IPhone 5c and 5s reviews: The Changes and The Obvious

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After weeks of rumors, speculations, leaked photos and parody videos, Apple’s new iPhones were finally revealed on September 10 and as widely expected, the company announced two devices – the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S.

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Apple has discontinued the iPhone 5 for the iPhone 5c, which sports a 4-inch display, as well as the same A6 chip. The company has gone for the cheaper option in producing the “next generation” iPhone as it now features a plastic wraparound back which comes in five colors — green, white, blue, red, and yellow — with matching screen wallpapers to complement the exterior. The color set has been commented on as being similar to that of the Nokia Lumia series but we would leave that opinion for you to explore. Yes, after these, there is not much to say about the iPhone 5c; it even has the same 8 Megapixel camera and 2 Megapixel on the front. You might as well tag it as a “plasticky” colored version of the iPhone 5 and to be honest, when I think about iPhones sometimes, I cannot help but also ponder about the native proverb that says that only a mad man does the same thing and expects a different result.

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iPhone 5s

Apple’s new flagship iPhone 5s which Apple “humbly” calls the “most forward-thinking phone anyone’s ever made,” sports a 64-bit A7 chip making it to the history books as the world’s very first 64-bit mobile phone. It’s made of high-grade aluminum and comes in silver, gold, and  gray.  For networking it has a dual band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 which was also available in the discontinued iPhone 5.

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The general features are pretty much the same, except for the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor that grants up to 5 fingerprints to access the phone. This feature takes phone security to a whole new level. The touch sensor, located under the traditional home button also links you to your Apple account which defeats the sometimes annoying type password feature.

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The iPhone 5s sticking with the 8 Megapixel camera is a letdown. However, a few changes made quite a difference compared to previous iPhones. First off, the size of the image sensor has increased which leads to a significantly higher low-light performance and somewhat better pictures; even in poor lighting conditions. More interesting is the dual-color LED flash, which monitors the prevailing light and tries to provide a better color mix by providing the right mixture of lights (like more yellow or more blue, depending on the conditions). This leads to a consistent and greater quality of photos than its predecessors. Neither the HTC One nor the Samsung Galaxy S4 has this feature so, let’s not get too hasty to conclude that the camera is “vaguely similar.”

The iPhone 5S also offers a new “burst mode” for the still camera (taking 10 shots per second), where you can hold the button down and it will take the pictures – and then present the single shot it thinks is the best from the series. (You can still choose from among the set, and keep as many as you want). There is a “slo-mo” option for video recording where you can choose which parts which can be slow and which are fast in a simple editing function.

Some people worry about how there can be a balance between the powerful 64bit A7 processor and battery life. Apple’s solution is the co-processor called the M7 which is specially designed to collect data from the phone’s various sensors, including the GPS and accelerometers. This M7 chip is suspected to be Apple’s flagship idea for a possible wearable computing future so expect to hear about it later on. The iPhone 5s’ battery life lasts about 10 hours of 3g talk time and LTE browsing .

A saddening conclusion is that there really is not a total mind blowing experience between these iPhones and what we already have. But smartphones are not just about hardware; the user experience is also as important as security and Apple does deliver that. Combined with the new iOS 7, positive results on sales would not surprise me one bit… as well as the otherwise. 😛

The new Nexus 7: A second shot at a good idea?

google-nexus-7-logoAs if the war for what device dominates the 7 inch mini tab form factor was not cruel enough, technology giants Google decided to play another entry with their new Nexus 7, which became available since yesterday, July 30th.

The new Nexus 7 features a raft of improvements over last years Nexus 7; even though they practically look almost the same. First to mention would be that unlike the former Nexus 7, this one comes with the latest update of the Android OS (Jelly Bean 4.3) which of a truth is not that big of a difference really except that you can now have separate customizable spaces, including personal homescreens, wallpapers, apps and storage; which is an appealing idea. So, those whose tablets usually get in the hands of others do not have much to worry about anymore when it comes to people tampering with stuff.  It features a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor with an Adreno 300 400Mhz, which in simpler terms means the tablet should run pretty fast. there is also 2GB of RAM, a 5MP rear facing camera, 1.2MP front facing camera, Bluetooth 4.0LE, Wireless charging and a new HDMI slim port. With all of that for just about $30 extra, it is sure that comparing sister Nexus devices would lead to some level of unfairness.

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Even though the 7 inch screens of both devices are typically same, the new Nexus 7 runs at 323 PPI which is ridiculously sharper than the previous one at 216PPI. This display is one key feature that holds the retina-less iPad mini to question (well, of course until apple decides to release an iPad mini with retina display).  Watching movies on the new Nexus 7 is quite commendable honestly; and your Android OS has never looked crispier on any other tablet. The speaker sound on the new Nexus 7 is also improved, and thanks to its thinner design, it even weighs lighter than the previous. With up to 9 hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or e-reading, there’s plenty of juice to get you through the day. And very much unlike the iPad, The new Nexus’ slim and lightweight design makes playing games much less strenuous to the wrists.

A truth remains that the new Google Nexus 7 champions the small tablet market for the meantime. A downside to the device would be that there is no SD card slot but its cheaper price range and crispy sharp HD display would give anyone with an iPad mini a run for his money. Google’s second shot at the Nexus 7 isn’t very groundbreaking in terms of innovation but the price is very inviting to tablet newbies. If you owned the previous Nexus 7, then this is certainly a worthwhile upgrade.

Laughing last, laughing best: Here comes the Xbox One

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Today, Microsoft tears down all of the rumors of the next generation Xbox console called “Xbox One.” It features a brilliant glossy hardware finish that is sleek and catchy. It is geared to take what you love and make it even better.

The ideals of the next generation console is to light up the bare essentials of television and entertainment which are simplicity, instant response and complete immersion. The Xbox One does not fail to produce world class software innovation and interactive applications to make the overall user experience pleasant. Very unlike Sony, Microsoft has gone all the way to blur the lines between a gaming console and a media center and created the all in one box for all of your living room magical needs.

 

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It is amazing; you talk to the Xbox One to turn it on and control all of its applications with integrated voice commands. Imagine switching between television and game in a second just by saying: “Xbox, play game” or “Xbox, watch television.” The new Kinect is bundled with every Xbox One which gives a new dimension to motion capturing technology and even conference calls on Skype with its 1080p HD Camera. From the start, your Xbox One remembers everything you did last and well, you can snap applications just like on Windows 8 on the Xbox One with full motion based or voice commands! It is stated that it would NOT require an internet connection to function. Seeing is believing right?

It packs quite a handful on the tech specs. 8GB RAM, 8 Core CPU power, 500GB Hard Disk and Blu-ray drive. It also has an 802.11n wireless device with Wi-Fi Direct, USB 3.0 ports and HDMI out.  Microsoft’s Marc Whitten stated clearly that “Variable power states” ensure a “practically silent” operation. The console is engineered to last “well into the future,” which, of course, is an obvious reference to the company’s engineering struggles with the Xbox 360.

Imagine a console with 3 operating systems. One for your gaming on Xbox, a windows kernel and a specific operating system that covers instantaneous switching between multiple running applications. With the newly designed Xbox controller and Xbox Smart Glass technology, users can choose various ways to control their console to provide a truly complete user experience.

Microsoft has partnered with Electronic Arts for new and exclusive innovations to their ongoing sport series, The NFL for custom sporting integration and is planning to host about 15 new exclusive titles for the Xbox One on release later this year. A new, most impressive Call Of Duty is also to be released so we can be sure that it would kick off to a good start.

So there we have it for now on the new Xbox. Rest easy till E3 later on in a couple of weeks.

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