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PaulOBrien

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About PaulOBrien

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    It's My Party
  • Birthday 07/29/1976

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    http://www.MoDaCo.com

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    Norfolk, UK

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    So... many... phones...
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  1. Thanks to Huawei Mobile UK, we're giving away a Huawei P Smart in the rarer Gold and White colour, featuring 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, a 5.65" Fullview display, 13MP+2MP cameras and super-quick fingerprint unlock. To go with your phone you'll also win a Huawei Band 2 Pro (that's the higher spec one with GPS built in). Entering is easy, with a required Twitter re-tweet and additional options for more entries! The competition is not region restricted and the winner will be chosen at random using the Gleam system. Visit this page to enter! View full item
  2. Thanks to Huawei Mobile UK, we're giving away a Huawei P Smart in the rarer Gold and White colour, featuring 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, a 5.65" Fullview display, 13MP+2MP cameras and super-quick fingerprint unlock. To go with your phone you'll also win a Huawei Band 2 Pro (that's the higher spec one with GPS built in). Entering is easy, with a required Twitter re-tweet and additional options for more entries! The competition is not region restricted and the winner will be chosen at random using the Gleam system. Visit this page to enter!
  3. Which Huawei / Honor 18:9 mid-range phone should you buy?

    Glad it's useful, perhaps something similar for the 16:9 models, of which there are many, is in order! P
  4. Amazfit Bip Review

    Thanks. Interesting they shipped from UK based stock! For runs and bike rides it's perfect, with TCX export via the third party app.
  5. Amazfit Bip Review

