Author Archive: Matt

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.

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By June 25, 2014 Read More →

Internet Security Isn’t Just For PCs Anymore

shutterstock_165303932By the end of 2014, Internet Stats Live predicts that there will be upwards of three billion internet users worldwide who will move a trillion dollars throughout the year. With that kind of money on the line, it’s no wonder Internet security is such a valuable business, both for the safety officers and the criminals. Internet security is not simply a function of the equipment used. How and where you log on can put your data at risk.

Take Your Head Out Of The Cloud

About two-thirds of adults in the United States use some form of cloud storage system to back up and share important documents. Cloud sharing is inexpensive and convenient, but can also put your data at risk. Once you put your files on the cloud, the system could be hacked and your information can be stolen or lost; no matter how secure, there is never a guarantee. The New York Times, Facebook and even the U.S. Federal Reserve have all fallen victim to cyber-attacks that were actually successful to some degree. Don’t let the big names fool you! Check your data often, maintain local backups of the really important stuff and keep an internet paper trail in case you ever need to prove ownership of information.

BYOD And BYOS

Personal computing device sales surpassed PCs in 2013. The two major operating platforms, iOS and Android, have significant security concerns but companies are implementing Bring Your Own Device policies to save on overhead. Sure, saving money is great, but BYOD methods introduce huge security risks to the organization and to the individual. The recommended key to fixing this problem is training. Security risks can be mitigated by understanding the rules of consumer protection. Research of college students entering the workforce shows that they do not understand the dangers or the steps associated with reducing risks. The best way to avoid data theft is to be in the know.

A Little Theft With Your Latte

Coffee and free WiFi are one of the joys of the modern world. Unfortunately every time you log onto the network, you’re putting yourself at risk. To a savvy hacker, every person on that network is openly sharing information. A good rule of thumb is to never make purchases from a shared network environment. Even if the site is secure, the information can be intercepted long before it gets to the destination. For example, over the past year India has started finding itself in an epidemic of cyber-attacks and thefts because of its shared Internet networks.

Too-Smart Devices

You can do almost anything with a smartphone or tablet. Most people do not understand the power and risks that come with using smart devices for business purposes. These devices can get malware just as a PC might. Make sure that your tablet and phone have protective software. Both Google and Apple have a wide range of recommendation to keep the hackers out of your phone.

Posted in: Editorial
By June 14, 2014 Read More →

HTC Desire 816 hands-on

htc-desire-816-en-slide-02Earlier 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 at at mid-range price.

With a design that certainly demonstrates that it’s from the same stable as the ever popular HTC One, the Desire 816 has top and bottom stereo speakers with built in amplifier, 13MP camera and 5MP front-facing selfie camera.

Check out the video below to see more of what the HTC Desire 816 has to offer:

 

 

 

HTC Desire 816 specification:

  • Nano SIM/Optional Dual SIM
  • Dimensions: 156.6 x 78.7 x 8 mm (6.17 x 3.10 x 0.31 in)
  • Weight: 165 g (5.82 oz)
  • Display: Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours, 720 x 1280 pixels, 5.5 inches (~267 ppi pixel density)
  • HTC Sense UI v6
  • 3.5mm jack
  • microSD, up to 128 GB
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB, 1.5 GB RAM
  • HSDPA, 42 Mbps, HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP
  • NFC
  • microUSB v2.0
  • Primary Camera: 13 MP, 4160 x 3120 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 1080p
  • Secondary Camera: 5 MP, 1080p
  • Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat)
  • Qualcomm MSM8928 Snapdragon 400
  • Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A7
  • Adreno 305
  • Accelerometer, proximity, compass
  • FM radio
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • Battery:Non-removable Li-Po 2600 mAh battery

 A photo lover’s dream. 13 megapixel main camera and a 5 megapixel front-facing camera ensure high-resolution pics from either side. Capture moving HD images with built-in editing and sharing tools, and combine results for multiple-angle views. Incredible design, massive 5.5” HD display, dual front-facing stereo speakers, customised real-time info feeds and a quad- core processor all make this one of the best value smartphones ever.

