Gadgets

By June 10, 2015 Read More →

iWalk Spartan unboxing

vlcsnap-2015-06-10-06h52m44s165An extra tough backup battery for all your charging needs arrives in the shape of the iWalk Spartan. The iWALK Spartan is perfect for charging your devices while outdoors – Camping, Shows, Markets, Festivals ect.

The 13,000mAh battery can keep your phone charged for days (even up to a week on some devices) 13000mAh Mega High capacity Lithium-ion rechargeable battery Made for all USB Devices including Apple (Certified – ‘Made for iPhone’) Rugged and durable build makes the Spartan waterprrof, shock proof, dust proof and snow proof – IP66 5v/1.0A and 5v/2.4A dual USB Outputs Rapid Charge with a maximum 2.1A input current.

Pass-through charging so you can charge the Spartan and two devices simultaneously.

 

You can pick one up for £69.99 here.

By March 31, 2015 Read More →

D-Link Wi-Fi Motion Sensor Unboxing – mydlink Home Part II

vlcsnap-2015-03-30-18h18m30s60We continue with the selection of home security items D-Link sent and explore a simple solution. This is the second of three products we will be looking at that work on the same platform and help notify you of any activity around your home you might not be aware of.

The mydlink Wi-Fi Motion Sensor is a simple plug with sensors built in to help monitor and area of your home for alert you of movement and perhaps take action.

You can see the first part here, the D-Link Smartplug Unboxing

 

Posted in: Gadgets, Videos/Unboxings
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By March 30, 2015 Read More →

D-Link Smartplug Unboxing – mydlink Home Part I

vlcsnap-2015-03-30-07h38m58s120D-Link have sent a selection of their home security gizmos and together they work as a team to keep your home a little safer. Over the next three days we will be looking at three products that work on the same platform and help notify you of any activity around your home you might not be aware of.

The mydlink Home Smartplug is a simple automated plug system for activating or deactivating a piece of hardware whilst not being in the same area. Be it a lamp switching on in the evening whilst on holiday, regulating children’s game console playtime or simply turning off a TV at the wall to save a little power, the Smartplug helps give a little piece of mind.

 

Posted in: Gadgets, Videos/Unboxings
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By March 27, 2015 Read More →

THE INSURANCE T&Cs YOU WISH YOU’D SEEN – GADGET EDITION

470807_TotalCoverage_PQ_v4.psbComplaints about insurance are commonplace, but now buyers of gadget insurance may have more reason to complain than others.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) recently stated that it had seen a doubling of the number of complaints about gadget insurance throughout 2014 – more notably, it found that approaching half of all claims turned down were incorrectly turned down.

The FOS found that insurers had applied the terms of the contracts incorrectly to valid claims – that or, as the BBC reported, the terms were “so ambiguous it was hard to see how anyone could make a successful claim”.

 

The best gadget insurance – or is it?

This prompted Bought By Many to look at the best gadget insurance policies on the market and see if the terms were clear to us. Our review included Gadget Cover Supercover, i-Digital Premier, Insure My Pocket Platinum, Insure My Mobile Phone Gold, Protect Your Bubble,Gadgetbuddy.com, Switched On Insurance, and Helpucover.

What they found was surprising – so, they have laid out the top unexpected policy terms to help you be armed when you go looking for your policy.

 

How to tell if you have the best gadget insurance

1. 14 days…

Many people are familiar with a “14 day cooling off period” from phone and broadband contracts – that is a period after purchase when you as a customer can cancel the contract with no penalty.

Several of the top gadget policies reviewed contained a 14 day cooling off period but also a 14-day ‘exclusion period’. This stipulates that for 14 days after purchase, you cannot make a claim. It’s reasonable to expect you are covered from the moment you have bought your insurance, but here that may not be the case.

2. Travel

Some travel insurance policies won’t cover you for high value electrical items (a select few will), so people naturally expect their gadget policy will. All of the top end policies sampled allowed a period of time abroad per year, but the lowest was only 30 days – 3 long holidays could put you close to that limit, and the strict wording we reviewed would then mean any claim (relating to the travel or not) could be denied.

3. Not all gadgets are created equal

All policies reviewed had an age restriction on the gadgets – the lowest required that the gadget had to be under 18 months old on the day you take the policy out.

