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PaulOBrien

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Everything posted by PaulOBrien

  1. Hi, I am working through them, you will receive an email confirmation when this is done. P
  2. 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
  3. 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!
  4. It's a little known fact that Huawei / Honor devices with Kirin processors support Quick Charge. Not Qualcomm Quick Charge you understand, but a Kirin specific variant. This means a specific charger is required, something that has always been incredibly hard to find. Happily, they are now available to purchase via eBay. Spotted by our very own Simon, the chargers will set you back £9.99 from this Ebay auction, which includes postage. You can also pay an extra £2 and get an official Huawei USB A to Type C cable. This is the first time the UK 3 Pin version has been widely available, with stock having been limited to EU or US configurations before now. When using the adaptor on a supported device (note, only Kirin devices, the Snapdragon powered 5X isn't supported), your phone will be pulling 9V / 2A and will gain a considerable turn of charging speed. You'll also see 'Fast Charging' on the screen so you know everything is working. If you pick one up, let us know how you find it! Now... if only there was a Kirin Quick Charge battery bank... View full item
  5. It's a little known fact that Huawei / Honor devices with Kirin processors support Quick Charge. Not Qualcomm Quick Charge you understand, but a Kirin specific variant. This means a specific charger is required, something that has always been incredibly hard to find. Happily, they are now available to purchase via eBay. Spotted by our very own Simon, the chargers will set you back £9.99 from this Ebay auction, which includes postage. You can also pay an extra £2 and get an official Huawei USB A to Type C cable. This is the first time the UK 3 Pin version has been widely available, with stock having been limited to EU or US configurations before now. When using the adaptor on a supported device (note, only Kirin devices, the Snapdragon powered 5X isn't supported), your phone will be pulling 9V / 2A and will gain a considerable turn of charging speed. You'll also see 'Fast Charging' on the screen so you know everything is working. If you pick one up, let us know how you find it! Now... if only there was a Kirin Quick Charge battery bank...
  6. A quick update on a few bits. I've been liaising with Invision following the breach as, while it's obviously a bit late for me to be able to do anything, I can hopefully help prevent the same thing happening at another property running the same platform. Re: bcrypt and Md5, the unfortunate upshot is that the system is indeed converting on login, so older user passwords remain in salted MD5 hashes. I can understand this from the perspective of both performance, changing the hash format is slow, and the fact that there is no store of the password itself, you would only be able to bcrypt the hash (but think that would work?). I've asked Invision to provide their users with a script to manually make this happen. In addition, there are a couple of other things that would be a good idea. The most obvious is 2 factor auth for admin accounts, but the function used to dump and steal the data in the admin panel also really doesn't need to be there. There should be a way to remove it completely. Again, I've fed this back and I think Invision have a duty to their paying customers to provide these changes. Thanks again for your understanding and be assured I am doing my absolute best to deal with the situation as effectively as possible. P
  7. Noted, I am verifying the best way to do this! P
  8. An additional point to note is that I've asked Invision for 2 factor on admin accounts previously, I'll be reiterating the need for this. P
  9. Thanks Kushan, that's useful information, I'm continuing to liase with Invision for the full details (and I'm going to check out the code also). They have confirmed that, of course, they don't store passwords themselves at all and just the hashes, as you'd expect, I'm just awaiting confirmation on the upgrade process etc. Should the conversion to bcrypt only be happening at login, I will certainly suggest that for the benefit of their other clients if nothing else, they should offer an option to manually convert! P
  10. I've been in contact with Invision who referred to Blowfish, and I also noted they mentioned it in this post - https://invisionpower.com/news/8747-40-login-handlers/ - as a replacement for the 'insecure' MD5. I have asked them to clarify. P
  11. Statement: http://www.modaco.com/news/android/modaco-data-breach-full-statement-r1664/ P
