As with the moto 360, the G Watch will offer message notifications and "OK Google" voice command functionality.
The G Watch will come in black (with charcoal grey trim) and white (with gold trim).
The company says it is water and dust resistant, so you can "wear it during outdoor activities in rough conditions."
The screen is also "always-on" so it will never go to sleep, which begs the question: How long will its battery last?
Stay tuned for more information on the LG G Watch. A release date has not been announced, but Digital Trends reports that a July launch is expected in the UK and the watch would retail at less than £180/$300.
The infographic (below) compares the S5's launch weekend (April 11-13) sales to those of its key rival, the iPhone 5s, whose launch weekend was Sept. 20-22, 2013.
Some quick highlights:
Galaxy S5 vs. iPhone 5s launch sales: The Galaxy S5 sold better at launch than the iPhone 5s did on its launch weekend, comprising 18% of total phones sold in Canada (and 23% in the U.S.), during the period. The iPhone 5s comprised 13% of total phones sold in the Canada (18% in the U.S.) during its launch weekend.
Galaxy S4 sales in 6-month lead-up to Galaxy S5 launch (Oct. 2013 to March 2014): Even with a new model expected in April 2014, the Galaxy S4 saw sales peaks during the 2013 holiday season and in January 2014.
iPhone 5 Sales in 6-Month lead-up to iPhone 5s launch (May 2013 to Oct. 2013): Interestingly, U.S. iPhone 5 sales dropped progressively in the months preceding the iPhone 5s launch. In Canada, on the other hand, sales remained low and flat during the same period.
Galaxy S5 Launch Weekend Sales by Region: The Galaxy S5 comprised a whopping 41% of phones sold (April 11-13) in the Southern U.S. region; 30% in the Northeast, 23% in the Midwest, 21% in the West, as well as 18% of phones sold in Canada.
The difference between S4 and iPhone 5 sales in the lead-up to the S5 and iPhone 5s launches, respectively, is really quite interesting.
S4 sales varied greatly in the U.S. in the six-month
lead-up to the S5 launch. Two peaks emerged during the 2013 holiday season and
in January 2014. It's fair to assume these peaks (mirrored in Canada) were due
to carrier promotions intent on clearing out remaining S4 stock.
The six-month iPhone 5 trend was much different: a steady
drop in the U.S. versus low, flat sales in Canada. This is likely due to a few
things: Apple tightly controls its stock and pulled iPhone 5 devices off
shelves (with plans for the new 5c to replace the iPhone 5); the company rarely marks down older models and rather just yanks them off store shelves;
and, in Canada, many iPhone users were waiting out the last of the nation's
now-extinct three-year contracts in anticipation for the iPhone 5s (or the
iPhone 6 coming this fall).
TechHive recently compared (April 14) the digital personal assistants for Windows Phone (Cortana), Android (Google Now) and iOS (Siri) to determine which offered the best service and user experience.
The newcomer, Cortana, was released as a developer preview on April 14. "It’s packed with intuition, but it’s still a beta product, and it isn’t a miracle worker by any means," wrote TechHive's Mark Hachman.
During testing, TechHive "quizzed each assistant on a variety of general facts and calculations." They also asked them to perform nearly 40 common smartphone tasks, scoring each on accuracy and elegance.
"We awarded two points if an assistant completed a task by providing simple search results, and three points if it responded orally or displayed a 'card,' which would add an image and further information to the oral response," Hachman wrote. "We also awarded a bonus half-point if an assistant completed a task especially well."
So how did it all shake out?
Google Now came out on top with 101 points. OK, I get it. Google is great a search and delivering accurate maps, data, etc.
Siri followed in second place with 97 points. Siri is generally well respected. Apple Maps? Not so much.
Cortana came in last with 87 points. It appears the rookie has some work left ahead of it.
The S5 made its debut in February at Mobile World Congress 2014 and was met
by mixed reviews. Some called it an impressive follow-up to the S4; others felt
its new features and improvements were underwhelming.
From a user standpoint, however, what matters most is how well the S5
performs in everyday life – or as Samsung puts it, how it powers "(Your) Life.”
Look and Feel
The Galaxy S5 is remarkably lightweight. The perforated polycarbonate back panel (which Samsung calls "Modern Glam”) introduces a new texture to the Galaxy line – I felt it made it easier to grip and hold the phone, versus a smooth finish. The S5 (5.1-inch display) is essentially the same size as the S4 (5-inch display) and features the same full HD resolution.
Improved Camera Features
Let’s be clear here: The Samsung Galaxy S5 camera is excellent. It’s one of the best
smartphone cameras available. But so was the S4’s camera. This is sort of where
the difference between a previous model and the new one can be "underwhelming”
– for high-end smartphones, the cameras are getting to be so good, I feel like
there’s only so many improvements manufacturers can make within the year
between two models.
Anyway, the camera features Samsung is touting on the S5 are: HDR (Rich tone), fast auto focus, and selective focus.
Samsung copied Apple on this one. But instead of scanning your finger on a
circular home button sensor (as on the iPhone 5s), the Galaxy S5 home button is
oval-shaped. My co-worker recently switched from an iPhone 5s to the S5 and says the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s was superior, as it allowed you to scan different angles of your
finger – not just one.
Samsung also partnered with PayPal on the feature, so users can authorize
payments using the finger scanner. This feature, however, is offered in select
countries only (Canada not included).
