Novel Little Gadgets

-The most novel pieces of technology we have on the planet are smartphones. Today we should be amazed at their power and extremely novel abilities. Think about it, in the palm of our hands we have GPS devices with voice automated navigation. We have camcorders capable of shooting video in ultra high definition 4k. We have high resolution picture taking abilities now with optical image stabilization. We can Photoshop and edit and create art. They act as our flashlights, mp3 players and portable computers. You can create resumes, word documents, excel spreadsheets etc..
-We have instant connection to various social media. We have a world of knowledge at our fingertips with Data flowing through the air wirelessly. We even have apps like Google sky map where we can look at the stars in real time and space and see what each one is called and find Consolations, and search the skies. We can download from virtual space any song, album, artist and musical piece our hearts desire, and all virtually instantly. There are compass apps, gyroscopes, ambient light sensors, equalizer apps video games and emulator apps. We can ask it questions with our voice and it will answer in like kind. It’s almost like the philosophers Stone if you will. An Oracle of knowledge just an “ok Google” or “Hey Siri” away. However with all this ability and immersive innovation,  I feel like we might take these novel little gadgets for granted.

-I believe mobile devices, due to the miniaturization aspect of them, to be at the forefront of technological evolution and novelty. Thanks for tuning in, This has been a Phabletguru Saturday Short-

LG V20 Review

-After having used this phone for quite awhile now, I can say overall I have been thoroughly impressed with the V20. That’s not to say it’s perfect, no phone is, but more on that later. As far as we are concerned here at Phabletguru, this was a homerun for LG. A homerun that frankly, was much needed. The problem now is getting the word out about this phone. Which is one of the reasons for this review 3 months after the fact. Perhaps I could sway you to give LG a try? Without further delays I give you The Phabletguru LG V20 review.

-I’m going to start with a few things I really like about this phone. Then, logically, I’ll talk about a few things I really am not a fan of. We shall begin with the secondary display located above the primary display. This little novel feature is surprisingly useful, not to mention customizable. I like the fact that when you are listening to music and you turn your screen off, you have the ability to pause or skip forwards or backwards between tracks, without turning your screen back on. You can customize quick toggles (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, quick capture, flashlight) app shortcuts and more. All in all this is a very useful feature.

-Build quality would be the next aspect of this phone that I really enjoy. The metal build feels great in hand, and the center placed dual camera and rear mounted fingerprint sensor gives it an iconic symmetrical look. I enjoy the size after all this is Phabletguru…. The back metal plate is removable via the release button on the right side at the bottom. The last part of this build quality rant is that this beast comes with military grade drop resistance.


-Can’t talk about smartphones these days without the almighty camera. As always a good camera depends on a multitude of different things. From megapixel count to aperture, from software rendering to various focus modalities, there is always personal preferences in this category. Personally I think there is vast potential in the V20 dual camera setup. It has an ultra wide angle 8 megapixel camera along with a standard 16 megapixel 1.8 aperture lens. All specs aside it is a fun camera with manual controls like you would see on a DSLR camera paired with the ultra wide angle secondary camera you’ve got yourself a great clicker.

-The small things in life matter. For example this phone is rocking not only a removable back but an SD card slot for expandable storage up to 2 terabytes!! Not to mention an IR (infra red) blaster…. Tada universal remote control. These are things that are extinct in the era of the unibody, and frankly, I dig’em. 

-Speaking of extinction, This monster phone has a hi-fi 32bit built in quad DAC (Digital Audio Converter)… Headphone jack. In non nerd words, makes headphones sound really really really good. Audio quality has been, well…. Badass as us previous young folk used to say. 

-Lastly, I will go over a few things about the LG V20 that I wasn’t a fan of. First and foremost LG’s UI. The software is, yes lighter than previous versions, yet still over compensating. The Android Nougat aspect of the experience has been amazing. I love the double tap the square feature. That being said LG’s software in my opinion needs some work. 

-The volume button placement is annoying. Especially when you turn it to landscape orientation. The volume is on the left mid upper side of the phone. As mentioned earlier, the small things in life matter. Even though the build quality is amazing, there is one flaw….. It’s slippery. Very slippery. One of the slipperiest phones I’ve held. A case or skin is recommended. Finally, I find the battery life to be sporadic, amazing at times, yet atrocious at others. Thankfully as said, it is removable.

