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To start off I would like to address a question that I’ve been asked countless times. “Does the monitor get that nasty yellow tint?” As I’ve mentioned in my first impressions, I have had no problems with any yellow tinting. My brother’s iMac has a slight yellow tint problem so no worries guys (and girls ;D ) I know what I’m talking about here. If I open a blank word document and maximize it, it looks white as snow. (Without that yellow stuff you find time to time!)
Samsung SyncMaster SA550 With brightness max
The monitor has a refresh rate of 2ms and to this day I have not noticed once any ghosting problems. But I have noticed some pixilation lag which I mentioned below in the Macbook Section; it’s more likely to be a graphics card issue rather than a monitor one though.
The LED backlit display has a crisp resolution of 1920×1080 and it is simply a pleasure to work on. ( As cliché as that sounds!) In my first impressions I said that the colors aren’t as vibrant than glossy monitors, while that may be true, I’ve noticed I’ve been watching more movies on this monitor than my glossy Macbook Pro’s. Not just because of size but I have noticed that after a long period of watching movies or shows on any glossy monitor my eyes start to hurt a bit. (My friends HP monitor) But with the Samsung, while it isn’t the most vibrant, it is a great companion monitor to watch movies on. And I do watch plenty of movies! And whether I’m watching DVDs or simply watching youtube videos the Samsung SA550 gets the job done right.
When it comes to doing work such as photo/video editing this monitor is A-MA-ZING. I can’t go back to editing on my Macbook Pro’s glossy monitor after using the Samsung for so long– again not because of size—but rather the colors aren’t as accurate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Mac guy and I love the Macbook Pro but when it comes to work the Samsung attached to it just blows it out the water. At first glance, there isn’t much about the Samsung that separates it from your typical glossy. However, I do a lot of photo editing and I’ve edited the same picture on the Samsung, the Macbook Pro, and the iMac. Once I’ve actually printed out the photo, I can easily say that the Samsung had the much more accurate colors; hence my opinion that the Samsung was the best to edit photos on.
NOTE: I am using an HDMI cable with this monitor which is NOT included in the box. Definitely get an HDMI cable if you’re planning to get this monitor for the best results.
I understand that looks don’t change but I had to bring it up again. As with a lot of new products that you buy the first impressions are always, “This machine looks incredible”. However about a few weeks later the looks seem to lose its lust. And I usually fall victim to this of course. However when it comes to this monitor I must say that it has not lost its appeal. It just sits nice and sleek next to my Macbook Pro and I CONSTANTLY get reminded by friends and family of how “Pro” it looks.
Setting up the monitor is a breeze. It has a few pieces that pop together in place. (Pieces are pretty much self-explanatory) The entire feeling hallow argument that I stated in my first impressions actually no longer bother me at all. I go to electronic stores often and I can say that as of 2011 a lot, if not all Samsung monitors, have the same hallowed feel to it.
Keep in mind that the actual display is plastic. (Including the what looks like a glass border around the display)
I stated in my first impressions that I didn’t like how the touch sensitive buttons felt unresponsive. I’ve tried tampering with it daily JUST to see if my opinions on it would change: it hasn’t. I really never need to use them but for the sake of having my final impressions of it I had to give it some time. I like physical buttons like my friends HP monitor. It feel faster to navigate through menus on my friends HP monitor with the physical buttons. On my Samsung I feel as if I have to be gentle with it to get the touch sensitive buttons to register. While not a huge deal it does slow you down. And of course I’m sure a lot of us won’t be changing the monitors’ settings hourly so it wouldn’t be a big deal regardless.
I think this monitor is a great deal. While it is a tad bit pricey at about 250 dollars, you do get what you pay for. I know you can find many monitors online for a great bargain but don’t stump this monitor out yet. It’s hard to explain but you won’t notice how nice this monitor really is until you’ve used it for a long period of time and then try out another. You not only appreciate it more but you also really get the sense just how nice and accurate colors are. Thumbs up to Samsung!
