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To start off I would like to address a question that I’ve been asked countless times. “Does the monitor get that nasty yellow tint?” As I’ve mentioned in my first impressions, I have had no problems with any yellow tinting. My brother’s iMac has a slight yellow tint problem so no worries guys (and girls ;D ) I know what I’m talking about here. If I open a blank word document and maximize it, it looks white as snow. (Without that yellow stuff you find time to time!)
Samsung SyncMaster SA550 With brightness max
The monitor has a refresh rate of 2ms and to this day I have not noticed once any ghosting problems. But I have noticed some pixilation lag which I mentioned below in the Macbook Section; it’s more likely to be a graphics card issue rather than a monitor one though.
The LED backlit display has a crisp resolution of 1920×1080 and it is simply a pleasure to work on. ( As cliché as that sounds!) In my first impressions I said that the colors aren’t as vibrant than glossy monitors, while that may be true, I’ve noticed I’ve been watching more movies on this monitor than my glossy Macbook Pro’s. Not just because of size but I have noticed that after a long period of watching movies or shows on any glossy monitor my eyes start to hurt a bit. (My friends HP monitor) But with the Samsung, while it isn’t the most vibrant, it is a great companion monitor to watch movies on. And I do watch plenty of movies! And whether I’m watching DVDs or simply watching youtube videos the Samsung SA550 gets the job done right.
When it comes to doing work such as photo/video editing this monitor is A-MA-ZING. I can’t go back to editing on my Macbook Pro’s glossy monitor after using the Samsung for so long– again not because of size—but rather the colors aren’t as accurate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Mac guy and I love the Macbook Pro but when it comes to work the Samsung attached to it just blows it out the water. At first glance, there isn’t much about the Samsung that separates it from your typical glossy. However, I do a lot of photo editing and I’ve edited the same picture on the Samsung, the Macbook Pro, and the iMac. Once I’ve actually printed out the photo, I can easily say that the Samsung had the much more accurate colors; hence my opinion that the Samsung was the best to edit photos on.
NOTE: I am using an HDMI cable with this monitor which is NOT included in the box. Definitely get an HDMI cable if you’re planning to get this monitor for the best results.
I understand that looks don’t change but I had to bring it up again. As with a lot of new products that you buy the first impressions are always, “This machine looks incredible”. However about a few weeks later the looks seem to lose its lust. And I usually fall victim to this of course. However when it comes to this monitor I must say that it has not lost its appeal. It just sits nice and sleek next to my Macbook Pro and I CONSTANTLY get reminded by friends and family of how “Pro” it looks.
Setting up the monitor is a breeze. It has a few pieces that pop together in place. (Pieces are pretty much self-explanatory) The entire feeling hallow argument that I stated in my first impressions actually no longer bother me at all. I go to electronic stores often and I can say that as of 2011 a lot, if not all Samsung monitors, have the same hallowed feel to it.
Keep in mind that the actual display is plastic. (Including the what looks like a glass border around the display)
I stated in my first impressions that I didn’t like how the touch sensitive buttons felt unresponsive. I’ve tried tampering with it daily JUST to see if my opinions on it would change: it hasn’t. I really never need to use them but for the sake of having my final impressions of it I had to give it some time. I like physical buttons like my friends HP monitor. It feel faster to navigate through menus on my friends HP monitor with the physical buttons. On my Samsung I feel as if I have to be gentle with it to get the touch sensitive buttons to register. While not a huge deal it does slow you down. And of course I’m sure a lot of us won’t be changing the monitors’ settings hourly so it wouldn’t be a big deal regardless.
I think this monitor is a great deal. While it is a tad bit pricey at about 250 dollars, you do get what you pay for. I know you can find many monitors online for a great bargain but don’t stump this monitor out yet. It’s hard to explain but you won’t notice how nice this monitor really is until you’ve used it for a long period of time and then try out another. You not only appreciate it more but you also really get the sense just how nice and accurate colors are. Thumbs up to Samsung!
Note: When using it in mirrored mode I did notice the resolution didn’t fit the Samsung’s monitor well. So I had to use it in clamshell mode. Simply close your Macbook and use a mouse or keyboard to wake the machine up. (While the lid is still closed) And there you have it; the Macbook Pro on your Samsung SA550 with the monitors crisp maxed out resolution.
For those curious about the actual performance of this monitor being attached to the baseline 2011 Macbook Pro 13” look no further. A lot of people have asked me whether the Intel HD 3000 was capable enough to run an external monitor smoothly. And my answer? It works PERFECETLY fine when doing your basic task. No lag, no ghosting, nothing. However, I have noticed when I am doing work in Adobe Illustrator the Samsung Monitor pixelates. When I hover over the dock, a simple task such as adding a watermark to our TechShift pictures will cause the monitor to pixelate for a moment, which gets pretty annoying quickly. (ONLY THE DOCK GETS PIXELATED) And yes, without the monitor there is no lag or pixilation with any of my software.
