Could be a good tinkertoy
It could be made into a specialized device to program Arduino type PLC stuff, as well as become a server/security controller/ etc with enough appropriate ports and on board relays.
87 posts • joined 12 Feb 2012
Nokia is a household name, reminding reliability etc, but it also is a nostalgic one.
It no longer is associated with cutting edge new-ness.
So microsoft is gambling here. its brand is not really connected with phones the way apple is, but definitely rings the technology bell.
think like an image maker advertiser, not like a techie geek.
It definitely us not the choice in ui, or the package format.
It's support for the non-techie. Despite what the clueless say, stability is no longer the gnu/linux forte. All modern and modernish os'es are very stable once you have stable hardware and its stable drivers.
Example: I needed a skype appliance on a shoestring budget, sans the budget. I got a free old laptop, slapped on a "lite" popular distro. Barely a year later due to changes in skype protocol it failed its primary role so i had to update the application. which is just fine, the package was readily available. Thing is it had dependancies that were part of the os which were no longer updateable, as my version was eol 'ed 8 months after I installed it. Lovely. Took me the geek four hours to get it going again (and had to use my phone to configure the usb stick, thanks to the otg cable i had in my bag)
Example: Was using this nice dual xeon and upper-end model quadro equipped machine running Finux , mainly for some light houdini and heavy maya work. who cares if flash videos work in false color, right? One day after one innocuous security update however, I'm back in the textscreen terminal - apparently there is a clash with nvidia drivers as well as some permission issues with my striped drives. Yeah, day wasted on recovery, saying ferdammt with it, going back to everything works Windows 7. Even wacom works properly. Bliss.
Example: Was setting up this spanking new i5 laptop with no os pre-installed, as a daily driver for an elder relative. Photo storage, web, email, the usual. Just the linux thing, malware threat level being so low. So I did, clean and friendly ubuntu i think it was. Until one day he buys this all-in-one printer scanner thing. Yeah. The one driver that's recommended is erratic, the other one won't scan, the third needs batch scripts to change roles. Yeah, back to Windows plus mse (must say windows is reasonably safe without admin rights, though google chrome isn't).
what was the question again?
Despite its brief shine in the market -before the big boys moved in- HTC was always the underdog.
Samsung, Apple, Sony are giants. They have the marketing muscle/budget to flog their wares. They can afford to lose and continue.
HTC was always a little bit special in its design and manufacture. I have owned the HTC Touch and Diamond (yes, Windows Mobile), the original Desire and the newest One.
They still work when charged.
The stylus on Note is a pressure sensitive "real" stylus.
It is not a substitute for sausage-like fingers.
The device has a wacom-made digitizer layer to sense the proximity/position/pressure of the stylus, so it will actually reject (read: not register) touch input when you are using the stylus. This is a GOOD THING, so you can rest your hand on the screen while doodling/painting. Just like using a proper notepad. Hence the name.
The "experience" on an old 2.x device and the shiny 4.x isn't totally dissimilar software-wise.
Hardware-wise, there are mountains between them. Progress or whatnot.
Gmail, maps etc are quite similar. Apart from the menu button, the habits are quite similar (all apps button, widgets, press-and-hold for options, a back button which is brilliant). Ah and about the menu button: please somebody tell Samsung it has been deprecated since 3.0. Thank you. And Facebook, yes, you too.
People get new phones after one-two-three years now. And all the new phones have 4.x. It's not as if HTC or Sony or Samsung push updates to their old phones (the Samsung S2 is a notable yet minor exception).
Android (unlike iOS) does not need OS updates for key components, as most are apps that get updated all year round through Google Play (wow, what a bad name). Kernel and base stuff is important, but they are not really apparent to the end user's experience until the base apps aren't being supported anymore, which is usually a couple of years down the line AFTER the OS got a major update.
As a phone:
As far as clarity of voice both ways goes, it's a toss-up between HTC One and the Nokia 920. HTC is slightly better incoming, due to the front facing speakers that don't distort sound.
As far as ringing loudness goes, it's a toss-up between the Nokia and the Samsung Note 2. Ringtones they are loud. They do get distorted at the high end, but they do get heard. HTC One is a bit behind, though the sound doesn't get distorted funnily enough. The Nexus 4 is quite bad when laid flat on its back. You will miss some calls.
Dialer-wise, they are similar. If you get used to it the HTC Sense phone is very very good, though may be a bit confusing for the first day.
Durability/punishment taking? The Sony is waterproof. Nuff said. You can dunk it. Don't drop it, like the Nexus 4 (and the old iPhone 4/4S) it is glass on both sides. Dropwise your best bet among these are the Samsung S4 for the plastics, HTC One and the iPhone 5 for the rigid metal chassis. Metal does get dinged upon impact, but doesn't flex so protects the screen. The S4 may wear its dings better, but is prone to shattering more (the screen is big and inflexible, but the chassis is).
Battery? Depends on what you do, how you use them. I'd say without any personal experience, the Blackberry. Not enough games and apps on it, you see. Actually all of them are crap by dumbphone standards. Two days tops, if you use them to say hello. 5 hours if you use the GPS and play games. Usually they all last the day though.
These are not phones, and we are not in Kansas anymore.
Actually, the HTC One is probably one of the best "flagship" phones out there. HTC may have hit upon something in their desperation: Good design/build quality (which they always were never bad at), in addition to good fast hardware/software combo (which was always a hit-and-miss with HTC). The _pretty amazing_ low light performance camera, and the frankly very good speakers is a bonus.
I admit I've got one. I love it. And I am no HTC shill, having owned/long term used a Nexus 4+7, Samsung S2, HTC Desire, and a number of Nokias and Apples and Palms and HPs and all that.
Water is bad for dousing out an oil fire (say, your fried french), because being of lower density and of liquid disposition, such materials will rise up for continued breathing when faced with such attempts.
Water is good for dousing out quite a number of stuff actually. Even the firemen still use it.
My point exactly! Long time ago used to buy every phone (or similar) with its proprietary spare battery - which brought the issue of charging them off the device. So to power up your spare battery you either have to buy a dedicated charger for it, or keep turning the phone off - popping out full battery - popping the spare in - powering up - charging, etc. Hassle.
Now I only buy spare power packs as needed. They charge up almost everything with no downtime.
The only exception is the DSLR, for which I do have spare batteries. But it does come with its seperate battery charger, so it's not an issue.
There is always somebody wrong on the internet! :-D
All right, in the interest of full disclosure I do own a HTC One and used to use a Nexus 4 (had to give it away, mom's phone was broken).
If I ever need to tote around more than 10-20 gigs of footage I usually have a USB stick or a portable hard drive with me, along with a cheap, resilient USB OTG cable. I have yet to see a regular smartphone user changing microSD cards on the go, people just pop one in and be done with it for the expected lifespan of the device. The OTG cable also enables me to peruse any GoPro/Contour footage I might have, without the hassle of dismantling enclosures. It'll do the DSLR viewing too as a bonus - no DSLR I've used natively supports microSD, unless you opt for an adapter.
Whenever I'm on the go, - away from 30" screens and handy outlets - I also own a couple of 12K mAh battery packs that I can toss into the backpack, which can juice up not only my phone but any other small gizmos I might have with me (such as the aforementioned GoPro).
I have nothing against the S4. I did say so and will repeat again - it is a good capable device. The S4 does look like an S3. You might care, you might not. You should acknowledge some people that are not you might. though. Nor do I have anything against the iphone5, it too is very good in its way (slim, simple). Reiterating my point - "horses for courses" - not everyone needs removable storage, and some geeks - such as yours truly - may have other ways of expanding their storage on demand.
Well well. Current top-of-the-hill contenders are (without order) Sony Xperia Z, iPhone 5, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia 920, Nexus 4, Htc One and this, the Samsung GS4.
All have their ways, all have their pluses and niggles. I agree with the reviewer that this is an incremental upgrade of the GS3, but almost on all specs. It is a very good device, but for me, it is does not have the instant "appeal" of, say, the iphone5 / Nexus 4 / HTC One. I deem the spec sheets represent the brute force approach - put every bell and whistle on, and consider it a job well done. I mean is, it is good, but it does not stand out in any way -by way of comparison the Z has the waterproofing (and the almost stock UI), the One has the design and the speakers and the good bar-camera etc.
IMHO all-round the best Android device Samsung made was the Galaxy S2. If I was going for a new Samsung device, I'd pick the Note line over this - the size difference is no longer significant and it does have the bigger battery and the stylus.
Some time ago I did consider the GS3, and found it to be unnecessarily complicated UI-wise, and surprisingly laggy on occasion. I am sure the GS4 is lag-free now with the upgraded internals, but UI I personally don't like remains still. It may indeed be a good device to go AOSP, but then I'd get the cheaper Nexus 4. After 720x1280 resolution, 1080x1920 is mostly bragging rights.
The devotion to removable battery I can understand paying off two-three years down the line, but the expendable memory doesn't hold much water anymore. Almost all new devices have decent storage now, and almost all support USB OTG so you can use a USB stick if needs be, and nobody I know changes their microsd cards. People just stick one in and be done with it. I do get the big expendable storage thing on a tablet where you are more likely to carry around big .mkv files, but not a phone. Even if the display is 1920x1080, the things are still pocket sized.
Anyway. If you like your Samsung, I'd recommend a GS3 and installing a decent launcher on it, or the bigger Note - for the bigger screen and the greater stamina, and the fun-and-nice-to-have stylus.
Yes, Sony did good to make it water-resistant. It is a good feature to have (unlike a bullet point, like eye following scrolling that only works in special circumstances).
Maybe not many of us will take a dip with our phones, but they do get laid on bar tables quite often. It is nice not to be bothered with the occasional beer spill (or a toddler's wet burp, as one commenter pointed out).
This version of Xperia may be preferable to some people, who found the the Z a bit unwieldy (due to the rectangular design and the size). And 720p resolution quite frankly is more than enough.
Me? I got the water-unresistant HTC One. And keep it in my trouser pocket at a bar (and quite frankly can hear it when it rings even there, if a band is not playing).
To begin: I like GNU/Linux, and I do have a machine running it. It is my tinkertoy for some time, at least until I get around to ordering a Raspberry Pi. I also have an elderly laptop running XBMCbuntu, but that doesn't really count, being an appliance after all. But I still do my work on Windows. It is more reliable, has better drivers and has a much better selection of professional software (I do VFX).
Anyway. Linux has yet again failed to take up the world by storm - and I seriously doubt shoehorning a desktop/touch interface onto a handset will improve its marketshare.
Also, it has toothier competition:
WebOS was beautiful and wonderful - but it's not around anymore, not really. Meego was also mighty fine, but it was pretty much stillborn (outside the few still-faithful). Even ye mighty Microsoft is fighting tooth and nail for relevancy (I think WP7/8 interface is very sleek, with few downsides)
Ubuntuphone? Let's wait and see.
Apple devices are supposed to work right, right out of the box. That's one of the justifications for the markup in price, and short-sell on the options (and extras).
At least, that's the company line. It took them ages to get copy&paste, video chat etc on their highest-tech devices, but at least (with quite a lot of restrictions) they got it, with cute UI effects.
"Stop me if I'm wrong, but is not Picasa something you need to know about and install? In what way does it make @RegKees comment incorrect?"
Picasa the windows/osx application is a pretty decent photo manager you need to know about and install.
Picasa the service is something you automatically have if you have a google account. It keeps and sorts (and shares if you like, etc) your photos. It works in conjunction with your default Gallery app on your Android device (in fact, it works transparently).
