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For Astronomy ... New iPhone or new Android?

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#26 BrentKnight

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 12:56 PM

Brent:

 

32 GB is more than enough.. have you verified it has a compass?

 

And while the Surface Pro might be faster and all that, it's not well suited for amateur astronomy..

 

The are no iPads with OLED/AMOLED screens.

 

Jon

It's definitely not well suited to hand-held astronomy or for climbing ladders, that's for certain.  And it may be a tablet, but Windows is rubbish as a tablet.  It works well with BlueStacks to run SS6 and other Android apps, and I really like being able to type with a real keyboard when I'm taking notes.  It's been really nice for dabbling in EAA though when I'm using SharpCap, or for imaging the planets with FireCapture.  I hide it away on a conductors music stand inside one of those black cloth storage boxes that you put on bookshelves.

 

Just like with most telescopes, the right tool for the job.



#27 WadeH237

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 01:09 PM

The are no iPads with OLED/AMOLED screens.

Not yet, at least.

 

The rumor is that Apple is planning on releasing a version of the iPad Pro in the next year or two that has a screen that is an OLED variant.

 

As for iPhones, it's already been mentioned that the top models have had OLED screens for a while now.  I have an iPhone Xs Max and it has an OLED display.  I run SkySafari on it and it dims down so far that even dark adapted, I cannot read it.

 

I also have an iPad Mini that is several years old.  I also run SkySafari on it, but does have LCD light leak.  If I am imaging, and not trying to get my eyes as dark adapted as possible, then I use it at its dimmest setting and without a red film.  If I am doing visual astronomy, then I have a piece of the Red Eyes Xtra Dark cling that works great.  I have experimented with and without the red film at star parties.  At one event, I am set up near to a group of about 4 or 5 large (24" and bigger) Dobs with highly skilled and accomplished visual astronomers.  I've asked them about the tablet, and whether or not it affects them.  Even without the film, none of them even knew that I had the tablet, so I'll call that a success.  It helps that I keep it oriented so that there is no unobstructed line of sight between the screen and anyone else.


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#28 Steve Cox

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 01:28 PM

Brent:

 

32 GB is more than enough.. have you verified it has a compass?

 

And while the Surface Pro might be faster and all that, it's not well suited for amateur astronomy..

 

The are no iPads with OLED/AMOLED screens.

 

Jon

Honestly, owning and having owned and used both Samsung AMOLED and Apple displays, from phones to 10" tablet displays, I personally think we make too much of this.  At night, under the stars, once I get either one adjusted for use in dark mode, I have never seen any difference in my night vision to favor one over the other.  To me, this is one of those, yes, on paper and the lab AMOLED should be favorable, but in the real world I just don't see an advantage.


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#29 lphilpot

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 01:37 PM

My phone is OLED and my tablet is not. I can definitely see the difference in the black background but I use Xtra-Dark cling on both, regardless. The OLED background is black enough, but the foreground red is too bright. I have the phone set to adaptive brightness but I find it easier to just use red cling than adjust the brightness each time.


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#30 BrentKnight

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 02:12 PM

Brent:

 

32 GB is more than enough.. have you verified it has a compass?

 

 

Jon

Apparently it does...

 

Tab Compass.jpg


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#31 BrentKnight

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 02:18 PM

Honestly, owning and having owned and used both Samsung AMOLED and Apple displays, from phones to 10" tablet displays, I personally think we make too much of this.  At night, under the stars, once I get either one adjusted for use in dark mode, I have never seen any difference in my night vision to favor one over the other.  To me, this is one of those, yes, on paper and the lab AMOLED should be favorable, but in the real world I just don't see an advantage.

I have a very hard time seeing small text at very low light levels.  Normally for detailed work I have to remove my glasses and bump my nose on the screen.  While I love the black AMOLED I get from the S10, the light leak from the Surface and the Tab - while likely affecting my night vision - does not affect my enjoyment ... especially when I'm out in my driveway.  At a dark site - I rarely get the chance to visit - it would be more of an issue.



#32 sanbai

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 03:46 PM

I understand you very well. The dark site I normally use is usually ~Bortle 5 and sometimes cars pass by (far from ideal, but convenient place). Loosing dark adaptation because of a sudden light leak is a minor issue. If that's in my dark site, imagine my backyard.

