Tag Archives: part 4

Huawei P8 – Review

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Welcome to my review of the Huawei P8.

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Phone Basics

The official specifications are –

– Display 5.2-inch (1920 x 1080); 424ppi
– Processor Hisilicon Kirin 930; 8-core 64-bit; 2.0 GHz
– Operating system Android 5.0 Lollipop
– Storage 16GB on-board
– RAM 3GB
– Network GRA_L09: TDD LTE: B40 FDD LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B18/B19/B20/B25/B26/B28 UMTS: 800(B6,Japan)/800(B19,Japan)/850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
GRA_UL00: TDD LTE: B38/B39/B40/B41 (2555MHz~2655MHz) FDD LTE:B1/B3/B4/B7 UMTS: 850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz(B8/B5/B4/B2/B1) GSM : Main card: 850/900/1800/1900MHz; Second card: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
– Rear camera 13MP with OIS, 1080p video, 4-color RGBW sensor
– Front camera 8MP
– Dimensions 144.9mm x 72.1mm x 6.4mm
– Weight 144g
– Colours Mystic Champagne, Titanium Grey, Gold, Carbon Black
– GPS GPS/A-GPS/Glonass/BDS(BeiDou Navigation Satellite System)
– Connectivity 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, microUSB
– Sensors G-sensor; Gyroscope sensor; Ambient Light sensor; Proximity sensor; Compass, Accelerometer
– UI EMUI 3.1
– Battery 2680 mAh

The Huawei P8 is a gorgeous steel unibody designed phone. It oozes premium and quality. It is slim, easy to hold and fairly lightweight. In my tests so far the camera has performed admirably and so has the battery easily lasting a day.

The P8 comes with a tray for your nano sim and another for a micro SD card.

After you have completed the first setup of the Huawei P8, you are graced with the home screens as below. The P8 is running Android 5.0 with Emotion 3.1. In terms of storage space, 8gb was available out of the 16gb expandable with a micro SD card.

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These screen shots give you a feel of what you get with your new P8.

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Top Apps and Games Folders. You might decide to delete some of these and if you do you will free up some of your internal storage. I would recommend deleting all the games as they are trials and have notifications access permissions once opened.

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Like other phones from Huawei when it comes to the phone basics the P8 shines. Strong wireless radios (WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC) and cell signal. However on the WiFi front there is no 5Ghz support or AC. It has a feature called Signal+ that uses both software and hardware to maintain cellular signal, even when travelling at speeds. The P8 I have supports 16 bands of LTE. My model number is GRA-L-09.

Now to some bugs that I have discovered. Android Wear support is broken. Lock screen notifications for Gmail and Hangouts are not appearing. The status bar cannot handle multiple Gmail notifications and are difficult to read with the default theme and wallpaper. Hopefully, a firmware update will address these issues especially as Huawei has an android wear watch going on sale!

The 5.2 inch screen is a lovely 1080p panel with decent viewing angles. In sunlight the P8 adjusts its brightness to improve readability.

Performance. Huawei manufacture their own processor, a Kirin 930, 8-core 64-bit running at 2.0 GHz. Long and short is it performs really well and is excellent at battery management too. AnTuTu kicked in at a respectable 51,500.

Audio

USB Audio is not supported. FM Radio is included. Bluetooth APT-X is included and music played via my Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones was exceptionally good. The loudspeaker is on the bottom edge and although there are 2 speaker grills, there is only one speaker. This had lots of bass and volume and as good as the HTC One M9 Boomsound. It maxed out at 90db which is impressive.

Camera Interface

The rear camera is a 13-megapixel camera with OIS and two-tone flash. It includes a new RGBW sensor from Sony, which adds an additional white pixel to the red, green and blue found in regular image sensors. The OIS can also be toggled off in the camera settings. The new sensor reduces chroma noise and produces a brighter image in high-contrast situations. Add to the fact the rear camera is a f/2.0 lens and the end result is quality photos. But there is more.

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The P8’s camera app has many shooting modes including HDR, panorama All-focus (for changing the focus point), Watermark, Super Night (to capture images at a range of different shutter speeds and combines them to form a finalised image), Light painting and Time Lapse. Light Painting has 4 sub modes from Car light trails, light graffiti, silky water and star track. Video records at a max of 1080p. Within the settings you can adjust so many different options, as shown below. There is even object tracking. However, there is no option for grid lines which is surprising.

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When it comes to video recording the P8 can allow up to 4 other P8’s to connect and record video using Director Mode. See screen shots below.

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Huawei P8 Camera Shots

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Wistman’s Wood, Dartmoor

Stunning views, Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

George and Tiggy – note the difficult shadow and sun conditions

George and Tiggy at the gate, Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

Tiggy looking happy

Tiggy running , Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

Littaford Tor, Wistman’s Wood, Dartmoor

Littaford Tor, Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

The Ancient Trees of Wistman’s Wood, Dartmoor – the lighting was near impossible to capture with darkness and mega bright sunlight pouring in

Ancient Trees of Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

From Wistman’s Wood looking towards Princetown, Dartmoor

View towards Princetown, from Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

The Girls – Tiggy and Fury having fun

Fury and Tiggy having fun, Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

George having fun

George in Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

Another shot of Wistman’s Wood

Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor #HuaweiP8

Camera Shootout – Huawei P8 vs LG G4 vs Xiaomi Mi4i – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/06/30/3-way-camera-shootout-lg-g4-vs-huawei-p8-vs-xiaomi-mi4i/

System UI

Below are screen shots from the Emotion UI 3.1 highlighting some of the key features. If you click on a photo it will open up the gallery.

