• Reviews and Hands-on

    by Published on 01-04-2013 10:44 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Hereís the Samsung Galaxy Camera (Iím going to call it the ďCameraĒ with an uppercase ďCĒ). Itís basically the result of a wild night between a camera and a smartphone. Itís a digital camera with a 16 megapixel sensor and 21x zoom lens with a Samsung Galaxy S III complete with HSPA modem and 4.8Ē screen grafted onto the back.

    Itís safe to say that these days, most pictures end up on the web and will never be printed out. So, digital cameras have it rough these days. You see, theyíre just too inconvenient.

    What would you rather do? Snap a picture, wait till you get home, download it to your PC before you upload it to the web and then tag it with the location? Or would you rather snap a picture with your Smartphone and then choose to upload it to the web complete with location information.

    Why would anyone bother using a dedicated camera if itís so much less convenient to use? There are 2 reasons; dedicated cameras usually have higher quality plus they usually offer you more flexibility/capabilities. ...
    by Published on 12-11-2012 07:12 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Hot on the heels of the sexiest phone on the market; the HTC Windows Phone 8X is itís smaller sibling, the 8S.

    Like the 8X, the 8S is quite a looker. Itís easily one of the best looking phones on the market. Iím sure HTC will sell a lot of these just based on how it looks. Itís minimalist, expensive looking and original. All at the same time.



    Physically, it looks and feels just like a smaller version 8x. The only difference is the 8s has the bottom snaps off to reveal the MicroSD and MicroSIM slots, just like on the HTC Titan and Titan II. Also, the Ďedgesí of the 8s are a little more rounded than the 8x. It makes the 8s shape more organic and comfortable to hold.
    ...
    by Published on 12-08-2012 09:41 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    One of the great things about Android is the breadth of choice you get when it comes to hardware. Whether itís a small phone with 2.6Ē display or something huge with a 5.5Ē display there should be something for you. Do you want a huge 3000mAh+ battery or maybe something with a physical keyboard. 1 core? 2? 4? 2GB of RAM? Variety is the spice of life.

    Android even has water-proof, ruggedized phones. In Canada we have the Sony Xperia Go, Motorola DEFY PRO and now the Samsung Rugby LTE. While the Go and DEFY are lower-end devices the Rugby has the same processor as the Galaxy S III so itís got considerably more horsepower under the hood. ...
    by Published on 12-06-2012 02:44 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    When I tried the Huawei P1 a few months back, I thought it was good enough that companies like Samsung better take notice. Now hereís their follow up; the Huawei D Quad XL. Certainly, theyíre giving Samsung a run at worst sounding name. D Quad XL is up there with Galaxy S II HD LTE.

    Seriously though, whatís special about the XL is that it has a quad-core processor. While still quite rare, quad-cores have now been around for almost a year. Looking at Windís lineup, they have the Note II for $299, the LG Optimus 4X is at $199 while the XL is $99. For 99 bucks, theyíve also got the HTC One S and Motorola RAZR V.

    So the Wind and Huawei have found a good place in their lineup for the XL. Itís cheaper than the more brand name-y Note II and the 4X while you get more hardware for your money than the One S and RAZR V.

    So what do you get for $99? A quad-core processor from Huawei. Thatís right, itís not a Tegra 3, Exynos or a Snapdragon. The chip appears to have Cortex A9 cores (like the Tegra 3 and Exynos) but unlike them, the GPU is from Hisilicon. Weíll check out the GPU performance later in the review. ...
    by Published on 11-29-2012 05:17 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Hereís the recipe for an Android phone. Take a phone, add Android and then customize it. This formula has worked really well for Google. The bodies of WebOS, S60, Blackberry, Windows Mobile now litter the landscape since since Android and iOS joined the mobile phone war.

    However, Googleís Nexus devices are slightly different beast. First off, while theyíre from Google, theyíre not made by Google. Instead theyíre based off of existing devices and contain no customizations or extras from their respective manufacturers.

    I think one of the reasons why Nexus devices are so popular is because many people have been using Windows PCís for years. Itís very common for PCís to come with all sorts of useless extras like trial subscriptions to 5 different ISPs, Anti-virus software that is constantly asking you to update your subscription, multiple toolbars, useless utilities and just a bunch of crap that no one wants. Weíve been conditioned to not trust manufacturers when it comes to what software they put on our devices.

    Hereís the Nexus 4, the sister phone to the LG Optimus G. It shares many of the Gís specs plus it has a similar glass covered body. Unlike the G itís running Android 4.2 and is a pure Google device.

    The fact that it doesnít contain anything extra is the appeal of Nexus devices. That plus the fact that the Nexus 4 with 8GB starts at $309CAN/299USD unlocked while the 16GB is $359CAN/349USD ...
    by Published on 11-26-2012 03:59 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview



    While Tablets are now the norm, itís hard to believe that the original iPad only came out about 2 and a half years ago. Tablets have been around for years but it wasnít till the iPad came out, that they really took off.

