Tag Archives: quality

First Impression: Samsonite Xenon 2

Yesterday, I have received the Samsonite Xenon 2 from Amazon at a sale price of $43. While this may seem expensive from a backpack you may find in Target, or Walmart, and a bit more than the cheapest back pack I ever owned ($5.00 at retail), the back pack has a number of features.

First, the reason I purchased the back pack is both the old backpack which had a shoulder strap fraying needed to be replaced. This is where I purchased the $5 backpack, but this back pack had no means of organization making it impossible to keep things together, and easily found. Since my backpack carries everything I do not need immediately on hand, organization is important.

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2013 Mac Pro–Not for the Market

WWDC 2013 – Apple released the upcoming Mac Pro with no details on price nor options. The idea was to have a system that will replace the current (now discontinued) Mac Pro which is respective of a full size tower which has seen no real updates in a decade.

Apple’s new design as with most of Apple’s products are aesthetically unique if not pleasing. Those without an open mind will call it a trash can, or ashtray. However, the design behind its shape is an engineering concept to eliminate the otherwise bulky fans and heat sinks.

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How I Would Change T-Mobile?

T-Mobile has come out with a dramatically new way of handling post paid cellular service. No more contracts, and the option to allow consumers to bring their own phone, buy a new one outright, or pay in installments. They provide unlimited voice, and unlimited SMS, and you pay extra for data. However, there are a couple of things that T-Mobile could have done differently.

Google Voice Integration

It’s not impossible. Sprint does it very successfully. Essentially, on the backbone, the carrier connects with Google Voice’s service. The phone number, international service, and voice mail is handled by Google Voice. The actual means of connecting is handled by the carrier.

If this would have been done, it could attract those that uses Google Voice as they can use any phone from an Android, or the new iPhone, or a basic phone and Windows Phone which has no support with Google Voice.

Better Clarification on EIP

EIP is the Easy Installment Plan which reduces the sticker shock of the phone. In the United States, we have been spoiled into seeing top of the line smart phones as $200 rather than $700. Now, I am not saying that the manufacturer is fair in charging $700 for a phone, but I am sure some people will walk into T-Mobile and go away sobbing as they go to the nearest AT&T store.

They should note make it clear on who qualifies for the EIP. Also, what happens when one terminates service before completing the payments. Since I used EIP a few times before, I know that you are responsible for the remaining payment in full along with the last bill, and any ETF, but not everyone will figure that out.

More plan Options

Here’s the thing, not everyone uses voice services, or requires unlimited voice. Those hearing impaired for example may need SMS, or data. Now, mind you there is unlimited SMS, but I feel to attract more customers, T-Mobile should have offered 2 choices of unlimited, and one choice of 500. This means instead of having unlimited voice/SMS, and 500MB of data – you can have unlimited data/SMS and 500 minutes of voice. Or maybe unlimited data/voice, and 500 SMS messages. Of course, there is an issue of overages, but this would have gone a long way to satisfying every potential customer. One would simply spend an extra $20 for the 500 option to be unlimited.

Competitive Services

Some phones support Name ID which is an add on feature that allows a person to have true caller ID. However, in reality, this could be done in the network automatically. Of course it would have cost money to upgrade the network, but then everyone could have this feature. Currently, this is an carrier installed app. So, for people like me that have a Nexus 4, I could never use the service since I can’t even get the app in the Play Store.

They could also do this with their TV app, and other services. Just offer it for download to T-Mobile customers through the OS’s store, and offer these as options. Another option will be to offer free Directory Assistance. Companies such as Cricket offers this as well as a number of VOIP providers. One can only assume that a simple tweak on how 411 is handled will make a world of difference.

Kill Retroactive Contracts

They could do this for customer that qualifies as a loyal customer. If the customer has been a good customer, and with them for a long time, there is no need to force them to stay in contracts that were signed before a couple of days ago.

Offer a Referral Code

Allow T-Mobile customers to offer a referral code for getting new customers. Maybe with this code, there could be $50 off a new phone, while the customer gets a free month. This will encourage their customers to help promote T-Mobile to others and therefore lower advertising costs.

Prepaid or Post-Paid, Same Price

Right now, T-Mobile is focusing on the post paid plan. However, rather than having two sets of plans, it might make more sense to have the same level and features of services whether post paid, or prepaid. The only difference is prepaid pays for the service they will use and not require a credit check. Post-paid can require a credit check and pays for the service after it is used.

Provide Lifeline Option

Lifeline provides basic services for people that are low income to get basic cellular services. A number of companies offer this. Cricket gives a $10 discount which isn’t much for the $50 or more plans they have. Assurance is a Virgin Mobile Branch which provides a limited number of minutes, and SMS, while Safelink is a branch of Tracfone.

T-Mobile can offer one unlimited option (no tethering or SIP on data), and 500 for the other two features. Rather than trying to get them to buy a phone they can not afford, work with a company like Blu Products to provide a basic Android phone (that will work on their 3G bands) which could be exclusively for needy customers. The federal government will provide payment for these customers, and the customers can pay for more services – therefore relieving the cost of service. While not much in the way of desired customers, it does raise their population, and may make them number 3 rather than number 4.

Why I Dropped Netflix

A few days ago, I dropped Netflix. There were a few reasons, and while finance is a small part, it was not the big reason. Ever since Netflix forced their customers to pay almost $10 more per month to have streaming, as well as DVDs. Now, I am sure that some people might say quit complaining, it is only $8 more. However, that is not the point – as I said, finance is not the big reason.

I dropped Netflix down to 1 DVD at a time, and no streaming. However, since I went to 1 DVD, it seems as if DVDs take longer to process either receiving or sending. This has at a couple of times took almost a week for them to send a new DVD after I sent it. This means that my value has decreased. If I went to 2 DVDs, they magically get processed in a reasonable time frame. So why wouldn’t I add streaming, or just go streaming?

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T-Mobile G2X–Full Review

So, while washing my clothes at the local laundry mat, and no premise internet service, I have little to worry considering that I am able to connect to the Internet while I am far from home. In the meantime, I am able to keep my phone in my pocket, while listening to a music collection so I am not bored. This is all done by one device, and in the event that I should get a phone call at 7AM, this same device will take the phone call as well. This is a mostly good review of the T-Mobile G2X (aka LG Optimus 2), all after having the phone for about 4 days. The T-Mobile G2X at writing is $250 + $50 mail in rebate with a 2 year contract, or $500 without a contract. On a contract, you would be required to have a data plan. Also contract plans are more expensive than non-contract plans. You can not get the non-contract plan online, and should consider going to a store for that service.

Now, it is not all roses, there are some complaints I have about the phone, but I am sure you would see all of the this while reading the review. To give an idea of what you would look forward to if you decide to get this device, you would get the phone which has a 4” screen, a USB cable, and an adapter that plugs in the cable. The cable therefore is used as a charging cable, and a sync cable. Most smart phones are using this method to save on costs.You would of course get the battery, and a T-Mobile “4G” card. If you have an older card, you would need to use this card which of course is no extra cost.

Specs

The phone is one of the few phones with a dual core 1Ghz CPU. It is also the only one on T-Mobile (2011-05-04). The Samsung Galaxy S-2 is expected to come to the US, and therefore eventually to T-Mobile, but as of now, this is it if you want dual core. And while a single core CPU may work just fine for now, if you are like me and want to keep the phone as long as possible, than a dual core would be preferred. The phone has 1GB of memory, and 8GB of in device storage, although some of the capacity is used for the Android 2.2 OS, and apps. It supports up to 32GB micro SD card which can also be used to install apps, and media. The phone also supports wifi-BGN, and HSPA+ which T-Mobile toots their horn as 4G, but still uses the 3G infrastructure and design – so not really 4G. The phone also has Gorilla Glass which is supposed to reduced the chance of scratches, and other mishaps. However, you still should not abuse the phone.

 

Calls/Data

The calls are typically pretty good. The calls are clear even in my area which I seen me drop to as low as 2G connections in some cases. Keep in mind that calls with me are routed through Google Voice as well, but if anything since there are multiple points, you would figure for lower quality. There were a couple of times that I couldn’t complete a call, but this is again assumed to be the connection issues related with the area rather than the phone.

 

In the instances I get HSPA+, I get superior connection, and data even to the point of almost always beating out my Clear Internet connection which is far from impressive. A speed test in a worst case scenario has been 114ms/2.5M/.95M. In a best case scenario, I seen 70ms/4.5M/1.25M. And with the phone supporting as a wireless router/modem, I am actually composing this posting, and will probably submit it through the phone all without having to physically connect. If one was to do this though, be sure to change the SSID, and set a passphrase. You would also want to turn this feature off when not using it as you don’t want to be a moving hotspot, nor drain your battery.

