Category Archives: Gadgets

Nexus 5 vs OnePlus One: Killer Specs With Cheap Prices

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With the rumored Nexus 6 or Moto Nexus X or whatever its being called these days on the horizon, I thought we’d take a look back at the Nexus 5 which for the great specs it presented was pretty affordable. While doing that we’d pit it up against another smartphone that is high in specs with a cheaper price as well which is the OnePlus One. In a land of expensive smartphones pushing the retail pricing of $800+ such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, there are still some out there that can’t afford these devices but still want something superior and can take them through everyday use. Which is able to give a great Android experience and not break the wallet?

Style

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Like the OnePlus One vs. HTC One M8 battle before, the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One greatly differ in design. The OnePlus One has 5.5″ 1080p display with 401ppi while the Nexus 5 is at 5″ with a 1080p screen and 441ppi. The Nexus 5 seemed to produce a brighter screen while the OnePlus One was slightly sharper.

Interesting tidbit about the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One is their different color models have been created with different materials. The white Nexus 5 has more of a smooth plastic feel while the black version is a rubbery plastic. The gray or sandstone version of the OnePlus One has a feel like its name of sandstone which feels rough but provides some grip on the device. The silk white version is a smooth plastic like the white Nexus 5. My favorite design would be the Sandstone of the OnePlus One. While some may consider a gimmick, the look and feel is just something you don’t normally feel on a smartphone or any device in general.

Specs

In the hardware department OnePlus One being a newer device has a One-up on its competition. While they both have Adreno 330 GPUs, the Nexus 5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip whereas the OnePlus One is using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset. RAM is higher on the OnePlus One with it going with 3GB while the Nexus 5 sits at 2GB. Storage wars are vastly different with the Nexus 5 having options of 16/32GB and the OnePlus going with the small 16GB to the high 64GB. Neither one has options for expandable memory and the OnePlus’s higher 64GB runs for $349.99 trumping the Nexus’ highest 32GB capacity by $50(32GB is $399.99).

There isn’t too many bad things to say about the Nexus 5 but one thing you wont like is one of its most important. That would be its battery life which uses a 2300mAh battery. It’s weird as the battery will fluctuate from having life ranging from 4 hours to up to 8 hours. No matter what you try to do it’s just bad. I have had some colleagues state the Android L leaks have helped the battery life some. The OnePlus One on the other hand comes in with a 3000mAh battery. This battery is a beast by all means. I rarely keep it attempted to the charger as I’m able to go well over a day with it and when it does need juice it charges back up fast within an hour or two.

Great thing about both devices is they are both unlocked and can be used with just about any GSM carrier or if you are in the US they would be AT&T and T-Mobile. I have tested both the OnePlus One and Nexus 5 on both carriers here in the US and have gotten the advertised speeds and network coverage without any issue.

Software

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Best thing going both of these devices is they aren’t being held down by any 3rd party skins. Which means no Sense from HTC or god awful heavy TouchWiz by Samsung. Not saying they are the worst things in the world and they definitely work for those that don’t like to customize their devices but I always been a fan of stock. With the Nexus 5 its running pure Android stock while the OnePlus One is using a modified version of CyanogenMod 11S. The OnePlus One has some great modifications from CyanogenMod 11S as it has taken the best from different Android OSes and combined it into one. OnePlus One even has its own themer so you can add icons and such without needing any launcher. The Nexus 5 on the other hand is just stock out the box but it runs the smoothest out of any Android device including the OnePlus One up to this day even a year later after its release. Either way you can’t go one and if you like to customize your smartphones to your liking these are both good options to use.

Since the Nexus 5 is from the Nexus line, it is always the first to get the latest versions of Android before others. OnePlus One has been good at keeping tabs on this as well and making sure modified updates of the latest Android OS hits their OnePlus One in a timely manner as well. Both right now are up to date with Android 4.4.4 and both will most likely be some of the first devices to get Android L when it is released any day now.

Camera

While I had mentioned the battery is the worst thing on the Nexus 5, the camera is a close 2nd. It has a 8MP camera and while that isn’t all that high it just takes really crap shots. Using the Nexus 5 camera I always opted to use HDR to even get an impressive picture. Software updates have improved it slightly but don’t expect much out of it. The OnePlus One on the other hand has a 13MP shooter which takes some great shots and gives you various camera modes and options out the box. Even better it has a 5MP front facing camera just like the HTC One. OnePlus One pretty much destroys the Nexus 5 in this department. Now not saying the Nexus 5 is the worst camera on the face of the earth but there is better out there. Check the galleries below and I have some more Nexus 5 shots if you check the Flickr link as well.