If you’re not on a tight budget then this monitor is definitely worth considering. There isn’t too much to complain about. It is able to connect to a computer or laptop just fine. It’s built, while it’s not the best, isn’t too far behind from what other monitors have to offer. I have enjoyed watching movies and videos on this monitor but I’ve even more so enjoyed more editing on it. And, while the touch sensitive buttons aren’t my ideal, at the end of the day I must consider that this product is a monitor and it does exactly what it needs to do without any compromise to the actual display. So if you’re in the market, check out the Samsung SyncMaster SA550. The TechShift team and I definitely recommend it.
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I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus to compare with my iPhone XS Max. Samsung was generous enough to throw in a free pair of its $129 wireless Galaxy Buds for early adopters. How does Samsung’s take on truly wire-free earbuds compare with Apple’s AirPods? Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the details.Specifications
Premium sound by AKG
Customizable Touchpad controls on both earbuds
Up to 13 hours of battery life with charging case
Up to 6 hours of play time from earbuds
Quick 15-minute charge garners 1.7 hours of play time
Recharge via Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Wireless PowerShare
Ambient Aware to allow surrounding noise in
Quick Ambient Mode for quick listening to the outside world
Comfortable ear fit with three adjustable ear and wingtips sizes included
IPX2 splash-resistant to handle light splashes and sweat
Android and iOS compatible
White, yellow, and black color options
Price: $129.99Video: Galaxy Buds vs Apple AirPods
Subscribe to 9to5Mac on Youtube for more videosUnboxing & Design
The Samsung Galaxy Buds arrive in a small square box that’s similar to the AirPods. Inside, you’ll find the Galaxy Buds charging case, along with an accessory box, and documentation packet. The buds I got for free thanks to a promotion that Samsung is running for early Galaxy S10 buyers. That explains the ugly “not for resale” sticker on the front of the box.
Like Apple’s AirPods, Samsung includes a case with the Galaxy Buds that not only allows you to store your earbuds, but also serves as the method for recharging them.
As with the AirPods, Samsung’s wireless headphones employ the use of magnets to align the buds perfectly to the charging contacts inside the case, while keeping them secure in the case upon opening the top cover.
The charging case features a pair of contacts for each earbud that aligns with the two contacts on the Galaxy Buds. Thanks to the magnetic alignment, users can simply place the buds inside the charging case and rest assured knowing that they’ll begin charging automatically.
Each bud features several components, including a pair of charging contacts, a touch-sensitive sensor, microphone, and touchpad speaker output. The buds also accommodate different sized wingtips and earbud tips, which both help with fit.Charging
Although the look of the Galaxy Buds are different than AirPods, their basic premise is more or less the same. While the earbuds are charging inside the case, you’ll notice an LED charging indicator inside the case, not at all unlike the indicator that appears inside of the AirPods charging case.
Unlike the AirPods, however, Samsung includes an exterior LED for indicating the battery status of the charging case. A green LED indicates that the battery is between 60% and fully charged, yellow between 30% and 60%, and red charging or below 30% battery. A flashing indicator denotes an error or a low charging case battery.
This is one of the areas where Samsung’s approach and OS integration falls behind Apple’s AirPods. With the AirPods, you’re able to see the charging status of not only the two individual earbuds, but also the battery status of the charging case. These indicators aren’t tucked away inside an app, but can be viewed directly from a widget within Notification Center’s Today View.
Samsung only allows you to view the exact battery status of each individual bud. You’ll need to launch the Galaxy Wearable app or open the charging case with your buds inside and your Galaxy S10 close by.
Apple is planning on releasing a Qi-enabled version of the AirPods charging case, a device that was supposed to complement the company’s long-delayed AirPower wireless charging mat, but it’s been M.I.A. thus far. Perhaps we’ll see it released at Apple’s upcoming March 25th ‘It’s Show Time’ event.
As I noted in my hands-on look at Samsung’s latest flagship phone, the Galaxy Buds can also be wirelessly charged via the Galaxy S10 Plus itself. Samsung introduced a new feature called Wireless PowerShare that turns the handset into its own mini wireless charger. Wireless PowerShare isn’t very useful for recharging smartphones with large batteries, but it’s perfect for topping off the smaller battery inside the Galaxy Buds charging case.Watch our iPhone XS Max vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus coverage
Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videosBattery life: AirPods vs Galaxy Buds
Despite the compact design of the AirPods, Apple’s earbuds offer better battery life than Samsung’s Galaxy Buds. Samsung notes that combined, its Galaxy Buds will last for 13 hours. That’s 6 hours of play time from the earbuds when fully charged, and an extra 7 hours from a fully charged charging case.
Apple’s AirPods last much longer, up to 24 hours. That’s 5 hours of play time from the earbuds when fully charged, and an additional 19 hours from a fully charged charging case.
