Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Samsung Dex review. Ready for a compact PC?

Alongside its new flagship smartphones Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, Samsung also unwrapped a new docking accessory designed to harness the power of the Galaxy S8. Called Samsung DeX, it’s meant to allow you to use the Galaxy S8 as a replacement for a fixed desktop computer.
Does it deliver on its promise? Is Samsung DeX the future of smartphones and computing, or is it just another attempt to use smartphones to kill the PC industry? Find out in our Samsung DeX review!
For years, companies have tried different methods to make the smartphone a viable PC replacement. In 2011, the Motorola Lapdock was the first dock to do this, and provided connections for physical keyboards, a mouse and other peripherals. Apple then tried to use AirPlay to accomplish something similar, although it acted like little more than screen sharing. Then there was HP’s Elite X3, which ended up coming close with its Desk Dock before also failing to be widely adopted.
The biggest challenge plaguing these solutions were that they all tried to mirror the smartphone screen to the desktop, Samsung’s previous mobile docks for the Galaxy S4 and Note 2 included. Samsung is hoping that the time is ripe for another attempt and in the DeX station, we have an accessory that’s mostly well thought out and has some very smart features as well. Hoping this will be a game changer.

The Dex Station


DeX works only with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, which is a turn off as it would have been nice to have support for older Samsung and other Android devices as well. That said, the dock comes with an Ethernet port, two USB ports for connecting peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse, and a HDMI port to connect to your desktop monitor.
The top of the DeX station flips down to reveal the USB Type-C port, where you’ll plug in your Galaxy S8. This also acts as a fan to cool your Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus in DeX mode. Also, thanks to the USB Type-C port, it charges your phone at the same time as powering the DeX experience.
Samsung disables the display on the Galaxy S8 when using DeX, meaning you’re reliant on the keyboard and mouse
It’s not perfect however, as Samsung disables the display on your Galaxy S8 when using DeX, meaning you’re completely reliant on the keyboard and mouse. It would have been nice to be able to use the phone at the same time but this is a trade-off to having the desktop experience.

Dex as a Desktop


The number of apps compatible with DeX are pretty small making it less usable in many cases. But Samsung DeX has a lot of potential in its current form and it’s certainly a little raw. At the launch of the Galaxy S8 where DeX was made official, Samsung confirmed that Adobe would bring Photoshop and Lightroom to DeX, but at the time of this article, these apps weren’t available to test.
Of course, you can open all the apps that exist on your Android phone but most retain their mobile equivalents. For example, WhatsApp shows up as mobile (which is to be expected), but pressing the enter key doesn’t send a message, and there’s no keyboard shortcut to do so. This means you have to move the mouse and select the send key every time. Similarly, Google Chrome only displays in mobile mode, and often crashes. If you do want to browse the internet and don’t mind using a different browser, Samsung has optimised its own internet browser to offer the full website experience.
The browsing experience is seemingly on-par with Microsoft’s Edge browser and Google Chrome, although there is a touch of latency when scrolling as DeX seemingly struggles to support resource-intensive websites. When resizing a window, Samsung’s browser does well to resize the content accordingly but to get the full experience, you need to go into fullscreen mode before resizing the window down.
Samsung DeX works in a similar way to Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform where the same apps could run in both mobile and desktop depending on whether docked to a PC. DeX takes the same premise but without widespread support for apps, it proves to be a little limited. However, what Samsung does have going for itself is that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are likely to sell in more volume than most, if not all, of the Lumia Windows Phones that Microsoft managed to shift.
The biggest challenge facing Microsoft at the time was persuading developers to adapt their apps to support UMA, or in most cases, even develop their apps for Windows 10 Mobile in the first place. For Samsung, this should be a much easier bridge to cross. Plus, if the additional development resources required to develop for DeX are minimal either via ease of software or incentives from the company we will hopefully see developers flock to adapt their apps for Samsung DeX.
In DeX mode, the phone follows the same security settings as when not docked. When moving away from your docked phone, you might be wondering how security works, especially if you only want to move away from it temporarily. The answer is pretty simple: in DeX mode, the phone follows the same security settings as when not docked. So in my case, a press of the power button instantly locks the phone. It then requires you to enter either your password, PIN, pattern, or use biometrics such as iris recognition or fingerprint scanning to unlock the phone.
The latter is quite awkward with the fingerprint sensor on the back, making it even more difficult to unlock. When you use iris recognition, though, the DeX dock props the Galaxy S8 up at the right height to make iris scanning a breeze. In fact, in our Galaxy S8 review, I found that the iris recognition can be a little hit and miss. While you still have the same issues in terms of recognising you through glasses, DeX does at least solve the issue with needing to position the phone at a certain angle



