Tuesday, 20 January 2015



Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! How’s it going? I hope that you have made some resolutions to get more involved in tech – if you haven’t already! You really should get that website built! I do think that in this stagnated miasma of corporate looking websites from overused templates is missing unorthodox, untrained and individual websites! Check out a great web design program for absolute beginners here: Web Design Software

Yes, yes, yes! It’s that time again... Time to speculate over the impending Samsung Galaxy S6 handset! Seriously, what are you looking for in the Galaxy S6? Let me tell you what I am looking for...

#Samsung #GalaxyS6

Yes, I think it is about time for a new design where the Galaxy S range is concerned and by the looks of things it looks like there will be a double-edged Galaxy S6 along with a standard one. I would imagine that this double-edged design will be in short supply. Fair enough! I am not too sure if this strategy works... I am curious to find out how the limited edition strategy worked with the Galaxy Note Edge. I wanted a Galaxy Note Edge initially but then I thought about the Gear VR and that it’ll only work with the standard Galaxy Note 4! I was toying with the idea of getting the Note Edge in addition – just for the novelty of it! And I do think it will become something of a collector’s edition further on down the line!

So, what about the design of the standard Galaxy S6? According to news sources it is said that the Galaxy S6 has been redesigned from scratch with “Project Zero” and so I can be forgiven for expecting a totally fresh outlook for the coming Galaxy S6! Dare I hope? I mean, “zero” means a new beginning, right? It’s old news that Samsung have hired Lee Don-tae of London-based design firm Tangerine, the company that British designer Jonathan Ive started before his Apple gig! Can we assume that Lee Don-tae has had a hand in the Galaxy S6 design?

As always the rumour machine is jacked up to the point where the vibrations are causing it to self-destruct! One interesting rumour is that Samsung will add a larger circular home button for a touch fingerprint sensor as opposed to swiping. As you know, I do prefer to swipe as I reckon it’ll be harder for someone to grab my hand and swipe my finger whilst I am asleep! I am sure that I would wake up during the process! Whereas a touch sensor will leave my handset just as vulnerable in certain conditions i.e. during sleep! 

I ask: Do we really need the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S6? Look at it this way: the most secure way to keep your phone inaccessible is to lock it with a password!

Another question I ask is: Why doesn’t Samsung do away with a physical home button for a virtual set of buttons like Google intended? That way Samsung could incorporate a beautiful set of stereo speakers to usurp the HTC One M8! Again, the reason for doing so is that Samsung caters to musicians with its set of audio facilities that can be found on the Galaxy Note 4! It’s even got a music making app – exclusive to the Galaxy Note 4 (for now) – Soundcamp! No! It’s the way I talk! Ha ha! See what I did there? “Sound” and “camp”? No worries! Anyway, Soundcamp looks like a potentially great music making app and I reckon it deserves some serious front-facing speakers!

If Samsung is going to have a fingerprint scanner wouldn’t it be ideal to place it on the back? Would this prevent the Galaxy S6 from having a removable battery?

Given the state of the art 3D printers out there I do wonder if Samsung prints out dummy handsets to test new designs... Anyway, even though I do find the home button on my Galaxy S4 useful I would appreciate if it were removed to accommodate the front-facing speakers! Having the Google Nexus 6 convinces me that this would be a very strong design move for Samsung. Not even the iPhone has gone there (front-facing speakers)!

If you compare the Galaxy Note 4 to the iPhone 6 Plus you will notice that is a little thicker! Let me tell you something right now: This notion of the “thinnest” handset in the world has gone too far if the battery is crap! I LOVE that the Galaxy Note 4 is thicker to accommodate a larger, longer lasting battery! I would honestly like the same for the Galaxy S6 too! I want the handset to be thicker for a strong battery! So far the battery on the Galaxy Note 4 is outstanding! The big Nexus 6 battery ebbs away even on standby! Or is my Nexus 6 using up the battery recording my every move and conversations while appearing to be idle??? Hahaha! In any event Samsung leads the way in battery longevity thus so far and I think it is such a boon to be able to swap the battery out!

