iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - This Will Shut You Up

HIDEOUSLY OBVIOUS REASONS I CHOOSE THE GALAXY NOTE 4 OVER IPHONE 6 PLUS

iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are out on the streets. The talking Apple heads claim that the iPhone 6 Plus is the hands-down winner over the new edition of the Note series.

Even tech blog sites are giving the checkered flag to Apple over Samsung in this race to have the most phabou phablet. It doesn't stack up per the tech specs, but Apple clearly has the most votes of confidence.

Everyone has an opinion about device brands and it is mostly due to preference. But I'm having a hard time trying to follow the "logic" of the loyal Fruit Cult following. I don't think they care what the specs are at all, it's just a foregone conclusion that the Apple device will magically be "better" by default.

In fact, I'd like to know exactly what kind of hallucinogenic drugs these people are doing to think the specs give Apple the win, because it would seemingly take some pretty strong stuff to overlook this helpful little handful of hardware facts...

  • The CPU - the Note 4 uses an Octa core processor while the iPhone 6 Plus sports dual core
  • 1.9GHz cpu processing speed on the Note 4 compared to 1.4GHz on the iPhone 6 Plus
  • Screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 on the Note 4 versus 1920 x 1080 on the 6 Plus
  • Super sharp screen on the Note 4 packs 515 pixels/sq.in but iPhone 6 Plus is only 400pix/sq.in.
  • 16Mp camera on the Note 4 as opposed to 8Mp on the 6 Plus
  • Front-facing camera on the Note 4 has twice the resolution than it's Fruity Phablet counterpart
  • Real multitasking on the Galaxy Note 4, nothing of the sort on the iPhone 6 Plus
  • A whopping 3 gigabytes of RAM packed into the Note 4 while the 6 Plus gets a paltry 1Gb
  • 3,220 mAh of battery power on the Galaxy Note 4 edging out the 2,915 mAh on the 6 Plus
  • Killer download speed of 42.2Mbps on the Galaxy Note 4 while iPhone 6 Plus drags along at 7.2Mbps
  • The super solid build of the metal-band-clad Note 4 as opposed to the lighter, cheaper, more slippery feel of the iPhone 6 Plus

My conclusion? The amount of hallucinogenic drugs or head-meds needed to "make" the iPhone 6 Plus a better device choice than that of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 would therefore be significant. But right when you think logic and hardware specs rules the day, I will say this...

I like the look and feel of the iPhone 6 Plus better than the Galaxy Note 4, and would have chosen it over the Android product if Apple included a pen digitizer on their device. Plus the lacking hardware specs don't appear to give it any less of a speedy user experience.

So there you have it.  Shocked that Mr. Android Boy would say such things? Well you shouldn't be. The point is, none of the specs listed for or against a device amount to a hill of beans. It's all about user preference and the user experience.

For me, the lack of a pen digitizer on Apple mobile devices is a deal-breaker. The Galaxy Note 4 is close enough as a great device that I will stick with it just to have my digitizer pen. I can live with the design changes that I don't like as much, as long as I have the digitizer.

Ironically, the one thing Apple Fruit Cult members boasted about most was that their devices were solid and heavy, while Samsung's devices felt cheap, light and "plasticky" (which I prefer). The chickens have come home to roost.

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Guru

iPad Gadget Blogging Has Begun!

BLOGGING ON THE FLY WITH THE MINI AND SQUARESPACE

Announcement! I have finally figured out how to post up a blog using the iPad Retina Mini and and the handy dandy Squarespace iOS blogging app!

This means more awesome amazing content from your favorite gadget guru on a regular basis. Can this be any more exciting? I think not!

the trick to making this easy is to create a handful of stencil posts that I can modify. Then all you hafta do is edit the content and voila! Fresh gadget information for all!

Now I will need your help. To keep me on task, I'm going to be taking on your best gadget questions, and also helping you with gadget purchasing decisions. If there is anything in the gadget world that you don't understand, just ask the guru! 

anxiously awaiting your gadget questions, 

Carlton

Chief Guru

Apple-Samsung Smartphone Slugfest Phablet Style

SAMSUNG GETS SNIPPY WITH NOTE 4 VIDEO DISS

Okay people I'm back. I've been out-of-pocket lately, on blogging vacation. But with the recent developments on the tech forefront, I think this is a good time to chime back in.

Transient

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch has passed, and phones will start shipping within the next few weeks to anxious customers. While the iPhone 6 Plus breaks "new ground", Samsung has taken the opportunity to make a snarky video about Apple's sudden change in design.

It is truly ironic to see what has transpired, truthfully. Looking back over the last handful of years, we have seen Apple make multiple accusations against Samsung for stealing their designs. At that same time, the Apple execs swore that a smartphone bigger than 3.5" was entirely stupid, and it was something you would never ever see their beloved company produce.

Fast forward to the highly anticipated iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with their massive 4.7" and 5.5" diagonal displays, and it makes me sit rubbing my head wondering what just happened. Apparently, I'm not the only one who wonders what happened in Cuppertino. Maybe they all inhaled, or drank their own Kool-Aid.

How in the world could the same company who accused Samsung of blatant copyright infringement turn an about-face and produce a phone which is in the form of the Galaxy Note without a stylus? Especially after swearing off phablets and larger-screened smartphones?

Samsung released a very sarcastic video that sums it all up. But what I am left wondering is whether or not Samsung will quickly blow the whistle and sue the pants off of their hypocritical chief competitor much in the same way that was done to them.

Only time will tell.

As far as I'm concerned, I'll stick with my Apple iPad Retina Mini for all my iOS needs, but I'll take a pass on the iPhone 6 Plus and stick with the Galaxy Note line and move from the 3 to the 4 when it is released.

I'll let the hypocrites OOPS I mean Apple Enthusiasts have their feeding frenzy with the stylus-less iPhone 6 Plus that they swore off before Apple lost its mind and followed the leader on phablet phorm phactors.

Carlton Flowers
THE GADGET GURU

Apple Gets Samsunged By Timex - Introducing Ironman One!

TIMEX SHOCKS ALL, INTRODUCES INDEPENDENT SMARTWATCH

Sorry Apple, but Timex just beat you to the punch. While we've all been patiently waiting for the Apple Geniuses to release a smart watch that will one-up Samsung, Timex kicks the door in and beats them all. I for one never saw this coming.

The Timex Ironman One will be the first smartwatch that will work independently of a smartphone. Why it took this long for someone to come up with a stand-alone smartwatch that isn't just a bluetooth extension of a smartphone is beyond me. But it is really refreshing to see the age old watchmaker make mince meat of the big players.

The Ironman One GPS smartwatch will run on the AT&T network, independent of a smartphone. Finally, someone has gotten this right. And I think it will take quite a bit to catch up to Timex now that they have entered the market for smartwatches.

