Tag Archive | Samsung

We Have Had 4 Refrigerators In 2.2-Years: GE, Samsung, Whirlpool & Now LG!

by Anura Guruge


The LATEST. Delivered July 3, 2019.


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Click image to read this post … and follow the whole sorry SAGA.


The ice makers on two of them, the Samsung & the Whirlpool, packed up — on the Samsung within 4-months & on the Whirlpool after 18-months. Folks, including those at Best Buy, keep on saying that ice makers are the bane of modern refrigerators. But, ‘we’ (and by that I do include myself) are so dependent on ice makers and ice water from the fridge.

It all started in April 2017. The GE that came with this house (both of which were new when we bought the house in 2007) packed up exactly one-month after its 10th anniversary! Talk about planned obsolescence.

We then got the Samsung. Ice maker packed up after 4-months. So, we were still under warranty. But, it took four (4) torturous months before we could get bloody Samsung to get around to addressing the problem. They told Best Buy (where we bought it from) to take it back and give us our money back. We then bought the Whirlpool — at Best Buy’s recommendation. They also ‘suggested’ we get the ‘Geek Squad‘ warranty.

Then, the ice maker on the Whirlpool stopped working. Geek Squad was here pretty quickly but they messed around for 2-months replacing parts. Then they said we could get a NEW one BUT we had to pay the new price. Plus, the ‘Geek Squad’ warranty ends and you have to buy another one! What a ‘deal’. Cost us $270 to get the new LG.

So, that is where we are. This is crazy. 4 refrigerators in 24 months.


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by Anura Guruge

Why Are Refrigerator Ice Makers So Prone To Failure?

by Anura Guruge


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Click image to read this post … and follow the whole sorry SAGA.


Just 18-months after getting over the last ice maker fiasco — which, alas, lasted four dreadful months because Samsung is so ornery and incompetent — we are again in the same boat. No ice. Ice maker not working — or not working properly. This time around we can’t stop it! It produces ice non-stop, with ice spilling out and forcing the door open.

Brand new $1,590 Whirlpool — which was said to be super-reliable.

Luckily, after the horrendous experience with Samsung I was not taking chances. Though folks routinely bad-mouth extended store warranties I was not taking any chances. I coughed up $200 for a 5-year “Geek Squad” warranty. Well, they are supposed to be coming tomorrow. We will see how good they are.

But, for now no ice. That doesn’t bother me. Other than when I needed ice for my ice-machine after my knee-surgery I use very little ice, even in the Summer. Not so the kids. They need ice all the time. So, they are not happy.


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by Anura Guruge

‘Forbes’ Magazine, At Last, Acknowledges The Garmin ‘Fenix 5 Plus’ As The #1 Smartwatch Of 2019.

by Anura Guruge


Link to ‘Forbes’ article
from Dec. 31, 2018.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link above for original.


At last a media article that gives Garmin, and the Fenix 5 (Plus), just dues. I was getting so fed up of seeing articles/post that gave Garmin short shrift or no mention at all. It was always Fitbit, Apple and Samsung. And in reality none of these can hold a candle to the venerable Garmin Fenix 5 (Plus) — and yes, I do own, and wear, ’24×7′, a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. Even the new Polar Vantage V falls short in most instances.

This article in Forbes is pretty much on the mark. The Fitbit ‘Versa’ is a joke next to a Garmin.

The Apple 4 and Withings are indeed interesting watches but they are more smartwatches than competent activity trackers.

I have not tried a Garmin Instinct but it too looks interesting. But, to be fair I would have put a Garmin ‘Forerunner 645‘ or ‘935‘ in its place.

But, check out the article. I thought it was fair.

Happy New Year — with YOUR Garmin.


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by Anura Guruge

Deciding Between The New Polar Vantage V & The Venerable Garmin Fenix 5.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.

‘Polar Vantage V’ & ‘Garmin Fenix 5 Plus’ Side-By-Side On My Wrist.





Price-wise they are $50 apart at Amazon (today), the new Polar Vantage V at $500 and the Garmin Fenix 5 at $450. [The Fenix 5 Plus is more expensive.]

In November 2018, when the Polar Vantage V came out, I was lucky enough to be given one to evaluate. I kept it for two weeks and wore it, ’24×7′ (bar charging time) for 11-days straight. Since I own a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, and upgraded to that from a Garmin Fenix 5, I am pretty qualified to compare the two.

I have to say I was excited to get the Polar Vantage V. The early promotional matter made it very compelling. I was fairly convinced that I was going to ‘buy’ the evaluation unit and keep it.


The Polar Vantage V, with its bright, multicolor, touchscreen, 4-field display, is the perfect training watch. It really enhanced my running experience. I could see my heart rate, color-coded, at a glance, relative to its expected range – along with my pace, distance and time. Then using the up/down buttons I could quickly get altitude, ‘power’, heart rate data as well as the time-of-day. At the end of an activity (in my case a run), I was treated to a chock-a-block ‘training summary’ which included: distance, calories, heart rate zones, cardio load, pace/speed, speed zones, altitude change, power zones, cadence, etc. etc. It was like having a training COMPUTER on your wrist. And all of this on the watch – independent of the phone or computer APP.

It was pretty awesome. A level of (shareable) training data unmatched by any other watch I have used and I am no stranger to high-end Garmins, Fitbits and Samsungs.

As a sport watch the Polar Vantage V, in my experience, is in a new, crème de la crème, class of its own. Its GPS and heart rate data is consistent with what I have seen with my other high-end GPS watches – though its overall ‘step count’ appears to be about 20% too generous (probably because you can’t customize your actual stride length). That said, if you are a serious, dedicated athlete training for competitions, marathons, triathlons, Ironman or the Olympics, this very well might be the perfect watch for you.


The Polar Vantage V has two very different personalities – a ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ watch!

When in training-mode it is superlative. Probably peerless. THE watch to have. Period.

But, when in pre-training mode, i.e., when you are not training, it is a pretty pedestrian watch! In pre-training mode it is a pretty basic, uninspiring watch that does not tell you much. That is the rub. Hence, the need for very careful consideration. When not in training-mode it is a very boring watch!


That Polar does not call it a ‘smart watch’ is no accidental, oversight. The Vantage V is not a smart watch even by 2017 standards – let alone those of 2018 or 2019.

In pre-training mode it is insipid! There are no customizable, third-party watch faces with ‘bells-and-whistles’, nor widgets or APPs. There is no ‘ABC’ (i.e., altitude, barometer, compass), weather, sunrise/sunset, temperature, calendar or smart notifications from your phone. And I won’t even mention maps, music or credit/debit card payments. Oh, it also does not count/report floors climbed (i.e., altitude changes) when in pre-training mode.

While it does measure sleep time, there is no analysis in terms of whether it was REM or Deep. That is frustrating since I am used to getting that from Garmin and Fitbit. It is possible that Polar might add this ‘deep analysis’, at a later date, with a firmware update.


I thought about this long and hard.

On a scale of 1-to-10 determine the role and importance of training/fitness in your life. If you rate training/fitness at 7.5 or less, the Polar Vantage V might not be the right watch for you. If on the other hand, training/fitness figures as an 8.5 or above, definitely think about getting the V V. It would be a marriage made in heaven.

Another way to approach this is to determine your ‘training’ vs. ‘pre-training’ ratio, in terms of waking hours. If the ratio is greater than 50:50, in favor of training, the Polar V V very well could be the watch of your dreams. If on the other hand, training only accounts for 20%, or less, of your waking hours, you might want to consider a different watch — i.e., the all-round Garmin Fenix 5 (Plus).


The Polar Vantage V is possibly the ultimate sport watch currently on the market for pro athletes. Therein, however, lies the rub. If you are not a pro athlete this might be overkill for you. Get the Fenix 5 instead and you will be very happy.

So, the choice is straightforward. If training/fitness is a dominant feature of your life check out the Polar. On the other hand your life is more balanced wear a Fenix 5 with PRIDE.


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by Anura Guruge

Huge $150 Price Cut On Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Watches! WOW.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. From Garmin. Across ALL Fenix 5 Plus models.


$150 price cuts also reflected at Amazon.


Wow. This can’t be just for the holidays. That is quite a drop in price.

The Fenix 5 Plus is now cheaper than the OLDER Fenix 5 was in April. I know. I checked prices all through April.

Yes, of course, Garmin is feeling the heat from Apple, Fitbit, Samsung and others.

But, not sure this is fair on those of us who buy Garmin watches soon after they are released.

Just a heads up.

At $649.98 the Black-on-Black Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is an ABSOLUTE STEAL.


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by Anura Guruge

The Brand New Samsung Galaxy S9 Gets A Damning Review From ‘DPReview’ Re. Autofocus.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read this annotated extract. Use link below for the ‘DPReview.com’ review.

Click here for ‘DPReview.com‘ original


Wow. I was amazed to read this. I know that the Samsung Galaxy S8 takes brilliant pictures and the focus always seems pretty close to perfect. I am often torn as to whether the camera on the Google Pixel 2 (which I own) is really more competent than that of the S8 as all the experts claim. So, I had expected the S9 to be even more impressive — especially with the dual rear cameras — one with variable aperture, the first in a phone.

If this autofocus issue is as bad as DPReview claims, and they usually are spot-on on such matters, I am sure that Samsung will try to fix it with a firmware upgrade ahead of the holidays. Otherwise they are going to have their lunch eaten by Apple, Google and the oters.

I just wanted to make sure you had heard about this — since this is important.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Adds Music To The Vivoactive 3 — Available By July 2018.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the Garmin product page for the “Vivoactive 3 Music:”.



Now that Garmin, with the somewhat star-crossed Forerunner 645M, has worked out who to put music into their watches there is no stopping them.

We learned yesterday that they will be introducing a Fenix 5 PLUS range that has music — and today the announcement of the Vivoactive 3M at $299.99. The non-music Vivoactive 3 is now down to $249.99. I think that that is a full $80 — $100 cheaper than what it was when introduced last November.

Garmin had to do this to stay competitive with the Fitbit Ionic and Versa — not to mention the Apple smartwatch.

The issue, as has plagued Garmin of late, is going to be reliability. Music on the FR 645 was buggy and the Vivoactive 3, as I can attest, was far from reliable.

Challenging times for Garmin. It is getting squeezed on all sides by Fitbit, Apple, Samsung

I will, as always, keep you posted.


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by Anura Guruge

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