Tag Archives: Apple

Samsung Galaxy S8 #Review

It’s been more than two months and it is finally time to review my Samsung Galaxy S8.

For starters, it was a nice changeover from the Moto X to the S8. That is not to say there is anything wrong with the Moto, but change is good after a while.

The phone is sleek, slim, and feels fantastic in the hand. The graphics are a step up on just about every device out there, with the edge-to-edge screen and most pixels per inch of any device on the market (as of launch).

Most people’s largest concern is the “smudging of the camera while using the fingerprint reader”. I haven’t encountered this issue for a few reasons. For starters, I only use the fingerprint reader when using Samsung Pay, but more importantly, I don’t use the reader as my standard unlock function. I have ‘trusted devices’ to take care of that, including my smart watch.

The processor is fast and handles everything at lightning speeds, with no phone lag, and the expandable memory is always a much-appreciated bonus on these phones (although it should be standard at this point. I’m looking at you Apple).

Meanwhile, the Samsung credit card payments via magnet strip is a much appreciated, undervalued, feature.

It’s amazing how quickly I forget about the extra button on the side. I never touch it, never use it, and Bixby is a forgotten afterthought to me. Samsung should’ve held off on it until they nailed down all the details, instead they forced it out raw, and just handed out a dead fish on launch.

The battery is only ‘okay’, with a standard daily usage time, but with quick charge, it is easy to refuel and keep going. It’s only annoying when on the go and not constantly around a port every 8+ hours to charge.

While I will still push the Motorola line of phones on people because price point to quality is greatest from them, I definitely recommend the S8 to anyone willing to drop top dollar on a brand new device.

Comparing Phones – 2017 Edition

Two summers ago I talked about the predicted rise of Motorola, and I did a comparison of the top phones of the time.

Well, I figured it was time to take a peek under the hood again and see how today’s phones stack up.
To note, I myself have switched over to the Samsung Galaxy S8, but I still recommend the Motorola’s, especially the Moto-G line, to anyone looking for less expensive smartphones.

Terms:
S2B – Screen-To-Body ratio (Percentage of front of the phone that the screen takes up…more = better)
MP – Megapixel
PPI – Pixels Per Inch (Higher Number means sharper screen quality)

  • Moto Z2 – $500 (Estimate, phone due in July) – 12MP camera – 5.5″ screen/S2B 70.1% – 401 PPI – SD Slot – 3000mAh battery
  • Moto G5+ – $229 – 12MP camera – 5.2″ screen/S2B 67.1% – 424 PPI – SD Slot – 3000mAh battery
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 – $624 – 12MP camera – 5.8″ screen/S2B 83.6% 570 PPI – SD Slot – 3000mAh battery
  • Apple iPhone 7 – $649 – 12MP camera – 4.7″/S2B 65.6% – 326 PPI – NO SD Slot – 1960mAh battery
  • LG G6 – $699 –  13MP camera – 5.7″/S2B 78.6% – 564 PPI – SD slot – 3300mAh battery

I’m going to stick with my conclusion from last time…why would anyone get an iPhone? Among the most expensive options, and lowest on the totem pole in every stat among other leaders… 

3 Year Anniversary and why @SamsungSupport Is Terrible

Three years ago today I started this site with a complaint about Apple customer service, and since then I haven’t complained much about customer service (or anything else on here for that matter).

Well, now Samsung has gone above and beyond to mess up on Customer Support, and as the most talked about show these days likes to say: Samsung, this is your tape.

Let’s outline the story, and highlight their failings:

