Virgin boost 4G data speeds

Virgin Media are doing some great offers right now, especially if you are in need of a Sim Only contract.

The company run their network off EE signal, which gives them access to a huge 4G footprint already been built, and still improving all the time.

Until now customers have been able to get a maximum download speed of 50Mbps as set by the network.

The great news is that Virgin have now given a 40% increase in speeds, now reaching a maximum of 70Mbps.

Virgin boost 4G data speeds

The company are also introducing spend caps, which means customers will never worry about going over their allowances and running up a large bill.

In a big update to their account management app called My Account, by the end of the year customers will not only be able to set their cap and add on extra data, but have built in messaging support meaning no need to call customer services.

Check out the press release below for more information.

Virgin Mobile introduces spending caps to give customers more control

  • Virgin Mobile app revamp will enable customers to set a spending cap and keep track of their bills more easily
  • All 4G customers will receive second speed boost of this year at no extra cost

Starting today, Virgin Mobile customers can set a cap for any extra cost outside of their monthly call, text and data allowance. This comes as Virgin Mobile also increases its maximum 4G speeds by 40% to 70Mbps from 50Mbps – the second speed boost this year.

Virgin Mobile’s new Spending Caps will let all new and upgrading pay monthly customers set a spending limit so there won’t be any surprises in their next bill. From £0-100, customers have the flexibility to apply a tailored cap which suits them; giving them even more control to manage their account and usage.

The new Spending Caps are designed to give customers peace of mind and complete ownership over how much they can spend if they use up their monthly allowance. To add an extra layer of reassurance, Virgin Mobile will send customers an SMS alert when they approach their spending cap and again if the limit is reached. These alerts will be in addition to the warnings Virgin Mobile already sends when a customer uses up their inclusive monthly allowance.

The Virgin Mobile App, previously called ‘My Account’, will be refreshed at the end of this month to offer customers a simple way to set a spending cap alongside a host of other new features.

The revamped app will provide an easy way for customers to keep track of their monthly spend and monitor their account. In addition to adding a Spending Cap, the app will enable customers to see details of their monthly plan, buy data add-ons and get help and support. Further support functionalities will start rolling out later this year such as in-app messaging so customers can get help at a convenient time; even when on the go.

Customers can also set a Spending Cap online, in-store or by calling Virgin Mobile customer services.

Jeff Dodds, Managing Director of Virgin Mobile said, “Spending caps have been high on our customers’ wish list for some time, so we are pleased to be able to start introducing them now. Combined with our freshly updated app and even faster 4G speeds, we’re giving our customers a fast and flexible service with more control and peace of mind than ever before.”

All of Virgin Mobile’s plans come with data-rollover, data-free WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter as standard and superfast 4G that’s faster on average than Vodafone, Three and O2.

The post Virgin boost 4G data speeds is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

ITC Won't Block iPhone Imports, Dealing Loss to Qualcomm

Apple met with another round of reprieve today thanks to the U.S. International Trade Commission. A judge with the agency said the ITC won’t prevent Apple from importing Intel-based iPhones into the U.S. Qualcomm had earlier filed a complaint with the ITC concerning Apple’s use of its power management patent. The judge overseeing the case agreed that the iPhones do infringe on that one patent, but refused to block their entry into the country. He noted “public interest factors” in denying Qualcomm’s request. Neither company commented on the matter.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Cricket's Top Unlimited Plan No Longer Throttles Users By Default

Cricket Wireless recently refreshed its service plans with a new feature to its best unlimited option. Notably, the $60-per-month Unlimited Extra plan is no longer subject to the carrier’s speed cap. Prior to this change, Cricket’s two Unlimited plans were capped at speeds of 3 Mbps for Unlimited and 8 Mbps for Unlimited Max. Cricket is now advertising the Unlimited Extra (which replaces the Max) as including “fast 4G LTE data.” Even so, the small print warns that subscribers to the new plan may be subject to temporarily slowed data when the network is congested. Further, video streaming is capped at 1.5 Mbps, or SD quality. Cricket doesn’t say exactly how fast the Unlimited Extra plan allows customers to go. The standard Unlimited plan, which costs $55 per month, still carries the 3 Mbps speed limit. Cricket’s 2 GB and 5 GB plans, conversely, may have strict data limits, but speeds are available up to 8 Mbps.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Google Rolling Wear OS Out to Most Android Smartwatches

