Legacies aren’t built overnight. It takes time, effort and the ability to take a step back to really see what’s working or what isn’t. You can see this in all great legacies in life.
In the smartphone world, however, few demonstrate this better than Samsung’s Galaxy S line. We take a look at what Samsung has done over the past 7 years to build this incredible legacy for themselves.
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When it comes to latest Android OS updates, some manufacturers would often give its older flagship device a pass. If you’re using a Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note II, Samsung appears not to be giving up on you.
According to a source, Samsung is working on an Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade beyond its current Samsung Galaxy S4 model. The roll out of KitKat for Galaxy S III and Note II is expected to happen later in Q1 this year which is sometime in March. As expected, the new update offers software improvements and probably its latest UI interface which was leaked earlier on. Currently Samsung has started rolling out its KitKat upgrade for the Galaxy Note 3 Exynos version which isn’t available here.
The current Android 4.4 KitKat is designed to work with older devices (as low as 512MB of RAM) in an attempt to close the fragmentation gap among Android smart phones. If it can work with a downgraded Nexus 4 with dual-core processor and only 512MB RAM on-board, there’s little reason why manufacturers are not sharing the KitKat goodness around.
When the Galaxy Gear smart watch was revealed, it was only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition. Now Samsung has finally announced that more Galaxy models such as the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III will soon be able to pair with their smart watch.
This is made possible through a Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update which is expected to be rolled out to Galaxy S4 users in October while Galaxy S III and Note II users will start receiving it in December. Just recently, HTC has started rolling out Android 4.3 update for HTC One internationally as well.
The Galaxy Gear is currently priced at RM999 in Malaysia and it is given out free to eligible customers who purchase a Note 3 on contract with Maxis, Celcom and DiGi. We still think that the Galaxy Gear would have gotten more traction if they open up to more devices such as Pebble Smart Watch which is compatible with both iOS and Android platform. Even Sony’s own smart watch is at least compatible with most Android devices.
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If you’ve been aching to get your hands on Facebook Home, the controversial Facebook-centric launcher that was first made available on HTC First, you’ll be happy to note that the application is now available for selected devices.
Users of the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note II, the HTC One X and the One X+ can now experience Facebook Home via an app download — search for Facebook Home in Google Play.
If you’re on the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, just update your Facebook app to get Facebook Home.
Officially, Facebook claims Home has achieved over 1 million installations but the launcher is also the most poorly ranked application released by Facebook with an average of just 2 stars from over 16,000 people who’ve rated the application.
It looks like Facebook Home is a case of “much ado about nothing”.
Get Facebook Home here.
If you talk a lot with an appetite for 1GB of mobile internet on the go, Maxis is now offering a special offer for the Samsung Galaxy S III and the iPhone 4 8GB model. With Maxis TalkMore 48 and bolt-on 1GB of mobile internet, the Galaxy S III can be yours for just RM799 with 12 months contract. Alternatively, you can get the iPhone 4 for free with 24 months contract. The TalkMore 48 offers 400 minutes of calls and 200 SMS for RM48/month, while the monthly 1GB mobile internet subscription is offered at RM48/month as well. This calculates to a total of RM96/month.
As usual, there’s a advance payment of RM1,000 required during registration which they will refund back to your account across 5 months. If you’re an active Maxis subscriber for at least a year, the upfront payment will be waived.
For more information, head over to Maxis Promo page.
Immediately after the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S 4, Maxis is seen to have reflected a new pricing for its former flagship device. The 4.8″ Galaxy S III is now priced at RM1,699 outright and it is offered as low as RM1,099 on its SurfMore 75 plan with 24 months contract.
If you’re not eyeing for the latest, the Galaxy S III is still a rather decent buy with the more current Android 4.1.2. If Samsung is still keeping up with its support for older models, it may potentially get Android 4.2 Jelly bean with some of the S 4’s gesture/smart features.
For those craving for something smaller, the 4.0″ Galaxy S III mini has been revised as well to RM999.
For more information, head over to Maxis.
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The Samsung Galaxy S 4 which was just revealed looks underwhelmingly the same as the older Galaxy S III. During the Unpacked event, the main highlight was on its smart features on camera, voice commands, hand gestures and eye tracking.
With the hardware specs put side by side with other models including the latest Full HD Androids, iPhone 5, Lumia 920 and Z10, we noticed that there have been some improvements on the S 4’s dimensions.
While the Galaxy S 4 boasts a bigger Full HD screen at 5″, the height remains exactly the same as the current Galaxy S III at 136.6mm while at the same time, they have narrowed the width at just 69.8mm. The battery on the S 4 has been upgraded as well to 2,600mAh which is
300mAh 500mAh more than the old one but yet it is slimmer at 7.9mm and lighter at 130g. This means that the S 4 should be easier to hold in the hands.