Note: When using it in mirrored mode I did notice the resolution didn’t fit the Samsung’s monitor well. So I had to use it in clamshell mode. Simply close your Macbook and use a mouse or keyboard to wake the machine up. (While the lid is still closed) And there you have it; the Macbook Pro on your Samsung SA550 with the monitors crisp maxed out resolution.
For those curious about the actual performance of this monitor being attached to the baseline 2011 Macbook Pro 13” look no further. A lot of people have asked me whether the Intel HD 3000 was capable enough to run an external monitor smoothly. And my answer? It works PERFECETLY fine when doing your basic task. No lag, no ghosting, nothing. However, I have noticed when I am doing work in Adobe Illustrator the Samsung Monitor pixelates. When I hover over the dock, a simple task such as adding a watermark to our TechShift pictures will cause the monitor to pixelate for a moment, which gets pretty annoying quickly. (ONLY THE DOCK GETS PIXELATED) And yes, without the monitor there is no lag or pixilation with any of my software.
If you’re not on a tight budget then this monitor is definitely worth considering. There isn’t too much to complain about. It is able to connect to a computer or laptop just fine. It’s built, while it’s not the best, isn’t too far behind from what other monitors have to offer. I have enjoyed watching movies and videos on this monitor but I’ve even more so enjoyed more editing on it. And, while the touch sensitive buttons aren’t my ideal, at the end of the day I must consider that this product is a monitor and it does exactly what it needs to do without any compromise to the actual display. So if you’re in the market, check out the Samsung SyncMaster SA550. The TechShift team and I definitely recommend it.
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India is fast outgrowing the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, at least that’s what one recent report would have us believe. And while it may not be the most conclusive report, we can tell from the products that get the biggest hype – the fluid mid-range segment ranging from Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 in pricing, more or less. But Samsung is convinced the sub Rs 10,000 segment still has legs and is hedging its bets with the Galaxy M series.
At first glance, the M10 fits that label but Samsung has priced it enticingly, which is the biggest deal about this phone. Starting at Rs 7,990, the Galaxy M10 competes with the Realme C1 (2023) and the Redmi 6 in India. The 3GB + 32GB variant is priced at Rs 8,999 in India. Both those phones are serious competition with Realme’s momentum and Redmi’s market standing, while Samsung has the pedigree of a premium brand with its after-sales service network. Does the M10 have enough to give them a tough fight? Let’s find out:Samsung Galaxy M10 Specifications
Display6.22” HD+ PLS TFT, 720 x 1520 pixels
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 7872 hexa-core 14nm SoC
RAM2/3 GB RAM
Storage32 GB, expandable upto 512GB via microSD
Primary CamerasMain Camera: 13MP AF, F1.9 + Ultra Wide: 5MP, F2.2
Secondary Camera5MP (F2.0)
SensorsAccelerometer, Barometer, Face Unlock Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
Network and ConnectivityLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/(2.4/5GHz) Dual VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, headphone jack
There are some notable omissions such as the lack of a fingerprint sensor, which does make the M10 seem less appealing. And we’ll see if it that impacts user experience negatively.Samsung Galaxy M10: What’s in the Box
The M10’s retail package is rather spartan. The box doesn’t look like it contains much and that’s pretty much true, but it’s also expected given that this is a budget phone. This is what you get inside the box:
Samsung Galaxy M10 smartphone
1 x USB Type-A to Micro USB Cable
1 x 5V 1A Charging Adapter
1 x Ejection pin
Samsung Galaxy M10: Design and Build Quality
The Galaxy M10 has two stark design qualities that seem incompatible and half-thought at first glance. Let’s start with the front, which has that trendy teardrop notch, which the company calls Infinity-V. It’s the first time we are seeing a Samsung phone with a notch and it is less intrusive than most notches in this price segment. The screen to body ratio of the M10 is a healthy 81.6 % which is higher than the Realme C1 and Honor 9N, both phones with notches in this price range.
