Zelda and the Switch

That nerd of a hubby of mine has gotten me addicted to Zelda, the game. He surprised me with my very own Nintendo Switch. When he pre-ordered his, he ordered me one too. Oh he is a sneaky one! hehehe

So, I was kinda so-so on it. I’ve never been much of a Nintendo fan after the 64. It just felt cheap and childish. I know, those are fighting words for some. haha  As Sony & Microsoft seem to be trying their best to out-do each other in processing power and graphics, Nintendo seemed to be obsessed with portability. And while in the beginning, that meant cheesy graphics and retro style games, I have to give them credit. As a device the Switch is pretty polished for a portable console. 

The gimmick is you can dock it at home to play on your tv and just pick up the console and walk away and keep playing. And you can! It is virtually seamless. If your mid-game, it automatically pauses and you can pick up where ever you are. It’s light, clean display, and easy to carry around. All good things in the portable world. That isn’t to say it doesn’t have it’s drawbacks. There are more than a few, but not necessarily deal-breakers. First, the online environment is virtually non-existent; no chats, not even messaging. Adding someone as a friend is a bit laborious. You have to give them your friend code outside of the console. You can only do it from the console if you are connected to the same wifi network. Your left posting by email, chat, social media, etc to gain friends. It doesn’t appear to have bluetooth; however, the consoles connect wirelessly to controllers so either it’s bluetooth or wifi direct.1  And don’t get me wrong, you can play other players online. Depending on the game, you can play with friends or find random people. But besides their eStore, there isn’t much else. Apparently, Nintendo is planning to open up and expand an online option. Shawn says it’s been in the works for awhile and appears to be coming to fruition soon. Of course, the simplicity of it isn’t such a bad thing. Simple means less clutter and less distractions. I kinda looked down on Nintendo for this but it isn’t really that bad. If they added a better option to find friends, it would be a win for them IMO. 

The new part is the controllers come off the main console. You can play with both controllers or share one with a friend to play multi-player. This is the ingenious part. It truly makes the game portable. The only down side to this is if you want to connect to another tv,you have to have your dock with you or they have to have one. Apparently, there isn’t a cord adapter…yet. Playing multi-player on a small screen isn’t the best option so this will need to happen if they want it to really succeed here. You can also buy a full size controller (much like a Xone or PS4 one) as well. It’s a bit of a sticker-shock but it works. But, they include an adapter to attach both of the console controllers to that makes it feel like a full size one. It’s really quite ingenious. So if you don’t want to spend the bucks, this will still work fine. I use both or either and adjusting to the feel and grip is pretty simple. You can ‘share’ to social media so the idea is basically the same in connecting to find friends. 

Shawn started playing the new Zelda game and after watching him for a bit, I was intrigued enough to play on my own. To my surprise I like it. Actually, I love it. And the game play is phenomenal. I’ve already put in about 90 hours and I’m only half way thru the game. That’s stellar for any console. My biggest annoyance is the need to stop and read story-lines. It kills motion and rhythm. And while it still annoys me, it isn’t overly bad. You get plenty of action and movement without interruption when you’re not trying to interact with denizens of the game. Shawn has almost beat his now. I’m still doing all the side quests. It’s surprisingly addictive. 

Beyond Zelda, there aren’t many other games that interest me so far. Being new, that isn’t unusual at all. Much like the latest versions from Sony/Microsoft, the Switch isn’t backwards compatible. However, the new style controller gives rise to all kinds of fun ways to play. Better than Microsoft’s gimmicky Kinect add-on.2  Hopefully, a few other games will grab my attention. I definitely like the mobility of it. 

Of course, Destiny Disc 2 is dropping soon. It will completely steal me away from the Switch for awhile. hehehe  If you can afford it (and can find one in stock) it’s worth a buy if you’re already a Nintendo fan. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you’re not, find a friend and try theirs. You might end up being a convert like me. 




