The Samsung Galaxy S4 world tour of 11 countries made a stop here with an impressive launch ceremony at the spectacular ‘Kingdom of Dreams’, an entertainment destination at Gurgaon, India.
While the S3 was touted to be ‘Designed for Humans and Inspired by Nature’ Samsung positions the new Galaxy S4 as Life Companion , a device that would play a constant role in our daily life, taking care of our varied needs, aspirations and imaginations.
We will take you through our hands-on the Galaxy S4, our first impression as well as the launch event.
Galaxy S3 was the king of Android Smartphones last year and it’s successor, Galaxy S4 befits a grand venue for its launch and Kingdom of Dreams was an apt choice.
Kingdom of Dreams, Launch venue
The event was hosted by lovely ex-Miss India- Miss. World, Diana Hayden.
Diana Hayden, the host of the event
Official launch, the moment. Galaxy S4 was launched by Vineet Taneja, Samsung India’s mobile and digital imaging business and B D Park, Samsung Electronics president and CEO (South West Asia)
Vineet Taneja, Samsung India’s mobile and digital imaging business and B D Park, Samsung Electronics president and CEO (South West Asia)
The launch happened amidst brilliantly choreographed dance numbers by Shiamak Davar’s troupe who kept the audience mesmerized by their high-voltage performances.
Before we got the actual hands-on the device, Asim Warsi, V-P Samsung Mobile India ran us through the important features of S4.
My favourite feature among the many new additions that finds its way in Galaxy S4. Dual Shot allows both the front and rear camera to work together simultaneously and capture the images we see on both sides. So next time when you are behind the camera and shooting either pic or video, you would not be left out.
A Cinemagram like animated photo mode encourages you take animated GIF for a lively action.
While Galaxy S3 tracked your eye movement for its Smart Stay feature, Galaxy S4 takes the smart feature a step ahead by sensing your gaze and pausing automatically while watching videos.
Not just that videos, now you can scroll web pages just by your eyes. Sounds Sc-Fi? Look forward to our video review shortly where we will explain in details the features.
Remember the Air view feature in Galaxy Note 2? The Air View feature arrives in S4 sans the S-Pen. It powers you to flip through web pages, photos, answer calls or scroll through music by simply hovering your finger over the screen. It also keeps the screen clean from finger marks.
S-Health app makes good use of some new sensors that finds its way into Galaxy S4. Doubling as a health trainer, the S health app S Health app monitors how much you’ve walked, calories you’ve burned and what your daily intake.
Story Album allows the user to storify their pictures based on locations or events and organize it for you to go through your memory banks. User can also get their favorite pictures printed online and get it delivered.
A handy feature for people constantly on move, S translator provides for real-time translation and translates what you say, text and will even convert emails, SMS messages and ChatON IMs that is fully or containing sentences in language you don’t speak.
The included IR blaster in Galaxy S4 which allows you to control your TV and can do more than just changing channels or controlling the sound. It can also suggest programs based on your preference, provide schedules etc.
Other notable features in Galaxy S4 includes Group play, Eraser shot, Sound and shot etc.
Currently I use S3 as my primary phone and though the new Galaxy S4 features a slightly bigger 5-inch display, surprisingly the device was very comfortable at my palm. It snuggle neatly and has a slim profile and lighter than its predecessor.
Featuring an impressive 5-inch full HD 1080 p (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) Super AMOLED panel packing up an eye-popping 441 ppi. The hardware internals are beasty too with a 1.6GHz Exynos Octa-core chip, 2 GB RAM, running the very latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, 16 GB internal storage expandable by upto 64 GB and a 2600 mAh battery.
The side profile marks the change in design from the S3. There is a faux metal band that neatly wraps the side and gives a more premium look to the device.
Falling into sub-8mm thickness category and measuring 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm and weighing just 130 gms it is thinner, lighter than the previous generation flagship device.
The body is still plastic like in rest of galaxy device but with over 30 million devices S3 devices sold, Samsung would see no practical sense in changing the casing not atleast for Galaxy S4, when the market force is on its side. Personally, I have no qualms about the plastic casing used.
On the rear you find a 13 mega pixel camera, complimenting it is a 2 mega pixel front camera. Camera features include Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR. Alongside, the innovative camera features we talked about earlier.
Side by side S4 and S3 looks strikingly similar. On close observation, you will find S4 has shaved off a bit of bezel to accommodate the bigger display.
With a MRP price of Rs. 41,500, Samsung Galaxy S4 goes on sale 12 noon onwards tomorrow, April 27th. It will be available at the Samsung Premium Stores in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai tomorrow and pan India thereafter.
So can Galaxy S4 be a worthy successor to the immensely popular S3? Critics might say Samsung failed to bring in a all-new fresh design like how HTC came out with its One. Nay sayers might claim the software features are just fancy gimmicks but I would disagree with them. With almost all Android biggies failing to rake in cash, Samsung has made buckets of cash piled up basking on its Android success. Consumers had no qualms making S3, the most successful Android device yet in history. So why would Samsung rock it’s boat by bringing in an all-new design change immediately? The enhanced software features even though few might be gimmicky and not much in use in daily use helps in adding value to the device and making it a talking point for the buyers. Samsung knows that people like to boast about their phone’s smart features to their friends and relatives, we do right? Still features like double shot, sound and shot, S Health are a great addition that will have a practical use to be a life companion.
