Samsung Galaxy S3 – T-Mobile review

Having recently got a new phone and having left Virgin Mobile for T-Mobile, I wanted to post my reaction to the handset and service.

Given the hype surrounding this handset, the and endless amount of reviews already available, I wanted to express my opinions more in the form of a reaction to the common criticisms found in said reviews, rather than in the form of my own mini review.

Firstly, battery. I felt details were sketchy whilst I was reading reviews and yes, I’m impressed. With average-heavy use I still seem to have approx. 40% battery remaining at the end of the day. It’s reassuring to know there is capacity available for giving the phone a hammering when needed (like Dead Trigger!).

The ‘flimsy’ plastic back panel – not a problem. Yes if you remove the back it is a flimsy piece of plastic. But I can more than comfortably agree that this is to keep the weight and thickness down. The phone is light enough that a thicker back plate would likely make a noticeable difference to the device’s weight, and how often is the back going to be off anyway really? When attached, the plastic back plate it firmly in contact with the solid body and battery, and so feels as strong as the back of any other phone I’ve used.

Speed – is noticeable from the upgrade from my original HTC Desire. I’ve not seen the device stutter, but the most noticeable improvement is when installing apps. Often there is no ‘installing’ message, just a ‘successfully installed’ notification.

The handset did feel quite slippery when I first started using it. Once I got used to its weight and holding it, I didn’t find this a problem anymore. I do have a rubber case on the way (for a whole 99p), but we’ll see how that goes.

File transfer is a bit of a pain, compared to the removal drive method used previously. This is because there is one partition for storage and a protocol called MTP is used. This is supported natively on Windows, but required a download from Android.com on a Mac. The PS3 doesn’t support this system unfortunately though, which is Sony’s fault not Google’s.

The screen seems to be more repellant to dinner prints and general grime, which is great. Yes the colours may not be as realistic as with the LCD equivalent screen but to my eyes out looks great and it’s not like I’m going to be colour correcting on the phone.

I’m very happy so far!

Really enjoying Red Dead Redemption

I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption on my PS3 and I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed the game. Although essentially GTA in the Wild West, it is clear that Rockstar have put a lot of effort into this title. Despite having a reputation for being buggy, I experienced only two bugs throughout the entire game, and only one of them skipped a small part of the story and wasn’t exactly the end of the world.

The game has more of a right vs. wrong aspect than GTA, with violence effecting how game characters respond to your character, and of course attracting the attention of the law (or other bounty hunters).

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Onkyo HT-S5405 1 Box 5.1 Surround Sound System

With the search for a 5.1 system beginning and ending quite quickly, I thought I’d post my thoughts on the new system. As Matt Harrison happened to see when he coincidentally brought his own receiver in for repair, I recently bought the system from Richer Sounds for £350. Although undeniably a lot of money, I have to say I am impressed with the value for money.

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Why, oh why, Spotify?

There was dispair on my part when Spotify announced the 5 plays per track policy, not because I use Spotify heavily, simply because I (and many others) saw this move as the end of Spotify. I am trying to understand Spotify’s logic; if people aren’t paying for premium subscriptions, how is attempting to force them to pay likely to work? It is a well known fact that when the general (music loving) public don’t like something, corporations forcing them to pay money for things always works – I mean look at how few people use P2P and torrent technology!

As far as I was concerned, if I wanted to listen to a track I might use Spotify, although the previews on sites like Amazon (my favourite) are usually adequate enough to decide whether I like a track or not (it’s mainly a whole album yes / no situation for me any way, to be honest). Or I could just not bother with it at all. I was done.

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Bose VideoWave

I recently attended a demonstration of the Bose VideoWave at Earl’s Court in London so I thought I’d post my thoughts on the new system, which I believe was being demoed reasonably exclusively at the Ideal Homes show where I saw it.

Firstly what it is: a TV made by Bose.

What it is more than:  a TV made by Bose!

The VideoWave attempts to combat the issue which is rapidly ruining many new TVs; the trend to make them thinner for some reason, even though no one ever looks at them from the side once they have left the showroom. The VideoWave has built in sound engineered by Bose and as with many Bose products, far far exceeds any possible expectations you could have when hearing a TV with built-in speakers.

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The reason you will need a faster internet connection before long.

I had been wondering why I would need am internet confection faster than the current 10 Mbit connection the nice people at Virgin Media supply me. The only real reasons I came up with involved multiple people sharing a connection and all doing the youtube watching, downloading and bandwidth heavy activities which many people partake in each day.

These activities are easy enough to perform with a 10 Mbit connection (apart from 1080i youtubeing) so my question was what could we really need 20mb+ connections for.

Then I discovered Onlive.

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