Is Samsung Galaxy R a Worthy Alternative to the SII?

The Galaxy R will be available for less than the price of the premium Samsung Galaxy SII. The Galaxy SII is Samsung’s top end phone with cutting edge technology, and the Galaxy R only has a few minor differences with its screen and processor. So is it worth saving money purchasing a cheaper Samsung Galaxy R contract or do these changes make it significantly less desirable than the SII?

The Galaxy R is nearly as powerful as the larger SII, with a 1GHz dual core processor as opposed to a 1.2GHz dual core. This means that both phones are very quick and can handle multitasking as well as complex media tasks with ease. The Galaxy SII is slightly faster but it really is hard to notice unless you measure them with complex technology.

A dual core 1GHz chip is still pretty powerful and top of the food chain, although it is likely to age quicker than the SII. Samsung has also switched from the Exynos chipset in the SII to a Tegra 2, and there is some debate about which offers the best performance. Either way, the Galaxy R remains a high powered device in its own right.

The devices also look slightly different and there is nearly a full 1mm of a difference between them in width. The Galaxy SII also has a larger screen and is also a little longer. The shape however is fundamentally the same, with a home button and a slim bezel – there is no doubt they are part of the same family. The home button does come with a slightly different design but with just a cursory glance you would be forgiven for confusing the two phones.

The two phones also have different screens. The SII has the famous Super AMOLED Plus screen which has tech geeks across the world salivating, whereas the R has the Super Clear LCD that uses Samsung’s TV engine, the digital natural image engine. This software creates a wonderful picture and once again image wise the phone is just as good as the SII’s.

It should be pointed out as well that while the screen is 0.1 inches smaller than the SII’s, it still comes with a WVGA resolution. Because of this it has a higher pixel per inch (PPI) density offering sharper images. So the trade-off here appears to be sharper visuals instead of vibrant colours, as found on the Galaxy SII.

Both devices also come with Android Gingerbread and both also have the Samsung TouchWiz interface on top. This interface is excellent and comes complete with Samsung features like the Games Hub, Media Hub and Social Hub, which combines various social networks into an easy to manage app. In terms of software the two phones are pretty much the same.

The phones have different cameras and the SII’s is noticeably better offering 1080p recording and 8mp for stills.The Galaxy R is more austere and has a 5mp camera with a 720p recording ability. This gives the more expensive Samsung an advantage and this is clear to see when taking photos. There is no problem with the Galaxy R’s camera; it just doesn’t have the hardware to compete with the more expensive phone.

So it seems that while the Samsung Galaxy R on contract and SIM Free will most likely be quite a bit cheaper than the SII it won’t actually offer any serious reduction in quality. The processor is a little slower but at present the Galaxy R will still not struggle with anything thrown in its direction. Physical changes are minimal and the only real differences are with the screen and the camera, which are still both of the utmost quality. In answer to the original question then, it may very well be worth considering the Galaxy R as a more affordable version of the Galaxy SII, without feeling that you have gypped yourself in any way with the phone deals on offer.

The Best Nokia N8 Instant Messaging Applications

We are on a quest to try and find top 3 chat applications that are available for Symbian^3 the OS Running on the N8. There are a couple of really big chat applications available for Symbian. There are a couple of things that I rate the chat applications on:

1. Efficiency – are they efficient and not going to suck away at your battery life?
2. Cross Platform – Are you going to be able to communicate with your friends on other platforms
3. Usability/Design – Is it easy to use and start a chat, and is it visually appealing?
4. Features – Are there a lot of cool features?

Nimbuzz on N81. Nimbuzz – Currently we have found that there though this messenger seems bulky this application is the most feature complete as it has its own dedicated user base, as well as allowing you to communicate over MSN Messenger, Facebook Chat, Google Chat, as well as a variety of other services. As well they are VOIP provider allowing you to make network calls. This app needs to improve their ability to automatically select the network interface to use, as it makes the user experience weird. On my N8 running on rogers in Canada, when first starting the application on a 3G network a modal view is brought up asking me connect to a wireless network. If I did not select a wireless network Interface the application would crash and force me to select a wireless network. If this was intended as a feature, then please take it out, or allow the application to select a default network interface to connect on.

Skype On Nokia Phone2. Skype – Everyone knows Skype, but it seems like they can’t get the user experience right on Symbian^3. This application was seemed slower to load and killed my battery life. I did really enjoy the audio quality on VOIP calls, when it comes to VOIP providers, Skype team knows what they are doing. The Good thing about Skype is that they still have a massive cross platform support for their own skype user base.

WhatsApp On Nokia Phone 3. WhatsApp – I never really liked whatsApp on Android or Iphone (Iphone client they charge for), and I really didn’t like it on Symbian though It was very lean on battery and the it does not really feel well. As well, it would bring itself in focus at the most random times. And very often times crashes when the phone is in Offline mode.

