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Our 5 favorite things about the Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 is the latest phone in Samsung’s extremely popular Galaxy S product line. The GS5 has enhanced features that make the phone more usable in a variety of situations. Here are our top five favorite new attributes.

  1. Better Camera: This version includes a 16-megapixel camera that will dynamically adjust to compensate for and correct ambient light levels (previous version had a 13-megapixel camera).
  2. More Secure: In addition to the lock screen options that were available on previous models, the Galaxy S5 has a finger print scanner that will ensure you and only you have access to your device and all of the personal information you have stored on it. The scanner can also be set to restrict purchases made on your phone, so your kids can’t accidentally make a bunch of in-app purchases and rack up your bill.
  3. Better Health Tracking: The Galaxy S5 features the first ever built-in heart rate monitor. If used with the S-Health Application, the device can also keep track of your steps and calories burned.
  4. Designed for adaptability: While keeping the same sleek form factor that helped to make its predecessors so popular, the GS5 adds the features of being water and dust resistant. This feature is our favorite because it makes the phone more rugged, allowing you to keep your phone with you in more situations and thereby increasing its utility.
  5. Handy Extras: The Samsung Watch On app is built into the device and allows you to use your GS5 as a remote control for your TV, Home Theater and Cable box. It shows what TV shows are on at any given time, based on your cable provider, and you can easily program each of these devices into your GS5.

The phone is available now on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile in all Car Toys retail stores.

The Samsung Galaxy Note III is Here!

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The next big thing is here…and we’re talking big. Samsung just released their newest Galaxy Note III and this phone takes the term “phablet” to a whole new level. With a with a 5.7″ 1080p AMOLED display, this phone is one of the biggest on the market. It also is the first smartphone to come with 3GB of RAM. Add that to the 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and you have one powerful phone. The upgrades continue with an improved S pen, and a longer battery life.
There’s no denying the power of this phone, and for those that love a large screen, it’s definitely worth the upgrade. Check it out now at your local Car Toys!

 

Samsung Confirms the Galaxy S4 Mini

There have been rumors swirling for weeks that a mini version of Samsung’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, was going to be released.  Everyone expected the Galaxy S4 Mini to be debuted at the June 20th launch event, but Samsung surprised us by releasing the specs early in a press event today.

The phone is designed to be a mid range phone that incorporates many of the same features that it’s big brother, the GS4, has. The major difference is the screen size. The mini has a 4.3″ screen that is much smaller compared to the 5″ screen of the S4. The mini also has a smaller 540 x 960-pixel display with a pixel density of 240 ppi. Inside the S4 mini is powered by a 1.7 GHz dual-core chip and 1.5 GB of RAM.  The phone comes standard with 8 GB of internal memory, however, for those balking at the limited amount of storage, the phone also comes equipped with a microSD slot, which supports cards up to 64GB in size. The cameras on the GS4 Mini also weigh in a little less than the GS4, with an 8 MP rear camera and a 1.9 MP front-facing lens.

Despite the differences in size and hardware though, Samsung claims that “many” of the same software features will be the same. These include Group Play, S Translator, WatchON, ChatON, Sound&Shot, Panorama Shot ,and Story Album.

The Galaxy s4 Mini will be available on 3G or 4G depending on the market within the next coming months. No launch date or price has been specified yet though. It will be interesting to see how the Galaxy S4 Mini does compared to its bigger brother, and especially compared to other mid range or mini phones that Apple and HTC are rumored to be developing.

 

Did You Get the Latest Google Chrome Update for Android?

Google Chrome

Google Chrome for Android just released their latest update today. Along with improved speed the new Google Chrome app comes with some additional features. These include a fullscreen mode, where the toolbar disappears when you scroll down, and tab history support for tablets, where holding the back button will bring up your previous tab history. Additionally, the search experience has been modified to make it easier to see, edit, and show more results when you search.

For all of you on iOS though, don’t feel left out yet, Google will be releasing an update with voice search for the iPhone and iPad shortly.

Download the latest update for Google Chrome on your PC or smartphone here

Facebook Brings ‘Home’ to Android

 

Facebook Home Cover Feed

Facebook Home Cover Feed

Facebook has recently released a new app for Android called ‘Facebook Home.’   Facebook describes it as “The family of apps that puts your friends at the heart of your phone.” But what exactly is this app though, and what makes it different from the existing Facebook mobile app and messaging  app? Facebook Home is a launcher app, meaning that it replaces the default user interface on phones. This means that instead of the usual home screen on Android’s that you’re used to, Facebook Home, well, creates a home screen that is centered around Facebook. Whenever the home button is pressed or the phone comes out of sleep, the Cover feed becomes active, showing you a stream of full screen photos and updates that your friends are sharing.

 

Facebook Home Navigation

Navigation

This isn’t all that Facebook Home has though. It also has created its own messenger and apps launcher that is just a swipe away from the home screen. Pressing on your round profile picture at the bottom of the Cover feed brings up your navigation panel. Dragging your picture up opens the app launcher, while dragging to the left opens Facebook Messenger and dragging right opens the last app you were using.

 

Facebook Home App Launcher

App Launcher

The apps launcher is designed to allow quick access to the apps you use the most and is completely customizable. You can also access a complete list of your other apps from this page as well. The Facebook Messenger in Home looks strikingly similar to the old Facebook Messenger app. However, in Home it combines both your Facebook messages and your text messages into one stream.

 

Facebook Home Chat Heads

Facebook Home Chat Heads

Zuckerberg shared that “after noting we spend more than 20% of our mobile time on social apps, we asked ourselves- if we’re already spending this much time on our phones, how can we make it easier? What if they were designed around people first, and you could also just happen to interact with apps?” One answer to this comes in the form of Chat Heads, a unique feature that allows you to have conversations with your friends without losing what you were doing by switching apps. When a friend messages you a Chat Head pops up allowing you to chat and get right back to what you were doing without missing a beat or changing apps.

 

All of these features combine to provide the user a very Facebook-centric experience on their phone that is more about people than apps.  Facebook Home is now available for download on certain devices (the new HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Galaxy Note II) in the Google Play store. And every month Facebook is hoping to add more features and make it accessible on more devices, including tablets.

Cell-ebrating 40 Years!!!

Happy 40th Birthday to the Cell Phone!

First Cell Phone - Motorola DynaTAC

On this day in history 40 years ago, the first call from a cell phone was made. Martin Cooper, the Division Manager of the Motorola Cellular Program, made the call on a busy street corner in New York, on the 6th Avenue by the New York Hilton. Who was the lucky person to receive this history making call? None other than Joel Engel from Bell Systems, one of his chief competitors in the cellular technology race.  Unfortunately, his phone call was not recorded like Samuel Morse’s first telegraph or Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call, “Watson, come here. I want to see you.”  Although the words Cooper reportedly said were, “I’m ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end.”

The device used to make this historic call was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x.  The phone had 30 circuit boards and weighed a massive 2.5 lbs and was 9″ tall!   And even with a big battery the phone only had 20-30 minutes of talk time and took a whopping 10 hours to recharge. The price also seemed to match the huge size of the phone. When it was released to consumers 10 years later it cost almost $4,000!

Cell phones sure have come a long way since then! And we can’t wait to see what changes will come in the next months, years, and decades, regarding mobile technology. And as your mobile electronics experts, we’ll be sure to keep you informed and up to date on all of the latest and greatest gadgets!