Category Archives: Phones

Anker PowerCore Slim 5000

A few year or so back now I got an Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 for customer review. I did a review on amazon but well it never showed up and now trying to add the review on Amazon is broken, thanks! But I still use this battery bank from time to time when I need to charge my phone while on the go. Lets first go over some of the specs and then I will give some of my opinions.

  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.5 x 0.4in
  • Weight: 126g/4.27oz
  • Output: 5V, 2A max through a standard USB plug
  • Input: 1A max through a micro USB plug
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Red rubberized case
  • Capacity: 5000mAh
  • Charging Speed: Anker PowerIQ auto detect charging
  • Charges: 1-2 cellphone charges based on what phone you have
  • In the Box: Power Core Slim 5000, micro USB cable, travel pouch, quick start card
  • Price $29.99
  • Buy: Amazon

This battery pack I have used for some time, it seems to do a good job topping of a phone while you are not near a plug, it’s also light and thin so if you have to stick it in your pocket with your phone it is not restrictive. The size is good for at least charging most cell phones mostly or fully. I would like higher amps on the output but it’s ok because you can leave this connected while your moving easy enough. They like to show it pressed up next to an iPhone but it works with any phone, and you would need your own cable for an iPhone because it only comes with a short micro USB used for charging the pack or charging a devices. The travel pouch is a nice touch, I keep the cable and battery in it.

For the price of $30, good capacity, quality brand, and super slim design, I would say you should keep one of these in your bag even if you don’t run out of battery often. When I travel I do carry a larger Anker battery pack and 2-3 different Anker chargers but this one is a good always have option. The new colors are nice if you are into that too. Check out the photos and buy it on Amazon using the links.

Ubuntu for Phones Preview

phone-photo-heroThe developers of the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu have showed off an Android based phone OS with no JavaVM running on a Galaxy Nexus phone today. From first look it’s got some slick things that make the UI different from normal Android like swiping from edges to open menus and information, kind of stealing this from how Windows 8 works. From hands on videos it is very slow and things lag when opening. Of course this a early release but it’s nothing impressive.

On the website they show a block with app icons and just say “Go make us apps” using HTML5/Native, but lots of those like Gmail and YouTube would never make it to this OS natively just look at the large number of full on Android devices that don’t get support for Google Apps. So its very misleading to people thinking this would be cool to have because somehow it’s going to be more open then Android.

The one think I ask is what is the point, right now the big 3 are Android, iOS, and BlackBerry, with BlackBerry slowly dying away and Windows Phone not even something that anyone is looking at. This sounds like a lot of extra resources that could be put into making Android better, or making Ubuntu work better on the desktop. There is also Ubuntu TV but don’t expect much from that ether, their may be money in these markets but trying to do your own thing won’t work out or you will get people who get one of these devices and wonder why they can’t get the apps there friends on Android have.

Check out some photos to see what it looks like but don’t hold your breath for this becoming more than a waste of our time. If any new phone OS had any chance other than Android and iOS it would be Windows Phone just because they have the money to lose. And as we have seen from other Phone OS’s such as WebOS and even Windows Phone, just because you are different or have some special features it all comes down to getting things working together and getting lots of phones running it.

If this sounds harsh, it’s just true that you shouldn’t expect much to come from this.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, in the coming months of 2013 there will be a large amount of new tech news with CES13 coming up when big tech companies try to sell suppliers there new products they will make available this year. This brings new tablets, tvs, computers, phones, and lots of other gadgets.
Hope you have a good year, and Tek4.Me will be here to bring you tech news that is useful, while getting things back up and going now that the holidays are over. Were working to get more content every day.

Facebook for Android now Native

Facebook Friend AndroidFacebook announced the new Android app that runs in native code and not as a HTML5 web based app that it used to. By doing this it should run much faster and give them the ability to add more features that are part of the Android API. The app should load faster and run much smoother, I noticed that once images were loaded on my Galaxy Nexus scrolling thorough the time line was much easier. Also the images are loaded as you view them in the time line so they open right away and can be zoomed, liked or commented on right away without that annoying loading spinner. Also if you load a friend’s time line you should see a speed improvement.

I got it as an auto update when I got on WiFi but if you don’t have that on go get the update from the Play Store and you should be happy with the speed improvements of using native code.

Verizon Nokia Lumia 822 – Mini Review + Verizon 4G

The first stop on my Field Trip was the Verizon store and I was also glad to find out yesterday that I can now get 4G data, and speed tests show that I get 4-6MBs so not bad for wireless data, I did give it a try that first hour or two of it being on and did get a test of 25MBs but not now that people know about it doh!