In summary I liked Nimbuzz the most, but I think we need another messenger client to enter the game on Symbian that will really stand out in by their User Experience and efficiency. Since Nokia has just released their first set of devices with the Notifications API, many of the symbian chat apps keep constant network connections and thus eat your battery.

If you have any suggestions as to other messenger clients for the Nokia N8 ( I have already looked over IM+), then leave me a comment below.

How To install gcc on Nokia N900

For those of you who are looking to run GCC on the N900 here is a quick guide for packages to install. I am using the latest version of maemo, (fremantle-1.3).

First you are going to have to download the following packages on your computer. Links are provided to the repository directory, or if you prefer I will list a direct links to the most current packages:

binutils – http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/b/binutils/ – Latest: http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/b/binutils/binutils-dev_2.18.50.20070820-4+0m5_armel.deb

libgcc1 – http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/ – Latest: http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/libgcc1_4.2.1-4maemo12+0m5_armel.deb

libgomp -http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/ – Latest: http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/libgomp1_4.2.1-4maemo12+0m5_armel.deb

c++ – http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/ – Latest: http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/cpp-4.2_4.2.1-4maemo12+0m5_armel.deb

gcc-4.2-base – http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/ – Latest: http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/gcc-4.2-base_4.2.1-4maemo12+0m5_armel.deb

gcc-4.2 -http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/ – Latest: http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/g/gcc-4.2/gcc-4.2_4.2.1-4maemo12+0m5_armel.deb

make – http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/m/make/ – Latest: http://repository.maemo.org/pool/fremantle/free/m/make/make_3.80-9osso_armel.deb

Plug your phone into your computer and select Mass Storage Mode.

Copy all the files into the MyDocs folder.

Now unmount the drive ( make sure all the files have copied ), and type in the following:

cd ~/MyDocs
dpkg -i *armel.deb

This will install all the packages.

Now to compile a c program you can use the application: gcc-4.2.

You can also use make files to build projects. Many c Makefiles are formatted with a CC variable defined:

CC=gcc

You replace the previous line with the following to allow the makefile to run on your system:

CC=gcc-4.2

If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will try to respond.

Update: I was able to successfully compile Marcan’s PS3 Firmware version 3.41 exploit using my N900. I compiled the ps3pwn part of the exploit and it ran well on my n900. I was not able to cross compile Stage 1 and Stage 2 binaries for the cell but they are available for download.

The New Kik Chat | Better than BBM for iPhone, Ipod, Blackberry and Android

Kik messenger was profiled by Firstsearch Blue twice already back when it was in it’s beta stages. Since then, the Kik messenger app has changed it’s service for the better leading to so many downloads that their servers crashed!

The Kik developers have done away with the “Cheap SMS” scheme, where you used to be able to pay a low cost to send unlimited SMS text messages over wifi or 3G. This won’t really be missed, it wasn’t too functional and, if your cramped for cash, its so much easier to just get an unlimited text plan than having an expensive data plan, or running around looking for public wifi. They have re-designed the messenger interface on top of improving the predictive text and spell check to make it more user friendly.

What is left over is a sleek, intuitive, and multi-OS messenger service that, in this writer’s opinion, beats Black Berry Messenger (BBM). The app is available for Blackberry, Android, Iphone or even your Ipod touch. It has the leg up on SMS as it’s free and you have the BBM-like read receipts available. For those who don’t use BBM, this is a feature notifies the sender of the message when it has been sent to the recipient, once the message has been delivered and finally, and finally when it has been read by the user. The messages status is indicated by the little icon left of the sent message, reading either S for sent, D for delivered or R for read.

The application has had over 500,000 downloads in the last 10 days, and subscribers continue to pour in. The company is looking to try to monetize this audience eventually, most likely through streaming media sales.

You can get it on the Itunes, Blackberry and Android App Stores. Note that you might have a bit of trouble with it for the next few days as the company has temporarily shut down their servers to re-tool.

Bell and Telus not working on Waterloo Campus

The University of Waterloo Campus is a dead zone for Bell and Telus Cell Phones. It’s so bad that it seems you can’t even get a single bar of service no matter where you are on the campus. If you happen to know any little pockets where you can find some signal, post in the comments so the rest of us can check our texts without having to head to the plaza (we found that once you are in the university plaza you can get a few bars again.)

This problem seems to have just started September 2010. There are a few rumours of people getting out of their contracts for free (instead of paying the usual $300+ cancellation fee) by claiming that since they are on campus the majority of the time and they do not get service, they should not be forced to pay their bill. Rogers still has perfect coverage of the campus.

Last week we went to the Bell store in Conestoga Mall to complain about the lack of signal, but we mostly just got smart-ass remarks “well we can’t just go and build a new tower overnight…” They did recommend pulling the battery and sim card – claiming that after you put them back in and boot your phone you should have service for a few minutes. We tried this, but had no luck…