Archive for the ‘Android’ Category


Could the ZTE Axon 7 and Axon 7 Mini Mobiles Have Decided the 2016 Presidential Election?

Loren W
Melbourne Australia

2-zte-logo

As the world deals with the uninspiring Apple iPhone 7 with a nice new Camera but sacrificing on sound both with missing headphone jack, and average on board speakers, most were expecting more. This combined with the exploding battery and support issues from Samsung, the ZTE still is a poignant reminder of technology and service done right.
One could say even possibly “presidential”, but more on that in a moment.
The ZTE Axon 7 phone is a good balance of consumer charm but business functionality. The sound quality works for conferences replacing sound pods also has high quality built in amplifiers to help in those movements it is needed and works even more incredibly with music. Sorry Apple we also need good sound from our headphones and the ZTE blows everyone out of the water there and yes using wired or Bluetooth headphones is possible.
With the Google Nexus program being dead, in favor of a newly names pixel phone, rumored to be close in spec to the HTC 10, the new phone is also made by HTC, and will be announced on 4 October.zte-axon-7-mobile-phone-large-1

 

There are rumored to be 2 Google “Pixel”  phones (that I still want to call pixie phones) but with the pressure the greatest ever on price it is expected to be see some compromises on the new Google phones. Meanwhile Samsung scrambles, to address the poorly handled 7 Note exploding battery concerns, this leaves a gap already filled by the USA mobile phone provider ZTE.
The issue with Samsung came at a REAL bad time, IFA2016 Berlin the first few days of September 2016, at one of the world’s largest trade shows, where Samsung real-estate was well represented. Samsung initially denied the claims even after reported in the media, resulting in a bit too much focus on it at the event. This resulted in airlines like KLM, telling passengers at the check in desks the phones were not allowed on the planes at all if admitting to owning it.

Global Launch Axon 7 mini The only minor criticism heard on the ZTE Axon 7 was the size. Not everyone wants a masterpiece of a phablet. This was fixed recently at IFA2016 with the launch of the Axon 7 Mini, the aptly named smaller version of the Axon 7. Soon to be released
The Axon 7 devices are great balance of business and consumer device. Great sound out, has nothing to do with great good sound in ZTE tackles this well with hi-fi sound chips, from AKM. With

Global Launch Axon 7 Mini at IFA2016

playback by Dolby ATMOS leading the great sound. Designed in the USA and working with BMW / DreamWorks the solid unibody design is well thought out and managed. Battery life is great,
So how could the ZTE have decided the 2016 election? – With its choice of dual sim or sim with SD memory card, those situations needing multiple accounts, multiple numbers or even multiple data plans has never been easier.
Looking for a new phone but not sure the best deal, don’t get trumped on looking for the best deals at as the Axon 7 and 7 Mini, outright a running about half the price of the iPhones and Samsung 7 devices.

The ZTE Axon 7 leads the main 3 devices for ZTE, with the entry level Blade phones and the ZTE LTE equipped Spro 2 Android Projector.


Sony’s New Xperia Z Ultra ‘Phablet’ Now for Something Completely Different

Loren W
Melbourne Oz
Update 15 August 2013

Question: What do you get when you cross technology from a mobile phone, tablet, and a classy TV ?
Answer : A real big phone, an average size tablet (based on the new 7" form factors) , and a real small TV, a GREAT picture, with a sophisticated elegance

Ladies & Gents, Geeks & Geekettes the Sony Xperia Z Ultra Mobile Phone / Phablet (or c6802)

image

Actually launched in June 2013 (shhh don’t tell anyone), Note: that quiet launch unless repeated for the west, might be the only downfall of this otherwise spectacular device.

As when I got the Samsung Note 1, the first thing I thought was, Oh Crap, this thing is too big.  But I knew as with the Samsung Note 1, I would get used to it fast. Now, as a long time Samsung fan in everything they offer, from TVs, and Appliances to testing their first phablets (large mobile phones) via the Galaxy Note 1, since its launch in 2011 so this was an easy decision.

Unfortunately being a new tech junkie wanting everything new, the Samsung Note 2 did not float my boat beyond, the boat floating I was still feeling from the Note 1. I loved it, and am now hooked on the form factor of the Phablets. I am not so sure that the Samsung Note 3 will be so radical to make me want it as bad, as I thought I wanted the Note 2.

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Magpie Effect- However, on looking to see what my next phone was going to be, I made a discovery I am sure many already had made. The Samsung Note 2, has a larger bezel on it than many of the new phones. This means I could buy a smaller phone yet still get the same or similar screen size depending on the phone of course of what many refer to as the first real Phablet (tablet sized mobile phone).
This has been badly reported on in the media.

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Nokia- Personally I almost bought a Nokia 1020, I love the idea, of the amazing camera. But I did not for the same reason I dumped my 1st Windows 8 Phone Mobile, the eco-system for Microsoft does not do it for me app wise. There are some great apps, but how Microsoft goes from being the world leader in dumb phones / PDAs, with Windows CE to last place in smart phones war still amazes me as an old school Microsoft fan boy. I want to play as well as work, and the balance is skewed against Windows Phone 8 for me. Windows has a big advantage, the last to market, but I have not seen anything to make me think they are going to pull out an Internet Explorer vs.. Netscape Play.

The result of all of that and as I will soon be going on a holiday to an exotic South Pacific destination, a bit of snorkeling and a bit of diving, so am getting a GoPro pro, but I was looking strongly at the benefits of the Sony Xperia Z, then I discovered something amazing to me, Sony has gone and launched their new Phablet version of the Xperia Z (called the Ultra) globally (outside the USA). It then turned out it is for sale in many countries already. Again to well reported and not reported at all in most of the usual USA press.

One phone call later and I have a review unit due in 2 days herein Australia. As I scratch below the surface (no MS pun attended), I have discovered a few interesting facts on this device that is raising as many questions as it answers, before I even receive the device.

