Category Archives: Reviews

Nokia 5 – Check out the Camera Samples from the 13mp camera

The Nokia 5 is made from a solid piece of 6000 series alumimium. It runs on a near stock version of android, called android one and it is a joy to use. My full review will be up this weekend, along with some tips and tricks. This is sat squarely in the budget category too, with 2gb ram and 16gb storage which is expandable with a micro SD card. You can buy this from Amazon UK for just over £110.

So what can the 13mp rear camera achieve when it comes to taking photos?

Let’s take a look.

The Dominos sign is looking crispy. Nothing wrong with this shot.

Again, another good shot. Maybe could do with a little brightening up, but overall pretty reasonable.

Above is the front facing 8mp camera, taken indoors. My face is a little pale as it hasn’t exposed perfectly for the light that is streaming through the glass window.

A couple of sheep on Dartmoor that were moving fairly quickly. Again, quite a fairly reasonable shot.

Before the storm. My village. Quite like this shot.

So what happens when we take the above shot, edit it in Snapseed using the HDRscape filter. A more dramatic shot!

Above, post box. This is the snapseed edit. Camera was aimed towards the sun, so the original shot was a little too dark, but snapseed helped make the shot a little bit more interesting.

I will talk more about my conclusion on the Nokia 5 camera and the rest of the phone in my main review. So stay tuned.

If you fancy buying one of the budget gems, you can pick one up from Amazon now.

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UAG Monarch case for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – Lightweight yet Tough!

The UAG Monarch Series case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Case is designed & precisely engineered to provide a case that meets double the Military Standard for drop & shock protection. The UAG Monarch case is available for other phone models too.

Key Features include –

– Handcrafted, feather-light construction with 5 layers of protection
– Top grain leather and alloy metal hardware
– Soft impact-resistant core & honeycomb traction grip
– Oversized tactile buttons & protective screen surround
– Compatible with Samsung Pay and Samsung Fast Wireless Charging
– Meets 2X Military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)
– 10-Year Limited Warranty

Buy the UAG Monarch case at Amazon UK

Samsung Protective Standing Cover for the Note 9 – Extra Tough

The Samsung Protective Standing Cover for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is Samsung’s answer to offering a extra tough case. It has MIL Standard protection as well as –

– Bumper-style allows you to see and use the screen with ease
– Textured surface provides grip
– Official Samsung accessory made for the Galaxy Note 9
– Easily access all ports, controls & connectors
– Qi wireless charging compatible
– Built in stand for portrait and landscape viewing

Buy the Samsung Protection Standing cover on Amazon UK

Spigen Tough Armor case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – Patented protection

Welcome to my look at the Spigen Tough Armor case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. This is the start of my Note 9 coverage. Lots of accessories, more cases and the phone itself.

• Extreme dual-layer protection made of a TPU body and polycarbonate back

• Precise cutouts for quick access and raised lips to protect screen and camera

• Reinforced kickstand for hands-free viewing experience

• Mil-Grade certified with Air-Cushion Technology in all corners

• Samsung Galaxy Note9 Case Compatible with Galaxy Note 9 (2018)

The Spigen case is about half the cost of,Samsung’s equivalent as well. Good value!

Grab yours at Amazon UK.

1MORE Triple Drivers Earphones Review – THX Certified – Sound so powerful it’ll blow your mind!

Welcome to my review of the 1MORE Triple Driver earphone.

The Key Specifications

– Model – 1MORE Triple Driver IE E1001
– Impedance – 32 ohm
– Sensitivtiy – 99db
– Frequency Range – 20-40,000 Hz
– Cable – Enameled Copper Wire
– THX Certified
– 3 Drivers. 1 x dynamic driver and 2 x dual balanced armatures
– Patented “triple-layered” design in dynamic drivers with dual PET layers and inner aerospace metal layer for clear human voice
– Expertly tuned by four time Grammy winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi

The 1MORE Triple Driver earphone is made from an aluminium alloy, making them lightweight and comfortable. In the box there are 9 different sets of ear tips. 6 x silicone and 3 x foam, although the ones fitted by default worked great for me.

