• Devices

    by Published on 08-20-2013 07:44 PM
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    In the automotive world, the Q5 makes perfect sense: "He" gets the A5 and "She" gets the "Q5". "Her" needs are different because she will drop the kids off at soccer practise and pick up the groceries. It's a great strategy to keep the brand in a given family unit. No longer do you need to go to Chrysler or Honda for that other vehicle; you can shop at Audi for all of your transportation needs. In case I've lost you, Audi is a car manufacturer and they have an SUV model called the Q5. And the gender references aren't intended to offend but merely as an illustration (I drive the minivan in my family).

    And once again for those with the ultra short attention span, the Q5 (Blackberry this time) is one of the best communication devices available but has success highly dependent on price. If carriers gave this phone away for free, Blackberry will claw back market share.


    Blackberry Family
    In my analogy above about a brand family, we know that Blackberry currently has 3 offerings for it's BB10 operating system: Z10, Q10, and now the Q5. Does this mean that "Dad" gets the Q10 because he is on the go and uses the practical keyboard to get his messages sent quick and fast? And does "Mom" use the Z10 for the larger screen to look at what's on sale at the outlet mall? It is entirely possible that the "kids" are awarded the Q5 to allow the entire family to communicate via BB Messenger. Like I said, if the pricing of the Q5 is such that it's a "disposable" expense, then Blackberry has hit the nail on the head. This younger generation can text better and faster than writing cursive with a ballpoint pen. With the entire family in the Blackberry brand, this opens up opportunities for a broader product roadmap that spans a couple generations. It's the same way that Apple is capitalizing on the iOS ecosystem/cult: once you're in, it's tough to get out.

    The logical extension of this is the corporate enterprise world where Blackberry is preferred. With the blip in technological progress during the iPhone/Android launch, my theory is that RIM at the time could not catch up leaving a gap that still exists today. This gap is about shareholder and end-user confidence. I have yet to hear a success story about BB10 exceeding information security requirements. This leads to my assumption that this new Blackberry Q5 is like that odd cousin that just doesn't make sense. To equip a small business, a "free" price point for the Q5 makes a compelling business case. But unfortunately at the enterprise level, the Q10 is the best choice making the Q5 ignorable to say the least. It will not help Blackberry get into the black. ...
    by Published on 08-20-2013 07:31 PM
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    I just at a Moto X event and got one to play with. First off, check out the demo. It's long but interesting:



    People have been moping about the Moto X's specifications. While it's true that it doesn't have a quad-core processor and a 1920x1080 display, it does have 2GB of RAM which in my opinion, is more important than the other two specs.

    Anyways, the Moto X isn't priced at the level of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Look, it would be foolish for Motorola to think that they can "Out-Galaxy" the Galaxy S4. If they made their own version of the GS4 it would compete directly with the GS4 and well, you can probably guess how that would turn out.

    Going from dual-core to quad-core results doesn't mean performance doubles. Generally, quad-cores do better in benchmarks but in real life it's debated how much of a difference it makes. Companies use quad-core because it looks good on paper mostly.

    The 1920x1080 screen resolution spec is thing that looks good on paper. In real life, the difference between a 1280x720 and 1920x1080 on a 4.7" screen is minimal. ...
    by Published on 08-19-2013 12:33 PM
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    In past 2 years, the Android tablet market has really changed. Initially, we only had 10Ē and 7Ē tablets. Now we have many sizes with the 7Ē tablets becoming the entry level models. Itís the sort of tablet you buy for your toddler - not yourself. You might get one to use while youíre watching TV, that sort of thing. Itís going to be a companion device that doesnít really replace anything.

    Hereís Samsung entry level tablet - their 7Ē Galaxy Tab 3 which is priced at around $200.

    A year-and-a-half-ago, a $200 tablet would have been quite a deal. These days, you can get 7Ē tablet from first and second tablet manufacturers like HP, ASUS, Acer that are cheaper and pack more hardware.

