Sunday, 28 October 2012

Samsung S3's Interesting Features


The Samsung S3 has been around for a while and in fact, the S3 mini version is here, but still there are features and functions that I discover from time to time, which I find interesting and distinct exclusive Samsung S3 features.

Have you heard of the ....

Briefing Alarm

Setting up an alarm with your phone to wake you up in the morning is just a simple  task. All smartphones offer this and even the basic phones have it.  But the S3's alarm has gone a bit further. It will not only wake you up with a nice sounding alarm or melody, but will read you the news headline and the content of your calendar for the day.

To activate this go to the clock application, create an alarm (touch +) or edit the existing alarm, tap the alarm type and choose " briefing ", check the items you want to be as the contents, press OK, then press save.



Here's a video of the sample briefing alarm activated.




Zoom in on Faces

Viewing on photos taken from your smartphone sometimes is a pain, especially when you can not recognise the faces included in the scene because of distance or not so good lighting. With touch screen devices,you can just easily pinch out to zoom in and out but again you need to do this in every picture you wanted to have a better look at. The S3 has a feature to zoom in on faces within a particular picture. The zoom in on faces feature when activated,  lets you see the faces at a close up view during slide show playback, thus saving you time to tap, and zoom out every faces. It does this automatically for you. 

You can enable this by going to your gallery, select the folder where the photos you want to play,  tap play button, select slide show settings, tick zoom in on faces, then tap start.


The slideshow application then zooms in to the faces within the photo, and  making a random panning movement from right to left, top to bottom or vice versa. 

If you are bored of just viewing photos without any special effects, this will surely spice up your experience, especially when connected into a larger screen.





All Share Play

If you fancy sharing of contents from your devices without any wires, then this feature is for you. Anything from a photo, video, music, or document on your phone can be accessed by a tablet, smart TV,  a computer or on another smart phone running the application. You just need to activate both devices so they can share content and play and control it from the other device or vice versa.

Access a computer's content from your phone

You can even access a computer's content from your mobile device, as long as you are connected to the same wifi router. All you have to do is to tap on the all share icon on your S3, then nearby devices, and the name of the devices you want to access. You can access multimedia files like photos, music, and videos.


I have chosen the music file above and to play the content that is in my laptop from my mobile, all I have to do is to tap it, see video below.



Access and control files from another phone.

By screen casting, your S3 can control the playback of another S3's content and vice versa. To do this, both handsets, or all of the handsets involved is connected into the same wifi router.

On the file source phone, tap the all share button, the name of your device, choose which type of file(in this example, I've chosen photos) you want to share and tick them, tap the share button and select group cast, enter a PIN to make your connection secure, then press done. Wait until your files are being converted and after that, press OK.


On the remote phone, tap all share play, then tap the left soft key (left of home button) and tap join group cast. From here you can see the list of shared items, tap it and enter the PIN you have provided in the source device. You can now see the content shared and interestingly, when you scroll through the photos, the other device's screen also scroll it's contents. You can also annotate as you view the photos.



To help you do this trick you can watch the  video on how to set up the source and remote device below.




My thoughts

These features are distinct to the Samsung S3. Some are very useful and some are just there to show the advances in technology that the Samsung S3 can offer. Exploring these features makes the phone interesting each day of using it. This makes it less boring as one can discover and learn a trick or two everyday.

 Have you learn any of the S3's distinct functions lately? No matter how big or small, it is worth sharing and I love to hear from you, too!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The iPad Mini

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Apple has taken seriously the idea of smaller devices like the kindle fire,  nexus 7 tablet, the samsung tab 7.1 and other tinier tablets in the market. Apple wants to get a share in this size category as well. Are they not contented to the good standing and being a leader in almost all of their gadgets and related products? The answer is obviously no.

Questions that come to mind when a "little brother" of a popular product is available  are, what is it's difference with the rest of the range? Does it has all the features of the full sized big brother? Is there an advantage of owning one or should I go for the full sized thing? Does it fits the accessories of the previous model or will I just be wasting them and would be forced to buy a new one instead? Let's find out.

