Samsung Galaxy 5.5 -inch dual curved S7 edge left and 5.1-inch S7 right
Today Samsung’s new flagship 5.1-inch Galaxy S7, $400 with two-year term and 5.5-inch S7 edge featuring dual curves, $500 with two-year term are available in Canadian stores.
Both have longer battery life, always on display, are waterproof/dustproof, microSD expansion, 4 GB RAM and more.
Its totally redesigned smaller 12 megapixel rear camera with f1.7 lens is now the de facto standard for mobile camera phones. The faster lens and larger pixel sensor let more light in and cleaner noise free imaging.
I posted the following portfolio of an early version of the Galaxy S7 edge on my Facebook page shortly after its launch in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress 2016.
IFA Berlin 2015, one of the largest annual global tech shows, is again the launch base for the world’s coolest technologies.
Although IFA covers a broad spectrum of technologies and trends at home, work and play, the first two days are particularly exciting as global tech giants announce their newest technologies.
One hot item showing at IFA, are smart watches, with some 40 million to be sold this year. Half of that is expected to be Apple Watches. That still pales in comparison with the 1.5 billion smartphones that will ship this year.
NEW PHONES ARRIVE FOR NEWCOMERS AND HARDCORE BUSINESS
Motorola continues its production in high gear with a flurry of new affordable phones over the past year. It heats up the competition in affordable phones you can buy outright with no plan.
The LTE-capable Moto G features IPX7-rated protection and scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass for the 5” HD display. Its water proof in up to 3 feet of water—for up to 30 minutes. It has an all-day battery and the 13 megapixel camera can turn on with the flip of your wrist. The 5” HD display and Quad Core processor to keep up with today’s mobile demands. It feels nice to hold with careful edge wedging and a non-slip front surface. The Moto G is available in more than 60 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In Canada it’s available for as low as $200 outright or free with a two year plan at TELUS, Bell Mobility, Koodo, or Virgin Mobile and soon at Wind Mobile.
Despite today’s sophisticated smart phone cameras, I still like to take more serious camera hardware along when I travel.
Why? Because a 16 megapixel cellphone picture is not the same as a 16 megapixel quality mirrorless or DSLR with interchangeable lenses.
Why? Picture sensors on phones, with the exception of the Sony Xperia Z3, are half the size of your pinky fingernail. Compare that to the postage size sensors of interchangeable lens cameras like the Sony NEX, Samsung NX, Fujifilm X, Olympus Pen and bulkier DSLR cameras.
Physically larger sensors record richer colours, more detail in shadows and less noise at higher ISO settings.
Phone cameras have no real zoom lens. They basically shoot wide angle photos with the ability to zoom in closer, but at the expense of megapixel size and quality. This means phone cameras can’t shoot from far away like zoom lenses on real cameras. Nor can they shoot extra wide angle photos.
The lens on a smart phone has one aperture, typically f2, leaving the shutter speed to control the picture’s exposure. Due to the physically small size of the picture sensor, the depth of field on smartphone pictures is quite large (making near and far subjects look just as sharp) and cannot be changed. Again, zeroing in on closer objects, or portraits with an out of focus background is impossible to do with phone cameras.
Phone cameras are best at quickly recording personal moments near you. They are small and handy, but there are images further out that are worth capturing beyond your personal sphere.
Here are examples of “tourist” photos I recently took in Barcelona after the Mobile World Congress I reported on my Global TV Sunday Morning News today.
They were shot with a 16 MP Samsung Galaxy Note Edge and the Fujifilm weather resistant 16 MP X-T1 with top tier fast aspherical extra wide angle XF 10-24 mm f4 zoom which captures 3 times as wide a view as normal lenses, the new 16-55 mm f2.8 aspherical weatherproof and the 18-135 mm f3.5-5.6 aspherical zoom, also weatherproof, for my ultra-zoom close-ups.
See the first group of still impressive quality Note Edge pictures, unbeatable selfies, great panoramas and medium wide angle views. Compare the variety of wider and tight telephoto views shot with the X-T1.
