Friday, 6 March 2015


Above: The 64-bit Galaxy S6 Edge; do I go for the Gold Platinum or Pearl White?

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! How are you? I hope that all is well with you and your tech! It is great to see you as always! Are you in line for a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge next month? I am definitely getting the Galaxy S6 Edge!

For some odd reason or reasons people are prematurely counting Samsung out in a few years time. Cyanogen, the folk behind the Cyanogen custom Android ROM, have given Samsung 6 years before they are no more... Ooooh! I think this is wishful thinking... Wanna know why? Great! Read on...

#Samsung #TheNextGalaxy #UnpackedEpisodeOne2015 #GalaxyS6 #GalaxySEdge #GalaxyS6Edge #ChineseManufacturers #Xiaomi #Huawei #OnePlusOne #ZTE #Nokia

Some people have used the situation with Nokia to predict Samsung’s demise and I think it doesn’t quite work that way. Nokia was sitting pretty at the top once upon a time and after the popular N95 (which can be seen on the American Über-Geek-Nerd-Scientist series The Big Bang Theory with the character Howard Wolowitz) and the N96 it looked as though either Nokia didn’t see the iPhone and Android coming or underestimated them. Either way these new technologies changed the game and the Symbian operating system became obsolete pretty much like the BlackBerry is today.

As you know, Nokia got thrown a lifeline through Microsoft and then got bought out for the Windows phone division; is this a case of too little too late? In any event Nokia was fortunate enough to be able to sell off the handset part of Nokia. So, really and truly it wasn’t a doom and gloom situation for Nokia. However, the Nokia name still carries a bit of weight and had they chosen Android over Windows who knows if they’d still be in existence today as a handset manufacturer. Still, Nokia is still in the mobile device business with the N1 Android tablet.

Can you really map the Nokia story onto Samsung? I do not think so!


It seemed like Samsung was always knocking around at the time of the Nokia N95 and N96 with some candybar looking handset. Where I used to work I remember a few of my colleagues busting out their latest Samsung upgrade and I was quite impressed. I also had a sleek dinky silver Samsung flip phone some 9-odd years ago. Pretty much what happened in those 9 or 10 years seems like a blur to me as the iPhone was the talk of the tech world and then Android with efforts from HTC and then Samsung. I got the HTC Hero and upgraded to the Samsung S and S2. Another factor is the Apple lawsuit offensive against Samsung that helped to put them at the top. Golly gee, I am starting to come across like a broken record but it seems to me that people who claim to observe tech are only seeing that they want to see... Anyhoo... I quickly changed my allegiance from HTC to Samsung as I was very fortunate to have had a review unit of the Galaxy S1 and I was so impressed by the quality of the video and pictures as well as many other aspects. The Galaxy S1 made the HTC Hero look and feel like bullsquirt! As a handset reviewer I got hold of the HTC Desire and while it was a very good looking phone the camera just was not there. There wasn’t any other Android handset that could outclass the Galaxy S range. LG subsequently came along and put out some good efforts but the Galaxy S range was too strong up until the Galaxy S5; LG surprised everyone – me included – with the beautiful looking G3. But as with most Android phones the camera wasn’t the best it could have been in comparison to the Galaxy S5.

So, the rest is history and “history” is the operative word; the tech media pushed the LG G3 over the Galaxy S5 because of the design and quad-HD screen. Now I am not exactly what you would call a Tech-Guru and I do not pretend to be but although I loved the G3 I, as a consumer at least, would have gone for the Galaxy S5 based on the following:-

1. It’s water and dust resistant. Although the G3 doesn’t make statements to that effect it can resist water in some tests that I have seen. That said the Galaxy S5 was built specifically to resist water up to a point. If I remember correctly it can resist being submerged into 30 metres of water.

2. The battery can be replaced.

3. There is a microSD card slot

4. The range of colours for the backplate. I think I must be one of a few that appreciated the backplate colours. I would have wanted a combination of a white front and blue back.

