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:

Sony Xperia Z and O2 Business

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.

Sony Xperia Z

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!

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.

Capulet iPhone Wrislet

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.

Capulet iPhone Wrislet

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 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.

Lumie Bodyclock

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.

After trying out the Slim case and the Open Moulded case from Knomo, I was quite curious to see how their Leather Folio case would be. I had a feeling this one would suit me more than the other two would…

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.

I hadn’t mentioned it on the blog yet, but I finally got myself an iPhone! For the past few years I’ve been using the iPod Touch + Mifi + cheap ass phone combo, but with the release of the iPhone 5 I thought it was finally time to switch to a proper phone. And I’m so so happy with it! I’ve had it for 2 weeks now and I notice just how much more connected I am: I’m reading and responding to more tweets, taking and sharing more photos and just generally using it to organize my life. It also helps that Cristiano and I now have exactly the same phone; it’s so easy now to have shared calendars, lists and photos.

One of my first priorities was to find a handy and pretty iPhone case that suited me. I straightaway thought of Knomo, cause I’d already been using one of their Slim cases for my iPod Touch the past year. For the iPhone 5, Knomo has released 5 different cases, each designed to suit different preferences.

For the past 2 weeks I got to try out 2 of Knomo’s cases: the Leather Slim in Teaberry Pink and the Moulded Open Case in Burnt Ochre. I was mainly looking forward to trying out the bright pink Slim case, while Cristiano pretty quickly snapped up the other one.

Leather Slim in Teaberry Pink

The Leather Slim case is basically a mini sleeve for your iPhone; it’s lined with a soft, scratch-proof microfibre, allowing your iPhone to easily glide in and out of the cover. You can get it on the Knomo website for £25, and comes in 3 colors: Teaberry Pink, Burnt Ochre and Black.

Knomo Leather Slim iPhone 5 Case

The case fits quite snuggly around your iPhone. The first few times I struggled with sliding the iPhone out of the case, but after a while it loosens up a bit and becomes much more easier (but not so easy that your phone will slip and fall out. I can put it upside down and it still want slide out). You also still have easy access to the silent switch, or if you use it upside-down have access to the headphone jack (I rarely need access to both of them at the same time). I wasn’t too sure about the color of this sleeve: it’s so so pink! It’s grown on me the past few days though and I love how vibrant it is.

I had a similar case for my iPod Touch, so I was expecting this case to really suit me as well. Surprisingly I found it didn’t. With this case each time you want to use your gadget, you need to pull it out of the case, and hold the case, while using your gadget. Now with the iPod Touch I didn’t really mind that: with the iPhone though I find it becomes slightly more annoying. For instance, with the iPod I would only take it out when I wanted to look at it and when I had the time and free hands to look at it, while with the iPhone I need to respond quite quickly to phone calls, etc. That extra bit of time of pulling it out the case and having to use both hands to pull it out, becomes a bit of a pain with the iPhone, especially if you’re moving and only actually have 1 hand free. I also don’t feel as comfortable using the iPhone “naked” in my hands; I’m so scared I’ll drop it (which I didn’t have with the iPod).

It’s mainly me noticing how I use the iPod and iPhone differently and how I now expect something different from a case. It is a gorgeous case though and if you’re looking for a sleeve-like case that will protect your iPhone, it definitely does that job.

Moulded Open Case in Burnt Ochre

The Moulded Open Case is a plastic and leather case that snaps around your iPhone. The main casing is made of a shock-resistant Polycarbonate plastic, while the entire back is made of smooth genuine leather. The Moulded Open Case is available on the Knomo website for £35 and comes in two colours: Burnt Ochre/Black and Black/Green.

Knomo Moulded Open iPhone 5 Case

The plastic casing is flexible, yet sturdy, and really feels as if it’s protecting your iPhone. The leather on the back is super smooth, and feels so nice each time you hold it. It’s also the least bulky iPhone case I’ve seen so far: it adds about 2 (maybe 3) millimeters to each side of the iPhone. I hate it when you come across cases that are clearly shouting at you “ME CASE! ME PROTECT IPHONE!”. The Moulded Open case is slick enough for you to completely forget you’re using a case.

The Silent switch on the side and the headphone jack, speakers, Lightning port on the bottom remain reachable with gaps made in the casing to access them. The main on/off button on the top and the volume controls on the side are covered, with plastic moulded in the right shape. I initially didn’t notice they were covered (just look in the photo above at the volume controls) until I tried to press them. I struggled a lot with the volume control buttons; I really need to press hard for them to respond. The on/off button went slightly easier, but still took me a couple of days to get the hang of.