By June 5, 2014 Read More →

Top tips to help you afford the latest gadgets

ironman2-apr23It seems like every few months a new swish gadget hits the market. Unfortunately, the latest gizmos do not usually come cheap and even for the most avid tech geeks, it can be difficult to finance the latest state of the art technology. Not all of us have the means of a multi-billion dollar corporation like Stark Industries at our disposal and that is why it is handy to know a few tips and tricks which can help making it easier to afford new technology, fancy gizmos and fun gadgets.

 

eBay Is Your Friend

Set up a “saved search” on eBay for the item you are looking for and that way you will be notified immediately as soon as it is being sold. Quite often, you will find second hand items on eBay that are in mint condition and some might only have been taken out of their box but they were never used. This will usually knock a few pounds off the price and you might be able to get yourself a bargain. 

 

Claim It Back

If you are self-employed and need the latest gadget for your business, you might be able to claim back the expenses of the item when filling in your tax return. You can find more information on whether you are eligible to claim back expenses for an item by clicking here.

 

Borrow the Money

There are ways to cheaply borrow money and one way of finding out is by using Totally Money’s ‘Cheapest Ways to Borrow’ tool to find out what the cheapest way of borrowing money would be for you. The tool also lets you know how long it will take you to pay back the borrowed money, so that you know exactly what you’re getting into. One of the suggestions this tools makes is taking out a 0% interest credit card. That way you can pay back the money interest free over a period of time until the 0% expire.

 

Sell Old Gadgets

Once we upgrade our technology most of us have no more use for the previous models, whether that is a phone, a laptop or an e-reader. There are plenty of places that will pay you money for trading in your old gadgets. This might help you to raise some money for the newer version of a gadget.

Posted in: Editorial, Gadgets
By June 5, 2014 Read More →

Finance In Apps: A Few Suggestions For Investors

MobileCash_3We’ve all grown accustomed to the idea of simplifying everyday tasks and duties through the use of electronic apps, and in the last few years finance has become a significant category in this regard. Many may have thought of the idea of using a smartphone to conduct financial dealings as unsafe or insecure just a few years ago. However, now it’s become a popular idea to manages finances via mobile devices through better security on our phones and incredibly high-quality, high-security apps available. The most widely known apps in the finance genre tend to be those geared toward banking (such as the newly updated Wells Fargo app) and those used for quick mobile payments and cash exchanges (such as Venmo). However, another category within the finance genre has also become quite impressive on the app front in recent years: inve sting.

You may think of investing as a concept demanding one’s full attention for extended periods of time, and indeed for those working full time in stock markets that’s essentially the case. But for those simply looking to manage their investment portfolios and make occasional purchases and sales of stock or material, a mobile app can be wonderfully convenient. If this is something that interests you, there are a few different investment apps in particular worth looking into to simplify your personal finance practices.

The first app I’d point out to any mobile user with an interest in personal finance and investing opportunity is financial-tracking app Personal Capital Finance. This type of app is nothing new, because there are literally dozens of tools out there for keeping tabs on what you spend and what you have in your accounts. However, few (if any) combine this information with investment portfolios as effectively as Personal Capital Finance. This app essentially maps out your entire financial life, combining account information and expense tracking with complete layouts of your investments and their performances. For those interested in managing finances on the go, it’s a great tool simply for keeping everything organized and in perspective.

Beyond basic financial management and tracking, it’s also fun—particularly for mobile users—to find interesting and simple ways to invest. For that reason, the mobile app designed by the gold pricing, reference, and investment site BullionVault is another fun choice for investors. The purchase of gold bullion is viewed by many as something of a simple investment in that it can be done at independent websites rather than through the complex measures involved in setting up stock portfolios. That all makes it fairly simple to adapt the process to a mobile tool. The BullionVault app shows users up-to-date prices on gold and allows the full purchasing, selling, and storage options offered on the accompanying website. This gives you a manageable, quick-hitting means of controlling one particularly unique and popular type of inves tment.

