Review: The Google Nexus 4 In Action

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Its been about a month since I got the Nexus 4 and I have put it through it’s paces, I took a week to put all my Apps on it and configure to the way I want. So I have been using it for about three weeks as my main phone and abusing it in every possible way. First off it is a much better phone then the Galaxy Nexus, I am honestly happy with this experiment that Google did with LG, if it was Motorolla I would have been really worried. Google gives an opportunity to each manufacturer to show their coolest features and LG won them over this time, Samsung has been known for the SII & SII, as well as the large Note line, not for the Nexus line even though it was a solid phone. Samsung would always save the best for it’s S line like the SII & SIII, but I didn’t like layer they install over the basic or vanilla Android OS, so the Nexus line was always second class to the Samsung S line, the case was the same with the Nexus S & Galaxy Nexus. For the first time a Nexus phone feels like it is the best that Google has to offer on a hardware point of view, and their OS always feels clean and light.

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Specifications:

  • Screen 4.7″ diagonal – WXGA IPS
  • 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi)
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2
  • Dimensions 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
  • 139g
  • Camera 8 MP (main)
  • Camera 1.3 MP (front)
  • NFC (Android Beam)
  • Wireless charging
  • 16GB Memory
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU
  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)

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What I Like:

  • The New 8 MP Camera is fantastic, especially with HDR feature and extra tools while in use with the camera
  • The Processor is powerful, you never feel that this phone is sluggish
  • Its smooth and light, doesn’t feel bulky for a nice screen
  • The Screen is Beautiful, crisp and very clean
  • The Wifi signal is strong, it grabs on to the weakest signal without an issue
  • The rear speaker is decently loud to my surprise
  • LED flash on the camera is great a flashlight too
  • Gorilla Glass on the front, it shows smudges but doesn’t scratch easily
  • You can really tell they put a lot of effort into the design of it
  • Jellybean 4.2.1 is perfect on this Machine, it is what makes it great
  • I haven’t had a chance to try Wireless charging yet but I’m looking forward to it
  • My 3G connection on this phone is better then my Galaxy Nexus, streaming isn’t an issue and almost never looses a signal
  • This one almost never drop’s calls, even in locations that are known to drop calls it seems to hang on for its life which is a nice surprise, and the call quality is excellent
  • The Battery life is pretty decent under normal use, lasts me from day until night, but defining normal is difficult

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What I don’t Like:

  • This is Gorilla glass and glossy on the other side, I love that it is but its insanely slippery so it may fall at anytime and you won’t even realize that it’s moving depending on the surface your place it on
  • No LTE, honestly doesn’t make too much of a difference to me but it would have been nice to have it and working, but for now the normal 3G speeds is more then enough for me
  • Under high abuse use the battery takes a pounding and barely lasts 10 hours, and that is extreme use such as steaming audio, while surfing and nonstop use of WhatsApp
  • No removal battery, sometimes I want to remove or change the battery but it seems they went for a cleaner design rather then a functional one
  • No SD card, sometimes we want to expand the memory, 16GB is not enough but I’m making due with it

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I honestly love this phone and that it has such a well done operating system, smooth and powerful, and has never hung on me. The screen is beautiful, love scrolling through Instagram on it, and reading my Google Reader feeds, very clear, and easy to look at. Google gambled with LG and it’s paying off, they built an amazing machine with this phone and I hope that they make an even better one. I honestly don’t think I want any other feature on the phone then what I already have, its really good, you always want better but this was really worth the wait.

Check out The Verge Review for an extremely detailed breakdown

Zain Network Slowdown

CellTower

Is it just me or was Zain’s network acting weird yesterday. My data network kept dropping every 20 to 40 minutes plus it would drop from 3G to Edge a lot during the day. And today has been acting strange as well. At first I thought it was my phone but I restarted a few times to be sure with no changes, and my other phone was acting up as well so things were odd. It seems that Zain might be making some changes to the network because other people were experiencing these issues since yesterday.

Nexus 4 – The Transition

I have been using the Nexus 4 for about a week now and it hasn’t disappointed at all, its fast smooth, no glitches, they even had two updates since I had it and I didn’t even bother checking why. I have wanted to write a full in depth review about everything this phone can do and just whats different about it being from LG. I will get into that later since I do want to give it justice, just know that if you are getting it then you are going to be very happy. I’m going to make the switch from the Galaxy Nexus to the Nexus 4 by this coming Sunday but my only hang up is one thing, I don’t want to cut my chip or replace it, but it seems that I can’t really use it anymore, I want to keep the old school MTC Vodafone colors, my only two options is either to cut the chip or replace, in this case I think I may just replace it and keep the chip since its for sentimental reasons. The hardware on this phone is top notch and it works that way, I have abused it and the battery is impressive, the build quality is perfect, feels good in your hand. I will follow up with an indepth write up on the phone. Also I blame Apple for my predicament, why the hell do they keep having to change the damn SIM Cards, I don’t think anyone had a problem with that, I also think we can lose them more easily these days.

