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Them iPhones are Slippery Fishes ……..

I love gadgets more than pizza I do. Even more than those pizzas with jalapeños and spicy beef on. And as you probably already know, one of my favourite gadgets is my iPhone.

In 2012, I procured an iPhone 4S, and that shiny slab of lovely whiteness managed my life …… emails, music, camera, sat-nav, shopping lists, photographs …… I don’t need to say anymore. You know how it works.

Things fared very well with my iPhone 4S apart from a few minor mishaps: I smashed the screen twice, and the back about seven times. But luckily I found a dodgy Chinese company who could supply cheap replacement parts.

Anyway, things stopped ‘faring well’ on one fateful day in August this year. I was trying to do a manoeuvre that only a trained stuntman should attempt – namely eating a KFC Zinger-Tower-Burger, whilst talking on the iPhone, whilst simultaneously getting into the car and trying to put on the seatbelt.

All would’ve gone well if I hadn’t accidentally smeared some errant Mayo on my cheek. It served as a lubricant for the iPhone which was precariously clamped between my aforementioned cheek and my shoulder as I chatted …. and before you could say ‘Naughty George is a bastard’ ….. the pressure I was applying to the iPhone (facilitated by the Mayo) caused it to shoot out of the (open) car window, and crunch onto the tarmac below.

How unlucky is that?

Upon returning home, I examined the phone and it quickly became apparent that the damage was terminal. 

Pic.No.1 The back of my iPhone 4S – the damage wasn’t toooooo bad ….. but then I turned it over

Pic.No.2 The front of my iPhone 4S. Totally smashed up. When I tried to fire it up, the screen was just a series of fuzzy lines. It was deader than Jim Morrison

I stared at it, numb with shock, for several hours.

It was then that I realised I needed to take decisive action. Either I replace it with another phone of the same model (4S), or I wait until Apple released the new version of their iPhone 5 (rumoured to be the iPhone 5S).

I decided upon the latter. But that in turn left me with a dilemma …… I still needed a phone to get me by in the interim. The only solution was to get a cheap stop-gap, and after a quick visit to my local phone-shop, I emerged, blinking into the sunshine with ……… a Nokia 100.

Pic.3 This is a Nokia 100. It’s shit

It cost £19.00, and even the Saleswoman in the store had a puzzled look on her face as she asked me why I wanted to buy it.

“It’s a temporary measure,” I said in an indignant fashion, before asking “Does it have any redeeming features?” in a futile attempt to get her to ‘sell’ it to me ….even a little bit.

“Not really,” she said, “except that the charger plug has one retractable pin which is quite cool.”

“What is the point of one retractable pin?” I asked (bemused), and trying to rustle up a micron of interest.

“Dunno,” she replied, shrugging her shoulders.

Doom was approaching.

________________________________________

So, from the time I procured my Nokia 100, until the time Apple released their new iPhone, I had to endure unimaginable shame and horror.

Firstly, my new phone would only make calls and do texts. It was like going back in time to 2009.

Secondly, people would point at me and laugh. One chum lay on the floor, placed my phone on his chest, and then pretended he couldn’t get up because of the weight. What a wag.

Another shouted; “WTF is that man? Do you have to carry the battery in a separate suitcase?” before bending double and guffawing.

In the end, even I revolted against my Nokia 100. You know that you can type in a ‘greeting’ that shows whenever the phone is turned on? Well, the greeting that I typed in was; ‘I am a wanky phone and even my owner hates me’.

If ‘Phone Social Services’ existed, my Nokia would have been put into care. And I would always be busy at visiting time.

________________________________________

After months of hell, imagine my relief when Apple finally launched the new iPhone 5S on 15th October.

To cut a long story short, on that day I had Apple on repeated ‘speed-dial’ in a desperate attempt to procure myself a new iPhone. Suffice to say, each time the line was busy ………

I was like a Crystal Meth addict except that I didn’t forget to wash my hair. And my teeth didn’t fall out. And I didn’t do mugshots.

But, my diligence paid off. And on the 16th of October, I managed to place an order for a 64GB Gold iPhone 5S.

After a three week wait (Apple had under-estimated demand for the 5S), this parcel arrived …… and I nearly spontaneously vommed with excitement (that’s how bad the Nokia 100 is).

Pic.No.4 Sex in a box

Pic.No.5 I got the 64GB iPhone 5S in Gold – WOOF!

Pic.No.5 The downside was that it had the new IOS on it which is (I have to say), totally bollocks. I have to keep searching the internet to find out how to do stuff because they have made it unintuitive

Me and my new iPhone love-affair (apart from the IOS shit) was going swimmingly well. That is until last week when I took my beloved gadget to a gig in London. To my horror, half way through the concert, I realised I had lost my new, gorgeous, lickable bedmate.

I was gutted, and stomped back to the hotel, resolute in the knowledge that all my personal data was now accessible to a thief.  

So imagine my surprise when I got undressed and found that somehow, the iPhone had dropped into my boot earlier in the evening.

Yep, not only had I not realised that I had an iPhone in my shoe, I hadn’t noticed all the vibrations and tunes as people tried to contact me.

