Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Have smartphones replaced our computers fully?

Look any where you want to. You'll find people head bent down. Staring at their small screens on their palms. So much has the smartphone industry progressed, that some people think it'd better to own a smartphone rather than a computer. These small little beasts are capable of almost anything. With each advancing versions of the do called flagships. The smartphone is getting scarily powerful with each increment.
There was a time when most of your work was done on the computer and the phones, well to make few calls, text, take a few pics here and there, listen to music (for those who didn't own an iPod) and to make few grainy videos.
But all this changed in 2007, Steve Jobs got on to the podium and delivered a revolution sort of(even though the phone was not that great even by 2007 standards). Many huge companies namely Nokia, BlackBerry oversaw this. Not feeling threatened, after all they were the latest market okayed during that time with Nokia having the kind share of total phones present around worldwide.
Yes there were "smartphones" delivered by BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola etc. But all that paled compared to simplicity and power of the iPhone.
Then changes began sweeping in. Form factor of the phones changed, keyboards gave way to large screens, batteries got bigger, screens got sharper, chipsets, gpus got scarily powerful. MHz got converted to GHz. Memory got bloated with phones now a days supporting up to almost 320Gbs(case in point Saygus V2). Single core to quad core, octa cores. Finally, In the year 2013 only Apple pioneered it's way into the 64bit club with their new chip present in iPhone 5S, a domain which was long due occupied only by computers and laptops.
Even now maybe the raw computing power may be lagging behind laptops and computers. But soon there'll be a time when phones will surpass them too. And this week be in the near future not very far off.
Day by day reports are coming about more and more people relying on these handheld devices to access the internet rather than computers. Sales of laptops computers are decreeing by the minute and those of smartphone increasing. These smartphone are used for most of their media consumption. Clicking pictures meeting DSLR cameras quality, videos with Optical Image. Apps for productivity on pad with those of computers, editors-photo, video document, pdf almost every editor can be found on the app stored nowadays.
With new low cost devices coming out everyday, and companies announcing devices every other day. Soon almost everyone will be equipped with a smart phone.
Apps developers and accessory makers are also banking on this boom and making a whole lot of benefit out of this too. And the end user is getting spoilt for choice. With millions of apps and accessories to choose from there's almost that one perfect one for everyone
Even right now this blog is being written on my way home on my smartphone. So let me ask you this, have smartphones really overtaken computers and laptops?
Will you part away your computers for a smartphone?

Monday, 12 January 2015

Samsung Galaxy Alpha A7, Samsung's slimmest beauty yet!

Samsung Galaxy A7, 5.5FHD SAMOLED display, 16gb storage,13mp cam,5mp front cam,2600mAh battery,64 bit processor,2gb ram and 6.3mm thin.

Samsung has unveiled its thinnest smartphone yet, with another addition to the Alpha series, with their Alpha A7.

This midranger phone features a 5.5 inch display which has rumored to be a FHD SUPER AMOLED display, that's right folks HD. Freaking 1920×1080p on a massive 5.5inch display resulting in a ppi of only 401.

There are two variants one a single dim other dual Sim.

Single Sim variant has an Exynos 5 octa core processor clocked in at 1.8GHz quad core+1.3GHz quad core, while the dual Sim has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615-64bit processor clocked in at 1.5GHz quad core+1GHz quad core.

The GPU is said to be and Adreno 405 or Mali MP6 again depending in the variant.

Both the variants have 2GB of ram and 16GB of in-built storage which can be further bumped upto 64GB via the memory card slot. And are being shipped with KitKat 4.4 which will be later upgraded 5.0 lollipop.

Front camera of the Galaxy alpha A7 is an 5megapixel shooter which boasts of wide angle selfies,beauty face and other Samsung goodies.
Rear camera is a 13mp shooter with features such as rear selfies face, detect etc.

Battery is a non-removable 2600mAh which should be sufficient for a days use. Other goodies such as Ultra Power Saving Mode, Changeable themes, private mode, multi screen etc have also made their way into this sleek phablet.

All this is packed inside the super slim waistline of just 6.3mm. It'll be available in 3 colors Midnight black,pearly white and champagne gold.

The price is not yet confirmed but Samsung will start shipping out at the end of Q1 2015 itself.
Update:- price had been confirmed by Samsung India at  Rs. 30,499. It will be retailing through Samsung's online store but will soon hit the stores too. 

