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BIG-samsung.jpgWhen the Samsung Galaxy S5 is released in April, it'll be packed full of premium apps and subscriptions worth well over $500, according to a new site on the Samsung website called Galaxy Gifts.

Although for many users the apps still may not be enough to justify the Galaxy S5's (still undisclosed) price tag, but for those already forking out a lot of cash each month for subscriptions to apps like Lark, Wall Street Journal and LinkedIn it could certainly sweeten the deal. The Wall Street Journal app is the most pricey, with users receiving a six month subscription worth $160.

At the moment Samsung has only announced the app bundle to its US users, but says it's looking into a similar offer when the handset is launched in the UK on the 11th of April.

Samsung launched its latest handset, the Samsung Galaxy S5, at MWC 2014 on Monday evening and tech accessories company Proporta has been quick off the mark by already unveiling a range of cases for the phone, including new designs from some of the top gadget-making companies and collaborations with well-known labels.

You can view the whole range and order your favourites from Proporta, but in the meantime here are our top picks for keeping your new Samsung Galaxy S5 safe and smash-free.

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rsz_1tumblr_inline_mx5s24djec1rkrghv.jpgType: Android phablet
Price as reviewed: £450

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 combines the Note moniker's raison d'etre for combining both the power and performance of a tablet PC, but all chucked into the slim body of a phablet. Thanks to that glorious 5.7inch screen it has been built to add delight to daily tasks such as browsing the internet, playing games and watching videos. It also sports an overall improved design and spec line-up when compared to its predecessor.

Design

Ok, so it is big, but then again nowhere near the size of the Galaxy Mega. It measures in at 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm, which means that you could well need a suitcase to carry it in. Maybe that is a bit of an over exaggeration, because it should fit into most trouser pockets quite reasonably - but it's definitely a large device to use as your daily driver. However, in saying that, it is a lot lighter than its competitors, weighing only 158g.

Looking at the front of the Note III, you can clearly see that it is a Samsung product due to the fact that it sports pretty much the same layout that has been used right across the Galaxy range for the last two years. The rest of the Note III's facial is dominated by the 5.7- inch display that I have already said is large.

On the left side, you'll find the volume rocker which I personally found very responsive, with the power on/off button located to the right that also felt extremely good to use. The top houses a 3.5mm headphone jack, with the Micro-USB placed at the bottom, alongside the loudspeaker.

The back is where you'll find the camera sensor, but interestingly, it now offers up a faux leather look, which I found much more appealing and nicer to touch and feel when compared to other Galaxy Models that I've seen in the past. Some people do dislike that it's not real leather, but it works for me.

Display

Samsung has an excellent track record for producing gorgeous displays, and they have done it yet again with the Note III. Thanks to its 1080x1920 resolution, colours look amazing, perfect for watching a movie or two. And when I took it outside (on a nice day), I found out that it's viable when in the sunlight - which impressed me, because when testing the Note II back in 2012, I found that it needed to improve in this area. Plus, the 5.7- inch touchscreen is nice and responsive to use.

Interface

Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, chucked on top of Android Jelly Bean, is in my opinion, much better than the stock version and competing UIs such as HTC's Sense. I love the whole simplicity of the UI and how sleek it is, yet sporting apps that you could arguably say are suited for people who you may call 'tech experts'. And if you want to download more, then you can easily head over to the Google Play Store where there are thousands of options to choose from.

One of the main plus points of the Android operating system has to be the ability to personalise the whole layout. During the testing process, I haven't once stopped fiddling with the Note III's homescreen, constantly adding new widgets and taking old ones away. Don't ask, but I've always found that a lot of fun! Perhaps it's because I've been using iOS for far too long.

One of the main software features of the Note III is the ability to use the S Pen - which has been redesigned, now looking a lot better than ever before - to take down notes and draw pictures. I found the S Pen very useful when I needed to write something down and couldn't find a pen or any paper. Some people won't like it, but others will think it's awesome.

Media

I have to be honest, the Note III is probably one of the best options to go for should you want a device for entertainment purposes. Watching videos and playing games is a dream, and it has a good speaker, too.

Power

If you pay more for a phone, then the chances are that it's going to be impressive in terms of power and performance. The Note III is exactly that, producing amazing speeds as the result of a quad-core 2.3GHz processor, backed up with 3GB of RAM and choices of 16/32/64GB of memory. The battery life was also great, lasting a whole day and a bit on a full charge - much better than my iPhone 5.

