Archive for Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 & 10+ Announced

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2019 by itnerd

Samsung’s latest iteration of the Galaxy Note series of phones were announced at an event yesterday. If you missed the event, here’s the event in full:

The Galaxy Note 10, for the first time in a Note device, is available in two sizes: 6.3 (Galaxy Note 10) and 6.8 inches (Galaxy Note 10+).

The Galaxy Note 10 has a HDR10+ 6.3-inch screen at 2280×1080 resolution, with the Note 10+ coming in at 6.8 inches diagonally at 3040×1440, moving it well into phablet-size territory. For comparison, the iPhone XS Max features a 6.5-inch display.

Samsung added a triple-lens camera to the Note 10 and a quad camera to the Note 10+. The Note 10 features a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera. The Note 10+ has the same lenses but also adds a new DepthVision Camera.

RAM varies between 8GB and 12GB depending on model, wireless connectivity, and internal storage. Storage begins at 256GB. The Galaxy Note 10+ has a microSD card reader, but the smaller Note 10 does not have card reading capability

The Galaxy Note 10 is priced starting at $949.99 USD, while Galaxy Note 10+ pricing starts at $1099.99 USD. In terms of Canadian pricing (seeing as this is a Canadian blog), I heard from TELUS where the Galaxy Note 10+ is now available for pre-order at TELUS at Telus.com/galaxynote10plus. The Galaxy Note 10+ will be available for purchase in-store and online at telus.com on August 23rd. Customers who pre-order the new Galaxy Note10+, on a minimum two year term, will receive Samsung Galaxy Buds as a gift with purchase, valued at $219.99.

AT&T Customers Have Their Samsung Galaxy Fold Orders Cancelled

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2019 by itnerd

Samsung’s troubled Galaxy Fold phone now has a new problem. According to Tom’s Hardware, AT&T has cancelled all orders and will be serving up a $100 credit to affected customers. Here’s why:

The email from AT&T says that orders are being cancelled because “Samsung delayed the release of the phone, which means we can’t ship your phone.” 

This is a bit of an optics mess for Samsung. But there’s more to it than that. When they stopped the release in April, you had to wonder what they were going to do to fix the issues that were there for everyone to see. After all according to Samsung, this phone had been in development for years. What could the company do in days, weeks, or months to address these issues realistically? Whatever they’re doing, it’s not happening fast enough to make this PR disaster go away.

A Samsung Galaxy S10 Has Exploded… Samsung Blames “External Impact” For The Explosion

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 3, 2019 by itnerd

PR types at Samsung must be on high alert because there is a report that a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has exploded in South Korea. But before we say that this is a repeat of the Note 7 exploding batteries fiasco, Samsung claims to know why this happened:

After a report circulated Tuesday that Samsung denied reimbursing a South Korean customer whose Galaxy S10 5G exploded, the company has explained why. In a statement provided to CNET, the company says that the cause of the damage wasn’t a malfunction but rather the result of “external impact.” 

“After retrieving the device from the customer, Samsung has closely inspected the device and concluded that the damage was caused by external impact,” a company spokesperson said. 

According to the AFP, via The Economic Times of India, a user of the 5G handset identified only by his surname, Lee, claimed his phone blew up “without reasons.” 

“My phone was on the table when it started smelling burnt and smoke soon engulfed the phone,” Lee told the outlet, going on add that he “had to drop it to the ground when I touched it because it was so hot.” 

If you check The Economic Times story, the picture of the phone in question looks pretty scary. But anyone who reads this has to keep in mind that this is a sample size of one. When the Note 7 fiasco happened, those phones were exploding right, left, and center. So I’d be sitting and watching to see if there are other reports of this in the coming days. If not, I’d call this a one off. Another thing to consider is that we’ve had reports of the the odd iPhone exploding over the years. So this sort of thing does happen from time to time. But because of the past history of Samsung when it comes to exploding phones, they may…. key word being may…… be getting more attention than they deserve. But we will see.

 

 

BREAKING: Samsung Galaxy Fold Becomes A Victim Of #Foldgate As Rollout In US Delayed

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 22, 2019 by itnerd

It seems that #Foldgate has caused Samsung to rethink the rollout in the US as The Wall Street Journal [Paywalled] is reporting:

Samsung Electronics Co. is delaying the expected Friday rollout of its Galaxy Fold smartphone until at least next month, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest fallout from a product headache that began with tech reviewers reporting their test devices had malfunctioned. 

I guess that all the bad press on Twitter, YouTube, and by bloggers like me was too much for the company to ignore. But let’s be clear. Samsung rushed this to market and expected people to pay for their Kickstarter program. Now they’re getting burned when things went off the rails. I’m of the opinion that Samsung is getting what it deserves. Also, I hope that Huawei is watching as they have a foldable phone too that they’re hoping to release shortly because I am sure they don’t want to repeat Samsung’s mistakes.

UPDATE: Samsung has confirmed the delay in a statement provided to CNBC, noting that it will announce a new release date “in the coming weeks” and “will take measures to strengthen the display protection.”

 

The Samsung Galaxy Fold & Hwawei Mate X Are Smartphones That You Should Avoid

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 22, 2019 by itnerd

I’ll say this right up front. I have not seen nor held a Samsung Galaxy Fold. And nobody outside of Huawei has seen nor held a Mate X. But both of these foldable phones which are leading the way in the new frontier of the smartphone market do have one thing in common. You should avoid them like the plague.

Why?

