Wednesday, 27 March 2013

PREVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S4 Goes Official

Samsung just announced the fourth generation GALAXY S, the GALAXY S 4, designed to get you closer to what matters in life and bring your world together. 
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Understanding what matters most to us in our lives, the Samsung GALAXY S 4 was developed to redefine the way we live and to maximize our fulfillment of life. This sleek and innovative smartphone makes every moment of life very meaningful; it understands the value of relationships, enabling true connections with friends and family. It believes in the importance of an effortless user experience, making your life easy and hassle-free; and, it empowers your life, helping take care of your well-being.

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The beauty of the phone is the highly crafted design encompassing a larger screen size and battery, minimized bezel; all housed in a light (130g) and slim (7.9mm) shape. The Samsung GALAXY S 4 is slimmer yet stronger, with less to hold yet more to see. It has come up with simply unreal beauty. At launch, two color options will be available - Black Mist and White Frost; with a variety of additional color options to follow later this year.

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A rich life is one that's filled with meaningful moments and the GALAXY S 4 captures and shares those special moments. The GALAXY S 4 has the world's first Full HD Super AMOLED display to showcase images at their very best. Its 5-inch large screen has 441ppi for stunning viewing quality. The Samsung GALAXY S 4 also utilizes Corning's new Gorilla® Glass 3, making it a durable travel companion for all of life's adventures.

Equipped with a 13 megapixel rear camera, the GALAXY S 4 also boasts a 'Dual Camera' function that allows simultaneous use of both front and rear cameras. When capturing moments, users can choose from a variety of frame effects which blend the two pictures naturally and also adjust the size of the small picture inside the big one. Users can select 8 different ways to combine the two photos taken by the front camera and the rear camera. At the same time, the 'Dual Video Call' function enables you to make and receive a video call with friends and family while showing what you are looking at during the call.

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The camera functionality extends beyond Dual Camera, as the device is also equipped with 12 outstanding shooting modes including 'Drama Shot', which allows you to see all the action in one continuous time-lapse, and 'Sound & Shot', which uniquely stores sound and voice together as the picture is taken so those special moments are captured in the truest form imaginable, exactly as they happened.

These meaningful moments can also now automatically be stored in a photo album, with the new 'Story Album' function. Photos taken by the GALAXY S 4 are automatically gathered and sorted out according to your timeline, geo-tagging information, or a specific event to create a photo album. These unique story albums can be ordered and delivered as an offline photo album through a new partnership with Blurb*, so you can keep those precious moments safe to look at and share time and time again.

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Samsung GALAXY S 4 enables true connections with the people in our lives. It is more than a personal device that can be enjoyed by one user - it makes the most of our relationships allowing us to easily share and experience many of life's pleasures together with family and friends, wherever you are.

With its 'Group Play' function, users can enjoy music, photos, documents and games with those around them without even requiring a Wi-Fi AP or cellular signal. This innovative feature enables users to connect directly with others to share, play and co-create content and entertainment instantly. Its 'Share Music' option allows users to have the same song playing on multiple phones in sync to create the best party atmosphere.

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The GALAXY S 4 brings all people closer together by breaking down language barriers. It makes international travel a joy, with 'S Translator' which provides instant translation, using text or voice translation on applications including email, text message and ChatON. This instant translation is possible both from speech to text and text to speech and ensures that you can rely on the correct information whilst abroad.

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The GALAXY S 4 supports HSPA+42 Mbps and 4G LTE which means wherever you are in the world, you can rely on perfect connectivity. Especially, the LTE version supports up to 6 different band sets which allows it to function in most LTE coverage areas as well as enabling global LTE roaming. Furthermore, TDD/FDD LTE Dual Mode version will be introduced later this year.

In today's world, we are all looking for smart ways to make life easier and less stressful. The GALAXY S 4 ensures that tasks are effortless with innovative features that detect your face, voice and motions to enable screen control with no need for finger touch activation.

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'Samsung Smart Pause' enables you to control the screen by where you look. When you are watching a video, the video pauses when you look away then it starts right up again when you are back. 'Samsung Smart Scroll' allows you to scroll the browser or emails up and down without touching the screen. It recognizes your face looking at the screen and movement of your wrist and then scroll the pages up or down accordingly.

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'Air View' allows users to hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it. You can even see a magnified view on the internet browser, or a phone number saved in the speed dial on the keypad. With 'Air Gesture', you can change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand.
With 'S Voice Drive' you can activate commands via voice control for optimization when driving. Once connected with a car Bluetooth, the phone automatically turns into driving mode converting text to speech so you can easily and safely check messages with no need to look at the screen.
'Samsung Optical Reader' makes life yet more effortless, by automatically recognizing text, a business card or QR code information, and providing useful functions such as translation, call, text message and search.