What about quick charging? The Galaxy Buds provide users with 1.7 hours of play time from a 15-minute charge. AirPods provide users with 3 hours of play time from the same 15-minute charge.
It’s not that the AirPods are able to fit a massively bigger battery than the Galaxy Buds, it’s that Apple’s custom W1 chip inside the AirPods provides an uber-efficient wireless connection, and handles the heavy lifting when it comes to intelligent battery management. Needless to say, the results speak for themselves.Fit
While AirPods’ fit can be hit or miss depending on the person, the Galaxy Buds are more likely to fit the majority of customers. This is because Samsung includes several pairs of silicone earbud tips and wingtips inside the box to facilitate a great fit with a variety of ear sizes.
The earbud tips work with small, medium and large ear canals, helping to isolate the sound from background noise, while the wingtips work to apply pressure on the outside portion of the ear flap creating friction that keeps the Galaxy Buds locked into place. I tested the buds while walking, jogging, and even engaged in a full sprint. Even so, the earbuds stayed locked in my ears.
Walking or even jogging with my AirPods is doable, but there’s no guarantee that they won’t fall out of my ear when running full speed. This is one of the biggest complaints with Apple’s truly wireless headphones, and remains a frustration for many would-be users to this day. Recent rumors suggest it that Apple is seeking to address fitment issues with the second generation AirPods by including a gripper exterior to help keep them in place.
Some people will prefer Samsung’s approach of using noise-isolating earbud tips, which help to keep sound from leaking out, while keeping outside sounds at bay. Personally speaking, I’m not a big fan of noise isolating tips, as they provide an undesirable ear sensation that stems from being cut off from outside sounds.
I don’t like being totally shut off from outside sound while I’m out running, walking through an airport, etc. It’s one of the reasons that I prefer Apple’s approach with the AirPods, even though it may result in a slightly inferior fit for some users.
Samsung allows you to mitigate the sound isolation through the use of ambient technology, which allows you to pipe in and amplify ambient sounds directly into your ears. It’s a nice feature to have, but it’s not a replacement for an open ear design, and results in reduced sound quality.Range
For both the Galaxy Buds and the Apple AirPods, wireless range isn’t what I’d consider a strong point. Both sets of earbuds can travel a fair distance from a paired device, but I find that neither works well when more than a few dozen feet away.
The Galaxy Buds, in particular, suffered from wireless dropouts in certain places around my house, even when close by the paired Galaxy S10 Plus. The AirPods were usually able retain a strong signal, although these too began to drop out when straying too far away from my paired iPhone.Sound quality
Sound quality is inherently more subjective than anything else I’ll discuss in the post, but I think the Galaxy Buds sound okay. Neither the AirPods or Samsung’s wireless earbuds are going to make your jaw drop when it comes to sound quality, but both wireless buds do a decent enough job.
That said, when comparing both sets of earbuds back to back, I think that the AirPods sound noticeably better. The AirPods sound more refined on the low-end, and this was immediately noticeable to me, as I like to listen to instrumentals with no shortage of bass while working.
Although the AirPods aren’t audiophile grade gear, they are more acoustically refined than the Galaxy Buds. A quick listen to the Eagle’s Hotel California was all I needed to see that the AirPods were the better choice for instrument separation for highs and mids. My ears were able to pick up subtle sounds that I wasn’t able to pick up as easily with the Galaxy Buds.Call quality
For me, this is one of the areas where the AirPods stand head and shoulders above the Galaxy Buds. Call quality on Samsung’s earbuds is merely passable, while most people can’t tell I’m even talking to them using my AirPods.
When asked specifically about call quality with the Galaxy Buds, one caller noted that it sounded like I was conversing from inside of a bag. In other words, the call quality came across muted and muffled.
This is disappointing, but it’s not all that surprising considering the design of the Galaxy Buds versus the design of Apple’s AirPods.
Today, AirPods are ubiquitous, and no one even bats an eye when I wear them. But upon launch, they caught a lot of flack for their design, which admittedly looked odd, as if someone cut off the wire from a pair of earbuds and left the stem behind. The reason for such a design had much to do with call quality.
Apple uses a voice accelerometer and dual beamforming microphones to help filter out background noise for phone calls, or when conversing with Siri. The technology makes a noticeable difference when talking on the phone in both noisy and quiet environments.Functionality and customization
When you remove a single AirPod from your ear, music playback stops. This is handy when someone wants to talk to you, or when you need to listen to the environment around you. Once you place the AirPod back inside your ear, music playback resumes right from where it stopped.
When you do the same thing with the Galaxy Buds, music playback continues. It’s only when you remove both earbuds that music playback stops. When you place the buds back in your ears, music playback doesn’t automatically resume.
What I just described here illustrates another reason why I prefer the AirPods over the Galaxy Buds. Being able to quickly stop and resume music playback automatically is one of my favorite features.
