Wednesday, September 25, 2013

That screen has some curves

Rewind to earlier this year, Samsung announced and demoed curved and flexible screen technologies. Back to the present and Samsung states they'll release a curved display phone by the end of October.

This isn't the first time Samsung has done a curved screen on a phone. In 2011 they introduced the Galaxy Nexus. This was the first phone with a curved display. Granted, it was curved so that when you placed it on your ear the curve would flow onto your cheek and closer to your mouth.

With the new curved displays coming out, they are OLED. That means each LED on the display is emitting it's own light and colors. With normal LED displays, a light source is placed behind them to display the colors and light.

We've seen curved displays coming to televisions to "immerse" the viewer. I personally think it's a gimick. Even on a smaller scale, it sounds kind of silly to me. I wouldn't mind a book like display. Imagine this, you have your phone and your surfing a website. Just unfold your phone size screen and you now have a tablet. How about this, a scroll. Think of unraveling a screen to watch or view something. It's truly remarkable.

We'll see what this phone is packing in the coming weeks. It'll be interesting to see it implemented in a consumer product instead of just prototypes.


Is "gold" the new craze?

When the rumors of an iPhone in gold came up, I have to be honest, I thought it was a joke. Sure enough, the rumors were spot on.

iPhone 5S now comes in three colors instead of the traditional two. Black has been replaced with space gray. Silver takes over instead of white. With the third being gold. In all the pictures I've seen, it looks more like a champagne color, but that's just me.

To add fuel to the fire, gold is the most demanded color too! Apple claims they have scarce supplies of the gold ones. Really Apple, really? It's just a color for your aluminum. Shouldn't be that difficult I would think.

Apple released the iPhone 5S along with it's cheaper and brighter counter part, iPhone 5C on September 20, 2013. Wouldn't you know it, Apple broke sales records again with over nine million dollars in sales that weekend. Impressive to say the least.

No one had expected the gold iPhone to be so popular. To counter that, Samsung has announced two colors of the Galaxy S4 with gold. Brown and pink phones with gold accents....let that soak in for a second. I'm not doubting they won't sell well. Especially because Samsung dominates the Android phone market. I just believe there are better colors other than brown and pink that compliment gold so much better. For instance, a black and gold phone would look sharp. Dare I say, down right gorgeous...if done well.

On to my negative news. It's time to say goodbye to Blackberry. The company has filed a buyout for $4.7 billion. It's unfortunate that the long lived Blackberry is coming to an end. I had a Tour and it was by far my favorite phone. The full QWERTY keyboard felt so good to type on. I blazed through emails and texts. With demand for iPhones and Androids, Blackberry was put on the back burner. They would stay there for years until finally calling it quits. Here's to you Blackberry. Cheers.

So what do you think of the Blackberry buyout? Will gold be on all our phones or is this just a fad? Let me know, in the comments below.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Year of the Playstation

Let's be honest, this generation of consoles hasn't been the best for Sony. PS2 was the most popular console until the Xbox 360 came into play in 2005. When the PS3 surfaced, things were rough....really rough. An expensive machine that seem to have issue after issue along with the various bundles they offered.

Fast forward to now and PS3 is outselling Xbox 360, not by much though. Sales have sharply declined for the big companies due to anticipation for the Xbox One and PS4. Sony seemed to learn from it's mistake in 2006 and is using all of Xbox's flaws to it's advantage. For instance, Xbox One price at $500 so PS4 only hours later announced $400 for its black box. Take that Microsoft! Xbox must always be connected to internet, not for the Playstation. Microsoft would later change their minds on the connection to internet requirements after huge amounts of feedback from consumers.

What's truly promising is the newly announced PS VitaTV. Sure it plays Vita games on the big screen, but that's not even the best part. You can stream your PS4 games onto a TV that is connected to PS VitaTV (They really need a new name for that). Imagine you're at home when your boyfriend/girlfriend walks into the room and wants to watch a movie. You happen to be playing "Watch Dogs" on the particular TV with your PS4. With VitaTV connected on another TV in your house, you can pick up where you left off in your game. They get to watch their movie and you get to play your game...everyone wins.

Playstation is off to a great start. The fact that it's coming out earlier in the states is a bonus for them as well. Will Playstation win this next-gen console war? What do you think?


