Saturday, April 27, 2013

5th Sunday of Easter and Agape

Mass Sermon Chronicles
5th Sunday of Easter and Agape


Living in this world for more than 20 years now, I have always been a faithful Roman Catholic/ I may not be the best one or even as dedicated and passionate as others but I do believe and love Him. As much as I don’t look like it I actually try to attend mass every Sunday, and for the past five years in college, I rarely missed a mass and often go to my University’s chapel to pray. I remember once in my life, I was in elementary back then, I refused to go to mass, but my parents scolded me, ever since then I tried not to miss a mass and a lesson from a mass from that time was God only wants an hour in 168 hours of the week.
I don’t know why in all my years of attending mass, this is the first time I actually wanted to write about a sermon. Maybe I heard the sermon before. I don’t know but this is Norman’s Random so yeah, it’s not so random when it’s all Techie and stuff. Haha.
The Priest Preached about three kinds of love, first was Patriotic Love, the love for the country, the love for the nation, the love we have when we SERIOUSLY CHOOSE OUR LEADERS FOR OUR COUNTRY( I just plugged this in, as I hate Ignorant Voters). The second is romantic love, the love you share with your soulmate/girlfriend/boyfriend/MU whatever, it’s the love almost always present in Filipino movies. The third one, the priest asked, I also wondered what it was, and he told us it was Agape. It is an extraordinary love which is given by the gospel, the love from God, the love between siblings, the love between parents, almost synonymous to the love the first two aforementioned did not encompass. This is the unconditional love.
The priest then told us a story about a maid and a master. The maid has faithfully served an old woman for 50 years. Ever the woman’s three sons had their own lives, she was not visited anymore and only the maid tended her. The maid did not stay for the money but she grew to care and love the woman. The woman finally dies and her lawyer summoned the three sons for the last will and inheritance. The first son receives all the business, the second received all the lands and the youngest received the mentioned and an insanely filled passbook. The maid also received something and it was a portrait of the deceased woman. Since the maid was of no use anymore, the youngest son gave the maid clearance to leave. The maid was very sad because her master who she had grown to loved has died. When he hanged the old portrait, she noticed it was dusty, as she cleaned it up, the back creaked and broke, and tons of shiny glowing shards came out. When she got it examined, it was diamonds; the back of the portrait was filled with diamonds worth billions.
That was the end of the story and its lesson was love begets love. If you show love, love will be returned to you. As I was listening, the story was very predictable but I did appreciate the lesson that love begets love, I believe that if love is shown, regardless of its type, you will get love in return. I don’t know how to end this but this is it haha, stay tuned for more Mass Chronicles next week :D

Iron Man 3: The Official Game Android Game Review

Iron Man 3: The Official Game
Android Game Review



Here’s the thing, Gameloft is my favorite Game Developer/Publisher for the mobile phone ever since 2004, when I first had a Symbian 6630 Phone. Their graphics, games, and gameplay were unmatchable by any other Developers out there. As of now, I still have a 6630 filled with tons of Gameloft Games I play every now and then.

Ever since Symbian died, I have been distant to the company as I do not play much video games on my phone. With the arrival of my Galaxy Note 2, I had a gaming device on my hand, and, as with the Symbian days, Gameloft took the stage once more, NOVA, The Amazing Spiderman, The Dark Knight Rises, were some of the few that I played whole heartedly. The graphics and gameplay were the cream of the crop. NOVA 3 was an amazing FPS and The Amazing Spiderman was the best GTA like game on the Android. In short, I was a Gameloft fan once more.

Looks Exciting Right??

Now, one of the most highly anticipated movie of the year, Iron Man 3, makes it way to your smartphones. So what is this game? A Free-World game? An FPS? An RPG? There are tons of genres out there and after seeing the movie, a good one by the way, one would definitely want that Iron Man 3 Free-World Experience. Controlling Tony Stark sounds uber cool.


So with all the hype Iron Man 3 created, Gameloft seems to take a big shit on all of us and released Iron Man 3 with a genre so annoying, I bet no one in the world expected it. The Genre is a mother-F****** runner. YES A RUNNER GAME. I’M NOT KIDDING; IRON MAN 3 THE OFFICIAL GAME is a RUNNER. Like Temple Run, Temple Run 2, Pyramid Run, and like all those games that many developers do over and over and over for the sake of profit. And now they are combining that genre with one of the hottest movie today and voila, you have the disappointing Iron Man themed Runner.

