Reviews

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 25, 2014 Read More →

ExpressVPN keeping you safe and secret

Screenshot 2014-11-19 at 15.03.24There is no shortage of Virtual Private Network solutions out there, they really seem to be all the rage this side of the NSA reaching into the search engines and online storages to harvest our very personal data and to build a profile on each and every one of us. It seems in the future a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, will be requirement for anyone wanting to “close the curtains” and keep themselves to themselves online. Much like Anti-virus and Malware scanners you can pick up something fit for purpose for not a lot of money. ExpressVPN promises to cover your tracks on your mobile device and provide you peace of mind when browsing on your phone.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-07-21-44

 

Using ExpressVPN couldn’t be simplier. Loading the app takes only a few seconds and you are greeted with a list of networks available to you. This is were you can take advantage of simple services no matter where you are in the world. For example, if you happen to be a UK citizen and wish to access BBC Iplayer whilst on a trip to New York, you can select a Network in London and this will in turn tell BBC Iplayer that you are in fact in the UK and will let you connect.

In the screenshot above I have selected Los Angeles as a recently connected server. This will scramble any trace of where I am for the duation of my connection to the server and make it impossible for a service to track, or spy on your location. 

Screenshot_2014-11-13-07-21-51

 

By comparison to some other VPN’s out there there is a short delay as the app connects to the required server. Other VPN packages can connect automatically to a random server and in the case of F-secure Freedome connect instantly. ExpressVPN is notably cheaper F-Secure’s offering and whilst not as pretty the savings are worthwhile.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-07-22-05

 

Once connected, that’s it. A little key icon will appear in the notification panel to let you know you are safe. You are on-line, in that country and various online services, trackers will believe this. It is important to point out that online stores might present prices in the currencies pertaining to the country network you have connected to and to remedy this you will need to switch the VPN off. However, this can also be handy for price matching and even finding cheaper deals for the international travellers.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-07-22-12

 

A subscription to ExpressVPN is available for $99.95 for a year. This is an incredibly good deal if you take you online privacy seriously. There are a lot of threats out there and alongside the security come some of the bonuses of not having to worry about local internet service providers limiting what you can see and where you can see it. In addition ExpressVPN brags round the clock support and a money back guarantee if not satisfied.

Posted in: Apps & Games, News, Reviews
By October 27, 2014 Read More →

Unboxing Inateck 2 in 1 Micro USB Cable + Apple Lightning Adapter Cable

vlcsnap-2014-10-12-16h42m44s189Inateck have provided us with a 2 in 1 Micro USB Cable + Apple Lightning Adapter Cable 1.2m (4ft.) This is ideal for charging your iPhone 6/ 5/ 5s/ 5c /iPad 4/ iPad air/ iPad mini mini2/ iPad 4th gen, whilst also providing a cable for a MicroUSB based device. The cap on the top can also slip onto any other MicroUSB cable in the event his cable, like so many Apple charge cable, doses.

You can purchase from Amazon, here.

 

  • Material: PVC and PC; Length: 1.2m / 4 feet. The extraordinary flat cable design prevents pesky cable tangle
  • Charge your device with your computer or a USB Car/Wall Charger! Sync your device with your computer to transfer music, videos, files and backup your data
  • High durability with transparent and robust protection heads at both plugs,robust durable for stable and reliable transfers. Both for data transfer and charging
  • Plug and play; freely convert between micro B and adapter with lightning plug
  • Compatible devices: smartphones and tablets with lightening or micro B connection, e.g. iPhone 6/5/5C/5S, iPad Mini/iPad Air, Android phones and tablets etc
By October 23, 2014 Read More →

Unboxing Inateck 4 Port USB3.0 Hub With 1 Port Charging

vlcsnap-2014-10-18-22h12m13s239Gareth unboxes Inateck’s 4 Port USB3.0 Hub With 1 Port Charging, the cheapest USB 3.0 hub on around. This hub is equipped with both a 5V 4A power supply and built-in surge protection, 4 Port USB 3.0 + 1 fast charging port (5V 2A) for SamSung tablets and smart phones etc. 

