When Samsung launched the Galaxy Note II, critics around the world questioned the move, mainly the controversial 5.5 inch screen which was, at the time HUGE. Many feared it wouldn’t fit in pockets, or might lead to hand conditions and so on. But today in 2013, 5 inchers are a common form factor, and no longer are big phones an issue. This is thanks to how the Galaxy Note II revolutionized our notions of a smartphone. Read on to find out if the Galaxy Note II is the king of 2012, and how it stacks up against the 2013 contenders.
The Galaxy Note II is basically a blown up Galaxy S3, but that’s not a bad thing. Samsung have taken a design that’s already familiar by the masses, and expanded to fit the huge 5.5 inch 720p screen. Yes, there are critics who hit on Samsung’s choice of plastic. But hey, at the end of the day, the sales numbers don’t lie. The Galaxy Note II comes with a 1.6Ghz Quad Core Exynos processor paired with 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage, expandable via SD card up to 64GB. On the front is 1.9MP camera, while an 8MP camera with LED flash wraps up the back. It is an all plastic housing, with a removable battery, definitely to please many. That battery of course, is a huge 3,100 mAh battery. So far with our perfomance tests, the Galaxy Note II is still the only phone ever to come though CrackTech’s HQ that lasts the whole day on a single charge, more on that later.
As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Note II has a 5.5 inch taking up most of the front real estate. The HD Super AMOLED display pack a resolution of 1280 x 720, with a PPI of 264 for those counting. The AMOLED screens are known for their deep blacks and bright saturated colours, and the Galaxy Note II certainly doesn’t dissappoint. It is obvious that you are using a much bigger phone, but pictures, text and icons are sized accordingly thanks to the high resolution. You don’t have to worry about blurry text or giant font unlike other big low res displays. Colours pop, text is crisp and pictures are bright and colourful, although a tad oversaturated. Of course not everyone is eagle-eyed, so you would enjoy a great viewing experience from this display. The screen is very touch sensitive, of course it brings a new way of interaction via the S Pen, meaning you don’t even have to touch the display with the S Pen to register inputs. It’s a new, fun way of interaction and not a gimmick as some might think.
Battery Life and Performance
As mentioned earlier, no phone has that has come through CrackTech has ever bested the Galaxy Note II in terms of battery life. It’s the one department that is still superior to the Galaxy S4 or HTC One. While newer hardware may boost processor power, it certainly sacrifices battery life. Something that’s becoming increasingly an issue. Anyone looking for a phone to keep you juiced all through the day, this is the phone for you. No matter how much I tried, I coudn’t drain the battery with heavy usage. With casual use, which includes calls, SMS, occasional browsing and some games, the Galaxy Note II lasted two full days. If you’re a heavy user, and take calls, SMS, emails, browse the web, social networks, and music all in a day, worry not. The Note II will still have enough juice to last you to your bedtime with 5%. In retrospect, the Galaxy SIII died by 5PM, and the Galaxy S4 only managed till dinner. Performance wise, it packs a benchmark setting quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Even the most demanding of games like ShadowGun and Riptide ran without a hitch. Couple that with the huge screen, and suddenly the Note II is a fantastic media consumption device. Full HD video ran smoothly although loudspeaker was slightly distorted, due to the speakers being located behind the device.
The Galaxy Note II is the first Samsung device to launch with Android Jelly Bean 4.1. It comes with almost identical software to the Galaxy SIII, however Samsung did add a few welcome features, most notably Multi Window and a bunch of S Pen optimised apps. The standard S features first introduced in the SIII are present, including the favourites like Smart Stay, S Voice, AllShare Cast, Popup Video and S Beam. S Beam is actually a very nifty feature. Combining NFC and Wifi – Direct, you can send full length HD videos in seconds between Galaxy devices with the app. It was extremely easy to setup and worked as advertised. Samsung have tried to keep their Touchwiz UX experience consistent across all their devices, and they managed to pull it up despite the different Android versions. You’d feel right at home with the UI, and won’t notice thats it’s running the latest of Android. ( Aside from the performance boost). The notifications bar is the best among all the Android skins. Samsung have provided you with all the essential toggles as well as the brightness settings ( Customisable ). A two finger swipe down brings up the entire toggles list, a Jelly Bean feature.
Whatever said and done, the original Galaxy Note redefined our notions of a smartphone. With the Galaxy Note II, Samsung have taken that winning formula, thrown in some extras and made it a 2012 flagship. Packing blazing fast internals, a 720p screen, a great camera and of course, the TouchWiz UI which made the Galaxy line so famous. Is it the best phone of 2012? Yes, without a doubt. It’s hard to see what else Samsung can add after what they’ve accomplished with the Note II. Keep it locked to Cracktech for the latest in tech.
