• Wednesday, October 16, 2013

      Archos Gamepad 2

      Archos just recently announced the release of the 2nd gen Gamepad, "the Gamepad 2" with improvements obviously inspired from the flaws and cons of the previous Gamepad, that being said, the latter suffers from bad control schemes like; responsiveness and game mapping problems, also adding insult to injury was the poor battery life and the washed-out screen, but now with the release of the Gamepad 2 all these problems will be nothing more but history, as Archos claims!

      The Gamepad 2 has undergone a complete make-over in terms of design, emphatically, in a good way, it's now in matte black and appears more like a dedicated console and a serious contender to the PSvita and even Nvidia's Project Shield, the improvements in the button lay-out are easily noticeable, the once stiff analog thumb stick is now replaced by a more responsive ones with rubbery texture and an in-curved surface for enhanced grip, there are also additional shoulder buttons on both the left and right triggers, the d-pad is also been replaced by a one piece directional pad, that means hitting diagonals are much easier in which the previous gamepad had failed to achieve.

      ( An integrated Gamezone App Market ensures optimized game support for the Gamepad 2 )

      Aside from its improved design and amazing ergonomics, the gamepad 2 had a dramatic change in hardware, think of it as a gamepad on steroids, it now has a quad-core processor 1.6 GHz A9, a quad-core GPU, 2 gig of RAM, and runs android 4.2 jellybean, now even the most graphically intense games will be playable with almost no visible lags, game visuals has also improved because of the gamepad 2's enhanced screen (7"IPS 1280x800 resolution) bluetooth is also been incorporated on the gamepad 2. With all this improvements it's interesting to see how gamers wil react to it, considering the disappointments they had from the previous gamepad.

      (The Gamepad 2 comes pre-bundled with optimized Gameloft games, Modern Combat 4 and Asphalt 8)


      Included in box • Tablet, charger, USB data cable, documentation
      Display • 7’’: 1280 x 800 pixels, IPS,
      Application Framework • Android 4.2, "Jelly Bean"
      Processor • Quad-core A9 @ 1.6GHz
      • Quad-core GPU Mali 400 MP4
      Capacity • 8GB* or 16GB* + micro SD (compatible with cards up to 64GB)
      RAM • 2GB RAM
      Video playback1 • H.264 HD (up to 1080p @30fps)
      • MPEG-42 HD (up to 1080p @30fps)
      • With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, MKV, FLV
      Audio Playback1 • MP3
      • WAV (PCM/ADPCM)
      • AAC3, AAC+ 5.13
      • OGG Vorbis
      • FLAC
      Photo viewer4 • JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF
      Subtitles • .srt, .ssa, .smi, .sub formats supported
      Cameras • Front webcam
      Interfaces • Micro USB 2.0: Mobile Transfer Protocol (MTP)
      • USB host via OTG
      • microSD (compatible with 64 GB cards formatted to FAT32)
      Wireless technologies • Dual band WiFi (2.4GHz & 5GHz)
      • Wireless display5
      • Bluetooth
      Gaming Controls • Two analogue thumb-sticks
      • Directional pad
      • 6 front facing buttons
      • 4 shoulder buttons
      Miscellaneous • Built-in stereo speakers
      • G-sensor
      • Built-in Microphone
      • Audio Jack 3.5mm
      • HDMI output (Mini HDMI / HDMI cable sold separately)
      Power source • Internal: Lithium Polymer battery
      • External: Power adapter/charger
      Dimensions & weight • 200.5 mm x 154 mm x 9.9 mm (7.9’’ x 6.0’’ x 0.39’’)
      • 400g (0.88 pounds)

      Tuesday, October 8, 2013

      Alcatel Soleil OT5021E Review and Specs

      Alcatel is well-known for its affordable products like smartphones and tablets, however as cheap as they come they are actually on par with other expensive brands in terms of performance and durability, built quality is no push-over either, having said that, Alcatel’s smartphones are mostly underrated once you find a little space in you to try one, you’ll probably know what I’m saying. Alcatel is anything but green in this business in fact they’ve been here for quite some time now and through years of experience they’ve finally set things right with their ONE TOUCH series.

      The ONE TOUCH Soleil is Alcatel’s budget dual-core android Smartphone currently running 4.1 jellybean, design-wise there’s a heft of goodness to it, noticeably clear is the good built quality (in relation to its price) and somehow it doesn’t feel cheap whilst in your hands, the curves are also well placed and aims to minimize stress while holding it for long period --- there’s a large space at the bottom of the screen about more than half an inch, apparently it is where the capacitive touch buttons are placed and it kind of spoil the whole design, but once lit a different face emerges, and immediately you'll notice that it doesn’t look too bad after all.

      Every phone features eventually falls down to their hardware specifications and the One Touch Soleil is one tough competitor that doesn’t fall short on these qualities especially when we’re dealing with a budget Smartphone. The Soleil boldly features a dual-core processor (MTK6577) coupled with a Power VR GPU (SGX531) and 512mb of RAM. I was dumb-founded to see a budget device performed exceptionally well, lags are barely noticeable in fact I was that close to believe that there was any, but of course no such smartphones are free from lags. That aside, the Soleil is definitely as smooth as butter, just try swiping from one homescreen to the other and you’ll immediately felt Project Butter doing what it’s supposed to, opening and closing apps is also fairly exceptional , all that for a price that’s just arms length away.

      Web browsing is a smartphone’s most used feature, if you browse the web a lot and spends most of your time on Facebook than any other thing on earth, then you won’t be lost with the One Touch Soleil, surprisingly, the Soleil is one budget phone that does web browsing on a decent scale whether be it mobile or desktop view you won’t be disappointed, a feature only possible on higher-end dual-core smartphones but rarely on a budget phone, scrolling on a web page is fairly responsive, although you might encounter slight lags while zooming in and out but not on a level that might disappoint you. Furthermore the whole google ecosystem is yours to enjoy and android 4.1 jellybean is made use by the Soleil’s capable hardware, in which other budget jellybean device couldn’t do well.

      A Smartphone isn’t just your everyday Personal Data Assistant it is also your handheld gaming device, for some; buying a dual-core smartphone suggests their need for gaming than any other thing a smartphone can offer, the Soleil, however is a capable gaming device, the Power VR is a proven and tested gaming GPU, for those who didn’t know the PSVita and the Sega Dreamcast uses Power VR GPUs each with specific model. The Soleil can be your everyday handheld gaming console, for casual gamers it can run pretty much all your games including Temple Run 1 and 2, For hardcore gamers, well, For starters it can play Dead Trigger and Samurai II with acceptable gameplay and I’m sure enough that other graphic intensive games will be playable.

      The Soleil features a 4 inch IPS display 480x800 resolution, it’s not the brightest but it gets the job done, in fact its sharp enough not to strain your eyes when reading small text, the IPS display, meanwhile renders users a wide area of good viewing angles, colors are vibrant and well saturated in which I find it essential for gaming and watching movies, with its 4 inch display the Soleil is definitely one hell of a multimedia device.

      I’m not a big fan of smartphone camera but then again this is one feature that the Soleil does exceptionally well, it’s not as sharp as the iphone 5 or the galaxy note 3 but for the price it’s definitely enough to put other expensive smartphones to shame and it doesn’t even have a flash --- Now it all comes down to battery life, honestly I find it a bit short in juice especially if you are a gamer on the go, but with moderate use it will last you a day, however wifi and 3G does drain your battery a lot faster so you might want to turn that off when not in use.

      The Alcatel One Touch Soleil is available at Sun Cellular PLAN350 a relatively good offer for a good phone --- these days 350 pesos is just your average everyday gas consumption and if somehow you don’t find this as a good offer, well honestly I don’t know what is.



      Chipset MTK6577
      Android 4.1 jellybean
      CPU speed Dual Core 1GHz
      Power Vr SGX531


      4.0 inch IPS WVGA 480 x 800 pixels TFT
      16M color display Capacitive screen


      5 Megapixel camera with fix focus
      Face / Smile detection Digital Zoom
      Video Player: 720p@30fps Video capture: 720p@30fps Video codecs: H263, MPEG4, H264
      video streaming
      front camera VGA


      Internal Memory 4GB ROM / 512 MB RAM
      1.4GB end user memory
      MicroSD ( up to 32GB)


      GSM 850/900/1800/1900
      UMTS 850/1900/2100
      WIFI b/g/n
      bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP


      GPS with AGPS
      proximity sensor
      light sensor

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