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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3 – Specs comparison

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally come. Samsung has thrown its hat in the high-end phablet ring once again, and LG is in trouble. Not that Sammy wasn’t well-represented already in the jumbo-sized smartphone supremacy battle.

Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3

Unsurprisingly, its Galaxy Note 3 aged more than gracefully, likely keeping the G3 threat at bay thanks to a well-oiled advertising machine that chugs along unperturbed by a reported dip in overall Galaxy sales.

But it’s perhaps the same dip that convinced the makers of the mostly underwhelming GS5 they needed to bring their aesthetical A game to the “Unpacking” of the Galaxy Note 4 in addition to the traditional software and hardware improvements.

Which they certainly did, albeit haters are still gonna hate, fueled by Samsung’s questionable mix of premium aluminum and chintzy plastic on Note 4’s construction and the limited use of the curved side display on the Note Edge.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Regardless, this semi-aluminum beaut has more than enough pizazz to give the LG G3 a run for its money, and hopefully, make Apple’s hotly anticipated “iPhablet” intro feel redundant and utterly useless. For now, let’s explore in great detail all the ways the Galaxy Note 4 is superior to the G3:

Design and build quality duel – a no contest

Bet you were just about ready to lose hope of ever hearing this: Samsung’s flagship is one of the best-looking, awesomest built mobile devices around. HTC’s One M8 may be the only rival capable of holding a candle to it, but the all-metal bad boy doesn’t have the screen real estate, resolution or raw power to otherwise go for Note 4’s jugular.

Galaxy Note 4 LG G3 back

Meanwhile, the G3 isn’t ugly, not in the least, and the microscopic bezels, wasp waist and rear physical buttons partly keep its chances of ultimately prevailing alive. Only no matter how you spin it, metal beats plastic. Even metal frames in a combination with a faux leather (read plastic) back cover.

Galaxy Note 4 vs. LG G3 – display showdown

Gimmick or no gimmick, Quad HD display resolution is about to become the norm for upper tier Androids. And yes, we have reason to believe Sony will itself go down the same route as early as H1 2015.


Back to our spec wars, it’s tough to pick a winner here, as both heavyweights sport amazing 2,560 x 1,440 pixel counts. Since the G3 is 0.2 inches smaller, its ppi is slightly greater, at 534 (vs. 515). But Samsung uses Super AMOLED technology in lieu of LCD, and besides, a bigger panel is an upside for many.

Verdict: draw

Processing speed, RAM and storage

Blame it on release timing, but the LG G3 can’t possibly keep up with the GNote 4 in power-demanding tasks despite packing the beefiest CPU at the time of its debut. In the meantime, Snapdragon 801’s sequel, the higher clocked S805, became available, and Sammy took full advantage.


That said, it’s a smidge disappointing the Qualcomm-based 32-bit Note 4 version, which US carriers among others will be scoring, isn’t ready for the next step in mobile computing. The Exynos flavor, however, is, thanks to a brand spanking new 5433 unit built on 64-bit architecture and rocking eight cores, four at 1.9 GHz and four at 1.3. Let Android L come.

Moving on, the G3 and Note 4 are deadlocked in RAM and storage, each offering 3 gigs of random-access memory, 16 and 32 GB space options and external microSD expansion possibilities. Wait, come to think of it, LG narrowly edges this one out, as it can accommodate up to 128 gigs of external storage, double Note 4’s maximum capacity.

Software and battery life face-off

4.4 KitKat is a necessity, nay, a guarantee on high-enders and even Android mid-rangers nowadays, so naturally, there’s nothing to separate our two title contenders there. Unfortunately for LG, their skin applied on top of the stock Google-powered mobile OS is really a featherweight next to TouchWiz.


And yes, it’s a little less intrusive, but to hell with purism, as Sammy’s add-ons and optimizations so obviously improve the user experience. Fast charging, S Pen-dedicated apps, fitness and health tracking functions, camera effects, presets, detection systems and so on and so forth, they’re all part of the great Galaxy Note adventure.

Ultra Power Saving Mode above all. Speaking of, Note 4’s juicer might not be heavily larger than G3’s, at 3,220 mAh (vs. 3,000), but we fully expect it to deliver better autonomy. It’s yet another department where Samsung excels these days.

Cameras, sensors and accessories

Although still incapable of competing in the same league as Nokia’s PureView snappers, or Sony’s G Lens imaging monsters, Note 4’s rear-facing camera is a major upgrade over Note 3 or S5’s counterparts. And not just in the number of megapixels.

Don’t get me wrong, 16 MP is a lot, but what makes this cam exquisite is the optical image stabilization system (finally!), the ISO control, HDR mode and all the other modes, scenes and effects. Also, 4K video recording.


G3’s main shooter is itself adorned with OIS, however at 13 megapixels, it’s really no rival for Note 4’s 16 MP bad boy. Ditto as far as selfie-friendly front cams are concerned, with Samsung trumping LG 3.7 to 2.1 MP.

And the best is yet to come. From the GNote 4, that is, which stands out from the crowd, G3 included, not only with S Pen support, but also Gear VR compatibility, a built-in heart rate monitor and fingerprint recognition sensor.

Samsung Gear VR

No fancy monitors or scanners on the LG G3, and no virtual reality transforming capabilities, which once and for all seal the fate of this not-so-evenly-matched duel. The Note 4 is the best, so scr…, um, forget the rest.

Availability and pricing

This may seem weird after the 1,000 words spilled to make the G3 look like a pushover opposite today’s (and tomorrow’s) phablet champion, but I’d still recommend LG’s spearhead to a number of mobile tech consumers.

Namely, those who can’t afford or don’t want to cough up $300 with two-year contracts, or $800 outright for the Note 4. Also, those unwilling to wait a few weeks, maybe a month or two. More importantly, those who aren’t fixated on always owning the very best of the best gizmos.


Fit the description? Then know the G3 starts at $79.99 on Amazon with Verizon pacts, $99.99 on Sprint or AT&T, and goes for as little as $525, yes, $525 in a factory unlocked variant. Happy shopping to you, and happy… waiting to future owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Either way, you’re blessed.

Best Android tablets and deals for back to school season 2014

Sorry to break it to you, kids, but summer is nearly finished and the start of the new school year is upon us. And sorry to be the bearer of bad news, parents, however like it or not, your monthly spending budget will skyrocket in the coming weeks.

Tablet in school

Tuition fees aside, you have textbooks to take care of, new, hip clothes for your offspring to show off his or hers unique fashion style, plus the ultimate marker of the continuous 21st century education advances: gadgets.

Whether we’re talking smartphones, tablets or laptops (or something in between, like a hybrid), your children need gizmos to handle their homework, keep up with their friends and relax during study breaks.

Kids using tablets

But what to choose to deliver a perfect multi-purpose learning/entertainment experience, and not cost an arm and a leg? A MacBook? An iPad? A Microsoft Surface? Nah, Android is, as always, the answer to all your prayers, with the following magnificent seven providing solutions for every possible desire or need:

The budget champion – Google Nexus 7 2013

Ah, the classic second-generation Asus-made, Google-promoted N7. Always a crowd pleaser, and especially when you work hard for every penny you make. The Nexus 7 2013 is mom and dad’s safest bet in terms of compact, easy to carry slates with plenty of punch to handle both gaming and quick Wikipedia research for, say, chem papers.

Nexus 7 2013

And kids, we know you really, really, really wished for an iPad Air because the football team’s captain and the lead cheerleader each own one, but come to think of it, aren’t the two glorious d-bags? Be unique, be smart, and don’t talk back to your old man when he buys you the N7 2013.

At $218 in a 16 GB Wi-Fi-only variation, it secures a healthy college fund boost. Or, better yet, get a certified refurbished (read like new) 16 GB-er, and only spend $165. In the mood for spoiling your “heir”? The 32 GB model is $262, and LTE versions start at $340.

The ultimate gamer – Nvidia Shield Tablet

Tread carefully here, parents, and make sure you know what you’re getting yourselves into. The Shield Tablet is a highly addictive console-type device, with “extreme” performance, power and portability. By itself, it’s $299, but if you really trust and want to spoil your spawn, the $60 wireless controller and $40 tablet cover are also must-buys.

Shield Tablet

And yes, in theory, the Shield is a multi-purpose 8 incher, being just as fitting for mundane tasks like online research, e-mail or homework dispatch like any standard, non-gaming-focused Android tab. It’s just that, once it gets in your blood, you won’t feel like doing much reading or calculus.

The productivity hero – Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1

Technically, we really could have picked any one of Asus’ countless Transformer Pad family members to nominate in this category. Every last one of them can seamlessly convert from a tab to a mini-laptop and offer optional physical keyboards, opening up a sea of possibilities for classroom, home and on-the-go use.


But the TF103C-A1 is not just productive and versatile, it’s damn cheap too, at $289, with the docking station included. To be clear, less than three Benjamins buy you a KitKat-running, quad-core Intel Atom-packing 10-inch slate which you can turn into a KitKat-running, quad-core-packing 10-inch notebook whenever, wherever.

