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PaulOBrien

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Everything posted by PaulOBrien

  1. PaulOBrien

    The OnePlus 3 will be £329 from Monday

    Blame Brexit... or rather the currency instability that has resulted. The OnePlus 3, currently £309, will be priced at £329 from Monday 11th July - so if you want to buy OnePlus' latest and greatest, you best get in fast! But is the price increase fair? Announced in this post on the OnePlus forum, the announcement reads: A fair move or capitalising on big demand for the device and a volatile market? Looking at the charts, on the day of the EU referendum (23nd June 2016), the pound peaked at £1 = $1.50056, which was its highest point this year. Right now, the rate is £1 = $1.29556. That is a percentage drop of 13.66%. Applying that to the price of the OnePlus 3, we could be seeing an increase of £42.35. So maybe a £20 increase isn't so bad... head on over to the OnePlus store to buy. View full item
  2. Blame Brexit... or rather the currency instability that has resulted. The OnePlus 3, currently £309, will be priced at £329 from Monday 11th July - so if you want to buy OnePlus' latest and greatest, you best get in fast! But is the price increase fair? Announced in this post on the OnePlus forum, the announcement reads: A fair move or capitalising on big demand for the device and a volatile market? Looking at the charts, on the day of the EU referendum (23nd June 2016), the pound peaked at £1 = $1.50056, which was its highest point this year. Right now, the rate is £1 = $1.29556. That is a percentage drop of 13.66%. Applying that to the price of the OnePlus 3, we could be seeing an increase of £42.35. So maybe a £20 increase isn't so bad... head on over to the OnePlus store to buy.
  3. 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
  4. All Honor devices currently shipped with a locked bootloader. As long as manufacturers provide a way to unlock, then we're down with that - it helps keep your device secure and means that if you lose it, it's harder for people to steal your data (the process of unlocking the bootloader wipes the phone). There are two ways to unlock your Honor phones bootloader, which will then allow you to install things like custom recoveries, custom kernels / ROMs etc. The first is using the official Honor method, which is free, and the second is using a third party, which costs €4 Euros, but may be the quickest option if the official method isn't working for you. The official method In order to unlock your Honor device using the official method, complete the following steps: Visit https://www.emui.com/en/plugin.php?id=unlock&mod=detail and either create a new account or login with an existing Huawei account. In the form displayed after logging in, enter: Your phone model (NEM-L51 for the Honor 5C) Your phone serial number (this can be found in Settings -> About -> Status) Your phone IMEI1 (this can be found in Settings -> About -> Status) Your phone product ID (to find this, open the dialler and enter *#*#1357946#*#*) The captcha code Press the 'Submit' button. At this point you will either be provided with a code, or you will receive an error such as 'The Huawei ID used to apply for the unlock code has not been used on the device for more than 14 days.' If you get the error, you will need to use the unofficial method below. Open a command window on your PC / Mac, which needs to have 'adb' and 'fastboot' installed from the Android SDK. Enable USB debugging by tapping the build number in Settings -> About 5 times, then going back and selecting the option from the Development menu. Enable OEM unlock in the Development menu. Connect your phone to the PC and approve the security prompt on the device screen. In the command window on your PC / Mac, enter 'adb reboot bootloader' to enter fastboot mode'. In the command window on your PC / Mac, enter 'fastboot oem unlock [insertnumberhere]', of course using the number provided by the Huawei site. YOUR PHONE WILL WIPE ITSELF AT THIS POINT! That's it! You're done! The unofficial method In order to unlock your Honor device using the unofficial method, if for example you receive the '14 day' error from the Huwei site, complete the following steps: On a Windows PC, download and install DC-unlocker from https://www.dc-unlocker.com/. On your phone, enter Manufacturer Mode - open the dialler and enter *#*#2846579#*#*. In the app that then opens, select Project Menu -> Background settings -> USB ports settings -> Manufacturer Mode. Download the Huawei driver pack from