March, 2013

Mar 13

The Kobo Mini

Kobo Mini

I think I swore blind that I would never get an eReader because I just love the touch and smell of a book too much. Then I downloaded the Kindle app when I got my Samsung S3 and became a convert to eReading. I have always steered away from eReaders because I was not too enamoured by the greyness of them but when I was in the US a few years I came across Nooks which is the device created by Barnes and Noble and I remember thinking how pretty they looked with their sparkling range of bright colours. A few weeks ago a lovely PR rep got in touch and asked me if I wanted to try out the Kobo Mini and of course I said yes.

At five inches, Kobo Mini is officially the world’s smallest and lightest eReader in fact it is so tiny that it can fit into your pocket. It has a no-glare natural Pearl E Ink touchscreen and built-in Wi Fi and holds up to 1,000 eBooks in EPUB, PDF and MOBI form. Whatever you download is held in the Cloud aka Kobo Everywhere so if you ever run out of space all you need to do is delete some titles and add them back at a later date. The interchangeable Kobo SnapBack allows you to change your cover as many times as you wish to suit your mood or occasion.

Once charged the battery lasts for a whole month – believe me this got me excited when I heard this till I read the blue print and realised that it was based on 30 minutes of reading per day, one page turn per minute, and Wi Fi turned off. Who reads for only 30 minsute a day and at a rate of one page a minute? Not someone who would spend money on a eReader.

My overall feeling is that the Kobo Mini is a cute little device that you can slip into your handbag, unlike Kindles that have a really drab screen, the Kobo looks looks delectable in black or white. As mentioned before you can jazz it up with a coloured cover. Another bonus is that the prices for the ebooks are on the same par with the ones for Kindle.

You can buy the Kobo Mini from amazon and other online retailers. For more information check out the Kobo website.

Mar 13

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia

So while Samsung, iPhone and HTC corner the smartphone market all the other brands struggle to keep up. Sony’s response to the avalanche of Smartphones that do everything except make the tea is the Somy Xperia Z. Like all the other big boys the Sony Xperia is also a large handset with a five inch display, but while the HTC and S3 feels light, the Xperia for some reason feels a lot heavier due to it’s chunky build. It contains a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13.1-megapixel camera, 4G cellular connectivity and 16GB of built-in storage, which can be augmented using microSD cards. It also has the sharpest level of HD available on a mobile phone. The handset also houses a 13 megapixel fast-capture camera with next-generation Sony Exmor RS™ to ensure that you always get crystal clear photos, wherever and whenever they are taken. It works spectacularly in all light conditions and is the first handset ever to allow HDR video capture on a mobile phone. This is the first big Android launch of 2013 and it is certainly an interesting one because it has a mixture of old and new. The design is is a bit dated and reminds me of the new Blackberry Z0. In fact it is rather like a fitted kitchen with all the ports and openings covered with flaps. It gives a seamless style but I find it annoying as you have to search for a while for all the ports that you need. Functionally the phone has a lot going for it – it is water resistant and dust proof and if you ever dropped it from a great height it would survive unlike other models that chip easily.  How it works as a phone remains to be seen.

Mar 13

Dare To Be Uunique

UU_premier rangeGetting a new phone is always exciting but something else you need to think about is what case you are going to get. With the cost of phones getting more expensive each year due to the expanding features it is imperative that you keep your mobile safe from being dropped or getting scratched in your bag. Sadly gone are the days when mobile companies supplied a case with your new phone and now you have to fork out for one. The good thing is that there are a lot of beautiful and stylish cases on the market to suit every mood and occasions. You can have the wallet style case that also stores your credit cards, the flap case that covers that face of your phone and you can have that covers the back of your case.

Uunique London have launched a brand new limited edition of cases called Premier Collection which consists of 10 eye-catching cases. These luxury cases are covered in gorgeous Swarovski crystals that spells opulent and drop dead gorgeous glamour. The range has been created for men and women who love to make a dramatic statement. Each individual crystal has been applied by hand giving it a couture feel and each case is a one off. Rock chicks will love the Skull case which is bold and daring, glamour pusses will adore the Lollipop case which is bright and eye-catching and the elegant Scottish Argyle case will appeal to men and women who like the finer things in life. These impressive Premier cases are the perfect accessories for evening events, special occasions or simply for adding some glamour to everyday life

The cases are made for iPhones 5 and are priced at £249.99. You can buy them from Uunique London.

