Tag Archives: Samsung

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes #Game #Review

I’ve finally found my first VR experience that I just don’t want to leave.

It’s a game called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, and they aren’t joking when they say to keep talking.

Keep Talking is a MultiPlayer game with one player in the VR (the bomb defuser) and the other players in the real world (with a manual).

The bomb defuser is locked in a room with a bomb. The bomb has a countdown, a limit to how many mistakes can be made, and an X number of modules.
These modules range from colored wires to word games and from buttons to mazes.

The catch is that the defuser doesn’t know how to solve any of them without the manual…which is in the hands of the real world people, and with constant communication, the two parties try to solve it all before the bomb explodes. The defuser can’t see the manual…and the manual readers can’t see the bomb.

I’ve spent 7+ hours playing this over the last few days, and am immersed in the experience.

Be sure you and the other players have good communication, and won’t get annoyed when you’re screaming at each other for failing at seemingly simple tasks.

Gear VR With Controller #Review

Just over a year ago I talked about my first VR headset, the Google Cardboard.
Well now I have a newer, more costly, VR headset: The Gear VR with Controller.

The Gear VR is an Oculus piece of technology, and they’ve always been ahead of the VR game, and this one is no exception.

The Gear VR is very comfortable to wear, even with a pair of glasses on, using straps around the back and over the top of the head, as well as thick cushioning all around. It also has a dial that allows you to adjust the depth (bringing the screen into focus, important when wearing glasses).

With previous editions, you had to use the touchpad on the side of the device to select items or scroll thru, but with the new controller, the world is in your hands, letting apps give you a “trigger” to help with a lot of games (or simply choosing your movie of choice).

From elaborate depth in games (such as “Land’s End”) to comfortable settings to watch movies (Netflix, Hulu, or even Google Movies via YouTube), or just using your hands to help you build things (such as models in Monzo VR).

Meanwhile, the Google Cardboard would make me a little dizzy after a few minutes (maybe because I was using a hand to hold it to my face), but I don’t feel that effect with the Gear VR.
I’ve also taken their advice and will use it sitting in a revolving chair, that allows me free spinning, and no neck turning, also minimizing dizziness.

Oculus, together with their new owners Facebook, provide a space to play games with friends, building virtual rooms to sit in with your created characters.

The Gear VR + Controller came free with a Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ and compatible with the S8, S7, and S6 lines, and the Note5
If you are looking to get it it’ll set you back $130. If you already have the Gear and just want the controller, it’s just a $40 expense.

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.

Samsung Pay – Our Future is Here

Think about it for a second: For 50 years we used credit cards with magnetic strips, and in 2007 someone thought to use phones to pay for your charges.

They convinced some terminal operators to install “Tap to pay” options, using RFID (Radio-frequency identification) and/or NFC (Near field communication), to help progress how we make our payments.

But then Samsung entered the game with Samsung Pay, and said: “forget about tap to pay, let’s just use the magnet stripes again”. And suddenly, every Mom & Pop shop in America, who couldn’t afford to upgrade to “Tap to pay” were able to start accepting mobile payments.

Using MST (Magnetic Secure Transmissions) the phones send out a signal, that when held over the “swipe” part of a terminal, mimics the motions of a credit card so that new or old the terminal will still be able to send through the transaction.

For years we’ve taken technology and evolved it, and with it everyone has needed to buy new equipment. But what if we can evolve technology and still use the infrastructure that is in place across America?
Seems ideal to me.

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

Paying To Advertise

Some people pay companies for the ability to advertise for them.

Does that sound backwards? Well that’s because it is.

But so many people leave the signatures on their iPhones and Galaxys that put at the end of an email “Sent from my…”.
You paid $600+ for a phone, and allow them to put ads into every email you send?

On the flip side you have the new Amazon Prime phones, using the Moto G among others, and the phone will give you Ads on your lockscreen.
But in exchange you get the phone at a discount.
In essence, they are paying you to allow ads on your phone.

As it should be.

The Predicted Rise of @Motorola

Today is the day that Motorola starts to make a lot more sales…at least for the next four weeks (if not, hopefully, longer).

The reason is quite simple. Verizon, the largest carrier in America, has stopped offering free phones. And if it isn’t free, are people going to lay out big $$ ?

For starters the cheaper model, the new Moto G, sells for $180-$220 and features a water-resistant phone, 13MP camera, and is customizable using Moto Maker.

As for the more expensive model, the Moto X, which comes out with a new version next month, the pricing is cheap compared to its competitors:

  • Moto G (2015) – $180 – 13MP – 5.0″ screen/S2B 67.0% – YES SD Slot – 2470mAh Battery
  • Moto X (2014) – $300 – 13MP camera – 5.2″ screen/S2B 73.1% – No SD Slot – 2300mAh Battery
  • Moto X Pure (2015) – $400 – 21MP camera5.7″ screen/Unknown – YES SD Slot 3000mAh Battery
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – $672 – 16MP camera – 5.1″ screen/S2B 71.7% – No SD Slot – 2600mAh Battery
  • Apple iPhone 6 – $650 – 8MP camera – 4.7″ screen/S2B 65.8% – No SD Slot – 1810mAh Battery
  • LG G4 – $552 – 16MP camera – 5.5″screen/S2B 72.5% – YES SD Slot – 3000mAh Battery

S2B = Screen to Body Ratio

Why people would buy the iPhone under these circumstances I will never understand…