https://files.dc-unlocker.com/share.html?v=share/88D4A98C154D4E19AF9D4A1EF09BA620. Install the Huawei driver pack by extracting the file you just downloaded (using WinRAR or similar) and running 'DriverSetup' After installing the driver pack, connect your phone to the PC. In Device Manager, after the automated driver install, you should have no 'Unknown Devices'. Launch the previously downloaded DC-unlocker application. From the drop down lists, select 'Huawei Phones' and 'Auto Detect Model'. Press the magnifying glass icon - the app will then search for your phone. You should see an image like the one below showing your phone is found. At this point, press the 'Buy Credits' option to set up your DC-Unlocker account and purchase the 4 credits required for code retrieval (this will cost €4). You can also do this directly from the DC-Unlocker website. After your credit purchase is complete, click the 'Server' section and enter your new DC-unlocker login details. Press 'Check Login' to validate the details (if the server is busy, this may take multiple attempts). Click the 'Unlocking' section, and click 'Read Bootloader Code'. Do NOT click 'Unlock'. Again, if the server is busy, this may take multiple attempts. The white area of the app will now display the bootloader code. Screen grab this just in case! Open a command window on your PC, which needs to have 'adb' and 'fastboot' installed from the Android SDK. Enable USB debugging by tapping the build number in Settings -> About 5 times, then going back and selecting the option from the Development menu. Enable OEM unlock in the Development menu. Connect your phone to the PC and approve the security prompt on the device screen. In the command window on your PC / Mac, enter 'adb reboot bootloader' to enter fastboot mode'. In the command window on your PC / Mac, enter 'fastboot oem unlock [insertnumberhere]', of course using the number provided by the DC-Unlocker process. YOUR PHONE WILL WIPE ITSELF AT THIS POINT! That's it! You're done!
  5. UK mobile phone operator Three is offering Beta access to its new, much improved, much needed, Android application. Deployed via the Google+ / Google Play Store Beta process, the application has been re-written from the ground up and includes a much improved design as well as a host of new features. To get involved, simply join the Three Beta Google+ community, then visit the Beta testing Play Store link to opt in and finally, download the new release. Remember to provide your feedback in the Google+ community to help shape and improve the product!
  6. PaulOBrien

    Visiting Africa with the Huawei P9

    MoDaCo team member Simon Lovejoy writes: The power of smart phone photography caught me by surprise really. After returning from a trip to New York I realised that almost all of my pictures were taken on my humble Moto G in glorious 5mp quality rather than the 14mp compact camera we took with us. The Moto was always right there when we needed it. So for a recent trip to Kenya and Zambia the question was what if we threw some more glory at the smart phone? Thanks to Huawei, I took the not even nearly humble Huawei P9 with its’ dual Leica lenses and 12mp sensors to find out. First let's get something out of the way: I don't really know what I'm doing with photography! I know a good picture when I see one, but I couldn't tell you how to make sure you'll get a good picture, or so I thought. Turns out it’s as easy as: take a P9 everywhere you go and snap everything you see. The law of large numbers takes care of the rest. It's then just a case of picking out the good ones. Things I loved The fingerprint sensor Wait, what? How does that help? While everyone else is waiting for the zoom on their camera to open or unlocking their phone like I used to, I've already taken selfies with 3 giraffes and videoed an elephant dancing. Or in the case of this Zebra, I didn’t want to stick around and get in his way but I couldn’t miss the opportunity of a picture this close! Monochrome mode There's something classy about a black and white picture and the dedicated monochrome lens on the P9 doesn't disappoint. These 2 shots from the Avani Hotel at Victoria Falls tell the story for me. OK, the colour one shows you what I saw, but the monochrome captures the mood and emotion. It's somehow less gaudy and it picks up so much light! This is definitely one of the features I'd love to spend more time exploring. Color Reproduction I can't tell you what exactly is working here, or doesn't work with other smartphones I've used, all I can say is that the pictures I see in my