Category Archives: Android

LG V30+ Review & Camera Showcase – 32 reasons why this is the best phone in the world!

Welcome to my review of the LG V30+. The review includes a camera showcase plus 32 reasons why this is currently the best phone in 2018!

And just in case you missed anything, here are the 32 reasons. The video includes additional commentary, screen shots and the camera showcase.

1. V30+ has lots of storage 128gb. Great for keeping apps and games in internal storage. Longevity as games and apps get bigger.
2. Dual hybrid sim so either another sim or micro sd card. Flexible options without huge extra costs.
3. Top processor snapdragon 835 and 4gb ram. Snappy device.
4. Hardware. Gorgeous. Glass back using gorilla glass 5 in an aluminium frame.
5. IP68 dust and water resistance plus up to 1.5metres for 30 mins Plus MIL-STD-810G complaint. A lot of phones have IP68 but aren’t MIL-STG-810G.
6. 6 inch OLED screen at 18:9. Great for content and usage with easy grip 7.54cm wide. Not missing a cutout like iPhone X and screen colour profiles and with custom colour profile option.
7. Dolby vision and hdr 10 complaint.
8. Always on display that shows you what you need at a glance without impacting battery. Fully customisable.
9. Not heavy at 158g. Considerably less than some flagship phones.
10. Cameras dual 16mp f/1.6 and 13mp ultra wide f/1.9 , 5mp front. 16mp more detail than 12mp flagships.

11. HDR video, manual video, cine video, lut recording profile, graphy, 192kHz stereo sound, iPhone X still mono !
12. Manual photo and huge options and modes well ahead of other phones. Special mode for Instagram photos. Ultra wide lens is amazing. Even use it for selfies.
13. If you miss the Google Pixel camera, a dedicated port for the V30 normal and wide lens is available. Best of both worlds.
14. Not only does it have a headphone jack, it’s fitted with a Quad Dac. No need to worry about have I got my adapter or have I charged my Bluetooth headphones. MQA streaming support included.
15. But if you use Bluetooth, you have aptx, aptx hd and LDAC is coming next. iPhone X doesn’t have the basic aptx. MQA streaming support included.
16. Audio is 32 bit, 192kHz, b & o certified , audio recording is 24bit/48khz
17. Active noise cancellations with dedicated mic too.
18. Comes not only with headphones in box, but B & O Headphones, some of the best in the box headphones.
19. Decent mono speaker despite IP68.
20. FM radio included with RDS.
21. Fingerprint on rear which is reachable without any strange moves eg Note 8.
22. Sensors include fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compasss, barometer, and colour spectrum for camera.
23. Battery is great, gets you thru a heavy day despite QHD display, but can adjust display to 1080 or 720p.
24. Quick charge 3 with correct plug in box to do this and also has Qi wireless charging.
25. Handy knock on or knock off. Just a useful feature.
26. Floating bar gives access to shortcuts, screen capture with options like gif, music player and quick contacts. Customisable and position change. Again all mod cons to make using phone a lovely experience.
27. Uses the modern usb type c plug.
28. LG Home + has lots of themes now.
29. Fluid experience and Google apps, hardware and services work well with the phone. As well as Google Assistant voice control when phone is locked too. A lot of phones don’t have Google Assistant when locked
30. The home touch buttons can be customised and position changed plus you can hide them in whichever apps you like, or even show them. LG adds an extra menu item for app scaling or game control as applicable.
31. Games tools. Game graphics, screen resolution, break time (reduces brightness and performance when you leave game running for more than 5 mins, screenshot)
32. I said so 😉

Conclusion

The LG V30+ is a competent workhorse, yet in a beautiful body with all the requirements needed for a modern phone, with nothing missing from a hardware perspective.

Useful Links

LG V30+ deals on Amazon UK
LG V30 cases on Amazon UK

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Kodak Ektra Smartphone Review – The Camera Phone from Kodak

The Kodak Ektra smartphone is a camera or is it a phone, no its simply an android phone, designed to look like a camera. It looks different and actually is pretty easy to hold due to its shape and textures.

Key Specs

– Processor – MediaTek MT6797 Helio X20 Deca-core, 2x Cortex-A72 @ 2.3GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 2.0GHz,4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz
– OS Android™ 6.0
– DIMENSION 147.8 x 73.35 x 9.69mm (14.02mmat camera lens)
– DISPLAY 5” FullHD 1920×1080
– CONNECTIVITY BT4.1, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz), GPS/Glonass
– MEMORY 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM
– I/O 3.5mm audio, USB 3.0 Type C, microSD™ (Up to 128 GB)
– Single SIM (Nano(4FF))
– SENSORS Ambient Light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, E-Compass, Proximity sensor
– AUDIO Speaker, Receiver, Dual MIC
– KEY Camera key, Power key, Volume up/down
– BATTERY 3000mAh, with 5V 2A charging, and Pump Express ready
– APPS Kodak Camera, Gallery, Super 8, Selects curation portal, printing apps; Google’s Snapseed™ editor;
MobiSystems’OfficeSuite and File Commander; AVG AntiVirus

Camera Samples

Main Review

In my main review, I take a closer look at the phone, the software, camera software and photo editing.

