Category Archives: Apple

Newquay Beach – Shot on the iPhone X

I have taken a several shots on the iPhone X, but these photos taken of Newquay beach really highlight just how great the camera performs.

In all 3 of the shots just look at the colour, depth and overall tonality. The seagulls were captured perfectly too.

The middle photo really emphasises just how much of a difference the zoom lens has become and how optical image stabilisation enhances 2 x zoom photos.

I must admit I was pretty blown away by these images. I have shot this scene on many phones and by far these from the iPhone X are simply the best and outstanding in my view.

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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 – First Impressions + Camera Samples

There has been a lot written and shown about the iPhone X, but what I will say, the only way you will understand and appreciate this phone is to spend time using it yourself. Why you ask? Well, I had some fears and concerns over certain aspects which have in some part turned out to be unnecessary. Photo above is using pano mode on iPhone X.

The biggest decision to make is silver or space grey finish for the iPhone X. I went space grey as it looks badass. I have since seen the silver first hand and still stand by my decision. The silver is more photogenic, but space grey looks meaner.

Just as a side note, all the photos you see embedded in this post are from the iPhone X. At the end, I have linked to the Flickr iPhone X Album, Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Flickr albums of mine. These albums give you an idea of the differences between the phones and their cameras. Plus those that like to pixel peek can!

Low light/darkness shots.

Starting up, I decided to not use my iPhone 7 Plus old backup, but restore as a new phone. This was a relatively simple job to do. Setting up FaceID was a breeze. Apple Pay and all the other aspects of the setup procedure was completed smoothly. Probably the easiest iPhone to setup.

Above, close up flower shots, one using the 2 x optical zoom.

And moving on to FaceID. It really does just work. Its brilliant actually. I really thought it would be a PITA. Its not. In real life usage, its actually faster than TouchID and effortless. Still waiting for some UK sunshine to test it in bright conditions.

Above, indoor lighting inside a shopping centre.

Above. City landscape. One using 2 x zoom.

That screen. Its stunning. No more on that one. Much better than anticipated. Apps on the whole seems to have adapted ok with the ears and new screen size. Some haven’t so I am hoping they will get updated soon. Google Maps needs an update for example.

Talking of maps, I tested the GPS and used Apple Maps for turn by turn navigation. It looks superb on the iPhone X screen, and also when did Apple Maps get so good. Seriously, for turn by turn directions, it provided great on screen instructions and clear spoken steps.

Gestures, not had too much trouble learning these as I had watched a few YouTube videos. I stumbled with Apple Pay and the double press, but nonetheless completed both transactions.

Siri. Its not as good as Google Assistant. But in some ways Siri is fantastic. I am in the car, stuck in traffic, iPhone X is clipped into my screen mount, I call up Siri and end up sending 10 iMessages to my wife back and forth with little effort.

Camera. As you can see I have taken a range of shots. If you watch my video below, you will see some portrait lighting samples as well. This proved great fun. Talking fun, Animoji is crazy fun, and super cool to use.

It’s early days and I have some thoughts on my overall score but I will compare the X to the Pixel 2 and Note 8. These 3 phones couldn’t be more different. One thing is certain, the X is just an iPhone running iOS 11.

Video Review

Useful Links

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Gavin’s iPhone X Flickr Album
Gavin’s Google Pixel 2 Flickr Album
Gavin’s Samsung Note 8 Flickr Album

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?

Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones Review – With the new Apple W1 Chip and Pure ANC

Welcome to my review of the new Beats 3 Studio Wireless Headphones. These feature the new Apple W1 chip and Pure ANC.

Key Features –

– Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling (Pure ANC) actively blocks external noise.
– Real-time audio calibration preserves a premium listening experience.
– Up to 22 hours of battery life enables fully-featured all-day wireless playback.
– Apple W1 chip for Class 1 Wireless Bluetooth® connectivity and battery efficiency.
– With Fast Fuel, a 10-minute charge gives 3 hours of play when battery is low.
– Pure ANC-off for low power mode provides up to 40 hours of battery life.
– Take calls, control music and activate Siri with multifunction on-ear controls.
– Soft over-ear cushions for extended comfort and added noise isolation.
– In the box – Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones,Carrying case,3.5mm RemoteTalk cable, Universal USB charging cable (USB-A to USB Micro-B),Quick Start Guide ,Warranty Card
– Over Ear Design
– Weight 260 g
The Beats 3 Wireless are the upgraded version of the original Beats over the ear headphones. In the update, Beats have improved the headphones by including the Apple W1 chip and upgrading the active noise cancellation. I like the fact you can turn the ANC off whilst connected to your device. I tested the headphones with my Apple iPad Pro 10.5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Excellent results and superb range from both devices. I could walk around my entire house without the connection breaking. The noise cancellation is good, not as good as the Bose QC35, but these do sound better with music. They do not have lip sync issues with YouTube videos. Calls were clear too. Battery life is excellent too.

