Phone Issues

So in about 2 weeks it’s going to be my Galaxy Nexus’ 1 year anniversary. Yes I am aware that the GNex released 2 years ago and I bought the phone 2 weeks before the launch of the Nexus 4 (I was impatient, needed a new phone). For the past couple of months I’ve been having major issues, the phone was fine, installed a custom rom and after a while it got too buggy and laggy. So I went back to stock, it was fine for about a week or two and started getting major lag issues once more. I’ve repeated this process a lot of times and I get the same results.

People (well my parents mostly) say I tinker with my phone to much. Well that’s the reason I bought an Android phone, to play with it! I’ve heard of people doing majorly insane shit to their phones and it always works fine for them, no matter what ROM I run, what kernel I use, my phone always seems to lag.

So now it’s time for a new phone, I thought I had decided what I wanted but I still am not too sure. I’m pretty much set on the Sony Xperia Z1. Why? The three things that matter in a phone to me personally have been fulfilled. Excellent Build Quality? Check. Good camera? 20.7 megapixels of Check. Performance? in the name of the Snapdragon 800 I pronounce you Checked. A major plus is that it’s wwaterproof So I don’t have to spend cash on that GoPro I’ve been hankering for. The only issue I feel I might have with this phone is Sony’s software. Which actually doesn’t really seem that bad anymore, once you throw in a nice launcher and 3rd party apps, you can replicate the stock experience. I could also root it and run a custom ROM but something tells me that ROM’s are not going to be able to take full advantage of that camera.

The other option I had was to go with the Xiaomi Mi3. You probably don’t know what that is. Well Xiaomi is a chinese phone manufacturer much like Oppo, and they sell high end phones at lower prices than the likes of the bigger name brands. The Mi3 has all the latest specs; 1080p, 13MP, great build quality and even gives you the choice between a Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 chip. Which is nice. And with the Mi3 I wouldn’t mind running a custom ROM if it’s gonna be as supported as the Oppo Find 5 (you can run custom rom’s without having to root the phone). But in order to avoid making the purchase and there not being support for the device, I’m currently installing MIUI v5 (the Xiaomi OS) on my GNex to see if it’s bareable. I’ve tried it before but didn’t like it.

Now you’re going to say “Goddamit man you’re messing up your phone” well hey, it’s already messed up and I needed to refresh it anyway.

 

(post imported from snazzyham.com)

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The Galaxy Nexus Experience, 8 Months Later

Samsung and Google’s second child in the mobile department, the Galaxy Nexus has been around for almost two years now and although the Nexus 4 improves on many of the gripes I have with the Galaxy Nexus, I never made the switch. That’s partly due to the fact that I picked up the Galaxy Nexus a week before they announced the Nexus 4. Even though the GNex has been around for quite a while we can’t necessarily call it “old-gen”. With a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 720p display, the GNex is probably the best mid range android handset around today. Having said that there definitely were a few instances where I’ve wanted to bang my phone against the wall.

Let’s start with software. The biggest advantage to buying a nexus device is that you get the assurance that your software is probably going to work better on your phone as compared to anything else you might pick up as it is maintained by google itself. It runs the latest version of android (4.2.2) and its smooth, most of the time. My biggest problem with the phone is probably the battery. Not the battery life (which is abysmal) but the battery itself. My battery is constantly at 38 degrees but more that often above 47. That not only makes the phone really hot but also causes an immense performance drop. Swiping through home screens takes long and it takes the phone about 3 seconds to register touches. Apps like the gallery and browser are unusable and often force close. Apps that are more power hungry refuse to even open and often cause the phone to just crash.

The thing I love the most about my phone is how customisable it is. Rooting and tinkering with a nexus device is a breeze, especially with Wugs toolkit. There’s nothing about the phone you can’t change. When I got the phone I went crazy with all the things you could customise. I was running CM10.1 with Franco’s Kernel, used ROM toolbox pro to root and configure the little things, changed my font, my boot animation, my softkeys and made many other customisations. This however brings me to my next point.

