Phones

By February 12, 2015 Read More →

What Celebrity would you would most like a selfie with this Valentine’s Day?

Caggie Dunlop 28As Valentine’s Day comes sweeping into the hearts of the public HTC would like focus their attention on those loving moments between couples, however they have noticed that the British public might just be wishing they could have a celebrity to cuddle this year. 

The male and female celebrities Brits would most desire a Valentine’s Day selfie with are David Beckham and Jennifer Lawrence according to research carried out by leading design and technology company HTC, to promote its Desire 620 handset. Beckhams are top male heartthrobs. Unsurprisingly David Beckham topped the league of most desirable men to have a selfie with, but the main talking point is a new rival for the crown in the Beckham household with Brooklyn making an appearance on the most desired list.  Brooklyn Beckham beat out competition from celebrity heart-throbs including bad boy Justin Bieber and One Direction’s Zayn Malik who came ninth and tenth respectively. Combined the Beckhams achieved a fifth (19%) of the 2000 18-30 year olds polled, indicating the father-son duo could be one of the most sought after selfie opportunities possible.

Brits prefer American women. Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked obsession with selfies may have made her the most desirable female, but the biggest surprise was that the highest placed British woman was only number four. Selfie queen Helen Flanagan, was also beaten out by Rihanna and Katy Perry, indicating that most of the UK prefer American women.  The next highest ranked Brit was Kelly Brook in sixth.

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The Autograph is dead. The data also shows that the autograph is dead. Over half of Brits (55%) reveal they would choose a selfie with their favourite star over anything else, while less than a quarter would want an autograph with their celebrity crush. (22%)

Blokes would also be most bold, with a third of blokes most likely to ask their celebrity crush on a date or for a kiss if they met them. (32%) Women are shyer, with only one in ten likely to do the same (11%).

Most popular celebrity selfies. Ellen DeGeneres took the most popular selfie of the last year with her shot of herself by a who’s who of Hollywood actors, topping other famous selfies of the last 12 months including Kim Kardashian’s famous ‘belfie’, Lukas Podolski’s picture of the German World Cup winning team and Cara Delevingne’s ‘ugly’ shot.

Why do we care about celebrity selfies? We check up on our favourite celebrity’s twitter feeds between two and three times a day (2.51), with nearly a third of us looking at celebrity selfies to get a glimpse into their private lives (29%) or to get a behind the scenes look at what they have been up to (31%). Over a quarter of British females also check celebrity selfies to get fashion inspiration (29%) and a fifth to get beauty tips (22%).

Celebrities are inspiring us to be more selfie obsessed than ever, with the estimated 11 million 18-30 year olds in the UK posting a total of more than one billion selfies in 2014. The average 18-30 year old in the UK is posting over 100 selfies a year with nearly half (49%) now posting at least one selfie a week to social media. To cater for the huge interest in selfies and the desire to make ourselves look our best on our social networks, HTC has now created a range of hardware and software designed specifically for the selfie generation.

The HTC Desire 620 features best-in-class camera tools with a large 5” screen and quad-core processing power. The 8MP main camera has auto focus technology to deliver crisp shots every time, and the 5MP front-facing camera features a built-in countdown mode so you’ll never miss a selfie pose again.

Face Fusion is a tool that allows you to merge your face with that of a friend or celebrity for a completely original look and Live Makeup allows you to set the desired level of skin smoothing and preview the effect in real-time before the image is captured.

Voice Selfie also removes the need for awkward hand contortions by enabling you to trigger the shutter release with a simple command. Simply say “cheese” or “smile” as soon as you’ve struck the perfect pose or trigger the video recording with “action” or “rolling” commands.

Ben Walsh, Head of Marketing UK and Ireland at HTC, said: “There were some great celebrity selfies in 2014 and it’s clear that we’re more interested than ever, with the average person checking their favourite celebrity’s social postings multiple times a day. It is also inspiring us to imitate them, so we’ve created a suite of new features in our Desire handsets which allow HTC customers to get creative with their own selfies.”

HTC Desire 620_PerRight_SantoriniWhite

For more details on HTC’s Desire range, visit www.htc.com/uk/ The HTC Desire 620 is available in Santorini White exclusively from Three or in Tuxedo Grey on O2 or Vodafone from Carphone Warehouse. HTC EYE Experience features are also available on the following models: HTC One (M7), HTC One (M8), HTC Desire Eye, HTC One E8, HTC One mini, HTC One mini 2, HTC One max, HTC Desire 816, HTC Desire 820.

