The Big Dilemma: HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4

As much as I love my SIII, it’s almost time for me to recontact, which means time for me to decide on the next model to upgrade to. Before this, I’ve never actually bother to look around, the only upgrade model in my mind was Galaxy S4. I like my SIII so much that I assume S4 is pretty much a better version of SIII. Well, I don’t think I’m really wrong there. But there the different is when I was deciding on my SIII, I was using iPhone 4S and I didn’t like so I decided to switch to Android phone which during that time, among all the top Android smartphone SIII was a clear cut winner for me. Unfortunately, this time round there’re possible contenders. I’ve eliminated all options down to my top 2 favorite—HTC One and Galaxy S4.

So yes, I decided to go down the phone shop and spend an hour trying out these 2 models. I gave each of them half an hour each to give me an impression. After the trial, the impression was pretty much clear cut for me:

  • Design – Winner: HTC One
    I think it’s pretty much clear cut from the moment I laid eye on both phones. Though Samsung does improve the build quality in S4 to look less plastic than the SIII, it still somehow feels cheep. On the other hand, HTC One’s look is solid. Cool and classy aluminium body. If my criteria is just base on body design, there would be no second thought on HTC One. Also, until today I still having problem using my SIII one-handed, and the S4 undoubtedly is giving the same problem. The HTC One however feels just right for me both one-handed or two-handed.
  • Camera – Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4
    Pretty much expected from the specs and review I have read. Camera is one of my major consideration point thus fact that I find that HTC One’s camera loses out so obviously to S4 is a very big let down for me. I didn’t really do very thorough camera test like Android Central did. But just from quite a number of shots under different lighting, the diference was pretty much obvious for me. For all shots taken, I preferred the output from S4.
  • Performance – Winner: HTC One
    Although there were a lot of news about S4 having exceptional performance benchmark and stuff (I don’t know what is the performance benchmark for HTC One) but from my trial usage, I feel that HTC One feel smoother when switching between screens and running apps and stuffs. Then again it’s just a first impression feel.
  • Software Interface – Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4
    Of all the android phone I’ve tried, Samsung undoubtedly has the best out of the box interface design for me. And that’s a big deal for me because I don’t like doing a lot of UI customization on my phone as it usually eats up RAM and processing power. So I always stick with the default UI and whatever customization provided out of the box.
  • Customization – Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4
    I’m big fan of customization and control which is why I switch from iOS to Android in the first place. From just 30 mins, I’ve spotted a lot of new awesome customization feature in the S4. Well not that HTC One doesn’t have any but S4 seems to pack more customization features.
  • The Small Things?? – Winner: HTC One
    I don’t really know how to categorize it but it’s just the things that make it feels right for me. One thing is the power button placement. I prefer HTC One’s on-the-top placement then the S4’s side placement. And also the key board and auto correction on HTC One feels a lot nice and better for me. And the boom sound speakers on HTC One is awesome! it’s located at the front make the sound more direct to you thus sounds better. Then the fact that it has no physical home button make it feel neat and clean and refreshing since I’ve been only using the one with physical home button.

After all that, I’m still undecided yet find myself wishing if only both of them can merge into one model. sighzz

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The Big Dilemma: HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4

Android Jelly Bean

After my friend received the update and tempted, I finally updated my SIII to Jelly Bean. I didn’t get the update in the menu Software Update though. I did the manual update. Well if you want instruction to do so is all over the net. Just need to pick the more recent one to get the correct version of update.

Now on the my opinion on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on Samsung Galaxy SIII. Well, first of all I didn’t really follow up much on any Android update and stuff. So I’m starting using Jelly Bean with know prior knowledge at all as of what’s new in Jelly Bean compared to Ice Cream Sandwich. So all comments will be based on user experience and any difference I actually noticed personally. Okay to begin with, I do notice a few subtle different like the change in icon stack interface. They also move around some options to different places. Quite a number of added transition animation probably to improve user interaction experience. Well at least that’s how I felt on Jelly Bean. Though it look pretty much the same as Ice Cream Sandwich, you somehow get the feel that it’s more responsive, more interactive, and kinda smooth. I thought Ice Cream Sandwich was already very smooth but Jelly Bean is even smoother. So on the a whole, definitely a better experience on Jelly Bean.

However, if you’re thinking of upgrading you probably might want to give a second thought. Because, seems like running Jelly  Bean consume your phone battery faster. And I’m talking noticeably faster. When I switch to SIII, I was so glad that the battery life is great for a smart phone. But after upgrading to Jelly Bean, that’s probably the main factor that makes me regretted upgrading. So if you really value your battery life (especially for 3G users) and can forgo that improvement in user experience by all mean don’t upgrade.

