Phandroid » Opinion http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 19 Apr 2014 20:57:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 8 things I hate about the Samsung Galaxy S5 http://phandroid.com/2014/04/19/8-things-i-hate-about-the-samsung-galaxy-s5/ http://phandroid.com/2014/04/19/8-things-i-hate-about-the-samsung-galaxy-s5/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:36:05 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=138566 Samsung Galaxy S5 back DSC05780

WARNING: Loads of opinion ahead, leave your fanboyism at the door. If you’re looking for a honest opinion, please proceed.

With that out of the way, I just want to say I understand well that there is no such thing as the “perfect” smartphone. Like my mother used to tell me, you’ll never find the perfect woman, only the perfect woman for you. Because, Android is a wonderful mess right now, manufacturers put a lot of time and effort into offering their unique versions of Android, that simply put — aren’t for everyone. Having owned the Samsung Galaxy S5 for a full week now, I think it’s time to stop beating around the bush: this phone simply isn’t for me.

Bu don’t get me wrong, I tried to make it work, I wanted to make it work. Despite my friends and family warning me that buying the Galaxy S5 would only end in heartbreak, I went against their better judgement and purchased the phone anyway. Why? There were only 2 features on my mind: SAMOLED display, and the high-resolution ISOCELL camera. Like a great pair of…. eyes on a woman, they’re all I saw. Everything else? I figured that would work itself out. “I could always put a case over it and TouchWiz is all new,” I told myself. Boy, was I wrong. May I present to you, my list of top 8 things I hate about the Samsung Galaxy S5.

1. TouchWiz Lag

I like to think of myself as a patient man. Whether it’s kids, pets, or the ‘ol gf, it takes a lot to get under my skin. But one area I absolutely have zero patience for is in my electronics. Laptop, camera, you name it. Having owned a HTC One (M7), Nexus 5, and an LG G2 for all these months, maybe I’ve just been spoiled by snappy, lag-free performance. Who knows.

What I do know is that there is something horribly wrong with the fact that you can have a phone with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, software based on the the newest, lightest version of Android yet (KitKat), and yet still somehow serve users a piping hot plate of lag on a silver platter. It takes a special kind of “software” to mess that up.

Whether it’s waking up the phone from a sleeping state, waiting for the keyboard to popup or catch up with typing, opening the multitasking menu or applications — lag, lag, mother-effin-lag. I couldn’t handle it. I kid you not, I was having nightmares that my phone was getting laggier and laggier, only to wake up and find myself in cold sweats.

Is a .8 second lag going to kill you? Probably not. But I paid too damn much for this phone only to have to”suffer” with lackluster performance. Still don’t believe me? See this video here. I mean, what’s the point of upgrading to a faster processor, when you don’t actually reap any of the benefits? The Galaxy S5 is Lag City. Population: you.

2. Limited Internal Storage

Galaxy S5 Storage constraints

External storage is great — when there are apps that actually support. Aside from KitKat making things fun with the way apps handle external storage, finding applications other than games that can actually be moved to the SD card is rare. Sure, you can always root and move everything to the SD card, but that’s a topic for another time. You can have a 128GB UHS 1 micro SD card in the phone, but a 16GB Galaxy S5 — the only version currently offered by US carriers — sucks. There’s no way around it, and I don’t understand how this was overlooked.

3. Touchscreen Sensitivity

Galaxy S5

No, I’m not saying the Galaxy S5′s display isn’t responsive enough. The problem I’m have is that that it’s too responsive. I know, that sounds like a silly thing complain about, but when you type as quickly as I do, the phone is registering screen taps/long presses I never meant it to. In fact, I thought for a minute there I was losing my mind. Really, who would notice something like this?

I think this might have something to do with S5′s new “Air gesture” feature that allows you to interact with the display, without actually touching it. This also means the phone can register screen presses even while wearing gloves — a great feature for sure — but not when it messes with normal use. There is a reason, after all, they included an option to disable it. But even when disabled, it’s far too sensitive (note: I’ve had it disabled since day 1). A great idea, just one better left on paper.

4. Camera

Sony A7 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Woah, woah, woah. I’m not saying the Galaxy S5 camera isn’t great. It is. But my problem is it only performs well in the most ideal of situations. Taking it out on a bright Spring day, shooting some pics of the kids by the pool, it performs wonderfully. Images are razor sharp.

My issue? As soon as you lose some of that light — shooting indoors on a cloudy day, or a dimly lit restaurant, etc. — everything turns to absolute sh*t. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at my comparison photo above. One side you have a picture I snapped with my full frame camera to show you exactly how much light was actually in this scene. On the right is how well the Galaxy S5 handles in the smallest dip in light: like a muddy mess. Not good. In fact, there were many a times, my Nexus 5 performed better than the Galaxy S5. Don’t believe me? Check out this image here.

5. S Emoji

Galaxy S5 emoji

You’d think that having the system wide emoji support in KitKat would be great new feature, but not when you see what Samsung’s done with them. Say hello to the most hideous emoji’s this side of the iPhone. Like some kind of bastardized version AOL smileys meets Lisa Frank, they look horribly out of place on Samsung’s new minimal interface. What I don’t get is, why even change them? What was so wrong with Android’s stock emoji that you had to create these abominations? Not cool.

6. Chrome Bezel

Samsung Galaxy S5 water logo wm DSC05776
Like many of the items on this list, this ones more a subjective opinion. So let me just say, I abhor chrome. I don’t want it near my electronics, I don’t like it on my rims, and I sure as heck can’t stand it on my smartphone. I thought we left this behind with the original Galaxy S? Whenever I see it, it reminds me of 1950′s future and not modern smartphone design we see on devices like the HTC One M8.

