IS IT TIME TO DITCH THE 'FRUIT' AND SWITCH TO THE SAMSUNG SIDE?

IT HAS become the topic of debates for years among geeks, much like the argument between the Beatles versus the Rolling Stones or the ever divisive Nora versus Vilma arguments—which is better? Android or iOS or more specifically Samsung vs Apple. Change is never a bad thing, and while it isn’t impossible to get the best of everything by getting both phones, it all comes down to a matter of timing especially if the lock-in period of your postpaid plan is about to expire. Barely a month after its release, several tech websites are already calling the Samsung Galaxy S5 as the best phone of the year, while comparing the iPhone 5S to an Android device from 2012. The comparison may be a bit harsh, but not without merit as the Galaxy S5 further improves on almost every aspect of its predecessor’s strengths while introducing several new interesting features. Here are five reasons to go Droid and get the Galaxy S5: 1. Bigger and brighter screen: Size matters especially when talking about phone displays, and the iPhone 5s’ 4-inch, 1136 x 640-pixel can’t hold a candle to the Galaxy S5’s 5.1-inch, 1920 x 1080p super AMOLED panel. Instead of increasing the resolution or screen size, Samsung focused more on improving the viewing angles, power efficiency, color accuracy as well as the display brightness. The S5’s larger screen delivers a better movie-viewing experience, makes webpages/ebooks easier to read and has more room for a bigger virtual keyboard for more accurate tying. The S5 also boasts of a new technology that adjusts brightness, contrast ratio and color gamut, providing the best view even in direct sunlight! CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: In the Battle for Best Smartphone, Apple Still Beats Samsung

Over the last couple weeks, many of my colleagues in the tech press have published reviews of the Galaxy S5, Samsung’s newest top-of-the-line smartphone. They all arrived at more or less the same conclusion: The S5 is a very nice device. Although it offers no spectacular advances over the previous version, Samsung seems to have done just enough with the S5 to stay ahead of every other Android phone maker. The only plausible competition comes in the form of the HTC One, which, as my colleague Molly Wood wrote, is prettier than the S5 but not as functional. The upshot of all these reviews is that if you’re looking for the best Android phone, Samsung’s is the one to buy. But that’s not the whole story. While there are probably some people who go out to shop for the best Android phone, I suspect that most people want to know which phone is best of all, whatever operating system it runs. In other words, how does the Galaxy S5 compare to the iPhone 5S, Apple’s six-month-old flagship device and the champion to beat? The answer: Not very well. I’ve been using the new Samsung for about three weeks, and while I do think it is the best Android phone you can buy, it sure isn’t the best phone on the market. By just about every major measure you’ll care about, from speed to design to ease of use to the quality of its apps, Samsung’s phone ranks behind the iPhone, sometimes far behind. If you’re looking for the best phone on the market right now, I’d recommend going with the iPhone 5S. This is not to say you’ll hate the Galaxy; as everyone says, it’s a great phone, and if you buy it you’ll be fine. The Galaxy does have slightly longer battery life than the iPhone, and it is waterproof, an unusual feature among top-end phones. CONTINUE READING...


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Is it time to ditch the ‘fruit’ and switch to the Samsung side?


Samsung Galaxy S5

MANILA, MAY 26, 2014 (MANILA STANDARD) By Ed Uy - IT HAS become the topic of debates for years among geeks, much like the argument between the Beatles versus the Rolling Stones or the ever divisive Nora versus Vilma arguments—which is better? Android or iOS or more specifically Samsung vs Apple.

Change is never a bad thing, and while it isn’t impossible to get the best of everything by getting both phones, it all comes down to a matter of timing especially if the lock-in period of your postpaid plan is about to expire.

Barely a month after its release, several tech websites are already calling the Samsung Galaxy S5 as the best phone of the year, while comparing the iPhone 5S to an Android device from 2012.

The comparison may be a bit harsh, but not without merit as the Galaxy S5 further improves on almost every aspect of its predecessor’s strengths while introducing several new interesting features.

Here are five reasons to go Droid and get the Galaxy S5:

1. Bigger and brighter screen: Size matters especially when talking about phone displays, and the iPhone 5s’ 4-inch, 1136 x 640-pixel can’t hold a candle to the Galaxy S5’s 5.1-inch, 1920 x 1080p super AMOLED panel.

