RSS

Category Archives: samsung

Samsung talks up the sweet spots of curved TVs

samsung-curve1

Flat-panel televisions? Those are so 2012. At least that’s the impression some major manufacturers are giving off as a raft of new curved screens make their way into electronics stores.

Sony, LG and Samsung are all now pushing TVs with slightly curved screens that supposedly provide a better picture and are more immersive, similar to their larger movie theatre cousins.

Skepticism that this is just another marketing gimmick is high, though, with the jury out on whether curves actually do anything to improve the television-watching experience.

Samsung was showing off its curved TV lineup at an event in Toronto this week, so I talked to Jeff Ingram, training manager for the company, about some of those doubts. Here’s that conversation:

What’s the value proposition on the curved TV?

What consumers are getting with curved is palpable. Back in the days when you bought 1080p, you needed a Blu-ray disc, broadcasting was limited. At least with curve, when you’re lifting the TV out of the box there’s something there. There’s an excitement and a sense of luxury from something that’s very unique. Design is a big part of it. It’s an investment that you want to show your friends, relatives and neighbours. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements
 
Comments Off on Samsung talks up the sweet spots of curved TVs

Posted by on May 16, 2014 in samsung, television

 

Review: Galaxy S5 an incremental but solid step

galaxy-s5The cavalcade of new phones continues, with today’s spotlight shining on Samsung’s latest, the Galaxy S5. The company’s flagship device is coming to Canada on Apr. 11 through just about every wireless carrier and it’s likely to be one of the top sellers of the year. With Samsung’s marketing muscle behind it, the Galaxy S brand has become the preeminent Android smartphone on the market.

But it’s not just the promotion – the devices have been, generally speaking, solid challengers to Apple’s iPhone. The S5 continues that tradition, even if there isn’t much about it that’s terribly new or exciting.

Featuring a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen, with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and 432 pixels per inch, the S5 has one of the sharper screens out there. And, although it’s still made of plastic, it feels better in the hand than last year’s S4 thanks to a dimpled back cover, a little more weight and corners that are a bit less rounded. By nailing that all-important “hand feel,” Samsung has all of the basics down.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 1, 2014 in mobile, samsung

 

In which I entrust my life to Samsung’s Note Pro

note-proIf you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I’m something of an iPad Mini fanboy. I’ve written before – without a trace of hyperbole – about how the device has changed my life. I rarely surf the web or use social media on a computer anymore, opting instead for the tablet, which I also use to take notes when out on assignment. It also comes in handy for signing documents digitally, a feature that lets me live a printer-free existence. It has also, amazingly, helped me become a more patient person; I almost look forward to delays when traveling because it gives me more time to catch up on movies and books.

But there is still one problem with it, if it can really be considered as such, in that it’s still a supplemental device when I’m on the road for work purposes. While the Mini is fine for taking notes during an interview or press conference, it’s not something I really want to write a full story on. A full keyboard is still a necessity for that, so I inevitably end up toting a laptop along as well.

This issue is at the core of efforts by several tablet manufacturers to bridge the gap with hybrid devices. Microsoft took the highest-profile stab at it with the Surface Pro, a device that sought to emulate the best features of both tablets and laptops. The initial effort, however, flopped for a host of reasons – it was too heavy and too pricey and had limited battery life and app selection. The Surface Pro 2, released last fall, is an improvement, but it still suffers from many of the same problems.

Lo and behold, Samsung is now stepping into this realm with its new Galaxy Tab Pro and Galaxy Note Pro tablets, both of which are hybrid devices designed to appeal to professional power users. The Tab Pro series comes in three screen sizes: 8.4-inch, 10.1-inch and 12.1-inch, at respective (Canadian) price points of $419, $519 and $669. The Note Pro is available with only a 12.2-inch screen at $769, but it also comes with Samsung’s S-pen stylus, which accounts for the extra $100 premium over the Tab Pro. Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 7, 2014 in apple, ipad, microsoft, samsung

 

2014: Wearable gadgets continue to flop

Google founder Sergey Brin and his Glass: banned all over.

Google founder Sergey Brin and his Glass: banned all over.

