Category Archives: Phone Reviews

s5-cover

Why Should You be Excited by the Samsung Galaxy S5?

In February, the Samsung Galaxy S5 was launched in Barcelona, Spain, during the Mobile World Congress. The S5 follows in the path of the S4, S3, S2 and S before it.

This time, Samsung didn’t go all out to create the fastest, biggest, most radical Android device. I think we’ve really reached a limit in terms of things like how fast the processor is, how much memory the device can has, how clear and sharp the screen is etc. Because really, beyond a certain point, you stop noticing the difference between a quad core snapdragon vs tegra 3 processor!

So with the S5, Samsung added a few niche features and improved some existing ones. Here’s what I am looking forward to:

1. Waterproof and Dustproof

The phone is waterproof up to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. Enough time to impress your friends by dipping it in a glassful of beer :-D

2. Fingerprint reader

There is now a fingerprint reader to unlock your phone so you don’t have to worry about entering the pass code 100 times a day like I do now. Besides, everyone around me now knows the code so sometimes I wonder why I continue to torture myself so (entering the code 100+ a day!)

3. Heart rate sensor

Basically, you can now check your heart rate  by placing your finger on a sensor located at the back of the phone. This is in addition to the usual pedometer, diet and exercise recordings, that come with its S Health app.

4. Improved Camera

Well, the camera is now 16 MP, up from the 13MP in the Galaxy S4. You can also record your videos in 4K -format, that’s like the next big thing in the display world. All you need to know is that your images and videos will look better with the improved camera features!

5. Improved design of the cover, a bit bigger than S4

The S5 is a few inches wider and longer than the S4. However, it’s still just as thin as its predecessor. The faux-leather plastic casing is more solid and makes the phone feel expensive, which it is (or will be when it’s available in the mass market from April 11th).

In addition to the black and white covers, the S5 now comes in blue, and gold. I would love the blue one.

 

The Samsung Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5

6. Kid Mode

It’s not just my son who loves playing with (and biting) my phone, but any other kids who come into contact with it. The kid mode allows kids to mess up with kid-apps, so that you don’t have to worry about them making accidental calls or deleting unbacked-up documents and pictures.

Samsung kids mode

Samsung kids mode

7.  Download Booster

This will combine wi-fi with your 3G network to give you the best of both worlds for faster download speeds. Will this solve my perennial issues with internet speeds? I hope so!

8. Battery Life

 Samsung bragged that the Galaxy S5 can endure up to 10 hours of web browsing, and up to 12 hours of HD video playback, which is impressive . There is a new Ultra Power Saving Mode, that makes the display show images in black and white, shutting down all processes and connections it deems unnecessary, which should make the phone last longer when your battery is low. This will allow you to make 10% of your battery juice last for 24 hours. Hmmm.. can’t wait to try it out.

9. The Gear 2

Just like Note III was launched and paired with the Gear 1, I am looking forward to the improved version of the Gear. There are three versions: Gear 2, Gear Neo, and Gear Fit. There are also rumours of a Gear which could be a standalone device with its own SIM-card. The possibilities.

The Galaxy Gear 2 is yet to be launched

The Galaxy Gear 2 is yet to be launched

 

10. The Satisfaction of Having the Latest Gadget in the Market

This never gets old. :-)

Note III coloured cases

MY GALAXY NOTE III EXPERIENCE – A PERSONAL REVIEW

The thing about having the biggest, latest gadget in the market is that you start taking it for granted. It’s almost like a new spouse, in the beginning you love and appreciate every little thing about them, a few years (or months) down the line and you start taking the other person’s effort for granted. The privileges become rights. It’s like that with a gadget. With the Note 3, you forget to appreciate the screen size until forced to watch a video on a small phone, say Galaxy S4 or even the tinier iPhone 5s (sorry couldn’t help myself, what’s with the ‘s’ stuff?).