The earphones were the first THX certified earphones. The are also Hi-Res. They have won at least 12 media awards and recommendations and 17 international design awards over 4 years. That’s quite an impressive feat.

Opening the box, reveals a beautiful presentation. As we all know, presentation shows good attention to detail, but these are earphones, so sound is what ultimately matters. And OMG, the 1MORE Triple drivers delivery sound with authority and depth. I used these with an iPhone 6S, Samsung Galaxy S9, iPad Pro 10.5, Shanling MO and Shanling MO/Q5 combo. I listened to every genre and watched a few movies on Netflix using my Galaxy S9.

The 1MORE Triple drivers have lovely bass with good treble and mids. Being THX certified makes using these for movies ideal too. I listened to rock, jazz, classical, blues, dance and more with these earphones and just loved the presentation and quality. When I used them with even more powerful amplifcation the treble and mids were so clear.

Now have a look at my video review for more thoughts and a closer look.

Video Review

Conclusion

The 1MORE Triple driver earphone is highly recommended. It delivers satsiying sound across the entire spectrum and shows why the 3.5mm headphone jack will continue to live on. These have replaced all my existing wired earphones too!

Useful Links

Latest pricing on 1MORE Triple Driver Earphones on Amazon UK

Shanling MO Review – World’s Smallest Portable Hi-Res Music Player

Welcome to my review of the £99 Shanling MO. In this review I will show you how to operate the device, what’s in the box, all the options, look at bluetooth and USB and a range of headphones both wired and wireless.

Apart from being tiny the specs are –

Shanling M0 includes Hi-Res audio certification, in a tiny size, with Bluetooth wireless capability, the M0 digital audio player represents the pinnacle of portable, high-fidelity listening. Pushing the limits of technology the Shanling M0 incorporates everything required of a Hi-Res portable player, with the size of a wristwatch. It has the capability to hold SD cards with up to 512GB and features a high-definition touch screen developed by LG.

It also has a newly developed side-wheel design that offers precise control with higher durability. The core of the M0 comprises of a multi-layered Microvia HDI high-density PCB board. Compared to ordinary PCB boards it provides better electrical performance and helps avoid signal interference in the circuit. These design elements allowed Shanling to make the M0 smaller while pushing its performance to higher levels.

In fact its really light too at just 38g. It is 40 x 13.5 x 45mm. Its made from curved glass and a double curved body design. The glass is 7H tempered glass and the body is a unibody CNC aluminium. In real life, it looks stunning. The photos dont do it justice.

Bluetooth is a two way affair. It can stream music to headphones or speakers or receive bluetooth from your phone or other source. It can do this using LDAC codec too.

Review

Useful Links

Shanling MO more info & latest pricing on Amazon
Shanling MO Leather case on Amazon UK

Shanling MO – The World’s Smallest Hi Res Certified Player – First Impressions

The Shanling Mo arrived today. It had been on pre order from Amazon for quite a while. My expectations were low, I was expecting a cheaply constructive device with huge specs. especially as it only costs £99.

Shanling M0 includes Hi-Res audio certification, in a tiny size, with Bluetooth wireless capability, the M0 digital audio player represents the pinnacle of portable, high-fidelity listening. Pushing the limits of technology the Shanling M0 incorporates everything required of a Hi-Res portable player, with the size of a wristwatch. It has the capability to hold SD cards with up to 512GB and features a high-definition touch screen developed by LG.

It also has a newly developed side-wheel design that offers precise control with higher durability. The core of the M0 comprises of a multi-layered Microvia HDI high-density PCB board. Compared to ordinary PCB boards it provides better electrical performance and helps avoid signal interference in the circuit. These design elements allowed Shanling to make the M0 smaller while pushing its performance to higher levels.

