Beats Solo Wireless 3 – The New Headphones with Apple’s W1 Chip – My First Impression

Beats Wireless Solo 3 with Apple's new W1 chip

My Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones arrived yesterday. I was very excited to open the box and test these for a number of reasons. Firstly, the packaging and presentation is first class. When you open the box, the headphones themselves are folded inside a protective case. Lift the case out and you get the cables and extras that come with the headphones.

Beats Wireless Solo 3 with Apple's new W1 chip

The second reason was to see what difference the Apple W1 chip made to the bluetooth process, setup, sound and real world usage.

Beats

I had watched the videos from Apple showing how the AirPods that also have the W1 chip, just connect by opening the protective case. I honestly did not believe it would work “magically” as shown, but the Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones did just connect to my iPhone 7 “magically”. I simply pressed the power on button on the headphones, a big notification instantly appeared from the bottom of my iPhone asking if I wanted to connect. I tapped “connect”. And that was it. The first connection was over in a second. Not only that it named the Beats “Gavin’s Beats Solo 3” as you can see.

Beats Wireless Solo 3 with Apple's new W1 chip

Not only does it pair instantly, every time I have turned it on and off and on again, it connects like a bullet. But it doesn’t stop there. Now that I have paired it to my iPhone, it is now paired to my Apple Watch, iPad and MAC using iCloud. So neat.

Beats Wireless Solo 3 with Apple's new W1 chip

So what do these £249 on ear headphones sound like? Well, not £249 headphones IMO. More like £150 headphones but I am still burning these in. Over the last hour, they have improved a lot. At the moment they do not sound as good as my Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0 or B & O Beoplay H5 headphones. They have improved since the last hour and I am listening to them as I type this and I am noticing better mids and treble occurring. Once I have burnt these in for 50 hours, I will let you know my final thoughts on the audio quality. However, it is worth remembering part of the pricing is paying for the Beats branding and the Apple W1 processor and included technology.

The headphones have controls on the left earcup to activate Siri, take and receive calls, control your music and volume. They feature dual beaming microphones for clearer calls. Siri worked perfectly, but I need to test voice calls to see how they perform. One feature of these headphones is the 40 hour battery life from one charge, and the quick charge option that gives 3 hours playback after a 15 min charge from a low battery.

So have Apple invented bluetooth. No. But they have made the experience amazing. This is by far the quickest and easiest pair of bluetooth headphones I have ever paired, used and connected. Also, the signal has not dropped, not even once, not even for a blink of an eye.

My final thought is this – “Why are you wasting your energy, plugging headphones into a 3.5mm headphone jack or lightning port?”. Wireless is the future and the future is now!

Bluetooth Headphones on Amazon

Apple iPhone 7 Plus – Low Light Camera Photography – My Camera Shots

Last night I visited my local church and took a number of photos on my Apple iPhone 7 Plus. 

Compared to the shots I took last year on my Apple iPhone 6S Plus the iPhone 7 Plus camera is considerably better. I was really pleased with the results from the 7 Plus. 

I also used the telephoto lens and for the last photo with the light trails an app called Nightcap Pro. 

As usual to pixel peep, click on each photo and then select original. 

Around Princetown at Night - Low Light Photography from the Apple iPhone 7 Plus

The first shot is of the church. It is actually darker than it looks. Lots of detail in this photo.

Around Princetown at Night - Low Light Photography from the Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Now using the telephoto lens. The optical zoom is superb. Again lots of detail.

Around Princetown at Night - Low Light Photography from the Apple iPhone 7 Plus

It really is darker than it looks. But here is another shot in auto above.

Around Princetown at Night - Low Light Photography from the Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Now using the telephoto lens. Despite how dark it was, the telephoto lens did get used by the iPhone 7 Plus. Some noise appearing now, but it really is a vary natural looking shot.

Around Princetown at Night - Low Light Photography from the Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Now its even darker, not that you can tell from the above shot. I decided to use my tripod, and selected a 3 second timer. With a timer, the iPhone 7 Plus took a 10 shot burst automatically. This was one of the shots from the burst.

Around Princetown at Night - Low Light Photography from the Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Even darker now. This is shot before the fancier one below.

Around Princetown at Night - Low Light Photography from the Apple iPhone 7 Plus

And finally, light trails. I used Nightcap Pro app to create this shot. This was using the apps light trails mode. This was a 11.34 second exposure.

Overall, despite how dark it was when taking these photo, the iPhone 7 Plus took some superb shots. My takeaway is just how realistic and natural the photos appear.

More to come.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus & Apple Watch Series 2 – First Impressions

Iphone 7 plus

When I got home last night, DPD had delivered my Apple iPhone 7 Plus Black and Apple Watch Series 2 Space Grey Sport with Black strap. I also picked up an Apple black leather case and a white sport band for the watch. In terms of finish, I chose black as opposed to jet black. The matte black looks cool.

I have been using android for ages and picking up the iPhone 7 Plus initially felt alien. My first problem was setting up the iPhone. I have 2 factor authentication on everything, and for some reason my SMS code was not appearing. 40 mins later, a plate of salmon and veg consumed, and voila, my SMS code arrived.

As you will know I had the Note 7 previously, so picking the iPhone 7 Plus up was a shock. The iPhone 7 Plus feels huge in comparison to the Note 7. However, based on the extensive drop tests by people on YouTube who have nothing better to do with their time, the extra bezels protects the iPhone a lot from damage.

Next up was the process on installing my essential apps first, then syncing my photos and music from my mac. Out of all the iPhones I have setup, the 7 Plus has been the fastest to sync everything across. Out of the 256gb, I only have 129gb free and I haven’t yet installed all my apps.

Now on to iOS 10. This is all new to me and I am on a learning curve. I am sure there are some bugs, in particular the iPhone 7 Plus was having some issues holding on to the mobile signal and kept showing every few minutes “no service”. This is worrying as I have a Three signal booster in the house. It should be maximum reception at all times. I will wait until I use the phone outside of my signal booster to see if it registers properly/differently on the Three network. I think this is a wifi bug as the connection held perfectly when I turned wifi off on the iPhone.

