More scarily good robots

More scarily good robots

Every now and again I take a look at the rather brilliant robots that are created by the teams at Boston Dynamics. This time they have some interesting industrial robots that counterbalance using a weight between their two wheeled legs.

This is just a test of the automated picking of stock from a warehouse, but it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine perhaps slightly smaller versions of these working in your local Amazon warehouse to pick everything from your next smartphone to a new laptop.

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Verizon Launches Free Robocall Filter

Verizon now offers a free version of its Call Filter service, which lets customers get alerts when a call is likely spam, report unsolicited numbers, and automatically block robocalls based on their preferred level of risk. The service was previously $3/month/line, although a premium version with additional features (such as advanced caller-ID and personal block list) is still available for the same price. Only post-paid wireless customers are eligible, and they must opt in to receive the service. Features vary slightly by device. T-Mobile already offers a similar service. Verizon also announced that it’s making progress in implementing STIR/SHAKEN, a technology that securely authenticates caller-ID info to deter number spoofing. T-Mobile has already implemented STIR/SHAKEN and AT&T also recently announced progress in its implementation. STIR/SHAKEN is more effective the more telecom companies implement it. The FCC has publicly threatened to impose new regulations if the industry does not do more to address the issues of robocalling and number spoofing.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

The Wallet Slayer!

The Wallet Slayer!
I’m perhaps a bit “old-school” because I still have a wallet. In recent years I’ve seen more and more people using a flip cases which has their debit and credit cards on the inside.

With people using real cash less, they’re now just merrily tapping away with either their bank card or phone – and with just a few cards needed for daily life, it can be tucked into a phone case.

The Wallet Slayer!

But what if you don’t actually want a case that closes over the front of your screen? Well, here’s some new cases from a company called Silk. They sell their kit via their own store on SilkSmartish.com or via Amazon US and Amazon UK.

The Wallet Slayer!

Now, I’ll be taking a deeper look at these cases in video shortly, but I wanted to give you a sneaky peak on the Samsung Galaxy S10e, the Galaxy 10 and the Galaxy 10+. All of these cases are a little bulky, but they have a natty rear card holder with a clever system for grabbing onto your cards so that they don’t fall out. It’s best shown in video so I’ll bring you that next week. However, you can slot 3 cards in there and some cash too – if you still use that.

The Wallet Slayer!

These really do protect your phone brilliantly, and you can see that the buttons on the case are aligned with the buttons on your phone – no awkward holes here like on some cases. They’re a neat fit – durable, light and with grippy, textured sides. They also throw in a lifetime warranty.

The Wallet Slayer!
The Wallet Slayer!
The Wallet Slayer!
The Wallet Slayer!
The Wallet Slayer!
The Wallet Slayer!
The Wallet Slayer!
The Wallet Slayer!

We’ll have more on this shortly – plus another cool gadget they’ve sent along.

The Wallet Slayer!

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Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

The Samsung Galaxy Fold bend test. Strangely hypnotic.

That clever folding Samsung smartphone looks beautiful, no denying that. However, deep down we’re all thinking, “Surely it’s going to develop a crease or crack somehow?”

I tend to use my wallet as an example. It’s got folds and stretches all over it so, despite what my head might say, I’m still thinking that folding a screen surely must cause something to appear after the millionth unfold? Surely?

Well, Samsung have a video to hopefully quell your fears…

EE will be offering the device soon and you can read all about this very expensive (but very nice) device in our launch article.

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When a mobile number for your business isn’t enough

When a mobile number for your business isnt enough
Want to get your floor tiled? Or your bedroom wallpapered? Perhaps you want to have some other work done around the house? If so, you can look out for a local trader. There’s plenty advertised online, in local leaflets and – if you see van outside a neighbour’s house – you might even grab the number from the side.

Trouble is, we all still have that doubt which niggles at us…

“That guy only has a mobile number, what happens if I have problems with his work?”

This is true, and it’s a perfectly reasonable question. If you don’t have a postal address or an office address, how can you get in touch with the tradesman if there’s problems? A mobile number tends to give people that worry, even though it’s the best way to be in touch for the tradesperson. After all, they’re always on the move, so a mobile phone gives them that ability to answer calls even if they’re half-way up a ladder. However, when your business grows you can’t continue to use just one mobile phone, and you may need to redirect calls to someone else if you’re really busy, so things get a bit more complicated. If you’re self-employed and a “man with a van” it’s fine, but you’ll need to switch numbers as your business grows and people demand a “regular” landline number.