Conclusion

The Kodak Ektra came out over a year ago costing over £400. At the figure it was not worth the cost. At less than half that price now, it is a nostalgic piece of kit and fun to use. It has also benefitted from many firmware updates, however, the camera is not a patch on current flagship phones.

Useful Links

Kodak Ektra latest pricing on Amazon UK

LG V30 – Audio Review – Speaker, Bluetooth, Type C, Wired – Over 12 Different Headphones Compared

Welcome to my LG V30 Audio Review. This review covers the loudspeaker, bluetooth headphones, type c headphones and wired headphones. Over 12 different types of headphones used for the review.

To recap, the LG V30 embraces the 3.5mm headphone jack and adds a Quad Dac. The Quad Dac can drive headphones up to 600 ohms. However, I would recommend up to 300 ohms max and dependant on the sensitivity of the headphone as well. Over 50 ohm headphones trigger the high impedance mode of the Quad Dac to ensure proper amplification. Sub 50 ohms and a wider dynamic range is engaged.

The Quad Dac features high end options from being able to choice digital filters, an equaliser and even supports the new high resolution streaming format MQA.

So now sit back and enjoy the LG V30 Audio Review!

Useful Links with Latest Pricing

High Impedance Headphones

VE Monk Plus – http://amzn.to/2mtZdZj
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 ohm – http://amzn.to/2AYqk42
Sennheiser HD 660s – http://amzn.to/2FARBxd
Sennheiser HD 579 – http://amzn.to/2DaDNer

Bluetooth Headphones

Sony WH-1000MX2 – http://amzn.to/2DaDT5N
Sony WF-1000X – http://amzn.to/2qZfafE
Optoma NuForce BE Free8 – http://amzn.to/2DbXRhn

In Ear Headphones

Sony In Ear headphones – http://amzn.to/2DfPAb8
Sennheiser In Ear headphones – http://amzn.to/2DaOSgn

LG V30+ First Impressions – 128gb storage & Headphone Jack with Quad DAC & Wireless Charging

Welcome to my first impressions of the LG V30+. The V30+ is exactly the same as the V30 except it has double the storage at 128gb instead of 64gb.

Notable features include (and I suggest you read these as they are impressive)

Hybrid Sim – either dual sim or single sim plus micro SD card (some markets just single sim plus micro SD card)
IP68 dust and water PLUS MIL-STD-810G compliant
Wireless Charging
3.5mm headphone jack with a QUAD DAC 32-bit/192kHz audio, B&O Play certified,24-bit/48kHz audio recording, Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
6 inch P-OLED QHD screen 18:9 aspect ratio
– Gorilla Glass 5
– Dolby Vision/HDR10 compliant
– Always-on display
Snapdragon 835, Adreno 540
– Android 7.1.2 – Oreo rolling out now
– 64gb or 128gb storage, 4gb ram
Rear cameras – Dual: 16 MP (f/1.6, 1 µm, 3-axis OIS, PDAF) + 13 MP (f/1.9, no AF), phase detection & laser autofocus, LED flash, 24-bit/192kHz stereo sound rec
– Front camera 5 MP (f/2.2, 1/5″, 1.12 µm)
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD (with Oreo update, Sony’s LDAC codec is added)
Stereo FM radio with RDS
– USB C Connector
– Sensors – Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, colour spectrum
– Non-removable Li-Po 3300 mAh battery
151.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm Small size
Weight 158g Quite light

Before I get to the video review section, I just want to emphasise the specs above again, as the LG V30+ has nearly everything you could dream in a phone. It also looks gorgeous. Below are a few first shots from the camera.

Camera Samples

The camera is a beast, so many options too. The photo that looks like it has had a filter applied was actually snapped with a filter pre applied. The camera shoots in 4:3 at max MP. All I have done is cropped afterwards to 16:9.

First Impressions plus look at the Interface and Camera

Useful Links

LG V30 latest pricing on Amazon

LG V30 cases on Amazon

Honor 7X Review – Another classic phone from Honor

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Welcome to my review of the Honor 7X.

