Category: Smartphones

New phone idea – Droid Turbo

Image source: Droid-life

Image source: Droid-life

I previously blogged about my frustration with phone battery life and later wrote about the Experia Z3 Compact which is a smaller phone with a large battery.  My current contract expires next month and so I wanted to continue the blog series about phones with long battery life.

The Droid Turbo is an unannounced Android phone that according to the Verizon countdown timer, will be launching on October 28.  However, like most things mobile, the device is a poorly kept secret and the phone specifications and manual have been leaked, and Android Central has a very good summary of the smartphone.  Some key elements that got my attention include:

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Review: JuiceSSH For Android

JuiceLogoAs my readers know, I am a techie and one of my hobbies is monkeying with Linux. My basement contains multiple Linux servers including a Raspberry Pi model B, and I also have a couple of Linux webhosting accounts. I am an anti-GUI kind of guy and so I manage and operate all of these systems through SSH. The process has historically worked really well until a few months ago.

Recently, my company updated their firewall to block SSH and so my remote access functionality ceased operation. This was a problem especially since I was in the process of migrating webhosts. As a result, I had to look for other SSH access options. My first thought was to use my smartphone and so I headed to the Android AppStore to look for a client.  My initial search yielded ConnectBot which was highly rated; however, I ran into problems. Read More »

New phone idea – Sony Experia

sony-xperia-z3-compact-318_verge_super_wide (1)Last week, I blogged about my frustration with the battery life of today’s phones.  My position was that we have become complacent and that we must prioritize phone longevity over other features.  My phone is coming off contract and so I committed to prioritizing battery life as a key metric for the future purchase.

A Twitter Follower had recommended that I look at the Experia Z3 family from Sony.  These devices bring high end phone specs and two different size options.  The base Z3 comes with a 5.2 inch screen and is unsurprisingly is called the “Experia Z3.”  Sony also offers a 4.6 inch model which they call the “Z3 Compact.”  The Compact is particularly noteworthy because it bucks the industry trend of  limiting high end hardware exclusively to large phones.  (Generally, flagship phones like the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 or LG G3 get the latest hardware and the smaller versions of those phones come with reduced specs.)  The Compact has similar hardware innards as the Z3 with the exception of a smaller screen and hence smaller form factor.  I find bigger phones awkward to hold and pocket and so the idea of a very powerful smaller phone intrigues me.  The initial press releases suggested that Sony was prioritizing battery life which further accelerated my interest. Read More »

012110-small2The tech world has been abuzz with the recent announcements of the iPhone 6 and 6+. There is no doubt that these are exciting new devices for Apple although the curmudgeonly might argue that these are catch up devices to bring Apple more in line with their Android competitors. Regardless, there is an element of the announcement that I find disappointing and to be fair, it is a complaint that I have with most of the latest mobile technology – battery life.

Battery life is a key metric for device usability. What good is an iPhone or Galaxy S if its battery life is short? Sure, it has mobile payments, GPS and health tracking, but all of this is irrelevant if the phone is dead. Yet the newest announcements highlight features like higher speed wireless radios, new phone sensors, thinner form factors or bigger screens and virtually all of these impact battery life in a negative way. It seems that buyers are so enamored with these additions that they ignore the fact that battery life sucks. Yet if I look back just a few years ago, we had phones where battery life was measured in days and weeks versus the sub 12-hour life which is common today. Read More »

RIM: A contrarian opinion

With the recent public display of Blackberry 10, RIM is back in the news. I believe that RIM has made many missteps and has been too slow to respond to changing market dynamics. Thus, my view is that RIM’s future looks dim and that they will struggle. Last week, my travels took me to Toronto and I met with a knowledgeable person (Let’s call him Bob for simplicity although that was not his real name.) who had a different opinion. To be clear, Bob was not a RIM employee but was knowledgeable about the company and the industry. I thought that it would be interesting to share his perspectives here because they are so different from mine. It is up to the reader to decide whether they agree or disagree. Read More »