On Saturday July 25, 2015 – I have received the Asus Memo Pad 7 to replace the Alcatel Pop 7 when the screen cracked. The tablet is to function as a secondary tablet which is intended to remain mostly home, and suit for some of the secondary application roles that the Pop 7 did. One exception will be music playing which an iPod Shuffle was acquired as a dedicated day time player. The tablet has an Intel Atom Dual Core 1.2Ghz CPU, 1GB of memory, 16GB storage with a micro-SD card support (64GB). The tablet has Wifi-N, and Miracast. There is a .2MP (VGA) front camera, and a 2MP rear camera. There is an headphone jack, micro-USB, power, and volume. The OS is Android 4.4.2 with Zen UI.
I bought the HP Stream 7 for a couple of reasons. First, my primary PC is failing. The keyboard doesn’t work properly, and sound has been shot. With this in mind, I can only assume the system board (where everything is) will eventually go. This forced me to make my primary PC which is a notebook homebound. However, I never bought a notebook because that is what the cool kids are doing these days, I bought a notebook so I could be productive not only at home, but away.
In reviewing the HP Stream 7 to see if it would be worth the price, the biggest attraction was the price at $85 for a full Windows 8.1 system. Even though there is only a 7” screen – the system should at least be able to perform when away. However, I will continue to use the “homebound” PC for work done at home. The Stream 7 has an Intel Atom 1.3Ghz Quad Core CPU. This will handle basic tasks well enough, but don’t expect this to be a performer. There is 1GB of memory, and a 7” 1280×800 IPS display. Storage is 32GB of integrated Solid State Flash with a micro-SD card support for 64GB. The tablet has a 3000mAh battery, integrated mic/speaker combo jack along with an integrated mono-speaker, and micro USB which is for charging or connection to accessories. The front camera is .3MP (VGA) and a 2MP rear camera. There is Bluetooth and Wifi-N support with Miracast, but no cellular connectivity. For new purchases, there is a 1 year Microsoft Office 365 subscription which includes 60 minutes of Skype per month. Along with the purchase, I also acquired a Class 10 64GB micro-SD card which will hold content.
It’s been more than a month since I had this phone, and I bought it to try to reduce my current phone bill once my EIPs (Easy Installment Payments) was paid off. The reason for this purchase is the phone is Dual SIM (capable of supporting 2 SIM cards at one time). The idea would have been to use T-Mobile’s free 200MB data plan and a cheap or free voice plan with another company. I would have used a SIP client to make my phone a home phone as well. Good News and Bad News.
Good News is the concept works. The bad news is the phone is too under powered to be fully functional. The reason is again – I would want a SIP client to run to always provide a “Home Phone” line when I am in a Wifi Network. Having a Lifeline subsidized phone plan would have meant just 100 – 250 minutes per month, and less important calls (such as unknown callers) shouldn’t eat my cellular minutes. However, while testing this – the phone locked up too many times through the Acrobits Softphone which is the best and maybe the only SIP client worth mentioning for Android.
The phone at time of writing this is $75 through Amazon, and there is an Amazon Prime option for shipping. This makes the phone affordable and actually competing with the price of a good basic phone. The OS is not the most up to date, but if Blu Products (the OEM) was to update the phone with Android M, then there could be a chance this phone might actually be able to do the ideal situation. The phone supports micro-SD card which is always a good thing. And with dual SIM, one SIM could be data while another is for voice. Another option is to where you would have a “work” and a “personal” phone – this could solve that.
Yes, I know that this is a low budget phone, but I am disappointed with the 512MB size. This should never be in phones nowadays as almost every application demands that much or more. Simply put, building a phone with that little memory is begging to have a bad experience with the customer. Yes, I know they need to cut corners – but you should find somewhere else. The phone has a front side camera. Maybe remove that so you can have 1GB of memory. Yes, the teenie boppers who want to show themselves making duck faces won’t find this cool – but your market probably isn’t that.
I am disappoited about the fact that the phone does not support all five GSM-3G bands. This is like saying only certain people should have 3G. I can almost accept that with LTE since every country seems to have 5 different bands, but this is not the case for GSM-3G. And while we are at, Blu – HSPA is NOT 4G. Please stop lying to perspective customers. Thank you.
Say it with me – top mount USB charging. This is ridiculous, and is more of an inconvenience to the user than saying “Look at me, I am different”. Capacitive buttons are also Ugly. Let’s move to On-Screen buttons please. The speaker is a little tin sounding – but I am OK with that as this is a sub-$100 phone.
