Tag: Featured

By April 1, 2015 Read More →

D-Link Monitor HD Unboxing – mydlink Home Part III

vlcsnap-2015-03-31-22h20m29s247This third and penultimate video in the mydlink Home series features a simple 720p camera for inclusion in the security suite. An attractive, if unremarkable, unit that serves as both a motion and sound detector and allows the user to live stream video to their mobile device.

You can see the first part here, the D-Link Smartplug Unboxing and the second part here, the D-Link Wi-Fi Motion Sensor.

 

 

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By April 1, 2015 Read More →

First Direct to launch new #@&? Jar saver app!!!

Screenshot 2015-03-31 17.43.29Finding new ways to put aside a bit of extra cash is not easy, so first direct has created a unique way to help its customers get in to the savings habit. The new #@&? Jar app allows people to put money aside for a rainy day, without changing their day to day behaviour.

The new app has been designed to ‘hear’ all the user’s swear words, automatically transferring money from their linked current account into their designated saving account.
Innovative voice recognition software identifies the user’s voice, so they only put money aside for their swearing slip-ups. The app then simply listens out for the user to say one of the words from a list of over 200 profanities such as ******, ******** and **********, helping them reach their savings goal in no time.

If users find their choice language is costing them too dearly, they can adjust the settings to add or remove certain words and set time limits for when the app will ‘listen’ to their language.
Zoe Shore, Head of Customer Communications at first direct commented;

“We’re always looking for new ways to engage our more mobile-savvy customers.

“Given the increased propensity for swearing these days, it seemed a perfect way to achieve something positive from what many consider to be negative. I for one think it’s a great way to get in to a savings habit.”

Look out for further announcements of when trials will begin. Put your money where your mouth is the new #@&? Jar app is set to revolutionise saving!

 

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.

 

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By March 29, 2015 Read More →

Unboxing Kitvision Escape Action Camera

vlcsnap-2015-03-29-15h50m47s166The Kitvision Escape Action camera is a cheap GoPro alternative. Costing as little as £35 on some websites the Escape is more than capable of capturing the action with little to worry the user if it were to be lost or broken.

In addition to the camera Kitvision also includes several useful add-ons to make mounting the camera easier. Included are a Bicycle mount, Helmet mount, Adhesive mounts, Tripod adaptors and Camera adaptors.

 

Specifications
Video: HD 720p, 1280×720 pixels
Lens: 120 A+ HD wide-angle lens
Video Resolution: 1280 x 720 / 30fps, 640 x 480 / 30fps
Still images: 1.3MP
Video format: AVI
Photo format: MJPEG
Screen: 1.5 inch LCD
Micro SD card slot: Yes, up to 32 GB
Built-in rechargeable battery: Yes – 900mAh
Photo Modes: Single shot / Timed / Continuous
Frequency: 50 Hz / 60 Hz
USB Interface: USB 2.0
Power Consumption: 260 mA @ 4.2V
Recording Time per charge: About 90 minutes (based on highest settings)
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista or Above / Win7 / Mac OS
Dimensions (mm): 59.27 x 41.13 x 29.28
Weight: 58 g

Posted in: Cameras, Videos/Unboxings
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By March 19, 2015 Read More →

Unboxing the Piper NV from iControl

vlcsnap-2015-03-18-18h12m11s186Piper are a high end home security system innovator. The Piper nv is their latest hardware combining an attractive design with simple accessibility to make you and your home more secure. Priced at roughly £217 this camera features night vision, easy to installation and a clean and intuitive control software. The app is only compatible with iOS or Android and there is no Mac or PC interface, not to mention Windows Phone. Check the video below as I set this up and have a play with some of the features including the bundled Z-wave plug adapters.

 

For more information about Icontrol Networks and Piper visit icontrol.com and getpiper.com.

Posted in: Cameras, News, Wearables
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By March 18, 2015 Read More →

The Mobile Tech Addicts Show 232 : All hands on the One

Podcast-Logo_thumb.jpgGareth, Jay, Dan, Phil and Matt get together for another chat about the most recent tech news. Matt has spent a stolen weekend with the HTC One (M9,) Net Neutrality becomes a bit of a problem here in the UK and 

Featuring Gareth, Jay, Dan, Phil and Matt

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Email us: Podcast@tracyandmatt.co.uk  Tel: 0208 123 3757

Show notes

Phones

HTC One M9 Hands-on video – and, in the USA they’ll replace your M9 for free if you break it!

