Expansys blog
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Goodspeed - Internet everywhere without the cost of roaming

In an world where staying  connected is essential but roaming charges limit your usage there has to be a better solution. With some headlines featuring fees up to £9,000, we would like to introduce you to Goodspeed.

 

Godspeed

 

Goodspeed is a mobile hotspot with a service that delivers high speed, low cost and secure internet connectivity internationally; this means no bill shocks, just internet freedom.

 

How it works:

       The Goodspeed personal WiFi hotspot device connects to the local network rather than your home network

       Order SIM’s for the countries you’re traveling to which ensures you’re always on the local network

       Pay a fixed fee daily pass for the country you’re in which includes up to 1GB of data to use

 

       Connect up to 5 devices to the hotspot and surf to your hearts content

 

The Goodspeed service is built together with a growing family of mobile operators providing access to their local networks. Goodspeed always partners with the operators offering the best in class data network in each destination country

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http://www.expansys.com/goodspeed

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Bluetooth Mobile Gloves

Expansys staff got our hands on some nifty Bluetooth Gloves in the office today, which are surprisingly easy to use and comfortable

You can answer a call using your index finger and thumb when they're connected to your phone through the Bluetooth receiver...


 

 



 

The initial scepticism weared off in an instant, as everyone was laughing when they discovered that they actually really work!

We'd recommend them as a quirky Christmas gift, perfect for keeping your hands warm this winter.

 

Find out more info here:http://www.expansys.com/kit4-bp14026-bluetooth-gloves-green-268434/

As featured on This Morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU0QHbZxBSw


 

 

 

  • Kathryn Ward-Gittos
  • Kathryn Ward-Gittos
  • Content Executive

Black Friday

Keeping in mind that typically Black Friday is seen as an American tradition with frenzied customers battling through doors, the BBC has predicted that there will be up to a 20% increase in shoppers in the UK compared to last year. Our friends over the pond at Expansys US have told us great things about Black Friday. Throughout the US consumers spent approximately $1.2 billion on various stores online. Therefore similar to the  shopping craze floating through America following Thanksgiving, Expansys UK will also be offering customers this online Black Friday Shopping bonanza.

 



Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the USA falls on the Friday after the fourth Thursday in November, a busy shopping day with some states in America having public holidays.  Multiple theories exist regarding the origin of “Black Friday.”  This has lead to links to the idea of heavy vehicle traffic and the Huffington Post quotes the Philadelphia Police department having a dark day policing the mayhem. However, traditionally the leading theory suggests that the term “Black Friday” comes from the idea of retailers getting out of the red and into the Black, with the forecast growing year by year. Black Friday usually marks the start of the Holiday season and Christmas shopping, with similar predictions to Boxing Day sales in the UK.


Expansys offers online will be up to 55% off, all with free shipping! Our items will be rotating in and out throughout the weekend and into Cyber Monday. Prices will also be dropping on many different products as the deals progress. Amongst these featured deals there are price drops listed throughout the site, as well as the chance for you to save on Deal of the Day offers and 10% Price drops! The Google Nexus 5 is high up on our hit list going live today with Europe's lowest price. It is fully upgradeable to Android 5.0 Lollipop and many great options available with accessories.


For further info click the links below to see the Black Friday offers in the UK:

http://www.expansys.com/black-friday-deals

http://www.expansys.com/tag4.aspx?tag=3992&f=3998

http://www.expansys.com/deal-of-the-day/

 

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World Cup BBQ Cooking Essentials

In restaurants the world over using thermometers to gauge if food is properly cooked is essential. Even more important is checking BBQ food, the nature of BBQ grilling means that the outside gets cooked a lot faster than the inside of your food.

Introducing two great interactive devices that can help you monitor everything you cook with a handy app on your smartphone. The iDevices Kitchen Thermometer connects to the App via your smart device and gives you the chance to set custom or preset temperature alarms, share your creations on Facebook and Twitter and see exclusive recipes.

It gives you full peace of mind that you are actually cooking stuff properly, gone are the days of squinting to read the back of supermarket meat packets! The thermometer knows what meat type you are cooking and tells you how long, it puts the simplicity back into the cooking process.

