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This past Thursday was a very important date in the consumer electronics industry because Samsung finally unveiled its successor to the massively popular Galaxy S3 smartphone, the Galaxy S4.

Galaxy S4

Mark Watson’s hands-on picture of the Galaxy S4

International Business Times attended the unveiling and noted a few hardware upgrades. The new smartphone features a 5-inch display that sports a 1920×1080 resolution. This gives the phone a 441 ppi (pixels per inch) and is now the most clear and crisp display on the smartphone market. The phone also improves on battery life, featuring a 2,600mAh battery which is almost 25% more juice than the S3. Lastly, Samsung has upped the ante with a 13-megapixel camera that rivals many other  digital cameras out there.

What does this mean for us students? The bigger battery will give you more time to browse Facebook, text message and coordinate club meets. And heck, even if you’re just using it to play more games, that’s always a plus! The improved camera will give your self-portraits a bit more clarity to a point where it is near impossible to tell that it was taken on a mobile phone.

Although the hardware upgrades are great, what Samsung really showcased in this iteration of their flagship device was the amount of software features that they packed in. CTV lists a few features that intrigued them including:

  • Smart Scroll: the ability to scroll through content on the screen without lifting a finger. The phone will be able to track your eyes and its direction as well as your wrist movements to progress through your reading content
  • Air Viewthe S4’s infrared and proximity sensors will be able to tell when your finger hovers over an email, video, or a text message and shows you a preview of what’s inside. This way you can take a peak at your content without loading it up.
  • S-Health: this feature will benefit students a lot. The phone can track your health with some basic input action and with the built-in barometer, it can determine your comfort based on temperature and humidity levels.


Now, if you are like me, you already have a smartphone that is good at what it does. I personally have the iPhone 5 and if you have an iPhone 5 as well, you may want to consider this chart that compares the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5 side-by-side. Picture taken from @zilevandamme on Twitter.

Comparison Chart

We can see from the chart that the only specifications that the iPhone 5 wins in is the thickness and weight category. Am I going to make the switch? Probably not. But thats not because I think the iPhone is better, I believe Samsung’s next flagship phone (Galaxy S5?) will be another monumental upgrade and that is when I might heavily consider switching smartphones.
But thats just me! If you feel somewhat convinced after reading this, check out the video below from Samsung Mobile‘s YouTube Channel




Mark Watson’s Hands-on Picture:
International Business Insider Specs:
CTV’s Top Features:
@zilevandamme’s Comparison Chart:
Samsung Mobile’s YouTube Video:



Evernote LogoEvernote is a note-taking software that is compatible for Mac, iOS, Windows and Android. What’s different about this to other notebook or note-taking software is that it is absolutely free, and comes fully packed with features that you would think would cost a premium.

Evernote automatically uploads everything you put into their server’s, making it available for immediate syncing to all of your devices whether it be your computer, tablet and/or smartphone. The basic unit of information in Evernote is the note. You can collect similar notes in a notebook, creating as many notebooks as you need, or even throw everything in one main notebook. I like to create a different notebook for every class that I have and organize my notes according to the weekly lectures.

Evernote gives you a plethora of ways of capturing notes. You can type directly in the Evernote client, drag text, embed images, audio, videos and even record audio and videos. If you don’t want to type out a graph or chart in one of your lectures, you can just take a picture with your smartphone within the Evernote app and seamlessly embed it into your note! After capturing the desired note, the client gives you the ability to share it via email. You can add tags to notes to help categorize them further, this allows you to find them ease using the built-in search function that scans your entire notebook library. The killer features is the syncing. Documents and notes I keep on my laptop are instantly connected to my iPhone so that I can look at my notes without having the computer with me.

Here is a video that details the basic functions and visuals of Evernote. Watch in HD and Fullscreen!

I personally use this as my daily app for taking notes for all of my classes. I believe it is the best student software that delivers the most fluid, seamless and easy to use word processing experience. You can download the computer client at and the mobile app versions at the App Store on iOS or the Google Play Store.


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