Finally, for those looking to manage stock portfolios from mobile devices while cutting the scope of the process, investing app Motif is unique and, really, pretty awesome. Mentioned by Daily Finance as one of the best five mobile tools for investing, the app essentially allows you to approach investment with a themed bundle. The app offers packages like “Housing Recovery” or “Biotech Breakthroughs,” each consisting of several stocks and allows you to invest in the entire bundle with ease. The app itself is free, though I should note $250 minimum is required to get your actual investments started. Still, it’s a wonderfully easy mobile finance tool and a helpful app for beginner investors looking to experiment and learn.

Finance, and specifically investing, remains an ever-expanding and improving app category. But if you’re just looking to get started with managing your money and investment opportunities from your mobile devices, these are a few suggestions that can get you off to a good start.

Posted in: Editorial
By June 3, 2014 Read More →

Wiring for Sound: Choosing the Right Headphones

03-EKOCYCLE-Beats-headphonesHeadphones are one of the best things to come out of our technological innovation. What other device allows you to drown out your noisy neighbour but still listen to that new song in perfect clarity. That said, the market is inundated with headphones and it’s tough to differentiate between a good headphone and good marketing.

 

Here’s a guide to get you started:

 

(Un)necessary accessories

One of the more popular accessories for headphones is the anti-tangle feature. The premise is, because we’re so impatient that we can’t spend the 15 seconds it takes to untangle the wires on a headphone, we need a feature that minimises the tangling. If you’ve found a pair of headphones you like, and it just so happens it has an anti-tangle feature, so be it. Just don’t centre your buying process around this one feature.

However, a pair of headphones with Bluetooth is a different story because you can then listen on your headphones completely wirelessly (although most come with a wire just in case). Better still, it doesn’t substantially degrade the music quality, which makes the feature well worthwhile.

Another feature that is recommended is a built in mic. If you’ve ever been on a jog or a bike and received a call, this feature is a life saver. Also, many of the headphones with microphones also have a volume and pause control built in, another added bonus.

 

Being practical

Of course, one of the main activities people like to do with music in the background is exercise. A lot of people exercise to music, be it dancing, aerobics, some high-intensity cycling (euphemistically called ‘spinning’ to make it sound less gruelling!) or even a gentle (or not so gentle) jog. You might want to consider splash-proof headphones designed for those who are working up a sweat to music. Some JVC HA-EBX5 headphones might just do the trick while you strive to shape up indoors or outdoors.

 

Worlds of sound for less

Unless you’re an audiophile or have a job where only the crispest, clearest sound quality is acceptable, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a headphone. For an in ear headphone, the Sol Republic Jax are a great choice. They deliver pulse pounding bass with barely any distortion, all without overpowering the midrange and treble frequencies. As a bonus, they come with a microphone and volume control.

For an over the ear headphone, Griffin Woodtones are a great buy. They’re comfortable, stylish, and have a balanced, well rounded sound. They even use a real wood finish to round out the look.

 

Headphone highs

Here’s where to choices get tricky. The best sounding headphones can cost thousands of euros, with bells and whistles that any audiophile can appreciate. If money is no object, then you might be interested in a set of Grado PS1000s. This headphone makes listeners feel as if they’re in the room with the band. The sound comes in crisp and clear. Cymbals sizzle and the texture of the bass comes in like never before.

As you can see you can get great sounding headphones for any price. Whether you’re looking for a replacement for those white iPod headphones, or want to transform your listening experience, there’s something out there for you.

Posted in: Editorial, Gadgets
By June 2, 2014 Read More →

The Best In-Car Technology

Nvida-Tegra-Auto-Driver-500x280In-car technology has been improving greatly in recent years. In fact, it seems that the motoring industry cannot get enough of new technology and innovations. The amazing thing here is that this applies to almost every segment in the automotive industry.

At a time where innovative in-car technology is one of the major deciding factors of most consumers, many car manufacturers find it important to either have events or attend events to showcase their latest offerings: in 2014, Las Vegas was the popular venue for the reveal of several latest innovations.

Before we take a look at some of those innovations, a common-sense reminder – no matter how advanced technology becomes, there is no substitute for driver ability and being totally confident and knowledgeable regarding the rules of the road. Top Tests is a great website for reviewing and refreshing driver know-how.

 

Performance Data Recorder

Set to be available for Chevrolet Corvette next year, this in-car technology has been gaining a lot of buzz already. Think of having a GoPro and telemetry device together in your vehicle. This is how the performance data recorder is reported to work. A camera is mounted on the headliner trim while the telemetry hardware will measure and record everything in the SD card, allowing you to simply upload and edit the raw data when you get home.

 

Bluetooth Audio

Think of smart television and how you use your smartphone to play YouTube clips on it. With this Bluetooth audio, users can now set a playlist and play it through the car’s speakers without having to use bothersome and unsightly cables or transfer the playlists to another device. This simple-sounding device has proven to be useful and hassle free during testing and could be a game changer. Pay attention music lovers everywhere!

 

Smartphone App Integration

This is another in-car technology that focuses on how to use your smartphone for various activities in the car. This allows smartphones to directly connect to the vehicle’s infotainment system, which usually features Pandora Internet radio and others. Once synced up, you or your passengers can simply access the controls directly from the mobile device, eliminating the need to lean over to reach the controls and opening up control to everyone in the car.

 

NVidia Customisable Digital Cockpit

How would you feel if you could customise not just the exterior look of your vehicle but the digital cockpit as well? It sounds pretty amazing and we are guessing this is something to look forward to. The NVidia customisable digital cockpit will let drivers choose their preferred colour, texture, and instrument panel configurations.

 

Solar Concept

This is a new feature that will be offered by no other than Ford C-Max Energi. With this, the vehicle’s battery can recharge itself using the rooftop solar panels making it even more practical than it already is.

These are just some of the latest advancements in in-car technology. This selection will definitely get you excited since these features are not just for show and style but for practical uses to benefit the driver experience too.

 

Posted in: Editorial, Gadgets
By June 1, 2014 Read More →

Kujali iPad Mini case review

c_ipad_case_006_kujali_largeLet’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 do make exceptions and here in the video below you’ll see the Kujali iPad Mini case. Not only is it an extremely well made case/cover, constructed from black leather, red suede and shock absorbant inner polyeurathane and silicone glove. It’s multimode with a wrist strap to boot.

But that’s not the only reason that this case got out attention. No. For every case that you buy from Kujali, they will donate a malaria net to a child in Africa. So buying one could literally save a life!

 

Check it out… 

 

 

You’re a style conscious passionate guy or gal who cares about what they buy. Someone like you needs a cover to match!

Well thank your lucky stars for the KUJALI Classic, a smart mini iPad cover that oozes class and sophistication. Inspired from Africa its lined with a super soft red suede interior, contrasting with a sleek black leather outer to make you stand out from the crowd.

 

Style, protection and function is what this little wonder is all about. With its fantastic shock absorbent silicone skin and PU shell protection, you will be relaxed when out and about with your beloved iPad mini, happily knowing that all four corners are completely covered in case of that accidental bump or drop. With integrated volume controls and dust plugs the silicone skin keeps your ipad mini scratch free and looking as good as new for years to come.

 

Pull together the front and back leather covers with the exterior strap closure and slide your hand into the soft suede integrated handstrap to comfortably hold your mini in one hand. Perfect for presenting at work or jumping back into your favourite book.

 

And when ready to unwind after a hard days work, pop open your KUJALI Classic to kick back your iPad mini into one of the indentations to give you the perfect angle for watching a film. When you’re done, the embedded magnets in the front cover will put your iPad mini to sleep and the integrated strap closure keeps it safely shut, ready for another exciting adventure tomorrow.

 

To top it off, for every protective iPad Mini cover you purchase KUJALI gives a mosquito net or life saving treatment to protect a child in Africa from malaria. Style never felt so good!
By May 31, 2014 Read More →

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ unboxing and hands-on

Lenovo-Yoga-Tablet-10-HD+Back in November of last year we reviewed the previous Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10, that had a 1280 x 800 pixel display but Lenovo have built upon that earlier model and have come up with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+. This new version has a better than HD display with 1920 x 1200 pixels.