Looking at the Ironman One's features, this is a serious device. Here's what the company reports that it will feature:

  • Stand-alone wireless connectivity without a phone
  • Email-based messaging capabilities
  • Tracking capabilities that communicate the user’s location to friends and family anytime, anywhere
  • Custom-built “Find Me Mode” safety solution, which allows users to send an alert with
  • exact location in case of an emergency
  • Ability to track speed, distance and pace in real-time and instantaneously share
  • performance metrics through your favorite social media and online fitness platforms
  • Water resistance up to 50 meters, an essential feature for water exposure, training in the rain or swimming
  • Built-in MP3 component with 4 GB of memory to play music via a Bluetooth headset
  • Always-on, sunlight-readable, high-resolution touch display

This is the real deal, folks. If I'm going to drop the bucks on a smartwatch or a GPS unit for running, this is exactly what I would be looking for. I see no reason to have to drag around my smartphone while running when there is a device like this out on the market.

I'm not sure of pricing yet, but I would assume it would be in the range of some of the current Garmin GPS watches that are on the market now. But one thing is for sure, Timex has the reputation and experience to make this work, and to put the marketing behind it with the help of AT&T.

Samsung has enjoyed all of the spotlight while Apple farts around (as they usually do) waiting to enter this market. But both Samsung and Apple will hurt if this takes off. I'll be looking for an opportunity to test this device in the future and give a full report!

Until then, Apple has my sympathy.

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

Top 5 Ways You Can FUBAR Your Smartphone & How To Avoid It

MOST COMMON WAYS SMARTPHONES GET FOULED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION

Smartphones help to make us smart, when they are taken care of. But people are stupid, and can tend to be careless. When you combine mindless busy people with expensive smartphones, you get some pretty common mishaps that spell disaster for your sanity and your bank accounts.

In order to help you avoid disaster and the devistation that comes along with iFUBAR'ing your iPhone (or other Android device), let's look at the top five mishaps and hope you will keep these in the back of your mind before you do something stupid.

Just so you know, I have done three of these. So I am your primary example of smartphone user stupidity! That being said, let's look at the Top 5, each with my tips on how you can avoid each type of FUBAR stupidity.

1) Toilet Baptism - Did you know that 30% of smartphones end up in the toilet? I was surprised to learn this truth. Water damage can spell the end of your smartphone, especially if you try to turn it on and check it after giving it a swim.  

How to avoid: go back to reading magazines and books during bathroom time. For goodness' sake... you probably need a 10-minute break from that ratchet little device anyway.

2) Death By Buttocks - I did this one myself, just 4 months ago. You're busy doing something, but you want your phone close. So you shove it in your back pocket. Forgetting it is there, you sit down on something. For me, it was an old car seat cushion on the floor. I was working on a car. Even with the padding, my butt cheeks applied enough pressure to ever so slightly flex the LCD and destroy it. The glass didn't even break, but no more display.

How to avoid: get a fanny pack, no more back pocket stashing. Remember that you won't remember stashing it back there in the first place.

3) The "Tuck-And-Forget" - I cannot tell you how many times I have done this, and I never learn. With this destruction method, it involves getting in your car. Your phone is in your hand, and you figure you'll just tuck the phone in between your legs whle you drive, so you don't drop it in under the seats or step on it. As soon as you tuck it under your legs, you forget it's there. When you get out of the car, the phone shoots out like a torpedo and skips across the parking lot.

How to avoid: Mount a smartphone holster on your dashboard.

4) The Finger Fumble - This is the most basic and common way to FUBAR your smartphone. You think you have your device securely in your hands, and for no apparent reason, your fingers fumble the phone and it takes a nice long trip down to the ground. What makes this worse is the "catch-the-phone-with-your-foot" save method, which only makes it worse. Each and every time I have tried this save, I end up drop kicking the phone and sending it another 10' through the air, only to suffer an even harder fall.

How to avoid: get a big fat solid case. You will never solve the finger fumble, it will happen. You can only minimalize the damage it causes!

5) The "Set-It-And-Forget-It" - We've all done this at some time or another. It usually ends in a most tragic way. It starts with you loading something into your car. Your smartphone is in your hand, so the closest place you can put it is on top of your car (or on the trunk deck). By the time you load your stuff, you've forgotten where the phone is. You peel out, the phone slides off the car, and falls perfectly underneath your tire to die a quick death of mega crunching. Seems like a stunt crew would have trouble reproducing this sequence of events, but it works like a charm when it's your expensive smartphone.

How to avoid: put a sticker on your car that says "Do NOT place expensive objects on this slick, shiny surface, you putz!"

None of us want our smartphones fouled up beyond all recognition. So recognize these tips, and save yourself from frustration and the depletion of your bank account! Do you have any FUBAR stories you'd like to share with others? Chime in the comments section and tell us all! You might save us all!

Carlton Flowers
Chief FUBAR Prevention Expert

Top 5 Reasons To Consider The New Samsung Galaxy S5

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 AVAILABLE FOR PRE ORDER ON 3/21/2014

Okay folks, Samsung has announced opening day for pre orders on the AT&T version of the Galaxy S5 smartphone! Let's take a look at the top 5 reasons that you should consider grabbing an S5 hot off the presses and be the first to get your hands on one when they ship.

1) Standard Price Point - The Galaxy S5 will be available for the standard contract price of $199. Sure, the price will drop over time, but why wait and end up with a smartphone that is going to become obsolete? If you want the cutting edge, get on the edge now. It's not worth waiting several months just to save fifty bucks, more or less. This phone is packed with blazing fast hardware, and tons of new gadgety features.

2) Fingerprint Sensor - Like Apple's iPhone 5S, the Galaxy S5 will come standard with a fingerprint scanner for unlocking the phone. The scanner is built underneath the actual display, so it doesn't take up any space and make the unusable portion of the phone any bigger. I would find high use of the sensor, because unlock patterns are a pain in the rear. I normally turn off the security for this reason, and that's a dangerous thing to do with a smartphone. They've really stepped up the ease of total security with this feature. Well worth the effort!

3) 16 Megapixel Camera - The new camera on this phone breaks records again. Sure, there are other models with ridiculous cameras like the 41Mp lens on the Nokia Lumia. But this is the best possible camera you can have on a smartphone without adding ridiculous bulk. Plus the new features that are packed into camera functionality are seriously enticing. They knocked it out the park with this camera, again.

4) Super Fast Processing Power - The Galaxy S5 will set you on the cutting edge of speed with its 2.5GHz quad core processor. For the non-techies, this just means that you will be able to open applications with blazing speed, and multitask apps without dragging down the phone. Everything speeds up when you have a powerful processor like this. Add in 2Gb of RAM, and you won't be sitting and waiting much at all to perform any function on this smartphone.