The kiddie favorite – Fuhu Nabi 2

Guess there’s not a whole lot left to say about the OG Nabi 2 after it topped our kid-friendly Android tab charts, despite recently celebrating its two-year anniversary. Except that it’s now even cheaper than before, at $155.88.


And your 3, 4, 5, possibly 6 and 7-year-olds will love you to death when you give it to them. Even when you’ll insist on restricting their light gaming time and cranking up their learning-through-gaming.

Best for reading – Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Say what you will about Amazon’s Android fork, or its stubbornness to ban Google Play access, but buy your kid a Kindle Fire HD or HDX and trust me, you’ll get them reading in no time. Amazon’s library is gigantic, and there’s such a multitude and variety of free titles that a normal person would need ten lifetimes to go through them all.

Kindle Fire HD

The amazing display of even the most affordable Fire HD, the $139 8 GB 7 incher, makes the experience that much harder to forget, and the beefy battery makes sure you aren’t interrupted just as the big twist starts unraveling. Oh, yeah, and the HD and HDX are pretty cool for gaming, multimedia or browsing too, particularly the 8.9 inchers that start at $320.

Parents’ choice – Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Look, it’s good to be modest, self-conscious and look out for the best interests of your children first and foremost, but hey, you deserve a little treat once in a while too. Or a big one, if you don’t mind coughing up $650 for the 32 GB Note Pro 12.2.

Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

It’s well deserving, what with its mouth-watering screen real estate, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution, 3 GB RAM and Snapdragon 800 oomph. Alternatively, if you hate being a big spender, or just can’t afford to spend that much, the Dell Venue 7 is nowadays a pithy $128.

That’s an incredible 100 bucks off the mid-ranger’s list price, which makes it the kind of bargain parents live for. Besides, the Venue 7 is nowhere near as technically humble as the discounted retail value suggests, carrying a whopping on-board 2 gigs of RAM among others.

Teachers’ choice – Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

This wouldn’t be a complete back-to-school guide without a recommendation for educators, who need to stay in touch with the latest technology trends themselves. And what better way to balance work and fun than purchasing a gizmo designed specifically for quick, easy note-taking?

Granted, that’s why the Note Pro 12.2 is around, and the Note 10.1 2014 Edition caters to the same exact needs as well. Only the Note 8.0 does it at the best price, $270, also allowing for the easiest transportation, which is a key factor for a teacher whose satchel is always full and heavy.

There you go, toddlers, tweens, teens, parents and teachers. Seven (mostly affordable) ways to make back-to-school season more easily digestible. Come on now, September 4 doesn’t have to be such a sad, sad day, does it?

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs Apple iPad Air – Specs comparison

Ooh, an interspecies specs duel. That’s bound to get interesting. And controversial. Yeah, I said it, acknowledged it and won’t be looking to deny it. I stirred up the hornet’s nest to start a debate. The age-old debate.

Galaxy Note Pro vs iPad Air

Has Android matured enough to take on iOS and Windows Pro when talking utility tools rather than “toys”? Will Microsoft ever learn it’s tough, nay outright impossible to beat Apple at their own game? Can a little fellow like the iPad Air fend off the gargantuan Surface Pro 3 and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 threats by itself or does it need backup from MacBook Airs or maybe iPad Pros if they’ll ever be a thing?

Clearly, those questions are a wee bit complex for a humble specs comparison to settle them all. But again, I only intend to set up a discussion. Here we go:

Note Pro 12.2 vs Surface Pro 3 vs iPad Air – design, build quality and form factor comparison

Design has nothing to do with operating systems and “ecosystems”, so theoretically, our three contenders enter the arena on even ground. Obviously, the latest 9.7-inch iPad has the portability and sleekness edge, thanks to its smaller footprint, whereas the Surface Pro 3 wins the versatility fight with ease, courtesy of a whole roster of optional accessories, keyboard docks and whatnot.

Surface Pro 3

As a standalone tablet, Microsoft’s newest spearhead is a major aesthetical evolution from previous models, yet still heavier, thicker and bulkier than the largest Galaxy Note. Namely, 45 grams heavier and 1 mm thicker. Does that translate into superior robustness maybe? Not exactly.

Sure, Surface Pro 3’s exterior is covered in brushed metal, but Note Pro’s plastic chassis is actually not as chintzy as you imagine. Ultimately, the iPad Air is both smoother and more elegant than the two, with its premium aluminum construction and incredibly slim 7.5 mm waist. Hate to admit it, but Apple remains the kind of ergonomic design.

Display face-off

Now here’s where things get really, really interesting. In their attempt to find unique identities for their iPad rivals, MS and Sammy have delivered two super-crisp, “Retina”-grade screens with slightly different pixel counts and aspect ratios.


The iPad Air, as I’m sure you all know, sports a 9.7-inch IPS LCD panel with 2,048 x 1,536 pix res, 264 ppi and 4:3 aspect ratio. Meanwhile, Note Pro’s 16:10 display marginally lowers the ppi ante to 247 on a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, and the Surface Pro 3 comes with its own 3:2 aspect ratio, 2,160 x 1,440 res and 216 ppi pixel density.

Guess you’ll need to take all three of these babies for a spin before proclaiming a winner, eh? Personally, I’m no fan of 16:9 (or 16:10) panels. But Note Pro’s extra screen real estate compared to the iPad Air shouldn’t be overlooked. The Surface Pro 3? It’s a solid contender, no doubt about that, yet at the end of the day, it comes up a little short in ppi.

Processing speed, RAM and storage

Look, there’s really no comparing Intel Core i5 or i7 “Haswell” chips with homebrewed Apple A7s or Qualcomm-made Snapdragon 800s in raw performance. The top-of-the-line Haswells trump the competition any day of the week, particularly when paired with 8 GB of RAM.

Surface Pro 3 Intel

Remember, the iPad Air has a measly 1 gig of random-access memory in tow, and the Note 12.2 caps off at 3 GB. Making matters worse for Surface Pro 3’s opponents, Microsoft fitted state-of-the-art humongous 256 and 512 GB SSDs on the tab’s top configs. Meanwhile, the iPad Air supports up to 128 GB of storage, and the Note Pro a pithy 64 internal.

But pitting the highest-end, costliest Surface Pro 3 against the 64 GB Note Pro 12.2 is an apples-and-oranges comparison. I mean, one is nearly 2,000 bucks, and the other $750. Even the most expensive iPad Air is less than half of the 512 GB Surface Pro 3’s price, so yeah, MS has the zippiest, baddest machine, but boy, is it overpriced.


Alternatively, you can score the Core i3-powered new Surface at $799, which also features a 64 GB solid-state drive and 4 GB RAM. But in that case, maybe the 128 GB iPad Air is a better choice, despite its scanty RAM. Oh, decisions, decisions.

Software and battery life comparison

I already admitted to stirring up the hornet’s nest, yet I don’t plan on spending a lot of time surrounded by them angry hornets. It’s obvious each OS has its advantages and flaws. Windows 8.1 fits workaholics perfectly, iOS 7 is the optimal playground, and Android 4.4 KitKat is, well, trying to catch up.


Honest to God, Google’s really going the extra mile in optimizing content for tablets, and soon, you’ll be able to notice. Right now though, I’m afraid us Android junkies have to bow to Windows fanatics and their productivity-focused platform and Apple fanboys and their rich, diverse, lighthearted, easy to understand, easy to master ecosystem.

Battery life? That’s a touchy subject, as usual when talking a barely announced, unreleased product. But if you’ll allow me to go on a hunch, I predict the Surface Pro 3 will offer less juice than both the Note Pro 12.2 and iPad Air. By a whisker, but less.

Galaxy Note Pro back

As for the two, they’re essentially tied autonomy-wise, with roughly 10 hours of continuous use on a single charge.

Accessories, cameras, connectivity, ports and wrap-up

Aside from superior processing speed, the Surface Pro 3 clearly has one more big ace up its sleeve – a multitude of accessories. For one thing, it comes standard with a stylus and built-in kickstand. Then you have all the Type Covers and desktop docking stations.


The Note Pro only retaliates with an S Pen, whereas the iPad Air has exactly zero to offer in this department. Cameras? First of all, who cares? Secondly, if you do care, then the Note Pro is your guy, with 8 MP and 2 MP shooters.

The iPad Air comes in second, thanks to a solid 5 MP rear cam with autofocus and everything, and the Surface Pro 3 impresses with its 5 MP front cam, but disappoints with a 5 MP main photographic unit lacking autofocus and flash.


Finally, I’d rather not pick a victor in connectivity, since all three bad boys support 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Surface Pro 3 is however the only one with full-sized USB ports, and the iPad Air has no card slot whatsoever.

All things told, I guess the Surface Pro 3 is more laptop than tablet, so maybe comparing it with the iPad Air and Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 wasn’t very fair in the first place. Still, the two came out of the uneven fight pretty clean and honorable, so choosing an overall winner is tough. Anyone care to help me out of my pickle? Much obliged.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 wishlist and things to expect

The first-gen was an experiment, the second-gen an instant classic, the third-gen a refinement of an instant classic and all-around force of nature, so obviously Samsung has a lot riding on the success of the forthcoming Galaxy Note 4.