While the phone was syncing and downloading apps, I set up the Apple Watch series 2. It is faster than the original watch but not night and day faster. The Apple Watch is such a geeky piece of tech but also fun to use. Apple Pay on the watch is damn cool. Watch OS3 is such an improvement over the previous versions too.

I had a play with the camera, trying out some test shots and using some third party photo apps too. The camera shows a lot of promise. Is it better than the S7 or Note 7? I will answer that soon. In terms of audio, the iPhone 7 Plus is better than the S7 or Note 7 in every aspect – loudspeaker, wired headphones and bluetooth. I connected my Oppo PM-3 using the dongle to the lightning port, and the sound was excellent. Listening to music via my B & O Beoplay H5 over bluetooth was really superb too.

One thing I noticed is just how many more apps I have on iOS than android. Also gaming on iOS is so much smoother. The iPhone 7 Plus is so fast to use in real world usage. I will be testing my iOS game controller at some point as well.

I need to sort out my homes screen layout and folders in terms of positioning and content.Everything is not perfectly organised yet.

So my first 4 hours have been a mix of enjoyment, frustration, and learning the iOS way and getting used to the new home button!

All in all its a positive experience so far and I hope one that continues passed the honeymoon period.

BlackBerry DTEK50 – BlackBerry’s Android Phone – The Camera – Be Amazed

I am in the process of putting the BlackBerry DTEK50 smartphone through its paces. The BlackBerry DTEK50 is available from Clove Technology and costs £264 and includes a free power bank.

The BlackBerry DTEK50 has been a joy to use, but I will cover all aspects of the phone off in my full review shortly.

In the meantime, I wanted to show you what the camera can achieve. The rear camera is 13mp, with a dual tone LED flash, phase detect auto focus (PDAF), fast focus lock, HDR, 6-element f2.0 lens, 4x digital zoom, continuous & touch to focus, face detection, image stabilisation, panorama, burst, live filters, multi-frame low light enhancement and 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps.

The front camera is 8mp, 8 f2.2, 1.125um pixel size, 84° wide angle/field of view lens, image & video stabilisation, 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps, selfie flash and a wide selfie mode.

Let’s not beat around the bush. This is the best budget/mid range camera I have tested to date. It took great photos consistently and has a very clever screen that is 100% perfect in the sun for readability even with sunglasses. More of this in my main review.

All the original photos are in a special album on my flickr account – Click HERE.

All the shots below are unedited unless I mention otherwise, and on full auto.

First up is sunrise on Dartmoor. This shot made Flickr Explore. Superb photo.

Sunrise over Dartmoor #BlackBerry #DTEK50

A cropped photo, but otherwise unedited of George. Great detail.

Hypnotic Eyes - George poses for the camera Shot on a #BlackBerry #DTEK50

Some local cows grazing on Dartmoor. Good colours.

BlackBerry DTEK50 camera shots on Dartmoor

Foggintor Quarry. The DTEK50 did a fab job of this. Realistic colours.

BlackBerry DTEK50 camera shots on Dartmoor

My three dogs were running, but the DTEK50 did a good job capturing them. There is an option in the settings to focus before each shot before taking the photo.

BlackBerry DTEK50 camera shots on Dartmoor

The DTEK50 has manual controls. I used these to take this shot.

BlackBerry DTEK50 camera shots on Dartmoor

Now the below shot has been edited in snapseed using the HDR scape filter to show you what is possible. I love this version.

Inside Foggintor Quarry #dartmoor #blackberry #dtek50

If you look at my flickr album, there are 30 photos from the DTEK50 including the ones above. What I have found is the phone has consistently taken decent photos, way better than I expected. The front camera also takes good photos.

I will cover more off in my main review. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

My thanks to Clove Technology. Click HERE for more information and special deal.

Samsung Note 7 – The Recall Chaos and Your Help is Needed

Samsung has issued a global recall of its Note 7. It seems this process is still in chaos for some users plus there is a different rule for customers dependant on which country they live in.

Daniel left a comment yesterday and needs your help too –

“I’m a Singaporean Note 7 user and it’s terrible Samsung Singapore isn’t offering any other option but to wait for a replacement (of the same colour) to arrive. no refunds, no swap with an S7/Edge. when I bought the phone, I wasn’t expecting it to brick on me after just 5 days, and then get subjected to so many restrictions on usage. they’ve locked us in to the replacement, which still can’t be used on aircraft. we’ve got absolutely zero choice in this whole madness that nobody knows will last for how long or develop in which direction. no idea also if the bootloop/bricking is still gonna affect the replacements they’ve been issuing since 16 Sept. the replacements are still exynos variants, so that’s possible i guess. anyway over 500 of us now have signed a petition demanding refund (i’d estimate 5k-10k pre-recall Note 7 customers here)”

So please help Daniel and sign this petition below.

https://www.change.org/p/singapore-samsung-give-the-same-return-refund-rights-as-samsung-customers-elsewhere/u/17873738

The boot loop issue has impacted many people.

Samsung UK has issued a further statement saying that a software update will limit the battery to charging to 60%. Plus it now has an IMEI checker to confirm which phones are dangerous.

So prevent a phone from charging to full, meaning a person is going to have to charge it more often which is not a good idea, surely.

So how does anyone tell if the new Note 7 is safe? A new Note 7 owner can be fully confident that their replacement device is not affected by the battery cell issue, courtesy of a new UX update to the battery icon. Any Note 7 device that shows a ‘green’ battery icon (previous software version is white) on the device notification bar, the ‘Power Off’ prompt screen or the Always-On Display can be assured that the device is safe for charging. This UX update will be rolled out from tomorrow in UK and Ireland.

Has Samsung not heard of apps that skin the status bar and can change the icon. Samsung need to deactivate any phones not returned.

