Posts tagged: samsung

LG G4 Stylus – Bad phone or bad support?

I am not sure if I was just unlucky, or if LG is really selling crap hardware. Well, up to some point, yes, LG is really selling crap hardware. But it can’t be just that.. or is it?

Well, the thing I know for sure, is that G4 Stylus stylus suck. It is not a stylus like the Samsung Note series. It is a standard rub-based stylus. That kind of stylus is not practical for drawing, or writing, just for minor sketches. I confess that I was stupid on not noticing that before buying it. But the chance on getting a note-similar hardware at a low price did not work as desired.

Other than that, that I am sure is LG crap, my remaining complains can be fault of LG support in Portugal. After less than a month of use, the screen got problems. Unfortunately, the phone was bought a little more than a month, and as such, the store did not replace the device. It was sent to support, that took a month to repair it.

The phone got back working. Sort of. At first it seemed like it was working. But after some time (far more than useful to complain) I noticed the lack of vibration. Yep, it came like that from the repair support. I couldn’t complain, so, I continued used it.

A cool thing on this phone was the double tap on the screen to lock it, and to unlock it. It worked… during some time. Then, sometimes. And now, rarely.

A friend said the buttons in the back were weird. I confess I liked them more than the common buttons in the side of the device. Or at least, I liked them while they worked. Now, sometimes I have to press for more than 5 seconds to awake the phone. Sometimes I get mad trying different approaches to try to get the phone awake.

But then I got lucky. And a friend offered me a Samsung S6 Edge +. And that luck sent bad luck to LG. I am returning the G4 Stylus for warranty.

Samsung note 10.1″

That’s right! I just bought an used Samsung Note 10.1″ tablet and I am loving it. Forget the idea that using your finger is the best approach to usability. Yours hands were not designed to write with your finger. In school you learnt how to use a pen and you used it for long periods of time in school and probably you- still use it from time to time in your work. Then, why not to use it to write in your tablet? Yeah! I know that your calligraphy is not the best, and you are ashamed of it. But, in the other hand, why not taking the chance to make it better. Probably if you tablet software can interpret it then other people might too.

Enough of trying to convince you. I still think that a tablet with a proper pen to let you write like you learnt in school is great. Of course it still fails when I try my artistic letters, but frankly it is very good. I congratulate Samsung by keeping their note line in the market, this is so great I can’t stop writing.

Help! Somebody take this tablet far from me, or I will not be able to stop and sleep. I’ll continue writing all night text and more text, most of it useless…

FlipBoard

After buying the Samsung Galaxy S3, I installed FlipBoard. The idea is pretty cool, but I am having some trouble using it.

First, it crashes from time to time. I couldn’t find out when/why does it crash, but it seems that it is related to the way it checks for new news, and some extra touches in the screen.

Then, I can’t understand how it updates. Some RSS feeds have news for more than twelve hours, and the application doesn’t show that news. Talking about RSS, it is not intuitive how to add them. At the moment most users consult personal blogs, and not just about a hundred of known websites that the developers find interesting.

And why does the Cover News are only selected from the standard news sources, and not from the RSS feeds supplied by the user?

Samsung Blue Earth is not usable

About an year ago I posted about Samsung Blue Earth. I bought it because it had WiFi, GPS, was blue and a cool solar panel. Unfortunately, it can’t push mail by WiFi (just 3G), the GPS doesn’t work properly, the solar panel is just cool and, worst, it doesn’t have an operating system.

It has a chronometer. You can use it. But you want to take a picture of the first lap? Ooops, sorry, you lost all your times. You need to send a message? Sorry, you lost all your times.

The web browser is from the time of WAP. You open a standard newspaper webpage, and the browser says “The page is too big, might not be properly displayed”.

So, dear Samsung, I feel robbed.

Buying an LCD monitor

I was looking for LCD monitors. Cheap LCD monitors. I really would like to buy an LG or a Samsung. Not sure why, but I have some good opinion on these makers. But I wanted a 22″ (or more) monitor, with Full HD and, more difficult to find, HDMI. Why? Because I am playing XBox 360 in an old CRT TV. And that sucks.

Now, as far as I can tell, HDMI makes monitors more expensive. A friend commented something on paying royalties. Probably some patent on effect? No idea…

And that is not relevant. Just wanted to say that the cheaper LCD monitor I found was an Acer TFT 22″ Wide P225HQbi. I confess that I have Acer as a cheap hardware maker without much quality. But I am giving them another chance.

And as usual, I know that in two or three days a cheaper monitor will be available somewhere…

Samsung Blue Earth – Review

As I posted earlier, I bought a Samsung Blue Earth. You will find out that it is also known as S-7550 and GT-7550. When trying to know its specification, try any site in the web, but run from Samsung website. Its website specifications for this mobile phone are wrong. As a simple example, they state it doesn’t have WiFi, while it has.

