Mini Review: 10x Super Zoom, Refocus on the TECNO Phantom 8 #CaptureYourLegend

I have been using the TECNO Phantom 8 for a few days now and one of the features I have come to like is the amazing camera. The picture quality is crazy and when you go further into more interesting features like the SuperZoom, Refocus and Night mode, the camera becomes even more amazing.

Here a few shots. All the shots here are zoomed in at different distances.

Without a doubt, this is the best camera on a TECNO device yet.

 

Top 5 Worst Mobile Phones Ever Made

Can you remember your first cellphone? I do; it was a Nokia 5110 (okay, this was my first personal cellphone — we had a family one before that was so obscure its name escapes me).

I was able to call people on it, and once I had all the message-centre numbers set up correctly I could text on it too. As there were limited text characters, we had to invent ways of saying as much as possible in a single text message, so we didn’t have to pay an additional charge for multiple messages. Yes, I’m ashamed to say that once upon a time I used “txt spk”. Its biggest feature? The front cover clipped off and I could change the colour — how awesome was that?

Thankfully, technology is now at a point where things that were inconceivable to many of us when cellphones first became popular, are now commonplace. Touchscreens, apps, customised ringtones, cellphone banking — we wouldn’t have dreamed of these things on a Nokia 5110, or even its descendant, the Nokia 6110 (two player Snake!).

We all know it hasn’t been smooth sailing. There have been first prize winners, and some real duds. Strangely enough, many of these have materialised in the name of innovation. Attempts to introduce new features and quirky designs were often hit-or-miss, resulting in some of the most weird and wonderful mobile phone products around.

Welcome to the Worst Phones in the World Show!

Nokia N-Gage (2003)

In many ways, Nokia was ahead of its time with the N-Gage. The aim, oddly, was to lure gamers away from Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance. Why a phone manufacturer suddenly decided it wanted to compete with a handheld console manufacturer is beyond me. Quite obviously, this wasn’t successful, because the buttons on the N-Gage are badly designed and not very intuitive for gaming, and when used as a phone it was just awkward and bulky. Even though it was released in 2003, by 2005 Nokia announced it was migrating its capabilities to Symbian smartphone devices, and the entire N-Gage service was discontinued in 2010. Thank goodness.

Motorola Rokr E1 (2005)

Apart from the weird name, the Rokr E1 was also innovative as it was one of the first phones to jump on the media player bandwagon with an officially licensed iTunes music player. On the fail side, it only allowed you to store a maximum of 100 songs. Seriously? This phone was released in 2005, as was the iPod Nano, which was not only smaller than the Rokr’s rather ugly, plasticky looking build, but also stored up to 4GB of music. It was eventually replaced by the E2 which lacked iTunes support, likely because of rising tensions between Apple and Motorola.

Nokia 7280 (2004)

The Nokia 7280 is actually a really cool and innovative product, but there’s a reason that phones generally have keypads, or at least digital representations of them. The 7280 has a dial or “Navi-Spinner” in place of a keypad but its failure lay in the fact that it’s tedious and unintuitive to navigate. Had Nokia been winning an award for innovative design only, then there would have been a big thumbs up all round. Sadly for them, phones are predominantly about functionality combined with good design. This doesn’t cut it.

Motorola Razr2 Ferrari Special Edition (2008)

This makes the list not because it’s a bad phone, but because it must be one of the worst and most tenuous product tie-ins ever. “Hmm, what can we do to extend the life of the Razr? I know: hike up the price, put a Ferrari sticker on it and give it a couple of extra wallpapers and ringtones. Call them ‘exclusive’. People will eat that up.” No, it’s vacuous. I would love to say that people aren’t stupid enough to fall for that, but sadly I don’t think that’s the case. I wonder how many units they eventually sold?

Casio G’zOne Commando (2011)

Worst. Phone Name. Ever. Did you know Casio made phones? Me neither. Apart from the fact that this phone is butt-ugly and carries a really old version of Android, at least it has been “ruggedized” so that it can be battered around a bit without shattering. Okay, that is a pretty good feature, and apparently the battery life is excellent, but according to Engadget, “what it boasts in battery life and sheer fortitude, it lacks in call quality, core Google apps, and a responsive touch experience”. If you work on a construction site and need something durable that can bounce and makes calls, then awesome. Otherwise avoid.

