UNICEF Tap Project

So we’ve been dormant for a little while and it seems every year about this time we come back – for an annual post! This year though we’ll be coming back for regular posts!

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As you might have seen from our previous post, we’re passionate about seeing social concerns being elevated in the mass consciousness and today we wanted to highlight this very simple challenge – so you too can be a part of something novel and probably hard for those of us in societies where owning a smartphone seems like a right and not a privilege.

All you need to do is not touch your phone for 10mins and you earn someone 1 days worth of water through the UNICEF sponsor (Giorgio Armani – Aqua for Life). It is really that simple and to be honest, it’s probably a really great thing to do for your own mindfulness and respite from being connected 24/7 (something else I’ve been thinking about lately).

UNICEF Tap Project

Some of the facts

“Across the globe, every day, 1,400 children die from diseases directly linked to unsafe water or a lack of basic sanitation facilities.”

“768 million people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, and 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation.”

I’ve read a few things that indicate you could probably go without food for at least a week and depending on your health and fitness probably closer to 20-40 days without dying, but just 3 days without water and you would die…pretty remarkable how essential clean water is to surviving. What’s sad is that clean water is relatively cheap to attain through basic purification methods. Yet so many communities don’t have access to these basic human right facilities, which lead to so many other issues such as cholera, diarrhoeal diseases (one of the leading killers in under 5 year olds in developing countries) and chronic disability (reducing productivity). These contribute to the cycle of poverty, through mortality and morbidity.

I noticed one of the info messages while the challenge was running on my phone – the record for New South Wales was only 1 hour! I think that should be fairly easy to break, so I’m going for at least 60 mins now! It’s already half way through, but I challenge anyone else to break that too.

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5 Reasons the Samsung Galaxy S II beats the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Starting off the year with both the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Nexus in my hand, I thought I’d write a few thoughts on my experience and research into the ‘better’ phone. Ultimately, I believe it’ll come down to each person’s personal choice, but on some fronts you can definitely feel the difference! I’ll break it down into five areas that led me to ultimately choose the S II over the Galaxy Nexus.

Side by side comparison

Left: Galaxy Nexus, Right: Galaxy S II

1. Hardware

If you’re looking for a phone with good specifications, runs on Android and has a decent camera then you really should be looking at these two phones! In terms of hardware the S II pips the Galaxy Nexus at the post. It has a 1.2 GHz dual-core “Exynos” system on a chip (SoC) processor, as well as, 1 GB of RAM and the WVGA Super AMOLED plus 4.3″ screen. Pretty good so far, the Galaxy Nexus on the other hand runs a dual-core 1.2 GHz TI OMAP 4460 processor (ARM Cortex-A9) with 1 GB of RAM and a 4.65-inch 1280×720-pixel HD Super AMOLED PenTile display. From the research I’ve done, this seems to be of slightly lower specifications than the 9 month old S II, so on this front having the S II running the better hardware made sense in the long term (though there are other arguments there with it being ‘older’ in general). The difference is not huge, but it is noticeable.

The other camera on the front differed as well between the two phones, the S II hosts a 2 mp front facing camera compared to the Galaxy Nexus with its 1.3 mp camera. For me this was a bit of a make or break feature as I tend to use the phone for a lot of face to face conversations on Skype. You can definitely notice the quality of the video and recipients of my calls have also noticed the definition and clarity is much sharper (this may not be so good if you don’t want everything on your face to show).

2. Camera

The cameras on these are different and sort of backwards, the S II has the 8 mp camera and the Galaxy Nexus the 5 mp camera, now, having worked in the past in the camera industry I know megapixels mean diddly squat generally and shouldn’t be the only aspect of a camera you should focus on. Between these phones the differences are slight and I really think this will be personal preferences on colour, saturation etc. From what I’ve seen the Galaxy Nexus supposedly does better low light shots, but this has been found by some and not by others. I chose to go with the SII 8 mp because I noticed the colours to me looked more natural generally and the clarity overall was quite good and the end of the day it’s a camera phone, it’s not suppose to replace your SLR. The S II also seemed to handle filming in HD much better probably due to the processor differences.

On a plus for the Galaxy Nexus, it is VERY snappy from switching to camera and taking a shot, so in this sense the lag free might be a clincher for you. I found it a bit annoying because it was so fast that I would take random shots by accident, but that’s just a matter of getting used to I’m sure.

* Pictures in Ant’s article about the Night Owls cinema were taken using the S II camera.

3. Weight

What’s a few grams? The S II is purported to weigh around 116g whilst the Galaxy Nexus a heavier 135g. Not exactly back breaking, but there is a difference when holding them and I’m definitely not a believer of heavier = expensive. Heavier to me just means more likely to be damaged on impact. Lighter means it has a better chance of getting away with a fall. Not that I drop my phones! I’ve read a lot of people find the S II ‘flimsy’ but I have to say, I don’t agree, perhaps again because I haven’t come from an iphone which is significantly heavier at 140g which is a substantial and noticeable difference.

Curvy form factor

4. Screen

The screen on the S II (4.3″) has a slightly green/bluish hue to it, not so on the Galaxy Nexus which was nice and fairly white. That is one plus to the Galaxy Nexus over the S II, but the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t have plus AMOLED screen the Galaxy S II hosts. The other major factor here for me was the size of the Galaxy Nexus screen at 4.65″ this is a little too big for my hands and received some jokes from Ant that I wouldn’t be able to see if a Tsunami was coming because the phone was so large. If you’re looking for a large screen then check out the Nexus, or better still check out the Galaxy Note (which isn’t as large as it seems) especially if you’re looking for a “phablet”. A colleague has one and it’s actually quite functional in size.

5. Expandable memory

If you come from an Apple phone, this probably won’t be a big deal for you. For me it wasn’t going to break the deal, but I definitely prefer having an SD card that can corrupt that I can remove and expand in size. The S II was then the logical choice because the Galaxy Nexus was only available as a 16gb model (with a newer 32gb to come). So the limitation on available memory helped to push me towards the S II.

Finally

Overall, they are both nice phones the Galaxy Nexus has a really nice curvy form factor and an interesting tapered body, but considering you can get the S II for a lot less than the Galaxy Nexus, I would be inclined to pay less and still have the better specs and have the functions I like on the phone over the aesthetics and current OS. The lure of Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t a feature I felt compelled to have right away, as usually there will ultimately be some guinea pigs required to iron out bugs. Samsung has announced it would bring ICS to the S II likely by the first quarter of 2012, which only leaves a month a bit to wait.

If you can afford the costs/wait, the S III is rumoured to be on it’s way this year and apparently in the first quarter of 2012, of course that’s just the announcement, by the time the phone actually reaches consumers it’ll be much further down the track . So if you can, perhaps sit tight and wait it out, otherwise don’t look past the S II for the right price.

This wasn’t written as a full out comparison of the two, but just a few things I think stood out as considerations in keeping one phone over the other. If there are other factors you thought were crucial write a comment and let us know!

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