ARCHOS are building the smart home

Archos_logo_blackDefining what makes the smart home will be very different in many peoples eyes.

From a construction companies perspective a smart home may be one that is fitted with all mod cons and where the construction process is simple, maybe with items pre-fabricated off site.

To a gardener, a smart home may be one that has sprinklers built into the lawn and the borders.

To most people reading this on the Clove Blog, a smart home will likely mean a house full of electricity hungry, screen rich gadgets.

More than likely your home is well on its way to being filled with lots of these items already, but just how smart are they?

Independently they may be very clever, but what about when it comes to connecting and integrating?

Take a simple solution of having one central location for storing all your photos and media captured on the variety of mobile devices in your home. You may have a slick setup, but I bet it took some time to get there. Or it may be a nightmare, especially if you have a variety of platforms in use.

Now whilst I do not have a solution for you if you have the above issue; I was using it as an example of how whilst the tech we own is very sophisticated in their own right, together they can be much more complicated and more of a problem.

ARCHOS are a known brand, but probably best known for their tablets and being perhaps second class to the likes of Samsung, Apple, Sony and more.

Your attitude should start to change when you see what they are bringing to the market.

Back in January, ARCHOS announced their Smart Home, which was all about connecting your home with ease.

archos smart home

I can speak first hand about how connecting your home isn’t that simple as I am trying to make my own home smarter. But honestly there are so many products that all do different things but do not work all that well together, unless you want to spend big bucks and lets face it, few of us can afford to do this.

ARCHOS are looking to change this; essentially giving you, me, your mum, gran or next door neighbour an equal opportunity to have a more connected home and you need not have a big budget or have to re-build your home.

Their current vision for the Smart Home, possibly even an automated home (depending on your take) is quite clear. They want to give you and I the opportunity to do things and monitor things we have previously had to buy lots of expensive and separate kit for.

Have you ever wondered whether your kids have been rummaging through your change pot or whether your wife keeps turning the heating up when you have gone to work or whether your tradesman actually spent as long on the job as they said they did?

I surmise that most can relate to this in some way or another.

archos smart home tabletWith that in mind, imagine if for around £200 you could have a kit that included 2 cameras, 2 weather tags and 2 movement tags along with a main control unit.

Imagine then that when you had gone to work, you could remotely login to see what the temperature is in your house an hour after you left for work.

Suppose you could record and watch the tradesman at your home whilst you were at work.

Imagine knowing and recording, complete with graphic evidence that your kids did ‘borrow’ those few coins from your change pot.

The ARCHOS Smart Home will allow all this.

Due to be available very soon, the kit will include all of the aforementioned functionality along with the ability to expand your system further.

So the components in themselves are separate, but they all link together in one easy location, the Smart Home tablet which can be accessed remotely from your smartphone.

The scene has been set as to what you can have. Follow the Clove Blog and the story of the ARCHOS Smart Home here as we bring you more news, information and details on how the smart home works and how it could make your home smarter.

Droid RAZR HD & RAZR M KitKat 4.4 update expected within a few weeks

RAZR 2012 handsets getting  Android 4.4 KitKat soon

Motorola’s David Schuster has confirmed on Google+ that the 4.4 KitKat update for the Droid RAZR HD and RAZR M should arrive within the next few weeks. Hopefully this means that the update for the UK equivalents — the RAZR HD and the RAZR i, which we ranged here at Clove — won’t be too far behind.

Although Schuster’s update on Google+ only refers to the US handsets, Motorola has already confirmed that the RAZR HD and the RAZR i (the UK variants) will receive the update at some point. This is also stated on the Motorola Support website, which you can visit here. This is the message that is currently displayed for the RAZR i:

razr i kitkat update

We’ll keep an eye out for any further developments with the UK updates and post a follow up here on the Clove Blog once more info is available.

Via Android Central

Defender from ‘The Toughphone’ unboxing

Subtle is not what the Defender phone from The Toughphone is.

It has nothing to do with bold stand out colours, in fact the Defender phone does not really stand out at all in a sea of similar rugged phones, unless you see it with its optional antenna attached.

Designed for some of the most hostile and harsh environments, the Defender is a toughened Android handset with an IP68 rating and dedicated SOS button.

A built in walkie-talkie with push-to-talk button further adds to the appeal of this device for its intended market.

toughphone-defender-rocks-moss

It will unlikely be the phone many of you desire to own, however if you work in construction, oil, security or similar fields, such a handset could offer you many benefits. Your mobile and walkie-talkie communications are rolled into one device capable of also taking a decent submersion in water and heavy impacts.

The handset also has 2 SIM card slots, NFC and other standard smartphone features so in all is well rounded.

In the following video we unbox the handset and show you what is included as well as what you can expect.

For further information on the Defender click HERE.

Samsung Gear 2 User Guide/Manual

Samsung Gear 2 User Manual

Below you can find the digital version of the user manual for the Samsung Gear 2.

Hopefully the user manual will answer any of the outstanding questions that you have about the device, but if there is anything that isn’t covered or if you have any questions prior to purchasing, please feel free to ask in the comments or to contact our sales team.

HTC One (M8) Unboxing

HTC-One-M8-Grey-All-Angles

The HTC One was a popular and award winning handset for a number of reasons, so HTC have had to do something special with the 2nd generation HTC One (M8) to appeal to both existing and new users.

From the spec sheet it would look like they have done just enough to compete with other flagships, but that just enough becomes somewhat more meaningful when you hold the device in your hand and see what it looks like for real rather than in the photos.

The M8 has stiff competition from the likes of Samsung and Sony, however the stand out features such as Blinkfeed, BoomSound and HTC Zoe which made the original One unique have been improved upon and continue to differentiate the M8 from other similar handsets on the market.

We unbox the HTC One (M8) 2014 edition in the following video and a full review will be coming very soon.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet – Hello, pleased to meet you

Over the past few weeks we’ve been providing in depth coverage of the latest Sony flagship handset; the Xperia Z2.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Now we’ll be taking a look at the new tablet from Sony, the rather similarly named Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. There isn’t that much competition in the high-end Android tablet market so Sony could be forgiven for just putting any half decent attempt out there and being done with it.

That wouldn’t be their style though and by sharing a name with the freshly released flagship phone, this new tablet has a lot to live up to.

With the Z2 Tablet, Sony have provided the market with what could possibly be the best all round 10-inch Android tablet you can buy right now. This may be seen as a very bold statement, however it’s one that I intend to back up and convey to you.

Over the course of our story we will take a look at both the outside and probe deep inside to find out why this is another example of Sony brilliance and a worthy successor to last year’s underrated and often overlooked original Z Tablet.

KAZAM Trooper X5.5 Unboxing

KAZAM_TROOPER_5.5Over the last few months I have had hands on with a few of the KAZAM smartphone range.

It is easily to be critical of the product.  They are not particularly exciting nor do any of the devices make you go wow, I have not seen that before.

However, what can not be taken from KAZAM is their handsets offer what most of us need at a price point far below much of the competition in an all round no nonsense package.

The latest device I haven been using is the KAZAM Trooper X5.5.

Aimed at the Samsung Galaxy Note style devices, the 5.5 comes complete with a flip case in the box and retails for £150 all in.

In this £150 price tag you get a FREE screen replacement included if you manage to break yours within the first 12 months of ownership.  You can not deny, that is a great value added extra.

Some of the features of the KAZAM include:

  • Dual SIM functionality
  • 5.5″ touchscreen
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • Android OS
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS

Check out our unboxing below and be sure to check back in about a week for the full review.

 

Sony Xperia Z2 60 second review

Z2_Hands_On_ImageaWe appreciate that time can be valuable so listening to our full review of the Z2 (found here) at 9 minutes long might be a bit too much time to give up.

So, with this in mind we have put together a 60 second review of the Xperia Z2 smartphone.  View the video below to see and hear the positive and negatives to this phone.

Samsung Galaxy S5 User Manual/Guide

Samsung Galaxy S5 User Manual

Below you can find the digital version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 user manual. Click the PDF icon to view it.

If you would like a printed version, please click here.

The S5 is the latest flaghsip model in the Samsung range that replaces the Samsung Galaxy S4. Now IP rated it can withstand water and dust as well as offering a faster processor, improved camera and improved software.

Hopefully the user manual will answer any of the outstanding questions that you have about the device, but if there is anything that isn’t covered or if you have any questions prior to purchasing, please feel free to ask in the comments or to contact our sales team.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini user manual

Samsung Galaxy S5 delayed

Samsung Galaxy S5

UPDATE 15/4:  We have further unfortunate news to share on the release of the SIM free stock of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Stock was expected to arrive later this week after an initial delay; but today we have been notified that the earliest we can now expect units is next week.

This coming weekend is Easter Bank Holiday in the UK, meaning our offices and Samsung’s distribution will be closed from Friday 18th through Monday 21st.

The Galaxy S5 stock will therefore arrive during the latter part of next week. We do not have an exact arrival day as of yet.

We will update you next week when we know more.

We share your frustration and disappointment at the extended delay. To the best of our knowledge, this applies to all SIM free sales from UK retailers. The supply of SIM free stock is ultimately in the hands of Samsung; currently all UK Galaxy S5 stock is to be sold directly by them or their chosen partners with carrier contracts.

We continue to await a shipment from their official distribution partners in the UK. As soon as any units arrive we will process and dispatch orders as quickly as is possible to avoid any further delays.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 official launch date is today, Friday 11th April.

Stock was expected to arrive from Samsung and begin shipping today.  However Samsung have delayed the arrival of the SIM free stock to online retailers including Clove Technology.

As a consequence any order placed with Clove will not be shipping today and will do so when stock arrive.

This is extremely disappointing and we can only apologise, but this delay is out of our control.

At this time we do not have a confirmed arrival date for the stock, but have been told we can expect units next week – week commencing 14th April.

Once we have more information we shall update you and of course ship your order as soon as is possible.

On a slightly more positive note, Android Central have confirmed that the S5 is still subject to a region lock, but they have made it clearer how to remove this.

There is a label on the box that reads:

European Model: This product should be activated with a SIM card issued from a mobile operator within Europe (as defined EU/EEA, Switzerland and the following Non-EEA countries Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M), Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia and Vatican City.) To use SIM cards from other regions, a cumulative call over five minutes must first be made with the SIM card from European operators.

If you are ordering from Clove to a country outside of the intended region, you will be asked at the checkout to confirm your acceptance of this limitation as well as your consent for the box to be opened and  the device activated on your behalf.