By June 27, 2017 Read More →

Vodafone Smart V8 Unboxing

Vodafone Smart V8Vodafone has very kindly sent over the Vodafone Smart V8 following a small private launch in the London last week. A phone aimed squarely at the business arena the Smart V8 features decent specs to get you through the day but more importantly should also appeal to the broader market. The ZTE built phone features an attractive and premium feel with the metal exterior and smooth metallic sidelines.


Operating System – Android OS v7.1.1 (Nougat)
Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 MSM8940, Octa-core, Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53, Quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU – Adreno 505
Display – IPS, 5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 px, Multitouch
RAM – 3 GB
Internal storage – 32 GB
External storage – microSD
Front camera – 8 MP
Rear camera – 16 MP, 4608 x 3456 px, autofocus Dual LED flash
GSM –  850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
Mobile network – 2G / 3G / 4G
WLAN – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth – v4.2, A2DP
FM radio
USB – microUSB 2.0
Audio – 3.5 mm jack
Battery – Li-Po 3000 mAh, non-removable


Posted in: Phones, Videos/Unboxings
By May 12, 2017 Read More →

IMO Unveils Mobile Handset Line-Up for 2H 2017

handset-imo-s2-1IMO, the UK-based mobile manufacturer specialising in devices to keep users “Connected & Entertained Everywhere”, today announced its product line-up for the second half of 2017. Forthcoming devices include the IMO S2 and Q+ smartphones, successors to the popular IMO S and Q launched last year, and the IMO Dash – a new best-in-class 3G feature phone. As with previous IMO releases, the company’s emphasis is on providing the best value devices at prices accessible to everyone.


The IMO S2 promises to provide users with a full 4G smartphone experience at a fraction of the cost of those offered by other brands. At just 8.2mm thick and with a machined metal body, the S2 will feature a 5” HD display, finger print sensor and will launch on Android 7.0. The S2 will also feature a 13MP camera, with 16GB ROM and 2GB RAM. Sim-free pricing is expected to be around £130.


Building on the huge success of its predecessor, the IMO Q+ will be available in either a 3G or 4G variant. With a bigger 5” FWVGA display, 1.25GHz quad-core processor and 2200mAh battery, the IMO Q+ offers a lot of phone for budget conscious buyers.


Finally, the IMO Dash represents the company’s first foray into the feature phones market. The 12-button device will include 3G, a 2MP camera and a battery standby time of over 8 days. Sim free pricing is expected to be below £30.


“Our phones continue to deliver a combination of quality, strong feature set and affordability that raise the bar for entry level handsets,” said Nigel Whitehead, IMO’s Head of Sales and Propositions. “Following on from the success of our launch devices in 2016 with the MVNOs Virgin and Talk Mobile, and retailers including Argos, Dixons-Carphone and Amazon, we are very excited to be unveiling our range of products for 2017 that enhance our strategy of giving consumers the best value for their money.”


All three products are set for release during the summer of 2017. Further details of availability will follow.


OS: Android 7.0

Display: 5” HD, IPS

Camera: 13MP rear main camera and 5MP front camera

Chipset & CPU: MT6737 Cat 4, Quad-core 1.25GHz

Memory: 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM / MicroSD slot (up to 128GB)

Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n

Battery: 2600mAh

Dimensions: 142 x 72 x 8.2 mm

Other features:  VoWiFi, VoLTE (optional), Finger Print, GPS, sensor, accelerometer/proximity, Bluetooth 4.0


OS: Android 7.0

Display: 5” FWVGA

Camera: 5MP rear main camera and 5MP front camera

Chipset & CPU: Quad-core 1.25GHz

Memory: 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM / MicroSD slot (up to 128GB)

Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n

Battery: 2200 mAh

Dimensions: 143.6*72*9mm

Other features: GPS, sensor, accelerometer/proximity, Bluetooth 4.0


IMO Dash

Band: GSM850/900/1800/1900MHz, WCDMA 900/2100MHz

Display: 2.44 inch, 320 * 240 pixels

Camera: 2MP rear main camera

CPU: SC7701

Memory: 64MB RAM + 128MB ROM / Micro SD slot (up to 32GB)

Dimensions: 122*50*13.9 mm

Other features: Bluetooth, FM, Alert Clock, Calendar etc.