Huawei Honor 6 Unboxing #ForTheBrave

Fancy designing helping Huawei design the Honor 6? #HonorDesign

The Saygus V2 will raise your eyebrows

Microsoft testing Windows 10 ‘upgrade’ from Android

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Edge preorders open on Friday

Phil’s EE boggle

Tablets

Chromebook Pixel 2 quietly appears

Wearables

Neptune Duo 

Other Shi…zzzle

Samsung LifeLIVE bring parents together

Sky made to give customer details to Copyright Troll

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

Listener Garden

Thanks for the unboxing movie of the E355. I have the E355 which I’m trying to connect to 2 range extenders – a WS320 and a WS322 without success, despite it seemingly being a simple operation! The operation is described as making the hardware talk to each other with the correct sequencing of pushing WPS buttons. The thing is that the E355 doesn’t have a WPS button.  . I’m assuming there’s an alternate process but I can’t find it! Please help.

All the best, Mark

Bargain Basement

Honor 4X £144.99

MY KRONOZ ZeBracelet 2 £58.00

Email us: Podcast@tracyandmatt.co.uk  Tel: 0208 123 3757

Gareth Myles – @garethmyles

Jay Garrett – @JayGarrett

Dan Carter – @mobilemandan

Matt and Tracy Davis –   @tracyandmatt

Phil Lain – @low405

By March 18, 2015 Read More →

HTC One M9 Hands-on video

onem9w2.0A few weeks ago HTC announced their latest flagship smartphone in the form of the HTC One M9. Building upon the successes of last year’s HTC One M8, the M9 shares a lot of the design heritage of its predecessors. You’ll find the aluminum uni-body construction is still a key focus of the range, albeit that this model has a new and attractive two-tone finish.

One of the more significant differences is in the camera department. Remember the 4mp camera with Ultrapixel technology that HTC have been trying to win us over with for the past two years? Well in a 180 degree u-turn, literally, the 4mp shooter has been removed as the primary camera and transplanted on to the front of the M9 as a its ‘selfie’ camera. While the primary camera now a more ‘conventional’ 20mp unit. In fact, having an Ultrapixel camera as the forward facing makes a lot of sense.

The M9 packs a decent spec, details of which you can find below, but it has been met with something of a mixed reception with claims that it’s nothing but a refresh from one side and those that hail it as a revolution.

In the video below you can see me going hands-on with the M9 and I’ll show you some of the hardware features and then run a benchmark.

There a a few more videos to follow where I look at the OS/UI in more detail as well as going in-depth with the cameras.

 

 

HTC One M9 Specification:

  • Dimensions :    144.6 x 69.7 x 9.6 mm (5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 in)
  • Weight:     157 g (5.54 oz)
  • Nano-SIM
  • Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (~441 ppi pixel density)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • HTC Sense UI 7.0
  • Android OS, v5.0.x (Lollipop)
  • Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810
  • CPU:     Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57
  • GPU:     Adreno 430
  • microSD, up to 128 GB
  • Memory:    32 GB, 3 GB RAM
  • Primary Camera:     20.7 MP, 5376 x 3752 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • Secondary Camera:     4 MP, 1080p@30fps, HDR
  • 3.5mm jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
  • Bluetooth     v4.1, A2DP, apt-X
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • NFC
  • Infrared port
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • microUSB v2.0 (MHL 3.0 TV-out), USB Host
  • Fast battery charging: 60% in 30 min (Quick Charge 2.0)
  • Non-removable Li-Po 2840 mAh battery

 

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.
 
moto-360-customization-3
 
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.
 
 
Screenshot 2015-03-10 10.57.34
 
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.
 
apple-watch-designs-sport-edition-wearble-540x334
 
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 6, 2015 Read More →

Could Huawei make the next Nexus?

Screenshot 2015-03-05 17.59.40There a number of  rumours about the next Nexus device and they should always be taken with a pinch of salt. For example last week it was suggesting that the next Nexus could come from a manufacturer like Huawei. After make a lot of noise with the incredibly beautiful Huawei Watch smartwatch rumours began to surface that Google might have them in their sights as the next Nexus maker. 

However, there is now more. Another more recent rumour comes from Gizmochina, who are reporting that this rumour was recently confirmed by Kevin Yang, the director of China research at iSuppli, a technology value chain research and advisory service. Huawei, a Chinese company would make an interesting partner for Google for a new device. An increase in Chinese appeal would be a massive victory for Google. Huawei and Xiami are selling in massive numbers in China and there is much speculation that Xiami might repeat their success in the U.S. and Europe if marketed carefully. Getting in bed with Google and adopting their Western approach could be Earth rattling. 

Posted in: News, Phones
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