If you think about all the new devices that are coming out these days, most of them are upwards of five inches, with many hovering around the 5.5-inch mark. While that’s a norm today, it wasn’t so a couple of years ago.
Back then, to have a smartphone that had a screen size of more than five inches was bordering on the absurd. But, one smartphone changed that. One smartphone kickstarted a revolution in smartphones, their screen sizes, and what we could do with them.
Here’s a brief look at that smartphone and the handset lineup it spawned. The pioneer that led to an entire generation of large form-factor handsets — the Samsung Galaxy Note.
The Galaxy Note II is more than 2 years old but it isn’t forgotten by Samsung when it comes to software updates. Based on Samsung Finland’s website, it appears that both the Galaxy Note II and last year’s Galaxy S4 will be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Other models receiving the new OS update also include Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy S5 mini, Galaxy Note II (4G version), Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 4. Surprisingly the Galaxy S5 isn’t listed with Android 5.0 coming soon considering it has started rolling out in Poland. Like any software update, the roll out times will vary depending on region and hopefully Malaysian users should be getting in within the first quarter of 2015.
The Android 5.0 Lollipop update delivers new features along with a fresh Material Design approach. Apart from that, performance is expected to be improved as Lollipop uses Android RunTime (ART) instead of the usual Dalvik runtime.
Check out the walk through of the Android 5.0 Lollipop interface on the Galaxy S5 after the break.
The race is on for manufacturers to release the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop update which delivers a fresh new experience along with performance improvements. Samsung is expected to update the current Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 to Lollipop by end of this year.
If you’re holding on to last year’s Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4, you will be glad to know that they will be updating them as well. The folks at Sammobile had gotten an internal Lollipop build for the Galaxy Note 3 and they have shared an exclusive preview on video.
Some of the notable changes including a refreshed TouchWiz UI and it gets the newer Multi-Window and pop-up window feature like the current Note 4. Scrolling through the interface is reported to be much smoother as well.
Watch the video and some sample screenshots after the break.
If you love deals, Lazada Malaysia has kicked off its #MyCyberSALE promo that’s running for 3 days only (29 Sept – 1 Oct). There are heaps of interesting offers with significant discounts on smart phones, electronics and home appliances.
Apart from smart phones, there are a number of good deals on home appliances including 40″ Full HD LED TVs like the Sony KDL-40R350B that’s offered at RM1,099. Another cheap buy is Sharp’s Air Purifier (FUA28E) priced at RM299.
To make the deal sweeter, Lazada is giving out special voucher codes which are applicable only for products without on-going promotion:
CYBERLAZ25 : RM25 off RM150 purchase
CYBERLAZ50 : RM50 off RM300 purchase
Make sure you enter the voucher code on the right side column during the check out payment page. You can explore all #MyCyberSALE offers by clicking on the banner below:
To put some credible light into the matter, Consumer Reports has conducted a more scientific test using an Instron compression test machine. For the experiment, they have compared the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, HTC One M8, LG G3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The machine will apply 10 pounds (about 4.53kg) of pressure for 30 seconds, and then repeat it with additional pressure until the phone gets deformed.
Before this, the same guy from UnboxTherapy has shown that anything else is stronger than the iPhone 6 Plus based on his physical bend test. The actual test results from Consumer Report is surprisingly different. Watch the video after the break.
To verify if the iPhone 6 Plus bending claims are true, Lewis from Unbox Therapy has tried to bend the iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands. Obviously the force is excessive but this could be a possibility with tight pockets. Being aluminium, it deforms like soft metal and when he tried to bend it back, it starts to crack around the sides and the screen as well.
So how does it compare with other larger smart phones? After the iPhone 6 Plus, he made another bend test with the Galaxy Note 3 and you can watch both videos after the break.
If you want to capture moments with greater detail, most new smart phones today lets you record videos at a higher 4K resolution. Not only it takes up bigger file size, taking a video in 4K is more hardware intensive and generates significantly more heat than standard Full HD 1080p formats. To find out which is the coolest, some folks at Btekt had compared the Samsung Galaxy S5 , Samsung Galaxy Note 3 , Sony Xperia Z2 and LG G3 heat generation by applying ice cubes on top.
It is interesting to point out that all smart phones except for the Xperia Z2 have 5 minutes recording limit for 4K mode. So after 5 minutes, they just left the screen on for the remainder of the test while the Xperia Z2 camera continues to roll. Considering the Xperia Z2 is able to take 4K videos without restrictions, storage was the only barrier as the video was uncompressed and it quickly takes up the remaining space on the device.
After the experiment, the LG G3 surprisingly came out on top as the coolest device as it was the last one to melt the ice completely. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 tied in the last spot and it is suspected that it could be due to its AMOLED display which could be warmer. Considering both the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2 being water resistant devices, it is strange that they need to shrink wrap them for this experiment. Check out the ice melting experiment after the break.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is being pushed a new software update in Malaysia. While it still running on Android 4.4.2, the latest update brings a couple of new features that came with the Galaxy S5. This includes a special Kid Mode where you can set authorised apps and time limit for your little ones. You can see this in action in our Galaxy S5 hands-on. Also included is KNOX 2.0 where you can separate work and play in a secured container.
If you’re in a rush when downloading large files, the Galaxy Note 3 also gets Download booster where it uses both 4G LTE and WiFi connectivity to speed up your downloads. As usual, the software update also provides security and stability fixes. If you haven’t gotten any notification yet, you can check manually from Settings > More > About Device > Software update.
If you’re still eyeing the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo, SenQ is offering a special promotion where you can get the device for just RM1,149. The catch however it is limited to just 10 units and is exclusive to OnePlus Card members only. It is happening for 3 days starting tomorrow 23rd May and we reckon this would be sold out quickly within the first hour.
It didn’t take 3 days and the limited 1,240 promo units of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo have been sold out. The 5.5″ Smart Phone was offered at just RM850, which is 50% off its original retail price of RM1,699.
The special promo is seen as a disruptor to Xiaomi’s first day of sales which saw 4,000 units of Mi 3 and 5,000 units of its Power Bank being sold out under 17 minutes. To cope with the demand, Xiaomi will be restocking their Mi 3 smart phones next week and it will be interesting to see if any smart phone brands would offer a special deal of their own.
What’s certain is when there’s a cheap promo, Malaysians won’t say no to a good bargain when they see one.
UPDATE: Samsung has updated that all 1,240 promo units of its Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo have been sold out.
With affordable smart phones getting a lot of attention lately, Samsung is doing a special 3 days offer where you can own a Galaxy Note 3 Neo for just RM850! That’s 50% off its RM1,699 retail price when it went on sale last month. The promo is starting tomorrow 20th May until 22nd May at 62 participating Samsung Mobile Brand Stores nationwide. If you’re interested, you gotta hurry as the promo is limited to 1,240 units.
The Galaxy Note 3 Neo is basically an updated Galaxy Note II with newer hardware and refreshed design featuring the faux leather back from the Note 3. It gets the same 5.5″ 720p HD Super AMOLED display as the Galaxy Note II and it runs on a Hexa-Core (6-cores) processor which is a combination of a Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex A7 & dual-core 1.7 GHz Cortex A15. It also comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage which can be expanded with microSD. Like the Galaxy Note II, it also has a rear 8MP camera, a 3,100mAh battery and a S-Pen stylus.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo that we are getting in Malaysia is the 3G HSPA+ version without LTE support. You can refer to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 Neo product page for more info. For the full list of participating Samsung Mobile brand stores, you can refer to their list here.
The timing of such promo appears to be Samsung’s response to Xiaomi’s Mi 3 sale that’s happening tomorrow. So if you’re looking to buy a sub-RM1,000 smart phone, you now have an extra option to buy a bigger 5.5″ phablet.