The Neptune Pine

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A mighty fall from it’s original lofty price of £205, the 16gb version can now be picked up for just £60 in New condition. A super small full featured smartphone  not to be confused with a smart ‘watch’, the Pine is pretty grotesque on the wrist of anyone who isn’t a well practiced bodybuilder or generally large person and the strap/wrist mount is hideous. But for those who just want a nifty little 2nd phone with some nice features it is a steal at this price point. The fact it is small enough for some to wear via a strap with clips is a pure bonus…For them.

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I’ve been using Pine without the mount, as a secondary device just to take some strain off my aging HTC One M7 (which I love dearly), and after two days I have to admit I’m liking it.

The first day I found the battery life was awful, then I realised I had been downloading apks and media on it for a solid couple of hours I just couldn’t put it down. The novelty of such a small device being almost equally as capable as my phone was and is a bit of a draw for me. I put WordPress on it today and will follow up with a post or two from the Pine itself, just to test limitations you understand, not because it’s fun – which it is. I’ve since found the battery to more than last the day, but as with most smartphones regardless of cost it depends on what you are doing with it. It also charges pretty quickly, and with the “Fast On/Off” setting to ON a boot takes just a few seconds it’s pretty special.

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netuneninja.com is the place to be for all things Pine, the tutorials there are superb and the site generally has everything you need to get the most from Neptune Pine.

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The specs although great for a watch device, are pretty limited for a phone these days. The Pine’s cpu is almost equivalent to the first gen Motorola E but it has only 512mb of ram and jellybean not the kitkat or even lollipop that the Moto E has. Of course we can overclock and try RamExpander app’s as the Pine must be rooted to install Google Playstore among other things, but I have not found any details of others doing such things and I wouldn’t want to risk damaging the Pine.

Reviewers have slated the Pine so much because of it’s “gargantuan” or “ugly” appearance, these people have been spoiled by the industry and used to having the toppest of top end devices and phones due to their jobs. That is not their fault it’s just human nature to strive for greatness and why not, but many many people around the World myself included, do not have access to such things and as such have eaten a diet of mediocre devices since their inception. Yes it’s too big for a watch, but not for everyone.

Software

Almost completely stock Android here with just a small number of tweaks here and there to help with the features of the Pine. Such as the Home Launcher which has a more finger friendly 6 icon layout and dpi but is otherwise stock, a Flashlight app which has a switch to select between the front and rear LED Flashes should you feel the need for a dimmer torch? And the ‘Screen Auto On’ function which is to work with the accelerometer and turn on the Screen with a wrist movement. Like I say completely stock 4.1.2 no major additions.

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And that’s the way we like it at Androidlove. I have opted for Holo Launcher HD again though as neither my eyes or the screen of the Pine are that bad we require great huge bland icons to interface with each other. Treat it like the phone it is not the watch it would like to be.

The screen could be better on the Pine there is no denying it, it’s accurate enough for short tasks like a quick msg email or search but it’s not for working on.

The fact that the Pine can do pretty much everything a $600 iPhone can do is quite an achievement and it should be recognised for this.

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androidlove@gmx.co.uk

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