AT&T currently has plans that can be a bit confusing. The question now is whether you want to trade in at 12, 18, or 24 months. How about putting a downpayment and paying monthly for 28 months? Well AT&T knows they mess they made and as of June 9th they will be streamlining their plans to just two choices. One plan, Next Every Year, is for the hardcore upgraders where you can get a new phone every 12 months if you agree to a 2-year plan. The other plan, called Next, lets you upgrade every 2 years if you are willing and able to make payments over 30 months.You can lower the month to month impact by making a down payment or trading in your old phone but this only applies to customers paying on installments who don’t really want to spend extra.  You can do what I suggest and just buy a phone outright or pay it off if you want to upgrade on your own terms. I will add in an option I use which requires patience by waiting a little longer and allow that phone you like to gather some age and hit up sites like Ebay and buy your next upgrade this way.

The plan trimming sounds like a great idea for AT&T if you ask me as most of  the competitors already have simpler plans. Like T-Mobile where they divide you up between a normal 24 month plan or the 12 month Jump On Demand plan which hits you with 18 months of payments.  I always tell people to watch closely what you are being locked into when purchasing your phones and the AT&T Next plan has  30 months of payments which is an eternity in this day of technology where things change every 6 months.

 

ebay-shop


Here goes another battle of Samsung verses Apple were so much seems to reside on how much a person likes the phone as opposed to whether or not the phone is actually better. The phone industry battle still mainly involves Samsung and Apple.SammyApple You do have other companies who throw there bombs in like LG and Huawei. Companies like Huawei and Blu have made a dent into this battle as far as sales go mainly because they have offering phones with some pretty good specs for less money and less money spent is always enticing. A good number of consumers do not want to spend a lot of money on a phone to then have to spend a lot monthly to keep that phone on. At the end of the day you buying that flagship phone is still better than buying the cheaper copies. Main reason is longevity and yes a new version comes out every year and yet I am still right. Why? I will give you an example. The Note 3 is years old now. We are about to see a Note 6 soon and the Note 3 is still a great phone. I have seen Note 3 phones with Note 5 software on them giving these phones new life for the owner that wants to wait to upgrade and let’s face it, it is not always beneficial to upgrade every year (i.e. Note 5 removal of the SDCard) but a worthwhile upgrade also depends on where you are coming from.
Now we have the Samsung Galaxy S7 vs. the Apple iPhone 6s. The first thing that comes to mind is the “s” in the iPhone 6s which to me just tells me that is but a minor change from the 6 at first glance but come to find out the 6s is just what the 6 should have been from the start (gotta know to read between the lines). So first let us start with what is different with the 6s vs the 6.

Screen: Same screen but with 3D Touch
Design: .2 mm thicker, 14g heavier, another color option of Rose Gold, and 7000 anodized aluminum as opposed to 6300. So the design is worse actually but for a worthwhile reason if anyone remembers the “bend-gate” scandal of the iPhone 6.

Performance: Apple A9 64bit dual core 1.84GHz (CPU), PowerVR GT7600 (GPU), 2GB RAM. What this means is the 6s has a newer CPU and GPU which is faster and the phone has more memory than 1GB (finally an iphone with more than 1GB) More memory translates into more you can do at once and more webpages opened. Oh also any review you read about the Apple CPU do not be impressed by how much more percent the CPU is faster cause all that matters is how that CPU can handle the Operating System period.

Camera: 4MP higher camera with all the same features while adding 4K video and 5MP front camera instead of the 1.2 the 6 had. Oh and they added a Live Photo feature.

Battery: It is a smaller battery than the 6 but supposedly the newer iOS in the 6s is more power efficient.

iCarezS7GlassProtiCarez Full Cover Tempered Glass Screen Protector for S7 Edge

So now that you know the differences between the iPhone 6 vs the 6s (it is relevant…..trust me as I will go into more info on that later) let’s get into business. I am not going to go into a long review of these phones but instead show you a spec comparison and then explain it.

iPhone 6s

OS : iOS 9

Dimensions : 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches (138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm)

Weight : 143g

Display

Size : 4.7 inches

Resolution : 750×1334 pixels

Pixel Density : 326 ppi

Type : IPS LCD

Features : Light & Proximity Sensor, 3D Touch, Scratch resistant glass, Oleophobic coating