Google today began distributing the latest build of Wear OS to Android-based wearables. The platform, shown off earlier this year, dramatically simplifies the user interface with a focus on health and fitness, notifications, and Assistant-based search queries and commands. The new operating system should be available to the majority of smartwatches already running Android Wear or Wear OS. Google didn’t say how quickly the new OS will be disseminated. Users can check for the update manually via the settings menu on their Android watch.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Facebook Says Hack Exposed Data of 50 Million

Facebook today revealed that its system was breached on September 25 by hackers and the details of some 50 million people may have been exposed. Facebook said it is taking the matter “incredibly seriously” and is being transparent in providing information as it investigates the breach. “It’s clear that attackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s code that impacted ‘View As’, a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else. This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts.” Tokens are widely used to keep people logged into their account across devices and user sessions. Facebook says it has repaired the vulnerability in question as well as alerted law enforcement. The company was forced to reset the access tokens of the 50 million impacted users, as well as another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a “View As” search during the last 12 months. This means 90 million people will be automatically logged out of their accounts on all devices and will need to log back in. Facebook is turning off the “View As” feature until the company has completed a security review. Facebook said it is too early in the investigation to determine what user data was accessed and whether users’ account data was misused. Facebook does not know the identity of the attackers. For time time being, users will not need to reset their passwords.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Appeals Court Reverses Patent Decision Against Apple

Apple has won a reversal in a court case worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals tossed a decision that awarded the University of Wisconsin’s patent licensing business $234 million in damages. The original decision found Apple guilty of violating patents held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). WARF had successfully argued that the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus used its patent for improving processor performance using a predictive model without permission. This week, a federal judge agreed with Apple that the jurors could not have reached this conclusion given the actual evidence presented during the trial. The original $234 million judgement was increased to a total of $506 million because Apple continued to use the technology in question in subsequent iPhones. With the original judgement now vacated, it’s not clear what, if anything, is owed to WARF. The patent, granted to WARF in 1998, expired in December 2016. Neither Apple nor WARF commented on the latest development.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Preview: Honor 8X

Huawei’s Honor brand is gearing up to announce the Honor 8X, a new mid-range Android phone with a large screen and a unique design. Huawei hasn’t announced full details yet, but they did let us photograph it.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Google Strings Together More Ways to Help with Travel Search

Google says it has updated how it handles search for travelers in a way that should make it easier to piece together trips over time. When searchers first look for certain travel destinations, Google will begin to show things to do and related travel articles. Once people book their flights or hotel, this information will be incorporated into future searches so Google can surface personalized recommendations, such as restaurants near the hotel or the predicted weather during the trip dates. Beginning in October, the Google Trips app will introduce new tools for managing existing trips by revealing one-touch flight and hotel prices, popular tourist sites, and so on. Google says people can turn off personalized recommendations if they wish. Google is also updating Google Flights with the goal of providing more visibility. For example, it can warn travelers when prices are abnormally high or low for any given destination, particularly around holidays. Last, Google will begin to give hotels “location scores” based on the neighborhood and nearby attractions. When used together, Google hopes the changed Search, Trips, and Flights tools will make the process of searching for and booking travel smoother.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Verizon, Nokia, Qualcomm Reach 1.45 Gbps with LTE-Advanced

Verizon Wireless says it has reached peak download speeds of 1.45 Gbps together with partners Nokia and Qualcomm. The speed was achieved using 6-channel carrier aggregation. The test was completed on Verizon’s network in New York using a combo of the carrier’s licensed PCS and AWS spectrum together with four carriers of LAA spectrum. The equipment included Nokia’s AirScale base station and a prototype mobile device from Qualcomm running the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, which is capable of reaching maximum download speeds of 2 Gbps. Other technologies involved in the test included 256 QAM and 4×4 MIMO. Verizon called the result another stepping stone along its path to 5G. Verizon plans to roll out fixed 5G service in some cities next month, with mobile 5G scheduled for launch some time in early 2019. Verizon will continue to improve the capabilities of its LTE 4G network, which will serve the majority of its customers until 5G is more widely available.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Dell XPS 15″ 2 in 1 Laptop – Review

Here is something a little bit different for us to review, especially on a site originally dedicated to smartphones. It is a review of a laptop. Not just any laptop though, this is a laptop that hides behind a diminutive form factor (at least for its size). That being said, it also packs a mighty punch and will be capable as both a mobile workstation and a desktop replacement for about 90% of users.

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

I had the pleasure of using this laptop for my time at IFA earlier this month and it was carried along with my usual gear with very little problem. For those who have a 15″ laptop at home that is forever tethered to a plug socket, it may be hard to believe that carrying around a 15″ laptop for nearly 8 hours a day can be pleasant. But trust me, it can.

