Thursday, 31 July 2014


LG G3: Redefining the Android handset.
Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers. How are you? I hope that you are doing well and not sneezing every 5 minutes like me! Oooh, hayfever! Bah!

Tonight I wanna share my thoughts with you on the phablet concept!

#Phablet #SamsungGalaxyNote4 #GoogleShamu #LGGPRO3 #ASUSFONEPAD7ME372CL

iPHONE 6 5.5”
Yes, while Apple is allegedly gearing up for the iPad killing iPhone 6 5.5” us Android users have been enjoying the phablet concept since the Galaxy Note in 2011! The Dell Streak almost made it in 2010 but for some reason it didn’t take off! Never mind! I am sure that Dell can make a phablet comeback with a decent design!

Isn’t it ironic that Apple have been running down Samsung in a futile Tech-War yet the company, thanks to Samsung, is able to explore the wonderful world of the phablet?

Whether you like Samsung handsets or not I bet you are curious as to what will be the Galaxy Note 4! And just in case you are not wondering about the imminent Note 4 I will not bore you with the current round of rumours as to what it will entail: flexible screen, metal chassis, retina scanner, blah, blah, blah... Thankfully, we do not have too long to wait; it is hotly tipped for the Note 4 to make its appearance in the first week in September! I think the 4th day of to coincide with the fourth incarnation of what is proving to be a popular phablet! We shall see...

For those who have, like me, a Note 2 or if not a Note 3 aren’t you curious as to the design more than anything? It is a given that Samsung will stuff it with some serious hard to beat features but I am quite curious – concerned even – as to how it looks. Take the great but odd looking Galaxy S5 – it is a great handset but the design is pretty pedestrian. One has to ask what happened... What happened, Samsung? Why have you become as boring as Apple? C’mon, you have to admit that the iPhone is the most boring design when compared to the Android superphones! The Galaxy S3 was a major departure in design and therefore it became Samsung’s breakthrough! When Samsung followed the S3 with the S4 I think a lot of us were disappointed with the design but very much turned on by the features! But the tech-media hammered Samsung for the flamboyant S4 launch and I think that made them rethink the Galaxy S handset concept. I reckon that Samsung took the tech-media disapproval of the S4 launch as a sign that the consumer wanted something less fussy! Right and wrong! Right in that the UI interface shouldn’t get in the way; TouchWiz, for some people, is viewed as convoluted and a little “laggy”. But the good thing is that one can turn off unwanted features and some people don’t realize that. And wrong in that a majority of us want Samsung to go to town with unusual, bold design concepts and this so-so design in the S5 could be the reason why it has been reported that the sales have been a little disappointing. I think that Samsung left the design door open for others to walk right through...

LG G PRO 2 & G3
Gosh! When LG brought out the G2 it made people take notice! It made me take notice! The G Pro 2 was a handset that made HTC uneasy as they probably thought that the One M7 design would be very hard to beat. The G Pro 2 and G3 are killer designs – especially the G3 - that have pushed the One M8 back to the point of sheer frustration for HTC. I think what gives the Galaxy S5 certain edges over both the One M8 and G3 are the camera quality, fingerprint scanner and pulse monitor. In a way I can understand why Samsung wants to crystallize the Galaxy S design: they don’t want to mess around with what people have come to recognize on a mass scale. Yes, like the iPhone design. I reckon that Samsung now realizes that the consumer is not looking for “safe”.

What LG has been doing is to push the boundaries of what is the Android handset. The Nexus 5 pushed the Google experience out to near 5 inches whereas before I found Nexus designs uninspiring. I actually wanted a Nexus 5 but the Galaxy S4 camera has got to be one of the best cameras to be found on a phone! Then the G Pro 2 pushed the handset size further to almost 6”! The amazingly thin bezels didn’t make the G Pro 2 feel like a phablet. And with the G3’s 5.5” screen it has redefined the standard of the Android handset.

6.5 – 7 INCHES:
Shamu! No, this is not something that the late Michael Jackson would utter to punctuate such wonderful rhythms and melodies! Uh-uh! Shamu is the codename for the rumoured Nexus 6 handset that is said to be a 6 inch phablet to be manufactured by Motorola! Golly! I guess the Shamu / Nexus 6 will coincide with the finished Android Lollipop Lemondrop release this fall! Another thing to look forward to, Android L!