-In conclusion, the LG V20 is one of the most underrated smartphones of the 2016-2017 bunch. Many online reviewers, YouTubers and Tech journalist have praised the LG V20. I agree with their praise. This is a customizers phone, as well as a mobile photographers phone. A media consumption and content creation phone all in one this is, to go Yoda on y’all. I highly recommend this phablet to anyone wanting something different. I could recommend this phone to anyone who loves selfies, or recording and editing video and audio. This phone is perfect for the music lover, the audio snob, Android fans, ex-galaxy note 7 owners or even new smartphone owners. In essence, I love this phone. 

-Different carriers in the US have various deals and prices for this high end LG smartphone. One example and probably the best deal right now comes from Sprint. If you activate a new line, you get this phone for half the price, coming in at only $396. That’s about 16.50 a month for 24 months! 

-This has been an official bona fide notarized rated and approved Phabletguru Review. Until next time ‘thank you come again’-

Lindy BNX-60 review – ANC and Bluetooth for £90

  Bluetooth headphones aren’t particularly new as technology goes. Many still use the standard wired earphones that use the standard 3.5mm jack – they’re easy, and they’re cheap. To listen to music, I always used whatever I could find on Amazon. For me, this worked fine. I never thought I’d buy anything different, and I never really looked at alternatives. I only really knew about Bluetooth headphones because they were sold in supermarkets, and because of the occasional advertisement on the internet. They never really caught my eye – I never thought Bluetooth could be as good as using a cable. 

  It was only when I started to use more Bluetooth devices that I began to wonder if these headphones could actually be worth the extra money. The introduction of Bluetooth connectivity with car radios and other devices such as smartwatches made me reconsider my choices – could Bluetooth be better than a cable? I didn’t really have time to dwell on this too much. This was due to the earphones I was using at the time deciding to break. I took this as the perfect opportunity to try out some Bluetooth headphones – but which ones to buy? 

  This is where the Lindy BNX-60 Bluetooth Active Noise Cancelling Headphones come in. Before buying headphones, I took a quick look on “What Hi-Fi?”, a popular and trustworthy review site. They strongly recommended these headphones, giving them a 5 star review (which isn’t too common on their site – I’ll link the review below).  Needless to say, a pair were on their way to my address soon after I read their thoughts on these headphones.                                                                                  

  Once these had arrived at my door, I took a look inside the box. Even after reading the “What Hi-Fi?” review, I didn’t really expect too much – £90 for ANC and Bluetooth isn’t much, but I was blown away by how high quality everything was (especially considering I had never heard of Lindy). The hard case (which is included) has a nice texture to it, and, surprisingly, doesn’t attract things like crumbs. I keep this case in my schoolbag, and I can say from experience that it does its job well. The headphones also come with a micro-USB charging cable (no socket), a standard 3.5mm-3.5mm cable to connect your headphones if the battery runs flat, some very simple instructions and some warranty/safety information.                                                        

  Now, onto the earphones themselves. One of the first things I noticed about these was the lack of creaking and squeaking that you often get with over or on ear headphones and headsets. This gives a very good impression of the overall build quality. I actually expected a little creaking, but no. The build quality exceeded my expectations. The plastic they used for the casing of the BNX-60s has a smooth, very slightly rubbery texture. It looks very nice for plastic, having a matte finish that isn’t too prone to fingerprints. The leather (I believe it’s genuine) and foam they use to cushion the ears and head is extremely soft, and very comfortable. The foam gives a similar feel to memory foam – it’s slightly softer and reforms a lot faster though. Adjustments are easy with these earphones – the hinges are metal and extend a good distance, the earpieces rotate backwards, up and down, and the headphones do flex slightly to fit almost all head shapes.                                             

  Here I’ll move onto the lower part of the earpieces, where everything seems to be located. The buttons (on the left earpiece) are small, but not too small. They don’t stick out too much, but are still easy to press, and are easily distinguishable thanks to a small bump on the Play/Pause button. The buttons give a nice feedback despite their size, and give a small click when pressed. The LED power indicator, 3.5mm port and microphone (for calls) are located below these buttons, and the USB port is located on the other side of the earpiece. On the right earpiece you will find the ANC (active noise cancellation) switch and the volume rocker. Active noise cancellation is a way of cancelling background noise to make a users listening experience better – from what I gather it takes in background noise from the outside of each earpiece (via some hidden microphones), then plays a sound of a wavelength that cancels out the noise from outside the cups over your ears (clever stuff, I know). Just a quick note though – it’s only really designed to cancel low frequency noises such as jet engines or cars (but I found it perfect for drowning out Drake on the school bus 😉). 