Camera

Flash : Dual LED

12 MP

Aperture : F2.2

Camcorder : 3840×2160 (4K) (30 fps), 1920×1080 (1080p HD) (120 fps), 1280×720 (720p HD) (240 fps)

Front-facing camera : 5MP

Hardware

System Chip : Apple A9 APL0898

Processor : Dual-core 1840MHZ (1.84GHZ), 64bit

Graphics Processor : PowerVR GT7600

Memory : 2048MB (2GB)

Storage expansion :

Battery

Capacity : 1715 mAh

User replaceable : no

Wireless Charging :

MSRP : $849

Galaxy S7

OS : Android 6.0

Dimensions : 5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches (142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm)

Weight : 152g

Display

Size : 5.1 inches

Resolution : 1440×2560 pixels

Pixel Density: 576 ppi

Type : Super AMOLED

Features : Light & Proximity Sensor

Camera

Flash : LED

12 MP

Aperture : F1.7

Camcorder : 3840×2160 (4K)

Front-facing camera : 5MP

Hardware

System Chip : Exynos 8 Octa 8890 / Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820

Processor : Octa-core, 2300 MHz (2.3GHZ), Exynos M1 and ARM Cortex-A53 , 64-bit / Quad-core with a
Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo

Graphics Processor : Mali-T880 MP12 / Adreno 530

Memory : 4096MB (4GB)

Storage expansion : microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 200 GB

Battery

Capacity : 3000 mAh

User replaceable : no

Wireless Charging : Optional

MSRP : $650 – $795 (Edge version costs $100 more)

What does this all translates to?
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Screen:
The Galaxy S7 screen is better by far with more pixels resulting in a much better look. Quite frankly nothing beats out a Samsung AMOLED display. The Iphone has 3D Touch an all which sounds cool if you use it. 3DTouch is a feature that allows the screen detect pressure which you can use to preview emails and websites. Let us not forget the Edge version of this cool display with its curve edge which adds more features to the phone.
OLED technology is the future where future phone can be flexible and foldable. These displays are lighter, thinner, faster in response time, have more vibrant colors, better viewing angles, high color accuracy, and like you see in the new line of Samsung phones an always-on display mode.
Performance:
The S7 is the winner here while both perform great with their respective operating systems. The S7 no matter which variant you get whether the Exnyos or Snapdragon (US versions) you are still getting more cores for your buck along with more memory. Double the amount of memory (think like your home PC or laptop) translates into faster performance and more multitasking. You can basically do more with 4GB and you can with 2GB. More open apps and more opened webpages. Now some will say the Apple is better here and I ask…. Based on what test? These 2 phones are very different while using different operating systems and frankly there is no true way to compare them performance-wise. If there was some way to test these phone on equal grounds while using the same OS then maybe as performance depends greatly on software. So when you see performance benchmarking reviews take them with a grain of salt cause what matters is if it runs good for what you use that phone for.
Software:
Which OS being better depends largely on what you like and want. Which one actually being better won’t matter to most if not all people. iOS and Android are both great but here we run into that age old battle of windows verses Mac OS, though not same per say but definitely is the same battle based on the same pros and cons. Apple’s closed management of iOS makes it better as far as upgrades are concerned as long as your device can run it which Apple also dictates. Android is more open by far with an app store that offers a lot more at the price of zero. Updates take longer and if you are a techy person you can do a lot more with your phone by installing customized versions of android on your phone by going to certain sites like xda-developers. This option is what can largely increase the life of your phone as I have mentioned latter in my reference to the Note 3. Not to mention those movie apps people find like Showbox or Moviebox.
Camera:
The camera is something you have to test out no matter what the specs are and a lot of reviews are stating the S7 camera is better. We use our phone to take selfies and capture those special moments which are usually in low light environments. Samsung has focused on this and the S7 has proven to be better in low light. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews, of course, but most of them praise the S7 on its low light performance. Even an Apple fan site, iMore, says the S7 won in their comparison of the cameras. Anyone reading this can look this up and you will find these camera shootouts going on, on websites. Other sites to check are Yahoo and CNET.
Battery:
The S7 has a bigger battery but at the same time needs it and still has not beaten Apple yet on battery life.
Overall I would have to say the S7 is better. I have chosen to not get into the design cause both phones are beautiful phones and no one can knock the Samsung phone for not having the metal, premium design. Samsung screens have been the best since the Epic 4G in 2010. Note that this was not the first phone to use OLED technology. Nokia has that win with the N85 but after that Samsung did make the i7110. Back then though these were not what you see today and they performed rather bad in direct sunlight. Anyways the S7 having more memory is a definite win here and to add the new Marshmallow Android OS along with a more robust processor but…..
The Apple iPhone 6s is already halfway through its lifecycle and there are rumors already on the iPhone 7. These rumor go as follows:
  • Removal of the headphone jack
  • Faster LTE modem made by Intel instead of Qualcomm
  • Wraparound screen using OLED technology (I doubt this very much. Maybe later down the road in like 2018 or something as Apple is always behind.)
  • Copying of some S7 specs like the dual-lens camera.
  • A new chassis that allows radio signals through it or just redesigning the antenna lines. (Hmmm great for signal increases but bad if you one of those people that are into the effects these signals can cause on people.)

