Category Archives: Apple

How I changed the white front to black on my Red iPhone 7 for £12

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So I received my lovely red iPhone 7 Plus over the weekend and across the internet many people were saying, “if only it had a black front instead of white”.

Personally, when you see the red iPhone in person the white front is amazing. But I already knew how I was going to alter the front to black to see for myself whether the black version looked better.

I also have tried many Apple cases with the red iPhone 7 Plus. The black silicone, sea blue leather and saddle leather cases and none look right. I also have seen the Apple red silicone case. This is the wrong shade of red. So the only option was a clear case.

So for less than £12, I now have a black front red iPhone and a clear silicone case. This is how.

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I applied a 3D black glass protector. I will have a note of all the items I used at the end. Don’t use a 2D glass protector as this won’t fit properly.

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Here’s a top down view with the black screen glass protector fitted. As you can see, there is a slightly amount of white around the edges and the Touch ID button is still white.

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I put the iPhone in the black Apple silicone case.

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Hopefully, you’ll agree that this combination doesn’t look right. However, the white border on the front is hidden by the case.

So to show off the full colour of the red iPhone 7 Plus, I fitted a clear silicone case.

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And now the front.

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The white border is not visible now. The only issue is the white Touch ID button. I have thought about using a black marker pen, but I’m not sure if this will work and or void the warranty.

So for the sake of a white home button I can live with this set up. The 3D glass protector and silicone case were £5.99 each.

So to refresh you, this is what the original red iPhone 7 Plus looks like. My Red iPhone Unboxing & 1st Impressions.

So do you prefer the white or black front on the red iPhone 7 Plus?

Useful Links

Black 3D Glass Screen Protector for iPhone 7 Plus

Clear Silicone case for iPhone 7 Plus

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Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Princetown to Hexworthy – The Old Road – Dartmoor National Park

Desolation #dartmoor - nothing for miles

On Saturday, I walked from Princetown to the Forest Inn at Hexworthy on Dartmoor. The route is 5 miles easy way across Dartmoor National Park. The above shot is one of the views you will see en route. All the photos were snapped using my iPhone 7 Plus.

After about 40 minutes, this is the view from behind of the North Hessary Mast at Princetown in the distance. The path starts off in great condition. To start the route from Princetown, walk down Tor Royal Lane, all the way to the end. After a mile, you will get to Tor Royal Farm. Walk down the road, with the farm on your right. Just continue following the path/road.

Of course, like all good things, the condition of the path deteriorates and becomes a bit boggy. So good walking boots are a must.

Rocky Road to Hexworthy #dartmoor

In fact, along one section of the route, the path is lined with large chunks of rocks/granite, so be careful. Also the path occasionally fades out but it is still visible for the entire route.

Racing along the road from Princetown to Hexworthy #dartmoor

My 3 labradors were having a blast along the route too.

After about 3.2 miles the path narrows and you will pass the Blowing House ruins. This section was particularly muddy in places and had a lot of muddy surface water. You boots will get wet and muddy at this point no matter how hard you try to avoid everything.

Above is Blowing House itself, well the ruins.

Fairy Bridge #dartmoor

Fortunately, Fairy Bridge has been replaced with a new structure, otherwise you would have had to cross the river getting extremely soaked! The goal was to reach the Forest Inn at Hexworthy. The last part of the walk is a little tricky in terms of directions, but you eventually reach the end of the path, and come to a country lane. Cross straight over and walk down the road to the farm house entrance. As you get near the entrance, you will see a downhill path, take this, walk down until it becomes road, turn left, walk 15 yard, turn right downhill in-between the farm buildings. This will make sense when you are there. At the end of the downhill part, you reach another road. Turn right and walk 50 yards uphill to the Forest Inn. Job done.

Enjoy the food and drink at the Forest Inn (make sure you book as its always busy), and then prepare yourself for the return journey.

All photos shot on my red iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus Product Red – First Impressions, Photos & Video – It’s stunning in RED!

The new Product Red, or Red iPhone 7 went on sale today at 3.01pm UK time. I currently have a jet black iPhone but now have moved across to the new Product Red iPhone 7 Plus.

