Samsung has unveiled a new NVMe-based ‘Portable SSD X5‘ featuring Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and speeds of up to 2,800 MB/s.
Based on the cutting-edge Thunderbolt 3 technology, the new X5 features exceptional speeds in a compact and durable form factor, making it an ideal portable storage for content creators and IT professionals on the go.
“As a leader in high-performance and reliable storage solutions, we are thrilled to continue to advance the external SSD market with the introduction of our first Thunderbolt 3 portable SSD,” said Dr. Mike Mang, vice president of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “The X5 is yet another testament to Samsung’s commitment to providing innovative portable storage solutions that enable faster transfer of large data files, saving users’ valuable time.”
Whether editing 4K videos, creating real-time 3D rendering images or compiling high-resolution photos, consumers want fast and convenient ways to store and transfer their data. Leveraging synergies between NVMe and Thunderbolt 3 technologies, Samsung’s X5 delivers maximized performance levels for professionals working with heavy multimedia files. Thanks to Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps bandwidth – up to four times faster than USB 3.1 – the X5 offers a read speed of up to 2,800 MB/s, which is up to 5.2 times faster than the widely-used SATA interface portable SSDs and up to 25.5 times faster than external HDDs. The drive also boasts the fastest maximum write speed of 2,300 MB/s, enabling users to transfer a 20GB-sized 4K UHD video in just 12 seconds. Designed for Macs and PCs with Thunderbolt 3 ports, the X5 allows users to enjoy the speed benefits in a lightweight and portable design, with capacity options up to 2TB.
The X5 features a full-metal body with a glossy finish and non-slip bottom mat. A shock-resistant internal frame and rugged metal housing can withstand accidental drops of up to two meters (6.6 feet). In addition, the Dynamic Thermal Guard technology and a heat sink – a mechanical internal solution – safeguard the X5 from overheating, ensuring reliability while maintaining optimal operating temperatures. The X5 also offers powerful data protection with ‘Samsung Portable SSD Software’, based on the AES 256-bit hardware data encryption, including optional password protection and easy configuration of security settings.
Pricing and Availability:
The X5 comes with a three-year limited warranty and ships Sept. 3, 2018, with a MSRP starting at $399.99 for the 500GB model, $699.99 for the 1TB model and $1,399.99 for the 2TB model.
Samsung smartphones come with a very useful feature that you rely on in difficult situations for help. It’s aptly called Emergency mode and lets you access important emergency features and helps conserve the handset’s battery power to extend its standby time for as long as possible. It also limits the device’s functionality in order to conserve battery life.
The home screen is changed to a simple black theme and simplified when the Emergency mode is enabled. The brightness and frame rate are lowered while the CPU speed is limited. It restricts app usage to the essential apps that you select and turns off mobile data when the screen is off. Other connectivity features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled as well. The location settings remain as they were in the Emergency mode once it’s turned off.
It’s basically the ultra power saving mode with the ability to send a distress signal from your phone. Once the Emergency mode is enabled, you can turn on the flash to use it as a torch, send your location to a contact through text message, sound an emergency alarm on your phone, browse the internet and make/receive phone calls.
How to use Emergency mode on Samsung smartphones
Step 1: Press and hold the power button for a few seconds and then tap on Emergency mode.
Step 2: Read and agree to the terms and conditions, then select Turn on in the popup window that shows up to enable emergency mode.
Step 3: Use the “+” button to add one additional app to the simplified home screen if you need. Only select apps work in this mode.
That’s it. Emergency mode is very easy to enable and use and will certainly come in handy if you ever find yourself in a difficult situation. Tap on the relevant options to activate the emergency alarm and torch or to share your location and make a phone call.
Samsung has made it very simple to understand and use. The emergency alarm is a particularly good option as it loudly beeps when enabled. To turn off the Emergency mode, just tap on the overflow menu (the three-dot icon) in the top right corner and tap on the relevant option. You can also manage your emergency contacts by tapping the Manage emergency contacts option in the overflow menu.
An innovative and easy-to-use notebook with productivity features and applications that can be used at work, in the classroom or at home
Two weeks ago Samsung announced the launch of a new notebook, and just this past weekend Samsung showcased the new hardware at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Notebook 7 Spin (2018) has pretty much everything you’d expect from a mid-range notebook, but Samsung wants to, at the same time, reiterate and enlighten us on its capabilities with today’s release of a full feature tour.
