Honor 8 – First Shots from the Dual Lens Camera!!

Honor 8 hardware

My Honor 8 smartphone arrived yesterday in sapphire blue. After I have spent some more time testing it, I will publish my review, but I will just say this for now, it is an incredible stunning piece of hardware. In the flesh it just screams premium and quality and makes me wonder why anyone would buy anything else based on looks alone. The Honor 8 packs a ton of decent hardware specs and many neat software extras, all of which I will cover off in more depth in my main review.

In the meantime, these are the first photos from the camera.

Delicious Healthy Food #Honor8

The above shot is taken in wide aperture mode. With wide aperture mode, you can set the focus point and change the f stop. This adjusts the bokeh. Once you have snapped the photo, you can re edit the focus point and f stop.

Delicious Healthy Food #Honor8

If you want your food to pop, then use Good Food mode.

Church of St Michael & All Angels - Spooked #Honor8

Auto mode and using an inbuilt filter. It really was that foggy!

Dartmeet - Long Exposure #Honor8

The Honor 8 has lots of different camera modes, making it a competent shooter. This is one of the light painting modes, called Silky Water. This makes light work of creating silky water.

Bellever Tor, Dartmoor #honor8

Road to Bellever Tor, shot in auto. I love the colour accuracy of this shot.

It's Cows grazing in the morning sun #Honor8

Shot directly in to the sun. In auto and a great result.

Taunton Station #Honor8

Another auto shot. Again I am really pleased with the result.

So what do you think of these photos?

More info and the latest pricing on Amazon – Click HERE.

Tech Addicts Podcast – The Next Episode is Live – Pixel, Oppo & Bluedio

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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!

Apple iPhone 7 Plus – Camera Review – Part 1

So how good is the camera on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus? Is it worth upgrading just for the camera on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus? What’s my view versus the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge and Note 7? Read on for all the answers …

Firstly, let’s take a look at the photos I have snapped with the iPhone 7 Plus in a multitude of conditions. As before, if you want to view the original photo, click on it, select original or full size.

Low Light Conditions

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

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

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

So the above 3 photos are a selection of photos testing the low light capabilities. The second shot uses the telephoto lens. Shortly after snapping the above church shots, darkness really started to set in. At this point, when I selected the 2x zoom for the telephoto lens, the iPhone actually decided to override my choice and used the wide angle lens. It did this as it knew the f/1.8 of the wide angle lens would produce a better result, even though it was using digital zoom. The results from the digitally zoomed photos were still excellent. At the end of the article is a link to the flickr album set where you can view more photos from all of the scenes shown.

Just to up the ante, I used a third party app, nightcap pro that allows awesome night shots, light trails, stars, meteors and more. This is the beauty of iOS with the wide selection of third party camera apps on offer that push the boundaries of what is possible with the camera. There are some exciting options in development too which I am testing.

The low light photos from the iPhone 7 Plus are excellent. When I tried this test with the Samsung S7, the white balance was all over the place. The S7/S7E/Note 7 can produce sharper shots in low light compared to the iPhone 7 and with less noise, but I actually prefer the iPhone photos as they are better balanced overall.

Daylight Conditions

Okehampton Castle ruins #iphone7plus

Okehampton Castle ruins #iphone7plus

The photos above are shot into the sun as is the photo below. The two photos above show the results with the wide angle lens and then the telephoto lens. The 2 x optical zoom on the telephoto lens makes a huge difference and I love the option to use this lens as the quality is so much better than using digital zoom.

Okehampton Castle ruins #iphone7plus

One of my favourite type of shots is shooting into the sun, with the sun caught between the tree branches. I was pleased with the result here.

All Saints Church #Okehampton #iphone7plus

Above is another great shot from the iPhone. Nicely balanced but based on my time with the S7/S7E/Note 7 I do think the dynamic range from these Samsung phones is better. However, the final post processed from the iPhone appears in my mind to be more realistic and natural. The Samsung post processing goes for a heavier saturated and contrasted shot.

