A Review Of The Samsung Galaxy S5

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Today I am going to review one of the most important smartphones of 2014 – the Samsung Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S5 is the latest flagship device of the Galaxy S series and it was just launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

A Review Of The Samsung Galaxy S5

Display & Design

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is quite similar in design to the Galaxy S4, it has a very similar design language with rounded corners and a metal trim alongside. The only major difference in design and hardware is actually on the back.

The back features a soft touch finish with a dimple patter, it really feels a lot nicer than Samsung’s older glossy finishes, it feels very similar to the Note 3 without the leather looks but otherwise it feels pretty much like the Galaxy S4 in your hand.

The phone comes in with a 5.1 inch display with a capacitive button for multitasking and a new fingerprint scanning home button on the front. You can still take the back cover off to access the battery and the SIM card slot.This is definitely a Samsung phone as it has got all of Samsung’s apps and helpers and things like that.

Hardware & Software

On the back of the device you can find a 16 megapixel camera, a LED flash and a new heart rate sensor that uses your fingertip to measure your heart rate. The phone has a micro SD card as well and a 2100 mAh battery that Samsung says gets 20% better battery life than the Galaxy S4.

Inside the Galaxy S5 is a quad core processor clocked at 2.5 GHz and 2GB of RAM, this is what makes the phone really fast and responsive. There is actually no lag that I can particularly see, the interface is definitely very familiar to Samsung users even if there are some slight differences.

For example, if you swipe over the home screen you can access the My Magazine feature which was available with a swipe-up in the Note 3 but otherwise it is a pretty standard home screen. The settings menu and the tabs are gone for a more icon based approach and it is running Android 4.4.2.

The great thing is that S-health has been greatly improved in addition to the heart rate sensor on the back. It has a new exercise coach and pedometer and it has the ability to be expanded with third party apps that can tap into that Samsung feature that they will release soon.

The heart rate sensor uses the sensor near the LED on the back and in order to use it you just need to place your fingertip on it and it will give you a reading for your heart rate in about 5 to 10 seconds.

Samsung is going to be releasing the Galaxy S5 in a variety of different colored backs, there is blue, black gold and white so depending on which market it will be released the color will be available but in the U.S. they are going to launch the Black and White model.

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A top technology and gadget expert and consultant, numerous people have turned to celebrated software, security and mobile consultant Chris to learn more about todays gadgets, mobile softwares and mobile apps. He is also a creative writer whose how to guide on gadgets and other informative articles have been featured by a number of tech websites, blogs. You can also visit here to see some of his articles.

Three Things BlackBerry Has to do to recreate its Former Success

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BlackBerry hasn’t had a good few years, seeing their stocks plummet, their technology fail and their sales diminish. Nobody sees BlackBerry as a ‘go to’ brand like they used to, but we’ve come up with three ways the company could reclaim that former success.

Fix the design
Does a BlackBerry phone have a physical QWERTY phone or not? The company has flipped the keyboard design on and off like a light switch over the past year and the result has been far from successful.

There are very few phones being released which actually have a physical keyboard. Is that a sign of the times? We think so, and BlackBerry isn’t letting the age of the QWERTY keyboard pass, and it is paying for it.

The Canadian company needs to focus on releasing a range of phones with a responsive and vivid touch screen that is reliable. Even with the latest releases, we’ve been given touch screens which aren’t as responsive as other manufacturers, and that flaw is driving people away.

To put it simply, BlackBerry needs to fix the design issues, if it doesn’t, it’s unlikely that the firm will exist this time next year.

Change its Audience
Another thing BlackBerry could do is change its audience. For the past few years BlackBerry has been targeting younger audiences, losing track of where its original success was found: in the business sector.

Instead of trying to focus on the teenage audience, why doesn’t BlackBerry head back to basics and become the business phone manufacturer on the market.
When business people are looking for a new handset, you won’t see them hunting around for the best phone deals, instead, they will know to head straight for a BlackBerry. This is the ideal situation for BlackBerry and what it should be striving to secure.

Sort out the OS
If your own system doesn’t run well, it’s unlikely people will buy your phone, simple as that. The BlackBerry 10 operating system wasn’t bad in all fairness, but before that BlackBerry was a much maligned system, thanks to multiple issues from lack of apps to constant crashing.

Windows Phone 8 was released at a similar time to BlackBerry 10, so why has it stuck around when BB10 hasn’t? Because WP8 secured the most important apps, and released the most important updates to its users when BlackBerry didn’t, and now it is stealing away the users BlackBerry once had.

