Honor 6+ launched exclusively on Three

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Honor 6+

I was lucky to be invited to the UK network launch of the Honor 6+, which will be exclusively available from Three on the high street (it’s also available from Amazon online, although they won’t ship for another week or two). The Honor 6+ is a very nice mid to high spec phone, whilst being well in the mid price category, being around £299 on Three PAYG (and likely to drop further when online sales really get going in a month or so).

Beyond the good screen size (5.5″, nearly too big for some), there are two key features I felt worth mentioning from my brief handson time during the launch; the camera and the battery.

The phone has twin cameras on the rear, and these are used to take two pictures at the same time. Then, if you find you did not get the exact area of the picture in focus, or parts of the picture are out of focus, you can refocus the image, allowing you to change both the primary object to be in focus, and the aperture that should have been used, allowing you to vary the depth of focus of the picture. This was demonstrated to me by taken a picture with both a close and far away object with the far away object perfectly in focus, but it was possibly to refocus the image such that the close object was in focus, whilst the far away object could be set to be out of focus (it was also possible to have both in focus!).#

This won’t be useful for the majority of pictures, but if you have taken a quick snap of something where there was a “moment” worth capturing, but afterwards you find the focus wasn’t quite right, then with this phone you can get it back into focus.

The other stand out feature of devices like this, and others (such as the OnePlus One) are the large battery that is fitted. Whilst the OnePlus One has a 3,100mAh battery, the Honor 6+ has a 3,600mAh battery, and Honor staff who already had devices confirmed that 2 days battery life was easily achievable; even for really heavy phone users, the phone should easily make it through a long busy hectic day without needing you to carry a charger.

Whilst some of the review phones were Android 4.4 (KitKat), Honor assure me that the devices shipping today should be running Android 5 (Lollipop) out of the box.

The device has two sim slots, although I think you will only get 3G from the second sim slot (it does not offer dual 4G sim slots), although some people will prefer to use that second slot to expand the memory of the device, as it will also take a microSD card. Having said the two stand out features are the camera and battery, many people will actually first notice the screen, which is a very vibrant bright screen that shows off the pictures from the camera very well. Even in bright sunlight, the demo device was clear and easy to use.

The Honor 6+ was available from Three UK stores from this morning, available on PAYG and contract (for unlimited handset data it will need a £36 per month 24 month contract).

Thanks to Three UK for the invite to the launch, and hopefully Honor will be able to supply me with a review unit soon to try it out for longer.


Amazon Black Friday deals start today

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Amazon is again running Black Friday sales in the UK, where the idea of Black Friday is not so common (Black Friday referring to the always quiet shopping Friday directly after Thanksgiving). This is the third year of the sales, and hopefully there is something for everyone.

Amazon are providing lots of good deals across their whole range of goods, not just music and books, so it’s well worth a look to see what is on offer. As with previous years; many offers this morning were sold out within minutes if not seconds of being released (and Amazon only release the price at the start of the offer so if you are interested in one of their upcoming offers, do your price research before the offer is announced), as always the electronic and gaming items seem the most popular.

Head here for more information.


Smart Cover case for Nexus 7

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

I picked up a Google Nexus 7 Tablet a few weeks ago, and I knew straight away I wanted a case to protect it. I also wanted a case that featured a “Smart Cover” facility; ie the ability to auto wake / auto sleep as the cover opened and closed (although not advertised with this feature, it was discovered the Nexus 7 had the support built into the hardware, and ever since, many of the 3rd party case suppliers have been supporting the feature).

So, Amazon was a logical choice (mainly for ease of purchase and keen pricing), and I selected this particular case as above; it acts as a Smart Cover case, but also can fold up to create a small stand for the tablet (it uses landscape, which the stock launcher doesn’t support, so look at purchasing Ultimate Rotation Control from the Play Store too, and setting it on Force Auto).  The case provides protection around the back of the tablet (the tablet clicks into the back panel) and the cover works well. This particular Amazon seller provides this Nexus 7 Case with a screen protector (currently untested) and stylus (tested and functional, and very similar to the iPad cheap stylus you can pick up).

At £8 (price may vary) including shipping, I thought the Nexus 7 Case was good value; the case arrived within a couple of days, so I assume this is a UK seller too, and the choice of colours allows you to select one to match other devices or simply select black.


Fancy a cheaper Kindle?

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Right now (and these offers are often limited, if only by stock availability), you can pick up a refurbished Kindle 3G + WiFi for around £116 (a saving over the usual £152 price).  If you are interested head here.

Failing that, Amazon also have the Kindle WiFi only device available as a refurb for only £80 instead of £111; see here for this offer.


Amazon offering 12 days of Christmas deals

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Amazon is offering a whole range of gift ideas under it’s 12 days of Christmas campaign.  If you are stuck for gifts for loved ones, it’s worth a look to see if you get any inspiration.  As well as having family member options (Mum, Dad, Kids, Grandma, Girlfriend, Boyfriend, Teenagers and Grandpa) there are also price range options and Most Wished For and Most Gifted searches to help you out.


Amazon UK offering Black Friday deals

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Amazon has come up with an clever marketing idea, but the offers on sale are worth a look.  Companies like Amazon have been running Black Friday sales in the US, leading up to this Friday for some time, but this is one of the first times they have done the same in the UK, where the idea of Black Friday is not so common (Black Friday referring to the always quiet shopping Friday directly after Thanksgiving).

However, Amazon are providing lots of good deals across their whole range of goods, not just music and books, so it’s well worth a look to see what is on offer.  A warning though; many offers this morning were sold out within minutes if not seconds of being released (and Amazon only release the price at the start of the offer so if you are interested in one of their upcoming offers, do your price research before the offer is announced).

