Posts Tagged ‘Android’
Monday, March 16th, 2015
With the recent release of all the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S6, there’s a lot of speculation as to whether the S6 trumps the iPhone 6. Obviously the usual Apple vs Android will play a big part in your personal preference, but I’m going to take a look and compare the hard facts of the two devices.
||138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
||143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
||16/64/128 GB, 1 GB RAM
||32/64/128 GB, 3 GB RAM
|Memory Card Slot
||750 x 1334 pixels
||1440 x 2560 pixels
||iOS 8, upgradable to iOS 8.2
||Android OS, v5.0.2 (Lollipop)
||8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels
||16 MP, 2988 x 5312 pixels
||1.2 MP, 720p@30fps
||5 MP, 1080p@30fps
||Non-removable Li-Po 1810 mAh
||Non-removable Li-Ion 2550 mAh
Build: According to Samsung, the S6 is 50% stronger than previous models with it’s metal chassis, and although it doesn’t look much different at first glance, it’s clear from the feel of the phone that Samsung have upped their game. And of course, Samsung can boast that the S6 doesn’t bend! However, the iPhone 6 definitely tops the S6 with it’s smooth and sleek design – Samsung still don’t seem to have mastered building the camera into the phone – the S6′s camera sticks out even more than previous models! With the iPhone 6 and S6 at 129 and 138g respectively, there’s not a lot of difference as far as weight is concerned, with the S6 slightly heavier – as to be expected with it’s slightly larger dimensions.
Screen: Despite the increased iPhone screen size of 4.7″, the S6 has maintained the same size as the S5 at a sizeable 5.1″, bench-marked perfectly between the size of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. I guess it depends what you use your smartphone for most, but with the S6 far surpassing the iPhone 6′s 326ppi screen with it’s impressive 577ppi QHD standard display, if you want to watch films on your smartphone, the S6 certainly wins on this feature!
Camera: Again consistent with the S5, the S6 has a 16mp rear camera and a 5mp front camera, but that does not mean that no improvements have been made – a f/1.9 aperture lens now features on both of the S6′s cameras, massively enhancing the quality of photos taken in low light. There’s no doubt that this tops the iPhone 6′s 8mp rear camera and 1.2mp front camera with a f/2.2 aperture lens.
Storage: Samsung have decided to remove the memory card slot for the Galaxy S6, which may deter some potential customers, and make the buyer’s decision more about iOS vs Android than iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S6. The iPhone 6 is available in 16,64 & 128gb varieties whereas the Samsung are offering 32, 64 & 128 S6s. It’s also worth noting that the S6 comes with OneDrive with 155GB of storage, provided to the user for 2 years. Although the options are similar, for the entry level customer, the S6 does has more to offer!
Software: With the iPhone 6 using iOS, and the S6 using Android 5.0 Lollipop, individual opinion may act as a major factor when it comes to deciding which device is ultimately the best. There’s been a lot of recent criticism with regard to Samsung’s decision here – TouchWiz UI have become known for needless apps, and many think that Samsung should have perhaps toned this down for the S6! Many argue that day to day usability of iOS seems to exceed that of Android 5.0 Lollipop and that the OS generally seems a lot cleaner.
Overview: Samsung seem to be veering in the direction of Apple. With emphasis on the design and finish of the S6, as well as the removal of the memory card slot. Combined with the amazing specifications that Samsung have always provided, and the incredible camera quality that the S6 provides, Samsung have definitely created a huge contender for the iPhone 6. If they could just improve upon the TouchWiz UI, then Samsung may be on to a winner. Although Apple haven’t really pulled anything amazing out the bag with the iPhone 6, with so many dedicated iOS users, and the outstanding usability of the iOS system, it was always going to be a success.
Monday, January 26th, 2015
According to a study by promotionalcodes.org.uk, the average Brit spends almost ten minutes a week looking for their mobile phones. Using the power of multiplication, we can see that adds up to eight hours a year and three weeks over the course of your life (assuming you are born and die with a mobile phone, and your time spent searching doesn’t change over your lifetime… and that mobile phones are still a thing decades in the future).
