If you’ve ever flashed a ROM or wanted the latest firmware on your Samsung device – you’ve almost certainly visited SamMobile.com (formerly known as SamFirmware). SamMobile is a site dedicated to providing Samsung Mobile news and access to the latest (and pre-release) ROMs for an enormous variety of handsets. If you haven’t heard about them… then, well – you’re about to: with almost 1,000,000 members and serving up hundreds of thousands of firmware downloads every week, many people often take such a useful and trusted service for granted… forgetting the hard work which goes into creating such a successful (and useful!) website.
SamMobile will be updating their website to a brand new look in early 2013. The new site will focus more on news and device reviews: bringing their Samsung Mobile news and firmware update-ecosystem into one easy-to-digest place. The new site features easy-to-navigate mobile device comparison tools and appears to be extremely well executed by their site designer, Niels van der Hucht. We’ve been in touch with the brilliant minds behind SamMobile, headed up by founder Danny Dorresteijn, who – along with the rest of the team, have kindly accepted to participate in this interview…
Who are SamMobile.com?
Interview with Team
[table caption=”” width=”95%”]
Picture,Name, Role, Bio,
,Danny,Founder, I’m Danny Dorresteijn 22 years old and from The Netherlands. Since my first Samsung device I always wanted to have new Samsung devices after. For me Samsung is pure innovation in technology. Since May this year I started to work full-time on SamMobile. Before that I worked for a house cooperation.,
,Martin, Co-Founder,I´m Martin Reinders from the Netherlands and the Co-founder of SamMobile. I help Danny to make good decisions. It is always better to have someone who argues with you! That way you make the best possible decision. Alongside SamMobile I have my Family and a year and half ago I became the father of my lovely son Jamie. I love spending time with him and my family: that’s definitely my biggest hobby.
,Johan,Firmware Master,My name is Johan Nenzén and I am 27 years old and I come from Sweden. Besides working for SamMobile I am a last year at the Master Programme in Computer and Information Engineering at Uppsala University. My main responsibility at SamMobile is to develop and maintain part (mostly the firmware page) of the site as well as the Android application and to occasionally make news posts. In short: I’m the code crazy developer in the team :)
,Niels, Site Designer,I’m Niels van der Hucht – born and raised in Rotterdam. I’m 35 years old and have been working as a web designer / front-end developer since 1999. I got involved with the excellent SamMobile website about one year ago when the website was becoming really big and needed some design changes. I made the basic design then and built only part of the website. Right now I’m working on a new design for the entire website which we plan to launch in the first quarter of 2013.
,Daniel,Site Admin,My name is Daniel van Dorp and I am a 22 year-old IT student from The Netherlands. I am currently in the last phase of my study- doing my graduate internship at a big IT company around the Utrecht Area. My job at SamMobile is to keep all systems secure: up and running. I manage the infrastructure as well as perform security audits and integrate our systems together. I also code some small parts when I have a spare moment. I enjoy working together with Johan and the team a lot :)
[coming soon],Michael, News writer and reviewer,I’m Michael Ramsewaksing I’m 24 years old and I live in The Netherlands. I always had a strong passion for Samsung products and through the years the passion has even raised more. My job at SamMobile is to cover the latest Samsung related news and to keep a special eye on Samsung’s own software development like Bada Tizen and so on.
,Faryaab, News writer and a bit of everything else, My name is Faryaab Sheikh. I’m 16 years old and I live in London. I’m an Android ROM Developer- I develop AOSP ROMs mainly for high-end Samsung devices. I’m the youngest member of SamMobile Team. My main task at SamMobile is to cover latest news about Samsung. I also deal with some of our insiders for new firmware leaks and handle all the messy Android hacking stuff.
SamMobile.com’s Favourite Devices
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Picture,Name,Current Device,Favourite Device,
,Danny,Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note II because of the huge AMOLED screen. AMOLED is especially nice.,
,Martin,Galaxy Note 2,Galaxy S (Because I fell in love with Android right there) then the Note II,
,Johan, Galaxy S3,Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S3. Galaxy Nexus is a great developer device and the Galaxy S3 with the huge incredible screen and blazing fast CPU.,
,Niels,Galaxy S2,Galaxy S: It’s an amazing device!
,Faryaab,Galaxy S3,Galaxy S because this was the device who made me a die hard Android and Samsung fan.[/table]
SamMobile.com’s Favourite ROMs
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Picture,Name,Current ROM,Favourite ROM,ROM frequency
,Danny, I always use stock ROMs. (need to test firmwares sometimes),For me no custom ROMs- I always use stock ROMs to test the latest firmwares.,Only if Samsung push out a new update or just an early leak.
,Martin,I am a “flashoholic” I’m always on custom ROMs ( Now I’m on Romow V2+Them V2) with Red Pill kernel. Love the stock android look with Touchwiz features!,For me Paranoid Android on Note 2 is my all-time favourite because it took that screen and used it to its full potential. But Samsung has managed to keep me away from those kind of ROMs because their software features are killing right now!,Every Time the developer announces a new one!
,Johan,I almost always use the latest available stock ROM despite what region it’s releases for. Someone also have to test and make screenshots of the latest stocks.,Everytime I get a new device it is always much better than the previous one. I really like the stock ROM on the Galaxy Nexus but it lacks some features that Samsung have added to their builds. But I would say stock.,Everytime Samsung releases a new version for the S3.
