Saturday, 28 February 2015


March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It is great to see you as always! I hope that life is treating you well and that your tech is functioning as it should!

Yesterday the world was rocked by the passing of Leonard Nimoy otherwise known as Mr. Spock. I thought that I would write about Nimoy's and Star Trek's influence on my growing up as a child. What was your experience with Star Trek? Were you Mr. Spock or were you Captain Kirk in the playground? Here's my experience...

#LeonardNimoy #Spock #StarTrek #SciFi


What can I tell you about Star Trek that you don’t already know or can find out for yourselves via Google? All I can say is that I used to watch Star Trek religiously as a child; come home from school, wolfed down my dinner and settled to watch what has to be the most successful Sci-Fi series of all time at around 19.00 on BBC 1. I was definitely too young to understand some of the deeper episodes when Captain Kirk wasn’t seducing or being seduced by some sexy looking female alien. Star Trek opened up my mind to imagine what the future would be like. I was always torn between wanting to be a charismatic fearless hero like Captain Kirk or the calm, deep and logical Mr. Spock. This was always a bone of contention and confusion in the playground at school; you know how it is... One minute you are Kirk and the next you are Spock. Many a make-believe game was spoiled by other children wishing to change characters on the fly and not to mention not being able to stay dead.

I see Google as being Star Trek what with Google Now and the ability to translate languages spoken in real time. Of course, we have communicator in the form the mobile phone and smartwatch. Yes, I know I keep ripping on Apple but I do see them as being the Borg of the later Star Trek spin offs; they assimilate the technologies of others and call claim them as its own. OK! Enough of that already... Star Trek has inspired science and the technological industries.

I wonder what it must have been like for Leonard Nimoy to see much of Star Trek materialize in his lifetime... The 3D printer, handheld devices that can analyze blood, tablets (not that I can remember a tablet featured in Star Trek) and voice recognition – artificial intelligence that has many of us holding conversation – of sorts – with our devices.


Throughout my child to the present day I have felt like an alien... I sometimes feel that I am the most misunderstood person on the planet! Such thoughts and feelings should never be with a child but such is life. For sure the Spock character gave me someone to identify with during my school years. Spock rarely got angry and chose – most of the time – to deal with situations with logic. People seem to forget that Spock influenced Kirk to be more thoughtful and less emotional. The constant verbal sparring between by Dr. Bones McCoy and Spock showed me, as a child, that some people are like that... ...some people need to cause some kind of fray when there is absolutely no need for it. It’s illogical and that’s the nature of a lot of people – I included.

I had learning difficulties growing up which was undiagnosed, dyslexia and dyscalculia, these afflictions were quite hard to deal with. Teachers would just get incredibly upset with me because I mostly likely defiled their dreams of being that special one who got through to all the pupils albeit inadvertently. Apologies, former teachers! It was the character of Mr. Spock that helped me use my mind in a different way. I knew that I had a flair for creativity and writing – even though I had certain limitations. I often would find myself in a world of my own trying to write about it in the hope that I would be understood better.

I became an artist / writer with the influence of the Mr. Spock. The mind is such a great place to explore. I think I surprised my teachers in high school when I became something of a poet. Yes, my brain does work!


There was a time when I was fascinated by the man behind Mr. Spock. Even without the pointed ears the man looked pretty much like the half human alien he portrayed. He had a face like no other. I found his face delightfully bizarre in that he, as an actor, could look villainous but when he smiled I could see or at least imagine a heart-warming personality. Sometimes we think we know but do not.

I found the man mesmerising as he had a great sounding voice and he certainly knew how to emote with it. To see him in roles outside Star Trek was a sight to behold as a child. I remember him in Mission Impossible and a few different shows... shows that I shouldn’t have been watching but as an insomniac child I would often get up and watch these delightfully fascinating Sc-Fi / Horror TV series like the Twilight Zone. If my memory serves his character was on a train being seduced by a lovely looking woman and he was resisting... ...and when he gave in the woman became hysterical and cried for help or something like that... I think he was dragged off by the train police... Such were the times. But that has obviously stuck in my mind. I also remember seeing Nimoy in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I found his portrayal of Dr. David Kibner character to be kind of creepy. I have to see that film again as my mind has developed considerably; I watched the film when it came on TV and I was anticipating another kind of horror which sent me in the wrong direction so to speak. But I was creeped out further when this body snatching spore enveloped Dr. David Kibner’s body.

I found the man amazing as he had many talents: actor, singer, writer, photographer and director. I thought Three Men and a Baby (1987) very enjoyable. The actors Ted Danson, Tom Shelleck and Steve Guttenberg never had a better on screen role. I was also very impressed that Nimoy directed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in 1984 and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986. I think The Search for Spock was quite emotional when we saw the rebirth of the character. I also loved the ‘save the planet’ tone of The Voyage Home.

