Sometimes mockodile is just not enough, or so I’m told. If you have large amounts of cash you need to part with and a desire to flaunt it with an iOS or Android device, Goldgenie might be a company with something to offer you. They even have something to offer bling inclined Blackberry users.
Goldgenie offers a range of precious metal and gem covered iPhones. More importantly the iPhones in question haven’t even been announced yet: the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Ranging from vanilla gold and rose gold devices to pearl or crocodile and gem encrusted ones you are now able to accessorize with the taps on your private jet or yacht.
When it comes to discussing the subject of that filthy stuff called money it’s standard fare: for starters the vanilla gold iPhone 6s is £2500 for the 32GB model. Add an extra £200 for the 64GB model and another £200 for the 128GB model. I don’t think I’ll complain about Apple’s storage bump pricing for a while.
The “New Gold iPhone 6s Crocodile Embossed Leather & Swarovski Style Crystal Logo Collection” is what caught my eye. Not only is it a reasonable £2697 for the crocodile and Swarovski encrusted 128GB model, it even comes in a cherry oak finished box.
As mentioned, even Blackberry lovers can bling up: the luxury gold Blackberry Passport is a very affordable £1247.50. Maybe too affordable.
Android user? Still sad about what happened to Cecil The Lion and/or HTC? Show your love for the African feline and/or the Taiwanese tech company with the HTC One (M9) Cecil the Lion edition for just £1580. I’m sure you’ll feel warm and fuzzy for doing so.
All prices we have quoted exclude VAT, but if you are getting a Goldgenie device, you won’t really notice the price difference. Once you have your bling phone you’ll carry on looking up at the Vertu users out there.
Right now, only the LG Urbane, one of the latest Android Wear devices to hit retail, works with the latest update that’s rolling out to users throughout the day. Eventually, however, more Android Wear devices from Huawei, Asus, and Motorola will work.... Read the rest of this post here
Cyanogen OS, the corporate arm of the Cyanogenmod third party operating system based on Android, has released version 12.1 (based on Android Lollipop 5.1.1) and it is available to download now. If you have a device running it then choose Settings, About Phone, System Updates and if it’s not showing yet click ‘Check for updates’.
Cyanogen famously partnered with OnePlus on their first smartphone, the One, and it is great to see that it is still getting prompt updates despite the unceremonious split between the two companies earlier this year. Part of the reason for this split was rumoued to be due to miscommunication about Cyanogen working with other phone manufacturers. The list of devices officially sold with Cyanogen OS is steadily growing and includes the ZUK Z1 plus the soon to be released Wileyfox Swift and Wileyfox Storm as discussed in our most recent podcast here.
Cool new stuff in Cyanogen OS 12.1 includes:
Calendar to link to Email: A newcalendar powered by Boxer (the company that made the native e-mail application on Cyanogen OS) and is designed to specifically interact with e-mail for a better overall user experience
Cyanogen Browser: A new Cyanogen browser
Redesigned Launcher: The app drawer and folders have been redesigned to be quicker and more easily accessible
Fresh AudioFX: The user interface has been updated for consistency across all devices
All good stuff so if you have a OnePlus One then I recommend you get updating! If you want to read more on the official blog, you can have a look here.
Type C USB cables are a way off from being common and a very long way from being ubiquitous. But the idea, blazing USB 3 speeds with a plug that is reversible – sounds awesome. The McFlip takes you half-way there and, more importantly, it’s available now and uses the most common USB port on the planet…
The McFlip cable was a Indiegogo campaign that ended on 7th August this year. The plan was a USB cable that could transfer data and had a reversible plug on each end – micro USB one end, normal USB the other. I was hooked, sounded perfect, I signed up immediately and put the money down for one. Unfortunately the reversible full USB end proved too difficult to manufacture without an unacceptable level of factory rejects / ports that didn’t last and so the team decided to keep the end that goes into your laptop/ wallplug a normal USB and focus on the important bit, the micro USB end. And it arrived over the weekend!
The cable is made of a very durable, flexible yet kind-of-stiff material that feels reassuringly tough. It’s ‘super strong nylon braided’ and promises to be tangle free. The full USB end and the Micro USB end are gold-coated and of good build quality. I’m very happy to say that it works just as advertised. When inserted into a device it makes a firm click and does not feel loose or as if it may fall out. The speed of charge very much depends on the device you plug it in to and seem to comparable to any normal USB cable.
It cost me $15 for the initial campaign (about £9.50 on the day) which is a lot for a USB cable until you consider the extra utility it will provide. It will live in the bedroom normally, perfect for when I groggily and usually half-blindly need to plug in a device for some extra juice. It will also accompany me when I’m away from home and I need my gadgets to be as efficient and easy to charge as possible. If this sounds good (or indeed, if you have a better use case) feel free to visit the Winergear website where you can buy these little beauties in a couple of different colours. I just wonder how long it will be before I order another one or two as I’ve a ton of Micro USB gadgets and can’t see them all being replaced by Type C any time soon…
LG’s newly unveiled Rolly Keyboard is one of the most impressive new smartphone accessories I've seen all year. Although it has the look of a Kickstarter project, the Rolly is a foldable, or rollable, full laptop keyboard that can connect to up to two devices at the same time via Bluetooth to increase your productivity while on the go.
