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.

It’s been a while since I last wrote about them, but I love knomo’s laptop bags. They’re the perfect combination of pwetty and practical. And this week they’ll have another sample sale! Squeee!

The sample sale is this Thursday and Friday at the London knomo office. Here are the full details:

Date: Thursday 15th December, and Friday 16th December
Time: 11am – 7pm
Address: 83 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7LS

I’ve been to two of their sample sales in the past and each time I’ve ended up buying a shiny new laptop bag for only £50. Both of those laptop bags were unique pieces and I’m so glad I got them! And even though I have two already, I am very tempted to get another if something interesting catches my eye… I’m hoping they might have a Silvi, cause I need a bag like that for my laptop! Fingers crossed…

Ugh, I’ve been meaning to write up this review for ages (lately I’ve been way to busy with my research, which is good for me, but not for my blog). Back in February I got to try out one of knomo’s suitcase bags, the Marseille. I’ve been having to fly back and forth between London and the Netherlands every month for my braces, and it seemed like the perfect time to try out the Marseille.

The Marseille I got to try out was a brown 19″ wheeled suitcase, which fits the exact measurements for carry-on luggage for Easyjet (which I was flying with) and most other airlines. There’s also a 24″ version, but for Easyjet that would have been too big (although I’m pretty sure with some airlines the guidelines are different). For me it was precisely what I needed: it’s as big as you can have for carry-on, yet with wheels to make it as maneuverable as possible for you.

What I also liked about this mini suitcase is the design and placement of all the pockets and sections. Inside, the main compartment has pockets on the side, and the “lid” (not really sure what I should call it) has a zipper on the top and two pockets underneath that (see the photo below). On the front there’s a small pocket, with enough space for travel documents, and any hand sized gadgets. Unlike a lot of previous carry-on cases I’ve tried, that pocket is also not very deep, so you don’t have to dig for anything that you put in there.

Finally, there’s a special section for your laptop, with easy acces to it (handy for security control at the airport). The laptop fits horizontally exactly into the pocket, but if you want to use a sleeve it would also fit vertically. One thing I noticed though was that if I stuffed the suitcase completely full (to be honest, maybe a little bit too full), I was forced to put the laptop vertically and the suitcase threatened to topple over each time I left it alone. I didn’t have this though when I put the laptop horizontally in, so I’m guessing that’s the “proper” way of using it.

Overall, I really liked this suitcase. It’s great if you’re looking for a handy carry-on, plus it actually looks pretty! I’m very tempted to get one for myself, cause it’s exactly what I need for my short trips to the Netherlands. The Marseille is available on the knomo site for £165 (the brown version) or £225 (the red and black versions).

Even though my day isn’t going completely as planned, there are some things happening today that are quite awesome. The lovely folks at knomo have given me one of their laptop bags to give away to a lucky reader! And it’s a limited edition colour: Raspberry.

Pretty, right? The colour isn’t even available anymore in stores, so it really is a special sleeve! It’s for a 15″ laptop (37x27x4 cm or 14.6×10.6×1.6 in) and comes with a detachable strap. I reviewed this bag some months ago (read here): it’s somewhere halfway between a sleeve and a real laptop bag. There’s a main compartment for your laptop and a side pocket for your cables, adapter and other stuff.

Knomo Bag Review

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment behind with what you favourite post of mine has been. You’ll also get a second entry if you’re following me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway with the hashtag #missgeeky. The competition ends on March 1st 15:00 after which I’ll randomly draw a winner!

Gadget Preview: Nintendo 3DS

February 9th, 2011

I’m still not exactly sure who sent it, but last week I got an email whether I’d be interested in attending an “exclusive” Nintendo 3DS event. So I signed up and last Saturday made my way down to Brick Lane where I got to play with the 3DS for the first time.

After arriving at the venue, we got ushered into a darkish room where we got to see a live Streetfighter fight (see photo below). And then we were rushed through an outbreak area with Claire Redfield protecting us from zombies. Yeah, it was pretty cheesy, but a fun introduction to the 3DS. We then got (I think) 15 minutes to play around with the Nintendo 3DS and some of the new games.


To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting much at all. 3D sometimes still seems as a gimmick to me, even though by now there are some movies where the 3D does look gorgeous. But on a handheld console? For games? Yeah, gimmick, I thought. “Let’s add 3D. Nobody has done that yet. Everyone will want to buy one. Cause it’s new. And shiny. And 3D”. It’s as if 3D has become this magical thing: you add it to your product and it becomes “better”.

So how is the 3D in the Nintendo 3DS? Well, I think it depends very much on the game you’re playing. In some games it seemed as if I was looking into a little box where these awesome things were happening just beyond the screen. With other games I thought it failed miserably and barely made an impact; for me, in the worst case it looked layered, like a pop-up picture book (although some people might find that cool). It also depended per game how wide the viewing angle was. With some, I only had to move my head slightly and the image became blurry and annoying (this happened the entire time with Nintendogs for me), while with others I didn’t have any problems.

What really surprised me though was the Augmented Reality stand. I’ve blogged about AR before and I haven’t been that convinced by it for mobile phones. But for the 3DS? It’s a brilliant idea. And I can already imagine the cool things that it could be used for.

Nintendo 3DS Event

Here you had to place a piece of paper with a golden box printed out on it before you on the table and the 3DS would focus on it. After having recognized it, 6 little 3D golden boxes appeared on the screen, overlaying the real world. Clicking one of the boxes started up a mini game, where you had to shoot at targets. The cool thing was you actually had to maneuver around in the real world to get into the right position to shoot at your targets. The final level had a dragon throwing flames at you which you had to slay!

