Tag Archives: nexus 4

Week 27 – 2014

This was a busy week. The first of the month fell in this week which will explain why. I was out most of the days in some degree, and had been a bit busy throughout. First, I spent a little on my credit card to get new socks and briefs. I was lacking in socks without holes, and my briefs were falling apart. I swear though, underclothes are getting too expensive. On the first, my benefits came, although there was some delay. I was able to address most things quickly though. I paid my rent, and electric bill. I then transferred the rest to my two Capital One cards. The Quicksilver got the money for the phone bill, and Internet service. The reason for this is because this card provides a cash back on purchases made. While nothing to brag about, it is better than nothing. However, even though I paid the bills before the banks open on the first, the money didn’t get recognized until the third.

I also decided to buy a new phone. I of course used T-Mobile’s EIP in-house credit which seems to rival my two credit cards put together. This is rather depressing, but I am not complaining. I was considering trading in the old phone for credit to the new phone, but they only wanted to offer me $20 for my near perfect condition Nexus 4. For that T-Mobile, FU! Needless to say, I kept the Nexus 4. It is now being used as a house phone which therefore retires my old cordless phone from service.

Continue reading Week 27 – 2014

Week 26 – 2014

Not much happened this week. I received a little of the money Chris owed me, but not as much as I wanted. I deposited the money into the bank which was then transferred to the two credit cards, and a portion to the Google Wallet. In addition, I decided to upgrade my phone from the Nexus 4 to the Nexus 5. I also learned the hard way that even Nexus devices with T-Mobile is locked to T-Mobile. I requested an unlocked code for my Nexus 4 which the last payment will be paid in July’s bill. The first payment for my Nexus 5 will be in August. Last this week, Chris came by on Saturday for a couple of hours.

As for plans for the next week, I will be expecting not only my normal benefits, but a rent rebate deposit. This is due on July 1, which the money will be used to pay for the dog’s annual visit, and the rest to my credit cards to reduce the money owed. I am also expecting a BAWI site to be registered which I will start to work on (hopefully). I had been a bit lazy on my sites this week, and hope to make up for it in the coming week.

2013-11-25

Not much happened today. I finally got the update for Android 4.4, but some of the features I would have like aren’t on the Nexus 4. Nonetheless, I will be looking forward to possibly knowing what company is calling me being a pain in the behind since 4.4 supports CID with businesses. It was too cold to walk the dogs, so they will have to get a longer walk tomorrow.

As for plans for tomorrow, I will have to mail off some documents, and get a few things at the grocery store. Not much else is planned for the day though. I will obviously walk the dogs, and will want to try to get some laundry finished as well.

2013-07-23

Not much happened today. However, Malak and Talisa got to play with another dog for about an hour which was really good especially for the benefit of Malak. I also received the replacement Nexus 4 which I am hoping this will be the last time I will need to replace it. I will have to assume that this is a streak of bad luck.

In addition to the Nexus replacement, I also got a very low end phone which will handle my unknown callers. The rationale of this is I can turn off the phone and therefore have privacy while still being reachable by those I will want. This phone will be put in primary role if the next time comes where I will have to get my Nexus 4 replaced. No notebook today though, but it is for the best since it will be delivered tomorrow by UPS, and I can hand the defective phone for return.

Continue reading 2013-07-23

2013-06-10

Not much happened today. I took the dogs for a walk, but it was raining much of the day which meant they were not able to play in the back yard. I also had a bill that had to be paid which had been paid today, and I transferred half of my money from my bank account to the credit card. It’s not really enough, but it will have to do.

I hadn’t received any notification from UPS or T-Mobile on the replacement phone being sent. I am hoping they will still have it to me tomorrow. The phone was able to turn on this evening, but was acting slow. I can only assume one of the processors aren’t working properly. At least it will allow me to reset the phone which will wipe the phone clean of my data.

Continue reading 2013-06-10

2013-06-09

Not much happened today. Chris didn’t get the money for the phone, so when I see him – he and I are going to have a serious conversation about his lack of consideration. Talisa has been acting funny. This evening, she wanted to stay in her kennel. I am assuming she just wants to be alone which is fine. I walked the dogs twice today, and of course they had time to play. Not much else happened though.

Another problem arose. About 11:00AM, my phone decided to die and not turn back on. Since the phone is still under warranty, T-Mobile said they will send a new on. The representative told me before Tuesday, but I doubt that. He gave an order number, so I will call T-Mobile again tomorrow, and make sure. I feel as if I have to call T-Mobile to make sure what they say they will do will be done. My experience with their customer service has been poor in my opinion to say the least. In the meantime, I am stuck with just my home phone.

