Archive for March, 2014

By March 31, 2014 Read More →

HTC One (M8) full hands-on video

M8_PerLeft_GunMetalWe’ve had our HTC One (M8) for a while now so thought iut was about time that we recorded a full hands-on video to show off some of the more important features and take a more detailed look at the hardware.

In the video below I’ll show you the hardware and discuss the specification before booting up and playing with the OS and user interface to look at some of the features that have changed in HTC Sense 6.0. I’ll also show you some of the elements that are part of the Duo Camera experience that features so heavily in HTC’s push of the HTC One (M8).

So what do we think of the HTC One (M8) so far? We’ll I’m really impressed with the design and build quality but that’s no surprise from and HTC device. Performance-wise the M8 is great and out-performs anything else that I’ve previously used. The camera is brilliant and the Duo Camera features allow for some really creative shots.

It’s a long video so I’m going to come back to some of the other features in another video soon…

 

 

HTC One (M8) specification:

 SIZE: 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

WEIGHT: 160 grams

DISPLAY: 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p

 

CPU SPEED

  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801, 2.3GHz quad-core CPU

 

PLATFORM

  • Android™ 4.4 with HTC Sense™ 6
  • HTC BlinkFeed™

 

MEMORY

  • Total storage:  16/32GB
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Expansion card slot supports microSD™ memory card for up to 128GB additional storage (card not included)

 

NETWORK

2G/2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE:

  • 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

 

3G – WCDMA:

  • EMEA: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps
  • Asia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps
  • AT&T: 850/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps
  • Sprint: 850/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA up to 14.4 Mbps
  • Verizon: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 14.4 Mbps
  • TMUS: 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps    

 

CDMA:  

  • Sprint: 800/1900
  • Verizon: 800/1900  

  4G – LTE:

  • EMEA: 800/900/1800/2600 MHz
  • Asia: 700/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz
  • AT&T: 700/850/AWS/1800/1900/2600 MHz
  • Sprint: FDD 800/1900 MHz , TDD 2600 MHz
  • Verizon: 700/AWS/1800/2600 MHz
  • TMUS: 700/AWS MHz                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

SIM

  • Nano SIM

 

SENSORS

  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Gyro sensor
  • Barometer sensor

 

CONNECTIVITY

  • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth® 4.0 with aptX™ enabled
  • Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
  • DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer,
  • HTC Connect™
  • micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection  (Special cable required for HDMI connection.)
  • Support consumer infrared remote control

 

SOUND

  • HTC BoomSound™
  • Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
  • Sense Voice

 

CAMERA

Duo camera

  • Primary camera: HTC UltraPixel™ camera, BSI sensor, pixel size 2.0 um, sensor size 1/3”, f/2.0, 28mm lens
  • HTC ImageChip 2
  • 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR video
  • Secondary camera: capture depth information

 

Front camera

  • 5MP, f/2.0, BSI sensor, wide angle lens. with HDR capability, 1080p Full HD video recording
  • Gallery with UFocus™, Dimension Plus™, Seasons, Foregrounder, Image Match

 

MULTIMEDIA

Audio supported formats:

  • Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 10)
  • Recording: .aac

 

Video supported formats:

  • Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 10), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3)
  • Recording: .mp4

 

Location

  • Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS
  • Digital compass

 

BATTERY

  • Capacity: 2600 mAh
  • Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery
  • Talk time: Up to 20 hours for 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 496 hours for 3G
By March 30, 2014 Read More →

The Armiga – part Android, part Commodore, all awesome

1820-armiga-project-prototypeThere is a new IndieGoGo campaign is hoping to provide Commodore enthusiasts with an authentic as possible experience to the original Amiga with an all-in-one enclosed package. Running on a Raspberry Pi is an Amiga emulator configured as an Amiga 500 with 1MB of RAM, equipped with an on-board 3.5″ floppy disk drive .

There have been a wave of machines that emulate various pieces of old hardware recently. From Bluetooth Spectrum 48k for an iPad to the Retron 5 taking all manner of cartridge based games. Whilst the argument that you are better off using the original hardware these newer alternatives appealingly offer HDMI outputs, a more reliable method of enjoying pixel perfect gameplay on modern displays.

