Tech Addicts Podcast – The Next Episode is Live – Turn off All The Electricity

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Tech Addicts Podcast is back again with a new episode starring Gareth Myles, Jay Garrett, Leila Gregory, Brendan Arndt and myself. Tech Addicts is released every week. Twitter: @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett ; @swanny ; @girlsngadgets ; @wildlime

To listen to the latest episode subscribe by searching “Tech Addicts” within your favourite podcast app, iTunes, Google Play Music Podcasts or use the URL “mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss” to add directly.

Or you can listen directly below –

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The Future of Smartphones – is it software or hardware?

It’s getting close to flagship 2017 season, with new phones coming out from LG, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and many other manufacturers.

Many people are guilty at looking at just the hardware specifications and deciding that a 23mp camera is better than a 13mp camera as an example. However, as many of us know, the quality of the camera sensor, software processing and hardware chips supporting the camera can make a massive difference to the quality of the photos. 

LG this year have opted to refine their offering over the G5. The G6 hardware and software appears to have been refined in unison to provide a better user experience. Obviously I will put the G6 through its paces like I have with the G4 and G5. Whilst the Samsung Galaxy S8 hasn’t been officially announced by Samsung, the leaks are huge and it appears Samsung has gone for small hardware changes. So what could make this phone significantly better, just the software.

Sony makes phones with gorgeous looking hardware but the software lags behind its competitors. It’s cameras flaunt massive specifications yet in auto mode are very hit and miss in terms of quality. This is crazy as Sony’s camera division makes some of the best cameras and the Sony camera sensors are also found in most flagship and non flagship phones from the iPhone to Samsung. 

So this then moves on to how important software integration with the respective hardware has become. Adobe released an update to its lightroom mobile application on iOS and android to provide a HDR raw camera shooting mode whereby the end result is a raw HDR processed image. I have been testing this update, and the results are really impressive. Take the Google Pixel phone. Google has shown how important software integration is with the hardware, producing a smooth running phone with a camera that shoots great photos just using the auto mode. Apple does exactly the same with the iPhone. 

This year I am going to pay more attention to the software and hardware experience as a whole. I also believe whilst hardware refinements and small advancements are a given, it will be the software that will help drive a phone to greater success. 

Photo source – @evleaks

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

Tech Addict Podcast – The Next Episode is Live – Mobile World Congress 2017

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Tech Addicts Podcast is back again with a new episode starring Gareth Myles, Jay Garrett, Leila Gregory, Brenda Arndt and myself. Tech Addicts is released every week. Twitter: @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett ; @swanny ; @girlsngadgets ; @wildlime

To listen to the latest episode subscribe by searching “Tech Addicts” within your favourite podcast app, iTunes, Google Play Music Podcasts or use the URL “mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss” to add directly.

Or you can listen directly below –

Finally, please can you leave a review on iTunes.

The £1,000 Mobile Phone – Editorial – Samsung Galaxy S8 or iPhone 8?

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 or Apple iPhone 8 are rumoured to be available with a configuration costing £1,000 or more. Is this a surprise? No, as the current iPhone 7 Plus costs £919 in its 256gb storage configuration.

So with the Google Pixel and other phones leaping ahead in price, would Samsung be bold enough to ask £1,000 for a high storage Samsung Galaxy S8+? Probably yes. I also think Apple will bring out a phone that costs more than £1,000.

So really my next question, is any phone worth £1,000? In reality, no, but in real life people that want the very best or want to be seen with a particular brand will also pay the higher amount.

The problem though is the budget and mid market phones are getting better and better, to the point whereby high end flagship will start to feel the pressure.

If Samsung want over £800 for its top end flagship, would you spend this amount of money?

Photo Source – @evleaks

Groov-e Rhythm Bluetooth headphones + mic review – Wired or Wireless Headphones

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Welcome to my review of the Groov-e Rhythm Bluetooth headphones with mic, that can be used in either wired or wireless mode. The headphone retails for around £29. 

