Archive for 2017

By August 7, 2017 Read More →

Brainwavz B200 Audiophile grade earphones review

IMG_0581I must confess that I was not familiar with the brand when I was given word that their latest headphones were coming to us for review. They operate in the audiophile circles of the headphone world, but their aim is to keep the cost of their products at the more reasonable end of the spectrum. When I was given these in ear headphones, all I knew was that they were audiophile grade and cost £156.

The first thing that struck me when I was handed the box is that it smacked of neither audiophile nor £156. It is a pretty basic box with minimal amounts of styling, made from fairly thin card and a plastic tray inside. It looks remarkably like an early DVD box set or an Amiga game. This is not always a bad thing, however. Regular readers will know that I have mixed feelings about packaging. Sure, I like some swish presentation to give a premium feel as much as the next guy, but at the same time, I do not like the idea that a product has its price bumped by £20 just to get a swanky box that will ultimately be thrown out anyway.

Brainwavz, dual, balanced, armature, B200, high performance, audiophile, grade, earphones, headphones, uk

In the box, you get a rather nice, rigid carry case that feels very well constructed, with dividers to house the spare tips for the ear buds. There are 2 sets of small, medium and large tips included plus a bonus set of “premium” memory foam tips that honestly feel kinda like chewing gum. The headphones themselves are extremely lightweight and there is good reinforcement at the joints, but I couldn’t help but think that the wires were worryingly thin. Making tech super lightweight is great, but sometimes it can leave products feeling a little flimsy, even if that is not the case.

After a few minutes of experimentation, I figured out how to wear the headphones and which one went in which ear – yes, I know how to wear headphones – but the B200’s feature a neat design where the cable loops over your ear thanks to a semi rigid sleeve over the wire so you put them in your ear with the wire pointing up. It takes one or two goes to get the technique down, but it’s not tricky. For me, the premium tips were an absolute winner. They feel weird, but once you squish them and push them into your ears, they are incredibly comfortable and do an excellent job of cancelling out ambient noise. The loop design means that the weight of the cable is not applied directly to the ear bud, so there is not the usual battle of earpiece retention vs gravity. The result it that these headphones stay in place exceptionally well. I was able to enjoy a brisk walk on a windy evening and never once had to push the headphones in to keep the fit nice and snug. Brilliant!

As usual, I let the B200’s burn in for a day or two before really testing the sound quality on them. It’s a very natural sound, nicely balanced, which is my personal preference. There is plenty of bass, but it is not an auditory assault like on some sets. Mids and highs are nicely separated with a good amount of crisp detail which gives a satisfying breadth to the sound and again, nothing seems overly forced. The benefit of a neutral sound is that it lends itself well to a wide variety of musical genres and I found that the B200’s handled any track I threw at them in their stride. Listening to podcasts where the focus is on people speaking, the voices do not sound overly bass heavy and resonant which music focused headphones have a tendency to do. These are really nice headphones.

Brainwavz, dual, balanced, armature, B200, high performance, audiophile, grade, earphones, headphones, uk

Brainwavz offers a 24month warranty on the B200’s(“should any problem arise due to a defect in workmanship”) which shows a reassuring level of faith in their products and quality control. This is not something to be underestimated. I do maintain some concerns about how fine the cable is on these headphones and I did notice that they do tangle up quite easily because of the loops, but at least if there is a weakness there, Brainwavzshould look after you and that is reassuring. Whilst they are reasonably priced for headphones at this level, £156 is still a significant chunk of money so a little reassurance is a very good thing!

If you haven’t heard of Brainwavz, I would certainly you encourage you to check them out. They certainly don’t look as flashy as some of their peers, they may perhaps lack some of the prestige feels, but there is absolutely no escaping the excellent performance or the phenomenal comfort of these headphones.

The Brainwavz B200 are for sale on Amazon here for £149.50.

Posted in: Headphones, Reviews
Tags:
By August 7, 2017 Read More →

Building a career in the technology sector

In today’s world, many people are tech-savvy citizens. With smartphone usage on the rise and Internet access providing people with everything from supermarket shopping orders to TV shows whenever they want to view them, technology is booming.
When it comes to business, there’s a huge employment market available for those producing, supporting and developing all the new technologies that are used every day. It’s believed that there are over 47,000 digital technology companies in the UK alone, so training in this sector can open a wide variety of doors in your professional life.
Here is a look at what you’ll need for a successful career in the tech industry, what roles you can take up and how you can make the process as easy and streamlined as possible.