5) Awesome Display - They've upped the quality of the display yet again with a 5.1" full HD Super AMOLED screen that has 1080 by 1920 resolution and 432ppi pixel density. That means brilliant colors, deep black color, amazing contrast, and viewing that can give you enjoyment like watching an LED TV. Samsung has always brought their "A Game" with the display. This one continues to impress like all previous models. Why settle for less?

Sure, there's plenty more that I could drone on about. But this is enough to kick you off the fence if you are trying to make a buying decision. Chances are, you won't be disappointed with this device if having the best is what you want. All gadget nerds (like me) should be solidly satisfied with what it has to offer.

This is no mediocre incremental upgrade from the Galaxy S4. It will run faster, download data quicker, and tease your eyes with its brilliant display, all while giving you plenty of added features and options to give you the best smartphone experience possible. So there you have it!

Carlton Flowers
Galaxy Watchman

 

New Galaxy S5 - Top 5 Reason Samsung Engineers Are STUPID

WHY SAMSUNG ENGINEERS GET THE "STUPID SIGN" ON GALAXY S5 FEATURES

Time for another Top 5! This time, we will give you the top five indisputable reasons why Samsung enginerds have about as much common sense as a tree stump when it comes to the latest and greatest flagship smartphone coming from the far East, the Galaxy S5:

1) No Text Reflow - Want to be able to zoom in to see text with ease, but without panning side-to-side? You're not gonna be able to do that with the Galaxy S5 stock browser.

2) Must Use After-Market Browsers To Read - Tired of panning on smartphones when the text is not reformatted to fit the screen? You can download an after-market browser. But that means you don't get to use all the new gadgety cool tricks and features that the stock browser provides like tilt scrolling, eye scrolling, and touchless gestures. Pure stroke of stupid if you ask me.

3) The Text Reflow Is M.I.A. - How do you like pounding your head on the table after trying to read tons of text on your smartphone? You better get a helmet and get used to it if you buy a Galaxy S5 this spring.

4) Lack of Text Reflow - How bright are the Samsung enginerds to throw in everything but the kitchen sink into the stock browser... EXCEPT TEXT REFLOW? Ya got me, partner. If they could only dumb them down to include the most obvious advantageous function of the browser, that would be nice. But I guess they aren't HTC engineers.

5) Text Reflow No-Show - We complained when the Galaxy S2 didn't have it. We passed rumors about it coming with the stock S3 browser before it came out, and were sorely disappointed. Then we groaned and pounded our heads when it was left out AGAIN on the fabulous Galaxy S4. So if you're holding your breath waiting for it to be included on the Galaxy S5, plan on turning blue.

So there you have it folks! If this doesn't prove that the Samsung enginerds are stupid, I don't know what does. I guess you can tell that this text reflow thing really chaps my buns. Hopefully that has been made obvious here.

I've stuck by Samsung thus far, and it is by far the best smartphone on the market... in my opinion. But if someone releases a device that can out perform and function as well as the Galaxy S5 when I'm due for an upgrade, it's bye bye Samsung for me.

Carlton Flowers
Text Reflow Activist

 

My Top 5 Reasons I Won't Get A New iPhone

TOP 5 - WHY I WON'T BE BUYING A NEW IPHONE ANYTIME SOON

Here's the first of a series of "Top 5" lists! Today's top 5? Why you won't see me in line anytime soon buying an iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6, M, Mega, Mini, or anything else they come out with. Here we go!

1) It's Too Small - my eyes are too old. I can't read text on the screen. That just sucks. Make it bigger Apple, and maybe I'll think about it. Sadly, even the rumored iPhone 6 is said to only have a 4.7" diagonal display. That's so 2010.

2) No Text Reflow - Apple joins the idiots at Samsung on this one. Panning side-to-side to read sentences after zooming in on text is just plain stupid. Unless I fall and hit my head, and become stupid, I'm not signing up for this kind of reading abuse.

3) They Break - All you people who think iPhones are like "jeweler's quality", you can keep them. Drop it from 2' and it's toast. I feel sorry for all the people with a brand new iPhone 5S that they dropped the first month and destroyed the phone. I'd rather buy a rubber ball to bounce on the concrete versus a $750 glass and metal computer.

4) They Malfunction - iPhones do stupid things for no reason. I'm sitting here right now with a friend's iPhone 5S that vibrates, and makes annoying sounds. But the screen won't come on. Not even with a hard reset. It's a known issue. But like always, Apple won't admit this for at least 12 more months and after 1,507,327 more complaints.

5) Apple Thinks We Are Stupid - I don't want my smartphone force-fed into my mouth on a baby spoon like Gerber products. I want to be treated like I am halfway intelligent by my smartphone manufacturer. The arrogance at Apple is and has always been something that I completely don't care for.

That said, I must go to work. I'm reading some tech blog posts on my brand-new Apple iPad Mini with Retina display. And before you call me an anti-Apple troll, I never said I didn't like the iPad!

Carlton Flowers
Top 5 Techno Babbler

 

Is The LG G Flex Curvalicious Display The Wave Of The Future?

REVIEW: LG'S G FLEX SMARPTPHONE BREAKS THE MOLD WITH CONCAVE DISPLAY

I spent a fantastic 2 weeks with the LG G Flex smartphone, and it wasn't the device's technical specifications that had me sad about sending it back to AT&T. It was the display.

In the age of gigantic oversized monstrosities that we call "phablets", not a single manufacturer has come up with something this different. At first, I thought it was a gimmick. But after using it during my test period, it's anything but a gimmick.

The concave display on the LG G Flex smartphone isn't nearly as exaggerated as I thought it would be. We're only talking a depth of about a couple of millimeters in the center of the display at its full depth. But the difference it makes when compared to a flat smartphone is very noticeable.

For people like me who do a ton of reading on their smartphone, the concave display offers a major advantage: it's easier on the eyes. Why? I think this is due to the fact that the radius of your eyesight does not change length from reading the top to the bottom of the screen.

That might sound hokey to you. But is it? The new 4K televisions coming from LG and Samsung have a horizontally curved display to provide a more "immersive" effect, like the big screens at the best movie theaters. I noticed the same effect with the LG G Flex.

This smartphone sports a whopping 6" (diagonally measured) display. With a screen that size, maybe the slight concave design does actually offer something of a different experience to your eyes. And with my 40-something aging eyeballs, I could swear that it added to my ease of reading.

The LG G Flex display doesn't break any records with screen resolution. It's only a meager 720x1280 with 245 ppi. That might sound like techno gibberish to you, but of all the smartphones on the market, this is just average in resolution. But it doesn't need to be any higher than this.

Most of the smartphones on the market that boast better screen resolution don't really make that big of a difference to the average user anyway. But with bright, vivid colors and the huge size coupled with the slight concave design, it brings a brilliance that gives you the experience of watching a big flat screen television.