The Ipad Mini

Appearance

Apple says that the mini " is the whole package in a smaller package". This statement gives the impression that the only difference is the size, which is 7.87 inches or 23% thinner than the iPad, and 53% lighter at 309 grams.This is a good thing as the size is more comfortable to stash away in a bag or in a purse, and makes it handier to carry along than it's big brothers. This can get the attention of younger apple fans which are always on the go and in a hurry and can not be bothered for bigger hand carries to tag along.



Battery Life

As this is more portable, possibility is this gadget will dominate activities like surfing the net, watching movies  or playing games on the go. The mini makes sure that user's will be entertained for longer before they charge the unit. It can give at least 10 hours of fun. This is another plus factor for bringing it to any place or anywhere away from the mains.

Compatibility of Accessories

Aside from the size, another distinct difference comes from the make of the USB connector. Instead of the usual 30 pin USB, it is packaged with the new lightning connector which doubles as the power and data cable. If you have an accessory for the iPad that uses 30 pin, you can use it too with the mini using a separate  lightning to 30 pin adaptor which is readily available from most retail stores.



Programs and applications, are there any tailored to fit for this size yet?

There are at  least 275,000 applications made for the iPad and all of them, according to apple, is compatible with the mini. Another good news indeed, as apple fans can easily transfer their paid applications into this little device without any problem. 

What about the native applications?

The mini has the same pretty retina display and can do the face time application in HD, or record videos using the iSight camera with 1080p HD. Siri is also available to automate the tasks by just using voice commands. The ultra-fast wireless connectivity and the powerful A5 chip make sure there is no lag in loading web pages, photos and other multi-medias. And with additional quids for paid applications, you can edit photos with iPhoto, shoot, edit and  create videos with i Movies, write and edit documents on the go. It is also compatible with airplay so you can watch or do anything from your mini with a larger HDTV output. You can actually do anything you can expect from a full sized iPad on the mini.

Variants

There are six variants of the mini. The 16GB, 32GB, 64GB wifi only and the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB wifi + cellular (with data sim) models. The sim card is the latest nano sized sim, like the iPhone 5, it is different from the previous iPad 3G's which take micro sims. The micro sim card is not compatible with the sim card tray.

It's processor is not like the new iPad though, it is an A5 dual core, like the iPad 2. But like the new iPad, it supports the next generation of wireless high speed mobile data transmission, the Long Term Evolution (LTE) just like the new iPhone 5 and the new iPad.

Where can I buy it?

Apple store is the first place to go if you want one. If you go and get it online, they are offering a free engraving service to personalize the device with your name, a message or anything you want to make it different. This is also good way to secure this from theft. The lowest price is the 16GB wifi only model which you can get it from £269, the 32GB is tagged at £349, and £429 for the 64GB. The cellular models are £100 more than their wifi only counterparts.

The mini is coming soon to

          and          

My Thoughts

"The whole package in a smaller package" is not just a catchy phrase, but tells the truth about the new device. Although smaller in size, it does what the bigger size can do. So what's the reason of buying the more expensive one when you can get the performance and excitement at a fraction of the cost with the smaller version? Although this might affect the sale of the new iPad but will surely affects the competition of sales from the 7 inch tablet devices. 

The advantage of a smaller device is it is more handy to move around with it, specially when the benefit you can get from both of the devices are the same. No doubt this is an attractive device but there are still other reasons why many are still be looking for the other competition, and that's the ability to make telephone calls! Why did apple did not add this kind of hardware to this gorgeous device? Who knows, it might be present to the next generation mini!


Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Windows Key

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The least used key in my keyboard is the windows key. This is the key with the windows logo on it. Personally, I have not used it too much because I really do not know what is it for. I rely on the movement and use of the cursor, the enter button, the mouse or touch pad and it's right and left key for navigation and opening up and closing down a function, folder or program.

So what it really does? Is it important? Does it do something that only that button can do?

The Windows Key

Pressing the the windows button corresponds to a click at the start button. This is a shortcut when you want to search on something within  your computer and saves you a stroke or two in grabbing your mouse or positioning your cursor with the touch pad before clicking it. 