gallery look exactly as I remember them. The balance is correct, no blueish hue, not washed out, bang on every time. These 2 are examples. The clouds came over, but we still got the light balance and all the detail is still there. Both one handed shots too! Burst Shoot OK, so this is not exclusive to the P9, but the speed of capture made it really useful! There was an occasional delay where it didn't register that I'd held down the shutter button, but nothing serious. Being able to pick the best of a selection of shots is great, but also the fact that Google Photos automatically turns collections of burst shots into animated gifs makes bringing back the memories even easier Video Here I am feeding a giraffe at the giraffe center in Nairobi (I'm the shorter one with the jacket on). I love the quality, the stability even the sound capture. Once again the colour reproduction is great, worlds apart from the compact camera we took as a backup. Panorama Another pretty standard feature I guess, but again a really smooth experience and captures the moment very well. I really like that the UI shows you how far up or down you go from level as you go along. The stitching is excellent. Pro Mode I guess this is where the real photographers get very excited. I didn’t use it much, but it was great when I did to be able to change the film or shutter speed to lighten up a shot and pick out some detail or freeze some running water as below (1/40 on the left 1/125 on the right). In Pro Mode it gives you an onscreen level indicator which is really nice, it’s also really easy to tweak one setting and let the phone adjust all the rest to compensate. It reminded me of my old 35mm SLR. The Intangible There something about using this phone as a camera that made me enjoy taking pictures. I guess the combination of all that’s written above. But it meant I reached for it constantly and so ended up taking hundreds of shots, some of which I love and keep coming back to. Here are a few of my favourites: Normal Phone Stuff So I’m not a heavy user, but I found I could almost always get 2 days of normal use from a battery charge unless I was killing it with the camera. But even then I only had to resort to my external battery pack on a couple of extra heavy days. Once I’d installed Google Now Launcher, the UI is close enough to stock android not to annoy me constantly, although I would give almost anything for a normal notification shade... which just so happens to be coming (for the most part) in the EMUI 5 Nougat update. Excellent! Build quality is fantastic; it feels premium in the hand. Things I’d change Not much really! I would love for Huawei to provide a tripod accessory. Night mode is pretty useless without one I found. Though I did rig something up from my car vent mount to get this shot in Ireland. There were some times that I needed a zoom lens. I would love even a fixed zoom accessory (2x or 4x would probably be enough) then I wouldn’t feel the need for another camera at all probably. The new Mate 9 provides zoom, a bigger battery (but is also rather large)... maybe the best of all worlds? I’ll be sad to see this little P9 go back. It’s probably the best phone I’ve used for any real length of time. Am I converted to spending north of £300 on a phone? Heart says yes, Wallet says no... but if I was going to this is probably what I’d end up spending it on. Edit by Paul: Since Simon wrote this article, he has bought a P9. I think that says it all! Thanks again to Huawei for the loan of the device. View full item
  7. PaulOBrien

    Visiting Africa with the Huawei P9

    MoDaCo team member Simon Lovejoy writes: The power of smart phone photography caught me by surprise really. After returning from a trip to New York I realised that almost all of my pictures were taken on my humble Moto G in glorious 5mp quality rather than the 14mp compact camera we took with us. The Moto was always right there when we needed it. So for a recent trip to Kenya and Zambia the question was what if we threw some more glory at the smart phone? Thanks to Huawei, I took the not even nearly humble Huawei P9 with its’ dual Leica lenses and 12mp sensors to find out. First let's get something out of the way: I don't really know what I'm doing with photography! I know a good picture when I see one, but I couldn't tell you how to make sure you'll get a good picture, or so I thought. Turns out it’s as easy as: take a P9 everywhere you go and snap everything you see. The law of large numbers takes care of the rest. It's then just a case of picking out the good ones. Things I loved The fingerprint