Author Archive: Gareth

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of both the Mobile Tech Addicts podcast and The Mobile Tech Addicts Show.

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By July 28, 2015 Read More →

HTC drop a feature rich Desire 626

htcs-desire-626-will-take-on-the-moto-gHTC Corporation (“HTC”), a global leader in mobile innovation and design, has announced the HTC Desire 626,the successor to the HTC Desire 620. With a variety of colour combinations, endless personalisation options, and an enhanced camera that enables sharper photography, the affordable smartphone lets you express yourself your way like never before.

“Our new HTC Desire 626 is designed to give you the most customised personal user experience. Packed full of advanced features, we are delivering the very best in terms of personalised design and performance, as well as great value, to our customers,” said Peter Frølund, HTC General Manager UK and Ireland.

Unique design and advanced features enable self-expression

The HTC Desire 626 offers vivid colours in a beautifully crafted dual-tone design, and delivers a unique user experience. Easy and intuitive to use, it runs on Android™ 5.1 and features HTC Sense™, which provides an enhanced, fully customised Android functionality. With the HTC Sense interface you can change the look of your phone’s interface as often as you change your own style; maximum customisation, minimum effort. These endless personalisation possibilities allow you to create, share and realise your full potential.

Powered by a Snapdragon™ 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor, the HTC Desire 626 delivers a smooth and reliable experience with the capability to allow you to effortlessly stream films, run your latest app, play your favourite games or flick through your latest photos, which all come to life on the vibrant 5 inch HD LCD screen.

Keeping an eye on breaking stories or your social feeds is made easy with HTC BlinkFeed™, which provides easy access to your own personalised stream of online content in seconds, allowing you to stay updated at a glance, direct from your homescreen. 

 

Capture life from all angles wherever you are

Whether you have a passion for photography or capturing short impactful videos, the HTC Desire 626 can be your perfect pocket companion. With the choice of an enhanced 13MP main camera or a 5MP front camera, photos and selfies can be taken from any angle, ensuring you can fully express yourself with sharper images and selfies.

 

The HTC Eye™ Experience allows you to easily edit your shots for instant effects thanks to built-in enhancements. The HTC Desire626 also features the ability to capture high-quality 1080p video using either the front or rear facing cameras, which can be turned into mini movies that can be shared with friends and family using the HTC Video Highlights feature.

 

With a range of storage options, from 16GB[1] internal memory to a MicroSD slot that supports up to 512GB additional storage, you can save and share every photo, video and experience that defines you, as often as you wish.

 

Availability

The HTC Desire 626 comes in White Birch, Blue Lagoon, Purple Fire and Dark Grey, and will be available with mobile operators including O2 and 3 as well as major retailer Carphone Warehouse.

Posted in: News, Phones, Press Releases
By July 27, 2015 Read More →

Inateck IPX8 Waterproof Case Unboxing

vlcsnap-2015-07-26-19h35m11s087Inateck have sent over a waterproof case to fit most devices. Here we have a look at this no frills approach to device care and a handy accessory if you are heading away to a beach somewhere or just to lounge by the pool. For £10.99 the Inateck Waterproof case does a lot however it won’t increase your chances with the opposite sex.

You can purchase one from Amazon, here.

Perfect Waterproof Companion for Your Phones 
Take your smartphones anywhere you like, go swimming, boating, rafting, diving and snorkeling without worrying about water damage.

Survive Your Devices Underwater
IPX8 waterproof pouch with secure swivel lock allows submerging your devices for at least 30 minutes.

Easy Access to Touch Screen
Designed with crystal clear film on both sides, texting, taking photo and recording videos just work the same as without using the case.

Universal Waterproof Pouch Design
Specifications: 17cm*10cm, fully compatible with devices up to 5.7″ screen displays and provide universal protection for keys, credit cards, ID cards, MP3 players, all iPhone, Samsung and other smartphones.

Compatible Models
Apple iPhone: iPhone 6 Plus/ 6/ 5s/ 5c/ 5/ 4s
Samsung Galaxy: Samsung Galaxy S6/ S6 Edge/ S5/ S4, Note 4/ 3/ 2 
Others: HTC One X, Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920/ 820 and so on

Please refer to the dimension of waterproof bag before you purchase it for your large screen smartphone with protective case together

Note: 
Lock the top to make sure the case is fully sealed.
Open the bag upside down in order to avoid water intrusion after using.

