Have mobile consumers finally reached the breaking point?

As we approach yet another launch of “the next superphone” I have begun to wonder if the boredom I am feeling in mobile is just related to the tech crowd or has Joe and Jane Citizen finally reached a point where the hype doesn’t move the needle as much?

August and September are shaping up to be what I used to call a “Golden Age” in mobile.  We have major releases from Apple, Android and Windows all coming starting with IFA 2012 at the end of August.   But I just don’t feel that the excitement is high on these upcoming launches..

yea... just not moved

Lets start at Android,  a place near and dear to my heart… sure the Note 2 is expected to be launched but is a follow up device to a niche device really going to captivate the masses?  Meh,  maybe but unless you really really like cargo pants most people will pass on that…

We also are expecting a Razr Hd, or Hd Maxx or Special edition Razr with juicer or something but unless your on Big Red and a fan or Locked Bootloaders most will ignore it as they did the Atrix refresh.

So lets move on to NOKIA… the lil fins that could…  We all expect to actually see Windows Phone 8.. that mythical “this will get us market share” next version of Microsoft’s efforts to matter in the mobile space.  To be honest I will more than likely treat this as I did the Lumia launch,  admire the hardware and wait till its cheap as hell (99 bucks damn near 2 months after launch) to think about giving it a look… heck I may even power up the Xbox 360 and open up a Hotmail account to help the FINS out..

(see Nokia is Finnish so I used Aquaman)#panda explains the jokes

and now lets talk about RIM……

First I heard they wouldn’t have BB10 ready till 2013 and I was like…

then i found out they weren’t joking and I was like..

and MOVING ON from RIM……………………………………………………………..

So then we come to the 800 lbs aluminum and glass patient pending Gorilla in the room…  The house that Satan..  Umm I mean Jobs built..

Last year people were incredibly hyped for the NEXT iPhone and what they received was a slightly faster device that packed SIRI which that despite what Sam Jackson and the rest of the lonely Hollywood set say,  was a gimmick that got old rather quick.

SIRI… Why Doesnt She Want me?! WHYYY!!??

Lets look at this thing……

so what does the rumor mill say about this next wunderkind of mobile tech…  ITS GOT A 4 INCH screen!!  whoooo damn it stop the presses and pull out those cargo pants!!   Umm wait  4 inches?! I didn’t know phones still came that small..  what else?  no holographic Siri 2 assistant to find those Hipster friendly cafe’s and such?  O but it has NFC…  Meh.. so does my toaster..  where is the “one more thing” excitement, that little bit of carefully crafted Magic that marketing clowns and such designed to snare your soul?

I am not sure if its the consist Lawsuits, or the “me too” devices but Mobile has lost its zest lately..   but maybe that’s just me…

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the state of our mobile union so to speak..

UPDATE:  CONTEST!!!  Thats right.. everyone that leaves a comment on THIS post will be entered to win 1 of 4 Google Play gift cards valued at 25.00 each..  and as a benefit if the winner would prefer a apple card I guess you can have one of those instead..  cant be a bias panda can I?  :)

Posted in cell phone, Phones, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 73 Comments

Of Locked Bootloaders or why I learned to love the E-fuse

So the tweeter /Android world has been abuzz lately concerning the fact that Verizon has chosen to lock the bootloader in their version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 device.

Customers who have received their devices ahead of the expected shipping time have reported after much work that the device has a locked bootloader.  Making it different and not as Dev friendly as the other US versions that do not.

What does this mean exactly?  Hell what is a Bootloader really?

a bootloader is the code that runs on a device before the operating system starts up. Almost all computer operating systems have bootloaders of some sort. This low-level code contains the instructions that tell a device how to start up and find the system kernel. The bootloader usually lives on the system board in non-volatile memory and is often specific to a device. It has to be, since the software and hardware loadout will vary so much from one device to the next. Every time your phone starts up, that bootloader code is telling your device what to do in order to get you to the home screen. As you can imagine, this process is vitally important. As such, manufacturers often use security measures to keep you from tampering with the bootloader.

Got Bootloader??

But Why would you want to unlock it since it sounds like such an important piece of software? Well, there’s a whole internet full of custom ROM makers that work their magic on devices and having access to the bootloader makes that all the easier.

Now having a locked Bootloader has not stopped Rom makers from hooking up devices such as the Motorola Razr with amazing roms but its much harder and if the device is corrupted apparently there is a Efuse.. misunderstandings occur and a puppy is killed in Mountain View…

Dont Root..  Save a Puppy

So is this another sign that Verizon who has been under attack recently for everything from New plans, Lebron winning a title to the current heat wave on the East coast is up to their tricks again or something else?

