Android

Misfit Announces New ‘Bolt’ Smart Bulb

Misfit, a company more popularly known for the Misfit Shine, has announced the Misfit Bolt which is a wirelessly connected smart bulb. The bulb does not need a hub to function which means that this just screws right into a lamp socket and works. Bolt is controlled through an iOS/Android app like most other smart bulbs, if you have a Misfit Shine you can control brightness and turn your bulbs on and off.

Misfit Bulbs Colors

Misfit claims that “Light never looked this good” and it’s hard to disagree with that since it has an aluminum body that directs heat away from the electronics and a glass dome that enables 260-degree light dispersion with zero hot-spots. I currently have a bunch of WeMo Bulbs that are have been very unreliable, slow, and feel cheap so I am definitely looking forward to checking one of these out when they are available in mid-February for $50 each or three for $130.

 

 

Bolt is constructed from a glass dome with a proprietary light-diffusion coating to enable wide-angle light dispersion with no hot spots, and a gorgeous aluminum body that doubles as a heat sink. A warm white light, Bolt is bright enough for everyday lighting while also being able to make a bold statement in any room with its color changing features. Unlike other smart bulbs on the market, Bolt does not require a hub and is easy to set up.

Review: QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

QardioArm is a wireless blood pressure monitor that raised $146,339 on Indiegogo and currently retails for $100.  The monitor connects to an app that is available for free on Android and iOS, the app lets you track how you are doing and even send results to your doctor.

 

In The Box

Inside the box we have the blood pressure monitor and a user guide. What’s great is that they have managed to create a very simple product that is packaged nicely and looks good too. It doesn’t look like a blood pressure monitor and that’s a good thing, this won’t look like a mess in if left out in the open somewhere.

QardioArm Review

Seamless Experience

When you first start up the app you will be prompted to turn bluetooth on and then touch your phone to the CardioArm to pay and it does in seconds. There’s no need to go to settings and pair the device with a code, it just pairs itself and you are ready to go. The monitor is a white block which is wrapped with the armband when not in use and rests on top of the band when in use. There are no cables and no buttons on the device, you go in the app and just take your measurement.

QardioArm Review

The App

The CardioArm needs a smartphone running the Qardio App in order for it to work. The app is available on iOS and Android but only works on a handful of Android devices, below are the lists of supported iOS and Android Devices…

iOS: iPhone 4s ,iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod 5, iPad Air, iPad with Retina Display, iPad Mini, iPad Mini with Retina Display
Android: Samsung s5, Samsung s4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One M8, HTC One M7, Sony Xperia 72, Motorola Moto X, LG Nexus 5. Other devices might work but they haven’t been validated.

QardioArm Review

The app is full of features and simple to navigate through. The main screen of the app allows you to take a measurements, view history, or create reminders for when to take your blood pressure. The history tab allows you to view your past readings in a graph (Day,Week, Month) or a list, there is also a calendar view so you can see which days you didn’t take a measurement on.

You have the ability to turn on a photo slideshow while taking your measurements so you can look at something that will calm you down so you get better measurements. There is also a setting for taking more than one measurement in a sitting so you can get an average of numerous measurements for a more accurate reading. Recently, Qardio updated the app to work with Apple’s Health app and it sends every measurement over to the Health app seamlessly.

QardioArm Review

Measurements

The good looks of the device and great app don’t matter if the actual experience of measuring your blood pressure isn’t accurate. When I measured my blood pressure more than once in a row, the measurements didn’t vary by much too much but were definitely more accurate when measuring three times and getting the average. I haven’t gotten my blood pressure monitored by a doctor in years but I remember the feeling well enough to say that this feels like a real monitor and not a toy. All I had for comparison during this review was a cheap $30 monitor from Walgreens which did not grasp my arm as much but felt like a toy when it was pumping up and measurements were more inaccurate compared to the ones on the QardioArm.

I had an issue with the QardioArm where every single time I took a measurement, my fingers got numb and my arm felt tired/got sore. I got few other people to try it on and the reactions were the same, it was overfilling with air! This was happening until I reset the QardioArm, unpaired it from my phone, and re-connected it. It must have been some odd glitch that started happening once I upgraded to iOS 8.