    • On March 30th I pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S8 (which I plan to review at a later date), and when I was checking out they offered a list of “Items to purchase with your order”. So naturally, I clicked a case and battery pack from the list and thought nothing of it.
      Fast forward to April 20th, when my phone and accessories showed up, and after unpacking the case, I discovered that it was for the S8+, a larger phone.
      Why they would’ve suggested it in the first place with my phone, I’ll never understand…but it happens, and I fully admit to not checking correctly and ordering the wrong item. So I headed to their website, and filed a return, on Thursday the 20th, where it said Emails will be answered within 24 hours.
    • 36 hours later, late Friday afternoon the 21st, I still hadn’t heard back to my online submission, so I replied to an earlier email experience I had had with Samsung, hoping for a back door into customer service.
      On Wednesday, April 26th, 6 days after I had filed online I still hadn’t heard back to my online submission, but Samsung finally replied to my email, asking me to outline the problem and what I wanted to return.
      In between April 20 and 26th I tried calling their order support hotline a few times, and each time I waited on hold for 45+ minutes before giving up and saying I’d try again the next day.
    • Friday, April 28th, still awaiting a response to my updated return, I tweeted Samsung, asking them if there was any way to make my Request move any faster since it had been a week, and I had barely heard a peep.
      And on Sunday, April 30th, it seemed like I finally had a breakthrough, as “Elvie” from Samsung Support replied asking me to delete my tweet and continue the conversation in Direct Messaging.
      But as soon as I played nice and deleted my Tweet (which prevents them from having complaints on social media), Elvie proceeded to tell me that even though we asked you to DM us, we aren’t really able to help you, and you should call us instead.
    • This is where things got interesting. “Elvie” gave me a number to call Samsung at, and on Monday afternoon I decided to give them another try, even though I had tried multiple times with no luck at getting through after hours on hold.
      Now I am going to share the message with you, but keep in mind, you won’t notice Samsung’s mistake, just like I didn’t:
      Thanks to Twitter and my phone playing nicely together, you can see above that it was a clickable link so that I can call. So I clicked the number and it rang once and was immediately picked up. The machine message said:

      Thanks for calling. As a promotion, you are elligible to recieve $100 off your next purchase, please hold to recieve more details.
      Are you over 55 years old? If so, press 1 for even more offers.

      This didn’t sound right to me…so I hung up, reclicked the phone number in the link and hit Call again.
      This time when that above message came on,  I decided Samsung must just have weird customer service, so I remained on the line…and then the call center in India picked up, and started asking for my personal information.

      There is no way that Samsung would be asking me for that information, such as name and address, as well as Credit Card information, before first discussing what the problem is.

      So I headed to the Google, and put that above number in, and it returned the result of “Samsung Customer Service”.
      Clicking the number on the page, I hit call and this time it said:

      Thank you for calling Samsung.

      That’s weird…not what I got a minute ago…now a little nervous about the whole thing, I hung up and checked my call history. The difference between the two calls? The first two calls, using the 800 number that Samsung gave me, was a fake, leading to a phishing/scam center. The number that Google had me call, with the same last seven digits…but an 855 number.

I was pissed. Not only had Samsung been yanking my chain for 10 days, now they had told me to call a number, that was a fake? That message in my DM from “Elvie” is a prepackaged message. There is no way that they are typing that pre-packaged junk out for every customer Tweeting at them.

Yet somehow I got one with the wrong number?
Or are they handing everyone the wrong number? Which seems highly unlikely and a big mistake for such a large company, that someone would’ve noticed at some point and fixed…this wasn’t Day 1 of customer support.

Samsung since then has reached out and finally on May 1 worked with me on one final email to try and resolve the issue.
By that point, I had given up, because the reality is, it isn’t worth spending hours to get a refund on a $20 item.

Gotta prioritize sometimes.

Buying/Renting Movies Online

When you go to watch a legitimate movie on digital, you are presented with many options, from Apple’s library to Amazon Prime and Vudu to Crackle.

But the biggest issue is: After you “buy” or “rent” the movie, where can you watch it?

If you bought it from Apple, you are stuck to watching it on an iPad, iPhone or Apple TV.
Bought it on Amazon, and you turn to the Prime Video app on iOS, Android, Xbox, Etc.
Similar for Vudu and Crackle.

But recently I started using a different service, one that we all use tens of times a week, but don’t think about.

Google Play Movies. The first thought is that these are only available in a browser or on Android devices.
But if you go to YouTube, log into your account, and visit your “Library”, your purchases all show up there for your viewing pleasure.

This means your iOS and Android devices, gaming systems (such as Xbox One and PS4), as well as your WiFi enabled DVD/Blu-Ray players can all access these videos.
Even devices that don’t allow app downloads, but have a built-in browser, can get to YouTube and access your purchased videos.

Now back to Rogue One and the bonus features…

Super Mario Run

When this game came out on December 15th, the number of downloads was through the roof, with 2.85 Million on Day 1.

Nintendo and Mario have been exclusively together for so many years, and now they were finally going out of their way to join the mobile platforms.

