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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    The Holidays are upon us once again. In a few short weeks, most people will be bustling about trying to find that perfect gift for that one person. Cell phones and tablets are becoming popular gift ideas. Christmas time is also a time when carriers are cutting prices just to get people in the door.

    Android Central Ambassadors VDub2174, and Eclipse2K originally thought of this idea, and as Ambassadors, we collectively agreed that a list of our personal devices giving pros and cons of what we have used, and how we even set up our devices. In this manner, anyone cruising through the forums can get a breakdown of several popular devices among almost all the carriers.

    For those trying to find that great new device, or for those who held off upgrading until now, this is for you.

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be - Lao Tzu
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  2. #2  

    Default Re: A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Ambassador Team Leader : Paul627g

    Device: Sprint HTC One 32 gigabyte version

    Carrier: Sprint

    Note: My device is rooted w/custom ROM. (Modified Stock Android 4.3 with Sense 5.5)

    First to get things out of the way right off the bat, Sprint is my carrier. I'm not going to be very objective on the quality of mobile service but when I do lock onto a solid 3g or LTE signal the device shine like no other. Coming off years of Samsung devices like the Samsung Epic 4g, Nexus S 4g and Galaxy Nexus its safe to say I was a Samsung fan boy. However recently I decided to take a look at the HTC One and here is my review.

    General Info : Out of the box on Android 4.1.2 this device performed near flawless for me. Being accustomed to Touchwiz the switch over to Sense was not as bad as I thought. Sense has a warm and inviting look and feel with the attitude of " it just works ". The overall design of Sense 5.0 is very smooth and cuts thru the bull and right to the point. Launcher, app tray and notification pull down area works fluently. HTC's Blinkfeed delivers updates to your social media and other selected content but isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure there hasn't been a few bumps in the road but overall I have positive things to say about HTC's design and software UI implementation.

    General Hardware : The 4.7 inch, Full HD 1080p, 468 PPI LCD display is awesome. Colors are vibrant and outdoor viewing is easily done without having to crank up the brightness. The sound coming from the dual front mounted speakers with Beats Audio is awesome. Sure its not your home entertainment system but for sitting back by yourself and enjoying a movie, music or your favorite YouTube videos its a treat. Plug in your favorite set of headphones or even the included freebee ear buds and you have yourself a great experience. The power & volume buttons are solid, no issues there. The touchscreen is very responsive and I found myself even typing better on the HTC compared to my days on Samsung. Supports Bluetooth 4.0 for you Bluetooth users along with the standard Wi-Fiģ: IEEE 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n.

    Processor/Memory: Qualcommģ Snapdragonô 600, quad core running at 1.7 Ghz. Dedicated 2 GB DDR2 RAM for Sense 5.x/Operating System. Comes in 16/32/64 GB user storage RAM versions depending on carrier/region. No SDCARD slots here folks, which to some is a deal breaker but I don't miss it.

    Battery : The non removable 2300 mAh battery is new to me after years of removable batteries but to be honest it holds a great charge to get me through my day without searching for a power source. I'm not going to talk much because its always a YMMV (Your mileage may very) situation when it comes to battery life.

    Camera/Video : The HTC UltraPixel Camera don't let those MP (mega pixel) numbers sway your decision either. The 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR Video 4 mega pixel ultra has surprised many. Combined with the 2.1 MP front shooter and HTC's " Zoe " it makes taking those important moments with the family or just out and about a pleasure. The camera speed and focus works very well. On occasion I get pictures that seem a bit over processed by the software but usually if I play with the camera modes I can come up with a better solution. Many times I get complimented on social media from family and friends how well my pictures look, so take that for what its worth.

    Casing/Chassis: The HTC One casing is something to feel to believe. Sure plastics have come a long way and do a great job but HTC has taken it to a new level with its aluminum design. It's smooth, sleek and really looks sharp. The device weighs in at 143g with dimensions of 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm. The weight is noticeable compared to plastics but I think the trade off is worth it for that solid feeling.

    Wrapup: HTC's attention to detail in keeping Sense 5.x a very function able yet light UI (User Interface) I truly believe makes this device a joy to use on all skill and age levels. Recently HTC held true to their word of updating to Android 4.3 and has already confirmed updates to Android 4.4 KitKat & Sense 5.5. Promised time frame depending on Google Edition or region but the current maximum deadline is about 3 months worst case to the US carrier market. Given this news this does indeed answer the question many ask about the longevity of a device, which in this case it has a bright future.





    Paul
    Moderator Team Leader @ Android Central





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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    The Moto X: From my point of view. Disclaimer: I am a rooted user.