There weren’t that many new devices to play with and there were a lot of people at this store so I kind of wanted to look at something I haven’t had much time with and that was a Windows Phone 8 device. So I saw the Nokia Lumia 822, its one of the flagship Windows Phone 8 devices and I wanted to see if there was anything special. Turns out there weren’t.

The screen and apps loaded smooth and looked nice, things like navigating messages and people worked well, but I kept feeling like a lot was missing. All of the core apps such as messages, email, contacts, and the like were showing up, but I didn’t see much in the way of other things the phone does. I didn’t spend a lot of time with it almost as much as most people would right before they ask someone “where is the iPhone or Galaxy SIII”, and nothing jumped out. It felt more like one of those “Smartphone Features like MySpace” phones with a good touch screen.

I may need to spend some more time with one of these devices to “Get how cool Windows is” but I don’t think it would change what I think of the OS, it also could be one of those things where the hardware could have been better with a different OS too.

Also the Windows 8 Tablet built into the display was interesting and even though they want you to stay in the Tile interface my son who was with me got it back to the normal desktop and he is only 3. Kind of shows how Microsoft is missing the game one what things are moving to and what people really want their devices to do.

Field Trip – iPad Mini, Mac Book Pro Retina, Kindle Fire HD, Nokia Lumia 822

Just took a Field Trip to the Verizon and Best Buy stores after lunch today, I’m going to call these posts Field Trips because I have to go out and play with new tech. Some of the main things I played with at the store were the iPad Mini, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Kindle Fire HD, and Nokia Lumia 822. I also played with some of the ASUS gaming laptops and a dead Samsung Chromebook.

While these aren’t the best settings for playing with them because I could not spend a lot of time playing and they were tethered to the display I did my best just playing with them. I also would like to get some of these in as review units or if some donations come in for a specific product I would review it also.

iPad Mini looks nice and would be a great smaller screen iPad if you don’t already have the newer full size iPad, I wouldn’t think you would need both. Check out the full mini review.

Mac Book Pro with Retina Display is a very powerful laptop computer, and with the higher resolution screen it looked nice but is it going to be worth the extra $500 or so for that nicer screen. I liked how it worked and had the older model side by side and couldn’t see much difference other than the Retina had more contrast, I’m sure more using it from the older model you may see a difference. Read the full mini review for more.

Kindle Fire HD is a good device for consuming Amazon content but it doesn’t seem as powerful as a Nexus 7 that I am use to. More in the mini review.

Nokia Lumia 822 is one of the flagship Windows Phone 8 devices while it has smooth operation and looked good, Windows Phone 8 seemed empty and just lacking in non-core apps even from a display model. See what I saw in the mini review.

Those are the big ones I played with but I did look over some other devices such as the ASUS gaming laptop that had good specs and all the keyboard was kind of clunky and seemed overpriced for what I could get a Mac Book for almost the same specs. I also don’t like Windows 8 all that much on a non-tablet or touch screen.

The Samsung Chromebook was set up kind of off to the side in an under equipped display that only had one left in a box that looked like it was taped closed after being opened at Best Buy I wanted to see it work but the system said click to start but I only got a spinning indicator and even after trying to power cycle it nothing came up so I left not knowing how things will work on that system. Too bad because I wanted to know how the system performed but bad displays will not sell these even with a low price tag.
New Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Google Nexus: Ask Me Anything

A new video from Google shows off the Nexus 10, Nexus 7, and Nexus 4 and how you can use Google Now to search for information. Check it out below or on the YouTube Page.

Google / LG Nexus 4

Google had an announcement canceled by the weather but they still put out the new devices including this Nexus 4 phone, the Nexus 10 and an update to the Nexus 7. While there was some leaks of what this new Nexus 4 phone would be here is the real info. It is a 4.7″, quad-core, wireless charging, and Android 4.2 devices. Wow lots in one sentence but they also updated some apps too such as a new swipe type keyboard called “Gesture Type” so you just run your finger over the letters to spell words, and a new camera app “Photo Sphere” that lets you do panoramas that go up and side to side.

This phone will come in two sizes an 8GB and 16GB but at a great prices unlocked on GSM/HSPA+ networks starting at only $299 and $349 making this easy to get if you are in a contract but want a new devices. There is no LTE but HSPA+ is fast enough right now, and there are so many different LTE bands out right now you would have to put some more expensive chips in and that would drive the price up probably $100+. There is also the added SlimPort HDMI connection that is new. If you’re on a GSM network this looks like a good upgrade and it’s nice to be on the cutting edge of what other phone makers will add to their Android phones next year. There isn’t much information on the wireless charging yet but the make note of it on the Play Store website, most likely this will be an added $40-60 for the charging mat and isn’t included in the box. Will keep an eye out for accessories, but this would still be a good phone to get.

