Friday, 1 August 2014


The Galaxy Note 4? I am hoping for a futuristic looking Galaxy Note 4!
Good evening / morning, Synapse Circuit Readers. How are you doing? I hope life and the weather is treating you well! It was a cooler day yesterday and therefore better for my allergies! Yay!

Tonight I wanna share my thoughts with you on Samsung!

#Samsung #SamsungGalaxyNote4 #GalaxyS5 #GalaxyS5LTE #GalaxyS5Prime #GalaxyTabS #GalaxyAlpha #GalaxyTabQ

To be honest I am not really surprised that the Galaxy S5 sales have been a little disappointing for Samsung. Let’s face it everything about the Galaxy S5 seemed a little off... For example, gone is the usual wonderfully exuberant press launches and instead we got a sombre introduction to the GS5. Again, I feel that Samsung got a bit of a backlash amongst the tech-media for the brilliantly OTT GS4 launch what with the women gathering over drinks and what not! You know what I say? I say blow the Apple biased tech-media! The Samsung press launches should return to serve the consumer! What made the Galaxy S3 and S4 sell the way they did was through the brilliant press launches that got the word out to the consumer on why they’d want to upgrade to those great handsets! With the GS3 I was sold on the form and camera. With the GS4 I was sold again on the camera (I love taking pictures on my GS4 and GN4) and the Air and Eye Gestures! Top class! Please, Samsung – if you are reading this – bring back the great press launches! The GS5 launch was okay but the consumer NEEDS that enthusiasm!

The design of the GS5 could have been better. Personally I appreciated the dimpled back cover as it makes the handset easier to hold. But the overall look was that it wasn’t much of a departure from the GS4. Looking back at the development of the Galaxy S concept one can see dramatic changes in the design process; the GS2 was a milestone and people – including me – still love it! Samsung UK offered me to trade it in for a newer model but I had to keep it! I still have my GS1 somewhere...’s in need of restoration! I would love to restore the GS1 back to how it was! I blame the demise of my GS1 on a third party battery extension. If it is not from Samsung I do not buy it! I learned that lesson well as did a young lady who put a third party battery into her GS4 and placed it under her pillow to burst into flames! Uh-uh! If it is not Samsung or Samsung approved do not buy it! 

But back to the GS5... ...people were expecting Samsung to follow the GS4 with an out of this world design! The result was the GS5 that looked liked last year’s model and that’s not what the consumer has in mind when they think of Samsung. A new design departure is part of the upgrade process for Samsung devices. Apple’s Jony Ives can rattle on about “design” because he has to justify why the iPhone looks like a piece of techno-gut-output; it is boring to say the very least. Whereas Samsung designs have been beautiful from the GS2 up until the GS4! If I were in the market for an upgrade I would have upgraded to the GS5 no doubt about it. Why would I upgrade to the GS5 even though I was a tad disappointed with the design? Good! I am glad you asked! The camera! I LOVE the results I get from the Samsung GS cameras. I have yet to be disappointed. I love the fact that I would have been able to record 4K video on it. I still love the Air and Eye Gesture functions; when these functions aren’t called for I switch them off! The way the majority of the tech-media goes on about these great Samsung innovations is as if the user is unable to turn them off! When I read a lot of the tech-media articles on Samsung products it makes me mad as they are obviously biased towards Apple! Bah!

Oh, mentioning the tech-media... Practically shortly after the GS4 was released there was the usual build up regarding where Samsung will go next with regards to the GS5! All tech-media outlets from professionals to enthusiasts fantasize about the Next Big Thing – to quote Samsung!

There was this expectancy for the GS5 to be made out of metal and feature a qHD screen and it didn’t happen! Was this to blame for the disappointing sales? I have always said that metal is the wrong way for Samsung to go! I have said it once and will keep saying it: Metal is not the most durable material for a handset! I have been battered iPhones (and iPads) and I am convinced that metal and glass are a waste of materials on a handset beyond the screen and the frame.

The LG G3 has proven that it is not metal that counts! Uh-uh! It is... ...wait for it... It is... DESIGN! The G3 looks so sleek and sexy that I want one! But what holds me back from the G3 is the camera; it’s close but not quite GS5 quality! I reckon that all this “premium material” talk surrounding the Galaxy S handset comes from... ...yes, you have guessed it... “Premium material” Galaxy S comes from the Apple biased tech-media. I have yet to come across a GS user who complains about the materials. You don’t read or hear the tech-media harping on about “premium materials” where LG or other manufacturers are concerned! If metal was the be all and end all HTC would be riding high but they are not; despite the One M7 and M8 HTC are still in a bit of a pickle.