In desktop mode, Samsung DeX offers the same button configuration you’ll find on your Galaxy S8 with the apps menu, home and recent apps keys on the bottom left and a taskbar containing notifications, quick shortcuts and other useful tools on the right. In multi-tasking mode, you have the same layout as the Galaxy S8’s native multitasking, except horizontally and you can also close apps from the bottom status bar, although you then need to shut them from the multi-tasking menu as well.
Overall, the performance doesn’t scream high end PC but rather, reminds me of early netbooks, albeit with a little more power. There’s certainly enough grunt under the hood to handle most tasks but once you start running multiple applications and have several windows open at once, there is a noticeable slowdown, although this could also be said of any Android smartphone. The experience of DeX is intrinsically linked to the performance of the Galaxy S8 and if you have noticeable performance issues on your phone – which is only likely to happen after months of usage – these will be even more prevalent when using DeX.

Cost
The Dex station is priced at $149.99 in Samsung and Amazon stores. It seems pretty OK with the price for most of the users.

The Conclusion?
Overall, Samsung DeX shows a lot of promise, but without the widespread adoption of apps and optimization of all apps for the desktop experience, it’s difficult to determine just how useful it is. In its current state, it doesn’t do much better than other solutions out there, but it wouldn’t be fair to judge it just on this basis. DeX is unique as it aims to present a solution to a problem that not many users face – namely, being able to be truly mobile and work from anywhere – but for those who need a solution, DeX is certainly one of the most portable out there.
Should you buy DeX? For most users, the answer will be an easy ‘no’ as it doesn’t solve a problem they’ve faced. However, if your job takes you to multiple work places then you need an easy way to dock and undock for light work without carrying an additional computer, then Samsung’s DeX could be a potential solution. The biggest challenge is that the user atleast needs a computer monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. Also the user will not be able to use intense Windows applications. If all these restrictions are 'no issues' then the Samsung Dex is definitely for you!.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reliance Jio Supported Model List

Reliance Jio Supported Model List

NOTE:
You need India INS/INU firmware for these to work on Reliance Jio

Samsung A8 VE (SM-A800I)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (SM-A500G)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) (A510FD and A510F with INS A510FD firmware)
Samsung Galaxy A7 (SM-A700FD)
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) (A710FD)
Samsung Galaxy A8 (SM-A800F)
Samsung Galaxy Core Prime 4G (SM-G360FY)
Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) (SM-J210F)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
Samsung Galaxy J5 (SM-J500F)
Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J700F)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910G)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge (SM-N915G)
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (SM-N920G)
(Samsung Galaxy Note 7) may be subject to review
Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920I)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (SM-G925I)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus (SM-G928G)
Samsung Galaxy-J2 (SM-J200G)
Samsung J Max
Samsung J5 (2016) (SM-J510FN)
Samsung J7 (2016) (SM-J710FN)
Samsung te 5 Duos (SM-N9208)
Samsung ON5 (SM-G550FY)
Samsung ON5 Pro(SM-G550FY)
Samsung ON7 (Mega On – SM-G600FY)
Samsung ON7 Pro(SM-G600FY)
Samsung S7 (SM-G930F)
Samsung S7 Edge (SM-G935F)
Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro
Samsung Z2

NOTE:
If you manage to get Reliance Jio VoLTE on another Samsung model without the MyJio app, then please post the details in hte comment section below.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Flashing Indian firmware on Samsung devices for Reliance Jio to work

This guide is only applicable for 4G Samsung phones purchased outside India.

Those who have bought their phones overseas are now struggling to use Reliance Jio because they do not support VoLTE. And this guide will help you in making the Samsung phone to support VoLTE and Samsung Pay as well.

Before trying out this guide please make sure you have a 4G Samsung phone.

Let’s get started. 👍

1.       Ensure the phone is charged over 60%. This process will wipe your entire data on the phone.

2.       Check the model number of your Samsung phone.

Settings --> About --> Model Number

3.       Go to the site https://www.sammobile.com/firmwares/ and insert your model number in the search bar and it will show all the available firmware versions for your model along with the country names. Check for INS or INU which indicates the Indian firmware. Download the latest Indian firmware for your model.

Below is the search result for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935FD) filtered by the Country India (INS). Click on the latest version and download the file.



4.       Download the latest ODIN from http://odindownload.com/ or Here

5.       Extract or Unzip the firmware file into a folder. Avoid using winrar as it can cause errors. Use 7zip instead.

6.       Run/Open ODIN as Administrator

7.       Put the phone in download mode. Shutdown your phone. Press Power + Home + Volume down. A screen appears asking you whether to continue or not. Press Volume up to continue. Connect the phone to the computer via a good USB cable. The ODIN should show the it has detected your phone.

