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samsung vs apple

What does Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary think about the age old argument of Samsung vs Apple

samsung vs appleKevin O’Leary came on CNBC today as a guest contributor and in this segment he talked his thought on Samsung vs Apple in the battle of smartphone market share.

Mr. Wonderful stressed that the upcoming iPhone 7 will have to be much better than the recently released Galaxy S7, and the S7 is clearly in front as far as the functions and technology is concerned.  In his words, “they (Apple) probably don’t have any time to change this, they probably looked at this (the Galaxy S7), and said ‘Oops!’  This thing washes your underwear, it does absolutely everything.”

Check out the videos below for O’Leary’s thoughts on where he thinks the companies are heading and who is winning the battle.

Kevin O’Leary on Samsung vs Apple

Kevin O’Leary on Apple losing innovation and getting beat by Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs Apple iPhone 6s Plus – specs comparison

Oh, this is so going to piss off the hordes of already insecure, delusional iFans irritatingly navigating the interwebs to find and insult anyone who doesn’t share their distorted world view. Why delusional? Well, because it only takes a modicum of common sense to realize Apple’s “it’s not about specs, it’s the user experience” rhetoric is flawed.

Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs iPhone 6s Plus

Of course it’s (also) about specs, and Tim Cook knows it full well. The sole reason iPhones refuse to engage in a numbers war against Android flagships is high-end components like Quad HD displays, 20 MP cameras or 4 GB RAM require much heftier investments than current production costs, which would mess with Cupertino’s precious, inflated profit margins.

Like it or not though, we will put the features of the iPhone 6s Plus under the microscope opposite Galaxy S6 Edge+’s specifications, just to show you yet again how far behind Apple is, and perhaps make the cash machine’s executives understand it’s time they brought a major upgrade to the table next year.

apple-vs-samsung

This probably goes without saying now, but we won’t even pretend the battle is fair, and our comparison unbiased. After all, we’re The Droid Guy, not The Apple Guy, and we stand by our lethal weapons, especially when they’re objectively better.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs iPhone 6s Plus – design and build quality

Without actually referencing last year’s “Bendgate” controversies, Apple assured their keynote’s attendees and the public at large a repeat is unlikely, following a move to 7000 Series aluminum, “the same grade used in the aerospace industry.”

samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-plus

Good for them, and while we’d never call an iPhone ugly (except for the plasticky 5c), the 6s Plus simply pales in comparison with the stunning S6 Edge+. It’s thicker, at 7.3 vs 6.9 mm, a lot bulkier (192 vs 153 grams), as well as taller and wider, yet Samsung’s flagship phablet offers the superior screen real estate, at 5.7 vs 5.5 inches.

Not to mention the 6s Plus and 6 Plus are easier to mix up than the Olsen twins. Forget “more of the same”, this is the exact same frigging design as back in the fall of 2014. Oh, yeah, and as Sammy humorously pointed out in a recent commercial, that guy’s edge sits there and vibrates, nothing more.

Display and cameras

“Retina HD” screen vs plain Super AMOLED Quad HD glass. Can you guess which is sharper? That’s right, our non-Retina, non-gimmicky 5.7-inch 2,560 x 1,440 pix res panel. The ppi sits at an impressive, although far from record-breaking 518, while the iPhone 6s Plus barely delivers a density of 401 pixels per inch.

Now, we aren’t going to claim Force Touch, aka 3D Touch, isn’t a big deal. It is, and we definitely wish Samsung could have devised similar technology first. But is it really a deal breaker that the S6 Edge+ lacks support for gestures like “Peek” and “Pop”?

Not as far as this writer is concerned, seeing as how it’s going to take users a while to get accustomed with all the new interaction methods. Besides, we’ve had a stock long press function for years, which isn’t quite the same thing, but it’s close.

galaxy-s6-edge-plus-camera

In the photography department, it’s genuinely nice to see Apple recover some lost ground, but 12 megapixels are still less than 16, and 4K video recording capabilities are nothing new to us Android aficionados. Both selfie cams tout 5 MP sensors, and though Apple will try to push a so-called “Retina Flash”, that’s not a real LED flash, and it doesn’t make the front snapper better than the one slapped on S6 Edge+’s face.

Processor, RAM and battery life

The 64-bit A9 chip is allegedly 70 percent faster in CPU muscle and 90 percent in graphics performance than the A8, which sounds remarkable… if it’s true. But even if it is, the Exynos 7420 also beats its predecessors and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805, 808 and 810 with ease, so until we see benchmarks and get to test the two handhelds for real-life speed, we’ll call this battle a tie.

iPhone 6s Plus

Which is not what we can say about memory, where Samsung almost certainly crushes Apple once again with 4 gigabytes of the good stuff. Why almost certainly? Because as usual, Tim Cook “forgot” to share info with us on the RAM front. Don’t hold your breath for 3 or 4 GB, iFans, and consider yourselves lucky if you get 2, which would be twice as much as the 6 Plus.

Battery life? Apple builds up respectable numbers, such as 24 hours of continuous 3G talk time, or up to 80 hours in audio playback, but we expect cell capacity to circle 2,900 mAh, 100 south of S6 Edge+’s ticker size.

Software, storage, and others

iOS 9 or TouchWiz-modified Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, due for a 6.0 Marshmallow makeover before long? Our choice is crystal clear, but you may be shocked to hear we understand the appeal of iOS. It’s clean, silky smooth, less cluttered than Google’s platform, easier to master for a novice, and hides more tricks up its sleeve than ever, thanks to 3D Touch.

ios-9

Still, you can’t replace Android’s openness and freedom, and for once, TouchWiz enriches the user experience instead of plaguing it.

Want microSD support? Then we suggest you head over to Sony or LG’s camps. Here, internal storage space is all you get, plus cloud room, the former starting at 16 and capping off at 128 GB for the iPhone 6s Plus, and 32 and 64 respectively inside the S6 Edge+.

S6 Edge Plus wireless charging

Something else worth mentioning? Maybe fingerprint recognition, billed by both tech giants as significantly faster than before, with increased resulting security, and very similar Samsung Pay and Apple Pay services.

Also, rapid charging, both wired and wireless, offered squarely by Samsung. In fact, iPhones don’t even support conventional wireless charging yet, but fret not, as when they’ll do, they’ll try to make it seem like they were the first there too. Snark aside, it’s tough to pick a winner in connectivity, as both giants feature LTE Advanced speeds on a myriad of global bands.

Pricing and availability

iPhone prices

And so, it all comes down to this. Well, not really, as the Galaxy S6 Edge+ comfortably beats the iPhone 6s Plus, with or without an affordability advantage. But the final nail in Apple’s coffin is a 16 GB 6s Plus essentially costs as much as a 32 GB S6 Edge+. Namely, $749 off-contract for the former on pre-orders beginning Saturday, September 12, and $766 unlocked for the latter through Amazon now.

Try to justify that, Apple, with 3D Touch, “Live Photos”, “Taptic Engine”, Retina Flash, rose gold colors, and other marketing mumbo jumbo.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus – Specs comparison

Again with the new iPhone(s)? Isn’t The Droid Guy supposed to be an Android-centric website? Leave droid fans alone. Be honest, you were thinking or wondering one of these things before you even finished reading our headline.

iphone-6-plus-vs-galaxy-note-4

And we completely understand your frustration. For the past two weeks or so, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus rumor roundups, previews, hands-on explorations and finally reviews have inundated the tech-focused part of the interwebs.

Just one more reason to keep your online activity fixated on funny cat pics and (human) porn, huh? Not so fast. Because like it or not, iPhones make the Android scene better. And vice versa. Who do you think got Tim Cook to infuriate Steve Jobs from beyond the grave by embracing “phablets”?

iPhone 6 Plus

Anyhoo, the bottom line is it’s wholly necessary to give credit where credit is due, and dissect the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus along with everybody else until reaching the conclusion we can do better. Not to mention cheaper.

