11.24.2011

HTC Amaze 4G @1 month

Ok so it's been a minute.  Life is busy and I let it take hold, so since I had a minute or two I decided I'd write something.  If you haven't noticed I buy new phones like people buy socks.  Today I'm going to give a quick 1 month after review of the HTC AMAZE 4G from T-Mobile.  While most people are talking about how great the Samsung Galaxy S 2 (SGS2) is I'm here to tell you that the Amaze does not disappoint like other past Samsung products I've had...cough...cough...Nexus S...cough...cough...

Hardware
Right off the bat the build quality is as my Nexus One was.  Solid.  I've got no creaking as some review have.  In the hand the Amaze is a little hefty compared to the Nexus S but I'll take the heft with the solid feeling then the light with the creaking.  I've even gone and put a lanyard that has a silver ring, one that you wear on your hand, on the Amaze.  It looks absolutely silly but I like it.  I'd take a picture but my main camera has always been my phone. hee hee. The only thing that has me a little worried is the headphone jack.  Maybe because the phone is still new but when I plug in my Tte Isurus head phones it takes much harder push than I am used to.  Still works fine.  The camera/video buttons made me worry but with the fact that you have to hold them down for a few seconds took all those worries away.  The screen is pretty good for old stuff, this something I wish HTC would get from Samsung.  The screens on Samsung phones can't be beat right now.  The Amaze screen doesn't suck but it could be better.  Mind you the screen is still better than my Nexus One's AMOLED.  Screen bleed is a problem that anyone using an LCD will have to deal with, well that's what I think anyway.  I've got a little at the bottom of the screen and it's pretty noticible especially with Sense running.  I'm sure even with Gingerbread you'd still have the same issues.  The speaker is much better then most of the other HTC phones I've had over the years and is not showing any signs of failing like my Nexus S did.  Overall the hardware is solid with some flaws that will bother someone who is OCD but not someone who's using it as a daily driver.

The real reason I bought the phone...42mbs HSPA+... I'm not going to say the thing is blazing fast. A couple of my buddies on Verizon's 4G LTE smoke my phones.  I will say that for not truly having a 4G network the Amaze is actually pretty decent.  I live in a semi-decent area.  A new tower went up a few years back during the original "4G" roll out.  On a consistent basis I get these measures from Speedtest.net Android App. Ping: 40-500ms (yeah I know it's all over the place) Down: 9-13Mbps Up: 1.5-1.7Mbps.  This is a pretty good jump from my G2x which got half the numbers that the Amaze gets.  I'm happy about it.

Battery wise not so happy.  I don't think I've ever owned an Android phone that didn't chew batteries up like a crazed puppy.  I already know it's because I never use WiFi and the apps on my phone.  I've heard reports of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus GSM variant getting close to two days on a single charge with a 1750mah battery.  Which begs the question is it software or hardware?

Software
I have never been a fan of overlays on top of stock Gingerbread.  My first real taste was with TouchWhiz on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.  It's nice but I'll take the stock flavor any day over an overlay.  This goes for Sense as well.  While Sense fills in many gaps the stock experience leaves out I'm not about flash.  I don't care if it looks nice I just want it to work.  Being that the stock experience is my personal preference, I'm very biased.  I do however think just like TouchWhiz, Sense 3.0 make for a more comfortable user experience if you need the 'flare'.  I'm still wondering when companies will actually give me the choice of using their overlay or the stock Android experience.  I'm not a fan of rooting and ROMing phones.  Mostly because I'm lazy and the bricked table on the floor next to me.  However the benefits of rooting and ROMing come from the freedom and necessity that user want/need.  Sense 3.0 in all respects took a little getting used to but I can see from an average Android users standpoint how nice the little touches can be.

The camera software is one of the best I've used.  Nothing has beaten LG's original camera software on the G2x.  The HTC software is still pretty badass.  All the little options like changing the tone (Sephia, polorizing, etc) and aperture times are nice.  They even went as far as to have specific setups for whatever you're shooting and the sensor does a good job at flipping the switch when needed.  Overall I'm pretty excited that HTC has made improvements to the camera software.  I used a Imate JAM which was rebranded as the T-Mobile MDA, that thing made me want to never use the Camera.