Windows Key + Any Number



It can also bring about a function when pressed with a combination with another key. The windows key plus a number will launch up a program that is pinned at the task bar near the start button. The program that will be launched depends on the items pinned at the task bar. Clicking it with the number 1 for example, will launch internet explorer. A combination click with number 4 will launch chrome and so on. 

Windows Key + Arrow Down /Arrow Up


And if you have opened up a lot of windows, you can restore down the active window by a combination press with arrow down button, another press with the same combination will minimize it, and if you keep pressing the keys, it will continue restore down and minimize all your active windows in your desktop. You can maximize the window after restore down if you press arrow up combination straight after restore down. This saves you the precision click to the rather small squares.

Windows Key + Home


If you would like to just minimise all windows or programs except the one you are working at or the active window, a press with the home button will do this trick. This is something that you can not do with a mouse or touch pad.

Windows Key + Pause/Break



If you want to know what's the version of your operating system or somebody else's computer, the total physical RAM installed, the computer name and the Windows product ID, a combination press with the pause button will show these information.


Windows + T



This will cycle the cursor over the programs in the task bar in sequence. This lets you choose a program without lifting the mouse. It is like hovering your mouse over the list of programs at the task bar.


Windows Key + Alt + Numbers



A further combination of two other keys, alt and a number, will open the jump list of the application pinned in the task bar. Pressing windows button + alt + 3 will open up the previous activites of the 3rd program in my task bar which is windows media player. I can use the arrow button to choose which of the previous activities I would like to perform again. It is like a right click on the said program sitting at the task bar.


And Other Combinations

Windows + B selects the system tray
Windows + D  toggles the minimize and maximize button of an active window
Windows + E opens my computer
Windows + F opens the search function
Windows + G will bring forward a gadget over an active window
Windows + L will lock your computer, and you need to log in again to resume
Windows + P will open the monitor preference if you are connecting to another monitor and can choose extended desktop or clone view
Windows + U opens the ease of access preference where you can open up the virtual keyboard for example.
Windows + X opens the mobility access


My Thoughts

Whilst the functions that the windows button can do are not that all necessary, it is interesting to know what it does, just in case you will run into trouble with your mouse and keyboard or you just want to use the virtual keyboard for example, specially when you are banking online, it is easier to press windows key + U rather than going into the control panel and looking for the ease of access menu, or you are in a hurry to log out. 

And if you want to shutdown your computer after reading this blog without using a mouse, you press these  buttons in sequence, windows then right arrow then enter


Friday, 19 October 2012

The Samsung S3 Mini


A new star is born from the Samsung Galaxy brand not far away, the S3 mini. Following the success of the S3 comes it's little brother. Getting the clue from it's name, it is an S3 by heart, but mini by size. I guess this is intended for those who are put off with the bigger size of the original S3. Or to a Samsung fan with a tighter budget. 

Questions in mind will be, is it as powerful, as fast, as long power lasting, as handsome and full of feature as the big brother? It is hard to compare without the unit in hand but leaked data from online sources can give us an insight of what's the little brother can offer.

Battery

The original S3 has a massive 2,100 mAh of power which can take me to a personally tested  3 days of light use without recharging and can be extended to 6 days with more tweaking (see http://bit.ly/T2yMBJ). This hardware of  the phone is what I am impressed the most because it is the longest in terms of staying power compared to the previous smart phones I've used. 

The new arrival has 1,500 mAh of power. Long way too short? To compensate for the less power, this phone is obviously has a smaller screen with less pixels to light up, less CPU heads to power up and with the latest Android OS to help in conserving battery and manage the running apps.

CPU and OS

The processing power of the mini is a completely different and less powerful  Dual-core 1GHz NovaThor U8420, with 1GB RAM, but it runs the latest Android operating system 4.1 Jelly Bean, compared to original S3 that has a more powerful Quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos 4412, 1GB RAM, and running an earlier Anroid ICS OS. The quadcore has made the operation of the phone as smooth and fluid as possible, without noticing any lags when the button is pressed or an application is launched. The dual core might be compensated with the presence of the same RAM and the more advanced operating system.