If BlackBerry is to get out of the mess it’s found itself in, it needs to keep improving its OS in an effort to bring more customers in.
If BlackBerry improves its OS further, it could begin to compete effectively against the likes of Windows Phone, Android and Apple, just like the good old days.
If BlackBerry does any one of these three things, it might be able to climb out of this hole it’s stuck in. Hopefully we might just be seeing BlackBerry make a resurgence this year if it gets things right.

A round-up of the very best smartphones of 2013

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As 2013 draws to an end, now is the time to look back on the last 12 months and take a closer look at the highlights of the year. For technology fans, this year has been a great one for the smartphone, which has developed even further than many would have believed possible.

Let’s take a look at the very best smartphones of 2013, before we start looking ahead to next year’s new releases.

1. LG G2. LG has outdone the competition with the G2, which boasts high-end features, great performance and exceptional style. The best and most surprising thing about the LG G2, however, is its very affordable price.

2. iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s offers everything from speed, a big screen, a lightweight design, amazing high-tech features and jaw-dropping photos and videos. There isn’t much more you could want, except perhaps a couple of hundred knocking off its sizeable price-tag.

3. Samsung Galaxy S4. It may be a bit pricy, but it is hard to beat the Galaxy S4 when it comes to exceptional performance and hardware. It’s an all-round amazing device, one which is not only available on 4G networks but also works with a pay as you go sim card.

4. HTC One X+. If you liked the HTC One, you’ll be blown away with the newer version, which boasts extended battery life and a newer version of Android.

5. Huawei Ascend P6. This device is often mentioned by technology fans as one of the most beautifully designed smartphones around. It offers value for money, has great cameras and a customisable interface, and could only really be improved with 4G access and NFC.

6. Nokia Lumia 720. Like the Nokia Lumia 625, the Lumia 720 is a fantastic mid-range smartphone which makes the very most of Windows Phone 8. If you want good, reliable performance and a well-balanced device, all for a reasonable price, the 720 is the phone to go for.

7. iPhone 5c. Although some have argued that there was no need for the 5c, as it is simply a brighter, funkier version of the hugely popular 5s, there’s no denying that this handset is a really great device (as is the 5s) with the added bonus of being more fun and much more colourful.

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Struggle To Use Android Phones? The Note 3 Might Just Be The Surprising Solution For You!

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There’s no denying that smartphones are designed for abled-bodied people and that they’re targeted at people who are ‘average’ in as many ways as possible. Most greatly favour right handed operation for instance, and using a keyboard on a small touchscreen display is something that clearly hasn’t been designed with accessibility in mind.

Although this is the case however, phones are getting better at accommodating a greater range of users. Technologies that were maybe designed initially to add features for consumers who would want a phone that can ‘do everything’ have actually proven to have a number of other uses that make the technology more accessible for people who are just happy to be able to navigate and load apps. No phone at the moment is quite as packed with features as the Galaxy Note 3, so that might just be the most practical and accessible phone on the market – surprising given its huge size!

If you’re sceptical, then read on to see some of the ways that Galaxy Note 3s make life easier for their users and help connect you with the content you want…

The Screen:

The first feature of the new Note phone that makes it more accessible is the huge screen. This is the aspect that most people are somewhat dubious about – can such a large screen really be convenient for everyday use? Fortunately a number of smart options (such as the ability to shrink the screen for one handed use in response to a gesture command) and a one-handed keyboard make this less of a problem than you’d think. And that then means that you’re free to take advantage of just how convenient a large screen like that can be: no more squinting at text or accidentally hitting the wrong link!

The Pen:

Touchscreen input is unfortunately rather fiddly at the best of times, but the Note 3′s stylus manages to combat that problem by allowing you to write directly onto the device. This is handy for taking notes, but what makes it even cleverer is the fact that there’s such good handwriting recognition on-board and ready to turn your hand writing into text messages, contact details and more. Don’t like touchscreen keyboards? Then don’t use them!

Air Gesture:

Air gesture is a smart feature that really shows just how far phone technology has come in recent years. Basically switching this mode to ‘on’ means that you’ll be able to scroll through photos and perform a range of other tasks by simply moving your hand in front of the sensor. For someone who has wet hands because they’re washing up, or who wants to use their phone propped up in bed, this is very useful indeed.