Configuring AirPods within Settings → Bluetooth on iOS
Samsung’s app allows users to set up per-app notifications that route to the earbuds, customize Touchpad controls, change Ambient sound settings, use Find My Earbuds to quickly find a misplaced bud around the house, and adjust the EQ.
The Galaxy Buds Touchpad controls let you play/pause with a single tap, skip or go back with a double or triple tap, and more. As far as customization is concerned, the Galaxy Wearable app lets users change the tap and hold properties of each bud. You can tap and hold to adjust volume, invoke Google Assistant/Bixby, or enable Quick Ambient Mode.9to5Mac’s Take
The Galaxy Buds are a solid offering from Samsung. They feature a better overall fit than Apple’s AirPods, and come with handy features like wireless charging. The Galaxy Buds are available in multiple color options, and are $30 cheaper than Apple’s AirPods.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
But the Galaxy Buds are lacking in a few key areas when compared to the AirPods. Samsung’s earbuds feature less overall battery life when taking into account a pair of fully charged buds and corresponding charging case. Much of this battery discrepancy is owed to the custom-designed W1 chip, which provides wireless connection efficiency that Samsung’s buds aren’t able to match.
Another big difference between the Galaxy Buds and the AirPods has to do with call quality. Apple specifically designed the AirPods in such a way to garner better call quality thanks to its microphone configuration and voice accelerometer.
Although sound quality is largely subjective, I think most people will agree that a pair of AirPods sound better than the Galaxy Buds. Especially is this noticeable in the mid to high range frequencies, where Samsung’s offering doesn’t sound as crisp and clear. I’m also not a fan of the lows, and the sound isolation that stems from the silicone earbud tips, but again, preferences will vary from person to person.
Lastly, there’s OS integration. Apple’s AirPods prove to be superior when it comes to OS integration, although Samsung has made strides to replicate Apple’s easy set up.
If you’re a Galaxy S10 owner, then the Samsung Galaxy Buds are a good choice, but make no mistake, they aren’t on the same level as the AirPods just yet. What do you think?
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G-Sync and FreeSync
Awkward assemblyOur Verdict
VA panels have never been this fast, colourful or curved. It might be a little awkward to assemble, but the Samsung Odyssey G7 delivers a big, bright and attractive gaming screen that gives a highly immersive experience.Best Prices Today: Samsung Odyssey G7
The market for gaming displays appears to be fragmenting. Some gamers want the best colours and contrast on an ultrawide panel, while others are more interested in refresh rates than crazy screen ratios.
The Samsung Odyssey G7 is an attempt to provide something for all tastes, with a 31.5-inch 16:9 ratio design that sports a dramatic 1000R curve.
Where LG demonstrated recently with an UltraGear panel how far it is possible to push IPS screen technology with the Odyssey G7, Samsung counters by merging its quantum dot TV technology with a VA panel design.
On paper, this looks like the dream display for many gamers. It’s bright, colourful, has minimal refresh lag and the extreme curvature offers a high degree of player immersion.
When you combine the technical specifications with a highly competitive price, Samsung looks like it might have the product to dominate this sector in 2023.
Let’s see if the Samsung Odyssey G7 delivers the high-end user experience its promotional material suggests.Out of the box
Curved screens can be something of a nightmare to unbox. They inherently have a centre of gravity that isn’t inside their volume, and as such, you cannot hold them under the rotational centre.
The support arm foot attaches with a thumbscrew at the bottom, but you need a crosshead screwdriver to connect the arm at the screen end with four captured screws.
One word of warning for those that don’t read the instructions carefully; the support arm has a plastic sheath over it that serves as a conduit for cables in use, remove this before picking up the panel by the stand. Failure to realise that this cover slides off could result in you dropping the monitor unexpectedly.
Once you’ve got the monitor placed, you can put the cable cover back on, and also add a doughnut-shaped trim to cover the mounting point to the screen.
Once you’ve attached cables and the enormous power brick, you are, at last, good to go.Features and Design
We’ve become used to seeing TVs and monitors that are ultra-thin, and therefore it comes as something of a shock to see a product that isn’t.
But realistically, with a curve of 1000R, this design could never be thin due to the degree of arc needed to make such a tight curve. As the term 1000R implies, the focal point of this curve is just one metre away from the screen, a typical distance that most gamers will sit from a display of this scale.
For those interested, the circumference of a circle is equal to Pi multiplied by the radius, and therefore a wall of G7s would be 3.14 metres long. As the screen represents roughly an 80cm wide segment of that arc, then you would need forty of them to create a full 360-degree circle of panels.
But one curiosity of the Samsung Odyssey G7 is that it is possible with the provided stand to use this panel in portrait mode. It looks a little odd, mostly because the screen only bends in the single plane, but it can offer this mode if you use it.
Along with rotation, the support arm can also tilt, but it doesn’t twist, disappointingly.
A metal adapter is in the box that enables a VESA 100 compliant arm or wall mount to be used instead.
All the connections are well spaced in a section at the rear that spans across underneath the support point, and a flimsy plastic cover is provided to cover them over.