Posted in: News, Phones, Press Releases
By April 27, 2017 Read More →

New technology to help over 50s who struggle with their smartphones

008_front_with_phoneOn Thursday 27th April, Zone V will launch with a new software and hardware combination to make the smartphone easy to read and simple to use. Find gadget and accessories in

The V software is available for all Samsung Android phones, delivering a range of features to help give elderly and partially-sighted people access to the smartphone without compromising on functionality:

  • Large text: Renowned accessibility font ‘Tiresias’ has been used to maximise visibility. Text on the phone is larger than on standard software and adjustable to suit the user.
  • Clear menu: Large icons and intuitive navigation replace existing menus.
  • Vibration feedback: Sensory vibration feedback confirms when icons and keys have been selected to give the user added reassurance.
  • Alternative menu colours: Schemes including black-on-white and white-on-black make the screen easier to read, particularly for those with visual impairment.

The V case is an expertly-developed case offering additional assistance for Samsung Galaxy A3 users:

  • Easy charger: Magnets on the case and the charger guide the cable, making it easy to plug-in.
  • Robust case: Protects the phone from knocks and drops.
  • Magnifying lens: Dedicated lens slides over the camera to form a magnifying glass.
  • Hand grip: Detachable hand loop secures to the end of the case, making the phone easier to hold.
  • Front facing audio: Additional speakers send clear audio out of the front of the phone.

New inclusive technology set to simplify the smartphone has been unveiled today by a new mobile entrant. British startup Zone V has designed a unique combination of software and hardware that makes the smartphone easy to read and simple to use.

The technology, which is available to buy from today via Google Play store, Amazon and, will support a range of Samsung handsets to meet the needs of a more mature and less-savvy mobile enthusiast and those with visibility impairment who want to use cutting edge smartphones.

The UK’s Digital Divide

Zone V was inspired by the mobile digital divide that exists in society. Despite smartphone penetration in the 55 to 64 age group more than doubling since 2012 (19% to 50%i), there are still millions of adults in Britain who struggle to get to grips with the latest technology.

New and extensive research commissioned by Zone V reveals that nearly half (46%) of UK adults over 50 who own a smartphone say they are difficult or complicated to useii. What’s more, 30% of the over 50s don’t have a smartphone at all, with 26% of those saying smartphones are too difficult to even attempt to use.

These findings expose the reality that whilst there is a healthy and growing appetite for smartphones within the aging population, there are still many people who feel overwhelmed by the innovation on offer. Rather than dumb-down existing technology to meet this requirement, an opportunity exists to make the high-standards of innovation more accessible.

The demand for simplicity

When asked what features would assist the over 50s to use a smartphone, the response was overwhelming – 97% wanted a smartphone that was easy to read and 91% said it must be easy to hold.

In the development of the unique and highly-sophisticated product, Zone V studied smartphone innovation in the market and created solutions to enhance and unlock it for a new section of society. The company has worked closely with Samsung to develop products that support and bring to life Samsung’s leading innovation, including that of Samsung Knox, an Android-based solution that offers protection, privacy, and productivity for your mobile life.

Zone V’s unique combination of software and hardware offers a range of new and inclusive features that simplify the smartphone, making it easy to read and simple to use, and releasing the cutting edge features of the latest smartphones to a wider audience.

V Software

The V software completely revolutionises the Android experience to cater for the needs of a previously underserved section of society. The deeply integrated software, powered by Samsung Knox, delivers a range of features including:

  • Large text: Renowned accessibility font ‘Tiresias’ has been used to maximise visibility. Text on the phone is larger than on standard software and adjustable to suit the user.
  • Clear menu: Large icons and intuitive navigation replace existing menus.
  • Vibration feedback: Sensory vibration feedback confirms when icons and keys have been selected to give the user added reassurance.
  • Alternative menu colours: Schemes including black-on-white and white-on-black make the screen easier to read, particularly for those with visual impairment.

