Mobile Network

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09 May 2016 ~ 3 Comments

LG introduces new modular smartphone


LG’s newest release is the first smartphone released this year with some truly innovative features. Instead of concentrating on camera wizardry, or high-performance specifications, LG are offering a new way of looking at the modern smartphone. The new LG G5 allows the user to customise their phone to suit their needs.

Clad in an attractive anodised aluminium case, it is an elegant and classy phone without the cheap looking-plastic bits some manufacturers seem so fond of using in their premium smartphones. The handset is a competitive 159g in a slim 7.7mm package. Screen size is 5.3 inches, which seems to work well without making the phone too bulky to handle easily. It’s an excellent compromise between big-screen readability and a manageable size which fits easily into a pocket.

The distinctive feature of this phone is its modular approach, which reveals itself with a pin-line seam that runs across the rear bottom end, of the phone. Push this and the LG G5’s expansion module disengages from the rest of the handset so that it can be extracted from the phone, complete with a removable battery. The modular design means that additional camera or music modules can easily be added to the phone to extend its features and customise the phone to meet its owner’s needs. The most obvious downside of the modular construction is that the phone is not water or dust proof.


Initially, the phone is being offered with two expansion modules, but others will be launched in the future. The first module is a camera extension called the CAM Plus. This adds a comfortable grip and DSLR-like controls to the phone with dedicated buttons for power, shutter, zoom and movie recording. Significantly it also adds an extra 1,200mAh battery which will increase photographic and recording time.

The second module is focused on people who desire improved audio from their mobile device. It is called the B&O Play module and was jointly developed with high-end audio specialists Bang & Olufsen. This delivers high-resolution audio playback which can be used with the phone or as a standalone DAC attached to your hi-fi or PC.


The LG G5’s camera is its other innovation. It is a two camera setup with one camera using a standard lens and the other a wide-angle lens. The standard camera has a resolution of 16-megapixel with a 75-degree field of view and a bright f/1.8 aperture, laser autofocus and a three-axis optical image stabilisation for excellent photographs in low light. The secondary camera has a 135-degree wide-angle lens with an eight-megapixel resolution and an aperture of f/2.4. It captures a broad view of a scene giving you the choice of a standard or wide-angle shot every time you take a photograph.

The LG G5 is a very interesting and attractive smartphone with great features. An unlocked G5 is available at the moment from just £460.

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03 May 2016 ~ 3 Comments

Huawei takes on Apple and Samsung with release of P9 Plus


Top smartphone manufacturers are being forced to deliver increasingly unique and exciting features in order to differentiate their premium offerings. For example, the Galaxy Edge has a wrap-around screen and the iPhone has a reputation for delivering stunning photographs but the differences are becoming blurred as the phones are all offering very similar features. Huawei are now boldly delivering the new P9 – a phone which is definitely distinctive and completely different. With an innovative twin camera from Leica, one of the world’s best camera makers, they have created a lot of positive feedback from critics and users alike.

What makes the new offering from Huawei so unique is the setup of the dual cameras. Other manufacturers such as LG also offer a dual camera setup, but the P9 is different since it combines the data from both its rear sensors to create its 12 megapixel photographs. One camera shoots in colour while the other is designed solely for black and white pictures.

Michael Sykes, senior European product manager for Huawei, said: “If you let in more light you have better low-light capability, but you also get higher contrast ratios in black and white photography, so you can have really sharp and crisp black and white photos, and you can add depth information”.

The phone is also very attractive with a 5.2” 1080p display which runs almost to the edge of the phone. In spite of the large screen, the P9 is still thinner than the iPhone 6S. With 3GB of RAM and an 8-core processor, the phone has enough performance to meet most needs. The P9 comes in 32 and 64GB versions but includes a microSD slot so it is possible to add an extra 128GB of storage.

The ground-breaking design of the twin camera and the collaboration with German camera-maker Leica is seen by many analysts as an excellent strategic initiative by Huawei which could see the company establish itself as a premium brand and a serious player in the smartphone market. Huawei has shown significant growth in the last year giving it third place in terms of market share and the fastest rise in sales of any of the major brands.

If you are in the market for a premium smartphone, and you want the best camera phone currently available, then the P9 is probably your best choice at the moment. The P9 is expected to sell for around £450 in the UK.

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28 April 2016 ~ 8 Comments

Who can beat LIFE Mobile’s new deals?


LIFE Mobile is a virtual network offering 3G coverage to 99% of the UK population, on the EE network. They’ve just released some new monthly deals that offer excellent value from under £5/month on a SIM-only rolling tariff.

Currently, LIFE Mobile offers the following four SIM-only deals with 30 day bundles:


A key feature of the LIFE Mobile offering is their Smart Cap option. It is intended to give you better control over your monthly data expenditure. Smart Cap gives you a small buffer to limit your out-of-allowance charges. The default setting is £5 but you can call them and change this to anything from £1 to £30.

For example a Smart Cap of £1 on the £4.95/month tariff, your monthly bill from LIFE Mobile will never exceed £5.95. This is a great feature if you are paying the monthly bills on your children or someone else’s phone. You will never get an unpleasant surprise at the end of the month with Smart Cap.

LIFE Mobile’s cheapest offering at £4.95 has no rivals. If you are connected to BT Broadband you will get 200 minutes with 500 MB of data at a discounted rate of £5.00. This is 400 minutes less talk-time than you will get with LIFE Mobile.

Giffgaff can only offer 250 minutes talk-time and 500 MB data for £7.50. They do have a less expensive option at £5.00 per month, but that only gives 125 minutes talk-time, 500 texts and 100 MB data.

TPO offer some incredible deals but are also outdone by LIFE Mobile’s pricing. Their best priced option costs £5.99 and only offers 100 minutes of talk-time, 100 texts and 500 MB data. For £8.99 TPO still falls short with airtime at 300 minutes, but they offer unlimited texts and 2 GB of data which LIFE Mobile only offers in their £9.95 package. But LIFE Mobile supply 1000 minutes of airtime and 1 GB of data for £7.45. The choice is really whether you use your phone more for talking or for applications which will use up your data. For many users, data is less important since they are often in Wi-Fi zones where they do not use their data at all.

For anyone with their own unlocked mobile phone there are few strong alternatives. LIFE Mobile offers a true budget beating way to get connected. And their UK based call centre has been getting very good reviews from customers. This strong offering puts LIFE Mobile amongst the top UK virtual networks and completely trounces the likes of Vodafone and O2.