My Samsung Galaxy S3 Journey

On the 3rd of May 2012, I was fortunate to attend the Samsung Unpacked  event at Earls Court in London, to witness the unveiling of Samsung’s next Galaxy Device – The Galaxy S3. The successor to the immensely popular Galaxy S2, which just happened to be my favourite phone of 2011. Even after getting my hands on a Galaxy Note to keep, the S2 was still my stalwart companion. So to say the S3 had a lot to live up to, is an understatement.

The day contained a hands-on play with the new device prior to it’s official announcement later that evening, and even then I could tell this device was going to be something special. Then there was sitting on the sidelines and watching as the press conference unfolded, with the GS3’s tagline of “Designed for Humans – Inspired by Nature”, and the key address of all the new major features the latest Galaxy device had to offer. The remainder of the event I spent on one of the booths, showing off the pebble blue and marble white Galaxy S3 devices. Quite a privilege!

Fast forward to Sat 2nd June 2012, and here I was like a kid at Christmas, with my very own Galaxy S3. Would it live up to all the hype? Would it make me put my Galaxy S2 finally into retirement? Well it definitely had a hard act to follow.

Marble White Galaxy S3

In my possession stood the Marble White version of the Galaxy S3, and my first ever white mobile phone! Is white the new black? Does it make it sexier, more elegant? I’m not sure.
It definitely has a different textured feel to the Pebble Blue version of the S3 that I primarily played with at London Unpacked. The white version does not boast the hyper-glazed textured skin of the blue, it’s got a slicker and more glossy texture to it, and yet still feels right in your hand.

The S3 runs the latest version of Android – 4.0.4 or Ice Cream Sandwich as it’s more commonly known. It features a whopping 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED screen (compared with the 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus screen of the S2), which you would expect would make the phone much much larger than it actually is. Overall compared with the S2, the S3 is only 11.3mm taller in height and 4.5mm wider, so it still feels more than comfortable in your hand, and can easily be operated one handed!

Under the hood, the S3 is powered by a 1.4GHz Quad Core processor, compared with the 1.2GHz Dual Core processor of the S2. Meaning the phone barely bats an eyelid at gaming, multi-tasking, video watching, surfing the internet and everything else you use your smart phone for.

Now, you’re probably worried that the bigger screen and the more powerful core means the S3 is going to be a bit of a power guzzler, well Samsung have included a 2100mAh battery to give you that extra bit of juice, and since having the device from Saturday it’s performed as well, if not better than the S3 for normal day to day stuff like texting, surfing the internet, checking into foursquare, keeping upto date on twitter and seeing what my friends are up to on Facebook.

The front and rear camera’s on the S3 are pretty comparable to those on the S2 – with a rear 8MP with LED flash and a 1.9MP forward facing camera. The major differences you’ll notice between the two is the launch of the camera is under a second on the S3, and there is also the lack of shutter lag – you press the camera button and the image taking process is almost instantaneous. Helps when you want to capture that spur of the moment event! The camera button is once again via the screen – ( I personally would have liked a dedicated camera button on the case, but I can deal with that minor oversight)
The camera itself features the full range of settings you have come to expect from Samsung, including a few new tricks, such as a HDR mode, Burst mode, Share shot (enables you to share photo’s with other users via Wi-Fi direct) and Buddy photo share (allows you to take and share photos with friends via face detection and social media).

One of my favourite features of the S3 is called Smart Stay. The phone with the assistance of the front facing camera, monitors your eye focus, and as long as you’re looking at the screen, it will not allow the screen to turn off. Long gone is having to continually tap the screen to keep the phone awake. Handy for if you’re reading a long web article, an e-book or just simply playing a game. Of course this isn’t going to make me any better at Angry birds, but it’s a start! It also means I can set my screen timeout to 15 seconds and let Smart Stay do the rest! Ingenious!