Varied range of jobs

Once you’ve set your heart on a career in the technology sector, your next step is to work out where you’ll specialise and which of the industry’s many jobs is right for you.

If you’re a strong communicator and good at problem solving, then a job as an IT technician might be right for you. This role involves working in environments such as companies, classrooms and other places where there are lots of non-technical computer users who need assistance, and you’re likely to find yourself responding to requests for technical help and sorting out issues with hardware and software.

There are also many roles in tech that are less customer-oriented. If you’re interested in modern technology but also have a keen eye for aesthetics, then you can combine your skill sets and become a website or software designer, tester or developer. Alternatively, if you’re good at the art of persuasion but want a tech-focused career, then you can join a company sales team and help promote their tech products.

Of course, before any of the software and hardware in schools and offices can be used. it also needs to be programmed. The earliest point in the life cycle of a tech tool is the development phase, and if you’re a strong critical thinker who is adept at using logic to solve problems, then a career in computer programming or coding might be suitable for you.

Qualifications and education

The qualifications required to kickstart your career in technology vary greatly. This is because there are so many different types of jobs in the tech sector, and the knowledge required is different every time.

To work as an IT technician, for example, there is no set qualification required. However, there are several IT professional bodies that offer qualifications to help you develop your skills, such as the Diploma in ICT Systems Support or the Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles. There are lots of apprenticeships available for IT technician jobs, so this might be an ideal route if you’d prefer to get practical experience.

For roles with more rare skill sets, you may need more specific qualifications. If you’re looking to work as a coder, then knowledge of major programming languages such as PHP or Python is essential, and some employers will also require a degree-level education in computer science.

If you’re looking to work in a tech sector role less directly related to key software and hardware infrastructures, then you may need a different qualification altogether. For example, if you’re looking to work in user experience, then skills related to design may be a stronger bet.

Become self-employed

Jobs in IT are increasingly becoming more contract-based, meaning that you’re required to work on a specific project for a set amount of time rather than as a permanent employee.

This offers a lot of flexibility and means that you can sample a wide variety of jobs but can also create administrative headaches. Contractors usually have to register as self-employed, and this means that you become legally responsible for your own tax affairs.

Registering with an umbrella PAYE (pay as you earn) company is a good option, as it essentially hands the responsibility over to a third party who will sort out all your tax affairs. This way, you don’t have to worry about time-consuming tasks such as filing returns to HMRC, while the clients whom you apply to work for are more likely to give you contracts, as they don’t have to deal with your tax affairs either.

Britain’s burgeoning tech sector is one of the most attractive industries for job seekers, not least because of the potential that it has for growth. Whether you’re looking to put your technical knowledge to good use in a support role or work on development projects of all shapes and sizes, employment in this sector is guaranteed to be meaningful, fulfilling and a lot of fun as well.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 30, 2017 Read More →

Foobot Unboxing – Check your air is the best it can be!

vlcsnap-00013Airboxlad has sent over the Foobot for a little assessment. This box of tricks analyses the air in a p[particular room and gives you an outlook on how is it. Interacting with an app on your phone you can keep up to date with the air quality in that room wherever you happen to be. Alerts can be sent to you if there is a change.

Foobot uses internal sensors to check for pollution in the form of chemicals and particulate matter, which are up to five times more common indoors as a result of confinement and alerts you via its companion app and the LEDs on the device itself.

The device is sensitive to:
• PM2.5s – Particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres, like dust, pollen and pet dander
• VOCs – Volatile organic compounds, toxic gases like formaldehyde and ammonia. This sensor is also sensitive to carbon monoxide, a potentially dangerous gas.
• Carbon dioxide – Exhaled naturally from humans. Not itself harmful, but indicative of poor circulation. This is measured via data from other sensors.
• Humidity – Low humidity can cause irritation. Excessive humidity let mould and dust mites grow.
• Temperature – Mostly for comfort, but still important to optimise

You can grab one off Amazon when they can keep them in stock!