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Convergence – Before I get into the device, (a more detailed review is forthcoming when I receive it), I have to raise what might the elephant in the room that has not been discussed in the present sense yet.
We have long known that the day would come when a Phablet would be the same size as a tablet. But with the rise in demand and increased interest in 7”tablets, and now 6+” Phablets, emerging, more so with the Samsung Note 3, at least a 5’7” phone, that day is nigh and I expect a big story in the weeks ahead. Obvious questions is when the next iPhone will be a Phablet, or the iPad a phone. Will the Nexus 7 (2014) be a phone, and an alternative to a Nexus 4. Or the Motorola Nexus Phone 2 (announced) be a Phablet?

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Phablets = Tablets – An interesting element of this is reading reviews comparing the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, not to any present or forthcoming phone/phablets, but to the new Nexus 7 (2013) and iPad mini. A silly comparison if you ask me, unless the Nexus 7 (2013) and iPads are a phone, but sets I believe the ground game for what happens next.

Picture This – The physical size as mentioned is 6.4” on the Sony, and 7” on the Nexus 7 – ( 2013) 1080×1920 and 1280 x 800 respectively. However, the Nexus 7 has an impressive ~323ppi whilst the Sony has an equally amazing ~344ppi. The Sony takes a micro SSD to 64gb whilst tablets do not. Wi-Fi is also offers a/b/g/n/ac, and a 2.2 ghz cpu vs the 1.5GHz on the Nexus

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Waterproof – Oh, did I mention HD Video underwater- to 5 feet ? Though the phone has an average camera by today’s standard, (same as the Note 2). However the Sony has no flash, possibly a big deal. In all the tests I have seen thus far, the Sony, Ultra Z appears to triumph pretty easily over the Samsung Note 2, how it will compare against the Note 3 remains to be seen. Sony have competed against the stylus pen of Samsung by suggesting users can use anything they want from their finger to a real pencil instead of the OMG I going to lose Samsung Note stylus. Possible improvements by Samsung in the Note 3 might include a flexible display, 3GB vs. 2GB of RAM, whilst the Note 3 will likely have the respectable 13MP camera vs. the Note 2 camera in the Sony. Samsung Note 3 body construction is still a bit of a mystery.

A Little TV – Tech

Sony Bravia range

With the Z Ultra, Sony uses 2 bits of Tv tech to Improve the picture from the Bravia TV side of things partly.

These are Triluminos and X-Reality Engine technologies. With the ~342 pixel density, this gives the Z Ultra one of the best displays period and the best by far on a Phablet. Sony had been given a bad rap previously (perhaps deserved) for not having the crispest of colors. Triluminos effectively uses quantum dots, to give a 50% crisper color by allowing better color separation thus less wash out. This is further done by something called quantum dots, that effectively means to the human eye colors are crisper. The X reality engine does the same thing in reverse sort of by analyzing the image received then separating the colors. Effectively it improves image quality in dark or over bright areas to get the tones right.

Not for everyone perhaps this hybrid device really is one to be considered.


 

updated 14 December 2012
Melbourne Australia

Updated 13 December 2012

Quick back story,

When windows 7 was released in July 2009, many people were pleasantly surprised to discover it ran better than its predecessor Windows Vista. Love or hate Windows Vista, the new version of Windows made the most of the current PC hardware. Skip forward a few months to April 2010, and the release of the iPad1. What many discovered was that the USB ports on many PC’s would not charge the iPad, or if it did would only offer a trickle feed (100mA), though the ports can supply 1500mA, and what the iPad1, and many of todays, smartphones and tablets require.

A fix was offered to power up the USB ports safely in 2010, for Vista and Windows 7.
Many like me that have done a clean install of Windows 8, may not remember this flaw, and driver a simple software patch, tweaks the USB port to offer a little over 1A (between 1000mA and 1500mA).

Obviously PC’s newer than 2010 (running motherboards built after this) will not likely have the issue.

A bit more about the driver is here on Gigabyte On/Off Charge Site  – http://goo.gl/OdGJ9

The actual driver is here http://goo.gl/bQulv

The driver requires nothing more than an install and restart.

Note: For those that installed the earlier update of this this newer version increased the power again a few %. Due again to the increased power demands on the ports, and power needed by newer devices.

Enjoy

Mr Internet
Melbourne Australia
tech-news.tv

Updated 14 January 2011

This proved to be a popular blog when I ran it 8 months ago. It addressed a new driver from motherboard manufacturer gigabyte, that allowed you to charge you iPad on your PC (not something possible before). This updated free driver, also allows you to charge other devices that worked before even faster and this update adds a few updates to all of that, and it makes that pesky ‘this device is not charging nag screen go away.

By pure coincidence, I went to reinstall this driver and found an update released today ok I am a bit psychic (& psychotic) , but the driver solves some other problems as well such as clearing your USB trash, caused when you remove USB devices all the time. Here is the link, it goes to Chinese first but should offer to translate to your native language depending on your browser. You are looking for on/off charger driver but here it is

Installation Update 
I note on download and installation it is a bit different than the original driver .
it took 1 minute to download, extract and install.

  • The driver is 1.61 mb (very small takes a few seconds to download)
  • It is a compressed exe file so you will need to extract it to a folder on your desktop etc.
  • When extracted, it creates 1 folder called ‘on/off charge’ and creates 2 files inside setup.exe and setup.iss
  • Run the set-up, reboot your pc and you are done

How to Tell it is Working

  • When you installed the driver it would have asked you to re-boot your PC if properly installed.
  • It is very discreet there are no whistles, or bells.
  • If you have an iPad you would notice on the iPad it would have said it was not charging before now it is charging
  • If you start to re-run the set-up.exe it will ask you if you want to modify or reinstall the software.
  • It is a driver so there is no anti-virus software issues
  • Anything more technical speak to gigabyte, I am just a blogger not the manufacturer
  • If in a corporate environment consider speaking to your system administrator, he might enjoy using this across the company it is pretty sweet.
  • Tell your freinds
  • Enjoy

Motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte are Gods.
They have introduced a tweakdown-loadable  , that allows iPads to now be charged from PC’s and laptops, via the USB port . An issue many were not aware they had and plague others that were aware of this.
I will use gigabyte motherboards for ever more because of this, it is a BIG deal.