Galaxy Note 3 S Pen

Will the pressure get the better of the latest entry in a franchise that practically invented the word “phablet”? Could Galaxy S5 Prime development, if real, hinder Samsung from focusing on the Note 4? Are we in for a full-on upgrade or minor rehash?

I wish I had answers, but unfortunately it’s too early. Way too early, as the Note 3 is barely seven months old. Sure, a precocious Note 4 launch is always a possibility, yet again, if the S5 Prime exists, this high-end portfolio expansion has to take a toll on manufacturing cycles.


Bottom line, the best case scenario calls for a September introduction in keeping with tradition. But forget timetables. We’re far more interested in what Samsung has in mind as design, hardware and software updates and tweaks and here are a few scenarios based on existent speculation, history and, well, hunches:

Galaxy Note 4 wishlist – the cautious scenario

Even the most pessimistic Android geeks have to be envisioning next fall’s S Pen-toting big kahuna as packing 4 GB of RAM since the technology is all ready and, while not quite desperately needed, certainly welcomed.

Design-wise, if Sammy decides to play it safe… one more time, the Galaxy Note 4 shall rock a plastic exterior, maybe with a perforated back pattern a la the GS5 or a faux leather rear unchanged from last year. Where might innovation enter the picture? Remember, this is the cautious, safe outline, so it doesn’t call for innovation across the board.


And yeah, it sounds like potentially half-assed work and a great disappointment in the making, but the S5 is hardly innovative from an aesthetical standpoint and I don’t hear buyers complaining that much.

Moving on, the least we can expect from the GNote 4 in processing speed is to ditch its predecessor’s Snapdragon 800 chip for an ever so slightly punchier 805 clocked at 2.7 GHz. Likewise, the rear camera will definitely get a megapixel bump, at worse to 16 MP.

Galaxy Note 4 concept

What else? Oh, yeah, the footprint could stay the same or grow by around 0.2 inches, water and dust resistance is clearly a must, an on-board 128 GB storage option may be added in the mix, microSD support isn’t going anywhere, and battery capacity will increase to 3,500 mAh. Worst case scenario.

Galaxy Note 4 wishlist – the optimistic version

The great strides made between Note and Note 2 releases and subsequently Note 2 and Note 3 allow Samsung to put the brakes on Note 4 development a little. But only a little. As such, a combination of our realistic and optimistic sides predicts the Koreans will look to take one or two gambles come September.

Galaxy Note 4 concept-2

The safest bet is of course a shift in build materials we’ve been anticipating ever since… 2012, with aluminum replacing plastic at long last. Then again, one of the very few rumors already floating around vis-à-vis the Note 4, and a credible one at that, says the jumbo-sized smartphone may sport a so-called “three-sided” display.

Aside from the obvious advantage, of extra screen real estate and the ability to illustrate short messages on the handheld’s sides, that entails the first-time using of flexible Youm panels on a wide scale. Naturally, we don’t expect a fully bendable device right off the bat, however the plastic’s malleability should help it handle drops with extra elegance and strength.

Also sitting somewhere between realism and optimism, we have a 20 MP camera with optical image stabilization. And a purer copy of Android, probably 5.0 or 4.5, with less Touchwiz-specific “bloatware”. Speaking about software, air gestures need to be improved, S Health as well and the user interface… nah, it’s okay the way it is.

Galaxy Note 4 wishlist – the mind-boggling fanciful scenario

Okay, it’s time to let our imaginations run wild. Were Samsung to go crazy in the forthcoming months, throw all caution aside and decide to design the ultimate ultra-high-end Android, how would that look?

Fully flexible, bendable, curved panel, along with a stretchy battery and internals to result in an ensemble you can literally roll up your sleeve? We’re probably years away from seeing anything resembling such a futuristic gizmo, but we can always dream.


Ultra HD display resolution, aka 3,840 x 2,160 pixels? That’s skipping a logical step, namely Quad HD, or 2,560 x 1,440, but again, there’s no one stopping us from daydreaming. 64-bit processor? It’s not as bonkers, unless we’re talking one of Qualcomm’s explosive Snapdragon 808 or 810 CPUs, expected out in “H1 2015”.

By the by, should Samsung decide to make the move from 32 to 64-bit, what’s its best option? That’s a toughie. The Snapdragon 610 and 615 will roll out for sampling in Q3, but they’re not exactly high-enders. Which only leaves the Koreans a homebrewed Exynos concoction, or an Intel-made SoC. Snapdragon 805 it is then.

Back to our fantasies, maybe the Galaxy Note 4 will incorporate both a fingerprint sensor and another biometric security feature – eye scanning technology. And maybe, just maybe solve the nasty Android top dog battery life conundrum somehow.


Want to hear something crazier? How about a 41 MP camera with OIS to rival Nokia’s PureView shooters? Octa-core 64-bit power? 6 inches of bezel-less glass? 6.5? Alright, I’ll take a breather now, but if you can think of anything else, feel free to sound off below.

LG G Pro 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Specs Comparison

Emboldened by its fruitful collaboration with Google for arguably the best Nexus phone yet, the N5, always underdog LG has last year turned the page to a new, exciting chapter in the company’s evolution, strengthening its position as potential future Samsung rival thanks to the outstanding G2.

LG G Pro 2 official

And now they’re at it again, taking the wraps off the most robust bidder for Galaxy Note 3’s phablet crown. Meet the G Pro 2, a beast that looks to up Optimus G Pro’s ante by leaps and bounds in each and every specific department.

There’s an obvious, striking design makeover, employed basically to cut all ties between the G Pro 2 and first-gen G Pro, instead emphasizing family connections with the G2. Then you have a massive hardware upgrade, though it was easy to foretell since, well, it’s been 12 months.

Galaxy Note 3

Lastly, LG continues to put a lot of work into software, both by ensuring the early adoption of fresh Android versions and the spicing up of the bland, “vanilla” OS with a silky smooth custom UI. Enough to confiscate Note 3’s world heavyweight title? Only one way to find out – pit the two against each other in an epic specs battle:

LG G Pro 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – design comparison

Remember the Optimus G Pro? It tried so hard to ape the GNote 2, it was almost impossible to pick it out of a lineup. Which wasn’t a bad thing, mind you. It was horrible. Who wants a sleazy copycat when they can have the original? Who wants a $600 – $700 gizmo with no identity?

Luckily (for them), LG learned their lesson, and the G Pro 2 is nothing alike the Note 3. Well, you could say the bezel thickness is around the same mark, but that’s clearly one similarity we’re willing to overlook.

LG G Pro 2

Both obscenely large, yet somehow grippable, sturdy yet elegant, the rivals ultimately send off fairly different vibes, courtesy of a curvy exterior on the G Pro 2, and a more industrial feel to the Note 3. Oh, and the rears. What spectacular rears!

Textured faux-leather to replace conventional glossy plastic on the Note 3, and physical buttons on the G Pro 2 for distinction and uniqueness (unless you’re comparing it to the G2). How can one pick a winner? Maybe the product dimensions will help settle this?

Galaxy Note 3 back

Nope, sorry. The G Pro 2 rocks superior screen real estate (5.9 vs 5.7 inches), the exact same waist as the Note 3 (8.3 mm), and measures a tad more in height and width (157.9 x 81.9 mm vs 151.2 x 79.2 mm). Bottom line? No way to choose a victor.

Display face-off

5.9-inch IPS LCD panel with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution and 373 ppi vs 5.7-incher Super AMOLED with 1,920 x 1,080 pix res and 386 ppi. Shall I even say it? Im-pos-si-ble to single out a champ. I mean, yes, G Pro 2’s screen is larger and that goes a long way with some, but Note 3’s is technically the crisper, thanks to superior pixel density.


Also, AMOLED trumps LCD on paper in response time, brightness and viewing angles, though you’ll need X-ray vision to tell the differences in real life.

Processing speed, RAM and camera duel

Initially expected out later this month, at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, LG’s G Pro 2 debuted early for two reasons. One, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will be on display in Catalonia, and you don’t want to mess with the advertising juggernaut by scheduling a release the same day as their “next big thing”.

More importantly, there’s a very tight window of time Android OEMs can still dish out Full HD, Snapdragon 800-packing handhelds and claim they’re the bomb. So the timing is good so far, but LG also desperately needs a quick commercial launch. As in two, three weeks from now, tops.


Back to our comparison, once again we’re dealing with an incredibly evenly matched bout. The on-board chips are identical (2.2 GHz quad-core S800), as is the memory (3 GB RAM). Cameras? Not quite two peas in a pod, however it’s unclear who comes out on top without seeing G Pro 2’s snappers in action.

LG is raving about OIS+ (improved optical image stabilization), which sure sounds nice, and is completely missing on the Note 3. Yet we know better than blindly buy into marketing propaganda. What do the cold numbers say? 13 and 2 MP sensors for both, but 4K Ultra HD and 120 fps HD video recording only for the G Pro 2. So we have our winner.