By July 25, 2017 Read More →

Technology- Stealing Jobs, or Creating New Ones?

Driverless carLately highly regarded people in business and science have come out with warnings that technology, and perhaps more specifically that robots and AI, is posing a big risk to many jobs as workers will no longer be required to do jobs machines will be able to do much faster, more efficiently, and perhaps most importantly of all- without a salary. This article will discuss if these fears are completely justified, and if the future of jobs and technology is really as pessimistic as it might seem.

Of course, it is inevitable that companies will want to begin using more technology if it allows them to earn higher profits, in much faster and more efficiently. However, it would be incredibly short-sighted to see this as a wholly negative thing. We cannot argue with the fact that whilst some jobs are becoming obsolete, new jobs in the realm of technology are growing ever more popular and higher in demand. Indeed, numerous jobs have been created that did not even exist 10 years ago. It is important to note, the world was entirely different 10 years ago before so many advancements in technology. There has been a boom in social media and the digital space, as well as many doors that have been opened within marketing, programming and other computer based positions. It’s true that driverless cars may result in some noticing a decrease in demand for their job, but there are now advertisements for driverless car engineers- a role no one would have considered just a few years ago. Other jobs that have been created in the past 10 years include: millennial generational expert, drone operators, YouTube content creators and big data analyst/data scientists. Perhaps it is important to keep up-to-date with the trends in the careers market in order to remain fully aware of the possibilities that are out there.

Of course, there is concern that technology is stealing jobs from people who will be unable to find a new position with their skillsets. It is accurate that some jobs that typically required a human worker can now be done more efficiently and cost-effectively via machine. Companies and the market will continue to see shifts and job positions will develop with the technology advancements. During an interview the vice president of Software Research at GE, Colin Parris, stated- “The only way to fight job losses is to train the talent that we have. Because in the future, we have to embrace robotics. It allows us to reduce cost. If I reduce cost, I have more money that I can use for innovation. The more money I have, the more new products I can create. The more products I create, the more workforce I can hire.” This statement helps highlight the balance of what technology does. Though its does draw away traditional jobs from the workforce, it also brings numerous jobs as well.

While the conversation of whether technology steals jobs or creates new ones will undoubtedly continue, the key thing to remember is that no matter what changes happen in the future, nothing will ever be able to replace the human-to-human conversation in business. As advanced as we expect technology, robots and AI to become, there will always be a place for the human workforce- even if that place isn’t quite where it was in the past.

Overall, it would be wise to get involved in tech careers if you are keen to remain in a relavent and expanding position. In fact, technology has not only changed the workforce, but also how we find jobs and how companies select potential employees. Many people use the Internet to find jobs on sites such as Jobrapido, which allow job seekers to find a clear list of all local vacancies and filter them to ones suitable for them. In turn, employers use automatic sorting systems to narrow down the curriculums of applicants, and often request interviews via Skype, online applications and sometimes even video CVs to be uploaded onto YouTube.  Technology is not all bad news, but some of the negative complications are not entirely out of the realms of possibilities. Intelligent thinkers like Stephen Hawkins and Elon Musk should be listened to as our world has plenty of technology developments to come and we need all the help we can get to maintain control over what is to come.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 21, 2017 Read More →

F-Secure Sense Review – The best online security?

IMG_20170623_211739-001Is your smart home safe? Let SENSE take over!

Trojans, Malicious spyware, Botnets are just some of the potential threats to your home network.  Many people are unaware that these threats can infiltrate your home network by a simple click on a website that like a cyber landmine could have a catastrophic effect on your digital self.  Credit card details, access to your personal documents, photographs anything that you have online that is of value can be taken remotely in seconds. This is truly frightening and the attitude this will never happen to me will not protect you. Prevention is better than the cure!

Thankfully F-Secure a Finnish cyber security and privacy company established since 1988 have been working on SENSE a device designed to create a secure home network and protect you and your family’s digital identities.

SENSE is a smart security router that is being heavily advertised as ‘The missing piece of your connected home’ Being a family man I want to protect my home and family from any threats so what can SENSE do?

SENSE can connect to all devices in the home from tablets and smartphones to games consoles and baby monitors.