Once you see the new red iPhone in real life, you will just love the colour. It looks fabulous!

Just look at the photo gallery of the iPhone 7 in red. Such a stunner.

And as to my first impressions and unboxing. Here you go 🙂

Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Bellever Forest – Dartmoor National Park

This morning, I went out on a bitterly cold morning to Bellever Forest Dartmoor. The temperature never rose above 2ºC, and in the wind it was sub zero. Apart from the temperature, it was foggy and raining.

So despite the weather and visibility, I managed to capture the beauty and wonder of Bellever Forest, Dartmoor National Park using my iPhone 7 Plus.

Forest Walks, Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Along the forest path at Bellever. Lovely views and colours.

Ancient Trees at Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Along the path, the trees and plants look fantastic.

The Forest is Alive - Natural Colours of Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

I really like all the greens, browns and red tones.

Ancient Circle - Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

For one minute, it looks like a row of stone seating.

Up High on a Foggy Day at Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Up high, and you can really get a sense of the visibility or lack of!

With the rainy conditions, I was so happy to have my iPhone 7 Plus which is water resistant. And I love the photos the camera captured too.

It’s Official – Apple Store is back online – New Red iPhone, iPad Watch Straps & ALL Changes – Updated

After about 5-6 hours offline, the Apple Store is now back online revealing the new iPhone. 

This is the product Red iPhone. 

Same iPhone just a different colour. Personally, it is a shame the front wasn’t red as well. Of course, once you fit a case, the colour is irrelevant;)

Also Apple has released a cheaper iPad and new watch straps and for the first time you can buy the Nike Watch Straps too. The Apple Watch is no longer offered bundled with leather, nylon or link straps.

The new iPad essentially replaced the iPad 2. It is also thicker than the iPad 2 and now is the same dimensions as the iPad Air.

There are new iPhone cases to match the new straps too.

The iPhone SE now comes in 32gb and 128gb storage. The iPad mini is now available with 128gb, with 32gb model discontinued.

Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Soussons Stone Circle and Forest on Dartmoor National Park

As with all UK weather, it was fabulous during the week and come the weekend, the rain and fog descended on Dartmoor. Snow is forecasted later this week too.

Anyway, below are photos taken on my iPhone 7 Plus of Soussons Stone Circle and in around the forest on Dartmoor National Park.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

Above, Tiggy is very happy to be in the lead. The shot is taken in Soussons Forest, Dartmoor.

Mystic Walks thru Soussons #dartmoor

There are so great trees too. With walkways in between.

Soussons Stone Circle #dartmoor

This is the Soussons Stone Circle, comprising of 25 stones. Dartmoor seems to have many sites with stone circles.

Logs #Soussons #dartmoor

Abandoned logs. Did someone forget to collect these? Also a great place to find beetles.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

George happy as always.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

Fury, she is doing the side step dance, somehow.

Soussons Forest #dartmoor

The weather was awful during the walk around Soussons. Rain, fog and strong winds. Fortunately, the trees provided some shelter, and it times like this you appreciate having a iPhone that is water resistant!

Sunset on Dartmoor – Shot on an Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Sometimes timing is everything as well as skill of course 🙂

The below shot captured the ponies grazing just as the sun was disappearing behind a Tor. A minute before the sun was too bright and a minute later the sun had vanished.

To help capture this shot, I used my iPhone 7 Plus and Adobe Lightroom mobile to snap it in raw. When I capture photos like this, I cannot see the need of carrying a DSLR!

Cracking sunset on Dartmoor

AirPods vs BeatsX – My Final Verdict

AirPods vs BeatsX – Which headphone is my favourite?

I have now had and used both of these headphones for a while. Both contain Apple’s W1 chip that allows for a seamless connection. Once paired it is connected via iCloud to all your other Apple devices too.The faultless bluetooth connection continues over a vast distance.

These two headphones are vastly different to each other. The BeatsX have more sound isolation and consequently greater bass and depth. They can last 8 hours on a charge. The AirPods allow you to wear them for 5 hours and then the case will recharge them to get up to 24 hours usage in total, by using the case. Both headphones have a 5 or 10 mins quick charge option.

In terms of fit, the BeatsX fit inside your ear canal, whereas the AirPods sit in the ear, but they are not ear canals. For some strange reason, the BeatsX fall out unless whereas the AirPods never fell out. In terms of comfort the BeatsX takes the trump card.

If I had to choose a single pair, it would be the AirPods. I like the fact I can carry on a conversation and hear what someone is saying. I also like the wire free design which do not fall out.

What would be great is if Apple brought out the over the ear Beats headphone with the W1 chip. That would be ideal!

BeatsX Wireless Headphone Review

AirPods review

Useful Links

Latest info and pricing on AirPods
Latest pricing and more info on the BeatsX

Apple iPhone 7 Plus – My Favourite Photos from Sunday – Shot in RAW & Pano Mode

Yesterday, I took my iPhone 7 Plus out in some seriously cold and wet conditions and took landscape shots in RAW and also used the panoramic mode on the default camera app.

The panoramic shots are all over 60mp in size. To view any full size, click on the photo, then select full size.

Shot in RAW

Part of Staple Tor - Natural granite formation - Dartmoor National Park

In the storm - Great Staple Tor - Dartmoor National Park

Dramatic view of Great Staple Tor - Dartmoor National Park

Staple Tor in a hail storm

Shot in Panoramic Mode

70mp Panoramic shot of all the Staple Tors on Dartmoor

Sony Xperia XZ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus – Camera Comparison

On Saturday, I took the Sony Xperia XZ and iPhone 7 Plus out on Dartmoor. My goal was to be a tourist and see which phone would take the best shots, reliably and consistently too.

The Sony Xperia XZ has a 23mp rear camera and the iPhone 7 Plus has 2 x 12mp rear cameras.

Below are the results – Click on each photo, then select the full size version for the ultimate pixel peek.

iPhone 7 Plus

View towards Kings Tor, Dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

I really like the above and below shots from the iPhone.

Stormy weather over Little Mis Tor , Dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

Stormy weather heading up to Great Mis Tor , Dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

Above and below, both taking with the telephoto lens. The 2 x zoom does make a difference to shots like this.

Stormy weather at Little Mis Tor , Dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

Sony Xperia XZ

Storm over the Tors #dartmoor

I found the Sony made even the most stark landscape shot more interesting due to its saturated look.

Sun & Stormy Weather - sub zero, bitter winds & heavy rain all at once

The above shot is my favourite of all the photos from both phones. It was freezing cold, with sub zero temperatures, hail and rain, and then the sun appeared.

In a line - Fury, George & Tiggy sprinting up to Great Mis Tor

Little Mis Tor - Standing strong in the stormy conditions

When you compare the shots above and below from the Sony with those from the iPhone, there are fairly close in quality.

Little Mis Tor  & Great Mis Tor - High up on Dartmoor in stormy conditions

I also liked the above shot from the Sony Xperia XZ.

Conclusion

Whilst the Sony Xperia XZ did a reasonable job, and IMO managed to capture the most memorable shot, in further testing that I have carried out, the iPhone 7 Plus is able to take better shots, that are sharper, more accurate and consistent across all lighting conditions. The Sony Xperia XZ lacks OIS, and seems to fail to take a good focused shot quite frequently.

The Sony Xperia XZ does have a lot of positive aspects, but even though most phones, including the best flagships, have Sony camera sensors, Sony has not managed to optimise the camera software in its own phone to the same consistent standard. I find this infuriating as the sensor in the Xperia XZ is top notch!

My full review of the Sony Xperia XZ will be coming soon.

My thanks to Vodafone UK for the loan of the Sony Xperia XZ.

LG G5 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9 – Camera Comparison

Good morning everyone. I decided for this post to take 3 phones – the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, Huawei Mate 9 and LG G5 and see which one could take the best shot of an aerial view of Exeter High Street.

Unlike other comparisons, I have stuck all the photos taken through Adobe Lightroom to see what was the best final result that could be obtained.

LG G5 Shots – Normal and Wide Angle

Shot on the LG G5

Shot on the LG G5

I really like the extra width of the LG G5 wide angle shot.

