Boostcase Hybrid — a must buy for iPhone 4/4S users

After reading good reviews and buy recommendations about the Boostcase Hybrid from PTB, Abuggedlife, and Technograph, I finally gave it a go and bought one. Indeed, it is capable of doubling my iPhone’s battery life, especially when I’m nowhere near a power outlet, places other than the house or the office.

I’ve been to out-of-town trips where I found my iPhone’s battery dead (or almost dead) before the trip is over. These are the instances that the Boostcase battery pack could have proved very useful.

Don’t get me wrong, I consider the iPhone’s battery to be the most reliable and most consistent compared to say an Android (more on this in another post) and even BlackBerry. I mean I can install any new apps on the iPhone without worrying much about any additional strain on the battery, as compared to when using Android and BlackBerry. Of course, unlimited 3G use especially when using the Maps app can drain a lot of battery. Photos and my own impressions after the jump »

My iOS 5 Top New Features

Maybe the long wait for this brand new OS has somehow diminished excitements about it. We’ve seen these new features demoed by developers.

Nevertheless, having a first hand experience with the iOS 5 today on my iPhone, here are my top “favorite” new features:

  • Notifications center – having all notifications and alerts in one place is one feature that has long been wanting in iOS, that’s why I have it at the top of the list. Yet, just like in Android, I would have preferred to have the quick toggles for cellular data, bluetooth and wifi in the same notification center. Plus, a lot other apps are not yet updated to push their notices to the notification center. Moreover, instead of or in addition to stocks and weather, I wish for an option to have foreign exchange rates and maybe LME prices to be likewise available in there.
  • Wifi Sync – you can now be fully independent from a computer system (either Mac or Windows) once you start using your iOS 5 device, but having iTunes to manage your media and apps is still a neat way to go. Now, you can even sync your device to your computer’s iTunes program via wifi. That’s one less cable system to worry about.
  • Over-the-air future OS updates – this we have yet to experience and find out how seamless it will be. Furthermore, Apple claims further updates will be smaller files compared to the past where it took around 700MB of download file every upgrade.
  • More alert tones via iTunes – now I don’t have to live anymore with the stock ringtones and alert tones of the iPhone. As a matter of fact, I just downloaded Marlon Brando’s “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” and Acoustic Pluckin alert tones for my use.

My Thoughts on the New iPhone 4S

We all know iPhone 4S has been announced last night. And a lot of people are disappointed. It fell well below most people’s expectations, especially — I guess — the detractors.

But at least let me share my thoughts about this new iDevice:

  • Lack of redesign – at least my iPhone 4, with its already great looks, design, build and construction will still stay relevant for another 12 months or so;
  • 3.5 inch display is so 2007. Everyone else is 4 to 5 inches across– I think it is still the sweet spot for a smartphone. Not too big for just call and text and not too small for internet browsing. And remember, all the 500,000+ apps that are currently available in the App Store are built for that screen size. Make the display larger, given that you maintain the exact aspect ratio, and you might find your apps already pixelated. You may not want a new screen size for an iPhone and count your available apps back from zero? What about the possibility of purchasing the same app you once purchased for use in your new iPhone 4S? If you really want a bigger screen, go get an iPad.
  • No LTE or 4G or HSPA+ support – those technologies are barely, if not at all, existing in the Philippines anyway, so why bother? And don’t tell me it’s the network of the future — because I’m actually satisfied with the current 3G + HSDPA speeds, if only the telcos could make it more consistent across all areas in the country, without the worry of shortened battery life.
  • 8-MegaPixel Camera and 1080p Video Recording – of all the new features of the iPhone 4S, these are my least favorite. Here we are again, back at counting pixels. We all know that the higher the pixel count, the larger the resulting JPEG file, the slower it will take to upload and share with friends. Even a 2-megapixel image is more than enough size for just internet sharing via Facebook or the likes. And 1080p? For my 32″ LCD TV? Obviously an overkill! Improve the lens quality — that’s what I’d say — which they actually did with the 5-element lens and f/2.8 aperture.

So, in a nutshell, the improvements introduced in the new iPhone 4S may be less than impressive but I’m not at all disappointed.

iPhone vs. BlackBerry

I own an iPhone 4 and recently — let’s just say — had a short affair with the BlackBerry Bold 9700. I know they’re not particularly the top of the line of their brands, taking into account that iPhone 5 may be announced in a couple of days.

So, this article is actually more about the hangups I had with my BlackBerry Bold 9700 experience as against that with the iPhone 4. Some points may not be applicable to other BlackBerry models like some touchscreen in the BB Torch line, but definitely some are very much relevant to all models.

First, let’s talk about what I liked about the BlackBerry:

  • Unified Inbox via the Messaging App. From Email, SMS, BBM message, Gtalk, Yahoo! Messenger, as well as Twitter and Facebook notifications — they are all there in one place. The Gtalk, YM, Twitter, and Facebook apps were developed by RIM (Research in Motion) itself, so they are seamlessly integrated into the Messaging app. The Messaging app also serves as the central notification center, which functionality is yet coming to iOS 5.
  • Longer Battery Life. As a second hand device, I still get more than two days of usage if Wifi is on (which I always use in the office and at home), and less than two days when it’s off (meaning I’m always on cellular data connection).

Quite a short list, really. Now let’s move on to where the BlackBerry is really getting into my nerves. This list is in random order, and as such may appear in whichever crosses my mind first: Continue Reading »

Samsung Galaxy Ace – The Mid-Range Android Phone

At 3.5-inch display, it’s as big as the iPhone 4’s – though graphics may not necessarily be as crisp as the latter uses the Retina Display. Yet, at P14,990, who could resist this offer?

Samsung Galaxy Ace vs. iPhone 4

Photo Courtesy of PhoneArena.

The Galaxy Ace’s specs follow: Check out the specs and the PhoneArena Review »