Flowers & Close Up

Flowers & Fruit #iphone7plus using the wide and telephoto lenses

The above shot is just using the normal wide angle mode. The new portrait mode is in beta, so I won’t be testing this until it is out of beta. However, from results shown over the internet from other people, used correctly, the portrait mode is fantastic and makes the 7 Plus even more compelling.

Flowers & Fruit #iphone7plus using the wide and telephoto lenses

Now just be switching the the telephoto lens, the berries become even more appetising.

Flowers & Fruit #iphone7plus using the wide and telephoto lenses

Flowers & Fruit #iphone7plus using the wide and telephoto lenses

The above shots are with the wide and then the telephoto lens. Again you can see the difference the telephoto lens makes to getting closer to the flower.

Flowers & Fruit #iphone7plus using the wide and telephoto lenses

Above, another shot with the telephoto lens.

Action Shots

In the 3 shots below of my labradors, it is worth noting the weather conditions were not the best for this type of action shot. The UK weather at the moment is dreadful. After taking these photos, Dartmoor had 33.4mm of rain in 4 hours. So not only was it overcast when snapping these, there was also a light mist too.

Happy dogs playing on Dartmoor- George , Fury and Tiggy in hot pursuit #iphone7plus

Happy dogs playing on Dartmoor- George , Fury and Tiggy in hot pursuit #iphone7plus

Happy dogs playing on Dartmoor- George , Fury and Tiggy in hot pursuit #iphone7plus

What you will see from the above 3 photos, which have all been marginally cropped to a 16:9 format, are some good photos considering the weather conditions. The iPhone 7 Plus was able to capture my dogs running extremely fast.

Happy dogs playing on Dartmoor- George , Fury and Tiggy in hot pursuit #iphone7plus

The above shot if you look closely has spots of mud on the photo. This was caused my Fury (black labrador) running so fast through the mud, that she was kicking it up as she went along🙂

So how do these action photos compare to the Samsung S7/S7E/Note 7? Well the Samsung phones have a slightly faster focus system, meaning more of the action sequences would have been snapped in focus. The Samsung faster focus system has benefits across all types of shooting photos as well. However, once again I prefer the post processing from the iPhone 7 Plus. It did a better job distinguishing my dogs and their 3 different colours, light, brown and black. Same story as all the other shots really, I prefer the post processing from Apple. But like everything in life, there are pros and cons with each choice of phone.

Shooting in RAW

I took several shots in RAW using ProCam 4 and Adobe Lightroom for iOS. Editing on the iPhone 7 Plus using snapseed and Lightroom showed how much more data the iPhone 7 Plus captured using RAW. For a special show I would always take on in RAW as well as using the standard camera app. There are 3 samples shots from RAW in my Flickr Album. Link at the bottom of the article.

Final Verdict

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus camera is a marked improvement from the iPhone 6 Plus. The 2 x optical zoom of the telephoto lens opens up many more options to photography without the need of carrying add on lenses. The new portrait mode is another benefit. Third party developers are already looking to add their software prowess to stretch the boundaries even further.

The telephoto lens is usable is all shooting modes too ie video, time lapse, panorama and more.

Compared to the Samsung S7/S7E/Note 7 it boils down to 2 key differences. Maybe 3. First is the fast focusing system from Samsung is faster than the iPhone 7 Plus. This will produce benefits in certain scenarios. The Samsung phones post processing leans more to a heavier saturated and contrasted shot. In certain scenarios these will make photos pop on the screen to stand out even more. However, so far I am preferring the more natural, realistic post processing coming out of the iPhone 7 Plus. This is a personal opinion/choice. Should you move from a Samsung S7/S7E/Note 7 to the iPhone 7 Plus? Personally, you really need to get a grip if you are even thinking about this! A phone is not just about the camera, it is about everything else. The phones are different, each has pros and cons. When it comes to very low light/night shots the Samsung phones have the slight edge using the default camera app. However, switch to a number of impressive iOS third party apps, and the advantage switches to iOS. Once again pros and cons.

Overall, I am very pleased with the camera results on the iPhone 7 Plus. Add this to everything else on offer and its a compelling device.

Part 2 will focus of video and will be live in due course.