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At home, using 'Samsung WatchON', the GALAXY S 4 will transform into an IR remote to control your home entertainment system including TV, set-top box, DVD player and even air conditioner. In addition, you can enjoy various content including live TV, cable TV and VOD based on the rich information provided by EPG (Electronic Program Guide).
The GALAXY S 4 empowers your life by keeping you up-to-date with health and wellbeing information using the new 'S Health' software. The combination of sensors built within the device systematically and automatically monitors your health, surroundings and so much more to help improve your quality of life. Also, users can easily check their health conditions using food diary, exercise diary and sleep monitor to stay fit and healthy. (Certain functions are enabled by specific accessories.)

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To further protect your wellbeing, 'Samsung Adapt Display' provides an optimal viewing experience, customized for each type of application, and 'Samsung Adapt Sound' offers an optimal level and type of sound, personalized for each user, to make the most out of life.

Samsung GALAXY S 4 will be available from Q2 globally including US, partnering with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, as well as US Cellular and Cricket. In Europe, Samsung GALAXY S 4 is partnering with global mobile operators such as Deutsche Telecom, EE, H3G, Orange, Telenor, Telia Sonera, Telefonica, and Vodafone.

Is Your Samsung Galaxy Smartphone Acting Up?

So, is your Samsung Galaxy S Series smartphone acting up?

Is your back-light flickering? Do you see dead pixels? Couldn't hear any sound from the speakers? Gyro sensor not working? Don't you worry. I have here below a list of codes that you can use to check if your Galaxy S Smartphone is in its top shape. You also get a few other codes to find out specific information.

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While I'm not sure if it's compatible to all Galaxy smartphones, I'm sure that it will work with the Galaxy S, the Galaxy S II, and the Galaxy S III. You can try it on your Galaxy Note phablet too!

Among the codes below, my favorite is the "testing mode". This is where you could check all the sensors, sound, lights, screen, and whatnot that your smartphone uses.

Tell me which among the codes is your favorite. Be careful with some of the codes though as it may affect the performance of your beloved smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S3 To Get Galaxy Note 2 Features

Most Samsung Galaxy S III users just received their Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update just last month but Samsung is not yet finished with its streak of updates for its beloved flagship smartphone. The Galaxy S III is yet again to receive another firmware upgrade this coming December 2012. Samsung may be thinking of giving it as a Christmas gift to Galaxy S III users. No less than the killer features of Samsung's next-generation phablet, the Galaxy Note 2, will be added to the roster of features of the Galaxy S III.

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This includes the following:
just by taking a look at
  • Multi-Window View
  • Smart Rotation
  • Page Buddy
  • Customizable Notification Panel
  • Continuous Input in Samsung Keyboard (Similar to Swipe)
  • Paper Artist App
  • New Gallery App

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All I can say is that I can't wait for this any longer. The quad-core processor of the Galaxy S III will definitely be able to showcase its power again and will make it way ahead of its competition. I just hope that Samsung will also give its flagship smartphone the Android 4.2 update so that the Galaxy S III will have other cool features that the Nexus 4 has.

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Movie Review: The Mistress

Perhaps this is one of Star Cinema's biggest movies of the year. The Mistress, which is of a drama/romance genre, stars John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo who kept movie-goers asking for more after their box-office hit One More Chance.

The Mistress is a story about young woman (Bea Alonzo) who is torn between the affections of her two lovers. One is a young bachelor (John Lloyd Cruz) who brings passion into her life. The other is a married man (Ronaldo Valdez) who has kept her as his mistress for years.

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I must say that this is one the best Filipino films I've seen in my 25 years of existence. The actors were really good. Kudos to Hilda Koronel, Anita Linda, Ronaldo Valdez, and of course, John Lloyd and Bea. I can't say much about the plot as I don't want to be a spoiler.

All I can say is that I love it. The story is kinda typical but with an unexpected twist. It's directed by Olivia Lamasan and is R-13. Be sure to bring lots of drinks and popcorn with you, as well as tissue/hanky as the film runs for more than 2 hours and there are several tear-jerking and gushy scenes. For more reviews and comments about The Mistress, be sure to check

The New Sony Xperia L with Promo

The Xperia L is one of Sony's newest mid-range Android smartphones that is poised to compete with Samsung and LG's arsenal of entry-level and mid-range Android smartphones. It has the specs and affordable pricing to bank on to prove that it offers the best bang per buck among smartphones.