V Case

An expertly designed, feature-packed case offers a host of additional assistance and functionality for the Samsung Galaxy A3 – with more to be added in the coming months.  Those features include:

  • Easy charger: Magnets on the case and the charger guide the cable, making it easy to plug-in.
  • Robust case: Protects the phone from knocks and drops.
  • Magnifying lens: Dedicated lens slides over the camera to form a magnifying glass.
  • Hand grip: Detachable hand loop secures to the end of the case, making the phone easier to hold.
  • Front facing audio: Additional speakers send clear audio out of the front of the phone.

Disability and inclusive product consultant, Mary-Anne Rankin said of the launch of Zone V:

“For too long the aging persons’ market has been inadequately served by exciting developments in smartphones. As we age, bits don’t work as well as they used to – eyesight changes and perhaps our fingers aren’t as nimble as they once were. I meet people everyday who have a real passion for the latest tech with a bit of a ‘wow’ factor, but often find that buttons are too small and fiddly and screens difficult to read.

“I love that Zone V has set out to provide people with something that’s simple to use and easy to read and I was overwhelmed by the response my network had to the software and case – I think it could make a huge difference to the lives of so many people.”

The team behind Zone V

Zone V is overseen by former Nokia executives Frank Nuovo and Peter Ashall. Frank is famed for heading up Nokia’s first global design team, overseeing the creation of some of the world’s most recognised handsets including the iconic Nokia 3210.

Together with Peter, former Vice President of Concept Creation at Nokia, they launched Vertu in the early 2000s, the first luxury communications company famed for taking technology to a new market. The pair reunited to develop Zone V, running an extensive four-year product development process, involving relentless market and user testing to ensure the product would genuinely change the lives of the people who use it.

Development of Zone V has involved a team of international experts across technology through to customer insight.

Frank Nuovo, Creative Director at Zone V said:

“Today’s mobile industry is full of companies competing to be the first to launch the latest and greatest technology, but there are still far too many people in the world who feel that technology isn’t for them.

“I’ve always been passionate about designing things that people love to use. Zone V is unique because, for the very first time, we’re allowing everyone to be able to communicate their way. And I mean everyone – we’re not leaving anyone behind. Over the last four years, we have been completely committed to launching something that will change people’s lives – something magical and, at last, something truly inclusive.”

Peter Ashall, CEO at Zone V said:
“There are a great deal of people who want to enjoy the benefits of the latest tech but find it difficult to use. We have built something for them that makes the smartphone easier to read and hold and, overall, much simpler to use.

“We have had a brilliant response to the large and clear text, simpler menus and charger that’s easier to plug in, so we know we’re launching something that directly meets the needs of a sizeable group of people. We can’t wait for them to start seeing the benefits.”

Today’s launch comes with news that the Zone V technology was selected as a finalist in a leading UK technology competition.

Will Pryke, Head of BT Infinity Lab said:

“Zone V’s innovative approach has been recognised, with the technology being selected as a finalist in BT’s 2016 Infinity Lab Mobile Innovation competition.”

Posted in: Accessories, News, Phones
By April 10, 2017 Read More →

Olixar announce full case line-up for the S8 and S8 Plus

silver-cutouts-miscOlixar has officially released their full line-up of premium affordable cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, ranging from thin to tough cases. Many of their cases are already in stock and available from Mobile Fun and Amazon. Well known for their premium, innovative gadgets and accessories, which have been featured by the likes of Unbox Therapy, Olixar will have a complete selection of accessories available on release of the S8 and S8 Plus, including screen protectors and chargers.

With the long awaited Galaxy flagships finally becoming available this month, many people will be looking for the perfect case to protect Samsung’s beautifully designed Infinity Display. Olixar will have a wide selection available to suit any need with all their tried and tested cases such as the ExoShield with its reinforced corners, the rugged ArmourDillo and the carbon fibre X-Duo cases. / The Olixar range of cases for the S8 and S8 Plus include many of their most popular cases such as the Ultra-Thin, ArmourDillo and Genuine Leather cases.

There will also be some exciting newcomers in this line-up, such as the X-Trex Rugged Card Case. This tough case is the ultimate combination of protection and practicality in a sleek straightforward design. The X-Trex comes with a functional built-in stand that can be used in both landscape and portrait mode as well as a handy card slot with enough space to store two cards. On top of that it features a robust multi-layered design to protect the S8 or S8 Plus against anything life throws at it.

“With the X-Trex we wanted to create a case that can really do it all,” says Sally Wijers from Olixar. “The multi-layered design and enhanced drop protection will safeguard your phone on hiking trips or during other outdoor activities. At the same time it features a sleek design and practical innovation that make it the perfect companion case for the S8 and the S8 Plus.”

Two further additions come in the form of fashion cases: the X-Ring and X-Tome. The slim X-Ring offers stylish protection and has the added benefit of a practical finger loop on the back for extra grip that also doubles as a viewing stand. The X-Tome has a vintage, leather bound book design that benefits from two interior card slots and a document pocket to keep important possessions together when out and about.

“Having an all-round collection is important to us,” explains Wijers. “We want to offer cases for all situations without compromising on quality. Our focus has always been to offer premium innovation at an affordable price and that is exactly what we are offering for the S8 and S8 Plus.”

Olixar’s X-Trex, X-Ring and X-Tome cases can be pre-ordered now, the rest of the line-up is available for purchase from Mobile Fun and Amazon. More information on product availability can be found on Mobile Fun.

Posted in: Accessories, News, Phones
By April 7, 2017 Read More →

Kari Voutilainen and 8848 preview new collaboration phones

8848-281020168848, China’s leading luxury phone company, presented its high-end smartphones for the first time in Europe at the well-known Baselword fair, taking place from 23 to 30 March in Switzerland. On this occasion, three different ranges of telephones were presented including one designed by the Finnish watchmaker Kari Voutilainen.

2017 is a pivotal year for this flagship of Chinese industry that turns to Europe to present the finesse and quality of its smartphones which are the combination of modern technology and traditional Chinese culture. Among the collections presented exclusively at the show were:

  • The M3 range was designed in partnership with the independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, whose two phones in the collection are called “Poseidon” and “Athena” for which a limited number of devices have been produced worldwide. The strength of this range is the integration of 6watchmaking within the mobile phone.
  • The special Zodiac range “Year of the Rooster” composed of two distinct versions:1) The Clivia White Diamond version, in navy blue ostrich leather, is decorated with the emblem of the rooster in the shape of a mosaic of 18-carat pink gold and diamonds. This required the use of 21.6 grammes of gold and 39 white cut diamonds. The design is inspired by a painting by Chinese artist, Zhang Daqian. The phone is made of titanium with a polished platinum PVD frame.2) The Ruby Coronet version is decorated on the back of a hand-made rooster made entirely of 18-carat pink gold, inspired by a painting by Xu Beihong. The crest of the rooster is composed of 32 rubies colour flames and its body of 53 white diamonds.
  • The Palace Imperial line of two smartphones was designed by Chinese fashion designer Lawrence Xu. Only 999 units of this edition are available worldwide. The design of Lawrence Hsu is inspired by various elements of popular Chinese artwork, including the royal palace dragon. The back of the phone is elegantly decorated with an 18-carat gold-plated gold dragon, adorned with sapphire crystals.



8848 will also release private ordering for 2017 S ring and Summer colour series. It will give consumers more personalisation options for their 8848 mobile phone, with wide range of different skins and materials

In 2016, 8848 sold 100,000 phones, becoming a leading player in the Chinese telephony industry.