By July 24, 2015 Read More →

Polaroid iE826 Unboxing

vlcsnap-2015-07-23-08h18m33s991Picking a compact camera on a budget should be a simple task if there wasn’t such a huge number on the market. No matter your budget there is always a model for you however there is a slightly nicer feature included for a couple of pounds extra on a different model. Limiting yourself to a budget is a difficult thing as one can very easily see the line drawn becoming blurred when you try to get the best value for money.

The Polaroid iE826 has received some negative press of late with a couple on Honeymoon having dropped a whopping £80 on the snapper and expecting the world from the output. The outlet purchased from merely deflected the issue with a “you get what you pay for” excuse.

Oddly, in the case of the Polaroid iE826 we see a camera that obviously suffered from a price conscious feature set yet also a victim of shrewd pricing from some retailers. QVCuk sell the camera of £44.88, the couple claim the the camera was reduced from £80, you have to wonder if they are more annoyed that the camera was available cheaper elsewhere and if they would have kicked up quite a stink if the price had have been as low it is on QVC’s website.

The camera is however not as bad as the couple has made out. Certainly it won’t take home any prizes however if does take some workable images in the right light. Everything is almost good here. Not quite good, but getting there.

The camera looks nice, the colour array available is very attractive and that is the best thing it has going for it right now. The fascia is bright and popping. Aside from the colour scheme the setup is very much standard, the layout of these compact cameras is so tried and tested that it is impossible to get wrong.

The build is quite light and plastic. Whilst solid it would not survive a few night of brutality in a nightclub and a couple of drops would likely have a detrimental effect on something inside. This is a disposable camera, you won’t be dusting this off next summer to capture those treasured moments taking the kids to Disney.

The optics inside are where we are let down, the crucial part of the camera. Whilst serviceable in daylight the camera ISO of 400 really leads to less than acceptable low level light shots, the flash only adding to the disappointment. Just avoid using this indoors and forget about taking it to a nightclub.

Outdoors the images captured are pretty good, nothing pops but at the same time we have seen worse over the years. Setting everything to Auto isn’t the best idea, if you stay on top of the settings you might be able to salvage many of the shots and produce something quite commendable. Fast action also leads to disappointing results, sports days and skiing will become a blurry memory.

There is in built social networking tools allowing the user to share directly to YouTube, Facebook and MySpace. Yes, MySpace.

Perhaps because the battery was new the charge didn’t last too long. Having charged the camera for an hour before use the battery had dropped to three quarters taking the test pictures and video content for the unboxing video before. There is a lot of motor noise coming from the lens as the auto focus attempts to ‘lock on.’ This likely drains the battery quite a bit so ensure you have a spare or a charging solution before you go on a full day excursion.

It is amazing cameras at the bottom end aren’t improving like the modern Smartphone. For the very little extra you might be able to get a better camera built into a smartphone however this bleeds into the budgeting conundrum of not wanting to spend a penny more than £44.88.

I couldn’t recommend the Polaroid iE826 to anyone unless they are back into a corner, the Daily Mail may have covered the camera with a more negative light then the camera is due however that’s the modern media, it is bad but not THAT bad. 

Thanks to QVCuk for the review sample. When purchased from QVC an Essentials Kit is provided, we will be having a look at this tomorrow.

Technical specification: 

  • Camera type: Compact digital camera
  • Screen: 2.4″ LCD
  • Resolution: 18 megapixels
  • Sensor Type: CMOS
  • ISO sensitivity: AUTO, 100 – 400
  • Image stabiliser: Digital
  • Optical zoom: 8x
  • Digital zoom: 4x
  • Self-timer: 2 seconds / 5 seconds /10 seconds
  • Exposure modes: Auto, Landscape, Backlight, Portrait, Sports
  • Effects: Vivid, Sepia, Monochrome, Night Scene
  • White balance: Auto
  • Photo file formats: JPEG
  • Video file formats: AVI
  • Memory card: SDHC
  • Battery: Lithium-ion battery
  • Battery life: approx 90 – 110 shots
  • Camera (l x w x d): 6cm x 9cm x 2.5cm (2.4″ x 3.5″ x 1″)
  • Weight: 140g
By July 23, 2015 Read More →

KitVision Rush Action Camera HD100W Unboxing

youtu.be-HHpUbHTU1Q8A GoPro is a pretty expensive item and whilst they are designed for high octane action there is no getting past the idea that there is always a knock that would kill the camera regardless of the housing, skin or durability of the build. A GoPro is for a serious enthusiast, but what if you are looking to dip your toe in the water of extreme sports and don’t know if you would use a camera very much, or don’t want to risk destroying a £400 GoPro?