In fact its really light too at just 38g. It is 40 x 13.5 x 45mm. Its made from curved glass and a double curved body design. The glass is 7H tempered glass and the body is a unibody CNC aluminium. In real life, it looks stunning. The photos dont do it justice.

Bluetooth is a two way affair. It can stream music to headphones or speakers or receive bluetooth from your phone or other source. It can do this using LDAC codec too.

USB is USB C. Yes. This means it has two way USB C interface. It can be used as an external sound card for your computer, or just as a digital transport transmitting the digital sound to another USB DAC.

So first impressions. I never read the manual. Just inserted a micro SD card (Sandisk 200gb) which had about 10,000 songs. Using the easy to use gesture interface, I added them to the players library. And hit play. Well I got my wife to have a listen first to a piano concerto. She did not want to give it back as the sounnd quality was fantastic. The MO comes in 5 colours. I have the titanium finish. There is black, red, blue and purple. They all look gorgeous.

I have had a listen too and am impressed. So far I have tried it with 3 different wired headphones and 3 bluetooth headphones. I have also used it as a digital transport. I cannot believe this Shanling MO only costs £99.

Head over to Amazon UK to get more info and pick one up too.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Duos – The Two Week Experiment

The Samsung Galaxy S9 was released back in March this year. I had the larger S9+ which was good to use. Battery life was poor though. So 4 months later, has all the firmwares made the S9 a formiddable device.

Well, one thing that hasn’t changed, the battery life is still shockingly poor.

The S9 Duos is the official dual sim version of the S9. Either 2 nano sims or one nano sim and a micro SD card. So whats my verdict after obtaining a S9 again, and using it for 2 weeks. Well, its a complex device. First of all, setting it up from scratch took a lifetime, as its on Android 8.0 instead of 8.1, and instead of using Google’s Smart unlock, Samsung insists on using its own system, Samsung Pass, that uses your eyes to reveal the passwords. And that is a pattern repeated in many apps, duplication galore. The good news, some of Samsung’s own apps are better than Google’s default ones, so you just need to pick and choose whcih app you want to do what with. At the end of the day, I ended up with a phone that can do more.

And more is a feature of the S9. It has more hardware and software features than any other phone on the market, as well as the best screen on a phone. The size of the S9 versus the S9+ is far easier to hold and use one handed too. It is just let down by a battery that is too small and means you will need to charge it during the day. I have managed 4.5 to 5 hours screen on time regularly, which sounds great, and it is, except standby time is dreadful.

The camera on the whole is fast, fluid and reliable. See shot above. Looks good enough. Video recording is very good and one of the best phones on the market for video. Audio from the video is excellent too. It is not the best phone for photos though, but its good enough.

A headphone jack. Its included and its useful from time to time. Quality is excellent too, just needs some efficient headphones. And then there is the bluetooth setup, which is superb.

There’s more to the S9 with the DeX system, enabling the S9 to be used as a processor/computer with a screen and keyboard attached. I really like how it handles USB drives and such like, moving data quickly across. Having a micro SD card slot has been handy too, switching cards when needed.

All in all, its been a good phone to use, albeit nothing super exciting. Let’s hope the Note 9 with its 4,000mAh battery can last a whole day between charges!

Below are my original reviews of the S9+.

Useful Links

Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+ deals & accessories on Amazon UK

SoundPEATS Q32 Truly Wireless Earphones Review that cost less than £50 & then compared vs AirPods & Bose & OnePlus Bullets Wireless

Welcome to my review of the SoundPEATS Q32 truly Wireless Earphones that retail for just £47.99!

The Key Features

• SoundPEATS lightweight wireless bluetooth headsets without the hassle of annoying wires ensure you a more comfortable way of listening.The whole chargings box together with the double earbuds only weighs 98.5g.

• Good sound and Bluetooth 5.0.

• Easily pairing the dual earphones together allows you to enjoy a stereo sound for the music. Mono connection is available too.