With this case the front of the iPhone is completely exposed. Which may or may not be a good thing depending on how you use your iPhone. I like how your entire screen is accessible: the main button isn’t covered or obstructed with annoying covers and it’s what makes this case so inconspicuous. For me though personally I really need something that protects the front of my iPhone as well. I’ll usually have it in my bag with a ton of other stuff, and I don’t want the screen accidentally bumping into other things.

I really liked this iPhone case. It’s looks super sleek, feels comfortable in my hand and protects my iPhone. Cristiano loves this case and it suits him perfectly (and he’ll be getting one, once I send these review copies back). The only reason why this isn’t the case for me is that I want the front to be protected as well. Knomo however have three more cases, two of which are moulded cases with flip covers… I might need to give those two a try to find my perfect iPhone case.

The Leather Slim iPhone 5 Case and the Moulded Open Case are both available on Knomo’s website. Knomo provided me with review copies for the purpose of this review.

I realized this week that I’ve been a gamer now for more than 20 years… Yep, I got my first console (a NES) when I was 8 and haven’t stopped playing games since. Despite that though I’m not a very social person when it comes to video games; just like when I’m reading a book or watching a TV show, with a game I want to step away from reality and that includes not having to interact with people. Meaning: I tend to avoid online multiplayers.

It’s only this year though with Mass Effect 3 that I’ve started playing online and now realize that having a good headset makes life so much easier, especially when there’s another person in the exact same game playing one room away from you. I’ve been using a crappy cheap headset for the past few months, so when I got the chance to try out Turtle Beach’s X32 headset, I was really curious to see how it turned out.

Turtle Beach X32

The X32 is a wireless gaming headset that uses Dual Band WiFi radio technology to “eliminate wireless interference”. It comes with big over-the-ear speakers, adjustable swivel microphone and built-in equalizer. It also provides an auxiliary input, so that you can listen to your own music while playing games.

Connecting the wireless receiver wasn’t as straightforward as I was wanted it to be. I was hoping it would work out-of-the-box: that I could just open the box up and hook it all up in one go, but it turns out that wasn’t the case. Turtle Beach’s recommended way of connecting it all is to use the Xbox 360 Audio Adapter cable, but that isn’t included in the pack. I didn’t need it in the end (I got it working by ordering a simple audio jack), but I still was a little annoyed that it wasn’t included or mentioned on the packaging.

Turtle Beach X32

The first thing you notice when you put the X32 on is how sturdy and well made it is. The headset feels great in your hands and the design quality is of a high standard. The ear cups are soft and comfy, and fit nicely over your ears. Often with over-the-ear headphones my head is too small for even the lowest headband setting and the headphones will be too loose for me. These ones though were pretty well adjustable and fit me great. I lasted about 2-3 hours with them; after that the area around my ears would start hurting and I had to take them off.

I tried the X32 with a couple of different games and also with a couple of TV shows. The main problem was that during all of them, there was a consistent buzz in my left ear. If you put the volume loud enough, you could mask it, but it was still very annoying during quiet scenes. Besides that though, I really liked the quality of the sound, everything sounded crystal clear.

Turtle Beach X32

If you want voice chat to work, you still need to connect a cable between the X32 and your controller. The sound isn’t straightaway great though. It requires quite some playing around with the different volume levels (the volume of the chat and of the game are separate of each other), but once you get the balance between the game sound and chat sound right it sounds pretty okay. Seeing as your ears are completely closed off and you can’t hear your actual voice when you have the headset on, the headset repeats your own voice in your ear, which took me a while to get used to.

Turtle Beach X32

Overall, I’m quite divided about the X32. I loved the design of the headset; it feels sturdy and comfortable. The sound that you get out of it is great. What I’m not convinced by is the wireless aspect. I’m not sure if it’s worth the hassle and price to invest in it yet: there was a consistent buzz in the left ear, you still have to finick around with wires to get it all working and you’re almost paying twice as much as the wired version (£75 on Amazon versus £40 for the wired one, so 1.875 as much if you want to get pedantic). They’ve come along way with wireless headsets, but I don’t have a feeling they’re quite there yet.

Gadget Review: BassBuds

August 22nd, 2012

A few weeks ago I got sent a pair of BassBuds headphones to test out and review. I wasn’t really sure what to expect; judging by the site the BassBuds looked to be more of a fashion-statement type of headphone. You can choose from a large variety of colours (20 colour combinations in total!) and each headphone comes with Swarovski crystals embedded in them. With that much focus on how it looked, would the sound quality be any good?

