Galaxy Note

It has already been confirmed by Samsung that the Galaxy Note 4 will have an ultraviolet (UV) sensor, but there wasn't much information available. Now, according to a report over on SamMobile, we have some idea as to what consumers can expect to see from the built-in functionality. The new component will integrate itself within Samsung's S Health app, providing yet more personal data for the owner to take advantage of.

Is it gimmicky? Sure. It's Samsung, the home of the smartphone heart-rate monitor, but it is cool at the same time.

So how exactly does the UV sensor work? It measures the sun's ultraviolet radiation and prevents owners from potentially damaging their skin, increasing the risk of skin cancer. This is possible thanks to recommended guidance provided, based on the current UV index level measured at that point in time. All that's required to measure the radiation is to maintain a 60 degree angle of elevation towards the sun against the back of the sensor.

We noted that it's a useful and rather cool feature simply because people are generally fairly ignorant when it comes to keeping safe in the sun. To help keep everyone safe from being exposed to too much UV rays, Samsung will provide a full explanation on each level of UV index level, as well as some cool truths and false statements in the app.

Here's the information that will allegedly be included in the app, as outlined by SamMobile:

The truths:

  • A tan results from your body defending itself against further damage from UV radiation.
  • A dark tan on white skin offers only limited protection equivalent to an SPF of about 4.
  • Up to 80% of solar UV radiation can penetrate light cloud cover. Haze in the atmosphere can even increase UV radiation exposure.
  • Water offers only minimal protection from UV radiation, and reflection from water can enhance your UV radiation exposure.
  • UV radiation is generally lower during the winter months, but snow reflection can double your overall exposure, especially at high altitude. Pay particular attention in early spring when temperatures are low but sun's rays are unexpectedly strong.
  • Sunscreens should not be used to increase sun exposure time but to increase protection during unavoidable exposure. The protection they afford depends critically on their correct application.
  • UV radiation exposure is cumulative during the day.
  • Sunburn is caused by UV radiation which cannot be felt. The heating effect is caused by the sun's infrared radiation and not by UV radiation

The statements below are false:

  • A suntan is healthy.
  • A tan protects you from the sun.
  • You can't get sunburnt on a cloudy day.
  • You can't get sunburnt while in the water.
  • UV radiation during the winter is not dangerous.
  • Sunscreens protect me so I can sunbathe much longer.
  • If you take regular breaks during sunbathing you won't get sunburnt.
  • If you don't fell the hot rays of the sun you won't get sunburnt.

What are your thoughts on said functionality?

Source: SamMobile

 

Reader comments

Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 might have an ultraviolet sensor, and it might actually be useful

111 Comments

Samsung: How can we add even more bloat to our phones?
Answer: Add another useless senor and some badly written software to run it.

I almost think that is how they work at Samsung today. The bloat and lag it causes is just beyond insane.

Funny that it's always bloat until it's later introduced as really useful features in Android. Latest example: Knox, which was the root of all evil until Google adopted it.

In other words: Haters gonna hate.

Knox has always been a really great enterprise security solution. And there have been some features Samsung added that were genuinely useful and eventually rolled into Android, such as notification shortcuts.

However, there is little denying that the lion's share of their software additions in the past two years have been either barely situationally useful, poorly implemented, or both. All of the Air gestures (remember those?), the Smart _____ features, the fingerprint sensor, and the heartrate sensor definitely fall under those categories. This UV sensor looks like it tends in that direction, based on: 1. it must "maintain a 60 degree angle of elevation towards the sun against the back of the sensor" while the sun is moving through the sky; 2. the sensor can't be covered by any film, glass, oils, dirt, cases, etc. or it may malfunction or give an inaccurate reading. And further, in the places where this would be marginally useful, most people won't be likely to have their device out, or even think about using it to measure such things. Which would make the feature just another bullet point on the spec sheet, and not much else.

"While the sun is moving through the sky." The sun does not have a large degree of travel through the sky during which would probably be a minute scan or less to determine the UV level. Also this would be extremely helpful here in Florida, especially in Central Florida in the theme park industry.

You are correct, the earth rotates on a axis that that perpendicular to the suns position on the equator of the earth... Now that we established that and that we all know what it meant when we say moves through the sky, please sit down.

Hey I'm in central Florida!!! I'm in between Orange City and Sanford.

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Knox has always been great for enterprise, but for people who wanted to mod their phones or root, it caused problems since Knox would let service providers know that the phone had been rooted in case any warranty work was necessary. If Google makes using Knox - like features optional, people would be much more open to having Knox like features on their phones.

Posted via Android Central App

It is not like it phoned the carrier, just identified that it was tampered with. Which is exactly the point of security

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Funny I was just like you thinking the S software was bloat.... Till I got my note 3 and I figured out I use most of the software multiple times a day..