But above all, better. Enter Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, the definitive top-of-the-line 2014 jumbo-sized smartphone. A phablet worth waiting for. And here’s why:

Note 4 vs. iPhone 6 Plus – design and build quality comparison

Call me rash, reckless, whatever, I’m calling it – it’s the last year Apple ever wins an aesthetics battle against a Samsung flagship. Come spring of 2015, it’s bye, bye, metallic iPhone domination. That’s because the Note 4 is clearly meant to transition users from the old, ill-advised plastic-reliant design direction to a new approach, revolving around aluminum and possibly, other premium materials.

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus

So yeah, the 6 Plus still looks a little more elegant and feels a little stronger than the GNote 4. Emphasis on little, as the half-metal/half-plastic Samsung spearhead is significantly shorter, at 153 mm (vs. 158). Outstanding engineering feat, given it also offers the larger usable screen real estate (5.7 vs. 5.5 inches).

And yes, the rear on the iPhone 6 Plus is decidedly sexy, but the bulging camera is a vexing blemish on an otherwise spotless chassis. Good for us.

Galaxy Note 4 vs. iPhone 6 Plus – display duel

Sure, iFans, the Quad HD screen resolution on the Note 4 is a gimmick. Unlike your “Retina” iPad panels, which are all about real-life, naked-eye-noticeable image and video reproduction quality. Keep telling yourselves that. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to constantly remind yourselves 1 gig of RAM is plenty for a 2014 high-end smartphone.

GalaxyNote4

At the end of the day, the fact of the matter is Note 4’s display boasts 515 ppi pixel density, and the iPhone 6 Plus 401. So much win!

Processing speed and RAM smackdown

Early benchmarks show the new iPhones heavily outperforming their main Android-running rivals. Apple-friendly benchmarks, that is, like SunSpider or Kraken. Meanwhile, 3DMark, for instance, puts both the 6 and 6 Plus behind the Galaxy S5 and Note 3 in overall performance.

No Quadrant scores, no Vellamo and, of course, no way to compare any of the existing results to what the Note 4 can pull off.

snapdragon-805

Either way, we know benchmarks aren’t worth very much, and in real life, the 6 Plus and Note 4 are both beastly slabs. Perhaps the zippiest in the world, alongside maybe the LG G3. As always, we expect Apple to have invested thousands of man hours and nearly limitless resources in carefully optimizing every little line of software code, whereas Samsung has Qualcomm’s fastest SoC and a whopping 3 gigs of RAM to take care of business.

Granted, the 64-bit architecture of Apple’s A8 chip is impossible to ignore, and bound to offer up the 6 Plus an important advantage. Then again, the scanty 1 GB RAM is even impossibler (not a real word, I know) to ignore, giving back the overall edge to the Note 4.

iPhone 6 Plus teardown

Final verdict: Samsung wins.

Software, battery life and storage

Our love for all things Android is no big secret, and neither is our bias in favor of Google’s mobile OS. But even the most rabid droid fan has to admit iOS 8 looks pretty good. Clean as a whistle, very minimalistic and a wee bit more customizable than before.

iOS 8 vs KitKat

That said, pretty much everything iOS 8 can do, Android 4.4 KitKat does better. And the next version, L, likely on its way to the Note 4 by the end of the year, should further increase the smoothness gap. Multitasking, personality, versatility, even ease of use, L has it all, at least on paper.

Which brings us to the autonomy bout. Impossible to call at the moment, it’ll probably be a very evenly matched contest. Yes, the Note 4 does pack the larger cell (3,220 vs. 2,915 mAh), but it also comes with the bigger, higher-res, more power-demanding screen in tow. And possibly, the less frugal processor too.

Galaxy Note 4 back

Moving on, the storage battle would be close too… were it not for Cupertino’s aversion for external microSD card slots. Which once again makes Android look good. Really good.

Cameras, sensors and others

Don’t you even start. We don’t want to hear it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Apple is the very best in the biz at optimizing software for better battery life, smoother performance and superior camera capabilities. But there’s only so much that can do for a mediocre 8 MP sensor-toting rear snapper.

For crying out loud, the main cam on the Note 4 sports twice the megapixel count, plus every single add-on the iPhone 6 Plus brings to the table: optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash. And let’s not forget 2K video recording, which the iPhone can’t do.

samsung-galaxy-note-4-camera

As for selfie nuts, they’d better not give the 6 Plus a second thought, what with its sub-par 1.2 MP front shooter. The Note 4? It’s all about self-portraits, rocking a generous 3.7 MP sensor on the front and 1,080p video shooting support.

And now, for the grand finale. Both contenders tick the fingerprint scanner box, but only one the heart rate monitor category. And guess which one comes with a bundled S Pen and stylus support? How about a UV sensor?

Galaxy Note 4 UV sensor

Meanwhile, Apple is going on and on and on about NFC inclusion, a feature that’s been around in the Android universe for years. Including on mid-rangers.

Pricing and availability

If there’s one battle Apple wins without great resistance, it’s the availability fight. Good thing that’s something to build a successful war campaign on, not an atomic bomb. And clearly, the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t have enough weapons to survive the war, let alone win it.

iPhone 6 line

Go ahead, buy your fancy, uber-hyped, underwhelming iPhones today, iSheep iFans, because we’ll have the last laugh come mid-October, when Note 4s start shipping. Prices? $300 with AT&T and Verizon contracts, available now on pre-order through Amazon, ditto on Sprint, and $700 or so outright.

Remember, the iPhone 6 Plus also goes for $300 and up, only their $300 variant sports half of Samsung’s $300 Note 3’s internal storage – 16 GB. Oh, look, the 6 Plus is down for the count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, you’re done!

Samsung Has New Screen Envy Ad For The Galaxy S5

samsung-s5-screen-envy

Today Samsung has released a new ad for the Galaxy S5 and they are targeting iPhone users once again. For those of you who may be unaware, for the past few month it has been rumored that the new iPhone will come in a new screen size, either 4.7″ or 5.5″ (or both).

If that happens that would remove a marketing reason for people to get another device, so Samsung has preemptively put out an ad. The ad clearly goes after users who are waiting on a bigger screened iPhone and showing them they have the option to not wait and buy a Galaxy S5 now, with its 5.1″ screen versus the iPhone 5s with its 4″ screen.

While it is a good ad for Samsung, they are currently in 2nd place for sales with their Galaxy S5, behind the iPhone 5s in first place, as of May 2014. So it’ll be interesting to see if this and the “Wall Huggers” ad help boost sales before the new iPhone presumably launches later this year.

Source: Samsung (YouTube)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 vs Apple iPad Air – Specs comparison

Top-shelf Samsung Galaxy smartphones have been dominating Apple iPhones in raw speed, software smoothness, multitasking, accessibility and usability for years now, and that’s no longer just the biased opinion of an Android fanboy (which I am).

samsung-galaxy-tab-s-10-5-vs-apple-ipad-air

Supported by sales numbers, as well as many nonpartisan critical reviews, Sammy’s superiority over Cupertino is on the verge of a major breakthrough and unexpected transition to the tablet décor. Yeah, Apple, you may still have the upper hand financially, but the iPad mini Retina is no match for the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hardware-wise.

Nor is the iPad Air for the Tab S 10.5, the other high-resolution Super AMOLED slate introduced last week. And sooner or later, people will become aware of your disadvantage, laziness and self-sufficiency, migrating en masse to Android.

