Sunday, December 22, 2013

Which Smartphone of 2013 is Best? Let’s Find Out

The smartphone industry is considered the biggest market in consumer tech nowadays. It has managed to create a thriving culture that affects a lot of people in a global scale. And as always, because of its irrefutable fame, an outright competition has been brewing ever since its market has been conceived. This is the reason why you see so many smartphones from a variety of manufacturers trying to outdo each other. So, before 2013 ends, let us see which is best among a handful of smartphones according to the review by BGR. Read on.

Best Design. More than the internal components which determine how well a smartphone is going to work, aesthetics plays a major role in driving sales. If a handset looks nice, it’s definitely worth being showed off. And in this category, the award goes to the HTC One. Indeed, deciding the winner for this category was not easy, but evidently, the attention to details by HTC made it undeniably the victor. The aluminum casing brings out an elegant look, while its convex posterior makes it fit perfectly in the hand. The glass covering in front creates a feeling of endlessness, for it spills over the sides of the phone that is aligned flawlessly with its chamfered bezel. Plus, the front-facing BoomSound speakers contribute to the overall look, giving the HTC One the title of best design.

Best Performance. When it comes to performance, we typically rely on numbers to arrive at a conclusion, but with the iPhone 5s, this doesn’t apply. Many Android smartphones available on the market are already being built with quad and octa-core processors clocked at over 2GHz, while the 5s is only powered with a dual-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. But as it appears with extensive testing and comparison performed by well-respected device reviewers, the flagship phone of Apple doesn’t only level with the powerful Android phones; it outperforms them.

Best Display. Because of the fact that the smartphones of today have a touchscreen interface, it is imperative in the part of smartphone manufacturers to come up with a superb display that has stupendous clarity. Of all the mobile phones vigilantly scrutinized for this category, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 boasted the most gorgeous display. This ginormous handset sports Samsung’s brightest super AMOLED display ever. Test results show that its panel is 55% brighter than its predecessor’s panel, yet the colors don’t appear to be exaggerated like with the Galaxy S4. No wonder, the Galaxy Note 3 became the fastest-selling phablet of all time.

Best Value. Of course, we can expect a far more expensive smartphone to be better in a variety of aspects, but this is a question that’s worth being answered: “Is it worth it?” You can splurge all you want on a gadget, but will the money you put on it be worth every penny? If value is what you’re looking for, then look no more because Google’s Nexus 5 is the smartphone for you. It is made affordable, for it retails only for $349. Comparatively, you’ll see that other smartphones having the same specs as the Nexus 5 cost nearly as twice off contract.

I think we all agree with the results. If you still haven’t decided what smartphone to get for yourself, I hope that this review has shed some light on what your next purchase is going to be.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Surely, Samsung’s Response to The Burnt Galaxy S4 Incident is Unacceptable

We can never expect everything in this world to be absolutely perfect. Whether you like it or not, there will come a time when you will be faced with a far-from-perfect reality that will test you to your limits. And sometimes, because the adversity is too much for us to bear, we tend to just accept them as part of life. Where am I leading you on this, you ask? Well, it is in our very nature to create an ideal world in our minds where nothing ever goes wrong. We have a propensity to trust too much that everything we deal with is done in good faith.

Even the tech giants that we so much look up to aren’t perfect, you know. We often feel confident that there is nothing they can do that will lessen our opinion of them, especially if they are the likes of Apple or Samsung. But then again, nothing’s perfect. They may express the guarantee of satisfaction to their customers, but at the end of the day, those words are nothing more than a facade of make believes.

Actually, it’s no longer a surprise that there are cases where consumer electronics combust. This article is not to single out one company because this already had happened to various mobile phones and tablets from Samsung, Apple, and other manufacturers. God forbid that you be the one who is going to receive the defective device, but if it so happened that it comes straight to your possession, it’s the company’s responsibility to investigate the matter carefully and set it right professionally. But with just what one Samsung consumer experienced with his Galaxy S4, it appears that Samsung has to learn the basics in dealing with its customers the hard way.

