• Saturday, December 6, 2014

      Samsung Galaxy young S6310 review

      Samsung may have their hands locked with their flagship phones luckily, the entry level market didn't stray far from their reach. The galaxy young is Samsung's most successful budget phone released in 2011, the galaxy young now welcomes its second iteration.

      The S6310 is the galaxy young's second iteration improvements in aesthetics are easily noticeable, samsung has bumped up the hardware as well and now runs android 4.1 jellybean, at first glance it slightly resembles the S3 mini, the smooth and curvy edges are more prominent than its older sibling making sure that users will have a grip friendly experience. The new and improved touch wiz ui and the 1ghz processor all together make it a different phone, as a result, even previous 1st gen owners will not think twice to consider owning one again.

      Screen resolution has improved a bit and now measures at 3.2 inches, sadly IPS is not present here so dont be surprised if you find yourself bothered with its limited viewing angles and low resolution screen, It's acceptable though, considering it's a budget friendly device, however the excellent touch sensitivity may make you forgive and forget those pixilated moments.

      Samsung has ushered in an improved touch wiz UI which by far is one of their best iterations yet, no more toy like look, out of it you'll get more live widgets and one thing that I'm particularly fond of, is the music player widget wherein you can play and scroll through your music files straight thru it without having the need to launch the app, on top of that, you now have up to 7 homescreens at your disposal, making it easier for you to assign more widgets, it turned out that all this improvements has just made the galaxy young a little less boring while still retaining its cheap stature.

      Hardware specifications remain at a low profile, the 1Ghz processor is inconsistent at times, just keeping up with the UI is a daily struggle for its single core processor, fortunately I still find it acceptable, considering the fact that it does excell in some of its features, one with the highest regard is social networking and web browsing using the stock browser, of course there will be some trade offs but the perks one could get for paying a good deal of money still make this phone a worth while investment.

      I was amazed to see that Dead Space is playable on the galaxy young S6310, you won't hear me say it's lag free though.

      You have probably lost your marbles if you're expecting a good camera on this one, Samsung may be leading the way in cellphone camera technology but on this phone they've decided not to impress us with it, instead a simple working one would do the job, nevertheless, a 3MP camera on a budget phone is always welcome regardless of its performance.

      The 1200mah battery won't put this phone on the endurance track especially if you're a multi media freak, not to mention it's a 3G phone and supports GPS, so you better keep those features at bay when not in use or better yet always have your powerbank with you, a full day of moderate use is easily achievable, though.

      PROS: affordable, good built quality, acceptable performance

      CONS: slight lags, low resolution screen, poor camera


      Network: 3g/GSM

      Display: 3.27 inch, TFT capacitive touch 320x480 resolution, 176ppi

      Memory: 512mb ram, 4gb ROM, expandable micro sd 32gb

      OS: Android OS, v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)

      Chipset Qualcomm: MSM7227A Snapdragon

      CPU:1 GHz Cortex-A5

      GPU: Adreno 200

      Camera:3mp rear

      Others: proximity sensor, gyro, bluetooth, GPS, wifi b/g/n

      Battery: 1200mah

      Wednesday, June 4, 2014

      Alcatel One Touch Scribe easy review and specs

      The one touch scribe easy is Alcatel's answer to the phablet craze, with looks and features in mind you could tell that the scribe easy aims to tackle the almighty galaxy note, though the two are worlds apart in terms of performance the one touch scribe can easily gain interest due to its affordable price.

      Alcatel has up their game with their one touch scribe easy, an affordable phablet that does what its supposed to, boasting a hefty 5 inch display, this device has lots of rooms to work and play with, my only gripe though, is the underwhelming resolution and the limited viewing angles, if you tilt it up you can see colors slowly starting to fade, though for most part you can get fairly satisfying results, on top of that, watching HD movies with a seatmate is possible without getting inappropriately close to each other.