• Portable charging box provides 18-20 times full charges,which means this mini charging case can additionally supply up to 60 hours amusement time for the twin headsets.In every single charge, it can last for 3 hours talk time or 80 hours standby time.

The Review

In my review of the Soundpeats Q32 I also compare them to AirPods, Bose Truly Wireless Soundsport Earphones & OnePlus Bullets Wireless.

Useful Links

Soundpeats Q32 latest pricing on Amazon

Sony Xperia XZ2 First Impressions, Review, Camera & Audio – The Best Camera Ever on a Sony Phone!

Welcome to my all in one review of the Sony Xperia XZ2 phone.

The Key Specifications

– Snapdragon 845, 64gb storage, 4gb ram
– 1080p IPS screen, HDR compliant
– Battery 3,180mAh with QC3
– Ip65/68, Gorilla Glass 5
– Rear camera – 19MP Motion Eye™ camera 1/ 2.3” Exmor RS™ for mobile memory-stacked sensor
Pixel Pitch 1.22μm, HDR video, 960fps super slow motion in 1080p
– Front camera 5mp f/2.0, video 1080p
– EIS on front and rear camera
– Bluetooth 5, LDAC, APT-X HD
– High-Resolution Audio (LPCM, FLAC, ALAC, DSD)10, DSEE HX™,Clear Audio+, Stereo speaker with S-Force Front Surround
– PS4 Remote Play

The Sony Xperia XZ2 is the first Sony phone where the Auto mode is the best mode to use and actually takes good shots in daylight. The predictive focus option is amazing too. More of that in the review.

The phone is extremely slippery, so you will need a case. I found a cheap case on Amazon BoseWek TPU case that did the trick nicely.

Video Review

Useful Links

XZ2 BoseWek Silicone TPU Case on Amazon
Sony Xperia XZ2 deals & accessories on Amazon UK

BlackBerry Key2 – Camera Showcase – Vote now on the camera quality!

In my BlackBerry Key2 review I was extremely critical of the phone’s cameras. So I decided to create a camera showcase of over 50 photos.

The BlackBerry Key2 features a dual rear camera setup, with 2 x 12mp lenses, dual tone LED flash. The rear camera can record 4K video at 30fps. The main 12mp lens has a field of view of 79.3 degrees, with a pixel size of 1.28um, F/1.8 and with dual phase detection auto focus. The second 12mp lens is for 2 x optical zoom, has a field of view of 50 degrees, a pixel size of 1.0um, F/2.6 and phase detect auto focus.

The front camera is 8MP and fixed focus, with a selfie flash using LCD. 1080p video recording at 30 fps is possible too.

So just as some context, the photos were shot in auto and portrait mode. The low light indoor church shot was in manual. 90% of the photos have been edited on the device to bring the best out of each shot.

But what do you honestly think? Vote “thumbs up” for its a good camera, or “thumbs down” for its sub par. Also feel free to add a comment as well. Now for even more clarity, I have a Key2 Flickr Album where you can browse

So sit back and look carefully at the photos and then vote afterwards or leave a comment.

Useful Links

BlackBerry on Amazon UK

BlackBerry Key2 Review – It’s so BAD yet I still love it!

Welcome to my review of the BlackBerry Key2.

Who says keyboards on a phone are dead! In fact, the BlackBerry Key2 is the fastest machine available to get things done, and I mean fastest. So its a badass phone but it’s also so bad too.