The all-glass front picks up fingerprints rather easily, and cleaning the panel turns into an hourly ritual. The notch and the slim bezels on top and the sides give the phone an unmistakable modern identity. The notch holds the 5MP front camera, which is also used for face unlock. There is the so-called chin and it’s pretty thick, relative to the top and sides. I don’t quite love the look, but it’s definitely a step above the competition.
The plastic build means handling the phone is easy and there’s no real sharp edges to be worried about. The phone feels light despite weighing 160 g, and is slim but it doesn’t feel flimsy.
I am not sure anyone will be bowled over by the M10’s design. It’s utilitarian at best and the back just looks too simple, rather than pleasantly minimal. Clearly, Samsung is confident the overall user experience will outweigh the plain design.Samsung Galaxy M10: Display
The overall color tone of the display is a little cool for my liking, with a noticeable blue tinge in white backgrounds. To be honest, we didn’t expect a flawless panel, but even so the Galaxy M10 has a really good display for the price range. I would say this is one of the top budget phone displays right now.
The front camera is also used for face unlock which works well, and shows this really cool rippling or wave effect around the notch when unlocking the phone.Samsung Galaxy M10: Performance and Software
The Galaxy M10 is powered by the Samsung Exynos 7872 hexa-core 14nm SoC with 4 x 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 cores and 2 x 2.0 GHz Cortex-A73 cores. For GPU, the chipset has the Mali-G71 MP1.
For gaming, we tried out Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile. Neither game looked its best self on this phone, likely due to the less-than-top-tier hardware. Asphalt 9 showed some screen tearing when the cars went into hyper drive, while PUBG Mobile was smoothest at low settings. It’s not the best phone to have for someone who wants to keep gaming on the go, but it’s certainly more than good enough for casual gaming as well as shorter sessions.
The combination of the SoC as well as 3GB of RAM provided a decent, stutter-free experience in our first few days with the phone. We will be running extensive benchmark tests to compare the Exynos SoC’s performance in the next few days. Stay tuned for our full review to find out more.
The M10 runs Android 8.1 Oreo, with the Samsung Experience UI bringing its share of bloatware to the out-of-the-box software experience. Samsung has said the Galaxy M10 will only get Android Pie in August. That’s almost when Android Q is expected to be out. This is a major disappointment for potential buyers. And it only reinforces Samsung’s image of being lethargic when it comes to updates for the mid-range and budget segment.Samsung Galaxy M10: Cameras
Dual cameras are becoming very common in the budget segment, but not like the ones on the Galaxy M10. That’s because Samsung has added an ultra-wide sensor, instead of the typical depth sensor found in the competition. We have seen a similar sensor in action in the Galaxy A7 and A9 and the wide-angle definitely makes certain kinds of photos look more immersive and impactful.
As one might expect the rear camera has a host of shooting modes and options. Here’s a look at the UI of the rear camera’s modes and Pro photo settings.
And here are a couple of examples of the wide-angle camera in action:
The notch on the front houses the 5MP f/2.0 selfie camera. These selfies are nothing great to speak of, but Samsung has added a Live Focus mode which helps you take shots with blurred background. You can also add stickers to you selfies – because, why not?
We aren’t quite ready to deliver a verdict for The Galaxy M10’s dual rear cameras. We will be comparing the the 13MP f/1.9 main camera and the 5MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera to the competition, so stay tuned for the full review which should be coming up soon.Samsung Galaxy M10: Battery Life
Another key focus area for Samsung with the M10 is the battery. Samsung has packed in a 3,400 mAh battery, which falls short of what some of the competition offers – Realme C1, for example, has a 4,230 mAh battery. The Galaxy M10 should ideally provide all-day usage, and the smaller battery pack is likely to reduce the weight of the phone. At 160 g, it’s already on the heavy side so the weight must surely have been a consideration on Samsung’s part.
The Galaxy M10 doesn’t have fast charging support and comes with a standard 5v 1A charging adapter in the box. Samsung has not mentioned any support for fast charging standards, unlike the Galaxy M20.