Continue reading 2013-06-09

2013-05-21

Today while rather uneventful has been a slightly busy day. Chris was due to have a replacement phone that came to me as I am the account holder. In turn, the phone will be passed to him, and the G2x he was using for about a month will go to Andrea. However, a few things had to happen first. The phone needed to charge, and I needed to install updates. To minimize interruption while assuring the phone transfer will take place properly, I waited until after 8PM to change the SIM. The reason for this is the G2x uses a Mini-SIM, while the new phone will use a Micro-SIM. Because of this, I couldn’t just wait for him to come after work and insert the SIM card in the new phone.

I also took the dogs out for a walk twice today. I took them out in the morning when it was cooler, and a shorter walk in the afternoon. I also watched a couple of shows on Hulu and wrote a couple of emails. The landlord also came by to fix the back door. The hinges were coming loose, so they needed to be tighten. 

Continue reading 2013-05-21

Nexus 4–One Month Later

So, I had the Nexus 4 for a month, and it is relatively better than I expected in most instances, but it left me disappointed in a couple of instances. So, for those of you who hadn’t bought a Nexus 4, but will like to – here is my full review on it.

Specs

The Nexus 4 has a 4.7” display. The number 4 is not the screen size, but the generation which succeeded the Nexus One, Nexus S, and Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus has a 320 ppi which is 6 pixel per inch short of the iPhone 5. The phone weighs at 139 grams which but with a good feel.

The phone supports Bluetooth, NFC, Wifi-N, and GSM 2G/3G. It does support all bands, so it is a truly global phone. The phone is unlocked, so those that travel in areas of other carriers will find this phone a benefit as long as the carrier supports a micro-SIM. If not, you could buy a micro-SIM cutter, but be sure to buy a quality one, otherwise you damage your SIM card. The phone also supports HSPA+42 which allows for a potential of 42MBPS download. Your carrier obviously has to support it. Last, it supports Qi enabled wireless charging. Power Mat does not use the Qi standard, so if you have one, you will not benefit from this.

As for components, there is a physical power button on the right top side. This is a change from most phones that have their power on the top. The volume rocker is on the left top side. There is a 1.3MP front camera, and a 8MP rear camera. I am not a big camera person, so I can’t really give the quality of the pictures, and anyone that uses a camera a lot should know that it isn’t just megapixels. Needless to say, there is an ear piece as well and where where one expects it to be. There is a primary microphone, and a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. There is a speaker which is obviously good, and since it is grilled exposed, it has a better sound in comparison to my previous phone. There is a USB port, but it can also handle HDMI through the less common Slim Port protocol.

The phone uses a Snap Dragon S4 1.5Ghz Quad Core CPU. If I had the resources to connect my phone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, I could even replace my PC (to some degree) with this phone. It has 2GB of memory which is typical for higher end phones. There is also a choice of 8GB or 16GB (just go for the 16GB). The price difference of the two phones is $50, but as with the previous Nexus Phones, this one has no micro-SD card. And since the Nexus does not support mass storage with OTG, don’t expect any help there. This wouldn’t be a problem if there wasn’t an artificial shortage of data capabilities over cellular. In the United States, only Sprint and T-Mobile (+$20) offers unlimited services. Since Sprint uses the CDMA network, you will not be able to use the Nexus 4 on Sprint. This makes sense since even the CDMA carriers are eventually phasing out CDMA for the Global GSM – LTE standard. However, if you have a lot of data you want access to, you need to rely on cloud storage, and therefore you might benefit from the $20 unlimited data. Thankfully, T-Mobile’s prices (in comparison) is very reasonable and competitive.

The phone comes with 4.1, so expect the phone to upgrade itself to 4.2.2 once you connect to a network, and set up your credentials. 4.2.2 is the most up to date version of Android, and well worth the upgrade – not so much right now, but you can expect your phone to keep receiving OS updates years from now until the hardware can no longer support it.

Operating System

The OS at time of writing is Android 4.2.2. I will expect that during Google I/O, there should be a new version of the Android OS, and I (having a Nexus Phone) will receive that update relatively quickly. Because the phone checks directly with Google for updates, the updates are not under the control of the manufacturer nor the carrier. This is one reason why I chosen the Nexus over the Galaxy S3, or Note 2.