  1. To be fair, this could be changed with a software patch. []
  2. We unplugged ours. Shawn was creeped out that it always welcomed him when he would walk by the tv while I’m gaming. heehee []

Pixel XL

My present to myself this year was a new Pixel 

Pixel Xl Really Blue
XL phone. As some of you might remember I rejoined the Sammy line with the S7 Edge a few months back with the promise of better battery and less bloat. And while the battery was better, after an OS update it went back to being marginal at best. After much back and forth in the forums and tweaking apps to pin down a bad player, I just gave up. And for most people, the battery is probably more than sufficient.

I’m a power user and I still lament having to give up my Experia Z3. The best smartphone battery ever! Hands down the winner in real world use. That thing would last all day with heavy use. Anyway, seeing more and more reviews for the Pixel battery and other features, I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t “jump” on the Tmo plan since it is currently “exclusive” to Verizon. However, tricky Tmo found a work around in that they’ll reimburse you monthly up to $325.00 if you register the Pixel on their network. Sold! The only hiccup was the lady tried to force me onto one of Tmo’s newer plans. I staunchly refused and threatened to back out completely. After some back and forth and her seeing how long I’ve been with Tmobile, she relented.1

I am absolutely in love with the Pixel XL. First, it is 100% Android. If you have never used a Nexus brand with pure Android, you have never experienced the OS the way it was meant to function. It is simple and elegant. Not a lot of fluff but gets the job done. Google+ leaves the fluff to app-developers. However, if a certain feature becomes super popular as to be almost ubiquitous, Google+ will incorporate it into newer versions of the OS, touch sense, smart lock, etc. The OS in it’s purest form is just lovely. I’m so glad to be back. The Moto X Pure I had was pretty close, it just turned out not to be a good performer in chip speed.

I left the Nexus brands in the past due to mediocre hardware. This time around the new Pixel brand from Google+ is no slouch in the hardware department. It is definitely a premium phone. Hopefully, they learned from the previous failures of the Nexus line. I opted for the larger XL as I am accustomed to the larger screens. Also, being on pure Android means I get security patches or upgrades to the OS as soon as they are released. No more waiting for the carrier or hoping they even get around to doing an update. Google+ is pretty strict about the patches but OS upgrades can be hit and miss. A huge annoyance but still a first world problem.

I opted to transfer everything directly this time using the cable from phone to phone. OMG! It was super fast. Way faster than waiting for everything to re-download from the app store. Some of the apps didn’t even seem to notice I had moved, I was still logged in and everything. I was up and running at record speed. Other phones offer this too, this was just the first time I opted to use it.

Shawn commented he thought it looks like an Iphone because of the white bevel; however, I disagree. No dimple and no silly lightning port. heehee The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the back and rather than your thumb ease of use requires your index finger. It also turns on and unlocks the phone at the same time if you place your finger on the sensor while the screen is off. Sammy you had to at least push once to wake up the phone, then the sensor woke up. Not a big annoyance at all but one less step is always nicer. Of course, I opted for the “really blue” colored one. I’m not a big fan of the large bevel on the bottom but I’m already used to it. At first, I kept looking for the old S7 button on the bevel.

The most important part so far is the battery. It is definitely better! I would say not quite at the Z3 level but pretty damn close! I can get thru a full 10 hour work day with moderate to heavy use and still have enough to hit the gym and make it home before needing a charge. If I use is super heavy, I still get thru work but need a quick charge before hitting the gym. It does not support wireless charging but it does have quick charge. The one annoyance is I have to upgrade some of my cables since the new phone is USB-C. The latter is the new version of USB with a uniform shape so no matter which way you plug it in, it fits.2 It comes with a USB to USB-C out of the box and a USB-C dual end cable. These are fine but I need longer cables so will have to invest in extras. It does suck a bit after having the same standard for years to have to switch to newer cables. Again, first world problems.