Posted in: Cameras, Editorial, Phones
By January 16, 2015 Read More →

Google updates to the Spiral 2

Project-Ara-Modular-Android-phone-2Google has finally unveiled it’s new prototype for Project Ara called the Spiral 2 and it features a 3G modem, 11 additional modules, and other selectable options. The Spiral 2 is a pretty decent step forward from the original prototype. So far it has a 3G modem / RF bus for antenna support and features a totally different processor which is an ASIC (application specific integrated circuits) processor. One of the more impressive notes is that Google has 11 prototype modules already and, of course, more are on the way as companies and developers make their own. These modules are held to the phone through magnets within the bracket frames so popping a module in is pretty easy.

If you have been following the whole Project Ara development then you will be interested to know that the hardware for Project Ara devices will not be made using mostly 3D printing as was originally planned. Hopefully the new method won’t affect the cost of production too much in terms of increasing it.

Google did not announce any sort of base cost for a Project Ara device, only that they are going to try and keep it low and let consumers customize their device as much as they like. This will allow consumers to control the cost of their device initially, and then future upgrades can be done whenever a user wants to do it and keeping it within a budget if needed. The base device will feature an exoskeleton type of set-up inside and users can just slip a module into the available spaces. Some modules that can be swapped out include ones for batteries, storage, processors, cameras, speakers, and other components.

Currently a third prototype is in the works, named the Spiral 3, and when that launches it will be labeled as a “Market Pilot Launch”. This means that a few lucky people will be able to get one of these third prototypes. Puetro Rico, or more specifically the University of Puerto system, is the first location announced for the Market Pilot. From here Google will determine how they want to scale the global Market Pilot launch for the Spiral 3 and are hoping to have “20-30 modules across 10 categories” by the time this takes place. This includes the possibility of subsidized / on-contract modules as well.

So for right now getting a Project Ara device is really difficult even if you are a developer and sign up for it. As for a launch date here in the United States, nothing was mentioned regarding that but hopefully we see this in 2015.

Posted in: News, Phones
By December 8, 2014 Read More →

iMend smartphone repair review

IMG_1542No matter how careful you are, at some point many of us end up dropping their mobile phone. Sometimes you get lucky and end up with just a little scratch but other times the damage can be a little more catastrophic. Generally your choices are to get a new phone or to get the phone repaired. The former can be rather costly and the repair route typically involves sending the phone away for a week or so. 

If you reply upon a mobile phone for your business then being without it for any amount of time may be less than ideal. That’s where the relatively new service from iMend can come in very handy. 

iMend provides a phone repair call out service. Simply put, they come to you and fix your phone and they can often do that same-day.  iMend can deal with a variety of common phone issues from cracked screens to faulty buttons, water damage, battery replacement and more. Currently they can deal with all iPhone models, iPad’s and Samsung Galaxy phones. They are also adding more devices soon.

My colleague, Simon, was unfortunate enough to break his phone a few weeks ago. Having dropped it climbing out of the car the screen shattered to the point that several bits of the glass fell off! Remarkably the phone and the touchscreen still worked, just, but the phone clearly needed to be sorted out. The issue for Simon was that his mobile phone is critical to his business so the idea of sending it away for repair was unthinkable. He was on the verge of buying a new phone when I told him about iMend.

We called iMend and spoke to them about the problem. They said they could get an engineer out to us the same day but we opted to have the repair carried out the following day. We were given a time window of between 10AM and 11AM and sure enough, at a few minutes past 10 there was a knock at the door.

In walked a very nice young man, Vil, with a couple of briefcases full of tools and parts. We gave him a small work area to carry out the repair and he confidently said that the repair would take less than 30 minutes. Part way through the repair, Vil noticed that the power button wasn’t working properly. A fact that Simon was aware of; the button hadn’t been working for a few months. Vil asked at that point if we would like him to swap the button at the same time. This seemed like a good idea so we agreed. 

After about 45 minutes, it took little longer because of changing the power button, Vil  declared that the phone was fully fixed. Sure enough Simon’s iPhone 5 looked brand new and even had a nice screen protector stuck on too. A nice touch!

All in all, the service from iMend was amazing. Punctual arrival on the date and time promised and at a time and location that suited us. The quality of the work was second to none and even comes with a 12 month warranty. 

The cost to replace the screen on the iPhone 5 was £59 which is comparable to many of the send-away services available but the convenience is invaluable. I would absolutely recommend iMend to anyone in need of a smartphone repair.

Please visit the iMend website for a full list of phones covered and their repair price list.