"Converting MKV to M4V is fast and easy. Most MKVs use h264 video anyway so it's mostly just re-multiplexing. Look at an app like Subler."
Why sit in front of a computer and convert if you don't have to? And doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose? My el-cheapo Nexus 7 can stream from my home network (a cheap Seagate HDD attached to my router) or play off a USB stick without converting. anything. avi, divx/xvid, mpeg, mkv, you name it.
It's not an ipad. It is not supposed to be an ipad. It's an alternative to the ipad.
It is good enough to stand on its own. It is not too compromised if you are avoiding an ipad, for some reason or the other (mine has always been the accessible file system).
It is well made, easy to use, speedy, has a wonderful screen, easy to hold, has good sound. You can connect USB flash drives with a simple OTG cable too (works wonders at meetings).
It'll do the light document editing, web, chat, video etc things very well. Very usable for remote desktop thing too. Very good battery life. Has good selection of software. What more?
I think it is well worth over 80%.
Brands are more interested in the bullet points - also called feature bloat. Usability is apparently low on their priorities.
Since almost all TV's are roughly the same, it boils down to design and price.
Get a good looking TV with a nice display. Forget about the SmartTV thing. Use XBMC.
I use an old laptop as my XBMC server. It works beautifully. You could use XMBCbuntu or even the wonderful Raspberry Pi if you are up to a bit of tinkering.
There are other alternatives too, of course. Windows Media Center is quite decent, and some people love Plex for instance..
Apple, unlike its competitors, have very few (and tightly controlled) number of devices.
And the issue has been around for some time it appears.
So.. what gives?
On another note, I remember being told by a tech savvy and Apple faithful friend "never to buy any Mk.I (or rev A) of any Apple kit".
Apple's target demographic is the "common man", looking for an appliance instead of a computing device.
iDevices are lookers, and their "computing device"ness is well hidden, below the simple (or simplistic) interface and between the high walls of the Garden of Apple. So they sell. and sell.
The ipad has become the word for this type of computing device, the fondleslab, if you will. I can attest to having overheard phrases such as the Samsung iPad, the Google iPad, etc.
Anyway. Target demographic will buy the minipad, it's got the Apple logo on it, after all. But it will mostly be the wallet decision kind, rather than a "shiny shiny me want one" kind. After all, it'll probably be stacked next to, and shadowed by, the real deal. It won't be the runaway success of the iPad 9.7, but it definitely won't be the flop like the Apple G4 Cube.
As for me, I prefer the honest, inexpensive, unassuming yet well made Nexus 7. But then I'm not in the target demographic.
In almost all respects the iphone5 is a marked improvement over the 4s - faster, better screen, non-glass back, etc etc. And a non-shatterprone back too.
One of the best uses of a modern smartphone is the GPS navigation. You might not need it very often, but when you do it is quite a lifesaver. So it is a stupid decision to deprive your own customers of a working solution, just because it was made by a rival, and replace it with something this half baked.
Post-production/VFX people are arguably the longest-hardest working (and least credited) people in the movie industry. It is not their fault that the eye candy they can produce is used as a substitute for a decent story.
(Creating a single VFX shot in -say- Avengers requires orders of magnitude more skill and work than -say- all the work and skill expended to all Transformers scripts)
So it is a shame such a team has to be disbanded. Though I am pretty sure none of the artists involved will remain jobless for long.
Anything and everything this pin layout can do, can be done using standards based connectors and protocols.
(mhl microusb, wifi-direct instead of airplay etc)
Maybe it won't be as neat and tidy though.
Apple can go for proprietary, because of the vast userbase. It is easier and way more profitable for them.
Me? I like microUSB. It is cheap and very durable - the male end of a cable can break, but important female connector at the device end is very durable. And cables are cheap and plentiful. I like HDMI, because it too is everywhere. I also have an expensive minidisplayport-DVI adapter languishing in my drawer, just because Apple didn't see fit to add a regular HDMI out to its now older generation notebooks, and subsequently took away minidisplayport too. And no, still no HDMI.