Some others required that the gadget were bought from a UK retailer, therefore excluding online auctions like eBay or foreign purchases brought back from holidays. Some also specified different excesses, depending on the gadget type insured.

4. Unattended?

Some would say that if you leave your phone on the dash in your car window then you deserve what you get. Insurers would tend to agree as they commonly had a definition of “unattended” which might include leaving a gadget in a car, leaving it out of sight or even in one policy “beyond arm’s reach”.

The terms may be more stringent than expected – in some policies reviewed, it was ambiguous over whether leaving your phone on a table with a friend was considered “unattended” or not.

 

Home insurance for gadgets

Those who have been listening in their insurance classes will know that your boring old home insurance can include cover for mobiles and other gadgets as named items.

The cover can sometimes work out cheaper than buying gadget insurance separately – though you do need to take care to make sure you’re getting the same kind of cover, as most home insurance policies would require upgrade options to ensure you are covered for accidental damage and when taking your items out of your home. By contrast, these are standard features on many gadget policies.

We hope this helps you in getting to grips with your gadget cover, demystifying some of the world of insurance and helping to navigate if you have a complaint!

Posted in: Editorial, Gadgets
By March 14, 2015 Read More →

Inateck 3 Ports USB 3.0 HUB with Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter Unboxing

vlcsnap-2015-03-13-13h37m33s154Inateck have kindly sent over a three Port USB 3.0 adapter with Gigabit ethernet network adapter. This simple connector makes life on the move a little more tolerable for the user by combing 2 USB 3.0 ports for the every growing arsenal of peripherals alongside a rather important Ethernet network connector for those who might have a laptop without one built in. Certainly most do however some, like my personal Acer C720 Chromebook, happen to be missed one and as a back up  when a wireless signal is not terribly reliable or non-existent an Etnernet adapter is almost essential. 

● Supports up to 1000Mbps and downwards compatible with 10/100Mbps.
● Support IEEE 802.3az (Energy Efficient Ethernet). Compatible with IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3ab.
● Supports full duplex operation with IEEE 802.3x flow control and half duplex operation with back-pressure flow control.
● Usage of highly robust ABS plastic during production, compact and light structure, high mobility and flexibility, stable composition.
● USB 3.0 super speed (theoretical maximum transfer of up to 5 Gbps), complete utilisation of Gigabit ethernet connection resources. Supports IPv4/IPv6 protocols, dual channel transfer mode, automatic transfer and data stream reversing regulation.
● Supports Hot Swap and Plug & Play at all USB ports, simple and intuitive handling. Theoretical transfer speed of up to 5 Gbps (The actual transmission speed is limited by the setting of the device connected), reciprocal compatibility with USB 2.0/1.1/1.0.

You can order one from Amazon for £19.99 

By March 12, 2015 Read More →

Meet the of Piper nv the all-in-one home security system

image001Icontrol Networks, a leader in connected home technology and innovation, today announces general availability in Europe for Piper nv, the only security system that can be easily tailored to what matters most. Building on the launch of the original Piper last year, the all-in-one home security, video monitoring and automation device has been engineered for reliability and built frustration free, making it easier than ever to connect via mobile device for peace of mind.

Over the last year, Piper has ushered in a new approach to home monitoring, security and automation and continues to deliver users a new and smart way to interact with their homes. With the DIY smart home market projected to reach $7.8 billion in the US alone by 2019, according to NextMarket Insights, the connected home is becoming more easily accessible to consumers than ever before and Piper continues to be at the forefront of the movement with Piper nv. In addition to the already comprehensive Piper feature set, Piper nv boasts:

●        Night Vision: Featuring the widest field of view available in the market, Piper nv’s 180-degree day/night vision offers a clear and complete view of your home no matter the time of day. Night vision kicks in automatically once the room starts getting dark.

●        Advanced camera resolution: The 3.4 megapixel camera sensor ensures you don’t miss any details!

 

“Being aware of events in your home has never been easier with Piper,” said Russell Ure, creator of Piper and an executive vice president and GM at Icontrol Networks. “Piper nv provides homeowners with unsurpassed visibility into their homes and ensures places and loved ones are always protected and safe. It sets a new standard for the optimal video experience in the smart home marketplace.”

