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Photography and the Droid Camera

Multi-shot of truck driving with Droid Razr Camera

Multi-shot of truck driving with Droid Razr Camera

If you are anything like me, then you carry a frustrated photographer inside you. We would like to take those incredible pictures that would leave our friends in awe but we never dared purchase the equipment needed – lenses and all – in order to achieve that level of photography or photographic art. Until now. Because the Droid camera has so many incredible features for picture taking that it allows amateurs like me to take the most amazing shots.

The 8-megapixel camera resides in a bulge on the back. And you have a back and a front camera. If you were ever alone in a beautiful surrounding and wanted to capture yourself within that scenery, now you can do it without having to strain your arm or your hand. And you can choose between widescreen or 8MP photo resolution. For those of us who cannot remember the exact location where the picture was taken or we have left the picture in in the camera for so long we don’t even remember what is was, geo-tagging is of great help.

Bowling Alley Panoramic Photo

Bowling Alley Panoramic Photo

There is a variety of photo effects to choose from like  black and white, sepia, negative, solarize, red, blue and green. And like with a regular camera, you can select the photo type: Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, and more. The coolest feature though are the modes. You can choose to photograph a single shot, a multi-shot (see picture composite), panoramic (see picture) – the camera auto-captures up to six multiple shots as you move the camera, and joins them together to make one large image- or timer. This camera also allows you to select the exposure setting, flash, no flash and automatic.

If you like video, you are in for a treat as you can choose the video stabilization feature which reduces the level of hand shaking while shooting!

by Claudia “Havi” Goffan

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. All the opinions expressed and experiences shared on this post are personal and not Verizon’s or anybody else’s.Verizon Wireless Ambassador Program

Who attends a Verizon Wireless Workshop?

Baldwin and Keith the Verizon Wireless Workshop experts

Baldwin and Keith the Verizon Wireless Workshop experts

If you ever wondered who attends the Verizon Wireless Workshops you would be surprised to find out who they are and how many they are. A few days ago, I attended my very first Verizon Wireless Workshop on Getting Started with Android. I signed up online at the Verizon Wireless Workshops site for the one given at a store near me but they are offered in Spanish and online as well.

Upon arrival, I noticed a group of chairs that were very quickly filled with seniors, mostly grand-parents, that were given their smartphones as a gift and could not bear to disappoint their grand-children that had bestowed such wonderful technology gadgets upon them just because they wanted to stay more in touch. The experts initiated the session by asking what model of Android phone each attendee had and this elicited a flurry of stories on how they had gotten their smartphones. Ways of communication are definitely changing at all generation levels. So impressive.

The session was really entertaining and interactive and both Baldwin and Keith (see photo) covered the basics of each Android device – from how to turn them on and off all the way to downloading apps and mastering the GPS features. Here are 10 really interesting tips and things that I truly enjoyed (thank you, Keith!):

1- you can move the icons on the Droid by dragging and dropping from wherever to wherever (you can create shortcuts or icons for everything and as many as you like) and you can choose your background to give you the current weather (and that’s the one I selected)

2- the camera on the Droid has great quality pictures but even more interesting features like filters (solarize, sepia, black and white, green, red, blue and negative) that allowed me to take a pic of Baldwin like the “Hulk” that got tweeted, all kinds of light moods, four modes that include multishot and panorama – one of my favorites and will cover that on another post – the exposure, flash, video stabilization to reduce the amount of hand shaking while filming, widescreen, well, you get the idea.

Verizon Wireless store front

Verizon Wireless store front

3- the widgets!! These are applications that sit on your Android device’s home panels and display related information so you never have to open those apps, unless you want additional details. You can choose from stocks to weather, whatever suits your fancy. Not every app has a widget and widgets use a lot of processing power so choose wisely! A widget must-have is the Google Search for Android.

4- GPS, Maps, Locations, Points of Interest, Navigator deserve a post of their very own and how do I love thee!! I will show you the ways. ;)

5- adding apps to home page: press hold on the page select “shortcuts” and voila!

6- to add a location as point of interest or favorite select “places” and type or look for the address and then “Star it” on the upper right corner.

7- Droid uploads all of your social media (Twitter, Facebook and G+, of course) contacts automatically to your list. To manage them, choose the setting to do not show Twitter contacts, for example.

8- maps, places and navigation are all tied in together and that is so great

9- the droid uses the metric system!!!

10- Super fast speeds on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE  I tested them at the store and then at home and got 27Mbps of download speed and 8Mbps of upload!! I was so taken by these speeds (higher than my Comcast connection at home of 20Mbps download and up to 4Mbps upload speed) that I jumped from joy and blew a kiss at my Verizon devices! Thank you Verizon, I am in awe of your network!

A few things I would change about the Droid Razr:

1- first of all, the battery life would get extended. This device keeps running all the apps you have open in the background and that needs lots of juice!

2- if it was up to me, the menus would always display on the same place of the device – every app has its own way of accessing menus and that is not user friendly – at least not this user.

3- I would add a function to touch the screen to wake up the device when it’s already on – e.g. on a call the Droid goes on to sleep mode and to hang up you have to wake it up somehow, I am always wary of actually turning the device off by having to press the on/off button

4- and I would design thicker top menus (they are very thin) so as not to touch and activate a different function (this happens to me quite often) as the screen is very sensitive to the touch.

Overall I really enjoyed the experience as you can see on the video in this post!

by Claudia “Havi” Goffan

 

 

Verizon Wireless Ambassador ProgramDisclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. All the opinions expressed and experiences shared on this post are personal and not Verizon’s or anybody else’s.

 

Smartphone user experience: A Latina’s Perspective

Smartphone user experience: A Latina’s Perspective

As most of you know, a few weeks ago and thanks to a recommendation from my dear friend and colleague Julito Varela (@julito77) I was named Verizon Brand Ambassador. As a marketing strategist and technologist I was so excited to get to test cool gadgets I could hardly wait to begin.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer's heart.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer’s heart.

The Droid Razr 4G LTE arrived one day at noon and I took my time to open it so I could savor every part of the smartphone user experience. I wanted to capture every detail, every impression I had with the product and the service. But in order to give some you some perspective on my evaluation, let me share a bit about me.

I was a loyal Verizon Wireless customer for 11 years. The quality of their network was always what kept me with them. “Can you hear me now” was a reality for me. And then I had to choose a smartphone. I did try the original Droid and found it so hard to maneuver. I need to clarify that I am a super geek and at one time in my career I used to build LANs and WANs with my bare hands – patch panels would become pristinely organized in my presence and my networks never went down! I found the people at the Verizon local store so focused on the number of apps instead of what I wanted to know (how to use the smartphone to make a call, et my mail, etc.) that I gave up and went the Apple way. The glorious iPhone was only held by AT&T and, as a plus, I would achieve compatibility with all my Macs. I have missed the quality of the Verizon Wireless network and I actually do have to stand by a window so as not to lose the connection when I talk. The rest, I will have to say, I am very pleased with, as I find AT&T’s plans are more affordable and my experience with their customer service as outstanding.

A few months ago, my iPhone decided to go swimming and I had to take its beeping corpse to the Apple store. Deciding to take advantage of the situation (I already had to purchase a new unit) I got myself an iPhone with Verizon. I couldn’t hear anything now. I got so many dropped calls, Verizon sent out an engineer to check on the signal levels. The verdict: We need to build a new tower for you to get coverage with us. Please go back to AT&T.

I always wondered if the problem was with the network or the handset. And maybe it’s a mix of both. In my opinion, my new Droid Razr 4G LTE should help in putting this to the test.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer’s heart. When I opened the box there was the thinnest, coolest looking smartphone I have ever seen. About two thirds of the iPhone. It was also huge in dimension. It made me think that people with large hands would appreciate this – not so much small hands people. I’m average, so I can go either way. I started reading the manual to set it up as, in my opinion, this smartphone is not as intuitive as an iPhone. And I started the charging process.

The results of the test will be unveiled on my next post early next month!!

Happy Purim everybody!!

Verizon Wireless Ambassador ProgramClaudia “Havi” Goffan

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. All the opinions expressed and experiences shared on this post are personal and not Verizon’s or anybody else’s.