Samsung Galaxy S6 Ramble

My review will be coming later but I wanted to get this into a post.

Okay, so I have had the S6 for over 8 months now. There are some things that I like about it and there are some things I hate about it. Let the rambling begin!

Okay, so I got the s6 after I failed to root the G4 and install cyanogenmod on it. I ended up bricking it. It was a shame, I loved the battery life. So when I got the s6, I immediately loved it. Compared to LG, Samsung really does have a lot less bloatware and changes to android. For an example, I can set a live wallpaper as my lockscreen background.  Its just all those minor things that add up to big things. Seriously LG, why can’t I set a live wallpaper as my lockscreen? My old gingerbread phone from 2010 could do it!

I really wish that I could install cyanogenmod on it. I had the s4 for 3-4 months before getting the s6. I really loved CM 12.1. By far the best ROM I have ever tried. It is ashame that the s4 died on me. The first thing I noticed when I got the s6 was the horrible battery life. Even with UPSM enabled, it still does not last very long. However, the quick charge feature does make up for it (as long as you have a charger on you!)

The durability of the s6 is not so great. To put it simply, I dropped my s6 onto a garage floor and instead of just the glass shattering, I killed three birds with one stone. The digitizer, amoled, and glass broke! I dropped my s4 many more times than the s6 and sure, my s4 did end up shattering but it still worked! Honestly there is something about the garage concrete that really hates phones. I dropped my HTC Hero in the same garage and part of the digitizer broke and the screen was cracked badly.

So I have mostly only talked about the bad things about the s6. Mostly because those are the things that have really bugged me about it. Honestly all the things I just complained about were #firstworldproblems lol. It works great as a phone. It gets much better coverage than any other phone I have used. The battery life is decent as long as you are not doing anything CPU intensive. The speaker is very nice, although it has a little to much bass for me. The camera is AMAZING! I love the camera on the s6 it takes great shots. The video quality is also very nice unless you record in 60fps, then for some reason everything looks less sharp and less realistic. I don’t know why this is.

My s6 is currently running Android 5.1.1. I tried 6.0 yesterday and HATED it. Just like my Nexus 7, it is full of bugs and performance issues. I reverted back to 5.1.1 and oh, so much better! One thing to note, the Good Lock UI looks more like stock android than the default UI. But I am not a fan of the color choices they give you nor the fact that you can’t make the notification area look like stock android. For most people 6.0 is not a problem. But for me, I really hate change. I don’t know why but something about me just really hates it. I just really did not like how samsung changed the lock screen to be more stock like. I do not like all the minor changes. I am sure I could have gotten use to it but I just wanted 5.1.1. Its also way more stable and offers a better battery life.

Anyways, that was my ramble. That’s the way my mind flows basically. Actual review coming soon. (Sorry for poor quality on this, it’s hard to make a ramble look anywhere near professional)

Poebat 7/12/16

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Nexus 7 2013 Review

The Nexus 7 2013 is a great tablet. Even though it was released in 2013, I still highly recommend it. There are rumours about a Nexus 7 2016 but at this point, its looking unlikely. Honestly, I don’t think a new Nexus 7 is needed. Nothing else can beat the Nexus 7 2013 for under $150. In this post, I will go over what my thoughts are on the Nexus 7.

Media

The Nexus 7 is great for consuming media. I personally use my Nexus 7 to watch videos and play some intensive games on it. Even when playing games that require a lot of performance, the battery life is not bad. I don’t game for more than an two hours at a time on any mobile device because most mobile games are intended to be a pickup and go. They are not really like console or PC games. When I do play games on it for long periods of time there is a lot of app switching and with 2GB of ram, it is really good at being able to pick up where you left off (something that *cough* samsung *cough* can’t seem to figure out to do) For watching videos or movies, the Nexus 7 is great also. The 1080P screen is a nice touch. I don’t normally watch 1080P videos due to my internet connection however, I have tried watching 1080P videos on it and they look gorgeous. Everything looked fuzzy when I went back to 720P. If you watch YouTube, you are limited to watching 720P (only if the video was shot in anything higher than 30FPS). I don’t know the explanation behind this but I am assuming that the hardware might struggle trying to display 1080P 60fps (Considering some lower end computers struggle on 1080P 60FPS I don’t think this is to far off.)

