There is still a lot of confusion as to what you can and cannot do with your mobile behind the wheel. So, we aim to answer those frequently asked questions surrounding the use of a mobile in the car.
DJ Loh opened the Samsung unpacked show with a speech applauding the loyal users of the Note series of smartphone phablets. Samsung headed back into the smartphone ring with the Note 8.
At first glance, you are forgiven for thinking that this phone was going to be a Galaxy S8 with a S-pen, but you would be so wrong. The Note series is designed for multitaskers and creatives and many of those functions demand more power and smarter software. So here are a selection of the main highlights of the new Note 8
Yes, it has the infinity display so loved by the recipients of the S8, with a QHD+AMOLED display. The 6.3” screen gives more real estate for those creations. The curved edge is steeper to allow you to write and draw more. There is still the split screen so you can work with two apps at the same time, to this has been added the ability to pair apps, for example you ‘Maps’ and ‘Music’ for driving.
The dual curved edge and aluminium unibody is unchanged. The phone comes in four colours midnight black, deep-sea blue, orchid grey and maple gold. It has a c-type USB connection and those who were worried that Samsung would follow Apples lead with the ear-phone socket, will find it still there and ready for the Harmon earphones that come shipped with the phone. The fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitors are now on the rear.
Sporting a best in class dual pixel sensor, the Note 8 also has dual cameras, one with a telephoto lens, the other with a wide-angle lens. Both these cameras work together, giving you depth of field. As both take individual shots and combine them, this means you can use a live focus mode to concentrate on your subject whilst blurring the background…in real time and after taking the shot. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is in both cameras giving you stability in both photos and video. Samsung even cheekily compared their video shot in Thailand against the latest apple offering!
You do not buy a Note without appreciating what the S-pen can bring to the experience. The Note 8 S-pen has the same pressure sensitivity and pen release seen in earlier Notes. The new features include off screen notes increased to over 100 pages worth, without having to switch your screen on, plus the ability to edit and erase too. You can now translate whole sentences from text, or pictures, making life easier on your travels. It will convert currency too! One very cool feature, is the way you can now write or draw messages and then send via SMS. You can also write or draw on photos you have taken before sending.
PenUp was mentioned as it is an app, featuring the community of Note users, showcasing their works of art created with the S-Pen. There is now a gallery of colouring pages for those quiet creative moments.
Although Bixby has been slow in getting to England, the Note 8 has Bixby onboard and ready to use. The Bixby button can have several commands programmed to a couple of words. The example given was the command ‘food photo’ which opens the camera, sets the filter to ‘food shot’, after the photo has been captured, file the photo to an album, labelled ‘food’. Leaving you virtually hands free and saving several taps on the screen.
The processor driving the Note 8 is a 10Nhm Qualcomm, backed with 6GB RAM and starting with 64GB storage. This storage is expandable with a microSD card. Samsung Knox is still present to protect your phone and opening the device is quick with iris scanning, though fingerprint, face recognition, password, pattern, and PIN are also available.
The Note 8 is available on pre-order and ships from the 15th September. Prices start at £869 for the 64Gb
Watch the demo here
It is that time of the year, the kids will be breaking up soon and we will all be heading en masse to Europe for our holidays. Last year we wrote about how to keep your data costs down whilst roaming on holiday in our blog, Costa Bravo, Not Costa Lotto. This year the picture is different….or is it.
EU roaming charges
Since the 15th June, we have been free to roam the EU with our mobile phone, using the same tariff as we enjoy (pay for) at home. This means that if you have an unlimited call and text plan, then you will be able to make the same calls and texts, though a few operators put a ‘fair use’ allowance, this is liable to be generous enough for your two weeks in the sun. This is the time to pay close attention to your tariff and ensure that you stay within its limitations.
Data plans are also the same, this means the ability to look up local restaurants and attraction opening times with the same allowance as you have always had at home. The charges for going over your data has also been reduced, in some cases as much as 25 times cheaper, even so, you should try to keep within your usual usage and our tips from last year will assist with that.
I travel a lot
If you travel to the EU for work often, then as long as you spend more time in your home country that abroad in any 4-month period, then the same ruling should cover you. If you need extra, then there are still some tariffs with roaming minutes included. If you are planning a longer trip than a few months, or a temporary move to another country, then you may need to talk to your operator.
We are here to help
Here at Voot, we want you to get the best out of your tariff, and so please talk to us before making extensive travel plans, to check and see how you can roam like at home.
Many businesses start at home, or in a business incubation unit. Ours is no exception. "Easy in, easy out" they shout - and in most cases its absolutely the perfect way to start.
what many business centres fail to tell you however is that you will be allocated a telephone number for their internal telephone lines - and you will be free to have that number printed on your stationery, website, directories everywhere as your relentless marketing drive aims to push people to buy from you.
As you become more and more established you may well move into a larger office, until one day if things go well, you decide its time to seek pastures new. And thats when your problems start...
The telephone number you've taken doesnt belong to you. You've just rented it. And for the business centre thats an excellent commercial decision - as it means you will be less inclined to move... Your easy out option becomes a huge issue - because it could damage your business to lose your main point of contact.
Here at VOOT we are delighted to offer businesses a much better option. Your own geographical number - that we can point in any direction you like. At your business centre phones, or at your mobiles. And you OWN the number, meaning that as your business grows we can work with you to deliver a phone system, transfer it to any premises you may choose.
Numbers start from just £5 per month. PLEASE - speak to us before you move in to a business centre. We're happy to talk...
It is all too easy nowadays to forget that Apple and Samsung are not the only manufacturers of mobile phones. Many people know that others exist, but are reluctant to move from the security of the two main players. Chained to our phones for most of the day as we often are, it is worth considering other makes, to see if they could possibly be a better fit.
Now that Blackberry has chosen to use the Android Operating system, this is an easy move from a Samsung. There is the Blackberry KeyOne, which brings back the physical keyboard for those that prefer this method of input. Stacking up with a 5.7” screen and 3GB ram it certainly has the capacity to be a mobile office. The Blackberry Priv is also one to consider, this time with a slide out keyboard.
HTC have always produced great phones with superb cameras and camera software. The latest is the HTC U11, which has some squeezable sides. Yes, that is what we said. If you love Alexa from Amazon, then you will be interested to know HTC will be bringing her along with this phone.
If you love being the one with the latest software, then Google’s Pixel phone could be for you. Packed with Google goodies, such as Assistant and unlimited storage for your photos. The phone has some impressive stats too; a type C USB and 4 GB ram are among those. Two sizes of Pixel and Pixel XL for more screen real estate.
The latest offering from Sony is the Xperia XZ Premium, the world’s first smartphone with a 4K HDR display. If you are into video and motion capture, then this could be your dream phone. Being Sony, you also get your PS4 gaming experience from your phone.
OnePlus make some quality phones and their latest the 3T claims to be the fastest charging at ½ hr for a full days’ worth of battery power. With 6GB Ram and 128 GB of storage this could be the powerhouse, you need.
We have not completed a full review of these phones, yet, but perhaps a chat with one of us to discuss your particular needs from your phone, will help us steer you.