Want to be part of a world record attempt? Join the ongoing Samsung India’s ‘The Incredible Art Piece Guinness World Records’ Attempt. The initiative attempts to set a new world d record for digital art piece that will break the Guinness World Records title for the most artists contributing to a single art piece. The current record is held by Great Britain set in April 2012. The existing record is made of self portraits by over 200,000 children from across the UK projected onto Buckingham Palace as part of Children & the Arts’ self portraiture project. Samsung’s The Incredible Art Piece initiative aims to break this record and at this point of publishing this post has registered 59,216 artists so far, still a long way to go to beat the record 201948 artists. The initiative was kickstarted by internationally acclaimed artist duo Thukral and Tagra along with the bollywood actor Genelia D’Souza on Nov 16,2012.
How to participate in Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – The Incredible Art Piece?
There are multiple options to participate in the world record attempt.
You can visit the microsite in Samsung India Website and contribute. Click Here
The very next day Samsung kicked off the global launch of Galaxy Note 2 in South Korea, the company rolled out the Galaxy Note II in India on 27th September at a launch event held in Hyderabad, India.
Galaxy Note 2, the smartphone-tablet hybrid or ‘phablet’ which was recently unveiled in IFA event, Berlin is the next-generation successor to the Note 1 that was launched a year back. We had an invitation for the launch event and had a hands-on experience with the device and we were completely awed and noted by the device, which to put in the words of Asim Warsi, Vice President, Samsung India is a smart device for the ‘expressionist’
The phone is a laudable upgradation to the Note 1 and running on the latest Android OS ‘Jelly Bean’ and upgraded S-Pen, Galaxy Note 2 packs in lots of magical wizardry that awes you.
The launch event kicked off with Mr.B D Park,President & CEO, South West Asia, Samsung Electronics giving a brief talk on the Galaxy Note II and the Note portfolio that includes the recently launched Galaxy Note 800, the 10.1 inch tablet enhanced with S-Pen functionality.
A quick and short acrobatic performance preceded the unveiling of the Galaxy Note II launch…
The moment for Galaxy Note II unveiling and noted film maker Imitiaz Ali took to the stage alongside BD Park and Asim Warsi, VP, Samsung India…
Imitiaz Ali had been given the Galaxy Note II device and been toying with it and shared his user experience and how he felt as a film maker, the phablet gave a perfect viewing experience and also how he was charmed by its unique features like Air View etc…
Asim Warzi, Vice President, Samsung India continued to explain the unique features of Galaxy Note II…
Galaxy Note II sports a 5.5″ Super HD Amoled screen along with a 16:9 aspect ratio it provides for a perfect viewing experience clearly and vividly.
Galaxy Note II is more ergonomically designed to fit well on your palms and is also thinner and lighter. Weighing 180 gm and thinner at 9.4 mm. It also packs in an amazing 3100 mAh battery an almost 25 percent bigger capacity than the first Note for a longer performance.
Powering the device is a 1.6 GHz quad core processor with a 2 GB RAM, running on Android 4.1, Jelly Bean OS which is buttery smooth and enhanced with wonderful features.
One of the unique feature of Galaxy Note II that impressed me and everyone who fiddled with the device is Air View, which enabled the S-Pen to react to the device even without touching it. So what this feature does is, it allows you to hover the S-Pen over an email, S Planner, Image gallery or video to preview the content without having to open it. It works neat, saves time, gives quick access to search and view information detail without having to get into multiple tabs or screens. More on this feature, we will come up with a detailed review shortly.
The upgraded S-Pen packs in a lot of surprises. It is almost a magical wand that does a lot of interesting things.. (keep tuned to us for detailed post on the S-Pen functionality very soon)
The S-Pen now comes with a dedicated S Pen button to enhance its functionality. Just press the button, the S Pen understands that you want to clip or edit the selected content on the screen. The Easy Clip feature allows you to instantly outline and crop any content on the screen in any shape to save, share or paste, even from a browser. The cropped image can be edited through coloring, sharing, or add handwritten annotations and not just that it is mighty easy to share the clip with your friends.
Remember the Popup play in Galaxy S3? Well, it allows the video to pop out to any screen and allows you to multi task. You can pinch zoom the video to any size and keep it on-screen while you read mail or sms or whatever. In addition to Popup play, Galaxy Note II also comes with a Popup Note. Similar to the Popup play video, the S-Note can be popped up anywhere on-screen and allows or multi-tasking. So while watching a movie you can paint, while on hands free talk, you can note down on S note and much more.
Galaxy Note II also has more exclusive S Pen App that makes best use of the S Pen functionality. The one app we had a hands-on Paper Artist was quiet a fun to fiddle with the images. One can also expect more developers to use the open API of S-Pen to come up with more and more S Pen Apps.
Galaxy Note II also carries forward the good features we have seen in Galaxy S3 like Smart Stay, AllShare Play, AllShare cast etc.
Oh yes, there are more and more to talk about Galaxy Note II but we will do all the talking with photos, videos and comprehensive reviews in the coming days.
Galaxy Note II has been priced at Rs. 39,900 and is available in two colors – Marble White and Titanium Gray color options. Currently in India only 16 GB model is available though it has an expandable memory of 64 GB.
Begining next week, Galaxy Note II will retail at Samsung Smartphone cafes, Samsung Plazas and selected large format stores and gradually will be available in other mobile outlets.
