of the phone near the micro-USB port. The latter is used for charging and ferrying photos and other files such as music and videos to and from the phone.

Crack off the plastic back of the S Advance and you’ll find a microSD card slot for expanding its 8GB of on-board storage (there’s also a less common 16GB version of the phone), a SIM slot and a removable 1,500mAh battery.

* Processor and performance

The classy face of the S Advance is probably the high point of this mid-range mobile but its hardware is still respectable. It’s powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor. There are more powerful chips out there but at this pay as you go price range, single-core chips tend to be the order of the day. You’ll be hard pressed to make your money go further (unless you can afford the pay monthly contract route).

That’s not to say the S Advance is lag free. There’s certainly some judder and inertia, especially if you’re doing more taxing stuff like multi-tasking by opening lots of windows in the web browser. Overall performance for a mid-range phone isn’t bad though.

Web browsing isn’t always lightning quick but it’s fairly fleet of foot even when you’re flicking around full-fat desktop versions of websites. Lightweight apps also download and load without huge delays. And the S Advance will snap a photo in about a second again, not too shabby.

Flicking through photos in the gallery doesn’t over-tax its engines either, and Google’s Play app store, while definitely on the juddery side, presents its digital wares without keeping you hanging around too long.

Don’t expect all apps to be super-slick though heavyweight apps will certainly have a stutter in their step and even Facebook’s app feels laggy.

In benchmark tests, the S Advance delivered a decent middle-of-the-range performance, turning in a solid score of 2,666.7ms on the SunSpider JavaScript test, which probes browser performance (lower is better here). It achieved 830 on Vellamo’s test, scoring about the same as the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.

In Antutu’s test of CPU, graphics and memory, the S Advance gained 5,091 a considerable improvement on the original Galaxy S and much better than the HTC One V’s 2,736. In Quadrant’s benchmark, the S Advance scored a solid 2,696, beating the Desire HD and One V (among others).

I also fired up GL Benchmark’s Standard Egypt test of 3D graphics. The S Advance ran this test at 39 frames per second (versus the HTC One V’s score of 32). So while the S Advance is no graphical powerhouse, it’s an above average performer. It handled Real Racing 2 without serious complaint although it did take more than half an hour to download the in-game content over Wi-Fi.

For smooth adrenaline-fuelled 3D gaming, you’ll ideally want to shell out for a more powerful phone such as the quad-core Galaxy S3.

Call quality was good I had no trouble hearing or being heard. The S Advance’s slight curve also means it’s a comfortable shape to hold against your face for long periods.

If you like pumping out music to everyone around you, the S Advance does have a front and rear speaker, but they do crackle at the top of their range.

Samsung reckons the 1,500mAh battery is good for up to 430 minutes of 3G talk time or 180 minutes of video calls (there’s a front-facing video camera). On 3G standby, the phone can manage 550 hours before requiring a charge, according to the company.

I found the battery life to be standard smart phone fare. In a streaming video test over Wi-Fi with the screen set to max brightness, I depleted 30 per cent of the battery after 2 hours of continuous playback. So if you’re using the phone moderately, you should easily get a day’s use out of it before needing to charge it.

Heavier use such as lots of video streaming, app downloads and 3D gaming will drain the battery more quickly, especially if you have the screen set to maximum brightness.

* Camera

The 5.0 mega-pixel camera is not an especially high resolution, but at this price, 5 megapixels is what you’d expect. It also has a 1.3 mega-pixel camera on the front for video chats or for snapping grainy self portraits. Having a front-facing camera isn’t always a given for this price so it’s a welcome addition.

Results from the main camera were pretty good. In strong light, the S Advance can turn out clear, colourful shots.

In lower light conditions, shots are typically softer and quickly become speckled with noise. The phone will happily serve as a basic point-and-shoot for snapping images to upload to Facebook et al.

There’s a single LED flash on the rear so you can snap photos in the dark. I found the performance of the flash inconsistent though. In quite a few test snaps it ended up washing out the subject entirely, while in others, it achieved a nice even spread of light.

The phone can capture video at a maximum resolution of 1,280×720 pixels. The quality of the test footage I captured wasn’t bad, with good levels of detail and true-to-life colours. It will certainly serve for making clips to upload to YouTube and Facebook.

* Software and Apps

The S Advance runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, not the more recent Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. You might not mind that — Gingerbread is still a widget-packed, app-crammed operating system with a lot to offer. But those thirsting for cutting-edge Android action might want to shop around, especially as Google has now unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. As mentioned earlier, HTC’s stylish One V comes loaded with ICS from day one.

As with the majority of Samsung’s Galaxy devices, the S Advance has been skinned with Samsung’s TouchWiz software. This gives you multiple home screens to swipe around and trick out with apps and widgets. Content can be added to the phone by raiding Google Play’s virtual shelves of downloadable apps, games, digital books and films.

Samsung has pre-loaded its usual line-up of software offerings on the S Advance including Social Hub, Music Hub and Game Hub, plus the Samsung Hub and Samsung Apps store. Samsung’s software is not always well designed and intuitive to use but you don’t have to use any of its apps if you don’t want to — there are plenty of alternatives up for grabs in the Play store.