Pop-Up-Play is also another really cool new feature of the S3. Ever found that you need to send an urgent text message or email to someone while you’re trying to watch a video on your phone? This feature allows you to shrink the video player down into a smaller window, position it anywhere you like on the screen, and continue to watch your video while you multi-task with something else – making good use of that quad core processor!

The final addition that I like on the S3 is the notification light and smart alert. The notification light will flash to alert you to missed calls, text messages, facebook posts and twitter notifications. Combine this with smart alert, which if set, will vibrate on pick up to let you know that you’re popular and someone has tried to call or text you while you’ve been busy and you’ll never miss an important event again!

All this packed into the 133g body of the S3, well you can understand why I’m a little bit smitten, right? Good news for me, not so much for the S2, which is now relegated to the side lines!

S2 - S3 - Note size comparison

 

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Samsung Mobile Challenge – Asphalt 6

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S2? Do you like racing games? Do you want to take part in a competition to win a cash prize of $65,000?

If you’ve answered YES to all 3 questions, then Samsung have just the thing for you with the Samsung Mobile Challenge

The Preliminary heat is running from the 5th to the 25th of September, so you don’t have long to post a top score!

So how do you start you may be asking yourself? Simple.

Head to the Samsung App store, and search for Asphalt 6:

Search Samsung Apps for Asphalt 6

Search Samsung Apps for Asphalt 6

Next, download this game for free while it’s still available, and install it!

Download Asphalt 6

Download Asphalt 6

Then launch the game….

Asphalt 6 loading

Asphalt 6 loading

Select the WCG 11 from the menu list..

Menu List

Menu List

Then take the car for a spin

Take the car for a spin

Take the car for a spin

All that’s left is you to reach the top of the leaderboard….

Leaderboard

Leaderboard

Good Luck! 🙂

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Samsung Galaxy Note

Samsung Galaxy Note

Samsung Galaxy Note

One of the coolest items in the Samsung Hall 20 was the Galaxy Note. Situated somewhere between a smart phone and a tablet, this 5.3″ device with it’s HD Super AMOLED screen definitely stood out from the crowd. The screen is everything you expect from the Super AMOLED technology – the display is very bright, and vivid, – packing in a whopping 285 PPI with it’s resolution of 1280×800. The viewing angles on it border on 180 degrees, meaning you can still see the screen no matter how you are looking at it!

Galaxy Note with Stylus

Galaxy Note with Stylus

I had been a little skeptical about the stylus or “S-Pen” when I first heard about it, but after having a good hands-on session, I was sold.

The screen is very responsive with the S-Pen, which makes using it, and drawing with it a dream rather than a chore. Of course, it’s not going to turn you into Picasso overnight – but it is ideal for jotting down notes, scribbles or just passing the time when you’re bored. I did experience a little bit of lag here and there, but that is to be expected as this is a very early pre-release model (the Note isn’t due for release till sometime in Q4)

The S-Pen (which is pressure sensitive) enhances the overall experience of the Note, you can use the pen to easily re-arrange your schedule in the S-Planner; grab screen shots which you can then annotate and send on to friends or colleagues. Use the S-Memo to doodle, or create something personalised, throw in a clipping from google maps to invite your friends out to some cool little café you’ve discovered off the beaten track. You can definitely do so much more with the Note, and with such ease.

Worried about losing the S-Pen? Fear not, it fits snuggly into the bottom of the device, and there will be a range of accessories available to alter it’s thickness etc to make writing and drawing with it suit your own personal preference!

My drawing on the Galaxy Note

My drawing on the Galaxy Note

So what about what is under the hood? Well the Galaxy Note is powered by a 1.4GHz dual core processor and is running the latest version of Android – Gingerbread (although I am reliably informed that it will be upgraded to Icecream Sandwich once that OS has been released). Under the thin plastic textured back you’ll find a 2,500mAh battery, your sim card holder and a micro-SD memory card slot so that you can upgrade the 16GB that comes with the phone as standard.

The Note boasts a 8MP rear facing camera with LED flash, and a 2MP front facing camera which is useful for video calling or self portraits!

You’d think something packing these specifications would be a little thicker and heavier, but the truth of the matter is, the Galaxy Note is just a fraction thicker than it’s older brother the Galaxy S2 at 9.65mm thick and weighs in at 178g. Meaning that it doesn’t feel overly large, thick or heavy in your hand – this device is still definitely a comfort to use one handed, and will fit inside your jeans pocket without a struggle.

Galaxy S2 vs Galaxy Note

Galaxy S2 vs Galaxy Note

The large screen makes the Note well suited for all kinds of media on the go, and will play pretty much anything you throw at it. If you enjoy watching movies, television, or youtube while out and about you will not be disappointed. The video is crisp, playback is fluid and enjoyable, and the display just needs to be seen for itself!

The Note is definitely one to watch out for when it’s released later on in the year.

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Samsung Unpacked press conference at the IFA, Berlin.

IFA, Berlin

IFA, Berlin

The Press Conference

The Press Conference

As a Samsung mob!ler I have been very fortunate to have been invited to attend the Samsung Electronics Unpacked event press conference. This is where they announced their upcoming products, including a range of impressive smart televisions, camera’s, laptops, and of course their new collection of mobile devices – the new Galaxy Tab 7.7″; the newest addition to their own OS Bada 2.0 with the Samsung Wave 3, and of course the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note.

Mr. Boo-Keun Yoon took us through Samsung’s vision of a smarter life, a smarter world, how Samsung were first to have a mobile phone operate from SPACE! And explained Samsung’s role in helping disadvantaged children, and of course the upcoming 2012 Olympics:

Boo-Keun Yoon - Smarter Life, Smarter World

Boo-Keun Yoon - Smarter Life, Smarter World

We were then introduced to Michael Zöller, who took us through Samsung’s smart tv range, and Malcolm Andre who showed off Samsung’s Multiview MV800 – a camera with a 3″ “Flip out” display allowing you to take photo’s from any angle; and the NX200.

Then came the moment that I was waiting for – the announcement from Mr. DJ Lee, executive Vice President, and Head of Global Sales and Marketing for Samsung Mobile, of the 3 new devices Samsung were launching at IFA!

Mr. DJ Lee - launching the Wave 3, Galaxy Tab 7.7, and the Galaxy Note

Mr. DJ Lee - launching the Wave 3, Galaxy Tab 7.7, and the Galaxy Note

The Wave 3, The Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the Galaxy Note

The Wave 3, The Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the Galaxy Note

Wave 3
Running Samsung’s own OS – Bada 2.0, the Wave 3 is bringing a 1.4GHz processor and a 4″ Super AMOLED (480×800) screen, encased in a full metal uni-body.

Galaxy Tab 7.7″
– First tablet with a Super AMOLED Plus screen
– Running Android 3.2
– Comes with an IR port, to allow you to control your home entertainment systems at home.
– Brushed metallic rear
– 3MP on the back, and a VGA camera on the front.
– 1.4GHz Dual core processor
– Supports 4G/LTE/HSPA+

Galaxy Note
Bridging the gap between the Smartphone and the Tablet is the Galaxy Note, an all-in-one device, combining video recorder, smart phone, notebook / pad, tablet, camera… in one 5.3″, 9.65mm thin, 178g package.

– Boasting a beautiful High Definition (HD) Super AMOLED screen (1280×800) with 285PPI;
– a 1.4GHz Dual-core processor;
– 8MP Autofocus rear camera with LED flash, and a 2MP front-facing camera;
– a full touch capacitive screen;
– Introducing the “S-pen” stylus with key apps such as S Memo and S Planner.
– Android Gingerbread 2.3.5, which will then be upgradeable to the next version: Ice Cream Sandwich.
– 16GB/32GB versions, with the ability to add more with upto 32GB in microSD format
– a micro USB connector, Wifi, Bluetooth 3.0

This device is something special!

For more pictures from the event, showing the Samsung Galaxy Note, Tab 7.7″ and the Wave 3 – visit HERE

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