The Gameplay is simple, Iron Man flies around California, and your objective is to evade the obstacles, kill the enemies by swiping them, upgrade your armor and run again, even the Level-Up part, much like Temple Run 2 is also present here. As great as the graphics maybe, and the genre maybe successful, this game fails on a very high level. There are tons to unlock and upgrade but playing the game itself is already boring, I highly doubt anybody will whole-heartedly unlock everything to be unlocked in this game. I would pick Temple Run 2 over this overpriced runner shit that became expensive because of the Darn Iron Man 3 in its name. This is definitely not worth the price.

Honestly, I was expecting an Amazing Spiderman or The Dark Knight Rises like game, but nooooo, they had to make it a runner. This is probably the worst Gameloft Game ever. Yeah I know there are tons of bad Gameloft games out there but this is on a different level. They could have made it a free world game, who wouldn’t want to play Tony Stark. I imagined it like Tony Stark can call Mark 42 at will and you can fly through the city of California, killing badies and completing objectives. Well, what’s done is done; Iron Man 3 is an uninspired boringest runner game ever.

1.    Graphics (4/5)

Iron Man 3: The Official Game has one of the best graphics to offer today. The various Iron Man models, the vibrant city, airplanes randomly appearing, and AIM soldiers looking like their cartoon/comic version is pretty nice to look at. Though this great graphics may come at the price. This is a runner game so it is fast paced; you will definitely lose yourself time after time as some obstacles tend to look like part of the background.

2.    Gameplay (1.5/5)

This is a runner game. Expect the same level of gameplay like Temple Run but don’t expect it to be as exciting, thrilling or FUN. I also want to point out, Tony Stark is a mean SOB who flies up or down at his own free will, what you can only do is shoot lasers and move left and right. YUP YOU CANT FLY UP OR DOWN.

3.    Sound (2/5)

The sound could have been better; the same loop is presented to you very annoying.

4.    Replayability (3.5/5)

There are tons of Armors to unlock and each has to be upgraded. There are also a lot of objectives; it has a pretty high replay value as playing with a different armor with different abilities maybe fun for about a run or two. Oh and yeah, you need to unlock the preceding armors to get to the better ones. HOORAY!


            Hate me as much as you want. I will stick to my decision. Crappy controls, confusing obstacles, and overall very unenjoyable, even Tony Stark wouldn’t play this game. For those who will play this game and actually unlock everything, I commend your amazing patience and dedication to Iron Man. All I want to say is, Temple Run 2 is much much better and it’s free!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Samsung Galaxy SIV Mini! Looking for the Mid-Range Crown!

Samsung Galaxy SIV Mini!
Looking for the Mid-Range Crown!


            The past few weeks has been a launch fest for Samsung. Having announced 5 more phones with release on May or the 2nd Quarter of 2013, they just can’t seem to stop. Just like last year, this year’s Flagship is set to have a mini version for itself. Confirmed thru Samsung’s UAPROF website, Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 Mini is set to have a 4.3 Super Amoled Capacitive touch screen woth a qHD resolution (540x960). SIV Mini is looking to give the scaled down experience as its bigger brethren as it painstakingly looks like the SIV itself. SIV mini sports an 8Mp Camera, Touchwiz Nature UX 2.0 with Jellybean 4.2.2 out if the box. It is rumoured to have two variants with different number of processor, a single-sim variant and a dual-sim variant. The former is said to sport a quad-core processor whereas the latter will only hold two cores. Official specifications are yet to be confirmed.
Last year’s S3 Mini had its fair share of success on the mid-range level, but was not as enticing as expected, SIV Mini looks to be more promising.Do you think Samsung Galaxy Mini SIV has what it takes to deliver the SIV at a cheaper price?

Rumored Specifications

  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Touch Screen (960x540)
  • Dual-core processor on Dual-sim variant/ Quad-core processor on Single-Sim Variant
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8/16/32GB storage, microSD support up to 32GB
  • 8-megapixel camera
  • VGA  front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Market Dependent NFC
  • GPS
  • 2100mah Battery

Friday, April 19, 2013

Game For The Throne! Samsung Galaxy Note 2 VS Sony Xperia Z!

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 VS Sony Xperia Z!
Game For The Throne!


