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What to Expect from the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

June 23rd, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Consumer Electronics

Samsung’s newest addition to its smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S4 Zoom is considered to be half-camera, half-smart phone. The device goes a bit beyond both camera and phone to give users a better image snapping experience. The phone uses the Android Jelly Bean 4.2 operating system and includes a 4.3 inch AMOLED 960X540 display, camera functions that can be accessed by simply twisting the Zoom Ring and a 10X optical zoom.

There is a second camera that faces the front of the device that is 1.9 MP and the phone features LTE as well as 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities. The camera functions of the smartphone can be easily activated by the Zoom Ring, which is simply a dial that surrounds the lens on the back of the device. Simply twisting the ring starts up the camera and the ring works perfectly even when talking or texting on the phone. It is designed to allow users to snap photos and send them instantly to whoever they are talking to or texting at the moment.

The Zoom Ring also allows users to select different camera modes and functions. The camera has a 16 MP CMOS sensor that is back-illuminated and is designed to allow for close-ups and landscapes no matter what the lighting conditions. Smart Mode will automatically adjust the camera settings once the users determine which preset mode is best, although the camera can also suggest the best settings.

Photo Suggest is a feature that will allow users to tap into libraries containing images provided by others so that photo opportunities can be recommended based on the user’s current location. In other words, the library contains various shots taken by other photographers and the camera will tell users where they can also take similar shots.

Users can also edit and order photo prints directly from the smartphone device. Photographs can be synced with computers as well for sharing and the full HD video capabilities allow for 30 frames per second of video. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is expected to hit markets by the end of 2013. In some countries, preorders have already begun, showing that this stands to be a very popular device for the upcoming Christmas season. German consumers can preorder the device now for around $500 by Cyberport.de. The price for the device has not been officially set, although many speculate that it will come in at around the same price as the latest iPhone.

Tech-savvy consumers who are looking for a smartphone that is smart enough to help them take pictures as well will find the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom to be right up their alley. With a camera that is just as good as other digitals on the market and the addition of smartphone technology all in one device, this could be the most popular technology on the market by the end of the year. Other manufacturers may already be looking into designing their own device that will double as a phone and a high powered camera.

NFC Technology in the Automotive Industry

April 24th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Consumer Electronics

Near Field Communication or NFC technology has grown significantly over the last two or three years. So much so in fact that many automobile manufacturers are now working with NFC providers to plan innovative applications for use in future automobiles. NFC providers are continuously working on applications that can be used to stream and transfer data directly inside automobiles.

Most cars today, depending on the manufacturer and brand, offer state of the art features such as infotainment, navigation and others. NFC technology experts have conducted research on using wireless connectivity inside an automobile. This wireless technology is critical in allowing the transfer of content from smart phones and personal tablets to automobile navigation and entertainment systems. Wireless systems will eventually replace the cabling system that is now used for data transfer and communication inside vehicles and will be a much less expensive way of doing things.

Texas Instruments, one of the leading NFC technology developers in the world, has developed an NFC chip that will assist in achieving this wireless connectivity. The system is called WiLink 8Q and integrates such current technologies as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GNSS and NFC in order to achieve a wireless connection between the device that the diver uses and any devices that passengers inside the car may be using as well. NFC enabled smart phones and tablets currently require that an NFC tag is used in order to allow this data communication. NFC tags can be purchased at a number of online shops such as Amazon. Texas Instruments is currently developing a prototype of their equipment model and plans to release this prototype during the 2013 second quarter. Production could begin as early as 2014 and the solution is targeted toward automobile manufacturers that produce vehicles in higher volumes.

Ving Card Elsafe is another company that is developing further NFC technology. The company has partnered with automobile giant BMW to begin development on a device that will allow drivers to book a hotel room directly from their vehicle and then use their own vehicle’s keys to open that room when they arrive. This development is targeted toward business travelers who may need to book last minute hotel rooms and arrive at odd hours of the night.

The navigation system inside the BMW will allow drivers to locate and book their hotel rooms as well as perform various searches for vacancies. Rooms will need to be within a specific range set by NFC standards and once a room is found, the driver can choose the booking directly from his or her vehicle. When the reservation has been confirmed, the navigation system inside the vehicle will alert the driver of their room number and will provide guidance for reaching that hotel. An access code that allows the driver to open the hotel room with their car keys will be downloaded to the car key that is NFC enabled. Drivers will be able to bypass the check-in desk and head straight to their rooms which are paid for during the booking process.

Understanding the Hype Over the Padfone

April 17th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Consumer Electronics

Tech lovers have found much to be excited about over the past couple of years. During MCW 2013, Asus gave them one more thing to anticipate with their newest technological advance that is another in the line of tablet and phone merging. The Padfone Infinity by Asus is yet another gadget that tech lovers are sure to appreciate.

The Infinity merges the features of a smartphone with those of a tablet. It features 4G LTE connectivity and is powered by Android 4.2 operating system. It also offers a very impressive HD display along with a host of other features. The 5 inch screen has 441ppi so that pictures are viewed in the best possible light. This is a bit better than Apple’s retina display according to most tech savvy experts. Apple currently offers a 326ppi display, so the Infinity has upped the ante just a bit.

The hardware itself is very sturdy with a slider function that allows you to perfectly fit the phone. It features a rubber like finish that keeps the phone in place securely and holds it there safely. The software is very responsive. Users will find no lags in performance when they choose to switch over from the pad screen to their smartphone screen or when docking and undocking.

The Infinity has a 1.7GHz quad core CPU and can support 3G connectivity as well as the 4G LTE. The quad core chip offers optimal performance with absolutely no lag and the device can easily provide up to 19 hours of battery use with its 3G connectivity combined with talk time. The padfone has a slot for the Asus smartphone and will convert it to a Station 10.1 inch tablet. The tablets resolution is 1920X1200 and it offers full HD streaming with 1080p. You will also enjoy the battery pack that gives you up to three times more battery power and there is a 1MP camper mounted on top that allows for video calls and other images to be taken. There is a handy USB port as well.

The unit has an aluminum finish and other features include 64GB flash memory, NFC technology for easier data exchange and 2GB of RAM. The tablet can function as a smartphone and even has a dialer to make calls. You can capture up to 8 still shots per second with the camera that features a burst mode and the Echo technology which is very similar to Siri by Apple, it also included.

The Padfone Infinity by Asus is certainly an attractive device. Those who are constantly on the go and prefer not to carry larger devices with them at all times will find it very useful. The advantages of having a larger screen that is enabled as a phone is also a major attraction. The body itself is very attractive. What may not be attractive however, is the cost. The price is set to be around $1300 which may simply be a bit too steep for most tech lovers. Those who can afford it however, will find the features and capabilities to be well worth it.

Which Digital Camera Do You Need?

March 12th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Consumer Electronics

If you have not been formally introduced to the newest in digital camera models, you may have a bit of trouble determining just which of these models is best for your picture taking needs. There are a number of different cameras on the market today and they range in size, features and of course, in price. Determining what you need before you begin shopping is an excellent way to ensure that you end up with a camera that you can easily use and one that fits nicely into your budget.

First, you have to consider brands. Name brands are important in many product choices and digital cameras are not the exception. If you want a camera that will give you functionality and do what it claims to do for as long as it should, you have to consider a name brand when buying. Canon, Nikon, Kodak and a few others are the top brands and these manufacturers ensure that their cameras offer the latest in features and give you many years of optimal use. While you may want to save money and buy an off brand or no name device, if you want a camera that is going to last, you should seriously consider buying one of the top brands.

Your budget is important as well but you should not rule out more expensive models just yet. Take the time to consider how you are going to use the camera and how often. More expensive cameras are going to give you more for your money naturally so if you want something that is going to be durable and packed with features, you may have to increase your budget just a bit. You can take time to research the cameras that are available within your budget and those that are just over your budget to see what models will come close to fitting all of your needs.

If you have never purchased a digital camera, you may need to seek the assistance of someone with a lot of experience in cameras. A salesman is certainly going to be knowledgeable but keep in mind that some may simply push you toward the more expensive models whether you need one or not. Take along someone you know if possible who is experienced in buying or using various models. Someone who has tried out a few digital cameras can be very helpful in assisting you when it comes to features and functionality.

Once you have determined the actual size and type of digital camera that you need and what features are most important to you, you can compare prices for different brands. Take a look at all of the models that fit your usage needs and find the one that offers the best price, taking into consideration the warranty and the actual manufacturer to ensure that you are getting a quality camera for your money. It is possible to find the perfect digital camera even if you have never used one before provided you do your research prior to buying.

Getting the Music You Love with a Car Mp3 Player

March 8th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Consumer Electronics

If you love to listen to music while driving and simply find that radio stations do not offer the selection of songs that you prefer, you can add your own music in your vehicle with an Mp3 player. If you typically drive for long hours or if you simply prefer to have your own music choices when driving, an Mp3 or Mp4 player for your car can be a great choice. Many newer car models offer music players as part of their feature package but even if your car does not come standard with this music device, you can add your own player to your car or truck and have your own music every time you travel.

CD players come standard in most car models today but many have found these to be a bit outdated. After all, most music today comes through Mp3 players and having one in your vehicle can be very beneficial if you prefer to listen to a specific genre or if you simply have a playlist that you prefer while driving. You cannot always count on radio stations to play the songs that you like and having a large collection of CDs takes up space that you may not have available in your vehicle. Instead of changing out CDs whenever you want to change your music choice, you can simply toggle through your Mp3 player and get the specific songs that you want.

There are a number of Mp3 players that are perfect for vehicles and many of them are very inexpensive. Most are loaded with a variety of features such as remote controls and micro SD slots for external storage. Your actual storage needs will depend on just how much music you want to add to your player. Many players today come with about 4 GB of internal storage and you can double that storage space when you choose a player that has an SD slot. Some models offer an FM transmitter and can work well when you attach them directly to your car speakers or you may find a model that works through your CD player or GPS device.

If you are a fan of Bluetooth, you can find Mp3 players that offer this technology and they support voice calls so your music will automatically pause whenever you receive or make a call. Automatic memory allows the device to pick up where it left off so you never miss a second of your favorite song. Player packages can be purchased that give you enough memory to hold hundreds of songs along with a remote control and a steering wheel remote so you can toggle, play, pause and otherwise enjoy your favorite music without actually having to take your hands off the steering wheel.

Choosing the best player for your vehicle will depend on your own preferences. You will find many models available that work perfectly in your car or truck. You will simply have to do a bit of research and look at what specific features they offer to determine which one is right for you.