Apple-Samsung Smartphone Slugfest Phablet Style

SAMSUNG GETS SNIPPY WITH NOTE 4 VIDEO DISS

Okay people I'm back. I've been out-of-pocket lately, on blogging vacation. But with the recent developments on the tech forefront, I think this is a good time to chime back in.

Transient

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch has passed, and phones will start shipping within the next few weeks to anxious customers. While the iPhone 6 Plus breaks "new ground", Samsung has taken the opportunity to make a snarky video about Apple's sudden change in design.

It is truly ironic to see what has transpired, truthfully. Looking back over the last handful of years, we have seen Apple make multiple accusations against Samsung for stealing their designs. At that same time, the Apple execs swore that a smartphone bigger than 3.5" was entirely stupid, and it was something you would never ever see their beloved company produce.

Fast forward to the highly anticipated iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with their massive 4.7" and 5.5" diagonal displays, and it makes me sit rubbing my head wondering what just happened. Apparently, I'm not the only one who wonders what happened in Cuppertino. Maybe they all inhaled, or drank their own Kool-Aid.

How in the world could the same company who accused Samsung of blatant copyright infringement turn an about-face and produce a phone which is in the form of the Galaxy Note without a stylus? Especially after swearing off phablets and larger-screened smartphones?

Samsung released a very sarcastic video that sums it all up. But what I am left wondering is whether or not Samsung will quickly blow the whistle and sue the pants off of their hypocritical chief competitor much in the same way that was done to them.

Only time will tell.

As far as I'm concerned, I'll stick with my Apple iPad Retina Mini for all my iOS needs, but I'll take a pass on the iPhone 6 Plus and stick with the Galaxy Note line and move from the 3 to the 4 when it is released.

I'll let the hypocrites OOPS I mean Apple Enthusiasts have their feeding frenzy with the stylus-less iPhone 6 Plus that they swore off before Apple lost its mind and followed the leader on phablet phorm phactors.

Carlton Flowers
THE GADGET GURU

Samsung Galaxy S4 S-Pen Inside Scoop - New Clue?

NEW INVESTMENT COULD MEAN S PEN STYLUS FOR GALAXY S IV

A fresh new development could spell "S Pen" for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S IV smartphone. Evidently, Samsung has invested $58.9 million in Wacom. This is the company who supplies the S Pen stylus found in the Galaxy Note series.

Does Samsung owning a 5% stake in Wacom mean that they believe the stylus will become the defacto user interface tool for all smartphones and tablets, or does it simply mean they are tightening up the future supply for the Note series?

I have flip-flopped on this issue at least 3 times now. First, I truly believed there would be a stylus with the Galaxy S IV. Then I truly believed they would not, due to the thinness issue and the fact that the Galaxy S4 would directly compete with the Note II and make it obsolete. But now my faith in the S Pen for the SGS4 has come back again.

I don't see Samsung plopping down this much cash just to support 2 devices in their lineup. This is the kind of investment that tells us the stylus is the future of their front line products. Maybe this is the kind of cash Wacom needed for research & development purposes to provide a thinner stylus for the SGS4.

Looking at the trends, we pretty much saw the stylus die back in the ending days of the Palm Treo. Nobody would have ever predicted a comeback after the induction capacitive screens were invented. But Samsung pulled it off with the first generation Note.

Maybe the stylus never died, spiritually. Maybe the hordes of "precision-minded smartphone users" like myself never really disappeared. I was one of the faithful stylus-toting Treo users, and I've missed the accuray of a stylus ever since those days.

Could it be that fat-fingering and screen-finger-buttering is the trend that might be coming to a close? I think it could be. As smartphones become more and more capable, the demand for pinpoint accuracy will only grow, in my opinion.

So, let it be known that I am officially waffling. Again. My current position on this issue stands upon the inclusion of the S Pen stylus for the Samsung Galaxy S IV breakthrough device coming to shelves in the near future.

I just hope I'm not wrong... because my hopes are up again.

Carlton Flowers
Stylus Mogul

Samsung Galaxy S VI Announcement Near! New S Pen Prediction

"SAMSUNG UNPACKED" EVENT IS SLATED - WILL WE SEE AN S PEN?

