Brandand's Second-Hand Tech News

Following tech news so you don't have to. Like the scrubbing bubbles cleaner.

The Blackberry Z10 from an Android Perspective

Hooray, I finally got my Z10! Now What? If any of you follow the
international new device rule like I do, charge it all the way first.
The thing about the Blackberry Z10 is it won’t charge turned off, it
will automatically start up and entice you. It worked on me, so with in
seconds of start-up I was quickly glancing back and forth from the
“Start Here” manual and my Z10, but only for warning against using it
right away, which I never found. So while charging I set up my new toy
to get a feel for what I was going to be handling for the next 3-years,
or so.

My Video Review

Setup

Setup is simple, choose language, keyboard language, enter Blackberry
ID, setup Wi-Fi, and add email, social media accounts, and a How-to
guide on gesture controls. If you are like me, before exploring my
phone, I delved into the setting and adjusted everything before I was
ready for my expedition into the new BB10 OS. I was now equipped with
simple and clumsy knowledge on my device, which was ok because the Z10
like to point me in the right direction when I get lost with helpful
hints via animated arrows.

The Hub

The Hub is a centre for all of your social media and media messaging
such as text, email and BBM. Instantly I wanted things gone from it like
Facebook notifications and Twitter updates. That’s ok, because you can
remove or add most aspects of all your favourite social media app like
Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and many more, if it has an app that
supports the Hub. The Hub has layers and layers of views and modes you
can choose to display, which at first can be a bit overwhelming. After a
while, it becomes second nature, but in reality it is just an advance
version of Android’s notification bar, or Sony’s Timescape. I do
appreciate the easy accessibility, but I am not to sure it is something
I would initially be looking for in an OS.

Home screen

The home screen is just a bunch of recently opened app. Handy,
different, but personally I wouldn’t have chosen that as a home screen.

App Menu.

Same as any other phone right now, this is a nice familiarity.

Camera

Nice. My favourite feature is Timeshift which lets you take a picture
and rewind or fastforward just a face and it will superimpose it to the
body, and a similar feature to Burst shot, where you can choose which
picture is the best. The camera also includes Burst shot. The over all
quality of the still camera is decent, nothing special. The video
quality is a bit better, but both do not work great in low light but
then again, it’s not just a camera. Also included is simple editing
software for applying filters and cropping.Image

Keyboard

The keyboard is my second favourite feature to this phone. Predictive
text is included in all current smartphones, but there is something
magical about the Z10’s. As you type the next word will appear on the
corresponding first letter in the work. A lot of the time it is correct.
If it doesn’t, you tap a letter or two then there it is, and to select
the word, you just place your finger on the letter and flick up.

Browser

I hate it. It’s fast, but the whole setup is a bit confusing and even
once you do set it up, it’s still a bit shoddy. My favourite feature of
an Android browser was the ability to select “Fit to screen” where the
text on most web pages would be made to fit edge to edge and default to
the font size you have selected. I also hope that Blackberry will decide
to create a custom Facebook setup versus using the default
m.facebook.com, but if you don’t use FB, then no worries. If you want to
“View in Desktop mode”, you have to go into the browser settings, then
the developer setting to change it back every time.

Gesture Controls

This is my number one feature of the Blackberry Z10. To seamlessly glide
through your phone like waving a magic wand between messages, recently
opened apps, setting and sub-setting of all of your apps. When I am
tired of being in an app or the Hub, I love sliding my finger up to get
out of it and on to somewhere else. I really notice it when I am on
another device and I am constantly swiping my finger up. It’s similar to
when I got an ASUS Transformer, then I would use a friend’s laptop and
try to use the non-touch screen the same.

Conclusion

I will definitely need more time to get used to everything the Z10 has
to offer, and I hope to have some of the problems I have with it fixed.
I love the design, feel, look and it fits perfectly into my hand. The
overall OS is pretty much a beast, solid, responsive without a question.
The App selection is always brought up, but that was one of the reasons
why I decided to try out the Z10 because I really don’t use too many
apps on my phone anymore. Will I stick with it? For now I will see if it
becomes a part of me. The gestures are a key factor in wanting to keep
it. There is no going back once I fall in love with something; I can
only hope that the rumours about the Samsung S IV having gesture control
is true, then I would be truly happy.Image

3 am Scribbling of a Mad Man

Only 4 months of owning my Samsung Galaxy S3 and I’m already looking
for a new flavour. It’s true that I have been an avid Android user
since Donut, and I still love my Android, but I think I like the idea
of an open source more. In the future, Android will be the way to go
in my own opinion, and currently it is pretty smooth, not flawless.
The integration with pretty much the entire internet via Google is so
awesome it still blows my mind to experience how connected one can be,
but on the other hand, Google has become a monopoly with no escape.
image