It looked great and I can’t wait to see how this will be used. Personally I think it would be awesome for Pokemon. Last year I got to see a demonstration of AR with a Pokemon card and my main complaint was that I couldn’t imagine a kid picking up a mobile phone to scan their cards. With the 3DS though it seems much more likely. I wonder also if it will actually be integrated into the game. For instance, you can only collect certain Pokemon if you scan a real life object, like a trading card or a magazine or any spin-off collectable product.

I was surprised how much I liked this first hands-on with the Nintendo 3DS. Will I buy one? Not sure yet. It depends a lot on the quality of the games coming out, but it looks better than what I was expecting.

I got to try out this bag before Christmas, but because of being so sick around that time, I completely forgot to write up this review. And I forgot to take photos of the bag (and me). Anyway here’s finally my review.

The Silvi is a cross body bag with a quilted design, available in black, brown, gold and black pebbled. I thought it would be perfect as a secondary bag for most of my medium gadgets, like my iPad and DSLR. It’s a bit smaller though than I imagined. I tried to put my sleeved iPad in and it just fits. Just. It’s not a bag I’d comfortably use though as “my iPad bag” (maybe it works better with other sleeves, but with my one it was a too tight fit. I do have quite a bulky sleeve though). For my DSLR though it was great! It fit nicely in the Silvi with some spare room for a second lens and whatever other gadgets you have with you.

On the outside the Silvi has two pockets (front and back) which are handy for things you easily need to reach (like your Oyster card and phone). It closes with a small magnet, so you also don’t feel as if it’s completely open and available for everyone to reach into (yes, I am a bit paranoid of pickpockets). Besides that there is a small zipped front pocket, slightly larger than a credit card (it’s a great spot to store your business cards). Inside is one main compartment with a zipped pocket on one side and a mobile phone sized pocket on the other.

The Silvi is a cute little bag and it would work great as a secondary gadget bag. It’s perfect for a DSLR and similar sized gadgets.

The Silvi is available on the Knomo website for £65.

I haven’t done a proper New Year’s resolutions blog post this year, but one of the things I want to try to do is workout more. I’ve been trying to do more pilates and Wii sport (yeah, I know that’s not “proper” working out, but it’s COLD outside), but I really need to get out of the house more and start running again.

So when Nike contacted me whether I wanted to order a pair of shoes through their online store for free, I thought that was a great way to get running again! About 3 years ago, I ordered a gorgeous pair of Nike shoes which I completely customized (see above). You could choose your own colours, put special text on them and even choose different size shoes per foot. Now for most people that last option is completely useless, but for me with my two different sized feet (which is so very very annoying) it’s perfect. I wish more companies offered the option of doing that!

After looking around on the Nike website though, I realized that I’m still perfectly happy with the Nike pair I still have. They are 3 years old, but still perfectly fine. So instead I surprised Cristiano with a gift voucher! He customized a cool pair of running shoes, so that we can start jogging together again.

The Nike store customization site isn’t much different than it was 3 years ago. There’s quite a huge range of models to pick from, and with each model you can choose from a range of colours (and in some cases also materials). Then with some designs you can choose different sizes per foot, and the type of width (narrow, regular or wide). Finally, with almost all the shoes you can specify your “iD”, special text that can be anything you want, although it depends per model where that text is placed and how many characters you have (with some it’s on the heel, others on the side, and with others on the front).

The easiest way to customize a pair is to start off with a blank pair. You can then see exactly which pieces of the shoes you can choose the colour for and keep track of which ones you’ve already selected. Btw, if you’ve got the Nike+ iPod set (or plan to get one in the future), make sure you pick a model with a + in the name; those designs have special compartments in the soles to place the iPod transmitter.

Here’s the design Cristiano ended up with:

It might be a bit of a cheesy tip, but for me having a pair of pretty jogging shoes, ones that I actually put some of my own time into designing, is a great way to motivate myself to run again. Just looking at the pair above makes me wanna go outside and run again!

If you want to design your own pair of Nike shoes, check out the Nike store. Fill in the code FREEDEL at checkout to receive free delivery.

Event: Gadget Geeks of London

January 19th, 2011

We’ve finally gotten around to organizing the next Geeks of London event! 2011 is going to be an interesting year for us, cause we’re going to try to organize at least 12 events in 12 months. It’s going to be great though, and we’ve got some interesting meetup ideas in mind, including laser tag (squee!) and an Oscar related Movie Geek meetup next month.

This first 2011 meetup will be next Thursday the 27th and will be all about gadgets. The idea is to bring along and show off cool new gadgets you got at Christmas, or weird old stuff you still have lying around. Plus we’ll have some drinks and food sponsored by Nokia!

What's In My Bag?

The awesome thing though and something I’m still quite nervous about: I’ll be one of the speakers! I’ll be holding a short 10 minute presentation about gadgets during the event. Eek! On one side I’m really looking forward to speaking there, on the other side… I used to get really flustered and terribly nervous during presentations and it’s something I know I still have to work on. What better way than to jump right in though, right?

You can find more details (including how to sign up) on the Geeks of London site. You can also follow us on the Geeks of London Twitter account.

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).

I’ve been writing about Knomo’s laptop bags for a while now, so regular readers should know how much I love their bags. They’re the perfect balance of geeky and girly: enough space, compartments and padding for all your gadgets, yet still so gorgeously designed!

A couple of months ago I managed to go to Knomo’s sample sale and bought myself a beautiful Helena sample bag for only £50. I got tons of replies on Twitter at the time of people not having heard about the sale (although I did blog about it then too!!), so for those of you who missed that one… Knomo are having another sample sale!

The sale is this week on Thursday the 16th and Friday the 17th from 12pm-7pm at the Knomo press office (58 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7QE). Last time they had a great selection of bags from the current collections, as well as iPod and iPhone covers.