In the US there are incidents from stores refusing to let customers return the phone, to others which were unable to offer a replacement or loaner phone, or attempted to charge customers for missing boxes and accessories (which Samsung stated weren’t required when returning a handset), there seems to be a lot of confusion in stores as to what the returns process should actually be. UPS & Fedex will not accept the phones for return back to Samsung.com.

There are also issues with Note 7 bought in a different country to where the current owner is living. Samsung UK refuses to exchange a dual sim Note 7 with another dual sim version. Instead, they will only offer a single sim.

This is not an easy situation for Samsung, but the message is still not consistent enough. The methods and compensation, and loan devices should be identical across the globe. A lot of replacement devices have now reached people, but my concern is the Note 7 as a model is ruined.

The 5:2 Blood Sugar Diet – Week 1

Welcome to the next part of my journey. I completed the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet which allows 800 calories a day for 8 weeks. The diet is genius as it has the capability to reverse type 2 diabetes and or lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and lose a lot of weight in 8 weeks.

To recap my 8 week journey on the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet, Click HERE.

So what is the 5:2 Blood Sugar Diet? Well, it is the same Mediterranean style diet, but no calorie counting for 5 days, and 2 days at 800 calories.

I am still enjoying the same delicious breakfast, egg on hi-lo bread. The bread is from Sainsburys and is high in protein and only 5g of carbs per slice. I am using real butter on the toast. To create the perfect egg on toast, I am using my beloved Andrew James Egg Boiler. Link at the end of the post.

wp-1472280231381.jpg

To recap, on the 8 week blood sugar diet, I lost 2st 4lbs, dropped my blood sugar levels to normal, reduced by blood pressure to normal, lost 3 inches off my neck and 4.5 inches off my waist.

So my journey has moved to the 5:2 Blood Sugar Diet plan. I will now try and lose 7 stone, bringing my total weight loss when I reach my goal at 9 stone weight loss, or 45% off my start weight. Wish my luck!

So how did week 1 go? Well my blood sugar and pressure levels are still normal. I lost 1 lbs in weight, (I weigh now 19st 6lbs), 0.5 inches of my neck and waist. So now I have lost 3.5 inches off my neck and 5 inches off my waist.

If you have any questions or tips, do leave a comment.

Useful Links (Amazon)

The 8 Week Blood Sugar Book – by Dr M Mosley
The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book
The Essential Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book
Fast Exercise – Dr M Mosley
Andrew James Soup Maker – 7 in 1 – soups, smoothies, ice crusher and more
Andrew James Egg Boiler (I use this for my eggs, see photo at top)
FitBit Trackers
A wide choice of digital weighing scales

Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus – First Impressions – incl audio, camera and that new home button

apple

The Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus went on sale officially this morning at 8am.

This year Apple has prevented walk-ins and opted for pre order online or reservations for pickup in a store. My local Apple Store in Plymouth opened a lot earlier than normal and allowed people to browse as well as collect their reservations.

Whilst my order won’t arrive for another for days, the calmness inside the Apple store was a far superior experience than the normal chaotic launches. The staff were able to spend the correct amount of time helping customers setup their new iPhone and run through all of the new features. Other staff were also on hand to help you with any product knowledge.

What was missing from the iPhone 7 counter was the iPhone 7 Plus in either black or jet black. However, the finishes were available in the smaller size iPhone 7. If I am being brutally honest, I cannot see any point in getting the jet black over black. Once a case is fitted to the back, it is impossible to tell the two apart and as the jet black is more prone to micro abrasions it makes more sense to go for the standard black. Also, both blacks will show fingerprints as well, although the jet black attracts fingerprints much faster. Both black colours disguise the antenna lines better than any of the other colours available.

Now what about the new home button. I honestly don’t understand what the fuss is about. It just works and I was not bothered about the way it now worked nor did I have any issue with its operation. The taptic feedback system works really well for me.

The screen. Both iPhone 7 screens look good but they are not as good as those from the Samsung Note 7.

Performance. Testing the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is a joy. iOS 10 and the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are so fluid and fast to use, but we all knew that anyway.

Now to the audio. I tested the loudspeaker with BBC Radio 4 for spoken voice and Beats 1 radio station for music. The loudspeaker is louder than previous but it is not as good as having traditional speakers integrated into the front of a smartphone. Next I paired by B & O Beoplay H5’s Bluetooth Wireless headphones and listened to a number of different genres. The iPhone 7 bluetooth audio is excellent, so are the B & O Beoplay H5’s headphones and I doubt whether Apple’s Airpods would sound better, although the AirPods are wirefree.

The camera. It works as advertised. The standard iPhone 7 now takes fabulous photos and the 7 Plus with the telephoto lens is equally as impressive. The telephoto lens does not have OIS though. The optical 2 x zoom really worked very well. However, software zoom introduced too much noise for my liking. Obviously, the lighting inside the Apple store is dreadful, but nonetheless it still is a test of what the camera can achieve. I used the telephoto lens for panaroma shots too. I noticed the phone needed me to slow down panning more when using the telephoto lens over the normal 12mp lens. I then tried burst shots of people walking inside the store, with and without the telephoto lens. None were really crispy sharp like those I took on the Samsung S7 or Note 7. I need to re-test the burst operation is better lighting to see how it performs before I pass judgement properly, but early testing seems to show that the fast focus system on the Note 7 and S7 really is king. However, the iPhone 7 offers many other options on the camera which need testing as mentioned. The camera did freeze on me too which was resolved by restarting the camera app.

Anyway, this is my first impression of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. I intend to cover off a lot more over the next few weeks.

If you have received your new iPhone, do add a comment below on your experience so far.

The Future of Gavin’s Gadgets – Editorial

I have been thinking what to do next with my website Gavin’s Gadgets. It will turn 4 years old this December.

I remember starting it on a whim just before Christmas 2012 because another one of my favourite websites had decided to shutter its doors. So I downloaded the WordPress app on my iPad, setup Gavin’s Gadgets in a few minutes and bashed out my first post.