  12. Earlier today a number of users contacted us to inform us that data breach tracking site, haveibeenpwned.com, is notifying users of a data breach of the MoDaCo database. After initial investigations, we have determined that this report is correct - a dump of the MoDaCo database has been extracted by an unauthorised entity. First of all - we are of course very disappointed that this has happened, the security of your data is very important to us - I appreciate we've let you down in this regard but hope we can allay some concerns and do our best to rebuild your confidence starting now. MoDaCo runs on a market leading CMS, is regularly updated and runs on a server which too receives regular updates and security scans. We chose the CMS we use because it receives frequent security fixes and most importantly, stores passwords in a very secure Blowfish based form. In that regard, we think that passwords are well protected against unauthorised use, however a small amount of additional data (such as username and email address) are also included in the dump. We have determined that the breach is likely to have occurred by way of a compromised Administrator account. We have taken action to prevent this vector being accessible in this way in the future, for us it is a lesson learned, albeit in a very difficult way to stomach. We are also liaising with the CMS provider to determine additional ways to mitigate similar attacks going forward. Finally, should any users wish their data to be removed from MoDaCo, of course we will arrange for that to be completed. Should this be the case, please complete the 'Contact Us' form using the link at the bottom of every MoDaCo page. This will raise a support ticket to be actioned by the admin team. Once again, I offer my sincere apologies and ask for your understanding in this matter. Cheers, Paul Note: This message is also being sent immediately by email to all users. View full item
  13. Earlier today a number of users contacted us to inform us that data breach tracking site, haveibeenpwned.com, is notifying users of a data breach of the MoDaCo database. After initial investigations, we have determined that this report is correct - a dump of the MoDaCo database has been extracted by an unauthorised entity. First of all - we are of course very disappointed that this has happened, the security of your data is very important to us - I appreciate we've let you down in this regard but hope we can allay some concerns and do our best to rebuild your confidence starting now. MoDaCo runs on a market leading CMS, is regularly updated and runs on a server which too receives regular updates and security scans. We chose the CMS we use because it receives frequent security fixes and most importantly, stores passwords in a very secure Blowfish based form. In that regard, we think that passwords are well protected against unauthorised use, however a small amount of additional data (such as username and email address) are also included in the dump. We have determined that the breach is likely to have occurred by way of a compromised Administrator account. We have taken action to prevent this vector being accessible in this way in the future, for us it is a lesson learned, albeit in a very difficult way to stomach. We are also liaising with the CMS provider to determine additional ways to mitigate similar attacks going forward. Finally, should any users wish their data to be removed from MoDaCo, of course we will arrange for that to be completed. Should this be the case, please complete the 'Contact Us' form using the link at the bottom of every MoDaCo page. This will raise a support ticket to be actioned by the admin team. Once again, I offer my sincere apologies and ask for your understanding in this matter. Cheers, Paul Note: This message is also being sent immediately by email to all users.
  14. I would also like to add that obviously, for anyone who wants to remove their data from the site, we will of course facilitate this, details will also be in the statement later. The security of your data is of utmost importance to us - I appreciate we've let you down in this regard but hope we can allay some concerns and do our best to rebuild your confidence starting with our statement. P
  15. Good afternoon all. I am preparing an official statement on this and will be posting it later today after we have completed some investigations. I would like to assure everyone that passwords are held in a strongly encrypted form however. P
  16. Introduction If you're looking to buy a phone for under £150, or even under £200, you're entering something of a minefield. While there are established players in the space such as Lenovo / Motorola with the Moto G and entry level devices from a number of other manufacturers, there are also a huge number of devices from lesser known names in the UK as well as China including, of course, Xiaomi. When buying at the high end, it's easy to be put off importing a device due to the potential risk with warranty hassle etc., but when the outlay is a lot less, the temptation to try something a little bit different increases. The Redmi range from Xiaomi represents their entry level products. When we originally checked out the Redmi 3 we loved the size, build, finish, epic battery and - to a degree - MIUI, but also missed high end features such as larger RAM and storage and a fingerprint reader. With this in mind, we were particularly interested when Xiaomi announced the 'Pro' variant, which takes everything that is good from the original and bumps the RAM to 3GB, storage to 32GB and adds a fingerprint reader on the back. Best of all? The price is barely affected. At first glance then this looks like a winning recipe, but does that prove to be the case in practice? Gearbest kindly send us a device so that we could find