Posts from the “Technology” Category

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Impressions

This is the best Android device you can buy right now — end of story.

This impressions article will focus on the larger of the two phones (Note 10 and Note 10+), hereby referenced as Note 10.

Background

Samsung has been a staple in the Android ecosystem, most of the time leading the charge. Things that I looked forward to the most when taking a look at this device were the cameras and it’s screen — neither disappointed.

Usage

One word — sleek.  The Note 10 is a truly edge-to-edge, 6.8″ AMOLED Gorilla Glass 6 display.  The colors are bright, the blacks are deep and the viewing angles are superb and in usual Samsung fashion (Samsung makes some of the best, if not the best displays in the industry) this display is phenomenal.  Additionally, the fact that the device has no notch at all — instead we are greeted by a pinhole front-facing camera that almost blends completely in with the display.

Source: The Verge

As with usual large screen Samsung devices you’ll get app-pairs, which are still limited to certain apps that you can run side by side and in usual Note fashion — the excellent stylus, Samsung’s S Pen.  New features for the S Pen come this year, with  gestures (backed by a SDK) which enable holding the S Pen and flicking it in certain directions to achieve certain actions on screen.  A new feature is that text written in the notes app by S Pen can be transcribed and even searched.

Cameras

In my test shots with the Note 10, pictures were extremely crisp in indoor conditions as no outdoor photos were captured with video looking much better than in years past (with iPhone retaining the title as best video on a smartphone).  The triple lens camera array provided solid results and a largely comparable experience between each of the sensors.

Below, see a camera test putting the Note 10+ versus the iPhone XS Max:

Source: The Tech Chap


Overall, using this device is simply a dream, it’s fast, stable and a pleasure to use.

 

 

 

Podcast posts moving

My In the Weeds with Dexter Johnson podcast is very important, which is why I’ve dedicated an entire tab to it at the top of this site.

With that being said, episode posts will be going away to keep the clutter of the main site down to focus solely on tech blogging when each individual episode will remain available on my Anchor hosted podcast page. Please be sure to subscribe to the podcast, as many of you are, in your podcast app of choice!

Biggest Winner from WWDC 2019? The iPad

iPad OS is officially a thing.  The iPad has outgrown iOS as we know it and we should all be jumping for joy.  However, let’s note that iPad OS, tvOS and watchOS are still all iOS just “made for” different devices.

But this gives us an entire new outlook on how we will view the iPad moving forward.  Remember the “What is a computer?” ads by Apple?

Let’s refresh your memory, shall we?

Source: Youtube, Cloud.


Big Branch-Out

This is a big step for Apple, as we’ve had ads, hints, stabbings and more at the “mainstream PC” for years — almost since the inception of iPad; however, with the iPad finally getting it’s own operating system, this gives Apple room to finally innovate and differentiate on an entirely different level to truly bring productive and powerful features to the world’s most popular, used and powerful tablet.

This. Is. Huge. I’m ready, are you?

Source: Youtube, Rene Ritchie.

My move to iPhone XS Max

My default daily driver has been the iPhone 7 Plus for almost 2 years and it’s been an absolute work horse. I use it to produce and publish my podcast, “In the Weeds with Dexter Johnson”, take thousands of photos and be my main email and consumption machine. It’s been great; however, I started to get the itch for something new and iPhone XS Max came for a scratch.


Rundown

What made me switch? I’m the same person that’s been on record saying that notches of any type are terrible and an eye sore. Additionally, I’ve noted that I’ve had concerns about the true screen real estate that one could gain with a notch and rounded corners. What’s most interesting is that a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, not an iPhone, first convinced me that I could live with an impediment on my screen. From simply using the device and seeing that I wasn’t missing much, I felt that the newest iPhone could be a great, if not great, upgrade — notch and all.

While the notch can be an issue for the unoptimized app, apps that take it into account, can have the same amount of polish and beauty of any app that you’re used to using. Additionally since the UI of the iPhone doesn’t put a lot of items on the top of the display, unlike Android with notifications and more, having the cut out isn’t a major issue and while it doesn’t disappear, I can honestly say that it’s very immersive and you don’t notice it often.

Using the device is a breeze. iPhone XS Max is still an iPhone and that’s not a bad thing. It behaves and operates in the same way that iOS has in the past with a few exceptions — most importantly, it is very reliable and responsive. With iPhone X, XS and XR say goodbye to the famed home button and hello to gesture navigation that is simple and intuitive to pick up and start running. At this point, about 24 hours in, I’m multitasking with ease flicking the navigation bar from side to side to switch between apps and I’m using the device like a pro as if I’ve had it since release.


Wrap-up

I’m loving this device, the edge to edge (mostly) glass creates a truly immersive experience which is what we’ve always wanted. So while the notch may not be perfect, it’s good enough for now, good enough for me and also good enough for me to write and construct this entire review on, image and all.

iPhone XS Max is a winner.

Samsung Galaxy S10, the best Android smartphone right now

There, I said it, there is really nothing else to read — unless you want to learn about how smooth interacting with the device is, how it matches up to the competition or the hole punch for the two front facing cameras actually interact with the device.  It’s a quick takeaway, but Samsung is truly doing something great here and it should not go unnoticed.

S10Plus_BB

Samsung Galaxy S10+


Design and Use

(*My main interaction and time was spent with the Galaxy S10+, which this hands-on will focus on.)

Samsung knocked the ball out of the park here with an incredibly light design housing a massive 6.4″ AMOLED display that is industry and class leading.  For full specifications of the Galaxy S10E, S10 and S10+, go here.  This display stretches to each side, curving over to the edge and going almost to the top and bottom as well — almost.  There is a small bit of continuity cut off due to the hole-punch cutout for the front facing cameras and in my use and to my surprise, were not too impeding in the use of the device.  The cameras essentially sit in the notification space and leave the rest of the screen open as a gigantic media-centric canvas.

What does this mean for daily interactions on the device?

Plain and simple — the hole-punch does not get in the way, unless you really, really want it to.  Even during expanding a YouTube video from regular pillarbox to full-screen, the camera cut out doesn’t kill the viewing experience — say that about a traditional “notch”.  See below:

Video on Galaxy S10+.  No zoom versus zoom.

Using the Galaxy S10+ is a breeze with apps opening fast and seamlessly, as someone who has tested out most of the flagship Samsung phones in recent memory, the optimizations put in place by the company get better and better and One UI is certainly helping out here.  One UI is Samsung’s attempt at simplifying the user interface of a smartphone on a big display.  With that being said, touch points are larger and placement of items on the display make it much easier for one-handed use, which is something most of us wish to do.  Additionally, One UI seems to cut out a lot of the “crap” and jankiness that older Samsung smartphones included out-of-the-box and looks and feels a lot easier on the eyes.  Although One UI is an improvement in performance, we still see the usual shutter lag present in most Android smartphones and the S10 camera is no exception.  While the photos turn out excellent and going between all three camera modes (2x, 1x and telephoto) are a breeze — when I tap the shutter button, I expect a photo then not a milli-second or two later.


Wrap-up

When it’s all said and done, if you want a great all-around performer, this device is for you.  Samsung keeps getting better and better and while us techies, including myself, constantly talk about the Pixel — many seem to forget that.  This years Pixel 3 XL is an absolute abomination to look at and many argue that the only reason to even buy the phone is for the camera; however, when Samsung has put together the most complete Android phone of the year, it’s simply too hard to ignore.

Welcome Samsung Galaxy S10, the current best Android smartphone of 2019.