Nicholas Fearn

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About Nicholas Fearn

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday 10/01/96

Contact Methods

  • Website URL http://GadgetXpert.co.uk
  • Skype Nicholas.Fearn1

Previous Fields

  • Your Current Device(s) Apple iPhone 5
  • Your Twitter username NicholasFearnUK

Nicholas Fearn's Activity

  1. Nicholas Fearn added a topic in Android News   

    O2 and Vodafone finally launch their 4G services in the UK
    O2 and Vodafone have both finally launched their 4G services in the United Kingdom, meaning competition is going to start to brew for EE pretty soon!

    Whilst it's great to see that both popular networks have finally launched the technology that allows a smartphone user to access mobile data at super-fast speeds, it's a bit disappointing to see that both companies are being rather conservative about their launches!

    When I say conservative, I'm not waffling on about politics or anything related to David Cameron or our current British government, I'm talking about the fact that O2's service will only be available in London, Leeds and Bradford at first, with Vodafone only launching the technology in London for now.

    Both networks have said however that they plan to get their services out to other major towns and cities within the next few months, but we may not see the whole country using 4G for a good few years yet.

    I can honestly say that I'm very happy to see that both companies have finally launched their 4G services, although I think they could face a lot of trouble in terms of getting the consumer interested if they don't actually manage to offer up competitive tariffs, mainly because Three UK has already confirmed that their 4G services (which are set to launch this December) won't actually include the need to change contracts - plus they won't be upping the price either.

    As for which network offers up the cheapest tariff, EE, Vodafone and O2 all offer some reasonable options (as long as you're happy with a data cap), although I personally find Vodafone's £5 Red option most interesting as it's good value and includes free access to either Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV.





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  2. Nicholas Fearn added a item in Android   

    O2 and Vodafone finally launch their 4G services in the UK
    O2 and Vodafone have both finally launched their 4G services in the United Kingdom, meaning competition is going to start to brew for EE pretty soon!

    Whilst it's great to see that both popular networks have finally launched the technology that allows a smartphone user to access mobile data at super-fast speeds, it's a bit disappointing to see that both companies are being rather conservative about their launches!

    When I say conservative, I'm not waffling on about politics or anything related to David Cameron or our current British government, I'm talking about the fact that O2's service will only be available in London, Leeds and Bradford at first, with Vodafone only launching the technology in London for now.

    Both networks have said however that they plan to get their services out to other major towns and cities within the next few months, but we may not see the whole country using 4G for a good few years yet.

    I can honestly say that I'm very happy to see that both companies have finally launched their 4G services, although I think they could face a lot of trouble in terms of getting the consumer interested if they don't actually manage to offer up competitive tariffs, mainly because Three UK has already confirmed that their 4G services (which are set to launch this December) won't actually include the need to change contracts - plus they won't be upping the price either.

    As for which network offers up the cheapest tariff, EE, Vodafone and O2 all offer some reasonable options (as long as you're happy with a data cap), although I personally find Vodafone's £5 Red option most interesting as it's good value and includes free access to either Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV.




    • 7 replies
    • 6907 views
  3. Nicholas Fearn added a post in a topic Guest post: Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom mini-review   

    Hi, will get them added as soon as!
    • 0
  4. Nicholas Fearn added a post in a topic Guest post: Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom mini-review   

    Hope you all like the review too!
    • 0
  5. Nicholas Fearn added a post in a topic Guest post: Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom mini-review   

    @Andy That's very true!
    • 0
  6. Nicholas Fearn added a post in a topic Guest post: Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom mini-review   

    I have noticed that, yes!
    • 0
  7. Nicholas Fearn added a topic in Android News   

    Guest post: Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom mini-review




    It's fair to say that Samsung is probably the leading Android smartphone manufacturer today, managing to somehow one-up their competitors whenever they announce a new handset. The Galaxy S4 Zoom is a slightly different type of device - Samsung claim that it is part of their new initiative to create a single device that can fulfil the role of both an industry-leading smartphone and a high-end compact camera.

    Before I go diving into the review, let's quickly see what Samsung's S4 Zoom manages to pack inside its beast of a body:

    Dimensions: 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm
    Weight: 280g
    4.3" qHD AMOLED (960x540) display
    2330mAh battery
    16- megapixel CMOS sensor
    10x optical zoom
    1.9- megapixel front facing camera
    1.5GHz dual-core processor
    1.5GB of RAM
    8GB of internal memory
    WiFi 802. 11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz
    NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
    Hardware overview

    Just like many of Samsung's other devices, the S4 Zoom is constructed out of plastic, although I personally have no problem with this - it just gives the Zoom a lighter feel. If it were made from metal like the HTC One, then it would be even more bulky and cumbersome than it already is. It is still a very large device to hold and keep in a trouser pocket, so you may want to think about carrying it in a bag instead!





