It’s interesting to see how far technology has come in so little time. It’s slightly more than 10 years ago when I started university and I’m just amazed at the differences! I didn’t even have a laptop when I started out, while kids nowadays are spoilt with the choices they have. I’ve always wondering though what I would have done if I had to choose between a laptop and a tablet. Which of the two would have been handier for me during uni?
Answer: don’t choose.
I love the idea of the HP Envy x2: a notebook with a HD Touch display that can be used as a tablet as well. Sigh, this would have made my life so much easier back then!
I sometimes get to do ridiculous awesome stuff through my blog. A few weeks back I got invited by O2 Business for an exclusive experience to promote the new Sony Xperia Z. Now one of the main selling points of this Xperia is that it’s waterproof… Unlike some of the other companies who showed off the waterproofness by dunking it in glasses of water (cause you know that’s really a situation I get into all the time), O2 decided to feature the phone in a different way: a speedboat trip down the Thames.
So on a cold Monday morning I made my way to Embankment. First we got two short presentations by Sony and O2 Business, and we were handed each a Sony Xperia Z to use during the trip, which we could keep afterwards as well! After that we headed to the pier to prepare for epic boat ride. I initially thought it wasn’t that cold and I thought the layers of clothes and hats we needed to put on were a bit overkill:
Once we were actually on the water though I was so glad for those extra layers: it was freeeeeezing AND it had just started snowing! It was so much fun though. Up to Tower Bridge, the boat needs to stick to certain speed limits; after Tower Bridge: wow. By then it had started snowing more and it was just exhilarating going so fast and feeling the snow on your face. Plus the boat didn’t stick to just speeding in a straight line; it was doing all kinds of dodges and spins which I’m sure have much more proper technical sounding terms then dodges and spins. It was awesome.
The entire thing was also recorded. There were multiple GoPros aimed at us and a second speedboat with camera crew recording it all. Here’s the video:
Don’t I look wonderful? I think we spent an hour having fun on the water until we had to head back. As I said before, I hadn’t thought it was that cold, but once back on land I couldn’t stop shivering. Luckily we got some warn food and hot chocolate to warm us all back up.
So that was my awesome speed boat adventure, but I haven’t actually reviewed the Xperia Z yet. Now up till this phone, I haven’t been much of a fan of Android. I think most of the previous handsets have felt too clunky with too many buttons, ports and other stuff that just look tacked on, the OS has been too slow and overall I just have never had a nice experience with them. With the Sony Xperia Z though that’s changed; I’m really enjoying this phone.
I’ll start with the “main” feature: the waterproofness. It’s a bit of gimmick, but it does actually work. I don’t think it’s something I desperately want or need in a phone, but now that I have it I am sort of using it. Like whenever it’s snowing or raining outside or whenever I’m taking a bath or shower. It’s not the key attractiveness for me, but it’s a fun extra feature.
A direct consequence of the waterproofness though is the design of the handset and I am absolutely loving that. Every single port/slot is hidden away nicely behind watertight covers, turning the entire phone into a nice sleek gadget. There’s only one single button which I have to admit seems a bit out of place, but the rest just feels nice in your hands.
Compared to an iPhone 5 the Xperia Z is a bit on the large side, but it doesn’t feel too big. I do feel a bit weird taking phone calls with it, but for me that’s not what I do the majority of the time anyway. It’s got a great screen for watching videos and the camera in it is awesome. I love the sharpness of some of the photos I’ve taken with it; it’s my favourite phone camera so far.
I wasn’t expecting to like the Sony Xperia Z that much, but now that I’ve gotten my hands on it for the past few weeks I have to say it’s a great phone. It hasn’t replaced my iPhone yet, but that’s mainly cause of certain apps I’m using (like Messages, Mailbox, Reminders). I am taking it everywhere with me nowadays and I do notice I’m mainly grabbing for the Xperia whenever I want to take photos.
Thanks again to O2 Business for the awesome speedboat experience and for the awesome phone!
I love my pair of BassBuds headphones; since I got them, they’re pretty much the only pair of headphones I use (here’s my review from a few months back). The sound is great and I love the look of them (even though I’m still not a massive fan of the Swarovski crystals on them). I’ve also just gotten their latest gadget the BassBoomz (a cute bluetooth speaker) which I’m totally loving at the moment.
The BassBuds are officially launching this month on the 23rd and to celebrate they’re holding a huge competition! As sponsors of ‘The Show Tour’ they’re giving people the chance to celebrate with them at their big launch party. They’re hosting an exclusive celebrity pre-party including a live fashion show and live music from some of the greatest RnB groups of the last 3 decades.
