Thursday, May 10, 2012

Samsung Starts "Cloud Seeding Operations" with mSpot

Samsung acquired mSpot, a cloud-based digital entertainment provider to bolster its online media services. The growth of online storage options is a big convenience for consumers. It enables them to store and access files online, and also share them among various devices and with other users. With more companies joining, it makes cloud storage cheaper, and possibly even free.

Will the cloud replace the traditional physical storage on a mobile phone? Not in the immediate future. The success of cloud storage is dependent on internet connection. A fast internet connection costly as of the present. Furthermore, turning on 3G or Wi-Fi at all times on your mobile device quickly drains your battery.

This investment of Samsung is meant to complement their current online storage partnership with Dropbox.

Samsung Electronics Acquires mSpot

Palo Alto, Calif. – May 9, 2012 – Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, announced today it is acquiring mSpot, Inc., a leading mobile cloud contents service provider based in Palo Alto, California.

The acquisition will provide a cloud entertainment experience of music, video and radio services for users of Samsung devices, while extending mSpot’s cloud and streaming solutions to a broader base of global entertainment fans. The combination will extend mSpot’s top class cloud and streaming services, while further enhancing Samsung’s mobile and tablet device entertainment offerings. The mSpot entertainment services will be a key pre-installed offering on newly announced Samsung mobile devices.

“mSpot shares our vision to bring a best-in class cloud and streaming entertainment experience to consumers, and they’ve backed it up with great technical solutions from a great engineering team,” said TJ Kang, Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Media Solution Center.

“Samsung is unparalleled in terms of global reach and cutting edge devices; with our combined resources, we are looking forward to redefining media consumption across the mobile universe with cloud services,” said mSpot Chief Executive Officer Daren Tsui.

The acquisition will include the full scope of technology, assets and human resources under mSpot.  Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2011 consolidated sales of US$142.2 billion. Employing approximately 190,500 people in 206 offices across 68 countries, the company consists of nine independently operated business units: Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, Digital Imaging, Memory, System LSI and LED. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, mobile phones and semiconductor chips. For more information, please visit

About mSpot

mSpot was formed in 2004 and is a provider of innovative music and video delivery service for mobile devices. The company has been providing white-labeled cloud entertainment services for major US mobile carriers. It also has its own brand services available in the Android Marketplace or App Store. For more information, go

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Designed For Humans? My Thoughts about the Galaxy S III Industrial Design

Months before the Galaxy S III announcement, I was quite excited to see what it has to offer especially in terms of industrial design. Now the waiting is over. The latest Samsung flagship device was just unveiled. It looks like this:

Here are my thoughts: coming from the point of view of a Samsung aficionado, I believe the new flagship phone failed to capture the imagination of the public who waited for the phone with much excitement. It doesn't look that bad. But it doesn’t have that distinct look or that stunning identity that people are looking for in a high end mobile category. 

The exterior of the Galaxy S III is made out of plastic, which is reputably a cheap material. I don’t think the choice of material is something bad at all. When you look at the functional value of plastic on a mobile phone, it doesn’t interfere with the phone’s reception. Furthermore, plastic is a very durable material. It doesn’t break easily, unlike the materials used in the iPhone 4S.

One has to be impressed with the designers of Nokia, who also opted to use plastic in their latest flagship smartphones. The unique distinct flow of curves and lines on the phone using a polycarbonate unibody is something that the market hasn’t seen before.

HTC has also done a masterful job in crafting its HTC One X.  Also using a single piece of plastic shell to encase the phone, the phone can be praised for its ergonomic design.

Both the smartphones mentioned have successfully exhibited unique identities through. On the other hand, Galaxy S III is not an ugly looking phone. But it just looks too ordinary to me. 

Samsung stated that it’s "Designed for humans, inspired by nature". The phone’s design philosophy is taken from a flat stone in a pond, and I think they would like people to feel relaxed when holding this device. Their objective is to make the phone feel more natural. But really, who would be inspired by a piece of stone?

I believe Samsung should have stuck with the design philosophy of the Galaxy S II. The former’s design utilizes distinct straight lines and more pronounced corners. It is simple and straightforward. It communicates that the phone is a piece of technology and an icon of human advancement. That is Samsung’s image in the mobile world. I also wished that the texturized back was retained because it reduces smudges and surface scratches.

One of the reasons consumers buy smartphones is because they want a unique device, for personal enjoyment and to be proudly seen in public with the device. In a very competitive market, this is a very important factor in deciding among alternatives. Design would not be among the deciding factors for purchasing this one. But the Galaxy S III would still be successful in the market because of its superior specs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

It’s Official: Samsung Galaxy S III is the Next Galaxy

Samsung officially unveiled its latest flagship device in London last May 3, 2012: Samsung Galaxy S III. Compared to its predecessor, this phone sports a rounded design, a bigger screen, quad core processor, but the same 8MP camera.

Here are the specs of the Samsung Galaxy S III:

Dimensions - 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
Weight - 133 g
Screen - Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size - 4.8 inches - 306 ppi pixel density 
Protection - Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Card slot - microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal Storage - 16/32/64 GB variants, 1 GB RAM
Bluetooth - 4.0 
NFC - Yes
USB - microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go
CAMERA - Primary 8 MP, autofocus, with LED flash
Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization
        Video 1080p@30fps
         Secondary 1.9 MP, 720p@30fps
OS - Android OS, v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with TouchWiz 4.0 overlay
CPU - Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU - Mali-400MP
Available Colors - Blue, White
SIM Card - MicroSIM card support only
BATTERY - Standard battery, Li-Ion 2100 mAh

The Samsung Galaxy S III, deviates from the design philosophy of its predecessor which has a rectangular shape, angular, and a bump at the back. This new phone takes its resemblance from a pebble. The SIII sports rounded corners and smooth flowing lines. It’s like holding a smooth flat stone.

