Samsung Galaxy S8: What We All Have Been Waiting For

Samsung Galaxy S8: What We All Have Been Waiting For

As Samsung fans wait with bated breath for the release of the Galaxy S8, they look forward to a new product that will be explosive in much more positive ways than the notorious exploding Note 7.  Aficionados hoped to catch their first glimpse of the Galaxy S8 at at the CES or MWC tech shows this winter, but analysts are now predicting a debut in late March or April instead.

The Specs: Two Versions of the Galaxy S8

For the first time, Samsung is expected to release a model in two separate sizes, which will be designated as the S8 and the S8+.  The screens on both will be bigger than the S7, due to the disappearance of the home button and the edge-to-edge screen size. Even the fingerprint scanner will migrate to beneath the glass, thanks to new optical sensing technology that permits fingerprint-scanning through the glass itself, relieving the need for a separate button on the front.

Another source suggests that this model might move from the QHD screen (first introduced iwth the Galaxy S6) to a new display with 4K resolution. Users of Gear Virtual Reality certainly hope for the 4K screen, which would greatly enhance the imagery available in the stereoscopic mode employed by VR Gear.  This high resolution screen is expected to continue the use of AMOLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology which has been successfully integrated into smart phones by Samsung and almost no one else.

The processor in the Galaxy S8 is expected to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip—an expectation boosted by the recent report that Samsung recently bought out Qualcomm’s early shipments in preparation for the S8’s release, entirely cutting off the LG G6 from using the chip. Analysts also anticipate the use of a new design in smaller transistor, boosting efficiency and performance while lowering power consumption.

Combining the decreased consumption of the transistors, the power saving features of the Android N software, and the likely larger battery, Samsung users also hope that they can enjoy longer battery life on the new phone.

Design of the S8

galaxy s8 concept

Aesthetically speaking, the Galaxy S8 might be a whole different animal from its predecessors!  The entire front of the unit will be almost nothing but screen (okay, ninety percent screen compared to the current standard of eighty), and the bezels are expected to be significantly smaller.

Rumor has it that the Galaxy will be available only in a configuration with curved-edge display, a design made possible with OLED screens. Hints dropped by Samsung execs seem to point to the phasing out of flat screens entirely, especially since the Galaxy S7 Edge (with curved edge) outsold the flat screen Galaxy S7.

Many Samsung users hope that the Galaxy S8 will feature the Type C USB port, which is reversible (it doesn’t matter which way you plug it in) and supports output for different types of connections like HDMI, VGA, or DisplayPort.

The Galaxy S7 already features dual pixel cameras, which still have yet to debut under other manufacturers, and photographers are wondering what new innovations the camera-proud Samsung company might release with the Galaxy S8.

Some speculate that the new model might include an upgrade in the guise of a dual camera setup like the one currently found in the iPhone 7 Plus. What can be noted with certainty is that Samsung has applied for a Korean patent for improvements in zoom functionality.  Additionally, there might be an auto focus feature added to the front-facing camera, which has been hitherto reserved to the “main” camera facing to the rear.

As with any model Samsung Repair Sharks can help you when your smartphone breaks. Whether you cracked your front glass, camera, back glass, or your phone fell into water or the battery is just not holding a charge anymore Repair Sharks can give you a hand. Give us a call with any questions.

iPhone 7S and iPhone 8 – What’s new in smartphones?

What’s Upcoming with the New iPhone 7S and iPhone 8

Rumors are rife regarding the upcoming and much-anticipated iPhone 7S and all-new iPhone 8. For iPhone aficionados, the question looms: what can we look forward to with the new variation and the brand new model?

Next Up: the iPhone 7S?

iphone 7s

Marking the tenth anniversary of its original iPhone, the next offering in the iPhone line-up will be the iPhone 7S. With an anticipated release date of September 2017, the iPhone 7S will probably cost about the same as the iPhone 7 (currently top-of-the-line) but will include some features.

Some experts speculate that the 7S might be skipped altogether, and Apple might go straight to the eight for this year’s release. Proponents of this idea point to the ten-year anniversary as an impetus to go big with a brand new model, entirely skipping the S variant which has traditionally been released as an essential half-step between models.