We don’t like these types of covers for multiple reasons; they get easily broken, lost, and they’re a pain to remove if you need to re-cable. Yes, they make it all look neat, but we’d rather makers avoided them.
As was mentioned earlier, the cables can be passed through the vertical support arm which has a detachable cover. Better thinking than the port cover, but the channel is narrow considering that it might have two DisplayPort, an HDMI, three USB lines, an audio line and the power cable all running through it.
Control for the OSD is via a small centrally mounted joystick that avoids all the buttons older designers loved, and from that menu, you can activate the inbuilt lighting system.
Small lights are placed beneath the screen on the left and right almost like car headlights, and in a ring around the mounting point at the rear.
We’re not a huge fan of lights you can’t see from the paying seat, but these are at least subtle. And, the front-facing do confirm that the mode and colours are correctly set.
But enough of the external details, this monitor is all about that fantastic screen!Quantum Dot tech in a monitor
Samsung has used the same Quantum Dot technology on this display that its deployed on TVs, and the panel here is a 10-bit panel (8 bit + FRC) allowing for an impressive colour gamut.
But it isn’t purely amazing colours on offer. This panel can also deliver 1m (GtG) response at 240Hz with a natural screen resolution of 2,560 x 1,440.
To get the most from this configuration requires DisplayPort connection, although HDMI input is available for those using consoles or other external output devices.
A PiP (Picture-in-picture) mode is available, allowing more than one input to be shown at once.
One interesting fact about this screen shared by Samsung with us is that the decoding electronics can accept 4K signals, which are scaled to display. As useful as this might be for playing 4K Blu-rays, for example, we don’t recommend you use this feature from a console or computer since it will introduce display lag and increase power consumption.
If you intend to use 4K output regularly, then this probably isn’t the monitor for you.Adjusting the display
I’ve already described how easy to assemble and cable this screen is, and the thinking behind other aspects are generally well-considered.
The OSD is accessible from a joystick that is mounted just behind the LG logo in the centre of the bottom edge. It’s an easy to navigate interface and makes input selection or changing to one of a wide range of presets is extremely easy.
One slight oddity is that the top-level menu appears directly above the centralised button, and from here there are five sub selections. These options include exiting the menu and powering off the monitor.
Most of the options lead to a menu that appears in the same place, bottom centre, yet the one with the most on it ‘settings’ appears on the extreme right.
That seems silly, since you are looking at a specific part of the screen, and then the sub-menu pops up 17 inches to the right from where you are currently focused.
However, it is worth noting that LG has created a software menu system for both PC and Mac that has everything on it that the inbuilt menu offers, and some additional options.
One trick that software menu can do is to change preset based on the application being used, enabling games to use the perfects settings for them, and then switch back to a different mode when exited.
This mechanism is significantly more user-friendly than manually selectable options and makes it more likely that users will use presets. The first two of these, Gamer 1 and Gamer 2 have more customisation available than the other choices, but there is no ability to create new presets from scratch.
That’s slightly annoying for those that want the best colour accuracy. Because that comes with the sRGB preset, and yet that option has limited adjustment controls.
This software can also predefine splitting of the display and picture-in-picture for the simultaneous presentation of multiple inputs.
Some of the features require that the monitor is connected by USB to the controlling PC, like updating the monitor firmware, but many require a DisplayPort cable connection.Performance
Our road to getting the best out of this display had the odd pothole, as it transpired that our DataColor Spyder calibration sensor didn’t care for our selection of sRGB mode, Nvidia drivers ran in 8-bit colour at 240Hz, and variable sync also had an impact.
As it has a 10-bit panel (8 bit + FRC) with Quantum Dot, it can produce much better 444 colour representation, if configured correctly.
Once these points were addressed, we got to experience the massive colour gamut that this panel can offer, where DCI-P3 was represented by 95%. That’s a range well beyond the defined scope of sRGB. In addition to the excellent colour gamut, this screen has a VESA DisplayHDR 600 rating, and not the usual VESA DisplayHDR 400 that the majority of better gaming panels are now offering.
To achieve this rating requires that the brightness of the panel achieves 600 nits, if only locally. And, it can control its localised backlight, and for limited periods hit those brightness levels.
A highlight of this design is that it is both FreeSync and G-Sync capable, allowing for fluid frame rates up to the maximum 240Hz. However, we should point out that you will need a powerful GPU and CPU combination to drive a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution display at 240 fps.
For more modest rigs, limiting the refresh to 144Hz might be a better option.
We have seen alternative designs promoted as being colour accurate that can’t achieve this gamut or the contrast levels. While it might not compete with the contrasts levels of an OLED TV, for gamers, it’s a significant improvement over what was considered the best less than a year ago.Price and availability
After the disturbingly high cost of the recently reviewed LG UltraGear 34GN850 (£969.95), we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the Samsung Odyssey G7, aka the C32G75T, is at least 20% cheaper in the USA, even if it isn’t an ultrawide design.
