Friday, October 21, 2016

Product Review: Google Pixel 4G Lte 32Gb Slate Verizon Cell Phone #madebygoogle #googlepixel

When approached to review this Google Pixel 4G Lte 32 Gb smartphone on Verizon's network, I did not hesitate. This is Google's first attempt to build both it's own hardware to run it's latest software, Android 7.1 Nougat.

I want to start this review with my history using smartphones, If you just want to read my viewpoint of the Pixel only, skip the next paragraph.

I have always been a budget purchaser when it comes to cell phones. Though I always had my eye on the latest greatest, they were always from afar and kind of in my dreams. Before I purchased I would usually do my research online on phones that were roughly around a year old, thus not taking the initial hit of the latest model's price tag. This would include spending some time at Verizon, where I could physically touch, and test certain features of the phone. I have always had an interest in camera capabilities of each phone, as I often blog with them. My first smartphone was an LG Spectrum 2, which I loved every part of, minus the horrible battery life. My second and most recent smart phone was the LG G3. Knowing I am going to have to set it aside for the Pixel, is making me a little sad. I really do enjoy that phone, which has had three different operating systems on it. It started with 4.4 KitKat, then had two different builds of Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1 and is now running 6.0 or Marshmallow, which by far is the best so far. I'm not sure why I see so many people complain about Verizon's update schedule, I just heard a rumor that the LG G3 may get upgraded to 7.1 Nougat.

Google really released their first attempt at hardware with all cylinders firing. It is so beautiful, with
it's polished aluminum, it's round edges, it's transition from screen to bevel, and the edges that are easy to hold onto. It's too bad mine will be masked in a protective shield of OtterBox, the Defender series and won't shine in all it's technological sleekness.

The display is stunning, and I'm coming from a QHD screen. It's 1080p display has vibrant Colors, sharpness that separates itself from others, without the battery drain of a 4K screen, and it's touch capabilities are exceptional. The Corning Gorilla Glass 4 looks no different that it's later versions, but as you guessed it is more durable and scratch resistance which makes sense.

Even though Google's designers opted to move forward lacking front facing, stereo speakers, the mono bottom firing driver delivers clean and rich sound, that is loud while, not distorting at all.

This is actually my first USB type C device mobile device. I understand it's purpose, it's just a pain when we are in transition fo standards. I have so many Micro Usb cables, and no Type C, I know not to bargain shop for these type of cables, because of some articles I have read. It will be easier as the standard is adopted across the board. I do appreciate that Google sent two cables and an adapter making the transition to new cables a little easier. I will use the one with the type A to Type C connector to charge my phone overnight with a less powerful charge, in hopes that the less I quick charge the battery, the longer it will last. I will have the charger block and Type C to Type C with me in those situations where I might need to top off the battery while I am out and about.

This is also my first smartphone with a finger print scanner. I really love this feature, it makes unlocking the phone a breeze, where usually I would get tired of punching in my code and disable the security all together. This feature keeps the phone locked, but doesn't hinder the use of it. I love that the software is written to use the finger print sensor as additional input gestures. Once you have unlocked the phone, if you swipe down on the finger print sensor your notification shade opens down, if you swipe again, it will show more detail from you notification shade with some setting options, that you can customize to have options you want handy. When your done, swipe up, and the notification shade goes away. Thank you Google for not removing the head phone jack.

The camera hardware is by far the fastest camera I have ever experienced with a smartphone. It's low light capabilities are very strong as well. I have never owned an iPhone, but My daughter swears by their ability to capture images in low light. I am hearing a lot of chatter, saying this camera beats the
iPhone...I will see as I continue to use it. This phone definitely captures better front facing images with it's 8 megapixel camera.

I am head over heals for Android's 7.1 Nougat. It is so snappy with this hardware. I have had some issues with Google Assistant, but hope Google will be fine tuning or tweaking some of it's features. One in particular, I have a old Motorola Droid sitting in the kitchen, as I need to add something to my grocery list, I do it using Google Now, "Okay Google, add mushrooms to my Aldi list." It adds mushrooms to my Aldi list that is sitting in my Google Keep account. With Google Assistant, it only allows you to add items to your shopping list, which works well, but If you shop at different stores, why wouldn't be able to access or add to any list that is residing in my Google Keep??? I am hopeful that Google will fix this small detail.

