The Artist Formerly Known As BlackBerry

-This news is brought to you by PhabletGuru, your one stop shop for all things mobile, a Tech-centric company. 

-Ahh Good’Ol RIM…. Smartphones, before smartphones, was the name of the game for this innovative Canadian company. BlackBerry’s rightful place in the mobile temple of sacred artifacts has been sealed.  Can you say secure email on a cell phone? BlackBerry can, and did with the RIM 850. BlackBerry pioneered and made popular several features within the world of mobile technology focusing on email and productivity. Some of which still persist today, while other features remain endangered as it were, namely the physical qwerty keyboard. BlackBerry has been on a downward spiral for almost a decade now. This is sad news, sad news indeed.

-BlackBerry’s slow and painful move into simply a software company is now……complete. Today, CEO John Chen announced that the company “plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners.” TCL, owners of the Alcatel brand, building its phones under the DTEK brand, will continue partnership. This comes as a blow to the once great company known as RIM, But we all saw this coming to an inevitable end. 

-With Motorola being bought by Lenovo, the death of BlackBerry hardware, and the rapidly declining sales of HTC and LG, one is left to ask, who’s benefiting from this, and why is this happening? The answer is the same for both questions. Apple Inc. and Samsung. The two advertising giants, completely own the market. In this modern stark and dreary mobile environment we are facing today, BlackBerry and it’s uniqueness that it brought to that environment, will be missed by this PhabletGuru. I for one, will most certainly be buying the last phone made by them the BlackBerry Priv powered by Android. A definitely novel unique phone that will inevitably be a collector’s piece of technology. We (the mobile community at large) thank you for your influential part in driving the mobile tech industry forward to greater and greater levels of novelty. 

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LG V20 pre-review 

Image source pocketnow.com 

-Here we have yet another LG phone. This second in the “V” lineup looks to be LG’s best phone to date. As well it should be, especially in today’s market. Frankly LG, and everyone who isn’t Samsung or Apple, needs things really enticing to lure people away from their comfortable familiar fanboy devices. Can LG accomplish this “humongoid” feat?  Let’s find out below in today’s PhabletGuru pre-review.

-LG, or “Life’s Good“, is a company that I have both personally loved and hated at various points throughout my phone history. I always, however, give them “props” as the young folk once said, for trying new and different things. If all else LG should be praised for pushing the envelope and taking risks. Risks, admittedly, that didn’t always pan out in LG’s favor. Unlike the appliance and or TV market where LG shines, the mobile space seems to be a bit more unbalanced in it’s market share. Taking all that in let’s look at what the V20 has to offer.

-Right of the bat, let’s get the geeky specs out of the way, and let the drool subside.

  • 5.7″ ips Qhd display with secondary display above it with a 160 x 1040 quantum panel
  • 4GB of ram
  • 64GB storage with microSD expansion up to 2 Terabytes
  • Snapdragon 820 processor
  • Dual rear camera setup. One 16 megapixel wide angle lens aperture of f/1.8, optical stabilization and hybrid autofocus. The other has an 8 MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.4.  There is a 5 megapixel wide angle lens selfie shooter up front…. Oh God, did I just use the word “selfie”?
  • 3200 mAh removable battery (elegant metal back with button release hinge) & quick charge 3.0.
  • Usb type c charging and data transfer
  • Rear mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Android 7.0 Nougat right Outtah the box (In fact the world’s first Android Nougat smartphone)

-With the dreaded, yet necessary, list of specs out of the way let’s move on to impressions, design, and functionality. I’d like to take a minute just sit right there to tell you how I became the guru of this website right here. Ok, got your attention? Let’s move on shall we. The design of the LG V20 can best be summarized in two words, awkwardly elegant. No longer plastic and almost exclusively metal, this phone disassociates itself from it’s predecessor. There is a button to release the metal backing plate with a hinge revealing the battery, which is removable, along with the microSD card slot. This is reminiscent of the long forgotten  HTC G2. 

The V20 is a big phone, that has amazing camera features and customization options. If you are all about capturing video, vlogging, photo editing, and things of this nature this feature rich device brings home the bacon…… Or soy, for my vegan readers out there. The rear mounted fingerprint sensor/power button is always a logical placement. The superior built in DAC (Digital Audio Converter) will provide outstanding audio experiences. 

-Add in the little nuances of LG’s user interface like double tap to sleep and wake, or customizing the layout of the navigation buttons, and you’ve got simple pleasures in the overall experience. Not to mention that this phone will ship with the first release of Android Nougat. If your an LG fanboy you will probably buy this phone, if not I recommend it to media consumption and content creation junkies the world around. If you just want to talk and text, check emails, play Pokemon go, occasionally check Facebook and the weather, this phone is not for you. However, if you like giving various companies a try, and on the lookout for something fresh and new I say give it a go, “life” might actually end up “good“.

-As always this is the PhabletGuru saying keep your widgets in check and your day will be bountiful.

-John Phillips-

The Battle of the 7’s

-In the mind of most American consumers, there exists only two OEM’s. These two giants who go by the names of Apple and Samsung, or IPhone and galaxy, control the mobile market. Which in my opinion is, in one aspect unfortunate for the common consumer, and in another, beneficial. One might think it feeding the fire to write a blog about these two giants and their respective flagships and one would be right. Fueling the fire creates the proverbial dinner that nourishes innovation. Not only between the two giants, but also the forgotten OEM’s who are forced to do things different to set themselves apart (Motorola, LG) etc.
Introductions not forthcoming……. Let’s start the show as some might anxiously say.