At the beginning when I had the phone it was flawless. No lag, never force closed, no issues. However, after a while, one by one issues started to arise. It got so bad that I had to do a complete wipe of the phone and go fully back to stock. I’m now on the stock ROM with the stock kernel and action launcher + flatro icons on the front end. Things were never the same however. It could be due to the battery over heating or maybe some other issues. I tried loading Paranoid Android over the weekend to try out the ‘HALO’ feature, much to my dismay my phone was beyond unusable. I went through all the checkpoints (wipe system, cache, dalvik, etc.) but nothing worked. The phone booted up fine but navigating through the home screens and menus were a nightmare. Everything lagged like it never lagged before. I couldn’t open any apps and when some would open I wouldn’t be able to use them (like the settings app).  So alas, I restored my nandroid backup and even though its running well now on stock android, I steel feel like I’m a burger without fries or like SpongeBob without Patrick, I feel like I’m missing a part of me.

Windows Phone 8: View from the eyes of an Android Freak (Day 1)

The battle for the “Best Mobile OS” has been going on for quite a while now, with iOS and Android hogging the lead and leaving the others so far behind that they cant even begin to see the dust yet. There are many who have tried to challenge they’re dominance, others who are content with staying behind. One company that’s been battling endlessly with Apple and Google is Microsoft. Apple and Google started entering the smartphone market around the 2007-2008 time period and by 2009 they had revamped the entire concept of smartphones and touch screens. Microsoft on the other hand was still lacking in the mobile department, they were probably too preoccupied with the “Vista” problem. Microsoft’s mobile OS was  basically a smaller version of windows xp. It was hard to use, you couldn’t really figure out how to work it that well even if you were a huge geek and the worst thing was the resisitive touch screen, that was just terrible. Fast forward to October 2010, Microsoft announced a completely revamped ‘Windows Phone OS’ with a completely revamped “metro” interface and it was beautiful. I was lovestruck. Sadly though as with all new software, it had it’s issues. Jump forward to 2013. Microsoft’s been in the market for 3 years and they’ve had time to fix their issues. So is Windows Phone 8 a worthy competitor for the No. 1 spot?

 

My first day with windows phone 8 has been a blast. As with every new phone, I spent endless hours downloading new apps, customizing it (as much as windows phone would allow me to) and tinkering with it in every which way. I picked up the Lumia 520, which is the lowest end and ‘cheapest’ Windows Phone device in the market so obviously my expectations were low, surprisingly it blew me away. From the minute I turned it on the phone was fast, fluid and mellifluous. I really was not expecting such performance from such a low end device. Multitasking and opening apps were smooth, there was no input lag whatsoever.

The biggest Complaint people have about windows phone now days is that it’s app collection is terrible. On the contrary, I was able to find a replacement for my 5 most used apps quite quickly. Keep in mind I don’t use as many apps as I used to since I’ve been really tied down at work. My most used apps on my nexus are Falcon Pro, Instagram, Feedly, PocketCasts and Whatsapp. What I use on windows phone; Twitter, Instance (not that great but instagram should be coming soon), Nextgen reader, Podcast and Whatsapp. See, no trouble. One thing however is that some alternatives for free android apps were paid on windows phone. Just a small annoyance. My favourite thing about windows phone is the brilliant sync integration. I literally just had to sign in to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and immediately it started populating my entire device with my data. The photos app had my facebook photo’s, the people tile was an integrated feed of my facebook, twitter and linkedIn and the me tile had all my information already. Other than that you can even use facebook chat through the default messaging app, that’s brilliant!

One of the biggest gripes I’ve had however is that there’s no unified notification center, so I tend to miss a lot of notifications and only become aware of them when I scroll through and see the tile. That and the fact there are no quick toggles for settings like WiFi and bluetooth, altough I’m certain you can pin those settings to your start screen, you still have to open the app and switch the toggle.