For the summertime the iGrillmini has the ability for you to take control of your BBQ, with the 150 foot range, the iGrillmini keeps an eye on your grill so you don’t have to hover over the coals all afternoon valuable football talk is at stake!

 

Use it to plan out different meat cooking times and keep all of your food safe, just remember to clean the thermometer when swapping between raw and cooked meat ; )

Well if that's not music to your ears.. what about a solar powered portable speaker?? yes that's right, no more having to get the extension lead out or pop down ths supermarket for a set of batteries.

The Soulra Rugged Ruckus speaker has a solar power panel that creates power for a full day of non stop music, when it gets dark, fear not.. the lithium battery shall keep charged for 8 hours also it's good stuff... bit like this burger!

Where did I put that beer!?

Expansys

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Expansys Football Fever

The World Cup is fast approaching and Expansys are feeling the heat!

 

In fact we are coming down with a fever... Expansys Football Fever 

 

To celebrate the World Cup we are giving away a Sony Xperia Z2 with our awesome twitter competition.

If you don't already.... get on and follow our Twitter for awesome technology updates and competitions throughout the year..

 

Check out our FIFA World Cup product page featuring a few products we have gathered to help get into the spirit of the 2014 World Cup.Products like the Sony Smartband for example that allows you track your activity and helps you keep motivated with the help of the interactive health App for Sony Smartphones

 

Enjoy the football this summer and get the fever..

 

#ExpansysFootballFever

 

Ole..

 

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Our lucky iPad 3 competition winner reviews her prize

We have made one lucky competition winner very happy! 

On the 15th May @Saminzki won a fabulous iPad 3 with Expansys, here is her review of the competition prize...

 

I would just like to thank Expansys.co.uk for choosing me as their winner for their iPad 3 competition! I still can’t believe it! I know there are many versions of the iPad, but with this being my first experience with one, I will be reviewing it as a first time user.

When I first powered up the iPad 3 I was greeted with one of the most impressive screens I’ve ever seen, due to the screen size and pixel detail. Every pixel, every inch of the screen delivered breath-taking sharpness accompanied with outstanding clarity. The stylish screen delivers crisp clear typography as though reading a glossy magazine rather than a computer screen. It was like experiencing HD vision everything was brighter and crisp.

The iPad 3 feels lightweight and comfortable to hold, however I did find the rotation feature irritating especially when reading in bed, and found myself locking the auto rotation to portrait mode, obviously this is just my personal preference and will take a bit of getting used to.

In terms of audio, the iPad 3 delivers impressive sound considering at the end of the day it’s a tablet. Despite this, you could always plug in the headphones, if you wanted to eliminate distortion.

Immediately I noticed a decrease in my laptop use, as the iPad 3 seemed to replace it in every way. Now I’m not suggesting the iPad 3 could ever replace a Laptop or computer, but in my case, it was capable of doing everything I needed and it was portable too. I loved being able to carry it in my handbag due to its size and not have to worry about lugging around a laptop bag. I’d definitely feel lost if something was to happen to it as I use it every day. When you forget your phone or your keys, forgetting my iPad now creates the same feeling. (A little sad I’ll admit.)

Another surprising addition to the iPad 3, I noticed was the overall speed of the operating system, which delivers a flawless user experience. It wasn’t long before I was tapping and swiping between applications and sliding my fingers up to close apps down. This being be my first time with an Apple product, I have to say that the operating system seemed a lot easier to get used to than others. Apps where easy to manage and delete, I managed to pick up the shortcuts quite quickly. Apps ran smoothly and multitasking was a breeze.

The camera placed on the front and back of the iPad 3 makes it convenient for taking quick photos, whether it’s a goofy selfie of you and your friends or your cat doing that adorable thing again. The front camera especially was a handy addition when using apps such as Skype and Facetime. I particularly loved the HDR option in camera mode when taking photos. As a photography enthusiast myself, I found the photos were vivid, vibrant and superb HD quality. Although taking a photo with an iPad may not give you the results you hope for. Which brings me back to my previous point, it’s a tablet, buy a camera if you want to take professional photos! Even capturing videos on the iPad 3 was smooth and detailed. Whilst watching films on the iPad 3, I soon found myself forgetting I was viewing it on a tablet, due to the iPad’s fantastic Retina Display screen and audio quality (perfect for little ones on long car/plane journeys!).