While people that are interested in Roms and tinkering with their devices find this move to be anti customer friendly to be honest it maybe the right move. I deal with users every day that place themselves in what Nokia likes to call ” The smartphone beta test”. One of the great features of Android is the “open” aspect that allows people to cook Roms and the like but with the popularity of Android there is the potential for disaster. I recently went on a twitter rant about this subject and the fact that users are becoming “flash happy” and trying out Roms with reckless abandon.

#Begin Blog rant#

What happens if these people end up trying “SuperRom V3.5231.A” which is built from “Source”…

guess the 1 click cant fix this

  Well they can email or PM -ICEMASTERZ5433 who cooked the rom and hope for a reply but what happens when they find out that good ole IceMasterz5433 is a 23 year old living in his mom’s basement in Nebraska?  I mean really did you think it was a good idea to load something that a guy on the internet made in a week?  I mean companies take months building software with real ya know.. Engineers.  But hey he has a bunch of tweeter followers and the forums swear by him so why not…   So there you are stuck with a shiny dual core LTE enabled HD display having plastic brick with no warranty and no upgrade..  Now is that promised 12.5% percent faster OS worth it?

#End blog rant#

So what you end up doing is call up your trusty carrier and make up some wild story involving a ferret, sunspots and a packet of grass seeds in order to get a insurance replacement.   So your phoneless a few days till you get a newly refurbished device and your carrier gets a useless brick, costing them and other users money.   Thats a bad thing..  a very bad thing..

As stated before in THIS very blog… Verizon is a for profit company and they take this very seriously.    Because of the costs they have seen raise due to the large amounts of replacements from the Android community and those “Flash masters” that would make any company think twice about how “open” they want to be.   Its not a new thing as Verizon has for a while now ask Motorola (maker of their popular Droid line) to lock and encrypt their boot loaders.  Heck this is a company that got a Nexus and made it NOT a Nexus,  that takes…

They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease and based on the Outcry from the hacking community I would not be surprised if Verizon and Samsung will offer a solution similar to what HTC has done for their users.    Give the people that want an open device the chance to have one after they go through a process of waving their warranty etc.  As I have told the hacking community quite a bit,  if you want to play out there then Verizon will never be the place for you, CDMA issues aside nothing is more Rom friendly then the Nexus line of devices..  available now (mostly)  from the Play Store :)

Just think twice before you trust Icemasterz5433….

Panda…

Posted in dick clark, Tech news, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Back like I never left or if you don’t like sharing your data your unamerican

So as we enter the new age of Wireless and consumers continue to have more and more services stripped from them I wanted to chime in on the new Verizon data share plans.

As I am normally associated still with Verizon they hold a special place in my heart and the outcry from the internet has been vocal and universal.  Let’s take a look at some of the details shall we?

this crap hurts Sheldon's brain..

Haven’t seen math this complex since college or amounts this expensive either…

So where does this leave you as a mobile loving, Netflix using, hulu watching massive data using master?? Well the good news is this.. that very same contract that Verizon doesn’t want to let you get a early upgrade on? Well it also means they can’t just kill your unlimited data plan.

The one catch is in order to keep that you CAN’T renew/sign a new contract. No biggie right? Unless of course you mind paying 800 bucks for that new shiny phone.

Now I could go into all the IN’s and OUT’s of the plan but there are several sites like AC and DL that have already broke it down far better then I have the time or quantum math skills for.

But the outrage on the Interwebs is crazy..  I mean its like someone told you that Santa wasn’t real then said they were joking and they could prove it because he just killed your whole family in a drunken high speed sleighing..  (get it.. slaying??  see what I did their.. thats called cleverness.)

Betcha this guy has Tmobile.. he looks like a happening Cat..

I am not sure why people are shocked by this, Verizon has never been the cost effective choice and never has billed themselves to be.  Verizon is in it to MAKE a profit, when you read about how they pumped X number of billions into “The Network” and how LTE cost a bunch more billions why do you think they did that?   You didnt buy the whole “improved user experience” line did you?  So how did you think they would restock their massive Scrooge Mcduck money bins?  With the harvested smiles of all their customers?

This is a compay that is facing a time where the services that once lined their pockets with Gold like Vcast, Text msgs and minute plans are being phased out by OS’s that give consumers all that through the very data connection they provide.

