Samsung Galaxy S III
The suits at the Galaxy S III World Tour’s Dubai leg proclaimed the S III the best smartphone yet. We’re not sure about this claim, but the S III is the best riposte yet from Samsung to Apple’s iPhone 4S.
The phone is definitely better looking than the S II. Despite a big 4.8” HD super AMOLED display, the phone has a slim bezel and is lightweight thanks to a plastic hard frosted case. The downside is that it doesn’t have the feel of an iPhone, all glass and metal.
The 8MP camera and 1.9MP front camera is great and is coupled with intelligent features like face recognition. The phone runs Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich OS and the TouchWiz interface is better than the one we saw on S II. There is some interesting built-in software. The front has a motion scanner that recognises how you use the phone and adjusts display brightness accordingly. So the display doesn’t time out if you have been playing close attention to a web page. This is clever, but we are told S Voice, Siri’s contemporary, lacks the other’s wit.
Other cool features include Direct Call, which allows users to ring directly from the messaging menu. The ‘S Beam’ uses NFC technology and Wi-Fi Direct to transfer files between S III phones by simply tapping them together. Android users finally have something to wave at iPhone users.
Dh2,499 at leading electronics stores
GoFlex Satellite wireless HDD
We can’t believe nobody thought of this before. An external hard disk that wirelessly streams data to your iPad. Brilliant! So now, you can travel with all your movies and music without having to worry about overloading the iPad.
The Seagate GoFlex Wireless is a 500GB HDD with a media server. When fully charged, this promises seven hours of continuous streaming using the free app or any Wi-Fi-enabled device’s web browser. Easy to use and portable, this gets our thumbs up.
Dh789, at electronic stores.
On your bikes
A few months ago we featured the foxL Hi-Fi Bluetooth speakers. Remember them? Made by Soundmatters – a company run by former Nasa scientist Godehard Guenther – the foxL is a highly portable speaker with great sound and is perfect to pair with your phone or mp3 player.
Soundmatters has now launched the foxL BKMT-2 Bike Mount Kit. This is a universal mount that works with any bicycle. So now, you can ride around listening to music on the foxL speaker, avoiding the dangerous isolation of headphones (it is already illegal in some provinces in Canada and some states in the US to use earbuds while riding). We can see cyclists around Dubai Marina become early adopters of this kit in the UAE. The device uses Arkon’s Dual T-tab mounting, making its cradle easy to remove from the bike.
It is also compatible with a range of other Arkon mounting options. The company ships to the UAE now.
Ultra spec Asus
The Asus Zenbook Prime UX31 Ultrabook features a brag-worthy 13.3” HD 1920x1080 pixel IPS display screen. It’s clad in a razor-thin aluminium jacket with a spun-brushed metal finish and is powered by Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, has 4GB of DDR3 memory. It has a maximum HDD capacity of 256GB. And fancy Bang & Olufsen speakers to round off the multimedia experience.
Rev up your iPad
Aston Martin has been busy licensing its brand to third-party manufacturers. Close on the heels of John Lobb driving shoes (page 17) comes more expensive merchandise. This iPad cover features Aston Martin branding, has those distinct racing stripes and is made of genuine leather. The range also includes iPhone and BlackBerry covers.
Dh485 at Axiom Telecom
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With camera phones producing 8MP images, I’m not sure why we need point-and-shoot cameras anymore. Anyway, the Kodak easyshare M5350 is an easy-to-use 16MP camera that’s compact and allows users to share pictures on social platforms like flickr, facebook and Kodak Gallery. However, you still need to connect it to your computer to be able to share it. There are endless photo modes, film effects and even a photo booth mode. iPhone users may not be blown away by this camera, but this could have been a good Mother’s Day gift. Only if she’s not on facebook.