On the site is a list of the motherboards it works for but mine is older and it worked just fine.
The additional upside is it charges iPhones and iPods faster as well.
Update

Judging by the coverage of this page Gigabyte was getting slammed so moved the link of the driver (nice). I have updated it.Worth noting that though this driver is specfic to gigabyte, I have heard from dozens of folks it works on motherboards other than gigabyte.

Happy for you to share the story please be nice and give a shout out to news-knut/mrinternet  when you do. Mac bloggers (you know who you are)

Galaxy Note 2 vs. Galaxy Note 1

Posted: October 7, 2012 in Android

The Choice is Not Clear at first but Inevitable.

6 October 2012

Melbourne Australia
Loren W – MrInternet

 Déjà vu – At 1st glance on paper the Samsung GN2 – Galaxy Note 2 (N7100), looks like a silly upgrade for anyone that already had the GN1 – Galaxy Note 1 ( N7000). Though slightly thinner, slightly heavier and only slightly longer than its predecessor even the case for the GN1 fits the GN2, but with one end of the GN1 is the same the side and the top end are slightly different to accommodate the longer length.

Ginger Bread to Jelly Bean Upgrade– For most, the GN1 runs Android Gingerbread on a dual processor, whilst the GN2 runs Jelly Bean 4.1.1. IN my case I had installed the factory Ice Cream Sandwich, (ICS), on the GN1, offering a much better experience with less of the Samsung Touch Wiz UI. For those unaware, the Samsung Touch Wiz UI, is designed to let users migrate form Samsung phone to Samsung phone with as little difference in experience as possible due to the common interface. For the purists out there it is ‘garbage-ware’ taking away from the pure Android experience that like Apple, Windows, etc. joy is achieved, in experiencing the new operating system, in its native state (Vanilla).

Lower Video Quality = Better Experience – WTF,  SO, one of the many mysteries here is that the actual specs of the GN2 is lower yes lower video quality than the GN1 at 720 x 1280 pixels, 5.5 inches (~267 ppi pixel density) fpr the GN2, and 800 x 1280 pixels, 5.3 inches (~285 ppi pixel density) for the GN1. The GN2 uses Gorilla Glass 2, and the GN1 uses Gorilla Glass 1. The strange thing is no matter what video I play the GN2 looks brighter and clearer than the GN1. With the GN2 using a much faster processor, a Exynos 4412 Quadcore 1.6GHz Coretex –A9 vs the GN1 that runs a Dual Core 1.4GHz. The GN2 CPU is the same on in the Samsung 10.1 Tab but a bit faster than the Galaxy S3. The weight of the GN1 is 178g vs, 183g of the GN2. Ram gets doubled to an impressive 2GB, offering a great marriage for the quad core CPU. It is also worth noting the GN2 supports a 64gb SD MicroSim, whilst the GN1 has trouble with some cards, (they will get cheaper too).

Why Upgrade? – So why upgrade? Simply put the GN2 is a better phone. Jelly Bean over the previous stock Gingerbread, is like a windows XP PC vs. Windows 7 or 8, It is crisper and the experience of the GN2 is just better. Small details like the home button being slightly raised, is a good addition. Even the sound quality of the GN2 gets an uplift as does Bluetooth going from the new (4.0 vs 3.0) and NFC is native as well. Finally the battery life is pretty amazing, with the GN1 offer a 2500 mAh battery vs a 3100 mAH battery resulting in a whopping 25% increase talk time (35H) for the GN2.

Conclusion-  The OS, CPU Power Upgrade, Better Form Factor, and Overall Usability Upgrade, and even better Battery Life of the Galaxy Note 2 makes this a no brainer. I am excited about even contemplating a better phone on the planet coming out in the future as this is pretty mind blowing.

Author- A fan boy of tech, Loren has 20 years, in the tech space introducing business broadband in the 90’s (yeah he is old), and data centre services in 2000’s has android tablets, / phablets, and phones, iPads (4), 2 Macs, and an Uber PC, so not really biased.


Update: (video at 3pm EST 23 Dec 2012)

SPB 3D has landed on honeycomb adds refreshing UI to Tablets 



Requiring a bit more power than the early Android phones, this UI is a sight to behold on a 10” tablet.

The app is here http://bit.ly/vI1F8k 

This might be very special on ICS as well 

One reason I bought my first Android Phone the Atrix 4G was also due to my bad timing.

I had the iPhone 3G but was bored with it, was too late for an iPhone 4 (with the 5 or 4s looming),  and I had an iPad2 so had my iOS fix.

I purchased the Samsung Omnia 7 WP7 phone (pre-mango) but got  quickly frustrated with the lack of eco-system, and pre-mango issues.

I am a strong believer as well that if you are a truly connected soul, then the mobile operating system you have should be mirrored by the desktop or tablet OS.

Based on that, WP7 was homeless to be as it best goes with windows 8 (was not out in beta yet), but still has some syncing issues for me.

This meant  choosing the Apple OS model, once the 4S was released giving me the iPhone 4S, a Mac, and iPad2, so I have followed my own model mentioned above.

I just sold my Atrix 4G (as the Atrix 2 has just been announced), but kept my Samsung 10.1 Google i/o Tablet running Android Honeycomb, and to be honest I still find Android OS Gingerbread on the phone a bit ugly, to the point of despair, and mind boggling at the lack of  Apple-esque ‘updatablity’ to a new OS on Androiddevices, painful,  never knowing when or if with ease a phone / tablet will get updated having to deal with the 3 way pain of carrier, google/android and hardware manufactuer.