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What does the "C" and "S" stand for?

By now you may have heard about what the big A announced yesterday. Not one but TWO new phones. I say new very carefully though, let's break it down.

iPhone 5S
If you're familiar with iPhones of the past, you'll know this is typical Apple style. Update the processor, camera, and networks and BAM, the new iPhone. Another new addition to this generation is colors. The 5S can be yours in silver, a champagne gold, and space gray? Ignore the lack luster name for it, the device looks gorgeous. Oh ya, probably the biggest new hardware feature is the fingerprint sensor in the physical home button. Just press down on it to unlock your phone or make purchases in the App Store. It's a unique idea that I'm unsure about. I like the security aspect and ease of just scanning my thumb rather than remember a billion passwords for all my services. Apple assures consumers that it won't save the print in the cloud or on servers, just on the device. I can't help but wonder...what if though.

iPhone 5C
Cheap, color, crap....what does the "C" stand for? The long rumored "cheaper" iPhone is a real thing. I have to say, this appeals to me more than the 5S simply because of what it is. It's an update iPhone 5...yep, that's it. Enhanced camera and bigger battery, but all said it's iPhone 5 all around. I've watched several videos and read other tech sites about the feel of the cheaper poly-carbonate body and they're all impressed by the build. I can't wait to put my hands on it to see how "iPhone" this new one feels. With "C" possibly meaning color, it does come in five of them. Blue, pink, green, yellow, and white. I personally like the green one the most. Reminds me of the Hulk.

Now onto my rants...brace yourself
I think iOS7 looks ridiculous. You know what they say, looks can be deceiving. So until I get my hands on it September 18, I still think it looks like Hello Kitty on steroids. iOS7 will now include Pages, Keynote, Spreadsheets, iMovie, and iPhoto...after I paid $4-$10 each app not even a year ago? Come on...bad Apple. I was also sad not to hear anything else like updates to Macs, iPods, or even a date for the Mac Pro release. I really wanted that "one more thing" to happen and it never happened, minus a musical performance that last longer than anything else. Felt like Christmas morning waking up to a stocking full of coal.

That said, Apple is going to have another event in October where we should see, hopefully, way more updates to everything. iPad Mini with Retina Display is still on my radar. I'd also love a new MacBook Pro with new Haswell processors for extended battery life. Perhaps even a glimpse at iWatch...just needs a better name. I'm not upset with Apple, I'm just ready for the next thing to wow me.

What did you think of Apple's Keynote? Is iOS7 ground breaking or simply breaking? What else do you want Apple to do? Leave a comment down below and don't forget to answer the poll over there >>>>


Friday, September 6, 2013

Droid Maxx, I've got the power!

I'm usually not the one to adopt a piece of technology until a few months after it's initial release. I want updates, patches, and other issues addressed. Along with that, I also want to see other reviews and people's opinions.

That said, when I heard about the Droid Maxx....I pre-ordered it the first day I could. I was up for an upgrade and I absolutely despised my Samsung Galaxy S3. If you've read my past post, I rant on why I dislike Samsung products. Cheaply made and the TouchWiz skin on Android is horrendous.

I received my Maxx and as soon as I opened the box I was surprised by just how heavy this phone is. The Droid Maxx is packing an outrageous 3500 mAh battery. Motorola claims 48 hours of usage and 25 days of standby. I confidently say that I've had no issues hitting that 48 hour mark, sometimes longer. That's with constant social network check-ups, email, some videos, occasionally taking pictures, and of course the messaging and calling factor. It is a phone after all.

It also feels extremely premium. I've dabbled and played with the HTC One and iPhone 5, two of the most attractive handsets on the market currently. Probably cause of their all aluminum body. The Maxx may not have aluminum but it feels great in the hand. The Kevlar backing is extremely comfortable as well. I don't feel like I'll drop the phone and it doesn't show finger prints, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4.

This Droid has to be one of the fastest phones I've ever played/used. The boot time from off to home screen is insanely quick. I never had an issue with the phone not keeping up with my constant switching between apps and web pages. I did have Vine crash on me a couple times, but an update came out a couple days later and I haven't had issues since. The Maxx has an X8 architecture. They basically claim it has 8 cores but it's compiled of a 1.7 dual core processor, quad core gpu, separate core for language processor, and one for contextual computing. That X8 is paired with 2GB or ram, so it's plenty quick.