Let’s have a look at why this thing is so portable, then we will dive into its tech-laden core and dig a bit deeper.

Design and Display

I will say this right away, the XPS 15 2 in 1 is a stunning piece of hardware. There’s a beautiful silver and black finish along with a black carbon fibre keyboard deck. The laptop just oozes a premium feeling that makes you appreciate the extra money you’ve paid. For a 15″ laptop this thing does not feel huge or ponderous. Instead it feels sleek and fast whist also looking very subtle. It’s not a machine like the various gaming devices that used to be branded under the XPS moniker. It is fact the closest thing that I have seen to compare with the MacBook Pro. The silver aluminium exterior body has the Dell logo embedded; its all very minimal but also very effective.Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

The hinges on the back of the machine are strong and solid, and play a vital role in making the laptop into a 2 in 1. They also hide a vital part of the cooling system for the laptop – a neat design trick that I love. In addition to the vents mounted inside the hinges, there is a grill that runs along the back of the laptop to allow for all the warm to escape. After all, this laptop has some beefy internals that I will come back to later on. Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

The display is an impressive 15.6-inch touchscreen panel at 3200 x 1800 pixels with great sensitivity and colours. This is referred to by Dell as an “UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD screen,” which is a very long-winded way of saying very high res and great colour reproduction. The good news is that it does exactly what it says on the tin. I absolutely loved using the display and having that extra footprint allowed me to really optimise it for multi-window viewing.Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review I was able to have two web browsers sitting side by side on 100% scaling whilst working on them at the same time. This was incredibly useful when I was trying to pull together a story from some specs and notes that I had taken. On that note (pun intended) the screen will also support the Dell Stylus which I happened to have from my own XPS 13. This, combined with Windows Inking, could prove very useful if I didn’t have the handwriting of a two-year-old! I did, however, find the Stylus very useful for cropping images quickly and easily.

One thing that is a slightly questionable design feature that I cannot overlook. It is located on the front and underneath the screen. I want to say it is the front-facing camera but that is not really the best name for it. Nostril-facing camera is a really a more accurate term!. Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   ReviewThere’s not just one camera – instead here you’ll find an array which features the Windows Hello system too. This utilises a camera and another separate IR camera to scan your facial features and unlock your PC. Thankfully, this is not the only system way to unlock the Dell, as the power button also doubles as a fingerprint reader, which is a nice touch.

I mentioned earlier that the hinges on the back of the laptop allow this to become a 2 in 1. Now, while this is most certainly the case, it is not something that you will find yourself doing all that often. Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   ReviewThat is at least the case for using this as a tablet. Even though for a 15.6″ laptop this is on the light side, for a tablet on the other hand, the system is a bit of a brute. One way that I did find myself using the XPS 15″ a lot was in what I refer to as easel/viewing mode (see below). This was great for the plane as the laptop fitted onto the seat back tray table easily and watching a film on that screen was a fully immersive experience.Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

On the right side are two USB Type-C ports, a headphone jack and a Kensington slot for security. The USB Type-C ports are capable of support for USB 3.1 so you can expect nice and speedy data transfers, and they can also both be used for charging and DisplayPort output.

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   ReviewOn the left-hand side,  you have another two ports, this time being a Thunderbolt 3 and a microSD card slot. I used this slot with a Class 10 200 GB card, and it was both as flawless and fast as you could want. I was unable to test the Thunderbolt ports capability but I am reliably informed by the chaps on the Dell Stand at IFA that they are awesome. A single Thunderbolt 3 port supports data transfer speeds of 40 Gbps, and can power two 4K monitors or a single 5K monitor.Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

Another item that needs to be mentioned is the power button. This is not on the side which is a strange thing for a 2in 1 laptop. Speaking of which, you’ll really be impressed by just how fast this laptop boots up. We are talking seconds here, thanks to the 16GB  of RAM and a very fast NVMe SSD drive.Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

I have also not discussed the volume buttons as these are also absent from the side. A shame really as it did make controlling the volume in viewing mode tricky.

Next up is the keyboard and this is probably the most interesting change on the outside of the laptop. The new keyboard uses a new technology called MagLev and this was the launch device for this new tech. The reason for this is to reduce the overall depth of the keyboard and to afford a similar level of travel to other keyboards.  The keyboard has been reduced in depth by 24% over the previous generation and as a result, you now have 07.mm of travel on the keys. The bounceback of the keys is actually orchestrated by magnets that push back on the key at the end of the keystroke.