out. Hardware First things first, let's be clear and say that you will absolutely struggle to top the Redmi 3 Pro's specs at the sub £120 pricepoint. Specs include... MIUI 8 with Global stable and developer ROM support Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 CPU (1.5GHz / 1.3GHz) Adreno 405 GPU 4G FDD-LTE on 1800/2100/2600MHz bands Dual SIM support (hybrid slot with microSD expansion) 3GB RAM 32GB ROM 5 Megapixel front camera, f/2.0 13 Megapixel rear camera with PDAF, f/2.0 Dual band Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.1 IR transmitter Light sensor, G-sensor, Proximity sensor, E-compass, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS Notification LED Fingerprint reader 4100mAh battery 13.93 x 6.96 x 0.85 cm 144g microUSB charging Pretty impressive eh? If you were to nit-pick, the main omissions would probably be Gorilla Glass screen protection, 800MHz 4G (used by Vodafone / O2 and fill-in by Three), NFC and perhaps USB C. At this level though, these are very competitive specs with some added treats too (I'm particularly pleased to see dual band Wi-Fi). Like the original Redmi 3, the Pro has a metal back, although this time there's no 'gold diamond' patterened version available. Construction is extremely solid. I tested the white / silver version, which would probably be my preference. The device, as is traditional on Xiaomis, has recent / home / back keys on the front in the Samsung-alike order which isn't my preference, but for regular users it is fine. Software The Redmi 3 Pro runs MIUI 8, the latest version of Xiaomis OS. A number of software builds can be flashed to the device without unlocking the bootloader - China Stable / Developer and Global Stable / Developer. You'll want to use the Global version, which comes with Play Store preinstalled. In my experience there's no reason not to use the developer version, it's is perfectly stable and comes with the added excitement of weekly updates! Worth noting is that at this time, the Redmi 3 version of MIUI 8 is still based on Lollipop. The reality is that MIUI is skinned to such a degree that the underlying OS is almost irrelevant, but it is worth bearing in mind. So what of MIUI 8 itself? It's flatter, better looking and slicker than all the versions that have gone before, but if you are a stock Android fan, this is not the droid you are looking for. Much like EMUI on Honor or Huawei devices, the OS actually adds a whole host of useful functions not found in base Android, albeit at the expensive of that 'AOSP feel' and with the caveat that the sheer number of additions and changes can sometimes feel overwhelming. Personally, I'd love to see Xiaomi (and others) offer 'stock Android' software versions, but once you get used to a manufacturer skin, they are generally good enough nowadays that you won't feel short changed. In use If you're coming to the Redmi Pro 3 from a bigger device (and let's be honest, there's a decent chance of that), then the phone feels surprisingly *right* in the hand. Build quality is exceptional, all the buttons fall to hand naturally and the fingerprint reader is in a perfect spot - on the back is my favourite place for it. With one of Xiaomi's now trademark high density batteries on board (4100mAh this time round), the device feels reassuringly weighty and, well, dense. It's hard to describe, but the weight alone almost makes the phone feel more expensive than it is! You'd hope that a big battery would equal epic battery life although that isn't always the case. Here... it is. One of the MIUI advantages is comprehensive battery management and the Redmi 3 Pro outlast pretty much everything we've ever used. Whether you are using 1 SIM card or 2 seems to make minimal difference too - if you need a phone that lasts and lasts (and isn't too big), you'll be very satisfied. As the device boots for the first time you get your first look at the 1280x720, 294 PPI 5" screen. Of course, it's an IPS LCD, with excellent viewing angles. The screen goes both extremely bright and incredibly dim - it's a very good panel. If you're concerned by the fact it's 720, don't be - at this price it's absolutely fine and brings some benefits. The Snapdragon 616 in the phone is somewhat maligned amongst reviewers, but in truth at this resolution it is very snappy - certainly comparing well with the Snapdragon 4xx series of MediaTek CPUs found in most of the device's competitors. Connectivity in the phone is comprehensive, with the exception of the aforementioned missing 800MHz 4G and NFC. The Dual Band Wi-Fi is fast, the IR blaster is a nice addition and I'm pleased to see a FM radio included. The microUSB connector on the bottom of the device supports USB OTG, should the 32GB storage and microSD expansion not cut it! The camera is typically a weak point on cheaper devices. The 13 Megapixel camera on the Redmi 3 Pro uses hybrid autofocus with phase detection for lightning quick focus times together with a single LED flash. Like many Chinese phones, the camera app itself is positively crammed with features, although we're disappointed once again to see no auto HDR mode. It's very cliche to say 'the phone's camera is great in good light but weaker in low light', but it holds true here. Manually activated, HDR is better than we've seen on many devices. The