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has all the bells and whistles anyone could ask
for, intuitive and beautifully designed. So, I have chosen to buy my
first Blackberry. When I first heard about the Iphone, I thought neat,
but I my first experience with Apple’s one button mouse turned me off
years before. Also the first time I tried to use ITunes was a disaster
and I haven’t looked back since. It was over priced, ugly and the
people that bought it initially were not my kind of people. I avoided
buying an Iphone at all cost for a couple of years, trying out SE,
Nokia, Motorola but Android (SE) was the win. Plus the main reason, to
be completely honest, was I wanted something that nobody had that
worked as good, if not better then what everyone else was going to
get. Android was the new kid on the block, and it was shiny. Now I
find myself in a similar situation. Android has become mainstream,
everyone I know has one (despite the rarity of any one of them using
it to its fullest potential) and I admit to converting most of my
friends. Android used to be my own little secret, a good friend that
would always invite me over for my favourite foods and drinks. I want
that again. I have always been a big supporter of “buy locally” and
Blackberry has always been in the corner of my eye, but now that BB10
on the Z10 is out, I want, I like, and I need. I do not care about the
amount of apps, the customizations, or huge screen size anymore,
that’s what my tablets are for. Now I want a phone that I can use for
the simple things I do everyday like Twitter, facebooking, texting and
browsing the web, but well. It also accommodates my smaller than
average man hands. I do not walk this path blindly, I had my hands on
the Blackberry Playbook for a while, and I really miss the gesture
controls and build quality. Conclusion, until I receive my Z10 in the
mail and get a chance to know it better, find out it’s favourite dance
moves, hangouts and music, I will simply lust it’s simplicity and
beauty.

Mini Multimedia Projector PPP03 Audio Fix

IMG_20130107_225602 IMG_20130107_215959I purchased this item thinking it was going to be really neat, and I would be able to watch a movie with my kids in a tent while camping. Why not, the price is right. What you get in the box: Mini Projector, USB switching cable, pouch, Audio/video in cable(no audio out). Therein lays the problem. The video is decent in a dark room, I would say it is worth the purchase, but the audio is horrendous. Almost nearly no sound. The projector comes with the tiniest speaker, and no means at all to use headphones or Audio out. This is a tick off. Luckily I have a soldering iron. I opened the housing of the projector by removing the small black plugs in the picture, under you will find Phillips screws. I used a plastic card( points/rewards card) to slide along the seam of the housing until it clicked all the way off, and used a little force to pry it apart. Careful not to insert the tool you use to break the housing seal in to far. You can simply pull the wires free of the speaker and strip the ends and find or buy a female headphone jack, and cut and syrup those wires to connect to the previous speaker wires and secure with electrical tape. I soldered the speaker loose and connected the female jack directly to the previous speakers connections on the motherboard. Then you can lead the wires out of the housing and re-close it and replace the screws and little black plugs. Then use electrical tape to secure however you want it placed on the outside of the housing, but make sure you don’t tape over any buttons or the SD card slot, and try not to cover any heat vent holes. There you go.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1- Pre-ICS Review

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 …what a beast. This was most definitely the most publicized Android tablet of 2011. Sporting the 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 processor, a serious speed demon, PLUS NVIDIA gives away wonderful gaming apps to show off it’s amazing processing power. With a HD(720p) Video recording, 3MP auto-focus camera with LED flash back camera and 2MP front camera for connecting with friends & family using video chat. With such success, the Tab 10.1 has been chosen by many mobile carriers to entice new and old customers to enjoy this tablet for free with purchase of one or two new smartphones on contract. A great deal for all those looking for a new carrier or just new to the smartphone world(old people) 10/10 for 2011. Currently running Honeycomb, awaiting update to the much anticipated Ice Cream Sandwich. B~S

ASUS Transformer TF-101 ICS Preparations

After ICS rolling out on the Transformer Prime Jan 12th, all the original Transformer owners are asking,”When?”. Instead of asking when, which will be a certain,”Yes, we are getting it”, all you should be doing is prepping your number 1 Tablet of 2011, for the update.

What to do: 

– ASUS’s last update for your Transformer included an App Backup. Go ahead and open that bad boy up and start backing up all your favorite apps that have saved games and documents such as Angry Birds. Don’t want to lose your highest scores.

– Any other documents or media such as pictures & videos that you may have saved to the system memory, transfer them over to a Micro SD or SD just in-case for some reason the update does not go as planned. You never know if you’ll lose connection, and say bu-bye to your video of granny sneezing her dentures onto her birthday cake. I know you just pictured that in your head.

