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Sep 16 2012

Review: iOS 6

Adam Shear

With the iPhone 5 on the horizon, Apple will also release with it an update to iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Most iOS users will enjoy this free update on September 19 which comes with plenty of new goodies to keep your device feeling fresh and new.  iOS 6 is the sixth major iOS update. Every previous update has had its claim to fame with the App Store in iOS 2.0, copy and paste in iOS 3.0, multitasking in iOS 4.0, and iCloud in iOS 5.0. Each of these features have changed the way iOS devices are used. Does iOS 6 change the way iOS is used, or does it happen to be the least important major iOS update to date?

Like other iOS updates, iOS 6 comes with over 100 new features. Through this review, I will go over many of its major features and put my concluding thoughts in the end. All of the screenshots you see come from my iPhone 4S during the three months I have been testing a beta version of iOS 6. Continue reading

Mar 20 2012

Review: The New Apple TV

Adam Shear

While Appl

e has many famous product lines, there is one that hasn’t received as much attention. Apple’s device used to bring iTunes content to your HDTV has gone through significant changes from the first generation model to second generation. The second generation relied completely on streaming video in 720p HD and lacked the bulky, expensive hard drive the first version relied on. It also brought Internet streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. The final major feature the second generation Apple TV brought to the world was AirPlay which allows one to play videos from an iOS device on their big screen TV. Aside from The new iPad, Apple also launched the third generation Apple TV on March 16. This new Apple TV finally brings us streaming video in 1080p HD and an all new user interface. Does the Apple TV deliver as a great set top box or is this tiny black box still a hobby product for Apple enthusiasts?

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Jan 2 2012

Review: Samsung Galaxy Nexus: Welcome to the Future of Android

Adam Shear

buy cheap cialis=”" width=”466″ height=”414″ />Over the last few years, Android, Google’s first attempt into the smartphone market, has become an incredibly huge success. Many people love it, however, I have had a few complaints about the OS over the last few years. Android, like Windows 98 or Windows XP, does not at all feel elegant. Its interface needed a bit of work in my opinion to catch up my personal favorite smartphone, the iPhone. Even Windows Phone 7 has a better interface in terms of flow and elegance. Google and Samsung are hoping the Galaxy Nexus, featuring the debut of Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich as its referred to, proves to introduce the future of Android inside a state of the art smartphone. Is it enough to make it the best Android phone on the market? Find out in my review.

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Dec 19 2011

Review: HTC Rhyme, The Ultimate Feminine Phone

Adam Shear

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Many smartphone manufacturers today are focusing not just on power and software, but also style. Phones have to look just as good as they perform. HTC mainly focused on style when it comes to the HTC Rhyme. The phone just looks so nice, mostly because of its unibody design. While the HTC Rhyme may look good, does it have enough to stand out amongst its competition? Find out in my review.

The Hardware

On the outside, the HTC Rhyme is one of the best looking Android phones on the market. Its purple color and unibody design make it stand out. The Rhyme feels good in the hand and is not thick or heavy at all. In fact, the Rhyme is so light that I thought it had no battery inside when I first held it. Not only is the phone purple but it comes with a purple charm which plugs into the headphone jack and lights up when you receive a call or notification. I really could not figure out the significance of the charm but girls certainly will know their way around it. In terms of the look and feel of the device, the only major problem I had was that it sometimes overheated. There were a few times where I was streaming music on 3G data and that phone felt very hot afterwards. Phones do get hot after a lot of usage but this was definitely hotter than normal.

In the case of its internals, the HTC Rhyme unfortunately does not impress. For a $200 phone, it has only a 1 GHz single core processor. I can name so many phones at the same price that are more than twice as fast as the HTC Rhyme. This is pretty unacceptable. The speed difference is very noticeable, enough to say that Android phones really do need dual core processors to be decent phones. At least it has a decent amount of RAM at 768 mb. The amount of storage you get is also fine which is 4 GB of internal memory as well as 8 GB included on the micro SD card that came inside. The Rhyme’s battery at 1600 mAh actually was fairly great. I was able to get up to four hours of streaming music over 3G and the phone easily lasted a full day of moderate to heavy usage. The screen size at 3.7 inches is only small when being compared to other Android phones on the market. In general the screen is a nice size but the screen’s resolution is fairly low at 480 X 800 pixels. Phones half the price of the Rhyme has higher resolution screens. Just from what’s inside, it is clear that the HTC Rhyme is pretty overpriced for what one would actually get from any other phone with the same price tag.

The Service

Believe it or not, the HTC Rhyme is the first phone that I have ever reviewed on Verizon’s 3G network. I never used it before and I gotta say, the EVDO Rev.A technology is fairly decent. AT&T’s 3G network is still faster but Verizon’s service for the most part was on par with Sprint and maybe surpassing T-Mobile. The only difference with Verizon’s network was that I didn’t lose connection as much as I did for the other 3G networks. While in the Syracuse area, the other 3G networks were much better, Verizon was much more reliable than T-Mobile and Sprint and on par with AT&T everywhere else I went with the phone including areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the New York metro area. I give two thumbs up to Verizon’s 3G network. I’d give more thumbs up to its incredible 4G LTE network as I’m using it now with the Galaxy Nexus but unfortunately the HTC Rhyme is only a 3G phone.

The Software

In terms of software, I have no complaints. I love HTC Sense and Gingerbread so if you have used any of those, you know exactly what to expect. Only real difference is that it comes with some more girly themes and wallpapers. My only complaint about software is that the single core 1 GHz processor limits what can be done on the phone and slows everything down. It’s clear that Android phones need dual core processors.