Camera

With the Note III, you get a 13- megapixel camera and 4K video recording - a feature for Samsung to brag about, as it's something most current smartphones/phablets don't offer. In terms of the overall quality, I was very happy with photos taken with the Note III, although I didn't really find the flash strong enough when using the camera in the night. However, in saying that, I had no obvious problems when it came to taking videos - the quality is quite superb - I really do mean that.

Verdict

The Note III may be huge, but it's certainly not as big as some of the phablets that you can find on the market today - using the HTC One Max as a great example - meaning that if you want a something bigger than the average smartphone, yet don't want it to be humongous, then the Note III could be the best option to go for. This is a sound re-invention of what is fast becoming a classic device.

samsung-galaxy-granbd2.jpgSo, after the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy mega Samsung has announced the impending arrival of yet another large screen mobile, The Galaxy Grand 2 boasts a 5.25-inch display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

It also comes with a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, just 8GB of internal flash storage and a 2,600mAh battery with a promised 17 hours of call time and 10 hours of video playback. There is also an 8-megapixel rear camera which is accompanied by a slew of Samsung software features like Best Face, Best Photo and Continuous Shot.

It comes in white or pink and features twin SIM card slots but is not 4G compatible.

I guess this is Samsung offering a lower specced cheaper big screen phone largely for buyers in emerging markets. There are no details yet on whether the handset will be available in Europe or the US. I hope they do bring it over as I think it could tempt some British buyers who liked the idea of the Galaxy mega, but may have been put off by its non Quad core processor.

Samsung Galaxy Mega review

2 Comments

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Type: Android smartphone

Price as reviewed: £300

Fancy a really big phone? Well Samsung isn't just touting its high-end Galaxy S3 Note. There's also a cut down version - the Mega - which sports a huge 6.3inch display. That's significantly bigger than the Note 3. In fact only the Sony Xperia Z Ultra - from the big name makers at least - is bigger. Yet the specs, and the price are lower than the Note 3. I get the impression that this is aimed at people who can't afford both a tablet and a phone. In fact Samsung has even muttered about students being its prime audience.

Design

When you take the Galaxy Mega out of its box, the size is a real shock! It really is almost comparable to a 7-inch tablet...it's that big. And due to it being so humongous, I found it very hard at first to comfortably hold it. After a while, using it with one hand become easier, although you'll probably want to use two hands just in case you were to end up dropping the Mega or even causing physical damage to your arm or hand. It's also worth mentioning that it's not the lightest of devices at 199g, either.

Looking around the Galaxy Mega, you get a 3.5mm audio jack at the top, with the volume rocker on the left side, the power/lock button to the right, and the micro-USB charging port placed at the bottom - everything placed nicely as they should be! And all the elements are lovely and responsive to use.

Probably the biggest attraction - and excuse the pun - has to be the Mega's gigantic 6.3- inch display. Sporting a resolution of 720x1280 pixels (note the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Galaxy Note S3's screens are both 1080 x 1920 pixels), colours are not only sharp, but they're also vibrant and bold - perfect for watching plenty of YouTube videos. And thanks to the responsive capacitive touchscreen technology used, I had no problems whatsoever when navigating around the display.

Under the hood, the Mega is powered by a somewhat disappointing dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz, mainly because you would expect to see a high-end smartphone, especially a phablet, sporting a quad-core version. But nevertheless, I had no problems when it came to the overall performance - probably down to the fact that there's plenty of memory (8/16GB) and 1.5GB RAM. It has more than enough oomph for most applications, it just isn't as speedy and as highly specified as some of its rivals.

Interface and apps

While the Galaxy Mega is pre-loaded with Android Jelly Bean, Samsung's very own TouchWiz user interface is way more apparent. I currently use an iPhone, but I have used a few Samsungs in the past, and happen to really like TouchWiz - I find it sleeker and packing more punch that its HTC counterpart, Sense. Maybe that's just me, but I just think it is a lot easier to use and really enjoy customising the homescreen with the variation of Samsung widgets that are available to use.

More on the Google side of things, you get access to many of the search engine's popular apps such as Gmail, Talk and Google Plus, as well as the Play Store where you're able to download free and paid items such as apps, games, magazines, e-books, music and movies - just like with iTunes.

The stock browser is also impressive. I found it very easy to use and I really liked the overall look and feel of it! Plus, because of the Mega's huge display, I had no problems when it came to using the keyboard - its keys are spaced out well and it was very responsive. It made messaging a dream, too.

Another thing that I was happy with when testing was the dial pad. Again, just like the built-in keyboard, the keys have been spaced out nicely to ensure you never accidently press a different number. And call quality is excellent too.

