Review- Tech- Samsung Galaxy Nexus ***Rating 3.5/5***

Just to start off, yes, I am aware that this is an older phone, and that its successor the Nexus 4 has been out for a while too, but this phone is still worth talking about. Some people, or should I say most people, out there have been waiting ages to have their Nexus 4 delivered, while others have been waiting to even be able to order the device itself. So for the time being, the Galaxy Nexus is still a viable option for a pure android OS experience.

Since they are older, you can get them on the cheap through second hand websites and from carriers that are still offering it. I won’t bother to state the specs of this one other than it being the 16GB model that I specifically have been using. I will also be leaving out carrier issues, as that would be different for everyone.

Now although the phone offers a pure android experience, it doesn’t come with the latest version of Jelly Bean, instead it still features 4.1.1 at its most recent update, but other than the google search cards function and the multiple user accounts setting, there isn’t that much more to offer in the minor update to Jelly Bean.

Just so that everyone is clear on this I did switch from an iPhone 4S to this phone, so the majority of this review will be a comparison of the two devices.

When considering the means by which you connect the Galaxy Nexus to your computer, it took me some getting use to. Because I am a Mac user, I had to download the Android File Transfer program from which was ok, considering Apple works with iTunes, Android should have computer software attached to it. But this program makes the phone function more like an SD card that is having content saved to it.

Because I have been in the Apple ecosystem for almost 8 years, a lot of my content was from the iTunes store, so any movies, tv shows, apps, and music videos I had purchased there were not transferable to the Galaxy Nexus, but the music, and video content I had from other sources were still usable on my Android defies. If the Google Play store offered a bigger variety in good content then it wouldn’t be that big of an issue, but software has room to grow, and needs time to do so also.

In reference to physical features of the phone that I enjoyed or found fault with, the list is large. First, I just didn’t like the placement of the two cameras. The back facing camera just took up way too much space on the back of the phone, and caused it to stick out further than the rest of the body. The front facing camera was just kinda weirdly placed, off to the top right corner, instead of being closer to the centre top, which would be better for video calling, at least in my mind. The screen is absolutely massive and it greatly surpassed the old iPhone 3.5 inch display. It is also fairly responsive and a breeze to navigate through. I liked also that the back plate was an easy snap off design, and that the battery was of standard cellphone design, so it could be easily replaced. The only issue with the battery is that NFC is built into it, so you need to make sure you buy the proper replacement. The speakers on the phone though, were just not that good, very weak even, and they did leave something to be desired. With the large screen real-estate, also comes a pretty large form factor. The Galaxy Nexus has a plastic bezel that is not too easy to grip, and I find that in cold weather, trying to handle this device can lead to an accidental dropping. I like that it has no physical buttons on its surface and instead they opted to go with software virtual buttons. Lastly, the phone’s connector is just your standard micro USB, which is a big plus to all of use with a million extra micro USB cables just lying around.

To get to my final decision on the rating for this device, I took all of my comments into consideration and just rated it fairly. The Galaxy Nexus does offer a pure android experience, its standard tech specs are still quite amazing, and its ease of use is only beaten by the iPhone (so that is still a plus). The physical design at times was a benefit and a hinderance, and the growing Google Play ecosystem still needs time to flourish, and its lacking expandable storage also isn’t that good considering all the other android devices with expandable storage. In the end, I place the Galaxy Nexus on the scale at 3.5/5 just between the rating for the Galaxy Discover that I posted last month, and the rating for the iPhone 4S that I place at a 4/5. In my mind, no smartphone has reached a perfect 5/5 yet.

Mac Mini 2012 (2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5) **4.5/5**

So its been a little over a month and a half since the newest configuration of the Mac Mini was released (October 23). I thought I might as well wait a while and go through a trial period before I went ahead and a wrote a full review on this amazing little desktop computer.

The exact specifications for the model I reviewed is as follows:

2.5GHz Mac mini

  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • 4GB memory
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • OS X Mountain Lion

Now I could go over the basics that countless reviewers have looked at such as this device’s portability, connectivity, and as a true home theatre computer, as well as it’s user friendly upgradable ram access, but that’s not the kind of site I run.

What I’ll be looking at is real world function and use, as both a home theatre computer and as a regular desktop computer.

As a home theatre computer I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this powerful little device. Although it was lacking an optical drive, with the stock 599$ model, an extra 79$ for the apple superdrive wasn’t that big of an extra. I like that it offers so much storage in such a small form factor, so that i could easily store all my content without worrying that I would fill up the hard drive. It can be easily paired with the apple remote and it only made this device easier to control. If you didn’t want to spend the 70$ on the magic mouse or track pad, getting up to use your regular usb mouse to pause or fast forward through a video became a little bothersome without the apple remote. Throughout the last month and a half, the only issues I had was the mouse issue, difficulty in using the keyboard and mouse in the home theatre setting, and the issue with the 10.8.2 mac mini update. Otherwise these are minor problems that can be easily figured out with time and different accessory layouts.

As for the Mac Mini’s use as a desktop computer I quite liked it as well. While screen resolution matters wholly on what type of display you have available, I liked that it fit with pretty much any input devices you might have laying around. Because of its small size it also didn’t limit you to a classic computer desk, you could put it on just about any surface you have available, without the need for a tower cabinet. In all other capacities it still worked as good as ever.

In conclusion I found that this computer was an amazing space saver and powerhouse that was useful in supporting many different devices in many different layouts within your home. For an entry level device into the Apple ecosystem, it is perfect for the user that is new to Apple computers.

On the rating system that I will outline in a following post, I will explain my rating system, but as for now I give the Mac Mini 2012 (2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5) a score of 4.5/5 based on its easy setup, versatility, storage capacity in relation to cost, connectivity, and easy access to the user upgradable ram cards. The only thing holding it back from being a perfect 5/5 was the differing experience achieved depending on what types of input devices you had attached to the computer.


Unboxing and Review- Tech- Energizer Instant Charger (for micro USB phones) ***Rating 4.5/5***

In today’s video I bring you guys up to date with my plans for my next few videos. I will also be unboxing and doing a quick review on the Energizer Instant Charger (for micro USB phones). I’ll also be comparing it to the Duracell USB charger.

To give you guys an overview of the contents and the device itself here are some stats. Inside the box you’ll find the device, 3 AA batteries, 2 coupons for batteries, and a user guide.

After just one use, I got to say that its a better option than most other options. Since all this charger needs is batteries, you aren’t forced to go looking for an outlet so that you charge your phone the conventional way. And unlike my other portable charger, you don’t need to plug the charger into a computer to load it.

I even tested out the device while making a call. For the entire 20 minute call I was able to talk on my phone without even worrying of the charger falling out.

The design is much simpler than Energizer’s previous models, and the cool redesigned feature of the cap is pretty smart too. Because it is fairly easy to lose caps from different products (especially pens!), Energizer thought it out and made it so that the cap can be attached to the opposite end of the charger while in use.

In conclusion is my rating for this device and my reasoning:
-the design was smart, simple, and uncluttered
-removable batteries makes it easy enough to replace once the charge is used up
-the cost was at a good price point, and it even came with coupons in the package for the US and Canada for more batteries
-stayed in place even when using your phone to make calls
-although it is limited by design to only work on micro USB phones, is doesn’t require you to carry around your USB cables for each individual device
-the only downside is that it is only compatible with micro USB phones, but at least it is offered in other forms as well, compatible with proprietary outlets like the iPhone as well.

So my final rating for this accessory is 4.5/5 because it is near perfect except for it only working on micro USB


Review- Movie- This is 40

So for today’s review I went to see Judd Apatow’s new comedy This is 40, the sorta spinoff sequel to Knocked Up. This comedy featured many comedy actors we’ve come to love over the last few years. Without any spoilers I’ll just state a few basic thoughts I had about the movie.

I noticed quite quickly that the child actors would be a point of weakness, while they had their cute funny moments, some lines were just a little too difficult for them to deliver with the full weight of the line.

There was a load of nudity in the movie but at most moments it was “tasteful” and wasn’t too obscene, but pretty damn funny, like that BJ scene (for those of you who watched the movie). I just liked that it wasn’t nudity like from a slasher flick with girls with implants running about, it was just more natural.

I was also surprised by the dynamic between Jason Segel, Megan Fox, and Chris O’Dowd, it was just hilarious!!

Anyways, I highly recommend this movie for anyone that is looking for a fun time at the movies, just remember to stay for the credits!