LG G Pro 2 vs Note 3 – software and battery life

If LG rolls the G Pro 2 out tomorrow, Samsung may be forced to play catch up for once from a software standpoint. But not for long, as the Note 3 is steadily moving up to Android 4.4 KitKat around the world. The G Pro 2? It’s chocolaty out the box.

As far as unique little perks go, Sammy is still ahead, with LG however continuously raising the bar. You got Knock Code, Mini View, a Dual Browser, Content Lock and so on and so forth, whereas on the other side of the fence air gestures and S-Voice lead the pack.


The autonomy, like the camera performance, is hard to rate with no G Pro 2 reviews to rely on, so patience is advised. If you want a guesstimate, Samsung will take this with ease, due to G Pro 2’s bigger display and, especially, software optimizations. For the record, the tickers are exactly the same size – 3,200 mAh.

Connectivity, ports, audio and others

Kudos to LG for finally paying attention to little details, such as speakers. Don’t get me wrong, Note 3’s audio is decent enough, but it’s hardly a match for G Pro 2’s 1W Hi-Fi sound system. I can almost hear the 5.9-incher causing raucous in my apartment building. It’s just a phone, neighbor.


Too bad the underdogs still have no answer for S Pen support and Note 3’s high-speed USB 3.0 port, or else they’d jump in the favorite seat. Anything else to influence the final outcome of the duel? Not that I can think of, as there’s microSD support on both giants, 32 GB built-in storage, 4G LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, etc., etc.


I’ll keep it short. The LG G Pro 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are tied all in all. They each have their little upsides and flaws, but ultimately choosing one or the other is a personal preference matter. Or maybe a pricing matter, since LG is yet to reveal that particular tidbit. Stay tuned.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo vs Galaxy Note 3 – Specs Comparison

I’m not one to usually defend the so-called “brand dilution” that comes inherent with a marketing strategy focusing primarily on “diversity” or “choice”. So you won’t hear me say this often, but rolling out a slightly more affordable, smaller phablet with Galaxy Note 3’s functionality and software perks always seemed like a good idea.


Until Samsung actually put it into practice. Let me rephrase that. Until Samsung put it into practice and priced the Note 3 Neo. But I’m getting ahead of myself here when in fact I want us to all keep an open mind.

What exactly are the similarities and differences between the standard Note 3 and watered-down Neo? Are they noticeable, discouraging? Bottom line, can the Note 3 Neo be a smart buy, or do phablet aficionados still absolutely need to pony up the extra cash and score its uncompromising forefather?



No way to answer the questions other than pitting the two against one another in a cold, objective specs comparison. Here it goes:

Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 3 Neo – design face-off

I know, I said objective and I’m starting off with a deeply subjective bout. But it’s the only one, I promise. Besides, in these two’s case, there’s little to comment on, argue or debate. They look almost identical.


The same overall industrial vibe, same utter lack of curves, faux-leather back, decent plastic polycarbonate build. Granted, Sammy shaved 6 grams off Note 3’s weight, 3 mm off its height and 2 off its width while adding 0.3 mm to the waist. But unless you put them on top of each other and closely examine them for a few minutes, you’ll never notice the subtle contrast.

Display comparison

First department where the Note 3 clearly trumps the Neo. Words are pretty much futile, as numbers seem self-explanatory, so here you go: 5.7-inch 1,920 x 1,080 pix res Super AMOLED with 386 ppi vs. 5.5-inch 1,280 x 720 Super AMOLED with 267 ppi.

Galaxy Note 3 Neo

Mind you, Note 3 Neo’s panel is no pushover (remember when 720p was the bomb?), it’s just Note 3’s is so much better. Bigger, brighter, more colorful, vibrant and delivering superior viewing angles.

Processing speed, RAM and camera smackdown

You probably expect another duel with a clear victor. Well, believe it or not, it’s not a black-and-white situation. Not at first glance, and not until we get to thoroughly test Note 3 Neo LTE’s hexa-core Exynos 5260 chip.

Overall, in terms of raw performance, the Neo definitely loses, but not exactly by a landslide, as the Note 3 packs a quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU that’s slowly but steadily aging. At the end of the day, what might really settle the contest is the extra 1 gig of RAM on the Note 3 (3 GB vs. 2).

Galaxy Note 3 camera

Cameras? It’s a knockout win for the big kahuna, whose snappers tout 13 and 2 MP sensors. Note 3 Neo’s, in contrast, come with 8 and 2 MP respectively.

Software, battery life, connectivity and others

Technically, both phones ran Android 4.3 Jelly Bean upon their releases, so technically, they’re software equals. Whoa, whoa, whoa, not so fast, as the Note 3 is being upgraded to 4.4 KitKat around the world, whereas the Neo… waits. And will likely wait a few more months.

As far as TouchWiz-related perks are concerned, the pair is indeed tied, with Air View, Air gestures, S-Voice and so on and so forth across the board. Battery life? Now that’s a touchy subject. The Note 3 has a 100 mAh edge (3,200 – 3,100), yet its rival/kin may benefit off the inferior resolution and last a little longer.


Unless the hexa-core SoC is a power hog. Not out of the question, so let’s wait for reviews and battery tests. Any other tidbits you should take into consideration? Both handhelds offer S Pen support, LTE speeds (one by default, one optional), microSD storage expansion, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0, so I guess there’s only the USB detail.

No, the Note 3 Neo doesn’t lack USB connectivity, it just swaps Note 3’s high-speed 3.0 for run-of-the-mill 2.0. Not a big deal, but it’s good to know everything beforehand.

Galaxy Note 3 Neo vs Note 3 – pricing comparison

It was never a question of who comes out on top, but by how much and how much is the gap worth. According to Samsung, 100 bucks or so, as the Neo costs roughly $560 in Indonesia, and the Note 3 is available outright at $650 give or take.

Galaxy Note 3 Neo price

So to try to answer my own question, no, the Note 3 Neo is not the smartest buy at $560. But since it’s yet to officially land stateside, there’s still hope. $500 sounds pretty fair to me, anything south would be outright dreamy and unrefusable, so keep an eye on retailers.

Better yet, stay tuned on The Droid Guy. We’ll bring you any and all availability details as soon as they’re outed.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Problems, Questions, Solutions, Fixes [Part 2]

galaxy note 2 touchwiz

This is the second part of our Samsung Galaxy Note 2 problems and solutions series. In this post, I will be answering at least 15 questions or problems sent by our readers through our mailbag ([email protected]). Try to browse through the post and see if your problem was included. If not, then read the first part: Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Problems, Questions, Solutions, Fixes [Part 1].

If your problems weren’t answered, feel free to send us email and we will gladly find appropriate solutions for you. We may not be able to respond to your emails but rest assured I am reading each one of them. For those who have sent us emails already, subscribe to our newsletter so that you will be notified as soon as I post articles like this.

Micro SD card unmounting problem

Q1: Hello guyz. I am just wondering. This afternoon I woke up to check my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 then suddenly there is a message or notification informing me that my memory card was accidentally pulled out (Which as you know is relatively impossible since memory card is inside the back casing.). Now it’s not working and when I tried it to other units, it cannot be opened. Oh.. I’ve also tried to insert an old micro SD to my slot, it works just can I possibly retrieve my media files on my broken card. Please help me. Thanks.Kayle

Answer: Sounds like a micro SD card problem to me. Based on testimonies of people who have experienced having their SD card damaged, the first sign is that it would randomly unmount. You will be able to notice this one because your phone will tell you so. The SD card would still work like usual but there will come a time that it will just stop. So, as early as now, backup all your data and prepare yourself for the time you wouldn’t be able to access your external storage. Physically unmount it from your phone and let your laptop read from it, then copy all data while you still can. Buying a new one would be your only option if you want to have an expanded storage in your phone. I know some people who claimed to have fixed defective micro SD card but for me, it’s just not worth it. Buy a new micro SD card.

Related solution:

Unresponsive screen

Q2: Sir, please advise how to release the display screen (while using internet picture the screen stuck and the touchscreen even on off switch not working). Expecting for your reply. —  Kesava

Answer: When a phone like the Galaxy Note 2 freezes and is not responding to whatever keys you press or tap, the best solution is to pull the battery out to turn it off. Turn the phone back on to see if it can boot up normally. If not, try booting up to Safe Mode and if it’s successful, it means a third-party app could be interfering with the normal operation. You need to find it and uninstall. If the freezing happens more often, clear cache and data of TouchWiz from Application Manager. If it persists, you have no other option but to do a factory reset. It is advisable you do via the recovery mode.

Related solutions:

Word prediction gone

Q3: Hi, after updating to 4.3 the keyboards has lost its word prediction at the top of the keyboard. How do I get it back? And my phone more often than not rejects my home Wi-Fi in favour of the mobile network stating the connection is too slow. Never had this problem. How do I “lock” into the Wi-Fi connection?Melt

Answer: I’m not sure if there’s compatibility issues but try clearing the cache partition via recovery mode. You see, clearing the cache partition will delete all data used by apps to run normally but not your settings or personalization. Thus, it is also logical to do a factory reset in case clearing of the cache partition doesn’t work. As to the Wi-Fi issues, try turning mobile network off first then observe if the WiFi disconnects automatically. It could be a problem with the network or with the router. Of course, make sure you are at a reasonably close range from the hotspot. If the Wi-Fi Power Save mode is on, disable it.