Here in Australia we have been let down in the past by the likes of Samsung with their 1st 10.1 Tablet (the 10.1V P7110)  not getting the same updates as the first USA released 10.1 the P7500 series.

The other reason I bought my 1st Android app, and what pushed me over the edge, like a moth drawn to light was the SPB Software 3D Shell. A  Russian company I have been fascinated with their beautiful products for years, when they were offering apps for windows mobile phones.

Their Android offering of the SPB 3D shell, though not without its own issues (like being a bit CPU hungry), did beautify an otherwise ugly Android phone.

Enter Ice Cream Sandwich a unifying OS from Android, that will offer the same OS on the tablet as it does on the mobile phone.

This also means (as confirmed in an exclusive conversations with the SPB Software devleoper), that  Android tablets running IceCream Sandwich, will also benefit enjoy running, SPB 3D Shell. SPB is currently working on their ICS version, and scaling issues to the larger size.

I cannot wait

Here is a video of their mobile app


Loren | aka @mr_internet | Melbourne Australia
30 November 2011

I originally posted this months ago, when the Samsung 10.1 tab and Motorola Xoom had gone on sale in the USA but had not in Australia.
The Samsung Tab 10.1 has still not gone on sale yet in Australia, accept via the grey market (some ok some more risky).

With the buying season upon us, and more pertinent now than ever, so hope you enjoy.

Is An Android 10.1” Tablet on Your List ...

I had a friend ask me recently, a simple question in theory.

What type of  Tablet PC to get?

I use the word ‘PC’ loosely as these currently aren’t quite replacements for the
Personal Computer for most people at least not yet. I have to admit I
have multiple Android devices as well as Apple and a Windows Home
Server / PC, so offer no bias to a brand.

Well having an iPad2 already, my thoughts were there initially with Apple, but
having just bought my first Android phone (the Atrix 4G by Motorola) to try it
out before the launch in Australia, my thought then turned to considering
that perhaps the OS of the phone might make the OS transition (if
there was one) initially easier. In my friends’ case, husband has an
Android and wife and iPhone. I quickly ruled out a Windows Tablet (don’t get me
started there).

With Apple having a single design of iPad2 (barring colour and capacity of course),
it was hard not to make a case for the iPad2 (e.g. I have one and there are
some things it does very well). Unfortunately for me
the realization that the iPad2 is really running a 5 year old
Operating System

But knowing what is out within the last 4 weeks or will be soon, in the Android
Tablet space I would be remiss had I not mentioned the Android Tablets. I go on
about this as the Android Tablet Space of 10.1″ tablets, is perhaps more
fast pace than Sebastian Vettel is around an F1 Grand Prix race track, with so
many models coming out a review is a bit confusing.

Instead of taking away from the great detail other have offered, I am looking more at a
top level view comparing more the aesthetic pros and cons of various models
compared to each other PHEW

Here are the 4 Android Tablets

Acer
A500 32GB with MicroSD Card, WiFi Only 5x2MP Camera
(10.1″)
Samsung
Galaxy Tab 10.1G (or GT or GTp7510) 32GB with No MicroSD Card , WiFi Only ,
3x2MP Camera-
Samsung
Galaxy Tab 10.1V 3G/4G / WiFi Only 16GB no MicroSD Card 8x2MP Camera
Motorola
Xoom WiFi Only with WiFi Card , 5x2MP Camera 10.1″
Apple
iPad For Size Comparison – & it is getting jealous and
nervous
Part One – Does Size Matter?

Part Two – Tell Me more Pros and Cons

Part Three – Summary


Buying a Cheaper Unique Mobile Phone or Tablet for Less Might Cost you More in the Long Run

Image003

By mr_internet
28 November 2011
Melbourne, Australia

When I bought my new Canon Camera Recently (the lovely 7D) I was shocked to find out the RRP was $2300 in Australia, $1600 in the USA and $1300 in Hong Kong. The result is I bought it from a grey or parallel importer in Melbourne (ironically across the street from Canon Australia’s head office.

If I have a problem with the camera I have to send it not to Canon, but the grey importer, a risky business at best.

I am personal friends with a buyer from Harvey Norman that was unable to price match the camera as my buy price of $1500 for the imported model in Melbourne is  less than Harvey Norman’s own buy price. Canon is well aware of this but there is nothing they can do. Here the consumer benefits but the retailer loses out. Luckily for retailers the volume for these sorts of purchases is still the exception rather than the rule.

However, when a device is not supported in Australia, and the company  is grey importing a device (like a mobile phone or tablet ), then the issue gets a bit riskier for the consumer. What happens when you need support and the device is not supported in Australia. Usually a mess and the consumer can suffer.

A good example of this model is Expansys UK Doing business as Expansys Asia for Australia.

They will sell you a mobile phone that is either not available in Australia (due to legal issues perhaps) but may also not be supported by the manufacturer in Australia. This can be a real problem for tablets and mobile phones, unlike cameras where there are no updates.

I good example is I have the Samsung 10.1 P7510 tablet, one of 3 Samsung 10.1 models with only the 10.1V being supported in Australia. Currently there is a problem getting support and updates in Australia.

Smaller companies like Expansys a company many are not aware of in Australia are not doing consumers a great service as many do not know the device they are buying is a grey import and updates and when service is likely to be a problem.

All you have to do is Google, ‘Problem Expansys’  to see some of the problems companies like Expansys are offering consumers and one to definitely be aware of in 2011 and 2012

Companies like Expansys should let consumers know when items are being grey imported and support may (and likely will) be an issue. Worse still if / when they quit doing business in Australia the consumer can be left high and dry with no support and no warranty.

This is not in the long run good for the retailer that cannot service the customers or the consumer that is not aware of their likely challenges

Update / Disclosure : 
Firslty there are other grey selling sites other than Expansys.
I have not used Expansys asia so do not know if they are good or not.
I chose Expansys Asia  they offered to send me something they did not, and it messed me about.

