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Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5 as revealed at CES

Last month Samsung announced two new devices at CES

This year was the year of the Galaxy Note 7, unfortunately for Samsung, not in the way it was anticipating. The handsets have now been banned from flights, and Samsung are seeding a software update that renders the device unusable.
Samsung though are marching on by announcing the 2017 models of their popular A3, A5 and A7 handsets at CES in Las Vegas.

The Samsung A3, the lowest spec handset in their mid-range A-series, has a 4.7”, 720 x 1280 AMOLED display, Exynos 7870 Octacore processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage and runs Android Marshmallow. The camera is a 13MP, f/1.9 module. This is all powered by a 2350mAh non-removable battery.  Find out more on the handset by clicking here

The Samsung A5 goes one step further with a 5.2”, 1080 x 1920 panel, Exynos 7880 Octacore chip, and 3GB RAM with its 32GB of storage. It also runs Android Marshmallow. The camera here is boosted to 16MP and the battery gets increased to 3000mAh unit.  Find out more on the handset by clicking here

The final piece of the “A” jigsaw is the A7, which mirrors the spec of the A5 but for a bigger 5.7” screen and 3600 mAh battery.

All the 2017 A models are IP68 rated, sport USB type-C reversible charging ports, GPS, NFC and FM radio along with the usual WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. Fingerprint scanners are in the usual Samsung position, at the bottom of the display.
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Internet of Things


IoT or Internet of Things is a term you may have heard mentioned recently, but what is it?

At CES this year, many manufacturers have been promoting their “connected devices”; these include cars, refrigerators, doorbells and even kettles. This should give you a rough idea of what the Internet of Things is, in basic terms it refers to a device other than a PC, laptop or smartphone that is able to connect to the internet.

Imagine if you had an IoT refrigerator; Samsung’s offering has in built cameras so you can see what is inside via your smartphone from anywhere in the world!

This is made possible because the refrigerator can connect to the internet, meaning you can connect to it from any other internet connected device, like your mobile or laptop.

The possibilities really are endless, imagine in the future if all of your household electrical items were internet-enabled; you could check what is in the fridge, turn on the oven and increase the heating all before leaving work. When you get near your house, your internet connected car (which already alerted you earlier in the day via your smartphone that you needed petrol) will tell the garage door to open and notify your partner via their smartphone that you are about to walk in the door. After dinner, when the dishwasher cycle begins, the TV automatically comes on and 30 minutes later when your show finishes, your bath begins to run! Your IoT bed could even turn off all the IoT lights when it detects you laying on it!

I’m not sure how I feel about this kind of automation, it sounds pretty amazing but how “lazy” can we become?  Feel free to comment below!

For now though, perhaps just a smartphone is enough and we are offering 6 months Half Price Rental on the Sony Xperia XA Ultra, just CLICK HERE to navigate to that offer.

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So, I wouldn’t normally recommend battery apps be downloaded on an Android phone; alongside task manager apps these are probably the worst apps available on the Play Store.

Take the description for a well-known task manager for example: “speed up phone, save battery life, 1 tap boost your phone” or this one for a battery saving app: “50% more battery life for your Android phone!”

If it was that simple to increase battery life and improve performance, Android would have already implemented it. The only sure-fire way to improve battery life on Android is by turning off features (Wi-Fi, Location, Bluetooth etc.) or uninstalling an app that is causing excessive battery drain.

So, how is AccuBattery different? Well, for starters it doesn’t claim to improve your battery life, it just gives you a better picture of your usage. Android has a built-in battery usage section, but AccuBattery goes further and breaks down your usage into sections like “Screen On”, “Screen Off”, “Per App Usage” and “in Deep Sleep”.

  • Screen On – shows how much battery has been consumed with the screen on.
  • Screen Off – how much battery has been consumed with the screen off.
  • Per app usage – breaks down the battery usage by app, so you can see which one is using the most.
  • In Deep Sleep – what percentage of your screen off time has the phone been in deep sleep

“Screen On” and “Screen Off” are pretty self-explanatory, just bear in mind that your screen is probably the biggest battery-sucker that your handset has. For example, 3 hours of screen on time used as much battery as 14.5 hours of screen off time on my Nexus 5X!

Deep Sleep is a power saving mode built in to all Android handsets; different phones will go into Deep Sleep after different periods of time. The important thing is that the device stays in Deep Sleep until you wake it. The higher the percentage of time the app has been in Deep Sleep, the better.

So if you are having battery issues on your Android smartphone, install this, leave it a few days and then have a look at the figures; it may help to realise what’s causing your battery woes.
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Kodak Ektra

It’s 1941, Roosevelt is President, Cheerios have just been introduced and Kodak have just released the original Ektra; 40 years after their hugely famous Brownie had brought consumer photography to the masses.

Fast-forward 75 years, and with nearly everyone carrying a camera in their pocket, Kodak are at it again, this time releasing a camera-focused smartphone, again named Kodak Ektra

It looks very different to the original, sporting a 5 inch, 1920 x 1080 display, a Helio X20 deca-core processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage (SD card slot too) and a 3000mAh battery. The main camera is a 21MP, f2.0 module with Optical Image Stabilization and Phase Detect Auto Focus, and it also supports HDR and 4K video recording.

Aesthetically it stands out; the back, with its enormous camera lens housing, reminds me of an LG Viewty and there is a big, rounded chin at the bottom, presumably to make it easier to hold when snapping images.

There is a selection of Kodak apps pre-loaded on the phone (or do I mean camera?) to allow picture editing, direct access to Kodak’s website and a Super-8 app to revive some Kodak nostalgia.

All in all, it looks like it could stack up to be a great smartphone/camera combo.

To view the special launch offers for the Kodak Ektra please click here
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