Unbelievable features on todays flagships

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Unbelievable features on todays flagships

If you head over into your wardrobe and dish out your old favorite smartphone or feature phone you’ll realize that while the basic premise of what makes a phone tick is same (processor, RAM, display and battery), a lot of features have seen massive upgrades. Displays on today’s smartphones are much larger and higher resolution than before, processors can now process a lot more tasks including AI! which manufactures brag about at length and camera sensors have for the first time made it possible for us to leave our bulky cameras and video cameras at home.

 

But despite the huge numbers of smartphones in the market, there are a lot of similarities amongst most of them. But, today we are going to look at some unique features in flagship smartphones.

 

Sliding cameras:

It’s no secret that a lot of people hate notches on their phones, but the reason for the existence of notches was that it wasn’t possible to place camera sensors under the display along with the sensors. But over time we have managed to make ultrasonic sensors and in-display fingerprint scanners but the cameras still take up considerable space and that’s why we have notches. But Chinese smartphone makers Oppo and Vivo have come up with nearly bezel less phones with sliding/ pop-up cameras. While Vivo’s approach is more simple and thoughtful putting only the front camera on the slider, Oppo went all out, putting both the front and rear cameras on the slider. But these are not all, the upcoming Honor Magic 2 and Mi Mix 3 are rumored to have something similar with manual sliders.

 

Multiple cameras

For a long time smartphones were considered inferior to standalone cameras and while the current generation hasn’t surpassed DSLR’s they have certainly come very close. But with people’s obsession with shallow depth of field effects of the DSLR meant smartphones makers had to mimic the same on phones. But with the size of the camera sensor being tiny on phones you’ll need a very wide lens so a secondary sensor is used to get the depth effect. Manufacturers often go berserk when a new feature or trend is created, the same is with multiple cameras. A few of the latest phones have up to 5 cameras on their phones like what LG did with the V40 ThinQ (appalling name, we get it). The ThinQ gets a 12 MPx primary sensor at the back along with a 107 degrees wide-angle sensor and a 50mm equivalent zoom sensor. The story is similar at the front as well with an 8Mpx primary sensor and a 5 MPx wide angle shooter. There are only a handful more phones that use these many sensors like the Huawei P20 Pro which was amongst the first ones to start this trend of triple rear sensors.

 

But hold on if you though three rear facing camera sensors are a lot, look at the world’s first quad rear camera phone, the Samsung A9 with four rear cameras (Mian camera, Wide angle, zoom and depth)

 

High refresh rate display

Razer debuted its first gaming phone the Razer phone almost a year ago and while it wasn’t a standout in terms of design there was one feature that not a single phone in the market at that time (and even today) possessed- a 120Hz refresh rate display. A high refresh rate display is common in gaming monitors that go all the way to 144 Hz and more but what’s the use of it you may ask? Well, for gaming it means a far smoother game play, on your phone you can expect silky smooth animations and ultra smooth scrolling and app openings. Not just that the phone can dynamically adjust the refresh rate so as to conserve power during tasks like reading a web page where it can dial down all the way down to 20Hz.

 

Holographic display

Displays have improved over the years in terms of brightness, resolution, colors, viewing and more but there are few that have had something revolutionary. Way back in 2011 there were a couple of 3D display phones but the technology never caught on and most of them were shelved. But recently iconic camera manufacturer, Red decided to make a smartphone (The Red Hydrogen One) for movie makers that would pack a ton of kit from ergonomic design, high-end cameras, pogo pins for Moto Mods like attachments and a Holographic display. The Holographic display is what caught the fancy of many as it lets you watch 3D content without 3D glasses. From the few people who have had access to private demos of the phones describe it as something similar to R2-D2 projecting an image. While it sounds cool and almost science fiction like, how effective it is only time will tell.