Some of the noteworthy features included are –

Motion controls, glove mode, one handed mode, navigation menu bar layout is adjustable and can have up to 4 menu items (I have 4 as in screen shots), TouchPlus (a clever protector that adds extra controls), several power saving modes, screen colour display adjustments, themes and lock screen options.

To see each screen shot as a gallery, just tap on one of the photos below.

Conclusion

The Huawei P8 is a well built steel unibody phone. As Huawei take control of the software and hardware, on the whole the processor, software and hardware work well together. Phone radio essentials work effectively, the only issue is android wear and some Google apps are not working correctly Hopefully, the software updates will be fixed in a future firmware update.

Huawei offer a compelling product at around £400 but also face some stiff competition.

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BlackBerry Passport – Impressions – Part 4 – music, audio and BlackBerry Assistant

So today I’m going to cover off my views on the BlackBerry Assistant and music app and audio.

One thing I will say is BlackBerry has not produced a lacking device in terms of hardware. NFC. Miracast. DLNA. Powerful built in speakers and a quad microphone system. The Passport features a “Natural Sound Technology” which adapts Wi-Fi and cellular call sound depending on phone position and background noise. In my phone call tests, my friends at the other end of the call were impressed by the clarity. I even tried making a call on a windy Dartmoor. Same clear call.

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So above you can see me calling my pet monster. And once you have created an action to a person, it shows that action again to help speed up calling that person again as shown below.

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If you tap the “i” for information, you get a list of all the options available. I ought to mention the BlackBerry Assistant is called up with a press on the button on the side, which sits in between the volume up and down keys. If you decide not to use the assistant you can remap it in settings to be a mute switch.

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As you can see there is a good selection of options available, and in my testing so far the BlackBerry Assistant was fairly accurate with the results.

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However, there is one aspect of the BlackBerry Assistant that blew me away. It is all very well testing the voice recognition in a quiet room, but I then tried it in the loud noisy environment and it was still able to pick up everything I had said. Truly remarkable.

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So moving on to the music app. My only gripe or wish was that the albums art could be displayed in a grid view like the Gallery app with the folder view. Otherwise, it is a no nonsense app.

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I did not realise there was a FM radio, but I found this in the app options as shown below.

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And as you can see I have a few radio stations setup.

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But with all the options, the only thing that really matters is the audio quality. One word. Excellent. Really good via headphones whether connected via a wire or via bluetooth. The Loudspeaker is loud and effective too. FLAC support is natively supported and iOS Headphone controls work with the Passport!

More tomorrow.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus – more impressions part 4

So another day has passed and to be honest it has all been rather hassle free.

I have created an album now on my Flickr account for my favourite iPhone 6 Plus photos. Click here to view https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157647679181549/

I have been using Apple Maps again and it has on the whole been stellar. The spoken turn by turn directions are so clear that you really don’t need to see the screen. However, it suddenly stopped speaking the directions, instead opting to make a weird doorbell like sound. Sounds like a bug.

Below are two photos I’ve had taken with many phones. I just can’t get over the clarity, true to life colours and detail achieved by the iPhone 6 Plus.

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Daylight was disappearing at the time so rather good to be honest. I also took some random burst mode shots of cars travelling at speed. The results were excellent but boring to show. When I get some more exciting photos using burst mode I will upload these.

Overall the 6 Plus is my favourite smartphone of all time. I am very happy with the larger display and size and in no way would I want a smaller 4.7 inch iPhone 6. The extra benefits in battery and camera and screen are well worth it !

LG G3 – Review – Part 4

Welcome back to Part 4 of my review of the LG G3. To read the previous parts, just scroll back a few days.

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In Part 4 I am covering off the running apps options and multi-window. Tapping the bottom right running app on screen button (its bottom right in my case, but you can adjust it in to any position).

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By pinching in or out you can change the view. This feature is not documented in the manual. By default you get the small app previews as show above.

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But you can pinch outwards using two fingers to achieve large app previews. These can be swiped away as necessary, or hit the close all option to close all running apps. You can also have an alternative size.

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Another feature of the LG G3 is Qslide apps. The choice is rather limited but you can have your chosen apps float above whatever you are working on. These can be resized too.

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There is also an option to make them full size, close them and even using the slider as shown in the screen shot, fade them out as required.

Finally you can activate LG’s multiwindow. It has a smaller selection of apps compared to something like the Samsung Note 3, but being a bit simpler is easier to use. You simply select which apps you want on the top or bottom. You can swap positions once on screen, drag one part smaller or larger, or close or expand one half.

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You even have the option for multi screen to enable and open when clicking on email links. I quite like this feature.

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Tomorrow I will cover off more of the LG G3 smart features.

Once again, any questions, please ask.