sensor Wait, what? How does that help? While everyone else is waiting for the zoom on their camera to open or unlocking their phone like I used to, I've already taken selfies with 3 giraffes and videoed an elephant dancing. Or in the case of this Zebra, I didn’t want to stick around and get in his way but I couldn’t miss the opportunity of a picture this close! Monochrome mode There's something classy about a black and white picture and the dedicated monochrome lens on the P9 doesn't disappoint. These 2 shots from the Avani Hotel at Victoria Falls tell the story for me. OK, the colour one shows you what I saw, but the monochrome captures the mood and emotion. It's somehow less gaudy and it picks up so much light! This is definitely one of the features I'd love to spend more time exploring. Color Reproduction I can't tell you what exactly is working here, or doesn't work with other smartphones I've used, all I can say is that the pictures I see in my gallery look exactly as I remember them. The balance is correct, no blueish hue, not washed out, bang on every time. These 2 are examples. The clouds came over, but we still got the light balance and all the detail is still there. Both one handed shots too! Burst Shoot OK, so this is not exclusive to the P9, but the speed of capture made it really useful! There was an occasional delay where it didn't register that I'd held down the shutter button, but nothing serious. Being able to pick the best of a selection of shots is great, but also the fact that Google Photos automatically turns collections of burst shots into animated gifs makes bringing back the memories even easier Video Here I am feeding a giraffe at the giraffe center in Nairobi (I'm the shorter one with the jacket on). I love the quality, the stability even the sound capture. Once again the colour reproduction is great, worlds apart from the compact camera we took as a backup. Panorama Another pretty standard feature I guess, but again a really smooth experience and captures the moment very well. I really like that the UI shows you how far up or down you go from level as you go along. The stitching is excellent. Pro Mode I guess this is where the real photographers get very excited. I didn’t use it much, but it was great when I did to be able to change the film or shutter speed to lighten up a shot and pick out some detail or freeze some running water as below (1/40 on the left 1/125 on the right). In Pro Mode it gives you an onscreen level indicator which is really nice, it’s also really easy to tweak one setting and let the phone adjust all the rest to compensate. It reminded me of my old 35mm SLR. The Intangible There something about using this phone as a camera that made me enjoy taking pictures. I guess the combination of all that’s written above. But it meant I reached for it constantly and so ended up taking hundreds of shots, some of which I love and keep coming back to. Here are a few of my favourites: Normal Phone Stuff So I’m not a heavy user, but I found I could almost always get 2 days of normal use from a battery charge unless I was killing it with the camera. But even then I only had to resort to my external battery pack on a couple of extra heavy days. Once I’d installed Google Now Launcher, the UI is close enough to stock android not to annoy me constantly, although I would give almost anything for a normal notification shade... which just so happens to be coming (for the most part) in the EMUI 5 Nougat update. Excellent! Build quality is fantastic; it feels premium in the hand. Things I’d change Not much really! I would love for Huawei to provide a tripod accessory. Night mode is pretty useless without one I found. Though I did rig something up from my car vent mount to get this shot in Ireland. There were some times that I needed a zoom lens. I would love even a fixed zoom accessory (2x or 4x would probably be enough) then I wouldn’t feel the need for another camera at all probably. The new Mate 9 provides zoom, a bigger battery (but is also rather large)... maybe the best of all worlds? I’ll be sad to see this little P9 go back. It’s probably the best phone I’ve used for any real length of time. Am I converted to spending north of £300 on a phone? Heart says yes, Wallet says no... but if I was going to this is probably what I’d end up spending it on. Edit by Paul: Since Simon wrote this article, he has bought a P9. I think that says it all! Thanks again to Huawei for the loan of the device.
  8. 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
  9. 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!
