How to revive a “dead” Nexus 7

Hello again. It’s been a (really long) while since I last wrote in my blog. First I would like to apologize to those who were following my blog especially to those who were expecting to see new stuff. I’ve been in a very busy year but now that I’m on vacation I should be able to write stuff again and hopefully stuff that would be useful to others like this one. So what is today’s article about?

Nexus 7

Last week I bought myself a 32GB Asus Nexus 7 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia a few days before my scheduled vacation back to the Philippines. It was awesome. I loved it and I didn’t have any issues with it. That was, until today happened.

I was drinking with my brother and some pals here at home last night. My Nexus 7 was beside me and its battery level was already on the low side. I knew that it won’t be good to completely deplete the tablet’s battery but I was rather lazy to plug it in. When the drinking ended I totally forgot to plug it in because I was so sleepy already. I guess gadgets and alcohol just don’t mix.

Anyway, I was able to plug it in when I woke up in the morning and that’s when I noticed a weird problem. When the charger is plugged in the screen would switch on and static would pop up randomly like what you would see on those old CRT televisions. Sometimes the static images are of random colors too. Nothing else happens and that was what got me concerned. What the hell was wrong with my new tablet?!

I tried searching for tips and similar problems around the interwebs and all I saw was either to do a hardware reset by pressing the power and volume down buttons together for around 10 to 45 seconds or to send it for repairs. I tried the first and it didn’t work. I can’t do the second because it will still take around 2 months until I return to work in Saudi Arabia. What else could I do before then? If only I could remove the battery…

Oh yes! Why not? The Nexus 7 has a non-user replaceable battery but that doesn’t mean it can’t be replaced if needed be so I started searching about how to pop the cover off. After a simple search I found that the cover wasn’t really very difficult to remove and I was able to take it off using only my fingernails by prying it at the border between the plastic back cover and the metal edge. The easiest part to pry open seems to be at the top corners. Just slide your nail along and it should pop open easily.

The innards of my Asus Nexus 7.

The battery is the big white thing with black borders. It is connected to the board via that 6-pin cable with red, yellow and black cables. I immediately saw the cause of the problem after prying the cover open – the connector was loose and it was almost removed. I knew it had to be the problem so I pushed it in and tried to turn it on. Tada! It worked!

One thing I noticed about the battery of the Nexus 7 is that it is simply glued inside it while its size is quite small to where it is located meaning the potential of the connector getting loose is very high. Just look at the open space around the battery and you’ll know what I mean.

Taking the back cover off could potentially void warranty but being able to do it myself have saved me the waste of time normally associated with relying on technical support. So if you’re having that static screen with no charging issue, the battery or a loose connector could be the problem. If you’re one of the “victims” of this issue then I hope this post has helped you.


Rumor Mill: Windows Phone 8 devices to get a standard USB port location

Apple Universal Dock

iPhones on universal docks. Photo by Yutaka Tsutano. Microsoft could be planning to provide a universal docking feature on all Windows Phone devices.

One of the things that made iOS very successful is the multitude of accessories it has – from keyboards to speaker docks, etc. – and this is because they used Apple’s proprietary port (which is rumored to be undergoing a huge change, by the way).

Microsoft may be going the same route. Currently, manufacturers seem to have their own idea for the best place to put a USB port: HTC seems to like the side (it’s on the left side on my HTC 7 Mozart), Nokia seems to prefer the top (as evident on my Lumia 710), while Samsung and many others prefer placing the port at the bottom. This creates a host of incompatibilities between devices making it impossible to create universal accessories. But if we were to trust what was being suggested by the position of the USB port on the Samsung Ativ S (currently the only official Windows Phone 8 device revealed) and the leaks of Nokia and HTC devices, we could be in for a nice surprise! Why don’t you take a peek at the photos after the break and see them for yourself?

Continue reading

Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S gets “dragged behind a car” scratch test

I find it such a waste to drag two brand spanking new devices at the back of a car just to scratch test them. They should have just given me the devices instead so that I could review them. I expected the results but it still makes me sad. Really makes me sad. I guess there are some people who has some cash to spare for such a test…

On another note, that guy must keep his blood pressure in check! Hahaha!

Samsung Galaxy Tab: Bluetooth Peripheral Test

The Samsung Galaxy Tab

It’s been a little over a month since Samsung sent me my Galaxy Tab and I’ve put this awesome device through some intensive testing. One of the “experiments” that I’ve done was to connect different types of Bluetooth devices to see which of them will work… but first let me show you what makes it tick. Continue reading

Samsung Galaxy Tab Teardown – iFixit

The Samsung Galaxy Tab retail box

The Samsung Galaxy Tab retail box. Click on the image to go straight to the teardown.

I am a very curious type of person. I always have this weird urge to take apart everything I own just to see what’s inside. It was one of the emotions that I felt when I got my Galaxy Tab courtesy of Samsung MENA. Of course, I can’t always do what I want. I don’t want to break things that cost too much to replace after all.

Fortunately, the guys at iFixit did it already which means I don’t need to take my tools out to dissect my Galaxy Tab! Head to the Samsung Galaxy Tab Teardown page at iFixit to see it yourself.

Samsung Galaxy Tab: Pictures Paint a Thousand Words


A screenshot of the Samsung Galaxy Tab's Camera app in action.

A screenshot of the Samsung Galaxy Tab's Camera app in action.

I’ve been asked numerous times about how the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s 3MP camera fares. Well, pictures speak louder than words! Hover on the picture to see a description. Click on the images to view them at full size. I’ll keep updating this with more images as time goes by.

None of the images featured here have been edited or modified in any way. Also I decided to take candid shots as that’s what the Galaxy Tab’s camera will be used for most of the time.

See the sample pictures taken straight from my Galaxy Tab after the break and you be the judge if they are good enough. Images are sorted randomly.

Continue reading