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10 Best Gifts for Smartphone Lovers this Christmas

10 Best Gifts for Smartphone Lovers this Christmas

Christmas should be a time for mince pies, warm fires, and family fun, but in this modern world, the most exciting thing about Christmas for some people is upgrading their tech. One of the most popular gifts to give at Christmas time is a new smartphone, and this is a great idea for children and adults alike.

If you’re someone who doesn’t know an iPhone from a Samsung, then buying the perfect gift can be hard but you don’t need to worry, because we’ve done the hard work for you. Let’s take a look at the best gifts to buy for the smartphone addicts in your family this Christmas.

 

1. A Phone Case

If your loved one has just received an expensive new phone for Christmas you can be sure that they will want to protect it from damage anyway that they can. Although a phone case may seem like an inexpensive and thoughtless present, you would be surprised at how much thought you can actually put into choosing the right case. There are lots of different types available, some with backlights for taking photos, some that have a ring on that makes them perfect for selfie-takers and some which are super durable for the clumsiest among us.

 

2. Headphones

Headphones are always a great gift that are well received and you can really tailor them to any budget. If you have loved ones who love their music then you could try a high-quality pair of full headphones which they can use around the house. If your loved one uses their headphones on the go, then a smaller pair of earbuds might be better suited. Pro Tip: Be sure that the person your buying for has a phone with a headphone jack, if not, you may have to opt for wireless headphones.

 

3. A Power Bank

One of the biggest drawbacks with modern phones is battery life and smartphone lovers tend to be the people that are most affected by this. For someone who is addicted to their phone, there is no better gift to give than battery life. With a portable power bank, your loved ones can recharge their phones on the go and make sure that they never miss a Facebook update or an Instagram post.

 

4. Mobile VR

Mobile VR is still in its infancy, but it’s becoming more popular, and better. Devices like the Samsung Gear for are extremely popular for Samsung users and give access to over 800 VR apps. If your loved one loves VR and likes playing games and watching movies using their phone, this could be the perfect gift. Whilst devices like the Samsung Gear don’t come cheap, there are mobile VR devices at a range of different price points.

 

5. A Phone Tracker

If you or someone you know has spent hundreds of dollars on the latest smartphone, the worst fate imaginable is them losing it. The good news is, you can ensure they always know where their beloved phone is by treating them to a tracker this Christmas. Trackers like the TrackR Pixel are an affordable gift which can be attached to a smartphone case. The device works via Bluetooth and can help users to track down the location of the phone and it can even make the phone ring when on silent mode.

 

6. Car Accessories

For extreme phone addicts, putting down their smartphone when they are driving is a hard task, but you can help keep them safe this Christmas by decking their cars with smartphone accessories. Accessories like car phone mounts and chargers are a smartphone lovers best friend, as it means they can stay connected whilst on the road without sacrificing their road safety.  

7. App Store Vouchers

It can be really hard to get smartphone lovers gifts because it often seems like they don’t do anything but play on their phone, but the truth is that they probably spend a lot of money on the various apps that they use on a daily basis. Whilst some people feel it’s impersonal to give cash for Christmas, vouchers are a more acceptable present. It’s easy to find vouchers for all the major app stores, but be sure to find out which operating systems your loved ones are using, to avoid any disappointment on Christmas day.

 

8. A Smartphone Camera Lens

This gift is perfect for the selfie kings and queens among us. With the growth of social media platforms like Instagram, a lot of different products have become available to help us to capture the perfect snap. One of the better products is the detachable lens for smartphone cameras. Popular models such as the Moment Tele Lens make a great mid-range gift for Christmas and are sure to be a hit with young social media moguls.

 

9. Smartphone Remote Control Toys

These are gifts that are more exciting for the younger generation of smartphone lovers and are sure to sufficiently annoy everyone on Christmas day. There’s a good selection of robots available that link up and can be controlled using a smartphone. Popular models include tanks, planes and the Sphero BB-8 for the star wars lovers.

 

10. Bluetooth Speakers

This is the perfect gift for smartphone lovers who enjoy a good party. Bluetooth speakers link to smartphones easily and can provide a great backing track to any event. You may find that you’re Christmas day is overrun with cheesy Christmas tunes if you buy this as a gift, but they are sure to be a hit with the music lovers in your family.

