Samsung S4 – It’s Out

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All this wait and finally this phone is out and it hasn’t changed too much in the looks department but the guts of the phone looks very impressive, its packing a punch. I think Samsung is taking a page out of Apple’s book, the design is fine but they did a major upgrade on the internal parts of the device. They are aiming to release it towards the end of April and knowing what happened last time, these are going to sell out quickly.

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Samsung S4 Specifications:

  • 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
  • 1.9 GHz quad-core processor or 1.6 GHz octa-core processor (depending on market)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/ 32/ 64 GB internal storage, microSD slot
  • Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850/900/1900/2100 MHz; 4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (dependent on market)
  • 13 Mega pixel auto focus rear camera with flash and zero shutter lag, BIS
  • 2 Mega pixel front camera, full HD recording @30fps with zero shutter lag, BIS
  • Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • GPS / GLONASS
  • NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, IR LED, MHL 2.0
  • 2,600 mAh battery

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What I like about the Hardware:

  • One hell of a camera!
  • Powerful CPU
  • Comes with Android 4.2.2
  • 2,600 mAh battery, so it will last a bit longer, which is more then the S3
  • Up to 64GB Memory
  • Has a MicroSD Slot, very few phones seem to have that these days
  • This time they made it in black, not blue!
  • With all those new hardware features and a bigger battery, its still ligher then the Samsung S3

What I Don’t like About the Hardware

  • Why is the LTE based on location, why don’t they have a multiband LTE like they do for the 3G/2G so it can work across all networks not just LTE in one region or another.

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I would like to talk about the camera since that is a feature which is essential to our media dependent lives and the ability to share pictures in all directions. Now this is an interesting features, the dual-camera setup on the S4 can be used in video chat like everyone else and photographs, so a pic of you and what you have your camera pointed at, and the camera as mentioned about in the Specs is 13MP which is very impressive, the S3 camera was great, this one looks to be even better. They even took features from the Samsung Galaxy Camera and set it up with the S4 which is a smart move on their part.

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You have several choices from the new Android Devices that are coming out:

  • Samsung S4
  • HTC One
  • Sony Xperia Z

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My opinion is that Sony makes good looking devices, but the OS is always lacking something and they NEVER update their phone, and that makes a huge difference, if you really like it then get, but other then that I would go with either the HTC One or the Samsung S4. If you like HTC then you will love the HTC One, very solid build, and they really worked on the software this time around. And Samsung as usual has come out with the full featured monster. If I had to describe HTC and Samsung’s software philosophies in a single sentence, it’d be this: HTC puts more emphasis on design, whereas Samsung packs in more features. Overall I love the metal design of the HTC One over the Samsung S4, but I like the camera use of the S4. When it comes down to these two its a matter of preference.

Link: AndroidCentral

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

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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Google Currents – Android App

The App that quietly slipped in with the Jellybean update, when I saw Google Currents, I honestly didn’t know what it is and when I clicked it, it seemed to have feeds to different types of media, I wondered if it was subscription based but turns out its free feeds. Several magazine and website feeds into a magazine like flow to content is the simple way to describe it. The first time I discovered it was on my Nexus 7, I didn’t realize it was on my Galaxy Nexus after the Jellybean update.

I just started using it since getting my Nexus 7 and the list above are the list of feeds that I am currently following. This is not what I use for my RSS Feeds, but something different and interesting to read when I feel like it. Sometimes you need to be liberated from your RSS feeds, it feels like you are tied to them and people have used Flipboard and loved it, even when its available for Android I think Google Currents is just that much smoother for Android Tablets and Phones.

The design is simple and crisp, and lists of new stories scroll up and down while reading within each individual story is usually by swiping left to right. This is a news aggregator that is sometimes conspicuously elegant, but never distracting. That’s exactly as it should be. Sharing is simple, too, and the only downside is that some publishers provide only very limited content.