Getting the phone was a bit of a pisser. FedEx sucks monkey balls. The phone shipped overnight for a premium. I paid the premium. It’s supposed to ship with guaranteed next day delivery by 3pm. Or so FedEx loves to claim. The next day rolls around no phone by 3:00 pm. I wait till 4:30 to call. I knew being Xmas eve, expecting it to on time at 3:00 was a bit much. I wasn’t angry or upset. The tech looks it up and assure me it is on the truck and would arrive sometime before 8:00 pm. Ok, no worries. I had signed up for the email updates so around 6:30 pm I get an update that the package was rechecked at the SF facility! Needless to say I’m a bit confused. I call and spend roughly 20 minutes on hold. No exaggeration, I spent that amount of time on hold. It’s now after 7:00 pm. The first tech was completely indifferent and couldn’t be bothered to care. He gave me some excuse about the shipment being delayed. I’m like you realize that is a total lie, right? Your company said it was on the truck twice today, there is no delay in shipment. He hems and haws and finally admits the tech had too much delivery and didn’t finish. I’m like, “ok, but that still doesn’t explain why it is checked back in at 6:00 when you’re supposed to be delivering until 8:00 pm.” He seemed utterly flummoxed that his indifferent answer didn’t satisfy me. I finally end up with a supervisor. It is now 7:40. The supervisor is just as indifferent and was even less helpful. Since we were leaving for LA the next day and I really wanted to have the phone to take with me, I asked if they could hold it and I would pick it up. Nope! We totally dropped the ball and even know we’ve verified you are the recipient, we totally can’t hold it. I’m so livid at this point I had to say goodbye as I would have gone off and Shawn would have been mad at me for mistreating them. Granted they personally weren’t at fault but I’d expect a little more help when calling. So the moral of this paragraph children? Don’t ever use sh*tty FedEx. Use UPS. Hell, even the US Post Office doesn’t act that indifferent and they are civil service!

All the frustration aside, I finally got it after we got back. First world problems abated. The phone is awesome and I’m in love with it. If you can afford it out of pocket3 I highly recommend it. It is a great phone.




  1. That trick almost always works. With the exception of a brief 6 months on Cingular back in the day, I’ve been with Tmo since they were VoiceStream []
  2. You’d think the tech world would have had this ages ago. []
  3. if you’re not on Verizon and able to get it for free []

Smart TV

​Now for something totally boring. 

We bought ourselves a new TV. Not necessarily for christmas but it worked out that way. Shawn had a 60″ tv when we met so we put my old 45″ in the spare room. Out of nowhere, the big one just up and died.1  I was happy with the 45″ back in the day but I’ll tell you downsizing to that 45″ again was painful after having the 60″ for several years. It was like going from the old 36″s to a 19″. Yeah, you know exactly what I mean!

I’ve always been a big fan of Panasonic, but we opted for a Samsung. We got the 60″ SUHD 8-series version. It’s super thin, light and pretty easy to setup. The only frustrating part was the remote wasn’t paired to the TV and I got frustrated for a few minutes thinking it was broken. Why do men hate reading directions? Once I figured it out, everything went smoothly.  There is almost no bevel on the edges, which is different from our old one. It’s also LED instead of plasma. I really liked plasma TV’s as they are much easier to setup and use. For the longest time, they provided a truer representation of images and motion without pixelation. However, LED (and soon OLED) won the format war with ever decreasing production costs. The upside is much lower power consumption. The power cord is practically the same type you’d find on a DVD player. I’m curious to see if I notice a difference in our electric bill since we watch TV a lot. Anyway, almost all the TVs we saw, regardless of brand, were super thin. The quality is similar but the devil is in the details. 

I knew I wanted the same size, or bigger, but I didn’t really care about all the fancy features. It’s a damn TV, it doens’t need all the fancy stuff. I’ve seen other smart TV’s at friend’s houses and they all felk gimmicky. Or at least that is what I used to think. hehehe  Our new one is pretty snazzy. To my surprise, I totally love the enhanced features. The menu is super quick so it doesn’t feel gimmicky at all. I wonder if that is why I thought previous tvs were so gimmicky? It also supports 4K even though I didn’t really care about that either. It supports wireless or ethernet to connect to the web. Another pleasant surprise, it supports Google+ Play, which I use a lot. Google+ Play and Amazon Video are my go-to sources for streaming media. It also supports Hulu, Nextflix, Vudu, etc. They actually came preinstalled on the TV. There is a list of other apps you can download for broader options. Pretty much every movie channel was availabe, ie HBO Now, Starz on Demand, etc. You can easily use the TV and still cut the cord from cable as long as you have internet. And while I have several of these available thru the Tivo, it’s actually easier to use and navigate them thru the TV. 