The US Amazon price is $799, and despite a £629 price tag in the UK, we found it selling at a UK retailer for the even better deal of £616.79 inclusive of VAT.
That’s a similar price to the AOC CU34G2X, but cheaper than the Acer Predator Z35P and the Alienware 1900R 34.1. But, importantly, none of these alternatives is offering 1000R curvature, and many don’t have 240Hz operation either.
For the moment, the Samsung Odyssey G7 C32G75T is in a special category, joined only by its 27-inch smaller brother, the C27G75T.
For alternatives to Samsung’s option, take a look at our selection of the best gaming monitors.Verdict
As the successor to the C32HG70, the Odyssey G7 is a significant upgrade in image quality and user experience.
Assembling it is an overly elaborate exercise, but most owners will only need to do it once.
Where it mildly disappoints in that it has a colour gamut that could easily have a business application, but there aren’t the controls to adjust it sufficiently for those customers. Maybe Samsung should consider a G7 for business customers that removes the coloured lighting and adds better firmware controls.
The 1000R curve takes some adaptation and encourages the user to position themselves more precisely, but it is immersive when you sit in the ergonomic sweet spot.
But these are minor points, and the underlying technology and execution on the G7 are as good as we’ve seen from Samsung recently. And, at this competitive price, these are likely to fly off the shelves.Specs Samsung Odyssey G7: Specs
Model No.: C32G75T
Panel Size: 31.5″(80 cm)
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Display Technology: QLED VA
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Response Time (GtG): 1ms
Viewing Angle: 178°(H)/178°(V)
Maximum Refresh: 160Hz (with adaptive sync and overdrive)
HDR: HDR10, VESA DisplayHDR 600
Video Ports: 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort 1.4
USB ports: 2× USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, 1x USB-B (upstream)
Other Ports: 1x 3.5mm Mini-Jack for Headphones
Typical Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Static Contrast: 2500:1
Variable Sync: NVIDIA G-Sync, AMD FreeSync
Weight: 8.2kg (with stand), 6.5kg (without stand)
There are still details to iron out and features to road test in the real world, but the Galaxy A30 could be a great phone for anyone wanting a nice Samsung without spending too much. This could be up there with the excellent Moto G7.
If you can’t afford one of Samsung’s new shiny Galaxy S10 models then maybe a mid-range A phone will suit you better. Here we take a look at the Galaxy A30, which might be a bit of a bargain.
With smartphone prices increasing at the flagship level, it’s not a surprise if you find yourself unable to get the phone you really want. Luckily, mid-range phones have been getting a lot better recently and often have a good amount of the style and features from their more expensive brothers.Price
We don’t know when the Galaxy A30 will be released but Q2 seems like a reasonable estimate. We’re told it won’t come to the UK, though, which is a shame.
There’s an estimated price of between 200- and 300 Euro for the A30, which puts it at the lower end of the mid-range market. We’ll have to wait and see if that rings true.
If it does, then it will rival the impressive Moto G7 and Moto G7 Plus.Design & Build
The Galaxy A30 and A50 have teardrop notches in the display. So you get a small section of the screen missing at the top in the middle unlike the punch-hole notches on the S10 phones.
You might actually prefer the way the A range phones do it but it’s just personal preference. What we would say is that if you haven’t had a phone with a notch yet, you’ll likely get used to it quicker than you might expect.
Much of the design is similar, although the A30 has a plastic rear cover rather than glass even though it might look like it’s real. It might not be as premium but it still looks and feels nice.
There are various colours available including black, white, blue and red. The samples we took at look at shimmer in the light and give a pearlescent effect.
Even at this low price, Samsung offers some good design elements including USB-C, a headphone jack (don’t take it for granted) and IP68 waterproofing.
One of the main design differences between the Galaxy A30 and the more expensive A50 is that you get a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the phone rather than embedded in the screen.Specs & Features
Like the A50, the Galaxy A30 has a 6.4in SuperAMOLED screen with a Full HD+ resolution and a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. There’s a small notch at the top to house the selfie camera and no embedded fingerprint scanner.
There’s reasonably low-grade core specs here but nothing that’s unsuitable for the price. An Exynos 7885 (same chip as the Galaxy A8 from last year) along with either 3- or 4GB of RAM.
Then there’s either 32- or 64GB of storage with a microSD card slot to take up to 512GB.
While the A8’s benchmark results weren’t great, we found the phone smooth enough in the real world so we expect the A30 to be similar. With a different screen, we’ll have to wait and see though.
Moving onto cameras and the A30 has a single 16Mp camera at the front. One less than the A8 but it will be a lot cheaper. The rear also has a 16Mp camera with an f/1.7 aperture partnered with a 5Mp depth sensor for Live Focus blur.
The cameras seem ok, but we’ll need to test them out somewhere other than Samsung’s brightly lit stand at MWC. There’s tough competition in this area from rivals.