But when I downloaded the app and played through the first three levels, I wondered to myself: “This is what we waited for”?

A spin-off on the classic “Temple Run” theme, of your character moving on their own and you simply tapping on the screen to jump, Super Mario Run lets you run through boards chasing after Bowser in an attempt to save the Princess.

When I reached level 1-4 I found out that the game wasn’t really “Free”, and to unlock the rest I needed to pay $10 for another 21 levels…and trust me when I say that the three levels they give you to try doesn’t smell of “high level gaming”.

Now I am sure that thousands of people will dish out the money for this, and do it time and again with each level release, but the game in its current stage just isn’t worth it.
It’s not particularly exciting once you get past the “I’M PLAYING MARIO AGAIN” portion of things, and it’s just another mundane iOS game.

I personally find it to be a 4.5 out of 10.

Super Mario Run

Apple Keeps Behind The Times

It’s time once again for the whole world to freak out over the newest reveals from Apple with their iPhone 7…while us Android users take a look at it and shrug off another year of Apple playing catch up.

What’s that? You are an Apple user and want to argue with me? Okay, how about I just look at a few of the new things unveiled yesterday, and compare it to Android devices…some of which have been around for a while already.

Camera
The new iPhone offers a 12 Megapixel camera, which is highly respectable and takes some very good pictures. But it’s not really a step into the market, that features phones of 16 or 21 Megapixels.

Size, Weight and Screen Quality
4.7″ screen will satisfy a lot of people that don’t want humongous, like the 5.5″ of the new Moto Z…but the screen quality is just sub-par compared to other phones. The iPhone has 326ppi (points per inch) while the Moto Z  offers 535ppi….and despite being a larger screen the Z is thinning (by 2mm and lighter by .1 oz).

Headphone Jack
I don’t like the lack of a headphone jack, and that’s becoming a problem on a lot of recent phones. I spoke recently about having to look for new Bluetooth headphone, but those no Buds are going to get lost easily…and it’s only a short amount of time before people realize they have another item that they need to keep charged.

Water Resistant
Old news. The Samsung S7 (and it’s famous exploding battery) can be submerged to put out that fire, and even the lower-end Moto G (mentioned in my unlocked phone breakdown) offers the water resistance.

Expandable Storage
Some companies are flopping back and forth on whether expandable storage is necessary, but Apple has been strong and steady…on the wrong side of the fight, and still refuses to add an SD slot.

Cost
Moto Z, base model of 32GB = $624
Apple iPhone 7, base model of 32GB = $649
Samsung Galaxy S7, base model of 32GB = $669

Apple Music Festival 2016

The 2016 iTunes Festival is continuing last year’s theme of a 10-day affair, instead of the full month of festivities that it used to feature.

The Roundhouse in London will once again be the site (for the 10th straight year)  and can be watched on Apple Music.

Some highlights from previous years include Ellie Goulding last year:

and Paramore back in 2013

This year’s lineup features a lot of heavy hitters, and runs from Sunday, September 18 thru Friday the 30th:

  • 9/18 – Sunday – Elton John (2nd appearance)
  • 9/19 – Monday – The 1975 (2nd appearance)
  • 9/20 – Tuesday – Alicia Keys (2nd appearance)
  • 9/21 – Wednesday – OneRepublic (2nd appearance)
  • 9/23 – Friday – Calvin Harris (4th appearance)
  • 9/25 – Sunday – Robbie Williams (1st appearance)
  • 9/26 – Monday – Bastille (3rd appearance)
  • 9/27 – Tuesday – Britney Spears (1st appearance)
  • 9/28 – Wednesday – Michael Buble (1st appearance)
  • 9/30 – Friday – Chance The Rapper (1st appearance)

This will be the first appearances for Britney, Michael Buble, Robbie Williams and Chance the Rapper.
It’ll also be the 2nd time headlining for Alicia Keys and Elton John, while The 1975 and OneRepublic have both appeared once before as “Lesser Names” on their previous days of performing (to Bastille and Matchbox Twenty, respectively).
Bastille is making their 3rd appearance, their 2nd headliner, with the third time sharing the day with Emeli Sande and Gabrielle Aplin.
Calvin Harris is on his fourth time around (and third time headlining), after one sub-performance to David Guetta.

Apple Music Festival 10 Poster