The Cat B15 is rugged Android smartphone with an IP67 rating. In this video we put that to the test.
ASUS have been busy announcing a few new products at Computex.
A couple of interesting ones that caught our eye in the mobile space are the ASUS P2b projector and the ASUS Wireless Duo.
We have ranged portable projectors before here at Clove, as well as ranging the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Beam that has a projector built in.
The requirement for such has been fairly limited to date, but with the increasing use of mobile devices with more media and many mid-high end handsets now offering video out the P2B projector is perhaps the first of a new wave of portable projection solutions.
With a 350 lumen output from a long life LED, the light source is designed to power up instantly whilst cooling down rapidly before packaging away for transportation.
Capable of projecting a 42 inch (diagonal) image from just one meter away from the projection surface the image is displayed at a resolution of 1280 x 800.
Connectivity is key to the P2B projector as is the portability. ASUS have integrated a D-Sub (VGA) input and a HDMI/MHL port; allowing compatible handsets to even be charged from the projector.
Images, videos and most office document formats can also be read directly from USB storage devices and microSD cards. Built-in speakers allow you to get audio too.
The P2B’s lithium-ion battery lasts for up to 90 minutes at the maximum 300-lumen brightness setting, but turn the brightness down and increase the battery life.
We will bring you more news on this potentially handy accessory as and when we have it available.
In addition to the projector, ASUS have also announced the Wireless Duo which as the name suggests is a wireless storage devices with options of 500GB or 1TB internal storage.
The Wireless Duo can be used an external storage option for smartphones and tablets, potentially saving internal memory on your mobile device.
Music and video can also be streamed from Wireless Duo in a variety of popular formats.
There is support for Android, iOS, and Windows, plus it is easy to share files with up to five difference devices concurrently.
A built-in SD card slot provides a one-click card-to-hard drive backup option and gives instant access to photos taken with a digital camera, removing the need to carry multiple memory cards. Wireless Duo also features USB 3.0 for super-fast file access over a wired connection with compatible devices and a built-in battery for up to six hours of media streaming.
We know from past articles how Samsung devices are pretty popular because of the way in which you can use and integrate their products into your everyday life. It is not just a phone, it is a truly mobile computer because you can connect external displays memory sticks and more.
Samsung devices nor the S4 are not the only devices to do this, but you can see a few of the items you can connect to the S4 in the following video.
Using the word budget can often sound negative as it sound like from the outset the phone will be basic but the Xperia E is fairly basic. However like many of the basic things in life they fulfil a purpose.
The Xperia E does just this. It doesn’t scream look at me nor does it offer anything that any other smartphone doesn’t but it works well and for around £130 you get pretty good value out of this handset.
Please feel free to read my review below, but if you prefer to sit back and watch then this unboxing will give you an overview of the review.
Lets start with a quick look at some of the specs of the handset:
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS
- 3.5″ 320 x 480 screen
- 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
- 512 MB RAM
- 3.2 MP camera with autofocus and flash
- WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR & DLNA
- HD Voice and noise cancellation
- 4GB internal storage
- Up to 32 GB micro SD
- Walkman application, xLOUD filter technology & Music Unlimited
There is nothing new with the Xperia E, Sony or I make no qualms about that, it is purely a functional smartphone.
From a physical hardware point of view, the Xperia E is small, pocket-able and discreet. It harks back to older dumb phones that fitted comfortably in your pocket and could be taken out and held to your ear without looking like a house brick; I like this.
When there are as many smartphones available today as there are it is really quite hard to stand out from the crowd, unless there is something truly unique about it or the manufacturer has a massive budget to publicise the handset and make you notice it.
The Xperia SP doesn’t have either of the above but what is does have is countless charm and an appeal that really can’t be explained until you hold it and use it.
Please feel free to read my review below, but if you prefer to sit back and watch then this unboxing will give you an overview of the review.
With a 1.7GHz Dual Core processor and 8GB of internal storage the Xperia SP will not get the smartphone enthusiast hot under the collar, but the SP is not aimed to do this. The SP is the higher end of the mass market smartphone that will serve the needs of a much wider audience at a much more attractive price than the more publicised competition.
With 8GB of internal storage and a microSD slot there is little need to be concerned about a lack of storage, especially when the phone can accept 64GB microSDXC memory cards (some restrictions apply). The only thing you need to be concerned about is if you install games or memory hungry apps as these need to be installed on the internal memory and with 8GB of internal, by the time the OS is installed there is only circa 5GB for you to actually use. Having said this, if you are generally installing apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, BBC News etc. you haven’t got too much to worry about.
The SP has a 4.6” display which we will cover in more detail later, but this is encased in a really quite comfortable and strong feeling chassis that weighs in at 155g and measures 130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98 mm.
I can’t really explain what it is about the SP, but it just feels right in the hand for me. I have recently switched from the S3 to the S4 but the SP I actually prefer when it comes to in the hand use.
We can all get taken by the headline specifications and features of a smartphone, but have you ever really considered the smaller, less noticeable but useful features that you actually end up using quite a lot?
I think we sometimes take for granted what is on offer or do not appreciate how some features are on some handsets but not others and the impact they have.
I have mentioned previously on this blog how I actually really liked the ability to talk to the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S3 to take a picture meaning I could continue to hold the phone steady in 2 hands. It is not a make or break feature but one I have got used to using and I would prefer not to lose on any future handset.
With the release of the S4 from Samsung I have switched from the S3, to the S4. Thankfully the camera speech recognition is still there.
What I did use on the S3 is an SMS scheduling app to send messages at a pre-determined time after creation. I realised that I had not re-installed this app on the S4, and was about to when I noticed the following within messaging; Samsung have built in the ability to the S4 to schedule messages.
