Category Archives: Tech News

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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Amazon Black Friday Deals – Sunday – My picks for today of the best deals

It’s Sunday, and we have another lot of super Black Friday deals from Amazon once again, I’ve been through the current deals, and selected my favourite picks. Here’s the link to see all the deals on Amazon’s Black Friday sale today http://amzn.to/2hLlqnk

Here my fav picks –

– Amazon Echo Dot – £34.99 – http://amzn.to/2hJXfpF

– 20% off new Echo 2nd gen – http://amzn.to/2jCu9sP

– up to 31% off TV’s – http://amzn.to/2AOAzID

-68% off. Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 3rd Gen electric Toothbrush- http://amzn.to/2jBExAR

-up to 65% off top brands men’s shoes from Cat, Kickers, Chatham, Caterpillar. etnies, Dockers and more http://amzn.to/2ATXBhl

-up to 55% off top brands fragrances http://amzn.to/2hLvc9i

20% off big brands smartphones -Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Wilefox, Huawei – some decent options for around £100!! – http://amzn.to/2jzxOaJ

– 31% off all new Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet for kids – ideal Xmas presenthttp://amzn.to/2ASV4nr

33% off Hive Thermostats – http://amzn.to/2hJ7ytY

-41% off Sony MDR-1A Prestige overhead headphones http://amzn.to/2hJu9Xc

-40% B&O Play A2 Active blue speaker http://amzn.to/2hLkDD4

-40% off Circulon Infinite Non stick cookware http://amzn.to/2hLkHmi

-25% off 1More In Ear Headphones, highly reviewed http://amzn.to/2hM9uBR

– 68% off Oral-B Electric Toothbrush – http://amzn.to/2hIYlld

-X Box One S mega deal http://amzn.to/2j67uRJ

Roth Audio Zero III Sound bar Review – 90W of Sound!

Welcome to my review of the Roth Audio Sub Zero III Soundbar. This Roth Audio Sub Zero II retails for about £130.

Main Features / Specification:

Design:
– 4x 2.75-inch 4 Ohm Ferrite Drivers
– 2x Passive Radiator Bass Drivers
– Thick Wall 3.6L Reinforced Polymer Case
– Cloth Grill
– Wall Mount Capable
– LED Display with Auto Dimming

Performance:
– Wide Frequency Response 40-20,000Hz
– High Power Class D Amplifiers
– 90 Watts Peak Output Power

Inputs:
– HDMI x2, plus 1x HDMI output (ARC)
– 3.5mm Analogue Stereo Connection
– Optical SPDIF Format (Toslink compatible) – Stereo
– Bluetooth aptX A2DP Audio
– Power Input: AC 230-240V, 50 Hz

Dimensions:
– 85cm (W) X 8cm (D) X 8.8cm (H)

The Roth Sub Zero III has been designed to provide high definition for your TV. It has HDMI (2 in/1 Out, ARC enabled), Optical, Bluetooth and Analogue inputs. This means the Sub Zero III will connect easily to any TV or audio source – even wirelessly from your laptop, mobile phone or tablet. So lots of versatility.

There is no need for a separate subwoofer as the Sub Zero III has two built-in Ultra-Bass passive drivers, 2 bass drivers and 2 full range drivers, allowing full frequency range audio in a single discrete unit.

The Roth Audio Designed to perform in any room large or small. It features the Roth MA DSP sound processor, which provides a powerful sounding home cinema experience. With the additional modes, you can select between movie, music and voice. Sometimes, you don’t need lots of bass! Considering its size, the sound bar rocks and makes a huge difference over the built in TV speakers.

The Sub Zero III can be wall or table mounted. In the box is a right angle HDMI adapter which is handy as the connections end up fairly close to the wall or table top. It would have been a nice touch if a HDMI cable was included.

Video Review

Conclusion

A superb and versatile sound bar. Recommended.

Useful Links

More info on Roth Audio Sub Zero III and latest pricing on Amazon UK

Alpha & Delta JAAP Wireless Sports Earphones Review – They don’t fall out!

Welcome to my review of the Alpha & Delta JAPP Wireless Sports Earphones Review. These wireless earphones are named after the inventor of Bluetooth, Jaap Haartsen. They retail for $90.