Initially, what the disgruntled customer did was he had a YouTube video posted behind the username GhostlyRich (who is not the actual owner of the device), showing that his Galaxy S4 caught on fire while it was plugged in to charge overnight. He was awakened in the middle of the night by the nauseating smell of burning electronics. Hastily, he unplugged the device from the outlet before the damage turns into a conflagration as soon as he discovered the smoking phone.

The video immediately caught the attention of Samsung. Thereafter, the smartphone company sent a letter to the affected consumer, stating that it would swap out the man’s charred and now useless Galaxy S4, which was still under warranty, only if he removed the video discussing the matter from YouTube.

The letter clearly shows the intent of the sender to bully who seems to be its greatest asset—its customer. More infuriated than ever, GhostlyRich once again posted a video tackling the response of Samsung to the incident. Because it’s so intriguing, it had now garnered more than 400,000 views. This is definitely something that will damage the reputation of the world-renowned company. The most that it can get out of this experience is the knowledge on how to deal with this kind of matter if in any case it ever happens again.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nokia Joins the Android Line-up with the Normandy

The tech giant Nokia has manufactured quite a number of mobile phones ever since it has ventured into the telecommunications industry. It had pioneered a multitude of innovations that paved a way to make advanced mobile computing a reality. However, Nokia wasn’t able to maintain the momentum and keep up with the standards of the growing industry; to no avail, it resorted in selling its mobile division to Microsoft in order to prevent further losses and restore the empire it had once built.

In the light of the purchase agreement between the two, many Android fans have had their spirits broken, thinking that there will never be a way for Nokia to release a smartphone powered by Google’s open-source OS Android. Once the sale has been realized, it’s but expected that all handheld devices that will be coming out the works carrying the Nokia brand will have Windows Phone as their mobile platform.

Let’s not shut the doors of possibilities just yet; for as long as the merger isn’t yet legally acknowledged, Nokia still has absolute control over its handset business. In fact, speculations from multiple sources have sprouted like mushrooms that the Finnish smartphone manufacturer is planning on releasing its first-ever Android-powered mobile phone, and the said device will be codenamed as “Normandy.”

Given the fact that this move by Nokia is unprecedented, what reasons could there be for the company to come up with an Android device now that the merger will soon be made official, not to mention when it had always relied on the Windows Phone to run its devices? Apparently, the Normandy aims to target the market of low-end phones as an equivalent of the Asha to further push low cost devices to potential first-time smartphone users. As it turns out, the Asha struggled to achieve widely acclaimed fame for its target consumers allegedly due to its Series 40-powered system. The limited app ecosystem where the Asha is built into was perceived as a major shortcoming; thus, an Android device will be able to address this issue where the Nokia Asha line-up failed to triumph.

However, even if this rumor is true, there is yet no assurance that the project will ever see the light of day. The people behind the Normandy project were informed that the device is planned to be launched on 2014, with one insider describing the efforts on the project as “full steam ahead.” Timing is crucial. If Nokia manages to release the Normandy before the Microsoft acquisition is completed, we will be able to get hold of the first and last Android-powered Nokia device. Otherwise, if the Nokia-Microsoft deal overtakes this project’s release, it may not ever come into fruition, for Android is a conflict of interest for Microsoft over its own Windows Phone operating system. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Monday, December 9, 2013

BlackBerry’s Most Loyal Patron is Not Your Average Consumer

Reuters have described Obama as a “very loyal” BlackBerry customer. Yet, what evidences are there to prove this, you ask? For starters, “I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone,” said Obama to a group of young people at the White House for an event promoting his health care law. He would rather have a bulky BlackBerry device than to live with the suspicions of someone spying at him. Speculations for this matter grew due to the possibility that Apple was one of the several Silicon Valley tech giants that allowed the NSA to pull up consumer data directly from their servers, even though the company continually denies the accusation. In addition, Obama even made a joke once that if the Secret Service wanted to take his BlackBerry phone from him, they’d have to pry from his hands.

It’s a fact that Obama is a more tech savvy individual compared to his predecessors, although he wasn’t born close to the advent of the Internet. When Obama first took office in 2009, he was viewed as a cool, hip person who can relate to the digital lifestyle of the average American due to his BlackBerry phone. But after 5 years under the scrutiny to the public eye, people have shifted their view of his techie persona from the said to something outdated and ridiculous. He isn’t the cool person anymore that many have thought of him.