It’s really just a matter of time. For now, all we can do is prove to tech-savvy folks the Tab S 10.5 is the (much) better slab. Not with words, but numbers. Here we go:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 vs iPad Air – design, build quality and dimensions

Numbers don’t lie, try not to forget that, and sink your teeth in the following figures: 10.5 inches, 467 grams, 6.6 mm. Now compare them with 9.7 inches, 469 grams and 7.5 mm. Granted, Samsung can’t really call its latest flagship tablet “lighter than Air”, as Amazon hilariously did last year.

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-S-10.5

But it’s amazing how the Koreans pulled off a gizmo with plenty of extra screen real estate, yet just as light and, most incredibly of all, thinner than the iPad Air. Look at those bezels. They’re simply flawless.

True, Apple prevails in the build quality battle with ease, thanks to extra-premium, extra-robust, extra-sleek aluminum. Meanwhile, Samsung’s plastic is chintzy, though less so than before, and the perforated rear pattern, “borrowed” from the Galaxy S5, somehow works. And I was never a fan of it on the S5.

Display face-off

Numbers don’t lie, I can’t stress that enough, and so it’s basically pointless to try to find fancy, bombastic adjectives describing the greatness of the Super AMOLED panel found on the Tab S 10.5. It’s great, and let’s leave it at that.

Galaxy-Tab-S-10.5-display

Far greater than iPad Air’s IPS LCD “Retina” unit, which boasts a now humble 2,048 x 1,536 pixels resolution and 264 ppi pixel density. Humble when compared to Tab S 10.5’s digits, that is – 2,560 x 1,600, 288 ppi.

Looking beyond cold, objective, inexpressive numbers for a second, the superior pixel count of the GTab S and its using of an AMOLED display shall no doubt translate into better viewing angles, brighter, more vibrant colors and improved contrast.

Processing speed, RAM and storage

Offered in alternate Exynos and Snapdragon configurations, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 packs eight and four cores respectively, but 3 gigs of RAM either way. Ergo, multitasking is so much breezier on the Android bad boy than the iOS-running, 1 GB RAM-featuring heavyweight contender, which also has to clear software limitation hurdles to access two or more apps at the same time.

samsung-galaxy-tab-s-10-5-vs-ipad-air

Tragedy for Apple, whose dual-core (ew) homebrewed A7 chip is a sorry excuse for a Snapdragon 800 or Exynos 5 Octa rival. Storage? The iPad Air comes in four variations, not just two, as the Tab S, technically being the wiser choice for memory hoarders.

Only if you think about it, the 32 GB Tab S can accommodate up to 160 gigs of data when adding a microSD card in the equation. iPad Airs max out at 128 GB in lack of expendable storage support, so I guess you can put another one in Samsung’s hefty win column.

Galaxy Tab S 10.5 vs iPad Air – software and battery life duel

There’s no such thing as a perfect ecosystem, operating system, smartphone or tablet, so not even the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 can win all its bouts against the iPad Air. In addition to build quality therefore, the Achilles’ heel is software, on account of Google Play still including way too few tablet-dedicated apps.

GalaxyTabS10.5

Also, many that are just too clunky to take into account. Samsung is trying its best to fix the inconveniences through Touchwiz-specific tweaks, a user interface called Magazine UX and so on and so forth, but at the end of the day, the Android skin has its upsides (improved productivity) and flaws (bugs, lag, you name it).

As far as autonomy goes, I’m afraid the iPad Air could come out victorious as well, since it boasts the more frugal processor, the lower-res screen and the slightly beefier battery (8,820 vs 7,900 mAh). But that’s where optimizations and Ultra Power Saving Modes come in, so don’t be surprised to notice similar autonomy results in real life.

Cameras, connectivity and others

Look, there’s no point sugarcoating it, if you’re one of those guys that takes pictures at concerts using a 10-inch “laptop replacement”, you’re a douche. But hey, even douches have standards, so if you fit the profile, go for the Tab S. It’s got an 8 MP rear snapper with LED Flash and autofocus, while the iPad Air comes a bit short photo-quality wise, due to an inferior 5 megapixel sensor.

Galaxy-Tab-S-10.5_back

What else? Naturally, 4G speeds can be accessed on both pads, though LTE Tab S versions may be a little scarcer and hard to come by than iPads the next few months. On the bright side, Samsung took the risk of incorporating fingerprint recognition tech in something larger than a phone, unlike Apple, which saves Touch ID for iPhones.

Pricing, availability and wrap up

Charging more than an iPad for an iPad killer is usually a mistake punishable by oblivion, but the Tab S is a pithy $70 or so north of the cheapest Air. And that’s after several iPad discounts. Also, need I remind you how much zippier, sleeker and vibrant the 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab is?

ipad-air-vs-galaxy-tab-s-10-5

What remains to be seen is which of America’s big four operators will be carrying the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (AT&T is already confirmed) and how much they’ll be asking with LTE. I’m guessing more or less in iPad Air 4G’s ballpark, in which case the final takeaway is easy to guess. Move over, iPad Air, the large tablet world has a new ruler. All hail the king! 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 vs Apple iPad mini Retina – Specs comparison

Probably feeling Galaxy Tab Pros lacked the pizazz to really give Apple iPads a run for their money and show the world Android has a bright future on tablets regardless of bleak predictions, Samsung basically retired the four-month-old slates, replacing them with punchier, brighter, skinnier versions.

samsung-galaxy-tab-s-8-4-vs-ipad-mini-retina

Not by much, mind you, but just enough to make a difference and keep retail costs contained. Of course, Sammy could have done this in the first place instead of going to the nuisance of marketing the short-lived Tab Pros, but hey, if it would make sense, it wouldn’t be Samsung.

It’d be Apple. There, I said it. Cupertino’s strategies are almost always cohesive and consistent (except for the iPhone 5c, which was the result of a temporary loss of sanity), this being one of the reasons iPads continue to outsell Galaxy Tabs and Notes by possibly a 50 or so to one degree.

Granted, just because one product is a looot more popular than another, it doesn’t mean it’s superior in quality. Which is where we come in. Here’s the ultimate Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 vs Apple iPad mini Retina face-off, with everything you need to know to make an informed, thought through buying decision:

Design and build quality comparison

Thin vs thinner, light vs lighter, aluminum vs plastic. Damn it, Sammy, you were this close to dominate perhaps the toughest battle of them all.

Galaxy Tab S iPad mini Retina

Apple is renowned for somehow always finding the right balance between premium build materials, compact form factors and uber-slim profiles, so even if the polycarbonate construction of the Tab S has nothing on the iPad mini 2’s exquisite metal physique, it’s still amazing the 8.4 incher can be both thinner and lighter than the 7.9 incher.

Particularly as it offers the half-inch of extra screen real estate. Don’t get me wrong, the iPad mini Retina remains a featherweight, at 331 grams and 7.5 mm, but compared to the Tab S (298 grams heavy, 6.6 mm thick), it actually looks kind of bulky.

Galaxy Tab S 8.4

As for the perforated pattern on the rear of the Tab S, mimicked from the Galaxy S5, it’s clearly schlockier than iPad mini’s clean, smooth, distinguished back. But hey, we’ve seen worse, haven’t we?

Galaxy Tab S 8.4 vs iPad mini Retina – display duel

After years and years of trumpeting their “Retina” panels as the best in the business, the time has come to finally laugh in Apple’s face. Retina? You mean 2,048 x 1,536 pixels on a 7.9-inch piece of LCD glass? Ha, GTab’s “non-Retina” screen delivers 2,560 x 1,600 resolution and 359 ppi.

Galaxy-Tab-S-8.4

On a Super AMOLED matrix that, in theory, conveys the brightest, colorful colors, widest viewing angles and greatest contrast. Sure, we’ve seen Samsung botching theoretically amazing displays before, but this time the gap is too large. Apple doesn’t stand a chance, end of story.

