NEXUS 10 and The Nigerian Tech Market

Nexus 10
Following the success of the very Cheap but powerful Nexus 7, Google released the successor of its legendary device. It was released fairly mid-way in November, 2012. The device is the successor to the commercially successful nexus 7. There was a change in developer/manufacturer partnership as the Nexus 10 was developed by Google and Samsung, you can’t help but wonder why Asus did not reprise their role as manufacturer even with the archived commercial success.
Will Nexus 10 be commercially successful in Nigeria?

Processor and GPU (10/10)

Featuring <Must be linked to wiki< Samsung Exynos 5250 system on chip>> a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz, means the NEXUS clearly leaves up to its expectations in processing power.

A quad-core ARM Mali T604 GPU means games and videos are rendered smoothly on its incredibly large WQXGA resolution.

Memory and Storage (8/10)

The Nexus 10 has a 16G and 32G internal storage capacity, no sd card slot for extending memory. It also comes equipped with 2G RAM, although it is unlikely you’ll run a single app that’ll consume 60% of the RAM in an instance, you will definitely notice the amount of apps that are kept alive even after focus is lost for a long time. Nexus 10 is FAST!

DISPLAY AND RESOLUTION (9/10)

Features a crisp 10.1-inch LCD with capacitive multi-touch touchscreen, with 2560×1600 display resolution, highest by any tablet in 2012>>(linked to WIKI) and as expected of every Samsung manufactured device, it features a scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 2<<Read about Gorrilla Glass 3 here>>  (Nexus 7 corning fit, 10 corning Gorilla)

CAMERA (7/10)

Nexus 10 Camera

Features two cameras, A sharp 5MP rear camera, for those people who don’t feel shy to cover events with a tablet (I for one, I’m not a fan of that, recording with a tab looks very awkward in every perspective K). The rear camera is capable of recording full 1080P videos at 30FPS. The inbuilt camera app also supports the usual features such as autofocus, face detection and geotagging etc and a ~2MP front facing camera, for video caling and skype.

CONNECTIVITY (7/10)

Features a Bluetooth 4.0 and WIFI for data exchange and internet connectivity, It also features a dual side NFC for use in Android beam. Like the initial models of its predecessor, it also lacks cellular connectivityL.

Design (Score 9/10)

Nexus 10 Design

www.slashgear.com

The Nexus 10 is 8.9 mm in girth, 263.9 mm long, 177.6 mm wide, it weighs 603 g. The rear of the device comprises a smooth, plastic surface a very conspicuous “nexus” tag, and a less conspicuous “Samsung” tag. The volume control buttons and the power button are at the top of the device and a 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port on the devices left hand side. On the right lies the microHDMI port while the magnetic pogo pin used for docking and charging are at the bottom of the device.

OTHERS (10/10)

Nexus 10 comes equipped with the usual gravitation, motion and orientation sensing devices; an accelerometer, gyroscope; barometer, magnetometer and a digital compass; a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor are also present. Like its predecessor, it also features an in built microphone. It’s equipped with a GPS and GLONASS, yeah, it has supports both so you can never get lost since both already cover the globe; you are doubly insuredJ.

SOFTWARE (10/10)

OS

The device comes equipped with stock Android 4.2 JellyBean. Like the Nexus line, its boot loader is unlocked by defaultJ. It also comes with preinstalled with all Google apps.

As expected of every successor, the Nexus 10 is more powerful than its predecessor, but the nexus devices have clearly been out sold by galaxy line of Android devices in Nigeria, even with their cheaper price.

Overall: ~8.75 / 10

Overall the Nexus 10 is a very good device and follows well in the tradition of its predecessor, providing easy OS customization at cheaper than believable price.

