Xiaomi: Alternative for Android Smartphones

Attributable to the 21st-century advancement in technology, there are not many folks out there who are not in possession of a smartphone. As a matter of fact, smartphones are no longer considered as a luxury item, instead, they have become a necessity to our generation just like water and oxygen. They are the first thing that we look at every morning and the last thing we have our hands on before we go to bed. As a result, the industry behind all of this technology has skyrocketed in recent years. As the demand for smartphones increases, it should come as no surprise that different brands of suppliers are contending to get ahead.

With the United States’ dominance in the global market, foreign suppliers have long been anticipated to demand entry to the circle. Many have not been able to pass the barriers to entry, in addition to minor factors. This is because the United States has maintained a strict policy in these affairs on the grounds of upholding national security interests. ZTE, one of the smartphone manufacturer that originated from China obtained the position as the third runner-up in the United States market last year. Samsung is another multinational conglomerate company that, as we all know, is a leading smartphone provider.

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal reveals a new player in the competition amidst android smartphone providers across the States. Xiaomi, another multinational firm from China, has made its way into Spain earlier on, after finding success in Southeast Asia and India.

“We’ve always been considering entering the U.S. market,” Lei Jun, the Chairman of Xiaomi, expressed in the event of China’s legislative session that takes place once a year in Beijing, China.

Conversely, Xiaomi is not new to the United States market. They have been the retailer of quality gadgets such as television set-top unit for android, cameras, speakers, headphones and so forth for some time now. Due to the exclusivity of the smartphone market, however, Xiaomi has not been able to navigate through government policies imposed by the United States.

Despite the complicated regulations and proceedings, Jun is determined to overcome these challenges. He insisted that Xiaomi, as a firm, will familiarize themselves with United States rules and regulations in the course of months. At the meantime, they will continue to enhance and upgrade their products based on customers’ demands.

Though this may sound promising, the encounter with Huawei may suggests otherwise. Prior to this, Huawei had introduced its featured smartphone, Mate 10 Pro, in the United States. They were considered as a prospective partner by the local phone service provider, AT&T. In spite of that, their plans ended unsuccessfully due to government interference.

Many people are putting down their iPhones in exchange for Android devices that allow more room for customization. As we look forward to Jun’s promising plans, the anticipation of these smartphones offered by Xiaomi will no doubt be exciting for all the Android users out there! In fact, consumers in Southeast Asia have expressed their approval online since the appearance of Xiaomi gadgets many years ago. With an addition to the competition, other smartphone providers will undoubtedly improve their products in order to keep up. As a consequent to an increased number of substitute products, the manufacturers will have to lower their cost of production in order to compete, which means that the final benefactor in the smartphone market will be the consumers who holds the purchasing power.

The two leading brands, Apple and Samsung, will experience a decrease in value. This is because with more participants in the run for a portion of the pie, their halves become smaller. Replacing the pie with market value shows the loss that Apple and Samsung will suffer from, as more companies get ahead.

Featured Image via Flickr/Jon Russell

How Will Lee’s Arrest Affect Samsung?

Since the arrest of the Samsung vice president Lee Jae-yong earlier on Friday, reports say that this may not have any initial impact on the company’s business. The arrest probably won’t affect any of Samsung’s high-profile business ventures like its smartphones or electronics business.

Lee Jae-yong’s promotion to vice president was announced earlier in 2012. In the past, he was seen as simply running the Samsung electronics business for his ill father who is Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee.

Lee Jae-young was arrested due to the charges of bribery that lead to an alleged corruption scandal. The whole fiasco, in turn, led to the impeachment of South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye.

The lack of impact that Lee’s arrest has on the company could be due to the fact that he isn’t really considered the face of the Samsung brand. Lee also is not part of any of the company’s daily activities. Therefore, his arrest has no short-term effect on Samsung.

Yet long-term effects are a whole different story. Lee’s arrest could pose difficulties on the company’s operations. There is also a possibility that this will affect the management plans for the company’s future.