Going back to Nimoy’s distinctive voice... I loved his work in cartoon series The Simpson’s and especially Futurama! You can hear that he had a great sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself, Spock and the Star Trek phenomenon – including fans.


So many people, including I, said “rest in peace” upon learning of Nimoy’s passing after 83 years on planet Earth. But when I think about death it is an odd concept or at least our attitudes towards it. Unless cremated the body – the shell does anything but to rest in peace. We either don’t want to think about the process a seemingly lifeless body has to go through or don’t believe there is an afterlife or a life beyond death.

Through Star Trek I have come to love science fiction, science and technology. Perhaps it is odd that this appreciating of science fiction has me to understanding that the amazing energy that powers the body has been transformed. When a light bulb blows the electricity is still there. It is so very odd that we only think of outer space in the context of the stars and other planets. But we often forget or seem to forget that we too are in space! The Earth is very much like a spaceship Enterprise (a strange name for a spaceship / starship given that enterprise is destroying the planet) and that our bodies are a biological spacesuit.

I would like to think of Leonard Nimoy continuing his voyage through space and time. Most certainly, I / we will still connect with his creative spirit and endeavour to make the most of our duration on starship Earth until the day we are beamed up too!

Oh, the Vulcan nerve pinch does work! Don’t try this at home. Better still, don’t try it at all.

Ah, I also have to state that Star Trek is also partially responsible for getting me into Electronic music what with all those lush sounds of laser beams, sliding doors and computer bleeps, etc. Thank you, Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek!

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit! Live long and prosper!

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Synapse Circuit for tech news, opinions, articles, reviews and competitions. You will find interactive PDF magazines, videos and links to free legal software! Check it out at Synapse Circuit dot com

Friday, 27 February 2015


Above: The acoustic drum kit can be swapped out for 3 electronic kits. I wish there were more kits and more to a kit i.e. 16 percussion instruments instead of 8 (as shown). 

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! How goes it? I hope that all is well with you and yours! I also hope that there are no glitches in your tech!

That’s right, you read it correctly: ‘Soundcamp’. No, I’m not referring to my light lisp. Soundcamp is a digital audio workstation (DAW) for the composition of music. The only catch, at the moment, is that Soundcamp is only available on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It has taken me a little while to take a proper look and now I can let you know what I think... Read on!

#Samsung #Soundcamp #GalaxyNote4 #GalaxyS6 #GalaxySEdge #GalaxyS6Edge

It’s funny... ...yesterday I wrote a piece on Samsung’s ability to market its products. Soundcamp is one aspect of Samsung that is shouting out for a bit of exposure. I have feeling why that Samsung is keeping Soundcamp on the down-low (these odd street expressions).

Apart from being an application that can be, for now, found solely on the Galaxy Note 4, the Soundcamp interface works backwards to the way I (and most computer musicians) compose. What I mean by this is that you have to record manual playing on a selected instrument such as the Keyboard, Drum, Heat Synthesizer and a few other instruments. So, you hit the ‘record’ icon on the instrument interface and you play away – if you have manual dexterity. I do not! From there you can go to the track interface and double click on the ‘recording’ produced. In case you aren’t familiar with how a DAW works what is usually recorded is note information (MIDI). Therefore you can go into the track and edit the note placement which is quite easy to do. Oh, you can add an Audio Track too!

Above: Shows the recording of my inept manual playing on the Drums (and Keyboard) interface(s). Then by going to the Tracks part of the interface I double click on a track and then can edit the beats (in the instance of the Drum recordings). Using the Keyboard you are then presented, naturally, with keys that correspond to the notes of the piano keys played. Of course, you can then change the key / notes to suit when editing.

You can also edit the velocity of a note or beat. As you can see you can change the intervals i.e. 1/8, 1/16 and so on. It works very, very well as a DAW (digital audio workstation). One of the best interfaces I have seen on an Android app that is very close to what you get on a PC or Mac.

Above: Save your projects and go back and edit to completion. 

What I would prefer is to be presented with a few empty tracks and to add instruments as and when; upon adding an instrument the MIDI Editor pops up so that I can input notes / beats in step time. And I would like to also to double click on a bar measure, fill it with notes / beats and extend the bar to as many bars as I wish or to double click on a bar anywhere on the track and be able to keep the tracks separate from other edits within the same track.

The next thing I would like is to be able to add at the very least 16 instruments and at the most as many as the CPU can take! You can only add up to 6 instruments at a time which is still pretty good.

Compared to other DAWs currently available for Android Soundcamp could do with a little reworking.

Another thing that Samsung keeps quiet (no pun intended) is that it has a professional audio system that allows for USB audio devices to be connected and to keep latency to a minimum. I would like to see Samsung do ads that showcase the strong audio capabilities.