Today Samsung announced its newest Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The S6, features a smooth rounded metal bezel, while the S6 Edge has curved glass screens on both sides with a uniquely crafted bezel hugging both exposed corners.
More 64 bit processing power and faster response to finger touch are in order here. Both models are sealed, thus no interchangeable battery with build-in wireless re-charging. You get 4 hours of normal use after a 10 minute charge.
National coffee stores and Ikea will soon feature under the surface cordless chargers on counters and night tables from Ikea. Samsung supports an open standard in wireless charging.
No more memory upgrades either. There will be 32, 64 and 128 GB models. Samsung decided its new battery was good enough to be sealed permanently shaving the S6 down to 6.8 mm. It also said the S6 “won’t bend.”
A 16 megapixel main camera features less than a second instant on from the get go by pressing the menu bar twice, even on locked phones. It has easy to use settings for beginners and a Pro mode to grow into.
The 5 megapixel selfie uses a fast f1.9 lens and shoots gorgeous FullHD video.
Samsung showed tough picture and movie taking comparisons in bad light against an iPhone 6 with noticeable quality gains.
Both phones will be available in Canada on April 10 with all cellcos. The 32 GB S6 is expected to sell in the $250 range while the Edge will cost about $100 more.
For that you get a well crafted constant companion with Gorilla Glass 4 and a curved screen that was subjected to 8,000 Celcius during assembly.
Thinness, dazzling looks and smart functionality with speed is Samsung’s latest effort to compete with Apple’s recently successful iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones sold worldwide.
The curved S6 Edge has room for separate narrow side panel information viewed from the top or the side. This gives fast access to app icons, auto-scrolling sports and news and a nifty non-intrusive bed light mode, with time weather and alarm showing on the curve edge.
When face down, the S6 Edge glows colours assigned to specific contacts so you know who might be buzzing you in a meeting.
Despite its “wow” tecnology showcase at the premiere mobility show of the year, the South Korean giant finds itself with decreasing annual profits and playing catchup to Apple’s hugely successful 75 million global iPhone 6 sales.
Analysts place Apple and Samsung at par with 20 per cent each on global phone shipments in the past quarter. Samsung recently reported a 37 per cent drop of its company-wide operating profit from last year.
Will Samsung’s glass screen-bending magic save it from its current woes?
Faced with Apple’s lightening fast market growth outside North America, low price busting Chinese smartphones from Xiaomi and its growing dissatisfaction with the Android operating system, Samsung is in the unenviable position of having the coolest technology in need of the right market.
How do you say I love you for Valentine’s Day with technology?
For a range of affordable new personal tech gift suggestions check out my globalnews.ca/techuntangled and Edmonton Global News Sunday Morning News Tech Talk segment.
If your love has no limit, here are a few items, costing more, that have a lot of tech love to give back for the next few Valentine’s years.
The Kobo WiFi Aura H20, $169.99, is an all-weather E Ink eReader with enough internal memory to carry 3,000 books. The 6.8 – inch antiglare 265 dpi screen features adjustable ComfortLight backlight technology for reading in brighter places.
The New Kindle eReader, $79, is winner in many ways. It’s small, light, with weeks of battery life, 20 per cent faster processing and twice the storage capability as the previous model. The new touch interface is simple and the new Word Wise feature makes it easier for readers learning English to understand new words.
My selfie above, from CES 2006 in Las Vegas got me into thinking about what technology is all about. Especially after having attended similar shows for the past 25 years or so.
The word technology has Greek origins, combining “craft” and “discourse” a lot of which happens at every Las Vegas CES event. It plays itself out in many ways in four days and nights of events in Las Vegas , press conferences, walkabouts, personal meetings, and hands-on on what might show up in store shelves.
The CES 2006 “technology” playing field was much different than today. The BlackBerry smartphone had the North American market to itself with its “CrackBerry” line while Korean, Japanese and US tech giants still showed flip phones. The first Apple iPhone was a year away to be followed by the first Android phone in 2008.
Hi folks, here we go again. The annual International Consumer Electronic Technology Show in Las Vegas is upon us once again next week in Las Vegas. Like many of us tech writers, I go early, arriving Sunday morning, landing with my feet running to the afternoon CES Unveiled event at the Mandalay Bay.
What can we expect? New wearables, tablets, palm-size drones, TVs and more. I will be reporting on what I see, lot’s of it, so keep in touch!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ON THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE EDGE
I am CES-bound, armed with new “cutting edge” technology from Samsung Canada who seeded me with the yet-to-be launched in Canada, Galaxy Note Edge.
The phone, with all the features of the current Note 4 with S Pen stylus is more that evolutionary, featuring a curved screen edge with a dedicated vertical panel along the right side of the main screen.
You can read the armed-to-the-teeth specs on this gorgeous phablet at EDGE but this newly designed Samsung interface running on Android 4.4 Kitkat, must be seen, held and used to be fully appreciated.
The Edge is slightly wider and shorter than the current Note 4 with with a removable slightly smaller battery and access to a micro-SD slot for up to 128 GB cards.
The side panel ( it also works for lefties with a few clicks and holding the phone upside-down) appears and disappears with helpful information like favourite apps. You can run up to 10 panels from about 20 free downloadable themes and functions like games, streaming one line news sites, favourite contacts and more.
Click on those and you get to the original Web site.
There is a slight overlap between the right vertical main screen edge and the Edge panel. When it disappears the main screen becomes slightly wider and part of it starts curving slightly. Unnoticeable after you use it for a few hours.
I like the dedicated function menu options on the side panel when running camera, calendar and S Note apps. You can even design or use your own photos to show on the panel while in locked mode…even with some handwriting messages.
Samsung smartly thought out this panel function through with many surprises including a night mode which kicks in when the screen times out. The Edge becomes a horizontal dim night table screen showing weather, time and alarm, viewable when the phone is on its back…right next to your pillow. Nice!
The Edge is immaculately made with attention to detailed curves and a clean metal edge carefully countered around the curved screen, just enough to protect the pricey piece of glass from flat surface falls.
Samsung’s dedicated folio case turns the main screen off, when closed, leaving the side viewable curve panel on, which changes modes by a finger swoosh across its narrow screen.
As for looks, the Edge is a winner and a showpiece for Samsung. Most folks can’t get their heads around a perfectly curved ultra sharp colour screen. Currently available in the US, for $945 USD or $500 with a two year plan, it is not for the average consumer’s wallet.
But it is what it is, showstopping technology in Canadian stores and cellcos this quarter, from the Korean tech giant who unquestionably walks the walk on glass making.
“From an innovation and revolutionary perspective for a mobile device we hit the nail on the head,” said Samsung Canada’s Steven Cull. “When your’e looking at the cost justification from a Samsung perspective, its delivering that fast multitasking device in the market.”
Indeed it does.
SHOULD YOU GET IT?
If money is no problem, yes! This is a version 1.0 that works right off the bat. When matched with the also curved head-turning Gear S smart watch (with its own sim card for anywhere “mother-ship” phone and data synchronization) the Edge is the next step in smartphone innovation.
If your’e not a tech enthusiast, I would wait. You can certainly ne functional without it. After showing the Edge to several Canadian cellco stores, I got the same reaction from store managers: Samsung should put curved screens in more of its next gen affordable phones if they want to aggressively keep their market share.
Are you listening Samsung?
ONE MORE THOUGHT ON THE GEAR S
Speaking of next generation, Samsung’s market leading tech Gear S is so close to becoming its own stand-alone hotspot, phone and smartphone on a wrist.
When will you cut the digital cord on your next Gear S Samsung? Who needs a hand-held phone when you can wear it on your wrist and take along a tablet instead?
Tune in to my Edmonton Global TV Sunday Morning NewsTech Talk segment where I will be showing the Edge and talk about more CES.