Portable Smartphone Battery Pack Roundup Review

Introduction


Today we’ll take a look in to a few different portable battery pack offerings from companies from around the globe. You’re quite possibly just like me – in the beginning you weren’t exactly certain why people would want or need to invest in a portable battery and maybe even thought of them to be quite useless. Then came along my Galaxy S4. As great as the phone performs, even when I’m out and about at tech expos’ or traveling around, my phone will be flat in a few hours – even with all precautions possible taken.

Screen brightness down, check. GPS off, check. Wireless disabled, check. Background applications closed, yep. Then, as your 6th hour away from a USB port rolls around, you hear that all-too-noteable “bloop bloop” – your phone is warning you that only 15% of your battery remains. In comes our hero, in the form of a 5,000 mAh – 11,000 mAh power bank. If you’re going to take most large-brand consumer phones into account, they’ll be providing you with an average battery sizing of around 2,600 mAh – as seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S4. If you’re running a 5,000 mAh battery pack and take into account some small power losses along the way, you’re looking at about 1.8 full charges of your device.

We’re not here to tell you if you do or don’t need a power bank in your life, but here are some packs that we think are worth a look at. The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

Best Buy Gift Cards Offer 10% Saving in Google Play Store

Large-scale retail chain Best buy are offering up discounted gift cards, seeing a 10% saving through selected company offerings. This means that you’ll pay only $45 for a $50 gift card – meaning that the regular app-purchaser in your family, or yourself, will be able to reap the future benefits of cheaper purchases.

This voucher is valid for all Google Play services, including things such as: Apps, music, movies, books or magazines. If you’re looking for a smaller purchase, the $10 gift card isn’t on offer, however you can pick up a $25 of $50 iteration for the 10% off sale.

We’ve been told that these purchases cannot include anything physical – meaning hardware. Only software/application services can be purchased with these cards – for those who were looking to purchase a Nexus or smartphone via this 10% discount will be left bitterly disappointed.

If you’re wanting to take advantage of this sale, you can do so via their online portal.

Image courtesy of Retail Solutions Online

ASUS Debut Windows Laptop for $179 US

Quite often University or High School students are looking for a simple solution to type up their reports and complete various simple processing tasks to get them through the day-to-day grind.

ASUS have replied with their sub-$200 category laptop, the X205TA Signature Edition. Coming in at $179 US on the Microsoft stores (lower than the $199 announced RRP), this laptop should complete the task with ease.

Coming complete with Windows 8.1 displayed on an 11.6-inch panel at 1366×768 resolution, the Signature Edition utlizes Intel’s Z3735F Quad-Core processor running at 1.33 GHz. There’s also the standard turbo options up to 1.83 Ghz available and comes with a handy secondary cache of 2 MB. The laptop functions through 2GB of DDR3-1333 memory, built in eMMC storage and an expandable microSD card slot.

Given all of the specifications above and the overall look and ‘feel’ of the product, it seems that it will be $179 well-spent. We’d like to see it included with a little more ram however, as windows 8.1 might start to chug when running on only 2GB.

As for accessory and connection options, this model comes with two USB 2.0 ports, a 480p webcam, a combined audio and microphone port, HDMI output, 802.11n WiFi and Blutooth 4.0. Measuring at a total 11.25 x 7.61 x 0.68 inches at a weight of 2.11 pounds (0.96kg), this laptop will be small and light enough to carry around for days on end around campus.

This system is listed not only in the Microsoft shop, seeing an addition to the Amazon online store also.

Images courtesy of Chiphell

COD: Advanced Warfare Sales Teabag Titanfall, Destiny Sales… Combined

With the original Call of Duty title being released back in October 2003, the series has seen many fans come and go, many haters surface and many different studios working on the projects as a whole. But there’s one thing for certain – its always going to sell copies.

Recent news has come to light that the latest release, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, has sold more copies than Titanfall, Destiny and Wolfenstein combined. This news couples the fact that it is outselling the previous version – Call of Duty: Ghosts. In only its first week of sales, it’s able to topple Titanfall and Destiny combined, which is surprising given the massive amount of production and marketing budgets that were thrown into these two games – this isn’t even taking into account the consumer backlash for these games either, we’re only looking at week one sales!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a continued installment in the CoD series, this installment see’s you as a soldier of the future, donning an exoskeleton and short range jet pack propulsion system enabling you to jump at greater heights. As #pcgamingmasterrace reports go, many people I’ve talked to have confirmed the game is quite fun as a shoot ’em up – seeing this game not get the full “cod is always bad” stigma that is common amongst competitive and hooked casual Counter Strike and Battlefield players.

All of this information still doesn’t change the fact that Call of Duty is going to set you back $50+ US for a copy, when compared to other popular competitive FPS titles like Counter Strike: Global Offensive sitting at under $20 US. Is the higher price something that you’re concerned about personally as a gamer? Or does the inclusion of single player make up for the fact?

Image courtesy of Forbes

WiFi Explained – Dude, Where’s My Signal?

How come my neighbour can steal my internet, but I can’t browse YouTube while on the toilet?

The age old question of signal issues irks most of us, it was also a problem for PhD Physics student, Jason Cole. Unlike the rest of us, he was determined to find out why – putting his knowledge to good use, he mapped out his apartment, assigning refraction values to the walls and applied ‘Hamholtz equations’ to model the electromagnetic waves.

Interested in the nitty gritty full information? If so, you can find it all listed in his blog which reaches a seemingly obvious solution. If you want the best signal for your house, put your wireless emitting device in the middle.

The basic findings of his research found that the centre is best, but putting your router in the corner of the apartment might be suitable – although signal was only achieved by “judiciously shifting around your laptop” as explained by Engadget.

What’s the tl;dr? If you want the best signal for your home wireless solution – put your router in the middle of the house.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hcK9B4HHY8[/youtube]

Image courtesy of Jasmcole.com

Best-Buy Releases New Motorola Moto 360 Smartwatch Information Early

With the information originally set for public release on September the 4th, Motorolla’s new Moto 360 smartwatch has already been listed on Best-Buy that has revealed the price and many of the specifications.

Set to have a circular 1.5-inch LCD supporting a 320 x 290 resolution, the Moto is also said to contain a heart rate sensor and a pedometer which will certainly suit an active user base.

There is no shipping date set for the product, but the price has been published at $249.99. Motorola reported back in June however, that pricing wasn’t set in stone – so be sure to not hold your breath until the official release date to the public. Taking this price into comparison with its competitors however, it’s a viable alternative to LG’s G Watch or Samsung’s Gear Live device.

Since writing this article, Best-Buy has seemingly taken down the product information and price – stating that the product is no longer available and out of stock. But unfortunately for them, the ‘damage is already done’. Given the price point and information already released, we’re now waiting with heightened anticipation for Motorola’s launch in September.

Image courtesy of Engaget