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MIKE_A_BERGER

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Galaxy-S8_2-750x500.jpg

 

The jump in screen resolution from HDTV to UHD is not as dramatic to me as the additional improvement in shadow detail, contrast, dynamic range, and realistic color saturation that HDR or High Dynamic Range video adds.  Content is available in two formats for home televisions; the open-source 10-bit HDR 10, and the less common but technically superior 12 bit Dolby Vision.  Dolby Vision is backwards compatible with sets that can only display HDR 10, but the signal is downgraded to 10 bit.

 

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus both inherently support a new standard called Mobile HDR Premium. I don’t subscribe to HDR content with Netflix, and I’m not sure that HDR support for mobile devices is provided by Netflix yet, but I was able to enjoy HDR video from Amazon Prime Video.  YouTube is also a good source of UHD videos with HDR.

 

The video looks astonishingly realistic.  Colors are bold, but natural.  Everything just looks as good as it does in real life.  I took a few screenshots, but the screenshots were saved in png format and immediately lost some of their detail.  I downloaded them to my PC to crop the black edges off, (remember, the S8 has an unusually wide screen, wider than 16:9).  I made no other adjustments.  The screenshots look bland on my laptop compared to how they actually look on the S8.

 

First up, here are a few shots from Amazon’s original series, “The Grand Tour”.  This show features the former hosts and producer from the BBC’s Top Gear glory years.

 

 

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Next are a couple of screen grabs from an upcoming Amazon original, “The Tick”.  This version is the best yet, better than the original comic books, animated series, or short-lived Fox series.Screenshot_20170707-145544.pngScreenshot_20170707-145610.pngScreenshot_20170707-145628.png

 

 

 Amazon Prime video requires an Amazon Prime membership, which normally requires a once annual payment of $99.  Sprint customers can add and Amazon Prime membership to their monthly phone bill to get all the features and benefits for only $10.99 a month.  Besides free two-day shipping on any item marked “Prime”, you also get Prime Music, Prime Photos with unlimited photo storage, many apps and games for your Galaxy S8 at no charge, including free micro-transactions, Prime Reading and access to Kindle Owner’s lending Library, plus early access to Lightning Deals.  You can get more details from here.

 

Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

  • Amazon Prime
  • Android
  • Galaxy s8
  • HDR
  • Mobile HDR Premium
  • samsung
  • Sprint Product Ambassador
  • Videophile
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akg.jpg

 

 

 

In 1947, the Acoustic and Cinema Equipment Corporation, or Akustische und Kino-Geräte Gesellschaft, or as they are better known, AKG Accoustics, started out making film projectors and loudspeakers for AKG MIKE.JPGmovie theaters in Europe.  Eventually, this Austrian-based company focused most of their energy on designing and building world-class microphones and headphones.

 

Eventually, Harman International, parent company of Harman / Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Revel, Mark Levinson, Crown Audio, Soundcraft, and a few more high-end audio companies, bought AKG.

 

Last year, Samsung started the process of acquiring Harman International; that transaction was completed this past March.

 

 

Samsung releases their new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Among the many excellent features is High Dynamic Range video, and an actual, genuine, and bona fide 3.5mm headphone jack, and a pair of premium AKG earbuds.  This particular pair of AKG earbuds are exclusive to the S8.  Samsung estimates the relative retail value of these earbuds as being $99.  I found other AKG earbuds for sale on amazon.com for $130.  I’ve owned many Samsung phones and have extensively used many Samsung earbuds.  They all sound fine.  I’ve never had any complaints, it’s just that I know what Samsung earbuds sound like.  These do not sound like Samsung earbuds.  I don’t know where they are manufactured, and I don’t know if they were designed by Samsung or by AKG; I suspect they were actually designed by the latter.  I’ve listened to AKG headphones before, and these have some sonic similarities. The part that goes in your ear is branded AKG, while the plug is branded Samsung.  I suppose at this point in history, both statements are true.akg earbuds.jpg

 

The earbuds have oversized drivers for accurate bass that is never muddy, a gold-plated 3.5mm connector, and a braided fabric cable.  The advantage of gold plating is resistance to corrosion, and crackle-free connections.  The advantage of a braided fabric cable over a plastic insulated cable is that it won’t get tangled up, even if you shove them in your pockets.

 

I have noticed one odd thing with these earbuds; the cushions fit different than any other I’ve tried.  I have to use the smallest earbud cushion for every pair of earbuds I’ve ever owned, and even then, it can be painful for long listening.  For these, I had to use the largest cushion.  The other cushions didn’t give me a tight enough seal to get any bass.

 

So, how do they sound? They sound completely natural, which is what I prefer. I am using the customized EQ on my S8, but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, once you get the right cushion, everything that is in a recording is there, and nothing sounds exaggerated. They are also pretty good at passively reducing outside noises, so you don’t have to listen at a very high volume level.

 

Samsung has gone all out on the Galaxy S8.  It has every bell and whistle you need, including a headphone jack and an excellent pair of headphones to go with it.