Why this Device Can Be Successful in Nigeria

  • Relatively cheap: although much more expensive than its predecessor, the Nexus 10 is relatively cheaper than devices of its class(16 GB: US$399 and 32 GB: US$499)
  • Powerful hardware

Why this device can’t be successful in Nigeria

  • Nexus device advert and promotion is very poor in Nigeria, Samsung, Nokia and Sony go considerable length to create awareness about their devices in Nigeria. (Being a fan of Google, I’ve never seen a Nexus bill-board on a popular expressway L)
  • Not as nearly as cheap as Nexus 7, yet lacking Cellular support
  • Given the lack of cellular network, the device lacks carrier promotion, reason why you don’t get text messages from carrier about discounted rate.

Samsung tops Apple as Top Cellphone Brand in 2012

Nokia’s 14-year reign is all but history as Samsung puts it to an end, dethroning the Finnish company to become the top cellphone brand in 2012.

According to the IHS iSuppli Mobile and Wireless Communications Service, Samsung is expected to be responsible for 29% of worldwide cellphone shipments, up from 24% in 2011. Nokia’s market share this year will drop to 24%, down from 30% last year. Trailing in third place is Apple, which is predicted to take 10% of shipments (up from 7% in 2011). ZTE follows in fourth place with 6%, remaining steady since last year, while LG ends up in fifth place with 4% (down from 6%), as presented in the Table below.

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This is the first time the South Korean electronics giant will occupy the top on a yearly basis. Nokia relinquished their hold on the top spot for the first time since 1998.

“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market—and will account for. nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”

By offering various types of phones to appeal to a wide range of consumers, Samsung’s success has been established.

“The company produces dozens of new smartphone. models every year that address all segments of the market, from the high end to the low end,” IHS explained. “Samsung monitors the big trends in smartphone design, user needs and unmet market opportunities, then creates products to fit those markets quickly and efficiently.”

Meanwhile, Nokia has struggled to transition from its ever popular Symbian-based phones to its newer Windows 7-based handsets. The result has been declining shipments, with the Windows phones failing to make up for poor sales of the Symbian phones.

Samsung also boasts the best performance among smartphone brands, with its share of global shipments moving up to 28% from 20% last year. Apple sits in second place with its share slightly moving up from 19% to 20%. Nokia, in third place, suffers the biggest loss here, with its share plunging to 5% from 16% followed by HTC and RIM in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

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Global smartphone shipments are set to rise by 35.5 percent this year, while overall cellphone shipments will increase by approximately 1 percent. This rapid growth
will propel 2012 smartphone penetration to 47 percent, up from 35 percent in 2011.

Do you think Samsung will top this list by 2013 or will Apple overtake Samsung?

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2 N7100- Big…is better!- Part 2

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Interface and Software

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a TouchWiz UI. It features the standard tap and drag in any direction to unlock affair with ripples accompained by a water-drop sound. There are five customizable shortcuts which are available at the bottom of the lockscreen. Dragging any of the shortcuts upwards launches apps without going through the homescreen. There are several options like the face unlock, face and voice unlock, unlock by touching the screen and phone tilting unlock.
There’s a new feature called Quick glance which gives you at-a-glance info on missed calls and message notifications as well as the battery percentage, music track info and upcoming alarms. The notification area offers quick toggles for Wi-Fi, GPS, Slient mode, Screen rotation and Power saving. There are five more toggles just off screen-Blocking mode, Mobile data, Bluetooth, AllShare cast and Sync. Further down we get the Brightness Slider with an Auto checkbox. This allows you to adjust the screen’s brightness even if it’s in auto mode.image

The screen of the Note 2 is big and typing experience might not be an easy task. Luckily for us Samsung knows this and that’s why they’ve added a few settings to make it easier. You can have the QWERTY keyboard, phone keypad and in- call buttons, calculator and unlock pattern moved to one side of the screen (left. Or right, whichever you prefer), to make them easier to use with one hand.

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Another cool feature you can find on the Galaxy Note 2 is Smart Stay. This feature uses the front-facing camera to detect the user looking at the screen, so that it never dims or locks while you’re reading. This makes reading web pages and ebooks very comfortable, even if you’ve set the screen timeout low to preserve the battery. Another clever camera twick is the Smart rotation. When enabled, the Note 2 will try to orient it’s screen in relation to your eyes not the accelerometer.

