Thursday, 23 October 2014




#AndroidLollipop #Android #Motorola #Google #Nexus6 #Nexus9 #NexusPlayer #AndroidAuto #AndroidTV #Chromecast #Glass #Nexus #Silver #Lollipop #Android5 #Android5Lollipop

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers. How’s it going? I hope is well and that you are on the up and up!

If you’re an Android fan / user it is very likely that you are on an all-time high what with the imminent release of Android 5 Lollipop (if your handset is at least 2 to 3 years old) and the latest Nexus models.


That’s right! Google is not interested in having a tech-war with those that see themselves as ‘competition’. They never have been interested in participating in a tech-war; how the press love a war as it makes for easy headlines! Funnily enough, war can make for revolution! Anyhoo... CEO, Larry Page has made it very, very clear that Google is interested in reaching out and assisting humanity! Having a war with Apple, Microsoft, etc plays no part in assisting humanity!

Google has also made it clear that it doesn’t see the smartphone has having the same significance as it did when it made its debut, 16 August 1994. And as a result, Google has been pioneering new technologies such as Glass. Google have delivered on its promise on cost effective handsets with the Nexus range up to version 5 – arguably! Nexus 6 is something else! It’s super-premium in my books! Under Motorola, Google have gone even further and has smashed the smartphone phenomena with the release of the Moto G handset! In my mind the iPhone makes a lot of sense for Mac computer users but if you don’t have a Mac and want a cost effective premium smartphone the Moto G – especially the 5” second generation version is definitely one excellent way to go! The short review of the Moto G second generation handset is as follows:-

MOTO G 2014, 8GB. PRICE: £150
It’s a fantastic 5” handset that seems smaller due to its form factor emanating from true innovative design values. The two front-facing speakers sound quite punchy and very satisfying to the ears.

The 8GB of phone memory is enough to hold what I call the base apps: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, etc. Not forgetting the Google staple: Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, etc. In addition there is 1GB of RAM which makes for a remarkably smooth interface experience driven by a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU! It is really, really good!

The Moto G features this time around a 5” screen with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels and 294 ppi pixel density which is a bit of a downgrade compared to last years 4.5” of the same resolution but with a sharper 326 ppi pixel density. That’s the small price we pay for the 5” screen which I prefer; the screen is still sharp and text is very, very legible.

The camera has been upgraded from 5MP to 8MP which is more than good enough for the purpose of updating your social network platforms. There’s also an LED flash too! The video records up 720p at 30 frames per second. The front-facing camera is 2MP that will ensure that you can make video calls!

The operating system is the latest version of KitKat 4.4.4 and it will be receiving the Lollipop 5 upgrade! Yay! There’s no additional UI interface overlay i.e. a skin such as Samsung TouchWiz or HTC Sense; it’s pure Android! I do appreciate the pure vanilla Android experience. I can understand why Samsung uses the TouchWiz on its premium handsets as they want to exploit its technologies such as the S Pen functionality on the Galaxy Note series of handsets. But there is no excuse why other manufacturers should feel the need to stick a user interface overlay on top of what is already a great operating system. I do hope that Android 5 will change all that.

The battery cover is removable but the 2070 mAh battery is not. However, this model can utilize two micro SIM cards and a microSD card up to 32GB! Cool! Here’s what has just come into my mind...

Why is it not possible for apps to run from the microSD card?
If Google could change Android so that it will allow apps to run from a microSD card would it make sense to feature two microSD slots because the 8GB model, as reviewed here, really allows for around 5GB to store your apps (and media)? I reckon Android handsets could come with 4GB to hold the operating system and Google apps while the two microSD slots will function to hold apps and media. Just an idea! I know Google aren’t too keen on microSD for reasons best known to the person(s) behind that aspect of it.

I’ve had my Moto G second generation for a few weeks and I can attest to a battery life on standby but, as always, usage is a different matter altogether! I get away with a day of moderate use i.e. YouTube, taking pictures and surfing the web! I really love that the handset is quite thick in comparison to most premium Android handsets, 11mm! The thickness makes the handset easy to hold when using the camera for example! The curved battery cover makes it fit perfectly into the hand! The power button and volume rocker feels solid to the touch!

As far as I am concerned this is the “budget” handset to beat! Because of the large 5” screen and the front-facing speakers being well placed I don’t pay any real attention to the plastic battery cover; we mostly interface with the screen and therefore we shouldn’t be too bothered what the back is made of. Sure, it would have been a bonus if the battery was removable but I’ve no complaints about the battery with my usage. Bear in mind that Android 5 utilizes a battery saving function called ‘Volta’ that promises we’ll get more usage out of our handsets.

The Moto G feels robust and the screen is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3! The rounded edges reminds me very much of the Galaxy Nexus and it is aesthetically pleasing.

As you know, there are many, many budget Android handsets out there that – in my humble opinion – shouldn’t. Why? Thank you for asking! It’s because that quite a lot of sub £150 handsets offers a poor hardware specification i.e. 512MB RAM, single-core CPU and 4GB of storage which results in a very slow handset that you will end up throwing against the wall!

