Nokia Lumia 530 – Windows 8.1 for £99

Nokia-530-messaging-HomescreenLooking for a Lumia device on a budget? If so then we’ve got the new Nokia Lumia 530 heading our way on August 26 and it could be yours for £99, yes a Windows 8.1 device for £99. As any Lumia phone you get the benefit of Nokia expertise combined with the software prowess of Microsoft.

For your money you’ll be getting free maps, free music and the ability to keep up with the world of Xbox, both games and music on the go plus a memory expansion option of up to 128GB so you can keep and move files between different devices. Add 15GB of OneDrive online storage and you can access your files where you want.

Underneath the colourful shell, choose from Grey / Black, Orange and Green you’ve got a 1.2GHz processor and a 5 megapixel camera with a removable 1430maH battery to keep you powered up.

That is just a snap shot of what the Nokia Lumia 530 comes with, my personal favourite being able to use maps whilst offline, a must if you’re on your hols in lands far and wide with no idea where you are.

Grab it here from the Clove Technology website for a penny short of £100.

Show us your tech – bragging allowed!

Everyone loves to show off their technology now and again.  You may not like to be the centre of attention, but it is likely that you are when you get a new ‘toy’ and want to show it off.

So in what could all too easily become an advertisement for who has the biggest wallet, I thought it would be good to share the different technologies we all own and why.

The idea is to identify and explain what technology you have invested in and used for certain scenarios.  Whether you spent £5,000 on an AV system or £5 on a remote control alarm, every bit of technology serves a purpose in some way shape or from and all technology works in different ways for different people. I love tech, but do not have the budget to go all out on everything!

These lists could get very long and I welcome all additions, but for simplicity you may want to share just a selection of the best.

In the comments below, leave a description of the technology you own, why you own what you do and what purpose it serves etc, I am genuinely interested.

I will start the ball rolling.

USB Sockets

You can read all about these here, but I love them.  I have 3 in my home so far and everyone sees the benefits of these! Only £20.

After

After Installation

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

If you follow the blog you will already know my reasons for owning this.  In short it is down to size.  Devices with screen over 4.7″ whilst lovely, I am unable to comfortably use in one hand, which is important for me.  I want the confidence I can hold and use the phone and am not likely to drop it or have it slip out my hand very often.  I have felt like this for some time and its been reconfirmed by by personal life.

I like to spend as much time as possible outdoors, in the country/forest, most notably because I have a Labrador who likes going on walks.  I use it for navigation, but want to be able to easily hold and handle the phone in the rain, when climbing over a stile.

A more expensive compact phone, it is a powerhouse.  It is not without its faults, but it is a great phone.

Just look at this image I captured on it, I was quite pleased.

Wasp_Z1_Compact

Dell Studio Desktop PC with 2 x 22″ HD ASUS Monitors

Powered by Windows 7 Ultimate, I have recently upped the RAM to 8GB and replaced the graphics card with the addition of 2 x 22″ ASUS HD monitors for a dual screen setup.

I loved Windows XP, grown to accept Windows 7 and just can not get to grips with 8.

Whilst I do a lot on my phone, you still can’t beat a desktop with big screens, keyboard and mouse for graphic editing and some tasks such as wordy emails and documents and some online shopping, it is just easier.

After a little spruce up, it runs like a charm now and I do not plan to change it until it dies or Windows 7 stops getting support. Considering I have had this since 2009, it isn’t doing too bad.

DSC_4338

Sonos System

Perhaps ‘the best’ investment I have ever made.  These are not cheap for the initial setup, but the sound is immense.  It is also the one that I had to convince my girlfriend of least! When she heard it she knew why.

We have one in our lounge, one in my office and will soon be adding others to the kitchen and bedroom when funds allow.

The Sonos system would be considered by many as an unnecessary luxury, but this is the type of product you will use for 10+ years. It is built to last.

You can play music in complete harmony with no lag at all!

All audio goes through this system now without fail.  On a few occasions when the WiFi has failed and we have to resort to the standard speakers on the TV it is like comparing chalk and cheese.

SONOS-PLAY3-and-BRIDGE.jpg

Gigler 1Gbps fibre internet connection

Yes, a 1Gbps fibre internet connection straight to my door.  You thought your 150Mbps connection was fast, this is lightening quick!

Luckily Bournemouth was one of the first locations to get true fibre to the home. You can read more about it at www.gigler.co.uk

1Gbps sounds amazing and on the most part it is, but like anything you do not always get the top speed of  1 gigabits all the time. Plug right into the box and you can easily achieve 500Mbps+ all the time.