Even though, the AMOLED with the dark background in skysafari allows me more comfort due to the increased contrast.

That said, it wouldn't be a big issue going back to a non-LED with red cling. The extra comfort of (coat)pocket-size tablet is a good trade off, especially for people that observe a lot and/or use ladders, like Jon.


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#33 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 06:37 PM

Honestly, owning and having owned and used both Samsung AMOLED and Apple displays, from phones to 10" tablet displays, I personally think we make too much of this.  At night, under the stars, once I get either one adjusted for use in dark mode, I have never seen any difference in my night vision to favor one over the other.  To me, this is one of those, yes, on paper and the lab AMOLED should be favorable, but in the real world I just don't see an advantage.

 

I don't know how dark your skies are or what you're looking at but I can easily see the light leak from standard screens when I'm using a tablet or phone as well as when others are using them. From my urban backyard, I don't worry about it but from sky's in the 21+ mpsas range, where I'm hunting down small, faint galaxies, I am very careful.  

 

I've made some measurements with a SQM in a dark, dark room of tablet screen brightnesses with and without a red film screen. The difference is significant. 

 

The thing about a red film is that it filters all the leakage except the red which increases the contrast dramatically and allows a dimmer illumination with more clarity.

 

Jon



#34 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 06:46 PM

I have a very hard time seeing small text at very low light levels.  Normally for detailed work I have to remove my glasses and bump my nose on the screen.  While I love the black AMOLED I get from the S10, the light leak from the Surface and the Tab - while likely affecting my night vision - does not affect my enjoyment ... especially when I'm out in my driveway.  At a dark site - I rarely get the chance to visit - it would be more of an issue.

 

Brent:

 

I set up my tablet with large fonts in both the tablet settings and in SkySafari. And I'm not near sighted and have to wear reading glasses to read anything closer than about 4 feet.  

 

I use a range of reading glasses. 1.25 diopters for the computer, 3.25 for reading and tablets and 4.5 diopters for the tablet at night.

 

I use voice to text for note taking.  It works quite well. My internet is the mobile hotspot on my phone so I keep my phone in my pocket..

 

Jon



#35 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 02:49 AM

Brent:

 

How's the new tablet working out?

 

Jon



#36 BrentKnight

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 05:46 PM

I've used it a couple times now and I'm satisfied that it does what it needs to do, and does it pretty well.

  • The size of the tablet is just about perfect.  It is wider than most Android phones and is about as long.  It fits in a large pocket, but I wouldn't trust it staying there while crouching. It's still easy enough to hold in one hand, but still gives me more useable screen space than the phone.
  • It's nowhere near as quick as the high-end phones and computers that I'm using.  There often is a little lag when scrolling or loading programs.  But, this is only in comparison to these very fast devices.  The speed seems more than capable of allowing me to use the apps that I want as I want to use them.  The apps that I run are native to Android and they do run better on this tablet than they do through BlueStacks on my PC.  An example of this is the way the ASIair does a "Save as Seen" in the Live Stacking feature.  I never could get this to work on the Surface, but the tablet saves a full size JPG exactly as seen in the "Pictures" folder.
  • So far I haven't been able to really push the battery life, but it seems quite a bit less than the phone.  I'm estimating that it's close to 6 hours and maybe longer if I turn the screen off when I'm not using it.
  • The resolution of the screen is not that sharp but in normal use it seems more than fine.  The two apps I usually run on it (SS6 and the ASIair) are easy to read and show plenty of detail in the sky maps and my image captures.  Color and brightness are pretty nice, but it does not get black - of course.  Where I see it fall behind is in the quality of the text.  Both the phone and the Surface have extremely crisp text where on the tablet there is a bit of pixilation.  Again, it's only by comparison that this is an issue.
  • Build quality is very good.  It feels nice and solid in my hands.  The OS is very similar to the current version running on my S10+.
  • I've never gotten below 9GB as I connect the tablet to my PC after each session and pull the nights data off.  Still, if you can get the 64GB unit for just a few dollars more it's worth it.