You can download free and paid for instruments. You get a free version of AmpliTube effects unit to enhance tracks. There’s a version of AmplitTube that you pay for that extends the capabilities and that will cost you £13.99! AmpliTube is by IK Multimedia and is renowned for professional software and hardware on the PC, Mac, iOS and now Android. You can purchase an iRig HD guitar interface to connect your guitar or bass for direct recording into the Soundcamp and other compatible DAWs. Also check out iRig Recorder for recording vocals, etc. There’s also a microphone that fits into the headphone jack for a more professional recording. You also get EZ Voice from IK Multimedia made specifically for recording vocals.

Above: The Galaxy App Store showcasing other apps to download for use with Soundcamp. Some of these applications will only work with Soundcamp. 

There’s also a guitar app, Guitarism – Pocket Guitar by Rhism LLC that costs £3.27 that adds acoustic and electric guitars.

I would say that Soundcamp has great potential; it is usable once you get to know how it works. A musician with manual dexterity i.e. he or she can play an instrument or used to playing into a virtual instrument interface will find it immediate. But those, like me, who prefers step-time input can work with it but would like to be presented with the MIDI Editor in the first instance.

I hope Samsung continues to develop this brilliant application and possibly add support for VST instruments and effects – that would be something! VST stands for virtual studio technology which has been created and developed by Steinberg of the famous PC DAW, Cubase! Anything is possible!

I would advise the Samsung developers to take a look at something like Caustic 3 for Android, iOS and PC by Single Cell Software to get an idea of how excellent a music interface can be. I would like to see a mastering suite of effects such as a compressor, stereo enhancer and so on.

Soundcamp has a great looking GUI (graphical user interface) that mimics the recording studio environment very nicely! Just look at the image above!

Samsung are on to a winner!

3 / 5

With a bit more development Soundcamp can be another unique selling point for the Galaxy Note 4 and other premium Galaxy handsets – hopefully! I am also hoping that Soundcamp will be also available for the forthcoming Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge. Roll on, Samsung!

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!

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Please check out the Synapse Circuit site here: Synapse

Synapse Circuit for tech news, opinions, articles, reviews and competitions. You will find interactive PDF magazines, videos and links to free legal software! Check it out at Synapse Circuit dot com


C'mon, Ive can't design something as beautiful as those great handsets.
Another controlled "leak". We know what they look like... Now what do they do?

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! What’s happening with you? It’s great to see you as always!

Yes, indeed... The Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge is upon us thanks to a bunch of well timed “leaks”. It always amuses me that the tech media don’t seem to understand how controlled leaks serve to maintain interest from inception to the birth as it were. Or are they just playing along because the tech media itself is responsible for the “leaks” getting into the public domain!?!

Does Samsung have anything left for The Next Galaxy Unpacked event come Sunday 1st March 2015, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona?

And former Apple CEO John Sculley says that "nobody is talking about Samsung..." Hmph!

#Samsung #GalaxyS6 #GalaxySEdge #GalaxyS6Edge

The latest “leak” looks like an official Samsung graphic and if you were able to read between the lines in the last The Next Galaxy teaser video you’d have understood that the much anticipated Galaxy S6 Edge is without a bezel, “Borders will be free...” And not only that the American carriers already showed us that the Galaxy S6 Edge is different to that of the Galaxy Note Edge.

Once again, this “leak” is to bring people back down to planet Earth hence the brilliant ‘Is This The Next’ website by Samsung Norway. We’ve seen the blueprint right up to the finished product(s). But we’ve seen the Leak Syndrome before with other products say from those other guys; we knew what was coming in terms of the physical handset and for the most part the much desired bigger screen handset (from those other guys) was a disappointment... There was not even the remotest functionality as found on the Galaxy Note 4! Not one iota! Must I show that picture again? OK! There!

Above: So many iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models traded in for a more pleasing handset... A sure sign of a bad design.

We have yet to learn what these beautiful looking handset are all about... Do we know about how the camera works? No. Do we know if there will be a microSD card slot? Hmmm... Some say “No!” But at the end of the day not having a microSD slot isn’t a disaster seeing as I have a Nexus 6! There is Google Drive and there is no telling if Samsung will give prospective Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge owners its own cloud storage solution. I ask again: If unlimited 4K video is a feature then where are we going to store it? It would be something if Samsung gave Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge users a cloud storage solution. No, you can’t use “But that has a potential to use up my data plan...” You’re not going to get the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge and have a weak data plan are you? Here in the UK many premium handsets come at a high rental cost but you do get the possibility of unlimited data. And you have Wi-Fi too!

And although we’ve understood that TouchWiz is going to be lighter than ever we still don’t know exactly what that will entail. I think there is quite a lot that we don’t yet know so sit back and enjoy the show!

 What's there not to love about these great aesthetically pleasing handsets? I'd laugh if I fell prey to a Samsung prank but I reckon this is the real deal. 

Yes, I am on about the possible short supply of the Galaxy S6 Edge... In the UK you either had to go with Vodafone or buy the Galaxy Note Edge outright. I can only hope that the S6 Edge will reach more networks (carriers to my US & Canadian buddies).

