Windows HTC One (M8)

When I first heard that HTC will be making another high end Windows Phone I thought that was great, only to find out it’s the HTC One M8, now thats a surprise but a very smart move.The exact same hardware but installing the Windows Phone 8.1 on it is the smartest moves HTC have done, it will only expand their audience. The last HTC Windows phone I had was the HTC One X which was a great device but very weak on the hardware side.

Now this will be in competition with the Nokia Lumia 930 which is currently the high end model from Nokia with WP 8.1 and I am loving it. There were will lots of comparisons between the two and I for one will be making my own to describe two very different devices.

The M8 for Windows has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage as its Android counterpart. The 5-inch screen has the same 1080p resolution, and both front-facing BoomSound speakers are present and functional. The rear camera is the same 4-megapixel Ultrapixel camera with HTC’s Duo Camera depth-sensing tech, while the front-facing camera is the same 5-megapixel unit. The only major differences are that the Windows version will only come in the gunmetal gray color.

Link: TheVerge

Gazer Automated Stabilizer

The one thing about taking shots on the move is that the shots usually come out very shaky, and getting to be smooth is a difficult task. There are lots of great kits out there in the market but they all take practice and skill to get the right weights perfectly to shoot with these stabilizers, I always wondered if there was an automated stabilizer and thankfully someone else was thinking the same idea and brought it to Kickstarter.

There are different models for different uses, for those who want to shoot with a GoPro or Camera phone there is one, and those who want to use a point and shoot there is a different model and there is one for a DSLR and they look very simple to use. I already made a pledge for the SP1 & MD1 for my usual use as thats what I shoot with mostly. Check it out if this interests you as there are is only a few days left to back this project.

Link: Kickstarter

LG G Flex

LGGFlex3

A ridiculously large phone that bends, I’m honestly impressed with the specifications of the phone. The other large phones out there are the HTC One XL & Samsung Note 3 with the Note 3 being much more successful then the One XL. The LG G Flex is the best specced flexible curved phone out in the market at this point with a lot of interesting features.

Specifications

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 6-inch flexible OLED screen at 720 x 1280
  • Rear mounted power and volume controls
  • Android 4.2.2
  • 32GB internal storage
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 802.11 b/g/n/ac dual-band Wifi
  • A-GPS and GLONASS support
  • 13MP rear camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • 160.5 x 81.6 x 8.7 mm; 177g

LGGFlex2

I like that it has very good hardware specifications for a phone this size, and I like that its flexible. The only thing that is annoying about this phone is that it is Android 4.2.2 and not 4.4.1 which would be much better. LG has been very successful with the LG 2 and lots of great opinions about the phone so this one might be just as good even though the software is somewhat dated.

I really like that it’s curved and I want to try it out to see just how it feels. The interesting part is the self healing rear cover meant to withstand scratches in your pocket, not direct intentional scratches.

PicsFrom Gigaom

LGGFlex1

Fasttelco – Aloo Service

FTAloo

I got my hands on the Fasttelco Aloo service a few weeks back now and its turned out to be much better then expected. The Aloo service is an ISDN service based in Kuwait from Fasttelco, you can have a local land line number attached as SIP line to any SIP capable App like Media 5, Bria, or Zoiper. The local lines start with 2220XXXX, these are the regular lines. It works great across 4G & 3G while driving, didn’t disconnect at all.

You get different different choices of lines:

  • Normal Line 70 KWD
  • Silver Line 120 KWD
  • Gold Line 200 KWD
  • Platinum Line 500 KWD
  • Diamond Line 1000 KWD
  • Royal Line 5000 KWD

This is a one time payment for those lines above, then its 60 KWD a year for the service. The yearly service rate is a reasonable rate compared to what you can do with the line. I purchased a Gold Line for a number that is easy to dial and remember. I plugged the line directly into the Android internet calling, it would ask if the call is through the internet or through the phone line, when I choose internet it uses my FT Aloo line which works perfectly. We tried it on two phones but only one could be used.

The best use of this phone is when you travel, it doesn’t matter what line you have on your phone as long as you have data. So when I’m abroad I can divert my Kuwaiti line to the FT Aloo line and it will ring where ever I am as long as I have data in the country that I am in. One point though, even if it doesn’t connect the line will still ring and miss you service from Zain won’t show the line that called you because it was diverted. Still the ability to use this line abroad is fantastic and well worth it.

Fasttelco 1838485

Car Chargers Are Not Created Equal – TYLT Charger

TYLT1

There are lots of times you go into stores looking for car chargers and grab the first thing in front of you. When your phone is about to die and you plug-in the car charger hope to bring it back to life, only to realize after the 20 minute drive that you have an extra 10% which will probably give you another 30 mins to an hour of use.Chargers range from 0.750A to 1.750A, and most of them are on the lower range, be sure to check the car charger output so you know the power you will charge with. Simply put the higher the better.

