Tag Archives: smartphone

So I Upgraded to a Huawei P8 Smartphone in the End Hardware 10 MAR 2016

A week or so ago I accidentally knocked my old (but awesome) Huawei Ascend P6 off my work desk here at home, with it landing neatly on its back on the screed floor. On closer inspection though, I noticed a razor thin, hairline crack across the front of the screen – the vaunted Gorilla Glass had at last given in!

At this point, I wondered to myself whether or not I was yet due a Vodacom smartphone upgrade – a quick check on their nifty My Vodacom app revealed that both Chantelle and I have been due an upgrade since August last year!

And so began the hunt for a new Vodacom contract-supported smartphone, made particularly tricky because I a) don’t particularly want to pay a premium price and b) want a reasonably good phone that is better than all these ‘lite’ mid-range phones!

huawei p8 titanium grey smartphone

As luck would have it, Chantelle spotted that Vodacom had discounted the Huawei P8 on their Smart S contract to R299 a month, more or less in my intended budget but more importantly, despite being a six months or so old model, a damn good premium phone at a very good price.

The upgrade process was of course a tedious and drawn out affair, but the end result was Chantelle and I walking out of Somerset Mall’s Vodacom branch, clutching a Mystic Champagne model for her, and a Titanium Grey model for me.

As expected, the all metal build quality is once again phenomenal, the phone is light (weighing a ridiculous 144g!), thin (6.4mm), and a beauty to behold. It comes with a 5.2″ FHD screen, boasting a 1080p (1920 x 1080), 424ppi and 16M colors display. Driven by a Hisilicon Kirin 930, 8-core 64bit, 2.0GHz CPU with 3 GB of RAM and a (slightly disappointing) 16 GB ROM, the Huawei P8 is thus far pretty snappy and runs most apps and games without any noticeable lag.

All the usual suspects in terms of connectivity are available (including LTE support), and the normal array of sensors such as Gyroscope sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity sensor, Compass, Accelerometer and GPS are all accounted for.

Sound and video quality is great, and the photo taking abilities ring in with a nice 13 Mega Pixel main camera, dual color temperature flash (great for low light photos), and a 8 mega pixel front camera for selfies. (Which the kids always love and appreciate!)

The built-in battery comes in at 2680mAh, and so far battery life seems pretty adequate – essentially at the same level as what I’m used to in any other smartphone these days. The Huawei P8 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, and uses the pretty pleasant Emotion UI 3.1 skin overlay.

Oh, and for a change, I now have a phone that supports NFC. (Not that anyone actually uses that mind you!)

huawei p8 smartphones

So yes, in case you can’t tell, I’m more than just a little pleased with my new phone!

Related Link: GSMArena | Huawei

Accelerometers: How Cell Phones Know Up from Down Science, Technology & Curiosity 19 APR 2015

Engineering professor Bill Hammack is a well known science and technology documentarian who has been the face of his engineerguy.com project for quite a number of years now.

In this video he explains how it is that a smartphone knows whether it is orientated in landscape or potrait mode – essentially whether it lying on its side or not.

(I’ll give you a hint: it’s because of the accelerometer).

Besides taking us through the concept of the accelerometer, Bill also gives us an idea of just how exactly one of such tiny size is actually created by engineers in the first place!

I think it is absolutely amazing (and mind boggling!) when one starts thinking at the tiny scale engineers need to think and reproduce these inventions at.

girl holding a cell phone on its side - LG GD900 transparent phone

Related Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZVgKu6v808

How to take screenshots on the Huawei Ascend P6? Tips, Tricks and Tutorials 23 MAY 2014

I’ve had my Huawei Ascend P6 (on a well priced Vodacom contract) for more than just a couple of months now, and I have to say, this definitely was one of my better choices when it came to selecting a follow up phone for my aging Samsung Galaxy Ace towards the end of last year.

huawei-ascend-p6-take-screenshotEssentially the Chinese-made Huawei Ascend P6 can best be described as a well priced, upper tier mid-range Android smartphone. It features a gorgeous full metallic body that is ultra thin and ultra light, and features 1.5 GHz quad core processor supported by the Huawei K3V2 chipset as its internal guts. It is powered by Android Jellybean 4.2.2 and has 2 GB RAM, 8 GB of storage capacity (internal), with microSD card memory expansion of up to 32 GB.

All the generally expected connectivity options are there, and like I said, this gorgeous, generously proportioned smartphone is genuinely a pleasure to use.

Anyway, the point of this quick note to myself is how to take screenshots on the P6 – seeing as I need to generate a presentation based on Touchwork’s newly developed app which obviously could do with some pretty pictures.

As it turns out, the method of taking a screenshot remains a pretty stock affair. Simply place a finger on the down volume rocker and another on the power button. Press and hold simultaneously for about 3 seconds, after which you’ll hear the shutter sound and a preview of the captured screenshot will appear. This quickly disappears, leaving you back in the application sandbox, as if you had never left it in the first place.

The screenshot images are saved in the internal memory, under /Pictures/Screenshots, so use them as you will.

huawei-ascend-p6-android-smartphone-colour-range

Easy as that.

How to Take a Screenshot on a Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830 CodeUnit 23 JAN 2012

Usually on an Android smartphone you need to root and install a special app in order to be able to take a screenshot or screen capture if you will. Not so on a Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830 running Android 2.2.1 Froyo, as pleasingly it comes with a built in screen capture functionality!

To take a screenshot of your home screen or any other screen for that matter is actually pretty simple. All you need to do is press and hold the physical Back button on the phone, usually the button to the right of the big main button in the centre, i.e. the Home button, and while you are doing that, press the Home button just once. You will hear the camera snapping sound and if you release the buttons and browse through to your Gallery, you’ll see the screenshots under the ScreenCapture menu item.

Handy if you like pictures to go along with your app reviews or phone tutorials!

Just a note though, but sometimes applications pick up the Back button hold as a Back button press, meaning that the application keeps exiting or going back, making it impossible to take a screen capture of the screen that you need – to get around this, simply exit completely to the home screen, press and hold the back button, and then reopen the application whilst holding the back button down and browse through to the required screen. Then it is a simple matter of tapping the Home button to grab the shot.

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Nifty!