Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is a good phone, not a great one — reviewers

Updated 25 April 2013
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Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is a good phone, not a great one — reviewers

Samsung’s newest Galaxy S4 smartphone is just a revamped version of its top-selling S3 phone with a bigger screen and a few software gimmicks, reviewers said.
“The Galaxy is still a beautiful, high-horsepower Android phone,” New York Times’ columnist David Pogue wrote.
“But basically, it’s an updated Galaxy S3. If this were Apple, who adds the letter S to denote a slightly upgraded model (“iPhone 4S,” for example), Samsung might have called this phone the Galaxy S3S,” he wrote. (http://r.reuters.com/cef67t)
Samsung unveiled S4 in March in New York. It sports a 5-inch screen, 1.9 GHz quad-core processor and a 13 megapixel camera. It runs on Google Inc’s Android platform.
The S3 comes with a 4.8 inch screen, a 1.4 GHz quad core processor and an 8 megapixel camera.
Samsung has so far sold more than 40 million S3 smartphones, rivaling that of Apple Inc’s iPhones.
“(The S4) looks for all the world like the Galaxy S III — despite having a bigger screen and more horsepower, at 7.9mm and 4.6 ounces it’s actually imperceptibly thinner and lighter than the S III. But copying the S III wasn’t a good idea.” Verge’s David Pierce said. (http://r.reuters.com/taf67t)
AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg said the S4 is a good phone, just not a great one and urged readers to consider the more polished-looking, and quite capable, HTC One, rather than defaulting to the latest Samsung offering.
“It’s an evolution of the prior model and despite some improvements, it still is especially weak in the software Samsung adds to basic Android. I found Samsung’s software often gimmicky, duplicative of standard Android apps, or, in some cases, only intermittently functional,” he said.
Galaxy S4 will roll out over the next week on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the United States.
“This isn’t a phone that’s going to convert an iPhone user, and current Galaxy S III owners aren’t going to miss out on a whole lot as far as features go,” CNN’s Adrian Covert said. (http://r.reuters.com/kaf67t)
“I don’t like holding this phone, and I can’t overstate how much that informs the experience of using it. It makes an awful first impression, slippery and slimy and simply unpleasant in your hand,” Covert said.
The Galaxy S4 is so complicated that Samsung has given it an “Easy Mode” for the less mobile savvy users, Dan Rowinski at technology blog ReadWriteWeb wrote. (http://r.reuters.com/kef67t)
However, Mashable’s Christina Warren gave the new phone a big thumbs up.
“After spending about a week with the Galaxy S4, I feel it is not only the best Galaxy product to date — it’s one of my favorite Android smartphones ever,” she said. (http://r.reuters.com/pef67t)


Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

Updated 17 April 2018
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Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

  • Previous research has shown a new blood test has potential to detect eight different kinds of tumors before they spread
  • The research starts in April and will run until September

TOKYO: A Japanese firm is poised to carry out what it hailed as the world’s first experiment to test for cancer using urine samples, which would greatly facilitate screening for the deadly disease.
Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi developed the basic technology to detect breast or colon cancer from urine samples two years ago.
It will now begin testing the method using some 250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis, Hitachi spokesman Chiharu Odaira told AFP.
“If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organization for a blood test,” he said.
It is also intended to be used to detect paediatric cancers.
“That will be especially beneficial in testing for small children” who are often afraid of needles, added Odaira.
Research published earlier this year demonstrated that a new blood test has shown promise toward detecting eight different kinds of tumors before they spread elsewhere in the body.
Usual diagnostic methods for breast cancer consist of a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected.
For colon cancer, screening is generally conducted via a stool test and a colonoscopy for patients at high risk.
The Hitachi technology centers around detecting waste materials inside urine samples that act as a “biomarker” — a naturally occurring substance by which a particular disease can be identified, the company said in a statement.
The procedure aims to improve the early detection of cancer, saving lives and reducing the medical and social cost to the country, Odaira explained.
The experiment will start this month until through September in cooperation with Nagoya University in central Japan.
“We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities,” Odaira said.