A new year means a time for people to have an excuse to reinvent themselves. Some people work on their fitness, some people will change their style or hair color, but I use it as an excuse to try new technology. After trying out the Pixel 2 at the end of last year and really disliking it (which you can read about here), I knew I needed a different phone, but didn’t know what direction I was headed in. In typical Lauren fashion, a new opportunity was presented to me. An opportunity with a keyboard and long battery life (without paying $29 to replace the battery). Read More »
The Ideal Phone
With all my back-and-forth switching from BlackBerry to Android to BlackBerry to iPhone to Android to iPhone again, I’ve come to realize what I want in a phone doesn’t exist in one device. So, if I was going to create my ideal phone, here are the features it would have:Read More »
Pixel 2: Great Camera, Not So Great Phone
Now that I’ve had the Pixel 2 for a month, it’s time for a review, and honestly, I’m disappointed. When I first got the phone, I fell in love with the camera and the fantastic pictures it takes. Now, I realize that I may have had blinders on.Read More »
BREAKING: Lauren Kortbein has switched platforms…again
A long, long time ago, I was a BlackBerry addict. I had numerous devices, from OS 7 all the way up to BlackBerry 10. I was such an addict, that when I switched to iPhone, it became a “thing”. (You can read my reasons to switch here.) Someone actually wrote a blog about why my reasons to switch were invalid and how getting an iPhone made me an “iSheep”. I was hounded on social media for weeks about being a traitor to BlackBerry. So while I would prefer not to live through that experience again, I do have an announcement: I’ve switched platforms yet again. But I’m getting ahead of myself…Read More »
How Smart Can a Watch Be?
As with most new technology, people typically don’t understand the need for something new and innovative. Before I got my first smartphone I didn’t understand why you would need to access the Internet wherever you were, at all times. Before I got an iPhone I didn’t understand the appeal of having every app in the world available to you. So when smartwatches first started getting popular, I didn’t understand why you would need your notifications on your wrist. I’ve even had this same smartwatch before! So why would this time be any different?
First off, the Moto 360 now connects to almost any iPhone or Android. This meant I could connect my personal phone to it, and wouldn’t need a second phone like I did the first time around. Second, this 360 is rose gold. I repeat, rose gold. (If you didn’t know how weirdly obsessed with rose gold I am, you clearly aren’t following me on Instagram, so shame on you.) So I decided to give the smartwatch another try. And holy cow, was I impressed. This time around, it surprised me how much I liked being able to look at my wrist instead of pulling my phone out of my pocket. The 360 had no issues at all connecting to my iPhone, and every notification showed up on the watch. I was able to swipe away notifications which also got rid of them on my phone’s Notification Center, and each notification had a particular look to it, which was a nice way to differentiate texts versus Instagram likes versus emails.
The downsides about the Moto 360 were the notifications and the battery life. I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to interact with notifications on the watch. I’m sure this is because it’s a Motorola watch connecting to an Apple phone, so I understand. Although, I would have liked to have been able to respond to texts, because having to pull out your phone defeats the purpose of a smartwatch. I was able to “answer” calls using the watch, but I still had to talk through my phone. Then comes the battery life. I was able to get one full day out of it, but never two full days. I did have the “always on” option turned on, which meant that although the screen went black, the clock face was always on, and I’m sure that drains battery quickly. This wasn’t a huge issue for me, because I took the watch off to sleep anyway, so I just put it on its little charging station and it was good to go for the next day.
I would definitely say I’m a smartwatch convert now. I like what it can do and am interested to see where they go from here. Especially if they keep making them in rose gold!
(Side note: extra points for you if you counted how many times I said “rose gold” in this post.)
Two Times the Tech
It’s finally the week of Christmas, which means gifts have been advertised for weeks, if not months already. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen “for her” and “for him” sections on stores websites. But what about the most important section…”For you”?? They say it’s better to give than to receive, and I agree! Seeing someone’s eyes light up when they open a gift you’ve given them is a fantastic feeling. But it’s also a great feeling to open a gift you’ve given yourself…and knowing what’s inside is exactly what you want. So now that you’ve finished shopping for others (maybe), it’s time to shop for yourself. And what better than some fresh new tech?!
Enter the Droid Turbo 2, the new shatterproof phone from Motorola. I see a ridiculous number of shattered screens on a daily basis, and for those people, this is the perfect phone for you. I’ve tested many an Android, and there is always one or two features on each phone that makes it stand apart from the rest. Besides having a screen that won’t shatter into a million pieces, (don’t worry Verizon, I didn’t test this) the camera is absolutely incredible. If you follow me on instagram, you know just how many pictures I take of all kinds of things. I love my iPhone camera, but one thing it struggles with is taking close-ups without getting blurry. The Turbo 2 does a fantastic job of getting just the right picture every time. I’m just a girl with a cell phone camera, but look at how cool these pictures are:
Now you’re probably wondering about those beautiful red headphones. No? Well I’m going to tell you about them anyway because it’s Christmas and I’m in the sharing mood. Those little babies are the Beats Solo 2 headphones, obviously in the product Red version. They allow you to hear all the goodness in your music…unless you’re listening to country, then you’re on your own. The cool thing about these is they have a microphone and volume adjustment buttons, so you don’t have to take the headphones off when a call comes in, or take your phone out to turn it up when your jam comes on!
If there is ever a good excuse to get yourself some new technology, the holidays are perfect. Stop into a Verizon store to test out the Droid Turbo 2 and Beats Solo 2 headphones, and remember to check “me” off your “to shop for” list.
Droid Turbo & Moto 360
I got the Droid Turbo and Moto 360 around the time that the Apple watch was being announced and released, so I was looking forward to trying out the latest trend. The idea of having something strapped to your wrist that did less than what your phone could do was weird to me. Now that I’ve tried out a smart watch, it still is.
The exterior design of Android phones never fails to impress me, and the Turbo was no different! It had a red carbon fiber back that looked great. You know my feelings on the Android OS, so that’s really all I have to say about the phone.
Then comes the Moto 360. I think this is by far the best looking smart watch. The circular face helps it blend in with a normal watch but still has plenty of screen space to show notifications. The leather band that mine came with was comfortable, although a little stiff. Using the 360 was very simple, but reading the emails that came in was something else entirely. The notifications for the email was clear and easy to read, but formatting causes the emails to show up in an almost alien language. I got the gist of my emails, but found myself taking out my phone to read them. This brings me to the most important fact about the smart watch…what’s the point?? My phone was always a few inches away in my pocket, the incoming messages were hard to read and the watch didn’t always sense when I turned it up to look at it. Personally, the only time I actually used it was when I was showing people how it worked. I rarely even used it as a normal watch, because I’m so used to pulling my phone out of my pocket to check the time.
For me, the smart watch is more of a novelty than a device that’s actually useful. I’m sure I’ll come around eventually, but for now I’ll stick with my trusty Timex.