Besides its looks (which I found myself wanting to sand paper away or Plasti-Dip over), the chrome rim around the side of the phone is actually raised, creating a lip around the glass. Everyone praised the Nexus 4 for including beveled edges on the sides of the display (something we also saw in the HTC Sensation back in the day). This ensured sliding the ever growing UI elements from the sides of the display was always a pleasurable experience. The Galaxy S5 is the complete opposite of that.

7. USB Flap / No Wireless Charging

DSC05798

Until USB 3.1, becomes the new standard, it’s bad enough we have to put some level of thought or concentration into getting our USB cable inserted correctly into our smartphones. If you thought that was annoying, how about not being able to access this port until you first removed a plastic flap? I get why it’s there, I do. In order to IP67 certify the Galaxy S5, some ports would need to be covered. But it doesn’t make it any more convenient.

Besides needing a healthy amount of fingernail to get the damn thing open, the real problem I have with the S Flap, is it wouldn’t even be an issue if Samsung simply included wireless charging with the device. Sure, you could always spend an extra $30 and order one direct from Samsung, but why should you have to? It’s because between the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor, Samsung had to cut those “little” features no one really cares about (sarcasm).

8. Fingerprint Scanner Home Button

Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Reader

When Apple introduced the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S, for the most part, it was done well. Offering a medium level of security, you were able to press the home button as you’d normally do, but this time it’d only take you to the homescreen if it recognized your fingerprint. Great for keeping snooping eyes out of your phone, sure it wasn’t full proof, but it was enough security for most cases.

As we all know, the Galaxy S5 uses a similar security feature, with a new fingerprint scanner found in the home button. Only problem is in their implementation, you actually have to slide your finger across the home button, not simply press it. Why is this a pain in the ass? Because this means every time you go to unlock your phone, you’ll have to use 2 hands to do it. Once again, I know it sounds crazy to complain about, but think of all the times you’re using your phone with only 1 hand available. Holding a beer, your gf’s hand, walking the dog, eating. Requiring 2 hands to simply unlock your phone is a major oversight, and one that should have never made it out of R&D.

Samsung Galaxy S5  back cover removed DSC05768

Before I leave you, I just want to remind that this is merely the opinion of a single lonely blogger (no matter how right it is). Also, there are a lot of things I like about the Galaxy S5 that many of you may find more valuable than the minor annoyances listed here. Things like the small bezels, battery life, the Super AMOLED display (along with saturation controls), camera (when shooting in daylight), super quick 2A charging, removable battery, or its weather proofing.

Those are all great things, wonderful things about the Galaxy S5. But unfortunately, things that for me couldn’t outweigh the “bad.” Come tomorrow I’ll be packing up my Samsung Galaxy S5, heading on over to my local T-Mobile, and eating their ridiculous $50 restocking fee. Here’s to the Next Big Thing.

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HTC exec defends the One M8′s infamous black bezel bar http://phandroid.com/2014/04/02/htc-defends-one-m8-black-bezel/ http://phandroid.com/2014/04/02/htc-defends-one-m8-black-bezel/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 23:14:54 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=137186 htc one m8 hands-on 14

I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that the HTC One M8 is one of the most gorgeous, borderline sexy, smartphones to date. Featuring an aluminum unibody construction, it’s clear HTC takes the design of the smartphones very seriously. Maybe that’s why for some, it was puzzling to find that — despite the One M8 adding software buttons for 2014 — the smartphone is drastically taller than last year’s model.

We’ve seen it mentioned in our comments that HTC possibly could have made the entire device smaller by simply eliminating the infamous “black bezel bar” found towards the bottom of the display. It’s a criticism that seems to have made it’s way back to Jeff Gordon, HTC’s global communications manager.

In a public tweet from his Twitter profile, Gordon addresses comments that HTC could have simply removed the black bezel, making the overall height of the device smaller by saying:

HTC One 2014 vs 2013 comparison video

Okay, so we get it. There’s actually stuff behind the black bezel. And while we wont argue with Gordon that the phone — which has not doubt seen countless revisions by engineers and designers — couldn’t possibly have been made any smaller, is it also possible the display could have been stretched out to “cover” the area where the bezel lays? Gordon claims that by stretching the display, it would have screwed up phone’s aspect ratio. This is true.

But perhaps the real problem lays in the HTC opting for software buttons on the M8 (which we admit, are just following Android’s design guidelines). It seems that, in trying to address complaints about the original One M8′s odd 2-button layout, HTC plugged up one hole in their dyke, only to find a new one spring forth.

For some, you simply don’t get the hoopla being made over bezel-gate 2014. And that’s fine. For others, we’ve reached a point in mobile tech that all we have left is to nitpick over the fine details. What may not be a deal breaker for some, will drive someone else to the point of madness. One thing is certain — there is no perfect smartphone. When it comes to the HTC One M8, no one is saying it’s not a great smartphone. In fact, it’s possibly the best phone to date. But at least HTC knows what they need to improve for next year’s model.

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Will HTC unveil an Android Wear powered Smartwatch along with the HTC One 2014 in NYC? [Opinion] http://phandroid.com/2014/03/24/htc-android-wear-smartwatch-one-m8-nyc/ http://phandroid.com/2014/03/24/htc-android-wear-smartwatch-one-m8-nyc/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 01:05:51 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=136344 HTC_NYC

Tomorrow at 11am in New York City, HTC plans on unveiling their next flagship phone, the all new HTC One (M8), the successor to last year’s One. The new 2014 edition of the HTC One has big shoes to fill, seeing as the original HTC One was able to snag the smartphone of the year title at the Global Mobile Awards. The build quality and user experience of the HTC One was able to capture awards, but HTC has still produced profits below expectations. The Taiwanese smartphone maker has a lot riding on tomorrow’s event as they struggles to escape from Samsung’s marketing muscle.

