Tuesday, 12 September 2017

iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8 - Apple could lose to Samsung in a BIG way, analyst predicts

APPLE is set to lose marketshare in the coveted premium smartphone space, following the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, an analyst note from Barclays’ Mark Moskowitz has predicted

eApple could be about to lose out to Samsung is a BIG way, one analyst has predicted
Apple could be about to lose out to Samsung is a BIG way, one analyst has predicted
Apple could lose marketshare to other premium smartphones following the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, analyst Mark Moskowitz has claimed.

Express.co.uk has spent some time with the impressive Galaxy Note 8, .
Moskowitz’s latest analyst note claims Samsung is in position to claim more of the premium smartphone marketshare with the .
The Barclays’ analyst has also expressed concern that less than 1 in 5 potential iPhone buyers will be willing to spend $1,000 or more on a new iPhone.
Apple is widely-tipped to target its next-generation iPhone (believed to be called ) at this premium price range.
Moskowitz says even though the Note 8 is not “revolutionary”, it does represent a return to stiff competition in the premium smartphone market, particularly between rivals Samsung and Apple.
The analyst note then shares doubts and predicts some of the challenge facing Apple.
Samsung has already seen massive growth in the premium space, which could be a problem for AppleBARCLAYS • MARK MOSKOWITZ
Samsung has already seen massive growth in the premium space, which could be a problem for Apple
According to one of Barclays’ surveys, only 18 per cent of possible iPhone buyers will plan to shell out $1,000 or more for a new iPhone.
Only 18% of potential iPhone buyers are willing to spend $1,000+ for a new device
Mark Moskowitz
Moskowitz writes: “While the device itself seems more evolutionary than revolutionary, we believe this launch represents the return of staunch competition into the premium segment ($700+ ASP) of the smartphone market following Samsung’s Note 7 debacle last year.
“For Apple, we are concerned that the company needs to meet momentous investor expectations following the expected launch of three new iPhone devices in September.
“This could be made more challenging when considering that only 18% of potential iPhone buyers are willing to spend $1,000+ for a new device (Wireless Subscriber Survey; 08/09/17), which is below the 30-35% figure investors seem to be expecting.”

iPhone 8 release LIVE: Apple launch keynote to reveal iPhone X, price, specs, new Watch

iPhone 8: Apple will debut three new iPhone models during its hotly-anticipated September hardware event
iPhone 8 Launch Event, Key Announcements From The Keynote –

