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.

Zain 7 KD – Data Roaming

Zain

There has been a package for GCC Data Roaming since the beginning of the year by Zain. Sometimes it works with the carrier and sometimes it doesn’t, but I would say that it works 70% of the time which is pretty good. 150MB for 7 KD across the GCC which I thought was perfect, honestly you don’t use too much and it doesn’t cost as much as a car if you use too much data, I remember some bills going over a 1000 KWD because of mistakes with billing which are insane. So these packages for data roaming are reasonable if you didn’t purchase a local land line.

To my surprise when I went to London they also had a 7KD package but it was for 100 MB on Vodafone, honestly that wasn’t too bad. I was pleasantly surprised about it. I switched on my data roaming and within minutes it was working on Vodafone’s network in London, truth be told Vodafone’s network isn’t too great but no one really is in London. But it was just enough data to get WhatsApp working as well as a few emails through as needed, it does the job and I’m happy they are making these deals with other telecom companies, at least now Zain is taking advantage of their size and influence and working out deals with other telecom companies to benefit the customer. I’m not sure if that package works for all of Europe or not, but those people traveling during Eid will know when they get there.

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.

UK Speeds

I’m impressed for about 12 KD per month we are getting close to 7 MB download speeds which isn’t too bad and the price is ridiculously cheap. The reason companies can give speeds like this is because they have decent infrastructure in the UK, but prices in Kuwait have dropped have dropped drastically over the years thanks to competition. Now the problem is that they don’t guarantee speeds so technically they can give you any speed for 400 KD per year ranging from 3 to 10 MB instead of the 150 KD for 6 MB but we are getting 7 MB at this price. It seems overall that upload speeds are still somewhat limited in all locations for consumers except data centers.

SpeedShot2

Now for the wireless it ranges from location to location but the 3 network is pretty stable with my constant use. I’m only using it for surfing and some minor downloads, I’m not downloading any torrents currently. 2.5 MB/s downloads isn’t too bad at all, its about the speeds we get in Kuwait, but I think some networks in Kuwait are a little faster. I get about 1 MB/s at home with the Vodafone but around 2 MB/s in other locations which isn’t bad.

3G – UK

3GUK

Since I’m going to be in London for a little while I thought it would be best to remain connected through one of the mobile Broadband providers. I wanted to have fast internet coverage where ever I am and most of the companies offer Pay As You Go USB Sticks but not all offer Pay As You Go MicroSims for the iPad. I had five options to work with for Pay As You Go:

  • Vodafone (No iPad)
  • 3
  • O2 (No iPad)
  • Orange
  • Tmobile (No iPad)

I went to several of these companies and went to carephone warehouse to get the best deal. I also wanted to try a few of them because I might not have the best coverage at home. All of them have limited plans of 1 to 3 GB max per plan and you can top it off to increase the limit. ranging from £15 to £35 depending on the plan and type of USB stick. Out of all of them O2, Orange and Tmobile weren’t that good. Vodafone had a good plan but the coverage by my place isn’t too good but when I’m out its really good, but surprisingly the best out of the bunch for the Laptop and the iPad is 3 Network. And one other note, Mobile Broadband Internet in Kuwait is ALOT faster then the UK, but they can have the option of fiber to home but I was surprised how crappy their Mobile Broadband service in the United Kingdom.

Review: iPad Griffin Standle

I think at this rate there are over 100 cases for the iPad if not 1000 but I was looking for something specific. I didn’t want a notebook or sleeve type case, I wanted something with decent side protection and a stand so that I can place on a table or couch to watch shows. When I saw the Griffin case I knew it was the perfect case for my use, I bought it while I was in the states and I have using it everywhere ever since. I can easily hold the iPad while walking around, or toss it in the car, always ready to be in use and I don’t have to worry about it with this case, it doesn’t slip off the seat while I’m driving.

Pros:

  • It can stand vertically or horizontally
  • Can easily slip in a bag
  • Buttons are easily accessible
  • For $50 its an excellent product
  • Rubber pieces on the back provide traction when its flat on the table
  • The horizontal piece can be used as a handle, or a way to prop up the ipad and it has a locking mechanism to keep it up which is very useful
  • The vertical stand is very simple and stable, works great for AirDisplay and if you want to use the iPad as an extra monitor

Cons:

  • No Screen Protection
  • Adds a little bulk to it

Link: Griffin
Rating:
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PrePaid Micro-Sim?

iPad3G

Having an IPad 3G I wanted to take advantage of it while in the states next week. I have been looking online at T-Mobile & AT&T but I can’t seem to find any Pre-Paid Micro-Sim data plan. It’s always these contract plans, so I wondering what I would have to do to get a Pre-Paid Micro Sim for the iPad while I’m there for a few weeks.

I found this site called: iphonetrip but the pricing is ridiculous.