AMOLED vs LCD screen

Have you ever wondered why some screens seem too bright, vivid and so much more saturated than other screen.
Have you ever wondered why it may be, why flagship SAMSUNG smartphones and few others like MOTO X, Nexus 6 have a display that speaks volume for itself. Here comes the difference. All of these phones have an AMOLED or SAMOLED(S denoting SUPER the proprietary name given by Samsung to its AMOLED display).
Now you may ask what's the difference really to this. I am here to tell you about the main basic differences between an AMOLED and a LCD display panel.

 AMOLED display of Samsung Galaxy s3 neo

AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode. Meaning it doesn't need and other light or backlighting as found in the LCD panels to produce different colors.
The pixels composed of red, green and blue pixels emit their own light when given appropriate currents.
The good:-
One of the main advantages of using an AMOLED panel it is much more power efficient as there is no need for backlighting as mentioned above.
AMOLED displays as they produce their own light have a wider color gamut thus having more shades of the same color as compared to LCD. Even though with each generation of LCD panels, the difference is getting less and less prominent but still a visible difference is present when viewing the displays side by side.
Now another advantage of AMOLED panels is that the pixels turn off when displaying black color. This allows for amazing contrast and "Pitch dark" blacks. This is even more prominent again when you see both the displays side by side. As the pixels are off while displaying black color this it makes the AMOLED displays more power efficient too. A black wallpaper or a dark theme would give you a little bit of extra juice.
All this is great but doesn't mean AMOLED displays are faultless.
Viewing angles on an AMOLED display is very good. No matter at which angle you look at the screen you can see 100%of the screen with minimal or no color shift.
AMOLED displays not needing a backlight can also be produce to be very very thin. This helps in producing those super thin smart phones like Oppo R5, Gionee Elife 5.1 etc.
Also they can be bend and can be used in the future to produce flexible displays. Prototypes such as the Samsung's YUOM, and full fledged retail models most notably Samsung Note 4 Edge, Galaxy round, Lg G Flex 2 are already in the market.

The bad:-
AMOLED displays are least efficient while displaying white color as all the pixels are working at their maximum to produce it. And as almost all the websites are mostly in white color, battery life may take a hit while surfing the web for prolonged duration.
Another problem AMOLED displays suffer from is burn in issue. What this means is a part of the display that has been displaying the same image/text in that area for very prolonged time ( such as date, time, notification area), leaving a slight shadow or very slight discolored area there. Many times these can be fixed. Even apps are present in the Google play store to fix this issue.
Also AMOLED displays are susceptible to lose their vividness and saturating over time. Although this has been rectified to some point. More about that in my next post.
AMOLED displays are also much more expensive to manufacture this has lost its when with many manufacturers over time ex HTC started using Super LCD technology for its flagship OneX from 2012.

LCD display of LG Nexus4


LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. There is a thin panel containing liquid crystals which produce various colors when electricity is passed through them. These crystals only produce colors and are unable to produce any light of their own. Thus a source of light in the form of backlighting is required. LCD displays bring cheaper to produce are found in almost 90%of displays present today be it TVs, smartphones, computer monitors etc.
LCD consist of blue, green and red sub pixels.

The good:-
LCD has a lesser color gamut than AMOLED displays but they produce what many people call "True to life colors". Colors look much more subtle and natural as opposed to super saturated AMOLED(although this can also be tweaked).
LCD produce pure white, and have no effect on the battery no matter which color of being displayed as the backlighting is always on. Backlighting helps in these displays to get much much brighter than the conventional AMOLED displays, but this is also changing with each passing generation.
LCD displays have a longer life and are much more durable than AMOLED panels as they don't suffer from image burn-ins and color fading.
Viewing angles have improved vastly, with very mandible color shift and distortion.

Then bad:-
Though great at displaying white, LCD displays, due to the persistent backlighting on, are much less efficient than AMOLED. And this power consumption increases as the resolution increases. Which may in future result in worse battery life unless the batteries get buffer or the battery technology improves dramatically.
Another thing to notice if that even though LCDs have slimmed down considerably, they'll never be as thin as AMOLED. Again the reason is the backlighting.
LCD displays can never produce "Pitch black" color like AMOLED, again due to the backlighting. The black areas always tend to be in a shade of grey, this may not be noticeable in day to say usage, but when the displays are put side to side the difference is definitely noticeable.

Conclusion:- LCD have been present for a long time in the industry. Yes it's true your calculators, digital wristwatches, microwave timers etc all had an LCD, almost all of the TVs are LCD (just with different backlighting systems). Even though they are efficient, natural looking and cost effective. Soon this all is changing. Future is moving towards bendable, flexible displays which can be worn on (Samsung Galaxy Gear S). And when this goes mainstream surely the future less with AMOLED displays.

Let me know which display you like more and why down in the comments below.