•  ahead of the new products
 And we’re off – Apple has kickstarted its iPhone 8 launch event!
• Apple started its iPhone 8 launch event with a tribute to late co-founder Steve Jobs
• Apple CEO Tim Cook then told the audience that Apple is working with relief efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Irma
• Angela Ahrendts confirmed the new Michigan Avenue Apple Store will open in Chicago on October 20th
• First new hardware at the iPhone 8 release event – Apple Watch Series 3
• The next-generation smartwatch hardware has a built-in SIM, so you can reply to texts when you're away from your iPhone
• Watch Series 3 can stream Apple Music, get direcrtions from Apple Maps, and answer calls over its own 4G SIM
• Apple Watch Series 3 has the same phone number as your iPhone
• Apple confirmed it is now the number one watch manufacturer in the world
• Catch-up on all the latest rumours and leaks on the 
Full Story –
Apple has thrown open the doors of its new Californian headquarters, Apple Park, for the feverishly-anticipated launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
The keynote presentation is being held in the newly-opened Steve Jobs Theatre.
The event started with a touching tribute to the late co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs and his vision for the company.
CEO Tim Cook then appeared on-stage and talked about the relief efforts Apple is working with to help those affected by Hurricane Irma.
Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts then appeared on-stage to talk about the changes coming to the newly revamped Apple Stores worldwide.
Apple will open a new Michigan Avenue store in Chicago on October 20th, Ahrendts confirmed.
Apple Watch is now the number one watch brand in the world, CEO Tim Cook announced, with Apple now shipping more watches than Rolex, Fossil, Omega, and Cartier.
And with that – Apple debuted the Apple Watch Series 3.
The next-generation wearable includes a built-in SIM, enabling users to reply to text messages – even when you’re out of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range from your iPhone.
Using the in-built LTE SIM, Apple Watch Series 3 owners can stream Apple Music tracks, get directions from Apple Maps and answer phone calls.
The faster dual-core processor also allows Siri to answer your questions over the Watch’s speaker, something that wasn’t possible before.
Apple Watch Series 3 has the same phone number as your iPhone.
It intelligently swaps between your iPhone and Watch as you move around. Watch Series 3 will ship with watchOS 4.0.
The new Apple Watch software will be available for all previous generations of the Watch on September 19th.
watchOS 4.0 includes a slew of new health and fitness features, including data on your resting heart-rate.
Apple will now notify you whenever it detects an usually high heart-rate and it knows you are not exercising.
With a new vertically scrolling dock and native core Bluetooth support coming to the wearable, Apple Watch owners are set to gain a number of new features.
Most visible amongst these improvements will be the new watch faces.
While a number of new faces are coming, including an eye-grabbing kaleidoscope offering, the first Siri-enhanced watch face is arguably the biggest.
iPhone 8: Express.co.uk has taken our seats inside the newly-opened Steve Jobs Theater ready for the keynoteEXPRESS NEWSPAPERS
iPhone 8: Express.co.uk has taken our seats inside the newly-opened Steve Jobs Theater
iPhone 8 launch event started with a touching tribute to Steve Jobs and Hurricane Irma victimsAPPLE
iPhone 8 launch event started with a touching tribute to Steve Jobs and Hurricane Irma victims
This new Siri face will evolve throughout the day learning how you use your watch to present the most relevant information at all time, all without you having to lift a finger.
While the new, intelligent Siri watch face is a headline grabber, perhaps the most exciting of the new watch faces are those that are sure to appeal to Disney fans.
With the Apple Watch having long offered Mickey Mouse-themed watch faces, the wearable is now expanding to adopt new Disney Pixar characters, namely those from Toy Story.
Apple makes a  available to watch on your macOS, iOS and tvOS device, as well as Windows machines via Microsoft Edge.
Express.co.uk will be in the crowd in the newly-opened Steve Jobs Theatre and will bring you all the latest news and opinion as the event happens.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Samsung Galaxy S6 review: Hands on

While there are plenty of brilliant smartphones coming in 2015 - the HTC One M9 being one of them - it's the iPhone 6 that Samsung is looking to claw some ground back against, and it's used the most powerful tool in its arsenal once again: raw power.

This is one of the best specified phones on the market, with 3GB RAM, a (likely) Samsung own brand octacore chipset inside (although Sammy has yet to confirm this to us) and 32GB / 64GB / 128GB flavours to choose from.

Combine that with a complete retooling of the way this looks and you can see that Samsung is fighting back - but is the new conglomerate of smartphone power working well as a package?


We're pretty sure that if you asked any of the Samsung phone team what they wanted to improve with the Galaxy S6, you'd hear the word 'design' mentioned time and again, such is the power that idea embodies in the smartphone market.

It's no surprise we love the HTC One M8 and iPhone 6, as both have beautiful bodies atop decent specs. Samsung's gone one better with the Galaxy S6, bringing a gorgeous combination of metal around the edge and Gorilla Glass 4 front and back for impressive strength should you drop this creation.

The more impressive thing is that Samsung has taken the best the market has to offer from each camp and fused it into one handset. It's got the large 5.1-inch screen of its contemporaries in the Android market, and yet put it in a frame that's barely bigger than an iPhone 6.

Although we probably shouldn't mention the Apple part of the comparison... a quick peek at the band and speaker placement of the phone shows something... erm... a little similar to what Cupertino has made of late. We're hoping that's just an engineering trick, and we're not going to be dragged back to watching the two tech titans slug it out in the courts again.


