Category Archives: Android

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

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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.

Sennheiser HD 4.30G Around-Ear Closed back Headphones review – Dynamite Sound for under £100

Welcome to my review of the new Sennheiser HD 4.30G Around-Ear Closed back Headphones.

Key Features

– Closed-back design and ergonomic earpads reduce background noise and provide immersive detail
– Integrated 3-button smart remote with in-line microphone for controlling calls and music
– Handy single-sided tangle free cable
– Soft, comfortable ear pads for enhanced comfort- you will forget that you are wearing them!
– Robust foldable headbands for easy storage on the go
– Frequency Response – 18 – 22,000 kHz
– Sound Pressure Level 120db
– Impedance – 18 ohms

Sennheiser sell two versions of these headphones. The HD 4.30G and HD 4.30i. One is for Android/Samsung and the other for iOS devices.

The Sennheiser HD 4.30 are comfortable and are specifically designed to be driven from a phone. In fact at 18 ohms and 120db, these are a perfect match for most smartphones. With my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 these are a fantastic pairing. Dynamic, punchy bass which is slightly emphasised, good mid and treble, reasonable separation, passive noise cancellation in an over the ear style, what more could you want.

Video Review

Conclusion

Extremely recommended for phones and other portable devices. Dynamic sounding, punchy and worth every penny. I love them!

More information and the latest pricing from Amazon UK – Click HERE.

PS Next up is a 3 way comparison with the Bose QC35 II and new Beats 3 Wireless headphones. Can these £90 pair of headphones take on £300 wireless flagships?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – Review 1 Week Later + Camera Showcase 

After one week with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, this is my detailed review so far with a few tips and a camera showcase. Also I have embedded a few other photos above and below from the Note 8. 


The above shot was edited on the Note 8 using a Bixby voice assistant. I asked Bixby to apply the vignette filter. 


The bokeh is superb. Live Focus was not used for this shot. Auto all the way. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – High Speed Camera Action Shots featuring Sophie

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has many camera modes, including its own portrait type mode, called Live Focus. But sometimes you just want to take a quick photo as you suddenly see some incredible action.

Fortunately, a double press of the power button, and holding down the on screen shutter button is a really quick procedure. The Note 8 burst mode, holding shutter button down, is blazingly fast. Here a 4 shots from about 25 that got captured in the burst of my Labrador Sophie running on Dartmoor.

The Note 8 is able to capture the motion so well, and more importantly with ease.

Sophie is an extremely fast runner, sometimes I wonder if she doesn’t have lurcher or greyhound in her genes!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review – 48 hours later – The Highs & Lows plus more camera shots

So 48 hours later using the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8, here is my initial review. But it is also 48 hours without my iPhone 7 Plus/Apple Watch combo. I have been incredibly used to using iOS as my main phone for over a year despite reviewing many android phones. 

Having used iOS and other Apple hardware has benefits. Everything talks to everything. It’s a doddle to share content between devices and other people using iOS or Apple hardware. Everything just works and I have got very used to all the methodology and ways. I have had to tell my wife not to send photos over iMessage, instead email them. My wife can’t FaceTime me. Same for the rest of my family who all use iPhones. AirDrop is absent too. But weirdly, the biggest thing I miss is wearing my Apple Watch. I’m not sure it’s missing it as such, but my wrist feels empty without it. It is such a strange sensation.  My wife at the start of my journey was not too pleased with me moving platforms either.

Anyway, so back to the Note 8. The first 24 hours felt alien. As much as I am bowled over by the hardware, the software just felt a mess. Setting up Bixby was a disaster. It kept saying it could not hear my voice. WTF. A deaf voice assistant! I also had a mess of 136 apps and or games installed and everything was out of order and all over the place. On my iPhone, apps were in a particular folder and position within the folder for ease of use.

However, I am not one to give up and realised it would take a while to adjust and hopefully I would start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For the time being, I won’t be installing Nova Launcher. I want to feel and appreciate everything Samsung has done with this phone for at least a month. Tomorrow, I have a new super fast Samsung memory card arriving, a Gear Fit 2 Pro and already have a Gear 360 (2017). This way I can appreciate the Samsung eco system more. I won’t be turning off Bixby either. Siri works extremely well for me on my iPhone due to the simple reason I taught it over time. I shall do the same with Bixby and get it to deliver eventually. I hope!

The single biggest problem with the Note 8 has been signal. If I had got my Note 8 direct from Three UK, it would have the wifi calling integrated into the firmware. My Note 8 has come unlocked direct from Samsung. Between Three and Samsung, they have not provided the wifi calling/VOLTE within the firmware. For a flagship phone this is not acceptable. My iPhone 7 Plus had this integrated and was from Apple direct. Three have an app for WiFi calling. Firstly the software looks like a dogs dinner. Secondly it drains the battery. And thirdly, you have messages and calls coming into its app, and not the default Samsung apps. So it gets 1/10 from me and that’s being generous. Fortunately, I have a Three Signal Booster which I had to power up and this has resolved my signal at home.

Setting up Bixby was resolved by opening Bixby, finding the settings and running through the setup. I still can’t turn the phone on from a lock screen, using my “Hi Bixby”. No idea why that’s not working. Also, the Smart Switch software provided by Samsung to transfer SMS and other stuff from my iPhone to the Note 8 keeps crashing. It just doesn’t work! Bummer. I really would like my text messages transferred across, if nothing else.

Unlocking. Joke, serious joke. WTF did Samsung think by adding the fingerprint sensor so high up. Firstly, it is impossible to reach. Second, when you do reach it, it never works because your finger angle is always out of alignment slightly. So fortunately, I am using Android Smart Unlock options along with face unlock for now. Face Unlock doesn’t work in darkness or bright sun, so its back to a pin code.