      At this point in time we're probably immune to gadgets with talent to absorb fingerprints and smudges, weep not! as Alcatel did not put those cries in vain, the One Touch Scribe easy's touch screen is treated with oleophobic coating which makes it resistant to prints and grimes, meaning; you won't have to spend half of your day cleaning your phone, all it needs is just one swipe and your all done, now that's probably one hell of a feature to all the OCs out there.

      Around the back you'll get a matte velvet finish which feels good to the hands, it can easily get scratched though, so be mindful where you place your phone, meanwhile, the uni body design with covered ports and the stainless one touch logo at the back gives the Scribe easy a premium look, giving you an extra jolt of confidence to show it in public without that awkward feeling.

      Though powered by a dual core processor, the Qualcomm chipset fail to deliver a smooth UI experience, lags are visible while transitioning between homescreens the 512MB RAM didn't help much either, however launching and closing apps tell a different story, it's fast enough that it won't give users any reason to complain about. Yes lags are ever present, but it's as if it's not to be expected on a budget device, compared to other rivaling phablets of the same price, the Alcatel one touch scribe easy is far superior than the likes of Huawei and ZTE.

      The Alcatel One Touch scribe easy is a web browsing haven, probably there's a lot to thank about with its responsive 5 inch display, though not blazingly fast in opening a web page, mediocre for most standards is fast enough. Having experienced Facebook on its large screen makes me want to blame myself why did I bother on a 4 incher for almost a year, then it made me realized that the saying is true "once you turn 5 you'll never go 4", the one touch srcibe's web browsing reliability and long battery life is truly a match made in heaven, it turns out that web browsing and updating SNS accounts for hours on ends is now possible on a budget device.

      One of the key selling points of the one touch scribe easy is its ability to scribe as the name suggests, the device comes with a capacitive stylus right out of the box, mind you its not a magic pen like the ones being used on a galaxy note, it does look cheap in appearance but the functionality it brings is undeniably helpful. The one touch scribe comes with alcatel's own proprietary app called scribe note and scribe calculator, wherein the stylus is the main tool, the app won't break any grounds though, as there's nothing spectacular on it, though you got to give credit for how well it works, its responsive enough making it useful to jot down quick notes, the scribe calculator on the other hand is innovative in its own way, you just write down the equation using the stylus and the app automatically gives you the answer, though in comparison, a standard calculator app is a lot faster to use and also a lot more efficient, in the end I just find the scribe calculator app as a bloatware or an extra bling to sell the product.

      The one touch scribe easy features a 5 mega pixel camera with led flash and can take HD video at 720p, but don't be fooled to what it says on paper, as the OT scribe easy's camera is anything but sharp and needs a steady hand to get good results, like most cameras it takes good pictures in well lighted areas but where light is scarce you're better off not taking pictures, the HD video capability sounds promising and a lot might consider adopting the OT scribe easy because of that feature, Alcatel didn't lie about it though, as it takes real HD videos, however results are too shaky, and guess what? In areas with less light results are not too promising.

      Not much has change from the stock android 4.1.1 except for some few tweaks on the notification bar and some pre loaded icons, you'll also notice the white theme instead of the black background that we get so used to, and like a tablet the screen rotates even while you're at the home screen.

      Now a days a large screen is considered a standard in smart phones, though each one has its own bragging rights the one touch scribe's affordability is a far better offer than what the other competition can bring to the table. As experience tells us affordability can sometimes lead to disappointments, though as years come and go a lot has change especially in the tech world. These days affordability can easily turn tables especially in stiff competitions.

      PROS: affordable phablet, good build quality, good overall performance, excellent battery life.

      CONS: slight lags, low resolution screen, poor camera.


      NETWORK: GSM/3G, single SIM (micro SIM)

      FORM FACTOR: bar type, uni-body

      OS: android jellybean 4.1.2

      DISPLAY: TFT LCD 480x800 resolution, 187 pixel density, scratch resistant, oleophobic coating

      MEMORY: 512RAM, 4GB internal memory, expandable via micro sd card 32GB max

      PROCESSOR: 1.2 Ghz dual-core MSM8225 snapdragon chipset, adreno 203 GPU

      CONECTIVITY: wifi b/g/n, bluetooth, micro USB

      CAMERA: 5mega pixels autofocus/touch focus with LED flash, HD video at 720p, front VGA

      BATTERY: 2500Mah

      OTHERS: wifi hotspot, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, GPS

      Wednesday, May 14, 2014

      Archos 80 Titanium Review and Specs

      The Archos 80 titanium boasts an 8 inch display with acceptable quality given the price, though lacking some major features like Bluetooth and GPS, the Archos 80 make up for its sturdy built and fluid performance, for more of the Archos 80 titanium please read my full review.

