Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

SGSII aka Hercules

Posted: September 26, 2011 in Gadgets

http://www.tmonews.com/2011/09/t-mobile-reveals-additional-details-for-galaxy-s-ii/

Finally coming out for T-Mobile. October 12, 2011

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Every second counts

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Cars, Gadgets

 

Keep it on your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angry Birds in Real D

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Gadgets

Boarding

Posted: January 4, 2011 in Gadgets, Life
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Happy New Year!

Finally bought a board of my own. No more renting. Picked up a buddies board and got new boots.

– Stepchild Simon Chamberlain 2010
– 32 STW BOA boots
– Burton Mission bindings

And of course thanks to Morris and ItsProper.com it is fashioned out in GG vinyl. Reflective blue for those night sessions.

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Angry Birds

Posted: October 16, 2010 in Gadgets, Life, Music

Who knew birds were Angry… So this game finally came out for Android (all 2.0+ devices), now I see why its so popular. Addicted.

Vibrant Thing

Posted: July 29, 2010 in Gadgets

First off yes I know the song is “Vivrant Thing” with a V, despite whoever put that up on youtube, but it’ll make sense soon.

So a few weeks ago I finally picked up a new phone, Samsung Galaxy S, but for T-Mobile its a Samsung Vibrant. I figure I should review it, maybe by the time I finish this review Benson will review his iPhone 4 like he said he would. Now I am no phone expert, or review expert, so bare with me. Also this will be kind of long.

Physical Attributes

Upon first touching the phone it feels really slim, maybe too slim. I am coming from using a G1 which had a keyboard so it was a little thick. The Vibrant is also really light, the G1 had some weight to it, typical phone weight, but the Vibrant barely felt like a phone. The last thing about phone is it looks big, but when in your hands it doesn’t actually feel big. I have held an EVO and HD2 and those feel big and are big, but the Galaxy as right around maximum size.

Now my description of the phone seems odd, too thin, too light, almost too big, but actually it is perfect. It slips into my pocket without noticing, sits in my hand snugly, and it is easy to cross my thumb from side to side which is great for Swype (more on that later).

The Galaxy S has a few variations out on the market, as I mentioned the Vibrant is for T-Mobile, Captivate for AT&T, there is a Sprint and Verizon version too. Despite being the same phone they are all actually very different in terms of inside and out. The Vibrant has a little odd hump on the bottom that looks like it would be annoying, but turns out to be a usefull way to pull it out of your pocket. The Vibrant’s back is very smooth (side note: it comes with two covers), the back is almost too smooth and gets greasy at times, but the hump helps in these situations, keeps me from throwing it across the room. The Captivate has a more rough back, feels nicer except for the Galaxy logo that is raised and rough and feels as if it will scratch me.

The Screen

It seems in naming these phones they were thinking completely about the screens. Vibrant, Captivate, Fascinate, Epic… All describe the screen. By now I am sure you have heard the term Super AMOLED. It’s not a new superhero, its just what Samsung calls the screen, and yes it is special enough to get so much recognition. Upon turning it on you notice right away what’s so “Super” about the screen. It’s bright, but not like a flashlight, bright as in the day you get a new prescription for your glasses (for those of you that wear them). Or for those that don’t it’s like switching from regular TV to 1080P. It truly is magnificent, the colors are very vivid, coupled with the 4″ screen it is marvelous. You don’t truly notice the difference until you look at a different phone. I have yet to look at an iPhone 4 screen which I hear is quite nice as well, but it is much better than 3G iPhone and my old G1.

Hardware

Phones cease to amaze me these days, they truly have turned into computers. The Galaxy S has a 1GHZ processor, yea I think I still know people with slower computers. The phone also has 16 gigs of on-board memory, and optional mini-sd card which can hold up to 32 gigs. All that being completely unnecessary, but useful. My biggest issue with the G1 was lack of memory constantly slowing down the phone. I have yet to run into this issue. There are a bunch of other specs on the phone, but thats all you need to know.

Software

If you are unfamiliar with Android and all that it has to offer, this will be a bit of an odd experience. If you are unfamiliar with smartphones then you will definitely be in unfamiliar territory. Android is basically a highly customizable OS, pretty much everything can be made the way you want it. I don’t really feel like getting into what “Droid does”. In general this phone is one and the same from the rest. It is running Android 2.1 so it is much better than my G1 (1.6), and as I mentioned before the processor and memory make this phone tons faster.

This phone doesn’t have a keyboard, which is what I feared most about switching from the G1. However it does have Swype which I reviewed earlier. On this phone it moves a ton faster than the G1 making it much easier to use. Even without it the larger screen helps with using the touch screen keyboard. I still don’t think I will type any emails on my phone, but texting and web searching is simple enough.

Most of the new Android phones come with some sort of cover on the Android software. This phone comes with something called TouchWiz 3.0. Upon first look TouchWiz basically makes the phone look somewhat like an iPhone. The app drawer is identical to iphones, scrolls sideways, has four buttons on the homerow, but unlike iphone app drawer is customizable, and well you also have a home screen that is fully customizable.  TouchWiz also comes with some other little things, a few random widgets, and a few random apps. The coolest thing though about TouchWiz is probably the smallest thing. First the lock screen just needs to be swiped any which way, but the best part of it is when you have a new text or missed call. The screen will turn into a puzzle with a puzzle piece corresponding to the missed call or message off to the side. If you drop the piece into where it fits it brings up the message or missed call. Otherwise you can just swipe the screen like normal.

The music player has also been revamped. Again in a sense it looks like an iPhone, when in landscape it displays CD images that you can flip through. The best part about it though is while playing music you have control of the music from the lock screen. A small disc can be pulled down that gives you the option to skip or pause songs.

Apps

Android 2.1 comes with a lot of new features and apps that can be used. To make the screen even more interesting this comes with “live wallpapers”. Basically it is what it is, a wallpaper that moves. It comes with a few stock ones that are interactive if you touch them, or change colors as the day goes by. There is also a Mario wallpaper you can download which just has a video of someone playing Mario in the background. If not playing is boring you can pick up the duckhunt wallpaper that you can actually play. However, my all-time favorite is something I thought would be a cool idea but happened to be real. There is a stock app that shows grass flowing at the bottom and changes color pending on what time of day. Now what I wanted to see was if this app would also be effected by the weather. Luckily the folks who made the Beautiful Widgets app thought the same way I did. They combined their app with the live wallpaper. So throughout the day you will see a sun move across the screen with clouds, or if its raining the background will have rain, same goes for lightning and snow.

Games & Video

Phones are much more than phones these days. This phone focuses on its screen and graphics which can only be shown off by looking at Videos or games. The phone comes with Avatar loaded onto it and it truly is beautiful when you watch it, I put some Top Gear’s on as well and they looked great.

Regarding games, I usually don’t play much on my phone, but games are really smooth and good looking on this phone. I haven’t looked too hard or felt like paying for games yet to really test it out, but the few I have are pretty good. There are also a few emulators out there (NES, Genesis, Gameboy, PS1).

Overall

I love Android phones, they aren’t the greatest phone to a android newbies, but if you know what you can and can’t do they are great. And if you are looking for a phone this is definitely a great phone, it is comparably better than most of the android powerhouse phones without becoming too big or bulky. If you are on T-Mobile, it is really the only good choice. Granted there are two phones coming to T-Mobile this year (HTC Vision or G2 Blaze & MyTouch 3G HD).

Ok that is enough of a rant. Go get one.

SCII

Posted: July 26, 2010 in Gadgets

The LOOOOOOOOOONG wait is over. Say goodbye to all your Korean friends, it’s like the second coming… Too bad I have a crappy laptop and a 2500 pound time consumer. Maybe winter time.

Concept: HTC 1

Posted: July 12, 2010 in Gadgets
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Pretty interesting concept to a phone, wonder if anyone will ever take some notes from it.

Swype for Android

Posted: June 16, 2010 in Gadgets

I have always hated touch screen keyboards, and now that 90% of new phones are touch screen and do not have a physical keyboard I am kind of stuck. Luckily Swype came out, you probably have seen the commercial, but the gist of it is all you need to do is trace the word you want to spell on your phone. You never lift a finger until you are done with the word.

The standard touch screen keyboard has a dictionary that predicts your words, and so does Swype, however, Swype tends to be way more accurate in its wording, especially with long complicated words. Swype is still in beta mode, but even the beta mode is really good. As of now it is free to download, limited time offer.

Head over to https://beta.swype.com/ sign up and download. Works on the G1 too!

Cardio Trainer

Posted: May 4, 2010 in Gadgets, Life
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I am not one to workout whatsoever, but my metabolism is slowly wearing away. Luckily I still have my Dyno Air and the weather is nice.

I found this app on Android Market called Cardio Trainer, pretty slick. It is basically a workout trainer, takes stats while you work out. Uses a combo of GPS, the accelerometer, time, etc. It is sensitive enough to detect footsteps (and is actually pretty accurate). Since I am no fan of walking and running I used it for the bike riding part. It tracks both stationary bikes, and regular bikes. Using GPS it tracks how far you go, time, avg speed, and then even calculates lost calories.  And thanks to the multitasking nature of Android, it does this all while listening to Pandora (or whatever music app you choose).

Today took it out just for testing, went 6 miles, not too sure if thats supposed to be good or bad, but the app worked, up until my G1 froze… Still recorded everything though, and surprisingly didn’t kill the battery.