Thursday, August 26, 2010

Testing battery life - Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro

15 hours 18 minutes 2 seconds.

This was the duration shown on the X10 Mini Pro when the "10% battery left" warning came up.

Quite a disappointing figure, even though I knew earlier that battery life could be an issue with a meagre 930 mAh battery.

Settings on my X10 Mini Pro during the "test"
  1. Full screen brightness, 1 minute screen timeout
  2. Gmail autosync off, calendar & contacts autosync on
  3. Astrid on 15 minute sync
  4. normal internet usage, surfing the net, checking email, visiting Android Market, etc
According to Android's battery statistics, the screen was the major battery "eater". Not keen to turn down the brightness, so I will try setting the screen timeout to 30 sec to see if the battery life improves.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Android Apps

Lifehacker Pack for Android: Our List of the Best Android Apps
I've already installed quite a number of the highlighted apps, but there are still a number of gems that I didn't know about. More apps in the comments too...

Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro - Initial Review

After almost 1 week of use (including usage overseas), I think it's time I pen some quick first impressions.

  1. Touchscreen not accurate (the 2.5-inch also makes it even more difficult)
  2. UI inconsistent, not user-friendly
  3. Milky screen under sunlight (made worst with a translucent overlay under the apps)
  4. Language bar blocks some buttons (resolved by using alternative keyboards, but that causes other issues)
  5. Snappy sliding motion, but the 2 sliding portions wobble when in the closed position
  6. System sometimes pauses before reacting (OS lag, Processor lag, or Memory lag???)
  7. Quick search bar does not search within files
  1. Astrid (powerful to-do app, yet to explore full features)
  2. Camera (decent, but not a Canon S90)
  3. Handcent (nice looking presentation, but causes double sms alerts)
  4. Soft-touch back
Overall, I'm a bit concerned about the lag on the phone. Due to the nature of the Android OS, apps do not close, but are "minimised". The slower 600MHz processor and 128MB RAM could also be at fault here.

I also wonder if the HSDPA/3G modem could be another choke-point, as Opera Mini on my E71 zips along at a super-fast rate, while Opera Mini (both version 4.2 & 5) on the X10 Mini Pro seems to be as slow as the native Android browser...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not a handphone, but an app device?

I'm missing my E71. I didn't really had a chance to properly say goodbye. Weird, I know, but it was my trusty sidekick for almost 2 years.

The X10 Mini Pro isn't a direct replacement. The applications are the main "actors", and not the basic phone functions like calling & sms-ing.

I chose Android because of the availability of apps that extend the desktop to the mobile realm. Tools like Remember the Milk, Evernote, Dropbox, Wordpress, etc.

The other reason is because of the open nature of the Android OS, which is why I didn't get an Apple iPhone. The iPhone is too ubiquitous anyway.

A new tool takes over

With a dying battery, I had to quickly change my Nokia E71 to another handphone. After finally reaching the 21 month milestone, I swapped over to the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro. Still getting used to some quirks (and the occasional freeze). This post is done on the device itself.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Try Android OS on the desktop PC (includes Android Market)

How-To Geek
This emulator is fully functional, including the ability to install apps. Great fun, and useful for people thinking of jumping ship to Android for their next handphone.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Security Secrets the Bad Guys Don't Want You to Know

PC World
Useful tips for internet security. The article talks about
  • scripting
  • fake anti-virus offers
  • using less popular software
  • online scans for virus
  • keeping programmes updated, including plugins and extensions
  • password tools
The part about using less popular software is a bit weird for some users, but it does make sense. Strength in diversity.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sony Xperia X10 Mini Pro - Teardown and Analysis

Unboxing is so yesterday, this teardown is much more interesting, showing everyone what's in the guts of one of the smallest Android handphones around.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Gigabyte T1000M variant?

The T1000P has yet to arrive in Singapore, but it seems there is a higher-end model in this series. According to this PDF brochure, the T1000M will come with a capacitive screen, plus a dual-core N550 Atom CPU. However, I'm still a bit unconvinced about the usability of a Atom CPU, dual-core or not.

It's bigger brother, the renamed T1125 (with i5 CPU), seems to have disappeared, with no recent updates. :(

How to Succeed With Your New Boss

HBS Working Knowledge
A very informative and useful article for me :)

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Billy Talent - Saint Veronika

note: this is not the official video, it's a great effort to tell the story in the song...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Finding a replacement for the Nokia E71

I have been struggling with battery issues with my Nokia E71 for a few months. Basically, the battery quickly goes flat after any 3G usage. Since my 2-year contract was ending soon, it was the apt time to think about replacing it instead of buying a replacement battery.

I wanted a touchscreen + QWERTY handphone. The touchscreen for easy web navigation, and the QWERTY for quick text input. The only few smartphones with such a spec were the following
- Motorola Milestone
- Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro
- Nokia N900

I wasn't too keen to consider a Symbian handphone, as a newer version (Symbian^3) was already in the works.

But the 3 handphones above all had their own "issues".

The Milestone has keys which look too flat, the X10 Mini Pro has a tiny screen, plus its QWERTY keypad did not support predictive-text, and the N900 had some UI quirks, and was expensive, as it was only available as a phone-only purchase.

There are a few handphones in the pipeline that could fit my requirement, e.g. Nokia N9 (with Meego?) and the Samsung Galaxy Pro, but non have been confirmed at the moment.

I also toyed with the idea of buying a big-screen handphone (4-inch & above) which may negate the requirement for hardware QWERTY keys, but the few available in Singapore again have their own "issues". The HTC HD2 runs on an old OS (Windows 6.5), the Samsung Galaxy S has a quirky UI (TouchWIZ), and the Sony Ericsson X10 has had bad reviews.

I'm now waiting for the Motorola Droid 2 to be confirmed. That could be a suitable choice...

Leeenux on the Asus Eee PC 701

After using the default Xandros OS for quite a while, I finally took a plunge to try another OS. I first tried Ubuntu, and finally settled on a Ubuntu-variant called Leeenux. It has given a new lease of life to the Eee PC.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Facebook May Get a Real 'Delete Account' Option

Deleted my facebook account over the weekend. The above article helped quite a bit. The direct link to delete is here.