As far as the flexibility of the display, it doesn't mean that it is indestructible. If you drop the LG G Flex from a height of about 4', you will crack the display. Watching a drop test video did expose the fact that it is not made of an unbreakable material. But the flexibility does have its advantages.

I destroyed the display of my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone 3 months ago. I had the phone in my back pocket, forgot it was there, and I sat on it. While I did not crack the display, my big butt managed to flex the LCD panel, and it was toast. You cannot so much as slightly flex the LCD panels on any smartphone without chancing completely destroying them. They just can't handle that.

But the LG G Flex does have the capability of bending without breaking. When you place the G Flex on a table face down, you can depress the center of the phone until it is flat on the surface and it will not damage the LCD. That means it will probably survive a chance sitting without spelling its demise. Because of that, I think this smartphone is more durable than anything on the market even though it is crackable.

I think we will see more concave design devices enter into the market in the coming months. With the wave of TVs arriving, and the LG G Flex, other manufacturers are sure to follow. Add to that the fact that Samsung has a completely flexible display in development, and I am sure we will see other non-flat designs coming our way.

Have you given the LG G Flex a test drive? Let me know what you think. I'm curious to know if other users find the display design to be easier on the eyes compared to the standard flat display.

I'll close this update by saying the LG G Flex gets a solid "two thumbs up" from the gadget king (that's me). This is a device I would love to add to my cadre of electronics! Big thanks to AT&T St. Louis for the test device!

Carlton Flowers
Smartphone Flexer

LG G Flex Smartphone via AT&T

The Future Of Big Smartphones - Will The Trend Reverse?

IN TEN YEARS, WILL MICRO-SIZED SMARTPHONES BE THE "NEW" TREND?

I've always hated iPhones because of their tiny microscopic little screens. That's why I switched to Android. Every day we see a new jumbo-sized smartphone hit the market. Up until now, this made me happy. But now I can hardly hold one in my hand.

I can't even decide what I want... a huge display for my horrible vision, or something I can actually use with my little hands. But this has me thinking about the normal reversal of trends, just like fashion.

Nowadays, we see people sporting the horrendous fashion trends of the 80's. It's just awful. What's the next bad trend to come back? Could it be micro-sized smartphones, leaving the big honking 6" monsters in the technology graveyard?

Think back to the 80's... remember when it was cool to walk around showing off your brand-new calculator watch? How stupid was it to actually sit in class doing math problems poking on tiny pin-head-sized buttons on your calculator watch? This was stupidity in action.

As time went on, you weren't cooll enough unless you had the next tiny thing. 30 years later, and you're not cool unless you're walking around with a phone the size of an iPad.

As stupid as society seems to be, in repeating really bad fads, do you think the microscopic devices will make a comeback? Or will we continue to life-size all the gadgets that we can't seem to live without?

Just a thought...

Carlton Flowers
Technology Rambler

 

All-New "CZ Gadget Talk" For Mindless Ramblings

GADGET TALK INVADES THE CZ BLOG FOR ADD/HD GADGET NERDS

I need a way to let my gadget thoughts flow freely from my mind. When you see this picture, you'll know that there is a mindless short (or long) post coming from the top of my head.

It's hard to write awesome well-thought-out blog posts. It can be mentally draining. Sometimes I will go a week or 2 without a blog post, because I don't have the creative mindset to sound all polished and professional. But I have got to ahve an outlet when I just feel like blurting out random thoughts about gadgets.

Instead of bottling up my amazing thoughts and waiting for inspiration to hit me on organizing it into an award-winning piece that hits page one of Reddit and Digg, the "Gadget Talk" posts will uncork whatever is on my mind at the moment.

Another great advantage? I don't have to whip up some fancy device picture with great graphics and artsy-looking texts. This will be an instant "mind-dump". You can expect a lot of opinion on these posts, and it will serve as a way that you folks can jump on and get a conversation going.

Who knows... these short posts might even inspire one of the regular top notch articles that I am so famous for writing.

Just a little heads up from the Gadget King so you know I haven't fallen off my pedestal of writing greatness.

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Blog Master

 

iPhone 4 Sound Issue - Ringtones Works, Text Tone Doesn't Work

RINGTONES WORK, TEXT TONES DON'T WORK ON IPHONE 4 - HERE'S WHY

You own an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S and your ringtones function properly, but your text tones are silent. Plus you notice that your volume buttons don't work, and the sound icon that pops up does not show the volume level changing when depressing the buttons.

You might also notice that videos and music have no sound, along with the text tones. A hard reset does nothing, neither does a full reset. The only way you have sound, otherwise, is by using your headphones. It's a maddening experience.

I discovered this problem when refurbishing broken iPhone 4 devices, on both Verizon and AT&T models. I took to the forums, and found numerous posts about the problem, and solutions that don't work. But then I discovered the source of the problem.

The reason the iPhone 4 devices malfunction in this way is due to a dirty dock connector. Several users reported that if you carefully clean the dock connector with a needle and pick out all of the dirt and lint, you can renew the sound. Apparently some of the leads on the dock connector will prevent the sound from functioning properly when gummed up.

But this doesn't always work. Others reported that cleaning the dock connector with a flat sharp device and a cleaning cloth dampened with alcohol will yield better results. I tried this, and it worked... for ten minutes. I repeated this three times, and it only ended up functioning properly for minutes each time. The last time that I cleaned the leads on the connector, I wasn't able to get the sound working right again.

The only true solution to solving this problem is to replace the dock connector entirely. It is said that this is an "easy fix" that can be done in 15 minutes, but that is the farthest thing from the truth if you are not an experienced iPhone repair technician. I woulnd't recommend that anyone disassemble an iPhone unless they had prior experience.

What really caught my eye was how Apple handled this situation when it first started to pop up. As usual, it is met with denial, or trivialized by the company. But when pressed, Apple would end up completely replacing the devices rather than to acknowledge the fact that it is a common issue.

I've noticed that this is the normal way Apple handles common issues, which was the case with iPhone 4 power buttons sticking and failing to work. When a friend first brought an iPhone 4 to me with this issue, we were able to press Apple to replace the device even though it was out of warranty. I had this happen in 3 more instances.

If you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S and you're experiencing this sound dropping issue, your first course of action should be to ask to have the device replaced if you purchased it within the last 2 years.I must add that I have read several instances of this issue occuring with the iPhone 5 also.

My advice to you: the only solution that will not leave you pulling your hair out or throwing your phone across the room is to have the dock connector replaced.

I hope this post aleviates the frustration to anyone that has come across this issue, and best of luck having your dock connector replaced.

