Smarter Bluetooth Features Coming to Android

Android Q will include a smarter, richer interface for Bluetooth devices that support Google’s Fast Pair standard. Google has announced the final features and look of this interface as Android Q inches closer to final release by September. With True Wireless Stereo earbuds, Android Q phones will be able to show individual battery levels for the left earbud, right earbud, and case. Fast Pair devices will also now work with Google’s Find My Device service. Owners can view the location and time of last use, as well as ring the buds to locate when they are in range. The new interface will also display links to Google Assistant and notification settings, if applicable, and key additional settings available in the companion app, if there is one, such as a custom sound equalizer. More than a dozen devices already support Fast pair, with more on the way.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Varidesk Exec 40 Review – Don’t sit whilst working!

Varidesk Exec 40 Review   Dont sit whilst working!
Right now I’m sitting on my backside. Some years ago, when I was at school, I somehow chose a profession which would involve me sitting down for many hours on end. It’s not healthy. It’s not good for you.

My fitness band keeps telling me off. It gives me a friendly little vibrate every now and then, informing me that I should perhaps get up and move around. Trouble is, I can’t do that too often else I’d never get anything done.

Varidesk Exec 40 Review   Dont sit whilst working!

This is where Varidesk comes in. They sell a wide range of height adjustable working solutions for your desk or your cubicle. They also do compact standing desks too, which are great for laptops and tablets. They look a little like small ironing boards on your desk and start at £150.

In addition to all that, there’s height adjustable chairs, monitor arms and anti-fatigue mats.

Varidesk Exec 40 Review   Dont sit whilst working!

In this review we’re going to have a look at the Exec 40 – a sturdy and solid rising desk designed for taller users. If you’re 6’1″ or taller, this is for you. There’s also a cheaper ProPlus desk which will suit everyone else and you can choose from a 30, 36 or 48 inch model. Those are £365. The one we’re reviewing here is £495.

Varidesk Exec 40 Review   Dont sit whilst working!

Yes, that is a lot. While the price sinks in, I should also make clear that these aren’t full desks in the traditional sense of the word. They don’t have four legs and you don’t sit them on the floor. No. Instead, you put them on your existing desk.

This one here needs a proper office desk. If you’ve got one of those curvy corner desks then you’d be better looking at a Cube Corner desk instead. This one, however, needs a decent and full-sized office desk to sit on. Why? Well, because it’s big, it’s heavy and … did I say it was big?

Varidesk Exec 40 Review   Dont sit whilst working!

The bottom part, sitting on your desk, is 65cm deep. If your desk isn’t that deep then you need to look at another product. It’s also just a bit wider than a metre, so check the width too.

The weight? Well, let me put it this way. You’ll need two people to carry this thing and place it on your desk. At 43.1 kg it’s not advisable to try lifting it yourself. Yes, 43.1 kg.

OK, so now I’ve got the weight, the dimensions and the price out of the way – I’ll excuse most of these things by saying that it’s immensely solid and planted. I honestly thought it would topple over and the sheer thought of putting two monitors, keyboards, mice and laptops on this thing filled me with dread. I hoped to find some sort of clamp in the box to hook it onto my desk but, truth is, it really doesn’t need one.

Varidesk Exec 40 Review   Dont sit whilst working!

That hugely hefty 43.1 kg weight means that it supports 15.8 kg of kit, so you can put two monitors on this, laptops and lots of other bits.

You can see how I’ve laid things out here but you have the ability to adjust as you see fit – there’s more than enough surface space for multiple monitors, papers, mouse pads, notepads and other accessories.

Varidesk Exec 40 Review   Dont sit whilst working!

The lower keyboard tray slides out and fits a full-size keyboard and mouse with plenty of room to spare.

The spring mechanism on the side works like a dream – you simply put both hands into the slots on the side of the upper tray to release the locking mechanism. This lets you select one of nine positions so that you get just the right height. It works brilliantly at making the once-hefty weight of the unit (and everything on it) simply glide up and down. It’s a really nice, smooth motion and you can transition without any worries from the sitting to standing position very easily.

Setting up isn’t a problem, it’s ready to go – no installation required. You can easily tie your monitor, keyboard and other cables back – just ensure that you have enough slack in your cabling and definitely setup your desk while the unit is in it’s fully “up” position so that you know that those cables are the right length.

The slide-out lower deck is something that I really liked – it meant that when the unit was up, your keyboard came close to your body, making working easier.

I really liked the standing position. As well as daydreaming that I was Fatboy Slim, it gave me a strange energy and extra freedom. Plus, of course, it meant that I could do a bit o dancing while I listened to music on my headphones.

The lift!