The Kitvision Rush feels good right out the box. It’s well weighted, features a brushed steel finish and looks the business when attached to a helmet, handlebar or just in hand. There are a large amount of features that one cannot ignore and the potential for use it immense. I was full of great ideas looking through the different mounts.

From here on everything was going to become a headache. You really appreciate a screen when you don’t have one. All the vibrations and light flashes in the world can happen however that doesn’t necessarily mean things will go the way you want them too. Especially if the bundled software is trash.

As you can see from the unboxing video the Kitvision Rush gives pretty good results when in use. The picture is clear and crisp, the audio, whilst hardly cinema quality, doesn’t offend and the camera itself impresses for the money. When it works.

The footage captures was a third attempt. The first, at the gun range, didn’t work well. Partly my fault, the camera arrived in the morning, I grabbed it on the way out the door on the way to the range after a quick unboxing expecting to be able to shoot right away. Instead I got home to a blank memory card after a confusing collection of buzzes and light flashes.

The manual was required. Not a particularly bad thing however I was a bit annoyed reading the manual to find a how to, instead of looking for extra features. I downloaded the suggested apps and got things working.

A couple of days later I figured I would attached the camera to the car for some exciting close to the road footage from various vantage points. However, this led to 30 mins of getting in and out of the car adjusting, pressing buttons, lost connections and laggy apps. On the odd occasion I managed to view the camera footage however I never managed to capture any footage.

A week later I begrudgingly picked up the camera to attach to the bike, I spent 5 minutes with manual, phone and camera and got it to work sporadically. I put the phone away and relied on what I had learned from the buttons and just recorded a bunch of footage to took a load of photos. No streaming, no clicking around the features, no ad-hoc wifi. A painless as possible left me really happy.

Most of the footage did not make the clip as it is more personal however what is there is great for a £130 camera to throw around. I have only charged it once and haven’t run out of battery yet. Documentation shows 2.5 hours however I must be approaching that soon. However, you have to take another cable with you if you are planning a trip, you cannot share with your micro USB you might have for a phone or tablet.

Specs

  • Micro SD / Micro SDHC up to 32GB (not included)

  • Auto rotation (G-sensor) 

  • Dual file video recording

  • Built-in high quality microphone

  • Rechargeable built-in battery

  • Battery life: up to 2.5 hours

  • Weight: 134.4 g

 

In a nutshell:

Pros

  • Great build quality

  • Great video footage

  • Looks swish

  • Tonnes of flexibility with the adapters

 

Cons

  • Software is pig ugly, slow and frequently doesn’t work

  • Wifi implementation is slow and sometimes non-existent

  • Uses MiniUSB in 2015.

 

Conclusion

Most of the problems with the Kitvision Rush can be fixed fairly easily and I would not dissuade anyone from purchasing one for this. If seeing what you are recording is important you might need to look elsewhere unless you have incredible patience. At £130 I would be pleased with the quality of the camera itself.

By July 21, 2015 Read More →

Zenwatch drops in price at Google

mainIn the US Google have reduced the price of the Asus ZenWatch to it’s lowest price to date. A lovely looking Smartwatch that is easily the best looking square faced Android Wear device at the moment. However, things aren’t quite to rosey this side of the pond. Here in the UK we have seen the price drop to the unfair, lazy and greedy price of £149.99 on the Google Play Store. Something really needs to be done about companies ignoring the exchange rate and simple matching dollar for pound. By contrast purchasing whilst in the US the Zenwatch would effectively cost £102, a bargain.

Asus unveiled the successor the ZenWatch on June 1. Google’s price cut of the device’s predecessor could well be a sign of its impending arrival retail launch.

Posted in: News, Wearables
By July 20, 2015 Read More →

Inateck 3 Port Aluminium USB 3.0 HUB with Ethernet Unboxing

Inateck 3 Port Aluminum USB 3.0 HUB with Ethernet UnboxingInateck have kindly sent over their latest USB hub, an aluminium variant on something we have seen before and this is a change for the better.

