Friday, November 2, 2012

iPad mini vs Nexus 7: drop test time, tablet edition!

Posted by Ray Nicolini
via Original Blog Android Authority

ipad mini drop test

Our international man of gadget destruction is back!
In September, Darcy LaCouvee travelled to bustling Hong Kong to get the iPhone 5 and pitch itin a ruthless drop test against the flagship of the Android armada, the Galaxy S3. Suffice it to say, we didn’t like how that test ended, but luckily the mighty Note 2 saved face for the Android camp just a couple of weeks later.
Now Darcy is back at it, but this time he drop tested two tablets, the category defining Nexus 7and iPad mini. Both of these tablets can easily be handled on the go, but their size makes them somehow susceptible to accidents. Unless you are really careful (or use a beefy case), it can be easy to damage your precious device, with those shatter-prone Gorilla glass screens especially at risk.
So here we are, trying to show you what can happen when the unthinkable occurs. But we won’t ruin it for you. Just watch the video or check out the image gallery for a complete damage report.

Don’t forget to let us know what you make of our iPad mini vs Nexus 7 drop test – which tablet is better and why?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Samsung Mobile USA Facebook Page Asks Which Phone You Would Want On Deserted Island, Doesn’t Get The Response It Wanted

Posted By Ray Nicolini 

Uh oh Android faithful, better get in there and show some love for Samsung as a question posted on their Mobile USA Facebook page has backfired in a big way. When asked what would be the one electronic device respondents could bring on a deserted island, the response was definitely not what Samsung was hoping for. As of this writing, more than 90% of responses posted within the last 20 minutes has been “iPhone,” as I did see a few Galaxy S III responses thrown in there. Also, one person suggested a Microwave, though he didn’t specify if that Microwave was Samsung branded.
It’s more humorous than anything else and it just goes to show that social media campaigns don’t always work in the way we planned for, but it doesn’t change that the Galaxy S III has been a huge seller. Even more important is Samsung’s recent ad campaign against the iPhone 5 and we will see how they match up over the holiday season as the two flagship devices for the two biggest smartphone manufacturers.
Check out the page below and if you want, jump in there and show some support for Samsung.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Afterthoughts of Motorola’s unveiling event

razr m hd Afterthoughts of Motorolas unveiling event
Alright so the press conference on Wednesday is over and now that I’ve time to calm down from my excitement and get some other work done, I would like to express my thoughts on the whole event and the direction that Motorola seems to be going in. as you probably know by now, and if you don’t you should read our site more icon razz Afterthoughts of Motorolas unveiling event , Motorola had a press conference last week unveiling what is to be known as “The new RAZR Family.”
Yep, the phone that has been out for only 9 months is already being replaced. After birth, Verizon went back in bed with Motorola and out comes the RAZR M, HD, and MAXX HD. Three phones, for no reason.
Now my first complaint about this is an obvious one, who the fuck needs/wants the RAZR HD if there is a RAZR MAXX HD. They are the exact same phone software wise, yet the MAXX HD will have a bigger batter and larger internal storage. When reading that, who says “Nah, I want my phone to not last so long and not allow me to put so much on it.”? People, including myself, were mad when Moto did this shit in January — releasing the RAZR MAXX just 2 months after the original RAZR was released, dropping the price on the original. Motorola should cancel the HD and solely build the MAXX HD, rename it and offer it for the average of what the MAXX HD and regular HD will retail for. They wouldn’t believe how many sales they would get this way. I’m sure if the RAZR was never released and only the RAZR MAXX (under the name RAZR), for 250$ their sales would’ve skyrocketed.
Second, I’m glad the RAZR M is releasing this upcoming week, but what about the HDs? “Before the holidays” What the hell does that mean? Which should I be looking towards for judgement? Christmas? Thanksgiving? Halloween? Also how much are you going to rape my wallet? Should I just go get 350$ ready now? Don’t show me a product without telling me real information. Atleast Apple gets that right.
Also, what’s with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.x)? If Samsung can create a phone that’ll have Jellybean (Android 4.1) out the gate, then why can’t you? Especially when you have an undetermined amount of time to release it. Good job on saying that the HDs will be updated this year, but having a phone running JB at release will definitely give you an edge these days. That was one of the reasons the Galaxy Nexus slapped the RAZR in the face last year.
Lastly, umm so what’s on your phone? Good it comes with chrome and ICS, but what else does it have? What features should draw me to your phone rather than something else. Samsung throws features on their phones like it’s no one’s business. HTC tries to make their UI the prettiest, add DSLR cameras and make my ears bleed with Beats. Sony even let’s me bring my gaming system to my phone. And you, …..? Tell me what I’m getting into with these devices.
I did this out of love Motorola, I love you guys. your phones, your tablets, everything. The RAZR M is a great device with great specs and price. Thanks for offering 100$ for my outdated Motorola phones I have. Also, thanks for updating the new one “quickly”. These are just some points that really stressed me out. Don’t get me started on Amazon.
You’re still in my heart Moto. XD

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Archos 101 XS $399 10" with magnetic case included

Hi, I am the new ARCHOS 101 XS. Nice to meet you.
I am 8mm thin, weigh only 21 ounces and feature a unique magnetic Coverboard for protection, docking and easy typing.