Indeed, Varidesk are so confident you’ll feel the benefits that they offer a a full refund and free return if you aren’t happy after trying it for 30 days.

For more information, head to Varidesk.com on that. Overall though, I have to say that it’s extremely well made, immensely solid, perfectly designed and really easy to move up and down with that spring-assisted lift. Yes, they’re well over £350 (and £495 for this particular model), but they’re incredibly well thought out and you can totally trust them.

It means you can move around more, work in a flexible way and become more active too. I also strangely became a little more productive whilst using it.

Varidesk Exec 40 Review   Dont sit whilst working!

The post Varidesk Exec 40 Review – Don’t sit whilst working! is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Samsung Galaxy A80 – Rotate and rise camera in action

Samsung Galaxy A80   Rotate and rise camera in action

Click to see it in action!

Getting an uninterrupted screen seems to be the “in thing” at the moment. To achieve this, you’ve got to put the front-facing camera somewhere else. The OnePlus 7 Pro solves this problem with a pop-up camera, as does the NOA F Series. Meanwhile, the Reno by Oppo has a sloping mechanism which gives it a “wedgy”.

Then, of course, there’s the phone we’re quite big fans of right now – the Asus ZenFone 6. This flips the rear camera assembly out and over the phone and, despite our initial fears, it seems pretty robust. You can real the full Asus ZenFone 6 review right here on Coolsmartphone of course.

Samsung Galaxy A80   Rotate and rise camera in action
Samsung Galaxy A80   Rotate and rise camera in action

Now Samsung, who are currently surprising us with their really rather good A-range phones, have shown off their Samsung Galaxy A80. It’s got a 48 megapixel main camera that adds pop-up action with flip-around fun. A 48 megapixel rear shooter arrangement also acts as a front-facing selfie camera when you need it, and it does this by sliding up the top portion of the back and then flipping around the camera assembly on a horizontal pivot. Like a barrel roll.

Samsung Galaxy A80   Rotate and rise camera in action Samsung Galaxy A80   Rotate and rise camera in action Samsung Galaxy A80   Rotate and rise camera in action

All of that is explained far better in this promotional video…

This phone is popping up (geddit?) in places like Tesco Mobile, John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse, Clove and elsewhere. The retail price is £579 but you can get it on monthly plans for as low as £28.49.

Specs include those two lenses (a 48 megapixel camera and an ultra-wide 8 megapixel unit) plus a TOF sensor. It comes with a 6.7″ Full HD+ AMOLED screen (1080 x 2400 FHD+ Infinity Display), Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, Dual-band WiFi, GPS, NFC, USB Type-C and Android 9. It has a 3,700 mAh battery, 128GB of internal storage and 8GB RAM. This is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 CPU.

The post Samsung Galaxy A80 – Rotate and rise camera in action is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

How to create better videos on your smartphone

As you might have seen from our YouTube channel, I tend to film quite a few hands-on videos.

Professional kit isn’t used, but with a bit of cleverness,, you can get a professional-looking video. Some of the “tricks” I’ve used in recent years have been stored in my head, but I figured it’d be good to detail them in a post. Some might sound quite simple, but they all add up and should hopefully result in a better footage.

Here’s a few of the steps I try to take..

Try to get a phone with proper Optical Image Stabilization

Known simply as “OIS” in the smartphone spec-sheets, it’s in smartphones like the Xiaomi Mi 8, the OnePlus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S-range. Smoother, more liquid-like footage can be captured with this. It’s ideal if you’re walking or moving around with your phone and if you don’t have a stand.

Oh, and while we’re talking about those…

How to create better videos on your smartphone

  • Get a tripod or holder

I personally don’t have one of these, but I do have a flexible smartphone holder that can be bent and twisted into any particular shape. This is ideal for filming in the car or when I’m doing ad-hoc filming outside. I can just attach it to a table, a chair, a window-ledge. Done.

How to create better videos on your smartphone

 

  • Make sure the area is brightly lit

I love the daylight and you’ll usually find footage filmed near a window or outside it possible. If it’s a video under electric light then you have to ensure that there’s far more light than you would normally need for day-to-day activities. Plus, aside from making sure the area is brightly lit, using soft lighting can make a big difference as well. It will be more even, and the shadows it creates won’t be as hard. When filming a smartphone, for example, you’ll get a lot of reflection off the screen, so softer and more uniformed lighting is better.

How to create better videos on your smartphone

  • Adjust the resolution and frame rate

Increasing the resolution can improve your video definition, and nowadays it is best to record in 1080p at least. Using a higher frame rate can make your video look smoother – but it will require a faster shutter speed, which in turn will require more light.