  Testing this feature was amazing. It works fantastically on these headphones. This paired with me, someone who has never experienced witchcraft like this, was just amazing. My journey to and from school is noisy – there’s the bus engine – which is very loud due to lack of thick soundproofing (it’s a Leyland Olympian – not a very modern bus) – there’s people talking and shouting, there’s music, and there’s any other noise you’d associate with 50 teenagers on a bus going home. 

  Putting these on was magical. All engine and wind noise was completely gone, and the remaining noises were drowned out massively. Once music was playing – nothing. Just the music. Amazing. No more chart music forced into my ears again – at least, not on the bus.
  This leads me to the end of this review. I could go into the quality of the bass and treble, and how good the specs are – but I’m not. I’m not an expert when it comes to headphones. All I’ll say is the sound is good – much, much better than £10 Amazon earphones (not to knock Betron – they were okay too). And besides – “What Hi-Fi?” cover the specs really well (link below).
  Thanks for the read.

Links:

http://www.whathifi.com/lindy/bnx-60/review

http://www.whathifi.com/lindy/bnx-60/specs

Another New BlackBerry No One Will Buy

-BlackBerry is kind of like a murder victim in horror movies that just won’t die. The ONLY way the murder victim will die is when he or she is beheaded, stabbed in the heart, shot with a shotgun, dismembered, cut into pieces and finally set on fire. The same seems to hold true with BlackBerry formerly known as RIM. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Android run BlackBerry Priv was a beautiful uniquely designed amazing device, that no one bought.

-Yes, there is a new BlackBerry which debuted at CES (consumer electronics show) 2017. It is built by TCL a company that also makes Alcatel phones. Which was apparent in the last two Alcatel idol 4 inspired BlackBerry Dtek devices. As Mr. Mobile said about those TCL built BlackBerry phones, they didn’t have any BlackBerry DNA. This has been corrected in the latest TCL built BlackBerry “mercury” the supposed code name for this new phone.

-BlackBerry made a ‘better late than never’ move when it chose to ditch it’s own OS in favor of Android on the BlackBerry Priv. However this may have been to little, too late for the Canadian based company. One has to ask, if TCL built the hardware, and the software is Android, what does BlackBerry have to do with the phone? The answer……very little. 
-There are some BlackBerry applications and software overlays on these phones and of coarse the BlackBerry logo on the phone, and that’s about it. However BlackBerry’s design makes a comeback with the upcoming unnamed BlackBerry phone.

-As seen from the pictures the traditional BlackBerry qwerty keyboard comes over ditching the sliding keyboard found on the Priv. Not a whole lot is known about the phone. More will be known at the upcoming annual mobile world Congress event where it will be officially 

-I hope BlackBerry sells the crap out of this phone. I have always been a fan, though I’ve long since moved on to Android. Unfortunately I do not see this getting anywhere near the amount of sales needed to be a once again profitable success. Thus we are left with the cutting up into pieces phase of BlackBerry’s death. They just won’t die, and almost no one will buy. 

-I’m sure it will be an amazing phone, and yes there will be some tech enthusiasts’ who will buy it. But when you have such an over saturated market with only two big companies holding the majority of handsets bought, you start to wonder how it will do. I’m inclined to believe that this isn’t the reviving BlackBerry was hoping for or needed.

-This has been a test of your emergency phabletguru networking system, had it been a real emergency you shouldn’t be reading blogs. You would need to assess the emergency at hand and act accordingly.-

The Surface Studio The Future Is Now

-Microsoft, ahhh Microsoft, where have you been all my life? The Microsoft Surface Studio looks to be an innovative unique Desktop PC that invokes drool the world over. Look out Apple here comes Microsoft. Thinking outside the box with this one, Microsoft brings in it’s arsenal…..a zero gravity hinge. Not to mention that crazy dial thing. Frankly from what I’ve seen this machine will be completely awesome. 