Heart Rate Sensor
Samsung has been making a play for the fitness wearables market for some time
now, with its Galaxy Gear and the new Gear Fit smartwatches. It also introduced
a heart rate sensor on the back of the Galaxy S5, right below the camera lens.
Just hold your finger on the sensor for a few seconds and it generates a heart
rate reading for you.
Simple, right? Not really. I didn’t feel the heart rate sensor was very
good. During testing, it required a number of attempts to get a reading, which
was frustrating because the whole point of reading your heart rate is getting
it immediately, during or after exercise (before it goes back down), for
As I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t a lot the S5 could improve upon
considering how good the S4 camera was.
That said, I tested the S5’s new camera features and was thoroughly
impressed. The photos were crisp, the colours were vivid – the auto focus and
selective focus features worked well. As for HDR, I wasn’t blown away by that
feature because iPhones have offered that for years now. Chalk that one up as
underwhelming for me.
Performance and Battery Life
Overall, the S5 performed brilliantly in testing, with the only real hiccup being
poor performance from the heart rate sensor. I was also impressed with the
phone’s battery life: The available power seemed high throughout our 2-hour
testing period and we should note, Samsung has introduced an "Ultra Power
Saving Mode” on the S5, which turns your screen to black and white and shuts
down all unnecessary features to save power.
My co-worker noted, however, that its processor did not feel as fast as that
of her previous iPhone 5s, particularly when consulting the same wedding
planning app she used often, or an online shopping site she regularly visited.
Images and information seemed to take longer to load, she said. She also noted
the discrepancy wasn’t due to signal because she was on the same carrier’s LTE
on both devices when using the app and site in question.
Another performance item worth noting is the "Download Booster” feature.
Samsung offers the new feature, which allows the user to access both Wi-Fi and
LTE connections simultaneously in order to download large files faster. Interestingly, of
the Big Four U.S. carriers, only T-Mobile is offering it: Verizon, AT&T
and Sprint all removed it from the S5 phones they’re selling.
OS and Available Apps
The S5 ships with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and gives you access to the entire
Android app and content (Google Play) ecosystem. The S5 user interface is
extremely user friendly and easy to navigate around. One thing that some users
complain about with Galaxy phones (compared to phones from other Android
manufacturers) is they contain too much "bloatware” – Samsung-specific apps and
features that are more gimmicky than absolutely necessary.
The bloatware thing wasn’t an issue for me and I think it really just
depends on the user. A nice thing about Android is there’s so much room for
customization. You can hide and highlight features and apps as you please and
really make the experience your own, bloatware or not.
This phone is Samsung’s flagship device and will likely follow the S4’s
footsteps as the most popular high-end Android phone on the market (unless the HTC One [M8] has something to say about that).
There’s something for everyone with the S5: photographers, business users
and multimedia junkies alike.
The Bottom Line
The Galaxy S5 puts the best of
Samsung’s design and engineering in the palm of your hand. Its camera, user
experience, battery life and added features are great. My only reservations
would be the performance of both the fingerprint scanner and the processor in
anecdotal comparisons to the iPhone 5s. The heart rate sensor was
disappointing, but oh well. It’s just a gimmick anyway.
Compare Cellular Editor's Rating: ****1/2 (out of 5 stars)
The all new HTC One (M8) began launching at select carriers today. There has been some confusion
over release dates, here's what we have determined: TELUS officially
announced it's availability on Google+ this morning. Bell had released an internal document that the date was
being pushed back to the 15th, but the phone is available to order
online, and after talking to a rep we've confirmed it's available
in-store as well. You can order now through SaskTel, Rogers only has the
option to reserve, while WIND, Koodo & Virgin [Update: Virgin Mobile will not be carrying the device] are still listed as
This highly anticipated device has been receiving great reviews. Here's a recap of its top features:
HTC One (M8) Features
High quality metal unibody finish and stacked internal components for a thinner design.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait CPUs.
Android 4.4 KitKat OS with the all-new HTC Sense 6 user interface.
Duo Camera that features HTC’s innovative HTC UltraPixel module, a dual flash and full 1080p HD video recording.
Zoe in the cloud: Zoe will evolve into a cloud based service in
2014. The new Zoe app will be available for download through Google Play
in the summer.
In a partnership with Gogo, Air Canada has announced that in-flight Wi-Fi will be available to customers on flights across North America beginning May 2014. The agreement will also provide future testing for solutions on international flights.
Benjamin Smith, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer says, "Air Canada continually seeks to enhance the travel experience and that is why we are pleased to be the first airline in Canada to offer in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity to customers flying over continental North America. In today's connected world, our customers want to access email, mobile device applications and the internet wherever they are, both to increase their work productivity and expand their leisure options."
Subject to a final agreement with Gogo, Air Canada plans to begin outfitting its fleet of aircraft with Air-To-Ground Wi-Fi connectivity. Installations are to start in May for a designated 130 planes, with a target completion date of 2015. Connection speeds are to be comparable to on-ground broadband services. Cellular voice communication will not be offered (due to current prohibited regulations – IMHO, regulations that should stay in place). Air Canada states "Pricing will be competitive with other in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity offerings.”
Only two Airbus 319 aircrafts are currently equipped with Wi-Fi. Pending the final agreement it will be installed on the remaining Airbus A319, as well as the A320, A321 and Embraer 190 fleet types, and Air Canada Express CRJ-705 and Embraer 175 aircrafts.