3.14.2014

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review


Over the course of the last year it has become painfully obvious that I am the ultimate answer to the "the first question, the oldest question in the universe, hidden in plain sight". No the question is not Doctor Who? It is: Who actually writes reviews on this website? And the answer of course is: Just Jim.

On September 7, 2009 I wrote my first review for reviewspew.com. The review was for my brand new LG Env3 cell phone. As Reviewspew.com seems to be in its final death throes (barring some miraculous rebirth), I found it fitting to “close the loop” and write what will most likely be my final review. The Samsung Galaxy S4.

For well over 4 years I enjoyed the use of my Env3. It should go down in the history books as the best “basic” cell phone for texting and durability. It was in perfect working order for all that time and still works. So why did I upgrade (or perhaps you’re asking, “Why didn’t you upgrade over 2 years ago”)? For well over 2 years now I have watched with real jealousy as each and every single person I know upgraded to a Smartphone. Even my wife was able to upgrade. Even my kids, in a way were outdoing me with their Galaxy Tab 7’s and their iPod Touch 5s (not phones but still….).

I finally said “No more” and broke down and upgraded. Ok, it actually went like this: I broke down, cried like a baby, whined enough to my wife that she finally said, “If it will make you stop making that obnoxious noise, then by all means go upgrade you big fat baby!”, and then I upgraded.

I had the best experience I ever had at a Verizon Store. I walked in and there was no wait, not even a second. The woman that helped me was just the right amount of flirty and filthy-minded to make me feel comfortable. In fact, our conversation degraded so quickly that by the time she handed me her iPad and said “finger signature right here” I felt perfectly comfortable replying, “I’ll finger you any time you ask me too.” But then I found out she lives a quarter mile from my house and my son goes to school with her daughter. We cleaned up our act after that tidbit of knowledge was discovered.

But I digress. Onto the actual review (admit it – you’re going to miss this roundabout way of reviewing something aren’t you – well blame Matt and Meatwad – I did all I could do). But I digress once again. You know what? Screw it. You are either an Android person or an iPhone person. If you’re an Android person you already know everything about the S4 and would much rather read reviews about the Note III or the upcoming release of the S5 (my girlfriend at the Verizon store said the S5 was “underwhelming” btw). I love my new S4.  It's a great phone, although I find myself taking hour long crapper breaks now because I lose track of time surfing while pooping.  I give the phone 4 stars.  There are some things I think could improve on it, but whatever.


I guess there’s nothing left to do now but say goodbye. It’s been fun reviewing for this site and would be fun to do so again. Thanks for reading. I’ll tell you what I’ll do, if I get at least 10 legitimate, positive comments on this review (not SPAM and not from one of the other reviewers – who don’t read my reviews anyway so no problem there) then I’ll post another review. Until then … Smell Ya Later!!!!


12.18.2013

Kindle Paperwhite Review


When I was 14 years old, my father spent over $1400 on a computer for me. It was an Epson Equity II 8088 PC. It had no hard drive, but did come fully loaded with 640K DRAM, Dual 5 ¼ inch floppy drives, DOS, and Word Perfect, plus a 13 inch green screen monitor - and as you all know green screen is what you want in your monochrome display unless you’re a racist (Black and White monitor) or a commie (Amber Screen). It also came with a dot-matrix printer with continuous feed paper with the little perforated holes on both sides of the paper!

Compare this computer to what you are reading this review on today is like comparing the Sony eReader I’ve been using for the last 4 years to the new Kindle PaperWhite Next Gen eReader. I bought the Sony eReader 4 years ago for the ridiculous price of $275. It was their first model touch screen. It’s slow, it glares, it’s about the worst eReader I've ever seen. Don’t ever, ever, ever buy an eReader from Sony. They suck. You might as well buy regular books and use a card-catalog to keep track of your personal library. It would be more user friendly.

But I digress. I waited patiently for just the right Kindle to finally come out and it now has. The Kindle PaperWhite with Next-Gen Built in Light is simply the best eReader to ever grace the Earth with its presence. Here’s why:

Design – It is light weight, easy to handle and looks good.

Functionality – It is responsive, turns pages instantly by swiping your finger or simply tapping the screen. My Sony you would swipe the screen and in 20-30 seconds it would finally change to the next page (or not). Built-in WiFi allows for near instant downloads of books or periodicals you purchase at Amazon (either through your laptop or from the Kindle itself).

OK, ok, you know what Kindles have, I don’t need to go on. Let’s just say this one is the most advanced one you’ve ever seen. But then add to all of that an adjustable back light. No more flashlights, cases with lights or head-lamps to read in bed at night. And even with this, the battery life is extremely long. Several weeks of use on one charge.

The appearance of the text in this version is different than previous Kindles but it is just as readable if not more so. No glare at all, read in the sun, read in the dark, read anywhere you want with comfort and ease.

As nice as this Kindle is to hold, the cover designed for it only enhances that experience. It’s a little spendy but gives you the feel of holding a real leather-bound book. It also automatically puts the Kindle in and out of sleep mode when you open the case.

The only thing I absolutely hate about this Kindle is the power-down activation. There is only one physical button on this whole thing. You use this to turn the thing on and when you want to power it down completely. That’s cool, but here’s the problem. To turn off you have to hold that button down and wait 5 agonizing seconds for the confirmation window to pop-up asking if you really want to shut down. 5 SECONDS. Doesn't sound like a lot I know but run that exercise in your mind. It feels like an eternity. All you’re trying to do is ensure you don’t accidentally turn your device off. A two-unrelated-step process is standard for smart phones because you can butt-dial or butt-power-down. Which shouldn't be a real concern with an eReader. So it’s not necessary anyway but then to make you hold that button down for so long is almost cruel. My iPhone 4s you only have to hold the button down for 2 seconds. The latest Galaxy Smart phone is 2 seconds also. Come on Amazon. You’re wizards at your “secret LAB126” are figuring out how to deliver a package within 30 minutes via flying drones, yet you can’t figure out the problem with this?

A quick word about Kindle eReaders verses Tablets.  Even the Kindle Fire Tablet uses an App to read books.  You still have to deal with the glare you get off any tablet.  If you want a tablet, get a tablet.  But if you want an eReader for the pure love of reading don't fool yourself into thinking that if you get a tablet that you'll have your cake and eat it too.

I love this eReader but it loses a star because of that one thing. A software patch should do the trick. Fix it Amazon and you’ll get the fifth star. I promise.

12.04.2013

Burger King's Big King Sandwich Review


I just ate at Burger King. I like BK, I really do. The Whopper is my favorite “flagship” burger in the fast food industry. But I don’t know what this obsession BK has with trying to be McDonalds. Pepsi and Coke reached a harmonious place with each other in the universe after Coke finally accepted that Pepsi tasted better (see Pepsi Challenge 1980s) and Pepsi finally accepted that Coke will always have a higher market share than them. So why can’t BK and McD’s come to a similar understanding? I digress.

I went to try the new $1 version of their Pork Rib Sandwich (which I previously reviewed….and loved). But as I walked through the door, there it was: The sign advertising the Big King. Yep, BK is taking a stab at McD’s flagship burger. I was absolutely powerless and resisting ordering it proved futile.

To start it was poorly made. Whoever was back there made it with absolute hatred and disdain for me and if I wanted that in a sandwich I would have made my own this morning before work. But everyone who eats fast food knows this happens more often than not, so whatever.

As far as taste, it had all the right ingredients: Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, onions, and pickles on a sesame seed bun. So why did it taste like open ass? The lettuce was yellow and wilted and there was twice as much of it than the 2 beef patties combined. The cheese was waxy and wasn’t completely melted and the onions and pickles just tasted off. They did manage to make Thousand Island dressing with no problem though. Congrats. I guess.

The whole experience left me wondering why they bothered. I guarantee that McD’s isn’t going to come out with a McWhammer any time soon to compete with the Whopper. So trust me when I say, when it comes to a Big Mac like sandwich, stick with the best and get the Big Carl from Carl’s Jr. It taste better, is bigger and just fandamntastic. The Big King gets 0 stars.

Oh ya, I also tried the new $1 version of the Pork Rib Sandwich I was so high a few months back. About 10 years ago my family went to a water park after I got off work. My wife made tuna fish sandwiches that we were going to eat on the way. I was driving and got three-fourths the way through my sandwich before I realized that there was no tuna fish on it. I could smell the tuna on the other sandwiches but for some reason mine (that I randomly grabbed from the bag) did not have any. It was strange because from the smell I could have sworn I was eating tuna fish. My wife said she was sorry and that she had made me two, so she handed me the 2nd one. It also was devoid of actual tuna fish. You know what they say about redheads right? They’re blondes from hell. So I ate 2 tuna-scented sandwiches that evening. Yum. The new $1 Pork Rib Sandwich has so little “meat” on it that it might as well be called a BBQ Pork scented sandwich. They did add onion which was a plus but changed from the inspired artisan bun to their regular sesame seed bun. All and all, just not worth it.

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