Thursday, 17 July 2014

goodbye iPhone 5s- hello HTC One M7 (again)

My iPhone 5s has eventually gone to its intended home (my wife).  For the short term I've switched my corporate sim card into an old h&c one m7 (which I got when it first came out- and which I loved).  My initial impressions going back to the HTC One M7 after the iPhone are mixed. 

What I like about the m7 
  • Larger screen 
  • External speaker quality 
  • Access to TouchDown which is reasonable for corporate email (Android version only) 
  • The iPhone, being relatively thin, sometimes got stuck at the wrong angle in my trouser suit pockets.
  • I use  Nova on android and there are some things about the android UI that I prefer to iOS. Though I'm surprised at how little I missed widgets on the iPhone- most of what I needed was readily accessible though other means.

What I'm less keen on with the m7 (roughy in order of irritation)
  • I'd forgotten how poor the m7 is for reading in bright sunlight. The iPhone is much better (and the Nokia 1520 even better!) 
  • The m7 gets hot (not helped by the hot weather. The iPhone seems to stay remarkably cool in comparison).
  • For some of the locations I'm at,  the m7 is noticeably worse at getting a signal compared to using the same sim card in the iPhone 5s:(( 
  • Not having touchId for quick access is a real pain.  Corporate security policies allow touchId or a 4 digit (with a relatively short period before this has to be re entered) 
  • The iPhone 5s has an excellent built in pedometer that doesn't seem to affect battery life. I've found pedometer apps for the m7 but they need to be turned on/off and they noticeably use up battery. I was surprised at how much I looked at the iPhone pedometer once I realised it was there!  
  • Not having the swipe up to get to the quick & effective iPhone control panel is a pain. 
  • The volume up/down on my three button hands free sets don't work on the m7. 
  • The m7 is noticeably heavier (no chance of even thinking about putting in a shirt pocket- not something I frequently did with the iPhone, but occasionally).
  • The m7 has a great external speaker but if you forget to turn it to silent when you turn it off it's very loud when you turn it on (I found an app once to turn it off, but didn't like the permissions it was asking for).
  • OneNote on Android isn't as good as OneNote on iOS (though I prefer Evernote on android to the iPhone (due to the way Evernote have decided that on the iPhone you have to press a button to get to bullet/indent/numbering, and then it's dark text on a dark background).
  • The M7 gives an irritating message when I turn up the volume in audible when the phone is first turned on- asking me to confirm if I want to deafen myself. This is new in kitkat for the m7 and not something I've seen in my other android kitkat devices.

Conclusion? I'd be very tempted by the iPhone 6 (either size). 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Using the Samsung note 8

I've been using the note 8 for a few days now.  It needs a better screen,  much better battery life and needs to run cooler.  On the plus side the stylus is great on a screen this size and its smartphone ability is handy. However,  though I'm enjoying using this with the stylus, there are better tablets already available, or wait for a new Samsung note 8.
  • The stylus works much better on the Note 8 that the smaller Note 3; in part due to the larger screen,  but also because of the larger stylus.
  • It can act as a smartphone: able to take a phone sim card, to use the simcards's data,  voice or sms
  • Screen resolution is OK,  as long as you're not comparing it to anything like the LG g pad 8.3, or any retina iPad
  • Battery life is poor (and it isn't good at holding onto its charge when not being user
  • It gets hot (and worse, it gets hot where you hold the tablet if using it in portrait and if you're right handed)
  • If you use almost any other decent device, the relatively poor resolution becomes very,  very apparent.
  • As a tablet it's expensive (though if you're using it as a phone then it's not so bad)
  • Freezes every so often (about once a day).  Seems to be when switching from landscape to portrait. 
  • The back is slippery. That doesn't help with holding it
  • The number of apps that can work in split screen mode is limited. And the lack of LG's mini windows doesn't help productivity
  • The screen is a bit of a smudge magnet
  • Would be nice if it had the standard Google buttons in the standard layout, or at least had configurable buttons
  • It starts to feel uncomfortable after a while if holding one handed. In part this is the weight,  but also the width (the Note 8 is noticeably wider than the LG gPad 8.3, despite the latter having a larger display).
  • It doesn't help that the Note gets hot,  nor the buttons on the bottom which mean you can't easy hold it in the bottom rather than the side without pressing something).

  • It can take an sd card (not a benefit for me due to corporate security restrictions)
  • Touchwiz on this is further from Android than most manufacturer's skins.  Luckily there's Nova launcher. (There's also more bloatware to disable on this than previous tablets I've had).
  • The speaker has volume but clarity is poor compared to most tablets &  phablets that I've used