Head here for more information.


Kindle 3 released with a proper UK variant

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Last week Amazon released (a little earlier than everyone was expecting) a new Kindle model, the Kindle 3.  Not just is the device better in many ways (and cheaper!), but Amazon have also launched a UK Kindle Store, and a UK Kindle 3 directly using a UK mobile SIM.  Currently, a Kindle 2 International or Kindle DX International will have a US mobile SIM built into the device, and hence will roam onto the UK networks (although it could roam onto multiple networks, the Kindle does seem keen to stick with O2), whereas the Kindle 3 will have a UK Vodafone mobile SIM built into the device (which is still sealed, so there’s no access to the SIM or the battery).  What’s interesting is that with the release of the v2.5 firmware, all International Kindles in the UK have had access to the “full” internet experience (as opposed to the launch wikipedia-only access), so actually this internet access isn’t that different to the experience available to existing users.

So, what’s new and different with the new device…

  • Firstly, it’s available (from 27th August)
  • 21% smaller and 15% lighter, and has a 20% faster refresh of the e-Ink screen
  • There are two models, the Kindle 3 WiFi, and the Kindle 3 3G/WiFi, which uses Vodafone as already mentioned
  • The Kindle 3 WiFi will only come in Graphite, whereas the Kindle 3 3G will come in White or Graphite
  • The same 6″ screen size of the existing Kindle 2, but with the better contrast of the Kindle DX screen
  • Storage up to 4GB
  • Prices are £109 for Kindle WiFi and £149 for Kindle 3G, with neither having any ongoing costs
  • Minor changes to the keyboard (improving the 5 way cursor), and providing “previous page” buttons on both sides of the device
  • The buttons (especially the next / previous page buttons) are quieter
  • Updated web browser technology, to make every element faster
  • Whereas before numbers were accessible from the top row of keys, you can now use the Symbol feature (which doesn’t turn off after the selection of the first symbol).  There are rumours that you can also use Alt-Q (for 1) etc., although the numbers are not marked on the keys
  • Battery life now listed as 10 days for 3G version, and a month for the WiFi version
  • There’s a microphone at the bottom, marked as “for future use”

Another interesting feature; a light for reading at night! No, not included with the Kindle 3, but the all new leather cover from Amazon includes a built in light (and what’s more, it gets powered directly from the Kindle via contacts in the hinge mechanism); personally on my Kindle 2, I have an M-Edge case with the M-Edge e-Luminator light which works well, but building it into the case is even nicer (and cheaper).

The Kindle Case should be available in Black, Orange, Brown, Pink, Blue, Green and Red (do watch out, the case will also be available without the light!) for £49.99 in the UK.

So, what about the pricing?  The Kindle 2 was roughly £200 last Christmas, so the price of the WiFi version is nearly half that, and I think that will make the Kindle 3 WiFi a plausible Christmas present, and with devices like the 3 MiFi, there’s no need to pay extra for the 3G version.


Kindle update

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The v2.5.2 Kindle International firmware is starting to hit Kindle devices in the UK.  When we reported about the removal of the $2 wireless delivery charge (see here), we mentioned that we had heard about the opening up of the browser to all websites.  Well, it appears that once you get the new v2.5.2 firmware, you should find that web browsing is now open to all websites, as part of also supporting the Facebook and Twitter social networking functions that arrive with v2.5.2.

This is good news, and it’s nice to see the opening up of the Kindle.


Amazon remove $2 wireless delivery charge for UK

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Although it’s not unique to the UK, it looks like Amazon may have recently removed the $2 surcharge for the wireless delivery of eBooks to the International Kindle.  This means that, for example, many public domain books that would cost $2 are now free, as they are in the US.  This is a good move, and brings the pricing of their eBooks back inline with what we would expect; it’s also nice that they have done this across the board, and not created an updated Kindle (or even a “UK Kindle“) and upset early adopters.

We should clarify it looks like the delivery charge is removed but only whilst you are in your home country, so, for example, a UK registered International Kindle would not see the charge in the UK, but would in France.  This however, is a good start (although quite why there’s no charge for data usage of a US SIM roaming in the UK, but there is for the same US SIM roaming in France I’m not sure, beyond a marketing decision…)

Now of course, Amazon just need to open up the browser to offer more than free browsing of Wikipedia, and the device really will reach it’s full potential (although there are rumours this has changed too…)


Kindle coming to Android too

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Amazon Kindle

Having already announced and released the iPhone Kindle application, Amazon have now confirmed that they will be releasing their Android version at some point during the Summer.  The application itself will be free, but will give access to the whole Kindle catalogue of over 540,000 books.  It will also give them access to their purchase books, and will sync bookmarks across the whole range of software (Kindle device, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry) giving a true integrated experience.  Also, unlike some other platforms, the Android version will also allow in-app purchases of new books.  The only downside to this application is you need at least Android v1.6 OS, which (at the time of writing) was not what, for example, the HTC Hero has available in the UK, leaving a lot of UK devices unable to even consider this application.  We hear, however, that the HTC Hero Android v2.1 OS update might be available before the end of the month, and may be as early as Wednesday this week…

In other Kindle news, it appears that the v2.5 firmware update will start rolling out to users shortly as a wireless update.  Personally, I think you’ll need to already be on the 2.3.3 firmware to even have a chance of getting this new firmware, and even then it’s not 100% clear whether this will be made available wirelessly to Kindle Glocal users.  More news over the coming weeks as the situation becomes clearer…