Galaxy Note III v iPhone 5

Galaxy Note III v iPhone 5

After about two months in my possession, I am now used to the huge size of the Note III and no longer fret about the impossibility of typing with one hand. Here are my 10 favorite things about the Note III, in no particular order:

1. The Attention

The looks of awe, envy and related adjectives that one gets when people admire their phone. They ask, is that a Note 2? And you balk and say, no no.. this is THE note III. But really, it’s awesome having the biggest phone around town with a matching Gear [link]. Watch your friends, family, colleagues, relatives, neighbours, clients (and everybody) get impressed and ask you to show them the features and what you can do with the Note and Gear.

2. The Spen (S-Pen) and S-Note application

The trademark of the Samsung Note series is the stylus, otherwise known as the S-Pen. There are cool tricks you can do with it, for instance if you need to quickly write something down, you just click on the screen by pressing a button the pen. The screen then becomes an editable image where you can jot down a quick note.

You can also grab an area of the screen as a snapshot for illustrating something. With S-Note, you can create memos that incorporate images, videos, links, and actions (otherwise known as action memos) such as reminders to send emails etc.

Creating an action memo with Note III

Creating an action memo with Note III

When going into meetings, I no longer carry a pen and notebook, not when I have a far more impressive and efficient way of taking notes. Besides with handwriting recognition, you can answer texts, emails by writing on the screen with S-Pen.

Direct input with S-Pen

Direct input with S-Pen

Let’s not forget the sketches one can do when you have artistic talent. Need to illustrate a point to someone, draw them a rough map (or include a snapshot of the map from Google maps?). Do it with the S-Pen and S-Note.

3. Taking Photos

The Camera got upgraded to 13MP, with a host of other enhancements. The modes for taking photos include:

Note 3 camera modes

Note 3 camera modes

    • auto (automatic settings for the lazy)
    • sports (for fast moving objects)
    • surround shot (360 degree panorama)
    • Eraser (saves the best picture after erasing moving objects from 5 consecutive pictures)
    • rich tone for enhancing the realism of pictures by increasing contrast of light and colour
    • golf (you’ve got to see it to believe it)
    • animated photo (picture includes animated parts)
      drama (several shots of a moving objects and merges them into one)
    • sound shot (picture includes a few seconds of background noise)
    • best face (for that perfect selfie)
    • best photo (the best picture from a series of consecutive shots)
    • beauty face (enhances the facial features when taking a photo)

And despite all these, I still take shaky, blurry and poorly lit pictures. I surely suck as a photographer on most days.

However, if you have an interest in photography and Instagram, you can never go wrong with the Note III. Except if you have to take photos at night.. it doesn’t do too well at night even with the flash.

The video is capable of recording in HD.

There is a front camera for selfies. And you can have a dual shot (both front and back cameras at the same time.)

4. Reading

I have a resolution to read more books this year. I have contemplated buying a kindle but when I look at the size of the screen I have with the Note 3, really there is no point in adding to the weight of gadgets I am carrying around. The screen is perfect for reading, you can choose reading mode, you can adjust brightness, you can choose night mode depending on the app you are using for your books. Here is my current bookshelf.

Aldiko Book reader bookshelf

Aldiko Book reader bookshelf

5. Videos and Viewing Photos

Want to catch up with the latest video from Miley Cyrus twerking? I kid! The horror, I know.. who would want to subject themselves to that? Bored in the car waiting for someone, plug in your headphones and watch an episode of Breaking Bad. You will appreciate the screen size then.

6. Playing games

Start with Temple Run and you will be hooked. Are you currently addicted to Candy Crush saga on your Galaxy Y? Well, if you upgrade to the beautiful and big screen that comes with the Note III, say goodbye to sleep!

7. The Cool Stuff- air gestures, smart scroll, smart stay

Wave in the air to swipe the screen. Hover with your finger to preview an email. When reading, slowly move your eyes and the book auto-scrolls, no need to flip pages. As long as you are looking at the screen it will not go off, only going off when you look away. These features I admit that I don’t use as much, but they are worth showing off to others. Others include screen mirroring, NFC, S-Beam etc. All the cool stuff in S4 is also in Note III.

