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What To Check When Buying An Android Smartphone?



Android is one of the major and leading platform for smartphones nowadays. If you are already planning to get one, then welcome to the club! If you ask me, I know what it feels like to spend much money on a smartphone and it is normal for all of us to have certain worries such as if there is any dead pixels, camera functions etc.

I myself have bought many Android devices (oh yes, I am a tech-geek) and I have learned quite a bit from shops and fellow friends. Without much delay, these are what you need to check when you are buying an Android smartphone.

Check for the matching IMEI
To check for IMEI, turn on the phone and type *#06*# on the dialer. The IMEI figure will pops up and counter check with the IMEI on the box. They have to be the same.

Accessories
This is rather simple. Always check on the accessories in the box and see if everything is there. 

Check the phone itself
Turn the phone around and check for the scratches on the body and screen. Even how new the phone is, always recheck more than once.

Test with Android test mode
Turn on the phone and on the dialer, type this: *#0*#. The test mode will pops up and try out all the test modes available. Here, you need to focus more on dead pixels (most common on Android)

Play around with the phone
New battery usually have about 30% to 80% battery in it. Play around with it and try using the touch screen as much as possible to detect any defect. Don't forget to try on the buttons as factory defect is possible.

I hope that these five methods will help you in choosing the right and problem-free Android device whenever you are planning to get one. Do you any other methods? Feel free to share with me and the rest of the readers by replying below!


How To Install Custom Roms On Android Smartphones?



If you are having an Android smartphone, you should (if you have not) be very addicted to flashing the latest roms and kernels. Okay, for those who are relatively new to Android, this lovely platform is one of the best for you to learn how to modify your devices. Unlike the almighty Apple iPhone, most Android devices are has their bootloader unlocked which you can easily customize the phone.

A rom is like an OS for Android. Different roms can be created according to performance, battery saving etc. A kernel on the other hand can be considered the muscle to get things done. Of course, these are merely example for your easy understanding!

Requirement to install custom roms and kernels on Android:

  • Download your selected rom or kernel
  • USB cable (optional)
  • Odin (optional)
  • Rooted phone (having Clockwork Recovery a.k.a. CWM)
Important notes:
  • Always backup prior to any customization
  • I am not responsible for any damages done to you or your device if you choose to customize the phone

Method 1: Installing using Odin
  1. Download the rom or kernel of your choice.
  2. Make sure you have extracted the .tar file and place on your desktop (or any location easy for you to find).
  3. Backup your device.
  4. Wipe data, wipe cache and clear dalvik using CWM (optional).
  5. Off the phone and boot into Download mode. You can go into Download mode simply by pressing power, volume down and home button at the same time for a few seconds until a screen appears (looks like MS-dos).
  6. Select Continue by pressing volume up.
  7. Once it shows 'Downloading...', you can fire up Odin and plug in the USB cable.
  8. Now, wait for Odin detects your device it will show 'Com:.....' in yellow which means connection done.
  9. Click on PDA and select the .tar file you earlier extracted. 
  10. Now, press Start and wait for it to complete. 
  11. Once done, it will auto reboot for you.

Method 2: Installing using Clockwork Recovery a.k.a. CWM
  1. Download the rom or kernel of your choice.
  2. Copy the files into your sd drive in your phone (either internal or external works equally well).
  3. Backup your phone.
  4. You can go into CWM mode by pressing power, volume up and home button at the same time when the phone is turned off.
  5. Wipe data, clear cache and wipe dalvik before flashing (optional).
  6. Select Install from SD card and head over to the file you have saved earlier.
  7. Select Yes to install and wait for completion.
  8. Once done, reboot and you are all done!

Both of these methods are very easy to follow and if you are taking more than 5 minutes to complete either one of them, then you would need more practice! Nonetheless, I truly hope this article will be able to guide you in terms of installing or flashing new roms on your Android.


How To Solve Unable To Turn On Android Devices?

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If you are a serious hacker or rom flasher, getting your Android unable to turn on is pretty common I would say. Well, there are many reasons on why such occurs such as flashing the wrong kernel, rom or even wallpaper! 

Solution 1: Battery pull
Do I need to explain this? Open the back cover, remove the battery and leave it for about 30 seconds to one minute. Then put the battery back and try to turn it on. If you take more than 2 minutes to do it, you need more practise :)

Solution 2: Power button FTW
Another reason why your Android might not turn on is because of heavy modding or extreme undervolting. Well, what you can do is to hold the power button for 15 seconds and if the phone reboots itself, then it is good new. If not, you got to try the next solution.

Solution 3: Using power button and wall adapter
This would probably the easiest way to turn on a 'dead' device. Simply just plug the adapter into the wall and  hold the power button for the next 15 to 20 seconds. You will see that it will start to boot up (and this is where you start to figure out what is wrong).

Solution 4: Clockwork Recovery a.k.a. CWM Recovery
Okay, whenever your device goes black, try to go into Clockwork Recovery or CWM mode. Clear dalvik and cache first to see if the device is able to boot up successfully. If it fails, then you should either undo what you had done or simply select the latest backup you had done.

Solution 5: Odin, the almighty
If solution 1 and 2 doesn't work at all, then you should just use Odin. For newbies, Odin is a program which equals to either Absinthe or redsn0w on Apple jailbreak process. Download the latest and safest rom and kernel and use Odin to reflash it. With this, you will probably be able to turn on the device as usual again without much hassle.

There are probably 10 or more ways to get your phone booted up but again, these are actually the fastest way to turn on your Android. Hope this works well for you and good luck!


How To Root Samsung Galaxy S3 GT-i9300?



Okay, it is an undeniable fact that Galaxy S 3 is the next big thing and I believe you have probably already planning to get one by one. I am using Samsung Galaxy S 3 Pebble Blue and I am seriously in love with it. If you are following my blog, I have been seriously in love with technology. I know you are happy with your device now but do you want to get the best out of your device?

Android is very flexible and you are able to 'modify' the phone completely. The process of 'modifying' is called rooting. In another word, rooting can be considered like jailbreaking (for those coming from iOS). SO what is so great about rooting? When you root your device, you are open to many custom ROMs and Kernels which could make your phone perform better, saves more battery and you could even theme your phone accordingly to your liking.

Alike jailbreaking, rooting will void your warranty. However, worry no further as you could easily undo it if you need to send to the nearest Samsung Service Centre and that is not a problem! Pretty amazing I would say :)

Okay, I am assuming that you are already scratching your head like crazy and can't wait to know how to root your Samsung Galaxy S 3 and this is how you can do so step by step.

Requirement:
Working Samsung Galaxy S 3 (i9300) ~ duh
CF-Root
Odin firmware

Note: Feel free to click here for links to download them. Please read the disclaimer below before you start rooting for your own safety.

Detailed instructions to root your Galaxy S 3 for newbies:


  1. Unzip the attached Odin3-vX.X.zip file
  2. Download and unzip the CF-Root-SGS3-vX.X.zip file (see posts below this one)
  3. If you end up with a recovery.img and cache.img file, you've extracted twice. You need to end up with a .tar file - don't extract that one
  4. (USB) Disconnect your phone from your computer
  5. Start Odin3-vX.X.exe
  6. Click the PDA button, and select CF-Root-SGS3-vX.X.tar
  7. Put your phone in download mode (turn off phone, then hold volume-down + home + power to boot - if it asks you to press a button to continue, press the listed button, or run adb reboot download command)
  8. (USB) Connect the phone to your computer
  9. Make sure Repartition is NOT checked
  10. Click the Start button
  11. Wait for Android to boot
  12. Done 


Simplified introductions for rooting for experienced users:

  1. Unpack the ZIP download, you will end up with a TAR, flash this in ODIN as PDA, and optionally install and run Triangle Away afterwards to reset the flash counter. Beware that this should boot your device into recovery mode (for a few seconds to install SuperSU and CWM Manager) after flashing. 
  2. Sometimes it doesn't, just flash it again in that case and you are done!


Disclaimer:

  1. DO NOT PROCEED if you are having doubts on this and always make sure you have a backup before proceeding. I will not be responsible for anything that happens to your device.
  2. This method will only work for GT-i9300 and GT-i9300T. It will not work for other devices and in order to check on this, you could head to Settings -> About device -> Model number
  3. CF-Root is the root for "rooting beginners" and those who want to keep as close to stock as possible. CF-Root is meant to be used in combination with stock Samsung firmwares, and be the quickest and easiest way for your first root.



Whose Behind The Big Fat Reality

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Who the hell is Reginald Chan?

Yes, it's me ... an average Joe from the small town of Melaka, Malaysia. I love writing, blogging, reading and all those tech stuffs. I spend most of my days at my website and doing light marketing.

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Creating lots and lots of websites for fun and of course, traveling. Oh and yes, good food as well. I have deep passion especially when it comes to WordPress, blogging, SEO and also Internet Marketing.

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