• Devices

    by Published on 12-16-2013 08:50 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    I kind of went full fanboy when I ordered my Nexus 5 last month. My $399 order ended up being quite a bit more after I added an official bumper case, an official sleeve for my Nexus 7 tablet and this year's Nexus Wireless Charger, seen here.

    "Wireless charging", while technically correct, is a bit misleading — inductive charging is the proper term. Wikipedia explains how it works; all I know is it's the greatest thing I never knew I needed.

    ...
    by Published on 12-06-2013 09:10 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Apps
    Article Preview



    In documenting the trials and tribulations of rooting and modding my Nexus 5 I had noted that I chose OmniROM as my custom firmware of choice. Part of this is pragmatic— Omni is one of the very few ROMs available for the Nexus 5. And part of this is political, which we'll get to in a bit.

    Had I stuck with stock firmware I could already be enjoying a better camera experience via Android 4.4.1 — instead I have to wait, so why bother with a custom ROM in the first place?

    My goal for today is to answer that question, with a closer look at OmniROM.

    ...
    by Published on 12-05-2013 08:50 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. How-To
    Article Preview



    For all my bluster in a previous post about how trivial it is to make a Nexus your own, I seem to have conveniently forgotten that achieving root is sometimes not as easy as I've made it out to be.

    My seventh rooting of a Nexus device — that's five phones and two tablets in total — took place yesterday afternoon. The welcome screen you see above is what most users would see on first boot; for me it was a much more elusive prize. What should have taken twenty minutes was instead a two-hour ordeal, entirely due to my own impatience in getting my new toy up and running the way I wanted.

    The cool thing about getting yourself into trouble is that you learn stuff along the way. So I've documented what happened to me in order to share that knowledge with you.

    ...
    by Published on 12-04-2013 09:02 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Apps
    Article Preview

    It wasn't supposed to end this way.

    I had one final task for my Nexus 4, and thought I had the means to accomplish it. I was supposed to be gloating today all about how I was finally able to stick it to the banks, my carrier, even Google, by making a successful purchase using Google Wallet.

    Instead, this.



    How did we get here? Read on for my sad tale of fail...

    ...
    by Published on 12-02-2013 09:33 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Tips
    Article Preview



    Heh, "cyber"...

    I have to laugh because back in the late 1900s people actually referred to the Internet as "cyberspace". In fact, you could stick "cyber" in front of pretty much any word and instantly make it cooler, more terrifying or both — cyber-sex, cyber-bullying, cyber-fries, etc.

    Anyway, Cyber Monday is upon us — even in Canada, despite the fact that our Thanksgiving was back in October. It always seemed a more sensible shopping holiday than Black Friday; why risk getting trampled when you can browse deals in your pajamas from the comfort of your home, hot coffee in hand? And that's exactly what I'm doing this fine December morning.

    The following are some notable mobile-related deals that have piqued my interest. It's not in any way meant to be an exhaustive list, only a few examples to kick off a wider discussion. Feel free to add your own via a reply, whether you live in Canada or otherwise!

    ...
    by Published on 11-29-2013 03:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Tips,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    While a new LG G2 would be nice, not everyone wants or has the means to sign a contract on an expensive plan. They also don’t want to spend $700 on a new phone. So what can you get if you’re on a prepaid budget?

    Now, since most fancy phones are available on prepaid, I’m putting a $200 limit on the cost of the phone. $200 is still a sizable chunk of change but to be honest, if I set it lower there just aren’t enough phones that I would recommend. Let’s check out the contenders. ...
    by Published on 11-29-2013 09:11 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    The idea that the market can bear a third successful smartphone OS has been bandied about a fair bit, but the source is not often cited. It was Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam who, way back in September of 2011, introduced this idea to tech bloggers who, in turn, picked up and ran with it.

    The direct quote:

    "The carriers are beginning to coalesce around the need for a third ecosystem... Over the next 12 months I think it will coalesce and you will start to see one emerge as a legitimate third ecosystem."
    At that time the race for third was between BlackBerry and Windows Phone; two years later this still looks to be the case, albeit with a few new contenders at least.

    In my short time here as a front-page blogger I've had the opportunity to spend some quality time with at least three of the third-place contenders — BlackBerry (in its latest incarnation), Firefox OS and Windows Mobile. The somewhat ambitious goal for today is to crown a winner.