The company also offers a zero percent finance option available at Samsung Smartphone cafes and Samsung plazas.
At the end of the event, Samsung surprised with its own ‘one more thing’ surprise for the Indian market – Samsung Camera. It gave the audience a brief intro about the Android Jelly Bean OS powered camera with impressive features – where the smartphone features meets the camera. Ofcourse, we had a hands-on the device and we will update you all about it very soon.
Samsung’s latest flagship offering, Samsung Galaxy S3 is one super smart phone loaded with lots of surprises and tricks! We went around town and spotted Galaxy S3 users and asked them their user experience.
Samsung Galaxy S3 is launched and ever since I got my first hands-on it, I am bit fascinated by it. And then came theMen In Black 3 movie, one of my favourite film and comic franchise. So my funny bones tickled, my wicked mind worked like Agent J. I got inspired by Columbia picture’s 1997 classic Men In Black film and also by Galaxy S3. Put together, I recut the original film video to produce a funny remix.
More and more Indians are buying smartphones and Samsung with 45% share of the Smartphone pie is aiming to grab 60% share this year. With numbers around eight million units in 2011 to around projected 18-19 million units in 2012, it is a fast growing, lucrative market no handset maker can miss out. Samsung with its vast array of Galaxy range of smartphones has its scheme marked out and entry level Android smartphone models like Galaxy Y plays a crucial role in the number game. Riding on the success of single SIM Galaxy Y, Samsung has launched Galaxy Y duos, the double SIM variant.
There are many who juggle two phone connections, for some to separate the work calls from personal ones, while some make use of best of two network operators. Hey XYZ tel offers better call plans while ABC tel offers better data plans! Life becomes simplified when you have a Dual SIM phone. Galaxy Y duos is aimed at this segment and to those who wants a valued branded phone on a limited budget. With a 3.14″ display, a 3 MP camera and a larger capacity battery to support the dual SIM, Galaxy Y duos has a slightly better spec configuration than its single SIM sibling.
On the back is a plastic panel like in most Samsung phones but it looks durable and it feels good while holding. The texture of the panel also provides good grip. You also find on top of the back a 3.15 MP camera and alongside a loudspeaker grille to its right. And then beneath them, the obvious Samsung logo.
Removing the back panel is quiet an easy job and being a dual SIM. I have noticed many of the dual SIM mobile users keep changing atleast one of the SIM quiet often and so an easy-to-open backpanel is a good addition.
Inside nests a 1300mAh Li-Ion battery. Samsung assures a healthy battery life of 360 hours of stand-by and up to 17.5 hours of talk time in 2G and 9 hours of calls in 3G. Even our testing showed a very healthy battery with both SIM on and fairly good usage and on standby.
On top above the place where the battery nests and to the left of the camera, you can find the slot for memory card.
And beneath the battery, you will find the slots for two SIMs.
Talking about the dimensions of the phone. Duos with 109.8 x 60 x 12 mm figures is marginally larger than Galaxy Y and also its 3.14″ TFT display with a resolution of 240 x 320 is also marginally bigger than Galaxy Y’s 3″ display.
Below the screen is the physical home button flanked by two capacitive keys one each for menu and back key. A long press of the home button also opens up the task manager.
Like all other samsung phones, on top on the right side you find the power on/lock button and on the top left side you have the volume rocker and a lanyard eyelet. On the top of the phone you have the 3.5 mm headphone jack which can be used to plugin the earphone that comes in the package or any of your favourite standard headphone.
Gently slide down the notification area on the touchscreen you can fiddle with the various settings: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Sound and Auto rotation of the display. Below the top run of the above mentioned settings are the true indicators of the dual SIM Duos, where it allows to toggle quickly between SIM1 and SIM2 and also indicates the network carrier.
Dual SIM card management and features in Galaxy Y Duos:
As mentioned in the above image, from notification one can toggle quickly between SIM 1 and SIM 2.
Further settings can be made in the ‘SIM card manager’ that can be accessed in the settings menu.
In case you have to swith on and off individually your SIMs, go to settings > “SIM card manager” which can also help save battery at times when you are squeezing out the last bit of the remaining battery and want to conserve a little longer.
Also you can choose which SIM you want to set for data usage. Dp note that only one SIM can be used at a time for data usage. So you can wisely choose which carrier gives you the best data plan and set that SIM for data.
By default, while the data usage is under process, the other SIM gets inactive for incoming calls, though there is a an option to receive incoming calls via other SIM card while using data service that you can find in the SIM card manager. Enabling it might marginally slow down the transmission, though not that much.
The call log is integrated and shows the dialed, received and missed calls of both the numbers. Each call entry has a small number icon in blue color background that shows the SIM used. There is also an option to view the call logs by any one particular SIM.
Messaging, Email, Apps and Social integration in Galaxy Y duos
Messaging is pretty neat and easy. The keys are comfortable to type and even though the 3.14″ screen is bit small still it is decent enough a space to fiddle around with the keys. The messages are threaded and you also get a message application specific search to dig into your message box. Rest of the message setting and usability are pretty straight forward.
Just like the call log, each message in a thread has a numbered icon in blue that indicating the SIM used to send and receive the message.
For email, you have a gmail app where you can integrate all your gmail ids. For non-gmail emails, the other email set up comes into use and supports multiple POP or IMAP inboxes.
