iPad Air & iPad Mini 2

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After so many years Apple has finally upgraded the memory on the iPads, they finally got to 128 GB and with that I will be upgrading my 3 year old iPad 2 which I still love to use and abuse. Now with the latest update from Cupertino a lot of people wanted more like the iWatch or the Apple TV Major update, but it looks like that will be at a later stage, but for me the iPads were the winner and the iPad Mini 2 was the best of the bunch, yes now I have a reason to purchase one.

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Basic Breakdown iPad Air

  • Its Thinner
  • Only 1 lb – Very Light
  • Twice the Wifi – 2 Antennas that work smoothly together
  • A7 Chip 64 Bit – More Power Won’t Hang – Hopefully it will survive my abuse
  • New Design & iOS7 – I’m liking IOS 7 from my Update
  • Up to 128GB of Storage – At Last

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Basic Breakdown iPad Mini 2:

  • New Design
  • A bit heavier then the previous design due the new design
  • A7 Chip 64 Bit – A lot of power packed into a small Design
  • Retina Screen – 7.9inch Display – At Last, everything will look good on it
  • Up to 128 GB – Thank you
  • Twice the Wifi – 2 Antennas that work smoothly together

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I am personally going to be getting the iPad Mini 2 – 128 GB because I want the space and that beautiful screen with the powerful wifi. I don’t care for LTE because I have one of the first 3G versions that I never put a chip in and when I did it was annoying and preferred wifi. Also if you purhcase the iPad LTE the US like most of us will, the 4G won’t work in Kuwait so that would be pointless. Also for the price of the 4G units, they are not worth it at all, serisouly almost 1000 USD for the top end iPad Air, thats just ridiculous, but the iPad Mini 2 is an excellent buy.

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Pricing:

  • iPad Air Wifi/LTE
  • 16GB – 499/629 USD
  • 32GB – 599/729 USD
  • 64GB – 699/829 USD
  • 128GB – 799/899 USD
  • iPad Mini 2 Wifi/LTE
  • 16GB – 399/529 USD
  • 32GB – 499/629 USD
  • 64GB – 599/729 USD
  • 128GB – 699/829 USD

Pics From Venture Beat

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Mastortech Handheld Gimbals

Lots of people these days shoot video with their iPhones & Samsungs, and everyone I know has a GoPro. And everyone has seen those shaky video’s I know I have tried so many times to take a smooth shoot, stand still and turn smoothly but sometimes you can’t help it. Even with a gimbal you have to adjust the weights and really manage yourself when turning or panning or shooting, or self it will look like you were off-roading while taking those shots. Also using a gimbal is not the easiest tool, there is an art form to it and it takes a lot of practice, which I constantly keep trying to do and it doesn’t always work.

Mastortech seems to have the answer with it’s handheld gimbal, with each model specific to certain types of photography tools which in this case are either phones or GoPros, they are also developing other models for more complex Point&Shoot Cameras as well. It is equipped with 2-Axis active motion cancelling using brushless motors and a very smart AI so it will do the thinking for you while your moving. No pricing has been announced but it won’t be cheap, manual gimbals range from $150 to $250 so lets hope it stays within this range as well. I’m looking at the Greyhound-GR1 for the GoPros & Cheetah-CH1 for the Smart Phones.

Link: Gizmobo

HitCase Pro

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The battle between Apple and Android continues but there is one place where I have to agree that Apple wins out clearly, and that is the accessories market. I don’t like the iPhone but I can’t respect it, with accessories like the HitCase Pro you can literally take this phone and turn it into your personal action camera. I love this case yet there is nothing remotely similar for the HTC One or Samsung S4.

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Features:

  • Amazing Wide Angle Lens
  • Waterproof Up To 10 Meters
  • Can Handle Motorcycle Vibrations No Problem
  • Ruggedized
  • A Good Amount of Tripods

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The perfect accessory for the action Junkie, you don’t need to carry your Go Pro with you everywhere, you can just turn your phone into the action camera and thats what makes this case so amazing.