The box contains the minimum. A quick manual (after looking at Samsung website, found out it is the short guide, as there is an expanded guide you can download), the warranty document, the mobile phone, the battery, a USB microphone and a earphone (standard earphone that you can use anywhere else, or plugging it into the microphone adapter, that is, you can’t connect them directly to the phone, and that is a shame). What is missing, it the standard USB cable to connect it to a computer, and a CD with software to interact with the phone. Talking about the software, it is available to download in the Samsung website, but it isn’t available for Mac OS X.

The phone, itself, has a dark blue color that can be both appealing or repelling. It is one of the details that mark it, for the good or the bad. Another interesting detail is the solar panel in the rear. More on that later.

Operating System and User Interface

Nowadays, geeks are fascinated by Android or iOS. Unfortunately S-7550 operating system is none of these. It is a Samsung proprietary system. While the interface is clean, it is not as intuitive as I would like.

S-7550 has a dashboard-like space, with three virtual desktops. This means you can add widgets to each desktop, and cycle through them when needed. This is great as it does not limit the widget area for a single screen. But I do not like the idea of having this value hard coded. In the other hand, being hard coded, means one can have a wide image background that moves correctly when you cycle through desktops. More on the widgets later.

To use any application you need to switch from the dashboard to the menu. This is a typical menu with small icons, and different tabs (or different menus, or different desktops, as you prefer). It is easy to move icons along, and cycle through the menus.

Regarding input: the touch screen sometimes can be insensitive. The virtual keyboard is based on a mobile phone keyboard, meaning that you need T9 input to type faster. Fortunately it includes dictionaries for different languages, making it easier to write messages and e-mails in different languages.

Connectivity

My current tariff does not include data connection, and therefore I will not comment on that type of connections. Regarding the others:

  • Bluetooth works quite easily for document sharing. It uses the mobile phone PIN for handshaking. I do not own any other kind of bluetooth device, and therefore I can’t test much regarding this. I would love to have bluetooth to sync address book with something in the Mac, but it doesn’t seem to exist. I can send files to the phone from my Mac, but when browsing files on the phone, none is shown. I just see the folder names, not the files. Fortunately there is an option to send file by Bluetooth that can be used when browsing the files directly on the phone.
  • WiFi configuration is similar to the Bluetooth one. The fact of using a similar interface makes it easier to get used to. Also, as soon as one of this connectivity protocols is activated a clear icon appears in the top of the display.

Web

My experiments with the Web browser were using WiFi. The pages load relatively fast, and render correctly. Unfortunately, the interface to navigate (zoom and pan) in the webpage is not easy to control. When using the mobile websites (like mobile interface for Gmail) things get more usable.

Some times some links get unresponsive. While trying to follow the link, the browser does not move. That’s infuriating.

To fill in forms, there is the need to click in the input element, and another screen to input the text will show up. In this screen you will use the phone keyboard to input your text, and then return to the browser.

GPS

Accordingly with Samsung, this mobile phone does not have a GPS. But it has. By default there is a configuration option where S-7550 shows the satellites and your coordinates. Or I am lost, or it doesn’t work, as they do not change from 0, 0, 0. The phone also includes a Java application to navigate in Google maps. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell at the moment, it doesn’t in Portugal. The error message redirects the user to http://www.google.co.uk/mobile/gmm/configure.html where Portugal is not listed. I might try to install some other applications but report the result on other post, as it is not a built-in feature.

Also curious is that the manual redirects the user to http://www.66.com/samsung/ where this model is not listed.

Widgets

I did not test all widgets yet. But you can expect the usual calendar, digital or analogous clock, world clock, shortcuts to read or send messages, information on the current selected communications courier, weather information, notes, etc. It also includes two multimedia widgets, the MP3 player and a FM Radio.

Solar Panel

You do not need to put the phone in full solar light. As far as you are outside, and some sunlight is lighting part of the panel, a small light near the panel will lit, and the charging from solar energy icon will show up. As you might guess, this is just to help and delaying the usual electricity based charging procedure.

Pushing E-mail

There is an option to push e-mail to the phone. Unfortunately and as far as I can tell, it does not work using WiFi, only 3G. That sucks.

NOTE: I might add more notes to this review, including pictures, but I think I should make this text available now.

My latest exorbitance

Samsung s7550

Samsung s7550

I just ordered this smartphone. I know it is not Apple. I know it does not run Android. I know its operating system is not open source. But, what can I say, I got in love with it. I think it quite interesting to add the solar panel. Not sure about how good will it work, but I think it is worth to incentive this kind of ecologic initiatives.

As soon it gets in my door I’ll post further details/reviews on it.