It's officially official! The next "Samsung Unpacked" event is scheduled for March 14th, 2013 for the unveiling of the wildly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S IV smartphone, to be held in New York City. That said, what is the status on inclusion of an S Pen?

By now, you all know that the magical S Pen sits on the forefront of my mind. I am more interested in this feature than any other. Up until now, the prognosticators have been waffling on this issue more than Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential election.

As much as I want to have slightly-smaller-yet-more-powerful version of the Samsung Galaxy Note II with an equally capable S Pen stylus, I don't think it will come to fruition with the Galaxy S IV. There are two overwhelming reasons why I now believe the "no-S-Pen" predictors are calling this one correctly.

First, the inclusion of an S Pen would make the Galaxy S IV compete directly with the Note II, a phablet device that is still selling strong and not yet willing to be driven into obsolescence. Previously, I wishfully thought that the S Pen would become the new standard for all Galaxy handsets and tablets. But it doesn't appear that this is the direction the company is moving.

Even though Samsung likes to whip out updated devices faster than you can blink your eyes, they aren't going to kill the insanely popular Galaxy Note II this far ahead of the future third generation edition of the Note. We don't even have any fresh or credible rumors on the follow-up at this point. That makes me tend to believe that they are still going to ride out the popularity of the Note II and maximize their return on investment before killing it dead.

Second, I hate to admit it, but the addition of an S Pen stylus to the Galaxy S IV smartphone will add unnecessary extra thickness to a device that they might be trying to "thin out". If an S Pen was included similar to what we have with the Note II, the device would have to be about 9.1mm in thickness to house it inside of the case.

Everyone knows that the race is on to make the most paper-thin smartphone on the market. In my opinion, this is not practical, and it provides no advantage. How slim do we need a smartphone to be before we stop the maddening race-to-paper-thinness? I think it has gone too far. But the smarphone manufacturers don't seem to agree with me.

Therefore, with thinness being the call of the day, I seriously don't see Samsung switching from selling a super slim sliver of a smartphone to make a fatter S Pen-packing phablet just for the stylus nerds like myself. Sad as it seems, this is the reality of the situation. My Galaxy IV S Pen dreams will likely be dashed on March 14th, 2013.

That begs the question... will I still desire a stylus-less Galaxy S4 device? Possibly. Here's why.

If they diss the stylus nerds and leave out the S Pen on the S4, they will more than likely include touchless gestures for scrolling and selecting. This would liberate the user from gunking up the screen while manipulating the device. It is an exciting and welcomed feature. Not exactly a replacement for a stylus, but a nice concession.

If Samsung figures out a way to bring the multitasking, window-floating, and video preview features without the aid of an S Pen, it might be just as good of an experience as with the Galaxy Note II. And the obvious benefit would be that you could have the same powerful features without a stylus to misplace.

I would say that a Galaxy S IV without an S Pen would probably be used more like a smartphone and less like a phablet. Maybe this would be Samsung's slick way to force me into considering the Galaxy Note 8... and spend more of the money I already don't have.

Oh well.

Carlton Flowers
S Pen Enthusiast

 

 

Samsung Galaxy 4S Information - Hot Off The Press!

THE SAMSUNG GALAXY 4S AND WHY THERE IS NEWS

You either reached this site because you are an avid, rabid Carlton Zone Blog fan, or you were searching for the Samsung Galaxy 4S in vein. But lucky for you, this site is the only "legitimate" search result for the 300,000 people looking for this non-existent phone each and every month.

It's halfway comical, and also half marketing success story on behalf of Apple. While you searchers were really wanting to find more information on the up-and-coming Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, you mindlessly used Apple's crusty old nomenclature for their boring 5th generation device.

When I see "4S" coupled with "Samsung Galaxy", it makes me cringe. Why? Because it dredges up the frustrating, painful memories that I have stuck in my mind from the days of owning an iPhone 4.

Fortunately for me, I was liberated on October 24th, 2012 when I purchased my Samsung Galaxy S2, which I now own and love.

But back to the topic at hand... hats off to Apple for brainwashing at least 300,000 people per month and causing them to mindlessly search for the vaporware device listed in the title. My bet is that the searchers are current cult members who are trying to escape the stronghold Apple has on their minds.