Last month, HTC’s rival Samsung announced the Galaxy S5 along with new wearables: the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit. While the new line of Gear devices seems to be more appealing than the original Galaxy Gear that launched last fall, Samsung’s new smartwatches have already been overshadowed themselves thanks to Google’s recent Android Wear announcements.

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This is where HTC has a chance to stick to Samsung once and for all.

Back in October, HTC’s Peter Chou mentioned the company’s view on wearables. He indicated that the wearable market was important and that HTC would want to get it right the first time. He said they weren’t interested in coming out with a weak entry device (like the Galaxy Gear), but instead wanted their first foray into the new product category to be something special and useful for everyone. Additionally, last month HTC’s Cher Wang mentioned the company would be getting to wearables before the end of the year.

If you didn’t notice, HTC is part of the Android Wear ecosystem, listed as a hardware partner on the official Android Wear website. Chances are, that membership means sometime in the future, HTC will produce a wearable device powered by Android Wear.

Entering into the wearable tech market with an Android Wear powered device would be an intelligent business move for HTC. They would be absorbing some of the current hype surrounding the Moto 360, the LG G Watch, and cool tools developers are making. More importantly for consumers, HTC could announced and sell the two devices together as a bundle.

Will HTC unveil a smartwatch, smartband, or another wearable tomorrow in New York City? Your guess is as good as ours. One thing’s for sure, we know the HTC One 2014 (M8) is coming tomorrow morning (or tonight, oops). Anything else will be a welcomed addition. Our own Rob Jackson will be onsite for the event and we’ll let you know when we know more.

HTC_One_M8

 

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LG G Flex review [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/03/08/lg-g-flex-review/ http://phandroid.com/2014/03/08/lg-g-flex-review/#comments Sat, 08 Mar 2014 21:17:01 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=135331 lg-g-flex-2

LG was one of the first manufacturers to release a device with a flexible display, followed by years of rumors of such screens coming to the market. Is there a market for such novelty? Would it be of any help? The LG G Flex is here to prove itself, and we have been putting it to the test for you.

The LG G Flex is one of the first of its kind, meaning it will not be perfect. But it seems like it doesn’t need to be. In a world where specs, awesome displays and amazing performance is very usual in a smartphone, people get more excited by devices that “stand out”.

At MWC, LG had the LG G Pro 2, for example. This happens to be pretty much the most powerful and awesome smartphone out there, but most people gave the G Flex much more attention. Other reporters said it was “much more unique and innovative.”

Yes, the LG G Flex is different. It is innovative. And dare I say, it’s pretty darn cool – but is it worth your money? Is it better to go with another smartphone at this point? Stick around for our full review to find out!

LG G Flex specs

lg-g-flex-side

  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 6.0-inch 1280x720p POLED curved display
  • 2.26 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of internal storage
  • 13 MP / 2.1 MP cameras
  • 3,500 mAh battery (3,400 for T-Mobile)

Display

Ok, so let’s cut through the chase. How is that flexible display working out for me? Well… it’s not the best, to say the least. Not only is the 6-inch screen pushed back by its 720p resolution (which is a big deal on such a large display), but it is also affected by other issues.

Display problems

We have heard of bumpy displays caused by the device’s flexibility, for example. I haven’t been able to notice anything like this on my test device, but I have noticed other problems. There is an obvious ghosting issue, for example.

This display is ALWAYS ghosting. Ghosting, for those who don’t know, is also known as screen burn-in. It’s when you can see previous images displayed on the phone, even after your current image has changed.

lg-g-flex-6

For some reason this display burns in very quickly. Most times, all it takes is to pull down the notification area to see the time, Google Search bar and other elements stay around. These disappear after a few seconds, but it’s annoying, nonetheless.

I have also found the LG G Flex’s display to be inferior for daylight viewing. I am not sure if it’s because of the nature of the flexible display, or what, but there is this weird glow/reflection this screen gets when hit by direct sunlight. This is something I have never seen before. It’s like a golden brown reflection.

Display advantages

Aside from those issues, and when indoors, though, the screen is ok. Colors are nicely saturated and the blacks are really black, like one would exprect from an OLED display.

In short: the display is not the LG G Flex’s strength. Even if it’s curved design is very unique and innovative.

Design and build quality

I know I was a bit harsh on the display, but that doesn’t mean the phone is horrible. In fact, it’s a pretty darn good device – and design/build quality is where it will stand out the most. This phone is unique and will turn many heads!

lg-g-flex-4Not only is it one hell of a big smartphone, it is a completely different smartphone. People see it and scratch their heads, not knowing if what you are holding is even real. Everything about the phone is just off! Curved display? 6-inch screen? Buttons in the back?!

If what you want is a uniquely-designed device, there is nothing more original than the LG G Flex. It will be different from anything else out there, and I must say it is good-looking! In fact, I believe people will mind its size more than they will mind it’s curved design and back buttons.

In a nutshell, it looks much like a bent and stretched LG G2. It’s not exactly built like one too, though. The LG G Flex does feel more plasticky and not as solidly-built as the G2. But the LG G Flex is much more resistant, which you will love if you are hard on your smartphone.

Flexible, self-healing and durable

LG built this phone to be one of the most resistant out there. IT is no IP-67 certified device, but it can handle its own when taking life’s hits. To start off, the device is flexible to a certain extent.

We wouldn’t recommend intentionally putting it to the test, but you can place it face down and push the phone to a completely flat state. The device will go back to its curved state as soon as you let go and it will work as expected. This would be great for those who usually sit on their phones, for example.

lg-g-flex-5

On the back of the phone is another hidden aesthetic treasure. This phone will never suffer from scratches on its back! The device’s back cover is made of a self-healing material that can literally regenerate when scratched. It’s some Terminator stuff, right there!

Now don’t go stabbing the phone either. This material can usually handle superficial scratches, not very deep ones. I have tested it with key and coin scratches, and works great. After all, these scratches are usually what really affect a phone’s look, anyways.

Performance and software

Now, you will not be disappointed in this area. If what you are looking for is a fast, well-performing phone, you can’t go wrong with the LG G Flex. Sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2 GB of RAM and LG UI, this phone is up there with the LG G2.

Though the specs are very similar and the G Flex’s resolution is lower, I do see lower performance compared to the G2. Not sure what may be causing this, but the LG G Flex is one powerful and fast phone, anyways.

lg-g-flex-1

It can handle any app or game you throw at it, and I never saw it lag or stutter.

LG is doing great at bringing all its awesome features to all their devices. In these terms, the LG G Flex is getting the whole LG treatment. We have Kock On, soon it will get Knock Code, there’s the infrared antenna with Quick Mote, QSlide, QuickMemo, Wireless Storage, NFC and more.

This phone doesn’t ask anything from any of the big guys. It is full-featured and will keep you happy if you like LG’s user interface. Now this is a matter of preference. You can see more about the UI in the LG G2 review, which pretty much sports the same software.

Camera performance

This phone’s camera is pretty good, but it is not really up to bar with the best smartphone cameras out there. Its 13 MP sensor makes for pretty large images and fair quality.

Low-light performance is also pretty average. The camera can take images in the dark pretty well, but they will come out pretty grainy and without great color accuracy. This is what you can expect with low ISO shots in smartphone cameras, though. Images also come out a bit blurry when indoor, though. Unless the lights are very bright.

In daylight, the camera works very well – that’s where the camera shines. Colors are bright and images are crisp. I actually love the camera in this phone for daylight photos.

On the other hand, this is not your phone if you want a selfie machine. The front facing camera is simply not the best. Images come out blurry 1 out of 3 times and the resolution is not great. It does have a 2.1 MP front-facing camera, but I have seen lower-megapixel cameras perform better.

By the way, it does record UHD video! (3840x2160p). Enough talking, though. Let the images and test video speak for themselves.

CAM00011 CAM00012 CAM00013 CAM00015

Battery Life

The LG G2 set a standard when it comes to battery life. LG’s premium device could go for over 2 days on light usage and over a day of average-to-heavy usage. This type of battery life performance is something we have come to expect from LG, and with the G Flex they have done it again.

Like with the LG G2, it is nearly impossible to make this phone die in under 24 hours. With normal usage, I could not get this phone to die in under 30 hours! Yes, even when using the phone for a movie, some gaming and other hardware-intensive activities.

Screenshot_2014-02-02-09-42-35 Screenshot_2014-02-05-23-40-30 Screenshot_2014-02-05-23-40-41 Screenshot_2014-02-09-19-04-14

Long story short, you will be pleased with this phone’s battery life. It is among the best out there, in terms of battery life. Its 3,500 mAh battery really do it justice (3,400 mAh for the T-Mobile version).

Should you buy the LG G Flex?

The LG G Flex is one hell of a device. It is unique, powerful, good-looking (subjective topic) and has stunning battery life. But is it worth your hard-earned cash?

lg-g-flex-7

One thing we must consider is that this phone is priced parallel to top-of-the-line smartphones. It costs $600-$695 off-contract from US carriers, and $250-$300 on-contract. IT is far from being affordable. In fact, it just may be one of the most expensive smartphones out there.

Though I like the LG G Flex, I believe you can get better options at said price point. Ones that offer all the advantaged of the LG G Flex, without all its shortcomings (display being the biggest of them).

Some of you may love the LG’s design and unique features, though. If you highly value battery life and design, you could be very happy with the LG G Flex.

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Hands-on: Huawei MediaPad X1 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/03/02/hands-on-huawei-mediapad-x1/ http://phandroid.com/2014/03/02/hands-on-huawei-mediapad-x1/#comments Sun, 02 Mar 2014 23:30:27 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134946 huawei-mediapad-x1-2

If you were not convinced by the MediaPad M1, you might want to check out the Huawei MediaPad X1. This is the manufacturer’s new higher-end tablet. It is still not a beast, but we were actually quite impressed by it when we checked it out at Mobile World Congress!

Huawei MediaPad X1 specs

  • Android 4.2.2
  • 7-inch 1920x1200p IPS display
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • 13 MP / 5 MP cameras
  • 5000 mAh battery

The tablet is pretty well-built, made mostly of aluminum. It feels much more solid than any other Huawei device I have ever felt. It also performs better than the MediaPad M1 for some reason, even though it seems to have the same processor.

huawei-mediapad-x1-4 huawei-mediapad-x1-3 huawei-mediapad-x1-2 huawei-mediapad-x1-1

What’s interesting is that this is not just a tablet. It actually doubles as a smartphone… one big smartphone! This is why it’s the first device to be compatible with the Huawei TalkBand B1. The fitness watch doubles as a bluetooth headset, allowing users to leave the tablet in the pocket or bag. No need to put that big tablet up to your face!

Check out our hands on video and let us know what you think of this tablet! I actually kinda like it!

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Hands-on: Huawei MediaPad M1 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/03/02/hands-on-huawei-mediapad-m1/ http://phandroid.com/2014/03/02/hands-on-huawei-mediapad-m1/#comments Sun, 02 Mar 2014 22:58:10 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134944 huawei-mediapad-m1-1

MWC was full of unique smartphones and tablets, but the Huawei MediaPad M1 looked very familiar to us. This tablet impressed us, and we are not sure if it’s for good reasons. It looks just like a bigger HTC One!

This makes it a good-looking tablet from the get-go, but the specs and quality still don’t match HTC’s. After all, this does happen to be a mid range tablet that will come with a good price.

Huawei MediaPad M1 specs

  • Android 4.2.2
  • 8-inch 1280x800p IPS display
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8 GB of internal storage
  • 5 MP / 1 MP cameras
  • 4800 mAh battery

The device does feel good. The back seems like aluminum and there are no loose or jiggly parts. The device is not too fast, though. Animations and performance were a bit sluggish. The screen does look good in terms of colors and brightness, but the 1280×800 resolution makes things a bit fuzzy.

huawei-mediapad-m1-4 huawei-mediapad-m1-3 huawei-mediapad-m1-2 huawei-mediapad-m1-1

Huawei MediaPad M1 price and availability

Given its specs and performance, you probably know the Huawei MediaPad M1 will not be an expensive tablet. It is set to be released at 299 Euros when it’s released before the Spring.

That’s not expensive at all, but there happen to be great options for tablets at that price range. The Nexus 7 is the obvious example of a tablet that would cost less and give you more bang for your buck.

Those who like the look of it might enjoy it, though.

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Women in tech: created equal, but not treated equal [OPINION] http://phandroid.com/2014/03/01/women-in-tech-created-equal-but-not-treated-equal-opinion/ http://phandroid.com/2014/03/01/women-in-tech-created-equal-but-not-treated-equal-opinion/#comments Sat, 01 Mar 2014 22:03:31 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134919 A Yahoo stock-holder invested his time at the annual stock holder meeting to address the company’s CEO (and former Google Executive) Marissa Mayer, with the following words: “I’m Greek and I’m a dirty old man and you look attractive, Marissa.”

I got that awkward sense of onlooker embarrassment when watching, followed by a general disdain for humanity when hearing the crowd collectively laugh. Watch it for yourself:

This is a polarizing topic: it’s all about context and opinions will vary. There will be feminists who watch this with complete disgust. There will be the macho types that tell you to lighten up, take a joke, and grow a pair. The reality is probably somewhere in between, but I think we ought to take a closer look at reality.

Business is more difficult for women than it is for men. Not because men are smarter, or tougher, or better at negotiating, but because the business world treats women differently. And by differently, I mean unfairly.

It was great to see a woman – Mary Barra – become the first female CEO of General Motors this year. Some found it especially wonderful given the male-centric nature of the auto-industry. But for those that didn’t read the fine print: Barra was only offered half of her male predecessors salary.

Let’s not pretend this is a qualifications issue either: “[Barra] has worked at GM for 33 years and has experience with positions in manufacturing, engineering and senior management. She began her GM career a co-op student in the Pontiac Motor Division in 1980 and gradually worked her way up the corporate ladder.

Of course there are two sides to every story, but the story itself is all too common. You can find this story repeating itself throughout the business world every day, in every corner of the country. Less than 5% of Fortune 1000 companies have female CEOs (as of Jan. 2013). President Obama addressed this divide in his 2014 State of the Union, noting just how unfair the male/female wage divide remains on an aggregate level:

michelle-and-barack-obamaToday, women make up about half our workforce.  But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.  That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work.  She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job.

Don’t even get me started on the maternity thing, with CEOs like AOL’s Tim Armstrong using mothers and their “distressed babies” as scapegoats to cut employee benefits.

There is plenty of blame to go around… and bloggers, including myself, aren’t exempt from the scrutiny. At events like CES, female sexuality is used as a prop to sell tech products to a mostly male audience – you may know them as booth babes – and by extension people associate and generalize this participation as an applied gender role- to be the attractive women holding our gadgets.

Nevermind (for the moment) how it may alienate some really smart female tech bloggers. Let’s just suppose these female product representatives are all tastefully dressed. Call it smart marketing if you want: knowing your target audience and using tools at your disposal to attract their attention.

Fine. That boat floats and I’ll jump in. Heck, I admit, I even shamelessly jump into sinking boats at times. But there is no fine line here.

Marissa Mayer is not a “booth babe” and in no alternate reality is this acceptable.

You can blame it away on one crazy dude, who in turn blames it away on his nationality and perversion, but there is more to it. This isn’t an isolated incident. There are business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs across the world who think this very same way. Some are more vocal than others, but it’s the reason for Barra’s salary, Obama’s statements, and Cook’s accusations. It’s the reason men dominate executive positions and the reason women make less than men across the board.

The comment wasn’t funny. To laugh at the comment is even less funny. There are circumstances under which it may have been funny… and you can arrive at those circumstances by pretty much inverting every detail.

That’s only half of the closer look at reality: the other is of the “half full” variety. So I leave you with a quick list of some amazingly successful women in mobile tech who are accomplishing great things, hopefully to serve as a reminder: women aren’t subordinates in tech or equals in tech. Women aren’t superiors in tech either. Women are individuals, so treat each one with the respect they’ve earned.

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(Image Credit: Forbes)

For the record: Marissa Mayer was the 1st female engineer at Google and 20th employee overall. Since 1999 Mayer held positions ranging from engineer and designer to product manager and executive, playing a pivotal role in some of Google’s key properties. Now the CEO of Yahoo, Mayer is reigning over a period of strong stock growth.

For bios and more information on the above women, along with other powerful women in business, check out Forbe’s Top 100 list.

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Hands-on: Huawei Ascend G6 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/02/27/hands-on-huawei-ascend-g6/ http://phandroid.com/2014/02/27/hands-on-huawei-ascend-g6/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 14:16:11 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134857 huawei-ascend-g6-2

Huawei is very well known for their mid-end devices, especially in the US, where they don’t bring their higher-end smartphones. The manufacturer always brings a strong portfolio to Mobile World Congress.

One of the main contenders from Huawei at MWC 2014 is the Ascend G6, an affordable smartphone with some cool features. It just might be the device for you if you are looking for good selfies and an affordable price tag!

Huawei Ascend G6 specs

  • Android 4.3
  • 4.5-inch 960x540p IPS LCD display
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4 GB, with microSD card slot
  • 8 MP / 5 MP cameras
  • 2,000 mAh battery

Huawei Ascend G6 performance

Of course, the device has its hiccups and issues, but for an affordable price it’s also not bad at all! This has a Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM and Jelly Bean. It’s not a high-end smartphone and shouldn’t perform like one. Will it get the job done, though?

The Huawei Ascend G6 is definitely a worthy device for those looking to get an affordable smartphone. The specs are similar to the Moto G, which performs pretty well and fulfills a casual user’s needs. Furthermore, the G6 should perform better due to its lower resolution display.

To us it felt much like Motorola’s budget phone, but this little guy packs a little something that we know many of you will enjoy.

Huawei Ascend G6 is a selfie machine!

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Isn’t it annoying to have to turn your phone around every time you want to take a selfie? Aiming and trying to frame the picture multiple times is definitely no fun. This is usually due to the lackluster quality in front-facing cameras.

Huawei aims to get rid of this problem by adding a 5 MP camera in the front of the device. The rear camera is still better with an 8 MP sensor, but 5 MP is pretty outstanding for today’s front-facing camera standards.

We have always believed that this would be a very successful trend. People love their selfies and there is no reasy a front-facing camera can’t be as good as a rear one! Wouldn’t you agree?

Price and availability

The device should be available for 200 Euros before the Spring. We say you should give it a look if you are looking for a budget phone that takes great selfies!

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Hands-on: Impala app offers true smart photography [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/02/27/hands-on-impala-app-smart-photography/ http://phandroid.com/2014/02/27/hands-on-impala-app-smart-photography/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:40:02 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134848 impala-app-4

Conventions like MWC are massive technology overloads. It’s easy to miss smaller things when you have devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 being announced, but we have found an app that is quite the hidden treasure.

The Impala app for Android was invited to MWC by Qualcomm, where they took over a small section of the booth. The app is not finalized because Qualcomm only gave them 2 months, but it’s impressive how far the developers have gotten. And after a few minutes I realized why Qualcomm wanted them there.

What does Impala do?

To put it in a simple way, Impala turns your phone into a smart camera/organizer. This software analyzes the image when you are taking a photo and optimizes your camera settings to make the photo better.

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For example, the app knows when you are shooting food, so it optimizes the camera settings to make your food look better. Likewise, the app can optimize photos of people. There is more than that, though. It actually gets a little interesting.

This app can be programmed to pixelate hands, for example. Or maybe people don’t want pictures of faces, skin or anything else. As we can see in the video and image below, this device was programmed to pixelate hands.

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Impala’s organizational features

This software is doesn’t only take advantage of photo taking. It has post-photo features many of you will enjoy. Impala analyzes all your images and organizes them in categories for you. It worked amazingly in the demo.

How well does it work?

I have to say I was impressed by the performance of this app. They had images of cars, people, mountains, and many other categories in the gallery. Not a single image was in the wrong category, which is impressive. Categorization works like a charm!

As for the settings, it looks amazing, but I will have to wait a bit before I set my opinion in stone. It’s something I would have to try more in depth to judge. I happen to love photography, so I am often a bit cautious with automatic settings.

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Release date

Thankfully, I won’t have to wait long before this app is released! Impala representative told us the app was going to be released in about 2 weeks.

Can’t wait to check it out!

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Hands-on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/02/26/hands-on-lenovo-yoga-tablet-10-hd/ http://phandroid.com/2014/02/26/hands-on-lenovo-yoga-tablet-10-hd/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 17:46:40 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134804 lenovo-yoga-tablet-10-1

Lenovo has been taking an interesting approach to mobile computing. Its new Lenovo Yoga line of devices have taken traditional form factors and evolved them into computers that can take on multiple form-factors and functionalities.

The new Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ is not an exception. Of course, it doesn’t have a keyboard, so nothing folds back. Instead, this device has a metal flap that swivels out and can be used as a kickstand. If you have seen the Lenovo Yoga 8, you will be very familiar to the design.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ specs

  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • 10.1-inch 1920x1200p IPS LCD display
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of internal storage (with microSD slot)
  • 9,000 mAh battery

Where the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 shines and lacks

Right off the bat you can tell this Android tablet is not your top-of-the-line gadget. It sports a very modest Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, which automatically makes it a mid-end device.

It does come with a very neat 1920x1200p display, though. Watching images, video and web browsing is a very pleasant experience. And the device isn’t necessarily slow either.

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All specs aside, though, where the tablet shines is in its form-factor. The kickstand is very neat! Especially for a 10.1 inch tablet, which more often needs to be used in a dock. I was also very surprised by the build quality in this bad boy.

The tablet feels very light, but solid. It is thin and well-built, mostly made of aluminum. This bad boy feels strong!

Actually, Chris Chavez accidentally scratched the table with it and the plastic from the table peeled off a bit. The tablet stayed flawless. No scratches or dents.

I also happen to like the wedge design Lenovo has adopted in these Yoga tablets. The side of the tablet allows you to easily grip the tablet without fear of dropping it. Feeling safe about holding your device is important. Especially for aluminum devices, which tend to be rather slippery.

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Price and availability

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ will cost $340 US dollars. Its release date is not yet announced, but we should see this bad boy hitting store shelves soon enough.

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Hands-on: Huawei TalkBand B1 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/02/26/hands-on-huawei-talkband-b1/ http://phandroid.com/2014/02/26/hands-on-huawei-talkband-b1/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:53:03 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134795 huawei-talkband-1

This year’s tech conventions have been all about wearable smart devices. From glasses to smartwatches and rings, these accessories are meant to be with us at all time while they bring us improved functionality. Huawei is the latest to join the game with the TalkBand B1 – but what is it that makes it special?

What does the Huawei TalkBand B1 do?

The B1 is a bit of an odd device. In essence, it is a basic fitness watch that serves as a bluetooth headset and looks like a Samsung Gear Fit.

The black part that carries the screen can be taken out of the band, pretty much turning it into a bluetooth headset. When wearing it, the B1 also keeps track of your steps, the hours you have slept and the calories you have burnt.

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Compatibility

Sadly, this device is only compatible with one smartphone/tablet right now – the Huawei MediaPad X1. It makes a bit of sense, considering the MediaPad X1 is pretty much an over-sized phone.

It would be ridiculous to put that 7-inch device up to your face every time you make a call, right? The TalkBand B1 makes for the perfect MediaPad X1 companion, allowing you to make calls without even taking out your device.

At the same time, we hope Huawei doesn’t plan to keep this wearable compatible with only one device. It would be a huge mistake to limit it to Huawei devices, even. If they want it to be at least somewhat successful, they need to open it up to everyone.

Price & availability

The Huawei TalkBand B1 will cost 99 Euros once it’s released. We have no confirmed release date yet, but it should be before the spring.

First reaction

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I was actually left pretty impressed with the Huawei TalkBand B1. The device is very simple, yet helpful – I like it. It’s also a great way to always have your bluetooth device with you. Huawei is not overloading its smart watch with gimmicky features or complicated systems. This makes it a very intuitive wearable.

I do feel like Huawei could have changed a few things for the better (and might in time for its release). For example, I didn’t like the rubber material the band is made of. As you can see from our pictures, the band gets dirty exceptionally quick after being handled. Imagine dirt mixed with sweat and oils, and you have yourself once nasty looking band.

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It does have an estimated battery life of 7 hours (2 weeks in standby), which is not bad at all. This little guy will stay alive for a long time before you run out of juice.

I also am pretty upset to see it only being compatible with one device for now. This is something that will probably change in the future, and hopefully it will come to non-Huawei smartphones as well.

They will have to open it up to other users if they want the B1 to be successful. I know I am not buying a Huawei device anytime soon. And I am sure not many of you own one – it is not exactly the most popular of brands.

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Hands-on: ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE http://phandroid.com/2014/02/25/hands-on-zte-grand-memo-2-lte/ http://phandroid.com/2014/02/25/hands-on-zte-grand-memo-2-lte/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 18:07:45 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134696 zte-grand-memo-2-1-wm

In the midst of all the big guys announcing ground-breaking devices, ZTE has always differentiated itself by offering affordable, yet fun devices. We are at MWC and the Chinese manufacturer has a not-so-little something to show us – the ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE.

ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE specs

  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 6-inch 720p IPS display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage (with microSD slot)
  • 3200 mAh battery
  • 4G LTE

To summarize, the ZTE Grand Memo 2 is pretty much a mid-end, super large phone. This is a bit interesting, because we have been accustomed to see big phones as high-end devices. This trend is starting to change as people show more interest in large screens, though.

Think of a larger Galaxy Note with mid-end specs. That is pretty much what the ZTE Grand Memo 2 is… which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad! It will probably be an affordable smartphone that some of you will be able to take advantage of.

zte-grand-memo-2-2-wm

The device is not super fast, but it also wasn’t stuttering all the time. It was smooth, but constantly slow. It feels a lot like a Moto G in terms of performance, which is not bad either.

Many of you enjoy large screens but don’t need to play hard core games or don’t want to pay the premium price of the top-of-the-line phablets. For those pocket-conscious and casual users, the ZTE Grand Memo 2 might be a great option! Especially considering it does come with 4G LTE compatibility.

Price is still not put in stone, but we assume this big guy needs to come with a good price to sell well. Those interested in buying the device will be able to do so starting April, when it will be launched in Asia. Europe and North America will follow soon afterwards. Take a look at the video and let us know what you think!

Oh… and here you go, guys! ;)

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Hands-on: LG L65, L70, L80, L90 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/02/25/hands-on-lg-l65-l70-l80-l90-video/ http://phandroid.com/2014/02/25/hands-on-lg-l65-l70-l80-l90-video/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:20:25 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134686 lg-l-series-2

The LG L Series represents the Korean manufacturer’s mid-end devices. Much like the F Series, LG’s L Series brings good value and affordable smartphones to the market. These mid-end smartphones usually come in many configurations, so I thought I would share with you what this year’s additions are like!

In this post we will take a look at the L65, L70, L80 and L90. These vary in sizes and specs, but the overall feeling is that of affordable smartphones. Build quality could be improved, specs are not high-end and the devices are not the fastest, but they will be among the most affordable.

LG’s L Series smartphones usually do well in developing countries and pocket-conscious users. After all, many users don’t need a super powerful phone – why spend the money on one? Here is a quick look at all the devices.

I am a huge fan of LG’s G Series and own an LG G2. This makes me very spoiled and I easily notice these devices’ downsides. I would also not doubt to recommend them to some people if priced right, though.

This means that these devices could accomplish what LG wanted them to accomplish. There is a huge market for affordable devices, and devices continue to get better and better. LG’s lower-end devices are no exception.