Minus the bloatware it's not too far off from a stock experience.  Or I would have downloaded the apps anyway.  Like Lookout Security and T-Mobile's own "MyDevice" and "My Account".  I'll take it over what AT&T doles out... I still think Apple had a hand in making AT&T handicapping Android devices.  Hence the reason why when the iPhone went to other carries that the Android device software didn't suck so bad you had to root and Rom it.  I digress on my AT&T hate though.

Software wise very few apps have issues with the hardware.  Trust me I've had all sorts of issues from an app not working to complete meltdowns.  I like to try stuff out what can I say.

Overall
I'm happy with my purchase.  Happy enough that I might pass up the Galaxy Nexus.  If you read any of my Nexus S hate rant you probably understand why I'm hesitant.  But most of it is because HTC did a great job with the Amaze.  While the looks of the phone aren't super stylish the phone F@#$%^G works.  I've owned appoximately 6 HTC phones.  All of which have always disappointed me somewhere, the HTC Amaze doesn't.  I left HTC to try Motorola, LG, and Samsung phones and yet here I am back with HTC.  I have no reservations recommending this phone at all to anyone.  Even a good buddy of mine who came from WinMo to the iOS to Android traded in his newly bought G2x for the Amaze after my recommendation.  He's pretty happy with it too.

Sidenote
Interestingly enough while writing this and reading articles about the Galaxy Nexus I'm glad to hear that Samsung made the GSM variant work on both T-Mobile and AT&T's networks.  Sad to see they went with the TI OMAP instead of the Exynos processor.  Can't have it all.  Knowing me, even against my own better judgement you might be hearing me complain about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus soon. :D

8.14.2011

Further with the G2x and Logitech Revue with Google TV

:Further with the G2x:
I'm in a state of denial right now with my G2x. The last three phones have been disappointing all in their own ways. Either I'm too pick or something is up. The G2x started rebooting and freezing all the time. So when the Gingerbread update came out I decided to give it a try. I still get the freezing and a new lag issue appeared. My guess since technology moves so fast LG and Tmobile just don't care about the G2x anymore. 

I really don't need to get into the Gingerbread update cause there about 4 billion reviews all over the web. Instead let me be a little more brutal and focus on the annoyances.//

You shouldn't have to root/jailbreak a phone to 'fix' it. I've traded an awesome camera app designed by LG for an updae to the OS and to try and stop the reboot issue. There is nothing more annoying then being in the middle of a text or phone call and having your phone reboot. Or how abut having to reboot your phone everyday like I am right now to make sure the phone doesn't to lag out.

I'm at the point of rooting my phone to run a more stable ROM with a Kernal that actually works on the hardware. All the forums that I read, most people are doing the same things just to get the phone to function. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there with no problems at all. However I'm not one of those people. If you get lucky and your phone is great awesome. You're not writing this.

I'm in the market for a new phone but the summer is over and it'll be a little while before the net round of phones come out. The AT&T and TMobile merger is another thing I've been thinking about. Once I gather my thoughts I'll have to post up on it.

:Logitech Revue with GoogleTV:
Ok, I'm cheap. Not really considering I spend a small fortune on mobile electronics and phones. Well I really didn't think the SONY or LOGITECH stuff with GoogleTV was really worth the money when they came out. With the price drop on the Logitech Revue I decided to go pick one up. Had to wait a week cause apparently a crapton of people feel the same way.

I walked into Best Buy then walked out with the Revue. I think the first mistake is only allowing Best Buy and internet dealers sell the Revue. The local Micro Center doesn't sell them and I didn't see them at Radio Shack. For a hundred bucks most people would snap this thing up in a second.

It's an interesting piece of hardware. Underpowered in every aspect. I think the G2x I have is more powerful and has more storage space. No upgradable/expandable storage that I can see. just useless accessories for the mass public. You get a keyboard with the thing and if you need a mini keyboard and don't live in your car or in a small box of a room it's a moot point. The Camera is still more expensive then the whole unit. You'd figure the company would be smart enough to drop the prices on all accessories. They wouldn't need to be as drastic as the actual unit but I'm not paying more for an accessory then the thing it goes with.

The keyboard that comes with the box feels cheap but isn't that bad to use. For the price I don't fault Logitech. Functionally it's got a mouse pad and a d-pad. For the last two days I've been okay with it. Since i'm not on it all the time I don't have much to say about it.

The GOOGLE TV Remote app works really well. You basically D/L  the app and connect it to the same network the Revue is on you get a pair code and off you are running. 

Setup was fairly easy after I realized the HDMI cable supplied while nice is still cheap. I had to fiddle with the actual positioning to get it to connect to my TV. The portion I was fiddling with was on the back of the unit.

After using GOOGLE TV for a day I realize that my G2x plugged into the HDMI actually gives me more options then GOOGLE TV. However GTV gives a more authentic desktop feel. Both in UI and usability.

If you have a slower DSL connection as I do beware. Streaming stutters all the time. I figured someone would have looked at what netflix does and introduced it to their streaming. YouTube include. Netflix streams in decent quality and never stutters unless the connection changes or gets interrupted. 

I do not have a AV receiver or tv connection or cable/satelite. I had expected a more net rich experience but I feel like i just bought a low end net top, which I'm actually kind of happy about. 

I'm still happy with it because like my phone it's always on. It's quick and responsive like my phone but on a huge screen. The web browser is comparable to the original Chrome. Lackluster but fast and simple.

Finally, WTF Google? Where are the apps? 

There is more I could write but I'm on call and I'm afraid I will just ignore the phone to write. So I'm off for now. Maybe I'll find something good to say/write about one day. For now I'm just going to be angry and complain to the internet ether.

4.26.2011

A few days later with the new phone

So far I'm very happy with the G2x minus all the features I got used to using the Nexus S and gingerbread.

Just like the G2 its almost a stock experience. I will have to say there have been a few improvements like the camera having a ton more options, which is a great thing. Timers, panorama, and multi action photography are just to name a few. Honestly Google should take a queue from LG and use the camera setup. Even the video player is better even if LG only added a screen resizing and DTS option. Either way great improvements over the stock items.

I've been lucky to only have one known reboot as well. I haven't checked the screen bleed issue every one is having but I'm not to worried about it.

Size wise I'm still getting used to it. Even though the G2x is less than 1/2 an inch bigger than the N1, NS, and G2 its still enough that I notice. Not a horrible down fall just something I have to get used to.

So far so good. I'm definitely happy with the performance. Let's see what the HTC Sensation 4G brings to the table when it comes out.

4.20.2011

The new phone

I picked up a T-mobile G2x. I'm happy with it so far. It's fast and even though I'm back to Froyo it still is so much better than the nexus s. I didn't want to spend the money but it's been well worth it so far.

Kudos to T-mobile and LG for leaving an almost stock google phone. I'm hoping that the great usability of the phone holds up. Do far only one problem and it was cleared up with a restart and removing a troublesome app.

More to come later.

4.16.2011

New phone today

I've completely had it with the Nexus S. I was on the can listening to some music while browsing the web on my phone when the speaker went out. I'll admit I was running an EQ and the voodoo hack. So somewhere I am partly to blame. I have in the past run many application like the such and have yet to blow out the speaker on a phone.

It was more or less a sign to go look at the LG Optimus G2X or the HTC Sensation 4G... but I'd have to wait another week or two. I could just switch back to one of my other Android phones but I lent my Nexus One to a dev buddy of mine. So now I'm thinking that I might jump ship back to the black flag of Windows Mobile.

I've messed with the phones and I'm impressed with the departure from the miniturization and general craptacularness of the good old WM2003-WM5/6 phones. Honestly if I wanted to use a Windows OS that was so watered down I would just turn my netbook into a phone. At least that way I could actually do some work on my 'phone'.

The only problem is how locked down the phones are. I don't know if I also want to deal with migrating a ton of data again to a new phone window or not. As easy as Google as made it, it's still a pain in the ass. Especially since the Nexus S forwent the memory card slot....

So here I am  transferring all the 'SD card' data to my computer which will then be moved back to a real SD card which will then be put in whatever phone I decide to go with. If I end up with a WM phone I'll be once again buying a new memory card shifting data and wanting to hang myself by a noose in protest of the choices that some companies make.

Either way the Nexus S was given the benefit of the doubt since the initial Best Buy payment. What did I expect? Probably another piece of shining hardware like the Nexus One. Instead I got a fast looking crap car that really has failed to impress and has yet to make me glad I bought the thing.

Things have been pretty bad with this phone and the speaker going out was the last thing I needed to decide that I hate this thing and need a new phone. Unfortunately it's only bee 5 months since I bought it and I'd like to understand why Google would let a piece of crap like this represent Google. Did Samsung honestly think that people wouldn't notice that the Nexus S was a NFC using piece of garbage next to the Galaxy line?