Key Specifications

– Size – Height 151.4mm, Width 71.8mm, Depth 8.5mm
– Keyboard – Touch enabled 35 key backlit Physical Keyboard (QWERTY) with integrated fingerprint sensor
– Weight 168g
– Navigation – Touch screen, with touch sensitive keyboard
– Dedicated keys Volume Up/Down, Power Key (for Power On/Off), Customisable BlackBerry Convenience Key (usable as Mute Key when on an active call )
– Snapdragon 660 with 6gb ram, 64gb storage, USB C, USB 3.0, USB OTG
– 3,450 battery with QC3
– Rear Camera – Dual Camera 12M+12M with Dual Tone LED Flash, HDR, 4K video recording at 30 fps, Scan, Private Capture, 12MP Fov 79.3°, Large Pixel – 1.28um, F1.8, Dual Phase Detect Auto Focus (Dual PDAF)
12MP Fov 50°, Pixel-1.0um, F2.6, Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF)
– Front camera, 8MP Fixed Focus, Selfie Flash using LCD, 1080p video recording at 30 fps
– Bluetooth 5, GPS, NFC

So what makes the phone so badass and bad at the same time. Watch my review to find out.

Useful Links

BlackBerry Key2 & accessories on Amazon UK

Asus Zenfone 5 Review – Camera & Audio – Asus’s stunning new midrange phone will surprise you!

Welcome to my review of the Asus Zenfone 5.. This is Asus’s new midrange phone which completely surprised me in nearly every area that defines what makes a great smartphone.

The Key Specs/Features

– 6.2-inch Full HD+ (2246 by 1080) Super IPS+ display, 90% screen-to-body ratio, 550nits brightness, supports DCI-P3
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, 64-bit Octa-core Processor with AI Boost, FinFET LPP (Low Power Plus) powersaving technology, GPU Qualcomm Adreno 509
– 4gb ram, 64gb storage
– Dual SIM dual standby, Slot 1: 2G/3G/4G Nano SIM Card, Slot 2: 2G/3G/4G Nano SIM Card, or the microSD card (supports up to 2TB) at a time

– Cameras – DxoMark Scoring 90 for camera, 93 for photos
– Dual rear camera
Lens 1 – Sony flagship IMX363 12MP dual pixel image sensor – 1/2.55″ large sensor size, 1.4µm large pixel size, F1.8 aperture, 6p lens, 83° field of view, 0.03 seconds phase-detection autofocus, 4-axis, 4 stops optical image stabilization, LED flash, AI photography with scene detection, RAW,
Lens 2 – 120° wide-angle camera
– Video – 4K UHD (3840 by 2160) video at 30 fps for main rear camera, 1080p FHD video recording at 30 / 60 fps, 720p HD video recording at 30 fps, 3-axis electronic image stabilization for rear cameras, Take still photo while recording video, Slow Motion video (1080p at 120 fps / 720p at 240 fps), ZeniMoji: Live Emoji

Audio – Dual speakers 5-magnet speaker with dual NXP Smart AMP for louder, deeper and less distorted sound effect
– Audio Output Hi-Res audio 192kHz/24-bit , DTS (Digital Theater System) Headphone:X™ 7.1 virtual surround sound for headphone support, Audio CODEC integrated into PMIC, AudioWizard with listening profile, Microphone, Dual internal microphones with ASUS Noise Reduction Technology
– FM radio

– Sensors – Rear fingerprint sensor (0.3 seconds unlock, supports 5 fingerprints), Face recognition, Accelerator, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, RGB sensor

– Power – 3300mAh with fast charging, AI & scheduled charging for battery protection, 5 minutes charge for 2 hours talk time, 38 minutes charge to 60% capacity

– In the box – ZenFone 5 with Android™ Oreo™ and new ASUS ZenUI 5, ASUS ZenEar Pro Hi-Res earphone with microphone, Type-C USB cable, Ejector pin (SIM tray needle), USB power adapter (10W), Documentation (user guide, warranty card), Clear soft bumper (optional)

The camera was excellent, video too and stabilised nicely. The default video mode out of the box is 1080p at 60fps. Good speakers and headphone sound too via the 3.5mm headphone socket.

Now for the main event.

Useful Links

Asus Zenfone 5 & accessories on Amazon UK

Urban Armor Huawei P20 Pro Plyo Case Review – This is proper protection!