The frame rate is faster so it makes everything look live. In some examples it can ruin the effects for you. heehee  We eventually turned it off. It’s hard to explain until you see it in person. It gives everything a sharper more realistic view as if you’re watching it live. Shawn doesn’t care for it but I kinda like it. The TV is also very bright. We’ve had to lower the brightness pretty far to feel comfortable. Even now, anything with white space will light up the whole room. The only odd part is the TV only has one connection port. It connects to a small hub that supports 4 HDMI ports and few others including usb. I didn’t really like the idea but considering how thin the TV is it makes sense. If you’re into video games, like I am, it has a special ‘game mode’ setting for making games play smoother, and it really works. I noticed a difference right away. 

So, if you’re in the market for a new TV, I recommend the Samsung 8-series line. It is well worth the money. It was on sale black Friday so we got a decent deal on it. If you do the Vizio line, which is cheaper, do the M-series, NOT the E-series. Vizio’s were about $300-$400 bucks cheaper but we really wanted the higher quality display for gaming. Vizio had a much lower rating for gaming and the refresh ration for motion were lower. Now, if you don’t watch a lot of TV or use it for more than the casual show, these differences really don’t matter. 

The TV also serves as a nice distraction to keep me off FB more. heehee




  1. It might be fixable but we both wanted a new one. I will try to get it fixed a little later. It’s getting burn in from the hours and hours I spend playing Destiny []

Sweat

​I tend to sweat in the oddest places. I rarely sweat under my arms. Up until just a few years ago, I never wore deodorant because I never had underarm odor. It just never smelled there. And I have no idea why it changed a few years ago. Even now, it’s still very sporadic. I’ve taken to keeping deodorant at work just for those odd days. However, I sweat profusely from my head and arms. Yes, my arms sweat. I will be drenched on my head and arms, but my chest, abdominal region, and underarms will be bone dry. I don’t have an answer as to why. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise when I was big into watches I went thru a lot of them due to sweat. If the band was anything but plastic, it would get ruined. My watches would get so sweaty and develop their own smells. The watch would then need to be cleaned or discarded. When smartphones came along I embraced them as my time-keeper so I could get rid of my watches.  I don’t think I’ve actually worn one since. 

Why am I rambling about sweat you ask? Well, I apparently ruined my fitbit from sweating on it too much. I got an upgraded version, the Charge HR, on my birthday this year from Shawn. It didn’t even last a year before the band started bubbling and eventually peeled loose from the embedded electronics. Unlike the Flex, you cannot swap out the band on the HR. It is permanently embedded with what I assume is glue now that my first one has come apart. 

I called up the company fully expecting them to tell me to take a hike. The online forums looked pretty disappointing as well. Imagine my surprise when Fitbit (the company) agreed to replace my fitbit (the device).1  I went thru the Q&A with the woman and at the end she announced, “I’m happy to advise you your fitbit qualifies for a free replacement.”  I bet my face looked like a cracked egg. They don’t even want the old one back! They asked me to recycle it vs throwing it away. (They got bonus points for that.)

It was a gift, which means I didn’t have the receipt. It’s been easily 7 months, and it was “water damage.” I fully expected them to say no. In an age where companies find every excuse in the book NOT to deal w/faulty product, it was refreshing to actually have one do the right thing. Had they not, I’d already decided to get something different. Now, not only did they keep a customer but they earned some loyalty as well.  




  1. See what I did there? Haha []

Phone

sammy7
Samsung S7 Edge – Silver

In other not tragedy and sad news, I got a new phone. I know, I know, color you surprised! Me with a new gadget?

I loved my Moto X PE, but I was overworking the poor thing. It just couldn’t keep up with me. I even tried a hard reset to see if that would make a difference.1  For a ‘mid-range’ phone it sure was a good phone though. I don’t regret forking over the cash one bit. I’d still have it if the chip had been stronger. The funny thing was the phone didn’t have much bloat to it. It came almost stock Android, but I use a lot of apps. I was going thru it to see what I could get rid of to maybe help keep it and I really didn’t find much to trim. It did make me realize just how much I use my phone for. Over 100 apps and 2/3’s of those get used at least monthly. That’s crazy!

