Samsung have released their latest onslaught to remain at the top of the pack in world domination of the smart phone market.
Strong words I know, but Samsung is the largest technology firm in the world, by revenue, and in Australia outsells Apple 58 percent to 36 percent in the smart phone arena.
This latest iteration of Samsung's premium handset introduces many new features like eye motion sensors that will pause video playback if you look away from the screen, and restart playback when you look back.
There is also premium navigation, 'Air Gesture", a 13 MP camera, Quad core processor and a beautiful 5 inch Hi resolution screen.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 sells for $899rrp. Check the video below.
Samsung are the leaders in Smart Phone sales world wide, and they obviously plan to keep it that way. Unlike Apple, Samsung offer a huge range of smart phones to satisfy just about any market and consumer.
Due to arrive this month, is the new Samsung Galaxy Express. What is is that sets this phone apart from a crowded range?
Other than the 4.5 inch Super AMOLED display, S Beam, FREE Navigon Voice-Guided navigation, 8GB internal memory and 4G LTE connectivity, its the price that sets this phone apart for value. Only $499 rrp for a 4G enabled Unlocked Samsung smart phone with these credentials is very impressive.
At this price you would think there are a number of compromises compared to the Galaxy S3 from Samsung, and you would be right.
However, the fact that it has a 5MP camera, as opposed to 8MP for the S3, and a slightly less impressive processor, there is no denying the value equation.
At $499 compared to the S3 4G version at $799 the Samsung Galaxy Express makes a good case for itself.
Some years ago, those that are old enough to remember, will have read the Dick Tracy Comics or watched the cartoon series on TV. The younger ones might recall the 1990 Dick Tracy Movie starring Warren Beatty and Madonna. Was that really 23 years ago????
Us oldies will remember how impressed we were that Dick Tracy communicated with his chief using his two-way wrist radio, way back in October 1931 when the comic strip debuted in Detroit.
I know I wanted one!
Now there are rumors surfacing that Apple are working on the iWatch, and you can bet these rumors will prove to be true. My bet is it will be released sometime this year.
For people that don't want to wait, there are already a few "Smart Watches" available, although not quite mainstream yet. The best I have seen so far is from Sony. This clever ANDROID compatible Smart Watch uses Bluetooth and advanced applications to provide Facebook & Twitter feeds, incoming call and SMS information, and will even let you control your music on your Smart Phone.
Sony's very clever Smartwatch is quite good looking and priced at around AU$150.00. It is fully compatible with Sony's range of Smart Phones, and adapts well with most Android phones.
You may not actually talk into it... yet, but it is the next best thing for people who like to be up to date and discreet at the same time. Checking Facebook feeds couldn't be easier. Although, thinking about it, maybe starring at your watch all the time will draw attention to the fact you have a Smart Watch, and who wouldn't want to show that off?
The future is closer than we think, and when Apple launch their version we can be sure that just like the iPhone took smart phones to another level, so too will the iWatch.
A couple of weeks ago I loaded the new Android operating system on to my Samsung Galaxy S2.
Named as Icecream Sandwich...Google insist on having these strange names for their Android versions... this version 4.03 is designed for the latest crop of handsets and tablets running Android.
The main things I have noticed, as far as improvements are concerend are related to multi tasking. The phone generally runs smoother, and switches between applications swiftly and effectively.
It takes a little bit of time to recognise some of the changes as you delve deeper in to the day to day use of a smart phone. There has been upgrades to the Email client, using my work Exchange account, and it took me a couple of days to figure out some of the improvements. It's now easier to attach a file to an email, and like a desk top PC, I can attach any file on my phone, or I can take a photo and share that easily. Speaking of photos, renaming, cropping, rotating and editing photos is much easier. The Galaxy S2 takes great 8MP photos by the way, and I love the panorama shooting mode. (See photo of the Hiroshima Peace Park below)
The menu system has been changed slightly, and I have found the settings are easier to find and adjust. Things like accessing the the data usage menu, and being able to set data limits and warnings are great, given that a Smart phone can easily use a lot of data if you are not mindful of this. Power saving features have improved, and I am getting about 30% more from my battery life, which is fantastic!
If you are considering a Smart phone, or looking to upgrade one, I recommend the Samsung Galaxy S2 as one of the most user friendly and highly specced phones on the market today, and now with the upgrade to ANDROID 4.0, it's even better. As a matter of fact, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus that is being heavily promoted as the first ANDROID 4.0 phone on the Australian market is actually an older phone with lower features, so now that the Galaxy S2 has been given this upgrade... it's definitely my choice.
It seems that all the tech media talk in recent weeks was the imminent release of the Apple iPad 3. Such a lot of media and consumer attention for such a small change in design.
I am not saying the iPad 3 is not a good piece of kit, but it is not a quantum leap that encourages consumers to upgrade from the iPad 2. Only if you feel the absolute need for higher resolution graphics does it make any sense. In ordinary use day by day, I do not believe the higher res screen will make much difference when using the iPad 3 to access the web, or even watching YouTube.
Maybe there is enough graphics grunt to make movie watching a little more pleasurable, but this really is a personal thing given the size of the screen and the unlikeliness of a family sitting around their much lauded iPad 3 in the lounge room watching Ice Age 4.
What all this hype does show is that Apple have managed to create more than a user friendly tablet and smart phone (iPhone). They have pulled the ultimate marketing coup... creating buying frenzies and media attention around the world, all talking about the next release device from Apple. Even going so far as to encourage rumours about upcoming product upgrades, what might or might not be included or improved on. Talk about controlling a market.
I am even guilty of joining in the hype, discussing the Apple iPad 3 here or even the iPhone in earlier blog posts.
Those that know me know that I am a fan of Android, but even the best competitor against the iPad 3, Samsung's beautiful Galaxy Tab 10.1 leaves me feeling a little under whelmed. Don't get me wrong. I love my Samsung tablet, lighter than the iPad, thin, bright screen and all. But why did Samsung remove the advantages they had over the iPad by using a propriety connector in stead of micro USB? Why did they remove the ability to upgrade memory via micro SD card slot. These were the things that made Samsung competitive with the original Galaxy Tab 7.
This is an electronic payment system for smart phones that communicates with the new EFTPOS Terminals being rolled out by banks into retail channels.
Essentially, you are able to have all your credit card details and personal information stored on your mobile smart phone using an App. Just like you can simply "flash" your chipped credit card at a retailer now and the payment is deducted quickly and automatically, NFC via a mobile wallet will take this even further giving the consumer control over a number of credit cards or accounts. This clever technology will eventually mean there will be no reason to carry a wallet full of credit cards or cash, and once again the humble mobile phone becomes even more entwined and entangled into our lives.
Last year in May, I said this new technology would be introduced in a short period of time to Australia, and now it is a reality. We are already using "Chipped" Credit Cards for swipe payments and the new NFC technolgy is now starting to appear in Smart Phones this year.
Google isn't the only one developing Apps and NFC for payments, as Apple is also rumoured to be developing the same type of technology for their popular iPhone.
The rexently launched Google Samsung Galaxy Nexus Smart Phone has a smart chip included to allow the use of NFC, and HTC have just launched the "Velocity" smartphone in Australia with NFC included.
I welocome your thoughts about NFC payments, and eliminating the need for a wallet full of cards and cash? Will we also carry our ID in our smartphones? No need for a driver's licence? Are we safe? is Big Brother watching?
There are many questions around this technology, but at the end of the day I believe most of us will be using Near Field Communication (NFC) on our smart phones to make purchases.
Australians are often the first to embrace new technology, so I feel we will jump on board with NFC too.
Google's Nexus phone has been a long time coming to the shores of Australia.
Produced by Samsung, and known in OZ as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, this smart phone is pitched at the high level consumer looking for the best of the best.
What makes this phone special are two key features that set it apart from all other smartphones in the market today.
1. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the first phone in Australia to come loaded with the much anticipated Android Icecream Sandwich opertaing system. This new OS is the pinacle of Google's popular system for smart phones bringing a better consumer experience, faster speeds and improved muti-tasking. Everything the high end user needs.
2. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is also the first SmartPhone in Australia to sport a "Near Field Communication" (NFC) chip. This brings a whole new technology to SmartPhones, allowing you to use your Galaxy Nexus as your credit card, paying for items at wave and pay outlets, which are becoming more prevalent in the Australian market.
You can read more about this technology in an earlier post of mine here.
The Motorola Xoom has arrived at jenlist Distributors and makes a great alternative to the Apple iPad if you are looking for a sophisticated handheld Tablet capable of delivering exceptional performance and versatility.
With 32Gb of on board memory, Micro SD slot to expand memory by a further 32GB, WiFi and a Dual Core 1.2 Mghz processor, this 10.1 inch tablet has the power and spped to meet almost all your portabel comuting needs.
The version we are selling is WiFi only and retails at $599.
You can pair this with a pocket Wifi from Optus, and enjoy computing on the go.
The Motorola Xoom is running the latest Android 3.1 Honeycomb operating system designed specifically for larger screen tablets like the Xoom. Honeycomb offer true mutlitasking enabling you to quickly switch between running programs and APPS.
You can enjoy full navigation on the latest Samsung Smart Phones.
One of the best things about the latest breed of Smart Phones from Samsung running Googles Android operating system is the inclusion of spoken, turn by turn Australia wide navigation from Navigon.
The complete Australian Mapping is included on the supplied Micro SD card with most Samsung Android Smart Phones. This means you can enjoy full navigation with out the need for an internet or data connection, as the mapping works seemlessly in the background and location is plotted via the built in GPS of the Samsung Smart Phone.
So, for as little as $149 you can enjoy all the benefits of having one of the latest Android powered Samsung Smart Phones as well as full spoken turn by turn navigation by Navigon. By the way, Navigon is a Garmin company. Garmin is the biggest name in Navigation in the world.
Check out the Optus Samsung Galaxy Mini in White or Black and the Optus Samsung Gio. These fabulous Prepaid handsets come with FREE Navigon spoken turn by turn navigation from Garmin.
Many a word will continue to be written about the impact that Tablets will have on the human race.
The humble tablet as we refer to them today can maybe be compared to that famous tablet of the late 90's that "kept people up all night".
Statistics show that tablet usage is on the up, (no pun intended), and of course we have the iPad from Apple to thank for that, just like we can thank Pfizer for bring the must have tablet for all night performance to market back in 1998. Coincidentally, 1998 is the same year Donna and I started Jenlist Distributors.
It is estimated that usage of the Smart Phone and Tablet will see more people spending time surfing the Web next year on their personal Tablet or Smart Phone than they do on a traditional PC. It's hard to believe I am today referring to a "tradtional PC" that in reality has only really been in common use in homes since about 1998, about the same time Pfizer and Jenlist had uplifting moments.
But enough word play. I think you get my drift by now.
As per the graph right, the average Android user (and this is the same for users of Apple's iPad and iPhone) spends almost an hour a day interacting with the Web or apps. This just shows that consumers that may have spent this time interacting with friends, watching TV, playing sport, etc has re-assigned their time to spend more of it surfing the web or using applications such as email, game play or social media interaction. So, they still interact with friends then, but on a broader scale with more people in further away places as well as locally.
So, what is it I am trying to get at here? Simple, I think.
If you are a retailer and want to be a part of this growth, then I strongly suggest you get involved in retailing products that these consumers are purchasing, get involved with Social Media to "talk" to your consumers, and embrace the future within your business. An hour a day now will soon turn into 2 hours.
Your customers will continue to upgrade their devices, and more often than not they will do this in a convenient and comfortable environment. Make sure your retail outlet is a comfortable environment to be in and make sure you offer the latest "smart" devices for them to purchase.