Camera

Samsung has supplied the Galaxy Mega with a 1.9- megapixel front-facing camera for video calling, along with an 8- megapixel rear-facing sensor and 1080p video recording for serious stills and videos.

When using the camera for stills, I was very happy with the user interface - again, very easy to use - as it should be! And I was well impressed with the quality of my photos: they look lovely and crisp, along with the videos that I took.

Battery life

When it came to battery life, I never encountered any time where I was faced with the handset running out - unlike my beloved iPhone 5 - this is all thanks to the Mega's 3200mAh battery.

Verdict

Personally, I'm a huge fan of the Galaxy Mega and what it stands for. If you want an inexpensive big screen mobile, and aren't too fussed about the latest super fast processor and the highest res screen, this is ideal.


Review by Nicholas Fearn of GadgetXpert
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It sounds like Samsung has plans to take its curved screen mobile on another step next year. Bloomberg is reporting that the Korean ginsta have hatched plans to release a mobile phone with a screen that wraps around the edges. The idea being that users will be able to read messages keep up with news by looking at the phone from an angle.

Blomberg says

The phone will use an upgraded version of Samsung's technology called Youm, currently featured in the Galaxy Round handset that curves upward, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans haven't been released. The three-sided display may be used in the S or Note series of handsets or may be the first in a new line not yet named, the people said. Samsung plans to have the three displays operate independently.

As ever it is an uncredited leak - but it would be incredible if samsung, and indeed Apple too- wasn't working on a something like this to differentiate their handsets from their smartphone rivals.

Samsung showed the Youm handset for the first time at the CES show in Las Vegas in January 2013. It would therefore be true to form to follow up with its latest incarnation at CES 2014.

And now for the confirmation, Samsung has launched has launched a smartphone with a curved display screen. The new handset is called the Galaxy Round and for now will only be on sale in Korea.

It sports a 5.7in (14.5cm) AMOLED screen (that makes it the same size as the Galaxy Note 3) whose curvature Samsung says will help consumers check information such as date, time and missed calls when home screen is off, with more ease. You can't actually bend the phone's screen, rather as it is curved you can tilt it to put the display on. Samsung calls this the Roll Effect.

Another benefit of the screen is that users can also change music tracks on their phone, while its display is off.

Here's what the company says on its blog

: "As a result of its unique curved design, users can take advantage of round integration experiences like the Roll Effect.

"That enables the user to check information such as the date, time, missed calls and battery easily when home screen is off, and the Gravity Effect for creating visual interaction with the screen by tilting the device."

There are ways of employing similar tech to cycle through images and change music tracks without the screen being on too.

The phone itself is 4G LTA-Advanced is made from traditional Samsung plastic and comes in the not that alluring shade of luxury brown.

It runs a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, expandable to 64GB with a microSD , uses the Android 4.3 OS and features a 2,800mAh battery. On board is a 13 mega pixel rear and two mega pixel front cameras.

Expect a worldwide version of the curved screen phone to debut across the world at either CESin january or MWC in February.

Big news from Samsung it seems that the curved smartphone that has been doing the rounds is imminent. An image of the device have been leaked on Twitter alongside a crescendo of gossip that the phone will be announced on October 10th - that's tomorrow. The rumour has been sparked by the date on the phone.

Samsung has been experimenting with flexible screens for a while and showed its first version at CES in January.

Top Samsung Galaxy S4 Cases - for her

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Bought yourself a Samsung Galaxy S4? If you feel that it is a little under dressed then maybe you should take a peek at this selection.

Well this is a bolt from the blue. It appears that Samsung are on schedule to launch a smartphone with a curved screen by the end of the year.

The momentous news was dropped in the middle of the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 today and apparently it will land some time in Q4.

Samsung paraded a prototype flexible screen called the Youm back at CES in January (see above video), and it seems that the new version will be based on that design.

According to Park Sang-jin, CEO of Samsung SDI, the new device will use a similar OLED panel and will be curve-shaped, but not completely flexible. Interestingly that prototype was able to display notifications along the side.

samsung-galaxy-gear-smartwatch2.jpgIf you were intrigued by the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch but a bit disappointed that it only worked with one phone - the Note 3 - and not the S4 you splashed the cash on a few months back, we may have some good news.

Cnet is reporting that a Korean news site Daum is suggesting that version two of the phone is in the pipeline and will arrive next year. And among the many enhancements are that it will work with a wider range of phones. The site says that the second iteration of the watch could be unveiled at CES in January

This is not an especially surprising move. It was massively important for Samsung to get there first with the smartwatch ahead of Apple. However by limiting its distribution Samsung could gauge reaction to the watch's launch as well buy a bit of development time before it made the device more widely available.

It is clear that the Gear is nowhere near the finished product. It might have some interesting and innovative features such as the apps and the camera, but I wonder if the Gear is really just a prototype to establish the market sector with the more finished device following next year.

Samsung might also look at the price too. Samsung, like Apple, is keen to lock consumers into sticking with its mobiles and if you buy a watch that works with a certain brand's phone then you are likely to stay with that brand when it comes to an upgrade. So maybe Samsung will reduce that rather aggressive $300 price too.

Here's why the smartwatch battle is so important to both Samsung and Apple.

Samsung-galaxy-s4-hand.jpgWell now that we know all about what Apple have planned for the next few months the limelight turns once back onto Samsung and how the Korean company will respond to some of the innovations that the US company unveiled on Tuesday.

So no surprises then that Samsung is already hyping up the samsung Galaxy S5 and suggesting that it will have that gamer-friendly 64-bit processing.

The company's co-CEO JK Shin told Korea Times that the next generation of high-end Samsung Galaxy phones will have 64-bit processing."Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,"

Although he didn't implicitly say the S5 you can be that's where 64 bit processing will debut

There is also growing speculation about what the phone will like too. It seem very likely now that Samsung will ditch the plastic for its flagship mobile and opt for metal

Korean site ET News thinks that the company will make the move to give the mobile a more premium feel.

There are already rumours that the new phone will sport an improved 16 megapixel camera too.

And as for that fingerprint sensor... Well there were rumours that Samsung was going to beat Apple to the punch by unveiling the innovation on the Galaxy Note 3. It didn't materialise, but surely it will be part of the specifications of future Samsung mobiles.

IFA 2013: Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch lands

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It's been one of the tech industries worst kept secrets but at IFA 2013 in Berlin, Samsung formally unveiled the Galaxy Gear smartwatch,

Connecting to to an Android smartphone via Bluetooth, it is around the size of a regular watch with a 1.63-inch AMOLED (320 x 320 pixels) touchscreen display and 1.9-megapixel 'Memographer' camera on the side of the device for capturing snaps with a tap. 

Weighing a little under 75g, it provides much of the functionality of an Android device without needing to actually touch your phone. Core to the experience is the voice control, which will allow you to carry out all the usual functions like switching music on, making or receiving calls and sending messages, as well as operating apps. The device is also pre-loaded with Samsung specific apps, specifically targeting health and fitness fans with the inclusion of RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. 

The Galaxy Gear also serves as a wristwatch and includes several face options that create the opportunity for users to personalise their watch face. It will come preloaded with 10 different clock options and more choices will be downloadable via Samsung Apps.

The Galaxy Gear experience can be further personalised by selecting from six colours that will be available at launch: Jet Black, Mocha Grey, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green (see picture gallery below).

Says Samsung Mobile CEO, JK Shin: "Samsung Galaxy Gear benefits consumers by integrating smart device technology even deeper into their everyday lives, and bridges the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds to create truly wearable technology.

"Samsung Galaxy Gear frees users from the need to constantly check their smart devices while maintaining connections. It provides what we call "smart freedom" by allowing users to choose how, why, when and where they are connected."

The Samsung Galaxy Gear will be launched in more than 140 countries around the world from September 25th, 2013. Prices yet to be confirmed. 

Meanwhile Sony's rival Smartwatch 2 goes on sale later this month priced £149 (179 Euros), while Apple, Google and Microsoft - which this week acquired Nokia's mobile phone business - are among those rumoured to be working on similar devices.

A recent report by research analysts Canalys claims 500,000 smart watches will be sold this year, with that figure rising to 5 million in 2014. At IFA 2013, the Korean company also announced a new Galaxy Note 3 "phablet" and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet to rival the iPad. 

RELATED ARTICLE: IFA 2013, the five hottest gadgets to look out for

Article originally published on TechDigest here.

Samsung_Galaxy_Note_3.jpgTwo years ago Samsung surprised the mobile world by unveiling the Samsung Galaxy Note - a mobile with a stonkingly large five inch plus screen. Cynics scoffed and said that no one would ever choose a phone that large, but Samsung's experiment paid off handsomely and after selling shedloads of Notes mk 1 and 2, version 3 is set to drop this week at IFA.