In Kuwait you can pick it up from iTradeQ8 they sell it through different outlets in Kuwait for 39 KD. If only it was available for Samsung or HTC.

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The New Windows Phone Line Up

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Nokia is coming out strong with their new Lumia line up and thanks to Jacqui for bringing to light the details of the Lumia 625. I have the HTC 8X which I think its fantastic and it lasts over 24 hours which is odd for a new phone, and whats great about it is that it has never hanged and is something that can’t be said of either the iPhone or Android. The Windows Phone hasn’t had an update since WP 8 and it doesn’t look like any updates are coming along any time soon only the hardware. I don’t have a major issue with Windows Phones, the status updates need to updated as it currently sucks but everything else is pretty good. The new hardware brings 4G into the mix, the 625 looks great except for the camera, and the 1020 has a ridiculously large camera which makes the phone slightly oversized, and the 1520 is too huge. I want a 4G Windows Phone which is light, and a great camera which would be the perfect Windows Phone, but Nokia’s new line up looks impressive.

Nokia Lumia – 625

  • 5MP Camera – Not That Great Expected Better
  • 4G
  • 4.7 Inch Screen – Pretty Good

Nokia Lumia – 1020

  • 41 MP Camera
  • 4.5 Inch Screen
  • 4G

Nokia Lumia – 1520

  • No Exact Details
  • 6 Inch Screen

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DJI Phantom – To Crash Or Not

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When I saw it for the first time in action, I couldn’t believe how cool it looked and best part its built with the GoPro in mind. I have had it since it was first available for preorder and when I got it in April its been sitting in a box up until yesterday.

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This is probably the easiest Quadrocopter to fly in the market, with a lot of fail-safes on how it will react, but doesn’t make it dumb proof or wind proof. It’s a smart drone with all the settings this machine is capable of, I’m surprised it doesn’t have artificial intelligence at this stage and all of it in this very nicely design white case.

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I just decided to open it up and put it together, whether I crash it or not will be up to how careful I am flying it for the first time. I also got this ridiculous ballistic case to pack everything in bag and take it with me where I need it. And the Phantom is packed snugly inside with a lot of batteries, as well as the Go Pro and spots for its batteries. I have seen some beautiful videos shot with the Phantom and thats what I’m planning to reach at least with this quadrocopter. I just hope I don’t crash it.

For all your DJI Phantom needs you can find it at Gulftronics, they even have the new Zenmuse Gimball for the GoPro Hero 3. I’m going to practice with mine before installing the Zenmuse, and that I’m really looking forward to.

Link: Gulftroncis

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Garmin VIRB – What Say You Go Pro?

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Garmin is taking a bite out of Go Pro with the launch of their new rugged action camera, this is a new line for them, but Garmin does know adventure. Go Pro has been a huge hit with a lot of people and I for one love it, the only thing I wish for is more battery life, and it comes with a lot of accessories. Now Garmin has made this camera based on their input, and from the preview looks like and the specifications it looks good.

The VIRB captures 1080p wide-angle video, featuring digital image stabilization, and the ability to take 16-megapixel still images without interrupting video recording. Even with the always-on 1.4-inch color display, the VIRB allegedly lasts up to 3 hours recording 1080p video, compared to the GoPro, which only claims 2 hours and 15 minutes with 720p resolution.

It also presents information in the video as elevation, speed, and gps location which they consider to be a key factor. The device itself is IPX-7 Waterproof rating, meaning it can be submerged for up to 30 mins at 3 feet deep. And the way the picture of the device looks, it seems it can take a beating. There two versions, the VIRB & VIRB Elite which will be launched in September at $299 & $399 respectively. There are a lot of features to this device which can be found at the Garmin website, so they can prepared, lets see how it fares against the Go Pro because honestly nobody has really dented their market share since they really good at it.

Link: TheVerge

Hardware To Try

AmpedWireless

Got my latest delivery from MyUS, and its always like a Christmas delivery, even though you know what are in the boxes, you don’t know how they packed them and the excitement of opening the boxes is always something to look forward to. As usual I had some electronics in the mix which delays items from clearance but I was expecting that, at least with all the items in the box weren’t open.