  10. Here's a deal! Right now you can get unlimited voice minutes, unlimited text messages and 4GB of 4G data for £9 a month, with a 12 month contract on Three's 'Essential' Plan. You can also pocket a £25 Amazon voucher when you sign up, which makes it effectively £6.92 a month. That's crazy cheap! Available by using this link to the Three website, it should be noted that the deal doesn't include feel at home use abroad, nor tethering. But as mentioned above, it does include 4G access. Frankly, for the price, it's unbelievable. This deal won't last for long, so sign up while you can! View full item
  11. Here's a deal! Right now you can get unlimited voice minutes, unlimited text messages and 4GB of 4G data for £9 a month, with a 12 month contract on Three's 'Essential' Plan. You can also pocket a £25 Amazon voucher when you sign up, which makes it effectively £6.92 a month. That's crazy cheap! Available by using this link to the Three website, it should be noted that the deal doesn't include feel at home use abroad, nor tethering. But as mentioned above, it does include 4G access. Frankly, for the price, it's unbelievable. This deal won't last for long, so sign up while you can!
  12. Honor is Huawei's mobile brand for 'digital natives'. If that's people like you and I, then it's people who want to be at the cutting edge, get the latest software first and also have a phone as the centre of their digital lives. Honestly, Huawei isn't known for being super-speedy with updates, so it's great to see Honor making a Marshmallow Beta available for Honor 7 owners. The Honor 7 Marshmallow release, which is being released to a limited number of testers after registering via an online form, is applied over-the-air. Remember that as Beta software there is no guarantee of quality, however you should be able to roll back to a production build if you desire. UK users, complete the form in this post in order to apply, if you are from elsewhere in the EU, the information you need is in this post, both posts are in our dedicated Honor forum area. Once you've received the update, remember to drop by and let us know how you get on!
  13. The Marshmallow release of TouchWiz (can we still call it that?) introduces a new settings option to enable 'Condensed Mode', which effectively increases the DPI of the device to get more information on screen, something that could previously only be achieved with root access. It's not entirely clear whether the feature is undergoing testing or whether it's not intended for public consumption (it works beautifully), but for some reason it can't be accessed via the regular settings menu. The quickest way to get to the option is to download a tool such as Density Menu from the Play Store and then use the launcher icon. We've tested the change on the Galaxy S7 Edge and it makes a huge difference to the device, with the 5.5" screen feeling much better utilised. Give it a go and let us know how you get on! View full item
  14. The Marshmallow release of TouchWiz (can we still call it that?) introduces a new settings option to enable 'Condensed Mode', which effectively increases the DPI of the device to get more information on screen, something that could previously only be achieved with root access. It's not entirely clear whether the feature is undergoing testing or whether it's not intended for public consumption (it works beautifully), but for some reason it can't be accessed via the regular settings menu. The quickest way to get to the option is to download a tool such as Density Menu from the Play Store and then use the launcher icon. We've tested the change on the Galaxy S7 Edge and it makes a huge difference to the device, with the 5.5" screen feeling much better utilised. Give it a go and let us know how you get on!
  15. After testing with a limited number of Play Store developers, Google have switched on Play Store comment reply functionality for all developers. The change is incredibly valuable - without this ability it has been impossible for developers to correct erroneous reviews or to provide extended support to a user experiencing problems. So, if you have an app in the Play Store, head on over to your Developer Console to start engaging with your users! :) [Via: Android-Developers] Click here to view the item
  16. After testing with a limited number of Play Store developers, Google have switched on Play Store comment reply functionality for all developers. The change is incredibly valuable - without this ability it has been impossible for developers to correct erroneous reviews or to provide extended support to a user experiencing problems. So, if you have an app in the Play Store, head on over to your Developer Console to start engaging with your users! :) [Via: Android-Developers]
  17. PaulOBrien

    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
  18. PaulOBrien

    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.
  19. PaulOBrien

    Amazfit Bip Review

    Smaller than a Steel I would say!
  20. 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
  21. 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?
