Category Archives: Samsung

Screen brightness comparison – Nokia N9 vs Samsung Galaxy S2

Nothing fancy. 1 photo comparison. My friend also agreed N9’s display is visible brighter than his SGS2.
Not the easiest test to show with a photo instead of you seeing “live” but this is the only way to show it.
Anyways, the conclusion here is that N9 does have a nice AMOLED with very high brightness. (good for day time / direct sunlight)

– Have disabled auto brightness and set it to maximum brightness. Ensured that it doesn’t auto-dim after the timed backlight period. (made sure default web browser was also set to max brightness)

– Have set brightness slider to maximum and also had to shine a torch at the light sensor for a brief moment to trigger the maximum brightness. (You cannot disable auto brightness on N9 currently and hence this maximum brightness is not really achievable indoors right now)

I also have the Nokia X7-00 which has one of the brightest AMOLED of all phones according to gsmarena test. Nokia N9’s display brightness is very similar to the X7. However, as you can sort of tell from the photo above, my N9 exhibits a slight pink tinge at maximum brightness. So this makes it look less much vibrant than the X7-00.Now if your N9 does not show such pink tinge at maximum brightness, let me know. (make sure you trigger that extra level of brightness by pointing something bright at the light sensor)

UPDATE: I have now one other person here in Oz with N9 64GB reporting to have the same pink tint as mine. So I guess this might be normal. However, this pink tinge is not really noticeable while in a bright environment. Only in the dark but you can’t even use that setting while in a dark / indoor environment anyways.

UPDATE2: The pink tint has now been explained by Konttori (Nokia dev) as being intentional. It is called over-saturation which actually makes the colors more visible during bright sunny outdoor situations. It was never really intended for indoor use and hence this maximum brightness is not even accessible manually via the brightness bar. So this isn’t actually an issue. Also, apparently the colors have been adjusted in PR1.1 to make it more consistent at all brightness levels except the maximum. N9 even at its second brightest setting (which is accessible manually via the brightness bar by setting to highest) keeps the color consistent and is still brighter than the maximum brightness of SGS2. So you can say that the over-saturation maximum brightness setting is just an extra bonus for bright outdoor use.


3 camera shots comparison – Nokia N9 vs Samsung Galaxy S2 (Updated with more N9 pics)

My last article was quite popular! So I’ll keep the tradition going but this time I’m pitting the N9 against Samsung’s almighty Galaxy S2. (SGS2) Pretty much the same thing applies to the SGS2 and I’ve used the wide mode on the SGS2 which is 6.5MP (N9 is 7MP) and everything else was set to AUTO and took the photo with virtually ZERO bias.

P.S. I have retaken the photos with the Nokia N9 just to make sure I took it at the same situation again. Also I have cleaned the lense as I can’t remember doing it yesterday. I have also ensured that the width of the photo is identical during the resizing (600 px wide) and also have removed sharpening and increased JPG quality to 90% instead of 85% which was used yesterday for the N8 comparison photos. (this was done for both SGS2 and N9  for this article) I have taken the photos multiple times with each camera and have picked the best one from both to ensure human error is taken out of the account.

Now let’s get on with the photos!

1/15 sec , f2.2 , ISO 800

UPDATE: I have added this ISO 400 shot below but still using scene mode of AUTO which limits its shutter speed to a minimum of 1/15 sec. I will retry this photo with the N9 at NIGHT mode to unlock the shutter speed down to minimum of 1/5 sec to ensure it doesn’t underexpose like this. (it’s morning time here in Australia now so the room is lit up by sunlight)

1/15 sec , f2.2 , ISO 400 <—- note that it’s ISO 400 this time but same 1/15 sec shutter as above pic. (which means it will be darker)

1/17 sec , f2.7 , ISO 400

To my eyes, SGS2 looks better. No question about it. White balance is much more accurate on the SGS2 also. Another thing to note the ISO difference. N9 used the maximum ISO 800 while SGS2 used a more manageable ISO 400. All this while N9 has more than a ~1/2 stop brighter lense. Weird right? I’ve triple checked the settings, and retook the photos multiple times. Same result. Go figure. N9 loses out to the SGS2 for this one.

Now on to the flash photography!

1/30 sec , f2.2 , ISO 565, Flash fired

1/20 sec , f2.7 , ISO 160 , Flash fired

Seriously, SGS2 wins here again but this time only by a little bit. I’ve owned SGS2 before and one thing I know for sure is that the single LED emitter that SGS2 uses is brighter than pretty much all mobile phones I’ve tried so far. (I reckon it pumps out at least 80-100 lumens out the front) Also, look at the ISO difference again for the two shots. Only ISO 160 for the SGS2 while a very high ISO 565 for the N9 even with flash. Fine, N9 did use a 1/2 stop faster shutter speed. But the faster lense on the N9 should have covered that on it own. So why the huge difference in the ISO for the same shot? N9 needed around 1.5 stop stop extra! Either my N9 is a very bad abnormal sample or SGS2 is just much better as a camera. I’m sorry to the N9 fans out there but all I can say is that SGS2 is much better as a camera than the N9. (Unless Nokia or someone else can prove that my N9 is indeed faulty. =P)