There’s little else on the spec sheet to highlight but the A30 doesn’t come with NFC which will put off some buyers.
The A30 has an above average 4000mAh battery, which should mean the phone will last a day fairly comfortably. We need to test this out if we can get a review sample, of course.
It also comes with 15W fast charging so you can top it up without having to wait around for long.Early Verdict
The Galaxy A30 will be tempting for anyone looking for Samsung design and reasonably decent specs with a tight budget. Of course, the A50 looks better for possibly not much more.
We’ll have to wait for final pricing and also test out key features like performance and cameras, but this could be a decent Moto G7 rival.Related stories for further reading Specs Samsung Galaxy A30: Specs
Android 9.0 Pie with One UI
6.4in Full HD+ (2340×1080) 19.5:9 SuperAMOLED
Exynos 7885 processor
32/64GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 512GB)
16Mp, f/1.7 rear camera + 5Mp Depth
16Mp, f/2.0 front camera
11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
4000mAh non-removable battery
15W Fast Wireless Charging
IP68 dust & waterproof rating
74.7 x 158.5 x 7.7 mm
The Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is a seriously impressive tablet that blows away the vast majority of Android tablets and leaves them eating its dust in terms of power. If you’ve got £600 to blow and want a tablet that’s bigger than 10-inches then this powerhouse won’t disappoint in terms of performance and looks, and to be frank it’s your only option as it’s the only device out there like this.
The Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is a peculiar tablet for the very simple reason that it is unusually big and expensive. It’s an incredibly powerful and well-built device that is very well endowed in the features department. Here, we take an in-depth look at what the giant tablet has to offer in our Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review. See the best tablets.
On the face of it the Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is a 12-inch Android 4.4 Kitkat tablet – modified with Samsung TouchWiz and Magazine UX – that comes with Samsung’s innovative pressure-sensitive S Pen, 32GB of internal memory, a microSD card, 3GB RAM and a spilt Octa-core processor on-board to manage both simple and heavy-duty tasks. It has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels.
In terms of competitors there’s nothing else in the tablet market that is quite the same size as the Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2. However, it’s clear that the NotePro 12.2 is looking to capture the professional market – given its name and feature set. That means its closest competitors are the iPad Air (32GB – £479 and 64GB £559 with a 2048×1536-pixel screen) and also the Microsoft Surface Pro (£519) and Surface Pro 2 (£519). See aso the best Android tablets.
All three tablets (even though the Surface is a hybrid, it’s also a tablet) offer productivity features in wildly different ways, and to be brutally honest, we’d suggest that the average professional looking to do serious work on the go should take a long, hard look at the Surface Pro, as it is essentially a fully functional laptop that is (very nearly) the size of a conventional portable computer. The Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is not without merit, though. Keep reading to find out more about the key features and design aspects of this intriguing Android device..Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review: Video Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review: Design
In terms of design it’s best to break up the Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 into two separate parts. First of all we’ll look at its general build quality, and then focus on the dimensions and feel of the 12-inch tablet.
Where Samsung has to be given huge credit is for sheer quality of the NotePro 12.2’s design.
The now-familiar Note range’s faux-leather rear finish really helps this NotePro stand out (it does tend to polarise opinion), while giving it a pleasingly grippy yet sophisticated feel. There’s an acceptably thick bezel around the screen, with the physical home button, front-facing camera and sensor neatly sunk in. The aluminium rim around the edge of the tablet its far from unpleasant too.
There is a slight problem with the tablet’s overall size (295.5 x 204 x 8mm) and weight (739g), however. Having a 12-inch tablet is always going to be problematic to hold and Samsung hasn’t altered the design of the NotePro to compensate for this fact. Rather, it has opted for a traditional flat and evenly balanced device, which we imagine is a beauty-first policy from Samsung. This isn’t much of a problem if you are using the device on a desk, or on your lap, but trying to stand or use it with one hand is tricky and tiring to say the least.Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review: Interface and screen Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review: Samsung S Pen
Where the device really starts to make sense is when you start using it with the accompanying S Pen. The pressurised pen tip isn’t that noticeable itself – maybe that’s a good thing – but spend a short time familiarising yourself with the Air Command feature and you soon see its merits. The Galaxy NotePro 12.2 becomes a lot more fun and social when you master using the S Pen.
Air Command comes with the usual five features. Action memo is handy for quickly scribbling down your thoughts without fully leaving an app, and is really easy to use on this big screen. Scrap booker lets you draw a box and take a focused screen shot of what is on screen. Screen write is exactly as is sounds, and it more of a fun graffiti tool than anything else, likewise S finder is dull and as does what is says on the tin. The final feature, Pen Window, is great on this 12-inch screen, simply draw a box and then select a utility such as calculator, calendar, dictions or several more and you are presented with a multi-windowed device.