    Smaller than a Steel I would say!
  6. The Huawei / Honor march towards domination rolls on with the introduction of a raft of mid-range devices featuring the previously flagship 18:9 screen size. For the UK at least however, exactly which device you should buy isn't clear at all. With the Honor 7X, the Honor 9 Lite and the Huawei P Smart all close in price, which one is the one to have? Let us help you choose! We're going to look at the features of each, finishing with pricing so you can decide which is for you. Screen Huawei P Smart: 2160x1080 5.65" Honor 7X: 2160x1080 5.93" Honor 9 Lite: 2160x1080 5.65" The headline feature of all the devices is their 18:9 screens. All are 2160x1080 in resolution, but the Honor 7X goes for the larger size. For comparison, think of the 7X as Galaxy S8 Plus sized and the P Smart and 9 Lite as Galaxy S8 'regular' sized. Your thoughts here are going to be a big factor in your decision! SIM Slots Huawei P Smart: Single SIM Honor 7X / Honor 9 Lite: Dual SIM (or 1 SIM + microSD), 4G + 2G on second SIM A big black mark against the P Smart with only single SIM support. Note that on the dual devices, unlike on higher end phones, the second SIM is limited to 2G. Battery Huawei P Smart: 3000mAh Honor 7X: 3340mAh Honor 9 Lite: 3000mAh The larger size of the 7X pays dividends in battery size, gaining 340mAh (or over 10%) against the smaller phones. Operating System Huawei P Smart: Android 8.0 + EMUI 8 Honor 7X: Android 7.0 + EMUI 5.1 (Oreo to follow) Honor 9 Lite: Android 8.0 + EMUI 8 The 7X launched first, so perhaps it's not surprising it uses Nougat rather than Oreo. An update is expected in Q2 2018 however. NFC Huawei P Smart: Yes Honor 7X: No Honor 9 Lite: Yes Probably the biggest negative of the 7X is that it has no NFC support. Memory / Storage Huawei P Smart: 3GB RAM, 32GB storage Honor 7X: 4GB RAM, 64GB storage Honor 9 Lite: 3GB RAM, 32GB storage Camera Huawei P Smart: Rear 13MP + 2MP, Front 8MP F2.0 Honor 7X: Rear 16MP + 2MP, Front 8MP Honor 9 Lite: Rear 13MP + 2MP, Front 13MP + 2MP Don't let the higher megapixel count fool you - in our testing, the Honor 9 Lite takes the best pics of these devices. Dimensions / Weight Huawei P Smart: 150.1 x 72.1 x 7.5 mm, 165g Honor 7X: 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm, 165g Honor 9 Lite: 151 x 71.9 x 7.6 mm, 149g The Honor 9 Lite is noticeably lighter than the other devices. Colour Huawei P Smart: Black Honor 7X: Blue Honor 9 Lite: Blue or Grey The Honor signature blue is surely the way to go! Common features All the devices use exactly the same CPU - the very capable Kirin 659 mid-range processor (16nm Octa core, 2.36 GHz x 4 + 1.7GHz x 4). Connectivity wise, here's where you'll see mid-range cost savings compared to more expensive devices. All the devices lack 5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and use microUSB rather than the newer USB-C (Huawei's proprietary fast charging is included). All of the devices have a rear mounted fingerprint sensor. Real pricing Huawei P Smart: £230 (from John Lewis currently OOS, also available from Vodafone) Honor 7X: £240 (Laptops Direct) Honor 9 Lite: £199 with free Honor AM61 Bluetooth sport earphones (Honor UK) So which one should I buy? Let's start with which one you shouldn't buy. I don't see a particularly good reason to buy the P Smart. It's more expensive than the Honor 9 Lite, is single SIM only and that aside they are effectively the same device. Which brings us to the 7X and the 9 Lite. Your choice will probably come down to whether you want a bigger device with more storage - if this is important to you, then the 7X is probably the way to go. But if you want the best phone at the best value... my pick is the Honor 9 Lite. It's extremely good value (particularly with the current free earphones offer), it's stunning to look at and the camera is surprisingly decent. 3GB RAM vs 4GB RAM is largely academic in real use and 32GB will be OK for most people (you can also expand via microSD). If you do buy one of the above, let us know what you think! View full item
