2018: Phones are mostly bezel-less so our cases can have big bezels

Essential Phone with Poetic case
Essential Phone with the Poetic case

This year most smartphone manufacturers have been pushing hard to reduce the size of the bezels on their phones (so called screen-to-body ratio); also using fragile premium materials of the back, instead of plastic, is cool. It funny because if you care about your phone, you’re going to use a case with it, and one with quite big bezels.

For a while I was tempted on getting one of the Caterpillar android phones, but the specs were kinda bad, so was the lack of software updates. Actually its becoming harder to find a flagship Android phone that doesn’t have a back made of glass or ceramic and tiny bezels in the front. But hey, that slippery back gotta feel premium!.

Looks like the future of smartphones is about wrapping their premium materials in Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) cases 🙄

What the next smartphone generation should aim for

5 years apart: HTC One X and the original iPhone

It’s been a long time since my first smartphone, and also my first mobile phone, the original iPhone. Since then smartphones are almost as powerful as netbooks, just look at the specs of my current phone, a HTC One X:

  • CPU: 1.5Ghz Quad-Core
  • 1280 x 720 4.7″ screen
  • 32GB on board storage
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 MP camera and decent sensor

Compared to the original iPhone hardware, everything is 3 or 4 times better. The Android OS is literally light-years from the crappy Windows Pocket/CE or Symbian OS experience, browsing from this phone feels almost like doing it from a traditional desktop PC.

I’m sure there is still room for improvement (specially on the little webkit browser), but also somehow feels like the phone hardware doesn’t to be that much powerful. I don’t think having a 8 core CPU will be noticeable unless you do really intense gaming. More Ram? hmm well, I’m not running a database server in the server; besides mobile OSs doesn’t run all applications in parallel at the same time, they keep one app active and the rest sleeping (plus services in the background).

More pixels on the screen? well, at 300dpi is already hard to see individual pixels. Same for tons of megapixels on the camera, that’s silly; at least HTC is betting for higher quality rather than just pack more megapixels.

However with all those improvements in the last years, there are two areas where I’d really like to see huge advances:

  • Battery life: It’s nice to have such a big screen, but tuning it on feels like burns the battery. Leaving my phone in stand by could easy past one day without charging, but it can’t take more than 6 hours of continuous use. I’d love so much to have a phone with a battery that lats a couple days like in the old days… I guess it’s too much to ask when every manufacturer tries to pack as much muscle on the phone as they can. Sigh.
  • Unbreakable glass screen: Scratches are almost no issue nowadays, but every time I drop my phone, I fear its going to shatter. I feel bad for iPhone and iPad mini users, because Apple loves so much pushing the glass to the border as much as they can… Beautiful aesthetics they say, shatter screens is what I see. At least most Android devices keep a reasonable ugly bezel, I like my devices being durable not just beautiful.

@neavilag's cracked iPad Mini

If you ask me about dreaming, I’d love so much my phone to be also my computer like the old Seabird phone concept:

To be honest, I don’t think this happening, Motorola tried to do something like this with the Atrix phone, it looked nice but it wasn’t powerful, after all the x86 architecture packs more force than ARM (if you don’t mind the power consumption). I don’t see phones and tablets reaching the same compute power (and versatility) as laptops anytime soon.

Windows 8 tendrá los mismos requerimientos de Windows 7

Según dicen, Windows 8 no necesitará más recursos de hardware que Windows 7, lo cual no sorprende con la considerable cantidad de netbook en el mercado, y el impulso que Microsoft pretende darle a las Tables con Win8 (bastante tarde, diría yo). Supongo que nos podemos olvidar que Win8 fuera liberado solo como 64-bits.

Cyanogen y la vida de la batería en Android

Desde que me pasé a Android no había tenido razones de peso para modificar el software del teléfono (rootearlo,  lo que para iOS seria el Jailbreak). Mi Nexus One ya viene desbloqueado de fábrica, puedo usar cualquier SIM sin problemas; también puedo instalar cualquier aplicación que quiera, no importa si no está en el Android Market.

Con la actualización a Gingerbread (Android 2.3) todo funcionó perfecto excepto que la duración de la batería bajó considerablemente. No uso muchas aplicaciones y limito tener cosas corriendo en segundo plano, aún así no pude lograr más de 8 horas de batería aunque lo usara muy poco.

Leí que bastante gente sufría de lo mismo (aunque a otros les mejor el tiempo de batería), una solución rápida es cambiar el “Wi-Fi sleep policy” a “Never”, aunque suene que el efecto será negativo, si mejora un vida de la batería pero no dramáticamente.

Decidí probar Cyanogen porque leí muchas afirmaciones de gente diciendo que su batería les duraba días usando este ROM. Y pues este fue mi resultado:

Continue reading “Cyanogen y la vida de la batería en Android”

Un mejor teclado para Android

Cualquiera que ha usado un iPhone por bastante tiempo, al pasarse a Android una de las primeras diferencias que notará es la calidad del teclado (virtual); o al menos para mí, el teclado predeterminado del Android siempre me a parecido complicado de usar, uno confunde con mayor facilidad las teclas.

Lo bueno, y a diferencia del iPhone, es que en Android si se pueden instalar diferentes teclados (y no solo pieles/skins, sino con funcionalidades diferentes). Uno de los que mejor me ha funcionado en Android es el teclado del HTC Sense:

Teclado HTC Sense en Android

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