The system features a dual booting setup. Equipped with the latest build of Android users will have tools at the ready to create disk images of original floppies. Emulation fans can look forward to screenshot functionality and the addition of save states too, while the techies amongst us can revel in the possibilities the ethernet port may bring.

The Armiga Project is hoping $140,000 in the next two months, with pledges of $139 securing one of the first systems.

Armiga Specification:

  • Powerful Dual Core ARM CPU.
  • 2 USB host: Joystick, mouse and keyboard support, as well as pendrives/hdds.
  • SD card slot: Save your ADFs or bring new ones!
  • Ethernet connection: Connect to your network for easy ADF management.
  • HDMI: Digital AV quality on the big screen!.

Features:

  • Full Amiga 500 emulation: The target machine is the iconic Amiga 500 and right now 90% of the disks are running!
  • Boot to Android: Armiga supports Dual Boot and comes loaded with Android 4.2.2, so when you’re not playing you can have all the power of Android!.
  • Automatic disk load: Like in the original Amiga; insert the disk and off you go!.
  • Disk dump: Create ADF images of your favorite games and keep them safe on the SD.
  • ADF support: Bring your own ADF images on a pendrive or SD card and enjoy!
  • Disk swap: Just insert the disk and it will be dumped. When time comes to change disks, just select the right ADF. Ain’t it easy?.
  • FTP server: No need to take the SD off to manage the ADFs; just do it from your computer!.
  • Graphical menu: Simple and elegant, with usability as main focus.
  • Game save: Save your game and resume later.
  • Autosave: Forgot to save?. We do it for you!
  • Screenshot: Wanna share your joy?. Give our screenshot feature a try.

By March 30, 2014 Read More →

Specs of the Padfone X released by AT&T

asus_front_charger_storyEven though Asus officially announce the new PadFone X in January, they didn’t reveal the specs of the device. Asus doesn’t have to worry as AT&T revealed the full specs of the device recently. We still don’t know when or at what price the device will arrive, but we at least know it is coming to AT&T. 

Here’s that spec-breakdown:

The Asus PadFone X phone section -

  • 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen
  • 13 MP rear camera
  • 2 MP front camera
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • A microSD card slot
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • 2,300 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Dimensions are 143.93×72.46×9.98 mm, and it weighs 150 grams

The Asus PadFone X Tablet Dock - 

  • 9-inch 1,920×1,200 touchscreen
  • 1 MP front camera
  • 4,990 mAh battery
  • Dimensions will be 250.4×172.25×11.63 mm, and it will weigh 514 grams

With each successive generation of this innovative device it keeps getting better and better. Asus has done a great job at refining and perfecting their technology.

Posted in: News, Phones, Tablets
By March 29, 2014 Read More →

HTC One (M8) Benchmark video

Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-40-51With the launch of the HTC One (M8), many of you are asking questions about performance, in particular the speed of the new device and how this compares to its predecessor, the HTC One (M7).

The M8 has a Snapdragon 801 chipset and Quad-core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz (The Asian market gets a 2.5GHz version!), and 2GB of RAM. Clock-speed wise this is a decent step up from the 1.7GHz quad in the M7. 

So what does this clock speed jump equate to? In general usage the difference isn’t that noticeable but in intensive apps and games you’ll notice it more.

In the video below you’ll see an HTC One (M8) Benchmark compared to the HTC One (M7). The benchmark was run simultaneously to give some impression of the speed and how much quicker the M8 completed the test.

Interesting results in that the M8 has twice the score of the M7!

 

By March 28, 2014 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy S5 Exclusive 4G Offer on EE

1395066723412EE are offering an exclusive deal when pre-ordering a Samsung’s flagship device, the Galaxy S5. Whether you fancy the device in Charcoal Black, Shimmery White and Electric blue this deal looks to be an attractive incentive for you to pick EE as your network of choice for your next contract. 

If you pre-order a Samsung Galaxy S5 between the 28th of March and the 10th of April EE will upgrade your contract from a 3G Plan to a 4G Plan at no extra cost. In addition, they will throw in a free return flight to one of the following destinations: Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Prague, Berlin, Munich, Rome, Brussels, Nice or Vienna. The phone will cost £59.99 on a £37.99 monthly plan. This includes unlimited calls and texts to use throughout the UK and Europe!