We will be doing our standard battery tests with the Galaxy M10 to see whether that battery is actually a problem.Samsung Galaxy M10: First Impressions
I won’t lie: I was looking to be impressed by the Galaxy M10 before I went ahead and used the phone. But the first impression is that it’s an underwhelming device. Perhaps it’s down to the plain design of the back – we have become spoilt by the finish and look of some of Honor’s budget phones – or the fact that nothing on the specifications sheet seems to grab our attention from the outset.
It’s really a very run-of-the-mill kind of product. I would contend that while the M10 signals a new approach for Samsung, it might not be enough to take on the competition.
Of course, I could very well eat my words after using the phone extensively and coming at it from a budget user’s point of view. Samsung is hoping to change the budget segment user experience with the Galaxy M10 and over the course of this next week, we will be seeing exactly how it has gone about it and whether it works. Stay tuned for our full review, and do let us know what you think about Samsung’s specs and design decisions for the Galaxy M10.
The best Android phone to date, the Galaxy Nexus dazzles with its curved display, sleek design, fast performance, and, of course, the Ice Cream Sandwich update.
We’ve been clamoring to get our hands on the Galaxy Nexus ever since its unveiling in Hong Kong back in October. Finally, at long last, the U.S. version of the Galaxy Nexus has landed in our office. So is the Galaxy Nexus, the first phone to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich, everything we hoped it would be? Mostly, yes. The Galaxy Nexus ($300 with a two-year contract, as of December 16, 2011) impresses with lightning-fast performance, strong data speeds, a thin design, and, of course, all of that Ice Cream Sandwich goodness. It isn’t perfect, however. The camera isn’t outstanding, and the handset has no expandable memory slot. But as it stands, the Galaxy Nexus is the best Android phone currently available.Design
The Galaxy Nexus is one fine-lookin’ piece of hardware. The glossy display, piano-black bezel, and textured back are all standard Samsung design elements. But unlike other Samsung Galaxy phones I’ve reviewed, the Galaxy Nexus feels high quality. At 5.1 ounces, it has a nice substantial weight to it without being too heavy. As you can see from the photos, the Galaxy Nexus has a subtle curve, which nicely contours to the hand. If you have small hands like me, however, you might find the Galaxy Nexus a bit large (it measures 5.33 by 2.67 by 0.37 inches).
The Galaxy Nexus has no physical hardware keys on its face. Instead, the touch-sensitive Back, Home, and Search keys are built into the display as soft keys.Super AMOLED Display (No Plus)
The Galaxy Nexus has a high-def Super AMOLED display–not to be confused with the Super AMOLED Plus technology found in the Samsung Galaxy S II line of phones. This 1280-by-720-pixel display is actually based on a PenTile pixel structure in which pixels share subpixels. Engadget points out that the Galaxy S II phones have full RGB displays in which the pixels have their own subpixels. This means that the Galaxy Nexus has lower overall subpixel density, reduced sharpness, and degraded color accuracy than the Galaxy S II. But according to site FlatpanelsHD, the Galaxy Nexus has 315 pixels per inch, which is slightly lower than the iPhone 4/4S at 326 ppi.
To be quite honest, the only quality difference I saw between the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy Nexus, and the iPhone 4S was in color accuracy. Colors on the Galaxy Nexus had a slight yellowish tint, mainly in pictures or websites with a white background. Otherwise, blacks looked deep, while fonts and details appeared sharp. Unless you’re crazy about pixel density or have insanely sharp eyes, you probably won’t notice the slight display downgrade.
The display is a roomy 4.65 inches, but really only 4 inches of that real estate is usable. The remaining 0.65-inch space is occupied by a customizable shortcut bar that appears at the bottom of the home screens as well as some other internal screens. Even so, the screen feels plenty spacious for all of your gaming, video, and other multimedia desires.Ice Cream Sandwich: Simply Sweet
We’ve written extensively on Ice Cream Sandwich, and will be doing much more in-depth coverage in the next few days. For this review, I’ll focus on how Ice Cream Sandwich performs on the Galaxy Nexus.
