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11 January 2016 ~ 2 Comments

Is the OnePlus X poised for UK success?

one plus x

Smartphones are one of the most competitive market segments in consumer goods. It is no easy task to introduce a new range of devices into this market, and succeed. There are so many factors which influence buyer decisions. Although shoppers are still fiercely price conscious, technical features, design and that elusive element – branding – determine the final purchase.

According to Tech Advisor, “The OnePlus X is the best value smartphone of the year.”

Selling in the UK for £199 (the Onyx model) and £269 (for the Ceramic version), it has view rivals which offer similar features and specifications at these prices. For example, the Motorola Moto G (3rd generation) has good specifications at £159 but cannot match the design and build quality of the OnePlus X. The closest rival is the Nexus 5X, but it costs 50% more and this confirms the excellent value offered by the Chinese handset.

The OnePlus X has a superior design in a compact package with excellent software and a quality 5” 1080p Active Matrix OLED screen. The phone is available in Onyx -black glass on a metal bezel – which gives the phone a premium feel normally reserved for much more expensive handsets. There is also a limited edition Ceramic edition which is crafted in a process totalling 25 days. The ceramic is fire baked up to 2,700°F for more than 28 hours before cooling for two full days. Scratch-resistant with a hardness of 8.5H on the Mohs scale, the ceramic model has no peers, even at twice the price.

A 13 megapixel rear camera combined with an f/2.2 aperture and an 8 megapixel front camera will meet most users’ needs with Auto, HDR or Clear Image modes. Good performance is provided by the reliable Snapdragon 801 processor with Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM. The OnePlus X supports two nano SIMs with one card slot providing optional expandable storage, allowing a maximum capacity up to 128GB.

The OnePlus X is not perfect and the battery life and camera could be better but at this price it has no equals. This smartphone may deservedly become one of the best sellers of 2016.

09 January 2016 ~ 2 Comments

Apple Dominates UK Sales in 2015


The bestselling smartphone in 2015 is the 2014 iPhone 6 16GB, followed closely by the 2013 iPhone 5S with the 64GB iPhone 6 in the third position. The newer, but pricier, iPhone 6, the 6S 16GB, is the fourth best seller of the year. That the latest iPhone 6S managed to get a 4th place is particularly impressive since the phone was only released in September. The iPhone 6 has topped the global charts since September 2014 and is a worldwide favourite. Samsung only managed a lowly 5th spot with their top offering, the Galaxy S6 32GB.

Remarkably, next in the list the iPhone returns with phones in 6th and 7th position. Budget conscious buyers have been pushing up sales of the now discontinued 5C to 6th place followed by the 64GB iPhone 6S. Samsung manages to secure the final top ten positions with the Galaxy S6 Edge 32GB, followed by the Note 4. Coming in at the 10th position is the Galaxy S5.

Rob Kerr, the mobiles expert at, said, “Apple’s authority in the UK mobile market is unrivalled. It’s the only manufacturer that can still attract queues days ahead of its major launches. It even makes Samsung look like a perennial underachiever.”

What is interesting is that the large screen iPhone 6S Plus does not make it into the list, which seems to indicate that the market is happier with the smaller form Apple handset tarher than the phablet. This may be a sign that users want a phone which is light, high tech and still slips easily into the pocket. And of course, it still has that distinctive Apple logo on the back which is arguable one of the main reasons for buying an iPhone.

What was your last phone? And would you always choose an Apple iPhone over another phone from a different brand?

04 January 2016 ~ 1 Comment

Doro Releases the Anywhere SIM


Swedish company Doro has focussed on senior citizens as their primary market niche. They have developed a range of phones and services to meet the needs and demands of the older user. The company holds numerous international awards in recognition of its product designs and innovations and today is the global market leader in the category, telecom for seniors.

Doro’s PhoneEasy 508 handset will be sold as part of a bundle with their Anywhere SIM Lite for £30 which will include the handset, SIM card and a mandatory £60 top-up. The package offers a national roaming service which gives users access to the strongest cellular signal wherever they may be as it switches between EE, Vodafone and O2.

The PhoneEasy 508 is designed to be easy to use, but it also has life-saving applications like built-in emergency assistance features. The assistance feature sends SMS messages to up to 5 emergency numbers with a single press of the emergency button. The phone is extremely light with a dedicated torch and comfortably sized buttons. Another potentially life-saving feature is ICE (In Case of Emergency) which allows you to store all your medical information in one place for quick retrieval in case of emergency or trauma.

This is an attractive package for senior users with the benefit of good cell phone reception anywhere in the UK. Would you use it or recommend it to older friends and relatives?