Google Nexus 6 – So This One They Speced Out!

I couldn’t have said it any quicker, just as I was talking about the OnePlus One device being what the Nexus 5 should have been built as, Google has answered me with the Nexus 6. A Moto X on steroids, all the best possible specifications put into Google’s flagship phone, this is same case as the Nexus 5 based on the LG G2. As with any new Nexus launch it is the first device to be launch with Android 5.0 aka Lollipop which has that clean crisp look that was displayed previously by Google a few months back.

The biggest difference with this Nexus is the 6-inch display — bigger than both the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus, a. Like the Note 4. Google’s Nexus 6 also uses a Quad HD display, which means that text and images on the phone should still be really sharp, despite its large size. The phone has a Snapdragon 805 processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, a 3220 mAh battery, and two front-facing speakers. It comes in blue or white, and 32 GB or 64 GB, starting at $649 unlocked, I’m assuming it will be $749 for the 64GB version. It can include either 32 or 64GB of internal storage and comes in either blue or white. And since it’s made by Motorolla it also has the Turbo Charging feature, which means you can charge it up to 6 hours of use in 15 mins.

And the best part of this Nexus unlike all the others is that LTE will work in the middle east LTE Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/9/19/20/28/41. Gorilla Glass 3 for a phone this size is a must, at 5.97 inches, this is no joke. This is the first Phablet I have ever purchased, lets see how it feels.

Link: Google Nexus 6 Store

OnePlus One – An Interesting Android Device

Everyone this month has gone Apple crazy for iPhone 6 & Plus and honestly it isn’t much to be excited about, but the OnePlus One is something to be excited about. With Cyanogen this one is as unique as it gets from a first time manufacturer packing high end specifications for a reasonably priced phone to be exact the 64 GB sells for $350 which is less then half of the Samsung Galaxy S5 for $750 and the HTC One M8 for $650. The OnePlus One comes in White 16 GB& Black 64 GB, and the design of the device and build of the device rivals the best of them.

The powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with global 4G LTE is coupled with an immersive 5.5″ 1080p display for over a day’s worth of battery life packed 3100 mAh. With a 13 Megapixel camera it takes some very nice shots from all the sample pictures I have seen. And a front facing 5 Megapixel camera which shoots beautifully.

 

The best part is the extremely customizable software which most geeks know very well, Cyanogen. But the difference in this case is that OnePlus has worked closely with Cyanogen to make this a deeply customizable operating system, and you can even have it look like a Samsung Device, Google Android Vanilla, LG Device, Motorolla, and more.

This piece of hardware is customizable to the nth degree and has all the bells and whistles of most of the flagship phones and price wise it is unbeatable. Google should have made something like this instead of the low spec Nexus 5. Mine is on the way, and to order one you have to register, and thanks to K he forwarded his registration over to me, so mine is on the way. I will have a more technical review once I have the device in hand.

Link: OnePlus

 

iPhone 6 & Plus – Price Gouging Kuwait

Prices in Kuwait are always crazy when the iPhone gets launched and the demand for the phone in Kuwait is insane. And with insanity come insane prices, and a lot of people are willing to pay those prices because they can’t wait a few weeks or a month or two to get it at the normal prices. As usual Jackie has all the info on anything Apple:

iPhone 6  16GB 203 KWD, 64GB 234 KWD, 128GB 266 KWD – US Pricing Including Taxes
iPhone 6 Plus 16GB 234 KWD, 64 GB 266 KWD, 128GB 297 KWD – US Pricing Including Taxes

Current Pricing in Kuwait: 

iPhone 6  16GB 390 KWD, 64GB 420 KWD, 128GB 460 KWD

The price increase of the phones is between 75 to 95% which is insane and the funny part is that the phones are selling out in Kuwait. It seems there are a lot of people who are willing to pay these prices.

