12 December, 2011

Using Kies with my Samsung Galary R (GT-I9103)

samsung Galaxy SIIImage by low.lighting via Flickr
12-Dec-2011


I wrote about my experience using iTunes the past week, and today, I am writing my encounter with Samsung Kies. Well, I didn’t have a plan to buy a new phone for myself last week, but it was just for my daughter, who is now entering secondary school next year. The deal was simply to get her a new phone, whose price 
is not exceeding her PSLE score, when she renews her phone subscription plan contract.


Well, I should have done this a long, long time ago, but it was only this year that I am moving over, due to some bad publicity that Starhub had, where the reception signal isn’t quite good.


That may have changed along over the years.


So from Singtel, the whole family will be migrating over to Starhub. That started with my wife, which was also when she got her iPhone, first quarter of the year, and then last week, one of my daughters, and at the spur of the moment, including me.


After attending worship service at the church, we had lunch, and decided to pass by and do window shopping for phones to probably buy, but actually, to check out the brand and model she’s been eyeing, since the November company road show they held at our factory, I mean, Starhub team. She saw the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S, but the price of the unit, under the plan we were targeting, whew! It’s quite for our budget, (but it is within her agreed amount, remember, PSLE score; we actually can buy 4 units…)


Our contracts were ended at the same time, somewhere in August, so anytime, we can sign up for a new one, and it was just a matter of time.


So we went to see and touch, check and compare, etc., etc., etc. Then what was available made her change her mind. It was due to the price, lower than what is offered for the Xperia arc S, but on another brand and model. That day, 4th of December, LG Optimus Sol and Optimus 2x, were just being released into the market, and they come with very good packages.


She decided first to get the Optimus 2x Plus package, which is Plus due to the charging dock, on top of the usual charger, and the additional 2GB SD memory. The phone already is fitted with 8GB internal memory, so that would already be sufficient.


And most of the phones we are checking are already on dual-core systems.


I am checking out the HTC Sensation XE, but I cannot buy yet due to the high unit price on the plan I am targeting. 


That was until we got a queue number, waited, and when called, sat down, and started discussing with the attending personnel. While her particulars are gathered, I stood up and walked around, to do the final view of the phones, for her (in case there might be better units on second thought), and that’s when I saw the Samsung Galary R, being offered for $11, at the same plan she’s getting. I was wondering, what is this phone coming to? It is supposed to be a better unit, I think, but why $11 only?


That’s when I saw the date at the price tag: 3-4 Dec only. So I rushed to check with the guy who has been pushing the LG units, and he said, that’s for 2 days only, yesterday, and today, then it will be back to its original price: $348, at your subscription plan.


So I tried to bargain with my daughter and told her about the other phone, but she can’t be persuaded, and her mind can’t be changed anymore: it was already 2 times she’s changed her choice. She won’t anymore. So my wife told me, why not I get it for myself. 


So I did!


Then my wife was telling me to wait for the other phone, which really is my choice, but I said, this is already a very good deal, and besides, the difference in the features aren’t really killer features, but the price is. So I decided to buy the phone and get my contract signed up at the same time, too.


By the way, I keep on confusing by saying ‘renew my plan’, but since we are porting over from Singtel to Starhub, it is not a renewal… it is a new contract. So the renewal, that will probably be in the next 2 years or so.


So there’s the story about my buying the phone, the Samsung Galary R (GT-I9103) en punto.




Using the Kies


I was thinking, this is software that would be quite frustrating and irritating, much like the iTunes, but I was wrong. Kies was so simple, and it was easy to use. I am immediately able to set the preferences, and of course, copy music and video files, within the hour, which included the downloading of the installer, and from the initial run, I don’t think there is anymore of tweaking setting, which are under the hood. Perhaps it was designed that way – and why not – things like this shouldn’t be so complicated so everybody can use it without any assistance from the customer service personnel.


You would immediately see the similarity of iTunes and keys, the device and the library. But with Kies, you are able to copy the files into your device by pasting it into the folders under the device. If you have done that, and then copy the same file in the library folders, Kies detects that as a duplicate file, demarked with filename(2), much like what Windows do, in case you accidentally copy over what has been edited with the original file.


But anyway, one thing I found is that I spent much time trying to convert video files into different WMV formats, and I can’t get the video frame that fits the screen size of GT-I9103 to a ‘T’. After trying so many frame sizes, copying these into the device by ‘paste’ or Ctrl-V’ into the device folder, and then viewing the videos, the size, no matter what I select, are either narrow, or short; it’s either the length or height that is a mismatch. Sometimes both.


But one time, when I plugged in the unit into the laptop, I decided to click on the option in the Autorun window that opens the device in Windows Explorer. I mean, I do that now and then, but this time, I used Windows Explorer to view the folders, then copy one of the video files that I have been converting for a thousand times (okay, that’s an exaggeration…), and when I played it on the device, it was a surprise: the video frame was an exact fit!


So that’s it. Why bother converting externally, when upon copying over, it will be converted into the right frame size and format by the laptop/phone software, automatically? Actually, the setting are there in the Kies, to automatically convert, but this is another way to copy music and video files, and get them in the correct playable format, and some more, being in the right video frame size? 


Some things we learn the easy way, and some things, the hard way.


But we learn.


Till then. Shalom!




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