Alpha & Delta designed the Jaap is to overcome the existing problems that plagued truly wireless earphones namely: poor fit, poor battery life and poor connectivity.

First up they feature a behind-the-ear hook design which ensures it stays secure during workouts. I even tried shaking my head to make them fall off, and they didn’t. The tips are using the patented SpinFit bud which is amazing from a comfort and sound quality point of view. They are also IPX5 sweat resistant, so ideal for working out.

The battery life is 6 hours plus the supplied battery bank/charger provides another 8 hours.

In terms of connection, I never lost a beat. Each earphone feature a dual antenna design. To start you pair the left side and then turn on the right earphone, which pairs automatically with the left. Neat.

Key Specifications

– Bluetooth Chipset: Bluetooth 4.2 CSR64110
– Driver: 11mm Dynamic Driver
– Battery capacity: 90 mah
– Portable battery charger capacity:
– Music playback time: 6 hours ( 14 hours with battery charger)
– Talking time: 7 hours (15 hours with battery charger)
– Charging port: Micro USB Type B
– Build in microphone: Yes
– Microphone sensitivity: -38 dB
– Supports Multipoint: Yes
– Supports HD hands-free: Yes
– Battery status on IOS devices: Yes

In use, the earphones fit really well and their design is also comfortable, despite its size. I felt the charging solution felt a bit cumbersome but it works well. It is also nice that a carry case to hold everything is included.

The sound quality is pretty good as the SpinFit earbuds provide a solid seal in the ears. Treble is controlled and bass fairly deep. Mids are reasonably clear too. Average soundstage but overall these are a pleasure to listen to music with for extended periods of time.

Video Review

Conclusion

Despite their larger size, the Alpha & Delta Wireless Sports Earphones sound good with decent bass, fit securely and comfortably and are recommended.

Useful Links

Alpha & Delta

Bluetooth Headphones on Amazon UK

Can you help Gavin’s Gadgets ? Once a year request

It’s the time of year when the domain and other costs all come up for renewal. So this is my once a year request for donations of any size.

During the last 12 months there has been nearly 1,200 comments and or questions that have all been answered. I’ve lost count on the number of reviews published but it’s about 250 this year. Did you know I started Gavin’s Gadgets in December 2012, which makes this year the 5th Anniversary.

I have a PayPal address – https://www.paypal.me/gavinsgadgets which seems to be the most favoured option.

Another option is simply shop on Amazon UK, heading over via http://amzn.to/2zybPGZ and Amazon provide a few pennies per transaction whilst not costing anything extra.

So thanks in advance. All your help is greatly appreciated.

And I hope you continue to enjoy the reviews that our coming this weekend.

Take care, Gavin.

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.

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. 

Oppo UDP-205 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Player Audio Review vs Oppo BDP-105D

Welcome to my audio review of the Oppo UDP-205, a £1,500 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Player plus a comparison with the renowned Oppo BDP-105D.

The Oppo UDP-205 is a class leading, award winning blu-ray player that does more than just play DVDs. It has best-in-class audio performance, Dual ESS ES9038PRO Sabre Pro DACs, reference quality video with HDR & Dolby Vision; 4K UHD, Blu-ray, 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD and CD.

The UDP-205 provides reference level sound quality through the analog outputs, improves the clock precision of the HDMI audio output, and increases the power of the built-in headphone amplifier. For the analog output stages, the UDP-205 is equipped with two ESS Technology ES9038PRO 32-bit HyperStream DACs for both stereo and 7.1 channel analog audio. As the flagship of the ESS SABRE PRO series, the ES9038PRO sets a new benchmark for audio excellence with its best in class 140 dB of dynamic range.

