News

Alcatel Onetouch POP 7S LTE pops up at Carphone Warehouse

Alcatel Onetouch POP 7S LTE pops up at Carphone Warehouse

One company eager to make a name for itself this year it Alcatel. Recently announcing tmy favourite phone of IFA in Berlin, Alcatel are pushing out a entry level 4G  tablet. Based around Android KitKat and costing a tiny £149.99 this shares many of the same specifications of the original Google Nexus 7 whilst also […]

By October 1, 2014 Read More →
Newertech Wireless Aluminium Keypad For Macs

Newertech Wireless Aluminium Keypad For Macs

NewerTech, a leading performance upgrades and accessories company for Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods since 1988, announced today that it is now shipping the NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad.  Designed to complement the look and feel of Apple keyboards, the NewerTech numeric keypad features precision machined aluminum housing, white keys, and a bracket that attaches […]

By September 27, 2014 Read More →
ARCHOS Platinum Smartphone Range

ARCHOS Platinum Smartphone Range

ARCHOS, a pioneer in Android™ devices, announces the availability of its new range of Platinum smartphones. The ARCHOS 45c Platinum and the ARCHOS 50b Platinum each come with three colourful back casings, the smoothness of Android KitKat®, amazing performance with their MediaTek quad-core processors and IPS screens from £99 and £119 respectively.  Like their large […]

By September 26, 2014 Read More →
Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 229: +

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 229: +

Gareth, Phil and Jay Garrett get together to chat about the latest mobile phone, tablet and chromebook news in the UK. Featuring Gareth, Phil and Jay Garrett Direct Download iTunes Download the iPhone App Download the Android App RSS Feed Email us: Podcast@tracyandmatt.co.uk  Tel: 0208 123 3757 Show Notes   Mobile Mayhem   iPhone 6 […]

By September 18, 2014 Read More →

Reviews

ZIIIRO Watch – Suturn – Chrome review

ZIIIRO Watch – Suturn – Chrome review

As a watch enthusiast, when Matt asked me to review one for the site, I jumped at the chance! I have quite a few watches of different styles including both analogue and digital so the piece that I will be reviewing here is interesting as it combines both types of display into one watch in […]

By September 12, 2014 Read More →
Sony Xperia Z3 video review

Sony Xperia Z3 video review

Following Sony’s big announcement today at IFA in Berlin, Phones 4u have got to grips with the new Sony Xperia Z3 flagship smartphone. Will it wow the tech world as much as its predecessor, the Xperia Z2? Find out in the full video review below:     Sony Xperia Z3 Specification: 20.7 megapixel camera with […]

By September 3, 2014 Read More →
HTC Desire 816 hands-on

HTC Desire 816 hands-on

Earlier this year, at MWC, HTC made a fairly queit announcement about two new devices that they were launching. They were the HTC Desire 816 and the HTC Desire 610. Here we are taking a look at the Desire 816, this new smartphone offers a larger screen, that’s reaching phablet proportions, decent performance and features […]

By June 14, 2014 Read More →
Kujali iPad Mini case review

Kujali iPad Mini case review

Let’s be honest, phone and tablet cases are not the most exciting things (unless you’re the one making them!) and there are hundreds of manufacturers out there, each with a variety of designs. So it’s not often that we review cases and covers, it’s too subjective and there’s too many. However, now and then we […]

By June 1, 2014 Read More →

Other Recent Posts

Microsoft tablets that put the fun in functional

14469697956_7cb0aa01e7_hDespite the fact that global sales of PCs and laptops are in decline, several consumers still require functional, practical and workaday machines, which can perform more tasks than standard touchscreen tablets. 

Thankfully, Microsoft’s range of Surface devices makes this possible and you can pick one up at stores including Tesco and popular electrical retailers. In addition to their lightweight construction and expansive displays, they also feature comprehensive operating systems and various input methods. Here’s the full lowdown on all three models:

 

Surface 2

Full of features and incredibly good value for money, the Surface 2 might well be Microsoft’s entry-level tablet, but it still packs an impressive punch. Boasting a 1.7 GHz processor, Nvidia Tegra 4 chip, 2GB of RAM and a 10.6-inch screen, the Surface 2 can deal with a multitude of tasks and applications. When you add into the bargain a two-position kickstand, USB 3, MicroSD slot and Microsoft Office with Outlook as standard, it quickly becomes the best option for those on a budget.  