When I started I honestly had no idea where it would go. Would it be dead in a few months, would anybody be bothered to read it. Now writing reviews wasn’t new to me, I had written reviews, beta tested software for over 10 years before I started Gavin’s Gadgets.

So over the years, each year in terms of visitors and traffic, the numbers has grown exponentially, far more than I imagined possible. But then it got me thinking, what is more important, visitor numbers or content or something else. August 2016 was an epic month in terms of statistics.

As Gavin’s Gadgets has grown I have had to re-organise and tweak the menus and design. Organisational skills have never been my strength but at least now using the menu option you can find reviews on over 400 different devices. Of course, if you have a tech question, try entering it in the search box. Often the answer is revealed (hopefully).

So my next question to myself and one I have been pondering for a while, is what is the future for Gavin’s Gadgets. Gavin’s Gadgets is not my day job, it is what I do in my limited spare time. I enjoy it too. But my day job always takes priority. Gavin’s Gadgets doesn’t produce any revenue. I do have an Amazon Affiliates account (link in the Menu, About Me/Help) and a tiny tiny amount of advertising. I deliberately keep the adverts to a minimum so you can read the content. The few pennies raised helps towards running Gavin’s Gadgets. Please please if you buy anything on Amazon UK, head over via my Amazon link. Thank you.

So what is the future for Gavin’s Gadgets?

– Well, I wouldn’t mind some thoughts and ideas on what you would like to see.

– Over the last year or so I have done more reviews which has meant less news. Perhaps you would like more news and less reviews?

– I even have documented my 8 week 800 calories a day diet. Would you like more articles on food, health and fitness with a tech slant?

– I have produced video reviews to compliment the written reviews. Do you like these or want more or less of these?

– Or maybe some posts on apps and how to get more out of your phone?

– I have also written more reviews on headphones and audio gear? Would you like more or less of these?

– Maybe you have another idea. Please let me know.

Finally, thank you for visiting🙂

Gavin.

PS –

Reviews coming soon include –

– Honor 8
– BlackBerry DTEK50
– Apple iPhone 7 Plus
– Apple AirPods
– Beats Wireless Solo 3
– Apple iPhone 7 cases
– Apple Watch Series 2

This is how dangerous the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is !! – THE FACTS & LIES

In my recent review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (CLICK HERE) I included a link to my post on why I was furious with Samsung and their handling of the Note 7 issues in the UK.

I also added that I did not believe the official line that there had been only 35 incidents worldwide. So now the Note 7 in the USA has been officially recalled and is illegal to be sold in the USA. However, the phone is not being recalled officially in other countries, Samsung is still saying it is voluntarily replacing the phones.

Well, now the phone is being officially recalled the facts are not good. The U.S. C.S.P.C (Consumer Product Safety Commission) stated that of 1 million potentially dangerous phones sold to consumers, Samsung has received a total of 92 reports of batteries overheating, just in the United States alone. And of those 92 reports, 26 involved burns and 55 involved property damage, including fires in cars and a garage. I wonder what the global figures and how many people did not report a problem too. So that’s –

– 92 reported incidents
– 26 people suffered burns
– 55 caused property damage (this includes cars too)

No wonder the Note 7 has been banned by –

– Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has taken to Twitter the other day to urge its customers “not to use or charge their #Samsung Galaxy Note 7 mobile device on trains and buses.”
– Jersey’s Stockton University banned the phone on its campus and classrooms
– FAA and other airlines and trains have banned its usage on their planes and trains.This is not just US Airlines either. Airlines from around the world are reacting the same.
– Others

So what is Samsung’s solution. Well the replaced Samsung Note 7s will have a “S” or other marking on the outer box. That is useless as who nobody carries their phone packaging with them. Secondly, Samsung has set up a website with an IMEI checker. This works, but again, airlines and others are not going to type in your IMEI to check your phone is safe to use on their flight. The next option is Samsung will change the battery icon from white to green on replaced phones. This option is stupid. All users will have to do is use a third party battery app to overwrite the battery icon.

In my mind the only solution left is for Samsung to re release the new Note 7s with a different hardware name. Eg the Note 7+ or Note 7S and with an extra hardware spec inside the phone. That means all unsafe Note 7 will have a different hardware configuration to make it easier to identify.

Samsung need to use the words “Official Recall” and globally and also come up with a clear solution to identify new phones. Maybe all new colour shades just for replaced phones.

Whatever Samsung decide, as mentioned before my trust of the brand has been destroyed and I will never buy another Samsung product.

Sources – US CSPC, Pocketnow, Engadget, The Telegraph

Bluedio V (Victory) Pro Patented PPS 12 Drivers Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – Review

Bluedio Victory

Welcome to my review of the Bluedio V (Victory) Pro Patented PPS 12 Drivers Wireless Bluetooth Headphones.

With the removal of the headphone jack in the new iPhone 7, wireless headphones are going to explode in popularity. In fact in the last 12 months, 53% of all headphones bought were wireless.

The Bluedio V headphones use patented technology so I do recommend reading the key features and specifications below.