Notebook 7 Spin (2018) full feature tour
The 360-degree hinge allows for the traditional laptop format, a tablet format, as well as a tent/presentation format, thus making the notebook quite versatile. A fingerprint sensor is uniquely placed on the side of the hardware allowing easy access regardless of the format with which it is being used. Some additional functionality is onboard with a 13.3-inch FHD 10-finger multi-touch display, allowing the use of the trackpad or simply your finger.
The notebook is optimized for extended battery life with a 43Wh battery and features an 8th Generation Intel Core i5 quad-core processor. Windows Ink is supported on the device, and a stylus called the Active Pen is sold separately. The keyboard is backlit and it includes curved keycaps for a comfortable typing experience. The device is also equipped with dual far-field microphones to support the Voice Note feature which allows for speech-to-text translation.
Samsung has released a program with the new notebook called Studio Plus which is an iMovie-esque program for video editing and movie creation. Last but not least, Security Folder is Samsung’s iteration of the smartphone Secure Folder feature for the PC.
Watch the full feature tour below and let us know what you think and if you plan on buying by leaving a comment below.
“Our customers wanted a functional, intuitive device that includes a wide range of their favorite features, and that’s what we’ve delivered with the Notebook 7 Spin (2018),” said YoungGyoo Choi, Senior Vice President of the PC Business Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “This device meets the needs of today’s digital lifestyle, combining work and play with a smart, seamless and personalized experience that connects users with their other devices.”
At CES 2018, Samsung will showcase the new Notebook 7 Spin (2018) and a variety of features that allow consumers to work wherever, whenever and however they want while staying secure. These features include:
360-Degree Rotating Touchscreen – Provides the flexibility to view content as preferred, whether it be as a tablet or as a traditional PC in landscape mode
Active Pen-enabled – Perfect for attending meetings, conference calls or lectures, the Active Pen (sold separately) lets users create a sketch or jot down notes on the fly
Secure Fingerprint Log-in – Through simple fingerprint scanning, users can quickly log-in with Windows Hello and keep files more secure in their own Privacy Folder
Power and Performance – Runs on the Windows 10 operating system and equipped with an Intel i5 processor and 256GB SSD drive that allows for quicker startups and advanced multi-tasking capabilities
Voice Note – Advanced smart recording featuring an integrated far field microphone to capture every detail of important meetings or lectures, which can be stored and shared easily via Samsung Cloud with up to 15 GB for free with each Samsung account
Battery– Larger battery capacity to keep users connected throughout the day
Studio Plus – For users who wish to express their creative side, Studio Plus allows them to produce personalized movies featuring their favorite photos and videos
For seven years, Samsung has been consistent in releasing two flagship devices each year. In the spring, we get the Galaxy S model. This phone is Samsung’s bread and butter, ushering in the newest version of Samsung’s software and giving general consumers a sleek and powerful device. If you’re a true Samsung loyalist you probably know that the company’s fall release is typically the device you should wait for, but that’s not really the case this time around.
I think we can all agree that the prestige around owning a Note isn’t what it used to be. In the past people, bought the note because it was a bit ridiculous. It was substantially larger than mainstream devices and offered a battery which could easily last two days. But the screen on the new Galaxy Note8 is just 0.1-inches bigger than the Galaxy S8 Plus’ and the battery inside the phone is roughly the same size as well.
After the explosive demise of the Galaxy Note7, it’s quite evident that Samsung is playing things safe with the Note8.
It’s clear that Samsung’s done a lot of work to bring a unified design to its phones in 2017. If it weren’t for the S Pen on the bottom edge and the rearrangement of the camera and fingerprint sensor array on the back of the phone, the Note8 could easily be mistaken for the Galaxy S8 Plus. The placement of the fingerprint sensor is definitely awkward since you need to readjust your grip to reach it, but you should at least have fewer fingerprint smudges on the camera lens since Samsung placed the heart rate sensor between them.
As for everything else, the Note8 looks and feels like the S8. You get a metal frame that’s sandwiched between the front and back glass panels, a pretty useless Bixby button next to the volume rocker on the left edge, a power button on the right and the S Pen, USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom. And despite having all those holes, the Note8 is also IP68 dust and water resistant.
