Archive for November, 2013

By November 30, 2013 Read More →

Sony Cybershot DSC-QX10 Review

IMG_4168The Sony DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lens cameras for use with smartphones seem to have polarized opinions in the press with regard to their usefulness with some critics claiming that they are products that are looking for a purpose. Here we will be reviewing the base model DSC-QX10 camera using both Apple and Android smartphones.

If you haven’t already seen Matt’s unboxing and hands-on video, please take a few minutes to get an idea of what the Sony QX10 is all about.

Unboxing and Setup Video

The 10 Second review:

  • Device: Sony Cyber-shot QX10
  • Price: RRP £180. Available from £135 from various on-line retailers.
  • Summary: An add on camera for iOS and Android devices.
  • Best of: Picture Quality, focus speed, 10x Optical zoom.
  • Worst of: Occasional connection slowdowns. Currently not fully compatible with Android 4.4.
  • Buy it now from: Amazon UK
  • Also consider: Stand alone compact camera

 What’s in the box?

  • Sony Cyber-shot QX10 Lens
  • Rear cover to attach lens to phone
  • Battery
  • MicroUSB sync/charge cable
  • Wriststrap
  • Instruction Manual

Sony Cybershot DSC-QX10 Review Specifications

Sensor 18MP, 1/2.3in BSI CMOS
Lens 10x optical zoom, 25-250mm in equivalent terms
LCD n/a
File Formats JPEG, MPEG 4
Shutter Speeds 4 – 1/1600 sec
Exposure Modes Auto, i-Auto, Program
Metering System Multi
ISO Range 100-3200
White Balance auto
Flash Modes n/a
Memory Card microSD, micro SDHC, micro SDXC
Connectivity USB 2, Wi-fi, NFC
Power Li-ion rechargeable
Dimensions 62 x 62 x 33 mm
Weight 105g
Video 1440 x 1080 @ 30fps

General

I think that it is probably worth starting off by saying what the QX10 is and what is does and doesn’t do. Put simply the QX10 is a compact camera that is missing a screen or viewfinder and most of the controls. The reason that these normally important features are missing is that you can access them by using your smartphone!

The QX10 incorporates WiFi into it and by connecting the two devices together. On an iPhone it is simply the case of switching the camera on and going to the WiFi settings on the phone and pairing them. On a Android phone with NFC it is even more simple. Just touch the two devices together and the paring process starts. Once that is done The Sony Play Memories App can be downloaded form either The Apple App Store or Google Play and off you go.

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Whatever the lens sees is shown (almost) immediately on your smartphone screen. The reason that I said almost is that there occasions when it seems to go a little laggy but generally it is fast and stutter free.

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Settings for the camera can be adjusted using the app. These include the photo or video mode, the photograph resolution, the image size that is automatically transferred to the phone and the sounds that the camera makes. It is a very simple app and for the most part performs very well. One current downside to the Play Memories app is that it currently does not support Android 4.4 KitKat. As I have a Nexus 5 as my personal device this did cause a few moments of head scratching but I discovered that Camera360 has recently been updated to connect to the QX10 although video mode is not supported.

IMG_1101IMG_1100

What is it like to use and does it really serve a purpose?

I am quite a keen (if not very good) photographer and I am generally not keen on using the cameras on phones to record anything other than quick photos for social media sites. I’ve usually got a camera of some kind available whenever I am out and about and often with a collection of lenses in a bag. I very often take a shot with my camera and then a second with a phone to share straight away.

With the QX10 these issues suddenly disappeared! I was able to keep the QX10 in one pocket and my phone in another and when I wanted to grab a shot, there was a simple less than 10 second process to switch on, attach to phone and open the app to get the shot. You can also use the lens in one hand and the phone in another to get shots that you normally would find hard to frame.

The QX10 has a thread for a tripod so it can be set up in a location and remotely controlled and viewed which might be useful if you like to do wildlife photography.

I would not try to claim that this camera could ever replace a DSLR, m4/3 or Sony NEX camera but it allows another option when choosing the kit that you need. I would happily take it out on its own though and know that the shots that I brought back would be excellent!

I found the QX10 to be a really fun camera to shoot with and a couple of my photographer friends who tried it out agreed and have ordered their own.

As a video camera the QX10 is very capable and is able to capture 1440x1080p video at 30 frames per second. Matt recently used it to record the unboxing of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra recently.

Why not have a look at the video and see what you think? Sony Xperia Z Ultra unboxing and hands-on

Here are a few sample shots taken with the Sony Cybershot DSC-QX10

All shots are straight from the camera memory card and were taken hand-held.

