Over the summer I decided to upgrade to the new 2013 Nexus 7, which is a great bit of kit, but it meant, due to the new 2nd camera on the back, and the slight size change, my old Nexus case no longer fit. So when the folk at Mobile Fun asked me if I wanted to trial a couple of their new Nexus 7 2013 case range, I was only too happy to oblige!
First up is a leather case with an interesting little rotating device. As you would expect, the case folds neatly flat, offering good protection against minor knocks and scratches. It’s fastened with a band of elastic that wraps around the unit, keeping it really secure. There’s really no fear of your tablet ever falling out whilst the case is shut.
Like a number of cases on the market, this one also doubles as a stand. But what’s unique about this particular design, is that you can turn the Nexus from landscape to portrait without having to actually remove it from its cradle. It’s a neat little feature, however, it does mean that the cradle itself is make of a fairly cheap feeling plastic, which lets it down a little. The write up also claims it has a magnet inside to enable the sleep/wake function of the Nexus, but I have to say, it never worked once for me…
6/10 – Overall an interesting idea, just not very well executed…
The 2nd case is made by Sonivo, and retails at £19.99, and I have to say, for only £5 more than the previous case, you get a massive improvement in quality. It’s a solidly built case that covers nearly all of the Nexus, and has a slight lip around the edge, meaning if you do drop it, it’s going to hit the case, and not the expensive tablet inside! The clasp is magnetic, meaning there’s no fiddling with straps to open it, and the magnet also doubles to wake and sleep the Nexus when you open and close it. The Sonivo also doubles as a stand, allowing you to place it upright in a landscape position, or lay it flat on a slight angle for a more comfortable writing position.
Internally, it has a handle, meaning the more ‘butter fingered’ among you don’t have to worry about it slipping from your grasp as you’re using it in portrait mode. It also has a couple of slots for credit or business cards, and a small slot for storing a spare sim or memory card. On the outside, there’s a little elastic loop to store a stylist if you have one. The exterior cover itself is made of a ‘leather effect’ material, which actually looks rather nice, and hard wearing, and comes in a range of colours.
9/10 – Great case at a really good price!
Over the course of running the site, we’ve reviewed a number of speakers, but generally they tend to be the mini ‘put in your pocket’ type. The Xenta LT-201 Bluetooth 24W Speaker sent to us from Ebuyer is designed as more of a living room or kitchen device. Still pretty portable, but not the sort that you’d take away on holiday with you. It retails at around £40, so is really an entry level speaker of this type, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have the goods where it counts.
Setting up the Xenta LT-201 is really straightforward. Turn it on, set your phone or tablet to scan for devices, and connect. No need to punch in passcodes, or other messing around. It really couldn’t be easier! I had it up and running and streaming music within a couple of mins of getting it out of the box.
The front of the unit has a large, centrally place volume dial. There’s also ‘stop/play’ and ‘skip track’ buttons, assuming the device you’re playing from supports those features. The rear of the unit has a ‘line in’ socket, should you wish to connect something directly to it, and a headphone jack (although i’m not entirely sure why you’d need it, but at least it’s there if you do!) There’s also a blue LED indicator light which flashes to show when a device is connected. I can see why they’ve done that for some visual feedback, but it is a little annoying if you’re in a darkened room.
The Sound & Range
For a relatively small speaker, it packs a decent punch, allowing you to crank up your tunes to fill most decent sized rooms without any real distortion. Given it’s really an entry level speaker, the sound quality is pretty good. The bass could maybe do with being a little ‘bassier’, but I thought the top end was fine for the size and price, and they do a very acceptable job. Obviously, the speaker is one unit, meaning there isn’t a huge separation between left and right stereo, but then that is to be expected with this sort of speaker design.
I had no issue with the range at all. I found I could happily wander around the house with the phone in my pocket without any breaks in the Bluetooth connection. I was even upstairs at one point, and the LT-201 was still happily streaming away.
Overall, the Xenta LT-201 is a good speaker at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a good little Christmas gift, or just something to let you stream your tunes to your kitchen or your bedroom, this will do it perfectly well, and won’t cost you a fortune.
8/10 – Good speakers at a good price point.
While you may enjoy the simplicity and practicality of the apps you use on your smartphone or tablet, not all apps are created with these things in mind. Some actually cause controversy among users and other developers. And in fact, though some of these controversial apps make it to the market, some are banned after production, never to be used by the general population. Here is a list of a few controversial and banned apps that never got their chance to shine.
I Am Rich
This controversial and generally worthless app was featured on the Apple Store for a short period of time, but was eventually pulled by management once they realized its nature. I Am Rich cost $1,000 and contained one screen that had nothing but a picture of a diamond in the center. A few customers accidentally bought this app, assuming it was a joke, and complained to Apple. Apple quickly refunded their money and took the app off of the virtual marketplace.
This bizarre app led users to a screen that showed only a bloody knife, which reacted to the movement of the device with blood-curdling screams and slashing sounds. It wasn’t received very well in the United Kingdom though, where knife violence is extremely prevalent, making it a very sensitive subject. After a variety of complaints throughout the country, Apple took the app down for over four years.
Send Me to Heaven
Capitalizing on the popularity of sports games on smartphones and tablets, the creators of Send Me to Heaven decided to create an interactive app with a twist. This strange app directs users throw their phones as high as they possibly can, using the accelerometer to measure the speed and distance the phone reached in the air. Of course, if the user catches it on the way down, they will see the amount of points they receive—others receive nothing more than a shattered device. This app was rejected by Apple.
The developers of this app decided to try their hands at political parody. Obama Trampoline allows customers to choose from 18 different politicians and bounce them around the White House Oval Office by shaking their phones. To add to the excitement, extra points are gained when the politicians hit balloons in the air and pop them. But because Apple does not condone the defamation or slander of political officials, this app was rejected immediately.
Me So Holy
Religious leaders across the world would have been infuriated by the content of this app for the iPhone. Me So Holy allowed users to take pictures of their faces, or even of their friends, and place their profiles atop the heads of religious figures from a variety of world religions. This controversial app never saw the light of day, as Apple headquarters deemed it offensive, and assumed that it would be to objectionable for commercial availability.
An App for Everything
Though many apps are productive and have a variety of useful capabilities, others are downright offensive and serve very little purpose. These different programs truly show us that there really is an app for everything, even thought there possibly shouldn’t be…
This article was provided by Deb Phillips, volunteer veterinarian and iPhone and iPad app expert. If you’re an avid gadget user, Deb recommends Protect Your Bubble cell phone insurance.
Over the course of running this site, we’ve reviewed a number of different audio devices. Lots of great headphones, and a number of bluetooth speakers, but in all that time, I’ve never come across one that’s quite so easy to set up.
Step 1 – Remove from box.
Step 2 – Switch on.
Step 3 – Place your phone on top of it…
That’s it. That’s literally all you have to do. No messing with software or settings. No syncing. Nothing. My first though was naturally this is blatantly a device powered by witchcraft… It’s not of course (dammit). It’s got some clever little induction technology that will amplify the sound of any phone you place on top of it. It also has a standard 3.5mm jack on the back of the box if you want to plug an iPod or other mp3 player into it.
Whilst the sound quality isn’t as good as some larger, more complex speakers, it is relatively small, and massively convenient. I’ve found myself using it at home in the kitchen as a handy way of listening to podcasts i’ve downloaded to my phone without having to mess with wires or syncing. I can see it also being good for parties, were lots of people may have music on their phones they want to play. You could just put it on the side, and let people drop their mobile on top to blare out their playlist.
There’s something rather satisfying about the design too. It’s just a simple black box, but feels solidly made, simple to use, and easy to charge via a USB cable.
Overall, a great little product, and for just under £20, a good price.
8/10 – Good little speaker at a great price.
It’s something that, as a nation of movie lovers, we’ve grown pretty used to by now; in fact, I bet you rarely even notice it when watching a film just how much technology plays a part in the plot. Take the Scream movies, for example. Scream 3 essentially revolves around the main characters talking on the phone, whilst Scream 4 relies on mobiles to make the plot evolve.
However, apart from Daniel Craig’s blatant advertisement for the Sony Xperia T in SkyFall, mobile phones in movies is something that we don’t usually take note of.
What you probably don’t realise is that there are some incredible phones out there- albeit fictional- which I bet you wish existed!
