Clove Technology – Phone System Now Working!

pcs520Hello all, we have today been experiencing some issues with our telephone system.

Here at Clove we use a system of networked IP phones which utilise custom software.

Unfortunately our system provider appears to have a problem with their higher level service provider. This means that all of their customers, including us, are currently experiencing problems with receiving and making telephone calls.

We are aware of the issue and if you are trying to make phone calls to us we are not ignoring you! Our system provider is aware of the problem and is working hard to rectify it.

We will update this post as soon as we have more information

The issues have been fixed and from 12:30 BST we are able to make and receive calls again!

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact offer ending soon

Sony_Xperia_Z3_Compact_BlackOur offer for the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, which includes a free case and car charger with the handset, will be soon be coming to a close.

The accessory bundle was added to Z3 Compact orders when we hit out pre-launch stretch goal and the offer has now been running for almost a month in total.

For those of you that are still interested in ordering, we recommend doing so as soon as possible if you would like to ensure that your order includes the free case and charger.

Order the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact SIM free from the Clove website

We currently have the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact available at a fantastic price as well, it was dropped to just £290.83 + VAT before launch. At the moment we only have the black version of the Z3 Compact available to order – the red and white variants have been removed from sale while we wait for more stock to arrive, which is due towards the end of the month.

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has been praised in reviews since its release, and at the current price it’s certainly a deal worth considering. If you haven’t seen our own review yet, you can read or watch it here. For those of you that are short on time, we also complete 60 second video reviews for most handsets.

Here’s the video for our Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 60 second review:

LG G3 £84 price drop

Down to £325 (£390 inc. VAT)

SIM free lg g3The LG G3 has received a sizeable price drop, it’s now down to just £325 (£390 inc. VAT) on the Clove website. We currently have it available in Black and Gold.

Here’s a quick look at the G3’s main specs:

  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • LG Emotion UI
  • 5.5” Quad HD 1440 x 2560 (534 ppi)
  • 13 MP camera with laser autofocus, OIS & HDR
  • 2.46 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • 2 GB RAM / 16 GB internal storage
  • Micro SD memory card support up to 128 GB
  • 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm
  • 3,000 mAh removable battery
  • Wireless charging

Click here to order the SIM Free LG G3 from Clove 

The G3 is certainly one of this year’s best devices, Jon was more than impressed when he reviewed it back in June:

“There are so many elements that make this device strong, most notably what it gives back to you and I as the user. It gives control, scope and options in a way that is not overly complicated.

The attention to detail and focus on giving the user what they want makes the G3 stand out aside from its strong list of specifications. It has tough competition, but it has what it takes to compete.”

You can read the full review here or watch the video version below.

 

Sony SmartBand Talk due late December, £130 inc. VAT

Sony smartband talkSony’s new fitness wristband, the SmartBand Talk, is due to arrive with us late December. It’s now available to order here on the Clove website, priced at £108.33 (£130 inc. VAT).

The SmartBand Talk comes in Black or White, but interchangeable colour bands will also be available.

We’ve also just announced SmartWatch 3 availability – it’s due later this month on October 23rd.

The SmartBand Talk is more lightweight than a smart watch (in terms of both features and cost!), but they share some of the same capabilities.

Like the SmartWatch 3, the SmartBand Talk has Sony’s Lifelogging technology built-in so that it can keep a daily record of your fitness activity.  Both are IP68 rated, meaning they can withstand water immersion and can therefore be taken for a swim with you.

Progressing from the SmartWatch, Sony’s previous fitness wristband, the SmartBand Talk has a 1.4″ E-Ink display. This means that it can show you basic information, such as images, alerts and health stats. It also has a microphone, loudspeaker and NFC included.

This is a great accessory for anyone getting started with wearable tech. Here’s a quick overview of its main features:

  • 1.4″ E-Ink display
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 70mAh battery
  • IP68 rated
  • NFC one touch pairing
  • Accelerometer
  • Altimeter

View our full range of fitness wristbands here

Sony SmartWatch 3 priced, first stock due October 23rd

Black and lime coming October, metal to follow

We’ve now priced the Sony SmartWatch 3, it’s available to order here on the Clove website.

The black and lime variants are due to arrive first on October 23rd, priced at £150 (£180 inc. VAT).

The metal variant is then expected to arrive mid November and will be priced at £179.17 (£215 inc. VAT).