Like all other Galaxy models and in Android phones in general, Galaxy Y duos comes pre-installed with google apps like google maps, Gtalk, google search, youtube etc
You also has Samsung’s Social hub which simplifies your communication pattern and preferences and give you a one point real time access to your various social networking and to access multiple email accounts. Social networking and communication simplified.
Then there is Google Play store, where you can download both free and paid apps but then with the limited screen size and specification of the device, don’t expect all the apps to work fluently on the device but then you still have a pretty huge number of apps to keep you engaged.
You also has pretty good pre-installed utility apps like calendar, Notes, calculator, alarm clock and voice recorder.
Then there is Samsung apps for more app search.
The phone comes pre-installed with polaris Office viewer. So you can view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and view PDFs too. Its only a view-only version and you cannot edit the files, unless you opt to register and pay for a fuller version with Polaris.
Not to mention you have Google maps and navigation in case you missed out your directions.
Camera and Audio performance of Galaxy Y duos
Galaxy Y Duos sports a slightly better 3.15 MP camera than its single SIM sibling, Galaxy Y. Sadly, it does not sport a flash either. You also have to get used to lack of physical camera key. For an average consumer, the captured images are decent enough to store their memories. There are also camera features like smile shot, preset scenes, geotagging, effects, on-screen guidelines and panorama mode.
If the still images are decent enough to manage with, that cannot be said about the video though. Stuck at a QVGA resolution, if you have any inclination to post your videos to youtube, sorry.
Browsing in Galaxy Y Duos
Yes, the website opens pretty well and in rich color as show in the picture below. But then remember, the screen size with its low resolution pretty much limits the browsing experience. But then you have the zoom option which is pretty easy through multi-pinch zooming or double tapping or I don’t know who will require this but you also get a dedicated zoom key option. So browsing would require pretty much of zooming to read.
Tech specification and key features of Galaxy Y Duos
3.14″ TFT display with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels
109.80 x 60.00 x 11.95mm and weighs 109 g
Android Gingerbread 2.3.6
Dual-SIM (dual stand-by)
832MHz ARMv6 processor
290MB of RAM
160 MB internal memory
1,300mAh Li-Ion battery
Expandable memory upto 32 GB, 2 GB memory card included
3.15 MP fixed-focus camera with geotagging
Stereo FM radio
3.5mm audio jack
Polaris Office viewer pre-installed
Connectivity includes bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, AGPS, microUSB,WAP
Talk time: 360 hours of stand-by and up to 17.5 hours of talk time in 2G and 9 hours of calls in 3G
What I like in Galaxy Y Duos
Neat SIM card management and Dual SIM notifier
Affordable dual SIM Android phone
Compactness and build quality.
Impressive battery life and talk time.
And for the brand conscious buyers, it’s Samsung – currently the world’s numero uno smartphone maker.
What I did not like about Galaxy Y duos
Low screen resolution
lack of Adobe flash support, though you can watch youtube videos through installed youtube app.
Navigating through galaxy of Samsung smartphones and their other range of smartphones and tablets is a boutique experience with the launch of Samsung Electronic Co Ltd’s first ‘Samsung Mobile Brand Store’ in Delhi. The sprawling 1600 sq.ft. store, a first of its kind store is located on the first floor of the popular Select City Walk Mall in Saket.
To complement the dazzling array of Samsung’s smartphone, the launch also saw film actor Shazahn Padmasee who along with Mr. B.D. Park, President and CEO, South West Asia, Samsung Electronics and Managing Director, Samsung India Electronics Ltd.; Mr. Ranjit Yadav, Country Manager, Mobiles & IT inaugrated the store.
Talking on the occasion, Mr.B.D Park stated:
The Samsung Mobile Brand Store is a significant step in the direction of creating new, unique and holistic product experiences for consumers at the retail level. The Samsung Mobile Brand Store will allow consumers to engage and interact with Samsung Smartphones and tablets through convenient table top displays, multiple product demonstrations and dedicated areas for interacting with Samsung Product Consultants. We are confident that our consumers will enjoy this new approach in Smartphone retailing and we will look at further expanding the Samsung Mobile Store network in the country this year
The sprawling store is aesthetically and creatively designed with table format displays, multiple demonstrations and experience zone keeping the consumer in mind. The store will showcase the entire range of Samsung Smartphones and tablets will also have dedicated areas of interacting with Samsung Product Consultants who would help the consumers in reaching out to the right product as well as attending to their concerns and queries. Currently Samsung has a range of 19 smartphones in Android, Wave and Windows platform and in prace range of Rs.7350/- to Rs 38,250/- and its tablet range features 3 models in the price range of Rs 30,350/- and Rs. 39,500/- The unique table format display has been used in the Store to ensure that multiple demos can be conducted at the same time. Those visiting the store can also have hands on demo of “All Share”, Samsung’s proprietary feature for seamless transfer of content across devices, Samsung’s india specific apps and also dabble with Samsung’s S-Pen that featured in popular Smartphone device, Galaxy Note. Though the main idea of the brand store is to engage with the consumers and make them leisurely browse Samsung’s various smartphones and tablets, understand their unique features in a fun way and interact with the product consultants about the products.
The Samsung Mobile Brand Store features a large video wall and attractive displays creating an engaging shopping environment. To elevate the store experience and engage the consumers in a fun way, a caricature artist will be based at the store and consumers can get their caricatures made on the Samsung GALAXY Note.