Blackmarket Lines For The iPhone 6

I have waited in lines before, I remember waiting for the third Matrix Movie, and even the Star Wars Movies and those were fun. You set up camp, get your food ready and enjoy your night. Those were just a few hours, never had to pull an all nighter, so in this case the iPhone releases are getting extreme. Based on the video it seems a lot of these lines are filled with people who have no care for Apple, just how much they will get paid for getting the iPhone. I wonder if there was a way for Apple to stop this because it no longer has the fun spirit that it used to. This is not the case across the board for most Apple stores but there has to be a way around this issue. These are the ones that get resold at double or even sometimes triple the price, we see it on ebay and we hear about it in Kuwait, 900 KWD for a 300 KWD phone is insane.

Zain 4G / LTE Rant

It seems I wasn’t the only one noticing that as of the last few months my Zain LTE Router is no where near what it used to be.

People may say that 4G does it for them, its good for quick browsing and going through normal internet usage, but not heavy duty lifting, not major downloading or gaming what so ever.

Below is the full comment of Tenthfire that really broke down all the issues I was facing as well as details that I honestly didn’t delve into.

I am very disappointed with Zain LTE this year with their approach on their internet. If you check the highway their advertisement was “extremely fast speed and good for gaming” or some similar words.

This year Zain LTE decided to buy cheaper routers compared to last year. These new routers are extremely worse than because that their range is 2/4 compared to the one 1 year ago. The router malfunctions more and the chip is much worse than before. I have to say that 0 tests were made on the router.

I will try not to go into details, but if you play League of Legends, Dota, WOW, Diablo, etc do not get this router as it is extremely unstable.
Last year being one of the first people to have Zain LTE in the country with the modem + 80GB limit (now increased to 300G in 2014) I will tell you my experience.
Usually my ping in gaming is 180-1000. Mostly 180-400 which is extremely unplayable and you get frustrated.

I managed to figure an IP that had a more stable ping than others and managed to configure my router with minimum traffic and to get IP, getting 130-140 ping.
On 2014 they changed router and chip and also programmed their servers in an extremely poor way where it rejected people with old routers / chips. This caused a massive amount of disconnection and customer service have no way of helping you. The people on customer service have no idea how internet work or what the basics of latency are.

Anyways on 2014 I got a new contract hoping that their internet will get better. They increased the limit from 80GB–> 300GB which is amazing.
Zain LTE, however, after a few months starting in March decided to cancel 3G service , so now all cell phones are forced to get 4G LTE.
There is an increased pressure on 4G LTE and the server is extremely over used. The speed went around 3GB / slower per 4 months.
I am sad to say that now the speed of Zain LTE at 3.14.2014 with tests is 5-12 GB/ second on download and less than 10GB in upload from the normal standard which was 40GB+.
IF you buy a normal DSL your ping / internet will be more stable and faster.
I have done some tests on certain IP : 149.147.19.119 37.37.162.104 37.36.132.137 31.203.192.129 37.203.192.129 37.39.173.140 188.236.211.62 188.236.37.152
and many more.

I also made a list of the problems Zain 4G LTE service is having from 2014 (especially Feb and March):
1. Assigning two people the same “IP ” (usually when several computers connect to a router they are given different “IP”).
This is bad, because if that person with the same “IP” downloads something your speed will get slower and if you’re gaming you will lag.
2. Disables Youtube Comments and enables Safety Mode.
This is an extremely annoying problem only seem from their filter / internet problem. Youtube loads extremely slow as well and a lot of problems.
3. Unable to browser specific websites from an “error” which can be solved by turning off your router for 30 seconds – 2 minutes.
This gets annoying when I have to close my router to access sites like XXX website because the router is “stuck” and it happens a lot. Sometimes it gets me an error while going on google. This is only with their service. I have tried normal DSL and other internet services which are much better.
4. As I said before their router radius is extremely low and signal level affects ping.
Radius is usually 0.5 floorX 0.80 floor (LXW) meaning it is worse than any other types.
5. Router shutdowns if you download 3 things simultaneously.
Lets say I download 3 from Itunes 3GB each I can crush my router and their server. It will build up some level of “clog” on that IP address that it will be slow. You will need to change your IP address.