Otherwise the design of this Yoga 10 is much the same as the other model. Both are still on sale and both are available with or without 3G capapbility. £299 for WiFi model, £329 for 3G model, it’s currently on sale from Lenovo.com and, from the first week of June, from Amazon, Currys/PC World and John Lewis.

 

 

Innovative Multimode Design

Yoga Tablet 10 HD+’s pioneering design places a battery cylinder and kickstand on the side of the device, shifting the center of gravity and opening up multiple usage modes: Hold, Tilt, and Stand.  In Hold mode, the weight of the device falls into your palm rather than your fingers, making it more comfortable for reading and browsing.  Lay it down into Tilt mode and you have a perfect viewing angle for typing or gaming. Flick the kickstand and rest it upright in Stand mode to comfortably watch videos, listen to music, or video-chat. 

Powerful Processing

Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 1.6GHz processor combined with 2GB RAM gives the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ an incredible combination of high performance and power efficiency. Switch seamlessly between your favorite apps and enjoy amazing visuals whether you’re surfing online, streaming movies or playing the latest 3D games.

Epic Battery Life

Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ keeps going over the long haul with its off-the-charts battery life. Its triple-cell battery lasts up to 18 hours so you can go all day — and into the night — without recharging. The secret: Yoga Tablet’s unique, cylinder-shaped side chamber allows more room for battery storage — and more time between charges.

Ultra Sharp Visuals

The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+’s 10.1″ 20/20 Vision Full HD (1920 x 1200 resolution) display delivers sharper, more detailed images and high definition video with a 178° wide viewing angle. Plus, adaptive display technology auto-adjusts screen brightness and colors to match where you are, making reading more comfortable.

Immersive Audio

Unlike most tablets, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+’s speakers face front — toward you — rather than to the side our out the bottom. Combine that with Dolby® audio enhancement and you have a rich, immersive sound experience that’s perfect for watching videos or listening to music.

Optional Wireless Keyboard

Turn your Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ into a productivity machine with the optional Accutype keyboard, a stylish Bluetooth accessory that also serves as a cover for your device.

Front and Rear Cameras

The 8.0M rear and 1.6M front cameras let you take high-definition pictures and enjoy crisp, clear video chats.

Complete Connectivity Options

Optional 3G, integrated Bluetooth, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and GPS that even works offline keep you connected and make navigation easy.

Lenovo DOit Apps

Do more with your Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ with premium Lenovo Applications like SHAREit, which lets you share files quickly without network charges or a WiFi connection and SYNCit, which backs up and restores your contacts and SMS messages.

Micro SD storage

Expand the native 16GB or 32GB of eMMC storage with up to 64GB of micro-SD card storage support — perfect for transferring photos or storing large files like movies.

 

 

Lenovo Yoga Table 10 HD+ Specification

Processor
Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 400 quad core 1.6GHz MSM8228(3G) / APQ8028(Wi-Fi)
Operating System
Android OS, v4.3 Jelly Bean (Free upgrade to Android KitKat 4.4, shortly)
Sound
2x Front-facing speakers / Dolby® Audio / 3.5mm Jack
Memory
  • RAM: LP DDR2 2GB
  • ROM: 16GB
  • Micro SD up to 64GB
Battery
  • 9000mAh Li-ion, fixed
  • Up to 18 hours*
Dimensions (W x T x H)
(261mm) x (9.1mm – 3.0mm) x (180mm)
Weight
  • WiFi: 626g (1.38 lbs)
  • 3G : 628g (1.38 lbs)
Integrated Cameras
  • Rear: 8MP Auto-focus
  • Front: 1.6 MP HD Fixed-focus
Display
  • Size: 10.1” Full HD (1920 x 1200) IPS
  • Type: Capacitive touchscreen 10-Point multitouch
Color
Silver
SIM
Single, micro-SIM (3G model only)
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • e-Compass
  • Ambient Light
  • Hall
  • Vibration
Connectivity/Radios
  • 3G Network: WCDMA 900/2100MHz (3G model only)
  • 2G Network: GSM/EDGE 900/1800/1900MHz
  • Speed: HSPA+ 42Mbps(DL) / 5.76Mbps(UL)
  • Data: GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA
  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n,Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth® 4.0
  • Satellite, A-GPS
By May 29, 2014 Read More →

Smartphones – your best budget options

SAMSUNG G X2014 is a great year for those of you looking for a budget smartphone. The Apple range of smartphones won’t be within your budget bracket but there are more than enough great handsets with good performance for you to choose from.

