Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Here's why i abandoned my nexus 7 for a Nook HD

 Nook HD, Nook, Nexus 7, Google, Android, Barnes and noble, Nexus in dash, in dash car

I've owned a Nook HD tablet for some time now and couldn't be happier running cyanogemod. I even wrote a guide on how to install cyanogemod on the Nook HD. 

A few days ago I bought a Nexus 7 2012 to replace my Nook mainly because I wanted to install it in my car as an in dash entertainment system and I needed a tablet that features GPS (which the Nook HD lacks) 

If I were a normal user who didn't have a Nook HD i would have been very happy with my purchase but because I'm not, I was unsatisfied with the overall performance of the tablet. 

Here are the points where the Nook HD excels over Nexus 7:

  1.  Even though the Nexus 7 has a stronger processor (quad core compared to the dual core on the Nook HD), the Nook certainly performs much better and is smoother, I'm not talking about quadrant score or numbers I'm talking about the user experience.
  2. My Nook has a memory card slot. 
  3. Nook HD features a much better screen resolution @ 243 PPI VS. the Nexus 7 2012 @ 216 PPI.

There is also a lot of stuff that annoy me in the Nook HD:

  1. No micro USB port makes it hard to connect it with OTG or different chargers
  2. No GPS
  3. No Cameras
  Nook HD, Nook, Nexus 7, Google, Android, Barnes and noble, Nexus in dash, in dash car
After using the nexus 7 for a few days I decided I don't like it, especially after upgrading to Lollipop the tablet became so sluggish as reported by a lot of users and lost any advantage it had over my lovely Nook HD. 

I know that both of these tablets are old, but I don't see a point in spending more money on a new tablet when I can get a Nook HD that matches the performance for only $60.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Buying A Phone From Cricket wireless (AIO) - Stop and Read This First

I can't even remember how many times I talked about how much better it is to leave behind phone contracts and switching to a prepaid plan.
To recap, here's why:

1. You can switch carriers anytime without having to pay ETF or being stuck with a locked phone.
2. Prepaid packages run cheaper than any contract plan you are on.
3. If you are with a CDMA network that would make it impossible to use your phone with a GSM carrier even if you get the phone unlocked.
4. You have the ability to sell your phone at any point without waiting for your contract to end or pay more for any early upgrade program your carrier might offer.
After my Samsung Galaxy Note I N700 died on me I was stuck trying to find a budget phone to buy and that's when I decided to buy the Motorola Moto G (2013) from Cricket wireless because it was offered for $150 at that time, they also had a rebate program which offers you $50 mail in rebate.

The phone was advertised as the 4G/LTE version which sounded weird because the Moto G 4G was not yet released at this point but I made sure to call Cricket wireless a few times before buying the phone to make sure and all of the agents I spoke to assured me it is the 4G/LTE Moto G.

Motorola then was selling the Moto G unlocked for $180 but I decided to go with the one from Cricket Wireless for 2 reasons: 1- it was cheaper at $100 2- it was 4G/LTE.

When I went to buy the phone from the store I was told that there is a $25 upgrade fee because i'm an existing Cricket customer and after tax and everything the phone cost me around $180, I was still happy with the deal because I still had the 4G/LTE and they promised the phone can be unlocked 4 months after activation.

When I went home I discovered that the Moto G I had was the XT-1032 which is the normal 3G variant, I was so disappointed and called many times to complain but no one in Cricket did anything about it.

Since I had already gave up my backup phone I was stuck with the Moto G I bought because if I had returned it and bought the unlocked one from Motorola it would have taken sometime until I receive it, so I decided to wait and see what Cricket would do about miss-selling the phone as the 4G/LTE but in the end no one cared or even apologized.

After getting the phone unlocked I just realized that the Moto G I bought from Cricket has a locked bootloader which means you can't change the software (i.e upgrade to lollipop unofficially).

I tried to call twice yesterday to ask whether Cricket will push Android Lollipop or not and was informed that the updates will come from Motorola so I contacted Motorola and they assured me that the OTA update is the responsibility of the carrier which is Cricket which clearly means that neither Motorola nor Cricket wireless is working on an update for my XT-1032.

Now I'm stuck with an overpriced phone running Kitkat 4.4.2 with no hopes of an update to Lollipop or even unofficial Lollipop because of the bootloader lock.

To summarize I will never buy a phone from a carrier ever again, it's always better to buy the unlocked phone from the manufacturer because then I can always get support and updates.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How To Fix The Moto G Camera Error "Please Restart Camera"

moto g please restart camera recovery motorola

I started getting this error message "please restart camera" every time I tried to start my Moto G's camera. 

Rebooting the phone would make the error message disappear for a little bit but it would soon start coming up again which is so inconvenient to have to restart your Moto G every time you need to use your camera.

I started reading everywhere to find solutions, I tried uninstalling Skype but it didn't fix the problem.
I tried to clear the data and cache of the camera app and it still didn't work.

Today I spoke to a Motorola's chat support agent and I explained the issue, she advised me to follow some steps. Since then the camera is working without any problems.

I know that this is not a permanent fix and sooner or later I will start getting the error again but what can I do? it's just a temporary fix until Cricket wireless decides to update the Moto G (mine is 4.4.2) 
Motorola is doing an awesome job keeping their phones up to date
I just hate the fact that carriers are the ones who roll out firmware updates.

Here are the steps, try them:

This will remove any temporary files that may be causing the problem, but will not delete your files or settings.
1. With the phone powered off, press and hold VOL DOWN KEY + POWER key (simultaneously) for 5 seconds and then release both buttons.
2. The device will display different BOOT OPTIONS
3. Use the VOL DOWN Key to SCROLL to Recovery and VOL UP Key to select

Tip: If the device reboots, you may have waited to long to make a selection, you will need to begin the process again. 
4. The device will display the Motorola logo and then the Android in distress ( logo with Exclamation mark)
moto g please restart camera recovery motorola
5. Press and hold the VOL UP key. While still holding the VOL UP key tap and release the POWER key. Once you see the RED text at the top of the screen, release both buttons (should take only a second).
Tip: You can try this step, holding the phone in landscape. If you are stuck on step 5, try a force reboot by pressing the Power key and Vol Down key until your device reboots, and start the process again.
6. The device will display additional menu options (Text will appear in BLUE) 
7. Use the VOL DOWN Key to scroll to wipe cache partition and the POWER Key to select this option
8. The device will then perform the partition wipe
9. The device will reboot and start the normal power up sequence