Friday, 15 March 2013

Technology: Welcome! Samsung Galaxy S4!!


Samsung Galaxy S 4 is here!
Image from phandroid
Nothing is more important than the announcement of Samsung Galaxy S4 today, so it is definitely getting a post on this English Playground.

Ok, Ok, what's the phone like?

Let's just start with the videos of Jeremy Maxwell!


Now, here's the Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Live if you want to watch it. Please start watching from 0:40:00.




If you simply want to see S4 in a nutshell, here are some of the best hands-on videos on the internet.


So, what do I think about the new Galaxy S4? Here's what I consider as the S4's wows and woes,

Display:

The Wows
The 4.99" 16M-color Super AMOLED HD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (441ppi) is great! That 441ppi trashes iPad 4's Retina Display 264ppi! 40% clearer than the iPad 4!!! Of course, how much better is 441ppi on AMOLED than 264ppi on an LCD iPhone 5 to the human eye is hard to judge. Let's wait and see.

The Woes

The fact that the phone looks almost identical to the S3 and Note 2 makes me feel most disappointed because I was expecting their flexible OLED screen, but maybe it was just me asking too much, since Samsung has already mentioned that those flexible display phones will be under the name of "YOUM" instead of "Galaxy". Still, looking at the new S4 I can't say I am too happy about the lack of difference.

Image from Corning
It is worth noting that the guys at the Samsung UNPACKED didn't try to chuck the S4 onto the floor, meaning that the toughness of the glass -- Corning Gorilla Glass 3, isn't one of the real selling point of the S4, unlike the Sony Xperia Z which is kind of "unbreakable".



Software:

The Wows
People don't coin Samsung as "The New Apple" for nothing. Ever since the Galaxy Note 1, the world has started to see the creative drive in the company, the potential innovation eruption that would one day occur in front of everyone's eye, and then it really happened when Samsung Galaxy S3 came out, shaking the world with its Smart Stay (keep the screen on while looking at it), swipe screen to capture photos, a dozen of gesture functions.

This time, they have up the ante and continue to shocked me with dozens of innovative features and I must agree that Samsung really observes, listens and answers to the needs of the users.
S Translator
Image from mshcdn
I love the S Translator, it seems very fast and much more spontaneous than Google Translate, and you do need that when you are really travelling to a foreign country and need to ask for directions because the person being asked will not want to wait too long to help you.

The Woes
Toggles features on Android 4.2.2
Image from i.i.com
No big changes with Touchwiz, but seems like you can get the Android 4.2.2 Toggles if you want through the settings.



Camera:

The Wows
Not the first phone to have 13 MP back-facing camera (Sony Xperia Z has 13.1 MP) but definitely a strong upgrade from 8MP.


Image from tweaktown
Perhaps the Dual Camera mode isn't too amazing for some because there are apps out there which can do the same, but I like that to be integrated into the phone as a stock camera function, it just frees you from open one app after another just to take one simple photo.

Image from androidspin

Drama Shot allows its users to to take more than 100 shots in 4 seconds then compressing that into one single photo, simple yet brilliant idea!

Image from androidspin
The Eraser function is awesome! The camera takes 5 consecutive photos and allow you to remove moving or unwanted objects of your choice to form the best photo you want. My minor concern is just that, is 5 consecutive shots enough?

I'm not too keen on the Sound & Shot feature though, because if you want to remember what you have said when you are taking a photo, why not just take a video?

The Woes
Photosphere
Image from Google
Not sure if this is a woe or not, but Samsung seems to have missed out on Photosphere, an Android 4.1.2 and 4.2 experience which allows its users to take 360 degree sphere photos. I have heard that Google has recently disabled this feature on 4.2.2 because they want to make this solely available for the LG Nexus 4. I hope that the S4 also gets it. With 8-core processor, the rendering can be done in a much shorter time.

I would be very happy if Samsung can offer Video Stabilization (VS) because this feature have really stunned me when I first heard it from Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Soon after that, YouTube has also added its own video stabilization function, but that only works with uploaded video. So, how about the on-the-phone videos? If VS can be added, that would be awesome! FYI, Sony Xperia Z claims to have this function.


The Hype

The Wows
I really like the setting up of Jeremy Maxwell and the two videos of him. It's cute, it's fun, makes me want to know what will happen after the two episodes. I enjoy the drama show in the Samsung UNPACKED 2013, pretty clever and refreshing way of introducing new products.

The Woes
Why on earth did Jeremy not get anything to say when he took the phone out? He should be the kid to tell us something about the new phone, not the Korean chairman!! All that hype built up resulted in nothing!!! What a bummer!!! In the end, Jeremy ended up just being an actor/tap dancer in drama skits. Don't get me wrong, he's a great tap dancer! But he should play an even more important role! Let the kid speak!!!


The Good News
Samsung S Health
Image from webnews
Looking at the features that comes with the S4, I have to say that it won't be too difficult for the developers to port the OS onto other Samsung phones. Definitely, even for the powerful Note 2, the absence of the temperature and humidity sensors from all earlier Samsung smartphones means that none of them can enjoy the full functionalities of the S4, but other than that, all other features should be "port-capable".

S Health
Image from gigaom2
Thus, it is just a matter of time before the developers transfer all these amazing features to your S2, S3 and Note 2. They have done that before, so they will do it again.



Vocabulary:
in a nutshell -- using as few words as possible
wows and woes -- the surprises and the disappointments
up the ante -- If you up the ante, you increase your demands or the risks in a situation in order to achieve a better result:
bummer -- (n)[S] offensive something that is very annoying or not convenient:


Resources:
[Samsung UNPACKED] Be ready 4 The Next Galaxy @ YouTube
http://youtu.be/dIEfNaNCkKM

[Samsung UNPACKED] Be ready 4 The Next Galaxy (Part 2)  @ YouTube
http://youtu.be/YzkfC7--jog

Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on @ YouTube
http://youtu.be/NIOQxZih9zE

Galaxy S4 hands-on demo @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUdi3BG6bPw

Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on: First look @ GSMArena
http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s_4-review-907.php

Samsung Galaxy S4 VS Sony Xperia Z @ GSMArena
http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=5125&idPhone2=5204

Photography: Sport Video Capturing (feat. Adobe Premiere Pro CS6) @ Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2012/11/photography-sport-video-capturing-feat.html

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/nutshell?q=in+a+nutshell
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/wow_1
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/woe?q=woe
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/up-the-ante?q=up+the+ante

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