One of the biggest thing I miss from my old phone, is the knock on/off feature. I just was so use to using it, that I still find myself tapping my screen of the pixel, and waiting for it to wake up.I actually read a few articles reflecting that this feature may be introduced via some updates. But then you still would need to unlock the phone if you have it secure. Another thing that I notice and I'm not sure if it's a hardware issue or a software issue???

With my old phone, I could turn off my data, and I would still receive group messages. With this Pixel, I found that I got notified about the message, but to download it, the Cellular Data switch had to be on. I have only done a little research, because I seldom get group messages. Maybe in the next few days I will test out this 24/7 support, If I do I will update this post, to let you  know how it went.

I give Google an A+ for this wonderfully designed smartphone. I know that this Google Pixel 4G Lte 32Gb Smart Phone (in Slate) on Verizon's network is a little bit of shock at $699.99, being all of Google's other handsets(Nexus) were about half that cost. But if you are the type of person that likes the latest and greatest, there are several pricing/financing options when you go to purchase one. I would recommend this product to a friend. In doing some research on this new phone, it is being called the iPhone killer by some, I guess time will tell.

Thanks for taking some time to read my review on this device and have a blessed day!!


** I have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer. **

Monday, October 17, 2016

Product Review: Acer - Aspire R15 2-in-1 15.6" Touch Screen Laptop #productreview

This unit an Acer - Aspire R15 2-in-1 15.6" Touch Screen Laptop showed up for a review...

The form factor of this laptop is really incredible. This unit is housed in a two thirds metal case with a brilliant brushed finish, it looks sick. It's screen and top of chassis(keyboard) boasts the mentioned metal, the base of the unit/bottom is plastic with a non slip finish which helps grab the surface it is sitting on when it is in it's numerous positions. It is absolutely adaptable to any ones need in a 2-in-1, but designed to hold up with it's metal finish and metal hinges.

I have to admit, I was wondering why do we need to have HD(1080p) laptop screens? But now that it sits in front of me it is a crisp and vibrant display, boasting a 1920 x 1080 resolution with IPS technology and LED back-lighting. The options for this laptop on Bestbuy's website include one with Intel's 6th generation i5-6200u or i7-6500u. The unit that arrived for review internally housed the 7th generation i5-7200u at a whopping 2.7 GHz processing speed as opposed to the 6th generation's 2.3 GHz. It comes with 8 GB of ram and a spacious 1 TB hard drive running at the slightly slower speed of 5400 RPM. I feel that this machine would be running on all of it's cylinders, with turbo engaged if it was equipped with a SSD drive. I feel that 1 TB is just way too big for most users, and that the speed advantages of the SSD even at a smaller size, would benefit this device. One can always connect up an external drive if you need more storage space, especially with the supplied USB 3 ports. This review is a breeze to type up in any lighting with it's backlit, compact keyboard. The 10-point multi-touch screen works with high precision. With such a high resolution, upon starting it up, I figured it might be hard to use the touch interface, but it isn't, as you can see in the image, it is simply easy to select text even at this resolution.

Battery life is spec'd at 9 hours, maybe if you have the brightness down the whole way and do minimal touch screen transactions. I seem to get about 4-5 hours with mid brightness. I did see a slight improvement when I turned off location and Bluetooth, to 5+ hours. It's a big screen and power hungry hard drive chomping at it's 4 cell, 3220 milliampere hour battery. Just remember to bring your power adapter, which by the way I personally feel that the connector for this laptop is a bit small and I fear it may be a major weak link on this device. I am real careful when plugging in and using the device while tethered to the wall, but I can imagine if one is not diligent with the power cord while using it, it could be broken, quite easily. 

Here are some of the specs of this Laptop 2-in-1:
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Intel Core™ i5-7200u (7th Generation)
  • Intel© HD graphics 620
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory
  • 1000 GB HDD
  • No Optical Drive
  • 8-9.11ac +BT (Connectivity)
  • No LAN (Local Area Network connection)
  • HD Camera
  • 4-cell Li-Ion Battery (3220 milliampere)
  • Office 365 1-month trial
My Pros for this unit:
Display = Amazing
Keyboard = Well Designed
Touch Screen = Precise
Form Factor = Snazzy & Functional
Performance = Very responsive even while multi-tasking

My Cons for this unit:
Power Connection = Seems Flimsy
Hard Drive = Trades off speed for space
Battery = Could be better
Weight = A bit heavy at lbs.