 

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The 10 Best Smartphones for Seniors

The 10 Best Smartphones for Seniors

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s almost time to make one of the hardest decisions of the year: what to get granny for a present. Year after year you buy useless tea selections and pajamas, but you may feel like these gifts just aren’t worth giving. The best gifts to buy right now are tech items, but you may feel like buying tech for your older relatives is not an option.

Unfortunately for the older generation, rapid technological development has meant that some of them have struggled to keep up. Smartphones are now bigger, better and more complex than ever. Whilst this is good news for the younger generation, it can be hard to adapt for the older crowd.

The good news is, there are some devices available that are perfect for the older people.  Why not give the gift of technology this Christmas and buy one of these 10 smartphones for the technophobic oldies in your family.

 

1. Jitterbug Smart

The younger crowd may not have heard of this smartphone, because it was designed with older people in mind. The phone runs on a simple-to-use system, which is perfect for seniors that have yet to make the move across to a smartphone device. The system works in a much simpler way than android and iOS and whilst it offers fewer features than a top end smartphone, it still lets users access the internet make use of apps and make calls and texts. The price of the Jitterbug Smart is also very affordable, coming in at around $200AUD

2. ZTE Blade Z Max

If your granny or gramps struggles with vision, then the ZTE Blade Z Max could be the right device for them this Christmas. Of all the smartphones on this list, this device offers on of the biggest displays. At a whopping 6-inches, seniors can zoom in as much as they need to on text and view images clearly. The price is nothing to grumble at either, coming in at around $160 AUD

3. BlackBerry Key2

If typing using touchscreen is your Achilles heel then the BlackBerry Key2 is what you need. The device combines the large screen associated with most modern smartphones but also features and easy to use keyboard to reduce the likelihood of you sending incoherent texts by accident.

4. iPhone 7 Plus

If you’re hoping to get you granny or grandpa up to speed with you and your siblings, then an iPhone may be your only option. If this is the case, the iPhone 7 Plus is probably the best model for older people. Whilst it’s not the newest iPhone available, it’s still a good option for seniors, due to its large screen and powerful operating system. It’s also one of the cheaper iPhones available right now, coming in at $450 AUD less than the iPhone X.

5. PowerTel M9500

The PowerTel M9500 is perfect for anyone who is hard of hearing. The model offers users ‘loud and clear’ speakers that are compatible with hearing aids and features ringtone capabilities that are as loud as a train horn. There would be no more missed calls or broken conversations with this device, and it also has a simple-to-use system that even the biggest technophobes could master.

6. Emporia Smart

This smartphone is one of the most unique designs on the list. This smartphone is perfect for anyone that is transitioning from an old-fashioned handset and a smartphone. The device features a touchscreen that can be overlaid with a detachable keypad if needed. This is also perfect for people who are uncomfortable with a touchscreen as it also comes with a stylus and features a simplistic operating system.

7.  Doro Liberto 825

This phone has been made simple for users that are still getting used to how smartphones work. The main benefits of the device are large icons and in-depth tutorials on how to use the phones different features. This device can also be remotely accessed, so if your grandparents are having trouble using the phone, you can give them a hand, even if you’re not around.

8. Samsung Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8 is one of the more affordable options in the Samsung range and could be a great choice for a senior. The device itself is powerful modern and packed with features, but it also has an easy mode which can help older people to navigate the device. The Galaxy S8 also has some more modern features that senior citizens might enjoy such as a great camera and good storage, perfect for storing 1001 pictures of your grandkids.

9. LG G7 ThinQ

This phone makes the list as it would be great for anyone who suffers from visibility issues. The device features superior brightness capabilities, which means the screen will be clear and visible, whatever the weather. The phone is also modern and easy to navigate, making it a good choice for a smartphone newb. The main drawback with this device is the price, as it costs considerably more than some other devices listed here, but if you have the money and you think the features would be advantageous, it could be worth the investment.

10. Unnecto Air 4.5″ Senior Phone

This phone has been designed specifically for seniors and has a ton of features that older people can really benefit from. The main advantages of this device are its large buttons, one-touch dialing and speed dial for emergency and SOS numbers. Although it runs on a basic system, it still has options to integrate with social media apps like Facebook and Whatsapp, so you don’t have to miss out on any of the fun. The phone also has features that help users to save pictures from different apps on the phone for easy viewing at a later date. In addition to this, if you have a loved one that is more vulnerable, you can also take advantage of the geofencing features, so you are alerted if they are wandering off into places they wouldn’t usually go.