      Archos have been making tablets way before Acer and lenovo released their iconia and ideatab series, though their previous tabs have been festered by bugs, unstable performance and dreadful battery life, archos have come a long way since then, the A80 titanium is an entry level tablet that has a lot to show, and this feisty device proved that being cheap doesn't mean you go plastic all the way, its solid construction and affordable price might make others consider adopting one, but is the archos 80 titanium all looks and no frills? Let's find out.

      At first boot you'll immediately notice the low resolution screen, while viewing some sample photos I can't help but look at the visible pixels from every corners of the picture, zooming doesn't help much either, though to be fair the 8 inch screen has superb viewing angles, tilt it from any directions and you can still see the pictures retain their colors. Archos opted for a 4:3 aspect ratio rather than the omnipresent 16:9 which is a far better screen for watching movies, however, the 4:3's wider screen allows better web browsing and book reading, while the larger real estate gives extra room for swiping and gesture commands, making it easier for your fingers to move around freely, what's more the A80 titanium comes stock with a matte screen protector which did a good job reducing glares and unnecessary reflections thus making the screen still visible outdoors.

      Design wise the A80 titanium is pure goodness, the back is made of an aluminum metal alloy which gives the device a premium feel, though similar in design with the iPad, the A80 tries to be unique in its own way, the soft matte back, the Archos logo and the awkwardly placed buttons on the left side when held in portrait mode are detractions that end their similarities. The "thin is in" persona has put manufacturers under pressure to create a device as thin as it could possibly get, the A80 titanium is a slim tablet by stature with high quality materials built into it, the curvy edges and the soft matte back gives better and more comfortable grip to the hands, so heavy users like me won't have to worry too much about hand sprains, though, using a tablet stand is probably a better option, as this tab is not by all means light.

      Archos is not messing around when it comes to specifications and performance, underneath the hood the A80 titanium is powered by a dual-core processor at 1.6 GHz coupled with a 1gig RAM DDR3 and boasts a quad-core graphics chip for enhanced gaming experience, transitions between homescreen is smooth with no signs of stuttering, and with little to no lags when transitioning from one app to another, you can tell on paper that this device is a serious contender and can stack up to most of its nearest rivals.

      Quadrant Benchmarks results:
      CPU: 7709
      MEM: 4273
      I/O: 6354
      2D: 1042
      3D: 2027
      TOTAL: 4281 "GOOD"

      *AVP extinction runs smooth even if set to the highest graphics settings, though visuals are not that stunning due to the A80's low resolution screen*

      Web browsing using Google chrome is fast and fluid enough, browsing through heavily loaded websites didn't stop the A80 from doing its job well, scrolling and pinching is accurate with almost no noticeable delays, my test showed that even with the music player turned on you can still browse the web with relative ease, notifications aren't a problem as the A80 lets you shift from one app to another as easy as clicking an icon without having to wait too much, even while browsing the web.

      Archos has left jellybean 4.1.1 mainly untouched, no bloat wares and no skinned UI just pure stock android goodness with the exeption of two archos preloaded apps namely, archos music and archos video which I think is a far better alternative than the stock android media player apps. The archos music app has an MP3 player based interface which gives you a lot more ways to navigate, play and manage your music files, while the archos video app is just as similar with some inclusions like online TV and movie subscriptions coming from multiple online providers including archos itself, plus you'll get a wider media and codec support compared with the stock android video player offerings.

