Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Verizon HTC One review (Spoiler alert. It’s awesome.)

October 8th, 2013 Comments off

Spoiler alert: The HTC One is amazing and you should buy it.

This and the Galaxy Note 2, are now tied for phones which have made the best first impressions and continued to impress as i used it day to day.

First impressions:

It feels good in the hand.

The weight of the phone (5.04 oz) is perfect in my opinion, the build quality is great i never felt as if it was going to fall out of my hand. Compared to the my wife’s Galaxy S4 ( 4.59 oz ) it just feels like a more well put together phone.



Also for comparison, here’s the HTC One and the iPhone 5


However, compared to my wife’s phone i find the HTC UI to be a little less intuitive than the Samsung Galaxy UI.


The hardware Design is great. The slightly rounded back makes it fit into the hand nicely


however i would not continue to use the phone without purchasing a protective case for it. I didn’t feel comfortable with one handed use for many tasks other than taking pictures.

And speaking of pictures, the camera is very good, and the speed that it takes pictures is just remarkable. Here are some photos taken with the HTC One and iPhone 4s for comparison. One thing you’ll notice right away is that the field of view is much wider on the HTC One.
It did cause slight distortion around the edges of some photos (particularly noticeable when there was a person around the edge of the photo, the face was slightly, albeit clearly distorted.) Some people might not like that, but from my perspective at least you are capturing that edge of the photo which wouldn’t be seen at all on the iphone.


 girl pumpkin

Here are some shots just taken with the HTC One.



Here is what was shown in a full sized photo from the HTC one, and a 600 pixel cropped section at 100%. You’ll notice that it is slightly grainy, but keep in mind i was just holding the phone in my hand, and stopped quickly to take a photo. if i had time to brace against something i think the graininess would have been less noticeable.

Click for full sized photo (2688 x 1520)


The video camera on this is also unbelievable.

HTC one – video example from that jon jackson on Vimeo.

While I know it’s not a unique to this phone feature, the  photo-while-taking-a-video option is a feature that i really like as well.

Here is a photo that was taken while the video was recording



The only reason I wouldn’t say the camera is excellent is that it is not very good in lower light situations (as is true with most mobile phones, so to me that’s not a deal breaker)

Other hardware elements:

• the front facing speakers make watching media or movies on the phone a pleasure.


One unimportant feature that i liked quite a bit is the hidden LED indicator

The one major hardware design feature that i didn’t like – and was quite hard to get used to was the lack of a third button for menu. on the bottom by home and back. – I don’t know why they couldn’t have made the HTC logo a home button and add a menu button as many android phones do.

The powerbutton on the top left of the phone i found a little strange as it is a completely flush button that looks more like an infrared sensor than a button – it took me about 10 seconds of looking at buttons on first picking it up to realized that was the power. After using it for a day or so it was not an issue.

another thing i found hard to adjust to was the custom HTC UI. I’m most familiar with the nexus 7, and samsung galaxy UIs for android and found this one to be a pretty significant departure from the usual Android experience.



One major issue i had with the phone on two occasions. (I had a video of this happening, but forgot to back it up before i reset the phone)

In a low service coverage area the phone just began ringing – not as loud as a phone ring, but loud and every 3 seconds or so. The first time it happened was in church when all was quiet. (It displayed no notification that anything was happening. and turning the volume down did not help. The ringing continued all the way through powering down the phone, and did not stop until the power was completely off.

Even after it was powered down it periodically still made noises, and once the phone was powered back on the ringing came back immediately. – Since the battery is inaccessible i couldn’t remove that either. after some reasearch i found out that the only way to stop it was to place or receive a phone call. For some reason that resets that issue. I only discovered this after doing a full factory reset of the phone (which also solved the ringing issue for about a day).

I used the wifi hotspot feature extensively while on vacation and as always the Verizon network did not disappoint. I had amazing coverage absolutely everywhere except for my final destination. – Which is very far out in the country.
I was able to get the coverage by taking the phone outside and setting it on the satellite dish under some tin foil.


My largest gripe with the whole experience is that as Verizon no longer offers unlimited data plans, when you use 4g LTE speeds they will be REALLY FAST, however that means that you will use your very limited data plan quickly and then either not have anything left, or be charged a ton!

In my opinion, limiting data plans is like owning a Ferrari that you can only drive in your neighborhood. Sure it’s nice, but what’s the point?

Verdict? Buy this phone. It’s amazing.

Verizon, bring back unlimited data plans. It’s essential.

review of HTC 8x from Verizon Wireless

January 5th, 2013 Comments off

It’s not everyday you get to carry around a cellphone in your pocket, but for the last few weeks Jon Jackson has gotten to do just that.

I’ve been using an HTC 8x Windows 8 phone with Verizon 4gLTE (Model number HTC6990LVW) for the last few weeks – and not just as a backup, look at it every now and then kind of phone – I’ve been using it as my primary phone the whole time.

By choice, I’m generally an Android user. This is my first foray into the world of windows, if you don’t count my brief affair with an htc tilt a few years ago.

(Though i don’t think you can really hold that one against me, I was younger, and it was a much different world. We all have our pasts… don’t look at me like that.)

Having recently upgraded my home computer to Windows 8, i was excited to see how their phone would hold up to the drastic OS changes. I was pleased to find that after connecting my Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts within just a few minutes the live tiles were updating and pulling in all kinds of social information.

I did find that this was a really good consumption device. The OS as a whole is still fairly young, but the options available even since the Windows 7 phones were introduced are getting stronger every day.

  • Call Quality: Excellent
  • Build Quality: Very good.
  • Performance:Excellent
  • Experience:Good (I feel as the OS and available apps mature, it will be very good, or excellent as well)
  • Bottom line:I WOULD recommend it to a friend

My wife was so impressed by the phone that she had me buy her a Windows phone for her and she is also loving that as well.

one last note i would make, i found that using the phone has made using Windows 8 a little easier as well – which was a pleasant bonus.

Sample photos from the phone under fluorescent light

Sample photo using the front facing camera under fluorescent light

You Always Win With This New Auction Site

December 30th, 2011 1 comment

If you’ve ever used a penny auction site to try and get high-end merchandise for just a few pennies, you know how addicting it can be.  The thrill of being the top bidder when the clock hits zero makes you feel like you’ve just one the lottery.  Only you didn’t win the lottery, and you had to spend money on each bid to become the highest bidder.  Sure, you may have won something at a great discount, but the money spent on each bid adds up.

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