And as any money type business person would tell you in that situation, you change your approach..  They did what any smart company would do.. they give you the Razr and make you buy the Blades…

If your reading this Blog then chances are Vzw and soon to be ATT already has you by the short and curly’s.  They know you LOVE your phone, its your connection to your friends, family and the things you enjoy.

You want to have the best experience no matter where you are on your shiny new piece of techo wizardry.  They know you wanna Svoice yourself  crazy or siri yourself silly and to do that you need one thing…  Data.

Now there are options to fight the power.  You can stay right where you are, keep the plan that has worked for you all this time.  But like I said if your reading this blog they already have got ya.

In six months when the next piece of tech magic with 8 cores and 16mp cam and 1080p display launches for 150.00 on contract its gonna be awful hard to fight the beast…

Sure you can tell yourself “I will just get it off contract” but a 800.00 phone is a hard thing to swallow for most working Americans.  Or “I will just wait and pick one up on Ebay/Craigslist” but we all know reading reviews and seeing people with it will eat at your lil techie heart.   It might not be this next device of even the one after but there will be a device that will have you making the choice to use more Wifi and watch the netflix usage and take that contract plunge..    Once you do that its a land of 20 bucks a pack raz0rs ..

Be careful you dont cut yourself

Panda…

Posted in cell phone, Money, news, Phones, Tech news, Tech Related, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

An Interview with the Mobile Panda, @black_man_x

Thanks to the Ron at http://www.droid-life for asking me to sit down for an interview  you can find the article at

http://www.droid-life.com/2012/06/01/an-interview-with-the-mobile-panda-black_man_x

BMX_Avatar_Wht_BG

Droid Life is a site that was built on a passion for Android, especially its incarnation in the OG DROID. Back when I was still sporting the OG I remember coming across The Mobile Panda. Between blog posts and trolling podcasts, @black_man_x, as he’s known on Twitter, used to drop hints about future products and help out regular users. I’ve always appreciated his perspective on mobile, so I thought our lovely community of readers would enjoy the chance to read more about the Panda’s perspective on a variety of topics.

Most readers know you for giving out advice and tips about Verizon devices and the occasional Panda poem. Why did you decide to engage with customers?

In my past life alot of the information that I was seeing (in terms of the products and services that the nation’s largest carrier was providing) was in my opinion lacking.  Loving the tech that was out there, I wanted to debate, talk, and rant with other lovers of mobile.  The Panda was actually an idea from a friend of mine that understood that even Clark Kent needed to protect his paycheck.  Being the Panda isn’t just one person I like to think of it as a mantle. Batman has his cowl and cape, pandas have our bamboo, Twitter, blogs, and forums to combat mobile injustice.

Is Verizon still your carrier of choice?

I have lines on most major carriers, except Sprint.   My personal line is still on Verizon, but with Google Voice my number goes where I do and I suspend what I am not using at the time.  As you can imagine, reconciling my phone bill is quite the exercise in math and paper management.

What phone is your current daily driver?

Currently I am using a GSM Galaxy Nexus on AT&T, but I have been showing the HTC ONE X a lot of love as well. The S3 is also on deck.  I am currently debating if I want to pull the trigger on a Nokia Lumia 900; I am, after all, a lover of all mobile.

How do you feel about manufacturer skins and customizations? Which do you like the most, and why? 

In the past it was needed, badly.  If anyone remembers Windows Mobile you know that is how HTC got started. Sense (originally TouchFlo) was a godsend to those that wanted an easy to use experience from a device/OS that wasn’t user friendly. Android was the same way: pick up a G1 and use it for ten minutes and you will beg for Touchwiz or Sense.  The Android team has improved the UI and with ICS they’re pushing the focus from function to form.

In terms of skins, I think that HTC has the right idea. Why work so hard to skin and put your hooks into everything if the stock experience is already stellar?  HTC has scaled back and pushed their focus to things like the camera and audio.  With the new version of Touchwiz, Samsung is adding amazing services like S-Voice that take Android and build upon it.  Moto… well they stumbled out the block a bit, but I think feedback on the ICS Blur experience will be positive.

How do you think Google feels about manufacturer skins/customizations? Obviously without the manufacturers Android would not be the success it is today, but that doesn’t mean Google likes skins or the delays in updates. 

As I said before, the Android experience is about the customer. When it comes to vendor customizations, based on sales they seem to love it.  Sammy is the biggest phone company in the world with the S3 preorders reaching 10 million and HTC Sense devices like the ONE series are flying off the shelf.  The Nexus or stock device types are there for the power users, but for Android to continue its growth and become the power that it is we need to capture the mind share and heart of the average consumer walking into their Verizon, AT&T or O2 store.  HTC’s skin took a weather widget and made it an icon for their experience. A lot of people see that clock today either on a HTC device or a widget like Beautiful Widgets and say “hey is that an EVO?” That is the power of customized experience.