Related solution:

Starting a service

Q4: I accidentally pressed Force Stop on HP Print Service Plugin app on my Note 2. How do I undo it? I tried turning off the power, removing the battery but didn’t help. The “Force Stop” button is still greyed. Thanks.M Lee

Answer: Since you said your accidentally force-stopped HP Print Service Plugin, I would assume it is a service and there is an app that uses it. You could be able to start this service again by simply running the app that uses it. If it is a standalone, however, try going to Application Manager and swipe to All tab and find it there. I’m not really familiar with this service so try to check if there is a button that could manually start it.

Can’t turn on hotspot

Q5: Hi, I have a Note 2 , unlock on the Solavei network, I recently upgrade to the latest version of android and since then I can’t turn on the hot spot on the phone , the phone tells me that my current plan under T-Mobile doesn’t have hotspot , but before that upgrade It’s working perfectly,  please help me.Juan Carlos 

Answer: You’re not actually the first one to complain about this. I have read from other forums about this problem and I found out carriers, especially those that offer mobile hotspot services, disabled the function by purpose. So, the first thing you should ask yourself is whether you have subscribed for hotspot plan under T-Mobile. If you haven’t then that explains why you can’t turn it on. If you have, then call your service provider and have its representative enable the option for you.

Android 4.3 update interrupted

Q6: Hello. I have not been able to update my Note 2 (AT&T) to Android 4.3. It downloads the update just fine but after it reboots the install says that it’s interrupted and won’t continue. I went to an AT&T device support center and they said that 4.3 had bug issues for the Note 2 and they weren’t sure when they would be fixed. Do you have any information about this? Could it be that AT&T might skip 4.3 for the Note 2 and go straight to 4.4? Thanks!Jason

Answer: If the representative explicitly told you that the 4.3 update was buggy, that could be true. But that doesn’t answer the question why the update process cannot push through. But yes, I have read reports early in January that  AT&T’s Android 4.3 update suffered setbacks and there were actually people who have successfully updated their phone but ended up complaining due to bugs. Actually the roll has already finished so if you haven’t updated your phone yet, you better wait for the upcoming 4.4 update instead. This time, I hope it’s stable.

Related news:

Gallery stops working

Q7: Hi, when I try to “share” a photo from “gallery” it fails and says gallery quit working. Galaxy Note 2. Please advise. Thank you.Cindy

Answer: I’m not sure what social network you’re trying to share your photos but if it has an official app like Facebook and Twitter, try clearing its cache and data then ‘Force Stop’ the Gallery app from the Application Manager, clear cache and the clear data. In case you have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos saved in your phone, try copying the old ones to your computer and delete them from your phone to make it easier for the gallery to manage remaining photos. This behavior can also be caused by a defective microSD card because the app would take too long to read from the external storage device until Android system forces it to stop, so check your SD card as well.

Can’t boot up after rooting

Q8: I have a Galaxy Note 2 and I tried to root it, now it just won’t boot past the Samsung logo, can you help me with this problem. Thanks.Bounarith

Answer: The rooting may not have been successful or was interrupted. Try doing the process again and see if that solves the problem. If not, then clear the dalvik cache, cache partition and do a factory reset via the recovery mode.

Related solution:

S Note problem

Q9: Hey DroidGuy, I have been having problems with my S Note on my phone.  Whenever I launch the app it will load for 4 seconds then crash.  This kept happening over and over and I cleared my cache and everything.  Please help!!  Thanks!  — Joseph

Answer: If you have cleared the cache and data of S Note service and the problem persists, then try checking the amount of RAM left. If the RAM is too low, S Note can’t run because it requires a lot of services to function well thus eat up a lot of RAM too. But if the S Note stops working for no apparent reason, there’s no other options left but to perform a factory reset to clear all your settings. Of course, you need to backup all your data before doing so.

Weak Wi-Fi performance

Q10: Hi Droid Guy, it’s an old problem I’m suffering with: weak Wi-Fi performance when there is a strong signal. I have read your other posts on curing it but none work for very long. Its so bad that I’ve had to radically up my data package (from 1Gb to 10Gb per month) to compensate, despite hopping from Wi-Fi hotspot to Wi-Fi hotspot! On my next upgrade I was certain to go with the latest version of the Note but now I’m not quite so sure. I love every other aspect of the phone, I’m just very frustrated with this perennial annoyance. Is this issue the most common reported problem with the Note 2 and is the Note 3 a similar sufferer of this annoying foible? Kind regards.Mark

Answer: Yeah, Wi-Fi issues are among the most common problems reported by Note 2 owners but they were already addressed through updates. The Note 3 seems to be a lot more stable than the Note 2 but of course, there are still some problems. You know, it’s difficult for me to comment on this issue because I really don’t know the speed of your data transmission. Have you called your service provider, by the way, and ask why you were experiencing slow browsing on your devices? Strong Wi-Fi signal is not a guarantee you get fast internet connection, it’s just an indicator how near you are from the hotspot; of course, the longer the distance data would travel wirelessly, the slower your connection would be.

Related solutions:

Videos / photos damaged after shot

Q11: Hello. I am having a problem with videos and some photos after they are shot/taken with my Note 2. Most of the time I can see them in my gallery but when I click on some of them, I get an icon that looks like the video/photo is damaged.  I have tried other photo apps but nothing seems to work and my videos, when they play, are in a really small window. Hopefully you will have some answers for me. Thanks so much for your help.Tara

Answer: This is actually one sign your microSD card is broken, not detected or has been unmounted leaving the gallery app with nothing to show but the default picture or video icon with lightning bolt in the middle. It means that the file cannot be located or loaded, thus, thumbnails are also unavailable. As to the tiny videos, well, try adjusting the resolution of your video camera; it’s better to set it to the highest. But a word of advice: backup all your data from your microSD card before it’s too late.

Related posts:

Contacts scroll back to the top

Q12: Problem when I’m in driving. When i try to scroll through my contacts, it keeps scrolling back to the top of the list. I’ve tried adjusting the motion settings, but that hasn’t resolved my issue. Sprint told me I need to do a hard reset in-store, but I’d prefer not to do that. Any solutions?Dickerson

Answer: Boot the phone to Safe Mode to stop third-party apps from running leaving only the stock apps. While in safe mode, try scrolling through your contacts with the driving mode is enabled and see if the problem is still there. If not, then there’s at least an app that interferes with your phone’s normal operation. You need to find that app and disable or uninstall it. If the problem is still happening, try to find out if your version of the Note 2 has the ‘Double Tap to Top’ feature and disable it.

Latest updates already installed

Q13: Hi guys. I bought my Note 2 on 1st week of February 2013 from Kuwait. Now I am residing in India. A month after getting it, I updated it to android 4.1.2. Now almost all the Note 2s getting updated to android 4.3 via OTA updates. But when I check for updates it shows that the latest updates have already been installed. Is it because I got it from Kuwait.? What should I do to update it?Jephin

Answer: First of all, check the version of your firmware and see if it’s not the latest version. Try initiating update search through Settings, if it would still say you have the latest version even if it’s not, you need the help of Samsung KIES. Download Kies and install it to your computer. Connect your phone and try to pull down updates via your computer.

Fast battery draining problem

Q14: Hey guys, since the recent Samsung update my Note 2 batteries have been draining rather quickly. In an hour loose >20% of battery power. I have asked numerous Note 2 and Note 3 owners and they complain of the same problem. Thanks.Mobolaji

Answer: Well, there are a lot of factors that could contribute to the rate of battery drain in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. If you have installed a lot of apps already, take time to force close the ones you don’t use via the Application Manager. Adjust your screen’s brightness to a lower level and turn off data features like Wi-Fi, mobile data, Bluetooth, etc. Try to clear your phone’s RAM every now and then. But overtime, battery’s performance would also deteriorate and that’s the biggest setback because you don’t have other choice but to buy a new one.

Related solution:

Delayed text messages

Q15: Droid guy, I received an update 4.3 on my Note 2 and the text messages stopped. Verizon gave me another Note 2 and as soon as the phone received the 4.3 update, no text. I did get some text later,  but it was the same text four or 5 times. My friends text me and they text would arrive four or five days later. What can I do to get this problem fixed?Roger

Answer: Sounds like a network problem to me. When a text message is received more than once, it means that there was a time when the phone didn’t have service, or there was a disruption. So, Verizon may have the answer to your question. But do your part, if you’re using any third-party text messaging apps, uninstall them as they may interfere. Try sending a text message to your own number and see if you can send and receive it. If you can send successfully, it means there’s no problem with the phone’s ability to connect to the network and send data. When  your service provider offers to replace your phone with another unit, always ask what the problem really was.

Related solution:

Engage with us

Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your emails. Email us via [email protected] any time. We read every email but can’t guarantee a response. Lastly, if we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends or subscribe to our newsletter. Thanks.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro, Galaxy Tab Pro: the good, the bad and the competition

Watch out, Apple, there are some new Android-running iPad “killers” in town, and they may just give the so far undisputed tablet heavyweight champ a run for its money. Or at least work as a stepping stone for when Android finally dethrones iOS in this seemingly one-sided contest.

Galaxy Note Pro Galaxy Tab Pro

Make no mistake, the time will come, as long as Samsung continues to push the hardware boundaries of Galaxy Tabs and Notes, and OEMs like Asus keep the pricing bar low. But is Sammy wrong to spread its slate magic between so many differently sized, differently specced models?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to once and for all assume the underdog position and follow Apple’s suit instead of insisting on setting new trends? Specifically, would it help if they had merely an iPad mini rival and full-sized iPad competitor in their lineup?


Also, do the Galaxy Tabs Pro 8.4, 10.1, 12.2 and Note Pro 12.2 have other worthy adversaries which they need to prevail against? Exactly what are their targets and niches, strong points and flaws? Stay tuned, as we’ll try to explore all these questions and more in the following lines.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro line, Note Pro 12.2 – The good

Give it up, Apple fanboys, your iPad Air has nothing on our sweet Note Pro 12.2. Or Tab Pro 10.1, for that matter. iPad mini 2 vs. Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4? However you spin it, be prepared to take a beating.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the iOS ecosystem is “healthier”, safer, richer in some ways. But what good does it do the average user when there’s such a glaring gap in the hardware department balancing out Apple’s software edge?


I mean, look at those outstanding displays. Forget Retina, everybody craves for whatever Samsung calls Galaxy Tab Pro’s 2,560 x 1,600 pix res Super clear LCD panel. 324 ppi? Puh-lease, the 8.4-incher delivers 359. Meanwhile, the iPad Air boasts 264 and the Tab Pro 10.1 299 ppi.

As for processing speed, RAM or cameras, I don’t really want to get in the whole “iOS software optimization” debate and how it can make theoretically lousy hardware perform. I just know there’s no way the 1 GB RAM on the iPads trumps the 3 gigs on the Note Pro 12.2. 5 MP cams? Pfft, we have 8 MP.

Bottom line, love it or hate it, the spec war is still very much on, and Samsung appears to be winning it.


Also, no, it does not hurt to have the option of going for extra screen real estate. Sure, many consider 12-inch tablets uncomfortable to use while on the go and all. But before jumping at Samsung’s throat for the “grotesque” Note Pro 12.2 and Tab Pro 12.2, remember Apple is nearly confirmed to be hard at work on a so-called “iPad Pro”.

Hear that, fanboys? Your precious idols may “rip off” Samsung soon enough. If ripping off means coming up with an unoriginal idea at basically the same time as your antagonist, and failing to swiftly put it into practice.

Galaxy Tab Pro, Galaxy Note Pro – The bad

Choice and diversity. It’s pretty much Android’s (simplified) creed nowadays, and Samsung’s in particular. The problem is, it’s not easy to forge a unique identity to a specific gadget when all kinds of relatives are around.

What is it that makes the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 stand out from the crowd? Why should I pick the Note Pro 12.2 over the Tab Pro 12.2? Just because of S Pen support? It’s not enough, Samsung, and you know it. Hopefully, you know it.


Now, it might sound ridiculous, but despite Samsung’s quartet edging out the iPads from a hardware standpoint (and maybe even in the design arena), many people will opt for one of Apple’s slates simply because picking a Galaxy is, well, confusing and headache-inducing.

It doesn’t help that there’s always a “threat”, of ever so slightly better gizmos outed weeks or months after previous flagships, looming in Samsung’s camp, whereas Apple offers a certain sense of stability and comfort.

In other words, evolution is fine for the market as a whole, but from where most of you are sitting, it’s unacceptable to cough up 800 bucks for a top-of-the-line gadget today, and wake up the next day seeing an improved model unveiled.


Oh, and one last thing, though I can’t believe I’m actually saying this. Oi, Samsung, you need to spend money to make money. Or better yet, lose money to make money. So if you truly want to dethrone Apple, for crying out loud, underprice your slates. Do it now.

$400 for the Tab Pro 8.4 would be fair in a fair world, but we’re living in an Apple world, so you better make it $300 fast. And $400 for the Tab Pro 10.1 instead of $500, $550 tops for the Tab Pro 12.2 and $600 give or take for the Note Pro 12.2.

The competition

I’m not going to beat it around the bush a lot here, just one thought before wrapping up. Would you please stop comparing the Galaxy Tabs Pro and Note Pro with the Nexus 7, Nexus 10 or other budget-conscious entries? They’re not the targets here, Apple’s iPads are.


Maybe Microsoft’s Surfaces too, albeit they’re still hard to take seriously, with sales trailing and Windows incapable of breaking into the mainstream world of either smartphones or tablets. It’s thus a two-way Samsung vs. Apple fight for supremacy. Play your cards right, Sammy, and you’ll leap to #1 in no time.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, Tab 3 Lite and Note Pro 12.2 Score Bluetooth SIG Certification

As we near the year’s first two major tech-related trade shows, next week’s CES and next month’s MWC, the puzzle that’s Samsung’s 2014 mobile product lineup becomes less and less of a conundrum.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

For instance, it’s now nearly set in stone that the purported Galaxy Grand Lite will be marketed as the Grand Neo, whereas the Note 3 Lite will significantly lower the performance ante compared with its distant cousin.

Then you have a slightly more complicated tablet totem pole, where the massive Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is to sit at the very top, with at least two Galaxy Tab Pros underneath it and a low-end, low-cost GTab Lite chilling at the base.

Of the slate slew, three individuals are today moving one step closer to their formal introductions, thanks to swift Bluetooth SIG approval processes. What’s interesting is one particular tab, the SM-T905, managed to keep a relatively low profile in the rumor mill so far, only breaking its cover a couple of weeks ago, when a Zauba listing was tracked down.


Initially, the theory was this mysterious bad boy was nothing but a subvariety of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, aka SM-P900 or SM-P905. After all, their codenames were extremely close, and there had to be a connection.

On further investigation though, we’ve become quite certain the SM-T905 will be part of the Galaxy Tab family, not the Note series. Particularly, the thing is bound to be made known as the GTab 12.2, or GTab Pro 12.2.

As such, expect it to sport a vibrant 2,560 x 1,600 pix res 12.2-inch panel, as well as most of the top-shelf features the Note Pro is tipped to rock: quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC, 3 GB RAM, 8 MP rear-facing camera and optional 4G LTE support.


There will however be one difference, and one difference alone, namely the Tab Pro 12.2, like all Tab family members, is to lack S Pen support. Odds are that’ll lead to a (small) gap in pricing, though it’s a little too early to make any further assumptions.

And while we’re on the Note Pro 12.2 subject, let’s mention the S Pen-toting big guy has been given Bluetooth SIG’s blessing at around the same time as the GTab 12.2 and… the Tab 3 Lite. The only one not carrying LTE support is the entry-level 7-incher (model number SM-T111), rumored to cost as little as $100 and debut during the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

A delay of the announcement until February’s Mobile World Congress is definitely not out of the question either, especially as the Note Pro 12.2, Tab Pro 12.2, Tab Pro 8.4 and Tab Pro 10.1 look most likely to go official at Barcelona’s expo. Bottom line, Samsung is going to keep busy for time to come.

Sources: Bluetooth SIG (1), (2), (3)

CES 2014 Preview and Rumor Roundup (Revisited and Updated)

In a way, the scheduling of the year’s first major electronics and technology event just as everyone is struggling to sober up recuperate after Christmas and New Year celebrations is legitimately unfortunate. More so as it’s become a tradition for many key CES players to jump the gun and lay all their cards on the table before the actual trade show begins.

CES 2014

So while technically the 2014 Las Vegas spectacle gets underway on January 7, most of the glamorous product announcements are to go down on the 6th. Some as soon as January 4 and 5. Bottom line, you have roughly 72 hours to go from relaxed, eventless, maybe internet-free mode to take-in-as-many-new-cutting-edge-fresh-gadgets-as-you-can system.

Sounds like quite the challenge, however if you’re not in the business of informing the world on tech developments and news (like yours truly) and just enjoy keeping an eye on things for the kick of it, it can be a treat. Think of it as a continuation of the holiday season. Minus the paid vacation days.


All said, let’s see exactly what Android gifts we should expect under the CES tree:

The certainties

A lot has changed between three weeks back, when we compiled our first CES preview and rumor roundup, and today, but we remain unusually light on facts and sure bets. Which is odd, yet somewhat refreshing. Don’t you just hate it when everything about these shows gets uncovered weeks ahead of time?

I know I do, so I’m pissed as hell the Sony Xperia Z1s is such an open book. And it’s been that way for so long. But maybe Sony has both a Z1s and Z1 mini in the pipeline, and the former will actually be special somehow. Granted, if it’s to be called that way, it’ll probably be an unexciting Z1 rehash of sorts.

