The Galaxy Fold is putting Samsung, the world’s largest phone maker, in a very tight spot. Their newest innovation to a smartphone has apparently overwhelmed the company with problematic issues that forced them to delay production indefinitely.
If you can recall, we’ve made an initial review on the Samsung Galaxy Fold and other smartphones with the foldable feature during the Mobile World Congress 2019 back in February. Now that Samsung is facing issues over its awaited Galaxy Fold, we can conclude, for now, that we weren’t wrong after all.
During the MWC, it was evident that Samsung was in the lead with the foldable phones race when they gave their first look to the public. However, people weren’t able to try out the seemingly innovative phone mainly because it was just a teaser on how the Galaxy Fold would look like and it was still evening out the edges (literally and figuratively) during the Congress.
Today, Samsung has delayed the release of their Galaxy Fold for over 21 days since the telecommunications company announced to put their supposedly groundbreaking smartphone in stores last April 22.
The first set of Galaxy Fold phones that Samsung released for initial reviews have encountered problems like the screen breaking, performance issues as well as drawbacks on its hardware.
Several journalists and phone reviewers have given mixed reviews regarding the phone’s performance, but there was a significant number of them that reports about the Galaxy Fold’s screen– a fundamental factor with the whole foldable innovation.
Here are some tweets from Galaxy Fold reviewers:
Samsung has unfortunately failed to inform reviewers that the Galaxy Fold comes with a layer of protective film that would appear like a screen protector that should not be removed where Mark Gurnam from Bloomberg and Marques Brownlee noted that removing would affect the device’s performance.
Misinforming review units about the protective layer wasn’t the only issue regarding the Galaxy Fold; one of the prevalent problems was regarding its performance. Notably, every time the phone was folded the screen flickered and, at times, lagged.
Although, Samsung claims that their phone was tested vigorously and promised that the Galaxy Fold would be able to withstand 200,000 folds in its lifetime or an approximate of 100 folds a day for five years. But the reviews regarding performance issues were made just days upon receiving the device, not entirely sure how it will withstand another five years or less.
Secondly, there were also reports about the Galaxy Fold’s durability. Specifically, the screen has problems itself. The Verge reports that the crease at the middle of the screen is undeniably a nuisance and it’s definitely there; you can see and feel it as you brush your finger across. But the biggest issue, which at the same time makes the technology available, is the fact that the screen is made out of plastic. “It isn’t as smooth as glass, and it’s nowhere near as hard. My second review unit has a little “dimple” in one spot, and in just a couple days of use, it has picked up a half-dozen little nicks.”
Third, it’s bulky and quite frankly, a foldable tablet. It is true that the main idea behind foldable phones is carried by the capability to maximize screen space while not sacrificing space but the Samsung Galaxy Fold is simply too bulky when folded. It’s no different than having 2 large phones in your pocket.
Lastly, it’s meant to sell at $1,980. If Samsung didn’t delay the launch, it would be the most expensive smartphone in the market but with all the problems put forward, we don’t think spending almost two thousand dollars would be a great investment.
As we have said, the new foldable feature in coming smartphones come more like a gimmick over a groundbreaking innovation in the world of mobile devices, mainly to drive more attention on to brands, therefore, more sales but it would also be fair to give Samsung the benefit of the doubt until they finally make an announcement and address the issues aforementioned.
As of the moment, there’s no concrete date to when Samsung plans to resume their release of the foldable phone but Samsung CEO DJ Koh told The Korea Herald “[Samsung] has reviewed the defect caused from substances [that entered the device] and we will reach a conclusion in a couple of days. We will not be too late.”
Based on the report, Samsung may have an announcement before the end of May.
Faceoff: AirPods 2 vs. Galaxy Buds
Tech enthusiasts once frowned to Apple’s idea of releasing wireless earphones. It’s futuristic, yet strange. Undoubtedly, the idea behind the technology steps out from the conventional ways of how we use the accessory. From long and dangly cords to Bluetooth-powered and cordless earphones, the massive change from traditional to modern phase quickly contributed to the growing popularity of the product, leading to becoming more than just an accessory, but a status symbol.
Apple’s AirPods’ success was a significant game changer. This success prompted various brands to join the bandwagon and make their versions of the wireless buds to compete with the AirPods’ fast-growing market. And, with the numbers exponentially increasing, the best way to mitigate is to compete with features.
Samsung, one of the most looked forward brand to compete with Apple, dropped its version known as the Galaxy Buds, and people are torn. Instead of casually heading to an Apple store, consumers found themselves on a crossroad as to what wireless bud should they opt to purchase.
And, if you’re one of those consumers that are undecided whether or not you’ll go with the Apple AirPods or the Samsung Galaxy Buds, we’re here to help you narrow down your doubts and provide pieces of information that you might need before making that purchase.