As for delays in devices getting updated, consumers need to understand these are not simply “skins” like you would see with Launcher Pro, Nova, or other experiences in the Play Store. These are in every way custom devices running complex software on an Android base. To make a small change requires lots of work to ensure you don’t break something.  A lot of people wonder how ROM makers can get an ICS Sense ROM working before HTC, but they have never had to deal with Verizon’s certification process.

Google has been accused of straying from its mantra of Don’t Do Evil. How do Googlers interpret that mantra? What does it mean for a company like Google to not do evil? 

That motto was built on the premise of a startup mind frame. As a now publicly traded company with commitments to shareholders and our partners, I am sure people understand that there are business choices made that may not be popular.  I don’t make those choices, but I understand. Apple has some of the highest public ratings and their products make people happy. Heck, I watch their commercials and I want to call my mom and hug a tree, but ask a Foxconn worker two years ago what they thought of Apple (or better yet ask their spouse!).  It’s all about prospective in the end.

In the past I’ve suggested that Google should offer services and products for money instead of advertisements. What are your thoughts on offering products for money vs ads? 

Google’s business model is built on ad services.  While some users are concerned about how their data is used, I think the privacy standards recently clarified outline the company’s stance in an easy to understand format.  While the idea of paying for services is intriguing, I do not believe it would work. As history has shown, asking someone to pay for something that was free yesterday to protect a concept like user data that they do not understand fully only leads to confusion.  Once you take the profit model out of Android development, what is a company like Google’s reason to continue to put resources and money into improving it?  Eyeballs drive profits.

Google’s relationship with carriers has changed over time. What role do you think carriers should take in the mobile industry? 

I would like carriers to be a data pipe that fully embrace the ideals of net neutrality. Just give us the data and let us do what we like with it. I think that alot of people that say that really don’t understand what that would entail, though.  As we approach using more and more valuable spectrum, we face ever rising data prices, caps and throttling.  Paying 30 bucks a month and using 24 GB of high speed data may sound fun now, but wait till your data bill reflects the true cost. It won’t be pretty.  With coverage becoming secondary to exclusive devices and services, it’s no longer about “Can you hear me now,” but “Can I pay that bill now.” I would be interested to see what T-Mobile and Sprint do with their upcoming LTE networks.

It seems like every year the phone screens get bigger and bigger. Was the Dell Streak just before it’s time? Why do you think manufacturers are making bigger phones? 

I once thought a 4.3 inch screen was way too big, yet I am currently using 4.65, 4.7 and 5.3 inch devices along with a 10.1 inch tablet!  The Streak was truly before its time, but if anyone wants one I may throw mine on Swappa! I think that the push for bigger screens is due to people wanting to maximize the experiences that LTE and other 4G technologies enable like Netflix, Hulu and other video services. With the Note and the S Pen, Samsung truly changed what a large screen smartphone experience could be like. The phablet is a great alternative for those that want a cutting edge phone and don’t want to double dip on an iPad or Android tablet.  The success of the Note shows that customers want it and we see others are following suit.

John Gruber theorized that phone screens are bigger to accommodate the larger LTE chips and batteries. Is there any truth to that?

In the past that was a bit of the reason. Early CDMA/LTE internals were a bit bulky, to say the least. The main reason was to highlight the things that LTE lets a customer do such as real video, real web browsing and Skype. All of those activities look better on a big honkin’ screen. Hell, the EVO 4G came with a kickstand just in case anyone needed a hint!  But with SOCs like the S4 and the upcoming Tegra3 with LTE, it’s clear that you can have 4G data, great battery life and a thin and light device. It’s just the nature of hardware improving.

While there are some LTE phones like the RAZR MAXX and HTC One X that have good battery life, most phones still struggle. Is this a hardware or a software issue? 

The RAZR has a 3300 mAh battery. If you put that in any device it’s going to have great battery life. The S4 GSM /LTE SOC is an amazing chipset and very battery-friendly. As we see new devices using newer hardware along with operating systems that manage power consumption more effectively it will only get better.

Apple released Siri as a beta last year and now Samsung has tried to create a competitor called S-Voice. In your opinion is this kind of voice automated personal assistant a real competitive feature or just a gimmic like 3D? 