Another and somewhat disturbing rumour is that Samsung are going to give the Galaxy S6 an aluminium unibody like the iPhone and HTC One M8! It is also rumoured that the aluminium unibody will be sealed with glass at the back! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! The Galaxy Note 4 feels every bit as premium for having a removable battery! Jeez, Louise! God forbid Samsung to take away the removable battery from the Galaxy S6!

Again, this Apple iPhone “premium” thing is a joke that is very much at their expense! Most iPhone fanatics are very much in denial. They really think that the materials that make up the iPhone makes it “premium”! That is so freaking bizarre! “Why?” I hear you cry! I reckon that I have gone over it in great detail... Let’s see if I can condense it...

1. As pretty as it might appear to iPhone fans they do suffer from low battery! Every iPhone user I know complains regularly about battery drainage! Dare I say it, but many of my iPhone friends are women and, scientists say, they like to converse a lot. So, it is ironic that so many women opt for an iPhone when they can’t get to finish a good conversation! <Ducks flying stiletto> Hey! That could have taken my eye out! Tell me I am wrong! Ha ha!

2. Apart from the camera lens at the back there is nothing for the iPhone user to interact with like on some Android handsets whereby some buttons have been placed for things like volume control and some manufacturers have placed the fingerprint scanner there (on the back). Oh, and not forgetting that Samsung has placed a heart rate sensor at the back next to the camera flash! So, this is how vain iPhone users are: they want to show off the Apple logo at the back! That’s it! “Oooh, look at me! I am so trendy with my Apple iPhone...”

3. If you are going to put a protective cover over the jewel-like iPhone it defeats the purpose!

I think that this is a testament to the fact that Jony Ive isn’t a practical designer! I bet you any money that if Ive had created a handset with a non metal removable battery cover they’d have gone mad for it in the same way! But, as usual with Apple and its followers, they chose to be ignorant where practicality is concerned! The future is... ...until the battery runs out!

To be completely honest with you, the only handset with a back worth showing off is the non metal Nexus 6 with the sexy “Nexus” logo on it! For sure, I can understand people wanting to flash that! But the iPhone???

With Samsung’s Galaxy S and Note series come some very brilliant flip covers that replaces the original battery cover and it still looks awesome! I recently bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 cover with the window that displays the time, date, steps that I have taken (or not) and the weather!

So, I can only hope that Samsung keeps the removable battery and gives us great flip cover options! Us Galaxy S and Note owners can get to actually interact with the battery cover by a) Removing it to replace an expired battery and b) To place a practical flip cover on it (and still retain the NFC capabilities)!

As you are probably aware, Samsung has already phased out the experimental Alpha handset! I think the idea was quite solid and I liked that they maintained a removable battery! The cover had a nice rubberised texture to it that made it easier to handle. But mind you, the Galaxy Alpha was quite small to begin with! I am all for a bit of metal on the Galaxy S and Note series of handset but in the right places!

Just like the Galaxy Note 4, I suspect that the Galaxy S6 will have a metal frame.

Something’s not right... Nothing was ever right about the Apple assault on Samsung because of the Galaxy S1! I’ve always said it was bad PR for Apple as it showed that they had nothing in the tank design-wise! The iPhone just got a little longer and gained a 64-bit processor! Big deal! And considering Android is supposed to be a “stolen Apple property” why is it that with each update iOS gains aspects of Android such as notifications?

I know there is a huge market for Apple computers in the States and there’s no doubt with regards to Apple’s contributions to computing and multimedia. PC users benefited from the QuickTime movie format and some of us took to iTunes. When the iPhone was introduced to the world it had a market just waiting to be exploited! Did the Galaxy S1 (and Android) pose a threat to that definite Apple market? No! But the Samsung’s Galaxy S1 (and Android) proved to a great alternative to those who hadn’t bought into the Apple ecosystem i.e. PC owners – like me! But come to think of it, Apple didn’t kick up a fuss when HTC had the Hero handset out! I don’t recall Apple losing its marbles over the first Android handset, Dream G1 by HTC!