Sony has teased the hardware design for its upcoming PlayStation 4 for the first time, after a February reveal that kept the device completely under wraps and left fans guessing about how Sony’s next-generation console would look. In a new video, shown below, the company teases the PS4′s hardware with a blurry black rectangle and flashes of design details.
The timing of the tease is no surprise, with Microsoft set to reveal its own next-generation Xbox tomorrow at its campus in Redmond, Washington.
Based on the video’s title, we should expect to see the PlayStation 4 unveiled on June 10th at the company’s E3 presentation. The PS4 is expected to be available during the holiday season of 2013, but the company still hasn’t revealed any pricing details or a firm release date.
Hola. Perhaps the most anticipated smartphone of 2013, the Galaxy S4, is here. The device, was announced on the 14th of March. As you all know, we at CrackTech are determined to bring you all the latest news and information you need to know about technology and today, we will be covering the main features of the Samsung Galaxy S4.
When you pick up the phone, you’re most likely to say: “Hey, this ain’t no Galaxy S4! It’s the S3!”. At first glance, the S4 DOES look a lot like the S3, but the back is what really distinguishes between the S4 and the S3.
See? I told ya. The length and the height of the phones are identical; but the S4 is slimmer @ .31 inches. And also, the S4 is much more rectangular.
When you first unbox the phone you’ll be greeted with a gorgeous 5 inch screen.
A real charmer, isn’t it? The Galaxy S4 now has a 1080p Screen, which has 1920*1080 pixels, like what we see on most FULL HD TVs these days. To give you an idea how much pixels the S4 has, the S4 has 2,073,600 pixels compared to 921,600 pixels on the S3 and 727,040 pixels on the iPhone 5. If you think the “Retina Display” on the IPhone 5 is mind blowing, you might want to give it a second thought. The screen on the IPhone has 326 pixels per inch and you probably can’t distinguish the pixels. On the other hand, the Galaxy S4 has a mind blowing pixel density of 441 PIXELS PER INCH. HOW AWESOME IS THAT. Now, now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, the HTC One does have a slightly higher pixel density @ 468 ppi. But, the point is, the screen is only 4.7inch. 0.3 inch isn’t THAT much of a big deal, but you know what they say? SIZE MATTERS.
The Galaxy S4 now comes with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, which is twice the RAM on its predecessor, the Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S4 International Version has an Exynos 5410 Octa Processor clocked at 1.6GHz. YES, YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT, IT’S OCTA. And HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THAT IS FAST! The International Version of the Galaxy S4 has 4 1.6GHz high performance A15 cores, and 4 A7 1.2GHz low performance cores.
The Power-Saving A7 cores are mainly used for trivial tasks such as 2D games, social networking (such as FB and twitter), light web browsing, and probably for viewing pictures of your cats. ARM claims that it can deliver 5x energy efficiency, 50% better performance and is one fifth the size of the ARM Cortex-A8 processor.
On the flip side of the coin, the A15 cores are used for high performance tasks, such as HD movie playback, graphics intensive games, video editing, and anything else that requires serious horsepower.
The camera on the Galaxy S4 is now 13 megapixels on the rear, and 2 on the front. That’s no biggie, considering the fact that most cream of the crop smartphones nowadays have 12 megapixels++ sensors. Samsung’s tweaked their software a little, and now it allows you to use both cameras simultaneously. Isn’t that terrific.
The international variant of the Galaxy s4 which utilizes Samsung’s homemade Exynos 5 Octa Processor, which blows every high-end smartphone out of the water including the HTC One, Xperia Z and the HTC Butterfly.
For the conclusion, the Galaxy S4 is indeed a very remarkable smartphone and really lives up to its expectations. If you’re looking for a cream of the crop Android smartphone, this is the way to go.
As technology is evolving everyday, our smartphones are prone to many malicious activities and also hackers can easily access mobiles with a few clicks away.
Here’s some tips on how to protect your mobile data and it’s contents.
Thanks to James Congdon from Symantec United Kingdom for sending in this info graphic.
Samsung has a new Exynos 5 Octa Processor, and it’s absolutely wild. The company announced its new technology on Wednesday, saying that the Octa takes advantage of two sets of four core processor, all in your tiny little smartphone. It’s probably a safe bet this will power the company’s highly anticipated Galaxy S IV.
The company said its new chip uses ARM’s big.LITTLE processor tech—ARM Cortex-A15 for performance, and Cortex-A7 for common tasks. That should lead to better battery life, and an enormously smooth experience when playing games or simply browsing the Web. The future of mobile devices is looking brighter by the day. Samsung is already one of the leading companies in the world, and that’s likely to continue as we get settled in 2013.