Key Features / Specifications

– PPS 12 Exclusive Acoustics Technology specially built with 12 drivers. Paired with a carefully designed compound cavity these headphones will accurately reproduce every frequency, ensuring an immersive, DEEP and POWERFUL BASS.
– Transcendent S/PDIF Optical Transmission. HD sound is available through the professional S/PDIF Optical Transmission audio jack. Combined with 24bit@48kHz audio resolution, this enables the transmission of the highest quality DIGITAL sound.
– Lossless Aptx transmission Aptx coding-decoding will recompile the high-quality audio to bring you a rich listening experience. With downward compatibility, not compressed and partially compressed audio (such as MP3, aac & flac) can also be clearly transmitted via Bluetooth.
– Share music wirelessly between two headphones. Automatically connect two pairs of Victory headphones by simply entering pairing mode and enjoy all your favourite music with your friends.
– Touch controls. Simply touch, swipe and drag your finger across the ear cup to change volume and skip track.
– Bluetooth version: 4.1 – Bluetooth operating range: up to 10m
– Frequency range: 2.4GHz-2.48GHz , Frequency response: 10Hz-22,000Hz
– SPL – 112db
– Drivers: 50mm x 2; 30mm x 2; 20mm x 8
– Impedance: 42Ω (50mm); 32Ω (30mm); 32Ω (20mm)
– Bluetooth profiles: aptx®, A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
– Digital audio decode format: IEC-61973, PCM(24bit@48KHz)
– Audio supported – AAC, APT-X, APT-X Low Latency, SBC & Fastream
– Optical music time: about 40 hours
– Bluetooth music/talk time: about 25 hours , Standby time: about 1000 hours
– Charging time: 2.5 hours for full charge
– Headphones dimensions: 17.6cm*9cm*18.8cm
– Headphones weight: 446g
– In the box – Bluedio Victory Bluetooth headphones , 3.5mm audio cable ,6.3mm patch plug,User manual Carrying case with a buckle, USB charging cable, Pouch for cables ,Optical audio cable with adapter
– Note 1. Gently push the On/Off button to enter pairing mode, and you will see the red and blue light flash alternately.
– The 3.5mm audio jack on both two sides of the headphones are useful; while the S/PDIF input jack is on the right ear cup.
– The aptx low latency profile is closed by default because iOS and some Android devices don’t support it. If necessary, please contact our customer service to download the specified App to open it.

The Technology

Bluedio invested 1 million yuan in purchasing BK Acoustics test equipment which comes from Denmark. The aim of this was to create the perfect environment, zero noise room, to create the best timbre sound from these new patented flagship headphones from Bluedio. Their 12 driver setup is patented too.

Bluedio Victory

Each headphone has 6 drivers, making a total of 12 drivers for these headphones. Above is the breakdown of one side, and below the internal tech driving the setup.

Bluedio Victory Tech

As a surprise and rather unsual, Bluedio added the option to connect these digitally using a S/PDIF optical connection and supply the cable too.So you connect these directly to the optical out of a CD player for example. The Bluedio V (Victory) also supports AAC, APT-X, APT-X Low Latency, SBC & Fastream. You can also connect another Bluedio headphone wireless to another and share the music.


Build Quality & Operation

Bluedio Victory

The Bluedio V (Victory) headphones are built like tanks, and are also heavier than most at 446g. The extra weight is noticeable and takes a while to adjust to it. The headphone cups swivel up into the band, which is different to most headphones that fold. The right ear cup has touch controls for adjusting the volume, and changing tracks. You can also make phone calls from the headset.

Bluedio Victory


Sound Quality

I have connected these to my laptop, chromebook, Wileyfox Swift, Samsung Note 7 and iPad. I have tried all genres. On first listen, I found the sound strange. The 12 driver setup was reproducing music differently to what I was used to. Plus the sound seemed too sharp. At this point I was ready to return these but I was too busy to sort out. So I decided to give these another shot, left music playing for about 10 hours to burn the drivers in, and then had another listen. Oooh. Much better now. In fact, the longer I have owned these the more I like listening to them. They don’t do floppy sound, the reproduce accurate and powerful bass (not floppy bass) and have a great soundstage. A word of warning. These go so bloody loud they could blow your ears off. So make sure before you hit play, make sure you have the bluetooth volume very low. Important to remember this. The Bleudio also support APT-X low latency but to turn this feature on, you need to email Bluedio who provide an app, the turns this on.

Conclusion

The Bluedio V(Victory) PPS 12 Driver Patented Wireless Bluetooth headphones are a surprise package. The sound good and can go very loud if required. The only caution is their weight at 446g. However, I like these and consequently are recommended.

For more info and the latest pricing on Amazon – Click HERE.

Tech Addicts Podcast – The Next Episode is Live – The Note 7 is hotter than the iPhone 7

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Tech Addicts Podcast is back again with new episode starring Gareth Myles, Jay Garrett and myself. Tech Addicts is released every 2 weeks.

To listen to the latest episode subscribe by searching “Tech Addicts” within your favourite podcast app, iTunes, Google Play Music Podcasts or use the URL “mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss” to add directly.

Or listen below using the in-built player. Have fun listening!

Wileyfox Swift Dual Sim Smartphone – The £100 Phone – Disaster or Revelation – The Full Review

Wileyfox Swift

Welcome to my review of the Wileyfox Swift smartphone.

I have been using the Wileyfox that cost me just under £100 on Amazon UK. This has been used as my main phone. I am a heavy power user, so how did the Wileyfox Swift cope? And in case you are wondering why I am using the Wileyfox Swift, it is due to the loss of my Note 7.

First let’s take a look at the specifications.

The Key Specification

– Dual Sim (micro sims) plus a third slot for the micro SD card
– Cyanogen OS – Android 6.01 with latest 1st September 2016 update
– 5″ HD IPS Screen, Resolution 1280 x 720 pixels (~294ppi), Corning Gorilla Glass 3
– 16GB storage, 2GB RAM,
– micro SD support upto 32gb
– 13MP main camera, 5MP front camera,
– 2,500 mAh battery
– Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 8916, Adreno™ 306 GPU
– Themes, theme creation,
– AudioFX for music delivers 24bit High Res Lossless audio with several equaliser presets with full modification allowed
– Caller ID & Truecaller Dialler can identify & block spam calls
– Cyanogen email & calendar powered by Boxer for integrating multiple accounts
– Cyanogen web browser for enhanced security & fast performance
– Privacy guard allows you to monitor how your phone shares data
– PIN Scramble for added lockscreen security
– Protect individual apps in secure, lockable folders on your homescreens

Wileyfox Swift

Phone Basics

The Wileyfox Swift is no speed king. It has a snapdragon 410 which means at times it is slow, lags and can get flustered if I am trying to do too many things. However, I pushed the Swift way beyond what is was designed for. I connected my Samsung Gear Fit 2, Garmin Smart Index Scales, my lights, security cameras and weather station to the Wileyfox Swift. I then installed every social media app, added all my email accounts and then installed more apps until I had a total of 60 apps. Occasionally, it all became to much for the phone, and the only cure was a quick reboot.