Anyone have any luck with this?

iPad 3G vs. Wifi

There is no doubt what so ever that Apple have created an amazing product with the iPad, but there is one crucial point about this machine that makes it so successful, it is a content intensive product. There is something for everyone, games, utilities, productivity,media, movies, TV shows, and music and everything else you want on the go. You need to be connected most of the time to go through the media, in my case I downloaded a lot of comics and magazines, but for a lot of services and applications you need to be connected online. One part is that Wireless is very fast with a fast connection, and even at times it isn’t enough for the iPad, I have tried 3G and at best the performance is spotty at best and it depends on your location. Now all three providers (Wataniya, Viva, and Zain) will be releasing the micro-sim at the same time but will you really be able to use it normally. The other aspect is that you will have to pay a monthly fee for 3G connectivity, is it really worth it in this case, its not a phone but a tool to access the net. I for one love the iPad, sitting on my couch going through the RSS feed or playing a few games, or reading comics, its a dynamic tool but on the go I will just use the available Wireless in the area, 3G just doesn’t make much sense to me with the use of the iPad since you wouldn’t use it enough to justify the monthly costs.

iPad 64GB – Wifi

I have had my iPad 64 GB Wifi for about four days now, and I LOVE IT! There are a few things of course which are annoying but overall I think Apple did an amazing job with the product. The iPad itself feels very good in your hands, I love the Aluminum bezel and they have the right amount of buttons to control the iPad. The screen is amazing, just the perfect amount of brightness and you can really enjoy it, I go through my RSS feeds so smoothly and easily, the one thing is that it attracts finger prints so you have to keep wiping constantly it to keep it clean. Reading comics and watching a few shows on it is pretty good, but after a while you do get tired of looking at the screen, but I got lost using the iPad and forgot the time around me which tells you how much this product pulls you in. But the iPad is only as good as the Applications that you can use with it, and luckily there are quiet a few different applciations from gaming to utilities. I like the buttons on the iPad works smoothly to control the volume and locking it up if need be, and you can lock the screen in a certain vertical or landscape mode which is very smart on their part. What surprised me the most was the battery, with normal use it lasted over a two day period before finishing the battery, watching some TV shows, surfing, reading a couple of comics, and playing video games. Some people complain about the speaker being of lower quality but I honestly think its decent for what the iPad is supposed to do, I was surprised it had one in the first place, if it isn’t what your looking for then plug in a pair of head phones and you are good to go. Another good edition is being able to add any App or even website for that matter to the App bar at the bottom, so you can really put your frequently used Apps and websites in one location.

My Applications:

  • Jump – Remote Desktop to My Server and Computers (Must Have)
  • Marvel – Marvel Comics loaded up on the amazing screen.
  • IDW Transformers – Downloading every Transformer Comic there is, I can’t get enough, reading comics on the iPad is a fantastic experience and I really got into it forgetting myself
  • GoodReader – Reads, PDF, Test Documents, Images and a few other files on the iPad and on other machiens and servers. (Must Have)
  • NewsRack – Best RSS Reader which integrated with GoogleReader, smooth, loads up articles in a different window and if you click a link it takes you to it (Must Have)
  • AirVideo – Watch any type of video file on your iPad from any PC or Server, works perfectly for all my anime and tv shows, don’t have to purchase the TV shows (Must Have)
  • Accuweather – The best and smoothest weather app for the iPad, the other ones just didn’t work so well. Kind of annoyed with the WeatherBug and when I tried Accuweather I was very happy
  • Shazam – It has a built-in Microphone and Speaker, so you can catch the song you want and you can listen to it, better then the iPod Touch in my situation since I don’t have an iPhone.
  • GQ – This has turned into an interesting read, lots of time just to flip through the magazine, but all the Ads are very very very annoying. GQ has to rethink the way they have the magazine, it should be smart and intuitive, not just cut and paste from the magazines (Hold Off)
  • PopularSciene – Making the magazine interactive is smart, but the content isn’t there yet and applications need to be refined a little (Hold Off)
  • SkyGrid – All the upcoming news from multiple feeds brought to you and updated, its fantastic how it keeps updating, you can view the stories which are most popular then choose the articles within it that you want to read.
  • SportsTap – Football, NFL, NBA, College Football, Tennis, and Golf all at your finger tips. I use it to follow the updates on the NFL mostly and its pretty damn good.
  • BBC News – Different the iPhone/iPod its presented in video format as well as articles which makes it pretty interesting.

Games:

  • TopGun – Its fun but annoying when you haven’t gotten the movements right
  • FlightControl HD – Addictive game, you can place for hours, you have to direct planes to land around other planes, and no mistake is accetable
  • Harbor Master – One of those fun time consuming games, but drives you nuts! You have to dock and undock ships in the right port without them crashing!
  • Scrabble – Its a fun old game with new life, there are so many words that I don’t know any more
  • Red Alert – Command and Conquer is fantastic, the only annoying thing is selecting a lot of troops but who can imagine that an iPad can play a full Real Time Strategy game such as this!
  • N.O.V.A – Fun first person shooter, a different experience but not for everyone
  • Implode – Blowing up buildings, who doesn’t enjoy that!

The Problems:

  • Right now the Wifi works fine but sometimes it does have its issues, seems online some people are already complaining, and to get a lot of content it needs bandwidth and constant connectivity
  • Without Flash somewebsites just don’t show their full content and its a very easy fix for Apple but that doesn’t seem to be happening
  • Navigating the large amount of Apps for the iPad is a bit of task, you just can’t seem to find the right App for your need. I’m looking for a Networking App but can’t seem to find it
  • iPod/iPhone Apps should not be installed on the iPad with the X2 Zoom functionality, it just looks wrong and tacky

Do I think every should get an iPad, yes I definately do, Am I addicted to it? Positively! Its not for everyone but everyone who I know has it is really enjoying it, I’m trying to fill mine with as much content as possible so as to use it when I’m traveling and have no wifi connectivity, which is the main purpose in my case, and the comics are doing that perfectly.


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