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The New Tech on the Block – Nokia, Samsung, Amazon

September has been an exciting month for tech enthusiasts; all major companies have unveiled either a new handset (Nokia, Samsung, and Apple) or a new line of electronic readers (Amazon). Although Apple has a strong grip on the U.S. market for smart phones and tablets with its iPhone and iPad1, you will not be doing yourself any favors if you don’t consider the features and prices (the value for money factor) of the other brands. Below are some other good products.

Once the mammoth of GSMs, the Finnish company Nokia is currently struggling to stay afloat against Samsung, Apple and HTC. Its first attempts at smart phone technology included the Symbian OS, but the company has since moved to the Windows Phone OS and most recently, to Windows 8. This move aims to boost Nokia phone integration with Microsoft PCs and compete with the complete device software environment of Apple, Inc. The new phones of Nokia are the Lumia 9202 and the Lumia 8203. Although experts have determined that the new phones are less than expected, which was reflected in the company share price4, it’s important to consider them from a technological point.

Both of the phones have the latest PureView technology, which involves optical image stabilization with a Carl Zeiss lens for ultra clear and high definition pictures. The phones will boast offline Nokia Maps as well as the Nokia City app. The SnapdragonTM S4 aims to be faster than its competitors while consuming less energy. It will include GPS and strong social sharing features thanks to the Microsoft 8 platform. Unfortunately, the company did not give a concrete launch date; a selling price or carrier plans.

Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy III before the Olympics, but its strong functionality and powerful performance make it a fantastic choice. Advertised as made for humans, it is made to be as interactive as possible with numerous “human features” such as Smart Stay, where the screen turns black if somebody isn’t looking at it. Direct calling makes switching from texting to calling much faster. The 4.8 HD super AMOLED display enables high quality video watching and application playing for a better experience. The incredibly thin phone—8.6 mm—has a powerful processor and 16 or 32 GB of internal memory with a possibility to expand via a micro slot (unlike IPhones which have no such possibility).

Finally, there are new Amazon Kindle e-readers and tablets. The normal Kindle has decreased in price to $69 without any product changes. However, the Kindle Touch has been greatly improved with the Paperwhite technology and starts at a price of $119. The new screen is much whiter than its predecessors and has 62% better resolution for sharper and better-contrasted text5. The software has been improved with adjustable styles while the hardware comes with an 8-week battery. Furthermore, the Kindle Touch has a backlit display for night reading without eyestrain. Naturally, the light brightness is adjustable.

The Kindle Fire HD tablet family has the dual Wi-Fi antenna for faster Internet connection (41% faster than the iPad 3)6. Its Imagination PowerVR 3D dual-core 1.2 Ghz processor ensures faster browsing and video streaming from the Amazon online service. However, the biggest improvements have been introduced in the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” and Fire HD 8.9” 4G LTE Wireless, which include bigger screens, 1920×1200 HD technology with anti-polarization and anti-glare filters. The dual stereo speakers with Dolby sound are designed for a better watching experience. As the name implies, the latter version includes 4G wireless technology for faster browsing without having to hunt for a hotspot. The U.S. edition is offered with cheaper monthly data plans.


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