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
By November 27, 2014 Read More →

ALCATEL ONETOUCH adds two new smartphones to the affordable POP C range

image004ALCATEL ONETOUCH has released the POP C5 and the POP C7 to the UK SIM free market. The latest smartphones to be added to its range of easy to use POP smartphones, the POP C5 and POP C7 are designed with the first-time smartphone buyer in mind.

The POP C5 has a 4.5” screen and 5 megapixel camera, which comes with a panoramic picture function as well as a front camera, enabling video chat.

The POP C7 features a 5” display with a Quad Core 1.3 GHz processor to accelerate all tasks and apps. The POP C7 also features a 5 megapixel camera capable of taking great quality images, perfect for instant sharing.

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 Both the POP C5 and POP C7 run the Android operating system. Based on the ethos of the POP smartphone range: ‘easy to choose, easy to use’ the POP C5 and the POP C7 come preloaded with popular apps, such as Facebook, What’s App and Twitter, so the smartphones are ready to use, straight out the box.

 The POP C5 and the POP C7 are available in Bluish Black from Freemans.com.  The POP C5 is priced RRP £85 SIM free and the POP C7 is priced RRP £115 SIM free.

Posted in: News, Phones
By November 12, 2014 Read More →

Microsoft Lumia 535: “5x5x5”

Chakra_Back_OrangeToday Microsoft Devices Group welcomes the Microsoft Lumia 535 to the Windows Phone 8.1 range, bringing the latest Microsoft experiences to more affordable price levels with five great integrated Microsoft experiences, a wide-angle 5MP front facing camera, and a spacious 5 inch display to help people do more of what they want, for less:

  • Fit more into your Skype video calls with the 5MP wide angle front facing camera
  • Pre-installed Office suite and OneNote – to access, edit and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and OneNote notebooks anywhere
  • 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage to save and sync your media across devices
  • Experience a truly personal virtual assistant with Cortana on hand to anticipate your needs and make tailored suggestions
  • Built in Microsoft Outlook to connect with work and personal e-mails while on the go
  • A 5 inch qHD display to showcase photos and videos or get even more productive with Office
  • Dual SIM variant for maximum flexibility

Available in both Single and Dual SIM variants, Lumia 535 will begin rolling out to key markets in November, with UK availability expected in Q1 2015. Lumia 535 will be available in bright green, bright orange, white, dark grey, cyan and black and is estimated to cost around 110 EUR before taxes and subsidies. 

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Microsoft Corp. announced today the Microsoft Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM smartphones running the latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, bringing the latest Microsoft experiences to more affordable price levels.

Offering five great integrated Microsoft experiences, a wide-angle 5 megapixel front facing camera, and a spacious 5 inch display – all for an affordable price – Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM help people do more of what they want, for less.

  • Make memorable Skype video calls and seamlessly switch between voice and video with built-in Skype integration
  • Access, edit and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and OneNote notebooks wherever you are, with the pre-installed Office suite
  • Save and sync photos, videos and Office documents securely with 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage
  • Experience Cortana, a truly personal virtual assistant that anticipates people’s needs and makes tailored suggestions
  • Connect with work and personal e-mail while on the go, with Microsoft Outlook built-in
  • Showcase photos and videos or get even more productive with Office on the large, 5 inch qHD display
  • Fit more memorable backgrounds or add more friends into Skype video calls and selfies with the 5 MP wide angle front facing camera
  • Never miss a call or text, and be reachable on both SIM cards at any time with Smart Dual SIM for maximum flexibility

“Lumia 535 comes with our “5x5x5” proposition,” said Jo Harlow, Corporate Vice President for Phones at Microsoft. “Innovation should be available to everyone, and we are doing this through the very best integrated Microsoft services free and out-of-the-box, a 5 MP wide-angle front-facing camera and a spacious 5 inch, qHD screen – all at an affordable price.”

 

Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM will begin rolling out to key markets in November, and will be available in bright green, bright orange, white, dark grey, cyan and black. Pricing for Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM will vary by market and operator, but is estimated to be around 110 EUR before taxes and subsidies. 

Posted in: News, Phones, Press Releases
By November 6, 2014 Read More →

HTC Confirms Android 5.0 for M7, M8

B1jghMACUAE4s3DGreat news for owners of HTC’s flagship devices, the HTC One M8 and last year’s HTC One M7. In a tweet HTC USA have confirmed that:

We have the Android Lollipop code. We’ll be updating the HTC One (M8) & (M7) within 90 days from today. #HTCAdvantage

Which means that we’ll see Lollipop on the M7 and M8 by the beginning of February 2015. This will be deployed as an over the air update starting with SIM free devices first. No precise details on the deployment to various carriers and how long we’ll have to wait here in the UK as yet but it’s certainly a step in the right direction!