Regardless, it’s still an interesting statistic. The most common tactic to losing your phone is to call it from another, which 57% of respondents said that they would do immediately, while 35% would search at least five minutes before resorting to the tactic.
If you’re having trouble finding your mobile phone, it might be helpful to have a designated place to deposit it. For example, you might pick up an Avantree Powerhouse charging station, which can charge devices for the whole family and makes it much easier to remember where you left your phone.
Another option is to use a wearable which can make your phone sound an alarm, even if your phone is set to mute. For example, you can do this with an Android Wear smartwatch (like the Moto 360, G Watch R or ASUS Zenwatch) and the app Wear Aware. You can even configure the app to automatically alert you if you walk away from your phone, or if your phone walks away from you!
You can even get Nokia NFC / Bluetooth ‘Treasure Tags‘, which help you find even more commonly lost items (like your keys, or your luggage). Of course, the connection also works the other way around, so you can locate your phone by pressing a button on the tag itself. If you’re just looking for a find-your-phone solution, this is one of the cheapest.
The final way to locate your phone is cheaper than that though – it’s free. Using the Android Device Manager, Find my iPhone or Microsoft’s Find My Phone, you can see where your phone was last spotted on a map, send a text to the phone, or just get it to ring. This is a good option for finding your phone both in and outside your home.
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Zenus have consistently launched beautiful, classy mobile phone cases for the latest handsets, and their collection for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 stays true to form. With fantastically innovative designs across the range, Zenus provide something to suit all, so let’s see what is available for your Note 4!
Zenus Tesoro Leather Diary Case – Brown, Black, Beige
The Zenus Tesoro Leather Diary Case looks and feels amazing, thanks to its high quality, genuine Italian leather material. Soft to the touch, this case is a perfect complement to the Galaxy Note 4. With integrated credit card slots, this case is a space-saver, as you can leave your wallet or purse at home when you pop to the shops or go out for an evening.
Zenus Vintage Print Diary Case – Brown
The Vintage Diary is one of our most popular Zenus cases, with a beautiful combination of hand-made leather, a traditional folio design and integrated space for your credit cards. Now, the design also features a lovely quilted pattern to add an edge of sophistication. The rugged protection and button fastening closure ensure long-lasting security and protection for your handset.
Zenus Minimal Diary Case – White, Black
Made from the highest quality Saffiano leather, this luxurious case has been designed to look and feel brilliant. With the leather covering the entirety of the case aside from the interior, which features a soft microfiber lining, this case provides an indulgent protection for your Galaxy Note 4. With credit card slots inside, and a convenient hand strap for those important photo opportunities, this case is both stunning and practical. It even transforms into a viewing stand for watching movies on your handset – great when you’re travelling!
The Metallic Diary Case offers a thoroughly modern design, but remains handmade from the finest materials, and comes in a variety of exciting colours. The metallic look and soft microfibre lining provide ultimate style and protection, while a built-in viewing stand and credit cards slots add considerable practicality. What’s more, this case features an impressive capability of being able to speak through the case, which offers complete protection for your screen, even when you make a call!
Last, but by no means least, we have my personal favourite, the Z-View Dolmites Diary Case. An impressive take on Samsung’s own S-View cases, this version from Zenus works with the Z-View app to allow a user to access the most important features of the phone without even opening your case. With a soon-to-be iconic circular window on the front, this case demonstrates superior style and innovation. Made from a combination of synthetic leather and polycarbonate, this case will provide durable protection. Also capable of transforming into a viewing stand, this case is packed full of interesting and useful features, which help the user use the Galaxy Note 4 to its fullest capacity.
There are, of course, alternative protection options for your Note 4. We have a huge range of Covers and Cases available for the Galaxy Note 4, including Official Samsung cases, where you will find their famous S-Vew Cover, a Wireless Charging Back and the all-new LED covers. If you’re not after a diary style case, we also have a wide range of Spigen cases, which provide ultimate drop protection in a stunning form.
So there you are – 5 stunning and practical Zenus cases, and some alternative options, all specially designed for your Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Let us know which is your favourite using the comments below!
Monday, September 1st, 2014
If you’re looking to get a tablet, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is choosing an iPad or an Android tablet. While the iPad was the only real choice several years ago, nowadays both the iPad and Android tablets have evolved considerably. In this article, we’ll show you the strengths and weaknesses of each platform – as well as a few recommendations on the best iPads or Android tablets to buy. Let’s get started!
- Largest range of accessories and apps
- Easy to use
- Well designed, inside and out
So – the iPad. It’s the quintessential tablet, and its popularity is one of its greatest strengths. It means you’ll find a wide range of iPad accessories, from iPad cases and covers to chargers, screen protectors and stands. You can find accessories to fit pretty much every need and every style. With only two models – iPad Mini and iPad Air – to be released recently, an entire industry can work easily to support them.
The same popularity also makes the iPad the biggest target for app developers, allowing them to finetune their apps to suit the iPad and make the very best use of its screen and capabilities. That translates into better apps, and more of them.
Apple have always tried to make their products easy to use, and that continues with the iPad. The Apple tablet is simple in places, but that ensures that there’s little that you quickly won’t learn how to do. Even complex tasks like cloud printing are presented well, making it easy to get things set up properly.
Finally, the iPad is well designed, with powerful hardware and a stylish look. The tablet’s processor and GPU are regularly listed among the best in the business, and the battery life of the tablet is considerable too. The iPad is also good looking, with a slim metal design that feels solid and dependable in your hands. The most important strength of the iPad is its display though, which is generally pixel-dense, bright and well-calibrated.
- Little customisation
- More expensive
Of course, there are downsides to Apple’s approach. The simplicity they have wrought means that more advanced controls are hidden or not present at all, leaving the operating system far less customisable than its peers. Apple’s tight control of their app store also allows them to remove apps they find objectionable, particularly those on questionable moral or legal ground.
The iPad’s premium materials and hardware command a premium price, making the iPad more expensive than similarly equipped Android tablets. Additional storage is also costly, with a 32GB model costing £80 more than the 16GB option – and there’s no option to add more storage with a microSD card later.
iPad: Recommended tablets
If you’re looking to pick up an iPad, there are only two real models to choose between: the iPad Mini with Retina Display and the iPad Air. The iPad Mini has a gorgeous 7.9-inch display, while the Air moves to 10.1-inches. Both tablets are well crafted out of aluminium, and boast good battery lives in addition to their well-tuned screens. The iPad Mini is the better choice for portable use (with one hand), while the iPad Air makes a better tablet for keeping at home (with two hands).
- Wide range of tablets to suit any need (including low price)
- Deep customisation possible
The strength of the Android operating system for tablets is breadth and depth. In almost any attribute you can name – dimensions, speed, capabilities, camera, price - there will be tablets that hit every point on the range. Sony produce a range of powerful, waterproof tablets with good cameras. Samsung opt for slim workhorses, many with styluses built in. Amazon have a range of high-performance tablets, tied into their own ecosystem, for a low price. These are just the tip of the iceberg; with sufficient time you should be able to find an Android tablet to fit any requirements.
You also have a lot of choice with an Android tablet after you’ve purchased it. It’s possible to buy microSD cards which will extend your available storage cheaply, and there are a decent range of other tablet accessories available too. While there aren’t as many third-party accessories available as there are for the iPad, that means tablet makers like Samsung and Motorola often produce an excellent first-party range.
Customisability is another advantage with Android. It’s often possible to make deeper changes than on iOS, and there’s also the option to install a new variant of the Android operating system (like CyanogenMod) that will allow you even greater control. There are very few questions you can ask that start “Can I…” that end “No.”
The final advantage to Android is often price. Google and Amazon are well known for their low-cost tablets that still deliver an excellent experience with good hardware; their content-first strategies mean that they’re willing to sell tablets at a loss so you use their stores for apps, music, videos and books.
- Some Android tablets are poorly designed inside and out
- Less apps truly optimised for tablets
As we saw with the iPad, there’s a definite trade-off between simplicity and customisability. The average Android tablet errs towards customisability, which can be overwhelming.
There’s also a high amount of variability when it comes to the design of Android tablets, in terms of both software and hardware. Many Android tablets – including barebones Android found on the Nexus series – are well designed and look good, but there are also many tablets saddled with confusing interfaces, poor designs and underpowered hardware.
