Joining Nick and Kev this week, is Brad, better known on Twitter as ‘Donuts In The Parking Lot’ (@ditpl) as they chat about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the Galaxy Note. (more…)

Galaxy Nexus Day 2

November 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Reviews - (3 Comments)

Ok, so I started the day with this Tweet, but I have to report that I did very badly :-( Read on to find out why, and relax, I do find some nice things to say further down the page!

There were the issues with the screen brightness that I am still trying to get some information on, anyone with an S2, go into Settings/Display/ and tick or untick the box for “Auto adjust screen power” and you get an idea of what this control does. Go to a mainly white screen, say gmail, web or whatever, and with the control on, it reduces the power and brightness to save battery. With it off, you can have really bright whites, and a bit less battery. (more…)

Galaxy Nexus Preview

November 22nd, 2011 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Reviews - (Comments Off)

This will only be a quick look at the new Vanilla Google phone, the Samsung made Nexus, as I have only had it for a few hours.  The first surprise was the size of the box!, its huge, and I can only think it is some attempt to convince a court later on that it is not an iPhone rip off.

I have spent the last few days with a Galaxy Note, so maybe I have just got used to large devices, but given some of the comments I read on the web and Twitter, I was expecting this to be a lot bigger than it is. I was asked on Twitter how much larger the Note is, and would have to say, quite a bit, but as I already said, if you are going to have a two handed device, then maybe you go all the way up to a Note? So, the Nexus is 10mm taller, and just under 3mm wider than the S2,  It is only .5mm thicker according to the spec sheets, but it feels more than that in the hand, not that it feels bad in any way.  The Nexus feels nice and solid, despite its wafer thin back panel, the same as both the Note and the S2. (more…)

Buying new phones on the cheap(ish)

November 20th, 2011 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (3 Comments)

You will often hear us talking about getting deals cheap through Topcashback, or Quidco, and paying monthly, and the most common response is “I don’t want another contract”. We understand, but here is a quick guide to the way you should think about this, and how it can spread the cost of cutting edge tech.

Before we start, you need to be able to pass a credit check, so if you are completely unworthy, stop reading, but, even if you think you are, you may be surprised with some of these deals, and it costs nothing to try.  In this example, we will use the latest Nexus phone, the Galaxy Nexus as an example, but it applies to most things really, you just have to look around, for example, at date of this post it applied equally to the Galaxy Note, an awesome device, arguably better than the Nexus :-)

So, the Galaxy Nexus price Sim Free and unlocked, no contract varies, but appears to be £529 at Phones4U, and Amazon have it listed at £519 although not until Dec 2nd in the latter case, and in the former, it appears to be in store only at P4U.

So, how to get it for £450 with only £249 upfront layout and 0% interest on the rest? (with a Sim card for a friend or a child maybe with 50 mins and 250 texts for 24 months)

Step 1. Join QUIDCO or TOPCASHBACK if not already a member, TCB is totally free, and Quidco take first £5 a year of any earning (if you earn nothing, you pay nothing)

Step 2. Log into your account at either one, and I always clear my cookies before a major purchase, as if oyu have visited a site before, and have a “competing” cookie, from say HotdealsUK or similar, they may get the commission and not you.

Step 3. Search on TCB or Quidco for O2 (this example uses O2, it could be anyone) Read ALL the details correctly, for example on this one, the cashback for a 18/24 month non-iPhone contract is £50.50 with TCB. This figure can change up and down daily so CHECK IT CAREFULLY.

Step 4. Click the link and it opens up the O2 website, just as if you went direct. It keeps TCB site open in another Tab so you can refer back at any point. Now find the deal you want, in the example, choose Shop and there are many ways to get to the phone you want, when you have you will see something like this.

There will be other contracts listed below, but it is the cheapest one we want, it will default to £16.50 a month, with 500mb of data, but you can select the 100mb a month (remember we are not doing this for the actual Sim or plan, its a way to get the *phone* cheap) and it will drop to £13.50 with the upfront staying at £249. Remember all this things can change, so to make sure you know what you are signing up for you need to take the cost of contract, plus the upfront cost and add them together to find TCO (total cost of ownership)

So, £13.50 * 24 plus £249 (delivery is free) is £573 right?  OK, but with O2 at the time of writing this, it is possible to take off even the 100mb of data and save another £3.5o a month. In fact you can do this before you even receive your phone. All you do is log into the account using the details you signed up with and remove the data bolt on. On my last 2 deals I have done like this, I was able to remove the data well before I got the phones, right after you get the despatch email actually.

So, once removed, you will be paying £10.50 * 24 plus £249 upfront, so that is £501. Assuming you get the cashback (never g/teed but I always have) that brings it down to £451, that is not only £69 cheaper than Amazon and £79 cheaper than P4U, it is also only £249 today and the rest spread over 24 mths. I got my first Galaxy S2 for £311 this way!

Now, you may or may not get the phone unlocked, but worry not, you are on a contract, and all you need to do is go HERE as soon as you get the phone (you must make one phone call with supplied Sim card first) and it will be unlocked free within a week or so, often quicker.

So, for a maximum of £501 spread £249 upfront and £10.50 * 24 months (if cashback did not pay) and a likely £451 if cashback does pay, this is a good way to spread your tech costs. And it also means you are on O2 contract customer, giving you some other benefits like money off Broadband etc.