If your smartphone supports it there are benefits to recording in 4K – even if you don’t want to ultimately export the video in that resolution. Notching it down to lower resolutions on YouTube won’t matter quite as much.

How to create better videos on your smartphone

  • Use an external microphone

Bit tricky this one, but if I have the time I’ll try and record with a corded microphone. Most of the time I’m fairly close to the phone I’m filming on, so this isn’t a great problem, but if you’re further away then it’ll sound like you’re shouting at the phone to make yourself heard. That’s going to sound a bit rubbish on the final footage, so check into USB microphones which can offer this sort of functionality.

  • Avoid using the digital zoom

Zooming rarely works unless you’ve got some good optical zoom functionality. There’s more smartphones coming out now with different lens arrangements, and they tend to let you magically switch between the lenses as you zoom – this can work, but again – make sure you have the right smartphone with a decent set of lenses.

If you don’t have that, you can always zoom in afterwards in “post-production”, and this is where things head to the next stage.

Sure, you can upload direct to YouTube and edit your footage there, but you can also use apps like Movavi Video Editor or iMovie for PC to tweak your video after. Personally I’ll admit to using a Mac to do this bit as it works without breaking a sweat. You can cut and join clips, apply effects, add audio tracks, insert text, and more.

How to create better videos on your smartphone

That should cover the basics that you need if you want to record good videos using a smartphone. The only other thing that you’ll need is a bit of practice so that you are able to familiarize yourself with how your smartphone responds to different types of lighting and movement.

I’d love to hear any additional tips if you have them. My wife tends to watch lots of YouTube bloggers and I’ve seen a lot of face-pointing lighting rigs, radio microphones and slick editing. All of this can cost money, so cheap and effective solutions would be interesting to cover here!

The post How to create better videos on your smartphone is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Hands On with the Asus ROG Phone II

The Asus ROG Phone II is a beast of phone, and that’s absolutely by design. Asus took its gaming-optimized ROG Phone and turbocharged everything, from the 6.6-inch 120 Hz AMOLED display to the huge 6,000 mAh battery. It has top specs and numerous optimizations to ensure peak gaming performance, as well as many thoughtful extras inside and out to optimize it for using in landscape orientation. If you want the very best gaming phone, Asus has a serious contender here. How does it stack up? We check it out in this hands-on.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Asus ROG Phone II Maxes Out the Specs

The new Asus ROG Phone II builds on the basic design of the original but improves on it in almost every way, offering a larger screen, larger battery, improved software, and faster refresh and response times in every area. Designed for gaming, it includes an extra USB-C port as well as extra antennas and microphones to optimize performance in landscape orientation. The full-HD AMOLED screen has been stretched to 6.6 inches and sports 120 Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, 240 Hz touch sampling, HDR, and Gorilla Glass 6. The battery is 6,000 mAh and supports fast charging via Quick Charge 4 as well as USB-PD. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset with 12 GB of LPDDR4x RAM and up to 512 GB of UFS 3.0 storage. It also supports 802.11ad gigabit Wi-Fi using 60 GHz for wireless display. The shoulder buttons have improved latency, haptics, and ergonomic options. The cameras have been upgraded to the same 48-megapixel + 13-megapixel wide cameras found in the new ZenFone 6. It also has an in-display fingerprint reader, front-firing stereo speakers, and NFC. Like the original ROG Phone, it has an elaborate cooling system to prevent processor throttling, and a new cooling accessory with a fan is 4x quieter than the original, and adds an extra 3.5mm jack for landscape use. Other optional accessories include gamepad controls that can be attached to the sides or used wirelessly, and a second-display accessory. The software includes multiple optimizations for gaming, including per-game options. Users can choose between an Asus interface theme or stock Google Android. The phone will launch in western markets starting September 4th. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Hatch now free for Vodafone customers

Somehow I didn’t mention that the new cloud gaming service, Hatch, is now available for FREE to Vodafone customers.

Currently only available on Android, you get a 3 month trial – hether you’ve got 4G or 5G. It’s the full Hatch Premium, with on-demand mobile gaming giving access to over 100 mobile games. After your three months is up, you can choose to extend for £6.99 per month.

This is full-on instant gaming, without download, without adverts and without in-game purchases interrupting your experience. The games include Angry Birds, Monument Valley and Beach Buggy Racing, plus Crashlands and the exclusive Hatch Original Arkanoid Rising. In addition, you’ll be able to connect with friends, follow live leaderboards and join live tournaments.

Hatch now free for Vodafone customers

No casino or gambling games are available, but you can find the latest online casino apps from BestOnlineCasinoSites.com if that’s your thing. This collates all the best sites in one place, with mobile versions also listed with features and bonuses.