Surely Apple need to create some software to stop this from happening?

________________________________________

P.S. This post was written because of a request by the lovely Toffee Apple.

Review: be.ez LA cover for iPhone 5

By Sami Mughal

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The latest thing that we have been trying is the be.ez La Cover, sent to us in the Allure Black range. We covered the cases earlier this month in the following post:

http://www.oxgadgets.com/2013/03/beez-la-allure-iphone-5-cases-available.html

Here is what we thought of it:

  • The case is a perfect fit, as you’d expect from any case of this quality.
  • There are openings for all your buttons, ports and the camera.
  • What really sets this case apart is how thin and light it is. It adds to another one of those ‘barely there’ kind of cases, that you can add to your device without none of the bulk. We have one for our HTC ONE X and this adds to that highly prestigious list.
  • Despite being so light and thin, it doesn’t give you the feeling that your phone is exposed.
  • It gives really good protection on the back as well as all corners.
  • The design itself is something to talk about. It adds a certain sophistication to your device and gives it that extra beauty you want from your Apple device, without looking any of your individuality.
  • The general finish of the case itself is very good. Instead of giving you a plastic finish on the back, it comes with a matt finish.
  • The fact that you buy these for your other devices means that you can have a whole bunch of cases in the same sophisticated design.

These are available from various high street vendors as well as Amazon for about £19.95.

Review: Fisher Price Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™ Case for iPhone/iPod

With this post we welcome our latest writer to the website, Jen Watkiss. You can read more about her in our Authors page.

I am a firm believer that life is better with gadgets. There was no question that my kid would end up either using our devices, or having some of his own.

So I was quite excited to see the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™ Case on one of my exploratory cruises through the toy store. I love the idea of a case that’s interesting and interactive for kids, while keeping those delicate iDevices safe.

http://www.fisher-price.com/en_GB/brands/babytoys/products/65905

The round case is rubber-lined for shock-absorption, and holds my iPhone 4 and 3rd Gen iPod Touch equally well. With the big mirror on the back, and the rattly rings on each side, it’s definitely attractive to babies. The handles are also great to loop a tie through so you can attach the case to your pushchair in case your little one is prone to dropping or tossing their toys aside while on the move.

FPApptivityCase

Our Apptivity™  case has been dropped, bashed around, chewed, and spilled on. My devices have never suffered. I bought our case when the kiddo was about 6 months old, and considering he’s just turned two, it’s held up remarkably well!

It is rated for 6 months+, but I have seen another parent place it at one end of a cot with an infant, and use it to play white noise or lullabies while they nap.

I also like the apps Fisher Price has published to go along with the case. Big points to them for making a huge collection of apps free, and available to everyone without having to purchase the case. (My kid happens to like the “Let’s Count Animals!” app best.)
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/fisher-price/id377041471

There are only a couple minor annoyances I have about the case:

1. It’s HEAVY. Especially with the device inside. The heavy-duty plastic and rubber are what keeps it so sturdy and ensure it protects so well, but it’s more substantial than I had initially expected. This meant that my kid couldn’t actually hold it up by the handles while he was quite small, and it’s a big weight in my handbag if we’re out sans pushchair.

2. The latch is fussy. To take your iPhone/Pod in and out, and access the home and/or sleep & volume buttons (depending on how you’ve oriented it), you need a “key.” You need to turn a big lock on the back by putting something like a coin in the slot. I’ve used a coin, screwdriver, guitar pick, and key ring bottle opener among other things. Again, it’s a very secure latch (protection is key) that sits flush in the case, keeping it safe for baby and strong for your iPhone, but I don’t love having to scramble for a “thing” to exit or switch apps, change the volume, or turn off the iPad so the battery doesn’t die, while chasing a toddler who’s moved onto the next “thing” (or to turn it on again when he decides he needs to play the counting game NOW).

But as I said; minor things. I wish I’d known about them before buying the case, so I could adjust my thinking about how we’d use it best, but I absolutely still would’ve purchased it.

Considering how fickle kids can be, and how hard they are on toys, the fact that this one has been a key part of our collection for 18 months, and it’s still going strong, is a testament to its greatness. There’s also an iPad case available, and I’m hoping a case for the iPad Mini isn’t far behind!

Mikey Digital by Blue Microphones

This is one for the audiophiles among you, the music creators, the guitar players and the ones who do podcasts. Mikey Digital by Blue Microphones is a professional plug and play microphone that captures CD quality audio on your Apple iPhone and iPad devices, whenever and wherever you want. Sadly, though, it works as far as the 32 pin connector, and not on the Lightening Bolt connector now found on the latest iPhones and iPads. You can, however, buy an adapter from them that lets you fit it.

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This device allows you to capture audio on the go, and the high quality means that it can be anything from recording a concert to shooting a video. It uses Blue Microphones premium condenser capsules and built-in sensory control. It also features a multi-source input jack that allows for direct connection of guitars and other sound sources to record with the highest possible quality.

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It features Automatic and Manual gain settings, hence users can enable the Mikey Digital to intelligently adjust to fluctuating volume levels or manually set low sensitivity for extreme loud sources and high sensitivity for quieter sources. It is equipped with an LED clipping indicator that flashes whenever volume levels are producing distortion, providing immediate feedback to adjust sensitivity for best recording results. It also rotates 230 degrees for optimal positioning or to align with front or rear facing cameras that come with your iPhone or iPad.
The jack on top adds a very interesting extra feature which means you can connect instruments to your device, and being 3.5mm it also accepts stereo line-in and mic-in. The quality remains the same whether you record via the built in premium capsules or the multi-source jack.
It also features a USB connector which allows you to charge your device which this is connected. This is a very useful feature as this means that you can get full functionality out of the device while having your device fully charges. It also allows full control through the Apple OS using Apps. It is certified by Apple.
It retails at around £99.99 and is available from most high street electronics retailers.
For more information, visit: www.bluemic.com/mikeydigital

be.ez LA Allure iPhone 5 cases available in extended colour range

Another one from the be.ez, the French brand for Apple accessories. They have already had the LA Allure iPhone 5 case range for a while, originally available in Allure Black and Allure Estival.

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They have now extended the family to also include Allure Color, Allure Shibuya and Allure Pure White.

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These cases are made with be.ez’s signature material ABS and provide a feather light (15.5gm) protection to your device. Being ABS also means that it still provides a strong protection to your smartphone. It improves your hand grip and the being very thin, it maintains the thin appearance of your device. They are also easy to snap on and off, so cases can be changed with ease, allowing you to accessorize with them!

The LA Cover Allure family is available for £19.95 on Amazon and various high street retailers.

Pakistani App Release: Duddoo aur Dhobi

I got an interesting email the other day from a Pakistani company called JugnooMedia. In a world full of apps, somehow the slice for little kids and toddlers is still void of many popular ones. They have come up with an app which focuses on local Urdu (and Hindi) nursery rhymes and provides an interactive experience for kids. It has been released for iPhones and iPads, and is coming soon to Android.

I have asked a few of our readers and friends to try the app out, since we do not have an iPhone to play with at the moment, and we’ll update you on the feedback as we get it.

Following is the complete media release:

Duddoo Aur Dhobi Released: Local app to make South Asian content fun for kids

Lahore, Pakistan – February 26, 2013 – JugnooMedia has released a mobile app titled “Duddoo Aur Dhobi” for toddlers and children 1-3 year old. Aimed at providing fun content for Indian and Pakistani children, the app is based on two popular Urdu nursery rhymes “O Baba duddoo’a” and “Dhobi aaya”. It is a ‘digital toy’, which provides a highly interactive and immersive environment for children. The app has lyrics and characters based on South Asian themes, heroes, stories, traditions and context. Since Pakistan and India share a common history, culture and spoken language, it would be apt to sub-title JugnooMedia’s effort – “Apps without borders”.

Duddoo Aur Dhobi is initially being released for FREE on Apple’s iPad and iPhone platform but will also be available on the Android platform very soon.

It can be downloaded from the following links:

iPad: http://bit.ly/W475NG

iPhone: http://bit.ly/WVTYMR

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JugnooMedia is aiming to provide wholesome entertainment and educational content for kids of all ages. We realize that it is difficult for South Asian parents to provide good local language based entertainment, information and educational content in electronic format for their kids. JugnooMedia’s quest is to provide such content.

Jugnoo means ‘Firefly’ in Urdu, Hindi and other regional languages of South Asia. The venture is named JugnooMedia because the founders were simply enthralled by the vast presence of this small insect while growing up. In old days, it was the norm for young children to run after these beautiful insects and attempt to catch them. Other children would catch a bunch of jugnoos and put them in glass bottles to make lanterns. In today’s day and age, this beautiful and fragile insect is under severe threat. As cities become large, paved and cemented with less and less natural habitat, the jugnoo has virtually disappeared from large cities of South Asia. Local culture, heritage and languages are on the defensive; being squeezed by the massive global culture which emphasizes cultural homogeneity at the expense of cultural diversity. It tends to be more material than spiritual and is devoid of local context. JugnooMedia wants to change that. Its first project is to build immersive digital toys in local languages that are based on popular nursery rhymes of the region.

Contact:

Zia Imran

jugnoo@jugnoomedia.com

84, Tipu Block,

New Garden Town,

Lahore, Pakistan

Ph: +92 42 3594 0700

www.jugnoomedia.com

http://www.facebook.com/DuddooAurDhobi

Bryan’s Wishlist

The latest entry to our Wishlist section comes from Bryan (@brykins), who just won our competition. Here is what he has to say:

Hi! While I wait for my lovely keyboard case to arrive I thought I’d to my wishlist – having just read about the guy that wants a shopper……me, I like to look around and spend time searching :-)

Top of my list is the perfect phone…..it doesn’t yet exist. I have a Samsung Note 2 which is excellent in every way – operating system, memory, processor, the whole package. But I wish there were a version that lost a third of the screen and gave me a “real” keyboard in it’s place. I miss the feel of proper keys and find that I’d be more than happy to sacrifice some screen for keys that I can type on again (just like my old Blackberry and Palm Treo devices). But the few manufactures that do actually produce Android handsets with keyboards seem to insist on crippling them in some way – they lower the screen resolution, cut down on storage, processor speed or other features making them a poor choice.

And much as I hate to say it….I’ve not yet found an Android phone that feels as nice in the hand or as well made as an iPhone4/4s/5 – and I struggle to see why, given the price of some high end Android devices.

Second on my list…..a mid-range laptop that has real-use specs. Just like the phone problem, laptop manufactures seem to aim for cheap and crippled, or hugely expensive and bells, whistles and built-in coffee warmers.

My biggest issue is screen sizes – almost all 11″ laptops are under-powered. All 14-15″ laptops are fitted with awful 1366×768 screens and anything with a decent resolution seems to jump way up into the £700 price mark. No-one seems to be filling the £500, 13″, 1600×900 or so spec range. Useful, not too heavy, not too crippled.

Last on my list….a Nexus 7 that’s half as thick and has a micro-SD card slot. Everything else about it is perfect, it’s my favourite device in years. But if it were just a bit thinner…..

No doubt people will have suggestions that fill the three voids above. Then the only problem I’ll have is not having any spare money to actually buy the things :-(

Bryan (@brykins)

Well, I have to say, I totally agree with everything he says here.

My favourite phone of all time was the Sony Ericsson P1i, a phone that packed in great features at a time before iPhones and Androids, and gave you a full physical keyboard. It kept the size small, and used rocker keys to reduce size, but they worked, by God they worked! I still keep that phone with me, and will probably keep it with me for a long time! It also had everything you needed for a phone, a slot for microSD, a touch screen, Blackberry services and email, a great camera and even packed in a stylus. However, while they don’t make a newer version of that any more, I can tell you Bryan that the keyboard you have just won will also work with your Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Personally, going by looks, while the iPhone, and all other Apple products, are beautifully packaged, I think that design is almost a bit boring now.

Screen sizes! Something I have been looking at recently too. A laptop that is small but packs in good features and is not too expensive. Yes you have the Ultrabooks range now, but by golly, they are expensive! When it comes to cheaper but good machines, you have to do with a heavy 14-15” package. So computer manufacturers, pay attention!!! You already have a market waiting for these!

Owning and loving a Nexus 7 myself, I would definitely agree with this too, though I think we are pushing it a bit now!

Do you have any ‘wishes’ regarding to your gadgets and technology needs? Give us a shout! We’d love to publish them! Email them at contact@oxgadgets.com!

Wordless Wednesday

1. Untitled, 2. Untitled, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled, 7. Untitled, 8. Untitled, 9. Untitled (all images via Instagram)~ ~ ~Subscribe | Bloglovin’ | Google Friend ConnectFacebook | Flickr |…

Review: North Face E-Tip Gloves

This might seem a turn from the usual, but these North Face gloves pack in them something that has been around for a while, but not perfected yet. Quite simply, these gloves add to the many other gloves you may have seen out there that allow you to use your touch screen while still wearing the gloves. However, being North Face, these gloves bring to you the same quality and perfection you associate with the brand, and more.

Fit and Feel

Repeating myself here, but being North Face, the gloves bring top quality fabric to snuggly fit around your hands. The gloves pack in North Face’s four-way stretch technology. This means that while they feel a bit tight when you put them on, they fit perfectly around your hands, meaning that all kinds of hand get a well fitted feel, as well as find that protection against the elements you want from a pair of gloves.

The Look

I don’t know whether this is part of the design, or just showing off the ‘technology’ but the gloves actually pack in the name and a power button logo, which seem to be reflective. This means that if you use these gloves at night, they allow you better visibility.

Warmth

This is probably slightly tricky as these are all weather gloves. This means that while they may not be as warm as your woolly gloves, but the specially designed fabric is designed to not only feel comfortable in the colder weather, but also provide protection from wind and the elements in the warmer weather.

Grip

This is another quality that these gloves offer that you hardly find in the same range of products. These gloves provide you a good grip, whether you are holding your mobile, a rope, skis, or are just going through your bag to find your keys.

E-Tip

Now to talk business. The E-Tip works as well as you’d expect, and then some. These gloves work not only on touch screens, but also on most touchpads for laptops. Because of the tight fit, the gloves pack in the smallest package possible, allowing you to use your touch screen as if you were not wearing any gloves. Granted, it takes a couple of texts or a few sentences tapping away if you are a hard-core texter, but once you know what you are doing and get used to these gloves, you hardly even notice you are wearing them. It would not be wrong to say that the performance of these gloves was found to be highly impressive.

Verdict

For about £36 these might seem a bit expensive, but you have to remember that while you are getting a piece of technology, you are also getting a very good pair of gloves. Add that to the fact that these come with the North Face badge, and you are onto a winner here. The gloves can be bought from www.mobilefun.co.uk at the following address:

http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/the-north-face-etip-gloves-for-men-medium-black-p37228.htm

They come in various sizes, so can suit everyone.

I have to thank MobileFun for sending these lovely gloves for a review. They provide an excellent choice of accessories that not only cater for mobile phones, but also tablets and e-readers. The gloves can be found under the latest addition  of iPad Mini Accessories on their website.

