Archive for the ‘Buyers Guides’ Category

The complete guide to Tizen

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

What is Tizen?

Tizen is an open-source operating system, meaning anyone can contribute to its development. It is designed as a flexible operating system that provides a consistent user experience across a variety of devices, from mobile phones and tablets to in-car entertainment systems, televisions and wearables.

How does Tizen compare to Android?

Both Tizen and Android are Linux-based open-source mobile operating systems that can be used on a wide range of devices. Tizen’s development is lead by a steering committee chiefly formed of Samsung and Intel employees, while Android’s development is guided by Google.

Android is a much more mature OS, and has seen widespread adoption across thousands of devices that ship millions of units. In contrast, Tizen is still in an early phase of development. The first Tizen smartphone was shipped recently, the Samsung Z, and more devices are expected to follow. Samsung has also released a series of wearables under the Gear brand which run Tizen, and a series of Tizen smart TVs are planned as well.

What’s the app situation for Tizen?

Tizen currently has a small store filled with native apps, written in HTML5 with the help of Linux standards like QT, GTK+ and EFL. Development of apps here should be easier than on Android or on iOS, with standard tools and languages that’ll be familiar to developers of desktop apps. Samsung are also paying developers to create apps for their platform. Together, these factors should spur faster-than-normal development for Tizen.

Android apps can also be converted to run on Tizen through the use of an Application Compatibility Layer (ACL). Open Mobile, who developed the ACL for Tizen, claims that these apps run at full speed and all Android apps are compatible with Tizen after conversion.

Can I try Tizen?

Soon. We will sell the Samsung Z, the first Tizen smartphone, upon its release. In the meantime, if you’re a developer you can try the Tizen SDK to create your own apps or just explore the OS.

Why is Tizen being developed?

Android is popular – maybe too popular. That gives Android creator Google a lot of control over the mobile ecosystem. Samsung and Intel both started their own projects to create an alternative mobile OS, so that they wouldn’t be held at the whim of Google in the future. Both of these projects didn’t get off the ground, but Samsung and Intel were able to join forces and create an OS that used the best ideas of both projects: Tizen. Now, it’s up to them to make Tizen a truly viable alternative, so that they can lessen Google’s impact on the mobile space.

Will Tizen be a success?

It’s too early to tell. Some analysts are calling the OS “dead in the water“, while others are more optimistic. It’s certainly true that Android (and to a lesser extent iOS and Windows Phone) are incredibly popular, and it will take years of concerted effort to have any impact on its market share. For the meantime, Samsung and Intel seem happy to continue their efforts with Tizen.

The complete guide to USB OTG adapters

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Source: Josh Miller/CNET

What is USB OTG?

USB OTG stands for ‘USB On-The-Go’. Basically, USB OTG is a way of connecting USB accessories to smartphones and tablets which don’t have full-size USB ports. These accessories could be USB flash drives, card readers, keyboards, mice or gamepads. There are also some advanced tricks you can pull with USB OTG – more on these later!

What do I need for USB OTG?

Because microUSB and USB are different connectors, you’ll need an adapter which translates one to the other. These USB OTG cables are quite simple, and usually look like just a full size USB connector and a micro USB connector with a short cable connecting them. Here’s one example of a well-rated USB OTG adapter.

Here are device-specific USB OTG cables for some phones: Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Note 3, Note 2, Xperia Z2

What other kinds of USB OTG accessories are there?

You can also get USB OTG adapters baked into other connection kits; essentially translating a micro USB connection into full size USB as well as HDMI, microSD cards and other useful connectors.  Here’s an example of a Connection Kit with USB OTG.

Finally, there are also some USB flash drives with microUSB connectors, designed to be used partially or exclusively with mobile devices. If they work on computers as well, you’ll usually find a full size USB connector on the opposite side. Here’s an example of a USB flash drive with a microSD connector.

 

Clockwise from left: USB OTG adapter, connection kit with USB OTG, microUSB flash drive

What devices support USB OTG?

Most modern Android devices (running version 3.1 or later) support USB OTG. You can see if your device supports USB OTG with apps like USB Host Diagnostics, available on the Google Play store. Note that you’ll need a USB OTG cable and a USB device in order to run the test.

