Moto 360 Experience

IMG_0779Thanks to internship/work/Verizon, I was able to get a Moto 360 on my wrist for about a week. Now I’m finally ready to share my thoughts about it.

Moto 360 is a smart watch, Android operated, and probably the cheapest one on the market, starting at $250. It’s incredibly stylish, useful and perfect for people who are always on the go.

Moto 360 can only be paired up with an Android operated phone, so I got a second phone to carry around with me, and if you remember from a couple years ago when I had the Nokia Lumia in addition to my iPhone, I didn’t really like it that much. But this time I got a Moto X in wood, and it was actually a great phone to have. I didn’t feel like I needed a case for it, and I could just plug my AUX cable in the car and listen to my favorite stations on Pandora. I have a charging case on my iPhone, kind of a Mophie knock-off, which is too thick and I have to take it off in order to plug it back in.

Back to the Moto 360 though! It let me read my emails, if I had my contacts on the Moto X phone, it would let me read those too. It showed me traffic on the way home. It counted my steps, tracked my activity, and motivated me to actually walk more! It responded to my voice! There really was no reason for me not to like it. Not to mention my husband’s and friends’ reaction when they saw it.

Of course there were a few things that bothered me. The battery barely lasted me all day, I would often come home with less than 10% battery left. The watch itself was too big, and if I positioned my wrist in a certain way, it would push the side button showing me all screen background options possible. The new upgrade that I installed last week made the watch way more user friendly, than before. And finally the wide variety of apps available can be overwhelming

To be 100% honest though, I don’t think I will be getting the watch and switching to android any time soon. I know it may be narrow minded of me, but I love my Apple products, so I am going to stick to what I know, and get the next best thing when September comes around.

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Canon EOS Rebel T5i is a great blogger gift from Best Buy

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

BestBuyHoliday

More and more often I come to a realization that soon I will need a new camera soon. I like what I currently have, but I am often not satisfied with the picture quality. And I would love to get a new camera before my spring break, which we are planning on spending in New York City.

Having asked my blogger friends, I discovered that a lot, if not most of them use Canon. So I did some research, and here is what I learned about The Canon EOS Rebel T5i.

Canon Holiday Image

The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.
•      Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video
•      Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
•      Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
•      The 3″ vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Canon Holiday Image 2

Special offer: Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more. *offer valid 12/7-12/20″

Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories!

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Best Buy The Holiday Shopping Destination: LG OLED TV

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

BestBuyHolidayShoppingDestination

This holiday season I really want to talk about something other than clothes. So I will be partnering with Best Buy, and bringing you a few tech posts to inspire you to get on your nerdy side this year.

Even though I am super busy with classes and exams this semester, also trying to fit blogging in between too, and taking outfit photos for my Instagram, I still like my Netflix and Hulu. And even though we have replaced gin with sitcoms, TV is a great way to destress and catch a few laughs.

I still like Once Upon a Time. That’s probably the only show I have been in to for the past couple of years. The new favorite is The 100, with a couple actors from Battlestar Galactica. Nothing else has really stood out to  me. What shows do you watch these days?

I am also excited for all the holiday movies that will be airing soon. Wouldn’t it be great to watch them on an OLED TV?

LGOLEDTV LGOLEDTV LGOLEDTV LGOLEDTV LGOLEDTV

What is OLED TV?

The stunning design of LG OLED TV is only 0.21″ thick at its thinnest point. Picture quality is spectacular, with Infinite Contrast that ranges from the most blazing whites to the deepest blacks. And, LG’s exclusive 4 Color Pixel technology delivers bright, vibrant colors. Learn more here: LGOLEDatBestbuy.com

Best Buy’s everyday price of $3499.99 (save $500)). 

Your first kiss. A baby’s first steps. The majesty of a desert sunset. Some things in life defy all explanation and must be experienced to be believed. Such is the case with LG’s latest display technology. With deeper and richer colors, stunning contrast and ingeniously curved screens, it is unlike any technology you’ve ever seen, and it delivers a picture that exceeds your wildest imagination.

LG  55EC9300 SKU# 7846019 – OLED TV

·         Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color – delivers more natural, lifelike viewing.

·         4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.

·         Super thin design (consider how to show visually)

·         Find content faster with webOS

LGOLEDTV

 

Tech Talk and Style: Acer It

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

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I love Apple. If you know me, you know that I have a strong attachment to my phone, my Mac, and my iPads. There, I said it and it’s out! That’s why when I first posted the Acer tablet preview, it was so hard for me to get into it. It wasn’t even on for over 2 weeks. Given we were road tripping at that time, but still. And then something happened. After almost giving up on it, I decided to give it another shot. I brought it into work, where we use a different tablet on a daily basis (which I hate, and if you want to know what it is, ask me on social media 😉 ), knowing that I’ll have time to play with it there. I started by changing the background image from abstract grey squares to an image of Central Park and the Upper West Side where I used to live. Think it helped? Have we met?

Then for a while I stuck to the social media apps, like Instagram and Twitter. The tablet is just as fast as my phone, and I could easily type anything I needed.

Soon I discovered Newssstand, and after adding a few favorite topics here and there (I am going to make you guess which ones), I became a devoted reader and sharer. When I read something I like, it always goes up on my Twitter, and for some reason the way Newsstand is set up, makes it so easy and effortless for me. I also get several free articles per month per certain publication (like New York Times, or Financial Times) without having to subscribe to them.

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I am still looking for a good photo editing app, giving audible a try, and wondering about all the ebook apps, like Play books, which unlike Kobo has free books.

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Happy Sunday! A Beauty Brunch post featuring Pevonia Skincare coming up soon!

Learn more about Intel Tablets!

Tech Talk and Style: iPhone 5 Power Jacket

iPhone5PowerJacketGold

Got my iPhone ready for college! I may not be all ready, but it sure is. Ever since I saw my friend’s Kate power case, I knew I wanted one. I have a strong addiction connection with my phone, and I knew I didn’t want to be connected to the outlet at the U all the time. Mobile Fun had the perfect iPhone 5 Power Jacket case for me, gold, with a kickstand, so I can watch YouTube and Netflix without having to prop my phone on a book or purse. The case adds a lot of weight to the phone, which I love. I had a really hard time adjusting to the lightweight of 5, after I had to give up my 4s, so the case helps a lot. Of course it makes the phone a lot thicker for my pocket, and I tend to carry it in my purse more, which also helps me stay off it.

The case lights up when the phone is being charged from it, there is a power button conveniently located in the lower right corner of the case. I normally plug it in at night, and after the phone is charged, the case begins charging automatically. I just love that.

The only downside: I can’t plug the AUX cable in the car anymore, since the case adds so much depth to the jack.

I’ve got the power! How about you?

iPhone 5 Power Jacket in Gold iPhone 5 Power Jacket

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by MobileFun. All opinions are my own.

Acer Iconia A1 First Impression

 

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Let’s get technical, technical. Okay, I have to admit, we are a family of geeks. I love my technology, gadgets, widgets, plugins, laptops, SSD, and tablets. From Android to iOS to Windows, I’ve tried it! Some I love, some I hate, some I’d never recommend.

Today we are going to take a first look at Acer Iconia A1. An android tablet with Intel inside, this tablet reminded me of my iPad mini. The sleek white design and the feel of it definitely make it feel more expensive than it really is (retail price around $179).

It’s a great tablet for blogging, it lets you check social media, answer emails, and edit photographs (I’ve just discovered Retrocam).

Sadly the camera is not that great. The rear one is 5.0 MP, while the front facing one is only 2.0 MP. Maybe I will get a hang of photographing with this tablet, but I am not getting my hopes up. So to actually edit the said photographs, you need to jump through Dropbox hoops.

The battery life is quiet impressive – lasts up to 7.5 hours. The screen resolution is alright, I like watching YouTube videos, as well as Netflix, Hulu and Crackle, and it’s a great tablet for that.

Speakers and volume work well. I don’t need to blast music, unless we are having a backyard party, and then I can use speakers. But I love my Spotify app. What’s your favorite playlist by the way?

Overall it’s a budget tablet in a stylish package. It’s definitely better than some other tablets out there (I am talking to you Samsung Galaxy, every time that I have to use you at work, is painful).

I am looking forward to exploring apps that are android only, so if you have any recommendations, please comment below. Do you use a tablet? Which one do you use/prefer/would get?

And stay tuned for more posts about Acer Iconia A1!

Learn more about Intel Tablets!

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

 

Samsung Galaxy Camera Review through the Eyes of a Fashion Blogger

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Disclaimer: I am participating in a Verizon Wireless blogger program, and received the device and 6 months of service for free, in exchange for my honest opinion. For more information, please click on the Verizon Voices Icon!

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After having this camera for 3 months, I am finally ready to do a review! Let me just get one thing off my chest! I am more than grateful to Verizon for providing me with a camera! When the campaign started all we knew was that we were getting devices, but what kind? It was a mystery! Haven’t had a camera in my arsenal for over 3 years now, I kept bugging my husband to get me one. And his answer always was – use your iPhone, your iPhone has a camera, etc. But it’s so so important to a blogger to have a camera, that is just a camera, or so I thought!