,Niels,Latest available stock ROM,I’m always happy with the one I have right now – though I’m curious about the next update!,I’m going to soon…
[coming soon],Michael,Stock 4.1.2,I always use the latest stock ROMs,Only when Samsung pushes a new firmware or when we get an early leak
,Faryaab,My own AOSP based SuperNexus ROM.,CyanogenMod 9 on the Galaxy S,Everytime I make a new one or Samsung releases a new major Firmware or I get an early leak.[/table]
What was your inspiration to start SamMobile.com?
I used to help out on a forum called gsmhelpdesk.nl. I saw many people are having difficulties with their Samsung phones so I started a website to explain how to flash ROMs and started a collection of all firmware information. More and more people came to visit my website so I decided to make a new website. We changed the whole layout and style and created a kind of blog with the latest firmwares. In 2013 our site will change again: we want to post more news and more help on forums.
What was the thinking behind the new SamMobile site design? Why change?
Danny: We want to have a better look more news more reviews on the homepage. We even want everything on their own place. The new website is really a lot bigger than the first edition of SamMobile.
Niels: Although I am the site designer, Danny has a big say in the layout. He sends me sketches all the time. My job is to try and find out what his idea actually is and how I can redesign his input a little bit to make it look better. One of the main improvements we’re working on now is to make it look more like a news website instead of just a blog. Besides daily blog posts, the site also contains reviews, columns,software news, etc. In the old version, these threads were a bit overshadowed by the regular blog posts. The new design will also be an attempt to improve the usability of the forum and other sections of the site.
Which technological innovation are you most excited about?
Danny: Display. We’re on the brink of LCD becoming the past and AMOLED taking centre stage as the future of display technology. We’re quite excited about FAMOLED announcements in the near future can’t wait to get our hands on it
Martin: For me the Display as well, but man oh man … what does it take long to develop decent batteries?! Ok Note battery life is awesome but look what a gigantic thing that is . If they reduce the size and up the life time,that truly would be great innovation.
Faryaab: I’m excited about FAMOLED because for me the display plays the most crucial role in a Mobile device.
What do you expect to see in the future of mobile technology?
Danny: I expect new display technology in the first place. Maybe also some things for wireless charging and of course better quality cameras. For me new processors aren’t special any more. Speed is obviously important, but since the first quad-core CPUs it hasn’t been an issue.
I’m definitely looking forward to foldable smartphones.
Michael: In the last few years Samsung has slowly shifted their focus from hardware to software. This not only specific for Samsung Mobile but also for other divisions. I believe that software through different kinds of products will be more important in the future for building a strong eco s for the end users. I believe that Tizen will have a major role in this transition.
Looking at the hardware side I expect to see that LCD will be slowly phased out, although I believe that it will be staying for a while due less expensive production costs and that AMOLED will be used in more products. Samsung has a lot of knowledge on making new processors, memory and display’s and so on. I’am sure that they will surprise us in the future with new generation hardware.
What do you think about the future of flexible displays?
I expect devices to look like books in 2013: When you open the book you get one big screen. This would be especially useful for a bigger tablet PC and I think there is a lot of potential in this.
What do you think about the future of Software updates?
Since their first Android device, Samsung is getting better and better at. I expect in 2013 to bring even more stable and quality updates than in 2012.
Where do you get all the firmware from?
This is our biggest kept secret – for leaks anyway. Much of our firmware comes un-touched directly from Samsung KIES. Sometimes we get leaked beta firmware which are some of the most popular downloads – but we will never reveal who our insiders are!
How much Samsung firmware gets downloaded via SamMobile every day?
If we upload an early leak we are looking at over 20,000 downloads per day, but we’re normally serve up 15,000 downloads a day. It really depends what we put online and when we do it.
What do you think were the most important firmware updates for 2012?
The first Jelly Bean update for Galaxy S III and the first Ice Cream Sandwich update for Galaxy S II & Note.
How many angry complaints do you get about bricked devices after flashing ROMs?
Never – or at least very rarely. Sometimes we see things on forums like “I flashed firmware from the I9001 onto my I9005 and now my phone won’t boot” but most people really like us because of the early leaks and easy help.
We do our best to explain everything in simple steps so it is easily understandable for almost everyone. But we always say “If you don’t know what you are doing – STAY AWAY”.
If you weren’t working on SamMobile… what would you be (or what else are you) doing now?
Danny: Making / placing kitchens from Bruynzeel in houses.
Martin: Well I’m working besides SamMobile as a kind of Community Police officer :D. I can give tickets to cars which are parked wrong in the city Rotterdam.
Johan: I am a last year student at the Master Programme in Computer and Information Engineering at Uppsala University. I also work part time as a Android and web developer at a company called Appanero AB. Next semester I will start at a talent program at Valtech AB where I also will write my master thesis eventually.
Niels: I’m working as an all-round developer at an internet and multimedia company. Front-end mainly and some back-end and design.
Michael: In my daily life I work for a human resource consulting firm.
Faryaab: Out of the tech World I’m just an ordinary high school student.
Anything else you would like to say?
Yes! We would like to thank you for this interview and all our Followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and, of course, our “insiders”. Without you people this wasn’t possible!
On behalf of all our staff, we want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Samsung Geeks would like to take thank the kindly chaps over at SamMobile for taking part in this interview – and especially Martin – whose awesome sense of humour and good spirit has had me in fits of laughter over the past few weeks!