Before this sounds like a bash bash of Samsung, let’s move on to the good stuff. The phone looks amazing. My Spigen case arrived on Saturday which made usability a damn sight better. It is a great case for under £9. Link at end if you are interested. As I have had many Samsung phones before, logging into my Samsung account brought back lots of information, from web bookmarks, my Samsung Health data and much more. S Health on the Note 8 is amazing. More on this on my main review.

Themes. Again logged into my Samsung account, and have downloaded all 20 of my themes, checked them all out, and removed the ones that don’t look good on the Note 8. I now have all my folders and home page looking tidy. My weather station, Hue lights and other connected devices are all working well and Google Assistant is super fast at controlling stuff. Quicker than Siri. I have now logged into all my social media accounts, media and web services so the phone is now usable.

Gaming. Samsung Game Launcher is excellent. More on this in my full review.

The screen is wonderful to view anything. It’s big and bright and so visible in sunlight. And the dual OIS rear camera lenses produce amazing results. And so to the camera. Below are just a few random quick shots in auto. These shots are so good, my wife now is happy for me to be on android instead of iOS !!

The Note 8 has a super fast focus system, and now using the zoom lens is offers more flexibility due to having OIS.

Any that’s all for now. More soon.

Useful Links

My Spigen Case – Amazon Link
Great Big Brand offers on Note 8 cases – Amazon Link
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Sim Free on Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – First Impressions of the Dual OIS Rear Cameras with Samples of Zoom Quality

So my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 arrived yesterday and I have installed circa 120 apps and a selection of games.

At the moment, the hardware is superb, but the software is a dog compared to the elegance of iOS 11 on my iPhone 7 Plus. However, I have not spent anywhere near enough time in trying to sort everything out, and maybe I will have a better setup over time.

For the moment, this is what I have lost moving my main sim out of the iPhone 7 Plus and into the Note 8-

– iMessage with my wife and family. I used all the stickers too and effects.
– Facetime
– Three WiFi Calling is not present and this is a nightmare inside my home.
– Airdrop across devices from Mac, iPhone and iPad – my wife and I could share anything from bookmarks, photos in an instant.
– Apps are just better on iOS in style and overall functionality, although this is not for all apps. Some actually seem better on android, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
– Everything feels out of place
– Siri
– Loss of using Apple Watch
– Messages on all devices (Mac, iPad)
– iOS 11 really has so much functionality as standard.
– Touch ID – unlocking the phone and access to apps is way better on iOS

This is what I have gained –

– Epic camera results so far in very limited testing
– Powerhouse of specs
– S Pen
– Great headphone audio, better than the iPhone 7 Plus
– My Samsung Gear 360 (2017) works better with the Note 8
– Stunning hardware

This is just my honest view after 24 hours. But back to the dual OIS rear cameras. Testing the zoom near dusk.

Above shot is standard lens.

Now 2 x optical zoom. Focus on the mast in the distance.

10 x digital zoom. Really impressive detail for such a long distance. Remember this is not in bright lighting conditions either.

Ok, so above is a normal shot of the church.

Zooming into to the window. Having OIS on the zoom lens makes a massive difference.

However, the white balance is somewhat warm on auto, so making a quick adjustment makes a difference as shown above.

Anyway, just a quick update. More very soon 🙂

Sony Xperia XZ Premium – Audio Review & The Best Headphones to Use

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Audio Review plus the best headphones to use with the phone. The Sony Xperia XX Premium is a phone that holds many firsts in a phone. For a start it has a 5.5 inch 4K HDR display and a 19mp rear camera that can take 960fps slow motion. The phone also has the latest Snapdragon 835 processor along with a dedicated audio setup. It is this audio setup, the Bluetooth, stereo loudspeakers,headphone output and the best headphones to use with it that I am going to cover off today.

Over the next 24 hours, I will be publishing my main review of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and a dedicated camera only review too.

Camera Review & Showcase

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Main Review
My thanks to Vodafone UK for the loan.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Audio Review

Also available from Amazon UK

Sony Xperia XZ Premium – Detailed Camera Review and Showcase

Sony Xperia XZ Mega Camera Review and Showcase. The Sony Xperia XX Premium is a phone that holds many firsts in a phone. For a start it has a 5.5 inch 4K HDR display and a 19mp rear camera that can take 960fps slow motion. The phone also has the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, a 13mp front camera along with a range of camera modes and options.

Over the next 24 hours, I will be publishing my main review of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and a dedicated audio only review too.

My Sony Xperia XZ Premium Flickr Album.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Main Review
Sony Xperia XZ Premium Audio Review & Best Headphones
My thanks to Vodafone UK for the loan.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Camera Review and Showcase

Also available from Amazon UK

Scenic views of Newquay and Dartmoor – Shot on the Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Below are a number of shots taken with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. All shots were snapped in auto.

The above shot is one of my favourite with good colour and dynamic range. All shots have been uploaded in full resolution.

No need to rush for a space on the beach!

A home on your own rock with a private bridge too. I would imagine the maintenance costs are pretty high.

The above shot was taken before sunset. It is a little too dark versus the real lighting conditions.

Dartmoor ponies. Again the photo is a bit dark. This could be brightened up afterwards. The f/2.0 rear lens is the primary reason in lower lighting conditions, the photos tend to be a little dark.

And there you have it, some photos from the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. At the weekend, I will have a separate camera and audio reviews, and the main review too.

My thanks to Vodafone UK for the loan.