One Android app you can’t currently get your mitts on as an S Advance owner is Google’s Chrome for Android browser. This is only available on versions of Android starting at Ice Cream Sandwich so it would only become available if the phone gets an ICS update.

* Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S Advance is a solid addition to the Galaxy line-up. There’s nothing about it that we haven’t seen elsewhere, and if you can afford a pay-monthly contract, you’d be better off shelling out for the more powerful Galaxy S2. But as a pay as you go/SIM-free phone, it gives you more on the hardware side than average, with a large, slick screen and a dual-core engine.

The S Advance isn’t free from lag it’ll certainly slow down if you’re taxing its engines with multi-tasking or heavyweight apps. But as a trusty all-round smart phone for people on a mid-range pay as you go budget, it shouldn’t disappoint. Provided, of course, you don’t mind making do with a version of Android that’s getting long in the tooth.


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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy Core I8260 Review


Samsung Galaxy Core, a newly launched Samsung smartphone that have all the features that a smartphone should have. This phone comes with a fast processor of 1.2GHZ DUAL CORE PROCESSOR with the combination of 1GB of RAM that made this phone much faster and reliable to run heavy applications a well as games on this smartphone. The design of this phone is like as of other samsung galaxy smartphone such as samsung galaxy s3 and samsung galaxy ace 3.  This phone comes with the latest andoid OS 4.1.2 (JELLY BEAN) that have a new GUI (Graphical User Interface) than the previous version 4.0(ICS). The phone packed with a supportage of DUAL SIM CONNECTIVITY that makes this phone closer to the user who are in the favour of dual sim phones. Samsung Galaxy Core comes with a large display of 4.3″ that is good display to play games and to run 3D applications and animations. The display technique is TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors that have no sub viewing angle and can be seen clearly from any angle.


SAMSUNG GALAXY CORE I8260 a newly launched smartphone by samsung that have all the features that a new smartphones should have. It comes ith powerful CPU 1.2GHZ DUAL CORE along with 1GB of RAM that makes this phone much reliable and fast to play heavy applications as well as 3D games. The latest version of android 4.1.2 (out of the box) makes this phone much usable and impressive than the smartphone who have 4.0 version of android, 4.1.2 (JELLY BEAN) offers a new GUI that makes the phone who contains 4.1.2 more impressive and use able than others. The phone comes with large dispay of 4.3″ that allows the users to view images and watch movies on a high resolution and sharp imaging quality. The phone packed with DUAL SIM supportage that makes this phone closer to the users who are in the favour of dual sim phones, the phone has 8GB built in memory with the supportage of microSD card up to  64GB that makes this phone much use able to store a large amount of applications as well as games no matter whether they are in phone storage or in SD storage. The phone packed with 5MP regular camera with the resolution of  2592×1944 pixels, LED flash that makes this camera much use able and impressive i low light as well and you can take images much sharp no matter, the light is low or not.


SAMSUNG GALAXY CORE comes with powerful 1.2GHZ DUAL CORE processor with the combination of 1GB RAM that makes this phone faster to run heavy 3D applications and games as well. The GPU Broadcom VideoCore 3 is designed especially for games and 3D applications and applications as well. You can run even every application on this phone without any intruption. Broadcom VideoCore 3 is not a latest display adapter but much powerful to run very application and 3D application.


SAMSUNG GALAXY CORE comes with large display of 4.3″  TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors that is the brilliant display but not so advanced due to TFT touch screen. TFT capacitive touuch screen is too advanced but good to watch movies and play games in 3D manners.


SAMSUNG GALAXY CORE comes with the 5MP camera with the resolution of  2592×1944 pixels, LED flash, autofocus. The supportage of LED flash makes this phone camera much useful in low light and in every walk of life no matter where you are. Autofocus makes the user enable to take sharp images with out any noise.


The difference between SAMSUNG GALAXY CORE and SAMSUNG GALAXY S2 PLUS is not too much but only in few hardware and chip sets. SAMSUNG GALAXY CORE consists of DUAL CORE 1.2GHZ with 1GB RAM and a high GPU as well. This combination of hardware makes this phone much faster to run even every application and game as well. This phone comes with 4.3″ of display (217ppi), that is much impressive display and sharp too. This phone packed with 8GB internal memory and a microSD card supportage up to 64GB that is enough much too store a large amount of applications, games and other business applications.

On the other hand SAMSUNG GALAXY S2 PLUS comes with DUAL CORE PROCESSOR 1.2GHZ with 1GB RAM and a GPU, the phones comes with 4.3″ SUPER AMOLED display that is the latest display technology by samsung . The comes with 8GB internal memory along with the supportage of microSD card up to 64GB.


1) DUAL SIM supportage makes this phone closer to many users.
2) CPU chip set is much powerful than the chip in Galaxy S2 PLUS


1).SUPER AMOLED display makes the display more impressive than the display of Galaxy core.
2). GPU (Broadcom VideoCore IV) much powerful than the GPU of Galaxy core.
3). 8MP camera makes the camera better to takes sharp images, 1080p video recording also makes this camera much more impressive than the camera of Galaxy core.


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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Samsung


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