For the younger generation, Hatch Kids, a separate area within Hatch that is a safe space for kids to play, create and learn.

Juhani Honkala, Founder and CEO of Hatch, tells us…

“We’re incredibly excited to bring Hatch to Vodafone customers in the UK. This is a huge moment for Hatch as a company and we really can’t wait for avid and casual gamers alike to try our service and experience the world’s first cloud-based mobile games streaming platform.

Hatch now free for Vodafone customers

To partner with such a global brand like Vodafone, an operator that is leading the way when it comes to 5G consumer availability has been an absolute pleasure. This is just the beginning.”

Here’s a look at it in action, including just how quickly it fires up.

You can play on any screen and carry on from just where you left off – effectively turning even a standard TV into a console, with your phone as the controller. A free version is also available, but you only get 20 selected games with that and there’s adverts too.

Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK said…

We’re delighted to be teaming up with Hatch and give our customers the opportunity to game over 5G – straight from the cloud. 5G gaming is really exciting with no lag and instant reaction times giving you a real advantage.

Head to PlayHatch.com for more details.

The post Hatch now free for Vodafone customers is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Review – Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder

Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder
We recently had a look at the Cable Guys Spiderman smartphone holder. This one is similar, but far taller and look – it’s Crash Bandicoot!

Available from Amazon for £24.99, there’s free delivery in the UK.

Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder

This is 32cm hig and weighs in at 1.1 KG. It’s a sturdy and well-made thing, with the ability to hold tablets, phones of all sizes plus the Nintendo Wii U we’ve got here. You can also whack in PS4 / Xbox controllers and anything else that might come to hand (a picture frame, some keys perhaps).

Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder

This is officially licensed and has a quality fit and finish to it. The paintwork and construction is of very high spec. Sure, it’s useful for a child or teenager, but you can also see this positioned in a collection – it’s that nice to look at.

Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder

There’s a lengthy cable in the box which means, when you place your phone or controller into the hands / arms of Crash Bandicoot, you can plug into the wall charger and boost your device up.

This is great for a bedside cabinet, as a holder when you’re watching a film or TV show, and also as a holder for your gadgets. Nice.

Head to Amazon to buy one for £24.99 with free UK delivery.

Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder

 

Here’s a full gallery for you guys…

Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder
Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder
Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder
Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder
Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder
Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder
Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder
Review   Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder

The post Review – Crash Bandicoot XL Smartphone and gadget holder is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Don’t just renew your contract. Go SIM only.

You’ll see me writing about SIM only deals quite a bit here. My journey with SIM only started a few years ago, when I reached the end of my contract. I was, like many, fairly comfortable with renewing my contract after 24 months and getting a new phone. It was like a present to myself in a way.

However, I noticed that over the years my £36 monthly contract had somehow ballooned to north of £55.

Sure, some would call that inflation, but the super-expensive phones were hitting my pocket hard. That’s when I started to look at handsets from Honor and Xiaomi – they were offering better value phones which were so close to the expensive Samsung and Sony handsets that I really couldn’t warrant paying extra for them.

Dont just renew your contract. Go SIM only.

However, when you look at SIM-only you’re met with an immediate problem. Getting even a well-priced phone requires a few hundred quid. Most of us don’t have that in the bank account, and the temptation to go with a contract via a smaller monthly proves too much. It isn’t as difficult as you think though. There’s plenty of trade-in options and online recycling sites that will pay you for your old phone. You can, if you have a dig around your garage or loft, probably find a load of old kit you could sell too. In addition, there’s now finance options which will let you do a small monthly payment to get you the phone. These are moatly better than a contract because you have more control over how long you want to be paying – a 12 month 0% finance deal on a £300 smartphone will cost you £25 per month, then it’s just a matter of finding you a SIM only plan.

Oh and of course, after that 12 months has passed, you only have to pay for the SIM only deal.

Then it gets even better, because you can swap and change most SIM only deals more often. A 30-day option is great if you want to try out a network, and now with the text-to-switch facility, you can carry your number around really easily. It means that you can also get the best deal, using any of the “big four” (EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three) or one of the many “virtual networks” that operate on their masts.

As an example, you can get 8GB monthly from Three for £10 per month or the same deal with Sky (operating on the O2 masts) for the same price.

Best of all? Next time you’re down the pub and your mate is moaning about paying over £50 per month for his mobile (and the fact that he’s stuck in a lengthy contract), you can tell him that you only pay a tenna.

I tend to compare it to a package holiday. Sure, you can just go to a travel agents and give them a whole load of cash, or you could get the flight and hotel yourself and grab a cab. Go on, give it a try.

The post Don’t just renew your contract. Go SIM only. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News