Just minutes after getting my hands on Samsung’s latest flagship S Series smartphone, one fact was abundantly clear — if you weren’t fond of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, then you’re going to have similar feelings about the S9 and S9+. Over the last few days, I’ve described the South Korean manufacturer’s latest flagship as its iPhone 8. S8+ on the left and the S9+ on the right. Here’s why: there’s nothing really wrong with the S9 or S9+. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Samsung’s latest S series smartphones are the pinnacle of the Android ecosystem, surpassing even the beleaguered Pixel 2 XL in some respects. It’s just that the S9 isn’t a significant improvement over the S8. The smartphone features an impressive, versatile camera — complete with a variable aperture — that still shoots slightly over-processed photos, a design that’s a cut above competitors and, as … [Read more...] about Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ Review: Standing firm
If there’s one reason to love the Google Assistant, it’s that it responds to contextual cues. You don’t have to tell it to open Google Maps and provide directions to Toronto’s Union Station, you can just tell it “Take me to Union,” and it’ll use your location to chart the fastest course. It’s intuitive, and it’s one of those technologies that just works. When you ask the Google Assistant a question, or tell it to do something, it more often than not knows what you mean and does what you want it to do. The same, however, can’t be said for Samsung’s Bixby Voice assistant, which officially launched on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in Canada yesterday. More often than not, you can get Bixby to do exactly what you want it to do. Getting there, however, feels quite a bit like trying to accomplish a task using computer code. You can make it work, but you have to be very specific. Bixby… Bixby… Bixby? The first thing you … [Read more...] about Samsung Bixby Voice Hands-on: Work in progress
Are you a fan of Tizen but you’re still sporting Samsung’s original Gear device and aren’t sure if you want the Gear S2 or S3? Maybe you’re wearing a Gear S2 and wondering if you should upgrade your smartwatch? If so, then this story is for you. After spending a couple of months with both the Samsung Gear S2 and the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, I’ve compared each smartwatch’s size, functionality and what I personally like and dislike about both devices. What the Samsung Gear S2 looks like The Samsung Gear S2, originally released in 2015, is able to track steps, display notifications and most importantly, show the time. The device is slim, sleek and has a very lightweight, unobtrusive feel on my wrist, even while typing on my laptop. The slim design of the smartwatch also results in a weight of only 47g. The smooth bezel around the 1.2-inch display is used to navigate the watch’s interface. The bezel is easy enough to get used to, however, I … [Read more...] about Samsung’s Gear S3 Frontier triumphs over its predecessor the Gear S2
Say what you will about the truly wireless future — with its wireless charging pads and its smartphones without headphone jacks — but the simple fact of the matter is that we still very much live in a wired world. Still, as Samsung’s diligent sophomore efforts with the Gear IconX wireless earbuds show, steady progress towards that wireless future isn’t completely out of the question. The 2017 Gear IconX earbuds are relatively comfortable, they sound great and, most importantly, they maintain a steady, stable Bluetooth connection — so long as they’re paired to a compatible Samsung device. Samsung devices address the issue of Bluetooth annoyance While AirPods connect to compatible iPhones via Bluetooth, the connection itself is made almost instantaneous thanks to the presence of the onboard W1 chip. This processor handles most of the Bluetooth legwork, and as soon as you pop open an AirPods charging case, a nearby iPhone knows to prompt a connection. … [Read more...] about Samsung Gear IconX (2017) Review: Iterative updates that will impress some, but not all
Despite the Galaxy S9 and S9+ launching late last month, the smartphones’ new DeX Pad accessory is still nowhere to be found in Canada. In the U.S. Samsung has confirmed that the PC-like workstation dock is set to go on sale for $99 USD ($125 CAD) on May 13th, with pre-orders being available right now on Samsung.com. All Galaxy S9 or S9+ orders also come with a free DeX Pad right now. In Canada though, it’s still unclear when the DeX Pad is arriving north of the U.S. border. The accessory isn’t listed on Samsung’s web store, with last year’s DeX Docking showing up at a price of $99 in its place. In a statement to MobileSyrup, Samsung said the following about the DeX Pad making its way to Canada: “Thank you for your interest in the Samsung DeX Pad. At this time we do not have Canadian-specific details to share. We will be sure to provide additional information as updates are made available.” Last year’s DeX Dock launched back in late May … [Read more...] about Samsung Galaxy S9 DeX Pad Canadian release date is still unknown
Samsung has been sued by U.S.-based data security firm PACid Technologies for allegedly infringing on two U.S. patents and one Korean patent with its Galaxy smartphone biometric features. In a lawsuit filed on April 6th with the Texas Eastern District Court, PACid alleges that Samsung was aware of its patents since at least January 2017, but nevertheless went ahead and used PACid’s tech in all recent Galaxy S models, including the S6, S7 and S8 and the phones’ Edge variants. As well, PACid claims Samsung used its tech in its own biometric operating system PASS and security system KNOX. If the court accepts PACid’s claims, Samsung will be required to pay up to three times the standard rate of $1 per phone, or 2.82 billion USD (3 trillion KRW) in total. It’s worth noting that according to South Korean news outlet The Investor, PACid is considered by industry sources to be “a patent troll whose business model rests solely on suing companies that … [Read more...] about Samsung faces $3 billion biometric patent infringement suit in the U.S.