Anyway, I had been hearing some good rumors the Samsung S7 was a leap over the S6 in regards to battery life. (I’ve realized a crappy battery is an absolute deal-breaker for me now, no matter how awesome the phone)  Critics were raving over it so I thought I’d give Sammy another whirl. To my surprise, it was good. It still isn’t Xperia Z3 good, but a good 2nd place runner up. Tangent/ That damn Sony phone is still the go to phone comparison for battery life. /tangent  Anyway, the battery was pretty good but I’ve gotten so used to having a bigger screen I wasn’t a fan. I went back and swapped it out for the S7 Edge. Even bigger battery and much nicer color palate (silver). And to be fair, the bloatware seems to be very manageable. It still has way more than is needed, but many of the apps can be disabled, even if you can’t uninstall them. Samsung just needs to stick to making quality phones and ditch all the bloatware that virtually no one uses.

I was originally against the Edge as I am very hard on my toys and the curved screen is a recipe for disaster when it comes to my clumsy ass. But, I missed the larger screen so I’m chancing it. And as much as I hate phone cases (read bulky and ugly), I broke down and bought one. And not only that, I actually leave it on the phone! hehehe It’s faux leather and only mildly bulky. The damn phone is covered by my Jump plans insurance so I figure if I break it, I can always get it replaced. My favorite feature so far is the new fingerprint reader and the incorporation of fingerprint security into Android. What a hassle-free function. I absolutely love it!

On a related topic, while I was considering the Moto way back when, I signed up for a Kickstarter phone, the Nextbit Robin. Well, I completely forgot about it until a year later when it arrived at my door!  Ooops!  I took it for a spin and it was nice. Very similar to the shape, size, and texture of the Experia Z3 actually. The battery was decent but still not at a level I needed. I was disappointed as I really wanted to like this phone. The cameras were the biggest let down after the battery. Both the front and back cameras are ok for everyday well-lit shots, but they simply don’t measure up to most other phones, even in the same price range. For folks that don’t take a lot of pics it would be stellar. It just isn’t a good fit for me.

I’m considering selling it or giving it to charity since I don’t use it. I’m only looking for the money invested. That said, I might also keep it as a dev phone to tinker with. I’m been slowly exploring the idea of teaching myself how to build apps for it. I need a device to practice on. As always, finding the free time to explore a new hobby is a challenge. ha! My schedule is already busy enough.

Ok enough rambling about gadgets. I could go on all day. Don’t even get me started on the whole idea on upgrading game consoles only a year after the new one came out.




  1. I keep everything in various clouds so never fear of really losing anything []

Aria

The title sounds like a whimsical name doesn’t it? "Aria" is the brand name for Fitbit’s new weight scale. I mentioned a while back that Shawn and I have really gotten into using our Fitbits. Shawn decided to buy Fitbit’s new , code named Aria, to help track our fitness and health. It was a little more than you’d spend on a regular scale but overall not terribly expensive. I actually got a little excited at the prospect because 1) I’m a geek, and 2) I usually have to weigh myself at the gym. It would have been nice to track my weight progress via the app. I say ‘would have’ because It was an absolute flop. The device was simple in design and aesthetically pleasing; however, getting it to work properly was such a struggle we finally gave up and are sending it back. Talk about product fail!

Shawn actually felt like his view on the company as a whole was tarnished, which is why I bring it up today. He asked me if I felt like the whole line of products was cheap because of our experience w/such a shoddy scale. I didn’t necessarily feel the same but it did get me to thinking. How often does a first time experience tarnish a brand’s view or image? I’d imagine quite a lot. For myself, I’m more irritated than anything. We really like Fitbit as a whole and to experience so much frustration over a simple product was disappointing.

Part of me falls back on the adage, "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." And to keep things in perspective, this is a first world problem. No one really needs a scale that connects to an app. We’ve gotten by since the invention of the scale with the non-connected versions just fine. Yes, the convenience is nice but therein lies the problem. If you are bringing a product that deals solely in convenience to market, you really need to make sure it doesn’t overshadow the most important aspect, convenience! We wasted nearly 45 mins trying to get it to work properly. Forty five minutes!

I don’t feel my view of the company has declined, but I doubt I’d ever rush out and buy any of their new products again. I’d still recommend Fitbit bands but I’d obviously steer clear of the scale.

Busted!

OHMERGERD! It’s busted!

image
Busted Moto

As you can see I had an unfortunate mishap with my phone. Arrrgh. Ironically, I had yet to get a single scratch, ding, or dent on it up until the fateful drop yesterday. I knocked it off the top of the Zipcar while unloading Costco. More astutely, I did a mad grab finger flip 3 or 4 times before it flipped, flew, and fell on the concrete cracking the screen and busting the camera as well.

Motorola appears to offer a warranty repair, which means I pay to have it fixed. They are shipping me a temporary replacement in the meantime. I finally find a phone I am happy with and I go and break it. *grumble grumble*

I guess it is good I didn’t sell the G4. I was gonna tough it out but the screen was barely usable. I had to connect it to Bluetooth keyboard just so I could clean off a few things. Points to Tmo for making the process to activate my old SIM super easy and quick It took literally just a few minutes.

Sadly, I find myself still hating the G4.1 I had such a negative reaction when it came on I was a bit surprised. I don’t think I’ve ever been so annoyed by an Android variant before. The OEM version is just annoying. The only nice thing about the whole thing is the sense tap. Going back to it is such a contrast to the Moto X PE. The pure Android experience has spoiled me once again it seems.

Pray for my baby to be returned fast.




  1. Please remind me to never ever buy a LG phone again. []

Moto

I recently purchased the mid-range Moto X Pure Edition and I’m absolutely loving it so far. I know your shocked that I got a ‘non-premium phone‘ but it is true. I’ve been so frustrated with this years premium offerings I didn’t really have a choice. **If you don’t want the long drawn out version, you can skip to the last 3 paragraphs.**

It all started with my upgrade from the S3 to the S4. I loved the S4. The battery was immensely better along with a faster chip, better screen, and all around it was a decent phone. Life was good. Then Tmo comes along with their Jump! plan. And while not a necessity, I tend to like the emerging tech phones. I’m a geek, its in my blood. I’m definitely in the ‘heavy user‘ category and require a phone with a strong battery. Since few ever meet both requirements, it made it easier to change devices often. Said freedom might have been a slight downside as you read on.

After more than 6 months I made the ‘jump’ to the S5 and was sorely disappointed.1 The battery life went down and not much else improved. Sure on paper it had a nicer screen but in reality it looked and felt the same. Plus, Sammy in their greed started diverging away from traditional Android for their home-brewed version, Tizen or some shit. It sucked. But I was able to root it and get rid of a lot of the bloat. I stuck out my 6 months but was chomping at the bit to switch. I’d heard rave reviews about the HTC M8 and gave it a whirl. I didn’t even last the full 14 days before returning it. Beautiful phone, great camera but dreadful battery life. I gladly forked over the restock fee to get rid of it.

I heme’d and hawed until I settled on the Sony Z3. For all my bitching about Sony’s lousy customer support, the Z3 was an absolute dream. I wasn’t a fan of the square edges but it was excellent. I could use it all day and it still had battery when I plugged it in to go to bed. It has become the benchmark for battery on all my future phones. Sadly, after unfortunate drop from a vehicle while in LA, I was forced to jump again. It is no secret I’m hard on my toys and luckily enough, I was 1 day over my 6 months. Jump! lolol The Z4 was still a distant release candidate and had virtually no real upgrades other than the name and knowing Tmo was ditching any future OS upgrades for the Z3, I switched back to Sammy and the S6.

As you probably know the S6 was getting high marks for finally being a beautiful phone. And it’s true. It is a beautiful phone. Imagine my total surprise to see the battery life went down even more. I’d say it was on par with the S3, which was dreadful. I could barely muster 4 hours of heavy use out of it. An absolute failure IMO for any smartphone today with a premium label. I think I’ve given up on the S-line. Needless to say, I didn’t even last the full 14 days again.

