Should You Upgrade from a Galaxy S4 to a Galaxy S5 by Blaine Kelton

I’d like to introduce to you Thoughts, Ramblings, and Daydreams first guest blogger, Blaine Kelton. 

Blaine is a college grad with a degree in Journalism.  He found my sight and politely asked if he could guest post.  We passed e-mails for a while and I found him to be very sincere and a go-getter.

I’m not a big tech guy, but Blaine is.  He sent me this post about the upcoming Galaxy S5 and asks if it’s worth considering.  (I found a few things that made me go, “Hmm. Interesting.”)

So, please read his post and, more importantly, leave a reply.  let him know what you thing.  We all need feedback.  Let him know what you like and don’t like.  It’s all helpful.

So without further adieu, welcome Blaine.

gs4

With the upcoming release of Samsung’s Galaxy S5, the question on the minds of many is whether it’s immediately worth an upgrade from a Galaxy S4 to the new flagship. The answer is unclear, and frankly it depends on what you want from your smartphone.

Everyone knows that a smartphone is only as good as its ability to accommodate current apps and technology surrounding the phone as well as its ability to interact with existing digital infrastructure. In those respects, both the GS4 and GS5 fully demonstrate proficient ability.

So what’s different? Taking a look at the physical dimensions and displays, the cameras, and the chipsets differentiates the phones for the most part.

Dimensions and Displays*

GS5

The GS4’s screen is 5″ and makes use of Super AMOLED technology. The display shows with a resolution of 1080×1920 with pixel density of 441ppi.

In comparison, the GS5 doesn’t get much bigger in terms of display, which for Samsung is an unexpected upgrade given that from one flagship to the next we generally see a considerable increase in size. At 5.1″, the trend is pretty much broken. Still, the phone implements the Super AMOLED technology and maintains a 1080×1920 resolution with its pixel density at ~432, slightly less than the GS4 due to its larger display with the same resolution. Whether or not the display speaks to a worthy upgrade is yours to decide.

Cameras*

The GS4’s camera is a 13MP model with LED flash technology and its prominent features include image stabilization, autofocus, face and smile detection, panorama, and an HDR mode. The video recorder records video in 1080p and offers image stabilization at 30 frames per second.

Samsung hit the camera hard with the GS5. The full upgrade boasts a 16MP camera with LED flash technology and the added features include phase detection autofocus and improved image stabilization. The video recorder now offers 4K video recording at 30 fps and also includes improved image stabilization. The GS5’s camera and its capabilities are among the most talked-about features and should be a huge consideration in going forward with an upgrade from a GS4 to a GS5.

Chipset

GS5Running

The GS4 always had a powerful processor, that being the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 at 1900MHz. The device is capable of running updates to the JellyBean operating system and includes an Adreno 320 graphics processor. The 9GB of user storage (of a total 16GB onboard storage) is expandable by microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC for a total of up to 64 GB.

The GS5 hits the chipset pretty hard as well. The new flagship is super-speedy with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor operating at 2500MHz. The device runs on the newest Android OS for smartphones, KitKat, and includes an Adreno 330 graphics processor. The 10.7GB of user storage (of a total of 16GB onboard storage) is expandable by microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC for a total of up to 128 GB.

Don’t forget that the GS4 can be updated to run KitKat. In addition, because of the potential of expanded storage, no one should have problems in that arena. If the above stats leave the GS5 a little underwhelming, consider the following additional features.

The GS5 comes equipped with the much-discussed heart rate monitor on the back side just under the camera. To that end, Samsung is really pushing health and fitness technology in its product line. On the inclusion, Verizon Wireless states, “Even your heart gets some love with the first–ever built–in heart monitor that checks your heart rate with just the touch of a finger.” And they’re not the only ones talking. Health in the mobile age has been a trending topic since the initiation of the S Health Partner in the Samsung product line.

The GS5 is also waterproof and dust resistant, with an IP certification at IP 67. Unless you’re a free-diver texting on the way down, that means you’re totally covered. Literally.

The inclusion of Galaxy Gifts for the GS5 will also be a major consideration for most in that they include subscriptions making use of the heart rate monitor and camera upgrades. Totaling just under $600, the options are nice indeed.

If you’re still having trouble deciding between a new upgrade or sticking with the older model until you’re ready, just be sure to remember that the choice ultimately lays with you and what is valuable to you in a smartphone. Keep your research thorough prior to the April 11 release of the Galaxy S5 to keep your options completely open.

What makes a truck?

Image from Topspeed.com

 

 

Unless you are an auto enthusiast, you might not know how bizarre and convoluted the classifications of vehicles truly are.

I knew about this weird world of government vehicle classifications from various resources, but quickly set it aside to maintain my sanity.

Take for instance the question posted above:  What makes a truck?

Define it.

I bet you could rattle off the names of trucks without trying.

F-150, Silverado, Ram, Sierra, Tundra, Titan, Ranger, Colorado, Tacoma, B-2000, Frontier, Dakota… It’s as easy as looking down the street or in your parking lot. (For those outside the U.S. let me throw in HiLux, Amarok, and G-Ute trayback.)

image: Fourwheeler.com

But what about vans?  Do they count?  They do if you ask plumbers, florists, electrical workers and water technicians.  These people own vans to help earn their living and usually treat them as such.

image: Ford.com

How about SUVs?  Are they a truck or are they an amped up station wagon? A Cadillac SRX argues the case for station wagon, but what about a Nissan Xterra or Jeep Wrangler? Some would argue that their body on frame construction earns their membership into the truck club.

Image: Cadillac.com

The truth is that the “truck” classification by CAFÉ and the EPA is very broad and diverse group.  Did you know that the Chevrolet HHR and Chrysler PT Cruiser are listed as SUVs and thus in the truck club?

Image: motortrend.com

How about Subaru’s medium sized wagon? In 2006 this vehicle was listed as a wagon and an SUV depending on model.  If you picked the Legacy, it was listed as a station wagon.  If you chose the Outback version (Basically the same thing with an inch or two more ground clearance, different fog lights and plastic cladding on the bottom of the sides) according to the EPA and CAFÉ, you bought an SUV.  The Baja is also classified as a SUV, but I was half expecting it to be classified a small pickup given that Subaru cut the back of the roof off to make an open bed for it.

image: Carbl.com

image: Jasononcars.com

image: Norcalcars.com

See, I told you it was bizarre and convoluted.  (Ok. The Baja is an earlier design, but you get the point.)

One of the reasons it is so are the lobbyists and the EPA itself.  The government mandates that vehicles get a certain amount of gas mileage per class.  The problem is that for some companies their best-selling vehicle in that class is also the one that has the worst fuel mileage.  You might see a lot of SIlverados running around hauling nothing heavier that their owner and maybe their dog, but there are also a lot of them running around packed to the gills with heavy, bulky equipment or pulling trailers around.  These vehicles are designed to carry heavy loads and the strength and power needed to do it safely comes at the cost of mileage.  These trucks also have one of the highest owner loyalty groups ever.  That’s something these companies will almost kill for.  (Not including my wife and I.  Together we have own both the small and large versions of pickups from every member of the big three.)

The problem comes with trying to balance out the poor mileage truck sales with good mileage truck sales.

“Just sell more small trucks like the Tacoma and Colorado.” You say.  It’s not so simple.  See, because of all the safety regulations put into these trucks, their weight has gotten so high they are almost comparable to full sized trucks.

“Make them lighter.”  Easier said than done.  Ford is the first company to risk building a pickup with an all-aluminum body to save weight.  The metal costs more that standard steel, the build process had to be completely rethought.  (Welded aluminum will actually cause electrons from one atom “shift” to another until the entire weld breaks.), and every single Ford dealership that deal with bodywork had to learn how to properly fix damage to these panels when accidents happen and buy special equipment to fix them.  Guess where all that extra expense is going.  Yep.  Right into the sticker price.

“Well, offer engines that run on things other than gas.”  They do now.  It’s just not cheap.  You can get flex-fuel, hybrid, diesel, and even compressed natural gas engine for trucks… at  cost.

Hybrids usual cost about $1,000 to $1,500 more than a standard gas engine.