So if you have an upgrade up and are looking to upgrade you probably should wait till around September/October time to see what this new iPhone 7 will be then decide what to upgrade to then. Oh will add that the Note 6 will also be a choice then too as I hear Samsung will be bringing back the SDCard. When it comes to the Note series of phones even if you do not use the S-Pen they are great phones and from what I hear the Note 6 may sport 6GB of memory, 4000mAh battery, and the same water and dust resistant features as the Galaxy S7. Yeah another feature the S7 has. Check out this video.

[ntcyoutube id=”18UxWUtJKhQ”]

If you want to read more on the S7 you can checkout the S7 rumors post.

Skip to final update.

Here we are and the Galaxy Note 5 has not been out that long really and there have already been talks of the Samsung Galaxy S7. I am going to opt to giving you some real info here. Call it opinion, whatever you want but I am gonna say it anyways. The cellphone industry is heading in a direction that I do not totally like. It started with Apple suing everyone for stealing their own already stolen (okay bought) ideas. Somewhere in all that Samsung was accused of just copying Apple. So now at this day we have the Galaxy S6 and the newest Note 5 and all I can think of is: Are the accusations true? Samsung’s Note 5 is a beautiful phone, do not get me wrong, and I do like it very much so; but, they removed the sdcard and placed a nonremovable battery. Mind you these features are what made an iphone really kind of suck. I can add sub par hardware to that too when talking about the iphone. I do not care what you say about Apple’s internal hardware because how well that hardware really performs we can never really know due to vast differences in the software that they run.So since the Galaxy S4 Samsung’s flagship sales have falllen. The S4 did very well, the S5 did about 60% of  that, the S6… well would have probably done better if it were not for Samsung screwing up manufacturing and making too much of one version of the phone. Now we have the Note 5 which did not do as well as it was expected to. Now the Note 5 did sell twice as well as its counterpart, the S6 Edge Plus. Note the last word there….. “Plus”. Here we go with the Apple terms being stolen. You think Apple will try to sue Samsung for using Plus in the name as  part of any argument?  So Samsung has some work to do as far as I am concerned (others do feel the same way) or they will lose more footing in the game to Apple. Apple already has low options to choose so losing to Apple just makes the smartphone world rather boring. The world would be like a utopia of sorts with everyone using the same phone and wearing the same clothes , most likely white, and talking the same way while anyone else would be considered outlaws (I know I am exxagerating a bit.).  So onto to the Samsung Galaxy S7. What do we have so far to look forward to? Keep in mind these are only rumors, some will be on point while others you can take as a grain of salt.


Samsung Exynos 8890


There are rumors around that say there will be a Samsung phone with a new CPU (processor) that will be faster and better. Pretty much the same claims as always but this processor already has a name, the Exynos 8890 chipset. I know I said CPU and then named a chipset but Samsung has pretty much coined it by the whole package you are getting. This processor is being made using the company’s 14nm FinFet processor and features custom 64-bit Exynos M1 CPU cores. The rumors also say that Samsung may be able to release the S7 ahead of its usual cycle.  Also as to who will be able to acquire this phone which will not be everyone. Supposedly half of the phones made will be made with this new chipset while the other half will feature, yeah you may have guess it, a Snapdragon 820 chipset. The Exynos chipset is said to possibly mean a faster and more stable experience. Given the said specs, it could make the S7 Samsung’s most integrated smartphone as of yet, minus google Android of course.