The practicality of modern living means WiFi is the norm and that kills the speed too, but still it is considerably faster!  The hours I have saved uploading video to YouTube etc from home rather than work is ridiculous.

Gigler

Nest Thermostat

Nest_Thermostat The most recent tech spend, I never really liked the thermostat in my home. Always complicated and never seemed to come on quite when you set it.  Considered changing for some time then Nest came to the UK.  It got installed this Spring, not the ideal time, but this thing is fantastic.

I and the other half love it too.  Being able to switch it on easily whenever we want, knowing we are saving energy is always a bonus.  There are lots of great features, but the learning element of it works well and it is easy to manage online or through the app.

I will get a real test of it over the winter, but the style and accuracy of this system as well as the online nature is superb and well worth checking out.  It will pay for itself within a couple of years I am sure of it.

OregonOregon Scientific RMR391 Alarm Clock

What is so special about an alarm clock. It shows the time and wakes me up when I ask it.  Very true it does.  This alarm clock though it controlled by radio waves which means it stays perfectly in sync with GMT here in the UK.  It also has an outdoor sensor, so when in bed I can see the temperature outside.  Another nice addition is that of a projector, that shines the time onto the ceiling of the bedroom at night – handy if you stir, not so great on sleepless nights!

ASUS TF701T Transformer Pad

I have mentioned my partner a couple of times and what was my tablet seems to have become hers!  I am sure you have found the same with your partners or kids.  I think these is what confirms a piece of technology is good, if others adopt it.

She loves it.  Whilst used primarily without the keyboard for her, I love the keyboard for writing those longer documents or emails when I am away or want something a bit more versatile on the move.

Paired up with a Cooler Master Ren (designed for iPads) it makes it even more useful and is great in the kitchen if using it for recipes etc.

ASUS_Transformer_Pad-(11)

SSynologyynology DS213 Diskstation

Packed with 8GB of storage, this is where all my files sit and allow me global access to my documents, whilst keeping them off my PC to ensure it performs at optimum levels.

Sat quietly in the corner of my home, it purrs away without fuss.

I have not had it for all that long and am still learning what it can really do, but it is so powerful.  Features such as using it as a recording station/control panel for security cameras is a good thing too.  That works well.

So that is me, what about you….. share in the comments below.

HTC One Mini Silver – Now £270 with free car cradle

HTC_One_mini_Jul18.jpgJust a quick post to let you know that the price of the original HTC One Mini in SILVER has now dropped to just £270 (£225 ex-VAT). Not only that but while stocks last we’ll be giving away a free official HTC D170 car cradle with each purchase.

With the reduction and the free cradle, this offer makes for a total saving of over £80!

This offer is limited, as with the recent launch of the HTC One Mini 2, the original model is sure to be discontinued at some point soon. To qualify for the free D170 cradle, please ensure it has been added to your basket at the Clove checkout and the discount will automatically be applied in your total. We’ll be running the offer for as long as stock is available.

Follow HERE to order yours today from the Clove retail site.

HTC One Mini at a glance

With a premium aluminium casing and dual front facing speakers, the HTC One Mini followed in the footsteps of its award winning bigger brother. Now available with an update to Android 4.4 KitKat, the One Mini is a top-quality 4G LTE smartphone with a host of modern features.

  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean (Android 4.4 and Sense 6 update available)
  • 1.4 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon 400
  • 1 GB DDR2 RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage
  • 4.3 inch 720p screen (341 ppi)
  • 4G LTE (800 / 1800 / 2600 MHz)
  • HTC Ultrapixel main camera with HTC Zoe / 1.6 MP front facing
  • HTC BoomSound with dual front speakers
  • 1,800 mAh Li-po battery
  • 132 x 63.2 x 9.25 mm

htc-d170

Jabra Solemate Max – Social Jukebox

Jabra’s big daddy portable speaker isn’t cheap at £249, but it packs a powerful punch.

We don’t spend all our days at Clove playing with smartphones you know. Sometimes we get to play with speakers and other toys too! It’s a little outside the standard product range for Clove, however Jabra are an established audio brand whose products have always sold in decent numbers as accessories. With this in mind I took the plunge with their newest – and largest – portable speaker, the Solemate Max.

Design

Jabra_Solemate_Max_02First up is looks; when you’re spending over £200 on a piece of kit, you want it to look the part. The Solemate Max is somewhat chalk and cheese in this respect, with a grey rubber casing dominated by the perforated silver speaker grille that stretches round the whole unit. There are also flashes of yellow in the handle, controls, lettering and a yellow 3.5mm cable.

The style won’t be to everyone’s tastes (what is?), with the overall look being similar to a larger Pure radio model. It conforms to modern trends, inoffensive with a splash of neutral colour, although would struggle to fit in with traditional décor.

At around 3 kilos the unit is surprisingly heavy. It remains portable, however I wouldn’t want to be carrying it too far in any one trip. This is definitely more of a unit that can be easily moved from room to room, or from car boot to beach, rather than kept in your bag every day.

SolemateMax_gallery_02The controls reside on the top of the Max, seamlessly covered in the same rubberised surface material as the rest of the speaker. They have a responsive ‘click’ and the soft touch finish is pleasing, whilst also being easy to wipe down and clean. Several ports adorn the far end of speaker, opposing the chunky handle to the left side, providing a number of connectivity options. Here is where you’ll also find the NFC tag for one-touch pairing with compatible devices.

Finally the base of the device is ribbed like a boot sole to avoid sliding around and features the unit’s logo. There’s also a quite neatly cut groove and sockets for storing the included 3.5mm audio cable, perfect for connecting to devices without Bluetooth or computers/laptops/screens with audio output.

All said the Solemate Max has a functional and simple design, almost understated in some ways. If it wasn’t for a 2014 RedDot Design Award I would say it’s a style that’s not trying to win awards; possibly the best compliment a product designer can hear!

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Android Wear 60 Second Review

Android_Wear1

Running on the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live, Android Wear is Google’s operating system for wearable technology.

Based on Google Now, the card style interface of Android Wear is becoming increasingly popular with ever increasing capabilities thanks to the add on extras made by developers.

Android Wear is in its infancy at the time of writing, but that does not mean it is not capable or one to invest in.

I recently reviewed the LG G Watch running Android Wear (you can read it here), but in the interest of keeping things separate, here is my review of the Android Wear OS on its own, independent of hardware.

To make it a bit easier, I have reduced it to just 60 seconds, focusing on the positives and the negatives.

Nokia Lumia 920 vs Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 930It is difficult to believe, but the Nokia Lumia 920 was first made available  all the way back in 2012.  Since then there has been a great deal of change within Nokia itself, with Microsoft now not only being the main operating system provider, but now the owner of Nokia.  This will likely have caused many changes within the company.  But how does the Nokia Lumia 920 released two years ago compare to the recently released Nokia 930?

When looking at both of these phones it is worth noting that they were, or are current flagship devices for Nokia.  This means at the time of release they were the best Nokia could offer.  So we will see how time has affected how we look upon the Nokia 920 and what improvements there have been with its more recent update the Nokia Lumia 930.

[Read more...]

Doro S580IUP available end of August

We continue our line up of Doro handsets with the Doro S580IUP, a device that has a simple approach to keeping vulnerable family members in touch. It comes with all the features you’d expect from a Doro phone, ICE (In Case of Emergency), support for hearing aids and buttons that are big and spaced apart giving the user confidence that they won’t be selecting the wrong option or calling the wrong person.

Doro-580IUP-front

There are a few extras that set it out from other devices in its class and indeed some of the higher end mobile devices out there. With an IP54 certification the Doro S580IUP can take on splashes of water and dust particles.

The Assistance button located at the back. This gives the user a simple press of a button to summon help should they need it, the mandown and motionless state feature will automatically send a text message with a GPS location to numbers that are pre-programmed.

Clove Technology are proud to be offering our customers of all ages, abilities and needs the right device for them and the Doro range compliment what is a very diverse market. Our full range of Doro devices can be found over on our website, alternatively please give us a call on  01202 552936 if you would like further advice.

You’re never too old to own a mobile phone

Reversible USB Type-C Connector

usb-3-type-c-final-render-640x353

 

I am sure like me on one or more occasions you have tried connecting the microUSB cable to your smartphone, only to realise you cannot get it securely in, because you are trying to put it in upside down.

Well soon you will not have to worry, because to solve your issue, the USB 3.0 promoter group have had USB type-c connector approved from mass production.

USB type-c does away with this issue because the connector is reversible. The right way up or the wrong way round, the connector will slot into the port on the bottom of your phone.

Sounds fantastic right?  It is, but its going to be a few years before this becomes mainstream.

As good as the solution is, it will take time for manufacturers of the ports and mobile products to adopt the technology change not to mention the fact that not too long ago, the microUSB was set as the ‘standard’ in many countries around the world.

An 18 pin configuration, is essentially two USB 3.1 SuperSpeed connectors (which have the standard four pins, plus five more to enable 10Gbps connections). If you plug the connector in one way, the top set of pins are used; if you plug it in the other way, the bottom set of pins are used.

Another addition is support for power up to 100 watts which is enough to charge a laptop!

But the news gets even better as there will be cables with a type-c connector at bot ends meaning subject to compatible products you can connect either end of the cable into the port on either device.  My initial thought comes to those fiddly USB ports on the back of your computer, you know the ones, hidden under lots of cables. You find the port, try to insert the cable and you have it the wrong way round.  In the future you should not have to worry. Whether they will come to desktop PC’s or not is still to be confirmed as it has been designed with mobile in mind.

A similar size to a microUSB connector, the cable will be quite handy, but it lacks an attractiveness for many as it is not backwards compatible.  Therefore an adapter will be required or a device with a type-c connector.

Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector include:

  • Entirely new design
    • Tailored for emerging product designs
    • Robust enough for laptops and tablets; slim enough for mobile phones
    • Similar to size of USB 2.0 Micro-B
  • Usability enhancements
    • Reversible plug orientation and cable direction
  • Supports scalable power charging
  • Future scalability
    • Designed to support future USB performance needs
  • Mechanical specs:
    • Receptacle opening: ~8.4mm x ~2.6mm
    • Durability: 10,000 cycles
    • Improved EMI- and RFI-mitigation features
    • Power delivery capacity: 3A for standard cables and 5A for connectors The new USB Type-C plug and receptacle will not directly mate with existing

A great example of how the simple things in life are often the best!

Source: USB.org Via: Extremetech

LG G3 Brodit vehicle mounts now available

Securely fit your LG G3 to any work or personal vehicle.

brodit-active-usb-lg-g3-1The LG G3 has now been available for several weeks, debuting with an impressive specification including a mainstream industry first 2K resolution screen.

Several accessories have been made available so far, including the WCD-100 wireless charger and D855 portable wireless photo printer currently being offered for free with every new G3 purchase from Clove.

In addition to these, we now have access to Brodit’s new full range of vehicle mounts for the G3, which includes their passive, active and fixed installation versions. Longstanding Clove customers will know we always recommend Brodit holders for their excellent build quality and wide range of styles.

The cheaper passive units are basic holders without power; without a mounting Proclip, they cost just £21.60 (£18 ex-VAT). The more advanced powered units have options for fixed wire cigarette charger, split cable USB & separate charger (pictured above) or Molex adaptor models for professional installation to the vehicle’s electrics.

Which ever option you choose, Brodit holders ensure a quality fit and premium-looking solution to mounting your G3. View the full range of G3 holders on the Clove retail site.

Brodit ProClips

brodit-proclip If you haven’t purchased a Brodit holder before then you will likely need a ProClip. These attach to the dash or pillar of your vehicle and are specific to the car in use. Once fitted, you can screw the holder into place and position as required. You can also order new holders without a Proclip, to swap devices in the same vehicle or extra Proclips to aid moving the holder to other vehicles. Prices on the Clove site are provided both with and without Proclips included.

There are thousands of ProClips available for a huge number of vehicles, so we can’t list every one. Instead, head over to Brodit’s site and use the tool at the top of their homepage to find which Proclip suits your vehicle and driving style. Once you have the relevant Brodit 6 digit code, add it in the Clove checkout when prompted so we can make sure it ships with your order.

Sony Xperia Z1 & Z2 price drops

Sony_Xperia_Z2_Group_Test_Winner

Saving a few pennies is always a bonus.  What is that old saying? ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’

Well today we aim to help you achieve this by knocking £24 including VAT off the Sony Xperia Z1 and £38 including VAT off the Sony Xperia Z2.

There is no denying that the Sony Xperia range is strong. Whilst we may not see as many adverts like we do from Apple and Samsung, the products do the talking for Sony, with the Z2 winning the Group Test award in the Android Magazine. It has tough competition in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Motorola Moto X.

On top of this, we are still offering £200 of additional products and content with the Sony Xperia Z2, so for a total of £400 you get a SIM free Xperia Z2, a wireless speaker, noise cancelling headphones, 6 digital film downloads and a trial of Sony Music Unlimited.

Buy the Sony Xperia Z2 for £333.33 + VAT HERE.

If the budget can’t quite stretch to a Z2, or you only need the features a Z1 offer, then for £225+VAT you can purchase the Z1 HERE.