The screen on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is, according to the brand, one of the sharpest on the market. That certainly sounds plausible, given it's got a QHD resolution but smashes it into a tiny 5.1-inch size, giving it an eye-slicing 577ppi. The screen is also capable of insane brightness, with a high-power outdoors mode automatically activating when it gets a little bit too sunny.

Samsung's used its own proprietary Super AMOLED tech for this new display, and as such the blacks and whites look well balanced and crystal clear. The high-res naysayers might say that at this size it's almost impossible to tell the difference in sharpness between a QHD and 1080p display... they may be right, but the video of Iceland preloaded to show off the phone looks just stunning.

Features and performance

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is all about redifining simplicity AGAIN for the brand, after the wilderness years brought about through hand-waving gestures on the Galaxy S4.

With that in mind, Samsung tells us that it's simply trying to go back to basics: make a camera with low light sensitivity (check, thank you f1.9 aperture front and back) for the 16MP and 5MP sensors on each side, put a really powerful core in there, slim down TouchWiz to make it seem less childlike and improve the overall gloss of the device.

Well, that's all there, present and correct. The heart rate monitor has moved slightly (and can now be used to fire the camera for your selfie moments when you realise the world simply MUST know where you are and how much fun you're having) and the fingerprint sensors survives the complexity cull too.

The latter has been overhauled too: it's now an Apple-esque touchpad option for improved accuracy. The swipes of before have gone (although this has yet to be properly confirmed by Samsung... gotta love prototype models) which should mean people actually use the fingerprint technology on board for once.

The battery is the only thing that's got us a little bit worried here. The 2550mAh option is a LOT smaller than the 2800mAh power pack of last year, and with that QHD screen to power we could get a little close to the wire in terms of power drain.

Fingers crossed that Samsung's new components and efforts into its own chip pay off and we don't need that extra power... it's hard to see that being true though.


Samsung's back, and it's with a real bang. Most of the criticisms we had in years gone by have been eradicated (more metal, better construction) although TouchWiz could still do with a complete overhaul.

The specs of the Galaxy S6 are out of this world, and the overall package is hugely impressive. Massive question marks hang over the battery life of this new option from Samsung, and the price has yet to be dropped from on high (that could be something that'll make you gasp the second you trot into Carphone Warehouse) but right now there have to be some pretty enthusiastic high fives going on in Seoul.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge lands in UK on December 12

You can pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge at Carphone Warehouse, where it'll be exclusively sold in white as well as the standard blue version. 
If you're looking to get it on contract it's available from £58.50 a month with no extra cost, but you'll need to commit for 24 months. 
Alternatively if you want to pick up the handset SIM-free then prepare to fork out £749.95. That's quite a lot for the quirky phablet, although it is one of a kind. 
The Galaxy Note Edge boasts a bendable display that can show messages and alerts along the side of the device where the display folds over.
At first it seemed like Sammy was reluctant about its wrap-around touchscreen, when we heard the phablet was going to launch as a limited edition device in select markets, but now Brits can safely add it to their Christmas lists. 
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge packs a Super AMOLED screen with Squad HD resolution. The handset has a a 16MP camera, a 3.7MP front snapper and a 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

North Korea denies Sony hack, but the US isn’t having it

The US IS Confident that North Korea is behind the hacking of Sony Pictures, and has dismissed any help from the country in the investigation. 
The Sony hacking saga continues, and things are really starting to heat up. North Korea has generally thought to be behind the hack all along, which led to the eventual cancellation of The Interview.
However North Korea vehemently denied all of the accusations on Saturday. The country's foreign ministry said an inquiry would put an end to the "groundless allegations.” North Korea also offered to hold a joint investigation with the US over it.
In a statement, the North Korean foreign ministry said: "As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident.

"Without resorting to such tortures as were used by the US CIA, we have means to prove that this incident has nothing to do with us."

The statement added there would be "grave consequences" if the US rejected the proposal.

However, the US has defended its conclusions. US National Security spokesman Mark Stroh said: "We are confident the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack.

