Posts Tagged ‘Samsung Galaxy S II’

 

The First Upgraded Phone Problem Surfaces!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwich is the new operating system on my Samsung Salaxy S2 cellphone. Sweet… or so I thought.

As soon as I went into my contacts to dial a number (Dial… there’s an old reference) the phone slowed to a crawl. Could it be the 12256 contacts imported!

I’m running a program to cleanse the contact list and reloading from a partial backup.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Who’s Going To Do This To A Perfectly Good Phone?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

I got a text yesterday. There’s new firmware for my Samsung Galaxy S2. As I type software is being downloaded to my PC to facilitate the upgrade. It’s the latest version of Android called Ice Cream Sandwich.

Other that geeks like me who’s going to do this to a perfectly good phone?

I’ve been working ten minutes already and it’s all been prep work on my PC. I haven’t touched the phone yet.

When it was finally time to connect, the PC’s software churned for a minute or so before popping an error message and asking me to reset an obscure command three menus deep in the phone!

Again, other that geeks like me who’s going to do this to a perfectly good phone?

It’s finally beginning. First though a few admonishments about disconnecting the phone and warning it would take 5 to 30 minutes. The process is slow. A mustard colored line is slowing expanding in a dialog box. I’m warned of disconnecting again.

No matter how well thought out these upgrades are I always worry they won’t work for me and I’ll be left with a brick! There is no reassurance that works while the device does stuff you can’t see.

After about ten minutes it was time for my phone to reboot. Uh oh. It now plays a little tune briefly during boot!

Everything seems normal, but I’m not as close to finished as I thought. It’s optimizing 176 applications one-by-one! I have no idea what that means, but it’s what the phone’s screen says.

Now the screen says, “upgrading contacts.” Good. I need a better class of friend. Maybe that’s not what it meant?

Installing applications.

This is taking forever.

Ta da!

It’s early, but right now the changes seem minor or superficial. It will take some exploration time before I know for sure what I did. Google, Samsung and AT&T all had a hand in bringing this update. But really, other that geeks like me who’s going to do this to a perfectly good phone?

The New Phone Revisited Again

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing about my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone. Bucking the trend I moved from Apple to Android. So far I’m pretty happy, but there are shortcomings.

Though the iPhone virtual keyboard was sometimes tough to wrangle the Android keyboard on this Samsung is worse! I’ve tried nearly everything and am still unhappy. Granted, my phone isn’t ever going to be a major writing tool, but it is used for emails and notes all the time.

This is a major fail. Android users I’ll take any suggestions.

As mentioned earlier I’ve started playing Words with Friends¹. The Android app from Zynga seems a giant battery/CPU drain. This is true as long as this app is on-screen, even if the screen has timed out and gone black.

Words with Friends has run through 150mb of data so far. For what? Is nothing cached? I’m missing something here. That sounds like an awful lot of up and downloading. Glad to be grandfathered with unlimited data, but still!

I like the Android Market and Amazon’s Appstore (something free every day). Compared to Apple’s iTunes Store the Android Market is very much like the Wild West! Anyone can put an app in no matter what’s in it!

You won’t find reviews like this for the iPhone as I did for an Android app tonight.

DO NOT UPDATE!!! Read everyone’s comments first. Lies in the description & changelog, Dangerous permission change!! Why is it suddenly asking for full network access. There is nothing in the change log which mentions that. This is called ‘bait and switch’ and is a classic conman tactic. There is a changelog for this sort of stuff, by hiding the changes the devs have shown themselves to be untrustworthy.

On the other hand there are a lot of clever apps that Apple would never allow.

There are strategies to keep from being burned with just a minimum of caution. I’m trying my best.

I am still thrilled I got this phone. Nothing’s perfect.

¹ – Please don’t ask. I’m overloaded already with friends, colleagues and relatives. I like the game, but need a life!

My Impressions On The New Phone

Friday, October 7th, 2011

This is the best phone I’ve ever used. How’s that for an open? The Samsung Galaxy S II isn’t without faults (beginning with its clunky name), but it is so pretty and fast that everything else is inconsequential.

It’s difficult to describe the screen in words. More blacks. More contrast. That’s the result of SUPER AMOLED technology.

The iPhone has greater resolution. I can’t paper over that. I haven’t yearned for additional screen real estate yet.

Everything is fluid and fast. You touch, it happens. You swipe, it keeps pace with your finger.

There are apps for the iPhone that aren’t available for Android phones like mine. The opposite is true too. The vast majority of what I want to do with a smartphone is already taken care of.

Android exposes more of the inner workings of the phone. For a geek like me it’s fun to see what the GPS is seeing, even if it’s worthless from a practical standpoint. There are lots of other small peepholes into the hardware.

The phone is a little larger than the iPhone. It easily fits in a shirt pocket and rides nicely in my pants pocket. The screen is Gorilla Glass and reasonably impervious to scratching.

When people pick it up that always comment about how light it is. It’s mostly sturdy, though I worry about the back cover over time. It’s very, very thin.

Smart phones suck batteries. I spent $12 and ordered two spares and a charger off eBay. The batteries are small and flat and easily carried.

A large problem with any new technology is you have to make choices before you understand your device. It was my intention to use the phone for a little while then wipe it clean and start again. That way I had a small idea before I downloaded and installed apps permanently.

The factory restore took ten minutes tops. Painless.

I was pleased to see we are served by 4G out here on Mount Carmel. I’ll still stick with WiFi when I’m home.

We have WiFi at work, but it’s very weak at my desk. Unfortunately as soon as you lock onto WiFi the phone disconnects you from the 4G network. That’s the bad news.

The good news is a program called Llama. It allows you to create profiles so your phone acts differently at different times and places. The phone knows to shut its ringer between 4:00 and 5:00 and again from 10:00 to 11:30, but only if I’m at work! It also knows to turn off WiFi at work. That’s a pretty neat trick.