You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the ability to unlock your phone with your face. The front-facing camera snaps a picture of you and then uses facial recognition software the next time you unlock your phone. It’s cool, most definitely, but it’s not the most secure way of protecting your phone. As Google warns, somebody who looks similar to you can unlock your phone with their face. Nevertheless, face unlock works well, and it is a pretty neat–although somewhat gimmicky–feature.
The Android software keyboard in Ice Cream Sandwich has larger, more square keys so it is easier to type on (though I still made a few errors here and there). You now have an option to verbally dictate your text, as well, though I didn’t always find it accurate. For example, “This is a test of the auto-dictate feature” translated into “Types of the otter dictate feature.”
Developers will delight in the dedicated “Developer options,” which let you access tools such as a CPU usage meter and controls for touchscreen feedback and the background process limit. It is features like this that truly make Android a standout operating system. There’s something for everyone.The Core Apps
Gmail gets a face-lift, with a new context-sensitive Action Bar at the bottom of the screen. The bar changes depending on where in the app you are. For example, when you’re looking at an email message, you see options to archive it, trash it, label it, or mark it as unread. When you’re viewing your inbox, the bar changes to display options for composing new messages. Adding attachments from your gallery or other folders is now much easier as well. If you’re a heavy Gmail user like me, you’ll really appreciate these updates.
Google Calendar pretty much runs my life, so I was pleased to see a cleaner, easier-to-read version of it in Ice Cream Sandwich. I also appreciate the fact that you can pinch-to-zoom in on a particular calendar event to see more information about it; previously you had to tap on the calendar event, and it would open a new window. Like all of the other core-apps updates, Google has made everything in the Calendar more efficient and easier to use.
Unfortunately, Google Wallet is not supported on the Galaxy Nexus–despite the fact that the phone’s hardware supports NFC.Performance
We also ran the Qualcomm-developed Vellamo benchmarking app, on which the Galaxy Nexus earned a score of 803. (The Droid Razr got a score of 1040, which put it ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S II.) This score puts the Galaxy Nexus ahead of the Samsung Skyrocket and the HTC EVO 3D. Because Vellamo was made by a competitor to Texas Instruments, we tend to take these results with a grain of salt.
We’re lucky enough to get very strong 4G LTE coverage here in San Francisco. In my tests using the FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest app, the Galaxy Nexus achieved download speeds ranging from 6.69 to 12.11 megabits per second and upload speeds of 21.18 mbps. In other words, the Galaxy Nexus is blazingly fast.
Call quality over Verizon’s network in San Francisco was consistently good. I had great coverage everywhere I went in the city. My friends and family sounded natural, with an ample amount of volume. One of my friends remarked that my voice sounded “hollow,” but other people I spoke with were pleased with the quality.
We have not yet finished our formal battery life tests, but the Galaxy Nexus survived through a whole day of heavy use before I needed to charge it again.Camera
At the Hong Kong unveiling, Google bragged that the camera on the Galaxy Nexus has zero shutter lag. In my hands-on tests, I found these claims to be accurate: It processes your photo almost instantly after you press the shutter key. Another nice feature is the ability to access the camera from the lock screen rather than having to unlock and then dig through menus.
Unfortunately, the camera just isn’t of the same caliber as the rest of the phone. The photos I shot with the Galaxy Nexus’s 5-megapixel camera looked a bit flat. Colors seemed a touch washed out, and details were a little fuzzy.
But even if your photos don’t come out perfect, Ice Cream Sandwich has your back with its suite of photo-editing tools. You get an array of filters (like your very own Hipstamatic app), the capability to adjust the image angle, red-eye removal, cropping functions, and more. Any edits you make to a photo will create a copy, in case you ever want to revert to the original.