I think I'd be a little disappointed with this device if it was my primary tool for everything.  But as it is, I use it almost like I'd use a remote control except that it runs all my astronomy related apps instead of the TV.  The tablet also frees up my other devices to do other things.  In order for most equipment to work with the tablet, it has to be connected to a device hot-spot.  I still have the phone and my Surface to do all the other things I might want to do.

 

Thanks Jon, for the great suggestion as I don't think I would have gone down this path on my own...


Edited by brentknight, 07 December 2021 - 05:47 PM.

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#37 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 03:36 AM

Brent:

 

Thanks for the detailed review.  Just a couple of comments:

 

- All I use a tablet for to run SkySafari 6 Pro.  The ONN 8 inch also has the Media-Tek octacore processor and it runs plenty fast. 

 

- I actually prefer the lower Res screens. With the high res screens, the text and the stars are just too tiny, even when set to max.  I'm farsighted, presbyopia with focus at infinity and use 4.5 diopter readers but with screen dimmed as much as possible, I find the 8 inch 800 x 1280 screen better than the 1920 x 1200 screen of the Nexus 7 Tablets I used for years.  

 

Sounds like a very workable, very affordable tablet, the right size and the compass is a real plus, not many tablets have a compass, particularly tablets at this price point.  I find the compass is nice for moving the tablet from one part of the sky to another, quicker than scrolling the screen. 

 

Jon


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#38 robodan

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Posted 14 December 2021 - 02:20 AM

I have the Samsung S21 ultra, a really great astro camera for phone photos anyway. Think it will do up to, I think a 30 sec exposure, zoom world well up to 32x, after that falls away quickly.

I have always found Android far more powerful, as you can download and install apk files and fully customize it.

Apple are totally locked, cannot customize them, access hidden files or folders.

An android is for those who like tech stuff and customization and capable of so much more than Apple.

Apple is for those who just want a phone and locked apps, no customization no expansion, etc

I think if the Tesla phone is real, could kill of every other phone.

I am an android guy and don't like how Apple is locked.

The only thing apple does well is the apple watch, android has nothing that evrn comes close

Edited by robodan, 14 December 2021 - 02:22 AM.

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#39 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 16 December 2021 - 09:37 AM

Last year, I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e, mainly for using SkySafari 6 Pro. It has proved a worthwhile purchase, with the great AMOLED screen.  It has 64 GB storage, and a 64 GB micro SD card, likely much more total resources than necessary for SS6 Pro.   Highly recommended.   A friend of mine recently purchased the same tablet for running SS6, and he is quite pleased with it also.


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#40 MawkHawk

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Posted 18 December 2021 - 07:49 PM

I took your advice and bought a little Android tablet. The ONN looked fine, but they had the new Tab A7 Lite on sale at Best Buy with the newer OS and a bit more RAM and an 8.7" screen.  I looked at the iPad Mini, but I don't need to spend that kind of money for just a couple astronomy apps.  I'll hold off on the new phone until the S22 comes out and make a decision then. Thanks everyone for all the input...

 

I did have a little trouble getting SkySafari Pro 6 to work though. Apparently they are having issues with the Play Store. Reinstalling with auto updates turned off seems to have fixed it...

Hey, Brent. I just purchased a Tab A7 Lite from Amazon and it arrived today (almost 1 day delivery). I loaded Sky Safari 6 for only 6.99 and it works like a charm! Thanks again for the tip.


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#41 BrentKnight

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Posted 18 December 2021 - 10:36 PM

Hey, Brent. I just purchased a Tab A7 Lite from Amazon and it arrived today (almost 1 day delivery). I loaded Sky Safari 6 for only 6.99 and it works like a charm! Thanks again for the tip.

Did you have any issues with the SS6 install?  Apparently there were many who did have issues...


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#42 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 December 2021 - 03:09 AM

Did you have any issues with the SS6 install?  Apparently there were many who did have issues...

I believe those have been fixed.

 

Jon



#43 MawkHawk

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Posted 19 December 2021 - 09:38 AM

I believe those have been fixed.

 

Jon

True. I had no problems at all. I did disable automatic updates beforehand as I read that it may have been a source of install problems. Everything works great at the moment.


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