I used Expansys UK when I lived there and was a delighted customer and even set up a corporate account.
I wanted to review a phone, and offered to buy it (before they told me they were shipping me one and did not (they said that on multiple occasions).
This is NOT about their customer service/delivery. This is about the issue of buying grey products when consumers do not know know they are grey.

However, as time goes on I do now have concerns if they treat a fan-boy this way, once they offered a product, how must their customer service be to the rest of their customers.

I have said on a few occasions I am pro grey market buying, but for the uninitiated to can be a mine field and I am more concerned by the tweet.
I told Expansys about some negative press and questions that were out there, as they were kind enough to send me a phone, I was not going to run the story.
Had they told me they were not interested I also would not likely run the story.
But they said they were going to send me a unit, and it messed up by reporting time when they did not but also removed the conflict of interest I would have had otherwise, and it shows to be deceit by them (slopiness or both) .

Anyone else would have said yes (and meant it) or said no and meant it.

Saying yes and meaning no could be confusing and what Expansys did here, 

Have I got my facts wrong?

Expansys claims yes, but refuses to address a single specific, but instead choose to attack a now once loyal customer, geez


Update:

SPB 3D has landed on honeycomb (video at 3pm EST 23 Dec 2012)

Requiring a bit more power than the early Android phones, this UI is a sight to behold on a 10” tablet

 

This might be very special on ICS as well 

One reason I bought my first Android Phone the Atrix 4G was also due to my bad timing.

I had the iPhone 3G but was bored with it, was too late for an iPhone 4 (with the 5 or 4s looming),  and I had an iPad2 so had my iOS fix.

I purchased the Samsung Omnia 7 WP7 phone (pre-mango) but got  quickly frustrated with the lack of eco-system, and pre-mango issues.

I am a strong believer as well that if you are a truly connected soul, then the mobile operating system you have should be mirrored by the desktop or tablet OS.

Based on that, WP7 was homeless to be as it best goes with windows 8 (was not out in beta yet), but still has some syncing issues for me.

This meant  choosing the Apple OS model, once the 4S was released giving me the iPhone 4S, a Mac, and iPad2, so I have followed my own model mentioned above.

I just sold my Atrix 4G (as the Atrix 2 has just been announced), but kept my Samsung 10.1 Google i/o Tablet running Android Honeycomb, and to be honest I still find Android OS Gingerbread on the phone a bit ugly, to the point of despair, and mind boggling at the lack of  Apple-esque ‘updatablity’ to a new OS on Androiddevices, painful,  never knowing when or if with ease a phone / tablet will get updated having to deal with the 3 way pain of carrier, google/android and hardware manufactuer.

Here in Australia we have been let down in the past by the likes of Samsung with their 1st 10.1 Tablet (the 10.1V P7110)  not getting the same updates as the first USA released 10.1 the P7500 series.

The other reason I bought my 1st Android app, and what pushed me over the edge, like a moth drawn to light was the SPB Software 3D Shell. A  Russian company I have been fascinated with their beautiful products for years, when they were offering apps for windows mobile phones.

Their Android offering of the SPB 3D shell, though not without its own issues (like being a bit CPU hungry), did beautify an otherwise ugly Android phone.

Enter Ice Cream Sandwich a unifying OS from Android, that will offer the same OS on the tablet as it does on the mobile phone.

This also means (as confirmed in an exclusive conversations with the SPB Software devleoper), that  Android tablets running IceCream Sandwich, will also benefit enjoy running, SPB 3D Shell. SPB is currently working on their ICS version, and scaling issues to the larger size.

I cannot wait

Here is a video of their mobile app


 

6 September 2011

Tech-News.TV (coming soon)
Melbourne Australia
by Loren Wiener (@mr_internet)

 

Samsung to Be Eventual Winner

 

 

Whilst Apple fights Samsung across the globe, on tablet patents, many tablet manufacturers like Motorola (Googorola) Toshiba, Acer, Asus, HP, RIM are all hoping to gain some benefit here in Australia.  Samsung will likely win and Motorola lose for a few reasons.

1) Apple patent wins will at best,  just delay the Samsung selling of their tablets. Remember Motorola also has injunctions against them.  It is not likely a totoal coincidence that the patent wars are going on leading up to the announcemnet in the next few days of the iPhone5.

2) Samsung marketing machine, though not great is better than any of the others on the market

3) Previous versions of Samsung tablets have been sold in Australia for some time, they already have a large presence not just in tablets, but mobiles, televisions and home appliances. The product awareness offers a big association for other products like tablets as they are sold at the same retailers as well as carriers.

4) Samsung products have been offered for some time unlocked, offering more choices for consumers to choose their own carrier, this carries over to the tablets.

Motorola To Be Biggest Loser

 

1) Samsung network for selling tablets is much larger than others, more retailers and carriers than Motorola.

2) Other tablet suppliers have strong market associations in the marketplace / market share, Blackberry (RIM)- Mobiles, Toshiba/Asus/Acer/HP (Computers). Though the recent HP position confuses things.

3) Motorola New Relationship with Google with take time to gain momentum. Remember Google is a company that sells advertising. Google is NOT experienced in selling hardware product.

30 September is an important date currently in the patent wars, when it is believe Samsung will be allowed to sell their new tablet  in Australia.


28 May 2011

Loren | aka @mr_internet | Melbourne Australia  

Is An Android 10.1” Tablet on Your List Before or After Tax Time

I had a friend ask me recently, a simple question in theory. What type of Tablet
PC to get?

I use the word ‘PC’ loosely as these currently aren’t quite replacements for the
Personal Computer for most people at least not yet. I have to admit I
have multiple Android devices as well as Apple and a Windows Home
Server / PC, so offer no bias to a brand.

Well having an  iPad2 already, my thoughts were there initially with Apple, but
having just bought my first Android phone (the Atrix 4G by Motorola) to try it
out before the launch in Australia,  my thought then turned to considering
that perhaps the OS of the phone might make the OS transition (if
there was one) initially easier. In my friends’ case, husband has an
Android and wife and iPhone. I quickly ruled out a Windows Tablet (don’t get me
started there).

