Wireless Touch Speaker Review

23 05 2013

The Wireless Touch Speaker by Thumbs Up is a product sold by The Great Gift Company UK.

Image

The product retails for £30, and is pretty competitively priced in the market with a great deal of competition seen online, as well as any local music stores/HMV etc.

These sort of devices have came out in barrel loads over the past number of years, with sizes decreasing and more increasingly clever ways of making them portable and wireless.

The thing that interested me most about this speaker was the fact that it did not connect to the device it was amplifying by any cables or Bluetooth. I’ve reviewed an amplifying solution that did this before, but never to the extent of this device. It works by claiming to use ‘Near Field Audio’ technology. This means that the device does not connect to the phone or mp3 player, and simply if the device is placed on top then the music is amplified using the inbuilt speakers with the volume being controlled by your device as you usually would.

There is also an option to plug your device into the speaker with a Headphone jack on the device, and also an option to plug into DC if you don’t want to use the 3 AA batteries required to use on the go.

The amplification is massive, I was astounded as to how loud it was at first. Due to the wireless nature, I had expected to be let down, but I wasn’t in the slightest. The volume can fill a room easily, and for £30 it is a pretty good purchase. The device feels well made, it is simply designed to look at, and includes a rubber band to hold your device to the speaker if you are using this on the move.

Discovering a flaw with the NFA technology, the amplification only works when the speaker is directly on top of a certain place on the device. As you can see in the videos posted, If the iPod is turned 180 degrees, no amplification is achieved. This was discovered completely by accident, but I am assuming this is to do with the technology it uses. This could potentially be an issue with centrally located speakers, and I’d also be curious to see how this would work with devices such as the HTC One with front facing speakers.

Coming up to Father’s Day, www.thegreatgiftcompany.com has lots of great items that anybody would be thankful for and reasonably priced. If your looking for something unusual or unique, I’d recommend giving this website a look, especially if your stuck for ideas as there is a lot of items that will spark anybody’s imagination !





TDK ST700 Over-Ear Headhones review

6 01 2013

The ST700’s by TDK come in at an RRP of £129, but can be bought for cheaper than this in most places ranging from £70-90.

1326419691453

 

The headphones are extremely comfortable, they grip but not too tight and the ear cups fit well over/on the ears to give some great noise cancellation.

The wire is attached to both ears and isn’t removable, it feels like it will last well but this could potentially cause an issue if this breaks, where as similar headphones this can be replaced if the wire is detachable.

The sound off of them is great, they are round about £60 cheaper than Beats Solo HD, but definately do not sound it. There is no distortion even at full volume, and they have a great vibrant bass filled sound. Many have wrote the sound of these exceed the Solo headphones but I’m reserving judgement giving it an ‘each to their own’. These are some great headphones and if you cant spare the extra money for Beats, I’d wholeheartedly recommend them.

tdk_3

 

 





2012 in review

31 12 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 14,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.





HTC 8X, a few weeks of use !

16 12 2012

Well ! After doing a previous piece on the 2 new HTC phones, the 8X and the 8S, I’ve been lucky enough to acquire an 8X!! I received a California Blue GSM model, this is probably my favourite colour scheme and looks really impressive up close.

HTC-Windows-Phone-8X-colours

There are a range of colour schemes as I mentioned previously, these can all be seen above, but the model I received is shown in the centre of the above image, and the image below.

w8_blue_small

Now, I’ve had my fair share of time with each OS, starting with Blackberry, moving onto iOS, then to Android and now a taste of WP8. This isn’t the worst transition I’ve experienced as there are a lot of common points with every OS, but there are also a lot of big changes with WP8, even in comparison to WP7.

I spoke a lot about the technical specs in the previous 8X article so I’m not going to spend time writing that here, just more about my impressions with using the device on a day to day basis. https://techfilledfantasy.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/htc-8x-and-8s-windows-phone-preview/

The device feels great in hand, the back of the phone is made of a sort of rubberised material, this stops it slipping and also feels really well made. The glass on the front is Gorilla Glass 2 so is typically well made and handles most common slight scratches well and is also curved to the contour of the phones body which stands out and looks impressive. One of the first things you notice about the phone is how thin it is, the device is shaped so that it is thinner at the edge and thicker in the middle and this gives the illusion of it being even thinner than you would expect. The image below is taken from HTC and shows the process involved in designing this to achieve this thickness.

htc-windows-phone-wp-8s-8x-design-thin

The WP8 UI takes a bit of getting used to in coming from Android, you have the same sort of soft keys that appear down the bottom, one for search, one for back, and one showing the Windows symbol for home. This is about as far as this similarity goes ! With most other things being massively different than both iOS and Android OS.