  7. The Huawei / Honor march towards domination rolls on with the introduction of a raft of mid-range devices featuring the previously flagship 18:9 screen size. For the UK at least however, exactly which device you should buy isn't clear at all. With the Honor 7X, the Honor 9 Lite and the Huawei P Smart all close in price, which one is the one to have? Let us help you choose! We're going to look at the features of each, finishing with pricing so you can decide which is for you. Screen Huawei P Smart: 2160x1080 5.65" Honor 7X: 2160x1080 5.93" Honor 9 Lite: 2160x1080 5.65" The headline feature of all the devices is their 18:9 screens. All are 2160x1080 in resolution, but the Honor 7X goes for the larger size. For comparison, think of the 7X as Galaxy S8 Plus sized and the P Smart and 9 Lite as Galaxy S8 'regular' sized. Your thoughts here are going to be a big factor in your decision! SIM Slots Huawei P Smart: Single SIM Honor 7X / Honor 9 Lite: Dual SIM (or 1 SIM + microSD), 4G + 2G on second SIM A big black mark against the P Smart with only single SIM support. Note that on the dual devices, unlike on higher end phones, the second SIM is limited to 2G. Battery Huawei P Smart: 3000mAh Honor 7X: 3340mAh Honor 9 Lite: 3000mAh The larger size of the 7X pays dividends in battery size, gaining 340mAh (or over 10%) against the smaller phones. Operating System Huawei P Smart: Android 8.0 + EMUI 8 Honor 7X: Android 7.0 + EMUI 5.1 (Oreo to follow) Honor 9 Lite: Android 8.0 + EMUI 8 The 7X launched first, so perhaps it's not surprising it uses Nougat rather than Oreo. An update is expected in Q2 2018 however. NFC Huawei P Smart: Yes Honor 7X: No Honor 9 Lite: Yes Probably the biggest negative of the 7X is that it has no NFC support. Memory / Storage Huawei P Smart: 3GB RAM, 32GB storage Honor 7X: 4GB RAM, 64GB storage Honor 9 Lite: 3GB RAM, 32GB storage Camera Huawei P Smart: Rear 13MP + 2MP, Front 8MP F2.0 Honor 7X: Rear 16MP + 2MP, Front 8MP Honor 9 Lite: Rear 13MP + 2MP, Front 13MP + 2MP Don't let the higher megapixel count fool you - in our testing, the Honor 9 Lite takes the best pics of these devices. Dimensions / Weight Huawei P Smart: 150.1 x 72.1 x 7.5 mm, 165g Honor 7X: 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm, 165g Honor 9 Lite: 151 x 71.9 x 7.6 mm, 149g The Honor 9 Lite is noticeably lighter than the other devices. Colour Huawei P Smart: Black Honor 7X: Blue Honor 9 Lite: Blue or Grey The Honor signature blue is surely the way to go! Common features All the devices use exactly the same CPU - the very capable Kirin 659 mid-range processor (16nm Octa core, 2.36 GHz x 4 + 1.7GHz x 4). Connectivity wise, here's where you'll see mid-range cost savings compared to more expensive devices. All the devices lack 5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and use microUSB rather than the newer USB-C (Huawei's proprietary fast charging is included). All of the devices have a rear mounted fingerprint sensor. Real pricing Huawei P Smart: £230 (from John Lewis currently OOS, also available from Vodafone) Honor 7X: £240 (Laptops Direct) Honor 9 Lite: £199 with free Honor AM61 Bluetooth sport earphones (Honor UK) So which one should I buy? Let's start with which one you shouldn't buy. I don't see a particularly good reason to buy the P Smart. It's more expensive than the Honor 9 Lite, is single SIM only and that aside they are effectively the same device. Which brings us to the 7X and the 9 Lite. Your choice will probably come down to whether you want a bigger device with more storage - if this is important to you, then the 7X is probably the way to go. But if you want the best phone at the best value... my pick is the Honor 9 Lite. It's extremely good value (particularly with the current free earphones offer), it's stunning to look at and the camera is surprisingly decent. 3GB RAM vs 4GB RAM is largely academic in real use and 32GB will be OK for most people (you can also expand via microSD). If you do buy one of the above, let us know what you think!
  8. Amazfit Bip Review