Carlton Flowers
iPhone Whistle Blower

 

Business Owners - New Shocking Trends That Will Make Or Break You 2014

URGENT FACTS YOU CAN'T SLEEP ON IF YOU PLAN TO SURVIVE & THRIVE IN 2014

If you are a business owner or an organization that caters to commerce via the web, take note. These are the alarming trends that you must be aware of if you plan on staying competitive in the future. This information could change your marketing strategy for the new year.

Do you own an ugly website that is not optimized for use with mobile devices? Now is the time to start thinking about these trends which speak for themselves. If you fail to pay attention now, you will risk losing your position in the market. Use these facts wisely, and then act on it accordingly.

If you are a retail store owner, a proprietor of a service based company, or you are responsible for your company's marketing efforts, stop what you are doing and take the time to read each and every oneof these facts. This is critical information you must know in this day and age if you desire to stay competitive.

Now then... let's take a look at what's going on in the world of your consumers, the people that you serve each and every day that make your business profitable and sustainable. Here are the shocking facts!

56% of adults are using smartphones at the close of 2013. That's more than half of your customer base. If you're not serving up your company's presence in an easily viewable way on a smartphone or mobile device, they will bounce (leave) immediately after discovering your site.

75% of Americans take their smartpones with them to the bathroom. While sitting on the can, you can potentially have the undivided attention of your target market! But can your website hold their attention while they are held captive?

27% of companies worldwide planned on implementing location-based marketing in 2013. That means optimizing your website to gain placement in local searching. Is your site optimized for placement in your local market? This is a critical area you must master to remain competitive in your town's market area.

Retailer apps with "store mode" gather 5X more more engagement than regular sites. This means you need a mobile web app that is optimized for veiwing on a smartphone across all platforms. Is your boring traditional website going to cut the mustard when your competitors have mobile apps developed to display their wares to your customers? You must compete in this category.

Mobile devices out-populated the entire human population by the end of 2013. That means your customers own multiple smartphones and tablets that they use for browsing and shopping purposes. Have you tapped into this alarming trend?

46% of "showroom shoppers" still made their purchases in-store in 2013. What does that tell you about the remaining balance? I'm sure you canfigure that out.

Price comparisons weremade on a daily basis by your customers in 2013 by use of smartphones and tablets. Consumers don't need to pick up a newspaper or hit the stores by foot to find the deals they are looking for. You must know your competition, and be able to stand out on the web or you will lose out.

Consumers spent 6X more time browsing retailer web apps in 2013 than what they did in 2012. If you're not set up with a mobile-friendly site, you will have a high "bounce rate" (customers immediately leaving your site after arriving) for your online audience.

25% of marketing executives see mobile devices as the most disruptive force in their industry as of 2013. If the big shots are preparing for this trend, what should small businesses do? Take note immediately before ending up on the losin end of the marketing war.

65% of US shoppers do their research on a smartphone, tablet, or PC before they make a purchasing decision. So you've got a great website... you've won half the battle. But what about the mobile device market? Are you prepared?

54% of consumers would prefer using touchscreen devices right in your store to assist their shopping experience. Is your store equipped with tablet stations to assist them? The trend in small business is to equip retail areas with tablets that have custom catalogs via a proprietary web app, and more are popping up as we speak.

48% of consumers use (or would like to use) their smartphones while shopping in your store. Do you have a poster or sign displaying your webapp to greet customers when they arrive at your location? Those that do keep the attention of thier customers long after they have left the premises. This can prove to be quite profitable.

Nearly 50% of shoppers feel that they are more informed than your store sales associates. You can work with this trend by providing customers a way to allow them to continue learning about your products and services (i.e. a web app), or stay in the dark and let your sales staff argue with them to prove who knows the facts better.

80% of smartphone owners want more smartphone optimized product information while they are shopping in your store. In 2014, you had better serve them with most slick, user-friendly web app possible. This will alleviate the demand on your sales staff to assist your customers.

Within 5 years, half of all smartphone shoppers will be using mobile wallet apps to provide payment for your goods and services. Is this in your future business plan?

Time spent using mobile apps is now challenging television. Your customers are now spending 127 minutes per day on mobilel apps compared to 168 minutes watching television. Are you tapping into this trend by providing the best mobile experience for your business?

24% of consumers used a mobile device to browse Black Friday deals over Thanksgiving in 2012, up from 14.3% in 2011. The numbers are not in for 2013, but it will be highly likely that the percentage has taken another hike.

4 out of 5 consumers have used a smartphone to shop as of 2012. The number is on a steep incline, and this has become the norm. This year, you probably will struggle to find a person who has not used their smartphone to shop at least once.

57% of consumers surveyed said they would not recommend a business with a poorly designed website that is not optimized for mobile viewing and shopping to their friends.

53% of consumers say they have stopped an in-store purchase because they found a better deal online using their smarphone. The only way to combat this behavior is to provide the best mobile optimized website for your customers use.

44% of smartphone owners look for coupon opportunities on their mobile devices to take advantage of special deals and pricing in your store. 17% of consumers have already used mobile coupons at least once as of 2012.

These are enough facts to shock you into the reality of the 2014 consumer mindset, and should more than convince you of how imperative it is to make mobile marketing a focus of your advertising and sales efforts. If you remain unconvinced, which is nearly impossible if you are serious about serving the needs of your customers, stay tuned for part two. I'll have another slew of facts to open your eyes.

Considering all of this information, you might be overwhelmed. But you don't have to solve all of your high tech marketing marketing challenges all at once. Here are a few easy steps you can consider taking to get you on the road to conquering mobile marketing in 2014 and prosper your business.

1. Evaluate Your Website - Pick up your smartphone and pull up your company's website, and take a look at what your smartphone weilding customers are seeing. If the formatting is horrible and it doesn't present well, have an expert evaluate what can be done to have it optimized for mobile viewing. This is your lowest-cost action item on your high tech to-do list.

2. Identify Areas Of Improvement - Even if you have a mobile website, what easy improvements can be made for your customer's experience that won't break the bank?

3. Ask Your Customers What THEY Want - Find out what things your customers would like to have on your mobile website that would streamline their shopping and purchasing experience. Post a sign in your store, hand out a survey to buyers, or post a message on your website asking for ideas. Your customers might have ideas which could have a great impact in increasing your sales.

4. Get A Local Expert - find a local web developer that is experienced in creation of mobile web apps that can work with you in person and coach you to the next level. Beware of online services that claim to provide cheap instant solutions. You might waste your hard-earned money, because many online "consultants" are only out to get your money with no personal interaction or coaching.

Last but certainly not least, if you are located in the Central Missouri area, let me give a shameless plug for Web App Concepts, a locally-owned team of web app developers that can provide you with a complete web app solution for your business at a rate the heavy duty consultants cannot compete with... all while providing a superior prodcut to boot!

Get in touch with me via email at "carlton.flowers@gmail.com" for a free recommendation and evaluation of your current mobile marketing needs.