Other features include:
• OMAP4470 processor with PowerVR™ SGX544 GPU and 1GB RAM
• Android 4.0 (upgradable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean)
• 10.1-inch screen with 1280 x 800 resolution
• 16GB Flash Memory 
• Micro USB, MicroSD (SDXC up to 64 GB), Mini HDMI
...• WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 
• Google Certified, full access to Play Store
• Pre-Loaded Apps: Office Suite Pro 6 (full version pre-loaded), Gameloft Top Game Zone, Asphalt 6, Spider-Man HD, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, B&N Nook, Zino
Price: $399.99 (that includes the Coverboard)


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Editor's desk: Where's the Samsung shaped dent in the universe?

Posted By Ray Nicolini
I'm going to zag instead of zig here and do something different for this week's editor's desk column. Instead of several topics I'm going to focus on one. I'm going to put words to something that's been nagging at me for weeksmonths, andyears. And I'm all out of mincing and sugar-coating...
No one can look at Samsung's mobile products over the last decade and not consider them anything other than a ruthless, relentless copy of everything popular that's came before. It's not that Samsung doesn't continuously push the limits of hardware specifications and capabilities as much if not more than anyone else. They do. But they do so by systematically, institutionally copying what other vendors have already done first.
Samsung does it to such a degree, and with such a consistency, that it's flabbergasting they can show up in court, swear an oath, and claim anything otherwise. Now they could claim it doesn't matter, that all phones and tablets and icons should look alike, and would be understandable as a strategy. But claiming they don't copy? Absurd.
Before the iPhone, Samsung copied the BlackBerry with the BlackJack. RIM sued, and Samsung changed the name to Jack, but kept the same design. Then, as now, they looked at the market leader and rather than asking how they could make "what's next", they asked how they could make what would be as close as possible "next to" it on a shelf. Rather than setting a course for the future, they set out to subsume the present.
Following the iPhone, when Apple showed the industry what "was next", rather than trying to do to the iPhone, and later the iPad, what Apple did to Palm and BlackBerry, Table PC and netbooks, Samsung conscientiously, deliberately, made their own smartphones and tablets look and work as close to indistinguishably from Apple products as possible. They started with the Instinct and kept right on going with the Galaxy series.
And they didn't stop with iPhones or iPads, either, but shamelessly copied everything from icons to interfaces, plugs to ports, dongles to desktops. They cloned devices, like they had Photoshops's stamp brush made manifest on the factory floor.
This year Samsung introduced the Galaxy S III and began to visually differentiate themselves from Apple. The shape was less a slab and more a river-stone, the charging was inductive, the sharing a physical tap away, and the screen would even ripple like water when you touched it... Just exactly what Palm did with webOS and the Pre back in 2009.
As a gadget lover, even if you love Samsung, even if you don't want to admit it, it's a huge disappointment. A splinter in the mind that mars what are otherwise phenomenal devices. A shadow in the periphery that stops you from enjoying the full light of their accomplishments.
Even if you can rationalize "a black slab is a black slab" it's impossible to rationalize "a yellow flower on blue background icon for photos is a yellow flower icon on blue background for photos", or "the shape of AC adapters, dock cables, and desktop computers are..." well, you get the idea. Even if you can dismiss individual instances as coincidences, when taken as a whole, it's impossible to dismiss the depths of Samsung's unoriginality as anything other than blatant, bold-faced copying.
And lets face it, it works. Hitching their design train to Apple's engine has helped make Samsung the most successful Android manufacturer on the face of the earth, and the only truly profitable one. That is no doubt tremendous incentive, and explains why Samsung did it, and while they'll likely continue to do it.
But as someone who marveled at the Handspring Treo, the BlackBerry, the iPhone, the Palm Pre, and the Nexus One, seeing the perpetual lack of innovation exhibited by Samsung is disheartening. Call Apple's litigations "anti-innovation" all you want, but how can you not recognize copying threatens innovation just as much as over-litigation, if not more? How can you not see how its end result is a depressing future filled with me-too products that do everything but delight and inspire?
I'm not ready to be done yet. I'm not ready to concede that the iPhone at Macworld or the Pre at CES are the last time I'll truly be amazed by leaps forward in mobile. I'm not ready to accept a years-long drought filled with cheap knock-offs and increasingly conventional, commodity devices.
I bought and owned a Nexus One. I bought and own a Nexus 7. I'd buy and own another HTC or Motorola Nexus in a heartbeat. I've never had the slightest urge to buy or own a Samsung mobile device -- because I already have a Treo and an iPhone, an iPad and a Palm Pre.
I would love to add a Samsung device to that list, an original, novel, inspiring take on mobile from one of the giants of the industry. The Galaxy Note and the upcoming Galaxy Note 10.1 are a start, but there has to be something beyond "with a stylus". There has to be a Samsung device that could be, for once, at the head of the design curve. A Samsung device that other manufacturers look to for inspiration and take their turn in copying outright.
Regardless of how the Apple vs Samsung trial turns out, that's the challenge Samsung faces. To move from replication to innovation. To take their place as not only a market leader but an industry leader. To stop copying the present and claim a role in shaping the future.
They have chance next year. No doubt there'll be a Galaxy S4/Galaxy S IV, and no doubt Samsung is already planning it. They have a chance to zag instead of zig, to do something as original as Apple did in 2007 and Palm did in 2009. I sincerely hope they take it.
I hope they put a Samsung shaped dent in the universe.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New purported next-generation iPhone parts photos show fully assembled device

Posted By Ray Nicolini

Via 9to5mac

You’ll remember that 9to5Mac was the first to show photos of purported next-generation iPhone parts. Since then, many of the details – including the smaller dock connector – were affirmed by multiple mainstream reports. Unsurprisingly, as the new iPhone moves into production, more of these parts are starting to leak out to more repair shops.
iphone 5? 
Today, repair shop iLab has posted its own photos , but these images apparently showcase a fully assembled body. The new photos give a clear look at what a black, fully-assembled next-generation iPhone might look like when it ships to customers this fall. The repair shop also has some photos of other individual components like home buttons and volume keys.
See the full image gallery after the break:

Photos of Complete Next-Generation iPhone Enclosure Leaked

Posted By Ray Nicolini
Japanese website iLab has posted a set of high-resolution photos  (via CydiaBlog ) of what is alleged to be the next-generation iPhone. 

The front of the next iPhone
CydiaBlog gives this assessment  of the images: 
The leaked parts shows the bigger screen, different internals (such as a new flex cable holding the Home button in place), and the camera modules (front and rear). The camera module cutout looks to be larger, there is an enhanced version of speaker and microphone configuration at the bottom, new smaller dock connector (instead of 30-pin Dock Connector, 16-pin connector could be introduced). Another notable design change in the new iPhone front panel shows the FaceTime camera has been moved to a centered position above the earpiece speaker (it is currently to left of the earpiece in iPhone 4S and iPhone 4).
Rear image of new iPhone
The photographs mirror reports from this past May  that the next iPhone would sport a taller 4" screen, but would remain the same width. The next iPhone is expected to be released this fall along with iOS 6.

Monday, July 23, 2012

i-Mentalist releases Slotch - a FUZZengine enabled alarm clock for the BlackBerry PlayBook

Posted By Ray Nicolini
Via CrackBerry

Awhile back we told you about i-Mentalist's new personalizing tool called FUZZengine. It's a great app for downloading images, videos, and sounds for your BlackBerry PlayBook but it's real purpose, customizing and personalizing your native and third party applications, was not yet available. Well the wait is finally over! I-Mentalist let us know that they've just released their first FUZZengine compatible application called Slotch.

Slotch is more than just your basic alarm clock. By combining world time and weather with beautifully designed graphics and multi-alarm capabilities all in one package you get a simple, easy to navigate, and useful alarm clock application for your BlackBerry PlayBook. It allows you to view as many cities as you want so you'll always know what time it is around the world, see current and future weather conditions in any of your cities when you wake up, and backup and restore your settings using their cloud service, SkyParrot. For those of you who like easter eggs that are embedded in applications, I discovered that if you enter in an alarm without a name, random jokes appear on the screen in its place.
  • Current time and date
  • Digital and analog clock
  • Seconds counter on digital and analog clock
  • 12 and 24 Hour time
  • Override device display timeout
  • Multi alarms with notes
  • Post alarms on Social Networks
  • Custom sounds for every alarm
  • Override device volume
  • Custom snooze time for each alarm settings
  • Custom volume settings for each alarm
  • 5 days weather forecast
  • Unlimited number of cities in weather forecast
  • Unlimited number of world clocks
  • Unique User Interface
  • Advanced gestures control
  • Social Networks connection
  • Dual view (Weather/Clock - World/Clock)
  • Includes FUZZengine customizing features
Slotch works like a charm on my PlayBook and offers a clean graphical interface. I recommend doing a restart after installing if you experience any issues. As for the social networking integration it only lets your friends and followers see your alarms and if you're using the application. If you don't want to make that information public you can easily enable or disable this feature in options.
This application is currently available for the BlackBerry PlayBook for $2.99 in BlackBerry App World but coming soon to BlackBerry Smartphones running OS 5.0 and higher. As someone who can't wake up in the morning and uses more than one alarm clock to get out of bed, you can never have too many alarm clocks. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of other available alarm clock applications I do like the FUZZengine integration for changing my alarm sounds and images and how simple it is to swipe between the different cities.