      Affordable tablets almost comes natural with terrible cameras, and the archos 80 didn't detract itself from that age old tradition, as the 2mp rear camera takes grainy pictures and even worse it lacks colors and details, but on the bright side it's not very often that we take pictures with our tablets, so most, including me will put those issues aside, the front camera is no different either, though it's still useful for video chatting.

      Battery life has always been the weakest link for Archos devices and the A80 titanium is no exeption, the A80 lasted 4 1\2 hours on video, and will probably last 5 to 5 1/2 hours
      with continuous web browsing, on gaming you'll probably get 3 to 3 1/2 hours tops as games consumes far more battery than usual depending on brightness and graphics settings.

      We really can't argue about what the Archos 80 titanium can bring to the table, though I find it difficult to find a viable reason for Archos not to include Bluetooth and GPS on board for the same price, I've seen cheaper tablets with similar specs with Bluetooth and GPS lining up their arsenals. As a result the Archos 80 titanium may have to excuse itself from pairing up with a Bluetooth keyboard, thus relying solely with the on screen virtual ones.

      PROS: Affordable, fast and fluid performance, capable in gaming, good built quality, excellent viewing angles.

      CONS: Low battery life, poor camera, no bluetooth and GPS, no USB charging support.


      DISPLAY: 8 inch IPS LCD (1024 x 768) 160 ppi, multi-touch

      CPU: Cortex A9 1.6 Ghz dual-core

      MEMORY: 1GB RAM/8 GB internal storage, expandable via micro sd card 64GB max

      GPU: MALI 400 quad-core GPU

      OS: android 4.1.1 jellybean

      CAMERA: 2MP rear, 0.3 VGA front

      CONNECTIVITY: WIFI b/g/n, Micro USB 2.0, mass storage device, USB host, HDMI

      BATTERY: 4400 Mah

      OTHERS: gyroscope

      Wednesday, May 7, 2014

      Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite review

      The Samsung Galaxy tab 3 lite is a scaled down version of the tab 3, Samsung has made it a little less powerful than its other tab 3 siblings, but on the bright side taking away some of the goodies also mean making the device a little less expensive or should I say a lot more affordable, despite the cut down in components the tab 3 lite still delivers a solid performance.

      The first thing you’ll notice on the device is the lack of a front VGA camera, Samsung’s deliberate move to break the tradition for the Galaxy tab 7.0 series to create a more desirable price point, obviously that is what Samsung aims for with the tab 3 lite. The lack of a front camera may not be a hindrance to some but on the other hand avid skype users and selfie addicts will have something to complain about, however the absence of the front camera is the only downside you’ll get on this tab because what’s left will absolutely blow your mind.

      The device features a 7 inch TFT LCD display with 1024 x 600 resolution at 170 ppi, you may notice that the 170 ppi ratio seemed a bit underwhelming for a 7 inch tablet but magically, the screen holds its own, pictures appear sharp and vibrant with rich colors and good contrast something you’d rarely see on a screen with this resolution more so, in an affordable tablet, kudos to Samsung for a job well done! and as far as responsiveness goes, the Tab 3 lite is by far one of the best out there, it's somewhat comparable to Apple products in terms of overall touch response, transitions between homescreen is buttery smooth, on top of that, swiping and gesture commands only require minimal effort and what's even more surprising is how fast it opens an app, yet, all those nitty-gritties don't end there, as the tab 3 lite will also provide you with a fairly good viewing angles.

      The tab 3 lite makes other competition eat dust in terms of web browsing and overall performance, though the lite variant receives the cheapest chipset Samsung has to offer, the Marvell PXA986 chipset with 1.2 ghz dual-core processor is not to be underestimated, for one, opening a web page doesn’t require you to wait a couple of seconds or more than what the other competition currently does (Acer iconia B1), what’s more scrolling and zooming doesn’t show any signs of hideous lags and notably clear is the stable UI, during my short test with the Tab 3 lite I haven’t encountered any irritating hiccups or obscure UI related issues and it proved so, with some heavy apps currently running in the background, The Samsung touch wiz UI really works well on top jellybean 4.1.2, more so, the 1gig RAM helps a lot in giving the device a solid multitasking ability.