Now, Coin is looking to make amends in two key ways. First, the company is preparing to launch a new second-generation smart card with new features never seen before in any rival offerings. Second, and most importantly, Coin will provide its new and improved card to all current Coin customers free of charge.
Have you got a small child? If so you will be most likely aware that they have an uncanny tendency to get ill from time to time. Now ,like any good parent, we’ve got a digital thermometer. However, like any good self respecting toddler my son despises the thing and will never allow us to actually use it on him. I hear this story being repeated again and again from all parents that have children of a similar age. Why has a better system not been thought of?
That’s exactly what Harry Hu, founder of Wishbone thought. Here is a quote from their website about the origins of the idea…
As a father and a baby product store owner, I know the hassle of taking a child’s temperature all too well and so do my some of my teammates. My parenting experience and the feedback from my customers led me to believe that there is a need for a small, easy-to-use thermometer that measures and monitors temperatures using a smartphone. That’s how we came up with the idea for Wishbone.
Design The actual wishbone is tiny. It is not much bigger than a £2 coin in surface area. It has three elements to it.
One is the sensor…
The second is the battery compartment which will take two button-sized batteries supplied in the packaging.
The third part is the headset jack for plugging the Wishbone into your phone.
It is moulded from silicone, so is very easy to wipe clean and disinfect (very important when using it with sick children).
There really isn’t that much more to it as the rest of the experience is done through the app on your phone.
So to use the Wishbone you need to download a free Wishbone App from the App Store or Google Play Store. Once you have done that, simply plug in the Wishbone and it will detect automatically. I have tested the device on both my Xperia Z3 and also my OnePlus 2 with no issue.
One you start the app you are given option to use one of three modes; Object Temp, Ambient Temp and Body Temp. When going into to each of these options you will be presented with a virtual button. By pressing this button the app instructs the thermometer to make things happen. After a short while (about 2-3 seconds) you get presented with the temperature in either °C or °F depending on your preference.
This is clearly demonstrated in this video.
You can also save the body temp readings so that if you little one is suffering from a temperature or similar ailment.
I also really like the way that is allows you to measure the ambiant temperature and the temperature of liquids. These mean that I can make sure that my son’s room is not too hot or cold and that when we give him a bath we are not going to bathe him in water that too hot for him.
Summary I have been very impressed with the Wishbone Smart Thermometer, it is very easy to use and it solves a problem that I, as a parent of a young child, face far too often. So much so that we stopped recording his temperature and we were relying on our gut. I would recommend this to anyone who is having difficulty with the standard style thermometer, especially when it comes to toddlers. It is simple, easy to use and – dare I say – enjoyable too. It has me measuring the temperature of all sorts of things now as it makes it more fun. That can only be a good thing.
We’ve all heard the story, an impressive specification at a low price. Oppo does it, Honor does it, OnePlus does it…
Now WileyFox do it too!
This is the Storm, the ‘premium’ version. Rocking a Snapdragon 600 at 1.5GHz it will be relatively snappy. Helped by the 3GB of RAM and it’s Cyanogen 12.1 OS ,it won’t be grinding to a halt anytime soon. A microSD card slot, dual SIM and 4G connectivity to boot, and it’s certainly heading in the right direction. Add to this a nice 5.5″ LG FHD IPS display with 400 PPI to look at and it sounds like a great device. The camera at the back is 20MP and the front facing, selfie friendly 5MP shooter adds more spice to the mix. I wonder how long its 2500mAh battery can keep things running?
This one is the Swift, the baby brother. As you’d expect you get a similar experience here, but all the numbers are slightly lower. A 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 series processor, with 2GB of RAM and a 5″ screen with 294 PPI. The cameras here are a 13MP at the back, but still holding the 5MP snapper at the front. Powered by the same 2500mAh battery, this time it’s removable though. With the lower specification, you’d expect this to last longer off a charge.
So with both rocking admirable numbers, how much will it cost you to get your hands on them? They’re currently on their site at £199 for the Storm and £129 for the Swift and they are a bargain. Product images seem to show a nice design and build, but we’ll let you know how they feel when we manage to get our hands on these! WileyFox has their HQ here in London, so they are our own local handset manufacturer.
There are two variants of the 3rd gen Moto G: an 8GB storage 1GB RAM version (starting at £179) and a 16GB storage 2GB RAM (starting at £209). Both variants are powered by the same chipset and are in the same water resistant body.