UPDATE: I will be discussing with the Nokia imaging director at Nokia (Damian Dinning) as I believe that the results from my N9 may not reflect the actual quality. (maybe mine is abnormal) Also, I will be uploading some more photos tonight to make the N9 take photos with a much more similar exposure using a similar ISO value to the SGS2 photos. (by using the NIGHT mode on the N9 which allows lower shutter speeds down to 1/5 sec instead of 1/15 sec in AUTO)

UPDATE2: Here’s an update from Damian Dinning with some extra detail on how the N9 processes the exposure:

N9 uses AMBR automatic motion blur reduction to increase gain based on subject/camera movement to increase the shutter speed to help remove the possibility of camera shake/subject movement. The downside is increased noise. However, we felt it was better to have more noise than blurred pictures. N8 doesn’t use AMBR because it uses xenon where the flash freezes any movement.

So this is why N9 uses 1/30 seconds or higher for flash photos. But to get this shutter speed and maintain correct exposure in dark lighting situation requires higher ISO gain. (hence why N9 uses a higher ISO value also)

FYI – My comparisons I did with N8 and SGS2 are all valid still. I didn’t give any device any more favors than the other. All set to AUTO and just composed the shot and then pressed the shutter. There really isn’t a lot to go wrong or make mistakes. But like all things, there are certain situations when something is worse than the other and I think this was it. So this photo isn’t everything. My N9 is able to very nice pictures still.

UPDATE3: 1 more comparison added. Both shot in AUTO mode with Auto flash enabled from a dark restaurant. (both shots fired flash)

Note that the N9 shot turns out a little warmer in color. This seems to be the case as the dual LED flash on the N9 has a more neutral color to the light while the SGS2 has a much cooler white. This is a matter of preference as neutral tint light brings out more natural looking photos while the whiter tint light looks more vibrant. Both photos can be easily changed to look similar using the PC or on the phone using photo editing apps.

Please click on each photo this time as they are MUCH larger.

1/30 sec , f2.2 , ISO 325, Flash fired

1/20 sec , f2.7 , ISO 80, Flash fired


More sample pics from Nokia N9:

(below pics are only resized. No other post processing was performed)

1/1000 sec , f2.2 , ISO 100

1/35 sec , f2.2 , ISO 141 , Macro mode ** CLICK ON PHOTO to see the complete photo **

 1/15 sec , f2.2 , ISO 800 , No Flash


Samsung Omnia 7 arrived @ ShootSpeak

My work allows me to expense a mobile phone every 2 years but prohibits Android phones. As I had an iPhone4, various Nokia phones already, I decided to get a Windows Phone 7 phone to expand the variety of OS that I could cover. So I ordered and received the Samsung Omnia 7 phone as it was one of few rare WP7 phones that had an AMOLED screen for nice blacks that falls within the price range.

First impressions are good. Phone is well built and has a physical home button (instead of capacitive touch button) which I prefer. Model I have is the 16GB version also. It has a vibrant 4″ Super AMOLED screen which is the same as SGS1. But other than that, the rest of the hardware specs are not really any different from any other current first-generaton WP7 phones. Overall, the Omnia 7 is an excellent phone for the price as it was around half the price of SGS2.

I updated the OS version to NoDo and have tried various things such as web browsing, market place, few games, camera, email, facebook, zune etc. WP7 OS definitely has its unique factor and in many ways feel and look much better than any other mobile phone OS. The UI transitions and animations are so much smoother than ANY Android phone that’s for sure. Also, it has one of the best facebook integration in a phone I’ve seen. So if you are a facebook buff, definitely take a look at a Windows Phone device.

I then decided to try out the Mango Beta update today. So I followed this super simple method to update my phone to Mango Beta via Zune. Process was smooth and after around 30minutes, my Omnia 7 booted up with Mango. Overall look doesn’t change but it obviously has had many improvements which I could notice here an there. Better looking live tiles for some apps, different web browser, multi-tasking via holding the back button, better looking xbox live hub, a better email client with server searching etc etc. Oh, and it has proper native Korean support as well now. Awesome.

I’ve only used it for a few hours with Mango Beta installed but I’m already liking it much more than when it didn’t have the update. I’ll surely be writing more about WP7 as time goes by and can’t wait for the final Mango update to be released around September.


Samsung Wave sells 1million worldwide. Galaxy S doing well also.

Samsung’s first Bada OS phone, Samsung Wave (aka S8500) is reported to have sold over a million units world wide in the past 4 weeks since release. An excellent feat for a newcomer in the mobile phone + OS race.

On the other hand, SK Telecom of South Korea has announced that the Android powered Samsung Galaxy S sales have surpassed 300,000 units in just under 3 weeks of its release. Note that this is just counting the sales in South Korea and not worldwide. I can only assume that Galaxy S will easily exceed the sales of its Bada brother globally in a shorter amount of time due to the more popular OS platform.

14/7 UPDATE: Galaxy S has also reached 1 million unit sales worldwide and are planning to sell over 10 million units worldwide.