      *The Galaxy tab 3 lite is a full 2 seconds faster than the Acer iconia B1 in opening a web page*

      Gaming is probably one of the key selling points of the tab 3 lite, the VIvante GC1000 GPU works well in harmony with the Marvell PXA986 chipset along with a 1Gig RAM, Dead Space and Shadowgun works well on this tab with jaw dropping performance and stunning visuals, though the tiny 8Gig of internal memory will knock gamers off their feet, however, you can always expand it by doing so, with a micro SD card, though it’s known that games tend to work better if installed in the internal memory. That said, the Galaxy tab 3 lite is another reason for gamers to think twice before buying a dedicated portable gaming console, at 7,999 Php you’ll get a dedicated tablet and a capable gaming machine.

      *Another PSVITA and 3DS killer*

      In addition to its already awesome arsenal, the tab 3 lite also features Bluetooth, a 2MP rear camera and a GPS. The tab 3 lite tops the shelves in the affordable price tag category putting the Acer iconia B1 and the Lenovo ideatab A1000 on the bargain table, though, that extra price gives you a faster more reliable experience, and of course a name that’s almost unrivalled in the world of consumer electronics.

      PROS: affordable, compact and easy to hold, very good overall performance.

      CONS: no front camera, plastic construction all the way.


      DISPLAY: TFT LCD 1024 x 600 resolution with 170ppi

      PROCESSOR: Marvell PXA986 chipset 1.2 Ghz dual-core

      GPU: Vivante GC1000

      OS: android 4.1.2, touch wiz UI

      CAMERA: 2MP autofocus rear only

      MEMORY: 1Gb RAM, 8Gb internal memory

      CONNECTIVITY: WIFI b/g/n, Bluetooth, micro USB

      OTHERS: accelerometer, GPS, light sensor

      Sunday, March 16, 2014

      LG Optimus L7 P705 Review and Specs.

      Life just got better when android smartphones hit our shelves and it didn’t fail to amaze us with its seamlessly endless improvements in design, features and functionality it is also the most versatile piece of tech that had hit the market and offers a bevy of choices ensuring each individual has its own unique choice. The LG Optimus L7 personifies an android smartphone’s individuality for it targets a unique group of individuals who had a taste for premium phones but struggles to afford one, yes! the L7 is a premium looking phone with an affordable price tag, but was it worth the purchase? Let’s find out

      The Optimus L7 have been around the market for quite some time now, at first glance you’ll think it’s a premium phone with an expensive price tag until it finally reveals itself entirely, then it makes you wonder why can all phones look premium and yet cheap, the L7 is a good example that it can be done, instead of the price having to compromise with design and built quality, however as technology gets cheaper by the year I got a gut feeling that we’re gonna see a lot of these in 2014 and the year that follows.

      I have to say that the strongest selling point of the L7 is its premium design, even though it is made entirely of plastic; LG successfully gave the L7 a premium look, a mixture of good engineering and clever design. The screen is made of a scratch resistant glass-like plastic which is one of the best I’ve seen so far in this price range and it’s quite responsive too, what gives the L7 a premium look is the clever shiny black plastic bezel along the sides in which a lot of times had been mistaken for a black metal bezel, a good example of clever designing, and what I truly loved about the L7 is its super slim design along with the boxee shape and minimalistic look, add all that together and you’ll have an affordable premium looking phone by the name of the Optimus L7.

      (L7 paired with a Liveview watch)

      The optimus L7 is a two year old smartphone so having dated android OS doesn't come as a surprise, the L7 runs android 4.0.3 (ICS) and LG won’t be supporting a jellybean upgrade, as we've learned through the years most android devices can not be upgraded to a newer version of android, given only if you'll flash it with a custom ROM (at your own risk), however LG will be supporting firmware updates for the L7, although I find it difficult and inconvenient to update the L7 because it lacks the ability to make updates over the air, you’ll have to sync it with the LG phone suite that’s installed in your PC. But old or not I haven’t got problems using dated firmware for as long as it can perform my everyday task, that will put me at bay for a while before craving for a newer version, but certainly that won’t be the case for early adopters.