It’s funny... I never saw the iPhone as an option... I have to confess that I had no idea what the smartphone could amount to in terms of being computers with a facility to make phone calls! I thought that the Nokia N95 was pretty much a big multimedia deal! At the time Adobe Flash as a ubiquitous media format for the Internet and when Apple made a spectacle of ostracizing it from the iPhone claiming “security issues” it put me off even further! Jobs had this unmistakably evil looking smugness on his face when he dismissed Adobe and its Flash media! So, when the Galaxy S1 came along with full support for Flash and no security issues it must have given Jobs kittens! I guess Jobs and co decided to go after Samsung claiming “infringements”. However, the lawsuits backfired on Apple as the mightiest battle since Ali and Foreman made the public think more about Samsung products... “They must be really good if Apple is trying so hard to get Samsung products off the shelves...” Samsung kept progressing and released the groundbreaking Galaxy S2! The Galaxy S2, in my opinion, was the progenitor design of subsequent Android handsets for other manufacturers: Sony, Huawei, ZTE, etc. Then Samsung changed it up again for the Galaxy S3! What’s odd is that there was no real criticism with regards to the Galaxy S3 being made from plastic as opposed to the “premium” iPhone! The Galaxy S3 was the real game changer for Samsung. People really took to the friendly design and the functionality such as the various camera modes. Sales were very, very good!

Now the Galaxy S4... Hmmmm... What happened there? Well, I have one! I love it and I have to say that I was a little disappointed initially to see that the design was quite safe; what was undisputed was the great amount of functionality that came with it such as the Air Gestures / View, Smart Screen and the camera functions were as sweet as ever! According to the retail outlets the Galaxy S4 sold over the iPhone and other handsets. That’s what they told me! Add to the fact that random people approached me at different mobile retail outlets to tell me what they think of the iPhone and that they were going to get a Galaxy S or Galaxy Note handset instead! I kid you not! I find it so odd that people would approach me, a complete stranger, to divulge such information.

For the Galaxy S5 Samsung kept the design similar (to the Galaxy S4) but added a fingerprint scanner, a sporty pimpled battery cover along with water and dust resistance. I liked it but wished Samsung had pushed the design envelope a bit more! Unfortunately for Samsung the Galaxy S5 didn’t sell as well as expected. But I don’t think the sales went to the iPhone! I got the impression that other Android handsets got a look in such as the LG G3! After all, the G3 had a quad-HD screen! For all the hype in the run up to the Galaxy S5 it just didn’t come across as the superphone we were expecting what with no quad-HD screen for a start!

Where the iPhone is concerned I do believe that Apple prices it out of competing with Android as is the dominant operating system on the planet! I would imagine that the minority of Mac computer owners have stuck with the iPhone because of the excellent symbiosis between the OS X and iOS. Not to forget that there are some excellent apps to be had on the App Store! But I know of many onetime iPhone devotees switch to the Galaxy Note as they tell me it’s “like having a computer... I don’t know how I stuck with the iPhone for so long...” One guy in particular was intrigued as to why I have so many Samsung handsets (Galaxy S, S2, S4 and Note 2) and kept asking me, “When are you going to get the iPhone?” So, one day I took some time out to show him what the little Galaxy S1 could do up to the S4 and Note 2. Honestly, the next time I saw him he got a Galaxy Note 3!

The way I see it is that Samsung is competing with itself! Look, even I was thinking about the possibility of owning both a Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge simply because the Galaxy Note is powerful and compared to the Galaxy S5, it is more advanced in terms of design and components. It would have been the icing on the cake to have a bit of water and dust resistance! But who as a Samsung fan wouldn’t want the Note Edge?

I would say that Samsung has always beaten the iPhone from the Galaxy S1 and continued to do so arguably up until the Galaxy S5. Don’t get me wrong; the Galaxy S5 is still a better design than any make of iPhone but I reckon that A7 64-bit processor sort of gave the iPhone an edge as a marketing bullet point! I do think that some had it in mind that the Galaxy S5 was going to go 64-bit! But there’s no way that the iPhone 6 Plus is a better handset than the Galaxy Note 4 – in my opinion it doesn’t even come close to the Galaxy Note 2!