Screen with Gorilla Glass 2 4.7″ 1280×768 resolution
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
Cameras 8MP back, 1.3 front
Network Unlocked GSM/UMTS/HSPA+
Memory 8GB + 16GB / 2GB RAM
Connections Micro USB, SlimPort HDMI, 3.5mm headphone
Wireless Wireless Charging, Wifi, NFC, Bluetooth, GPS
Battery 2,100 mAh Lithium
OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Sensors Microphone, Compass, Ambient light

 

Samsung GALAXY S III mini

Samsung put out an announcement today that they are making a smaller 4 inch GALAXY S III smartphone that will be running Android 4.1 but still have similar design of the 4.8 inch GALAXY S III. Some other things other than the smaller size it also comes with a slower 1 GHz Dual Core processor only a 5MP back and VGA front camera and the largest size is only 16GB of storage. One thing that is interesting in there release is that it shows having 8Gb RAM, this may just be a typo because they messed up other parts of the specs in that part but its most likely 1GB of RAM.

The system runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz customization along Samsung’s other apps. They also included a FM Radio, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and runs on HSPA/EDGE/GPRS and no LTE. The phone comes in both 8 and 16 GB storage sizes and with only 32GB of microSD storage slot. Check out the specs below and gallery of product shots.

Display 4.0′ WVGA Super AMOLED
CPU Dual Core 1GHz
OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Camera 5MP AF + LED Flash / VGA Front
Network HSPA 14.4/5.76 900/1900/2100

EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900

Storage 8 + 16 GB / microSD up to 32 GB
Battery 1,500mAh
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS, FM

Updated: Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 Windows Phone 8

Update: October 4 2012: AT&T announced that they will have the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 on there network in the United States. AT&T also stated that they are the top seller of Windows Phone’s. While there are only them an T-Mobile who have phones that work on there network its not that unusual that they would be the top seller. No mention of price or release date were given, but invitations to the release of Windows Phone 8 will be announced on October 29th 2012.

Nokia release two new phones that will be running Windows Phone 8 that stand up to most of the new Android phones coming out. Both the Lumia 920 and 820 will be running Windows Phone 8 when it is release, have Snapdragon S4 1.5Ghz Dual-Core processors  have great cameras, and have the ability to wireless charging. The phones also come in a bunch of bright colors and they have a bunch of color matching accessories such as a Bluetooth hands free unit, wireless charging plates, and speakers that charge wirelessly. Check out the specs list below.

Nokia Lumia 820 Nokia Lumia 920
Dual-Core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Processor Dual-Core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Processor
GSM with Micro SIM GSM with Micro SIM
Qi Wireless Charging Qi Wireless Charging
4.3″ 800x480px Screen 4.5″ 1280x768px Screen
8MP Carl Zeiss Tessar Lens Camera 8.7MP Nokia PureView Camera
8GB w/ microSD up to 32GB + 7GB SkyDrive 32GB + 7GB SkyDrive
1000MB RAM 1000MB RAM
NFC, Bluetooth 3.1, GPS, WiFi Direct NFC, Bluetooth 3.1, GPS, WiFi Direct
1650mAh battery, 330h standby, 8-14h talk 2000mAh battery, 400h standby, 10-17h talk
Red, Yellow, White, Cyan, Purple, Gray, Black Yellow, Red, White, Gray, Black

The wireless charging has been around for a while yet not taken off because of the added cost. But it looks like they are making the charging something that they really want to push. With things like charging built into a JBL speaker that also color matches the phone, also they have the Bluetooth Handset that match the colors and can charge using the same wireless mats.

Nokia also made a point to talk about how good the camera is. This includes things such as stabilization built into the entire camera module, really good lenses, and being able to take more light in with the stabilization to take darker photos and have them look brighter.

In the software part of things this will have Windows Phone 8 that should have more apps since they change how the apps are built and can be built for Windows 8 and be easily ported to Windows Phone 8. The Nokia Maps has their own mapping data, directions, navigation, and offline maps. Also SkyDrive is integrated deeply into the OS to share photos, documents and other files.

This phone looks nice, but no details on the release date or price out yet. This is also the first Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices and seems to be a very polished device. More images in the gallery below.

%d bloggers like this: