• Reviews and Hands-on

    by Published on 06-20-2014 09:26 AM
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    If youíre out or travelling around and have ever needed a charging cable, youíll 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 theyíre 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). Theyíre charging cables which are shaped like a house key or a credit card so theyíre easier to carry around. ...
    by Published on 06-18-2014 06:32 PM
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    2. Devices,
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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. ...
    by Published on 06-18-2014 09:29 AM
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    Hereís Acerís Liquid S1. Itís available for $380 at various places that sell Acer products and is completely unlocked. Since itís unlocked you do whatever you want with it. You can switch carriers, take it travelling, buy it as present and not have to wonder whether you passed all of a carrierís rules to get your unlock code nor do you have to visit a 3rd party to get a code.

    For $380 you get a 5.7", 1280x720 IPS display. Underneath the hood is a quad-core 1.5Ghz MediaTek MT6589 SoC with a PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage (5.5GB available) and a MicroSD. On the back is a 8MP camera with a 2MP one in front and a 2400mAh battery. There's no LTE but you do get penta-band DC-HSPA+. On the software side you get Android 4.2.2 with Acer's custom launcher.

    Aside from a couple of iPhones (which cost a lot more than the S1), Googleís Nexus 5 and Motorolaís Moto E and some Moto Gís, there arenít a whole lot of unlocked phones in the Canadian market.

    The way I see it, the Liquid S1 has 2 main competitors; The Google Nexus 5 and Motorola Moto G. Like the S1, both are sold unlocked and some what readily available locally. The Nexus 5 is available for $349.99 online from Google Play while you can pick up the Moto G unlocked from Staples for $249.99. Letís compare:
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    by Published on 06-06-2014 06:45 AM
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    Samsung sent me 2 of there wearables recently: The Gear Neo and the Gear Fit. I just finished reviewing the Samsung Gear 2 Neo. To me, I was really surprised because itís the first piece of wearable technology that I didnít truly hate.

    While the Neo is a full fledge Smartwatch, the Fit is more of a fitness band on steroids. Whatís the difference between these 2 classes of devices? Iíd say the main difference is the shape. Smartwatches usually have large displays while Fitness bands donít have a display or if they do, it tends to be smaller and more rectangular.

    Where do the steroids come in? Well, in addition to being a fitness band, the Fit is also able to display notifications from your phone. In a way, itís a converged device.
    ...
    by Published on 06-03-2014 11:49 AM
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    Technology is an interesting thing; It can simultaneously make our lives easier and be a complete pain in the neck. In order for technology to be successful, it has to be more of the former and less of the later.

    Take the Galaxy S5 or one of its contemporaries. It has a large and wonderful 5.1Ē display. Its large size is fantastic for reading emails, browsing the web, gaming and just about everything else. The trade off is that the large display means you really have to use it with both hands to get the most out of it plus itís not quite as pocket-able as a smaller phone.

    However, for many, the large screen outweighs the usability and portability penalty and so the GS5 is a great and successful product.

    With that in mind, what trade offs do wearable technology have?

    Samsung sent me their Galaxy Gear 2 Neo and Galaxy Gear Fit to find out.

    The Gear 2 Neo is a smartwatch with a large display while the Gear Fit is more of a fitness band with a small screen. Iíll talk about the Fit in a later review.
    ...
    by Published on 05-26-2014 08:54 AM
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    When last we left this Android flashaholic I had installedóand subsequently wipedóa new build of MIUI for tablets. Undaunted by the experience I headed over to XDA, where I found this list of available ROMs for my 2013 Nexus 7.

    The two tablet-friendly ROMs that I've used in the pastóAOKP and Paranoid Androidóare currently only available as nightly builds; both were fairly buggy on my device. Somewhere on reddit I heard about a KitKat version of Slim ROM. I've been using it all weekend on my Nexus 7, and liked it so much that I put it on my phone, too! ...
    by Published on 05-22-2014 08:11 AM
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    This is the new MIUI for tablets. I installed it on my Nexus 7 yesterday so that you won't have to.

    V5 of the MIUI ROM, based on Android 4.4 KitKat, is already available for a number of popular handsetsómostly Samsungs for us here in the west. But this particular build of MIUI V5 is unique to tablet computers; it's supposedly the same ROM that you'll get on Xiaomi's recently-announced Mi Pad.

    But shortly after it was flashed on my Nexus 7 MIUI was unceremoniously wiped. Here's why. ...
    by Published on 05-15-2014 08:42 AM
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    I realize that I'm writing this for maybe two or three other forum members who, like myself, use Linux as their primary desktop OS. But this freedom beard would be remiss if he didn't relate an odd experience with the new Rogers LTE Moto G.

    This latest version of the G has only 8GB of onboard storage, but compensates for that with a micro SD card slot. For Linux users this should be great news; this Linux user has had challenges with file transfers between phone and computer ever since Ice Cream Sandwich and the introduction of MTP. It's not a huge deal by any means, and MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) has steadily improved in updates to Ubuntu and its derivatives. Most times my Nexus 5 will mount on my Linux Mint desktop just fine; for larger file transfers, like TWRP backups and such, I use FTP on my local network.

    With the Moto G and a micro SD card it's a bit of a different story. ...
    by Published on 05-14-2014 10:22 AM
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    This morning I fired up a pre-production, locked-to-Rogers, LTE-powered Moto G. Here in Canada it will be exclusive to Rogers and Fido at launch, retailing for $225 to $275 outright or $0 on a contract.

    Let's see what's new!

    ...
    by Published on 05-13-2014 10:27 AM
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    The Motorola Moto G with LTE is coming to Rogers and Fido for $224.95.

    It's just like the Moto G that came ...
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