Feeds

* Posts by Al Taylor

311 posts • joined 30 Mar 2007

Page:

Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 Android media player

Al Taylor
Alert

TV / DAB

I'm guessing that's a new model. The one I had on test - the YP-G70CW to use the Samsung product code - didn't have DAB/+ or a TV receiver.

0
0
Al Taylor
Holmes

Is this an iPod wannabe?

Well, it's a media player. The clue is in the title.

6
0

Dijit

Al Taylor
Alert

2.3.7?

Well spotted.

Dijit's product page in Google Play does indeed say 2.3.7 but that's clearly nonsense as it works on my Desire HD running 2.3.5.

Slight case of reading spec sheet with brain in neutral.

Apologies

Al

0
0

N7Player

Al Taylor
Alert

Re: Putting on my luddite hat...

Nothing screwy about it. It's my experience that sonically Android music players are much the same and that the real benefits are found by A) using a decent pair of 'phones, and B) having a comprehensive and competent sound modification suite. Point A is beyond the remit of this review, Point B is covered.

Also sound quality is subjective. I like the effects the N7Player's 'reverb' setting produces. Others may disagree.

If the sound the app produced was in anyway below standard, I wouldn't have rated it so highly.

2
0

Viewsonic Viewpad 10e tablet

Al Taylor

Fair cop #2. See above.

0
0
Al Taylor

Re: Playbook is £169

The Playbook is the better machine on balance, but it's got a much smaller screen. For reading ebooks I'd take the ViewPad. Horses for courses.

0
0
Al Taylor
Thumb Up

Re: A small world for the author.

Fair cop. I should have said that it's the only one that shares the iPad's screen size and aspect ratio.

0
0

Ten... in-car gadgets and accessories

Al Taylor

Re: Exomount

I've left mine plugged into the 12v socket on my old Merc 240E for 10 days between drives with no ill effects. That said I've never left it plugged while connected to a charging device. Living where I do a half-eaten packet of gum is the most valuable thing I leave in my car when I'm not sitting in it.

0
0
Al Taylor
Alert

Re: Where should I start

I've owned an Omniholder. Not a bad bit of kit, but I didn't find it as robust or versatile as the Exogear so that's what gets my recommendation price notwithstanding.

The Griffin charger pumps out 1A through both USB ports. I've used mine to charge an HTC Desire HD, BlackBerry 9860, Samsung Galaxy S 5.0 and Sansa Fuze, all in the last few weeks. Yet to discover a device it won't charge other than tablets like the Motorola Xoom 2 ME but that only charges properly with the 1.6A bundled mains power adapter anyway.

My apologies for overlooking the needs of German cabbies. As you say, tablets are pretty common in taxis in several countries but a 10in tablet still takes up a lot a space when mounted on a windscreen, space I'd rather see used to keep an eye on the road.

3
0

Renault Mégane 265 Trophy 2.0 turbo

Al Taylor
Facepalm

Re: Ford Transit

I know. The humiliation!

2
0

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Al Taylor
Alert

Re: This review missed most of the problems actual ownders have reported.

I didn't miss them, they just didn't manifest themselves on my review unit.

The GPS worked perfectly, ditto the camera (capturing a QR code is one of my standard tests). No problems to report with the micro USB port or power button either. In ten days of use I didn't suffer a single random reboot.

Maybe I was lucky with my sample, but I can't comment on things that are not there, no matter what the internet scuttlebutt.

1
0

Ten... top Android games

Al Taylor
Happy

Re: iOS the traditional gaming platform?

If 18 months ago - even 12 months ago - someone had asked me if should they should buy an Android PMP/smartphone or an iOS PMP/smartphone but that the key determining factor was that they wanted a wide selection of games, I would have had to say iOS was the way to go.

Now there is far less - if anything - in it.

That was my point.

2
0
Al Taylor
Alert

Re: Ad-supported is not "free", please don't pretend otherwise

You download game, you don't pay money. That's free in my book.

2
0
Al Taylor
Alert

Re: Sonic CD

Yes - it costs nearly £3.78 and is almost as old as me!

0
0
Al Taylor
Alert

Ice Breaker

Ice Breaker has indeed vanished from the Android Market, but I'm happy to report it is still available from Android Zoom as well as through the link now shown below the review.

Sorry about that.

Al

http://www.androidzoom.com/android_games/brain_puzzle/ice-breaker_bwxzw.html

0
0

HP Pavilion dm1-4125ea 11.6in netbook

Al Taylor
Happy

From the author

Folks, the dm1's boot time from switched off to running and looking at a loaded page in Chrome is 1:24. That's more than fast enough for me.

0
0

Avast! Mobile Security

Al Taylor
Alert

Notification bar

You can disable the notification bar icon in Settings - just scroll down to Show Notification Icon and uncheck the box.

0
0

Orange San Francisco 2

Al Taylor
Alert

For what ir's worth...from the author

I tried various Flash players on the SF2 and not one of them would play video in the browser. Not saying it can't be done, just that I didn't manage to get it to work.

