MY FIRST Samsung phone, the Galaxy Tab 7.7, is probably the most unlikely of all.
I was so close to getting a Galaxy Note, but as flocks of people started jumping on-board the big screen bandwagon, I decided to get two more inches of screen real estate for the same price.
It was a good choice at the time, because it boasted a better screen, Super AMOLED Plus, Honeycomb 3.2, and a 1.4 GHz dual core processor.
The only drawback on the hardware side would be its camera, a mere 3-megapixel which takes good shots in the day, and average shots at night.
However, the Galaxy Note has upped its game, as Samsung realised the popularity of it, and bumped the operating system to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0, leaving Mr Refresh and the rest of the Note followers holding the most common phone around.
Seriously, everyone has one.
On the software side, sadly, both our phones are still on TouchWiz, and whether on Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb or Gingerbread, it stinks and here's why.
How can a dual-core phone lag? I really don't know. My old Motorola Atrix, the world's first dual-core phone, had close to zero lag issues.
The HTC Sensation I used after had an early dual-core processor, with very little lag problems as well only switching from home to app screen had some noticeable lag.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Note, both lags. Going from browser to home screen is so bad, sometimes I just want to smash the phone.
On the job, I wish I had a dollar every time I tell my interviewee to "hold on" while I try to go from one app, to the home screen, to the recording app.
Why? Because of this nuisance called TouchWiz that Samsung chose to be its skin over the Android operating system.
Samsung's new Chief Executive recently confirmed that the company has to focus on improving software for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
He said that customer experience was something that needs working on.
"A particular focus must be given to serving new customer experience and value by strengthening soft capabilities in software, user experience, design and solutions," Kwon Oh-Hyun said.
Some believe that the latest Galaxy SIII and its TouchWiz 4.0 is evidence of Samsung's commitment towards software improvement.
"Made by humans for humans", I haven't used it yet but I don't buy it (I'm working on a hands-on review of the S3 for next week's column).
What's up with that cartoony font? I mean, it's bad enough that the home screen comes as the first panel on the left, and the icon arrangement looks suspiciously like an iPhone's, but that font is absolutely horrendous.
TouchWiz on Gingerbread and older makes me feel like my phone is an Archie comic book.
I can't tell you if that's still the case on Honeycomb because I've gotten rid of TouchWiz from my phone due to its unfriendliness, but on Ice Cream Sandwich, the cartoon look is now gone.
However, the iPhone similarity remains, especially that extra line of shortcuts at the bottom.
Man, I'm so glad I've gotten rid of it.
One thing I love about Motorola's skin, MotoBlur, is that for some reason it understands that when a string of seven digits appear together, it's a phone number.
I click it, it calls it.
HTC's Sense and MotoBlur both understand that if it's 'email@example.com' it's an e-mail address, you click it, it opens up a new mail ready to send.
Samsung... unfortunately, only understands that you want to copy that phone number or e-mail address.
I really don't get why it doesn't send you to where you should go in the first place.
If it's an e-mail address, press it and it composes, if I want to copy it, I'll long press it, thank you very much.
If there's a phone number, and I click it, Samsung will bring me to add the phone number as a contact.
No. That is not what I want to do. I'm probably going to call this number once in my life, it's not going into my phone book.
If there's an '@someone's name', I click it, I expect it to bring me to Twitter to make a new post.
Come on Samsung, these are simple things. Again, I haven't tried TouchWiz 4.0, and I will soon, but I remain skeptical that those changes have been made.
There is only one. Remove it. If you're adamant you want a faster Samsung phone that utilises its amazing hardware, and you're confident enough to tinker, root it.
You remove TouchWiz completely, maybe some of the bloatware that Samsung shoves down your throat like its non-existent app store.
If you want better performance and don't want to root the phone, get a custom Home Launcher.
One popular developer, MIUI famous for their third party skin, has created a Home Launcher call MiHome.
Yes, this will make it look even closer to an iPhone format, but at least it looks VERY good.
If not, GoLauncher, ADW.Ex, Nova Launcher (for Ice Cream Sandwich), LauncherPro are all extremely good choices.
You won't be removing TouchWiz, but you'll be running the custom Home Launcher over it, and at least it runs somewhat smoother.
Another solution, is waiting. If your phone is getting Ice Cream Sandwich, chances are the hardware utilisation will be better than what you're currently having. Utilising the hardware, which Samsung is good at making, will give you better performance.
The Brunei Times
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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