Processing speed, RAM and storage

Cut the act, fanboys, and quit your superior jibber jabber about software optimizations and whatnot. Yes, iOS needs a lot less power than Android to function fluently and glitch-free. But anyone who believes a dual-core/1 GB RAM system can hold a candle to an octa-core/3 GB RAM hardware configuration should check with a head doctor ASAP.

Exynos 5 Octa

Multitasking in general, gaming, web browsing, multimedia playing, you name it, the Galaxy Tab S can do it better, faster, smoother. How could it not when it packs a cutting-edge Exynos 5 Octa 5420 chip with four cores clocked at 1.9 GHz and four at 1.3? And the best thing is you needn’t worry about battery life either, as the eight cores are assembled in two separate clusters, which trigger depending on the task. Check and mate, Apple.

Oh, right, before I forget, the iPad mini Retina comes in 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB storage configs. The Tab S 8.4 just in 16 and 32 variations. But the latter can always welcome external memory, via a microSD card slot supporting up to an extra 128 gigs. Check and mate times two.

Software and battery life face-off

This may sound weird coming from an Android aficionado, nay an Android junkie, but if someone could merge Samsung’s hardware with Apple’s software, I’d buy the resulting Frankensteinian creature in a second. Let’s face it, fellow Google idolizers, there’s still no comparing the Android ecosystem with iOS on large gadgets. Maybe someday.

And maybe someday, Samsung will quit trying so damn hard to make Android look like… anything but Android, wasting precious system resources in the process. Yeah, TouchWiz has the occasional neat or useful add-on (multi-view comes to mind), but Magazine UX is an atrocity.

Autonomy-wise, it’s a little early for verdicts, but my intuition tells me we’re headed for a tie. The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is virtually tied with the iPad mini 2, at around 10 hours of juice with a 4,800 mAh cell, so the 4,900 mAh battery inside the Tab S should do just fine.

Cameras, connectivity and others

While I can’t even remember the last time I’ve used my slate’s rear snapper, some folks might try to save a few bucks on a smartphone and thus rely on their tab’s photographic competency. In which case you can’t go wrong with the Tab S. Its 8 MP main snapper is light years ahead of the 5 megapixel unit on the iPad mini Retina, and so is the 2.1 MP front shooter when compared to the rival’s 1.2.

Galaxy Tab S 8.4_inch_Titanium Bronze

What else could sway you one direction or the other? Well, it’s a gimmick in my book, and there’s no point denying it, but if you’re one of those guys, the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy Tab S might tip the balance.

Connectivity-wise, both slates offer optional 4G LTE support, standard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 and so on and so forth.

Pricing and availability

Right, so I reckon the comparison pieces so far speak for themselves in settling the name of the overall winner. Just one thing could spoil Samsung’s victory: retail costs. But that’s nowhere near the case, since the Tab S 8.4 will start at $400 in July, so exactly as much as the 16 GB Wi-Fi-only iPad mini 2.

Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Amazon

LTE models are yet to be priced, and AT&T is the sole operator that’s confirmed release plans, however I bet Verizon at the very least will follow suit, charging $550 give or take, so once again, just as much as Apple charges. If only people weren’t so easy to fool by shrewd, expensive marketing and “tradition”.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5s vs Sony Xperia Z2 – Benchmark Comparison

Though Samsung never really acknowledged it did anything wrong vis-à-vis artificially boosting benchmarks in the past, last week brought the surprising and refreshing news of sneaky code being removed from Galaxy devices with Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades.

iPhone 5s Xperia Z2 Galaxy S5

Technically, this should greatly increase the credibility of “synthetic tests” on Samsung-made Android gadgets, as well as for the entire ecosystem, albeit truth be told, benchmark scores are never to be taken excessively seriously, regardless of their theoretical accuracy.

Remember, everyone, it’s all very abstract, in theory, on paper. As such, especially when dealing with minuscule gaps, you’re unlikely to notice them in real life. Oftentimes, rankings are overturned, due to certain optimizations that performance-measuring software can’t possibly evaluate.

Bottom line, yes, benchmark scores can still be misleading, deceiving, confusing. But right now, they’re a tad more credible than a week ago. So here we are, ready to pit the spanking new Samsung Galaxy S5 against the equally as fresh Sony Xperia Z2 and mighty but aging Apple iPhone 5s. It’s all in good fun, yet it may also answer a few key controversies.

samsung-galaxy-s5-vs-apple-iphone-5s

Is the GS5 truly “more of the same”? At least as far as its raw speed is concerned. Does Sony have a shot at the mobile gold medal this year? Should Apple hurry up with iPhone 6 development, or is the 5s in a position to fend off up-and-coming rivals despite its age? Let’s see.

GFX Bench 2.7 1080p T-Rex Offscreen

Sony Xperia Z2 – 27.7 fps

Galaxy S5 – 27.2

iPhone 5s – 26.2

Galaxy S5 GFX Bench

Since we’re looking at a graphics reviewer and both the GS5 and Z2 pack the same exact GPU – Adreno 330 – we expected very close, maybe even identical scores. And that’s exactly what we got. Yet there is a small gap here, and it’s quite puzzling, as if anything, we anticipated the S5 would come out on top, thanks to its higher-clocked 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 chip.

The iPhone 5s? It’s not far behind, but it’s starting to struggle. And mind you, GFX Bench is a lot more reliable than, say, AnTuTu, as well as nearly impossible to game.

GFX Bench 3.0 1080p Manhattan Offscreen

Galaxy S5 – 11.6 fps

iPhone 5s – 10.9

Sony Xperia Z2 – 10.1

iPhone 5s GFX Bench

Okay, this is confusing. Though the two GFX tests gauge performance from the same standpoint, graphics, their findings are anything but conclusive or stable. What’s up with that? To be perfectly honest, I have no idea.

What’s obvious is the three beasts are neck and neck, so I’ll avoid naming an overall winner. Oh, alright, if you insist, the S5 seems to (barely) edge out its opponents.

SunSpider (lower is better)

Galaxy S5 – 408 ms

iPhone 5s – 415

Sony Xperia Z2 – 952

Oh, wow, Sony, you really screwed the pooch in browser performance, which is much more important than graphics for many mobile users. Well, it looks like it, but I wouldn’t jump to conclusions just yet. Unlike the GFX Bench results, which came from the horse’s mouth, S5 and Z2’s Sunspider marks were reported in preliminary hands-on previews at Barcelona’s MWC.

Not only were there too few to grade them trustworthy, they likely counted on pre-release prototypes. Probably, a highly advanced S5 prototype and a much clunkier Z2 variant. So no, I don’t think Sony’s big guy will be quite as laggy once it officially rolls out. Meanwhile, the S5 is ready to overtake the iPhone 5s in essentially the latter’s best benchmark, so kudos Samsung.

Basemark X

iPhone 5s – 1,015 points average; 20,220 in Basemark X 1.1 Medium

Galaxy S5 – 986 average, 23,501 in Basemark X 1.1

Sony Xperia Z2 – 25,172 in Basemark X 1.1

iPhone 5s Basemark

Rightware’s otherwise conclusive and reliable database lacks the Z2 at the moment, so its mind-blowing Basemark X 1.1 score is preliminary and undependable. Which is not what we can say about the iPhone and S5. Only their results are fairly muddy and confusing.

Overall, as you can see on Rightware’s homepage, the iPhone 5s is the fourth best phone in the world, behind the Asus PadFone Infinity 2 (?), Pantech Vega Secret Note (?!), and Nexus 5 (?!?), but ahead of the S5.

Galaxy S5 Basemark

Break it up by chapters though, and Apple isn’t leading Samsung by a very comfortable margin. In fact, the two each put a couple in the win column, in system and web speed and memory and graphics respectively, so in a way, they’re tied.