 

Quad DAC and Headphone jack

2018 has been the year when most flagship phones ditched the age-old headphone jack for wireless and wired USB-c connectivity. Apple iPhone, the next generation OnePlus, Razer phone, Pixel 3 all lose out on the headphone jack but one manufacturer is firm about its commitment to the headphone jack and high-quality audio- LG. Long been a favorite of the audiophile community the LG flagship phones come with an excellent 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (balanced sound signature) with the Stereo Boombox Speaker with DTS:X 3D Surround Sound. Also, this time around the sound is tuned by Meridian Audio This makes it one of the few truly capable phones for great audio quality.

 

Super fast charging

OPPO Find X Automobile Lamborghini Edition is a limited edition version of the Oppo Find X and while it has the usual limited edition features like a high price tag, exotic materials and a lot of accessories, there is one really cool feature that is pretty unbelievable-Super VOOC Flash Charge. Building upon the VOOC charging in current Oppo phones the Super VOOC technology uses a 50W charger and two batteries to deliver an unbelievable charger rate. Taking around 35 minutes to juice up the 3400mAH from dead the Super VOOC is undoubtedly the fastest smartphone charging standard in the world.

 

Reversible wireless charging

While wireless charging is a common feature on most flagships, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro launched recently takes that feature a step forward with something called reversible wireless charging. With this, you can use you Mate 20 Pro to charge your mates iPhone or other devices that can be wireless charged. Despite your phone’s battery being drained, you don’t have to worry as the battery is a large 4200mAh unit which can be charged up to 70% in only 30 minutes.  

 

These are some of the standout features, especially in today’s smartphones. There are still many phones out there with quirky features like the Note 9’s super capacitor powered stylus or the Moto Mods on the Moto Z lineup of phones and more. While phones of today are not as quirky as the phones of yester years, we do occasionally get something with unbelievable features. So, what are the unbelievable features you came across on a smartphone? Do let us know in the comments below.

PhonLab E-Campus

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PhonLab E-Campus

 

I have teamed up with MJ Nale an experts in Android smartphone repairs and support and the owner of Android Hawaii. A repair shop in you guessed it Hawaii. There is also a physical campus in Honolulu if you are looking to take classes with a instructor or two.  PhonLab E-Campus is a online SmartPhone service course to teach repair centers and cellphone shops how to fix firmware problems on phones along with many other security and IMEI fixes. We are working hard to create one of the best online lesson based course around. The concept behind this class is to keep adding to it as technology changes to stay up to date. As part of the class you will have access to our files and the ability to request an instructors assistance with your lessons. You can also request new content to be added. we will do the hard part to figure it all out then bring it to the students in easy to follow video and written tutorial.

If this sounds like just what you are looking for or you really just want to learn something new then sign up here PhonLab.teachable.com and you can get a nice discount at check out by using coupon code rootjunky9. NOTE might need to be in caps like this ROOTJUNKY9

I look forward to seeing you there. Please comment on any lesson and I will be happy to help out.

If you aren’t interested in the class please consider becoming an affiliate and help us get the word out and make some extra cash for yourself as well. thanks 🙂 Affiliate signup here

RootJunky / E-campus instructor.

 

If Smartphones were Star Wars Characters

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If Smartphones were Star Wars Characters

I just saw The Force Awakens (don’t worry, no spoilers), and I really enjoyed the movie.   In the days leading up to the movie I had Star Wars on the brain; I also had smart phones on the brain, which created a convergence in the force.   What came out of that convergence is this post.

Not all smartphones can be Star Wars Characters and not all Star wars Characters can be smartphones.  Other times the connections are so clear, that you can’t deny it.  Have a look at the connections that I made and let me know your thoughts.  Do you agree with my selections?  If you have other thoughts please share them.   Below are my connections.

ONE PLUS 2 – Han SoloHan Solo

 

In most people’s minds the One Plus started the “best bang for your buck” smart phone revolution.   Personally I think that the 2013 Nexus 5 should be wearing that badge of honour but hey, that is not what this post is about.  The one thing that I think we can all agree on is that the one plus is a rebel of a phone and so are those that carry it.  I have yet to see a One Plus 2 live, and I have only seen a OnePlus 1 twice but both times when I said “Wow, is that the One Plus 1?” The reply was not just yes or some other affirmative.  The first person replied with “yes and it is running Oxygen OS.”  The second person replied with “CM 12.1 nightly and he quoted the date.”  Who the heck actually knows the date of the last nightly they downloaded? That is bad ass!

