My Samsung Note 5 Review

Thanks to Samsung Trinidad for providing this review unit. I am doing this review and I am thinking, what is the value of a review? Reviews help customers decide on what to purchase. Reviews are feedback for the manufacturer. Reviews are infotainment for techies and a general audience. Reviewers like myself are passionate about tech and we like to share our thoughts and experiences.

I have been using Samsung smartphones for a while and my experience has been mostly positive. My daily driver is the S6 edge+ and my secondary phone is my two and half year old S4. I have also used the Note, S3 and Note 4 and all of these I have reviewed. I have attended most of the Trinidad launches. So I have a good amount of experience with Samsung devices.

The S6 edge+ and Note 5 share the same specs but the Note 5 is different with its S-Pen and flat screen. In the early days of the Note 5 there was a lot of buzz about the S-Pen that becomes stuck if you insert it the wrong way. So be careful about this and I am sure this design flaw will be fixed in the next iteration.

The camera takes beautiful photos with different modes and a pro mode option. I believe artificial intelligence would greatly improve the quality of photos in the smartphone of the future. A full charge lasted me a day with normal usage. I would like to see some serious research and development happen for the smartphone battery of the future. We are depending more and more on our mobile device and a much better battery (size, life and time to charge) would help. Another area where we need to see improvements is the ability to customize the OS user interface and user experience. Similar to what is available through the use of ROMs and apps.

A large beautiful screen lends itself to multimedia consumption and gaming. Quality stereo front facing speakers could be an improvement in this area. I am not a gamer but I tested out Raging Thunder and it performed without issues.

The S-Pen sets the Note apart from other smartphones. The S-Pen is great for making notes, creating art, generating screen selections and precisely navigating. Two features new to the Note 5 are screen off memo and scroll capture. Scroll capture allows you to capture the entire length of content that scrolls. With screen off memo, you are given the option to make a note on the blank screen when you remove the S-Pen when the screen is off. Also if you move away with the phone (screen has to be off) without the S-Pen you get a neat alert. The S-Pen is definitely a great tool. Let's see how it evolves in future phones.

And finally I wanted to get my mom's input so I asked her what she would look for when deciding on a smartphone. She said features (especially things that other phones don't have), material it is made from (what we term as build quality) and affordability. My mom uses a budget Android touch screen for making calls and using Facebook. I begged her to try the Note 5 and give me some feedback. She said the screen is very bright and big and high definition, the speaker is much louder than she is used to, the screen is moving faster (performance) and she likes the idea behind the S-Pen. She also said that she is fascinated by where technology has reached and how it is making our lives much easier.

Samsung Note 5 - My First Impressions

The Note 5 is very similar to the S6 Edge+ (my current daily driver) in terms of specifications. However, with the Note 5, the curve is on the back glass and it comes with the S-Pen and its features. The Note 5 is also slightly heavier. One of the first things I did was to put the phone to charge and I was reminded how nice it is to have quick charging. The edge on the Note 5 is much thicker than the S6 Edge+ making it easier to hold. The back glass is stylish but it is a finger print magnet. TouchWiz performance has been improved and many of the reviews I have read are quick to point this out while insisting that stock Android is ideal. YouTube live streaming is now built-in to the camera app. Two much talked about features inlcude scroll capture and screen off memo, which I will describe in my full review. Some persons will miss the SD card slot and removeable battery. Samsung has managed to maintain the same screen size as the Note 4 while reducing the dimensions and it weighs slightly less. The temperature sensor and infrared blaster are no longer there. As a side note and something that came to my mind while writing this blog post - Mobile payment methods like Samsung Pay is the future and I would love to see this implemented in our market. And what about the physical keyboard accessory? I have not seen this in the wild in Trinidad. I would end by saying that in my view some of the things that attract a person to a device are cost, past experience, features, OS and app ecosystem, ease of use and build. I am attracted to the Note 5 and it gets a thumbs up from me. What are your experiences and thoughts? What would you like to see me cover in the full review? What would you like to see in a future smartphone? Share in the comments below.

Canon and TSL Event Barbados 2015

In a previous post I mentioned that Canon in collaboration with TSL was having an event in Barbados. TSL is a strategic partner and country distributor. It was an open house and on show was Canon's multi-functional devices and software. Canon is aiming to increase its presence in the Caribbean region. Here are some photos from that event.

Tips When Applying For IT Positions

I try to cover a variety of topics on this blog. I follow Recruitment Experts on Facebook and decided to reach out to them to get tips for this blog post. I asked them to share tips they would give to persons applying for IT positions. Here is their response

  • State clear objectives - be specific in terms of the area of interest e.g. web development or networking.
  • Update your skills on your resume to reflect the latest relevant IT skills in the industry which you may possess.
  • If you are using acronyms make sure that you have the substance to support its use so that it does not come across as fluff.
  • Improper use of technical jargon should be avoided as this can suggest inexperience in the field.
  • Your resume should be crafted for a technical audience even though it will be sent to an HR Manager in the first instance.
  • Highlight your soft skills. IT jobs are very technical in nature thus requiring hard skills. However, IT positions still require interaction with others which would require soft skills.

Hope that these tips are useful. Based on my experience I can agree with all of this. Take your job search seriously. My advice is that you should aim for a one page resume, be prepared for the interview, ask questions and don't be afraid to say that you don't know something.

Share your tips in the comments below for the benefit of anyone reading this blog post.

Canon in Trinidad and the Caribbean

Canon and Trinidad partner MBM held an event in September to show off some of their products and solutions. Canon has been and will be holding events in the Caribbean. One upcoming event will take place tomorrow in Barbados where they will present TSL as a strategic partner and country distributor.

Here is a photo from the last event in Trinidad.