This deal is exclusive to EE and must have been pre-ordered online from 28th March- 1oth April. The deal is also open to those who pre-order an HTC One or Sony Xperia Z2 online through the EE Shop. This is not available in store or through any third parties.

For more information, check out EE’s website.

Posted in: Phones
By March 28, 2014 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 leaked

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-4-70-leaked-press-render-2We have two pics of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 were leaked by @evleaks. These pics show off the smallest of the The Galaxy Tab 4 series which will eventually arrive in 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch models. They contain the usual Samsung aesthetics. Additionally, these pics reveal that the Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 will continue Samsung’s trend of including the ability to make phone calls on the device. 

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-4-70-leaked-press-render-1

Posted in: News, Phones, Rumours, Tablets
By March 28, 2014 Read More →

Futuristic Business Cards

Business-Card-CatapultBusiness cards might not sound like the cutting edge of graphic design, but you’d be surprised at how adventurous people are being. Some of today’s designs look like they belong in the far future, for example the ingenious card for a cargo company that folds into a cardboard box.

For more examples of incredible business card designs, look at these examples of innovative design. The business card printed on paper money is especially maverick, as is the dog trainer’s card printed on actual dog biscuits.

Until now business cards were just a way of swapping contact details, but it makes sense that they have the potential to communicate so much more to a customer or colleague. If first impressions are everything, then why are so many professionals happy to give out bog-standard, uninspiring business cards?

Potential clients could look at these cards and make a quick judgement based on design, without even realising it. As the current job climate is so harsh, no wonder more and more people are thinking of unusual and clever ideas to make their business cards stand out from the crowd.

Your business card is an opportunity to tell people about you in a few seconds. Follow the example of the creative mechanical engineer who designed his business card to transform into a mini paper catapult, or the hair and make-up artists who gave out cards with Kirby grips slotted in them to look like the hair of a cartoon girl.

Perhaps the future of business cards lies in cards becoming more technologically advanced. Cards will become less about the material and more about the virtual. Technology is becoming cheaper and cheaper: perhaps one day businesses will give out tiny screens that switch on to reveal contact details or sound recording devices that relay important information by way of a voice message.

It sounds gimmicky, but in this challenging job market gimmicks might just work. You don’t have to go over the top, but you should make sure your business card is well-designed. Potential clients will judge you and your business on the quality of your business card, so make you use a professional to print off your design. Some print companies will even let you upload you own design, for example Instantprint have a design and print function. That way you know you’ll be using a unique design that will look fresh and interesting.

Posted in: Editorial
By March 28, 2014 Read More →

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 223: Alright M8?

Podcast-Logo_thumb.jpgGareth, Phil and Matt are here with another UK update on the mobile front. Matt got the HTC One (M8) and Gareth got a hangover.

This week the boys talk a lot about the new HTC One (M8), Gareth and Matt discuss their experience at the launch event, Gareth goes on a rant about the changes to Google Drive and Phil turns up late to the party.

 

Featuring Gareth, Matt and Phil

Direct Download

iTunes

Download the iPhone App

Download the Android App

RSS Feed

Posted in: Podcast
By March 27, 2014 Read More →

The increasing cost of smartphone contracts

contractsIn November 2007, the first iPhone was launched in Europe. Since that time, smartphones have seen staggering success in all regions of the world. In the United Kingdom, it’s estimated that 60% of mobile device users own a smartphone. With such a significant portion of the market share, this is clear evidence of the impact that smartphones have had on our lives.

Downsides to Smartphones

Although there have been extensive benefits from the introduction of the smartphone, users have observed their contract costs slowly increasing. The National Debtline conducted a study that discovered that since the iPhone’s initial launch, there has been a 261% increase in the number of calls received regarding mobile phone debts. In 2012 alone there was a 15% increase in the number of debt calls to the hotline. From January to August of 2013, the hotline received slightly less than 13,500 callers for debt advice. Additionally, in 2006, 3.9% of the calls were mobile phone related whereas in 2013, that number swelled to 11%.

Costs

A family of four consisting of two parents and two teenagers could be paying close to £140 per month if all have smartphones – more than the average energy bill in the UK. The rising costs are said to offset the ever-increasing costs of providing web access and mobile video to smartphones. Faster networks, equipment upgrades and additional improvements all contribute to the increase in cost. Unfortunately these costs are being passed along to the customer. To make matters worse, many customers are overpaying on plans which they don’t make full use of or underpaying and being charged for exceeding the caps. Not surprisingly, many of those who are paying more than needed for a contract were formerly those who continually went over their cap.

Finding the Right Plan

Prior to signing into a one-year or two-year contract, it’s critical to determine the number of minutes, texts and data that you’ll use each month. This will help you to decide exactly what you need each month. Since there are a multitude of mobile phone contracts on the market to suit all needs and budgets, there should be no excuse for exceeding monthly allowances. After calculating the amount needed, find the right network that can accommodate those needs while providing a competitive price.

It’s important for customers to remember that smartphone contracts are essentially loans for their handset devices. While the price of smartphones can be significant, when entered into a contract, consumers typically receive a deal with a monthly fee requirement that includes expenses. Those who are unable to maintain those expenses can fall into serious financial debt, especially if the phone needs to be replaced and they don’t have insurance. Like any other loan, customers should only enter into contacts which they can afford on a monthly basis.

 

Written by James Grant

 

Posted in: Editorial, Phones
By March 26, 2014 Read More →

Facebook Announces $2 Billion Deal with Oculus VR

OculusVRSocial networking giant, Facebook has announced a $2 billion deal to acquire the virtual reality company Oculus VR. The company is best known for their development of the Oculus Rift headset, which was originally funded on Kickstarter and was targeted at innovating gaming experiences.

However, Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said that he believed the virtual reality technology had wider implications. During a conference call with analysts, he stated: “Oculus has the potential to be the most social platform ever. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”

Oculus VR founder, Palmer Lucky previously recognised the social potential of the Oculus Rift in an interview with PC Gamer. He said: “Think of Facebook. People interact on Facebook a lot and in real life a lot. But right now Facebook is largely a tool to organize meeting up with people in real life. And that’s because even though we talk to people online, it’s a very crippled experience to actually doing things and spending time with people in real life. It’s more convenient, but you lose a lot.”

“We’re in a similar situation with VR. Right now, VR is kind of a crippled version of reality where there are reasons to use it, but you wouldn’t use it for everything. When VR is going to be exciting is when it gets as good as real life at everything, and you start to say, well, why would I travel on a business meeting across the world just to go sit face-to-face with people, if we can just plug in Rifts and get all of the same nuance of communication we could have gotten otherwise.”

 

 

The news of the acquisition raised concerns among the gaming community, who saw the possibility for Oculus to not only become a gaming platform of its own, but one that could pioneer VR technology for other social gaming sites. The worry was that the deal could limit companies like Social Gaming Network and Full Tilt Poker who may not be able connect users from multiple social platforms or will be charged high rates to be able to use the technology on their own networks.

However, the deal will see the Oculus team work independently within Facebook and remain focused on creating other gaming experiences. There are also plans to create other experiences, opening up the possibilities of enjoying a court side seat at an NBA game, studying in a classroom of students from around the world or consulting face to face with specialist doctors for a fraction of the cost.

Despite this, the development community has been hit hard by the news. “I never would have backed them if I thought this was even a remote possibility. I’m literally sad because I feel like a promising future was really just a hopeless dream,” said programmer Chip Collier. “VR has just been set back another 20-30 years.”

George Buckingham, a developer with Die Gute Fabrik studio, mirrored these sentiments, saying: “I’m irritated. The FB acquisition of Oculus seems 80% likely to kill their momentum… It’s probably going to get locked down in annoying ways and stop being a cool, weird tech you can freely hack on. I hope someone else comes and makes basically the same thing. Though I guess, that’s Sony, now.”

However, others are taking a more optimistic perspective, feeling that Facebook can provide opportunities for Oculus Rift to move forward. Head of Games at IHS Technology, Piers Harding-Rolls concluded: “Reaction from the gaming industry will fall into two major camps. There will be independent developers that will feel alienated by this move and may shift their priorities to other platforms. Others will see the advantages of having a much bigger entity behind the platform with deeper pockets alongside a massive audience of potential consumers across Facebook.

“Judging by Zuckerberg’s comments, Facebook is keen to accelerate the development of Oculus’ gaming capabilities, but I sense this is more about proving the concept and driving early adoption for a much broader set of applications many years down the road.”

Posted in: Editorial, News
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