One plus is still a relatively niche company with a non-conformist appeal.   In a sea of Galaxies and iPhones the OnePlus 2 has some roguish charm to help it stand out.  Even the company One Plus reminds me of Han with its crazy social media campaigns and invite system.   Plans never work out like they are meant to but somehow Han manages to keep things together only to fall into another mess, usually of his own making……. just like OnePlus

 

 

Droid Turbo 2 – ChewbaccaChewy

Star Wars had its fair share of tough guys but only one of them would rip off your arms if they started to lose at a Dejarik (Holo Chess).  Chewbacca is known for his strength and endurance, so is the Droid Turbo 2.   With a 21MP camera, a 3760 mAh battery and shatterproof screen this is a rough and tumble phone ready for anything.  Half of Han Solo’s charm came from the fact that his best friend was there through everything and would never let Han down.  Like Chewy, this phone is something to keep by your side through all of your daily adventures, something that will never let you down, even if you drop it into a trash compactor.    Motorola even calls the backing material Ballistic Nylon!   That just sounds cool to me.

The Droid Turbo 2 is not the smallest or prettiest of phones, but neither was Chewbacca.  The phone is definitely a man’s best friend or something that a princess would use to help her rescue her prince charming from carbonate status.

 

 

 

BlackBerry – Yodayoda

 

For eight hundred years has BlackBerry trained people to type with their thumbs, its own council will it keep on the use of physical keyboards.   Just like Yoda the BlackBerry can look old to young eyes but my fellow Canadians have been making phones and pages since 1984.  Before google existed and while Apple was planning to fire Steve Jobs, this company came up with the idea of seeing an email on your pager.  One thing led to another and the smartphone was born.

Yoda has been around for a long time and so has BlackBerry.  With hundreds of years training Jedi, Yoda’s influence can be felt throughout the force.   So too can the BlackBerry’s influence be felt thoughout the smart phone world.  Dependent on your age you may see the BlackBerry Passport as something irrelevant but market share matters not!  BlackBerrys are the phones that created the smart phone revolution and brought email on a phone to the world.  If you are close in age to me you can remember a time when texting was billed by the characters and you only had a number pad to type with.  Those were dark times, indeed. BB may not be doing much now, kind of like Yoda sitting in a swamp waiting for something to happen, but their genius can still be seen today in modern phones.  Have a look at the operating system of a BlackBerry from the 90’s and you can still see their influence on iOS and android even today.

These phones should have lasted forever, strong were they with the force, but not that strong.

 

 

iPhone – Emperor Palpatineiphone

 

This was perhaps the easiest connection.   Emperor Palpatine led the Galactic Empire through fear, fear of this battle station (Deathstar).   Apple leads in profit through fear, fear keeping up with the Jones’.   The empire was not an equal opportunity employer.   They used the Wookies and other species as slaves to build what the empire referred to as the ultimate power in the universe.   Replace wookies with Foxcomm employees and you can keep the arrogance of believing their creation to be the ultimate power in the universe.  Much like the Emperor, the iPhone’s overconfidence is its weakness.

There is no contradicting the fact that the Emperor was powerful, so is the iPhone.  The Emperor’s reach stretched across the better part of the Galaxy and the iphone’s reach stretches across most of North America and Europe.   The empire brought conformity to the galaxy and seemed unstoppable but rebellion comes to us in many forms.  With companies like Xiaomi, Obi, Wiley Fox, Microsoft, Nextbit,  OnePlus, and Nokia all looking to make their mark, or reclaim lost ground, there is a new hope!

 

I hope that you have enjoyed this fun little article.  If you have a few connections of your own, please leave them below.  I would enjoy hearing from others on this one.

 

Until next time…..

Episode Tuesday

 

 

Misfit Flash

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Misfit Flash

The Misfit Flash fitness tracker is worth way more than it’s meer $29.99 price tag. The Flash is a slim fashion friendly wearable fitness tracker that measures sleep and activity. This information is available through syncing the Flash with your smartphone via the Misfit app (on both Apple & Android). The app helps organize all the information collected by the Flash. For example, calories burned, distance traveled, steps taken & sleep duration/quality. With a catalogue of pre programmed activities to track like running, walking, tennis, cycling, basketball & soccer, tracking different activities is simple and this keeps the collected data accurate to each activity. This is an always on fitness tracker. Once you put it on you don’t need to remember to charge it or plug it in to update or receive logged data. With a battery life of 6 months to a full year, depending on use. Misfit is considerably one of the most convenient fitness trackers available, especially within it’s low price tag. In addition to tracking fitness and sleep the Misfit Flash also works as a wireless bluetooth button that can be programed to trigger events. Events such as services like, Yo, IFTTT, Harmony & Ring my phone. Other events such as music and camera control are also available for programming. With the services event options you can extend the reach of this tiny fitness tracker. To use this feature and use the tracker as a bluetooth button with programmed responses first you’ll need to install and setup the Link app by Misfit.  

myfitnesspal_screenshots

Misfit Link

The Link app by Misfit picks up where the Misfit app leaves off. Stepping in after the fitness and sleep tracking and enabling the interactive functionality such as the single, double, or triple press and the long press options. After syncing your device with the Link app, you’ll be presented with pre themed options like, music remote, selfie button, preso clicker, bolt switch and the custom button option. We’ll be covering the custom button option. Where each click, tap and press are blank and customizable with 3 sub options. The 3 sub options are, services, music remote and selfie button. Inside the services option there’s time & progress, yo, if, harmony and ring my phone. Music remote options are next, back, volume up and down. The selfie button list is short but still very useful with its take a photo and burst pictures options. With these plug-in like events, that can be programmed to react to a single or patterned click of a simple fitness tracker, the events options are only limited to your imagination.  

Custom Buttons

A profile for every occasion. Switch between profiles for fast functionality based on your needs in the moment. There are a bunch of pre built profiles such as the Bolt option, that comes with two button options, single press (change brightness) and long press (power off). You can create many custom profiles that have up to four button combo options, in case the provided ones fll short.

download (1)

IF (If This Then That)

By far one of the best most useful apps to be published to date is IF by IFTTT (If This Then That). Which means just that. If this (Misfit Button Pressed) Then (Play/Pause Music). It’s very simple to set up recipes. Just open the IF app and create a recipe with the if this then that template. With over 230+ services to choose from for there are endless options to combine. Just login to the services you choose to use and select an event that will domino effect a responding event. If you can’t seem to think of anything, to get the creative juices flowing try the shared recipes in the recommend or collections folders.

IFTTT Recipes

Some fun Misfit Flash IFTTT recipes are; (IF) Single Press (Then) Toggle Hue Lights On / (IF) Double Press (Then) Toggle Hue Lights Off. (IF) Triple press (Then) Send Daily Activity Report To Google Drive Folder / (IF) Long Press (Then) Play Workout Jams. Get creative with your recipes and the available services.

MyFitnessPal

For counting calories and logging your meals, MFP is your best option out of the vas list of apps available. Here is where you log the food you eat and the calorie count takes place. See the Misfit Flash tracks what calories you burn but that’s only half of the equation needed to do some diet math. MFP is the missing half, by giving you something to subtract them calories from. Knowing the macros of your meals is important when you’re trying to lose weight. So you’ll have a calorie intake number and a calorie outgoing number to make sure you’re not burning the candle at both ends. Keep track of how many calories you’re taking in and make sure it’s healthy (advise a trainer or nutritionist).

MFP Tips

Logging meal preps can be a pain in the glutes, but with MFP it’s actually pretty simple. Just scan the barcodes of all items used in the meals and create a preloaded meal. So when you go to log a meal prep and it’s something you have had before you can just go to the meals section under diary and select the matching meal. Other tabs besides the meals section are frequent, my food, and recipes. Recipes will scan your food shopping recipes from the grocery store, making entries as simple as possible.

UA-Record-app

Record

Now that you have a way to measure the calories coming in from food, the calories going out from the Flash but that’s mostly just calories burnt from motion in general without taking in account for which weight lifting activity the motion was for (excluding running, walking, biking, soccer and swimming). The missing link in the calorie counting madness is weightlifting. Record by Under Armour fills in the gap left by conventual fitness tracking apps. Log your workout by time and activity and get the best estimated feedback possible. Combine the calories burned with Record to the calories burnt with Misfit’s Flash and then subtract them from the MyFitnessPal calories to get a complete calorie count.

Record Yourself

Tracking activities and workouts is simple and the feedback is pretty accurate. Just set your high, weight and BMI/body fat information. Once you provide that the app can tell you how many calories you’re burning based off the activity you are doing. With two options for tracking, one being log entries and the other tracking a workout live. So if your phone is dead and you can’t do a live log, you can always just enter what you did and the amount of time spent doing it to get feedback on an activity you already did. Personally I like to see what the workout I have planned will burn by logging it, then deleting the log and tracking it, then compare results.  

How I Use The Misfit Flash

Utilizing the Misfit Flash for all that it’s capable of doing isn’t a short process but after you’re done setting it all up and linking all the third party vendors like Link, MFP and Record, it’s simple to keep up with. Personally I lost 80lbs of fat within a year using the Misfit Flash as my calorie counting guide. I had no clue what I was doing trying to lose weight, but luckily I made a random small investment in a tiny doodad called Flash. The Flash helped me to understand how many calories I burn a day without even working out, just dailymotion. That alone gave me a good idea on how many calories to allow myself for meals for each day. After I got the hang of the calorie basics, I started taking gym related activities into consideration and started counting the calories I burn working out. So now I know my daily calories burnt and the kinda calories I burn on top of that at the gym with the amount I consumed with my meals. With all that information I was able to plan for success. Prepping meals and workout routines to balance my calories and macros.

It’s also basically my wireless bluetooth button. Thanks to the Link app made by Misfit the maker of The Flash. it’s possible to give functionality to the fitness tracker. With options for things such as take photo or play/pause music, or log activity and control Bolt smart lights also a Misfit product. In addition to the preloaded options there is an endless variety of possibilities provided by IFTTT via their 200+ channels list. For example: I have a Misfit Flash custom Link profile that is set up for all IF related reactions. Like, press once (only provided options) double press (sends sms to my girlfriend “omw home” ) tripple press (log GPS into google drive folder, named cool places) and long press (only provided options) another few IFTTT events are sleep duration and goal achieved. For example, When I sleep longer than 8 hrs I have IFTTT turn on all my lights and E-Mail my boss that I might be running late. When my daily goal is achieved IFTTT reminds me to have a reward via a SMS from myself. It’s a super useful button. I find myself using it for something other than fitness tracking at least 3 times a day. almost always for recording a Snapchat video or taking a photo handsfree. To take a hands free selfie with Snapchat just set up the Flash in the Link app and choose the selfie button preloaded option. There will be two button functions, one for the single press and one for the long press. Single press will take a single photo in almost and photo taking app (I had problems with instagram). The long press starts to either take burst photos or records a video again depending on the app being used to take the video.

This $29.99 fitness tracker is my favorite piece of tech. It’s cheap, it’s simple, it’s got so much potential, the only limit is your imagination. If you’re looking for a fitness tracker or a bluetooth button this is the device for you. It’s the best for the buck and does more than expected of it. For $29.99 it’s worth giving a shot. If you don’t like it you can always regift it to the healthy and fit family member who’s in need of their very own tracker, but i’ma bet you’ll love it. Get yours Misfit Flash Here for just $19.99.

