Tag: Samsung

Waterproof Tough Android Smart Phones

Posted by – March 8, 2016

If you’re looking for a tough, rugged, waterproof, or water-resistant smartphone, then there’s a reasonable choice of Android phones, here’s a list of them, including some key details, as well as links to reviews:

2015:
Sony Xperia Z5, 5.2″ screen, IP65/68, about £400, Reviews: ePHOTOzine.
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, 4.6″ screen, IP65/68, about £320, Reviews: theVerge.
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, 5.5″ 4K screen, IP65/68, about £550, Reviews: CNET.
Sony Xpera Z3+ (AKA Z4), 5.2″ screen, about £300, Reviews: PhoneArena.
Sony Xpera M5, 5″ screen, between £300-£360, Reviews: AndroidPit.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, 5″ screen, about £155, Reviews: CNET.
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3, 4.5″ screen, budget-ish, IP67, £150, User reviews: GSMArena.
Moto G (3rd Gen), 5″, 13mp, 1m WP, IPX7, from £130, Reviews: ePHOTOzine.

US: Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
US: Samsung Galaxy S5 Active and Sport
US: Huawei Honor 3, 4.7″, budget, IP57.

Nb. IP ratings, first digit dust protection ie: IP6 = Totally dust protected, second digit water protection, eg: IP68 = Protected against prolonged submersion in water. More details here.

2014:
HTC Desire EYE, 5.2″ fullHD screen, 13mp, (f/2.2 22mm front, f/2.0 28mm rear), 1m wp, Reviews: TrustedReviews.
Samsung Galaxy S5, 5.1″ fullHD screen, 16mp camera, dust and wp, Reviews: ePHOTOzine.
Sony Xperia Z3, 5.2″ fullHD screen, 20.7mp camera, IP65/68 (dust and wp), Reviews: Engadget.
Sony Xperia Z3 compact, 4.6″ 1280x720p screen, 20.7mp camera, IP65/68 (dust and wp), Reviews: KYM.
Sony Xperia Z2, 5.2″ fullHD screen, 20.7mp camera, IP55, IP58 (dust and wp), Reviews: Engadget.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, 4.3″ 720p screen, 20.7mp camera, f/2.0 lens, IP55/58 (dust and wp), Reviews: GSMArena.
Sony Xpera M2 Aqua, 4.8″ (960×540) screen, 8mp camera, IP65/68 (dust and 1.5m wp), Reviews: Wired.
Cat S50 (4G), 4.7″ (720p) screen, 8mp camera, dust (IP67),  drop and 1m wp, Reviews: Clove.
Cat B15Q, 4″ screen, 5mp camera, dust (IP67), drop, and wp, Reviews: CNET.

2013:
Sony Xperia Z1, 5″ fullHD screen, 20.7mp camera, £270, Reviews: ExpertReviews.
Sony Xperia Z Ultra, 6.4″ fullHD screen, 8mp camera, IP55/58 (dust and wp), £199-239, Reviews: Pocket-Lint.
Sony Xperia Z, 5″ fullHD screen, 13mp camera, Reviews: ePHOTOzine.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, 5″ fullHD screen, 8mp camera, Reviews: PCAdvisor.
Cat B15 (discontinued), 4″ screen, Reviews: TrustedReviews.

Available in the UK 2012:
Motorola DEFY, 2010, 3.7″, 512mb, 800mhz, 5mp, 2.1-2.2 S/H: ~£75, Reviews: TrustedReviews
Motorola DEFY Plus / +, 2011, 3.7″, 512mb, 1ghz, 5mp, 2.3, ~£195, Reviews: ExpertReviews
Motorola DEFY Mini, 2012, 3.2″ low res, 512mb, 600mhz, 3mp, 2.3, ~£79, Reviews: CNET
Sony Xperia Go, 2012, 3.5″ low res, 512mb/8gb, DC 1ghz, 5mp, 2.3-4.0, ~£150, Reviews: RegHardware
Sony Xperia Acro S, 2012, 4.3″ high res, 1gb/16gb, DC 1.5ghz, 12mp, 4.0, ~£270, Reviews: GSMArena
Sony Xperia Active, 2011, 3″ low res, 512mb, 1ghz, 5mp, 2.3, ~£150, Reviews: Pocket-Lint
JCB Pro Smart, 2012, 3.2″ low res, 256mb, 800mhz, 5mp, ~£279, Reviews: ExpertReviews

Not currently available in the UK:
Motorola DEFY XT, 2012, 3.7″, 512mb, 1ghz, 2.3
Samsung Rugby Smart (i847), 2012, Reviews: Engadget
Casio G’zOne, Japan and US only.