 

Surface Pro 2

Perhaps the ultimate tablet for professions that require portability and power, the Surface Pro 2 has everything you could possibly need. With an Intel Core i5 processor, 526GB of storage and the option of Microsoft’s entire Office Suite, this particular device takes all the benefits of a PC or laptop but manages to fit it in a truly attractive package weighing just 900 grams. Even so, it features a multitude of connections, commendable battery life and a full HD display. 

 

Surface Pro 3

The latest and possibly greatest tablet offering from Microsoft is the Surface Pro 3. On first impressions, the tablet’s look and feel is difficult to ignore, as the substantial 12-inch display and sleek magnesium frame are outstanding. But it gets better, as the Surface Pro 3 also comes with two 5MP HD cameras, stereo speakers featuring Dolby sound, a full-size keyboard and trackpad as well as a pressure-sensitive stylus. This means interacting with the pre-installed full version of Windows 8.1 is both easy and enjoyable.

So even if you’re looking for some fun from your tablet, you can get a great deal of functionality too with a Microsoft Surface device. Just be sure to choose a tablet that’s right for you and meets your requirements.

Image by Scott Akerman, used under the Creative Commons license.

 

 

| September 23, 2014 | Read More →

Set the mood with the Diamond+ Bluetooth Speaker

Yantouch Diamond+ (BlackDiamond+) in hotel roomHere is a little peripheral to cheer up a dull room. A bluetooth speaker that becomes a 3 in 1 entertainment system. Not only does the Bluetooth speaker pump out your funky beats, if puts on a light show with 16 million colors that pulsate with the beat. Add in an alarm clock function featuring a natural sunrise or sunset to gently wake-up or fall asleep to.
 
Yantouch www.yantouch.com, winner of the Red Dot Award for their “Music + Light” consumer electronics designs, announced today that it is shipping the world’s first 3-in-l Bluetooth speaker, the Diamond+ Bluetooth speaker, with 300% Sound Boost and patented audio technologies; ambient wash wall light with 16 million colors that pulsates to the beat of the music; and a wake-up/sleep feature with natural sunrise and sunset lighting and music to gently and naturally fall asleep and wake-up.
 
Great for camping and outdoor/indoor parties, the all-in-one entertainment system “instant party-in-a-box” features planetarium-like music and light modes for solid, bright, saturated, flashing, and alternating lights with 16 million variations of pink, purple, blue, fuchsia, orange, gold, green, white, and red.  The light can be set up against a wall to create a wash wall effect or be placed in the center of the room or party as a conversational piece.  The Diamond+’s Bluetooth speaker is an N-class 2.1 speaker system with patented sideways stereo effect with right and left woofer tubes on the sides of the device and other patented technologies, including Neodymium Super Magnet technologies and a Bass Resonant Tube that pumps up the bass with 300% sound boost for vibrant music that fills the party with booming crystal clear sound. 
 
The Natural Sleep feature works with the devices’ music and lighting system to emulate sunset to help you fall asleep naturally, gradually dimming the light and music. The Natural Wake-up function provides a sunrise effect to silently bring you from deep sleep to shallow sleep in 30 minutes, then wake you up slowly with natural birds singing.  Distributed by Aplars www.aplars.com, a leading e-commerce store for electronic products and accessories and available immediately at Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Yantouch-BlackDiamond-Portable-Wireless-Bluetooth/dp/B00JFGIVWE and other online retailers, the Diamond+ is priced at only $149, 2-3 times lower priced than the $300-$450 it costs to buy each item separately:  Bluetooth speaker, Smart Light and Natural Wake-up/Sleep device. 
 
