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For those that have been following me over the last month or so you will probably have picked up murmurings about my incredibly fortunate break with, Samsung Mobile and the Olympic Games.

I have written about this most amazing opportunity a few times, here and here. But a short summary:  I was picked by Samsung Mobile, via, to join them for 4 days of VIP Olympic festivities with their Galaxy Note as a means to record it all with. The basic idea was to see how useful the Galaxy Note would be to capture the amazing atmosphere of the Olympic games, and to use it as creatively as possible during these few days, it became a: sketching device, camera, phone and note taker during these 4 days.

So along with 3 other bloggers: Leigh, Derek and Andrew, we each were given a Samsung Note to record our experiences with the ultimate goal of creating an animated short starring each of us!

After a few days wondering around the Olympic Park in London the last day required all of us to travel up to Manchester to watch the Egypt vs Japan football match at the magnificent Old Trafford stadium.

The following images are selected stills from the animated video:

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Graham Smith at the Olympic Games

Old Trafford, Manchester

The trip up to Manchester started at 4am for me ensuring I could get up to London for 7.20 to meet the other 3 bloggers: Derek Addo, Andrew Williams and Leigh Geary, the team from and each of the animators from

We then had a comfortable journey up to Manchester on the Virgin train, and we used this time to each talk to our assigned animators—mine was the very inspiring +David Pocull—about the way we each wanted to capture the days events. It was quite the trip, as along for the ride were the fabulous chaps from who were there to record, using the Galaxy Note only, each of our personal experiences of the football match: before, during and after, with the ultimate aim of creating an animated video short: following us around, and trying to capture our experiences as seen through our eyes.

After being introduced to my very own animator, David Pocull, I expressed to him my desire to try capture the rawness of emotion at these games, and so used my preference for black and white photography, and portrait illustration, as the main style drive.  We then discussed other ways we could stylise the animattion and the animated video for Take on Me, by Aha, came to mind.

The video at the beginning is the combined result of these pre match discussions, the recording of the day though each or our respective Galaxy Notes'. The video below is the combined version with: Andrew, Derek, Leigh and myself.

This animated video simply follows my day up in Manchster starting out on the train, using the Galaxy Note to take photographs, experiencing a goal and the numerous Mexican Waves that shot round Old Trafford.

I am so supremely chuffed with David's work on the animation. Watching it for the first time this morning just made the whole days experiences come flooding back, and made the hairs on my back stand on end.

Watching an animated 'you' is just so weird, but so very very awesome.

David did a bang-up job on translating my initial thoughts and ideas on how I ideally wanted to convey the whole experience. Had to laugh at the grinning me at the beginning of the video—which I am now using as a new Twitter profile pic— as well as managing to capture the fans holding the flag and my two favourite Japanese supporters with painted faces, not to mention the neat little sound effects in the background.

The trip to the Olympics was nothing short of a life time experience high for me, but seeing this animated video has well and truly topped the whole incredible experience off with a huge huge grin.

The other videos from this amazing day:

Making Of:
Combined video:

Thank you again

Saying thank you to the fine fine people at and Samsung Mobile never seems to be enough as this was simply such a massively inspiring, and hugely enjoyable, few days for me. I truly feel incredibly lucky to have been picked for this, and just wanted to say again how much it meant to me.

So, thank you again to: Damien Koh of Samsung Mobile; +Seb Robert +Lauren Wellicome +Lauren McGregor +Allison Cairns and +Tom Ollerton +Tom Kelk of, and+David Pocull (standing next to me above) & +thiago maia from Also it was an extreme pleasure to meet the other bloggers: Derek, Leigh and Leigh.

It truly was an unbelievable experience and few days for me. Thank you for making me feel incredibly special and worthy. :)




The amount of hate I have seen over the last few weeks aimed at both Apple and Samsung leaves me feeling pretty sad overall. I'm now seeing blogs, that I revered and enjoyed reading, now acting with such venomous spite that it leaves me a little dry in the mouth. I think there is some element of tounge & cheek, but it's very diluted.

Everyone now seems to be a legal and patent expert with their own thoughts on what Apple or Samsung have done or didn't do.

Nothing wrong with some harmless speculation, but what I am seeing on some established blogs are legally incompetent bloggers aimlessly lobbing Molotov Cocktails against the other side because they have no idea how to articulate something they can't possibly ever fully understand. All this school yard name calling is just dickish at best, irresponsible and unprofessional at worst.

I'm interested in the outcome as much as the next person, but no one truly knows what will happen at the end, least even the Judge.

Back to me

I am a long time Apple user going back to the early days of the mono Mac Classic, and I still have a Color Mac Classic sitting in my studio. I use a wicked Apple Mac Pro with recently purchased 27" Cinema Display. 

I love what Apple has done with technological design over the last decade, and will continue to be a devoted Apple customer and will continue to buy anything that I love and is useful, or not useful, but may be just pretty to look at.

The flip side is that I have also come to love the freedom and creativeness that Android can provide, and being a designer having total freedom to use your device as YOU see fit is really rather important for me, and it's just insanely fun.

I have only been using Android now for over a month, since the Nexus 7 came out, but I am way beyond happy with the experience, far far more than I thought I would ever be. I purchased the Nexus 7 so that I could finally familiarise myself with icon development on forthcoming logo and icon app projects, so this was initially mostly a work tool purchase

The next bit of the Android story unfolds where I was picked by Samsung and to be the VERY fortunate recipient of VIP tickets to the Olympic Ceremony, plus 3 further days experiencing the Olympics: no expense spared.

This was a blinding marketing strategy: providing 4 bloggers an opportunity to experience the Galaxy Note in a vibrant and colourful event such as the London Olympics.

I was in a VERY fortunate position to have been the recipient of both the Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy SIII during the Olympics and this was my first real experience of using a non Apple smartphone for days at a time.

The real reason for this little post is just to say that I will not be taking sides, spitting out angry and hostile hatred against one company, or another as so many other websites, blogs and individuals seem to be doing. I did partake in this myself on the odd occasion as I had absolutely NO experience of Samsung or Android, so basing your hatred on nothing now seems rather pathetic, for which I am most ashamed.

The more I see this toxic battle between Apple fans, Samsung fans, iOS and Android fans, the more I pity each and every one.

My simple experience has been that the Galaxy Note, at least for me, is a VERY capable smartphone and just turns out to be the one device out of my collection: iPad, Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy SIII and iPhone that I now use on a daily basis. This is not a declaration that my allegiance has shifted, nor that I now think the iPhone sucks as it certainly does not. It's just that the iPhone currently sits on my kitchen table, and I haven't yet felt a need to take it out with me.

This is just me saying that for my own personal and professional needs: the bigger screen on the Note is far easier on my eyes than the iPhone, it provides an amazing photographic experience at its core one that I do believe beats the iPhone, as well as having a fun and versatile Android OS that I love exploring and fully customising to my creative hearts content.

The New iPhone (5) may come out, and I once again, I may make a purchase, but if I do it will be because the new iPhone provides new features that are essential to me, but who knows. I'll call that at the time.


I realise that the practicalities of buying into a different device, and platform/iOS, is a massive financial drain for the majority of us. That's reason enough to stick with what you know, and was indeed the reason I stuck with the iPhone for so long. I was always tempted to try Android just because I am a curious sort, but the thought of spending more money on another device I didn't need, and singing up to another contract after just finally getting out of my existing one, was not something I could never really justify.

I have been incredibly fortunate to find myself in this position of being gifted these two Samsung handsets, and the only thing I have needed to do is get a couple of Pay As You Go SIM's in order to use them.

The least I can do is to share my experiences of Samsung, Android, Apple and iOS, and hope that this new found objectivity will be of use to some.

All that I do know now—a huge thanks to: and the amazing team of: Seb Robert, Tom Kelk, Tom Ollerton, Allison Cairns, Lauren McGregor and Lauren Wellicome; and also, of course, Samsung Mobile, specifically Damian Koh—I was given/provided with an extraordinarily generous, and eye-opening opportunity, to broaden my horizons with a different mobile platform, and for that I am exceptionally grateful.

With these wider eyes you will now see me blog and Tweet useful and interesting things about both: Apple-iOS and Samsung-Android, and trying hard to not fall into a pitiful love and hate, back and forth.

Objectivity is my goal.

Disclaimer of Sorts

Some have said that Samsung now own me, and that I am their marketing bitch. How very wrong you would be.

I have no commitment to Samsung, I am not sponsored or receive any financial gain other than being gifted the two devices to use. If I feel the need to, then I would and will talk and blog about it. If I found either of the devices to be shit, then you would have heard me say so. It just so happens, that at least for me, they are not shit and I genuinely love using the Galaxy Note. In fact my eagerness for the anticipated Note 2 borders on the excitement I feel when a new iPhone is due.

Anything you see that I Tweet or blog about Android, Samsung, Apple or iOS is off my own back, and because I feel I have something useful or important to share, and not because I sold my soul. Equally I don't have a quota of nice things to say about Samsung and Android as so directed by Samsung to fulfil.

If you really think that, then I pity your cynical little soul.