With Apple having a single design of iPad2 (barring colour and capacity of course),
it was hard not to make a case for the iPad2 (e.g. I have one and there are
some things it does very well).  Unfortunately for me
the realization that the iPad2 is really running a 5 year old
Operating System

But knowing what is out within the last 4 weeks or will be soon, in the Android
Tablet space I would be remiss had I not mentioned the Android Tablets. I go on
about this as the Android Tablet Space of 10.1″ tablets, is perhaps more
fast pace than Sebastian Vettel is around an F1 Grand Prix race track, with so
many models coming out a review is a bit confusing.

Instead of taking away from the great detail other have offered, I am looking more at a
top level view comparing more the aesthetic pros and cons of various models
compared to each other PHEW

Here are the 4 Android Tablets

  • Acer
    A500 32GB with MicroSD Card, WiFi Only 5x2MP Camera
    (10.1″)
  • Samsung
    Galaxy Tab 10.1G (or GT or GTp7510) 32GB with No MicroSD Card , WiFi Only ,
    3x2MP Camera-
  • Samsung
    Galaxy Tab 10.1V  3G/4G / WiFi Only 16GB no MicroSD Card 8x2MP Camera
  • Motorola
    Xoom  WiFi Only with WiFi Card , 5x2MP Camera 10.1″
  • Apple
    iPad For Size Comparison –  & it is getting  jealous and
    nervous

Part One – Does Size Matter?

Part Two – Tell Me more Pros and Cons

Part Three – Summary

 

 

 


Pre-orders likely by 1 June 2011

Updated: 3 June 2011

Harvey Norman is about to start taking pre-orders for the new Samsung 10.1 Tablet 2 (version 1 in the USA).
No further information is available but the Samsung Australia Website has updated its support  section to include a P7500 16mb  only old non 10.1  information is there currently , but that is good or bad if you are holding out hope if a MicroSD Card, as 16GB unit might hint at an upgradeable memory.

Reviews on thai sites, rusisan sites and some retailers suggest a microsd card is on board also, but other sites suggest it is not.

20 May 2011

by Loren aka @mr_internet

With out much fanfare retail computer shops are discussing exact pre-order dates for the next big thing to hit in computer tablets.

Though there are some unanswered questions, and though it has not been formally announced, the Samsung Galaxy Tablet PC  10.1 version 2,  is about to land in Australia and be sold around a week after it is launched in the USA. The USA has announced a 8 June launch date with Australia launching around the 15th of June. Retailers that will be stocking the device are already considering  pre-orders dates such as June 1.

The new thinner 10.1 is viewed by many as biggest competition yet for the Apple iPad2, and is  one of many new tablets, showing up in all places that sell laptops now. Many of these will be running the more open and very new  Google  Android  Honeycomb Operating System 3.0 that is already getting an update to 3.1.

The Apple iPads run on the Apple iOS operating system that has not changed much in over 4  years, a long time in the marketplace.

The new s10.1 not only resembles the Apple iPad2, it is slightly wider, and lighter as well as being thinner. It is of course also  lighter and thinner  than  it’s only 4 week old predecessor 10.1V that launched in May,  a limited edition model that is being sold exclusively by Vodafone.

The 10.1V also has a better quality camera than the newer, thinner 10.1  (8MP vs 3MP).

The older version 10.1V is being sold to other markets across the globe but  outside the USA only.

Another popular tablet the Motorola Xoom is landing in Australia (exclusive to Telstra initially) the end of May, with the other shops selling the Samsung Galaxy 10.1  just 2 weeks later.

One of the advantage of the new more open Android tablets is that when connected to a PC or a Mac computer it appears like any other external hard drive allowing folders to be set up and files transferred to the devices much easier than the iPad that requires the iTunes interface only. Also new applications purchased for the Android device on a computer  can be downloaded  wirelessly on local networks to multiple Android devices.

The fast pace dynamics of the tablet market is different around the world with Europe and Australia getting the 10.1V but not the US, and the US getting the Motorola Xoom months before the release in Europe or Australia.

This makes the launch of the Samsung 10.1  a global launch only a week earlier in the USA vs Australia (and likely Europe)

The online community was buzzing when 5-6000 Galaxy 10.1 were given out to mostly rave reviews to attendees at the recent Google i/o 2011.

With the USA not seeing or hearing much about the 10.1V many were confused on discovering the 10.1 is viewed as the second generation model but hardware wise is lower quality than the second generation 10.1, but is thinner, bigger and lighter.

Many believe the 10.1V that was not launched in the USA, because when Apple launched the iPad2, Samsung decided to stop production and introduce the thinner version.

Price is believed to be the same as the Motorola Xoom @$840, but it is not clear the exact detail of the 10.1 Model only it is being referred to as Galaxy Tab 10.1 Version 2 in Australia.

Edit:
There was a lot of confusion in the marketplace when Australian buyers of the Samsung Galaxy 10.1V were told tablets were being shipped when they had actually been over sold and back-ordered.

It is still not clear if customers will receive the back-ordered stock before the new 10.1 goes on sale. At the same time customers were unknowinly having their tablets back ordered other stores were getting in stock to sell in the shops,  making matters worse for Vodafone. Customer service were only told the 10.1V  stock was on back order 48 hours later, so only some early orders were assured delivery.

Speaking to a retail buyer for one of the future stockists of the new thinner Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and seeing the orders, it is unclear if stock levels will be adequate.  There appears to be no gag order on this information.


In this challenge there is one easy winner Samsung but which Samsung 10.1 wins might surprise you.

Updated 13 May 2011- It is being widely reported today that Samsung is about to introduce black and white 10.1  models some with 4G as well as different sizes. So I am going with 6 models for now, we will see if how this story matures.

I was delighted to hear that Samsung was releasing their new 10.1 Galaxy Tab named the 10.1v, (or P7100) it launched  in Australia before the US, UK or the rest of Europe.