 

Conclusion

The Sony DSC-QX10 was the 1st device in a long time that has truly amazed me! The slightly laggy response from the viewfinder was forgotten every time I used the camera. I would say that if you are considering the QX10 or that if you are curious about it, you would probably enjoy it as much as I do. If you think that it’s a silly idea then you should try one out – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

By November 29, 2013 Read More →

Kindle Fire HDX Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2013 Deals

MN24820I’ve been talking about the Kindle Fire HDX quite a bit recently and as many of you will know, I have one myself. Despite some issues that I mentioned last week I’m really impressed with the Fire HDX, it’s incredibly light and great for reading on the go but with the option of being able to use it as a full-blown tablet if I want to. Something that you cant do with the other, monochrome-screen Kindles.

Being Black Friday and with Cyber Monday just around the corner, as you might expect, there are some deals out there on these new devices and we’ve stumbled across this one:

Posted in: News, Tablets
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By November 29, 2013 Read More →

Lenovo IdeaTab S6000 unboxing and demo

lenovo-tablet-ideatab-s6000-front-1Lenovo recently launched a new range of Android tablets, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 and 10. But Lenovo have an existing range of Android tablets and we looked at the budget IdeaTab A3000 a while ago.

This week we got our hands on the Lenovo IdeaTab S6000. It’s the bigger brother of the A3000 and has a 10.1″ display. Both have been on the market for a while but heading in to the Xmas period, and as Android tablets are likely to feature quite high on Christmas lists this year, we thought it worthy of an unboxing and review as it promises to be one of the better options out there at the moment.

Lenovo call the S6000 an ‘Enhanced Multimedia Tablet’ and to this end the tablet has a couple of sizeable speakers on the rear for stereo audio playback. The widescreen display may not be the highest resolution but is still 1280×800 pixels and, being IPS, is of a decent quality.

You can pick up the S6000 for under £200 at the moment but there’s stiff competition out there so can it compete? We’ll have a full review soon but for now the unboxing and demo video below may help you make up your mind.

By November 29, 2013 Read More →

Cybersecurity: Who is Watching You Online?

Internet securityThe recent news involving the NSA and the implications for online privacy have put cybersecurity in a brand new light. Whenever you hop online with your Web browser of choice, chances are someone somewhere is keeping tabs on your Internet surfing habits. More than 85 percent of adults use the Internet, according to Pew Internet, and a variety of people are eager to collect their personal details—whether it’s to better track their shopping habits or to sell the data to a bounty of rogue marketers, debt collectors or even hackers in search of a ripe target.

Who Watches Over Us?

The vast majority of online tracking is done courtesy of “cookies” and “beacons”—tiny files that appear on your computer whenever you visit a website. While these files are intended to help your computer remember things like login details, organizations can use them to do things like create targeted advertising campaigns based on your browsing habits.

Third-party tracking files are among the most intrusive of the breed. These files assign a unique ID number to your computer, enabling the creator to build a substantial profile based on your visits to affiliated websites with the same technology. This allows retailers to provide predictive marketing based on consumer shopping habits. Forbes notes how this already resulted in one case where Target figured out a teen girl was pregnant long before her father did. Some tracking companies go as far as hiding these files in advertisements, free software and even other tracking files.

How to Watch the Watchers

Despite the growth of the digital security industry, it’s a field that generates a surprisingly small amount of interest from today’s young job seekers. A recent Raytheon poll found that only 24 percent of recent graduates have an interest in cybersecurity as a career. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t interested in enhancing their privacy by monitoring and curbing the usage of cookies and other tracking data.

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, recently unveiled an add-on that sheds light on how first and third-party websites track and collect your data. Lightbeam creates a real-time graphic visualization of third-party entities on the sites you visit. This gives you an opportunity to see who’s collecting your data, how it’s being collected and where they connect to your online activity. In keeping with consumer desire for enhanced privacy, the data Lightbeam collects and displays is stored locally on your computer by default, according to Mozilla.

With identity theft a constant and prominent concern, companies like LifeLock provide a service to those looking to keep their credit ratings safe from fraud. For a small monthly fee, the company keeps an eye out for potentially fraudulent applications for loans, credit cards and other lines of credit and alerts customers to these attempts. The company’s confidence regarding its identity theft protection services extend to its $1 million guarantee in the event of a successful theft.

Posted in: Editorial, News
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By November 28, 2013 Read More →

Buying a New Mobile? Here Are Some Options

Set of touchscreen smartphonesIt can be challenging to renew lists of the best mobile phones available because their rate of release is so fast today. However, October saw the release of very few new phones. Now that the market has settled after the storm (or lack of, according to some) caused by the new iPhone releases, we can better assess the new phones that have been released of late.

The following are the best of the new bunch. If you’re low on funds this month, be sure to check out Virgin Media’s SIM only deals.

