Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Mod for the Moto Z

Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Mod for the Moto Z

moto-mods-hasselblad-pdp-specsexpanded-d-vzwI’m normally fairly neutral on smartphone accessories. Yeah, bluetooth speakers, cases, and charging stations can make life just a little bit quicker, brighter or better sound-wise, but they don’t change the operation of the phone a whole bunch.

But the Moto Z has changed that dramatically with their speaker, battery and projector mods. And last week I was asked to try out THE accessory that changes the game… the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera mod.

Hasselblad True Zoom Camera

The Hasselblad looks like a small-form attached lens camera, but when you snap it on to the Mozo Z magnetic connectors it changes the Moto Z into an awesome 10x-zoom enabled camera.

The camera comes with a on-off switch which calls up the camera app and opens the lens on the Hasselblad, and also a wide/tight zoom toggle switch. Tapping the camera snap button once focuses the shot on auto and holding it down longer snaps the photo or starts the video.

I tried the camera in a variety of lighting situations and the focus and pixels were phenomenal, even with the camera “only” being 12MP.

Other specs include :

  • 12MP photo camera/1080p Full HD video at 30fps
  • 2 Mics
  • Aperature f3.5-6.5
  • Zoom : 10x optical/4x digital
  • Pro Mode Options : Focus, white balance, f-stop, ISO, exposure
  • White Balance Options : Auto, incandescent, florescent, sunny, shade
  • File formats : JPG, DNG (RAW) – Video : MPEG4
  • Battery Life : Phone Dependant

There are a few things I’m not 100% pleased with, mainly the camera is powered solely off the camera power. The projector and speaker mods both have their own on-board power and I think the camera would benefit if a large number of photos are going to be taken. And a manual focus ring instead of using the software would be nice. But both of these concerns don’t hurt the performance much and are not deal-breakers.

I am really excited to test this camera out in the next couple of weekends as I attend and DJ weddings, but if it performs like it does in the other situations I’ve already tested it in I will only get more impressed.

The Moto Z phone the mods are a wonderful leap forward for smartphone accessories and if you’re looking for that new smartphone, consider the Moto Z Force as you test flagship phones.

Demo Photos and Video

img_20161105_080122913_hdr HB4116

img_20161105_080100605_hdr HB4116

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

Best Hunting Android Apps

Best Hunting Android Apps

For many of us, fall is our favorite season because it’s finally hunting season. Millions wander out into the wilds of the United States with friends and relatives in search of small game, birds, and big game, and most of us are taking our phones with us.

Best Android Hunting Apps

Hunting is a way states and other government agencies use to both manage the populations of game species, and acquire money for a wide variety of conservation efforts. Those of us that participate spend billions (yes, with a B) of dollars to travel, eat and engage in hunting activities. Mobile technology is making hunting safer with navigation, weather and communication apps, and can make the hunt a bit more successful with some range data and environment apps.

  • RangeLog – $4.99 – App for tracking your range time and shooting stats. Great if you shoot competitively or just want to see how your firearm is performing each time you wander to a range.
  • Solunar – Easily see fish and game activity based on the sun and moon locations and visibility. It also displays sunrise and sunset times based on GPS location.
  • SAS Survival – Free – Stay safe in any situation by seeing how to perform first aid, water discovery, and shelter building. Hope you don’t need it.
  • Zello – Free – Use your phone like a walkie-talkie. Only works when you have a signal, but will work across any distance.
  • Maverick GPS Navigation – Free or Paid – Great for marking game or fish location, with the ability to save photos and other data for these locations.
  • Google Maps – Free – This powerful little map app lets you save and label pinpoints on the maps, and then even show you how to get there using the navigation function. AND, it’s probably already on your device.
  • Family Locator – Free – Want someone to know where you are at all times? The Family Locator will broadcast the GPS location as long as you have a connection. Great if you plan on going somewhere new, remote, or alone.
  • Brag! – Free – Post that photo of your big buck or first stream-caught trout on this photo sharing app.

Well, now you’re all set. Head out into the wild and pursue your dream buck. But first get that phone ready with some apps to make your trip more enjoyable.

Good luck, and stay safe!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

It finally happened, didn’t it? You dropped your smartphone and the screen is either damaged or doesn’t work at all.

So you wander into your nearest Verizon store and only then it hits you… there are DOZENS of choices! Samsung Galaxy, Moto, HTC, Pixel, iPhone… and much, much more.

How is it even possible to decide what phone is best for you, your spouse, your child, or even your parents?

