Archive | March, 2015

ZTE Star 2 – an Impressive Smartphone With Better Voice Control

Posted on 30 March 2015

Nowadays there is very little that a flagship phone could do to impress its target audience. Coming up with something innovative is not as simple as it may seem. However, ZTE managed to steal the show with the launch of its new flagship phone the Start 2. It’s apparent that the Chinese manufacturer has been working hard on their recent smartphone. It has one of the most sophisticated integrated voice assistants around and has a lot more to offer than just better specs.

The smartphone is designed to feel premium, it is 6.9mm thick with a glass rear. The Star 2 is more comfortable to hold thanks to its rounded edges. The thin bezel found around the phone’s display makes the screen look larger than it actually is. The phone offers a neater look which was not the case with its predecessor.

Features and Specifications
The Star 2 is packed with impressive features with better software. It houses a 5 inch full HD display which offers a stunning 1920 x 1080 resolution and is bright and vibrant at the same time. It is powered by Android KitKat 4.4 and comes equipped with a Snapdragon 2.3 GHz quad-core processor. With 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage space, it is highly unlikely that the Star 2 will suffer from performance issues. What’s interesting is that you can expand its memory capabilities with a microSD card.

The smartphone features a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front facing camera that perform relatively well. But its real claim to fame is its impressive voice control. Many have claimed the smartphone’s voice control feature to be futuristic. Even though initially it may be tough to set up the voice control in English, it will be hard for you not to get impressed. Each feature can be accessed using voice control, taking a picture is as simple as saying ‘cheese’ or ‘capture’. Even though most individuals hardly use their device’s voice assistant features, you will be tempted to do so once you get your hands on the Star 2.

Even though the Star 2 may not outperform most of the flagship devices available in the market, it definitely stands out from the rest of the crowd. Costing no more than $400, it seems to be a better alternative than most fancy smartphones that offer very little value in return.

Photo credit: ZTE

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Samsung Galaxy S6 – a Smartphone With Worldly Looks and Sophisticated Specs

Posted on 23 March 2015

Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S6, comes with a glass and matte-metal body, convenient camera shortcut, enhanced fingerprint reader, and not to mention the latest Android OS, 5.0 Lollipop, making the phone an absolute stunner. To learn more about the smartphone, read on:

With a 5.1-inch AMOLED display, and Gorilla Glass 4 and matte aluminum alloy frame on both sides of the smartphone, the Galaxy S6 certainly is ‘galaxies’ apart from every plastic built Galaxy S of the past. However, it continues Samsung’s renowned pill shape, which consists of straighter sides and a rounded top and bottom. The nano-SIM card slot and power button rest on the right spine, while a headset jack and a micro-USB charging port lives at the bottom. The left spine houses volume buttons, which is quite similar to the iPhone 6.

A metal-ringed, central home button connects two keys, one for paging back and the other for calling up recent apps. The fingerprint scanner is also improved, allowing users to unlock the phone securely. The phone’s back houses a 16-megapixel camera, a heart-rate monitor, and the camera’s LED flash. On the front, there is a 5-megapixel camera for taking selfies.

However, the camera sticks out a little and the glass surface causes fingerprint smudges all over the phone, which some people may not like. Nevertheless, the phone feels fluid and thin, and despite its sharper shape, it manages perfect balance.

Features & Specifications
The smartphone features a heavy TouchWiz interface over the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop and offers one of the best screen resolutions in the smartphone market: 2,560 X 1,440 pixels, with a density of 577 pixels per inch, which offers a display so crisp it hurts!

An impressive new feature allows users to tap the home button twice, which launches the camera at any given time, even if the phone is locked. However, what impresses the most is the optical image stabilization feature that smoothens out shaky shots.

All things considered, it is safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is an impressive phone that looks great and offers sophisticated specifications. If that is what you are looking for, the new Galaxy S6 is definitely worth the investment.