Final Thoughts

The HTC Rhyme is a pretty phone that feels great in the hand, but that’s all it really is. The HTC costs $200, probably double the price it should cost. There are so many other phones available on Verizon’s network at the same price that have more than twice the power and use Verizon’s amazing 4G LTE network. The Rhyme should be worth $100 at most. With so many better choices, I sadly cannot recommend the HTC Rhyme.

The Good

    • Pretty unibody design
    • Feels great in the hand
    • The charm is kind of cool if you’re into that thing
    • Runs HTC Sense and Gingerbread
    • Battery life is not pretty good

    The Bad

      • Overpriced
      • Underpowered with its single core processor
      • Overheats

      Final Score: 5.5/10

      Special thanks to Verizon for loaning TripTronicTech an HTC Rhyme for review.

      Nov 14 2011

      iTunes Match: The Software That Fuels The Cloud-Computing Fire

      Eric Engoron

      Originally intended for release in October, Apple’s long awaited iTunes Match service is finally here, and it definitely takes cloud computing to a new level of amazing.

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      Nov 14 2011

      Review: HTC Flyer – This Thing Really Flies!

      Adam Shear

      Honeycomb seems to be all the rage these days when it comes to Android tablets.  Manufacturers are not even thinking about using Gingerbread, the same version of Android used on smartphones, for a tablet.  HTC thought different in this case with the HTC Flyer.  The original Samsung Galaxy Tab did the exact same thing before Honeycomb was even announced.  The one big difference with the Flyer is that it utilizes HTC Sense.   Is HTC Sense enough to make a tablet running phone software actually useful and enjoyable?  Find out in my review.

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      Nov 5 2011

      Reminder: You Can Pick Up The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0+ Today!


      In case you don’t remember, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0+ is available today from Amazon! In case you don’t remember, Google had another 7 inch Tab that launched with Android 2.2 some time ago, but now, this 7-incher’s got it good! Running Android 3.2, honeycomb with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX user interface built on top, the Galaxy Tab 7.0+ has got an extra bit of polish than other tablets in its range. Some of the other notable specs include:

      • A 7-inch display with a great resolution of 1024 x 600
      • Dual cameras – 2 megapixel front facing camera and a 3 megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash, capable of 720p HD video capture!
      • A 1.2 GHZ dual-core Samsung Exynos processor
      • 1 GB RAM
      • Your choice of built in storage of 16 GB or 32 GB, expandable with a microSD card slot!
      • Peel Smart Remote – You have the built in infrared capabilities to turn your 7-inch tab into an overpriced, awesome, useful, universal remote!
      It’s really not your run of the mill Android tablet, and the fact that it’s 7 inches and packing such power makes it attractive. Personally, I prefer something a little bigger, but there are many people that prefer tablets smaller than 9-10 inches, and I think this is something they can appreciate. Also, our very own Adam Shear will be reviewing this tablet, as well as the 7-inch HTC Flyer, so we should be able to see a greatly detailed comparison! Stay tuned!

      Oct 22 2011

      Review: iPhone 4S

      Adam Shear

      Another year, another iPhone.  There’s no doubt that the iPhone 4S was the most anticipated iPhone ever, leading up to its reveal in early October.  While most people were left disappointed when expecting a completely redesigned iPhone, the iPhone 4S still left people very happy.  While it looks exactly like an iPhone 4 on the outside, the iPhone 4S is a completely different beast on the inside.  It’s faster, has a better camera, and includes Siri, the only exclusive feature the iPhone 4S has to offer, in terms of software.  Does the iPhone 4S make for a good buy for current iPhone users and newcomers to the platform?  Be prepared to find out in my review.

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      Oct 10 2011

      Review: iOS 5

      Adam Shear

      After over a year of waiting, the fifth major update to iOS is finally here.  The previous major update, iOS 4, added key features such as multitasking, home screen wallpapers, the ability to organize apps with folders, and a unified mail inbox.  These features were really the last things iOS needed to seriously compete with other smartphone operating systems which already had these key features.  iOS 5 for the most part is not about playing catch up, it is about enhancing the OS to stay ahead of its competitors. How much does iOS 5 enhance the overall experience?  Find out in my review.

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      Sep 1 2011

      Review: HP TouchPad- Potentially The Definitive Tablet Experience

      Adam Shear

      The discontinuation of the HP TouchPad is sad for HP but an incredible deal for the many consumers like myself who scored one in HP’s firesale for only $99.  HP is manufacturing one final shipment of HP TouchPads in order to fulfill the needs of consumers.  Should the HP TouchPad have succeeded all along or was it doomed for failure from the start?

      The Hardware

      The HP TouchPad is pretty impressive in terms of hardware.  It’s powerful 1.2 GHz dual core Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM ensure that you can have plenty of apps open at once and you can switch between them at very fast speeds.  The 9.7 inch display is not only the same size as the iPad 2 but also the same resolution as well.  The screen looks great and the multitouch screen feels really nice.  It does have a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera for video calling via Skype, and video chat is quite nice, but unlike most tablets available, the TouchPad lacks a rear camera or the ability to take pictures and video all together.  In my opinion, I see no real need for a rear camera or the ability capture photos and videos on a tablet.  Everyone these days has this on a phone so I would not see why the lack of one on a tablet would be that big of a deal.  I’m surprised many critics are lowering their score because of this.  The Beats Audio speakers are impressive and are easily the best speakers I’ve ever heard on a mobile device.  The speakers just sound so clear and natural.  The TouchPad itself is noticeably fatter and heavier than an iPad 2 but definitely beats out many of the new Android Honeycomb tablets in size.  The tablet is comfortable to hold and feels great in the hands.  The back is glossy and because of that, it’s a true fingerprint magnet but other than that, the HP TouchPad is very well designed. Continue reading