The original USB3.0 Hub with Ethernet was a handy addition to the Road Warrior’s bag and this aluminium version looks to the every bit as good with addition build quality. With only a £2 price difference, this is easily the hub to pick up.

You can grab one from Inateck for £23.99 here.

 

 

By July 15, 2015 Read More →

Unboxing 6 Axis Mini Quadcopter Drone with Camera

vlcsnap-2015-07-14-15h39m13s400Purchasing a drone is an expensive task. You can really lay out a lot of money to get something stable, smooth and will produce good results. It is probably recommended you check out a cheaper Quadcopter first for a couple of reasons.

Your ability. They can be difficult to fly. Up, down, left right and rotating are the main commands however you also have to take into account wind speed and surroundings. The more you pay the easier this becomes and enthusiasts will likely throw money at a manufacturer to have more tech no board to assist with their flight.

Your need. Curiosity is the main reason I asked to review one. On the one hand I wanted to see if I would use it, on the other I wanted to have a look at my roof without having to get out the ladders. Two reasons that hardly need to have big bucks invested in tech.

So when I noticed that Mobilefun had a little drone for £40 with a camera on-board this would cover the need. The only thing was the ability.

Flying a lower end drone is not an easy task. A smaller, no frills drone is easy to lose control of, becomes susceptible to wind and will require extreme patience to find enjoyment in.

First up is the built quality. This is going to take a beating in its first hour off the ground. It will crash into trees, walls, hedges and ultimately, the ground. This little drone will take a licking, not a massive licking but will sustain a bit of rough treatment as it collides with everything around it. It looks good, feels light in hand and will impress anyone passing by. The controller isn’t as sturdy as the drone, built from cheap plastic and the buttons are horribly clicky. The beeps from the controller are shrill, the screen is basic and I am not convinced that all the buttons work.

Secondly is the use. I am of the mindset that a more expensive drone will be easier to control with gyroscopes to assist flight. For this Quadcopter a small gust of wind can upset the flight path and depending on the quality of the pilot may send it tumbling to the dirt. Rotors can bend easily upon impact and thankfully there are a couple of spares in the box. I haven’t had to use any however the casing had needed to be clicked back into place after a meeting with an apple tree. The thumb sticks are not particularly accurate. However this is £40 alternative and the fact that is even flies is enough to impress.

Third, is the battery. Flight time is about 7 minutes. Not a lot, however the size of the battery will directly affect the performance as this needs to be light. I’m happy with the flight time as there is enough time to have some fun and charger takes little over an our. The first few time do become somewhat annoying when the battery dies as it seems to come at a point that you are beginning to understand the method behind keeping it in the air.

The camera isn’t particularly great however it’s a welcome addition. Whilst only a 0.3 megapixel offering the quality isn’t a bad as you might think as you will see from the footage in the unboxing video. Instead it appears quite serviceable, especially for checking out a roof. The drone is quite noisy and as such the microphone is a bit of a waste.

Whilst this will be considered a toy by most it’s a great learning experience. I am even more interested in drones now having played with this and will be looking for a more advanced model in the near future. I do however have a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that these might be made illegal at some point and investing money in a high end drone would be a waste.

 Grab one from Mobilefun.

By July 14, 2015 Read More →

The Commodore PET is back, running Android

Commodore-Pet-3Commodore was one of the leading names in personal computers back in the 1980s and early 90s. Their fall from grace was a long quiet one as they slipped away becoming gradually forgotten. However, today they are back and they have announced they will be releasing an Android smartphone here in Europe later this week! The Commodore PET will be the company’s first smartphone, running a custom variant of Android 5.0, will come preloaded with two emulators for some highly important retro gaming. As for the specs, the PET will feature a 5.5-inch IPS display, along with a 1.7 GHz Mediatek 64-bit octa-core processor. Commodore is packing a 3,000mAh battery inside, along with a 13MP rear facing camera, and an 8MP front facing camera, both of which can be operated by a dedicated shutter button on the side of the phone.

Commodore will be launching two different versions of the PET, one with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, and one with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. UK pirces have not yet been announced however some sources are saying the 16GB model will run for around £250, while the 32GB model will go for around £300. Both models will come with a 32GB microSD card included. Three colours will be available white, black, or a classic beige color. Initially, the Commodore PET will be available in Italy, France, Germany, and Poland, with plans to expand to the US and other European countries in the near future.