Yantouch Diamond+ (BlackDiamond+) in snow small
 
Diamond+ Features:
  • World’s first 3-in-1 device:  “Music+Light+Wake-Up,” with a market value over $300, priced at only $149.
  • Best Music: World-leading N-class 2.1 speaker system with patented sideways stereo effect. And other Patent Pending Technologies:  Spherical Resonant Neodymium speaker (3 Watts x 2), 300% Sound Boost and 2 Woofer Tubes: left & right with Bass Resonant Tube.
  • Smart Light:  Includes 16 million beautiful colors to suit your mood, syncs light with your favorite music.
  • Bedside Reading Light:  functions as a bedside reading lamp before sleeping with soft white light (no heat with energy saving LEDs) while listening to your favorite music.
  • Natural Sleep Feature:  Includes iOS and Android App that emulates sunset to let you fall asleep naturally, gradually dimming light and music.
  • Natural Wake-up Feature:  Sunrise silently brings you from deep to shallow sleep in 30 minutes, than wakes you naturally.
  • Bluetooth 3.0 Speaker:  Features automatic Bluetooth pairing – unlike most Bluetooth speakers which are hard to pair. Connects over 30 feet (more than most competitors).
  • Rechargeable Li-battery: lasts over 7 hours, great for outdoor parties with USB/AC power cable for charging and attached audio cable for use with non-Bluetooth devices and computers.
  • Portable and light-weight:  2½ lb with dimensions: 13×11.9×12.8cm.
  • Remote control:  turns on/off, adjusts volume, tracks, and color modes with slot to store remote.
| September 18, 2014 | Read More →

Gareth’s top phone from IFA

P1010464Recently I have returned from IFA in Berlin and I have felt the need to report on one device in particular that really impressed me to no end. This year we saw some very interesting products from Samsung, Sony and even Phillips, however there was one device that, in my opinion, really stole the show if everything I was told is correct.

Weighing it at a possible £275-£300 is the Alcatel Hero 2. This little known French company grabs the bull by the horns this year and produced a phone that is, on the one hand budget friendly, yet on the other it manages to capture almost everything that every other manufacturer has injected into their latest and greatest. We have no affiliated with Alcatal, and to my knowledge never have, how this Hero 2 handset impressed the sock off me. 

Case and point.

Yes, the Hero 2 features a 6″ TFT LCD display. The TFT technology is a little off putting these days, however at the 1080p resolution (367 ppi), and with Dragontrail glass for protection  and oleophobic coating this phone almost looks just as good at a Note III. Certainly setting it next to the Note 4, the difference will be night and day however the average user will be looking for something that is easily passable for usage and this is will certainly meets the challenge.

Inside the Hero 2 is a MediaTek MT6592 chipset with an octa-core 1.7GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and 2G of RAM. Internal storage is 16GB expandable by up to 32GB via the microSD card slot. Things run smoothly and with a refreshingly sparse overlay. There are still additions from Alcatel however no where near that we see on the Samsung and Sony devices shown. It was nice to go back to a more familiar interface having spent time with the likes of the Sony Xperia Z3.

You also get Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.0, NFC and 4G. The battery of the Hero 2 is a hefty 3,100mAh rated at a 10hours of 3G talk time (4.5h in 4G mode) and stand-by time of 380 hours. A rather decent 13MP OIS camera  sits on the back with a single LED flash and recording video of up to 1080p@30fps. There is a stylus in the Hero 2 and it’s very similar to the Samsung S Pen. Alongside this are a couple of peripherals. For example a game pad, touch screen game controller that click onto the Hero 2 providing protection and simple interaction. 