This is a fantastic little feature. It might not be suitable for everyone but for me I was really pleased to see this and it is just testament to thinking about the things and including them as standard.
I didn’t have to install that extra little app I can now manage it all within the standard messaging screen.
Other features on the S4 include the ability to translate a text message and the ability to create an emergency message in times of desperation.
The S4 is not alone in this, there are other devices from Sony and HTC etc. that all have their own small, unique benefits that make things fun, intuitive or simpler.
The point is, that if you then get used to using such features and switch to a different phone you can easily loose these small things which you become used to and it becomes a frustration to find workarounds or add on apps.
We are all quick to criticise when technology doesn’t do something but do we comment on the things it does right?!
Are there any hidden or less publicised features on your phone that you like or rely upon?
Be it an Android, iOS, BlackBerry or Windows Phone device there are countless apps that are available through the relevant marketplaces.
Unless you are super human, you could not possibly know about them all and what benefits they can bring.
Of course there are the very big and popular apps which are almost self explanatory, i.e Twitter, Facebook, G+, Instagram, Evernote and many more.
There are though countless smaller, less well known apps that do some very clever things or make your everyday life simpler.
You more than likely have become aware of certain apps, be it through websites, friends and family. If so, what apps are they, what do they do and why are they so great?
They are both simple apps that are very useful. CallTrack logs a history of all made, received and missed calls in Google Calendar at the time they took place whilst SMS Backup+ keeps a copy of each text message within Gmail for me.
So what useful apps do you use and why? Leave your comments below.
Image Source: Digitaltrends
Unless you have been disconnected from the internet over the last few weeks you can not have failed to have noticed that Samsung have taken a serious barrage of comments regarding the memory or lack of usable memory on the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Whilst they are not alone in the way they report memory, they are perhaps the biggest culprits for excessive use of the available storage.
I currently have an S4 and after installing all my apps (no games) i have around 600MB left. Thankfully I stream my music, but I do not have any room for the music to be stored in offline mode .
Anyway, this has got me thinking…
Why when Samsung (and equivalents) announce cool features, why can we not download them as individual elements that can be installed at the users discretion?
This way if you wanted only 1 of the 30 features you will use less memory than installing all 30 that come currently pre-installed on the phone.
For example, I do not use S-Voice for anything other than the camera. I have the other elements turned off, so can I remove these other elements?! It has been documented how you can speed up the home button by turning off S-Voice. But for me I must have S-Voice on because I want to use it within the camera.
I do not use Smart Screen at all. It is doing no harm in the settings, but it must be eating up some memory.
There is a very strong argument that you should just opt for stock Android and then customise it with apps. However this does not appeal to all and I have to say even as a more seasoned Android user, I like some of the Samsung features.
When we consider the wider mass market, your mum who has an Android phone wouldn’t even contemplate some features or adding them onto a stock Android handset. Samsung put them there for convenience thus there is a lot of appeal.
So why not have any of it installed as standard. Upon initial start-up explain what can be downloaded and then allow users to download the bits they want. Hey presto, everyone gets what they want.
The obvious advantage here would be the ability to customise your phone more than you can now. Yes, we can turn features on or off, but if you never use some features they sit in the background chewing up memory etc.
However, I think currently there are too many disadvantages from the eyes of the manufacturer.
It isn’t that simple just to add and remove bits of software as it all ties in and is fundamental to the phone in many cases.
There is the potential for even greater fragmentation of devices making it more difficult for support.
Certain great features would be overlooked by the mass market reducing the chance of success for the handset in global sales; but maybe we could reverse the idea and uninstall bits?!
My knowledge is software how it integrates to the hardware not to mention the possibility of the above is limited; but what I do know is many apps can be downloaded and installed onto phones to take a stock feel to a heavily customised and much more powerful solution like a Samsung Galaxy, so it must be nearly possible.
Samsung with their ever-growing size and power, not to mention cash reserves could be the ones to pioneer this approach and satisfy almost all users don’t you think?
The big news this morning is the flickr is now offering everyone 1 terabyte of FREE photo storage.
With a whopping 1 terabyte you can store an incredible 873,813 4 megapixel photos or 218,453 16 megapixel images. You can not deny that this is impressive.
So with so much storage how to make best use of it?
No doubt you use your Android phone for taking pictures. You may store the photos on the phone memory or an SD card, but do you back them up?
If you do not back them up, or do so at irregular intervals then why not take advantage of auto uploading.
Auto-uploading can backup your pictures to the cloud within minutes of taking picture or video on your phone. Meaning should you loose the phone, delete the image off your phone, there is always a copy online to access at any time.
Such auto-upload services can work over WiFi only or over a mobile data connection too, the choice is yours.
You may have heard that Dropbox offers such a feature, it works well (I use it all the time) but there is limited free storage. This means occasionally you need to go in and delete content.
Naturally flickr now seems the ideal option with so much storage. You will probably only have to go in and delete or edit photos every year or less!
Flickr offer an Android app but that allows upload but you have to initiate the upload which is frustrating. It works well but you would have to keep doing uploads every so often.
You can set whether it uploads over WIFi or data connection or whether it uploads when the phone is charging or not.
It automatically uploads images as private so the whole world doesn’t see pictures unless you specifically ask it to.
You can too force it to upload older images you may have on your phone too as well as video.
We have all lost photos or data at some point and realise only after the event how important it was. With this service there is no excuse and for just £1.99 this is a fantastic price.
I strongly encourage you to try this app and backup your valuable photos and videos now.