The Key Features

– 5.93-inch display with IPS Full HD+ resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels) with an 18:9 aspect ratio
– Kirin 659 chipset, 4gb ram, 64gb storage
– Storage expanded for an additional 256 GB with a microSD card
– Dual rear camera setup that features 16mp and 2MP sensors for depth sensing
– Front camera is a 8mp
– 3,340 mAh battery
– 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6mm
– Weight 165g
– Android 7.1 and EMUI 5.1 – update to Oreo and EMUI 8 in New Year
– 3.5mm headphone jack
– Micro USB, no NFC

Camera Samples

In good light the Honor 7X takes good shots. Wide Aperture mode, Portrait mode are all present making the camera a good offering. In low light images are soft.

Video Review

Useful Links

Honor on Amazon UK

Honor Store UK

Honor 7X – First Impressions plus Camera

Yesterday, Honor launched the Honor 7X, its new budget offering with a stunning full view 18:9 display. In fact the whole phone looks lovely as you will see in the video below.

The Key Features

– 5.93-inch display with IPS Full HD+ resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels) with an 18:9 aspect ratio
– Kirin 659 chipset, 4gb ram, 64gb storage
– Storage expanded for an additional 256 GB with a microSD card
– Dual rear camera setup that features 16mp and 2MP sensors for depth sensing
– Front camera is a 8mp
– 3,340 mAh battery
– 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6mm
– Weight 165g
– Android 7.1 and EMUI 5.1 – update to Oreo and EMUI 8 in New Year
– 3.5mm headphone jack
– Micro USB, no NFC

In my first impressions video, I take a closer look at the camera interface and photo editing app with a few samples too. I will be producing a camera showcase, so stay tuned for this over the coming weeks.

First Impressions

Google Pixel 2 XL – Camera Review & Showcase

Welcome to my Google Pixel 2 XL Camera Review and Showcase. First let’s take a look at the key features of the Pixel 2 XL.

Key Features

– Android Orea with a minimum 3 years OS updates and security patches
– Fullscreen 6.0in display QHD+ (2880 x 1440) pOLED at 538ppi, 18:9,3D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5, Always-on display, 100% DCI-P3 coverage, 100000:1, super contrast ratio, True black level, Full 24-bits depth or 16.77 million colours
– Rear Camera Rear Camera, 12.2MP, 1.4μm, Autofocus with laser + dual pixel phase detection, Optical + electronic image stabilization, f/1.8 aperture, Rear Camera Video 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps, 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps,4K @ 30fps
– Front Camera Front Camera 8MP, 1.4μm, f/2.4 aperture, Fixed focus, Front Camera Video, 1080p @ 30fps, 720p @ 30fps, 480p @ 30fps
– Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835,2.35Ghz + 1.9Ghz, 64Bit Octa-Core, Adreno 540, Security module
– 4gb ram, 65gb or 128gb storage
– Media & Audio – Stereo front-firing speakers, Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, Wireless HD audio with LDAC, Qualcomm® AptX™ and AptX HD™ audio codecs supported, USB-C™ port to use with your own USB-C digital headphones
– Headphone Adapter to connect a 3.5mm jack to your Pixel
– 3 mics Noise suppression
– Battery 3520 mAh battery, Up to 7 hours of go with 15 minutes of charge
– Sensors Active Edge™, Proximity / Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer / Gyrometer, Magnetometer, Pixel Imprint: Back-mounted fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking, Barometer, Hall effect sensor, Android Sensor Hub, Advanced x-axis haptics for sharper/defined response
– IP67 water and dust resistant

So the Google Pixel 2 XL features a decent specification, but just how amazing is its camera? Lets find out now.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Google Pixel 2 XL makes photography easy with some incredible post processing. Video stabilisation is one of the best too. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

Google Pixel phone & cases deals on Amazon UK

Razer Phone – First Impressions & Camera Showcase

Yesterday, I posted a few shots from the camera. Today, I am taking a closer look at the Razer Phone and giving you some more shots from the camera, which include some overcast conditions as well as running dogs.

Key Features

– 120 Hz UltraMotion™ screen, 5.7 inch IGZO LCD 1440 x 2560, Wide Colour Gamut
– Featuring Dolby Atmos and THX certified audio
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB RAM
– Rear cameras – 12MP AF f1.75 Wide, 12MP AF f2.6 Zoom, Dual PDAF, Dual tone, dual LED flash
– Front camera – 8MP FF f2.0
– Stereo Front-facing speakers with Dual Amplifiers
– Audio Adapter with THX certified DAC
– 4,000 mAh battery for all-day power with Quick Charge 4
– Storage – internal: 64GB UFS, External: microSD (class 10, 2TB max.)
– Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2,NFC
– Bands GSM: Quad-band GSM UMTS: B1/2/3/4/5/8, LTE: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66, TDD LTE: B38/39/40/41 TD-SCDMA: B34/39
– Size 158.5 x 77.7 x 8 mm
– Weight 197 g

So sit back and enjoy the first impressions and camera showcase.