Anyway. If you are buying into the Apple Ecosystem, you are tacitly agreeing to pay more - that's the way the cookie crumbles. No two sides to it. It doesn't make you an iTard or fanboy, it just is what it is.
(A note to Lord Elpuss: microUSB is way more robust than miniUSB. It wasn't simply space saving)
This stylus is the "active" kind, not a sausage replacement for capacitative screens. It is akin to what wacom uses, that is to mean almost all computer graphics artists use.
I wonder how good the palm rejection thing works though. disabling/enabling finger interaction off a menu would get tiring quite soon.
Strange enough, I see the original Note being used more by women than men - despite their (on the average) smaller hands etc. I think it has to do with (almost all) women carrying bags.
Not sure about the camera though. Nikon recently has a similar device too.
Microsoft can afford to lose (moneywise), and try again. It is also rich in patents, not a stranger to litigating the socks off anybody who infringes on its domain. That Microsoft is playing nice last few years (and not garnering ill will like Apple) does not change the fact it can take a beating, and dish it out in return - on the courtroom, of course.
Anyway. I sincerely hope WP8 does succeed commercially (and in mindshare). It is a beautiful interface, simple, fluid, fast and very much task focused (as opposed to app focused like iOS and to a lesser extent, Android). WP8 is the one I'll get for mom.
That said, I'm happy with Android for myself.
Specs sound good - LG's reputation : not so good.
If they could leave this machine plain "vanilla" Android, maybe I'd think about it.
Primary reason I don't go for Samsung is the awful looking Touchwiz. And I don't want to be forced to root and reflash a brand new phone just to be able to look at it.
It's a very old choice.
You can pick the closely curated/censored and restrictive way, like WP and iOS. They are safe(r), but you are not allowed to stray from the usage scenario, get treated like a toddler.
You can also choose the looser model, like Android. It requires you to know a little bit about what you are doing, but you can do more. If you are ignorant/very careless, you can suffer more too.
Both have its ups and downs. It's the choice thing, really.
But Android *should* have better safeguards built in. You know - for the kids :)
BMW uses runflat tyres. This is a special kind of tyre that can run even when punctured, due to stronger sidewalls.
On the plus side, runflats are safer. And there is no need to carry a spare.
On the minus side, they are harder and heavier, not to mention more expensive. Non-sprung weight of a vehicle is very important, because it directly affects the handling and the "feel" of the car. And a hard tyre makes suspension harder, so you need to design better suspension.
Using runflat tyres also requires the car to be able "read" the pressure and warn the driver if needed - it is not visually apparent like regular tyres.
Other manufacturers also use these, but I can't make a list offhand. Anyway, there isn't an "official" tyre for BMW, but there is a special kind you have to use.
On a related note, Porsche does have official tyres - of I should say special Porsche versions of some tyres you have to use not to void your warranty.
Clean, attractive design and good build quality have always been Sony strongpoints. (Software, not so much - but that's happily not relevant here. But I do remember Sonic Stage).
Apple used to gain inspiration/borrow ideas from Sony. But that's mainly in the past now, Apple does have a strong design language of its own.
Back to the device: The first Tablet S was a bit slow due to Tegra 2 not being all that fast and Honeycomb being not very optimised (at the time I tried it, ICS was not available). But the design was intended for a coffee table and the inclusion of a infrared remote is genuinely useful. It is also the easiest the hold tablet I have handled (including ipad).
So.. I think this will be one of the better tablets around.
There are too many factors at play to make such a supposition.
Ease of use
- Branding (a.k.a. "reality distortion field effect)
- Software support (productivity, games, specialist apps)
- The "ecosystem" (peripherals, extensions)
And eventually, momentum (the "everybody else is using it, so it's a comfortable choice" thing)
I am not rooting for any platform here, all have their ups and downs. The more the merrier though, competition benefits consumers.
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