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.

Review : Samsung Galaxy Folder G1600

*Disclaimer: The Galaxy Folder G1600 is an exclusive model in China, hence Google Play are not available. The one we are reviewing is running on a rooted ROM with Google Play installed for the full Google experience if you are interested in the device.

We covered on Android Flip phones on our article previously. I got the chance to purchase it online and used it as my primary phone for the entire October. So here’s my review of the Galaxy Folder G1600.

Design

At first glance, Galaxy Folder looks like a compact Android phone that is similar in size to Samsung S4 mini. However, when you open up the phone, the length is double and it just looks gigantic compared to your usual iPhone/Galaxy devices. That being said, Galaxy Folder is still able to bring the full Android experience with its unique design.

Similar to Apple’s latest trend, Galaxy Folder does not come with 3.5mm headphone jack. The main reason for Samsung to omit the headphone jack is due to the phone being marketed as the Business phone, and users in the business segment often relying more on Bluetooth headset instead of plugging in an external headset. Samsung did bundle a micro-USB headset in the package if you are interested in listening to music on it.

Performance; Software & Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy Folder packs a 3.8″ WVGA display, running on the Snapdragon 425 along with 2GB RAM. By current standard, the minimum screen size is at least 5.0″ and trying to navigate your way through the Galaxy Folder is definitely hard to get used to. But with a little practice along with the keypad, you should be able to get used to the phone easily.

Despite its lower end specification, the overall performance is smooth thanks to its rather generous 2GB RAM. And also, its form factor also ensure that you are not going to play power-intensive games on this phone.

Galaxy Folder is running on Android Marshmallow, which isn’t the latest version of Android you might be expected. Android update to Nougat seems to be unlikely given that it being an exclusive model in China market, however, it is still on par with most of the Android phone in the current market. You are able to run most of the Android app through Google Play Store or sideloading and they work just like a typical Android smartphone. Some apps such as Facebook and Twitter would work with the D-pad on phone for scrolling but most of the time you have to rely on the touchscreen.

The battery capacity for Galaxy Folder is only 1950 mAh, far lower than the majority of the phone in the current market (in comparison, LG X Power released in the same year got 4100 mAh battery). Surprisingly the low amount did not translate to poor battery life in real life testing. On a typical day after powering it up at 7 am, it managed to stay above 30% at the end of the day most of the time with simple texting and web surfing.

Camera

Galaxy Folder comes with a F1.9 8MP rear unit and a 5MP wide angle front shooter. And to be honest, you shouldn’t expect too much from the camera performance from the low-end phone. The rear camera is OK, but the position of the camera is located at the back of the keypad hence it is awkward to hold the phone and take pictures.

Front Shooter
Rear Shooter

Pros & Cons

Pros
– Unique design
– Strong battery life

Cons
– Average camera
– Tall dimension when opened
– Lack of 3.5 mm headphone jack

Price & Availability
Galaxy Folder is China-exclusive for now, you are able to find it on Taobao for the average price of ¥1699 which is around S$350 excluding shipping cost. Do check for the reliable seller before making the purchase.

Verdict
I enjoyed using this phone for an entire month before going back to the mainstream Android phone. I would recommend this phone to people who are looking out for the unique phone in the market. Non-IT savvy user may find the keypad useful when they are trying to adapt to latest technology.

Samsung Galaxy A5 and A7 Available End January 2017

The Samsung Galaxy A(2017) phones will be coming to Singapore 21 January 2017. The Galaxy A5 and A7 will be available in Singapore later this month, with the A3 absent.

The phones come with the now signature Galaxy flair of metal frame and 3D glass back, and sports useful bells & whistles such as a fingerprint sensor, IP68 rating, Samsung Pay compatibility, Knox support, and a microSD / dual SIM hybrid slot.
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Tech Products Recognised with President Design Award 2016

The President’s Design Award recognises excellence across all design disciplines, including advertising design and visual communications, architecture and urban design, fashion design, furniture design, interior design, landscape design, product and industrial design.

There are three tech products in the Design of the Year category for the President Design Award 2016, the Samsung AddWash, the SAFETiCET, and the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720. Traditionally boring devices such as the washing machine and printers shows that there is still room for innovation.
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Review: Samsung Gear S3

Samsung’s latest smart watch, the Gear S3, puts a timeless spin on the smartwatch category with two beautiful designs – the sporty Frontier for those outdoor types, and the Classic, which is the luxurious, classy dress watch option. I have been using the watch for the past weeks and have been quite pleased with it.
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Samsung Gear S3, Galaxy A9 Pro, Level Audio To Be Available in Q4

Samsung Electronics Singapore recently launched the all new Samsung Gear S3, Galaxy A9 Pro (2016) and a new line of Level Audio Accessories. These new additions will tide fans while waiting for Samsung next flagship after the Note7 incident.

Samsung Gear S3

Built to incorporate compatible pairing between Samsung’s existing products family, the Gear S3 combines timeless design with the latest in mobile technology, including Military-grade Protection, IP68 water and dust resistance, mobile payments, and built-in speaker and GPS, making it the ideal addition to any watch collection.

The rotating bezel is a little confusing, coming from an Android Wear user perspective but I think it does help improve usability.

