Category Archives: Technology

Gadgets and Technologies for todays youth. Do you want an Ipad 3?

Samsung Galaxy S3/S4 HUGE list of codes

Huge list of Samsung Galaxy S4 codes I found on the XDA developers forum.  Copied here just in case that website is down and you need the codes.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Tips and Tricks

This is a list of all the Samsung Galaxy S4 cool tips, tricks and cheats I find while using my phone.  I will list them all here so they are in one place.

Secret testing and configuration menu on all Samsung phones including the S4.  Call *#0*#.  Then take a look at the options for loads of cool sensors and you can use this menu to test for dead pixel on your Samsung Galaxy S4.

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How Long To Charge Samsung Galaxy S4?

Today I tested how long it takes to charge my new phone (Samsung galaxy S4).  As part of the ongoing experiment with my Samsung S4.  The total time taken for the smartphone to charge from start to finish is listed below.  It takes 2 hours to charge the battery on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Charging started at 6.15pm with 5% battery life remaining on the S4.

At 6.45pm the battery charge was at 32% complete on the Samsung Galaxy SIV.  It appears to charge 1% every minute.

At 7.15pm (60 minutes into the experiment) the phone charge was 66%.  This still agrees that the phone charges at about 1% every minute.

At this point I was thinking if maybe the Samsung S4 charges like the iPhone and iPod do.  With the Apple devices there is a rush charge for the first 80% of battery, then a trickle charge for the remaining 20%.

This was not the case!  Battery charge on the Samsung s4 was 100% complete at 8.15pm.  Taking exactly 2 hours to charge the battery on the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone.

From my previous review of the smartphone I expected it to be much longer.  I know that the battery doe snot last very long (less than 24 hours if you use the phone).  On Android you can go to settings -> More ->Battery and view a graph chart of how the battery discharges over time on the Samsung S4.

Also from my Samsung S4 review I was very disappointed by the battery life.  Thinking about this more I realise that if this was really a problem for my usage I could just buy a spare battery.  I guess I am just used to Apple locking everything into the product, but the Samsung S4 is free of restrictions.

How to Test a Micro SD Card

I saw this method for testing micro sd cards on an Amazon review while searching for Micro SD cards.  I think it’s useful and have copied it here for others to see in case the original is removed.

You will most likely get a genuine card, but there are many fakes so its essential you test your card when you receive it.  Some fakes will still pass some of the test programmes.

Test with ChkFlsh, Crystal Disk Mark & the main one H2testW. H2testW tests the full capacity of the Micro SD card and will report if any are using aliasing to fake larger than real capacity. A card with it’s indicated capacity but high error rate/slow write speed indicates a ‘ghost run’.  Ghost run SD cards are fake and won’t last very long.

Good results are:

A 32GB card should have a formatted capacity of around 30GB, format in FAT/FAT32 only (NTFS shortens life of flash media & wont improve performance).  Warning from Nerdr – Fat and FAT32 have a file size limit of around 4GB.  Do not use FAT or FAT32, just stick with NTFS, it’s worth the shorter life.

A class 10 card must have a write speed of 10MB/s minimum (large files) the first result in Crystal Disk Mark should indicate that. Cards are now appearing with the UHS-I class (marked with a 1 inside a U) these have higher clock rates so higher performance and are at least class 6 speed.

Read speeds should be over 12MB/s and getting toward 48MB/s with these.

If your memory cards speed test comes just below spec, that’s a fail, don’t assume ‘close enough’.  SDHC cards have a maximum capacity of 32GB and SDXC a maximum capacity of 2TB but check your device is compatible with SDXC before choosing those over these SDHC cards.

That’s the end of the Pro tip for testing your memory cards when you get new memory for your camera, phone or other device.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

This is my review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone.  I have the Qualcomm quadcore version of the phone so I do not know if the 8 core Exynos 5 is better than the 4 core.  I will also be comparing Android vs iOS too in this comparison review.

Why I liked the Samsung s4 – High resolution 1080p full HD screen and 13 MP camera.  What I didn’t like – lag on Android, weak battery and not exciting to use.

I will try to keep this phone review as honest as possible and cover as many details as possible. If you have any specific questions about the device, leave a comment below and I will try to answer any concerns you have.

To start let me cover where I am coming from. I have always had iOS devices. I have an iPod, iPhone and an iPad.  The Samsung SIV is my first Android device and also my first android phone. I was really looking forward to getting it because it has a 1080p screen, which is better than any iOS retina display currently available.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Screen Review

The screen display resolution of the Samsung S4 is 1920×1080.  The 1920 x 1080 screen is called a 1080p screen and can show all the latest movies in full HD quality.

Comparing the samsung screen to the IOS retina display.  The Apple retina display is more colorful, brighter and looks nicer.  The Apple screen also uses less battery power than the S4.  But! the Samsung screen is 1080p, which Apple does not have (except on the full retina iPad which has a 2048 x 1536 resolution screen at 264 PPI pixels per inch).  To be honest, I want both sides of the table.  I want the HD quality of the Samsung screen, but the battery life on the Samsung is a big problem I will cover later in this review.

If I had to choose, I choose the Samsung s4 screen.  To fix the poor battery life I can charge more regularly, but I would not be happy with a less screen after using this high resolution display.

Samsung S4 Battery Life

The battery life of the Samsung S4 is bad.  Because the screen is such a high resolution it need a lot of juice.  Even browsing the internet takes a lot of battery power.  Compare this with the iPhone retina display, which is great for battery life.  Total charge time for the Samsung S4 is around 4 hours.  I will update this number next time I charge again to give a more accurate value.

I do not like charging a phone every day.  It means if you want to take your phone on vacation or a holiday you have to carry a charger too.  Big downside to the Samsung s4 and means I have to have a cheap Nokia phone for vacations.

Android vs iOS

Android or iOS?  which do I prefer.  The clear answer is iOS.  I knew Android has lag from using an Android device 3 years ago, but I thought it would have been fixed at this point.  It has not.  There is lag in everything.  Touching and moving icons is a chore.  Menus open slowly, button sounds are strange and I can’t change them without root.  I do not like the water droplet sound for the back button and there is no way to change it on the S4 without rooting!

The sammy s4 is a nice phone, just not a fun phone to use.  Everything on Android is like work.  With an iPhone I can sit back and just do things, with Android I have to tap tap tap.  Each tap taking 5 seconds.  The lag is small, but it adds up to a lot over a day.

The advantage of Android is options.  You can do anything, if you know how.  Adding files, moving them around and using them is EASY on Android devices.  You can just plug your S4 into your computer or Mac using the USB cable and instantly have access to the whole file system.  On iOS even just sharing a file is nearly impossible without a special app that has now been removed from the app store.

The other downside of Android is security.  You have to always be more concerned about security when using an Android device.  With iOS, you know you can trust the App store.  Any app on the app store will just work and you know it’s good, secure and the app is malware free.  With Android, any app could contain malware.

Android does list the things the app will need access to when you want to install a new app, but I have no idea what most of it means.  If I don’t know what most security options mean then non technical people will struggle even more.  I can read what it says, but I have no idea of the implications of saying yes.  How bad is each option?  Maybe a green/red indicator would be useful to have when installing apps on Android.

Android updates.  Samsung have generally been very good with updating their Android software on phones. I expect them to update the Samsung operating system software regularly.

Samsung S4 Gimmicks

The Samsung comes with a lot of gimmicks and little features you will never use.  I turned off Air view and Air gesture after just one day.  I was not using them much and I suspect they were taking a lot of battery power.

The S4 camera also has a lot of extra features like burst view and other things.  I have not used them yet, but I expect them to be good.  Many of these features can be found using apps from the Play store or iOS store if you have an iPhone.

Samsung S4 Camera

The Samsung S4 camera is very nice at 13MP.  The pictures are sharp enough and look nice.  I liked the quality of the focus.  It’s hard to explain, and I am not a camera expert, but if you tap the camera screen it focuses on that point and blurs everything else.  I know you can do it on iPhone too, but I liked the 13MP combined with this effect.  It makes my pictures look arty.

Overall, the Samsung sIV camera is great.  Totally blows the iPhone and any other device camera out.  An easy 10/10 for the Samsung s4 camera.  I don’t use the front camera often, but it’s ok.

Conclusion, Final Review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone

I needed a new smartphone.  The S4 does some things really well (13MP camera, great screen).  Other things it does badly (lag, poor battery life).

Would I buy it again knowing what I know now?  Well, I got the phone on a special sale for $450.  At that price I would buy it again.  But I would not pay the full regular price of $700 right now.  If I could not find a cheap price for the Samsung s4 I would get a Samsung S3 or wait.

Do you have a Samsung s4?  are you thinking of buying one? Did I miss something in the review? leave a comment below with your ideas.