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 supports transfer rates up to 5 Gbps – The actual transmission speed is limited by the setting of the device connected; Backward compatible with USB 2.0/1.1. Support 4 ports USB interfaces for Desktop/ Notebook/ Ultrabook/ SATA HDD Docking Sation/ Digital Camera; Compatible With Windows XP / Vista / 7/8 /MacOS X 10.8.4/ Linux. High Performance with VIA VL812 Chipset; Slim Size – Easy Carrying and Experience; Safe and reliable; Build in Overvoltage/Overcurrent/Leakage and Short-Circuit protection unit. Plug and play; Supports hot swapping. No install driver needed; LED indicators display the status of DC power supply and USB connections.

You can grab one from Amazon.co.uk here for only £19.99

 

By September 15, 2014 Read More →

Inateck Portable USB 3.0 + OTG Hub Unboxing

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

Other variants include:

USB 3.0 hub + Gigabit Ethernet Adapter – £25.49

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

Apple styled Aluminum 4 port adapter – £14.99

By September 12, 2014 Read More →

ZIIIRO Watch – Suturn – Chrome review

ziiiro-watch-saturn-chromeAs a watch enthusiast, when Matt asked me to review one for the site, I jumped at the chance!

I have quite a few watches of different styles including both analogue and digital so the piece that I will be reviewing here is interesting as it combines both types of display into one watch in a unique way, kind of, sort of! Read on to find out more.

Starting with the more “normal” elements of the watch, it is constructed from 316L stainless steel and has a mesh strap that is also made from stainless steel. The case width is 45mm which makes this quite a large watch by most standards and the strap is 23mm wide and both combine to make this quite a striking looking watch even without taking the unique selling point of this watch into account. The watch sits well on the wrist and fits under a shirt cuff without difficulty. The watch is rated as water resistant to 30m which means that it is OK for doing the washing up but not for swimming really – this may seem odd but you need 100m for swimming in fresh water and 200m for salt water due to a number of reasons that are far too boring to be discussed on a website as interesting as this one!

ziiiro-watch-saturn-chrome-3ziiiro-watch-saturn-chrome-2

So what is it that makes this watch different? What we have here is a digital watch that represents time using an outer ring of 12 segments all the way around the dial, and inner ring of 60 segments and a center circle. As you might have guessed the outer ring represents the hours, the inner the minutes but what about the center bit? Well that is used to show a.m. and p.m. When it is dark it is p.m. and when light it is a.m. This actually works quite well and the button at 2 o’clock  illuminates an electroluminescent backlight that allows the watch to be viewed in darkened (even pitch black) environments. There are a couple of downsides to the display but they are in no way deal breakers if you like the other aspects of it. The first is that you really need to expose the whole of the face from under a cuff in order to see the time whereas with an analogue watch you can see where the hands are roughly pointing to with only about 2/3rds on show. Not too bad there then? The second point is that it can be difficult to accurately judge minutes if the corresponding hour segment is not filled in. Again, not too terrible?

I’ve been very impressed with this watch and it is a nice change from my regular collection of G-Shock and automatic watches.

So you may be wondering how much this unique and interesting piece of horological technology costs? It retails for £145 at http://twistedtime.com/ which is maybe not quite in the impulse purchase price range for most people but is quite reasonable for a watch that will stand out from the crowd and it is extremely unlikely that you’ll see another on anyone else.

 

Create your own Personalized MagicBand Skins

Posted in: Gadgets, Reviews
By September 3, 2014 Read More →

Sony Xperia Z3 video review

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

 

 

Sony Xperia Z3 Specification:

  • 20.7 megapixel camera with 4K video capture
  • Fully water and dustproof
  • 3100mAh battery
  • 5.2-inch Full HD display
  • Latest Android operating system

 

The Sony Xperia Z3 really pushes the limits of smartphone technology. It is fully water and dust proof, slimmer and sleeker in design and it has a battery boost thrown into the mix. The latest Sony flagship really does set a precedent for other manufacturers and with Android on board, it has never been easier to get the best out of a device.

Everything looks simply amazing on the Z3’s expansive display, which is perfect for watching movies or internet TV. You have a massive 2.5GHz quad-core processor at your disposal too, so there’s loads of power for work and play.

And when you want to play, you can capture it all in effortless detail. With tons of modes alongside 4K video capture, the Z3’s camera will be your new best friend – snap, share and repeat the fun. However you decide to shoot it, you’ll be proud to show off the results.

Sony is releasing the Z3 in a variety of colours, including; black, copper and chrome. Phones 4u also has the smartphone exclusively available in white in the UK, as seen in the video above.

 

 

 

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 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
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