If you are looking for a quality build in a laptop but not wanting to break the bank, this Acer R15 2-in1 15.6" Laptop is available on Bestbuy's website for $699.99.

Thanks for visiting and reading this review on my blog, I have a smaller similar version of this unit on the review docket coming up in the near future. Stay tuned for some more Product Reviews and have a Blessed day!!

Here are some photos I took of this unit:

** I have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer. **

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Product Review: HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 (High End with Attention to Detail)

Wow, this thing is beautiful, powerful and was thoughtfully designed. I'm impressed. This 13 inch, full HD unit is the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1, under the hood is Intel's new Kaby Lake, 7th generation i7-7500u Core processor running at 2.7GHz. It's 8 GB of ram and 256GB Solid State Drive runs Windows 10 flawlessly.

There is really so much to appreciate about this unit. It' size and form factor is adaptable to many uses. From standard laptop use, to tablet, tent or display. This particular unit is packaged with Bang & Olufsen speakers, and I have to say they're amazing. The base is rich while the highs are very crisp, without sounding tinny as so many laptops do.  I can't believe how thin and light weight this unit is. It measures a 13.8mm profile and comes in at just under 3 lbs, at 2.85 lbs. As I type this review, I am again reminded, what did we do before back-lit keyboards?? This compact keyboard has a layout, that is easy to adapt to, it's spacing is a bit stretched and it lacks a number pad. A feature I have only used on this device is Windows Hello, this feature uses the Infrared webcam to recognize your face and log you in automatically. It actually works really well.

I love that this unit comes with a protective leather-like pouch. This won't protect from falls as it is absent of shock absorbing material, but will protect its sleek metal finish from scratches when you slide it in your backpack or murse. Again the attention to detail on this unit is bar-none. It only has four ports, for connection. One is the headphone jack, one is a USB 3.0 Type-A, and two are USB 3.0 Type-C. You may have noticed there are no external dedicated display ports of any type. My only guess as to why they did this, is simply to make it even thinner then last years model. In some of my research, I have found that the USB Type-C supports charging, display support, and of course lighting fast data transfer. I have never played with that type of display port, but I think all you need is an adapter. So all in all this unit the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 12-w013dx is an excellent tool to have in your bag, to use for entertainment, to publish a blog, to edit photos, or just to check email and browse the web in your local coffee shop.
If you are looking for a high end laptop with vesatility, go grab this HP Spectre x360 2-on-1 from BestBuy, it's priced competitively at $1,159.99.

  • 7th generation Intel Core i&-7500U Processor (2,7 GHz)
  • 256GB Solid State Drive
  • 8192MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • No Optical Drive
  • Windows 1
  • Touchscreen, Mutli-touch enabled
  • 13.3 Diagonal Full HD IPS LED Display
  • WLAN & Bluetooth
  • Bang & Olufsen
  • HP IR Camera
  • Attention to Design
  • Speakers are perfectly matched.
  • Back-lit Keyboard
  • Size and Weight
  • Powerful
  • Case Finish (feels and looks like quality)
  • Hello Windows
  • Battery rated for 14 hours and 15 minutes (I have not been able to fully test it, we will see)
  • SSD drive speed
  • McAfee, I use Microsoft's Defender
  • The front edge, where the top meets the bottom in the closed form does not have enough of an indent. I have a hard time opening it






Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my post about this product. I greatly appreciate it!
If you have a moment drop down below and tell me what your favorite tech tool is, an item you really can't do without. Keep checking back, as I have several new items in the Product Review docket, one of them I am completely stoked about, but I can't leak what it is. That is exciting all in itself. Go get your Tech-On, and have a Blessed day!!

** I have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer. **

#OneTrueGod @StevenCurtis

This week at Dutilh - Mars Campus (@NewDaycampus) #saturdatsetlist #marspa #dutilhumc

Get ready for week 6 of The Truth About You. We will be discussing how You are Empowered. Come sing His praises and join us for coffee and discussion. Band starts it's #saturdaysetlist at 5pm. We can't wait to see you there.

Friday, October 7, 2016