– Keep you battery charged. Most OS updates require you to have a certain percent of your battery before updating, and if you are like me and keep checking and keep checking, by the time the update comes, you don’t want to wait another minute to get that meany flashed.

– Expectations: A lot of the time people think that everything will work on the first update. It may, but history shows with most brands, that is just not the case. Whether your keyboard is laggy, or you have an unheard of battery drain, just wait for another update. Knowing ASUS, you won’t have to wait long. If it is a really big bug, google it and see if others are having the same problem. If not, email me and I will tell you how to re-flash your update.

– Last but not least, head over to ASUS FB page or Twitter and give them a big thanks, because remember, it’s like Microsoft giving you a free copy of Windows 8, while you are on Windows 7.

Enjoy your update when it comes out, and Tell me what you think of it, I’d love to hear! B~S

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

Size :
-193.65x 122.37 x 9.96mm
-Weight : 345g

Display:
-7.0” 1024×600 WSVGA PLS
-4-way rotation

Cellular Capability:
-HSPA +21 900/1900/2100
-EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900
-Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Dual-band support(2.4GHz, 5GHz)
-802.11n Wi-Fi Channel Bonding
-Wi-Fi Direct, Allshare
-Bluetooth v3.0, USB 2.0 Host

Memory:
-1GB (RAM), 6/32GB (ROM) + microSD(up to 32GB)

Processor:
– 1.2GHz dual-core processor

Battery:
– Built-in 4,000mAh battery

Location:
– A-GPS
-Location-based service with Google Maps™ (Turn-by-turn navigation)

Samsung  TouchWiz UX:
– Live Panel
-Mini Apps
-Clipboard

Video:
– Formats : MP3, OGG, AAC, WMA, WAV, FLAC

Camera:
– Back camera : HD(720p) Video recording, 3MP auto-focus camera with LED flash
-Front camera : 2MP camera
-Instant SNS sharing : Gmail™, Messaging,Picasa

Photo & Video:
– Photo Editor
-Video Maker

Google Mobile™ Service:
– Google-talk™ video chat, Gmail™, Google Calendar™, YouTube™, Google Maps™, Google Latitude™, Google Places™, Google Maps™ Navigation
-Android™ Market

Samsung Hub:
– Social Hub : Integrated messaging ofE-mail, IM and SNS
-Music Hub : Easily search, download, andlisten to over 15 million tracks (mainly in EU& NA/ downloadable from Samsung Apps)
-Readers Hub : Over 2.3 million e-books, 2,000 newspapers, and 3,000 magazines up to 49 languages (downloadable from Samsung Apps)

Browser:
– Android™ Browser
-Adobe® Flash® support

Operating System:
– Honeycomb, Android™’s latest for tablets
-Multitasking & Split View support

Sensors:
– Gyroscope
-Accelerometer
-Ambient light sensor
-Digital Compass
-Proximity

INPUT/Output:
– 30-pin dock connector port
-3.5mm stereo headset jack
-Built-in speaker
-Microphone 

My Thoughts:
-Looks great
-Fast
-Great battery life
-Nice features

Summary:
   If you haven’t bought a tablet yet, I highly recommend this as not only a fantastic beginners tablet, but also for the media junky on the go. A prefect size to carry with you for coffee, meetings, camping and sitting on your couch ignoring the family. The great thing about this tablet is the ability to put your Sim card in it, and away you go, but for most of us, you can just hit up the nearest wifi hotspot.  A 2MP front camera is pretty much the norm for any descent device, but the size of the tablet make it prefect for video chatting with the fam. My favorite thing to do by far with a 7in tablet though, would have to be reading. EVERYTHING, from magazines to novels, this tablet would be prefect for you news nuts.

A New Era, or Just a New Blogger?

There comes a time in a geeks life when he/she has to answer a simple question. To blog or not to blog? Well, if you really think you have something to say, that you believe others would like to read, all hands on deck. The world is ready for a change in pace, one that will force the population to pick up the closest electronic device and go for a virtual walk. We see it already, granny googles “what is ROLFMAO?” and great uncle Steve couldn’t make it to the game, because he found something really neat on the computer, of course he won’t say that, but you’ll know he’s discovered internet porn sites…for FREE! No more renting movies, no more buying newspapers and no more having to feel like a short bus aficionado in front of the sales person when trying to figure out which coffee maker is the easiest to use, when you can just google it, add it to cart and wait 4-6 Weeks to brew a cup of coffee. Don’t tell me you all don’t love the anticipation of getting the newest product you bought in the mail, then being a little upset that it is taking to long. Now is the time to look up “RSS feed”, Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Google TV, put on your pocket protectors and get techy. I start my horny journey (auto correct has yet to be perfected) through the world of technology that we will all be affected by choice or no, and hope that you come for the ride. Till next time TechPeeps.