With the contextual computing and language processor, the new Droids and the upcoming Moto X have touchless control. Basically, say "OK Google Now" and give the phone a command. Anything at all. I've seen the videos of other users and commercials where this feature works perfectly...not so much for me. I can't figure out if it just doesn't recognize my voice or if it was the tone of my voice or what exactly. When it works, it's great, but it was a hit and miss for me.

While I'm talking about negatives, this camera is not great. It's a ten megapixel (an unusual choice) back facing camera and a two megapixel on the front. They're ok, nothing to rave about. What is neat, simple shaking your wrist left to right a couple of times, automatically opens the camera app. A helpful yet mildly annoying way to access the camera. I look pretty silly waving my phone in the air just to take a picture. It's also not running the newest and greatest of Android 4.3. Shipped and still has 4.2.2 as of 9/6/2013. Especially disappointing considering this is one of the first phones after Google bought Motorola mobility. Also, Google announced Android 4.4 KitKat this week. When will I get the update to 4.3 and now 4.4?

One issue, or what I thought would be an issue, is the internal memory. It ships with 32GB, non-removable and non-expandable. I always want my music with me so I don't have to use data when I'm not connected to WIFI. However, the times I'm not connected to WIFI are in my car. So it's not that big of a setback to me.

In conclusion if you want a phone with a great camera, don't get this device. If you want full HD display, not on this 720p device. You don't get this phone for those aspects. You're paying the pretty penny for the battery. I can't tell you how awesome it is, to go two full days without worrying about charging my phone until I go to bed. It's wonderful! That said, the $299 price is steep just for a huge battery in a phone. It's a good phone all around, but the battery sets it apart. You could save $100 and get the Droid Ultra which is super slimming and less battery. Save another $100 and go with the Droid Mini with a smaller screen, smaller battery, and less memory. All three of these phones are the exact same as far as processor. I see the Droid Maxx as more of the traveler's phone. The business professional who is constantly going and moving from appointment to appointment or traveling lots.

It's a solid phone. I loved it when I got it and I'm still impressed with it. I'm still discovering new things with each day I have it. I'll have this phone for a year or two so I'm curious how the battery stacks up as time progresses. So if power and battery are your prime issues for a phone. This is the beast for you.

PROS-Great build, outstanding battery, touchless features (when they work) CONS-Average screen, lack of Android 4.3, average camera, touchless features (when they didn't work...most of the time)


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IFA = I'll Forget After

So Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 3 and the long rumored Galaxy Gear. To be frank, I'm not impressed...yet.

The Note 3 is a bigger screen, better spec, and has wacky features that Samsung strongly push. For example, TouchWiz is a joke. If they would put pure Android on they're products I would be on board. Samsung also packs in all the gesture features as seen on other Galaxy products. Scrolling with your eye movement, swiping pages with your hand, turning away and your video pauses, etc. Those appeal to some people but not me.

Also, all their products feel cheap and plasticy....all of them. To change that they put a fake leather back on it...what? I would think that would wear off, fade, come off, or whatever so quick! I would have to buy one of those wallets or elegant cases they showed off. Granted, the view screen wallet case is cool, I like that one. It is convenient to take a picture, answer a call, or see a message without having to unlock the screen and go into the app.

Now how about the S Pen...gross. Just let the consumer use a stylus if they want, don't lock in additional features with the dang pen. I have never seen anyone go "Oh, let me jot this down real quick" with the S Pen.

Galaxy Gear....promising but it has a long way to go. I despise the camera on there. I personally think it allows pervs to be more pervy. I can see a safety factor there too though, like taking a picture of your kidnapper or a license plate if you're caught in a hit and run. It's also MASSIVE on the wrist. I think the sixth generation iPod nano had the right size. I do like how you can have a phone call through it, but I don't want to hear another person having conversations over speakerphone. I don't like it with a regular cell phone and I most definitely won't like it in this form.

Samsung is innovating and progressing, that's good and that's needed in a "dry" technology field currently. I just feel like they crammed some things together real quick just to be ahead of team Apple. Apple is up next for big tech products conference. We'll see what happens. iPhone 5C and 5S are for sure but what else Apple? Step up and "woo" me.