  22. PaulOBrien

    The 'my first post' topic [merged]

    Looking for somewhere to make your first post? Want to just post something introducing yourself? This is the place :) P
  23. Welcome to part 2 of our new feature, 'Mastering Tasker'. In this series of articles, we'll take you through getting the most out of the powerful, versatile but also scary-to-newcomers Tasker application. Today - Setting your 'home zone' and we're going to introduce entry and exit tasks. If you are new to Tasker I recommend you work through the tutorials in order, part 1 is available in this post. What today's article covers Today we're going to talk about the location Context and how this allows you to configure Tasker to do specific things when you are home, work, or any other location you choose. We're also going to introduce entry and exit tasks. Creating a location based Profile First of all, let's create our location based Profile for home - you can then replicate this for any other places you'd like to use. Follow the steps below, which i've also captured in screenshots in case you get stuck. ;) To follow these you need to be at the main '3 tabs' screen. Press the green plus icon to create a new Profile. You're prompted for a name at this point - if you don't put one in, it will be automatically created for you. Let's use 'Home' for this example, then press the green tick to accept. Now you're prompted for your first Context - the Context we want to use is 'Location'. Select it and you'll be presented with a view of a map. You can zoom in and out using multitouch or the buttons.The button in the bottom right hand corner will move the map to your currently location. Below the map you'll see 2 buttons and a drop down. The 'Net' button toggles whether to use coarse (cell / wifi) location and the 'GPS' button toggles whether to use fine (GPS) location. I strongly recommend using only net location as using the GPS option will hammer your battery! The radius dropdown lets you choose the radius from the chosen point within which the profile will be active. Be careful you don't set this too low - since coarse location isn't super-accurate, you're best erring on the side of caution here, choosing a larger radius to start with and reducing it gradually until you hit a level you are happy with. To set your chosen location, long press on the map to place / move a little flag then press the green tick and give the location a name. [*]So we've told Tasker when we want our Task to trigger (the Context for the Profile), now we need to tell it what we want it to do. Select 'New Task'. [*]Again we are prompted for a name - which is optional and will be automatically populate if needed - let's leave it empty this time. [*]Here we can add in our Actions. We add them using the plus icon and save / cancel using the green tick / red cross. The 'Play' button in the bottom right allows us to test our Task. We can also give our Task an image / icon if we choose. Press the plus icon. [*]Let's think about things we might want our phone to do when we're at home. On my device I have a number of things from the internal actions and plugins, but for this part, we'll just use internal functions (plugins are coming up next!) As an example in this instance, let's have Tasker turn on WiFi. [*]The category that we want to use this time is 'Net' and then 'WiFi'. In the dialogue that pops up you can choose between Off / On / Toggle as appropriate, select 'On' then press the green tick. Press the green tick again to save the Task. [*]OK, we can now see that we have a 'Home' Profile with a location Context and a WiFi on Action. This is all good, but what happens when we're no longer at home? What will happen by default is that the WiFi state will return to whatever state it was in when the Profile was activated. This is OK, but what if, for whatever reason, WiFi was on when the profile was activated? What we really want is for WiFi to go off and we can accomplish this with an Exit Task. The action we've just create went into the Entry Task, as indicator by the green arrow. Let's create an Exit Task. [*]To create the Exit Task, press and hold on the Entry Task we've just created - the box with the green arrow and the 'WiFi On' text. A menu will pop up, the first item on which is 'Add Exit Task'. Press this! [*]From this point, we're just repeating the above again. Choose 'New Task', again leave the name empty, press the plus icon, choose 'Net' and then 'WiFi' but this time select 'Off' then press the green tick. After pressing the green tick to return to the main screen, you'll see we now have a section with a red arrow, this is the Exit Task section. That's it - we're done! If you've set the location to where you are now, you should see the profile activate immediately and the WiFi toggle take place accordingly. In the next part we're going to extend what happens in our 'Home Zone' with the use of third party plugins. Please post your feedback in the comments, together with any requests / ideas for future parts! View full item