Instead of increasing the resolution or screen size, Samsung focused more on improving the viewing angles, power efficiency, color accuracy as well as the display brightness.

The S5’s larger screen delivers a better movie-viewing experience, makes webpages/ebooks easier to read and has more room for a bigger virtual keyboard for more accurate tying.

The S5 also boasts of a new technology that adjusts brightness, contrast ratio and color gamut, providing the best view even in direct sunlight!

2. Better Camera: Granted that the iPhone 5s’ 8-megapixel camera is still one of the best, with its great color accuracy and sharpness, several experts observed that it only captures half the detail of the Galaxy S5’s 16-MP shooter.

But its not just about the megapixels,as the S5 now has real-time HDR (high-dynamic range), that utilizes various exposure levels for different parts of an image. The improved camera also lets you refocus your photos even after capturing them so you can highlight on the people/object in the background rather than those on the front.

Now combine that with the previous “eraser mode” that removes photobombers and “best face” that allows you to pick the best smile for each person in a group photo and you have a photography experience that will be the envy of your friends.

If you love shooting videos, you’ll be happy to know that the S5 can shoot videos in 720P, 1080P and even 4K resolution. You’ll also have fun playing around with the “slow” and “fast” video recording option.

3. Amazing Battery Life: Admit it, you have a “dextrose” in your bag as the pathetic battery life of many smartphones have left us with no choice but to bring along one (or even more) PowerBanks.

Battery life has always been one of the biggest concerns of users buying a new phone or tablet, and the Galaxy S5 doesn’t disappoint. The 2800 mAh battery of the S5 may be lower than the Galaxy Note 3 (3200 mAh) or the LG G2 (3000 mAh) but it certainly outperforms them all thanks to its new Ultra Power Saving (UPS) Mode.

Once fully charged, the Galaxy S5 can last for around 15 to 16 hours when used with a 3G connection and longer if you don’t always keep your internet connection on. And when it does run low on juice, the Ultra Power Saving Mode kicks on and changes to a greyscale theme. It will then turn off all non-essential processes such as push notifications to conserve more battery, keeping it running for an hour more even with just 5 percent battery left.

4. Water and Dust Resistance: We all get a bit clumsy sometimes, but if you spill water on your iPhone or (God Forbid!) drop it in the toilet, its bye bye phone, whereas the S5 will give you 29 minutes more to panic and blame anyone in the immediate vicinity for getting your phone wet.

The S5 has an Ingress Protection rating of 67 (IP67), which means it can survive up to 30 minutes when submerged in 1 meter or about 3 feet of water, so you can actually bring it swimming just as long as you stay in the children’s pool.

While I don’t see any reason to, you can even use the S5 in the shower or when trying to reenact one of those rain drenched scenes from your favourite romantic movie.

5. Faster Internet connections with download booster: The Galaxy S5 offers a new technology in connectivity utilizing LTE and WiFi to ensure blazing fast data speeds for unrivaled media consumption and productivity.

With its MIMO (multi-input, multi-output) technology, downloading data allows for both LTE and Wi-Fi to work simultaneously to speed up data transfers. Plus, the Galaxy S5 supports a number of LTE frequencies with LTE Category 4 standard. No matter where you may be, the S5 will make sure you get the fastest connection available in the area.

I mentioned earlier that I was just going to name five reasons, but if you’re still not convinced here are several more things to consider.

Improved S Health/Heart Monitor: Fit is definitely in and the Galaxy S5, solo or paired with the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 or Galaxy Gear Fit can help you live a more active lifestyle. The enhanced S Health 3.0, provides a pretty extensive personal fitness tracker, and tools such as a pedometer, diet and exercise records, and a new built-in heart rate monitor. Under the primary camera is a sensor, and all you have to do is put your finger on top of the sensor to check your heart beat.

Kids Mode/Security: What is worse than lending your phone to a nosy officemate in dire need to send a text message? A kid who will cry his guts out unless you let him play with your phone.

With Kids Mode you can choose the applications kids can access while displaying colourful and cartoonish theme to keep them occupied. There is even an animated crocodile they can dress up in various attires when they grow tired of singing “Let it Go” while watching Frozen.