The shortcut to the settings of the cool stuff :)

The shortcut to the settings of the cool stuff :)

8. Battery Life

When I am not using my phone, the internet is off, the GPS is off, all applications are terminated etc. I actively conserve power. When I had a Samsung Galaxy S4, I charged it every day. With the Note III and the same intensity of use, I can go two days without charging it. Bottomline, it can take you two days. But it’s a smartphone with a huge screen and a demand for the 3G+. Carry your charger always.

9. Design, Samsung User Interface and Apps

Above and beyond what Android 4.3 Jelly Bean offers, Samsung offers Note III users the TouchWiz Nature UX that is optimized specifically for the Note. This lends a glossy appeal for the icons and menu.

The Note III looks the price you bought it for! Some friends were complaining how the Note II looked cheap with the plastic finish, but Note III really looks classy with the faux-leather casing.

The back of the Note 3

The back of the Note 3

Various colours available too!

Note 3 colours

Note 3 colours

And not only do you have access to the Google Play market, you can also access the Samsung Hub store for apps, books, and other media.

The Samsung Hub

The Samsung Hub

10. The Connection with the Gear

The pictures say it all. It’s like Bonnie and Clyde, you need to get the Gear to complement the Note III. Read my review of the Gear.

Note III with S-Pen and Gear..

Note III with S-Pen and Gear..

For more detailed reviews of the Note 3, check out the review onGSM Arena and engadget.

Cost
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will set you back by about Ksh. 75,000 (there is no absolute price, depends on where you buy it); and the Gear costs around Ksh 25,000-30,000.

The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

It’s an exciting time to be a (sometime) tech blogger. The folks over at Samsung have given me the Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear to play with, experiment with and experience the latest gadgets that are pushing the boundaries in innovation (and size?).

samsung note III The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear. I am naming them both Bella!

The Galaxy Note III is now the top-of-the-range Android device in the market. For comparable devices in its range, it comes out clearly on top. The phablets in the market include the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Optimus G Pro. The Note III gives you the functionality of a small tablet, but at the same time the portability of a mobile phone.

In the coming weeks, I will do a detailed review of both the Note III (and reveal the cool stuff) and the accompanying Galaxy Gear. In the meantime, I’m doing an introduction to whet your appetites

The Galaxy Note III

    • Best PhabletIt cannot be compared to the ‘best’ phones in the market right now (we’re talking iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4, Nokia Lumia 1020, HTC One) because it will not be a fair comparison. It is much bigger in size, thus making room for enhanced specifications like battery life, screen size, memory and so on. Any other phablets are nowhere near in terms of specifications and user experience. So it’s a phablet in its own class.galaxy note 3 vs iphone 5s The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

      Galaxy Note 3 vs iPhone 5s

      Perhaps it can be compared with its predecessor, the Note II. Here is a post I did explaining why one may want to upgrade from Note II.

      And although it might seem like a huge device, it does fit in the pocket, comfortably.

      20131116 130008 1024x1024 The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

      This is actually one of my more fitting jeans. I took this picture with the Galaxy Gear.

    • Improved Design and SpecificationsI love the look and feel of my Note III. I have the white one and the back feels like leather (although it’s plastic).

      note3 back The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

      The back of the Note III

      Memory: I have the 32GB version of internal memory and I can comfortably carry Scandal and other series in addition to the countless pictures I take (of my son).

      Screen Display: upgraded to High Definition. Awesome when reading or browsing the web, or watching videos.

      s3 front The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

      The Front of the Note 3

      Better camera: 13MP at the rear, 2MP in front.

      For a complete list of features and specifications, check out the Samsung website.

    • S-PenThe S-Pen is one of the key features of the Galaxy Note-series. Once you plug it out, you get shortcuts to features like the S-Note, Action Memo and air command gestures that premiered with the S4.

      s pen2 The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

      The S-Pen

      The Pop-up shortcuts on pulling out the S-Pen:

      spenmenu The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

      Pop up menu

For a comprehensive review of the Note III, you can read the engadget reviewor the android police one.

