Verizon To AT&T; Why We Switched

Earlier today, Michelle and I brought back live streaming to our YouTube channel and covered the circumstances behind our recent switch from Verizon to AT&T. As we said in this live stream, we want to make sure everyone understands that this was not a paid infomercial for AT&T. This was all our personal experience that we simply wanted to share. The moral behind the whole story is if you feel as though your provider is not giving you the best service, there are always options. We’d like to hear from you and what your best plan has been. Or if you’ve had any experiences such as we covered in this live stream. Let us know!

iPhone XR; Our First Impressions

Earlier this week, Michelle and I, through switching to AT&T, were able to upgrade our whole household to the iPhone XR. In this video we covered our first impressions and what we think so far of the device in general. To date, we’ve given the phone two thumbs up. Let us know what you think of the device, or if you’re considering getting one.

Apple’s More In The Making Event Recap

Last week Michelle and I got together with our friend and site administrator Nathan Alvarez to recap the key points of Apple’s More In The Making press conference. We also wanted to explore our opinions about what we saw, and our thoughts about what’s coming down the pipe from Apple.

In the course of this Google Hangout, we covered;

Macbook Air With Retina Display
4 Million Pixel Retina Display
Touch ID
T2 Processor Chip
Improved Speakers
2 Thunderbolt 3 ports
17 percent smaller in volume
price starts at $1199.00

Mac Mini
4 and 6 cores
60 percent better graphics
32gb and 64gb upper memory
Starts at $799.00

iPad Pro
Bigger Display
LCD Screen (Same as what went into the iPhone XR
No more Bezels
No Home Button
USB C
Photoshop capable
Project Arrow Capable
Starts at $799.00

Watch the live Google Hangout to hear our thoughts and reactions, and let us know what you think of Apple’s latest product launch.

We Want The iPhone XR

Tis the season for cellphone upgrades, fa la la la la…and so forth. My wife, Michelle and I, recently came back to YouTube, after a rather long hiatus off of all things social media, and made our comeback with our opinions as to why the iPhone XR would be the best choice for us.

Michelle’s reasons were pretty straight forward; She wants the “latest and greatest” iPhone model. Albeit the XR may not be the “Greatest” out of this year’s line, we hold the belief that such things are entirely subjective. She’s also looking forward to a minimal bezel, as opposed to her iPhone 8 Plus, which I also agree with (I have the same model), and she’s also looking forward to playing with some of the iOS 12 features that are simply not available on some older models.

Me, on the other hand, It seems that every year I get a craving for something a little different, yet I still prefer the familiar. It’s a difficult emotional and mental balancing act with me. I’ve been on other platforms in the past, and while I did not hate those experiences by any stretch, something about them just didn’t quite feel right. So this year, I’m thinking I could satisfy that with a different color than what I’ve had in the past. I’m personally going with the Product (Red) model. Which is a campaign I’ve always appreciated, we’ve even had our own Product (Red) campaign here on Braehawk Tech in the past.

For both of us, the iPhone XS-Max just seemed to be a bit too much phone, so to speak, for both of us. Same with the XS, moreso it was the price tag of either of those that really makes the XR very appealing for us. The XR base model starts at $750.00, while the others go upwards of $1000.00.

Along with this upgrade comes with a switch for both of us from Verizon to AT&T. The deal we worked out with AT&T got us a buy one get two free package, which will be completely covered when we trade in our older devices. Not to mention that we’re getting a better data package while keeping our bill under $170.00 a month. Verizon promised us something similar recently, but failed to deliver, and we’ve been dealing with an outrageous phone bill for a few months now.

So we’re both quite excited, and I’m looking forward to giving AT&T another shot. I was with them once briefly a long time ago.

So considering this is kind of upgrade season, I’m curious to know what you’re upgrading to, if you’re upgrading at all. Let us know!

~Brandon

Ready…Set….Relaunch!…Again!

How many times can a web project be relaunched? Good question. As many times as it takes to get it right I suppose.

It’s been well over a year since there was any activity on this website, or any of our social media pages. And there are a few good reasons, only a few of which I want to get into here. I suppose I can sum it up by saying there are times when what’s going on right in front of us is far more important than what’s going on around the web. But now that life is starting to make a bit of sense again, we’ve talked about it and Michelle and I want to relaunch Braehawk Tech. Let me back up real quick; “Michelle?” you might ask? Michelle, previously known as Michelle Stanley, was a well known voice in our podcasts back in the day, before we all sort of fell off the face of the earth. But thanks to a series of circumstances, Michelle and I got closer together, which culminated in us finally getting married, her name is now Michelle Hawkins! It hasn’t been very long, two weeks at the time of this writing, and quite a few things have happened in the meantime. And after a brief hiatus from our job, and things got settled down a bit, we talked about it this morning, and we both want to try and resuscitate this odd little web experiment called Braehawk Tech.

So what does that look like? Well, we’re still working on that. So far all we’ve really nailed down is we’re starting with a new video on our youtube channel this Saturday, October 27th. Then after that, a new youtube video every week running seasonally.

“What do I mean by seasonally?” Think of it like a season to a TV series. You get a new episode every week until the end of the “Season” in this case that’ll probably be around the end of March. Then we’ll take another hiatus from the whole BT thing until next fall, and then rinse and repeat. There are a couple reasons we’re taking this approach; first being that we don’t want to end up getting burned out like we did before, secondly, it’s just too damned nice here during the spring and summer seasons to be worried about the internet! We’re going to be plenty busy with other things on our plate at that time. We’ve also talked about putting together a family vlog that we’d like to put on another youtube channel.

“Is this thing still a club?” Kinda sorta but not really. I realize a mistake I made in the past is taking this thing way too seriously. There’s no money at all in this. YouTube took our partnership away, and Patreon got way too shady and weird to continue payment services through them. So all we really want to be is a couple middle aged fogies comically ranting our opinions about what’s going on the tech/social media/entertainment industries. We’re doing this for the fun of it, and we hope whoever the viewers are gets some fun out of it, too.

“What about the other people, like Nathan Alvarez, Andy Green, Etc.?” We absolutely do not want to shut out any of our old friends that have put time and energy into this thing in the past! If Nathan, Mark, Andy, Anthrit, and so on want to join in with us, maybe in an occasional hangout, or if any of them want to post new content on this website, then great! Fantastic even! We’re just not holding anyone to any expectations as we know everyone has their own respective lives, and full plates just as we do.

The bottom line is we just want to have a little fun with this thing. And we hope a few of our old friends would like to as well. I know I’m excited! I’m still excited that I married my best friend, and I’m excited to see what kind of shenanigans we can pull doing this thing together. We’ll be seeing you all soon!

~Brandon

Martian Notifier Smartwatch Review

support_home_notifier1Smartwatches are a funny thing. In today’s world where “Smart” devices are becoming more and more prevalent, even going as far as having a genre of gadgets coined “Internet of Things”, it’s hard to say which of these are the best. In a world where smartwatches come in varying sizes, colors, and prices, we set out to answer a very fundamental question: could consumers buy a smartwatch that are satisfactory with for under $40? We’re going to answer that question here today. We’ll be reviewing the Martian Notifier, a very basic smartwatch for less than $35.

Design

The Martian Notifier has a very simplistic yet traditional design. On the surface it is a standard analog watch, round with a slick metal “M” to the side of a small rectangular display. To the left of the display is an LED light that flashes when a notification comes in. The Roman numeral that dictates the hour 12 at the top of the display is a nice touch and gives a rather premium feeling to the watch. The rest of the watch is an incredibly grippy rubber material that gives the impression of a sport / fitness watch but has neither built into its functionality.

On the sides of the watch house silver metal buttons, the clock’s dial on the right, and two buttons on the left. These two buttons have separate contextual actions based on what’s on the display. For example, if a notification appears on the display, buyers can quickly press the bottom silver button to dismiss the notification. There’s also a metal clasp at the end to tie the whole watch around your wrist. Additionally, the Notifier contains a vibration motor inside the casing that is responsible for alerting you when a notification comes in. To be honest it feels kind of heavy on your wrist but it adds a premium feeling weight to it.

Functionality

Here’s where the Martian Notifier really shows its price. This watch does the very bare essentials.  The Notifier can connectsnto your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth which is really simple to setup. Enable Bluetooth on your device, turn on the Notifier, and you will be prompted to enter a passcode that is displayed on the watch. Once that’s entered on your device, the two will be paired seamlessly.

From day to day use, the Notifier proved to be actually pretty handy. I am using an iPhone 6 paired with the Notifier so any push notification that is sent to my device is pushed to my Notifier. A strong motor buzzes the Notifier on your wrist when you receive a notification which really helped me catch all notifications. This proved especially useful in large crowded areas where a lot of ambient noise was present. While I couldn’t hear the vibration on my watch, I most certainly felt it. It was actually pretty handy. There’s not a touch screen, nor any response technology like a speaker or microphone, which was something I saw myself wanting after a few days, but it really isn’t any evidence against the watch itself.

Conclusion

So let’s look back at the original question, could you buy a smartwatch that you are satisfied with for under $40? The short answer? Yes, for less than $35 you can get a watch that is both stylish and functional. You will get a watch made of strong, sturdy materials that doesn’t feel cheap. All of the basic functionality of a smartwatch is present by having all push notifications buzzed on your wrist so you never miss a beat. Some customers may notice a lack of features when compared to other smartwatches after prolonged usage. However, I would argue that you don’t really need those things in a smartwatch. My ideal smartwatch is one that alerts me whenever my phone receives a notification which the Martian Notifier does very well.

While I would like to see things like a speaker for audible notifications along with the very strong vibration motor, the vibration is enough to train my brain to know I have received a notification when I feel that buzz on my wrist. When it comes down to it, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy smartwatch if all you’re looking for is an extension to your smart phone. For around $35, you’re getting a great deal with the Martian Notifier.

So what do you guys think? Have you purchased a sub-50$ smartwatch? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.