front facing 5 Megapixel camera is fine but not exceptional, again offering lots of modes such as beauty shots and live filters. For social media selfies? Absolutely fine. 1080P video recording is available and quality is surprisingly good! The device's single speaker is loud and clear - quality is as good as you can reasonably expect from a single bottom firing unit. Importing pros and cons Looking to import a device from China for the first time? Check out our handy guide on how to make the process as smooth as possible. Conclusion The Redmi 3 Pro does exactly what it needs to - it's a sensible refinement of the original with a minimal price increase. The phone originally felt like an entry level product, it's not absolutely knocking on the mid tier. Can you live with MIUI 8? Are NFC and Band 3 LTE unimportant to you? Do you want epic battery life and a solid performer everywhere else? Then the Redmi 3 Pro may well be the phone for you. Where to buy The Redmi 3 Pro is available to buy from Gearbest. View full item
  17. Introduction If you're looking to buy a phone for under £150, or even under £200, you're entering something of a minefield. While there are established players in the space such as Lenovo / Motorola with the Moto G and entry level devices from a number of other manufacturers, there are also a huge number of devices from lesser known names in the UK as well as China including, of course, Xiaomi. When buying at the high end, it's easy to be put off importing a device due to the potential risk with warranty hassle etc., but when the outlay is a lot less, the temptation to try something a little bit different increases. The Redmi range from Xiaomi represents their entry level products. When we originally checked out the Redmi 3 we loved the size, build, finish, epic battery and - to a degree - MIUI, but also missed high end features such as larger RAM and storage and a fingerprint reader. With this in mind, we were particularly interested when Xiaomi announced the 'Pro' variant, which takes everything that is good from the original and bumps the RAM to 3GB, storage to 32GB and adds a fingerprint reader on the back. Best of all? The price is barely affected. At first glance then this looks like a winning recipe, but does that prove to be the case in practice? Gearbest kindly send us a device so that we could find out. Hardware First things first, let's be clear and say that you will absolutely struggle to top the Redmi 3 Pro's specs at the sub £120 pricepoint. Specs include... MIUI 8 with Global stable and developer ROM support Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 CPU (1.5GHz / 1.3GHz) Adreno 405 GPU 4G FDD-LTE on 1800/2100/2600MHz bands Dual SIM support (hybrid slot with microSD expansion) 3GB RAM 32GB ROM 5 Megapixel front camera, f/2.0 13 Megapixel rear camera with PDAF, f/2.0 Dual band Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.1 IR transmitter Light sensor, G-sensor, Proximity sensor, E-compass, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS Notification LED Fingerprint reader 4100mAh battery 13.93 x 6.96 x 0.85 cm 144g microUSB charging Pretty impressive eh? If you were to nit-pick, the main omissions would probably be Gorilla Glass screen protection, 800MHz 4G (used by Vodafone / O2 and fill-in by Three), NFC and perhaps USB C. At this level though, these are very competitive specs with some added treats too (I'm particularly pleased to see dual band Wi-Fi). Like the original Redmi 3, the Pro has a metal back, although this time there's no 'gold diamond' patterened version available. Construction is extremely solid. I tested the white / silver version, which would probably be my preference. The device, as is traditional on Xiaomis, has recent / home / back keys on the front in the Samsung-alike order which isn't my preference, but for regular users it is fine. Software The Redmi 3 Pro runs MIUI 8, the latest version of Xiaomis OS. A number of software builds can be flashed to the device without unlocking the bootloader - China Stable / Developer and Global Stable / Developer. You'll want to use the Global version, which comes with Play Store preinstalled. In my experience there's no reason not to use the developer version, it's is perfectly stable and comes with the added excitement of weekly updates! Worth noting is that at this time, the Redmi 3 version of MIUI 8 is still based on Lollipop. The reality is that MIUI is skinned to such a degree that the underlying OS is almost irrelevant, but it is worth bearing in mind. So what of MIUI 8 itself? It's flatter, better looking and slicker than all the versions that have gone before, but if you are a stock Android fan, this is not the droid you are looking for. Much like EMUI on Honor or Huawei devices, the OS actually adds a whole host of useful functions not found in base Android, albeit at the expensive of that 'AOSP feel' and with the caveat that the sheer number of additions and changes can sometimes feel overwhelming. Personally, I'd love to see Xiaomi (and others) offer 'stock Android' software versions, but once you get used to a manufacturer skin, they are generally good enough nowadays that you won't feel short changed. In use If you're coming to the Redmi Pro 3 from a bigger device (and let's be honest, there's a decent chance