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Piper has been recognised for its innovative technology and broad consumer appeal, and is powered by Icontrol Networks, a leader in the connected home marketplace.

 

In addition to night vision and advanced camera resolution, Piper nv has been designed for maximum customisation and includes the core Piper features:

●        Security: Customise three security modes (home, away and vacation), motion detector and piercing, 105-decibel siren.

●        Automation: Integrate Z-Wave accessories into Piper’s security modes, control them remotely, on a schedule, or using environmental data.

●        HD Panoramic camera: 180° fisheye lens, electronic pan, tilt, and zoom, 1080p camera sensor.

●        Customised alerts: Phone call, text message, email, and push notifications to users and their trusted circle when security rules are triggered.

●        Environmental sensors: Monitor and control home temperature, humidity, ambient light and sound.

●        Elegant Design: Simple, intuitive app. Stunning, compact, two-toned form with brushed metal legs.

●        Smart Hardware: ARM processor, battery backup, internal memory for video storage, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

●        Android & iOS support: Available on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

●        Two-way audio: Talk directly to occupants through Piper through its app on your mobile device.

●        Multi-Piper functionality: Support up to five different Pipers within a home so you always have visibility and control over your different spaces.

●        Bedside mode: Featuring an active panic button, Bedside mode lets users manually turn on a siren in case of an emergency. Easy to reach and quick to access for fast action, users can now set Piper to Bedside mode before going to sleep for a more secure environment at night.

Piper nv can now be purchased at getpiper.com starting at €299.00 (£217.00) and Piper will continue to be sold for €199.00 (£145.00)*. The free Piper application is also available for download in the iTunes App Store and in the Google Play Store. 

By March 10, 2015 Read More →

Android 5.1 Lollipop arrives

android-5.1-lollipop-updateNot steal Apple’s thunder as they launch iOS 8.2 and the Apple Watch, Google have started rolling out Android Lollipop 5.1 and a new Android Wear ad campaign. What is new with Android Lollipop for 5.1? There is new support for HD voice calling, if you device supports it then you will notice a suitable upgrade to hearing someone’s salivary glands from far away. A new form of Device Protection to keep your phone or tablet secure. Lollipop now supports a dual-SIM setup and the Quick Settings have been tweaked for Bluetooth and WiFi. One authentication has been set up on your Google account locked devices will require authentication even after a reset, a great deterrent and there is no point in anyone stealing an Android device any more! 

Here is the Android Wear video release yesterday, just before another Smartwatch was spoken of…

 

Posted in: Gadgets, News, Phones, Wearables
By March 10, 2015 Read More →

Time to consider the Apple Watch

watch-dmWe have been awaiting the Apple Watch launch since September last year. There has been a great deal of speculation since the inception and it seems every hardware manufacturer is getting in on the game. 6 months have passed, has Apple surpassed everyone expectations?
 
Over the years a large number of smartwatches have come into play, some have reshaped the landscape for wearables, but more often then not they have fallen by the wayside, disappearing off shelves and forgotten about. Lets have a look at how things have been shaped over the years.
 
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The first major player in recent Smartwatch evolution was the Sony Smartwatch. This tiny wearable might have had more in common with the iPod Shuffle than what we accept as a smartwatch today. A plastic clip on the back attached the body of the device to a changable band. The watch ran a simple OS that allowed basic interation with your smartphone, via a Sony watch client. A more primitive version of Android Wear. As with almost all smartwatches this was cursed with a charging method from hell. I personally owned one of these and whilst I took pride in wearing it, I didn’t find any real use for it outside of switching music tracks … when it worked.
The Smartwatch 2 and 3 evolved the range into a competitor, however at a time when Samsung was leading a very limited market.
 
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The Samsung Galaxy Gear was a terrific example of trying to push as much onto your wrist is possible. This expensive device utilised voice commands and included a simple camera. Whilst quite large and initally clocking in a terrible battery life, the Gear became almost an early benchmark of how well things could work. Samsung took the time to develop a short lived ecosystem for the Gear and whilst developers were sparse most of the key players were there. A solid build help sell the limited numbers but the numbers were good enough for Samsung to entertain the product line. Battery life improved and the charge mechanism, still a little cumbersome, certainly wasn’t as off putting as Sony’s attempt.
Samsung followed the original Gear with the Gear 2, Gear Neo, Gear Fit and most recently the Gear S. four devices that attempted to cover all walks of life, combining features Samsung figured people were looking for from the original Gear. The Gear range took a dramatic turn to the Tizen operating system from Android however it is left unappealing to many as, like the Apple Watch, the range of only compatible with certain Android phones from Samsung.
 