-Subtitle “IPhone 7 plus vs. Galaxy Note 7”-

-To be fair Apples’ IPhone 7 plus has not hit the market. Samsung’s  Galaxy Note 7 in contrast has been out for three weeks. Unfortunately the Note 7 hasn’t been available the whole time due to the recall I’m sure you’re aware of. If not, to put simply, the Note 7 might explode! Quality control issues aside, let’s look past those two factors (fanboys obviously excluded) and take the pro’s and the con’s of these respective flagships and Weigh them against one another to tell you which one to buy. If you’re not a fanboy this might come in handy. If you are….. buy the one that belongs to your camp. This is for the non affiliated consumer.

Screen/display

-To cut to the chase, the Note 7 is the undisputed winner here. With it’s 2k, Quad HD, super AMOLED, ultra high-definition, Gorilla glass 5, Curved display, one might see the antiquated 1080P flat LCD panel of the 7 plus as nostalgic. It is smaller, dimmer and more battery efficient. Moving on…….

Camera

-With each iteration of these enemies of old, this category becomes harder and harder to decide a winner. As with each category, Apple seems to do more and more with what seems like less. That being said, This year it looks like I’ll have to give it to the 7 Plus. It decided to take a chance on a dual camera setup. A feature few have tried, and none have succeeded. That alone merits some courage and confidence. The Note 7 is no slouch mind you, with more features and modes it is a close second.

Battery life

-This is a tie, in all honesty. With a slight edge to the IPhone for optimization. Something Android can never have, nay for the Nexus line. Thus far one of these batteries is known to catch on fire and or explode! Thankfully a new shipment of exploding free batteries is soon to hit the stores and retailers near you. More on this after the IPhone 7 launch day.

Build Quality

-This category as with every category at this stage, is preliminary. We can only go on what we’ve seen during the keynote/Apple event. Considering that, and everyone knowing Apple makes premium devices with marvelous build quality, let’s go forward. In my humble opinion this award goes to The Galaxy Note 7. Mainly due to the higher IP68 certification, the symmetrical curved back and front (with the curved display), and the fact that despite having a larger display the Note 7 has a smaller footprint. All this and they managed to keep the headphone jack. However the craftsmanship put into the Jet Black version of the 7 plus, is simply beautiful, to say the least.

Features and Software

-Another category hard to determine mainly due to the IPhone 7 plus not yet available for purchase. However we know it has gotten rid of the headphone jack and clickable home button. (the Note 7 kept both). And replaced the button with a miniaturized force touch/3d touch pad. An interesting move. The Airpods have features that are unique, such as swiping on them to skip songs. However those are accessories thus meaning more money is needing to be spent. I do give an edge to the Note 7 for that one feature that has always set it apart from others in the phablet category, a category it originally pioneered. The almighty “SPen”. The functionality and content creation possibilities are endless with this novel tool.                                -The Iris scanner adds a feature straight out of science fiction novels and movies into the palm of your hand. To be able to unlock your phone even through shades via infra red optic technology with your eye is, well…….awesome. As far as software is concerned, this as always is due to personal preference. I myself prefer the more feature packed customizable native aspect of Android. As you may well know. However I enjoy my Imac, and the simplistic beauty of Ios.

And the winner, by a nose, is the Note 7           -In conclusion if you are leaning more towards one or the other go with it. If not I say buy the Note 7 as soon as there are non exploding ones available to purchase. It is the more cutting edge phone, and with the Spen and split screen multitasking aspect combined with the superior screen give it the lead. Throw in an iris scanner and you’ve got yourself a winner.

As always, sleeping with one eye open, this is the PhabletGuru wishing all y’all a Happy Hallogivingmas.

-John Phillips-

IPhone 7, Boring or Snoring?


-With the IPhone 7 being announced later today at Apple’s press event, I found it necessary to jot down a few preemptive words, to put in my two cents, if you will. Even though the original IPhone topped my list of the five most influential phones of all time, I am not excited for this iteration of the overpriced smart phone. 

-My lack of enthusiasm isn’t simply because I prefer Android. My “meh” attitude stems from, not only the leaks we’ve seen, but the actual last two incarnations of this trendy brand. To put it mildly, it seems like this company found its comfort zone and refuses to depart from the tired same old same old as the case may be. It will be business as usual for Apple, however, as hoards of fanboys and followers alike, will line up for days to get their hands on a minimally refreshed IPhone 6s. I on the other hand well be anxiously awaiting the next google Nexus device or devices.

-For those of you who actually want to know what this announcement will entail, here’s what we know thus far. 

  1. New antenna bands! (Revolutionary)
  2. Slightly faster processor
  3. No headphone jack
  4. Possible dual camera on the plus version
  5. Home button replaced with force touch pad
  6. And lastly 4k video in 60fps

-There are rumors that it will be water resistant much like the galaxy S7, however wireless charging is not in sight. In my opinion the only intriguing thing is the 60 frames per second 4k shooting capabilities. The 3d touch/force touch pad, supposedly replacing the home button, seems kinda gimmicky if you ask me. 

-Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Apple and it’s place in the market and can recognize it’s influence in the mobile arena. I acknowledge it’s simplicity and ease of use (In some areas) and it’s inherent beauty within it’s build quality and premium feel in hand. However, that being said, I can not help but feel unimpressed and “blah” with the whole IPhone thing. I have much more diversity and choices and features in the mobile phone space with Android. You can keep your Apple logo, I’ll take variety over corporate logos any day of the week.

Until next time this is the PhabletGuru wishing all you mobile phone nerds out there a happy Hallogivingmas. And remember you can’t spell phone without “one”.