    The Amazfit Bip is not a Smartwatch. The Amazfit Bip is a fitness tracker with some Smartwatchy traits and a whole host of possibilities. The Amazfit Bip is basic in many ways and lacks the features on many of its peers. The Amazfit Bip is cheap, fun and I love it. Intrigued? Read on! Your first question might be ‘Who is / what are / Amazfit?’ – Amazfit is a brand of Huami who in turn are part of a company you almost certainly have heard of, Xiaomi – the Chinese Smartphone behemoth. As with many Xiaomi group products, the Bip majors on price vs performance and is only officially available in Xiaomi’s Chinese home market. The device is known as both the Bip and the Bip Lite and is available in both Chinese and (often slightly more expensive) English versions. If you’re buying, you can pick up either – if you end up with a Chinese version, it will convert to English the first time you connect it to the English Mi Fit app, which is downloadable from the Play Store. The Bip typically costs under £50 from the usual Chinese retailers (GeekBuying – where I bought mine, Gearbest etc.) and is available in 4 colours – black / black, grey / grey, orange / blue and green / green. I have the black, but I am very tempted to pick up a grey (near white) one too. From a design perspective, the Bip feels like a cross between an Apple Watch and a Pebble. Certainly most people seem to mistake it for an Apple product, despite the subtle Amazfit branding on the front and the obviously inferior screen. The screen is where the Bip feels particularly similar to a Pebble – it’s a 1.28" 176x176px transflective LCD that has excellent visibility even when not backlit and performs particularly well in sunlight. A lift of the wrist activates the backlight and although the screen is basic, it serves its purpose well, has basic touch functionality and no doubt contributes to the device’s excellent battery life. Stamina really is the biggest selling point of the Bip – despite the fact that it’s very compact, claimed life from the 190mAh battery is 4 months of disconnected use, 45 days of normal use connected to a Smartphone and an incredible 22 hours of continuous GPS use. These claims sound outrageous and not remotely achievable but you know what? I don’t think they are far out, which is an incredible achievement. I use a Gear S3 Classic or a TicWatch E normally and much as I love those watches (and functionally they are mostly superior), having a watch I don’t need to charge every day or every other day really makes a huge difference, particularly as it’s small enough to use for sleep tracking without being uncomfortable. The IP68 rated Bip is made from 'polycarbonate with zirconia ceramics' (I literally have no idea what that means) with a silicone strap and feels both very well built and comfortable to wear. I’m particularly impressed that the screen is coated with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. I’ve had many a problem with Pebbles scratching easily in the past and thus far, the Bip has escaped this fate. 20mm straps will fit the Bip and the included strap has quick release pins – I’ve picked up a metal mesh strap from Amazon for the princely sum of £2.99, which improves the style of the watch for non-sport use immensely. The watch clips into the included USB charging dock in a very satisfying way (although if you’ve changed the strap for one that doesn’t split in the middle it’s a bit awkward) and the watch charges very quickly. I like that the Mi Fit app shows a notification when charging is complete too. Available for download from the Play Store, the Mi Fit app is the link between your phone and the watch. The app shows an activity log, last heart rate measurement courtesy of the PPG sensor (note: heart rate is measured periodically or continuously during activity, but not continuously otherwise – more on that later), sleep stats, weight goals (useful if you want to pair a Xiaomi smart scale) and a goals section plotting your progress against defined targets. A separate tab allows you to start outdoor running, treadmill, outdoor cycling or walking activities as well as viewing further detail on previous activities. The profile tab is where your goals, friends, personal details and a host of watch specific settings can be configured. A rather strange ‘behaviour tagging’ menu lets you select from a whole host of activities to tag your exercise, but it feels a bit lacking and would be better more tightly integrated into the activities section. The watch section allows you to choose from a selection of watch faces, configure Android Smart Lock to use the watch to bypass the lockscreen, enable incoming call notifications, set alarms, toggle app notifications, enable idle alerts, find your watch, set which arm you are wearing the watch on, toggle the lift to wake functionality, enable more detailed sleep tracking by utilising heart rate (at the expense of battery life), set up your location for weather details and choose which items are displayed on watchfaces. The Mi Fit app does a great job of maintaining a stable connection to the Bip. I’ve used many, many fitness bands and smartwatches where the connection just isn’t reliable enough – I half expected the same to be true of Mi Fit, but the company has clearly gained a lot of useful experience from the millions of Mi Fit bands shipped – connectivity was rock solid. On the watch itself, most of the time you’ll be in ‘locked’ mode, where information will be displayed on screen (this is dependent on your watchface, I tend to have time, date, battery level and step count) and touches on the screen are ignored. Exiting the lock mode is as simple as pressing the button on the right of the device, after which a simple animation will ‘sweep’ across the screen indicating the device is unlocked. Sweeping from top to bottom on the screen will open the quick ‘DND’ (Do Not Disturb) menu, where a tap on the screen will toggle between 3 modes – Off, On and ‘Smart’, which is where the watch will detect when you’ve fallen asleep and automatically enter DND. Neat and it works. Sweeping from bottom to top will scroll through any application notifications in turn and show a ‘Clear’ option at the bottom of the list (as of the latest update, individual items can be dismissed too - a big improvement and it's good to see the firmware is still being improved). Notifications are basic. You will see an icon and some information derived from the on-device notification (for Gmail for example, I see an envelope icon, a subject and a snippet of text) but notifications aren’t actionable. Still useful I would argue, but of course this is far from the featureset of a ‘full’ Smartwatch. Sweeping Left or Right on the main screen will switch between the Bip’s main menus. The ‘Status’ menu displays steps, heart rate, distance, calorie burn and activity session length. The ‘Activity’ menu lets you start any of the aforementioned 4 activities as well as viewing history and an activity settings option lets you configure auto-pause (except for the treadmill workout), heart rate alert, pace alert and distance alert. After an activity is started, you can either wait for a GPS / GLONASS fix from the Sony module (which uses A-GPS to speed time to first fix) or start tracking immediately. When in an activity, the screen changes to display time, speed, distance and heart rate, with other stats a further sweep away. A favourite activity can also be started with a long press on the button, which is also the shortcut to pause or end an activity. The interface is intuitive and the display informative. The Weather menu shows the weather for the location configured in the Mi Fit app for today and the next few days, the Alarm menu allows you to toggle the alarms configured in the app and the Timer menu includes both Stopwatch with split functionality and countdown modes. The Compass menu is exactly as the name suggests and the Settings menu allows you to configure some main watch options such as the watch face, button long press action and screen brightness. The device isn’t super powerful so everything isn’t silky-smooth, but it’s responsive enough. The Bip is cool, but it’s a lot about managing expectations. If you’re expecting a top end Smartwatch for under $50 you’re going to be disappointed, but if you’re looking for something a bit different that’s surprisingly well supported by third parties, then you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised. So what does the third party app support look like? I mentioned previously that Xiaomi / Huami have a lot of experience in this area thanks to their Mi Fit bands. The popularity and extreme low cost of the bands has also spawned a thriving developer community to enhance and expand functionality that in turn has also looked to support the Bip. I would normally warn against relying on third party developers for key functionality (and indeed this is a risk you’ll have to consider yourself), but the fact that there are multiple developers with multiple app options supporting the device not only helps to mitigate this risk, it also seems to have a spawned a healthy competition amongst the offerings. I’m currently using ‘Notify and Fitness for Amazfit’ which set me back a couple of quid from the Play Store (money well spent!) and the increased value it’s giving me from the Bip is substantial. The key features of Notify and Fitness for me (and believe me, there are a lot!) are continuous heart rate tracking, track export to 3rd party applications (which enabled me to record my snowboarding directly on the watch as 'cycling' then upload to Endomondo and flip the activity type), a wider selection of watchfaces (although the actual process of switching is somewhat rudimentary as it effectively flashes the device!), improved notifications and button customisations. So would I recommend the Amazfit Bip? Absolutely. It’s probably the best $50 bit of a tech I’ve bought in a long time and much more impressive than I expected. More fully featured alternatives do offer a lot of additional functionality (at a higher price), but also come with their own downsides. Now if only Amazfit would officially sell the device in the UK... View full item
  9. Amazfit Bip Review