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There’s also inbuilt Samsung Pay – and support mobile payments even without a phone nearby. It sounds just about perfect to bring the Gear S3 out for a jog, which comes with GPS to track your run / performance, and then, rejuvenate yourself at a pit stop.

The Samsung Gear S3 is available in two bold designs to suit different users’ lifestyles: frontier and classic. Inspired by the active explorer, the Gear S3 frontier evokes a rugged outdoor look with an enduring style that blends form and function. The frontier was designed to perform in any setting or environment – whether business or leisure.

The Gear S3 classic pays homage to the minimalist, elegant style found in the most iconic timepieces. The classic was designed with meticulous attention to detail – with its size and shape chosen to attain the same consistency and balance of a well-crafted luxury watch.

The emphasis this time around is on watch first – with the Gear S3 Frontier having design cues from Hublot. Especially the details on the Frontier buttons, and strap. And… that’s because Yvan Arpa, former MD of Hublot (2002-2006) was actively involved in the design.

The Gear S3 will be available at a recommended retail price of $548 from Q4 2016.

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Galaxy A9 Pro (2016)

Continuing the Galaxy A series legacy, the Dual SIM Galaxy A9 Pro (2016) comes with a stylish glass and metal body which has been designed for the discerning consumer who wish to express their unique style with a powerful device. Additionally, the large SUPER AMOLED screen on the Galaxy A9 Pro (2016) makes it the perfect device for unlimited entertainment.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (2016) will be available from 12 November 2016 in Gold, Black and White at a recommended retail price of $698 (including GST) at all local telecommunication operators, selected major consumer electronics and IT stores, authorised mobile retailers and Samsung Experience Stores.

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Level Audio Accessories

The newest additions to Samsung’s Level series of mobile optimized audio products – Level Active, Level Box Pro, Level In ANC and Level U Pro ANC, is designed to enhance the audio experience of consumers, especially when paired with Samsung’s ecosystem of products. These new offerings incorporate the latest Samsung technology to offer outstanding sound quality for various lifestyles as it takes consumers on a truly immersive sound adventure.

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The Level Active, Level Box Pro, Level In ANC and Level U Pro ANC are available now at all local telecommunication operators, selected major consumer electronics and IT stores, authorised mobile retailers, Samsung Official Store at Lazada.sg or Samsung Experience Stores.
· Level Active (White, Black) : $98
· Level Box Pro (Gold, Black) : $198
· Level In ANC (White, Black) : $78
· Level U Pro ANC (White, Black) : $148

Do you want a Android Flip Phone?

Let’s face it, the phone you are using is getting bigger each year.


At 2011, Samsung introduced Samsung Galaxy Note, its 5.3″ screen is consider as gigantic and was deemed as potential flop where everyone thinks it’s just too large for a proper usage. However, it did went on to be successful and right now we are at the 6th Generation with Galaxy Note7.

In contrast, at 2016, ZTE just announced their latest Axon 7 Mini. The word ‘Mini’ would be misleading as the screen size is at 5.2″, which is just 0.1″ smaller comparing to 2011 giant Galaxy Note. While we can argue that with the improvement of design (especially with smaller screen bezel), it is easier to handle these phablet, but it’s still beyond comfortable one hand usage.

With a sole touchscreen design getting more common each year, the only way to make significant difference is to go beyond the norm and introduce a unique phone design. Blackberry does it with the sliding keyboard on the Priv, however the average specification that can’t justify the expensive price tag is unable to bring Blackberry back to their previous glory.

Here’s where Asia market came into picture, taking Japan as an example, 2016 will be the first time where Smartphone overtaking feature phone in the total mobile phone market share. In the past, as Japan are often advanced in their IT technologies, they have already been using cashless payment with their feature phone. Hence most of the population doesn’t feel the need to get a smartphone since their feature phone can get most of the task done.

However as the younger generation started to use Android/iOS smartphone, feature phone without the ability to install application (such as Line, Whatsapp) created a communication gap. To close up the gap, Japan phone maker such as Sharp introduced a flip phone running on Android, hoping to attract both older & younger generation at the same time.

On the other hand Korea phone maker, Samsung and LG brought smart-flip phone to Korea and China market.
LG Introduced LG Wine/Gentle/Ice Cream Smart which based on same design and specification of Snapdragon 400.

Samsung went further by tackling both lower & flagship market. Samsung introduced a Samsung Galaxy Golden in 2013 that feature dual touchscreen and continue to introduce a follow up with last year W2016 – technically known as a Galaxy S6 in Flip phone form. W2016 can only be purchased in China and costed more than SGD$1500 even in today’s market where S7/Note7 are widely available now.

Thankfully for people who are on budget, Samsung doesn’t neglected lower end market by introducing Galaxy Folder last year and continue with Galaxy Folder 2 as follow up.

According to leaked image and detail. Samsung Galaxy Folder 2 pack a 3.8″ WVGA display, running on the Snapdragon 425 along with 2GB RAM. Its expected pricing is around USD$285, a sweet spot for unique flip phone experience. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be introduce in Singapore market given that almost no Android flip phone has been officially available in Singapore before. Would you like to get your hand on one of these unique phone? I would definitely like to experience it all over again given that my last flip phone is the Panasonic GD88 which is introduced in 2002.