Whew, what a decade. Well, decade and then some.

Ever since the iPod came out in 2001, it’s been one non-stop rush of revolutionary new gizmos, from smartphones and e-readers to GPS devices and tablets. It’s not an overstatement to say that all these brand new categories of electronics have collectively changed how we do just about everything.

It’s no wonder then that many people in the technology industry, and plenty in the tech press, expect or even want this cavalcade to continue, which is probably the main explanation for why there has been so much hype over so-called wearable computers or gadgets. Going into 2013, there was an awful lot of anticipation for Google Glass, the search company’s camera-equipped eyeglasses, and smartwatches from the likes of Samsung.

As the year draws to a close, however, it’s almost funny how badly those particular two items flopped. Despite not even being a commercially available product, Google Glass has been pre-emptively banned all over the place for its safety and privacy issues (never mind its nerdiness), while Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart-watch may very well have been the most poorly received gadget of the year. Even the commercial for it was mind-numbingly bad.

Heading into 2014, there are a few reasons why such big flops are likely to continue. Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Google, samsung

 

2014: The smartphone showdown ramps up

smartphones1With just about every major smartphone maker performing below expectations in 2013, it’s clear the market – at least in rich, developed countries – is starting to mature. As industry observers such as tracking firm IDC have surmised, that’s going to result in some good news for consumers in 2014 and onward: lower prices.

On the face of it, such a prediction makes sense. The likes of Apple and Samsung are going to want to continue selling people new products, yet with many smartphone owners either stuck in the middle of contracts or quite happy with their existing devices, there are going to be fewer takers than in previous years. Naturally, the best way for manufacturers to entice stodgy consumers into buying something newer and shinier is to offer it a lower price.

But, as I’ve written before, that’s not necessarily how the smartphone market works thanks to the presence of middle-men: wireless carriers. For the most part, it’s cellphone companies who buy the devices and then effectively resell them to customers, usually with subsidies in exchange for those long-term contracts. Those contracts then allow carriers to keep monthly service prices higher than they might be otherwise, since customers aren’t easily able to defect to competing providers, who might offer them a better deal.

Lower prices are thus about to butt into contract subsidies, which means that the interests of wireless carriers are about to clash with those of phone manufacturers. Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 30, 2013 in apple, Google, mobile, samsung

 

The biggest tech hits and misses of 2013

Edward-Snowden

Edward Snowden: the most wanted man since Julian Assange.

So what were the biggest technology related stories in 2013? There were quite a few, but here are the 10 most important.

Selfies take over:

With the Oxford Dictionaries naming “selfie” as the word of the year in November, the self-portrait’s domination of pop culture was complete. Even U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt recently got in on the action with their own selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.

Is the self-portrait, followed by its inevitable sharing on social media, a sign of society’s growing narcissism? It’s a topic that’s now being debated. Over at the Globe and Mail, Navneet Alang argues it isn’t – it’s merely the latest evolution of how people are defining their identities while communicating with each other.

I think it’s even a little more innocuous than that. Whenever I show friends or relatives vacation photos of famous monuments or gorgeous vistas, they always wonder why I’m not in them. People like to see other people in photos – it’s often what makes them interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

 

5 reasons why smartwatches will be forgotten

Galaxy GearSamsung has finally announced its smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, and the initial thoughts from analysts aren’t good. Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps says “smartwatches are sci-fi inventions that are already anachronisms in this modern world,” while Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi says the Gear is “more an overpriced toy than a device that really drives value to consumers.”

No kidding. Samsung’s device is overpriced, at $299, and underpowered – it has a 1.6-inch display and 1.9 megapixel camera and you can make Bluetooth calls through it with newer Galaxy phones. But it lacks the biometric sensors, such as a heart rate monitor, that many had been expecting.

Odds are good the Gear will go down as one of the fastest forgotten products of 2013, right up there with the Microsoft Surface tablets and Ouya game console. And oh yeah, Qualcomm has also announced a similar soon-to-be-a-memory device. Over all, there are at least five good reasons why smartwatches on the whole will  be quickly forgotten as a category. Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 5, 2013 in apple, Google, samsung