Services like Siri and S-voice allow users to interact with the one device they use most in a more personal way. Anything that can get you to love your mobile device makes me a happy Panda.   3D just made my head hurt. I prefer my 3D in theaters or my TV, not on a device I look at hundreds of times a day.

Google has struggled to get market share in the tablet space. Why do you think that is? 

In any new space there will be growing pains.  With the success of the iPad it’s clear that consumers will buy a tablet if they are presented with an easy-to-use, familiar experience.  Remember, there had been Windows tablets for years before the iPad existed. Apple did it right by encouraging creativity and that same comfortable user experience that made the iPhone an icon in the phone space.

Honeycomb wasn’t that same experience; it was what I like to called the “old” Android. Fun and easy to use for the geeks, but not easy to pick up and play for regular people.  Presented with an iPad next to a Xoom, 7 out of 10 average customers will be up and running with iPad in ten minutes.  That same group would be trying to find the browser on the Xoom and looking for a menu option to show the menu. Hence, returns were high and customer frustration was higher.  As ICS and the next versions of Android come to tablets, that ease-of-use factor will change.

There is still a dearth of tablet app options in the Play Store. What can Google do to change that? 

Developer relations and conferences like the upcoming IO will highlight some of the powerful tools coming to Android as well as the gaining market share of the platform. As market share in the tablet market grows with devices on multiple hardware and price levels, I think that developers will see that being the one of the “must have” Android tablet apps instead of one of the sea of millions iPad apps is attractive and profitable.

Do you see Google Glass as more of a hobby or part of the future of technology? 

Glasses or the technology and ideas that come from that will hopefully play a large part in the technology of the future. If it doesn’t then heck, maybe we can all get pairs for paintball, real life Call of Duty style.

Why do you think Google is getting involved in seemingly random technologies like a self-driving car and glasses? 

They are not random. Projects like Glass and the car thing provide benefits that are at first apparent, but think about how a self-driving car will help auto makers design cars with better crash prevention, help my grandma get to the market, or just look cool. Or think about how a pair of glasses will help provide a world of data at the blink of an eye to a doctor in an ER?  Thinking outside the box is what makes life fun.

What do you think the future of computing looks like? 

Twenty years ago some of the technology we take for granted was thought impossible.  I envision the line of what is considered mobile technology to be blurred beyond belief.  Most people I know don’t have home phones because they only use a cell phone. As services such as mobile payments, NFC and WiFi-direct become common, companies like Apple, HTC, Samsung, Microsoft and even RIM will be able to give to users that Minority Report future all of us geeks dream of. I just hope I can see the second golden age of mobile. Of course I’m sure I will still be looking for a charger.

The interview now done a panda grows glum for all the answers are given, but IO awaits and Android’s next(us) fate will be revealed.

But a Panda has faith because Matias is great and bells and whistles will amaze.

Be it a tablet or Phablet you will see real magic of sweet dessert delights.

Against fruit that grows stale or Metro products that pale, just know the green guy will prevail.

For rabid are the fans from all carrier brands and countries all over the map

 Because with growth like a rocket, any that knock it shall feel the fangs a Panda can bear…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Of Delays and Skinny Jeans… A Panda Opus

O Vets we do honor…
yet a nexus we can not garner
for Verizon sells it not…
The Razr they are a selling
but most here are yelling
“we really don’t care!”
Even Siri was stumped when given the Razr’s hump
how it got so much hype..
for Panda had a Razr back when he was a teenager
and the reboot just doesnt excite
Unless Skinny Jeans you prefer
Moto’s new device I would defer
But back to the Nexus…
object of Tom’s affection
and Ice cream delight
And though he wishes he could
share hope and goodwill
He reminds us of this fact..
a release date was never given
so with dates Verizon can wiggle
as bean counters try to figuare
how with super-phones aplenty
with skins good and plenty
can they make a pretty penny
on a device with no bloat like so many
that adorn their shelves so pretty..
As thanksgiving doth approach
and turkey’s doth croak
a panda holds his belly and cries
As full as a tick
I would use Chrome to tick
as Online only looks like the pick
So be patient O lovers of Nexus Wonders
just think this could be the Bionic Blunder..
Posted in cell phone, poems, Tech news | 2 Comments

A Galaxy S II tale…

Despite being one of the biggest and most prolific hardware makers in mobile Samsung has become known in the Android world for a lack of timely software updates, support for software broken upon release and just a general lack of polish in regards to our lil green friend.