Processor, Memory and Battery

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 features a Samsung- made Exynos 4412 Quad chipset with four Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.6GHz, 2GB of RAM and a Mali-400 GPU which manages the Note 2’s graphics. Like the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 2 comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage options with up to 64GB of external storage.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is packed with a 3,100mAh battery (up from 2,500mAh on the original Note) which yields Up to 35 hours of 2G Talk time and Up to 16 hours of 3G Talk time.

Phonebook

The phonebook is virtually unlimited storage capacity. There are four tabs on top accommodating the Phone app, Groups, Favorites and Contacts. Samsung has kept swipe features for the phonebook. The Quick contacts feature is there too, displaying, upon a tap on the contact picture, a pop up menu with shortcuts to call, text, email or Google Talk. There’s a built-in reject list which acts like a third party blacklist app and blocks the numbers on it from calling you. There’s a new feature which lets you choose a specific vibration pattern as an incoming call alert, just like you would a ringtone.

Messaging and Text input

This being an Android handset, you cannot fault the amount of messaging options in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Firstly, there’s Mail, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with two flavours built in. One is the standard, excellent Gmail app found on all Android handsets. The second is Samsung’s own Mail app, which accommodates Gmail as well as virtually every other POP3/IMAP and Exchange option you care to chuck in its direction. The Gmail app is brilliant. It was overhauled for Android Ice Cream Sandwich, so if you have the original Samsung Galaxy Note (and you haven’t updated from Gingerbread), you’ll very quickly notice the difference. It looks better, it acts better and it gives you a widget too. Turning the phablet landscape activates the split view- the left side of the screen shows the list of emails, while the right side shows a message. This works rather well on the big 5.5 inch screen.
For tapping out messages, you’re really spoiled for choice. There’s a Samsung included keyboard. Google’s voice dictation is also brilliant, and you can use that in place of a keyboard. When dictating messages on Google Voice Typing, it’s really quite good. The beauty is that the words appear as you speak, which gives you a little more confidence to dictate longer messages. There is a problem in that punctuation can be a bit of a headbanger. Saying ‘period’ (US English) instead of ‘fullstop’ (British English) is fine – we got used to that easily enough. But saying ‘comma’ can lead to anything from ‘mama’, ‘kama’ or ‘korma’ appearing when you’re just trying to punctuate a sentence. Also, the S-Pen enables you to tap out words by just scribbling them on a virtual pad at the bottom of the screen. This is scarily accurate, and relies on actual handwriting. It even manages to decipher cursive writing!

Gallary and Multi media

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with a brand new, eye-candy rich Gallery app. It opens up in Albums view but you can choose to sort your pictures by Location, Time, Person (photos with tagged faces), Group and Favorites. You can also switch between three view modes – rectangular grid, a grid that’s spread out in 3D space and a 3D spiral. When you view a photo with people’s faces on it, the Galaxy Note 2 will try to detect them automatically. The Gallery also features social tag. This feature works when a face is recognized in a photo. After recognizing the person in the photo, it makes you see the person’s status message which will allow you to call or message them easily. Also, there’s Buddy Photo Share. This function allows photos to be easily and simultaneously shared with all your friends pictured in an image directly from the camera or the photo gallery.

The Galaxy Note 2 uses the TouchWiz music player. Equalizer presets are enabled (including a custom one) along with  Sound Alive technology, which features 7.1 channel virtualization. Music is sorted into various categories, but the most interesting one is called Music Square. This feature automatically rates a song as Joyful or Passionate, Calm or Exciting and place those songs on a Square. The Galaxy Note 2’s player is also DLNA enabled.
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Camera

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has an 8 megapixel camera and can capture photos at a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. The video recording of the Galaxy Note 2 is very impresssive at 1080p. The Frame rate is 30Fps, this will make the captured video smooth enough. The front camera features a 1.9 megapixel camera and it records videos at 720p.