3DMark Ice Storm

Samsung Galaxy S5 – 18,438

iPhone 5s – 14,000

Samsung-Galaxy-S5-iPhone-5S

Let’s not beat it around the bush anymore. Galaxy S5’s Adreno 330 GPU, aided by the quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip and possibly software optimizations, trumps iPhone’s PowerVR G6430. Ice Storm proves it, as does GFX Bench and even Basemark. So if you want rich, outstanding graphics, the “next big thing” is your guy.

Or maybe it’s Sony’s Xperia Z2, not yet rated in Ice Storm, not fully evaluated in Basemark but looking pretty close to the S5 in GFX Bench.

AnTuTu

Galaxy S5 – 35,500 points

Xperia Z2 – 35,000

Ah, the infamous, notorious AnTuTu! Always dodged by Cupertino, but embraced by all Android OEMs as it’s one of very few tools around focusing on more than a couple of aspects. Sure, it’s extremely easy to trick, but assuming the shenanigans are over, let’s remember it rounds up CPU, RAM, GPU and I/O (input/output) performance for one big score.

Predictably enough, there’s little to choose between our two flagships, as the S5 rocks the ever so slightly zippier processor, whereas the Z2 packs an extra gig of RAM. The GPUs are identical, so there you have it: two overall cutting-edge slabs of silicon.

Quadrant

Galaxy S5 – 23,400 points

Xperia Z2 – 17,600

Xperia Z2 Quadrant

Another benchmark ignored by Apple and its fans, Quadrant is a little more dependable than AnTuTu, but not as comprehensive. It focuses on CPU, I/O and 3D graphics, leaving RAM aside, and like Sunspider, it shows that there might be something very wrong with Z2’s on-board software.

Either that, or there was something wrong at one point during the manufacturing process, because once again, the tests may have been executed on unfinished, glitchy devices. Regardless of how the Xperia Z2 will end up performing, the S5 is undoubtedly hard to beat. Almost impossible, which puts a few things into perspective.

For instance, should we still care the phone’s rear is as ugly as sin? Can we continue to bitch and moan Samsung didn’t truly upgrade the Galaxy S4 when it’s clear the S5 is the fastest smartphone in the world? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Sources: GFX Bench, GSM Arena, Phone Arena, Rightware, Expert Reviews, YouTube, PC Mag, Anandtech 

Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime: is it still on, when is it coming, and do we still want it?

No reason to beat it around the bush any longer, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is not what everyone expected it to be. It’s not the monumental flop haters are relentlessly trying to make it look like, but it’s clearly a lemon, barely edging out the six-month-old LG G2 in a head-to-head comparison and bowing down to Sony’s Xperia Z2 in their spec duel.

galaxy-s5-metal

Yet maybe, just maybe, Sammy deliberately surrendered its upper hand against still low-profile rivals LG and Sony to ultimately catch the bigger fish. Yes, tipsters and self-proclaimed “insiders” dropped the ball when predicting two GS5 variants, a Standard and Prime, would see daylight at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress.

But could they all have been so wrong as to essentially fabricate a non-existent device? Are we dealing with the mobile industry’s biggest hoax in history? I don’t buy that. Not for a second. Here’s why I think the Galaxy S5 Prime (aka Galaxy F) is very much real and on its way, and here’s why you should continue to care:

The rumor factor

Okay, so many tech-related rumors flying around the interwebs this time and age are, pardon my French, hogwash. Basically, either someone assumes something, extrapolates and people pursue the speculations as “word from the inside” without checking their sources, or attention whores decide to go after their 15 minutes of fame with total disregard to facts or the truth.

samsung-galaxy-s5-back

Take this cesspool of 21st century journalism blogging too seriously, and you risk ending up in a mental institution. Take a step back, and carefully choose what kind of “sources” to trust, and you’re onto something.

For instance, I tend to put my faith in Russian journo Eldar Murtazin, Korean online publication ET News and Sam Mobile. All three have suggested an ultra-high-end S5 version is indeed in the works, and I highly doubt they were all treated to false intel.

Galaxy S5 announcement

Furthermore, not only did Murtazin and ET News hint at a Galaxy S5 Prime prior to the MWC intro of the standard S5, they also renewed their “beliefs” after the latest Unpacked event wrapped up. Surely they’d be reluctant to go any further if they had the tiniest shred of doubt as to the veracity of their claims, right?

The Apple factor

Look, I like Sony, LG and HTC as much as the next tech-savvy guy, and I appreciate especially the recent strides made by the first two. But right now, Samsung has bigger fish to fry. Namely, Apple. Cupertino is allegedly planning a major overhaul of the iPhone line, with an emphasis on size for a change. Also, diversity.

Sounds crazy, I know, yet there’s a solid chance we may see two, three or even four new iPhones rolled out in 2014. Starting, you guessed it, as early as June. Which brings us to Samsung. Timing is everything in the mobile landscape nowadays, and putting all 2014 Galaxy S cards on the table in February would have simply been too risky.

GalaxyS5-vs-iPhone5S

Instead, doesn’t it make a lot more sense to unveil a slightly disappointing but still solid high-ender to fend off the minor Sony, LG and HTC threat at first, and then come out guns blazing in May with a full-metal, cutting-edge S5 Prime/iPhone 6 “killer”?

The manufacturing factor

Regardless of how appropriate a Galaxy F launch close to iPhone 6’s intro sounds like, we all secretly hope Samsung’s first ever aluminum-clad top dog will land early. As in… next month, maybe? But here’s another reason why that’s not possible. Building enough metal frames to satisfy the regular demand for Galaxy S handhelds takes time. A lot of it.

Galaxy S5 promo

Hence, the Korean OEM wants to stall for as long as possible before actually shipping these first S5 Prime units. Not only to make sure there won’t be huge delays once they get the ball rolling, but also to provide a window for the existent S5 to sell. After all, they don’t want that to be a massive box-office flop either, plus if, say, 10 million people purchase it, that’s 10 million less potential orders for the Galaxy F.

The wow factor

Question: should you still be interested in Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Prime if it hits store shelves in May, June or, God forbid, July? Short answer: yes. Long answer: hells yeah. Provided, of course, the big guy will be as spectacular as reports suggest.

samsung-galaxy-s5-promo

Just picture it. A sexy, robust and durable metal chassis, Quad HD display (overkill, I know, but 2,560 x 1,440 pixels!!!), 3 or maybe 4 GB RAM, probably a larger footprint (5.5 inches is my guess), definitely an optical image stabilization-packed rear camera, water and dust protection, fingerprint recognition, built-in hear rate monitor, and beefy 3,500 mAh or so battery.

Meanwhile, a truly upgraded quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor should make the entire ensemble blazing fast in everything from gaming to browsing to 4K video capturing to 2K video playing. Or, who knows, a 64-bit “true” octa-core Exynos chip. It’s high time Exynos processors lived to their potential, eh?

Galaxy S5 in hand

All said, does the Galaxy S5 Prime sound as dreamy to you as it does to me? On that note, could it be that we want it so badly it’s clouding our judgment and we’ve started seeing things? One last question: would you buy it if Samsung priced it at $1,000? We’re all ears.

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?

Galaxy-Note-Tab-Pro

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?

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-Pro-12.2

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.

samsung_galaxy_tabpro

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.

galaxy-note-pro-galaxy-tab-pro

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.

galaxy-note-pro-galaxy-tab-pro-2

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.

galaxy-tab-pro-8-4-vs-ipad-mini

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 Note 10.1 2014 vs Apple iPad Air vs Nokia Lumia 2520 – Specs Comparison

Okay, Apple, so you got me to confess to liking your iPad mini 2 more than Google’s new Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 7. Big deal, since at the end of the day, the spanking new 7.9-incher is still pretty expensive. Maybe not unwarrantedly so, but darn pricey nevertheless.

iPad Air Note 10.1 2014

Besides, you won a battle, yet the war is wide open. In other words, if you can’t double down on your victory with another in the 10-inch niche, it means nothing. And to make sure your iPad Air will be brought to its knees, I have backup in the ultimate 10-inch spec smackdown.