This scandal comes not too long after Samsung had to do damage control for its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The phones suffered overheating, and there were even some reports of the devices exploding. The whole fiasco lead to a recall of more than 3 million Galaxy Note 7’s, which cost the company $5 billion in lost profits. Yet even when the phones were replaced, the replacement had to be recalled because they too showed the same problems as the originals. When questioned about the issue Samsung said the blame was with battery suppliers and their faulty batteries.

For its third quarter report, Samsung says that the revenue of if its IT and Mobile Communications department was down by almost 15 percent to 22.5 trillion Korean won (US$ 19.8 billion). There was also a drop-in operation profit for both divisions. Both dropped by 95 percent to 100 billion won which can only be the cause of the Note 7 recall.

Samsung Vice Chairman Has Been Suspected of Bribery

Special prosecutors are in the course of investigating Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung, on suspicions of bribery. Lee reports in Thursday morning for questioning. The scandal involving Samsung’s third generation heir hasn’t reached the end of the rabbit hole just yet.

The accusation of corruption that Samsung is under investigation for resulted in the impeachment of South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye. The special prosecutors also wanted Lee reported for lying under oath.

The special prosecutors team came about after there has been accusations of corruption involving many of South Korea’s large businesses and President Park Geun-hye. The main goal of the prosecution is to find out if businesses such as Samsung and Hyundai donated millions to foundations in exchange for financial favors. The foundations were run by Choi Soon-sil who appeared to have significant control of most government affairs.

While many of the other businesses did not deny any of the accusations, but expressed their obligation to donate to Choi’s foundations, Samsung does not get off so easily. Prosecutors want to know if the National Pension Service, one of the country’s largest shareholders, supported the $8 billion joining of Samsung affiliated businesses for donations to Choi.

Even though Samsung has yet to comment on the accusations, they are at the top of the list for investigation. With donations of an estimated 20.4 billion won ($17 million) they are one of the two companies who donated the most money to Ms. Choi’s foundations.

Ms. Choi, however, denies doing anything wrong. She currently remains in custody in Denmark. Choi’s daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, is co-owner of a few foundations that received donations from Samsung and other conglomerates. When questioned, Chung reported she was unaware of her mother’s actions.

The special prosecutors seem to find this slightly questionable. Back in 2015, Samsung closed a deal that allowed a merger between themselves and Core Sports. Core Sports later changed its name to Widec Sports and accepted $18 million from Samsung. They would use the money to train equestrian athletes for the upcoming Asian Games in 2018. Ms. Choi’s daughter is also an athlete registered with the company.

When questioned Lee Jae-yong admitted to buying Choi’s daughter a horse for 1 billion won.  He also invested 3.7 billion won ($3.1 million) into the company. Lee did say, however, that at the time he wasn’t aware of who Choi or her daughter were.

Samsung Predicts Profit Rise

It was just four months ago that Samsung had to recall its Note 7. However, the company believes that the fourth quarter of 2016 can get them back on track. For the fourth quarter earnings, Samsung expects to bring in an estimated 9.2 trillion won ($7.2 billion). That would double the fourth quarter profit from 2015.

While the Note 7 was part of the reason the sales were down, Samsung’s third quarter was the other reason. Samsung had high expectations for the third quarter before they had to recall the Note 7. With a hope for numbers like 7.8 won ($6.6 billion), Samsung ended up making 5.2 trillion won ($4.4 billion) instead.

Although the Note 7 was recalled, Samsung actually made good numbers. With orders for Galaxy S7, Samsung could have a pretty strong quarterly profit coming up. Since Samsung could be looking at the highest quarterly profit in the last three years, it’s only optimistic to think that the new Galaxy S8 could see promising numbers.

The Galaxy S7 recall might not have caused as much damage as it seems. It would also appear that Samsung reached its sales rise in other ways. Consumers purchased more memory and screens which are contributing factors. We can only watch and wait to see where new releases take the company this year.