Had Motorola imbued the second generation Moto G with 4G LTE it would have scored double platinum! However, 4G LTE is said to cause battery drainage and looking at it from another perspective: how many of us tend to update apps via 3 or 4G? I tend to update my apps on my home Wi-Fi before I leave the house. I also have a 4G Mi-Fi device for my tablet which I can use with my Moto G! 4G isn’t really that much of an issue. Besides, I think 4G makes more sense when you have unlimited data to exploit. There’s no point having 4G, in my humble opinion, and you can’t feel comfortable using it with the fear of using up your data. That said, the Moto G makes it easy to purchase a decent handset outright and go for a good SIM only deal that can include unlimited data! There could be a 4G Moto G second generation in the pipeline – probably in time for Christmas!

And if you need the speed of 4G LTE then the first generation Moto G 4G 4.5” represents exceptional value!

What I have come to appreciate about Google these days is that it doesn’t feel the need to host a keynote with every release; a press release is enough and it does the job of instilling not just excitement but record sales! When the Nexus 5 reached the UK retail outlets it had sold out on day one! But no self-aggrandizing keynotes espousing record this and record that. Google Motorola just said, “Here’s a great handset that is the Nexus 6 and you are also going to love the Nexus 9 tablet and the Nexus Player...”

In comparison to those other guys it is quite apparent that people are ridding themselves of a bad purchase!  One can argue that such a thing wouldn’t have happened under Steve Jobs but the point is that Apple seems to be floundering at the moment and its super-in-denial-PR-machine cannot cover-up that fact. Apple Pay??? Twice??? Uh-uh! C’mon, we know that the Apple Watch isn’t a great design.

The iPhone 6 and Plus models just do not feel like premium handsets when they are in my hands. Seriously, my Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4 feel like serious premium handsets because they are! And having had the Galaxy Note 4 in my hands is such a gratifying feeling.

Above: Getting rid! The iPhone 6 and Plus aren't happening. Jeez, Louise! Look at the prices! £760??? C'mon...


I would imagine that the Nexus 6 – if the Moto G and X are anything to go by – will feel smaller in the hands. The Moto G (second generation) feels like the ideal size as does the Moto X. But then so does the Galaxy Note 2, 3 and 4 feel comfortable in the hands! I reckon that it’s just down to the design. The Nexus 6 looks every bit as wonderful as the aforementioned Moto models and I am betting that most people will get used to it very, very quickly!

Again, the iPhone 6 Plus just does not feel right to me. I think it is too thin and slippery. And I really do not like iOS – version 8 has proved to be troublesome! In contrast I am so glad that Google didn’t try to qualify for the thinnest handset award and Lollipop, Android 5 looks sweet!

The Nexus 6 may seem the opposite of Google’s budget ethos but you are getting one heck of a handset as a result! I would imagine that one would get it on contract instead of purchasing it outright. There’s always the Nexus 5! But I am a little surprised that Google didn’t reveal a smaller, 5” perhaps, Nexus 6 alternative. Oh, well! Me? I would want the Nexus 6 as it is!

Foolishly, I see many tech-media claiming that the Nexus 9 is aimed at “taking on the iPad...” However, the Nexus 9 is an Android tablet aimed at Android users! It’s so simple to understand but anything for a cheap headline. If Google had installed iOS 8 on the Nexus 9 then it would be competing against the iPad.

In the wake of the Nexus 9 the Apple biased media are claiming the iPad Air 2 is the fastest iPad ever! It could very well be but will speed stop the iPad from tanking? How many tablets does Apple have on the market now? Whereas the Nexus 7 has come in at a competitive price point and that the second generation still offers great value for money if you want a small tablet. Not to mention a plethora of cost effective Android tablets from a host of manufacturers. Maybe Apple would be able to sell iPads if they made an Android version!

As it stands, the Nexus 9 looks like a great advancement for the Android platform. I wonder how many folk realize that the only way to access specific tablet apps is to get a tablet! I am embarrassed to say that it’s through reviewing a tablet that I got to realize this.


In comparison to Chromecast, Nexus Player looks like an even smarter way to enjoy media and games on the TV as opposed to streaming material from a handset or tablet. The Nexus Player could very well be the replacement to cable TV we’ve been looking for! There are no details as of yet for availability in the UK! I suspect we’re looking at a price between £80 and £100. It has its own 1.8GHz quad-core processor and that means gaming for the gamers! A smoother delivery of media in general! I like the Voice Control aspect on the remote control. If it comes to the UK market in time for Christmas I think it’ll sell like hotcakes along with cost effective TVs! I get the impression that Nexus Player will transform a TV into a smart one! It’s most definitely on my Christmas list!

Yes, this is a new email management app that is going to change the way we access our emails. It’s such a well thought out app that is currently invitation only! Just like it was with Gmail initially, Inbox will gradually be ubiquitous!

I wonder if, through Gmail soon to be compatible with other email clients i.e. Yahoo, Inbox will be able to deal with any email coming through... In other words: Does Inbox serve only Gmail? And when Gmail is updated with other emailing client compatibility will Inbox filter / manage them too?


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