Camera


The talk on the camera has been all over the place really and no one really knows what’s up. At one time it was said that Samsung was talking to Sony about acquiring the camera module it used in the Xperia Z5. The Xperia Z5 has a a 23MP camera with Hybrid Autofocus which is said to be able to focus really fast. You will have to click on the link to see more about that if you want. Another rumor report said that there will be a 12MP rear camera but with a larger half inch sensor. The idea is that when coupled with the larger pixel size it  would allow better performance. Oh also some new Samsung application supports this rumor. Most recently though the rumors say that the camera will be a 20MP camera that can shoot in RAW format. Also having the Pro mode to the camera and more advanced options for video recording also. There have been no confirmation on this though so… wait for Feb 2016 when the S7 is expected to unveil.


Firmware


Next there are insider rumors that Samsung has started development of the firmware for the S7.  Since these rumor are stating a time that was a month earlier than normal it is being assumed this is a sign of an earlier release date. Report also say there will be again two versions of the S7 with one being flat while the other curved. So development on G930FXXU0AOK6 and G935FXXU0AOK6 has begun this month so may be the early release date is valid.

Aside from all of this and with the Galaxy S7 only a few months away rumor suggest Samsung is already producing some of the hardware for this phone. Korean news claims manufacturing had kicked off for the processor and it is assumed Samsung will continue with a metal design but rumor say it will be a tougher metal. I will believe it when I see it…


Updates:


Price


Yeah price is probably important right? Well lately we have seen an increase in pricing for all of the flagship phones out and that has only pushed consumers away from buying the coolest phones. As I have mentioned latter, Samsung has seen a decline in sales for their biggest phones especially having to compete with Apple and companies like Huawei and Xiaomi who offer phones at a lower price that do have some pretty cool specs. So I read that Pan Jiutang, an analyst from China, has stated that the S7 price will be about 10% less than the S6’s price. If this is the case we may see Samsung back on track in sales soon. If this is the case I assume Samsung will do well in India then due to the iPhone 6S Plus’s price being too expensive for most customers there.


What is this thing gonna look like?

Next question…..What is this thing gonna look like? I really do not know. I have seen alot of images…supposed images and videos from possibly correct to totally idiotic. So I will post this video for you to watch here as possiblly correct since I have seen these image floating around quite often. I will also post a few images that I have seen more recent than this video. Checkem out.

Final Update:


As for all of the rumors looks like they were on point minus a few small differences that you will never even notice just the Galaxy S7 is a gorgeous phone. The S7 line comes in the S7 and the S7 Edge which this time around Samsung made larger with a larger battery to distinguish more the 2 phones. I personally think this is cool cause now you can actually justify paying more the the S7 Edge. After reading all of the rumors in this post I will just add a video so you can just relax and watch. Who wants to read alot of the same stuff anyways right?


Note 5 TouchWiz UISamsung Galaxy S7 is set to bring a new version of Touchwiz along with it and a recent report suggests that Google is working with Samsung to improve its Android-based distribution. This is some very interesting news as the South Korean giant will be focusing on the user experience on its upcoming flagship device.

 

Some argue that Touchwiz is a fantastic modification to Samsung devices and the recent switch to Android 6.0 Marshmallow on some Samsung devices showed a significant improvement in user experience and whatnot. Google has long aimed to improve its operating system but instead of offering Samsung some opposition, the tech company decided to help it instead. Touchwiz is going to be a lot more optimized on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and it’s going to be a lot more user-friendly. This makes a lot of sense when you think about Samsung’s main competitor, Apple, which is known for its user-friendly UI. Samsung wants to replicate that behavior and make its user interface superior. It remains to be seen if they will succeed based on what fans think.

Samsung Galaxy S7 To Be Here Soon

If you’ll check recent reports you’ll notice that the Samsung Galaxy S7’s release date is a very hot topic. The device is predicted to arrive somewhere in March or earlier, and this is a pretty optimistic prediction. Initially we thought that the device would be here in January but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The reason why the Samsung Galaxy S7 is going to be here earlier this year is because the tech company made the switch to Agile development which shortens development time by up to a month or two.

