Archive for the 'Android' Category

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Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T

Angry Birds and Green Pigs endorse the Samsung Galaxy Note!

A few days ago I mentioned my new phone. As some observant readers gleaned, it’s a Samsung Galaxy Note. This 5.3” monster Android phone also has a Wacom active digitizer for much more accurate inking. And Samsung has promised an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich the first quarter of 2012!

I bought this device unlocked from my friends at GSM Phone Source. This model (GTN-7000) works on AT&T bands, including HSPA+ (more on that in a minute). It does not support LTE but, hell, here in L.A. I’m still waiting on LTE for my HTC Jetstream. HSPA+ is good enough (again more on that soon).

The first challenge for all of us early adopters is not getting kicked off the AT&T voice network. You see, AT&T’s internal database of IMEIs erroneously identified the Note as a 7” Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet, which supports voice (and does so in Europe) but AT&T permits on its network as data only. If you’re interested, you can read about both the saga and the solution. While AT&T has been panned for its customer service, when you read these threads (my posts are by genghiskhent, duh), you’ll see AT&T did step up to the plate and fix the problem.

While there no long was a danger of being kicked off the voice network, for data I was stuck in the 3G slow lane. HSPA+ isn’t really 4G (though carriers do advertise it as such). It’s more like 3.5G. And 3.5 is better than 3, right?

The key is to access an APN that supports HSPA+. In order for your phone can access that APN (which has the exotic name “phone”),  you first have to be on the right data plan. I’m on a metered 4G Smartphone plan. So far so good.

But not good enough … yet. Your phone has to be properly provisioned to access the HSPA+ APN. Bottom line is you need to talk to tech support (as opposed to customer support). A very friendly and helpful tech named Todd helped me out. So now I can access the faster APN. Thanks Todd!

I realize there’s a lot of technical mumbo jumbo here, and believe me, I skipped over a lot of details so this wasn’t overwhelming. If you have questions, please post. And Todd, if you happen to see this (I did mention the blog to him), feel free to post a comment, if only “Hello.”

Soon I will post on my actual usage of the Note. Until then …

New phone


No, not the pink marker. The phone. it’s the newest arrival to my gadget harem. Do you recognize it?

HTC Jetstream Reboot Loop

I rebooted my HTC Jetstream because – like marriage – it seems a good idea at the time. I then entered the dreaded HTC Jetstream reboot loop. The device boots to the lock screen. Slide to unlock. Reboots. Consulting Mr. Google, I learned I was not alone. The problem may have to do with the SIM card; one suggestion was to remove it. There were other suggestions, some not printable.

Anyway, I was rebooting in landscape mode. Something possessed me to rotate the device to portrait mode. Amazingly, that worked. Later, I saw some posts from others this worked for also. Not sure why this worked, but it beats a reboot loop.

Why I chose the HTC Jetstream


I’ve been looking for a long time for a tablet techie’s equivalent of the Holy Grail. I want a tablet I can use for note-taking. That doesn’t sound so tough. But consider this scenario.

I’m in Court standing before a Judge who makes a rhinoceros seem pleasant, patient and even-tempered. Or meeting with a boss who must be that Judge’s sibling. Or with a client who comes from the same gene pool as the Judge and boss.

I can’t afford to wait for the device.  Quick on and resume. No OS crashes or hanging apps. Smooth and responsive to touch. Efficient multi-tasking – I may need to look at my calendar or a document while taking notes.

I also want long battery life; I can’t run out of power during the discussion. The device also needs to be light as I may need to hold it; not just while standing but also while sitting so I can look at the other person rather than down at my device.

So let’s look at the choices – and why I made mine.

Continue reading ‘Why I chose the HTC Jetstream’

Still thinking about my next phone

I’m still dithering pondering my next phone choice. As I explained in iPhone 4S – the S stands for small screen, I’ve eliminated that new phone as a possible choice simply because its 3.5” screen is too small for my large screen taste. I’m still considering the following OS’s and phones:

Android – Two phones. One is the Galaxy Nexus which will be announced in a few hours and is coming to my carrier, Verizon. The other is the Samsung Note, which has the largest of screens (5.3”) plus is a tablet, but may be coming to AT&T rather than Verizon (Two carriers? It’s only money).

Windows Phone 7.5 – My “Trophy Wife” aka HTC Trophy is currently my main phone. It now runs Mango, but its first generation specs won’t compare to the coming (in the next month or two) second generation of phones with this OS. I’m not sure though which new phones with this OS are coming to Verizon anytime soon. Hopefully I will learn more soon. Nokia World is next week, though I’m pessimistic about Nokia phones coming to Verizon.

“BlackBerry” – In quotes because the OS I’m interested in is not the BlackBerry OS 7 such as in my wife’s Bold 9930 (which she really likes), but instead QNX as in my BlackBerry Playbook (yeah, I have one), which on smartphones may be called BBX. Tomorrow at DevCon we likely will learn more about coming BBX phones.

