Sunday, 19 October 2014

Custom strap options for Moto360 Smartwatch




Have a Moto 360 ? Well you might just love this Kickstarter project, its an adaptor for you to change the default boring strap to any strap of your choosing. Simple, that's it.

To give you some idea of the choices, lookie lookie


You can also use the hook and hang the Moto 360 from clothing etc. 

Find out more on Kickstarter here - prices start £9 for you early birds, be quick as the numbers are limited.




Thursday, 16 October 2014

Nexus 6 de-cloaks : Set for a fail, maybe...

So the Nexus 6 has shown up, complete with a spec sheet. Now reading through all the specs and I'm not sure if its going to be a stroke of genius by Motorola or they will miss the goal like they did with the second gen Moto X.

My worry being the screen vs battery power struggle which the battery will lose, quickly.

Yes I'm aware the N6 will sport default ART which is a first and I'm sure that will help the battery BUT the 3220MAh battery has that huge AMOLED QHD screen to throw pixels around.

Looking at the LG G3 which I guess is the closest we have in terms of screen and battery (along with many other specs), that managed to last a day of usage. Which we found to be reaching for the charger after a days abuse by 7pm...on gsmarena.com LG G3 it gets a 69h rating- you can compare the spec sheet here

One issue with the Moto X 2nd gen was its piss poor battery life which stopped me from buying it and I cant help but think Motorola have shot themselves in the foot again, faster CPU, more memory, bigger screen; are we set for another Nexus disappointment ? let the hate mail begin, but the N5 suffered from the same fate, terrible battery life in an otherwise excellent device.

Apple iPhone 6 also has an average battery life, and here is a golden chance to show how Android is the best platform for large screen handsets, setting itself apart from Apples flagship; with a pure Android experience too.

I want the N6 to succeed, I really do...Motorola just has a history of knocking itself out just as it reaches the 12th round.





Tuesday, 14 October 2014

ROCKI launches Student Ambassador scheme for NYU

ROCKI (myrocki.com) have just announced a scheme where students at NYU can swag themselves a free ROCKI Play device. 

In return all that's asked is applicants give some market feedback at the end of the trial, of course the numbers of the trial are limited so if you goto NYU then check out the NYU Careers boards or go to the application page here.... ROCKI Ambassador Application Page 

If you are not sure what ROCKI is, then you can have a quick look through its feature list, ROCKI turns your stereo hifi, car, boombox, clock radio or home theatre into a wireless music system - no need to replace perfectly good speakers all at a reasonable cost of $49.99....and you can buy yourself a ROCKI Play on Amazon here.

  • Use the WiFi network to play your own music stored on your phone, tablet, or computer by connecting your ROCKI PLAY to any audio system in your home via 3.5mm or standard RCA audio connectors. For IOS users, all streaming services can be accessed using AirPlay, so you can stream music seamlessly. For Android users using the ROCKI App, Sound Cloud and Last.fm are integrated into the ROCKI app with more streaming services to come.
  • Excellent wireless sound -- ROCKI links to your personal device via WiFi connection enabling ROCKI to transmit high quality audio, including lossless formats like FLAC, at a greater distance.
  • Free ROCKI app, AirPlay, or Windows Media Center allow users to conveniently stream their music from their phone, tablet or computer. The ROCKI app is compatible with a multitude of sound formats: MP3, FLAC, OGG, MP4 and others.
  • ROCKI PLAY connects to your audio system with an audio cable or RCA audio cable and is powered by a USB charging cable -- all of which are included with the ROCKI PLAY.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact : Takes a bite out of Apple's bent phone


The last outing for the Xperia Compact line was pretty much well received by most, including us.

I said it then, and say it again now - Sony's Z1 Compact was a fantastic rival to the iPhone 5, while it didn't sell in the bucket loads; partly down to Sony's crappy marketing I'm sure, it did stand up in every way against all sub 5 inch handsets.

So what can Sony do to an already good handset to make people jump into Xperia ?


Software and UI

Most of the biggest changes come to the software, Sony have got one of the best UI experiences out there - that's if you prefer clean lines and less clutter. Gone is the mess that HTC has on their handsets, and lets face it HTC has the only UI that puts the silence / vibrate function on its volume rocker the other way round. That in itself drives me insane with rage (ok that's a bit strong), but ddoesn'thide the over tuning of Android which puts me off using any HTC.

Samsungs TouchWiz and LGs whateveritscalled are both trying to see how much bloat they can install on a phone before it halts and catches fire - they are both the same in many ways in terms of useless features nobody gives a flying fuck about. Although I'm sure +Marques Brownlee likes to get highly excited over those.

The ability to remove most of the pre-installed 3rd party apps is most welcome, something the Z1 and Z2 didn't allow until later Android versions. So you can delete Facebook and Vine for a start. You can record screen demos as well by pressing the power button down for a few seconds (its in the power menu) - of course the high ISO changes to the camera, double tap which is copied directly from the LG G2s "knock on". Screencasting to Chromecast right out the box is brilliant, along with the Remote Play for Playstation. All superb additions to the feature list which is placed in a clean menu system that doesn't look like a post pinata party for 4yr olds, to top it off using the Z3 Compact underwater is a much better experience.


Gripes

Not as Premium as the Z1 Compact
Now the screen, its my only gripe here, when placed next to the Z1 Compact you notice the size difference of the screen but the pixel density is noticeably down.

While it doesn't look bad, you do really see the difference and I'm sure you friends with their 1080p screens will too. However you have to remember for £349/$500 its considerably cheaper than almost all other flagship handsets.

Generally the Z3 doesn't quite feel as premium as the Z1 Compact but its by no means cheap, the back is less easy to scratch which is good but Sony have some how made the handset to sit well in the hand AND be super slippery at the same time. Its quite an achievement.


Battery 

Battery life is a stella improvement over the Z1 Compact, last much longer than its older brother by a whole day, and with my usage I get 3-4hrs more on screen time than before. So if you have a long powerless commute to work every day and beyond, the Z3 Compact has your back.


Overall 

Big Flaps, nobody likes big flaps
The tweaks to the battery, larger screen in the same frame and some design changes. I'm not best pleased with the massive flap on the side. Previously the USB flap was much smaller and just covered power inlet, now its hiding the USB and Micro SD card, but the fit does feel more secure despite the lack of premium feel frame the Z1 had.

We have the Xperia in while and it doesnt show up finger prints on the back like the black version does.

Even though I sound a bit beat down on the Z3 Compact, my feelings for the handset cocouldn'te further from that. I love it. Its a perfect size, the UI is clean, the camera is fantastic with some cool multi camera features if you pair the Z3C with another Xperia phone. Its fast and super buttery smooth, proving you don't need 64bit OS to run blazing fast. Z3 Compact also looks good, very good.

Does it stand up against the iPhone 6 ? Yes in every way, iPhone 5 ? of course, and maybe every Android before it.