Unlike Galaxy S I and II, Samsung has eliminated the back accent, a design feature which helps gripping the phone. The thickest point of the phone is now at the middle. The textured back cover is also gone and Samsung instead opted for a glossy finish. There are two color variants, blue and white. The blue has a brushed metal finish. Samsung by the way, still used plastic materials for the exterior, which is not a bad thing for me because it doesn't interfere with signal reception. 

The phone maintained its removable battery cover and user-replaceable battery. This is viewed as a good feature because users are given the option to purchase an additional battery pack or replace the batteries themselves without going to a service center. Inside, you can find the microSIM card slot, and microSD slots.

The most noticeable change in the Galaxy SIII is the screen. The phone has a significantly bigger display, a 4.8” Super AMOLED HD. This is the same display technology used in the Galaxy Note. It has a higher pixel density count of 306 ppi which is comparable to iPhone 4S Retina display. But it uses a PenTile Matrix pixel arrangement. To some users, this is a disappointment because Pentile Matrix uses an RGBG pixel arrangement which is not as smooth when viewed from a very close distance as compared to RGB pixels of LCD or Super AMOLED Plus.

The third Galaxy S is equipped with a 1.4 Ghz Quad Core Cortex-A9 processor which is slightly underclocked compared to the processor of One X, HTC's newest flagship device. This competitor phone is equipped with a 1.5 Ghz Quad Core Snapdragon processor. But in terms of speed, the Galaxy S III beats the HTC One X in benchmarks. Therefore, Samsung Galaxy S III is officially the fastest flagship device in the market.

The S III used the same 8MP camera of the S II, with an LED flash. What’s new is the improved 1.9MP front-facing camera. The phone can now take photos while shooting video clips. This is a feature also present in the HTC One X.

Another notable improvement is the enlarged battery size. The phone now comes with a 2,100 mAh battery, which is bigger than the 2,000 mAh of the Galaxy Note.

The Samsung Galaxy S III runs on the latest Android platform, 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. There are also several new features present on the phone:

The S-Voice, which is a voice activated command similar to Siri. I believe this is a gimmick which will add coolness to the phone but will not add that much functionality. Much like what happened to Siri. Smart-stay tracking which detects you’re the user’s eye contact with the phone and adjusts brightness accordingly. I think this is a useful feature in terms of power-saving for the device. Free 50GB of cloud storage from Dropbox. This is a good feature if the person has a regular internet connection.

There was a mixed feeling or reaction that I felt upon seeing the unveiled Samsung Galaxy S III. I was highly anticipating the announcement of this phone. But somehow, I did not completely feel delighted when photos and videos came out. When I saw the Galaxy S II last year, I was wowed by its thin profile and minimalist design. This year, I wasn’t impressed by the design unlike the newest flagship phones of Nokia and HTC. 

On the other hand, this phone may not be a stunning-looking device but its performance can win a lot of fans. Reading the benchmarks and initial user experience, I could foresee this phone has the potential to exceed customers expectations. The in-depth discussion about the phone and fan reactions shall be another topic.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S III: The Stage is Set

Last year, Samsung Galaxy S II won the Smartphone of the Year award. This year, its successor will arrive. And it's expected to be the breakout year for the Galaxy flagship device. This is the year where the Galaxy S III is expected to set the bar a lot higher in mobile phone technology and  leave all the competition behind. This is the phone that will supposedly take the fight directly to Apple's best-selling iPhone.

Expectations are running high and anticipation from fans and casual users alike are growing more and more with internet rumors. At the minimum, these expectations include the following specs:

  • A highly-optimized Exynos quad-core processor
  • A new Super AMOLED screen technology
  • A 4.7" screen or higher
  • An 8MP camera or higher
  • Android 4.0 ICS
Anything less than that would be a disappointment.

Numerous photo leaks surfaced disclosing the phone's design. But we wouldn't know for certain which one among those pictures is the real Galaxy S III.

Today, May 3, 2012, the long wait will be over.

The anticipation over the Galaxy S III will come to a climactic ending as Samsung will launch this phone today. What time?

11AM Pacific | 1PM Central | 2PM Eastern | 7PM WET | 8PM CET | 9PM EET

The world is watching.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Samsunged: The First Blog

Hi and welcome to Samsunged! I'm still in the process of fixing and customizing this blog. Because this is my first article, let me introduce you about Samsunged. This is a technology blog where you can find news, reviews, and editorials about Samsung mobile gadgets which include smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks, etc.

How was I able to come up with the name? There was a series of funny TV ads about the Galaxy S II in the US. One actor exclaimed, "We just got Samsunged!".

I'm enthusiastic about Samsung because of their innovation and cutting edge technologies that quickly respond to the fast-changing demands of their customers. Because of this, they are now the number 1 mobile phone company in the world. There are many tech sites on the internet, but only a few are dedicated to Samsung. I'd like to create a site comparable to Macworld and CrackBerry, websites that are dedicated to Apple and BlackBerry respectively.

I assume there are many people out there who'd like to read only about the latest news, reviews, and articles  on Samsung: the mobile products they consider the best  So for people who love the Samsung Mobile brand, this blog is for you. 

Let's get Samsunged!