After the fix, the cuff still fills up with enough air that it kinda works me up and, I feel, raises my blood pressure (this also happens to me whenever I take my blood pressure on other devices). While most are accustomed to a firm grasp from the cuff once filled with air, I thought I should mention this too really grasps your arm when measuring.

 

What I Liked

  • Lightweight
  • No Cables
  • Simple App
  • Comfortable Armband
  • Guest Mode
  • Bluetooth Lock
  • Sharing Measurements
  • Apple Health Integration
  • Easy to change batteries

 

What I Didn’t Like

  • Slightly uncomfortable when filled with air (like many monitors)

 

Conclusion

If you want a smart blood pressure monitor then this is one of the few available in the market and is definitely worth considering. The design is simple, the app is easy to use and tracks a lot of information, and measuring is accurate enough for a home monitoring device. The device has some great reviews on Amazon and retails for $100 which makes it one of the cheaper options of phone connected Blood Pressure Monitors. If you are in the market for a blood pressure monitor then this one is worth purchasing to see how you like it.

QardioArm: Amazon | Qardio

Disclaimer: DarGadgetZ received the unit from Qardio to review. Qardio’s involvement had no impact on the reviewers opinion.

Unofficial Cardboard (Google Cardboard Kit) Review

DSC02958 002For those who aren’t aware, Google Cardboard was a project from Google announced at their I/O conference. The device is made of cardboard, lenses, and magnets, which your phone then slides into. Once it’s all assembled, it is recognizable as a virtual reality headset. Google released the plans to make a pair for yourself, but if you’re like me, then you wouldn’t want to spend the time to cut the cardboard, purchase the lenses, magnets, and wait for them to get to you separately. That’s where Unofficial Cardboard comes in, as they put together kits or fully assembled versions of Google Cardboard ready to use right when you get the package. It costs $19.95 unassembled and $21.95 assembled, which is comparable to what it would cost to get the parts separate anyway.

Unassembled 004I personally received an unassembled kit, which took about three or four minutes to assemble and I was able to use it right away! The construction is pretty sturdy, and the lenses are high enough quality to use. Now, I haven’t tried Oculus Rift or any other virtual reality headset, so this was my first experience with virtual reality, and some of the applications out there make this a very interesting and neat experience. My favorite app without needing a controller would be the Virtual Cinema, as you’re able to watch movies in what looks like a large, albeit low-quality, screen in either 2D or 3D if you have a 3D video available. However, I wouldn’t recommend using this headset to watch a full-length movie, as you do a get a bit disoriented once you take the headset off.

The headset covers a decent amount of your vision’s range, and if you use it for a little while, you start to feel as if you’re actually there, which of course if the whole idea of VR. I am quite surprised at how well it works for the low cost, but it was a genius idea from Google as you already have the technology needed in your pocket, and thanks to Unofficial Cardboard for making it easy to obtain for yourself.

Overall, it’s a very cool experience and I can see a lot of potential for it once more games and apps are released on the Google Play store. I would recommend trying it out for yourself, being that it only costs 20 bucks to get it, and it can be picked up at www.unofficialcardboard.com.

LG G Watch Released, Retails for $230 and Ships July 3rd

Earlier today the LG G Watch went live on the Google Play Store. The watch is priced at $229 and is available in “Black Titan” and “White Gold”. The strap on the watch can be replaced with any standard 22mm strap and the body of the watch is IP67 water and dust resistant. The device is compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3+ and will ship on July 3rd.

Technical specifications

OS
Android Wear

Screen
1.65” 280 x 280 IPS LCD

Dimensions
37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95 mm

Weight
63 g

Battery
400 mAh

Processor
CPU 1.2 GHz

Wireless
Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy

Memory
4 GB internal storage with 512 MB RAM

Ports and Connectors
USB (pogo pin) on G Watch, Micro USB on Charging Cradle

Sensors
9 Axis (Accelerometer/Compass/Gyro)

lg g watch available

All-day comfort
The G Watch’s beautiful display, slim design and long battery life make it remarkably comfortable to wear, all day, every day.