Google Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 promises to provide the smoothest and purest Android experience possible. You’ll be able to enjoy the new Android 4.4. KitKat and rather than waiting for the carriers to release updates, you’ll be able to download them directly from Google. There’s a 2.23GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, along with a gorgeous 4.95-ich 1920/1080 display, with a pixel density of 445 pixels-per-inch.

There’s an 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front camera. The phone comes in two options for internal storage: you can choose 16GB or double up to 32GB.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The new Galaxy Note 3 improves upon its predecessor massively. More of a ‘phablet’ than a phone, it’s the only handset that is compatible with Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch (support for other Samsung devices will arrive at the end of the year).

Equipped with Jelly Bean, the Galaxy Note 3 has a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, a 5.7 inch 1920 x 1080 display screen, 3GB of RAM, a whopping 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera.

HTC One

Similar to the new Galaxy S4, the HTC One offers an aluminium chassis, a full HD screen and a simplified version of Sense 5.0 with Android Jelly Bean. Users will be able to create video highlight reels to share with their friends. There’s an ultrapixel camera that out-performs just about any other phone camera in low-light conditions.

HTC hasn’t had a great track record, but this model truly takes the cake and silences all critics. Although the battery life still leaves much to be desired, the HTC One is still the best phone HTC has released thus far.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Having just been released, the new Xperia has a bunch of new features under its hood. It now boasts the sharpest LCD panel on the market, as well as a 13MP camera that can capture HDR video.

It fits perfectly into your hand, being nice and slim at 6.5 millimetres. Still, it’s a hardy phone that features tempered glass along with a dust- and waterproof build. It can be submerged in up to 1 metre of water and still work, too.

Buying a new phone these days is tough, as the majority become outdated within a few months. The trick is to select a phone that will last a long time along with updates from the manufacturer. Resist the hype and do your research!

Posted in: Editorial, Phones
By November 28, 2013 Read More →

The Nokia Lumia 2520 is ready to go

nokia_lumia_2520_twodevice-cropped-640x460Nokia today announced that the Nokia Lumia 2520, the company’s first Windows tablet, will be available exclusively through The John Lewis Partnership from December 4th.

The Nokia Lumia 2520 features include:

  • 4G connectivity – allowing faster downloads and connectivity
  • 10.1” full HD display – enhancing entertainment experiences on a large screen
  • Quad core chipset
  • 4 colour options – glossy finished white or red and a matt finished black or cyan
  • 11 hours of battery life
  • Exclusive apps – Nokia Video Director, a new video editing software that lets you get even more creative with different editing styles and Dragons Adventure, a unique entertainment experience built in partnership with DreamWorks Animation which transforms a family drive into a magical gaming experience
Posted in: News, Tablets
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By November 28, 2013 Read More →

Top 10 Most Distracting Mobile Apps

dontdrivedistracted-568pxFrom the statistics that have recently been released, half of young drivers are reckless enough to use their mobile phones whilst on the road. Stats from a poll of 1000 drivers have shown that 50% admit to reading text messages whilst driving as well as 74% agreeing that smartphones are distracting to young drivers. As this information has come out, it is startling to know how often this is occurring. This insightful infographic has been devised by ingenie to highlight the facts as part of the #DontDriveDistracted campaign. Be sure to take part and pledge through Twitter, Instagram or Vine by using the hashtag.’

Posted in: Editorial
By November 28, 2013 Read More →

New HTC One coming with microSD slot and Dual-SIM

g254234-2HTC are bringing a new version of the ever-popular HTC One to the UK and the new version is going to add Dual-SIM and a microSD memory card slot!

On the Official HTC Store the new version is available for pre-order but there’s no word on when the devices will start shipping.

This is a nice little enhancement to what’s already an awesome, award-winning phone. Further information from the Official HTC Store include:

Memory: Internal phone storage: 32GB / RAM: 2GB / Expansion card slot supports microSD™ for up to 64GB additional storage (card not included)

Dual-sim

Unlike other dual-sim Smartphones, HTC’s dual active solution offers complete flexibility:

  • Receive calls from either sim card at any time
  • Switch seamlessly between both sim cards while you talk
  • HTC Sense helps you manage calls, texts and data between sim cards s effortlessly
  • On-board Dual Network Manager allows you to select a preferred network and personalise the name of each SIM, eliminating any complexity
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By November 28, 2013 Read More →

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 214: Dan and the Mustache of Doom

Podcast-Logo_thumb.jpgGareth and Dan are here with another UK update on the mobile front, this week with Phil Lain.

A massive amount of phone and tablet news to churn through this week. Most major manufacturers pull out some sort of new device, with a massive screen.

Gareth goes to Finland and doesn’t look at Angry Birds or Nokia products and young Phil drinks a glass of water.