Their simple network structure is sad and if I was to rate it from 1-10 I would give it 0.
I do not recommend this internet for any person who wants a stable network or for gaming. I do not recommend 4G LTE from any company as it is extremely unstable and fails to bring minimum international standards. Calling this network 4G LTE is a simple joke.
This is only 1/5 of the server problems I see. If I was to include more problems on their server and networks it would be extremely cruel.

How they can solve most problems:
1-Fix network stability ( I believe a multi-million dollar company can figure out how to do this).
2-Do not overload yourself with people when your network is extremely weak.
3-Offer certain configuration for gamers.
4-Fix disconnection problems.
5-Find a better engineer for your routers and their components.
6-Do more testing on your routers before buying them from China.

Wataniya Telecom – Finally 4G

Wataniya4G

Wataniya has finally fully rolled out their 4G Network and they improved their normal Data network. With new life breathed into their network, it feels normal and useable at this stage. I have been using it for the last couple of weeks and every week I can see an improvement with more 4G coverage on a weekly basis which I’m liking very much.

On a normal test my speeds vary from 2 bars to 5 bars signal:

  • 12 Mb/s to 43 Mb/s

These are respectable numbers and reasonably solid, not my connection spotify as I drive along the highway is pretty constant with no cut outs. I hope Wataniya keeps going at this rate to keep improving their networks. They did launch the new Galaxy Note 3 with the LTE Package and they are fully supporting Android Devices, they even just had a Google event with the people from Google talking about the new software and hardware developments coming along, very nicely done. Their network has a few spots around town the need to be filled but its a good effort on their end and we are finally seeing progress on their network. The funny part is that 4G is working only for Android devices and not Apple Devices yet, that will be coming along somewhere in mid to end of December for Apple, now who’s laughing.

Nokia 625 – Not What I Was Expecting

Nokia625A

I was hoping for a light phone with a great screen & Camera that has 4G, even though the camera was a little less then the 8X. Well it turned out to be more then a disappointment then anything else, this phone has a beautiful screen but every other component is cheap and horrible, cheap price doesn’t necessarily mean cheap quality but in this case it does.

Nokia625B

Cons:

  • Crappy 5MP Camera, I’m really bad
  • Speaker – You can barely hear it and there is this metal grinding sound when it goes to high volumes
  • Heavier then a better specified phone
  • No real change for the Windows 8 software
  • No real added value for Nokia
  • Battery doesn’t last as long as the HTC 8X

Nokia625C

Pros:

  • Beautiful Screen
  • 4G/LTE Speeds are good on the phone
  • Cheap Price

Nokia625D

I really want to stay on the Windows Platform, I’m enjoying more integration with my Windows 8 laptop to a degree and I want it to get better, but if you are looking for a cheap Windows phone to try out the software then this will do, don’t expect much for the camera and speaker. I will still keep the Windows phone, but I will probably trade this one in for something better at a later stage. My only problem with the option coming out from Nokia are the either bulky or too big.

Nokia625E

There are two option from Nokia as a replacement, the Nokia 1020 which has the perfect combination except for the ridiculous camera popping out of the back with 41 MP which is just overkill. Then the Nokia 1520 has a 6″ screen which is just overkill with a 20 MP which is more then enough, but at the end both of these phones are just too big. Both of these phones won’t fit in a normal cup holder in a car and even worse when I place it in my pocket.

Nokia625F

Nexus 5 – D820 & D821 – Preordered & Shipped

Nexus5

I honestly have no patience when it comes to the Nexus line, I do love the line from Google and usually its a clean slate, I just wish they had devices with the right kind of power to it and camera with in it. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is still an amazing device with a fantastic camera, honestly the best phone camera out there in my opinion, let’s see how this 8 MP camera with stabilization will be different.