Fear not, brainwashed Apple refugees, for you have not actually found this site in vein. You have reached the promised land of Android, and I will lead you to the light. Crank back a few stories and start to read what I have provided about the rumors surrounding your smartphone savior, the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Carlton Flowers
Smartphone Prophet

GET THE BEST DEALS ON SMARTPHONES AT AMAZON WIRELESS!

Click the link now to shop at Amazon Wireless for the best smartphone deals in the nation, on all major carriers!

You'll be surprised when you see how much you can save on a new smartphone with a 2-year contract over what you'll pay at your local carrier retail location!

Hit the link above or click on the picture and jump to the Amazon Wireless Store, and help support the Carlton Zone Blog site!

3 Stupid-Simple Things Keeping Me From The iPhone

THE 3 SLAP-YOUR-HEAD SIMPLE THINGS APPLE REFUSES TO GIVE ME

It has been a year and a quarter since I defected from the Walled Garden of Apple. I traded in my iPhone 4 to get a Samsung Galaxy S2, which I'm still using.

I've got a backup iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 4th Gen for WiFi use, but Android is my main operating environment experience.

If I counted everything, there would be quite a laundry list of things that Apple seems to refuse to give me to make me happy (it's all about me).

But looking back, I would have stayed if I could just get three stupid-simple things. I'll share them with you now.

Thing 1 - A Back Button

When running an app that doesn't have an on-screen back button, the only thing you can do to go back a step is to hit the home button and re-enter the app. To me, that is a huge waste of time, even though it only takes a moment. But how simple is the solution?

I love my back button on my Android device, and now I can't live without it. I constantly use the back button to backtrack though my screen taps, especially on Facebook. No on-screen back button on the app? No problem. I have my Android soft button always there waiting for me to give the command to "back that thang up".

Thing 2 - Text Reflow

This is the most maddening of all things that Apple had deprived me of. It's quite possibly one of my most favorite features of Android devies. But for whatever reason, Apple prefers to remain hard-headed about this, turning a deaf ear to the many inquiries about adding this capability to the Safari browser.

When I'm using Opera on my Android device, I can zoon in on text to make it bigger. My browser will re-flow the text, wrapping it downward so all I have to do is scroll down to read. With my old trusty iPhone, I get to pan sideways to read sentences that fly off the right side when you zoom in. I'd rather bang my head up against a brick wall than pan side to side trying to read an article on a smartphone.

Thing 3 - Keyboard Choices

Even though I absolutely love the perfect layout of the iPhone's keyboard, I want variety. Apple has no plans to provide that, when it comes to text input. Don't hold your breath waiting for cool things like Swype for an iPhone. Because it ain't gonna happen.

When I'm on my Android device, I switch from my iPhone Clone keyboard to Swype, then Swiftkey, and more. Once I burn out on a particular keyboard and layout, I  can move to a completely different keyboard that allows me to keep my mind fresh.

I have found my time period to get sick of a particular keyboard is about a week. After that, I have to move to a different style of keyboard to freshen my mind and cut down on typos. It's completely a mental thing, but I seriously enjoy the choices for text entry on Android devices.

So there you have it. Sure, there are 10 or 15 more things I could drone on about. But these three stupid simple things would have been enough for me to tolerate the balance of other things I would have had to give up hope on.

How do you feel about your iDevice? Have you ever thought about these issues? Are you secretly desiring these things, hoping that Apple will some day bend? Or does it not cause you to lose a single minute of sleep? Toss your opinion into the hat in the Disqus comments section!

Carlton Flowers
Spurned/Burned Apple Fanboy

 

Samsung Galaxy Note II Is Dead - Enter Note III, Fonblet, S IV

NEW SAMSUNG DEVICES COULD MOTHBALL THE NOTE II

Just a couple of months ago, I told you all that my next upgrade would definitely be the Samsung Galaxy Note II. This was my firm decision after a wonderful 2-week test period of this device from AT&T. Scrap that. Everything has changed.

We all know that in the world of Android and Samsung, devices remain "cutting edge" for about a month before they are kicked to the side and shown up by new devices. It appears that this will be the story with the Samsung Galaxy Note II. It's already old hat.

My upgrade is not due until May of 2013. By then, I seriously doubt I'll be purchasing a Samsung Galaxy Note II on contract. I'll either be getting a Galaxy S IV or some new yet-to-be-revealed device.