TYLT2

The TYLT car charger is one of the best I have one as how fast it can charge, at 2.1Amps it really charges your phone quickly. I have found that they are consistent with the power output and this applies to both MicroUSB and Apple products. There products are cleanly made and in it almost chargers a percent a minute, so in a 25 minute ride you would charge up to 20% which is amazing. There are other products who advertise the high Amp output, but only TYLT and Griffin seem to be legitimate, and in this case I highly recommend TYLT chargers, all their chargers are dual chargers, the long flexible one and the v-split charger. I first found them in Virgin in Dubai Mall, but you can also find them on Amazon.

TYLT3

Crippled With Out A Phone

Nexus4Broke1

While traveling the last couple of weeks I was walking to a store when my Nexus 4 slipped out of my pocket and landed face first into the concrete side walk in Los Angeles. The phone had a protective cover so I thought that it would be fine even when I heard the flat splat when it hit. I picked up the phone and saw that lovely crack across it.

The was crack across a quarter of the screen, I could have lived with that until I got it fixed but then only 1/4 of the screen work, the other 3/4 of the touch screen didn’t work, so I literally couldn’t access anything on that part, all I could do was see the notifications and go to them and get stuck.

I went nuts, unlike the iPhone not everyone can fix a Nexus 4 or have the parts. It was Saturday afternoon I had to go travel on Sunday and they wouldn’t be able to fix it until Tuesday, and I was at loss, I would be back in Los Angeles in a week but still no phone for a week.

So I went into TMobile and picked up a Nexus 4 for $500, locked to Tmobile and my line was Tmobile, even though Google unlocked sold for $350 but I was in a spot where I didn’t have much options so I got it and signed in with my Gmail account which automatically downloaded all my Apps which were on my Nexus 4. Loved that, I love that Google did that automatically and I just left it to the wifi for an hour to get everything working again.

Nexus4Broke2

The only thing I was crippled with was WhatsApp wasn’t working and that was my main mode of communication with family and friends. The reason it didn’t work is because WhatsApp groups I was associated with and people, are with my Kuwait line and they send a msg to that line, and this phone only accepts Tmobile lines not Zain. So I was out of touch of WhatsApp for a while.

I read somewhere that people can handle their cars being stolen, but they can’t handle their phone being stolen. I now really believe in that, in Kuwait I have a few other phones to back me up and I could be up and running in a few hours, in this case I was stranded and lost for a while, I couldn’t even call a few people because I didn’t have the numbers memorized.

I knew that Tmobile had a 30 day return policy and all they would take is a $50 restocking fee which I thought was worth it in this case after getting my phone fixed. But it took a bit longer and I had to live without WhatsApp and honestly it felt pretty good to be a bit disconnected while I was traveling, not totally disconnected but at least not my phone dinging every 30 seconds.

My screen was fixed but the battery was acting strange and the back plate was still cracked but I was very happy to have things back to normal. But it was very annoying situation to be in

Sim Card Cutter Blunder

SimCard

Just before traveling I bought a MicroSim Cutter since now all my phones are Micro Sims, got it from one of the phone shops on Khalid bin Waleed Street in the city. Simple process, it was on my to do list so a few hours before my flight I cut my US, UK, and then I decided to cancel my BB service at last and I cut that chip too and switched phones around.

Did that really quickly.. too quickly.

I wanted to put the chip in the phones and it looked a little too small. Turns out the guy sold me the iPhone 5 Nano-Sim cutter! I was pissed, now I have to get new Sims and some of them I can’t get except when I land, thats ridiculous. I’m an idiot for not checking, and that guy must have switched them, and then I blame Apple for changing the Sim Card sizes every time they change a number on their damn iPhone! Very annoyed!

My Favorite Gear From 2012

This has been an interesting year with a lot of new hardware being introduced from everyone, from TVs, Cameras, Laptops, Tablets, Phones and a whole lot more. My list for electronics was freaking long, I had about 20 items on her and it was hard bringing them down to this, so many good pieces of hardware but I wanted to just list the gear that I really use. Basically what was abused, even if it was in a short period of time like the Nexus 4, but I have been waiting for that phone for so long and I’m happy that I’m using it. A few items didn’t make it to the list like the GoPro Hero 3 because its a bit too soon to judge, it has its crappy moments and its great moments. Still too many pieces of hardware to review but I will get to them.

  • Nexus 4 – Best Google Phone Yet
  • Nexus 7 – Still The Perfect Size Tablet
  • Canon G15 – Awesome Camera, Reviewing it Later
  • Nike Fuel – Loved it when I used it, and now don’t want to see my crappy numbers
  • Canon G1X – Great Camera, except for the Macro shots
  • Apple iPod Touch Gen 5 – Loving it! And so small
  • Asus Zenbook – Best Windows Laptop Ever!

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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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