Apart from that, I’m quite astonished. I’ve never been this satisfied with a phone of this pricepoint before. Devices at this price point have always irked me more than they have impressed me. Keep in mind I haven’t even had the phone for a full 24 hours yet and I plan on using the phone for at least two weeks or more before I give you my full and final opinion, which will most probably be in the form of a YouTube review so stay tuned folks and make sure to subscribe or keep coming back so that you don’t miss anything.

Thanks for reading!

 

Best Looking phones (end of 2011 issue)

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a sucker for buying phones that don’t have the right specs, but look freakin awesome! So heres my list of the top 8 best looking phones, in ascending order.

8. Blackberry Curve 9360

7. HTC Sensation XE

6. Apple iPhone 4/4S

5. LG Optimus 3D

4. Samsung/Google Galaxy Nexus

3. Motorola Droid Razr

2.  Motorola Droid X2

1. Nokia Lumia 800 (The Dark Knight Rises Limited Edition Especially)

New Phone Time?

Is that phone in your pocket rotting? is it time for an upgrade? can’t decide which phone to use, because of the dastardly large number of new phones releasing each week? well you’ve come to the right place, cause I got the perfect guide for you!

instead of making this a top 5 phones thing like I usually do, I’ll split this guide into priorities and what you need out of a phone, such as simplicity, power or nerd-gasmic experiences. that’s right, I made my own word, nerdgasmic.

Let’s start with the most thought about factor for teens and the working adult:

Communication 

BlackBerry Bold 9900

yes, it’s a blackberry. no, I’m not high. With a 1.2GHz processor coupled with Liquid Display hardware acceleration, a 2.8″ HVGA capacitive touchscreen display and the best keyboard on earth, the blackberry bold 9900 takes the no. 1 spot for communication. why? well because blackberries are excellent communication tools, with the best email integration, BBM, and heavy social network integration, BlackBerries are excellent devices for keeping in touch with your friends, families or co-workers. sure the apps aren’t that great, but honestly who needs apps? well everyone but still, you probably have a tablet or media device for those… Other than apps, the only limitation I have found on this phone is the terrible 1300mAh battery that juices this device.

WOW- Factor

Apple iPhone 4S

Sure it looks exactly like the 4 and many were disappointed with this release of the iPhone, even I was at first but it’s really starting to grow on me now. I loved the design of the 4 and was glad to see them stick with it, although I do wish they had gone with a 4″ Display. Other than that it sports very welcome updates such as a dual core processor and bumped up camera, this phone is perfect for the every day user, with its amazing ecosystem of apps, integration with your life and for the love of God, Siri! This phone is perfect for the every day user.

NERD APPEAL

Google Galaxy Nexus

That’s right, everything about this phone screams AWESOME to nerds like me, possibly the only real Android phone (read here for why) The 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, Android 4.0 and that brilliant 4.65″ Super AMOLED HD 720p display, that’s right, 720p!! it’s like having a theater in your pocket! this phone should be crowned king o’ the geeks!

All Rounder 

Nokia Lumia 800

Yes, know what you must be thinking, didn’t nokia die? well no, and yes this is the best phone out there right now, according to me. Other than the completely sexy unibody polycarbonate design (look at how sexy it is) The Nokia Lumia 800 is one amazing phone. Packed with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm chip, 16Gigs of memory, An 8 Megapixel camera, 3.7″ clearblack AMOLED and windows phone mango, this is the real deal. The focal point of this phone is the OS, windows phone 7.5 is a brilliant blend of easy to use software and beauty. It has a minimalistic feel to it, so you feel elegant and classy when using it. Best of all it’s practical, it does everything you need it to, and makes day to day living just a tad more elegant. To know more about windows phone and it’s awesomeness, check out the youtube vids. One things for sure, when I go to university, I’m definitely getting myself a windows phone.