Dimension



The Galaxy S3 is massive, in relation to most smartphones with 136.6mm length x 70.6mm width x 8.6 mm thickness, but quite light at  133g. It is bulky to my back denim pocket so most  of the time I keep it in my jacket's front pocket. When I am not wearing a jacket, I put it in my front trouser pocket. 

The S3 mini is shorter at 121.6mm, narrower at  63mm, but thicker at 9.9 mm. It weighs 122g. This is a good news to those who has a turn off at massive phones and prefer to keep their phones at the back pocket. 

Price

The monthly price for the S3 was at least £36 per month for 24 month contract, and now S3 can be owned for at least £26 per month and  still with a tag price of £499 SIM-free. The Samsung S3 Mini is 21.50/month when you pre order now and the SIM- free price is rumoured to be a pocket friendly and half of the big brother's price of at least £250.

Pre order now and get a free samsung MP3 player for £21.50 a month. Check here for more tariff and prices.

The Samsung s3 mini


Full Features

The mini looks every inch as the big brother only shorter on size and on some other physical aspects but maybe not on overall features. It can still wow Samsung fans with this list of what to expect on a little device.

Dimensions: 121.6 x 63 x 9.9 mm
4.0" Super AMOLED screen
480 x 800 pixel resolution
16GB internal memory
1GB RAM
5 Megapixel Camera with Autofocus and LED Flash
Bluetooth 4.0
Face Detection
Geo-tagging
GPRS/EDGE
HSDPA 14.4Mbps
Messaging: SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
microSD Card Slot (TransFlash) (up to 32GB)
WiFi 802.11  with Wi-Fi Direct
1GHz Dual Core processor
720p@30fps video recording
Accelerometer
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Digital Compass
Document Viewer
Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration
GPS with A-GPS support
Gyro sensor
HTML5 browser
Image/Video Editor
microUSB v2.0 port
MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
Organiser
Proximity sensor
Secondary front facing Camera
SNS integration
Swype text input


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Money For Your Thoughts

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Here's another way of making money online. You do not need anything other than a computer and broadband connection. You do not need to own a blog or a website, and you do not need to send your friends spam messages. You can do it on your own and at your own pace. This is by just by sharing your thoughts and opinions about an advertisement, a product or a service.

I had my first payment from what I thought was just a past time sharing what I think about upcoming movies, my favourite drink and which type of phone I use most. These are online surveys, where they ask for my opinions on advertisements, products, services, films, gadgets, and many more. I usually do this while I hear news, or while watching boring TV programs where I do not have a choice but to sit down and to show how polite I am to family members, or couldn't get bothered to get up and do something worthwhile. 

What survey company?

There are survey companies online, where they ask you to do the same as this company does. Other's let you review a certain product by writing a post.

The difference with this company is you just need to tick the questionnaire. You do not even need to agree or select the positive answer. You just need to answer the questions sincerely.

This online company is a global consumer research panel that was founded in 1999 by Global Market Insite, Inc. (GMI). GMI conducts market research to more than 1400 companies in over 60 countries. Their survey studies include: Movies, Restaurants, Automobiles, Consumer products, Current events, and others. They have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2004.


Who can participate?

Anyone who can understand english with the required minimum age of 14. I just do not know if the surveys in other 60 countries are written in the official language of that  particular country. Though I have tried to finish a survey using Tagalog, which was an option of the survey.




What do you need to participate?

Obviously, you need to have a computer connected to the internet. A broadband connection is needed, as surveys are in the form of questionaires, videos and other multimedia or a combination of the three. Using mobile data connection is also okay as long as you have unlimited tariff.

You also need to be 14 years old and over to participate, though some of the surveys need participation of younger audience, a child of a registered member for example.

You need to have a bank account. This is for the purpose of depositing your cheque or payment. They do not ask you to provide any evidence of this when you register and they do not even ask about it. But what is the point of receiving cheque if you do not have the resources to turn it into cash?

What kinds of survey and for how long?

