Sunday, May 24, 2015

Android Wear Updates and New Devices

Hey everybody.  Recently, the arrival of the Apple Watch has seemed to grab most of the attention of the smart watch industry.  However, there seems to be a general belief, not only that the world is not ready for smart watches, but that smart watches are not ready for the people.  What do I mean by this?  Many critics of smart watches have stated that wearables are useless, that all they do is provide a way to avoid pulling one's smartphone out of the pocket.  In addition, others say that, with their limited battery life, and low processing power, they are practically obsolete.  I am willing to argue that this is not true. One example that I can use is the tablet.  When it originally came out, most people viewed it as a useless device.  The laptop can do all things that a tablet can, and so can a smartphone.  But when looking at tablets, we can see that they are purchased for one reason.  And that reason is convenience.  The tablet allows for high portability of one's devices, without lugging around a heavy laptop.  People do only basic tasks on their tablets, compared to what is done on their computers.  I feel that smart watches have that same potential, with regard to phones.

I am sorry for going off on a tangent.  However, I do genuinely believe that one day smart watches will be commonly used.  Anyways, I will now talk about my original point, being the arrival of two new Android Wear devices.  The first of which, the Huawei watch, I enjoy a lot.  It looks very similar to the Motorola 360, with a thin, circular screen.  I love the design of the watch.  The bands are fashionable, the casing comes in multiple sleek color options, and it has layers of sapphire crystal to provide a futuristic look.  The main downside to the watch is its high price point, speculated to be around $400.  The other new arrival is the LG watch Urbane.  The first thing I noticed about this watch, is that it looks just like any normal watch.  If worn with a suit, I would consider it to be a traditional "fancy" watch, rather than one powered by Android Wear.  Another thing that I noticed was that LG seemed to stress the battery life, saying that it would last all day, if not longer.  Thus far, many have questioned the battery life of wearables, considering that the factor is large con of the entire wearable market.  The Urbane is priced around $350.

While it may not seem as if large improvement is being made in these Android wearables, that is because I have decided to save the best new change for last.  A new feature of Android Wear allows for WiFi connectivity.  With this update, these watches have become much more independent than previously, and now one can take only their wearable with them to do certain tasks (without their phone), such as errands or exercise, knowing that they have the capability to make calls or text when needed.  Finally, we have come just one small step closer to a technologically sane life.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Best Basic Phone With Wifi

Hello all.  If you have read my blog in the past, you will know that I have devoted lots of time looking for a specific phone.  As a previous user of AT&T, I realized that there were no options to buy a plan that would allow the purchase of a smartphone with no data.  However, I attempted to find a loophole.  I wondered if there were any non-smartphones "out there" with WiFi, so that I could still browse my Facebook and email accounts as long as I was on wifi, without paying for a data plan.  After my search, I came across a phone from the company Blu.  I paid only $35, and inserted my sim card.  While I did have what I wanted, (WiFi capability) the phone was lacking in its many features, and while I was not unhappy with the experience, I know that I received what I paid for.

The main problems with the Blu phone were its lack of app use.  In checking any of my various accounts, I would have to go to the browser and login, providing me with an unfriendly user interface and a bad picture.  Another problem was that, with the phone's physical keyboard, I would "butt dial" certain contacts multiple times a day.  Finally, it lacked a decent camera, something that I feel is a necessity.

These problems I considered largely before presenting to you the following phone.  I am talking about the Nokia Asha 503.  The Asha 503 is technically considered a feature, or basic phone, regardless of its many "smart" features, mainly WiFi.  It has a five megapixel camera, which trumps that of my old phone (only 1.3).  The phone itself is not new, but was released not long ago (Late 2013), and has many software update options, the most recent arriving this past April.  The main thing that I like about this phone is the app integration.  Unlike my other phone, this one has all of the social media apps, like Facebook and twitter, and provides notifications as well.  All photos have the option of being emailed, texted, or posted straight to any account registered with the device.  While the app store itself is not nearly as vast as that of iOS or Android, it contains some of the high profile apps and games that we still use today.  In a review that I watched, I noticed that certain apps, such as Pac Man, Plants Vs. Zombies, and older versions of Fifa were present.

