Tara recently shared this post, where she discussed her move to a Mac. I found it really interesting to see how she coped with the differences between the operating systems, and it made me realise I could never make the move to Mac! I love reading about people’s adventures with technology – so I thought I’d share some quick thoughts on a few pieces of technology I’ve picked up over the past few months!
I struggled to take a good picture of my phone. It was very dark.
I fully believe that mobile companies release updates to slow your phone down so you are forced to buy a new one. Up until a few weeks ago, my S6 was still going strong. Then I updated it overnight and in the morning, nothing opened. The phone would regularly crash while I was opening apps, WhatsApp in particular struggled to open, and I’d have to restart the phone numerous times a day just to reply to emails. One morning, while trying to listen to my Voicemail, my S6 gave up the ghost. I knew I wanted to stick with Andriod and Samsung, but I also knew there was no way I could afford an S8.
Because I was due an upgrade, I was able to get an S7 for a reasonable price. It has unlimited calls and texts, and thanks to EE being generous when my Internet service went down, 13GB of data. At first glance, the S6 and S7 are very similar – but the S7 has a few little quirks that I really like. The first is the Always On Display – which shows you the date, time, battery life and any notifications you haven’t cleared on your screen while the phone is locked. It’s useful for people, like me, who often use their phones to check the time, but little else. At first it seems a pointless, and it wasn’t a selling point for me at all, but it’s become hugely useful! It also has the option for you to indentify unsaved numbers. When a number calls you that you don’t have saved in your phonebook, it will search for this number and label it as safe, suspect or fraud. That’s very useful for me – as a freelancer I answer every number incase it’s work or the taxman! The final feature is the Game Launcher – a small but powerful overlay when you open a gaming app. It features a screen recorder, a notification blocker and a touch screen blocker. It’s made gaming on my phone a little more fun! As expected from a new phone; its battery life is very good, its responsive and the screen seems very crisp! I’ve kept my S6 for emergancies, but seeing as the S7 is also waterproof, I think it’ll last!
Level Box Slim Speaker
Another of the reasons I chose to get an S7 rather than an S8 was because of the free gift included. While the S8 came with Samsung’s own VR headset, I knew I wouldn’t get much use from it. While I love VR – it, like most things, makes me incredibly motion sick. The S7, however, promised a Bluetooth speaker worth £100. I’m always happy to increase my collection of things I can listen to music with, and I was very keen to see what a £100* Bluetooth speaker sounded like.
The speaker is very small, not that much bigger than the phone itself. Its plain black, slightly pill shaped and not much to look at. At the top are some small function buttons and at the back is a little pop out stands – which does actually work very well. However, its quality makes up for any lack of form. It connects to devices quickly and easily, it has the best battery life of any Bluetooth device I’ve ever had and, most importantly, it sounds great. It has a great volume range without losing quality and the quiet end and buzzing at the top end. For a small, Bluetooth device, it kicks out a resonable amount of bass too – although older songs not mixed for digital playback do lack that warm sound. It’s fully portable, and can fit in your handbag easily and it can withstand a bit of bashing. I dropped mine twice getting it out of the box and it didn’t even scratch. It’s also got the handy function of charging your phone while playing music. This drains the battery much faster, but it’s useful! While I’d have never forked out £100 for it, it was much better than I’d ever imagined for a free speaker.
*It’s £99 new from the Samsung website. It’s much cheaper elsewhere…
My biggest and best purchase was in April, when I decided to buy a new work laptop as my HP Stream wasn’t up to the task. While it was good for web browsing, if I had to have Microsoft Word open and a browser, I’d soon find myself slamming down the lid in fustration and saying “I’ll have to send these rehearsal calls / rehearsal notes / meeting minutes / e-mails to you when I get home to my desktop.” It was so fustrating, because it meant I couldn’t keep my work and home life apart – something I was desperate to do.
I also really wanted to play Civ V in bed. That was the dream.
While I would have loved to buy a souped-up MSI gaming laptop for thousands of pounds, I managed to restrain myself and settled with a Dell laptop that Currys had on offer. Dell and Lenovo are the two tech brands I’ve come to trust, so seeing it on offer sealed the deal. The laptop I chose was a Dell Inspiron 7560, with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSHD so that it could do everything I needed it to do in work! It also came with an NVIDIA graphics card, so I’ve no issues with Steam! It has a backlit keyboard, which is something I’ve always wanted from a laptop and never had, and it’s got a really responsive touchpad. Its sound isn’t up to much, and though it boasts of Waves MaxxAudio® Pro, to me it lacks bass and warmth. This, for me, is the only negative point of the laptop though, so I’m not concerned. Fingers crossed it lasts longer than the HP Stream!
I’m really happy with all my new technology, especially my laptop! Have you bought any new technology recently? What would you like to buy next?