Overall, the phone looks and feels like a thousand bucks — as it should, since the phone sells for $929.
The Note8 is the most expensive mainstream Android device on the market, but that doesn’t mean that its specs are any better than what you’d get if you bought any other 2017 flagship device.
The phone runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There are also 128GB and 256GB storage options for those who don’t mind paying a bit more, but you can always bump the storage capacity up later with a microSD card. The battery measures in at 3300mAh and it supports wireless charging as well as Fast Charging with Adaptive Fast Charging.
It also has a 6.3-inch, 18.5:9, Quad HD+ AMOLED display which features curved edges. Biometric security features include a fingerprint reader, an iris scanner and facial recognition with the front-facing camera.
The main camera setup features a pair of 12-megapixel cameras, both with optical image stabilization. The main sensor features a f/1.7 lens while the second one sports a f/2.4 lens with 2X optical zoom. Like the Galaxy S8, the front-facing camera on the Note8 features an 8-megapixel sensor which is paired with a f/1.7 autofocus lens.
The Snapdragon 835 that’s used in this phone is quite common, but Samsung’s done a bit more tweaking on the software to make sure it’s incredibly fast. In the past, Samsung has gotten a lot of flak for its bloated UI since it has always hindered the performance of its devices. While we expect this phone could run faster if it were running stock Android, Samsung’s software tweaks don’t seem to get in the way this time around.
Benchmark scores show that the Note8 is one of the fastest devices of 2017 and day-to-day use confirms that. There’s not even a hint of stutter or lag and it kills the competition when it comes to multitasking. Thanks to the phone’s 6GB of RAM (a first for a Samsung device), you can easily jump in and out of apps and even pick up a game exactly where you left off 2-3 hours ago without it needing to reload. Pair that performance with the phone’s 6.3-inch display and the included S Pen and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a device that’s better suited for multi-tasking.
The 6.3-inch AMOLED panel is absolutely stunning. It’s bright, crisp and doesn’t have any of the issues that we’ve seen on the LG V30 or the Pixel 2 XL. The 18.5:9 aspect ratio does take some time to get used to, but the taller display means that the Note8 is surprisingly manageable despite its obnoxious size.
Since the edges of the display aren’t as curved as those of the Galaxy S8, the visual appeal isn’t quite the same, but it’s definitely more functional since there’s a clear distinction between the actual display and the edge of the phone. Samsung says the curve was reduced to improve the usability of the S Pen. While that makes total sense, it’s interesting to see how the edge display seems to be getting smaller and smaller with every new Galaxy phone that comes out.
As with other AMOLED panels, you get extremely deep blacks. Unfortunately, the colors seem to pop a bit too much, but you can tone things down manually in the settings.
As you might expect, the battery life by the Galaxy Note8’s 3300mAh cell is a bit disappointing. Yes, Samsung is playing it a bit safe since it admitted that the demise of the Note7 was in part because it had crammed too large of a battery into the phone, but they could have done a bit better than this.
The phone will still make it through a full day with more than 4 hours of screen-on time, but I’ve come to expect a whole lot more from Samsung’s Note series. Making things worse is the odd inclusion of Adaptive Fast Charging that is equivalent to Quick Charge 2.0 when Quick Charge 4.0 is readily available. This means you’ll need to wait nearly two hours for the phone’s battery to fully charge.
Gone are the days when Samsung’s Note devices were known for exceptional battery life.
As mentioned before, the main camera on the Galaxy Note8 features two 12-megapixel sensors. We all know that Samsung is a bit late to the dual-camera game, but they are the first to include optical image stabilization on both sensors.
Like most other dual-sensor camera setups, Samsung is using the wide angle and zoom approach with a portrait mode which will digitally blur the background in the photo. But rather than just copy everyone else, Samsung’s phone can capture your shots with both sensors, allowing you to choose between the wide angle and zoomed-in image.
The results you get from the camera are quite impressive. Colors are well balanced, the edges are crisp and there’s very little noise in the shots unless you’re taking pictures in extremely low light situations. The auto white balance can be a little too cool at times, but that’s easily adjustable in the settings.
We were pretty impressed with the Galaxy S8’s camera earlier this year, but Note8 takes things to a whole new level.
