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Archive for the ‘Mobile Phones’ Category

Samsung Galaxy S5 review: hands-on

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Pros:

  • Bright and beautiful AMOLED screen
  • Less plastic, more premium than previous Galaxy devices

Cons:

  • Gimmicky hardware additions
  • TouchWiz modifications may not be to everyone’s taste

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the latest in Samsung’s line of flagship Android phones, refining rather than redefining the series.

Running Android Kitkat (4.4.2) out of the box and with the requisite TouchWiz additions (now loved and hated by Samsung fans in equal measure), alongside a 2.5ghz Quad Core Processor, interaction with the S5 feels silky smooth.

Its 5.1” 1080P AMOLED Screen gives a striking first impression and the relatively thin bezels prevent it from edging too close to ‘phablet’ territory also keeping it fractionally smaller than the Sony Xperia Z and HTC One (M8), its two closest competitors. The fantastic screen also perfectly showcases the new 16MP Camera which is capable of filming at 4K.

The review model is ‘Pearl White’ but the S5 is also available in Black, Blue and Gold (not quite the champagne gold which seems to be ‘in’ now, but close) and has a ‘dimpled’ finish making it feel much less plasticy than previous Galaxy models.

One of the more interesting additions to this year’s model is a heart-rate monitor located on the back of the device, just below the camera lens. It’s closely integrated with Samsung’s S Health App but its necessity is questionable.

Further, and in a clear attempt to ape the iPhone 5 and HTC One Max whilst adding another USP, the S5 includes a fingerprint scanner – ideal for upping security on the device although its reliability is something that requires a longer term test. So far the consensus is that this is not as accurate and useful as the one featured on the iPhone 5S.

Following the trend set by the Sony Xperia Z, The S5 is both water and dust resistant. Although not to quite the same extent, it will easily survive a drop in the sink or on the beach.

In conclusion, the Galaxy S5 is a worthy successor to the S4, improving significantly enough to make the upgrade worthwhile whilst also performing favourably when compared to close competitors (the Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC One (M8)). Price-wise it does tend to be the cheaper of the 3 flagships so certainly a strong contender for your hard-earned cash.

Bigger. Stronger. Lasts way longer. Meet The Brick.

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Sometimes I think that mobile phones are too complicated these days. Whatever happened to giant clunky phones that lasted for weeks, and the only thing you used them for besides phone calls was the odd game of Snake? If you’re also reminiscing about this simpler time, then we have a phone for you – The Brick.

The Brick is a freshly cut slab of 80s retro cool, before the trend for increasingly tiny and slim mobiles began. The phone comes with all the features you’d expect from a phone of the era:

  • you can call people
  • you can send text messages
  • you can play snake

While the look is pure 80s, there are a few new features that set The Brick apart from its contemporaries – including a built-in LED torch, a speaker, and even Bluetooth. In fact, if you don’t want to use The Brick as a traditional phone, you can just pair it via Bluetooth to your smartphone, then use it as a Bluetooth handset. You can also use that Bluetooth connection to play music from the built-in speaker. It’s pretty brilliant really.

The Brick 80s Retro Mobile Phone    The Brick 80s Retro Mobile Phone

The Brick has that same long battery life as its spiritual predecessors, with 14 hours of talktime and a whopping 470 hours of standby time. Other hardware of note includes 2G network compatibility (no 4G here!) and a beautiful 1.5″ square colour display.

The Brick is available for pre-order now from Mobile Fun. For more information, please visit the product page below:

Thanks for checking out The Brick! Be sure to let us know what you thought in the comments below, or you can reach us on Twitter @mobilefun.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini UK price revealed for SIM-free, unlocked model

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Yesterday we announced that Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini accessories would be coming to Mobile Fun, and today we are happy to confirm that the new Samsung phone itself will also be available for order here, SIM-free and unlocked. We are the first to announce a UK price for the new handset, which will be £369.00.

Pre-orders can be placed via the link below, which will have the latest pricing and availability information:

The Galaxy S5 Mini looks like a surprisingly strong mid-range device, thanks to an improved set of specifications compared to the previous S4 Mini. The phone includes a quad-core Exynos 3470 processor running at 1.4 GHz, 1.5 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage plus a microSD card slot. The latest connectivity standards are also supported, including 4G LTE internet, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wireless N. A 2100 mAh battery keeps the phone ticking for quite some time.

The display is improved here too, with a new larger 4.5″ size and a reasonable 1280 x 720 resolution. An 8 megapixel rear-facing camera provides good performance in well lit scenes, while a 2.1 megapixel camera on the front allows you to take selfies and make video calls with ease. Samsung’s myriad camera modes also make an appearance here, allowing you to take some clever and unique photos compared to the software on stock Android.

Even some of Samsung’s signature features from the Galaxy S5 have made it to the S5 Mini, including a heart-rate sensor and an IP67 waterproof rating. The waterproof rating is incredibly unusual for a mid-range device, so we’re excited to see it for the S5 Mini.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini will be coming soon to Mobile Fun, along with a hearty helping of cases and other accessories. To see more information and our full accessory collection, please visit the product pages and categories linked below:

Thanks for checking out the article and be sure to let us know what you think on Twitter @mobilefun!

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.

Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A: UK sim-free price announced

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Sim Free Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A - Black - 16GB    Sim Free Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A - Black - 16GB

Today Samsung confirmed a phone that’s been rumoured for a long time: the Galaxy S5 LTE-A (also known as the Galaxy S5 Prime). We are the first in Europe to offer the phone on pre-order with a price of £749.99.

The phone’s headline feature is its upgraded 5.1-inch display, boasting a 2560×1440 resolution that works out to a crazy 576 pixels per inch. This is the highest resolution smartphone screen ever, a feat shared with the LG G3 and the Oppo Find 7.

The internals have been upgraded too, with a brand new Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor running at 2.5GHz, including an advanced Adreno 420 GPU. The phone also comes with 3 GB of RAM on board, 1 GB more than the standard Samsung Galaxy S5. 32 GB of storage is also the norm, up from 16 GB on the vanilla S5.

The phone also includes LTE-A connectivity, allowing it to connect to the fastest 4G networks in the world. These networks are still under development in Europe, but we’ve seen speeds of 225 Mb/s down and 50 MB/s down in South Korea. Of course, slower but more common networks in Europe are also supported by the phone.

Otherwise, the Galaxy S5 LTE-A shares its features with the original Galaxy S5 released just a few short months ago. You’ll get a 16 megapixel camera that excels in good light, an IP67 waterproof rating, a fingerprint scanner and heartrate monitor. The phone also comes with Android 4.4.2 on board, with Samsung’s newly redesigned TouchWiz UI on top.

The Galaxy S5 LTE-A has the same dimensions and weight as its predecessor, so all existing Galaxy S5 accessories should work for the phone.

The Galaxy S5 LTE-A looks like a strong upgrade over the S5, and we’ll be looking to have it in stock as soon as we can. To place your pre-order or see more information, visit the product apge linked below:

Thanks for checking out the article and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!

Index of Mobile Phones