Folders is a good thing to have. It has been available in iOS, and one of the things that I preferred with iOS over Android. However, the folders on Android 4 and higher beats that out. You only get 5 screens, and Home defaults to the center screen. The back, Home, and Task Management screen are virtual keys rather than physical or capacitive. This allows for the screen real estate to be optimized in comparison to the dimensions of the phone.

Google Now is similar to Siri, but does much more. However, most likely because of my life, I hadn’t benefited much from the personal assistant features of Google Now. I will hope as time goes, it will recognize my lifestyle, and use my calendar to tell me when I need to go (on time) to take buses to appointments. However, until this (if at all) happens, I will be my own personal assistant.

The phone app is functional for what you would expect. However, the expanded feature of SIP dialing is completely useless in my opinion. First, if you are like me, and use Google Voice for calls, then this is the default system. This means trying to use the phone’s dialer to make a SIP call is not possible unless you are making a SIP to SIP address call. I could never seem to get a QWERTY keyboard to come up when trying to dial a SIP address, so I will have to assume this will only be beneficial if I am contacting a contact’s SIP address. In addition, when a POTS based call came to my SIP service and therefore the integrated SIP client, it used the number @ the IP address of the server. This made returning missed calls impossible without manually dialing the number.

Application management is easier. First, there is a task manager button. Selecting this will bring up a visual list of all of the apps in memory. Swiping right will shut the app down. Also, holding an installed app from the app drawer will allow you to drag it to a Delete option which will remove the app from the device. If you purchased the app, you can still have access to it from the Play Store. You can’t uninstall included apps such as the email or Gmail app. You can disable them, by using the App Info. This should also work with S**tware apps from carriers or manufacturers. Since the Nexus is void of these apps, the only ones are those part of the OS. An exception is the default web browser found on most devices has been replaced with the Chrome Browser. This is going to probably be the standard browser in future versions which makes sense on Google’s part.

Media

I am a big music person. When I leave my apartment, I like to have my headphones, and listen to music. Media management on Android is still as incompetent as it always has been. Yes, one could plug their phone in their computer, and drag and drop. However, iOS puts the media capabilities to shame. Mind you, to use an iOS device officially requires the media player that is larger than some office suites, but Google can do so much more. They can either provide proper integration with media players like Windows Media Player, and try to work with Apple for some integration with iTunes (maybe limiting the support with Macs). However, as Play Music and the online capabilities stand, there is no smart play lists. If you like listening to same thing over and over again, or don’t mind wasting your time trying to find different play lists – this is not an issue. However, for a more discerning person like me where I want to be able to have the PC shuffle music based on the parameters is my preference. I been doing it with an iPod Touch for a few years to say the least. It works, and it is ass backwards to not cater to that means of music management. To help compensate for this, I have to use iSyncr, and there is no such media manager that will work with Windows Media Player.

The Good

First, it is a Nexus phone. This means that it will have a reliable update path. The last two Android phones I had both had stock Android, and the manufacturer or T-Mobile chose to not update the OS after purchase beyond a minor package upgrade. The only Nexus phone that didn’t receive Android 4.0 or better was the Nexus One due to hardware issues. I can feel confident that I will have this phone for more than the 2 year expectancy that most phones these days see.

The phone is a nice size. I can see even women being able to use this phone without feeling overwhelmed by the size. My 16 year old niece loves the phone, so that has to say something about the “cool” factor.

The Bad

Yes, I know that many phones are moving to integrated batteries to stuff more battery in a smaller package. However, this can be a disadvantage if you rely on your phone, and you use it to do something crazy like make phone calls. If your work requires you to be out of the office, and being able to make and receive phone calls, then you may not like the fact you can’t swap the battery. Yes, you can always use an auto charger (if you have a car), but this takes resources that could possibly be needed for something else, and as of 2013-03-26, the only car I know that has Qi charging built in is the Toyota Avalon.

I personally feel that 16GB should have been the smallest capacity. In hindsight, Google is probably thinking the same. The 16GB model has regularly been sold out with the 8GB only going as the 16 will be gone. The Nexus 7 used to have an 8GB option. Now, it is just 16, and 32.

The glass background is begging to be cracked and shattered. While it may look pretty, it has its issues. First, expect to put the phone only completely flat or slight angles but the surface is rough. I have occasionally placed my phone on top of my iPod Touch (gen 3), and in a few moments, I hear something hit the floor. Can you guess what it was? Be prepared to buy a case to go with your phone. The bumper that Google marketed might help, but a $10 case from Ringke will work better and cheaper.