While there are plenty of large phones on the market these days, the real reason to buy the Note8 is for the S Pen. There’s nothing stopping you from using a stylus with the phone you already own, but the experience will never match what the Note8 offers out of the box. And this year, the S Pen has learned a few new tricks. It can now be used for live currency and measurement conversion along with language translation within the browser and other apps when you use the S Pen to select the text.
If you want to jot down notes when the phone’s display is off, you can now write to your heart’s content since the feature has been updated so that users can write up to 100 pages of notes without having to turn the screen on.
And if that wasn’t enough, the S Pen also allows you to create animated notes which can be shared with your friends. Just jot down a quick note and sketch something out and the phone will save your stroke work as an animated GIF which can be shared via your favorite messaging apps.
But of course, the main appeal is still the basic note-taking functionality of the S Pen. We may be living in a digital era, but there’s still something extremely satisfying about writing by hand rather than punching it out on a virtual keyboard. And that’s really the only reason why you should buy the Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note8 8.5 / 10
There’s a lot to love about the Samsung Galaxy Note8, but the only way you can really justify spending this much money on a phone is if you simply can’t live without the S Pen. The large display is nice and the camera is great, but there are other devices on the market with displays which are just as large or cameras which are just as good.
It’s a bit odd to say this about one of Samsung’s Note devices, but the Note8 would definitely be worth its $930 asking price to a lot more people if its battery life wasn’t simply mediocre.
How to Shoot RAW/DNG Photos on Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the first flagship device from Samsung to feature a dual-camera setup at its rear. The secondary 12MP telephoto lens features an f/2.6 aperture and OIS and allows the Note 8 to take some pretty incredible shots.
Overall, the Note 8’s camera is among the best you can find in a smartphone right now. And if you know the basic aspects of photography, you can make the most out of the camera by using the manual mode in the camera. If that’s not enough though, you can always shoot photos in RAW/DNG format on the Note 8 so that you can process them on your PC later on. Wondering how to shoot photos in RAW format on the Galaxy Note 8 though? Follow the steps below to know how.
Step 1: Open the default Camera app on your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and tap the Settings button (cog icon) located on the top-right corner of the display.
Step 2: Tap on Picture size and from the menu that opens up, simply enable the ‘Save RAW and JPEG files’ toggle.
Enabling the toggle in itself is not enough to make your Galaxy Note 8 start saving photos in RAW/DNG format. You will also have to take all photos in the ‘Pro’ camera mode to ensure they are saved in RAW/DNG format. You can switch to the Pro mode on Galaxy Note 8 by swiping to the left from the camera viewfinder and selecting the relevant option.
If you know your way around Photoshop or any other image editor, you should be able to extract a wee bit more from the Note 8’s camera by manually tweaking the RAW/DNG photos shot from it. In the end though, do remember that we are talking about a smartphone camera here so the gains are going to be limited.
Recognized as one of the best-in-class smartwatches in the wearable category, Samsung’s Gear S3 has been praised for its design, user friendliness and technological innovation. But with the recently released value pack update, the Gear S3 is more versatile than ever.
Packed with enhancements that augment the device’s utility and streamline users’ access to the information they rely on, the update transforms the Gear S3 into a controller, a tracker, a communicator and, of course, a watch – all in one device.
Workouts, Your Way
Exercising with the Gear S3 has been completely transformed, thanks to new features designed to make activity tracking more intuitive.*
Advanced, real-time heart rate monitoring with improved accuracy and detailed feedback lets users continuously monitor their heart rate activity – whether they’re enjoying a relaxing yoga session or an exhilarating kickboxing class. They can also control their weight more efficiently via the nutrition management feature, where they can easily add calories consumed, check their calorie balance and compare it to their daily target.
Fitness buffs looking to take their workout routine to the next level will appreciate the Samsung Health Fitness Program feature, which lets them watch exercise programs from their synced smartphone on a TV. Once connected, they can use their Gear S3 to control the displayed content, display their heart rates on the TV.
Centralized Communications, Right from Your Wrist
Despite its productivity and fitness features, the Gear S3 is not just a lifestyle device. In fact, it’s a communicator that makes getting in touch and staying on task easy and efficient.
In addition to searching contacts via the device, users can also now create new contacts right from the screen of the Gear S3. They can also create events along with related information such as date and time, reminder alerts, and location (text only) with a few simple taps and twists of the bezel.