SO does that mean there is another model ?

Oh yeah, the US is getting the 10.1 (not 10.1 v)

Actually the USA is due to get 2 models (at least) the 10.1 wifi only and  the 10.1 3G / Wifi .

Sounds simple..

Then there was the Google i/o 2011 this week and eBay was flooded with the tablets Google gave away on day 1.
Better still they were offering what they called the Google i/o GT special edition or GT P7510

In this model there are some differences, it is bigger and lighter than the 10.1V so it is the 10.1 , but there is no SD card slot , so it is just like the 10.1 but with no SD card slot (Like the 10.1V)

The story goes that the 10.1V was well out the door prior to the Apple iPad being announced, Samsung went back and ‘improved’ on the 10.1V and now has the 10.1. which is lighter than the 10.1V and Apple iPad.

But it has some compromises as well.

So when I was trying to decide which version to review/buy/get the decision was easy after all there wouldn’t be much difference surely.

  • Lightest – Well the 10.1 is the lightest, biggest and thinnest compared to the 10.1V.                                              – Winner 10.1
  • Best Video Quality (playback) –  the 10.1V                                                                                                                          – Winner 10.1V
  • Best Camera – 10.1 has a 3MP camera and the 10.1V has an 8MP camera and 1080p vs 720 on the 10.1     -Winner 10.1V
  • Best Looking – well the 10.1GT with the white android back is a limited edition                                                      – Winner 10.1G
  • Best Memory/ Storage  – 10.1 has a microSD card the 10.1V and 10.1G do not                                                       – Winner 10.1
  • Best Phone Reception – only the 10.1V and 10.1 3G have sims                                                                                       – Tie 10.1 3G and 10.1 V
  • Longest battery life – battery in 10.1V is 6860 mAh  in  10.1 6800 mAh                                                                     –  Winner 10.1V*

* needs to be verified if bigger battery = longest life.

One thought is that Samsung will try to sell out of the 10.1V as soon as possible and then introduce the thinner 10.1 in parts of the world that got the 10.1V

But is the lighter, bigger 10.1 better, I don’t think so.

What do you think ?


Australia Leads the World in Android 3.0 Honeycomb Product Launches

by @mr_internet

Updated 10 May 2011 
After spending a few days with the Iconia A500 and of course Honeycomb, I am impressed with many of the features of the Iconia, it is a great value for money, my iPad2 is starting to feel a little jealous, and some of the feature of the Iconia (real USB and microSD) makes it even more interesting . 

Have a peek at the unboxing in Germany and an early review from the USA. 

Unboxing

A500 Review

Contract Free Acer A500 Iconia Tablet Running Android 3.0 HoneyComb Lands in Australia Retailers before USA without Fanfare

Promises to rock new tablet market

Low Priced Tablet to add to carriers challenges

Tablet competition is quickly heating up with the low fanfare launch of a new Tablet device from Acer.
a Wi-Fi only device that has managed to launch without the challenges of being distributed by Telecom carriers.

Whilst Vodafone this weeks has exclusively launched with huge problems the Samsung Galaxy Tab version 2 10.1v (P7100) with customers not notified their devices are on backorder,

Telstra has announced the launch of the Motorola Xoom for launch later this month for $840 that many view is over priced compared to the US market being sold for $600 in the even via Australia based importers .

This is the first launch of the much anticipated Google Android 3.0 Operating System (known as Honeycomb) and is very different than the previous operating Systems.
The difference between in the Tablet market is some devices have 3G or 4G internet built in, and will be sold by Telecom Carriers.

Other Tablets such as the Acer A500, are not burdened by this and can be sold as any laptop would be in the usual retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Office Works where stock has appeared this week.
The Acer Device comes in a 16GB and a 32GB Version but also includes a USB port and a microSD card slot allowing for a lot extra usability as it allows USB 2.0 thumb drives are even large external drives to be used.
Currently the Motorolla Xoom does not have a working SD Card Slot.
Internet access will need to be by Mobile USB stick from any carrier, or Wi-Fi, but many mobile phones also offer tethering (cable internet attachment) or their own wi-fi hotspot to offer Internet.
The largest issue carriers will have is the Acer A500 sells for just $547 in Australia and will launch in the USA from $450 from 11 May
At almost 1/2 the price of the Motorola Xoom many consumer will be asking if price is worth it.
Meanwhile the pure number of different devices available is slightly confusing for customers
German Unboxing of the Acer A500 (in English)

A500 Tablet Review by Mobile TechReview

Tech Specs of Acer A500 Tablet

Operating System
Operating System Android™
Processor & Chipset
Processor Manufacturer nVidia
Processor Type Tegra
Processor Model 250
Processor Speed 1 GHz
Processor Core Dual-core
Cache 1 MB
Memory
Standard Memory 1 GB
Memory Technology DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Card Reader Yes
Memory Card Support Micro SD
microSD High Capacity (microSDHC)

Display & Graphics
Screen Size 25.7 cm (10.1″)
Display Screen Type Active Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Aspect Ratio 16:10
Screen Mode WXGA
Display Resolution 1280 x 800
Touchscreen Yes
Touchscreen Feature Multi-touch
Network & Communication
Wi-Fi Yes
Bluetooth No
Interfaces/Ports
HDMI Yes
USB Standard USB 2.0
Built-in Devices
Webcam Yes
Software
Operating System Android™
Battery Information
Number of Cells 2-cell
Battery Chemistry Lithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Battery Capacity 3260 mAh
Battery Energy 24.10 Wh
Power Description
Input Voltage 220 V AC
110 V AC

Maximum Power Supply Wattage 18 W
Physical Characteristics
Colour Silver
Form Factor Slate
Height 13.30 mm
Width 177 mm
Depth 260 mm
Miscellaneous
Package Contents
ICONIA Tab A500 Tablet PC
Lithium Polymer Battery
Charger
USB Cable
Quick Start Guide
Green Compliance Yes
Green Compliance Certificate/Authority WEEE
RoHS

Warranty
Warranty 1 year pickup and return warranty.