    If youíre looking at the 7Ē Tab 3 you might also consider both the 2012 and 2013 Google Nexus 7ís, the Kobo Vox and the Amazon Kindle Fire. ...
    by Published on 08-15-2013 06:03 PM
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    I have a bit of a confession, as the father of a newborn and a toddler Iím a bit obsessed with IP cameras. I actually have 7 of them deployed around the house. All of them have WiFi, night vision, microphones, some support 2-way audio, a couple can pan and tilt plus a few have megapixel sensors.

    When I want to take a break from working, I love being able to tune in and watch my kids - theyíre young enough that this isnít creepy (yet).

    Which brings us to the Belkinís NetCam HD. Itís an IP camera with a megapixel sensor, night vision and a built-in microphone. ...
    by Published on 08-13-2013 06:07 PM
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    If youíre in the market for an 8Ē tablet there are 3 main choices. The Apple iPad Mini which I reviewed a while back, the Note 8.0 that Ray looked at and The Galaxy Tab 3 8Ē which Iím looking at today.

    Aside from the iPad Mini and Note 8.0 you might also consider the rest of the Samsung Tab 3 lineup and the 2013 Google Nexus 7.

    Letís see how they size up.
    ...
    by Published on 08-12-2013 01:55 PM
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    Hereís the Belkin WeMo power switch. Itís a $50 power switch which you can control using your Android or iOS Smartphone.

    You just connect it to a power outlet and then plug something into it.

    Setup is straight forward:

    1. Plug the WeMo into an outlet
    2. Download the WeMo app
    3. Open up your phoneís WiFi settings menu and connect to the WeMo
    4. Open up the WeMo app, enter your WiFi networkís password
    5. Configure Switch and setup rules


    The app lets you view whether the outlet is on or off plus you can create rules about when it should turn on or off.
    ...
    by Published on 08-08-2013 12:39 PM
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    Looks like The Blackberry Z10 and Q10 now have the 'authority to operate' on the DoD's networks. It's the first Mobile Device Management provider to get his.

    Now the US Defense Information System Agency is working to support 10,000 BB10 devices by this fall and 30,000 by the end of the year.

    I wonder if Hauwei will get their ATO next.
    ...
    by Published on 08-08-2013 10:13 AM
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    Source for my info: WallStreet Journal

    Market Share:
    Android 79.3%
    iOS: 13.2%
    Windows: 3.7%
    Blackberry: 3%
    Well, the numbers are in, and Android put every other competitor over it's knee, and thoroughly spanked them.
    I don't mean it was a mild, light spanking, I mean, it was a whallop like no one has ever seen before.
    BUT while large sales of devices is good... it's all about profit for your share holders, and Apple has that number in the bag, though not as devastatingly as the device numbers, and the profit margin IS shrinking between iOS and Android.
    ...
    by Published on 08-07-2013 11:27 AM
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    Today LG announced the LG G2. They announced a few weeks back that they're dropping the Optimus branding on their high-end.

    Aimed squarely at the Galaxy S4 and it's comparables the G2 out-Galaxy's the GS4 on a number of fronts:
    • 5.2" 1920x1080 display
    • 2.65mm side bezels with rear controls
    • 3000mAh battery
    • 13 megapixel camera with optical image stabilization
    • 24bit/192kHz music playback
    • 2.26Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
    • Android 4.2.2 (did LG wait till 4.3 came out to release this?)
    • 32GB or 16GB of storage
    • 2GB RAM
    • 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9mm


    So they've managed to shoe-horn a 5.2" screen into the chassis of a 4.7/4.8"ish phone. I don't know about you but the G2 looks like a very difficult phone to hold. To make it a little easier they've moved the controls to the back. I'm not sure how well that would work.

    The 3000mAh battery is a nice touch, that's almost as big as the one you get in the Galaxy Note 2 so the G2 might have a chance of lasting the day on a single charge for more people.

    Under the hood the 2.26Ghz quad-core processor should fly. The North American GS4's come with a 1.9Ghz version of this processor while the HTC One 1.7Ghz. Will it be noticeably faster? Probably not unless you have them side-by-side but it's still nice to have the fastest one out there.