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

There is nothing wrong with the keyboard as such, it just takes a bit of time getting used to it. Fortunately for me, I am not actually a touch typist and that was actually a benefit to me in this instance. It meant that I didn’t have to take that much time to adjust to the new style of board. After about an hour of usage, I was typing away just as efficiently as I was on my older XPS 13 2 in 1 laptop.  It is just something to be aware of when you are making your decisions. I would definitely try and test drive this one in the shop if you can.

I feel that we should take some to talk about the screen on this puppy. Dell has introduced some newfangled tech into their displays for this season. They call it “Dell Cinema” and it is a combination of 3 elements to give the best cinema-like viewing experience.

So what are these elements? Well we have CinemaColour, CinemaSound and CinemaStream. THe CinemaColour works with a variety of HDR standards to give the best possible image. CinemaSound utilises the superb Waves MaxxAudio system for louder and clearer sound. Lastly, CinemaStream uses Killer Wireless to prioritize the incoming network traffic in order to reduce buffering whilst streaming movies. This is similar way to how high-end gaming systems work with 100-gigabit Ethernet connections.

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

The screen has a 178-degree viewing angle when viewed from the front and then this reduces to 89-degrees when viewed from the sides. Brightness levels are around 400 nits and have a 1500:1 contrast ratio which is about as good as most LCD panels get these days. Colours are bright and clear and punchy. I have got the UHD screen and it gives an output of 4k which is great as I can now get an extra couple of hundred pixels over my XPS 13 (the 1080p model). It means that I can’t see any pixelation on the screen , even I was to get right up close to it. What it does do, however, is reduce the battery life by a smidge. Again, if you are looking to get the best longevity out of your laptop this is something to bear in mind when buying.

Here the specs for you to have look at before we get into the battery life and the internals of the system.

CPU Intel Core i7-8705G (8MB cache, up to 4.1GHz)
GPU Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics with 4GB HBM2 RAM
Display 15.6-inch UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) InfinityEdge touch display; 100% Adobe RGB (min)
Body 13.9×9.2×0.36-0.63in (354x235x9-16mm), 4.36 pounds (2kg)
Storage 512GB PCIe NVMe
RAM 16GB 2400MHz DDR4
Battery 75Wh
Ports (2) Thunderbolt 3
(2) USB 3.1 Type-C
Micro-SD
3.5mm audio
Noble lock
Material CNC machined aluminium in platinum silver with carbon fibre composite palm rest in black Edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla® Glass 4 Steel hinges wrapped in aluminum
Windows Hello Facial recognition, fingerprint
Price £2199.00

Now onto battery life, I am not using any specific metrics here as they don’t really reflect how the laptop is used in my daily life. What I will say is that this system was able to get through the very busy days that I had out on the show floors at IFA with very little concern. I was even able to watch a movie one night without having to dig out the power supply (well most of it!)

I think if I was to use the system for contrast use then I would say I could probably get 6 to 7 hrs of battery only running time. This is about on par with what I can get from my XPS 13 which is great. Connected Standby was something that existed on some laptops back in the Windows 8 days, however, this is now called Modern Standby. Essentially what it is here for is to allow the laptop to sleep but still maintain a connection to the web to get emails and calendar invites etc. It also allows for a much faster wake-up from sleeping when you lift the lid or press the power key. I love this feature and it allows me to keep my laptop in my bag and pull it out when needed. I then know that it will have power for a brief working session. Obviously, if it was a longer work session then I would plug it into the PSU.

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   ReviewThe actual battery size comes in at 75Wh which is a bit of beast but I am glad it is in there as it means I can just get on with stuff. Combine this with the fact that the laptop can be charged from a Power Delivery external battery pack and you are not really going to have many problems with the laptop going the distance.

Performance and Powaaar

This where the XPS 15 2 in 1 unveils its real party piece and it is down the silicon being used. Inside we have got the latest gen Kaby Lake G 8th Gen Intel chips. I have been lucky enough to have got a laptop equipped with an Intel Core i7 and I am thrilled about it. The processor in my current laptop is a very considerate and fanless CPU from the previous generation of i5 7th Gen.
Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   ReviewThe CPU will favour longevity over high performance, at 15W for normal running. The G series processors are still working on a 7th gen architecture. However, Intel has added a Radeon GPU into the mix as well, which is actually built into the chip much like mobile phone chipsets. The CPU is still a Quad core and should not to be confused with the higher-power Hexa Core of the H series chips.