It also features –

– HDMI Audio Jitter Reduction
– Asynchronous USB DAC and Coaxial/Optical Inputs (asynchronous USB DAC input supports sample rates up to 768 kHz PCM and DSD 512. For additional convenience and flexibility, the UDP-205 can convert digital signals from cable and satellite boxes, televisions, video game consoles and other digital transports with coaxial and optical digital outputs to analog.}
– Dedicated Stereo Output with XLR Balanced Connectors
– Advanced Image Processing Technology – MediaTek produce and manufacture a specialized 4K UHD Blu-ray decoder SoC – the quad-core OP8591, which offers the most advanced image decoding and processing technology available for 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and user generated media formats
– Dolby Vision
– Upscaling to 4K
– Toroidal Power Supply – Clean Power for Clear Music
– Custom-Made 4K Loader
– Lossless High-Resolution Audio
– Support for the Latest Surround Formats
– Weight – 30lbs

Main Review

In case you still are in any doubt from the key features, the Oppo UDP-205 is a beast of a machine, whether talking about audio or video. It also has won many awards.

For the purposes of this audio review, I used the following albums:-

– Wallflower by Diana Krall – one of my favourites albums. With the Oppo UDP-205, Diana Krall’s voice was velvet smooth, full of emotion. The realism of her voice was fantastic. By contrast the BDP-105D sounded flatter and lacked the same level of emotion.

– Drones by Muse – another superb album. The Oppo UDP-205 produced wonderful bass attack and speed, with incredible separation of the instruments. The BDP-105D felt slightly congested in comparison.

– Greatest hits by Culture Club – With this album, vocals and instruments shone with the UDP-205.

– Les Contes D’Hoffman – The Tales of Hoffman – This is one of my classical albums that for some reason, I have never enjoyed until I played it using the Oppo UDP-205. The plan was to compare the first track between the 2 players, and then make some notes. I was 50% through the album using the Oppo UDP-205 when I remembered I had to listen to it through the BDP-105D. The Oppo UDP-205 delivered a musical masterclass. An epic masterclass. Energy, scale, soundstage, vocals and instruments just sounded brilliant.

So what do I think of the Oppo UDP-205 and how does it compare to the older Oppo BDP-105D. In its day the Oppo BDP-105D was magnificent. But time moves on, and the Oppo UDP-205 just rises to a whole new level. I can tell you now, you haven’t heard your CD collection properly until you play the discs on this player.

So now let’s take a closer look at the Oppo UDP-205 vs Oppo BDP-105D.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Oppo UDP-205 is something very special on the audio front as well as video. It also has so much more to offer that it gains the Gavin’s Gadgets “Highly Recommended” seal of approval.

Useful Links

More info and the latest pricing on Amazon – Click HERE

Google Daydream View & Samsung Gear VR (Note 8) Reviews & Comparison – The Ultimate Shootout

Welcome to my reviews of the new Google Daydream View VR Handset and the upgraded Samsung Gear VR which now fits the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Google Daydream View Key Features

– Headset – Dimensions Length 167.8 mm x Width 117.1 mm x Height 100.2 mm
– Weight 261 g
– Material Lightweight fabric
– Colours Fog, Coral, Charcoal
– Compatibility Daydream-ready phones including Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ & Note 8, Moto Z & Z2 and more

– Controller – Dimensions Length 105 mm x Width 35 mm x Height 17 mm
– Weight 40 g
– Sensors 9 axis IMUs for precision tracking
– Wireless Bluetooth low energy (LE)
– Ports & Connectors USB-C charger and cable (not provided in box)
– Battery – 220 mAh battery (rechargeable)

Samsung Gear VR (Note 8) Key Features

– 101º Field of View
– Sensors – Accelerometer,Gyro Sensor,Proximity Sensor
– Headset Dimension (HxWxD) 98.6 x 207.8 x 122.5 mm
– Weight 345g
– 800+ apps
– USB Type C and Micro USB connectors

Main Review

I have used VR for about 2 years and in that time quite a bit has changed. There are many more apps and experiences available. The Samsung Gear VR experience is superb. Lots of apps, slick software too. The headset is over 100g heavier than the Daydream View. The Daydream is lighter and more comfortable to wear. But I had glitches using it with my Note 8, whereby I had to keep removing the Note 8 out of the headset to fix things so that I could move on again. At one point, it was driving me mad. However, it is all about the software. If you find an app or game that you prefer on one platform or another, then that might hold some more weight for you. Personally, I think Samsung is superior in both hardware and software at the moment, but is restricted by the fact it only works for certain Samsung phones. Therefore, with Daydream View you probably will end up with the ability to use it with so many different phones and brands. Now continue to the video review for more insights.