The decision will be rather easy if Samsung includes an S Pen with the Galaxy S IV, plus at least a 4.9" display. I would love to have a jumbo phone that is slightly smaller than the "phablet" Galaxy Note II. So this would do the trick.

The Galaxy S IV will also be packing some serious power, and could sport the new unbreakable AMOLED display. If that happens, it's an easy call. But if we don't get an S Pen with it, I will fall back to the Galaxy Note II.

But that decision won't be easy either, thanks to the fresh new rumors of a Galaxy Note III, and the supposed "Samsung Fonblet". The Note III is rumored to have a larger display than the current Note II, and the "Fonblet" is also rumored to be a jumbo device. Both have been said to have sizes ranging from 5.5" all the way to 6.3".

The engine inside the Note III and the Fonblet could be anywhere from quad core to eight core. I tend not to believe the latter. Whatever the cpu ends up being, we probably won't get to see such a device until the fall of 2013.

So as it stands, it is looking like I could be landing a Samsung Galaxy S IV this May with quad core power and a possible 5" display and S Pen. But your guess is as good as mine as to what we will really see. All I know is that I won't be able to wait much longer than May to pull the trigger on something.

Stay with me. And chime in with your thoughts.

Carlton Flowers
Fonblet/Phablet Futurist

CHECK OUT CELL PHONE ACCESSORIES NOW AT AMAZON.COM!

Get everything you need for your smartphone at a super discounted price through Amazon in the Cell Phone Accessories section! Save upwards of 50% over what you pay at retail carrier outlets!

Craptastic Samsung Galaxy S3 Reports - Debunking "HUB" Writers

ARE TECH WRITERS SUFFERING FROM "HUB" ON GALAXY S3 CRITICISM?

Today marks Day 4 of my test for the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone from AT&T. I'm not even ready to start my official report of this phone, but I have to rant... about the crappy reports circulating around the blogosphere about this great device.

What in the world is wrong with the tech writers out there who are seriously dissing this phone? Are they using the same device that is in my hot hands? I have come to the conclusion that the critics of the SGS3 are suffering from "HUB"... that's "Head-Up-Butt" disease.

I'm sorry to say that, but the only way that I can conceivably think that someone wouldn't like this amazing smartphone is if their heads were secured in a warm, moist place. That is because this is the single most incredible gadget I have ever tinkered with.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has gone beyond my expectations. Maybe that is due to the fact that so many writers dogged it, and didn't give me a chance to avoid preconceived notions. But it clearly gets the "best-of-show" for every smartphone I have tested this year. Or ever.

First of all, the design is beautiful and ergonomic. When I first saw pictures, I did not like it. I thought it was a mistake for Samsung to go away from the square, angular design of the Galaxy S2. I thought the rounded corners made the phone "weak" looking. But I was wrong.

The Galaxy S3 feels like a work of art in my hands, compared to the feeling of the squared-off Galaxy S2. Yes, the Galaxy S2 does feel 100% better than the archaic iPhone 4 with its hard edges and brick-like structure, but the SGS2 will never feel the same way for me.

I seriously did not think the design would end up being so lovely to the touch. But it is. Even the edges of the screen are rounded and contoured into the side of the phone, much like the HTC One X. It just gives it such a natural feel.

The physical home button is a grand slam. I love it. I miss not having a real home button on my SGS2. That is one thing I did like about my iPhones (besides the fact that they stopped functioning after 6 months). I think the design of the SGS3 home button will afford it long-lived usage.

What I really don't understand would be all the whining from writers about the Samsung Galaxy S3 feeling "cheap" and "plasticky". What in the world motivates people to think this? Since when do you need a phone to feel like a heavy brick? Do we want a solid, shatter-crazy design like the iPhone 4S? I think not!

The weight and feel of the Galaxy S3 is perfect, in my opinion. For me, lighter is better. If I wanted a heavy phone I would have bought an HTC device. I will be just fine sticking with the Samsung line of smartphones that do not feel like lead weights in my pocket.

As I mentioned, I am nowhere near ready to start to talk about the functionality of this smartphone, but I will tell you that I have been completely flabbergasted. I have not scratched the surface of what this phone can do, but it has amazed me thus far.