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

  • Decide on Deal Breakers : What do you absolutely NEED in your phone? Usually there are one or two absolute must-haves you will want and/or need on your next phone. Some features that can be decided upon are :
    – Operating system (iOS/Android/Window)
    Carrier, if you are out of contract and want better service
    – Screen size
    – Camera specs
    – Onboard memory size
    – Expandable memory
    – Spillproof
    – Speed, screen resolution, weight, fingerprint scanners, accessories, etc
  • Look of the Phone : Like it or not many of us like to have a phone that LOOKS cool. Apple used to have a monopoly on recognizable form factors, colors, and more, but now there is a vast number of possibilities in the Android lines like combination plastic/glass/aluminum form factors, bezel sizes, available cases, or even if it comes in “Really Blue” like the new Google Pixel.
  • Friends and Other “Experts” : Have friends, family or other resources that you trust to guide you on this journey to new technology? Ask them, knowing full well that they may be biased towards certain operating systems, manufactures or devices. There will be a advocates on many sides based on their personal needs and usage, so filter all of that out as needed.
  • Apps : Sometimes apps just don’t work well on certain phones. Unfortunately for many of us on the bleeding edge of technology it can be too late to find out a certain app doesn’t work on a recently purchased phone. But if you’re getting into the game a few weeks after launch it will often become obvious by reading reviews, online reports or other sources that the apps you need to function at work, your personal life, or entertainment does or does not work with the device you had in mind.
  • Ease of Transition : Most manufacturers have apps that will make the transition from your phone to a new device extremely easy, especially if you are moving Samsung to Samsung, or Motorola to Motorola. This can be a concern to someone who is not very technical or does’t have access, or is willing to pay someone to move apps, data and settings to the new phone. There are other apps that will do this for you as well, my favorite being My App List, which keeps a list of all installed apps that can be transferred to a new phone/tablet for easy install. I also use a custom launcher (Nova) and after all the apps are installed, I can transfer the layout of my home and other screens to the new phone and all the shortcuts and widgets will automatically be created or laid out for me. You can also ease the transition by moving images and videos to Google Photos, contacts to your Google account, move documents to Dropbox, and more!
  • Compare the Specs : All the “easy” stuff is done, and if you still haven’t made up your mind, there are the pure technical specs of the phone that could sway you one way or another.  Below are few of the flagship Android device specs as listed on the Verizon Wireless website:Google Pixel
    Standby Time – Up to: 19 days
    Usage Time – Up to: 22 hrs
    Camera 12.3 MP
    Front Camera 8 MP
    Width 2.74 in
    Weight 5.04 oz
    Height 5.66 in
    Screen 5.0’’ FHD 441ppi AMOLED, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 >75% Active Area
    Battery 2770 mAh
    Operating System Android Nougat 7.1
    Storage RAM: 4GB LPDDR4, Flash 32GB or 128GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Colors Quite Black, Very Silver, or Really Blue (Subject to availability)
    SAR Head: 0.92 W/Kg@1g, Body: 0.58 W/Kg@1g
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M4/T4
    Network 3x Carrier aggregation; CAT 9 (450 Mbps DL/50 Mpbs); CDMA: BC0/BC1; LTE: B13, B4, B2, B5;
    Global Network LTE (Global) B3, B7, B20, B28; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
    Processor Snapdragon 821; MSM8996 pro AB Quad Core 2+2 Kryo 2.15GHz / 1.6GHz
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.


    Samsung Galaxy S7

    Standby Time – Up to: 12 days‡
    Usage Time – Up to: 27 hrs‡
    Camera 12 MP
    Front Camera 5 MP
    Width 2.74 in
    Weight 5.36 oz
    Height 5.61 in
    Screen 5.1” Quad HD, Super Amoled, 577 PPI; Full Touch Bar
    Battery 3,000mAH, Non-removable
    Operating System Android Marshmallow (6.0.1)
    Storage RAM: 4G, Flash 32GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Expandable Memory Removable microSD up to 256GB (sold separately)
    Colors Black Onyx or Gold Platinum (Subject to availability)
    SAR Head 1.24 W/kg; Body 1.41 W/kg
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M4/T3
    Network CDMA 1X and EvDO Rev 0/RevA; LTE (Domestic) B13, B4, B2, B5
    Global Network LTE (Global) B3, B7, B20; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); TDS CDMA 34, 39 TDD LTE 38, 39, 40, CAT 4 / CAT 6 / (CAT 9 capable)
    Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Quad Core processor (MSM8996, Quad-Core, 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz)
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.