The Samsung Mobile Brand Store network will complement the Company’s existing and fast growing number of Smartphone Cafes.
Here are few of the pictures taken during the store launch.
Samsung bites the “mango” with its Omnia W. Most might think W stands for Windows but Samsung would correct you “W for Wonder”. So does this 3.7 inch Windows Phone really a bundle of wonder? Allow me to run through the phone for you.
Omnia W First look – Design – Form factor
On first look the phone got a conventional form factor and on the first grip it sits pretty firmly and neatly on your palm. The design is not loud or bold to stand out in the crowd, it follows the same defacto form factor most windows phone are dressed up with. No complaints either since it gives a very practical and neat look but for those who look for a flamboyant design, you might be bit let down. The all-black chasis is well defined and conventional.
And due to Microsoft’s mandatory window handset definition you have the Search, Back and Home buttons beneath the screen, and a camera shortcut button on the right edge. Still, Samsung could have experimented with few bold color options on the chasis instead of the only available all-black. I am sure there would be takers for vibrant colors especially among women and college students. Neverthless, the physical design is something you can live with, even if it is not flashy.
If you look closely the image, you will find the edges drawn slightly inwards towards the back panel. This actually gives the handset a visually less bulky appeal than what it is. At 10.9mm it is slightly thicker than my Galaxy tab 10.1, though when you hold it you don’t find it bulky either. As I said earlier, it sits pretty neat on the palms and also to tuck it on the pockets.
On the back is the prominent Windows logo along with the words Windows Phone.
The black Omnia is really compact measuring 58.8mm wide by 115.97mm deep and with a thickness of 10.9 mm amd thanks to the inward curve, the thickness does not looks less. At 115.3 g, the phone sneaks in the right weightage while holding it.
Open the plastic backpanel and it exposes the large 1500 mAh battery. Samsung claims a talktime up to 14 hours (2G) and up to 6.5 hours (3G) with a standby time of 490 hours (2G) and 380 hours (on 3G)
Omnia W Tech specifications
Operating System – Windows 7.5 Mango
1.4 GHZ Snapdragon processor
512 MB RAM
8 GB Internal memory with 6.34 available for use
Super AMOLED screen with 800 x 480 WVGA resolution
5 MP rear camera with LED
Front facing VGA camera for video calling
720p HD video recording
FM with recording
1500 mAh battery
Wireless connectivity includes HSPA at 14.4Mbps down and 5.76Mbps up, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.
Windows Metro UI
With Android phones swamping the market and with most phones looking alike, Window’s metro UI looks and feels refreshing. If you had been used to Android, you might take a bit of time to getting used to the Metro user interface of Windows but once you sail through the initial apprehensions and navigation routes, you will be at ease and you might start liking flipping through the live tiles.
On face of it is a 3.7 inch Super AMOLED screen that sports the standard Windows Phone resolution of 800 by 480 pixels. The black screen delivers a vibrant, rich and sharp colors. On crisp black screen the predominant blue hue looks soothing and cool to eyes. The touch is very responsive and fun to fiddle around. Various apps and individual web pages can be ‘pinned’ to the start Screen, making pages you visit regularly extremely easy to access. To add to the productivity and ease, the ‘live’ tiles keeps you auto updated.
Slide the home screen and it throws open various apps and settings. You can scroll down to access the long list that comes default. So what all is populated in the screen? Say you have alarm, all share, calculator, calendar, games, IE, camera apps, maps, marketplace, messaging, mini diary, videos, people, MS office, video call, settings etc. Also, you can “pin” your favourite apps to the homescreen tile for fast access.
Omnia W web browing
Omnia W comes with pre-installed IE browser. The 3.7 inch screen is fairly good enough for web browsing and delivers rich and vibrant colors. Reading is not difficult either. Unfortunately, there is no flash support though the browser handles HTML 5. Like apps, you can also pin any individual web page you frequently visit to a homescreen tile for easy access any time.
Omnia W Texting
Texting is via touch screen in both landscape and portraid modes. 3.7 inch screen makes holding the phone in single hand and texting easy. As you type, the software makes a guess of the words you might type and offers you the choice of words for you to tab easily. Windows has done fairly a good job at it and it makes typing easy and fun.
Windows Phone Gaming – Xbox Live – Marketplace
As per Live Anywhere initiative of Microsoft which envisons bringing Xbox Live to wide variety of platform and devices including mobile handsets, Xbox Live is alive and kicking in Omnia W too. It allows the user to connect and play with friends wherever they are, using the user’s Xbox LIVE® avatar and gamer profile to keep track of scores and wins.
Then you have Windows Marketplace, the app store where you can get access to both free and paid apps under various categories. Though the number of apps are much less than you can find in Android market or Apple iTune , the Windows Marketplace is growing fast thanks to vigorous developmental effort by Microsoft.
Windows Phone – Office Suite
Omnia W comes bundled with Microsoft’s mobile office. Flip left to the homescreen and you would find the Office app. Tap it to open and you can also pin it to your homescreen tile if you would be often using Office on the go and for quick access.
The edited documents can be accessed or stored from phone, office 365, SharePoint or sync documents with SkyDrive.
Upon signing with Windows Live, you get 25 GB free storage on SkyDrive.