With the level of success in sales that the Galaxy S3 has already achieved, it just makes me wonder what the real motivation for slamming this device must be. Are these people trolls? Or are they just suffering a bad case of HUB disease?

I don't know... but if you'll stick with me for about a week, you will get the REAL review of this most amazing device withought any fluff or crap. See ya then.

Carlton Flowers
The Real Galaxy S3 Reviewer

Best Android Phone Deals - Samsung Galaxy S2 Price Drop!

AMAZON WIRELESS DROPS PRICE ON GALAXY S2 PHONE

By now you know that the Samsung Galaxy S2 smartpone is one of my favorite Android devices, and it's one that all of the members of my family own. I purchased my own Galaxy S2 the month it was released, and I also purchased two additional S2's for my college "kids".

My wife has a Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket, which was released only a month after I purchased my Galaxy S2 smartphones. But the SGS2 is still a great deal, especially with the price dropping action going on at Amazon Wireless!

You'll get 16 gigabytes of storage, a gorgeous 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus display, a fantastic 8Mp rear camera, a 1.3Mp front-facing camera, HD video capability, fast HSPA+ 4G download speeds on the AT&T Network, and a whole lot more with this steal of a deal smartphone.

Go check out the Galaxy S2 right now on the Amazon Wireless store if you are in the market for a great smartphone at an extremely low price. I will always keep you posted when great deals break over on Amazon when it comes to the best Android devices on the market. Enjoy!

Carlton Flowers
Android Watchdog

GET THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S2 NOW FOR AS LOW AS $19.99 ON AMAZON!

Samsung Galaxy S3 - Seriously Exciting Features!

GALAXY S3 HAS AMAZING FEATURES IN STORE FOR SMARTPHONE SEEKERS

We're a few months away from the release of Samsung's next flagship device, the Galaxy S3. We're not sure at this point what the official name will be, but the hardware details on this phone are clear.

We've talked about the amazing display on this device, but let's focus on a few other things that have me chewing my fingernails in anticipation!

Wireless Charging

You'll be able to charge your Samsung Galaxy S3 without a cord. Instead, you'll be using a charging pad that utilizes magnetic resonance, or "inductive charging", to recharge the battery. Just set it on the pad, and the charging starts.

Lightweight Design

The Samsung Galaxy S3 will be sporting a huge 4.8" display, which all but blinds my eyes in comparison to the tiny 3.5" display found on the current iPhone 4S. But here's the "wow factor"... the S3 weighs in at 133 grams. The tiny iPhone 4S? A chubby 140 grams.

Smart Stay

One annoying thing about using smartphones that are in battery-saving auto dim mode is that the screen goes dim when you are trying to read something. The Galaxy S3 will use "Smart Stay" to keep the screen bright when it senses a user's hand near the screen, or the user's face. That's amazing.

S Beam

You'll be able to transfer files from one Galaxy S3 to another with the S Beam feature. It's like "Bump", but better. Just place the devices back-to-back, and you'll be able to transfer music, notes, pictures, or any type of file that is stored on your smartphone.

Tremendous Storage

The Galaxy S3 uses MicroSDXS storage card technogy. That means you'll be able to add a whopping 64 gigabytes of extra storage space to the phone if you so desire. Add that to the existing built-in memory of 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes, and you've got a lot of honking memory.

Best Photo

Your Galaxy S3 smartphone will be able to take 20 pictures in rapid fashion, then pick the best 8 for you to select from and save your favorite pics. Features like this truly gray the line inbetween high-end DSLR camera and smartphone camera.

Direct Call

Let's say you are having a text conversation with a friend. Just pick up your phone and place it on your ear. The Samsung Galaxy S3 will call that person automatically just from the gesture!

So that's a nice roundup of some of the things that really caught my attention with Samsung's newest Galaxy smartphone. I'm sure there will be more to come as details are unveiled, but this is enough to get my heart racing!

Are these new features cool enough to make you pull a couple hundred bucks out of your pocket for an upgrade this summer? Would you chose this smartphone over the next iPhone? Would you switch from an iPhone 4S to a Samsung Galaxy S2? Chime in, share your thoughts!

Carlton Flowers
Galaxy Gazer

 

Go shopping now and get great deals at Amazon Wireless!