Google Pixel Buds review – Google’s headphones with Google Assistant & Translate Built-in

Welcome to my review of the Google Pixel Buds. In this review, I am going to cover off how to pair, use and a number of tips and tricks as well as my verdict on the sound quality.

Key Features

– Earbuds length: 20.4 mm, Earbuds width: 20.4 mm, Earbuds height: 20.5 mm
– Charging case length: 66.2 mm, Charging case width: 65.5 mm, Charging case height: 28.6 mm
– Weight: Earbuds: 14 g, Charging case: 57g with buds, 43g without buds
– Battery: Earbuds: 120mAh, Charging Case: 620mAh
– A single charge of Google Pixel Buds gives you up to 5 hours of listening time. the case provides up to another 20 hours
– Sensors: Microphone, Accelerometer,Capacitive touchpad

So for the full rundown, now take a look at my video review.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Google Pixel Buds are a surprising package, with good audio, Google Assistant and more. Recommended.

Useful Links

Google Online Store
Amazon Tech Deals

Huawei Mate 10 Pro – Camera Review – Video & Photos – Multiple Modes – Day & Night

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro has some powerful cameras. Its rear cameras consist of of a 12mp RGB sensor with OIS and a 20mp Monochrome Sensor. The front camera is 8mp.

In additional, the Huawei Camera app is one of the most comprehensive with shooting modes for every situation. The camera also possesses AI, and can automatically identify what it is your are shooting and make fine adjustments to the camera automatically. Just check out the shots of my dogs in the video and the photo below.

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Panorama shots are excellent too. See first photo.

I am really impressed with the camera on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.

Video Review

Useful Links

Huawei Mate 10 Pro info and latest pricing on Amazon UK

iPhone X vs Pixel 2 – Camera Comparison Part 2

Over the weekend I published two posts. A low light camera comparisons between the iPhone X and Pixel 2, and some first shots from the iPhone X. 

Now I’m back with some more camera shots from both shots, from outdoor, indoor and some more low light shots. The differences are stark at times. All on auto. 

In all these shots it’s the iPhone X first, then the Pixel 2. So which is better in your eyes ?



So perfect sunny conditions with this shot. iPhone X is the first shot. Both look great but do you have a favourite. 



In this indoor shot the Pixel 2 on the bottom has more detail. Look at the drinks fridge bottom right. But do you agree?



Now into night shots where the differences between the phones becomes more obvious. Again Pixel 2 is the bottom shot, iPhone X on top. 



Again both phones using a different exposure with the Pixel 2 going for a higher ISO. The iPhone X used a 1/4 second shutter speed. But which is better. Pixel bottom. iPhone X on top. 

So who is your winner and why? 

Some other points to note. The Pixel 2 has Bluetooth LDAC, APT-X and APT-X audio codecs and therefore sound better with headphones. Both have stereo speakers. The iPhone X sounds better than the Pixel 2 but Pixel 2 XL sounds better than the iPhone X. Screens. Lol. iPhone X has a better screen than both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. 

Apple iPhone X vs Google Pixel 2 – Low Light Camera Comparison

Last night I was at the historic Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth. This made for a quick camera comparison in low light using the iPhone X and Google Pixel 2. All shot handheld and in auto.

Above is the shot from the iPhone X. This is uploaded at full size, as is all the other shots.

Immediately, you can see the difference above with the Google Pixel 2. So much more clarity and quality. The Pixel 2 shot shows more of the hotel windows.

Back to the iPhone X above. Not a bad looking shot.

And now above the Pixel 2 once again showing off its chops in low light.

So as you can see the end result is pretty clear that the Pixel 2 took the better shots and by quite a margin. Do you agree?

In addition, I used the Pixel 2 to snap some incredible portrait shots, which for privacy reasons I cannot share. However, the Portrait mode on the iPhone X created some fun looking black and white portraits which seemed to go down a treat.

More soon!

LightwaveRF new Apple HomeKit Range – Dimmers, Smart Plugs & More – First Impressions

The leading smart home provider LightwaveRF has released its new range of products that are compatible with Apple HomeKit. The new certified Generation 2 range consist of a new Smart Link Plus, Smart Dimmers, Sockets and heating accessories. Combining HomeKit means LightwaveRF devices can be controlled with IOS apps and Siri voice commands, as well as Google and Alexa.

I have received the starter kit, shown above, which consists of the hub, dimmer and 2 way switch.

The new LightwaveRF range has been part of a two-year research and development program with new features including a built-in energy monitoring, colour changing LEDs to indicate status and wire-free two-way switching.

Initial setup involves connecting the Link Plus to the Wi-Fi router. Then you are able to control lighting, heating, power and security through voice control using Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also use Apple Home and the LightwaveRF apps.

The dimmer and smart plug looks really smart. I can’t wait to test this out fully.

More soon.