The Key Features / Specifications

– 40mm drivers
– 10 hours wireless playback
– built in mic for hands free calling
– adjustable headband
– soft earpads
– removable 3.5mm audio cable 1.2m included
– micro usb cable included
– bluetooth chipset CSR 8635 v4.0
– bluetooth profiles – HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
– charging time 2-3 hours
– standby time 300 hours
– 32 ohm, frequency 20Hz – 20K Hz
– 110db sensitivity

Video Review

Conclusion

A budget priced headphone that outperforms it price, lightweight and comfortable.

Useful Links

Groov-e Bluetooth latest pricing on Amazon

Groov-e Mini & Classic Boombox Reviews – Great Boomboxes on a Budget!

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Groov-e have two different boomboxes. The Groov-e Mini and Classic Boombox. The Mini is shown above. Below is a photo of the classic.

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The Key Features

Classic Boombox

– CD-R/CD-RW Compatible
– Cassette Player
– 20 Track Pre-Programming
– AM/FM Radio
– 3.5mm Aux-in & 3.5mm headphone socket

Mini Boombox

– CD-R/CD-RW Compatible
– 20 Track Pre-Programming
– Repeat and Skip/Search Function
– FM Radio
– 3.5mm Aux-in & 3.5mm headphone socket

The Groov-e Classic Boombox has more features over the Mini including a cassette player, AM radio as well as FM and more controls. The Mini retails for around £30 and the Classic for £50.

Video Review of the Groov-e Mini Boombox

Video Review of the Groov-e Classic Boombox

Useful Links

Latest pricing on groov-e mini & classic boombox

Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod Review – Plus comparison with Zecti 55 inch Aluminium Tripod

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Zecti 70 inch travel tripod review plus a comparison with their 55 inch tripod. I am already using the 55 inch Zecti tripod on a near daily basis, so I decided to take a look at the bigger 70 inch version. This is a different design so in my main video review, I have also compared it to the 55 inch tripod.

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The Key Features / Specifications

– Max. Height: 70 inch/176.5cm with column extended
– Min. Height: 21inch/54cm
– Folding Height: 22inch/57cm
– Converted to Monopod: 65inch
– Number of Leg Sections: 4
– Material: Aluminum Alloy+Plastic
– Leg Lock: Flip-lock
– Lateral Tilt Angle: 90 degree
– Tilt Angle: 180 degree
– Panning Angle: 360 degree
– Screw for camera: 1/4 inch
– Head Type: 3-Way Head
– Weight: 1.65kg/3.63lb
– Packing Size: 11.5*11.5*59.3cm
– Foot Type: Anti-slip Horseshoe Mat
– In the box – 1x Camera tripod, 1x User Manual, 1x Carrying Case
– 3-way Head with quick release plate are easy for you to install or remove most cameras camcorder DV and etc.
– The unique design of the horseshoe foot and bottom weight hook ensure an excellent stability of the tripod.
– Two in one design of the tripod allow you to convert the tripod between tripod and monopod easily.

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Video Review

To really illustrate the tripod, I filmed a review which also included a comparison with the Zecti 55 inch tripod and Amazon Basic tripod. I also explain the difference in quality between the tripods and their respective features.

Conclusion

The Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod is ideal if you need a quick release plate and the extra height. I am now using both of these tripods as they are lightweight and ideal for most of my photography.

Useful Links

Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod
Full Range of Zecti products

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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.

LG G6 – LG listened to “You” – Then removes 3 top features for the UK & More

So LG announced the LG G6 at MWC 2017. It was the chance for LG to shine and potentially steal the limelight away from its competition.

All was going well, with its new metal and glass design which looks a lot better than the LG G5 and its new 18:9 screen aspect ratio. The new UI with Google Assistant looked really good and being able to run 2 applications on the screen both in perfect sized squares looked fab too. The new dual 13mp cameras, one of which was a 120 degree wide angle lens now works better with the other 13mp standard lens. The sample photos looked impressive too.

I was able to overlook the fact it had the Snapdragon 821 processor. Samsung has hogged all the 835 chipsets for its new S8.

And then came the sting in the tail. LG once again had different specifications for different countries. The USA model comes with wireless charging. In Korea the phone will come with 64gb storage instead of 32gb and will include a HiFi DAC. Considering the whole launch event was about listening to its customers, how on earth can LG offer such vast differences in hardware experiences and expect everyone to be happy! But could it get any worse. Yes. The front display uses Gorilla Glass 3 which is now 4 years old. The rear camera is protected by Gorilla Glass 4, and the glass back has Gorilla Glass 5 which is meant to be 1.8 times stronger than previous generations. So why on earth has the front screen only got Gorilla Glass 3?