The only downside to the S Pen is that it is a little on the thin and slippery side, which makes pressing the Air Command button especially tricky.Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review: Screen
The 12.2-inch screen itself is pretty impressive, boasting 2560 x 1600 pixels at 247 ppi, looks incredible at an arm’s length. Images and videos look amazing on the NotePro 12.2, so if you’re looking for a big screened movie/gaming experience for your next train of plane journey, then this tablet will be like a portable cinema for you.
Over the years of testing mobile device’s screens, we have found that perhaps the best way to judge a screen’s sharpness is by reading the text on display, and all we can (rather boringly) say about that here, is that this looks pin sharp too.
The NotePro 12.2 offers pretty good viewing angles too, and although the screen is a bit glary at times, it still remained reasonably easy to view when used in broad daylight.Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review: Camera
As you’d expect from a high-end Samsung device, the camera that is on-board the Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is a thing of real quality. The rear-facing camera boasts 8 Megapixels with autofocus, zero shutter lag and a LED flash, there is also a 2Mp front-facing camera which is primarily there for apps like Skype and Snapchat.
The main camera also comes equipped with several mode that we have come to expect from top end tablets, features like Best face, Best photo, Drama which all rely on multiple photos being taken at once and and then you will be presented either automatically or manually with several images form which you can choose you favourite, and save. Here’s an example of us sneakily using the Drama mode with spectacularly undramatic ongoings and results.
Here’s PC Advisor’s standard camera image on it’s highest setting:Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review: Benchmarks Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review: Battery
Samsung has equipped the Galaxy NotePro 12.2 with its biggest tablet battery yet, which is hardly surprising given the sheer size of the tablet and seriousness of the specs. The on-board battery is a 9,500mAh beast, to put this into perspective, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a 6000mAh battery, and Samsung’s flagship smartphone the Galaxy S5 only has a 2800mAh battery, and this was thought to be impressive for a smartphone.
We will be running our standard battery test in the coming days and will update this review with the results shortly.Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review
The Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is a bit of a funny one, as it’s difficult to picture who will be buying this oversized tablet. The whole idea of tablets, and mobile technology for that matter, is that they are supposed to be portable and easy to use on the go and the Galaxy NotePro 12.2 simply isn’t.
What has to be said for the Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is that it is a seriously impressive piece of technology that has raised the bar in terms of tablet power and specs. I can’t stress enough, how big, cumbersome and expensive it is though.
Samsung proved to be game changers with their initial tablet offerings but fans have been left dejected with the low bump in specs when compared to the previous generation. When speaking of the Indian market, there are a few offerings from domestic manufacturers like Zync which honestly look to carry a better specs sheet along with them when compared to the latest offering from Samsung. Let us go ahead with the quick review.Camera And Internal Storage
The Tab 3 10.1 inch comes with rather low end cameras. To speak in numbers, the tablet carries a 3.15 MP rear shooter and a 1.3 MP front. This, honestly, sounds a like a thing of the past. In an age where tablets show up with 8MP cameras, 3.15 and 1.3 MP cameras don’t sound excessively exciting.
Storage is standard with an option of 16GB and 32GB storage options, and just like the other devices in the Galaxy series this one comes with a microSD slot as well, and can accept cards of up to 64GB in size so storage shouldn’t be a problem.Processor And Battery
Another segment where the Tab 3 10.1 inch could have been better; it comes with only a 1.6 GHz dual core processor. This might be the deal breaker for many, Indian manufacturers are offering dual core 1.5 GHz dual core processors in tablets costing as low as 7,000 INR. We would have liked to see a 1.7 GHz quad core Exynos, this tablet will surely fall short of your processing expectations.
Samsung have done well with the battery, including a 6800mAh unit which should give you plenty hours of browsing the net and reading, and a little less with multimedia/graphic intensive stuff.Display Size And Type
As the model name suggests, the Tab 3 10.1 inch comes with an obvious 10.1 inch screen. Yet again, Samsung chose to not bump up the specs in this department. There is only a 1280x800p display panel which provides for a paltry pixel density, at just 149 PPI. This should particularly be a problem for people who use their tablet for multimedia. It will not be a great tablet for web browsing and reading, since the aspect ratio is in 16:9, and this is widescreen used for multimedia and gaming, so hardly any people are going to use this tablet for reading.Key Specs
Model Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Inch
Display 10.1 inch, 1280×800 pixels
OS Android Jelly Bean
Processor 1.6GHz dual core
RAM, ROM 1.5GB, 16/32GB with microSD slot up to 64GB
Camera 3.15MP rear, 1.3MP front
Price To be announcedConclusion
As is pretty obvious, we aren’t particularly impressed by the Tab 3 10.1 inch. Given the standards of this year, we expected a lot more than what is offered. So, all in all, we are led to believe that this is indeed going to be a budget device. We will have to wait for the price of this tablet but we expect it to cost around the 15,000 INR mark, so in a way it would be a competitor to Indian manufacturers, but has lesser to offer when it comes to specifications and hardware.
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