Web Browser and Connectivity

The Galaxy Note 2 is powered with a Jelly Bean version of the android browser. The Browser supports both double tap and pinch zooming along with the two-finger tilt. The browser supports text reflow, find on page, save for offline viewing, request desktop site and so on. A neat trick is to pinch zoom out beyond the minimum – that opens up the tabs view. The Web browser comes with Incognito mode, which lets you surf the web without the browser keeping track of your history or storing cookies. As you can expect, the S Pen is not left out when using the browser. It works like mouse when hovering over an internet page. You can also use the S Pen to do quick web searches. The Print option is another cool feature which lets you print out web pages straight from your phone. Unfortunately, this only works only with Samsung printers. There’s obviously the usual bundles of radios as well, including 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS, GLONASS, FM radio with RDS, Bluetooth 4.0 (LE, A2DP, EDR and NFC), GSM 850 /900 /1800 /1900, HSDPA 850 /900 /1900 /2100 and LTE 700 MHz Class 17 / 2100 – N7105.

Conclusion

There’s no getting away from the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is one beast of a droid and a major step forward for the class it represents. It does almost everything it sets out to do perfectly, with grace, class and maximum functionality. If you want to shop for a larger smartphone or a small tablet, there really is no better device. Many thanks to the GSM Arena team and the guys at Tech Radar.

Samsung ATIV S- Windows version of Samsung Galaxy S3?

Samsung ATIV S is an aluminum beauty with a 1.5GHz processor which is powered by Microsoft’s new smartphone OS.

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With the emergence of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung has established itself as an industry leader in mobile hardware. With the exact price and release date still not clear, we have plenty reasons to be excited about the ATIV S. In fact, the ATIV S might be the best Windows Phone 8 we’ve seen yet.

Design

On sight, the ATIVE S looks like the Galaxy S3. With the same aluminum body, it’s just a little bit longer and thicker than the Galaxy S3.
The layout of the Samsung ATIV S’s controls is similar to that of the Galaxy S3,  but there’s a notable hardware addition which is the dedicated camera button. Below the display you get a physical windows button, a capacitive back and search buttons. You will also find the earpiece, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and a front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera for video-calls above the display. The volume levelers are located on the left side of the ATIV S and on the right side there’s only a power key and a dedicated camera key. The 3.5mm audio jack is at the top of the phone while the microUSB port sits alongside the primary microphone at the bottom and is used for both data connections and charging. The 8 megapixel camera lens is located at the back of the phone. It has the LED flash and loudspeaker on it sides.

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Screen

The Samsung ATIV S features  a 4.8-inch Super HD AMOLED screen of WVGA resolution (720 x 1280 pixels) and the pixel density clocks in at 306ppi. The screen comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass2 hence, durability is guaranteed.

Processor, Memory and Battery

The Samsung ATIV S resemblance to the  Galaxy S3 doesn’t just stop at the body deesign. While it might lack the type of processor packed into the Galaxy S3, the ATIV S has a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor with a 1GB RAM clocked at 1.5GHz. The device also comes with a 16GB or 32GB internal storage options (expandable to 32GB via microSD). The ATIV S is packed with a removable 2300mAh battery. This 2300mAh cell is the largest battery we’ve seen yet on a Windows Phone 8 device. It is even a little bit bigger than the one on the Galaxy S3. We can be sure that the battery life of the ATIV S would be better than that of Galaxy S3 (which has a very very good battery life) due to the difference in their processor.

Camera

The Samsung ATIV S has an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash and can capture photos at a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. The video recording of the ATIV S is impressive at 1080p. The Frame rate is 30Fps, meaning captured video will be smooth. Once in picture-taking mode, you’ll see some software buttons for funtions like adjusting flash, taking video and switching to the 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera. The camera is one place where microsoft really wants Windows Phone 8 devices to distinguish themselves and the ATIV S has done very well in that aspect.

Connectivity

There’s obviously the usual bundles of radios as well, including 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, the Samsung ATIV S supports HSPA 850/900/1900/2100 networks along with EDGE 850/900/1800/1900. The Samsung ATIV S does not support FM radio.

