Tag Archives: Google

HTC to update all variations of One to 4.3 by end of September?

ATT HTC One Mini software update jelly bean 4_3If you’re checking out HTC Phones on AT&T, you’ll notice something a little curious. Firing up the One Mini you’ll see it’s running Android 4.2.2, which is a newer version of the operating system than the flagship full-sized One which is currently rocking 4.1.2. One of the biggest changes in the update can be seen on the right. The notification tray quick toggles for things like WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.

The update for 4.2.2 is already live in the UK, much to the chagrin of some One customers in the USA. Support for Android handsets has always been a dicey conversation. The relationship between Google, manufactures, and carriers can often delay support to end users. This support gets even more contentious when some phones are updated but others are not.

Apparently the Verizon version of the One will ship with 4.2.2 pre-installed. President of Global Sales Jason Mackenzie took a couple minutes to respond to some of the comments on Twitter.

Minor though it may be, it does include some nifty usability improvements like that aforementioned notification tray update. When pushed on the timing of this update Mr. Mackenzie replied:

And hopefully that’s what we’ll see. The changes between 4.1 and 4.2 and 4.3 weren’t substantial enough for Google to even change the name of the update. They’re all called “Jelly Bean”. Yet this still gives customers the impression that some are being left out in the cold. That they aren’t getting bug fixes and patches. Not a great feeling to have when you supposedly have a premier handset.

As I’m currently using the AT&T HTC One, I’ll be following up on coverage as soon as some kind of update reaches us.

A Real Person Review: Mrs. GadgetGuy’s Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S4

galaxy s4 real person review somegadgetguy comparison long term (8)It’s important not to lose perspective when reviewing phones. You experience so many different devices that your threshold for “good” and “bad” gets severely fine. Occasionally I like to include other people on my long term reviews.

My wife Marie would never consider herself to be “tech savvy”, yet living in a household covered in glowing rectangles she does have some unique opinions on the technology she invests in. She’s spent some time playing with Samsung’s Super Phone the Galaxy S4. I asked her some questions about her experiences so far.

What phone/phones did you use before the GS4? Which have you liked? Which have you disliked?

galaxy s4 real person review somegadgetguy comparison long term (1)I’ved used the Blackberry, the Galaxy S2, the iPhone, and the Motorola Photon. I loved the Blackberry, but was soon totally addicted the the Galaxy S2. I know most iPhone devotees will disagree with me, but I found the S2 to be more intuitive to use than the iphone. The dedicated menu and back buttons really helped. I despised the Photon. It was an android, and had a hardware keyboard, so I thought I’d love it, but I didn’t. I never used the keyboard (it was too cumbersome). Despite resetting it and “turning it on and off,” I felt like it was really buggy much of the time.

Thoughts on build quality, design, and ergonomics of the GS4?

galaxy s4 real person review somegadgetguy comparison long term (9)The only issue I really had with the GS2 was it’s size. I have smaller hands and it felt huge. I’m told that the GS4 has a 5 inch screen and the GS2 only had a 4.5 inch screen and yet holding it in my hands, the GS2 felt really clunky. The GS4 feels really slim and it doesn’t cause people around me to ask if that is my “tablet”? It feels comfortable to hold and I can use it one handed (much easier when trying to answer the phone while walking the dog).

Just because I’m paranoid, I do keep a bumper on the phone, and I use screen protectors on all my phones. I want them to look proffesional when I have to use them at work.

How is the screen? Size good or bad? Have you used it for media or video?

galaxy s4 real person review somegadgetguy comparison long term (6)The screen is beautiful. I’m a big Netflix and Hulu watcher and the screen is really crisp and clear. I’m not bothered at all by the fact that it is a small screen because all the details are there to see. It’s replaced a lot of my tablet usage. It really is shocking compared to other phones I’ve used.

How does the phone perform? Has it locked or slowed down on you? App performance?

So far I have had none of the bugginess of the Photon. I use Google voice and it’s a pretty seamless transition. I haven’t had to “Turn it on and off again” to get things to work properly. I use pandora, google music, calendar apps, and the kindle app pretty regularly and I have had no issues. Also, since it’s an android, after updating the calendar on my phone, I can see and access those updates right away via any other device (desktop, tablet, etc). LOVE that.

Thoughts on the camera? What kinds of pics/video do you like to take? Does the GS4 camera accomplish that usage?

galaxy s4 real person review somegadgetguy comparison long term (3)I don’t really take a lot of pics and I’m not the photographer in the family (as I’m sure most readers are aware), so I can’t speak to all the various camera settings. I’ve tried a few, but wouldn’t be able to say if they made the picture better. I did notice this past weekend after taking a lot of pics in strange low-light, that most came out really well. In focus and clear.

Have you had an issues using WIFI GPS or NFC?