The Galaxy Gear

      The concept for a wearable smartwatch has been around for quite a while. However, while many prototypes have been developed, the gear is the one of the few that are actually useful (and usable).

 

  • Setting it UpTo set it up, I first downloaded the Gear Manager from the Samsung Apps store on the Note III. Once that is done, ensure NFC is on, then bring the phone near and tap with the Gear, and the two will pair. With the Gear manager app on the Note 3, you can manage applications on the gear.GalaxyGear 0769 1024x680 The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

    Pairing the Galaxy Gear with Note III

    Once they are paired, the gear automatically picks default settings from the Note, and settings such as time, weather, contacts etc. They remain connected through bluetooth.

  • Look and FeelIt may look a little thicker than an ordinary strap watch, but it stands out and looks good on the wrist. The strap is adjustable to fit your wrist size. he watch has a responsive screen which you can swipe to locate apps, such as contacts, call logs, camera, gallery, S-Voice, Voice memo etc. Will get into more details in a later post.display gear The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

    Galaxy Gear display

  • Camera, Speaker, MicrophoneIt comes with a 2MP camera that can take some decent (and discreet) photos and videos.With the speaker and microphone, the watch can be used to receive calls as if one was on loudspeaker mode on the Note III. I have found this especially useful when driving.

Together?

Unfortunately, the Galaxy Gear is only compatible with the Note III at the moment. Thus if you don’t have a Note III, the Gear is useless to you.

The cost of the Note III in the shops is about Ksh 75,000 and that of the Gear is about Ksh. 25,000. So in total, you are talking Kshs. 100,000. So you can choose to just have the Note III on its own.

When together, they create an elegant image that can’t be denied, see the ad image below. If you can afford the devices, they will definitely complement your style (and class!)

samsung chick 1024x640 The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Samsung Galaxy Gear

The elegant Samsung lady

The Nokia Lumia 1020 Launched in Kenya

A Windows 8 Nokia Lumia phone that stands out for its revolutionary camera of 41 Megapixes, the 1020 is a beauty to behold.

nokia lumia 1020 The Nokia Lumia 1020 Launched in Kenya

The Nokia Lumia 1020

The phone was officially launched in the market on Thursday last week (31st Oct) at a colourful ceremony on top of KICC (the helipad). I’d never been up there and the view was breathtaking. Looking down on the city of lights, Nairobi was ethereal, it’s a city that you fall in love with. You know that in its alleys danger lurks, but from up here all you see is beauty, and all you feel is the wind blowing through your hair.

Here and there, I could see several invited guests (of the launch) taking pictures with their phones but I can tell you that no picture can come close to capturing the actual view from the helipad! If you are a Nairobian, make sure you go up there at least once in your lifetime.

Here’s a picture I took with the Nokia Lumia 1020:

WP 20130329 009 1024x576 The Nokia Lumia 1020 Launched in Kenya

A view of Nairobi at night from KICC rooftop. Picture taken by a Nokia Lumia 1020

This is a device that excels at being both a phone and a camera. The quality of the photographs is amazing. It is currently retailing at Safaricom shops at Ksh. 79, 999 including 1.5GB data and a special accessory bundle including the DC18 charger (wireless charging pad) and a Mozo leather cover.

Safaricom has announced other deals across the Nokia Lumia range:

  • Nokia Lumia 925 at KES 53,999 with 1.5GB and 500 airtime
  • Nokia Lumia 625 at KES 28,999 with 500 MB and 250 airtime

The Samsung Note 3 To be Launched in Kenya Soon

Samsung has been at it again; every year we expect a better, more powerful version of their top of the range Galaxy devices. The Note 3 will soon be launched in Kenya, after the Note II was launched sometime last year. The Note III is now the world’s most powerful smartphone.

The Note Series are huge devices; phablets. So they are really niche products for people with a love for big, showy devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3..

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3..