8.       From the extracted firmware put the below files in ODIN. Click on the buttons BL, AP, CP,  CSC one by one and choose the respective files. The file to be chosen for BL will start with file name BL. The file to go for AP will start with the file name AP and so on as shown in the following image.

      BL
      AP
      CP
      CSC



9.       Check the below options. (for this select Options tab).

F.reset time
Auto reboot

10.   Here we are installing Indian country firmware from other country’s firmware so we need to change the System partition size. To do this select PIT file and the check the below checkbox. Note: PIT file is not required nowadays as it is already built-in the CSC file. So just check the below option as shown in the following image.

Re-partition




Note: If you are installing a multi CSC firmware, and your existing CSC is in that firmware, then DO NOT select Re-partition.

You can check if your firmware is Multi-CSC by installing this app (Phone Info). Link given below:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.vndnguyen.phoneinfo&hl=en

11.   Now click the Start button and wait until the ODIN shows PASS. The phone will now reboot.

12.   To receive OTA updates, after installing the firmware, put the phone into Recovery Mode and wipe cache then wipe data/factory reset.

To go to the recovery mode press Power + Home + Volume up button. Now select ‘Cache Partition’ and wipe it. Then ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and reboot your phone.

You are done.✌ Post your comments below if you had flashed successfully or if you faced any issue or want anymore help. Let me know if you are stuck somewhere, I can provide you live support.







Monday, April 10, 2017

Battery saving tips and tricks

Latest modern smartphones are more power hunger devices with big HD, Full HD and even 4K displays. These smartphones are incorporated with huge capacity batteries reaching to a whopping 6000mAh or higher in some devices.
So we definitely need to follow some techniques to save the juice and make the devices run a bit longer.
 
1. Turning off or Disabling the default apps. Almost all phone manufacturers load the phones with bloatware which occupies lots of space and slows down the device by running silently in the background.
To do this go to the App info of the App which you need to disable. Click Disable. You're done. The app will be disabled and will not be visible in the App drawer. Before disabling, it is good to clear cache and data. This will help in freeing up some space.
 
2. From Android 6(Marshmallow) onwards, there is an option to change the screen resolution. For example, A QHD display would have resolutions HD, Full HD and WQHD to choose from. Reducing the screen's resolution will reduce the battery consumption. WQHD resolution will consume more power than HD resolution.

1280×720 -> HD / 720p
1920×1080 -> FHD (Full HD) / 1080p
2560×1440 -> QHD/WQHD (Quad HD) / 1440p
3840×2160 -> UHD (Ultra HD) / 4K 2160p
7680×4320 -> FUHD (Full Ultra HD) / 8K 4320p



3. Turn off unused apps. Yes, Android allows you to turn off unused apps and by doing this, the app will be removed from the phone's RAM thus saving CPU usage which in turn leads to power saving.
There are apps from play store which can do this job for you. Greenify is one among the popular apps for hibernating apps and saving battery power. Select the apps that needs to be hibernated so whenever screen turns off the apps will also be turned off. Note that you will not receive notifications if you hibernated an app that gives notifications such as Whatsapp or Viber.

4. If your phone has an AMOLED screen (like most Samsung devices), use a dark-colored background. Black wallpaper can increase battery life because AMOLED screens only illuminate the colored pixels. Black pixels are unlit, so the more black pixels you have, or the more darker pixels, the less power is needed to light them up.

5. Clear the recent apps.Some myths have cropped up that it’s good practice to pull up the Recent Apps menu and swipe away any apps you aren’t using, effectively killing them but this is not true. It does not kill the app. Sometimes it’s possible for apps to go rogue and start hogging resources, but those are the kind of power hunger apps you want to put down for good.

6. Turn off Auto Sync. Turn off auto-syncing for Google accounts. If you don't need every single Google account updated every few minutes or so, just go into Settings and Google account and turn off auto-sync for those apps you don't need constantly updated.
Some apps like email will allow you to manually refresh when you launch them, rather than running multiple auto-syncs throughout the day when you may not need them to. Just sync the apps whenever you need them.

7. Turn off location and background data. Some apps needs location permissions and thus will always keep searching for location when the app is running in foreground or background. So turn on the location only when the app requires it and then turn it off once done.
Keep an eye on apps that use data in the background. Some apps such as the Email, Play Store, Onedrive, etc., continuously collect and send data in the background.
But, you can also perform a hard restriction in Settings -> Data Usage; tap the Menu button tick the “Restrict Background Data” option to enable it. You can also enable per-app restriction by opening each app’s info page.


8. It is always good to have a practice of charging the phone only till 80%. Charging over 80% will degrade battery's life. In the same way charge your phone once it discharges to 30% so the battery should be in between the 30% and 80% of the charge. This is called shallow charging.

There is an app which automatically stops charging once it reaches 80%. Try it out here.