64gb storage should be the base model for 2017 for any flagship phone. My Huawei Mate 9 comes with 64gb as standard. My iPhone 7 Plus has 256gb. 32gb is not sufficient as in reality about 20gb will be available. Stating you can install a memory card is not the same as apps and games do not run from a micro SD card.

Finally, look at the LG G5 nougat review update I posted today. It comes with Bluetooth APT-X HD codec and an infra red blaster. Plus it has a removable battery and more!

LG G5 – Review Re-Visited with Android Nougat – PLUS Special Features

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LG just announced the LG G6 but before you rush out and buy the new shiny model from LG, I decided to take another look at the LG G5 now that it has received Android Nougat. I would like to thank Vodafone UK for the loan of the G5 and making this update to my original review possible.

To recap my review of the LG G5, click here to read my LG G5 26 part review along with all the LG Friends.

Key Specifications

– Screen 5.3 inch QHD 1440 x 2560 pixels (~554 ppi pixel density), Corning Gorilla Glass 4
– Always-on display
– Android OS v7.0 Nougat
– Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820, Adreno 520 GPU
– Internal 32 GB, 4 GB RAM, micro SD card up to 200gb
– CAMERA Primary 16 MP (f/1.8) + 8 MP (f/2.4), laser autofocus, OIS (3-axis)
– Secondary 8 MP, f/2.0, 1080p@30fps, 135º wide angle
– Audio – 24-bit/192kHz audio
– COMMS -Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot,Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, aptXHD,GPS, NFC
– Other – IR Blaster, FM radio
– USB v3.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
– Sensors -Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, colour spectrum for camera
– Fast battery charging: 83% in 30 min (Quick Charge 3.0)
– BATTERY Removable Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery
– Dimensions – 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm (5.88 x 2.91 x 0.30 in)
– Weight 159 g (5.61 oz)

LG G5 running nougat makes it a difference phone for a number of reasons, most of which I have explained in my video review below. Using the camera of the G5 was a joy. The wide angle lens is fantastic. Below is a shot from the weekend.

Stormy Skies #dartmoor #church #lgg5 #wide

One of the issues of the G5 was its battery life, but with nougat I have been able to finish the day with 40% remaining. Another highlight is the bluetooth music audio quality. It is truly epic! I used many bluetooth headphones with it and they totally rocked out. If you have AirPods you won’t know just what they are capable of until you connect them to the LG G5.

Video Review

So to fully appreciate and understand why this is such a good phone, watch my video review. Just how tough is the build quality nearly one year later? Found this out plus all the new features on the LG G5 running nougat.

Conclusion

Revisiting the LG G5 was fantastic. It actually is making me desire the new LG G6 even more now, but for those on a budget, you really cannot go wrong with the LG G5!

Useful Links

LG G5 latest pricing on Amazon
Vodafone Shop for wide range of deals

Huawei announces the P10 and P10 Plus – And all 4 Networks will be selling them! – My Thoughts

Huawei announced the P10 and P10 Plus at MWC today. As upgrades to the Huawei P9 there was a lot of interesting new improvements and more colours too.

For me the P10 Plus was the highlight with a bigger 5.5 inch screen than the standard 5.1 inch screen on P10. The P10 Plus screen also moves up from 1080p to QHD, includes stereo speakers, infra red blaster and the next generation of Leica rear dual cameras, called the Leica Pro Edition 2.0. These new dual lenses a f/1.8.

The Plus comes in either a 4gb/64gb or 6gb/128gb ram/storage configuration. Gorilla Glass 5 are on both P10’s models.

Huawei also made a lot of noise about the brand new finishing process called hyper diamond cut, which according to Huawei prevents scratches unlike other glossy (jet black) phones.

Huawei also announced the Huawei Watch 2. One noticeable difference over the Mate 9 and P9 is the higher price tags. Huawei is now charging flagship pricing for its phones. The P10 Plus will cost 699 or 799 euros depending on storage configuration.