USB OTG is also available for Windows 8 and BlackBerry 10.2.1 devices with microUSB ports. Unfortunately, USB OTG is not supported on iOS or Windows Phone.

Do all USB accessories work with USB OTG?

Not all USB accessories work with USB OTG. Some USB accessories draw more power than OTG can provide; e.g. a gaming keyboard with LEDs turned on. Your mobile device will also need to support the USB device you have connected, so more esoteric accessories that require special software on Windows or Mac won’t likely work.

Do I need an app for USB OTG?

It depends. Some Android devices require an app to see the contents of USB drives or SD cards connected via OTG. The Nexus Media Importer and USB OTG Helper are two working examples. Note that some apps may require root.

What else can I do with USB OTG?

USB OTG can also be useful for charging phones from tablets. Tablets generally have much bigger batteries than phones, so you can use them as portable chargers. Just connect a USB OTG adapter to the tablet’s microUSB port, then plug your standard microUSB charging cable into the phone and connect it to the USB OTG adapter. You could also do this from phone to phone, but this is less commonly useful.

I have another question!

Sure. Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @mobilefun, and we’ll answer your question.

Power Banks and Portable Chargers Buying Guide

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Read our power banks and portable chargers buying guide to help you choose your perfect portable charging accessory

 
Smartphone battery flat? No way to charge where you are? What you need is a portable charger

There is nothing worse than losing all of the charge on your smartphone. Usually this happens at the most inconvenient time – possibly when you are using your phone for directions, in the middle of a phone call or when you are desperate to send an important email. That being said, in our new online connected world, there is never a good time!

Never put yourself through this agony again with one of our portable chargers.

You can view our complete range here, however have a look at our handy guide below to find out more about power banks and portable chargers and why they are such a ‘must have’ accessory…

Index:

 

What is a power bank / portable charger?

Power banks and portable chargers are available in a variety of forms, however essentially they provide extra power for your smartphone when you are unable to charge your device. With smartphone applications becoming more and more useful and intensive, the amount of power they require to operate often drains your phone’s battery quicker until eventually it runs out.

(more…)

Top 5 accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S5 on launch day

Friday, April 11th, 2014

The eagerly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S5 was released today, so we thought we’d round up some of our favourite Galaxy S5 accessories. Here are our top 5…

1. ROCK Elegant Samsung Galaxy S5 Smart View Flip Case – Black

This neat flip case for the Samsung Galaxy S5 includes a cut out, to allow you to view incoming calls, control your music or even check the weather, without having to open the case. It’s beautifully slim, adding only 0.7mm to the device’s already thin body, but still offers impressive protection against nicks and scratches. The case supports the Samsung Galaxy S5′s Sleep/Wake function too, allowing you to wake the device by simply opening the case.

ROCK Elegant Samsung Galaxy S5 Side Flip Case - Black    ROCK Elegant Samsung Galaxy S5 Smart View Flip Case - Blue

2. Samsung Galaxy S5 / S4 / S3 / Note 2 & 3 Smart Dock

This official Smart Dock is a particular favourite of mine. Not only will it charge the Samsung Galaxy S5, but it will also allow you to hook up your phone to a keyboard and mouse, external storage and even a HD display, making it ideal for watching your movies on a big screen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Smart Dock - EDD-S20JWESamsung Galaxy Note 2 Smart Dock - EDD-S20JWE

3. Spigen Ultra Crystal Samsung Galaxy S5 Screen Protector – Twin Pack

If you’re looking to protect the Samsung Galaxy S5′s impressive screen, without compromising its touch sensitivity, then the Spigen Ultra Crystal Screen Protectors are a great choice. Custom cut for the Samsung Galaxy S5, the protectors are almost invisible when on. They use a special silicone glue which not only eliminates residue on removal, but also results in fewer air bubbles. Good news for those of you that struggle with the often fiddly art of applying screen protectors.

Spigen Ultra Crystal Samsung Galaxy S5 Screen Protector - Twin Pack

 

4. ArmourDillo Hybrid Protective Case for Samsung Galaxy S5 – Red

The ArmourDillo Hybrid Protective Case for the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a two-layered case with an impact-resistant polycarbonate exoskeleton, offering additional protection against drops and knocks. Ideal if you’re keen to keep your Samsung Galaxy S5 looking as good as new.  The textured grip on the back of the case makes for secure handling and is surprisingly comfortable in the hand. There is also a nice flip-out stand, which is particularly useful for propping up your Samsung Galaxy S5 to watch your videos and scroll through your photos.

