Onyx BOOX AfterGlow 2

Discussion in 'General Smartphone/Handheld/Wearable Discussion' started by Mi An, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    Actually, some of their other readers look great too (if pricey). I bet some will get the upgraded processor soon too.
     
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  2. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    I don't have a strong sense for how fast the cpu is, other than it's faster than what you normally find with eink. I kinda got the impression it was in the same class as a tegra 2 the other day, but I didn't really confirm that and I can't really recall how I put it together. This particular model has gotten complaints (in user reviews) about battery life, I think mostly from people accustomed to single purpose, super low power, proprietary OS devices like the kindles, and some of them may be letting syncing and bad apps shade their judgment, but it does have a smaller battery (1700mah) than you'd expect in a device this size (Fire HD 6 has 3400mah, but is obviously LCD). I feel like I can manage Android and battery life pretty well, so I'm not too worried.

    I'm not aware of any professional or even semi-professional reviews out there. I know of two ereading bloggers who have the AG2 and are planning reviews, I'll post them when I see them come up.
     
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  3. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    The reader you highlighted has a dual-core processor. It looks like the other models have an older single-core processor.
     
  4. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    Despite 3 business days worth of handling, it arrived early and I even got to do a bit of reading on it last night. If for some crazy reason you prefer a more organized review to my stream of consciousness, click here (that one just posted, there's another I'll post soon when it goes up). Here's a few impressions in a wall of text you're welcome to skip past:
    • Weight It's a few grams heavier than my 5th generation kindle, but because I'm so dependent on the hefty lighted case, and because it isn't very easy slipping it in and out, this is a dramatically lighter package.
    • Display It has the same screen as the first paperwhite, and I now understand some complaints about it I read elsewhere from people who had the same 5th gen kindle I have. The blacks just don't look as black, presumably because the 'white' background is so much more grey, but also possibly the touchscreen and light layer contribute in some way. With the light on, the black foreground/text stands out a little more. Despite being lower resolution and not having the nifty touch screen everyone prefers these days, that old eink from the 5th gen kindle really is something special. This screen is still very pleasing to me, but I'm not much of an eink snob (yet).
    • Frontlight I love having an adjustable light, all the more having nearly perfectly even coverage over the reading area of the screen. My lighted case was way too bright and shone more brightly on one half the screen. I read at night on the absolute lowest level of lighting, and just shining both it on low and my my Kindle's against a wall is like pitting a charging led against a car headlight. I exaggerate a little.
    • Color Temperature As my eyes age, I've become more a fan of eliminating blue light from my nightly schedule. I had a small piece of amber shaded film over my kindle's lighted arm, I use f.lux on PC, I like custom readers on Android that allow me to use black background with a colored foreground. Because of the very low level of light and perhaps the way it diffuses, I'm not immediately bothered by this display, although at first glance, it does appear to skew a little cold (cold meaning bluer, warm meaning more amber). Color temperature on devices like these, whose screens are all manufactured by the same company, vary wildly and it's luck of the draw what you get. Lots of people at mobileread complain about getting one that's too warm, many over there prefer the sharp bluer light that makes the background look whiter.
    • 1st Button The button on the front is the back key, but if you press and hold, also toggles the front light on/off. That's nice. I plan to use it lightless during the day (something I understand paperwhites don't allow, they can turn down to the low, but not off, probably because the contrast looks better with the light on), so flipping the light on at night can be done quickly and by feel.
    • The Page Turning Buttons appear to trigger something like page up/page down, allowing me to page through lists in some non-Oynx apps (like the Amazon app store) without having to deal with the laggy nightmare of animated scrolling on eink. On the down side, only moon+ of the readerware I use recognizes them for turning ebook pages, kindle and overdrive don't. I currently use my library pretty heavily. The reader supports adobe drm in it's own reader, and that might do the trick, but I haven't managed to set that up yet to be sure it would work. Eventually, I'll root and have more power over the buttons, but I'd prefer to wait a bit. And generally speaking, I prefer to only solve problems with root that can't be solved some other way.
    • Storage I will root eventually. I've installed hardly anything and I've only got 80MB of app space left, even though the device has 2.5gb of free space, the app partition is tiny. There are ways around this with root. I might use the foldermount app, but I might try to actually mount the entire partition elsewhere (internal or external sd).
    • The wifi is a little wonky. I disabled the power saving option to make sure it wasn't that, but it isn't even that wifi is turning off, but that the device will suddenly go from a strong signal to no signal and remain that way until I toggle the wifi off and back on.
    • Onyx made some interface changes to the ROM, and Android's task switcher didn't make the cut. This can probably be solved even without root. But it makes navigating around during setup a pain.
    • Over the Top Eventually, I'll probably install some eink-inappropriate apps just because. I've got an older tower defense game in mind that isn't too taxing. Of course I'll be installing static games like chess (I've got several games from , but I think it's worth finding out just what this device is really capable of. I remember there were people who told me my netbook was only for browsing the internet, and trying to do more was folly, cause hey, 'net' is right there in the name. I installed all manner of games, used it heavily for video, streaming and local, and did heavy word processing on it (the keyboard was actually my primary consideration when choosing one, so I planned for that going in). Everything has some limits, but I prefer to find them for myself rather than take someone's word for it.
    I'm generally very pleased and plan to sell my kindle. I'll miss the kindle owner's lending library, but I don't even have access to that all the time, and the versatility of this device is very pleasing.