Samsung Insists the Galaxy S7 is Safe

Samsung still insists on the safety of its devices even though there has been a report of a Galaxy S7 exploding in a man’s hands. According to a Canadian newspaper, Amarjit Mann says his S7 felt hot in his pocket. When he took it out, the device exploded resulting in third-degree burns to his hands. Mann says he plans on filing a lawsuit against the South Korean electronics company. In response to this incident, the company made a statement saying,

“Samsung stands behind the quality and safety of the Galaxy S7 family. There have been no confirmed cases of internal battery failures with these devices among the more than 10 million devices being used by consumers in the United States; however, we have confirmed a number of instances caused by severe external damage. Until Samsung is able to obtain and examine any device, it is impossible to determine the true cause of any incident.”

This incident only adds to the blows Samsung has received from the reports of the Galaxy Note 7 being defective. The Note 7 had been intended as a major boost for Samsung. It was the first large released product since the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge. However, shortly after the Note 7 was released, reports on overheating batteries catching fire began to pour in. The company offered to placate its users with replacements of the defected devices, but Samsung ended up recalling all the devices once replacements began to catch fire as well. Along with the loss of almost $5 billion in profit due to the suspension in production of the Note 7, two class action lawsuits were filed against the company.

Despite the money loss and the lawsuits that have been filed, the company’s image doesn’t appear affected by the ordeal. In a recent poll, ninety-one percent of Samsung customers said they would choose a different phone made by the company rather than choosing another brand. Samsung also claims that eighty-five percent of the replacements done on the recalled Note 7 were other Samsung smartphones. It is also reported that, in response to the new iPhone 7, Samsung will release a new glossy black version of the Galaxy S7 sometime next month.

Man Sues Samsung For Note 7 Exploding In His Pants

The Samsung Note 7’s notorious combustible battery issues have struck again. This time, it happened to 28-year-old Jonathan Strobel of Boca Raton, Florida. Reuters reports that Strobel has filed what could be the first in many lawsuits to come in the US that involves the Note 7’s rather nasty battery issues.

Jonathan Strobel stated that his Note 7 exploded inside his front pants pocket on September 9 in a Costco in Palm Beach Gardens, where the man works.

Jonathan Strobel

“His right thigh has a deep second-degree burn the size of the phone,” Keith Pierro, Strobel’s lawyer, told me, adding that Strobel’s left hand was also burnt. The Palm Beach Post reported that Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue described the phone as having melted inside Strobel’s pants.

Despite there being ninety-two reports in the US about the Note 7’s battery having overheated – twenty-six of them involving burns – Jonathan Strobel is the first person to file a lawsuit against Samsung.

The complaint states that Strobel suffered: “sustained serious and permanent bodily injuries resulting in pain and suffering, permanent impairment, disability, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of the enjoyment of life, expense of medical care and treatment, expense of hospitalization, lost wages, and ability to earn wages in the past and to be experienced in the future.”

Samsung initiated a recall on September 2 for the Note 7, a week before Strobel’s experience. While the self-initiated recall was necessary, it didn’t please Consumer Reports who was quick to say that Samsung should have worked with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on an official recall.

On the same day as Strobel’s incident, Samsung and the CPSC did start working together officially and it was announced that users with the original Note 7 should power the device down and ask for an updated and confirmed-safe replacement.

The irony of the timing hasn’t been lost on anyone.

The Heir of Samsung Now Apologizes for the Spread of MERS

Recently, the MERS or the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus has been the latest lethal scare. The virus apparently takes less than five minutes to spread and creates severe respiratory problems, fever, cough and a few other symptoms.

The disease gets its peculiar name since it was recorded Saudi Arabia in the year 2012 for the very first time. After that, the disease has managed to spread to areas of South Korea and some other regions of Asian countries. The virus was brought to South Korea by a 68 year-old man who visited the Middle-East on a business trip.

This time, the heir of Samsung has actually apologized for the spread of MERS. This is because several of the infected patients are in fact from the Samsung Medical Center in South Korea.

Apparently, a patient there known as the “super-spreader” who waited for days to get a room, actually infected many. Visitors, staff members and other patients were also left affected at the center.

The World Health Organization says that MERS is starting to come under control in South Korea. About 50 people have been cured, but thousands are still under quarantine. Hopefully, the situation will be brought under control as soon as possible.

Image: Via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District

Apple Wins a Game in the Battle with Samsung

The battle between Apple and Samsung has long been going on for the last few years. The nature of their lawsuits have mostly been cantered around the theft of intellectual property. Previously, the U.S. courts had ruled in favor of Samsung over the issue of product design. One of the court battles in the past even included issues over the shape of the phone and the color. Looks like it’s all about the design, and both Apple and Samsung value the price of their ideas.

Whatever the issues may have been between the two smartphone giants, the markets always have been affected by the ripples of the fights. For instance, the current brawl has caused the shares of Samsung to rise in the markets in Seoul. Apple, however, still continues to make their case about their design; they say it will continue to be defended.

On the other hand, Samsung maintains that their designs are their own and the accusations are baseless. Either way, both companies tend to win some and occasionally lose some. As long as these lawsuits only motivate both parties to do nothing but produce better products with each phone upgrade, we are all happy customers.

Image: Via Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns

Virtual Reality at your Finger Tips by 2016

The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality will be made available in the first quarter of 2016.

The virtual reality technology has come a long way since its Kickstarter ended in January 2013.

This kickstarter raise $2.3 million with the help of over 9,500 backers.

YouTube Gamers like Pewdiepie and Hank Green have featured it on their channels numerous times, and first person games like the Five Nights at Freddy’s trilogy have been adapted to work on the gaming console.

Currently, on Oculus.com there is the Development Kit 1 which is sold out, and there is the Development Kit 2 which is on sale for $350.00. This is only intended for game producers to have a look at the product, and allow them to work on creating their own games for when the Oculus Rift is officially released for gamers.

VP of product at Oculus VR Nate Mitchell tweeted “Extremely excited to announce that the Oculus Rift will be shipping Q1 2016! We can’t wait to get it in your hands.”

A prototype of the product was created by Crescent Bay in September 2014. In a blogpost by Oculus, they described this prototype as having, “360 [degree] head tracking, expanded positional tracking volume, dramatically improved weight ergonomics, and high-quality integrated audio.”

The brand was purchased by Facebook in March 2014 for $2.3 billion, and since has been making big strides in the gaming field. The release date for the Oculus Rift is vague so far, but interested buyers can expect to see it later into 2015.

The Oculus Team said, “Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more.”

A similar virtual reality gaming technology is the Samsung Gear VR, and it will be available through the Oculus Store.

As of right now, there are a few differences between the Samsung Gear VR and the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2. The field of view is four degree wider than the Samsung Gear VR, and the Oculus Rift allows for people who have glasses to wear them under the glasses. The specifications for the Oculus Rift that is being officially sold haven’t been released yet, so only time will tell which will actually be better.

As of right now, the Samsung Gear VR has it’s own version of the Development Kit called the Innovator Edition. They have two separate ones, one is compatible with the Samsung GALAXY Note 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S6.

For those who don’t feel like they can wait until the Oculus Rift is released, the Samsung Gear VR has a release date of Dec. 8.

Other companies have been trying to catch up in the virtual reality world.

According to Thesudburystar.com, “To reach a big audience, content producers want to know that there will be a sizable number of consumers who have compatible VR devices.”

The Oculus Team describes it as, “the rift delivers on the dream of consumer VR with compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality.

Expect to see more details released as the weeks go on. For those hoping to get an up close and personal look at the Oculus Rift before it’s even on sale, it will be showcased at E3 in June.

E3 is a convention for technology, games and the people who play them.

It will also be shown off at Gamescom. This is an event that showcases interactive games.

According to the blogpost made by Oculus, “In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and man of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift.”

Samsung Beats Out Apple with a $11 Billion Market Increase

With Samsung’s anticipated new hot phone Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge their market value has made a major $11 billion increase since March.

The phone’s are said to be huge competitors for Apple’s iPhone 6 as WSJ reviews reported.

The phone will feature a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 back, aluminum side detail, fast charging, a sharp display, and an improved camera.

With the March 1st introduction of the phone the companies shares have increased by 6.2 percent. Unlike Apple’s fall of 3.14 percent in their stocks from last month. Samsung has now beat Apple in value being worth a total of $176.6 billion, while Apple plummeted $721.34 billion in value.

“There’s a lot of buzz about the new S6 phones and consumer demand,” said Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul to Bloomberg. “The pre-order demand for S6 devices is a lot higher than its predecessor S5, and the phone will win back many consumers.”

With the big buzz might come to a big fall as Apple is working on a new market launch in the Chinese market predicting a $1 trillion gain. Samsung has also seen major declines with phone revenue by 37 percent in their fourth quarter of phone models. Yet, Apple is known to see increases in their fourth quarter by $18 billion, which is predicted to happen with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Samsung even has competition in the Remdi 2, a smartphone in China.

Anshul Gupta research analyst tells Forbes, “Samsung’s performance in the smartphone market deteriorated further in the fourth quarter of 2014, when it lost nearly 10 percentage points in market share,”

But with great reviews even after its release as of April 10th, Samsung is on its way to possibly making their market value even higher.

So Good, It’ll Make Your Eyes Bleed

LG setup shop in a second floor studio in the Flatiron District(NYC) for a presentation and demo of their OLED displays. Media and executives congregated in a small showroom with four TVs; two LG, two Samsung.

A brief presentation at the start of the event showcased the progression of LG TVs and its current state. Making comparisons between standard LED and OLED, the LG executive emphasized the importance of OLED technology in TV’s future. The presentation touched up on the progress they were making in regards to releasing newer and larger models.


The difference between standard LED and OLED were pretty obvious. LG’s OLED displayed richer colors with increased vibrancy and saturation. Objects on display seemed sharper and more life-like than the, soon to be antiquated, LED displays. A LG rep even held up a real strawberry to give a better comparison with the one on the screen. On the Samsung side, the colors were flat with a good amount of glare. The LG displays fared well in direct sunlight and against the overhead lights.

To show the difference between the curved OLED TV’s field of view to a standard LED, triangular mats were placed in front of each display symbolizing the field of view.

It would have been better to see a side-by-side comparison with Samsung’s curved OLED displays. But, we had to settle for their LED lineup. Regardless, in terms of picture quality, design, weight and more importantly price, LG was the clear winner.


The retail prices for Samsung’s OLED displays are at least two-times more expensive. Coming in at just over $3,000, the LG OLED displays are quite a bargain over their Samsung counterparts.



Samsung Strides To Reinvent Its Business Culture

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has reached a point where it seems to be leveling off in its innovative impact on the technological gurus. The electronics frontrunner is striving to reinvent itself and create a fresh outlook without straying away from its original mentality, according to Reuters

Despite Samsung’s recent growth and reestablished reputation, the company fears a burnout that will send the business down in flames. According to CNBC, chairman Lee Kun-hee strives to keep the company in a “state of perpetual shake-up” in order to prevent stagnation of leadership ideals.

“The company is in somewhat of a Catch-22 when it comes to changing its culture. It desperately needs to adopt a culture that fosters openness, creativity and innovation. But doing so would jeopardize its greatest existing cultural asset, its militaristic hierarchy, which enables it to operate at lightning speed to outpace the competition,” said Jay Subhash, former senior product manager, according to Reuters.

The balance between reinventing the business culture and keeping the leadership focus in line is a tricky equilibrium, but Samsung understands the urgency of this accomplishment. As smartphones are tied more and more to strict competition and are becoming more globalized, the potential drop in earnings is of serous concern.

Kun-hee is not accepting of the possibility for a business downturn, however. In his eyes, changes need to be made – taking no for an answer is not an option.

“In the long term, the company needs to become global and open. Giving employees more autonomy can lead to loss of control, but this will in the long run benefit the company by developing talent that can run the business from a global perspective,” said Chang Sea-jin, a business professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science, according to Reuters.