Surveys are for existing, new and future products from unknown and well known companies. Like BP, for example, they asked me to rate different advertising posters. Which one do I like, which one shows care for the environment, shows innovation, or shows both. Which part of the advert caught my attention, which part doesn't tell anything about the product etc. You will be guided on what to do and how to answer the questions. This type of survey took me at least 25 minutes to complete. See some screenshots below.




Other surveys are for common products we buy everyday like detergents, mobile phones, McDonalds, movies or sweets just like an example below. Sometimes they require opinions from younger audience, so you can grab your son or daughter to complete it.


Sometimes you are not selected to participate, or have been screened out,  this is because they base these surveys according to your personal circumstances that you have disclosed. Example is when they are asking you to give an opinion about children's nappy, but you do not have any children. Do not be disappointed at this point, just keep your answers as honest as possible. I have been screened  out a lot of times as well. 

What's the compensation?

Payment is through redemption of points. Survey point varies from 15 to 250 points. 1000 points is the least amount of point you can have to cash in. This is worth $50 or around £30. I have just got my cheque this month  after at least 30 days from redeeming it. 





How to join?

Please email me at prakticality@gmail.com with a message title Join Panelist . If you have questions please feel free to message me for further tips.

Once you have joined, visit your inbox for survey invitations and you can start earning points doing them. I recommend to do this when you are just killing time, because sometimes the surveys are boring and most of the time repetitive. This is for them to know if you are a good candidate for the product or not. If you'll be screened out, do not worry, they'll compensate you for a sweepstakes entry. I have not won any, but you can see at their website the winners from all parts of the world.

Sometimes I receive  a lot of offers in one day and nothing on other days. You do not need to get involved in every surveys. 



My thoughts and some tips

This might not be for everyone's taste, but if you are an opinionated person on anything I think this is for you. Surveys are here to help companies improve their services by asking us about our views. In doing so, us, the consumers are helping them in the shaping or creating of new and better products. And this is the best part, they make us not just consumers, but as a part of a deciding body whether they release their product into the general public now or later.

Answering a survey doesn't mean you need to agree to all of the nice positive answers and all of the good things they tell you about a product. It is better to tell exactly what's your thought and experience about it, whether good or bad. This will not only help them improve their product, but also to show them that you are an honest product reviewer, and when this happens, you'll be asked to join more surveys to earn more points in the future. 

This doesn't make you rich, it just gives you a little extra, for the movies or anything worth £30. If you can spend all day liking something on facebook without any compensation then this is a little more interesting to do!

Friday, 12 October 2012

8 Ways to Conserve Samsung S3's Battery

I am really impressed with the longevity of the Samsung S3's battery. It can get me through to 3 days without recharging with my normal use. Wifi when I am home, 3G or HSPA when out, bluetooth on and mp3 player on for at least 30 minutes when I travel by car, and up to 3 to 5 calls in a day. I am not really a gaming fan but I do sometimes play chess to kill time when picking up my son from school. At the end of the third day I still have at least 35% of power before I start filling up again. This is far more than my previous phones that can only do at most a day and a half with my kind of phone activity.

How to do it? Do you need a program to do it? Here are simple tricks!

1. Adjust screen brightness to a comfortable level.

Obviously, the larger the screen the more power the screen can consume. In my case the screen is the second  greediest in consuming the most power. Setting it to a low but comfortable brightness can throttle down the power that is going to this part of the phone, but not necessarily to set  it to it's lowest, that you may need to adjust it again to get a better view of what's on the screen. You can also try to set it into auto mode, and if you are comfortable with the output, leave it.

Setting >Display>Brightness




2. Use darker wallpaper and home screen.

The brighter the screen the more power it is consumed. Lesser light is used to display darker images and more light with lighter ones. Putting this in the equation, using a darker theme can also extend the battery life. 

On Google Play, search for dark wallpapers. One interesting app is Picspeed HD wallpapers 300,000. There is a wide selection of exciting and pretty wallpapers to choose from. Open the app and tap all categories. The categories are arranged alphabetically. Go to the black classification and download a dark wallpaper from there. Once downloaded, you can set it as your home and lock screen photos.