In camcorder mode, you can record video in up to 1080p. Video in my tests looked quite good. The camera handles motion well, with no artifacting or pixelation. Check out the test clip below.Bottom Line
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a superb phone, and a great vehicle for introducing Android Ice Cream Sandwich to the world. Android has clearly come a long way, and the tweaks and updates Google has implemented throughout the operating system make a huge difference in efficiency and ease of use. Right now, the Galaxy Nexus is the best Android phone you can buy.
Samsung recently announced its February 9 Unpacked event, which will welcome the highly rumored Galaxy S22 phones and the Galaxy Tab S8 series. While we have heard a lot about these Samsung products in the past, the latest leak reveals almost everything we can expect from these devices. Here’s a look at the details.Samsung Galaxy S22 Series Details Leaked
A Twitter user Dohyum Kim has leaked the presentation material, which reveals all the details for the Galaxy S22 phones and the Galaxy Tab S8 series. You can check out the press material from the link in the tweet attached below. However, if you don’t wish to go through a long presentation deck, we have compiled the key points in this article. So keep reading.
As expected, the Galaxy S22 series will include three phones: the Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S22+, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra. While the regular S22 and the S22+ will look a lot like the Galaxy S21 and S21+, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will come with a Note-like design with an S Pen that will have 3 times improved latency and a dedicated slot. This is similar to what we have heard before. Also, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will include a dedicated S Pen slot, acting as a bridge between the S- and Note series.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is likely to house a 108MP main camera with OIS, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and 2 10MP telephoto lenses. A 40MP front snapper is also expected. It will be backed by a 5,000mAh battery and run One UI 4.0 based on Android 12.
The Galaxy S22 and S22+ will most share specs, except for screen sizes and batteries. The S22 might sport a 6.1-inch Full HD+ AMOLED 2X screen and a 3,700mAh battery, while the S22+ might get a 6.6-inch display and 4,500mAh battery. Both phones are said to come with up to 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Exynos 2200/ Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset variants. For them, there will be three rear cameras, including, a 50MP main camera with OIS, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP telephoto lens, along with a 10MP front camera.
Other attractions include various camera features, 45W fast charging, Wi-Fi 6E, 5G support, and more.Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Series Leaked Too
As for the Galaxy Tab S8 lineup, three models are expected, namely the Galaxy Tab S8, the Tab S8+, and the Tab S8 Ultra. The standard model will include an 11-inch display, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, S Pen support, dual rear cameras (13MP, 6MP), a 12MP front snapper, and an 8,000mAh battery. The Tab S8+ packs a bigger 12.4-inch display and a 10,090mAh battery, both of which act as the only differences.
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series is also expected to come with better multitasking features, improved data sharing features, app shortcuts, and more. Since we are yet to get official confirmation on these details, it’s best to wait until the February 9 event to get a better idea.
Featured Image Courtesy: YouTube/ Concept Creator
Red Magic 3 first impressions and hands-on
Today we’re having a peek at the latest in a line of “gaming” smartphones released in recent weeks. This device rolls with a 90hz refresh rate (image refresh rater, that is) similar to the Black Shark 2. This device’s key rests not just in its display, but its sound, and its connectivity with an abundance of accessories right out the gate.
The Red Magic 3 comes in an stark, black box with a “III” logo on its front in bright red. This device will likely be delivered to your home in the same box I have here, since it’s not likely headed to any carriers in the USA any time soon. The obvious effort that’s gone into designing this box indicates that the creators of this phone mean for it to stick around for a while. This isn’t just a flash in the pan, it says.
The system-on-chip (processor, chip, whatever you want to call it) on this device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, running with an Adreno 640 GPU – the best of the best from Qualcomm, at the moment. Depending on the version of this device you get, you’ll get either 8 or 12 GB LPDDR4X RAM. You’ll also be choosing (when you first look to buy) between 128 and 256GB UFS 2.1 2-lane internal storage.
Around and inside the device is a collection of sensors, including a fingerprint scanner, g-sensor (gravity), compass, gyroscope, proximity, and an ambient light sensor. At the base of this phone is USB 3.0 (Type-C). There’s also a Dual nano-SIM slot and a standard 3.5mm audio jack (headphone jack, praise the jack gods, they are good).
The USB-C jack is where you’ll charge the 5000 mAh battery inside this phone. It’ll be interesting to see how long this relatively sizable battery lasts VS the other gaming phones on the market today.
The back side of this phone has a since-lens 48-megapixel camera with a Sony IMX586 sensor. In this setup we’ve got 0.8μm pixel size, f/1.7 aperture, and the ability to capture 8K resolution at 30fps. There’s some super slo-mo ability here too – we’ll see! The front camera is 16MP with 2.0μm pixel size and an f/2.0 aperture.
Inside this smartphone is a relatively stock Android 9.0 Pie experience. NOTE: On the Red Magic 3 official website, they say “Android 9.0 Oreo”, which does not make sense – in fact it’s just a mistaken name, as this phone does indeed have Android 9.0 Pie inside.
In addition to a power button and volume buttons, there’s a physical “GameBoost Switch” – kinda like an overclock TURBO button. Sorta like that. So while Android inside is “stock”, there are a few interesting features that’ve been added. Also it’s got square app icons, not circular – so it’s not absolute stock Android – it’s something LIKE stock.
Much like our Black Shark 2 Review and our Razer Phone 2 Review, we’ll be putting this Red Magic 3 gaming phone through the paces. If you’ve got any questions you’d like answered or tests you’d like run, let it be known below!
This phone can be purchased from Red Magic online right this minute starting at $479 USD. That’s for the Black version with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The timeline of links below will lead you to additional coverage – behold and tap away!
Samsung Omnia i900 WM6.1 Smartphone Review
Talk about contentious: Samsung’s Omnia i900 has been heralded as everything from the best Windows Mobile smartphone yet, to the oft-fabled iPhone killer. Take a look at the spec sheet and you can see why, with a 3.2-inch touchscreen, 3G, WiFi, GPS, haptic feedback and a choice of 8GB or 16GB internal storage, the Omnia certainly has the goods on paper. It’s not exactly ugly, either, with metal where the iPhone 3G now has plastic and that clever little optical mouse. So to the big question: is Samsung’s flagship smartphone all mouth and no action?Check out the video demo of the Omnia after the cut
At 127g the 112 x 56.9 x 12.5mm smartphone is solid and generally reassuring. On the left side you’ll find a sturdy loop for fastening on the separate stylus, together with the proprietary Samsung connector for recharging the Omnia or plugging in a handsfree kit. You’ll find both AC adaptor and handsfree in the box, with Samsung providing a 3.5mm adaptor cable should you prefer your own headphones, together with a USB data cable and Windows Software CD.
Switch on, and it’s a mixed bag. The 3.2-inch 240 x 400 screen is relatively bright but not as color-rich as, say, the iPhone 3G or even HTC’s Touch Diamond. An accelerometer flips the orientation from portrait to landscape as you tilt the handset, though the rotation animation is not quite fast enough to avoid being annoying. Rotation works in all apps aside from the camera. One added extra above Apple’s handset is the haptic feedback, although it’s a love-it or hate-it feature. Basically, the phone quickly vibrates whenever you touch the screen.
If we were particularly unkind, we might say that the reason for the Omnia needing haptics is because its screen is less than responsive. Like every other Windows Mobile handset, the Omnia uses a resistive touchscreen; they’re simply not as sensitive as the capacitive technology used in the iPhone’s display. The result is a handset where stroking and swiping can be jerky and inaccurate as, unlike the Apple cellphone, you need to keep a regular degree of pressure as you gesture.
Gesturing is something you’ll be doing a lot of, as Samsung have followed in the lead of HTC and others by introducing a more “user friendly” graphical interface to Windows Mobile. In this case it’s a version of Samsung’s existing TouchWiz GUI, as seen on their F480 ‘Tocco’ and F490. As with HTC’s TouchFLO 3D, TouchWiz is intended to make the handset finger-friendly so that you need never actually reach for the stylus.