If you enjoyed the Note II like I did, you might wonder what’s new with the Note III. Here is why you may want to upgrade:

  • a full HD, 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED display, which is the same as the Galaxy S4 (although the S4 has a smaller screen so pixel density is better on the S4). The Note II does not have a HD screen.
  • The size of the display is also larger, the Note II has 5.5inch wide screen, the Note III screen is 5.7 inches in width
  • A metal frame around the edges, making the design sleeker (just like the S4)
  • The back cover finishing, although plastic, appears leather. The finish is textured to give it the appearance of leather and this actually provides some much needed grip. This is important when you are lying in bed and scrolling and this massive device rolls off your hands into your face, breaking your nose :-D
  • More powerful, 13MP camera. The Note II camera has 8MP
  • It’s a few grams lighter than the Note II. 183gm-168gm=? Do the math guys!
  • Latest version of Android: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Ice Cream Sandwich in Note II is like.. so last year *rolls eyes* Although it can be upgraded to 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 2.3GHz quad-core processor, although a select few markets will be treated to an octa-core option which houses two quad-core chips. The Note II has a mere 1.6GHz quad-core processor. Never mind you won’t ever make full use of that power
  • 32/64GB internal memory as opposed to the 16GB of Note II.
  • Note III- 3GB RAM; Note II- 2GB RAM
  • Etc etc

So of course if you want to have the latest, most powerful smartphone in the world, grab yourself a Note III. Not sure the exact cost it will sell for, but have $1,000 ready.

Win the 3rd Nokia Asha 205 Dual SIM

Over the past two weeks, two readers of this blog have been lucky winners of a Nokia Asha 205 Dual SIM.

Last week, the winning comment was by one Don Kottowa, who got it the question right.

See, the Nokia Asha series phones come with 40 free games on offer for East Africans, all exciting to play on the relatively wide screens of the Asha phones.

Here are 5 reasons why you should be having a Nokia Asha 205 Dual-SIM in your hands:

  • Dedicated social media apps, the phone is all about connectivity
  • QWERTY keyboard to enable fast typing
  • Dual SIM (you know why you need it)
  • Affordable (Ksh 5,500 at the shops)
  • Durable (it can take a beating :-D )

You can still get a free Nokia Asha 205 Dual SIM phone from this blog. This week, there is no challenge. Just random. You however have to leave a comment so you can be entered into the draw. Say something nice about the Nokia Asha 205 in a word, a sentence.. and wait for the announcement of the winner by Saturday noon. Comments close on Friday midnight.

Competition open to Kenyan readers only.

The Summary: Samsung Galaxy S4

Okay, over the past few weeks, I’ve talked about the good, the better and the best of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

It’s arguably the world’s best smartphone (I said arguably :-/ ). Among the contenders for this spot for Android include the HTC One, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra; with the Lumia 920 and iPhone 5 lagging a bit behind but top in their ecosystems.

Here’s my summary of the reasons you should have an S4 if you can afford it in Kenya

  • Support at the Samsung shops in Nairobi for your phone issues. If you ask me where the Sony Xperia support offices are in Nairobi, I will be blank. HTC too.
  • An Android ecosystem that’s free and easy to use. The best Android has to offer (software
  • Physically sturdy and attractive. Specifications are top of the range (hardware)

Like all perfect things, it has its flaws; hence its perfect in its imperfection (I read that somewhere but it was referring to a person!). Here are my downsides in my use of the phone so far:

  • Radio missing. Like seriously, WTF? I don’t want to stream radio when I can listen to it for free! Data bundles cost an arm and a leg! Please do return the radio (take away the IR blaster for the remote if you must) but let there be free radio in S5. A pity it can’t be fixed with an update.
  • Camera app that freezes and then reboots the phone. You can imagine how frustrating it is. The good news is that this has been fixed with an update so I should update my firmware soon and its fixed. In fact, let me do it right now with night-shift data.
  • Battery life in comparison with the Note II: I am having to charge it more often than when I was using a Note II. The smaller size means a smaller battery. However, if you compare it with its predecessor the S3, it performs much better.

