You can do better than this commercial Samsung. Confusing “HD” with more MegaPixels? Really?

Dear Samsung,

I’m a fan of your work. I think you cracked the code on funny ads which skewer your competition (namely Apple). Those spots featuring people sitting in lines for the next iPhone? Priceless.

Samsung? Are you comparing the Galaxy S4 to an iPhone 4S? Seriously?
Samsung? Are you comparing the Galaxy S4 to an iPhone 4S? Seriously?

Of late however, it seems like you might be struggling. Depending on fiscal quarter, you’re often the number one in sales. It’s a little harder to beat up on your competition when you’re in the top spot without looking like a bully. We’re also reaching that point where it’s getting a bit more difficult to communicate to consumers why they should upgrade their phones, when it seems like all we’re getting are modest spec bumps.

Case in point, your most recent ad featuring the Galaxy S4’s camera is the worst combination of picking on Apple and throwing around meaningless buzz words and specs to try and impress us.

I honestly don’t mind a snarky tone, but it’s the absurd implications of what “Full HD” means which bothers me.

First of all, “Full HD” really only pertains to video and is a consumer shorthand for 1080p, which itself is an abbreviation of the actual video resolution of 1920×1080. Thirty times a second, a 1920×1080 resolution image is flashed on the screen which allows for fluid and highly detailed video. It has NOTHING to do with still photography. That’s where megapixels come into play. The iPhone’s 8MP camera shoots 1080p video, but each still isĀ 3264×2448. That’s a whole lot more than “Full HD” isn’t it? You missed out on an opportunity to feature drama shot more fully, and to brag that pictures from your camera will have a resolution of 4128×3096.

Of course this is all inane as you can’t even win the resolution war. Nokia has you handily slapped with 20MP (4992×3744) and 40MP (7152×5368) resolution cameras. What’s worst, I’ve detailed on numerous occasions how resolution doesn’t mean you’ll get better images. Things like OIS and image processing can often provide more significant improvements to photos and videos than just having millions more dots. Congratulations, you’ve brought us back to the MEGAPIXEL WARS that consumer point and shoot cameras fought years ago.

Not to mention phones like your own Galaxy Note 3 or the LG G Flex are capable of delivering 4K video which is FOUR TIMES the resolution of the video on the GS4. Doesn’t little Jack deserve full motion video with that kind of clarity for his big life moment?

This is not your best work Samsung. We all know you can do better than this. As we’re closing in on the release of the Galaxy S5, which many are criticizing for not being enough of a departure or upgrade from the S4, hopefully your ad agency is able to bring a bit more nuance to the discussion.



A Letter to HTC: The HTC One Mini isn’t THAT mini…

Dear HTC,

I like the One Mini a lot. I think you’ve largely succeeded in bringing a nicer experience to the mid range Android ecosystem. The fit and finish are outstanding, and in many ways it out shines its bigger brother One. There are a few things I’m going to be critical about when I wrap up my review, but honestly there aren’t any severe deal breakers here. It’s a great little phone.

You know what is bothering me about the HTC One Mini however? Your advertising for the phone.

You remember two sentences ago, when I said it was “…a great little phone”? The problem is, it’s not THAT little. In fact it’s ever so slightly bigger than the Moto X. This wouldn’t be a problem by itself. The phone IS smaller than the original One, so you have every right to call it the “Mini”. I guess I’m just a little disappointed to continue seeing press pictures of the Mini like this on your official HTC site:

htc one mini ad size comparison somegadgetguy

Nice! That makes the Mini look like it’s a tiny wunder-phone. A Mighty Mouse here to save the day from all of these gargantuan mini-tablets! Huzzah!

Unfortunately reality look more like this:

htc one mini size comparison somegadgetguy

Yeah… See that’s not what you showed us it would be. That’s actually pretty close in size to the original One. This is the problem with forced perspective and Photoshop. Moving the Mini in front of the One would actually make the One appear to be smaller as it would be slightly farther away from the “camera”. To recreate the size difference you showcase I actually had to move the One closer to the camera:

htc one mini size comparison faked somegadgetguy

I know, I know a LOT of tech has to be crammed in there like a 4.3″ 720p screen and those terrific Boomsound speakers. I get it. But you didn’t have to lie to us.

Ahem, I mean, you didn’t have to exaggerate the differences in size for dramatic effect.




Click here to watch my video first impressions of the HTC One Mini.