I have a feeling that the demand for the Galaxy S6 Edge is going to be high! People are going to go nuts for it! I know I want one already!

Above: This early prototype and (possible) official Samsung patent shows the idea for a wrap around screen. I saw it coming but a couple of years too early! You can see that from this design that parts of it made up the Galaxy Alpha to the Galaxy A series and, of course, the Galaxy S6 Edge. The speakers are now placed at the bottom edge - allegedly. 

Knowing Samsung we just might get more than the Galaxy S6 & S Edge handsets... There could be another smartwatch or smartwatches, tablet preview or something that we’ll appreciate greatly!

Speaking for myself, The Next Galaxy Unpacked event hasn’t been ruined by the controlled “leaks”. If anything it has piqued my interest more. Oh, I am also very pleased with the design / aesthetics. The little speakers at the bottom (if that is accurate) looks like it can belt out the tunes!

Sunday will be here before we know it and so will the Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge!

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!

Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit site here: Synapse

Synapse Circuit for tech news, opinions, articles, reviews and competitions. You will find interactive PDF magazines, videos and links to free legal software! Check it out at Synapse Circuit dot com


Thursday, 26 February 2015


Above: A successful Samsung Genius Bar parody.

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! How are you? It is so good to see you as always! I hope you are getting maximum joy out of your tech! More reviews are coming! Say, it’s been a while since Synapse Circuit hosted a competition... Wait and see... Wink, wink...

Whether you like or even love Samsung or not you can you honestly say that you haven’t talked about a Samsung device – namely the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge? Weren’t you impressed by the Galaxy Note 4? And what about the often sublime Samsung adverts – especially when they mock the “Sheeple” or “iSheep”? But, hey, someone begs to differ...

"Everybody talks about Apple. Nobody talks about Samsung, or Microsoft, for that matter," says former Apple CEO John Sculley.

#Samsung #GalaxyS6 #GalaxySEdge #GalaxyS6Edge #Unpacked2015 #MobileWorldCongress2015 #MWC15

It’s as though the people at Apple are cyborgs in that what comes from their mouths is a vehement constant denial of the competition, “Apple is fantastic. Apple is amazing. Apple is wonderful...”

Well, it hasn’t always been like that as the massive tech war that amounted to an undue lawsuit to prevent Samsung products from competing around the globe. People were certainly talking about Samsung then (and now)!

I have exposed Apple on many occasions from the destruction of the music industry with iTunes, exaggerated sales figures and how the iPhone 5 tanked as did the 5C. However, despite these, er, hiccups the Apple skin remains shiny and bright. There may be a rotten core below the surface.

Just about everybody who follows tech news knows that 2014 has been hard for Samsung due to the ever changing Android market; the standards have definitely been upped somewhat. What was a high-end handset 2 years ago is now a budget one today. We know about the Chinese manufacturers and how they have cornered the mid to mid-high end market. However – and I keep saying this – I have yet to see a handset from a Chinese manufacturer that can rival the premium Samsung models, Galaxy S and Galaxy Note. There is no doubt that these mid to high-end Chinese handsets are a cost effective alternative to Samsung and other premium staples but I would imagine that a majority of Android fans in the West would prefer a Galaxy Note or Galaxy S over something like the OnePlus One. Well, I know that the Galaxy Note 4 has great audio support for music composition on the fly and I suspect that the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will have the same audio features and more besides.

While the Chinese have switched from Samsung and Apple to national manufacturers such as Xiaomi, for example, it is not going to happen globally. Even if Xiaomi or OnePlus entered the US and European markets in a big way I do not think that we’ll switch all of a sudden! Just look at Huawei over here in the UK – they are still struggling to break the stranglehold of Samsung, LG and HTC. The only market that Huawei can tap is the budget one. And it is the same with ZTE (here in the UK); they are now forced to create better handsets with a lower price.

Then you look at other Android competitors such as Acer and Archos, they are forced to create better handset at a lower price entry.

Once again, the Galaxy S5 was a pedestrian “back to basics” offering from Samsung; it is what people have been talking about from the initial unpacking until now! So, all eyes are upon The Next Galaxy Unpacked come March 1st at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

But you’d be hard pressed to find someone that will talk about the failure of the iPhone 5 and 5C. Apple won’t talk about it because they behave like those failures never happened. Given the choice of a Galaxy S5 and an iPhone 5 or 5C I wouldn’t have to think about it: Galaxy S5!

The Galaxy S5 is still a great handset that features a great camera amongst other features such as the heart rate monitor.