Technical Specifications:

  • Screen 4.95” 1920×1080 display (445 ppi), Full HD IPS, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera 8MP rear facing with Optical Image Stabilization
  • Battery 2300 mAh & Wireless Charging
  • Builtin speaker, 3.5mm stereo audio connector
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800, 2.26GHz, GPU: Adreno 330, 450MHz
  • Dualband WiFi (2.4G/5G) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC (Android Beam), Bluetooth 4.0
  • 16GB or 32GB internal storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • microUSB, SlimPort enabled, 3.5mm stereo audio jack, Dual microphones, Ceramic power and volume buttons
  • GPS, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass, Proximity/Ambient Light, Pressure

Networks (North America)

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
  • WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
  • LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41

Networks (Rest of World)

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8
  • LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

The main issue of the phone is that there are two models that work on the LTE/4G networks the D820 & D821 and the one I am picking up is the US Version which will work fine for now just to test out KitKat which is Android 4.4. I am annoyed that they can’t fit all the frequencies onto one single chip but this has been the case with most technologies initially and the same case with 3G connectivity. As for the screen it is a 1080p 5 inch cornered Gorilla Glass which is going to be interesting to see. The D820 works in the US across all their networks, and the D821 is for the rest of the world, and it will probably be on sale in the UK soon enough. The device seems interesting at $400, and compared to other phones its on the cheaper side, I’m looking forward to tinkering with this device.

4G Coverage – GCC

KuwaitTelecoms

Kuwait is one of the first conutries to roll out full 4G coverage, and we are tough customers, I honestly was very critical and abusing it when possible and it has survived my torment and still it is doing well.

4G in the GCC & UK are the same and I’m assuming the Europe would be the same as UK in regards to 4G specifications. But the coverage across Europe is spotty at best. I was in Germany and drove a good amount outside and inside of Frankfurt to see how it works, then there was Amsterdam which we extensively used their network. The connections weren’t that great, and sometimes very disappointing, surprisingly Amsterdam was much better then Frankfurt in terms of coverage.

4G Coverage in Kuwait is fantastic in comparison to Europe, it seems that Europe has fallen back in comparison to us. Our terrestrial data speeds are a disappointment in Kuwait and improvement does’t look like it will happen any time soon, they have been talking about Fiber for the good part of a decade now. But due to this lack of development the wireless data providers have stepped in and so 4G such as Zain, Viva, and Soon to be Wataniya are providing for what the customers are asking for.

Kuwait is even better then the UAE in this aspect, Etisalat has coverage but the speeds are honestly crap and even much worse when you head out of Dubai with little to no coverage, and Du is worse then Etisalat in this regard. It seems that we are more then a step ahead of Europe and Kuwait is leading the pack in GCC. And I have yet to see someone in the GCC to match our coverage and overall speeds, we are spoiled and I honestly hope we have more developments in regards to wireless & LTE internet.

Link: Flickr

Vodafone UK – 4G

Vodafone

All the Providers are talking about their 4G Coverage in London. Of course the 4G Services is only available to Contract numbers, not Pay As You Go or Top Up lines. In my case I have a contract line and upgraded to 4G contectivity with a max of 8GB per month for 36 GB per month, you can change from month to month, but only stay on 4G.

I was happy and thought I would get the same service as I do in Kuwait. At full signal I was getting 50+ MB/s which was impressive. Out of all the companies – EE, Orange, O2, Vodafone, & 3 – I read that Vodafone has the best 4G coverage in London as well as the fastest.

It seems their definition of coverage is similar to swiss cheese, lots of holes in the network. 4G was fine as long as I had 4G coverage, spotty would be putting it nicely. The coverage in London’s main metropolitan area is a disaster. Every building I go into, there is almost little to no coverage, and even when we are outisde it is max one or two bars. Rarely do I see full bars, I don’t know how they planned their coverage but Vodafone falls far behind Zain or any of our Mobile Companies in Kuwait. Zain has spoilt us, our expectations are too high.