 

ZTE Blade V

Budget quad core/5MP camera phone

 ZTE BLADE V

 

 

Coming in at a mere £100, the ZTE Blade is a great handset for those wanting to get the most for their money. With a small 4-inch, 480 x 800 LCD screen you’ll be more than able to enjoy video and photographic content. Coming pre-loaded with Android 4.1 means you’ll have all the features that Android users enjoy as well as a host of apps available through the Google Play store.

 

Build quality isn’t the best but at this price it’s one of the nicer looking phones available.

 

Sony Xperia M

Affordable well designed smartphone with great battery life

 SONY XPERIA M

 

 

The Experia M is a great budget phone for those of you who’ve got a little more to splash out. It’s no Xperia Z1 but for £180 this is a great little smartphone. Featuring many design similarities see in the rest of the Xperia series, the build quality looks and feels great. The M runs on the Jelly Bean Android OS and is powered by a more than capable Qualcomm S4 plus dual-core CPU which means you’ll be able to run most apps with extreme ease.

 

With 9 hours of battery life, one charge cycle will get you through the day with no problem unless you’re a real smartphone addict. However with only 2GB of memory, it’s advised you purchase a microSD card to make use of the expandable memory slots on the phone. If you’re looking for a sub £200 smartphone this is a more than capable handset.

 

Samsung Galaxy Y

Ultra budget smartphone

 SAMSUNG G X

 

 

If spending more than £100 seems like a daunting prospect, you’ll be more than glad to discover this handset costs a mere £45! This ultra compact smartphone has a 3-inch screen and a 2 megapixel camera. For the price it’s a good phone but don’t expect to be playing the latest games on it. If you just need a simple phone for light internet browsing, emails, texts and phone calls then this is a great little number. Be sure to check out the Samsung Galaxy Y from Mobile by Sainsbury’s for a really competitive price!

 

HTC Desire500

Attractive handset at an attractive price

 HTC DESIRE 500

 

The HTC desire is our favourite looking budget handset of the moment. With a 4.3-inch screen with 480 x 800 resolution, viewing photos and videos is really enjoyable. The 8megapixel camera is more than useable and great for snapping a quick picture.  With a Snapdragon 200 quad-core processer with 1GB of RAM, the Desire500 is up there with the high performance budget handsets.

 

At a price like this you’ll be hard pushed to find a handset that combines design and powerful processing with such success.

 

Nokia Lumia 620

Windows phone with unique and quirky design

 NOKIA LUMIA 620

 

 

If you’re after something a bit different the Nokia Lumia 620 is a great option. The quirky and colourful design make this an eye catching handset and for a mere £150 this phone very reasonably priced.  What also makes this phone different is that it runs on Windows 8, unlike the rest of the Androids on this list. Windows 8 is a beautiful operating system and the 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU is more than capable of running the OS without lag. One of the disadvantages of the Windows 8 operating system is that you’ll have access to less apps, though the majority of popular downloads do have windows versions!

 

Nokia handsets are renowned for the quality of their cameras, and the Lumia 620 is no exception. Despite not having as many megapixels as other phones in this list (the Lumia 620 sits at just 5MP) the lens and overall picture quality is significantly higher. At the great price it’s easily one of the best handsets in the budget bracket range.

 

Motorola Moto G

The Rolls Royce of the budget smartphone range

 MOTO G

 

Finding faults with the Moto G was extremely hard when we got our hands on this smartphone. The Moto G features a great 4.5-inch screen that makes apps, photos and video look great. When you consider you’re getting 720p resolution, this is the best screen for your money.