of that), then the phone feels surprisingly *right* in the hand. Build quality is exceptional, all the buttons fall to hand naturally and the fingerprint reader is in a perfect spot - on the back is my favourite place for it. With one of Xiaomi's now trademark high density batteries on board (4100mAh this time round), the device feels reassuringly weighty and, well, dense. It's hard to describe, but the weight alone almost makes the phone feel more expensive than it is! You'd hope that a big battery would equal epic battery life although that isn't always the case. Here... it is. One of the MIUI advantages is comprehensive battery management and the Redmi 3 Pro outlasts pretty much everything we've ever used. Whether you are using 1 SIM card or 2 seems to make minimal difference too - if you need a phone that lasts and lasts (and isn't too big), you'll be very satisfied. As the device boots for the first time you get your first look at the 1280x720, 294 PPI 5" screen. Of course, it's an IPS LCD, with excellent viewing angles. The screen goes both extremely bright and incredibly dim - it's a very good panel. If you're concerned by the fact it's 720P, don't be - at this price it's absolutely fine and brings some benefits. The Snapdragon 616 in the phone is somewhat maligned amongst reviewers, but in truth at this resolution it is very snappy - certainly comparing well with the Snapdragon 4xx series or MediaTek CPUs found in most of the device's competitors. Connectivity in the phone is comprehensive, with the exception of the aforementioned missing 800MHz 4G and NFC. The Dual Band Wi-Fi is fast, the IR blaster is a nice addition and I'm pleased to see a FM radio included. The microUSB connector on the bottom of the device supports USB OTG, should the 32GB storage and microSD expansion not cut it! The camera is typically a weak point on cheaper devices. The 13 Megapixel camera on the Redmi 3 Pro uses hybrid autofocus with phase detection for lightning quick focus times together with a single LED flash. Like many Chinese phones, the camera app itself is positively crammed with features, although we're disappointed once again to see no auto HDR mode. It's very cliche to say 'the phone's camera is great in good light but weaker in low light', but it holds true here. Manually activated, HDR is better than we've seen on many devices. The front facing 5 Megapixel camera is fine but not exceptional, again offering lots of modes such as beauty shots and live filters. For social media selfies? Absolutely fine. 1080P video recording is available and quality is surprisingly good! The device's single speaker is loud and clear - quality is as good as you can reasonably expect from a single bottom firing unit. Importing pros and cons Looking to import a device from China for the first time? Check out our handy guide on how to make the process as smooth as possible. Conclusion The Redmi 3 Pro does exactly what it needs to - it's a sensible refinement of the original with a minimal price increase. The phone originally felt like an entry level product, it's now absolutely knocking on the mid tier. Can you live with MIUI 8? Are NFC and Band 3 LTE unimportant to you? Do you want epic battery life and a solid performer everywhere else? Then the Redmi 3 Pro may well be the phone for you. Where to buy The Redmi 3 Pro is available to buy from Gearbest.
  18. I'm starting this post as a reference for current software versions and links where appropriate for Honor devices from 4X onwards. All devices are Marshmallow currently. Build numbers (dload or TWRP links to follow): 4X: B506 5C: B102 5X: B340 6: B860 6 Plus: B571 7: B371 8: B101 If you spot any newer updates than are listed here, reply to this topic! P
  19. When the Honor 5C launched recently, we liaised with Honor UK to ensure that enthusiasts resources would be available immediately on announcement and today, I am pleased to confirm we have done the same with the Honor 8 (FRD-L09). Immediately in the Honor forum, you can access the stock shipping ROM, a fully working TWRP build including decryption (which will be officially supported very soon), the stock ROM template for TWRP, stock Android and EMUI style MoDaCo custom ROMS and guides on how to bootloader and SIM unlock your Honor 8 (we have worked with dc-unlocker to ensure the Honor 8 is fully supported and also virtually unbrickable). A full, tested kernel source repository will be online very soon complete with kernel build instructions. Once again this demonstrates Honor's commitment to enthusiasts, which is great news for all of us. We'll be keeping the resources up to date as the device comes to market and receives updates, but in the meantime, head on over to our Honor 8 forum and have a look around! View full item
