The Rookie Blogger

December 5, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Experience

I have just recently bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and in my experience, this phone is by far the best phone that I have used. However, even though I like and love this phone a lot, this does not appeal to almost half of the people that have seen my phone. I can conclude that Samsung Galaxy Note II is the best phone that is not for everyone.

In terms of the specifications of this phone, this is by far the most powerful Android device that is available in the market as of this moment. Clocked at 1.6 GHz Quad-core Cortex-A9 processor, this device packs the most powerful chip in a mobile device. What this means is that all of the transitions and animations in this mobile device is fluid and buttery. The camera of this device is by the best that I have seen. It features an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p at 30 frames per second video recording and a secondary front camera that has 1.9 megapixels which is not that great.

Unlike my previous phone which is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the Note 2 has a micro SD card slot which is perfect for my lifestyle because I always watch movies and TV episodes on my phone. Call quality of this phone is as great as the previous phones that I have used in the past and this is probably because of the hardware the Telecommunications Company use here in the Philippines. The 4G LTE of this phone is also no use in our country even though TelCo’s advertises such network. LTE can reach downloads up to 50mbps or even 100mbps in some other countries but in our network, I can barely even reach 3 mbps.
Portability of the phone is not as bad as what other people are saying. It just fits perfectly in my pocket. With a massive 5.5 inches screen at 720x1280 pixels (with 267 pixel density compared to the iPhone which has 326), this phone is the best mobile device for viewing movies and browsing the internet. Unlike the first version of the Galaxy Note, the screen of this device has a 16:9 aspect ratio which is great for watching widescreen movies.
Another great addition of this phone is the S-Pen which redefines stylus technology. It has a pressure sensitivity that allows users to draw lines with different thickness. Another nifty feature of the S-Pen is AirView which allows users to hover the pen to preview albums and movies.
Sample Unedited Photos
The reason why I chose this mobile device is because of its screen and battery life. Even though this phone has the biggest screen of all, the batter life of this device is way better than other smartphones. I can even watch HD movies (either at 1080p or 720p) up to 9 hours using this phone. I think that the Galaxy Note 2 as well as its first version has pushed the limits of a mobile device. Five years ago, all I want is a phone that can make calls and texts and has a Java Virtual Machine on it so that I can install games, but now, this phone, as well as other similar smartphones has extended my standards for a mobile phone and the Note 2 just stands out from the rest.

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October 11, 2012

How I Spent Almost Everything

Many of my friends are wondering why I have little or no savings at all even though I have a job. One reason I can tell them is that I am now paying the electric and phone bills. But they know that this is not the real reason why I am always broke almost every month.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Photo by
It started when I bought my first Android phone which is the Samsung Galaxy Y. It has almost all the things that I need for a phone like music player and YouTube videos viewer. I was overwhelmed by the applications that I can install in this Android phone and ended up filling its internal memory storage. I ended up buying a new Android phone which is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This phone is amazing because I always like big phones. The internet storage is also way better than my Galaxy Y which is 16 gigabytes. It can record 1080p video which is great because I like shooting random videos. The camera has also a macro shot capability making it more useful in my photography hobby. The two phones being bought in just a span of four months made me penniless in an instant.

Sony a57 DSLT
And then the Sony a57 was released. I knew I would get sick until I cannot own this camera because it has amazing features that I really want to see in a Digital SLR (even though this camera is a new breed of camera which is Single Lens Translucent or SLT). The camera boasts a 16 megapixel image sensor (APS-C format) and can shoot 10 frames per second or 12 frames in crop mode. What makes this camera more fascinating to me is that it has an ISO range of 100-25600 (ISO auto ranges from 100-3200) which is perfect for low-light situations. When I got my hands on this camera, I tested first its low-light performance and I was blown away because it renders less image noise. This is the most amazing camera that I have used and seen (I think better than D5000, D7000, 7D, D90, D3100, and 60D – I did not mention the brands, just the model numbers lol).

Sample Photos of Sony a57
I am totally poor right now and what makes it worse is the announcement and release Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Currently, I have absolute zero money in my bank or pocket but I am starting to save money by eating lunch at Angel’s or Minute Burger (and I am totally serious). This smartphone is starting to make me feel sick already. Buying so many things these past few months is of course making me poorer by the minute but I feel happy. They always say “money can’t buy happiness” which I think doesn’t work in the world of electronics. Owning these gadgets has brought joy not only to me but also to my friends especially the ones who love to pose in my Sony a57.

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January 30, 2012

Trying to be a Good Photographer – Sinulog sa Naga 2012, Photowalks, and Events

After missing out the largest festival in our country, I was still able to view a local version of Sinulog Festival. I don’t like attending the Sinulog celebration in Cebu City because of the sheer number of people. I have attended only once three years ago and it was not a good experience especially the long walks and crowded streets. Fortunately, we have a small version of the Sinulog Festival in our town.

Because I was not able and will not be able to take photos of the grand Sinulog celebration in the city, I tried taking pictures in our own version of Sinulog. It was quite difficult to get a decent shot because the dancers are moving and looks tired. I wonder how those photographers of this year’s Sinulog Photo Contest got an amazing shot. From more than 500 photos that I took, I only uploaded and edited 75 pictures [Album Photo – Sinulog sa Naga 2012].
Before, when I try to shoot events of celebrations, I always upload everything. As long as the focus of the picture is good, I always upload it. But now, I tried changing that habit because people will get confused on where to comment. With multiple albums for a single event, my friends always get lost while browsing and even worst, ask me to take down their embarrassing photos.
Editing photos is also something that I learned. Before, I use Adobe Lightroom to increase the vibrancy of colors of the picture. Increasing the intensity of colors of photos is not that a bad idea but some photos especially the dramatic and gloomy ones should not be edited this way.

For the past two years, I have been taking photos of events and join a couple of photowalks. I can say that my skills in photography have improved but looking at the previous winners of Pulitzer Photography Competition, I think that I have a long way to go and lots of things to learn.

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About The Rookie Blogger

This is a personal blog of James Arnold. This blog contains posts about travel, technology, dining, and many more. James is also a freelance photographer that caters events such as weddings, debuts, birthdays, and even personal photoshoots. You can contact him through +63 916 659 7001 if you have any questions or plans to advertise on this blog.