Omnia W – Samsung Apps
Since the Windows OS comes with its own restrictions and Microsoft specifications to differentiate the Windows phone from other makers, the only route for Samsung is value addition through Samsung Apps.
So Samsung has bundled Omnia W with its signature AllShare, Mini Diary and Photo Studio and Funshot. AllShare, Samsung’s propreitory DLNA application allows sharing of photos, videos and music files through WiFi to DLNA compatible devices.
For photo enthusiasts Samsung’s two photo apps, the Photo Studio and Funshot would make them entertained and experiment with many of the options they offer.
Also there is Samsung’s mini Diary, that also could be found in Galaxy series of phones. You can add photo add notes and location data and keep the tab of life events and also share it through social profiles or email.
Ginger Chai conclusion:
Yes, Windows 7.5 OS has come a long way in comparison with its earlier versions but still it has few nagging areas but there is no denying Windows Metro UI experience is wonderful to fiddle with. Again, for those used to Android or iOS , it might take a bit of time to get used to but then with Windows 8 just round the corner, Windows is here to stay and to be taken seriously. With Omnia W, Samsung has done its best to give the consumers the “mango” experience and the handset has its own pluses and minuses and the end of the day it all depends on the user’s requirements.
Omnia W retails around 15K and for that price it provides a good package. Should you choose? Well, it depends on what kind of mobile personality you have and also how you use your phone. We have ran through it and now you can decide upon.
What I Liked abut Omnia W
Feel and handling of the phone
Super AMOLED Screen
Decent web browsing
Windows OS is a refreshing change from Android
The way it swiftly switches off on power off with a GoodBye.
The blue dotted lines that appear while performing few functions
What I didn’t like on Omnia W
Lack of external storage
No flash support
few other Windows 7.5 limitations like limited bluetooth support for media files.
One thing be assured, when you hold Galaxy Note on hand in public, you would get curious stares. People might like it or hate it or ridicule it or be awed by it but there is no getting away from being the focal point coz first thing that strikes you about this Samsung’s latest addition to its galaxy pantheon is it’s monster screen display size. Sporting a 5.3″ display area, it dwarfs almost all the phones in the market but the phone is more than just the massive screen field. It comes packed with some amazingly rich features, lets note down all in this review.
So the question is. Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? The answer would be it is both and more. It has the best of both worlds and also packs its own rich additions.
wondering what an antiquated stylus is doing here? Well Samsun calls it S-Pen and it can do lot more than your regular stylus. More about that later.
Ok so here you have the Note, I shot with my camera. Sorry for the poor image, after shooting Galaxy Note on camera, I realized its no mean task to product shoot mobiles especially those with shiny screens. Hoping to perfect the art soon. Anyways, back to Note.
Even for the most skeptic user who might feel it is quiet big to hold, the size of the screen would make one go awestruck instantly. With more apps providing sizzling graphics and utility apps that looks neat in larger area and not to forget the browsing experience in bigger screen, the bigger screen is a delight for many smart phone user experiences.
So what we like on external form factor?
5.3″ HD Super AMOLED screen. Carrying forward the now almost perfected art of making good screens, the Note’s screen is sheer brilliant. Packing a 285ppi, the colors are vibrant, crisp and rich and can rival Apple’s famed retina display.
The back panel got a nice texture that aids in the grip. For a phone of this size, the texture is very important to keep it intact in palm. (Though, when you open the back panel, you might be alarmed by the thin sheet of plastic that actually it is, but after couple of times fiddling around opening and packing again I got used to it)
There is only one touch button on the front panel on the bottom middle. When pressed it brightens up the screen as well as while working it takes you to the recent task manager. Other than this there are two touch navigation on the either side of the center button, that glows when you touch them.
What all there on the external form?
The charger port/data cable port is on the bottom
Volume rocker is on the left top.
On the left side, you find the on/off power button
On top you have the 3.5 mm audio jock.
The speaker is on the top front panel above the samsung logo
There is a front 2 MP camera and a rear 8 MP camera with LED Flash with Action Shot, Beauty, Panorama Shot, Smile Shot settings.
The side of Note gleams with a nice oxide finish metal rim. On the left corner of the back is docket neatly the S-Pen. It is well packed that it is not obtrusive otherwise while holding.
For a phone of this size, Note is well lean and mean. With a dimension of 146.85 x 82.95 x 9.65 mm and weighing 178 gm, it is quiet an impressive figures for a phone of this monster size. The right bottom shows how it compares alongside a pencil.
Bigger screens means more power hungry. Thankfully, Note comes with a bigger batter too. So we got a 2,500 mAh, Li-on, standard battery fueling the demands of the device.
Other tech spec:
As mentioned above it has a 2,500 mAh li-on battery
Android™ 2.3 (Gingerbread) With IceCream Sandwhich released, one can hope for a firmware update in couple of months and that should bring out the best of Note further.
1.4GHz Dual Core Processor
16GB Internal memory + microSD (up to 32GB)
Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity, Barometer, Light sensors.
connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-fi, Wi-fi direct and network 3G, HSPA+ up to 21Mbps, EDGE, GPRS
1080p Full HD video recording & playback and plays varied formats like MPEG4/ H.263/ H.264/ DivX, Xvid, WMV, VC-1
Music player with Sound Alive and FM with recording capability and audio supporting format includes: MP3, AAC, AMR, WMA, WAV, FLAC, OGG
Now let’s check out the features one by one.
