Phil Nickinson

I have absolutely no idea how it happened, but January is quickly coming to close. And that means February -- and Mobile Nations Fitness Month -- is nearly upon us. Last year was a dismal failure. OK, maybe not "dismal" -- I'm not sure I failed at it anymore than I've failed at anything else I didn't actually really do. We're going to give it another shot this year, never mind that I'll be on the road at least two weeks of an already short month.

Last year I tried a Fitbit. But that damned little pedometer was just too damned little. I have no idea where it went. So this year I'm going to try a Nike Fuel Band. I haven't warn a watch in years -- sitting in front of a computer all day, with clocks on walls and a smartphone in my pocket made strapping a timepiece on my arm a redundant proposition. So this semi-rigid bracelet has taken some getting used to, and it's extremely annoying when trying to type on a laptop. Maybe that says more about my typing posture. I dunno.

VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more

We still don't have a proper Android app for the Fuel Band. But Nike recently released some APIs, so let's hope apps like Endomondo take advantage of them.

Anyhoo. Mobile Nations Fitness Month is right around the corner. Hopefully I'll do a little better with it this year. And hopefully a few of you will come along for the ride.

And now, a few quick thoughts to start the week.

Fakes, leaks and fan fiction

We're getting into that part of the year in which fan renders and fake photos seem to be coming out of the woodwork. That's fine, I guess, if that's your thing. But it's worth remembering that companies are still capable of surprising us. The Samsung Galaxy S3 did a pretty good job of staying under cover before its unveiling. NVIDIA's Project Shield sneaked up on everyone. Even HTC managed to get a couple phones announced under the radar in 2012.

But as Alex pointed out last week, sometimes a render is just a render. Sometimes they're fake. And sometimes they're intentionally misleading. 

Remember the Galaxy S3?

I miss using the Galaxy S3, I think. Yes, I still disapprove of having a physical home button -- but that doesn't mean I have to reject the entire phone. Samsung made a hell of a device there. Here's to hoping its user interface catches up with the quality of its hardware and the depth of its software features.

The Galaxy Note is still just too big for me. But it's incredible how many you see in public these days. 

Marketing in 2013

It's not sexy, I know, but I'm really curious to see what HTC does on the marketing side over the next year or so. Remember that some execs changed hats toward the end of last year. And ask anyone who plays with phones for a living, and they'll tell you that product has largely not been HTC's problem -- it's been perception and marketing and some missteps on a strategic level. (OK, and maybe some software issues.)

On the other hand, can anyone short of Microsoft keep up with the ridiculous amount of money that Samsung's thrown at its products on the marketing side? How do you combat that if your wallet's not as fat? Smaller, targeted campaigns?


I'm still asking myself why I'm underwhelmed in the tablet space. That's not to say there aren't some really good ones out there -- and there are some really good ones on the way, I'm sure. But the experiences all just seem the same. I really want to sees someone try something new.

And with that, on goes the Fuel Band. See y'all Monday.