Huawei Mate 9 – Normal and Monochrome

Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

I do like the images from the Mate 9.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone takes a well balanced shot overall.

So which phone do you prefer and why? Just a quick shout out to Vodafone UK for the loan of the LG G5.

Useful Links

Deals on Phones & Accessories at Amazon
Vodafone Shop

Apple iPhone 7 Plus – Camera Showcase

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Apple iPhone 7 Plus camera showcase. This week I released a video showcasing the Huawei Mate 9 camera and I was asked by several people if I could create a similar video for the iPhone 7 Plus. So I did.

The video includes a range of photos, shot using various different modes, and a selection of photos shot in raw using ProCam 4 app. Other apps used for long exposures included Nightcap Pro. Details of the modes, if raw used and apps are noted on the photos too.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus – Portrait Mode at its best

When Apple launched the iPhone 7 Plus, Portrait Mode was not available publicly. Then it arrived as a beta but as time has moved on a few more software updates have improved its results.

Below is an example of a shot I took of a wonky road sign on Dartmoor. I imagine the bending of the sign was done by a free roaming cow that wanted to scratch its back and in the process bent the edges.

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What I like about this photo, is how crisp the edges are including where the metal of the sign has bent at the corners.

Do you agree?

BeatsX Wireless Headphones – My Review – Are these the best Beats Headphones to date? & vs AirPods?

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BeatsX Wireless headphones went on sale on Friday 10th February 2017 on Apple’s website. They are available in grey, white, blue and black and cost £129.95.

The Key Features / Specs

– Experience authentic, clear sound
– Up to 8 hours of battery life
– Fast Fuel, a 5-minute charge gives you 2 hours of playback
– Lightning to USB-A charging cable (short length cable in box)
– Pocket-sized carrying case
– Unique Flex-Form cable provides all-day comfort and easy pocket portability
– Eartip options provide a personalised fit and secure-fit wingtips available in box offer added stability
– Class 1 Bluetooth
– Apple W1 Chip
– RemoteTalk allows you to take calls with a built-in mic, play music, adjust volume and activate Siri
– Charges from a lightning port, short cable provide in box
– Noise isolating

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How To Setup

They instantly set up using the new Apple W1 Chip and iOS 10. Just power on and hold near your iPhone, a notification box appears, tap connect and after that you have simultaneously connected to your Apple Watch, iPad and Mac. This means no more pairing with your other Apple devices as the pairing is synced across using iCloud. The only exception is the Apple TV for some reason which will need manual pairing as will any non Apple device.

The Sound Quality

Apple describe the BeatsX sound as “authentic, clear sound with optimised noise isolation for an immersive listening experience. An innovative acoustic design delivers a clean treble response and distortion-free bass for the most natural tonality across a broad range of genres.”

Seriously, are the BeatsX possessing a natural tonality across a broad range of genres? Well, blow my socks off, because these are the first Beats headphones that have a more natural tonal response. That means there is soundstage separation (medium), there is treble and decent midrange, something that is missing off many older Beats products. And these do deliver a decent punch too.

In fact, I tried these with every genres including pop, rock, classical, dance, jazz, blues, new age and many more. The BeatsX did a stellar job with all of these plus provided a good amount of noise cancellation.

Also as these have the Apple W1 chip, the bluetooth connection range is crazy long and without any signal dropouts.

UnBoxing, Video Review and Comparison versus AirPods and other Bluetooth Headphones

Now its time to watch the next part of my review. This includes a quick unboxing, sound test, comparison with AirPods and other headphones.

Conclusion

The BeatsX are somewhat of a surprise sonically as the midrange and treble are not lost to the bass line. In fact they sound really good. With the iOS benefits of instant pairing across all Apple devices, music controls and more, these are highly recommended and for many will be preferred over the superb AirPods.

Finally, I just want to say a quick thank you to the excellent customer service at the Apple Store in Plymouth.

Useful Links

BeatsX earphones at Apple – More info
Beats headphones on Amazon

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PS. Note this was not a review sample or loan unit.