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LG has a range of ever improving Android Wear devices. After their first Orange exclusive phone watch, the ill-fated G910, LG decided to adopt the Android Wear OS and produce some of the most popular watches on the market. The G Watch is a perfect example of an entry level wearable, combining features with simple design and versatility. The LG Watch R is the bigger brother and pushes more of a traditional shape and form. Both certainly have their merits and flaws. LG has recently announced a move to the excellent WebOS platform for the LG Watch Urbane, with the most impressive looking design yet.
 
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Motorola seem to have the higher end of the market covered. The recent launch of the Apple Watch has seen a large number of folk happily announcing their preference of the Moto 360, this looks to be Apple’s main competitor. I use competitor in the loosest of sense as there isn’t a iPhone user that will be able to use this with their phone out of the box. Perhaps the best way to look at this is that Moto 360 users and those on the fence about smartwatches will not be migrating to Apple solely for their wrist mounted wearable. The 360 is a beautiful example of elegance and reliability in a smartwatch and alongside the original LG G Watch are the two watches most would recommend to someone on that fence.
 
 
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With some omissions from Pebble and Asus this brings us up to Apple’s first attempt, otherwise we could be here all day. In the 6 months since Apple first announced they would be making a smartwatch they have been able to see how the market is shaping and carefully approach it with the most desirable and well executed device. Or have they?
 
Money is a big factor when adopting a new device and whilst some like to pay top dollar for an impressive wristwatch, you are paying for something that might have a life span of two years. I have a fancy Omega left to me by my father, I plan to leave it to my son in turn and I am fairly certain it will still be operating when that time comes. Certainly the Sport model of the Apple watch priced £299 and £339 will be the most popular however, I couldn’t imagine wearing it all the time and the better bet is the Steel £479 – £949 for daily use, however that pricing is just painful. The £8,000 edition can be customised up to £13,500, is this an investment? Can it be considered a heirloom? Will it work in three years time without mild cursing?
 
The smartwatch actually comes in two sizes measured by height: 38mm (1.5in) with a resolution of 272 x 340 and the 42mm (1.65in)  have a 312 x 390 display. When adding in the six different metal colours, stainless steel, silver aluminium, space black stainless steel, space grey aluminium, 18-carat yellow gold and 18-carat rose gold this takes the choice to 35 different models.
 
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One of the most popular remarks an Apple user would make to defend their use of a device over Android, Windows or some-such is that it just works. That’s what everyone wants. No lag when opening the camera, no errors about compatibility and no resets to get things going again. Apple has a better track record for success from users. However, they have taken the Apple Watch to the deep end and packed in so many features that I am certain many users will feel a little overwhelmed by the whole thing. Some features you will either never touch or only use to show off. An Android Wear device is, essentially, a second screen for your notification panel. The Apple Watch seems to want to become the focus of your attention and help you resist the urge to pull you phone to do something, no matter how complex.
 
I am sure that Android Wear will encompass many of the features Apple have demonstrated over time, for right now whilst in it’s infancy, the idea of cramming in as much as you can may not be the best approach. Smartphones were around before the iPhone made them popular, Windows Mobile and Palm devices were popular, however they did scare many away as they were complex, if a little unfriendly. Both Google and Apple took the smartphone and broke it down into simple to use, basic features and built on it. The Apple Watch feels like it might be a forth generation product.
 
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The Apple Watch has a huge features list and that is an attraction to a number of gadget gurus out there. This will appeal to many, including most of the readership of this site. The mass market might only end up using the device a little more than a way to avoid annoying telemarketing calls and PPI reclamation offers. The idea of the paying for goods and services is barely a blip on the radar when smartphones are concerned, doing this from your smartwatch is going to be completely alien to the mass majority. As a glimpse of the future this is a great idea however, paying for the technology now is a bit of a waste. You currently cannot purchase this from your local Apple shop using Apple pay here is the UK.
 
apple-watch-battery
 
 
The battery on the Apple Watch will last a day, 18 hours Apple claims. This really isn’t stellar compared to recent Android Wear devices, however there will be much room for improvement. With charger looks beautiful and easy to operate. I am glad Apple have taken the time to develop a neat solution with the magnetic inductive wireless charger. I don’t think many folks would have guessed an existing standard would be used here however this is Apple and they are a law unto themselves.
 
