Top UAE #Tech Bloggers Review Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and Gear in Dubai UAE

Samsung invited a group of influential tech bloggers, Twitterati and YouTubers for a hands-on sneak peek of the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 + Galaxy Gear at Oasi, Armani Hotel, Downtown Dubai on Monday, 16 September. The event was attended and tweeted about by @4simplypurple @a_jad @Amanikins @bin_hafith @DaddyBird @Essa404 @Khaledtron @manishparashar @mazendubai @MoodyMohd @Mukitrocks @naheemu  @SalluHee @suniltjohn @SureshBhura  @tbreak_com  @TechPlugged @theregos – and of course @SamsungMobileME and myself @farrukhnaeem

Armani Hotel Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Gear Dubai UAE Review Launch

Being one of the earliest business bloggers from the UAE, and also a heavy Twitter and YouTube user, I got invited as well to try out Samsung’s latest offerings in Dubai.

Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Gear Invite Dubai UAE

Haris Muneef, Head of Marketing – Telecommunications, Samsung Gulf Electronics, welcomed the eager tech lovers gathered around the gadgets under wraps.

Haris Munif Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Gear Dubai UAE Review Launch

Haris outlined the theme of the launch: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” A video showing this in a story followed.

Huzeifa Mustafa took us through the Galaxy Note 3 and Gear smart watch features on a large screen – from the impressive Air Command interface of the Note 3 to all kinds of fancy features like signature lock, multi-windows and ‘group play’ (enticing, isn’t it?) where many Note devices can be placed side by side and used as a single screen.

Huzeifa Mustafa Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Gear Dubai UAE Review Launch

Hovering over the screen with the S Pen and pressing its button opens up 5 functions in a ready-to-please floating window:
1. Scrapbooker: Circle around any content on your device or online and then save it in your scrapbook using simple strokes and clicks of the S Pen
2. Action Memo: Take quick memos and then perform actions on these like call, save contacts, send message or email, search, and add tasks
3. Screen Write: Make annotations on the screen
4. S Finder: This is the search feature using the S Pen
5. Pen Window: The coolest feature – draw a new window on the screen for opening another app

The S Pen lets you do numerous tasks using Dot and Press, Circle and Box combinations from selecting and free hand cropping to making searches and creating new windows.

Other functions and features include Samsung WatchON which lets you use your Note as a TV remote, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub for content shopping and ChatON for messaging and communication

Accessories for the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 in the UAE will include flip wallets with auto wake-up front covers, S View covers that show you part of the screen to carry out some tasks without opening the flip cover, wireless covers, charger kits, extra battery kits, screen protectors, S Pens, game pads, various types of docks and more.

Samsung GALAXY Gear – A Good Start

Samsung GALAXY Gear smart watch is being positioned as a fashion statement. Classy to touch, the looped menus are navigated through left-right swipes and up/down sweeps. The Gear pairs via Bluetooth to the Note 3 and shows you calls, alerts and notifications, in addition to the time and weather of course, saving the effort to pull out your Note in every instance. The watch also locks your phone if you go further than a designated distance.

A truly James Bond style camera called is mounted on to the outer facing strap of the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The autofocus, ‘zero shutter lag’ and audio-visual output of this ‘Memographer’ feature are impressive considering it’s a watch taking a photo at this time. Videos are limited to 10 second clips.

The Gear comes in 6 smart colours, a 1.0 MP camera, a super Amoled screen. The primary screen shows you the time and weather. You can make and take calls on your watch using its mic and speakers once its paired with your Note 3. It also alerts you and lets you browse your incoming social media notifications through ‘Smart Relay’.

Should you forget where you left your phone, just like a car key chain, you can trigger a phone ring from your Gear watch using the ‘Find My Device’ feature.

Samsung has planned well and has 70 apps ready to go for Samsung GALAXY Gear – many come installed. The average battery life is 25 hours.

