O2 UK Customer Service Fail

January 31st, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Rants - (4 Comments)

I am putting this all down in an article as I need to get it off my chest, get it in chronological order,  and have a record of it for any future issues with regards to my credit file. Warning, this is a very long post. It all started when I saw that the HTC One M8 was down (more…)

Just Kev and Richard on this show, (get well soon Nick!) and they talk about Windows 10,  Hololens, and the usual Android, iOS and Windows Phone chat.  (more…)

Blackberry Classic – Brief Look

January 13th, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)

By Richard Yates

There isn’t a lot of love for Blackberry these days, which is a shame, because the Blackberry 10 operating system is really very nice and offers true multitasking unlike most of the others.  A few years back I ran a Bold 9000 alongside an early iPhone so I thought that the chance to do the same again would be interesting.

In some ways, when (more…)

TechTalkUK Podcast 90 – Blackberry and Apple Lollipops

January 12th, 2015 | Posted by Nick Robinson in Podcast - (Comments Off)

In the first show of 2015, Richard has been trying the Blackberry Classic, Kev finally get to try the iPhone 6+ and Nexus 6. We then chat about the double screened Yotaphone 2 and discuss the recent price changes on the App Store. To finish we each choose the thing that stood out as our tech moment from 2014. (more…)

Nexus 6

January 11th, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)

MOTO-NEXUS-MORE-ROOM-CARD-540nyxtuy59 (1)

 

I was lucky enough to get a loan of a Nexus 6 for a few days this week, and wanted to just jot down a few words about this latest ‘Pure Google’ device. And thanks so much to Chris Bates for the loan, greatly appreciated.

This time around, Google’s flagship developer device is quite different to the last version, the Nexus 5. For a start this one is made by Motorola, now owned by Lenovo, where the Nexus 5 was of course an LG device. It is also not the cheap device that the Nexus 5 was, with the 32GB phone costing £499 in the UK with an option of double that storage for an extra £50. If you consider the Nexus 5 was £329 for the same 32GB model when it launched in October 2013, this represents quite a jump, but unlike some people, I don’t compare this to a Nexus 5 for price purposes.

If we compare to an iPhone 6+ at £699 it is £150 less, so something of a bargain (this is comparing both phones at 64GB as there is no 32GB iPhone this year)

In a lucky coincidence my iPhone 6+ also turned up on the same day, actually within a few moments of each other, so I have been able to compare quite well for the last few days.

Size

Lets start with the elephant in the room, quite literally. This is a big device (am not using the word ‘phone’ much in this article, the Nexus 6 feels so much more than that) but it is very comfortable in the hand, due to the same basic design that Motorola have used in the Moto X and G ranges recently. It has a nicely curved back, which seems to fit in the hand perfectly, and I have very small hands.  Build quality is excellent, with a metal band around the device and all the buttons fall nicely to hand, so a good start for me, actually a surprise, and much better build than the Nexus 5 in my view.

So how big is it? I recommend you use the excellent phone sizer utility over at Phone Arena to put in your choices, and you can even calibrate that tool to match what you already own. Lets just say it is another level up from the Nexus 5 and other 2014 devices like the M8, S5 and even the G3. I highly recommend that you try to get one of these with some form of returns policy as you may find it is simply too large. It certainly is for me, and Ted Salmon has come to exactly the same conclusion after some initial euphoria about the device. I am currently also evaluating the iPhone 6+ and beautiful as it is to have these huge screens, you do have to consider carrying them with you everywhere you go.

I can not emphasise enough that only you can make this decision, don’t listen (solely) to anyone else on this subject, as you don’t know what that persons circumstances are. If I worked from home for example and most of the time the device was on the desk, or in my hand, I could live with the Nexus 6 or iPhone 6+ no problem,  but my phone really needs to be in a pocket for 90% of the day, and these are just too big for me.

Screen and Speakers

Next the screen, this is another big change from the Nexus 5, which used an IPS LCD screen, which was just under 5″ but to my mind was not a great screen, a bit muted with low screen brightness (I am a 100% brightness fiend remember!). The resolution on the new Nexus is way higher than the old one, with a staggering 1.66 million more pixels than a Nexus 5. To be fair, the pixels per inch is not massively more, at 493 for the 6 versus 445 for the Nexus 5, certainly on its own not something I could tell the difference on. The Nexus 6 screen is also just over a full inch bigger than the model it replaces, and being AMOLED this time around, has a very different appearance to the LCD screen of its predecessor.