Samsung says that being able to switch between performance and energy efficiency makes for a 70 percent increase in battery life. In addition, users should expect twice the 3D performance of something like the Exynos 4 Quad, which should do a lot to whet the palette of Android-gaming fanatics.
We can’t wait to hold a device using Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa. Hopefully we’ll start to see more information hit the Web in the coming weeks and months.
It’s already December, and you can hear the bells jingling and Santa’s HOHOHO echoing around. What does all this mean? Christmas! And what does Christmas mean? Presents! Lots and lots of presents, all stacked below that Christmas tree on 25th of December. This is the time to hint what gadgets you want for Christmas, and hope you’ve been a good boy or girl this year. Well, there’s just so many things to buy these days, all with varying price tags and different features. If you’re looking for a phone, you’ve got different sizes, prices, and different OS to deal with. As for cameras, you got different lenses, optics, and megapixels . So, what is the best solution to all of this? Our friends over at PricePanda have solved the problem. The price checking website has released an all new Christmas Gift Ideas Collection. It’s a PDF with info and overview of all the latest gadgets in the tech scene and their prices ,so you get a chance to decide what you want to buy. Please check out their original post here .
Here’s what the Guide is all about , quoted from their website.
Within our PricePanda Buyers Guide you will find some of the hottest and most wanted tech products currently available in the market. For all of them we added the best deals from our partners and review customers wrote about them. Please remember deals and offers might be different day by day, so use the guide as following:
- Find the product you like
- Use the attached link to visit our website so check whether or not the price changed
- Click on the Merchant’s link you want to buy from
- If you don’t find interesting products in the guide, use our search button in the homepage or browse categories from the menu
We tried to add as many categories as possible in order to satisfy all the different needs our customers could have. However since our online catalog thousands of products we weren’t able to put all them in the guide. For this reason we invite all of you to give a look at PricePanda website as well as the following buyers guide because you might find something more interesting for you.
PricePanda staff wish you a merry Christmas! Have fun with your family and friends!
So what are you waiting for? Visit their website here to download the PDF!. You wont regret it. Also, remember, Panda Claus is keeping an eye on who’s good and bad on Christmas . Check out their full website here.
The CrackTech team wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ah, Android tablets. Samsung were one of the first to foray into the world of seven inchers, with the original Galaxy Tab. The Tab was a great device, but garnered criticism not because of Samsung, but Google. Android 2.3 wasn’t a tablet friendly OS, and many apps didn’t support the new form factor. Google did learn from it’s mistakes, and released Honeycomb for tablets. The following iteration, Ice Cream Sandwich, unified the tablet and smartphone experience. OEM’s jumped onto the Android bandwagon, and you now see a plethora of tablets of all sizes. Despite everything, Samsung manages to maintain its spot at the top of the Android tablet hill. The Galaxy Tab 2, is the successor to successful Galaxy Tab. Are Samsung’s improvements enough to crown the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 the king of the 7 inch Androids? Read on to find out Cracktech ‘ s review of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 .
So, Apple’s September event ended with many announcements from Apple, and the much leaked iPad Mini was one of them. Apple also announced a brand new iPad, shocking the press and everyone else around the world. Less than a year from the iPad 3 launch, Apple come out with the 4th Generation iPad, dubbed with an even more confusing, “iPad with Retina Display” moniker. Well, today Apple is launching these new slates here in Malaysia. The iPad Mini starts at RM999 for the base 16GB Wifi model, going up to RM1299 for the 32GB and RM1599 for the 64GB model. The Wifi + Cellular 16GB model starts at RM1399, costing RM1699 for the 32GB version and RM1999 for the 64GB version.
As for the 4th Generation iPad, pricing remains the same as the previous 3 generations.For Wifi only, its RM1499 for the 16GB, RM1799 for 32GB and RM2099 for 64GB. For Wifi + Cellular, it’s RM1899 for 16GB, RM2199 for 32GB and RM2499 for 64GB. The iPad Minis and Wifi + Cellular iPad 4 are scheduled to ship in two weeks, while the Wifi Only iPad 4 ships the next day, all for free of course. We expect to see some carrier tie up with Maxis or Digi. Especially with the Mini, as they can offer very cheap or even free for bundled data and monthly commitment.