2012: A year in review for OxGadgets

It has been one of the best years for this website, and we are humbled as we write down a summary of the year for OxGadgets.com.

Change of name/image:

If we were to write in chronological order, this would be the last item on the menu. Over the Christmas period, the website has gone through a name, URL and image change. What started off as a humble blog, going from being called Randomness Infinite to The Letter’s S recently, we are now aiming at becoming a high profile UK based gadgets magazine/webzine. We have gone from being accessed by smacula.blogspot.com, to getting our own domain in the name of smacula.co.uk, which has now become www.oxgadgets.com. Thanks to my very good friend @asimzeeshan, all those links still work, but the main access to the website is of course via the OxGadgets URL.

oxgadgetsTwitter

Of course, with the new image and the aim, we are openly accepting new contributors to the website. We prefer people from Oxford and the whole of UK, but anybody with any amount of passion is welcome to contribute. Of course, you can get in touch with us via our About/Contact page.

Arduino – PIC – ARM

One of the most popular items on this website has been the Arduino self-help articles we published back in 2010. Things have changed, as has our focus. We wrote a bit about PICs this year, but most importantly, moving forward towards the future, we shall be focussing on ARM tutorials and self help. There is a lot to learn, and the progress will be slow, but hopefully you guys will be enjoying what we have to offer.

Gadgets

There have been a few gadgets that have been added to our fleet.

While most people don’t even consider laptops as a ‘gadget’ any more, an interesting experiment took place when we bought a laptop from Dell’s refurbished store. An amazing price of only £400 for an i7 processor, with 4GB of RAM and 750GB HDD. This is currently the device this piece is being written on. We would definitely recommend checking it out.

Among phones, a HTC ONE X was acquired and has proven to be gem of a phone. The only complaint being O2’s handling of the Jelly Bean update. There is concerns about phones now though, and hope that in the future we shall go for the Nexus range only.

Talking of Nexus, among tablets, the Nexus 7 added to our lovely collection of gadgets, and this is one beauty that has not disappointed. It was something we never thought we could justify, but it is one of those beautiful little gizmos that suddenly make their presence known in your life once you own them. A definite thumbs up.

Amazingly, bike gadgets category was won by the side mirror we installed on our bike. That has made cycling around Oxford city not only safer, but very easy too. There is also the surprise package of how well a balaclava works in the winter, as well as quite a few bicycle lights.

We test drove the Nissan Leaf, a completely electric car. This proved to be a very interesting experience, though to summarize, the range is still the problem. The drive was lovely though.

There have been other devices that have been tested out thanks to the above, such as case, keyboards, docks, and such. Most of them were reviewed here, and you can find them under the Review section.

Other occurrences of note in the year:

  • Apple followed the success of Nexus 7 by releasing the iPad Mini. Kindle had already stepped into the 7” tablet game by releasing the Kindle Fire tablet. Tablets have become cheap, and accessible, with many 7” models under £200, and some even under a £100.
  • Electric cars progress at a snail’s pace, but there is hope and a big future for them.
  • 2012 was the year of crowd-funding. Kickstarter projects became big, as did others crowd-funding websites.
  • Smartphone watches have progressed to the state where Casio have produced one that links to your iPhone and lasts a 2 year life. We have also seen ventures such as Pebble go big.
  • Bluetooth and such wireless speakers are a common household item now.
  • E-Readers are here to stay.
  • Battery life remains the biggest problem with gadgets.
  • Many things to look forward to this year, some of which were promised for 2012… like flexible screens, more wireless charging, and such like.

Well here is our summary as we head towards an exciting new year. What were your favourite gadgets? What are you most excited about?

Review: Snugg iPhone 5 Suede Pouch Case

For my latest review, I will go away from the norm, and review an iPhone case. I don’t often review Apple products and related accessories, and that is probably to do with my love of Android, but every now and then a case comes along that makes you want to play with it. Snugg’s iPhone 5 Suede Pouch case is one such case.

More information and buying info for the case can be found at the following address:

http://www.thesnugg.com/iphone-5-cases/snugg-iphone-5-suede-pouch-case-in-tan.aspx

2012-12-13 19.27.592012-12-13 19.27.50

Look and feel

When it comes to look and feel, the Snugg case ticks all the boxes. It has a lovely leather feel, with an engraved company logo, beautiful stitching and nice colour range. It also fits very snugly in your hand, and sticks in there.

Holding the phone

To begin with the phone is quite a tight fit, and to be honest, one almost struggles to pull it out again. The attached elastic cord to extract phone, however, comes to your aid and allows you to pull your phone out. The case took about a week to loosen up and allow the phone to fit in easily. Once the phone is in, it stays in. Also the leather means that the case does not slip around in your pocket or your hand. The case provides ample protection to the phone.

Ports/Pockets

The case provides holes at the bottom to allow for the phone’s ring to reach out. However, if you want access to the headphone socket on the bottom of the phone, you will have to insert the phone in the case upside down.

It also packs in an extra pocket which allows you to pack in cash/card. I found this to be useful as a place to squeeze in notes, or maybe a bit of cash, but it will not hold credit cards.

Verdict:

As far as cases go, this works very well. It allows you to protect your phone, but being a pouch means it does not stay permanently in a cover and collect dust around the back. It feels and looks great, and with a discount offered right now on the price, it is a very good value for money.

I have to thank Snugg (www.theSnugg.com) for providing this case for a review.

Review: Blaupunkt DJ112 Silver Edition Headphones

2012-12-13 19.33.50

If you are one for attention to detail, and would not settle for anything less than great, these cans by Blaupunkt are just the thing for you. They look great, feel great, and the good guys at Blaupunkt have made sure that these give you a great retro look. These great headphones are going for only £29.99 with a £50 discount at www.mobilefun.co.uk at the following link:

http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/blaupunkt-dj112-silver-edition-headphones-p37184.htm

2012-12-13 19.31.48

It has taken me a while to complete this review, but the main reason for that is that these headphones give you so much pleasure, you want to give them a thorough review even before you write it down.

However, here I am, about to work my way through the review. I will try to make this personal rather than giving you the technical specs. However, I would like to point out that the following website gives you a very good test of headphones. These headphones passed all of these in flying colours:

http://www.audiocheck.net/soundtests_headphones.php

Look and feel

Like I said, these headphones are the ultimate example of attention to detail. They look good, and they feel even better. The metal is all beautiful and lovely to touch, as is the cushioning on the top. Even the cable comes wrapped in fabric, and gives you a good feel. It is 2.2m long, giving you all the room to be dancing around like crazy when you have these plugged in!

Weight

The only reason I am mentioning this is because all that beautiful feel and metal comes at a cost, and that is that these headphones are slightly heavier than your regular headphones. However, the sound they provide more than makes up for that extra weight. By the time you are immersed in the sound, you won’t even know they are there.

Sound

What can I say, these are by far the best headphones I have ever had. The fact that you can actually own these for this price is absolutely amazing. Sound is where headphones matter, and sound is exactly where these headphones deliver.

You plug them in, and there is not the slightest hiss. No distortion. No noise. Just you and the headphones. They cup your ears perfectly, and feel great. All this, even before you have started the music.

Then you hit play, and the magic begins. Not only is the sound great, but they also provide you one of the most amazing surround sound experiences I have ever had from a set of headphones. If you try them with the website I mentioned above, you will be able to discover the musical quality these headphones are able to offer.

It obviously gets better. Listen to your favourite tracks. Enjoy the music. Close your eyes. Forget everything around you. This is what these headphones give you!

I have to thank www.mobilefun.co.uk for sending this out to review for me. If you want phone accessories, mobile and tablet  phone speakers, mobile phone docks,  laptop/notebook accessories, iPod/iPhone/iPad accessories,  or other mobile accessories, MobileFun is a great site to visit. The Blaupunkt DJ112 Silver Edition Headphones can be found under the headphones category.

Review: Snugg Nexus 7 PU Leather Case

When it comes to tablets, a case is even more important than for a phone. A phone you can pop in your pocket, and if you look after it, it can survive. A tablet, however, has a bigger screen, and is heavier. This means that tablets require a higher level of protection, and as one can expect there are many options available for all tablets. However, when it comes to protection and practicality, only the best should suffice. One such case is the Snugg Nexus 7 PU Leather Case.

It is made of a special material with a leather finish, and stitched together to give a beautiful finish. The executive and official look it provides means you can proudly show this case off weather you are in a business meeting or travelling. The protection it provides means you can leave it in your backpack while you are running up and down escalators to catch your train or tube.

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With the case closed, the beautiful branding is quite obvious, which only makes the case look beautiful. The front has a smart folding option, which means the case can be used to perch the case in both typing mode as well as landscape mode. The back also features a small tab where the case folds into when the case is perched.

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The case, like most other tablet cases, also features magnets which mean that the case also serves as a power saving unit, as in it puts the tablet to sleep when the case is closed, and automatically wakes it up when you open the case. This provides the extra feature that you do not have to press the power button when you want to use the tablet, but can just open the case. This is one of my favourite features of such cases.

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However, this elastic band on the inside is what really makes this case stand out. This means that you can hold the case by sliding your hand in it, and lets you carry it and use the tablet easily.

Among other features are Velcro based bond system to hold the tablet in a very ‘snug’ fit, and ports for all the holes, such as the speakers, the mics, and the camera as well as power. It also includes a small look to hold a stylus in. This however, is the only thing I can find wrong with the case. The placement of this loop is right in front of the hole for the micro-usb connector, which means you cannot have your stylus in that loop and charge the unit at the same time.

I have used this case for good part of this week, and this has become my regular case for my Nexus. For a discounted price tag of £24.99, this case presents a great value for  money. You can find it on TheSnugg.co.uk at the following link:

http://www.thesnugg.co.uk/nexus-7-cases/snugg-google-nexus-7-pu-leather-case-cover-and-flip-stand-in-black.aspx

I have to thank The Snugg for providing me this case for the review.

Review: Proporta Beachbuoy Waterproof Case for Nexus 7

Before I go ahead and review this product, this case comes in two sizes, one covers your smartphones, and the other covers your 7” tablets and devices. This means that even if you do not own a Nexus 7, you can get this for your smartphones, your Kindles, and even your iPad minis! I got mine from MobileFun and buying details and more information can be found at the following link:

http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/proporta-beachbuoy-waterproof-google-nexus-7-case-p35749.htm

So, just to summarize, this case claims to give waterproof protection to your Nexus 7. On the specs, it claims an IP rating of 57 and 58, which means it can be submerged up to 5m in water, and can withstand a fair amount of dust too. IP ratings are used all over in the electronics/electrical industry all over to define the ability of the unit to withstand liquid and dust. Being an engineer, I can tell you for sure that an IP rating of 57/58 is pretty impressive.

Now for the test. I was not brave enough to put my Nexus 7 in the case for the initial test. So I thought I’d put in some tissues in the case, and submerge it in water. My kitchen sink had to suffice as I let water run over the case, and then I held it under there for about 2 minutes. As expected, and as promised, the tissues came out bone dry, and there were no indications of any condensation or moisture inside the case.

This means that the case fulfils the waterproof test. However, that is not the only requirement of the case. It has to function as a case that can be used, the touchscreen needs to function, and the speakers need to operate. There is also the accessibility of the ports available on the device.

I can tell you for sure, without even trying, that you have no access to the ports on the device. Which means headphones, USB connection or charging the device is out of the question. However, let me add, you probably will not want to use those ports while your device is subject or submerged in water.

Practicality wise, this is quite good, as not only can you squeeze your Nexus 7 (or other device in), but it also has room enough if you have a thin enough case. My Nexus slid in well without having to take the case off.

Once in, you can access the power and volume buttons. Also, despite the case being wet on the outside, I was able to use the touch screen without any problem. This is a big plus as far as the review goes. This means that your device is totally practical as far as usage is concerned. Playing music means that you get a fairly good quality of sound coming out of the speakers, and once again, that is a big plus. It also packs in a strap so you can hang it over your shoulder.

Verdict:

As far as applications go, this case does not disappoint. It provides waterproof protection to your electronic devices, which means you can access them in the bath, by a pool or at a beach. Also means you can use it in rain, though I do not know why you would need to. However, it is still good to know that you can. I think this is a must-have for all gadget enthusiasts, and should be part of every travel pack.

I have to thank www.mobilefun.co.uk for sending this out to review for me. If you want phone accessories, mobile and tablet  phone speakers, mobile phone docks,  laptop/notebook accessories, iPod/iPhone/iPad accessories,  or other mobile accessories, MobileFun is a great site to visit. The KeyCase Keyboard Case for Nexus 7 can be found under Nexus 7 cases at www.mobilefun.co.uk.

Top Rumoured Features of the iPad Mini

 

clip_image002According to rumours the iPad mini is about to be launched in the market in some days and the hype is same as that for the iPhone 5 when it was about to be released last month. The company has said that the devices from Apple now are going to be unique and different. The users had previously complained that they always experienced repeated features in the Apple gadgets. With the iOS 6, however, the company states that the features will be a lot better and new as if out of the box.

There have certainly been many more rumours about the iPad mini as it is about to enter the gadget market and the competitors are all on the verge of fear. The iPad mini is said to be sleeker, more reliable in features, and has removed the complaints of the users, with new apps and software updates. For such a delicate 7 inches device, you would want to have a theft cover with insurance or some accessories like cases/covers.

The features the grapevine has for us are as follows for the iPad mini:

1) The Office suite will be available on the iPad mini in full form. Previously you could only use the basic form of MS-Word. However, now you can sue the full version of every MS-Office application on the iPad mini.

2) The iPad mini is said to have only the Wi-Fi technology. The LTE 4G is not included. The company is rumoured to have the iPad 3 launch with revised specs and the LTE 4G technology instead of having it present in the iPad mini.

3) The device will have its own check in apps and the geographically locating apps for you to decide on a location then search it and visit it. There are no Google maps, but Apple has had the apps for maps already in iPhone 5 and this will be present in the iPad mini as well.

4) The 7 inches tablet is said to compete with Google Nexus and the Kindle Fire 2 and 3. Previously the users complained that the iPad 2 and 3 were bigger enough not to be carried to places easily. The company solved the issue by launching a 7 inches tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard full on QWERTY features, so you could enjoy the experience as you would on a small sized, smart, laptop.

5) The iPad mini will also have a series of new accessories coming out by Apple, and the third party dealers contracting with Apple. The cases/covers/skins etc., will be much more in variety and the quality will be unique.

6) The iPad mini’s front facing camera is almost as good as its back-facing camera. The light sensitivity has been retouched so that you get the same results with the iPad’s both cameras.

7) The touch screen is anti-glare and the Retina Display is a surprise for all users. The teardown videos of the supposed iPad mini reveal the display from Samsung as it has been confirmed in the iPhone 5 as well.

Author Bio:

Muhammad Azam is a technology and gadget enthusiast who has previously written for some highly respectable companies such as Protect your bubble insurance who are one of UK’s leading mobile phone insurance and theft cover provider.

Review: Jabra Drive (Bluetooth in-car speakerphone)

Bluetooth has made driving while answering a phone call fairly safe over the years. While there must be thousands of Bluetooth based products out there, a lot of them tend to sit in or around your ear, and that just ends up being really uncomfortable over long journeys. Another problem  Bluetooth devices have had over the past is that if you have two mobiles, say one for personal use and one for work, they will only pair to one, which means you either have two Bluetooth devices, or just sacrifice the use of one while driving.

Enter Jabra Drive, the product that sorts both of these issues. It provides you with a speakerphone instead of an in or around the ear solution, which means that no matter how long the journey, your ear does not feel any pain or discomfort. More over, this comes with the ability to pair with TWO phones at the same time. This means that you can have your phones in your pocket or on the dash or in the glove box, and when either of them receives a phone call, you are able to get through via this unit. A pretty impressive feature!
Following is  my review of the device:

Look and feel
Jabra are known to produce stylish products, and this is no exception. The device is designed to fit on top on your visor, and it has a metallic loop that lets it hold on to it. The speaker is covered by a wire mesh, which also serves as one large button, and a couple more buttons allow you to change volume. On the side is a micro-usb port as well as the power on/off switch. In your hand the device feels quite solid, and has a great finish.

In the box
The device comes with a micro-usb charging lead and an in-car usb charger, but no mains lead. This means that while you may struggle to charge it in your house, the micro-usb in car charger allows you not only to charge this, but also any modern Android based devices as well as Blackberries.

Pairing and connectivity
Pairing is fairly simple process. It easily connects to almost any phone out there that has bluetooth capability on it. Once paired, turning the device on means it will automatically connect to any devices that are paired. As I mentioned earlier, this device can connect, and put calls through, with up to two phones (or other devices) at once.

Talking
The speakerphone device allows the basic functionality of most Bluetooth devices. This packs in DSP technology, which means the sound and clarity for both you and the person on the other end is a lot better than your mainstream devices. It also performed well over faster speeds, though I was not able to test it on the Motorway.

Extra features
Apart from letting you talk, you can also stream music through your phone if your device supports it. Once again, that will work for most phones these days. However, if your car lets you connect your phone to the main speaker system, you would probably not bother with this. It also promises to let you do the same if you are using your phone’s navigation app. This has to be configured via your phone, and it may tricky in case of some phones.

Verdict
This is not my first Jabra, and this will most definitely not be my last Jabra. They have a knack of making good Bluetooth devices and this is not an exception. The sound quality and the ease of use make it a great device, while the price range means it is easily affordable. Most of all, it makes that drive of yours a lot safer! Pictures, specs, and buying information for this can be found at the following address:
http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/jabra-drive-bluetooth-car-kit-p30412.htm

I have to thank www.mobilefun.co.uk for sending this out to review for me. If you want phone accessories, mobile phone speakers, mobile phone docks,  laptop/notebook accessories, iPod/iPhone/iPad accessories,  or other mobile accessories, MobileFun is a great site to visit. The Jabra Drive Bluetooth Car Speakerphone can be found under the Bluetooth car kit section.

Review: Frends LightWire Headphones

When it comes to headphones, there is an extremely wide variety of products available. They come in various types as well as price ranges. Some of them target the style conscious, while the other focus on sound quality. Others go for comfort, while some also throw in other bells and whistles, such as being compatible with different phones and gadgets, so that the same set of headphones can be used to make calls, or play/pause music, with an additional microphone.

The Frends Lightwire seem to be the perfect combination of all the above. The headphones and assorted images can be found at: http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/frends-the-lightwire-headphones-snowtrooper-white-p35388.htm

Comfort:

The headphones are extremely light and sit quite nicely on your head. They also provide a cushioned support between the ear-cups and the speakers, which means that even wearing them for hours does not tire your ears or hurt them.

The headphones also feature a tangle free cord, which if you use headphones, cannot be valued enough!

Style:

The headphones feature the same format as most new and trendy headphones that is popular among today’s young. They also come in a variety of matte colours.

Functionality:

The headphones come with a built in microphone as well as a multi-function button that lets you make/end phone calls as well as play-pause music on the device you plug it into. This can be used with various devices such as Android as well as the iPhones/iPods.

I made a few calls and the sound quality is extremely good. In fact, with the surround sound effect of the headphones, it works really well and kept me going for a bit more than I would have!

Sound quality:

At the end of the day, the headphones will always be judged on the sound quality. I had a few pieces to try out the sound quality. I tried a few classical pieces as well as a few rock numbers. Each provided me with a good quality, though at times I though the sound was a bit more on the bass side of things. However, I think that was almost more down to how the headphones surround your ear to give you a surround sounds effect.

Verdict:

Simply put, the headphones are quite simply brilliant. They offer a lot for a low price. The build quality and comfort are brilliant as well as the sounds quality.

I have to thank www.mobilefun.co.uk for sending this out to review for me. If you want phone accessories, mobile phone speakers, mobile phone docks,  laptop/notebook accessories, iPod/iPhone/iPad accessories,  or other mobile accessories, MobileFun is a great site to visit. The Frends Lightwire headphones can be found under iPhone 5 headphones at www.mobilefun.co.uk.

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