A choice of colors
Match your style with a choice of Black Titan and White Gold.
Changeable straps
Customize your G Watch with any standard 22mm (0.86 inch) watch strap.
Always-on display
The G Watch never sleeps. Its Always-on display allows you to check the time and see new information at a glance without touching it.
400mAh battery
The G Watch’s powerful yet compact battery will keep your watch going all day on a single charge.
Certified water and dust resistant
Don’t worry about wet or rough conditions. The G Watch is IP67 water and dust resistant.
Useful information when you need it most
Android Wear organizes your information, suggests what you’re going to need, and shows it to you before you even ask, such as weather forecasts in the morning and flight time and gate information before leaving for the airport.
Straight answers to spoken questions
Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the football game. Say “Ok Google” to get stuff done like sending a text, setting a reminder or taking a note.
Compatible with Android 4.3+
The G Watch can be used with any Smartphone running Android 4.3 and above. Visit g.co/WearCheck from your phone to see if it’s compatible.
Download Android Wear
Download the Android Wear app from the Play Store on your phone to get started.
Source: Google Play

Kodak to Release New Android Smartphone at CES 2015

kodak-logo

Kodak recently created a press release with some detail into the new Android smartphone they’re going to release at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show. They stated the focus of the phone will be around the camera hardware and software, with an emphasis on ease-of-use and wide range of editing.

They also stated in the press release that the phone will be created by the Bullitt Group, the same group who, a few years back, designed the rugged Cat Phones, which were from the Caterpillar company.

“Kodak is one of the world’s most recognisable brands. It is trusted by consumers as a marque of quality and innovation,” says Oliver Schulte, CEO Bullitt Mobile. “We’ve taken that heritage and used it to inspire a range of beautifully designed devices that will let users take great pictures and edit, share, store and print them in an instant.”

Some of the features Kodak and Bullitt have added into the smartphone include pre-installed remote access so friends and family can help out the owner of the phone with navigating the device. However, the press release stated clearly that the phone will not conform to the current market of easy-to-use phones by compromising on design, but will rather have “as much focus on design [as] usability.”

The phone is said to be the first of many coming from Kodak and Bullitt, with more products like a tablet and connected camera to be released later in the year. Kodak needs a bit of a boost with a loss in market share and stock price in recent years, and if this is successful, the Kodak name could be brought back to life.

 

OnePlus One Review

DSC02988003

The OnePlus One smartphone has been getting a lot of attention lately. As such I though it would make sense to grab one for myself and share my thoughts!

Background

For those who don’t know what the heck a OnePlus One is (no it’s not two), it’s a new smartphone with high-end specs, but a low-end price, competing at an off-contract price of $299 to $349, compared to a standard price of $650 to upwards of $900 for current high-end smartphones. Inside the phone is a 2.5GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a huge 3100mAh battery to power the phone. The screen isn’t 4k, but it’s still a 1080p full-HD screen that measures a massive 5.5 inches Other features include a 13-megapixel photo/4k video back-facing camera, 5mp 80-degree front-facing camera, three microphones, 4G LTE support, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and all of the standard orientation-detecting sensors. As you can tell, this sounds like a flagship phone from a large brand that would require you to get a contract in order to not spend a fortune, but it’s not. The 16gb white model will run you $299, and the black 64gb model will only cost you an addition $50 for a total of $349. One question remains, though: how does it actually stack up?

Design

DSC02990004The design of this phone is quite nice, with a slightly rounded back, top, and bottom, with straight sides and a non-curved screen. The phone is very thin and light, at 0.35 inches and 5.71oz, making it very comfortable to hold. If you get the black version, the back has a sandstone/fine sandpaper texture that’s very grippy and I personally really like the feel of. The power button is placed nicely so that smaller hands can easily reach it, and though the volume rocker looks nice, I did keep running into the issue of pressing the wrong side of the rocker because it is fairly small. However, that’s not too big of an issue and I did start to get used to it after a little while. Overall, the phone has clearly been meticulously designed with beautiful bezels and a fantastic feel, so props to OnePlus in this category.

Speed

With the 801 Snapdragon processor and 3GB of RAM, you’d expect very fast performance, and that’s exactly what you get. The One has one of the snappiest response times I’ve seen in an Android (in this case specifically CyanogenMod) phone in quite a while. Apps open up quickly and multitasking is a breeze. Browsing the internet is also very fast on WiFi with an 802.11ac antenna and with data over 4G LTE (though if you’re in the UK, you’ll likely not get 4G). Games can be easily played with no lag and they look beautiful on the large HD display. This is certainly another category where the One rocks!