Let’s start with price. The Galaxy Fold is almost $2000 US. The Mate X is going to be $500 more than that. And at that price point, it makes the iPhone XS which I criticized as being insanely expensive look cheap. But what you’re paying for is being on the bleeding edge of tech because up until this point the only foldable phone that was out there was the ZTE Axon M and that shall we say, underwhelmed the planet. The Samsung and Hwawei offerings however are more in line with what people expect from a foldable phone as they have seamless screens and the versions of Android that they come with more or less allow whatever apps and content to look great.

But there’s always a catch and Samsung found that out last week when review units sent to selected tech reviewers started to exhibit two issues:

  • Several reviewers peeled off one of the layers of the screen which at first glance seemed to be there to be removed. But in fact it was a integral part of the screen that when removed caused the screen to die. I’ll chalk this up to user error which will be mitigated by warnings being added to the consumer units when they ship. Still, this was not a good start.
  • The more serious issue was the review unit sent to The Verge which had their review unit fail after bulges appeared in the hinge area. CNBC also had a screen failure. But in both cases, neither outlet removed the layer of the screen that I mentioned above.

This of course started a hashtag on Twitter: Foldgate. Which is not the press that Samsung was looking for. Added to that is the fact that launch events that Samsung had for the Galaxy Fold in China have been cancelled leads one to conclude that Samsung has a major problem on its hands and they know it. And one has to wonder what’s going to happen with the phone’s launch on April 26th in the US.

Here’s the problem. When it comes to these products, they are version 1.0 of some very cutting edge tech. Which makes you the beta tester for these products. And you are paying big bucks to beta test these products. Take it from me, that never ends well. I remember when I got the first Apple Newton back in the day and the news of its inability to read handwriting, a key feature for the product, made the news and was mocked in the Doonesbury cartoon strip for about a week. Subsequent versions were marginally better on that front and in other ways, but the damage was done and the product was killed about 4 years later. But here’s the flipside of that experience with the Newton. Apple took all that tech from that product and moved into places like the iPod and into macOS.

The thing is, I partially financed that by buying a version 1.0 product. And upon understanding that fact, I vowed never to buy a version 1.0 product again. And those who buy the Galaxy Fold or the Mate X will be doing the same thing. Which is helping Samsung and Huawei to finance the foldable phone that you actually want to buy. Because neither of those phones are fully baked products as evidenced by the issues that the Samsung variant is having at the moment with experienced tech reviewers. Which of course does not bode well for what might happen with the average consumer. Now will foldable phones be something that will be a viable option for consumers someday? I think so. But today is not that day. And seeing that everyone has to work hard for their money, I would suggest that you avoid Samsung and Huawei’s Kickstarter projects and not buy either of their phones in the here and now. Your wallet will thank you.

 

 

Samsung Announces New Galaxy Wearables

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 20, 2019 by itnerd

Samsung’s latest attempt to try and eat into Apple’s dominance in the wearables space comes in the form of the following:

  • The Galaxy Active:  The watch monitors blood pressure, in addition to heart rate. Clearly a shot at the EKG functionality in the Apple Watch 4. It has 4GB of storage and also supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile payments via NFC. It can be charged by the new S10 smartphone. It can track over 30 activities. The watch will cost $199.99 US and will be released on March 8th.
  • The Galaxy Fit: Lower down on the food chain and clearly aimed at the Fitbit crowd is the Galaxy Fit. It has a rubber strap with a 0.95-inch full color, touch-sensitive AMOLED display. It pairs over Bluetooth, includes a heart rate monitor, charges wirelessly, and is water resistant. Expect to pay $99 USD on May 31 when it ships.

 

Samsung Announces Galaxy S10 Lineup

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 20, 2019 by itnerd

Because a foldable smartphone isn’t enough, Samsung has announced the Galaxy S10 lineup. There are four phones on offer:

  • There’s the S10E at the low end
  • The Galaxy S10
  • The S10 Plus
  • The Galaxy S10 5G which the brand’s first 5G phone

Key features (depending on the model) include:

  • An edge-to-edge screen with tiny bezels.
  • The ability to wirelessly charge another device.
  • An Infinity-O display that cuts a small circle (or oval) to make room for front-facing cameras.
  • The world’s first ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint reader, which unlocks the Galaxy S10 using sound waves.
  • Up to four rear cameras.
  • Up to 1TB of built-in storage.
  • The all-new One UI. Android Pie.
  • A Snapdragon 855 processor.
  • 5G capabilities

Preorders for all but the 5G phone begin on Feb. 21, for a March 8 release date. Each preorder comes with a free set of Galaxy Buds which is Samsung’s answer to AirPods from Apple as a gift.

UPDATE: Telus sent me this statement after the announcement:

Following Samsung’s unpacked announcement today, we’re happy to confirm that the S10e, S10 and S10+ are now available for pre-order at TELUS at telus.com/galaxys10. The Galaxy S10 will be available for purchase in-store and online at telus.com on March 8.

Customers who purchase the S10 on a Premium Plus rate plan and sign up for the Bring It Back program, can expect to receive the S10 at the absolute best cost. With pricing starting at $150 (S10e), $300 (S10) and $420 (S10+) for the 128 GB models.

TELUS customers who pre-order the new Galaxy S10e, on a two year term, will receive a Samsung Wireless Charger Pad, valued at $79.99 and those who pre-order either the Galaxy S10 or S10+, on a two year term, will receive Samsung Galaxy Buds, valued at $199.99.