In the bloggers’ event where these gadgets were unveiled pre-launch, both the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and the Gear were attached on theft-proof stands – which made it hard to handle the devices, and photograph them. However, I did get ample opportunity to try out all the features at ease and take pictures/short video clips. I have suggested that devices be left unattached to tables or perhaps loaned out to those wishing to review them, specially on video.

Here’s a gallery of the images from the event:

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Would you consider the features enough to buy any of these devices? What do you find exciting? What do you find predictable?

Do you think the GALAXY Gear will evolve into something cooler? Or do you see it as a trend that will pass?

Your comments and feedback on this blog post are welcome…

UAE Bloggers, YouTubers and Twitterati review the Samsung Galaxy Note3 and Gear live (wait for the tweets to load)

Useful Links:
1. Samsung GALAXY Note 3+ Gear Official Site
2.’s Facebook Photo Gallery of the Dubai SneakPeek
3. TechPlugged’s Photo Gallery of the Dubai SneakPeek Event



  • 5.7 inch (144.3mm) Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)


  • Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) Jelly Bean


  • LTE 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 3G Octa Core Processor (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad)
  • The selection of AP will differ by markets


  • WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (HT80)
  • NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE)
  • IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0


  • 2.5G (GSM / GPRS / EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps) : 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
  • 4G (LTE Cat 4 150 /50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (Dependent on market)


  • Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB
  • Proximity, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Hall Sensor


  • 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • 3GB RAM


  • 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168g


  • Standard battery, Li-ion 3,200 mAh


  • Main(Rear): 13 Mega-pixel BSI Sensor, Auto Focus camera with Smart Stabilization, LED Flash(High CRI), and Zero Shutter Lag
  • Sub (Front): 2 Mega-pixel BSI sensor with Smart Stabilization, Full HD recording @30fps
  • Dual Camera: Dual Shot / Dual Recording / Dual Video Call
  • Recording: UHD 30fps (*may differ by market), Smooth motion (FHD 60fps), Slow motion (HD 120fps)
  • Camera Mode: Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, Animated Photo, Eraser, Best Photo, Best Face, Beauty Face, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, Sports, Golf, Surround shot, Live effect


  • Codec: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8, HEVC
  • Recording & Playback: Full HD (1080p), UHD (*may differ by market)


  • Codec : MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC(*), WAV(*) (*) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support

S Pen Optimized Features

  • Air Command, Action Memo, Scrapbook,S Finder, Pen Window, Multi Window, Direct Pen Input

Additional Features

  • Group Play: Share Music, Share Picture, Share Video, Share Document, Play Games
  • Story Album, S Translator
  • Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View
  • Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, ChatON (Voice/Video Call, Share screen, 3-way calling), Samsung WatchON
  • S Voice™ Hands Free, S Health
  • Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound Auto adjust touch sensitivity (Glove friendly)
  • Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring
  • Safety Assistance, Samsung KNOX

Google Mobile Services

  • Chrome, Search, Gmail, Google+, Maps, Play Books, Play Movies, Play Music, Play Store, Hangouts, Voice Search, YouTube, Google Settings, Play Games, Messenger

* User memory is less than the total memory due to storage of the operating system and software used to operate
the phones features. Actual user memory will vary depending on the mobile phone operator and may change
after software upgrades are performed.
* External Memory may be used to store media (photos, video, and music files) but not applications.
* The availability of each Samsung Hub and Google service may differ by country.
* Android, Google, Android Beam, Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Latitude, Google Play, Google Plus.
YouTube, Google Talk, Google Places, Google Navigation, Google Downloads are trademarks of Google Inc.