    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_1.png
    My homescreen

    The Moto X debuted on August 23, 2013. Loaded with a 1.7 GHz dual core processor, 2 GB RAM, minimum 16 GB internal memory, and a 2200 mAh battery, this is the first device that has been launched by Motorola since being acquired by Google.

    This is an AMOLED type screen measuring at 4.7 inches. However, the physical design of this phone has such a small bezel (or edge; top, bottom and sides) that it doesn't feel like it is nearly 5" phone.

    Before I proceed any further, I am going to disclose my carrier is also Sprint, and I am in an area that is testing 4G. Also I am disclosing that my prior phone was a Galaxy S3, that was rooted, and I had an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROM flashed.

    Compared to my S3, my signal clarity and range has increased. Part of that reason is Moto has a better reputation for better cell radios. My signal is a little better in the same areas that I go through. The screen to me seems a little brighter, but I may just be a little fooled by the fact that it is a different phone.

    Both of those phones have a 16 GB internal storage. Something I had to get used to, and something that I knew full well before I got this device, was that the internal storage was the only storage for the Moto. No external SD cards for this phone. I have had the phone for about 30 days, and I am still learning what I should and should not keep on the device. The battery is also non-removable. Something worth noting, but I rarely utilized the removable battery feature on a phone anyway.

    Overall, the phone seems more smooth and snappy than my S3, but not by much. The phone's software makes full use of the phone's hardware. The look and feel is very similar to Vanilla Android. Having used AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROMs on my S3, this wasn't much of a shock to me.

    Active notifications: This is the response to an LED light. I can choose which apps notify me on my Active Notifications. Say I get a Text. I look at my screen and I can see I have a text, press on the icon and it will give me a preview without fully waking the device. This is a battery saver. I can unlock the device either by the Active Notification, the unlock symbol, or pressing the power button.

    OK Google Now...I can talk to my phone. Yes, sounds strange, but I can. Starting with the phrase 'OK Google Now', Now opens up and listens to what I say. I can say anything that is preset for Google Now voice commands. Set reminders, what is the weather like, etc. (It is also really fun to tell your phone to do a Barrel Roll.)

    The Bad:
    Yes, there are somethings I dislike about the phone. The low internal storage. With Sprint, I had no option to get a 32 GB (I believe that is only AT&T). There are some settings that I think should be present. Like customizing the soft keys (something else I had to get used to), being free to arrange Quick Toggles, and allowing toggles in the notification shade and eliminating the second panel.

    The Good: Battery life. On my S3 I had to always be aware of my use. Now I can do almost whatever I please and have battery power to spare. And that is without having the Battery Saver setting on. I am currently on 13 hours of battery life at 44% remaining, with a screen time of 2 hours and 16 minutes.

    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_2013-11-04-23-33-33.png
    For those who would like to see my battery use.

    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_2013-11-04-23-34-53.png
    My screen time. My use was lighter than normal when I took this screenshot for the day.

    The cable that comes with the phone is thick. Almost as thick as the classic Blackberry cables. And the Wall charger has dual USB ports.
    Even at 4.7" the top left corner of the screen is still pretty easy for me to reach. However, I do have larger hands, so that wasn't really a problem to begin with. If you are one with smaller hands, an easy way around that is (and I still have this set up) to have a large widget or two at the top of the screen, eliminating the need to reach that corner on a constant basis.

    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_2.jpg
    Thanks to the large widgets at the top, this is how I eliminated my need to reach to the top left corner of the screen.

    For the advanced users: I have unlocked my bootloader and rooted my phone. My warranty is void. I have a custom recovery installed. I have Xposed framework installed with Gravity Box and MotoXposed, thus allowing me to make subtle shifts in my stock ROM. I centered the clock, reversed the quick toggle actions (Stock is long press to turn on/off) removed the battery bar icon, and added photos for my lockscreen and notification drawer.
    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_3.jpg
    Note the missing stock battery icon, the centered clock, and thanks to a supplemental app, I have a battery icon I like.

    Overall, I am quite pleased with the device. Like I said, there are still things even I am learning about it, mainly revolving around how I do things. I am learning to curb what I save, what gets sent to any cloud service, and what stays on the device.

    Specifications provided taken from Wikipedia.
    Upon request, I will provide the names of the apps or widgets anyone sees and likes, or answer any questions anyone has about my setup.
    Last edited by Golfdriver97; 11-17-2013 at 08:42 AM.

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be - Lao Tzu
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  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  
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    Default Re: A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    The Samsung Galaxy S3: The retired Flagship


    This was my prior phone that I recently traded in for my Moto X. I apologize for lack of screenshots, however my setup was similar to the Moto.