” We believe that luxury phones and high-end watches have many things in common and this was confirmed by the commercialization of the M3 range, which was a great success with our Chinese customers,” said Zhou Jia, CEO of 8848. “Baselworld is a unique forum for exchanges and of sharing where it was essential for us to come and present our know-how to Western buyers. We hope to better understand the needs of the European market and to understand and interact with European and global high-end consumers. ”

“Our latest phones are a perfect illustration of our know-how in the very high technology and Chinese goldsmithing. In the near future, our goal is to combine Eastern and Western cultural elements in our products as we plan to sell our phones to the European market very quickly, “adds Zhou Jia.


Posted in: News, Phones
By April 3, 2017 Read More →

Griffin Technology Announces Survivor Strong and Survivor Clear for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+

g7Griffin Technology, creator of award-winning and thoughtfully designed mobile accessories, today announces the Survivor Strong and Survivor Clear cases for the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ devices, immediately following the recent Samsung Galaxy UNPACKED 2017 event. Griffin’s range of cases offer unparalleled protection and sleek designs to complement the innovative features of the next generation Samsung Galaxy devices.

“As a new partner of the Designed for Samsung Mobile program, Griffin is thrilled to support Samsung’s revolutionary S8 devices with two of our best-selling protective solutions, Survivor Strong and Survivor Clear,” said Ethan Opelt, Survivor Category Manager at Griffin Technology. “Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and S8+ are truly remarkable in both intelligent functionality and cutting-edge design and our range of complementary solutions helps Samsung users stay stylish while protecting their device.”

Leading Griffin’s collection for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ is the ultra-slim Survivor Strong. Built to meet or exceed Military Standard 810-G standards for durability and protection, Survivor Strong offers unmatched drop protection without bulk. Weighing in at less than 2 ounces, Survivor Strong is light, but delivers heavy-duty protection from 7 foot (2.1 meters) drops onto concrete. The dual-material snap-on shell is designed with Griffin’s proprietary Impact Dispersion System to protect the device securely within its shatter-resistant shell, keeping it safe from impacts. To keep the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ safe, users need something strong, Survivor Strong.

Survivor Clear is one of Griffin’s slimmest Survivors ever while still delivering the same legendary Military Standard 810G protection from 4 foot (1.2 meter) falls. Composed of optics-clarity polycarbonate, the high-gloss case wards off scratches and looks newer longer. Survivor Clear’s impact-deflecting bumper protects the Samsung Galaxy S8’s sides and corners with anti-yellow rubber that maintains its impeccable clarity longer than other see-through cases. Allowing users to show off the sleek design and form of their new Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+, Survivor Clear offers ultimate protection without getting in the way of the devices’ stunning screen.

Rounding out Griffin’s case collection for Samsung’s newest Galaxy is Reveal. The unbelievably slim polycarbonate case lets the Galaxy S8’s beautiful design shine through, but protects against impacts and scratches. Adding barely over a millimeter of thickness, Reveal protects with thin rubber edges that cushion the phone and give users a secure grip.

Griffin’s USB-C power and connectivity solutions are readily available to support the latest functionality of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ devices. Users can stay prepared and powered up with Griffin’s USB-C PowerBlock SE, USB-C to Micro Cable, USB-C to USB-A Cable, and USB-C to USB-C Cable. Not only does Griffin offer protection for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+, also accessories to outfit the device ensuring it is powered up and ready for use.

The USB-C PowerBlock SE is built to last with its power strip-friendly compact design. Keeping the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ charged up and connected, the USB-C PowerBlock SE delivers up to 15 watts of charging with its heavy-duty 4 foot (1.2 meter) cable integrated with the power supply, so users are never left looking for their cable.

Griffin knows how important it is to stay connected and users can rely on their USB-C to Micro Cable, USB-C to USB-A Cable, and USB-C to USB-C Cable to connect the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ with multiple devices including backup batteries, laptops, and other USB-C enabled devices.

Pricing & Availability

Survivor Strong, £29.99, for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ will be available in late April 2017. Color options will include Black/Gray, Navy/Coral Blue, Arctic Gray/White, Arctic Gray/Pink, Black Tint, Blue Tint, Pink Tint, and Clear.

Survivor Clear, £19.99, for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ will be available in late April 2017. Color options will include Black/Smoke/Clear, Blue/Black/Clear, Arctic Gray, Gold, Coral Blue, and Clear.

Reveal for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ will be available in late April 2017.

Griffin’s USB-C PowerBlock SE, £30.00, USB-C to Micro Cable, £14.99, USB-C to USB-A Cable, £14.99, and USB-C to USB-C Cable, £14.99 are now available online.

Sign up for stock availability updates at

Posted in: Accessories, Phones
By March 23, 2017 Read More →

GEAR4’s top selling phone cases with ‘Trusted Protection’ are now available for the Samsung A5

unspecifiedGEAR4, the UK’s number one trusted impact protection case brand, has today announced that the Piccadilly and Oxford cases from its hugely successful range featuring D3O® technology, will now be available for the Samsung A5.

Samsung A5 owners will no longer miss out on the opportunity to wrap their treasured device in the most advanced shock absorbing technology for enhanced impact protection. Featuring the same D3O® technology that is trusted worldwide in U.S military combat uniforms, American football helmets and protective gear worn by pro athletes (including Usain Bolt), the stylish Piccadilly and Oxford cases boast unrivalled protection.

The Oxford and Piccadilly cases linked to GEAR4’s British roots, combining modern forms and materials to deliver the ultimate combination of sleek protection.


The Piccadilly

The Piccadilly case is the perfect choice if you desire protection but want your phone to remain as close to the original look as possible. Offering the world’s first Metallic INJECTABLE D3O® technology, delivering more impact protection per cubic millimetre than other leading materials hese ultra-slim, ultra-modern, ultra-protective cases can make an impact and still blend with contemporary life.

Piccadilly is scratch-protected with UV coating and offers easy access to all ports. Available in Black

RRP £29.99 


The Oxford Bookcase

GEAR4’s multi-tasker, the Oxford mobile wallet features slots for credit cards and also a convenient stand for viewing videos in landscape. It’s unique clip closure design keeps your valuables safe. Function doesn’t compromise form on the Oxford, as it features the same D3O® smart material that offers the highest performance impact protection.

The Oxford comes in Black only.

RRP £34.99 (Images available here)


So what exactly is D3O?

The molecules in D3O® materials in their raw state flow freely when moved slowly, but on shock, lock together to absorb and disperse energy, before instantly returning to their flexible state. This reaction is counter intuitive. The greater the force of the impact, the more the molecules lock together and the greater the protection meaning your device stays safe when dropped.

The GEAR4 Oxford and Piccadilly cases from Carphone Warehouse and

Posted in: Accessories, News, Phones
By March 14, 2017 Read More →

A Look At The Vodafone Smart Ultra 7

vlcsnap-00043Vodafone’s Smart ultra 7 combines an octa-core processor with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow and a fairly low price tag to appeal to those of us who just want a smartphone without the high price tag. To keep the user going there is a 2960 mAh battery that charges in half the time using “Pump Express Plus technology.”

Other specifications:

Mediatek MT6755M processor with Mali-T860MP2 GPU
5.5 inch 1080 x 1920 IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
16 GB expandable storage
13 MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash
5 MP front facing camera with LED flash

And can be yours for around £150-£160.

Check out for a full review soon…

Posted in: Phones, Videos/Unboxings
By February 24, 2017 Read More →

Archos announce Graphite smartphones for Mobile World Congress 2017

ARCHOS 55 Graphite_4ARCHOS unveils the ARCHOS 50 Graphite and the ARCHOS 55 Graphite smartphones, providing users with a true combination of latest technologies for enhanced functionalities: two cameras, 13MP + 2MP on the back and 5MP on the front, a fingerprint sensor, a USB-C port and Google Android Nougat. The smartphones will be demonstrated at MWC both models will be available in June 2017.