Android Jelly Bean

Samsung Galaxy SIII

Just switch over from iPhone 4S for about 2 weeks. First impression it’s great. After 2 weeks of usage, I love it. Well, mostly. There’re still a few things that I would love to be improved.

What I love about SIII:

  • The relatively large screen size – compared to iPhone. You would say why not Galaxy Note then? Personally, I think Galaxy Note is too big for a phone. And makes you look quite retarded when picking up calls.
  • The camera – I got myself an iPhone 4S earlier was mainly because of the camera factor as well. Well now this still one of the main reason I switched over to SIII. Better camera picture and no cool down time between shot. Awesome!
  • The speed – well as known, the highly applauded Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9.
  • The customization and compatibility –  Gone with iTune and syncing. Just copy paste, drag and drop and it’s there and playable right on the phone. Pick an app from PlayStore, your phone automatically installs it. .avi .mkv .flac.. any file format you name it, it’ll play it. I know this is more of Android rather SIII. But still it’s a lot faster on SIII for me to enjoy all the experience. Call me a nerd or a geek. But I love the ability to customize software and have full control of the system not letting some iTune doing all the back-end work.
  • Work seamlessly with google service… probably one major problem I have with iOS. And again this is probably a plus point for Android and not SIII but again at this point, my SIII and my Adroid is one.
  • The Battery life! oh yes the battery life! Something I’m sorry deprived off on 4S especially for a user who always turn on 3G. You tell me to turn off 3G to save battery, is as good as telling me not to use smart phone. SIII battery life is noticeably much longer than 4S with 3G on. And they have a quite a number of battery saving app that actually works!
  • Still looks slim with cover on. Probably a minor point, but it’s also part of my consideration. Since for iPhone, when I put the back cover on, I find it quite bulky. So I ended up not using cover at all. SIII with cover on still pretty much slim, which is good.

What I don’t like about SIII:

  • Position of volume and standby buttons: it’s too low. Always accidentally press it when holding my phone. So irritating.
  • Screen brightness – quite a lot of review on the net I read complain about SIII’s LCD brightness. Now I know what they mean. On iPhone, I’m always at 50% brightness and it was already quite bright. But on SIII, I’m on 100% brightness, and I’m still wishing it can go to 200%. That’s how dim it is.
  • Stupid background service hogging my RAM – seriously I don’t know what and how many background service Android is running. I have no application on and doing nothing, my RAM is already 470+ MB used up. And though advertised as 1GB RAM. I only see 700+ MB of RAM in Application Managers. So if I run a lot of other app with background service… The RAM so easily filled up. Luckily, there’s an app to take care of that. Either way, I’m still kinda disappointed.

All in all, I think the pros for using SIII pretty much outweigh the cons for me. I can’t wait to try Jelly Bean. Don’t think I’ll ever convert back to iPhone. I seriously don’t like my device to control my behavior and usage. For me it should always be the other way round.

Samsung Galaxy SIII

iPhone 5

Well well, finally it’s here. The announcement was made and there were a lot of buzz and anticipation. And when it was finally announced officially, there were just pretty much a lot of disappointment and mockery… from FB to 9gag.

But oh well so much for the buzz. As we all probably know by now the upgrade offered in iPhone 5 pretty much sucks. There are just so much negative things comment and jokes about the iPhone 5 around now that it’ll just be boring mention another. So instead I have 1 positive thing to say about the iPhone 5 and that is the iPhone 5 announcement is practically a free advertisement for Samsung Galaxy SIII. This is also yet another solid proof of how much Apple needs Steve Jobs.

With that said, I think they will still do well since they are already having such a huge fan base. Plus, there’re many users using iPhone 4 and didn’t upgrade to iPhone 4S. But I’m not a fan, so I’m looking at this objectively. And objectively, Galaxy SIII is like much better choice right now. All in all, I think this is just a corporation war. For normal users whichever doesn’t really make much difference since I don’t think any of us would utilize all those alien feature. Whether it’s iPhone 5 or Samsung SIII, it simply just a matter of which you prefer and which would benefit and serve your need better. I find it pointless when people debate over which is a better phone. Technically, SIII is a better phone. So get over it. And of course design and physical build wise, I would give it to iPhone.  So there you have it. Whichever, you prefer and need should ultimately be the deciding factor to which phone you’re going to get. Not because your friends say “Why you buy Samsung? Samsung suck.!” or “Why you buy iPhone? SIII so much better”.

iPhone 5

Mozilla Firefox vs Google Chrome

Now that Chrome’s extension is out, it’s about time I blog about it my opinions about them. What about the other browsers? No, they’re out of the equation for me. These are the only 2 browsers of choice for me. I like Opera too but I don’t think they’re as fast and as customizable as Chrome or FireFox. IE is not even the picture. As for Safari, again it’s because of the lack of customizability and I don’t really like how the browser render html document.