  20. Honor have today announced their new flagship device for the UK, the £369.99 Honor 8. Previously announced for the US and China, the UK gets the 4GB / 32GB model, complete with a hybrid slot which means you can either add a microSD card or a second SIM card. The device has a lot in common with the acclaimed Huawei P9, retaining the same dual 12 Megapixel cameras, one of which is colour and the other is monochrome. Due to the lack of Leica co-branding, the device makes do with the 'regular' Huawei range camera app and eschews the native monochrome mode (although it seems likely this can be added back, indeed the Leica app can be flashed and works fine on the Honor 8, albeit still without the monochrome option). An 8 Megapixel camera is on the front of the device. At the heart of the Honor 8 ticks the Kirin 950 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, slightly slower than the 2.5GHz in the P9 but in reality, indistinguishable to the user. With the ample 4GB RAM on board, it's no surprise that this thing is fast. We've been using it for a few weeks now and it's ultra smooth. The device has a metal frame but features glass on both the front and the back. The look and feel of the device is frankly stunning, particularly in the 'Sapphire Blue' colour ('Pearl White' and 'Midnight Black' are also avaiable). As is common on Huawei devices, the fingerprint reader is on the back (and responds as quickly as 0.4 seconds), but this time it also doubles up as a physically clickable button, replacing the smart key on the side of the device's predecessor, the Honor 7. Thanks to the glass, there are no unsightly antenna bands to ruin the look of the device and reception (both cellular and from the dual band wifi) is excellent. NFC support is included this time round which means working Android Pay, a must for a high end device in 2016. Despite the proliferation of 5.5" and bigger devices now, 5.2" is probably the real sweet spot, which is where the Honor 8 sits. The LTPS panel has a 1920x1080 FHD resolution, but unless you are big into VR applications you won't be left wanting, it's a great display, protected with 2.5D glass all round. USB Type C is now well and truly upon us and the 8 is the first UK Honor device to feature the new connector, complete with support for HiSilicon 9V 2A fast charging, although this is not cross compatible with Qualcomm QuickCharge. A 3.5mm connector is still included for headphones of course. A 3000mAh battery looks set to provide the excellent battery life we've come to expect from Honor devices. On the software front, the Honor 8 runs Android Marshmallow with Honor's love-it or hate-it Emotion UI (EMUI). The good news is that with every device release, the skin is slimmed down and that too is the case on the 8. In addition, with so many Google apps being available on the Play Store now, it's much less of an issue than it used to be. MoDaCo will be providing today shipping ROM images for the device, full TWRP support, EMUI and Stock Style custom ROMs as well as guides on making the device appear stock Android and details on how to bootloader and SIM unlock the device if required. As with previous devices, the Honor 8 is very accessible to the keen modder. The Honor 8 will be available from August 24 on Honor’s vMall for £369.99, including an anniversary package worth £69.99 (while stocks last, contents to be confirmed). On Amazon in Europe, the Honor 8 will be bundled with an Amazon Fire TV Stick free of charge (while stocks last), however we understand this won't extend to the UK. Selected online retailers like Clove, Ebuyer and Expansys will also stock the Honor 8 Sim-free along with it being available on contract exclusively at 3 in the next coming weeks. View full item
  21. So the Honor 8 is upon us and once again, the Huawei sub-brand has delivered a device which is incredibly desirable at an affordable price. Although the phone succeeds the Honor 7, the price has increased this time round to £370, perhaps partly indicative of the currency challenges of Brexit, but certainly a symptom of the elevation of the Honor flagship from wannabe premium to legitimate competitor to the likes of the Galaxy S7. Why would you pay more when you can pick up the Honor 8, the OnePlus 3, the Xiaomi Mi5 or a number of other alternate-brand flagships for under £400? It's a good question and no doubt something Samsung, HTC, Lenovo and co will be considering very seriously. Honor are also famously keen to chop prices in promotional offers (and indeed there's £70 of goodies included in the Honor 8 launch bundle), so the fight is even more aggressive than it first appears. The Honor 4X, 5C, 5X, 6, 6 Plus and 7 have all been updated to Marshmallow in a relatively timely manner and EMUI is definitely heading in the right direction, meaning that updates are in many cases being more forthcoming than those of more 'premium brands'. With the added community engagement of Honor and a growing base of resources for those of us who like to hack or tweak our devices, the reasons for not choosing the Chinese brand are coming down fast. Personally, I'm more than happy to use a Honor as my main device (indeed, I've been using a V8 that I personally imported from China and I'll likely switch full time to the 8 now), so if I can, there aren't a whole lot of reasons for anyone else to hold off. Water resistance? Absolute camera performance? The Galaxy S7 probably has that covered. But it's a whole lot of price premium to get those additional features. I am extremely interested to see how the Honor 8 does in the market over the coming months, particularly through the network deal with Three, and particularly given how well the P9 was received (remember, the Honor 8 bumps the RAM from 3GB to 4GB and the Sapphire Blue model big-time dials up the sexy). What are your thoughts?