The approach is simple – it splits content between your own library of subscriptions (both media and RSS) and items that are trending online. The former offers options of a wide range of tech titles, from Engadget to the Verge and several dedicated Android titles, as well as a perfectly decent selection of newspapers and lifestyle magazines. You can easily add RSS Feeds directly from the Google Reader, or add all your feeds if you would like. Keeping in mind that this doesn’t affect your Google Reader counts, it displays your RSS feeds as magazine articles which makes it smoother and more interesting.

One major plus for reader apps is offline access, and the amount that Currents downloads by default is very impressive. One problem with offline mode is that without pictures it looks pretty bare, but I’m grateful that I have access to content when I’m offline so I get to browse through it. Google Currents, overall, is an app every Android user should download.

Review: Google Nexus 7

AFter a long 3 to 4 week wait I got notification that my Nexus 7 has shipped and its on its way, as soon as I got it I even went out of my way to get it on Friday afternoon on a hot day the first day of Ramathan to start tinkering with it. I had my hunting knife ready to rip the box apart since those youtube video’s showed how impossible it was to open the box, and in this case it was so with the knife I made short work of the box, pretty much impossible to use the box again.

As soon as I took it out and started it up, they already had my email programmed into the Nexus 7, just had to sign in and everything is pretty much the same compared to any Android device. I have also been using Jellybean version of Android on my Samsung Nexus Galaxy, and I’m loving the interface so it wasn’t new to me when I was trying out the Nexus 7, Google did a great job with this software. When your handling it, it feels solid, the screen is fantastic, I didn’t try the camera yet but it isn’t a priority for me.

Just for people who are going to wonder, my home network runs on a US VPN when I switch on from the router so when I was using the Google Nexus 7 the IP was a US Based Address so I was able to play movies, magazines, and books right away. First thing I watched was Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen, very quick playback, excellent video quality, the Nexus 7 handled the action scenes flawlessly and the sound is pretty good too. For a tablet that size the speaker packs a punch, louder then I thought it would be. This is also one of the more annoying things, I took the Nexus 7 with me to another location and hooked up to the wireless, at that moment, Google Movies, Magazines, and Books disappeared so they are forever gone. I don’t understand why Google can’t sort out the media issue so everyone can access the content like Apple in this case.

Pros:

  • Screen Size is Perfect, you can really watch stuff on it without feeling that its too small or too big. You can take it around with you without feeling that its big as the iPad.
  • Battery life lasted about 2 days of extensive use with gaming, shows, instagram, surfing the web and all other sorts of utilities
  • The Price is really cheap compared to any iPad and yet its a powerful device with a great graphics.
  • Great for reading and writing emails, they have perfect the Gmail interface for the Nexus 7, its just so smooth and has all the Gmail features integrated into it.
  • It doesn’t feel like an oversized phone, it feels like a genuine tablet, and I have tried the Galaxy Note, and it feels very different.
  • It’s relatively light, and Asus have done a fantastic design with the design

Cons:

  • Content is still somewhat lacking in comparison to Apple.
  • There is a white screen problem that I am having, I can’t adjust the contrast on it so its a bit too white and it starts off too white then 15 mins later it adjust. I contacted Google Play Support and they are sending out a replacement unit right away, so it isn’t necessarily a con in this case since they didn’t even take 10 mins to say they would send out a replacement, I was just hoping for some sort of software fix for it. But I don’t mind getting a new unit.

Overall:

I love the device even though it’s lacking in content, its quick and presents all the information I want. If I’m somewhere with a wifi connection I don’t have to abuse my phone to keep me entertained, these days the amount of battery a phone has is important so I have started to abuse the Nexus 7. A lot of application work perfectly on this screen, and the Chrome Browser, Gmail and pretty much all Google Applications work better on the Nexus 7. I would recommend this tablet to anyone who is looking for something smaller then an iPad, and it can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. The Kindle Fire was my first experience with an Android Tablet, and it was good since it had the content to back it up, but it was majorly lacking in firepower but this machine is another story its the best hardware you can pack into it. I took a few screen shots so you can see how good the screen is, and a few of the applications.

Price: $280
Rating:


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