Firefox

What I love: Almost everything. I like how modifiable Firefox. For a browser geek, Firefox empower users with the ability to edit, tweak, and play with however they want. I think this is probably the result of the open source nature of Firefox. Next would be the theme, it gives user a change the look of Firefox completely to look like however they want it or to look like any other browser I want. I can easily turn Firefox to look like Chrome, Safari and even Opera. If u like personalisation and customization like I do, then you’d understand why having the ability to fully personalize is a strong point of a browser. Then we have the Firefox plug-ins which is very very handy since internet nowadays is no longer just a static hmtl page document any more but a fully integrated and dynamic interface with different add-on applications like flash embed, Javascript, video embed…etc. In order to view all these in the browser, it has be equipped with the capabilities to run them, and that is what the plug-ins do. Finally, the one thing I love the most about Firefox. Extensions. It unlocks so many abilities in the browser. It redefines the definition of browser completely. That was also part of the reason why I ignore other browser from my choice. Having browser without extensions is like being handicapped online… nah I’m just kidding. It’s not that dramatic. I have to admit that after being given the power to do almost whatever you want, I’m addicted and like any other unholy mortal, I’m not willing to give up that power especially when I have a choice of keeping it.

What I don’t love: Hmmm… that’s would be firefox 3.5! I really hate FF 3.5. It’s supposed to be major update but it’s anything but stable. First of all, it fails to run all my favorite extensions regularly. That means sometime I find some extensions is not enabled and it say “not compatible” but after I restarted the browser, it became back ok but the ones that were ok have problem. Argh… it’s frustrating. Another more frustrating thing would be the constant crashing. Image having like 20 tabs on and it crashes. *pissed off* Without with ado, I immediately converted back to 3.0. And I’m in love again. Another thing would be the large system resource consumption. But I don’t really have much complain about that because I think maybe it’s due to the fact that I installed too many plug-ins and extensions. Lastly, it would be the browser restart requirement. It does get on my nerves sometime when I have to always restart the browser after installation of extension or theme. Just imagine when you wanna go around and try out new extensions and new themes, the thought of having to restart every installation and removal may kill your mood. I really hope they’ll find a way to work that out.

Chrome

What I love: The speed! and the smooth loading! I’m blown away. When I tried Chrome 4.0 for the first time, I was literally wow! And the broader viewing space with fewer things eat up the the space. Also, I love the smooth tab transition. To put it simply, everything is just smooth, from starting browser, adding tabs, closing tabs, and closing the browser. Next would be theme, I’ve already mentioned that I love personalisation. So yes theme is always a plus. And yes! the recently released extensions. Nothing much to say, it’s very similar to the Firefox extension. What I want to highlight is that extensions and theme installation and removal in Chrome do NOT require any browser restart!!! A very strong point indeed. I find it very convenient and time saving.

What I don’t love: If you try ctrl+alt+Del and look at the task manager when you have Chrome running, you’d see that even if you only have 1 window of Chrome but have like 4 or 5 Chrome precesses running, which I have no idea why is it so as well. Since each of them consumes quite a small amount of resource, I didn’t bother to look them up. But still, I’d prefer having 1 process for 1 application. Another issue for me would be the apparent lack of customization power. If you look at Chrome interface, it seems that all it wants you to do is surf net and not bothered with anything else. This is very good for none IT-savvy user or a non geek person. But from a geek’s perspective like me, I feel that it takes away too many things out of sight – one of the very main one would be the menu bar. Seeing less things giving you the impression that there isn’t much there thus there isn’t much you can do.

FireFox vs Chrome

For net surfing experience, I have to give it up to Chrome, no doubt about that. For features, customization power, and user’s empowerment, I would stand for FireFox still because I still believe that FireFox is still far ahead of Chrome for that. Another thing would be the download speed and download management. Somehow, the download speed I get from FireFox is considerably faster than in Chrome. On top of that, DownThemAll! is one the best thing that ever happened to me on FireFox. It liberates me completely from my reliance on download manager software. And being a browser add-on, it integrates more seamlessly with the browser than external download manager. DownloadHelper and ColorZilla are another 2 I can’t live without. So far I don’t think Chrome has them yet. In fact, there are a lot of add-ons that I rely on that aren’t there yet in Chrome extensions archive. I can go on endlessly on extensions so to keep it simple, I have greater browser experience with FF than Chrome.

