Imagine not needing to buy a totally new smartphone every time some new tech comes out. A faster processor? Better camera? No problem, just switch out those hardware from your phone with new ones. Well at least that’s what Project Ara do and in the recent Google I/O it looks like that concept might be edging closer to reality with a somewhat working prototype (and by working we mean it actually turns on) being shown off.
Well actually working is a bit of a stretch as the phone only managed to boot up momentarily and then freeze at the Android logo before going any further. That being said, it still managed to work, and given the complexities involved in the concept, at least Google has show that a modular smartphone is possible… once they actually get the kinks worked out.
And it seems that Google is pretty confident that they’ll work out those kinks pretty soon as they’re saying a developer preview of Project Ara would be ready by the end of the year. Of course what’s a platform if there isn’t going to be any developers?
To up the ante and make Project Ara a lot more attractive, Google is even offering up a US$100,000 prize and a trip to Ara’s next developer conference for any developer who builds a working module that, as they would put it, “lets a phone do something that a phone has never done before”. Now that’s a pretty juicy bit of prize though we’re pretty sure if the concept really take off, US$100,000 might just be a small drop in an ocean of profits these concept will be able to turn over.
Gee, we wonder how many tablets Samsung is going to release before they feel they’ve cornered every segment in the market. Obviously, what they have now isn’t really enough with their latest launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S here in Malaysia.
Not that we’re complaining since the Galaxy Tab S brings some absolute goodies to the tablet playing field.
So what do we get?
It is the lightest and thinnest tablet from Sammy to date and it brings with it the most advanced display tech to be seen on a tablet. How light and thin? How about a 6.6mm profile and 294g and 465g for the 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch respectively. Pretty decent right?
All right so it isn’t just looks and weight for you. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Here’s what you can expect.
That advance display we mentioned? Well the Tab S has a WQXGA (2560 x 1600, 16:10) Super AMOLED screen for both the 8.4 and 10.5 inch versions. With the adaptive display tech, the gamma, saturation and sharpness is automatically adjusted based on not only the current running app, but also the ambient temperature of the environment and ambient lighting. Now how’s that for a smart tablet. And if you think your normal contrast ratio isn’t enough, the Tab S comes with a 100,000 : 1 ratio that ought to bring some highly realistic images to life.
That’s all the screen bits though. How about the power? Does an Octa core processor sound tasty enough for you? The Tab S comes with the Exynos 5 Octa (1.9Ghz quad-core and a 1.3Ghz quad-core) processor and that’s not all. There’s 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage to back it up as well. And though 16GB seems a bit on the tiny side for storage, don’t fret, you’ll still be able to expand its storage up to 128GB via microSD.
How about battery life you ask? Well you can expect a 4900 mAh battery for the 8.4-inch version while the 10.5-inch version will be getting a 7,900 mAh battery. And if those specs aren’t enough to whet your appetite for the Galaxy Tab S, you can also expect a fingerprint scanner and Android 4.4 Kit Kat on it.
Still not enough? Well Samsung’s packaging in some exclusive content just for us Malaysians as well. Here’s just some of it.
Free 12-month subscription to eight lifestyle magazine titles from SPH Magazines worth RM1,920.
Free 6-month subscription to Star e-paper worth RM150
Free 500 songs from My GALAXY Music, available within 6-month period
Preloaded GALAXY Life app – source of personalised, curated and exclusive content with over 120 offers and deals from 50 partners.
Of course you can’t have a new Samsung tablet without some accessories to go with it and Samsung isn’t slacking off in that department. There are three main accessories you can expect for the Galaxy Tab S starting with the Book Cover that provides three different display angles while providing some protection for the Sammy slate. There’s also a simplified version of the Book Cover in the form of the aptly named Simple Cover which is lighter and slimmer. Then there is the Bluetooth Keyboard which is specifically designed for the Tab S and comes with clasp for protection.
Pricing and availability
So when can we expect the Galaxy Tab S to pop up in the retail outlets here? Samsung says we’ll be able to get our grubby paws on them starting 11 July. And how much you ask? Well the 8.4-inch Tab S is going for RM1,699 while the 10.5-inch version is going for RM1,999.
Both will be available in Titanium Bronze and Dazzling White.
Xiaomi isn’t letting up when it comes to bringing value for money mobiles to Malaysia. Hot on the heels of their Mi3 launch, the Chinese mobile upstart is bringing in their super value Redmi 1S, and their first phablet, the Redmi Note.
Ah Samsung, where Apple goes, you’re not too far behind eh? With Apple’s purchase of Beats, we were just waiting when Sammy would make their move. It looks like they have with their new premium portable audio line, Level.
So what’s the best way to get your brand into the audio game? Team up with a well known audio brand, which is exactly what LG has recently done. In this case, LG has teamed up with well known audio powerhouse Harmon/Kardon to come up with a brand, spanking new Bluetooth stereo headest.
Is the pleather and plastic on the Samsung Galaxy S5 stopping you from getting the Samsung Galaxy S5? Yearn for the cool touch of metal ala HTC One M8? This leak might give you some reason to wait just a little longer.
Phone Arena was recently sent three leaked photos of what seems to be the premium version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 aka the Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime and boy does it look sweet. Of course when compared to the current plastic builds of the S5, it isn’t that hard to beat. It’s supposedly coming with an aluminum body but a chassis upgrade isn’t the only thing we can look forward to.
The S5 Prime is also expected to get a power boost in hardware. The processor? A quad-core Snapdragon 805 compare to the current Snapdragon 801 CPU. The GPU? An Adreno 420 to the current Adreno 330. We’re also looking at a 1GB memory boost to 3GB compared to the standard s5’s 2GB. A boost in power isn’t the only hardware upgrade we’ll ought to be getting with the S5 Prime. It’s also expected to have a boost in it’s screen pushing it up from a 1080 x 1920 resolution to a 5.2 inch QHD screen with 1440 x 2560 resolution. Now that’s a pretty sweet bunch of upgrades we’re seeing.
Caveat though, as much as we’re excited to list all this improvements, Samsung has yet to announce the phone so we’ll just have to wait till next month, which is when it’s expected to be announced, to really confirm all the upgrades.
So the S5 prime seems like a great phone with great specs and we’re all for another souped out super smartphone to hit the market. Only problem is, what about current Galaxy S5 owners? We’re pretty sure there’s going to be a couple of rumbling from current owners since Samsung could have pushed out this particular version instead of the one we currently had. How Samsung is going to address the issue is going to be mighty interesting.
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