A few months back I got asked whether I’d like to try out IdealCases.co.uk, a site to create your own personalized phone, tablet or e-reader case. I’ve been trying out different types of iPhone cases, hoping to find my perfect case. So of course I leapt at the chance to see how IdealCases worked and how my own design would turn out.
Designing your own case on IdealCases is pretty simple. First you need to select which gadget you are making the case for. They allow for quite a range of devices: Apple iPhone/iPads/iPod, Samsung Galaxy, Blakcberry Bold, Kindle and Nook. Then you need to choose which type of case you want. This does depend on what gadget you’re creating a design for; not every case is available for every gadget. As far as I can tell, for most smaller devices you can only choose their plastic clip on gloss case (£12.49), while the bigger “readers” (like the iPad, Kindle and Nook) also give the option of a faux leather flip case (£29.99 – £39.99).
You then get to choose whether you want one of their pre-designed cases or a personalized one. If you want to personalize it, there are several ways to design your case: upload photos to grid layouts (which allows you to pull photos from Facebook, Instagram and Flickr), freestyle, or DIY Fan Art. I went for the Freestyle one opting for an uploaded image of my MissGeeky logo:
The above case looks great, right? The iPhone clicks nicely into the case and you have easy access to all the buttons and ports. Unlike some of the cases I’ve tried, it is obvious that you’re using a case, but I love how unique it is and how it’s a great piece of marketing material for me.
I do have to mention though that this wasn’t the first case that they sent. In the first one the colour somehow got wrong (it was a bright pink!), but for the rest the look and feel of it was pretty much the same. I do like how quick IdealCases were to respond and fix the mistake.
I love how the case turned out and I always make sure I’m using this case whenever I go to events. Each time I’m at an event and take a photo, people will notice my Miss Geeky logo!
Disclaimer: The IdealCase was provided to me for review, free of charge.
I love trying out iPhone cases! There are just so many different styles out there and it’s great seeing how each one works for different situations. The iPhone wristlet from Capulet is the type of case that replaces your purse/wallet, with space for cards, money and keys.
The Capulet iPhone 5 wristlet has a silky Italian leather casing and a soft suede lining. It comes in a wide range of colours/patterns: copper, gold, green, tan, sunset red, seashell white, powder blue, cobalt, jet black, snakeskin and python print. Depending on the colour it can range from £169 to £249. It’s a gorgeous and luxurious case; it feels so soft and smooth!
Inside there’s space on the left to fit your iPhone comfortably. It’s designed to fit an iPhone 5, but I think it should work for previous iPhones as well. On the right there’s slots for four cards with a pocket behind it for money and other flat stuff you might want to carry. Finally, on the back of the wristlet is a small coin pocket.
I love the look of this case, but it’s just not what I look for in an iPhone case. I almost brought it with me to the BAFTAs, but I also wanted to bring along extra batteries and lipstick. I can imagine it being perfect though for a night out where you only want to bring one small case/bag/clutch with you. It fits all your basic essentials: phone, keys, money.
Disclaimer: The Capulet iPhone Wristlet was provided to me on loan from Capulet. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I love my mobile phone. It's one of those things that I'll always make sure I have on me, never leaving the house without it. At home it's never more than a few meter away from me, keeping me in constant contact with my friends, Twitter and other social networks. When I go out and on the go though, it's stuck in my bag, banished to the deep dark pockets of oblivion. I ALWAYS miss phone calls and text messages, and forget to check Twitter/etc. So I quite like the idea of having a watch that will connect to your mobile phone to keep you aware of these things.
The I’m Watch is a bluetooth smart watch with touchscreen that connects to smartphones to deliver calls, text messages, e-mails, and other apps directly to your wrist. It runs Android itself and should work with most iPhone and Android mobile phones. There are 3 versions: the Colour i'm Watch with a lightweight aluminium body and 7 different colours ($389), the Tech i'm Watch with a titanium body ($1049) and the Jewel i'm Watch with gold or silver body ($16990). I got sent an i'm Watch to try out myself and it looks interesting. I'm not sure this is the right fit for me, cause with my tiny wrists it looks a bit too big (see picture below). If you're going for a more geeky look though (and if you have normal wrists), I think it could look great.
I'm very curious to see how this smart watch works. Sadly though at the moment I won't be able to use it with my current iPhone 5, cause Apple don't allow tethering on Giffgaff (seriously Apple, sort this out!). If you have an older iPhone or an iPhone 5 that does allow tethering/personal hotspots, you should be able to use the watch. I'll be trying it out with another phone next week, so stick around for my review!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I'm provided me with a black Colour I’m Watch for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
I haven’t been sleeping that great the past few weeks, and that’s been mainly cause I’m being woken up at five in the morning by two cute yet annoying hungry creatures. Because of that though I’ve been struggling with waking up in the morning, preferring to hit snooze just once more.
Thanks to John Lewis though, I’ve got to try out a Lumie Bodyclock Go the past week. It’s an alarm clock that wakes you up by creating a gradual sunrise. It also has a sunset setting, to allow you to fall asleep to slowly dimming light. I was a bit sceptical at first, but I think it actually sort of works for me.
I’ve been using the Bodyclock the past few day with a 30 minute sunrise and the optional alarm clock sound. Now it still hasn’t managed to wake me up completely through light only; it’s only when the alarm clock sound goes, that I wake up and get out of bed. That’s the thing that surprised me though. The moment the alarm clock sound goes, I’m wide awake and ready to start my day. Somehow my body has been woken up by the half hour sunrise and I don’t feel the urge to hit the snooze button anymore. Brilliant.
The one annoying thing though is that alarm clock sound. You can choose from 5 different sounds (or no sound at all), but you can’t actually set the volume of that sound. Meaning it’s stuck on this quite loud level, which feels too harsh in the morning. I had expected there to be some form of volume control, or even better a gradually increasing alarm sound to match the gradually increasing light.
The Lumie Bodyclock has three buttons: the main button in the middle, and – and + buttons on the left and the right. Pressing the middle button turns the alarm clock on, holding it down gives you access to the settings. You can set the alarm clock time, the actual time, the length of the sunrise and sunset (15, 30 or 45 minutes) and the optional alarm sound (5 different sounds). Using the clock isn’t exactly straightforward: you can’t use it out of the box just like that, you need to read the manual a bit to understand the different settings. Once you do though, it’s quite easy to use.
I quite like the Lumie Bodyclock Go and it does seem as if the light is helping me get up in the morning. It could do with some better sound settings though for those of us that don’t wake up through the light only. The way I’m going to use it now is without the alarm clock sound and use my iPhone next to it as a backup alarm clock system.
Disclaimer: John Lewis provided the Lumie Bodyclock Go for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
I didn’t think switching from an iPod Touch to an iPhone would make such a difference, but as I’ve said in previous posts I’m finding that I’m using my iPhone way more now. Seeing as I use it every day and almost every hour, I’m still looking for the perfect case to protect it. Well, my perfect case. I do think that everybody requires something else depending on how they use their phone.
Like most Knomo products the Leather Folio case is sleek and well designed. The iPhone snaps into place in a shock-resistant plastic casing, while the back and front flap is made of a nice smooth leather. It also has an elastic band to keep the leather flap secure. You can get it on the Knomo website for £45 and comes in two colours: Black and Cognac.
I liked the Folio case and it indeed suit my needs much better than the previous cases I’ve tried out. The iPhone snaps easily into the casing and you have open access to all buttons and switches. I quite liked that the case protects my iPhone completely. It’s not the sleekest of cases and it’s pretty obvious you’re using a case, but I prefer that then having the front of the phone naked and unprotected (especially when in my bag).
I didn’t end up using the elastic band at all, at least not for what it was intended. I want the flap to cover the front of the phone, but I don’t want to go through the trouble of messing around with the elastic each time I want to open it. Unless you have a lot of cards or other stuff in the inner flap’s pocket, the Folio normally closes quite nicely.
What I did end up using the elastic band for was to keep it more secure on my hand while I went running. I don’t like using an armband during running, cause you can’t really see what’s on the screen or easily change settings. But holding your phone just like that in your hand also doesn’t feel right. With the elastic band on the Folio, I quite felt at ease running with my phone. It’s not what it was intended for, but it gave me that extra confidence that it wouldn’t just slip out of my hand.
My main annoyance about the case was taking photos with it. Most of the time when you’re using the phone in that case, you flip the flap around so that it’s against it’s back. But when taking a photo that of course doesn’t work: you’re covering the camera. So you have to awkwardly hold the flap sideways while trying to take the photo. And rotating the phone to use the camera horizontally (so that the buttons are on the top) is even more annoying. You finally get the hang of how to deal with it, but you still look like an idiot each time you take a photo.
The main reason why I don’t want to invest in one yet (cause it is on the pricier side of cases at £45) is the range of colours. There are only two colours so far: black and cognac. Which would be fine if the entire case was that colour. With both of them though the plastic casing is an olive green and I’m just not digging that colour combination. I’d so be in love with this case if the leather was red or pink or purple or blue and the plastic casing was black (or the same colour as the leather). Maybe even if the entire thing was just plain black. But the current colour combinations? Not really digging those.
All in all, the Leather Folio case is a great case, although it won’t suit everybody’s needs. If you want a case that protects the front of the iPhone, the Folio is great. I just wish they had a nicer range of colours, otherwise this would have been exactly what I wanted.
The Leather iPhone 5 Folio Case is available on Knomo’s website. Knomo provided me with a review copy for the purpose of this review.