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The 4 Wackiest Cell Phones of All Time

The 4 Wackiest Cell Phones of All Time

Smartphones these days seem to all follow the same basic design format. They have a huge touchscreen that takes up the whole front, a slick minimalist design, a rectangular shape, smooth rounded edges – I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.

And indeed, it seems that this formula works.

There must be a good reason for this design, as phones like the iPhone X which embody all these features have seen huge success. It may be the case that modern smartphone designs have now reached perfection. Perhaps we’ve simply reached the pinnacle of mobile phone design, and all modern phones have achieved the ideal of exactly what a smartphone should be.

However, it does mean that the current mobile marketplace is a little less colorful. Currently, there’s very little variety when it comes to smartphone design. it’s all gotten rather boring.

But let’s not forget that it wasn’t always like this.

Once upon a time, mobile brands which sought to innovate and stand out in a saturated marketplace frequently ventured into weird and wonderful territories. This led to some mobile phone releases which probably seemed a little weird back then, but now… they seem downright crazy.

So, in the interests of indulging our nostalgia, let’s look back at some of the wackiest cell phones of all time. Get ready for a blast from the past!

1. Siemens Xelibri 6

Remember back in 2003, before the selfie revolution, when people still used compact mirrors to check their appearance rather than their smartphone front-camera?

Well, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Compact mirrors were still very much a thing, so it’s only natural that Siemens thought, “hey, let’s make a smartphone that looks exactly like a compact mirror”. And this, the Xelibri 6 was born.

This phone was totally round, just like a mirror, and of course, had a flip screen. It also had two mirrors inside it so that you could do your makeup and text at the same time. However, it also meant that the keypad was weird and round, and the display was absolutely tiny so that it could be crammed right into the center of what was essentially a mirror.

It seemed more like a mirror and less like a phone, but there’s no denying it was interesting. It was also aimed almost exclusively at women, something which I can’t help but feel might be considered a little sexist now, 15 years later.

2. Nokia 7280

The Nokia 7280 is another fashion-centric design intended to appeal to women. Sticking with the makeup theme, this phone was meant to resemble a stick of lipstick – and it kind of did.

The best description I can give you to help you visualize it is to imagine a USB stick. But not one of those modern, slick, thin USB sticks. No, imagine a chunky, heavy, clunky USB stick. Now stick a tiny screen on one side of it, and a touch-spinner on the other side. You’ve probably got a pretty good image of what this phone looked like.

Just like lipstick, you could slide the end out to reveal the display. It also had some of what were – at the time – cutting-edge features, like FM radio and Bluetooth.

It was weird, it was pretty impractical, but boy was it interesting.

3. BlackBerry Passport

Blackberry’s day may have passed, but let’s not forget that a few years ago it was one of the most popular brands on the market.

Most of us associate Blackberry with models like the Curve. However, a much more interesting creation was the lesser known BlackBerry Passport.

The Passport, true to its namesake, looked a lot like a passport. It was as short and as squat, for sure, and was probably one of the widest, shortest phones of all time. It was somewhere between a square and a rectangle and, as you might expect, was difficult to operate one-handed.

You needed two hands to use it successfully, but it was still pretty difficult on account of its laggy performance and square touchscreen which didn’t run videos very well. However, what it lacked in substance it made up for in style – a certain kind of style at least.

4. Nokia N-Gage

Personally, I’d say the design of this phone was more awesome than it was wacky, but it was so out there that it definitely deserves a place on this list.

The N-Gage was designed to compete with the main handheld game consoles of the moment, such as the Game Boy Advance, and took a lot of inspiration for its design elements from such consoles.

It was wide and meant to be held the same way you’d hold a Game Boy Advance, with two hands. On the left was the multi-directional buttons and the call button, on the right was the keypad and the end call button, and in the middle was the display screen.

Unfortunately, while it might have looked a lot like a game console, it really couldn’t match them for gaming performance, and as such, it had a pretty short lifespan on the mobile market. Still, it was, and still is, an interesting and wacky mobile phone design that deserves our number 4 spot.

What Did We Miss?

We know this list is definitely not exhaustive. There’s plenty more wacky and wonderful mobile phones out there, but we just don’t have the time to cover them all, so we had to pick our favorites.

What wacky mobile phones do you think we missed? Let us know!

Thanks for reading!

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The Best Android Phones For Audiophiles

The Best Android Phones For Audiophiles

An audiophile is a Hi-Fi sound enthusiast – someone who demands the very best sound quality each and every time they listen to music.

