April 17, 2015

Galaxy S6 has the Edge

Filed under: News — csadm @ 1:50 am

Samsung has been under considerable pressure to produce something exceptional with its new Galaxy S6 and up-market S6 Edge.

The pressure is not only coming from Apple’s iPhone 6 at the top end, but also from a number of decent low-cost rivals from China in the form of Lenovo, Xiaomi and Huawei.

To compete with Apple and stay ahead of the hungry pack, Samsung has had to progressively develop its product and has now done so almost completely from scratch, replacing key members of its design team to make sure it created a standout phone.

To give you an idea of the size of the market world-wide, last year Samsung sold 10 million Galaxy S5s in 25 days, while Apple sold 9 million of two new iPhone models in one-eighth of the time.

Samsung is now claiming to have pre-orders of 20 million of the new Galaxy S6 after it was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress on March 1. The Korean Times newspaper has reported that fifteen million Galaxy S6 units and five million Galaxy S6 Edge units have been pre-ordered by mobile carriers across the world.

Samsung is also claiming that the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are “two of the most beautiful smartphones ever.”

The S6 design is bold and fresh. Gone is the usual plastic cover in favor of a stunning matte aluminum alloy frame with Gorilla Glass 4 on the front and back.

Both the S6 and S6 Edge come in a few colors – platinum gold, sapphire black and white pearl – with a couple of other new colors in topaz blue and emerald green in the Edge.

The rear surface is incredibly reflective, flashing color and throwing back light which Samsung says adds depth and warmth.

The front of the Galaxy S6 is dominated by a 5.1 inch screen and the overall feel is compact and elegant with rounded top and bottom.

Samsung has always had brilliant screen technology and the S6 goes a step further. The Super AMOLED display offers clear, crisp whites against pure blacks. The 5.1 inch display has more pixels than ever before, which means it’s the sharpest display in the market with 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and a density of 577 pixels per inch.

The power button and nano-SIM card slot are located on the right spine. A micro-USB charging port and headset jack are on the bottom of the device, and the left spine houses separate up and down buttons, just like the iPhone 6.

The central, metal-ringed home button is magic. Double-tap it and the camera is launched at any time. Samsung has also improved the fingerprint scanner, which you can use to securely unlock the phone. Instead of dragging your finger across the sensor, you now just rest it on the home button. The sensor is amazingly accurate and a light touch is all that is needed to open the phone.

On the back of the Galaxy S6 is the 16-megapixel camera, which juts out slightly from the camera. The camera includes optical image stabilization which should help smooth out shaky hand shots. You can also take selfies with this camera.

On the front, Samsung installs a 5-megapixel camera for wide-angle selfies. As with the Samsung Note 4 you can take a selfie by tapping the sensor on the back of the phone.

The Galaxy S6 feels fluid and thin, and the S6 Edge feels thinner again and is slightly lighter than the S6. Thinness has been achieved by having a battery that is sealed in the device, which is a big change for Samsung which has been a die-hard defendant of the removable battery, until now.

The beauty of the Galaxy S6 has also been brought inside with a user interface that is a decluttered take on Android 5.0 Lollipop, and the layout is simpler without shedding all the software that Samsung has built over the years.

The set-up process is much smoother, thanks to Lollipop, with tutorials to help you turn on features like S Voice and fingerprint scanning. As far as apps go, there are heaps of Google apps and services, and one for new partner Microsoft (this folder has Skype and One Drive for instance). As for pre-loaded apps a few Samsung programs remain, like Milk music and the popular S Health with a cleaner interface.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge also feature the ability to fast-charge the battery. Samsung claims you can watch 2 hours of HD video from just 10 minutes of charging. As well, both smartphones have a built-in wireless capability, although you will need to buy the wireless charging pad separately.

Prospective buyers of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will have the usual decisions to make which ultimately affect the final price – 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models. But for those that want a really unique-looking device that has been lauded as close to perfection by reviewers, check out the S6 Edge with its wrap-around screen.

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April 13, 2015

Fitbit – Wearable Bestie

Filed under: News — csadm @ 1:45 am

It’s Easter and over the next few days many of us will be eating and possibly drinking to excess, indulging in chocolate and then worrying about the excess kilos.

The reality is in Papua New Guinea this is not only a problem at Easter, it is with us all year round. Obesity and lifestyle-based diseases are rife in our country, causing a strain on the struggling health system and causing untold pain and suffering in families who have to cope with the loss of a loved one, in many cases the main breadwinner – and it all stems from unhealthy, unbalanced and inactive lifestyles.

There is now a simple and fun way to monitor your activity and level of fitness. Once you embrace the concept you will find yourself less hooked on junk food and an unbalanced, lazy lifestyle and more active, aware and conscious of your own well-being.


Fitbit Flex is a device that you wear on your wrist and it is the very definition of simplicity. On the actual device there are two components. One is a rubber/silicone strap that is fashionable, colorful and fun. It will be a good talking point among your circle of friends as you embrace your new active lifestyle.

The strap itself is extremely comfortable and lightweight. The device is water resistant and comes in a variety of colors.

Inside the strap is a small, black removable tracking device. The tracker remains hidden within the strap except when you tap it and then it lights up via five LED lights to tell you where you currently are in your daily activity cycle. Each of the five lights represents 20 percent of your target number of steps. When you reach your total goal…surprise! The band vibrates and the LEDs do a little happy dance to congratulate you.

The tracking device is removable as you need to recharge it once every one or two weeks via a USB connection to your PC or laptop. Recharging is very quick and you can monitor the progress of the recharge as the LED lights on the device let you know where it is in its recharge cycle. How cool is that? It helps you monitor your performance, and then when it’s recharging it lets you monitor its own performance. I have been wearing a Fitbit Flex for a few months now and it has become my high-tech best friend – it communicates with me, and congratulates me when I achieve my goals.

The tracker is a smart little piece of technology that is capable of monitoring your number of daily steps, your calorie burn, number of kilometers and the number of active minutes. You can also set yourself a diet plan and also monitor your sleep cycle. As the device is worn on your wrist, there are also a couple of other useful features like a silent vibrating alarm that will wake you from your sleep. The same vibe also lets you know once you achieve your daily goal.


The Fitbit Flex is also full of helpful tips to ensure you stay on the right path to fitness. It is recommended that in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle we should be doing the following:

From my own experience as a regular gym-goer, I found the Fitbit Flex gave me useful information that I used to improve the quality of my workout. The first thing I realized is that I needed to do more. I needed to be more active not only in the gym but also in the way I conduct my daily life.

So, instead of taking the elevator at work I started using the stairs more. I became less inclined to drive and more inclined to walk. And in the gym I realized I needed more time on the treadmill.

My peak exercise days were those when I did my usual gym routine but also my housework and grocery shopping. It’s amazing how many steps you take and how many calories you burn by doing simple things and making smarter, informed choices. Fitbit taught me that.

From my personal experience, I found the sleep tracker useful in giving me an understanding of my sleep pattern. It is certainly not the solution for insomnia as recent studies have shown that obsessing about sleep is likely to make the problem worse. Fitbit Flex does however provide a fascinating insight into your sleep pattern, by identifying periods of uninterrupted sleep, restlessness and waking. Once you have a basic understanding of sleep patterns then there is little point for continuous monitoring or obsessing.


Fitbit comes with a PC interface and also a very cool mobile app. Like the Flex itself the app is clean and simple. The interface dashboard gives you statistics and graphic representations of your performance. The wrist device talks with your mobile phone via Bluetooth. Within seconds your data is transferred to the app. You can then swipe and check your current performance and compare it with previous days, weeks and months. Lots of stars, smiley faces and words like “Champ!” and “Nailed it!” appear when you are reaching your goals.

A cute feature of Fitbit is that it will send email messages to your mobile phone congratulating you on reaching your targets, sending you badges and awards, providing weekly progress reports and letting you know if and when the battery needs recharging.

If you are so inclined, you can set up other family members and/or friends and compete with them. However as someone who has kept a healthy lifestyle balance over many years, I can only leave you with this piece of advice. Your personal health is your own responsibility. What you do, how you exercise, what you eat and drink is entirely your own choice. The strength to make a change, if you need to, must come from within.

In this regard, to become more active in life really is an individual lifestyle choice and your personal Fitbit Flex may indeed be the one and only best friend you ever had.

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