One of the main features I noticed firstly when using the iPad 3 was the impressive battery life, I must have spent all day when I first received the iPad, browsing my favourite social Media, playing music, editing photos and perhaps spending a little too long playing a certain candy crushing game.

Browsing the App store I was amazed at how many apps were featured, I even found apps similar to office and more complex photo editing systems such as Photoshop. The range of apps were impressive, anything I could think of they pretty much covered. The iPad 3 really does try to cater for all your needs.

The more I use the iPad 3, the more shortcuts I learn and hidden features I discover. For example, Do Not Disturb mode – choosing when to be notified, a handy feature when your friends don’t know when to sleep. I also found an app on the iPad 3 called Photo Booth, if you do not laugh when using it then there is something wrong with you. Hours of entertainment in your hands and I totally recommend you play it when everyone is feeling giddy.

Clearly I’ve only lightly covered some of the spectacular features that you can find on the iPad 3, if you want to read more I highly suggest you look over the specifications list for this model as the iPad 3 has a lot more to offer and I’m sure like me, you’ll be impressed.

The iPad 3 has changed how I use technology, without it I’d be lost. It definitely has to be, my new favourite gadget. I have recommended it to everyone and have already convinced my family, who are all jealous of my new toy. Hopefully I have convinced you guys about the iPad 3. Overall I love it, you’d be mad not to give it a try. 

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Back in the day!

Back in April 2000 Expansys.com were doing things slightly different from today, we accepted a huge variety of European currencies including the French Franc, Danish Krone, German Mark, Spanish Peseta, Portuguese Escudo & Swedish Krona... to name but a few! 

A Hitachi 48mb Compact Flash Card would cost you £52.36 and the 3Com - Palm Vx was the "Sleekest device on the market" we also had a live webcam in the offices to allow you to watch people working via the world wide web. 

 

 

We now have the Euro currency, accepted by most of our EU sites & the sleekest device on the market is hard to determine, due to the fact that pretty much all of the smartphones & devices we sell look amazing. Sandisk are offering a 128GB Mini SD card! and we have no office webcam any longer, our Website homepage looks a bit different too...

Come to think of it the changes we have seen in the last 14 years have been so fast paced, that it is hard to document all of them. We have seen fibre optic broadband, HD televisions, four generations of playstations, MP3 players and bitcoins to name a few - but like Triggers Broom from Only Fools and Horses, we remain the same in spirit!

 

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4G or not 4G that is the question?!

In February 2013 licences to use the 4G mobile broadband service spectrums were auctioned off within the UK.

After a long bidding war, companies such as EE, BT and Vodafone Ltd all won a piece of the action.

Unlike the 3G spectrum auctions, the obligations attached to being able to purchase 4G bandwidth this time were a lot tuffer, whoever bought the 800MHz spectrum of 4G had to provide coverage to 98% of the UK population by the end of 2017. The winners of the 3G bandwidth auctions had to only provide a measly 8% coverage to the whole of the UK in comparison.

So here we stand in 2014 with the prospect of waiting three years until 4G works nationwide, the question for a lot of people is..

Is it worth upgrading now from your current 3G Contract or Mobile?

At around 7 to 8 times faster than 3G speeds, 4G is offering connectivity of up to 150Mbps (in theory) 80Mbps in the real world. Users can download HD films in 2 minutes rather than the half an hour it would take on a 3G connection. So it definitely has its advantages, but with varying numbers being stated over what percentage of the UK actually has 4G coverage - until someone in Land's End can actually chew the fat via a 4G skype connection to their mate stood in John o' Groats - we the public deserve to be sceptical!

Of course it’s not the technology that is lagging for the consumer, you could choose between the Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s or the HTC One M8 to name a but a few in order to get 4G connectivity on your smartphone. There are a lot of entry level phones offering 4G also, but beware - just because the phone you buy may be a bargain, the 4G data costs are still rather high considering you can drop into your local coffee shop/bar/supermarket/anywhere for a decent free WiFi connection nowadays.

Don't get me wrong it is always worth future proofing yourself and going sim free with one of the above smartphones, if your old phone is on its last legs, there is an array of jaw dropping features on modern day smartphones to entice you to buy one.