Conclusion

With the announcement of the ATIV S, we can be sure the windows market is getting ready for some competition. The dual-core processor seems like a great idea. Though the chooice of processor might not make the ATIV S as fast as the Galaxy S3 or the LG Optimus G, Samsung has made a wise move. In favoring battery life and reliability (who wouldn’t want a smartphone with an excellent battery life?). The Windows Live Tiles are sort of like Android app icons cross breed with widgets and being able to get so many on one screen while looking so good. It really shows you how smart a Windows Phone 8 device can look. While the aluminum design of the device is very good, we still feel like it’s not up to design of the iPhone 5 but it’s still an improvement from the other Windows Phone 8 devices we’ve seen. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we get a full review and release date.

Many thanks to GSM arena for the pictures and the guys at Tech radar for making this article a success.

Samsung Galaxy S3 mini – what to expect?

We have seen the Samsung Galaxy S3 and we have argued over and over again about it being the best smart phone around. With its 4.8-inch screen, a gleaming oval design and a super strong processor, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is known for it’s value. Samsung has announced the release of  smaller android mobile named the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini is nothing like the earlier Samsung Galaxy S3 in terms of performance. It is a mid-range android device with a 4-inch screen and it’s packed with a slower CPU without 4G LTE capability so we wonder about the point of calling it a “mini” version of the S3.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini is just a tad smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S3, so, those hoping for a smaller Samsung Galaxy S3, might not get exactly what they wanted. The S Voice and DLNA sharing makes it different however, from other mid level android phones. The pricing of the phone wasn’t announced by Samsung but we can be sure it would be cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S3: which may be why it is referred to as a “mini” version.

Design

You know times have changed when a relatively high-powered smartphone with a 4-inch screen is known as “mini”. The Galaxy S3 mini looks like a slightly smaller Galaxy S3. It is slightly thicker, measuring 9.85mm, compared with the Galaxy S3’s 8.6mm.
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The good news is that the mini is very light. The layout of the Galaxy S3 mini’s controls is similar to that of the Galaxy S3, but there are few notable hardware omissions such as the ambient light sensor and secondary microphone. Below the display you get the same three key capacitive menu, back buttons and a regular press home key. You will also find the earpiece, proximity sensor and a VGA front-facing camera for video-calls above the display. The omission of the ambient light sensor means that there’s no automatic brightness control for the Galaxy S3 mini. The volume levelers are located on the left side of the Galaxy S3 mini and on the right side there’s only a power key. I don’t think the Galaxy S3 mini will feature a dedicated camera key, since the original Galaxy S3 lacks one. The 3.5mm audio jack is at the top of the phone while the microUSB port sits alongside the primary microphone at the bottom and is used for both data connections and charging. Please note that USB host and MHL are not supported. The 5 megapixel camera lens is located at the back of the phone. It has the LED flash and loudspeaker on it sides.
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Screen

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini features a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen of WVGA resolution (800 x 480 pixels) and the pixel density clocks in at 233ppi. All in all, the Galaxy S3 mini display offers a more than decent image quality for a mid-range device. Colour separation is good and viewing angles are extremely wide.

Interface and Software

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini is powered by android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the latest TouchWi user interface, dubbed Nature UX. It’s the premium combination that we saw on the S3 and the Galaxy Note II and it certainly will lift the stock android user experience. The mini features the tap and drag in any direction to unlock affair with ripples accompanied by water-drop sound as you drag your finger. The notification area offers quick toggles for Wi-Fi, GPS, silent mode, screen rotation and  power saving. Since the mini’s screen can only fit in five toggles at a time, you can slide them sideways to reveal more functions -notifications, mobile data, Bluetooth, driving mode and sync.
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The Samsung’s custom layer comes with lots of software extras, including photo-sharing features among networked phones and the excellent S Beam. There are other features in the Galaxy S3 mini like a lit screen when you glance at the camera and Digital living Network Alliance (DLNA) sharing that helps you transfer content like pictures and video between compatible devices.