Did Samsung’s marketing power or lack thereof have an adverse effect on the Galaxy S5 sales? It’s a tough one to call because the general consensus from the UK tech magazines put the LG G3 on top of the UK Android market and no matter how many ads Samsung take out in magazines and television it is hard to dissuade the public from tech magazine (paper and TV) recommendations. The Galaxy S5 simply didn’t capture the imagination of the majority of tech media in the UK. As a Samsung fan myself I wasn’t very impressed with the Galaxy S5 design but beyond the design it was the best handset of 2014 only coming second to the Galaxy Note 4 released in September. And on the streets I see so many people with Galaxy Note 3 handsets – men and women! Y’know, I have yet to see someone with an LG G3 on the streets...


It’s one thing taking on the rest of the Android manufacturers but to take on the iPhone??? Well, actually it is not that big of mountain to climb because Samsung premium handsets are better than the iPhone. Yes, really! Here:-

Yes, I do understand the idea of “premium” materials but that’s not necessarily the whole story. We all know that all smartphones suffer from a weak battery. To be able to swap out the battery on the Galaxy S series up to 5 and the Note series to the current fourth incarnation is the hallmark of a great design. Just the other day when I was in a coffee shop in Soho I witnessed a group of Asian patrons with their iPhones plugged into the wall.

Above: Chief Apple designer, Jony Ive. You'd look miserable too if all your designs were surpassed...

One more time... We interface with the screen and so having a big 5” screen on the Galaxy S5 and 5.7” on the Galaxy Note 4 makes the rest of the handset quite superficial. Show one person that is infatuated with the back of the phone and I’ll show you an elitist ill-informed person that is in love with the Apple logo. The only time I really interface with the back of my Galaxy handsets is to change the battery and check my heart rate. That’s it! With the iPhone the forehead and chin, so to speak, are quite big and unsightly. Jony Ive is simply overrated as a designer. All Ive can do is just criticize and bitch – very boring!

The functionality of the Galaxy S and Note series are unsurpassed. Because Apple isn’t able to imbue the iPhone with such functionality they call Samsung’s innovations “gimmicks”. Once a person goes from the iPhone to a Galaxy Note, for example, they rarely go back. I have to admit that I find it hard to believe when someone tells me that they have gone from a Galaxy Note to an iPhone 6 Plus as I think they are either lying for effect (to prop up Apple) or they simply didn’t make use of the Galaxy Note. Yes, Apple announced record breaking sales and profits but I do think that it’s the affluent Chinese market that has helped. Android still has over 80% of the market and Samsung is still on top!

The iPhone cannot beat Android and Samsung’s TouchWiz for functionality. Yet, that said, TouchWiz can produce some lag where the fluidity of the interface goes. I can’t say that a little lag here and there has ruined my enjoyment of the Galaxy S and Note handsets. I can’t say that I have noticed any lag or stutters on the Galaxy Note 4 thus so far.

You’d think that the Apple App Store has a greater edge over Google Play Store the gap that was once there has closed considerably. In addition Samsung is creating apps for its own Galaxy App Store; granted that the Galaxy App Store features many apps that can be found on the Google App Store there are a few apps pertaining to the Galaxy S and Note handsets. 

Once again, the productivity apps can output to file formats for further work on a PC or Mac. This is why serious technology fans go for the Galaxy range of premium handsets over the iPhone.

The iOS operating system is just a front for iTunes.

In some ways Apple is very clever; over the years Jobs has cultivated an acute elitism in the personal computing market, “We’re Apple Macs and we are superior to PCs...” Apple had to do something to stem the tide of Microsoft, Windows and inexpensive PCs. Apple jacked up the prices and invested in some revolutionary designs for the time with its Mac computers. It’s like Apple reinvented its brand to appear like a Rolls Royce to the rather bland Ford PCs. But that was a little over 10 years ago. Today we have some brilliant looking PC cases, well designed monitors and interchangeable components such as a graphics card for example. A well made PC can beat a Mac in price and in functionality.

Apple has just repeated the jacked up price formula for the iPhone and iPad; it’s that brand building that captured the minds of the consumer looking to buy into prestige. Add the constant Apple derision of the competition and you have a bunch of people hating the competition for no real reason and this is why many people find it hard to reason with iPhone fans on social networks such as Google Plus.

When you look over at Samsung it is entirely different... What Samsung does is just concentrate on how good its products are. As you know one of the ways Samsung has shown that its products are better is with those wonderful ads that poke fun at the ‘iSheeple’. Apple can never do ads like that. As I have been saying for the longest time that the Apple lawsuit persecution has given Samsung a great deal of publicity! I still chuckle at the iPhone 6 Plus keynote, “Look, it has a landscape mode!” said Peter Schiller. I laughed so hard at the time. The audience, made up of press and Apple personnel, clapped like trained seals. Wow! Isn’t that fantastic?

You’ve only got to look at the build-up for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to see that Samsung are masters of marketing. It will be interesting to see how Samsung markets the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge post the Unpacked event in Barcelona in a couple of days time.

