• Reviews and Hands-on

    by Published on 07-10-2014 05:24 PM
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    4. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Next to high-end phones, I find that the under $100 prepaid price point is the most interesting part of the market to watch. Not long ago, it used to be that it was impossible to get a smartphone for less than $300 that didn’t suck, then the HTC One V and Sony Xperia U came out.

    The Nokia Lumia 520 breached the $200 barriers so now the goal posts have been moved again to the magic $100 mark.

    Huawei breached the $100 point with their Y300 - for the price was a good deal but it had one weakness - it came with a really slow processor. It was usable but only just.

    Now Huawei’s is following up the Ascend Y300 with the Ascend Y530. It’s a $89.99 prepaid phone available on Bell but compared to the Y300, it’s got a bigger, higher resolution screen, more built-in storage, a front facing camera, auto focus, a newer version of Android and most importantly, a faster processor from Qualcomm. Let’s check it out: ...
    by Published on 07-10-2014 08:45 AM
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    2. Devices,
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    For my informal camera test of LG's 2014 flagship G3 I thought I'd try something a little different. Almost any phone camera can take decent pictures outside in bright sunlight; what about at the back of a restaurant, at a table lit by what seemed to be a 40 watt bulb?

    That's where my girlfriend and I found ourselves for dinner last night—at Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, a participant in Toronto's annual Summerlicious Food Fest. The food was great, and thanks to the G3's 13-megapixel laser-focusing camera the photos were pretty good too! ...
    by Published on 07-07-2014 12:21 PM
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    2. Devices,
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    The LG G3 is coming soon. It’s the first phone with a quad HD display that’s going to be sold by carriers here. The display has 2560x1440 pixels or to put it in perspective; 5 times as many pixels as my iPhone 5s, 4 times as many as the Amazon Fire phone and almost 80% more pixels than my Galaxy S5.

    Resolution aside, it’s also the first LG flagship in a while that comes with a removable battery and memory card. It also has a split screen feature like Samsung has had for a while. They also improved their knock on feature so now you can now set custom knock on patterns to unlock your phone.

    I just got one yesterday, here are my first impressions.

    Front and center, of course, is the screen. At 5.5” it’s big, and with it’s super high resolution, it looks insanely sharp. LG has moved away from the fat cartoonish fonts of the G2 to smaller text and flatter icons which really flatter the screen. I had imagined how sharp the G3 screen would be since it has 80% more pixels than my GS5.

    I admit, I had preconceived notions that the G3 screen would look a lot sharper than the GS5 screen and indeed, my first impression was that it was. However, one of the first things I did after was screen capture the G3 and then load that file on my GS5 to see how much sharper the G3 is. Indeed, when you compare side-by-side photos of them at 100%, the G3 is a little cleaner looking.
    ...
    by Published on 07-07-2014 08:12 AM
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    If you've never heard of a reddit AMA, "AMA" stands for "ask me anything". Some very notable public figures have taken to the self-proclaimed "front page of the Internet" to answer questions from the community there—like US President Barack Obama, for example.

    Based on last Friday's post I hosted my own humble AMA on r/Android over the weekend, learning a few things about LG's new G3 along the way. ...
    by Published on 07-04-2014 09:58 AM
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    Yesterday Howard and I attended a pre-launch event for the LG G3 in Toronto. Everyone there got a pre-release loaner to take home and review; though I wasn't officially on the guest list I ended up getting one too!

    For me, LG's 2014 flagship is pretty much the polar opposite of my LG Nexus 5. Where the latter is a fairly nondescript black box that lets the power of pure Android shine, the G3's hardware practically screams "premium" in every way. ...
    by Published on 06-27-2014 07:31 AM
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    The bad news is that I haven't installed the preview of Android L on my Nexus 5 or 7. Both devices are my daily drivers and I kind of need them to work. The good news is that almost every other tech blogger covering Google I/O is performing this public service for us, so there's no shortage of screen grabs out there showing off Android's next major release.

    Android Police in particular are milking this for all it's worth. So, courtesy of them, here's a taste of Android L: ...
    by Published on 06-26-2014 07:52 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on,
    5. Rumors
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    So the first two devices with Android Wear, LG's G Watch and Samsung's Gear Live, are now available for purchase from the Google Play Store—in both the United States and Canada, I might add. And as I figured, Google is still taking orders for both of them the morning after. There's no mass hysteria among the Android faithful like there was with, say, the Nexus 4, and I think I know why:

    The Moto 360 is the Android Wear you want, if you want Android Wear at all. ...
    by Published on 06-24-2014 09:04 AM
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    2. Reviews and Hands-on,
    3. Apps
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    Last October I wrote about Aviate, a contextual launcher for Android that was then an invite-only alpha. In the months since it's been acquired by Yahoo, who just yesterday published their first branded release to Google Play. Let's see what's new! ...
    by Published on 06-20-2014 09:26 AM
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    If you’re out or travelling around and have ever needed a charging cable, you’ll know what a pain it is to bring one along. Charging cables are meant for you to connect your phone to your wall charger, so when you have to pack them, they can make a mess because they’re too long.

    Fortunately, Nomad sent me their CHARGEKEY and CHARGECARD chargers which are both available with a Lightning connector (for iOS) or a MicroUSB (for everything else). They’re charging cables which are shaped like a house key or a credit card so they’re easier to carry around. ...
    by Published on 06-18-2014 06:32 PM
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    I got to check out Samsung's new Galaxy Tab S tablets today.

    Samsung currently has 3 tablet lines: The Galaxy Tab 4 series is their entry level. It comes in 7, 8 and 10.1" sizes with price points of ~$199/249/349 respectively.

    Next is the Galaxy Tab Pro which have higher resolution screens, more RAM, faster processors, higher resolution cameras along with a bunch of bonus content/subscriptions. The Tab Pro comes in 8.4/10.1/12.2" screen sizes with $349/449/669.99 price points.

    Lastly they have their Galaxy Note 2014/Pro line. The hardware on the Note 10.1 2014 edition and NotePro 12.2" and bonus content/subscription is similar to the the Tab Pro line plus they add Samsung's Wacom compatible stylus functionality. The 10.1/12.2" sizes are $599.99/769.99 respectively.

    One common feature about all these tablet lines is that they all use LCD displays.

    Now Samsung is introducing a 4th line, the Galaxy Tab S. The "S" is for SuperAMOLED - yes, now Samsung has a tablet line that uses the same screen technology as their Galaxy S line of phones. In the past, I thought Super AMOLED screens were at best, a good alternative to the class-leading LCD displays found on other devices. However I feel that Samsung's latest generation of SuperAMOLED displays are now superior to the screens you find on other devices. The 3 best things about SuperAMOLED displays are their inky blacks which gives them amazing contrast ratios. They also have excellent viewing angles and there is minimal contrast lost when you view them from off angle. Samsung also claims that on average SuperAMOLED screen use less power and they have faster refresh rates. Translation: the latest SuperAMOLED displays are awesome.



    The Tab S line consist of a 10.5" and a 8.4" model. They're 6.6mm thick which is a tiny bit thinner than the TabPro and NotePro Tablets. They're both powered by Samsung 4+4 core SoC (same as the TabPro and NotePro) with 3GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage, MicroSD slot (up to 128GB cards), 8/2MP cameras, IR Blaster and Fingerprint readers. ...
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