Welcome to my review of the UAG Huawei P20 Pro Plyo Case. The case features –

– Perfect fit for the Huawei P20 Pro
– Armor shell & impact resistant soft core
– Air-soft corners for cushioning impact
– Feather-light composite construction
– Compatible with wireless NFC payments
– Oversized tactile buttons & easy access to touchscreen and ports
– Protective screen surround
– Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

Nearly 2 weeks ago, UAG sent me their Huawei P20 Pro Plyo case. I have been looking at tons of different cases for the P20 Pro, but after 2 weeks of outdoor testing of there Plyo case, it is firmly sitting at the top of the tree as the best case and my preferred case for my Huawei P20 Pro.

I take hundreds of photos on Dartmoor National Park, walking across its rugged terrain. The other day, I came across Black Tor Waterfall and had my P20 Pro balanced on some loose rocks. Was I worried? Not at all. The UAG Plyo case provided superb protection. To understand why its so good, take a look at my video review.

Useful Links

UAG Huawei P20 Pro Plyo Case on Amazon UK

OnePlus 6 Review including Camera Showcase & My Top 8 Highlights

Welcome to my OnePlus 6 Review. My review includes my top 8 highlights along with a camera showcase. If you are uncertain whether you wish to buy the OnePlus 6, hopefully my review will help you make an informed decision.

The OnePlus 6 starts at £470 for the 64gb version and also comes in 128gb and 256gb storage. The remainder of the specifications include –

Key Specifications

– Dimensions 155.7×75.4×7.75 mm
– Weight 177g
– Operating System – OxygenOS based on Android™ Oreo
– CPU Qualcomm® Snapdragon 845 (Octa-core, 10nm, up to 2.8 GHz), within AIE, GPU Adreno 630
– RAM 6 GB / 8 GB LPDDR4X
– Storage UFS 2.1 2-LANE 64 GB / 128 GB / 256 GB
– Sensors Fingerprint, Hall, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, RGB Ambient Light Sensor, Electronic Compass, Sensor Core
– Ports USB 2.0, Type-C, Support USB Audio
– Dual nano-SIM slot, 3.5 mm audio jack
– Battery 3300 mAh (non-removable) Fast Charging (5V 4A)
– Audio Bottom-facing speaker, Noise cancellation support, Dirac HD Sound®,Dirac Power Sound®
– LTE/LTE-A – DL 4CA/256QAM, UL CA/64QAM, 4×4 MIMO
– Supports up to DL CAT16/ UL CAT13 (1Gbps/150 Mbps) depending on carrier support
– Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
– Bluetooth 5.0, support aptX & aptX HD, NFC enabled, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
– Display Size: 6.28 inches, Resolution: 2280 x 1080 pixels,Aspect Ratio: 19:9
– Cover Glass: 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5
– Rear Camera – Main,Sensor: Sony IMX 519, Megapixels: 16, Pixel Size: 1.22 µm,OIS, EIS, Autofocus: DCAF,Aperture: f/1.7
– Rear Camera – Secondary, Sensor: Sony IMX 376K, Megapixels: 20, Pixel Size: 1.0 µm, Autofocus: PDAF, Aperture: f/1.7 , Dual LED Flash
– Video, 4K resolution video at 30/60 fps, 1080P resolution video at 30/60 fps, 720P resolution video at 30 fps, Super Slow Motion: 1080p video at 240 fps, 720p video at 480 fps, Time-Lapse, Video Editor
– Front Camera, Sensor: Sony IMX 371,Megapixels: 16, Pixel Size: 1.0 µm,EIS: Yes,Autofocus: Fixed Focus, Aperture: f/2.0, Video 1080P resolution video at 30 fps, 720P resolution video at 30 fps, Time-Lapse
– Audio Supported Formats – Playback: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MID, M4A, IMY
– Video Supported Formats – Playback: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265(HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM
Recording: MP4

So as you can see, the specifications for the OnePlus 6 are pretty impressive. So now lets take a closer look and see if its all specs and no substance, and just how good is the camera!

Useful Links

OnePlus 6 and accessories on Amazon UK