Battery

Similarly to the other parts of the phone so far talked about, the battery is fantastic! I was able to use the phone regularly easily for a full day, and often for an additional half a day to a full day before needing to recharge. If you’re a heavy user, you may worry that you can’t just swap out a battery mid-day, but I can assure you that the One won’t require a second battery, as it lasts for an incredibly long time.

Camera

DSC02992005The camera certainly has its ups and downs. To start, it takes very nice photos for a phone, and CyanogenMod gives a lot more options for photos than the standard Android phone, so I liked that. At 13MP and f/2.0 aperture, the phone takes some very nice pictures. My one issue is the shakiness. I found that it’s hard to get a clear photo as there isn’t much stabilization. This is extremely evident when you take video, though, and the video almost becomes unwatchable if there was a lot of action. If that was fixed, I’d really like the camera, but as of now, I find it to be pretty annoying.

User Interface

CyanogenMod has some nice features, with full customization options and theme packs (though some will cost you), and gestures while the phone is asleep. The customization allowed me to choose what I wanted the screen to look like, including app icons, backgrounds and more, which certainly appeals to some users, though that’s not too important to me. As for the gestures, they need to be improved. For instance, if I draw a V on the screen it turns on the flashlight… 5 seconds later. Most of the other gestures worked pretty well, but I found it very difficult to do if you’re doing it one-handed, as the software didn’t recognize a small circle or a non-close-to-perfect circle. However, the notifications looked great, and I really liked the feel of the operating system while using it.

Conclusion

DSC02987002In conclusion, this phone is very good, ranking highly in many categories. Though some features leave more to be desired, they still work well, and that’s a lot more that can be said compared to another phone that costs only $350. Basically, if you don’t want a contract but don’t want to spend a small fortune, I can’t think of a phone I would recommend more than this one. If I had to rate it, I’d probably give it a 4.5/5 for it’s great features and low price.

 

Android Wear Watch Setup | LG G Watch & Gear Live [Video]

Check out our video demonstrating the setup process of the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. The devices are fairly easy to set up but they only work with Android devices running Android 4.3+ so if you have anything other than that, they won’t work. I also show you some of the watch faces and software features.

Special thanks to AT&T for letting us borrow the Galaxy S5 Active to setup the Android Wear devices!

Google I/O Conference Interrupted by Multiple Protests

Google has plenty of fans all over the world for all of the good the giant does. However, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to what the company does, and this was displayed over the course of the annual I/O conference Google had.

One group named “Occupy Google” was there to protest the company not showing interest in net neutrality. On their website, they say that

“Google, with its immense power, has a social responsibility to uphold the values of the Internet. We encourage Google to engage in a serious, honest dialogue on the issue of net neutrality and to stand with us in support of an Internet that is free from censorship, discrimination, and access fees.”

The group says they aren’t against Google, but rather that they essentially want to use the company’s power to give more freedom of speech on the Internet.

A few days ago, Occupy Google set up outside the company’s Mountain View building, also known as “Googleplex” in California to attempt to gain the company’s attention. Google said they were welcomed, but could get wet from the sprinklers. Nonetheless, police came, broke up the protest, and made ten arrests for trespassing.

While all of that was going on, protesters at Moscone Center, where some I/O conference speakers were, were protesting Google lawyer Jack Halprin’s so-called eviction of tenants in an apartment building he’d purchased in San Francisco. In fact, a woman claiming to be one of the evicted tenants found her way into the conference to hold up a sign in protest. She was eventually escorted out of the keynote.

Later that day, a man came in yelling that Google was building people-killing robots. This was likely due to the company’s recent purchase of Boston Dynamics. He, too, was escorted from the conference.

Google normally experiences a lot of fandom at these conferences, but it’s always going to be a source of controversy as it is such a large and powerful company. This isn’t really all that uncommon of a thing to happen at Google, but it’s still interesting to hear the comments from these protesters!

Watch This: Google I/O 2014 Full Keynote and Highlights

Earlier today Google held a keynote in San Francisco where they announced Android TV, Android Auto, and a slew of other services and products that will be available to consumers later this year. The full keynote is now available on YouTube and we edited a video with all the highlights in case you don’t have a nearly 3 hours to spare, check them out below!