So what can we expect? The phone will sport a Super AMOLED screen that is either 5.7 or 5.9 inches (depending on which rumour you believe), which makes it a tad smaller than rivals like the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, with Full HD 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution. The clever money is also 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, the Android Jellybean 4.3 OS and a thirteen megapixel camera.

There are whispers too that the phone will come in three colours - black and white with bizarrely enough a pink model added by the end of the year. There has been the odd suggestion that the phone will follow the HTC One/iPhone 5 route and be made from aluminium, but that would be a huge surprise and chances are it will be plastic like its predecessors.

Samsung pioneered the Phablet market and now it is facing some serious competition from Sony, LG and possibly soon Nokia. It needs to deliver a handset that will keep the hardcore fans who bought the original Galaxy Note back for more.

Click here for #1 Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch

samsung-galaxy-gear-smartwatch-cover.jpgAfter all that talk of the iWatch it appears that Samsung is going to get there first with its Galaxy Gear smart watch. We don't know a huge amount about the watch at present except to say that it will team up wirelessly via Bluetooth with Galaxy mobiles and offer truncated versions of the stuff that you do on those handsets, So alerts for incoming calls, text messages, Twitter and facebook updates and plenty more. It is also likely to have some dedicated features built in too and expect an app rush as developers come up with innovative add-ons for it.

As for specs we are expecting a 2.5-inch screen, dual-core processor, sensors for fitness tracking and some kind of camera which should link directly with the phone.

One thing that won't be happening is a flexible display - so if you want to get an idea of what it might look like check out the recent Sony smartwatches.

samsung-s5-metal.jpgWell it has been a while since the Samsung Galaxy S4 launched so it is about time we started hearing rumours about what the Korean maker might have up its sleeves for its successor.

And straight in comes ETNews which claims that Samsung may be looking to use a metal chassis on its next flagship smartphone.

I am guessing here but I would imagine the one thing that has Galaxy S4 owners looking jealously over their shoulders at iPhone 5 and HTC One users is their lovely metallic finish. So a metal chassis on the S5 really is an obvious move.

ETNews also claims that Samsung is looking to start a production line later this year and is experimenting to minmise the effects of a metal housing on things such as antenna reception and expandable storage.

It is however unlikely that we will see the S5 until at least the middle of next year, but a metallic phone, with a 20 mega pixel camera and shed loads of innovative new features would be just the ticket.

galaxy_gear.jpgBig, big news, Samsung has confirmed that it will launch its smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, on Sept. 4th at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. It will also unveil the latest incarnation of its top-end Phablet the Galaxy Note 3.

The date for the launch plus the details were given by Lee Young-hee, VP of Samsung's mobile business, to The Korea Times.

Yet how innovative will the watch be? For starters it will have no flexible display. Here's what Lee said.

"We will be introducing a new wearable concept device called Galaxy Gear at our own event in Berlin on Sept. 4. We are confident that the Gear will add meaningful momentum to the mobile industry."

Lee also added that the company has more wearable gadgets in the pipeline.

"We have intellectual properties for patents related to the next wearable devices. Those are concepts for future products," she added.

So, it could be that the watch is little different from the type of watches we have seen so far from Sony and smaller companies like Pebble.

We will find out soon enough.

Images of what it might look like from T3 here.


Samsung NX Camera.jpgGood news for high-end photographers who need to keep connected. Samsung has announced that the Galaxy NX, which it bills as the world's first 4G interchangeable lens Connected Compact System Camera (CSC), is about to go on sale in the UK.

The phone/camera hybrid will cost around £1299 from Jessops and Currys with selected online and high street retailers to follow.

The camera features integrated 4G/LTE tech which mean that the 20 MP images the user can take can be emailed/uploaded at speeds which should ensure that they don't take forever to reach their destination.

Features on the camera includ Photo Suggest which offers location-based recommendations of popular photography spots, and Story Album which allows you to view a timeline of shots and create digital photo books.

The camera comes with various lenses that can produce bright and detailed images, even in lowest lit conditions.

It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS and is compatible with a host apps Android apps that can aid the photographer to edit images or add special effects.

It also boasts 30 Smart Mode options and offers Multi Exposure merges two different shots together to produce one image and Animated Photo which connects continuous shots of up to five seconds, creating a moving GIF file.

samwatch5.jpgOver the past few months we have seen lots of mock ups of what the Apple iWatch might look like, but as for the Samsung watch, well not so much. Stepping manfully into the breach is website www.vouchercodespro.co.uk who asked their patent and trademark insider to help them devise what the Samsung Smartwatch may look like.