In the age of IoT it is important that all items within your home are under your control and not left open for an unknown presence to use at their will.  Listening to F-Secure’s Mikko Hypponen at this years TNW 2017 conference in Amsterdam, made me stand up and take notice that the possibility for a hacker to infiltrate my home through a games console is a reality. With the WannaCry ransomware attack happening in May 2017 F-secures timing to launch SENSE could not have happened at a better time. Everyone needs to be more security savvy and with SENSE F-secure has made this easy to do.

You can check out the unboxing of SENSE here with Gareth.

Out of the box, you have to appreciate the commendable design of the SENSE router, a strikingly bright white triangular shape with the router panel hidden away at the back, definitely different from past routers I have had which have been typically black/grey and boring.

f-secure, sense, review, firewall, security, IoT, antivirus, home security,

Inside the box, there is a rather striking cardboard panel welcoming you as a smart person for purchasing SENSE. I guess in the world of smart technologies we also need to adapt and become smarter people. Under this you have a few leaflets; Product safety information and a Quick guide setup for SENSE.

Below the leaflets, you have the angelic white SENSE router, the power cord and plug and an ethernet cable.

The instructions on the cardboard panel instruct you to download the SENSE app from either the Google Play Store or App store. There are a number of ways to connect SENSE to your home network. They are clearly outlined in the instructions. Setup took about ten minutes which was surprisingly quick. I downloaded the SENSE app from the play store and followed the on screen setup. Below you can follow the screenshots of the setup.

My current broadband provider is with Sky.

f-secure, sense, review, firewall, security, IoT, antivirus, home security,

SENSE connected effortlessly to the internet and boom it was ready to serve and protect.

f-secure, sense, review, firewall, security, IoT, antivirus, home security,

SENSE creates a secure WiFi network within your home network. It splits the frequency between 2.4ghz and 5ghz which is useful. Your original WiFi network will still be available to connect to but there will be two further options to consider F-SECURE SENSE 2.4 and 5ghz.

 

I’m not sure what I was expecting with this newfound technology. SENSE requires minimal effort and works tirelessly to protect all my devices connected to it.  SENSE so far has blocked 386 threats on the 8 devices I have connected to the network. As you can see from the screenshot these threats are generally websites blocked that SENSE realises there is a potential threat. We all have clicked on a ‘where are they now?’ link to be faced with a barrage of advertising and pop ups. Even though you could just look ‘them’ up on a search engine you still proceed to click here for the next page allowing your vital information being collected by a website like this. SENSE recognises the potential threat and blocks the website from being viewed. Unless you don’t mind having your data shared by a website like this SENSE will allow you to continue against its better judgement.

f-secure, sense, review, firewall, security, IoT, antivirus, home security,

My wife and kids are also becoming smarter with SENSE. They are now learning where to access the information they need safely as SENSE has blocked a few of their usual news feed websites are deemed unsafe.

f-secure, sense, review, firewall, security, IoT, antivirus, home security,

The SENSE app also gives a breakdown of each device on browsing protection and tracking protection. The beauty about SENSE is that it will evolve with time, more updates and patches will be created all included with your one off fee of £169.

f-secure, sense, review, firewall, security, IoT, antivirus, home security,

 

One thing I found surprising is that my phone which I leave on all night was trying to access websites as I slept. This may be an application that has not closed down properly but with SENSE to the rescue it has discovered something sinister and blocked the action.

Should you invest in SENSE? The price tag of £169 for SENSE with 12 months membership followed by £8.50 a month subscription may put a lot of consumers off, why pay for internet security when you can get it for free? As you will know nothing is free nowadays and that free software is making you pay for it with your privacy.

SENSE does not track your internet history as explained here.

 

With SENSE now running in my house for three weeks, I have discovered WiFi signal to be stronger. Previous to SENSE we had suffered drop offs and had to restart the router in order to connect to the internet again. SENSE boosting WiFi signal is an added bonus to the job it was designed for.

SENSE has proven a welcome addition to my now smarter home. The digital clock displayed on the front has become more useful than I originally thought. We have absolutely no luck with analogue clocks in our house no clock has the right display, knowing that the SENSE router has the right time my wife and kids just pop into the hall if they need to know the time.

I have peace of mind that my family and my IoT devices are not going to be attacked as SENSE acts as my cyber Guardian. F-Secure has not rushed the production of SENSE as they wanted to get the product just right. Their patience and endurance have truly paid off as SENSE really is the missing piece of your connected home.

A mobile device to run the F-Secure SENSE app is required to operate:

  • iOS 9 or higher (iPad 2 not supported)
  • Android 4.4 or higher
  • Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE)
  • Support for WPA2 WLAN encryption
  • Extra security functions are available on Windows 7 (SP1) and later (32 and 64 bit) and Android.

    Hardware Specifications
  • WLAN
  • IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz, 5GHz, AC 1750
  • Antenna 4 × internal
  • USB – 1 × USB 3.0
  • WAN – 1 × RJ45 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • LAN – 3 × RJ45 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • Bluetooth 4.0 & Bluetooth LE
  • CPU – 1 GHz Dual-core 
  • RAM – 512 MB DDR3
  • ROM – 1 GB
  • Power DC: 12V 2A, AC: 110-240V, 50/60Hz 0.8A max.
  • Dimensions – 217 × 125 × 90 mm (8.54 × 4.88 × 3.54 in)
Posted in: Reviews
Tags:
By July 19, 2017 Read More →

A third of Brits choose LED lights to save energy: new research from reichelt elektroniks

britsLED lights have become a viable option for UK households wanting to make energy and cost savings, reveals a new survey by reichelt elektronik. Lasting significantly longer than conventional lamps, a third of respondents say energy savings are the biggest influencer when it comes to buying an LED light but upfront costs remain a barrier to purchasing.

Spotlight on efficiency and design

The survey revealed that the benefit of these energy savings is of greater concern than luminosity (21 per cent) and colour (9 per cent).

The findings also show that energy efficiency is the most important factor for a quarter of Brits when buying any lamp, as consumers seek the long-term cost savings on offer versus conventional bulbs. Efficiency is of particular concern to over 35s, with 37% of over 55s saying it influences their choice of lighting. Design with a wide range of lighting options (23 per cent) is the second most important factor for Brits.

Price only ranked the third most important purchasing factor overall. This shows consumers are becoming more concerned with qualitative aspects such as energy savings and design when choosing lamps. Consumer needs have shifted as they look for ways to become as energy efficient as possible instead of being primarily influenced by upfront pricing.

brits

UK households making the switch

73 per cent of UK consumers are already reaping the benefits of using LED lamps in their home, with 17 per cent of respondents having already switched to LED lights completely.  Over a quarter of Brits (28 percent) already use LED lighting in more than half of their household and 29 percent have converted a few lamps (less than half) to LEDs. However, costs are still cited as the biggest barrier to switching to LED lighting with 27% finding it expensive to do so.

Posted in: Editorial, News
By July 19, 2017 Read More →

Mio MiVue C330 Unboxing – a great dashcam?

vlcsnap-00006The Mio MiVue C330 is a cheap but impressive dashcam for a little more than £100. Giving you piece of mind that any incidents on the road will be captured and ready to be presented is needed. Occupying a small amount of space on your windscreen, the Mio MiVue C330 features:

  • 1080P Full HD recording
  • Auto record when starting car
  • 5 axis g-sensor
  • 2.0″ Screen
  • MiVue manager desktop application

You can grab one from Amazon for £105 currently.

 

By July 12, 2017 Read More →

Tech Addicts UK Podcast – 12th July 2017 – Prime deals and are Flagships overrated?

With Gareth Myles, Ricky West and Gavin Fabiani-Laymond

RSS Link: http://mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss

Direct Download.

iTunes

Stitcher

Tunein

Show Notes

Play Test:

Gareth

Gavin

Ricky

Bargain Basement:

Main Show URL: http://www.techaddicts.uk

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @techaddictsuk ; @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani  ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett ; @swanny ; @girlsngadgets ; @wildlime ; @TechTalkUK1

Facebook: Tech Addicts

Web: http://gavinsgadgets.com ; http://GadgetyNews.com ; http://swanny.me/

Google Plus: +Techaddicts; +garethmyles ; +gavinfabiani-laymond; +JayGarrett

 

Posted in: Podcast
Tags:
By July 11, 2017 Read More →

Essential Tech To Survive A Festival Weekend

2017-07-11 (3)Festival season has now kicked off, and if you’re planning to spend a weekend away in a field at some of the UK’s best events or even abroad, then it’s best to consider some of the best tech around to keep you charged up and entertained. With a variety of must-have gadgets and technology available – Niall Green, CEO of Second Screen – a cutting-edge app developer for the creative industries – offers his essential tech recommendations to survive a festival weekend.

