Saturday, March 24, 2012

Can a Verizon 4G Smartphone Make You Smarter? Well the Bionic & Nexus sure made me feel smarter

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Verizon 4G smartphones are like the new day Swiss Army Knives...

Even though I get to try out a lot of different smartphones and tablets courtesy of Verizon Wireless, I still find it hard to allow technology to dramatically change how I live my life.  I have never been a fan of using a smartphone to take photos and videos - I mean why would I do that when I have a very nice camera and camcorder?  And why would I use my phone as an alarm clock when I have used the same radio alarm clock for years?

Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Verizon Motorola Droid Bionic
But over the last few months, some new smartphones from Verizon Wireless have changed how I view the use of smartphones.  The last two smartphones that Verizon loaned me were the Motorola Droid Bionic and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  These smartphones have great features that I used everyday.  And I have to say that I ended up saving time and feeling smarter - just from using a smartphone.

I used the Verizon Motorola Droid Bionic during my Black Friday Shopping Trip
Smartphones can make Photos Easy
I have never understood people using their phones to take photos since there are reasonably priced point and shoot cameras available that take wonderful photos and video. But I had a change of heart after using the Motorola Droid Bionic.

Over the past few months I have been accepting blogging assignments where I am paid to shop - hard job but someone has to do it. Since part of the assignments include taking photos, I really do not want to draw attention to myself in a store by pulling out a camera.  So I started using the Droid Bionic to take photos for these assignments. The Droid Bionic has an 8.0MP camera with improved low–light performance, better contrast, and shutter lag that rivals a digital camera.

I could not believe how great all the photos turned out using the Droid Bionic. I really could not tell that any of the photos were taken with a phone - See my photos from my Black Friday shopping trip here.

And the best part of using a smartphone to take the photos is that once I installed the Dropbox app on the Droid Bionic, all my photos were automatically uploaded into the cloud so I could access them from any computer - no cords, no fuss, no mess. I love my Panasonic digital camera, but I hate having to transfer the photos to my computer. Using a smartphone like the Droid Bionic with the Verizon 4G LTE network for fast uploading really makes taking and transferring photos easy.

photos of my son trying on frames - taken with Droid Bionic smartphone
Capturing Life's little moments...
Another time I used the Droid Bionic to get a photo of my son trying on eyeglasses.  Since this would be his first pair of eyeglasses, I wanted to get a quick photo to send to his Dad to get his opinion on the frame style.  The Droid Bionic took some clear, detailed photos that I sent in an email to my son's Dad so he could share in the moment in real-time.  The Bionic even uploaded the photos to Dropbox so I could access them from my laptop when I wrote my blog post on how to save money buying prescription eyewear.

Click here if video shot with the Droid Bionic is not shown

Stunning, Easy Video with Smartphones ...
Same goes for taking video with a great, full feature smartphone like the Droid Bionic.  I have a Kodak camcorder but when I was at the Detroit Autoshow in January, I ended up using the video feature on the Droid Bionic instead of using my beloved Kodak camcorder.

My son was at the Ford interactive display when I realized he was about to part of a great video moment. There was no way I was going to able to dig my camcorder out my purse in time to capture the moment.  But then I realized I had the Droid Bionic in my coat pocket.  I just pulled it out, hit the video button, and captured the whole experience without missing a beat.

The Droid Bionic takes 1080p HD Video that looks wonderful.  And then I was able to use the Droid Bionic to upload the video straight to YouTube using the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network - Too Sweet!! I would never been able to do this quickly and wirelessly with my camcorder.

Smartphones can be Pretty Cool Home Entertainment Centers
I have used the same radio alarm clock for the past 7 years. And I really saw no reason to update it until I reviewed the Verizon HTC Rhyme. The Rhyme comes with a desk dock that turns the smartphone into an entertainment center. I loved this feature and wondered why other manufacturers don't include a desk dock with their smartphones.

Well, I guess Motorola must have heard me because the Droid Bionic not only comes with a desk dock that charges the phone and turns it into MP3 player, photo frame and alarm clock, but it also includes a remote control - Sweet!!! I really hope that all smartphone manufacturers start including a desk dock as optional equipment.

Folders on the Nexus help keep you organized
I love the folder organization on the Nexus
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was the first smartphone manufactured to run the newest version of the Google's operating system called Ice Cream Sandwich. One of the things that I really like about Ice Cream Sandwich is that it includes folders to help organize apps. I use tons of apps and sometimes I have to scroll through lots of apps to find the one I want.

The Nexus comes preloaded with a Google folder which I love. Everyday I use all the Google apps including Gmail, Docs, Video, Music, Currents, Google+ and Voice. So to have them all organized in one folder is very simple, yet a very useful way to keep them organized. I setup additional folders for Blogging, Work, Reading, and Entertainment which allowed me to find all the apps that I need easily. Click here to read about all the new features in Ice Cream Sandwich.

Ice Cream Sandwich on the Nexus supports Chrome for Android
One of the nicest things about having Ice Cream Sandwich on the Nexus is that Ice Cream Sandwich supports the use of Chrome for Android.  I love the Chrome browser and use it on all my computers - PC and Mac.  Now with Chrome on the Nexus Smartphone, I can synchronize Chrome for Android with Chrome on my PC and Mac and have access to all my Chrome bookmarks on all my devices - I love that.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Big Nexus Screen is great for my eyes... 
The trend with 4G smartphone size is for them to get bigger and bigger. At first I found the bigger size hard to get use to since the phones looked so big in comparison to 3G smartphones. But I have come to love these large screen phones.

As I age, my eyesight is not what it use to be so having a smartphone with a huge screen makes my life much easier. The Nexus has a big, beautiful 4.65" HD screen and the overall appearance of the phone is sleek and trim. The front of the phone is one piece with no bevel which makes the screen look endless. The phone is also very lightweight.

I really enjoyed reviewing the Verizon Motorola Droid Bionic and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G smartphones. It is great to know that I can keep something as small as one of these newest smartphones in my coat pocket that can be so useful in my everyday life.  Whenever you spend money, you should get the most bang for your buck. The new Verizon 4G smartphones are like the new day Swiss Army Knives - they do many things well.


Disclosure: I was loaned the Droid Bionic and the Galaxy Nexus by Verizon Wireless for the purpose of reviewing the units.  I was not required to write this post nor was I compensated.  All opinions are my own.

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