  • 36.8 x 56.6 x 11.1 mm, 73.8g


  • 800 MHz Processer


  • 1.63 inch (41.4mm) Super AMOLED (320 x 320)


  • 4GB Internal memory + 512 MB (RAM)


  • Standard battery, Li-ion 315mAh


  • Bluetooth® v 4.0


  • Accelerometer, Gyroscope


  • 1.9 Megapixel BSI Sensor, Auto Focus Camera
  • / Sound & Shot


  • Codec : H.264
  • Format : MP4
  • HD(720p) Playback & Recording


  • Codec : AAC
  • Format : M4A

Samsung Services

  • Samsung Apps
  • ChatON : mobile communication service

Featured Apps

  • Atooma is a contextually aware horizontal intelligence platform that makes your GALAXY Gear smarter
  • Banjo gives you the power to see what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world
  • Evernote watch app makes it easy to remember things by quickly capturing images and memories and bringing important reminders right to GALAXY Gear.
  • Glympse allows people to easily share their location temporarily and in real-time, letting recipients see their movements on a dynamic map.
  • eBay app allows you to complete all your transactions on eBay with ease and in real-time.
  • Line is a global messaging service available in over 230 countries worldwide.
  • MyFitnessPal tracks your nutrition and exercise, empowering you to achieve your personal health and fitness goals.
  • Path is the personal network designed to bring you closer to your friends and family.
  • Pocket, the leading way to save web content to view later on any device, brings text-to-speech article playback to GALAXY Gear.
  • RunKeeper is the personal trainer in your pocket, helping you track your runs, set your goals, and stay motivated.
  • TripIt from Concur makes it easy to organize travel plans in one place.
  • Vivino Wine Scanner allows you to take a photo of view any wine and get to know all about it instantly.

Additional Features

  • Smart Relay, S Voice, Memographer, Voice Memo
  • Auto Lock, Find My Device, Media Controller, Pedometer,
  • Stopwatch, Timer
  • Safety assistance: In case of emergency, press a power button
  • 3 times continuously, and then user’s location information is
  • transferred to the saved contacts with message
  • 2 Microphones (Noise Cancellation), 1 Speaker

[Infographic] Best days for Facebook engagement for business segmented by industry

Buddymedia analysed more than 1800 brand pages from some of the world’s leading brands and found that all days are not equal for Facebook engagement.

Interestingly, engagement levels are highest during times you would least expect.

Posts published between 8 pm and 7 pm (non-working hours) receive 14% more engagement – perhaps due to less clutter for attention.

Interaction is 14.5 higher for weekend posts yet brands post less on weekends.

I think with scheduling and notifications via email – it should be easy for social media managers to do some interaction on weekends too.

Infographic showcasing the engagement data on Facebook by days of the week for various industries

facebook engagement for days of the week by industry segment

[Source: Linchpin SEO]

How LEGO was named the ‘best company in the world’ in social media by an 11-year old autistic fan

How do you get called the ‘best company in the world’ by your customers in social media?

Every company wants people to talk great things about it. Every brand wants to shine in the media. Billions are spent in self-praise on advertising.

Companies I consult with for digital strategy want to become social media stars overnight. Everyone wants a viral hit.

But what does it take to create authentic brand stories that your fans compelled to tell about you? Listening to your fans and caring for them is one of the key factors.

Recently, a great example of customer service and caring by LEGO worked wonders for it in social media.

Read the full post »

[Infographic] Top Social Media Moments and Trends of 2012

2012 was a year social media became a necessity rather than an experiment for business.

Pinterest generated more traffic than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google combined.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion.

Barack Obama’s three-word tweet ‘four more years‘ became the most popular tweet of the year.

PSY’s Gangnam style became the most watched YouTube video crossing 1 billion views.

The Pope joined Twitter with the funky handle ‘Pontifex’.

All of this and more visualised beautifully by The SEO Company and Nowsourcing

social media infographic trends 2012

Zomato launches in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah to become UAE’s top restaurant discovery platform online

I met Pankaj Chaddah  a couple of months ago in Dubai with Albinder Dhindsa in a coffee shop. They had been visiting restaurants in Deira on foot, collecting menus and uploading their coordinates through a phone app they have designed themselves to their portal. If you saw them at work, you would not have guessed that they were setting the scene for launching South-Asia’s largest restaurant and nightlife guide, Zomato, in the UAE.