  1. Download the festival’s app
    The best way to plan your weekend is download the festival’s app. You’ll be able to find stage times, last minute lineup additions, secret announcements, exclusive content and much more. At Second Screen, we produce cutting-edge apps for festivals such as Isle of Wight Festival, Love Supreme, Livewire Festival, Boardmasters, Fusion Festival and many more – all of which enhance the overall festival experience and brings fans that much closer to the event.
  2. Invest in a powerbank
    No festival survival pack is complete without a powerbank. Finding power supply in a field is tough enough, let alone waiting hours on end in the long queues at the recharge tents.The answer is grabbing yourself a nifty powerbank- it should be the first thing to tick on your checklist. Invest in a good quality sturdy powerbank that can offer multiple recharges over the weekend. You’ll find it to be an absolute godsend when you’ve lost your friends in the middle of the night and you’re low on battery power.
  3. Pack a Bluetooth speaker
    When the music stops, it’s officially the campsite after party! Make sure you bring along a waterproof Bluetooth speaker so you can be campsite DJ for the weekend. It’s the worst feeling at a festival when you head back to your tent area after the headliners have finished and there’s no music.
  4. Protect your phone with a tough case
    It’s highly likely your phone will end up in the mud at some point. So, protect it. It’s one thing losing your phone during the craziness that goes on, but if you’re able to provide the best defence for you phone, then you should take full advantage of that.There are so many tough phone cases to choose from, so ensure you pick one that offers the best shock absorption, waterproof casing and screen security.
  5. Take a torch
    Avoid tripping over guy ropes in the middle of the night and endlessly stumbling around in the dark looking for a loo. By packing a torch you’ll solve all your problems with one essential gadget and you wont be loosing that valuable phone battery with its torch.

So whether you’re heading to the mud-covered fields of Worthy Farm or living it up in a teepee at Shambala this year, make sure you’re armed with some handy gadgets and tech to survive your festival weekend.

Second Screen, the brainchild of Niall Green, is a creative concept to bridge the gap between fans, artists and events – via apps. Second Screen has created numerous apps for the likes of pop sensation, Anastacia; as well as several prominent UK festivals, including The Isle of Wight Festival, East London Fringe Festival, Liverpool Sound City and Fusion Festival.

To find out more information about Second Screen go to www.secondscreenldn.com

Posted in: Editorial
Tags:
By July 11, 2017 Read More →

Vodafone Smart V8 Review

P1030864Picking up great value for money seems to be getting more and more common these days. Vodafone has really put together a very nice combination of high-end features combined with quality materials and a cheap price tag. The Vodafone Smart V8 is pretty amazing value for money and worth checking out.

Vodafone, Smart V8, Android, Google, business, qualcomm, snapdragon, 3gb, 435

Looking around the device on the top we have a small microphone hole plus a 3.5 mm headphone jack. There are also two incisions for the antenna array.

Vodafone, Smart V8, Android, Google, business, qualcomm, snapdragon, 3gb, 435

To the right of the screen is the simple volume rocker, changed from the previous Smart Platinum and Smart Ultra design, this is now has a beautifully milled bevelled edge to the rocker as opposed to the textured approach last year.

Vodafone, Smart V8, Android, Google, business, qualcomm, snapdragon, 3gb, 435

At the bottom are two grills for the mono speaker, the one to the right has a speaker behind it. Plus a microUSB connection, again there are two incisions for the antenna array.

Vodafone, Smart V8, Android, Google, business, qualcomm, snapdragon, 3gb, 435

To the left of the screen is the SIM card tray which also doubles as a microSD card reader. Below this is the power button with similarly bevelled edges. It’s worth noting from last year to this year they have relocated the power button to the left-hand side of the device which may take some getting used to, however, it’s hardly a cause for concern.