    Now 2 and half years later, iPads have sort of matured to the point that you donít have to buy the fanciest one, to buy one thatís usable.

    Itís the perfect time for Apple to release an entry level iPad because it doesnít have to suck. Hereís the iPad Mini. Itís an iPad with a 7.9Ē display.
    ...
    by Published on 11-23-2012 09:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview



    One of the best phones for 2012 was the HTC One X. It was almost the total package. It was fast and had an amazing display. The camera was a blast to use. The only problem with it was that it only came with 16GB of storage. Itís like a sports car that can only seat one person. Itís a blast to use but itís not very practical.

    Thankfully, we now have the One X+. Itís similar to the One X but ups the storage to a much more useful 64GB of storage. You also get a quad-core processor, a slightly bigger battery, and Android 4.1. ...
    by Published on 11-21-2012 09:45 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview



    One thing I admire about HTC is that their phones always have a very original design esthetic. Just like Nokia and Apple, you can spot a HTC phone immediately. While I admire their originality, I havenít connected with many of their recent phones. Last yearís Amaze reminded me of a bathtub while the One X had to profile of a banana... That is, till I laid eyes on the HTC 8X.

    To say that the 8X is beautiful would be giant understatement. Windows Phone is known for itís distinctive design and the 8X is a wonderful interpretation of it. Itís like one of the Windows Phone live tiles grew up and became a phone. ...
    by Published on 11-14-2012 11:22 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview



    These days, movies cost a lot of money so itís not uncommon for them to have some promotional product tie-ins. While this can make a movie seem like a commercial, thereís usually a line between whatís acceptable and what isnít. For example, it would be a sham if Gandalf used a AT&T phone to call Frodo in the Lord of the Rings movie.

    Then we have the Sony Xperia T. The phone of choice for James Bond in the new Skyfall flick. If I were to guess what kind of phone James Bond actually uses my guess is that it would be something waterproof, but then again, the Tís a slick device - I could see him using one.
    ...
    by Published on 11-12-2012 04:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    While itís been awhile since Iíve reviewed a pair of Bluetooth headphones but I jumped at a chance to try a pair of Parrot Zikís.




    Theyíre designed by Phillip Starck and are packed with goodies that make the phone nerd inside me drool! Besides Bluetooth, they also have NFC, a removable battery, touch sensitive controls, sensors that can tell when youíre not wearing them and upgradable firmware. Those features are all great but the Zikís PiŤce de rťsistance is that the Zik comes with its own app. Iíll talk more about the app later.

    I havenít even mentioned the design yet. Unlike all the colourful headphones you see these days, the Zik has a slick modern design. The plastic surfaces are all soft to the touch while the metallic pieces are actually metal. They look really cool and donít shout ďMy mom bought me these headphonesĒ like a pair of Beats headphones. ...
    by Published on 11-07-2012 03:45 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Hereís the Xperia Go. An entry level Smartphone thatís waterproof.

    Iím impressed that it comes with a dual-core NovaThor U8500 processor and a microSD slot (the Xperia U didnít) plus you get Android 4.0 (this is a Sony phone). Iím not surprised that it comes with 512MB of RAM has a 5MP camera and 8GB of storage (probably 4GB available). Iím a bit annoyed that it has a 3.6Ē 430x320 display and a 1305mAh battery. ...
    by Published on 11-07-2012 03:21 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    I got a chance to play with the Sony Xperia T. The T is known as the James Bond Phone because he uses one in the new Bond Flick thatís launching soon.

    Spec-wise the T is similar to the Galaxy S III and HTC One X (the LTE versions). Dual-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB built-in storage plus a Micro SD slot, 1850mAh battery, 4.6Ē LCD display and 12.8/1.3MP cameras. It also supports Mira-cast (video out via WiFi). It ships with Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).




    Itís launching on Rogers, TELUS, Bell, Mobilicity, Videotron, MTS plus they mentioned Wind too (though Iím not sure if they got confused). Kudos to Sony for getting it on most carriers!
    ...
    by Published on 11-02-2012 06:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    So the UPS driver dropped of my iPad mini today. I actually order both a white and black iPad mini. My black one showed up while my white one is back-ordered for 2 weeks.



    When I first opened the Mini I couldn't help noticing that the finish feels fantastic. The edges of the bezel are like the iPhone 5 while the back is metal that feels kind of satin-y.



    Before I even turned it on I thought that the Mini feels substantially larger than my Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 has a 7" 16:9 screen while the Mini's is 7.9" with 4:3 aspect ratio. In my hand the Mini is a lot wider and not comfortable at all to hold unlike my Nexus 7. ...
    by Published on 11-01-2012 10:46 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Itís been a bit of a boring year for LG. Aside from a few mid and entry level handsets, the last really interesting phone that LG brought out was the Optimus LTE.

    During that time, we've been treated to phones like the HTC One S, One X, Motorola RAZR HD LTE, ATRIX HD LTE, Sony Xperia ION, and Samsung Galaxy S III. One similarity between all those phones are that they all have similar Qualcomm dual core processors.

