All posts tagged smartphone

Video: How To Lock Smartphone Photo And Video Focus

If you have ever wanted to take a bunch of pics really fast on a smartphone, but had to wait for the auto focus to kick in; OR if you get annoyed (and a little dizzy) every time the camera refocuses every couple of seconds when you’re watching a video shot on a smartphone, this tip is for you.

By simply tapping and holding your smartphone screen on the image you want to remain in focus, you actually can lock-in the focus when you take pics or shoot video. This especially comes in handy when the subject of your photo/video is sitting still – There is no need to refocus if you slightly adjust the position of your smartphone.

I would go through all the trouble of taking a bunch of screenshots on how to do it, but since I need more “multimedia” content, I figured I would shoot a video, or me shooting a video walk-through on how to activate automatic focus lock.

Pretty slick right? If you have any smartphone tips, be sure to drop a line in the comments section.

Terrance GainesVideo: How To Lock Smartphone Photo And Video Focus

7 Nokia Lumia Camera Tips and Tricks

6 Nokia Lumia Tips and Tricks via

I’ve be rocking my Nokia Lumia Icon for a couple of weeks. I also jumped the gun and downloaded Windows Phone 8.1 beta and I’m having fun playing with all the new features, especially Cortana.

Still, probably the best feature of my device is the camera. It takes awesome photos with little to no effort. But I’ve still managed to discover a few gems that I thought I would share with you all just in case you’re interested in trying out Windows Phone, or want to unlock more of your Nokia Lumia’s camera potential.

1. Wake Phone with Camera button

Those ‘Once in a lifetime’ photo ops come, well…once in a lifetime. Our smartphones do everything, including take pictures. As a result the extra time it takes going from pulling your phone out of your pocket, purse, or bag, unlocking the phone, opening the camera, and finally snapping a pic can result in ‘missing the moment’.

The hard camera button located on the right side of all Windows Phones (under the Power button) can be used to wake the phone right into camera mode so you can quickly snap a picture to preserve that special moment forever. Simply press and hold the camera button while it’s locked to jump straight into the camera.

2. Use the Grid

One of the camera settings of any smartphone that I feel is most overlooked is turning on the grid. It simply helps you frame your shot to make sure the important aspects of a shot are highlighted. Additionally, the bars will make sure your shot is even, straight or level, especially if your taking photos of scenery.

3. 3 Ways to Focus

With Windows Phone devices, the hard camera button gives you three ways to focus:

1. Autofocus – by just pressing the camera button, the phone will quickly focus on the elements in the center of the shot before taking a photo.
2. Manual Focus – With most smartphones, you tap anywhere on the screen to can tell the camera where you want to focus. Pressing the hard camera button or the camera button on the screen will finish the job.
3. Press and Hold – You can also pre-focus on your image by lightly pressing and the hard camera button to “preview” your shot. Pressing the camera button all the way will actually take the shot.

4. Shoot first, zoom later

With most smartphones, you can use the “pinch” gesture to zoom in and out for the best shot. With Windows Phones, especially the high-powered, Nokia Lumia 1020, 1520, and Icon, you can take your shot with the regular zoom distance, then go back and zoom/frame the shot to your liking. This also helps for when you don’t want to miss that perfect shot opportunity because you’re messing with settings.

5. Auto Settings are fine

Speaking of messing with settings, the Nokia Lumia Pro Camera app professional settings on Nokia Windows Phones can be intimidating for casual smartphone users, especially if you want to quickly snap great pics.

That’s why Nokia with it’s dope camera technology made sure to give you the option of just going “all Auto everything” to take pro-level shots with little to no tweaking.

6. Use Camera to scan barcodes, books, CD’s & DVD’s, and translate text

In addition to just taking pictures, the Windows Phone camera can read, translate, and decode information. By pressing the magnifying glass button and activating ‘Bing Vision’ (for Windows Phone 8.1 users, open the camera app and go into settings/lenses to find Bing Vision).

With Bing Vision you can decode QR codes & Microsoft tags, read UPC barcodes, pull up information on a book, CD or DVD, or translate text just by holding the camera on the content.

7. Read the Manual

If taking pics with Nokia Lumia Pro Cam gets you pumped about taking photos and you want to start experimenting with all of the camera settings in the higer-end devices, be sure to use the in-phone and online resources.

Phone – Built right into the Nokia Pro Camera are some helpful tutorials that go over lighting, focus, white balance, shutter speed and more.

Online – If you’re looking for some example videos on how to get the most out of your Nokia Pro Cam, be sure to check out the online guide to see all the possibilities of your camera.

Even though I also have an iPhone and an Android, whenever I know I need a great camera, I make sure to pop my SIM card into my Nokia Lumia Icon to make sure I stay connected while getting some cool images in the meantime.

Disclosure: I received the device featured in this post at no charge for review/giveaway purposes. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions in this post are my own…Suckas

Terrance Gaines7 Nokia Lumia Camera Tips and Tricks

Mio Lifesaver II Review

Mio Lifesaver II Review via

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%


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.

Terrance GainesMio Lifesaver II Review