What the Samsung GS fan was expecting was a unique (and possibly daring) design, the much rumoured qHD screen and a massive battery to boot! Well, that’s what I was expecting and I think that I am able to speak for a vast majority of GS users! If not let me know! A majority of us find the Air & Eye gestures useful and Samsung played it down. They certainly played the design down with a Samsung representative saying that it was “back to basics”.

No, Samsung! No! We do not want “back to basics”! We want the future yesterday! Sure, put out a simplistic handset or two but isn’t the iPhone simple enough already? Why try to emulate the regressive? Yes, keep refining TouchWiz! By all means have a look at why many users will deploy an alternative launcher such as Nova (the one I like to use), Buzz, Apex GO and so on and refine TouchWiz! Here’s a question regarding TouchWiz and Android L: Once Android L is released is it time for manufacturers to cease placing a user interface on top? I think so! I have always said that manufacturers should add their innovations as either widgets and / or a part of the Android operating system i.e. the Air gestures nest themselves nicely within Android. Cool!

So, the lesson for Samsung thus so far is...

A new unique design is part of the Samsung Galaxy S and Note experience. I have a Galaxy S4 and Note 2 so when my upgrades are due I want something out of this world or 5 years in advance at least. It is a tall order but Samsung can do it! Samsung should not follow the dull footsteps of Apple. Apple hasn’t sold as many iPhones as they’d like to think! Ha ha! See the Psychological Warfare article! One thing is for sure is that the iPad isn’t selling well at all!

I do think the tech-media has tried to make something out of nothing when it comes to Google’s and Samsung’s ideas clashing. It can be summed up like this:

Google wants Android to shine.
Samsung wants to shine by showing innovation.

That’s it. That’s the crux of the matter!

Samsung is really doing its best to outdo Apple and it is succeeding but Google is saying, “Please, Samsung... ...just pull back a little and have your innovations compliment Android...”

And the reason why Samsung is keen to develop their own Tizen operating system is so that they can compete more directly with Apple! That’s the core of it where Samsung is concerned – they are competing against Apple and sometimes this causes a little friction with Google.

Tizen can actually be good for Google if Samsung makes it possible for Tizen based devices to utilize Android apps! It is not unheard of for the mobile device enthusiast to have more than one device! I have about 7 Android devices and until I find another operating system that can offer me more I will stick to Android. I was contemplating a new fangled BlackBerry that turned out to be a dud! Windows handsets look interesting but like Apple it is only where the handset is concerned that makes any real sense. For Apple fans the iPad is a waste of money when the MAC OS X has pretty much all of what the iPad is and that can come in the form of the popular Macbook! Therefore the Apple fan can make use of the iPhone and from there transfer apps / files to the MAC computer. I am not too sure how it is for the Windows user with the handset as there aren’t many quality apps available. Microsoft has realized that a Surface tablet is really a luxury when there are cost effective slim laptops available.

Android does not suffer from having a separate computer operating system and neither does Tizen and that’s what makes these devices special in that they are affordable and files can be transferred to either a PC or MAC! Gosh!

It is does not come as a surprise to learn that Samsung has experienced a bit of a slump in tablet sales. Has the demand lessened for handsets and tablets as allegedly stated by Samsung? I don’t think so! Again, LG shows that the right design and features can win the consumer over. There are sales to be had! I have talked about the Samsung handset and what the consumer expects of it. Now let’s talk tablets!

From my observations Samsung with its tablets like its handsets have paved the way for other manufacturers to come in. We have seen that Samsung singlehandedly created the “phablet” market and I know that they have also opened up the market for the Android tablet! The amount of tablets that Samsung has placed on the market is phenomenal – it looks unorthodox to say the least!

A few years ago it was Samsung adding quality to combat the cheapness of tablets coming from China. So, with all these different sizes and configurations from Samsung it has shown other manufacturers that there is a demand for the Android tablet. As a result Asus came forth with some wonderful concepts and they still do! Motorola tried it and failed but the failure served as a great lesson. HTC also failed with its earliest tablet and this, I believe, led the way for Sony to come in on the tablet act too!

Android tablets were produced in polar opposites: expensive and horribly cheap! With the amount of 7” tablets Samsung put on the market it paved the way for others to put out decent tablets to undercut Samsung. Then the Nexus 7 came out and it cut out a market for cheaper Asus 7” tablets! And now other manufacturers are undercutting Samsung tablets. We’ve seen the Huawei MediaPad M1 with added 4G connectivity. This is becoming a wonderful trend nowadays for Android tablets: built-in 3G / 4G connectivity... And these network capable or “mobile broadband” 7 to 8 inch tablets do not cost the Earth! The cheapest 3G one that I have seen is from a French manufacturer called Archos, the Xenon 7 for £80! Wow! And there are more cost effective tablets to come from Asus, Acer, Archos, etc with mobile broadband built-in! This is going to undercut the Samsung tablet models without mobile broadband. However, such tablets from Samsung will make for good devices for children in that the parent may find it easier to monitor what their child or children can access on such devices! It is bad enough giving a preteen a smartphone whereby unsuitable material can easily be accessed but at least non-mobile broadband tablets can offer a degree of parental control.

As you know, Samsung have produced two great tablets in the form of the Tab S 8” and 10”! These tablets should sell very well – especially the 4G enabled versions - and should bring the prices down for older models. The Android tablet market is more varied than that of the iPad. The iPad sort of lends itself to the snooty “look at me I’m a designer” type of user whereas Android tablets can be for the purpose of entertainment – including games, social media and productivity. From what I have seen the Android tablet has more longevity. Once in a while I see folks with a badly damaged iPad: cracked screen and scratched back. The Android tablet doesn’t suffer from that much damage and it is cheaper to replace! And as for iPad apps being better...

Quite frankly I think way too much has been made over the “quality” of iPad apps... Yes, some of them are really great but the MAC OS X user has the software already. And the few quality apps that I have seen available for the Android tablet are quite outstanding that I will get a tablet very, very soon!

For example, I like to make music and the Caustic app for Android (Windows, MAC and iOS) serves me very, very well. Because I am able to output my compositions to the MIDI format I can then have the opportunity to transfer the MIDI file to a more advanced digital audio workstation (DAW) on my PC should I find it necessary. It is the same with video and photo editing / enhancement. I can even make an eBook on the Android tablet!

In any event Android tablet apps are getting better just like the handset apps! I do think that as Android tablets get better it could very well be that I will have no further use for a PC! Android L is going to be compatible with 64-bits I can see some of the top PC software houses making the leap to Android versions. Windows and MAC OS X cannot do that without effectively killing off their computers! When this iPhone 6 phablet comes out you know it is going to kill off the iPad! I reckon Apple will stuff the Macbook into a tablet form even though they have laughed at Microsoft for doing the same thing with the Surface tablet.

The Samsung tablet slump is temporary! The Android tablet market will continue to grow from strength to strength and that is just because it has no computer to safeguard! The Android tablet IS the computer! I would imagine that they will continue to come in all shapes, sizes and function. Add a 50” 4K screen on the Android tablet and it becomes an ultra-smartTV! Or even add a little Android based box to an HD screen and there’s no need for cable (TV) and that’s why Virgin has sold the ‘Media’ part of its operations as those days are numbered! Add a 22” 4K screen on an Android tablet with a 64-bit processor and it becomes a computer! I believe that this is what Apple is going to do for its computers but I think it is going to come at a price that will appeal to Apple diehards! Android devices can be inexpensive or very high-end and that is hard – if not impossible to beat!

Roll on Android!

As I have stated in an article I wrote yesterday, the 7” mobilebroadband enabled tablet IS the new phablet for Android! For the less self-conscious but technologically wise the 7” and even the 8” tablet with mobile broadband can function as a phablet! And as a result it will drive the costs of these “budget” Android handsets down to under £30 which is great! A smartphone for under £30???? Now that’s what I call “budget”! Even if I could have a couple of free calling apps on it I’d be happy! You are not going to see mobile phone vendors pushing the new phablet just yet as I imagine they need to get rid of all those budget handsets. God help the poor non-tech savvy people that wander into such a store with shark-like salesmen and women waiting to pounce! God knows that I hate browsing in such outlets as the second I put my foot in the door, “Can I help you?” No you bloody well can’t! Hahahaha! Yeah, just the other day I found myself in such a shop and I was interested into getting a new phablet – the 7” Asus FonePad... The salesman was trying to convince me that I wasn’t able to make and receive the usual calls on it; he kept saying, “You can only do facetime calls on it with apps...” Er, no! You see what Apple’s marketing can do? Okay, he did say that the Samsung Tab S 8” can receive and make calls.

A thought just came into my mind... How much would it cost Samsung to recall some of the older 7” tablets, take them apart and add 3G or 4G and put them back on the market again? There again such tablets are very low in price that they will start to shift...

The market for both tablets and handsets have changed somewhat and Samsung have already adjusted with the Galaxy Tab Q which was released in China recently! It is only a matter of time before it reaches the European and UK markets! The design looks bang on what with the super-slim bezels that makes it more believable as a phablet! Here are some specs:-

1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU
1280 x 720 HD TFT display 16 million colours
8MP main camera
2MP front camera
Bluetooth 4
16GB internal storage
Up to 128GB microSD card
3200 mAh battery

Wow! The above spec looks pretty, pretty good for a phablet – price depending. I wouldn’t like to guess how much Samsung will charge for it should it come to the UK!

Oh, who can forget the forthcoming Galaxy Note 4? Not me! I could be the proud owner of one!

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