Samsung. Unboxed. The New S8.

Samsung is BACK, with the latest and greatest – the S8 and S8 Plus, are a revelation. The wraparound design makes the screen the centrepiece of the phone, the Infinity Super AMOLED display pops out with its vibrant colours and high screen to body ratio. Compared to the previous S7 edge, the new phones actually feel slimmer, and easier to hold, thanks to a taller aspect ratio, and a better edge build. They are beautiful phones and blows away the competition.

To achieve this, Samsung removed the non-essentials on the front of the phone. The branding, the home button / fingerprint sensor combo, have all been deemed excess to requirements. The smaller S8 managed to achieve a bigger display than an iPhone 7 Plus, in a smaller footprint, and yet, still retaining the 3.5mm jack. And that’s worth applauding. Now they just have to ensure that the phones do not explode and this would be a homerun.

The previous generation Galaxy S7 and Note 7 have been great phones and many top features have been retained. The IP68 waterproof feature, IRIS recognition, and compatibility with the other great Samsung products like Samsung Pay and GearVR are still on the cards. I am not too sure how useful Bixby would be, which is the other big star of the release, but there’s Google Assistant as an option as well.

Preorders with the local telcos – Singtel, Starhub, M1, is expected within the week, and with a ship date of April 21.

As you would expect from a flagship phone, the specifications do not disappoint.

Galaxy S8

  • Size: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm
  • Weight: 152g
  • 5.8-inch Infinity Super AMOLED curved display with 2960 x 1440 resolution (571 PPI)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or Exynos 8895 8895 processor, depending on market
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of UFS 2.1 storage
  • microSD support up to 256GB
  • 12-megapixel F/1.7 camera with autofocus and optical image stabilization, Quick Launch and Bixby support
  • 8-megapixel F/1.7 front camera with autofocus, Quick Launch, and Bixby support
  • Iris scanner
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Heart rate sensor
  • IP68 water and dust proof certification
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with dual band support
  • GPS, Glonass
  • USB Type-C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 3,000 mAh battery with fast-charging, wireless charging, and battery saving modes
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with Samsung UX on top

Galaxy S8+

  • Size: 159.5 x 73.1 x 8.1mm
  • Weight: 173g
  • 6.2-inch Infinity Super AMOLED curved display with 2960 x 1440 resolution (529 PPI)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or Exynos 8895 8895 processor, depending on market
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB ofUFS 2.1 storage
  • microSD support up to 256GB
  • 12-megapixel F/1.7 camera with autofocus and optical image stabilization, Quick Launch and Bixby support
  • 8-megapixel F/1.7 front camera with autofocus, Quick Launch, and Bixby support
  • Iris scanner
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Heart rate sensor
  • IP68 water and dust proof certification
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with dual band support
    GPS, Glonass
    USB Type-C
    3.5mm headphone jack
    3,500 mAh battery with fast-charging, wireless charging, and battery saving modes
    Android 7.0 Nougat with Samsung UX on top

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Debuts with the S Pen

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is announced and will be available in Q2. The new Tab S3 now comes with the S Pen for even more versatility. Yes, it is like the Apple Pen.

Capturing Ideas On The Go

The Galaxy Tab S3 features an Improved S Pen that feels and works like a real pen. Featuring an elastomer 0.7mm pen tip with industry-leading sensitivity that recognises 4,096 levels of pressure and a slide-proof 9mm comfortable and stable grip, the enhanced S Pen grants users a more natural handwriting experience. It resembles a full sized pen which would allow you to quickly jot notes on the go with Tab S3. By incorporating some of the best ideas from the Samsung Galaxy Note series, I think it provides for a useful added dimension to the stagnating Android tablet market.

Users can quickly and easily bring their ideas to life whenever inspiration strikes, by simply using Screen Off Memo and pinning the memo to Samsung Notes, all without unlocking the screen. Consumers also have the option to pin their memos to the Home Screen and view it whenever they want.

Keeping notes, sketches and drawings organised is now easier than ever with Samsung Notes. With the addition of specialized brushes for Chinese calligraphy, watercolour, and oil drawings – users can mix different colours and quickly switch between brushes and pens to express their artistic talents.

With the Smart Select function, users can use the S Pen to easily create and share GIF animations while the Air Command functions, such as Magnify and Translate, allow users to hover their S Pen over an image or word to zoom in or even translate languages. Air Command also allows users to annotate PDF files with the S Pen so they can add notes directly to the document with ease. For added convenience, users can access their favourite apps in an instant just by tapping on a shortcut via the S Pen while the new Glance function allows users to minimise one app in the corner should they need to refer to information from another app.

New Tablet, New Specifications

If you watch a lot of shows on your tablet, and I am sure there are many, you would be pleased to know that the new Tab S3 comes equipped with Quad Speakers tuned by AKG by HARMAN for a premium listening experience, allowing users to enjoy multi-channel audio on-the-go. With its auto rotate stereo capabilities, consumers will be able to hear rich sound from the corresponding speakers based on the device’s orientation.

For the first time in Samsung’s tablet history, the Galaxy Tab S3 sports a Metal and Glass finish – a signature of Samsung Galaxy smartphones. The look and feel of the reinforced glass is complemented by scratch-resistant, anodised AL5000 series aluminium for enhanced durability.