Nexus 5 Gallery 

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Click for Nexus 5 Flickr Gallery

OnePlus One Gallery

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Money Saver

Both the OnePlus One are great at helping you some money if you are looking for a smartphone with high specs but don’t want to break the bank. Each have great processors, run smooth as hell and have nice displays. The OnePlus One wins over the Nexus 5 with battery life and camera while the Nexus 5 may be more suitable for those that don’t want a huge screen and its Android OS runs slightly smoother. Also pricepoints are better on the OnePlus One with options of $299.99 for 16GB or $349.99 for 64GB which are $50 cheaper than the Nexus 5’s 16GB at $349.99 or 32GB at $399.99 comparisons.

Sadly the real problem with OnePlus is availability. To get a OnePlus One you have to get an invite which isn’t fairly easy to obtain. While the Nexus 5 you can go to their website and purchase one or even get one through T-Mobile’s website if still available.

If you can get your hands on a OnePlus One you wont regret and as said the Nexus 5 is a great device in itself. Both are priced cheap and either one can leave you a winner in the wallet.

Original published on G Style Magazine

Qualcomm does Bullet Time with 130 HTC Ones for the Craziest Smartphone Photo Booth

What happens when you rig together 130 HTC Ones? You get to create Bullet Time Style Matrix Videos and Animated GIFs. Qualcomm was taking regular folks and letting them whatever they wanted to create some bugged out illusions. Got to love the power showcased from those lovely Snapdragon processors.

I was impressed at some of the things they thought of. Would you go to one if Qualcomm brought the Photo Booth to your area? You do have the opportunity to vote for locations at the link below. Hey who knows maybe you can be in the next video.

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Check out more at the #SnapDragonBooth

Sony Xperia Tablet Z Gets it Feet Wet [Review]

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Sony has gone through various changes in their tablet division over the years to try and create that “perfect” tablet or what they thought you would like. There was the Sony Tablet S which brought with it a unique “open book” design and when lying flat it would be raised up which was good for viewing options. The next was the Sony Tablet P which had two 5.5in screens and didn’t do so well in the market. The successor to the Sony Tablet S was the Sony Xperia Tablet S which cut down on that arch and was supposed to be “splash proof”. There were some flaws and the device was pulled.

Here we enter what looks like its greatest achievement which is the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. It was 1st announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year and it was pretty spec heavy. It touted being the lightest and thinnest 10-inch tablet on the market. Alongside that features were the capacity of dust proof and waterproof. Essentially the Sony Xperia Tablet Z can be taken to the beach to the bath. But how does it hold up?
Hardware & Design

The Xperia Tablet Z is a 10.1-inch black slab which is extremely light at less than 500 grams. Sony’s OmniBalance design is used which makes the device as minimal as possible and gives the display as much real estate as possibly needed. It is super thin at 6.9mm (0.27ins) and I can easily maneuver it with one hand not putting any strain on my wrist.

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The “Reality Display” which is powered by Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine 2 stands encased in Gorilla Glass. It’s supposed to provide excellent colors like their HDTVs. The display looks bright and sharp but the colors just seem slightly off to me at times. Taking a look at the back panel you can see it’s made of a polycarbonate which gives it a marginally better grip then the Xperia Z Phone. It wont pick up as many fingerprints either as the screen is a magnet for it. Being certified in IP55 & IP57 is remarkable as it’s dust resistant and waterproof and can be taken from the beach to the bath with no problems what so ever.

While understanding how the Xperia Tablet Z is built I wish it had a stand out look and had a distinct enticing look. It reminds me of the Nokia Lumia 810 which looked like a black bar until I changed the back cover to give it some more presence.
Perfomance
The processing power isn’t a slouch by any means but isn’t the greatest out as its slightly outdated. You wont notice the difference using it though. Under the hood it’s running a S4 Pro Qualcomm chip, with a 1.5 Quad Core Processor and 2GBs of RAM. The battery is 6,000mAh which is thin when sized up against devices such as the iPad 4th Gen (11,560mAh), Nexus 10(9,000mAh) and Note 10.1 (7,000mAh).

