With the recent release of ‘Her’ the technology romance film that see’s Joaquin Phoenix link up with his computer, many people may be wondering if it will ever become a reality for us with our smartphones?
Fear not because with the Motorola Moto X you can recreate a little bit of the film, feel free to whisper sweet nothings to your smartphone all day long and it can interact with your requests, well actually don’t whisper as it may not hear you.
The Moto X, even in standby mode with the screen blank, is keeping an ear out for your every word, It won’t react to everything you say like a real life partner, but if you mutter the words.. “Okay, Google Now” the phone springs into action and makes the magic ‘bong’ noise that shows you it recognises you want a chat. It can’t, unlike Apples Siri, handle accompanying questions, so you have to start the whole process again by speaking the phrase and asking a whole new question. It’s a great little feature that allows you to save voice memos and interact with the Moto X on an almost human level...(almost).
This is a sleek and well proportioned phone with a 720x1280 display that fills the whole of the front of the device, it has an easy to hold curved back, complete with a dimpled circular Moto logo and comes equipped with a 10 megapixel camera. The performance of the phone is good with a full day bettery life that handles all the talking interactivity with ease.
Pick the phone up and with a double flick of the wrist the phone wakes up, launches the camera and is ready to shoot, perfect to take a romantic tech selfie on your own… better still you could even set up an online dating profile whilst your at it!?
We have barely started 2014, but the Galaxy S5 is already the talk of the town, with rumours populating blogs all over the interwebs. However, we have had very few details about what Samsung’s future top-end device might be packing; even if the leaked specs seem to check out, the release date remained a mystery. Not anymore.
It’s through the medium of Twitter that the news broke: the Galaxy S5 will officially be announced on 24th February. Samsung confirmed a special event which will take place at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; the fair which runs from 24th to 27th February now holds even more intrigue and interest.
Despite the invitation not explicitly mentioning the Galaxy S5, it left little to the imagination with regards to the subject of the event. So as the first day of MWC comes to a close, Samsung will be lifting the curtains on it’s latest flagship, with the show starting at 20h.
Having originally thought that Samsung might hold a dedicated event, as was the case with it’s two previous generations of smartphones, the company has decided to come full circle; as with the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy S5 will make its debut at the MWC.
As a reminder, in terms of tech specs, we are expecting a 64bit, octo-core Snapdragon 805/Exynos 6, coupled with 3GB of RAM. For the screen, the Galaxy S5 should measure 5.25 inches, with QHD resolution, which means 2560 x 1440 pixels. The camera on the back should be a 16 megapixel snapper and two different sizes of storage are on offer; 32 and 64GB. All of this running smoothly with Android 4.4 KitKat.
Even if the event goes as we think, the official release date of the Galaxy S5 remains a mystery, but based on the release dates of previous generations of the south-Koreans Galaxy S series, we can safely assume that we will have the latest high-end smartphone by the end of April.
We will of course be at MWC to give you the scoop on the Galaxy S5, and a first hands-on experience!
In 2014 you can get a lot of smartphone for under £200. Here are 5 of the best from Expansys.
Motorola Moto G
With prices starting at only £139.99 the Motorola Moto G is a game-changer. It wasn’t long ago that quad-core processors and eye-popping full-HD displays were reserved only for the elite flagship devices; today they’re found in the staggeringly low priced Moto G.
The Moto G runs with pure Android KitKat (4.4), giving you a break from all the unused bloatware other smartphones have pre-installed. Adreno 305 graphics, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 1 GB of RAM provides all the power the Moto G needs and then some. The 4.5-inch 329ppi screen (iPhone 5 is 326ppi) sets a new benchmark for displays in this price range while the sturdy build quality is exceptional.
Choose between 8GB or 16GB models and if that isn’t enough storage Google have thrown in 50GB of their cloud storage (very useful considering there is no microSD slot). It doesn’t support 4G but neither does the competition under £200 (the closest one being the Nokia Lumia 625 at £219.99). Colourful Moto Shells and handy Expansys wallet cases allow you to customise your Moto G.
Samsung ATIV S
When first launched the Samsung ATIV S was a flagship Windows Phone 8 device, subsequent price cuts now make it a compelling smartphone. For £179.99 (a £65 price cut!) you get an 8MP camera, 4.8-inch HD AMOLED display and 16GB of storage (microSD expandable to 32GB). A 1.5GHz dual-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM keep the OS ticking smoothly while a large 2,300mAh battery (removable) easily lasts a day. At just 135g and 8.7mm thin the ATIV S also has superb metallic design and build (atypical from other Samsung hardware).
Acer Liquid E2 Duo
The Acer Liquid E2 Duo is a budget friendly Android smartphone that carries an ace up its sleeve; you can switch between two SIM cards. This is great for when you travel abroad as you can use a local SIM card and avoid costly roaming charges. It also means you can juggle between business and personal SIM cards.
Running Jelly Bean and powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz processor the Liquid E2 Duo is no slouch. It has 1GB of RAM and 4 GB of on board memory (microSD expandable up to 32 GB), plus it comes with a free universal Power Bank worth £9.99 to keep it charged on-the-go. This makes the E2 a bargain for the price but don’t take just our word for it, over 40 positive reviews can’t be wrong!
The brightest of the bunch, the HTC 8X is a Windows Phone 8 smartphone with a splash of colour. A Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU makes the OS buttery smooth while music sounds great through the 3.5mm audio jack thanks to Beats Audio amplifying. The display is a Full HD 4.3-inch beauty, churning out a retina busting 342ppi. The 8X feels as good as it looks too because of the soft tactile material and ergonomically curved back.
Sony Xperia M
Available in white or black the Sony Xperia M punches above its feather weight size (115g). NFC, HDR imaging and a customisable notification light are all features of the M. Design details from the Xperia Z flagship are visible on the M such as the precision crafted aluminium buttons and iconic power crown (inspired by the dial on wrist watches).
Check out the full range of smartphones under £200 from Expansys here.
Smartphone applications have transformed the way we live our lives in the UK. From the way we communicate to the way we navigate, from the way we shop to the way we entertain ourselves, apps have become intertwined in many of our daily activities.
According to Google, the average Brit now has 29 apps installed on their smartphone. Some of the most popular apps have even become household names: apps such as Instagram, Hailo, RunKeeper and WhatsApp now enjoy widespread brand recognition.
With apps becoming more central to our lives, it’s important to consider them when buying your next smartphone. In particular, application compatibility can make a huge difference to your smartphone experience. In this guide, we’ll cover five important app considerations when choosing your next smartphone. More...
Buy an Xperia Z Ultra from Expansys and you’ll receive a free SmartWatch 2 worth £159.99. It’s the perfect companion to the world’s slimmest Full HD phone (6.4mm) as you can control your phablet from your wrist.
Rather than fetching for your 6.4-inch Z Ultra nestled in your bag, a quick glance at your SmartWatch 2 shows you the information you need. Technically the third smart watch made by Sony (1, 2 and who could forget this glamorous iteration?), highlights of the gadget includes:
Compatible with any smartphone/tablet Android 4.0 or later
Dust and water resistant; (IP57 rating, 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter)
Up to 4 days battery life (96 hours)
NFC enabled/connects via Bluetooth
1.6-inch transreflective touch display (readable in sunlight)
Tonnes of apps to download from, the Google Play store
The iconic Xperia power button that sits proudly on the Xperia Z, Z1 and Z Ultra was inspired by the crown on watches (the part that winds the clock) so it fits well on the SmartWatch 2. The 24mm straps are changeable so you can adapit it to fit your style. Sony offer colourful yellow and pink silicon straps or more sophisticated brown and black leather.
The Xperia Z Ultra is available from Expansys with 0% finance (£48.60/month).
The Nokia Lumia 625 is perfect for those looking for a smartphone on a budget and its now even more value for money with Nokia offering a free cover worth £17.99. It boasts a big 4.7-inch display, its 4G enabled and it has Nokia’s superb offline turn-by-turn navigation. Follow the 5 steps below to make your claim.
