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Aukey Portable Battery Review

This is a product that is not only extremely handy to own, but it also looks fantastic! The first thing that struck me after receiving my package was how nicely this device is presented. The packaging and box is like something you’d expect from Apple, sleek and well put together. You get to open it all up, slowly getting to the product itself.

It comes with a nice little case that is a good fit for the device itself, which also has a small pouch on the front to store the very flexible USB cable that comes included.

The device charges from Micro USB, so it’s universal with no need to carry around a spare charger for your device. Oddly with other portable chargers I’ve used in the past they have had chargers such as Mini USB or their own, which becomes a bit of a hindrance. This device however does not suffer from that issue.

The device has a standard USB port for charging your devices and charges your gadgets very quickly. I used it with my iPad Air and my android devices. For my phones I was able to get 3-4 charges and my iPad got a single charge. There was no slow down in charging which is fantastic and this comes in very handy for on the go charging,

The charger is sleek, its rubberised finish almost perfect as it doesn’t slide everywhere and also allows for you to put your phone on top without it sliding off. That might sound like an odd plus point but the charger is almost the perfect size to rest my phone on, so it was nice knowing that if I accidentally knocked my phone it would go sliding away.

The cable that is included is a nice touch as it is very flexible. It’s not like the ones you get included with your gadgets which makes storage easy but also using your device while it is on charge is exceptionally easy.

The small LED lights display how much juice is left in your charger, helping to prevent you getting caught unaware, avoiding times when you might run completely out. This is extremely handy.

Compared to other similar products this is the best I’ve used. It’s functional but absolutely premium. It looks and feels great and the additional case and USB cable really complete the package. For those who are running out of juice on the go, this is an absolute must have!

 

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Galaxy Gear Fit Impressions

I’ve been using my Galaxy Gear Fit for a couple of weeks now. It was a bit of an impulse buy, on offer with O2, so I grabbed myself one. I prefer the look and feel of the Gear Fit vs the Neo or the Gear 2, and it’s definitely a much nicer device to wear on a day to day basis than the original Galaxy Gear.

For me it’s the style of the watch that I like. It’s small and compact and looks smart, giving a solid two to three days of battery life. Throw in the added water resistance and Samsung have really gotten themselves a winner.

When it comes to screen size, the Gear Fit is unusual, but work pretty well. I have my display oriented vertically, making my notifications and menus much easier to navigate through. Speaking of notifications, I don’t really use the watch much for them. Granted it’s handy to be able to see who is calling, or why my phone just vibrated, but for me they are an added bonus.

S-Health is a great complimentary piece of software for the Gear Fit, tracking your heart rate, steps walked, calories burned, sleep patterns and exercise. It’s nice to have these stats in one place, and you can chose when your Gear and phone sync up. I must admit however, the software still has leaps and bounds to go before it is any real use. Right now it’s more of a handy little link up to store your information, but you can’t do a massive amount with it.

So that’s it really, short and sweet. As I mentioned, this is a fantastic watch, and by far my favourite wearable so far. It suits me perfectly as I was looking for a nice looking watch, that had added functionality thrown in. Is it for everyone? No, but if like me, you want a nice watch, that can also link with your phone, then go ahead and take the plunge.

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Blackberry Q10 Review

Blackberry Q10

Introduction

The Blackberry Q10 is the latest flagship qwerty device from the declining Canadian manufacture. It’s their premium model, the go to for business phones. So how well does it stand up against the competition and can it deliver something that other manufactures are missing?

Look and Feel

The first thing that struck me about the Blackberry Q10 is how well it is made. It feels premium and looks great. It has a good weight about it and feels durable, unlike some of the plastic competition out there. The textured back cover adds a little extra grip while also looking the part, with a carbon fibre look to it.

The main feature of this phone, its qwerty keypad, feels and responds excellently. I didn’t realise how much I missed using a hardware keyboard until I took the Blackberry Q10 for a spin. The keys are large and well spaced and the whole thing just fits nicely with the OS, especially when used as a business device.

User Interface

The operating systems is pretty good. I’ve only seen little short sharp bursts of Blackberrys own OS in action, playing with it for small amounts of time. This was the first time that I gave the OS any true attention and I must admit I’m impressed.

I love the multi tasking on the device and the gesture controls. You have your application panels, and when you finish with an app they will appear as tiles on your main screen, giving you the option to close them once you no longer need them. Having my open apps visible made me close them down when I was done with them, helping me to save battery where possible.

Gesture control works pretty well, swipe up to minimise an app and return to your main menu, really simple, effective, and above all, easy to use.

The operating system just worked, and it worked nicely. It’s main downfall… apps… or lack of. I loaded up the Blackberry application store and punched in the name of my two most commonly used apps to find neither were available. Now i understand you can side-load Android apps but for the average consumer this isn’t going to be overly appealing.