The highlight of the phone as the name suggests is the note features aided by the S-Pen. The S-pen is pressure sensitive and can perform quiet a lot of brilliant stuff that we will see further in the article.
One of the main selling point of Galaxy Note is what Samsung calls as S Memo.
You will find the app on the home screen on the bottom app panel. You can open one of the many note listed that comes in various paper patterns – lined, plain, ruled and checks and in few tints.
With the S-Pen you can doodle, scribble, take notes etc… As mentioned earlier the pen is pressure sensitive so you can bring out all your artistic skills. You can change the size of the brush, change colors and if you want you can even use the keypad to type.
Another best thing is you can import images either from gallery or directly shoot it and import it into the memo and then edit it, add whacky captions, do brush effects or scribble and do whatever and then you can share via it to your social network platforms like facebook or via Wi-Fi or bluetooth or social hub or as message or picasa or mail it or simply leave it in memo or export to gallery. You can also send it for print, in case you want to. So if you are in a middle of a meeting or class and want to take a quick note or bored and want to doodle or just kill time scribbling, memo is a best thing to do. Though, the S-pen lags a little while writing but still it is an amazing tool.
Apart S-Pen can also be used to navigate pages. Good thing about S-Pen and Samsung’s piece of engineering is while the pen is in action it disables any accidental touch activity of palms while S-pen is at work.
So I like:
The power to scribble, doodle or whatever and the versatile functions and features of the S-Pen
The ability to import images and annotate it with S-Pen and create a memo or any whacky or serious stuffs. It makes to put across your ideas, thoughts conveniently and easily.
The multiple share options available.
When you browse the app section, you will find something called Mini diary. On first thought, it might sound simple but then there are quiet a lot of wonderful possibility to document you life and incidences during various instances of life with this seemingly simple app.
So what this app allows is to create diary to document slices of your life. When you click the create diary option, it takes to you a screen that looks like the one on the top right image. It documents it as per the current date and you can tap to add photos from gallery or direct shoot and import. Then you can add location and also tap to add text to go along with the images. Then, save it. All the events gets added to the diary and you can list later by date or location for convenient filtering. You can also publish the events to social network like facebook.
Android market might have various planner apps but Samsung has packed its own planner to make life easy and calls it S-Planner.
The screenshots are quiet self explanatory of the app.
Samsung has added a tool to make sharing easily via Wi-Fi.
So you can share your videos, photos and music easily between DLNA compliant devices thought Wi-Fi easily through All share tool.
Being a bigger screen, you got a bigger virtual keyboard as well as you can use S-Pen to scribble your messages and they automatically gets converted. Ofcourse, your handwriting has to be neat for proper detection. If you have a loose noodle handwriting, you can only pray and see if it gets analyzed correctly.
Also the bigger size of the phone makes single hand holding and messaging almost impossible. It is not that you cannot message with single hand but then it is not quiet comfortable especially if you have small palm and fingers. So you need both the hands to type message, unless you got a bigger palm and fingers.
5.3″ screen with 1280 x 800 resolution makes browsing a treat. The images are crisp, vibrant and rich.
Pages loads pretty fast and also again the best thing about S-Pen is you can take screen shot of the entire page on screen or clip any particular particular portion of the screen with just a tap of the pen.
Hand motion gestures:
Samsung has added some brilliant and fun additions with the motion capabilities.
Slide you side palm on the screen and magic! it captures a screen shot. It’s fun to do and at times very convenient.
While the video/audio are on, just place your palm on the screen and it gets paused. Dirty minds! I know what you are thinking right now! Yes, if someone comes across all of a sudden, you can just pause on the video as well as hide it by placing a palm over the screen. Ahem! am leaving further to your imagination.
Apart from the above gestures, you can tilt to zoom, pan to edit, shake to update and turn over to mute.
Samsung is getting better and better with its camera functions and Note’s 8 MP delivers a good, rich and crisp images. Holding a bigger phone of this size might be little ackward but then it is better than shooting with a tablet. But then hey, when I attempted pictures I only invited curious looks and not a frown. Video is decent enough too.
To edit your videos and photos, Samsung has packed in a pretty neat editing tools, which is surprisingly good enough average users.
Apart from this being an Android phone it comes with all the regular android apps and the market where you can download free/paid apps for various needs.
Galaxy Note is not just your regular smart phone but packs much more features and functions. The S-Pen for one is a very impressive addition that brings alive the Note’s awesomeness. It is not your any other regular plastic pen and the best part of the Note is S-Pen is not restricted to certain usages but can be used extensively for all the functions and some “super” functions.
Yes, the Note is BIG. No denying. It might look a bit awkward to hold it and make calls especially if you are someone like me with short stature. But if you get over that mental block, based on the sheer value additions and some amazing functionality, Note stands apart from the rest and it is easily the best Android phone on market now.
Naturally with so many rich features and a bigger screen, it is not everyone’s gadget at the price of around Rs. 35K in India.
To be Noted or Noted is all about your perceptions now, do take a note and then decide.
The tab war is on and Samsung has upped its ante with its latest tablet release Galaxy Tab 10.1, which saw its Indian launch on August 10, 2011 as Galaxy 750.