    The Amazfit Bip is not a Smartwatch. The Amazfit Bip is a fitness tracker with some Smartwatchy traits and a whole host of possibilities. The Amazfit Bip is basic in many ways and lacks the features on many of its peers. The Amazfit Bip is cheap, fun and I love it. Intrigued? Read on! Your first question might be ‘Who is / what are / Amazfit?’ – Amazfit is a brand of Huami who in turn are part of a company you almost certainly have heard of, Xiaomi – the Chinese Smartphone behemoth. As with many Xiaomi group products, the Bip majors on price vs performance and is only officially available in Xiaomi’s Chinese home market. The device is known as both the Bip and the Bip Lite and is available in both Chinese and (often slightly more expensive) English versions. If you’re buying, you can pick up either – if you end up with a Chinese version, it will convert to English the first time you connect it to the English Mi Fit app, which is downloadable from the Play Store. The Bip typically costs under £50 from the usual Chinese retailers (GeekBuying – where I bought mine, Gearbest etc.) and is available in 4 colours – black / black, grey / grey, orange / blue and green / green. I have the black, but I am very tempted to pick up a grey (near white) one too. From a design perspective, the Bip feels like a cross between an Apple Watch and a Pebble. Certainly most people seem to mistake it for an Apple product, despite the subtle Amazfit branding on the front and the obviously inferior screen. The screen is where the Bip feels particularly similar to a Pebble – it’s a 1.28" 176x176px transflective LCD that has excellent visibility even when not backlit and performs particularly well in sunlight. A lift of the wrist activates the backlight and although the screen is basic, it serves its purpose well, has basic touch functionality and no doubt contributes to the device’s excellent battery life. Stamina really is the biggest selling point of the Bip – despite the fact that it’s very compact, claimed life from the 190mAh battery is 4 months of disconnected use, 45 days of normal use connected to a Smartphone and an incredible 22 hours of continuous GPS use. These claims sound outrageous and not remotely achievable but you know what? I don’t think they are far out, which is an incredible achievement. I use a Gear S3 Classic or a TicWatch E normally and much as I love those watches (and functionally they are mostly superior), having a watch I don’t need to charge every day or every other day really makes a huge difference, particularly as it’s small enough to use for sleep tracking without being uncomfortable. The IP68 rated Bip is made from 'polycarbonate with zirconia ceramics' (I literally have no idea what that means) with a silicone strap and feels both very well built and comfortable to wear. I’m particularly impressed that the screen is coated with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. I’ve had many a problem with Pebbles scratching easily in the past and thus far, the Bip has escaped this fate. 20mm straps will fit the Bip and the included strap has quick release pins – I’ve picked up a metal mesh strap from Amazon for the princely sum of £2.99, which improves the style of the watch for non-sport use immensely. The watch clips into the included USB charging dock in a very satisfying way (although if you’ve changed the strap for one that doesn’t split in the middle it’s a bit awkward) and the watch charges very quickly. I like that the Mi Fit app shows a notification when charging is complete too. Available for download from the Play Store, the Mi Fit app is the link between your phone and the watch. The app shows an activity log, last heart rate measurement courtesy of the PPG sensor (note: heart rate is measured periodically or continuously during activity, but not continuously otherwise – more on that later), sleep stats, weight goals (useful if you want to pair a Xiaomi smart scale) and a goals section plotting your progress against defined targets. A separate tab allows you to start outdoor running, treadmill, outdoor cycling or walking activities as well as viewing further detail on previous activities. The profile tab is where your goals, friends, personal details and a host of watch specific settings can be configured. A rather strange ‘behaviour tagging’ menu lets you select from a whole host of activities to tag your exercise, but it feels a bit lacking and would be better more tightly integrated into the activities section. The watch section allows you to choose from a selection of watch faces, configure Android Smart Lock to use the watch to bypass the lockscreen, enable incoming call notifications, set alarms, toggle app notifications, enable idle alerts, find your watch, set which arm you are wearing the watch on, toggle the lift to wake functionality, enable more detailed sleep tracking by utilising heart rate (at the expense of battery life), set up your location for weather details and choose which