I’m talking to my phone right now. After months of knowing it was time to move on from blackberry, I finally got around to replacing it, and will attempt to blog about it by talking to it, making edits exclusively from the phone**. The phone being reviewed is a Droid Razr Maxx, which I’ve had just over a week, and was chosen last minute over the IPhone 4S.
*(For those who searched how to take a screenshot, the app I mention has worked fine but thanks to people leaving comments I have learned you only need to press and hold the volume down and power buttons at the same time, works great! Also just updated to Ice Cream Sandwich, and it is awesome, very clean UI along with some subtle yet much needed overall polishing.)
My first impressions were that the screen and the photos look amazing, and everything seemed very customizable. I installed the basic social media apps such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, HootSuite, and Twitter. Google Play has a huge variety of apps, and it is very easy to navigate around, searching for apps, or just seeing what is the most popular in certain categories.
My next focus was checking out the camera and video features, and a quick search of the new Google Play Store led to to my current favorites, Paper Camera, a special effects generator, and Pano, a panographic application. Below are a couple of shots I took with the Pano, one vertical and one landscape, first of Angel Stadium and second of Next Level Sports Complex. Paper Camera is what I would assume an Instagram for Android of sorts, but I will be sure to check out the official Instagram application when they release their Android version. ^(UPDATE: Still use Paper Camera now and then, but the Android version of Instagram reigns supreme and dominates my photos now: username 3pitchinning)
I am also experimenting with the photo application Fast Burst, designed for action shots, snapping a series of pictures in a very short time period, both of which are customizable. Without a doubt, this phone camera combined with the available applications is light years ahead of the digital camera I purchased less than two years ago.
The rear/front facing camera combination is fantastic as well, being able to switch views eliminates the struggle of trying to take a picture towards yourself, having to reach out as far as you can with your arm while guessing how to line up the shot. The large screen is ideal for video chats as well whether via Skype, Google+ hangouts, or the Tango app, etc., all of which have similar quality depending on your wi-fi or network connection, and did I mention it is 4G LTE?
As a long-time blackberry user, I am still exploring and discovering applications and am continually surprised at the creativity and variety of apps available. I am going to highlight a few of my favorites, starting with No Root Screenshot It, which allows me to take the following screenshots of my home screen and the WordPress application I am using right now. I have had no issues taking screenshots after quickly finding out that not being able to do so was a key feature initially missing from the Razr Maxx.
My personal favorites, excluding camera applications, in no particular order include Google Analytics, Transparent Screen, WordPress, Business Calendar, Google Sky Map, HootSuite and the clock widget app next to Twitter, titled Audio Recorder Machine, allowing surprise, instant audio recording!
Transparent Screen turns the rear camera into a live wallpaper for your phone, allowing you to literally watch your feet or see ahead of you if walking down the sidewalk while on your phone or texting, etc. The Analytics app is great, if you have or use Google Analytics, and Google Sky Map is great when out during the evenings.While I am talking to WordPress now, the talk to text function is also available anytime the keyboard pops up, including text messages, emails, and tweets, etc., and is accurate as long as you clearly enunciate the words.
A benefit, as a sports fan, is having access to team exclusive mobile applications, which are becoming increasingly popular, including the Los Angeles Kings. And after hearing constantly how blackberry had the best email service and features, I have only noticed a slight delay in certain emails which usually contain files or photos.
Another huge concern with smart phones, and tablets or any gadget really, is battery life, and the Droid Razr Maxx does not disappoint, with excellent battery performance even while running multiple applications. I would also recommend taking the time to set up battery conserving settings, rules and techniques via the Smart Actions or Juice Defender applications.
Well, great talking with you today, thank you for checking out my first mobile spoken blog post, I hope you are as excited about the future of mobile technology as I am.
**I did end up having to make some photo related edits from a computer regarding size and layout.