Carlton Flowers
Partner, Web App Concepts LLC

p.s. Ask about our high-profile web app recently developed for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce "GovWatch" program! See it here ---> http://www.mogovdirect.net/desktop/index.php

I Call Shennanigans On T-Mobile The "Uncarrier"

THE BIG ELEPHANT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE T-MOBILE "UNCARRIER" SHOWROOM

T-Mobile is on a rampage. They are fishing for converts from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint by offering to pay all of your current contract cancellation fees to make the switch to the "uncarrier". But when you take away all the fluff, they're no different than any other carrier.

If you're not paying full price for a smartphone, or bringing your own phone, you're still required to sign a 2-year contract agreement with T-Mobile. I'm so surprised that nobody seems to realize this.

Smartphones are super expensive miniature computers. They can cost anywhere from $350 to $800. A lot of people don't realize that you're not getting a "free smartphone" or a brand new handset for $200 when you sign on for an agreement.

The cost of that amazing little device that you landed is built into the fees charged to your 2-year agreement. That's how it is paid for.

For example, if you want to upgrade before your 2-year commitment is up, you've still got to finish paying for the device that you have. That's why AT&T offers the "Next" program where you pay an extra $25 (roughly) per month, which covers the cost of paying for the device early.

No carrier currently offers smartphone deals with no contract. You'll pay for it one way or another. It will either be up-front in full, through your monthly fees, or through a special program that catches you up from switching to new devices early. T-Mobile is no different.

So why is T-Mobile promoting their company as the renegade "uncarrier"? I have no idea. I call 100% shennanigans on this practice. It's sneaky marketing, period. They are no more an "uncarrier" than the next company.

Just consider this...if you want the same great deal with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, you can do the same exact thing by paying for your smartphone from the get-go. When you do, you won't have to be bound to a 2-year agreement.

Thus far, their marketing scheme is working.  In the 4th quarter of 2013, T-Mobile acquired 866,000 new customers by supposedly undercutting the competition. But in the end, the only thing you'll undercut is yourself, if you switch to T-Mobile in one of their crappy coverage areaa (like Central Missouri).

Chew on that a while.

Carlton Flowers
Carrier Balonga Caller

 

Samsung Galaxy Text Reflow Fail - Will They Ever Get This Right?

TEXT REFLOW STILL A "NO-SHOW" ON GALAXY ANDROID DEVICES

If you found this page using a search engine, you share my frustration. It's about the lack of text reflow on Samsung's Galaxy smartphone devices running Anroid. I haven't ranted about this in a while, so it's high time I shoot the flame thrower at Samsung over this issue.

For those of you who have not been enlightened, "text reflow" is the ability for a mobile browser to reformat the text dynamically to fit the screen when you zoom in on an article of any type. The Galaxy series has never had this ability.

For people like me who consume tons of article content on their smartphone, this is both maddening and frustrating beyond imagination. I still cannot understand why such a useful function can't be incorporated into the best line of smartphones on the planet.

And before any Apple lovers sneer and gloat about an Android fan criticizing Samsung, your crappy devices don't do this either. This is something only HTC and a few other smartphone manufacturers have the common horse sense to value and include in their mobile browsers.

I have forty-something eyes that are plagued with horrible astigmatism and near-sightedness. Reading tiny text on a smartphone really sucks. It makes people like me feel as if companies like Samsung (and definitely Apple) just don't care to take the simple steps to encode this feature into browser codes.

Apparently, not enough people are complaining about this, because Samsung has no plans to incorporate this any time soon. I've waited for years to no avail. If I could take a big stick and whack some of the software development engineers upside the head at Samsung headquarters, I would do it if it meant they would address this and get it right.

HTC on the other hand apparently "gets it", and has included text reflow in all of their browser builds. There are some older devices made by other manufacturers who also had this feature, but it disappeared over time.

I first discovered text reflow when I owned an iPhone 4, and a friend of mine was showing off his flashy big screen Droid Razr Max device. He showed me an article on the BGR website, and while zooming in on the text, it cascaded automatically, increasing in font size, wrapping the sentences vertically so no side-to-side panning was necessary. I was instantly jealous.

Sure, some of the smarty pants geniuses out there claim that Samsung devices do have what they call 'text resizing", but it is hardly text reflow. You basically zoom in on tiny text, but then you have to double-tap the display to make the text fit the screen. But when you do this, it shrinks the font size down considerably, and limits you to a very small amount of resizing.

I want the font size to be as big as possible, and I want to scroll in one direction (vertically) to rapidly read articles. I can tear through text at around 800 to 1,000 words per minute with full comprehension using a device that properly reflows the text.

Another lame work-around that you can use on a Samsung smartphone is setting the text size in the settings window. You can make the text bigger, but you are still limited to the "double-tap-and-reshrink" action. Additionally, it screws up all the text on the screen, giving you major problems with overlapping text blocks. I call that 100% useless.

What people like me want is dynamic text reflow. That means watching the text reformat right in front of our eyeballs while zooming in, ending up with a super large font and sentences that don't fly off the right edge of the display.

The only half-@%$ option we now have is to use a third-party browser like Chrome, Opera, or Firefox. Chrome will not dynamically reflow the text, but it will allow you to increase the font size a lot more than the standard Android browser. Opera will reflow text, but it's not dynamic.

We hit another problem head-on when opting for the third-party browsers... none of the fancy gimmicks and functions that are built into the standard browser will work. I've grown to love the tilt-to-scroll, hands-free scrolling gestures, and other functions of the standard browser. But none of those work when using a third-party browser on a Samsung device.

While this isn't a deal breaker for me, it still makes me mad enough to grind my teeth when I see friends with an HTC One enjoying dynamic text reflow. If you haven't seen this, grab a friend that owns an HTC device and give it a try. You'll instantly see what I mean when you zoom in on text.

Samsung has done so many things right, and I absolutely love their devices. I'll probably stick with this brand for the forseeable future, because there are just so many great things I like about them that you just don't get with other brands.

But at the same time, I sure would be happy if Samsung would listen to customers and tell their developers to pull their heads out of their rear ends and get this encoded into the next software update. But I won't hold my breath.

If you share my frustration, post a comment in the Disqus comments section and tell me what you think!

Carlton Flowers
Arch Text Reflow Advocate Supreme

 

Samsung Galaxy S5 Rumor Watch Begins!

SAMSUNG SET TO RELEASE GALAXY S5 IN SPRING OF 2014

Well folks, it's time for me to start reporting on the rumors of "The Next Big Thing" by Samsung, the Galaxy S5 smartphone. It's gonna drop sometime in the spring of 2014, so let's get this rumor roundup started and see how accurate my guesswork pans out to be!

I'll run through all the worthwile details that the rumor mills are sharing, and give you my thoughts on whether or not I think they will have a chance of becomming reality on release day.

