Until now budget in the Smartphone market meant at least £200 and probably more. Here is one that launched SIM free at £139 or less. So does the new Moto G have it all at a price far less than others have offerings in the market?
I have been using the Motorola Moto-G for the last couple of months and I can say it probably is the best budget phone around at the start of 2014. It runs Android 4.3 but the promised upgrade to Android 4.4 Kit-Kat is due very soon. It upgraded on my phone on the 15 January. The phone measures 12.5x6.5x and even with a case attached weighs less than 174g.
On this occasion both sets are available at almost the same price. Both have wired connections so have at least two things in common. So would I prefer the Giotech EX-06 or the Nine Audio Vega, read on to find which my ears preferred.
When closed the headphones are 21cm from top to the base of the over ear cups, each arm has 3cm of movement. The total weight is 246grams. Each earpiece can rotate by 90degrees forward to enable easier storage. The headband is well padded useful if like me you are folicly challenged. More unusally the top part of the earpiece moves inwards by around 15degrees to accommodate all shapes of heads. The 1metre long lead has standard 3.
Having looked at various Philips toothbrush products in the past, it was time to check out a process that some dentists consider to be even more important with regards to the health of your gums and teeth.
Do you floss or just rely on brushing for your oral hygiene needs? According to a survey conducted in 2008, admittedly in America, 49% of those questioned confirmed that they flossed on a daily basis while 10% admitted that they never flossed. I somehow think that these figures would not be a true reflection of the current situation in the UK with the first figure being lower and the latter percentage being far higher.
During the time I had this unit my own oven and grill remained unused. Often today with small flats/bedsits there is no real kitchen, people make do with a microwave but for little more than that size you can have the Samsung MC32F606TCT.
So what is this multiple unit, well it is a Microwave, an Oven, a Grill, a Convection Oven and for good measure it can ferment dough and even yogurt. It is 52x47x29cm. The oven door opens downwards to form a flat surface in front of the oven which allows you to remove things to check the cooking process and turn items etc. The oven itself is 33x34x20cm and this contains a circular glass turntable plate 33cm across.
Like the recently reviewed Moto G, the ZTE Blade V considers itself to be a smartphone for those on a limited budget.
With the release of the Blade V handset, ZTE (recognised as the 4 largest smartphone manufacturer in the world) has added to its range of budget-priced smartphone models. This particular model is currently exclusive to Virgin Media in the UK priced at £71.99 on a PAYG basis.
If you are hoping for a relaxing sea cruise with this next title then you could be disappointed as gigantic waves make an appearance.
Epic Escapes Dark Seas is a Hidden Object Adventure game that was originally released by Alawar Games and is now available as part of Avanquest’s GSP catalogue of games titles. Your role in this game is that of a character who decides to combat her fears by facing them head on with a sea cruise.
Colour Lasers used to cost a lot and were also rather big. The next problem was that colour pages printed at only 25% of the speed of monochrome ones. Now all that has been solved with a unit little larger than an inkjet offering.
It is 44x44x39cm and weights 23kilos. These figures include the inbuilt paper tray and printed output is also within these figures. This is a four in one offering as it has print, copy, scan and fax, however it will also print from IOS or Android devices remotely via the web and locally. It is a touch control unit and the only button is on/off which is found quite low down on the front towards the right side.
The latest multifunction device to arrive from Samsung offers print, scan, copy and remote printing facilities to users looking for a monochrome environment.
Following the trend I have noticed with recent Samsung multifunction units, he company’s M2070 model combines a two-tone arrangement of a black A4 flatbed scanner mounted on top of a computer grey coloured printer. The arrangement may not be aesthetic pleasing or what I would consider stylist but the overall look is of a solid device that is reasonably compact with dimensions of 406 x 359.6 x 253mm (W x D x H).
I have looked at several devices that record onto SD and Micro SD cards. This is the first such device supplied with a recorder unit. This should therefore give better quality results and therefore provide you with better evidence.
The recorder box is 23x19x4cm with cables inserted. The supplied camera is 16x5.5x5cm. This kit provides everything you require and as a kit you get two manuals one for the security camera and one for the recorder unit. If you need more than one camera it can be supplied with two, three or four cameras.
First from Sony something of a lightweight offering so maybe ideal to take with you out and about the a set of headphones designed to go in an audio outlet for studio quality units but unscrew it and you have a 3.5mm jack.
These are described as Monitor Headphones and are on-ear design. The lead is of the flat type favoured by a lot of recent earbud offerings as it is less likely to knot up. The lead like the headphones are red, 30cm to the point where the leads from each ear link to form a single cable and then .8metre to the ‘L’ shaped 3.5mm plug.
While it wasnt on my schedule for forthcoming reviews, I did not need to think twice when offered the opportunity to review a Toshiba FlashAir Card by the companys PR Agency.
For those not familiar with FlashAir™ and its capabilities, I should explain that this technology combines the flash memory normally resident on an SD card with a wireless LAN chipset plus an antenna to facilitate wireless communication between connected devices. This hybrid construction allows data stored on the card to be accessed wirelessly by other devices without the need of a physical connection.
This is as you may guess from the name a 24inch panel. I have yet to look at any offering from AOC that I would not be happy to put on my desk and use daily and this offering is no exception, a well-made unit with excellent response.
The screen is 54x36x1.5cm the latter at the edges. It sits on a 23cm circular base which raises the screen on a telescopic arm between 2 and 15cm. The viewable screen is 51x32cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 24inches. There is a protruding lip on the rear about 7cm above the base of the screen and this has all the possible connections pointing down so nothing extends outwards and everything is retained within the units dimensions.
The thing that enticed me to look at Roku 3 was its ability to stream sound so that you can have no sound from your TV and still hear sound through the ROKU 3 unit to headphones or earbuds, ideal for those who dont want to disturb others.
I have not seen either the Roku 1 or Roku 2 which I understand are still available. You will need to purchase an HDMI cable to connect the small 8x8x2.5cm box to a port on you TV. It comes with a small power brick – 1.5metre lead – that also connects to the Roku 3 box. Both these connections are on the rear of the box split by an Ethernet connector – you can also connect via Wi-Fi - below the HDMI connector is a Micro USB port.
It is time to embark on a task to rescue somebody who has been taken prisoner by a succubus in a Hidden Object Adventure game.
A visit to the Maxell stand at a recent event introduced me to some of the companys new products including the subject of this review.
As part of the Hitachi Maxell company set up in 1960, Maxell Europe started life manufacturing alkaline batteries. In fact the company’s name was formed from the first three and last three letters of the company’s initial product. This was a MAXimum capacity dry cELL. Since those early days, Maxell has become involved in the development and manufacture of a wide range of products such as the subject of this next review.
Not having to worry about navigation issues can help reduce the stress of driving which is why a SatNav device can be a useful aid for the motorist.
As part of its 2013 line-up of SatNav products, Garmin released a number of new models including the nuvi 3598 LMT-D. This product consists of the main mini tablet-like rectangular unit with various connection add-ons. These add-ons are a suction cup, magnetic mount, standard to mini USB lead and a power lead with a mini USB connection at one end and a cigarette lighter plug at the other. This power lead also has an attached antenna lead to help with signal reception.
This can be lighter than an Android Tablet, however it runs Windows 8.1. The transformer part is a near full size detachable keyboard so all your Windows programs should run and it comes with Microsoft Office installed.
The Asus Transformer Pad T100 measures 26x18x1cm at the front, this increases by .5cm at the rear. It weights 1106grams with keyboard and 516grams without it. While the keyboard supplied is ‘near full size’ the individual keys are 1.4x1.1cm each with .1cm between keys and you may struggle to be a fast typist on it. It has 84keys with the top row of keys being only 1.2x.8cm. There is a 7.6x4.1cm trackpad mounted 8.4cm from the left and 10cm from the right. The viewable screen is 22.
If anyone can guess what these two items are from the title you are clever. The first came from the Gadget Show in November and the second is another USB item but not from Hong Kong where a lot of these items come from - but the UK.
Whether to keep your ears warm while still looking fashionable or allowing you to pretend you are unable to hear unwanted questions such as whose turn is it to wash up?, headphones were primarily designed with the idea of allowing you to listen to your favourite music without disturbing others.
While the name may not say it all, it does say enough to possible cause a merry quip or two when the subject comes up. For example imagine going into your favourite audio store and asking “What’s new?” only to hear the response “Nutz”. Of course seen in print the spelling does give a clue that might not be immediately obvious from the spoken word.
Here I am looking at two sets of small speakers, the first from Creative are a wired Bluetooth unit that is similar in size and shape to the second from Bose, a name I associate with high end audio but here at a cheaper price.
These are 20x15x8.5cm the total weight is just over 2kilos. The left speaker has a hard wired 1.4metre lead coming from the rear to connect to the right speaker. The right speaker has a tone knob, a Bluetooth button and an on/off volume knob in a single line. The rear has a column of four connections inset by around 1cm they are earphone out, audio input, to left speaker and DC input, the last mentioned has a 1.5metre lead to the power brick. Each speaker has a main speaker and a tweeter.
Modern technology, in general, has been designed for the modern world in which it is meant to operate. Unfortunately not every aspect of the environment, in which we may live, is capable of handling the demands placed upon it by modern technology. For example many of us do not live in buildings designed to cope with allowing users full access to their wireless network that has been set up for computing and entertainment needs. Brick walls and other immovable impedimenta tend to get in the way. Offering to help in widening and expanding the range of a home wireless network is the NETGEAR WN3500RP product with support for both 2.4 and 5GHz wireless connectivity
This product has the descriptive but rather lengthy title of Universal Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, Wall-plug Edition. Designed to work with any standard WiFi router or gateway, this product consists of five items. These are the main Extender unit, slot in AC plug adapter, power cord with appropriate plug, docking stand and a small Installation Guide. All the hardware items are decked out in white.
Drawn is a magical kingdom with mythical creatures and an on-going battle between the forces of Good and Evil. One defining factor of this land is that pictures play an important role in its existence.
It's been a while since I have had an opportunity to look at one of the excellent Cyber Shot range; in fact from memory the last Sony offering I told you about was the NEX6L almost a year ago. Here a fixed lens offering to fit into your pocket.
Just because it fits into your pocket do not dismiss its capabilities. The Sony CyberShot HX50 is a 20MP offering with 30x optical zoom. It is 10.5x6.5x3.7cm, the last figure when turned off, fully zoom in and the lens can extend by as much as 6cm onto that figure. It weights 273grams. The flash flips up manually from the top left edge of the camera and can never be closer than 5cm from the lens.
Adding to its range of All-in-One devices, Canon has released a product that leans towards quality as against speed of delivery
The Canon PIXMA MG5550 is an inkjet All-in-One product that offers print, scan and copy facilities with a choice of wireless or USB connectivity. Rather unassuming, but not unattractive, in appearance, this predominately matte box with rounded corners and a top that tapes inwards towards the scanner cover, has dimensions of 455 x 369 x 148mm (W x D x H). The unit weighs 13.8 lbs which means it should not be a problem to move the device to another location if the need arises.
For some reason this is classed as a business product. For that reason I am told it comes with Windows 7 Pro but also Windows 8 upgrade ready on the unit at no extra cost so you can choose. I was sent the non-touch version.
The HP EliteBook 840 G1 measures 33x23.5x1cm the last figure increases to 1.5cm at the back. It weighs 1.8kilos. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm giving the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 14 inches, the screen resolution 1920x1080 full HD which is rare for a 14inch screen. The screen itself is non reflective and the black screen surround has a matt finish. The back of the screen is finished in a rubberised black material while the area around the keyboard is grey.
Those of us into our forties or more will remember mobile phones like this in fact some even came with a brief case for the required battery. Here this tongue in cheek offering can be used for real or as a Bluetooth offering, however used it will be a talking point.
The first main difference is the weight 208grams. I can’t exactly remember what my first unit weights but it was a great deal more than that. 20x5x4cm without the dummy aerial that adds another 7cm to the first figure. The display is 3.7x2.8cm and in full colour, six lines of display and the keypad below is also backlit.
Velodyne, the California based design and development company specialising in audio equipment and responsible for the vFree headset reviewed recently, has a second headset model entitled the vQuiet. Manufactured in China, this new headset offers over-the-ear noise cancelling functionality as you listen to your favourite music in solitude but only if you really want to (see later).
Designed by international artist Marta Hall (who I have to admit was completely unknown to me prior to the arrival of this product), who created the signature style and shape of the headset, the vQuiet is predominately matte black in colour apart from the metallic light blue logos on each ear-pad. When not in use, this headset can be folded up and stored in the soft carry-pouch provided in the box. You also get a cord-style 123cm audio lead with “L” shaped 3.
These days kids seem to be using such devices before they can walk. So the age level suggested seem almost pointless to mention. The only mention on the box is a circular road sign with a picture of a young person and a red line. The age beside it is 0-3. 4+ is mentioned on the side of the box, at four most children know far more.
I was on a bus the other day and a baby in a pram was given a smartphone by its mother and it immediately started pushing the screen, I was the wrong side to see what it was doing but as the baby – about 6-9 months -seemed happy it was not I assume the first time it had seen it. At 285grams I would consider this seven inch offering too big for a child that age but at 3 years – or maybe a lot less – I am sure some of the games and other items would engage.
As part of its Signature Series, Creative has developed its T4 Wireless product.
Arriving in a fairly substantial box, the T4 Wireless kit consists of the subwoofer and two small satellite speakers mounted on their own permanently attached stands. You also get a mains power lead for two and three-pin sockets, a wired control pod, infrared control unit and a RCA to 3.5mm stereo cable plus various safety and setup documentation. Unpacking the kit proved to be a far easier tasks that the actual setting up of the product but more on this a little later.
With the same three main characters, the next episode in the Haunted Halls series arrives to challenge your Hidden Object Adventure game-playing skills.
This story began with Haunted Halls: Green Hills Sanatorium when the evil Doctor Blackmore and his experiments made their initial appearance. Later Haunted Halls: Fears from Children continued the story and revealed further details of the Doctor’s work. In both cases your role was that of a young journalist intent of rescuing her boyfriend Tim from the evil Doctor’s clutches. Now we have the third instalment entitled Haunted Halls: Revenge of Doctor Blackmore.