I didn’t know which colour they were going to send me, so I was quite curious to see what I’d be getting. I ooh-ed and aah-ed a bit though when I saw the packaging:

BassBuds Harmony

I have to say, it definitely beats getting your gadget in that stupid plastic packaging; I always struggle to open those things and get annoyed that I risk damaging the gadget before I’ve even tried it (why do companies sell it like that?!?). This feels much more like buying jewelry or a watch. It all feels slick and conveniently packed for you, especially once you open it:

BassBuds Harmony

I got the Harmony design: light green earbuds, red aluminium housing and pink wire. It’s a bit Barbie-girl for my tastes (plus I was taught red and pink together clash), but I still really like the look of them (I think I would have preferred the pure red or silver ones, but, hey, at least these stand out). The BassBuds come in 20 different colours: 10 “pure” one-colour ones, and 10 unique combinations. No matter your colour tastes they’re bound to have a design that you like.

Then there’s the Swarovski crystal… I’m not convinced by it. It’s too bling-bling for my tastes; the only way they could make it more blingy was to have it coated in gold. I do like how they look for the rest, I love the aluminium design design and the type of cable they’ve used, but I think I would have loved it more if it didn’t have Swarovski stone. The BassBuds use “Advanced Crystaltronics” to improve their sound, so I am wondering how much the Swarovski crystal contributes to their sound design.

BassBuds Harmony

The headphones came with green memory foam earbuds in 3 different sizes (as you see in the picture above), plus 3 backup green ones and 3 extra black ones (so 2 backup ones that you can use). Half of the time earbuds start hurting with me after a while, but with these ones I haven’t had any trouble. They fit really comfortably and stay nicely in place.

BassBuds Harmony

The BassBuds claim to have an “anti-tangle, durable” cable. While it still did tangle on occasion in my bag, I’ve had much less problems with these than with any other pair of headphones I’ve had. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it anti-tangle, but they are definitely not as tangle-ble (is that even a word??) as other headphones.

The headphones also come with a microphone and a music control button. I only tested the microphone once on my laptop with Skype and it seemed to do a decent job, but I’d like to see how well it works on a phone. The control button is sturdy, but a bit simple. It only has the one button and depending on the amount of times you press it, it does different things (1x to mute, 2x to skip, 3x to go back, hold-in to do something that I don’t remember). The one thing I would have liked to seen here was a volume control; I like having my iPod in my bag and not having to touch it at all when I listen to stuff.

BassBuds Harmony

So how did they sound? Pretty okay in my opinion. I had to change the equalizer settings on my iPod back to the default settings, cause the settings I was using made it sound wrong. After switching back to the default settings though, it all sounded much better. The sound is very clear and sharp. It made me notice the differences in quality in some of the mp3s I’ve got. The headphones do lack a certain something though; I lack the technical terms to describe it the right way, but it just doesn’t sound as warm, as complete as with some other headphones. For £35 headphones they’re pretty good.

BassBuds Harmony

As much as I liked them though from the comfort of my own home, it wasn’t much of a test to see how well they performed under pressure. Enter: The Tube Test. The Tube Test is a highly scientific method to properly evaluate headphones in the worst circumstances:

Do they block out the sound of a moving tube train (or a crying baby)?

Depends on the amount of sound. They’re not the most-awesome-block-every-single-noise-out type of headphones, but they manage to block out a lot, while not having to amp up the volume. It did struggle with soft piano instrumental movie soundtracks, but if you’re listening to pop or rock you should be fine. At home they blocked out more than enough: maybe a bit TMI, but I completely didn’t hear a kitty vomiting 2 meters away from me with these in.

Is there any sound leakage (aka will my fellow tube travellers give me the stink eye)?

Nope. You barely hear anything coming from them when you’re listening to quite loud music. Holding them about 20cm away from me I could hear a slight beat, but nothing that would annoy people.

Do they block out the sound of my own high heels?

I know, this isn’t really tube related, but I’ve had in the past with some headphones that were perfectly fine in all other ways, that whenever I walked in my high heels the sound of them click-clacking on the ground would reverberate into my ear (which annoyed me so so much). These ones didn’t have any problems like that at all.

BassBuds Harmony

Conclusion: I really liked these headphones. The main draw of them is how they look: the Swarovski stone, the different colours, the sleek design. They are very fashionable headphones. The design is practical, yet still pretty. I liked the “anti-tangle” cable and the comfort of the earbuds. What I mainly loved about them though was how they sounded. Even though the focus seems to be on their appearance, they haven’t let down the quality of the sound.

The BassBuds are available on their website for £35, but if you play their flashgame you can get up to £7.50 off (and if you manage to get into their leaderboard you get a chance to win a limited edition pair of BassBuds). They’re also available on Amazon.co.uk for £34.95.

Disclaimer: The BassBuds were provided to me for review, free of charge.