I do feel I have been overly negative of the Apple Watch when I am a big fan of wearable technology. There is a lot to love here, with changeable bands, water resistance etc… As I said before Android Wear is like a second screen for your notifications panel. That helps you decide it is is worth your while to dig your phone out of your pocket and that is what most people will use a smartwatch for. Paying the money Apple are asking will probably leave a bit of a bad taste in their mouths after a month or so.
 
Join the debate on Thursday night at 20:30 on the Mobile Tech Addicts Show. Gareth, Matt, Dan, Jay and Micael get together to see if Apple have knocked it out of the park or is this another Newton.
 
 
Posted in: Editorial, Gadgets, News, Wearables
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By March 10, 2015 Read More →

Zano is a versatile drone

pjdhUQCDones are here and they are getting more versatile by the week. They are becoming more affordable and a various sizes are available. The Zano is an ultra-portable, personal aerial photography and HD video capture platform and mall enough to fit in the palm of your hand. One of the biggest features is that the Zano boasts to be intelligent enough to fly all by itself! Zano connects directly to your smart device (iOS or Android) via onboard WiFi and enables you to instantly begin capturing and sharing moments.

A size of the drone is 2.5 x 2.5 in (6.5 x 6.5 cm), which is one of the smallest out there. A collection of sensors work seamlessly together to allow Zano to avoid obstacles, hold its position and know exactly where it is in conjunction with your smart device, at all times.

This means Zano operates on a virtual tether connected to your smart device. Tilting your phone or tablet left or right, forward or backward will control the Zano. Zano can also be adopt a “Free Flight” mode, using on-screen Joy Sticks. Screen slide bars control altitude and rotation. The device will hold its position unless instructed otherwise and this allows for maximum control and freedom without the fear of piloting Zano, if Zano senses it’s strayed too far from your smart device or is running low on battery, it will automatically return to your smart device.

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Additionally there is a “Follow Me” feature. When activated the Zano locks the drone at a certain distance from the user’s smart device to capture all the action. The Zano has an infrared sensor that is claimed to already be providing prototypes with adequate obstacle avoidance.

The drone is 55 g (1.94 oz) in weight and the battery can either be charged via Micro USB while inside the drone, or externally through a special adapter. Photos are snapped at 5 megapixels, while video is captured at 720p. The company says this is limited by Wi-Fi bandwidth and the Zano is technically capable of 1080p at 60 fps, leaving the door open to higher resolution video by way of future software updates.

You can pre-order a Zano drone at their official website for £169.95

 

Posted in: Cameras, Gadgets, News, Phones
By March 8, 2015 Read More →

Sennheiser Urbanite XL Unboxing

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A quick unboxing and initial impressions of the Urbanites XL from Sennheiser. These wired headphones with in-line microphone are compatible with Apple iPod, Iphone and iPad. Limited compatibility with Android devices however there is a version available especially for the Galaxy range.

URBANITE XL headphones are for those that love their tunes heavy and love to look good, but who always respect great sound. The URBANITE XL range is ideal for staying connected on the move, with integrated in-line remote controls and microphones for taking calls and controlling music on Galaxy smartphones and tablets, with a dedicated version for Samsung Galaxy devices. This is the sound your ears have been waiting for… Sennheiser URBANITE XL. Let your ears be loved.

Features
  • Take your club sound with you – massive bass and clear treble
  • Tough companion – extra rugged for robust urban living
  • Stay connected – control your music and calls
  • Fits your lifestyle – fold them up and go
  • URBANITE XL is wrapped in comfort – XL ear-pads simply feel better
  • Available in your choice of colours – black, denim, sand, nation and olive
  • Compatibility – available with detachable cable with 3-button remote control and integrated microphone for Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets
  • Easy to store and bring along – the foldable design makes it easy to collapse and store in the supplied soft pouch
  • Bold design – Robust quality of premium stainless steel hinge and aluminium slider

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