Useful Links
My Apple iPhone 7 Plus Flickr Album
Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus Cases on Amazon
Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus Screen Protectors on Amazon

BlackBerry DTEK50 Smartphone – My Review – Secure & A Huge Hit

Blackberry DTEK50 review

Welcome to my review of the BlackBerry DTEK50. My review covers off all aspects of the phone from the camera, the audio, the security and much more.

It is in two parts. The written part below and then complemented and finished with the video review embedded below.

My thanks to Clove Technology for sending the BlackBerry DTEK50. The BlackBerry DTEK50 costs £265.

The Key Specification

– Android 6.0.1 and at time of review 6th September 2016 security patch (the latest)
– Snapdragon 617 processor, adreno 405 GPU
– Micro SD support up to 2TB
– 3gb RAM, 16gb storage
– 5.2 inch IPS 1080p screen, 424 PPI
– Sunlight visible with sunglasses
– Bluetooth 4.2 LE
– 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz, 802.11 a/n 5GHz, 802.11 ac 5GHz
– Micro USB, Nano SIM
– Cameras – Rear 13mp, Front 8mp
– Battery – 2,610 mAH
– Quick Charge 2
– 147 x 72.5 x 7.4 mm
– Weight 135g
– BlackBerry security – latest security patches and OS enhancements without considerable delay.
– BlackBerry Intelligent Keyboard – Learns and provides word suggestions as you type, that include up to 3 languages of your choice.
– Customisable BlackBerry Convenience Key – Provides quick access to your most used applications and more
– BlackBerry launcher and apps, DTEK Security
– Stereo Speakers

Phone Basics

The BlackBerry DTEK50 is built by Alcatel, and based on the Idol 4. However, if I had to choose between the two, I would pick the DTEK50 every time. The DTEK50 has been customised by BlackBerry. It has a super grippy back and has BlackBerry’s commitment to the latest security updates. It also features BlackBerry’s DTEK security suite, keyboard, launcher and productivity apps including the BlackBerry Hub. See video below for more details.

Blackberry DTEK50 review

The screen is a lovely 5.2 inch IPS affair at 1080p, offering 424 PPI. Viewing angles are good and the brightness is excellent. In fact the auto brightness is too high, so I often controlled the brightness manually and at the lowest setting. This did mean, it was rather bright at night time. Sunlight visibility is the best I have used in ages. With my polarised sunglasses on, holding the phone in portrait mode, the screen was 100% readable. So crystal clear it was a joy. However, in landscape mode, I couldn’t read the screen with my sunglasses on, unless I removed them.

Call quality was reasonable, reception was excellent. Battery life was stellar too. 4 hours screen on time on average but with hardly any drain when left in standby. I did a 8 hour overnight test. The battery did not lose anything at all! Not even 1%.

The BlackBerry launcher is fantastic too. It allows custom icon packs which 100s available on the Google Play Store. On the home screen, swiping up on an app opens up the app widget. The launcher also allows for a wide selection of shortcuts. More details on the video review.

Audio

The DTEK50 has stereo speakers that sound superb. Lovely clarity and good volume. Brilliant for podcasts, gaming, watching YouTube videos and more. Headphone audio via the 3.5mm headphone jack was better than normal. Bluetooth audio was excellent. The phone has MAXX audio which adds to the whole enjoyment and quality. See video for more details.

The Camera

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.

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. Don’t forget to view the video to learn more about all the manual options.

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, Click HERE, 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.

The Review Part 2 – Video Review

Conclusion

The BlackBerry DTEK50 is the best budget/mid range phone I have experienced to date. Excellent audio and camera, great form factor and design along with the latest security updates and BlackBerry’s apps and services make this a strong recommendation!

My thanks to Clove Technology .

The 5:2 Blood Sugar Diet – Week 2

Welcome to my journey on the 5:2 Blood Sugar Diet, week 2. Prior to starting the 5:2 BSD Diet, I completed the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet on the 10th September 2016, 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 as the 8 week Blood Sugar 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. I love starting the day this way!

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To recap, on the 8 week blood sugar diet results, 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. This is the results from week 2. My plan is now to 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 1/2 lbs in weight, (I weigh now 19st 5.5lbs), my neck and waist stayed the same this week. 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

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.

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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.