Sadly, I haven’t used the awesome NFC option yet. But I love knowing it’s there. I use Wifi pretty regularly and it’s easy and has always worked. It’s fast on our home cable internet connection. I’ve used several apps that would require GPS (Google Maps/Navigations, Waze, MyTracks, etc) and it has always been able to fire right up. It only has issues if I am not in a great signal area. So, not a problem with the phone.

How does the phone handle phone calls? Is the earpiece loud enough? Speakerphone?

Calls are clear. The speakerphone is loud enough to be heard clearly, but I prefer to use a headset option.

What do you think of the software that came pre-installed? Touchwiz UI? AT&T apps? Are menus easy to use/find? Settings?

galaxy s4 real person review somegadgetguy comparison long term (7)Menus are easy to find and use. I’ve played with them a bit more on this phone than any other because, again, they are pretty intuitive. I have not used any of the AT&T preset apps. I’ve been using the pre-installed keyboard and I have had no complaints. I like that auto-correct is not automatic. It offers a suggestion and I can choose that word if I want, but it won’t change it automatically.

It was easier going to the GS4 than trying out the Photon. There’s a ton more software on the GS4 than the GS2, but it looks “right”, like I know where everything is. I haven’t turned on gestures, but I like the eye tracking features. I keep my screen time out really short to save battery.

Speaking of, how has battery life been?

So far, I have been able to go all day with the phone without being worried about the battery. I do have to charge it every night, but that’s been pretty normal since leaving Blackberry.

galaxy s4 real person review somegadgetguy comparison long term (5)Any final thoughts? Do you enjoy using it? Does it feel like an upgrade over other phones you’ve used?

This phone definitely brings all the best aspects of the GS2, while fixing the minor issues I had with it. I have no complaints about this phone, and would definitely recommend it to friends and family. Especially if they are big Google app users. They work together so well.

Thanks Marie!

A Letter to HTC: The HTC One Mini isn’t THAT mini…

Dear HTC,

I like the One Mini a lot. I think you’ve largely succeeded in bringing a nicer experience to the mid range Android ecosystem. The fit and finish are outstanding, and in many ways it out shines its bigger brother One. There are a few things I’m going to be critical about when I wrap up my review, but honestly there aren’t any severe deal breakers here. It’s a great little phone.

You know what is bothering me about the HTC One Mini however? Your advertising for the phone.

You remember two sentences ago, when I said it was “…a great little phone”? The problem is, it’s not THAT little. In fact it’s ever so slightly bigger than the Moto X. This wouldn’t be a problem by itself. The phone IS smaller than the original One, so you have every right to call it the “Mini”. I guess I’m just a little disappointed to continue seeing press pictures of the Mini like this on your official HTC site:

htc one mini ad size comparison somegadgetguy

Nice! That makes the Mini look like it’s a tiny wunder-phone. A Mighty Mouse here to save the day from all of these gargantuan mini-tablets! Huzzah!

Unfortunately reality look more like this:

htc one mini size comparison somegadgetguy

Yeah… See that’s not what you showed us it would be. That’s actually pretty close in size to the original One. This is the problem with forced perspective and Photoshop. Moving the Mini in front of the One would actually make the One appear to be smaller as it would be slightly farther away from the “camera”. To recreate the size difference you showcase I actually had to move the One closer to the camera:

htc one mini size comparison faked somegadgetguy

I know, I know a LOT of tech has to be crammed in there like a 4.3″ 720p screen and those terrific Boomsound speakers. I get it. But you didn’t have to lie to us.

Ahem, I mean, you didn’t have to exaggerate the differences in size for dramatic effect.

Love,

SomeGadgetGuy

P.S.

Click here to watch my video first impressions of the HTC One Mini.

1st Impressions: Hands on Review of Motorola’s Moto X on AT&T

somegadgetguy moto x review hands on video motorolaMotorola is on an interesting track, attempting to make specs less important than experience. It’s a difficult sell in AndroidLand, where phones are marketed by numbers on pieces of paper. Through a clever combination of design and optimization, they might just be able to convince people they’re right however.

Let’s take the Moto X for a spin, and see if it has the goods!

(Video) Synthetic Benchmarks: Motorola Moto X

Much has been made of Motorola putting a slightly older dual core into their new phone. In a world of premier quad core handsets, Moto X has an up hill climb communicating its message of software optimization. I spent a little time playing with X, and ran it through some synthetic benchmarks just to see how it compares to other phones on the market.

(Video Interview) Chris Emerson: One Month #ThroughGlass

christopher emerson throughglass glass explorer google demo hands somegadgetguyActor Chris Emerson is a socially conscious, tech forward friend of mine. He shares my more optimistic views of what technology might provide us if we are able to embrace it. For six weeks now he’s been a part of the Glass Explorers program. We spent an afternoon chatting about Google’s newest disruptive tech at a slick coffee bar in Hollywood.

This is a longer video, almost an hour, but Chris discusses in depth what his experiences have been. If you’ve been curious about Glass, this interview should answer a lot of questions.