Australia Leads the World in Android 3.0 Honeycomb Product Launches

Contract Free Acer A500 Iconia Tablet Running Android 3.0 HoneyComb Lands in Australia Retailers before USA without Fanfare

Promises to rock new tablet market

Low Priced Tablet to add to carriers challenges

Tablet competition is quickly heating up with the low fanfare launch of a new Tablet device from Acer.
a Wi-Fi only device that has managed to launch without the challenges of being distributed by Telecom carriers.

Whilst Vodafone this weeks has exclusively launched with huge problems the Samsung Galaxy Tab version 2 10.1v (P7100) with customers not notified their devices are on backorder,

Telstra has announced the launch of the Motorola Xoom for launch later this month for $840 that many view is over priced compared to the US market being sold for $600 in the even via Australia based importers .

This is the first launch of the much anticipated Google Android 3.0 Operating System (known as Honeycomb) and is very different than the previous operating Systems.

The difference between in the Tablet market is some devices have 3G or 4G internet built in, and will be sold by Telecom Carriers.

Other Tablets such as the Acer A500, are not burdened by this and can be sold as any laptop would be in the usual retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Office Works where stock has appeared this week.

The Acer Device comes in a 16GB and a 32GB Version but also includes a USB port and a microSD card slot allowing for a lot extra usability as it allows USB 2.0 thumb drives are even large external drives to be used.

Currently the Motorolla Xoom does not have a working SD Card Slot.

Internet access will need to be by Mobile USB stick from any carrier, or Wi-Fi, but many mobile phones also offer tethering (cable internet attachment) or their own wi-fi hotspot to offer Internet.

The largest issue carriers will have is the Acer A500 sells for just $547 in Australia and will launch in the USA from $450 from 11 May
At almost 1/2 the price of the Motorola Xoom many consumer will be asking if price is worth it.

Meanwhile the pure number of different devices available is slightly confusing for customers

German Unboxing of the Acer A500 (in English)

A500 Tablet Review by Mobile TechReview

Tech Specs of Acer A500 Tablet

Operating System
Operating System Android™
Processor & Chipset
Processor Manufacturer nVidia
Processor Type Tegra
Processor Model 250
Processor Speed 1 GHz
Processor Core Dual-core
Cache 1 MB
Memory
Standard Memory 1 GB
Memory Technology DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Card Reader Yes
Memory Card Support Micro SD
microSD High Capacity (microSDHC)

Display & Graphics
Screen Size 25.7 cm (10.1″)
Display Screen Type Active Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Aspect Ratio 16:10
Screen Mode WXGA
Display Resolution 1280 x 800
Touchscreen Yes
Touchscreen Feature Multi-touch
Network & Communication
Wi-Fi Yes
Bluetooth No
Interfaces/Ports
HDMI Yes
USB Standard USB 2.0
Built-in Devices
Webcam Yes
Software
Operating System Android™
Battery Information
Number of Cells 2-cell
Battery Chemistry Lithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Battery Capacity 3260 mAh
Battery Energy 24.10 Wh
Power Description
Input Voltage 220 V AC
110 V AC

Maximum Power Supply Wattage 18 W
Physical Characteristics
Colour Silver
Form Factor Slate
Height 13.30 mm
Width 177 mm
Depth 260 mm
Miscellaneous
Package Contents
ICONIA Tab A500 Tablet PC
Lithium Polymer Battery
Charger
USB Cable
Quick Start Guide
Green Compliance Yes
Green Compliance Certificate/Authority WEEE
RoHS

Warranty
Warranty 1 year pickup and return warranty.


Vodafone Customers Still in the Dark Over Missing Vodafone orders

Ahead of the USA and UK, launch, Australia Phone carrier Vodafone exclusively launched with Samsung their latest Google Android tablet computer , the Galaxy Tab version 2 / 10.1v Tablet  (or P7100 for short).  Besides the new Hardware it offers one of the first looks at the new Android Honeycomb 3.0 Operating System.

Competitor to Apple that sells the market leading iPad2, Google has multiple partners making many tablets of various sizes. This is the first of many companies that are making new tablets over the next few months. Due to market size, quite often Australia will get these devices after the USA.

The new Samsung Tablet runs the much anticipated 3.0 Android Honeycomb Operating System, viewed by google as the only Tablet Operating system.

With bit of razzmatazz the initial sale of the tablet from Vodafone, with  limited to sales only by telephone  limited amounts of inventory were also delegated to a small list of Vodafone retail shops,

For 2 days the initial phone orders, Vodafone promised that customers’ orders would not be backordered and they had plenty of stock, 48 hours later,   staff even verified stock levels  if asked when you ordered, mine was for example  in stock and immediately allocated coming from the warehouse in NSW and confirmed for delivery for today.

  • The problem came , when it came to fulfil orders,  the amount of stock drastically differed from those available, (stolen or misallocated who knows)
  • So instead of shipping the orders in the order they were taken even when confirmed as in stock and allocated, some customers that had units confirmed as shipping and in stock at order will not get them for weeks, and have not been notified as they do not know which customers to notify. They claim my query showed the problem for the first time (maybe)
  • Unless they call in or manually check on all orders ??
  • I asked if I was going to be notified or customers like me, and was told they did not think it was a mess.
  • Vodafone said loads of folks will be impacted but sure how many, I spoke to a level 2 sales person, after being hung up on a few times trying to check my order, (they said just give it another day or so and I said can you just verify it shipped, click hung up 3 times.
  • When I called to check order levels initially on this when this happened I was told there was stock, 20 minutes later I was told there are now back orders.
  • In Summary, customers expecting orders should phone and confirm if they shipped, I would have been waiting for weeks (luckily I have another one coming from a less official source)

 @mr_internet
@DroidUnlimited