Solutions Through IT

April 21, 2016

Android–After a month

Filed under: Android, Mobile, Nexus — solutionsthroughit @ 12:48

I wrote about my initial review of Android, and it would seem that the update process isn’t always a good one.  There are a number of pages that suggest a hard reset will increase performance.  After ensuring that I had my phone set to backup, I bit the bullet and performed a hard reset.

Simple enough process, and moderately quick.  Went through the setup and restore process, which also seemed quick and simple.  Only one issue – the backup function is effectively USELESS.  No text messages.  No MMS.  No app-specific data.  Nada.  You basically get a list of the apps you’d previously had, and the wireless networks.  Nothing else is restored.  Bluetooth device?  Nope, you’ve got to re-pair them.  Texts? Hope you saved all the information that you still wanted in your texts (I didn’t!).

The phone is now chewing through battery, and routinely won’t make it 10+ hours without requiring a period of time on charge.  Not necessarily a bad thing, from a timing perspective – 5-15 minutes gives it a good chunk of charge, but still a pain for a modern device.

Microsoft really need to extract a digit and get the Lumia platform rolling.  Hell – do what they did years ago with Visual Basic.  Make a development engine so easy to use, everyone can and will use it  Yes, we’ll have 30,000,000 calculator apps.  And “browsers” that just use an IE window.  We’ll have people developing spaghetti code nightmares that should not exist, but we’ll suddenly have heaps of developers wanting to develop good apps to monetise them.  And suddenly, they’ll have market share.  The Lumia hardware is absolutely the smoothest and most consistent I’ve experienced (and I’ve used all the OS variants).

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August 17, 2015

Product Review: HP 8 G2 (The Android iPad Mini 3 equivalent?)

Filed under: Android, HP, Review — solutionsthroughit @ 16:19

Should you buy it?

Yes – if you factor in the considerations below (if you want a cheaper iPad mini sized device). 

A little more detail …

At the moment, with Android 4.4.2 this unit is a competitor to the iPad mini 2/3, however, it is a compromise.  The screen resolution is half that of an iPad Mini 2, the cameras are 1/2 the MP of the iPad and the battery life is about 1/2 as well.  Compared to the iPad mini 2 directly, it is clearly the lesser of the two products.  However, most people don’t use tablets side by side.  During my review, I was satisfied with the screen for playing games and Facebook / internet access through Chrome or Firefox.  My only issue is that the battery life is somewhat limited, and requires you to be close to power if you want to use it for long periods of time.

Pros

  • Price is cheaper – I managed to get this on special for less than 1/2 the price of an iPad mini 2
  • It’s Android (if that matters) and opens up different opportunities to the Apple store
  • Customisable – If you’re not used to Android, you’ll find that almost all the parts (keyboard/screen saver / browsers) are upgradable or changeable.
  • Most apps are indistinguishable from the iPad equivalents, performance wise (resolution aside).
  • No fingerprint reader to exploit!
  • Expandable storage – you don’t have to pay exceptionally higher costs for storage.

Cons

  • Battery life is limited.  With heavy use, expect only 3-5 hours, especially if you are using Wi-Fi
  • Screen does dim as far down as other devices.  The lowest brightness setting is still quite bright.  Not great for night usage.
  • Out of the box, it needs tweaking.  I had to replace the default keyboard and launcher before the tablet was ‘snappy’ enough to be usable.
  • No update on when or if Lollipop or Android “M” will be released for it.
  • Buttons are set further back than the iPad mini’s, and if you are used to this location, you may have to re-learn the position of the buttons

Product Specs

  HP 8 G2 iPad Mini 2/3
Processor (SOC) Quad-Core A33 (1.2Ghz, 32Bit) Dual Core A7 APL0698 (1.3Ghz, 64Bit)
GPU ARM Mali-4000 MP2 (2 Cores) PowerVR G6430 MP4 (4 Cores)
RAM 1GB DDR3 SDRAM 1GB LPDDR3
Internal Storage 16GB eMMC 16/64/128GB
Wireless / Bluetooth Yes (b/g/n) / Yes (4.0LE) Yes( a/b/g/n) / Yes (4.0 LE)
Battery / Life 4000 mAh / Up to 7 Hours (~4 hours with moderate use) 6470mAh / ~10 Hours (~4-8 with moderate use)
Display 7.85” IPS, 1024×768 (163 ppi) 7.9” IPS, 2048 x 1536 (324 ppi)
Camera (Front / Rear) 0.3MP / 2MP 1.2MP / 5.0 MP
Expandable Storage Yes, SD to 32GB No
GPS GPS (no other tracking assist) GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS
Connectors USB 2.0 / 3.5mm Apple proprietary
Wireless Charging No No
2/3/4G No Yes, at additional cost / different model

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