Windows RT-based backup, in the form of Nokia’s first ever tablet effort, the Lumia 2520. Plus the biggest, baddest, proudest slate Android is able to deliver… today, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. Now this is one tough clash and it’s only bound to get tougher, as Google’s second-generation Nexus 10 is looming on the horizon.

Nokia-Lumia-2520

For now, let’s keep our eyes on the ball and do what we do best: pit maybe the best contenders to a particular mobile throne (in this case, the 10-inch tablet throne), and see which one comes out on top strictly as far as cold numbers, specs and features are concerned. Game on:

Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 vs. iPad Air vs. Lumia 2520 – design comparison

Craftsmanship at its finest. It’s the best description of all three of these jewels, albeit Nokia’s Lumia 2520 does come short of greatness in the weight department, tipping the scales at 615 grams. And it measures 8.9 mm in thickness, so it’s definitely out of contention.

iPad Air commercial

And then there were two. Almost equally as slim (7.9 mm profile the GNote 10.1 and 7.5 mm the Air), but not so close in terms of weight as it may look from the outside. Samsung’s 10-incher, while not bulky, weighs 540 grams, a whopping 70 grams more than the iPad Air.

So yeah, I have to reluctantly give this one battle to Apple, especially since the iPad Air is the smoothest and more robust fellow of the two, rocking that iconic Cupertino all-metal chassis.

Display face-off

Mind-blowing, mind-blowing and… okay-ish. That’s Note 10.1, iPad Air and Lumia 2520’s screens in one word for you, with Nokia’s big guy losing right off the bat for the second time in a row, courtesy of a decent but not impressive 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution.

Note 10.1 2014

And again, there were two. The iPad Air, with a Retina 2,048 x 1,536 pix res panel (264 ppi pixel density), and the Note 10.1, rocking a 2,560 x 1,600 display (299 ppi). Oh, noes, is Apple throwing in the towel? It certainly looks that way, so point Samsung.

Processing speed, RAM and camera smackdown

This is where things get truly interesting, with both the Note 10.1 and Lumia 2520 packing Snapdragon 800 heat and Apple responding with a much hailed 64-bit A7 CPU. I’m afraid Nokia can’t finish round three on its feet either, abandoning due to low memory: 2 GB RAM, compared with 3 for Samsung.

ipad-air-cpu

As far as the S800 vs. A7 duel goes, I’m fully aware of what reviewers say, but if you’ll allow me, I think I’m going to call this a draw. Possibly because I’m biased, but most likely because I can’t se the iPad Air being zippier and more responsive in real life than the 10-inch Note with a measly 1 gig of RAM. I simply cannot.

galaxy-note-10-1-2014

Cameras? I don’t care that much and neither should you (taking photos with 10-inchers is stupid), but for the record, Nokia probably has the edge there, courtesy of a top-notch 6.7 MP rear snapper with Carl Zeiss optics.

 Software and battery life

Contrasting iPad Air’s pre-loaded iOS 7 with Note 10.1’s Android 4.3 with Lumia 2520’s Windows RT 8.1 is like comparing fresh apples with fresh oranges with rotten tomatoes. The rotten tomatoes being Win RT, which is clearly on the rise, but still kind of lame.

ipad-air-software

So it’s bye-bye Nokia again (I lost count), with the Android vs. iOS debate taking far too long to be worth tackling right now. For the sake of keeping a clear record, let’s call it a draw.

note-10.1-software

And let’s call another draw in the battery division, but a three-way draw, as all of these beauties’ manufacturers claim their slates can go for up to ten hours on a single charge. Bollocks, yet we’ll need to run our own tests to prove them wrong.

Pricing, connectivity and accessories

No fingerprint recognition anywhere (no one needs it anyway), basically nothing else to make the iPad Air stand out, but plenty to skyrocket the Note 10.1 and Lumia 2520’s overall value. Like S Pen support and microSD on the former, HDMI, NFC, microSD and sleek optional keyboard dock for the latter.

nokia-lumia_2520

It thus all comes down to the wire, with pricing being the last key piece of the puzzle and probably the most important of all. $500 for the 2520 (with 32 GB storage), $500 the iPad Air (16 GB variation) and $550 the 2014 10-inch Note (also with 16 GB memory).

So could Nokia win the war in the eleventh hour? No way Jose, as they’ve lost too many battles by very wide margins. As for the GNote 10.1 vs. iPad Air duel, in my book it goes down as an overall tie. Surprisingly, the Air is the cheaper of the two and unsurprisingly, it’s the better looking tab.

ipad_air

Meanwhile, the Note has the unique S Pen, the crisper display, three times Air’s RAM, an equally as impressive battery (on paper), silky smooth software and a fast and furious, albeit not as buzzed about processor. Did I or did I not tell you, Apple, that the war was not decided?      

Galaxy Note 3 vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2 vs iPhone 5s – Benchmark Comparison, Take Two

By popular demand and hopefully presumably to the utter despair and hopelessness of Apple fanboys, we’re already back with another spectacular installment of our high-end smartphone benchmarking saga.

Galaxy_Note_3_vs_Xperia_Z1

Well, not so much “ours” as rounded up from a number of external sources, but you know how it is. Not everyone is important enough and not everyone is willing to do enough ass-kissing to score review units of the hottest, most technically impressive slabs of silicon out and about.

Also, money doesn’t grow on trees for us all, so buying the devices that are actually up for grabs and performing our own benchmarks is not an alternative either. Oh, well, maybe someday…

For the time being, let’s put those wicked analysis and summarization skills to use once again, as a new batch of benchmark results has popped up online. Sadly, I’ve not managed to find anything fresh on the Apple iPhone 5s front, which is not what I can say about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3.

Still unavailable for sale in many markets across the globe, including the US of A, the GNote 3 has been put through an exhaustive series of tests by an old pal, YouTube user Mike of GadgetJM. So let us put the scores into further perspective by pitting them against those of the Sony Xperia Z1, LG G2 (some of which have been updated since our last look) and, where available, Apple’s iPhone 5s:

3DMark Unlimited – Ice Storm

Galaxy Note 3 – 19,000 points

Xperia Z1 – 17,200

LG G2 – 15,400

iPhone 5s – 14,000

galaxy-note-3-vs-iphone-5s

That Apple’s latest crown jewel is no competition for Android giants in this ultra-demanding high-performance GPU test shouldn’t come as a shocker for anyone anymore. What’s a little surprising (emphasis on “little”) is GNote 3’s jaw-dropping edge over the Z1 and G2.

And mind you, Z1’s score is not that of a pre-release unit, but a fully functional, fully optimized and fully commercial product. Meanwhile, it’s still mind-boggling how LG’s stupid controversial software tweaks affect the hardware to the point that it puts off each and every speed addict. Pick yourself up, LG! After all, you’re using the same exact CPU/GPU combo as Samsung and Sony, aren’t you?

Geekbench 3.0

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – 2,900

Xperia Z1 – 2,800

iPhone 5s – 2,500

LG G2 – 2,200

Note 3 Geekbench

Seeing how aggressively Apple aficionados tech reviewers are flaunting this test around, making it seem like the Holy Grail of benchmarks, you’d think the iPhone 5s can at least fend off some of the competition. You know, the late 2013 competition, not the Galaxy S4 or HTC One many are comparing it against.

But alas (for them, not for us), the 5s doesn’t even play in the same league as the Note 3 or Z1. Sure, it beats the G2 to the punch, but do I really have to spell out for you who’s to blame for that?