  22. So the Honor 8 is upon us and once again, the Huawei sub-brand has delivered a device which is incredibly desirable at an affordable price. Although the phone succeeds the Honor 7, the price has increased this time round to £370, perhaps partly indicative of the currency challenges of Brexit, but certainly a symptom of the elevation of the Honor flagship from wannabe premium to legitimate competitor to the likes of the Galaxy S7. Why would you pay more when you can pick up the Honor 8, the OnePlus 3, the Xiaomi Mi5 or a number of other alternate-brand flagships for under £400? It's a good question and no doubt something Samsung, HTC, Lenovo and co will be considering very seriously. Honor are also famously keen to chop prices in promotional offers (and indeed there's £70 of goodies included in the Honor 8 launch bundle), so the fight is even more aggressive than it first appears. The Honor 4X, 5C, 5X, 6, 6 Plus and 7 have all been updated to Marshmallow in a relatively timely manner and EMUI is definitely heading in the right direction, meaning that updates are in many cases being more forthcoming than those of more 'premium brands'. With the added community engagement of Honor and a growing base of resources for those of us who like to hack or tweak our devices, the reasons for not choosing the Chinese brand are coming down fast. Personally, I'm more than happy to use a Honor as my main device (indeed, I've been using a V8 that I personally imported from China and I'll likely switch full time to the 8 now), so if I can, there aren't a whole lot of reasons for anyone else to hold off. Water resistance? Absolute camera performance? The Galaxy S7 probably has that covered. But it's a whole lot of price premium to get those additional features. I am extremely interested to see how the Honor 8 does in the market over the coming months, particularly through the network deal with Three, and particularly given how well the P9 was received (remember, the Honor 8 bumps the RAM from 3GB to 4GB and the Sapphire Blue model big-time dials up the sexy). What are your thoughts? View full item
  23. When the Honor 5C launched recently, we liaised with Honor UK to ensure that enthusiasts resources would be available immediately on announcement and today, I am pleased to confirm we have done the same with the Honor 8 (FRD-L09). Immediately in the Honor forum, you can access the stock shipping ROM, a fully working TWRP build including decryption (which will be officially supported very soon), the stock ROM template for TWRP, stock Android and EMUI style MoDaCo custom ROMS and guides on how to bootloader and SIM unlock your Honor 8 (we have worked with dc-unlocker to ensure the Honor 8 is fully supported and also virtually unbrickable). A full, tested kernel source repository will be online very soon complete with kernel build instructions. Once again this demonstrates Honor's commitment to enthusiasts, which is great news for all of us. We'll be keeping the resources up to date as the device comes to market and receives updates, but in the meantime, head on over to our Honor 8 forum and have a look around!
  24. Honor have today announced their new flagship device for the UK, the £369.99 Honor 8. Previously announced for the US and China, the UK gets the 4GB / 32GB model, complete with a hybrid slot which means you can either add a microSD card or a second SIM card. The device has a lot in common with the acclaimed Huawei P9, retaining the same dual 12 Megapixel cameras, one of which is colour and the other is monochrome. Due to the lack of Leica co-branding, the device makes do with the 'regular' Huawei range camera app and eschews the native monochrome mode (although it seems likely this can be added back, indeed the Leica app can be flashed and works fine on the Honor 8, albeit still without the monochrome option). An 8 Megapixel camera is on the front of the device. At the heart of the Honor 8 ticks the Kirin 950 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, slightly slower than the 2.5GHz in the P9 but in reality, indistinguishable to the user. With the ample 4GB RAM on board, it's no surprise that this thing is fast. We've been using it for a few weeks now and it's ultra smooth. The device has a metal frame but features glass on both the front and the back. The look and feel of the device is frankly stunning, particularly in the 'Sapphire Blue' colour ('Pearl White' and 'Midnight Black' are also avaiable). As is common on Huawei devices, the fingerprint reader is on the back (and responds as quickly as 0.4 seconds), but this time it also doubles up as a physically clickable button, replacing the smart key on the side of the device's predecessor, the Honor 7. Thanks to the glass, there are no unsightly antenna bands to ruin the look of the device and reception (both cellular and from the dual band wifi) is excellent. NFC support is included this time round which means working Android Pay, a must for a high end device in 2016. Despite the proliferation of 5.5" and bigger devices now, 5.2" is probably the real sweet spot, which is where the Honor 8 sits. The LTPS panel has a 1920x1080 FHD resolution, but unless you are big into VR applications you won't be left wanting, it's a great display, protected with 2.5D glass all round. USB Type C is now well and truly upon us and the 8 is the first UK Honor device to feature the new connector, complete with support for HiSilicon 9V 2A fast charging, although this is not cross compatible with Qualcomm QuickCharge. A 3.5mm connector is still included for headphones of course. A 3000mAh battery looks set to provide the excellent battery life we've come to expect from Honor devices. On the software front, the Honor 8 runs Android Marshmallow with Honor's love-it or hate-it Emotion UI (EMUI). The good news is that with every device release, the skin is slimmed down and that too is the case on the 8. In addition, with so many Google apps being available on the Play Store now, it's much less of an issue than it used to be. MoDaCo will be providing today shipping ROM images for the device, full TWRP support, EMUI and Stock Style custom ROMs as well as guides on making the device appear stock Android and details on how to bootloader and SIM unlock the device if required. As with previous devices, the Honor 8 is very accessible to the keen modder. The Honor 8 will be available from August 24 on Honor’s vMall for £369.99, including an anniversary package worth £69.99 (while stocks last, contents to be confirmed). On Amazon in Europe, the Honor 8 will be bundled with an Amazon Fire TV Stick free of charge (while stocks last), however we understand this won't extend to the UK. Selected online retailers like Clove, Ebuyer and Expansys will also stock the Honor 8 Sim-free along with it being available on contract exclusively at 3 in the next coming weeks.