Photo courtesy: Samsung

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Runcible (Ahead of Its Time)

Posted on 19 March 2015

We are now all witnesses to the smart watch revolution. The Runcible, which is a relatively small “smart pocket watch”, which is designed analogously in comparison to the Pebble and the very first smart pocket watch to functions both as phone and a camera. But it is not really substitute for the mainstream smart phone watch. It would be pointless if it were.

The Runcible itself is not competing with other smart watches, but rather it attempting to compete with smartphones. Runcible attempts to function under the radar by not attracting attention and providing maximum functionality. It comprises of parts from smartphones with a Qualcomm processor and operating system by Firefox.

There are no speakers or buttons on the Runcible. In order to communicate on the Runcible one would require a Bluetooth head piece since there is no other way to relay oral communications.

Due to this very reason I feel that Runcible will not succeed as a “smart phone pocket watch” mobile computing device. As it eliminates smartphone functions it makes it inconvenient in use for many of us that have grown accustomed to smartphone usage. Runcible as a device feels like a nuisance. It tries to portray itself as classy; however, it is very aesthetically unappealing. The wooden backing provides a very cheap appeal that might have been considered to be in fashion in the 80’s.

The idea of not detracting from real world aspects can be praised, but mobile technology users will not find it relevant. It is an interesting idea that a wearable technology can be the user interface and will bring about many advances in technology. However, wearable technology has to progress much further for it to be user friendly enough. I would prefer the smart phone over a technology like Runcible. However, it is a step towards progression in mobile computing and communication technologies.

Photo credit: Monohm via

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Huawei CarFi: What Will They Come Up With Next?

Posted on 13 March 2015

Now we can all be online while we drive. Thanks to the Huawei CarFi. The Huawei CarFi is like having your own personal WiFi in your automobile. This product provides mobile internet connectivity on the move to stay connected and updated while one is driving.

The Huawei CarFi is basically a wireless hotspot that is like having wireless internet connection online. It has the capacity to function as a charger for your internet device as well. The wireless Huawei CarFi can easily plug into the power port in almost every car. It receives power through its GSM technology hotspot meaning it does not provide functionality with cellular networks like Verizon and Sprint.

However, it will have connectivity with Huwaei’s own future cellular networking, which is in the pipeline. The Huawei CarFi has 4G internet connectivity with internet surfing speeds of 150 megabytes per second. It can connect to 10 devices at one time. One can conveniently connect their phones, tablets and laptops for web access, which is quite amazing!

The target market for this device is not easily definable. I mean who will use the Huawei CarFi? It could be used in emergency vehicles as ambulances or security patrol vehicles that need to link up to cloud based operating systems. It is does have the dual capability of charging your device while providing online connectivity. So, someone that is being driven around can easily access information through news and email as well as look up information they require. If the Huawei CarFi was provided in transportation systems for the masses it would make travelling by Grey Hound much more enjoyable.

The Huawei CarFi fulfills a promise of innovation that could lead to a revolutionary change in mobile computing technologies. Soon enough we will be able to access the internet by oral communication and the OS would respond. This could prove handy for a person driving that requires certain information.

Photo credit: Huawei

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AARP RealPad (not What AARP Promoted)

Posted on 11 March 2015

Like the many fluff pieces you can find on the AARP’s online presence. I was pretty skeptical about the launch of the AARP’s RealPad. The pad is basically an android based tablet being promoted to senior citizens.

When I analyzed the RealPad the first thought that came to my mind was pertaining to the usefulness and practicality of the device. What was its purpose?
I was curious if there were any new additions or features that would provide ergonomic comfort to users over the age of 50. I feel that the AARP’s RealPad is basically developed to help AARP make more money.

As part of the baby boomer generation myself it would help if the AARP RealPad had a bigger display screen. Since senior citizens can get confused in using such new technologies. However, its screen is just less than 8 inches like other mini tablets.