Phew! That was a bit heavy geek speak there!

Alongside this extremely powerful processor is a massive 16GB of RAM and 512GB via an NVMe PCI Express SSD, which will make for extremely fast booting and load times. I was never left wanting on speed here which was a really nice thing to experience on a Windows system.

What does this all mean for the actual user experience? Well the main thing is plenty of power and great performance. The only area where this will stumble is during high-intensity gaming such as top-end extremely power-hungry games, but unless you’re getting a real gaming laptop then this is fairly par for the course. I have not encountered any sort of issues with performance in my time with the laptop.

That about concludes the hardware lets take a small video break and see me using the machine.

Software

First things first, I was running on the latest version of Windows 10 which performed as well as any normal Windows 10 system does. I am happy with Windows 10 now and everything just worked. I am pleased to say that there was very minimal bloatware preloaded onto the device too, which is a refreshing change. A few things that have been built in are some Dell applications, one of which makes this worth testing on a smartphone blog!

-Dell Mobile Connect

This is essentially a way for you take control of your phone without having to actually use it! How is this done, magic witchcraft or pixies, sadly not anything that elaborate. it is still quite a cool thing so let’s take a look.

The software is rather imaginatively titled Dell Mobile Connect.

I was able to get it to hook up to my S9+ with very little faff and it is really cool kit if I am honest. It will allow you to see your smartphone notifications in the Windows notification area, which is nice and it builds into your normal workflow. As I am writing this article the phone is by my side and I am not having to check it as I get messages coming in on the XPS secreen. If I get a message then I can easily reply to it on the laptop. Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

I am also able to get and make phone calls from the laptop as well – awesome. I don’t even need to start the program up as it will be loaded when I load up Windows. I can even go through my call list!

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

This is a really nice feature and I was very pleased to find that I had this functionality built into the laptop. It really does enhance my experience.

It does, at the moment, have some fairly limited functionality, but Dell is committed to working on this software and will continue to develop it. One thing I would really like to see is the ability to use a file transfer protocol. I could then transfer files from the phone and vice versa.

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

It is really nice to see PC builders taking note of the fact that customers want to allow their phones to be connected to their PC’s for ease of use and multitasking. It makes for a much more efficient use of the screen and makes it easier to keep on top of things.

Here are some screenshots of the laptop and phone working in unison.

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review
Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review
Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review
Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review
Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review
Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

Conclusion

I have been very impressed with the Dell XPS 15 2 in 1, however, I would not be looking to buy one of these for my own use. A bit of a shocking result I know, but let me explain why.

There are two reasons for this decision and they are quite simple if am honest.

  1. The price. The system that I have here on the test is £2199.00 after a recent discount (incidentally you can buy it here). That is a hell of a lot of cash for me to spend on a computer which I probably wouldn’t use to its full potential. You see I am not into gaming in any way – even light gaming is not something that I have time or energy to indulge in. I am not using the enhanced graphics chip in any way and although the keyboard is lovely, I prefer the older style found on my smaller 13″ model. If you are someone who is going to be taking advantage of the enhanced chip and wants to partake in some light gaming or medium scale video editing, then this may be up your street. For me though, it is overkill. I can actually get by with a Chromebook (I ran an Asus Chromebook C302a exclusively for nearly 2 years).
  2. The size and weight. Now don’t get me wrong, the physicality of this system is amazing given that you are getting a 15.62 screen in something with the same form factor of a 14″ laptop. It can also be carried around all day without being that much of a hindrance. This system is awesome for travelling but, as I stated above I don’t need the extra horsepower that the increase in size and weight affords, so why would I take on the extra weight if I don’t need it? I really like the diminishing form factor of my XPS 13 2 in 1. It can be in my bag and it is hardly noticeable whereas with the 15″.6″ variant I do notice it is there. I have been jumping between the two systems whilst I write this review and have had no problem in doing so at all.Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 Laptop   Review

So that is where I sit, but at the end of the day your opinion will differ from mine. If you do end up going for this laptop then I can honestly say that you will not be disappointed. It is something I am sure you will be able to enjoy for a good few years to come.

I think that Dell has done an amazing job with this laptop an I can honestly say that some of my blogging colleagues where genuinely envious, which is always exciting to see. Normally have the worst system at the party so to speak! Dare I say it there were even a few MacBook pro users that I caught looking on wistfully at this machine especially when I was using it in viewing mode to watch films etc.

Head to the Dell website to get one.

 

The post Dell XPS 15″ 2 in 1 Laptop – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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