Archive for March, 2011

New Opera for phones and tablets/EVO 3D uses MHL port

March 23, 2011

I ran across both of these articles on AndroidPolice this morning and, rather than posting them individually, I figured I’d just roll them together.

First, Opera’s released new versions of both their Mobile and Mini. Mobile’s got a new UI for tablets but it’s also got Flash support as well as a few other new features (AndroidPolice article about both is here as well as download links for both) so if you’ve got the horsepower and download speed, go for it. If not, go with Mini which also has a new, tablet-friendly UI and some new features like pinch-to-zoom. If you just want to download them, here’s Market for Mini and Market for Mobile. Supposedly you can just go to http://m.opera.com in your mobile’s browser but when I tried it on my T-Mobile Nexus One, I got a message that there wasn’t an Opera Mini for T-Mobile and that I should try the public Opera build.

Next, Sprint’s newly announced HTC EVO 3D doesn’t have a micro USB port nor does it have an HDMI port (AndroidPolice link here)! Instead, it has an MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) port. MHL is a new standard that can connect BOTH microUSB and HDMI on a single port. If you have a TV that has an MHL port (probably not at this point) you can plug it in and (get this) CHARGE YOUR PHONE VIA HDMI. The port supposedly is plug-compatible with microUSB so you don’t need an adapter for it but, until you get an MHL TV/whatever, you’ll need an adapter for HDMI. Yeah, it’s kinda cool and futuristic and I understand that devices must adopt new standards but, c;’mon, that means you need an adapter! OK, *I* probably won’t need an adapter because there’s very little chance I’ll plug it in to my TV anyway, but would it’ve hurt them to put an MHL *and* a microHDMI port on the thing?

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The AT&T/T-Mobile deal changes everything

March 20, 2011

I decided to pass on the HTC Thunderbolt this past week when it was (finally) released because, frankly, I didn’t (and still don’t) think that it brings enough new stuff to the table. Sure, it’s Verizon’s first LTE phone. But there will be plenty of those. And unlike previous Verizon phones, it can do 3G data while you’re talking on the phone. But it’s a single-core phone at the beginning of the dual-core era and has an 800×480 display when 960×540 is the new resolution. If I’m going to lock myself in to a year long contract, I want to get closer to the cutting edge. Thunderbolt owners are able to get in on an unlimited 4G plan for $30/month and that attracted me, too, but there’s no guarantee it will be transferrable to another phone not that Verizon wouldn’t convert it to a tiered plan once they’re on the books.

So, after doing a Best Buy pre-order and waiting a month, I decided to pass. Yes, I went to the Verizon store and used the phone on launch day. For 40 minutes, no less! And it’s a great phone! But it’s not “not your next phone but the one after that” as it was advertised. It’s between my last phone (a Nexus One) and my next phone. And HTC has started locking their bootloader! C’mon guys!

I shifted plans. Rather than pick up last year’s phone, I figured I might get the USA version of LG’s Optimus 2X on T-Mobile, called the G2X. While it’s only 800×400 at least it’s got a dual-core Tegra 2. Rumor is it’ll be a “Google experience” phone and the G moniker sorta indicates it might be the next G phone (as in G1, G2, G2X).

But, now that I see AT&T is buying T-Mobile, I may have to go to Sprint or Verizon. I’ve already got the XOOM and I’m pretty happy with it (yes, I know I owe you a review … and it’s coming, I promise). But Verizon’s business practices bother me. Their coverage is excellent but, honestly, I’ve not had many problems with T-Mobile, even when I went to New York a few weeks ago. Sure, I get a few dropped calls but I’m not trying to impress anyone and a dropped call is just an annoyance to me, not something that’ll lose me business.

Stick it out with T-Mobile and see what happens or jump to Sprint or Verizon? Honestly, for me it’ll probably be a bit of both. Even if I get a phone on another carrier, I’ll probably scale back but keep my T-Mobile account. I’ll keep you posted.

Almost a week with the XOOM

March 9, 2011
I ordered a XOOM two weeks ago and it came while I was away on a business trip. When I got home last Friday I got busy with it. I promised myself that I wouldn’t post anything for at least a week so I wouldn’t post the usual crap you see when someone gets a new device and posts a review after a few hours or a day, still unused to the paradigm shift that’s typical with new hardware or software.

That said, I have to break my own rule to comment on the b XOOM’s battery life. One charge lasts me TWO days, easily! I power on my device in the morning while at home and use it on wifi for an hour or so, power it off and then turn it on again at the office where I use it on and off all day on Verizon 3G. It stays on for the trip home and, once home, I switch back to wifi for the evening. I turn it off before bed and then start the process over the next day. That means it’s on for about 14-15 hours per day, 5-6 of which is wifi. Pretty good if you ask me (note that I charge my phone each night). I’d guess I acttually use it about 8-10 hours each day.

Ok, that’s all for now.