Before moving on, a piece of advice for everyone tuning in: never, ever, ever trust one single benchmark, no matter how reliable it may seem and how impressive its “marketing” efforts. That said, the score is now Samsung 2 – Apple 0, even after a fight on Cupertino’s home turf. Chew on that, fanboys!

Quadrant

Galaxy Note 3 – 22,000

LG G2 – 21,700

Xperia Z1 – 20,700

galaxy-note-3-vs-lg-g2

After getting rid of the iPain in the ass (patent pending), which is systematically being tested only in a very specific handful of benchmarks (I wonder why), it’s time to become serious, stop with the jokes and puns and see which of Android’s beasts comes out on top as far as raw speed is concerned.

Well, I’m sorry, Sony, we believed in you, and also sorry, LG, we hardly knew you, but Samsung’s fantastic 5.7-incher is simply unbeatable. True, the Quadrant test, measuring CPU, I/O and 3D graphics performance, has delivered very close scores between these three super-phones, with the G2 actually undercutting the Z1 for once, but ultimately it’s still the Note 3 that prevails.

Vellamo HTML5

LG G2 – 2,910

Sony Xperia Z1 – 2,890

Note 3 – 2,870

Note 3 Vellamo

Talk about jumping to conclusions early, eh? Just as I was getting ready to declare the Note 3 the absolute heavyweight champion of the smartphone world, something like this happens and changes everything. Well, maybe not everything, but you have to admit the Vellamo HTML5 test makes the war a little more intriguing to watch.

And mind you, this is a benchmark evaluating mobile web browser performance, so it’s probably not easy for Samsung to yield a clash that’s likely to mean the world for many tech-savvy individuals out there. At the same time, it’s not like the Note 3 was crushed here, folding for a measly 40 points, which probably is nothing when translated into real-life speed.

GFX Bench 2.7 T-Rex HD onscreen

iPhone 5s – 37 fps

Galaxy Note 3 – 26

Xperia Z1 – 24

LG G2 – 23

iPhone 5s

Oh noes, the iPhone 5s is back in the mix and, for a change, tops the charts, actually bringing mayhem to its three adversaries. And that’s despite the Note 3, Z1 and LG G2, all tested before in GFX Bench, all boosting their initial scores. Bummer!

On the bright side, we know very well the reason why Apple’s top dog performs so impressively here is its lower-resolution screen. And you can try as much as you want, but you’ll never convince me the human eye detects nothing of the pixel density differences between the screen on the iPhone 5s, and, say, GNote 3’s stupendous Full HD Super AMOLED panel. Never!

I’m just too stubborn to get it through my thick head that 1,136 x 640 pixels, or 326 ppi, is the same thing as 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, or 386 ppi. End of story, bye, bye Apple and, oh, by the way, the Xperia Z1 and LG G2 have nothing on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3. The king (i.e, the Galaxy S4) is dead, long live the new S Pen-toting king!  

iPhone 5s vs Galaxy Note 3 vs LG G2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 – Benchmark Comparison, Take One

If it’s not obvious already, you’re on an Android blog. And you’re reading the words of a relentless, unapologetic (wink, wink) Android aficionado. But that doesn’t mean I, as well as everyone here at The Droid Guy, don’t like to keep an open mind and just discard everything that doesn’t run Google’s silky smooth mobile OS.

android-vs-apple

So as hard as it might be for you to believe, I’m willing to give Apple’s new iPhone 5s a chance to divert my attention away from such jewels as Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Note 3, LG’s G2 or Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra and Z1.

Sure, their newest best thing is tiny, sports a display that’s crammed and low-res and a rear-facing camera that on paper can’t hold a candle to Z1’s stupendous 20 MP snapper. But maybe Apple’s seemingly gimmicky 64-bit A7 CPU can turn things around for the iPhone 5S and make it such a powerhouse that all the flaws will pale in comparison.

Still, with the new iPhone only available for a few days and the GNote 3 or Xperia Z1 mostly unavailable around the world, we’ll have to give it some extra time until thorough enough reviews and benchmark tests will be performed to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt which of the three is the numero uno smartphone out there in terms of raw speed.

galaxy-note-3-vs-iphone-5s

For now, we’ll have to settle with just bits and pieces, which are very important, mind you, but not 100% conclusive. Here goes the first part of the iPhone 5s vs Note 3 vs Xperia Z1 vs LG G2 ultimate benchmark smackdown.

SunSpider (lower is better)

iPhone 5S: 416 milliseconds

Galaxy Note 3: 650 ms

Xperia Z1: 830

LG G2: 900

iphone-5s

In lack of iPhone 5s scores in popular benchmarking tools such as AnTuTu, Vellamo or Quadrant, we have to start the festivities with SunSpider, a test of browsing muscle. Probably unsurprising, Apple’s big guy puts one in the win column quite comfortably here, due to both its road-opening (we can’t deny them that) 64-bit processor and very particular software optimizations.

While the LG G2 and Xperia Z1 are clearly no competition for the 5s, we have to underline Note 3’s score came by way of a pre-release prototype’s test, meaning the commercial unit will likely get much closer to the iPhone. Then again, it’s unlikely to beat it, so point Apple.

Geekbench 3.0

Xperia Z1: 2,800 points

iPhone 5s: 2,500

LG G2: 2,100

Galaxy S4 Octa: 2,000

Sony Xperia Z1

Well, well, well, guess what, not all browser benchmarks are so kind to the new iPhone. Granted, the 2,500 score is pretty darn impressive, but since Geekbench theoretically relies more than anything on CPU performance, it should be pretty disappointing (for them, certainly not for us) to see Z1’s Snapdragon 800, a 32-bit SoC, kick A7’s ass. And by so much!

Meanwhile, the GNote 3 is yet to be taken through the Geekbench hoops, so I took the liberty to add the octa-core variant of the GS4 in the mix for comparison purposes. And true, this thing has nothing on the 5s. But a 500-point edge for a device released six months after its adversary is certainly not that remarkable, is it?

GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex HD offscreen and onscreen

iPhone 5s: 24.7 Fps and 37.4

Galaxy S4 LTE-A: 26.4 Fps and 26.5

Xperia Z1: 22.9 Fps and 24.1

LG G2: 21.8 Fps and 23.0

iPhone 5s GFX

The iPhone 5s takes this battle and is now two for three, which we have to admit is a very nice record. But it’s also not a conclusive one, since the Note 3 is once again missing the battle. Meanwhile, the LTE-Advanced flavor of the Galaxy S4 actually puts up a decent fight against the 5s, defeating it in the off-screen chapter of this very thorough GPU benchmark test, but being subsequently put to shame onscreen.

What does that tell us? Intriguingly, that the biggest iPhone 5s selling point in the performance department might not be the CPU after all, but instead the graphics processing unit. Or so it seems.

3DMark Unlimited – Ice Storm

Galaxy S4 LTE-A – 17,000 points

Xperia Z1 – 16,800

LG G2 – 15,400

iPhone 5s – 14,000

samsung-galax-s4-lte-a

Now this is embarrassing. And I won’t even try to contain or hide my delight. How could I? I mean, the iPhone 5s came dead last in a competition based on a very meticulous and trustworthy test, which essentially measures how the CPU and GPU work together towards an only goal.

And once again, the Note 3 is yet to have its performance tested. Can you imagine how much Samsung’s 5.7-incher will change the ranks both here and in Geekbench and GFX Bench? I can and I tell you, it won’t look pretty for Apple.

But let’s back up for a second and look at the Ice Storm scores one more time. Something there that draws your attention? A shocker, maybe? Well, yeah, the Korean-only LTE-A GS4 comes out on top, defeating Apple’s “big” guy by an incredible margin of 3,000 points. With the risk of repeating myself, that… is… really… embarrassing.

