I ♥ my HTC One X

Even though everyone has ABANDONED it, including HTC! after the One came out.

Just putting it out there, because I’ve been meeting people who hate it. And they give me this incredulous ‘really’ when I say I love mine. I do. I ♥ my HTC One X.

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Android not for the old

Barely 9 months since my last post, and Android has gone through 6 main versions, and over 20 sub-versions. Why haven’t I been posting? Because I jumped ship to iOS in late-2010 and never looked back after Cupcake failed my day-to-day.

I’m back again on Android, because currently iOS 5.0 is failing me badly, with battery levels dropping from 100 to 30 in less than 5 hours, and bad laggy apps. So I splashed out, well it was more of a tiny dip, on some new Android hardware.

Ta-da, the Ainol Novo 7 Advanced tablet

No reviews from me, as again, there are hundreds out there since the tablet is about a year old.  Google‘s your best friend, and those reviews do it a lot better than me anyway.

Oh yes, lost track as usual. Why is Android not for the old?  Considering that it’s gone through so many iterations in just a year and that hardware can never keep up (ie. buy a new phone if your Android is 1.5 versions older than what’s on the market) , an old fart like me is finding it really hard to keep track. I’m asking my mum to stick to good old Symbian-based ones because you don’t miss a hardware T9 keyboard till it’s gone.

The 3 Years of Android Desserts – A Look at Android Home Screens

Even though I’m a great supporter of Android, I’ve only ever had the chance to use Cupcake (Android 1.5). Although I don’t consider myself an early adopter, it was early enough days in Android to put me off it for a while. Oh I could see the possibilities, but being a super impatient child of the twentieth century, I switched to the dark side.  It’s only for a while, I swear, I am going back to Android one of these days. 

Meanwhile David Ruddock over at Android Police has taken a look back at the past three years, and compared the homescreens and functions of the six Android desserts so far. Ice Cream Sandwich is a long way away from Cupcake, and I’m definitely looking forward to what Jellybean brings, coz I’m getting me a ‘droid phone and pad!

magic1 GALAXY-Nexus-Product-Image-1

Images courtesy of David Ruddock/Android Police

nicthegeek wants: ViewPad 7

I haven’t casted my eye on a gadget for a really long time, being the very cash-and-credit poor geek that I am. Reading Digital Life or any other gadget-y geeky newspaper/website/blog has been known to cause actual physical pain in me, because I want those gadgets so much.

Oh owning the iPhone 3GS (yes i’m not at 4) has managed to alleviate some of that pain. I’m no Apple fanboy or fangirl, for sure, in fact, much to the contrary, I was, and still am, an Android supporter.  Although, without an actual working at-least-up-to-date Android phone, that has been laid to rest, temporarily.

So imagine my geek lust when I came across this ad in Digital Life today, advertising, ta-da, an Android tablet! And my surprise, ta-da, from Viewsonic? Viewsonic? really?

Okay, this is bad. Apparently, it’s been announced since October.  But it’s really bad that I’ve been trying to avoid gadget lust so much that all I knew about tablets was iPad, iPad2, Samsung Galaxy Tab and LG Optimus Pad.  And not much at that.  By the way I’m not adding links for the pads, since everyone knows where to find them already. No point pointing to something that I know nothing much about.

But back to my point, which is, I can give in to gadget lust at last!!!  Because, apparently, it’s affordable.  I, apparently, might be able to afford it, without having to sell my soul, and my mother, to the devil.   I’m shell-shocked right now.

Not only that, but Viewsonic seems to have a ViewPad 7ViewPad 10, ViewPad 10S and ViewPad 10 Pro.   Viewsonic needs some help in their website design and CMS, as their product pages seem to work a bit differently per product (but that’s another story), but as far as I can see, other than the 7 running on Froyo (meh), the 10s’ are all dual-boot machines running Win 7 (double meh) and Froyo.

Oh the ViewPad 7 isn’t the prettiest or fastest tablet around, and doesn’t have the most imaginative name either.   Check out the thickness (it looks like a textbook!) and the fingerprint magnet back of it in the following video.

I think they might need better marketing too, check out their TVCF which makes…not much sense. [Choose me, choose me! I market! It’s all about ME anyway, right?]

But I guess my point now is

  • it’s affordable (who cares if I’m going to be jobless, and salary-less, soon!)
  • it’s an Taiwanese brand (I think) and I have this thing about supporting Taiwanese! or Korean for that matter
  • And it would allow to me to continue my pathetic http://goingandroid.wordpress.com actually going
  • And of course, this! courtesy of Ed 🙂

Think there’s a ViewPad roadshow going on this weekend at Funan. I want to go!!

 

Android Apps for an Android Newbie

With 50,000 apps in the marketplace (and counting), which ones exactly would a newbie to Android, like me, really need? It’s been night after night of Google searching of blogs and twitter and apps and reviews after I got the GW620. These are just some of the must-haves that make owning an Android phone a breeze.

The curse of many Android phones is that the OS sucks power mercilessly.  These are the few must-have apps on your phone that will help you manage what’s happening behind that 3″ or 3.5″ screen and save your battery power too.

Advanced Task Killer (ATK) – Running multiple apps is the Android’s gift to smart-phone users. However, most of the apps have no obvious way of exiting, and just eats up precious resources on your phone. Put a ATK widget anywhere on your screen and kill all these running apps with just one touch.  There are also numerous other task killers out there to try.

APNdroid – Connect or disconnect from your 3G/Edge/GPRS with just one touch. APNdroid also allows you to keep MMS running, just in case you’re a heavy user.

WiFi Manager – Having come from an iPod Touch, the thing I loved best about it (besides the music player) is the very easy WiFi connection. WiFi Manager comes the closest to the satisfaction level I had with the Touch, listing available WiFi connections and allowing you to connect painlessly.

Quick Settings – This gathers all the necessary settings like screen brightness, ringer volume, GPS receiver, WiFi on/off etc and allows you one-touch access. I don’t have a Profiles app set up, and find this good for switching off the ringer volume when I have to get into a meeting very quickly.

System Panel App / Task manager – I stumbled across this while surfing Android Forums. The app developer posted there asking people to try it out. I don’t access this app all that much, but it’s a nice-to-have allowing you to monitor CPU usage, battery usage etc, and you can kill apps one at a time too.

Battery Life on the GW620

As noted on nicthegeek’s posterous earlier:

18:29 battery charged at 90%.
Temp at 36degC. 3G is on. testing out music play. will the battery run out before i reach home at estimated 2200hours
?

5 hours later: I didn’t listen to music all the way just now, the player was on for maybe 30 mins max. 3G was also on all the time. It just seems that the battery life on the GW620 may get a bit better as time goes along *fingers crossed*

I have not charged it for a full 8 hours (phone off) after getting it. The longest it was charged was last night (Fri) 0230hours till today (Sat) 1400hours, but that was with the phone on.  We shall see.

The Good, The Bad, The LG GW620

Apologies for the tacky post title 🙂  Finally getting back into my virtual life, after looking for a job in my real life.

As mentioned in the previous post, I won’t go into any long drawn-out reviews about the GW620, since there are already so many available online.

I think I’ll just do a list of my likes and dislikes about this phone. Just as a primer, I’ve come from mainly normal Symbian-based phones, most recently, the Nokia E75. Phones before that included the Sony Ericsson W850i and a brief flirtation with the HTC Touch (WinMo is a horror, I will never go back).

Likes about the GW620:

5-row QWERTY slide-out keyboard
– This for me is the big winner. the Nokia E75 had a 4-row slideout QWERTY which I dislike intensely. In the 9 months I was using it, I used it less than 10 times. The GW620 is a totally different creature, keyboard-wise. The keys are spaced out nicely for my rather clumsy fingers, and raised, so typing on it is heaven. So far, I’ve only used it for texting, so I can’t say anything about typing on it for a long time. Best of all, the back-lighting on the keyboard is gorgeously bright in total darkness,  just look at the pic.

Bright Screen
Since getting this phone in my hands, the screen brightness has been set to no higher than 10-30%. It’s still amazingly bright, when I use the phone in bed at night.  Have not been out and about lately, but I think the screen will still function well under strong sunlight. I will need to prove this point.

5mp camera
– the phones I’ve had so far fall short on this category every time, maxing out at a miserable 3.15mp. the phone here isn’t fantastic, it’s still a handphone camera after all, and pictures turn out dark.

Dislikes:
Small Screen
– As mentioned previously, with phone screens stretching to 3.5″ at a minimum, I find myself running out of screen estate very fast with the 3″ screen.

Form Factor

– Nothing major, just not the sleekest phone on the market. When I first saw the picture on GSMArena, my thoughts were “what a stumpy phone”.  Not a big deal, but if LG was targeting the teens-to-twenties market, I do not think it’s be a very popular choice. Then again, I’m an old fart, so I might not know better.

2 Soft Keys
– Again, not a major thing. There are 2 capacitative keys on the front, at the bottom of the phone, one is the home key, the other is the back key. They are very sensitive, and with my fat hands, it’s very easy to touch them and go back to the home screen, or backup a page on menus, without realising.

HOT HOT VERY HOT
– this is my major hate for this phone. It runs very hot. I installed the app vizBattery as the phone ? Android? doesn’t have a proper measurement for battery life. The first time I charged up the phone, temperature ran up to about 44degC. I was horrified, especially because my place is non-airconditioned. i wondered if the temperature might go up somemore. it was a relief to step into the aircon of the office and see the temperature slide down to 30degC. I don’t think it’s gone below that so far.

Major Leakage
– How do I word this? I’m very sensitive to the microwaves? radiation? that comes from mobile phones. I have had cases of mild headaches on the side where I held my old mobiles, usually after 15, 20 minute chats. The SE W850i was by far the best, I could chat on the phone for more than 30 minutes at a stretch without feeling any side effects.

The LG GW620? I got a slight headaches immediately after a 2-minute phonecall last night.  I was meeting some friends, so phonecalls were necessary in order for coordinating a bunch of habitual late-comers.  After 5 or 6 very quick phone calls last night, I came home with a migraine.

Why not use the supplied hands-free? Because I can listen to music on my phone up to 10 hours a day. The SE W850i and my iPod Touch is heaven for people like me.  Android phones are well-known energy guzzlers. I’m very afraid with listening to music, the phone might die within an hour. I don’t have an extra battery.

Enough said.  next post, my thoughts on Android as a newbie, beginner, new-comer, whatcha y’ma call it.