Vodafone, Smart V8, Android, Google, business, qualcomm, snapdragon, 3gb, 435

To the rear is a slightly pronounced 16-megapixel autofocus camera with a LED flash to it right. The camera is capable of capturing video at 1080p, 30 frames per second and we’ll get the results later on. Below this is a fingerprint reader. Further on down the shiny brushed Steel rear is the Vodafone emblem. To the top and the bottom are pieces of textured plastic again to help with the antenna array.

Vodafone, Smart V8, Android, Google, business, qualcomm, snapdragon, 3gb, 435

The front of the device has a 5.5 inch LTPS IPS LED LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1080 by 1920 working out at a PPI of 401. Whilst there is no Gorilla Glass on here Asahi Dragontrail has been employed instead.

Inside the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 backed by 3gb of RAM and an Adreno 505 GPU. This octa-core 1.4 gigahertz processor is hardly the speediest on the block however it certainly does manage to make easy work of most day-to-day tasks. Flipping through various social media applications I never noticed any slow down and gaming proved to be quite successful especially with some high end games like Grand Theft Auto.

A 3000mAh battery sits inside, and coupled with the low powered Snapdragon 435 processor is more battery than you would need for a full day of heavy use. Whilst the smart V8 does not manage two full days on one charge it gets very close.

Vodafone have kept the device almost stock save for a few Vodafone-branded applications to assist with calling, messaging or just general assistance on the go there are a few extra applications that have been thrown in that may assist in day-to-day business, for example the private space application that allows you to lock down various portions of the phone or applications to avoid information being compromised if the phone is lost. Interestingly enough, Google cardboard applications are installed as default which we tend not to see terribly often.  

One thing that really surprised me for £150 is the camera. It really is very good, examining some of the photographs taken in broad daylight shows little degrade or pixelation and the colour representation is quite faithful. Even in low-level light the camera and LED flash function very well and proved to be fast and responsive.

The digital zoom works quite well, there isn’t a huge amount of loss in the image once zoomed in.

Vodafone, Smart V8, Android, Google, business, qualcomm, snapdragon, 3gb, 435

There isn’t a tremendous amount of toys built into the camera save for some filters, a Panoramic function and some HDR settings anti-shake have been included, you can adjust the function of the volume keys during picture taking, set up camera quick launch using the volume keys and adding watermarks.

Video footage is passable, not the hottest quality in town, but far from horrible. The footage is uploaded directly to Youtube from the phone and the only compression to the video is that which Youtube applies. The microphone is incredibly sensitive, picking up some heavy breathing from me, distant grumbles from the dogs and managing to filter out a some of the wind noise.

Here is a selection of images from the camera. Colours are well represented and manage a depth we would expect from a higher end phone.

To the front of the device is an 8 megapixel camera that is perfect for selfies and works rather well in low-level light without the assistance of a flash. I expected this to be fairly rubbish however it works out very well and Vodafone has even taken the time to add a few extra features, for example, being able to add smoothing to the skin in the beauty function.

If there was a missed opportunity I was to complain about it would be the fingerprint sensor as, of this time of the review, I was unable to find any way of adding any extra features to the fingerprint sensor other than unlocking the phone as with other phones on the market we have seen some clever additions added to the fingerprint sensor.

Vodafone, Smart V8, Android, Google, business, qualcomm, snapdragon, 3gb, 435

The phone is originally built by ZTE, who have really upped their game in the last five years to become one of the major competitors on the market. Interweaving this with Vodafone’s business minded network put together a pretty lethal combination in a very competitive world and bringing an excellent option for business users everywhere with an exceptionally competitive price. Coupled with Vodafone’s recently upgraded 4G network this will provide terrific communications for a small and growing business.

With the Vodafone Smart V8, it’s hard to believe their flagship is a budget phone. However, it really shows how budget phones are closing the gap and catching up on the overpriced flagships being produced by companies for four or five times the price. Right now I would consider using the smart V8 as my main driver if I was on the Vodafone network as this phone easily handled everything I have thrown at it, and getting me through the day with plenty of juice to spare.

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
Tags: