Samsung and Apple working on an e-SIM

A couple of years ago we first heard about Apple trying to get rid of SIM cards. Most of us were skeptical about Apple trying to enter carrier market or trying to make even more money with the integrated SIM. Last year Apple came up with the iPad Air 2 packing the Apple SIM that does’t need to be changed to change carrier.

Now we have some trusted sources claiming that Samsung and Apple are working together to get rid of SIM cards. Financial Times is reporting that the two giants are working with some major carriers around the world to make e-SIM a standard for all manufacturers to follow.

The e-SIM would make changing carrier and getting a new phone easier. As regular SIM needs to be changed to new carrier’s SIM, the new integrated SIM would be capable to change carrier by just choosing a new carrier from the phone’s settings. Also the struggle to have a new, even smaller SIM every time when getting a new phone, would be gone.

But it’s not all good. How about travelling to a country where there is no carrier that supports e-SIM? What about people who still keep their contacts in the SIM card memory? What about the car Bluetooth systems that can only read contacts from SIM memory? These all need to be solved before e-SIM is ready for public.

SamMobile already claimed that Samsung’s 2016 flagships are going to have an e-SIM. We will see.

Comment: I will get the Note 5

After all the rumors about Samsung Galaxy Note 5 not having a removable battery or MicroSD card, there has been a lot of disappointed comments. I know that there still are users that need a removable battery and/or have their entire music library on their MicroSD but I personally am not that kind of user.

I have a music streaming service with a couple of playlists downloaded to device to listen during an apocalyptic situation like when my internet is down. Also, the Note 5 is going to have huge 4100mAh battery which is going to be impossible to kill in a day without using any hideous battery draining apps or WiFi tethering. I even carry my charger with me just to be sure.

I’m currently using a Note 3. After almost two years of active use, it finally got the Android 5.0 update last weekend. I am really happy with it but unfortunately one update can’t fix problems caused by aging. The plastic trim around the display has saved the screen once and now the edge of it is full of little scratches. The removable back cover has took surprisingly little damage, probably due to the leather texture. The aluminium home button has a couple of scratches and the Gorilla Glass has a few minor but visible scratches. But the most annoying thing is the trim around the display. It has lost the chrome paint in many places and looks terrible.

Insides of the phone have aged well. Powerful Snapdragon 800 still rocks all the apps I use and the display, it’s just brilliant. Battery still lasts me a full day except when I’m using the phone as a WiFi hotspot.

At this point you might think that I’m getting the new phone just for aesthetics. Nope. Samsung did finally make the wanted change with the S6 and removed a lot of the bloatware and unneeded features. Probably the same thing is going to happen to Note’s UI. For whole the lifespan of my Note 3 the worst thing has been the UI, the lag and appearance. The Lollipop update did actually make it much better but still there’s some of it left like irremovable S-Finder and Quick Connect icons in the notification bar.

The new Note is also going to feature a fingerprint scanner that I have learned to miss after starting to use a screen lock. Android’s pattern screen lock is easy and quick but drawing the pattern leaves a visible trail for the thief to follow and it’s a bit difficult to use one handed. Even better if the Samsung Pay would actually ever come to Finland for me to be able to use it. Tapping the machine with phone and just giving the fingerprint would be awesome.

One thing I really would like to see in the Note 5 is USB Type-C. Unfortunately the leaks are not very promising  as all the 3D renders have a micro USB 2.0. As useless as a high speed USB would be in a phone, I always enjoy being on the leading edge of technology and having 2014 USB connector instead of 2007 one would be fantastic.

Samsung’s displays are the best. AMOLED display is one huge reason for me to stay with Samsung. Note 3 display still beats most of IPS displays in my own ratings but newer Samsung displays get even brighter and also much more dimmer. Night clock is still one of my favorite features of AMOLED displays. I have my Note 3 daydreaming every night so that when I wake up and check my phone, I see just the clock, rest of the screen is of. It’s so cool in a completely dark room.

Even if the display is going to be “only” 1440p and not 4k, it’s going to be an improvement over the Note 3. After seeing a couple of QHD displays, I can tell that there is still noticeable difference between it and Full HD. Having a 4k display in a mobile device would most likely be an overkill but I think it would still give a little bit sharper image. The reason why Samsung is not going to equip Note 5 with a 4k display is probably that the Exynos 7422 and a Mali GPU are not capable to run 4k in 60fps. I don’t think it’s because of Samsung not being able to manufacture enough of those higher res displays. It’s a problem with horsepower. Even modern desktop computers struggle with 4k and Note 5 is going to have a CPU, GPU and RAM package same size as my finger nail.

So, as I got more and more of topic, I tried to convince myself that I need the Note 5. My current phone, Note 3 is aging and there just isn’t other options that have an AMOLED display, lots of power and an S-Pen. I simply don’t need a microSD slot or an option to replace the battery. Having them would not be a minus but I simply don’t need them.

Note 5 not available in Europe at launch

If rumors are to be believed, Note 5 will launch on 21st of August but according to SamMobile, neither Samsung Europe nor Samsung Russia is working on the firmware for the upcoming flagship. That means that the Note 5 will not be available in Europe in August.

Note 5 is rumored to pack a 5.7″ QHD Super AMOLED display, 8-core Exynos 7422 CPU, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a whopping 4100mAh battery. As always, Note is going compete with upcoming iPhones and Nexus phones.