    Whilst I do find the S4 Zoom bulky, I actually think it's quite comfortable to hold in the hand, partly down to the raised area at the bottom of the device; and because it's rounded, it fits nicely into the palm of your hand. I'm also a fan of the way that you access the battery - you basically just pull open a flap that is located at the bottom of the Zoom, and then you'll be able to slide the battery out - this is also where the micro SIM is located. This is certainly a nod to it's camera cousins.





    Looking around the Zoom, you'll catch glimpse of the 3.5mm headphone jack and noise-cancelling mic at the top, the volume rocker, on/off/lock button, the camera shutter key at the right side, a lanyard cut-out and micro SD card slot on the left side along with the charger cut-out and battery door at the bottom. I'm a big fan of the glossy silver paint that has been used around the sides of the device.

    The feature that draws the most attention to the user has to be the Zoom's massive camera lens located at the back - it's huge! By just looking at the back, you'd think that the Zoom is just a basic compact camera, but when you look at the front, you'll notice that it's actually a bit of both - a smartphone and compact camera in one. I find the Galaxy Z4 Zoom is very reminiscent of Samsung's S4 Mini.

    The screen

    My first impressions of the Galaxy S4 Zoom were very good, until I caught glimpse of the display. Whilst the 4.3" size is large enough to surf the web in comfort, the 960x540 resolution is disappointing - I expected to see a better screen here! After all, this is supposed to be a device where you can take photos and images with its huge sensor and then be able to view and manipulate them on its display. I'm very disappointed with this, every image appears washed out and grainy. On the bright side, it's very responsive to touch.

    Software

    Despite currently being an iPhone user myself, I've always liked Android as well - it's just more flexible when compared to iOS - and Samsung's TouchWiz overlay has always been my favourite when compared to other user interfaces such as HTC's Sense.

    The S4 Zoom itself comes pre-loaded with Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, along with the latest version of TouchWiz thrown into the mix. I have no problem with Samsung's TouchWiz, although it is fair to say that it can lag at times, but there's no major issues with it in my eyes.

    I'm a huge fan of the Zoom's lockscreen - it's really colourful and funky, and it's easy to change it to a pattern or passcode security lock via the settings menu - which too has a great look to it!





    The whole user interface is basically just like any other that I've seen on an Android device, but with Samsung's own twist on it. I found it very easy to use whilst testing the Galaxy S4 Zoom, and I really like the fact that it's super easy to change the device's background by just long holding the screen until a small box comes up allowing you also to add folders and widgets to your homescreen.

    Camera

    You're obviously not going to buy the S4 Zoom for just being a phone, you're going to want to invest in it because you're into your photography and taking photos! It's hard to imagine why you would choose the zoom if you weren't particularly interested in the camera functionality.

    Overall, I'm very impressed with the picture and video quality. Colours always seem to look bold and vibrant - even photos and videos that you've taken in low light - plus you also get a lot of settings built-in to help you enhance your creations.

    As for the camera's interface, I found it very easy to use. I really like the fact that you can easily switch from image-capture to video-capture because you get the buttons for direct access instead of using a toggle of some sort. I wasn't that keen on the camera's zoom ring - but the 10x optical zoom is pretty awesome and certainly a novelty for a phone device.





    Phone calls and signal strength

    The dial pad and contact interfaces on the Zoom are both straightforward and the call quality is excellent! I did experience one dropped call, but that was likely down to me accidentally pressing the end button with my ear - I usually manage to do stupid stuff like that. ;)

    Performance

    When I first learned that the S4 Zoom only had a dual-core processor, I was shocked - expecting to see a quad-core version! Unfortunately, due to the fact that Samsung has decided to go down this route, I have to say that I sometimes find it very slow - and on some occasions, I felt like throwing the device out of my window! And to top my feeling of disappointment off, you only get 8GB of internal memory (although it is expandable via microSD). The battery life isn't great either.

    Conclusion

    At the end of the day, when all is taken into account, I actually quite like the S4 Zoom. The disappointing screen, underwhelming battery life and slower than expected processor don't take away the fact that if you are a heavy photo user then the S4 Zoom is worth a look, particularly thanks to that optical zoom. High quality cameras on Android are rarer than they really should be and until we get cameras of the calibre of the Nokia 1020 together with Google's OS, devices like the Zoom are likely to be as good as it gets.

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  8. Nicholas Fearn added a item in Android Reviews   

    Guest post: Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom mini-review




    It's fair to say that Samsung is probably the leading Android smartphone manufacturer today, managing to somehow one-up their competitors whenever they announce a new handset. The Galaxy S4 Zoom is a slightly different type of device - Samsung claim that it is part of their new initiative to create a single device that can fulfil the role of both an industry-leading smartphone and a high-end compact camera.