Samsung’s KNOX app, meanwhile, places business data and apps into a separate environment. So you don’t have to worry about some people browsing through your personal stuff as it creates a “guest” account with very limited access to your phone’s data.

Best User Interface: Besides running on the latest version of Android 4.4.2, KitKat, Samsung has also modified TouchWiz, its proprietary user interface (UI). The icons look better overall and the colors are more toned down and works more smoothly and without lag many complained about the old UI.

Live the Galaxy Life: Together with the launch of the S5 Samsung Electronics Philippines also introduced a mobile app called Galaxy Life, a loyalty program meant for Samsung Galaxy users. It brings together a variety of exclusive rewards and privileges from popular local retail and online stores. It allows users to discover the latest rewards and exclusive offers that will delight and surprise them. The app creates a preference—based online community where they receive notifications about offers and deals in various lifestyle categories. Galaxy Life acts as a passport to today’s different consumer passion points—be it for food, fashion, health and fitness or entertainment.

Premium offers: Since it is one of the most anticipated phones of the year, both Smart and Globe are offering several exclusive plans when you get the Galaxy S5.

Smart subscribers can get the S5 for free with the Smart Postpaid’s UnliSurf Plan 2000, which already comes with unlimited mobile LTE surfing, 150 minutes of calls and 200 of texts to all networks under a 30-month contract. The Galaxy S5 will also be available for only P1,799 a month under UnliSurf Plan 999, with P800 monthly handset cash-out for 24 months. This plan comes with unlimited surfing for one month plus calls and texts.

Globe meanwhile has launched the Galaxy Forever Plan, which allows postpaid customers to avail of the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone after just a year by first choosing their Galaxy Forever Plan of choice. Three plans are available for subscribers to choose from: Plan 1599 with a cash-out of P16,800; Plan 1999 with a cash-out of P14,800, and Plan 2499 with a cash-out of P12,800.

After the 12-month contract period has ended, subscribers can re-contract their existing Galaxy Forever Plan or upgrade to a higher plan, renewing the contract period for another 12 months and making them eligible to get the newer Galaxy model. Upon renewal of contract, subscribers have the option to pay the corresponding cash-out if they decide to keep their Samsung Galaxy S5 model or trade it in for lesser cash-out.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR From his FB Timeline: ED UY, Writer/Contributor at Manila Standard Today,
Publicist at Solar UIP Philippines and Publicist at Solar Entertainment Corporation

FROM BITS.BLOGS. NYTIMES DOT COM

In the Battle for Best Smartphone, Apple Still Beats Samsung Bits - Business, Innovation, Technology, Society STATE OF THE ART By FARHAD MANJOO APRIL 18, 2014 4:03 PM 175


SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 VS iPHONE 5S

Over the last couple weeks, many of my colleagues in the tech press have published reviews of the Galaxy S5, Samsung’s newest top-of-the-line smartphone. They all arrived at more or less the same conclusion: The S5 is a very nice device.

Although it offers no spectacular advances over the previous version, Samsung seems to have done just enough with the S5 to stay ahead of every other Android phone maker. The only plausible competition comes in the form of the HTC One, which, as my colleague Molly Wood wrote, is prettier than the S5 but not as functional.

The upshot of all these reviews is that if you’re looking for the best Android phone, Samsung’s is the one to buy.

But that’s not the whole story.

While there are probably some people who go out to shop for the best Android phone, I suspect that most people want to know which phone is best of all, whatever operating system it runs. In other words, how does the Galaxy S5 compare to the iPhone 5S, Apple’s six-month-old flagship device and the champion to beat?

The answer: Not very well. I’ve been using the new Samsung for about three weeks, and while I do think it is the best Android phone you can buy, it sure isn’t the best phone on the market. By just about every major measure you’ll care about, from speed to design to ease of use to the quality of its apps, Samsung’s phone ranks behind the iPhone, sometimes far behind.

If you’re looking for the best phone on the market right now, I’d recommend going with the iPhone 5S.

This is not to say you’ll hate the Galaxy; as everyone says, it’s a great phone, and if you buy it you’ll be fine. The Galaxy does have slightly longer battery life than the iPhone, and it is waterproof, an unusual feature among top-end phones.


