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Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Aim Low Series - The Alcatel Pop Astro Review

Over the next few weeks I will review the best budget phones T-Mobile has to offer. These phones are new, different, and less expensive than what I used you and I are used to. Forget about the iPhone and the S6 and take a look at what you can get for a fraction of the cost. You may not get the best of the best but you will get best of the rest. And who knows, it may just surprise you.

My first review was the LG Leon LTE.

This is the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Astro Review.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Aim Low Series - The LG Leon LTE Review

What sets smartphones apart from each other nowadays? Is it the camera? Is it the screen?  That might seem like the obvious answers to you if you’re reading this review. But for most people, its the price. People are looking for value and quality in a smartphone and for a long time it was only available in the high end models. This, of course, comes at premium. Technology is advancing to a point where innovation at the high end segment improves the experience at the low end segment. A rising tide lifts all boats as they say. Performance is improving, build quality is increasing, and, most importantly, cost is decreasing.

Over the next few weeks I will review the best budget phones T-Mobile has to offer. These phones are new, different, and less expensive than what I used you and I are used to. Forget about the iPhone and the S6 and take a look at what you can get for a fraction of the cost. You may not get the best of the best but you will get best of the rest. And who knows, it may just surprise you.

This is the LG Leon LTE Review.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

You Should Get a Chromebook

Chances are you have heard about Google Chromebooks but are unsure exactly what they are and what they offer as opposed to standard personal computers. While Microsoft’s Windows dominates the laptop and desktop space, Google’s ChromeOS, which powers Chromebooks, does things a bit differently.

What exactly is a Chromebook?
A Chromebook is a personal computer that runs on Google’s ChromeOS. Google’s ChromeOS is best described as using only your Chrome Browser on any computer and relying on web apps and cloud storage. While this may seem a little impractical and restrictive, Google sees this as an opportunity to change the way we interact with our online content.

And this is where the Acer c720 (Late 2013) comes in.
The Acer c720 is a Chromebook laptop that is sleek, light, and fast. The c720 comes in at 2.8 pounds and has a great 11.6 inch TN display. The island keyboard is very good and makes long typing sessions a breeze. The c720 uses an Intel Celeron 2955U processor based off the Haswell architecture which results in excellent performance and an outstanding 8+ hour battery life. The 16GB SSD allows the c720 to boot from sleep in 2 seconds and from a shut down state in 7 seconds. Virus protection is built in as the ChromeOS is very secure due to the lack of executable programs.

The best part? Its only $199. A steal for what you get as a total package.

But can these Chromebooks replace your main computer? Should they?

The easy answer is no. But that’s not the point of a Chromebook.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The T-Mobile Juggernaut

T-Mobile was in trouble. With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, T-Mobile began to lose customers to larger carriers. The iPhone, exclusivity offered by AT&T and later Verizon, made Sprint and T-Mobile irrelevant to customers looking for the latest and greatest experience. It was such a problem that Sprint, in 2011, signed a $20 billion dollar deal to purchase at least 30 million iPhones over the next 4 years from Apple. Sprint finally got its hands on the best selling phone on the market leaving T-Mobile as the only network without Apple’s golden goose. After rolling out its 3G network, T-Mobile had no clear path to 4th generation network technology (LTE). Investments in building out its network were deemed unwise due to the consistent loss in customers and profits. Its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, was now looking to get out of the US market.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Content!

Hey guys,

There will be new content coming up soon!

The T-Mobile Juggernaut
Is LG an option now?
Flagships. What's Next?
Moto G Review

- Gus

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Moto G has no LTE. Deal breaker?

Seeing as the Moto G has been released in emerging markets, the wait for a US launch becomes that much harder. In my previous article, I wrote that the Moto G is a game changer. Early reviews highly recommend the device due to its good quality, fast performance, and price. When the Moto G releases in early 2014 in the US, I expect a similar reception as well. Although there is a big omission in the Moto G that may affect the perception of the device and its sales. The lack of an LTE antenna is a big issue in a nation with robust and soon to be robust LTE networks on various carriers. With LTE being the new standard in wireless, this omission may cast a dark shadow on the Moto G as not being up to date and possibly being viewed as slow. But is LTE really that important and that much faster? Is it really that big a deal for the Moto G? I don’t think so and hopefully, after you read this article, you won’t either.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Moto G is a Game Changer

On Wednesday November 13, Motorola announced the Moto G, a low cost version of its Moto X flagship. The phone consists of 4.5 inch 720p display, Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. Seems like a basic budget smartphone phone for 2013 but the price is what makes this device stand out. Starting at $179 for 8GB and $199 for 16GB off contract, this low cost Moto G looks to shake things up in a landscape dominated by $500-$600 smartphones.

Google likes to talk about the next billion devices for Android but the Moto G really shows the path to the next billion sold. The Google Nexus line has started a race to the bottom in terms of cost in order to get as many smartphones as possible in the hands of those that don't have one yet. And Motorola, now a Google Company, has made another big push for that ambitious goal.

There are a lot of drawbacks when buying a budget Android smartphone on a US carrier as they are less likely to get Android updates and are nowhere near as powerful as their flagship counterparts. Another option is buying an old flagship device but these are usually running old hardware, are probably done receiving updates, and just don't perform as well as they once did. The Moto G, on the other hand, looks to be a good balance of power and price.


  • 4.5 inch 720p TFT LCD Display
  • Quad Core Snapdragon 400 Processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8 or 16 GB of internal storage
  • 5 Megapixel Camera with LED Flash and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • "Android 4.3 Jellybean, the most up to date Android of any phone in its class, with a guaranteed upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat"
  • 19 customization options in removable colored back covers
  • 21 HSPA+ (NO LTE)
  • 2070mah Non-Removable Battery, Motorola optimizations allow for 24 hour mixed usage
For $179, this a good combination of hardware and software. While you won't get the customization options that the Moto X has, a pure stock Android software experience on optimized hardware can really help this phone shine. Motorola wants to take a page out of the Moto X by making a phone that feels fast without high end specs and without hurting your wallet.

The big omission is LTE but since the emerging markets are the focus of this phone this omission is to be expected since LTE networks aren't as robust or even available. A US launch is targeted for January 2014 and it remains to be since if LTE will be added. This will be a great phone for those on a budget as this device will be available on both GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile and CDMA networks such as Sprint and Verizon. AT&T and T-Mobile both have robust 3G/HSPA+ networks that this phone can take advantage of.

"In the US, Moto G will be sold on, with no contract, no SIM lock and an unlockable bootloader for USD $179 with 8GB of storage and USD $199 for 16GB. Moto G will also be available through various carriers and retailers."

With a price this low, the smartphone race to the bottom heats up and hopefully those still on feature phones can make the jump to a seemingly quality product. Even though other companies are readying and releasing smartphones at the same or lower cost like Nokia and Mozilla, the Moto G has one thing going for it that those other products don't have. The dominant force that is Google Android and its many Google Services.