But a good product or products should speak for themselves. Should Samsung get the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge right then they’ve done 80% of the marketing already. There’s a bit of panic in that some Android fans are saying that the next Galaxy won’t have an microSD card slot “copying the iPhone” and will not be water or dust resistant. I can just about live with a non-removable battery on a Samsung but with all the pictures and videos I take with my Galaxy handsets I will need a microSD slot! As for water and dust resistance... ...I’ve never really needed such protection.

I think the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Unpacked event is the most anticipated ever! It has overshadowed all the other manufacturers attending the Mobile World Congress; the tech media has written an article practically every day based on pure speculation, Samsung’s finances, “leaked” pictures and so on... What I’ve tried to do is to step back a little and try and put the clues together. I didn’t want to join in with the rumour manufacture and photo leaks from unofficial sources. Such tech journalism is lazy in my opinion. I try to put some effort in my journals. Lol!

We’ll just have to wait and see what Samsung reveals this Sunday!

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!

Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit site here: Synapse

Synapse Circuit for tech news, opinions, articles, reviews and competitions. You will find interactive PDF magazines, videos and links to free legal software! Check it out at Synapse Circuit dot com



The Edifier solidly built Studio R1700BT Bluetooth speaker system.

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! I am so glad that to see that you have enjoyed my Nexus 6 review! I am sure that you will agree that it’s the best and most balanced review you have ever read!

Say! I don’t suppose you are up for a set of good speakers? Check this bit of news out!

#Edifier #R1700BT #Speakers #Audio #2WaySpeakers

If you happen to be a budding musician utilizing the PC / Mac, phone and / or tablet to compose your tracks then you may be familiar with “studio monitors” that profess to provide a professional accurate audio production / reproduction. You may have come across “professionals” that recommend the most expensive set of monitors going. I think that these “professionals” are often misguided folk that use expensive equipment as a measuring stick, “Mine is the most expensive, biggest and the best!” And have the opinion that, “You’re not a professional if you use anything less...”

OK... ...if the above is true then why is it that many recording studios have closed down due to advancements in computer music technology? Yeah! Answer that one!

In the past I have used PC speakers to create my music, master and commit to CD. I have sold a few homemade albums in my time! While I do not class myself as an “audio master” I do have ears! I can honestly tell you that these expensive studio monitors aren’t worth the expense if you happen to be a bedroom composer!

Some of us do not have a great deal of money to throw upon an expensive pair of studio monitors and the best way forward is to go for a set of good quality PC speakers instead. If you are not very technical when it comes to speaker specifications skip the next bit...

Total power output: RMS 15W x2 (treble) + 18W x2 (bass) (DRC ON)
Signal to noise ratio: 60Hz - 20KHz (±6dB
Frequency response: R/L 4.0KHZ-20KHZ | SW: 30Hz - 3KHZ
Distortion:  ≤0.5%
Input sensitivity: PC: 700mV±50mV | Aux: 550mV±50mV
Audio input: PC, AUX, Bluetooth
Adjustment (remote): Wireless remote control for audio source selection, mute and volume adjustment.
Adjustment (Unit): Volume, bass and treble adjustment
Treble unit: Φ19mm silk dome tweeter
Bass Unit: 4 inch (116mm)
Dimension each Speaker: 154 mm x 254mm x 214mm (W x H x D)
Weight: 6.6kg / 7.6kg (net / gross)

Like most of the Edifier range of speakers I find the build quality to be solid and aesthetically pleasing. The speaker casing is made from real wood – I think you’d call the colour “cherry red”. They are heavy-ish unlike many PC speakers. I found no fault in the overall build.

The right speaker houses the volume, treble and bass controls that are easily accessible. In addition there is a wireless remote control unite to mute, increase / decrease volume, audio source selection (AUX and PC) and Bluetooth activation.

Edifier has definitely done a good job with the build quality and making the controls easily accessible. Trust me, I have seen some controls on other speakers put in awkward places thus creating a potential for frustration if the settings must be constantly adjusted to suit different media. Well done, Edifier!

As with all the Edifier speakers I have reviewed over the years (and with all different makes of speakers) the Studio R1700BT comes with all the necessary cabling for the PC and auxiliary unit i.e. MP3 player, phone, tablet, CD player, etc. It takes less than a minute to wire-up the speakers and connect to a PC, MP3 player, tablet, etc. The remote control is child’s play!

For a while I have been looking at composing music on the fly with my handsets and tablet and I have been looking at a speaker system that I can use specifically for that purpose. What I love about the Studio R1700BT is the Bluetooth connectivity; it takes seconds to pair up my ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE tablet with R1700BT and from there it is a matter of making sure that the volume levels from my tablet is turned up to the max as it is lowered as a precaution by default thinking that I am using headphones. Also this built-in protection could in fact stop me from potentially blowing up headphones and speakers (I’ve done it before).