Like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the S5 has a plastic body that can come across as cheap-feeling.
Lee Jin-Man/Associated Press

To me, though, these two advantages are slight. Indeed, for many people, there will only be a single obvious reason to buy the Galaxy S5 over the iPhone 5S: The Samsung phone has a much bigger screen.

Size isn’t an objective advantage but rather a matter of preference — some people like big phones and some people like small ones. For the next few months, for big-phone lovers, Samsung’s massive size will make it the clear winner.

Yet that points to a looming problem for Samsung.

News reports and common sense suggest that Apple will almost certainly unveil a bigger iPhone later this year. If you assume that everything else about the iPhone-versus-Galaxy matchup will remain the same after the size increase, it means that Samsung will lose its single greatest advantage over Apple.

And what will Samsung do then? When you compare the Galaxy to the iPhone, it’s not obvious that Samsung will have any real way to fight back once Apple makes a bigger phone.

I don’t mean to sound glib. But in many ways, the battle for smartphone supremacy is a pretty simple fight.

Apple makes at least two thirds of the profit in the smartphone business, and Samsung makes about the other third. No one else makes any money selling smartphones, so any gain for Apple is a loss for Samsung, and vice versa.

In recent years, the growth rate for iPhone sales has slowed down. This is partly because, when it comes to expensive phones, consumer preferences appear to have shifted in favor of big phones — and Samsung has been more nimble than Apple at responding to the demand.

Apple highlighted this fact in a sales presentation recently disclosed as part of its patent-infringement fight against Samsung. “Consumers want what we don’t have,” the document stated, noting that most of the growth in the profitable segment of the smartphone business had been in phones with screens larger than the iPhone’s 4-inch display.


The Samsung Galaxy S5 is very fast, but the iPhone 5S is faster. Yuya Shino/Reuters


But as my management-consultant friends say, the flip side of a problem is an opportunity.

If Apple’s major shortcoming is a too-small phone, all it has to do is make its phone larger. Making a larger phone isn’t trivial, but it is a relatively easy fix. Apple has done it well before — two years ago, it put out the iPhone 5, which had a screen just a bit taller than its predecessor — and I suspect it can easily manage the transition once more.

Samsung’s problems, meanwhile, will be more difficult to address, as you can tell by spending some time with the S5. One of its major new features is a fingerprint-sensor meant to let you unlock your phone without typing a passcode, a feature Apple introduced on the iPhone 5S last year. I don’t fault Samsung for copying Apple’s fingerprint idea, just as I won’t fault Apple for copying Samsung when it makes a bigger phone. Fingerprint unlocking is a good idea, and more phones should have it.

But I do fault Samsung for the slipshod manner in which it introduced fingerprint scanning. I’ve been using the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor for the last six months, and it has worked about nine times out of 10 for me. The Galaxy S5’s finger sensor is unusable. It has failed to recognize my finger just about every time I have tried it. It has been so terrible that the sensor feels more like a marketing gimmick than a legitimate feature. And it makes me wonder about Samsung’s capacity to keep up with Apple’s innovations.

So, too, does the Galaxy’s speed. The S5 is really fast, but the iPhone 5S is faster. While the speed won’t be a big deal to most users (you’ll mainly notice it in games and web browsing), it does point to a problem for Samsung. The rapid increase in year-by-year mobile chip performance has been a hallmark of the phone business for years. It’s unusual in this industry for a new phone to be slower than a phone released six months ago. When Samsung’s Galaxy S4 came out last year, it was much faster than the iPhone 5 that preceded it. But this year, Samsung couldn’t keep up; as the speed-testing gurus at AnandTech showed, by just about every speed metric, the aging iPhone 5S beat the brand-new Galaxy S5.

Then there are the perennial problems for Samsung’s devices. Like the S4, the S5 has a cheap-feeling plastic body, and it’s hobbled by a proprietary software interface filled with byzantine menus and settings screens. You feel this complexity throughout the phone. Even in places where Samsung has introduced novel features that are better than Apple’s — like some of its advanced camera features — they’re buried in a user interface that makes them difficult to discover.

None of these problems are crippling for Samsung just yet. With its 5.1-inch screen, the Galaxy S5 is the best big phone you can buy, and it will be so for months. After that, though, Samsung’s smartphone ascendance may look a bit uncertain. THE NEW YORK TIMES


THE AUTHOR: Farhad Manjoo is a technology writer/talker and author


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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