  25. USB C is both fantastic and annoying. Fantastic, because it's the future and the reversible plug is very welcome, but annoying because your existing microUSB accessories (of which you have many, I am sure) won't work. As more and more USB C devices filter on to the market, both in mobile phones and laptops, we've checked out some of the compatible accessories available from leading brand Choetech. Here's our thoughts on a selection of their offerings, kindly provided by the company. Choetech 39W USB-C Power Adapter - £16.99 The 3 port USB-C power adaptor is true to a trend in a lot of USB C peripherals at the moment - they also support good old USB A. This makes a lot of sense because most of us still have devices that use the old standard. Charging USB C devices is speedy with this adaptor (as it supports 5V 3A), but there's no specific Qualcomm QuickCharge support on either USB C or A. USB C fast charging is a right old mess at the moment, but the protocols for A are better established. The charger is big but not too chunky, feels well made and has smart switching to send power to the right ports. As with all Choetech products, it's nicely packaged with a small user manual included. This is my main charger for behind the bedside table, where I generally have my phone, tablet and kindle! Choetech 55W Multi USB Charging Station - £18.99 If you need something with a bit more oomph, the charging station is very similar to the above, but with 2 extra USB A ports and one extra USB C port - the overall output capability increases as appropriate. The charging block uses a standard figure-of-8 charging cable (which I like, as I have one from Lindy where the plug folds completely flat for travel!) and includes a stand and adhesive pad for putting it up on end. As with the 39W 3 port adapter, there's no QC support but you do get 5V 3A on USB C. A USB C to USB C cable is included in the box. Choetech 33W USB-C Car Charger - £13.99 Moving on to the car, this is is a really cool little thing. Yes, it only has 2 ports, but as well as the 5V 3A USB C port, it has a fully QuickCharge 3.0 compliant USB A port. This is great in our car, where I juice up my Honor V8 on USB C and my other half charges her Galaxy S7 quickly using the USB A port. What the pictures don't do justice is exactly how small this thing is! Despite this it feels nicely made and more premium than many other car chargers I've used. It has a permanent place in our car now! Choetech 2-Pack USB-C to Micro USB Adapter Convert Connector with 56k Resistor - £5.19 For a while now I've carried a microUSB to USB C adaptor on my keyring. I have the OnePlus version, which looks really nice and has a soft polythene sleeve so you can pop the adaptor in and out. I use it lots, mostly with battery banks... but there's a problem. It's officially 'out of spec', which means I don't really know whether it's doing my devices any harm. Not ideal! With the release of these adapters (which I bought on @gavinlew's recommendation), I can bin those and keep the Choetech ones on my keyring. Now, they're not quite as convenient because when you're using them, they either stay on the keyring or you have to unthread them, but it is nice to be safe in the knowledge they're not going to blow up my phone! Choetech USB-C Digital AV Adapter - £31.99 As well as all the phone accessories, I've been testing out a couple of USB C accessories for my so-equipped laptop, a Dell XPS 13. The Digital AV adaptor is particularly useful for me, as the XPS doesn't include a HDMI port! Included in the adaptor is a USB C passthrough with support for power delivery (so you can use it for charging), the HDMI port and a speedy USB 3 port. The silver metal is really co-ordinated to a silver Macbook (and on that device, with its single port, it'd be particularly useful) but it's a staple in my XPS' laptop bag too. Again, it all feels very premium and well made, as it should do for the price (although it compares well to equivalent products). I can't wait until our phones and tablets support this sort of device. Choetech Aluminium 4 Port USB3.0 HUB - £11.99 Finally comes the 4 port hub. Again, this is a particularly useful accessory for a Macbook, offering 4 USB A 3.0 ports and a USB C to A cable in the box for connecting it to your machine. The look is very similar to the Digital AV Adapter, with soft touch aluminium and a really quality finish. I kinda wish a A-A cable was included in the box too, so I could use the hub with my iMac! What's missing? The one USB C peripheral I really want at the moment (but nobody seems to make) is a battery bank with a USB C cable built in. Everybody makes them with microUSB or Lightning cables built in, but not USB C. I don't like having to carry a cable around with my battery bank... so I hope that appears soon! View full item
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