[Review] Does the Samsung Galaxy S III Live Up to Its Hype?
The Samsung Galaxy S III is the latest flagship Android smartphone, and it is selling well globally, giving Apple's iPhone a run for its money. But where does the Galaxy S III fit in the pantheon of the world's best smartphones?
Hardware to Rival All Comers
Not all Android smartphones are created equal. That is evident just from taking a look at Samsung’s own Galaxy series. But when a company aims for the top of the market, it better come armed with its best hardware and software specifications. Smartphone enthusiasts expect nothing less.
The Galaxy S III delivers on the promise of top-end hardware. It sports a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen (1280×720 resolution), 16 or 32 GB of memory, and an 8-megapixel back camera with a 1.9-megapixel front camera. It can run on networks all the way from 2.5 G to 4G LTE. It has all the standard sensors for a top smartphone, such as Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC (Near-field communications, for mobile wallets and such), Bluetooth, gyrometer/accelerometer, compass and even a barometer. In the United States it ships with a dual-core 1.5-GHz processor.
If you are not a hardware-spec geek, just know that the Galaxy S III does everything you would ever want from a modern smartphone and does it seamlessly. It has more power than the iPhone 4S and is comparable to other high-end Android smartphones like the HTC One X.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy S III's physical construction doesn't quite measure up to its technical specs. While almost exactly the same size as the HTC One X, the S III feels lighter and, well, cheaper. The culprit is a flimsy plastic back that is common to Samsung Galaxy products. At least the back is removable, offering easy access to the battery, SIM card and a Micro-SD slot. (The HTC One X requires a special key – provided – to pop out the SIM card). The Galaxy S III's plastic shell simply doesn't feel as sturdy as the One X’s ceramic casing – and it may not hold up as well when dropped. …More at [Review] Does the Samsung Galaxy S III Live Up to Its Hype?
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MTN Business to honour best apps
MTN Business will be sponsoring the first ever App of the Year 2012 awards, honouring those apps and developers that have made an impact on the local business industry in the past year.
The MTN Business App of the Year 2012 will have its inaugural ceremony in Johannesburg next month. Awards will be given in several categories, including Best Android App, Best iOS App, Best BlackBerry App, Best Windows App, Best Independent Developer, and Best Android App. Winners will be determined by a panel of four independent judges.
“Making a difference through technological innovation is something that can be achieved when there’s collaboration,” says Nomalanga Nkosi, GM for Business Marketing at MTN Business. “The MTN Business App of the Year is a real reflection of finding talented South Africans that are driving such mobility and exploring the potential that Apps have for social and economic upliftment.
“Being a catalyst for social and technological change in South Africa and Africa is a key mantra for MTN Business. This is coupled with our focus on Enterprise Mobility and Hosted Everything to empower, improve and connect businesses to each other; and Africa to the world, making it a perfect sponsorship property.”
The mobile operator said in a statement that there is a growing trend to move towards mobile platforms with deep App markets as users keep downloading apps. Cited research reveals that the average amount of apps per device is 41, compared to 32 just last year. The average percentage of apps downloaded by smartphone users has seen a 28% increase, and the amount of time users are spending using apps instead of browsing the mobile web has also increased from 73% to 81% since 2011.
But Nkosi says that it is not just about adding any new apps to the App store. “Rather we are looking for an innovative idea that is set to change the way business is conducted, or is set to positively impact users on the socio-economic front. At MTN Business, we are dedicated to doing exactly this and we view this sponsorship as an extension of this drive. We certainly look forward to finding the next Killer App.”
The MTN Business App of the Year Award winners will be announced at The Venue in Melrose Arch on August 1, 2012.
Mobile Data dominates SA mobile trends
In SA, mobile data spend on cellphones has grown by 50% since 2010, with instant messaging accounting for the biggest increase in specific usage.
This is according to the Mobility 2012 research study, conducted by World Wide Worx, with the backing of First National Bank, which found the proportion of the average user’s cellphone spend on data has increased from 8%, in 2010, to 12%, in mid-2012.
“Spend on mobile data is a barometer for the rapid increase both in the number of Internet users in SA and in the intensity with which experienced users engage with the Internet,” says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck.
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) usage has increased by 467% since 2010, with Whatsapp coming up from 0% to 26% ? taking over a quarter of the market.
Goldstuck says the growth of Whatsapp is largely attributed to the marketing push of the service by Nokia, in response to the growth of BBM. Mxit usage is currently at 23%, and Goldstuck says the growth of the service has been hindered by the emergence of both BBM and Whatsapp.
“The use of instant messaging and social media services are the most interesting, because they are the most revealing about how the mobile user is changing,” says Goldstuck.
The study found spending on voice has dropped from 77% to 73%. Spend on SMS remains steady at 12%, with the downloading of full music tracks featuring for the first time and accounting for 1% of average cellphone spend.
In terms of cellphone brands, Nokia still takes the lion’s share with 50% total market share. This is followed by Samsung and BlackBerry both at 18%. Goldstuck says the total number of Android users in SA is still below the one million mark, with BlackBerry at 4.5 million and the iPhone far behind at below half a million users in SA.
“While the Galaxy S3 is seen as the device to have by the top end of the market, it is simply too expensive for the average user and cannot drive the uptake of Android in SA,” says Goldstuck.
Actual cellphone spend in SA is down 13% from 2010, with users taking the discounts from lower costs and pocketing the savings. The majority of cellphone users in SA are on prepaid (84%), followed by contract top-up (9%) and post-paid contracts (7%).
According to the researchers, the evolution of the market depends on how often people update their handsets, yet in the last two years there has been a slow-down in the device acquisition cycle, with people holding onto their handsets for longer than they did two years ago.
In terms of the features used on cellphones, the most popular remains the camera, at 66%. FM radio usage also remains extremely popular at 49% usage. The number of people using their phones to browse the Internet now also sits at 41% ? on par with the use of music players.
Thirty-eight percent of all cellphone users use Facebook (a 73% growth in usage since 2010) and Goldstuck says the social network is now the primary means of instant messaging in the local market. Twitter also saw a 100% growth in usage, and is currently used by 12% of cellphone users in SA.
“This is only the beginning: the social networking genie is out of the bottle,” says Goldstuck. “Businesses have to recognise the trend, and begin developing strategies to address it.”
The Mobility 2012 study is conducted annually and the fieldwork is carried out by Dashboard Marketing Intelligence on behalf of World Wide Worx. The sample included just under 1 200 people from across the country, all over the age of 16. The survey is conducted on a face to face basis, and was carried out during May and June. The last Mobility report was published in January last year. Mobile data.
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Galaxy S3 hits 10m mark
Just two months after the official release of the Galaxy S3, the new flagship handset from Samsung has sold 10 million units worldwide.
Samsung’s head of mobile communications, Shin Jong-kyun, was quoted as saying in June that the company was expecting the S3 to top the 10 million mark in July. Jong-kyun has now confirmed the Galaxy S3 has already surpassed this target, but has declined to divulge the exact figures.
The flagship smartphone was released in SA early in June and, at the time, Samsung’s then country manager, Deon Liebenberg (who now heads up Telkom Business Mobile), said the S3 was on track to become the “fastest selling gadget in history” and had already broken records with over nine million pre-orders. Locally, Samsung SA received close to 50 000 pre-orders for the S3.
By comparison, the iPhone 4S sold four million units, including pre-orders, during its first weekend of sales in 2011. The S2, which went on sale at the end of April last year, received three million pre-orders globally and took five months to reach the 10 million mark in sales figures (although it also had a significantly slower global rollout than the S3).
According to a Reuters poll of 41 industry analysts last week, the S3 has helped Samsung increase its lead over Apple and Nokia in the smartphone space in the second quarter of this year.
During the second quarter, Samsung is expected to have sold 50 million smartphones in total, compared to an estimated 30.5 million iPhones sold for Apple. It is noted that Samsung benefits from the broad range of smartphones it currently sells, while Apple’s sales are dependent on the launch schedule of the iPhone.
“Samsung is expected to be the smartphone hero in the second quarter,” said IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo. “We are also expecting to see the biggest smartphone volumes ever shipped from one single vendor in one quarter, driven by strong demand of the Galaxy portfolio, particularly the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3.”
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The new Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone is now available on contract at MTN’s Morningside branch.
Following the launch last month of Samsung’s new “human-centric” smartphone, its third-generation Galaxy model, MTN this weekend announced the handset would be available in store on an MTN Anytime 200 contract, at R399 per month. Included in the 24-month contract is R200 worth of airtime, 25 free SMSes and 75MB of data for 12 months.
Operating on Android 4.0 and with a default TouchWiz Nature UX user interface, MTN says the Galaxy SIII is expected to be more successful than its predecessor.
Chief marketing officer of MTN SA, Serame Taukobong, says the SIII is suitable for both the professional and private cellphone user. “The new Samsung Galaxy SIII is lightweight without sacrificing functionality.”
The Galaxy SIII measures 4.8-inches, is powered by a 1.4GHz Samsung Exynos 4 Quad processor, has a Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 720×1 280, an 8MP rear camera (and 1.9MP front camera), Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and is available in “marble white” or “pebble blue”.
Internationally, the phone has been commended for its “Game Hub” and “Video Hub”, which provide users access to various social games and high-quality TV and movies, respectively. These will initially be introduced in select countries and subsequently on the global market.
As things go with Vertu, when they announce a new collection of phones, it usually means they are only releasing a new trim or, as is the case this time around, new colors.
Today Vertu is introducing some fresh new colors to liven up the established line-up.
The collection comprises of three colors, all combined under the Candy moniker. There’s the Candy Raspberry, the Candy Mint Green, and finally, the Candy Tangerine.
Vertu claims these are “this summer’s must-have colours” and they all come adorned with highest quality alligator skin and natural gem stones.
The Constellation series is not new, it was announced back in 2006. Around that time touchscreens were not as popular and the phones relied on the dated (yes, even back then) S40 user interface and it was all looks, no wits.
In October 2011 Vertu lift the curtain of their revamped Constellation series. The phones came complete with a full touch display and a smart OS. It’s Symbian, if you’ve gotta ask. Unfortunately, the mobile OS was again, already dead in the water, even at launch. We guess prospective owners of the ultra-expensive phones didn’t mind.
Actually, it’s not a secret that the touch-enabled Constellation series is based on the popular Nokia C7. The phones share the 3.5-inch AMOLED screen, the 32GB of built-in storage, the 8 megapixel fixed focus camera with enhanced depth of field and the 720p video recording.
Vertu Constellation Candy collection
All fashionistas that shell out the cash for one of these exquisite mobiles will also get invitations to the most influential Fashion week shows. Of course, each phone comes with Vertu’s customary services such as (and we’re quoting) Vertu Concierge, Vertu Concierge Live, Vertu Club Access, Vertu Select, Vertu City Brief and Vertu.Me, all designed to make the owner’s travel and social life a bit easier.
The Constellation Candy phone collection is available in the UAE, China, EU, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
Whatever the color, one thing is for sure, the chances of any of us buying a Vertu phone are as slim as it gets. Nevertheless, the luxurious segment represents a small, but entertaining part of this business, which seems to be ruled by 4+ inch big slabs of phones. We hope those rumors about the company being prepared for selling are not true.
All Symbian fans and users might want to sit down while reading this. According to the Product Marketing Manager for Nokia South Europe Mathias Fiorin, Symbian Carla has been cancelled.
Nokialino, an Italian Nokia fan site, claims to have spoken with Mathias Fiorin, so the infomation should be pretty accurate.
He says Carla is now known as FP1. But it is not just a name change – both upcoming Feature Packs won’t bring major updates, HD screens and dual-core CPU support. Basically Belle is the last major Symbian release the world will get.
If all of this is true then Symbian is as good as dead. There is no better way to put this ? there will be no Carla or Donna. The final update will be Belle?s upcoming Feature Pack 2 and, as you can guess, that will hardly be a game changer.
We have to wait for an official announcement, though it does makes sense ? as the Symbian market share diminishes rapidly, Nokia is putting all its efforts into Windows Phone.
Source | Via
Two iPhones are reportedly currently in testing over at Apple – codenamed N41AP (or 5,1) and N42AP (5,2). They are enclosed in generic cases to hide the design and offer larger displays with a higher resolution.
The exact specs of the new display are 3.95″ diagonal and 640 x 1136 pixel resolution. Those numbers suggest a pixel density of around 330 ppi, which is nearly identical to the 329 ppi on the iPhone 4 and 4S, so the “Retina” moniker will remain intact. The hypothesis is that the screen will still measure 4.93 cm in width but at 8.76 cm it will be notably taller than the one on current-gen iPhone.
If this information turns out true it will mean that the next iPhone will sport an aspect ratio of 16:9 and not the current 3:2 one. The bigger display would also require the upcoming iOS 6 to be optimized to fit more content on the bigger screen. Supposedly Apple is currently testing a custom build of iOS 6 with a fifth row of icons above the docked ones.
Finally, reports are coming in that the next-gen iPhone will retain the home button (but perhaps it will be reduced in size) and utilize a smaller dock connector. We’ll have to wait and see what the iPhone 5 (or the new iPhone, sigh) will actually be, but one thing is certain – with the huge screens fitted on the latest Android flagships many iPhone users are rightfully starting to feel a little jealous and it’s about time Apple did something about it.
Note: The image is just a mockup and not representative of the final product.
HTC has released a list of phones that they will be updating to Android 4.0 this year. Along with the names of the phones, they also mention the time period during which you can expect the update to arrive for the respective handsets.
From the list, the only phones that have already received the update or are in the process of receiving it are the four Sensation handsets and the HTC Vivid. Other noteworthy phones in the list includes the EVO 3D and Rezound, which will get the update by June-July and the Thunderbolt, which will get the update by July-August.
It’s also nice to see older phones like the Desire S and the Incredible S on the list as well, with both getting the update by June-July. What’s even more surprising is the presence of the Desire HD in the list, a phone that launched back in 2010 that will soon be rocking the latest version of Android. Kudos to HTC for that.
All handsets that get Android 4.0 will also be upgraded to Sense 3.6.
HTC has also mentioned which devices won’t be updated to ICS. This includes phones like the ChaCha, Salsa, Wildfire S and Explorer. It also includes HTC’s tablets, namely the Flyer, EVO View 4G and the Jetstream. HTC has clarified that despite not getting the next version of Android, these devices will continue to receive software updates and support.
For the full list of handsets, click on the source link below.
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After the announcement of the ICS-running HTC Desire C (powered by a single-core 600MHz CPU), every time the dual-core Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 came up there was someone to ask ?why is the more powerful phone running Gingerbread and not Ice Cream Sandwich??.
A leaked promo video for the Ace 2 suggests there might be some hope though. The video labels the phone ?ICS upgradeable?, but neglects to mention when that might happen.
Here’s the promo video in question, the money shot is at 0:14.
It?s interesting that Galaxy Ace 2 is powered by a NovaThor chipset, just like the I8530 Galaxy Beam and the Galaxy S Advance (which wasn?t on the official list of phones slated to get ICS). It?s just speculation at this point, but the chances of a 4.0 update for those two phones just went up a bit.
You might want to wait for an official confirmation, but if getting stuck with Gingerbread was your only reason for not getting a Galaxy Ace 2, you may want to go back for a second look.