Garmin VIRB – What Say You Go Pro?

GarminVIRB

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

HTCDesire600

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

HTCOneDual

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.

HTC One – Mophie Juice Pack

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When dealing with a beautifully designed phone like the HTC One, you face one small problem, you can’t switch out the battery. I had the same issue with my Nexus 4 and I had to have a charger with me everywhere. In this case the HTC One is somewhat better, but only by a small margin and I was looking for a battery case for this phone to use when needed. There were a few options by the time I was looking, the Mophie and the i-Blason, but after taking a look at the design of the I went with the Mohpie.

HTCOneMophie2

I take a lot of work calls on this phone, and a lot of conference calls since it has a great speaker phone. So after looking around for a battery solution Mophie released a juice pack for fairly quickly, usually they only come out this quick for the iPhone, and the last non-iPhone they made was for the Samsung SIII and that took a while. I’m surprised they haven’t made one for the Samsung S4, but lets see how long that takes.

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Pros:

  • Great build quality, a nice black matte rubber finish which is smooth when gripping it, it fits snugly around the HTC One and the buttons operate perfectly. As usual design wise Mophie got the perfect fit.
  • You can easily access the headphone jack without a problem, the phone charges when you connect your charger to the charging port. Voice, Sound, Flash, and Camera are not obstructed with this case, they operate perfectly.
  • The status lights are on the back of the case and so is the on/off switch for the battery case. Its clear and easy to use, you can switch it on accidentally but that hasn’t happened much to me.
  • The cover itself protects the phone all around and it doesn’t get scratched easily which I thought was impressive.
  • For $99 it is an impressive piece of hardware, I thought it would be more expensive, very good value.
  • With a 2500 mAh Capacity it can easily charge the phone more then once, and the best part is how fast it charges it.

HTCOneMophie4

Cons:

  • Right off the bat it is bulky about twice as bulky, and it does feel heavier, but that is to be expected when your mounting a battery case to a phone. But the sleek feeling of the HTC One is gone for the sake of battery life.
  • Even though it is a high quality matte rubber, it does smudge a bit, but isn’t too bad
  • When your charging the phone with the case the phone gets noticeably hot, not to the extent it would explode but you can really feel it

Price: $99
Link: Mophie

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Canon EOS 70D – Next Gen DSLR

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Canon always comes up with the perfect combination of hardware to make for the perfect device, and now these days people use DSLR for both video and photography but in this case they have with the new Canon 70D, the killer feature of continuous AutoFocus while recording Vidoe. Its not meant to replace the 7D but its capabilities seem very close to it.

CanonEOS70D2

From all the trials it seems the new 70D AF system works very well, with its new CMOS sensor’s 20.2 Megapixel resolution being divided into 40.1 million-photodiode architecture, so two diodes for each pixel, and their phase detection system working with the diodes resulting in the amazing AF system. I honestly can’t wait to try it out.

CanonEOS70D3

The main attraction of this DSLR is the instant Autofocus that they have built into the 70D. I have the 7D which I adore and it takes amazing photographs and I have used it for video, with amazing results, but the only major issue is that you have to manually focus the camera during shooting which can be very difficult and if you haven’t practiced the results are usually pretty bad. But production companies have been using the 5D & 7D for Commercials, TV Shows, and even some movies which is amazing. The camera will be available in September for $1200 (body alone), $1350 (w/18-55mm kit lens), and $1550 (w/18-135mm kit lens). But in my case I’m going to hold out and wait for the 7D Mark II which I hope is right after the 70D is released.

Link: Gizmodo

Bose Quiet Comfort 20

BoseQC20_1

You can say what you want about Bose, but they are the kings of sound, different headphones have different effects depending on what you want out of it. Some people swear by Beats or Sennheiser and they are excellent products but from my experience Bose always tops the list. I have the in-ear Triport headphones which I live by them when I ride, and I have the the Quiet Comfort 15 which are the best to use when flying, and the battery is fantastic on them. Bose maybe mainstream, but their products are quality products and speak for themselves.

BoseQC20_2

The Bose QC20 is Bose’s first-ever noise-cancelling earbuds from Bose, there have been other, but I think that Bose would have taken their time to do this and get it right. It’s price at $299 and set for release on the 1st of August and I for one will be purchasing it right away without a second thought, the QC 15 are amazing, but sometimes bulky to carry around. It comes into variations, the QC20 and QC20i, the QC20 is for Blackbbery, Android, and Windows, while the QC20i is for all Apple products, they have different reactions to the answer button.

BoseQC20_3

Acoustic Noise Cancelling Technology in in a small device. There is also an “Aware” mode lets you hear what’s around you when listening to music, which is pretty intuitive when using this device, so you won’t feel like you are in a silent room. You still have to have some sort of controlling device to use it but I can live with that.

Link: Bose

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The Haswell Desktop Built

US41_1

Took a bit to get all the parts together, this was the first time a processor was flagged before they could ship it from my mailbox, but after a few days they shipped it out. Got all the parts together and a few pieces from Professional and I was good to go.