Featuring Gareth, Dan and Phil

Direct Download

iTunes

Download the iPhone App

Download the Android App

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Watch the video on Youtube

By November 27, 2013 Read More →

Those rumours about a touchscreen Chromebook are true

acer-C720P-29552G03aiiLooks like Acer are more in touch with the consumer than ever before. Their latest Chromebook nabs one of the features of the Chromebook, namely a touch screen, whips it into place and flogs it for almost £1,000 less than the Pixel.

Combined with the handsome features of the current Acer C720 Acer could really steal the crown of best all rounder when it comes to a Chromebook. Press release to follow:

  • Acer’s first touchscreen Chromebook – the Acer C720P – provides a natural way to enjoy all the benefits of Chrome
  • Available in selective countries early December starting at only €299.99
  • Great multi-tasking performance and up to 7.5 hours of battery life with fast Intel processor
  • Boots up in only 7 seconds with fast 32GB SSD

London, 27th November 2013 – Acer today announced the availability of its first touchscreen Chromebook, the new Acer C720P, a new model in the Acer C720 Chromebook line that was introduced last month. The new C720P provides the many benefits of touch on the device’s 11.6-inch HD LED back-lit display to take advantage of the Chrome interface.

“Our new touchscreen C720P gives customers an intuitive way to browse sites online, enjoy apps, and do more with the Chromebook,” said John Miedema, director, business product unit for Acer EMEA. “The Acer C720 Chromebook line has been praised for its performance and battery life, and this new touchscreen model allows us to address the needs of an even wider range of customers with exciting new capabilities. We’re certain many holiday shoppers will jump at the chance to get a touchscreen Chromebook for just €299.99.”

The new Acer C720P touchscreen Chromebook is being introduced after the launch of Acer’s new “A Touch More” marketing campaign that highlights the company’s growing range of innovative products with touch capabilities.

The Acer C720P’s touch capabilities are enjoyed on its vibrant 11.6-inch ComfyView™ HD display that has a 1366×768 resolution to keep websites, images and video crisp and clear. The multi-touch display allows customers to use gestures such as swipe, tap and pinch to zoom to interact in a natural way with the Chromebook so they can better enjoy educational apps, browse websites, scroll through Google Docs, play games and more.

Like the rest of the new C720 line, the new C720P touchscreen model is powered by an Intel Celeron 2955U processor based on the Intel Haswell micro-architecture, so it delivers fast performance and excellent multi-tasking such as running multiple tabs and apps. The processor also enhances battery life; it keeps customers going for up to 7.5 hours for extra productivity and fun.

The C720P gets customers working and connecting quickly with its 32GB SSD that provides a fast boot time of less than 7 seconds and quick resuming from sleep. The large SSD also provides ample storage capacity for saving video, photos and other files. In addition, the touchscreen C720P features 2GB of DDR3 memory. Plus, the Acer C720 quickly connects to hotspots and wireless networks via 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi.

Thin and Lightweight Design Includes all the Extras
The Acer C720P Chromebook measures only 2 cm and weighs only 1.3 kg pounds, making it easy to carry to meetings, classes, and anywhere life takes today’s busy consumers. The C720P’s compact chassis houses everything needed to stay productive, connected and entertained on the go. It features an integrated HD webcam for video chats as well as capturing video and photos to share online. The new Chromebook features a dual speaker design that delivers crisp and clear stereo audio during online chats as well as for enjoying music and movies. Connecting to popular consumer electronics devices such as camcorders, digital cameras and smart phones is easy and convenient with the Chromebook’s USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. Its HDMI port can be used to provide video and content to external displays and HDTVs.

Security for Multiple Users, Collaboration
Customers will appreciate that the Chrome OS is updated automatically, so it always has the latest features. Multiple layers of security features including data encryption and verified boot defend the Acer C720P Chromebook against online threats, malware and viruses. The Acer C720P Chromebook keeps data safe when the device is used by multiple users, such as for collaboration in the classroom and for projects for home, school or work. Users can have separate accounts to ensure their project, Gmail and other information is kept safe if the Chromebook is lost, stolen, or lent to a friend.

Chromebooks Are Ready to Work and Play
Acer Chromebook customers are provided several extras to make use of their new C720P touchscreen Chromebook right out of the box. They can access up to 100GB of free Google Drive storage for the first two years after purchase, so files, documents, photos and more are stored safely in the cloud.Acer Chromebooks are easy to start enjoying, as they come with popular Google products built in including Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Hangouts.

Pricing, Availability and Warranty
The Acer C720 Chromebook will be available early December in Switzerland, Germany, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden and Finland with a starting price of €299.99.

Posted in: Laptops, News
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