Friday 19 December 2014

Tech Insider: Colour is king with new Galaxy Tab

Samsung: Galaxy Tab S

Jessica Kelly

Published 20/06/2014 | 02:30

Samsung Galaxy Tab S was launched last week.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S was launched last week.
The Tab S will allow users with an S5 to forward calls from their phone and answer them on their tablet.

Last week I attended the launch of Samsung's Galaxy Tab S in New York. The 'Tab Into Colour' event took place in Madison Square Garden and Samsung unveiled two versions of the new Tab S devices; 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch.

There are four key elements with the new flagship device from tech giants Samsung: viewing experience, design, connectivity and innovative features.

Both the 10.5 and 8.4 inch devices have Super Amoled screens which provide incredibly rich colours. Whites are brighter and blacks are darker on the Tab S. Alongside this technology, they've also enhanced the viewing angles and viewing modes of the screen. The screen is so smart, it adapts to accommodate for the lighting in a room or the brightness of the sun unlike any other tablet.

The Tab S will allow users with an S5 to forward calls from their phone and answer them on their tablet. The device also has a "side sync" feature allowing Galaxy phone users to mirror their mobiles onto the tablet, accessing content and files.

One very cool feature of the Tab S is the "in-call drag and drop". Say you're talking to a friend on your tablet and they ask for directions to your office, simply open Maps and drag and drop the information onto the screen call window and your friend will receive this info via SMS. All kinds of clever.

The accessories available for the Tab S are nothing short of stunning.

First impressions from this device are "wow". Full review to follow in the coming weeks!

Festival fever

Capture the leading acts with a Sony Xperia E

If you're planning to go along to any of the awesome gigs or festivals scheduled for this summer do yourself, your phone and, in the long run, your pocket a favour – leave your smartphone at home.

For less than €50 you can get a simple phone – perhaps even one with buttons – that will save your expensive phone from getting lost, stolen or broken in a field full of strangers. Carphone Warehouse have a good selection of cheap phones on all networks that would most certainly do the job.

The Samsung E1200 is quite possibly the most basic phone on the market, but if all you need is to get in touch with your friends on the day of the gig, it's more than sufficient. There are very few fancy features with this phone, apart from the price tag – €19.99.

If the lack of camera is a concern the Sony Xperia E has a 3.15MP camera, which should do the trick and is available at just €49.99 on 02, Vodafone and Meteor. They are extremely affordable and are worth the investment!

For more options, network and pricing info visit www.carphonewarehouse.ie.

Coffee high

Find the flavour with the new Nespresso Inissia

Nespresso have made fancy coffee affordable! Their new machine is called the Nespresso Inissia and it retails at just €99.

The Inissia is similar in both look and functionality to the bigger Nespresso machines, made super famous by the George Clooney ads.

The smaller, cheaper Nespresso machine by no means compromises on performance. Using the device could not be easier. Simply fill the water container, lift the lever, insert a coffee pod and select the size!

If you're on the hunt for a coffee machine but don't know "a good one" from any other, the Nespresso should be the coffee-connoisseur's choice! There is a huge selection of coffees to choose from within the Nespresso range.

The Inissia model is ideal for the every-day coffee drinker, but could be recommended for busy offices.

At €99, it's one of the best value machines on the market.

The Nespresso is available from Brown Thomas and Harvey Norman nationwide.

Make the battery go further with smart power-saving app

Easy battery saver

At one time or another, every smartphone owner has wished for better performance from their battery; there’s no point in having a phone filled with fancy features if the battery is useless.

Not all phones have the same battery life, but there are certain steps every phone user can take to try and optimise their battery power, including killing apps and ensuring Bluetooth is off when not in use.

Task killing will save a certain amount of power but ‘Easy Battery Saver’, an Android app, is worth a download to get even more from the phone. Rather than just ending running programmes, this app knocks off the power-draining features of the user’s smartphone when they are not in use. It’s extremely easy to use and illustrates where battery power is being wasted.

Best of all — it’s free!

Let’s get technical

Sony smartband swr10

The wearable tech market is growing day-by-day with devices of all functionality and price range. The more basic devices are simply pedometers, while the more advanced give the user pretty much full functionality of their smartphone, but on their wrist.

The Sony SmartBand SWR10 is not a looker. Out of the box, it’s just a plain black band with a small white piece of kit inside. But how it looks doesn’t matter. It doesn’t let users answer calls or even tell the time — nevermind take photos. But that doesn’t necessarily matter either because what it does is nothing short of awesome.

The SmartBand tracks everything; steps, sleep, phone use, social media activity and the use of entertainment on a phone.

Many phones come with, or can download a pedometer, so the movement tracking isn’t most unique of selling points, but, the stats gathered by the SmartBand were quite an eye-opener for me. It gives accurate details of phone usage, location information and even the weather!

The information is stored and presented in an app called ‘Lifelog’. It’s very easy to read the information and thus make behavioural changes.

Some may question the value of yet another piece of wearable tech that doesn’t even tell the time, but the information from the SmartBand is far more detailed than any other device I’ve reviewed to date.

The SmartBand is water and dust proof and the band itself is really quite durable but light!

First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent
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