Do you think Samsung will succeed in making a better experience with the next version of Touchwiz?

 

Source: Samsung Galaxy S7: Google Helping Samsung to Improve Touchwiz




Today smartphones come in larger sizes and you can go out and buy a tablet which will have larger size screens but at times there are trade-offs depending on which tablet you buy.  There are also the large following of people who have discovered the Android Emulator. I feel as if I have to back up a little bit to explain what this is and it starts with the word emulator. In this context an emulator is hardware or software that enables one computer system (the host) to behave like another computer system (the guest). Emulators are typically used for running software and games from another system. To make it more clear I can play Playstation games on my computer by installing an emulator. Next step in this definition is an AVD (Android Virtual Device) which by definition is an emulator configuration that lets you model an actual device by defining hardware and software options to be emulated by the Android Emulator. So AVD is a set of settings (basically). In the Android world we have many different Android phones that run several different versions of Android as well as several different graphical overlays (all those icons that you tap on); and, different hardware. So it is possible to create an emulator that can behave just like the phone you bought, whichever phone you have.

I hope that was clear for you and I will be discussing mostly about an Android emulator called Bluestacks who have come a long way since its start in 2011, which was known for being one of the first ways to run Android apps on your Windows computer.  Bluestacks is on version 2 now, the latest version of its platform with one big upgrade: the ability to run more than one Android app at the same time. This sounds really cool to me and I will have to put it more through its paces but I can see it adds a tab interface for jumping between several Android apps. It looks a lot like a web browser and Bluestacks 2 can also play mobile ads in separate tabs on click, which is a better idea to keep the ads from interrupting your game. Bluestacks company-wise says it’s reached more than 109 million downloads, with users running more than 1.1 billion Android apps every month. Bluestacks now has the 7th largest Android user base in the world, which is more than Xiaomi and Sony. (According to data from the research firm Gartner.)

Are you a PC gamer interested in playing mobile games? Are you a mobile gamer with the need for a larger screen? Android emulators  may just be the thing for you. I will also add there is another big Android emulator that also works well. It is called Andyroid, which tends to be more for the overall Android user that may not need the functionality for gaming per say. You do have to try both out to see which one you like better or which works better for you because from my experience they do come at times with issues. Both companies though give you ways to ask questions in getting those issues worked out. Oh before I go I will add in that some game creators are adding in security software into their games that block these emulators due to some using them to hack those games with the intention of getting harder to acquire items and content. (Someone always has to mess things up for everyone right?)

Bluestackslogo
Andyriod

I have setup a list of the best Android games to help you get through the Play Store’s many titles. So read on as I explore the different game genres in an attempt to find all the best titles to install on your phone or tablet this year.

Action Games

 

 

Brothers in Arms 3

 

Brothers In Arms 3

Brothers In Arms 3

Gameloft makes a lot of games for Android and they know how to do it well.  Gameloft is a video game developer and publisher headquartered in Paris, France. The company also has subsidiaries in 28 countries around the world. They have created a number of games for mobile phone handsets, tablets, games consoles and other platforms.

 

Founded in 1999 by Michael Guillemot, one of the co-founders and owners of video game publisher and developer Ubisoft, Gameloft has expanded to employ a staff of 5,000 at the end of 2011. Gameloft began to be profitable in 2003. Gameloft’s consolidated revenues were €10.2m (2003), €23.2m (2004) and €46.8m (2005). Gameloft has posted consolidated revenues of €68m in 2006, €96m in 2007, €110m in 2008 and €122m in 2009. In 2010, Gameloft consolidated sales reached €141m and went up to €164m in 2011. In 2012 the revenues continued to grow and crossed the €200m-mark, reaching €208.3m in 2012 and €233.3m in 2013. According to the preliminary data, the revenue for the end of year of 2014 were €227m. Through agreements with major telephone carriers, handset manufacturers, specialized distributors and its online shop, Gameloft states it has a distribution network in over 100 countries. As of 2013, Gameloft had development centers in 20 countries. (Wikipedia.org)

Gameloft, having made games like Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5 and N.O.V.A. 3 you can pretty much be sure you are playing a game with high-production value and a free-to-play price structure. Brother in Arms 3 is a great game. People are saying it may be Gameloft’s best action game so far. I don’t know about that but the game is cool. The game is a 3rd person shooter game where you guide your character through a World War 2 area as you do the normal weapon and ability upgrades as you play. The graphics are great and the game is not for every Android phone that you run into. If you have any flagship phone or tablet you should be okay to play it. Fun to play and you get into it until boom a purchase is needed but that is how it goes now with most games right?