ArmourDillo Hybrid Protective Case for Samsung Galaxy S5 - Red  ArmourDillo Hybrid Protective Case for Samsung Galaxy S5 - Red

 

5. Kit: High Power 15000mAh Dual USB Emergency Charger

The last thing you want to be worried about when playing with your new Samsung Galaxy S5 is your battery life. This portable 15000mAh Dual USB Emergency Charger from Kit: is powerful enough to charge the Samsung Galaxy S5 several times over. With dual USB ports and 3 interchangeable charging adapters, you can simultaneously charge an additional device, which is great if you’re carrying around a tablet or second phone. The charger is compact, and would make a perfect companion on a camping trip or music festivals.

Kit: High Power 15000mAh Dual USB Emergency Charger    Kit: High Power 15000mAh Dual USB Emergency Charger

 

I hope you’ve found these Samsung Galaxy S5 accessories interesting. If you’d like to view a wider range, visit the link below:

Samsung Galaxy S5 Accessories

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Our Top 5 HTC One M8 Cases

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Our Top 5 HTC One M8 Cases

Are you ready for the HTC One M8? The new handset from HTC is another beautifully designed smartphone, being more rounded and feeling natural in your hands. The M8 is going head to head with the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2 both great devices, but what will HTC bring to the table?

Here at Mobile Fun we are more than ready for the release of the HTC One M8, already stocking a wide range of accessories including cases, chargers, and screen protectors. With the HTC One M8 being such a sleek and beautiful device (like its predecessor) a case is a must; here are our top 5 cases in stock today:

 

5. ArmourDillo Hybrid Protective Case for HTC One M8

If it is protection you are looking for then this case is perfect. The ArmourDillo offers two layers to provide shock and impact absorption. The first layer is a light weight TPU Polymer that fits inside the precision cut hard outer skeleton, the raised bevel of the second layer means it protects the vulnerable parts of your new HTC One M8.

The ArmourDillo case also comes with a built in flip-out stand for landscape viewing. The stand pulls out of the exoskeleton layer remaining hidden when not in use but supplying a sturdy feature for viewing videos and pictures when needed.

 

4. Case-Mate Barely There for HTC One M8

If you’re like me then you prefer a case that offers protection but still shows off the design of your device. This is something you need to think about when buying a phone like the HTC One M8. The Case-Mate is made from a clear impact-resistant flexible plastic shell, which is just over 1mm thick, meaning you don’t have to worry about added bulk. The case also provides access to all ports and features.

 

3. FlexiShield Skin for the HTC One M8

If you are looking for something a little cheaper but don’t want to skimp on protection or design then the FlexiShield is for you. This case is made from a tough gel material that remains Flexible offering a perfect fit but also keeps your M8 protected. Another handy benefit to the FlexiShield is the added grip, the gel material helps you keep hold of your device meaning less chance of dropping it. Again this case is made specifically for the HTC One M8 so offers access to all ports.

 

2. Official HTC One M8 Double Dip Hard Shell

Moving on to the official cases from HTC we have the Double Dip. This case is again very slim offering little added bulk. The Double Dip is made from a tough polycarbonate shell which snaps into place using a separate bottom piece. With this case being an official HTC product you can expect high quality and a perfect fit. A nice added feature with this case is that you are supplied with 2 bottom pieces one in red and one in grey, so depending on your mood you can switch it up. The Double Dip is also available in three different colours: Red, Blue and Pink.

 

1.  HTC One M8 Dot View Case

Moving on to our last in the list, this is another official HTC product. The Dot view is an interactive case that becomes an extension of your M8 while offering protection. The Dot View is a flip cover so offers front and back protection and a stylish design, the dot matrix effect gives a retro look to your phone.

The Dot View see-through notification technology is new from HTCand an ingenious way of keeping you updated.  Hundreds of perforations allow your display to relay information to you through the case cover, so you can respond to calls, alarms & calendar alerts and see notifications without opening the case. This case is also available in a wide range of colours: Black, Grey, Red, Blue, Green and Orange.

To view our full range of cases for the new HTC One M8 just check them out here.

 

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