items are displayed on watchfaces. The Mi Fit app does a great job of maintaining a stable connection to the Bip. I’ve used many, many fitness bands and smartwatches where the connection just isn’t reliable enough – I half expected the same to be true of Mi Fit, but the company has clearly gained a lot of useful experience from the millions of Mi Fit bands shipped – connectivity was rock solid. On the watch itself, most of the time you’ll be in ‘locked’ mode, where information will be displayed on screen (this is dependent on your watchface, I tend to have time, date, battery level and step count) and touches on the screen are ignored. Exiting the lock mode is as simple as pressing the button on the right of the device, after which a simple animation will ‘sweep’ across the screen indicating the device is unlocked. Sweeping from top to bottom on the screen will open the quick ‘DND’ (Do Not Disturb) menu, where a tap on the screen will toggle between 3 modes – Off, On and ‘Smart’, which is where the watch will detect when you’ve fallen asleep and automatically enter DND. Neat and it works. Sweeping from bottom to top will scroll through any application notifications in turn and show a ‘Clear’ option at the bottom of the list (as of the latest update, individual items can be dismissed too - a big improvement and it's good to see the firmware is still being improved). Notifications are basic. You will see an icon and some information derived from the on-device notification (for Gmail for example, I see an envelope icon, a subject and a snippet of text) but notifications aren’t actionable. Still useful I would argue, but of course this is far from the featureset of a ‘full’ Smartwatch. Sweeping Left or Right on the main screen will switch between the Bip’s main menus. The ‘Status’ menu displays steps, heart rate, distance, calorie burn and activity session length. The ‘Activity’ menu lets you start any of the aforementioned 4 activities as well as viewing history and an activity settings option lets you configure auto-pause (except for the treadmill workout), heart rate alert, pace alert and distance alert. After an activity is started, you can either wait for a GPS / GLONASS fix from the Sony module (which uses A-GPS to speed time to first fix) or start tracking immediately. When in an activity, the screen changes to display time, speed, distance and heart rate, with other stats a further sweep away. A favourite activity can also be started with a long press on the button, which is also the shortcut to pause or end an activity. The interface is intuitive and the display informative. The Weather menu shows the weather for the location configured in the Mi Fit app for today and the next few days, the Alarm menu allows you to toggle the alarms configured in the app and the Timer menu includes both Stopwatch with split functionality and countdown modes. The Compass menu is exactly as the name suggests and the Settings menu allows you to configure some main watch options such as the watch face, button long press action and screen brightness. The device isn’t super powerful so everything isn’t silky-smooth, but it’s responsive enough. The Bip is cool, but it’s a lot about managing expectations. If you’re expecting a top end Smartwatch for under $50 you’re going to be disappointed, but if you’re looking for something a bit different that’s surprisingly well supported by third parties, then you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised. So what does the third party app support look like? I mentioned previously that Xiaomi / Huami have a lot of experience in this area thanks to their Mi Fit bands. The popularity and extreme low cost of the bands has also spawned a thriving developer community to enhance and expand functionality that in turn has also looked to support the Bip. I would normally warn against relying on third party developers for key functionality (and indeed this is a risk you’ll have to consider yourself), but the fact that there are multiple developers with multiple app options supporting the device not only helps to mitigate this risk, it also seems to have a spawned a healthy competition amongst the offerings. I’m currently using ‘Notify and Fitness for Amazfit’ which set me back a couple of quid from the Play Store (money well spent!) and the increased value it’s giving me from the Bip is substantial. The key features of Notify and Fitness for me (and believe me, there are a lot!) are continuous heart rate tracking, track export to 3rd party applications (which enabled me to record my snowboarding directly on the watch as 'cycling' then upload to Endomondo and flip the activity type), a wider selection of watchfaces (although the actual process of switching is somewhat rudimentary as it effectively flashes the device!), improved notifications and button customisations. So would I recommend the Amazfit Bip? Absolutely. It’s probably the best $50 bit of a tech I’ve bought in a long time and much more impressive than I expected. More fully featured alternatives do offer a lot of additional functionality (at a higher price), but also come with their own downsides. Now if only Amazfit would officially sell the device in the UK...