If you’re a true audiophile, you’ll probably already have an awesome record player or hi-fi sound system at home, but what about when you want to listen to some music on the road? For that, you’re going to need a mobile phone with top-quality audio capabilities.

Once upon a time, that might have been hard to get, as mobile phone manufacturers were more concerned with making more powerful processors, longer battery lives, and better cameras.

Fortunately, though, mobile phones have come a long way in the last decade, and there is now a whole bunch of mobile phones out there that offer superb sound quality, which makes listening to music a real treat.

We’ve done the research, cherry-picked the best available, and condensed them into this list of the three best Android phones for audiophiles.

Why Android, you ask? Well, iPhones are great and all, but unfortunately, they’re just not known for their audio capabilities. Android wins when it comes to music playback, and that’s why you won’t find an Apple product on this list.

Now let’s get into it!

1. Razer Phone

Our number one spot goes to the Razer Phone, which is a surprise, as Razer has, up until now, been known as a brand which designs products specifically for gamers. Apparently, they’re branching out their appeal to audiophiles too – or perhaps gamers just demand the very best sound quality. Who knows?

Either way, the Razer Phone’s speaker quality is top notch. It actually offers the loudest speaker sound output of any phone currently on the market so if you really like to crank up the volume, this might be the perfect phone for you.

Thanks to the Phone’s Dolby Atmos processing, the sound isn’t just loud, it’s high-resolution too.

As an added bonus, the Razer Phone probably exceeds all your other phone expectations too. It’s got a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 8GB RAM, which means it’s powerful and will run games and apps smoothly. It’s also got a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera.

The only real downside is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack. If you don’t mind going wireless, though, this is definitely one of the best phones for music out there right now.

2. Samsung Galaxy S9

There’s one reason and one reason only that the Samsung Galaxy S9 gets our number two spot – it has a headphone jack.

That’s right, while almost all other phone manufacturers (wrongly) decided that we all wanted to go wireless, Samsung held firm and stuck with the traditional headphone jack. And for that, they deserve commending.

The headphone jack means that you can bump up the sound quality even further by pairing your S9 with a pair of high-quality earphones or headphones.

Okay, we also lied when we said that there was only one reason that the S9 makes the list; there are a few more reasons too. For one, the quality of the speakers is excellent as Samsung worked with AKG to create them. They also made sure they added a driver to the bottom too, and the earpiece speaker can also output audio so that the audio doesn’t get lopsided.

It can also get loud – not quite as loud as the razer but still very, very loud. So loud that you’ll rarely – if ever – need to max out the volume.

The reason the S9 missed out on the top spot is simply that it doesn’t have a turbo-charged quad DAC, so it can’t quite match the superb sound quality of true audiophile headphones.

It also isn’t quite as powerful as the Razer as it has only 4GB RAM, nor is the front picture quality quite as good due to the fact that its front camera is only 5MP. Other than that though, it’s a great phone.

3. LGV30

Coming in at number 3 is the LGV30 – another device which, thankfully, still has a headphone jack. Not only does it come with a headphone jack, but it also comes in a bundle with a great pair of headphones to go in that jack. The headphones are from sound experts and high-end audio manufacturers Bang & Olufsen, so you can be sure that they’ll offer crisp, clean, high-fidelity sound.

Even better than the headphone jack though is the 32-bit, ESS Sabre ES9218P DAC. It converts those digital audio files into signals that your earphones can read and play, reducing harmonic distortion and increasing dynamic range in the process.

This phone is also more than up to the task of handling any power-hungry headphones you can throw at it.

The only problem – and the reason this takes the third spot – is the speakers. They’re good, but they’re not great, and definitely not able to produce the kind of sound quality that super-picky audiophiles would expect. It’s all about the headphone quality with the LGV30.

Still, no phone speaker on this list will match high-end hi-fi equipment anyway, so there is a good chance you’re only interested in the headphone quality for when you’re listening to music on the go. If so, the LGV30 might be the perfect option.

In terms of other, non-audio-related features, the LGV30 is a pretty good all-rounder. It has a Snapdragon CPU, 4GB RAM, and the best rear camera on the list – either 16 or 13MP depending on the model. The front camera isn’t quite as good, at just 5MP, but if you’re more interested in stunning landscape shots than selfies, it’s ideal.

Stop Reading, Start Listening!

That concludes our list of the best Android phones for Audiophiles – we hope you enjoyed it and got some inspiration for your next purchase.

Now, all there is left to do is purchase your new mobile and start enjoying the superb quality sound. Have fun!