The screen has reasonable viewing angles, and is super bright and visible in sunlight. In fact the auto brightness was always too bright, that I turned it off and often had brightness set at the lowest setting. At night, it is too bright though. The phone is prefitted with a screen protector. Neat touch.

The phone is super grippy. It is also easy to hold and use one handed.

Phone calls were ok, the call quality was average but it does have Truecaller installed to help identify who is calling. Except this feature never worked. This is a dual sim phone too, which is useful.

What did impress me was all the firmware updates that occurred at first boot, 3 in total, taking me to android 6.0.1 and the 1st September 2016 security patch update. Also I do like Cyanogen’s skin. It is light and offers helpful functionality to make the phone easier to use. It also has the option to create or install themes. I was able to make my Wileyfox Swift look like a HTC and Sony phone.

The phone recommends using a micro SD card up to 32gb. I have been using my Sandisk 64gb card. The phone also has the option of converting the card and using it as adoptable storage.

Battery life is not its strong point for my usage and power needs. With bluetooth, wifi permanently switched on and location services left on high, screen on time ranged between 2 to 2.5 hours. I often found I need to charge it during the day. There are power saving options, but I never used them. The other point to note is the micro USB socket needs a slightly longer connector on the cable. Out of 20 micro USB leads two thirds of them wouldn’t stay plugged into the port. One just fell out. The supplied micro USB lead works just fine. In a period when batteries are sealed into the device, the Wileyfox Swift bucks the trend. The battery is user replaceable.

Camera and Audio

The camera app follows the Google camera app which some extra shooting modes for good measure. But let’s not beat around the bush, the camera is the not the best and by a fair margin when you compare it to the Samsung Note 7 iPhone 6S Plus. However, apply an instagram filter and nobody would know any better. Video is terrible too. Below are some photo samples from the phone.Low light introduces a lot of noise. However, as you will see below there are some ok shots. I also have created an album of photos from the Wileyfox Swift – Click HERE.

The Dartmoor Prison shot was converted to black and white to make it look more interesting.

Haunted Dartmoor Prison #Dartmoor #WileyfoxSwift

Wileyfox originals

Just some sheep and landscape shots.

Wileyfox originals

Dogs having fun #WileyfoxSwift

Capturing some of my dogs running was a surprise.

Dogs having fun #WileyfoxSwift

When Tiggy spun her body to shake the water off, again I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had captured the moment.

Dogs having fun #WileyfoxSwift

Whilst the camera is not up to my standards, the audio is fantastic. The loudspeaker is reasonable, the headphone amp is too. On board is AudioFX which really helps improve the sound. The biggest surprise was bluetooth audio. I paired it to 3 bluetooth headphones. The B & O Beoplay H5, Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0 and Bluedio V (Victory) Pro 12 Speaker headphones. The sound quality was excellent.

Conclusion

The Wileyfox is no speed demon. Neither does it have flagship specs. But it does allow 2 sim cards and also a micro SD card which can be used as adoptable storage. It has a Cyanogen OS installed which is superb on this device. At around £100 this is a cracking piece of kit and somewhat of a surprise. As a power user the phone kept me connected and I really loved the bluetooth audio.

For more info and the latest pricing on Amazon – Click HERE.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – A Smoking Hot Flagship Phone – My Review

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Welcome to my review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. My review was based upon using the Samsung Note 7 Duos version which has a hybrid sim slot to allow 2 sim cards. This provided an additional option in the settings menu for a sim manager to control what each sim was allowed to do or not. In addition the settings had an option to select what was shown on the status bar.

I have also reviewed various official and third party cases and accessories for the Note 7 and also aired an article on my view towards Samsung and their handling on the Note 7 along with the safety warnings from Oculus. It is worth watching the case reviews linked below, as this also shows the Note 7 in black onyx on video in all its glory.

Samsung Official Cases and Lens Cover Kit plus Third Party Cases and Power Reviews

Oculus Email to Samsung Note 7 Owners

I am not happy with Samsung – Major Safety Update

Before I delve deep into my review of the Note 7, I would point out that due to the dangers around the Note 7, I no longer have the phone nor will I ever buy another Samsung device, ever, as their handling along with Carphone Warehouse was bordering along the lines of criminal. See links above.

However, despite my personal contempt towards Samsung, I will provide an honest appraisal of the phone. This is based on the assumption, that the replacement units that will arrive over the coming weeks are safe to use.

Technical Specifications

– Dimensions – 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm
– Weight – 169g
– Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Back and Front
– Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
– IP68 certified – dust proof and water resistant over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
– Stylus – S Pen
– Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified)
– Display – Super AMOLED , 5.7 inches (~78.0% screen-to-body ratio)
– Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels (~518 ppi pixel density)
– Always-on display
– Grace UI
– Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow), planned upgrade to v7.0 (Nougat)
– Chipset Exynos 8890 Octa, CPU Octa-core (4×2.3 GHz Mongoose & 4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Mali-T880 MP12
– MicroSD, up to 256 GB
– Internal – 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
– CAMERA – Rear 12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash, check quality
Features 1/2.5″ sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 9MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, Auto HDR, panorama
Video – 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps, HDR, dual-video rec., check quality
– Secondary 5 MP, f/1.7, 22mm, dual video call, Auto HDR
– 24-bit/192kHz audio
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
– Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE
– GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
– NFC Yes
– USB v3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
– FEATURES Sensors Iris scanner, fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
– Fast battery charging
– Qi wireless charging (market dependent)
– ANT+ support
– BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery
– Colours Blue Coral, Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium, Black Onyx

Phone Basics

The Note 7 is the best phone ever made by Samsung. The new UI called Grace UI is incredible. Lots of extra functionality, but all making sense. A lot of thought clearly has been applied with the menus, the options and extra functions. Somebody actually sat down and made sure everything flowed smoothly.

The display is awesome. Amazing viewing angles and great sunlight visibility. It is also fast.

Screenshot_20160829-092015

AnTuTu produced a very respectable score as shown above. This was with 150 apps installed. This included games galore, most social media apps, security camera apps, apps for controlling lights and loads of bluetooth devices. The Note 7 was also connected to my Samsung Gear Fit 2.

Call quality was excellent too. Bluetooth, WiFi and all the antennas worked really well. I noticed signal strength was better than that of my Samsung S7. The UK version has whitepages integrated which means it automatically tells you who is calling or if the call is a spam call. Samsung bought whitepages hence why it can integrate this service in to the firmware. On the Google Play store the app is now called Hoya.

The Edge panel is available on the Note 7 too. Extra edge panels are available to download. Like this one for Pocketcasts.

Screenshot_20160829-194121

I personally used the Edge panel for app shortcuts, pocketcasts and the ruler/torch panel. The always on display now accepts third party notifications, so finally becomes useful. Link this functionality with some of Samsung’s official cases like the S View Standing Case or LED case and you have really cool functionality.

The S Pen makes the Note 7 special. And I love using the S Pen. This year Samsung has cleaned up the approach, making it more useful. For example, pull the S Pen out with the screen off and you can write a memo on the black screen and pin it there for an hour to remind you to get milk before you get home! The S Pen is more accurate this year, and the drawing creative aspects of it have been improved too.

Battery life was reasonable. I achieved about 4.5 hours screen on time. This was with bluetooth, NFC, and wifi always on, location on high and the always on display activated.

One of the new features of the Note 7 is using the iris scanner to unlock the phone. When I first set this up, I found it unreliable and a PITA. So I stuck to the super fast fingerprint sensor unlock. After chatting to a few of my tech friends, I was giving a few more tips. Hold the phone nearer to your eyes, not further away. And voila. Instant phone unlocking using my eyes. So cool. So my advice is to not give up. I also found it worked when I was wearing my sunglasses.

Design

The Note 7 in black onyx is gangster cool. It looks amazing and has such a small profile versus its 5.7 inch screen. Opening the box is such a wow moment. However, its glass back and front and its a fingerprint magnet consequently. The Note 7 is IP68 dust and water resistant.

Audio

Due to the IP68 rating the loudspeaker doesn’t go that loud. It is just loud enough for podcasts. The headphone jack output is high quality but the headphone amp is not powerful enough, meaning you need to pair it to some very efficient headphones to get the most out of it. However, Samsung clearly focused the audio via bluetooth as the bluetooth audio is excellent.

Camera

At the time of writing this review, the Note 7 is the best phone for both video and photos. It just kills the competition. Double press the home button, press the shutter and you will have a perfect photo. The camera is super fast to focus too.

I have a Flickr album for the Note 7 – Click HERE. However, below are a few shots from the Note 7.

Church of St Michael #Princetown taken with the Samsung Note 7 #SamsungNote7

Sniffing out the stones #SamsungNote7

The aim here was to capture the stones close up, but my labrador Tiggy had other ideas and was a bit curious and photo bombed the shot. The Note 7 was so quick to focus too.

Life on Dartmoor #SamsungNote7 #Dartmoor

Sunrise over Dartmoor #SamsungNote7

The above shot was totally unedited as are all the shots shown. Exposure is handled so well. The Note 7 camera app has been tidied up from the S7/S7 Edge and is slightly easier to use. It still comes with a pro mode as well, although the auto mode is so reliable its doubtful many people will use the pro features. As impressed as I was with photos, the video recordings were just as impressive.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is an amazing phone and in my opinion near perfect in terms of hardware and software integration. Add into the mix all the Samsung accessories like the Gear VR or Gear 360 and you have a dynamite combination!

The 8 week Blood Sugar Diet – Just 800 calories a day – Week 8 – The Before & After Photos & What’s Next?

On the 16th July 2016, I started the 8 week Blood Sugar diet that is just 800 calories per day. I completed week 8 on Saturday 10th September 2016. At week 8, I now move to the 5:2 Blood Sugar Diet. This is 5 days no calorie counting but still Mediterranean style food and then any 2 days at 800 calories.

After 8 weeks I am a new person already. See results further down. I look so different from the start just 8 weeks ago. Has it been easy? Yes and no. Some days it was really hard to focus on the job at hand, and other days it was a breeze. But ultimately I have done it, I ate 800 calories a day for 8 weeks.

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The bottom left shot is me before I started the 8 week blood sugar diet. And the other two are my new frame and size after completing the 8 week blood sugar diet. The top left shot highlights how loose my t-shirt is which 8 weeks ago would have been stretched to the limit.

Just to re-iterate there is no secret to this diet. 800 calories may seem low, but remember it is only for a short time. You must think positive and be in the right frame of mind. Phrase the journey in your head as it is only “8 weeks of my life” and “this is such a small amount of time in reality and in 8 weeks I could fix so much because of the diet.” Make sure you have plenty of support. And really important, plan like hell your meals for the next week(s) along with all the ingredients you need and make sure each day has the correct balance of nutrition needed.

My breakfasts over the 8 weeks started as a healthy shake and then I moved to egg on low carb toast. I used my Andrew James Egg boiler to make perfect eggs every morning.

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I still have soup for lunch, and they always taste great due to my Andrew James soup maker.

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If you want to recap all the items I’m using , read my first post –  Click HERE. I also have a dedicated page where all my diet posts are being kept. This can be found using the Menu or Click HERE. . It is worth checking out each week’s posts as I also show a selection of the meals I ate.

Feedback. Thanks again for all the positive feedback received during the 8 weeks. And for those who said it was impossible to do, I have this to say. “You were wrong”.

I cannot believe how many Type 2 diabetic people I have met who have reversed their condition because of this diet or reduced high blood sugars and or lost a lot of weight too.

As mentioned before I am using a notebook to plan my week’s food out in advance. I am using many of the of the suggested menus in the Blood Sugar Diet book. Amazon Link to Blood Sugar Diet book – Click HERE.

Below are all the photos I took of all my meals. Look good don’t they!

So how did week 8 go in terms of weight, blood sugar levels and more ? Below are the measurements from Saturday 10th September 2016.

Here we go – 

– Weight – lost 1 lbs this weekOverall weight loss – 2 stone 4lbs. In just 8 weeks I have lost over 2 stone. . Start weight was 21st 10lbs, current weight 19st 6lbs.

– Waist – Overall in 7 weeks I have lost 4.5 inches.

– Neck – Lost 3 inches overall since start of plan

– Blood Sugar levels – Continued to read at normal levels.

– Blood Pressure – My blood pressure is normal again. My pulse is normal

– Body Water Percentage – now increased by 1.5% since the start of the diet.

As a consequence, my BMI and body fat has also dropped.

Finally I would like to say thank you again to everybody who wished me good luck. It really helped keep my motivation up!

So now my journey moves to the 5:2 Blood Sugar Diet plan. I will now try and lose 7 stone. Wish my luck!

Useful Links (Amazon)

The 8 Week Blood Sugar Book – by Dr M Mosley
The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book
The Essential Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book
Fast Exercise – Dr M Mosley
Andrew James Soup Maker – 7 in 1 – soups, smoothies, ice crusher and more
Andrew James Egg Boiler (I use this for my eggs, see photo at top)
FitBit Trackers
A wide choice of digital weighing scales

PS – Just to re-iterate I went to my doctor to discuss going on this plan as recommended by the book. My doctor was very supportive and offered a number of ways of helping me at different intervals. In fact, I was surprised just how helpful and supportive my doctor was when I mentioned I wanted to start the 8 week blood sugar diet. When I finish the 8 weeks plan, I will move to the 5:2 diet, which is no calories tracking for 5 days but still on the Mediterranean style food plan, and 2 days at 800 calories.

I am not happy with Samsung – Editorial & Rage – MAJOR SAFETY UPDATE

Since publishing my post below the US Safety Commission tweeted the following – “Stop using the Note 7 and power it down/off”

Unlike some publications and websites that rely heavily on support from PR companies, manufacturers and other sources for new devices and revenue, I made it my moto from day 1 to always speak my mind and be as honest about a product as possible.

Gavin’s Gadgets will be 4 years old this December and in this time I have let my feelings be known quite strongly on a few matters but always with valid cause.

So now it is the time whereby I will express my anger with Samsung and the Note 7. Now before you all say that I am a Samsung hater, let me explain that when I look back at all the tech I have owned in the last 30 years, a lot of it has been Samsung devices. In fact, if you go to the menu reviews and look through the tablets, phones, audio and wearables there are about 30 reviews covering Samsung products.

To give you an idea as to my anger with Samsung, I am in the process of selling anything I own with the Samsung logo and have decided NEVER to entertain any more of their devices.

First of all Samsung hasn’t done an official recall of the Note 7. It has stopped selling the phone and asking nicely for you to return it. At first this was only voluntary. Samsung stated as of 1st September only 35 devices worldwide had exploded. When I enquired about my Note 7 I was told there had been no issues in the UK, yet engadget.com reported they had been told on the quiet by Samsung that there were recorded issues in the UK. Samsung has now removed the number 35 off its UK website. It would not surprise me if this number is higher, much higher.

If the device was officially recalled this would make it illegal in the USA to be sold by anyone. Samsung should follow an official recall and have an official process. At the moment in the UK, it is a mess. One minute it will be done this way the next minute another way. Now let us say you gave a Note 7 to a friend as a birthday present, Carphone Warehouse will not except it back unless it is from the original owner. That’s crazy and even more so if said friend even had the original purchase receipt.

Looking at the XDA Forums, it seems that there is a lot of stalling tactics going on. This means that if you had a 14 day cooling off period, you might find while you wait for a resolution which changes by the minute, you lose all your consumer rights in being able to simply return it.

The next problem is the Royal Mail and likely other companies will not allow the phone to be posted. So how do you return an explosive device in the post? Amazon UK is refunding customers money and as of todays date has still told their customers not to return the phone, but power off and keep it. That is how it should be done. Meanwhile Samsung is stalling to hold on to people’s money for as long as possible.

Now let us suppose you got your phone from overseas. Samsung UK refers you to Samsung Support in the country you bought the phone from, but that Samsung office refers you back to Samsung UK. This phone has the potential to explode and yet nobody in Samsung globally are trying to find solutions to fix these gaps in exchanging a hazardous phone that also cannot be posted because it is dangerous.

New issues are coming to light with airlines banning the Note 7.

But the Note 7 isn’t just explosive, it is also have issues with spontaneous boot loops or phones just bricking. Plenty of comments on XDA Forums and by people I personally know and trust not to exaggerate.

So what about compensation by Samsung for all the wasted calls trying to find a resolution, lost data, out of pocket expenses, all the cases and accessories bought for a phone not being used anymore or returned for a full refund, contracts not being used as the phone is off for safety reasons and many more expenses. Well you’ll get nothing to properly compensate you.

In my mind Samsung are trying to avoid the compensation but not stating this is an official recall and following the respective guidelines laid down in certain countries.

If Samsung needed to recall the Note 7, it should have recalled every phone, issued full refunds immediately and then at a later date sent a new Note 7. In the meantime, it should have offered all customers a free loaned phone eg Samsung Galaxy S7.

If Amazon can refund the money instantly and also advise not to send the phone back, this at least gives the customer a chance to buy something else.

Of course many people would have sold their old phone just before the Note 7, only now to find out they have nothing to use.

This situation is not ideal or easy but I don’t think Samsung has directed this process correctly. I also think they are skating around the issue of compensation their customers correctly and fairly,

Over and out.