In The Box

  • Leap Motion
  • Amped Wireless Access Point
  • Amped Wireless Outdoor Access Point
  • Boosk Galore

The Amped Wireless wifi is ridiculously powerful and from the statistics, they are impressive hardware so I was looking forward to getting my hands on them and trying them out. The Leap Motion I have had on Preorder for a while now and finally getting it to try it out, feels like Minority Report the first time I played around with it.

Rhino Rig – DSLR & Cinema Cameras

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I’m not that good with shooting, but I do practice, and I try to practice when I can and having a steady hand is key. Getting a Rig is a complex process, there are a lot some go for a few hundred and some go for thousands, and they all serve a different purpose but you have to know what that is. In my case I know very little and its confusing to pick the right one, then I saw the Kickstarter message from Rhino Rig, I got the sliders from them and they were fantastic so I know these guys like to make amazing products which are still very easy to use and practical but still have lots of options.

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The Rhino Rig fit exactly what I was looking for and I can get better with more practice. You don’t get better just buying equipment, you have to keep practicing and in my case thats a lot of practice, but this Rig will help me get the shots that I want from DSLR while shooting video. Especially now that Canon is coming out with some amazing AutoFocus DSLRs like the 70D, and the upcoming 7D Mark II, so it will be worth it to practice. I went for the Full kit for $875 with all the options of the Rhino Rig, and for some kits with the same options tend to be a lot more expensive. I’m looking forward to trying it out, the release date is set for Jan 2014, check out the video below to see how it can be used and how it fits.

Link: Kickstarter

Dual Sim Phones – 2013

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HTC Desire 600 – Dual Sim

  • Display: 4.5-inch Super LCD2 display at qHD resolution (960 x 540 pixels)
  • Camera: 8 MP camera with auto focus, LED flash with 720p Recording
  • SoC: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 200, quad-core, 1.2GHz
  • Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage + microSD (up to 64GB)
  • OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Sense 5, upgradeable to Android 4.2.2
  • Battery: 1,860mAh battery (non-removable)

Price: TBD

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HTC One – Dual Sim Specs

  • Display: 4.7-inches, Super LCD3, 1080×1920 pixels (469 ppi pixel density)
  • Camera: 4-megapixel Ultrapixel camera, 1080p video recording, HDR video
  • SoC: 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 and Adreno 320
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage + microSD (up to 64GB)
  • OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Sense 5, upgradeable to Android 4.2.2
  • Battery: 2,300mAh battery (non-removable)

Price: $790 (Only Available in China)

SGMi9150

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 I9150 Specs

  • Display: 5.8-inches, 540×960 pixels (190 ppi pixel density)
  • Camera: 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording
  • SoC: 1.4GHz dual-core CPU
  • Memory: 1.5GB RAM, 8GB internal storage + microSD (up to 64GB)
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Battery: 2,600mAh battery (non-removable)

Price: $380 (Only Available in India)

At this point I think I see about 80% of people carrying two phones at one point or another. I have been carrying two phones for a few years now, and every time I look at Dual Sim phones they are usually very crappy phones or not available. Recently I have been looking around and the only viable dual sim phones are the three above with the Desire 600 being the weakest one. The HTC One Dual sim is an impressive Dual sim since its the same as the normal one but with two Micro Sims, and they are all Micro Sims. Then there is the Samsung Galaxy Mega i9150 which its impressive specifications and one very large phone, almost 6 inches, bigger then the usual phone. Two phone are top tier phones while the Desire 600 is a mid level phone, its very hard to find high spec dual sim phones, but these two are very viable but the only problem is that the HTC One Dual is only available in China, the Desire 600 was available in the UK but can’t find it anymore and the Samsung Galaxy Mega is only available in India. One other note about Dual Sim phones is that they only come in 3G, there haven’t been any chip boards developed with dual 4G in mind, it might be another year before that happens but still out of the bunch these are the only ones. Searching through ebay and amazon you get to find out every once in a while but you won’t find a good dual sim easily.