Pairing to an iPhone or iPad is a breeze, see video below, but it is as simple as turning them on. Then a pop up appears on screen with a pic of the headphones. Hit the connect button and that is it. They are now paired to all your Apple devices using iCloud.

The Beats 3 Wireless do have a slight bass focus, but nowhere as near as previous versions. Mid and treble is reasonable too. Overall the balance between music and noise cancellation is good.

Now lets take a look at the video review.

Video Review

Conclusion

Highly recommended especially for anyone using Apple devices due to the extended range and easy pairing.

More info and the latest pricing – Click HERE.

PS. Coming up soon, a 3 way comparison between the new Beats Quietcomfort 35 II and new Sennheiser headphones.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus – First Impressions 

Apple iPhone 8 Plus. First Impressions and initial thoughts. 

Judging by the lack of queues at all the main Apple stores it seems many people are clearly waiting for the newer iPhone X. 

But from my initial use of the new iPhone 8 Plus I have come away with a different view. The expression a wolf in sheep’s clothing is quite appropriate. It’s actually its more like a bland lion in sheep’s clothing. 

The A11 Bionic processor is a beast. What it does for the whole phone experience is badass. 

First my views on the 3 finishes. I didn’t like space grey. The gold is ok. But I loved the white and silver finish. 

Screen. The true tone screen looks too good to be true at times. It’s the ultimate in IPS technology. But it’s not light years ahead of the 7 Plus. But it’s still better. 

Operation. The A11 processor must contribute to the overall smoothness of the phone. Really felt like gliding through menus and apps. 

Camera. There’s no HDR option. It’s on by default. The camera felt fast to take shots and there was low noise in the indoor photos. Portrait lightning was fun to use but I did notice some errors on the edges. It is in beta though. The standout feature of the camera was the video. 4K at 60fps is freaking unbelievably amazing. So life like and real to view footage back on the screen. Stabilisation looked good too. 

Speakers. Louder than before. That’s a good thing. Wireless charging worked as expected. 

I started by saying it’s a bland lion in sheep’s clothing. And that is how I feel. It looks like every other iPhone for the last 4 or so years. Except it performs like the King of the Jungle. 

I can see this being quite popular on contract upgrade plans and for people that still want the convenience of Touch ID. It is however not a design I want to see in my hand. I’m more interested in the upcoming iPhone X!

London Eye and Waterloo Bridge – Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Testing the Zoom on iOS 11

The scene was set. On Thursday, I was standing on the roof terrace of the Institute of Engineering and Technology. The sun was out and I was looking a spectacular view of London. I recently installed the full version of iOS 11, that is, non beta, so lets see how the latest firmware compared.

The above photo is using 2 x optical zoom of Waterloo Bridge. Looks superb.

Above is the same shot of Waterloo Bridge but just using the standard lens. The difference is huge. The sun had temporarily hidden behind some clouds, hence the difference is brightness/colour.

So testing the zoom lens at 2 x optical zoom, we can focus nicely on the London Eye.

The next shot above is of the London Eye, using the normal wide lens.

So despite the iPhone 7 Plus being one year old, it still can perform really well. I cant wait to see how the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X perform against the 7.

Apple iPhone X – My Thoughts on The Future and everything else Apple announced

Yesterday, Apple held its special September 2017 event. During the presentation it announced 3 new iPhones, the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X. The Apple TV got updated and a new Series 3 Apple Watch got announced.

Before it got to the new iPhones, the new Apple Watch Series 3 got launched. The Series 3 comes in two options – with or without LTE. If you’re in the UK, only EE currently works with the LTE version. In addition the new Series 3 adds a Barometric altimeter over the Series 2. If you compare the specs of the Series 3, the non LTE version comes with half the storage at 8gb vs 16gb and the back of the non LTE watch with a composite back, whereas the LTE version is made with a ceramic back. Series 1 now starts at £249 for the 38mm or £279 for the 42mm. Personally, I see no reason whatsoever to change my Apple Watch Series 2.

Next came the new Apple TV 4K. An TV box with 4K HDR and complete with Apple’s A10X processor making this one powerful beast. The other internal specs had been improved too. It still comes with the remote that I personally find irritating to use due to constant accidental presses.

Then came the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. These continued the shape and design of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. In reality these are iterations of the 7 and 7 Plus but they do have some seriously upgraded internals. Now designed with glass backs, the Apple A11 chip, Qi Wireless charging, True Tone displays, IP67, improved cameras and software, 4K at 60fps and more. The storage sizes are now 64gb and 256gb. The new storage options pushes the prices up on these models.