The profiles changes can be triggered by a variety of things including nearby cell towers, GPS location, time of day, etc. That’s one feature Apple didn’t have.

Yesterday I took my friends Peter and Farrell on separate tours of the station using Skype and 4G connectivity. I walked up and down stairs and through the newsroom and studio.

There are tiny things wrong with the phone. I wanted to answer a text message with a video reply. Only the rear camera is enabled for that. Why?

I can’t seem to get Gmail, from the same company that built the operation system for the phone, to push emails to my phone as received. Instead the phone polls Gmail every ten minutes.

The menu structure is often non-intuitive, but there are so many menus because there’s so much you can customize. This complexity unlocks the phone’s power!

Is the Samsung Galaxy S II for everyone? Yes, if you want to play at least a little. If you’re going to use your phone as it came out of the box the iPhone might still be the right choice.

The New Phone In Action

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

I am a little boy at heart. I couldn’t wait to get home last night. My new cellphone, a Samsung Galaxy S II, was sitting waiting for me.

I opened the small box from Amazon. There was a smaller box inside. The packaging is still on my kitchen table nearly 20 hours later!

Remember when electronics came with voluminous instruction manuals? I’m showing my age, right? The Galaxy came with minimal detail, though there was a sticker telling me I’d need AT&T’s help in getting it turned on.

I spoke to a young woman in an undisclosed location (“for security reasons”). She was not a confidence builder as she worked her way through the script. The phone didn’t connect to the network right away, but after rebooting it was good to go.

Even in my countrified neighborhood in Northern Hamden there is 4G service with 4.5 mbps down and 1.4 mbps up. That’s a surprise. Not too shabby.

This phone is slightly wide and longer than my iPhone 3Gs. It’s a little thinner too.

I’m going to have to get used to gripping it. The extra few millimeters is noticeable when the phone’s in my hand.

I can’t put my finger on the reason why, but the phone is also a little less comfortable against my ear. I’m going to wait until it’s in a case before I pass judgement.

The screen is amazing! The current line of iPhones have higher screen resolution than the Galaxy S II, but Samsung’s using a SUPER AMOLED display. My phone has much darker blacks meaning more screen contrast and a sharper look.

It is rocket fast! So far there’s nothing I’ve tried that’s been met with noticeable lag.

I downloaded a few apps, made a few phone calls, mistakenly erased my full address book in Gmail and played. I didn’t go to bed until well after 5 AM.

This afternoon I fired up the GPS navigation app and had it take me to work. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but there were no vocal cues. This has to be my error.

The phone has two cameras so I tried it out on Skype and chatted with my friend Peter in Ventnor City, NJ. The quality was good. With my cell connection I took him on a tour of the FoxCT/Hartford Courant Building.

Later my father saw I was on and Skyped with me too.

There’s still a lot to discover, but so far so good. There are more apps to download, more features to discover. It’s a phone and a toy.

I Bought A New Phone And It Doesn’t Start With “i”

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Rumor is Apple’s newest iPhone will be announced tomorrow. I will look with interest, but I’m out of the market. I bought a new phone yesterday and should have it tomorrow. It’s a Samsung Galaxy S 2.

First things first. I bought it online instead of going to the AT&T store. Amazon is selling it $50 cheaper than AT&T, there’s no shipping and… well you know about Amazon and sales tax.

The phone has been available in Europe and Asia for months where it’s received rave reviews. It’s super thin with a high contrast AMOLED screen. There are two cameras (front and rear) and the capability of shooting and viewing high def 1080p video. The Galaxy S 2 is powered by a dual core processor and runs on version 2.3 of Google’s Android operating system.

It’s considered state-of-the-art as attested to by an Los Angeles Times article that’s ostensibly about the rumored iPhone.

The standard right now for high-end smartphones (such as the Droid Bionic and Samsung Galaxy S II) is a dual-core processor, about 1 gigabyte of RAM, at least 16 gigabytes of storage memory and an 8-megapixel rear camera capable of shooting 1080p high-definition video and a better-than-VGA front facing camera.

The Galaxy S 2 doesn’t run Apple’s iOS. Only time will tell if that’s an advantage or disadvantage, but I feel like I’ve been fighting a constant battle against Apple in trying to make my iPhone do things it can do, but Apple doesn’t want it to do.

That’s not to say Samsung/AT&T have taken a laissez faire attitude. They’re just not as diligent as Apple!

I have a better profane analogy I’ll hold for now.

I’m excited about putting this phone through its paces, but I also know it can be returned if need be. I hope I don’t have to.

Hey AT&T. Where’s The Samsung Galaxy S II?

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Sometime this spring I made a cellphone choice. When it was time to get a new phone I’d get the Samsung Galaxy S II. Released first in Europe and Asia the Galaxy S II was well received.

From BGR.com: The Galaxy S II raises the bar in every way from the first Galaxy S, as it should. But it also takes things one step further and absolutely obliterates every other Android handset on the market in the specifications department. It’s not just fast, it’s the fastest. It’s not just thin, it’s the thinnest

It was announced AT&T, my carrier, would have an S II version of its own. First it was coming late spring, then summer. A rumor last week had it debuting yesterday. Nada!

I just watched a TV commercial for the S II’s Sprint iteration. Swell.

Here’s the problem. All of a sudden AT&T’s mum. They’re saying nothing and neither is Samsung.

I like my iPhone a lot. It’s certainly the best phone I’ve ever owned and, as my secret friend in the San Fernando Valley says, “the best toy ever.” I”m expecting the Galaxy S II to be a little better and since it uses Google’s Android operating system unencumbered by Apple’s draconian vise grip on apps.

I wish I knew what was holding this phone up?