Tag Archive | Samsung

Google Pixel 5’s ‘Battery Share’ Feature & Implications To Garmin.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the original at: xda-developers.com, These were the folks that broke the news.

Click to ENLARGE and view. This was from Forbes.com but they cite the article XDA article referenced above.

True, this hasn’t happened as yet, and the Google Pixel 5 is not going to be available until October 2020. Based on what they have seen in the Android 11 code, so far, it looks fairly certain that Google will get this neat feature into the Pixel 5 (which would also mean that I will have to upgrade from my Pixel 4).

Yes, it is true that the battery in the Pixel 4 isn’t the greatest. But, the whole world knows that. Google will fix that come the ‘5’. Of that I am fairly sure.

So, what does this mean. Wireless charging of COMPATIBLE devices. Hold it close to a Pixel 5, which has the SHARE feature enabled, and you can get battery boost from the Pixel. Like jumpering a car. Neat.

But, the KEY question is compatibility. And that is what worries me, now that Google (pending the last regulatory approvals) owns Fitbit.

Will Google ever let Garmin be compatible? That is what concerns I.

Yes, Garmin now has Solar Charging and by Black Friday we should have that on the Fenix 7, the Instinct and the next Forerunner. That is all good. But, battery sharing will be more ‘powerful’, in every way, to Solar. Would be a bummer if Garmin is forever excluded.

Unlikely that Apple or Samsung will go out of their way to support Garmin with their, inevitable, variations of SHARE.

So, where will this leave Garmin?

I care. I love my Garmin watches (and yes, I have three.).

Related Posts:
Search ‘Garmin’.

by Anura Guruge

Successfully Adding A Samsung Galaxy S9 Phone To “Google Fi” Cellular Service.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

It wasn’t that long ago, i.e., 6-months maybe, when ‘Google Fi‘ still only supported a handful of phones — all of the from Google or Motorola.

Not so anymore. They support a BUNCH of phones — including Samsung.

I have been with Google Fi for 23-months. When I got my Google Pixel 2 on Christmas 2017 it was a no-brainer to go with Google Fi. Google Fi was ideal for I in that I am NOT a heavy phone user — by any measure. I have been fine with Fi — but then again, as I just said, I am not a big phone user.

But, I am changing our household networking plans. Up until last week we had two Internet services — one from Atlantic Broadband and the other from TDS. This was for redundancy, if one went we could continue using the other. This was a good job since Atlantic Broadband proved to be notoriously unreliable. Ultimately I could not deal with anymore. I got rid of them and upped my TDS service to 1G. But, that means we have no redundancy. If we lose TDS we are dead in the water.

So, the plan is to go with unlimited data with Google Fi. However, the way their pricing is structured it makes sense to have as many lines on the service as possible.

Now that Google Fi supports Samsung we moved over my wife from ‘Consumer Cellular‘ to Google Fi. The goal is to move one or both of the kids too.

The first attempt at trying to activate the Samsung S9 was a spectacular failure. After about 3-hours it was finally determined that it was a bad SIMM card. Ordered a second. Came yesterday. Second attempt was the charm. No problem. But, initiation by fire.

Related posts:
Search ‘Google Fi.

by Anura Guruge

Unstinted Praise & THANKS To ‘Wondershare’ ‘recoverit’ — Recovered All 300 Lost Wedding Pictures!

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access their Website.

Click to ENLARGE.

Just a sample of the pictures I had lost.

I had checked them on the camera and new I had WINNERS.

On Saturday we attended my niece-in-law’s wedding in Maine. I, luckily (and what would have been by choice), was not the official photographer. I am not good enough for that. They had two female professionals who had been flown in for the event.

But, I had been told to take some pictures. And that is never too much of an imposition since I do take (and publish) at least 7 pictures each-and-every day, 365/366-days a year, and have done so for at least 4-years.

I take around 26,000 pictures a year! I had NEVER lost a picture due to an SD card failure — ever. (Yes, I once lost some pictures on a SD card, but that was after I had downloaded them onto my PC.)

On Saturday evening, a few hours after the wedding, I did LOSE all the pictures!

I also know how and why. I tried to look at them, and copy them onto an USB stick (so I can give them to my sister-in-law), on a Samsung Chromebook! The bloody Chromebook ate my 64G SD card. Here is the crazy thing. Just a week earlier my wife had a total SD card failure on this Chromebook, BUT we never suspected that it was the bloody Chromebook that was damaging the cards.

I did NOT get upset! That is old age. I am much more sanguine about life and the curve balls it throws at me than I was even a year ago.

Yes, I knew there was recovery software I could try, but I couldn’t do that till I got home and had access to a proper PC.

Well, a couple of hours after we got home on Sunday — after I managed to get my damn Atlantic Broadband Internet service restored, I was ready to try some software.

We had already done some Googling and I had read up on ‘recoverit‘. Sounded promising.

There was no way I was going to mess around with FREE software. I did not want to risk corrupting the SD card any further.

Yes, I started with the FREE version of ‘recoverit’. When it told me, within seconds, that it had found 300 files I knew I was in business.

I stopped it. I uninstalled it. I paid the $60 and got the lifetime, PRO version. For $10 difference it made no sense just to get a 1-year license.

Since it scans the entire card, and it was a 64GB card, it took about an hour to locate all the files. It said it found about 900. Turns out that each picture was duplicated!

Once the files were found the recovery took less than 5-minutes.

‘Recoverit’ recovered ALL the files. I did NOT lose a single picture. Got everyone back.

Yes, I am happy.

I am impressed.

It would have been a shame to have lost these wedding pictures.

Word of warning. Do not take a SD card within 10′ of a bloody Chromebook! I am serious.

After the wedding, which finished at 3:30pm, I had gone to Camden — another of my favorite haunts in Maine. It was dark and I got some good pictures. They were on the card too. I was kind of disappointed that I had lost those. Wasn’t sure that I would ever get the same lighting again. Well, I got those back too.

Thank YOU, Wondershare.

As far as I am concerned you worked miracles.

Total, unstinted praise & endorsement.


by Anura Guruge

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

by Anura Guruge

The LATEST. Delivered July 3, 2019.

Click to ENLARGE.

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.

Related Posts:
Search on ‘refrigerator’.

by Anura Guruge

Why Are Refrigerator Ice Makers So Prone To Failure?

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

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.

Related Posts:
Search on ‘refrigerator’.

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.

Related posts:
Search ‘Garmin’.

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.

Related posts:
Search ‘tracker’.

by Anura Guruge

%d bloggers like this: