Android

HTC EVO V 4G Virgin Mobile phone, $150 ( HTC EVO 3D)

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I am now the proud owner of an HTC Evo V 4G through Virgin Mobile. I manage to get 1 to 2 bars of 4g Service in my apartment , even though the coverage map shows no 4G in my town, which was a pleasant confirmation of my experience with my VM MiFi device. I half expected the phone not to register with the 4G coverage, and initially it didn’t, but once it received its service updates everything was fine and in working order.

The UI is amazing, I am not a fan of the pure Google UI since I really feel it lacks style. HTC I think manages to capture all the finesse of both worlds, and while not perfect , is a treat to use. The weather/clock widget is, I think, one of the major pluses of the phone, along with its other widgets. If I remember correctly this is Sense UI 3.6, so this is the heavy HTC experience… I find it to be very serviceable.

Battery life is terrible on this phone. I am going to upgrade to a double capacity battery, HTC phones seem to lack in this one area and I’m afraid to say it is going to make me think twice about buying HTC in the future (Ed: The new extra battery capacity of 3750 mAh is phenomenal). I love HTC style and technology, but really I can’t much use out of this phone unless it is fully charged. Other than this problem it is a great device overall.

4G service in my apartment reaches 5 Mbps down and a few hundred Kbps up, which is more than adequate for what I intend to use the phone for, but obviously WiMAX can do much better than this. I suppose Virgin Mobile simply doesn’t get the full speed of the network, which would make perfect sense given the small amount of money I pay for the service every month.

4.0 Android was very welcome since now I have Flash, which is missing from my Nexus 7 Chrome  browser. Hopefully soon websites will start coding and encoding for non flash enabled devices, it can’t come too soon. The day I can use my mobile devices on all of the same sites I can visit with my Windows PCs will be an ‘appy day…

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Nexus 7 Arrived This Week, Decent performance and lightweight, can’t beat the price

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Earlier this week I was one of the fortunate few to get my hands on a Nexus 7 tablet from Asus via Google. Quad core processor, 1 GB of ram, 16 GB of storage space. What does that all add up to? A very sexy tablet, and at just $278 after shipping and taxes it turns out to be the best investment I made all year. I am using the tablets’ speech translator he is doing a very good job translating what I’m saying.

Many people who have ordered this tablet still haven’t received it and I suspect that I am 1 of the lucky few who got in early enough to to take possession of this fantastic device. While it remains to be seen whether or not the tablet will stand up to being used extensively I have high hopes for this unit. . .

A number of odd things stand out about this tablet. The main launcher page only works in portrait mode. I installed a rotation app that works well but I still find it odd that the design team didn’t include a landscape mode.

Battery life is good for the small size of the device, however it takes a while to charge. A big plus with this unit is the ability to use most of the smartphone chargers I had from previous devices due to the type of plug they designed the unit to accommodate. My previous tablet required a proprietary connector and I spent around 50 dollars buying chargers for it. This unit however was very light on the wallet comparatively.

One point about a light tablet I thought I should make, they feel like they are going to snap in half, even though the build quality is solid. My older Galaxy Tab 7 WiFi felt much more sturdy. While writing this I checked the tablet out and it isn’t bendy or anything like that so kudos to Asus for making the unit sturdy AND light. Expect to instinctively treat it with kid gloves.

Many apps written for 2.3 do not always work properly, one that comes to mind immediately is Pocketcast which has trouble with the built in downloader.(Ed: All 2.3 apps I use as of April 11 2013 work well now!) It will likely take some time for apps to be coded to work with the unit 100%. This is a big negative for this tablet, as some apps refuse to work outright, Farmers Progress and related apps force close immediately. I suspect the update to 4.1.1 had something to do with this since other users have reported issues with that update on certain games.

The keyboard is extremely responsive and I have not had to install a third party keyboard for the unit, as I have been forced to do on my previous android devices to be able to type properly. The screen is also a beauty to behold.

All in all I am very happy with this unit. I think new users to tablets would find the Nexus 7 a difficult unit to master quickly but I had previous experience with the Galaxy Tab so it was easy personally to make the transition.

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