    I can't promise I'll take your questions in a timely fashion or that I'll provide helpful answers, but I am happy to take a shot at answering anything I can :hi:
     
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  5. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Very nice, Mi An! It sounds wonderful and I'm glad you're happy with it. Thanks for the link to the review - I'll just watch the video portion. :)
     
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  6. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    That particular reviewer may not have a strong grasp on Android. The books does come preloaded with hundreds of polish books and it does try to process them at the start, but if you press back, you can stop that and then delete them all pretty quickly from within settings. But I'm sure there's still some helpful stuff in there. And you may be able to glean all kinds of helpful stuff just seeing the device in action.
     
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  7. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    I was mainly interested in seeing the device in someone's hand. I liked that he installed Nova launcher, etc. At this point, I'm pretty happy with my 1st gen Paperwhite, smartphone, Chromebook, and desktop setup, but I'm on the lookout for devices for friends and family.
     
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  8. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    Ah. Are they technically enthusiastic? I'd be hesitant to recommend this for anyone who wasn't. Kindle may be limited, but it's easy to use and hard to mess up. You can do so much more with this, and it won't really be hard to use once it's set up nicely, but it takes some time to get there and I think you'd need a strong awareness of Android if you want it to work smoothly.

    I installed lightning launcher, a light weight launcher I've been using since my antique Touch Pro2 days. It's actually capable of being quite flashy, though I prefer a simpler motif. First thing I did was turn off transitions, reflections, wallpaper and icons, which is the same thing I do on my phone, but here it makes a much bigger difference. My plain text preference suits the display and probably the RAM as well.
     
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  9. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    To remap my bezel buttons I'm using this app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=innerlife.keyboard.multilanguagekeymapredefiner

    It replaces the default keyboard so no root is required. All my books and all my library's books can now be paged forward with buttons. I imagine I'll find a better solution eventually, but this is a nice simple solution for now. It certainly beats wrestling with Adobe DRM. In theory, Oynx's reader supports that. In practice, I have no friggin' clue how to make it work (except direct through the Overdrive app which conspicuously ties your content to an overdrive id so you don't have to mess with Adobe at all).
     
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  10. Root Novice

    Root Novice Newbie

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    I've never rooted a device before, but I will give it a shot if it can fix my issue with this device.

    I cannot figure out how to move apps and data over to a 32GB external SD card. The Afterglow 2 recognizes that I have almost 30 GB of storage available, but it won’t allow the data to be stored on the external SD card, just internal memory. Thus, with just a few apps and the associated data, the memory is full (I think this is the same issue experienced in this video review I saw). You mentioned the tiny app partition. I think that's the problem.

    Is there a way to allow the user to browse to the path they would like used for storing their apps/data? I have a feeling this means rooting it, but I have no idea how to do that. Thanks!
     

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