Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Joe Barbat on Apple’s Product Revolution

August 2nd, 2011 Comments off

Joe Barbat Founder of Wireless ToyzEvery summer for the past few years, Apple has released a new version of its popular iPhone.  The iPhone 4 features several improvements over previous models released from  Apple, but the changes are not as dramatic as in past years and Apple may face competition from other phone manufacturers.

The iPhone 4 features a 3.5-inch display with a resolution that is said to be greater than what the human eye can perceive. It also includes a 5-megapixel camera on the rear and a front-facing camera for videoconferencing. Additionally, the iPhone 4 includes a range of sensors: a three-axis gyroscope, an accelerometer, a proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor.

Enclosed front and back with glass, the iPhone 4 is less rounded than previous models, and also somewhat thinner. The iPhone 4 also

Joe Barbat Reviews iPhone 4

iPhone image courtesy of

has a high-capacity battery, offering up to six hours of 3G usage or seven hours of talk time.

The most notable competitor to the iPhone 4 is the HTC EVO offered by Sprint. The HTC EVO is the first U.S. phone to offer both 3G and 4G connectivity, providing speeds significantly faster than the iPhone in areas where 4G is available. Additionally, the HTC EVO has a larger screen, at 4.3 inches, which some see as a feature and some see as a handicap. The HTC EVO also has a better camera than the iPhone 4, which at 8 megapixels is also able to record video.

One of the drawbacks of the HTC EVO, however, is its shorter battery life. While still within the acceptable range for high-powered smartphones, the HTC EVO cannot compete with the power-optimized iPhone.

Another point of comparison is the carrier’s network. The HTC EVO runs on Sprint and the iPhone on AT&T. Facing high rates of congestion and demand for Apple’s phones, AT&T has received criticism for the voice quality of its network and frequently dropped calls. Sprint, on the other hand, has avoided similar criticisms in recent years.  Check out a recent speed test article by Joe Barbat on the HTC EVO.

Clearly, these are both among the best smartphones on the market today, but it is no longer the case that Apple’s iPhone is the de facto consumer phone to beat. The HTC EVO and other competitors are quickly catching up and offering new choices for customers who either do not want an iPhone or who are not on AT&T’s network.

WIRELESS TOYZ: Joe Barbat HTC Status Review

July 15th, 2011 Comments off

HTC Status Courtesy of

HTC Status Courtesy of

The Basics

The Status uses HTC’s Sense 3.0 software, but a heavily modified version, tailored to the small screen.

The lock screen offers the same Sense 3.0 shortcuts to apps such as the phone, mail, camera, or messages. Grab them and drag them down into the circle to go straight to those applications. Alternately, drag the circle up if you want to go to the home screen.

Out of the box, the home screen packs a lot. It has the typical HTC clock widget at the top, with a small Facebook widget squished below it. This widget displays the latest Facebook status update from your cadre of friends. These two widgets are flanked by six app shortcuts. Last, there is a button to access the main menu and HTC’s Sense customization tools. This main home screen feels very cluttered with apps, widgets, and controls and feels too busy. Also, these are all tiny, making it easy to press the wrong one if you’re in a hurry. Thankfully, much of it can be altered and/or rearranged with Sense 3.0′s settings.

There are five home screen panels active out of the box, but you can add up to two more. The rest of the panels are populated with the usual bunch of HTC widgets, such as FriendStream and Facebook chat.

HTC has modified the main Android app menu. When you dive in, you’ll see all your apps in the main menu. There are 12 apps visible and scrolling up or down jumps to a new set of 12 apps. On the right, HTC has added a sliding tool that lets you sort through your apps. Users can customize a list of favorite apps and reach them quickly with this tool rather than scrolling through the multiple pages of apps in the main menu. The main menu can also be heavily edited, viewed in list format, and so on.

The settings tools work as they do on any other Android device.

Messaging Features

The messaging tools available on the Status mirror that of other Sense 3.0 devices. The Status offers the same Gmail, email, GTalk, SMS/MMS, that appear on every other Android device. There are no surprises here.

HTC’ FriendStream application/widget is on board for catching all your social networking feeds in one place. FriendStream’s performance has improved dramatically over the years, and the version on the Status feels speedy and consistent.

The Status also includes the native Twitter application out of the box.

Thank you to Eric Zeman at

About Joe Barbat

Joe Barbat is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Wireless Toyz, one of the first cellular phone and wireless device retailers to bring together several different service providers under one roof.

Joe Barbat’s many honors include selection as a Crain’s Business Top 40 Under 40.   Joe Barbat has spoken about his success with Wireless Toyz at such venues as the Leaders & Innovators program at Lawrence Technological University.