Google Wallet is not supported if you are using T-Mobile’s network. Why the wallet is disabled because of this is beyond me. Google Wallet should be encrypted from app to server and work no matter the pipeline it is transmitted on. I don’t have AT&T’s service, so I don’t know their support on this, but if you had dreams of using your phone as a virtual wallet to buy your food, and other items you want day to day and this single device consolidating all of your cards (2 in my case) into one secured system – keep dreaming. T-Mobile will eventually allow you to use Isis when that becomes available anytime between now and not in your lifetime. Even when Isis comes out, if the merchants don’t support it, you are still SOL. Google Wallet is supported with any merchant that supports Google Checkout (obviously), and Mastercard PayPass. The cards in Google Wallet doesn’t even have to be Mastercard.

If You Want One?

First, if you noticed, I didn’t mention anything about LTE. There is no official LTE support, and I think with good reason why. Consider reading my post on Why LTE Sucks for my reasoning. I seen very different prices, but I am going to give you the best options here.

Go to Google’s Nexus Page. You will pay $350 for the 16GB version. Expect $15 for shipping (in the United States), and you may have to pay for sales tax. You will not be able to get insurance through your carrier, so you would want to find a company that will insure phones. Expect $100 for 2 years which is cheaper than the carrier any how. The phone must be less than 30 days old. Buy a Ringke case (about $15) from Amazon, and an Energizer Qi charging pad. You could use the USB charging, but you might prefer to just set the phone down to charge, and lift it up when you need to take it.

If you can not afford such a large investment, and you are a T-Mobile customer, you might qualify for an EIP plan. $50 down, and $18 per month for 24 months will get you the Nexus 4. You will still have to get a case, but this should make the payments while more expensive a more obtainable option. If you don’t qualify for EIP – The Google Nexus site is you only realistic option.

Your carrier needs to be a GSM 2G/3G carrier. This means that it will not work with Verizon, nor Sprint. Your carrier will also need to provide you with a micro-SIM card. This card is about half the size of a mini SIM (what are normally found in phones).

And yes, there are faster, and better phones. However, until a manufacturer and carrier shows that they will update the OS on their phones, I don’t see why you would want to spend $500 – $800 on something that will be a regret 2 years from now because you can’t get the updates that your $800 phone can obviously support.

2013-02-25

A bit has happened today. Chris came by and visited. He however got sick in the afternoon which eventually forced his hand to going home rather than work. I forgot to drop off the disc that should have went out today. I did receive another disc today, so I will watch the movie first thing tomorrow. Both discs will be sent out at the same time.

On another note, I did get the Nexus 4 which will replace the mostly incompetent LG G2x. The G2x will become the Wifi Phone. One thing that makes things slightly inconvenient is the Nexus 4 use micro-SIM, while the G2x used Mini-SIM which was the standard at the time. If something would happen to the phone, then I can’t rely on the G2x as a backup phone.

Continue reading 2013-02-25

Nexus 4–First Impressions

Earlier today, I received the Nexus 4-16GB model, and while I am sure there are a lot of more in depth reviews of this older phone, here is my perspective on it with my first impressions.

The Good

First, it is running Android (latest version) always. In a matter of fact, once I turned the phone on, and connected to my wifi Network, it pulled an update to the phone, and asked to reboot. In other words, within two minutes, I had more updates on this new phone, than I had with the G2x in two years.

The phone is bigger than the older one. It is a 4.7” screen but it doesn’t feel like it. The screen is nice and vibrant as well. I also like the new color scheme in comparison to the dated Android 2.3 I been dealing with for 2 years. There is also an additional feature for SIP calling which I could essentially use a server to connect the phone to and make calls from the home when the reception with T-Mobile is poor which sometimes happens.

Google Now is a nice feature, although so far it has only brought up weather. Later this week, I will have to take the bus, so I will if I can get more capabilities done. The phone also has a better audio set in my opinion to the G2x, or even my 3rd gen iPod Touch when headphones are plugged into it.

And last, but not least – it is unlocked. Even when buying from T-Mobile, the phone is unlocked. By having the phone natively unlocked means that I don’t have to beg permission, or wait a couple of weeks for them to finally unlocked the phone.