 

Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

  • akg
  • Android
  • Audiophile
  • Earbuds
  • Galaxy s8
  • Headphones
  • samsung
  • Sprint Account
  • Sprint Product Ambassador
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Galaxy-S8_2-750x500.jpg

 

Blue light causes glare.  But what if you have your S8 in AMOLED Photo mode, or have manually customized the color temperature in Adaptive Display mode?  That’s an important step in getting more accurate colors, but that’s not what the Blue Light filter is about.  You see, even if your screen is accurately displaying whites and white, and not blueish, it is still send blue light waves into your eyes which inhibit the production and absorption of melatonin, a natural chemical required to make you feel sleepy, and then eventually make you ready to wake up feeling refreshed.  In other words, you are reprogramming your body’s circadian rhythms.

 

The Blue Light filter actually creates an amber colored light on your phone when the sun goes down.  At first, it is subtle and mostly imperceptible, but the amber light gets stronger as the evening goes on.  Blue light filters are not required during the day.

LC_VG_Bluelight_Hero.jpg

 

 

 

Now you’ll be able to read at night and still feel sleepy.  Scientific studies have shown a link between light at night and diabetes, heart disease, obesity, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and both prostate and breast cancer.  You can read more about the science behind it at the following links:

 

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/735591

 

http://cescos.fau.edu/observatory/lightpol-prostate.html 

 

Here is a excerpt from the Harvard study:

  • Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
  • Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
  • If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night.
  • Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.

 Screenshot_20170619-135708.png

Screenshot_20170619-135653.pngYou can access the Blue Light Filter menu from the "Display Settings" in your phone's "Settings" app.  In order for the automatic “Sunrise to Sunset” mode in to work in Samsung’s blue light filter, you’ll need location, a.k.a., GPS on all of the time.  I find that uses more battery power than I would like, so I just set a custom schedule of 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.  Yeah, this doesn’t take in to account the changing sunrises and sunsets through-out the year, but it gets the job done with no discernible impact on battery life. You can also toggle it on or off from the top menu drawer on your phone.

 

 

I’ve used an excellent app called “Twilight Pro”, that accomplishes a similar goal as Samsung’s blue light filter, and can turn on accurately at sunset and turn off at sunrise without using GPS, but it is technically using a screen overlay, which can introduce some slight problems.  Some apps see screen overlays as security threats, as several pieces of malware can use an overly to spy on every screen touch you make and every character you type, including account numbers and passwords.  Of course, Twilight Pro isn’t malware, and doesn’t spy on you, but all of this is moot when using Blue Light Filter, which runs natively, and will not show up as a false positive screen overlay.  Bottom line is, I don’t need Twilight Pro on my S8.

 

 

Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

 

  • Android
  • Blue Light
  • Cancer
  • Health
  • Melatonin
  • Product Ambassadors
  • samsung galaxy s8
  • Sprint
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Galaxy-S8_2-750x500.jpg

 

 

 

Galaxy Apps.PNGSamsung has a special version of the Amazon Kindle e-reader app called “Kindle for Samsung”.  You can only install it from Samsung’s app store, which they call, “Galaxy Apps”.  It’s pre-installed on your Galaxy S8, or any other recent Samsung device, including their excellent line of tablets.

 

 

Kindle for Samsung.PNG

 

 

 You can install this app even if you already have the regular Kindle app installed from Google Play store or the Amazon App store.Screenshot_20170619-105218.png

 

Each month, there are four books to choose from, representing a variety of genres.  You will be able to choose one free book.  The available books show up on the first of each month and are available for the entire month.

 

Screenshot_20170619-105250.pngTo find the offer for the month, open the Kindle for Samsung app.  Now, from within the app, touch the menu button in the top-left corner of your screen; it is designated by three horizontal lines. Next, choose the option titled, “Samsung Book Deals”; it’s fifth down from the top.  You will likely initially see only three books, but you can slide those over to see the fourth offering.  Clicking on the book’s cover will give you a detailed description of that book and the ability to redeem that month’s offer.  Once you purchase your month’s quota of free books, (one book per month), you will lose the ability to purchase the other three for free, however, they are often still offered at a heavily discounted rate.  Many of the books I’ve seen can be purchased for less than two dollars, while the full retail price might be twelve to fifteen dollars.

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Once you purchase the book, (for free), it will show up permanently in your Kindle library and will be available on all of your devices that have access to Kindle.  Your reading progress will be saved and synced across devices.  As an example, you can begin reading your free e-book on your Galaxy S8 as soon as you acquire it, then pick up where you left off on your Kindle.  You do not need to use the Kindle for Samsung app to read it at all, merely for the original purchase.

 

You may find it helpful to set a monthly reminder to come back at the beginning of each month to see the new selections.  Samsung has a useful app for that appropriately named, “Reminders”.Screenshot_20170619-111948.png

 

Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

 

  • Amazon
  • Android
  • eBooks
  • Kindle
  • Product Ambassadors
  • samsung galaxy s8
  • Sprint