5. TouchWiz. I do appreciate the Air Gestures, Smart Stay and so on.

6. The camera. Samsung is the best at smartphone cameras ever since they put video recording capabilities in one of its candybar phones with TV out (as advertised by UK, London, Chelsea football team manager José Mourinho). Because of Samsung I hardly use my dedicated digital cameras as the quality isn’t on par! Gosh! Golly!

In a nutshell I felt that the Galaxy S5 was a more practical handset for everyday usage that is built to survive a knock or two. And now that the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge aren’t water and dust resistant all of a sudden it’s a talking point, “It’s not water and dust resistant... I think I’ll pass...” Oh, not forgetting that the battery cannot be replaced and there’s no microSD card slot. You don’t know what you have got until it’s gone! However, I have pointed out solutions to that possible problem for the most intense user: Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge solutions.

I didn’t hear of anyone saying that they are not going to get the Galaxy S4 because it’s not water and dust resistant... Plus what we (in the UK) have to bear in mind is that the Galaxy S4 under contract has only 16GB of internal storage and after taking the operating system base apps preinstalled that 16GB gets whittled down to around 9GB – I think! I could check to be totally accurate but as I have a Galaxy S4 I can say that 16GB of internal storage is good enough for me. Just recently I got a microSD card to transfer some 4GB worth of pictures from the internal storage! And thankfully Samsung has made 32GB storage a base standard ditching 16GB – unlike Apple. Like Apple there are further options for 64 and 128 GB and unlike Apple there is the S6 Edge, of course, which has a slightly different but important design feature – the dual edge screen which looks set to be sold in the UK from 64GB. As far as I am aware it appears as though UK carriers are doing away with the 32GB version. Okay... I am still getting one! So, there is enough space on these wonderful new Galaxy handsets.

As for the removable battery... Well, it looks like Samsung has done something with the battery in terms of updating its technology. It charges faster and offers wireless charging too. So, you won’t have to swap it out – in theory! I don’t think that Samsung would take a risk like that with the battery. However, Samsung has a external battery pack that will be no doubt released around the same time as one of the many accessories for the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge which should do away with the replaceable battery arguments.


I have to admit that I find it a little annoying as a Samsung fan that people are saying that the Galaxy S6 is an iPhone clone. No! It is NOT! Once again... ...there are some minor similarities with regards to the headphone socket and speaker grille. That’s it! How can people say that the Galaxy S6 and especially S6 Edge retain the Samsung design signature and yet be an iPhone clone for having the speaker grille and headphone socket at the bottom? That’s contradictory in the extreme! Face on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge look a whole lot better than the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus! Just by looking at them I would imagine they will feel a lot better too! I can’t say that I have heard anyone complain and chastise Apple for churning out yet the same boring iPhone design.

Above: A visual joke that's not too far from the truth. Same ol', same ol' design only a little bigger. Oh, the agony that went into perfecting the latest iteration...  


Above: Bender bending the iPhone 6 Plus. During the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge reveal President and CEO of Samsung Electronics cracked a joke saying, "The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge doesn't bend..." That's good to know! ;) 

Let’s not forget that Apple are not engineers as such otherwise the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus wouldn’t bend. Now Samsung are, amongst many attributes, engineers and they know how to build a great durable handset.

As I keep saying, Apple cannot invent but reinvent. They are kind of good at reinventing things and putting a spin on those things to make them Apple. The Apple products just appeal to those who aspire to be elitist and they are prepared to pay for it. This is not the case with Samsung; they want to create great products for everybody! People have been criticising Samsung for using plastic yet the LG G3 is made from plastic and it gets awarded phone of the year or some crap like that just for the QHD screen and great design. No, I am not disrespecting LG as I do appreciate what they have done and will continue to do. So, you see that you can’t trust many tech-media sources because they do not review a product based on end results but the looks. And, of course, you have the Apple biased media that will have the competition secondary to the iPhone and iPad no matter what!