Al

0
0

FilmOn

Al Taylor
Alert

Yes

http://www.filmon.com

0
0

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android Tablet

Al Taylor
Alert

from the author - use as a netbook/laptop?

Indeed you can. The hinge and dock connector are both very robust. With the tablet locked in place you can treat the Prime in exactly the same way you would treat a netbook or laptop. Actually I'd say you can be more brutal with the Prime because the hinge joining the tablet and dock feels far stronger than most laptop hinges I've comes across.

3
0
Al Taylor
Alert

from the author re. updates

All updates are over the air - out of the box my review unit was running Honeycomb but it downloaded and installed the ICS update and a camera firmware update without any problems.

For what it's worth I've always been of the opinion that a tablet could never replace a laptop. The Prime has changed my mind - it can easily do 95+% of the things I do on my Ubuntu netbook.

3
0

Nissan Leaf battery powered electric car

Al Taylor
Alert

Fog lamps

According to the Leaf handbook they are fog lights not side/running lights. I consulted said handbook while chatting to the police office at the road check. We both agreed that if they were running lights there were the brightest set either of us had seen.

That's why they pulled me and not the other cars driving past with their running lights on.

0
0

Go Contacts EX

Al Taylor
Alert

From the author

Yes it can.

0
0

Motorola Xoom 2 10in Android tablet

Al Taylor
Thumb Up

Good point

I was watching a film on the Xoom 2 last night and had to re-charge half-way through when it suddenly dawned on me that yes, you can rotate the device through 180-degrees which at least puts the ports where you can see them.

The only problem is that the volume buttons then migrate from top right to lower left and the speaker grills are too easily covered by your hands. I'd much prefer the ports to be on one side or the other.

1
0

Samsung Galaxy Note

Al Taylor
Alert

Battery Life - From The Author

Folks, I thought a few words of explanation would be in order.

The 48 hours figure was arrived at using the Note as my day-to-day handset in place of my Desire HD.

My average daily usage regime involves 30-45 minutes of cellular calls, leaving the Wi-Fi on continually, having the screen at 75% brightness, setting K9 to poll every 15 mins, 30-odd mins of web browsing and an hour or so of ebook reading. It doesn't include watching full-length feature films or any serious gaming beyond 5mins of AB here and there.

That regime drains my HD in 12 hours but the Note regularly got me through two full days. That didn't come as shock to be honest - the Note has twice the battery capacity and though the screen is larger being OLED rather than back-lit LCD it should be more efficient.

The Note's battery performance was easily the best I have even encountered on an Android "phone".

2
0
Al Taylor
Thumb Up

Now that was something I didn't try.

Happy to be proved wrong about this and thanks for all the comments about what the stylus can do if you spend a little more time fiddling with it than I did!

Al

PS..in slight mitigation my review unit didn't have a box/manual/quick start guide etc.

4
0
Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

Folks, I've had a few e-mails telling me that a double-tap of the screen with the stylus (with the button held down) takes a screen shot. Not for me it didn't. Maybe an issue with my handset or the Wacom pen, maybe me being ham-fisted. Either way none of my efforts to grab a screen shot bore fruit.

Al

0
0
Al Taylor
Facepalm

My mistake

I meant the Galaxy Nexus.

0
0

Greatest ever first-person shooter* brought back to life

Al Taylor
Mushroom

Time to deploy superior fire-power...

and endure.

0
0

Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101

Al Taylor
Happy

from the author....

@bigphil9009 - it's the built-in reader app. It's called Asus MyLibrary. If it's a re-brand of another ereader app it's not one I'm familiar with. It is very good though.

@ Craig12. H.264/MP4 files will play at 1080p but, MKV, AVI and WMV files will only play at 720p. That's from a combo of MoboPlayer, V Player and the stock video player.

@ jedit. I think you underestimate the potential. I took the Slider down the London for a day of meetings last week and the option to either use it as a regular tablet or set it up on a desk to bash away at my mails came in very handy. It's the first tablet - iOS or Android - I'd actually consider buying because it could earn it's keep at work and replace my netbook.

2
0

Renault Fluence ZE

Al Taylor
Alert

From the author

Folks, that screen grab of the smartphone app is a stock image for illustrative purposeds, not one I took myself. Renault weren't about to let us all log into their test fleet vehicles at the hotel and start messing with charge cycles.

I'm guessing the app was connected to a Twizy at the time, it has a much smaller battery so those numbers would make sense in that context.

Al

3
0
Al Taylor

From the author

"Nissan Micra, Peugeot 106, Peugeot 107, Citroen Saxo"

Those would all be small 3/5 door cars.

Compare UK sales of the VW Golf and Bora. I rest my case. The Brits don't buy small saloons.

0
0

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S Android smartphone

Al Taylor
Alert

From the author

@ HeyMickey. I described it as faux because the image isn't truly stereoscopic, The way the Arc S does it, as you say, is a "trick".