So, I can conclude that the current Galaxy S has been superseded by the Galaxy Note 4. Yes, there are those that may have been tempted away by the G3 and possibly the One M8. The 5.5” quad-HD screen on the G3 whilst retaining a manageable form factor was quite hard to beat! What made the Galaxy S5 strong beyond the water & dust resistance is the superior camera and the quality of results. I would love to see the sales results for the Galaxy S5, G3 and iPhone 5S; I’m sure in the UK the Galaxy S5 came out ahead! Of course, I can’t be 100% certain. Looking on the streets I would say that the Galaxy S5 came out ahead!

Last year I stated that the phablet is dead! Long live the phablet! The LG G3 certainly proved that a handset with a 5.5” screen isn’t a literal stretch. I look at my Galaxy Note 4 and compared to my Nexus 6 it no longer looks like phablet! I keep saying that my Galaxy S4 so small that I wouldn’t want to upgrade to anything as small as that again and it’s 5”!!!

Again, I have not seen anything from the various Chinese manufacturers such as Oppo, Xiaomi, ZTE, etc that would make me want to give up my premium Samsung Galaxy S and Note! But I do think that these strong handsets are having an impact upon Samsung’s mid to budget ranges of handsets. Please let me know of a Chinese handset that is better than the Galaxy Note 4 or S5!

ASUS, of Taiwan looks certain to give Samsung a challenge with the Zenfone 2 and Zenfone Zoom! Look at some of the specs for the Zenfone 2:-

2.3GHz 64-bit Intel Atom processor
5.5-inch Full HD IPS display
13MP / 5MP PixelMaster cameras
4G / LTE

From what I have seen on the Zenfone 2 it could very well be a big hit for ASUS as it is said to come in at $200! Yes, really! I don’t know what that will translate to in UK and European currency but it is certain to undercut many handsets in the mid to low end! I think budget end of the market is in for a shake up! The PixelMaster cameras should seal the deal!

I would imagine that Samsung will have a handset to match in that price range! I am curious about that!

Here’s my ideal Galaxy S6:-

Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit CPU
5.5” 4K Super AMOLED screen protected by Gorilla Glass 4
20MP main camera that records unlimited 4K video – naturally limited to the microSD card capacity
13MP front-facing camera
32GB / 64GB / 128GB internal storage
5TB microSD for the 4K video recording
4400 mAh removable battery
Front-facing stereo speakers

I think it should be obvious as to why I have chosen this configuration. The Galaxy S6 has to be a powerhouse in order to re-establish the notion of “premium” and being in the driving seat! The 5.5” screen will probably end up being quad-HD but you never know if Samsung might just up the ante some more!

I think Samsung needs to take the camera side of things up a notch! 20MP is good but a picture requires more than just pixels! It’s also about the lens and flash! I am hoping that Samsung equips the GS6 with a stunning camera! The cameras on the Galaxy S and Note series have always been very, very good... Now that 64-bit processors have truly arrived for the Android platform it can support a more powerful camera! I would like better night photography functionality! I would like to take night shots quickly without having to freeze like a statue!

I would like to see Samsung ditching photo sharpening in the camera software because the GS6 camera is solid! By all means Samsung should provide a decent photo editing app that can deal with the high resolution photos!

There should be better capture rates for video from 1080p to 4K and that the GS6 supports a very high capacity microSD card! I am also hoping that the Snapdragon 810 64-bit processor will cut the ambient noise on videos a great deal so that they are not hard on the ears when playing the footage back!

I would like to see Samsung continuing to develop its serious video editing app as I am tired of waiting for app developers to come up with one worthy of installing to my handsets! In fact Samsung should get into developing Android apps big time and sell them!

I expect the same high quality audio standards as found on the Galaxy Note 4! If the Galaxy S6 becomes my next handset I would want to compose music! Samsung’s Soundcamp music making app has such great potential!

The combination of the fastest 64-bit CPU and 4GB RAM should see the Galaxy S6 as a multimedia beast!

I shudder to think! I don’t think I will join in the game of posting up “leaked” pictures of the maybe it is or maybe it isn’t Galaxy S6! I think will allow myself to be surprised!

The Samsung Galaxy S6 may be revealed at the Mobile World Congress 2 – 5 March 2015, Barcelona, Spain!

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