Samsung has always tried new ways to tackle everyday problems with our devices. More and more, our devices (mainly smartphones) are becoming a necessary part of our daily lives. It has gone way beyond just checking your weather forecast every morning and email to ordering food, managing investments and retirement, and most recently, your health and credit cards. So it is also important to secure this device with the best available security in case of loss or theft.
There are several ways manufacturers have tried to secure our devices. Since the beginning, we have had options like passwords, PIN or drawing a pattern, but those can be cumbersome and difficult, especially if you observe how frequently you pick up your phone to check "something". Imagine typing a 8 character password, with special characters using one hand on your phone while juggling a child or something else with your other hand?
So comes the era of fingerprint readers. Since at least 3 yrs, this method has been the main source of unlocking your device, at least on the high end side. However, Samsung decided to go another route. Due to the edge to edge display with no room for buttons, Samsung moved their fingerprint reader to the back, making it a bit difficult, especially on the S8+. It takes an extra effort, or a 2 hand approach to unlock this puppy on a regular basis. So Samsung also added the IRIS scanner.
Just like in movies, where a high ranking military officer or scientists working on secret projects would walk to a door and push their eyeball to a hole for scanning their retina for access, the S8/S8+ has a similar feature. It does not require you to rub your eyeballs anywhere, but it gets the job done.
Once setup, the phone responds to an unlock request (power button, home button etc.) as the image above. All you have to do is look at it with a reasonable distance (6-12 inches). What I really love about this is that it works REALLY WELL in the dark. In the middle of the night with no light in the room and my eyes partially closed, it works. However, it does not work well in bright sunlight obviously. Can't have it both ways.
I do prefer using this on a more regular basis than the fingerprint scanner. I also have a wireless fast charger by Samsung that sits on an angle, so this method works really well with that. I don't have to pick up the phone. Just look at it and viola its unlocked.
I hope you give this new technology a try. It of course needs a bit tweaking like anything, but right out of the box, I feel it is a new way of unlocking your phone.
Another year, another Samsung launch. So what is so cool about this one? I am glad you asked... or maybe I asked... anywho
Samsung has taken a very aggressive path towards phone design since they ditched plastic with the S6 2 years ago. What I have noticed is that Samsung has consistently made tweaks and changes to their design to make it more appealing to the public. Besides the usual HW upgrades and tweaks, Samsung has done a great job on the UI front as well, knows as TouchWiz. We will dive into a lot of these shortly, but lets start with the customary list.
What has changed for the better?
The screen. Every time Samsung updates their device, they make a significant change to their screen. They went to a whopping 6.2" in a body that barely bigger than the older S7
The TouchWiz has been updated with several front and back end tweaks that really make the device more user friendly. Also Samsung finally chose to push similar tweaks back to some older devices
They kept the 3.5mm audio port. Yay!
Edge screens are now a standard feature
Fast Wireless Charging is also supported
IRIS unlocking is also available
The only main gripe I would have about this device is the fingerprint scanner is now next to the camera. With the size of the S8+, it takes a while to get used to how high it is for one handed operation. I think LG got that figured out a long time ago!
So we briefly discussed the screen size of this amazingly beautiful device earlier. But what else is so cool about this device?
Well, LG didn't make a lot of big changes drastically, instead it started on this road a while ago. The first step they did was, move the volume buttons in the back. Then they established the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone where your index finger naturally lands. Also LG mostly kept a clean front screen and used soft buttons for home, back, etc.
So how does all of this help? Well LG was able make this device with 80% or more screen to body ratio and finally have IP68 rating (water resistant). With that, lets review my first impressions of this phone.
As mentioned several times by many of my colleagues and myself, the first thing that mesmerizes you is the BIG BRIGHT Quad-HD screen. I mean LG has been a leader in the screen business alongside Sammy. So you ought to expect and enjoy this beauty in its glory.
The second most amazingly cool thing the G6 sports is its updated dual camera setup. I will write more about it later, however I did not find it too different from the LG V20.
Finally what caught my attention is the combination of wireless charging (FINALLY) and IP68 rating (DOUBLE FINALLY)! In this day and age, these features should be standard and not a premium but I am greedy like that.
So as a new user of the G6 family, I must say this will be my daily user going forward.
LG started this year with a huge bang. They were already basking in the large screen goodness of the V20 from last year. Then they come out and launch the G6, successor to the G5. LG came out swinging with this device because its a start to a new era.
This is the year of the large screen to body ratios. LG started this trend with the G6 having a whopping 80% screen to body ratio and almost non-existent bezel. In the above image, you see the G6 vs the V20. They both sport a 5.7" screen but the G6 is quite a bit smaller and thinner.
That in itself is an amazing feat. How much LG was able to squeeze the bezel down and yet make it water resistant.
The quality and screen resolution is second to none but that's for another blog.
Sprint, just like most carriers in the world, try to cater to all of their customers. That said, Sprint chose to work with Alcaltel, an up and coming cell phone manufacturer, to build the latest feature phone.
Feature phones are usually not much to write home about, but this guy is the exception, not the rule. The Alcatel Go Flip is the first feature phone (or flip phone) with high speed LTE and a smartphone like OS albeit limited in its capability in this device. So why would all that matter?
So before we get into all of the cool details, lets cover our standard basis:
The Go flip looks like a standard flip phone or clamshell from back in the day with a 2.3" color screen on the inside and weighing barely above 4 oz. It has a battery life that can sustain a few days, not a few hours and can handle standard tasks like calls, txt (albeit using T9), email and web browsing like a champ. Its a perfect phone for your kids, the elderly (with big easy to read buttons) and those techies who just want to disconnect with their digital world but still have something for emergencies.
The camera is pretty basic but can easily capture the important things like quick kids photos or receipts.
So now to make it interesting, this device has LTE and WiFi for you to browse internet at high speeds. The browser also supports YouTube videos so if you really need to watch a video on a 2.3" screen, now you can.
The main reason why this device has LTE in it, is basically to make it future proof. So stay tuned to find out whe new features it will have in the future.