Tag Archives: cell phones

iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Galaxy II

Filed under: All Things Tech - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

The smartphone battle continues to heat up as it seems a new phone comes on the market every few months. Sometimes it feels like every week.

Here’s a comparison of two of the hottest phones on the market, the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy II:


Photo by Brett Jordan

The Galaxy S II is one of the thinnest Androids out there, which is nice to hear. Although, it still doesn’t beat the size of the new iPhone. Overall, the Galaxy S II is considerably larger due to its display but beats out the iPhone in weight by .13 ounces.


The Galaxy S II has a larger screen then the iPhone 4S by a full inch. However, the iPhone 4S boasts a better resolution than the Galaxy S II, which means a higher pixel density. Overall, the iPhone wins again but it is hard to choose between two awesome touchscreen displays.


Now that’s a scary topic. The iPhone 4S will put you back $199 for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB and $399 for the 64GB, but only for new contracts or those eligible for upgrades. Otherwise, price jumps between $600-800 depending on carriers and the GB. The Galaxy S II starts at $199.99 with AT&T and T-Mobile has it for $299.99. Sprint carries the Galaxy S II for the same price as AT&T with a new contract.

Camera and Video

Other than the awesome Siri, the biggest iPhone 4S upgrade is the rear-facing camera with a custom lens and f/2.4 aperture. The Galaxy S II camera matches the iPhone 4S and the details continue to be the same with an LED flash, auto focus and digital zoom. Video abilities are also neck-to-neck and both come with software for photo and video editing.

Battery Life

Photo by Fresh Fiber

Apple placed a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery into the new iPhone with a talk time of up to 8 hours on 3G. Standby time is up to 200 hours and audio playback is up to 40 hours. Internet usage is up to 6 hours on 3G. Samsung added a rechargeable 1850 mAH lithium-ion battery with a talk time that is pretty similar to the iPhone.


Honestly, as cliché as this may be, there was no apparent winner. Both the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S II sport the greatest and latest technology in terms of smartphones and they share a lot of the same features. Choosing from one of these phones really depends on whether you are an iOS or Android fan. Either way, this phone can keep you up to date on business when away from the office and can provide you with entertainment for hours. It’s a win all around!

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One Word Texts: Why You Should Stop

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

Am I the only person who hates one word text messages? I love texting just as much as any other college student, but I tend to worry the conversation is heading downhill as soon as the one word texts start coming in: “haha”, “ya”, “lol”, etc. Can we say annoying? What do you even say to that? I say if you’re going to bother to text “ya” to someone, you might as well write a whole sentence, otherwise it’s just not even worth it to respond.

Photo by Joi Ito

Let’s debunk the convenience of one word text messages and find out why they have so much potential to start an argument and why we should stop.

One word texting has now not only become an excuse for laziness, it also allows us to be nasty without being held accountable for our actions. We say things through texting that we might never say in person, just like we do with our computers. Before texting became so popular, everyone was forced to talk to everyone else in person or at least on the phone. Now that texting has graced us with its convenient presence, we can avoid some pretty precarious conversations. But the problem starts when the person doing the texting never sees or hears the reaction from the person on the receiving end. We are left to guess what kind of tone is behind the text, and from there our imaginations can run wild. We can’t tell the effect our words are having on the other person (which might work in your favor if you hate confrontation), but it’s not going to help anyone improve their communication skills.

For women, when a man sends a one word text, he’s subtly sending the message that the conversation has died and he doesn’t want to talk anymore. (I should know, I do the same thing.) Women are generally known to be more talkative than men, and I’ve heard from a few of my guy friends that as soon as the girl they like starts talking in one word texts (a.k.a. caveman speak), they start to think they might be boring the girl. For me the solution has always been to say to the guy, “Not very talkative today, are you?” and he gets the hint. But what if instead of playing even more guessing games with each other, we nailed down a possible solution to this frequent problem?

Texting is like that hot fudge sundae you love so much: just because it’s there, that doesn’t mean you should, um, eat (use) it. If you want to avoid unnecessary drama and minute misunderstandings, save texting for the unimportant conversations, and leave the important ones for the good old fashioned phone call.

To put it even more simply (and to modify the famous words of Dr. Seuss): say what you mean and mean what you say, but don’t say it through texting (unless it’s not important).

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