    Before I go diving into the review, let's quickly see what Samsung's S4 Zoom manages to pack inside its beast of a body:

    Dimensions: 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm
    Weight: 280g
    4.3" qHD AMOLED (960x540) display
    2330mAh battery
    16- megapixel CMOS sensor
    10x optical zoom
    1.9- megapixel front facing camera
    1.5GHz dual-core processor
    1.5GB of RAM
    8GB of internal memory
    WiFi 802. 11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz
    NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
    Hardware overview

    Just like many of Samsung's other devices, the S4 Zoom is constructed out of plastic, although I personally have no problem with this - it just gives the Zoom a lighter feel. If it were made from metal like the HTC One, then it would be even more bulky and cumbersome than it already is. It is still a very large device to hold and keep in a trouser pocket, so you may want to think about carrying it in a bag instead!





    Whilst I do find the S4 Zoom bulky, I actually think it's quite comfortable to hold in the hand, partly down to the raised area at the bottom of the device; and because it's rounded, it fits nicely into the palm of your hand. I'm also a fan of the way that you access the battery - you basically just pull open a flap that is located at the bottom of the Zoom, and then you'll be able to slide the battery out - this is also where the micro SIM is located. This is certainly a nod to it's camera cousins.





    Looking around the Zoom, you'll catch glimpse of the 3.5mm headphone jack and noise-cancelling mic at the top, the volume rocker, on/off/lock button, the camera shutter key at the right side, a lanyard cut-out and micro SD card slot on the left side along with the charger cut-out and battery door at the bottom. I'm a big fan of the glossy silver paint that has been used around the sides of the device.

    The feature that draws the most attention to the user has to be the Zoom's massive camera lens located at the back - it's huge! By just looking at the back, you'd think that the Zoom is just a basic compact camera, but when you look at the front, you'll notice that it's actually a bit of both - a smartphone and compact camera in one. I find the Galaxy Z4 Zoom is very reminiscent of Samsung's S4 Mini.

    The screen

    My first impressions of the Galaxy S4 Zoom were very good, until I caught glimpse of the display. Whilst the 4.3" size is large enough to surf the web in comfort, the 960x540 resolution is disappointing - I expected to see a better screen here! After all, this is supposed to be a device where you can take photos and images with its huge sensor and then be able to view and manipulate them on its display. I'm very disappointed with this, every image appears washed out and grainy. On the bright side, it's very responsive to touch.

    Software

    Despite currently being an iPhone user myself, I've always liked Android as well - it's just more flexible when compared to iOS - and Samsung's TouchWiz overlay has always been my favourite when compared to other user interfaces such as HTC's Sense.

    The S4 Zoom itself comes pre-loaded with Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, along with the latest version of TouchWiz thrown into the mix. I have no problem with Samsung's TouchWiz, although it is fair to say that it can lag at times, but there's no major issues with it in my eyes.

    I'm a huge fan of the Zoom's lockscreen - it's really colourful and funky, and it's easy to change it to a pattern or passcode security lock via the settings menu - which too has a great look to it!





    The whole user interface is basically just like any other that I've seen on an Android device, but with Samsung's own twist on it. I found it very easy to use whilst testing the Galaxy S4 Zoom, and I really like the fact that it's super easy to change the device's background by just long holding the screen until a small box comes up allowing you also to add folders and widgets to your homescreen.

    Camera

    You're obviously not going to buy the S4 Zoom for just being a phone, you're going to want to invest in it because you're into your photography and taking photos! It's hard to imagine why you would choose the zoom if you weren't particularly interested in the camera functionality.

    Overall, I'm very impressed with the picture and video quality. Colours always seem to look bold and vibrant - even photos and videos that you've taken in low light - plus you also get a lot of settings built-in to help you enhance your creations.

    As for the camera's interface, I found it very easy to use. I really like the fact that you can easily switch from image-capture to video-capture because you get the buttons for direct access instead of using a toggle of some sort. I wasn't that keen on the camera's zoom ring - but the 10x optical zoom is pretty awesome and certainly a novelty for a phone device.





    Phone calls and signal strength

    The dial pad and contact interfaces on the Zoom are both straightforward and the call quality is excellent! I did experience one dropped call, but that was likely down to me accidentally pressing the end button with my ear - I usually manage to do stupid stuff like that. ;)

    Performance

    When I first learned that the S4 Zoom only had a dual-core processor, I was shocked - expecting to see a quad-core version! Unfortunately, due to the fact that Samsung has decided to go down this route, I have to say that I sometimes find it very slow - and on some occasions, I felt like throwing the device out of my window! And to top my feeling of disappointment off, you only get 8GB of internal memory (although it is expandable via microSD). The battery life isn't great either.

    Conclusion

    At the end of the day, when all is taken into account, I actually quite like the S4 Zoom. The disappointing screen, underwhelming battery life and slower than expected processor don't take away the fact that if you are a heavy photo user then the S4 Zoom is worth a look, particularly thanks to that optical zoom. High quality cameras on Android are rarer than they really should be and until we get cameras of the calibre of the Nokia 1020 together with Google's OS, devices like the Zoom are likely to be as good as it gets.
    • 10 replies
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