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Samsung Galaxy S4 Rumored Specs and Features

We are less than a day (actually 17 hrs and 53 mins and counting when this is published ) to when the next flagship Galaxy device, the Galaxy S4, will be revealed and “unpacked” by Samsung in Time Square at 7pm ET. Now a lot of sites are posting last-minute rumor roundups, so I might as well join in with the crowd.

DESIGN: What is going to look and feel like?
There are some reports saying the Samsung S4 will use the same “plastic design” as the Galaxy S3 because of all the success. Don’t get me wrong, the S3 sold like hot-cakes and hand-over fist but sometimes plastic can make a phone feel cheaper especially since it’s a flagship smartphone. And people are probably going to compare it to other flagship devices like the HTC ONE and the LG Optimus G.

PERFORMANCE: How fast is it really? 
There are some many different rumors of what will be powering the Galaxy S4, from a quad-core processor to a 8-core processor. Some suggest that there will be one version of the S4, with Samsung’s Exynos 5 Processor which isn’t truly a 8-core processor but it is way more powerful than the Exynos 4 processor in the International S3 and the Note 2. Samsung may release a variant made with HSPA+ radios with their Exynos 5 processor and then the North American version may use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 quad-core chip because it has a built in LTE Radio and 4G LTE is all the rage now-a-days.

HARDWARE & SOFTWARE: What is going to make you want this phone?
Some rumors suggest, that the Galaxy S4 will sport 2GB of RAM, a 4.99″ inch or 5 inch 1080p screen with a resolution of 440 PPI which is both a huge improvement over the S3 and outshines the iPhone 5. However it will still be a SuperAMOLED display. A 13-Megapixel Rear-facing Camera would be competive to the LG Optimus G.

The latest version of Android (4.2.1) would be on board along with Samsung TouchWiz Skin to add their own flavour to android. The Galaxy S4 might make good use of eye-tracking technology which in some reports say that Samsung will include some feature(s) called SmartScroll and SmartPause which allow you to navigate let’s say your favourite webpage and scroll through the page by looking at the bottom of your screen/ the end of the webpage, then the phone will automatically scroll down for you. SmartPause may allow your phone to pause a video while you aren’t looking at the screen or distracted by something else.

Don’t forget to check out my LiveBlog at 7pm Sharp, Eastern Standard Time
http://thecanadiantechie.blogspot.ca/2013/03/samsung-galaxy-s4-liveblog-7pm-est.html

You can also watch Samsung’s Livestream of the event on their YouTube account
http://www.youtube.com/samsungmobile

SOURCES:
http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/14/samsung-galaxy-s-iv-the-rumor-roundup/

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/03/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-samsungs-galaxy-s-iv/

Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal and @Canadian_Techie

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Liveblog for Samsung Galaxy S4 Event on March 14th 2013

On Thursday March 14th, 2013, I will be covering the Samsung Galaxy S4 event via live blog.
By clicking the Google Calendar link below, it will automatically add this event to your own Google Calendar. Be sure to check in to thecanadiantechie.blogspot.ca at 7pm ET on March 14th to catch the liveblog. Samsung will be livestreaming the event on their YouTube Channel, youtube.com/samsungmobile

   

Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal and @Canadian_Techie

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Assassn’s Creed IV: Black Flag Officially Announced

Ubisoft has just announced the next installment in the Assassin’s Creed Series called, Assassin’s Creed IV:Black Flag.  The game has been confirmed for Xbox 360, Wii U, PC and PlayStation 3. Below is the official box art.

The Official Box Art for Assassin’s Creed IV

There is no word on whether or not the game will come to next-gen platforms like the PlayStation 4 or the Next Xbox, we should have that information within the coming months.

It seems whenever there is a Assassin’s Creed game with a number in the name, it usually indicates a brand new hero and brand new time period and location. The PlayStation 3 version includes 60 minutes of extra gameplay, Ubisoft seems to prefer PS3 or any other platform.

The game will star a pirate assassin, set in the locale of the Caribbean (Pirates of the Caribbean anyone?). Some rumors suggest that the new protagonist is actually Connor’s grandfather, Edward Kenway however nothing like that was confirmed by Ubisoft today.

We will have more information on March 4th, 2013 ,where Ubisoft will release more details.

SOURCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassin%E2%80%99s_Creed_IV:_Black_Flag

http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/02/28/assassins-creed-iv-black-flag-confirmed-is-about-pirates/

http://www.complex.com/video-games/2013/02/assassins-creed-iv-black-flag-confirmed-as-ubisofts-next-title

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Sony Playstation 4 Event Wrap-up on February 20th 2013

On February 20th, Sony Entertainment held a press event today in NYC to talk about their Next-Gen Console the Sony PlayStation 4. The PS4 is based on a supercharged PC architecture, x86 processor, enhanced PC GPU and 8GB of unified memory. 

This is how Sony explained the PS4 architecture


Sony also said that “Remote Play” will be built into the PlayStation 4, this is all with the help of the (recently acquired by Sony), Gaikai. These features will use the Sony PSVITA, so you can take your console gaming on the go and continue your gaming experience wherever you are. 

This is what the PS4’s Dualshock 4 Controller looks like
The Dualshock 4 Controller will be the controller for the PlayStation 4. This new controller features a touchpad, which is similar to the rear touchpad on the PlayStation VITA. The control also features motion control capabilities and a new share button to allow players to go back a few seconds of gameplay and start recording their gameplay as it is actually happening, you can also live stream it on USTREAM because of a partnership between Sony and USTREAM.
There were a lot of game developers, both first party and third party, to show off their game and release as a launch title. Knack is being developed by Sony’s In-House studio in Japan. The game has an animated movie type of style. The Game still looked great on the VITA it is brand new title, and their demo showed off that you can use Remote Play to play the game on the VITA.
Killzone: Shadow Fall really showed what the PS4 was capable of. The demo of Killzone: Shadow Fall was one of the first live demos to show the PS4’s share functionality that can share in-game footage which they shared to their Facebook Page during the event.

Killzone: Shadow Fall

Driveclub is a “different” type of racing game. It is being developed by Evolution Studios. There is a heavy sense of realism with great detail in the cars and how you interact with the car, all while looking amazing at the same time. It focuses on people more than just cars or locations. The game will reward players who play together. It will also feature integration with smartphones, tablets that will give players the ability to choose cars and tracks from these devices.

Driveclub being shown off as a demo at the event

Infamous: Second Son is being developed by Sucker Punch Productions. The game has a new protagonist rather than Cole from the previous games. It will continue to give players superhero-like abilities just like before but since it is a different character, you will have new powers to mess around with.

Infamous: Second Son
Media Molecule, (as made popular by the LittleBigPlanet series) showed off their new game that heavily uses the PlayStation Move Controller. Players will have the ability to create whatever to your heart’s content to sculpt virtual 3D objects in real-time. So far, this game’s title is To Be Confirmed.
Deep Down is a game that is a like Dark Souls but way more graphically impressive. That would be with the help of Capcom’s new game engine.
Watch Dogs, a game that took everyone by surprise at E3 2012, made an appearance at Sony’s PS4 event. They showed off a different demo that what was shown to press before (like at E3). “Once you can invade anyone’s lives, anything can happen right in front of you,” is how the game’s creepy premise was explained on stage.

Watch_Dogs Official Box Art

Probably one of the most surprising announcements was that Blizzard’s Diablo III would be coming to the PS3 and PS4.
Next was Bungie, and they showed a live demo of their new game Destiny. Activision, as part of a 10-year deal with Bungie, will publish it. Destiny is another game that will be released both on PS3 and PS4.
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Canadian

HTC ONE NYC Event Recap

HTC held a press event in New York, to take the wraps of their new flagship device, the HTC ONE.

It runs Android 4.1.2 with HTC’s new Sense 5, it sports a 4.7 inch 1080p LCD 3 Display (with 468 DPI and Gorilla Glass 2). It features Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz and with 2GB of RAM. It has a non-removable 2300 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery, radios for WiFi (a/ac/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and either 32 or 64 GB or storage (with NO MicroSD Card Slot).

It has a rear-facing 4-Megapixel (Yes you read that correctly) BSI Sensor and f/2.0 lens and each megapixel is meant to gather 300% more light than other smartphone cameras. It can also record in 1080p video and 60 fps. The HTC ONE also features a 2.1 megapixel front-facing  camera with 1080p video recording capabilities. The main home screen in Sense 5 features your “Blinkfeed” which shows you your most important information (but apparently it won’t show your emails) all in a “Flipboard” type of way.

The HTC ONE will be globally available in March with HSPA and LTE models.

Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal or @Canadian_Techie

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2013 App Canadian

App of the Week: The Simpsons: Tapped Out

This week, EA officially released the very popular simulation freemium game, The Simpsons: Tapped Out on the Google Play Store after almost a year after it’s iOS counterpart was released. As says the description of the game on the Google Play Store, “This Game is Life-Ruining Fun”, they literally mean that (sort-of). Once you start playing this game, you can never stop. In this review I will talk about the following categories:


  • Presentation
  • Gameplay
  • Replay Value
Presentation:

Tapped Out is a beautiful looking game, even though it may not be graphically intense like other games such as GTA: Vice City or Dead Trigger, it still does look great. This game is fluid , smooth animations and no stuttering make the game all the better. I tend to enjoy a game better if it looks as good as it plays, Tapped Out is no slouch. Each character has their own individual actions and motions for each of the different things they can do, such as making Homer play with his MyPad or make Mr.Burns Walk the Hounds.

Gameplay:

This game’s gameplay is superb, it is enjoyable yet also “sometimes” tedious.  It is a simple game to play, and it is highly addictive and hard to get away from. However, there are those times where you have to wait for a character to finish their task and that could take up to literally 24 hours of real time. Fortunately this game is a freemium game which means you can make in-app purchases where for $4.99 you can get about 60 donuts. Donuts in the game is what you can use to help speed up your characters to do their tasks faster. Another thing worth mentioning is that this game REQUIRES a Internet Connection, even though the Android version does not have EA Origin support and you cannot visit your friends yet.

Replay Value

This game has huge replay value, meaning you will keep playing and playing until “your fingers  hurt”. This game is highly addictive and highly replayable.

Wrap-Up:

In conclusion, this is a great game and deserves your “great” attention  because you will be playing this forever and ever and ever.And wouldn’t


Download: The Simpsons: Tapped Out



SOURCES: 

http://www.androidcentral.com/simpsons-tapped-out-makes-its-debut-google-play

http://pcworld.co.nz/pcworld/pcw.nsf/reviews/app-review-the-simpsons-tapped-out

http://ipadinsight.com/ipad-app-reviews/games/review-the-simpsons-tapped-out/



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Grand Theft Auto V Official Release Date

Rockstar Games has officially announced the release of the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto V. GTA 5 will be coming September 17th 2013, which according to Rockstar is a four month delay after their planned release in Spring 2013. They also said it would give them more time to polish the game and it will be well worth it for a game as big as Grand Theft Auto V. This means that the game would have come out in May 2013, just like a few other games by Rockstar have come out in the same time frame, starting from Red Dead Redemption.

It will be released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, no information on if a PC version is coming.

SOURCE: http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/31/3936960/grand-theft-auto-v-xbox-360-playstation-3-release-date-september-17th

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2013

SimCity Closed Beta Impressions

This past weekend, I was one of the lucky ones and I was able to play the closed beta for SimCity. Although i wasn’t given much time to play with the game because they limited to 1 hour playing time at a time but this could be done multiple times, however you would have to start from scratch each of those times.

I’ve played past SimCity game before, I truly remember building a city and then destroying it with “natural” disasters (like Tornados, Earthquakes, Alien abductions, Meteors). This new version of SimCity is one of the best yet. Not only has it looks beautiful but it also is a lot of fun.

In this beta, you as the “Mayor of (Insert City Name Here) ” get to choose what your city will be like, whether it will be a casino city, an industrial city, a small town, a huge metropolis, you name it then you can surely build it but in the full version not the beta, because it was kind of limited. First off you can’t put a landmark like the Eiffel Tower in because it isn’t available in the beta or the base game, it is only available in the Digital Deluxe Version through EA Origin.

I had an enjoyable experience with this SimCity Closed Beta, it is one of the best game betas i’ve played in a while.

Some of the downsides to SimCity is that sometimes it can be difficult to make some money when you urgently need it to buy more classrooms or firetrucks or more factories. Another thing is that SimCity requires a constant online connection via EA Origin which can be annoying if you just want to play the game by yourself, which you certainly can do, and you have the option of playing online with multiplayer with your friends.

How the multiplayer works in SimCity, is that you and your friend(s) can create neighbouring cities within the same region and for example you could create a giant megatropolis similair to New York or Toronto. Then your friend could create a industrial city that also can provide power to your city. I am way too excited to get SimCity when it comes out.

SimCity comes out on March 5th 2013 in North America on PC, with MAC version coming at a later date.


Take a look at this article on the same subject on Technobuffalo: 

http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/01/29/simcity-beta-preview/
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2013

Blackberry 10 Event on January 30th 2013

Today Research In Motion (Now rebranded as Blackberry) took to the stage in New York City to launch their new Operating System.

The first device they announced was the Q10, it looks like a normal Blackberry Device but now with a larger screen to support the touch friendly OS. It has a Standard QWERTY keyboard and a screen with a resolution of 720×720. Blackberry did not announce any pricing or availability yet. In all honesty this device looks like a Blackberry Bold 9900 but with a taller touch screen.

The other device the Blackberry announced was the Z10. It looks exactly like the Dev Alpha units that  developers got at the last Blackberry event, in the past few months. Not much is known about this device either except for the it has a 4.2 inch screen with 356 PPI and the device will ship in Black or White. Pricing or availability was not given yet but there have been reports that it will ship within tih coming weeks.
Thorsten Heins, Blackberry’s President and CEO, took to the stage to tell how they aren’t going to be know as Research In Motion any more an that they are going to be rebranded as Blackberry, just Blackberry along with their new slogan “One Brand, One Promise“.

UPDATE: Blackberry also announced that Blackberry 10 Devices will be available in the U.K tomorrow and in Canada on February 3rd and in the US, sometime in March.

SOURCES USED:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/30/3932568/blackberry-10-event-rim-rebrands-the-q10-z10-and-everything-you-need

http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-10-availability/
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Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi & Mobile Data) Review

After using the Nexus 7 (32GB Wi-Fi & Mobile Data) for a few weeks now, I have come to the conclusion that it is one of the Best Tablets that have come out so far. In this review I will be talking about a few main points:
  •          Hardware
  •          Internals and Performance
  •          Software

Hardware

For a 7-Inch Tablet, the Build Quality is superb, there is a textured backing for extra grip which almost feels like leather but at the same time it isn’t. On the bottom of the device there is a MicroUSB Port for charging. On the left hand side there isn’t much except for a MicroSIM card slot and some pogo plugs so it can be connected to a dock (just like the Galaxy Nexus can). On the Right-Hand Side, there is the Lock/Power Button and the Volume Buttons. On the front of the device, there is a 1.2 Megapixel Camera and there is no rear-facing camera.
I have to say that Asus and Google did an excellent job making sure that this product is a well-designed and engineered product.

Internals

The Nexus 7 features a 1.3 GHz Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor that is capable of playing the most graphically enhanced games on the Google Play Store, such as Dead Trigger, GTA: Vice City .It has either 16GB or 32GB of storage for the Wi-Fi Only Versions and just 32GB of storage for the Wi-Fi & Mobile Data version. It also packs Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, and has a GPS chip, NFC, gyroscope, compass, and accelerometer. One point to mention is that the device is HSPA+ Unlocked which means it will work on any GSM carrier just like the Galaxy Nexus did before it and the Nexus 4.
The display has a resolution of 1280 by 800 and that is of the LCD display type. Text and images look crisp and clear on the screen. The viewing angles are also very good.
The Nexus 7 has solid battery life, you can get about 6 to 7 hours of the device. However I did encounter some problem with my Nexus 7, and that is when the Nexus 7 isn’t in use the battery still seems to drain even though there is nothing running in the background and sometimes I use my Nexus 7 for an hour or two and then I put it aside for a couple of hours and when I want to use it again the battery is dead. I mean I have an iPad 2 as well and when I do the same thing the battery does not drain completely it usually only drains about 10-15%.

Software
The Nexus 7 ships with the latest version of Android and that is of course Android 4.2. Now I’m not going to go into detail because I have already done an Android 4.2 Review. I will talk about some of the tablet only features such as Multiple User accounts. With Multiple user accounts, you can do exactly that, have multiple users on one device.
 Each user has their own Apps, wallpapers, home screen, folders and it is all completely separate from the other user accounts on the device. This works well if you would like to just have your account and then a guest account, but if you have everyone in your family with their own user account then you won’t have much storage left.

Android 4.2 REVIEW
Wrap-Up
Google’s Nexus 7 isn’t just a awesome tablet for your money’s worth. It is an Awesome tablet, period. If you are deciding to get an Android tablet, then I strongly recommend getting a Nexus 7 no matter which version (but get one with lots of storage).