Sony Xperia Z1

Then there’s the Xperia E2 (yawn), yet another Asus PadFone model (likely to be dubbed PadFone X), and quite possibly, a pair of stripped-down Samsung Galaxy gizmos, namely the Note 3 Lite phablet and Tab 3 Lite.

On the slightly more exciting side of things, LG is to surely showcase and detail further availability details for the G Flex in Las Vegas, whereas Huawei is bound to intro a spanking new ginormous Ascend Mate with octa-core power.

LG G Flex

Alcatel, Acer and Lenovo have themselves confirmed they’ll be present in Sin City to take the wraps off fresh Android-based devices, albeit I probably shouldn’t have listed the trio here since their actual upcoming products are big, fat enigmas. All I can predict they’ll enrich the Idol phone family in Alcatel’s case and focus on affordability for Acer and Lenovo.

The maybes

Welcome to “everything’s possible” land. Where dozens and dozens of gadgets are to end up battling it out for the spotlight. Like LG’s G2 mini, Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and 10.1. All three sound more MWC candidates than CES material, but remember, we’re in “maybe” territory, so don’t you rule anything out.

Here’s a (not so) wild theory. What if CES 2014 will be more about top-shelf mobile chips than high-end mobile devices? After all, Samsung is unlikely to bring the Galaxy S5 to light, yet fairly reliable sources suggest the Exynos 6 and Exynos S 64-bit processors are to go official.


LG’s extraordinary-looking octa-core Odin can’t keep a low profile much longer either. As for Qualcomm, they’ve unveiled a Snapdragon 800 follow-up, christened S805, already, however they need to get with the program and join the 64-bit game soon, so why not hope for a Snapdragon 900 or 1000 next week?

Or how about Nvidia’s return to grace, courtesy of a Tegra 5 CPU (aka Logan)? Wouldn’t that be something? Mind you, if Nvidia does indeed plan to debut a new SoC, it’ll probably also show off a Shield or Tegra Note sequel.


Oh, I almost forgot wearables. Like it or not, they’re the future, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see a Samsung Galaxy Gear 2, Sony Smartwatch 3 and/or LG “G Arch” making the Vegas rounds. Asus, whose name came up timidly in the certainties department, deserves a much more substantial mention here, as there’s no doubt the Taiwanese will unleash a flurry of new, quirky products before long.

A smartwatch of their own? Maybe. One or two Chromebooks? Definitely. Some sort of Android/Windows dual-booting tablet? You bet. Also, fresh Transformer Pads, the long-rumored MeMoFone and an international flavor of the PadFone mini.

The what ifs

I have a dream. That rumors of Samsung heavily shortening Galaxy S5’s production cycle will prove authentic. And in response, that LG, Sony and HTC will be forced to do the same and throw their next-gen flagships, the G3, Xperia Z2 and M8 (aka One Two), in the heavyweight ring.

Am I crazy? Like I said, you shouldn’t rule anything out. True, even if we take the S5 precocious launch gossip for granted, it’s hard to believe Samsung will not want to organize the “next big thing” its own presentation event. The same goes for the G3, Z2 and M8, though LG, HTC and Sony (especially Sony) have been much kinder to expos like CES and MWC in the past.

Galaxy S5 concept

While we’re in sweet dreams turf, let’s also tackle the Galaxy Round 2 and G Flex 2. They’re real, incoming, spectacular and more flexible than their predecessors, make no mistake, but it’s probably too early for them to break cover. The Galaxy Band, hybrid “Hit”, sapphire-made HTC and LG spearheads? Likewise.

Now, I’d like you all to allow yourselves to dream and sound off your craziest, most unrealistic, sweetest CES expectations below. Anything goes.

What To Expect From Samsung in H1 2014: Rumor Roundup

Year-end rundowns and recaps would be nothing without previews and rumor roundups, and so, after compiling lists with the Android best of the best and also the worst of worst in 2013, it’s time to look ahead at what’s coming in 2014.

Samsung billboard

Hopefully, less flops, more home-runs. As we’ve learned, the leading candidate for both is Samsung, simply because the Koreans have more guts and money than possibly all other big (and small) fishes in the Android business combined.

If there’s one thing we know about Sammy, it’s they’re going to roll out dozens of new products over the course of the next 12 months, intending to conquer each and every niche of the mobile market, even those that we had no idea existed.


Be that as it may, guessing what the Galaxy architects have planned for a full year is downright impossible, so instead let’s see what we can make of the recent speculation bonanza in regards to devices expected out between January 1 and June 30. In other words, H1 2014.

Galaxy S5

Q1 or Q2? Before, during or after MWC? Metal or plastic? Hard to say. But the S5 is coming in H1, and it’s going to be outstanding. Plenty of things have changed since the last time we summarized S5 gossip, yet no believable render is out.

So maybe the “next big thing” is a little ways down the road. Or, and this is much easier to buy, Samsung has put a stop to the wild leakfests of 2012 and 2013 and aims to keep a tighter lid on the future big guy’s design.


Hiding the specs is a much more difficult feat, as an SM-G900S has already surfaced online with a list of features that puts it in pole-position as a GS5 candidate. The theory is corroborated by notorious Twitter tipster @evleaks and now AnTuTu, so it’s not set in stone, but it’s close enough.

As a quick refresher, the S5 is tipped to sport a 2K 5 or 5.2-inch display, 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 and/or 64-bit Exynos CPU, 3 or 4 GB RAM and 16 MP rear-facing camera. The exterior is likely made of plastic, however…

Super-premium F Series

However, the “standard” GS5 will not necessarily be the top stallion in Samsung’s stable. Instead, an ultra high-end member of the Galaxy family could see daylight with aluminum and curved display versions, probably a Snapdragon 805 SoC running the hardware show and the best Sammy has to offer in the imaging and battery departments.


The “when” part of the equation is the most difficult to untangle, albeit my guesstimate is the Galaxy F (or however it’ll end up being called) will break cover a good month or two after the S5. Ergo, April or May.

Other Galaxy phones

Just because Samsung has two top-shelf handhelds in the pipeline, it doesn’t mean they’ll neglect the low-end, low-cost class. No sir, as they draw profits almost equally as hefty from there. And thereabouts, as mid-range slabs are too worthy of a separate mention.


While we’re a little light on specifics in this section, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict some sort of Galaxy Fame and Young follow-ups are in the cards, as well as washed-out Lite variants of the Note 3 and Grand. Maybe a Galaxy Xcover 3, upgraded Megas and a few “Plus”, “Advance” and “Pro” flavors of existing devices.

Bottom line, nothing fancy, but cool and cheap enough to keep Nokia and Motorola at bay.

Tablets: Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, Note 12.2, GTab 4 and more

The slate department is actually the one Samsung wants to tweak the most in 2014, if we are to believe, well, everyone. And not a day too soon, as, in all honesty, Galaxy tablets, be they part of the Tab series or Note family, have never made big waves or sizable profits.

Can the GTab 3 Lite turn things around? Not dramatically, despite its unbeatable $100 price point. What about the Note 12.2? Now you’re talking. As far-fetched as it may sound, pundits forecast an immense growth for large slates, including those north of 10 inches.


Combine that with the functionality of the GNote line, massive marketing and advertising investments, top-of-the-line specs and a touch of extra productivity with keyboard docks and other accessories, and you get a smash hit. Just don’t forget the docking station, Sammy, or else Apple will beat you to the punch with the oft-rumored iPad Pro.

What else? Oh, yeah, a pair of Super AMOLED display-toting tabs is also reportedly in the works, one a compact 8-incher and the other boasting 10.5 inches of sweetness. And a mystery 13.3-incher, and some sort of hybrid with both Windows and Android on-board. Too much to take in all at once?

Galaxy Note 12.2

Well, we’re not done. Aside from the $100 Lite thing and AMOLED players, the Tab series is due for a couple of additional refreshments (under the Tab 4 moniker), to follow on the footsteps of the 8 and 10-inch Tab 3. Also, it’s safe to assume the Galaxy Note 8.0 will itself get a sequel. I lost count, how many are there? Ten, twenty, a hundred?

Wearables: Galaxy Gear 2? Gear Glass?

Forget what they say, the first-gen Galaxy Gear is nowhere near a slam dunk. But you’d have been crazy to think the first stab at such a delicate concept would hit the jackpot. Since there’s nothing wrong with the actual concept, Samsung should try again and a more basic, functional, sleeker and elegant Galaxy Gear 2 is probably due sometime in May or June. Maybe sooner.


A Gear Glass to take on the Google Glass? Don’t count on it… yet. It’s another intriguing concept, don’t get me wrong, however it needs work. A lot of work. And time.

Right, this is it, and now you have the floor. What are you dear readers most excited about? Least excited? I have the F and Note 12.2 in the former and the Gear 2 in the latter.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Sony Xperia Z Ultra vs HTC One Max – Specs Comparison

The ultimate phablet smackdown. El Plato Supreme. The Catalina Wine Mixer. You can call it many things, but it’s definitely big. Both literally and figuratively.

