Posts Tagged ‘Samsung Galaxy Note 2’

Gadgets

Apple’s iPhone to get even bigger screen. Is the iPhablet (big screen phone) set to follow?

By Stefano on January 21st, 2013

I remember when I first heard that  Samsung was about to produce a phone with a five inch screen  – the Samsung Galaxy Note.

From the moment I saw it I knew that my iPhone’s days were numbered and that I wanted a phone with a screen that size.

A year on and I have absolutely zero regrets about buying the Note. I did worry that I might miss an iPhone app or two. But to be honest, apart from one London Coffee app that I used quite a lot but isn’t available on Google Play, I have never suffered iPhone app envy.

So today brings news from China Times that Apple is apparently considering  launching a phone with a 4.8inch screen called the Math.

Here’s what Tech Digest had to say

According to China Times, the iPhone Math will measure 4.8 inches in size, nearly an inch bigger than the current iPhone 5, and will be positioned as an alternative to large screen “phablet” devices from Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony.

While little is known about the device (and all should be taken with a pinch of salt) the source also claims that the handset will pack in an 8MP camera, provided by Largan Precision.

Firstly is a 4.8inch screen device a Phablet? Not really. You could argue that given the success of the Samsung Galaxy S3 that 4.8inches is emerging as standard screen size for smartphones. Phablets have screens of more than fine inches, well according to Wikipedia anyhow.

If it is true then it shows once again that Apple is prepared to offer bigger screens on its phones and maybe a true Phablet will follow.

Apple needs to move quickly. It has gifted a whole market sector to several of its rivals, and although brand loyalty should ensure that the iPhablet is a runaway hit, Apple will be seen as followers rather than innovators.

It also runs the risk of the whole Phablet market being dominated by Samsung. So catching up, even with Apple’s huge marketing muscle,  is going to be no easy task.

I have owned quite a few Apple products in my time, but I would say that I am pretty agnostic about the brand as a whole. I will buy the best product rather than the buy a product from a specific brand when it comes to tech. Quite often this has been Apple, but not always.

However when I swapped my iPhone for the Note a lot of die-hard Apple friends of mine were very cynical and put up the following objections. If you look at these now I think that they are all about loyalty to a brand rather than thinking logically about the way the phones might develop.

1 You don’t need a phone with a screen that big

Well actually you do, or at least some of you do. As phones have evolved the amount of time we spend using them for making calls has diminished compared with texting, messaging, reading ebooks, surfing the web and more. Once you have used a Phablet the iPhone’s screen seems incredibly small and fiddly. There really is no going back. The future of smartphones is all about bigger screens and this is something that seems to have passed Apple by.

2 You look stupid making a phone call with it

Yep, Dom Jolly. Heard that joke so many times before. Yet I noticed on the bus the other day that larger screen phones – including the Samsung Galaxy S3 in this list – actually outnumber iPhones now, so it really isn’t an issue. Besides as I said before we are making fewer  calls on our mobiles than we used to.

3 Where am I going to put it?

Most men could easily house a six incher in their pockets -every pun intended. The Note is actually quite slim too so it doesn’t feel especially obtrusive. I appreciate that many women won’t carry a huge phone in their pocket, but then don’t a lot of women carry  their mobiles in handbags?

In short I think that the arguments are over and that when Apple does produce a Phablet, as it inevitability will, all the doubters from 2012 will be zealous converts to the Phablet cause.

The future for smartphones

Finally it is worth pondering exactly where will smartphones go in the future? Could screens get any larger? At CES we saw the Huawei Ascend Mate with its six inch screen. Might a seven inch phone be on the cards? Well no, and yes. Samsung is certainly rumoured to be thinking about a 6.8inch Note.

Running in tandem  with the development of bigger phones is the growth of smart watches that hook up to mobiles wirelessly via Bluetooth and display messages, social media updates etc and even allows the user to make calls.

Having played with a few of these I can vouch for the fact that we are a long way from the smart watch going mass market. The watches are just too fiddly and not especially easy to use. Ironically what they need is a company who are brilliant at user interfaces to make them work – know of anyone?

But they will get there in the end. So maybe one day you will have a smart watch, or even some other wearable item, that you use for the basic consumption of messages etc, but with a large screen – maybe even 7 inch device – for surfing the web, reading books, gaming and even a little bit of work.

It is a combo that would suit me perfectly.



Gadgets

CES 2013 key trend #1 Phones get even bigger. The Phablet hits six inches, nope make that seven

By Stefano on January 3rd, 2013

Those far eastern companies do love a competition or two. A few years back LG, Samsung and their Chinese rivals were all about creating the biggest Plasma TV. One would unveil a 70inch beast at a trade show only for their rival to hit back with an 80 inch screen at the next and so it went on. Then it was LCD TVs and now it is OLED screens.

About the same time as they were expanding the Plamsa the very same companies were trying to make the mobile phone as tiny as possible. Not any more though.

The key trend in mobiles in 2012 was all about the Phablet (part phone part tablet) and getting larger screens. I remember when the first big screen (five inches) phone the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 came out and some tech journalists made crass jokes about Dom Jolly. Well they look pretty silly now. Even Apple upped the screen size of the iPhone and as for the Galaxy Note (5.5inches screen no less) – well the second version has already sold over a million and Samsung reckons will notch up 20 million within six months.

As a Galaxy Note owner I can vouch for the fact that they are unrivaled for looking at websites, reading Kindle books and watching video. I barely miss my iPhone, and if anything, have the pocket space for an even bigger handset.

Samsung are also reported to working on two new models – a 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 3 and even a 7.7-inch screen 9or 7.9inch depending on which rumour you want to believe) phone. There is a chance that we might see these at CES 2013. If not they will be most likely be unveiled at Mobile World Congress at Barelona in February.

In the mean time the biggest phone in the world mantle is likely to be picked up by Huawei. Tech Digest reported this morning that the company was going to unveil its six inch screen handset at CES.

The Huawei Ascend Mate which (paired with the fact it’s a “monster” 6-inches in size) sounds unfortunately close to the name of a sex toy.

Indeed, the Android-running Ascend Mate’s rumoured spec sheet looks set to get you hot and bothered, with the 6-inch device sporting a 720p resolution, powered by a speedy 1.8GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a sizable 3,800mAh battery, all squeezed into a 9.9mm chassis.

The story originally broke here.

Then we shouldn’t forget LG and HTC both of whom have the potential to unveil an even larger handset at CES.

Finally CES wouldn’t be CES without some Taiwanese company sneakily trumping everyone with a product that appears out of the ether, so here’s to the eight inch phablet.



features, Gadgets

2012′s 21 hottest gadgets – iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, I’m Watch and more

By Stefano on December 10th, 2012

Our pals over at Tech Digest have seen an awful lot of gadgets this year. They have checked out the latest Smart TVs, weighed up whether the iPad mini is worth the extra dosh over the Google Nexus 7 and snapped away on the latest cameras.

So we asked them to help us come up with the year’s 21 best gadgets. Obviously it is tablets and phones that grab the limelight, but we have also added TVs, cameras, watches and whole load more.

Here then are the 21 gadgets that we consider to be the be desirable of this year’s selection.

What have we missed? Tell us in the comments.

 

 

Google Nexus 7 £159

Picture 20 of 21
Picture 20 of 21

Whisper it, but this might just be the gadget of the year. The Nexus is a hugely impressive seven inch Android tablet that scores over its rivals for its fantastic screen, wide range of features and its competitive price. A really superb tablet.

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