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Monday, December 28, 2015

Enough Talk: How to Decide Between iPhone and Android

These days, buying a smartphone is a lot like buying a car. They’ll get you from point A to B, often with a similar price, performance, mileage and so on. They’re likely to have similar perks at a comparable price, like Bluetooth or GPS.

That’s true of smartphones, too. Every modern smartphone does the basics: They’ve got high-speed Internet, they run apps and play movies, they take pretty good pictures and videos, and for the most part, every major feature on an Apple device has an equivalent feature on an Android phone. For example, mobile payments: There’s Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Wallet.

So which is better, iPhone or Android? Should you buy Google’s newest Nexus over an Apple iPhone 6S? In the iPhone vs Android match it really just comes down to one simple difference: preference. Which feels best in your hands, iPhone or Android? The right phone depends more on you than it does on the phone. (Android fans do, however, often have the luxury of getting new stuff first).

How do you figure out which cell is right for you? Start with your top preference—say, a great camera—and whittle your way down the specs list. Let’s take a general look at their features.

Login:
iPhone’s TouchID fingerprint sensor makes bypassing the lock screen a breeze. Some Android phones have a similar feature, while other Androids have a “Smart Lock” tool that uses face recognition or location to sidestep the lock screen, though it’s a less secure option than the iPhone TouchID.

Contacts and Making a Call:
Android’s contacts are much easier to navigate, and with its large photos it’s much easier to find who you’re looking for. The iPhone automatically connects with Facebook and other social networks to populate your contacts’ photos, while most Android phones require a separate app for that. Favorite contacts are organized much better in Android—they are smartly laid out according to the people you contact most. Though iPhone’s FaceTime is an awesome feature.

Taking a Photo or Video:
There are terrific Android cameras, and there are terrible Android cameras, while the iPhone’s camera is consistently great. However, managing photos is a much better experience in Android. Google Photos gives you free storage, while Apple’s iCloud is a work in progress.

Notifications:
iPhone’s active notifications let you respond from within the notification without opening the app—something Android lacks. With Android, you can set which notifications have “priority,” automatically sending them to the top of the list, and minimizing less important messages. Android notifications can also be cleared with a single swipe.

Music:
Android offers an excellent music-play app with Goggle Play Music, which gives a large list of free, ad-supported music. While Apple Music isn’t free, it integrates seamlessly with your iTunes downloads.

Talk to Phone:
Android’s voice “assistant” works offline, and types as you talk. However, Siri understands natural language a bit better than Android, and has a fun personality.

Typing and Sending Texts and Messages:
Apple recently began displaying lowercase letters on its iPhone keyboard when you’re not using capital letters. Android’s stock keyboard offers more options, including swipe gestures and punctuation on the same screen as the letters.

Android’s default Messenger app is well designed and perfectly serviceable. The iMessage lets you send free texts and voice messaged to other Apple customers—even from your Mac. Google Hangouts lets you combine texts and Hangouts messages in a single app, and send them from your computer if you have a Google Voice account.

So when you’re looking for your next phone, let the “Rule of Feel” guide your decision.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Review of Blu Products

Times are changing, and so are the rules about cell phones. The market for more affordable phones is steadily growing, and with it, our willingness to be locked into 2-year contracts rapidly declining.

Consumers have actively been looking for better alternatives to expensive, locked phones for years, but it’s been tough for up-and-coming companies to establish themselves in an existing market dominated by billionaire giants. But then one company did just that.

Blu was founded in 2009 after CEO Sammy Ohev-Zion, a 17 year veteran in the distribution industry, realized the growing demand for affordable yet quality phones. Since its inception, more than 10 million Blu devices have been sold world-wide, and that’s not at all surprising. At about one third of the cost of other major competitors, Blu’s sleek design and large screens appear to be a worthy adversary. But how do these phones really stack up? We wanted to know, so we first reviewed the specs and then the phones themselves.

The comparison chart below is based purely on the technical features of each product.


Blu Life One
Blu Life 8 XL
iPhone 6
Galaxy S6
Weight
120 g (4.23 oz)
149 g (5.26 oz)
129 g (4.55 oz)
138 g (4.87 oz)
Display Type
IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Resolution
720 x 1280 pixels (~294 ppi pixel density)
720 x 1280 pixels (~267 ppi pixel density)
750 x 1334 pixels (~326 ppi pixel density)
1440 x 2560 pixels (~577 ppi pixel density)
Memory
8 GB, 1 GB RAM
8 GB, 1 GB RAM
128GB, 1GB RAM
128GB, 3GB RAM
SIM
Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Dual SIM (Micro-SIM)
Nano-SIM
Nano-SIM
CPU
Quad core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7
8-core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7
Dual core, 1400 MHz, Cyclone ARMv8-A 2nd gen., 64-bit
8-core, 2100 MHz, ARM Cortex-A57 and ARM Cortex-A53 , 64-bit
Front-camera
3 megapixel
3 megapixel
1.2 megapixel
5 megapixel
Talk Time
Up to 26 h (2G) / Up to 15 h (3G)
Up to 30 h (2G) / Up to 18 h (3G)
Up to 14 h (3G)
Up to 17 h (3G)



(specs from www.gsmarena.com)

With the display type and resolution comparable to the iPhone 6, Blu is off to a decent start. While the Galaxy S6 clearly knocks the competition out of the park here, we’ll give Blu a chance to redeem itself later with user experience.

The biggest and most noticeable difference within the technical specifications here is built in storage and RAM. Because we were aware that Blu offered Dual Sim capabilities, we weren’t initially worried about this, however, we did later come to realize that the internal and external sim cannot be used in conjunction. But with a comparable processing unit, camera capabilities and noticeably good talk time, we were excited to pass this phone to a couple of our employees to try for themselves. After a week of examination, we were happy to have a consensus for both the Life One and Life 8 XL.

  • Based on our initial analysis, it was of no surprise that a majority of testers reported concerns with storage space and RAM. However, since both Blu phones support expandable memory via an external microSD card, most were easily able to forgive this lack of built-in space.
  • To our surprise, although we suspected that lagging might occur when playing high resolution games or streaming videos, we received no reports backing up this hypothesis.
  • All of our users commented on the bright display and large screen, and we found that although the resolution specifications for both phones were lower than other comparisons, they noticed no obvious differences which would keep them from purchasing the phone based on display alone.
  • Additionally, this phone has a great battery life, which means you can enjoy hours of seamless streaming on a beautiful screen for one third of the cost.
Our overall impression of Blu is great. These phones have a lot to offer for the price, and we strongly recommend them for consideration, whether you’re shopping on a budget, looking for a second more affordable phone, or researching a first phone for a child. Today’s Wholesale Closeout is proud to be a top distributor of Blu products; check out our inventory here!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

5 Reasons People Should Buy Used & Refurbished Phones

We live in an age where phone companies are scrambling to offer consumers sleeker phones with larger screens and more features than anyone could ever actually use. Sometimes getting a new cell phone is necessary at times— if it’s broken or stolen. However, people mostly just want the latest thing available and are willing to fork over $700 or more every year. If you are not one of those people, we’ve rounded up 5 reasons you should consider buy a used or refurbished phone!

  1. Significant Savings
  2. It’s a no brainer, a used phone will cost significantly less than a new phone. You’ll be able to save anywhere from 50-75% on older models. You’re sure to snag a great deal and save money on a cell phone if you purchase from a reputable dealer!

  3. Eco-Friendly
  4. Everyone wants to do their part in protecting the environment and the materials used in many electronics are especially harmful. Cell phone materials include lead, cadmium, and copper that can be hazardous if they’re not disposed properly. In many states it’s actual legal to throw away your cell phone in the trash! Cell phones are considered e-waste and should be disposed of properly. You can do your part by purchasing a refurbished phone and keeping it out of the landfill.

  5. Great Gifts for Children
  6. Kids need a phone to be able to talk to their parents and friends. They might not, however, be as careful with an expensive cell phone. By purchasing a used phone, you’ll be able to save money and they’ll be able to receive a cell phone in great condition that really isn’t that “old.” It’s a win-win situation for parent and child!

  7. Can’t Part with your Favorite
  8. Sometimes a phone model arrives and it’s like you’ve never seen such a perfect cell phone. You love the shape, color, size, and capabilities. It’s the one for you and you want to treasure it forever! Then you drop it in the toilet and it’s beyond saving. Replace your favorite phone with the exact same model at a fraction of the price from buying it in-store.

  9. Avoid a long-term contract
  10. Cell phone companies offer discounts on new phones only after you lock into a two-year contract. Even now, many companies like AT&T are adding programs that won’t even give you the discount on a new phone. They’re simply dividing the entire cost of a new cell phone into smaller payment installments that will be added to your monthly bill. Is that supposed to be a good deal? Avoid all those extra payments and hassles with a used phone! A used or refurbished phone doesn’t equate an “old” brick phone without smart phone capabilities. It simply means a newer model has arrived with a few modifications. Since when is something that’s less than 14 months considered old? Hardly ever! Be a smart shopper and buy used for the best deal on a cell phone. Today’s Wholesale Closeout has great deals, come shop today!