A quick recap on the specs, the iPad Mini has a 7.9 inch 1024 x 768 IPS LCD display, clocking in at 163 PPI. It runs on the dual core A5 processor, and comes with 2 camera. A FaceTime HD camera on the front which can take 720p video, and a 5MP iSight camera which can shoot 1080p Full HD video . The iPad with Retina Display, as the names says, comes with a 2048 x 1536 9.7 inch IPS LCD Retina Display. That’s a long name, but it basically means super sharp and clear ( 264 PPI ). It also comes with a FaceTime HD camera, and a 5MP iSight camera on the back. The biggest improvement over the 3rd gen iPad is the processor, Apple has manufactured a new A6X dual – core processor, backed by the new quad-core integrated graphics chip. Great improvements to the iPad to fend off the evergrowing competition from the Android camp. Keep it locked to Cracktech for the latest news.
Thursday, new data regarding PC sales are down from the same period last year, 25 percent to be exact, Macs are forecasted to be down 7 percent. Even with Windows 8 hitting the shelves and being heavily pushed through marketing and offering free copies to PC-buyers for the a good part of the year, sales are down. Windows 8 in itself is an admission of the death of the PC, with the heavily touch-based OS, Windows 8 is much more a tablet operating system as it is a desktop ecosystem (just try using a mouse to navigate around Windows 8, its just frustrating enough to make you want to upgrade to a touchscreen model). Sure, Windows 8 boasted sales around 40 million but critics and analysts point out these are mostly built-in enterprise sales that really don’t translate into a measure blip on the consumer scale. Everything, from the user experience, how you navigate, the apps that are built in the Windows Store (which is part Windows Phone Store, Windows RT Store and Windows 8 Pro store) are very touch-oriented and a drastic shift from traditional, mouse-point-and-click computing. Macs too are suffering from the same phenomenon, despite the steady flow of new MacBook Pros and iMacs that seem to get smaller, faster, better each year, are facing declines. Apple continues to amaze me with its sleek designs in its computers and I always pine to get my hands on the latest and greatest iDevice, but that doesn’t mean I will always have a need to have one. The fact is, most people dont need a traditional computer, since the tablet has quickly filled that void. You likely won’t see people lined up outside the Apple Store today, or this weekend waiting for a new iMac, they may for an iPad or iPhone, but the market for PCs keep getting smaller.
The Rise of the Tablet
The tablet has risen in terms of market share and status. The ease of use of tablets, lowered pricing, improved cloud computing and improved quality of tablets have increased adoption around the world. Apple may have revolutionized the market, but Android is catching up quickly. With cheaper options, less buggy Android OSs and better hardware selection. Android will take the lead in the tablet market in less than 6 months, not just at the cost of Apple, but also to traditional PCs. Laptops and desktop sales have been cannibalized by tablets as consumers move away from those type of computers because tablets are easier to use and allow for more casual computing. “There’s an app for that” has been a phrase that helps simplify the fact that tablets truly can do just about anything, which in my opinion has shown the versatility of the segment. PCs, in form and functionality have become the dinosaurs of consumer electronics. “Innovate or die” has always been and will continue to be a mantra of the electronics industry, in this case the PC is up next.
It is never a good sign when products become commodities where competition is reliant on pricing and cost savings. Apple has a slight edge in its business model because of its own operating system and the hardware is manufactured by Apple only. This makes it difficult for manufacturers to say their product is on par or better than Apple’s (just because they aren’t as easy to compare on paper.) But this doesn’t mean that Apple is immune from changes in consumer tastes. The newest iMac is nothing more than a sleeker design. Apple loves throwing around the phrase “The World’s Most [insert adjective here] [insert product type here].” The latest iMac is the thinnest ever and it does look gorgeous. There are some innovations that are embedded into the new iMacs, less reflective screen, faster processor, thinner design, but they don’t really change the status quo. Even mobile software development takes priority over PCs, Apple on Thursday released iTunes 11, the design elements and layout are features most iOS users are familiar with. PCs will always have a place, likely in the workplace, where accountants, designers, IT Managers, engineers, writers and the like will rely on those devices. However, tablets and mobile phones are viable just about anywhere, where a PC may not be as convenient. Convenience and user-experience will be bigger selling points rather than speeds and specs. As long as it works, where you want and need, all the other factors won’t matter.
Mobile has been the game for the last few years and it will be so for next generation. Apple years ago focused on the Mac being central to the way we compute. It is where you would connect your media player, camera and a place to distribute that content to friends or online. With mobile and cloud-computing, the concept of a hub-oriented computing went out of fashion quickly. The selling point of a rebranded Microsoft/Windows (under the guise of Windows 8 ) of being able to collaborate across mobile, PC, gaming, and cloud is nice and I think it’s great, but its only an interim state where consumers will soon realize there is no need for a pesky computer. Windows 8, to me feels like the gateway to full tablet computing. The convertibility (between tablet and desktop) shows that Microsoft understands where the market is headed, but also acknowledging that some users aren’t ready to abandon their PCs fully just yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if Windows 9 eliminates the PC entirely and shifts entirely to mobile computing.