  10. Wileyfox, purveyors of high quality yet low cost Android Smartphones, are looking to disrupt the market by introducing cut price, lock screen ad supported versions of their devices branded ‘Add-X’. Initially offered on the Swift 2 Plus, Swift 2, Spark X and Spark +, Add-X will also be extended to the Swift 2 X in the coming months. The cost savings against RRP are impressive, although in reality reductions are offset by the fact that retailers (e.g. Amazon) typically carry the devices at a decent discount already. Add-X offers adverts that are tailored to the user’s age and gender on the lockscreen while still allows access to notifications. Users swipe right to unlock their phone as normal and swipe left to see more. This is an additional step over the standard one touch fingerprint unlock. Michael Coombes, CEO of Wileyfox said: Offers will periodically include a discount or a preview of a sale – all selected to provide Wileyfox customers with brands, products and services that they would want to see. Over time a proprietary AI and machine-learning technology will tailor ads based on a user’s behavior to serve more of the brands and offers they are looking for. Advertisers on the Add-X initally currently include Dominoes, intu and Ministry of Sound. Wileyfox smartphones with Add-X are available from www.wileyfox.com, Amazon UK, Carphone Warehouse, eBay and ao.com with pricing as follows: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus - £119.99 (£189.99 RRP) Wileyfox Swift 2 - £99.99 (£159.99 RRP) Wileyfox Spark X - £79.99 (£139.99 RRP) Wileyfox Spark - £69.99 (£119.99 RRP) So what are Add-X devices actually like in use? I’ve been using a Swift 2 Plus for a while now and honestly, the ads are pretty unintrusive and occasionally interesting. For people looking for a decent discount on their handset, it’s definitely worth considering. Personally I’m not a fan of the Spark devices, but the Swifts (and particularly the Swift 2 X when it comes onboard) are a steal at this price. Ads can be removed after purchase for a one time £40 payment and yes, if you’re a bit handy with the Android hacking you’ll be able to shut them off (no, I won’t tell you how) but I really commend Wileyfox for trying something quite different and making a decent job of it. How do you feel about Add-X? Would the cost savings tempt you to put up with the ads? View full item
  11. Wileyfox, purveyors of high quality yet low cost Android Smartphones, are looking to disrupt the market by introducing cut price, lock screen ad supported versions of their devices branded ‘Add-X’. Initially offered on the Swift 2 Plus, Swift 2, Spark X and Spark +, Add-X will also be extended to the Swift 2 X in the coming months. The cost savings against RRP are impressive, although in reality reductions are offset by the fact that retailers (e.g. Amazon) typically carry the devices at a decent discount already. Add-X offers adverts that are tailored to the user’s age and gender on the lockscreen while still allows access to notifications. Users swipe right to unlock their phone as normal and swipe left to see more. This is an additional step over the standard one touch fingerprint unlock. Michael Coombes, CEO of Wileyfox said: Offers will periodically include a discount or a preview of a sale – all selected to provide Wileyfox customers with brands, products and services that they would want to see. Over time a proprietary AI and machine-learning technology will tailor ads based on a user’s behavior to serve more of the brands and offers they are looking for. Advertisers on the Add-X initally currently include Dominoes, intu and Ministry of Sound. Wileyfox smartphones with Add-X are available from www.wileyfox.com, Amazon UK, Carphone Warehouse, eBay and ao.com with pricing as follows: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus - £119.99 (£189.99 RRP) Wileyfox Swift 2 - £99.99 (£159.99 RRP) Wileyfox Spark X - £79.99 (£139.99 RRP) Wileyfox Spark - £69.99 (£119.99 RRP) So what are Add-X devices actually like in use? I’ve been using a Swift 2 Plus for a while now and honestly, the ads are pretty unintrusive and occasionally interesting. For people looking for a decent discount on their handset, it’s definitely worth considering. Personally I’m not a fan of the Spark devices, but the Swifts (and particularly the Swift 2 X when it comes onboard) are a steal at this price. Ads can be removed after purchase for a one time £40 payment and yes, if you’re a bit handy with the Android hacking you’ll be able to shut them off (no, I won’t tell you how) but I really commend Wileyfox for trying something quite different and making a decent job of it. How do you feel about Add-X? Would the cost savings tempt you to put up with the ads?
  12. Paul,