Early conclusions

That’s a wrap, kind gentlemen and lovely ladies, but be sure to look through the source links below for more benchmarks, mostly starring the iPhone 5s. And remember, all the above is just a sample of the much too complex and complicated smackdown between the best smartphones of today.

iphone_5s_64_bit

Also, it’s too early for verdicts. Granted, the 5s looks mighty strong from a number of standpoints. But at the same time, given all that 64-bit hoopla, the world expected more. Did you? Is anyone really, truly, seriously considering jumping ship from Android to iOS? And if so, are you sure you don’t need a checkup?

Sources: Anandtech, Gizmodo, GFX Bench, Appadvice, PC Mag, YouTube, Tbreak, GSM Arena

Top 4 Reasons Why Samsung Is The Undisputed Mobile Heavyweight Champion

They’re everywhere, they sell like hotcakes from China to Africa and from Paris to New York, they’ve become almost easier to recognize than Apple’s iPhones and they’re cool in the eyes of teenagers, grown men and women and elders alike.

samsung-king

I’m talking about Samsung smartphones, nay Samsung phones in general. The members of the “Galaxy” that took over the world last year and now hold the reigns of the mobile market with a lead over Apple, Nokia or HTC that just keeps on growing fiscal quarter after quarter.

Sammy grabbed a hefty 23.7% share in the mobile phone market for the entire of 2012, beating Nokia to the punch with a 4% lead and leaving Apple in the dust, with a measly 7.8% share. And the Koreans’ domination over the competition is even more impressive when we’re referring just to smartphone sales.

Thus, according to Strategy Analytics, Samsung held a 30.4% share in the smartphone market last year, which was a whopping 11 percent higher than Apple’s share. The rest of the “competition” is not even worth mentioning, being but a mere blip on the radar.

samsung-money

As for 2013 prospects, they look even better for the Galaxy makers, which rely on strong Galaxy S4 sales, but also on future hits like the Note 3 to consolidate their heavyweight world champion belt.

But what exactly is it that makes Samsung’s mobile business so profitable? Are Galaxy phones so much better than the rest? If so, what makes them better? It would take us an eternity to peel off all the layers of Samsung’s incredibly competitive mobile device line-up, so for now we’ll limit ourselves to four reasons. Four reasons why Samsung is and will remain number one for time to come:

1. Diversity and freedom of choice

Unlike Apple, who keeps its customers contained in a closed ecosystem, with just one choice of a smartphone (though likely to become two or three soon enough), Samsung understands that every human, hence every tech consumer too, is different.

Samsung smartphones

Each individual has different needs and tastes from all the others and, while it’s impossible to offer every consumer a unique phone, you can offer them enough choice to give that illusion. And right now, in the US alone, there are 160 handhelds sold by Samsung, ranging from entry-level to high-end, from dumb to smart devices and from tiny to huge.

And that’s not counting upcoming products, which are unveiled basically on a weekly basis. Plus, you have your Asian exclusives and your special European models. Not to mention most of these come with on-board Android, which, at least in the sense of freedom of choice, is far superior compared with Apple’s iOS. Need I say more?

2. Marketing

There’s a good reason why the media has made a big fuss about Motorola X’s rumored marketing budget. It’s because, like it or not, money well spent brings more money. Namely, putting your name on the radar will make people remember you better when making a purchase.

Samsung commercial

But Samsung is not only spending oodles of money on marketing. It is spending said money wisely, with hilarious jab-taking at Apple and just old-fashioned brand awareness reinforcements. How about a little exercise? Get out on the street right now, no matter if you live in the US, Korea, France or South Africa. Look to your right, then your left.

Walk for half an hour or so. Go inside a grocery store, any kind of grocery store. How many times have you seen Samsung’s logo? Now turn on your TV and wait for commercial time. What name are you hearing more, Samsung, Nokia, HTC or LG? Exactly.

3. Software customizations and support

Android fans don’t like software tweaks, customizations, special UIs and pre-installed skins. It’s one of the biggest misconceptions people have in regards to the mobile market. Yes, there are those that like their Android experience as pure as possible (namely, hackers, modders and so on).

Galaxy S4

But for us regular tech-savvy folks, there’s nothing blander than stock Android. Well, for most of us at least. Then again, there is something we hate more than simplicity – ugly skins that change everything and do it for the worst. Think HTC’s Sense.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Sure, it still needs work here and there and it’s trying a little too much to be cutesy, but on the whole I’d go for a TouchWiz-powered phone over a vanilla Android device anytime.

As far as software support goes, I know it’s hard to be 100% objective and distance yourselves from specific personal experiences, but if you do that you’ll notice there’s no OEM more dedicated and engaged to bring as many users up to date as Samsung.

samsung-jelly-bean

Samsung has more Jelly Bean-based devices than anyone else right now and there’s no sign the Koreans will stop doing what they do software support-wise anytime soon.

4. The two faces of success – ruthlessness and glamour

In mobile, like any other business, if you want to be successful, you have to be both good with the people you need and evil with those that can block your rise to fame. Samsung has perfectly mastered that of late, knowing exactly when and how to be pragmatic, but also glamorous.

Samsung presentation

The glamorous side of things can be noticed any time an “Unpacked” or “Premiere” event is organized. No one else in the business knows how to build hype Samsung-style and no one else knows how to grab the media attention with grand presentations.

Meanwhile, let’s not kid ourselves. Today’s mobile world is not one of innovation, but of evolution. And in that context, Samsung is once again number one. Their inventions in the true sense of the word are almost nonexistent, but the Koreans have been ruthless enough to know when to “steal” or “borrow” ideas and how to make them their own.

Apple-vs-Samsung-lawsuit

True, they’re likely to pay the price for all that, seeing as Apple has won a few patent battles of late, but what’s a couple billion dollars when you run a business of hundreds of billions in revenue each year?

That’s all from me folks, but as usual I’d like this to be a dialogue. Don’t agree with my opinions? Hit back at me with a comment. Know better reasons why Samsung is the greatest? I’m all ears. Think everything will change in the near future? I’m dying to hear why.  

Samsung is number 1 in sales, Apple in operating income for Q1 2013

Samsung is at the top spot in terms of sales whereas Apple is winning in terms of profit globally as of the first quarter of this year in the latest findings published by the research firm Strategy Analytics.

samsung-apple

Yonhap News from Korea notes that during the first three months of the year, the sales of Samsung handsets surged to $23.63 billion. This allowed Samsung to take the top spot from Apple, which, for its part, had $22.95 billion from the same quarter.

Apple’s sales fell $7.71 billion as compared to the previous quarter whereas Samsung’s rose $952 million.

Further down the ladder in the data reported by Strategy Analytics is Nokia, whose sales reached $3.64 billion, and in fourth place, LG Electronics, whose sales amounted to $2.95 billion.

Part of Samsung’s success may be credited to the sales figures it had gotten in China during the first quarter. Samsung was able to sell 12.5 million smartphones, a record-breaker for the South Korean electronics giant, which had never been able to sell more than 10 million units in one quarter in the country. With this, Samsung maintains its lead in China, where its smartphone sales have been rising steadily from 10.9 million units back in 2011 to 30.6 million in 2012.

Moreover, Yonhap News attributes Samsung’s growth to the increase in demand for Samsung’s high-end handsets with LTE connectivity.

By comparison, its rival Apple was able to sell 6.1 million handsets in China, falling behind Huawei, Lenovo, Coolpad and China Unicom, and ZTE. It currently occupies the sixth spot, according to Strategy Analytics.

On the flipside, Apple is in the top spot in terms of operating income. The iPhone maker has a share of 31 percent whereas Samsung only has 21.8 percent. Next in line is LG, which has 4.1 percent, and lastly Sharp with 3 percent.

via tnw, yonhapnews, electronista