In the meantime, the iPhone 4S is the measuring stick for other phones. See the following two articles:

After the iPhone 4S, Windows Phone 7.5 still feels right

After the iPhone 4S, Android just feels wrong

Well, soon, with the Galaxy Nexus/Ice Cream Sandwich announcement, DevCon, and Nokia World, I will know more. Whether that knowledge will enable me to choose, or instead confuse me more, is not so clear Winking smile

Nexus Prime


BGR scoops that the next iteration of the Google phone (which started with the Nexus One) is coming to Verizon, perhaps exclusively, and soon. This phone. together with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). will be announced at Samsung’s Unpacked event in San Diego on Tuesday, October 11th. But the specs are known now:

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich 9mm thin
4.65-inch 1280 x 720-pixel Super AMOLED HD with curved glass
TI OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz
1GB of RAM
32GB of built-in storage
5-megapixel camera on the back, 1.3-megapixel in the front
1080p HD video capture support
LTE(my ?)
Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
1,750 mAh battery

Yum, yum. Especially if it supports LTE.

So this will be my next phone if I go the Android route? Yes, except there is this one other Android phone … more on that soon.

Update: Samsung/Google announcement of Nexus Prime and Ice Cream Sandwich delayed, apparently to October 27. The delay may not necessarily be due to any problem with the Nexus Prime or Ice Cream Sandwich. It could be out of respect to the passing of Steve Jobs, whose contribution to all we discuss here was truly iconic.

Goodbye HTC EVO 4G


I just ended my Sprint service on my HTC EVO 4G after just over one year. There’s nothing wrong with the EVO 4G. Rather, I’m not using it very much in comparison to my other phones. So why pay just under $100 per month for a phone I use very little?

Since I have almost one year to go on the contract, there’s an ETF. But that’s a wash; the ETF is about the same as one month of service.  Additionally, I should be able to resell the EVO 4G for a bit over $100 on Gazelle or EBay’s InstantSale.

Last words on the device: I do like the EVO 4G’s 4.3” screen. But the screen display is a bit washed out, as compared with qHD, Super AMOLED +, etc. I suspect that’s an important reason why I used other phones more.

I also thought of getting an upgraded phone from Sprint. But I think that WiMAX is a dead end technology. And I’d like to reduce the number of carriers with which I have contracts.

So what will be my next main squeeze phone to replace my aging HTC Droid Incredible? Well, that’s a subject for another post Smile

Samsung Galaxy S II Coming to Verizon in July


Source: Samsung Galaxy S II Hitting Verizon in July. May replace my HTC Droid Incredible.

Thoughts on 7 inches vs. 10 inches

Most tablets these days are either 7” or 10”. I keep vacillating between these two sizes.

First, to clarify, there are no tablets that are exactly 10”. Many are 10.1”, the iPad is 9.7”. But let’s just round these off to 10”.

There also are a few 8.9” malcontents. However, I view this size as a “tweener.” 8.9” is too large to be as mobile and one-handed as 7”, but doesn’t offer as good a view of web pages as its 10.1” brethren.

The two tablets I carry around with me daily are the 7” Samsung Galaxy Tab and the 9.7” iPad 2. Focusing only on size, and ignoring OS differences, with one caveat, I definitely prefer 7”. The 7” form factor is just easier to hold, and more mobile.

The one caveat is note taking. Neither device is a Tablet PC. But you can take notes on either OS. For Android, I can point to the HTC Flyer, a 7” device.

I don’t have the HTC Flyer. However, I’ve inked before on other 7” devices, like the Viliv X70, a Windows slate with a resistive screen. One problem was strictly ergonomic, the size of my hand vs. the size of the screen. My hand kept getting in the way, and too quickly I ran out of screen area to ink.

So, 7” or 10”? If I’m not taking notes with my stylus (or finger) as opposed to a keyboard, 7”. But if I am? Not sure, at least until I try out the HTC Flyer. Because that may cause me to change my mind, as Rob Bushway was surprised in HTC Flyer Initial Impressions.

Samsung Galaxy S II Coming to US!


Samsung Galaxy S II has monster specs. However, we in the US have seen other super-phones that didn’t make it here. And even phones that did have been restricted to a carrier I don’t use. A very recent example is the HTC Sensation, going only to T-Mobile (apparently).

Per a number of sources (see via below), the Galaxy S II is coming to every major US carrier – except T-Mobile. It will be called the Attain on AT&T, the Function on Verizon and Within on Sprint. Dumb names. But who cares? What I want to know is if the Function supports LTE? If so, I want it now! But the release date is still unknown. Soon hopefully.

[via Android Central, SlashGear, Engadget Mobile]