When a mobile number for your business isnt enough

So, there has to be a solution which will keep both parties happy. In Australia it takes the form of a 1300 number, and it’s well-known that 1300 numbers are best for mobile businesses. Elsewhere, there’s other options. They give a consistent point of contact, and these 10-digit 1300 numbers are diverted to either a land line or a mobile number. Here in the UK there’s a similar solution. You can either get a local number and then, using VoIP, switch it to either your mobile or a home office. There’s companies that’ll do this for you and simply redirect via a web control panel that you can easily access. There’s also the chance to get 0330, 0333 or an 0345 number. Like the 1300 numbers, there’s no need for extra equipment – you simply connect the new number to an existing landline or mobile of your choice. .You can change this whenever you want to.

These services usually charge a small monthly amount, but if you’re a local business and want to put a single phone number on your quotes and business cards – definitely check these redirect services. It’ll make your business look more professional and you’ll be able to carry on working in the same way that you always have.

The post When a mobile number for your business isn’t enough is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

The Android Bike Computer – On test

The Android Bike Computer   On test
A few days ago I used lots of cable-tie to strap the ultra-small Unihertz Atom smartphone to my bike. You can have a look at the rather rudimentary fixings here or get up-close with the Atom in my earlier story.

Yes, there’s a proper bike mount for this phone and yes, I should really have bought that. I’m cheap though πŸ™‚

The phone is a fully-fledged Android device but has a smaller 240×432 pixel 2.45″ display. In truth, doing lots of data input is a bit of a nightmare, but it has lots of other uses. You can use it to stream music when you’re out running or cycling. You can record your exercise, you can listen to the excellent Coolsmartphone Podcast at the gym or – as I’ve done here – use it as a speedometer.

Today it worked very well indeed. I went for a quick lunch ride and the speedometer app showed my top speed and average speed at the bottom along with the battery meter and current speed. In the background, Strava recorded everything else.

The Android Bike Computer   On test

The only down point is the relatively weak 2000mAh battery, and that’s mainly due to the size of the device itself.

Despite my strange cable-tie arrangement, it also didn’t fall off, so a big tick so far from me. Get one on Amazon here if you fancy one.

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Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

LG G8 Launches mid-April on All Major US Carriers

In two weeks, the LG G8 ThinQ will be offered by all major US carriers, with several offering major discounts at launch. This flagship phone from LG has a unique 3D depth camera on the front, supporting mid-air gestures, hand vein scanning, and 3D face scanning. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile will carry the G8, as well as Best Buy and B&H. The standard retail price is $820, although some carriers are offering significant discounts and deals. Read on for carrier deal specifics, color options, and pre-order dates.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

Yes, an iPhone. Wait though, let me explain. πŸ™‚

I’ve always pushed back on giving my son a phone, but this year he’s heading to high school and will be travelling further, plus all his mates now communicate via Facetime, WhatsApp or text. He’s used an Android tablet for a while but none of those communication options are available, so I bit the bullet and decided to get him a SIM card and an iPhone for his birthday.

Trouble is, all of this stuff is expensive. I’ve known some parents spending £40 or £50 per month for one child to have an iPhone. It’s absolutely bonkers, and there’s a high chance that the phone will be dropped or damaged some other way, so you then have to consider phone insurance and so on.

So I took a different route. First, getting the phone itself. I had a look on the giffgaff pre-owned marketplace. It’s a good starter if you’re looking for a refurbished handset. All phones are unlocked and they range in condition, with “Good” having some minor wear and tear (slight marks on the screen and scuffs on the back maybe), “Very Good” means it might have only a very slight light scratch, and “Excellent”-graded devices are pretty much as new.

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

The giffgaff marketplace

You can also check MusicMagpie, where there’s unlocked phones AND locked ones.

Getting an iPhone unlocked can be quite a pricey business. I’ve seen costs of £60-£65 for unlocking a device, so if you’re not sure what network the phone will be on, go for an unlocked device. However, if you want to save a bit more cash, you can perhaps get a locked one on (for example) Vodafone and then get yourself a Vodafone SIM-only plan. It’ll cost less to buy a locked one than an unlocked one.