Honorary “Damn that’s ugly category”

Lastly, just a quick honorary mentions of a couple of phones that I have no idea what they’re like to use, but if I was going on looks alone, I would have walked the other way.

Nokia 7600 (2003) – only really good for playing Snake. If it was an iPod I might have said yeah, okay.

Motorola StarTAC Rainbow (1997) – I remember the original StarTAC, it was an awesome phone, when it didn’t look like my two-year old son had decided to paint it himself. I thought the best description was by Gazelle reviewer Anthony Scarsella – “dip[ped] in rainbow flavoured vomit for no apparent reason”.

 

And so…

Conclusion? Stop bitching (this applies to me too) about how much you hate your current mobile phone. It could be worse – you could be holding rainbow flavoured vomit to your ear.

Courtesy: TimesLive

BlackBerry Z3 pre-orders sold out across Indonesian retailers

Depending on where you live, pre-orders for theBlackBerry Z3 started about 15 hours ago from the time of this posting and already Indonesian retailers such as EleveniaJeruknipis and Globalteleshopare reporting there’s no stock left to order. They’ve seemingly ran through all their allotted pre-order stock for the latest BlackBerry 10 device.

Of course, that’s great to see but the inevitable question has to be asked. How many devices did they allot for pre-orders to begin with? Most carriers and third-party providers are running their pre-orders until May 12th with devices expected to start shipping out to customers as early as May 15th, so were they just checking demand and only allotting a few initially? And why stop pre-orders? Let them roll!

Needless to say we likely won’t know until financial reports with the device sales on them come out but for now, it seems as though the BlackBerry Z3 is moving in the market it was intended for. Hopefully the bottom line will reflect that as well.

Source: CrackBerry

Samsung's New Galaxy Phone Shows What Smartphones Will Be Capable of Doing In Future

Credit: Business Insider
Samsung K Zoom {Photo credit: Business Insider}

Samsung has a history of experimenting with crazy gadgets and form factors. On Monday night, it announced a new device that tries to merge the benefits of a digital camera with an Android smartphone.

Think of the Galaxy K Zoom as a digital camera strapped to the back of one of Samsung’s Galaxy phones. From the front, it looks a lot like the new Galaxy S5, but with a slightly smaller screen. The 20.7 megapixel camera on the back includes a 10x optical zoom that pops out just like a regular digital camera.

As a result the phone is very thick and heavy to make room for that camera. There’s also a giant bulge on the back, meaning the phone can’t sit flat on the table.

samsung-galaxy-k-zoom-with-samsung-galaxy-s5
Samsung K Zoom with Samsung galaxy s5

 

The Galaxy K Zoom has a bunch of shooting modes too. Some are pointless, like the “Selfie Alarm” that lets you take a selfie using the rear camera. The phone’s software can automatically detect your face and rapidly beeps when it’s about to snap the selfie.

Read more 

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Amazing: Apple fan's concept of an iPad design, back in 2004

 

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Before the iPad or even the iPhone was released, there were years of speculation on what portable products Apple would release.

Just like they do now, people on the Internet created renders back in 2004 of products they thought Apple would release. We stumbled across an old concept from 2004 on the MacRumors forum that showed just how different interaction and technology was at the time.

In the concept image below, the “iPad” (which actually appears to be a smartphone rather than a tablet), features not only a trackpad, but a slim 1″ thick body, a whopping 8 hour battery life and “OS X 2go.”

 

ipad thought

What’s perhaps most amazing is that this fan image accurately picked the name for a real Apple product that was released six years later in 2010.Apple was experimenting with the iPad back in 2004 as some prototypes of the device date back that far.

Obviously this isn’t an official render of an Apple product and is little more than a fan’s idea of what the company could have made, but it shows just how much Apple influenced the way that the world imagines both interaction and user interfaces when it released iOS and the first iPhone in 2006.

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BlackBerry Z10 is the "World’s Best Small Smartphone…" – Time Magazine

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10

This is a little bit like Steely Dan winning a Grammy for Album of the Year in 2001, but Time Magazine has named the BlackBerry Z10 as the world’s best “fun-sized” smartphone that wasn’t made by Apple.