            Everyone seems to be very excited upon the upcoming war of 2013. Sony made its first appearance early this year and it has garnered much love and hate. With all the hype surrounding 2013, most people tend to forget last year’s flagships, namely the Samsung Galaxy Note, which was arguably the best phone of 2012. Before we go gaga over comparing Xperia Z to Galaxy SIV and HTC One let’s take a look back six months ago and pit today’s to yesterday’s best.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was released September of Last year with significant improvement over its Predecessors Note 1 and S3. Improvements can be seen with the increased clock speed, new pentile matrix, better camera and LTE. On the other hand, Sony Xperia Z was released last February and it was a giant leap from last year’s Xperia S boasting a 1080p HD Display with Dust and water resistance, More processor, more powerful GPU, additional microSD slot and a better camera. Comparing them both, they do not have much difference with respect to their spec sheets but upon further inspection you can see how much a few months technology can improve and some points on the Note 2 you wish was on the Xperia Z out of the box. So without further ado, Let’s Get Ready to Rumblee!!
Well, technically, this match will probably result in a draw as each has their own flaws, if you are planning to buy either; I suggest you weigh in what is more important to you.


Both phones have nothing extra on their respective boxes. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a 2A Charger, USB Cable, and a very good quality headset. Sony Xperia Z has the same package.

2. PHONE SUPERFICIALITY (9.5 out of 10)

Phones today tend to be bigger whilst tablets tend to shrink, Sony Xperia Z has a 5 Inch Screen, the Volume rocker and Power button is on the right side which is pretty much the only hard buttons on the device. Its sides also houses Micro SD slot, Simcard slot, microUSB port and 3.5mm jack. Each of the aforementioned has their respective covers to achieve beauty and its water resistant qualities. The front houses a 2.2Mp Camera capable of 1080p recording @30fps. The back houses the 13Mp Camera. The whole phone is enclosed in a shatterproof and scratch resistant glass.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a 5.5 Inch Screen; a hard button on the front along with a 1.9Mp Camera, the sides houses the volume rocker and the power button with microUSB port and a 3.5mm jack on the bottom and top respectively. The back protection is plastic and can be remove for sim and microSD insertion.
Comparing both, they both look and feel good on your hand, undoubtedly Note 2’s bigger size hints the user the use of both hands. Xperia Z is slightly thinner and its all-glass body certainly looks sexy. I have to raise that due to its glass build, fingerprint smudges are highly visible especially on the Black Xperia Z. In terms of material used, Xperia Z looks and feels much more expensive.

WINNER: Xperia Z – Note 2’s Plastic Build is nowhere near Xperia Z’s Glass Build


3.1 Display

            Xperia Z sports a 5 Inch 1080x1920 Screen whereas Note 2 offers a 5.5 Inch 720x1080 Screen. . I was amazed at the Note 2 when I first got it, that 720p display was the best there was partner with the AMOLED Screen’s nice touch of saturation, I honestly thought this was the best there will ever be. I actually thought display could not have been better but Xperia Z is just mind blowing.  There is no doubt display is much better on the Xperia Z, couple that amazing 1080 display with Sony’s Bravia Engine, and you get yourself one hell of a screen, a minor issue I had with the Xperia Z is its poor viewing angles. A few inches away from the standard viewpoint and the colors change from visible to poor to rubbish. Setting that aforementioned issue aside, booting and using the Xperia Z the first time will amaze most if not everyone out there.

 WINNER: Xperia Z – 1080p with a 441ppi is better than 720p with a 267ppi

3.2 Multimedia 


 Sony and Samsung both have great history when it comes to multimedia as both offer not only smartphones but other appliances as well. Of all the Sony and Samsung Phones I had, none of them have disappointed me especially in terms of audio quality. The Note 2 and Xperia Z both offer great audio output. Xperia Z loses in terms of loudspeaker but it is slightly a better performer than the Note 2 when earplugs are attached. I have tested them both using the same headset (Bolts Griffin) with the same music (XGF by Spongecola) and the same music player (TTPod and their respective stock players), the test showed Z’s superiority over Note 2.

WINNER: Xperia Z – Xperia Z may lose in terms of loudspeaker but I highly doubt anyone will continuously use their smartphone in loudspeaker.


700MB AVI File
720p Big Bang Theory
As for Video Playback, Z and Note 2 also does not disappoint but I do have to raise that Note 2 has better video codec and its stock Video Player can play almost every file type out there. Sadly, for the Xperia Z, its stock Movie app, though looks amazing, is not able to detect wmv and mkv videos. Both are able to play any video without slowdowns, stuttering or lag. This includes 1080p videos over 2GB. With the aforementioned problem of Xperia Z, MX Player Pro fixes the problem as it will play other file types that could not be covered by the stock app.

 WINNER: Galaxy Note 2 – With greater Stock player comes greater out of the box usability. This is in terms of video power not display.


Android has come a long way from a laggy browser to today’s browsing powers. Jellybean hits the spot as browsing on both phones are great. Indubitably, though, Browsing on the Note 2 is much better, faster and smoother. As great as both phones maybe, Note 2 just delivers the better experience.

