Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The best phone I've ever used - period.


I mentioned previously my experiences with an iPhone; in essence, I hated it. I had played around with Android on a Motorola Milestone, and thought that was pretty awesome - although the Milestone had its own issues. I got my hands on a Google Nexus One - fortuitously it appears, as Google is no longer selling them.


Its only been two days, but this is, without a doubt, the best phone I've ever used.



Mine is already rooted (because I want to run market-enabler, the tool that allows me to buy apps outside of the US), running Froyo, aka Android 2.2. Major highlights for me include the ability to run Flash and the fact that its so much faster than Eclair, aka 2.1. The battery life for a phone with this type of screen isn't bad (it lasts me one full business day), but thats not enough, so I have ordered an extended battery.


Useful links;

How to root your 2.2 Nexus One

Make sure your Amonra recovery doesn't get destroyed on every reboot

Monday, July 19, 2010

Popcorn Hour A200 metal case



The Popcorn Hour A200 is a great device; its smaller and cheaper than the C200, with no sacrifice in functionality. I just didn't like its cheapish plastic case. It worked perfectly, but looked very unimpressive compared to both the C200 and the A110. Popcorn Hour France sells a metal replacement unit, which I bought and tried out - it works exactly as advertised, and makes the device look more solid.


Doesn't play any differently of course, but it is a nice accessory. Recommended!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why I need a 500mm lens


I was lucky enough to attend two FIFA 2010 soccer World Cup games; I tried using my Nikon 18-200mm VR lens, which is a great lens but nowhere near close enough. I did also use a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens for some reasonable stadia and scenery shots, but what I really wanted were some close ups of the players (as more than just humanoid shapes), and some of the on-field action.


I've decided that the newly updated Sigma 50-500mm optically stabilised lens will be a good purchase; combined with a pair of Nikon 12x50 Action EX binoculars, I should be ok :-)


Hello Nexus One


I really, really hated using an iPhone. So much so that I begged and pleaded, and will be getting my hands on a Google Nexus One shortly. Details to follow shortly :-)


Major plus in its favour is that it gets its Android updates straight from Google. So no lengthy delays in OS updates, and I avoid the deadly Android fragmentation. Now that is a good thing.


I may still end up buying an HTC Desire, which is the non-Google version of the Nexus. But I'll avoid that for as long as I can, and buy a device on contract when I have to return this one.

The iPhone - I feel dirty using it


I've been using a friend's iPhone 3G for almost two weeks now, after having sold my Motorola Milestone. Many thanks to that friend, because I was contemplating getting an iPhone 4. Thank god I borrowed this 3G. Never mind the fact that I'd drop signal all over the place (which means I'd have to take note of how I hold the phone), especially given how superlative my current MNO's cell coverage is (it sucks), but this thing misses some basic things.


  • No widgets on the home screen
  • No ability to with one press set WiFi on/off, Bluetooth on/off, etc
  • No ability to set the phone to vibrate when I'm in a meeting
  • A clunky way to forward SMS'
  • No way to replace the rather rubbish standard SMS app


Nope, not impressed. And yes, I was using iOS4.

Huawei E5830 / E5

option 401

I was using an Option Icon 401 USB modem, on my Macbook Pro. It worked pretty well, but then the wonderful mobility guys I work with at Internet Solutions decided to start bringing in the Huawei E5830 aka E5. This is one of the new classes of 3G connectivity devices; it takes a SIM card, and presents itself as a WiFi hotspot.

I was initially quite sceptical, but after using it for about two weeks, am a firm believer! These things are great; it has a digital display to tell you what is going on, it is battery powered so no cords and it seems quite stable. Definately a winner!


Goodbye Milestone, hello opportunity!


So if you remember, I bought a Motorola Milestone from Expansys, and after quite a lot of irritation, decided it was time to go. So I put it on Bidorbuy, Gumtree and Vottle, and managed to sell it for R3500. So, a R1000 hit for a phone that I had used for six months, and managed to learn about Android and what I didn't want in a phone. Not bad school fees.


In the meantime, I've borrowed a friend's Apple iPhone 3G, and lets see how that goes!