All posts filed under “Lifestyle

Depicting things that have an impact culturally.

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Verizon Kyocera Brigadier Review [Video]

Summary

Ruggedized phone lovers, I hope you’re watching! The Kyocera Brigadier for Verizon is the phone you’ve been so desperately looking for. First, before we get to the good stuff, we must first take a quick look at the software features. What you get here is the usual Verizon Droid machine-like custom UI painted on top of Android KitKat. The main functions of the phone stay consistent with every other Android device: swipe down you get notifications, use two finger to swipe down and you get to quick settings. Far as pre-installed apps is concerned, you can expect a slew of Verizon branded apps. Other than that there’s nothing really special on the software front.

The Brigadier handles extreme conditions — which we definitely put through the test in our video review. The screen is covered with what Kyocera calls Sapphire Shield, which is a different kind of glass that is stronger than the popular Gorilla Glass people know and love. The glass is really good (aside from what we  did to it. Better explained in the video), it’s impervious to simple scratches from rough and sharp materials such as pocket change, cloth, rocks, and yes, even a knife! The the suckers even dust and water-proof, able to withstand up to 6 feet of water for 30 minutes.

Please check out our latest video review down below!

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Top 5 Albums of the Summer 2014 (Video)

Fall is fast-approaching, so I felt it was time for me to share my ‘Top 5 Albums of the Summer 2014′. From my choices you’ll notice I tend to listen to an eclectic array of music, not just one genre. Feel free to tell me what artist I’m sleeping on, or your top albums of the summer in the comments section below!

Top 5 Albums of the Summer 2014

All album covers are linked to Amazon. You can click the covers to listen to the music, or you can be nice by purchasing an album in support of The Trendaholic :)

L’ Aventura – Sebastien Tellier

Nobody’s Smiling – Common

These Days… – Ab–Soul

In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith

Kitsuné: Across – Kilo Kish

Watch my video, as I talk about all 5 albums!

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New Music: Wind and Go Down ft Emjae and Sove

Tuesday’s usually carry new music from around the world. Today is even more special because our friends over at Sove Music along with Emjae have come up with a new club banger called “Wind and Go Down.” 

The Backstory:

Emjae is a New Orléans born and Connecticut up bringing International Indie Hip-Hop / EDM artist. He teams up with an up and coming Jamaican Reggae artist by the name of Vitchous and Haitian producer Deos, who collectively call themselves Sove. Together they bring you a new single called “Wind and Go Down” which is a mesh up of Hip-Hop, Dancehall Reggae, and EDM.

Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

For those who want to support indie music — grab it on iTunes!

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Notes Plus iPad app makes life easier for those keyboard-challenged

For a few days I got the chance to play around with a handwriting app on the iPad called Notes Plus. I must admit, I’m not the biggest user of electronic note taking services or apps as I prefer the old school way of jotting things down on paper or typing them on Evernote for that matter. So I knew testing out Notes Plus would be a different but fun experience even without a stylus pen to help things feel more natural.

Notes Plus has a simple mission or purpose, and that’s to give users the feel of a real notebook combined with the power of an advanced iPad app.

I was immediately impressed with how everything flowed so well. The accuracy in the handwriting software used on this application is quite good. I didn’t have any stutter nor processing issues when drawing or writing with the tip of my finger.

One of the most important features is how script writing on the app can be switched to text (Typed Text). However I’d be lying if I said it could read out bad handwriting — I’m not sure because fortunately I don’t have that problem. That said, the software is accurate, so I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it picked up chicken-scratch well enough to translate it into legible text.

Here’s a list of features on the application:

  • Smooth Handwriting
  • Typed Text
  • Recording
  • Annotation
  • Inserting images from multiple sources
  • Automatic backup with Dropbox
  • Built-in web browser
  • Complete folder structure
  • Handwriting Recognition (in-app purchase)

In addition to those features, you also get: Shape Detection (lines, ellipses, polygons), Shape Library, Notes Plus Clipboard, Left-handed Mode, Right-to-left Handwriting, unique gestures, VGA-Out support, customizable options, etc.

Although Notes Plus can integrate with Dropbox, it should be able to integrate with popular photo editing services like Adobe’s Photoshop or Google’s Pixlr. This app would be next level if it had that kind of support for illustrators.

In the end, just like most of these electronic handwriting apps, you must have a stylus pen to have the full experience of writing and drawing. Notes Plus probably won’t make me convert away from paper or Evernote. However, this app is perfect for artists who love to sketch something up on the go or for those of you with kids — it’ll entertain those little monsters! Maybe the company would be better suited in making Notes Plus an artsy entertainment service versus a business-productivity application.

But for accuracy and features alone, I’d say Notes Plus is well worth the $9.99 asking price in the iTunes App Store.

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LG G3 Review: Samsung better look out, LG is coming

I remember two years ago people covering the industry scoffed at the big plans LG had coming down the pipeline. The Korean manufacturer was ambitiously optimistic about its future going forward. In 2012, LG boldly predicted that it would turn its mobile business around and sell upwards of 35 million smartphones in that year.

When I was writing over at IntoMobile, I said:

“Moving 35 million smartphones seems way too optimistic, but I’d say it’s good to see LG refocused again. The form factor has vastly improved on many of their phones …”

And as predicted, LG came up short when the year came to a close as their total smartphone sales ended with 26.5M units sold. But what perhaps was more important than the units sold, was the company had finally regained some respectability as a legit player in the market with their revamped lineup of mobile devices. They were in fact refocused.

Point is, the LG G3 is the culmination of a long rebuilding process that had the company headed to the drawing board, searching for inspiration. LG’s maturity really shows here with this impressive offering — so let’s dive into the basics, shall we?

Basics

Pros
  • 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display (2560 x 1440, 538ppi)
  • Rear 13.0MP camera with OIS+ and Laser Auto Focus, Dual LED Flash
  • Front 2.1MP camera
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • Dual Window
  • KnockOn
Cons
  • Too many pre-loaded apps (“bloatware”)
  • Battery life could be better. 3000 mAh is not enough.
  • Back cover kind of slick, can slip out of the hands easy if not careful.

Design

Looking at the G3 you can clearly see how the company has grown over the years. The LG G3 has a sleek front-side with an even slimmer bezel to better show off the viewing angles on its 5.5-inch Quad HD display. The company says the phone is supposed to dawn a metallic black color, but I’d prefer to call it gun-metal. It took me a while to get used to LG’s button placement, as it puts the volume and power buttons underneath the rear camera in the back. But, strangely, I’ve grown fond of LG’s decision to be different by putting the buttons on the back. It’s less clutter, and without the buttons upfront, it puts more attention on the screen. As for the front-facing camera, it sits in the left corner, instead of being placed in the center above the display. Thankfully my Sprint model didn’t have their logo pasted on the back cover. Hate it when the phone companies do that.

Features

Not sure what the official name is for LG’s custom user interface it’s using on top of Android on the G3, but I can say it is nowhere near as annoying as Samsung’s TouchWiz UX found on all its Galaxy devices. It’s kind of surprising, actually. LG’s “Enhanced UX” looks clean, as it strips away a lot of the cartoonish flare in favor of a more modern look, with transparent flourishes seen throughout the menus and drawer (or notification bar).

Now Apps. As with most Android phones, there’s so many apps that aren’t needed. G3 comes pre-loaded with many apps such as 1Weather, BaconReader, and a long list of Sprint bloatware applications, including Sprint Family Wall, Sprint Music Plus, Sprint TV & Movies, etc. Of course most of these apps mentioned can be disabled. Since it’s an LG phone many of the bells and whistles I talked about in my LG G Flex review applies the same here with the G3. So nothing too drastic of a change on the software end. The LG G3 comes loaded with Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

Now just to touch briefly on the camera. It’s okay. Not great, but okay. Again, like Samsung, LG brings similar gimmicky features like “Cheese Shutter.” I know, what a terrible name, right? This feature allows users to take a photo with one of the simple voice commands listed: “Cheese,” “Smile,” “Whiskey,” “Kimchi,” or “LG.” It’s kinda corny, but if you’re into it … whatever. Far as the photos I took, I found the shutter speed not as fast, especially during the night-time. I suggest you just take shots with HDR+ turned on the entire time. In fact I think Google’s Nexus 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 are better cameras. Just my opinion.

Performance

Sorry, but LG dropped the ball on the battery they decided to put inside the G3. The company opted to put in a 3000 mAh battery, instead of a bigger one. Granted, its top rival Samsung, decided to put a 2800 mAh battery in its flagship Galaxy S5. However the GS5 is powering a smaller display with less PPI’s (5.1” FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080), 432 ppi), so the battery has more than enough power to get it through the day. The G3 has lots of horsepower under the hood, with its 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad-Core processor and larger screen. I noticed these factors have caused average battery life when used heavily, which is a little disappointing. If it were up to me, I would’ve jammed that same 3500 mAh battery that comes with the LG G Flex inside the G3.

Other than that, I didn’t notice any lag when transferring in and out of apps, it handled graphically intensive games like Rayman or Fruit Ninja well — the performance was  smooth. Far as the network is concerned… What can I say? It’s Sprint. Like many of you already know service and data is sometimes hit and miss. Their LTE wasn’t that speedy either, as it rated slower than even T-Mobile’s LTE in my area. 

Verdict

I’m not going to lie to you guys, if the camera performance was a little better I’d pick the LG G3 over the Samsung Galaxy S5 any day of the week. Yeah, you heard right! The software and hardware are better. The only real downfall is LG still has some catching up to do in the camera software department — but other than that — it’s a superior choice. I was really surprised in how much I ended up liking this phone. The headline to this review says it all. Samsung will need to step it up more than ever because LG has quickly closed the gap in aesthetics and design. The LG G3 is a solid phone worth recommending if you’re in the market for something different than an iPhone or Galaxy S.

Grab it on Amazon by clicking the phone pic!

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Apple iTunes Festival 2014 to include Pharrell, Maroon 5, Blondie, and more!

One thing Apple does better than anyone is throw its annual music concert called iTunes Festival. The concept is to showcase a collection performers for 30 nights, something Apple has done for some years now. The tech giant will be holding the festivities at London’s Roundhouse throughout September.

As usual, Apple comes heavy with booking the big acts. iTunes Festival 2014 lineup is flooded with notable names such as Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5, Beck, Sam Smith, Blondie, Kylie, David Guetta, 5 Seconds of Summer, Calvin Harris, Chrissie Hynde and more.

People from 100-countries will be able to stream everything on their iOS device of choice live or on-demand, including their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. PCs are welcomed too.

Learn about all things iTunes Festival here.