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Galaxy S8 to be on sale April 21

Galaxy S8 to be on sale April 21

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Latest news leaks report that the Galaxy S8 device line up will most likely go on sale sometime around April 21. We are unsure as to which regions will receive it first, nonetheless. This information was stated by a “higher up” official working for a certain mobile network provider. The announcement and presentation is expected on March 29 in New York city.

So far the information we have is basically the following:

The Galaxy S8 series will include the S8 at about 5.8 inches and the Galaxy S8 Plus will be 6.2 or 6.1 inches (rectangular or rounded). Based on speculation both models will have the Snapdragon 835 chips, 4GB of RAM and a 12 MP back camera (dual pixel) with an 8 MP front camera.

The iris scanner worked remarkably well on the Note 7 in our tests with super speedy performance. We are certain Samsung will include the iris scanner on the S8 devices. Water resistance is expected to be beefed up to IP68 compared to the Note 7 and S7 Edge’s IP 67.

There is possible S PEN compatibility with one or both of the model versions.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus specs Revealed

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus specs Revealed

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With people clamoring for more details on the upcoming Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus models it seems like the famous Evan Blass has done it again. Ahead of the device’s announcement we witnessed a leaked Galaxy S8 Plus specification sheet.

According to Evan Blass the Galaxy S8 Plus will feature a 6.2 inch (Full rectangle) QHD+ display, a 12 megapixel dual pixel back camera (8mp front), IP68 dust and water resistance rating, 4 GB’s of RAM and 64 GB of expandable storage (via microSD). There will also be an iris scanner, samsung pay, wireless charging, and fast LTE speeds.

The missing specs are the processor (most likely the Snapdragon 835) and the battery size (we estimate between 3000 mAh to 3600 mAh).

Interestingly, the specs sheet also mentions an option for a 6.1 inch model with “Rounded Corners”. We are curious as to how much of a curve the device would receive.

As we know, Samsung is looking to removing their home button and replacing it to the backside of the device. The S8 and S8 Plus will be one of the most exciting releases of 2017 and perhaps another step forward into a future of new smartphone design.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Spec’s Revealed!

Samsung Galaxy S8 Spec’s Revealed!

The Galaxy S8 is a much anticipated smartphone that a lot of people are waiting for. Following the Note 7’s demise people are very much curious as to how Samsung plans to come back. So far all the leaked images and rumors, though cloudy, seem to promise something rather different and unique experience. The display choice and the removal of the home button are some of the biggest moves Samsung could make.

Today we would like to share another leaked image that has been going around since yesterday about leaked Galaxy S8 specs. Check it out below

 

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As we know, the Galaxy S8 can be debuted as early as April 21. It seems, however, that we will be seeing partial bits of the devices specs ahead of time. The Galaxy S8 will feature a 5.8 inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display, 4GB’s of RAM, a new IP68 water and dust resistance rating, 12 megapixel dual-pixel camera on the back with an 8 megapixel camera on the front and an iris scanner. We are also seeing 64GB’s of expandable storage (with microSD support) alongside Samsung Pay, wireless charging and surprisingly, included earphone’s which are tuned by AKG.

Yesterday the specs sheet for the GALAXY S8+ was leaked. When we compared the two specs sheets we saw that the majority of the features were identical to one another (save for the display size). This is great news for those who prefer the smaller device of the two but want all the same features.

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The specs sheet does omit a few details we would like to know but we can take a wild guess. The processor included would most likely be the next gen Exynos 9 chip for international users and the Snapdragon 835 chip for the Americas. The battery size is estimated to be about 3,000 mAh.

On top of this we still believe that both the S8 and S8 + will feature edge to edge displays which also replace a lot of the top and bottom bezels with display space. The fingerprint sensor is most likely found on the back of the device.

We are also wondering what Samsung’s plans are for Bixby, their in house Artificial Intelligence. Also how will Samsung’s DeX feature operate?

The Unveiling of the new devices may come on March 29, so stay tuned.

What to Expect from MWC 2017

What to Expect from MWC 2017

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What is MWC?

For people who just love technologies such as smartphones and are looking into buying new devices should take a look at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017. MWC is held every year, usually in February. During the event various tech companies will come and showcase their latest work and new devices which are expected to hit the market in the same year or whenever they plan. We will be seeing various smartphones, tablets, wearable’s and various other digital techs which really strive to define our technological future.