 

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

 

The Walking Dead is actually a cool game. The play style reminds me of the old school Dungeons and Dragons decision-based style game. Does anyone remember the movie BIG with Tom Hanks? The game Josh was playing. Just click on the next two links to see.

Link 1 Link 2

 

I even found a site where someone recreated the game. Click Here to see How cool is that? Anyways, The Walking Dead: Season One and The Walking Dead: Season Two is an interesting game to play that keeps you into the game through a strong storyline. As you move through the story you do get a bit of a thrill and maybe a scare as your decision can mean death to a character or your character. Oh yeah there are zombies. Telltale Games has several games so when you are done with The Walking Dead you can try the other games they have. If you happen to be a fan of Game of Thrones they have a game based on that too. Definitely try Telltale Games out.

 

The World Ends With You-android

The World Ends With You Game for Android

 

The World Ends With You is a game that I do remember actually from the world of Nintendo, well, the Nintendo DS actually. I had to look up how long ago this was and the game is dated around 2007. So now about 8 years later here it is. If you are a gamer then you know about Square Enix, the maker of this game. You most likely know Square Enix for Final Fantasy.

The World Ends With You is a side scrolling action game that has several game elements to it from RPG to card style gaming. The Manga style graphics now on Android is still a good game that can hold its own even after 8 years, but the game has a price that is a bit steep. One of the higher price ($17.99) Android games I have seen actually which will turn most people off.

 

Next……..

 

Fighting Games

 

 

Keep checking as I look into the coolest fighting game.

While searching for games I ran across a game that caught my attention. I was skeptical at first due to the numerous games that lead on to being cool but just turned out to be the average card/summoner games.  I noticed the game was free which always looks good and so I went and found a youtube video of it so I can get an idea. Well the game has my attention.  The first thing that comes to mind when viewing the game is the Marvel vs. Capcom type of game. I also notice the graphics of the game are rather pleasing…especially for an Android game. I began to think,”Oh can my phone handle this game.” ………………………………..I pulled my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 out (What can this phone actually not handle…lol) and installed this game.

Contest of Champions Comic book

Contest of Champions Comic book

First thing I noticed is how long it took  the phone to open the game. I though that was weird but then again lately the internet has not been up to its normal quality so I ignored this. As I started to play I started to remember something. See the storyline of the game is something I have seen before in the comics and cartoons.

[ntcyoutube id=”Oddu2Zsjxe4″]

The heroes are controlled somehow and force to fight in a contest tournament. I forget the details but nothing you can’t just google to find out more about. As for the game… The game is fun to play while not having complex controls. Some would say that takes away from the game especially since Marvel vs. Capcom is available for mobile phones. There is also Injustice too which I will get into playing also. Differences between Injustice and Contest of Champions is mainly that more work was put into Injustice. Now this is just something I read which just makes me wanna play it. Trust me I will play it and once I do I will post a video but for now here is a lil look at the game.

[ntcyoutube id=”OnOSJA9Ubxc”]

So try out Contest of Champions and feel free to post a comment on what you think. Get it on Google Play.

 

 

 

 

[ntcyoutube id=”NE3AzfWaQQw”]In 2011 at IFA Samsung announced the Galaxy Note. While some if not most media outlets questioned the device due to its 5.3 inch screen (which most considered extremely large for a phone), but the Note did quite well. It was received positively due to its stylus, the screen proving useful, and the speed of its 1.4ghz dual-core processor.  Proving to be a success Samsung announced that the Note had sold 1 million units in 2 months. Two months later Samsung made a version of the Note with LTE support. Six months after that the Note sold 10 millions units worldwide.

[ntcyoutube id=”VdsMwGWvhO4″]

In 2012 at IFA Samsung displayed the Note 2. The Note 2 was an improvement to the Note in the hardware area sporting a quad-core processor and a larger 5.5 inch screen. Samsung revised the stylus to be more sensitive to pressure (1024 levels of pressure sensitivity) for a more precise feel. Samsung like to make the lines of devices similar in look and the Note 2’s design was based on the Galaxy S3. The Note 2 has other new features like pen gestures, split-screen multitasking, other features that the S3 came out with, and Air View which allows previews of content to be displayed by hovering the pen above the screen.

