On the 23rd of November, 2014 – I have received the Pebble Watch (black housing). This watch was acquired after the update on my Nexus 5 to Android 5.0 which would prove valuable, and even more so with the Google Play Services Update (whenever that maybe to come).
There are a few reasons of acquiring the watch. First, and foremost is as a time piece. This watch is more accurate than the basic watch as the watch connects with your Bluetooth enabled smart phone, and acquires the time from that phone. As long as the phone has the accurate time, then the watch does as well. Next, I wanted a minor secondary screen so I am not required to pull out the phone to see if the notification was important. This not only includes SMS/MMS, and email, but also incoming calls. And third – with support having important information show on the watch – again, so I do not have to pull the phone out all of the time. Continue reading First Impression: Pebble Watch
About a month ago, I received the Northwest 72-MA861 Headphones which was purchased from Walmart. I purchased the headphones as I would prefer to have no wires with my headphones while listening to music. Any set of headphones I would buy needs to have a microphone as the headphones would be used with my cellular phone.
So, what would I recommend after a month with the headphones? Well the first 3 weeks – the headphones were sufficient. They were cheap, so I never expected much, but during the third week, the battery seemed to start to die after just a couple of hours of music playing. The volume was always kept at a normal rate, and I rarely receive phone calls, so this wasn’t the culprit. A few days before writing this post, the power button fell in the headphones – now making them unusable. I would be contacting Walmart in a day or two to hopefully get the headphones replaced, but this is not a good sign. Continue reading Review: Northwest 72-MA861 Headphones
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).
Continue reading Lyft: Better than the Taxi
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.
Continue reading Nexus 5–16GB Model
Yesterday afternoon, I had received my Amazon Kindle e-ink based reader. While I will admit I hadn’t used it as much as I would want to, this is due to my resources rather than the product. I had received the option to take the device with a down payment, and 5 more monthly payments of $18/payment. First, I bought the device for one reason which is fine considering the limited role it has. I bought it to be an e-book reader. While I could read books on my PC, phone, or Nexus 7 tablet, the desire to have as close to a paper interface as possible was important.
Essentially, this is intended to be a book reader device rather than anything further. In addition, this is intended to have a much longer battery life, and a much more pleasant viewing where e-ink does not have nearly the same kind of strain as LCD screens. I had purchased the basic model without any ads on the screen. This will cost about $100 after the purchase price, and taxes. The tablet has a screen saver where a random b&w image on the screen. The device has a page back, and a page forward on each side. There is a back button, a keyboard button, a 5 way cursor, a menu button, and home button. The bottom has a power button, and micro-USB port. There is nothing on top, nor is there any 3.5mm jack. In addition, there is 1.25GB of usable storage which is integrated. This will provide for about 1200 books. There is no expansion storage.
Continue reading First Impression – Amazon Kindle
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.
Continue reading Nexus 7-32GB with LTE (2013 Edition)
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.
Continue reading First Impression: Nexus 7–LTE Version
This is a review after my first impressions. I had this tablet for over a week now, and don’t think my opinion of it will change. This seems to be a bit to the point as I try to give at least a couple of weeks for a review after I received the item. Again, the role of the Sero 7 was to replace the iPod Touch that went dead after a few years of owning it. While the two products are drastically different, I will also be doing some comparison with the two.
The Sero 7 has 1GB of memory, but functions more like a device with only 512MB of memory. The tablet has stuttered on a number of occasions with just doing basic things. Transitions with the menu is delayed, and even play a simple casual game such as Fruit Ninja has stuttered. I am blaming this on the UI overlay that Hisense has put on the tablet. The tablet has a 1.2Ghz CPU which is a 3 – 4 year old CPU. My G2x had a 1Ghz CPU, and that has been replaced after two years of owning it almost a year ago. The manufacturer claims 4GB of storage, but at best, only about 1GB of storage is available even after removing all of the non-OS apps. The screen resolution is 1024×600. This is a ppi of 170 and that is apparent. It runs Android 4.1 and was upgraded to 4.1.1 which I am guessing was to address any problems with drivers the manufacturer may have had. All of the ports are at the top which includes USB2 (charging and synching), HDMI, 3.5mm headphone, and a micro-SD card slot. The power and volume is located on the left side. There is a VGA quality front camera, but in my experience – was worthless. There is a 3400mAh battery, and support for Wifi-bgn. There is NO Bluetooth however.
Continue reading Review: Hisense Sero 7