Processor, Memory and Battery

The Samsung Galaxy mini S3 features a dual-core Cortex-A9 processor with a 1GB RAM clocked at 1GHz. The single-core Mali-400 GPU manages the phone’s graphics which is good news for the 1,500mAh battery. The Galaxy S3 mini comes in 8GB or 16GB storage options (expandable to 32GB via microSD). With a processor like this, the Galaxy S3 mini is expected to perform most ordinary duties without lag.

Gallery and Multimedia

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini comes with the default Jelly Bean Gallery, which has been treated to some TouchWiz flavor. It opens up in Albums view but you can choose to sort your pictures by location, Time, Person (photos with tagged faces) and Group.
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The Gallery also support highly customizable slideshows with several effects to choose from, as well as customizable music and speed.
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You can also highlight specific images to be included in the slideshow. When you view a photo with people’s faces on it, the Galaxy S3 mini will try to detect them automatically. The Gallery also features social tag. This feature works when a face is recognized in a photo. After recognizing the person in the photo, it makes you see the person’s status message which will allow you to call or message them easily. Also, there’s Buddy Photo Share. This function allows photos to be easily and simultaneously shared with all your friends pictured in an image directly from the camera or the photo gallery.

The Galaxy S3 mini makes good use of the same TouchWiz – Cald music player. Equalizer presets are enabled (including a custom one) along with  Sound Alive technology, which features 7.1 channel virtualization. Music is sorted into various categories, but the most interesting one is called Music Square. This feature automatically rates a song as Joyful or Passionate, Calm or Exciting and place those songs on a Square. The Galaxy S3 mini’s player is also DLNA enabled.
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Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini has a 5 megapixel camera and can capture photos at a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels. The Camera’s interface looks like that of the Samsung Galaxy S3. The video recording of the Galaxy S3 mini isn’t top notch since it manages a 720p video recording. The Frame rate is 30Fps, this will make the captured video smooth enough.

Web Browser and Connectivity

The Galaxy S3 mini is powered with a Jelly Bean version of the android browser. You also have options to download third party browser applications available at the Google Play Store. The Browser supports both double tap and pinch zooming along with the two-finger tilt. Zoom. There’s obviously the usual bundles of radios as well, including 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, GPS, GLONASS, FM radio, Bluetooth 4.0 (LE) and NFC, but for now, the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini will only support HSPA 900/1900/2100 networks along with EDGE 850/900/1800/1900.

Conclusion

If you were expecting a Samsung Galaxy S3 with a smaller screen, this is certainly not it. The S3 mini’s hardware is far more modest than it’s “bigger” brother. There’s always a good side to every story; after all, it might be cheaper than the Galaxy S3. Apart from that, for a mid level android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini is a worthwhile pick.

Reference

Cnet and GSM arena

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2 N7100 – Big…is better!

The Galaxy Note 2 looks mostly like a lager Samsung Galaxy S3, which is acceptable considering that the Galaxy S3 is a great device. Described as a significant leap forward, the device’s breakneck speeds will easily supplement user experience with an ehanced S Pen functionality and apps. Compared to the Galaxy Note 1, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 brings twice the processing power, bigger and better battery and screen.
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Design

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 measures 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm which makes it slightly taller and slimmer than the Note 1. Considering the size of the Note 2, it’s reasonably easy to fit in a pocket! The weight has remained virtually unchanged at 180g compared to the Note1’s 178g. The Galaxy Note 2 comes with a 5.5 inch Screen, so, as expected, the screen takes up most of the front panel. On top is the earpiece, with the proximity sensor and the 1.9 MP front-facing camera to the right. On the left side of the earpiece, you find the ambient light sensor and the status LED. From the settings you can choose the types of events that light up the LED, either when charging the phone or during low battery, missed calls and during voice recording (only if the screen is off). By using ssuitable apps from the Play Store or from developers, you can add more events or customize the colours for the preset events.

Below the screen, sits the typical physical hardware Home key sandwiched between the capacitive Menu and Back keys.

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The volume rocker is on the left side and the Power or Lock key is on the right side of the device. As with the S3, the Note 2 lacks a dedicated camera key. There’s a secondary microphone along with the 3.5mm audio jack found on the top of the Note 2. The secondary mic helps in noise reduction and stereo sound recording

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At the bottom, sits the primary mic (which is directly opposite the secondaary mic) alongside the microUSB port for charging and data connections. It’s MHL-enabled, so, HD video through an HDMI adapter is allowed. It also supports USB Host. The stylus slot is at the bottom too, with the top of the S Pen curved to fit the shape of the Note 2

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On the back, you’ll find the 8 megapixel camera lens, LED flash and the loudspeaker near the bottom.

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Screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 features a 5.5 inch Super AMOLED screen which comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection. For a screen this big, the resolution had to be altered to accommodate the change. Compared to the Note 1 which has a screen resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, the Note 2’s 5.5 inch Super AMOLED screen has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. One would think getting rid of that 80-pixel-wide strip would result in a poor screen quality. With the pixels density slightly lowered to 267ppi (Note 1’s screen 〓 285ppi), the screen quality should be poor. But with the PenTile matrix gone, the new matrix, however, more than makes up and the perceivable sharpness of the screen is actually higher.

S Pen

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Samsung did a good job making the S Pen feel more like its name. It feels more like a pen and less like a stylus. The S Pen is about 11.3cm in length and 7mm in thickness. The button on the S Pen now has a ribbed pattern, making it easier to locate by touch.
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The Galaxy Note 2 can detect when you pull the S Pen out and brings you a contextual page, which offers shortcuts of your recent S Notes. You can also snap a portion of the screen with the S Pen and use it in an app like the email, S Note e.t.c. The S Note can be launched by double tapping with the S Pen while holding down it’s button. The Note 2’s redesigned S Pen can sense 1,024 levels of pressure, that’s four times the original (Note 1). This means you can press lightly or hard for different results. Since there’s nothing linking the S Pen and the Galaxy Note 2, it uses it’s accelerometer to detect if you’ve walked away from the S Pen, making it to notify you if the stylus isn’t in its slot. There’s no need worrying about false alerts since this feature is finley balanced. It will only alert you if you’ve truely misplaced the S Pen and walked away from it!

S Voice and Google Now

S Voice has been Samsung’s answer to Siri before Google came out with its own solution. S Voice can do things like, search the web, make calls, send texts (which Android natively supports and so does Vlingo), but you can also use it instead of the notification area toggles, answer or reject incoming calls, start the camera and take a photo, control the music player and FM radio and stop or snooze alarms all with voice commands.
S Voice on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 can accept hand-written queries too, which is great for noisy environments. S Voice has plenty of options. It’s also a tool for quickly looking up facts. It’s powered by Wolfram Alpha (which handles some of Siri’s answers too). It has an enormous database covering topics ranging from Culture and Media to Physics. S Voice can also be used as a calculator.
Android Jelly Bean also gives you the fantastic Google Now. It’s a great assistant app that learns from you as you use it. The idea is that it accesses all parts of your life but then helps you out. So, for example, it tells you what the traffic is like when you’re about to head to work, home or somewhere else.It displays the information as ‘cards’ and even pops bits of important info (such as the weather) in your notification bar. Siri trumps Google Now when it comes to voice actions. Sending a text or an email via Google Now is possible, but it’s not as intuitive, fun or easy as it is with Siri. They both have their strengths and weakness here – but we’d say Google Now complements, rather than rules the platform, and falls below Siri in a lot of ways. One big advantage of Google’s Jelly Bean is that the voice typing functionality doesn’t require an internet connection to work. You can enter text by speaking anywhere you can use the on-screen keyboard – be it the Messaging app or a note taking app – without the need for a data connection as long as you have pre- downloaded the needed language packs (and those only take about 20-25MB of your storage per pack). Making voice typing available offline also made it faster as it’s not dependent on your connection. What’s even more impressive is that the transition hasn’t cost it anything in terms of accuracy.

For more on interface and software, processor, memory and battery, phone book, messaging and text input, gallery and multi media, camera, web and connectivity click on this link