-This is geared towards artists, musicians, graphic designers acc other professionals etc.. But anyone with a sense of style and futurism will most definitely want one. I know this phablet guru does. So without further ado, I bring you the infamous geek ten…

-This is a list of 10 things to look forward to, if you plan on buying this computer. 10 unique features of and innovative things about the Microsoft Surface Studio…… 

  •  That Screen 

With it’s 28 inch size and PixelSense adjustable display it is a beast and most enjoyable for media consumption. If you are a digital artist, graphic designer or music editor this is a must have in my opinion. It has a 4500 by 3000 that’s a 4.5K display to be exact. With multi touch technology this screen will fit any criteria. Lay it down in studio mode for drawing, animating, Photo editing and digital 3d rendering. Or stand it upright for traditional desktop mode.

  • The Design

-This is, in my opinion, the most beautifully crafted and designed all in one or “AIO” pc ever made. It is stunning to say the least. It has a minimalist futuristic design about it apparent in the pictures.It is sleek, elegant and simply gorgeous. The base holds the brains and the monitor is attached via this adjustable hinge.

  •  That Zero Gravity Hinge

-The hinge, you’ve undoubtedly wondered about is marvelous. The hinge allows for effortless repositioning of that beautiful large display. Either angled upwards or angled flat depending on your creative needs.The desktop position vs the studio position is something no other pc has offered. This is all thanks to that zero gravity hinge.

  • Software (Windows 10 pro)

-This thing packs a professional Windows 10 software bundle. You get a lot of perks with this package.   The start menu has returned along with Cortana Microsoft’s ai assistant. The software included makes it easy for collaboration and getting things done professionally. Software such as SOLIDWORKS, Adobe Premiere Pro and Autodesk1 when paired with the Surface Pen and dial make for true innovation.

  • Universal Connectivity and Storage

-With Bluetooth (a welcomed addition),  Wi-Fi, usb 3.0, an sd card slot (also a welcomed addition) and mini display port, much can be accomplished. It has a 1 or 2 terabyte hard drive and a 64gb solid state drive with 8gb or up to 34 gb of ram, Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics chipset and 2gb or 4 gb of GDDR5. Simply put it can handle almost anything one might throw at it. 

  • The Surface Dial

-This is some next level Iron Man/Minority Report stuff here. Words don’t do it justice. It’s something you have to see. It seems to be implemented very well. I highly recommend watching videos on this accessory. When the dial is placed on the screen, depending on the program, a circular menu pops up around the dial. This is sold separately of course.

  • The Surface Pen

-The Surface Pen, which is included along with the keyboard and mouse, is a Pen we’ve all grown to know and love and comes over to the Studio. The Pen has over 1,000 levels of pressure sensitivity and magnetically docks to the side of the screen for easy access. When used in conjunction with the dial you get very intuitive controls with higher diverse possibilities. 

  • Optimization

-Optimization is key when harnessing what would seen to be underpowered processing. The studio comes with either an Intel core i5 or i7 6th gen quad core processor. Suffice to say, this is not a gaming PC. That said, it can handle games just fine thanks to Microsoft’s level of optimization bringing more power and bang for your buck. 

  • Continuum 

-This is a feature that unfortunately is still not commonly known by your average consumer. A feature that I find to be highly innovative and well….. Cool. Imagine if you will a Windows smartphone that could pair seamlessly with this computer and allow you to work on projects on the go. There are a many number of Microsoft ecosystem perks with the Surface Studio.

  • Studio Mode

-Mentioned earlier Studio Mode allows one to have a near flat digital canvas on this world’s thinnest ultra high definition LCD panel. It incorporates palm rejection so you can draw and digitally paint and create the way you would with a real canvas or paper. It becomes a digital drafting table for architects, a touch sensitive recording studio for musicians, a canvas for graphic designers.

-The Microsoft Surface Studio starts at &2,999 for the base model. Expensive, but in my opinion well worth it. We here at Phabletguru are definitely impressed with Microsoft, especially considering that Apple has recently been underwhelming with their new devices. 

-This has been another exciting editing edition of The Phabletguru Geek 10. Join us next time as we attempt to decode the mysteries within the human DNA conundrum-

Huami Amazfit Pace Review – The Pebble alternative?

​-Fairly recently, as you all may know, we saw the beginning of the end of Pebble, the smartwatch brand. I loved Pebble, loved the simplicity, the slightly retro geeky look to it, and the community was and still is amazing. 

-But for me, it was time to look for alternatives. I can’t afford to replace something because of the lack of warranty – I needed something that I could return should it be broken, and something that could be refunded if necessary. I hunted for something similar. As an android user, I first looked at android wear. Most of the devices using android wear looked good – especially the Asus Zenwatch 3 (I loved the steampunk style that it had – it was unique, like the pebble). 

Suffice to say this didn’t last. The battery life was a killer for me. I wanted a device that wasn’t going to run flat over the weekend should I forget to charge it one night. So I kept looking, straying away from Android wear.

-Then I found Huami. Huami is a budget Chinese wearable manufacturer, who seems to be funded by Xiaomi, don’t hold me to that. Earlier last year, they released their first attempt at a watch, called the Amazfit Pace. This device had GPS, a heart rate monitor, sleep and step tracking, a long battery life… It seemed to have everything I wanted and more, and had a very low price point. The problem was, it was only sold as a Chinese model. You could change the language, but I didn’t want the hassle. Luckily for me, they’d just released an English version and were taking pre orders. Here is a quick few-days-in review of the Huami Amazfit Pace.

-Before I talk about this watch, I want to mention how fast I received this device. I pre-ordered the Pace on the 20th December, 2016. They shipped it out on the 22nd from the US, with standard USPS shipping. I didn’t expect this device until at least February, especially as it was during the Christmas period and I was in the UK. The last thing I expected was to get the device before January – it arrived at my local post office on December 30th! Not to my door, unfortunately, due to customs charges. 

-Now, onto the looks and build quality. In my opinion, this watch looks okay. The ceramic bezel stands out, and gives the watch a premium feel. The strap gives a sporty look, but soon got changed out for a Clockwork Synergy leather strap. I don’t really like silicone myself. But, if you do like silicone, the strap seemed nice. I did only use the original strap for around 5 minutes, but it was soft, just like the strap on the Pebble Time. 

-The display on this device is like the Pebble line of watches – it uses memory LCD, which reflects sunlight and doesn’t use a whole lot of battery life. This has the benefit of being able to have a thinner watch, as the battery doesn’t have to be as big, and a longer battery life than the competition. Unlike Pebble this device uses a touchscreen like android wear watches, rather than the buttons I was used to. I quickly got used to the difference though. The touchscreen is activated with a button on the top right of the device, slightly out of sight behind the bezel. 

-Here I’ll move on to the user interface. I haven’t tried many other devices to compare this watch to, but overall it seems pretty simple. After a few hours of use I was familiar with where almost everything was located. Swiping down reveals notifications, swiping up reveals quick information like the weather and whether silent mode is on (activating this disables vibration) and the settings. Swiping across from the right shows steps, heart rate, music, alarms, and almost everything else. Swiping from the left gives you the option to start a workout.

-This brings us to our next aspect of this review, Software. The phone app doesn’t show a whole lot it’s very simple. It gives the option to change the watchface, sync health data, and adjust notification settings. That’s all. No tables or graphs showing health data, and no app store. It’s the early days for the English version but it would be better if I was shown a table of my step counts on the app. Much like how the Pebble app worked, I did like that. However, to give credit where credit is due, this can be seen on the watch though. Everything missing from the app seems to be shown on the device instead. I can see steps from the week, past heart rate readings, sleep information, how long since I last charged the watch and how long my watch would last in workout mode. I would talk about other features but there isn’t really much to talk about. It shows me all I need, and is easily accessible.

-About the battery life. This watch supposedly can last up to 11 days if the heart rate monitor and GPS aren’t used, and I don’t have any reason to argue against it. I haven’t given this watch a decent charge yet. I had it out of the box, had it on the charger for 15 minutes, then began using it. So far the watch is at 55% and I’ve been using it a lot for over 2 days. I’ve messed with the settings, backlight, notifications and vibration, the heart rate monitor and even GPS. I’d imagine once the watch and I both settle in, it should last a little longer (not that it needs to).

-Anyway, that’s about it. I don’t really want to talk too much about hardware, because it’s easily accessible through Google, so if you’re interested check it out. If you were a Pebble fan, you might enjoy this smart watch.Thanks for reading. Expect a comparison to the Pebble Time soon.

-Time keeps on slippin slippin slippin into the future-

Photo credit:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.digitaltrends.com/wearables/asus-zenwatch-3-news/amp/
http://m.geekbuying.com/item/-Chinese-Version–Xiaomi-HUAMI-AMAZFIT-Pace-Smart-Sports-Watch-Bluetooth-4-0-WiFi-Dual-Core-1-2GHz-512MB-RAM-4GB-ROM-GPS-Heart-Rate-Monitor-Info-Push—Red-371803.html