In Conclusion:

Image from www.zedge.net

Image from www.zedge.net

G-Features and S-Features on The Galaxy S4

The G Features I am referring to are Google features that come with the Android version 4.2.2 (Jellybean) on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

S-Voice

It can carry out many tasks quite well when you speak clearly. Setting the alarm, saving a memo, calling someone, texting someone, searching for something on the internet, etc. S Voice can be accessed by double-clicking the home button on the S4.

The Google Search from S-Voice is pretty comprehensive and brings the results into S-Voice (when it has understood them) so you don’t have to leave the app to go to a browser. It’s pretty awesome.

[screenshot]

The really fun part of S-Voice is in having mundane conversations with it.

Me: “Wake up.”

S-Voice: “I’m up, I’m up!”

Me: “Do you love me?”

S-Voice: “I need my space.” (Cue to be less clingy)

It reminds of of ELIZA.

S-Voice and I in action :D

S-Voice and I in action :D

Google Now

This is the next thing beyond a personal assistant who you ask to do things for you and find information for you (S-Voice). With Google Now, find the answers you need even before you ask the questions. It constantly gathers information about you, your preferences, locations, traffic situation between home and work (oh it will figure out where home and work are, you don’t have to tell it), flight schedules etc. You can decide what information you want/don’t need by moving the information cards around.

Google Now

Google Now

There are many other g-apps that come pre-installed in phone including g+, google earth (just freaking fantastic way to view the world but tilting and turning it about, plus the vivid screen display of the S4), google talk etc. Most are available in all other Android version but their experience is enhanced specifically for this version of Android.

S- Features

S Features are unique to the Samsung S4 (and some other Galaxy Series) and you will not find them in any other Android devices.

S-Health

For the health-conscious folks (those who watch their calories, I’m speaking to you :-) ), S-Health makes a great app. It helps you track your calories intake and those burnt in the course of your exercise. At the moment, it seems I need to make 10,000 steps in order to use up 1,000 calories (I think.) Anyway if you are an exercise freak, this right here is your perfect app.

My S-Health Feature

My S-Health Feature

Story Album

It creates a digital scrapbook from the pictures in your album. You can add descriptions of places and events in the photos, and later you can print it. I’m definitely going to do some kind of album for my now-infant son. The Story Album app also suggests to you albums that it can auto-create so you don’t have to add photos one by one, but you can edit this album to suit your creative self.

This was a suggested album :)

This was a suggested album :)

S-Memo

S-Memo is handy for creating memos and to-do lists, something I rely on. I’m a list kind of person. Sorry no screenshot, there’s already a very flimsy curtain between my private and public life, don’t want to do away with it (the curtain) altogether.

However, it doesn’t work as well as it does with the Note II because the Note has the pen for precise screen scribbling. Sure, you can get a pen(stylus) for the S4 but it would be awkward as there is no place to carry it.

The S-Memo on S4

The S-Memo on S4

There is also S-Translator for language immediate translation, Optical Reader for QR codes, words etc Samsung Apps (this is where you will find awesome games that you can’t get in the Google Play store), Samsung Hub (for music, videos, books) and Samsung Link (to link your digital TV, laptop, tablet for media sharing).

Read a more detailed review of Samsung Galaxy S4 software here.

Samsung Galaxy S4: First Impressions

To be honest, I haven’t really had time to get down and dirty with the phone, so I can’t give an in-depth review for the geeks and enthusiasts. However, here’s my quick impression of the phone so far:

Design

The Galaxy S4- side view. Image from techradar.com

The Galaxy S4- side view. Image from techradar.com

It’s a winning design for sure. It’s slim, but not the sliding slimness of its predecessor, which falls off your hands and almost breaks your nose when you’re surfing in bed. It’s less slippery and I love the metal-cased edges. It’s small enough to type with one hand unlike the Samsung Note II, my previous device. You can also walk with it in your hand and it should slide into the slimmest-fitting jeans with ease.

Battery Life

Android drains battery :(

Android drains battery :(

The battery life has definitely improved on the S3, as expected. However, for a busy user like me, I still have to charge it once a day.

Screen Clarity

Life in full coluor :)

Life in full coluor :)

The colours feel so natural on the screen, and nowhere is clarity felt than when reading something on the screen, for example when using the browser or reading an e-book. The screen is also scratch-resistant since it’s made of gorilla glass so you can put it your pocket full of keys etc and it will still come out smooth. Someone ran over it with his car and it didn’t crack.. but don’t try that at home!

Accidental Damage From Handling- Covered

spiderweb?

spiderweb?

Should your S3 screen break, expect to fork out anything between 20-25K for a replacement. For the Note II, you’ll be told 30-40K by an unblinking attendant. With the Samsung Galaxy S IV, you get a two year warranty that covers accidental damage from handling. Your screen can be repaired twice in a period of under two years. You should still get a case though. I’m looking for a white flip case to compliment my white S4.

Camera

S4 camera versus other phones' cameras. Image from gizmodo.com

S4 camera versus other phones’ cameras

With a 13MP rear camera, you should be able to take amazing photographs of scenery.. can’t wait for my next out-of-door activity/roadtrip.

Looking forward to experimenting with all the fancy features and neat tricks, that’s the next review.

The Galaxy S4 is Here – What To Look Forward To

As a blogger and a techie, I’m attracted to (the latest, fastest) gadgets and I’m looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy S4, full of dazzling features that I may not even make use of but feels good to know they are there. Every so often, companies launch new devices that are improvements on the previous models. Whether you need these ‘improvements’ is not really the question here, after all we crossed the line from necessity to luxury when we went beyond the Nokia 3310.

The Samsung Galaxy S4: Life's Companion

The Samsung Galaxy S4: Life’s Companion

Here’s some of the features what I look forward to:

Size

I’m currently using a Note II and it’s a massive device. While the S4 is big, it’s significantly smaller than the Note II and befitting a lady techie *points to self*

Samsung S4 V Note II. Image from www.onlinegadgetstore.com

Samsung S4 V Note II. Image from www.onlinegadgetstore.com

The screen size is of the highest clarity (441 ppi pixel density), the smallest screen in the world with the biggest density. It’s slimmer and lighter than Samsung Galaxy S3. On that note, check out my review of the S3 and Note II.

Dual-Camera

It would be great to be able to take photos with the front and back camera at the same time. Usefulness of this feature? Well, the camera-(wo)man is no longer left out of the picture! No need for strangers (who might run away with the phone) to take pictures so that all of you can be captured in that moment.

The rear camera is 13MP, an improvement from the S3′s 8MP.

dualcamera

However, it’s more of a superimposition on top of the picture of the people you’re taking. I never said this was perfect.

Air View/ Air Gesture

Controlling the phone without having to touch it is a new feature I would like to try out. You can operate the screen by hovering a finger over it. I guess this is useful when you’re eating (chicken) with your hands and need to answer your phone or perhaps reply a text (I’m stretching it here). However, if the finger doing the hovering is dripping with soup, perhaps you better wait till you’re done eating.

Memory, Processor and Connections

With the S4 I know I never have to worry about my storage getting full, it can pack a few series and some movies, even the 16GB version. (I’ll make it my external hard disk now that one of my brothers decided to privatize mine). In fact, you can expand the memory with a card of up to 64GB although I haven’t seen those being sold anywhere. I use a 4GB memory card. The processing power it posses is suitable for any game with intense graphics, that’s really the only way it will ever be used to full capacity. It has the full range of connections: 4G, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC (for example what Google Beba card uses) etc etc.

These are just a few among the numerous features that the S4 packs, running the Android 4.2 OS. For a comprehensive review of everything, check out techradar.

In Kenya, the phone will probably retail for around Ksh 65,000. However, you can pre-order it before the launch on 7th for Ksh 56,999 from Airtel but it looks like its sold out on Safaricom’s pre-order! So I’m not the only one eager to lay my hands on the device.

So given a chance, would you own one?