      The L7 P705 variant does not come with the NFC feature unlike its European counterpart, it's not much of a loss, though, as NFC is a feature that’s hardly been used in our country (Philippines), though I honestly admit it’s better to have it on board than not have it at all. That aside you’re probably wondering where did LG cut down on price? If you have tried one yourself it’s apparent that LG had compromised a lot with the L7’s hardware, generally the L7 is a slow phone and you can blame it on its somewhat anemic specifications, LG provides a 1ghz Qualcomm single core processor and a measly 512 MB of RAM for the L7, not much muscle there, so gaming, multi tasking and web browsing isn’t the nicest thing to do with this phone, however as an everyday phone that organizes your schedules, e-mails and social networking accounts this isn’t a bad choice.

      Though the L7 features a 5MP auto focus camera with LED flash, it’s not something to get excited about, for one, using it in dark areas isn’t the best thing to do with this phone but in areas with lots of sun it tells a different story, the 5 mp camera takes sharp pictures outdoors with print quality materials, my only gripe, though, is the slow shutter speed and the camera app which takes time to launch, you'll loss 4-5 seconds of your precious time over and over just trying to open the app, however, having the geo tag feature on board will somehow make-up for that loss, in addition video chat and selfies is something that ain’t new with the L7, the front VGA camera will make those selfie moments as easy as saying cheese.

      (Below are samples taken from the L7's 5Mp camera)

      I have to admit, multi-media is one of the best thing that the L7 can do; with its sharp 4.3 inch IPS screen watching movies on the go is an experience that’s second only to high-end phones, the screen also provides good viewing angles which is quite impressive for its price. It goes without saying that one can expect excellent music quality with an android device, true enough, that most adopted it as a portable music player, while the L7 has average to good battery performance, using it as a media player though, will drain your battery a lot faster and may struggle to last a day, although in this day and age most tech users already own a power bank so that erases that problem.

      All in all the optimus L7 holds its own, experience-wise I can say that it fares better than most single-core 1ghz android smartphones, but needless to say, with the uprising of affordable dual-core android phones I find it difficult for the L7 to still find a market.



      OS: Android 4.0.3(ICS), optimus UI

      DISPLAY: Corning's Gorilla glass, 4.3 inch IPS 480x800 at 217ppi

      PROCESSOR: Qualcomm MSM7227A chipset, Snapdragon 1Ghz Cortex A5, Adreno 200 GPU

      MEMORY: 512 RAM/ 4gb internal storage, expandable micro SD card 32gb max

      CAMERA: 5MP autofocus/touch-focus with LED flash, Geo-tag, front VGA

      OTHERS: Wifi, bluetooth, A-GPS, Wifi Hotspot, proximity sensor, auto-rotation

      BATTERY: 1700 mAh

      Sunday, February 9, 2014

      GE X5 Super Zoom Digital Camera Review

      Let’s face it! Point and Shoot digital cameras are slowly loosing its lust and could someday be replaced by the omnipotent smartphone, I mean seriously some smartphones can take pictures as good as a point and shoot camera and some high-end smartphones can even out-paced it, so why bother for a gadget that can easily be replaced by your smartphone, so much so, that portability and the need to carry a phone every step of the way also contributes to that factor, although there are some things that just can’t be replace by a smartphone, not just yet! One being such is the super zoom also known as the bridge type digital cameras --- in this article I’ll be reviewing the GE X5 super zoom camera.

      GE may be a common name for household appliances but not so with digital cameras, however their strategy to stick with affordable digital cameras certainly paid-off in the last few years or so. The X5 is a well-built and nicely designed super zoom camera that is made affordable to all levels of society and has average to good overall performance, yes it’s cheap! But there are some issues, so consider yourself warned! In this day and age the phrase “you get what you pay for” still pretty much apply to all types of marketing.

      If you have just shifted from a point and shoot camera it might take a bit of a learning curve, however the X5’s interface is properly laid out and buttons are neatly labeled for easy and non-confusing operation, the large dial on top of it help make users navigate from one feature to another with ease, there’s no doubt in my mind that the X5 is one of the most user-friendly super zooms I’ve ever tried, in fact it only took me a couple of minutes or so to get used with most of its basic features.

      The X5 is compact and easy to hold with a comfortable rubber grip on the right side which also houses the four AA batteries, apparently it is also the main reason why the X5 is a bit heavy for its size, more than a quarter of its weight is due to the amount of batteries it carries. To most photographers a double-A powered camera is a downer, “so to speak”, but the way I see it it’s more of a benefit than the other way around, in instances where you’re locked in a day tour and your battery dies out you can easily replace it with an alkaline battery that you bought at 7 ‘eleven, more so, using rechargeable AA batteries with higher amperes gives more life that you can squeeze out of it and it’s a lot cheaper too than lithium battery pack with no apparent news about it going obsolete making sure that your X5 will be in use for as long as you want.

      The X5’s stellar feature is its 15x optical zoom in which no smartphones of today, be it high-end or not can out match, the smartphone’s compact design apparently holds it back from having this feature, it’s pretty obvious that you can’t pack a large and retractable lens inside its slim design, on the other hand this is where the super zoom or bridge type camera really shines, the X5 can take pictures or subjects without the need to get close to it, the powerful GE aspheric lens with 14.1 megapixel sensor really did a good job zooming-in a far away subject within the 15x optical zoom range, however boosting it with a digital zoom really takes a toll on its performance, the subject gets a bit shaky in fact it’s almost impossible to get a clear shot and get the right angles, most often you’ll end up getting pictures that are out of focus, eventhough the X5 is equipped with stabilization mode it really did struggle to get the job done.

      But make no mistakes about it, the X5 is quite a performer, outdoors it takes excellent pictures leaving photographers with expensive DSLR cameras scratching their heads. Pictures are vivid with excellent color reproduction, if you’re skilled enough and know the rudiments of professional photography you might want to use the manual mode to further exploit the full potential of the X5, that said the X5 has all the makings of a DSLR camera and some considers the super zoom or bridge type camera as a great DSLR alternative.

      While the X5 takes excellent pictures outdoors and well lighted areas it's kind of the opposite taking photos indoors, in areas with insufficient lighting it may have a hard time focusing and may be frustrating at times especially when taking photos of random subjects, the use of the EVF Electronic View Finder may help to properly set up the subject before pressing the shutter button however, the X5 is significantly slow so taking photos of pets, children and other moving subjects will most likely be a difficult task, it can also record videos but not in HD although it's sharp enough to satisfy most standards. The X5 also features a sharp 2.7 inch LCD panel which gives detailed information when reviewing snap shots and videos, you can also view your shots on a large screen using the AV out feature, unfortunately, the AV cable is not included in the box.

      The GE X5 is an affordable camera that does what it's supposed to, it may have traded some of its features and performance for price, nevertheless, it's still a solid performer and that goes without saying, so would I recommend the X5........ definitely yes! price do all the talking most of the time but if you're more than wiling to shell out more cash I suggest you consider other options.

      Sunday, January 5, 2014

      Acer Iconia B1 review

      Acer has come up with their own version of a budget android tablet the Iconia B1, nothing stellar on this one but for the price you’ll most certainly get more than what you pay for, over the past months budget jellybean tablets has been selling like pancakes and one might ask how does the Iconia B1 fare from its nearest budget jellybean rivals, well for starters, it’s one of the cheapest and has the Acer logo on it, so revealing it in public won’t be an embarrassing moment, and you’ll also get the full Acer on-line support right out of the box for just only 5,999 pesos.

      So what do we get from a 5,999 peso tablet, well performance wise we’re obviously getting a lot from the iconia B1, this is no slouch of a tab and its price belies everything on and in it, performance and built quality is something you’d get on a mid-range tablet and one thing that separates the B1 from the competition is its 16GB storage in which most of its nearest rivals only offer an 8GB variant, though, I’d be grateful if Acer generously gave the B1 a whole gig of RAM, but for the price we really can’t complain!

      Aesthetically the iconia B1 is made entirely of plastic but honestly it doesn’t look nor feels cheap at all, the materials used are high grade plastics which surely gave the B1 a notch ahead than most entry-level tablets out there, however, the blue plastic lining along the sides somehow detracts from what is otherwise good design. Acer did gave the iconia B1 a minimalistic look but the same thing cannot be said on its performance, surely the B1 is anything but minimal in terms of performance, usability, and reliability.

      The iconia B1 may have a youthful look on it as it generally targets the young users but looks can sometimes be deceiving because under the hood the B1 is as serious as an executive in coat and tie, as this tab is powered by a mediatek chipset with a 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor, power VR GPU and half Gig of RAM, lag is something that’s out of the B1’s menu, well I may be exaggerating on that one, but yes! I can say that its barely there and swiping from one home screen to another is fairly smooth thanks to its responsive touch screen. --- Acer opted for a jellybean 4.1 and an update for a 4.2 is unlikely to happen, at least for the time being, but for a tablet thats more than capable of optimizing 4.1 jellybean for half the price of a nexus 7, one cant complain!

      Half a gig of ram is somewhat thin, however the iconia b1 can do some light to moderate multi tasking without serious notable lags, although games that use a lot of memory will seldom crash but for non power users 512 mb of Ram will do just fine --- As a budget tab one might expect a horrid looking screen, true to most entry level tablets but the iconia b1 really stands out from the rest it has a 7 inch (1024x600) screen resolution at 170ppi viewing angles are also wide enough and won't give you too much problem while watching HD movies or playing games, the numbers aren't that impressive but for the price it's definitely eye catching, there's no doubt Acer has done it right this time, and one more thing my jaw dropped when I first learned that it has bluetooth, for a tablet this cheap and a reputation that of Acer's it's a rare catch, nonetheless.

      Web browsing and SNS are things that are best done on the iconia b1, you'll be surprised how quick it is to open a web page, scrolling and zooming is also fairly responsive with almost no disappointing lags, uploading photos to Facebook is faster than any budget tab I've tried, it makes me wonder was the B1 made for SNS? considering its a tab designed for the younger audience whom we know are the most active members of Facebook twitter and the likes, well, it could be! --- And what’s significant about this 5,999 peso tablet is that, it gave me a solid 4+ hours of web browsing on a 60% brightness level, not bad especially if you’re only gonna shell out a quarter of the ipad’s price, even more so, the difference between the two (performance wise) is not that far off as their price tags suggests, I mean literally the iconia B1 just exposes how overpriced the ipad is.

      Some racist reviewers or ipad worshippers described the iconia B1 as ugly and horrid-looking, because of its thick bezel around the screen, well I say it’s there for a reason, try holding it with one hand in portrait mode and see where your thumbs rest, it’s obvious that Acer opted for comfort rather than good looks, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that having more grip areas around it guarantees less hand strain in the long run.

      The iconia B1 is no cheap tablet that can’t play games, surprisingly, this budget tab is pretty much capable in handling the most demanding 3D games; Dead Space, Shadowgun and Mass Effect to name a few, are all running smooth on the iconia B1, however, the battery is in conflict with the B1’s somewhat excellent gaming performance, sadly, it only gave me 2 hours and 53 minutes of Mass Effect, as the saying goes “you can’t have them all” well at least it’s cheap! And it’s still is a win win situation in my opinion.

      PROS: Affordable tablet with bluetooth, competitive brand name, good overall performance.

      CONS: Only 512MB of RAM, battery drains fast in gaming.


      OS: Android 4.1.1 Jellybean

      SCREEN: 7' capacitive multi-touch (1024x600) resolution at 170ppi.

      PROCESSOR: Mediatek 8317 chipset, 1.2 Ghz dual-core, Power VR GPU.

      MEMORY: 512 RAM, 16GB Flash internal storage also available in 8GB.

      CAMERA: Front 0.3mp VGA.

      OTHERS: GPS, bluetooth, accelerometer, micro SD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack.

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