What is a “fun-sized” smartphone and why is Time listing them?
Well, with the trend toward bigger devices, many people with small hands might be feeling left out of the fun because they still want a device that measures in at 4.3 inches or fewer. And since many people assume that the only smartphone that measures in at 4.3 inches or less these days is the iPhone 5s, Time has decided to exclude it in its list of the top smaller smartphones.

So what has the Z10 done to best the competition in this category? Let’s let Time tell the story.

“The best of the tiny bunch, the BlackBerry Z10 is the perfect under-sized mobile device, with a focus on productivity over chart-bursting specs or millions of apps,” the publication writes.

“Yes, your friend might tease you with a few BlackBerry-based barbs, but let him laugh as he taps away at his Galaxy Mega 6.3. Chances are that giant phablet is compensating for a secret of his own.”

Of course, the non-iPhone competition in the area of smaller smartphones isn’t nearly as fierce as it used to be: The Nokia Lumia 1020, the HTC One (M8), the Galaxy S5 and the LG G2, among other first-rate flagship phones, all have displays of 4.5 inches or bigger. To win the title of “Best Small Smartphone That Isn’t An iPhone,” the Z10 had to beat out lighter weights such as the Galaxy S4 mini, the Motorola Droid mini and the Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE.

So if you want a smaller smartphone, you think phablets for guys who are insecure about their manhood, you hate Apple, and you don’t care about having “chart-busting specs or millions of apps” then the Z10 sounds like the perfect device for you.

This article was published on: BGR.com

How Apple calculated the extra $2bn it wants from Samsung in court

Apple logo

Apple logo

To determine how much individual software features were worth as part of its multi-billion dollar lawsuit, an Apple-paid expert surveyed less than 1,000 consumers about imaginary smartphones and tablets, and included features that weren’t even on trial. Another expert then estimated billions in fees for theoretical negotiations that might have occurred between the two companies, as well as how many smartphones and tablets Apple might have sold in their place.

LESS THAN APPLE WANTED TWO YEARS AGO

Apple’s damages figure, which now stands at $2.191 billion, was estimated by Christopher Vellturo, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate who’s spent the past 12 years running consultancy Quantitative Economic Solutions. Vellturo, who testified in a California court today and has been a part of 15 other cases on Apple’s behalf, said the figure is based on the sales of more than 37 million Samsung phones and tablets the company sold in the US between August 2011 through December 2013.

“That’s a time period where this market is in a profound state of change and growth because so many people are coming in and buying smartphones, so it’s a particularly significant period for Samsung to be infringing,” Vellturo said.

Not all those phones and tablets were out at the same time though. Some products came after the original lawsuit in February 2012, including the Galaxy S3, which was released a few months later. In testimony, Vellturo also noted that Apple’s counting infringement of one of its patents covering “quick links” all the way back to August 2011.

Vellturo said he arrived at the $2.191 billion damages figure after his firm spent 4,000 to 5,000 hours of research, which included industry and market analysis, and going through an “extraordinary amount of documents.” Even so, that amount is less than the $2.75 billion Apple sought in a similar trial two years ago, which also involved patents covering the design of Apple’s devices.

This time around, only patents covering software features are in play, something that prompted Apple to hire outside help to determine their theoretical worth to consumers. That involved a pair of surveys: one that polled 507 consumers about smartphones, and another 459 customers about tablets. Both were conducted by John Hauser,a witness who spent two just minutes on the stand for Apple in a similar case between the two companies in 2012.

Today, Apple gave him plenty of time to explain the methodology of the online surveys, which the company is using to help put a value to the five patents it’s accused Samsung of copying in its devices.

$32 TO $102 A PIECE FOR CERTAIN FEATURES

Hauser, who has been an expert witness in more than 50 trials, said consumers who took the surveys would be willing to spend anywhere between $32 to $102 for certain features like universal search, automatic word correction, and sliding to unlock. Those figures were determined, in part, by a separate element of the survey where consumers said whether their preference to buy a phone or tablet changed based on screen size, price, and the inclusion of various software features.