While display is an improvement, being the first Full HD smart phone from Samsung, it loses out in terms of pixel density to HTC One, due to its smaller 4.7″ screen. In reality, at over 400ppi, it is really hard to differentiate which display has higher pixel density. All matters now would be the display quality especially viewing angles, brightness and contrast.
One obvious advantage which the Galaxy S 4 has over the likes of HTC One and Xperia Z would be its removable 2,600mAh battery. If we put the dimensions side by side, the Galaxy S 4 is actually shorter than the 4.7″ HTC One and it is just as slim as the Xperia Z’s 7.9mm thickness. Even with its extra 300mAh battery capacity, the Galaxy S 4 is at least 13 grams lighter as well which is rather impressive. For those that prefer the thinnest, lightest and shortest, the iPhone 5 is no contest at all with its super slim 7.6mm thickness and weighs just 112 grams.
So far Samsung hasn’t reveal much details on the variants available and based on their official spec sheet, there will be 2 models available. One will be running on a Quad Core 1.9GHz processor while the other on a Octa Core 1.6GHz processor. We are likely to get the Octa Core version in Malaysia. In terms of 4G LTE connectivity, only the Quad Core version supports it at the moment.
Edit: As pointed out by reader min402, the Octa-Core set up in the Galaxy S 4 doesn’t mean all 8 cores are running simultaneously. Rather it has a dual set up of either Quad-Core A15 and Quad-Core A7 which switches depending on intensity of processing required.
In terms of OS version, the Galaxy S 4 runs the very latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Availability wise, Samsung has shared that it will be launching with 327 operators in 155 countries by end of April.
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Celcom too is offering the 4.0″ Samsung Galaxy S III mini on contract bundling with a wide variety of contract options. Retailing at RM1,199, the Galaxy S III mini is offered as low as RM588.
You’ll a choice of 3 postpaid plans (First Prime, First Premier and First Elite) and 2 bolt-on mobile internet options (1GB and 3GB) on either 12 months or 18 months contract. The full bundled pricing as follows:
Celcom First Prime + 1GB/3GB (12 months) – RM988
Celcom First Prime + 1GB/3GB (18 months) – RM888
Celcom First Premier + 1GB/3GB (12 months) – RM888
Celcom First Premier + 1GB/3GB (18 months) – RM788
Celcom First Elite + 1GB/3GB (12 months) – RM688
Celcom First Elite + 1GB/3GB (18 months) – RM588
There’s an advance upfront payment between RM250-RM450 required during sign up which will be rebated back to your monthly bill onwards.
For more information, head over to Celcom’s Galaxy S III mini page.
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Apart from Maxis, DiGi too is also offering the new Galaxy S III mini on its DG Smart Plan. Retailing at RM1,199, the Samsung Galaxy S III mini can be yours from as low as RM449 with both Pebble Blue and Marble White versions being offered.
Full bundled pricing as follows:
DG Smart Plan 48 (12 months) – RM949
DG Smart Plan 48 (24 months) – RM849
DG Smart Plan 68 (12 months) – RM849
DG Smart Plan 68 (24 months) – RM649
DG Smart Plan 88 (12 months) – RM749
DG Smart Plan 88 (24 months) – RM449
DG Smart Family (12 months) – RM1,049
DG Smart Family (24 months) – RM949
With its on-going Jualan Internet promo, you get more data quota than usual with the Smart Plan 48 having 2GB than the usual 1GB.
During sign up, there’s advance payment between RM50-RM600 required during registration depending on the plan and contract duration period. Existing DiGi subscribers of 12 months tenure are exempted from paying advance payment.
For more info, head over to DiGi’s Galaxy S III mini page.
The recently revealed Samsung Galaxy S III mini is now offered on Maxis from as low as RM599 with its TalkMore 48 postpaid + bolt on data bundling. The TalkMore 48 offers 400 minutes of calls and 200 SMS to all networks for just RM48/month. For the data bolt-on bundling, you have a choice of 1GB at RM48/month and 3GB at RM68/month to choose from.
The Galaxy S III mini bundled pricing as follows:
TalkMore 48 + 1GB – RM96/month (12 months) – RM899
TalkMore 48 + 1GB – RM96/month (24 months) – RM749
TalkMore 48 + 3GB – RM116/month (12 months) – RM799
TalkMore 48 + 3GB – RM116/month (24 months) – RM599
As usual, there’s an upfront advance payment required of RM250 for 12 months contract and RM1,000 for 24 months contract. The advance payment will go back to your bill across 5 months period.
For more information, head over to Maxis bundling promo page.