Ooma: First Impressions

Ooma is a VOIP provider which will sell you an ATA, phones, and accessories to integrate with their ATA. They provide services on two levels. The first level is their “free” option which will require payment on taxes and fees ($4-$5) per month, or a premiere service which will cost $10+taxes and fees and include other features – some of which are considered as basic service with other providers. For the Premiere service, you get blacklisting, free use of the Ooma app, a second US Telephone number (additional numbers: $5), Integration with Smart Home Products, Calling to Canada, and Mexico, Backup Number, CID with Name, Call Forwarding, Google Voice Extension and other features.

I bought a factory refurbished model from Amazon, and the HD2 phone. Since the HD2 phone will only work with the Ooma Telo (ATA), these will be reviewed together. The ATA will support four devices including HD2 phones, and Linx phone adapters. Both were about $50 from Amazon.
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Review: Moto Z Play

I have faced constant disappointment with Blu which has been very consistent in being an inferior choice. When my lifeline provider started to offer data services with my voice services, I tried to continue using my Blu R1 HD until I gave up in April of 2017. At which point, I went to using my Nexus 5 (not the 5X). As this is a phone that will no longer have support, nor software updates, I wanted to get something that will not only receive support, but will also meet my needs as the 16GB on the Nexus 5 was nearly full.

The Moto Z Play has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with an Adreno 506 GPU. There is 3GB of memory, and 32GB of ROM with a micro-SD card slot supporting up to 2TB. The screen is a 5.5″ 1080p screen with a 403ppi. The battery is 3510mAh which should go through a day easily. The phone supports all bands of GSM 2G/3G as well as multiple LTE Bands. The US variant only offers a single Nano-SIM support. Wireless support includes Bluetooth 4.0, Wifi-N (2.4/5Ghz), and NFC. The phone offers a power, volume and fingerprint button. There is also a 3.5mm audio, and USB-C with Quick Charge. In addition, the phone as with all Moto Z phones supports Moto Mods. The phone is about $480 and will have a payment plan of $26.50 for 18 months at 0% APR.
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Invoxia Voice Bridge – Run Away!

A couple of days ago, I bought and received the Invoxia Voice Bridge to minimize the costs of my phone. The Invoxia Voice Bridge is intended to allow landline based phones to ring to an app on an Android, or iOS device. So, what was my plan? Send everyone to GTalk which is connected to an Obi ATA. The bridge would be plugged into the ATA and send the calls to the app as a Wifi Call, therefore meaning I am not using cellular minutes. If I am not home, the call will be routed through the cellular phone which means the calls that are important will come through.

A great idea, especially considering that I have a limited number of minutes. This would have been a wonderful product. However, while it might work fine on iOS, it has failed to work properly on my Moto Z Play with Android 7.0. Motorola uses a near stock overlay of Android, and there is no carrier apps on the phone. However, when a call was to come through, it will not ring the phone. I will instead receive a notification that I missed a call. This means that the phone will not work with the device, or the device will not work with the phone.
Continue reading Invoxia Voice Bridge – Run Away!

Motorola Moto Z Play: First Impressions

I have faced constant disappointment with Blu which has been very consistent in being an inferior choice. When my lifeline provider started to offer data services with my voice services, I tried to continue using my Blu R1 HD until I gave up in April of 2017. At which point, I went to using my Nexus 5 (not the 5X). As this is a phone that will no longer have support, nor software updates, I wanted to get something that will not only receive support, but will also meet my needs as the 16GB on the Nexus 5 was nearly full.

The Moto Z Play has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with an Adreno 506 GPU. There is 3GB of memory, and 32GB of ROM with a micro-SD card slot supporting up to 2TB. The screen is a 5.5″ 1080p screen with a 403ppi. The battery is 3510mAh which should go through a day easily. The phone supports all bands of GSM 2G/3G as well as multiple LTE Bands. The US variant only offers a single Nano-SIM support. Wireless support includes Bluetooth 4.0, Wifi-N (2.4/5Ghz), and NFC. The phone offers a power, volume and fingerprint button. There is also a 3.5mm audio, and USB-C with Quick Charge. In addition, the phone as with all Moto Z phones supports Moto Mods. The phone is about $480 and will have a payment plan of $26.50 for 18 months at 0% APR. Continue reading Motorola Moto Z Play: First Impressions

Review: HP Pavilion 360

The HP Pavillion x350 is a 13.3″ laptop/tablet hybrid PC with a hinge that places the keyboard’s bottom against the backside of the screen for tablet mode. This disables the keyboard to prevent typing. The system has an Intel i3 CPU, 4GB of memory, a 1TB mechanical Hard Drive, and an SDXC card slot. There are 3 USB Type A ports – two of which are USB3 ports. There is also an HDMI, and a condensed RJ45 jack. Wireless communications is a Wifi-N, and Bluetooth 4.0.

I bought the PC as I needed a new Windows PC. My current better quality notebook is confined to the desk for a number of issues. I had a notebook, but the I-View system was inferior even when considering the price which in my opinion was too much. At this time, there are still resources I rely on that requires Windows (such as the Email client and label printer). The system was purchased with Amazon Credit. Continue reading Review: HP Pavilion 360

Review: Acer CB3-531

The Acer CB3-531 is a 15.6″ notebook PC running Chrome OS. It has a Celeron 2.8Ghz CPU, 2GB of memory, 16GB of storage, and an SDXC card slot. The system has Wifi-AC, and Bluetooth 4.0 with a basic Webcam. There is one USB2 and one USB3 port. Acer claims the 4 cell battery will last 8 hours.

I purchased this notebook in hopes to move myself to Chrome OS and hopefully will receive Android App support as time goes on. There are still a number of resources I use that Chrome OS does not support fully or at all, but eventually – will want to consider phasing those resources to merge with support. The PC was $220 on Amazon which Amazon Credit was used. Continue reading Review: Acer CB3-531

Review: Motorola Moto 360 (v.1)

The Motorola Moto 360 was purchased in replacing the Martian Notifier which the battery failed to work properly followed by Martian claiming to never receiving the watch for repairs. The Moto 360 is an LCD Android wear watch with a mostly round display. The watch has the processing power to do its functions and roles, and a non-user replaceable watch band.

The watch was purchased from Amazon using my credit line with them to acquire the watch. The watch was $165, and could not find the preferred version 2 of the watch which would have a replaceable band. Continue reading Review: Motorola Moto 360 (v.1)

Motorola Moto 360: First Impressions

The Moto 360 is a round face watch that was released about 2 years ago. It is water resistant for up to 1 meter at 30 minutes. The watch has a 1.56″ round face with a 205ppi resolution. The watch has a 1Ghz CPU, 512MB of memory, and 4GB of storage. The watch runs Android Wear, and has a couple of updates waiting when it is first activated.

I bought the watch through Amazon for $165, and was purchased with the credit line I have with Amazon. The watch was purchased as the Martian Notifier failed to meet my needs. Rather than going cheap on my next smart watch, I went with one that had a good reputation of reliability. Continue reading Motorola Moto 360: First Impressions

Acer CB3-531: First Impression

The Acer CB3-531 is a 15.6″ notebook PC running Chrome OS. It has a Celeron 2.8Ghz CPU, 2GB of memory, 16GB of storage, and an SDXC card slot. The system has Wifi-AC, and Bluetooth 4.0 with a basic Webcam. There is one USB2 and one USB3 port. Acer claims the 4 cell battery will last 8 hours.

I purchased this notebook in hopes to move myself to Chrome OS and hopefully will receive Android App support as time goes on. There are still a number of resources I use that Chrome OS does not support fully or at all, but eventually – will want to consider phasing those resources to merge with support. The PC was $220 on Amazon which Amazon Credit was used. Continue reading Acer CB3-531: First Impression

HP Pavilion x360: First Impression

The HP Pavillion x350 is a 13.3″ laptop/tablet hybrid PC with a hinge that places the keyboard’s bottom against the backside of the screen for tablet mode. This disables the keyboard to prevent typing. The system has an Intel i3 CPU, 4GB of memory, a 1TB mechanical Hard Drive, and an SDXC card slot. There are 3 USB Type A ports – two of which are USB3 ports. There is also an HDMI, and a condensed RJ45 jack. Wireless communications is a Wifi-N, and Bluetooth 4.0.

I bought the PC as I needed a new Windows PC. My current better quality notebook is confined to the desk for a number of issues. I had a notebook, but the I-View system was inferior even when considering the price which in my opinion was too much. At this time, there are still resources I rely on that requires Windows (such as the Email client and label printer). The system was purchased with Amazon Credit.
Continue reading HP Pavilion x360: First Impression