Furthermore, rather than just checking reminders created on the Gear S3, users can also now view and edit checklist, video and web reminders created on their synced smartphone on the smartwatch. For instance, they can create a grocery list on their mobile device and tick items off right from their wrist as they add them to their shopping cart.**
A UX Optimized for the Way You Use Your Device
The Gear S3 sets users free from their phone; a turn of the device’s signature rotating bezel is all it takes to respond to calls, read messages or access an app. But with the latest updates, the device’s UX is even more seamless and user-friendly.
Widgets, for example, have been optimized to fit the newly enhanced circular display of the Gear S3 so that more information can be viewed at a glance. A band has been added around the perimeter of the screen along with widget-specific text such as contact names, detailed weather information and the remaining time before an alarm is set to go off.
By rotating the bezel at a faster or slower rate, users can view more or less information, respectively. For instance, if a user wants to change their device’s watch face, they can see more design options on the screen at once by turning the bezel at a faster speed.
Users can also use the bezel to naturally move from a text message notification to the reply input. Should they not have enough time to send a detailed reply, they can make use of even more default quick replies to express themselves in a snap. They can also create and edit their own quick replies directly on the smartwatch.
Gear S3 owners also now have the option to sort apps in the order in which they were most recently used in addition to being able to customize their location. The Moment Bar, which allows users to adjust the volume, check the battery level and more, is easily accessed with a swipe up or down from any screen.
To top things off, Samsung Gear, the app that Gear S3 owners use to sync their smartwatch with their smartphone, has been enhanced with a modern, image-focused design to better harmonize with the classic aesthetic of the device.
Enhanced Control for Ultimate Connectivity
With a focus on connectivity, Samsung’s ever-growing connected ecosystem brings about the need for more control. With its large touchscreen and rotating bezel, the Gear S3 is the perfect tool for controlling one’s devices, and is only enhanced with the new value pack update.
Users can now manage their compatible Samsung IoT-enabled devices right from their Gear S3 with Samsung Connect. The smartwatch also functions as a remote control for PowerPoint presentations and Samsung Gear VR, adding an element of convenience to both work and play.
The Gear S3 value pack update is now available for download via the Samsung Gear app.
* To activate these new features, the Samsung Health app must first be updated on the smartphone synced to the Gear S3.
** The Reminder function only works with the Gear S3 if the Reminder app is downloaded on the synced smartphone, which is limited to the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note8.
The second beta firmware update with version number G950FXXU1ZQK4 is now being rolled out by Samsung. It has been rolled out in the United Kingdom already and will also go live in other supported markets soon.
Second Galaxy S8 Android 8.0 beta firmware
The changelog of the second Galaxy S8 Android 8.0 Oreo beta firmware reveals that it brings the October security patch and improves the stability of DeX mode. The changelog also mentions that the stability of the Launcher has been improved as well.
There are new clock styles for the lock screen and Always On Display. Users can now adjust the transparency of notifications to get their desired look. Smart View gets smarter by allowing the handset’s screen to go dark when it’s mirroring between the phone and TV.
A plethora of bug fixes are also included in this beta release. Interestingly, even though the changelog says that it has the October security patch, the Software Information section mentions the September patch. It just might be a clerical mistake.
Samsung is yet to confirm when the second phase of the beta program will begin. That’s when the Galaxy S8 Android 8.0 Oreo beta is expected to be released in markets like India.
Tablets have always allowed one to lock the screen orientation to either portrait or landscape, but the latter has not been possible on smartphones, at least not those made by Samsung. But did you know the ability to lock screen orientation to landscape is available on the Galaxy Note 8, and any device that runs the Samsung Experience 8.5 or newer interface?
That’s right: You can finally use your Samsung phone in landscape mode and not have to deal with the orientation flipping back to portrait just because you turn the phone just a tad sideways. Again, this feature is only available on Samsung devices running at least Samsung Experience 8.5; it will be present on newer versions as well, including Samsung Experience 9.0 that will debut on Android 8.0 Oreo.
So, how does one lock screen orientation to landscape on the Galaxy Note 8 and other Samsung phones? Just follow the steps below to see how it’s done.
How to lock screen orientation to landscape on the Galaxy Note 8
Step 1: Access the notification shade by swiping down from the top of the screen, then swipe again to access the quick toggles.
Step 2: Here, tap the screen rotation toggle repeatedly till it says Auto Rotate.
Step 3: Then, rotate the phone to make the screen flip to landscape orientation. Then, bring up the toggles again and tap the screen rotation toggle till it says Landscape.
That’s it. Your phone’s screen will now continue to work in landscape mode (at least in apps and menus that support it; the home screen, for example, only works in portrait) until you re-enable auto rotation, turn the phone to portrait orientation, then tap the rotation toggle in the notification shade till it says Portrait.
Samsung’s mid-range Galaxy A smartphone family gained fingerprint recognition and Samsung Pay support in its 2016 incarnation, water and dust resistance earlier this year, now gearing up for possibly its biggest upgrade yet in just a few months.
How sweet would it be if you were able to own one of those dazzling “Infinity Displays” without selling a kidney first? Well, we don’t know how much the next-gen Galaxy A5 (2018) and A7 (2018) are supposed to cost, but they’ll definitely end up cheaper than a GS8 or Note 8 outright.
Thanks to the tireless work of the industry’s second most prolific leaker, who got access to another top-secret set of mobile device factory designs, we have a general idea of the A5 (2018) and A7 (2018)’s bezel size.
At a first glance, the display borders here are nowhere near as spectacularly thin as on the Galaxy S8 or Note 8, and the exact rumored dimensions of the two unreleased phones corroborate that gut feeling.
With “only” 6 inches of screen real estate, the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) is tipped to measure 159.6 x 75.6 mm, which would be about as tall and slightly wider than the 6.2-inch GS8+. But it’s also extremely close to the measurements of the A7 (2017).
Meanwhile, the A5 (2018) could squeeze a usable screen area of 5.5 inches into a relatively compact 148.8 x 70.5 mm body. That’s not as compact as the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8, but it’s similar to the 5.2-inch A5 (2017).
Interestingly (and excitingly) enough, the Galaxy A3 (2018) is speculated to match the A5 and A7 (2018) in the display resolution department, at 2160 x 1080 pixels, resulting in 18:9 or 2:1 aspect ratios.
Other impressive-sounding features (by mid-range standards) might include 4GB RAM and a brand-new 10nm Exynos 7885 SoC for both the Galaxy A7 (2018) and A5 (2018). Depending on your region, you may be able to buy the two with Snapdragon 660 processing power.
Always On Display functionality, IP68 certification, Samsung Pay, USB Type-C connectivity, 32GB internal storage and, sadly, Android 7.1.1 Nougat software will allegedly wrap up two overall robust spec sheets.
It’s big. It’s heavy. It’s not all that attractive. We love it.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is the best rugged phone you’ll find on the market. Sure, there aren’t that many of them available; however, the Active line time and again rises to the top. The 2017 iteration is not only among the best in rugged and durable phones, but it’s also one of the most compelling packages offered right now.
In the early days of rugged phones we had to contend with less than desirable performance. We traded away sleek and sexy in favor of rough and tumble. If you were a general contractor or plumber in the market for a new phone to take on job sites, you had to choose from ugly and uninspired stuff. Even worse, the phones were a generation or two behind the rest of the pack.
Somewhere over the last few generations, though, Samsung figured out a way to deliver timely hardware in a body that was more sleek. Its Galaxy S Active series of devices, which has been exclusive to AT&T, is a great way to keep up with the Joneses, and have something designed to take moderate abuse.
The Galaxy S7 Active (2016) was a tremendous step forward for the line, and even bested the S7 standard bearer with a bigger battery. As for this year’s model, the S8 Active is another stellar device that delivers best-in-class specifications at its core. Indeed, it’s all Galaxy S8 under the hood.
What we really enjoy about the S8 Active is that it’s all of the good stuff in the Galaxy S8. The Super AMOLED display, excellent camera, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage are what you expect in top phone in 2017. Also present are USB-C, water and dust resistance, and headphone jack.
When it comes to performance, it’s damn near impossible to get more than what comes in the aforementioned specifications. Yes, you can stack them up on benchmarks and create a pecking order. Moreover, you can also get more memory in other models.
Does that stuff matter to you? We suspect that most people can’t discern the differences in hardware on daily tasks. There’s very little you can throw at a phone like this that will tax it.
We saw no stutters, lags, or performance issues in the Galaxy S8 Active. Everything, from just checking email and messages, to games and always-synchronizing services like Slack and Todoist, went swimmingly.
Be careful in reading too much into these words. Don’t look at the S8 Active as an improvement or enhanced version of the flagship phone. It is, to a degree, a souped-up model in areas. But, what it loses, is everything that makes the Galaxy S8 so sexy. The beautiful body, sleek lines, and all of those premium materials are absent here.
The S8 Active’s screen is flat whereas the Galaxy S8 is curved; its resolution is 2,560 x 1,440 while the flagship offers up 2,960 x 1,440 pixels. The devil is in the details, and that matters to some.
Also, the display is protected by a special film or plastic that is prone to pick up scratches. This is one of the trades you’ll still make when dealing with a rugged phone. The glass is shatter-resistant, and will stand up to drops… but.
The top layer absorbs the scuffs and scratches of life and will show up over time. To us, though, we’ll take that any day. Nothing beats the peace of mind in knowing with almost 100 percent certainty that a dropped phone is going to look okay when we flip it over. Samsung says the S8 Active can withstand a 5-foot drop.
The Galaxy S8 Active is also heavier than its flagship counterpart. In fact, it’s even heavier than the Galaxy Note 8. There’s serious heft to it.
Part of the weight comes in a 4,000mAh battery. Yes, a full 1,000mAh more than the Galaxy S8 and 500mAh more than the Galaxy S8+. This means you’ll end up with plenty of juice left over at the end of the day.
Realistically you could expect to get two days of average use out of the S8 Active. Mileage varies, to be sure, but we’ve come to appreciate this much life and we think you would, too.
In the area of cameras, the S8 Active’s setup is identical to the one in both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S8. Specifically, it’s a single 12-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. As we, and others, found with this to consistently deliver bright, sharp photos with a great level of detail.
The software is a real winner, too, thanks to a variety of shooting modes such as Selective Focus (DSRL-like bokeh) and Pro (manual settings for shutter speed, focus, and ISO).
Around front, the S8 Active’s selfie-camera is equally solid. The Wide Selfie is a neat trick which lets one snap panoramic-like shots. Samsung’s augmented reality (AR) stickers are similar to what you get in Snapchat and Instagram and make for a fun experience.
One of the other downsides to the Galaxy S Active line, thus far, is that it is exclusive to AT&T. This means you’ll end up with the carrier’s preloaded apps and services. To that end you can look forward to nearly one dozen titles.
You can uninstall or disable most of them, but you’ll have to find a way to hide the others. That is, of course, if you don’t want to see them. If you’re an AT&T fan through and through, you might find value in them. As of the time of this review we understand that T-Mobile may soon offer its own take on the Galaxy S8 Active.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is pricey. With a sticker of $850 it falls on the high end of what smarphone makers command. It’s $100 more than the flagship model and the same cost of the Galaxy S8+ when purchased through AT&T. Go unlocked, though, and the S8 Active could be much more costly by comparison.
We definitely won’t list this phone among the most beautiful or sophisticated designs. It’s downright ugly, boring, and blocky when compared to others. On the other hand, it is better looking than its predecessors. We’re surely not the only ones to appreciate that Samsung left the camouflage off this year’s model.
Don’t purchase the S8 Active strictly on the merit of a larger battery. Do consider it, however, if your needs call for a phone that withstands abuse. Have young children in the house? If they expect to get to play with your device, you’ll want the peace of mind that comes with a shatter-resistant display.
If you’ve grown accustomed to having a rugged phone over the last few years, the S8 Active is a wonderful step up from your older model. A lot of people hold on to their handsets for 18-24 months; this phone is much improved over what was available at that time.
Available for Pre-order starting tomorrow, October 13, Samsung Gear Sport and the Enhanced Gear IconX 2018 are Designed to Help Motivate and Manage Fitness Goals
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today the Gear Sportand Gear IconX 2018 will be available for online preorders starting tomorrow, October 13, with widespread U.S. availability starting October 27. Joining a full suite of Samsung wearables available this holiday season, the Gear Sport is a stylish, robust and 5 ATM water resistant fitness smartwatch with iconic circular bezel and built-in GPS, while the Gear IconX 2018 wireless earbuds are designed for comfort to track fitness goals and enjoy offline music while offering improved battery life. Samsung’s portfolio of wearables are uniquely designed for different consumers to meet their needs and fit into their lifestyle.
