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Posts in category Gadgets

Top 5 Tips for Tech on Holiday

Here’s my Top 5 Tips for taking Tech on Holiday.

1. GET INSURANCE, and double-check it, and then check it again.

Being the sensible chap I am I knew it was a smart move to get Insurance, particularly as I was taking an array of pricey tech gadgets, including a £839 laptop, Kindle and my Lumia 800 phone it wasn’t something I was willing to risk.

However it’s worth reading over the small print, as the vast majority of Travel insurance caps the total payout for items value, so even though I took out £2K of insurance, I could only claim a maximum of £300/item… which is somewhat useless if the £839 laptop fell off the ferry!

Check. Double Check. Triple Check. Compare. Don’t get caught out by the small print.

2. Don’t take more than you really need.

When I went I took Laptop, Kindle and Smart phone and of course my trusty Pebble. With hindsight the Kindle went completely unused, coach was too dark (travelling at night) and unsurprisingly wandering around a cool new foreign city meant I didn’t spend much time reading, so it could have easily been left at home.

I also took my laptop, this was mostly for business reasons as I needed to always be able to get on a proper PC quickly to make sure all my servers were behaving, and of course, making some notes for blogging.

It is important however to really consider what you’re taking and what can be left behind, it may seem like a great idea when you’re packing but remember, you need to carry this stuff! Also it just adds to the risk of loss/theft and often simply isn’t worth the risk.

3. Do you really need that camera? 

I am sure many would disagree with me on this point, but having a digital camera, or any camera for general snaps when you have a half-decent smart phone is just silly. A good modern smart phone can easily out perform the average cheap camera, so why bother? I haven’t owned a camera in years because my phone has a good camera and can take some incredible pictures. Keep it simple.

4. Know where you stand with your data usage! 

Before I travelled I checked with my network (T-Mobile) annoyingly I was told I’d be charged £1.50/Mb and well, that’s a lot. Although it’s worth taking a deeper look, after some digging it turned out that this wasn’t the case and I was able to buy a Travel Booster, £10 for 50MB. It wasn’t enough for me to be using my phone as normal, but it gave me enough data to last the 36 hours I was in Amsterdam and allowed me to check-in, tweet and facebook as I wondered around.

5. Using cards abroad.

I usually prefer using my card than paying by cash for most things, cash is simply a pain rear, change everywhere – but a card is usually quick and easy… In the UK. Unfortunately when overseas it can end up landing you with some hefty transaction fees and conversion rates so it’s worth checking with your bank/card provider what the costs are.

I found that the costs for withdrawing month and potential card fees were just too much, so I opened for the old-fashioned method – convert a lump sum to Euros before I travelled. This was a good way to go, no fees and meant I knew exactly how much I was spending – I’d have spent a LOT more had I not done this.

 

Lynx Body Spray App

Lynx have launched a cool new body spray app which lets you stay fresh on the go. Really cool and handy gadget for when you’re on the go but forget your spray.


Sponsored Video

Give it a go and let us know what you think in the comments!

Review: Nokia Lumia 800

The Nokia Lumia 800 is the first Nokia handset to use the awesome Windows Phone operating system with some impressive specs such as 16GB internal memory (a big improvement on 512MB on my android) and 512MB SDRAM it’s a big improvement on Nokia’s seen previously.

I’ve now been using the Nokia Lumia 800 for a few months of vigorous testing which any phone I own goes through on a daily basis, it’s proved to be the best one yet!

The Design:

The Nokia Lumia 800 has a smooth and sleek design with rounded sides which fit nicely in the palm.

The Nokia design team have also made some interesting, yet well thought out, design choices in button location; the power button for instance is located on the right hand side middle of the device. This position means you can very easily turn the device on with your middle finger when holding it. This small design choice has a noticeable impact on how you use the device on a day-to-day basis and makes the “pick-up-and-go” nature of modern smart phones just that little bit faster & easier – No more fiddling with a button at the top.

The phone comes with it’s own rubber case to help protect the phone from drops, with the curved poly-carbonate chassis protecting it from the heavier knocks, unfortunately this case does become somewhat slack if removed too many times.

Also the flap for the USB charger, while useful as it protects the socket may be a breakage risk depending on how you treat the phone (it’s been fine for me), this is something Nokia has removed from their Nokia Lumia 900.

The Screen:

The 3.7″ ClearBlack OLED WVGA display with strong Gorilla glass finish is simply, the best screen for a smart phone. Extremely strong and resilient to knocks and scratches and very easy to clean while still being a responsive and it’s impressively good when in bright light too.

The Camera:

The 8 MegaPixel Carl Zeiss Tessar camera is fantastic, with an awesome HD resolution (in both photo & video) it’s fantastic quality, coupled with the Windows Phone’s easy point and shoot functions you can quickly take snaps even while the phone is locked. Not to mention the quick sharing meaning you can snap, upload & share pics within in seconds. Great for social whores like myself who can’t resist sharing that I’m munching on a huge bowl of cereal.

The Battery:

The battery has had some bad press, and many I know with the Lumia do have some problems with the battery life and yes. It will eat the battery if used a lot there is simply no way around that, but things have improved somewhat with the release of updates and being aware of the features left on (bluetooth/wi-fi etc) coupled with battery saver mode I have no real problem as a heavy user, but you do need to remember to plug it in at night… and when you’re at your desk is always a good idea.

So, should I get it Dan?

If you’re looking for a great smart phone which lets you do what you need to do quickly and easily I highly recommend the Nokia Lumia 800, it’s simply a joy to use and I love it. You can pick up a Nokia Lumia 800 SIM free phone for under £450 from Argos

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Tablets are cool, and are only getting cooler by the day. The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is an awesome device, based on the incredible Android OS as well as the Touchwiz 4.0 which includes great additions like Live Panels and the Mini Apps Tray to make it easy to flick between apps with the touch of a fingertip, truly easy multi-tasking.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 includes all the bells and whistles from a HUGE 1GB memory, GPS, 2 inbuild camera of 2 & 3MP and all of the high-speed mobile networks including wi-fi.

Samsung got the Samsung Crescent racing team to have a look at the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and it really shows how useful these lightweight (only 565g) devices can be in a variety of situations.

Sponsored Post

Review: Oregon – GPS Scout

I was recently asked to review the Oregon GPS Scout Backtrack Altimeter, which while sounding complicating is a very cool little device for those who are outdoors lovers.

After reviewing the Oregon GPS scout I have found it is a great device, and as someone who can be very critical of gadgets I’m rather impressed. The GPS Scout is great quality, surprisingly easy to use and appears very functional and feature rich tool.

The Oregon GPS Scout has 4 main modes: Altimeter which displays your current Altitude; Barometer which uses advanced Baro-compression tech which can detect the differences in pressure caused by altitude and pressure caused by weather conditions making it far more accurate than most devices on the market, also very cool from a geek view!

It also has Compass and GPS modes, which can be used for backtracking to pre-saved locations useful for hiking and finding your way back to the car/campsite.

I must admit there is one niggle I have with the GPS Scout which is the unit setting where you can set both the temperature and distance. Annoyingly these are not separate settings so you can either have it as °C (Celsius) with Km OR Fahrenheit with Miles.

Generally in the UK we use °C & Miles, while not a huge problem it is a little frustrating that can’t have both in my preferred scale.

The device also features a LED light which is useful, and when camping a vital feature. I’ve also found this handy when poking about inside my PC…

This is a great little device and worth checking out if you’re the outdoor type, I am looking forward to using this the next time I get outdoorsy.

Check out the GPS Scout on the Oregon site, don’t forget to post your own thoughts in the comments!

Disclosure: This product was provided free for the purposes of this review, this review is still 100% impartial and is solely my own honest opinion of the device.