I just love technology.

Posts tagged ‘iPhone 5’

My time with the Nokia Lumia 1520


So the awesome people over at Connects sorted me out with a two week trial and review time of the Nokia Lumia 1520. And as a Mac and iPhone user this was going to be interesting.

 

So in the video above I unboxed it and gave my first impressions before taking it on a two week round of my daily work and home life, putting it through it’s paces with apps, browsing,  social networking, vlogging and a smattering of photography with that huge 20 megapixel rear camera.

So with all this in mind I immediately set up the basics and logged into many of my online accounts and got to grips with the camera.

I have to start by saying this thing is huge, I mean really huge. It just fits in my work trouser pockets and surprisingly easily into my jeans pocket and leaves me able to sit in a regular chair.

Thats where the size part reaches its limit. Once seated I have no choice but to stand to get it out of my pocket. In the hand I very quickly got used to it and for many applications i.e. browsing, gaming, messaging, tweeting and emailing I actually preferred it to my iPhone 5. Indeed when going back to the iPhone I found myself wondering where my phone had gone.

Now I’m not saying I’m converted but this super sized device is actually a pleasure to use and I wish I didn’t have to return it, I would (funds allowing) definitely have one as a second device for work, where I use windows as my daily OS. I’m too financially invested in OSX and iOS to make a complete change, plus the Apple eco system “just works” and does it well.

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My only real problem with it as a YouTuber was getting footage off it. Maybe there is some software out there that could help but when I plugged it into my Mac iPhoto launched as expected and created a folder automatically called Lumia 1520, but then it did nothing. So the easiest work around I found was “One Drive”, this worked pretty much like iCloud all be it a little slower but it worked.

After a lengthy two week trial of this device I have found it to be perfectly adept at all the jobs you would expect from it, apps can be buggy and lacking in numbers, however as a UK work device for email and connection to a Windows based environment (which is why I say UK) ,still the main business work software here in the UK, it is perfect for sending detailed photos back to base when on working days out, which is where it would be a good performer for my working situation. My full round up video can be watched below.

Want to purchase one sans contract?

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The MPow Streambot mini Bluetooth 4.0 Music receiver.


I’ve been enjoying some music connectivity in my car lately. The thing is though I do not have a car with any connectivity in it.
So lets explain.

 

I have recently been given the opportunity to try out a great little device by MPow.

Little is the key word here as you can find out from watching the above video. The compact size was my first shock, the second shock was it’s great ability to stream music from my iPhone 5 to the sound system in my car seamlessly and without any problems whatsoever.

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It also has the ability to stream your calls however it has no microphone so an external mic would be somehow need to be connected to the setup, rendering it a not such a viable option for making and receiving calls although the sound quality when I tried it was impeccable, I just could not be heard by the caller or recipient of any call.

This brings me to the point of such a gadget. I have a good quality Surround sound hi-fi system which when purchased, some years ago before connectivity was used to transfer large amounts of data, was a rather expensive set up by Technics which is now relatively old but without cables is no use for modern forms of playing music digitally. This small but powerful device from MPow sorts this problem out and allows me to play high quality music tracks from all my connected devices.

So what are you waiting for? The financial benefit of this over buying a Bluetooth connected speaker is a no brainer.

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I’d like to extend a huge thank you to MPow for sending me this review unit and the links below direct you to the Amazon product pages for the respective countries.

US http://amzn.to/1qpt6ZC

UK http://amzn.to/1jKxwHy

Kickstarter Campaign Aims to Bring MagSafe-Style Charging to iPhone | Mac|Life


This looks a great idea but remember there’s a new device not far away.

Kickstarter Campaign Aims to Bring MagSafe-Style Charging to iPhone | Mac|Life.

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@Newtrent 4.2A Max Dual USB car charger NT81T


It has been a whole week now since I received this package so I immediately filmed the in car footage from the above video and after the initial shock of the iPad Air 64GB not charging when first plugged in it turns out, after a lot of trying out and cable checking, it was down to the fact that port B on each charger is not able to push enough power to feed the iPad Air’s requirements (unless I got a faulty batch). I didn’t after more research it would appear that the wattage to charge the iPad is not available at port B.

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This aside I have to say these chargers are amazingly quick at charging your devices and I found after just a half hour journey there was a battery percentage increase on the iPad Air of around 20% using port A. and on the iPhone 5 an increase of 25% whilst under use from a Bluetooth headset.

This now makes sense as to why it points out on the packaging that port A is for Apple devices, though port B worked with the iPhone 5 perfectly well, as well as charging a Newtrent IMP120D battery backup, a Bluetooth headset and although not seen on video there was my sons old Galaxy S1 which cheered him up no end when he needed to make a call.

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These two, yes TWO, (one black one white) in one box for this money is extremely good value for a very visually appealing and sleek device that does all that is offered from the manufacturer Newtrent it would be more common to see one device for not much less than the current asking price for such a premium product let alone two in one box.

Basically to round up this post I would highly recommend these for a family who travel with the children, a couple who need one each or even a power hungry techaholic like myself who likes to have full power wherever he go’s. A five star rating from me. Hit the Amazon affiliate links below for current pricing in your country.

 

UK http://amzn.to/RBvhK8

US http://amzn.to/1jpsWJt

The Mpow V4.0 Bluetooth headset.


When opening the box you are immediately treat to a well presented package, with a USB cord held in a nice reusable clip, a 12v car USB charger and 2 spare ear buds, all of which can be carried in the snap top pouch supplied.

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I have been testing this headset for some time now and have to say it has to be the most comfortable and easy to use headset I have ever had, I have tried it next to spectacles too and it still stays on my ear without feeling heavy or floppy as some can.
It has performed flawlessly since I got it, with no hiccups what so-ever.
Ease of use with devices like this is very important and this one does not fail in this department with only needing a volume rocker and a call-answer/ power button, which also when in use allows you to listen to music at a single press on or off. The music or perhaps sat nav app will reduce in volume as a call is made or received.

The call quality is the best I have ever had from this kind of device, even with my car window open the air noise could hardly be heard by the person on the other end of the line, therefore the noise cancellation is very good. I also had no echo or sound drop and a very good range of volume. If you are in the market for such a device and don’t want to have to disconnect from your car when near by to it then this is definitely a good option for it’s very fair price. MPow have definitely ticked all the boxes with this device, check out their website here http://www.xmpow.com and hit the Amazon links below for the latest prices.

Amazon product link UK: http://amzn.to/1m0pWZj
Amazon product link US: http://amzn.to/1hLQntS

The Bamboo iPhone 5 skin by Lazerwood industries


Well that was two weeks ago, how time flies.

So I have to admit I was sceptical about this one. At the end of the day a skin on your device has the job of protection and of course we want it to be aesthetically pleasing from our point of view. Now I’m quite happy to use skins and have had many, from carbon to vinyl picturesque ones but a real piece of wood! That’s a whole new ball game to me and my first impression was one of trepidation, after all we’ve seen or heard of some horror stories of skins making a mess of expensive gadgets.

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So I swallowed hard and made the above video. I now admit to being a bit of a convert. As I warmed to the skin I found it to be visually and physically quite appealing. It’s strong and rather durable, though some of that may be down to the fact that it is bamboo.

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So what has life with this skin been like?

Well, I have to admit it’s actually really quite nice, it looks good, it feels good and it’s damned hard wearing, which in my pockets is a massive feat in itself. I work in a harsh workshop environment with many steel coated benches and pieces of machinery scattered around.

It has now worn down the lacquer coating down to the grain which has given it a more natural feel (perhaps a thicker coat would help), however this may be leaving it open to grime and staining which remains to be seen as I have decided to leave it in place for now. Or at least until something else catches my eye.

So with all this said I would like to extend a huge thank you to Lazerwood industries for sending me this review unit out and I wish them every success in the future with their many designs.

If you like the look and think you may want one then US readers can head straight on over to http://shop.lazerwood.com and buy straight from the manufacturer, or UK readers would be better trying out Amazon UK at the link below:

Lazerwood products

Taking charge.


We’ve all been there at some time or other, you need to send a text/email/make a call and you’re mobile phone / tablet has other idea’s.

Well this may be the answer for you.

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Introducing the NEWTRENT IMP120D iCARRIER. Straight out of the box we find a neat compact device of minimal weight bearing the NEWTRENT logo in white printed on the front panel, an included USB to MICRO USB cable for charging the device, a micro fibre carrying pouch and an instruction booklet.

The box tells you it is not fully charged although the unit they kindly sent me for review was approximately two thirds charged so was able to be used immediately though for the purposes of testing I decided to fully charge it ready to be put through its paces.

Aesthetically the device is very pleasing to the eye coming in a matt black finish (that shouldn’t finger print too badly) with a vibrant blue band around the edge which contains the power switch and two USB ports, both of which will output a maximum of 5v / 3.1 A ,powered by a Li-ion polymer battery with a capacity of 12000mAh / 3.7v so will charge most if not all of the mobile phones and tablets out there on the market today. The power button also doubles as a charge indicator having three blue LED‘s around it which flash while charging showing the state of charge, which is done via a USB port or a USB wall charger which is not included. the amount of charge cycles is 500.

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It is said that this charger will add 10 hours of tablet usage over Wi-Fi and 9 over cellular. And estimates for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are 45 hours talk time over 3G and 70 over 2G, an additional 50 hours of video play with the speakers on and 30 hours internet browsing over 3G running up to 45 hours over Wi-Fi.

Now as a lover of all tech related gadgets getting my hands on one of these was a little like having an extra birthday, as I am a fairly heavy user of Apple (and other manufacturers) products and quite frequently have to put the brakes on towards the end of the day before my battery dies, especially as on some weekends I may be working out in the sticks somewhere and would rather not say to a customer “Please may I plug my phone into your socket”. A little cheeky in my book.

This chargers case is pretty tough and resilient if a little hollow sounding when you tap it, the power button is positive and gives good feedback, it’s a simple press and hold (approximately 1.5 s) and away you go charging whatever you have plugged into it. A great feature of this charger is it will charge two devices at once which is a big plus if I have to travel away from home on occasions.

All the USB’s and LED’s are clearly marked in white fonts and the print is understandable unlike some devices where it can be too badly printed leaving you wondering what they say. The size and shape make it a little bulky for say, your jeans pocket but for the most in general I don’t find it too big and weight is a little on the heavy side but these are nothing but paltry niggles, as the benefits far outweigh them.

A nice plus point to this charger over some others on the market is the addition of a cloth bag to keep it in when not in use, as this helps keep dust, pocket lint and other such detritus out of the ports.

In daily use I found that when a USB cable is plugged in it automatically wakes the device up, so this piqued my interest so leaving the unused cord attached I turned the device off (long hold on the power), then connected my iPhone 5 which to my surprise did not reawaken the device. This in no way has affected my use I just find that odd.

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Using this device as a daily charger was my way forward in testing, so casting my usual chargers aside, from a full charge it was all I used to see what I could get from it and I have to admit I have not been disappointed.

Upon my first charge that I believed was full but found later it wasn’t I managed to get almost two full charges on my iPhone 5 (which I felt was faster than from the mains) and also a nearly full (from 17%) charge to an iPad 2. Certainly not to be sniffed at.

I recharged the unit over night this time from the mains using one of my iOS device chargers. Charge time is fairly long from empty so make sure you allow plenty of time, I recommend over night. So further along the line subsequent charges have returned awesome results like a full iPad from empty and two and a half iPhone 5’s from empty all on one charge. Charging the iPhone 5 also is much quicker than charging it from the mains so out and about you could just stop for a snack and top your mobile up just enough to see you through to the evening.

So the good points are many, and the only points I could pick at would be that I’d prefer a metal case but then that would offset the extremely good value for money. You can find the link at the bottom of the page to get one from Amazon.

To round up this post I would like to thank Newtrent for sending me this product out for review, and say to all those out there who have considered (but not bought) a power pack then do it. I have no qualms in saying that this is probably one of the most useful add ons you could get for your devices whether a phone, a tablet or a sports cam, if it can charge from a USB then it should charge from one of these.

Check out the video below.

And here's the Amazon link for the product. IMP120D

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