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Here are its key specifications, according to
  • General: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, tri/quad-band UMTS/HSPA
  • Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
  • Dimensions: 128.7 x 65 x 9.7 mm, 137 g
  • Display: 4.3" 16M-color FWVGA (480 x 854 pixels ) capacitive touchscreen TFT
  • CPU: Dual-core 1 GHz Krait
  • GPU: Adreno 225
  • RAM: 1GB
  • OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Memory: 8GB storage, microSD card slot
  • Camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with face detection; 720p video recording at 30fps, LED flash, VGA front facing camera
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, standard microUSB port, microHDMI, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC
  • Misc: Sony custom UX, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Illumination effect, Stamina mode, dedicated camera key
  • It is still quite uncommon for mid-range smartphones to sport an 8-MP camera but this may be the trend this 2013. In fact, the Sony Xperia L is banking on its imaging capabilities, not to mention it has a dedicated camera button for taking snapshots easily. Learn more about the Sony Xperia L after the jump.

Best Free Android Games

Android has come a long way since its birth. We now have Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for a buttery smooth user experience, Photosphere feature, and whatnot, which is its latest iteration. Its application store, known as the Google Play Store, is now almost as big and as extensive as the Apple App Store in its repository of apps with almost 700,000 applications. And yes, many are free albeit ads-sponsored.

A lot of applications have also been carried over by major app developers from iOS to Android, which makes the latter almost at par with the former in terms of quality applications to offer. Do note that not every application available in the Play Store is compatible to every Android smartphone. Certain apps have specific requirements such as a certain screen resolution, RAM, internal storage, graphics chip, and CPU clock-speed. Well, enough about this and let's start with my review.

Let me enumerate my favorite FREE ANDROID GAMES at the moment. This is Part 1.

1. Jewels - Jewels is a simple, yet quite polished and fun match-3 puzzle game. For me, it's a classic! Perfect for killing time!


2. Gold Miner Classic - Gold Miner is one of most popular online games. You're collecting the gold nuggets by pressing the screen, the same way you activate the sticks of dynamite which you can use when something else than gold will get in your hands. Between levels you can buy them in the convenience shop. Great and interesting game, you will not gaze away from it! This game is very much like the Flash-based Internet PC game and it's so fun!


3. Glow Hockey - Glow Hockey delivers a new style of hockey game. Easy to play, hard to master. Glow Hockey delivers a new style of hockey game. Easy to play, hard to master. Challenge yourself with the computer opponents! By the way, you'll surely love the glowing effects.


4. Falling Fred - Lead Fred in his futile exercise to avoid the inevitable - becoming a human slice of minced meat. Dodge obstacles, avoid limb damage when possible but remember to keep your head attached to your shoulders or it’s the end of the trip for you. Still, it's not all doom and gloom! Regardless of massive injuries, Fred still survives to tell the tale and re-enact his deeds. This is like Temple Run, but instead of running, you are falling...endlessly.


5. Angry Birds Space  - The #1 mobile game of all time blasts off into space! After a giant claw kidnaps their eggs, the Angry Birds chase it into a wormhole and find themselves floating in a strange new galaxy – surrounded by space pigs! Luckily the Angry Birds have super powers of their own...
Angry Birds Space features 140 interstellar levels on planets and in zero gravity, resulting in spectacular gameplay ranging from slow-motion puzzles to light speed destruction. If you enjoyed playing the other Angry Birds games and, at one point, got bored then this is the game for you.


6. Eternity Warriors 2 - The battle for Northern Udar rages on! It's been 100 years since the First Demon War tore the land apart. Thanks to the Eternity Warriors the demon threat was held at bay. However the demons have been consolidating their power in a series of Demon Towers built in locations throughout Northern Udar. You've been tasked with cleansing these Demon Towers and defeating an even deadlier demon army than before... If you like games like DOTA or Diablo, you'll surely enjoy playing this one.


7. Mutant Roadkill - Race through an apocalyptic wasteland overrun with mutants and other hazards. Blast your way through city ruins as you try to escape a world overrun with danger. Drive as far as you can and compete against the world! Can you make it out alive? This is similar to iOS's Zombie Highway game.


8. Samurai vs Zombies Defense - Play as a Samurai and defend your village against hordes of attacking zombies! Recruit allies and build defenses to stop them! This is very much like Army of Darkness but it's free to play! It's the perfect game to play when killing time.


9. Temple Run - Run for your life! The addictive mega-hit Temple Run is now on Android. You've stolen the cursed idol from the temple, and now you have to run for your life to escape the Evil Demon Monkeys nipping at your heels. Test your reflexes as you race down ancient temple walls and along sheer cliffs. Swipe to turn, jump and slide to avoid obstacles, collect coins and buy power ups, unlock new characters, and see how far you can run!


10. Fruit Ninja - Fruit Ninja is a juicy action game with squishy, splatty and satisfying fruit carnage! Become the ultimate bringer of sweet, tasty destruction with every slash. Swipe up across the screen to deliciously slash fruit like a true ninja warrior. Fruit Ninja features three packed gameplay modes - Classic, Zen and the new Arcade, featuring powerups including Freeze, Frenzy and Double Score!


So there you have it! This is Part 1 of my 10 Favorites Games on the Android platform, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for FREE. I hope you like them all.