@ DrXym. My reasoning ran like this - I use an HTC Desire HD and I have a lot of apps on it, all stored in the system rather than on the SD. I loaded up the same apps onto the Arc S and still had 40MB free. When I moved the five largest to the SD card that number jumped to 85MB. On that basis I reckon the average user will get by with 330MB as long as they clean out the various app caches on a regular basis.

0
0

Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty phone

Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

I was in two minds about mentioning the fixed data notification. On the one hand it takes up space, but on the other for anyone on PAYG or with a limited data plan the option to always see - and quickly disable/enable - the data link could be rather handy. Either way the option to remove it would have been nice.

0
0

Skifta

Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

@ Chrome - what phone are you using? The app takes around 10 seconds to launch and update on my Desire HD.

@ Dapprman - In a word yes. When you stream media to your handset Skifta asks which video player on your phone you want to use.

0
0
Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

@ Bassey

Yes, you can use the app to play media stored on a PC or NAS on your Android handset. I should have stated clearly in my review. Apologies.

2
0

Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 Windows 7 tablet

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Al Taylor
Alert

Linux - from the author

Stfn - it was 11.04. The system booted off the memory stick A OK - the touch screen worked fine with the BIOS - but as soon as I attempted to launch Ubuntu it got a screen full of error messages. I'm no Linux expert so this was more of a quick'n'dirty test but it didn't look a problem with an easy fix to me.

0
0
Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

@ Fibbles

Yes, with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity.

0
0

Orange Monte Carlo budget Android smartphone

Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

@ Mike Flex

Mike, I take your point but I had to judge the MC as a handset costing well under half the price of my own 800 x 480 4.3" Android handset, the Desire HD.

As a video and games machine the Monte is poor, but for everything else it's fine.

The large screen makes working in Google Docs or Docs to Go a joy, ditto web browsing as long as you are prepared to forgo Flash. Similarly, for reading/writing e-mail, looking at Facebook, using your Google Calender or reading eBooks - which I do a lot on my phone - the large screen is an absolute boon.

Is it worth an extra £50 over the San Fran? In my book yes because I really don't like working on a phone with a screen any smaller than 4 inches and frankly the larger the better.

I would have liked a good GPU, at least 1GB of system storage, a better camera and a glass screen - just as I have on my own phone - but at the moment you are not going to get that for £150.

Yes the Monte C. is flawed, but it's a still a lot of phone for the money, hence my rating.

2
0

Hologram Live

Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

All screen shots taken using the Android SDK running on an Ubuntu laptop.

0
0

Ten... budget Android tablets

Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

re. the Kogan Agora, the screen and UI were just fine on my review sample (I'd like to know what "terrible screen" actually involves), nor did I notice any powering up/down issues looking for a 3G signal though I did have the Wi-Fi radio switched on constantly.

Assuming the power/up down issue is real I'd try turning off the auto-sync and background data options.

0
0
Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

@ zxcvbnm - apologies for the oversight, the AndyPad's screen is 7 inches corner-to-corner.

re. the Archos 7c and Hanspree etc as is often the case with these round-ups it's not always possible to lay hands on all the desired kit in the allotted time frame.

1
0

Cerberus

Al Taylor
Alert

From the author

@ Alex C - In my experience the app has no noticeable effect on battery life.

@ Chris007 - the auto-GPS enabling works on my unrooted 2.3.3 HTC Desire HD so I'm assuming that when the developers say you need a rooted handset if running ">2.3.3" they mean 2.3.4.

0
0
Al Taylor
Alert

From the author

Granted Android Lost includes the same set of core features but the browser interface is a bit rough and ready and it's nothing like as easy to use. There are at least half a dozen apps similar to this in the Market but Cerberus has proved the most reliable in my experience and I reckon that alone justifies the cost.

0
0

DeskSMS

Al Taylor
Alert

from the author

@ N15L3

The fees will be the same as if you had sent an sms from your handset - the app simply pushes information back and forth to your Android phone over its data link, it doesn't sent messages directly from Gmail or your browser.

0
0
Al Taylor
Alert

From the author...

Studley, sadly a demonstration of my lamentable habit of going over word count!

Once you have synced your contacts with DeskSMS you can trigger your phone to call a number from the browser. I couldn't convince myself this was a key feature so I dropped the paragraph. If you have your phone rigged to some sort of hands free device on your desk it could be of use.

@ AC - it's free at the moment. It moves from a free beta to a paid app at the weekend. There may be a yearly or an all-time fee offered. As I understand it the developer hasn't decided on that yet but as you say $4.99pa seems most likely.

1
0

Magellan Explorist 710 hiking GPS

Al Taylor
Alert

Batteries

My review unit came with two flat Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries. I replaced them with two of the same but fresh for my test.

1
0

Exogear Exomount universal gadget mount

Al Taylor
Alert

From the author

@ FanMan

I've been using the review unit as a screen mount for three weeks now in several cars - including a trip down the M6 in a Ford Transit - and there has been no sign wobble, shake, rattle or indeed roll - it's every bit as solid as any satnav unit I've had on test. Also there is a cuff around the ball/socket joint to tighten it up if needs be.

1
0

Page: