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Boxing Day Sales – Best Mobile Deals Here!

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Boxing Day will be a major shopping event for retailers in 2016. Tens of millions of consumers, armed with vouchers and Christmas money, will descend upon the high streets of British towns and cities looking for great deals. Those looking for smartphones are no different! There will be hundreds of thousands of individuals purchasing new handsets on Boxing Day.

According to Euromonitor, Boxing Day phone sales possibly reach £258 million. This would double 2015’s expansive turnover. So, which retailers are having Boxing Day events? A lot of money is expected to change hands in December and Boxing Day is a major day for retailers. This is the day they sell their Christmas stock, so they price it appropriately so they can make money yet allowing customers to get great bargains!

This article will outline the key retailers providing Boxing Day smartphone sales extravaganzas for phone aficionados. Let’s find out where the bargains are at?

CARPHONE WAREHOUSE

Will be offering BEATS headphones with pay monthly packages on Boxing Day week. This means a free £250 pair of headphones, for FREE! The other great deals include free £25 Apple app store or Google Play voucher with all pay monthly contracts over £ 15.50. However, there are some mega deals on Boxing Day, according to CW, with free tablets and games consoles for the first 50 purchases at stores across the UK.

 

ARGOS

Argos is always the most aggressively priced Boxing Day sales participant on the high street. So, expect great deals. According to insiders, the company is looking to offer a big Christmas Samsung event alongside a voucher and money-back deal on high end smartphone purchases. The high-street king will surprise us in 2016 as it opens its doors on Boxing Day to millions of bargain hunters!

AMAZON

Amazon had a great Black Friday and it is expecting an epic Christmas. Boxing Day is no different. They have started Christmas Warehouse deals and they will launch a Boxing Day event too. Furthermore, they will have deals on Huawei and LG handsets courtesy of a deal with both manufacturers and Amazon. This tie-up could see premium handsets discounted by Amazon and selling fast to bargain hungry Amazon customers.

JOHN LEWIS

The denizen of Middle Class respectability always provides quality Christmas deals – no free vouchers or tacky gadgets from John Lewis. However, Boxing Day 2016 will see John Lewis Electricals provide some interesting deals with key technology partners. Including £50 off the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the HTC. However, they are keeping quiet on the mega deals. So, like 2015, it’s a case of queuing up at your nearest John Lewis to grab a bargain and a free cup of coffee!

So, with so many retailers planning extravagant sales events for lucky Boxing Day patrons, you know you can find the right smartphone at the right price for your needs. The best deals, from free Beats headphones to cash back on Samsung phones, means the right deal is available to all. You just need to get out there and hit the high street running. Grab a bargain this Boxing Day!

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Apple vs Android – What does 2017 hold?

Friday, December 16th, 2016

The tribal machinations of Apple versus Android are a well-documented annual rites of passage endeavour that the technology pundits love to roll out annually – and we are no different. Apple and Android have almost messianic tribal support and therefore any comparisons of the platforms usually tend to lead to some negative scorn. However, this article will just highlight what the sector’s leading thinkers believe is in store for 2017 for our famous market dominating duo of smartphone platforms.

First off, we should highlight an inconsistency. Android is not one singular device. It is a myriad of devices and platforms from Amazon to Huawei. It is a range of budgets, specs and choices. Apple is simply the iPhone. This article will highlight, for the sake of clarity, what we expect between Apple’s iOS and Android’s OS.

Android “O”

The Google-backed operating system, usually named after a dessert or sweet, will be unleashed in August 2017, carrier dependent as always. The 2017 flavour of Android, if you forgive the pun, could be a new game-changing platform. Android Andromeda has long been talked about. Google has a problem. It created Android but it also created Chome OS – the OS that powers Chromebooks or Chromeboxes. This fragmentation is a bigger problem than the device fragmentation suffered by Android smartphones. Google is working on mashing up Chrome OS with Android. One OS along all the Google platforms. The Wall Street Journal believes 2017 will be the year of the Google mashup.

Another area of possible Android greatness is the news that Android “O” will increase the capacity for the OS to utilise GPU processes within Qualcomm and other leading processor manufacturers technologies. The implications of this news have reverberated the VR community. Virtual Reality is coming in 2017 and this means that developing capacity and broadening capacity will be a central tenet of the Android “O” ecosystem. This will be further complemented by Google’s Daydream VR technology which will act as the catalyst for improved VR output on Android technologies.

Apple’s iOS 11

The year 2017 will be a pretty busy one for Apple Inc. as it launches an array of new technologies and software. Chief among said technologies and software will be its ubiquitous device-based OS. Simply called iOS. We are now in our 10th incarnation and 2017 will see the launch of the 11th version. Apple likes to keep its cards close to its chest. Leaks are usually limited and they know how to launch a product. Therefore, we only know a little bit about what’s coming Apple’s way. We know that wireless charging and augmented reality will play a big part in the overall user experience. According to both MacRumors and MacWorld, AR will be a big part of iOS 11. Patents already illustrate the software role of iOS in redefining the user experience and to help create a more useful and responsive Siri personal assistant.

The other area, as stated above, will be the wireless charging element of battery life control that iOS manages on behalf of the device. According to Bloomberg, 2017 will be the year of wireless charging for iPhone and hence iOS software. The centrality of wireless charging is the diversity – the growing public hotspots and domestic hotspots – will see an end to long over-night charging behaviour in favour of less frequent bursts of wireless charging. This, Apple argues, will help in terms of controlling battery life from a software perspective.

What the two OS platforms will bring to the table is anyone’s guess. However, if these predictions come true, we could see an interesting 2017 in mobile smartphone OS terms.

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2017 Mobile Trends and Predictions

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Those looking to upgrade their phones in 2017 have a lot to look forward too. Analysts and technologists are hinting at some great tech next year. The next-generation smart phones will be, obviously, thinner, faster and pricier – that goes without saying – but there are other aspects that the professionals are getting excited about.

Virtual Reality Becomes Mainstream

According to Price Waterhouse Cooper, Virtual Reality will, uh, become a reality in 2017. Not through the use of awesome games or movie players but through more useful resources, albeit some would argue boring. AI will be deployed as chatbot assistants and help support agents on websites and apps. The VR connection will end the lack of humanity current bots have in order to create engaging human to artificial human intelligence collaboration.

The Rise of OLED

The deployment and usage of OLED display technologies will be a key motivator of growth and sales in 2017. According to UBI Research, the OLED technology will help create a bezel-less smartphone experience that will lead, by 2020, to foldable or rollable smart devices. Reports suggest Samsung, the technology’s chief manufacturer, is to provide Apple, its arch-rival, with tens of millions of OLED screens for Apple’s 2017 iPhone offering.

Is 2017 Finally the Year for Wireless Charging?

Grandview Research argues that the US marketplace for wireless charging will reach $2,2 Billion with the bulk of this spending on mobile charging solutions. This increase is perceived to be based on a consumer demand for less hassle around charging smart devices – which have become cornerstones in twenty first century living. The implications of this massive sea change in consumer behaviour will impact on device sales in 2017, according to researchers at Grandview Research.

Augmented Reality combines with Virtual Reality Headsets

Augmented Reality will be a massive game changer in the smartphone marketplace argues Juniper Research. The applications for AR are diverse and bold. Juniper Research believes, video games and entertainment aside, AR will play a leading role in the healthcare, search engine and social communications sectors. Juniper believes these new markets could add $6bn a year in app revenues. The AR bandwagon will complement the VR experience whilst offering enterprise with a useful and utilitarian user experience.

Like all predictions, they are guestimates based on research. Whether these predictions pan out is another outcome altogether. However, by highlighting possible avenues of change we can start to understand how smartphone manufacturers will adopt and adapt to new technologies in relation to their own device’s core offerings. Therefore, 2017 looks like an interesting year for smartphone anoraks.

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Best Horror Games for your iPhone

Friday, October 28th, 2016

With Halloween just around the corner, we highlight some of the scariest iOS horror games available now.

Getting in the mood for some cheap scares or gut wrenching horror has never been easier and with the HD displays, great memory and processing speeds for the latest iPhones, these horror games are more frightening than you might realise.

Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities  £4.49

With several nods to classic titles like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, Forgotten Memories is a beautifully atmospheric game that follows Rose, the games protagonist, in a search for a missing child. The challenging gameplay and amazing graphics makes for a solid game for fans of true survival horror games.

The Walking Dead – 1st Episode FREE

Fans of the TV show or comics will be aware of the genius behind the TellTale studios adaptions in the form of the game. But for everyone else, this episodic point and click game is a thoroughly enjoyable mini-series that follows a group of characters during the breakout of the zombie apocalypse.

Intuitive user interface, a riveting story and some of the most personable characters make the horror of the situation more relatable.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers – 1st Episode FREE

Our pick of the best horror adventure game on iOS goes to Gabriel Knight. This remastered edition of the original Sins of the Fathers mystery sees egotistical writer Gabe investigating a spate of voodoo murders in New Orleans, as inspiration for his new book. A creepy plot, well-crafted characters and one sublime use of colourful language add up to a sinister yet enjoyable adventure.

The School: White Day – £4.99

There are few worse places to find yourself trapped in overnight than a creepy school filled with bloody terrifying ghosts and ghouls. Sadly that’s exactly what happens in The School: White Day, a remake of a terrifying 2001 PC game that sees you running for your life from those beastly apparitions. With seven endings to see, there’s plenty of reason to play this one over and over.

Adam Wolfe – £8.99

This dark horror mystery is set firmly in a world where the supernatural, cultists and demons all run amok over the city and your task as Adam Wolfe is to hunt down your long-lost sister. It has fun, action packed set pieces, head scratching puzzles, interesting interrogation choices and a sinister and mature theme that lends itself well on the mobile screen.

Last Door: Collector’s Edition – £2.99

Very fun point and click adventure with a just right level of difficulty to keep you puzzled but not enough as to put off. The pixelated graphics are jarring at the beginning are quite quickly forgotten as more detail might have detracted from the quality and suspense of the game, but as you are sucked into the story and familiar control mechanics. Set in Victorian England, when Jeremiah Devitt receives a cryptic message from an old school friend, he knows something is wrong and sets out on his journey to investigate, “discovering things that man was not meant to know, and opening doors that should have remained closed”. As one of the cheaper options on the list, it’s worth checking out. It starts creepy and gets creepier throughout, fans of old classics like Monkey Island will LOVE this game.

Five Nights At Freddy’s – £2.29

Forget the comical and cuddly look of the characters, this game is full of jump scares and an intense difficulty that will break you a few times. But his incredibly well received game is a great concept and thoroughly enjoyable even in the sense of relief to get through the night shift.

You need to conserve power to keep you safe throughout the nightshift, checking on the mechanical toys at a kids party house. If that doesn’t scare you, it really should.

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HTC Announce New Flagship Android Handset – The HTC One X

Monday, February 27th, 2012

HTC made their name producing Windows Mobile handsets but it was their Android phones which raised their profile to be on par with top mobile manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony Ericsson. While they’ve continued to support Microsoft by releasing some excellent Windows Phone 7 devices more often than not HTC’s Android handsets have stolen the show.

Although following previous flagship devices such as the Desire and Sensation is a tall order it looks like the One X should be more than a match for its predecessors. The announcement of the first quad-core handsets means the bar has been raised for all new high-end smartphones and HTC have comfortably lived up to expectations by putting an extremely powerful 1.5GHz quad-core processor in the One X. Considering phones with a decent speed dual-core processor seem to be lightning fast the One X is bound to be astoundingly quick.

The Galaxy Nexus impressed with its large, high resolution screen but the One X’s 4.7 inch 720p screen should look even better as it uses IPS technology meaning we’ll see iPhone 4S quality colour and brightness only at a higher resolution and on a bigger screen. You’ll be wanting some 720p videos to make use of that beautiful screen and luckily there is 32GB of on-board storage ready to be filled with films and music.

While there’s no microSD card slot it’s not the end of the world as HTC have arranged for users to be given 25GB of DropBox storage for saving and sharing all your files. What makes this especially handy is the fact you can sync your DropBox across devices so you could have the same pictures and music available on both your phone, desktop pc and laptop.

The 8 megapixel camera features a burst mode for taking a series of snaps quickly and HTC are boasting that we’ll see none of the lag which plagues most camera phones. A 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera should provide good quality video calling while the back camera can record video at 1080p.

Visually the One X is certainly above average and the polycarbonate body will come in both white and grey (that’s what HTC are calling it but it looks pretty close to black to us). Like the iPhone 4 and 4S the One X takes micro SIM cards rather than the standard size to save on space and although it might be a pain getting a new SIM over time they’re certain to become the standard.

With features other manufacturers don’t have access to such as Beats Audio HTC may have produced a handset that will appeal both to those into the latest technology and those into the latest fashion. The One X looks great, has plenty of power and features a new slicker-looking version of HTC’s Sense UI, depending on what the Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 have offer this could be the phone to beat this year.

The HTC One X should be available in April although price and availability are still not yet confirmed.

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Samsung Announce Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

There was a brief period when some of the most well established mobile phone manufacturers appeared to have become a little insignificant when compared to the all conquering iPhone, luckily in the past 18 months manufacturers such as Samsung have released a number of top notch handsets to challenge the iPhone for supremacy.

The Samsung Galaxy S II may not be quite cutting edge any more but many consider it to still be one of the finest phones on the market, the rest of Samsung’s range has taken a number of design cues from the Galaxy S II and use the same TouchWiz interface meaning even if you can’t afford a high-end device you can still get the authentic Samsung experience.

The newly announced Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2 offer two new options for those one the lookout for a new Android handset. The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 has a good sized 3.8 inch screen running at 800×480, which should look fine since the screen isn’t too large. It also features a 5 megapixel rear camera with a flash and a front-facing VGA camera for video calling.

The Galaxy Ace 2 may only have 4GB of internal memory (though that’s still more than some high-end handsets such as the HTC Sensation) but the addition of a microSD slot means an extra 32GB can be added. The Galaxy Ace 2 only has an 800Mhz processor but it is dual-core so it shouldn’t be too slow (providing you’re not comparing it to some of the recently announced quad-core Android handsets). Other specs include 768MB of ram, Wi-Fi, GPS and an additional NFC enabled version of the phone.

The Galaxy Mini 2 has a slightly smaller 3.72 inch screen running at only 480×320 which is pretty much standard for lower-end Android handsets. the Galaxy Mini 2 has a 3 megapixel camera with no flash but has the same 4GB of internal memory as the Galaxy Ace 2. A single core 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM make it obvious this will have much lower performance than the Galaxy Ace 2 and again there will be an NFC enabled version.

Both these phones are a couple of months away from release with April their expected arrival date. No prices have been revealed but the Galaxy Ace 2 will probably be an affordable mid-range handset while the Galaxy Mini 2 is sure to be a low-end handset with a lower price tag to match.

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Sky Go Arrives on Android

Monday, February 20th, 2012

In the early days of the rivalry between iPhone and Android it was often the iPhone which had a significant advantage when it comes to getting support from the biggest companies and getting all the latest apps. As the years have gone by the gap has closed significantly and with a number of the most popular iOS apps now available on Android it’s nice to see massive companies such as Sky are seeing the benefits in offering their support to the many millions of Android owners.