 

Design wise it isn’t the best looking phone, or the slimmest. But what it lacks in looks it more than makes up for in specs. With a Snapdragon 400 CPU with 1GB ram and using the latest build of Jellybean, you’ll be able to enjoy the vast majority of games and apps in HD!

 

For a mere £135 for the 8GB model and £160 for the 16GB model – the Moto G is a top pick for us as it’s very affordable and performs like more expensive phones. What more could you want?

 

With so many great budget options for smartphones, there’s no excuse not to get involved. Take a look at what you can get for your money today.

Posted in: Editorial, Phones
By May 28, 2014 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy S5 is it worth the hype?

s5The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the natural successor of the Samsung Galaxy S4, which was one of the most sought after models released to the market. However, does the Samsung Galaxy S5 offer anything worth getting excited about or is it better to wait for the S6?

The S5 features various improvements to its camera, display, design and operating software. However, there has been significant debate in the tech world about if an upgrade to the Samsung S5 is necessary in spite of the improvements.

Here, we will explore if the Samsung Galaxy S5 is worth the hype or if it a development that will ultimately fail until the release of the S6.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Design

It is evident that Samsung has put in a lot of effort to make the S5 design different from its predecessor. It features a dimpled back to differentiate it from the glossy and smooth design on the S4. One of the main drawbacks, however, is that this handset is mostly made of plastic.

As this is supposed to be a high-end phone, some might expect a more expensive, luxurious material. Sony, Apple, Nokia, and HTC have all experimented with metal to make their high-end phones but Samsung seems reluctant to shift from plastic.

The Samsung S5 has been designed to be both dust and water resistant in about 3.3 feet of water for almost 30 minutes. The phone is available in a variety of colour finishes including sweet pink, champagne pink, shimmery white, copper gold, electric blue and charcoal black among others.

The S5 features a big and bold 5.1-inch full HD super AMOLED screen. One of the best aspects of this handset is its clear screen. It is a bright screen and this makes it ideal for users who spend a lot of time browsing the internet.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Main Features

You can tell after just a few minutes that the S5 is definitely more usable when compared to the S4. Mostly because it includes more features that consumers are likely to use every day.

S Health

S Health is one of the most noticeable features on this phone. It includes a heart rate monitor that is placed at the back just below the camera. The monitor allows you to track your pulse. S Health has been designed to help users monitor their daily activity. However, it does not offer the same benefits you get from devices solely designed for this function.

Ultra Power Saving Mode

Samsung is making an effort to come up with a battery that will last longer when you need it the most. The ultra-power saving mode activates on your phone when you need it to reduce power consumption when the handset is not in use. The feature reduces available apps to six to reduce total power use and increase battery life.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S5 camera offers selective focus. This feature allows users to take pictures and then defocus the background. The downside is that the camera takes a while to ‘fire up’, especially if it is in sleep mode. Furthermore, its autofocus is swift but it is not always accurate.

Fingerprint Scanner

Samsung have decided to place a fingerprint scanner on the S5 home key. This is an intuitive program, but risky as it does not always pick up the fingerprint. Users are required to swipe vertically for the scanner to work but it is also possible to swipe sideways with less accuracy.

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S5 handset comes with a 2.5 GHz CPU that makes it one of the
most powerful models on the market. However, with that being said, some of the features are slow. As mentioned, the camera can take a while before it is ready to work.

The model offers 16 GB internal memory, but only about 11 GB is available for use. The good news is that Samsung has eliminated some apps that were considered less significant on the S4, but you can still choose to download them in the Google Play Store. This gives users greater control over their internal memory.

Conclusion

The progression when it comes to performance and in-phone features make this upgrade more than worthwhile if you are coming up to the end of one of a number of long term mobile phones contracts. There are a number of great value contracts from Virgin Media available now that you can take advantage of to get the Samsung Galaxy S5 for a great price.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has an amazing screen and it offers plenty of battery life. This is a powerful and competent phone with unique elements that make it different from any other model available.

 

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Samsung Galaxy S5 – Size comparison with iPhone 5S

 

 

Posted in: Editorial, Phones