I was very impressed with the screen, although I think the Note 4 is even better subjectively, and although I love the initial impact of over saturated colours and deep blacks of AMOLED vs LCD, I find it soon gets annoying with the  much purer whites and higher brightness of LCD winning for me in the long term.

However, the screen is very nice, and video looked a little better than the iPhone 6+ in my opinion, although unless comparing them, both are superb. Most of you will know that speakers are very important to me, and the iPhone has a superb (albeit Mono) built in speaker, and pretty much always have had from the iPhone 4 onwards. The same can not be said for the Nexus line.

The Nexus 4 and 5 to my mind were terrible sounding, although I know some claim they have improved with software updates. Colour me skeptical on that one, to me the speakers in this Nexus 6 are a vast improvement. Clear, loud, and just perfect for watching video, which with screens this size you will do quite a lot.

The speakers on the Nexus 6 to my mind are second only to the HTC M8, and equal to the iPhone 6 and 6+. They are stereo, but to my mind that is kind of irrelevant on a device of this size, but does no harm I guess.

OS

I think its a fairly well known fact that I am an iOS user, so maybe this section is going to be fairly predictable? Well yes, it is. I have never seen the big draw of ‘Pure Android’ and think the term gets bandied about without people always considering what it means anyway. Any device is a sum of all its parts, and is by nature a compromise. I like iPhones, so I have to compromise on my love of the calendar widget that Android gives me, and I quite like Samsung phones, not because of TouchWiz, but because of the physical home button, so I have to compromise on interface to get the home button I like.

The OS on the Nexus is however Android as Google intend it to be, and it is very fast, and very fluid. Much nicer in that respect than Touchwiz, or the LG devices I have used. It is not however in my view better than Sense on the HTC M8, which is just as fast as this and visually nicer looking to me. I am not a huge fan of the pastel colours and minimal designs of Lollipop, and for example I hate the stock keyboard with a passion, it really annoys me.

And this is the point really, if I were to use a Nexus 6 as a main device (not even remotely possible I know) I would put Nova on it right away, and Swiftkey keyboard, so to me, it hardly matters to me if it is ‘Pure” or not. I know people out there argue about ‘lag” and the like, but I am getting beyond that now, most of the flagships are very similar, and any ‘lag’ is minimal, and bluntly, all the Android devices I have tried seem to ‘lag’ more than my iPhone anyway.

The bottom line is that if you are considering this device, I doubt you are considering an iPhone anyway, so it may be important for you to have ‘Pure Android’ (even if you don’t fully know why!) and I doubt you will be disappointed. For me, if I were going to have a big Android phone as my main device it would be a Note 4, as I think the home button would override anything else for me.

Conclusion

This clearly is not a review, just a stream of consciousness really, so judge it as such. Just remember if your device spends a lot of time in your pockets, it is very different to carrying a Nexus 5, or similar around, so get it from Amazon so you have a good returns policy. 

 

 

Mobile Contricks

January 7th, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Rants - (1 Comments)

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 23.14.38

 

No, that is not a misprint above, it does say Contricks. Why? Well one of my Twitter followers posted a tweet tonight saying that CarPhone Warehouse are paying “up to” £200 cash back on pay monthly contracts. I have ranted before about so called “free” gifts that you are actually paying for, but this is not that unusual either, £200 cash back that is actually costing you £240 to obtain.

As my example, I used this offer on the HTC M8 from CPW as it is still a top smartphone, and is one of only a few £200 offers, most are £50 or so, and more importantly you will be paying for the cash back anyway.

This is how it works.

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 22.47.55On this “offer” the deal is nothing upfront, £48 a month for 24 months for 5GB data, everything else unlimited. So total is £1152

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 22.47.40Go to the O2 site direct, and guess what? Same deal, is £38 a month, total cost £912, difference £240. So well done, your £200 cash back is a loan, paid back over 24 months with £40 interest.

What makes this especially cynical is that it preys on the people only see £200 in the hand right now, and never work it out.

 

 

In case you think this is a one off, lets look at a Samsung S5 on the same deal. From CPW with £100 cash back, its £43 a month, and at O2 its £38 a month. Difference is? Yes, £120, same ratio of added on money as the £200 cashback deal.

Pure cynical marketing from CPW, please don’t fall for it.

 

Kev