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This product was sent to us for review from MeriMobiles.com.

When you first open the box you’ll notice the phone looks identical to the HTC HD7 in nearly every way. One big difference: it runs Android. Of all the things I liked about the phone, the most substantial one was probably the screen. It has a very high-resolution 4.3″ display with good contrast and colors. I’m guessing it is a AMOLED display due to its performance, and washed out colors when watching outside. A characteristic of AMOLED displays is that they are terrible for viewing outside, and that is certainly true on this phone. It includes both a front and back facing camera, as well as a shutter button, but neither cameras perform good in low light conditions, and are just good enough for Facebook pictures in good lighting. The back camera also has a dual LED flash, although it isn’t very powerful compared to many phones.

On the back of the phone, you will notice a nice, but flimsy, piece of matte plastic. It’s nearly soft touch, but just doesn’t feel rubbery enough to posses the title. This may or may not be a bad thing for you. The back unfortunately feels fairly flimsy, but during drop tests it did not break. You’ll also notice a metal kick stand around the 2 MP camera and dual LED flash, just like the HD7. I did occasionally have to tighten the screws that hold it in, but other than that, it performed excellently while watching video or reading. The display is covered with a hard plastic rather than glass, meaning it attracts even more fingerprints, although it won’t affect performance. You’ll also notice 3 backlit capacitive buttons, unlike the normal 4, but I never missed the search key. Battery life was OK, but like all Android phones, will only get you through a day.

When you power it up, which unfortunately can take a little while, you’ll notice you have a full vanilla build of Froyo. Due to its capacitive screen, this phone runs most tasks surprisingly well. It won’t be the real thing, but for a $200 unlocked phone, this can pack a punch. It did sometimes spontaneously lag or even crash all together, but it was defiantly usable. Typing was great due to the large screen, although I installed the Gingerbread keyboard to improve accuracy and eye candy. It would sporadically type the incorrect letter, but it was no just as good as iOS. I did notice substantial speed increases when using a 3rd party launcher such as Launcher Pro or ADW.Launcher.

Still, this regrettably isn’t true in gaming. It can hardly load Angry Birds, and once it does, you’ll notice 7 frames per second performance. Not exactly a gaming phone. The MediaTek MT6516 416MHz processor isn’t exactly designed for gaming. It does have a second 260MHz core for all phone operations, so in regular tasks it will run fine, but don’t expect it to outpace a HTC EVO 3D, or even the EVO Shift 4G for that matter.

I think this is the perfect secondary phone for travelers or a first time smartphone buyer, perhaps for kids on a prepaid plan, as it’s unlocked and will run on any GSM carrier. Another example could be for travelers, it works internationally unlocked and has dual sim card slots. Overall it is a fairly good priced phone, but unless you absolutely need that 4.3″ high resolution screen, you might instead buy the Star A5000, which has 3.5″ multi-touch screen, has a touchpad, looks like a G2 without a keyboard, and is only $160. Remember, the iPhone 4 (and pretty much all smartphones) cost $630+ unlocked, so $200 is nothing. I think Chinese phones have a market, and they are just getting better and better. For many people, this will be all they need for a phone.

Included:
-2 batteries
-A bad headset
-Micro USB cable
-Manuals
-The A1000 itself

Pros:
-Stock Android 2.2
-Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
-4.3″ high-resolution multi-touch Screen
-Good viewing angles
-GPS and A-GPS
-Dual Sim/Dual Standby
-Decent call quality
-Good build quality
-Excellent customer support from MeriMobiles
-Includes 2 batteries

Cons:
-No 3G data, only EDGE (2.75G) and GPRS (2.5G)
-The screen is very hard to view outside
-Not too good battery life
-It can sometimes lag, and it has very poor gaming performance

Buy:
Star A1000
Star A5000

Rating:
3/5

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These headphones were sent out for review by MobileFun.co.uk.

Shortly after the last time I reviewed $30 headphones I was forced to quit my job. Although, I don’t see a way for that happening again, as I basically work for myself, although it’s technically a democratic organization of 3 members. Now on to the review. When I first heard about the Sonix line of headphones, I thought they looked a lot like V-MODA’s in-ear headphones. They used a nylon cable, something V-MODA loves to do, they have a “pod-like” design with “L” piece coming out of the earbud – just the cable, they use an all metal design like V-MODA uses, and they use a 45 degree 3.5mm input jack. All of those are characteristics of earbuds I love, and none are V-MODA’s invention, but none the less scream “V-MODA competitor!” The only things included are standard small, medium, and large ear tips, and the ear buds themselves. I’d like to see some sort of pouch included for such nice ear buds, but you have to remember to low price point. Even though the ear buds are somewhat heavy due to the all anodized aluminum design and nylon cable, they still stay in your ears very well. The build quality is excellent due to the high-end materials they used, and they look very modish – although they sometimes give a retro look – in a good way. Moving down to the cable, you’ll notice a nice 45 degree angle jack and some red metal accents. This adds up to a long-lasting, flexible input. Overall build quality is excellent, and they are certainly snazzy.

Now you may be thinking, “so are they just blitz, or do they also pack a punch?” After burning in the ear buds for 24 hours, I got to use them. The experience was like the first time I used good ear buds. Everything got out-of-the-way and I just heard beautiful tunes. You will notice a balanced bass, (so these might not be great for bass junkies) and good highs, mids, and lows. In terms of cable noise, if you’re not listening to music, it is noticeable, especially from the rubber part of the cable, (the braided nylon part seems to block cable noise) but once you turn on music, even at a very low-level like I listen to, you wont notice it. I can certainly say these are the best $30 price range ear buds I have ever used. From my experience testing headphones, these sound and feel more like $100 range headphones, provide nearly as good sound as the V-MODA Vibe Duos, which originally sold for $120, although are now down to $80. Not only that, but some of the best build quality in the in-ear headphone industry, and you’ve got one of the best deals you can find. That’s why I give the Lenntek Sonix ear buds the editor’s choice award for low-cost in-ear headphones.

Pros:
-Low price point
-Best of class build quality
-Nylon cable
-Excellent sound quality
-45 degree headphone input that barley works with the iPhone 2G

Cons:
-Very few accessories are included
-The nylon cable only goes up to the yoke

Buy here:
Silver
Black
HTC Desire S accessories

Video review:

Well, I’m back, again. Basically I’ve left TechUnwrapped.com, and I want to create something new. I wanted to create something that owuld create a dent in the tech universe. iTechGadget was obviously not that. Me, Vincent Paddon, and Brandon Keller are teaming up to create a new HTML5 graphic presentation system for our reviews. This will truly be like no other reviewing site. Although while the site is being developed, we will be writing on this site. Every article on this site from now on will also be put in the private alpha of the new site, and you’ll be able to find any iTechGadget.net Summer 2011 article. We expect to launch the final site by mid-late Summer, but for now, iTechGadget will hopefully become your source of tech info. To stay informed please subscribe to this blog from the footer of this page. We purchased the domain iTechGadget.net, so you can now access us from there.

By Tyler Simpson

You might ask why I put this in the iTechGadget “Tech Timer”, and the reason is that iTechGadget.co.cc’s timer has expired. After spending many months here, getting thousands of hits, and getting some review products, I must leave. Don’t worry, neither iTechGadget nor my reviews are going away, just moving.

Let’s talk about iTechGadget’s ‘destiny’. We are creating iTechGadget.net which will be a community blog. Anyone will be able to post articles by simply submitting it, then our experts will spell/grammar check it and post it. I didn’t say “I”, I said “our experts”. I need a person willing to occasionally write for iTechGadget and be the editor. You would get paid in 35% ad revenue from iTechGadget (the rest going towards giveaways, hosting, etc.) and you would be expected to moderate and post reviews, news and everything else in the tech world. Expect a redesign soon to celebrate iTechGadget 3.0. We are still debating whether to continue development of iTechGadget app or not.

Now about me. I applied for a job at TechUnwrapped.com and was accepted. This means my main task will be to write for them. I still have several products coming in the mail for iTechGadget, so I will post those reviews here and on TechUnwrapped. My YouTube career will not change, and Mac Mod Weekend will still happen. That snazzy new logo posted on my last few videos will remain property of both ThatAppleGeek and iTechGadget, and for the most part ThatAppleGeek will remain part of iTechGadget. My time on iTechGadget has been great, but it has come to an end. I will for now on only post ThatAppleGeek video reviews on iTechGadget.

Goodbye,
Tyler Simpson
Former editor and lead writer

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