The Screen

The screen on the Nexus 7 great.  Although for most things you probably will not notice the 1080P, when you watch videos you can really see the difference. While the colors are nothing amazing compared to say, a the amoled screen on the s6, they are still incredibly vibrant. The glass on the Nexus 7 doesn’t scratch that easily from my experience. There are a few scratches on the screen you can not see them unless you view the screen from an angle. One thing to note is that the screen is fragile. If enough pressure is put on the screen (not much is required) you may see pink or purple “blobs” that are especially noticeable when the backlight is turned down and the screen is displaying a darker color in that area. This may slowly fade away over time but never fully. On my unit, putting a small amount of pressure on the screen will cause all of these “blobs” to show up from previous pressure that was put on the screen. Just make sure not to put anything on your tablet’s screen and you will be good. Overall, the screen is really good for the price. It is not cheaply made and the colors are not dull at all. Asus did a nice job with the screen.

Battery Life

The battery life on the Nexus 7 is spectacular. I can binge watch videos / play games on my Nexus 7 for over two hours without any issues. I don’t normally use my tablet for much longer than that so I don’t really know how long it lasts doing these types of things. One thing to note is that I have overclocked my tablet so your results will vary. Even with it being overclocked the battery life is not that badly affected. One thing to note is that the Nexus 7 does take awhile to charge. It can take 3-7 hours to charge. If you use the official Asus charger that the tablet comes with, it takes 3-4 hours for it to reach 100%. Other chargers (chinese knockoffs, car chargers, PC USB port, etc) can take a very long time.  But the battery lasts much longer than the charging time so it all evens out.

Durability

The Nexus 7 is a budget tablet. Asus did have to take shortcuts to achieve such a good tablet at a low price. A thing I have noticed about all Nexus devices are that they really are not durable. My Nexus 7 2012 broke from being in my backpack and was crushed by my laptop. Digitizer was killed :/. I know a friend that dropped his Nexus 6P and the digitizer cracked.  They just are not meant to be used without a case (as most devices are). The Nexus 7 2013 if fairly durable. I have dropped it a couple times on hardwood floor and carpet. Luckily, it never experienced any major damage. I would recommend a case just to be safe. The Nexus 7 is really easy to bend also. I have noticed a couple times that it does not sit flat on a table. It is easily bent back but just look out for that. Compared to the Nexus 7 2012, it is much more durable and can take a lot more abuse.

Final Thoughts

I love my Nexus 7. It has been the best tablet I have ever owned. I have two Samsung tablets (Tab 3 7.0 and tab 4 7.0) both I got on two separate occasions. I never really liked them. They are really low quality for the price.  Samsung is really ripping you off on those FYI. Both of them have never seen a software update (come on samsung). Anyways, I decided to buy a Nexus 7 2012 and I was amazed at what difference the speeds were. Unfortunately it did not last long. I ended up using my Tab 4 for a while and then went on eBay to find a Nexus 7 2013 for $160. I bought that ASAP (most sellers asked for $200 and up!). Well turns out a few months later my local Microcenter changed the price to $150 😐 But honestly, it was worth it. As stated before, I love the Nexus 7. I have given it a beating and it still works. The size is just right. The battery life is perfect for my needs. The screen is a huge step up from the Tab 4 screen (not hard to beat). It is thin, portable, light and feels well made. Only problem I have is that my 16gb model runs out of storage thanks to my obsessive screenshotting addiction 😛

Thanks for reading my post! I tried to make this the best I could to make up for the inactivity lately! Let me know in the comments what I should improve! I am always trying to make my writing better! Thanks 🙂

S4 Update…

My S4 recently decided to commit suicide. Well, it was kinda my fault. After a long hard life I managed to kill it by plugging it into a faulty cable *sigh*. I ended up plugging it into a cable I knew was damaged. I plugged it in for a week or so just to let it charge for the next time I might need it. Fast forward a week or so and it would not turn on. I couldn’t seem to find why it wouldn’t turn on… I thought the battery went bad. It would not respond to anything… Turns out the cable kept going “off! on! off! on!” Yeah, a week of that… Oops. I tried my S6 “fast charge” power adapter and it started up. After a lot of crashes and unexpected shutdowns I made it to the home screen. I could tell something was fried. Everytime I restarted the phone it would tell me a different battery percentage. It was bouncing all over the place. When I unplugged it, it would immediately shut off. Every time I powered it on it would last shorter than the last time until I couldn’t even get past the bootloader… I did not manage to get any data off… :/

The s4 is a great device. I really hate that it died. I do have a Nexus 7 that has the exact same specs so I still have a device that is just as capable as my s4 (and better for consuming media with the larger screen)

Bottom line

Check your cables! If you know that it is damaged don’t just brush it off like I did!

Nexus 7 2013 Update (Over Clock)

So, I still have ElementalX  installed on my Nexus 7 2o13. I bought the app in the play store called “EX Kernel Manager“. It basically allows you to manage the kernel within the OS. A little while ago I returned my Nexus 7 to stock speeds to see what difference overclocking actually made. Much slower. Games dropped in FPS and things loaded slower. Now, overclocking it for so long has taken its toll. When I open the back of the tablet, there are some very visible burn marks on the metal. For some reason, (this just started recently) when I try to load anything, it takes wayyy to long. My Nexus 7 2012 can beat it! I uninstalled Ex and everything went back to normal (besides the lag due to the slower CPU and GPU times). I still can’t figure out what is causing this. For an example, if I open YouTube after removing it from memory, it takes a long time to load. If I open a a game, say Clash Royale (I like it, your opinion may vary) it gets stuck at 81% and very slowly climbs its way up to 100%…. I timed it and it took about 45 seconds. For reference, my S6 can do it in around 15 seconds. That really is the negative part of my rant. On to the positive!

ElementalX has a lot of neat features also (the reason why I have not uninstalled it). I have already mentioned a few in a previous post (Here). The main features that I use in everyday life are Dimmer Backlight, Overclock, and Fast charge. There are a lot more that I occasionally use. The speaker boost feature is nice in loud situations. You can disable the magnet sensor that turns the screen off/on. I used to use “Swipe to wake” and “Double tap to wake” however, I stopped using this because of a digitizer issue. I would still use that feature if my Nexus 7 didn’t have that issue, although I am pretty sure every Nexus 7 has that issue (Leaving the digitizer on for too long causes some funky side effects). Alot of these features honestly should have been enabled by default honestly. Overall, after using ElementalX for almost 7 months, I would still recommend it!

Over Clocking the Nexus 7

*had trouble posting this ended up using different browser (shitty IE)

Back Story

I have had my Nexus 7 for awhile. I love it! It may be old, but old is gold (hehe). The Nexus 7 isn’t showing its age even with Android Lollipop and over 100 apps. Of course someday it will begin to show its age as apps update and require more power. I only noticed some sluggishness when I was playing 2D games. I do not know what caused this but it was very annoying. It went from anywhere between 15-60 fps. It would purge real fast and slow down too. I noticed the occasional lag when multitasking. None of these things really bothered me at all.

Over Clocking

I decided to overclock my Nexus 7 mostly for the fun of it. I was interested to see how much I could get out of my tablet. The Nexus 7 has a Snapdragon 600 (I’m pretty darn sure) that is under-clocked to 1.5 GHz and marketed as a S4 Pro. I am not sure why they do this. Maybe it is to keep the heat down or maybe it’s because the Nexus 7 uses a chip that had issues running at 1.89 GHz and they just under-clocked otherwise it would be a waste just to throw the processors that still could be used. How did I do it? To do this, I installed ElementalX. I downloaded the recovery installer. ElementalX uses that aroma installer which makes it easy to select the settings that best fit your needs. I set my CPU clock to 1.89 GHz and my GPU clock to 490 MHz. Changing the GPU clock speed for what ever reason boosted 2D games FPS significantly. I disabled the swipe to wake-up features but kept the double tap to wake enabled (It is really nice especially if it’s on a desk and you want to change the music while holding a calculator or whatever you are doing with your other hand) I also installed the ElementalX app. It allows you to change all of the things that the ElementalX kernel offers without having to reboot into recovery and reinstall the ElementalX kernel just to tweak something minor. The tablet did get a little hotter during more demanding tasks (to be expected)

The Result

I got quite a bit more performance out of my tablet and I really did not loose that much battery life. I did some benchmarks and beat the crap out of the stock Nexus 7. The ElementalX kernel also has a lot of other features too in case you don’t feel like overclocking. There are features like faster battery charging, battery saving mode (it makes the battery charge to 97% ish to save the overall battery life), double tap to wake, dimmer back light, and make your speakers MUCH louder. I made the speakers over 50% louder than they where originally attended to do. The entire tablet vibrated….. I strongly advise you NOT to do this though.