  24. Welcome to part 2 of our new feature, 'Mastering Tasker'. In this series of articles, we'll take you through getting the most out of the powerful, versatile but also scary-to-newcomers Tasker application. Today - Setting your 'home zone' and we're going to introduce entry and exit tasks. If you are new to Tasker I recommend you work through the tutorials in order, part 1 is available in this post. What today's article covers Today we're going to talk about the location Context and how this allows you to configure Tasker to do specific things when you are home, work, or any other location you choose. We're also going to introduce entry and exit tasks. Creating a location based Profile First of all, let's create our location based Profile for home - you can then replicate this for any other places you'd like to use. Follow the steps below, which i've also captured in screenshots in case you get stuck. ;) To follow these you need to be at the main '3 tabs' screen. Press the green plus icon to create a new Profile. You're prompted for a name at this point - if you don't put one in, it will be automatically created for you. Let's use 'Home' for this example, then press the green tick to accept. Now you're prompted for your first Context - the Context we want to use is 'Location'. Select it and you'll be presented with a view of a map. You can zoom in and out using multitouch or the buttons.The button in the bottom right hand corner will move the map to your currently location. Below the map you'll see 2 buttons and a drop down. The 'Net' button toggles whether to use coarse (cell / wifi) location and the 'GPS' button toggles whether to use fine (GPS) location. I strongly recommend using only net location as using the GPS option will hammer your battery! The radius dropdown lets you choose the radius from the chosen point within which the profile will be active. Be careful you don't set this too low - since coarse location isn't super-accurate, you're best erring on the side of caution here, choosing a larger radius to start with and reducing it gradually until you hit a level you are happy with. To set your chosen location, long press on the map to place / move a little flag then press the green tick and give the location a name. [*]So we've told Tasker when we want our Task to trigger (the Context for the Profile), now we need to tell it what we want it to do. Select 'New Task'. [*]Again we are prompted for a name - which is optional and will be automatically populate if needed - let's leave it empty this time. [*]Here we can add in our Actions. We add them using the plus icon and save / cancel using the green tick / red cross. The 'Play' button in the bottom right allows us to test our Task. We can also give our Task an image / icon if we choose. Press the plus icon. [*]Let's think about things we might want our phone to do when we're at home. On my device I have a number of things from the internal actions and plugins, but for this part, we'll just use internal functions (plugins are coming up next!) As an example in this instance, let's have Tasker turn on WiFi. [*]The category that we want to use this time is 'Net' and then 'WiFi'. In the dialogue that pops up you can choose between Off / On / Toggle as appropriate, select 'On' then press the green tick. Press the green tick again to save the Task. [*]OK, we can now see that we have a 'Home' Profile with a location Context and a WiFi on Action. This is all good, but what happens when we're no longer at home? What will happen by default is that the WiFi state will return to whatever state it was in when the Profile was activated. This is OK, but what if, for whatever reason, WiFi was on when the profile was activated? What we really want is for WiFi to go off and we can accomplish this with an Exit Task. The action we've just create went into the Entry Task, as indicator by the green arrow. Let's create an Exit Task. [*]To create the Exit Task, press and hold on the Entry Task we've just created - the box with the green arrow and the 'WiFi On' text. A menu will pop up, the first item on which is 'Add Exit Task'. Press this! [*]From this point, we're just repeating the above again. Choose 'New Task', again leave the name empty, press the plus icon, choose 'Net' and then 'WiFi' but this time select 'Off' then press the green tick. After pressing the green tick to return to the main screen, you'll see we now have a section with a red arrow, this is the Exit Task section. That's it - we're done! If you've set the location to where you are now, you should see the profile activate immediately and the WiFi toggle take place accordingly. In the next part we're going to extend what happens in our 'Home Zone' with the use of third party plugins. Please post your feedback in the comments, together with any requests / ideas for future parts!