Price and availability are still unconfirmed, but we will keep you updated as soon as wel learn more!

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Hands-on: LG F70 and F90 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/02/25/hands-on-lg-f70-and-f90-video/ http://phandroid.com/2014/02/25/hands-on-lg-f70-and-f90-video/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:35:50 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134675 lg-f-series-4

LG has a very strong foothold in the affordable smartphone market. In fact, that was what they were first doing when they first jumped into the Android bandwagon – mostly making affordable handsets.

The Korean manufacturer is making some rather impressive devices lately. The LG G Pro 2 and the LG G2 are testament to that. Not all of us want a super high-end, powerful smartphone, though. Some people want a casual experience for an affordable price, and the LG F Series does very well at delivering that.

These two new devices bring modest specs for an affordable price. We are not sure what the price and release date are, but that is really what will determine if this device is worthy our cash or not. These are not bad phones for the casual user, though, as long as the price is right.

They do feel plasticky and are not as fast or smooth as the premium LG devices, but they work well in most tasks. They handle your email, browsing, social networking and a bit of casual gaming pretty well. Don’t try to get too heavy on them, though, because they will start stuttering.

These do offer 4G LTE, though, which is pretty neat for an affordable smartphone!

LG F70 specs

  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 4.5-inch 400x800p IPS display
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 5 MP / VGA cameras
  • 4 GB of internal storage (plus microSD slot)
  • 4G LTE-compatible
  • 2440 mAh battery

LG F90 specs

  • Android 4.4 KitKAt
  • 4.7-inch 540x960p IPS display
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 8 MP / VGA cameras
  • 4 GB of internal storage (plus microSD slot)
  • 4G LTE-compatible
  • 3000 mAh battery
lg-f-series-6 lg-f-series-2 lg-f-series-3 lg-f-series-4 lg-f-series-5 lg-f-series-7

As you can see, these are not the best of the best. And they definitely don’t perform like they are, either! You will get a fair smartphone for a good price, though. I love that these also come with 4G LTE, which other affordable devices, like the Moto G, don’t feature.

In addition, battery life is expected to be awesome in these devices. Especially with the LG F90, which sports a hefty 3,000 mAh battery. That is up there with the Galaxy Note 3 and the LG G2! And with the lower specs, this little guys should last you well over a day.

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Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy S5 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/02/24/hands-on-samsung-galaxy-s5/ http://phandroid.com/2014/02/24/hands-on-samsung-galaxy-s5/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 01:40:24 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=134611 samsung-galaxy-s5-2

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was hands-down the most anticipated device at Mobile World Congress 2014. The Galaxy S series brings the most popular Android smartphone every single year, so a device of this magnitude simply cannot go unnoticed.

We are here in Barcelona and we got some sweet hands-on time with the next device of the year – the Samsung Galaxy S5. Does it disappoint? Is it all we expected it to be? Let’s check it out and see!

Is the Samsung Galaxy S5 a winner?

Samsung’s 2014 flagship device will definitely not win the specs war this time. At least not on paper, but this does not mean the Samsung Galaxy S5 is not a powerhouse.

Samsung Galaxy S5 specs

  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 2.5GHz quad-core processor
  • 5.1-inch 1080p HD Super AMOLED display
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16 megapixel rear camera with 4K video recording
  • 2 megapixel front camera
  • 16GB / 32GB of internal storage (microSD up to 128GB)
  • 2,800mAh battery
  • Though the specs can be matched and surpassed by multiple current and upcoming smartphones, Samsung has a plan in mind. The Samsung Galaxy S5 will give you the performance you need, paired with great new features many of you will take advantage of.

    It’s all about the “glam”

    DSC_5619

    Samsung made it very clear that this year’s devices had a huge focus in aesthetics. With it’s new dotted design multiple colors (as well as designer and special editions), the device is meant to look good as well as working like a champ.

    But it’s also a strong phone!

    Furthermore, it’s not just meant to be a good-looking smartphone – it is also a very strong one! The device has a rating of IP-67, making it both water and dust-resistant. This is a big step for Samsung, who’s devices are not known for being the strongest.

    samsung-galaxy-s5-5

    Crazy Galaxy S5 sensors!

    Another big focus at Unpacked 5 was the health topic. This device can actually read your heart beat. There is a heart beat sensor located on the back of the device, right below the camera.

    Another sensor that makes the device very interesting is the fingerprint reader. This puts the Galaxy S5 right against Apple (once again). You can use this fingerprint reader to protect your device and information, as well as making PayPal payments.

    I must say fingerprint reader integration into mobile payments is quite awesome. It is a quick and simple way to authenticate yourself. Passwords are complicated and easy to forget. We are moving into a password-less future and fingerprint readers could be the first step in that direction.

    Conclusion

    Of course, whether a phone is good or not always comes to personal preferences. I happen to prefer other devices in the market, but I must say the Galaxy S5 is not a bad smartphone at all.

    It’s specs may be lower than anticipated, but it didn’t hiccup once during our tests. The UI is much cleaner and the new features can prove to be very helpful to many of you.

    The colorful designs are also fun and the rubberized. The display is also a champ, measuring 5.1 inches diagonally and featuring 1080p resolution, along with the amazing colors we have grown to love from Super AMOLED displays.

    samsung-galaxy-s5-3

    It’s camera performs like a champ, as well. Live HDR and 4K video recording are only a couple of the features it has. As camera enthusiasts, we can’t complain about this phone’s photo/video performance.

    We will have to keep our mind open until we get to test it in more depth, but for now we say the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a winner!

    For more details, you can always take a look at our Samsung Galaxy S5 announcement post or our Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy S4 comparison.

    What do you guys say – is this your next smartphone?

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