“Samsung’s new smartwatches and cord-free earbuds make wellness management simpler and easier,” said Alanna Cotton, Vice President Marketing, Samsung Electronics America. “Whether you want to get fitness insights or enjoy your favorite music, Gear Sport and Gear IconX 2018 blend style with functionality to help you manage your health and get the most out of your day.”
Sporting military-grade1 durability, a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display, and signature design touches like a circular bezel for easy navigation, and a form factor inspired by traditional watches, the Gear Sport is the latest in a line of wearable smart devices from Samsung which are as stylish as they are functional. With 5 ATM water resistance2 and swim tracking, real-time heart rate monitoring, auto activity detection, and Spotify’s offline mode that lets users listen to their favorite music anywhere; the new Gear Sport lives at the intersection of lifestyle and fitness.
Additionally, with a variety of custom watch bands to go along with Gear Sport’s traditional watch design, the smartwatch can be dressed up or down for any occasion. Available in Blue and Black, Gear Sport is $299.99 and will be available in the U.S. for online preorders at Samsung.com and BestBuy.com starting tomorrow, October 13, and widespread U.S. availability starting October 27 through Samsung.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Macy’s and U.S. Cellular3.
Gear IconX 2018
The second-generation Gear IconX 2018 cord-free earbuds let you effortlessly listen to your favorite music – making your daily commute more enjoyable or helping you get more from your workout. With 4GB of internal storage, music can be enjoyed on and offline by transferring songs from a Samsung smartphone4 or PC, or accessing your favorite streaming music service through Bluetooth connectivity. With a simple tap and hold of the earbuds when connected to a Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ or Galaxy Note8, users can control their music or smartphone with just their voice through Bixby.
The updated design comes in Black, Gray and Pink and is ergonomic and lightweight so Gear IconX 2018 earbuds are secure, comfortable and stylish to use. For the fitness enthusiast, the Gear IconX 2018 automatically tracks your running routines and features a standalone built-in Running Coach.
With an improved battery life of up to five hours of Bluetooth streaming, up to seven hours of MP3 listening standalone mode and up to four hours of talk time, users can enjoy a seamless experience whether tracking fitness activities, talking via Bluetooth or listening to music. The Gear IconX 2018 is $199.99 and will be available in the U.S. for online preorders at Samsung.com starting tomorrow, October 13, and widespread U.S. availability starting October 27 through Samsung.com, Amazon, BestBuy.com, Sprint and U.S. Cellular5.
iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6s Plus, SE, 5 *iOS 9.0 or later
Samsung Gear IconX 2018 Specifications
Gear IconX 2018
Black, Gray, Pink
Earbud: 18.9 (W) x 21.8 (D) x 22.8(H) mm/ Case: 73.4 (W) x 44.5 (D) x 31.4(H) mm
Earbud: 8.0g per earbud / Case: 54.5g
4GB (per earbud)
Bluetooth® v 4.2
Accelerometer, IR, Capacitive Touch
Earbud: 82mAh / Charging Case: 340mAh
Play time: up to 6 hours (Standalone Mode) / up to 5 hours (Bluetooth Mode)
Talk time: up to 4 hours
※ The charging case provides1 extra charge on the go
2.0 & Type-C
5.8pi Dynamic Driver
Android 4.4 or later
RAM 1.5 GB or above
Audio Formats: MP3, M4A, AAC, WAV, WMA (WMA v9)
Audio Codec: Samsung Scalable Codec, SBC
Voice Guide Language
English (U.S.), Chinese (China), German (Germany), French (France), Spanish (U.S.), Korean (South Korea), Italian (Italy), Russian (Russia), Japanese (Japan)
1 Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro are MIL-STD-810G certified.
2 Gear Sport has ISO 22810:2010 certification for 5 ATM rating of 50 meters (165 feet) under specific conditions. This means that the device is safe to wear while walking in the rain or showering, and may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, the Gear Sport should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing, or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth.
3Colors and availability dates may vary by retailer
4The Gear IconX is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 and above.
5Availability dates may vary by retailer