[ntcyoutube id=”9NSBB-kFDGQ”]

The Note series opened the doors for artists in mind which spawned apps for the graphic artists like PS Touch (Photoshop Touch) and SketchBook which Samsung had included. Next came the Note 3 in 2013 showing off a more “premium” design with a plastic leather backing, more stylus pen functionality, and a 5.7 inch 1080p screen. The new “premium” design was something to cater to  the world due companies coming out with devices with (I guess) better design chassis. Phones like the iphone 5 and the  HTC One. People liked the HTC Once due to it metal (premium) body. I thought the phone was okay personally. The stereo speakers only sounded great if  the phone was tilted landscape. Then again I had already joined the cult of the Note and any phone without the S-pen would just not do for me but I can still be objective…lol.

[ntcyoutube id=”Omtc9wlYfqQ”]

Samsung in 2014 came out with a ‘lower’ version of the Note 3 and called it the Note 3 Neo. It had  the S-pen, a 5.5 inch Super AMOLED HD 720p screen , 8MP camera, 16GB storage, 2GB of RAM and all of the Note 3’s software features. The Note 3 Neo was made really different in that it sported the Samsung Exynos Hexa 5260 (6-core) processor. The processor in actuality was made up of a quad-core 1.3ghz Cortex A7 CPU and a dual-core 1.7ghz Cortex A15 CPU as well as support for HMP and a Mali-T624 GPU. GPU people refers to graphics.

Now we have the Note 4 which was announced at IFA on Sept 3rd, 2014. This 4th generation Note comes with some new features, yessir. I cannot really review the phone as I have not seen it yet but it seems to be getting some good reviews thus far. The Note 3 comes with the same size screen as the Note 3 but instead with better quality. The screen now has Quad HD Super AMOLED technology giving it a 2560×1440 resolution (about 500+ pixels per inch). Again the “premium” design was used but with a metal rim around the phone. The Note 4 comes with some of features of the Galaxy S5, of course, like the heartrate monitor on the  back (which can also be used to take pictures). Now HTC and Apple have heightened the consumers’ expectations of what a phone should feel like and so now a flagship phone has to have metal (oooooooh….). How about this, try dropping your iphone a few times and see how well those scrapes show up on your cool phone.

The S-Pen on the Note 4 has also been improved with more sensitivity. (double the amount making it 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity). Supposedly this makes it feel more like writing with a real pen. I don’t know really but I will update with I get my hands on one. As far as gestures and UI stuff I have seen mentioned about a floating  thing going on much like the Facebook Chat that Facebook has now shoved down people’s throats.

The Camera has  gone from 13MP to 16MP and is not only a better camera in this point but it now clocks in at f1.9 (for all you photographers out there), which allows the camera to take in 60% more light making for better quality images. Also baked in is optical image stabilization. If you don’t know what that is here is something to help you understand: An optical image stabilizer, often abbreviated OIS, IS, or OS, is a mechanism used in a still camera or video camera that stabilizes the recorded image by varying the optical path to the sensor. This technology is implemented in the lens itself, or by moving the sensor as the final element in the optical path. The key element of all optical stabilization systems is that they stabilize the image projected on the sensor before the sensor converts the image into digital information.

All of the regular promises of improvements are included like battery life but it is too soon to tell how that panes out but let’s not forget the Note 4 will also come in another version, the Galaxy Note Edge. Those of you who want a Note 4 may want to wait for this bad boy to come out then spend that dough as this phone has a curved screen on the right side that can be used for notifications and other things. I will just let you watch the videos cause you just need to see it. Dude I like this one. If I try to upgrade it will be to the Note Edge definitely. I’m saying it is still the same phone. Maybe a lil smaller and the resolution would have to change a bit to allow for the curved part of the screen but technically the same phone. Enjoy the videos…

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If you need to know the differences. Watch this video…

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World of Warcraft fan? Maybe?… Maybe not?… Or do you like card games? Blizzard Entertainment has released a free to play card game based on World of Warcraft. Having been a World of Warcraft player I was able to acquire a free mount for playing the game.




Well, yeah I had to do something in the game first. I had to do all the work of installing the game and then I had to play it.  As I played I started to have fun which kind of snuck up on me since I only wanted the mount. As I played and hours actually passed I saw how easy to understand the core rules were.  See it does not really rely on some complex and complicated rules. You can be a good player by simply playing the right cards at the right time. Now I did see a some exceptions related to what was related to a Crazed Alchemist.  For the most part the cards and their effects were simple with few words used to communicate what it is they do.  Actually some of the ones I like are Fireball which deals 6 damage, Chillwind Yeti is a minion with 4 attack and 5 health. The objective, of course, is to kill your opponent or rather get their health to zero.  As for the cards, some are very accessible, some not so much.

The game does take a lil brain power and playing mindlessly may just cost you a few losses.  There will be times when attacking may not be the best idea cause your opponent played a card that gets stronger depending on what you do. You may wanna knock that card out first. It is also good to have some protection instead by playing a card that Taunts attackers to attack it giving you some breathing room while you hope for a good card to show up so you can setup a good combo to knock your opponent’s health down. So you play at first to improve your deck. Also important to mention is what class you want to play cause each class has its own special powers.

  • Druid: Poison Seeds (spell) – Destroy all minions and summon 2/2 Treants to INSERT them.
  • Hunter: Webspinner (minion) – Deathrattle: Draw a random Beast card.
  • Mage: Duplicate (secret) – Secret: When a friendly minion dies, put 2 copies of it in your hand.
  • Paladin: Avenge (secret) – Secret: When one of your minions dies, give a friendly minion +3/+2.
  • Priest: Dark Cultist (minion) – Deathrattle: Give a friendly minion +3 Health.
  • Rogue: Anub’ar Ambusher (minion) – Deathrattle: Return a friendly minion to your hand.
  • Shaman: Reincarnation (spell) – Destroy a minion, then return it to life with full Health.
  • Warlock: Voidcaller (minion) – Deathrattle: Put a Demon from your hand into the battlefield.
  • Warrior: Death’s Bite (weapon) – Deathrattle: Deal 1 damage to all minions.

iPad version

As for this version, I honestly am not sure but the news is that it plays identically as on Mac and PC.  This sounds good to me and I would rather be able to play it on a tablet anyways but it is only available for iPad. Nothing Android at the moment but Blizzard states they will be working on one projected near the end of 2014. So myself being an Android person am not happy about that.  I played the game but not as often as I would like. Maybe if it was on Android I would play it more. (Actually I would.)

New Expansion Curse of Naxxramas

Curse_of_Naxxramas

Recently Blizzard has released a new expansion for Hearthstone adding new challenges giving players a chance at improving their card decks. If you play the game this is a must. As other players get these cards you may need some of your own to survive.  The first wing, The Arachnid Quarter will be available for free for at least a month but after that it will cost $6.99 or 700 gold to download. I hear Blizzard will let players buy multiple wings at once at a discount.

Here’s the full list of prices: 

US

  • All five wings: $24.99
  • Already own first wing: $19.99
  • Already own first two wings: $14.99
  • Already own first three wings: $9.99
  • Individual wings: $6.99, or 700 gold, each

Europe

  • All five wings: 21.99 euros or 17.49 pounds
  • Already own first wing: 17.99 euros or 13.99 pounds
  • Already own first two wings: 13.99 euros or 11.49 pounds
  • Already own first three wings: 8.99 euros or 6.99 pounds
  • Individual wings: 5.99 euros, 4.99 pounds or 700 gold each


So check out Hearthstone. It is a fun game, especially if you like card games. With the World of Warcraft feel to it, it is a treat for any WoW fans. Blizzard just need to get those other versions out there. Mainly iphone and Android. Once they do that the game will really flourish.
Hearthstone on Facebook

Update:

Looking back I see Hearthstone is available for Android now. At first the android release was for only tablets. During this time I was able to get the game going on my phone by finding the game from a 3rd source and at the time it ran really slow and was a bit weird to play. I had issues tapping in areas on the board so I could basically play cards but firing magic was an issue.  Blizzard has now released its hold on the game and now some phones can play it.  It ran fine on my phone. I have/had a Note 3.