Conclusion

If we look at browser for its traditional definition, Chrome wins. However, if you look at it as a complete software package, Firefox wins. In conclusion, if you are just looking to surf net, go for Chrome but if you like doing and trying out a lot of nonsense like me, then go for FireFox, at least for the moment (because Chrome extensions archive is still at a very early phase, so we will not know what happen next when their extensions library grow substantially.) For me, my final choice is that I choose to stick with both – Chrome for surfing web, FireFox for every other things.

Mozilla Firefox vs Google Chrome

Google Week

Lately, Google has been aggressively smashing it down with one release after another. It renders many shocked and stunned with the rate Google continuously bombarding us with revolutionary ideas. But I love it!

Apple was undoubtedly the one company in my opinion that has truly shaped the way we perceive elegance and beauty in design and interface. No one in this industry has ever made white and grey so intricate, elegant yet beautifully simple like Apple does. Google, on the hand, is at the moment the one company in my opinion that is changing the way we think, the way we see and the way we do things. They’re the ones who’re aggressively shaping the future outlook of the web by presenting us with creatively revolutionary ideas and let us be apart of their quest to a very seamlessly dynamic and collaborative future of the web.

Let me go through some of their releases that I came across recently. And I hope you’re aware of some of them by now because they’re really really cool and helpful tools that will help shape the way you do things.

  1. Google Wave
    I don’t know a better way to describe it better than the Google people do. So yeah I’ve linked them up instead. Just click the link and see what they for yourself. I found out about 2 months back before they started giving invites to users other than developers. Currently this is my most favorite release from Google. It completely blow me away… completely. I was utterly speechless and amazed by what they’ve done. I can’t wait for this to be fully released and for it to become contagious and spread among people because the more people using it, the more we’ll find Google Wave to be a genius invention. I think that’s probably why they name it, Google Wave.
  2. Google Real-Time Search
    Again I’ve linked it up. Click the link and find out more about Google Real-Time Search. I find this really cool but at the moment, I don’t find very useful to me yet. And probably not in the near future as well. Frankly, I think it’s a bit distracting and annoying. Nevertheless, I can see the benefits that it could give to people who needs it.
  3. Google Goggles
    I’m very excited about this. This release totally makes me want to get an iPhone or an android. Although, as Google mentioned, they still at a very premature stage and the search is not that powerful yet. But the fact they have managed to lay the foundation, if there anything we’ve observed from the history of technology and IT, it would be that it’s just gonna get better.
  4. Google Search Side Bar
    I’ve been playing with it for sometime now. I’m not that crazy over this but I do find it very handy at times especially when doing my project which requires searching on certain specific categories. It helps speed up things. Well, that’s precisely why Google make it so it serves its purpose.
  5. Google Chrome Extensions
    This is probably the release that I’ve been waiting for longest time. And finally… it’s here! I’m obviously very very excited about it. When Chrome was initially released, I downloaded, installed, tried, and uninstalled it. Didn’t care about it till Chrome 3.0 beta was out when I found I could change browser theme. I installed it back and played around with all the cool theme. Then got bored and left it alone. Then when Chrome 4.0 was here, I found myself half converted to Chrome. As far as net surfing concerned, Chrome will be my browser of choice. The loading speed and smoothness of page transition is addictive. Until Chrome 3.0, I was still yet to find any noticeable difference from FireFox, and that was why I was not persuaded. But with 4.0, it was obvious.

    Now that the long-awaited extension, it gives me a lot of reason to debate on the full convert from FireFox. But at the moment it’s not yet convincing because there are a bunch of the extensions that I use heavily on FireFox yet to be available in Chrome. So when they do, I’m gonna have to ask myself really serious questions because I’ve been a really huge fan of FireFox.

  6. Liquid Galaxy
    At the moment, this is a just-for-fun thing. But it has potential to pose a serious implication to the future of GPS viewing.
  7. Chrome on Mac
    Now peeps on Mac have another tempting option. It’s time for them to start scratching their heads too. Welcome to the club.
  8. SPDY
    I keep my fingers cross and pray that this one will come through. Please let it do. I hope many peeps out there are aware of this project and start pressurizing Google for it. XD I know it will.
  9. Google Speed Tracer
    This is a suitable item to end it since it’s the least useful and least attractive to normal users. This is more for geeks like me. We’ll find it very handy.

So how’s that for release? I hope you’re as excited about it as I do because you have no idea how useful and powerful they are until you are able to use them effectively and efficiently. Then you’ll most likely find yourself in the same situation as you are now with Google Search, gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Map.

Google Week