Of all the phones on display in Berlin, this is the one that made the biggest impression on me, and I have thought most about since. Certainly, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony all had strong offerings featuring revolutionary technologies, however it was Alcatel who produced a simple, elegant, well made and modestly priced road warrior. Provided the price translates when crossing the channel…

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| September 16, 2014 | Read More →

Samsung go for the jugular with a new Note 4 video

Screenshot 2014-09-15 17.42.57Light in tone yet never more savage, Samsung have launched a new video that pulls many punches and forcibly establishes themselves as the trendsetter.The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Apple iPhone 6+ are going head to head is a bigger match than the flagship devices iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. Both phones are going to capture their audiences and there will be no surprises that the iPhone 6+ will outsell the Note 4 greatly, however the dent in iPhone 6+ sales that the Note 4 will make is the interesting bit and from the looks of this video Samsung are going to take no prisoners.

| September 15, 2014 | Read More →

Inateck Portable USB 3.0 + OTG Hub Unboxing

vlcsnap-2014-09-14-13h11m54s235Gareth has a look at a handy little peripheral from Inateck. This USB 30 Hub has a little adapter allowing you to not only connect it to your laptop or PC, but also your Android phone or tablet by way of the MicroUSB connector. Featuring super fast USB 3.0 speed and a full sized USB slot this is one peripheral folks on the road are going to need if they have camera’s and USB devices to connect. You can order one from Inateck via Amazon for £16.99.

Other variants include:

USB 3.0 hub + Gigabit Ethernet Adapter – £25.49

USB 3.0 hub with 4 ports, bus-powered – £11.99

Apple styled Aluminum 4 port adapter – £14.99

| September 15, 2014 | Read More →

Gareth’s Top TV from IFA

TV FranceWalking around Berlin’s IFA show you will realise the most important aspects of ever stand is the display. Every device and unit there relies on the most eye popping display to attract attention. Samsung, Sony and LG stands are full of jaw dropping panels with ever increasing size, beauty and novelty.  However, on closer inspection you can see colour contrasts pushed up and false vibrancy used to achieve an eye popping result. Most of these panels are eye popping for a minimal amount of time.

Panasonic was the only company to happily display their older panel beside their latest offering for direct comparison.  You can get right up and examine the pixels and colour representation within millimetres of the screen. Most other companies have their panels roped off.

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LG and Samsung brag them have true black on their screens however you can see they are not. Panasonic are refreshingly honest with their approach, true blacks are very hard to do, they aren’t their yet however they are close. They can show the progress from where they were this time last year.

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One of the most endearing things about the Panasonic flagship is their pride in the design. Having visited a number of shows I have spoken to many engineers over the years about the development of their products, however I have never had an Engineer ask me what I think of specific design aspects, only to step back and continually admire the work their company had produced. Panasonic’s engineers have taken pride in their work, not for profit, not for glory, but as a personal achievement in creating something that stands out and impresses.

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Panasonic have made a lot of effort to turn a Smart TV into an actual Smart TV. Most consumers have Smart TV features forced on them when buying a new TV, the functionality is usually half baked, slow and prone to bugs. It is normally turned off and a set top box used to replace. Panasonic have added a feature set to their high end devices, and some diluted features to the lower, that will impress those out hunting for the living room replacement model. A combination of services that integrate with the users lifestyle to produce a truly Smart experience.

Much like an Xbox One, the new Panasonic has a built in camera with facial recognition and the ability to build a profile for each registered user. Once the user has been recognised, or selected when multiple users are in one place, the TV can, even from standby, show information pertinent to the user. Weather, social updates, relevant TV content and recommendations based around viewing habits. Smart TV features a user would benefit from, and not what a manufacturer wants to throw are the user on a clunky interface. Panasonic’s Mystream and Infobar are simple, elegant and useful without interrupting or imposing.

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Adding in the ability to stream to devices over 3G and 4G, scheduling and recommendations Panasonic is making extra effort to evolve the television into a companion to spend time with in your freetime. This is something other TV’s cannot boast. LG and Phillips have adtoped mature operating systems for their models in WebOS and Android however these are not specifically designed to deliver the content directly to you, however you need it. Running ontop of a specifically designed Quad Core Pro5 chipset the AX 902 can handle most anything required and the software runs smoothly without issue.

Panasonic’s Viera AX902 is a head turner if ever there was one. Less gimmicks that the other manufactures, more progress in delivering a better TV viewing experience. A team of engineers have built a TV they would want to use themselves, not one they that solely to please shareholders.

| September 11, 2014 | Read More →

When can I get my iPhone 6?

iphone6s-renderingOn the 9th September Apple announced not one, not two but three new devices. Possibly the most exciting announcement since the original iPad all those years ago. An exciting moment as Apple expands their product line to provide more choice for the consumer and more fuel for the Apple bashers to attack with. Love it or hate it there is a large percentage out there looking to upgrade to Apple’s latest and greatest. However, where and when are you likely to get one?  The iPhone 6 is due to be released on September 19th in the UK.

You can get one from Apple if you don’t want or need a phone plan. The Apple Store is a little more expensive as you are paying for a SIM unlocked version allowing to put in whatever SIM card you fancy, be it 3G or 4G. Paying for the device upfront allows you the freedom to choose your tariff and even swap to a better deal down the line.

The pricing model has changed a little as the Apple now have multiple phones on their market and this is the first time we have seen the much anticipated 128gb varient.

iPhone 6 – £539 (16GB), £619 (64GB) and £699 (128GB)
iPhone 6 Plus – £619 (16GB), £699 (65GB) and £789 (128GB)

  • Three are taking details of those interested in ordering the device, their site was inaccessible last night, possibly due to these phones. You can now register here.
  • Vodafone do not have a listing for either of the new iPhones at this point in time however they will update this very quickly, I would imagine. You can pre-register interest on the Vodafone website
  • Phones4U also have no specific pre-order information, but the company said they’ll be stocking both new iPhones at all Phones 4u stores and online, as soon as they arrive in the UK. Check their site for information on pre-orders.
  • EE has been listed as a partner for Apple’s Wi-Fi calling. EE are offering the phone from September 12 on pre-order, and to purchase on September 19. Check out the EE website to do so.
  • O2 are not taking pre-orders or registry for the iPhone 6 or 6+ at this moment in time. This will change in time and we will update you as soon as we know.

Apple of course announced the iWatch, a sexy looking peripheral for the iPhone. We won’t see this until early 2015. The pricing is $349 and that translates to £220, so we will unfairly round that up to £299 as the likely UK price.

| September 10, 2014 | Read More →

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro pops

Vibe z2 There was no end of Phablets at IFA, in Berlin, this year. It seems every hardware manufacturer was bringing one to market or giving a serious refreshing to an existing model. Lenovo were no different.

A couple of companies continually popped up repeatedly on the news feeds as their presence at IFA was made known. Lenovo was a prime example. Havin taken over Sony’s PC business end and Motorola Mobility Lenovo are on their way to becoming one of the tech giants. Their line up at IFA was an impressive one.

Amidst their collection of laptops, desktops, tablets and grey area hybrids Lenovo dropped in the Vibe Z2 Pro, rocking a 6-inch  IPS display with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. Running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, with RAM up to 3GB, and built-in 32 GB the Vibe Z2 unfortunately looses expandable storage.

A newly revised 16 megapixel camera with optical stabilization, dual SIM card slots and a impressive 4000 mAh battery compliment the thin metal frame measuring 156 x 81,3 x 7,7 mm and weighing only 179 grams. This is a suitably impressive piece of kit and it looks just delicious!

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| September 9, 2014 | Read More →

Alcatel launch something a little different

hero-2-710x363Alcatel has announced its new OneTouch Hero 2, a flagship device with some pretty solid specs at IFA and it looks to be something to watch. The OneTouch Hero 2 is powered by a MediaTek MT6592 octa-core CPU with 2GB RAM. There’s also a massive 6-inch 1080p display, and other specs include a 13.1MP rear cam, 5MP front cam, 16GB storage, aluminum body, microSD, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 4G LTE support, a 3100 mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat. There’s also a stylus that makes this is note competitor of sorts, though obviously Alcatel’s digital pen likely can’t begin to compete with the advanced functionality of the S-Pen.

Alcatel haven’t released pricing information for the Hero 2, however they are usually fairly budget conscious when it comes to pricing. They have noted the Hero 2 is due arrive to select markets sometime this month.

| September 5, 2014 | Read More →
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