11.02.2016

New tech on the way and a quick Google Pixel update

So I'm a week out from receiving my Google Pixel.  First impressions, well I was fairly disappointed with the design but usability I'm stoked on.  The phone moves, faster and better than almost anything I've had before it says my One Plus X.  The one Plus X was beautiful and moved great and it wasn't even highly spec'd out.  If you are looking for a sub $300 phone, I say pick it up.

Anyway, I'm sure you like me read everything you could about the Pixel and Pixel XL.  I agree with most of the reviews minus one or two Apple/Samsung fanboy articles I read.  I really use my main phone line for text, phone calls, web reading, and music.  So when it comes to the usual how good is the camera or how does it play games I can only tell you a combination of what I read and my first impressions.

What are my first impressions, well let's start with gaming.  I literally have two other Android device devoted to that.  My Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (LTE Malaysian edition) and my Nexus 6 on Project Fi. I have to be honest here and say that I haven't tried to play any games.  I suppose from what I read it's not a show stopper but it's not a Nvidia Shield device either.  Camera is a whole other topic.  I took a few snaps and this camera is faster than any other device I have even in HDR+ mode.  I can just snap away and go crazy and still be able to get to my pictures fast.  I mean FAST.  I was using a BB Priv and One Plus X before I got on my Pixel XL and the difference in speed is crazy.  As far a picture quality, when the conditions are decent the Pixel XL is taking some great photos but in low light or less than decent situations the camera pictures produced are all over the place.  I think my Priv actually took more consistent photos in low light.  I didn't say better just consistant.  I'm sure that has to do with the software and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) versus the usual Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).  On that note, I found that video quality suffered the same draw backs as photos in less than decent conditions.  However the stabilization was crazy good, albeit a little weird. You know when you are playing a first person shooter and something explodes near you and you get sick because the camera angle is way too smooth.  Well that was the impression I first got when my new sofa was delivered and I did a walk around so I could show my wife.  Overall I'm very impressed with Google's attempt as none of my Nexus devices (no I did not have a Nexus 6P or 5X) came even close to the quality.

My main grip right now is that I feel that the phone while being speedy in all factors has nothing to offer the normal consumer outside of what was already mentioned.  The upload to Google Photo in full resolution for free is great and so is the support app but what about people like me who don't use their phone as a camera or really don't need support.  This is the same argument I get in with Samsung Fan boys, so I think come on Google give me something more!  What was that, "What about Google Assitant?" Well what about it?

Google Assistant feels like they ran out of time, just like why it was explained in other articles that the phone is not waterproof.  I mean I've pretty much given Google access to just about everything and yet the Assistant can't even read a text message to me?  Seriously, I feel like this is Google Now 1.1 not even 1.5.  Now don't let me let you think that it sucks all together.  There are some highlights like how it'll read the agenda/news (once configured) or how quick Assistant is when I ask it a question.  Big G has got that down great, pending your connectivity of course.  Offline interaction is hampered of course but still works as expected.

What's next?  Well I'm hoping for something big in the next quarterly release from Google but I'm not holding my breath.

That's enough about the Pixel, let me tell you about my new fascination with HI Resolution audio.  Actually let me preface this with the fact that my brain is constantly on the move.  Last year was all about Playing cards and Android Head units for my car.  This year seems to be Balisong (Butterfly knives) and more recently Hi Resolution audio.  I'm still doing research and learning about this as the days go one so I cannot claim to be an expert but I've always been into quality.  From my first set of Sennhieser Hi Fi circum-aural headphones to my newly acquired Harmon Kardon In ear Noise Cancellation headphones (HKIENC).  On the HKIENC, if I hadn't paid $30 for $150 headphones I'd be severely pissed off... I'm not going to recommend them unless you can get them for the $30.  Anyway, I've ordered a Shanling M1 and Trinity Phantom Master 4's.  Hopefully I get them before I go on vacation. 

You can Google the devices but the Shanling M1 is basically a super powered with screen iPad Nano.  I'm excited because while I loved the iPad Classic I had I hate iTunes with a passion.  While there is no touch screen there is a jog wheel and a Digital Audio Converter (DAC) which is nice for a Digital Audio Player (DAP).  I didn't want to use one of my phones just due to the size and the fact that I'm carrying close to 5-6 devices at any given time.  Plus I wanted a DAP with a DAC because well I miss listening to my music.  Non of which is Hi Resolution... Ha ha ha... but whatever I like tech.

The Trinity Phantom Master 4's will be my return to quality audio since my last big headphone purchase of Ludacris' Soul SL99.  While not a huge performance upgrade or even audiophile level I liked them a lot minus the fit.  I still use them but I figured if I'm going to pic up a DAP I'd do myself the solid and get something nice.  I got lucky after doing some research on In Ear Monitors (IEM) and stumbled across a company called Trinity Audio Engineering based out of the UK.  What I found out is they are relatively new and seem to be good for the price.  Once again though can Google them.  I'm hoping I'll get to do a mini review from a non-audiophile stand point and since I got in on the last day of their pre-order sale I didn't pay full price.  So if I hate them I'll pass them along to my brother or use them for computer gaming.

Anyhow after another long winded blog I hope you get to this part so I can say thanks for keeping up.

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