Category: Reviews

Review: Huawei Springboard

Huawei is everyone’s favorite brand that they don’t know how to pronounce (it’s WAH-WAY for anyone who needs to know). Historically confined to bargain phones and smaller carriers, Huawei is breaking its own mold with its latest products. The Springboard is one of the products that has the potential to bring Huawei into the big leagues.

At first glance, this does not look like a Huawei product. The build quality is amazing. With the exception of two plastic accents at the top and bottom of the tablet, it is all aluminum and and glass. While not necessarily light or slim, the tablet feels great in the hand, similar to the tank-like build of Motorola’s original Droid. Fans of Samsung phones and tablets will think it’s a monster, however.

Under the 7″ screen lie all the goodies you would expect of an Android 3.2 tablet on T-Mobile: a 1.2 ghz Qualcomm dual-core processor, 768mb of RAM, 8gb internal storage with a micro SD slot for expanding, WiFi/HSPA+/GPS radios, support for 1080p playback, and a gorgeous IPS display.

However, all of this greatness didn’t come without a price. There was one glaring issue that almost made the tablet unusable until I happened to figure out a workaround, and a couple nitpicky things that prevent this tablet from being a true champ.

The Yay:

Build: This tablet is practically dripping quality. A nearly solid aluminum chassis that reaches all the way around the tablet to the glass feels great in the hands, and gives a pleasant heft and sense of sturdiness that some other tablets are lacking.

Screen: The screen on this is amazing. At 227 pixles-per-inch, this IPS display is bright, easy to read in all lighting conditions, and has great color accuracy, with none of the ghosting or weird artifacts that happen with Pentile screens.

Battery: The 4100mAh battery is rated for 6 hours of use, and it easily reaches that. In my testing, pretty constant use with reading and watching Youtube over WiFi brought me to about 50% after 5 hours.

Software: Huawei chose to play it safe and leave a vanilla Honeycomb experience on the tablet, which in my opinion is a great idea. This means that updates can get pushed out much faster, as there is no fiddling with custom skins like MotoBlur or Touchwiz.

Camera: The camera is surprisingly clear for being only 5mp. The 720p video that is records is also pretty good, but does suffer from blur when the camera is moved too fast. Read more

LokSak Bags Turn Your Gadgets Into Navy Seals

Have you ever wondered why all electronics aren’t waterproof? For those times when you accidentally jump in the pool with your phone still in your pocket, or you spill your drink all over your keyboard? Well, this may not work for all occasions, but it is definitely the next best thing.

Enter LokSak. This company specializes in creating bags specifically to element-proof whatever is inside. Designed with the help of world champion Adventure Racers, and tested and certified by the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit, these bags are no joke. When you take a look at them, they appear to just be heavy-duty Zip-Loc bags. Then you notice the fine print on the bag that reads “Certified waterproof to 200 feet” and “Puncture-resistant”. These are no ordinary plastic bags. Designed with a patented hermetic-seal zipper closure, they are completely waterproof and air-tight, and reusable. Seeing as they were tested and, according to their website, used by the US Navy, I figured I would put them to the test.

Since I’m only a closet outdoorsman, and live in the city, I don’t really have the means to put these through their paces in the rigors of the natural world. So I had to devise a test to simulate weeks and months of extreme conditions. What I did was put some loose change, a car key, and some toilet paper into one of the bags. The key and change were to test the puncture resistance of the bag and simulate wear from the inside, while the toilet paper was to determine if any moisture made it into the bag. Read more

Powermat's 2010 Roadmap: Too Early To Crown Them? I Don't Think So!

As promised, we made sure to visit Powermat during CTIA to catch up with our friends during the show and see what they’ve brought to the table. To be perfectly honest, there really wasn’t anything new that impressed. Well, not to us anyway. We already saw their roadmap into the near future at CES back in January. The difference now is that we’ve been given the green light to share the knowledge with our loyal readers! What was taboo to speak of before is now fair game; complete with photos of our private tour!

If you missed our previous article which reviewed the Powermat product, it is essentially the premier wireless charging solution for all your favorite small electronics. Imagine the ability to simply rest your device on a mat and have it begin a charge and notify you when it is done; completely free of wires. This is what Powermat delivers. If you ever felt that Powermat was a one trick pony in the wireless race, boy, are you in for a treat! Read more

Twitter for Blackberry Released In

It has been no secret that BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion has been developing a native Twitter client for their smartphones. Early this morning, Private Beta testing for the client was available by invite only and the LifeOnMyMobile team was fortunate enough to get our hands on one.

I understand that this is merely a beta and the client is still in its early stages, but I’m sad to say that I wasn’t very impressed. My initial feeling when opening it up was that it was simply a cheap port of the Facebook application. As you can see from the screenshots, it’s nearly identical with the exception of their titles in the corner and a few subtle styling cues. It is very likely that this is exactly what RIM was going for to give the user a familiarity factor, as their Facebook application is quite popular, but I’m personally not a fan of it. Despite all this, I continued on past the aesthetics and was able to find details that I personally feel may distinguish RIM’s Twitter for Blackberry from current top picks such as Ubertwitter and Tweet Genius. Whether this is in a good way or bad is entirely based upon user preference. Read more