We will have to take them at their word that they have done their home work, but we do know that Samsung has filed patents for the watch in both the US and South Korea.

The patent says the following, which admittedly isn't that much

"Wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band or bangle capable of providing access to the Internet and for sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages. It would be used for the wireless receipt, storage and/or transmission of data and messages and for keeping track of or managing personal information; smart phones; tablet computers; portable computers."

cavaliers.JPGAs you may have read there is a bit of spat going on in the US over whether bloggers love or hate Apple.

The source of the debate is conservative political pundit Rush Limbaugh who said on a radio show.

"'As you know, I spend a lot of time as a hobby reading high-tech and gadget blogs. I would venture to say that nine out of 10 bloggers writing high-tech hate Apple. Apple is the equivalent of the Republicans on these blogs, and Google, Android, and Samsung are the equivalent of the Democrats. They're perfect, they can't do anything wrong, they're ideal, and everybody hates Apple."

I am sure you have your own views on this and there are clearly some bloggers who feel that they are treated shoddily by the team from Cupertino. However some of this might be due to the way that Apple is rather secretive, unlike say Samsung which seems to be a lot more open with bloggers.

Still the comparing of consumer electronics companies to US political parties (even if Limbaugh doesn't really expand on his theory) does take me back to those endless analogies of what Apple, and its rivals represent. Here then is a quick, not too serious round up of how an Apple world view could be constructed in music, religion, coughs TV cooking programmes and more. Don't take it too seriously!

Religion - There have been plenty of articles over the years that have suggested that Apple and its devotees are more akin to Catholicism whereas Microsoft, Google and basically anyone who isn't Apple are more akin to Protestantism. In fact the first time this was outlined was way back in 1994! by the esteemed author Umberto Eco. He said then that

"Apple is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory, it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach - if not the Kingdom of Heaven - the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: the essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation."

Throw in a devotion to worship things of beauty (for the Sistine Chapel it is is the iPhone) and emphasis on iconography (Jony Ive spending all that time on tweaking the graphics for the interface) and a Pope-like figure in Steve Jobs and you can update the case.

With Protestantism there are many different routes, though fairly similar routes to salvation (as there are phones, platforms etc) though all the makers seem to agree on the basics. There is more choice and freedom in Protestantism, though this renders it much more prone to splits and schisms, and the same is true in the non-Apple consumer electronics world.

Music - I wrote a while ago about how I felt that Apple were the Blur of the consumer electronics world, whereas Samsung were a bit more like Oasis. You can read the article here, but to sum up

Blur had an art school heritage, were highly conceptual in the music they produced (their three mid 90s albums weren't far off concept albums), had massive attention to the detail in the tunes they produced, yet somehow managed to capture the zeitgeist just by being so good and so marketable. If they needed to do populist they could turn their hand to it, but you always sensed a tension between their more obvious moves and their arty background.

Apple are also highly conceptual in everything they do - they don't just trot out smartphones like their rivals do they? They are much more considered than that. And the attention to detail that goes into creating their products is arguably the brand's strongest point.

Which then makes Samsung the Oasis of our story. Taking the ground work that Apple have done in phones and tablets Samsung have made the devices even more popular and connected with many people that Apple have passed by. Oasis were also a lot less precise than Blur and maybe had lower levels of quality control too. So Samsung are happy experimenting in public and not worrying too much so about how they are perceived, or if one of their many many phones doesn't work in the same way that their brand would hope for.

Ultimately just as Oasis ended up the bigger band so Samsung will beat Apple in the long run. They won't be a cooler brand than Apple, but they will become more ubiquitous.

TV chefs - I'd suggest that Apple are a bit Nigella. Sexy, in an old school way, rather precise and taking tried and trusted recipes to new heights. As for the Android mob they are Heston - ambitious, experimental sometimes sublime, but with a tinge of chaos too.

British History - Apple are clearly the Cavaliers with their slavish-like addiction to art, design and dandy-ism. Which makes Google, Samsung et al Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army. A disparate band united against the Cavaliers but with some rather radical views bubbling under the surface.

Kids TV shows - And to really stretch the analogy here's one for the pensioners. Apple are definitely Swap Show - an innovative and stylish take on an established format. I even seem to remember Noel sporting the odd Jobs-like turtleneck.

Which then makes Google and Samsung a bit more Tiswas. Fun, anarchic and likely to descend into chaos at any time.

Can you think of any others? Are Apple Man United and Google Chelsea? Mmm.


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