Oh, and don’t forget, if you resist the urge to unlock right away, (use it on wi-fi if its locked to O2) and  DON’T USE THE SIM card you can DSR return the phone within 7 days and pay nothing!

 

Hope this helps a bit, feel free to ask questions in the comments.

 

Kev

 

Amazing Figures?

November 16th, 2011 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)

These are still the top selling smartphones in the US!

Just been reading the latest sales figures from NPD Group, a fairly well respected Market Research company focusing on the US market for smartphones. For the last quarter up to the end of September, the best selling model was the iPhone 4, followed, amazingly by the iPhone 3GS!

Now, remember that the iPhone 4S numbers are not included in this, and it seems amazing that two handsets, 16 months old, and 29 months old repectively, can outsell any Android model.

OK, I do know this is the US, and I do accept that the Samsung S2 for example is not in this data as it only just launched in the US. Having said that, I still find these numbers crazy, and they just show that Apple’s approach to the market is *totally* different to any other phone maker today.

 

 

In a slightly longer show than normal, Kev and Nick discuss Nokia’s Lumia 800, the Samsung Galaxy Note and the Nokia N9. (more…)

More Galaxy Note thoughts.

November 7th, 2011 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Reviews - (Comments Off)

So, I decided this morning that the Note would not be usable as my *only* device, and you know how I don’t really like using multiple devices, and I left the Note at home and took only the iPhone 4S to work. I was very busy today, but I really missed the Note oddly, so have decided to give it another shot tomorrow, another busy day ahead, and I am going to take just the Note as my only device. Why?

Partly, I read Tim Salmon’s review this morning LINK at work, and it made me want to use it all over again. I mostly agree with Tim on most of his thoughts, but do think its worth mentioning a couple of points.

First off, the Note (and the S2) does have a direct search button, well, its a long hold on the capacitive Menu button actually. I also differ from Tim in really liking the Side mounted power button, but of course with the fantastic centre button, you hardly ever (if ever) use the power button, since you turn it on via that, and let it turn itself off after xx mins. (more…)

iP4S thoughts.

November 6th, 2011 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Reviews - (1 Comments)

As you know I got the Galaxy Note yesterday, and spent ages playing with it, loving it, and blogging up my early thoughts last night. I stand by all of that, and I think a lot of people will find it their perfect device.

I was wondering if I could be one of them, since I make hardly any phone calls, and it is still a light device and nice and slim. I think already I know that is not the case for me, as I awoke this morning and prepared to go to work (yes, I do know its Sunday, I work every Sunday!)

It is not so much that I have gone off it, but I just don’t think I am able to give up my iPhone 4S. Oh I know I get a new device and put the iPhone 4S straight on Twitter for sale, but ask Richard Yates, its not like I ever actually sell it in the end, even if he does pay me twice for it :-)

In the last week while trying out my 5th Galaxy S2, and then the Note, I have still always carried the iPhone 4S with me. I use Siri to put almsot all my appointments in for me, and I have stopped obsessing about the odd misplaced word here and there, I know exactly what it means, and it is clearly early days for Siri. I said it was a gamechanger, and I still think that. I also said it would come to iPhone 4, and I still think that as well, most people disagree, but I again stand firm on that, and once the initial beta is done, it will roll out in a point change update, maybe 5.1 maybe 5.2.

I often find that a lot of iPhone and iOS critics have never actually used one as their daily phone. Oh they have “used a friends”, or “played in a shop”, or they have the silly anti Apple thing going on, and so will never understand why this phone and OS has such a strong grip on people like myself, and Nick, but all I can say for now is that I just can not sell it right now, and if you are one of those mentioned above, I DARE you to order one from Apple, and set a reminder (with Siri!) for 13 days time to return it for a full refund if you are not really impressed with it, and you will have lost nothing, and I would bet quite a few would not be sending it back!

People often suggest I put stuff away in a cupboard, ready for when I want it again, but that will never happen with me, its just not part of my make up, I actually enjoy the buying process, and to be honest, I harm nobody and benefit a few companies with that admittedly slightly odd process, and yes, I do praise and value the DSR, and will be using it for the S2 soon, but the Note will not be going back at all.

Now if you would like to buy the Note for £525 inc UK Special Delivery, let me know :-)

Kev

Galaxy Note Preview

November 6th, 2011 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Reviews - (4 Comments)

So, if you followed my last few posts, you will know I have a Galaxy Note in the collection, and as an aside, if you were looking for the Expansys posts, detailed the somewhat fraught delivery process, I have removed them all, as I felt it was not over and would serve little point being snarky forever, all I will say is use Expansys, but don’t rely on a Next Day delivery, and keep in mind a lot of the stock on the UK site is actually in stock in other Euro countries. Oh, and Claire from PJ Media is a credit to an otherwise rather unorganised company!

So, the Galaxy Note. I ordered it fully expecting it to get looked at, and the good old DSR 7 day return would kick in and it would be going back, leaving me to carry on swapping between a Galaxy S2 and an iPhone 4S for evermore. Well, this is a preview, not a review, but it will not be going back under DSR, and it might even become my main phone. (more…)