Nexus 4 – Hands On

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Nexus 4, after scouring Ebay for days after selling out. Luckily one Ebayer got his hands on it and was selling it for $475 in North Carolina when everyone else was selling it for $600+ so I clicked the Buy It Now without a second thought.

Firstly the box was very simple to open unlike the Nexus 7 situation, just a charger and wire inside with the phone nothing else. I was happy the phone was fully charged and once I signed in my GMail account it started automatically downloading most of my Apps. One thing that Android does that I like is that it also copies the wireless profiles from your previous Android devices so after the initial wireless connection it seamlessly connects to your wifi from previous saved profiles.

First impressions:

  • I’m liking Android 4.2 Jellybean – Nice Improvements and Even Smoother
  • The Camera is pretty good in low light shots
  • The phone is light, I’m forgetting that its in my pocket
  • All the Apps are working with it
  • I’m loving the Keyboard

Its gonna take me a day or two to fully configure all the Apps I have on it, I keep using one thing and jumping right into and forgetting to configure the others. Do I think Google made the right decision with LG, well time will tell but as off right now I’m loving the phone and if you are a fan of Android phones then you will love this. I like the Samsung S3 but I’m loving the Nexus 4, the operating system just feels so clean and it just wants to be used. I’m going to write a full review at a later stage but for now this is my first impressions after one night of using it.


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Zain Home Router (LTE/4G Speeds)

I had a chance to get my hands on the Zain router, running on the LTE/4G frequencies in Kuwait which still hasn’t been fully certified from the Ministry of Communications. So people are asking the main reason for the delay is MoC, they have everything deployed for a little while now, but as usual politics is what stops things in Kuwait, but MoC is a totally different story.

Getting my hands on it I had a bit of skepticism but I did try AT&T’s 4G services and I have seen how fast it is and its scary fast. So the first thing I wanted to do is test it where ever I can, and this case I tested it at work and friend’s places and my home. Overall I am impressed with the hardware, it is solid and gets a lot of signal, decent speed even when it is low signal, and that was the important test for me, even with low signal it was getting decent speeds around 10 MB.

It’s a Huawei modem, looks good and simple, 4 Ethernet ports on the back and right now the services are not open to the public. The worst signal I got was ranging from 8MB to 16MB, up to 32MB to 42MB. Those are some very scary speeds, and surfing the net feels lighting fast, I do love fast internet. And for 33 KD a month honestly its not too bad, but the cap should at least be 200 or 250 GB not 80 GB

Pros:

  • Gets decent speed even with bad signal
  • It doesn’t have to be next to a window like Mada so you can place it inside your house and it will work
  • It has reached 42 MBPs with me, which got about 4.1 MB down with downloads

Cons:

  • The Cap is 80GB, thats nothing compared to the speed
  • You can buy more space but its overpriced in my opinion
  • Its not consistent at times, but I think they are just ironing out a few kinks in the system

Based on what speeds can be reached you can reach which is 2.1 MB/s to 4.1 MB/s you can use up your 80 GB cap in 11 to 6 hrs depending on your speed. And previously the 21 MBps had a 60 GB limit from Zain so logically it should be at least 120 GB based on their original capping scheme. Overall I think the cap is ridiculous but they are going to do it then a person should get a good bang for their buck with a 250 GB limit.

If you reach the cap you can buy an extra 25 GB for 12 KD or 5 GB for 3 KD, overall I think the pricing is off and not proportional but at least they give you an option to buy more data. For a 15 month contract you get the first three months 50% off and the device for free with 33 KD per month after the first three months. Overall the package is pretty good.

Testing In Shuweikh

Sometimes it would hang a bit, in an odd way and torrents would slow down even when the surfing speed is still high so its a bit surprising. The main issue is consistency, nothing beats a fiber connection but if you don’t have the option then this is the next best thing for surfers. Some gamers will like it but if you care about your ping then this is a bit on the high side. So its great for surfing and certain amount of downloading, not for heavy internet use, but its the perfect back up to your home internet if something goes wrong.

Testing in Miseela/Bidaa

In my case I have crappy land lines so I depend on WIMD and I’m honestly very happy with them even though they are a bit congested still at least a solid 12 to 15 MB and hitting 20 MB in the evenings with no cap. If you can have fiber thats always better but then again this device will really do the job because 4G coverage is supposed to be all over the country by the time it rolls out.

Testing In Fintas with One Signal Bar

Overall I think its an excellent product but they are working out the kinks, it did really reach those high speeds but we have to keep in mind nobody is on the network and it isn’t commercially available so until it is then we can judge the real speed based on the number of users, I hope they have the band width to accept the number of users who will get on board. I’m not sure when it will go commercial because the issue isn’t with Zain its with a governmental entity and you can never guess when they will be done.

Speedtest with VPN on, overall not bad, surfing speed feels quick

Google LG Nexus 2012

This is a prototype unit and usually the Google Nexus gets released around the end of the year so the specifications might change. According to the site that got it’s hands on the prototype it’s rocking a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, 1280 x 768 4.7-inch screen, 2GB of RAM, and just 8GB of storage, all of which matches earlier rumors. It’s also running Android 4.12, but there have been rumors flying around that it will be released with Android 4.2, but we would never really know.