The future. iPhone X. You can read all about the official specs here – https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-x/ . 64gb is £999. 256gb costs £1,149. Touch ID is replaced by Face ID which failed on stage with the first demo attempt. I have some reservations about usability but I will need to use it before commenting further. The first iPhone to move to an OLED screen. The cameras have been updated too. The iPhone X is a powerful beast, the A11 processor is epic in its performance. iOS 11 and all the software for the iPhone X make it a marvellous phone. But its a £1,000+ phone to buy which puts it into luxury ownership territory. The reality is all manufacturers have increased their phone prices. So cost aside, this looks like a decent piece of kit!

So what did you think of all the new Apple announcements and the new iPhone X!

Belkin PowerHouse Dual Apple Watch & iPhone Charger Stand – Review

Welcome to my review of the Belkin PowerHouse Apple Watch & iPhone Charger stand.

Key Features

– Dual fast charging: Dock offers 3.4 A total power output (1 A for Apple watch, 2.4 A for iPhone); simultaneously charge iPhone via lightning connector and Apple watch via integrated magnetic charger at the high speed possible
– Safe, neat, elegant: Elevates Apple watch safely while charging and provides easy access and visibility to both devices; built-in power supply with 1.2 m/4 feet cable and UK/EU plugs supplied for your convenience.
– Universally case compatible: Wheel at back of stand raises/lowers lightning connector to fit any protective case; forwards/backwards movable connector makes it easy to plug in your device
– MFI certified: Electronical accessory has received Apple’s made for Apple watch and made for iPhone certifications which ensure compatibility and performance
– Compatibility: Compatible with all Apple iPhones with lightning connector such as iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus or SE and all Apple watches such as Apple watch Series 2, Nike+, Edition or Series 1

Review

Conclusion

The Belkin PowerHouse Apple Watch & iPhone Charger Stand was far better than I anticipated and now sits proudly on my bedside table. Highly recommended. Available from Amazon.

Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar iPhone Adapter – Review

Welcome to my review of the Belkin

Key Features

– Power in and audio out: The RockStar delivers power in to your iPhone/iPad and audio out; it only supports lightning audio; it does not support audio split, dual charge, data sync or any other lightning adapter other than Apple lighting to 3.5 mm adapter
– Dual functionality: Listen to lightning audio and charge at the same time (supports up to 48 kHz, 24-bit audio output + pass-through charging up to 12 W for iPhone and iPad)
– Remote control and microphone: Supports remote control and microphone from lightning audio headphones
– Works with: Made for iPhone 7, iPhone 7 plus and any lightning device that runs iOS 10 or later, MFI certified lightning audio headphones, Apples lighting to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter, MFI certified USB to lightning cables
– Smart battery case compatibility: Works with Apple smart battery case for iPhone 7; in order to work properly, connect charging cable and lightning headphones to RockStar prior to inserting RockStar into the Apple smart battery case

Review

Conclusion

The Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar iPhone adapter solves the problem of being able to charge your iPhone and listening to music. It works perfectly. Recommended. Available from Amazon.

Live Photos in iOS 11 is a game changer!

I am currently using my iPhone 7 Plus with iOS 11 Public Beta. 

iOS 11 has many new features but my favourite is Live Photos which becomes super clever. For starters you can create fun loop, bounce or long exposure effects in an instant with your snapped masterpiece.  

But my personal favourite is change the key cover photo in the Live Photo. Sometimes the video part of the Live Photo holds a better shot. 

Anyway below are some shots from today, where I changed the key cover photo. 


And the new black Labrador above is our new addition to the family called Sophie. She was a rescue dog and is 2 years old. 

HTC U11 Solar Red vs iPhone 7 Plus Product Red


Today I am comparing the solar red HTC U11 vs iPhone 7 Plus Product Red. How does the solar red compare against the Product Red. Which is your favourite. 

Enjoy.

Also check out my additional posts on the HTC U11 –

HTC U11 Full Audio Review incl best headphones to use & comparison with LG V20 & other DACs

HTC U11 Review incl Camera Review
If you’re buying anything on Amazon UK please head over by this LINK . It won’t cost you anything extra either but will helps towards the running costs of Gavin’s Gadgets.

A Trip to Cotehele House – Shot on the iPhone 7 Plus

At the weekend I visited Cotehele House which is a National Trust property. Cotehele House is a lovely place with beautiful gardens.

Below are a selection of photos taken with my iPhone 7 Plus, showing the house, the flowers and some of the smaller insects found there.

The best views of the house are from the rear.

Here you get a glimpse of the garden.

From inside the house, looking out.

Some close up of the little things found feeding on the flowers.

The gardens at Cotehele have such an amazing range of flowers and plants. Well worth a visit if you are visiting Cornwall, UK.