It is March again so it is time for Samsung to unveil its new flagship smartphone. Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S5 was a disappointment to many, including me, and Samsung felt the need to make the change so the rumoured Project Zero was started: to design the flagship from zero. So here’s the results from their effort, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Both phones are quite similar, except for the dual-curve display found on the S6 Edge.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Let’s start with the ‘ordinary’ S6. The plastic build and the bandage back of the Samsung Galaxy S5 received much more mocking than compliments and Samsung has omitted that design language. This time around, Samsung has opted glass and metal to build the flagship and the results are impressive. The front and back of the phone are covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and the sides are framed by metal, resulting in a design that looks good and feels premium. Even though the glass back is a fingerprint magnet, the way it reflects the light is awesome and the sacrifice is worth the price. Coming at 6.8mm, it is a hair thinner than the iPhone 6. I feel that this is the best-looking phone Samsung has ever made.
HTC One M8 is one of my favourite Android phones from 2014 and I really had high expectation for its successor. Finally, HTC is ready to show the world its flagship for 2015, the HTC One M9. The announcement turns out to be quite unsurprising, due to the fact that almost everything has been leaked before the event and the phone itself is lackluster, at least in my opinion.
Like the two previous ‘One’s, the industrial design is the highlight on the new HTC One M9. HTC took the best part of the two predecessors and merge them. So what we get is a new phone with a very similar appearance. The aluminium unibody of the One M9 has a dual-tone metal with different finishing: the curved back with brushed hairline finish and the mirror-polished side. It is amazing that HTC can anodize two different colours and provide two kinds of finishes to the same piece of metal. It comes in gold/silver, gold, gunmetal grey and pink/gold This is something unseen and I really like this.
There are many devices launched every year and it is impossible to keep track of all of them. Manufacturers are putting a whole lot of effort so that their devices would linger in our mind and not be forgotten. Some of them succeeded but even more of them went unnoticed in the crowd of all devices. It is time for us to do a recap of the technology world in 2014. Here are my unscientific 10 most notable devices in 2014 in my opinion. These devices might not even be the best in their category but in my opinion, these devices played their parts in improving the whole landscape and in changing how we see other devices.
HTC One M8
2013’s HTC One M7 received so much praise and everyone wondered how HTC was going to improve it. Luckily, HTC did not disappoint us at all. The HTC One M8 carried the DNA of its predecessor and improved at almost all parts. A faster processor, a bigger battery, a larger display, micro SD card support and improvement on the already impressive BoomSound speaker were included. The Duo camera where two cameras are placed on the back to capture depth information of the image might be a gimmick but it is the first of its kind.
While we were still in the era of feature phones where the concept of smartphones was still alien to most people, the race for the thinnest phone was already there. Fast forward a few years, feature phones are now dying but the race is still going on as people still care about it. So the focus of today’s article is the worthiness of this slimming game. Will this race bring the smartphone world forward or is it just meaningless?
Years ago, Apple was leading the game for some time but the reigning champion for the world’s thinnest phone you can buy now belongs to the OPPO R5. At only 4.85mm thick, the OPPO R5 is way thinner than the new iPhone 6 which has a thickness of 6.9mm. Do bear in mind that 6.9mm is already very thin but 4.85mm is really mind-blowing. Not to be outdone, Vivo has teased a phone that claims to have half the thickness of an iPhone 5/5s (7.6mm), making it around 3.8mm thick. Although it is not officially launched, the idea indeed sounds crazy enough.
[Update] Vivo had announced the 4.75mm thick Vivo V5 Max, which is thinner than the OPPO R5.
Is it possible to use a tablet with a 7” screen and telephony capability as a phone? If you asked me this question two years ago, I would say that it was crazy and totally out of the question. However, the trend nowadays tends to make our phones get larger and larger. For example, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has a 6.4” display but it is still considered a phone. The border between a tablet and a phone is not as distinctive as before now. Another thing is that the bezels are getting smaller so devices with same screen size are typically smaller than previous.
So, it is becoming more practical or less silly to use a small tablet as a phone today? I could not answer this question until I got my hands on the ASUS Fonepad 7 lately, which is a small tablet with dual sim capability. I have been using it for more than a week and there are some pros and cons of using the Fonepad as my phone.
Portability & ‘Pocketability’
Carrying a larger device is more difficult than a smaller device. Although we are expecting this right from the beginning, it is still the biggest trouble I had for the week. Using it with one hand is totally out of the question. You definitely need both of your hands free to operate it. Luckily as technology advances, the side bezels have been trimmed down. You just need to check if you can hold the device comfortably with one hand before you buy it.
When we first bought our phone or tablet, the first thing we are going to do is to buy a case for it. Some people want it for protection and some people just wish their device to look different with others. But then is the extra layer of bulk on your phone necessary? Well, it depends on who you are and let’s find out if cases are needed. We will look at how to take care our device too.
I need a case!
I am careless!
If you are a very clumsy person and you drop your device all the time, please get yourself a case because smashing an expensive thing is not a clever thing to do. But bear in mind that not all types of case can help your device against dropping. Typically thin and hard cases can prevent scratches but cannot protect your device from the impact of dropping. Only soft material is able to absorb the impact energy. Case that cover only the back will not do you any good when your device fall with the screen facing down. So the bottom line here is that unless you are using a correct casing that can absorb the shock and cover the front, the protection you gain is probably only against external scratches.
I hate scratches!
Who loves scratches? No one. Speaking of scratches, sometimes we place our devices with other things like keys in our pocket or bag and those things will scratch our device body and the screen. This is true for the body of the device as it is not scratch-proof.We will come to the screen later. We will see scratches over the devices after some time of use unless you baby your phone carefully even with the case on. Its very common for people to change case and ironically sometimes its the case which damage the device as the cases are tight. Make sure you are gentle in the process of installing and removing the case. Moving parts in the case might scratch your devices too. For example, my iPad was damaged by the Smart Cover. ( New smart covers have the metal part covered so there might be no problem with them.
Android, iOS and Windows Phone is the three largest operating system for mobile devices. Each OS will have their own supporters and haters. Here’s a list of what I like and what I dislike the most on each of them. These are just my personal preference and this might not be true for you.
What I love in iOS – App Store
The thing I love the most in iOS is the App Store. The variety and the richness of the offering is unrivalled by the other OS. There is no app that I cannot find in the store and there are a lot of big titles such as Plants VS Zombies 2 are launched first in the App Store. Apple also put in a lot of effort to manage the store. First of all Apple will filter the apps published on the App Store so the quality of the apps will be higher. The apps for tablet is also better than Android as usually the apps will be optimised for the larger screen instead of just simply enlarging the apps on phones.