As usual we expect to see big name brands such as; Sony, LG, Huawei, and Samsung. Not only will these companies arrive but many other medium to small tech innovation companies will have their chance at showing off various products ranging from artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality.

Where is MWC?

MWC is hosted in Barcelona at the Fira Gran Via as the location. Other events also take place at the Fira Montjuïc.

When is MWC happening?

MWC 2017 starts on February 27 Monday running through March 2 Thursday.

However, we expect products to start being unveiled a day earlier on February 26 while big name products show cased prior to the event as well.

What to Expect at MWC

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More than 2,200 companies will be showcasing their products at the event. We will see the likes of Google, HTC, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and much more. Mobile carriers also attend the event showcasing their services. The event is not limited to digital technology as well as we will also see automotive manufacturers such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

There will be a ton of people (estimated by the GSMA to be more than 101,000 attendees at MWC 2017). There will be endless booths showing the coolest tech and lots of lectures and keynote speeches as well as round-table discussions with industry leaders. MWC 2017 will showcase Keynote speakers ranging from John Hanke (founder and CEO of Niantic (Pokemon GO)), Reed Hastings (founder and CEO of Netflix), and Rajeev Suri (President and CEO of Nokia).

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Samsung

We have seen various teasers in constant flow from big name manufacturers of their upcoming mobile handsets. Unfortunately, Samsung’s president DJ KOH, has announced that the Galaxy S8 will not be presented at MWC this year but at a later date. We do expect Samsung to unveil the Galaxy Tab S3 this year to rival the iPad. Samsung has been sending out invitations to a press conference on February 26.

Sony

Sony is reportedly expected to unveil 5 new smartphones at MWC. One of which is expected to have a 5.5 inch 4K display to optimize visibility for virtual reality.

LG

We also expect a new flagship from LG (the LG G6 which also may follow the trend of have a bezel-free edge to edge display). LG’s modular approach did not gain any traction and thus is expected to abandon that route.

Huawei

The new P10 smartphone is also expected to be showcased by Huawei as well. The P10 looks as though it will have a curved edge display (something like the S7 Edge’s current design). A dual camera LEICA setup was also leaked (just like the older P9 flagship). As with most manufacturers Huawei is expected to release two different sizes.

HTC

With the recent release of the HTC U Ultra (which HTC has stated is NOT their flagship device) we are expecting a flagship from them (a successor to the HTC 10) that runs Qualcomms newest top of the line processor, the Snapdragon 835. However, we are unsure if HTC will be releasing anything new at MWC, we will see.

Nokia

Nokia has made a triumphant return to the mobile market with the first android variant release, the Nokia 6. Now owned by a Finnish company, HMD Global, which outsources manufacturing to China via FIH Mobile.

Supposedly, Nokia is expected to release their biggest product ever at MWC 2017. A new tablet with an 18.4 inch display running on Android Nougat alongside a new portfolio of new smartphones.

There has been online excitement as well that Nokia may revive the famous “indestructible 3310”.

Other Products

Artificial intelligence, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and a whole range of technological trends have been growing and changing our world and how we live it. At MWC, be prepared to see all sorts of fantastic products in all these different categories. Attendees will be able to interact and try out a lot of these products which present new works in the industry. There will be a DroneZone for drone related demonstrations and for people to learn more about the latest developments in drone technology and much more.

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Galaxy S7 Edge Nougat Update Affects Battery Life

Galaxy S7 Edge Nougat Update Affects Battery Life

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At this time Samsung is still working on distributing their own  Android 7.0 Nougat updates onto the S7 and S7 Edge devices around the world. Despite the slow and agonizing wait process there already has been a good handful of people in certain regions who already received the update. Notably we saw updated benchmark test’s performed on battery life on an S7 Edge device before and after the Nougat upgrade. The good folks at GSMArena and PhoneArena did an updated test on Marshmellow and then Nougat to try and take into account the integrity of the battery (due to wear and tear). Overall it does not seem to look good. Here are the results:

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On the Galaxy S7, the Android Marshmallow OS battery life was rated at 397 minutes which is still excellent for a battery which must have seen degradation over the years worth of usage. Android Nougat, however, came to a close at 360 minutes instead which is noticeably less.

On the Galaxy S7 Edge, the Android Marshmallow OS clocked in at 403 minutes of usage in their tests still compared to 395 minutes compared to Android Nougat.

