I recently got my hands on two pieces of tech to test-drive from the folks at Sprint.
The first item was the Kardon Studio Onyx Bluetooth speaker. The Harman Kardon Studio Onyx is exclusively available from Sprint. The $399 (excluding tax) seemed a little pricey at first…until I took it out of the box and used it.
The speaker was a bit larger than the iPod dock I’ve been using for the past few years but it was no hassle to pick up and move around the house or office. The first thing I noticed was the ease of connectivity. I simply turned it on, hit the Bluetooth button, and it was instantly discoverable by my iPod, iPhone, or computer. The speaker has a rechargeable battery which makes it easy to use anywhere.
The sound is remarkable. The speaker, which is designed to replace four-speaker systems, lives up to it’s promise. The bass is deep and bumping. Whether I was rocking out to electronic music, rock, or hip-hop this speaker offered more power than I can use in my apartment (without greatly disturbing my neighbors).
The high and mid-range clarity is stellar: vocals are sparkling, melodies are not the slightest bit distorted. The music plays the way it was designed to sound. Overall, this is a great speaker for anyone looking to up their sound game to another level. While I didn’t have a chance to test it outside, I have little doubt that the sound would carry just as well outdoors as it does inside. The price-tag might deter some people from picking one up but if you love music the way I do, and listen to it for several hours per day, the Harman Kardon Studio Onyx is a sound investment, no pun intended.
The second item was the LG F Flex Smart Phone. I’ve been an iPhone user for the past several years so I was excited to get my hands on a smart phone that utilized different technology. The first thing I noticed about the phone was the size and the curved screen. While the size of the phone is fantastic for viewing photos, surfing the web, or using apps, it was a bit large to fit comfortably in my pocket. The phone, even when powered off, also kept turning itself on while in my pocket, leading me to believe that they should relocate the power button from the back of the phone (where it easily pressed against my leg) to the top of the device. The curved screen was nice for making phone calls and for playing games on the device (I got a little addicted to Deer Hunter over the past month).
The phone has a lot of fun features including a great camera with a lot of fun filters built right in. Being a photographer, it’s nice to know my phone has the ability to take a decent photo in those rare moments where I find myself without my camera. The phone requires a Google/Gmail account to add apps (much in the same way an iPhone requires an iTunes account). This wasn’t an issue as I already have a Gmail account and easily connected it. I added and removed several apps with ease while using this phone. My only gripe was that I wasn’t always sure if background apps were running and draining the battery. I’m not an instruction manual kind of guy and like to figure out devices on my own or this probably would have been easier to discern.
Overall the battery life of the phone was pretty good. Games like Deer Hunter seemed to drain the phone more quickly than surfing the web, emailing, or checking Facebook. The phone was also easy to use as a mobile hotspot which came in very handy at my beach house where we don’t have internet currently. While the phone warned that using it as a mobile hotspot could drain the battery more quickly, I didn’t find that this was the case.
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