Of course, no matter how you access it, Windows Mobile is a flexible and potentially powerful OS and the Omnia is no different. There are thousands of third-party apps to be had, and Samsung themselves preinstall Google Maps, Shozu and a customized version of the esteemed Opera Mobile 9.5 browser. There’s the usual messaging suite, supporting SMS, MMS, POP/IMAP email and push-email from an Exchange account, together with Office Mobile (allowing for Word and Excel file editing and PowerPoint viewing), a PDF viewer and RSS reader. Sadly TouchWiz is yet to extend fully into these apps too, leaving a variety of interfaces from basic navigation arrows to tiny scroll bars.
Perhaps Samsung think the Omnia is more likely to be used as a media device, as its entertainment functionality is much more successful. The ‘Touch Player’ replaces Windows Media Player, an exchange few will mourn, bringing with it big buttons, an FM radio (with twelve presets and the ability to record shows) and a bevy of video codecs: MPEG4, h.264 and, more unusually, DivX and XviD. An optional TV Out cable can be used to play footage back on a bigger screen. Plug in the USB data cable and anything under 720 x 480 can simply be dragged across, though the Omnia’s 65,000 color display might not do them full justice. Sound quality, though, is excellent, with headphones being the obvious choice but even the built-in speaker doing a decent job.
In a useful improvement over both the Touch Diamond and the iPhone 3G, the Omnia includes a microSDHC slot content with cards up to 16GB in size. Pick the 16GB handset, then, and there’s up to 32GB of space to play with; it’s enough to make you forgive Samsung for hiding the memory card slot under the rear cover, where you’ll need to take out the battery to get at it.
Also lurking around the rear cover is the Omnia’s other multimedia weapon, a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and a surprisingly bright LED flash. Make no mistake, this puts the Omnia head and shoulders above other Windows Mobile handsets; options are various (resolution, flash, autofocus, exposure, ISO, saturation, contrast and more) and those commonly changed are easily accessed from the main preview screen. Images can be GPS tagged and then edited on-device, and quality is good. Video recording is limited to 640 x 480 resolution at 15fps, with files in MPEG4 format, though we found clips to be unduly jumpy in playback.
A second, lower-resolution camera is on the front of the Omnia, and that segues neatly into our biggest complaint about the handset: its 3G. Or, to be more specific, the lack of 3G in the US. Despite the Omnia being quadband GSM, its UMTS is 2100MHz only: that means the 7.2Mbps HSDPA so many would-be buyers had got excited about will only be available in Europe. Instead, the Omnia maxes out at the distinctly mediocre EDGE in the US, meaning no video calls, no high-speed browsing using the wonderful Opera browser, and only the most basic of streaming media (music at a push, no chance for video).
It’s a shame, because generally as a phone the Omnia is decent. Call quality is good, with minimal wind noise or background static and a surprisingly rich tone for both parties, while the speakerphone is as good with talk as it is with music. The 624MHz Marvell PXA312 processor shows no lags even with multiple apps running (a long-standing bug-bear of WM) and we’ve had usage times pretty close to Samsung’s claimed 500hrs standby or almost 6hrs talktime. That’s probably been helped by only using GSM not 3G.
There’s a lot to like about the Samsung i900 Omnia. The GPS and high-resolution camera both work well, battery life is good and it’s undoubtedly a handsome phone. You can take your pick whether to blame Microsoft for Windows Mobile 6.1’s fiddly interface or Samsung for not fully covering it up with TouchWiz; hopefully future versions will do a better job. What’s most definitely Samsung’s fault is the absence of US-spec UMTS, and for many of the power-users that would be the Omnia’s obvious audience that could be the deciding factor.
If you can live without the 3G (or, of course, if you live in an area that has 2100MHz UMTS) then the Omnia deserves to be on your shortlist. No, not an iPhone 3G killer, and not even “the best” Windows Mobile phone ever, but a solid option and likely to be a popular one. If Samsung do the sensible thing and launch the Omnia in the US with right UMTS frequencies, however, you’d certainly be looking at one of the best WM smartphones around.
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