When it came to the choice of manufacturer I honestly I’m not too happy, I was hoping they would go back and try HTC since I love their designs or they could try the Motorolla Razr Android since they were very cool designs, Samsung was always a good choice, but LG? really?

I think the back looks cool, it reminds me of the nexus wallpaper. And yes the screen looks crappy, but I they have the brightness turned completely down. I am very interested in seeing how this turns out. I’ve never had an LG phone but I keep hearing their phones have questionable quality. Im not sure exactly how they pick the manufacturer but I have heard that they put in a bid with a mock up design and it google picks the one they like. Well I just hope Google knows what they were doing, and I know I’m going to buy it because its the next Google phone. In Google We Trust.

Link: Gizmodo


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Blackberry – Its Final Days

It looks like the end was sooner then I expected, my BB doesn’t even ding anymore, no more group messages no more random questions people. Even the people who have BB left answer me 6 to 24 hours later, never instantly like they used to. My Blackberry 9900 is still functional without any major issues, a few slow downs here and there but overall the thing is working.

My main reason for keeping the BB going was because of “The Diwaniya” Group, the one group that is always beeping and funny things were said. But now it seems like a deserted desert and I’m the last one holding down the fort. People had to choose which phone they wanted and with the arrival of the amazing Samsung SIII it has accelerated the death of BB. Even with their new release of the OS and any great hardware they have in mind, I think its too little too late, people have moved on, they either chose to join the Android Camp or the Apple Camp. It was good while it lasted and I have my BB 9900 1 year to this date but now no one is there, not worth keeping it anymore, from the 200+ contacts and always active BBM down to 30 people and only 6 people who only use it, its not worth keeping it going. I’m probably going to drop it in a couple of weeks.

Everyone is on WhatApp, I’m not on it yet but I will join it later. From what I have seen its not that good, but everyone is on that platform.

ZAIN Spam Messages

The one thing that I loved about GMail from day one is we stopped getting spam, with yahoo it was getting bad and with hotmail it was basically garbage getting dumped on you. With Google they caught 99.99982% of all the spam that came out. But when it comes to text messages we get so many random text from shopping extravaganzas to nut case candidates to the randomest things, this is all on my Zain lines. I don’t use text messages as much as used to but seriously they are a major pain with all these spam texts that we get from 88990, 99077, and so many other random numbers, and you are charged for receiving them even when you are abroad. As we were complaining online and included Zain Kuwait in the Twitter conversation they let us know that we could unsubscribe from the Ads via the above text actions but there is a bit of skepticism, so hopefully we can get out of it but lets see for how long. There is no laws regulating how cell phone companies can use our numbers and no real ways for them to check, we are left uninformed of what we can do to protect ourselves from being spammed but this is a decent step in the right direction and lets see how long it will last without ads.

BBM – The Barren Wasteland

Last year and the year before RIM was struggling, now they are just a sinking ship, when a few years before that it was everywhere like wildfire, everyone had a Blackberry. I still kept mine because of our Dewaneya being on it, and honestly it is still the best group communication App out there, I think they should have sold it off as an App in the App Store and Android Market, it would have helped sustain Blackberry on the software side.

They held on for so long and still RIM didn’t turn around at all, and a lot of people got fed up with it, they even switched to Android because some people didn’t want Apple. The whole of 2011 didn’t change anything for RIM, and Android & Apple just kept coming up with more updates and better handsets. People started shifting, it feels odd when people start leaving your contact list, at first its normal but then it just got ridiculous, floods of people disappeared. It was honestly sad some of these people were gone, it was nice to to star in touch with them. To be honest up to this point there isn’t an application that is better then BBM and nothing beats a good Qwerty keyboard but they had their problems and they didn’t progress. We are still stuck with the 10 MB which is pretty much useless when roaming, it gets used up in two or three days at most. I don’t know why but it feels like I was abandoned when I see the status update “BBM OFF – WhatsAPP +965##$##$##”, as if the person just gave up and left.

Now the migration has begun, very few people are left on Blackberry, I’m still holding on to it and using it when I can. I’m not a fan of WhatsApp even though pretty much everyone shifted over to it. I tried ChatON and a few other Apps they weren’t that great either. I think I’m probably going to stick to it until this piece of hardware quits, then I don’t think I will be getting another Blackberry until I see some drastic changes in the coming future.

Phonedeck

The cloud dashboard for your mobile phone

Simply enough its a service that lets you manage your phone calls, text messages and contacts from a remote browser. Discover a new way of managing your phone calls, text messages and contacts remotely from the browser. Currently its working for Android only, and I think some sort of integration with Nokia, not iPhone integration because of the way the application works.

  • Syncs your contacts, messages, and history to this application which you can control online
  • They give you lots of statistics about the people you call, who you call the most, the number of messages sent, if you like statistics you will love this program
  • The only thing to keep in mind is that they do have access to your phone, your messages, and you phone book which can be a bit freaky but it seems to be a legitimate company
  • The simple idea for me is that if my phone is somewhere in the same building but I’m on the laptop, I can see who is calling and answer or reply, its a very cool and simple concept

Link: PhoneDeck