OK so the X-phone which appears in X Men 2 might not do anything extraordinary, but it sure does look cool. Who else (apart from Hugh Jackman, apparently) has a chrome and black phone with no visible buttons?!
Iron Man 2
The amazing transparent phone which appears in Iron Man 2 is definitely one that tech-geeks out there wish they could have.
Not only did Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr) make calls on his super cool transparent mobile, but he also used it to control his TV and lock up his house! Now, what phone does that? OK, well there are gadgets and apps available which allow you to unlock your front door. And with infrared, you can also change your TV channels with your smartphone. But hey, whose phone is effectively invisible? That’s got to be worth something at least.
This shiny, gold plated phone was custom made for Oceans 13 by Samsung.
Again, it doesn’t necessarily do anything special, but I wouldn’t mind catching up with all my mobile correspondences with this piece of bling.
Back in the real world, a similar-looking gold handset can be bought from luxury phone maker Vertu for a snip at just under £10,000…
In the espionage parody, Get Smart, Don Adams ‘dons’ the latest piece of kit in any spy’s toolbox: the shoe phone. Forget high tech devices which allow you to see through walls or fire grenades at your enemies, this phone lets you make a call…using your shoe.
Ground-breaking, I know. But surprisingly enough, the shoe phone is something that’s actually in existence. Designers in the UK have built old mobiles into shoes, including willies, trainers, and even heels!
Tomorrow Never Dies
This James Bond phone has surely got to be the coolest of all fictional phones that appear in movies. As mentioned above, Daniel Craig brought us back down to earth with the very real Sony Xperia T, but in Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond sports an incredible phone which doesn’t just double up as a fingerprint scanner, stun gun and lock pick, but is also used to control his BMW 750iL during the exciting car chase through a multi-storey car park!
You wouldn’t expect anything less from a Bond movie, though, surely…
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel, resident author at Mobilephones.com, a website that gets you the best deals on all mobile phone contracts.
HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, is launching the recently-announced HTC Desire 500 in Europe. The Desire 500 is a powerful mid-range model featuring a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, HTC BlinkFeed and Video Highlights, which collates your images into a 30-second themed video reel. Available in the UK, with full details including stockists and launch date to be announced in due course, the HTC Desire 500 is designed for those who demand a superior mobile experience at an affordable price. The HTC Desire 500 will be available in Lacquer Black and Glacier Blue giving it a sleek and sophisticated look.
“The Desire range has become renowned for bringing a premium mobile experience to the mass market.” commented Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “This particular model, the Desire 500, is no different. It is perfect for people who are always-on-the-go, it enables powerful multitasking and live-streaming of important and interesting information, and it boasts an excellent camera and that bring your important moments to life.”
Your life through a mobile lens
Shoot and share every moment with the Desire 500’s 8MP camera, which combines with the dedicated HTC ImageChip processor to create spectacular stills and HD video. A 1.6MP front-facing camera also makes high-quality self-portraits easy. Capture the perfect smile automatically with face and smile recognition, transform your shots with a selection of creative filters, then share them immediately with friends, family and followers on your favourite social networks – all without needing to connect to a PC.
Changing the way we share special moments forever, Video Highlights also takes your stills and videos from one event or days’ shooting and compiles them into a 30-second reel, set to music according to one of six themes. By working with professional music editors, the image transitions for each theme are specifically timed to the tempo to ensure a professional result with zero effort.
Your favourite content live on your home screen
The HTC Desire 500 brings HTC’s acclaimed BlinkFeed to the Desire range. Transforming the home screen into a customisable stream of live information, HTC BlinkFeed is displayed on a stunning 4.3inch display and aggregates social streams and news, providing the freshest content at a glance.
Drawing on local and global content, BlinkFeed links to more than 10,000 articles per day from some of the world’s leading media companies including AOL, ESPN, MTV, The Financial Times and Reuters.
Smartphone performance that keeps up with the busiest lifestyle
Sporting a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, the HTC Desire 500 offers high-speed multitasking, super-fast web browsing and graphic-intense gaming on the move and, with support for microSD cards of up to 64GB, you need never run out of space for the photos, videos, apps and games that matter most.
The new HTC Desire 500 will be available with mobile operators and major retailers in select markets from August 2013.
The HTC Desire 500 will also be available with dual SIM support and NFC in select markets.
For more information visit www.htc.com.