    Is there any chance you or an admin could delete my account from your site and records please?

    I've been receiving notifications since November and have PM'd you a number of times.

    If there's something further I need to do then please let me know.

    Donal

  13. Let's get some custom ROM tweaking going on for our 6Xs! :) Together with my own MoDaCo Custom ROM for the Honor 6X, I've created a custom ROM starter template for anyone who wants to have a go. It's a bit different. Basically, this ROM template will let you create your own custom ROM VERY easily. Easier than ever before. All you have to do is... download my ROM template zip make the changes to the system of your phone just as you'd like them for your custom ROM run some commands on your device via ADB add the resulting files to the template zip That's it! No messing around with install scripts, no rebuilding anything complex, just mod - and go! ;-) Preparation ONLY if you are completing the process for the first time, you need to set up a file on your microSD card - so launch an ADB shell and type the following commands... touch /sdcard/exclude echo app > /sdcard/exclude echo priv-app >> /sdcard/exclude echo delapp >> /sdcard/exclude ROM build Once you have your system up and running how you want it, and you're ready to distribute it (just the system and cust dirs mind, it won't pull the data dir, so your personal data is safe), reboot to recovery, launch an ADB shell and type the following commands: mount /system tar -X /sdcard/exclude -zcvpf /sdcard/system.therest.tar.gz /system/ tar -zcvpf /sdcard/system.apps.tar.gz /system/app /system/priv-app /system/delapp mount /cust tar -zcvpf /sdcard/cust.tar.gz /cust You'll then end up with 3 new files on your SD card - system.apps.tar.gz (which is apps and priv-apps from system), system.therest.tar.gz (which, as the name suggests, is the rest of the system partition!) and cust.tar.gz with is the cust partition contents. Update the template zip with these 3 files and that's it. It's ready to distribute for people to flash via TWRP! If you have updated the boot image, you'll need to replace that too, the easiest way is to do a TWRP backup then pull that file from the SD card and drop it into the template zip as boot.img. That's really it! I hope this inspires a few people to start playing around with custom ROMs for the 6X... more cool things coming soon! :) Oh and the all important template file... DOWNLOAD - r1-customromtemplate-honor-6x-bln-l21-b122.zip [ROMRAID] MD5: eb7e2639b1cd8e3e9f47297b27983fa9 P
  14. TWRP Recovery 3.0.2.0 for Honor 6X

    I've been working on creating the basic device tree needed to get the latest TWRP built for our Honor 6X and most importantly, accepted as an official TWRP recovery. The recovery is now officially supported by TWRP, and you can download my device tree here. P
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