One of the biggest let downs, not of the Phone, but of the general OS is the Windows store. Like Android was a while ago, it lacks big name apps, and general volumes of games and apps alike. The store is easy to use but I believe that if this store improves with the numbers of apps and games it provides and the quality of these games improve, the OS will become a massive hit. If I could have my same Play Store or iTunes choice on my HTC 8X I’d never put the device down and never look back.

The WP8 OS is incredibly smooth, some of the apps don’t share this feel, but all of the stock OS and big name apps do. I had an issue originally as I used Whatsapp every day and this wasn’t available for WP8, but in the past few days it has been released which has cured a massive issue I had with being able to use the phone as a daily device ! The battery also lasts extremely well outperforming my Galaxy Nexus by some considerable margin in most instances.

Now, if you have made the move to W8 for your laptop or desktop you will be aware of the metro tile UI and how this operates. This works a lot better on a phone than on a computer or desktop as far as Im concerned, it feels like this is what it was made for and it does a great job of keeping you up to date with everything that is happening. One of my personal favourites is the people tile, this gives you information about Facebook, Twitter etc all in one place which is something the other OS’s have yet to accomplish to this level.

This phone is great, if the store starts to support more apps I would have absolutely 0 hesitation in recommending this, or any other Windows Phone to a friend, but this is an issue at present. I think that in the coming months this will change to a completely unrecognisable choice  of apps and games and when this comes, the battle of the OS will become even more interesting !!





HTC 8X and 8S , Windows Phone Preview !

14 10 2012

So, Nokia have advertised the life out of the new Lumia range and the Windows software it will be running, but now the guys over at HTC have released some specs and pictures of their new HTC 8 range.

Im not going to spend all of this article talking about Windows Phone as I’ve already shown my excitement for it previously and wrote a few articles that concern it, as well as the Lumia 920 article, each of these can be found here ..

https://techfilledfantasy.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/nokia-lumia-920-are-the-boots-of-apple-google-shaking/

https://techfilledfantasy.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/270/

These articles will give you a bit of an overview of Windows Phone 8, and what you can expect from it.

The HTC 8X and HTC 8S will both run the Windows OS. Just like the HTC One X & S, you know more or less what to expect from each of these models that each will have its own selling points.

Taking the 8X first of all, it looks great as you can see below ( except the Big Bird yellow colour ). The design looks similar to the Lumia 920 if you ask me, but that again in my opinion isn’t a bad thing. The Lumia is a great looking device and I think the 8X is also equally as good looking. The phone has a 4.3 inch 720p Screen incorporating Gorilla Glass 2.

Thankfully Big Bird yellow isn’t the only colour this device will come in, there are a number of different colour options you can go for which are each shown below.

 

My favourite is the ‘blue’, I think it looks purple but I suppose seeing it up close may change my opinion of it.

The 8X’s Camera is also quite highly touted, this is an 8MP camera but this isn’t its main selling point. The camera is said to capture almost 3x the image area that a normal smartphone camera does. The image below is taken directly from the HTC website and gives an idea to what is meant by this.

Both phones also have Beats Audio, predictable in most HTC phones now considering they more or less have the controlling stake in the company, this is a good addition but not a deal-breaker to most, but might sway some iPhone users over to HTC’s way of thinking!

The 8X runs a Qualcomm S4 1.5 GHz Dual-core processor, so isn’t running a Quad-Core monster like the One X or One X + but is pretty quick regardless.

Now, taking the 8S. This device looks a bit like some of the Sony Ericsson Xperia devices in my opinion, but again not a bad thing as the device does look pretty good.

 

Like the 8X, the 8S comes in a number of different colour options all of which are shown above. I like the black and white one of these the best but almost every one of these devices look good sporting a 4inch screen that is slightly smaller than the 8X.

 

The 8S is the more lower end device, just like the HTC One range. This still has pretty good specs though but may not be enough for the dedicated smart-phone geek. The 8S has a 1Ghz Dual-core processor but has an optimised battery for this processor and therefore takes less time to charge and has a significantly longer battery life due to the smaller processor.

The 5mp camera is also highly regarded but again is obviously a significant step down from the 8X. With the 8S, 7GB of free Sky Drive is offered, this is mentioned quite a lot on their website but to most users of Dropbox or Google Drive, this will be pretty insignificant.

I like the look of both variants massively, they look new and modern and different from the ship load of smartphones we are seeing recently. I could be tempted with an 8X, but it would depend on how it matched up to the Lumia 920 and how the roll out of Windows 8 went. The HTC 8X is said to be going for £400 unlocked and HTC 8S for £225 unlocked when they launch in November, so for me, these are massively more appealing than the £500+ iPhone 5 but like most things, only time will tell if they are as successful as they should be !