Out of the box, it runs on Android Nougat. It runs on a Samsung Exynos chip (seems to be the same as the Galaxy S7) with 4GB ram. Storage is 32GB but allows for expansion with a microSD. The display is on 9.7-inch QXGA Super AMOLED display the Galaxy Tab S3 offers users an immersive viewing experience. The Galaxy Tab S3 also features a 10bit HDR video playback so consumers can enjoy a wide range of stunning HDR videos with richer colours and greater contrast.

For times when a pen is not good enough, there’s a new Samsung keyboard accessory that uses POGO pins. It’s similar to the iPad Pro keyboards too.

Local Pricing and Availability

The Galaxy Tab S3 will be available in Q2 2017 in Black and Silver with both Wi-Fi® and LTE versions at major Consumer IT & Electronics stores, Telecommunication Operators, Samsung Experience Stores, and Lazada Singapore.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is Available Now

Mass Effect™: Andromeda is available now on Origin for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The original Mass Effect trilogy told the story of Commander Shepard and their crew’s attempt to save the Milky Way galaxy from genocide at the hands of the Reapers, averting a recurring cycle of death that played out every 50,000 years.

Mass Effect: Andromeda takes players far beyond the Milky Way to the uncharted Andromeda galaxy where a new cast of characters, led by Ryder, will fight for a new home for humanity. Playing as one of the Ryder siblings in the role of the Pathfinder, players will lead a squad of highly-trained explorers as they search for and discover new worlds, alien races and threats. Without the shackles of the previous story, Mass Effect: Andromeda starts a new chapter in this series.
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ASUS Smart Home Debuts in Singapore

ASUS new Smart Home system has been launched at the IT Show 2017.

Promising anywhere control and monitoring, and an easy setup with a full integrated suite, ASUS Smart Home does look rather impressive. Pricing is rather expensive, but it would appeal to those who want an easy and also comprehensive setup.
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Howto: Download from Scribd without an Account

If you are looking for how to download documents from Scribd, I got the answer. At least until they come up with a block.

Step 1: Grab the Android App

Grab the Scribd app for Android. It’s free and available on the Play Store. If you don’t have an Android phone, too bad. You are stuck with using an emulator – e.g. Bluestacks, or Remix.

The free version of the app allows you to read up to 3 files a month, without a subscription or needing to log in even.

Step 2: Load the file of interest

Search via the mobile app, and load up the file. Once the download completes, you can exit the app.

Step 3: Get familiar with a file manager

From your favourite file manage, head to the following folder.
Android -> Data -> com.scribd.app.reader0 -> files -> document_cache -> ‘id number

There should be a file named Content. Copy it out, rename it with an extension of .pdf and boom, mission accomplished.

“Solutions” that no longer worked

When googling, I found some proposed methods, including using the document id and access key to download via a shockwave plugin. Another proposed using the mobile website instead. Both didn’t work. I also tried the popular “bugmenot.com” website but no luck there.

Asus ZenBook Flip UX360UA : Compact convertible for your needs

Zenbook Flip is Asus’s method of combining convertible 2-in-1 with their high-class Zenbook laptop range. Asus ZenBook Flip UX360UA is their one of the latest attempt at creating the perfect convertible and it is one of the most powerful convertibles around.

Specifications


Unlike the previous Zenbook Flip UX360CA which runs on Intel® Core™ M3 CPU, the review UX360UA unit is running on an Intel® Core™ i7-6500 CPU along with 8GB DDR3 RAM and 512 GB SSD to ensure the snappiest performance.

13.3″ QHD LED IPS screen sounds like the sweet spot for convertible laptop size. The only concern with the glossy screen is that it’s highly reflective under strong sunlight and it might not be the perfect device to be used outdoor. On the other hand, based on indoor usage experience, this is by far one of the best screen display I have seen with its high resolution and vibrant colour. I would personally prefer a matte display for future models.

Zenbook Flip UX360UA are surprisingly thin without sacrificing all the major ports that are still being used in the current 2 in 1 convertible market. UX360UA comes with combo audio jack, a USB 3.1 TYPE C port, two USB 3.0 ports, SD card slot and an HDMI port

The trackpad on the UX360U is on par with Macbook standard in terms of size & comfort. If you are worried about accidental click you are able to disable it via the keyboard command.

On the other hand, the backlit keyboard is surprisingly pleasant to use and well laid out with enough travel between keys.

On the other hand, the hinge on my review unit got a minor issue that the screen moved when you are using the touch screen on few different angle. You may wish to take note on your unit if you are interested in using it in table top mode.

Battery life on UX360 is decent like the majority of the Thin & Light laptop in the market, I used it at a local Starbucks for 3 hours and the battery went down from full battery to around 60%. Do note that I was using it to stream Spotify, watching Youtube videos & web browsing. If you are using it for basic web browsing and document editing purposes, you should be able to stretch the battery life to a longer duration.

Available now at all major IT outlets, with the price starting from S$1,598.00 for i5 model to $1,898 for the i7 model, it’s not the cheapest convertible we see around but it is one of the most powerful convertibles that can fulfil most of your needs on the go. For those who are budget conscious and does not require the top performance on the go, you may wish to consider the intel core M3 model UX360CA with a slightly different design that is also available right now at a cheaper price.