 

Kenn Bosak

Writer/Dev./Tech

Misfit Fitness Tracker

December 1, 2015

US Cell Phone Carrier Unlocking Policies

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US Cell Phone Carrier Unlocking Policies

unlock carrier

Policies: Verizon | AT&T | Sprint | T-Mobile | US Cellular

First what is carrier unlocking and why might I want this for my device? If your device is carrier unlocked then you can put any carriers sim card in your phone and it will work as long as the device you are using supports that carriers network frequencies. On the other hand if your cell phone is carrier locked then it is stuck on whatever carrier you have and will not work on any other network.

Note: Most people confuse bootloader unlocking with carrier unlocking. These are to very different things carrier unlocking has to do with the Network and bootloader unlocking has to do with freedom to flash custom firmware / OS to your device.

Above you will find linked all the policies for these major carriers. Check to see if you meet the requirements and can get your device carrier unlocked for free through there programs. If you aren’t eligible then start Googling carrier unlock and you will find that there are many free and paid for services out there that can accomplish this task of unlocking your phones networks for you. Most cost 25 dollars or less some are even free.

As of today Feb 11th 2015 the FCC and CTIA is forcing all carriers to allow customers to unlock there phones if they meet the requirements listed. So go check out your carriers policy and see if you are eligible.  Now you will be able to bring your device to any carrier and not have to buy a new one if you don’t want to. As a customer you bought the device and you should fully own it and have full control not the OEM or the carrier.

Other Important Links:  FCC device unlocking FAQ | CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service

 

Picyourway PHONE CASE

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Picyourway PHONE CASE

Picyourway phone case is one of my favorite finds to personalize your phone case with exactly what you want pictured on it for a great price. Logan Miller is the owner of Picyourway and Each case is made-to-order as the customer chooses their design, colors, etc. The whole process of the cases is called sublimation printing. Sublimation printing is when special ink (sublimation ink) is heated up, it turns into a gas and ends up forming a bond on the case which has a polymer coating. The benefit of using the sublimation method is a full-color, photographic-quality image that does not crack, peel, or wash away and trust me its so much fun to see any picture you always wanted on a case come to life. I have been using my case for my GS5 for 2 months now and im very rough on case and i dont have a single scratch or any imperfection showing nor do i expect i will. The are 2 types of cases, hard plastic and a softer rubber but not as soft as the gell case which i really dont like anyhow and i have tested both versions and  fit of both case is perfect and no button issues such as volume/power ect. Im absolutely amazed at how good the pictures i sent look on the case, its so refreshing to have a personalized case exactly to my liking and for under $13 its even more of a reason for me to order another one. I will edit this article soon as Logan has his website up and running but here is link to purchase your case. https://www.etsy.com/listing/217608049/personalized-custom-apple-iphone-4-4s-5?      https://www.etsy.com/listing/217609705/personalized-custom-samsung-galaxy-s3-s4?

case rootjunky

 

 

 

Aukey Portable Power Bank

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Aukey Portable Power Bank

I wanted to share my review on a company whose name is not yet talked about much in the power bank world but i am a fan after using the aukey 8000mAh external power bank  for a week now. The design is ultra-slim  (0.35 inch thickness) great for your pocket or purse and comes with a fabric pouch for the unit and the provided usb charging cable. The “candy bar” shape is about the same length as my galaxy s5 i used for testing but very thin. The top of the unit has “soy ink” coat on the hard plastic and the bottom is gray plastic but has a rubber feel to it so a nice feel in your hand. something i never saw before is the “soy ink” coating on the top cover and the reason for that is so you can personalize your power bank by drawing on it. In my case i put stickers on it but if you like to draw a design on it Aukey has you covered. the power button/”out”usb port/”in” port and 4 LED’s are all at one end of unit which i really liked and the 4 LED’s are very small but very bright and show power left on unit in 25% increments. I was able to charge my gs5 from 5% to full 2x times and still had about 25% left.  I really liked the power bank and its simple design and simple to use so i am hoping others check out http://www.aukey.com/ to see what other products they have to offer to make life a little easier.   20141111_09041620141111_090124