Posted via Android Central App

I agree that Samsung does have some good stuff but they do have ALOT of stuff and for the ones I don't use I'd love to be able to delete them. I'm already using the note 3 and am going to buy the next model. There's no reason to shove apps down my throat.

Posted via Android Central App

Plain and simple nothing beats Samsung or the Galaxy Note products period they are the GOLD standard of technology today.

Time has come for the pretenders to fall back and realize it's SAMSUNG who made the phablet category prominent today and now all the rest must follow.

At the end of the day it's SAMSUNG who is Android without Samsung Android isn't worth a hill of stale beans.
Just like usual I will be purchasing the Galaxy Note 4 day one of launch for Tmobile nothing else has ever mattered.

From my Galaxy Note 3 on Tmobile via Android Central App

Don't you usually say how everything that glitters isn't gold or some such BS? And yet here you are saying how Samsung is supposedly the "gold standard". How ridiculous.

Garbage. Keep that useless shit out of my phones and lower the price so I don't pay for useless trash.
If people want this sort of niche tech, sell them am addon sensor/dongle for it.

No. Dumb reply. How about Just don't put in garbage that 0.00002% of the people who buy it will use. I don't care if it's dirt cheap. Stop adding proprietary gimmicky garbage. The note line is a great line of devices, and it's not because of dumb crap like this.

I'd agree with ridgeline1234 - Don't like it, don't buy it. It is because of "dumb crap like this" that the Note is such a great series for Sammy. Give me gimmicks Sammy! If I wanted a phone without the bells and whistles, I'd get a crap Moto or Nexus device. The S Pen and it's features are a gimmick. Still, very useful.

If Sammy was afraid to sell "gimmicky" devices, the Note series would have never been created in the first place.

Find me a phone that does not have proprietary software. Don't say Nexus because you would still be wrong. Some of the stuff is garbage (the stuff that they duplicate from Google) the rest is VERY useful depending on peoples needs.

Agreed. I doubt anyone uses *all* the little "gimmicky" features, but there's nothing that says you *have* to. And the features that you do want can be immensely useful.

Um...you say 'my phones' like you're the one who made them and Samsung just walked into your house and dumped their software in 'your' phone.

It's Samsung's phone. Not your phone. If you decide to buy it, then you take it with all the 'useless shit' that you knew was there BEFOREHAND and stop whining.

It seems useful, but I wonder how many people will actually use it.

Not to mention the Note is kinda on the large side for something used for fitness.

=) just not in a mood for discussing stuff today.... Too hot...

Anyhoo... When you sit in the sun, you sit in the sun. Not the shade... That's the whole point with sitting in the sun :)

I'm pretty sure that there will be a group that will use it on a day-to-day basis.

But I still believe that for most people, it's a novelty.

But isn't that the same with most features? I might use 75-80% daily, but the rest are used sporadically. You cannot make a phone that is specifically targeted to just one narrow group. You have to be a jack of all trades to sell volume. I have said that the duplication of google apps are stupid, but the rest are there for when you need them, even if you never do. It is better to have them and not need them, to need them an not have them.

FACT
It's already proven, most have no inclination to use nor figure out how to use the vast majority of these gimmicks.

Got to hand it to Samsung to be the OEM with the resources to throw it against the wall in an effort to see what might stick in what appears to be a desperate attempt to gain further dominance.

Apparently, this shotgun approach and accompanying lack of usability seems to be coming home to roost with their recent dramatic market share decline among cleaner and more sophisticated and focused competitive offerings.

You sure about that?

Last time I checked their market share isn't dramatically declining, but their profits are coming down.

R & D costs money. I believe that they spent the money to make it up this year. All those great lines of tablets, the Note 4 YOUM display, the watches. Those things costs money to develop and they will recoup those expenses in the next year.

So, a sensor that requires you to be out in the sun, that will inform you that said sun your out in, is dangerous

Posted via Android Central App

I think the idea of such a sensor isn't bad, but it might make much more sense in a watch. The only problem with a watch might be the limited space they've for such sensors because I would guess that it would have to be next to the display.

Great idea. I'd buy a watch with a UV sensor. But I don't know if I really care about it in my phone.

Posted via Android Central App

I can not wait to Note 4 comes out. I Love Samsung Galaxy Notes huge screen and I love the S pen too. No other phone can beat the Note. So if you're looking for one of the best phones out there so you should look no further ;)

I.agree hate LG g3 ui and battery life.

Note 3 is best phone I have ever owned. Nice screen. Zero lag and I.mean zero and battery lasts all day. Puts one your used to big screen every other phone seems inferior even the gasket s5 is too small

Posted via Android Central App

I.agree hate LG g3 ui and battery life.

Note 3 is best phone I have ever owned. Nice screen. Zero lag and I.mean zero and battery lasts all day. Puts one your used to big screen every other phone seems inferior even the gasket s5 is too small

Posted via Android Central App

Except the battery on the G3 outlast the note 3, but you have a point about the LG ui although I prefer it over touch wiz anyways how did this conversation even come up about the G3?