Battery

This is my biggest gripe. The battery is not the best, and I have seen a 1% drop from full about every 6 minutes with average. This could mean that the phone can be depleted in about 10 hours. This time could be reduced if you are doing a lot of activity (such as connecting your PC to send a blog, and email while listening to music). I am guessing this is mostly due to the dual core CPU, however if you demand a phone to go through the day, you would find this to need some adjustments. I personally bought a $15 battery pack which could charge the phone by plugging in a micro USB port and using 2 AA batteries. This of course means that something is sticking out of your phone, so you would want to adjust accordingly. The back cover opens from the bottom and every time I took the back off, I felt I was going to break it.

Email

T-Mobile has done something rather bad in this area. The email client for all email other than Gmail has a promotional signature that is appended to every email you send. You can’t seem to change it, nor even disable it. This is a no no on a $500 phone. Yes, I know you want to advertise that you are America’s largest fake 4G network (HSPA+ is still 3G), but do it on your own email services, and not use the ones that your customers may need for business. This is just bad customer relations. Thankfully, you can get rid of that by using K9 Email.

Video/Media

Video while I hadn’t used it to its full potential is superb. Nova which is a game would play a high end introduction, and that alone can vouch for the video processing. And yes, you can fling birds at pigs, but this is nothing for the phone. There is T-Mobile TV which I hadn’t started since I can’t afford it, but it also supports DivX with a registration. And the 4” screen is larger then my iPod Touch (gen 3) which is most likely going to replace it for anytime I may go out. Keep in mind because of DRM, with the iTunes store, if you have video – you won’t be able to use it on the phone.

Music is very good and clear (as long as you got good ear phones). Don’t expect an iTunes/iPod like experience. You might be able to get WinAmp to sync with your music, although hadn’t tried it. If you are still using an iOS device (such as my iPod Touch for the home), then you would want iSyncr which is available for USB, and Wifi. Both apps are $5.00 total, and the Wifi edition is good for the smaller modifications. I would personally recommend to put the music on the SD card.

The phone has two cameras. One is a back face (normal side for cameras) 8MP camera with an LED flash. This will be able to do a minimum of 720p. There is a front face camera which is good for self portraits, and video chatting. QIK is available and installed for this feature. And for those with a newer TV, there is an HDMI port so you could torture your family with your home made videos on the bigger screen. The phone also has built in DLNA support. With DLNA support, you can play music or videos from DLNA servers which can include PCs. Don’t expect remote control capabilities as you would find on the Galaxy S-2. One serious issue that I noticed, is as of the writing of this email, Barcode Scanner does not work with the cameras. It is a shame as this is a powerful tool, and worked just fine on my 528Mhz phone I had before hand.

Operating System/Operations

As with computers, smart phones have operating systems. In reality all cellular phones have one, but smart phones have a more universal design. In the case of this phone, it is Android 2.2.2 which however, it would have made more sense to have 2.3. T-Mobile seems to promise “soon”, but the last time I heard soon, it was 6 months. This is stock Android which means there are no custom skins, or layouts, therefore should be easy to update.

The top of the phone has a head phone jack (no headphones included). Make sure you get headphones with a microphone so it could be used as hands-free. The mini HDMI port support HDMI 1.2 which should handle most of the requirements. The power button would be press to blank the screen, or hold to initiate power off. The right side includes two buttons for volume control. The bottom has a microphone, speaker, and micro-USB port for charging and synchronizing. You would also remove the back cover from this point, although easier said than done. There is nothing on the left side. The rear has a camera and flash. The front has a proximity sensor, front side camera, 4” capacitive screen, capacitive menu, home, back, and search. There is no indicator light.

What’s missing

As I noted, this phone is not perfect. Considering that AT&T might take over T-Mobile, they should have all of the US bands in here. Even if that wasn’t the case, the bands should have still been installed on $500+ phones. There is no spare battery, and when you have only 10 hours at best in battery life, this becomes something that should be. Even with that in mind, T-Mobile should be selling docking stations that would charge the phone and battery.No headphones, and forget the teeny bopper Skull Candy crap. And no micro SD card. Last, there should have been 2.3 installed on the phone, and there should have been NFC.


I have received no compensation for the review of this device from LG, nor T-Mobile. The purchase was made in full with an in house credit line available to qualified customers with a total of cost to walk out is 5% + tax on 100%. There is an activation fee for new customers, or adding a line, but there is no upgrade fee. Mail-in rebates are not available for full purchase price acquisition.