3. Screen Timeout

Set the screen time out to the maximum time you think that you need or comfortable with before the screen goes blank. Too soon  will only waste your time in pressing the button of the unit to bring it to life. Anyway you can turn the screen off when you are finished with it by pressing the power button quickly.

Setting>Display>ScreenTimeout(under general)


4. Turn Off Smart Stay

This feature is great when reading something without the screen turning blank when it reached the set timeout. But this feature uses the front camera in order to function, and again using an extra muscle of the processor and draining the battery power.

Setting>Display>SmartStay(under general)


5. Change screen mode

By default, the S3 is set to standard screen mode, setting it into movie mode will make the images in your phone less vivid and less bright. This may not be suitable to everyone's taste and may make your phone images unattractive but this will surely contribute more to the battery power.

Settings>Display>Screen Mode(under screen)



6. Tick auto adjust screen tone.

This automates the rendering of  brightness and tone when viewing photos. Less light, means less power consumed.

7. Enable built in power saving mode.

Instead of downloading apps that can help in extending the range of battery power, use the built in power saving feature which lets you in control of the processes within your phone to conserve battery like adjusting the CPU performance especially when you are not in gaming mode. It automatically reduces the screen frame rate and lowers brightness, turns off the vibrate function or the haptic feedback when pressing a function button.


8. Turn off connectivity when not in use

When away from your home router, turning off the wifi button saves power. As long as the wifi is on, it will continuously keeps on looking for wifi signals, thus using power without any benefit. The same with bluetooth connection. When you do not intend to use your bluetooth earpiece or away from your car's bluetooth connectivity, turn it off. Turning the mobile data traffic off when you do not intend to use the internet whilst away from your home is also a good way of saving the battery life. Whilst using the internet and you suffer from an intermittent data signal, it is also more sensible to turn off this button because the strain of the power goes to the radio button searching for decent signals, resulting in more battery drain than productivity.

During the night, you can turn off all connectivity by turning the flight mode button on. You can do this by pressing the power button for a few seconds. This doesn't affect the wake up alarm you've set in.




My Thoughts

Doing two or more of these steps can make a difference on the battery's life but it is possible to really extend the power of up to six days without recharging with light usage, using all it's built in power saving features you know and with being sensible to know the time when we need to turn off the features we do not really need at a particular time.

This does reduce the wear and tear of plugging in and out the connectors, and of course adding  further life to the battery's life cycle.




It's about time to get an S3 whilst the price has gone down! Online only deal!




Thursday, 4 October 2012

How to Spot a Fake iPhone5


The iphone5 is one of the most anticipated gadget for this year, and as usual, has made a long queue during it's first day out from the shelf. Although the initial price is quite high, gadgeteers are still eager to own it. For a cash strapped fan like me, the remedy to own one with less money is to search online for a reduced priced device.  But is it worth the long hours of searching just to be redirected to ebay and other online bidding and selling sites for a cheaper device?  I do not say that all of the reduced iPhone5 prices on those sites are fakes, but I think everybody needs to be aware  on the things that make it suspicious to be true.


The Source

It is important to know where the device is coming from. If it is from a bidding or buy and sell sites, then be aware that most counterfeits come from the far east. They can name everything as anything, and can make a product looks like the real thing as these are just rendered in pictures and no physical product is tried before the sale. Check the seller's rating and the other items that he sells. You can at least have a clue if he is really selling a genuine apple product by the other items he sell, like using the same photo for another item with another name.


Mismatched Box Colour                                                  
Fake                                           Not Fake


The Price 

Even those products of sellers that are from your local area, if it appears to be so cheap, then caution is what I can advise.Why? It is most probably too good to be true. iPhone 5 is still new and depreciation of the product for a few days could be suspicious. In fact, it takes a while before apple lowers it's prices. Only until a new device is ready for display.

There are official and legitimate suppliers of the iphone 5 around already but because it is still new, it costs a lot even with a line rental. A deal for the 16GB iPhone5 from Carphone Warehouse with unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of data costs £46 a month, the same iPhone5 at Dialaphone with  100 free minutes talk, unlimited text and 100MB of data costs an effective £35.17 a month. 