The final bugbear for Android is that of apps. You’ll find some great tablet apps, but lazily designed, stretched out mobile phone apps are still relatively common. The large range of Android devices also makes it harder for developers to optimise their apps, so you may find you’re arbitrarily unable to install apps if you aren’t using a well-known device.
Android: Recommended tablets
Google make some of the best Android tablets, which come with a clean version of Android, good hardware and an aggressive point. The most recent release, the Nexus 7, is a great choice with a sharp 7-inch display, good battery life and a simple, durable outward design.
Samsung are the biggest sellers of Android tablets, thanks to a massive range of models, a host of software additions to stock Android and slim designs. The Tab S 10.5-inch tablet is the most recent, and offers a good battery life, a bright and beautiful screen, and a slim chassis.
Sony operate at the highest end of the Android market, with top-notch screens and cameras and stylish waterproof bodies. The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a good example of their approach, with a squared-off waterproof body, good screen and relatively untouched version of Android on board.
Thanks for checking out the article – we hope it made it easier for you to choose an Android or iOS tablet! If you have any questions or comments, then please leave them below or speak to us on Twitter @mobilefun.
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
You’ve probably heard of tile matching game Threes – or its slew of clones, most of which go by the name ’2048′. Threes is the real deal though, with refined gameplay, gorgeously minimal graphics and a lot more strategy than its imitators. It does cost a few quid, but it’s well worth it.
2. Plants vs Zombies 2
Plants vs Zombies 2 is a fun sequel to the popular PC game of the same name, where you must defend your back garden from murderous zombies with an assortment of flowers and flora. The game has been criticised for its in-app purchases, but it’s still quite possible to progress without paying a penny.
3. Super Hexagon
Super Hexagon is a game that I can’t stop playing. It’s simple enough – rotate your tiny triangle to avoid incoming barriers – but the pulsating visuals, brilliant soundtrack and intense difficulty make it a must-play. Mastering the first difficulty (hard) is tough but satisfying, and there are five more difficulty levels after that to really test your mettle.
4. Monument Valley
Monument Valley is probably the most beautiful game on the list, with M.C. Escher-inspired architecture and a serene soundtrack. Gameplay is simple but puzzling, as you move through an impossible level, each of which includes its own unique rules. It’s not a long game, but it’s still a pleasure to replay and one that you’ll want your friends to try too.
5. Super Crossfighter
Super Crossfighter is a fun shoot ‘em up with 80s-era graphics and plenty of alien spacecraft to destroy. The gameplay is simple enough to grasp quickly, but the levels are reasonably challenging later on and will definitely test your skill.
6. Snap Attack
Microsoft are suprisingly good at crafting word puzzle games, it seems. First we had Wordament, and now we have another Xbox-on-Android title: Snap Attack. You rearrange letter tiles to form words here, with locked letter positions and a time limit adding some urgency to the proceedings. The game is fun and free.
7. Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Modern Combat 5 is the latest iteration of Gameloft’s series of Call of Duty clones. They’re a decent enough translation of CoD’s gameplay to a mobile-friendly format, and the latest is one of the most advanced depictions yet. While the gameplay is derivative, the execution here is good, and there is plenty of content to go around: singleplayer, multiplayer and 4 classes.
8. Thomas Was Alone
Thomas Was Alone is a rather extraordinary 2D platformer, with deep characters and genuine emotion attached to some rather simple geometric shapes. There are 100 levels to play through, and though they pass quickly you’ll want to revisit them later on.
9. Dungelot 2
Dungelot is a weird combination of Minesweeper and Pixel Dungeon. You uncover squares one at a time (like Minesweeper), finding randomly generated treasure and enemies to fight. Once you’re dead, you have to start over from the beginning. It’s a lot easier to get into than most roguelike games, but you may be disappointed with its depth.
10. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is a puzzle game set in the same universe as the TV show, but featuring a different setting and cast of characters. The game is famous for the tough choices that it demands of you, which cause the story to arc in different directions. Each decision is important, each decision is remembered, and things rarely proceed as you expect.
I hope you’ve found these recommendations helpful! Let us know what you think in the comments below, or on Twitter @mobilefun.