I used Caustic 3 which is a music making app for Android (there are also PC and iOS versions) and I also used the music player on my ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE. I have to say that I was very, very pleased with the results coming from the speakers. I found that the treble and midrange sounded like needles, razor blades and a hammer. The woofer sounded like thunder! The only fault – if you can call it a fault – is that the woofer isn’t big enough for the latest trends in Electronic music namely Dubstep! The Dubstep bass is a tad too much for the R1700BT and that’s with the bass control midway! Still, the results aren’t bad at all. When I switched from music composition to just listening to music using the music player (on the ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE) I was very impressed. I listened to a Jazz composition and I can hear the individual instruments clearly: piano, drums, bass and guitar.

For music composition I don’t think I can live with the 4” bass unit; for the kind of music I make 6” or 8” would have been ideal. Naturally, I did appreciate how wonderful music from my ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE tablet can sound as the speakers on it are a disappointment! But I can’t use the Studio R1700BT for music composition in comfort. I suppose I could get used to the bass representation however I’d sooner get the right speaker system for my purposes.

For listening to music, consuming media such as video on a PC and / or tablet I could recommend the R1700BT on the sound alone. The price, £120, does seem a bit high... I can understand to a degree why the price is quite high in comparison to other speaker systems; it is hard to reproduce distortion at the highest volume setting. Again, it’s the woofer that lets the Studio R1700BT down. While the bass isn’t exactly distorted it just lacks the oomph! Not wishing to be overly crude but the bass on the R1700BT sounds like a potential trouser trumpet turning into a wet one when coping with modern Electronic music.

Oh, sure, the Bluetooth connectivity is also another factor for the high asking price.

This is a tough one... I feel that the price may be too high for composers of Electronic music as the sound is not perfect. For the general consumer I feel that there are better cost effective solutions out there. It is a shame as the treble and midrange are crisp! If the music you make isn’t extremely bass heavy then I think it’s worth giving the Studio R1700BT a try.

3 / 5
A solid Synapse Circuit Silver!

Edifier could be onto a winner if they gave the R1700BT a bigger woofer for the same price. Despite the Synapse Circuit Silver award I do think that this is a very good attempt at a hybrid general PC speaker and studio monitor.

Let’s say that the Studio R1700BT didn’t have Bluetooth connectivity and I picked it up for £65 I could it generally as an accessory to my tablet. But I would rather pay a little more for a substantial woofer and Bluetooth as wires can be a pain!

Hey, you can always visit a store like PC World and give it a listen yourself. If you’re not making bass heavy music the R1700BT may be just right for you given that studio monitors are usually sold as a single unit i.e. per speaker. You’re looking at somewhere in the region of £109 for a non-active single monitor alone. If you are a total beginner “non-active” means that there is no amplifier built into the speakers so you will have to invest in an amplifier. Yes, music making is a hobby / profession that potentially keep you giving your hard earned cash! Spend wisely!
Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!

Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit site here: Synapse

Synapse Circuit for tech news, opinions, articles, reviews and competitions. You will find interactive PDF magazines, videos and links to free legal software! Check it out at Synapse Circuit dot com

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Is this the actual Galaxy S6? Notice that the edge isn't the same as that on the Galaxy Note Edge and therefore what we are looking at is the bezeless Galaxy S6!
Yeah, I'd like to see Samsung pull that one off - the extendable screen.


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It’s wonderful to see you as always! I hope that you’re well and making the most of your tech! I also hope that you are wrapped up warm as it’s still chilly here in London and Toronto (my Canadian Friends inform me).

Yes, this is the final countdown... 3 days to go before we learn what is the actual Samsung Galaxy S6 and S Edge are all about!

#Samsung #GalaxyS6 #GalaxySEdge #GalaxyS6Rumours #MWC2015 #MobileWorldCongress2015 #GalaxyS6Active

Yes, I have kept true to my word by not copying all the other tech media out there and post up “leaked” images of the Galaxy S6 and S Edge. By all accounts some network providers have revealed images of the Galaxy S Edge – I think! Lol! Anyway, if you have been keenly chasing up every bit of news on the Galaxy S6 and S Edge then I am sure you have seen just about all the “leaked” images there is to see!

Again, I do believe that these “leaks” are to bring us back to reality. If you are anything like me you will succumb to fantasies of what the next premium Samsung handset can possibly look like! All those beautiful concept renderings can send me into Lala Land... And I have learned the hard way! The leaks are to reduce our expectations. “Ground Zero” to Samsung may S Translate into something entirely different to us! I am still dazzled by the folding Galaxy S model in the promotional video showing off the possibilities of the flexible YOUM screen. I do think that there are many out there that expect this folding screen Galaxy S anytime soon... I reckon it is a distinct possibility as technology allows for the printing of circuitboards unto flexible materials such as plastic or even paper! There is no telling how far that technology has gotten and if it will bring us that folding screen Galaxy S handset... Galaxy S10???
Samsung Norway has taken what I see as sensible measures to lower our expectations with a clever site that mocks the Galaxy S6 and S Edge rumour mill. I reckon it’s precisely these kinds of rumours that hurt the Galaxy S5... Okay, it didn’t help that Samsung felt the need to go “back to basics” on that particular model. Why, Samsung? Why? Lol!