If you go in knowing what to expect, you should be OK. Keep in mind – this is a basic smart phone. You won’t get games on there, and don’t expect to be a productivity power house. You may be able to install a few of your favorite apps.
The JLab 7 Pro in a word should be thrown in jail for fraud. It is a 7” tablet, but far from anything related to professional. First, let’s address why I made this mistake. I wanted to get a tablet for my 6 year nephew. Tiger Direct offered this tablet with a buy one get one free sale. This means the $70 tablet will be a 2 tablet purchase for that same price. Now, for a tablet that is 7”, I never expected much, but this is a serious understatement. Since my nephew is 6 years old, he is probably OK with it, but there is so much left to be desired.
The Northwest 72-MA861 Headphones is a set of over the ear muff style headphones that is completely using Bluetooth. As with any set of headphones, I will require the ability to handle phone calls. I had purchased the headphones from Walmart (item number: 551674858). There was no mention on the Bluetooth version that is supported, nor the profiles – however as cheap as it is, I doubt it uses Bluetooth 4.0 which offers low energy. The headphones are designed as expected for the most part. It is basic, but effective. The left side is blank with no buttons nor controls, while the right side hosts the USB charging port, play/pause button which also functions as the call answer/disconnect button and the power when held for about 5 seconds. The volume controls is the top and bottom buttons while the previous/next is the positional left/right. All of the controls are in a circle formation with a small round button for the play/pause. Obviously, the color selected was black but the interior of the muff is a baby color violet. Thankfully – no one will see that.
I bought these headphones because the ones I have been using for a year wasn’t working properly with my ears. After a year of fighting to keep them in only so they can pop out when I prefer them to not too, I knew I needed a new set. The Jabra Halo 2 was an utter failure even though I wanted the multi-point features they had. I could have bought a set of headphones that would have looped with my earlobes, but I literally was spending a few dollars more to have the Bluetooth set. The old wired headphones will remain in my backpack to function as a backup if the Bluetooth ones should have their battery charge expire. Continue reading First Impression: Northwest 72-MA861 Headphones
Ello is a social networking service that prides itself on being different from everyone else by having a strong stance on Privacy. With Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter – and other social networks, you aren’t the consumer but the product. The advertisers are the consumers. In the case of Google, this is expected – but many people will find it hard to stomach as being rented out as a product which is pretty much what is happening. While Ello doesn’t quote it this way, this is the premise and the sad truth is they are correct.
Ello claims to be different. They as of 2014-10-01 do not have ads on their site (that I noticed yet), nor do they claim to sell your data to companies. The second claim while it can’t be proven nor disproven is very likely the case. In Ello’s settings, I have a UID which in this case is FSP. I have my email address, password – all of which are required. Optional entries include my name, a bio, and web site(s) links. All of the optional items has little value for marketing. However, as of now, Ello has a long way to go to be a prominent place in the Internet. Continue reading Ello (BETA)
I had used Lyft a few times with a couple of failures. I will go into that later. I used the service when either bus or walking was going to be too much on me physically. Because of my income, I can’t rely on lyft even for a semi-regular service. I had only used Lyft to return home from when I went to my brother’s for one reason or another. The service is a service with the use of an App to request service, rate, and provide other information. There was a time where the app wasn’t working properly on my Nexus 5, but with a recent update, this has been solved (so it seems).
Earlier today, I upgraded my phone from the Google Nexus 4-16GB to the Nexus 5-16GB. While the Nexus 4 still worked well enough – there are a couple of reasons why I chose to upgrade, and the benefits I have. First, the Nexus 5 is more capable phone which will run more reliably, and in a slimmer package. In addition, the Nexus 5 support LTE bands of service which will hopefully allow for future VoLTE (Voice over LTE). The capacity is the same, so there is no benefit there. The phone cost $30 (sales tax), and will have a monthly charge of $16.50 for 24 months.
As with most Android devices, updating the phone was relatively simple, although not everything as for settings transfers over. The button placement is similar so there should be no learning curve from my Nexus 4. As for the Nexus 4, it will eventually be replacing the Siemens Home Phone as the primary house phone. This will first require the phone to become unlocked, and then using the TruPhone SIM Service. The Nexus 5 has a 4.95” 445ppi display supporting HD resolution and a 16:9 Aspect Ratio. There is a 1.3MP front camera, and an 8MP rear camera with an LED flash. There is a 2300mAh battery, Qi Charging, Bluetooth 4.0 support, Wifi-AC, NFC, GSM-2G/3G and LTE Support. Since this is an North America phone, the LTE bands are 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41. In addition, CDMA 0/1/10 are supported. The phone has a Snap Dragon 800 CPU (2.26Ghz) with an Adreno 330 GPU. There is 2GB of memory, and with my device – 16GB of storage, but there is a 32GB option. A micro-USB (slimport) is at the bottom, and there is noise cancelling microphones. As one might expect, I have the black model.
About a month ago, I purchased the Nexus 7-32GB from T-Mobile. Obviously, this is the LTE version, and it is the 2013 Edition which means it is the thinner one with a camera in the front and the rear. I bought this tablet for a couple of reasons. First, I think I should have something relatively nice once every couple of years without a “need” or condition. My last major purchase was my notebook which replace the one that died, and the one before that was my Nexus 4 which required a 2 year contract. Now with the tablet came a down payment which was pretty much the $10 SIM card, and sales taxes on the price defined by T-Mobile. With expedited Shipping, I paid $50 and will be paying $16/month for 24 months. In addition, there is a $10/month service charge for 200MB, but since I am a T-Mobile customer, there is a $10 credit that will be applied to the bill.
The tablet has a Snap Dragon S4 Pro running at a 1.5Ghz Quad Core CPU. This is a little slower, but more cores than my notebook that I am typing this posting on. It has an Adreno 320 GPU running at 400Mhz which is sufficient for tablet games. There is 2GB of memory, and 32GB of storage with no micro-SD card slot. There is a 3950mAh battery which does about 8-9 hours of active use, and can go a day with casual use. The micro-USB2 port supports for both charging, HID (Human Interface Devices), and Slim Port for media. This port is located on the bottom with the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. Both power, and volume is located on the right hand side along with the Micro-SIM tray. The screen has full HD with 323ppi, a 1.2MP front camera and 5MP rear camera. There is no LED flash however. It supports Dual Band Wifi-N, Quad Band GSM-2, 850/900/1900/2100 HSPA+ as well as AWS 1700/2100 (used by T-Mobile) for GSM 3G. It supports 700/850/1700/1800/1900/2100 MHz LTE, and Bluetooth 4.0LE. Obviously, it also has GPS, and NFC.
About 20 minutes ago, UPS came with a few items I had managed to get. The one in relation to this blog posting is the Nexus 7 with LTE. The reason of why I acquired this tablet was to have something that will supplement the demands on my phone, and provide a better experience with a larger display. The tablet has LTE, therefore, in the event that I should need LTE data, I have it available. And since this is a Nexus device, it will receive a reliable update path. This in turn will be my primary tablet – leaving the Hisense at home exclusively.
The Nexus 7 is $385 from T-Mobile, and will cost about $16/month for 24 months. For those that can afford it may want to just go to Google Play, and purchase directly for $350. Personally, if I had the $350+tax, I would have purchased that way. With it being T-Mobile, I had to pay the SIM kit ($10), and taxes (7%) upfront. I chose expedited shipping which is the only benefit over Google (their shipping of products takes longer). It is a 7” tablet with a 1920×1080 resolution for a total of 323ppi. It has a Corning Glass to help fight against scratches, a 1.2MP front + 5MP rear camera – however, there is no LED flash. It has dual band Wifi-abgn, but there is no Wifi-AC. It also supports all GSM-2G bands, as well as all GSM-3G bands. For LTE, it supports 700/850/1700/1800/1900/2100 Mhz bands. As with all Nexus devices, these are unlocked so I could theoretically take it to another carrier, and not have to beg T-Mobile to allow me to have the device I paid for. There is also Bluetooth 4.0 support and NFC.
The CPU is a quad core 1.5Ghz Qualcomm S4 Pro CPU. It has 2GB of memory, and 32GB of storage. There is no other option with the cellular edition device in storage. In addition as with all Nexus devices, there is no expandable storage. An Audrino 320 running at 400Mhz is the graphics GPU. Audio includes stereo speakers, and a 3.5mm jack. There is a power and volume on the right side, as well as a Slim Port enabled USB charging port on the bottom. The micro-SIM tray is located towards the bottom on the right hand side. A SIM ejection tool comes with the cellular edition of the Nexus 7.