    2GB of RAM is par-for-the-course. Last year's Optimus G came with 2GB as did the Samsung GSIII/GS 4, HTC One, Xperia Z/ZL, etc. More would be nice but 2GB is more than enough right now.

    The 24bit/192Khz music playback is an interesting feature. I'm guessing LG is making use of the fact that Android now supports external DAC. I wonder how good the headphone jack will sound and if they back this with a good amp.

    I guess whiners will whine that it only comes with Android 4.2.2. The timing of the G2's release is kind of funny since LG has this reputation of being a little behind-the-curve when it comes to updates since 4.3 came out last week. Then again, it will probably be a few months till any non-Nexus phone comes with 4.3. ...
    by Published on 08-06-2013 06:30 PM
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    Hereís the 10.1" Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. On paper, aside from a new Intel powered processor, it doesnít seem all that different from its predecessor the Tab 2. Still, shopping based solely on specs is one of the worst things you can do. So is the Tab 3 an improvement?

    The way I see it, the 10.1" Tab 3 has 3 main competitors; the Apple iPad 2, Google Nexus 10 and Microsoft Surface RT. Letís see how the Tab 3 stacks up with them.
    ...
    by Published on 08-02-2013 02:07 PM
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    The Google Neuxs 7 was just released a few days ago, so you're probably wondering if it's as good as the Nexus 7 which was released last year. I'm still working on a full review as well as a give-away but for now here's a quick comparison between the two.

    When it was released last year, I was in awe at the amount of stuff Google managed to cram into it given it's $279 price point. This time around Google doesn't disappoint giving you even more for now $20 less.

    Pretty much every spec has been improved. While the screen still measures 7" you now get a full HD 1920x1080 display, RAM is doubled to 2GB and the quad-core processor is now much more powerful. ...
    by Published on 08-01-2013 07:18 PM
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    Thanks to GSMARena for the ability to side-by-side compare cold, unfeeling spec's of a pair of phones.
    I was in CPR/First Aid training, so I can take my Early Childhood Education in September, so I was unable to view or be at any of the "live" events from Moto/Google... everything I know - so far - comes from what I've read online, and the specs as posted on GSMArena.


    THUS this is my first impression, and subject to change without notice at any time.
    ...
    by Published on 08-01-2013 04:38 PM
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    I had a chance to go to Samsung yesterday for a demo of their "Samsung School". It's basically a learning environment where students and teachers use Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 or Samsung 10" Galaxy Tab 3 tablets along with a large screen in their class room. The tablets replace student's notebooks and text books while the screen replaces a blackboard.

    Check out my video of the demo:


    The tablets are running a special Android program plus they have special provisioning. Since they have special provisioning Samsung told me it will ONLY run on the Note 10.1 and 10" Tab 3.
    ...
    by Published on 08-01-2013 02:43 PM
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    For those with a short attention span, the verdict is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 LTE is a better iPad Mini.

    My reputation as an avid Apple fan has been challenged by reviewing other phones and tablets - and this is a critical exercise for everybody. Most iPad users I know of quickly (and ignorantly) dismiss the competition because of brain-washing marketing. But ironically, taking the time to seriously consider this Galaxy Note 8.0 had me thinking more about what I want in a tablet. Yet at the same time, I've increased my appreciation for the iOS ecosystem and user-experience.
    ...
    by Published on 07-30-2013 11:53 AM
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    The Blackberry Q5 in Black and Pure Red (only on Virgin) is coming to Canada on August 13th.

    It's like a cheaper version of the Q10. It has a slightly slower processor (1.2 vs 1.5Ghz), only 8GB of storage and a 5 megapixel camera. The screen resolution and the general shape are the same as its bigger brother plus it retains LTE connectivity.

    It will be available from Bell, Virgin Mobile, Fido, TELUS, Koodo and Sasktel. ...
    by Published on 07-25-2013 12:36 PM
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    The new 2013 Google Nexus 7 is now official.

    To me, its best features are the 1920x1080 display, quad-core Qualcomm processor and the 'from $229' price tag.