Above: Samsung Norway having a laugh! 


Once again, if the “leaked” pictures are anything to go by I figure we’ll be seeing something along the lines of the Galaxy A series mixed with a bit of the iPhone and One M8 as the metal design that Samsung is going for is similar - but not a copy – of the iPhone. Both the iPhone and Samsung handsets have a ‘Home’ button and therefore there is a going to be an industrial design standard that places certain features in the same area such as the speaker on the Galaxy S6 finding itself at the bottom next to the mini USB port along with the headphone jack – if the “leaked” pictures prove to be genuine. Personally, I prefer the headphone jack to be at the top of the handset as I’ve become accustomed to it being that way. I would prefer front-facing speakers... But more than aesthetics it’s what the Galaxy S6 and S Edge can do that is most relevant to me.

Like it or not the Galaxy S6 and S Edge will have that distinctive Samsung design signature imprinted upon it.

As predicted years ago: a metal body will bump up the price of the handset considerably! I am expecting a high upfront payment cost here in the UK when taking the Galaxy S6 and S Edge out on a contract! Golly gee!

Once again, here are the projected / rumoured prices of the Galaxy S6 and S Edge. Look away if you are squeamish!

Galaxy S6

32GB internal memory, €749
64GB, €849
128GB, €949

Galaxy S Edge

32GB, €849
64GB, €949
128GB, €1049

Hmmm... Well, it does look likely that the Galaxy S6 will be getting a 5” screen. I have to say that I wanted a 5.5” screen simply because big is best! Big is best and that cannot be denied! Once you’ve gone 5.5” and over you may find that it is pretty hard to go back! But that said I still love my Galaxy S4 and was watching a TV programme through BBC iPlayer earlier on.

“A 5.5” screen on a Galaxy S model will eat into the Galaxy Note market...” I don’t think so as the handsets are quite different! The Galaxy Note 4 has a 5.7” screen and an S Pen; the functionality is markedly different to that of the Galaxy S5 for example.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the Galaxy S6 will feature a 64-bit CPU where the Galaxy Note 4 will be 32-bit (the UK version).

It may be possible that Samsung will give the Galaxy S Edge a larger screen and body to incorporate the curved screen but I am not holding my breath. While there are massive Galaxy S6 leaks there are no Galaxy S Edge leaks aside from the US networks in their respective different colours: yellow, magenta (T-Mobile) and blue.

Another rumour that comes across as definite is that the camera will be the same 16MP one as found on the Galaxy Note 4 and not 20MP as we were given to expect from the Galaxy S6 benchmark tests. In some ways it makes sense to keep the camera the same as the Galaxy Note 4 as it’s still on the market! I don’t care too much about not having 20MP as the 16MP camera on the Galaxy Note 4 produces great results!

I can tell you that Samsung has really whipped up the excitement for the Galaxy S6 and S Edge BIG TIME!!!

Finally, what I have noticed across the Norwegian “Is This The Next?” site, the recent promotional video and the “leaked” images are possibly inconsistencies.

For example the leaked images shows slightly different looking cameras at the back and therefore it could be Samsung playing with our expectations. Also they could be winding up the Apple biased tech media that have it that Samsung is yet again “copying the iPhone” design.

Notice that the Samsung promotional material doesn’t say “Galaxies” in plural. Okay, they didn’t say “Galaxy Notes” for the unpacking of the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge. However, the latest promotional video voiceover says, “Borders will be free...” amongst other qualities. This makes me wonder if there will be a Galaxy S6 that has absolutely no bezel but a slightly curved screen at each side and a Galaxy S6 that is more in keeping with the traditional design (Galaxy S4 and S5). Plus the Galaxy S Edge model that looks very much like the Galaxy Note Edge. So, I am thinking that there will be 2 Galaxy S6 models (one with no bezels, the other could feature water and dust resistance) and a distinct Galaxy S Edge model. This could also explain why the camera rumours keep fluctuating because the cameras may differ between the versions. It would explain why a certain case manufacturer shows at least 3 discernible protective cases for the forthcoming Galaxy S series.

It has become a trend for Samsung to put out handsets from a design series in different screen sizes, etc as we’ve seen with the Galaxy A series: 3, 5 and 7 - or something like that. Samsung could very well do the same for the next Galaxy!

We’ll just have to wait and see... February is at last coming to an end! Goodness knows that I have to get my skates on as 2015 will pass me by! I have a few things that I want to achieve with Synapse Circuit! Wink, wink...

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!

Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit site here: Synapse

Synapse Circuit for tech news, opinions, articles, reviews and competitions. You will find interactive PDF magazines, videos and links to free legal software! Check it out at Synapse Circuit dot com