Hardware

  • Thermaltake Urban S41 ($130)
  • CoolMaster 1000W
  • Samsung 840 SSD 500 GB SATAIII (Windows 7) ($331)
  • OCZ 256 GB SSD SATAIII (Windows 8) ($239)
  • Intel Core i7-4770 ($320)
  • Gigabyte Z87 LGA 1150 Dual LAN ATX ($230)
  • Corsair 16 GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengence ($128)
  • Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 ($400)
  • Digistar BlueRay Drive (Slot Loading)
  • 2 x Seagate 3TB SataIII

US41_2

The other components I got from Kuwait for 254 KWD which isn’t too bad overall the most expensive parts in Kuwait was the original OS and I wanted both on it since I do love Windows 7 and I wanted to try Windows 8 on a Desktop, but its going to be missing the Gestures still an interesting item to try.

US41_3

Installed Windows 7 First and then installed Windows 8, then it comes up as an option which one Operating System to Start at Boot, and when you choose, its up in only a few seconds. Years ago it would have taken over a minute and a half, and now its 10 seconds tops, I love SSDs.

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I’m planning to install a few games on the Windows 7, nothing crazy just StarCraft II & the latest addition as well as Diablo III. Just worth having on my machine, and I do want to play those games. And what I love about this machine is that it is powerful and VERY quiet, no sound from it what so ever, I wouldn’t know it was on without that blinking lights on top.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Cases

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Flip Cover Folio

This is the Case that comes from Samsung, a simple Folio with a small cut out for the screen at the top showing some quick information. It’s a simple cover which protects the screen from being scratched but doesn’t protect the body from damage.

S4Folio2

Honestly I thought this would be a better cover, but you just replace the back with a folio attached and I was a bit disappointed by it. The folio looks good but then its just disappointing that it doesn’t really improve the use of the phone expect that it gets in the way of the phone. You have to flip the cover off every time to use the phone normally which gets annoying quickly, this cover isn’t for everyone.

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S4Spigen1

Samsung Galaxy S4 Spigen SGP Slim Fit Case

The Spigen cover turned out to be the perfect fit for my use. This is a full cover around the phone with the volume and power buttons working perfectly. The back is covered with a matt black plastic which makes it not slip like the normal back, and there is an opening for the Camera, Flash, and the speaker. The shape of the frame of the cover is perfect so you can really grip the phone easily and thats what I love about it, unlike the phone’s normal curved sides this gives it a bit of a better frame which makes it easier to grip. The only draw back is that not every USB head can fit into the bottom of this case.

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Samsung Galaxy – Going On All Directions

SamSungGalaxyNX

The Beast from Samsung, they decided to combine their best selling product into a DSLR and came up with the Samsung Galaxy NX. It has Interchangeable lenses, Android Jelly Bean and 4G LTE to say the least. The device is said to be as big as the Canon Rebel than that of a smaller Samsung NX300 model. The size is a determination factor for some people looking for a DSLR but a very smart one in this case, connecting to Wifi or Bluetooth or LTE. This is when to great devices are molded together looks like.

Galaxy NX also packs a large 4.8-inch HD LCD display on its rear and is powered by a 1.6GHz Pega-Q quad-core setup and separate DRIMe IV Signal processor for imaging. The UI should look pretty familiar to anyone who’s used an Android device before, and specificly the Galaxy Camera before, with the common apps and widgets submenus, as well as the wheel interface for its 30 Smart Modes — employed when selecting imaging settings. And if you happen to own any of the company’s other NX cameras, you’ll be able to swap out lenses (13 in all) as the Galaxy NX is fully compatible with that range. It also incorporates a hybrid AF, culled from the best of DSLRs and compacts, with a shutter speed of 1/6,000th of a second and 8.6fps shooting.

SamsungGalaxyS4Active

This though is an interesting “mutation” from Samsung, there aren’t a lot of heavy duty use phone’s out there, and if there are then they are usually very low spec with a lot of armor. But the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is high spec and its also waterproof and a bit of added armor, and barely any reduction in quality. The camera on this phone is a little less powerful from the 13 MP to 8 MP but it seems to compliment under water use. I just think this phone can take a beating and thats why some people would like it in comparison to the S4. And honestly I prefer the buttons at the bottom then they do the touch panel on the S4, I missed buttons when they took them away.

SamsungGalaxyS4Zoom

This one though is truly a phone, not just a data enabled camera like the Samsung Galaxy Camera. The phone features a 10x optical zoom lens in front of its 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, with a Xenon flash for adding some extra light to your images.

The S4 Zoom has a 4.3-inch qHD (960×540) Super Amoled display and 1.5GHz dual-core processor, runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and supports LTE. Predictably, it’s big and heavy, at 208 grams and 15.4 millimeters thick — nearly double the thickness of the original Galaxy S4. It is, however, measurably slimmer than last year’s Galaxy Camera, Samsung’s first crack at adding an Android interface to a consumer point-and-shoot. Photographically speaking, things look similar between the two: both devices shoot at the same resolution and max out at ISO 3200, although the older Galaxy has a much longer 21x optical zoom range. Its lens is also slightly (less than a third of a stop) faster, at f/2.8-5.9, compared with the S4 Zoom’s f/3.1-6.3 maximum aperture. So the Samsung Galaxy Camera is faster with a better Zoom but thicker, so who would go for this, I wouldn’t be too inclined since I have the Galaxy Camera and I’m very happy with it. But still its only a point and shoot, no comparison to the Canon G12 or G15 in my opinion as to speed or depth of shot.