  25. Hi Folks! As you know I recently got my hands on an Acer Gallant Duo, which i've duly rooted... this post contains my root solution and the various tools i've accrued along the way. First things first - as well as rooting using my method, the root exploit found by Bin4ryDigit also works at the time of writing. With that said... here's my findings! The MTK6765 chipset The Gallant Duo (and Solo) use the MTK6575 chipset, which is also widely used in 'Chinese devices', meaning that a lot of hacking tools are already out there. The most useful one is the official MTK flashing tool. This is only available on Windows, but allows both the backing up and flashing of images directly from the device bootloader! In order to facilitate this, a file called a 'scatter file' is used. This is basically a text file containing addresses for the various partitions on the flash, so that the tool knows where to write them. The Gallant devices don't use any of the existing MTK6575 scatter files out there, so i've created one for the device which is included in the download below. With this, we can flash custom ROMs, recoveries, boot images, logo binaries etc. with no problem. And create backups before we do. ;) Possible root attack vectors Aside from Bin4ryDigit's root method and the one I am using (flashing a SuperRecovery using the MTK tool), there are a couple of other potential 'ways in', but they are best kept under wraps for the time being. Interestingly, the stock recovery on the Gallant devices has backup and restore options, which back up the data partition to a single file on the SD card. This is useful (not just for obvious reasons), but also because this allowed me to poke around the data partition of the device even before I had root. For reference, the backup files are gzipped tar images with a 512 byte signature on the front. If you cut the first 512 bytes off, you can extract it with no issues. SuperRecovery For the initial root for the Gallant, I wanted to create a solution which gave root without compromising the ability to provide over the air updates in the future. With this in mind I'm overwriting only the stock recovery, but i'm overwriting it with a version which is still fully compatible with the original. It is the stock recovery but with ADB access and a script that runs on startup to root the device. We will likely have a clockworkmod recovery very soon for users that want to play around with the device more (custom ROMs and the like). To install, you need to use the MTK flasher and my scatter file to install the custom recovery. After installation, launching the recovery just once will root the device. Using SuperRecovery - step by step Follow this simple guide to using SuperRecovery and rooting your device (Windows PC required!) Download the tools pack linked below and extract to a directory on your PC. Take the back off your device and pull the battery. Run device manager on your PC. Plug the device into your PC via the USB cable and you will see an 'unknown device' briefly appear in Device Manager. Right click this device and select 'update driver', specifying the location where you just extracted the tools zip (specifically, the driver folder for your chosen OS). With the driver installed, you're ready to run the flashing tool. From the 'Flash Tool' directory run 'Flash_tool.exe'. Unplug your device at this point. The 'Download Agent' field is automatically populated. You need to click the 'Scatter-loading' button and select the 'MT6575_android_scatter_emmc.duo.modaco.txt' file from the 'Scatter directory'. Next you need to tell the application which part you want to flash. Click the 'RECOVERY' line and select the 'recovery.superboot.duo.img' file from the 'Images' directory. That's it! Don't click any other options. Note that flashing is DANGEROUS, and you do so entirely at your own risk. If you're ready to go, press 'Download'. Do NOT click any other buttons! Now, with your device off, plug it back in via USB. You will first see a red bar, then a yellow progress bar, then a green success box as shown below. When the flash is complete, turn your device on with 'volume up' held. This will launch recovery. When the recovery screen loads, press the volume up key to show the menu and select the reboot option. Your device is now rooted! click the images to enlarge [lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/duoflash1.png][/lightbox] [lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/duoflash2.png][/lightbox] [lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/duoflash3.png][/lightbox] [lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/duoflash4.png][/lightbox] [lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/duoflash5.png][/lightbox] Editing boot / recovery / logo images The Gallant images are not a format we are used to, however scripts for unpacking and repacking have been created by bgcngm and are available to download on GitHub. I used these to create the SuperRecovery and they work great. :) The download All the files you need can be downloaded here! r1 - DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) - MD5: 9c604f9cb7f800ca1145635d92afd087 Any questions Any questions or feedback on the above? Post below! :)
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