Hauser added that those fees could be viewed as stretched out over the length of a cellular contract term from 12 to 24 months.

“WHEN I BUY A CELLPHONE … I CARE ABOUT THESE FEATURES.”

“When I buy a cellphone … I’m using that phone for 12-24 months,” Hauser told Samsung’s attorneys, who were critical of the figures, in cross-examination. “I care about these features.”

Known as conjoint surveys, the questionnaires are used to determine the demand for specific demands, and have been since the 1970s, Hauser said. Part of that process involves adding a number of “distraction” questions, which are basically padding around the questions the survey has actually been built for. In these surveys, those distractions included 21 other features like special camera modes, alternate screen sizes, and three-way calling.

Hauser added that both the conjoint surveys and the distraction questions were frequently used in the automobile industry, something Apple’s hoping will undercut Samsung’s argument that Apple’s wants too much for just a few features of a highly-complex product.

Just how much Apple wants for its patents is what this case is all about. Ahead of the trial, Apple said it’s seeking between $33 and $40 a device for the five of its patents for the 37 million allegedly infringing phones and tablets that Samsung sold since 2011. By comparison, Samsung’s seeking around $6.9 million as part of its counter-complaint.

The trial is in its second of an estimated four weeks, where both companies get 25 hours each to make their case. In a filing over the weekend, Apple said it expected to rest its case as early as today. After that, it’s followed by Samsung, which plans to go after Apple over two patents.

Yesterday’s proceedings involved extremely detailed discussions of how three of Apple’s five patents in the case work. That included Apple’s ‘647 “quick links” patent, which turns information like addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses into contextual actions when you click on them.

Apple used the same patent to successfully go after HTC in 2010, a legal spat that was settled in late 2012. The same can’t be said for this battle, which has been going since Apple launched its first lawsuit against Samsung in April 2011.

Via: TheVerge.com

Why Samsung Phones Are Designed Differently From Apple

Samsung design boss, Donghoon Chang

Samsung design boss, Donghoon Chang

At Apple’s developers conference last year, it showed a video before it introduced its radical new design for iOS, the operating system for iPhones and iPads.

The video centered around the theme that “there are a thousand no’s for every yes” when Apple designs its products.
The video implied that even though there are thousands of ideas flowing through Apple when it creates new stuff, it’s incredibly picky about what it ends up producing.

That’s always been a common theme for Apple when it designs its products. The theory is “we know what’s best for the user” and that’s what the user gets. It’s also part of the reason why the iPhone is still much smaller than its top competitors and why it took so long to finally release an iPad Mini. Apple likes to take its time perfecting a concept before it releases it to the public.

Meanwhile, Apple’s biggest rival in mobile devices, Samsung, is often criticized for seemingly never saying no. Instead, it seems like Samsung is willing to try anything and everything when designing products and hoping something sticks. It then tries to perfect what works in the next model. Last year’s flagship Galaxy S4 phone, which came with a bunch of features like touchless gestures and a zillion different camera modes that frustrated users, is a perfect example.

So, the question is, why does Samsung try to pack so much into its hardware and software design while its competitors like Apple and HTC stick to what they know?

In an interview with Business Insider, Samsung’s software and design team explained that it takes a lot of user feedback and market research into account when designing its products. For example, even though critics often blast Samsung for building its flagship phones like the new Galaxy S5 out of plastic, the design team thinks it’s more important to give the user the option to have a removeable battery and expandable storage than it is to have a unibody phone like the devices Apple and HTC make.

“There is a philosophy in Samsung that says we start from the consumers and incorporate the future in it,” said Samsung’s design boss, executive vice president Donghoon Chang in an interview. “Whether you do market research or design and offer that is up to the company. Ultimately, the goal of a product that goes to the market is to offer value to the consumers.”
Those are two very different design philosophies. On one end of the spectrum there’s Apple, which thinks it knows what’s best for the user. On the other end, there’s Samsung, which heavily weighs what the customer wants before designing a product.

Disclosure: Samsung paid for a portion of our trip to South Korea for this story, including the flight and some meals. Business Insider paid for lodging and all other expenses.