Diesels used to cost $2,000 more but with the new smog regulations the price has raised upward to $4,000 over the price of a gas engine.  (Plus diesel fuel costs roughly 50 cents more per gallon than 87 octane gasoline and you can’t use veggie oils anymore since it will clog up all the new technology.)

Compressed Natural Gas in the latest offering to help the EPA ratings.  Not being gasoline at all, it really boosts the numbers up and at roughly $1.50 per gallon to fill-up, the compressed natural gas option looks really good.  Until you see the price tag of $9,500 for this choice.  And that’s down a thousand from last year’s price!  CNG also has the wonderful challenge of dealing with safety in crashes.  Remember the press GM got over its Volt electric car?  People were shocked that the batteries ripped open when the vehicles were crashed so hard into walls that the frames ripped apart.  (Something that happens to all the cars tested when doing the offset crash into a giant, sharp block of concrete.)  Imagine the sheer terror when one of these trucks is hit so hard that the compressed gas tank ruptures.  The reports will have you think a nuke went off!

Because people want real good mileage in a class of vehicle that is designed to do heavy work, we have odd things like station wagons and minivans listed as trucks.

So I ask, what is a truck?

Let me know in the response section.

Ebb and Flow

Welcome to my 300th post. Tonight we dine in hell. Nah, that would require liver stuffed mac and cheese, drizzled with olive juice.

300 shouldn’t be special, yet for some reason it keeps shouting to me that it is. Isn’t the usual big moments, 10, 50, 100, 250, 500, ect.?

The fact that this is number 300 added to the complexity of this post. The car guy in me wanted to make it about the Chrysler 300 series and the forgotten, semi-fake Chrysler 300 of the late 70’s.

It was an optioned up Cordoba.

I’d do a review of the movie 300, but except for commercials, I never saw it. (Why is it in these movies the men have full beards yet somehow have the technology to have the rest of their bodies cleanly shaven? What were they afraid of, razor burn?)

I could talk about the probably 300 jelly beans my wife and I have eaten over the last month, but it’s almost Easter and who hasn’t done this?

I’d love to boast about the 300 creative ideas bouncing around in my head, but I definitely don’t have anything close to that number. (but I do have a few I’ll be sharing.)

Nope the real reason why this 300th post is important is you. If ti wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be motivated to do this many posts. It’s seeing the likes and reads that encourages me to go on.

I had a real strong case of “stuckitis” and I think I’m finally breaking free. I just needed to get myself to sit down and actually tap theses keys again. (Ok. It’s more of a slam/pound than tap. I’ve never been gentle with mechanical things.)

300 is a big number because it represents a commitment. Continue on or turn the corner. For me the adventure and discovery still go on, so now that I’ve crossed the field of limbo. I can continue.

Let’s see what’s over that next rise.

Ketchup with us #39: Ten minute challenge

And go!

This challenge by Michele and Mel is to take the next ten minutes and write whatever pops into your head.  No rehearsing, no cheating.

So here are my thoughts.

Nothing…

Nothing…

Why do I have to punch these keys so hard?  I’m sure they can hear it two rooms away!

How should I end my Pony Express story?  Daniel is going after the bear to get the mail.  How does he get it?  It is spring?  Does he find it in the cave?  Are there cubs?  Does the bear circle around and hunt him for food?  How do I do this properly and keep it realistic?

I love my new truck but hate the mileage.  Why did Dodge have to make it run on Midgrade?  Trucks are supposed to handle third world 80 octane garbage, not need fancy gas to run right.  Stupid idea Dodge!

I must be the only one who thinks this though.  The Ram pickup outsold Chevy this month.  A feat that hasn’t happened since 1999.

I need to take more pictures.  I need to find time to take more pictures.  I also need a good app for my android phone that will allow me to crop these pics.  This blog needs more picture posts.

I really need to go camping soon.  I have all this great gear that I can blog about, but I have to test it first.  Any review is useless without even trying the equipment first.  I need to hurry up and do it too, before the summer heat and humidity comes.  This is our Northern summer time of year.  Nice and cool in the morning and pleasantly warm in the afternoon.  Soon it will be 80 and muggy when I wake up and get unbearable from there.

It’s good to do these challenges again.  I miss linking up with these ladies.  They are a lot of fun.

Not ten minutes but not bad.

What are your ramblings?

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