The RealPad has many apps built in, which can be found on the tool bar right under the home page. However, this does not enhance usability at all. It seems like a product designed to promote AARP apps. With saturation of mobile computing technologies one would expect the AARP RealTap to be cost effectively priced, but no. It costs around about $189. However the AARP apps can be downloaded on it for free.

AARP RealTab was promoted to target those individuals that are not tech savvy. This was a very clever marketing strategy; however, the product does not meet its promotional claim. If you are new at mobile technologies the RealTab is no great help. You will struggle with computing and touch screen technologies, but you will find the user aspect of the tab convenient.

AARP has proven itself to provide useless information with poor quality information in its articles. They are showing that they are not really interested in catering to their target market with fluff articles and pointless products like AARP RealTab. They might be force as lobby for Senior American citizens, but they have to be a bit more ethical in the way they profit from those they cater to.

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BlackBerry Leap Review

Posted on 06 March 2015

The Blackberry Leap is a step away from the BlackBerry trade mark keypad phone and is geared to target young adults joining the work force. The fully touch screen phone will be available worldwide at the price of $279 making it more cost effective in comparison to its competitors.

The BlackBerry leap has High Definition 5 inch display and the latest Operating System by BlackBerry the 10.3.1, not mention a 4G LTE internet connectivity. With a screen resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels and ppi density of 293 it does not have the sharpest image resolution. However, the panel is effectively presentable and easy to use by touch. So, all functions are performed by running your fingers on the screen.

The BlackBerry Leap is a heftier phone with a reliable and quality feel. The back of the phone has a rubbery pattern that allows for a more aesthetic appeal of a high technology product while providing being comfortable to use, which means it won’t slip or slide out of your hand.

There is an 8 mega pixel camera that can record 1080p videos in High Definition. The hardware includes 2 GB RAM with a 1.5 GHZ processor. There is 16 GB of storage capacity for images, apps, movies and music. There is room for additional space by adding in an SD card. The phone provides 25 hours worth battery life without recharge.

The BlackBerry Leap has malware protection built in it and provides the facility of backing up memory if required to reset as well as file encryption functions. The software used in the phone include the BlackBerry Cross Platform converter and The Assistant.

With an amazingly low price, compared to some of its competitors the phone will be available in grey as well as white and is a good value for money purchase. This phone is targeted towards younger white collar adults. It portrays the image of its owner being someone that is tech savvy and can handle their affairs with smart phone functionalities.

Photo credit: Blackberry

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Preview: Samsung JS8500 SUHD TV

Posted on 02 March 2015

If you believe that the Ultra High Definition is all that a TV has to offer then think again. Samsung’s JS8500 SUHD TV is here to give you a better option in high definition viewing. The TV boasts some of the most powerful viewing features that are rarely found in any other HD TV. Here is a good description of these features as well as of the TV’s design and specifications:

The TV can be identified by its stunning curvy design and a slim body. This makes it easy to place at almost any room in the house.

Features and Specifications
The JS8500 model is much faster and better responsive as compared with the previous SmartTV systems launched by Samsung. Users of the TV are generally impressed by its split response time and speed at which it remembers where the users were in a program. This allows any individual to avoid those annoying fast forward options that often take a lot of time. The TV’s Smart Hub menu is an advanced version of previous tools that were in other Samsung TV’s. The TV’s black touch pad remote controller is amazing, at least according to the vast majority of its users. It is light and easy to operate and even a small child can easily learn to master its basic features. Here is what else the TV has to offer:

o DTS Premium Sound 5.1
o Dual Tuners
o Compatible BLE
o HDMI 2.0
o HDR with 10-bit encoding compatibility
o Dalle 120 Hertz clear motion rate 1200
o Auto Depth Enhancer
o Recording programs via USB
o Smart Content: More than 1500 apps, browser, AllShare, AllSharePlay
o Better functions of gesture control
o Techno Nuance
o Blue LED and Quantum Dot

The Samsung JS8500 is one of the best TV’s every produced by Samsung. Due to its quality features and smart design, it can be classified as an “ideal” TV.

Photo credit: Samsung

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