WINNER: Galaxy Note 2 – Faster and smoother is better.

3.3 Camera

*First Images Are From Samsung Note 2

Wew! Here comes another part which is very important to a picture snapper like me. Xperia Z offers a 13Mp Camera with capabilities to shoot VGA, 2Mp, 5Mp, 9Mp and 12Mp shots. Whilst Galaxy Note 2 has an 8Mp Camera which shoots .3Mp, .9Mp, 2.4Mp, 3.2Mp, 6Mp, 8Mp. Both phones have a lot of options to choose from. Images shot by the phones are one of the best as of today. You can see that Note 2 images are slightly more saturated than that of Xperia Z. A weakness apparent on both phones seems to be from their low light performance. Lastly, Note 2 seems to have the faster shutter and the better anti-shaking prowess.
If their rear cameras are hard enough to choose from, both these phones have good front-facing cameras.  Note 2 has 1.9Mp front camera which can also shoot at 720p whereas Xperia Z has a 2.2Mp camera that can shoot 1080p videos. Luckily for the front cameras, Xperia Z takes this one with no doubt.
Finally, both phones are capable of shooting up to 1080p quality videos. Both takes exceptional quality of videos but Xperia Z takes this one with its HDR capability (which enhances the videos’ quality) and the relatively lower file size of the videos.

WINNER: Xperia Z – As minimal as the improvement maybe, Xperia Z still has the better camera. Xperia Z can also shoot underwater, so, yeah.

3.4 Gaming

Xperia Z and Galaxy Note 2 are undeniably one of the best smartphones for gaming out there. I had no problems playing any mainstream games on either phone. Temple Run 2, Pou, Candy Crush Saga, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, Bad Piggies, the list will go on and on but the result is the same. Amazing smooth gaming bonanza.
Emulators also run fantastically as NES, SNES, Gameboy, GBC, GBA, N64 and even PS1 Emulators play their respective games very smoothly, plug-in a USB Controller and you have one of the best looking handheld devices.
Of course, Android does have their own set of HD Games, and to all smartphone gamers out there, HD Games also play smoothly on both device. Though I have only tested Soulcraft, Dead Trigger, NBA 2k13 and NOVA3. The aforementioned games play smooth and great! Xperia Z may offer the better display but graphical glitches maybe apparent on games such as NOVA 3 and NBA 2k13. The graphical glitches are negligible, though.

WINNER: TIE. Both Phones offer great gaming prowess.
3.5 Performance


Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 both run 4.1 Jellybean. The former sports the Xperia Launcher whilst the former has the Touch Wiz UI. Both launchers are user-friendly and customizable anyone can navigate through both phones easily. In addition, both launchers can easily be replaced by the hundreds of launchers available as these stock interfaces are just ‘skins’ of their respective company.

WINNER: TIE. Personal preference.

RAM and Clockspeed

Many of you might wonder, what are RAM and the Clockspeed for? Should I go for higher RAM, fewer clocks or vice versa? The answer depends on how you use the phone. Random Access Memory (RAM) is used to determine how many apps your unit can run simultaneously. So bigger RAM means you can multi-task much more applications without worrying about lagging on the system.
Clockspeed is used to determine how fast your system will run a certain application. Simply put, higher Clockspeed means faster phone. THIS IS THE GENERAL IDEA ON RAM AND CLOCKSPEED. Factors on speed are also determined by the chipset architecture, GPU, etc.
Xperia Z is powered with a CPU Quad-Core 1.5GHz Krait, GPU Ardeno 320 and Chipset Qualcomm MDM9215M / APQ8064 whilst Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has CPU Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9, Chipset Exynos 4412 Quad and GPU Mali-400MP. I have to be honest, I have no idea how they perform, what I do know is both these phones are powered with technologies’ best today to deliver you a great smartphone experience. Swiping between screens, switching between apps is flawless. Both phones carry a 2GB Ram so there is a lot of space to multi-task with without stuttering or lagging or delay.

 WINNER: TIE. It is painstakingly hard to test their speed as they are both very responsive and fast.


Note 2

Note 2

Xperia Z

Being the texting capital of the world is something to brag about so messaging and telephony is obviously something to look at. Since both phones are android which feature 4.1 Jellybean, their stock keyboards are relatively similar with the capability to adapt to your texting style and learn over time for a more extensive predictive texting. Both also offers offline voice recognition but it cannot recognize Filipino Words. A plus which might be attributed to Note 2 is the additional numbers above the keyboard which comes in handy more often than you will expect. The Phonebook and contacts are almost the same and are equally easy to navigate. If you do not like the stock keyboard, there are hundreds of other free keyboards on the market

 WINNER: Galaxy Note 2 - it was close but I have to credit Note 2’s addition of the numbers above. As mentioned it does come in handy more often than you might expect.