With its Graphite range, ARCHOS puts at users’ disposal what they expect: larger screens, fast authentication, high-speed mobile Internet connection, access to fancy apps, photo and videos to share on social networks, rapid charge for an ease of use anytime.

In its extra slim Aluminium unibody frame design (7.8mm thick), the ARCHOS 55 Graphite packs a large 5.5” IPS Full Lamination HD screen with a 2.5D contoured edge, making it comfortable for heavy multimedia users to view their favourite content.

It flaunts a Mediatek MT6737 Quad-Core 1.5GHz chipset, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128 GB via a microSD slot).

The ARCHOS 55 Graphite embeds two cameras: 13MP with autofocus and LED flash + 2MP on the back and 5MP on the front. Its dual-lens camera system enables a sharper image with more details as well as ultra-wide angle and shallow depth of field (Bokeh) modes, for capturing and sharing life best moments.

Its ultra-responsive fingerprint sensor unlocks the smartphone in less than 0.3 of a second, with the ability to save up to five different fingerprints, not need to worry how you grab it.

The ARCHOS 55 Graphite contains two SIM slots and allows fast downloads and rapid data transfer via its 4G/LTE connectivity.

In addition to its 3000 mAh Li-Ion battery, the ARCHOS 55 Graphite benefits from a super-fast charge, thanks to the micro USB-C adaptor. Its battery life is also optimisable via the extending features of Doze 2.0 brought by Google latest Android release, Nougat.

It runs Google Android 7.0 (Nougat) in its purest release, with a bunch of new features: split-screen mode, quick reply to notifications, and revamped settings and toggle menus. It gives complete access to the Google Play Store and its millions of apps, games and books.

A lighter version, the ARCHOS 50 Graphite, with a 5.0” IPS HD screen + 2.5D, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128 GB via microSD slot) will also be made available.

Exact specifications and availability might vary by country. They will be specified when the smartphones are launched, in June 2017.

Posted in: News, Phones
By February 21, 2017 Read More →

Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 Review

IMG_20170212_170538_436Network branded mobiles have always had a bit of a stench to them. Back in the day T-Mobile and Orange produced an almost endless line of MDAs and SPVs manufactured by good companies like HTC or ZTE yet hampered by Network tinkering. Removing buttons, bands, features and tinkering with the software to make the OS a Network experience rather than a Microsft or Google experience. In short, they are days best forgotten. However, if the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 is anything to go by they could be resurrected but for the better!

The Smart Platinum 7 is a £300 smartphone built by Alcatel. Don’t let that put you off, Alcatel is making some top notch devices! Just ask Blackberry. Whilst it might be £300 Vodafone is going for a premium user experience.

Looking around the device there is a generous 5.5” display with 1440 x 2560 pixels. A pair of front facing speakers are positioned at either end and a front facing 8-megapixel camera is hidden in the inky black bezel. The screen is thankfully built of 2.5D Gorilla Glass front and the sides of impressively metal with chamfered edging that really makes the phone feel luxuriant in the hand. A deeply impressive build!


On the top are a 3.5mm headphone socket and a small hole for a microphone. At either end is a visible antenna.

The bottom also has a small hole for a microphone and two notable antenna points however off centre is a MircoUSB socket. This phone is over 6 months old and therefore launched before the USB Type-C revolution.

On the one side, there is a rough textured volume rocker and a power button. These buttons are of not as they give a satisfying click when pressed and you are centre you have pressed one. The rough texture is especially useful to guide your thumb to ensure you are pressing the right button. A great addition.

On the other side is the SIM card tray. The device takes a Nano-SIM and a MicrsoSD card. Unfortunately, there is not dual SIM setup up. The microSD allows for an additional 256GB of storage to expand the phone’s built-in 32GB. Above this is a dedicated camera button, configurable in the settings. From the standby mode, two taps of this button bring you straight into the camera and you are good to go, press the button to take a snap. The button is small and not as easily pressed as the volume and power on the other side. There is a lower grain texture on the camera button.

On the rear of the device, there is a circular fingerprint scanner, just below the camera lens. Given the level of effort put into the side buttons, I was surprised to find the fingerprint reader is a little bit difficult to find as the ring around the sensor is quite subtle and does not protrude from the rear. The scanner is perfectly acceptable, no issues with misreading fingerprints or slow operation. Above this is a larger protrusion for the 16 Megapixel camera and there is a small LED flash to the side. The back has a glass surface again that is rather slippery, especially on a cold day, without a case, you will drop this. Under the glass is a light pattern and a Vodafone logo has been added.

The instant you pick up your Smart Platinum 7 you will know this is a premium phone, however, is materials used are a cause for concern and whilst if feel fragile due to the slippery feel it also shows all kinds of fingerprints and grease. So have a case and a cloth at the ready.

The 5.5-inch, QHD AMOLED screen is gorgeous. At 1440×2560 the resolution is outstanding as the PPI hits 534. Icons, wallpapers and media pop on this screen with exceptional clarity and sharpness. The rest of the colour palette is bright and vibrant, reds standing out, in particular, making Vodafone logos striking and impressive.

The phone operates as one would expect, and thankfully there isn’t too much bloat from Vodafone. Certainly, there are some tutorials for how to use certain features and whilst they are incredibly basic there is no doubt someone, somewhere will find something of use. At any rate, you are given a skip option anytime a new tutorial appears.

Unfortunately, the Smart Platinum 7 is still running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Whilst Nougat obviously hasn’t’ reached the majority of recent phones Marshmallow is better than what we could have seen. A little digging suggests Vodafone may update the firmware, but then again, maybe not. Marshmallow is still rock solid and only time will tell if the phone will get an update.

A non-removable Lithium-ion 3,000mAh battery keeps things going through the day. Thanks to the lower powered processor this will see the average user through the day, easily. Power users will notice that they can get through more than before, or, if you like, a power user will probably put this on charge later in the afternoon than an S7 or 6P.

The Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 with 3GB of RAM. This arrangement keeps things skipping along nicely. The Snapdragon 652 is the updated version of the 620 and whilst not as powerful as an 820 in some other devices around this price point users will notice a big power saving.

Things run smoothly from games to serious multitasking, flipping through a bunch of different apps, copying and pasting from Outlook to the browser and vice verse. I didn’t notice any particular slow down and never felt I need to close a few background apps for a little boost. I noticed a drop in performance only during my synthetic benchmark tests. In the generalist

Both AnTuTu and Geekbench captured some decent scores. Of course this will not mirror the S7s out there, however, the Smart Platinum 7 can hold it’s on.

The camera is simply average. In idyllic conditions, shots are perfectly acceptable however if you try outside of that the optics try, but just can’t manage to deliver to goods. It tries but fails. One big plus is that the camera is astonishingly fast to take a picture. You press the button and the picture is taken, in Auto mode. No fiddling around with focusing and lighting. If just happens and the results (in idyllic conditions) are good.

The front camera is capable of shooting usable selfies in decent light. Club rats will be sad to hear it’s not stellar in low light, even with the front LED flash. With the flash off shots are pixelated and close to unusable in low light. With it on, while usable, people and objects are too bright and lack detail. Being fair to Vodafone this is an issue I see on close to all phones’ front cameras.

Video recording is a little odd, the camera app doesn’t have any manual controls for video recording, meaning the phone will shoot at 2160p resolutions at 30fps. A steady hand is required as there does not appear to be stabilisation. The microphones prove to work quite well and pick up wind, conversations and unhappy children.

In all the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 is a serious contender. Like most phones it’s almost perfect, marred by a handful of flaws.Even at this, some of those flaws are easily overcome or may not apply the user. For £300 this is a terrific offering and Vodafone have really put together a superb package. Whilst the camera might be a weak outside of its comfort zone the vast majority will make the most of what this phone has to offer. An excellent phone, just buy a case!

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