Before we dive into the specifics, let’s talk about how much a pair of wireless earphones will cost you. First of all, we call them a status symbol for a reason. They are definitely up on the price ladder.
Apple’s AirPods costs $160 a pair. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds will cost less at $130. There’s hardly any difference, other than the $30 of course.
When it comes to appearance, there’s an immediate difference. First thing is the container or the charging port.
While Apple followed the standard size of a dental floss box, Samsung’s come in the form of a huge pill, mainly due to the size of the buds themselves.
The AirPods packaging appears like the regular earphones you get when you purchase an iPhone. It is precisely the same when you cut all the wires that come with it.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Buds come in the form of smaller and more compact earbuds.
Because of this, while you can fully insert the Galaxy Buds into your ear, the AirPods rather makes a very observable device when worn.
Moreover, while the AirPods only comes in white, the Galaxy Buds offers three colors: White, Black, and Yellow.
In actual wear, there’s also a very notable difference between the two.
The Galaxy Buds have a tighter more secure fit. It’s something that you can definitely feel you’re when wearing them.
Moreover, the Galaxy Buds come with three different interchangeable earpieces where you can customize to adjust to the level of comfort you would choose when wearing them.
Meanwhile, the AirPods come in a standard piece of hardware, which have caused several concerns regarding how they are placed on the ear. Apparently, some people don’t have the right ear structure to support the device thus making them fall off easy entirely.
However, AirPods is exactly what it is called. They have a more loose and lighter feel when they’re on your ears. They are incredibly light, which oftentimes, makes you forget your actually wearing one.
Overall, if you have the right ear structure, the AirPods win this round just because they are more easy on the ears.
The set-up for both devices is extremely easy and basic. For both, opening the device will trigger a notification on your phone to prompt them to connect. After that, you’re all set to go.
But, there are some boxes you need to tick to allow connection with your smartphone on the Galaxy Buds. It’s an added security feature that’s known across Samsung devices.
Apple only allows like-devices to connect via Bluetooth, so it’s apparent why there are no further security features like so that is needed to be included.
Both Bluetooth devices will connect across different devices; Galaxy Buds to iPhone or AirPods to Samsung, and vice versa.
In terms of what you can do with both, the Galaxy Buds comes with an entire app dedicated to it. There, you can create manual configurations on how you want the device to perform. You can adjust the volume, sound mixer, and acoustics, as well as, other settings on how you want to happen if you click and hold.
The smartphone application is a feature that you don’t have with the AirPods.
Meanwhile, both devices do allow functionality by tapping, double-tapping, and for Samsung, triple-tapping the earbuds. What happens is determined in the app, for Samsung, and on the iPhone Bluetooth settings, for the AirPods.
With the Galaxy Buds app, you can configure the device in a couple of ways, the AirPods will only allow you to decide whether Siri, Next Song, etc… when you double tap.
Lastly, both devices can charge wirelessly through a charging mat. Ironically, the AirPods 2 will charge on top of a Samsung phone.
Based on auditory performance, both devices work great. You can listen to music and listen to phone calls with good quality.
However, there are some things that both devices differ from, and one of them is based on how they are made and worn.
The Galaxy Buds allows more bass and sound to enter your ears because it’s more confined in terms of how they are placed. It has better sound isolation compared to the AirPods that’s more lightly placed.
Moreover, there’s an ambiance regulating feature in the Galaxy Buds that allows it to magnify surrounding noise like a car honking behind you or people talking. Although it’s a great feature, it still needs those ambient noises to be functional.
On the other hand, the AirPods receives sound better. You can normally talk to someone over the phone,
And, another feature about the AirPods is it incorporates fully into the Apple ecosystem. Meaning, you can connect your AirPods across your various Apple devices under the same Apple ID. A feature, which the Galaxy Buds doesn’t have. You will need to disconnect and manually connect when you’re going to use it with different devices.
Overall, it’s a hard decision to choose between a Samsung and an Apple. They are both pretty nifty devices but it will depend on your personal taste.
The AirPods, in all honesty, comes with great marketing elevating it to become a status symbol. That is, of course, aside from getting a device that functions well and wears comfortably.
However, if you’re more concerned about the sound quality and how you can maximize the device, the Galaxy Buds will allow you to do that with the added smartphone application.
But it’s still a mix and match, so we can’t really decide for you. Who knows, maybe it’s the $30 difference.
The Race Of Smartwatches: Apple Leads, Samsung And Fitbit Coming Close.
Apple’s Apple Watch Series still takes first place on the market for smartwatches with a total of 51% global market share, but Samsung’s catching up overtaking Fitbit and Garmin.
The market for smartwatches increased an impressive 56% annual from 11.6 million units in Q4 2017 to a record 18.2 million in Q4 2018.
Last year’s Apple Watch Series 4 refined Apple’s wearable formula to deliver on its original vision. However, it was not able to retain all of its market shares as other brands are focusing their attention to the smartwatch market.
Despite Apple’s drop in market share, it is still selling more smartwatches than ever before. Apple’s shipments increased by 1.4 million units compared to the same quarter in the previous year, for a total of 9.2 million units shipped in Q4 2018.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch felt like a fresh start for the brand even if its execution was lacking. Meanwhile, Fitbit released the Versa, a cheaper second generation smartwatch that improved on a lot of the original’s problems.
“Samsung shipped 2.4 million smartwatches worldwide and captured 13 percent global smartwatch market share in Q4 2018, rising strongly from 5 percent market share a year ago. Samsung is once again the world’s second largest smartwatch brand. Its new Galaxy Watch proved popular in North America and Asia. Samsung has a good pipeline of new models for 2019, such as the innovative Galaxy Watch Active with blood-pressure tracking, and Samsung should perform well this year,” said Steven Waltzer an Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Fitbit captured 13 percent global smartwatch market share in Q4 2018, tripling from 4 percent in Q4 2017. Fitbit is becoming established as a top-tier smartwatch brand. Fitbit is very popular in the United States market. Fitbit’s Versa smartwatches are gaining mass-appeal, and its new Fitbit Care connected health platform is a useful differentiator for the brand.”
Samsung and Fitbit’s growth has caused Apple’s share of the smartwatch market to drop by over 15 percent over the same period, even if it still dominates with control of over half the market. The numbers paint a healthy picture for the global smartwatch market, which overall grew by 56 percent annually, according to a report by Business Wire.
Overall, Steven Waltzer, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartwatch shipments hit an all-time high of 45.0 million units in full-year 2018. Smartwatch growth is soaring, as consumers seek to accessorize their smartphones and bring digital connectivity to their wrists.”
“Combined together, Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin are the big four players, accounting for 8 in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide,” said Mawtson.
Samsung To Run New Smartphones With New ‘One UI’ Software
Smartphones have without a doubt taken over the world. Well, who wouldn’t want a tool that would let you do most of the things that you need to do for the day; talk to your family and friends, email your boss, play games, document your life, manage your business, etc. That is the reason why many new smartphone companies have capitalized on being the best. They sell the idea of having everything done and connect possibilities with just a touch.
One of the frontrunners, of course, is Samsung, which has dramatically competed with Apple in the last decade, improving every feature and gimmick that they present, and broadening their product portfolio – that caters to both high end and low-end markets. But, as a smartphone user, there is one thing that makes or breaks a brand, its operating system
For the last decade, Samsung has been criticized for not being able to make great software. You know, the one that really stands out. But, not until this time since Samsung is about to release their own UI called “One UI.”
As the smartphone giant is set to unveil a series of new smartphones tomorrow, including the widely leaked Galaxy S10 series, the brand announced that all of them would be running the new “One UI” software, which is built on top of Android 9 Pie.
Many reviews of the new Samsung ‘One UI’ has so many good things to say about the new software. According to a review made by The Verge, the One UI software has four key parts:
- Since it is an update to Android 9 Pie, users will get a lot of small features for free.
- The look has been updated as it sports a cleaner and more pleasing aesthetic.
- There are millions of hidden features in every corner of the OS, including the “dark mode.”
- Lastly, big and giant header text inside apps.
“Others will remind people of the bad old days of TouchWiz. But, overall Samsung is doing a better job of surfacing them progressively as you use the phone, instead of asking you to wade through arcane and opaquely named settings screens in the first 15 minutes of using the phone.” The Verge wrote.
“When you open up an app like Messages or Settings you’ll see the name of the app in a field of white (or black, in dark mode) that takes up the entire top half of the screen. When you scroll, though, the giant header shrinks down, and you have a full screen of content.”
The new bigger header text is not just an aesthetic choice, The Verge argues. “The idea is that it makes it easier for your thumb to actually reach the thing you want because it’s pushed down to the bottom half of the screen. Our phones are so big, the thinking goes, that it’s better to toss away half the screen to a header and let us reach something quickly.”
However, as great features come with the new software, one thing concerns the users – as it is a Samsung software, there could be a possibility that it can not be udpated as much as people expect it to.
“I don’t think that’s necessarily a huge problem for security so long as it ships monthly security updates. But when the next big version of Android comes around, you’re much less likely to get it on the S10 being announced tomorrow than you are on a Google Pixel phone.” Dieter Bohn wrote for The Verge
But hey, that’s not a reason to dismiss this innovation. Besides, we are moving towards a more significant and brighter era of smartphones, and we should be able to embrace it happily! /apr
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