- 5.5-inch 1080p display, with Gorilla Glass 3
- 13MP Sony rear camera
- 8MP wide angle front camera
- Dedicated camera button
- Dual SIM/4G support
- 1.7GHz octa-core Mediatek processor
- ARM Mali T760 GPU
- 3000 mAh battery. 
- Custom version of Android 5.0

Below you can see the classic Ghosts’n'Goblins on C64 Emulator. 

Also included is an A500 Emulator as illustrated below playing Turrican II

Welcome back Commodore, you have been missed.

Posted in: News, Phones
By July 14, 2015 Read More →

The world’s first mind-controlled electric car created by MoneySuperMarket!

Carol Vorderman

MoneySuperMarket have debuted world’s first mind-controlled electric car this morning. Carol Vorderman was on hand to take the car for a spin using her big brain! Video footage has been made available for all to see of Carol working her way around the track.

On Thursday the track is empty and waiting for some lucky members of the public to be brain trained and drive the car themselves, in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All they need to do is register before lunch time tomorrow at midday following this link: http://www.moneysupermarket.com/hubs/car-insurance/mind-drive/ .

 

Eighty years since the first driving test and with more distractions on our roads than ever before, MoneySuperMarket is reminding people to keep their brains in gear when behind the wheel with a truly epic motoring experience – the world’s first mind-controlled electric car.

The Car Insurance Epic Mind Drive gives drivers the opportunity to negotiate this ground-breaking vehicle around a futuristic track using brainwaves alone to turn left, right, move forward and stop.

The car is controlled with an electroencephalogram (EEG) neuro headset, using sophisticated software algorithms to translate raw EEG data into mental commands. Each user must train with the headset so it can decipher their thought patterns and learn their unique mental topography. The software is then able to recognise distinct thought patterns and using some complex electronics, wirelessly sends these commands to the car’s controls.

The Car Insurance Epic Mind Drive track

Those selected to take the driver’s seat will be judged on the track by a series of variables. This includes statistics fed back by a telematics box in the car reporting on how safely and accurately they drive, a technology system used to calculate fair premiums and save drivers money on car insurance policies. Accuracy, smoothness and lap time will all be fed into a bespoke formula to generate a score that they can take away with them, along with the pride of being one of the very first mind-control drivers.

The experience highlights that driving with your brain in gear not only keeps you safe but also saves money on your car insurance.

David Harling, Digital Marketing Director at MoneySuperMarket commented: “Driverless cars are currently being road tested but until they’re an everyday reality, we know it’s as important as ever for motorists to use their heads while driving. Our customers are great at using their heads to find the best car insurance quotes and have inspired us to launch the Car Insurance Epic Mind Drive, a once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic experience.”

Carol Vorderman

The Car Insurance Epic Mind Drive experience is live now. Drivers should go to http://www.moneysupermarket.com/hubs/car-insurance/mind-drive/ and register before 12 noon on Wednesday 15th July for the chance to drive the world’s first mind-controlled electric car on Thursday 16th July.

Visitors to the site will also be able to register for the chance to play the exclusive mobile driving game, using their heads in a live video call to drive by facial recognition and gesture alone. 

By July 1, 2015 Read More →

Inateck 3 Ports USB3.0 Dual Band Wireless PCI-E Card Unboxing

vlcsnap-2015-06-30-22h57m22s219Inateck have sent over the KT9001. A combination of USB ports and wireless network card on a PCI Express board. Featuring UASP Support; Driver-free for Win 8 or above Inateck KT9001 PCI-E card has 3 USB 3.0 ports (compatible downwards to USB 2.0/USB 1.1), used for keyboard, mouse, hard drive etc.. Provide you with more USB ports and protect your PC native USB ports. 

  • 3 Super Speed USB 3.0 ports support transfer rates of up to 5Gbps. No need for extra power with 3-layer power management technology, different power management solutions for different devices. 
  • Built-in with 802.11 AC protocol dual-band wireless network card, supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Devices can select the most suitable wireless network automatically. 300Mbps plus 867Mbps provides you incomparable wireless network.

You pick one up here for £41.99:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00SMHC7VI/

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