Samsung are aiming for that affluent Chinese market with the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge by making them premium products. I do think that they will sell very, very well in China. Also, these great handsets should appeal globally; I know that the use of plastic has been an issue for the UK tech-media and now they have no excuse. In actuality the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus just can’t compete with the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge spec sheet. The combination of the Exynos 7420 & 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM ought to make the new Galaxy handsets the fastest in the world!

I am very, very excited about reviewing the Galaxy S6 Edge and owning one! That 16MP OIS camera looks like it is going to deliver the best results yet! It looks like the camera on the iPhone 6 / 6 Plus will date considerably in comparison. We’ll see...

It may please you to know that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has won an award at the recent Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain for the Best New Handset category.


Samsung didn’t get where it is today just to fade away in 6 years time; I have seen the company name and brand go from ups, downs and great triumphs at various time periods. I don’t think people that claim to be technology enthusiasts understand that Samsung are in it to win it. Why shouldn’t they be? Some people forget that they put out the first handset that could record HD video with the Omnia HD i8910 running the Symbian OS, 2009. Someone shot a music video using that Omnia HD handset – it might be on YouTube. Samsung subsequently ditched Symbian and produced a number of handsets with the Bada operating system developed in house! So, they knew there was a change coming in the mobile world and they made the switch to Android in the nick of time. There’s a story / rumour that Samsung was approached in the purchasing of Android and they turned it down. Hmmm... Anyway, Samsung created the Galaxy Note in 2012 much to the ridicule of many of the UK tech-mediums. I think someone said that it’s, “like making a call with a piece of toast”. Yet whether you like it or not the Galaxy Note paved the way for the iPhone 6 Plus! I told you that Apple can’t invent! Hate me for it if you must!

The Apple biased tech-media are so keen to report how the iPhone 6 Plus outsold Samsung for the first time since 2011 in the last part of 2014. I guess Cook won’t accredit Samsung for the sales opportunity. Lol! And just look at how the Apple biased media are getting the Church of Apple followers used to the idea that the Apple Watch could cost thousands of dollars! It cracks me up! I can see the most devoted emptying their bank accounts... Gosh...

I really don’t understand why the tech-media – including Android media – why TouchWiz is demonized. With the TouchWiz overlay it has brought so much functionality to Android. Although I get great mileage from my Nexus 6 it does feel that it could do with a bit of oomph! Just the other day I was watching a video on my Galaxy S4 and I got distracted and turned my head and it paused! I just love it! Sure, I am not saying that because I love aspects of TouhWiz that everybody else should but I do expect more from the tech-media than bitching about lag. Even though I am using the Nova launcher instead of TouchWiz I don’t feel like a hypocrite as I still use the Air Gestures and Smart eye tracking, etc. As you know they aren’t perfect as the sensor needs good lighting conditions to get the best out them.

These so called reviewers seem to behave as though they can’t turn these features off when they get in the way or not called for. Bizarre. The combination of the Nova launcher, Android and TouchWiz is unbeatable in my book – especially as the Nova launcher has taken on some of the Lollipop animations. I can’t say that the experience is a laggy one; the interface is very smooth. I can only hope and imagine that TouchWiz on the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge will be likened to the Nova launcher experience as  I have been saying that a lot of what is in TouchWiz can be tucked away in the form of widgets and in the settings menu. I can’t wait to get my hands on the Galaxy S6 Edge in particular (as I keep saying) to explore the new changes. I like the idea of themes. One reason why I use the Nova launcher is because I like scroll the different home screens indefinitely.

At the moment I am waiting for the Lollipop upgrade to my Galaxy Note 4 before I engage the Nova launcher as I want to see what Lollipop brings to the TouchWiz experience.

Anyone who seriously believes that Samsung will be out of the running in 6 years time must be off his or her trolley! It’s as though people – especially tech journalists don’t understand that many, many companies have a bunch of experimental devices waiting in the wings. Samsung has already given us a clue of the future in a promotional video. Look, the reality is that you don’t become a chip manufacturer and the makers of just about every handset for different markets globally to fade away into obscurity. I reckon that Samsung is already ahead in terms of innovations that they would like to bring to the marketplace in the not too distant future just like I think LG and Huawei is ahead. I would imagine that there are plans to create a new production plant based on these new technologies being worked on right now.

Just look at how Samsung went all out to recover from the Galaxy S5 being somewhat of a disappointment... Seemingly out from nowhere came the metal Galaxy Alpha with a removable back and from there we have the Galaxy A series. I can’t think of any other manufacturer that can do that. So, I knew that these new Galaxy handsets would have a non-removable battery – I saw it from a mile off. I know that Samsung are constantly working on improving the battery even though it might not seem that way but the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge batteries indicate that this is the tip of the iceberg.


Above: The Samsung Z1; a Tizen based handset that is said to be selling well in India. Plastic fantastic. 

When I first heard about Tizen I envisioned that it would be compatible with the Google Play Store. Although the tech-media have tried to make out that this is a war against Google I can see it is simply a way for Samsung to keep developing its own innovations. I do apologize for the repetition if you have been following my work but I feel that it needs to be said again in this article. Tizen is Samsung expressing itself freely. I do think that a premium Tizen handset could go down well in the not too distant future; it will be a win / win situation for Samsung and Google as people do love Google apps! Google apps can also be found on the iOS platform. This talk of Samsung against Google is pretty stupid if you ask me. It might be good for headlines (if you are desperate) but in this day and age such cheap tactics is not necessary as I think we’ve come a long way from tabloid journalism or so I would like to think...

While Xiaomi has rapidly become the biggest handset manufacturer in China it has yet to conquer the rest of the world. Xiaomi have beaten Samsung in sales in China and this is largely because the Android market is a constantly changing one. In China what many manufacturers have done is taken influences from the major players and produced some great high-end handsets in the process at a cost effective price. As a result the Samsung mid-range is out of step in the Chinese marketplace. You could also say that Lenovo Motorola has also created some great low-end handsets such as the Moto E and mid Moto G. Again, these budget handsets have had a jarring effect on the Samsung handsets aimed at the markets mentioned above. I don’t think people realize just how many handsets Samsung puts out in a year; many of them don’t reach the UK! I do think that – with the exception of the Galaxy S5 perhaps – that the premium Galaxy handsets can hold their own. However, some Samsung handsets sell over a longer period. I wonder how many people will take out a contract on a Galaxy S5 when the price is reduced somewhat... It’s still a great handset!

So, where can Samsung go from here? Now that the Galaxy Note 4 and S6 / S6 Edge have become metalized sandwiched between Gorilla Glass 4 it means that the low to mid and mid-high handsets can retain a plastic build containing either in house chips or Qualcomm or perhaps another chip manufacturer like Intel. It should be fairly easy for Samsung to knock out cut down versions of the Galaxy S and Note series that is centred around a good camera as they have the knowhow that comes with years of experience. Also, a handset based on Tizen could go down well in China as I get the feeling that the Chinese consumer want to try anything new. I am quite sure that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales is down to the Chinese wanting to experience a slice of that Apple pie! It could very well be that the iPhone rush in China will be short-lived as the consumer will discover that the Android operating system is more versatile. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge should see sales in the Chinese markets rise significantly as I do believe the market worldwide is driven by new design and innovations; the Galaxy S5 may have come across as too pedestrian in an Android market that’s churning out a myriad of interesting designs.

For now I think that the premium side of Samsung’s business is still safe! The pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge are high! I am predicting that the Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge will be Samsung’s biggest seller to date and I won’t be surprised to learn that the S6 Edge especially will outsell the iPhone 6 as the specs speaks for themselves.

Samsung is going to be around for a long time to come. Anyone thinking that they won’t be at the top of the Android market or in the top 5 is delusional to put it mildly! As well as manufacturing great handsets it looks like the chip aspect of Samsung’s operations is set to grow significantly. Qualcomm may have some serious competition. We haven’t even discussed tablets yet! I’ll hold off until Samsung officially announces new tablets. In the meantime...

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