COD Advanced Warfare
May 12, 2014
An Amazon UK product page for the recently revealed Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare reveals the game’s box art and tons of new details about the latest entry in the shooter series. The game is in development at Modern Warfare 3 co-developer Sledgehammer Games. Amazon says Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is coming to Xbox … Continue reading COD Advanced Warfare
The Best Android Digital Comic...
May 12, 2014
Take the Android platform and add digital comic book apps—that’s how you get the best one-two punch since Luke Cage met Danny Rand. There are many digital comic book readers on Google’s mobile platform that can entice comic book fans to tap the download icon, but not all are created equal. Some digital comic book … Continue reading The Best Android Digital Comic Book Apps
Alienware 17 review
May 12, 2014
The 17-inch laptop is a unicorn these days. But in the gaming world, the arguably huge form factor is alive and well. Alienware has doubled down on its colossal clamshell, simply known as the Alienware 17, with an AMD-powered variant. With an AMD Radeon HD R9 M290X pushing the pixels behind its 1920 x 1080 … Continue reading Alienware 17 review
May 12, 2014
Clean lines, classic Samsung From a design standpoint, the H6400 is refreshingly conventional. It’s a relatively slim set with characteristic translucent edging and chromed pedestal stand. The panel itself is thin enough but bulges toward the base to accommodate two downward firing stereo speakers. Connections will cover most needs. There are four HDMIs, one of … Continue reading Samsung UE40H6400
Clean lines, classic Samsung
From a design standpoint, the H6400 is refreshingly conventional. It's a relatively slim set with characteristic translucent edging and chromed pedestal stand. The panel itself is thin enough but bulges toward the base to accommodate two downward firing stereo speakers.
Connections will cover most needs. There are four HDMIs, one of which supports ARC, plus legacy Scart/component/composite inputs with stereo phono audio inputs, Ethernet and three USBs. There's also a digital audio optical output, headphone output and CI slot. A single Freeview HD tuner provides over the air content. Wi-Fi is built-in. Alternatively there's a Wi-Fi direct mode for non-network wireless connection as well as Screen Mirroring for Android phones.
As you might imagine, this Samsung is well equipped when it comes to connected functionality.
While Samsung's Smart Hub doesn't look overly different this year, there have been a number of changes upfront and behind the screen. The set now boasts a Quad core processor. Screen animations can still appear jerky, but the extra processing power provides a relatively nippy ride.
Onscreen the Smart Hub now boasts a Trending window which presents full screen tweets from what appear to be largely random TV shows, as well as a Timeline thumbnail TV guide built upon viewing recommendations. Samsung is also keen to ride the casual gaming bandwagon, offering a dedicated slate of titles.
Football mode own goal
While Samsung has traded extensively on the fact that it offers viewers a full complement of big channel catch-up TV services, at the time of writing neither iPlayer or Demand 5 were available on the H6400 and the company was unable to specify just when they'd land. It's a certainty they will be added at some point, though.
Also new this year is a revamped Football Mode. In addition to 'optimised' picture settings (which are positively hallucinatory), the set can auto record match 'highlights' to a USB device, triggered by crowd noise.
Multimedia playback support from USB and networked devices is comprehensive, with a wide selection of file types supported including AVI, MOV, MKV, and WMV; audio compatibility covers WAV, FLAC, MP3 and WMA.
May 12, 2014
A year ago, I wondered if HTC’s gorgeous, metallic One would inspire or challenge Samsung to leave behind its cheap, plasticky ways and build a smartphone as beautiful as it is feature-rich. The Galaxy S5 is not that phone: it’s every bit as utilitarian and function-first as its predecessors. It has a slightly larger display than … Continue reading Galaxy S5
Samsung's phones are still commodities, made to be sold but not loved
It's plastic everywhere you touch. It comes in black, white, gold, or blue, each with a ribbed chrome edge that sticks slightly above the front face of the phone. It's Samsung's best use of plastic ever, with a soft, stippled back that doesn't collect grease or shine the way the S4 does. It's far more pleasant both to look at and hold than the S4, or even the fake-leather Note 3. Samsung is slowly learning how to make premium plastic, though it could stand to learn a lot more from Nokia and Apple on the subject.
The real feat was taking that thin, light, plastic shell and somehow making it waterproof. The S5 is rated IP 67, which means it can be submerged in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. You can't use it underwater, of course — the touchscreen goes haywire when it's wet — but it means you can spill coffee on your phone (which I did), get caught in a rainstorm (check), or drop your phone in the urinal (twice), and it'll live to see another day. I've had one phone ruined by rain and another by a random beer spill, so it's nice to let my paranoia go for a change.
But the S5 is still creaky and cheap. It doesn’t feel thoughtfully crafted the way the One or the iPhone 5S does. The carrier and manufacturer logos aren't integrated into the back's dimpled design, just slapped on like rectangular stickers. The capacitive keys next to the phone's home button bleed an ugly circle of white light. Every time the phone vibrates, its back rattles. These are small things, but they betray the fact that Samsung believes a phone that works is good enough, that it needn't be something we love or care about. That leaves me cold, underwhelmed — I can't imagine anyone walking into a store, picking up the S5 and the new One, and not immediately feeling the difference.