Mar 13

Powering up the Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HD

Apart from playing around with a friend’s iPad this is my first real experience with a tablet. I have to admit that if I had a choice in receiving a tablet it would not be a Kindle Fire I would probably go for an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I was sent a review model of the Kindle Fire HD by Ladbrokes Poker who are celebrating their latest technology improvements in their games. When you think of Kindles images of portable grey devices come to mind but this model is completely different. It is an all-purpose tablet that gives you everything that you need at your fingertips – films, music, apps and games which you can purchase from the Amazon store. The technical specs for the Kindle Fire are 1.2 GHz, 8 or 16 GB, micro USB connector port; HDMI port 9-11 hour battery life, bluetooth, Dolby Digital Plus audio, dual band antenna for faster downloads, microphone and unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content. The seven inch screen is perfect to slip into your bag or pouch. Despite the slim build, the it feels solid and very well made. All the ports are tucked away on the side which gives it a very sleek look. The crispness of the screen is amazing and watching videos on the Kindle Fire  is a dream.

I found navigating a bit difficult because the home and back button are not very easy to find. However that is just a minor flaw and the Kindle Fire has a lot going for it. The size is great and fits perfectly into the palm of my hand which means that I can browse the features while on the go. The screen rotation is great because it means that I can switch over from portrait to widescreen whenever I want. The Kindle Fire allows me to have the full experience of web browsing but without the chore of carrying around heavy hard wear. I love it and will certainly be considering investing in a model soon. I think the Kindle Fire HD will be giving the iPad Mini a real run for its money.

Kindle Fire HD can be bought from Amazon for £159.00

Pic taken from Ximadu on Flickr.

Mar 13

Get a Keek On

KeekFor those of you Android or Blackberry users who have been left out of the Vine craze, fear not because there is another micro video platform that can serve your needs. Keek is a platform where users can upload videos to share with their friends and followers. You can upload videos using your webcam or the Keek app for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry. The videos are referred to as Keeks and unlike Vine where you can only upload videos that are six seconds long, Keekers can upload videos that are up to 36 seconds. Pretty handy for when you have a lot of cool content that you want to share. Also users can reply back to videos with text or video comments, known as keekbacks, share content to other major social media networks and embed their keeks into a blog or website. Keek like to be regarded as a combination of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter rather than a direct competitors.

The app was launched in Toronto in 2011 and now have 18 million users worldwide including celebrities such as John Legend, Soulja Boy, Tom Daley and the Kardashians. However, despite a massive following, Keek was pretty much unheard of in the UK until the booming launch of Vine this year. However the fact that Vine have failed to cater for the Android and Blackberry market may have been a gift to the brand who now have people like myself signing up in a bid to create and share some dynamic video content.

To sign up to Keek just go to their website.

Mar 13

Nokia Purity by Monster

Nokia PurityMonster Headphones have been in the news a lot recently with the release of their exciting products, Swizz Beats becoming co-owner and celebrities such as Nick Cannon, Nicki Minaj and Tyson Becford becoming spokespeople for the brand. Despite their recent rise to the top, Monster Headphones have been trading for 30 years and was founded by Noel Lee with the aim of creating products that enhance the sound quality of music. The company is also the brains behind the sound of the iconic Beats by Dr. Dre® headphones, and are now the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance, sonically superior headphones. I was gifted a pair of Nokia Purity by Monster which I could not wait to try out. I have obviously heard a lot about Monster Headphones so my expectations were very high. I was not disappointed, the quality of the headphones are amazing. Crisp, clear and consistent. The bass is not too over powering and you don’t get the crackly sound that you get when you turn the volume up to the top.

One of the annoying thing about using headphones is when the cables get tangled up and you spend a good few minutes trying to untangle them. Annoying. The cables on the Nokia Purity headphones are tangle-resistant which frees you up to be as mobile as you like. For those with Nokia phones you are in for a huge treat because you can also takes phone calls from your phone with the ControlTalk Universal™ feature. The on-cable remote allows you to take calls and talk hands-free, depending on your phone’s capability. The headphones also comes with a stylish hard shell case which keeps your headphones in perfect condition. You really can’t ask for more really.

The headphones come in black, cyan, fuschia, white, red and yellow and are priced at £99.95.

Nokia Purity for Monster is available to buy from Phones4u.

Pic taken from the Nokia Purity by Monster website.

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