Note: wp = waterproof, fullHD = 1920×1080, hi-res = 720p (1280×720), low-res = 320×480, if not stated, then “standard” resolution: 800×480

Hi Res: HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy S3

Posted by – October 13, 2012

HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy S3
HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy S3 screens, taken with the Nokia PureView 808. Click to view larger, then click again to view really high res version of the photo.

Samsung Q430 Laptop Review… Half Netbook?

Posted by – May 13, 2011

Samsung Q430 Logos

Not as large as a 15.6″ laptop, and not as small as a netbook, but slightly larger than 13.3″ laptops, the Samsung Q430 offers everything you’d get with a laptop, but comes in at a netbook similar price, has a battery life approaching a netbook, and is lighter than your standard laptop. What else does it feature to make it stand out? Well compared to it’s smaller brother, the Q330, the Q430 features a dedicated Nvidia Geforce (Cuda) graphics with it’s own 512mb memory. See below for it’s key features:

Samsung Q430 Features:
– Intel Core i3 350 2.26ghz CPU (dual core with hyperthreading – enabling 4 cpus)
– 4GB RAM (DDR3 – 3.86gb available)
– 320gb HD
– 14 inch 1366×768 16:9 screen with LED backlight (gloss – boo!*)
– DVDrw/CDrw
– NVidia Geforce 310m 512mb GFX
– 2.1kg
– Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
– Built in webcam, SD card reader, HDMI out, 3 USB sockets, ethernet, wifi etc

Samsung Q430 On

First switch on – easy enough, quick to go through the Windows setup process, entering the laptop name, wifi connection etc, then “Samsung Software Installing” takes over… and 20 minutes later you’ll still be waiting for it to finish installing… what I do not know (yet). But it’s probably stuff you don’t want clogging up your laptop… this is a somewhat frustrating start, as it doesn’t tell you what it’s installing or give you any explanation or choice regarding whether you want it or not.

Trackpad, buttoins, and LEDs

Part of this is to ask you to partition your hard drive (I went for default settings, 160/120gb for C and D or something similar). Then after about 30 minutes in total you end up on a nice shiny blue Windows desktop. IE8 comes pre-installed, and comes with mcafee site advisor / mcafee security centre, google toolbar, already installed and active.

desktop-when-new

Design: Latch-less shiny black lid. Silver inside. Quite rattley plastic silver, textured to appear as metal, but you can tell it’s not. The keyboard looks neat with square black keys much like an Apple laptop, or Sony Vaio. There’s also an extra row on the very right hand side with Del, Home, PgUp, PgDown, End which should make it easier to access compared my current laptop (a Dell Vostro 1510), and the \ and / slash keys are in the correct place (unlike my current Vostro!). There are not really any dedicated volume controls apart from the FN + Left/Right buttons, on the keyboard. The trackpad’s mouse buttons are good with little travel and a re-assuringly responsive click.

samsung q430 windows-experience-index

Windows score: (Windows Experience Index)
Overall: 4.9, CPU: 6.3, RAM: 5.9, Graphics (Desktop): 4.9, Graphics (Gaming): 5.9, HDD: 5.9

Idle volume: the idle volume of the laptop is quite noticeable – there is a constant fan noise even when the CPU is doing very little. The Vostro 1510 on the other hand is silent unless under quite heavy load.

Samsung Q430 Volume Controls

Samsung Q430 Volume Controls

The keyboard is really quite good and takes very little time to get used to so that you can quickly start touch typing on the laptop. Although the wrist rest area is a little small, as the keyboard is not as far back as some other laptops, the keyboard is still quite comfortable to type on.

Samsung Q430 Side Ports

Samsung Q430 Side Ports

Screen: gloss is bad for reflections, when looking at a black background you’ll either see a reflection of yourself or lights or other (terrible outdoors in the sun for example), however, the black is often very black and the gloss finish makes photos look very colourful, rich, saturated, etc, almost like a high quality photo print. The optimal viewing angles for the screen aren’t great, although when you do angle it correctly the blacks are very black, angle it wrong and you get what looks like backlight bleed. The screen is also quite low, so long periods of looking at the screen with your head bent down may not be the best for you.

Samsung Q430 DVD Drive

Samsung Q430 DVD Drive

Flickering VGA output? using the VGA cable connected to an external monitor, the screen / image seems to wobble / flicker… fault or just a design / quality flaw – is this something they all do?? It’s worse when you are using the mouse, so could be power related, however, if the cheaper Vostro 1510 doesn’t do this, then a more expensive machine shouldn’t do this!

Battery life – Fully charged, Windows says the battery should last 3 hours.