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

Music Magpie

As an example, I was looking for an iPhone 7 128GB model. Locked to Vodafone, you can get a “Good” condition locked one for £199.99 (oh, and little tip for you – if you hang around their site you can get a discount code if you sign up to the newsletter). However, an unlocked one is £239.99 for the same thing.

I ended up on the Music Magpie eBay store though, because eBay have a 10% off code right now and I found one for £229.99. After adding the code, I saved £23, bringing it down to £206.99. There was free delivery via a 48-hour courier and it comes with a 12 month warranty too.

Anyways.. why am I telling you all this?

Well, it’s because I wanted to show you what a typical “Good” condition phone is like and why you shouldn’t pay over the odds for a phone.

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

You may have noticed that I mentioned getting a 128GB iPhone 7 in “Good” condition just now. I personally thought that I was taking a risk, and it’d be scuffed and scratched quite noticeably, but I think the recon guys have really high standards when they’re classifying these devices. Also, and I’ll be honest here, I don’t think my son would be bothered about the odd scratch on the back because there’s going to be a cover on it all the time anyway.

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

Here’s the phone we got. There’s a noticeable scratch on the rear (to the right of the Apple logo) and a very, very. very slight scuff on the screen which I couldn’t pick up on camera despite many attempts. The “Battery Health” is 90% and the phone – when we put it in the case – is perfect. Sure, you don’t get the flashy Apple box, but that’s gone in the bin seconds after he unwrapped it.

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

So that’s the unlocked iPhone 7 128GB in the photos here, for £206.99.

Next, to get a SIM card. I had a look at the SIM-only deals and was going to plumb for a 3GB SIM-only monthly package for £7 with Virgin Media. This delivers 3GB of data over the EE masts and you get 1500 minutes plus unlimited texts. That should do it.

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

However, I’d actually purchased a Three SIM-only deal last year (when we were going abroad and I wanted to use their inclusive roaming functionality) and had forgotten to stop paying for it. So, I called them to cancel and switch the number over as it was quite memorable. Their retentions team didn’t want me to go, so I told them about the deal I’d found and they offered me a better option to stay – 4GB for £7 per month and unlimited everything else.

Well, I couldn’t argue with that, so that’s what I’ve gone for.

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

So there we have it. An unlocked iPhone 7 (128GB) for a one-off hit of £206.99. Then it’s £7 per month. Done.

If you were to put those figures together over two years, it’d be £206.99 for the phone and £168 for the airtime. That’s £374.99 total, or £15.63 a month for the plan and the phone. Getting a new iPhone 7 128GB from a major network right now (without an upfront cost) is around £33-£36 per month over a two year contract for 4GB of data..

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

With an upfront cost of £200 (which is about the amount I spent on the entire phone), it’s £26.85 per month..

Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story..

At the end of the day, I want to get the best deal possible – and you don’t always need to buy new. Check the reconditioned offers, check the SIM only deals and comparisons. It really is worth while.

The post Buying a reconditioned iPhone and saving money. My story.. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy A70

The fairly random “A range” of Samsung devices don’t usually get the same level of coverage as the Galaxy S handsets, so let’s take a look at the new Samsung Galaxy A70 which was announced yesterday.

This one has a 6.7″ FHD+ (1080×2400) Super AMOLED Infinity display with a 20:9 display ratio. Around back, there’s a 32 megapixel camera (f1.7) and an ultra-wide 8 megapixel shooter alongside it (f2.2). There’s also a 5 megapixel depth sensor plus AI to detect up to 20 scenes and tweaking the shot to make it as good as it can be.

Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy A70

Up front, and cranking out the high megapixels, is a 32 megapixel (f2.0) lens.

This is powered by Android 9.0 (Pie) and has an octa-core (dual 2.0GHz + six 1.7GHz) CPU. There’s either 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the configuration plus 128GB of storage on board. You can boost that by up to another 512GB via a microSD card slot. Oh, and you can put two SIM cards in it alongside a microSD – so finally a phone for work, for home and still a slot for your microSD.

This has a 4500 mAh battery, Super Fast Charging and an on-screen fingerprint system.

Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy A70

Available colours include blue, black and white.

We’ve not been approached by any particular network offering this, but you’ll be able to buy it for the very reasonable sum of £369 from 26th April. Head to the Samsung news pages for more info.

The post Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy A70 is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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Huawei P30 and P30 Pro – Deals and opinion

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro   Deals and opinion

OK, so after the leaks we got a look at the P30 and the P30 Pro from Huawei here in Paris.