Video Review

Conclusion

Quite simply if you have a Samsung phone that is compatible with the Gear VR, then stick to Samsung’s own offering. It offers a wide selection of content and a slicker software package. For everyone else, Google’s Daydream View offers compatibility across multiple brands. It just lacks the number of VR apps and slick software experience.

Useful Links

Google Daydream View – more info and latest pricing on Amazon – click HERE
Samsung Gear VR with Controller (Note 8 version) – more info and latest pricing on Amazon – click HERE

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.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Noise Cancellation Headphones Review + Comparison with Beats & Bose

Welcome to my review of the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones. These are the brand new killer flagship headphones from Sony.

The Key Features

– Digital Noise Cancelling lets you listen without distractions
– Personal Noise Cancelling Optimizing and Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing
– Wireless freedom with BLUETOOTH® technology and NFC
– Smart Listening by Adaptive Sound Control automatically adjusts ambient sound to your activity
– High-quality audio with DSEE HX™, S-Master HX ™ and LDAC, APT-X, AAC, APT-X HD
– Driver Unit 40mm, dome type (CCAW Voice Coil)
– Frequency response wired 4Hz-40,000Hz
– Frequency response (BLUETOOTH® COMMUNICATION) 20Hz – 20,000Hz (44.1kHz Sampling) / 20Hz – 40,000Hz (LDAC 96kHz Sampling, 990kbps)
– Impedance – 46 ohm (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on) , 14 ohm (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
– Sensitivities (DB/MW) 103dB / mW (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on) , 98dB / mW (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
– Charge time – 4 hours
– Battery life – 30 hours NC on, 38 hours with NC off
– Line of sight range 10m

Main Review

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a technological masterpiece from Sony. With the Sony Headphone Connect app you can fine tune the sound quality options, adjust the noise cancellation and ambient sound, as well as adjust for atmospheric pressure. You will need to watch the video to see this all in action. Over bluetooth it has the ability to use AAC, SBC, APT-X, APT-X HD or LDAC as well as its own upscaling audio DSEE HX. The choice of codecs available will depend on what device you are using and what options your device can deliver. The headphone app also allows various surround sound options and placement of audio.

As an all rounder the sound quality of these headphones is excellent along with the noise cancellation. The noise cancellation was really powerful.

Colour. The gold version do not look gold. More grey and this is disappointing. Comfort wise these should be fantastic, but in my usage I found there is not enough cushioning in the headphone band and cups. See video for what I mean and a comparison with others brands.

Video Review and Comparison between the Beats Studio 3 with Apple W1 Chip and Bose Quietcomfort 35 II with Google Assistant

Conclusion

The best wireless and noise cancellation headphone available but with caution on the comfort due to inadequate padding.

Useful Links

More info and the latest pricing on Amazon UK – Click HERE.

Bose Quietcomfort 35 II vs Beats Studio 3 Wireless with Apple W1 vs Sennheiser HD 4.30

The big headphone shootout. Bose Quietcomfort 35 II with Google Assistant vs Beats Studio 3 Wireless with Apple W1 Chip vs Sennheiser HD 4.30 Wired headphones.

Let’s summarise again the key features –

Bose Quietcomfort 35 II

– QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II are engineered with world-class noise cancellation.
– With the Google Assistant built in, you can play music, receive texts and get answers without glancing at your phone.
– If you’re not a Google user, don’t worry. You can use the Action button to adjust your level of noise cancellation between three settings.
– You can still use Siri or Bixby via the traditional control button on the other headphone cup.
– 20 hours battery life.
– 15 min charge gives 2.5 hours use.
– Voice prompts
– Clear Calls
– Volume optimised EQ

Beats Studio 3 Wireless with Apple W1 Chip and Pure ANC

– 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.

Sennheiser HD 4.30 Wired

– 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

The Shootout

Useful Links

More info on the Bose Quietcomfort 35 IIand latest pricing on Amazon UK – Click HERE.

More info on the Beats Studio 3 Wireless and the latest pricing – Click HERE.

More info on the Sennheiser HD 4.30 and the latest pricing from Amazon UK – Click HERE.