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The update brings a lot of changes on the software front of the s7 and s7 edge platform. Ranging from a new UI, camera app overhauls, power saving modes and many new Android 7 features as well. Unfortunately, the first adopters of this new OS update began complaining about a drop in battery life for their S7 and S7 Edge devices. Phone Arena performed an investigation on this and found that there indeed was a connection between the drop in battery performance and Android 7.0 Nougat.

The overall numbers show that the devices are under performing by about 10% compared to when they were on Marshmallow. To test this the team kept the screen brightness at 200 nits and performed average usage tasks on each handset (on Marshmallow first to test the battery life after 1 year of usage, then Nougat).

 

The reason why the team re did the test on Marshmallow was to relieve the growing concerns over the age of the batteries (about 1 years old). Batteries naturally face degradation and lose battery life over time. Regardless, it is confirmed that there were no noticeable differences in battery life from when they first tested this at the beginning of 2016. It was only after upgrading to Android Nougat that we found a drop in battery life of approximately 10%.

Galaxy S7 Edge

The effects we see on battery life is all driven by the software. There were major changes and we assume there are still various bugs that will be squashed as we move forward. Samsung should be hard at work finding fixes and constantly pushing out proper updates to get rid of this strange phenomena that many see today. With proper optimizations to the software users should see a return to the glory days of long lasting battery performances in their S7’s and S7 Edge’s.

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iPhone 7 Plus Long Term Review: Is it still worth it?

iPhone 7 Plus Long Term Review: Is it still worth it?

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When the iPhone 7 Plus first released many reviewers and fans were not impressed. Apple seemed to have lost their “magic” touch that accompanied all their previous releases. Alongside the exclusion of the 3.5mm headphone jack and a design that screams iPhone 6S  it seemed to have let down a host of people. Today we take a look at the iPhone 7 Plus once more after some months have passed by. We want to focus on collective data found on the battery life, performance, camera, and what it was like to not have the 3.5 headphone jack.

Yes, the iPhone 7 does look like the iPhone 6s or 6s plus without a doubt. So many times have we ourselves still been confounded when asked which is which. Only the experienced and the tech enthusiast would be able to tell once they examine both devices closely. Regardless of this issue the iphone 7 Plus is still a nicely crafted device. We prefer the matte black colour as the jet black attracted way too much finger prints and mysterious scratches that amassed over time. Is the iPhone 7 Plus a good upgrade? Or is Apple stalling for time for the upcoming iPhone 8? What should iPhone 6 Plus (2014) owners do?

Let’s get this out of the way: Headphone Jack

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This is Apples biggest move in that they really enraged millions of people around the world. It, however, can be a huge step towards a new generation of jack-less devices. We do not see it as an innovation. We have seen schematics and arguments of better technological advancements because of this move. One argument asserts that because audio streaming is moved to the lightning port headphone makers can create their own DAC / sound chips integrated into their headsets and control how the headphones read the signal waves coming from the device. We just found it inconvenient of having to carry around an extra little line just to plug your expensive 3.5mm headphones into and also lose the ability to charge while using the device (sitting at the office). Of course you can alleviate the issue with another adaptor but if I am paying over 1000$ for this device I would appreciate not needing to pay more for basic features.

CU Verdict: Inconvenient Decision that can affect many. Looking forward to what Apple has planned to further this move.

Brand New Home Button:

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We love the new home button designed by Apple. This is something I wish other manufacturers can learn from. Gone are the old days of physical home buttons and here we are living the days of technological advancement’s. At first we were afraid as to what removing a physical button meant as we were used to Android devices with capacitive home buttons (which we did not fully like in any phones released thus far. However, this was a completely different story and a good game changer. The home button works as a special haptic feedback device on its own. It actually feels like a physical button when it is not. When you click into it you get a very nice feedback which is followed by another feedback when you let go. The cool thing is that you can click and hold onto the home button and the second feedback does not come until you let go. A pleasantly engineered feedback engine combined with a nice glass body made it a joy to simply click the home button. We believe Apple uses their 3D Touch which they have been working on for a while to make this possible.

CU Verdict: Fantastic, we loved the new Home Button and this raises the bar for what a quality home button should look like.

Camera:

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The Camera is the iPhone 7 Plus’s strong suit. Compared to the iPhone 6S Plus we can see large improvements overall. The colours are a lot more realistic, and photos are a lot more detailed and sharper in low light circumstances. People who are into photography would be quite pleased with the iPhone 7 Plus’ performance. Apple did a good job as usual on the camera front. We enjoyed the unique depth of field mode which makes the back ground shallow compared to your subject. All of this is done in the software but we really liked how it came out. iPhone’s cannot replace DSLR camera’s for Pro work just yet but it is slowly getting there.

The iPhone 7 Plus includes a secondary camera which functions as the “telephoto” module. This module is capable of taking high quality photos with a narrower field of view (2x zoom). Many users can take meaningful photos using this module when you need that extra reach without losing quality or detail.

CU Verdict: The Camera may be worth buying this new device for.

Battery Life:

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There is not much to say here, the battery life is actually almost the same as the older iPhone 6s Plus. In a way that could be good as the iPhone 7 has some newer features. Some reported worse battery life while others reported slightly better usage times. Overall, not much is talked about here as it is neither an improvement nor a downgrade compared to the older iPhone 6s Plus.

CU Verdict: No Impact.

Performance and Display:

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Looking at real world usages we found that the iPhone 7 Plus does have a slight Edge against the iPhone 6S Plus. Of course, all phones today are blazing fast already and we have pretty much hit quite a plateau in terms of real world performances amongst the high end devices. Even though the iPhone 7 Plus features the newer Apple A10 processor which is advertised to have significant boosts in power and speed we could not see too much of this. Apple iOS apps are already incredibly optimized and we have had zero performance issues with the iPhone 6S Plus. However, we have seen a bit of speed improvements overall when we paid attention. It isn’t too much but it is there. We attribute this to the additional RAM (3 GB) integrated into the iPhone 7 Plus. The Display is still a fantastic thing to look at. Apple manages to nail this on all their devices year after year. This year Apple included greater colour accuracy by tweaking and improving the Gamut colour schemes in the display. We heard that Apple purchased a huge batch of OLED displays from Samsung for an amount of about 2 Billion$ last year. We are saddened to not see this in the iPhone 7 Plus but we guess it will come out for the iPhone 8 instead.

CU Verdict: Not much Impact, Display is still great.

Water Resistance:

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Apple finally introduces an official water resistance rating into their build manufacturing process. We appreciate this change and it is always welcome. It may not be the higher standards found in the S7 Edge or the LG V20 but it should suffice. No one here at the office actually dared to try and dunk our iPhone 7 Plus’ into a bowl of water yet so we could not test this feature. However, in case of accidents we believe we are well covered (just as long as it isn’t into a 50 m deep end pool). This feature would be most useful for people who need to use the iphone in wet environments. However, I would still most likely use a water proof case.

CU Verdict: It is a welcome feature that would be more appreciated by certain people out in the field our outdoors.

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Final Verdict:

Keeping everything in mind the iPhone 7 Plus is still a great device to use. We believe it is actually a good upgrade from the older iPhone 6S Plus. These days manufacturers are not introducing ground breaking features but they are good enough. Some are just nice to have (such as the newer home button). The greatest things about the iPhone 7 Plus includes the camera, new home button, improved 3D Touch, and water resistance. Some of the more mediocre facts include the battery life, lack of 3.5mm headphone jack, same design found in the iPhone 6S, and the fact that the device still does not use an OLED display. We view the iPhone 7 Plus as a great interim upgrade until you upgrade to the iPhone 8. However, for the cost and features altogether we would not have a hard time saying, save your money, and wait for the next best thing.

IP67 & IP68 Waterproofing Phones Explained

Water”Proofing” Explained (IP67 vs IP68 and others)

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For some time now we have seen the likes of Sony advertise waterproof designs in their smartphone line up. Samsung introduced the IP68 rating in their S7 / S7 Edge and even the Note 7 devices this year. It seems that Apple has joined the fray and introduced the IP67 rating in their iPhone 7 line up.

Lets take a look at the original Apple Watch with the IPX7 certification. Cupertino actually stated that “[while] the Apple Watch is splash and water resistant, [the Watch] is not waterproof. You can use the product during exercise, in the rain, and while washing your hands, but submerging Apple Watch is not recommended.”

What Does the IP67 and IP68 Actually Mean?

A lot of smartphones today have various certifications with IPXX. The first digit pertains to protection against dust particles while the second number shows the devices resistance against water. This rating system was created to inform equipment operators of how well the device or equipment is protected against the elements. The digits simply conform to the conditions summarized by the information below.

IP – International Protection marking, this is a standard created by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Comission). IP can also stand for “Ingress Protection”.

6 – The “6” in IP6X translates into “Dust Tight’. Basically this means that there is no ingress of dust. A completely sealed protection against contact. As the numbers decrease we see less protection against dust elements or a different kind of protection against physical or foreign objects coming into contact with internal hardware. For example, a number 2 would allow the equipment to be effective against fingers or smaller objects. You would see this in power outlets.

7- The “7” in IP67 is effective against “Immersion of up to 1m of water”. Important factors to consider would be the amount of depth and the amount of time submerged.

8- The “8” in IP68 is effective against “Immersion beyond 1m”. The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which must be specified by the manufacturer. Generally equipment with the IP68 rating should be fully sealed. However, sometimes devices such as smartphones could allow water to enter certain spaces but create zero harmful effects.

 

Samsung, for example indicated that the S7 and S7 edge is protected up to watery depths of 1.5 meters (5 feet) for up to 30 minutes. This is quite amazing for a smartphone device. This would be the manufacturers specification users must understand.

Apple’s iPhone 7 has a slightly lower rating of IP67. This means that the phone will survive depths of up to but not exceeding 1 meter and for a time limit of generally around 30 minutes.

Important Notes on Wear and Tear and Pressure

It is important to note that because Smartphones are very sturdy yet at the same time contain extremely delicate hardware we need to be mindful of a few things. First, these mobile devices are not water PROOF. Rather, they are water resistant. One must be mindful that this certification is not everlasting physically on the device. We will see wear and tear occurring on your phone as you use and drop it. Wear and Tear will compromise the integrity of your IP rating.

Another important aspect to consider is the type of force the liquid’s impose upon your phone. Though the phone should survive calm waters it cannot resist against water jets that make contact with your phone directly with force. There are other non smartphone equipment with stronger IP ratings that can resist extremely high pressures of water but our smartphones will not survive that at all. As the device sinks lower into deeper depths the seals that protect your internals can easily break due to increased water pressure. If the device is held under a stronger pressurized amount of water, you may see issues occurring.

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What Device would be Truly Water Proof?

If you want a device that can withstand outdoor activity and other extreme activities you should look out for the IP68 + MIL-STD 810G certification. This enables your phone to withstand low pressure altitudes, high temperature, low temperature, contamination by fluids, solar raiation, humidity, salt fog, sand, dust, and a wide range of environmental conditions.

The MIL-STD 810 is extremely effective for those who enjoy outdoor recreation, extreme sports and for those who work in skill trades such as construction. These phones may be recognized as “rugged” phones.

Final Thought’s

While it is great to see manufacturers utilize ingress protection certification in their manufacturing design process it is important to note that our devices, still need our care. Get informed, look up all information online and really try to see past marketing facades.

[How-To] How to Access Galaxy Note 4’s Developer Menu!

How to Access Galaxy Note 4’s Developer Menu!

The tip outlined below will allow users to take advantage of a hidden menu setting that is actually available for any android device (KitKat and above). The settings does contain some advanced developer settings so best to touch the ones you know about as we describe them to you and expand your knowledge on your own devices. Access to this DEV menu will provide users with a more deeper tweaking opportunity with their set up. From animation settings of your Stock Launcher and UI interactions to Run Time changes and even many test features! Remember that once you activate DEVELOPER OPTIONS you cannot get rid of it off your menu without a system wipe!

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Go to > SETTINGS > About Device > Scroll down to the section where you see BUILD NUMBER.

2. Repeatedly tap on Build Number itself, soon you will be presented with a count down indicating that you will become a developer in x amount of taps!

3. Once  you’ve reached 0 you have achieved developer status!

4. Press BACK to return to the menu prior and now you should see DEVELOPER OPTIONS

 

 

After enabling DEVELOPER OPTIONS you can do the following below for your Note 4!

 

 

ACTIVATING ART

1. Go into SETTINGS > DEVELOPER OPTIONS

2. Click on “Select Runtime System”

3. Select ART and reboot

4. NOTE: The reboot process will alter all your apps to run with ART. This can take a while!
5. NOTE2: While many users reported better battery life and performance increases this can cause some apps to fail, if you experience issues simply revert your settings back to DALVIK by going to Settings > Developer Options and then tap “Select Runtime System”.

 

 

Changing UI Animation Speed

1. Go into SETTINGS > DEVELOPER OPTIONS

2. Scroll down to DRAWING section

3. You can change WINDOW ANIMATION SCALE speeds, Transition animation speeds, and Animator duration scales!