Posted via Android Central App

So far I have had my G3 for a few weeks (work tester) and I can say you are wrong. My Note 3 outlasts the G3, for my use, so far. It has been an interesting experience so far with the G3.

I wish they would focus on keeping the Note series as a "productive" line. I use mine a lot for work and enjoy the added features of the S-pen.

Let the GS5 be the sports/health device. Give me productivity and battery life on my Note!

Posted via Android Central App

I don't like Apple devices personally, but they won't ever do the stupid things that Samsung does. The only loaded Samsung branded app I really enjoy on my Note 3 is the remote, and Beep'nGo, but beep is third party. I don't even like the split screen because it only allows handful of apps to be used. All that eye scrolling crap excetera never sees the light of day. And of course I use Nova launcher to make up for all the rest. I do use the pen for swyping on the keyboard. I pretty much like the Note 3 for its beast speed, battery life, size/screen, and the fact that it will probably get update support for a little bit more than average. Right now I have 46 useless disabled applications on it and that doesn't include the ones I can't disable. Apple would never do this.
Posted via Android Central App

So you crippled your phone.

I agree that Samsung needs to stop duplicating Google apps, but (outside of the eye scroll "crap") all the other apps can be very useful in the right situations.

Finally someone thought exactly the same thing that came right to my mind.
UV rays are not like rain. It's not a matter of getting wet or dry. It's the amount of radiation that you're willing to take.
Predicted radiation levels are more than enough to make a decision and a UV widget will do much better and quicker than a sensor.

SO the weather report will tell you the amount of UV rays you have taken in so far in one day on the beach?

SO when I go to weatherbug, it will tell ME how long I have been outside, how many UV rays I have taken in, and whether or not that I should still be out there.

Dumbo, read what is written, not what you think I wrote. You are not smart enough to make suppositions.

So you will be 'that guy' who spends the entire day at the beach while maintaining a 60 degree angle of elevation towards the sun against the back of the sensor on your Note 4.

NoNsense! Pure fanboy NoNsense!

Again you step in your poo!

No Dumbo, not at all. I might never use it, but I will be glad it is there if needed. I do go outdoors a lot and am very active.

You should get out of mommy's basement more and give it a try.

Oh and once again, read what I write, not what you think I write. I said, in the proper thread, that I would take the G3 over the S5. Fanboi? Only of your mom and sister. I cannot shake that habit

"60 degree rotation to the sun"

...like... lying face up on a flat surface while the sun is overhead? Yeah, that sounds really unlikely.

nWell I don't think of it as a waste or a bad idea I was actually developing a avian intensive care unit that is android based and was thinking about utilizing uv modification to heart rate monitor app to monitor blood sugar levels I was developing a usb dongle with a uv sensor in it......bottom line think what this could mean for diabetics!

Posted via Android Central App

Also I'm redesigning ultrasound heads to fit in a phone grant it it wont be medical grade but would be able to produce a "ultrasonic" x-ray so you could see if your kid broke a bone on the spot.....itS my Idea. I thought of it first

Posted via Android Central App

How about adding a frikin flashlight toggle option in the pulldown shade?? That I would actually use. The eye scrolling crap? Not so much.

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keeping your flash of your camera on isnt good for the flash therefore theres aftermarket apps for that

this sensor is stupid there is no reason to check ultraviolet rays
if the sun is hot there is lot of UV same if its really bright
how about a suncream dispensor on side of phone to squirt on you

I wished they'd add a bullshit sensor that would black out half the comments I read on sites like these... Now that would be useful!

Seems stupid at first glance, but I'm going to wait to pass judgement until I see what other apps are coded to take advantage of the sensor. Could end up being a cool addition. Could just end up being bloat.

Posted via Android Central App

Now that is pretty craptacular. The Note 3 was my first Samsung phone and the first thing I started changing was nixing all the extra crap I don't want. This is a powerful series of phones, why cripple it with gimmicks.

Maybe because they aren't useful to him? One man's useful is another man's garbage

Posted from the Avengers: Age of Droid Ultra

Only thing I will use the sensor for is to play with my UV light and the sensor and try to mess with it and make it think I'm on the surface of the sun. Other than that... Meh.

For those saying that it's a useless gimmick, I don't understand what the complaint is. Samsung alone offers so many different phones (Mega, Avant, Galaxy S, Galaxy S Active, etc.) that you can avoid this gimmick if you choose and still end up with a Samsung device. Other OEMs offer phones with the Android OS so you can enjoy Android and avoid Samsung altogether.

While I don't think that the UV sensor will be useful for me, someone else may find it useful. Some people may think that Smart Stay is a useless gimmick while I appreciate the feature. There's too many options out there for people to be upset about this.

The only issue I have with Android phones is the ability to completely remove the bloatware without rooting your device. We should be able to do this. On the other hand some people find some of these apps useful.

Posted Via AT&T Galaxy Note 3

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