5” 720×1280 IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors (67% screen to body ratio)
13 megapixel rear camera with dual tone flash
5 megapixel front facing camera
8GB or 16GB storage expandable via Micro SD (up to 32GB)
Quad-core CPU (Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 – 1.4GHz A53)
GPU Adreno 306
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, FM Radio
Water resistant construction (up to 1 metre for 30 minutes), IPX7 certified
In its 3rd iteration, the Moto G plays on the strengths of the previous generations and updates parts of the design in line with the higher tier Moto X Play and Moto X Style. The back is now a rubbery feeling silicon panel, which gives a reassuring grip and makes you feel less likely it will slip. In the middle of the back panel there is a metal insert which mounts the rear camera lens (f2.0 aperture) and the dual LED flash.
The front of the device is very very similar to the second generation Moto G, with front facing stereo speakers and relatively thin bezels around the 720×1280, 5” display.
All physical buttons on the 3rd generation Moto G are on the right side: a power button and the volume rocker.
The micro USB charging port is centrally positioned on the bottom edge and a 3.5mm audio socket similarly positioned at the top.
Motorola, now under Lenovo, have continued to ship a close-to-Google-Experience version of Android on the Moto G 3rd gen. There are minor changes to a few icons, a Motorola camera app with slide in control carousel and a Motorola Gallery app. A few other Motorola apps are in the OS, but nothing intrusive or big enough to be called bloatware.
If anything, the Moto app guides the user to making the most of some of the value add software/hardware features of the Moto G. Moto Display used to be a feature of the flagship Moto X less than two years ago. Now it is on the Moto G. The advantage may be minimal, as the screen of of the Moto G is an LCD one and so it all has to be lit up to be on, unlike the AMOLED panel on the Moto X.
One of my favourite things of the Moto G 3rd gen is the Actions, which are motion activated functions of the phone: perform a double karate chop with the phone and the torch turns on without you needing to unlock the screen. Double twist the Moto G, and the camera is opened.
Assist is a location/context assistant which aims to set or configure your phone appropriately. It needs to be trained, but once setup turns out to be quite handy.
The Moto G 3rd gen is a water resistant smartphone. It has IPX7 certification, which means it can be under fresh water up to 1 metre for up to 30 minutes. I’ll admit it, I’ve taken the device into the pool with me and taken some sample photos. The screen doesn’t work underwater, but no bad things came to my device while holding it under the surface. I think this will give the average user a bit of peace of mind when using the device in situations like when caught in rain, or near water. I have a feeling this device is going to be popular in Scotland…
The camera on the Moto G 3rd generation is a 13 megapixel one. At the launch event in London, I was lucky enough to have a chat with Peter Matsimanis, the technical lead behind the team who looks after the cameras on Motorola smartphones. Peter explained that the sensor on the Moto G 3rd gen is the same as the one in the Nexus 6 (without ring flash or optical image stabilisation). I’m really impressed with the camera performance on the Moto G 3rd gen, especially considering the price range of the device. In outdoor, well-lit conditions, the snaps are clear and with HDR set to Auto. This is a great point and shoot camera.
Low light shots are not great, but still outperform some of the more expensive competition.
Video is good in optimal light conditions, and the HD recordings are clear.
For the first time in the Moto G iterations, Moto Maker is available for it. Moto Maker is Motorola’s device customisation service. You can visit their website, choose the colour of the front and the accents of your device, the colour of the back silicon panel and what to have engraved on the device. You will also be able to choose which memory configuration to choose (8GB storage/1GB RAM or 16GB storage/2GB RAM).
The Moto G 3rd gen is available in black and white SKUs from multiple retailers in the UK. Three UK have a network exclusive on the Moto Maker, but if you are happy to buy the affordable device outright, Motorola.co.uk allow you to personalise with Moto Maker.
I’ve been won over by the Moto G since the first iteration in late 2013. With the 3rd generation, Motorola have improved on the original formula, and brought water resistance and improved on the second gen’s bigger screen and body. I must say I really really like the Moto G 3rd generation. I like it so much I’m using it as one of my main devices and have even used one of my precious Google Play Music authorisations on it. The only thing I find myself wishing the Moto G 3rd gen had is an AMOLED screen, mostly so that Moto Display uses less battery power. Expandable memory, a great feeling device with reasonable battery life and a very recent Google-like version of Android are pushing all the right buttons with me: a bit like the onscreen ones…
However, what if BlackBerry were cooking up a slightly different model? With Android on it instead? It’d look something like this wouldn’t it?
(Forward to around 5 minutes in)
No, I couldn’t understand a word either. Yes, there was a lot of jump-cuts in the video. No, this isn’t some hacked home brew. This appears to be a full BlackBerry version they’re developing ahead of a supposed release of an all-new Android-powered smartphone later in the year. Within the OS you can clearly see some BlackBerry features, so this does seem to be legit.
A tried-and-trusted brand using a totally different OS? Would that work? Let’s be honest, they haven’t got a great deal to lose.