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Common Problems With the iPhone X

Common Problems With the iPhone X

If you type iPhone X into google, it’s pretty easy to find hundreds of articles raving about how great the iPhone X is. Whilst there’s no denying that the iPhone X has some pretty awesome features, it’s always good to look at two sides of the story, especially if you are considering shelling out the considerable amount of money that it takes to buy an iPhone X.

In this article, we’ll delve into some of the most common problems that have been reported by users of the iPhone X, so you can have a look at the full picture before making the investment.

1. Unresponsive Display

A lot of users of the new iPhone have reported issues with their display. The most common display issue reported is the screen becoming completely unresponsive to the touch. Many users have said it happens most often when trying to pick up an incoming call, and they have no choice but to restart their phone in order to restore the device to its proper working order.

2. Face ID

Face ID is one of the jewels in Apple’s crown, and they don’t hesitate to advertise this as one the iPhone X’s futuristic features. Despite the undoubtedly cool idea, reports of issues have shown that Face ID isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

There are a number of reports that Apples best security feature is not so secure after all. In theory, Face ID should be the ultimate way of securing your phone as nobody else has the same face as you, but videos on YouTube and other sources have proven how easily hackable the software really is.

Even parents are at risk as, due to the similarity of their own children’s features, kids may be able to successfully unlock the device using their faces.

3. Not So Great Battery Life

When looking at advertisements and the hype around the iPhone X, it would be easy to think that the iPhone X is the superior model in every way. However, this may not be the case. When it comes to the iPhone’s battery life, some users have reported that the battery is surprisingly inadequate.

The iPhone X is a powerful phone, with a lot of great features, but if the battery life is only average, users will find it difficult to use their device to its fullest, without being tethered to a plug for most of the day. This is a common problem across the smartphone market right now. Smartphone power and features are improving, but the batteries that companies are using to power the phones are yet to catch up to recent developments.

4. Speaker Issues

One of the most important features of the new iPhone is the state-of-the-art speakers that they possess. For a lot of people, speakers are a big deal and, when you pay over $1500 AUD for a smartphone, you would expect features like the speakers to live up to their expectations.

Unfortunately, there have been a lot of reports of malfunctioning speakers on the iPhone X. The biggest problem reported is a buzzing sound when they speakers exceed 50% volume. This was also a problem that was reported for previous models of the iPhone and was fixed by a software update so hopefully, this will be the case for the iPhone X too.

5. Display Issues

The iPhone X’s OLED display was one of the most raved about features and, for many people, it is living up to its expectations.

However, some users are, unfortunately, experiencing issues with their display. One of the more worrying issues being reported is a green line that spans the width of the screen. For users experiencing this issue, fixing the problem may be difficult due to the way the OLED display is composed.

6. Call Answering Issues

This is one of the more unusual issues that users are experiencing on the new iPhone. Many people have reported a delay between the time the phone begins ringing and it registering on the display so you can answer it. This can be particularly problematic for people who are very busy and take a lot of calls back to back, as it can lead to missed calls.

7. Accidental Screenshots

Due to the lack of a home button on the iPhone X, the key command for taking screenshots has now changed. This has made it easier to accidentally take screenshots when you weren’t meaning to. Of course, this issue isn’t exactly something that’s completely out of your control, but it could probably get pretty annoying.

8. Hair Pulling

Yes, you did read that correctly. Although this is not so much a problem with the phone and probably wouldn’t be a make or break factor when you are deciding to purchase the phone, it’s still an issue that the iPhone X user have reported often.

Something about the design of the phone is causing people to get their hair – both facial and head hair – pulled when they are making calls or have the phone close to their face. It’s a bit of a strange issue, but it is a common gripe for iPhone X users nonetheless.

9. Wireless Charging Problems

Wireless charging is the future, or so we’re being told, but iPhone X users may not agree with you. Many users have reported experiencing interference with their wireless charging. There have been a number of reasons for this posited such as using folio cases, storing bank cards in your phone case or using a cheap wireless charger. It’s great to move forward to use more exciting technology but, when it doesn’t work the way it should, it can be annoying.

10.Screen Cracking

Anyone who’s had an iPhone before will know that the screens are very susceptible to smashing. Although this is more of a problem of personal clumsiness than an issue with the phone, it seems that the iPhone X is similar to its predecessors in this way. So if you are particularly clumsy when it comes to your phone, then you may want to choose something more robust.

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