    ...
    by Published on 11-28-2013 10:05 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview

    Before I left the bed this morning to begin writing my girlfriend pulled me close and whispered softly in my ear:

    "BlackBerry sucks."

    Thanks to a care package from Howard we are now suddenly a BlackBerry family — she's got a Q10 and me a Z30. I have to say that the word which best sums up our experience so far is "frustrating".

    The swipe up/down/left/right thing isn't really a big deal. In my first hour or so I did spend a fair amount of time pressing the BlackBerry logo below my Z30's screen, hoping for a home screen to appear. I eventually got used to swiping up instead.

    My issue is with the home screen itself.

    ...
    by Published on 11-27-2013 09:25 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    How long should an electronic device last? You're probably thinking why does that matter but I've run into a major problem with my Mac Pro that's now 7 years old. It's a beautiful machine that has been powered up 24/7 for 95% of those years. I've maxed this computer out with 16GB of RAM, 6TB of hard drives and an SSD. I can't ever go back to using just one monitor and I've learned my lesson to back up everything. I think it's hardware failure and I have this theory that Steve Jobs' ghost has entered countdown code to doomsday… right on the eve of the new Mac Pro being released. I'm a huge Apple fan and am fully aware of the company's fallibility. I had my video review ready to post and I found my computer off the next morning unable to get past the screen with the Apple logo on it.

    Here's where I'm going with this: for the premium I pay Apple, I expect their products to outperform and outlast the competition. I do not have this same expectation for Samsung. It's not a bad thing if that's what their business model is designed for (i.e. high volume, low margin).

    One other point is more of a challenge: can you post a review (with photos and video clips) using only a tablet? I had high hopes for the Note 10.1 but it's not quite there yet. Apart from not being able to create an article on this forum, I think we're almost there. Howard? Any takers on that challenge?

    Bottom line for those with a short attention span: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition has outstanding specs on paper but doesn't execute appropriately. In other words, it doesn't get the horsepower to the road. The Apple iPad is still the clear leader in this field. I see the potential in the Note 10.1 but it might be the 2015 Edition that pulls it all together. ...
    by Published on 11-21-2013 09:10 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    To do yet another graffiti walk would be, in my opinion, a disservice to the Lumia 1020. Most modern-day camera phones can deliver acceptable results with vivid colours in bright light — as per previous examples here and here. So for the Lumia I tried something different: I took it with me on a dinner date to a new ramen joint in the neighbourhood.

    All of the images that you'll see in this post, save for the one screen grab below, are embeds from my Flickr account. That way you can click through and see them resplendent in their full 41 megapixel glory should you so choose.

    ...
    by Published on 11-20-2013 10:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Now that 2 year contracts are the norm we’re experiencing an influx of mid-range phones for customers who want a subsidized phone, but don’t want spend 80 bucks a month on service. Among the mid-range phones, two tiers are starting to emerge. Lower-end, mid range phones and higher-end ones.

    Here’s the latest one from HTC, the Desire 601 it sort of slots in-between high and low end. It has LTE, a 960x540 display and stereo speakers like you’ll find on a higher-end unit but the camera sensor is only 5 megapixels which you typically find on something cheaper. If you want something fancier from HTC there’s the One Mini which fits in between the Desire 601 and their flagship the HTC One.

    In terms of competitors, the first two that come to mind are the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini and the recently released Motorola Moto G. After thinking about there’s also the Nokia Lumia 625 and maybe even the Google Nexus 4. Let's take a look at them. ...
    by Published on 11-20-2013 08:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Contests and Giveaways



    ***ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED. GOOD LUCK!***

    If you're not familiar with the Motorola Moto G check out our coverage of it: Motorola's Moto G | A Moto G Miscellany | Is 8GB Enough Memory for a Modern Android Device?

    We're giving away an unlocked black Moto G (8 GB) and a black flip shell (a back with a cover) and a white back shell. To enter you can leave a comment on this post, if you use Facebook "like" us and then "like" the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, and if you are a Twitter user follow @howardforums and tweet about it using #HoFoMotoG and linking to this post. Any one will give you an entry. Doing all three will give you three chances to win.

    Contest Rules and Terms: Contest is open to U.S. and Canada users who do not reside in Quebec. If a Canadian wins they must answer the skill testing question: What year was Google founded? U.S. winner will be responsible for all taxes and customs. Carrier compatibility not guaranteed. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Only one entry per method described above allowed. Contest not open to HowardForums staff and their families. Rules and Terms and contest details can be modified at our discretion at any time and without prior notification.