As someone who uses an external monitor when using the laptop on a desk, I find the flickering of the external display really quite disappointing. (Something a budget Vostro 1510 doesn’t suffer from) Likewise, after using the virtually silent Vostro 1510 (the only noise you hear most of the time is the hard drive accessing), I find the default / idle noise of the Samsung Q430 disappointing. The first issue seems like it may be a fault, the second, seems like a design or configuration flaw. I don’t know whether I can learn to live with these issues… 🙁 (I’m wondering whether I would have been better off with the Intel graphics based Q330… even though it has a smaller screen…)

Pros:
+ 14inch screen / compact size
+ Good keyboard – good layout, and easy to touchtype
+ Good spec for the price

Cons:
– Flickering VGA output
– Loud fan (even when CPU idle)
– Would be nice to have a slot loading drive
– unimpressed by the memory card reader – easily loses contact

Samsung Galaxy Tab – 7″ Android Tablet

Posted by – August 25, 2010


Text contained: Augmented reality, Video call, Navigation, PC Link Web?, HD Movie play, E-reading, Flash Support, 7″ screen, September 2nd, Berlin, Germany, Shown: Camera with LED flash, Email, Swype, Google maps, Calendar, Chat support, more?

So basically everything Android 2.2 does, but with a big 7″ screen?

Samsung SyncMaster T220 Widescreen 22" 16:10 TFT Monitor Review (Computers)

Posted by – November 7, 2009

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Samsung T220 22-inch Widescreen LCD TFT Monitor, 2ms Response Time, Rose Black, 20000:1 Contrast Ratio DVI / VGA

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Why buy one? (or two) It’s one of the cheapest 22″ TFT monitors available with both DVI and VGA (most of the cheaper ones only have VGA) – and you want DVI for the highest picture quality possible. It doesn’t have HDMI input or speakers – but you’ll probably need to spend another £30 or £40 if you want these features (see the Samsung SyncMaster 2494HS or newer for these features).

Samsung SyncMaster T220

It’s got 84 reviews on Amazon UK, with an overall score of 4.5 / 5, even by Amazon standards – that’s pretty high! There’s more reviews on Ebuyer.com where the overall score is 5/5! Plus it’s only £129 from Amazon UK inc vat and free postage!

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Specs and Features:
Ports: VGA / DVI / Power
Speakers: No
Touch buttons: 1 for power only
Real buttons: Yes, on the side: Menu, Brightness, Up / Down, Source, Auto
Power light: Red (fades in and out heartbeat style when in power saving)
Warranty: 3 year warranty as standard
Panel: TN TFT Active Matrix, Dot Pitch / Pixel Pitch: 0.282 mm
Image Brightness 300 cd/m2
Image Contrast Ratio 20000:1 (dynamic)
Response Time 2 ms
Power AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
Power Consumption Operational 45 Watt
Environmental Standards EPA Energy Star , EPEAT Silver
Display Positions Adjustments Tilt
Low Power Consumption (0.3W Power Off, Energy Saving Mode)
Contrast Ratio: DC 20,000:1(1000:1)(Typ.)
Resolution: 1680×1050 (WSXGA+)
Response Time: 2ms (GTG)
Viewing Angle (Horizontal/Vertical): 170˚/160˚ (CR>10)

Samsung SyncMaster T220 Pixels

Dead pixels? No. Check yours with DeadPixelBuddy, but you do get a very nice screen cleaning cloth with the monitor.

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Screen finish: Matte – this means very low reflection, and even on bright days the screen is bright and easily viewable.

Samsung SyncMaster T220 Quality

Quality: Crisp – pixels are very crisp, sharp, clear. Colour appears to be very good, bright colourful, not TOO bright, not luminous. Black appears to be good. Will check colour performance more fully when I calibrate the monitor. After calibration – there was little difference – the pre-calibrated image was perhaps a little too bright, with a slightly magenta / blue cast.

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Looks: Did I mention it looks AWESOME? Has a very stylish glass effect surround – that’s perhaps a bit too reflective – but looks very cool.

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Tilting base. The screens a bit wobbly – not sure why? It’s like the metal plate doesn’t clip in properly into the monitor. Seems a shame that this is not more sturdy.

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Energy saving – the labelling on the monitor is quite subtle and barely noticeable in dim lighting. The monitor comes with all needed cables: power, VGA, and DVI.

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Back – things it says on the box: “Samsung Design that performs, 20000:1 Dynamic Contrast, Vivid Moving Picture. 2ms Fast Response Time. 0.3W softPower OFF, lowest Stand by Power.” and “SyncMaster T220 22″ Wide TFT – LCD Monitor, Up to 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA+) Windows Vista Premium Certification”

Samsung SyncMaster T220

Neat cable cover clips onto the back. Really there is very little to dislike about this monitor – maybe speakers would be nice to have – but it would add to the price, and you get better sound quality from headphones or dedicated speakers anyway. It’s a great monitor, at a great price. Highly Recommended!

Pros:
Excellent price
Video Playback looks great
All cables included
Screen cleaning cloth included – nice unexpected bonus
Very good colour
Very good image quality
Looks very good / stylish
Good viewing angle
No dead pixels

Cons:
Wobbly base

Only £129 from Amazon UK inc vat and free postage!
View larger pictures and photos of the Samsung SyncMaster T220 in the Gallery

Samsung SyncMaster T220 (Left) next to Samsung SyncMaster 2494HS (Right):

Samsung ST50 Review (Cameras)

Posted by – July 21, 2009

Samsung ST50

The Samsung ST50 could be summed up by the writing on the front of the camera: it’s got an ultra slim 16.6mm stainless steel body, features “smart auto”, “beauty shot”, a 12.2 megapixel sensor and a 3x optical zoom lens. And that’s about as interesting as this camera gets. It doesn’t have HD video recording (max video resolution is 800×600 at 20fps), it doesn’t have any form of real image stabilisation (only offering digital image stabilisation), it has a 2.7″ screen and face, blink and smile detection. The Samsung ST50 is available for £136 in Black, Silver or Red, measures 94.2 x 56 x 16.6 mm, and weighs 121g.

Samsung ST50

Apart from the camera being very small and fitting very neatly in small pockets, the camera has a very annoying focal range where the subject has to be 80cm away from the camera in normal mode, meaning you’re always having to switch to macro mode so that you can focus on subjects that are between 10 and 80cm away from the camera, or alternatively leave face detection on all the time so that you can take photos of people! The camera has a macro button on the back of the camera, but it’s a little slow to respond, and the menu is even slower to access (this problem can be avoided by using the “Smart Auto” mode). The camera doesn’t feature any scene modes, so you can either use Auto and hope for the best, or try “Smart Auto” and once again, hope for the best. The Smart Auto mode will automatically select the scene mode it thinks is best, alternatively you can choose the “Photo style selector” in the normal mode, which gives you the choice of: Normal, Soft, Vivid, Forest, Retro (Sepia colours), Cool, Calm, Black and White, Negative, Custom RGB.

Continue reading the Samsung ST50 Quick Review on DigiCamReview.

Samsung SyncMaster 2494HS 24" TFT Monitor Review (Computers)

Posted by – April 6, 2009

What is it? A full HD 16:9 1920 X 1080 (aka 1080p) 24″ TFT computer monitor with DVI / VGA and HDMI inputs and built in speakers for £195 including VAT from ebuyer.com. It’s sold as a 24″ monitor, but it’s actually 23.6 inches.

Is it any good? Yes – image quality is good with crisp clear pixels, and calibration using a Spyder 3 Pro (shown above in the first photo) made a slight change (making the image warmer, and slightly darker). It’s got a matte screen so there is minimal reflections from lights etc.

Why choose this over other monitors? I personally chose this one because I wanted 1080p for a PS3 using HDMI, plus the speakers are rated at a MASSIVE 😉 6w (2x 3w) – whereas some other similar (Iiyama) monitors deliver even less power from their speakers – the monitor has an audio jack in (for sound from the PC) plus a speaker / headphone socket (all the ports are at the back). Plus this was one of the cheapest TFT monitors with HDMI input.

Design / Looks: The black plastic casing is almost entirely matt – apart from a loop that runs all the way around the monitor including along the bottom where the touch sensitive “buttons” are. The speaker location is a little bit poor in that they point directly down, so in order to get the sound to your ears you’d really need to mount some deflectors or something to bounce the sound towards you, although saying that, I don’t know where else they could have mounted them without making the monitor appear more bulky.

Positives? Value for money, ability to take 3 inputs (including HMDI blu-ray, ps3, or xbox360), good screen. 5ms response and 50,000:1 dynamic contrast according to the specs. Comes with VGA / DVI and audio cables but no HDMI cable.

Any negatives? Quite a thick border around the screen compared to most Dell TFTs. The speakers seems adequate at best – poor for listening to music and probably not loud enough to be used in a living room. The touch sensitive buttons are practially invisible in low light – and difficult to use as there is no feedback when compared to normal buttons. Fairly small viewing angle. It would be nice if black was a little blacker – there is a tiny amount of backlight bleed. Base is a little small.

Overall: This is one of the cheapest 24″ TFT 1080p monitors available with speakers and HDMI built in. Not only that, but it offers excellent image quality, with zero dead / hot pixels. If you want a 16:9 aspect ratio then this would make an excellent choice.

More info and links: Gallery photos, ebuyer.com, Photos at ybnews.com, Dead Pixel Buddy (useful for testing TFT monitors), Forum Discussion (Whirlpool.net), HotUKDeals.

Update Nov 09: looks like the Samsung 2494HS is getting rarer to find (discontinued? / replaced by newer model?) – so you might want to look at the ASUS 24″ VH242H Wide Gaming LCD TFT Monitor (5ms, Full HD, HDMI, Black).