I always like getting my hands on the newest gadgets in most cases, but when it comes to phones… I can’t really be that bothered. The problem is (and yes I know it’s a bit weird in this age) I just don’t make that many phone calls. Why? A) Most of my friends I’ll contact through other means (email, Twitter, Facebook, etc) and B) I hate phone calls. So why would I bother getting a expensive gadget whose main purpose is making calls?!? Yes, most smartphones will do a whole lot of stuff next to it too (and quite well), but still why pay so much money for something that inherently I don’t like doing?

For the past few years, my setup has been this: an iPod Touch, a mifi, and a cheap mobile phone that does what it does best: making calls. My current phone though is more than 4 years old, and it is on its last legs. So I’ve been looking around for a replacement, which will survive the next few years. If possible, it would be cool if I could use it as a wifi hotspot too (cutting out the MiFi), but this isn’t completely necessary.

So when I got contacted whether I wanted to try out a Samsung Galaxy Fit for a couple of weeks, I thought “sure, why not?” It would be great to try out an Android for the first time, and see if it suits me.

What I liked about the Galaxy Fit was how simple and sleek the design felt, yet it still felt sturdy. I even dropped it quite hard a couple of times (by accident, I swear! I’m just pretty clumsy) and it survived each time: no chips, no back panels or batteries popping off/out, no front panel major shattering. The front of the phone has a glossy metallic finish, while the back has a ribbed plastic panel. For a phone on the lower end of the price spectrum it surprisingly doesn’t feel like a cheap phone.

On the front the Galaxy Fit has one real physical button, and two touch-sensitive ones for “menu” and “back”. It comes with Android 2.2 (Froyo) installed, and to me it was sometimes a bit confusing what button did what (and when you weren’t supposed to use a button, but the touch screen).  On the left side the Galaxy Fit has two simple volume control buttons and a microSD card slot. The microSD slot felt a bit finicky, but this isn’t something I would be opening/closing on a daily basis anyway. On the top is a mini-USB port with a nice sliding door cover (much much better than the finicky microSD card slot cover). Finally, on the right is the on/off button.

Battery life was interesting. I never properly kept track of how long it lasted, but when using it as my main communication device (so also checking emails, Twitter, etc.) it would easily last the day. Using it as a wifi hotspot drastically cut that down to only a couple of hours. What I loved though was that it lasted a full week without charging when I was only using it for calls and text messages (bear in mind though, I’m a very “light” user, so it won’t last this long for everyone).

The one thing I didn’t like about the Galaxy Fit was the screen. It has a low resolution at 240×330, but quite a large display, causing the screen to look grainy and fuzzy. The first time I turned it on I wasn’t sure if it was broken or if it was meant like that. It’s meant like that. It’s not too much of a problem, especially if you’re just going to do basic stuff with it, but it is something to bear in mind if you’re thinking of getting one.

A couple of weeks before Christmas I got an email about whether I wanted to host my own Karaoke party courtesy of T-Mobile. They’d provide a Lucky Voice box to setup everything I’d need for karaoke at home and some vouchers for food and decorations. Cool, right?

So I held a TV show themed karaoke party! I ended up dressing as Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl, and made some awesome TV show inspired cocktails. We created the Walter Bishop (a White Russian with a scoop of cookie dough ice cream), the True Blood (Southern Comfort and raspberry juice), the Miss Geeky Margarita (normal margarita with passion fruit), the Charles Carmichael (espresso Martini), and the most awesome Big Bang Slippery Nipple Grasshopper Concoction (Sambuca, Baileys and Creme de Menthe).

The Party box I received contained everything you need to setup a karaoke night at home. It had a neon pink microphone, a karaoke mixer, a 5m microphone cable and more cables to connect the mixer to your computer or hi-fi. Next to that it also comes with a month’s unlimited access to Lucky Voice home (worth £7.99). Once the month has expired you can easily top up your account with either song credits (50 songs for £4.99, 100 songs for £7.50, 250 songs for £12.50 or 500 songs for £19.99) or unlimited singing offers (24 hours singing for £3.99, 1 month for £7.99, 6 months for £29.99 or 1 year for £49.99).

The karaoke was really easy to setup and the Lucky Voice website is very easy to use. We’ve got a Mac Mini connected to our TV in our living room, which was perfect for karaoke! The Lucky Voice site has over 7500 songs and most of the ones I was looking were there (I think I managed to come up with a couple I couldn’t find, but I don’t remember anymore which ones those were).

The Lucky Voice party box is great if you want to organize a karaoke party at home. If you want to try it out though, T-Mobile are currently offering their customers a free Karaoke night in (just text ‘Lucky’ to 3000 and you’ll receive a special code for 24 hour access to Lucky Voice).