In ourprevious reviews, we have seen couple of Samsung smart phones from Galaxy series. In this article let’s see a teaser of a review of Galaxy 750. Did I say teaser review ? Yes, I am yet to get hands-on the actual product, so instead I have dug into various datas and images, to bring on a teaser of the product. Trust me, much before I could fiddle on the actual product, the information I gathered is quiet impressive in itself.
So what makes this slate an outstanding product? Let’s find out. To begin with, it’s a Honeycomb tablet. For beginners who have not heard of Honeycomb, it’s the latest Android OS for tablets to hit the market. As per the recent survey done by NM Incite, Android is the most popular mobile OS in Indian mobile eco-system and also Samsung’s Galaxy series smart phones has already established its presence here. So its advantage Samsung as far as the brand recall and branding is concerned for India. Let’s get skin deep into the slate, to find out more about it that would sustain it for a longer run.
It’s time to tab.
First question is “Why tab?” For all those late raisers, past one year the action has shifted to tablets. Couple of days back IBM’s CTO talked about “End of PC era” and stealing the PC’s thunder is the tablet invasion. It’s handy, its eye-candy, it’s your new personal, work and entertainment powerhouse on the go. And Samsung has taken a serious note on the imminent future trend and has unleashed the new tab products and the latest to hit the store is Galaxy 750 (Galaxy 10.1)
So you might think there is the Apple Ipad2, Motorola Zoom and Blackberry’s playbook, HTC Flyer stacked on the store shelves, so what makes Galaxy Tab 750 apart? The same sentiment was echoed by me too till I discovered more about Galaxy 750.
On a visible note, this is one light and thin tablet. For the designer turned full time reviewer in me, 750′s form factor is irresistible. Living up to the cliche first impression is the best impression, stacked alongside other models Galaxy tab sits pretty – a lean, well toned, light slate.
At just 8.6mm, it is 0.2mm thinner than the iPad 2 and beats Motorola Zoom by a big margin of 4.3 mm and Playbook by 1.4 mm. And guess what? At 565g it’s also lightest tab around.
Before I dig into the technical specs, let me talk about the features first.
Going through the Galaxy 750 (10.1) informations, let me broadly list out the following points first that caught my attention, may I have your attention too please?
Social Hub (If you are using a Samsung smart phone, the term would sound familiar to you)
Front and rear camera
Audio – video play
Google mobile services
Last half of the list might sound quiet familair and self-explanatory. So you have back and rear cameras for video conferencing, picture capturing, with audio and video play you have entertainment on the go and the 10.1 inch screen means, you have a better viewing. And then there is GPS and google maps for navigation as well as the plethora of Google mobile services integrated and also for the workhoholic in you , the tab comes with Polaris office suite. If you are worried if it can handle your MS-office file formats, relax Polaris office suite is capable of reading and exporting in Microsoft Office file formats, viewing PDF and image files, and decompressing ZIP files.
Now let’s figure out the first half of the list.
Live panel: A well packaged product should allow you a degree of customization. Samsung calls it Live panel with the addition of its proprietary TouchWiz UX interface. What it does is make your tab interface a bit unique aesthetic difference compared to the vanilla Android OS. Live panel enables you a customizable homescreen. Live panel helps in quick and real time access to various contents and you can customize the screen and the panel.
Mini Apps: On looking at various galaxy tab images and the information floating, I understand that there is a Mini-app tray which nests a an assortment of apps that are commonly used and easy to access. So you have a quick access to apps like calendar, music player, pen memo, task manager, weather and many more.
Readers hub: If you have fiddled around Galaxy S2 smart phone, the hub would be a familiar word. So I get the idea of how it would work with Galaxy Tab. Upon opening, you will be treated to a bookshelf kind of design, which would be your gateway to newspapers, books or magazines. You get access to millions of digital publications in multiple languages. Pinch zoom, virtual bookmarks and font enlargement adds merits to the e-reading experience.
Music hub: Similar to readers hub, here you get a quick access to an extensive catalog of music along with providing music reviews, artist information etc.
Social hub: Being a Samsung smart phone user, I quiet like the social hub tool that has been incorporated in the tab too. It simplifies your communication pattern and preferences and give you a one point real time access to your various social networking and to access multiple email accounts. Social networking and communication simplified.
So by now, you would have had a good idea of what Galaxy tab can do for you and make life easier on a move.
Now to more technicals.
We saw the dimensions and weight in the begining of the article. To remind you again and add more datas, continue reading.
Size : 256.7 x 175.3 x 8.6 mm (yes, 8.6 mm! making it the thinnest tab around)
Weight: 565 g (Yes, again you read it right, making it the lightest tab around)
10.1″ widescreen (a delight to watch, read and browse)
1280 x 800 screen resolution
4 way rotation (have fun rotating!)
dual speakers on the side panel (happy listening!)
Heart of the matter facts:
Galaxy 750 is powered by 1 GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. It has an enviable 1 Gb Ram and comes in 16/32/64 GB storage ROM.
Its 3G enabled and runs on Android browser and supports Adobe Flash for enhanced web experience.
I am not sure how many of you would use Tabs for shooting pictures but you still have a 3 MB camera with LED flash and auto-focus and a 2 MB front camera. So go shoot or get into video conferencing happily!
It has a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack and a 30 pin dock connector port.
In case you can’t survive without a physical keyboard, you have option for keybooard case and if you feel like to dock the tab like a desktop, you have a desktop dock too as accessories.