cell phone

Jezza’s Gadget Follies – To (6)P or Not to (6)P

To (6)P or Not to (6)P

 

nexus-6p-1

Hi, my name is Jezza and I am a phone-a-holic. (Ed: He’s a founding member of Phon-a-holics Annonymous -Alvin-) It’s no secret, I get tired of my smart phones very quickly, and obviously manufacturers do not make it easy with yearly releases, with new features, shine new finishes, etc, etc, etc. Anyhow, since 2013, I’ve had basically a new phone a year, (more…)

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G’day M8 (HTC One 2014 1st Takes)

Sitting here next to my keyboard is HTC’s brand new flagship phone, the One…wait, I thought, they already had a One, um..

Yeah, HTC didn’t get too fancy with the nomenclature, like calling it the One-2, or the One-A, or what have you, but just left it the same.  In fact they left a lot the same, the same awesome build quality, the same awesome boom sound speakers, same single piece aluminium, same ultra pixel camera.  But unlike the name, they did improve upon what made the original One great.

At first glance, you will be struggling to see that it’s an all new phone, but upon closer inspection, you will notice it just that much bigger, and that much rounder, which actually makes it a lot nicer to hold.  the rounded edges on the M8 makes it feel more at home in my hand, but at the same time, it feels like it will slip off, unlike the previous model, where the corners made it feel grippy.

I was afraid that with Beats and HTC parting ways, boom sound will be less ‘boomy’, but they improved on what should be a standard on all handheld devices.  I played a song one after another, and the M8’s boom sound speakers were more powerful, and sounded a tad more punchier.  I will have to do some more listening though, as Beats provided audio enhancements with headphones attached as well.

Now let’s move on the the camera.  The front facer, is now a 5 MP sensor, and should do nicely to all those that are addicted to selfies (self included).  The rear camera though, still remains a 4 UltraPixel, but with an added ‘depth’ sensor, which allows for post shot fun.  From the little I have played with it, it looks more like a gimmicky type thing, but w/ the API being out on the Google Play store, I am really excited as to what other developers can do with it.

To round out the phone, the extra bit of width actually made it easier for me to type and hold the phone a bit.  Sense 6.0 is slick, but I have not yet been able to dive deep and check out what’s new under the hood. Battery life has said to have improved some 40%, so I am hoping that it’s true. I still have to spend more time with this device, so look forward to my Half Assed Review.

I will be cutting and uploading some footage shortly, so look forward to that also. For now, enjoy some comparison shots between the M7 (old One), and the M8 (new One).

 

 

HTC and Verizon FINALLY Bring ICS to HTC Thunderbolt

It’s too late now, though.

The Thunderbolt, the first 4GLTE phone on Verizon, has always been a disappointment in the Android community. It’s processor was nothing to write home about, it’s connectivity issues were definitely something to complain about, and it’s bulky (and faulty) design made this phone one of the most hated in America.

It came out of the gates with Android 2.2, and only now in 2013 has it been confirmed to have an Android 4.0 update ready to roll out any time soon. At this point, 4.0 is 2 updates behind the second iteration of Android Jelly Bean, Android 4.2 (and it seems as though Google is prepared to launch Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie [or, and I’m dreading the name, potentially Kandy Kane] in the coming months at Google I/O 2013).

It’s been 5 months already. 5! The Thunderbolt (and it’s younger sister, the Droid Incredible 2) were promised to have gotten the ICS update by September 31st!

I think people have finally come to grips that HTC on Verizon has been a failure and have actually given up hope on both devices, leaving for newer, more premium devices on the carrier (or even on another carrier, or even worse, to an iPhone on another carrier).

–I am very much for Android. I am fascinated with how much better it is overall than other mobile operating systems; however when companies fail to appease the customer, it makes me very angry. HTC and Verizon have failed me in the department of customer satisfaction, and in the future, I shall not be purchasing from HTC. At the moment, I cannot do anything about being on Verizon (in fact I would not want to leave VZW because of how amazing their service is), but when upgrade time comes, goodbye HTC devices. I’m really hoping I can grab a SG Note II or an SIII, maybe even the GNex like The Big Cheese. And if worst comes to worst, if my mom sees that an iPhone 5 is on BOGO come upgrade time, iPhone 5 I shall settle.

Cell phone conundrum

Nexus 4
Photo courtesy of Google Play

So not having power and what not in light of what has happened in the north east coast of the US, I missed the announcement of Google’s next Nexus phone, the LG based Nexus 4.  Granted I only got into my first Nexus phone a few weeks ago (Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus), and even if it’s a year old (like a million years old in cell phone technology years), it feels very new, very quick, very modern, compared to my  Motorola Droid Bionic, which is only a few months older than the Galaxy Nexus, and I can see how it’s a special phone, being the first one to get any update on the Android OS landscape, and it is basically bloatware free.  It’s also vanilla Android, is as good as it gets (without skins) in terms of Android.  I’ve used Androids with one of HTC’s skins of Android, Sense 2, and Motorola’s watered down version of MotoBlur, and nothing beats plain vanilla Android.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 
Photo courtesy of Digitaltrends.com

What am I getting at? Well, this version of Nexus will NOT have CDMA variants.  Meaning it will not come out for Sprint or Verizon wireless, the latter of which I am subscribed to.  It will only be out  for T-Mobile, and ATT, using HSPA+ speeds and not LTE.  I did some digging and it seems like Google had problems with the CDMA versions of the Galaxy Nexus, in terms of releasing the hardware, and rolling out Jelly Bean.  Pricing also plays a big part of it, the GSM variants can be sold for $300 off contract, as opposed to the CDMA versions costing $200 more. I got my Galaxy Nexus for $250 off contract, but it’s a certified refurbished unit.  Now, this poses a problem for me when it comes time to get a new handset.  I think I made a good decision to get the Galaxy Nexus.  It didn’t cost a whole lot, and it should last me another 10-12 months.

I was ready to leave Verizon, and perhaps jump to Sprint as they also offer unlimited data (I am still riding on my old unlimited data plan from way back in the day on Verizon Wireless), but I can’t even get the Nexus 4 from them.  I know there are other handsets out there that are just as capable, but, I don’t know, it feels like I have to do less work on Nexus, and it seems to get more support officially, and from the AOSP community.

Only time will tell on where I go from here.  I am really happy with my Galaxy Nexus, and it should keep me happy for many more months, and it shames my Droid Bionic ten times over.  Speaking of my old Bionic, it alone turned me off from getting any Motorola handsets in the near future.  Sure, Google owns Motorola Mobility, so we’ll see what comes out from that partnership.  It’s just funny, that the next Nexus phone is based off of the LG Optimus G, and not a Motorola handset (*CHEESECAKE NOTE! The reason that this is so, in what I have read and what I do believe, if I do remember correctly, is that Google did not want to give Motorola special treatment in the partnership when it comes to Nexus phones, after all, Android is open-source). Why I hate the thing is subject to another rant/post another time.

Motorola Droid Bionic
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Right now though, I do have other issues to think about other than what my next smart phone should be.  But it’s just something else to get my mind on, and a step to moving closer to normalcy.

Links:

http://www.zdnet.com/google-nexus-4-why-im-saying-goodbye-to-verizon-7000006636/

http://www.google.com/nexus/4/

http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/02/nexus-4-review/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Nexus