I really do hope Motorola gets the next Nexus phone. They seem to be the only company trying to do new things. In my eyes Android saved Moto, and Moto is doing it damnedest to make the most out of it. My brother has a Droid X my sister in law has a Droid 1 and I have a Cliq. The Cliq wasn't anything special but it worked better than the Nexus S minus the speed. Moto brought out the Atrix, best idea yet. Now I wonder if someone at google has had the bright idea of taking the chrome netbook and making it do the same thing the atrix does when someone hooks up an android phone.

If my thoughts seem a little jitter let me point out to you that a 5 month old phone had a speaker malfunction and is the first phone I've had to hack since my Windows phones. Please don't tell me about warranties and such. the instant I rooted the phone and started messing with it my warranty went void. On top of that I really don't feel like dealing with Samsung or Best Buy.

Well the transfer from phone to computer is done. I'm going to start the transfer from computer to SD card. If you wondering why I'm going to do this, here's why. I've decided to back up the data so I can wipe the Nexus S and sell it or hand it off to one of the nice DEV guys on the XDA forums. I'd like to either recover some of the money I've lost on this horrible purchase and help out the community that has been more that a huge help over the years.

Either way I stink and need a shower. After that I'm off to find a phone. If all works out the way I think it will I might be hopping to WM or a new carrier since AT&T/Tmobile merger is something that will make me go to Verizon most definitely. Another blog for another day.

3.29.2011

Further nexus s reviews and pain from a bad tooth.

The nexus s is the first phone I've had to 'root'. I've owned about 6 android phones since the G1 came out. It is sadly the biggest disappointment since my HTC Kaiser/TYTN2. The OS is plagued with issues and the hardware is about as nice as the TYTN2. With the nexus 1 I never had to root and is still the best piece of hardware and software for its time. I lent to someone to develop android apps and even thought I barely use it anymore I still miss it. My guess is Motorola will get the next nexus and it'll be interesting to see what they do.

With the pending AT&T T-Mobile buyout I'm afraid I might have to switch to Verizon. Yes I hat AT&T that much. Long story for another blog post. However if you haven't noticed AT&T have a huge knack for effing up android phones.

Anyway the nexus s has been the biggest PITA. Usability is sub par and the craptacular setup has got me already searching for my next Android phone. I'm waiting for the next nexus phone. If it weren't for the small memory on the nexus 1 I would never even considered this piece of crap.

I'm a little PO'd at the moment cause I had a root canal last week and the pain has come back. With what I'm being charged for the service I don't want to go back until my next appointment this Friday.  Nuff said.

Samsung has got to step up its game to keep up. The nexus

2.04.2011

Nexus S v. Nexus 1

I've owned about 5 phones running android and I have been growing more cynical about the hardware. The OS is doing fine. I expected the OS to become more or less like windows with its updates breaking things and causing issues as well as improving some other experiences.

Hardware wise I'm fairly disappointed in the Nexus S. What I got was hardware that is not even close to what I got with the Nexus 1.

The Nexus 1 was, for its time, a sleek piece of hardware that was "top of the line." Solid, well crafted, and thought through. The Nexus S feels like a rebranded Galaxy S minus a SD card slot and useless NFC hardware.

I still use my Nexus S over the Nexus 1 but I'm eagerly awaiting the next Nexus branded phone.

The Nexus S does have some pluses over the Nexus 1.
1. Screen is better. Not by much if you were lucky enough to get a N1 with a amoled screen.
2. Internal memory is something I've been waiting for.
3. Speakers. Sammy has always had decent loud speakers vs. HTCs hardware. Although the NS is still quieter than most Sammy phones.

Android 2.3 bring many fixes and many headaches. All for another blog on another day. I'd still take 2.3 over 2.2 for the keyboard enhancements and some other little things.

For all intents and purposes I believe that android should be offered in both carrier and vanilla flavors. Give me the choice of what I want and let me choose what bloatware I want.

Since I'm typing this on my phone I'm going to keep this short. If anyone knows how to increase the memory, add internal storage space of a minimum of 4gbs, and 2.3 gets released for the Nexus 1 let me know. I'd go back in a second. And no idle don't want to waste my already short time to root my phone and put a different rom on it.

Thanks for listening.