Looking at Antutu and Quadrant Scores Xperia Z and Galaxy Note 2 both gave very high scores. Granted both of these are not accurate, it’s still interesting to see. Higher is better for both Quadrant and Antutu.

WINNER: Xperia Z - As much as these scores maybe inaccurate, three trials result in Xperia Z having higher values.

3.6 Battery

            Battery is Android’s Achilles’ heel. Sadly for Paris, he will not be able to shoot either’s heel for both phones have a relatively good battery life. Xperia Z carries a non-removable 2330mah battery whilst the Note 2 has a 3100mah battery. In standby and idle, both phones can last over two days with Note 2 definitely lasting a week. On light usage, text and calls, both phones will get you through a day with Note 2 lasting a full two days. But who would use a high-end phone for pure text and call? Seriously, Nokia101 will outlive both if used only for text and calls. On heavy usage, expect Xperia Z to hit the red mark much earlier than Note 2. I have used Note 2 for almost 5 months now and its battery is still as amazing as ever definitely lasting me a day. With Note 2’s battery removable, you can extend your phone’s life more. Lastly, as of now, there are lots of external battery cases available for the Note 2 which can further increase its battery life.

WINNER: Galaxy Note 2 – This is a no-brainer.

3.6 Miscellaneous

            A plus factor for the Note 2 is its S-Voice, Multi-Window capability and the S-Pen. Granted most will never use these function often, it’s definitely better than just having an IP57 Water and Dust Resistant Protection which most likely targets a niche audience. The aforementioned protection is not even as innovative as it was present on other 2012 Xperia phones. The S-Pen is a nifty pen which automatically opens a new window when pulled out and features such as the S Note maybe useful every now and then. The handwriting recognition on the Note 2 is simply amazing, I have always been the one on the class with the worst penmanship and as bad as my penmanship maybe, print or cursive, Note 2 was able to recognize most, if not all, of it! The Multi-window may also be useful sometimes, personally I use it to browse the web when something intruiging comes up when I am watching a movie. S-Voice is an application which activates certain app’s feature depending on your voice and it is calibrated to your voice. Another feature or pinch of Note 2 is the aforementioned keyboard. Having those numbers above the letters is definitely a time saver. Netizens and Android geeks will probably flame, hate and tell me that Xperia Z maybe capable of those if you flash custom rom. News Flash boys and girls, this review is based out of the box. Also, not everyone can and would want to install custom roms.

WINNER: Galaxy Note 2 – Xperia Z offers nothing special beyond what is offered by current smartphones. NOTHING.


…. ….. …..

Ok this is it. The Verdict. With a score of 5-5, I myself was surprised with this scoring, I honestly just scored individually without tallying, I don’t care if you don’t believe it but I was amazed and had a few laugh when the final score became a tie. As with all the comparison I had, I will be a douche and tell you whichever you choose you will be the winner.
Undoubtedly, Xperia Z offers you the more advanced technology than that of the Note 2 but the latter has quirks of its own which makes it stand out and hold its ground against the newer Xperia Z. If you are choosing between both let us summarize their own pros here:

Samsung Galaxy Note 2:

  •  Bigger Screen
  • S-Pen, S-Voice, Multi-Window
  • Better Stock Keyboard
  • Better Stock Video Player
  • Better and Removable Battery
  • Better Browsing
  • Gorilla Glass 2 AMOLED Glass
  •  Better Viewing Angles
  • Cheaper

Sony Xperia Z:

  •   Smaller Screen
  • 1920x1080 HD Display
  •  SLIGHTLY Better Audio Quality
  • Better Camera
  • Glass-Build
  • Water and Dust Resistant
  • Scratch Resistant Glass
  • Higher Benchmark Score

As much as Sony Xperia has improved, I have to admit it does not have enough oomph to actually make me want to abandon my Note 2 for it. The choice will come down to the user’s personal preference as either phone you choose will give you a refreshing and arguably the best smartphone experience today. Xperia Z is undoubtedly superior to majority of the more important factor and may very well have the crown today; but with its lacklustre innovations, this crown will soon be relinquished back to either Samsung, or finally, after a long time, to HTC. The war is imminent, Sony Xperia Z may have the Throne today but we know another will take it from him.