If we are to believe the hype entwined with the internet of things, we shall have internet connected toasters and fridges in no time - but I doubt we shall be forking out monthly for 5G connections to know how burnt our bread is or if we need milk via an app?

The choice is yours...

Expansys 

#BeFirst

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Our lucky competition winner of a Nokia 1520 reviews her prize

On the 22nd of April 2014 one lucky competition entrant named Sandeep from Coventry won a fantastic Nokia Lumia 1520 – we asked her kindly and she gave us a review of what she thought about it…

Sandeep's Nokia 1520 Review

Firstly I'd like to begin by thanking expansys.co.uk for choosing me as the winner of the wonderful Nokia Lumia 1520. As you probably have figured this is most definitely going to be a positive review because I really am in awe of this phone.

With a super glossy finish, my thumbs glide across the screen with ease, making the experience so joyful as I swipe, pinch and tap my way through numerous apps.

Simple tasks like texting have once again become thrilling and it's all down to how intuitive and responsive the design is. I have never seen anything like it.

The phone is more than just a phone, it's almost like a tablet. The success of this phone is that it is not trying to be one or the other, instead it sits harmoniously in between.

From a purely aesthetic view I think this is a wonderful design, with a superb finish. Did I mention the glossy screen? It makes the phone so easy to use, it's incredibly responsive, while still providing crystal clear display. Placing this next to any other phone, the Nokia 1520 shouts of quality and that's not just because of the size.

Sandeep's instagram showing people her prize!

Now when people say size doesn't matter, they lie. Size is everything, which in the case of the Nokia 1520, it's perfect for the functionality that it offers. For those people with small hands, this is definitely going to make you use them both, but the strange thing is, it's much more enjoyable when you do. I find myself becoming fully engrossed and I love it. For me the only draw back in terms of size, is making a phone call. It's a little too large to hold against your ear, no probs though just wire up with the earphones and mic combo (although I still find it weird when I see people having conversations with themselves, with no sign of a phone).

Using the Nokia 1520, has made me wonder how I ever survived without it. My previous phones and all the others I've seen, seem like the are from the dawn of time in comparison. The range of apps I've stumbled across in the first few days are impressive. From apps that duplicate the contents of my screen to another device, to apps that play music for free while I run other apps such as Office. I'm sure you'll all have known of these ages ago, but needless to say this phone is perfect for so many apps and can run so many simultaneously, without slowing down in same the way that other devices do. I hadn't come across a phone that behaves so much like a computer, but performs better than one, until now. The functionality of this phone is so smooth and well planned. User experience deserves five gold stars alone. Although I must confess I did need to use the manual a few times to figure out simple things, like taking screenshots. But aside from that, I am really pleased with it. I wish all my devises were just like this. I'm starting to wonder how much I'll keep using my PC/Laptop/Tablet now that my phone can do almost anything.

The sleek Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia 1520's camera is the most definitely the highlight of the phone, making most digital cameras seem inferior in comparison. The amount of detail captured is insane. It's so easy to use and it caters for photographers at all levels of experience. Changing settings is so easy and there's no worry about doing the wrong thing, as the settings show you where default is. For me this is great as I feel more comfortable with playing around and experimenting with it. The settings are presented in a way that they are almost a teaching tool, but without being obvious about it. I certainly feel like I could learn more about the workings of a professional camera and its settings, by using the Nokia Pro Cam App.

When it really comes to down to parting with your money, you'll want to know the important things - most importantly battery life. I have to say I am astonished by the how long the battery lasts. I tested it over a weekend away, where I sat on a coach for ten hours using the phone for 75% of the time, listening to music, using office and browsing social media sites. Checking in, taking way too many photos (selfies included) and all the while keeping updated with work and emails - somehow it managed it all! I am truly impressed.

I've only used this phone for a few days and I am starting to unearth more and more brilliance and I'm pretty certain this phone still has so much more to offer. I'd really recommend this phone to absolutely everyone - whether you're obsessed over the latest technology or a dinosaur like me. You'll soon discover just how good the Nokia 1520 is, and you'll certainly be the envy of every person in the phone shops (that certainly was an enjoyable experience)!

If you're still unconvinced read up on the specification and you'll drool at what you see. This phone seems to have smashed the boundaries of convention and has decided to be way more awesome and achieve more than any phone I have come across.

If I could share one piece of advice to the non technical folk out there, it would be to take notice of the Nokia 1520  because it has changed the way I work and interact with others, providing a more instant and real time feed of what's happening in my world.

Now all that's left is for me to get back to exploring this masterpiece and perhaps purchasing the accessories to go with it - like the wireless charging plate! I'm not too sure how that works, but it sounds like wizardry... Time to investigate!

 

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Decisions decisions... Samsung S5.. Apple iPhone 5s.. HTC One (M8)

With such a great range of high end smartphones on the market at this precise moment of time, consumers are utterly overwhelmed with high-end tech, it is near impossible to compare the top-end phones. The three heavyweight tech offerings I am looking at in this article are the Samsung Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 and the iPhone 5s.

I could put a comparison chart here to help show the differences between the phones in terms of technicalities but the key differences are boiling down to the phones individual personalities and ability to hold their own with their unique operating systems and apps.

Operating system – So the old Android vs Apple iOS raises its head here, but there is also a battle of the Android skins. HTC with its Sense 6 and Samsung’s TouchWiz, both offering two bespoke skins for the Android framework, and both offering a unique way to interact with your phone.

The sleek interface of iOS 7 makes using the iPhone simple, but it is more restrictive in what you can do with it. Apple's iOS is best if you’re a smartphone novice, but the HTC One M8 offers you the ability to essentially make your own magazine on the home screen of your phone. Things such as news, social networks and photos can be updated to show you new content whenever you want right there on your home screen.

 

Cameras - Smartphones are looking to ever more colourful ways to make-up for the lack of a large physical lens on their phones. Dedicated camera lenses are built to let in as much light as possible so that every minute detail is captured, The Samsung S5′s 16 megapixel camera features the highest megapixel count and offers the largest images in terms of pixels. The HTC One (M8) camera has the UltraPixel system as seen on their previous model, but it also adds a second lens so you can choose what to focus on, The Samsung S5 also has a focus blur feature allowing you to choose what is and what isn’t in focus after the picture has been taken! The iPhone 5s uses larger pixels at 1.5 microns. This allows for the capture of more light, it also allows you to film in 120fps which is great for cool slo-mo effect videos.

 

Battery life – One area where the iPhone 5s struggles on is battery life. It simply doesn’t live up to either the HTC One (M8) or Galaxy S5, delivering 11 hours of call time on a full charge. The Samsung’s 2800mAh battery will give you 12 hours of HD video watching ability and the HTC One (M8) will last in standby at 100% for 2 weeks according to HTC, very handy for people that do not use their phones as heavily as others.

Design – Smartphone manufacturers are creating larger handsets in this day and age, The Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8), as expected, have increased screen size, to meet the demands of consumers who predominately use their screen space to browse the web or watch HD video.

The iPhone 5s with its 4-inch screen is much easier to use with one hand admittedly, which can be useful when carrying anything else. The iPhone 5s looks the best out of the three phones, with its smooth metallic finish and flat glass screen providing a defined sophisticated look. The HTC One (M8) features a full brushed aluminium case on its rear and has more of a rock and roll look, with the S5 really letting the side down featuring a huge amount of plastic, since the parts that look metal are plastic. The iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S5 both have fingerprint readers, which is very James Bond, but not all that secure in all honesty, as they can be cracked by people eventually. The HTC (M8) features great sound with its built in BoomSound stereo speakers that users might find handy if they’re stuck without headphones and want to hear some music whilst out and about. A key feature to the S5's belt is that it has brilliant resistance to water and dust, so that you can use the phone in any weather without a second thought.

 

Final Thought - Modern day smartphones such as these I have written about, really don't vary too much from each other. With technology moving exponentially forwards at pace, we are all to aware of the limits of each phone when they get released. 4k video recording & heart rate monitors aside it's the practical features of these phones that hold the most weight; battery life and connectivity are key. The 4G network will hopefully be nationwide soon and batteries will hopefully be solar energised or wind up rechargeable, until then I feel that swiss-army-knife, Inspector-Gadget smartphones will add ever more utensils… who’s got a bottle opener?!

 

Expansys #BeFirst