Yea.... sadly its about a year too late.. lol

I have long said that Samsung has ALL the tools to be great..  they control the hardware from start to finish and based on specs they can hang with anyone.  So Lets talk about what Samsung has coming up next..

Shiny... So Shiny!!

I was sent a Galaxy SII device to play with for a few weeks and on paper its a MONSTER,  Lets see if it hits a tick boxes shall we??

  • Dual Core processor?  – yep
  • Screen- The SAMOLED+ display is completely stunning
  • Camera- 8mp .  The optics in samsung devices is counted among the best after Nokia, sony, etc
  • Media- Thanks to their efforts Samsung devices can handle Xvid, AVI and other file formats making it easy to load a movie on your device and go.
  • UI Aspects:  yea that may be an issue..  Touchwiz has come along way but many think its too cartoon like and apes Apple’s UI a bit too much.   So much in fact that Samsung is being sued by Apple for copyright no-no’s

So we are left with a company that has all the keys to success and based on the launch of the Galaxy S line worldwide has become a major player in Android so whats missing???

I have long advised that Samsung’s approach of flooding the market with devices at a rapid pace is one of the reasons that they do not get the love from the tech media groups of the world.  When you release a line like the galaxy s and then follow it up with by my count 28 other “so called super devices it can muddle the market and cause customers to become paralyzed by the choices.

Lets see what Samsung is offering as their “best” on the top carriers RIGHT now..

ATT- Infuse 4g ,  its a 4.5 inch device with all the bells minus the dual core chipset of the GsII devices..  It came out this month..

Verizon- Droid Charge,  4.3 inch  samoled+ LTE device with the same specs as the GSII but again without the dual core chipset.

Tmobile- Nexus S,  Google branded Dev device running the latest version of Gingerbread

Sprint- Epic 4g only galaxy S device with a physical keyboard, Wimax radio and still one of the best devices on the carrier.  They also have the Nexus S on wimax.

Now I know I didnt talk about the a lot of the devices that Sammy offers because to be honest I dont have 40 years to list the models and specs but needless to say they are many in number and feature.  Ahh well since u insist, lets just take a peep….

Samsung Captivate™ Android Smartphone Samsung Continuum™ Android Smartphone Samsung Vibrant™ Android Smartphone Galaxy S™ 4G Android Smartphone Samsung Epic™ 4G Android Smartphone
AT&T
Android 2.2
4” Display
Touch Screen
Verizon Wireless
Android 2.1, Éclair
3.4” Display
Touch Screen
T-Mobile
Android 2.2 OS
4” Display
Touch Screen
T-Mobile
Android 2.2, Froyo
4″ Display
Touch Screen
Sprint
Android 2.1, Éclair
4” Display
Touch Screen, QWERTY Keyboard
☆☆☆☆☆(1099 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(37 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(398 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(147 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(771 Reviews)
SGH-I897 SCH-I400 SGH-T959 SGH-T959V SPH-D700
Samsung Galaxy Indulge™ QWERTY Cell Phone Samsung Mesmerize™ i500 Android Smartphone Samsung Showcase™ i500 Android Smartphone Samsung Fascinate™ Android Smartphone Nexus S Android Smartphone
Metro PCS
Android™ Platform 2.2
3.5” Display
U.S. Cellular
Android 2.1
Touch Screen
Cellular South
Android™ 2.1 OS
4″ Display
Touch Screen
Verizon Wireless
Android 2.1OS
4” Display
Touch Screen
Open / Generic GSM
Android 2.3, Gingerbread
4” Display
Touch Screen
☆☆☆☆☆(58 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(181 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(62 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(548 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(223 Reviews)
SCH-R910 SCH-I500 SCH-I500 SCH-I500 GT-I9020T
Nexus S 4G Android Smartphone Samsung Galaxy Prevail™ Android Smartphone Samsung Gem™ Android Smartphone Samsung Gem™ Touchscreen Cell Phone Samsung Gem™ Touchscreen Cell Phone
Sprint
Android 2.3, Gingerbread
4” Display
Touch Screen
Boost Mobile
Android 2.2, Froyo
3.2” Display
Touch Screen
U.S. Cellular
Android™ 2.2, Froyo
3.2” Display
CDMA Generic
AndroidTM Eclair
3.2” Display
Touch Screen
Verizon Wireless
Android 2.1, Éclair
3.2″ Display
Touch Screen
☆☆☆☆☆(17 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(23 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(1 Reviews) ☆☆☆☆☆(6 Reviews) (0 Reviews)
SPH-D720 SPH-M820 SCH-I100 SCH-I100 SCH-I100
Samsung Replenish™ Samsung Transform™ QWERTY Cell Phone Samsung Intercept™ QWERTY Cell Phone T-Mobile® Sidekick® 4G Android Smartphone Samsung Acclaim™ Android Smartphone
Sprint
Android 2.2, Froyo
2.8” Display
Touch Screen, QWERTY
Sprint
Android 2.1
Touch Screen
Virgin Mobile
Android™ Éclair 2.1 OS
3.2″ Display
Touch Screen
T-Mobile
Android 2.2, Froyo
3.5” Display
Touch Screen, QWERTY Keyboard
U.S Cellular
Android 2.2 (Froyo)
3.2″ Display
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SPH-M580 SPH-M920 SPH-M910 SGH-T839 SCH-R880