The phone itself is tiny.  It has a slightly smaller screen than that of the first generation iPhone.  Buyer beware.  It is an all touchscreen phone.  If you don't feel comfortable typing on a small screen, this phone might not be the one for you.  The Nokia Asha 503 also has an intriguing design.  It is covered by a colorful back (color options are available), with a clear plastic casing surrounding that.  As for navigation, the phone relies on many swipes, as it has only one main button on the front, being the "back" button.  Other than the design, nothing special stood out to me to make this phone that much better or worse than a slightly aged Android smartphone.  In terms of price, the Asha 503 is sold on for approximately $100, GSM unlocked.  Remember, this means that once you get the Asha, the only thing necessary is to insert your Sim Card. It is not necessary to consult one's carrier.  Another thing to keep in mind is that this phone is primarily meant for those who are stuck under AT&T, and do not want to purchase a data plan.  If you are still unsure about your thoughts on the Nokia Asha 503, or want to learn more about it, either contact me, or feel free to look up a review and images of the device.  Make sure to follow my blog, The Road to a Technologically Sane Life!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Best Windows 8 touch Screen Laptop under $400 (HP pavilion 11 x360)

Hello again.  As you know if you read my last posting, I am doing a series of Windows 8 budget laptops that suit the needs of many.  Today, I will provide my thoughts on an HP notebook, the Pavilion 11 x360.  It servers many functions, I will explain why:

The Funky:
HP pavilion 11 x360.  Currently $379 on
In my opinion, the Pavilion, is not exactly what I would consider to be a work computer.  However, it isn't a bad option for a budget personal computer.  In terms of bulk processing power, it is faster than the HP stream, (which I talked about in the last posting) as it uses an intel Pentium processor, rather than using intel Celeron.  It has an 11 inch screen, which relatively speaking, is small.  However, for a budget computer I must admit that it has some impressive features for its price.  Finally, we reach the X factor.  This computer (as shown in the picture) can flip its screen to touch the keyboard, making its touch screen a very useful feature.  The touch screen can serve a purpose from either checking email to playing games.  Remember, this is in the best sense of the word a laptop.  The many screen features should not deter you, rather should seem as amenities to a budget level laptop.  As long as you aren't going for a high level gaming laptop, the HP pavilion x360 could be your next.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ideas on HP stream 11 (only $200 windows 8 laptop)

Hi everyone.  Because my own laptop is beginning to wear down, I have decided to look for other windows 8 laptops that suit my own needs price ranges.  I will attempt to do as many profiles of these budget laptops that I possibly can, all under $400.  Today I start with the HP stream 11.

The cheap:

HP stream 11 Laptop: $199.99 off of
If you are to buy this laptop, be sure to realize what you are paying for.  The just under three pound device is meant to be on the cloud at almost all times, so don't expecting to be gaming on this thing.  Because of this, the computer only has thirty two gigabytes of memory, which may seem a lot at first, but is used quickly.  The laptop itself only comes in two colors, a royal blue, and hot pink, which just adds on to the idea that this is not exactly a computer that should be put to work.  While it may seem like my consensus of the computer is completely negative, that is far from true.  As I mentioned, this is a budget laptop, and it really is cheap.  Aside from the low two hundred dollar price tag, a free year of Microsoft Office 365 is included (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Etc.), in addition to a free terabyte (one thousand gigabytes) on the Microsoft Cloud, an insane amount of space.  The type of consumer that should buy a computer like this would be a relatively young (or older) person (hence the low price) that often works on either google drive or another service and could use the Microsoft cloud, and does not use any heavy duty software.  It works great as a first computer,  or as one that would only sustain light use.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cheap plans Using AT&T service

Hello everyone, I know it has been a while.  It has occurred to me many times, through the laughs and concerns of my peers and others that I talk to referring these many companies that using Sprint service may seem to be a negative aspect of the plans.  While I do not agree with this idea, I must accommodate to those of you who are "Anti-Sprint."  If I can't find you cheap plans that you enjoy, then what am I doing here?  For this reason, I decided to find a plan with cheap service using AT&T service.

This fantastic carrier that you have all been waiting for is known H2O wireless.  If you are a New Yorker like myself, you may have noticed their ads lingering in the subway.  If not, I would love to inform you about them.  They are known as an MVNO, or a mobile virtual network operator.  This is the equivalent of using another carrier's cell phone towers for their service.  H2O on the other hand, unlike many other of these carriers has decided to use AT&T towers rather than Sprint towers, which seem to be less expensive overall.  You might ask, what is the advantage to switching to H2O, "why do I not stay with AT&T if they are essentially the same company?" The answer is found when examining the prices.

While Pay as You Go options are available, it seems to be more worth while to opt into a monthly unlimited plan.  These plans range from $30-$60.  The only difference between them is the amount of data included, which ranges from 500 megabytes to unlimited.  I personally feel that 500 megabytes (thirty dollars per month) per month is enough for most smartphone users, and if not, a gigabyte (the forty dollar plan) definitely will suffice.  In addition, it is most cost efficient to bring ones own cell phone.  If you feel as if your phone is outdated, I suggest that you buy an AT&T compatible smartphone off of, because H2O does have a bring your own phone policy.  On glyde, a no contract iPhone 5s sells for about $250.  If you find this expensive, the amount that you save per month is extremely high when compared to AT&T or any other large company and you should save that money back within half a year.  Again, if you are interested, I highly advise you research H2O, it is a company worth looking into.