DISPLAY

It's gonna be bigger. That is a foregone conclusion. The tech blogs are saying it will sport a 5.2" diagonal, and that's pretty realistic. They might be able to get that slight increase just by reducing the bezel and stretching out to the limits of the case. 1080x1920 resolution with 423ppi is the call, and I think this is entirely reasonable aso. I don't think this will be the upcomming flexible OLED display, but it will be the best we've ever seen from Samsung. Count on that!

THE HOUSING

The Galaxy S5 will more than likely be made from the same lightweight plastic material that we've seen thus far. I don't believe Samsung is ready to dump what has worked for them thus far, just because there are heavier smartphones on the market that are made of glass, metal, or polycarbonate material. I hope this is the plan, because this makes the handset far more durable, and it will survive drops much better than its heavier competitors.

FINGERPRINT SCANNER

I'm calling this a foregone conclusion also. Why? Because it's already on the iPhone 5S. The market for fingerprint recognition is heating up, and "biometric security" is where everything is headed in tech. I think there will be a slight chance that Samsung will "one-up" Apple by burying their fingerprint detector under the screen, which would keep the surface perfectly flat.

PROCESSOR

Look for a Quad Core 32-bit Snapdragon 800 under the hood of the Galaxy S5, which will be supplied "in-house" from Samsung itself rather than outsourcing to other CPU suppliers. This is in line with the natural progression of smartphone processing power, and will bring it to the next level of multitasking capability and speed of operation. The processor will be supported by 3Gb of RAM, which again is what we would expect.

CAMERAS

The rumor mills mostly agree that we will see a 16MP rear camera and a 2MP front facing camera in the Galaxy S5. I would bet that the camera capability will be that of the current Galaxy Note III, but possibly with more advanced special effects and picture taking options. I'm hoping it will be a serious improvement over the camera in the Galaxy S4, though.

GIMMICKY STUFF

All of the crazy extra gimmicks and tricks that came with the Galaxy S4 will probably be carried over to the Galaxy S5, but rumor has it that they will be adding 3D gestures into the mix. I found most of the crazy extras that were packed into the TouchWiz 4.0 overlay to be quite useless, but a few were really useful. I'm hoping the new tricks will have real utility.

ADVANCED MODEL

Many blogs are reporting that Samsung will release a "standard" and an "advanced" model of the Galaxy S5. I'm not completely convinced of this yet. The reason being is that Samsung has stuck to the formula for providing a standard price mainline Galaxy smartphone while the Note series carries a higher price tag thanks to the extra digitizer layer for the S Pen. But anyhow, word has it that the standard model will only have 2Gb of RAM (I don't believe that) while the advanced model will get 3Gb plus a display with an even higher resolution and pixel density. I don't see the masses paying extra for that, but we'll see.

CONCLUSION

My prediction is that Samsung will keep the options tight. The only realistic scenario I see for a higher priced version would be for one that has more flash memory, similar to what we see with the iPhone line. The company has so many handsets out on the market, I just don't see why they would splinter their flagship smartphone into too many variations.

My biggest struggle will be staying content with my Galaxy S4 when this is released. My bonus prediction? I sell my S4 on eBay before the end of May and scrounge up the extra cash to buy a Galaxy S5 straight-out. Then I pout and whine when the Galaxy Note 4 is released shortly after I drop the load.

Stay tuned and we'll watch for more developments on what this thing will actually look like, along with a firm release date. What would YOU like to see in the Galaxy S5? Shout it out!

Carlton Flowers
Watchman of the Galaxy

 

Audiovox Car Connection - DIY Vehicle Diagnostics Has Arrived!

HOW CAR CONNECTION GIVES YOU THE POWER THE REPAIR SHOPS DON'T WANT YOU TO HAVE

Have you ever been in this situation?

Your car is acting up... the engine is sputtering, cutting off, running ragged, or worse. Your only option is to take it to a professional auto repair shop, or worse, a dealership service shop. The first thing the repair professionals tell you is that your car must be hooked up to the diagnostic computer to determine what the problem is.

What comes next makes you cringe. You're told that there is a fee just to hook up your car to the diagnostic computer before any work can be done. And how much does this cost? It can be $50, $85, or even more, depending on whether or not you are at a general auto repair shop or a dealership.

You find yourself at the mercy of the repair professionals, trusting whatever they report to you that they discover. This happened to me just six months ago when the fuel pump went out on my 2000 Cadillac Deville. I found out that no "after market" shops could even diagnose the issue. It had to be taken to a Cadilla dealership to be hooked up to a Cadillac diagnostic computer.

That cost me $85 right off the bat. It made me grind my teeth, because I am a former auto repair shop owner. I had a Genesis diagnostic computer, and I charged customers a $40 fee for hooking up to my device for troubleshooting. The cost of my diagnostic computer was $3,000, so I had to charge this fee to cover the cost of constantly updating my computer and buying attachments for various cars.

Fortunately for me, after paying the $85 fee and getting the diagnostic report, I was able to have my former head mechanic solve the problem and replace my fuel pump for a total cost of $105, including labor. The dealership quoted me at $875 for the exact same job.

Most people don't have the luxury of understanding the auto repair industry, and they don't have access to the information that I have as a former shop owner. That puts everyone at the mercy of the repair shops.

But what if you could do this diagnostic work yourself? What if you could buy a device that could constantly diagnose your vehicle's operation, and go to a repair shop with some level of knowledge of your car's issues without blindly trusting the professionals?

The good news is, there is such a device. It's called the Audiovox Car Connection. It's a little black box that plugs into any vehicle that has an OBD-II port (usually 1996 or newer). This little plug in port is usually found right under the dash of your car.

The Audiovox Car Connection plugs right into the OBD-II port and collects information about your vehicle's performance, and sends it wirelessly via a SIM card that comes with a unique AT&T wireless account made for the device right to your computer or smartphone.

Installation was easy as pie. I was able to register an account on the Car Connection website and activate the device. Next, I downloaded the Android app for my smartphone, and I was ready to roll. The information that it generated completely surprised me.

I was able to see realtime fuel economy, maps of where I drove each and every day, and a full report of issues going on with my engine system that I did not know about. At the time, I noticed that my Cadillac was having small incidents of slightly losing power on acceleration.

Going to the app on my smartphone, I found out that there was an issue in the Intake System. The device reported 135 incidents of the Mass Air Flow circuit malfunctioning. Additionally, it reported a problem in the Transmission System, with 135 incidents of the Torque Converter Clutch Circuit acting up.

All I had to do was take that information straight to my former head shop mechanic, and he immediately knew how to solve the problem. All of this was conveniently generated by the device.

But can you imagine taking your beloved vehicle into an auto repair shop with this kind of detailed information, versus blindly walking in with absolutely no knowledge of what the problem could be? I'm guessing you would agree that this would be both liberating, and empowering.

Unfortunately, there are many repair shops and dealership service centers that "over-diagnose" problems in order to fluff up the profit potential of repair services. Believe me, I know this as fact, from my experience as a shop owner. I can't tell you how many times customers brought in bogus fluffed up repair estimates to my shop, only to discover that half the supposed problems didn't exist.

But it gets better...

The Audiovox Car Connection doesn't just save you from uneccesary repairs. It also acts as a virtual back-seat driving nag, rating you on your driving ability. It can tell you how well you are operating your vehicle, and help you to drive more efficiently.

The Car Connection app told me that I had 3 instances of excessive braking, 5 instances of excessive acceleration, two "high G" events, and 7 instances of excessive speeding (oops!) while I tested the unit for two weeks!

I got a good laugh out of that, but it did help me to become more aware about how I operate my vehicle. This knowledge can help drivers prevent wearing out their brakes or suspension system prematurely,  and also help you get better fuel economy and stop wasting gas uneccesarily.

You can get the Audiovox Car Connection Elite Series device for $179.99. Keep in mind, I paid $3,000 for my Genesis diagnostic computer, and current diagnostic computers can cost $10,000 or more. That puts it in perspective. And the 3G data plan through AT&T is only $10 a month (no long-term contract is required). That's a small cost to incur, considering the benefits.

As a former auto repair shop owner and current auto body shop owner, I'm giving this device a high recommendation for everyone who is serious about maintaining their vehicle. In fact, I'll will be picking up one of these myself soon.

Knowledge is power, and this device has the potential of putting you in a much better position the next time you have to vehicle to the repair shop. Give it a look!

For more info, check out the AT&T Press Release or contact your local AT&T store!

Carlton Flowers
Auto Professional Gadget Master

APP SCREEN SHOTS

 

Smartphone + Tablet = Asus Padfone X

AT&T TO ROLL OUT ASUS PADFONE X EXCLUSIVELY IN 2014

Forget the "phablet" craze! What do you get when you combine a smartphone and a tablet? Would this be a Tartphone? A Smablet? Perhaps a Smartablette? In due time, you'll be able to call it an Asus Padfone X.

Although there's no price or release date set as of yet, you'll definitely be seeing this new concept exclusively in the U.S. through AT&T sometime this year.

This takes the orgininal idea of the Motorola Atrix 4G and its expensive docking "laptop" a step further, only using the popular tablet form factor.

What you'll get is a 5" smartphone with a full HD 9" tablet when placed in the dock on its rear side.

Add in a light weight brushed metal frame, a soft touch back plate, Android 4.4 KitKat, and wondrous dual front facing stereo speakers, and you have one high quality gadget that will get some serious looks.

You'll even be able to dock the smartphone in real time and seamlessly transition to the larger display while running applications. And while docked, you'll be charging the smartphone from the humongously powerful battery within the tablet.

It goes without saying that you'll get blazing fast 4G LTE connectivity, and you'll also get full HD voice service that will be the wave of the future.

ASUS plans on rolling out all the gory details of this new device at the 2014 CES, and you can follow the announcements at http://press.asus.com/events.

Will this break new ground and bring the Tartphone/Smablette form factor into the forefront like the phablet craze that started with the original Dell Streak, that Samsung perfected with the Galaxy Note line? Only time will tell!

Keep your eyes peeled for details!

Carlton Flowers
Smablette Fronteersman

Curvy Concave LG G Flex Flexing On The AT&T Scene Soon

LG BRINGS INNOVATION WITH CURVED FLEXIBLE SMARTPHONE DISPLAY

My trusty AT&T informant has just told me that the LG G Flex will be coming to my favorite carrier network sometime in the first quarter of 2014.

LG has been on the rise for quite some time, tranforming from a brand maker of devices I wouldn't waste my money on to a top-level manufacturer of high quality cutting-edge technology (see my video post on the LG G2).

With the LG G Flex comes a lot of innovation, and it looks like this will be a strong newcomer on the smartphone scene as a result. The G Flex will have a curved form factor that we have not seen on the shelves as of yet. It looks like the G Flex will fit your face fabulously, without fail.

The big fat fantastic phablet front viewing face of the G Flex measures a whopping 6" diagonally, and is what LG calls a "true HD P-OLED Real RGB" display. The catch? It's supposed to reduce glare and provide more of an "immersive" experience.

Looking under the hood of this monster, it's power plant is packing a 2.26GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2Gb RAM, 32Gb storage memory, a 13Mp camera, 2.1Mp front-facing cam, a 3,500mAh battery (wow) and Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2.

That's not bad at all, and pretty much keeps the LG G Flex right in the middle of cutting-edge smartphones currently being sold out on the market. We'll have to wait and see how the LG operating environment feels, but if it is anything like the LG G2, I'm sure it will be spectacular.

LG has come of age. I give them 100% respect as a quality hardware manufacturer, and hats-off to them for bringing the first true concave smartphone mainstream.

Carlton Flowers
Innovation Watchman 

$450 Of Encouragement To Switch From T-Mobile To AT&T

AT&T OFFERS $450 TOTAL VALUE TO NEW CUSTOMERS MAKING THE SWITCH

Have you heard the recent news in the world of the mobile phone wars? This is a pretty good one, I'll say. AT&T has taken the offensive on the forefront of the battle with T-Mobile, and this could be a serious volley.

If you switch from T-Mobile to AT&T, you will be given a $200 credit, plus another $250 credit when you trade your T-Mobile phone for a new AT&T smartphone. That's 450 reasons to encourage you to switch, if you were thinking about it anyway.

I was a fence-rider a few years ago, with 3 lines on AT&T and one line with T-Mobile. I had a nasty breakup with T-Mobile after the local sales reps smooth-talked my wife into upgrading to a "4G" smartphone, despite the fact that T-Mobile only had 2G data coverage in our area.

I would have jumped on this deal quicker than you could text the word "SEEYA!" if I still had the lone T-Mobile account, but I don't. However, for those residing in the Central Missouri area who are frustrated with T-Mobile's lack of high speed data coverage, I highly recommend that you jump on this deal ASAP.

Keep in mind, this is a potential $450 credit per line that you switch over to AT&T. The $200 is automatic, but the $250 depends on how recent your T-Moble smartphone is. I would assume that the newest models will be the ones receiving the full $250 credit.

If you are feeling froggy and frustrated from fretting over forgettable service from T-Mobile, go to http://www.att.com/att/switcherpromo/#fbid=-L-ygwMpoWh and AT&T will walk you through the process. It looks pretty straight forward and simple. I don't think you have much to lose with this offer, and it probably won't last long.

So there you have it. Light at the end of the dark tunnel for Central Missouri T-Mobile folks looking to bail.

Carlton Flowers
Smartphone Purveyor