Sony smart watch 3 black and lime

 

The previous two iterations of the SmartWatch came with Sony’s custom OS, but the SmartWatch 3 ships with Android Wear. It’s also got Sony’s new Lifelogging technology, which works in conjunction with your Android smartphone to keep a record of your daily, weekly and monthly activity.

We love the design and we can’t see how the watches match up alongside Sony’s new Z3 and Sony Xperia Z3 Compact devices. Here’s a quick run through of the main spec for those that haven’t seen it:

  • 1.6” transflective display
  • Pixels 320×320
  • With voice, touch and gesture input
  • Microphone
  • Accelerometer, compass and gyro
  • Google maps
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • BLE
  • Waterproof IP68

Order the Sony SmartWatch 3 from Clove Technology

What’s different about the BlackBerry Passport?

What are the Passport’s best features?

SIM free BlackBerry passportWith a name like the Passport, BlackBerry’s latest device is bound to stand out.

‘Work Wide’ and ‘See Things Differently’ BlackBerry tells us with its promotional slogans. The Passport is certainly different to anything we’ve seen in a while, and we can’t wait to see how it feels in the hand.

We’ll have a hand-on demo and review coming soon, but in the meantime here’s a look at the features that set the Passport apart from the competition.

Order the SIM free BlackBerry Passport from Clove today

It’s (almost) square

As its name implies, the Passport is similar in shape and size to a standard passport. This is unusual in a world where smartphones tend to be tall and narrow. The Passport is 128m tall and 90.3mm wide.

Such a square form factor probably wouldn’t work with anything other than a BlackBerry, thanks to its QWERTY keyboard and also the way in which BlackBerry 10 OS has been designed.

The larger display of the passport — which has a resolution of 1440 x 1440 — provides more space to view onscreen content; tasks like checking email, editing docs and browsing the web should become more comfortable on a wider screen.

The extra space created by the square display has also given BlackBerry the chance to rethink BlackBerry 10 OS. There’s more flexibility when arranging apps, as well as improvements to the BBM interface. There’s a virtual demo available here that runs through some of the new features.

[Read more...]

The ultimate guide to importing a UK SIM Free phone into North America

How to buy phones online and import them to the US & Canada

Import a SIM free phoneThis is our no nonsense guide to importing a phone into the US or Canada. We’re a UK based company selling UK smartphones, so the guide will relate to the pros and cons of importing UK stock, but for the most part it is also be applicable to importing other European stock.

Video coming soon: we’ll be adding a video version of this post shortly. Submit your email address here and we’ll email you when it’s ready.

We have many great customers in the US and Canada that are taking advantage of the ‘SIM free’ model. However, we feel there are many more that could be missing out, perhaps because they are unaware of the opportunity, or because it can be difficult to determine all of the facts before buying.

“I’ve been buying SIM-free for about a decade. No use in going back, and I know once people see the benefits, they’ll never switch back either.” – Stefan Constantine (@WhatTheBit), Tab Dump

Ultimately, buying a phone SIM free can save you money, and it can also give you early access to handsets that would be otherwise unavailable. However, there are a few considerations to take into account before you purchase, which we will detail below.

For first time buyers, importing a smartphone is a decision that requires a fair bit of research, so we would like to help by putting all relevant information in one place.

If, for you, the pros outweigh the cons, then hopefully we can do business someday. If not and you think that the disadvantages are too great an obstacle, then thanks anyway for reading!

The guide is also relevant for tablets and other products with cellular capabilities we sell, such as MiFi modules.

Full disclosure: we are a ‘SIM free mobile retailer’ and would like to sell you stuff, but only if it is right for you. We’re not going to sugar coat the situation, nor dress it up as something it’s not. Below you can find both the advantages and disadvantages of importing a SIM free smartphone into North America.

What we’ll cover in this post:

  • What does SIM Free mean?
  • What are the pros and cons of importing a phone?
  • What happens with shipping, taxes and import duties
  • What happens with warranty/faults with the device
  • Compatibility with LTE networks
  • Where to sell a used cell phone
  • What happens with region locking
  • Which service providers to use once you’ve purchased a SIM free handset

A quick run through of the pros and cons

For those of you that don’t have time to read the entire post, here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of importing a UK SIM Free phone to North America. We cover these in more detail throughout the post below.

Pros

  • It can be cheaper in the long run
  • You have greater flexibility in choosing a handset, and you can import handsets that are not yet available in your country
  • You have greater flexibility in choosing/changing your service provider
  • Your handset is ‘unlocked’ which makes it easier to use with foreign SIM cards if you travel
  • You can change your phone more frequently
  • You can have a service deal that runs month to month, rather than year to year
  • You can take advantage of foreign deals on SIM free handsets, such as the Z3 Compact at the moment
  • There is no carrier bloatware installed on the device

Cons

  • There’s an upfront cost when buying a phone outright
  • You need to determine whether the handset is compatible in your country (mainly for 4G LTE)
  • You may need to return the phone to the UK if it needs to be repaired
  • You need to calculate if there will be import duties
  • You need to pay to have the phone shipped from the UK

We need your help!

We’ve compiled this from our own experiences shipping to the US/Canada, and we’ve also spoken to our customers and blog contacts that are based in North America. However, the more we can talk to people who have completed the process, the better this guide will be. If you’ve got any more insight to add, please click here to email us or leave a comment below – we would love to hear from you!

[Read more...]

Arrival of Sony Xperia Z3 & Z3 Compact delayed slightly

Sony_Xperia_Z3_Compact_BlackStock still arriving this week

We have received the unfortunate news from Sony that stock of the Sony Xperia Z3 & Z3 Compact will not be arriving with us today, as had been previously expected.

We now expect stock to arrive on Wednesday 24th September. Depending on the time of day that stock arrives, we will either ship orders on Wednesday 24th or Thursday 25th September.

We appreciate that this will come as disappointing news to those of you that had expected orders to ship today. We’re really sorry about this and will do all we can to get your orders shipped as soon as we possibly can.

We hate it when handsets are delayed; the upshot is that this isn’t anywhere near as severe as some of the launch delays we’ve experienced in the past.

Z3 Compact Stretch Goal

The good news for Z3 Compact customers is that we reached our ‘Stretch Goal’ target and all orders are now eligible for a free accessory bundle.

We also have an accessory bundle offer worth £40 running with the Xperia Z3.

Apologies again that your order are not shipping today. Please rest assured that we will do all we can to get the phone to you ASAP.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Stretch Goal Reached – All Orders Shipping With Bundle!

600 Orders Milestone Reached

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact blackWe’re pleased to confirm that we’ve now reached the 600 figure target of our ‘Stretch Goal’ promotion for the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. This means that all orders, both outstanding and new, will have the bundle included free of charge. A big thanks to everyone that’s made a purchase and helped us to promote the offer.

If you have an outstanding order, the bundle will be automatically included when shipping. You do not need to take any further action to have the bundle included.

If you place an order for the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact from this point onwards, the bundle will also be added. When checking out on the Clove website you simply need to purchase the handset and the bundle will be added automatically when shipping. In case you haven’t seen already, the bundle includes:

  • 1 x Case for the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Sony AN 401 Car Charger

Thanks again to everyone that shared the offer and made a purchase. We started the promotion on Tuesday with 400 orders, and have hit the target of 600 just 72 hours later.  It’s the first time we’ve been able to offer a promotion of this sort and we’ve had a great response from the community!

We look forward to shipping your Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (and bundle) orders next week.

Sony Xperia Z3 & Xperia Z3 Compact Shipping Next Week

Sony Xperia Z3 Android KitKatUpdate Monday 22nd September: Unfortunately we have now heard that stock of the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact will now arrive on Wednesday 24th September. More info here.

We’ve now had confirmation that stock of the Sony Xperia Z3 and Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is due to arrive with us next week. At the moment we estimate that orders will ship on Monday 22nd September Wednesday 24th/Thursday 25th September.

Previously we had an estimated date of arrival of ‘late September’, but stock is now due to be here next week.

We’ve currently got special offers running for both handsets:

The Xperia Z3 comes bundled with £40 worth of accessories: 1 x MicroUSB to magnetic connector adaptor, 1 x Sony Xperia Z3 Compact case, and 1 x Sony AN 401 Car Charger. It is priced at £429.17 (£515 inc. VAT)

The Xperia Z3 Compact is currently on offer with a huge discount and is priced at £290.83 (£349 inc. VAT).

We also have a ‘stretch goal’ (as it has now been dubbed) running for Z3 Compact orders at the moment. If we hit 600 orders before launch, a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact case and Sony AN 401 Car Charger will be included with the handset free of charge. We are currently at 575 orders so we’re confident that we can hit the goal of 600 by the time the Z3 Compact launches next week. More info in this post

 

We’ve been lucky enough to have an early hands on with both handsets. You can read our Xperia Z3 review here and our Xperia Z3 Compact review here.

 

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact special offer

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