Sprint, Verizon, AT&T Offer New GPS Tracking Devices

Sprint and Verizon both recently started offering standalone GPS tracker devices that can report their exact position using cellular networks. AT&T already offers such a device. The devices use the new LTE Cat-M1 technology designed specifically for small, low-power devices that only need to transmit small amounts of data. Unlike Bluetooth-based tracking tiles, they do not need to be near the phone viewing the location, although the tracker device does need to be within the coverage area of the cellular network it’s associated with. All of the tracker devices are roughly the size of a matchbook, are water-resistant, include Wi-Fi for enhanced location accuracy and efficiency, and have multi-day battery life. They are designed for tracking kids, pets, vehicles, and luggage, for example. Sprint’s Tracker is made by Coolpad and features a light sensor and speaker. Its battery lasts 3-10 days and it’s rated IP67 for dust and water. Sprint is charging $60 for the tracker and $5/month for service. The Verizon Smart Locator has battery life up to five days and an IP67 rating. Verizon charges $100 for the tracker with one year of free service, after which service is $3/month. AT&T offers the Samsung SmartThings Tracker, which has battery life up to one week and an IP68 rating. AT&T charges $100 for the tracker which includes one year of service. After the first year, service on the AT&T network is offered through Samsung, and runs $5/month or $50/year.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

New Police Tool Can Access Any Locked Phone

An Israeli company that supplies law enforcement agencies worldwide announced that the newest version of its tool to access locked phones can access almost any smartphone, including Apple devices running iOS 7-12.3 and most Android phones. The company, Cellebrite, promises that its new UFED Premium device offers nearly complete access to Apple devices and “flagship Samsung devices”, as well as support for accessing the file system on “popular device models from Motorola, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi.” The company boasts that its device lets law enforcement “Bypass or determine locks and perform a full file system extraction on any iOS device, or a physical extraction or full file system (File-Based Encryption) extraction on many high-end Android devices…. gain access to 3rd party app data, chat conversations, downloaded emails and email attachments, deleted content and more”. Apple has added features to iOS in recent years to thwart this kind of access, and is rolling out iOS 13 this summer and fall.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Huawei reduces sales forecasts, delays the Mate X

Huawei reduces sales forecasts, delays the Mate X
The Trump Trade Termination is now having a big impact on Huawei. Donald Trump, who spent much of yesterday tweeting about fake news, has put Huawei on a (very short) list of companies that US and US-connected companies must not deal with. The result is a big loss of confidence amongst prospective customers, and now Huawei are dropping forecasts by $30 billion over the next couple of years because of the US campaign.

CEO, Ren Zhengfei, told us…

In the next two years, I think we will reduce our capacity, our revenue will be down by about $30 billion compared to the forecast, so our sales revenue this year and next year will be about $100 billion.

This is a real shame, as both Huawei and Honor are making some brilliant phones. The trade war will reduce the level of competition and availability of smartphones. Huawei is currently the largest telecommunications equipment maker and the number two smartphone brand.

Smartphone sales overseas have dropped by a massive 40% as sales took a steep dive between May 17th and June 16th. Meanwhile, Huawei also announced that the Mate X is to be delayed, with a September launch date now being given.

The post Huawei reduces sales forecasts, delays the Mate X is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

70mai Smart Dash Cam – Review

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

Made by Xiaomi, this is a perhaps one of the best dash cams I’ve ever tested.

OK, perhaps I’m not meant to start reviews that way but it’s true. Available from Amazon, there’s a couple of different versions of this one but it starts at £65.99.

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

Yes, that seems a bit pricey but you do get a lot for your money. First of all, it has a 2592 x 1944 pixel resolution. It also has voice control, so once you’ve installed the camera, you just talk to it to record footage or take a picture. This means, should something happen while you’re driving, you just need to say, “Record a video”, and it’ll do just that. It’ll include footage from before the moment you said that and for a while after too. The result is a video like this. You’ll hear me say, “Record a video” at around 50 seconds, and the camera then responds..

You’ll have probably noticed that you can hear me talking in that video, but you can turn that off if you wish and I’ve disabled the “record in-car audio” in later videos . Everything is done via an app which hooks into the WiFi put out by the camera. You can, should you wish, use the buttons on the camera, but I’d rather use the voice control and an that app.

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. In this review I wanted to show you the actual installation. That’s from the moment you take it out of the box until the moment you start using it. The result is the video below, which shows you the setup and how easy it is to adjust the various camera settings.

This goes into a lot of depth, so you’ll find the main bulk of information in this video. It’s worth mentioning that I assumed it would embed speed information into the video footage. Sadly it doesn’t do that.

The quality of the videos and the pictures captured by this camera are fantastically good, however that does mean that the file size is quite large. This means that, when you download a video from the camera to your phone (via that 70mai app shown above), it does take quite a few seconds to complete. There’s no option to edit or trim the video before you download – you have to download the whole thing. After a bit this became a little frustrating and I actually reduced the resolution to speed up my downloads.

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

Also, despite there being a number of settings, I couldn’t find a way to adjust how many minutes were added to the start or end of a clip when you initiate an emergency recording.

That front lens is a 5 megapixel unit and, as I mentioned before, it produces some rather fantastic footage. You can see some further examples of “interesting driving” that was captured by this camera below…

As you can see, great quality. It comes with something called “WDR” that adjusts the exposure balance to capture everything in greater detail – whether it’s sunny or raining. It also uses a “defog algorithm”, which meant that the spray-filled road in the video above looked clearer.

I was a tad disappointed that the GPS attachment I mentioned in the unboxing video didn’t display speed information on the footage – that would’ve been nice and I’m sure it’s possible. However, instead this basically ensured that the ADAS system did it’s magic. ADAS, which is something I’ve rapidly disabled in almost every dash cam I’ve ever tested, does try to help. I got told when the car in front was moving away (ideal at traffic lights) or if I was getting too close. It also warned me about lane departure and so on, but I found that it was telling me things I already knew so I turned it off. You should be paying attention any way, so an audible message to tell you that the car in front is just means that you can get distracted and perhaps faff with your phone at the lights. For this reason, the GPS / ADAS add-on just didn’t seem worth it to me. No GPS (speed or location) info on the footage, and limited “driver assistance” which most people shouldn’t need any way.

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

I did like the 24 hour parking monitor system, although it does depend on whether your car is providing charge to the camera when you’ve stopped. I got around this by feeding the 12-volt car USB power into a portable battery, then I fed the dash cam from that portable battery. This meant that I could rely on the portable battery keeping the camera alive even when the cigarette lighter power was off. The camera itself has an inbuilt 500mAh battery and it’ll tell you if it’s recorded something while you were parked that you might want to take a look at when you get back in your car.

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

As mentioned before, you can record footage by simply saying “Record a video”. You don’t need any keywords or anything like that. It’ll also auto-record footage if the G-sensor is triggered, so there’s no real need to worry if you’re in an accident.

The screen is 2″ and measures 320x240mm. As you can see from the initial unboxing, it was pretty easy to get going and the jump to the app was extremely helpful. You can also take pictures, and here’s some example shots…

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review 70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

The app

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

Grab the app here after you’ve bought this camera. It separates the footage into videos, photographs and then into parking, events and videos.

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

You can view a live feed from your camera or drill down into your photo album. It’ll then display each video. They’re split into one minute chunks and, don’t forget if you keep it on the highest resolution, it’ll chomp through your storage card pretty quickly. You’ll need to supply that separately and it’ll auto-overwrite footage that you’ve not chosen to keep (such as emergency recordings etc) automatically. 70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

Here’s the settings screen. You can sync the camera time with your phone, set the WiFi, whether the camera makes a sound when it comes on, whether it records audio and how quickly before the screen goes off. There’s also settings for collision sensitivity, how loud the volume is (note that there’s a bit of a translation issue on that, I’ve never turned volume up to “Large”, but still), and the video settings..

70mai Smart Dash Cam   ReviewYou can also format your microSD card, turn the parking surveillance on or off and activate the ADAS system. You can see above that I’ve got it disabled.

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

 

Conclusion

The biggest plus point for me was the quick setup and the fact that everything was controlled by either the app, which was relatively easy to use. The ADAS system and the additional GPS module didn’t seem worth it for me. I wished it had the ability to put speed information on the footage. I also wanted a way to trim footage before downloading, as the super-hi-res video footage took a bit of a while to transfer down to your phone.

70mai Smart Dash Cam   Review

That all said though, this is a real fit-and-forget camera. It installs itself easily, it’s very straightforward and easy to use, and you get used to saying, “Record a video” when something happens in front of your car. The 140 degree lens was brilliant and the footage was incredibly high resolution with perfect videos even in the worst of weather and at night. Fantastic stuff.

In the USA, you can find the 70mai smart dash cam on Amazon.com. It’s also available on Amazon UK. You can also get it from AliExpress.

This one is brimming with features. Easy to fit, easy to install and get going, great footage and some good additional features. Perhaps best for me was the fact that no cables were needed to get the footage and it was all button-free, with the app and your voice doing all the work.

The post 70mai Smart Dash Cam – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.

Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.We can’t find a way to buy it just yet, but the Nokia website now has the Nokia 2.2 online and is set to cost just €99.

The headline features of this one are the AI helpers and the sheer fact that it’s cheap. It’s not quite as cheap as the Nokia 1 Plus we took at here, but it’s still cheap.

This one gets a better camera setup (13 megapixel and better low-light shots from the rear shooter) and face unlock via a 5 megapixel camera. It also gets more RAM, with two versions – a 2GB RAM version with 16GB storage plus a 3GB RAM version with 32GB storage. Presumably the latter is a tad more expensive.

Here are some photos taken with the camera..

Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.
Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.
Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.
Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.
Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.
Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.
Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.
Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.

Both run Android 9 Pie on a MediaTek quad-core A53 CPU (2GHz). It has a 5.71″ HD+ screen with a notch and a 19:9 ratio.

Like the with Nokia 1 Plus, there’s no NFC and it still uses microUSB charging. It also has only 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.

Other specs include a 3.5mm audio port, an FM radio, 3000 mAh battery and Google Assistant one one button push.

Here’s a look at it in action..

Despite the whole “Microsoft” thing, HMD Global seem to be making good use of the Nokia brand. These are budget, entry-level phones from a brand-name which is still pretty strong. These are, though, very, very entry-level.

Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy.

The Nokia 2.2 is the first 2 series Nokia smartphone to be part of the Android One programme, and they’re committing to Android Q plus two years of OS upgrades with three years of monthly security updates.

The AI tech inside lets you shoot multiple images simultaneously to create a single image with more light, greater detail and less noise. It’s got HDR plus “Colour Pop”, “Colourise” and “Beautify”.

The brand is also bring back those personalised Xpress-on covers. It’s going to be available in Steel and Tungsten Black.

The post Nokia 2.2 arrives. A smartphone for the less techy. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Your car speedometer versus GPS speed. A test.

Over the weekend you may have seen my post about the new Google speedometer. It started me talking about the fact that the speed shown on GPS apps is usually different than the speed reported by your car.

Your car speedometer versus GPS speed. A test.

The reason? Well, here in the UK at least, cars must not display a speed which is slower than your actual speed. If this were to happen, it would mean that you could merrily be driving at 50mph according to your car speedometer, but you could actually be doing 55mph, for example. You end up with a speeding ticket and you’ve no idea why.

So, most of the time, it’s the other way round, and you’ll actually be driving slower than the speed displayed on your dashboard. Here’s an video showing just that, at 50mph, 60mph and 70mph. At slower speeds it’s a bit more accurate.

Now, I realise that the Google Maps speedometer is a bit small, so I tried again with a GPS speed app which has a bigger display..

Obviously, you should always stick to the speed limit and follow the speed on your dashboard, but it’s interesting to think that radar guns and average speed cameras will be showing a different speed to the one on your car speedometer.

The post Your car speedometer versus GPS speed. A test. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Google Maps – Now with a speedometer

Google Maps   Now with a speedometer
I’m probably going to open up a whole can of worms here, but your car speedometer, some of the time, isn’t right. For the most part, it only needs to be accurate to within plus or minus 5 mph at 50 mph. Here in the UK the law is slightly different, allowing speedometers to be displaying a speed which 1-6 mph faster than your actual speed.

Due to the laws here and in other countries, most manufacturers seem to stay safe and calibrate speedometers to show a speed which is faster than you’re really going – by about 3-4 mph.

So, if you’ve ever had a TomTom or you’ve used a speedometer app on your phone, you’ll notice that sometimes it shows your doing 50mph but your speedo is show 53 or 54mph.

Then, of course, you have to work tyre sizes into the equation. If you’ve taken 16″ alloys off your car and put 18″ alloys on, your car is going to go a bit faster.

Google Maps   Now with a speedometer

Anyways… so, you’re in the average speed camera section on the motorway. You’re welded to 70mph, but are you really doing 70? Well, if you’re using Google Maps you can now show a speedometer. Sure, it’s been available in other apps for a bit, but I tend to default to Google Maps when I’m navigating anywhere.

To get the speedometer, head to Settings -> Navigation Settings. In there, if you scroll down, you’ll find “Speedometer”. This will tell you the speed as judged by those magical satellites and how fast your position is changing.

Google Maps   Now with a speedometer

Boom! Now you can compare speed.

The post Google Maps – Now with a speedometer is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Saving and earning money with your smartphone

I’ve got a savings account. The other day I took a look at it and was pretty shocked at just how much money wasn’t there. The problem? Here in the UK our interest rates are really low. That’s great if you’re getting a loan or a mortgage, but not so great if you’re trying to save money.

Recently a whole load of apps have appeared to help you stash some cash. Most of these, like Moneybox, involve you putting money into investments.

Saving and earning money with your smartphone

Doing this really isn’t scary, but a lot of people think it is because “stocks and shares” is generally an unknown topic. However, it’s not that much different to your pension. That slowly gets bigger because the money you put in gets invested into stocks and shares. Sure, they very safe and secure investments, but they’re still stocks and shares.

Saving and earning money with your smartphone

To go further, you can also do trading on your smartphone, with stock trading on Android and forex trading on iPhone. It can, in all honesty, take a bit of time to learn, but there’s plenty of resources out on the web to help you with this. YouTube is also a good source of inspiration if you’re looking to find out how it all works.

Saving and earning money with your smartphone

Another little trick is to “round up” your change, and some payment apps now offer this. Those systems save the change by rounding up to the nearest pound. So, as an example, if you pay £2.70 for a coffee, 30p goes straight into your savings account or your investment fund. It’s these micro payments that will go a long way, so trying something like this will pay off quite quickly and usually without you noticing the “hit” too much.

Whatever you decide to do, even if it’s just a small savings pot, it’s really worth putting some money aside for the unexpected, and your smartphone can help you.

The post Saving and earning money with your smartphone is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Mario Kart – Android gameplay

Mario Kart has been a hugely popular and addictive game in our house. It’s available on the Nintendo Switch, but we’ve played it on the Wii U and the original Wii back in the day too.

For everyone else though, it’s not readily available. You can’t get it on your smartphone for example. However, that’s going to change because, right now, they’re doing an Android beta test in Japan.

Mario Kart   Android gameplay

This has given us a first look at the game, with the game looking pretty similar in terms of graphics, characters and sound effects. Where things change, however, is with the gameplay. The kart is powered automatically and just needs you to drag left or right to steer. No acceleration or braking needed.

Where things might get sticky is with the in-game loot boxes. In some countries, in-game revenue models cause them to be classed as “gambling” due to the fact that you can pay for a random selection of premium items. Due to the rewards flexing, it’s like playing at a casino. Most players will realise that, if they want to learn all about casinos, it’s best to go SmartCasinoGuide.com, the authorities in countries like Belgium see things slightly differently.

This first appeared in games like Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing, where you pay until you’re lucky enough to get a rare item you’re after. The rewards aren’t guaranteed in these games, so it’s perhaps best to learn more about betting with sites like SmartBettingGuide.com. In these games, there’s fairly low odds on achieving the top-tier items, which reaulted in Nintendo of Belgium announcing the following on their website..

Due to the current unclear situation in Belgium regarding certain in-game revenue models, we have decided to end the service for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes in Belgium. It will therefore no longer be possible to play and download the games from Tuesday 27th August 2019.

Currently, the rules in Belgium haven’t been applied elsewhere, but there’s nothing to say that other countries won’t follow suit. The new Mario Kart Tour Android app might need a bit of a re-think if they’re going to get around this. The monetisation system isn’t known as yet, but it’s expected to be free-to-play with in-app purchases funding it.

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Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Vodafone 5G – Mobile gaming on test

The new, faster 5G network will, when combined with connected gaming, create a whole new world of mobile games.

Vodafone have tested their 5G network in Birmingham with Gaming Expert, “Syndicate” and has been checking out some of the cloud-based games from Hatch.

Vodafone 5G   Mobile gaming on test

The new, faster 5G network means that you can get everything done in far less time. This includes everything from gaming to social media and browsing websites. You can now have more time to research your family history or check public records. I’m quite into this, and you can check this honest beenverified review, which shows just how easy it is to get past and current addresses, criminal histories, phone numbers and other related data into one simple report. I’ve used it recently and it’s also a great way to see what information is on file for you or a business you might run. If you’re looking for someone else, don’t worry, all searches are completely anonymous.

Meanwhile, back in Birmingham, Tom Cassell, aka Syndicate tested some 5G-powered games as they were streamed live via the new Vodafone network. It’s all about zero lag and responsiveness, and with the UK Gaming industry worth £3.86 billion, it’s a really big and important sector which is going to grow with the faster tech.

5G provides gamers with a low latency connection, meaning they will have a much smoother and more responsive gaming experience with no lag, buffering or dropouts. A bigger network capacity means that the “Hatch” gaming platform can operate without interupttion.

YouTuber Tom Cassell stated…

5G is completely changing the landscape when it comes to gaming on the go. (Games are) easier to play(including) higher intensity online games such as Fortnite.

Mobile gaming has increased at least 10% year on year for the last 10 years.

The post Vodafone 5G – Mobile gaming on test is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News