 

 





Clingo Parabolic Sound Sphere Review !

19 09 2012

Thanks to the guys at Allsop I recently received the Clingo Parabolic Sound Sphere, a weird dock-like device for your smartphone or Mp3 player.

The piece of kit looks great and is shown above, it looks modern and sleek and doesn’t take up too much space at home.

The Sound Sphere is made up of a large sphere that is placed on a removable base, this is separate to the sphere and means that you can adjust the angle of the sphere depending on the size of your room or where you want your sound to be directed and also has a cut out in the centre allowing you to feed a charging cable through and charge the device whilst playing.

The Sound Sphere has no power supply and no batteries, and operates using something I know and love, Science !
When your iPod or smartphone is placed on the sticky centre pad and music is played, the music reverberates around the sphere and the sound is amplified and projected from the sphere.. This works really well and makes the device significantly louder than before especially when listening to anything with a great deal of bass!

 

The centre piece that your device sticks to is something that clingo specialise in, this is of an excellent quality.
Usually anything that involves a ‘sticky pad’ or anything that my device doesnt clip into or get strapped into, usually make me a little sceptical and instantly turns me away. This has changed my views ! This pad is so strong it feels like it could hold a brick nevermind a phone (Queue Galaxy Note joke)!

There are a lot more products that Clingo offer that make use of this technology including Wii controllers, Tablet Docks, Lanyards and more. This works great and leaves no residue on your device and the sphere comes with a lint free cloth which can be used to clean the surface if this requires cleaning and can be easily cleaned with warm water back to as good as new regardless of how dirty it gets.

In comparison with many docks, the Sound Sphere is cheap coming in at $39.99. This is ideal and doesnt require upgrading when you upgrade your device as it obviously doesn’t have a specific jack so it doesnt require changing over. I’ve been fairly impressed with this and will be looking into more sticky peripherals from Clingo in the future !





Microsoft 3D Projected Games !

13 09 2012

According to numerous news sites, Microsoft have applied for a patent for a 3D Projected Gaming System.

The above image gives an idea of what this basically means. The images for the game would be projected around the room completely immersing you in the gaming experience. This, looks like a great idea but if you own a kinect or a Wii, you will know that your playing space has to be more or less clear for this to work without everything in your room being broken ! I’ve found this out the hard way in breaking numerous lampshades and bulbs over time.

The technology is also expected to track the players head position, this will allow the correct images to be shown for the correct perspective, as well as altering the images to compensate for coloured walls and objects in the room.

This is some seriously cool tech, it could be the future of gaming, but similar articles have also analysed Sony’s next gen gaming ideas. These are going down a completely different avenue and involve using a virtual reality headset. The headset would obviously remove the limitations of room space, but may not provide as realistic of a virtual reality feel as Microsofts efforts.

This is an area which is expected to be focused on over the next few years. Microsoft and Sony are expected to launch new Consoles in 2013 and its more than likely that after these we may start to see gaming moving in a different direction, if not a slightly different direction already with very limited information being leaked on the 2013 consoles so far.

This, with limited information so far ! Is obviously a very short post, I’d like to take this opportunity to get some views on what you would like to see covered ! I’m open to all suggestions and want to make this blog as interesting as it can be whilst also being useful at the same time.

Thanks !

Don’t forget we also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account @techfantasy

www.facebook.com/techfilledfantasy

www.twitter.com/techfantasy

 








CBS Sacramento

News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Sacramento

CBS Chicago

Chicago News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago - CBS 2 TV | WBBM Newsradio 780 | 670 The Score

CBS San Francisco

News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of SF

Sharon Wachsler

Writing | Neuroplasticity | Dog Training

Simple Programmer

Making The Complex Simple

IVC Notes

News and Tips from IV Cellular

The Weekly Rift

A games blog by Tim Biggs

Dice Insights

Insights & Advice for Tech

the first casualty.

irregular digressions into politics, media, and tech

babarjaved.com

Let us work together in beauty and truth

Season Lewis Posts

Season Lewis

The Awkward Glitch

It's 2014. Aren't you a little old for video games?

3kopecks

Just another WordPress.com site

sinau ICT

semua tentang belajar teknologi informasi dan komunikasi

All In One News

News people want to see

nahushah

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

The Design Inspirationalist

Inspiring Ideas | Spectacular Creations

TOKO FASHION 01

Jual Fashion Pria, Wanita dan Anak

WELCOME TO MY BLOG

*Just System Information* Danang's Blog

Electrocamerou1

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Electrocamerau4

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Heels In My Backpack

Backpacking For The Most Fabulous of Adventurers

%d bloggers like this: