Motorola Triumph Hands on Review

A powerful Android Smartphone on a no contract carrier? Many speculated that it would never happen, but the Motorola Triumph for Virgin Mobile proved them wrong. FYI – Check out my Motorola Triumph video review by clicking HERE or click HERE to see a test of the video and photo functionality.

One of the first things to notice about the Motorola Triumph is that it looks very similar to the Motorola Droid X. The Triumph measures 4.80″ x 2.60″ x 0.39″ with a 4.1″ WVGA screen and features an HDMI output and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It has four soft buttons across the bottom of the front face, a hard power button on the left side and a volume rocker on the right side. The Triumph also sports a 5MP camera with flash and a VGA front-facing camera for video chat. It has a 1Ghz processor which is more than adequate for Android 2.2.

Enough about the tech specs, which can be found HERE on Motorola’s website. You want to know how it performs. I’m here to say that the Triumph is a very capable smartphone, especially considering it is offered without a contract on Virgin Mobile.

After a day of use, I’ve found that the Motorola Triumph hasn’t had any problems with anything I’ve thrown at it. With consistent Quadrant scores of over 1450, the Triumph outperforms the Motorola X Droid and the Nexus One, as well as the HTC EVO and Samsung Galaxy S.

Another benchmark that even non power users will understand, is Angry Birds. Angry Birds plays perfectly on the Triumph with no visible lag or graphical glitches, even on the ad-supported verison.

The screen looks great from just about any angle and is bright enough to see in the sunlight on its brightest settings. The touchscreen supports multitouch and is very responsive. With a 4.1″ screen, the Triumph should work well, even if you have large hands.

The volume gets more than adequately loud, making it an excellent device to listen to music from your desk. It is also ideal for using speakerphone, with a microphone that is also plenty sensitive for this functionality.

The GPS functionality works great, but I have been disabling GPS unless I actively need it to save battery life. When waking the GPS functionality it can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes to connect to GPS satellites, but that is to be expected on any phone.

SONY DSC

The Triumph also supports both 3G and Wifi. The 3G speeds seemed excellent in initial tests, allowing me to use Google Maps, surf the web and download apps at excellent speeds. Wifi speeds were even better, allowing me to integrate the Triumph into my home network.

The HDMI output is a cool feature. While I haven’t found many uses for it yet, it is no doubt an excellent feature. The phone automatically mirrors its display to your HDTV as soon as the HDMI cable is connected, so there’s no need to navigate menus to enable the output. Pictures and games look great on the TV screen, as well as photos and videos.

As for downsides, I would like for the screen to be able to be awakened using the soft keys on front instead of the power button on the side, but this is par for the course. I also need to mess with the video and photo settings more, as some of the videos have come out a bit blurry when there is a lot of action going on. If I find any other issues with the phone, I will be publishing a follow-up review, so check back often.

PRO-TIPS:

Instead of purchasing a screen protector, which can be as much as $14.99, keep the plastic covering that is on the Motorola Triumph out of the box on. It has a tab on the lower left corner for easy removal, which can be cut off, resulting in a screen protector that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of installing.

If you are looking for an micro-HDMI cable for the Triumph, THIS 6′ cable can be purchased for $3.85 shipped. While it says it is for the HTC EVO 4G, it will work on any device requiring a micro-HDMI cable, and works perfect on the Triumph.

How to Get the Most Out of the Spore Cell Stage

The cell stage of Spore is by far the most simple of the games stages but to consider it a tutorial level or something truly simple is to over look much of what this game is. Spore is not a game that is designed to challenge a person in the way that most video games do but instead it is designed to help you create something rather than simply trying to destroy.
You will begin the stage by choosing whether you want to be a herbivore or a carnivore. This will in some ways define you throughout the game, though you can change this to some extent as you advance and even become an omnivore but it is still worth considering. Do you want to befriend everyone or simply wipe them out.

From this point on you’ll be mostly focusing on getting food. Food comes in the form of green plants and red flesh. You’ll focus on whatever type it is that you are able to eat, at least until you get to the point where you can become an omnivore.

As you eat you’ll get DNA points. These allow you to add more to your creature, spikes, fins, jets, electricity, poison and eyes just to name a few. These will allow you to either kill prey or defend yourself, as well as move faster, turn better and see.

Do not underestimate the value of speed in this level. Your weapons are only as useful as your ability to outmaneuver your opponent creatures. Also there is no real loss to dying beyond the fact that the game keeps track of how many times you do.

As you eat you will also grow. This means that if you find food that is too big for you to eat currently you might be able to do so once you get bigger. It also allows you to get some revenge on those creatures which harassed you while you were tiny.

One major thing to keep in mind is that each stage gives you one trait. In this stage it is the type of food you’ll eat. If you don’t want to be a herbivore but an omnivore try to keep the amount about even and even then it isn’t always easy.

This is the simplest part of the spore game and you’ll play through it in about an hour, but it is a lot of fun and without it the other parts of the game simply mean less.