    While there are now many cheaper 7" tablets I don't think any of them come with a 1920x1080 display. The display is the same resolution as the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z/ZL, etc. On the Nexus it has a PPI of 323 which is in the same ballpark as the Apple iPhone 5/4s/4, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III, among others. It's an IPS display covered with 'scratch resistant Corning glass - I'm not sure if it's the simian variety.

    Part of me is a little disappointed that Google didn't make the 2013 Nexus 7 a Nexus 8. Speaking of size, the 2013 is about 6mm narrower - this isn't necessarily a good thing since tablets need thick bezels but I'll reserve judgement when I actually try one.
    ...
    by Published on 07-22-2013 04:49 PM
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    Just got word that there's a new update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 being pushed over-the-air. It weighs-in at a hefty 315MB so best to wait till you have WiFi to grab this.



    Samsung's servers are being slammed right now so it might take a few tries.

    Thanks Treatz! ...
    by Published on 07-11-2013 11:46 AM
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    Nokia just announced the Lumia 1020 with a 41 megapixel camera. The camera has optical image stabilization with a 1/1.5" sensor and a Xenon Flash.

    When you take a picture the 1020 can save it at full resolution as well as re-sample it down to a 5 megapixel image for sharing.

    There's an optional camera grip shell that ads a large grip, 1200mAh battery and a tripod mount for $79.99.

    Qi Wireless charging is available via an optional accessory.

    Video is recorded at 1920x1080 with what Nokia calls Stereo High Amplitude Audio Capture

    It will feature a new camera software with features like manual focus, manual shutter speeds and exposure control.

    Despite the monster camera, the 1020 is a reasonable 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm and weighs 158g.

    The screen is a 4.5" AMOLED display with a brightness of 600 NITS (!). Resolution is 1280x768.

    The North American variant supports quad-band GSM, 850/900/1900/2100 HSPA and LTE on band 2, 4, 5 and 17 (1900, AWS, 850 and 700).

    It's powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 (like the 820, 920, 925, 928) with 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM (most of any Windows Phone). The battery weighs in at 2000mAh.

    Available on AT&T on July 26 $299.99 on a 2 year agreement.

    This quarter in China, Europe and South America.

    It will be available in Yellow, white and black.

    Who's getting one? Is anyone not getting one because it's running Windows Phone? ...
    by Published on 07-10-2013 09:42 AM
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    I recently raved about the Nokia Lumia 520. It was the first $150 prepaid phone that Iíve tried that didnít suck. Of course now that you can buy the 520 for $150, many entry-level Android phones are going to have to drop in price to stay competitive.

    So now we have a pair of $78 Android phone: the Huawei Ascend Y210 for TELUS which is available exclusively at Walmart and the Huawei Ascend Y201 on Virgin Mobile. Weíll be looking at the Y210 today.

    Before I start we need to have a reality check. The Y210 is a $78 phone. That pretty much makes it the cheapest Android phone you can buy. With a fancy phone, a review is usually about its fancy features and what you get. With the Y210 itís more about what compromises have to be made to hit the $78 price point and whether theyíre acceptable.

    Itís also worth exploring whether the Y210 and itís ultra-low price point are a worthwhile alternative to a feature phone. ...
    by Published on 06-19-2013 02:17 PM
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    Looking around at the mobile phone market, Android and iOS dominate the top end of the market. Interestly though, Iíve found some of their lower-end offerings leave much to be desired. You just donít get much phone for $150.

    However, if you add another $150 then you can get yourself a Nexus 4.

    The Nokia Lumia 620 I reviewed a while back is a great phone for 250 dollars. Of course the problem is that for another 50 bucks, you can get a 8GB Nexus 4. While the Nexus 4 lacks the Lumia 620ís memory card slot, it gives you more of everything plus it runs Android. So, if have to buy your phone off contract then the 620 is a harder sell.

    To address this shortcoming, Nokia now has the Lumia 520. Itís available for $149 from Rogers and Koodo and $129 at TELUS. At this price point, I have no idea why more carriers didnít pick this up.

    On paper, itís quite similar to the 620. You actually get a bigger screen and battery, same resolution camera minus the flash, same processor, RAM, storage, etc. On paper, it looks like an awesome deal.

    Does anything else even come close? ...
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