Obama’s choice to hang on to BlackBerry might just seem an insignificant detail, but him possessing an iPhone can advertently change how the masses view him as a person and a leader in all aspects. If he is open to embrace the new, which in this case is an iPhone, he will be perceived as someone who can approach and resolve problems with a degree of innovation and open-mindedness.

Going back to the event that started this, the president was actually persuading the young people to look into the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). He said, “The idea that you wouldn’t want to make sure you’ve got the health security and financial security that comes with health insurance for less than that price, you guys are smarter than that. Most young people are as well.” He stressed out that majority of young people nowadays spend over $100 per month collectively on Internet service plans from wireless carriers, and roughly the same cost can already secure them of a health insurance coverage, which is essentially a smarter choice.

We all know that BlackBerry is still in its struggling position, but be that as it may, knowing that it has Obama—the most powerful man in the world—as its loyal customer, that kind of repute can’t be replaced by significant market shares. You might want to look into more reasons as to why Obama has held on to the Canadian-manufactured smartphone, and maybe you too would be thinking twice of getting a BlackBerry device instead of the excessively popular iPhone.

Monday, December 2, 2013

If You Don’t Know These Smartphones, You Know Nothing about Luxury

One’s social status is determined by his affluence, so to speak. There are ways to show one’s extravagance, be it with the sports car he drives on the freeway, the signature bag she carries on her shoulders, or the smartphone he uses to make calls and whatnot. And yes, smartphones are now considered a way to exhibit one’s opulence. It’s a fact that the mobile phone industry is the fastest growing there is, and with that, there are already billions of handsets out there in the hands of mobile users, but nothing can beat these luxury smartphones. Check on the list to find out what they are.

Ulysse Nardin Chairman Diamond Edition. So here it is—the most expensive smartphone money can buy. It retails at $129,000. The phone is adorned with 3,000 gems that totals to 17 carats with an 18K white gold case. Once it’s hit by the light, expect it to reflect an astonishing glow that can mesmerize anyone. It runs on Android, has a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 8-megapixel camera, 32GB of storage, and a fingerprint scanner, same as the innovative feature of the iPhone 5s.

Dior Reveries Haute Couture. The first runner-up in the list of the most luxurious smartphones also comes in a staggering six-digit price worth $107,000. This handset is so limited edition that only 99 of these works of art have been made. This handheld device also runs on Android, and it made possible with the help of LG, one of the most innovative smartphone manufacturers in the world.

Vertu Ti. Vertu is a high-end smartphone manufacturing company which has been coming up with the most top quality, luxurious smartphones with a bunch of exclusive features meant for the elite. Few of its very well known products are the Vertu Constellation and the Vertu TI, which is the first ever touchscreen device created by the company. Same as with the first two, this one runs on Android. It is assembled by hand to ensure unparalleled quality. Its price ranges from $6000 to $16,000, depending on how elegant you want your Vertu Ti to be.

Tag Heuer Link. Bluntly, luxury smartphones are basically all about the inessential ornaments that make them stand out, and nothing can be more luxurious than diamonds. This handset is meticulously embellished with 1007 diamonds totalling 2.53 carats. And as usual, this, too, runs on Android. It sports a 3.5-inch WVGA display and a 5-megapixel main camera. In addition, it is water-tight and shock-resistant. This piece of item which is an epitome of elegance is a celebration of Swiss craftsmanship that sells at $6,700 at minimum.

BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9981. Who would have thought that BlackBerry, a struggling company, still has the guts to pull off this sleek, high-end device? Its edgy design is made possible by the Porsche Group. It has the BlackBerry signature QWERTY keypad that is wrapped in stainless steel and covered by genuine leather on its rear panel. If you want it, you can get it for $2,050.

As the saying goes, You Only Live Once; splurge and enjoy for as long as you still have some breath left in your lungs. If you have the means and you want to show it off, then don’t you miss on these luxury smartphones to make you a cut above the rest.