Sales of Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ shows that consumer confidence still strong

Samsung new flagship phone has arrived and is making a big splash in the mobile market. Pre-orders of the S8 and the S8+ (slightly larger version) rose 30% over its predecessor the S7. This is big for Samsung considering the debacle that the Note 7 caused. Analysts speculated that Samsung could never recover from the exploding battery problem of the Note 7 and that they lost consumer confidence with the company. According to the sales figure of the S8, seems like consumer confidence and loyalty to Samsung has not faulted.

The Galaxy S8 has the world’s first Infinity Screen. The expansive display stretches from edge to edge, giving you the most amount of screen in the least amount of space. There are tons of S8 Accessories that are available, some type of protection is definitely recommended for this phone. Because of the Infinity Screen, drop tested have shown that the S8 breaks easier then it’s predecessor. Some key features of the phone are:

  • Quad HD+ Super Amoled Screen
  • 8MP Front Facing Camera
  • Dual Pixel 12MP
  • 4K video recording at 30 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • VDIS (Video Digital Image Stabilization)
  • Digital Zoom 8x
  • High CRI LED Flash
  • Slow Motion video support for 720p at 240 fps
  • Hyperlapse video with stabilization
  • Continuous Autofocus video
  • Face Detection
  • Tracking AF
  • Take 9-megapixel still photos while recording 4K video
  • Playback Zoom
  • Video Location tags

The S8/S8+ is available now at many of the mobile stores and carriers, depending on when you order or purchase your phone Samsung has some great offers with the purchase of the phone. Check out Samsung website for more deals.

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Sprint add $10 Premium Data Fee

If you are using a smart phone with Sprint PCS, get ready for a premium data fee of $10.  Sprint announced in their newsletter that all smartphones will now require a premium data fee of $10 per smartphone. The fee was originally only for 4G devices, such as the HTC EVO and Samsung Epic. In the newsletter Sprint states that smartphone customers on average, uses 10 times more data than feature phone users.  Beginning January 30th 2011, any activation of a smartphone will require the $10 premium data fee.

The premium fee started back in June of 2010, when the HTC EVO was released. The premium data fee was targeted at just the 4G phones such as the HTC EVO, Samsung Epic and HTC EVO Shift 4G. If you already have a 4G device nothing will change because you are already paying the premium data fee. This will affect all smartphones that Sprint carries,  in Sprints press release they defined a smartphone as “devices with robust operating systems that deliver a rich wireless experience by bringing the full function of mobile applications and programs to life, including Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices”.

Now if you already have a smart phone, you will not be affected by the premium data fee unless you upgrade to another smart phone or swap your smartphone. For example, if you buy asmartphone at retail without upgrading or get a used phone from eBay the premium data fee will still apply. The only exception is if you make a claim with Asurion (Sprints insurance company for lost/stolen phones), and they send you a replacement phone.  Anything else will be subject to the $10 premium data fee.

With the new fee for unlimited data, how does Sprint compare to the competition. In the newsletter Sprint stated that Sprint’s unlimited data plans, with or without the $10 charge, continue to beat the offerings of our top national competitors, who cap users’ data, charge data overages, and do not offer the unique functionality of Any Mobile, Anytime, which gives subscribers on the Sprint network unlimited calling to any other wireless user in America regardless of carrier.

Seems to me that if you are going to upgrade your Smartphone, might as well get a 4G device to take advantage of Sprints 4G network, which is now in 70 markets and growing. Hopefully, Palm and Blackberries will come out with 4G devices to give the consumer more choices, currently only Android has 4G phones.

Some of the questions that were answered from Sprint Customer Care are:

Q. What if I do a warranty exchange for a defective phone, will I be required to add the fee?
A. Yes, the data fee will apply if you activate/swap a smart phone on or after 1/30/2011.

Q. What if I had an old smartphone that was on my account before and I need to swap it out because my phone broke, will the fee still apply?
A. Yes, even in this situation, you are doing a device swap and the fee will apply.

Q. I have a Samsung Instinct, is that considered a smart phone?
A. Yes, the Samsung Instinct falls into the category of a smartphone, and the premium data fee will apply?

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My First Android Phone

Smart phones are basically mini computers in your pocket; it is very convenient to have a phone that can do almost everything your computer can do. With smart phones you can also hold personal and confidential information, such as pictures, contacts, bank information etc.  What if your phone happens to stop working or gets lost or stolen, then what? All of that information could possibly be used for identity theft and so on. There are several steps that you can take to protect your personal information on your phone before something happens to it. Listed below are some of the steps that I have taken to protect my info. I am just the average user and thought this information would be great for first time Android users like myself.

I personally have the HTC Evo which I love, this is my first Android device, it is currently running Android 2.2 and is on Sprint 4G network. One thing with Android that could be good or bad depending on the person you ask, is that you can set your contacts to be backed up with your google account. The advantage with this is that everything is saved online, and all of your information can be synced back to your phone. So if your gets lost or you get a replacement, all you have to do is log in with your Gmail user-name and password on your phone and all of your contacts will come back. This can be done two ways, you can click into the Android Market app on your phone and choose the sign in option, or go to the Mail app and setup your Gmail account.

I would also suggest setting up a lock pattern or code on your android device. This can be done by pressing the Menu key from the home screen, tap on Settings then Security. Adding a lock pattern would prevent someone from accessing your phone and personal information. The only way to get back into the phone is with the Gmail user name and password, or by doing a Hard Reset which wipes the phone clean, deleting everything on the phone except for the info on the SD Card. One thing that the hard reset will not wipe is your SD Card, things that are saved on the SD card are pictures, downloads and music. If you are worried about losing your pictures, you have several options, you can backup your pictures to your computer via the USB Cable and save it to your hard drive. Or you can use a cloud based service such as Picasa. Picasa is a photo sharing service from Google, where you can upload, edit and share your photos. You get the first 2GB free, if you want more space you can get 20GB for like $5 a year, well worth it compared to other services. If you are on Sprint, your pictures that you send or receive are stored on the Picture Mail server. Just log-in to your picture mail account by going to pictures.sprintpcs.com to access that information.

If you want to backup more then just your contacts, such as your SMS, MMS and Call logs, you can do so by downloading 3rd party apps from the Market on to your phone. There are many apps that will do this task, one app that I personally use is SMS Backup+, this program will backup your call log, SMS and MMS to your Gmail account and with the press of one button, you can also restore that information with this app as well. It also has an automatic backup feature, where you can set it up to back up every hour, couple of hours or days.

The last app that I would suggest when you get your new phone is called Application Protect. What this app does is protect certain apps that might contain sensitive information, such as a mobile banking app, your email and even the Android Market. Remember that the Android Market has a lot of free apps, but they also have paid apps that will charge your credit card that is linked to your google account. This app is another layer of protection that you can setup on your phone. With in the application you can set what apps you want protected so that every time you access that app you have to put in a password. That way if you let someone hold your phone you don’t have to worry about them accessing certain apps with out your permission.

With the boom in smart phones in the last couple of years, information security is very important, what I have listed are my own personal app selection, and I think any body new to Android can learn from.  Losing your phone can be a stressful and actually terrifying experience. Having a backup solution in place can help alleviate some of that stress.

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