Against my nagging instincts, I jumped to the Lg G4. Something told me not to get it but I couldn’t remember anything specific so I got it. It had a noticeably better battery life right off the bat. And by ‘noticeably’, I meant I went from awful to mediocre. But having exhausted all my jumps, I resigned myself to stick it out. It was not to be though. I quickly grew to hate the damn thing. The device overall worked fine; however it was ugly and annoying. Lots of little things just bugged the ever lasting shit out of me and I couldn’t stick it out 6 full months. (Oh the first world drama, right?)

At the annoyance of my bank account, I broke away from going thru Tmo and got the Moto X Pure Edition direct from Motorola. I had misgivings after witnessing Lenovo brutalize IBM’s laptop business after taking it over. I was concerned they’d do the same to Motorola. Surprisingly, my fears were once again unfounded. I love the X Pure. It may not be a premium handset but it sure acts like one. True to their statement, it came with almost pure Android. You’d think it was a Nexus device if you didn’t know better. There is very little bloat, and I mean very little! If you’ve ever gone from a Nexus to an OEM version or vice versa, you understand the description here. No fancy launcher, no gimmicky overlays *cough – touchwhiz*. Just Android. That also means only a small handful of apps running in the background constantly zapping your battery.

Since you aren’t going thru a carrier, you get a little extra say in small aesthetics when ordering online. Normally, I scoff at such things but I have to admit, I like my personal twist of colors. You can choose colors for the back plate, the back insert, and two little front accents meant to protect the screen from scratching when you lay it face down. The battery is not up to par with the Z3 but it performs quite well under moderate to heavy use. I’m pleased and can live with it. If you use an idle throttle app, like Juice Defender, you’ll probably get way more battery as the cell radio seems to run a lot unnecessarily. It doesn’t offer wireless charging, but it really does charge super fast! Almost 50% in just under 15 minutes. The camera is pretty good and definitely the fastest focus I’ve experienced on a phone. Low light photos are slightly above decent but not awesome. Beyond that, it is a solid camera, front and back. NFC, Bluetooth, and Wireless all work fine.

It’s funny because I caught myself smiling as I took it out of the box. Setting it up was super simple and all my annoyances with the G4 melted away. I absolutely love the Moto X Pure.




  1. I seem to remember an unfortunate incident with my S4 and the back tire of my motorcycle necessitating an upgrade anyway []

WeMo

Does anyone else use these? I’ve been using the Belkin home automation line called WeMo and I kind of  like them. I’m only using the outlets so far but they apparently offer a range of different products. The premise is anything plugged into the WeMo outlet can be turned on/off remotely via the app. You can also develop rules or schedules as well.

The first one I got was a little finicky. I think they were still too new back then as it had several bugs. Over the span of a few years and multiple flash updates, they’ve gotten better. I’ve read good and bad reviews on them. Most of the bad reviews seem to revolved around more robust use. I’m wondering if it is a software limitation of too many devices.

I’m up to only 3 now and they still work just fine. The one thing I really like is the app doesn’t require a bunch of users or account log-ins. If you have the app installed and are on the same wifi network as the devices, you can see and manipulate them.

I’m considering moving to light switches as well now. I’d love feedback from anyone else who has mixed devices on a network.

New

*First, sorry for all the emails. I was working with my Hosting provider on an image upload error and forgot to turn the damn subscribe plugin off. Apologies.

Anyway, I bought a new bluethooth keyboard for the Nexus 10. Who knew there were so many to choose from now? There were easily 10 or 15 different choices. I even found an ergonomic one I plan on getting later for home. Anyway, here is my shiny new keyboard. lol I love that the case doubles as a stand.

Since the Nexus 10 and the Tab 2 (10.1) are basicaly the same size, I could have opted for the zagg keyboard like I had with the iPad. The zagg actually irritated me though. The keys were scrunched up too close and aggrevated my carpal tunnel after only a few minutes. This one is more spread out (I wrote this post using it) and comfortable to type on. I almost opted for the rubberized one that would roll up but it looked a little too flimsy and didn’t get the best reviews.

It’s funny how rarely I use my laptop anymore. I’m sure as the OS matures, I won’t even need a laptop soon. The nexus has a video port so I cactually plug it into an external monitor and use it like a computer.