Sign up for a Nokia account or sign in with your existing Nokia account to register for the offer. Register between 11th September and 31st December 2013.
3.Claim your free cover
Once you’ve created or signed into your Nokia account, please fill the form in with your name, contact details, address, preferred colour of shell and IMEI number. The IMEI can be found on the side of the box your phone comes in.
4.Nokia will verify your information
When you register your purchase, Nokia automatically verify the information you provided
5.Your free Cover will be sent to you
Sit back and enjoy using your new Lumia 625, your free gift will be sent within 28 days.
Whenever someone mentions buying a new mobile phone, the first thing that often comes to mind is expensive contracts and lengthy periods locked into the same contract. By avoiding a few common pitfalls and making smarter decisions about your next mobile phone, you can become a mighty mobile adventurer rather than an annoying sidekick. Get your smartphone at the right price and it’ll be a great investment that saves you money across all parts of your daily life.
In this article, we take a look at five ways to save money and to get the most out of your mobile phone. More...
Last year’s IFA show in Berlin brought us quite a few drool worthy high tech pieces. Namely the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy Camera and the Bond inspired Sony Xperia T, as well as a slew of innovative Windows 8 and WP8 ATIV devices that marked the beginning of a wonderful partnership between Samsung and Microsoft.
This year’s global innovations show is set to be another tech bonanza. HTC, Acer, Archos, Samsung and Sony are all set to unveil their new phablets, tablets and smartphones. Samsung and Sony have already announced their pre-IFA events, which will be happening a few days before the official start of the show, in order to give more momentum for their flagships of this upcoming year. IFA 2013 is taking place from Friday 6th September – Wednesday 11th September; follow us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or checking our Insight blog. Here’s our run down of what to expect. You can pre-order and check out all the latest gadgets on our IFA 2013 web page.
Rumors concerning a Samsung smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, have been ticking louder and louder by the minute and we’re certain it will be unveiled at the event. Beating Apple’s rumored smartwatch to the race it will go up against the Sony SmartWatch 2 and COOKOO watch in the growing wearable tech market. Supposedly the watch will feature a 1.67-inch AMOLED display but, contrary to certain rumors, it won’t be flexible. 1GB of RAM and a Exynos dual-core CPU (clocking in at 1.5GHz) powers the smartwatch, whilst Bluetooth, NFC connectivity and a 2MP camera are all rumored to feature. There has also been talk of a web browser, email and phone call apps but nothing has been confirmed.
According to Venture Beats this is an image of the Samsung Galaxy Gear - we'll have to wait until IFA to know for certain
The new Galaxy Note III will supposedly feature a large 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, a quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU or the Exynos 5 Octa, (most likely depending on region) and a massive of 3GB RAM. In terms of the camera, a 13MP rear sensor with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) as well as a front camera for video chatting is expected. The latest version of Android 4.3 will surely be completed by Samsung’s Nature UX 2 user interface. Being 2013, we’re expecting nothing short of 4G connectivity, as well as a nice little dose of NFC.
Next up is Sony and their new 5-inch Full HD flagship codenamed the Honami. Pictures of it have been leaked on the web but the specs remain a mystery. Supposedly it boasts a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, an incredible 20.7 MP camera, a 3000 mAh battery, and runs Android 4.2 OS. If all of the above turns out to be accurate, waiting for the Z1 Honami will definitely be worth it.
Following the mini trend of flagship handsets (HTC One mini, Galaxy S3 mini), a mini version of the Honami is also looking to take its share of the spotlight. It has a slightly smaller (but still big) 4.3-inch display, the same CPU/RAM and a slightly smaller 2,400 mAh battery.
The Sony Lens G is another product that will allegedly be announced in Berlin next week. It’s a high definition camera lens for mobile devices which can also be used as a stand-alone digital camera. Featuring a sensor, CPU and an SD card slot it will enable you to drastically improve your mobile photos, as well as offer you the option to use it as a separate camera.
LG beat everyone to the curve by announcing its LG G2 smartphone a few weeks ago instead of waiting for IFA. This enables LG to give a little more stage time their new tablet – the LG G Pad 8.3. It’s an 8.3-inch slate with a full HD display (1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution), 2GB of RAM and a 1.7GHz quad-core processor. It’s just 8.3mm thick and weighs 338g so it’s going to be ideal for on the move. Expect it to reach European markets in the last three months of 2013.
The new LG G Pad is taking on the iPad mini and Google Nexus 7
Acer carry on their blazing pace by showing their new 6 inch phablet - the Acer Liquid S2 at IFA 2013. According to the Taiwanese manufacturer, it’s the world’s first smartphone that can record 4K video – a format 4 times as detailed as high definition. The new Acer Liquid E2 Duo and Acer Liquid S1 Duo are both available from Expansys.
A member of our EXPANSYS geek squad will be at IFA making sure we’re up to date with the best of the latest the tech world has to offer. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, as well as our EXPANSYS blog. You can pre-order and check out all the latest gadgets on our IFA 2013 web page.
The new Sony Xperia M packs plenty of clever features for a £199.99 smartphone. It's available from Expansys now in black or white.
Xperia M Specs:
1GB RAM/1GHz Dual Core Qualcomm processor
4GB internal memory/microSD, up to 32GB
Android Jelly Bean OS (4.1)
5MP camera, dedicated shutter button
1,750mAh battery, STAMINA mode
The design details from the Xperia Z flagship are worked into the M’s sleek skeleton frame (115g). The precision crafted aluminium buttons and the iconic power crown (inspired by the dial on wrist watches) add a touch of quality. It has an OmniBalance which means it looks symmetrical from all angles and the gentle arch on the back helps it feel comfortable in your hand. There’s also a handy illuminating light at the bottom of the display to indicate any incoming calls, Facebook notifications, SMS messages etc. that you can customise.
A hearty 1GB of RAM - rather unusual for a mid-range smartphone – gives the Xperia M a slick user experience. Its runs Android Jelly Bean (4.1) out of the box and a dual-core Qualcom processor clocks 1GHz. There’s 4GB of internal memory plus a microSD slot for an extra 32GB.
Press the dedicated camera button to quickly boot up the excellent 5MP rear camera in under one second. This can take HDR images (High Dynamic Range) and record HD video (720p)thanks to the Exmor RS lens sensor. It has an LED flash and 4 x zoom as well.
A premium 4-inch display is just the right size for everyday functionality and immersive entertainment. The screen has a pixel density of 245 (480 x 854) and supports multitouch (up to 4 fingers). To top it off, it’s layered with scratch-resistant glass.
The Xperia M is NFC enabled so sharing content is easy with friends. Touch once onto NFC equipped headphones, headset or speakers like the Sony BTV5 (demoed in the video below) and play your music, no need to plug in a cable or pair manually via Bluetooth.
The Xperia M is a mid-range smartphone that punches above its weight and price tag. Flagship devices that cost twice as much boast the same features. The low price point means the M goes up against the Nokia Lumia 620 but deciding between them will come down to your preference of Windows Phone 8 or Android Jelly Bean operating systems.
Get all the information you need about your football club with the 1st4Fans app. It’s a free download from the Windows Store and there are over 154 teams to choose from including Premier League, Championship and even MLS clubs.
App at a glance:
Consolidates your team news from sources around the web
See upcoming fixtures and results
Live scores and match updates
Read fellow fan opinions
Live league table to check where your team are
The 1st4Fans app has an elegant and fast user interface that syntheses various pieces of information from around the web. You can browse articles written from various news sources (Goal.com, TEAMTalk, Guardian etc.) and read fellow fans opinions about your team. Check live scores, upcoming fixtures, results and the league tables. You Designed for Windows Phone 8, the app utilises the Live Tiles so you can get up to date information of your football club at a glance.
Developed and published by Ranyart Systems, 1st4Fans is the top rated Sports app on Windows Phone, the top rated free app overall and won the Best Sports App Award 2012 (beating ESPN); there's only one football app you need for your Lumia this season!