    The Samsung Galaxy S3 was released on May 29, 2012. The American version sported a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, 4.8" screen, fitted with an external SD card, and at the moment, running Android 4.1, with 4.3 slated to arrive in November.

    The Good:
    The support for this device is impressive as is was a very popular device, selling 20 Million devices in 100 days, marking it for the time one of the best selling devices. There are many different methods to root this device, and many variations of custom ROMs available for this device. There is no shortage of custom here. Accessories are abound, being able to find simple cases at relatively low prices.

    The external SD card makes for a good companion for this device. The ability to hold back up ROMs, music, photos, videos, almost anything a user could desire. Stable 4.3 ROMs have been available for a few months already.

    The large screen made this device upon release among the behemoths at the time, among the Samsung line it was second only to the Note series. The Note 2 design and hardware setup was based off the S3.

    The Neutral:
    The battery depending on the user, setup and carrier can either be dismal or outstanding. For me, my battery was able to make 10 hours (recharging at 30% remaining) if I was careful with my use. After recently checking on new contract prices, and S3 can be snagged for $50 or less. The upside of buying a device that is no longer a flagship phone. Some of the bloatware (unwanted stock programs) can get excessive, but most can be disabled. As of this writing. official ROMs will stop at version 4.3.

    The Bad:
    Many people dislike the plastic feel behind the device. The drop tests on the S3 have never looked too good, so definitely a phone to put in a case. As I stated in my review for the Moto, Samsung radios tend to be about average for catching cell signals. The SD card slot, while nice to have, is not supported by the OS. As Samsung forces it there, there can be operating problems involving the card itself. Some of the bloatware (unwanted stock programs) can get excessive, but most can be disabled. For more info on disabling apps: [GUIDE] How to Disable Apps

    Overall:
    This device was, is and will be, a solid performer for quite some time. For the consumer who wants or needs an inexpensive new plan or upgrade, this a device to consider. I was satisfied with my S3, and will admit, at time I do miss it.

    Specifications and sales references cited from Wikipedia.

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be - Lao Tzu
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  5. #5  
    VDub2174's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Device: Samsung Galaxy Note 2

    Carrier: AT&T

    Rooted/ROM: Yes to both


    Let me start off by saying that I bought my phone rooted off eBay. I had a Touch Wiz ROM on there for about 2 days before I flashed an AOSP ROM. With that said, I won't be giving my opinion of Touch Wiz in this review.

    The Bad: There's only 16GB or memory available. This makes me sad mainly because I came from a 64GB HTC One X+. I was so used to loading all my music and audio books on that thing that when I got my Note 2, I had to find an old SD card to save room. Yes, I could always get a 64GB SD card but that still doesn't help the fact that apps can't be moved to my SD card.

    Another thing I'm not a fan of is the audio quality. Once again, my HOX+ had amazing audio quality which was the result of BEATS Audio being included in the build. I've tried many different apps and mods to try to get my Note 2 to sound the same but it hasn't been done as of yet. I've gotten close, but never a match. Oh well.

    The Middle: Depending on the situation, the battery can last a pretty long time. On a regular day off, I don't notice any major battery drainage. At work it seems to drain faster. That could be because I use it more or maybe because the walls are much thicker and my phone's trying to get a signal harder. I can't really complain about it especially since I used to have a Sprint GNex which would drain just from looking at my home screen

    The Good: The screen!! I was definitely one of those people that would rag on the size of this beast of a phone and say that it looked ridiculous. Let me tell you, I absolutely love the size of this thing!! I don't know if it's because I'm blind but all my apps are easier to read on the Note 2. I've held other devices in my hands and they just seem so small now compared to the Note 2. The screen is great for watching videos. I love pulling out this monster phone when I want to show someone a YouTube video. The reaction on their face is priceless I don't use the S Pen too often. When I do it's to make note of where I parked in parking garages or if I need to look something up later, I'll write it down real quick.

    Another thing I like on the Note 2 is the camera. It takes really great pictures no matter the situation; I've taken pictures in broad daylight and in dark atmospheres (with the flash on). In both instances the pictures come out great and clear.

    Overall: I think the Note 2 is still a solid device. I will admit that when the Note 3 came out I wanted to get one but that feeling went away quickly. I'm quite happy with what I have and probably will be for a long time.



    "The worst foe lies within the self....."
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  6. #6  
    Haalcyon's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Tablet: LG G Pad 8.3
    Rooted: Yes
    Rom: Stock
    ***********************

    Phone: LG Optimus G Pro
    Carrier: AT&T
    Rooted: Of course
    Rom: Stock (for now)

    I love change. I love to change devices and I'm loyal to no platform (but very disloyal to BB and Windows Phone). ...and I love the LG Optimus G Pro. It's not only great bang for the buck ($400) but it has just about everything I could want. This is LG's answer to the Samsung Note 2 and a great answer it is indeed.

    The Good: Performance: This phone is liquidy slick. LG really did a good job and the Snapdragon 600 cuts through the OS and apps like a hot knife through butter. Look Ma, no lag! Removable battery: a rarity outside of Samsung these days but quite nice if you should want to carry an extra or like the idea of being able to replace the battery should you wear it out. Fantastic-gorgeous screen: At ~401 ppi the 5.5" iPS LCD is razor sharp and just pops with crisp colour. mSD card: The built in 32GB of storage is expandable with an mSD card up to 64GB so space to drop all your movies and music is just abundant. Root-a-bility: I admit, I'm not the most technical but this is the easiest device to root I've ever used. All you have to do is practically look at it and its rooted. Woohoo! The Camera: The camera takes nice crisp sharp photos with great color. No complaints at all on that front. QuickButton: This extra assignable hardware button just adds to the awesomeness of the phone. You can assign it launch any app you want and in the camera mode it acts as a shudder button. Quite nifty!

    The Bad: Home button size: I wish it were slightly bigger and raised a little so it'd be easier to press. Finish: While build quality seems good the device is plastic, looks plastic, feels plastic and is glossy. Did I mention it's plastic? This is not a beautiful looking device IMO. It seems LG may agree too as the G2 looks a little bit better with it's nicer silver trim that circumnavigates the phone. The G Pro is not ugly but its not beautiful either.

    The Ugly: It's only available on one US carrier. Granted, that carrier is AT&T (which I'm quite happy with), but it really would have been nice to see this great device spread out more widely.

    To make this puppy Haalcyon's very own so far, I threw my favorite launcher on there, Nova Prime, my favorite icon packs (Glaskart, Phlats, iOS7, and iO7HD) as well as one of my favorite root-needing tweaks, :.


    Overall, again, I love this phone and feel that it's a great value for anyone that wants a device over 5". In the last two months, I've had a Note 3, Note 2, iPhone 5s, and LG G2 in search of that device that just tickled me pink (it's tossup between the G Pro and the G2). With the LG Optimus G Pro I found that device. The price/performance ratio with this phone is just really really great, and for me, that tipped it in the G Pro's favor vs. the G2.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_2013-11-12-08-41-15.jpg   [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_2013-11-12-10-08-53.jpg  
    Live long and prosper.


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  7. #7  
    srkmagnus's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Phone
    Device: Nexus 5, Black 16 GB
    Carrier: Sprint
    Bootloader/Root: Unlocked/not rooted

    Tablet
    Device: Galaxy Tab 10.1 (OG)
    Model: 16 GB, Wi-Fi
    Rooted: Yes

    Nexus 5

    Recently I had the opportunity to replace my Epic 4g Touch(S2) with a Nexus 5. Use of my device is pretty consistent and straight forward: Check email and text messages (communication with the wife), communicate with friends/family through social media and have access to the various productivity apps necessary for work/home and keeping up with the forums.

    The Good:
    What I enjoy most about the device is the smoothness is presents combined with a form factor that I feel is great. I've always thought that the 4.5" screen of the E4GT was the biggest I felt comfortable with and anything bigger would be just too big for me to use daily. I was wrong. The size of the Nexus 5 is great and having the extra screen size makes viewing various media on the device pleasant - maybe some day I'll feel comfortable with using a Note sized device. Furthermore, having the opportunity to finally use a device running the latest version of Android (4.4) released by Google is awesome. I'm also using Google Now more than I was with the E4GT running CM10, which is likely due to deeper integration of Google Now and quick access to the cards with a swipe up or left. There's a lot to like about this device. Take a look at the AC review for a deeper look at the Nexus 5: http://www.androidcentral.com/nexus-5-review.

    This is flat out an awesome device, even on the Sprint Network in my area (greater Los Angeles Area).

    The Bad:
    Well, I'm loving every bit of this device. There's nothing bad about this device in my opinion, including the "bad camera", which meets my expectations for what I want a camera on a mobile device to do.

    Screen Shots: Note that it's essentially the same as it was out of the box, with the exemption of the addition of a few apps onto the home screen to make access to these apps quicker. I'll start customizing it once I feel comfortable with the Nexus experience out of the box.

    Galaxy Tab 10.1 (OG)

    Well, this device shouldn't be on anyone's buying guide this year unless it can be found dirt cheap and far below the price of current tablets. It's used primarily for reading online content around the house and is loaded with games for the kids - this keeps them away from my Nexus. I've had it for several years and it's served me well. Though, the next tablet I purchase would be of a smaller form factor, possible the 7 or 8-inch range.
    Last edited by srkmagnus; 11-17-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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  8. #8  

    Default Re: A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    I've been an Android technology junkie for a long while. I've been through all sorts of phones by different manufacturers from Motorola, HTC and Samsung. I've tried devices such as the DROID branded phones, the Galaxy series and the HTC Thunderbolt. My itch for new technology never ends but I'm hoping the Droid Maxx can stop me from frequently upgrading because on the surface and deep down it's a well designed device. If you're on Verizon Wireless than you have a lot of choices in phones from Motorola. The Droid line is exclusive to Verizon Wireless so keep that in mind when considering this device.


    First, let's start off with the real reason anyone would buy a Droid Maxx. The battery life is Motorola's claim to fame and they tend to advertise this with any device they manufacturer including the MotoX which is mentioned by Golfdriver97 a few posts above. However, how good is the battery on this device? Motorola claims the device can reach 48 hours before needing a charge but is this true? This test is done in the laboratory which provides the best possible testing solutions. This includes turning off a ton of features such as Touchless Controls, Automatic Brightness and other key features many of us want. In my testing I can say that I have vigorously tested the battery and left the screen on in a 4G LTE area with -90 dBm signal strength. I managed to get approximately 7 hours of screen time while streaming video on Netflix and Hulu Plus for approximately 5 of those hours. The other 2 hours consisted of listening to SiriusXM while constantly surfing the web with Google Chrome. My settings were set to Automatic Brightness, Location through Google Services turned on, and Wi-Fi in idle but activated.

    Performance wise I haven't thrown anything at this device that it couldn't handle. I constantly use the applications listed above in the battery section but also have Hangouts running and chatting all day. I don't play games on my phone but I did take the time to test the new FIFA and Madden mobile games and the Droid Maxx was able to handle both without an issue. I did get deeper into Real Racing 3 with no performance lag at all. Motorola has really nailed it down with the X8 processor which does a fantastic job with sectioning off tasks and only running the minimal amount of power needed for features such as Active Notifications. In more detail an Active Notification is the replacement for an LED notification light. It provides much more information than an LED Notification light because the screen will light up with the type of message or alert you've received. You can than place your finger on the notification and it will show it right on the Active Notification screen or you can open it by sliding up or down depending on how many are shown at that moment. The beautiful thing about this is that Motorola has it programmed so the center of the screen lights up but nothing else so it's not a major battery drain. Also, you have the ability to select which applications you would like to be notified about through Active Notifications.

    In recent years Motorola has stopped using any variation of MotoBlur and has chosen a more Vanilla Android approach. This is only natural and should continue for a long while considering Google now owns Motorola Mobility and is preferred by a lot of people over MotoBlur.

    Attachment 91450

    Touchless Controls is one of the best things about this phone. I'll be sitting in my chair while playing a video game on XBOX Live and simply say "OK Google Now, Chicago Blackhawks" and it will pop up Google Now and read me the latest score. Saying "OK Google Now, Call so and so" will call whoever you asked it to. On devices without this feature you would have to pick the device up and turn the screen on. This is a truly hands free experience that I couldn't imagine living without. It didn't seem like a big deal to me at first but once you lose it for a day you'll miss it.

    The Droid Maxx sports a 5.0” Super AMOLED, 1280 x 720 Screen Resolution display. The display is bright and crisp with great color representation. It may not be the best I've ever seen but it sure doesn't leave me wishing for more. The last Droid phone featured a Pentile display which caused a real grainy look due to it's awkward placed pixels. This time around Motorola has ditched the Pentile grid and everything looks great even in low light environments. In bright environments it's difficult to see unless fully lit but that's normal for most devices. My recommendation for screen quality is to check it out in person because each of us have a different opinion here.

    The camera is serviceable but if you're looking for a professional style camera you need to look else where. The latest update has solved many of the issues and looks excellent for a cell phone camera but Samsung and LG do offer better cameras.

    The build quality is superb. I've had my issues with creaking back covers but my replacement device seems to be holding up well. The issue I've had with a creaking back cover is that it's non removable and yet it sounded like a squeaky bed that could be heard from nearly 50 feet away. However, now that it's replaced, it's quiet and I have no complaints. The majority of reviews and fellow Android heads here on Android Central continue to say their build quality is top notch so I'll lean that way.

    The only real negatives I can see with this device is that is offers 32 GB of on board storage and that's it. There is no option for external SD Card storage so what's in the device is all you get. I prefer built in storage personally but I don't use a ton of it so I have no real reason to dislike it. For those who need portable storage for any reason I would look else where because this is one thing that can be a huge deal breaker. Bluetooth works well but does have some static noise when listening to music through any headset or car. I must admit I find this extremely annoying but I rarely use Bluetooth for music so I tend to look the other way on this. Also, check the ear piece and see if it's loud enough for you. I find it to be decent but if you're in loud environments you may be best off with another device.

    I would highly recommend this device if you're okay going without external storage for all the reasons above.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-vzw-droid-maxx.jpg   [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_2013-11-12-20-44-35.png  
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  9. #9  

    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Ambassador: B. Diddy
    Device: 2013 Nexus 7 32 GB, Wi-fi Only, Jellybean 4.3, unrooted

    My tablet experience so far has been an ascendancy with a huge slope. It started with a no-name piece of absolute junk called the SuperPad (well ok, so it had a name, but a stupid one) that was gifted to me, then steadily improved with the Acer A500, Acer A100, Asus Transformer TF300T, and the 2012 Nexus 7. The 2013 Nexus 7 is without a doubt the pinnacle--at least, so far. As soon as I started using it, I was floored by how quickly and smoothly everything worked, and fortunately, I havenít encountered any of the touchscreen glitches that other units have suffered.

    The Very Good:
    Almost everything about this device is excellent. Highlights include:

    • Performance: As mentioned above, this baby flies. All launcher activities are super-smooth, and graphics-intense games like Asphalt 7 and GTAIII run as if theyíre on a high end console. Data syncing is significantly faster than my other devices (despite being on the same network), and the process of updating an app seems to be at least twice as fast. Realistically, itís the only one of my devices that runs Google Now fast enough for it to be useful and effortless.
    • Screen: The true HD screen is sharp and vivid, making photos, videos, and games a real pleasure.
    • Nexus Experience: Although I havenít received the currently rolling 4.4 OTA update just yet, I can't emphasize enough how reassuring it is to know that my tablet will be on the forefront of Android updates, at least for the next 2-3 years. On top of that is the refreshing absence of the B word--BLOATWARE.


    The Kinda Good:

    • Speakers: The stereo speaker placement can be good or bad, depending on your preference and how you typically hold a tablet. The rear-facing position means the sound could be muffled if you completely block the grilles with your hands; however, if you cup your hands in the same position, you can actually augment the sound by reflecting the waves towards you ears. The sound quality is above average, and bonus points for having true stereo speakers with some distance between them.
    • Camera: It ainít great, but then again it ainít horrible. You can take Photospheres with it. But who really uses a tablet for its camera? I mean on a regular basis, not just once in a while.


    The Not-So-Good:

    • No MicroSD Slot: Like all Nexus devices, you just have the onboard storage memory and the cloud. Not a dealbreaker for me, but I can see how it could be for others--especially those people who want to carry their entire music or video library with them, and canít rely on streaming if there isnít wifi, or donít want to use up mobile data if tethering to a phone.


    My Homescreen:

    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-screenshot_2013-11-10-23-41-04.jpg

    This is the stock launcher. I installed Nova Launcher on my Razr Maxx and Asus TF300 to boost the performance of the homescreen interface, but it just isnít necessary on the 2013 N7.

    Thatís a live wallpaper called --you should see it in action, it looks awesome. Iím always looking for live wallpapers that are easy on RAM, donít use much battery, and arenít distracting. This one uses 6.6 MB of RAM, and GSam Battery Monitor reports its percentage of battery usage to be consistently around 0.1%.

    The clock widget is (the link is for the free version). Itís scaleable, has a number of fonts to choose from, and--most importantly--allows you to use any font (TTF files) that you can download from the web. The one you see is called . I prefer not to have weather with my clock widgets, because that increases battery/CPU usage, due to the frequent need for the widget to refresh data from the web.

    My Case:

    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-img_20131110_234553_925.jpg

    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-img_20131110_234809_086.jpg

    [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices-img_20131110_234919_049.jpg

    This is the rooCASE Origami SlimShell Folio Case Cover. I wanted a case that (1) is slim and not bulky, (2) has a smartcover function (i.e., shuts off the screen by closing the lid, and wakes it upon opening), and (3) has a lid that can fold back. This one really fits the bill, and Iím very satisfied with it. The tablet snaps easily into the hard polycarbonate shell back, which is sturdy but has a nice soft feel, and which has well-placed cutouts. The cover has a velvety polyurethane surface, with an even softer inner lining to protect the screen. The innovative ďorigamiĒ fold of the cover allows it to stand up in either landscape or portrait mode without requiring an unsightly flap on the back. The smartcover function works fine when closing the lid, but there's a minor bug where it may take up to 20-30 seconds for the screen to wake on its own upon opening the lid--however, this is only when wi-fi is off, for some reason. Pressing the Power button wakes it with no problem. I have seen in the Google product forums that official-sounding Google people are aware of the issue and are working on it. I wonder if it'll be fixed when I get KitKat?


    In summary, this is simply an awesome tablet, and Iím not really one to use superlatives lightly. Itís impressive to me that when Google set out to make the original Nexus 7, they intended to make a budget device, and although there were some corners cut, it was clear that it had some very premium qualities about it. The 2013 Nexus 7 is 100% a premium flagship device, and yet they somehow kept the price about the same. Bravo, Google and Asus!
    Last edited by B. Diddy; 11-18-2013 at 09:16 PM.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    I just wanted to throw out a thumbs up to the team for their contributions to this thread.

    - Paul
    Ambassador Team Leader
    Paul
    Moderator Team Leader @ Android Central





  11. #11  
    bentsh's Avatar

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    Question Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    I am eligible for an upgrade but I am torn in many different directions:

    1. Should I upgrade now or wait until more Snapdragon 800 phones come out? Should I wait for that phone I can't resist or just compromise and get the next best thing now?

    2. If I get a phone now, should I get Moto X with its awesome features, the HTC One with its amazing build quality, or the Note 3" with it huge screen? (I would get the Nexus 5 if I wasn't on Verizon)

    3. I currently have the Droid Razr Maxx HD because of the amazing battery life and I don't want to give that up, but it sounds like the newer phones, with more efficient processors and software, might be comparable.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by bentsh View Post
    I am eligible for an upgrade but I am torn in many different directions:

    1. Should I upgrade now or wait until more Snapdragon 800 phones come out? Should I wait for that phone I can't resist or just compromise and get the next best thing now?

    2. If I get a phone now, should I get Moto X with its awesome features, the HTC One with its amazing build quality, or the Note 3" with it huge screen? (I would get the Nexus 5 if I wasn't on Verizon)

    3. I currently have the Droid Razr Maxx HD because of the amazing battery life and I don't want to give that up, but it sounds like the newer phones, with more efficient processors and software, might be comparable.
    I would say this...if you wait you will always be waiting.

    That said...I would say play with the phones a bit. Personally, I would try to sway you to the Moto, but that is just me...lol

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC forums app

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
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  13. #13  
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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    I would say this...if you wait you will always be waiting.
    ^^What he said.

    As we know, tech is always changing. There's always something new "around the corner" so if you have an upgrade ready, I say go for it now

    I had the Motorola Photon and the battery life on that device was AMAZING!! None of my other phones could compare to it. I haven't had a Moto device since, but I've heard good things. HTC also makes great devices. I've had the HTC One X+ and the audiophile in me absolutely loved it!! The sound quality in that device was second to none. Now we get to Samsung. I currently have the Note 2 and am extremely happy with it!! I was one of those people that said they would never have a device that big but once I had it in my hands, I was in love I can't see myself going back to a small device.
    "The worst foe lies within the self....."
    Get yourself some storage with Dropbox: http://db.tt/hWGiTCa



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  14. #14  

    Default Re: A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Thanks for the review! Can we hear your take on the LG Pad 8.3 as well, or was that your review on AC?
  15. #15  

    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by bentsh View Post
    I currently have the Droid Razr Maxx HD because of the amazing battery life and I don't want to give that up, but it sounds like the newer phones, with more efficient processors and software, might be comparable.
    If you're considering the Moto X, then take a look at the Droid Maxx. It is very similar to the X in many ways, and has the Maxx battery to boot. The main downside is probably that there's a little more Verizon bloatware, but that's what the Disable button is for (or rooting, if you're into that). You still have the other tasty X features like Active Notifications, the always-listening Google Now, and the double twist camera-on. Same exact processor architecture.
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  16. #16  
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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    I am currently using an iPhone 5 32 GB on At&t and after replacing an iPad 2 with a Nexus 7 I'm ready to completely make the switch to android. My wife has an upgrade I can use it so, I'm considering the HTC one, LG G2 and Moto X. With Black Friday deals and other discounts, the One and G2 would be free so, the Moto X would be the most expensive. I'm also thinking about saving the upgrade and buying a Nexus 5 since, I like my Nexus 7 so much. This is what I'm finding I'd the biggest problem with android, there are too many great choices! Apple makes it easy by just letting you pick color and storage. any thoughts would be appreciated!
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  
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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by ajneuman View Post
    I am currently using an iPhone 5 32 GB on At&t and after replacing an iPad 2 with a Nexus 7 I'm ready to completely make the switch to android. My wife has an upgrade I can use it so, I'm considering the HTC one, LG G2 and Moto X. With Black Friday deals and other discounts, the One and G2 would be free so, the Moto X would be the most expensive. I'm also thinking about saving the upgrade and buying a Nexus 5 since, I like my Nexus 7 so much. This is what I'm finding I'd the biggest problem with android, there are too many great choices! Apple makes it easy by just letting you pick color and storage. any thoughts would be appreciated!
    Having the Moto X in hand, it is hard to suggest anything else. If you do opt for the X, get the 32GB, especially if you like having your music on your device. Now, of all the devices you suggested, I really would say look at the Nexus. You will never have to worry about updates, and being on AT&T, it should be as simple as throwing your SIM card in it.

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
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  18. #18  
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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Any thoughts on the G2? It also feels good in the hand and its hard to not consider that monster battery.
  19. Thread Author  Thread Author    #19  
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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by ajneuman View Post
    Any thoughts on the G2? It also feels good in the hand and its hard to not consider that monster battery.
    That would be a question for Haalcyon. I only know of the G2 by some specs and physical design.

    Bear in mind, with the larger screen devices, that alone dictates a larger battery.

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
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  20. #20  

    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Hey guys..
    I m from india and last phn i used was 1st gen galaxy note....i want to buy a new phone...really confused abt htc one and samsung note 3
    I have been a samsung user for more than 1.5 yrs....what i learnt from the experience is that touchwiz can stutter even at great specs.....i dunno what to do...want to switch to htc but note 3 is very tempting on the other hand.....i even thought of waiting for the rumored htc m8...glad to hear opinions ....and yes here in india there r no contracts so i just have to be bothered abt the phn...thanks

    Posted via Android Central App
  21. Thread Author  Thread Author    #21  
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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawan Shahi Suryavanshi View Post
    Hey guys..
    I m from india and last phn i used was 1st gen galaxy note....i want to buy a new phone...really confused abt htc one and samsung note 3
    I have been a samsung user for more than 1.5 yrs....what i learnt from the experience is that touchwiz can stutter even at great specs.....i dunno what to do...want to switch to htc but note 3 is very tempting on the other hand.....i even thought of waiting for the rumored htc m8...glad to hear opinions ....and yes here in india there r no contracts so i just have to be bothered abt the phn...thanks

    Posted via Android Central App
    Welcome to the forums.
    The Note has more RAM, but I think that is to compensate for TouchWiz.

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC forums app

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be - Lao Tzu
    Community Guidelines and also here
  22. #22  

    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    Welcome to the forums.
    The Note has more RAM, but I think that is to compensate for TouchWiz.

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC forums app
    Yeah i thought the same but what would u advise me to do...coz i dont knw many people who can advise me on this one

    Posted via Android Central App
  23. Thread Author  Thread Author    #23  
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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawan Shahi Suryavanshi View Post
    Yeah i thought the same but what would u advise me to do...coz i dont knw many people who can advise me on this one

    Posted via Android Central App
    Probably the Note 3.

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC forums app

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be - Lao Tzu
    Community Guidelines and also here
  24. #24  

    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    Probably the Note 3.

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC forums app
    thanks

    Posted via Android Central App
  25. #25  
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    Default Re: [Christmas Guide] A Glimpse into the Ambassador devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawan Shahi Suryavanshi View Post
    Hey guys..
    I m from india and last phn i used was 1st gen galaxy note....i want to buy a new phone...really confused abt htc one and samsung note 3
    I have been a samsung user for more than 1.5 yrs....what i learnt from the experience is that touchwiz can stutter even at great specs.....i dunno what to do...want to switch to htc but note 3 is very tempting on the other hand.....i even thought of waiting for the rumored htc m8...glad to hear opinions ....and yes here in india there r no contracts so i just have to be bothered abt the phn...thanks

    Posted via Android Central App
    I would go with the Note 3 since it's a beast of a phone. Having used both Samsung and HTC, I tend to always go back to Samsung. You can always replace the TW launcher with something like Apex or Nova
    "The worst foe lies within the self....."
    Get yourself some storage with Dropbox: http://db.tt/hWGiTCa



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