    Contest ends on Friday November 29th at 9:00 PM Pacific and the winner will be chosen randomly within three days afterward. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    The Moto G has been unlocked courtesy of UnlockPhoneNetwork.com

    Good luck!
    by Published on 11-18-2013 09:20 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview

    Don't call this a review; it's more a dump of random observations about Motorola's new Moto G.

    I've had a pre-release unit in my hands for all of five days, and I can really only compare it to the Nexus 5 currently on loan from LG Canada, plus my own LG Nexus 4. But as I will hopefully demonstrate, the Moto G compares quite well to both of them.

    Let's take a closer look...

    ...
    by Published on 11-15-2013 01:10 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    The other day Steve Punter (site) and I decided to do a camera shoot out. Right now I have almost all the flagship devices sitting on my desk including the new Nexus 5 so we figured why not?

    I remember back in the day when most phones came with VGA or megapixel cameras. The megapixel phones were much better than the VGA ones but either way, they took pretty lousy pictures.

    Back then, a built-in camera was a nice thing to have but if you wanted to capture an important memory, you’d be wise to bring a proper camera along with you be it a point-and-shoot or even something with a large sensor and removable lens.

    In the past couple of years a funny thing has happened. While point-and-shoots have improved during that time, they passed this invisible line where they took pictures that were ‘good enough’ for most people.

    Yeah, a SLR with a fast lens will take better pictures in a variety of conditions but then again, there’s that saying that that the best camera is the one that’s with you. A SLR will run circles around a camera phone in terms of handling, performance, speed, and quality but then again, a camera phone fits in your pocket - It’s always with me. So which one really is best?
    ...
    by Published on 11-14-2013 11:33 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview



    The Nexus 5 is the newest iteration of the Pure Google Experience smartphones. Like the Nexus 4 before it, this one is manufactured by LG (and it has their logo on it lest you forget). It’s roughly based on the new LG G2, but the two phones differ in a number of ways. The most obvious is that the G2 has a 13-megapixel camera and a 5.2-inch display, while the Nexus 5 has an 8-megapixel shooter and a 5.0-inch display.

    This time around Google has decided to officially support LTE. While there was a working LTE radio in the Nexus 4, it could only be made to work on Band 4 which virtually limited it to use in Canada, plus you had to make a change to the settings each time you booted the phone to get it to work.
    ...
    by Published on 11-14-2013 11:07 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Contests and Giveaways



    ***Comments are now closed. Good luck!***

    We're giving away a Nexus 5! To enter you can leave a comment on this post, if you use Facebook "like" us and then "like" the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, and if you are a Twitter user follow @howardforums and tweet about it using #HoFoNexus5 and linking to this post. Any one will give you an entry. Doing all three will give you three chances to win.

    *Contest Rules: Contest is open to U.S. and Canada users who do not reside in Quebec. If a Canadian wins they must answer the skill testing question: What is the latest version of Google's mobile operating system? U.S. winner will be responsible for all taxes and customs. Wireless carrier compatibilty not guaranteed. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Only one entry per method described above allowed. Contest not open to HowardForums staff and their families.

    Contest ends on Tuesday November 19th at 9:00 PM Pacific and the winner will be chosen randomly within three days afterward. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    Good luck!
    by Published on 11-13-2013 12:22 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    This morning I visited the swanky offices of Google Toronto to watch the launch of a new Motorola handset, broadcast live from Brazil to select audiences in London, Mexico City and Toronto — along with the rest of the world via YouTube.

    That handset is the Moto G. The 'G' stands for 'global'.

    It's touted as delivering a premium smartphone experience for a third of the price. In some parts of the world it will be a revolutionary device. In the United States it will be at the very least a massive bargain. In Canada? Well, in Canada it'll be locked to Telus...

    ...
    by Published on 11-08-2013 09:05 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    A lovely double date was had last night with Howard and his Mrs. An added bonus was that I got to take home a brand-new black 16GB Nexus 5 to try out.

    I've only had it in my hands since dinnertime last night, but so far it's looking like a worthy upgrade from the Nexus 4. Here is a brain-dump of my first impressions about the device...

    ...
    Page 11 of 43 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ... LastLast