Goooosh…  now that took longer than waiting on… well Anything.

So lets talk about how this device stacks up…

Hardware- This device is thin,  mind you it has a large 4.3 inch screen but something about the thinness of the device makes it feel smaller in the hand.  The thinness of the Iphone but due to the plastic construction its lacking the heft of the Apple device and to be honest the thinness of the plastic makes it seem like a less then premier device.

Speed- This thing is fast.  I mean blazing fast!    I just got done using the LG g2x running stock android and believe it our not this device feels a little faster.   Running the newest version of Touchwiz (4) there are slight enhancements to the older version and actually seems like its not as heavy as the last version but that may have to do with the power of the dual core chipset.

Media-This device is a media MONSTER..  You get an amazing camera  and this device will play media from a list of codecs a mile long.  Hd video at 720P?  meh thats so 2009 this device records and plays media back in 1080p making those kid birthday party videos so real you can taste the piñata

Im a Pretty Pony...

Signal-  HSPA+ is onboard and although ATT speeds and service do not compare to Verizon’s LTE but when faced with the Motorola Atrix it consistently shows a stronger signal.  Thats saying something as Motorola makes very good radios.

Battery- With a 1600 mah battery this device provides enough power to last all day.  While I would love a 1900mah battery with the thinness of the device its amazing that such a large battery would fit at all.  (In comparison the HTC thunderbolt which is much thicker has a 1300mah battery.)

After using this device I can actually say that I was blown away with the speed, smoothness and over all great feel of this device… yet the only nagging thing stops me from closing up shop and calling this the “be all end all device” except when will it get Gingerbread..  So Sammy we are waiting the answer to see if you learned from the error of your ways..  Because having the best specs doesn’t always equal Cred in the mobile world…

so Im going to wrap this up as I am saving a full blow by blow three way fight between the Atrix, SGSII and LG G2X for a later date…

till then if you want one of these devices you can order a UK version online for a about 800 bucks or await the carriers to launch their versions later this summer..

Panda

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Guess Im just not a “tablet person”…

People keep asking me which do I perfer between the IPAD2 and the XOOM etc..  I say Etc because there are now about 1 billion android tablets out or coming out in the next Qtr or so.

the established vs the pucky upstart... Fight!

I continue to say the same thing I am not a “tablet Person”.   Do I have one?  yep I have both the ipad2 and the moto XOOM but they sit unused on my coffee table or dead in my home office.

But tablets are the way of the future you scream!?  Only if my future involves a lot of time in the bathroom.  Tablets to me are the perfect bathroom device,  something to use while you sit and think about the meaning of life and wonder if you need more fiber.  Sure some RSS reading, maybe some angry birds, but  I dont even use them as Ebook readers,  o I have the Kindle app but reading on an ipad or Xoom for a few hours and your eyes will let you know why E-INK is better.

backlit screens mess up my Lasik!

I just cant sit on the couch with a big Ole 10 inch tablet and use the internet the way I do.   I tend to tweet….  A LOT so an on-screen keyboard cant compare to the love that is the Macbook keyboard.  Secondly these things are heavy!!  I swear you could kill a medium sized adult male if you whack him with the XOOM and as thin as the Ipad2 is it still isnt light enough to not case arm strain.

arent neck harnesses supposed to be used for Babies??

I will admit that I do care a tablet device when I travel etc and its a samsung Galaxy tab.  Why?  because on a plane watching a DIVX movie on the tab is easier then pulling out a laptop and all that jazz.   But when my smartphone is 4.3 inches and does a damn good job with most of the things I do online and I have a Macbook air I dont see the need..

Maybe we need a new “im a mac/ Im a pc” commercial with tablets as the guy marketing keeps trying to get in the conversation…

No pushy lady we dont want your tablets!!