"If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused."
Last week some of the hacked emails revealed Sony and Nintendo talking about a Super Mario movie.

Sony responds to 20th anniversary PS4 sales exploit

Sony is having trouble with the system being used to flog its retro PS4. Instead of selling in shop to everyone, Sony chose to allow only PlayStation's loyal fans to be in with a chance of buying the £399 package.
The firm set up a website that contains a huge image packed with video game characters. Then at certain times this week, a clue would be tweeted out from Sony's PlayStation UK Twitter account and GAME's Twitter account.
If you want to snap up the next-gen beauty, then you have to solve the clue, go back to Sony's website and click on the appropriate character. This would then make a secret form available. The first 100 people to fill out the form would then be able to buy the console from GAME.
However a simple exploit has messed up the entire system. Software engineer Dean Wild is behind the blog post titled "Hacking that PlayStation competition" that details how to get hold of the URL of Sony's supposedly secret application form before official clues go live.

Sony has now issued a statement confirming that anyone who gained access to the clues early will be disqualified from the process.

"Unfortunately we are now aware of some users attempting to run programmes to reveal the URL early and give themselves an unfair advantage," said the company in a statement to Eurogamer. 

Jaguar Land Rover working on "follow-me" Ghost Car navigation

The new tech builds on JLR's recent research into a transparent bonnet that first appeared on the Discovery Vision Concept, which saw cameras mounted underneath the vehicle that provided a live video feed to a massive head-up display that spanned the entire windshield.
A spokesperson for JLR said that both camera and head-up display technology had improved - and more importantly become cheap enough - to begin experimenting with other applications.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at JLR, says that tiny screens have been applied to all pillars inside the research vehicles, which take a live video feed from outside, thus rendering them 'invisible' when needed.
This could be particularly useful when navigating a tight parking space, pulling out of a T-junction and contending with the hordes of cyclists that race along busy city streets everyday.
In-car sensors can also detect when a driver moves their head during an overtaking manoeuvre, or switch on the indicators, and automatically renders the appropriate pillar 'invisible'.
The humble windscreen has also come under scrutiny by Jaguar Land Rover's crack team, which has fitted a large head-up display that spans the width of the glass.
This so-called 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen can then take live information from the Cloud, such as fuel prices and available parking spaces, and overlay them in real time.
But better still, the technology could allow drivers to fulfil their innermost Gran Turismo fantasies and follow a "ghost car" to their intended destination rather than take often-unreliable audio cues from a traditional sat-nav system.
“Driving on city streets can be a stressful experience, but imagine being able to drive across town without having to look at road signs, or be distracted trying to locate a parking space as you drive by,” said Dr Epple.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the fourth generation device of the South Korean's supersized smartphone, taking over from the Galaxy Note 3 and adding a more expensive tier on top of the Galaxy S5.

Talking of price you'll need a small fortune to buy a Note 4 outright with a SIM-free price tag upwards of £560. If that's a bit steep then you can get it free on two year contracts starting at £38 per month.

You've also got to consider the size - the Note 4 is all about offering a big screen experience and if you're not a fan of oversized mobiles then you're not going to like this.

Still with us? Good, because there's a lot going on inside the Galaxy Note 4 to tempt you to part with a large wedge of cash.

Plenty to shout about

First and foremost is the 5.7-inch display Samsung has slapped on its latest phablet. Okay, so it's the same size at its predecessor, but it's been given a mighty boost in the resolution department.

The Super AMOLED panel now boasts a QHD (1440 x 2560) resolution, making it pin sharp, with incredibly vivid images and bright colours. If you love watching movies and gaming on the go the Galaxy Note 4 is a dream to gaze at.

So we're pretty smitten with the screen, but what other treats does the Note 4 hold? Well on the rear, just below the 16MP camera is a heart rate monitor. Fire up the S Health app, stick your finger over the red light and it'll tell you how many beats per minute the old ticker is going at.

It's not the most convenient of locations for a heart rate sensor, they fare much better on wearable devices, but at least it works. Samsung also claims it's able to measure your stress level, although we found it to be pretty hit and miss.

The biometrics don't stop there, as hidden beneath the physical home key on the front of the Note 4 is a fingerprint scanner.

Unfortunately it's not quite as good as Apple's Touch ID on the iPhone, with Samsung's offering requiring you to swipe your print down the key.

The success rate can vary, and while most of the time it'll recognise you in one or two attempts and unlock the handset there are occasions you'll have to have three or four goes. And that gets frustrating.

Check me out

At least when you pick the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 up it feels like a device which is going to set you back several hundred pounds - which can't really be said for its plastic heavy predecessors.

The Note 4 sports a smart, slender aluminium frame which provides a premium look and feel to the handset - a quality sorely lacking from many Samsung devices.

Round the back you still get that familiar, removable plastic rear cover - c'mon, you love it really - providing access to the battery, SIM tray and microSD slot.

It's just 8.5mm thick, meaning you won't have any trouble sliding it into your skinny jeans, but with dimensions of 153.5 x 78.6mm it'll likely poke out the top and really test the fabric's stretchability.

The sheer size of the Galaxy Note 4 also means it's a bit of a beast to manage in the hand, and you'll want to employ both mitts when it comes to tapping out some text.

If style really is important to you then the faux leather backing will probably be a turn off (we don't blame you), and you'll want to sneak a peek at the iPhone 6 Plus or HTC One M8.

S Pen, not Pen S

A Galaxy Note smartphone wouldn't be complete without Samsung's own, more-than-stylus, S-Pen and the Note 4 is no exception.

Samsung has improved its stylus for the Note 4, with improved accuracy and sensitivity translating into a smoother, more natural handwriting and doodling experience on screen.

The handwriting recognition software has also been given a boost, meaning it's better at deciphering your scrawls, although we found that using our thumbs with the on-screen keyboard was a much quicker way of entering text.

You can do more than just draw and write with the S Pen, as it also allows you to cut out sections of screen and save them as images for later. Plus it makes snapping two apps side by side on screen pretty easy. We found it's far more fiddly to manipulate this multi-tasking function with our podgy fingers.

Rarely did we find ourselves reaching for the S Pen though. The majority of tasks on the phone can be done perfectly well - and most of the time more quickly - with your finger, so fumbling for the stylus was more of an inconvenience.

A happy snapper

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has one of the best cameras currently available on a smartphone, with the rear facing 16MP lens capable of some quite stunning shots.

Snaps are kept blur free thanks to OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) and the dual-LED flash will brighten those dingy nightclub shots - although over exposure may make your intoxicated mates look like a pack of rabid zombies.

There's a small selection of camera modes within the app; rear-cam selfie, selective focus and panorama, but there's also the option to download more - although the selection isn't overly awe-inspiring. Sound & Shot? No thanks, Samsung.

Taking pictures is easy thanks to the expansive QHD display, giving you crystal clear detail of your subjects and the super slick shutter speed means you'll be able to capture the moment before it passes.

OIS also helps out in low-light, and while the Note 4 won't magic extra lighting out of thin air it does do a commendable job of improving these shots.

Power up, and down

Samsung has stuffed the Galaxy Note 4 full of power with a punchy 2.7GHz quad-core processor (a step up from the 2.3GHz offering in the Note 3) and sizeable 3GB of RAM - that's a lot of bang for your buck.

This means the Note 4 glides through pretty much any task you throw at it. Graphically intensive games such as Real Racing 3 run without a hitch and coupled with the vibrant QHD display it makes for a great gaming experience.

Another good example of the Note 4's power is shrinking a full HD movie to a floating window, allowing you to access the rest of the handsets, be it sending a quick text, checking your emails or updating social media. And all without a pause for though from the Note.

The Android interface has been subjected to Samsung's TouchWiz interface, and while it's a more refined offering than on previous Note handsets it can take time to get used to when coming from another Android device.

It is fluid, with smooth navigation and rapid app loading times allowing you to whizz around without any hint of slow down.

All that power and the high resolution display does mean the Galaxy Note 4 consumers a lot of a battery - but luckily Samsung has been able to squeeze a large, 3220mAh power pack inside.

That's only 20mAh bigger than the Note 3 which did make us worry at first, but you can quite comfortably get a whole day of use from the Note 4 on just a single charge.

If you fancy watching a movie you'll lose around 19% of battery over 90 minutes, which  isn't too shabby. That's with screen brightness at full, so you could improve on that figuring by dimming the display a bit.

When you are running low, Samsung's fast charge technology will get you back 50% of your battery in just 30 minutes - perfect for a quick charge up before heading out for the night.


If you're in the market for a supersized smartphone you're not going to do much better than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

It's got a better screen, more power and a stronger camera than the iPhone 6 PlusOnePlus One andNokia Lumia 1520 making it the standout phablet on the market.

Samsung's design language in both its hardware and software may not be to everyone's taste, but if you can get past this then you'll be laughing.

The screen is fantastic, we can't praise it enough - and your eyes will thank you if you do decide to plump for the Note 4.

We're still not completely convinced that the S Pen is a necessary addition. There will always be a small pocket of users who swear by it, but we expect the vast majority of Note users ignore it for most of its life. Poor S Pen.

Sure it's expensive, but Samsung has packed in a huge amount of features into the Galaxy Note 4 - some more useful than others - to make you feel like you've got a decent amount of bang for you buck.

If you're not quite convinced check out the aforementioned iPhone or the QHD toting pair of the LG G3 and Nexus 6 - but for an all-round powerhouse the Note 4 comes out on top
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date: Out now

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 price: £560+

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Jackie Chan Blu-ray disc boosts solar panel efficiency by a massive 22%

Blu-ray discThis one’s a bit crazy, but stick with me. Blu-ray discs, like CDs and DVDs before them, consist of a thin layer — or layers — of recording medium sandwiched between two bits of plastic. Data is stored on this medium in a series of pits — small indentations — that are about 75nm long. To read the data, a laser is bounced off the recording medium — where the medium is smooth and untouched (usually referred to as islands), the laser light bounces straight back into a sensor; where the pits are, the laser is reflected differently. Thus, binary data can be stored and read.
The differences between CD, DVD, and Blu-ray recording medium/lasers
The differences between CD, DVD, and Blu-ray recording medium/lasers 
In the case of Blu-ray, the binary data isn’t just burnt directly to the disc — compression is applied, and error control codes are added so that data can be recovered in the case of light scratches. Because the error control codes are applied every few bytes, the end result is a disc covered in quasi-random pits and islands that have a recurring pattern every 150 to 525 nanometers. (The iridescence — rainbow effect — of optical discs is caused by this repeating pattern, in case you wondered.)

As it turns out, these two characteristics — a quasi-random pattern, repeating every 150 to 525nm — are almost perfectly tuned for trapping photons in the visible light and near-infrared spectrum. One of the main reasons that current solar cells aren’t that efficient is because many photons simply reflect off the panel, rather than being converted into electrons. You can probably see where this is going.
Nanopatterning a photovoltaic cell, using a Blu-ray's recording medium as a template
Nanopatterning a photovoltaic cell, using a Blu-ray’s recording medium as a template
Part of the solar cell has been treated with the Blu-ray nanopattern mold, the other part hasn't
Part of the solar cell has been treated with the Blu-ray nanopattern mold, the other part hasn’t
To increase the efficiency of a solar panel by 22%, the researchers at Northwestern bought a copy of Police Story 3: Supercop on Blu-ray; removed the top plastic layer, exposing the recording medium beneath; cast a mold of the quasi-random pattern; and then used the mold to create a photovoltaic cell with the same pattern. As you can see in the image above, this process actually makes the nanopatterned solar cell have the same iridescence as a Blu-ray disc


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