The cheapest way to own it is to buy sim free, which you can do it online at apple website, or go directly to apple. Carphone Warehouse also offers sim free for the 64GB model.

The Size, Feel  and Appearance

Just in case you have the chance to hold the device, remember the iPhone 5 is 123.8 mm tall, 58.6mm width, 7.6mm thickness and 112 grams weight. Any discrepancies  makes it fake. You can also check SIRI of Facetime appilcations in action, as they are distinct applications for apple's latest phone models. They will be hard to copy and copies will be so easy to distiguish. 

Take a close look for the icons as well. The seller may tell that it is jail broken and has been customised, but as the device is still new, I doubt anyone has managed to be able to mess up with the display  yet.

Fake                                           Not Fake  


Serial Number and IMEI Test

You can also ask the seller to send you the device's serial  and IMEI number to check it with apple's site for the legitimacy of the device. Even if the device is not yet registered with iTunes, apple will still be able to detect it. Once you have the serial number, go to 


enter the serial number and check if the device can be identified.




For the IMEI number, you can use any mobile phone buying sites to check that the model and make of the device matches it's  IMEI number 


then check it.


My Thoughts

Low price is a real temptation, but we do really need to think twice. Sellers with offers good to be true will exert all efforts to convince us the legitimacy of their product. They know how to exploit our eagerness to have a popular product like the iPhone 5. So before we hand over our money, we need to check. 

It is also good to wait for a little while. Line rentals will ultimately drop after a while, when the hype has cooled down. iPhone 4S has that same price when it is still fresh, but at the moment, it has dropped down to £27.46 effective monthly line rentals, and £449 sim free.





Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Get More From Vodafone International Freebee

Calling abroad is not cheap, specially when you use your mobile phone on a normal tariff. Big networks like Vodafone has a specialised tariff that can give you a better rate when you call abroad. In fact it can give you FREE minutes, as long as you top up every month.


The Vodafone Optional Extra International Freebee Tariff

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This is an extra value for pay as you go customers called Vodafone International Freebee. How much free international minutes you'll get depends on how much you top up every month. A tenner will get you 60 free international minutes and £10 worth of calling credit. This means the first 60 minutes of international calls is free. Your £10 credit will only be used when you call any UK number or when you have finished the 60 free international minutes.  £15 gives you 100 free minutes and £30 has 240.  You have 30 days to use your free minutes.

The countries which are  covered in the International Freebee can be seen in this link. 

After 30 days, your unused free international freebee's will not be rolled over. You can have another free international minutes the moment you top up the minimum amount of £10. 

If you are already on Vodafone pay as you go but  not on the International Freebee, you can call free to 4351on your pay as you go mobile to opt in, or    you can order online a free pay as you go sim card in this link 



Get More Cheap International Calls

In case you finished your free minutes before the 30 days period, you can still enjoy a cheap international call by joining another pay as you go extra by texting INTERNATIONAL to 2345. This will use your existing top up credit  to place  international calls  for as low as 5 pence a minute.  Click this link to see how much is it to call a country of your choice. Effectively, you will have two pay as you go extras that work in lowering your international calls.



And More

In case the country you wanted to call is not listed to make a cheaper call, you can buy an international calling credit by texting bcall to 80550 and enjoy 1 pence per minute call to the USA and other destinations.  For more informations and full instructions please go to this link.


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My thoughts

The first time I've used the service,  my calls to the Philippines was charged at the normal tariff. What I did was to contact them through chat and told them I was in the International Freebee. I was given a number to call. The customer service at the other end was helpful and she reversed back the chargers. She told me that I should have waited for the text confirmation that the international freebee is ready to use.

I can say that the connection when making a call to the Philippines using Vodafone's International Freebee is fast and good. The direct  dialing of contacts without an access and pin number is very convenient. The quality of call is also good. Although there are times that it seems like it can not connect, and the person at the other end can not hear my voice or vice versa. Overall performance is good though. And the best reason to stick to it  is it's free.

If you have a problem with the service or any other queries with vodafone, you can directly initiate the chat from this site by clicking this link.  Alternatively, you can call 191 from a vodafone pay monthly for free, and 25pence from pay as you go.

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