    One thing Iím sure many manufacturers hate about Android is that they all have access to similar hardware so they all end up having to play the hardware game. I was a little surprised that LG didnít join the party with their own similar offering.

    Now, LG is launching their new flagship phone. The LG Optimus G. It actually shares the same guts as the upcoming Google Nexus 4 with a few changes that I'll discuss later.

    Whatís special about it is that it ups the stakes in the hardware game with itís new Qualcomm processor that doubles the core count plus adds a new more powerful graphics processor: The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. While Iím sure itís going to become quite ubiquitous for now it makes the G unique. ...
    by Published on 10-31-2012 10:47 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Our very own Sabesh just finished his review of the Motorola DEFY PRO:

    The Motorola Defy Pro brings an interesting set of features to the party: Moderately water, dust & shock-proof and good QWERTY keyboard. It runs Android 2.3 with Motorola's MotoBlur overlay.

    It's keyboard rivals that of the Blackberry Bold 9900 and is a pleasure to use. They keys are even shaped in a similar fashion. The keys don't "click" as much as the 9900, but do have a good feedback. The physical keyboard even supports Auto complete! One caveat though: The centre pad is a directional button, not a scroll pad like that of the Bold 9900. ...
    by Published on 10-26-2012 12:32 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    Just got an LG Optimus G. Here are my quick thoughts on it.

    Both the front and back are covered with Gorilla Glass. Apparently the back is polarized so it has an interesting pattern on it. Some how in my hand the finish makes it feel like plastic - maybe the sides have too much laquer on them or something. Still, it's a very solid phone.

    The screen looks amazing. It's 4.7" 1280x720 display with amazing viewing angles. I just got it tonight so I haven't had a chance to use it outdoors in the sun yet.

    The speaker on the back isn't very loud.

    There are going to be 2 versions for the Canadian market. They differ in terms of LTE support. The Rogers one has 2600Mhz LTE only while the TELUS and Bell ones have AWS LTE (and probably other bands though I'm just speculating here). ...
    by Published on 10-22-2012 07:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    One of last yearís unexpected hits was the Samsung Galaxy Note. It was basically a Galaxy S II with a stylus, a bigger, higher resolution display and a bigger battery. I had a nice laugh when I first saw it. I wondered, who would want to use such a large phone?

    It screamed Ďmy phone is better than your phone because itís biggerí. I figured it would appeal to guys who wear huge watches, drive showy cars, that sort of thing. Nothing like a good stereotype right? Anyways, if you go out, youíll notice a lot of girls with Notes. Turns out a Note fits just fine in a purse. Maybe size really doesnít matter.

    Anyways, itís been about a year now and a lot has changed. Samsung is now the de-facto power in the Android smartphone space, so thereís a lot of anticipation for the Galaxy Noteís successor. ...
    by Published on 10-16-2012 01:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    One of last yearís unexpected hits was the Samsung Galaxy Note. Boiled down it was basically a Galaxy S II with a stylus, a bigger higher resolution display and a bigger battery. It screamed Ďmy phone is better than your phone because itís biggerí. I figured it would appeal to guys who wear huge watches, drive showy cars, that sort of thing. However, if you go out youíll notice actually notice a lot of girls with Notes. Turns out a Note fits just fine in a purse. I guess size really doesnít matter.

    Anyways, itís been about a year now and a lot has changed. Samsung is now the de facto power in the Android smartphone space so thereís a lot of anticipation on the Galaxy Noteís successor.
    ...
    by Published on 10-12-2012 02:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Starting with the HTC One X back in April, Android flagships have a few common features: A 1.5Ghz dual core Snapdragon S4 processor, LTE, 4.7Ē+ screens, 8MP cameras, NFC and 16GB+ built-in storage. Now Motorola throws their hat in the ring with the RAZR HD LTE.

    While I appreciate how detailed the RAZR HD LTEís name is it a bit of a mouthful. Then again I guess I should be happy itís not called the Motorola 2012 RAZR HD LTE NFC 8MP KEVLAR 4.7 2500MAH.

    With itís sharp edges and the exposed weave on its Kevlar back the RAZR has a very striking and memorable design.

    Now if you look at the RAZRís specifications youíll notice that theyíre very similar to the ATRIX HD LTE I reviewed recently. Indeed, looking at the spec sheets the 3 main differences are the bigger screen (4.5Ē LCD vs 4.7Ē Super AMOLED), NFC and bigger battery (2530mAh vs 1780mAh). Bigger and more or better right? ...
    by Published on 09-28-2012 11:52 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    While iPhones have changed dramatically since the first one was launched 4 years ago, one thing that hasn't changed is the size. They've all sported 3.5Ē displays. While, I think 3.5Ē works well on an iPhone, itís hard to ignore the giant screens found on itís competitors.

    As such, the new iPhone 5 sports a 4Ē display. The biggest ever found on an iPhone though still much smaller than pretty much all itís competitors. But as they say Ďsize doesn't matterí.

    ...
    Page 10 of 15 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 LastLast