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There are some features Sony has implemented such as Battery Stamina which shuts down a lot of the functions when the display is off. Also it disables Wi-Fi and data traffic. You can enable which ones you want activate for instance if I need to get my Gmail all the time but don’t want to see the latest status update on Facebook. I have left the tablet alone for days, come back and it’s still kicking. It will enable the Wi-Fi and the latest notifications will come in once powered back on. There is expandable memory if you want to go beyond the 16GB & 32GB threshold and add a MicroSD card up to 64GBs.
Taking a Swim
One of its main selling points is how well it handles with water. I have done everything from taking it out in the rain, run under my sink and even occasionally grabbing it to change songs in the shower. It takes water on with ease. Just make sure you keep all the ports sealed up. Otherwise you’re in for a world of hurt. The Xperia Tablet Z is the ultimate device for relaxing on the hot sandy beaches or taking a long bubble bath. It can be submerged in under 3 feet of fresh water and at lengths of 30 minutes. What happens after that or if you go slightly deeper is anyone’s guess. Speaking of those ports, they are almost unrecognizable.

They blend in so easily you may have a hard time finding them. Only pet peeve with these ports is when you need to charge your tablet which is probably the only time u open them you will be doing so often opening and closing the flap. Furthermore when being submerged or having water run on it, the screen is pretty sensitive to the touch and you can see is activating different apps available.

If you click on the video there is another water test I did that is slightly darker.

Software

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Sony’s version of Android is Jelly Bean 4.1(unfortunately not 4.2) is light and closer to Vanilla then any manufacturer I have seen in eons. You have your taskbar at the bottom and notifications to the right as standard. Running apps such as YouTube then hoping to Netflix then doing some web browsing caused no concerns and was a relief. Sony even has a feature called “Small Apps” which is easily accessible. You can pull up a calculator, timer, a browser, remote and host of other options into just about any app your using. It’s similar to Samsung’s MultiView options but I think I like that better for multitasking but that’s all personal preference.

There are some baked in Sony apps such as SocialLife which takes a compilation of your internet social lifestyle from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS and others and runs a live feed. It looks interesting but don’t know how often I’d use it. Video Unlimited is pretty pleasant as there is some exclusivity on films seeing they are coming from Sony’s catalog. I’d like some more shows in HD though as there was tons of SD even if I see them on TV in HD. I couldn’t get the Music Unlimited app to work to save my life. Whether I tried to use the Tablet or Mobile version there was always a server issue of sorts.


Camera
When it comes to tablets you don’t necessarily see some of the best cameras on them and it’s usually something I tend not to pay attention to most of the time. I did give a chance to the Xperia Tablet Z camera seeing how it’s an 8MP shooter on the back featuring Sony’s Exmor R for Mobile & Superior Auto plus a 2MP HD front camera. It nothing groundbreaking but is better than some of the others I have used. Taking some decent pictures and shooting some cool video on the Xperia Tablet Z works fine. The camera handles outside lighting good and inside isn’t too bad. There are some sample shots and video below.

Wrap-Up

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The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a great Android tablet with some excellent features if you use them. If you’re a person that’s always poolside or on the sandy beaches then definitely pick it up. The high price of $500 is a tad hard to swallow if you don’t use these features and to its maximum. I haven’t seen too many liquid accidents involved with tablets in my eyes.

Also the display while great just makes me wish it was in the range of the Nexus 10 or Samsung Note Series. Once again I love how weightless the tablet feels, and its Sony’s Android skin makes the OS run smooth without any major hiccups. In the end, are you willing to take the splash?

 

This review is made possible with my affiliation with G Style Magazine. It is featured on G Style Magazine where you will see most if not all my reviews firsthand. G Style’s focus is mainly geared towards technology, fashion and what we think is interesting in the gadget world today.  You can also check there for other reviews and tech news.

 

LG G2 coming in mid-Sept to various carriers

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After checking out the LG G2 earlier this month in New York City, It looks finally set to arrive on various carriers. First among those are AT&T and Verizon on either September 12th or 13th. No news yet on Sprint or T-Mobile unfortunately.

With the specs such as  a Snapdragon 800 processor at 2.26GHz Quad Core, 2GBs of RAM. and a gorgeous 5.2-inch 1080p IPS LCD with 424ppi, it should fit nicely in the high tier end of Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Sony Xperia Z. There will be some pre-order specials in the 1st week of September also such as a folio case. Hopefully this can entice buyers and not hold off from pending releases of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max.

 

 

 

Will you pick one up or hold off?

 

 

 

Via Android Central