Pankaj Chaddah Albinder Dhindsa Zomato Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE

Delicious news for food bloggers in the city – and I was happy to connect the Zomato team to our resident food connoisseurs on Twitter.

Zomato Food Bloggers Dubai Abu Dhabi Sharjah

It’s an inspiring startup story – how Zomato started. Two young engineering professionals in India once collected the menus they had around the office and put them up online to make ordering lunch easy for everybody. They filled a need, simply and effectively. Want to eat? Here is a bunch of scanned menus from the locality – look them up and decide where you want to go or what you want to eat. An idea was born. And the engineers decided to become entrepreneurs.

Deepinder Goyal Pankaj Chaddah Zomato Dubai Abu Dhabi UAEZomato was founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, both IIT Delhi graduates and ex-Bain employees, in July 2008 for New Delhi. Since then, Zomato has expanded its services to 16 cities in India and UAE covering over 48,000 restaurants. Zomato ventured into the international markets with the launch of their Dubai section last month. That’s when I met Pankaj – Zomato’s cofounder – and Albinder – Head of International Expansion.

Zomato as a startup is now 4 years old and gets more than 6 million users every month who use Zomato to discover the best places to eat around them.  Today, Zomato launched its services in Abu Dhabi ( and Sharjah ( Now, with in-depth information on over 6,500 restaurants across the three cities, it became the UAE’s most extensive restaurant discovery platform for anyone looking to eat out or get food delivered.

Zomato’s biggest strength (and this is why they were collecting menus and login coordinates when I met them) is that it provides scanned menus, photos and accurate geolocation for most of the restaurants listed in the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. So you know what to expect when you enter a restaurant. You can also explore or search for restaurants in your city through the Zomato app, which is available for free across all major smartphone platforms – WindowsPhone, BlackBerry, iOS, Android and others (

Albinder Dhindsa Zomato Abu Dhabi Dubai UAEAlbinder Dhindsa who looks after Zomato’s international expansion says: “We have over 5,000 users visiting Zomato Dubai every day to decide where to eat out or order from.” Now that’s an exciting number and an indication that this startup is doing something right considering their Dubai listings only went live around a month back.

Zomato’s Abu Dhabi section has around 1200 restaurants with coordinates for 95% of the restaurants as well as scanned menus for 85% of the restaurants listed for Abu Dhabi. Good job, guys!

Pankaj Chaddah, who is also the COO of Zomato says: “With the launch of our Abu Dhabi section we are now officially the biggest online restaurant guide in UAE. We will now expand operations to the neighboring countries as we have found UAE as one of the better markets globally.”

My SEO instincts tell me reviews and social recommendations will continue to be a very strong measure of online and offline traffic for local businesses. UAE food lovers and food bloggers are already very active on Zomato on their reviewer leaderboard – people like Thanzeem, Delna Prakashan, Hasher Ummar, Arva, and Ishita. And you can imagine the kind of influence sites like Zomato will have and the kind of role they will be playing when it’s time for you and me to choose a restaurant to go to or order from.

I also like the recognition system they have for reviewers – badgification at its best. Here’s what the ranks of the top contributors look like:

Zomato Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE Foodie Leaderboard

For a startup that began in a city I have spent many years in, by young engineers passionate about food (and menus) – I think Zomato is doing pretty well. They tell me it wasn’t just the idea but the team and the execution that has got them some pretty impressive venture funding from one of India’s top media players. And this is a post to renew your faith in dotcoms and online startups – even those that are built from the ground up with scanned menus collected door to door from local restaurants.

Zomato Abu Dhabi UAE

It’s time for dinner here in Abu Dhabi – and I might just go for a juicy Zomato treat…