Battery

For a smartphone the Blackberry Q10 came out above average for its battery. I got a solid two to three days worth of juice out of this device and that’s with some good solid usage. It’s not quite as good as some of the Blackberrys we’ve seen before in terms of battery but it’s hand down better than the competition.

What I liked

I loved the keyboard. As I said before I didn’t realise how much I’d missed a hardware keyboard but using the Blackberry Q10 has reminded me how nice a physical keyboard on a smartphone can be.

What I disliked

Lack of applications has to be my biggest gripe with the phone. Why Blackberry haven’t started funding developers is beyond me. They are too reliant on the fact that this will be used as a business phone, or that people will just instal Android apps, but in reality neither is true.

Conclusion

My time spent with the Blackberry Q10 has left me with mixed feelings. It is a good solid device with a fantastic operating system, but the lack of application support leaves the device with an uncertain future.

I honestly thought I would hate the phone but I’m more than a little impressed. I would quite happily have this as my personal device. If applications aren’t overly important to you and battery life, combined with a fantastic keyboard are at the top of your list then this could be the device for you.

After my experience I wouldn’t write Blackberry off just yet. If they can work some magic and get developers on board, then there maybe some life left.





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iPhone 5S Review

Introduction 

Its been a long time since I used an iPhone for personal use. I fell in love with Android some time back and shunned the iPhones seeing them as basic and small so I really expected to dislike the iPhone 5S, in fact I wanted to dislike it. However the opposite has happened, I’ve fallen in love with it.

Look and Feel

Apple have done what Apple do well, built a device that looks and feels amazing. Its superbly lightweight and the screen looks fantastic despite it being relatively small. The iPhone feels premium, beautifully crafted and fantastic to handle.

I’ve been put off the smaller screen of the iPhone for some time now, preferring the mammoth sized displays you find on Androids. However using the iPhone reminded me of what this device is, its a phone. It no longer takes up every bit of space in my pocket and it feels comfortable to hold during lengthy calls. It still does everything else well while at the same time doesn’t over stretch its purpose. With tablets at such reasonable prices why do we also opt for giant displays on our phones?

If you are used to previous generations of Apple devices then you may find yourself in need of new charging or dock accessories as the port in the iPhone 5 and above has changed. There was outcry when this happened but at the end of the day it saved on time and also this device charges up extremely fast.

User Interface

I wasn’t a fan of iOS 7 on the iPad but on the iPhone it works well. Its punchy and sharp and responds extremely fast. Noticeable differences from the previous OS are the complete change of style, new launcher options and revamped multitasking.

We still lack some of the customisation options that you would find in an Android device but iOS 7 is pretty nice. Its fast and intuitive and above all else its extremely simple to use. Like all previous iOS devices Apple have maintained that quality where anyone can pick up a device and find their way around it regardless of experience.

Camera

Here’s where things aren’t quite as good. The camera is an improvement over previous models and the dual LED flash is a welcome addition. I managed to snap some great looking pictures on the go and with the additional camera functions, such as slow motion videos, things got really fun.

However, where the camera falls down is against its competition. Its the best Apple camera on any of its devices but when pitted against competition flagships it falls short. The main devices I have used along side the iPhone 5S are, Galaxy Note 3, Xperia Z1 and the Lumia 1020. What we do need to consider however is that they pack a better camera but they are also huge devices when compared to the iPhone. Its a trade off you need to decide on.

Battery

Battery life was surprisingly good, easily lasting me a full day. Its what I’ve come to expect from this kind of device. It won’t blow you away and you’re still going to need to charge this on a daily basis.

What I liked

Surprisingly I loved the size of the device. It felt almost perfect to use as a phone with all the smart added extras. For me it is nearly perfect as I carry a tablet around everywhere I go and have the option of using my iPhone as a mobile hotspot. For some, the size will be a let down, for others a massive bonus.

What I disliked

The price. Yes Apple have made a beautiful and premium device but I still cannot accept that it is worth the asking price. It has lovely features and is well crafted but its a hefty price tag.

Stand Out Feature

The finger print reader for me was the stand out feature. I expected it to be a gimmick, something that rarely worked. Instead I found it to be fully functional and pretty handy. Literally I pressed my thumb on the home key and voila! No need for patterns, codes or pin numbers.

Conclusion

In conclusion I loved the iPhone 5S and I can’t really fault it. Potential buyers need to decide on what they really need from a phone and take a look at what other devices they carry. If you lug a tablet around with you then the iPhone is a nice companion. If you’re looking for an all in one device for heavy browsing on productivity on the go then this device probably isn’t for you.

Is it worth the price tag? Hard to justify really. However its one of the most surprising devices I’ve used in a long time and for once I’ve been pleasantly excited while using the iPhone.

Check it out here: iPhone 5S

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Another Smartphone OS

I find myself reading through the tech blogs and websites on a regular basis. It’s how I keep up to date with my job and I love it. However one thing coming or of MWC this year that I find relatively shocking is we are one again being treated to hands on demos of a new smartphone os from Mozilla.
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