Sky Go has been available on the iPhone and iPad for a while now and although they’ve taken their time, Sky have will have made many of their customers very happy today by allowing them to watch TV on the move on their Android device. While there are no on demand services available you can now watch live TV on your mobile providing you have an appropriate Sky TV package and a decent connection.

Unfortunately it’s not all good news, for a start the number of compatible handsets is limited and there are currently no supported tablet devices. You’ll need a HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S or Samsung Galaxy S II to benefit from Sky Go and on top of that rooted devices are not supported. The range of compatible handsets should grow over time though and like most software the app is bound to greatly improve as updates are released.

If you’re a Sky customer and you have one of the supported devices then head over to the Android Market to get the official Sky Go app for free.

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Samsung Galaxy S Advance hits Europe in February

Monday, January 30th, 2012

While there’s no firm UK date yet, Samsung have confirmed that the Galaxy S Advance will arrive in Europe next month. With a 4-inch super AMOLED screen, 5-megapixel camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread installed the Galaxy S Advance isn’t quite a Galaxy Nexus beater.

The Samsung Galaxy S Advance may have a dual-core processor but it only runs at 1Ghz although the 768MB of RAM is comparable to many high-end handsets. The Galaxy S Advance will come in both 8GB and 16GB flavours although the microSD slot will allow you up to 32GB of storage.

The Galaxy S Advance resembles the Galaxy S II in both looks and hardware specs although the overall inferiority of the Samsung s Advance should mean it will be cheaper than its bigger brother. While the Galaxy S Advance will certainly cost more than the Galaxy Ace Plus it should still come in at a price which makes it a godo choice for anyone after a mid-budget Android handset.

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T-Mobile’s New Full Monty Plan To Offer Huge Allowances

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Three’s popular ‘The One Plan’ has long been one of the best value deals on market, with high allowances for calls, texts and data at a great price few plans from other networks come close. Until now that is as T-Mobile have now revealed a rival to Three’s ‘One Plan’ with their ‘Full Monty’ deal.

The Fully Monty starts a £36 a month for a 24 month contract and includes unlimited calls to other T-Mobile customers (don’t worry, you get a comfortable 2,000 minutes to other networks), unlimited texts and unlimited data. Starting a £41 a month is an even more unlimited package with unlimited calls to all networks, unlimited texts and unlimited data.

These deals sound surprisingly cheap considering T-Mobile claim they are truly unlimited with no fair use restrictions on calls, texts or data.  Even more surprisingly some top phones are available with the deal for free such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Sensation XE although on the lower deals phones such as the iPhone 4S 16GB will cost around £99.

The first details are shown on T-Mobile’s Website although more detailed information is due to follow later in the week. Although some prefer cheaper deals at just £36 with a top handset the Full Monty certainly sounds like a deal worth getting.

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Motorola Defy+ gets even tougher with JCB Edition

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

The Motorola Defy+ is already one of the more rugged handsets on the market but the new Defy+ JCB Edition is an even tougher version designed to cope with the demands of being used in a construction environment.

The Defy+ JCB Edition is protected by JCB’s visco-elastic protective sleeve which not only provides some protection from knocks and falls but protects the screen from dust and dirt too.

Installed on the Defy+ JCB Edition is the JCB Tool Box, you get a torch app which uses the camera flash, a digital spirit level, a decibel meter and other handy tools that will come in handy both at work and around the home.

With the same specs at the standard Defy+ you get a pretty decent piece of hardware with a 1Ghz processor, a 5 megapixel camera and Android 2.3 installed. With such protection from the dangers of the workplace the Defy+ JCB Edition is one of the few higher-end handsets which won’t shatter from the tiniest fall (we’re looking at you iPhone 4) and at £259.99 it’s a good value device too.

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