One Max Note 3 Z Ultra

It’s the duel for possibly the most coveted gold medal of the mobile industry nowadays. Sure, many still consider phablets niche devices, but the numbers don’t lie. Nor do The Oxford Dictionaries, where smartphones “having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer” have recently been inducted.

Talking about numbers, you’d probably reckon Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 has it easy in its quest for domination. Yet starting yesterday, Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra, for some reason rebranded as just Z Ultra, runs Android 4.4 KitKat in a Google Play edition.


Game-changer? We shall see in the following lines, where HTC’s One max will also get a chance to shine and show off its strengths against the two other contenders. Strengths that many have overlooked so far. Showtime:

Galaxy Note 3 vs. Z Ultra vs. One max –design and build quality comparison

Apples and oranges. At first glance, it looks like these three have very little in common design-wise, thus probably targeting very different audiences. Want to go big, but not too big and have no problem with plastic? Then the Note 3’s your man.


Think life in plastic is so not fantastic and have taken a liking to HTC One’s smooth all-metal body but always dreamed of extra screen real estate? Vote One max. Finally, the Z Ultra is the go-to bad boy for extreme folks whose “bigger is better” views on life have no limits.


Ironically, the biggest fellow is at the same time the slimmest, which actually helps it tip the scales at 5 grams less than the One max. Talk about architectural marvels, eh? Bottom line, I think I’m going to call this battle a three-way tie, albeit gun to my head, I’d probably choose HTC’s contestant. What can I say, I’m partial to aluminum and 6.4 inches is simply too bonkers for me.


Note 3 vs. Z Ultra vs. One Max – specs comparison, take two, display

Why does everything have to be so darn complicated? I mean, come on, how can one say this or that screen is better when all three are Full HD, rock outstanding viewing angles and are as vibrant and bright as my $800 39-inch LED TV at home?


Sure, when it comes to pixel density, the Note 3 has the upper hand, with 386 ppi, followed by the One max, with 373, and the Z Ultra finishes the race dead last, with 344. However, the ranks are overturned in usable screen real estate, so ultimately it once again comes down to personal preferences. Here, I’d go with the superior ppi and extra portability of the Note 3, but that’s just me.

Processing speed, RAM and cameras

Sorry, HTC, but I’m afraid your One max has nothing on its rivals. Don’t get me wrong, Snapdragon 600 and 2 GB of RAM make for a decent system, yet it’s not decency we’re looking for. It’s cutting-edge speed and the Note 3 is the textbook definition of just that.

The 5.7-incher packs quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 power and a whopping 3 GB RAM, whereas the Z Ultra is narrowly behind, with an S800 clocked a tad lower (2.2 vs. 2.3 GHz) and a “measly” 2 GB of memory.

Galaxy Note 3 camera

As far as cameras go, the Note 3 prevails one more time, with 13 MP and 2 MP snappers, far superior to the 8 and 2 MP units on the Z Ultra and 4 “UltraPixel” and 2.1 MP shooters on the One max. That’s two points for Samsung, zero for the competition.

Software and battery life battle

Thought it was all over after the speed and camera duels? Well, think again, as the Z Ultra is back in with a shout, thanks to being the only of the three running Android 4.4 KitKat. Best of all, it’s stock 4.4, albeit you may struggle to find the Google Play Edition available soon enough.


Meanwhile, the Note 3 and One max are 4.3 Jelly Bean-powered and due for their own 4.4 makeovers before long. The million-dollar question is which one will nab the update first? My money’s on Samsung, though it’s never wise to have certainties in life.

The battery clash? In my book, it’s a Note 3-One max tie, as the former packs a 3,200 mAh cell and the latter a 3,300 mAh. Granted, Samsung knows how to optimize software better and has the smaller panel, but HTC retaliates with the less power-demanding processor. The Z Ultra? It doesn’t even play in the same league, with a meager 3,050 mAh ticker.

Pricing, availability and others

The biggest ace up Note 3’s sleeve, possibly bigger than its winning SoC/RAM combo, is availability. You can find Samsung’s baby at basically every street corner of every city in every country in the world and that matters a whole lot for an everyday tech user.


Not to mention the billboards, ads and promos you’re bound to glance over every day on your way to work, school or wherever. Also, the Note 3 can be had with and without contracts anywhere, costing $150 give or take with American pacts and $700 or so outright.

The Z Ultra and One max are much more difficult to score, albeit the former has got a major push from Google once the GPlay Edition has rolled out. The KitKat chocolaty model is up for grabs at an almost affordable $650 outright, with no carriers picking it up as of now and nothing in this department on the horizon.

Finally, the on-contract One max starts at $110 with Verizon and $100 on Sprint, going all the way up to $650 with no contractual obligations.


Before making your final decision however, there are a number of little details you should take into account, like the fact the One max sports fingerprint recognition technology (gimmicky, but cool), the Z Ultra is water and dust protected, and the Note 3 has S Pen support. So which one is the best in the end? I’ll let you do the math and come up with your own conclusions.  

Samsung Galaxy Note Has Swelling Battery Issue, No Free Replacement Yet

Samsung is regarded as one of the leading companies in the world that manufactures high quality Android devices. This doesn’t mean however that their devices are perfect as some problems usually tend to arise. Take for instance the battery swelling issue that has affected several batches of their Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 smartphones. Right now this very same problem is also affecting the Galaxy Note from 2011 and above.

samsung galaxy note

Several owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note are reporting that the battery of their device has swollen. The batteries have grown to unusually large sizes which is not normal. Those affected are concerned that the batteries may explode or pose a health risk.

While owners of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 who faced the same problem were offered a free battery replacement the same cannot be said for Note owners. This is because the battery warranty is only good for six months and the battery swells after the first year of usage. A petition however has been started to make Samsung replace the swelling batteries.

The best solution right now for owners of the Note experiencing this problem is to purchase a new battery and dispose of the old one.

Samsung commented on this issue stating that occurrences such as this does not mean that the batteries are defective but instead means that the batteries have reached its end of useful life. This line of reasoning might be flawed since if it were true then we would have seen several thousands of cases of swollen batteries on various mobile devices. The problem is that this issue seems to affect Samsung devices.

Just last month the company was forced to act on the swelling battery issue affecting the Samsung Galaxy S4. Carriers have even reported that up to 30 percent of Galaxy S4 owners have been reporting the problem. An announcement made by the company stated that “We are aware of this issue, which has affected a limited number of customers. We ask all affected customers to please visit their nearest Samsung Electronics service centre, where they can receive a replacement battery for free of charge. We remain committed to providing the best possible user experience for our customers.”

via naver

Galaxy Note 12.2 and Dual SIM Samsung Smartphone Duo Get FCC and Bluetooth SIG Blessings

It’s a busy, busy day in Samsung’s offices, as three unannounced and unreleased Sam-made gadgets have been caught red-handed while trying to discreetly get the green light from either the FCC or Bluetooth SIG.

Galaxy Note 12.2

Well, that failed miserably, but we can’t complain. Not when one of the three is the oft-rumored Galaxy Note 12.2, moving one step closer to a commercial launch that might or might not happen this year. Probably not, but then why is Samsung in such a hurry to get all the approvals needed before a release?

Good question and, instead of answers, I give you the most relevant detail revealed by the FCC about the tab carrying the model number SM-P900 and so far only “believed” to be the Wi-Fi only version of a Galaxy Note 12.2: there’s room for storing an S Pen at the very top of the slate. Hence, this is now officially a future member of the GNote line.

Galaxy Note 12.2-2

Remember, an SM-P905 very recently earned FCC’s blessing, being near certainly a variation of the same exact device with some added cellular bands (i.e. 4G LTE).

Sadly, the governmental agency’s fresh listing doesn’t supply us with any other revelations. Unless you count the product dimensions (358 mm diagonal, 295 mm height and 204 mm width) as one. I don’t, as the previous certification also unveiled that piece of info, with the numbers being near identical.

Moving on, there was a Samsung smartphone knocking on FCC’s door a little while ago as well, this one dubbed SM-G7102. The letter and number combo doesn’t really connect with devices out and about, so there’s a good shot this fellow will be something never before seen.


Or will it? Based on a User Agent Profile tracked on Samsung’s official website, the G7102 will come with a 5.25-inch 720p screen in tow, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and, get this, 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU. Oh, and dual SIM support too.

Granted, the spec sheet as a whole still fails to ring any bells, but if you put some thought into it, it all becomes clear as day. What we’re looking at here is an upper mid-ranger destined for Asian markets as a sort of Galaxy S4 and Note 3 alternative. Think Galaxy Grand for the S3 and Note 2.


Finally, as far as the GT-I9060 goes, we’re even lighter on specifics. Spotted at Bluetooth SIG, the phone is tipped to sport a 5-inch panel with an unknown resolution and run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Dual SIM support is also present, so, just like the previously mentioned handheld, this is Asia-bound. Or maybe tailor-made for thrifty Europeans.

Judging by its model number, the I9060 may share a few common traits with the Galaxy Grand, aka GT-I9080, and the Galaxy S Advance, also known as GT-I9070. Yawn, right?

Via [FCC] (1), (2), [Bluetooth SIG]