Samsung Interested in Purchasing SmartThings

The idea of smart homes, or home devices connecting all electronics wirelessly, has taken huge strides in the tech industry as of late. Apple and Google have already begun their quests to take over the home, but now it seems Samsung is interested in entering the game as well. The Korean-based tech giant has been playing around with the idea of purchasing SmartThings for a summly $200 million.

SmartThings is a Washington D.C.-based startup that sells hardware that allows users to create a cloud in which hundreds of different smart gadgets can use to talk to one another. The device’s price is currently set at $100. The company owes its success to its prosperous Kickstarter campaign, which raised an approximate $1.2 million. It raised an additional $12.5 million through private investors, including Greylock Partners.

Samsung already produces a number of home appliances that are capable of talking to one another. What they hope to do with this purchase is allow third-party gadgets to be able to communicate faster and more efficiently with Samsung products. It is a very similar approach to what Apple plans to do with HomeKit, and another similar service called Revolv. What makes SmartThings unique is its community of 5,000 developers who work on how to make these smart devices interact.

SmartThings cofounder and CTO Jeff Hagins told Forbes, “Salesforce built this platform for developers because they honestly didn’t have the expertise and domain knowledge for every possible application. We looked at the smart home space and said exactly the same thing. We don’t have all the answers.” Still, they are trying to come up with them. One developer that was cited had programmed Sonos speakers to bark like a dog if movement was detected outside.

The deal has not been made official, and SmartThings has yet to make a comment. It is just further proof of the future of the smart home industry. According to Juniper Research, the smart home market will be worth an estimated $71 billion by 2018. Any tech giant who does not jump on board now will be kicking themselves for missing out in the future.




360 Moto Watch Due this Summer

At the Google I/O Keynote, much was said about the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch, but things were very quiet about the Moto 360 Watch. It is unfortunate, because the 360 has a few characteristics that separate it from the other two.

One unique characteristic is the look; the LG and Samsung have square faces while the 360 is round. The 360 design hits the mark; its premium-looking finish and well-placed notification widgets. The 360 also has leather bands, which can be swapped. The bands for the LG and Samsung are rubber. The 360 has been lauded as being able to pass as a fashion watch. There is only one visible button, similar to regular wrist watches. The 360 is devoid of a heart monitor.

The LG and Samsung watches will be released July 7, while the 360 does not yet have a release date. Google claims it will be available some time during the summer but has not given a date to the press. Some speculate the delayed released could build anticipation and boost sales. Google also has not seta  price for the watch, according to Tech Radar.

There does not appear to be a charge port. Many figure it will not be charged with wires, but rather with solar power or a charging pad.

Unlike the Samsung Gear 2, there is not a camera on-board; Google claims a camera would conflict with the design and purpose of the watch.

via Motorola
via Motorola



Google Swings First with Samsung Gear Live

Google hopes to beat Apple to the punch with smart watches. While Apple quickly ramps up its work force to produce and release a new Apple smart watch, Google will have the Samsung Gear Live released on July 7th.

The Android Wear smart watch comes with a heart rate monitor embedded in its back. It has an every-day-at-the-office look, with a flat, plain band that seems rubbery. It features a 1.63 inch 320×320 screen and runs a 1.2GHz processor and 4GB internal storage. Google added that popular apps will be compatible, like Hangouts and Pinterest. The hardware is noticeably similar to the Samsung Gear 2.

While Apple seemingly focuses in on every detail of their upcoming watch, Google hopes to flood the market with them, thereby ducking their best competition for about two months. At the Google I/O Keynote, their upcoming Samsung Gear Live didn’t seem to offer much of anything different from smart watches we’ve seen before. Just like Android phones, users swipe back and forth through boxes to check notifications. Moreover, users will be able to sync app downloads with their Android phones.

Although the new Samsung Gear Live doesn’t have much to offer in terms of originality and beauty, history tells us that those two characteristics aren’t at all deal-breakers; many more people own Android phones than iPhones, and many more people own Microsoft PC’s than Apple PC’s.

It’s pretty much a given that Google will produce smart watches for lower prices than Apple will. Still, Apple’s higher quality standard and loyal fan base could change the expectations for all smart watches by the fall. Until then, call the Google vs. Apple smart watch war a draw.








Photo:  via Connectedly



Samsung Makes Bigger Push in Tablets

Korean electronics titan Samsung is taking a big swing at Apple with two new high-end tablet releases. The new pair of tabs features brighter, thinner, lighter screens than the models preceding it. The new 10.1 inch Galaxy Tab S is priced at $499, while the 8.4 inch version is $399.

Industry experts are convinced that it will take more than flashy promotion and pretty devices to repeat the success of Samsung’s smartphones, which are the company’s best-selling products. Samsung not only faces Apple as a competitor, but oversize smartphones that double as tablets, referred to as phablets, are absorbing a growing chunk out of overall tablet sales. Phablets have been a huge success in South Korea and other Asian countries, and conversely, Samsung expects a 12% increase in tablet shipments this year, down from 52% last year (statistics by IDC). Samsung holds 34% of the market shares of tablet makers, but they’re threatened by competing Android tablets that offer comparable hardware at lower prices.

The list of challengers to Samsung’s flagship tablet is growing. China-based Xiaomi offers the 7.9 inch MiPad with 16G for $240. Asus presented a phone-tablet combo that cost $199 with a two-year AT&T contract. The Google Nexus 10 proves to be a match for even the mighty iPad 4, priced at around $389, is praised for its gorgeous display and fast processing.


New Galaxy Tab 10.1
New Galaxy Tab 10.1
New Galaxy Tab 8.4
New Galaxy Tab 8.4


Asus TF300T
Asus TF300T
Nexus 10
Nexus 10


Samsung Unveils Plans for First Tizen; Smartphone Operating System

A year after its planned release, the world’s largest mobile device manufacturer, South Korean based Samsung Electronics, released the first Samsung Tizen smartphone called the “Samsung Z” to rival the Android. In contrast to its Android counterpart, the Tizen version does not have “Google Play Store” access, yet this might be a chance for Samsung to create its own store and expand to a world beyond the “Droid.”

The new gadget has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen display at 1280×720 pixels, 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage with a microSD card expansion slot, 4G compatibility, both rear-facing and front-facing cameras, a fingerprint sensor, and a heart rate monitor. Sounds like a nifty new toy.

The new operating system platform, Tizen 2.2.1 has been slow to be released to handsets, and instead has been developed into multiple versions so that the product reaches its full potential. An official Samsung press release emphasizes the “optimal performance” and “improved memory management” of the new Tizen Smartphone. Sounds like Samsung is trying pretty hard to rival Google’s Android.

The gadget will be shown at a conference in San Francisco on June 3 and will first launch in Russia before expansion into other markets. Prices have not yet been released, but are expected to be competitive with both the Android and iPhone counterparts.




Photo: Courtesy Samsung

The New Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Smartphone : The Pros & the Cons!

Considered the main rival to Apple’s iPhone, Samsung has recently released their highly anticipated Galaxy S5. The phone starts at $199 with a contract or you can pay the full retail price of $650 if you just can’t live without it. The new edition in the Galaxy legacy has come full of upgrades. The screen is now 5.1 inches and the display is clearer and more crisp. The camera has received an upgrade and just like Apple have a finger scanning security feature. It has computing power to rival any smartphone on the market with a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, and even has a 2800mAh battery (which is removable). The Galaxy S5 is also waterproof, which may turn out to be a huge selling point for some.

Though the phone might not be as aesthetically pleasing as the iPhone or HTC phones, it is just as good if not better than its competitors. Though the phone is lighter than some and the feel of it in your hand seems to be a bit off. The frame is still not metal, and though this might have to do with the cost of productions, we are disappointed that this is one of the few upgrades that went unmade. The phone is still tough and turable though, and might be sturdier than one made by Apple or HTC.

The Galaxy line of phones is the only other line besides Apple that has built a dedicated following. This may have to do with a love of all things CPU and Android or it might be a determination to be apart of the counter culture. But just as sure as we are in an iPhone 6 so we are about a Galaxy S6, the next generation. Every product has its pros and cons and Samsung has proven that the Galaxy line has enough pros to secure a innovative future.

Are we ready for Y4K? The TV trend!

Are we ready for Y4K? Not on the calendar, the TV revolution. Just when you were so excited about your new LCD and Plasma HD screen, brought it home, set it up, turned on your favorite channel and saw a commercial for an LED TV. Slimmer with a better motion refresh rate. So now things were faster, less blurry and clearer. “Damn” were probably the nice words that came out of your mouth followed by a look at the return policy to see if you can get your money back and buy the newest TV out right now. Well that’s how fast technology moves these days, you buy the hottest item in the store, bring it home and something newer just came out or is being tested.

With TV’s it’s no different, Samsung, along with Sony, Sharp and LG, some of the leading TV brands are constantly innovating the modern HD TV’s, making them better, faster and more fun. What started with Plasma screens, became slimmer LCD screens, then evolved into lighter, slimmer, with better quality LED screens. Going from the high tech 720P resolution, to a 1080i, then to 1080P what we now know as full HD. How fast a picture changes on the device also became faster and clearer. Started with a 60hz rate, then doubled to 120hz on most LCD TV’s and now the norm is a 240hz rate which shows almost no blurs or distortions with fast moving scenes. The latest craze now are the 3D TV’s. Every major company has them even though most broadcasts aren’t in 3D yet. Movies are, but not the basic channels that we watch. So what is the hype? It’s the fact that it’s the newest model, something everyone wants, to be at the forefront of any new trend.

Are we ready for 4K TV’s yet? Netflix is getting there with House of Cards Season 2 set to stream in 4K, and YouTube is making it possible for 4K videos to be streamed as well. What about everyone else? The TV’s are still highly priced being at $2,999.99 for the Sony 55 inch XBR model and go as high as $39,999.99 for the Samsung 85 inch frameless behemoth. Being ready is one thing, are we prepared for what can eventually come next? An 8K TV that Japan is developing and is pushing to broadcast during the 2020 Olympics is the next step TV evolution and it seems to be hatching as we speak.


Samsung Galaxy S5 – The new even better thing is here!

Samsung’s newest smartphone the Galaxy S5 has hit the store shelves at a price of around $650 with no contract, or on most major carriers for $199 with a 2 year service agreement. The new phone is an upgrade from the previous versions of the Galaxy S3, and the S4 models. It is on par and a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone 5s, and the HTC One M8.

The new S5 features a multitude of new additions and improved hardware and software options. It now boasts a whopping 5.1” FHD Super AMOLED display, also with an upgraded camera which now has 16MP and a new HDR Rich Tone feature that lets you brighten and clear shaded pictures as you take them, while the selective focus feature allows you to focus on an object and blur the rest of the picture, giving a clear and crisp view of the exact item you are snapping.

The new phone runs on Androids new 4.4.2 Kitkat OS, with either a 16GB or 32GB memory option. What is truly unique about this new phone are the extras, first time features. It has an Ultra Power Saving Mode where according to Samsung “this innovative feature changes your screen to black and white and shuts down all unnecessary features to dramatically minimize battery consumption.” Also that it is dust and water resistant and has an IP67 certification. “With an IP67 certification, Galaxy S5 is resistant to sweat, rain, liquids, sand and dust, so your phone is protected for any activity and situation.” But you shouldn’t be going swimming with it any time soon just to be safe. The new Fingerprint scanner can help you unlock your phone instead of the old pattern and pin options, so it’s another cool gadget feature that you might use. However the coolest thing about the phone and an industry first is the Heart Rate Sensor. “Galaxy S5 is the first smart phone with a built-in Heart Rate Sensor which enables you to measure your heart rate directly on your phone.” You just place your finger on the back of the Galaxy S5 and measure your heart rate.

The Galaxy S5 not only uses the newest technology available at its disposal, but also created a new category and trend of smartphones, or in this case ultra-phones. This could be your new one piece of mobile gear that has everything you’d want and need. Not only in a phone but with any piece of technology. Sooner or later the phone will most likely be able to operate and replace most of our readily used items. Most likely sooner though.