Via Business Insider

Internet on the street: Android devices are the change makers

        

The Digital Age has brought so many changes that one can never ever imaging in the time past, and over time the rate of changes one experience is fast that than the speed of thought which means one needs to be up to date with the trends of things happening around and to always be alert for changes and move with the changes in order to be relevant in this digital era.

Also the advent of internet has also change the way we use to do things and also improve the knowledge base of human being far beyond the little one we engage with each other in the four walls of the classroom. Knowledge and its exploration is another key issue in other to be relevant in this Digital era, therefore, the need for the availability of internet all around and at every nooks and cranny of the globe and it is also getting to be a must have tools and resources bank. In other to be relevant in this Digital era. In other to be abreast of this information and craves more for knowledge, therefore the needs for internet, which brought about the new set of mobile devices, that are internet enabled device which starts from small screen, to feature phone, to mid-range java phones, Symbian and blackberry devices and the current era of Smartphones which has brought a total whole new dimension to knowledge and human life generally.

Though internet penetration in the African region is still poor but at least it’s far beyond how it is in it entry level. If you all recall the research carried out by Dalberg featured here about the internet penetration and level in some selected West Africa countries. The report can be accessed here.

The era of Cyber-café, with Nigeria as a typical example and the entry of it in a negative manner and it get abused, with the fact that teenagers and young boys and girls venture into fraudulent activities and get a household name tagged “Yahoo yahoo boys” and that has dent the image of the country at large during that era, and in effort to curb such activities, Police and some other anti-graft agent of government were setup but Nigeria Police on the other hand turns it into business and the humiliation is getting far beyond what those boys can bear, therefore, Yahoo boys get involve in providing personal internet for themselves at the comfort of their various abode.

Mobile network with poor quality of services and high tariff in the cost of having internet access where when you have a connection of 28-30kbps, it seems to be the best as of that moment, but today, several changes have been effected and also further improvement and not to even mention a review in the cost of subscription to the internet facilities. And different Telcos are really trying to get customer service right, because they are the real people in need of this with regards to seeking of knowledge.

The game changer is here! In other to get connected to the internet at your call and beckon all you need at a particular time is your satellite dish and some other connection, from there we move to connecting to internet via our mobile phone and to the stage where one connect to internet on the laptop via mobile phone through Bluetooth or better still connecting cable of different mobile phones with the enabler software like Nokia PC Suite, Samsung Pc Suite, Sony Ericsson PC Suite and the likes to mention but a few, despite that, Nigerians discovered that the quality of service derived then might still be better than what is obtained then, thereby, downloading additional software to enhance fast and quick-responding internet accessed, from that stage to the next phase where individuals needs an internet modem and which is another gadget added to one’s mobile devices in other to connect the internet via the laptop, all this sum up to multiple gadget returning us back to the Desktop era but in this case just that its movable and mobile.

Modem

This is a one-stop solution at a certain time, but the challenge is that most of them are network-locked where you have to ensure that the subscriber identification module(SIM) needs to be the network that must be inside the modem, the brought about going about our daily activities with different modem from different network including our very own laptop, pissed-off some people and individuals tends to reduce cost but also still want to connect to the internet, where the wise-saying is usually said “20 children cannot play for consecutive 20years at a stretch”, therefore needs to bring about the new facilities and modem that each individual needs one.

Nokia, tried but didn’t get it on time, so also, Blackberry.

Also, for Nokia to have gotten an insight into this at early stage but rather Nokia went ahead to produce phones that run Symbian and some of the devices comes with wireless enabled hardware and also the shortcoming of this type of gadget is that it can only connect with available wireless service around but cannot share its own internet that such phone is connected to.

The internet on the street via convenience and affordability with cost effectiveness:

The next big deal in this digital age is access to internet on the go and at a certain extent pocket friendly and a bit of improvement in the quality of service offered. The era of smartphone has just put a total change into all this game, though Blackberry would have be a good smartphone to pick up the changes but still go ahead with the same old method of downloading Blackberry Desktop manager and still needs to connect via the cable in other to use the internet on one’s personal computer.

The advent of wireless, has played a major role in changing the phases of things, the leading smartphone of the era that is pocket-friendly, convenience and that can perform this task easily is an Android devices.

The Android Devices

By Android devices another set of smartphones that is pocket-friendly and that also makes internet available on the go at anytime and anywhere that might requires internet.

It’s a smartphone: It’s simply a mobile phone but this time around it performed additional tasks as against the normal call and text and at time take pictures and share among friends, but this time aside that most of the things you can do with the phone is seen most time in movies, its now what individual can do on their personal device but as of this digital era, its shocking that people underutilise the smartphones capability.

Memory management: Overtime, several people has several pain and agony when their mobile phones got missing and they all claim that its not the phone that pains them but the contacts on such devices and SIM, but most times, I reframe the scenario that if the SIM is damage and the phone screen is no more, what happen to your contacts? With Android device, you worry less and all that is require is a Google’s Gmail account and sign-in into the account on the Android smartphone, after which you let the device sync and do an online contact saving without consulting any network providers, no downloading of contacts and uploading contact and no network charges for backing up of contacts. So when next such happens, just worried less and ensure that your Gmail account is active and you can as well access your contact on any other device and even on Personal Computer provided you don’t forget your username and password…lol!

Perform the duties of Modem with ease

With Android device in this era, one needs not to bothered about Modem much because it makes one carries less gadgets all about, which makes it possible for individual to provide internet to their personal computer while the device is in their pocket and access to the internet on the go, and also can as well share the internet on their Android smartphone with their fellow colleague instead of looking for a modem that can give access to all friends around.

NB: In other to connect your Android device, all you need to do is get your mobile device connected to the internet and go to setting -> Wireless and networks -> Tethering and portable hotspot, then turn on your Portable Wi-Fi hotspot and under Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings, get to configure your device, where you can change the Network SSID to a name you want people around you to see when you put on your internet and for them to easily connect to it among as many network that might found in such environment, change the security access, either make it Open, or choose WPA2 PSK where you will be able to input Password which will protect your network and it needs to be at least eight (8) alphanumeric and such that it cannot be easily suggest and guess. And for devices running 4.2 version above, whichever way you can, to get to the setting, either by pressing list on the home screen or access the charms bar by dragging down from top and to setting, then follow the highlighted above steps, in these device, you can still have access to two different type of secured password version WPA PSK and WPA2 PSK.

Control over the internet access

Android smartphones have this capability of identifying how many people are connected and whoever you which to block or send out of the network, though this is an improve features in devices that runs Android OS version 4.2.1 and above, despite that the previous version still can be controlled by frequently changing password in other to gives room to seamless internet sharing and nobody will hacking down the bandwidth.

Android smartphone with as low as 385MB RAM size will perform seamlessly fine and not to even talk about the improvement in RAM sizes that are coming with the current version of Android smartphones now, which takes care of the so called 7.2Mbps, 21.6Mbps and so on that are most time advertise in other to sell modems, where Android smartphones nowadays comes with 512Mb and as big as 1.5 -2.0Gb of RAM and regardless of the inbuilt memory that comes with the phone and more so, that got nothing to do with the internet access being shared.

Improved internet facilities

With the new range of Android smartphones in stores now, individuals that are network concerned and those that has the basic idea of IPv4 and IPv6 can switch between this in other to achieved the quality of network they want their devices to supplied when in need of the internet and also considering the environment in which they are at that particular time.

Battery management

The question might be asked that at least Modem don’t need to be charged before usage and I will like to emphasise here that in other to maintain the battery of your android smartphone, you can as well use USB Tethered which will allow you to tether your device with the system that needs it via USB cord, what this will do is simply provide the internet required and at the same time charging the smartphone via the system.

So, internet has come to stay and at this current and moment in the this digital atmosphere, invention and development are coming at an unexpected rate where improvement on the quality of service obtained from the mobile device, to that which is obtained from the Telcos to the hardware that helps to distributed access equally and properly utilised are on the rise and engineers, researcher and scientist are working round the clock for making life more comfortable to live, this gives room to these current development in vogue already, Google ProjectLoon, BRCK and internet.org, a joint project from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and some other company in other to provide more access to general public and most especially in the African regions.

Take time to explore your device and let us have your feedback.