Those who disbelieve this rumor point to Apple’s very predictable past, which has included the announcement of a “next-step” phone in the first week of every September (hence the anticipated September release) and the consistent release of an S-model before a new numerical model.

Regardless of how it ends up being numbered, the next model is heavily rumored (based on information leaks in the supply chain for Apple products) to feature an OLED screen rather than the current LCD approach.  OLED stands for “Organic Light-Emitting Diode,” and the new technology works without the need for backlight. The resulting display includes deeper levels of black, and the unit can be both lighter and thinner than the LCD to which we are accustomed.

Several companies have begun using OLED technology in television and computer screens, but Samsung is the only major manufacturer of smart phones to have made the cross-over from LCD to OLED screens thus far. Even if Apple goes straight to the eight, OLED screens have been ordered in mass quantities and will certainly be featured in the next phone!

Looking Forward to the iPhone 8

iphone 8 concept

Many folks hope that the rumors are true, and that the iPhone 8 will make its appearance this September!  According to sources in Apple’s supply chain, the new phone itself will be similar in size to the iPhone 7, but the screen will be bigger. How does that work?

The “home” button will be removed from the unit’s front (replaced by technology with 3D sensory perception) so the screen can cover the entire front of the phone.

The 3D sensor itself is generating plenty of buzz, being comprised of a new design of front-facing camera combined with an infrared sensor. Not only will this provide a new level of security (think facial recognition instead of thumbprint scanning), but it will also be able to take three-dimensional selfies and scans, and will be put to use in mobile games.

The phone itself is purportedly sporting a new sort of design, with a stainless steel housing (rather than aluminum frame) and glass on both the front and the back.  Because the OLED screen is uniquely suited to curvature, there is also speculation that the phone itself might be designed with a curve built in.

On top of all this, Apple has listened to its consumers and promised to fulfill the most frequent request: namely, a bigger battery with significantly longer life.

Look for additional features that may include technology for wireless charging and improved capabilities for AI (Artificial Intelligence). Perhaps Siri will have a smarter successor!

As with any iPhone, Repair Sharks can help you get back on your feet in the event of an unfortunate accident or hardware issue. We can help diagnose, repair, and get you back in working condition quickly and cost effectively.

Give us a call or email us if you have any questions.

Best Smartphone Cases for iPhone and Android

Best Smartphone Cases for iPhone and Android

Best Smartphone Cases

Which models are the best smartphone cases on the market currently? Repair Sharks has been repairing phones for 10 years now and over that time we have seen thousands of broken screens, water damaged iphones, scratches, dents, and bends on just about every mainstream phone out there.  So what can you do to better protect yourself from a bad drop or cracking your expensive OLED screens? The answer is simple, protect your device with a case that actually works.

In this post we will discuss a few brands of cases that actually work and how they fair up against the competition. We have done a repair frequency comparison to major case brand models to find out what we think are the best smartphone cases. We will be reviewing brands such as Ballistic, Incipio, LifeProof, OtterBox, PureGear, RhinoShield, Speck, Spigen, and Tech21.

Each category is rated between 1-5 points for each brand. Highest score is 30 being the best case and 5 points being the lowest quality. Pricing is 1 star being most expensive, 5 stars being least expensive. Repair Frequency is 1 being most repaired and 5 being least repaired.

Reviews of each brand are broken down under the graph.

5-10 points = low quality case

11-20 points = Fair Quality

21-25 points = Good Quality

26-30 points – Best Quality

Best Smartphone Cases Comparison

BrandBallisticIncipioLifeProofOtterBoxPureGearRhinoShieldSpeckSpigenTech21
Drop Protection533445334
Price441345444
Size / Footprint444235445
Repair Frequency533335134
Longevity533435233
Variety / Colors544544544
Total282118212129192124

 

Rhino Shield wins Best Case

Rhino Shield Crashguard

Rhino Shield – Coming in 1st place and one of the best smartphone cases we have found, Rhino Shield Crashguard. Rhino Shield provides a perfect balance between price, superior drop protection, durability, and variety. Pricing wise Rhino Shield is one of the cheapest out there coming in about $10 cheaper than Apple’s bumper design  and cheaper than our next favorite case Ballistic. Cases range from $25-$30 retail.

Rhino Shield cases have also shown to reduce repair frequency significantly. From the 200 or so cases we have sold we have had not one customer come back with a broken screen in the months following. They are drop tested to 11.5 feet but our staff decided to put this to the test. Additionally this is one of the smallest cases available being only a bumper style case. Their honeycomb technology seems to do an amazing job of protecting the phone. Unfortunately they only make these cases for a select number of phones. From what we were told by their engineers the case design doesn’t work well with larger heavier devices such as an iPad.

Test 1 – Thrown in air in street about 25feet. Amazingly there was no break on the glass after watching our test phone bounce across the concrete.

Test 2 through 2500 – Yeah we pummeled this case about 2500 times on a variety of different materials including our wood desk (busted the desk but not the phone), metal door frame, metal staircase, wood staircase, wood floor, concrete floor, and tile floor. We couldn’t break the glass. Actually we smashed the phone so many times that the glass fell off the phone since the internal frame mount for the glass couldn’t handle being smashed that many times nor could the adhesive that Apple uses to bond the frame to the glass hold up. The case held together better than the phone itself.

Customer feedback – the few customers we actually got to see again have thanked us for this case and have all since enjoyed it.

Ballistic comes in a close 2nd

Ballistic Smartphone Case

Ballistic – In a close 2nd place for the best smartphone case award we have Ballistic. A long time favorite of Repair Sharks, Ballistic has been a tried and true case since the beginning. These guys got it right with providing maximum protection for a phone.  They build each of their cases with oversized corner protection, one of the major keys to a quality case. A feature most case manufacturers actually miss. We see 9 out of 10 of the breaks on these devices being caused by corner damage. The glass on the iPhone is actually rather durable however when you hit the phone on an edge the glass will crack much easier than a direct impact. Ballistic protects these corners much better than any other case.

Ballistic also offers a wide variety of cases, more so than Rhino Shield although slightly less than Speck. We still gave it 5 stars due to having a few variations of their cases from minimalist to extreme protection. They offer a variety of colors for each product line including their Jewel single piece design, SG multi-part design, and Maxx models. Cases range from $20-50 on average.

Ballistic also offers one of the best iPad cases on the market we have found.

Customer Feedback – “I threw my phone against a brick wall and it bounced back at me, I was trying to break my phone and I couldn’t”. We’ve actually seen this happen.

Another customer said “my phone flew off my car after I left it on my roof pumping gas and went back to get it after I realized I didn’t have it. I found the phone in the street and it didn’t have a crack on it”

Tech21 scores 3rd Place

Tech21 Smartphone Case

Tech21 –  A terrific overall case that provides decent drop protection, small footprint, and a variety of colors. Their cases provide impact protection using their own design. They are able to keep the case slim and clean. We have noticed some of their clear versions of cases do fade over time or become yellowish however this can be common with any clear type case over time. The case itself however holds up fine over time as they are single piece designs. Cases range from $30-40

Tied for 4th place in our best smartphone cases comparison – Incipio, OtterBox, and Puregear, Spigen

These three brands are good, not amazing or ground breaking. They are decent cases but for the price and protection level you do have other options to consider. For one, we have seen a steady stream of OtterBox repairs in our shops especially with their older designs. We think they had it backwards for a while and this is why we reduced their score. Originally many of the OtterBox cases did the opposite of cases such as Ballistic. They put the rubber on the outside of the 2 part shell whereas Ballistic puts the rubber on the inside and the plastic shell on the outside. Having this reverse design we think has caused many of the breaks. Think “plastic on glass” with no buffer. The rubber buffer was on the outside so if a hard enough drop occurred and the force was transfered through the outside rubber layer it would result in the plastic smashing the glass. These cases typically range from $30-50

Puregear – They make some simpler designed cases, they don’t always look for superior drop protection over design and usability aspects such as a kickstand or holster. Cases range from $25-40

Puregear Smartphone Case

Incipio – Although they make some handy cases such as card holding cases, or dualpro they don’t provide superior drop protection. They are focused on features similar to PureGear. Cases range from $25-40

Incipio Smartphone Cases

Spigen – These are quality cases but some of the newer models we have tested especially for the S6 edge and S7 edge have not held up well and in fact do not offer great protection. The cases and designs do look nice though and they have a decent track record for protection just not the highest. Cases range from $25-40

Spigen Smartphone Cases

 

The bottom two – Lifeproof and Speck      

These are probably the two of the most common cases on the market today. We have some qualms about both of these designs.

Lifeproof – We call Lifeproof the “jack of all trades, ace of none” amongst our case comparison. It’s ok for dropping, ok for water, but not great at either. The phone will break if dropped hard and they are also prone to leaking. Once the case has been installed it is highly advisable to not open the case again unless you want to risk ruining your water seal. We have seen this happen a number of times with water damaged iPhones in LifeProof cases. Their phone replacement warranty is very hard to qualify for and we have seen a few legitimately failing cases not actually qualify for a replacement. They do however provide one important feature that very few cases offer and that is some sort of water protection for occasional mishaps. We don’t advise going swimming with this case but if you get thrown in the pool by your friends than it should hold up. Most expensive cases in our comparison, roughly $60-90

If you insist on taking your phone into the water then there are alternate options such as DryCase that offer up to 100ft depth of water protection. This is not an actual case but more so a bag that can be vacuum sealed to prevent pressure leaks at deep water levels.

Lifeproof Smartphone Cases

Speck – Great designs, and colors that appeal to a large audience but that’s where we stop. We have seen some improvements over their earlier designs but Speck is by far the most frequent case we see in our shops. They don’t seem to hold up well to drops at all although we have heard some of their more recent changes have helped a bit. They seem to still be trying to catch up to the far superior designs. Cases range from $20-40

Speck Smartphone Cases

Overall, we feel both Evolutive Labs Rhino Shield and Ballistic provide superior drop protection to just about anything available on the market. These are the two best smartphone cases we have currently found.  We are sure there are some other brands out there that offer great protection but these are our mainstream brands that we see and deal with the most.  Although we mostly tested iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones we believe that for these models Rhino Shield and Ballistic were the best smartphone cases available and offer a great protective case to prevent cracks, frame damage, and normal wear and tear.

Feel free to comment and add your input to our best smartphone cases writeup. We love hearing from our readers and customers and want to know your take on the best cases out on the market. We will also follow up with some of the specific models we recommend for each brand.

This is an impartial review and although we are vendors of all the major brands we strive to offer our customers the best advice possible. We love getting to know and meet you but we would rather you leave our shop knowing you got the best advice the first time than come back telling us we recommended something that doesn’t work well for you.

If you are interested in any of the brands mentioned above or have recommendations for new brands please contact us.

LED / LCD TV Repair – Is It Worth It?

LED & LCD TV Repair

LED and LCD TV Repair is it worth it? For a lot of people who are using LED or LCD TVs, there is a real fear about breaking. Anyone who has owned an expensive and high quality piece of technology knows that there is a good chance a break means it cannot be repaired. However, this “common” knowledge is actually an assumption that isn’t rooted in much fact. With the right professional, it is possible to get your television working again without any problems. More importantly, you can do so without having to worry whether or not you have to buy a fully new TV!

If your TV panel is still in one piece, meaning a brick hasn’t gone through the screen there is a good chance it can be repaired! A lot of common issues such as power, audio, HDMI can be fixed.

Starting with Diagnostics

The most important part of any LED TV repair is to figure out what is wrong with the product in the first place. Imagine a scenario where your television suddenly stops working and you think it is broken and thus throw it out. In some cases, a LED or LCD TV repair job means looking at the software and seeing whether there is a quick fix.

The process of diagnosing a repair job for the television is going to require a specialist even if you know what you are doing. Sometimes you can use different power switches, cables, and other external devices to see whether you have a faulty problem that you can fix. In some cases, you might find that it is just an old HDMI cable you need to replace!

However, sometimes it is more likely that you need the help of a professional to diagnose the issue. Some places offer a free diagnostic of the LED TV so that you can learn for free what the problem is. Then you can choose to have them fix it or another reputable provider.

LED TV Repair – What’s the Risk?

There are some people who claim to have expertise in a certain field, but actually do not have many credentials. You want to make sure that you find a professional for LED TV repair so that you don’t end up with an even worse television or being wrongly told that you cannot fix it. There is a risk of finding a poor quality LCD TV repair person so make sure that you are able to find someone who knows what they are talking about.

One great way to get excellent LED TV repair is to make sure you call in advance and speak to someone on the phone. You can discuss their credentials or, in some cases, even visit the location to find out whether they have any good knowledge of the subject. Sometimes local cities and organizations will offer awards to companies that show particularly good service and support for these type of electronics.

Next Steps if You Have a Broken TV

If you can’t figure out what is wrong with your television or you just want to get the opinion from an expert, it’s a good idea to start looking for local shops that can help you. Even if you have to travel a bit to find a good quality LCD TV repair person, you’ll welcome it in the end when you are at home with a fixed television that is as good as new.

Follow through with the diagnostic and repair tips we have provided and there is a good chance you will come out with a working television even if you thought you would have to throw it all away and get a new one.

Feed Shark

How to Backup iPhone Pictures in 4 Simple Steps

How to Backup iPhone Pictures

How to backup iPhone pictures. Getting your iPhone photos backed up is a good idea given how many people have software issues or drop their phone these days. We see people come in with messed up iPhones all the time and it is no wonder they want to have their data backed up beforehand. It is important to take all the precautions necessary so that you do not lose some of your important work or your memories lost.

With a few simple steps, you will be able to backup your iPhone pictures so that you do not lose them and so that you do not have a lot of space used up on your cell phone. With the quantity of apps and games you can play on your phone, you’ll need all the space that you can get!

Simple Steps to Backup Your iPhone

The simplest way to get your iPhone backed up is to go through the iTunes platform that is meant for Apple products. The iTunes platform will allow you to not only buy music through the store, but also allows you to back up your photos with the built in importing tool.

While this is the easiest way to backup your iPhone photos, there are a few steps to keep in mind. First of all, you have to download the iTunes platform unless you have a Macbook. This doesn’t come standard on all computers. Next, make sure you connect your iPhone to a USB cable. Finally, make sure you give authorization to your PC for accessing the phone data. If you haven’t done this yet, it will be an optional prompt upon entering your details.

iTunes Photo Backup

Alternatives for iPhone Backup

Aside from the traditional route, there are a few alternatives. One of them is to use hardware to backup the images. This can be done with an external hard drive and some help from a professional. This will make sure that you have all of your images off the phone and on another device completely. Although it is not as safe as the cloud might be, it is still useful to get the images onto another device.

Finally, you’ll be able to get your iPhone pictures backed up through a variety of different software platforms. The important thing is to make sure that you do not find a software solution that is either cheap or not provided by a good merchant. Some of the options include those that are wireless, which can be an extremely effective way of doing things.

iPhone Picture Backup Wirelessly

Getting an importer on your computer might seem like a difficult thing to deal with, but in reality you’ll find that it is actually a lot easier. One of the routes that you can take is to user services like Dropbox or Box, which you might already have. Others, such as Sugar Sync have a 90 day free trial that you can use, but most of them are free.

Once you download the app for the iPhone you can sign into your account and start to turn on the photo upload feature. Doing this will enable you to get your images directly from the phone onto your computer without you needing to do much else and allow you to backup iphone pictures. Just set it and forget it.

The important thing is that once these systems make a copy (not just sync) of the image, you now have a wireless (and hassle free) extra copy of the images. This way you are never losing images with a broken phone or accidentally deleting anything.

For some people, there are advantages of cloud based systems that far outweigh the simple protection of images. Naming photos and organizing them for later use might be a good idea for business purposes or even just remembering fun vacations. The iPhone doesn’t allow you to change the names, but many of these programs allow the customization that you might crave.

For the most part, this is a good system that is going to make your life a lot easier without the pain and hassle that usually comes with it! Now you know exactly how to backup iPhone pictures.

how to backup iphone pictures