Device Enthusiast (Verizon Health and Fitness Voices)

By May 10, 2013August 5th, 2013Technology, Verizon Voices

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with the Motorola Razr HD and six months of service in exchange for my honest review and opinions about the product.

Hi guys! So I’m a month into my ambassadorship with Verizon (Parts 1 & 2 of the kick-off event if you’re just joining) and having a blast with the devices they’ve provided me to use abuse. Getting to know he Motorola Razr HD and using the Fitbit One has not only given me the opportunity to explore new tech, but also how I use tech within my lifestyle.

I make it sound polite, but I’ve been pretty tough on these devices. CrossFit isn’t exactly gentle, but so far they’ve not only held up, but been really useful. Here are a few of the phone’s features I’ve found especially helpful so far:

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Google Now: Think of it like voice-activated Google. To activate it, hold the bottom home button, then slide your finger toward the Google logo in the circle when it appears. You can also access it from the lock screen or the Google search at the top of the home screen.

Since your phone knows where you live and work, it can send you traffic updates, or remind you of flight times or changes via alert. I’ve especially found it useful when I travel and am looking for boxes, parks, or places to get in a great workout. I’ve also used it to find workouts or look up my programming for the day.

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Multi-tasking: I have a horrible habit of leaving apps engaged and having multiple open at once. To manage them on the Razr HD, I simply hold down the software button (square) and close them by swiping them to the right.

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SmartActions:  This feature has been the most fun to play with. Simply put, SmartActions (emphasis theirs) are a great way to avoid time spent menu hopping. If you have certain routines or behaviors, you can set SmartActions so that your phone acts a certain way when it’s triggered by an event you define (think cause and effect). For example, when I’m in the gym, I want to completely shut out the rest of the world. I can turn off notifications and have my favorite playlist load when I plug-in my headphones to start rowing.

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Hotspot: As a web developer, much of the work I do requires an internet connection. As a web developer who travels quite a bit, this can prove to be somewhat tricky. I’ve attempted to use 3rd Party apps to turn my Galaxy S III into a hotspot, but have received scary litigation threats from AT&T and pricey options to add the service to my current plan.

With Verizon, the functionality is a simple click-to-enable feature, and the service is complementary with whatever plan you choose. For the past few weeks, I’ve been living the dream of being able to work from anywhere with awesome speeds thanks to 4G LTE. This alone has given us immense pause in considering a re-up with AT&T.

Battery Life: By far the feature I adore the most. I am a heavy user. I usually have to charge my Samsung Galaxy SIII before I work out in the evening so I can use it for music/video recording. It doesn’t make it through the day, even on battery-save settings.

So when Verizon told me the phone had a 2530mAh mAh capable of some pretty unbelievable talk and browsing times, I was definitely skeptical. However, the battery has lived up to its hype. I’ve gone two full days between charges. TWO! None of our smart phones have ever lasted that long. And the phone wasn’t just sitting around. I’ve worked on blog posts while adding photos to Flickr. I even used navigation to go for a run in a new area while listening to my favorite playlist. The battery barely budged. It’s incredible.

Lest you think I love everything about the phone, there are a few things I haven’t enjoyed…

The Camera: While I’ve taken some great photos, I often miss shots because the camera is slow to take the picture. The camera also seems permanently zoomed in, making some shots difficult to get. It also tends to blow out photos and videos even when set to lower exposure. It just lacks a crispness that my Samsung Galaxy SIII has.

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Its weight: It’s smaller than my Samsung, but heavier, which I find interesting. It hasn’t been a huge detriment, but I’d second-guess wearing it on my arm if I were running.

The accessories: Even though the Verizon store staff has been extremely helpful, there just don’t seem to be a lot of accessories (mainly cases for this phone). When I bought my Galaxy SIII, the options were endless.

This post speaks only to the native features of this phone, not any of the apps I’m currently trying out, or the Fitbit I was also given to play with. Those posts are coming up next!

What is one phone feature you’ve found you can’t live without?

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with the Motorola Razr HD and six months of service in exchange for my honest review and opinions about the product.