So got to go..  potty calling, anyone have a tablet I can use??

Posted in Tech Related, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Dual Core?? Do YOU really need it? (poll)

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Stevie Austin… where are you?? Or a Bionic by any other name….

As I continue my “no twitter for lent”   movement I have been spending more time in the internet forums and the like and Its rather scary how things are in the mobile world today..

People ask me all the time “if you would just share this date, what could it hurt” and I consistently have to remind people that more then their desire for a new device comes into play when information is shared.

A recent story came out about the much anticipated Droid Bionic from Motorola being scrapped.   I checked into it and yes there are legs to it, but the final nail in the “bionic” has not been hammered as of yet.

I try to assist people in making smart choices in their mobile buying and often in doing so I may at times share information that perhaps may shed some light in release dates and such but I will never tell someone that a device is scrapped till I get that information from the hardware partner and that isn’t the case… yet..

Where Art thou Merge!!?

I made a comment in a poem that dual Core gold was coming after passover and many assumed that the bionic would be launching the end of April..  This is due more then likely to the speedy release of its “sister” device the Moto Atrix.

I was referring to the second quarter more then a set day as that was the expected launch window.  But thats neither here nor there now is it?

So what is the deal now?

to be honest I have no clue…..  thats right the panda for once doesnt have an answer…

and the answer is.... 42

are there issues with Motorola delivering a device that meets Vzw standards? yes.. does that mean that the “bionic” will be no more or that it will be launching with a completely different feature set?

Things happen in the mobile world and when your dealing with two types of cutting edge tech (dual core and LTE) issues are expected.  Add to that the fact that this device has been in the planning stage for so long, that other more compelling devices and tech will directly compete and in some cases exceed and it isnt that amazing that some…  “retooling” may have to occur..

but how much return on investment from this can you benefit? and can a Retool fix it??

So there we have it boys and girls… I will say that the issues are mounting and the future is cloudy.. but hey at least its still on thhe MOTOROLA website..  :)

and that Boys and Girls is the straight No BS answer from the panda…

I will update if and when I get something I can share or maybe a poem..  lol

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

And Now for a little something… different

Now I know I mostly blog about Mobile tech and the like but sometimes I need to talk about my other passions.   So as I have finally got my pet project where I want it I wanna talk about the joy of digital media storage!!

Lets start of with a baseline of my needs in entertainment…

  • Love a beautiful Hi-def picture
  • hate going to crowded theaters
  • lazy
  • Kinda cheap
  • wont watch a “popular” show until after its run is over..
  • dislike stacks of discs laying all over the place

The solution:   A HOME MEDIA CENTER!

WOOooooooooo…

(pics are not mine Im scared of stalkers)

When In Doubt... Impress em' with Shiny!!

yea

What is it you ask?

take all of THIS….

NewEgg... U had me at hello...

and put it all together…

and it all fits....

So what powers all this shiny tech??

Bill Gates... making pirating movies easier since 1978

Little did you know when you powered up your hello kitty pink Dell that inside was a Media serving monster in the form of Windows media center..

All Shiny and Shyt....

So I know what your thinking….  how the hell does he get 16tb (terabytes) of media into something that small??

All those green lights?? that right there is the FBI's most wanted media

Yea… the DroboPro…  eight bays full up with 2tb drives in each one…  CUE the Tech Angels and let all bow down to its glory..  Add in the lovely word of networked storage and gigabit connections and I can move media all over the place! Sweeeet!!

( you dont have to use a drobo the case will hold a 2 tb drive to get you started)

So what can I do with this you ask??

Well somehow or another I have large amounts of blu-ray media in .AVI, DIVX, H.264 and .MKV format (of course its backups of media I already own ;-) so I can pull up any number of 1400 HD movies on demand…

the power of IMDB plugin..

and when I get tired of that…. lets watch some recorded tv.. (because im too cheap to pay direct tv for a DVR)

Funk a DVR... I got to get my Colbert on!! dawg!

and now you cant look like a geek and be pulling out a Keyboard and Mouse in the act of the tech pimping..  so I go with this,

Perfect for Sexting... ya Know...

and remember that even though the front end is so pretty your still using a full powered pc..  so you think tweetdeck is nice on that hello Kitty pink laptop?  Wait till you see it on a 50 inch screen!!

So I’m going to throw some links in this post for the sites I used to build my system (big ups to AVS) and allow you tech loving media thieving masses to build your own..

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1302559

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-guide-building

Now im going to watch a movie or something….

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments