smartphone

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Mio Lifesaver II Review

Mio Lifesaver II Review via BrothaTech.com

Disclaimer: I was given a Lifesaver II for review. All opinions are my own.

Don’t get caught sleeping in these streets without power for your gadgets. There are a ton of those emergency/extended batteries for your mobile electronics. Reason being is because we wouldn’t be caught dead without a smartphone or tablet. So it’s not a question of do you need one (because you do), it’s a question of what kind you need.

Do you just need an emergency charger to get you out of a jam, or do you need a power plant that can charge a multitude of devices. Does it need to be powerful or portable? With such a wide selection to choose from, it’s easy to get confused on what you need. Personally, I’m looking for something that is ultra portable, but can change all the different devices I may be carrying on me at any time.

So when the folks at Everik reached out to see if I was interested in reviewing the Lifesaver II by Mio, a sleek and fast charging power pack with adapters to charge many devices, I made sure to shoot them my address.

Features & Specs:

  • 4500mAh battery
  • Fast-charging 2.4 amp output
  • Sleek design
  • LED charge Indicator
  • Fully charges smartphones in less than 1hr
  • Can charge most tablets back to 50%

Impressions:

What I like most about the Lifesaver II is that it can charge ALL of my mobile electronics (smartphone, tablet, Mifi Hotspot, smart watch…It will even charge my compact DSLR camera) and still is the overall size of my largest smartphone. What I don’t like about the Lifesaver II is since I carry a wide variety of devices with different charging ports, I have to also carry around the tiny 30-pin and lighting port adapters to make sure all my devices are covered.

*Lawd, hear my prayer and force the U.S. government to force technology companies to create one standard charging port*

There are some other similar chargers with built-in charging cords, but they are bulky and not as portable as the Lifesaver II.

Enough with the talking, here is a video review to give you a better idea of the Lifesaver II by Mio

Overall, I think the Mio Lifesaver II will by my new go-to device when I carry multiple devices.It’s pretty new, and the folks at Everik will be at CES 2014 unveiling the Lifesaver II and additional information like pricing, but I’m assuming it will be on sale for around $60 bucks. Check out the site for more information.

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[Review] MOTA Credit Card Power Bank – Pocket-Sized Power

MOTA Credit Card Power Bank Review via BrothaTech.comIntro

How frustrating is it when you have about 1% of smartphone power left, but in the process of uploading pics to your favorite social network? For this, and many other reasons I’m an advocate for carrying an extended battery pack at all times. Now I don’t like to use those case/battery packs because they add extra bulk to my smartphone. So I’d prefer an external battery pack.

The problem with external battery packs is that they yet another device to carry, and I’d like to consider myself a minimalist. So the less stuff I have to carry, the better. So when the folks at MOTA reached out about reviewing their Credit Card Power Bank, I had to try it out.

Design

It’s called the Credit Card Power Bank because it is literally the size of credit or business card. It is thicker and taller than a credit card, but not by much. Another cool thing about the MOTA Credit Card Power bank is that it has a built-in MicroUSB cord – That means I don’t have to carry any extra cables to charge my devices. The cord is short, but just long enough to make a connection.

The MOTA CC Power Bank can easily fit in a shirt pocket, front or back pants pocket, or for the ladies, a small “night out on the town” clutch (Yes, I know what a clutch is). As an extra bonus, the MOTA CC Power Bank comes in several colors. I received a black and pink version. You can also choose a blue and silver version.

One potential gripe is that the little button to activate charging seems flimsy, and could wear down, get jammed, or break after constant use. But that’s just an assumption, and I didn’t have any issues in the short time I’ve used the charger.

Functionality

The MOTA CC Power Bank I reviewed only has an 800mAh battery, so don’t look for it to keep your smartphone charged up all day. I would consider it a one-time “get out of [dead smartphone] jail free” charger. According to MOTA you can get an extra 85 minutes of additional talk time.

Just enough to bring your phone back from the dead to get your social media on when you’re supposed to be entertaining your friends, spending time with your family, or pretending like you’re intersted in what your date is saying…#JustSayin. There is also an 1000mAh version, just in case you need that little extra umph.

During my tests, the MOTA CC Power Bank charged my smartphone pretty fast, and also provided a charge to my Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and my Mifi device. In other words, you can also get away with charging a multitude of small Micro-USB devices.

Outro

Like I said, at only 800mAh, you will still need to make sure you’re using your smartphone responsibly in order to avoid needing and extended battery in the first place. But at only $40 bucks, and small enough to fit in your back pocket, the MOTA Credit Card Power Bank is a handy little gadget to make sure your world literally doesn’t end if you run low on smartphone power.

Disclaimer to keep the FCC off my back:

I received two MOTA Credit Card Power Banks in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own.

 

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Review: Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 – Emphasis on Mega

Good news: This phone is huge. Bad news: This phone is huge. That’s my impression of the 6.3 inch Samsung Galaxy Mega smartphone. Yes, this is a smartphone…that you put up to your ear…to make calls.

On the flip side, the large screen makes it ideal for doing a ton of multimedia activities without reaching for other devices like an actual tablet or laptop. But before I get into the pros and cons of the phone’s size, let’s get into the details of Samsung’s latest phablet.samsung galaxy mega via BrothaTech.com

Samsung Galaxy Mega Specs:

  • 6.3″ Screen Size
  • 1280 x 720 HD Resolution (720p)
  • 233ppi (pixels/square inch)
  • 1.7 GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon Processor
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB Storage (up to 32GD microSD slot capacity)
  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) OS
  • 8mp rear camera, 1.9mp front camera
  • 3,200mAh battery
  • Bluetooth 4.0 support
  • 802.11 Dual-band Wifi support
  • NFC support

…And some other stuff. If you compare the specs of the Galaxy Mega to other smartphones currently on the market, it is a mid-range phone. Most “high-end” phones have a 2GHz Dual (or Quad) core processor. They have an 1080p screen resolution and better megapixel front/rear cameras.

What the Galaxy Mega has over other smartphones is simply a bigger screen and a bigger 3,200mAH battery…Which is what most people want in a smartphone. I’m not sure if your average consumer looks up detailed spec comparisons, and since Samsung is no stranger to giving people what they want (or think they want), the  Mega does deliver.

Samsung Galaxy Mega Design

Samsung Galaxy Mega Rear Logo via BrothaTech.com The Mega is big, but it feels lighter than you’d expect in a phone this large. The silver bezel around the screen and the home button in contrast with the Nova black (with tiny silver dots that gives it a faux carbon-fiber look) gives the phone a modern appeal, but with a touch of class.

Everybody (including me) rags on the plastic back panel of recent Galaxy devices, but after holding the Mega, I didn’t mind the plastic as much as I though I would. It’s Hella slippery though, so you might want to put a bumper on the Mega at the very least. A bumper or case will make the phone even larger than it already is, but a small crack in this massive screen as a result of a drop on the pavement, will be amplified by 50-eleven thousand.

The Nova black color is carried around to the back panel as well, and the camera bezel, AT&T icon and Galaxy Mega wording matches the rest of the phone quite nicely.

Over all, it’s a solid phone. Not as fresh or innovative as the latest Nokia or HTC smartphones, but it looks like a nice phone – It’s not pushing the boundaries of smartphone design, but it’s definitely not a black slab.

Samsung Galaxy Mega Display

Like I mentioned earlier, this is a mid-range phone, so the display specs are average. In general, the display itself looks pretty good. The larger screen size makes it idea for watching movies as the 720p video quality produces a good picture. In the smartphone world, 1080p and 720p sounds like a big number difference, but a ton of original YouTube videos are uploaded in 720p, so if you live on YouTube, you will be pleased with the quality even though it’s not as high as other phones on the market.

Samsung Galaxy Mega Features

The folks over at AT&T put together a nice video overview of the Galaxy Mega features

As you can see, the Mega has the basic apps and services you’d expect from Samsung. There are a few features missing on the Mega that are currently found on the Galaxy S4 like some of the gesture controls that let you perform certain features just by waving your hand over the phone.

In my opinion, it’s also missing a stylus. A phone this size needs a stylus, since it’s impossible to use this phone with one hand, even with the “one-hand” options enabled…and if you have Hulk hands. I’m assuming Samsung wanted to keep the stylus experience unique to the Galaxy Note 2 (Samsung’s other phablet).

On the flip-side, features like Multi Window Mode fair very well on the monstrous screen, moreso than on the Galaxy S4 or Note 2, due to so much screen real estate that it’s not even funny.

Samsung Galaxy Mega Functionality

Samsung Galaxy Mega as phone via BrothaTech.comIt should be obvious as to where the Mega stands. It is a multimedia device, that also makes calls. The way we use our smartphones nowadays could put them in the same category, but the size of the Mega clearly pushes the multimedia aspect over the phone aspect.

The Mega is great for reading, browsing, and watching. Sitting on my couch watching Vine compilations on YouTube is the ideal use for a device like the Mega. Reading web pages and books is a pleasure as well. When an email or social media notification comes in, you can operate in Multi Mode View and never miss a step.

Doing anything else on the Mega that other smartphones do, like doubling as a music player for activities like exercising…and making actual phone calls (or putting the Mega in your car’s cupholders)- Notsomuch. It’s just too big. For a phone this size, it’s pretty sleek, but the Mega’s footprint makes it tough to put in your front pants pocket and be comfortable. You can just forget about strapping this beast to your arm to listen to your music during a jog. Ladies, you can forget about putting this in your clutch for a night out on the town…

As far as making calls, sure, you could hold this monster up to your ear to carry on a conversation, but most people probably won’t due to its size, in addition to the fact that we hardly use our phones…as phones. Additionally, it just feels wrong. Kind of like people who take pictures with their iPad.

Smaller smartphones like the 5.0 inch Galaxy S4 or the 4.7 inch HTC One are tight-roping that line between “just right” and “too big” themselves, but still can fit up to your ear with decency, and still can do all the things the Mega can do, but with better specs. Side by side, the Galaxy Mega makes the 5.5 inch Galaxy Note 2 appear “small” – That alone should speak volumes to its size.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Mega is a nice device. I’m just not sure the target market is big enough to support mass producing this phone. It would be awesome if the the Galaxy Mega was “made to order”, but Samsung is hell bent on giving people whatever they want, and larger screens are popular in smartphones…

You can scoop up a Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 on contract at AT&T for $149 or $24/month if your feeling AT&T’s Next program.

I’ll let you decide if the Galaxy Mega is too big.

Samsung Galaxy Mega Image Gallery

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Samsung Galaxy Mega Unboxing

Checking out the latest Samsung Galaxy mega phablet, and seeing how it stacks up against its smaller brother, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Since I’ve got a taste of the larger Android phones, it’s hard to go back to the smaller iPhone 5. I got the opportunity to review the new Samsung Galaxy Mega, a 6.3 Inch phablet from, and I must say, this joint is massive, even when sitting next to the already huge Galaxy Note 2.

I decided to do a quick Un-boxing video that quickly turned into a side by side with the Samsung Galaxy Mega and the Galaxy Note 2.

What do you think – who did Samsung have in mind when it created the Galaxy Mega phablet?

Press Release

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Why Im Mad: Y U No Record in Landscape Mode?

Honestly, nobody wants to see thick black bars in your video – Do the millions of us with widescreens TV’s, Laptops, and mobile devices a favor and turn your smartphone sideways or “Landscape Mode” when shooting videos.

It will get rid of the horizontal black bars, because just about all video displays nowadays (with the execption of the expensive-azz Google Pixel Chromebook #Womp)  are in widescreen format.

Also, when you flip your smartphone in landscape mode, make sure your camera icons rotate as well. If they don’t, your video will look even more jacked up than just having black bars.

You’re welcome.

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HTC First Smartphone By Facebook: A Brotha’s Take

I was focused on something else and completely forgot about the Facebook event where the company announced a 3-way partnership with HTC and AT&T to create an Android phone with deep Facebook Integration.

I’m not going to bother you with too many phone specs and details:

  • 4.3″ Display
  • 720p resolution
  • Dual-core processor with 1Gb RAM
  • 5Mp rear camera and 1.6MP front camera
  • Android Jelly Bean operating system
  • Comes in Black, White, Red, and Pale Blue?
  • On contract for $99, preorders start today HTC First AT&T page

Watch the event replay here:

Basically, It’s an okay-looking mid-range Android smartphone made by HTC and exclusive to AT&T, but with a Facebook “skin” called Home that gives the user quick access to your Facebook Cover feed, Notifications & Messages, Instagram, and other FB-branded apps.

“We’re going to talk about how you can turn your Android phone into a great, simple and social device” Said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the event.

That’s pretty much how the phone should be viewed. It’s not an “[Insert the name of the phone you love to hate] killer”. It’s a Facebook-ish phone to please Facebook fans.

It’s trendy to crap on people of LITERALLY live on Facebook. But those people make Zuckerberg “heavy in the pockets” so it makes perfect sense that he wants his fan base to have access to their Facebook world at all times.

Since we spend (and I don’t feel like looking up statistics) fifty-eleven hours per day on our smartphones, it would be stupid for Facebook to NOT try an infiltrate mobile devices…and they managed to do it for 99 bucks on-contract ($450 up-front).

The question is, will Facebook be happy with partnering up with HTC (who desperately needs some love, now that Samsung is seemingly synonymous with Android) and others to deliver the Facebook mobile experience, or is this a “test-run” for something else the social giant has planned later down the road?

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