Tag Archives: LitB Labs

LITB Labs – Starlight HD2 (Android 2.3)

This week in the LITB Lab I’ll be putting one of LITB’s newest high-end Android Smartphones through its paces and seeing if it performs as great as it looks. The Starlight HD2 certainly has the look and feel of a serious handset and the specifications aren’t too shabby either. With a 4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen, Android 2.3, dual-camera and 3G connectivity the Starlight HD2 has everything that you could want from an up to date smartphone.

The Good…

There is a lot to like about this phone and I’ll start with the obvious, the large 4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen. The touchscreen on the Starlight HD2 is fantastic and is without a doubt the best 4.3 inch screen that I have come across on a Chinese cell phone. The display is bright and clear, it’s extremely responsive and unlike some of the phones that I’ve seen with large screens, the screen on the Starlight HD2 doesn’t lag. For playing games, web-browsing and watching movies the large 4.3 inch screen really comes into its own.

The large, intuitive touchscreen isn’t the only impressive feature of the Starlight HD2, the Android 2.3 OS works beautifully on this device and includes useful features such as Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows you to tether your Starlight HD2 to your laptop so that you can use the phone’s 3G internet to connect to the internet via your laptop. This brings us on to the 3G connectivity of the Starlight HD2, which I found worked really well, simply by inserting my 3G enabled SIM card.

The Starlight HD2 also comes with front and rear facing cameras. The rear facing camera is a respectable 3.2MP with which I was able to take some fairly decent snapshots with and you can use the front facing camera for video chatting applications that are available for download from the Android Market.

The Bad…

There really isn’t much to say when it comes to the bad aspects of the Starlight HD2. The only really flaw that this handset has is the battery life, which can range between 4 – 8 hours depending on usage of 3G, video playback, talk time, game playing etc. Most smartphone users will know that battery life is one of the universal drawbacks to these devices, but most will admit it’s a sacrifice worth making. Other than that there are no other major negatives, the price could be seen as a drawback because at $249.99 it is a little on the pricy side, but I feel that this would be somewhat clutching at straws to consider price as a negative as you certainly get your money’s worth with the Starlight HD2.

The Summary…

The Starlight HD2 is a superb 3G Android smartphone that is ideal for anyone looking for a larger screen. The 4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen is the crowning feature to an overall excellent phone. If $249.99 is within your smartphone budget then I would certainly recommend that you give the Starlight HD2 some serious consideration.

The Starlight HD2 is now available from LightInTheBox for $249.99.

LITB Labs – Awesome Apps 2

Welcome to our latest LITB Lab installment, Awesome Apps! Here we will showcase some of the most popular apps you can download from Android market to your cell phone or tablet.

ap•pli•ca•tion   [ap-li-key-shuhn]
noun
Application software, also known as an application or an “app”, is computer software designed to help the user to perform specific tasks. Examples include enterprise software, accounting software, office suites, graphics software and media players.

Sleep-as-an-Droid

Category: Lifestyle
Publisher: Petr Nalevka
Requirements: Android 1.5 or above + 1.53MB free space
Price: $1.49

If you’re like me and have trouble getting out of bed in the morning then Sleep-as-an-Droid is an app that could definitely help you. This app tracks your sleep and wakes you gently whilst you’re in a light sleeping phase. I’ve been using this app for about 8 months and it does make a huge difference to how you feel waking up. The Sleep-as-an-Droid app certainly curbs the grogginess and leaves you feeling far fresher in the morning. It has loads of cool features too, such as; nature sounds, sleep graphs and sleep/talk recording. It also gives you the option of using Airplane mode during sleep tracking, turning off all those potentially harmful wireless signals. For me this is a must have app for all Android phone owners and is well worth the $1.49. Head over to Android Market now to download the 2 week free trial and see if it works for you.

Pumpkins Vs Monsters

Category: Arcade and Action
Publisher: RunnerGames.Studios
Requirements: Android 1.6 or above + 8MB free space
Price: Free

With Halloween just around the corner Pumpkins Vs Monsters seems to be a fitting game to be playing on the bus ride to work at this time of year. The aim of the game is to keep the monsters out of your pumpkin patch by strategically hurling pumpkin combos into the fast approaching monster assault. The game is lots of fun on Android phones and even better on the larger screens of the Android tablets. There’s a whole load of different levels and you can even save up coins that you can use to upgrade your weapons to create an arsenal so strong it would keep even the most tenacious monsters out of your beloved pumpkin patch. Overall Pumpkins Vs Monsters is a fun game to pass the time on a bus or train and what could be more entertaining than slamming monsters in the schnoz with pumpkins!

Advanced Task Killer

Category: Productivity
Publisher: ReChild
Requirements: Android 1.5 or above + 97KB free space
Price: Free

This simple application is a must have for all Android owners. Due to Android’s capability to run multiple applications at once and multi-task, you’ll sometimes find that you could have a lot of apps running at once, which will of course slow down your Android device. With Advanced Task Killer you can simply shutdown or “kill” all the apps running in the background with one click. Advanced Task Killer is a great tool for keeping track of what apps are running and keeping your device nice and quick.

LITB Labs – Fusion Android Phone

This week in the LITB Lab we’re checking out the latest low-cost Android phone available on LightInTheBox, known as the Fusion.

The Fusion Android phone comes with Android 2.2 OS, which has a hardly noticeable, but nicely functional UI overlay that I found actually improved on that of the stock Android 2.2. Usually when it comes to the Android I prefer the stock Google build, but every now and then the developers get it right (HTC Sense being the most notable example) and the developers of the build that is present on the Fusion phone did a great job.

The screen on the Fusion phone is a 3.5 inch resistive touchscreen, which I know could disappoint many people reading this. However despite being resistive, the touchscreen on the Fusion phone is pretty responsive and delivers a decent experience when navigating around the device. In fact it failed to give me any real frustration and is a long way from the resistive screens we used to see on the Chinese cell phones 18 months ago. The only slight niggle I had was with the “Home”, “Menu”, “Back” and “Search” buttons that are located along the bottom edge, but got used to them soon enough once I had worked out they required a little more pressure to be applied.

In the hand the Fusion phone feels well-built; looking and feeling better in the hand than the $139.99 price tag would have you believe. It comes with sleek rounded edges and really does have a very stylish look to it. On the rear side you’ll find a 2MP camera with which I was able to take plenty of snapshots. There’s also a 0.3MP camera located on the front so you can take those all important profile pictures for Facebook and your various other social network sites.

With the MTK6516 processor it certainly isn’t the fastest Android phone in the world, but it can cope with most of the tasks you would require from your Smart Phone on a daily basis. At $139.99 the Fusion phone provides a stylish and functional Android phone that won’t leave a dent in your wallet and for the casual user would be worth the money. If however you’re a more serious phone user, who really likes to put their cellphone through its paces, then you should probably opt to spend a little more money and buy a phone with a bit more power.

The Fusion phone looks great, performs well and is available at Lightinthebox.com for just $139.99!

[LITB Labs] New Incheon Tablet


For this week’s LITB Lab’s we’re returning to the world of Android tablet computers, to take a look at one of our latest tablets, putting our first Android 2.3 tablet – the Incheon through its paces.

Some of the key features of the Incheon include a multi-touch 7” capacitive screen, a powerful 1Ghz processor and of course the popular Android 2.3 OS.

Design

The first thing you’ll notice when holding the Incheon in your hands is the compact and solid feel of the device. The metallic/plastic moulded body is the same that we’ve seen many times before on Chinese made Android tablets. But as they say “if it ain’t broke…” as this seems to be a tried and tested design, that on the Incheon in particular, looks and feels fantastic.

When it comes to the aesthetics of the Incheon, the only negative I could find would be the bezel, which to me resembles that of the RIM Blackberry Playbook and is not quite to my taste. Of course this is just a matter of taste and I’m sure that there are many people who like the design of the bezel, I mean it is good enough for Blackberry after all.

On the front of the Incheon tablet you’ll find 3 physical buttons, (Menu, Home and Back) and these do come in useful for quick navigation around the device, especially for when you want to quickly get back to the home screen. You’ll also find a built-in camera located on the right side of the tablet, with which I was able to take some pretty decent snapshots.

Features

The 7” capacitive touchscreen on the Incheon is surprisingly intuitive and the multi-touch pinch and zoom function works extremely well when web-browsing, using Google Maps and on games like Angry Birds. For a sub $200 tablet I was pleasantly surprised to find such a responsive capacitive touchscreen.

The Incheon tablet is powered by a 1GHz Telechip processor and 256MB of RAM and this provided a smooth and almost lag-free experience, as the Incheon comfortably managed to play more graphic intensive games such as Angry Birds Rio.

The video playback on the Incheon was glitch free and it didn’t even break into a sweat when playing HD 720p videos. The Incheon also has a HDMI out port, which I’m sure all the movie buffs out there would find very appealing. Unfortunately for me I didn’t have the opportunity to test it out.

Summary

Overall I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better tablet than this for the price. At just a $169.99 from Light In The Box the Incheon offers incredible value for money and even outperforms some of the more expensive Android tablets out there. For me the Incheon tablet really is a steal and perfect for anyone who wants a solid all round tablet without having to drop more than $200 to get their hands on one.

Meet the Team: Greg


LightInTheBox.com has a lot of busy staff and they’re just dying to meet you! Today we’re interviewing Greg. He’s our Creative Content Department’s resident tech geek. Greg is getting ready to leave our company, so wants to pass on some special wisdom. Let’s see what he has to say…

Hi Greg.
Whaddup?!

I know you, because I sit next to you.
Yeah.

You seem happy.
I’m always happy. I don’t get sad. When I get sad I still look happy so people ask me what I’m happy about and I’m like “dude, I’m upset right now. Go away.”

Where are you from?
Maryland, USA.

A lot of people in this company say you look like Barrack Obama. Care to comment?
I know someone who saw him once in a diner before he was a household name. Allegedly he was eating a hotdog with mustard on it and that’s wrong. Hawaiian pizza is wrong too, there’s a lot of things that bother me about food. Don’t get me started. Like, you can’t just say you have jerked chicken if you’re going to cut corners. You don’t come correct with your spice? I hate that. No, really – when people describe food a way and then don’t follow through and you go in there and look at the menu – and I don’t even want to start on misleading menu photos – and you’re left with I don’t know what on your plate it’s just insulting… and it sucks!

You’re known for your rants.
I like to talk. I’ve gotten in trouble around here a few times for my loud voice but that’s who I am. I’m Greg. People love me.

You can rant about anything. You’re like a terrible morning radio show host.
I don’t know about that. There’s some stuff I love to talk about.

Forks.
You want me to talk about forks? Forks – OK maybe I can say a little about this…forks can be too pointy. I mean I’m not the type of guy who’s going to send a fork back in a restaurant for being too pointy, but, I’ll totally think it. If anyone’s sitting with me I might comment to them like “what’s the restaurant trying to do, kill us?”. I mean technically they’d be equipping us to kill ourselves, since they’re not sticking the way-too-pointy forks in our mouths, they’re just allowing us to do that ourselves. How sharp does a fork need to be? I’m not eating lettuce. Salad sucks. I never eat salad. If the meat is cooked properly – don’t get me started on dry meat oh my god – but it should be juicy and like, succulent. It shouldn’t need a samurai sword to pick off a plate. Seriously.

Fascinating. What do you do here?
I write tech related content for our blog and website. One of my main projects right now is LITB Labs. That’s where we review and show off our latest high-end tech and gadgets. We’ve had some cool sneak peeks lately where we’ve shown glimpses into our new tech developments. I love what’s happening with the Android tablets and smartphones. I’m a big Android fan. Some of the spy gear’s cool too but I’m into the more high-tech stuff. I read Engadget and stuff. I’m hip.

I hear you’ll be leaving us.
I’m leaving LightInTheBox now for new and exciting things, so Jack’s going to be taking over LITB Labs. I think he can do it. He seems a bit shaky. I saw a video with him presenting a tablet the other day he looked a bit strung out. I don’t think he’s been sleeping well. Someone needs to get him this Sleep-As-An-droid app. It listens to you sleeping and when you’re restless like you’re no longer in REM sleep, that’s when your alarm goes off. So you don’t get woken up when you’re in deep sleep which sucks. I hate that, especially if I was having a dream like I was flying. I love those dreams where you feel weightless and you’re flying over the city. Anyway, I’ve got that app on my awesome phone and it’s awesome and legit.

Jack is a bit of a mess…he’s slow.
I’ve been to Europe a few times. I’m a big Chelsea supporter. I even have a Chelsea desktop wallpaper with Drogba throwing money at homeless people. English people are like that sometimes, they get depressed. Not Drogba, he’s from the Ivory Coast.

Alright I’ll go easy on him. So what’s next for you?
It’s time to branch out and use my talents in the right way. I can’t be stuck behind a keyboard forever. It’s time to take on the world. Have you seen that guy Dr. Gadget? He looks like he’s having a good time and the dude is probably near retirement. Well, I think you’re looking at the next big thing.

So you’re going to become a blow-hard web personality?
Yeah but I’ll be different. I’ve got Jamaican in me, so I’ll put a cool Patois spin on it. So it’s like, I’ve got this tech I’ll be like “Whatagwarn? Rah blud! Dis ting bananas! Ya no see it? Tan’ dere I show yas. Bare features. Android Froyo innit? Buff tech! Ya too red eye! Don’t touch dis wire here, ya shock yaself. Trouble no set like rain!”

Sounds amazing. What’s the best LightInTheBox tech you’ve gotten your hands on?
I’m most interested in our Android tablets. The best tech I’ve used are our high-end tablets. The Malata Z-Pad and the SOWILL Oi Oi S7 are awesome. They’re our high-priced capacitive tablets and it shows. For mid-range tech, I recommend the Othello Tab. That’s a capacitive touchscreen you can afford. If you’re on a budget, Ouku Tab is the best 7 inch resistive touchscreen tablet.

Why did you come to China?
My Mom traveled a lot so I actually went to middle-school here. Returning as an adult felt a bit like coming home. I love Beijing and there’s a lot happening here now that makes it worth sticking around.

Imagine your airplane was shot down by monkeys, who have somehow managed to build giant catapults. You crash on their island and now you live with them. What are three things you’d want to have with you?
Laptop, Samsung Nexus S and a shipping container of Doritos.

No monkey repellant?
Monkeys are not my enemy.

Nor mine. What’s your favorite movie, TV show and band?
My favorite TV show is Archer. Favorite movie is Cabaret…or maybe rent? I love musicals and I love movies that empower homosexuals, I don’t know why. Favorite music, hmmm. I recently saw Fatboy Slim play the Great Wall of China, which was awesome. Shout outs to Yin and all my people in lock-down!

OK. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate, baby.

Decent interview Greg. I rate it a 7/10 because you really got off-track with the pointy forks.
That’s fine. Whatever.

We’ll miss you.
I’m off to get famous bro!

Greg is leaving us in pursuit of loftier things. Who can blame a man for following his dreams? Not this interviewer…no way. Check back for more insightful fun with our friendly and sometimes entertaining LITB staff.