Posted in: News, Phones
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By October 21, 2014 Read More →

Unboxing Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Unboxing Samsung Galaxy Note 4Gareth has gotten his hands on, and unboxed Samsung Galaxy Note 4. This latest Phablet offering from Samsung is due to spark all manner of uncomparable iPhone 6+ vs Note 4 debates, battle and stand offs. Here Gareth, a Note veteran,  unboxes the phone and takes a couple of days to adjust to the features and form some some early opinions of the feature set.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 specification:

  • Dimensions - 153.5 X 78.6 X 8.5 mm / 176g
  • Display - 5.7” Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x1440)
  • Processor - 2.7GHz Quad Core Process
  • Memory - 3GB RAM + 32GB Internal memory
  • Supports microSD up to 128GB
  • Network - 2.5G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) : 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
  • 4G (LTE Cat.4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat.6 300/50Mbps)
  • Camera - Front Camera 3.7MP + F1.9/ Selfie (90º), Wide selfie mode (120º)
  • Rear Camera 16M+ Smart OIS/ Fast AF, Live HDR(Rich Tone)
  • OSAndroid 4.4 (Kitkat)Connectivity - Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2X2 MIMO)Download Booster
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth® v 4.1 (BLE),ANT+ , 
  • USB2.0, MHL 3.0
  • IR LED (Remote Control)
  • Battery3220mAh Fast Charging
  • S Pen – 15g, Hovering 15mm, Pressure level 2,048
  • Sensor - Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB ambient light, Proximity, Barometer, Hall Sensor, Finger Scanner, UV, HRM

By October 20, 2014 Read More →

ALCATEL ONETOUCH introduces the IDOL 2 MINI S

image001Alcatel Onetouch has launched the IDOL 2 MINI S 4G LTE smartphone through Carphone Warehouse. This good looking Android smartphone has been built with performance and usability in mind. Its brushed metallic finishing and diamond cut perfectly complement its Quad Core processing power and a sharp IPS display to create a smartphone perfect for style-conscious consumers. With an 8 megapixel rear camera for HD video capture and crisp photos with image stabilisation enhancements, the IDOL 2 MINI S is a premium choice without the price tag.

With a screen size of 4.5”, the IDOL 2 MINI S is compact and fits in the palm. Despite its size, the IDOL 2 MINI S doesn’t compromise on the user experience. Innovative, user-focused features like One Finger Zoom ensure that it can genuinely be used with one finger.

The IDOL 2 MINI S is available in Slate from Carphone Warehouse priced at £12 per month on pay monthly. 

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IDOL 2 MINI S

  • 4.5” qHD IPS display
  • 8.5 mm thin
  • Quad Core 1.2 GHz
  • 4G LTE – Cat 4
  • 8 Mpxl 1080p main camera
  • 2 Mpxl front camera
  • Android 4.3 (4.4 FOTA)
  • NFC
Posted in: News, Phones
By October 16, 2014 Read More →

50% off a Personalised Phone Case

5SmyoThese days, no matter what type of smartphone you own, a phone case of some kind is pretty much essential. Obviously there are 1000′s of designs out there but if you want to stand out and be individual then there’s no substitute for a persoanlised phone case.

The folks over at magicyourband.com have cases for Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices. Their 3D cases allow you to wrap your own photos, logos, images and text right around the whole case which not only looks cool but provides a high degree of protection.

The magicyourband.com design tool employs both Flash, WebGL and HTML5 technologies so should work on almost any device/platform.

The company has provided us with discount code NOVCASE50 which will give you 50% off any phone case that you purchase. The discount code expires at the end of November 2014 and is limited to one use of the code per customer. Just enter the coupon code in the checkout to have the discount applied.

Head over and check out the cases on offer!

Posted in: Deals & Offers, News, Phones
By October 6, 2014 Read More →

ZTE Blade L2 Unboxing

vlcsnap-2014-10-05-13h10m18s252Gareth takes a look at ZTE’s new quad-core smartphone with a 5 inch screen and generous 2000mAh battery. For the low price of £89 on Virgin pay as you go it all sounds to good to be true. 

ZTE Blade L2 specification:

  • Android 4.2 
  • Dual-core 1.3GHz
  • Memory card slot 
  • 5in TFT LCD, 854×480 pixels
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
  • MicroUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 5 megapixel with autofocus and LED flash
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • 2000mAh Battery 
  • Size 143 x 72 x 9mm
  • Weight 166g

Posted in: Phones, Videos/Unboxings
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