It looks to me that the new phablet size is from 6.5” to 7”! Just look at the developments of the Android handset and tablet... Handsets have gotten delightfully bigger to the point whereby anything less than 5” is seen as made for the preteen market! I told you about my nephew who is 11 and although he is the owner of an iPhone 5S he can’t help but look at the Galaxy S5 and the Note 2 and 3 simply because games and movies look great on these devices (I own a Note 2 & S4 and my brother owns an S4 & S5 – for his profession as a personal trainer). I’ve said it once; I’ve said it a thousand times: the Galaxy S4 appears so small after I’ve been using the Note 2 for extended periods.

When the Nexus 7 tablet came out I was surprised that I was able – for the most part – to operate it with one hand. It made me wonder what it’d be like if a data / network capability was added to it. Then along came the Asus 7” FonePad with 3G onboard that could act like a handset. Again, some tech-journalists (sic) say how self-conscious they’d feel by accepting / making a call on the FonePad when nobody cares! The FonePad costs a mere £130! You get quite a lot for the money:

Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean)
2 MP, 1600 x 1200 pixels
4 / 8 GB, 1 GB RAM
Intel Atom Z2520, dual-core 1.2 GHz

I am sure that the next FonePad will have a little more power to it!

Archos has also released the 7” Xenon that also has 3G onboard and the only thing that lets it down is the 512MB of RAM that may prove to be a little light for the most demanding games and applications. However, the Xenon costs £79.99! Wow! It is very tempting as one of my contract handsets has died on me and it needs replacing!

The Acer Iconia Tab 7 A1-713HD certainly looks like a very interesting device... Check it out:-

Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat)
16 GB, 1 GB RAM
5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels
microSD, up to 32 GB
800 x 1280 pixels, 7.0 inches (~216 ppi pixel density)

I think this Iconia Tab 7 A1-713HD should reach the UK stores soon! I think the cost will be around £150!

7” tablets with 3G and 4G (I am sure that there will be some 4G enabled 7” tablets coming out soon) can so easily replace a broken handset cost effectively! This is what Apple is unable to do for the iPad and mini variant i.e. add 3G / 4G connectivity cost effectively! Also the Android tablet design is getting a lot better with smaller bezels that make the 7” tablet more comfortable to hold with one hand!

You have probably noticed that the new Android tablet standard seems to be 7.9” or 8”. The 8” tablet designs from LG and Samsung are phenomenal that they feel like 7” tablets. The LG Pad tablets do not appear to have any 3G / 4G connectivity whereas the Samsung Galaxy Tablet S has a 4G option that makes it a very attractive proposition. Oh, NVIDIA Shield Tablet is said to be available in the UK from the 1st September 2014! A month away!

You should know how I feel about budget Android handsets by now... Budget Android handsets with a dual-core processor below 1.5 GHz, 512MB RAM and less than 4GB storage is a waste of money – unless you don’t mind having a few essential apps! Well, define “essential”! You will find that defining what essential apps are will be very difficult indeed as the people you want to communicate with may have free messaging / calling apps that may prove to be too large for such budget handsets. When I had a ZTE Blade handset I had to get rid of it quickly! One update of the Facebook app put paid to its usefulness! Compromised; Regressive; Aggravating and Pointless!

Sure, Motorola has come up with the Moto G that costs around £119.95 and it may be okay but add a bit more money to it and you can get a better new phablet that was once called (at least by me) the 7” tablet. Let me leave you on a positive note (no pun intended)... Synapse Circuit Readers allow me to present what I consider to be a potentially great 7” phablet...

By the looks of it this amazing phablet form (or tablet if you want to be pedantic – hee hee) is one that could challenge what manufacturers considers to be “budget” handsets and tablets. I think that manufacturers of budget Android handsets could be using the small form as a selling point. The idea of a 7” phablet may be too much for some but I welcome it because of a bigger screen, cost effective 4G connectivity, a longer battery life, faster processor, more storage capacity and so on. For me the notion of replacing a busted premium or mid-range handset with a cheap handset is a redundant one; those days are over! I predict that the Asus Fonepad 7 ME372CL will sell very, very well! Again, it is devices like this that nails the iPad & mini variant coffins tightly shut! This is a phablet that I asked for: 4G connectivity without breaking the bank and a bit of power too! This is what makes Android unstoppable! Check out the spec:-

2 X 2: Intel® Atom™ Multi-Core Z2560 Processor 1.6 GHz (with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology)
16 GB of internal storage
Micro SD Card Reader,up to 64GB
Camera 5MP main and 1.2 MP front

That’s some great spec for the asking price of £199.99! I can’t wait to review it! If it is able to edit 4K video it would be pretty darn amazing!

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