As we expected, there’s a clever camera setup with a 10x zoom. The P30 Pro gets a Leica Quad Main Camera, whilst the P30 has a Leica Triple Main Camera. Great for low-light and night shots. We saw a demo against the new Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and iPhone XS Max. Those comparison shots showed a clear difference, with the P30 and P30 Pro producing excellent shots.

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro   Deals and opinion

The Pro definitely raised some eyebrows with the 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid and 50x digital zoom. Oh, and the on-screen fingerprint reader worked very quickly, so we had to slow it down somewhat … πŸ™‚

What was interesting for me was the fact that it runs the same CPU as the Honor View20 – the Kirin 980. It also has a similar screen. There’s a 2340×1080 on the P30 / P30 Pro, compared to 2310×1080 on the View20, and the bigger 6.47″ screen on the P30 Pro is very close to the 6.4″ on on the View20. There’s a similar memory and storage setup and the battery on the View20 is bigger than the P30 (although the P30 Pro beats it).

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro   Deals and opinion

I’ve no doubt that the camera tech is better on the P30 and P30 Pro, and yes – those curved screens are great – but all these phones are made by Huawei and the Honor View20 is £499.99, whereas the Huawei P30 is £699 for the base model whilst the P30 Pro starts at £899.

OK, I’ve had my little rant.. Now, we’ve got a number of mobile networks who want you to know about their P30 and P30 Pro deals, so here’s an overview. If you get the P30 or the P30 Pro on pre-order you’ll get yourself a Sonos One (Gen 2), which is worth £199.

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro   Deals and opinion

– Virgin Mobile

No up-front cost here and the UK’s lowest monthly price according to the network. Virgin operates across the EE masts and they’re doing the P30 from £28 per month or the P30 Pro for £34 per month. If you have Virgin Media cable you can get the Huawei P30 or P30 Pro with unlimited texts, minutes and data on the “Truly Unlimited” plan from £49 a month for the P30 and £55 a month for the P30 Pro. The network also do WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter data for free, so it doesn’t use your allowance.

Both devices are available in Aurora, Midnight Black and “Breathing Crystal” (I know). The P30 Pro (512GB) will also be available in Amber Sunrise.

The P30 Pro is available here and the P30 here.

– EE

The network will be ranging both devices and you can head to ee.co.uk/huawei to pre-order. Again, there’s a free Sonos One on offer if you buy. The P30 is available from £39 per month and the P30 Pro from £49 per month.

Should you choose the 128GB Huawei P30, you can perhaps choose the 10GB data plan, which gets you unlimited everything else for £43 per month. That needs a £30 up-front free. £48 per month gets you a massive 60GB of data for the same price as 20GB. £10 upfront on that and unlimited everything else.

The P30 Pro is also available for £53 on an Essential plan with 10GB data, unlimited texts and minutes plus £30 upfront. The 60GB-for-the-price-of-20GB offering is £58 per month and £10 upfront. There’ll also be an “Amber Sunshine” P30 Pro (512GB) version with prices starting at £59 per month.

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro   Deals and opinion

– Sky Mobile

Sitting on the O2 network, Sky are offering the P30 and P30 Pro from 32 and £39 respectively on a Swap24 plan with 1GB of data and unlimtied everything else. You’re going to want more data though, so you can choose 2GB, 8GB and 25GB monthly allowances for an additional £6, £4 (usually £9) or £19 a month respectively.

Sky offer a range of plans allowing you to either roll over your data allowance, alter your plan monthly, binge on TV with data-inclusive TV or their “Swap” option which lets you upgrade your phone earlier than usual contracts.

Head here for the deals.

– Vodafone

Again, free speaker if you pre-order and they’re eager for me to tell you about the Red Entertainment plans which deliver either Amazon Prime Video, Sky Sports Mobile TV, Spotify Premium or a NOW TV.

Get a Red Entertainment plan and you also get unlimited texts and unlimited minutes. The 50GB deal for the Huawei P30 is £49 per month (£9 upfront cost), whilst the Huawei P30 Pro is £53 per month (£29 upfront cost).

Voda are also offering other plans, including the P30 on a Vodafone Red Extra plan for £46 per month (£29 upfront cost). That gets 60GB data plus unlimited everything else. The P30 Pro is £50 per month with a £49 upfront cost on that same plan.

Go to Vodafone for more info.

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Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News