It’s 2010: Steve Jobs unveils the first iPad to a wary crowd; Samsung announces the first entry in the Galaxy S series of smartphones; Angry Birds is a worldwide phenomenon; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is incarnated by Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network; LeBron James decides to take his talents to South Beach.
And Google, amid much hype and hope, joins the smartphone revolution by coming out with the Nexus One for under $530 off contract. It’s the first Google phone, and while not as successful as later iterations, it will be seen by many as an integral part of Android’s trajectory.
Here’s an excerpt from Joshua Topolsky’s review on Engadget: “Never mind the Nexus One itself for a moment — there’s a bigger picture here, and it might spell a fundamental change for the direction of Android as a platform.”
That same year, my partner bought the One from a local seller she met online. The Nexus One gave me my first taste of Android and would later spark my ongoing, and sometimes turbulent, love affair with smartphones and consumer gadgets — a bridge that connected my past and my future.
Built by HTC — incidentally, the same company rumored to be making 2016’s Nexus devices — the Nexus One was a reference phone meant to show manufacturers how it should be done and what could be done with Google’s Android OS.
It had a distinct look and feel and a trackball that pulled double duty as a notification light. Underneath that glowing orb of crimson, azure, or emerald is a set of four backlit capacitive buttons for back, menu, home, and search. Yes, search. Because Google, that’s why.
At 11.5mm thick and 130 grams, it was massive by current standards; but back then, it was praised for its thinness and lightness. It had a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass on top, with a depressing (but not at the time of its release) 800 x 480 resolution. The screen wasn’t that bad, though; in retrospect, I still prefer it over some displays I’ve seen on budget handsets.
The One had a single-core Snapdragon processor at the helm and 512MB of RAM and storage to keep things chugging along at a then-blistering pace. The limited storage capacity left me without room to install additional apps after pushing a custom Android ROM based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
Google stopped software updates for the Nexus One four years ago, following the expiry of its two-year life cycle; it issued its last official software update with the release of Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread.
I browsed a couple of sites and did a few Google searches as soon as I powered the phone up (it still works!); interestingly enough, its internals aged well — despite the hardware taking a good beating over the years.
Come to think of it, I’m surprised the screen hasn’t cracked or shown any outward signs of owner abuse. The same can’t be said about the removable 1,400mAh battery, which can barely hold enough charge to power the One for a few hours.
The back also had a 5-megapixel cam with flash, and could record 480p video; the front lacked a camera for selfies. Image quality was, as you would expect, nowhere near the quality of today’s finer handsets, but the details were there. And without the benefit of perspective, I might even be inclined to say that I liked how some of the photos turned out.
The Nexus One was a very good product, and it received positive reviews from critics and consumers alike. However, it wasn’t an iPhone; it wasn’t the paradigm-shifting device the hype made it out to be. And carriers refused to drink the Kool-Aid until much later, when it was clear the phone would flop.
Months after it was released, Goldman Sachs reduced their estimates of sales for the phone by 70 percent, effectively sending the Nexus One to an early retirement. By May 2010, Google was pulling it off shelves, offering it to developers instead.
But failing on a first attempt didn’t kill the Nexus. Google tried again in 2010, this time collaborating with Samsung on the Nexus S, which went on to become one of the most popular handsets of its time. Its successor, the Galaxy Nexus, was an even greater success.
[irp posts=”6825" name=”Forget about Pixel and Nexus, where’s Android One?”]
2019 Honda Brio RS: The sporty baby Jazz
A fun ride through and through
For today’s millennials and young professionals, choosing which car to buy could be a tough choice to make. For some, it has to pass certain requirements like fuel efficiency, ride comfort, space, if it looks good, and more importantly if it fits the budget. This is what first came to my mind when we got to test the 2019 Honda Brio RS. I think it has all the criteria most of us need for our daily commute and I’ll tell you why.
At first glance, it will give you the impression of a baby Jazz as it follows traditional Honda design cues. It looks far better than its competing compact hatchbacks and is definitely a big design upgrade than the previous generation Brio. From the front, this car looks aggressive and masculine for its size. The rear, however, still leans on the conservative side. Together with its sporty side skirts, the side profile is sleek with forward-tilting character lines giving it a sense of action and speed.
Being an RS variant, there are additional design upgrades which include the black roof, blacked-out honeycomb grille, a rear spoiler with mounted third brake light, 15-inch RS design alloy rims, and of course, the bright red RS badges plastered all over. These positively add to the sportiness of the vehicle.
Hopping in, you will immediately notice the orange accents running through the air vents, glove box, and side panels, plus the orange stitching and patterns on the seats. Next, we see the 7-inch touch-enabled infotainment system at the center of the dash which is connected to six speakers. Although that’s the case, we still weren’t impressed with the sound quality as it felt a bit short on bass.
Whether as the driver or passenger, you are seated in a low orientation and feel very close and planted to the ground. The height of the steering wheel and dashboard takes some getting used to if you always drive tall cars. But don’t get the idea that it’s cramped up inside. The seats up front are spacious with plenty of headroom to spare while at the back we have a decent amount of legroom for the average Asian. The trunk was large enough to carry our equipment along with other stuff. It was impressively spacious for a car this size.
We drove to our favorite scenic route of the Sierra Madre mountains, putting the car through its paces. The Brio is powered by a 1.2-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine which I think is sufficient enough for a car this small. It is then mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with sport mode and the company’s Earth Dreams Technology.
This car gives you a smooth and quiet ride even at high speeds. The cabin is astonishingly quiet with very minimal wind noise and vibrations. Thanks to its CVT implementation, this car is so smooth that I didn’t realize I was already going 90 on a 50kph road.
You cannot ask it to drive like its more spirited cousins, though. It is not the fastest accelerating car and pushing down the gas pedal when overtaking or driving up a steep road takes the CVT some time to adjust and you won’t get that instant punch you were expecting.
The Brio also lacks traction control and other basic features like rear sensors and reverse camera. It doesn’t even have a center console box and an armrest, but these are things we can brush aside. In terms of fuel efficiency, we were able to average 11.1km/liter which is not bad considering we drove it aggressively through the winding and steep roads of Tanay, Rizal. Steering was light and handled tight corners remarkably. Overall, this car gets the job done. It gets you where you need to go and is reliable, economical, safe, and don’t forget that it’s such a looker.
Will I recommend the Brio RS? In the city, this car would be perfect. Although it’s not the most powerful more so for long drives. I can tell you one thing, though, it sure is fun to drive. I’m actually not a big fan of small hatchbacks but it all boils down to the company’s target market. The Brio is tuned to be sporty and modernly stylish so it might appeal to those looking for something that looks fun and doesn’t break the bank.
With those, I could confidently say that the Brio RS has the edge over its small hatchback competitors in terms of performance and design. You won’t go wrong with this car.
Galaxy Note 10 photos leak, baby Switch: Weekend Rewind
Lotsa new hardware coming soon!
Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 hype train is chugging
A good indicator that a noteworthy smartphone is coming — pun 100 percent intended — is if its leaks start coming up on the web. That’s exactly the case with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.
The “official” leaked images showcases the front and back of the Note 10. There’s a punch-hole camera hovering over the middle top part of the display.
Speaking of the display, it looks absolutely edge-to-edge and while there’s no indication of it in the images, it might be nesting an in-display fingerprint scanner. The only buttons immediately visible are the volume rockers and the power button. This means it might not have the Bixby button which has been a staple on Samsung flagships in recent years.
Lastly the renders also show that other than black, the Note 5 will also have a variant that has a gradient back reminiscent of the one we first saw on Huawei.
The Note 10 is launching on August 7 in New York and we’ll be there to give you the updates so make sure you’re following us everywhere on social media.
2. US gov’t can’t make up mind on Huawei ban
Here’s another chapter to the Huawei Ban saga.
If you haven’t kept up, US President Donald Trump lifted the ban on Huawei but just as recently as last week, we learned that no policies were put in place to support the lifting. This week, the U.S. finally issued an official statement about the ban’s lifting. It says the U.S. will issue trade licenses to approved companies who do business with Huawei.
However, the licenses will depend on whether the product is deemed a threat to national security. There were no parameters provided on what entails being a “threat to national security” meaning the licenses is still subject to the government’s whim.
Essentially, Huawei isn’t out of the woods yet and their fate relies heavily on the trade negotiations between Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
3. Sony working on a rollable smartphone
Sony’s mobile phone unit is still alive and they’re looking to roll out something new.
Tech leaker Max J tweeted a gif of a footage from a 2016 video by SlashGear to show what the tech looks like.
Sony is working on a competitor to the Galaxy Fold and Mate X.
The current prototypes feature:
10x Zoom Camera
The retail models may feature:
Snapdragon 855 Soc
Qualcomm X50 Modem
— Max J. (@Samsung_News_) July 6, 2019
The tweet also mentions the following specs: a Qualcomm SM7250 chipset, a 10x zoom camera, and a 3220mAh battery. However, the final retail unit will likely have a Snapdragon 855 chip along with a Qualcomm X50 modem for 5G connectivity
Before you roll your eyes, note that rollable displays already exist. LG — the company Sony is working with — showcased the LG Signature OLED TV R. It’s a 65-inch 4K TV that quietly rolls into a sound bar base when not in use.
It’ll be interesting to see if Sony can translate that tech into a phone’s form factor. The company is planning a late 2019 or early 2020 launch.
4. Apple fixes its MacBook lineup
If you were confused about Apple’s MacBook lineup for a while, you’re not alone. Not to worry though as they have already applied a fix.
First, they completely axed the 12-inch MacBook — a sexy but underpowered notebook. Next, they refreshed both the MacBook Air and the base level MacBook Pro.
The new MacBook Air now has True Tone display technology but the rest of the specs remain the same which means it will still be powered by Intel’s dual-core 8th Gen i5.
The MacBook Pro’s refresh brings the Touch Bar to the base model. It now offers a 1.4GHz quad-core 8th Gen Core i5 chip — with an option to bump up to 3.9Ghz from Intel’s Coffee Lake lineup.
So no touch bar means it’s a MacBook Air while having a touch bar means it’s a MacBook Pro. Simple, just the way it should be.
5. We’re getting a baby Switch!
Did you hold off from buying a Nintendo Switch? If you did, this new baby Switch might finally convince you to get one.
Enter the Nintendo Switch Lite. As the name suggests, it’s a smaller, less feature-packed version of the Switch. You can still play most of the titles available to the Switch but this one was made specifically for on-the-go gaming.
Unlike the bigger Switch, there’s no option to play on a bigger screen. It also doesn’t support the Joy-con controllers. Other than that, it’s everything the switch is but strictly for handheld gaming.
It’ll retail for $199.99 and will launch on September 20 so you have time to save up.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
Four tips for driving in the rain
Safety first then teamwork
It’s a given that every driver has to be alert at all times while driving. Although, when the weather gets in the way, things could get a lot trickier and also more dangerous. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re driving in the rain to make sure you get home to your family safe and sound.
Don’t turn your hazard lights on!
This is a pretty common practice that I see on the road. As soon as the downpour starts and visibility gets challenging, drivers ignite their hazard lights as a form of caution to other motorists.
Although the intention is well, this is not the appropriate thing to do when driving in the rain. Activating your hazard lights basically signifies to fellow drivers that something’s up and they should avoid you. These lights are commonly switched on when the vehicle is stalled at the side of the road. Also, having emergency lights activated eliminates the use of your signal lights. Hence, other drivers wouldn’t know when you’re changing lanes and might cause more accidents.
Instead of doing so, simply turn on your headlights. This will also ignite the brake lights at the rear and both the headlamps and taillights are designed to still be visible even under heavy rain or fog.
Watch your speed
It just makes sense to slow down when you’re not certain about the integrity of the road or when there’s low visibility outside the vehicle. Another main reason why you need to watch your speed is to be able to see and avoid puddles of water on the road as they could be covering a deep pothole or even cause hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning is when the vehicle’s tire runs above the water due to speed and loses contact to the ground. As a result, you lose traction of the vehicle’s tire which could potentially be dangerous both to you and other vehicles. If ever it happens to you and in a split-second you feel the loss of control, remember not to panic and suddenly step on the brakes as this will just make things worse. Instead, let go of the gas pedal, grip your steering wheel firmly and slow down until you gain traction again.
Additionally, for roads with puddles of water, you can also follow the tire trail of the car ahead as there are about 1-2 seconds that the water is set apart, reducing the chance of hydroplaning.
Maintain that distance
It’s a good rule of thumb to be about two to three cars away from the vehicle in front of you when moving at a constant speed. Although, that gap should widen when you go faster or when the road is wet. This is to have ample braking time for you when the car ahead suddenly stops.
Seeing more is always better
Remember, visibility is key to be able to plan your actions while driving, react to unexpected hazards, and lessen the chances of running into puddles — therefore reducing the risk of getting into an accident.
With this in mind, be sure to always keep your wipers in great condition by regularly checking and replacing them. When rain occurs, fog buildup on the windshield is also a common occurrence so be sure to defog the windows.
Lastly, you may choose to mix specific products in your washer reservoir to make it repel more water on your windshield. These things are pretty inexpensive and help a lot during the rainy season.
We hope you picked up something from this article. Remember to always prepare your car ahead of time to ensure that you and your passengers have a safer trip.
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