Smart Scroll: But why use your hands at all when all it takes to control a phone these days is for you to direct your gaze? By using Smart Scroll you can set your phone up to register when you look up or down, and to scroll the content on the page accordingly. You can this way read a whole eBook without ever needing to touch the device.

Voice Command:

Better yet are the various voice command features built into the Note 3, which let you launch apps right from your lockscreen by simply saying the name of the app you want to run. You can also answer calls this way and more, meaning that you can stay in touch with family and friends, browse the web and more simply by talking to your phone.

Google Now:

Google Now takes this further by allowing you to check the weather, to carry out searches and to get directions all using a smart voice command. This option is available on all new Android phones and is ideal for quickly finding the information you need, giving Siri a run for its money.

These are just a few of the settings that make the Note 3 so versatile and effective. There’s tons to play around with here, so even if you normally struggle to find your way around an Android you may just find a combination of settings that works for you. Let’s hope that more phones follow this example…

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/iphone-smartphone-touch-screen-106351/
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This article has been authored by John Pellet. John is a freelance blogger currently working for Freedom Lift Systems, leading manufacturer of residential wheelchair lifts. John loves to spend time by the seaside and plays beach volleyball with his friends. Click here www.freedomliftsystems.com/ to know more about his firm.

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How To Get Rid Of TouchWiz Without Rooting Your Phone

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Samsung phones are by all accounts great devices that also happen to be highly popular. While Samsung’s margins might not quite be as high as Apples, they nevertheless have the edge in terms of pure market share which is no doubt down to their devices’ high specifications, varied displays and accessible starting prices.

But unfortunately their phones still aren’t quite perfect and one of their biggest detracting points is the somewhat ‘cheap’ feeling that they tend to have. This is in part due to the plastic that is used in the main builds, but it also comes down to some of the UI decisions – such as the implementation of their somewhat ‘big and clumsy’ TouchWiz interface that sits on top of stock Android. A lot of users really dislike the look, so what can you do about it?

Your Options

One option of course is to route your phone, which will allow you to completely change the firmware you have running on your device. While this might seem like a tempting option however, it does come with a few drawbacks – such as increased security risks, voiding of your warranty, and incompatibility with some apps (certain banking apps for instance won’t run on a rooted phone for the aforementioned security reasons).

Luckily though, Android is the king of customisation and as such there are a number of other options you have when it comes to changing the look and feel of your S4 or Note 3.

The Launcher

One of the first things to look at if you want to change the look and feel of your phone is your ‘Launcher’. Essentially the launcher is the app that your device returns to whenever you turn your phone off and on, or whenever you press the home key. This is the main interface from which you launch all other apps, and as such it is of course a great place to start if you want to change the experience of using your phone. Some of these are very ‘vanilla’ and will provide you with a stripped back Android experience, while others offer 3D effects and animations that are great for showing off. Whatever you choose, this basically gives you the option to pick the launcher you like the most which means you aren’t stuck with Samsung’s dubious tastes…

The Lock Screen

Another aspect to look into is the lock screen, which is the page your phone shows when you turn it on and have to unlock it. Again there are many different apps on the Play Store that will serve as replacements for your existing lock screen, or simply allow you to add widgets and other features to customise it a little. The best lock screen customisations will be those designed to work with the look of your chosen launcher and customisations, so think about an overall theme for your phone when coming up with a design.

App Drawer

The app drawer is the part of the launcher where you sift through apps to find the one you want. It’s another important aspect of the experience, so try some smarter alternatives like QuadDrawer and see which one you enjoy the most.

Bloatware

Perhaps the biggest crime of all with regards to the way Samsung phones arrive though is the sheer amount of ‘bloatware’ that they come preloaded with. Bloatware describes software that the user never asked for that comes preinstalled on the device. This then takes up space, slows down the phone and means you have more apps to sift through when you want to find a new one.

Unfortunately it’s not possible to uninstall these apps either, but what you can at least do is to stop them from running. To do that, open ‘settings’ on your device, then hit ‘apps’ and ‘more’. Find the applications manager and choose the ‘all’ tab. Now just find the app you want to stop and select ‘disable’. That won’t uninstall it, but it will stop it from running in the background which means your phone won’t be slowed down unnecessarily.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 

Nancy Baker, the author of this article, is a freelance blogger, currently writing for, CellphoneUnlocker.com, leaders in Samsung unlock codes. She is an avid technophile who loves attending gadget expos. You can follow Nancy on Twitter @Nancy_Baker_.

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