When I got the hands on the Galaxy, I really didn’t expect it to do everything that it does! Yes, they make cameras these days that can do way way more than take pictures. This camera does everything but make phone calls! All thanks to the Android operating system, and the Verizon 4G LTE sim card that is included!

The android operating system and the number of apps to choose from are a definite plus. The camera is a touch screen and is very easy to operate, even for me, a devout Apple user!

A pleasant surprise was when I connected my camera to Dropbox and received another 50 GB of upload space! Dropbox is the number one method of how I upload the pictures onto my Mac. I hate the whole cord tangling/untangling, finding the cord, putting it back into the designated place, etc. So this camera makes it that much easier!

Of course I immediately wanted to purchase a tripod, fortunately my in-laws had a travel version that works really well and helps me take photos and videos when my husband is not around!

I have been carrying this camera everywhere with me: work, out on the town, even on the boat while sailing! It’s very compact and fits not only in my purses and bags, but also into my jean jacket pocket! And that’s a plus!

The battery life is definitely worth it, and the camera goes into energy saving mode when not in use, and automatically shuts off after a while!

It also talks to you! And let me tell you, there is nothing creepier than “ONE NEW EMAIL” said in a shrill female voice! It did take me a while to get used to, and I don’t think I still am 😉

There is also quiet a number of smart settings, that allow you to take different pictures in different settings. One of my ultimate favorites is the action shot! It is that great!

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I know that at the end of the day this camera won’t be the same as DSLR, but it’s better than nothing, and if you are a social media junkie like me, you will love the instant ability to upload to any site, as long as there is an app for that! Right, Nokia Lumia?

Xx,

Zhenya

 

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Nokia Lumia 928

Today’s post is a review on Nokia Lumia 928, a complimentary phone and service

I received from Verizon Wireless, in exchange for my honest opinion. For more information, please click on the Verizon Voices Icon below!

As some of you may recall I travelled to Chicago back in May to meet the other Midwest Fashion and Style bloggers, and to get my first device – Samsung Galaxy camera. And maybe some of you think it’s strange to be posting about the second device before the first, but I feel like the phone is a much more essential part of our daily lives than a camera, even if it’s smart! So here it goes:

The Verizon Blogger program was originally set up like so: you get the first device in Chicago, the second devices comes in the mail 3 months later! But then they decided to send us the phone 2 months early! That was absolutely fine by me 🙂

So I knew I was getting the phone from the start, you see we were receiving hints through Twitter – it was almost like a scavenger hunt. And Sam was actually the one, who thought that the device might be Nokia Lumia! And it was, the new 928 model!

After reading the ArsTechnica review I was pretty excited for the Lumia! And then it came…

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As you can see, it came with this awesome wireless charger, which I absolutely love, and which came extremely handy during our move! (I will explain later!)

The phone came with an Illinois number, which was convenient, and I didn’t have to switch from my iPhone 4S. That was my biggest concern to begin with! But then I quickly became one of those people who have 2 phones! On the other hand it gave me an opportunity to talk more about my blog and the Verizon Blogger Program I am a part of!

My first impression of the phone was – OMGILOVEIT!!! Said probably a hundred times on that first night! I loved the size of the screen, the quality of the glass (gorilla glass, as I learned later during a very useful webinar!), the quality of the picture, the video quality, everything about this phone was AMAZING, or so I thought!

Then I wanted to upload my first VLOG video to YouTube, and that’s where my frustrations began – I couldn’t get the files off the Windows phone, and it refused to upload directly to YouTube. I know to some of you this is not a major concern, but I am a blogger, so let me rant 😉

Having been an Apple user since 2010, the last time I used Windows was to install a pattern making program on my husband’s PC, that died a few months ago! And the app didn’t work on my laptop. So Sam ended up updating my OS (operating system) to the latest software, which solved the problem, but cost $20!

The video quality is great though, see for yourselves:

Definitely better than the iPhone!

Here are some examples of the picture quality! I am not going to compare it to the iPhone that I currently have, or the 5, that Sam has, I am not that kind of blogger 🙂 but I am sure there are plenty of comparisons out there!

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App wise the phone isn’t great. From what I understood, Google has some sort of an agreement with Apple, and they don’t want to let the Nokia in on the deal. Sounds like a typical problem in my classroom, only I work with 2-3 y.o., and these are big guys we are talking about here!

One of the first comments that my fellow bloggers made, as well as one of my coworkers who has Lumia 920, was – THERE IS NO INSTAGRAM! And I said it too, because that’s one of the most popular social networks for us nowadays. Facebook went all commercialized, Twitter is too fast and hard to catch up with, so Instagram is something that has a little personality left.

There is an Instagram substitute, a Nokia app called Instance, which has different filters, and is full of ads, but connects to your original Instagram account.

As you will see with this phone, there are a lot of third party apps, which seem questionable and untrustworthy. But are not as bad if you spend the time reading the reviews.

Moving on! I really want to talk about the speaker on that phone! It is truly amazing! I am a huge Pandora fan, I have my stations all picked out, I know when to hit shuffle, it all matches my moods, or helps improve productivity (I have been listening to a lot of The Avett Brothers and the like recently, maybe that’s why I’ve been kind of lazy and laid back 😉 ) I also get Ads-FREE Pandora through the end of the year through this phone! Which is great, because according to my account I still live in NYC, so I get a lot of Metro PCS commercials, which are often in Spanish, go figure!

Anyways where was I? Radio! Nokia Lumia comes with Nokia Radio (I guess that’s a good name for it!) But a lot of the music is very European! I didn’t like any of the work out stations, I told you I am not very European, even though I was born and lived there for the most part of my life!

I think another feature worth mentioning is Sky Drive! I specifically asked during the webinar if it was like iCloud or DropBox, and the answer was Dropbox, and it is. But since I am already using DropBox the question is – what do I need the second one for? Well, it’s easier to get the files off the phone! That’s all!

Any other perks? I do think the Pinterest type home screen is a cute idea, plus you can customize is! So mine went from “Verizon” red to teal! That’s pretty neat!

Oh and Internet sharing! As most of you know, Sam and I bought a house! Which also lead to me starting a new blog, dedicated entirely to the house called Story and a Half of Our Life (go check it out and give it some love please! ), and since the process of moving took us a week (Sam had an alarming pain in his right side, and we spent a few VERY long hours in the ER, but he is okay now, and it was most likely a pulled muscle of some sort) we couldn’t have our Comcast Internet at the apartment and the house at the same time, so I used my Nokia to create a hot spot, and turned the Internet Sharing on! Thank you, Verizon, for providing me with the unlimited data plan! I really appreciate it!

So to sum it all up:

THE GOOD: Great design, sound, picture and video quality (for the Phone!), interesting interface, user friendly, most apps are there,

THE BAD: The software for MAC was hard to figure out, Internet Explorer search engine only, the battery doesn’t last that long if you are on it all the time.

THE UGLY: A lot of apps are not there, and you don’t know when they are coming, if at all and having to go around them sucks! Plus the constant ads in a lot of apps do get to you very quickly!  And it’s a Verizon exclusive!

THE VERDICT: Am I going to switch to Nokia after my contract is up in October? I don’t know! Probably not. It’s a hard phone to get used to, especially when you are still on your iPhone. I still reach for the old one over the new, maybe out of habit, but probably more out of familiarity and simplicity of it all!

I hope this was somewhat helpful, and I know that some of you have already told me that once your contract is up, you will be switching to this phone. But please think before you act. I know I am not really praising it, but I don’t want to bring it down either! The choice is always yours.

Xo,

Z

Phones and their Outfits

Dior Phone Touch

The other day my husband told me about “lady” phones that he read an article on! I have to admit – you gotta love ars technica for their ability to reach out to everyone – both men and women!

Versace Unique Pop Pink

The whole idea of having a “ladyphone” seems rather stupid to me, because nowadays you can make any phone look like a “lady” by simply purchasing an appropriate accessory.

Gucci V3i Gold

 LG KE850 Prada

Why get something that not only looks stupid, but has horrible horrible features (You are horrible, horrible girls! – get the reference?), when you can get a nice designer cover for your iPhone or Blackberry (sorry, ever since I moved to the US the other brands ceased to exist)

Like glitter and sparkle? Knock yourself out with Swarovski cases:

Available from TheRedBirdDesignon Etsy

Funny story – when I was buying my iPhone the girl who was selling it to me suggested this case –

I love Michael Kors, but this particular design is too much – I don’t want to fiddle around, trying to get to my phone, even if it is in a secure little snake skin pouch like this vs. being thrown into the almost bottomless pit, which is my Zabars bag. Needless to say the girl didn’t own the iPhone or the case for that matter 🙂 And didn’t know who Micheal Kors was either.

Now Ted Baker has something a little more handy in all senses of this word:

But to be honest with you, I don’t even have a case for my phone, and neither am I planning on getting one! Maybe someday, when it becomes more of an accessory, than a necessity!

xoxo,

Z