    Moto Z Force Droid

    Standby Time – Up to: 20 days
    Usage Time – Up to: 29 hrs
    Camera 21 MP
    Front Camera 5 MP
    Width 2.98 in
    Weight 5.75 oz
    Height 6.14 in
    Screen 5.5” AMOLED, 1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440), 535 ppi; Shattershield™
    Battery 3500 mAh (non-removable), TurboPower for up to 15 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging
    Operating System Android™ 6.0.1, Marshmallow
    Storage 32 GB, 4GB RAM (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Expandable Memory Supports microSD card up to 2 TB (sold separately)
    Colors Black/Lunar Grey or White/Fine Gold (Subject to availability)
    SAR 0.78 W/kg (head), 1.14 W/kg (body)
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M3/T3
    Network CDMA: 850, 1900MHz;GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); 4G LTE (B2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13)
    Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.

One final tip…  Join the #VZWBUZZ chat every Friday at 2pm Central on Twitter. We talk about tips on using your phones in real-world situations, give away great phone and accessorie prizes, and provide access to lifestyle professionals that use their mobile devices in a very wide spectrum of uses. Attendees may either have some of the same questions as you, or would benefit from YOU asking questions of the group. See you there!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

BBP: Episode 11 – Surface-gate, Apple Rumors & Me, Live!

BBP: Episode 11 – Surface-gate, Apple Rumors & Me, Live!

In Episode 11 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast we chat a little about:

  • The debates are finally over, can I have my social media back yet?
  • My fancy new Dell D3100 docking station connected to two 23″ monitors.
  • The rumors emerging from the pending Mac announcement for next week including the Magic Toolbar.
  • Microsoft’s new booking service through Facebook that will allow tickets and food to be sold right from the social media site.
  • Change your LinkedIn password! Czech officials caught a Russian hacker that compromised over 100million accounts in 2012.
  • Belichick is smashing Surface tablets on the sideline of New England Patriots games.
  • Samsung is replacing Note 7’s right at the airport.
  • And I’ll be appearing on the #VZWBUZZ (#ad) Facebook Live stream tomorrow (Friday, Oct 21) at 3pm CT. Join the chat from 2-3pm, then watch me live!

BeBizzy Break : Episode 10 – Death of Note 7, Verizon Pixel Updates & Kiss Me On First on LinkedIn

BeBizzy Break : Episode 10 – Death of Note 7, Verizon Pixel Updates & Kiss Me On First on LinkedIn

Episode 10 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast features some commentary on : 

  • Why do you still have your Note 7? Samsung has stopped the sale and replacement, so turn it in!
  • Verizon promised to push Google Pixel updates at the same time as unlocked phones. 
  • Verizon is also asking for a $1B decrease on the offer to buy Yahoo! due to some information regarding Yahoo!’s screening account information for intelligence informaton, and the 2014 data breach that affected around 500 Million subscribers.
  • Twitter is being shopped around… still. Why hasn’t Google just written a check yet?
  • And if you’re going to “friend” me on LinkedIn, at least wait more than an hour to try and sell me something.
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Sticher Radio, and PocketCasts!

BeBizzy Break : Episode 7 – Google & Twitter, Yahoo Breached, a C-64 Fixed My Car?, and the Debate

BeBizzy Break : Episode 7 – Google & Twitter, Yahoo Breached, a C-64 Fixed My Car?, and the Debate

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 7

Today’s episode of the BeBizzy Break Podcast features some discussion on :

  • Google, Microsoft or Verizon interested in acquiring Twitter? What does that mean for the social media platform?
  • Yahoo was breached back in 2014. Change your password now!
  • When is it time to give up on your old technology and move to something modern and possibly more reliable?
  • Project AirGig
  • And tonight’s Presidential Debate

 

Why Haven’t You Backed Up Your Phone Data?

Why Haven’t You Backed Up Your Phone Data?

“… and you didn’t have this backed up?”

I got to utter those words a month or so ago when I was called about a computer that was taken over by a ransomware program.

As a computer tech these words bring so many emotions. Despair, confusion, anger… they all are there. And yet several times a year we get that computer, tablet or smartphone and the user lost all of her photos, all of her contacts, and all of her documents.

There are several reasons for this, first, you just expect technology to work. There’s also lack of knowledge of backup options, inability to afford costly solutions, lack of time, and let’s face it, sometimes it’s just being lazy.

Technology Fails

Well let’s just get this out of the way… your technology WILL fail at some point. Hard drives can only spin so many times before they die, flash memory isn’t immortal and phones get dropped. So knowing failure is inevitable, why would you NOT back up? And it’s easier, and cheaper, than you may think.

Below are a few ways to get information off your phone and into the cloud. We’ve all heard the term “cloud” being thrown around, but it’s simply this. It’s a series of computer servers accessible through a controlled login system that allows users access to their data from any device that can control that access. Meaning if you save something on the cloud, you can usually get to it from nearly ANY phone or computer you own, or in some cases just are able to access the internet.

A quick word of warning! Getting this information off your local device and backed up, even to a system claiming to be encrypted or secure, can make the data more vulnerable.

  • Your Mobile Phone Provider Network : Most mobile phone networks have a way to back up your phone automatically with tools like Verizon Backup Assistant. You will get a certain amount of data for free, then pay a small amount to keep more data.
  • Dropbox : My favorite backup solution is Dropbox. This cloud service can be set up to automatically back up photos as they are taken, transfer documents to/from your smartphone, and share folders out to co-workers or family. All of my documents I would like to back up are saved on my computer not to the Documents space, but to my Dropbox folder where they are automatically uploaded and saved to other devices. You can also use it to save sound, video and other files. And the cost to get a business account is minimal compared to recovery or ransomware costs.
  • Your Google Account : I get common complaints about two things when a new phone is purchased or a phone is damaged; I lost my contacts and I lost my photos. Many of you have a Gmail account, especially if you are an Android user, and if you’re not, they are FREE at https://www.google.com/gmail. There are at least two things that should be done with your Google Account, set up Google Photos, and move all your contacts to be managed by Gmail.
    • Google Photos : Google Photos is a free or low cost (depending on the size of files being backed up) storage of photos that are available on ANY device you happend to be logged into. Smartphones can be set up to upload photos as they are taken and your phone has access to wi-fi. This means the risk of losing photos is minimized. But, a word of warning, photos you may NOT want saved are uploaded immediately as well, so blurry shots and photos of subjects you may not want to save for a variety of reasons are backed up, so clean that out on the Photos app as well.
    • Contacts in Gmail : By importing all your contacts into Gmail, and then adding new ones to Gmail instead of saving locally to your phone, you are again making these available on any device. So when you log into that new Moto Z Droid and connect your Google account, all your contacts are automatically downloaded to the new device. Easy and free, and can be done any number of times you wish.
    • Google Drive : Another major FREE part of your Google account is Google Drive. It can be used really two ways. Some use it as an alternative to Microsoft Office by creating and collaborating on documents right in the browser. A second method is to use it as storage by uploading Office docs, PDFs and other items.
  • iCloud : If you’re an iPhone user Apple has the iCloud built into iOS. It’s located in Settings and you can turn off specific apps to keep unneeded data from being backed up.
  • Back Up To A Computer : Your phone is essentially a data storage device in the eyes of a computer. You can always back up your photos and other information by plugging it in as a USB device and pushing/pulling data from it almost like treating it as another hard drive. The downside to this is that you’ve moved it from one potential failure device to another, but the odds of both failing at the same time are remote. And for what it’s worth… BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER TOO! You’ll be happy when your hard drive stops, you need that important Word doc, or ransomware takes over your computer and you could fix it by re-installing Windows instead of paying that shady dude on the phone $1k.
  • Paid Backup Apps : There are a few paid solutions like Carbonite & iDrive out there. These promise a bit more encryption and safety so if you have more that just a few photos and contacts, you may wish to consider going this route.

Why are you still reading?

Please, please, PLEASE back up your phone and computer data! It really only takes a few moments and you’ll be SO happy when the day comes to either move to a fabulous new phone or your device meets a horrible end. I personally back up my photos/videos to both Dropbox and Google Photos simply because it’s cheap and I can get them from anywhere. And I change phones as a Verizon Lifestyle Blogger every few months so having my contacts sync immediately is a huge benefit.

Or, take your chances that your device won’t ever fail while you own it, and if it does you can pay me a few bucks to try to salvage things off the memory. Personally, I’d rather show you how to set up the new device than attempt to recover damaged data, so you can stop reading and set up your backup now.

Have suggestions, questions or comments on these backup solutions? Either use the Contact Us form, or drop me a message on Twitter @BeBizzy!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

BBP : Episode 5 – New Office, iPhone 7 & WordPress Updates

BBP : Episode 5 – New Office, iPhone 7 & WordPress Updates

On today’s show we talk about why I missed last week while I moved computers, desks, exercise equipment and a host of other junk to a new office.

We also talk why this year’s iPhone is just a place holder for next year’s 10 year anniversary device, and updating WordPress and Divi.

Have a comment, question or even an interview suggestion? Contact me or send me a note on Twitter @BeBizzy.

Then leave the technical stuff to us!