Being a Nexus Phone, there is no S**tware. My G2x had EA Games, T-Mobile Music Hub, T-Mobile My Account, and My Device, NFS Shift, Nova, Smartshare, Telenav GPS Navigator, T-Mobile TV, and T-Mobile Video Chat – none of these I ever used. About the only software that I used that T-Mobile shoved down the throat is Wifi-Calling. Wifi Calling is not available on the Nexus, and some T-Mobile customers complained. Boo Hoo, and cry a river. Wifi Calling is to help compensate poor coverage areas, and requires Wifi. Here’s a better solution, Use Google Voice, and get a SIP provider like TelTub. Android supports integrated SIP support, and set it so calls over wifi uses the SIP account. You will probably save some minutes on your plan. To me, the lost of Wifi Calling is a small price to pay to not be stuck on false promises by T-Mobile to update their devices.

The Bad

This phone is not perfect, and not even perfect for me. Simply put, I knew that going in as for the disadvantages of the phone. None the less, I will gripe about them now.

First, I am paying more than full price for the phone. This was not my plan, however a representative offered to deduct $50 from my next bill, and while this does not make up for it, this was the best deal I was likely to get between then and when I could afford to buy the phone 4 months down the road. The G2x was giving me more problems, and there was times where if I asked it to run a couple of programs in the background, I will be stuck having to reboot the phone 3 or 4 times a day. So, if I purchased the phone from Google Play, I would have paid $400 including taxes, and S&H. I would have got an insurance plan from an outside source, and paid about the same as I did with T-Mobile without insurance. However, in my opinion, the most insulting prospect is my contract has been extended to February 2015. Thankfully, the other line is still due to end in April 2014. The T-Mobile Tax, and Contract will not apply if one buys directly from Google.

Second, everything is integrated. The battery is integrated, and the storage has no SD card slot. At just 16GB, this is the same capacity as the smallest capacity iPhone 5. Simply put, I would have expected better from the Google Flagship phone. I knew this going in, but this is even more of a shame as it is also the best sound media player I have.

The backing is too fancy for my taste. It doesn’t scream look at me, but quietly nudges people to look at it. I know this is a trivial point, but I would have much rather had a plain back side. The back also has a glass feel to it, which will concern me if it drops.

The micro-USB port feels a little snug when plugging in a standard micro-USB cord. This isn’t a concern, but I actually a couple of times to make sure the port wasn’t upside down. The power button is located at the high left side rather than on the top of the phone. This is a big change for me as the phone from the last couple of years was on the top and left of the phone. Even many other phones I seen has their buttons on the top. This will take some getting used to.

Google Wallet is disabled. As with the price gouging, this is not an action of Google, but a decision of T-Mobile. They however will support Isis, but it is not available yet. And while they could not prevent Wallet from being included into the Nexus Phone, they seem to have made this would have been valuable feature invalid. My option would have to be to move to the much more expensive AT&T, and pay the ETF even though I paid full price for the phone.

The Unknown

There are a few things I hadn’t got to use yet. The first is NFC. I will like to get NFC tags to make certain changes. For example, I will set a tag by the door to my apartment to toggle Wifi, and GPS (Bluetooth when I get a device). When I leave, it will turn Wifi Off, and GPS on. When I come home, it will switch those. NFC can do a bit more too, but this is a sample.

Also, I hadn’t got a chance to use the Qi charging. This will definitely be something I will want though. I will like to simply set my phone on the pad, and have it charge. I only wished there was more options of devices to support it.

I also hadn’t got to use the cameras just yet. I am not a big camera person, so this isn’t a big deal to me.

Verdict and What’s Next

First, if you are using a GSM carrier, and you are willing to accept the limitations, then the Nexus 4 based on first impressions is a great phone. If you are a T-Mobile customer, you will definitely want to buy from the Google Play Store. The only reason I didn’t is I had to put $135 down, and will be doing $20 per month for the next 20 months with 0% APR. I also got a $50 credit, and this would have been a better option without the contract extension.  I hadn’t got to deal with the battery life yet, but consider myself a moderate user.

As for the G2x, it will be demoted to a SIP phone. Unknown callers will ring this phone leaving me with peace on the cellular phone. The G2x will use a GTalk client which will be sufficient for my needs. I will likely do a reset on the phone, and wipe it clean of everything on the phone, although will still be stuck with the S**tware.

However, no matter what, I am confident that I will have better reliability with the Nexus 4 for the next 2 years than I had with the G2x for the past 2 years. And since updates are taken out of both LG (the manufacturer of the Nexus 4), and T-Mobile, I will have some confidence that my investment will be better off.