The new iPhone X – Product Review

Apple have released the latest model in their iPhone range -

the iPhone X (or iPhone 10).

It's very slick, high spec, has lots of improved features after undergoing a redesign compared to the last few iPhone models.  The Apple brand and quality speak for themselves and the price is a stark reminder at a whopping £999.

The design is a departure from the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and it's slightly taller and thinner and boasts a 5.8-inch screen.  Stainless steel sides and a glass front and back, enough to make iPhone users think Christmas has come early.

The bezel (area at the front that isn't screen) has reduced in favour of more screen surface.  Since the screen surface is larger, the home and fingerprint scanner buttons have been removed and replaced with the new Face ID feature.

Face ID is relatively new technology and probably still needs improvement here and there. Apple (being Apple) tend to add cutting edge technology where they can to their products hence the high price.  This is beside the fact the technology isn't fully perfected yet.  

That said, Face ID is reported to work well and will recognise your face with or without glasses but probably not sunglasses.  It also needs to be close to the face and can't be fooled by showing a picture to the scanner.

The Specification bit

Get ready for this because there's a lot going in the specification of this smart phone.

Below is a shortened version but the full list can be found at

Here goes…

·       Height: 143.6 mm (5.65 inches)

·       Width: 70.9 mm (2.79 inches)

·       Depth: 7.7 mm (0.30 inches)

·       Weight: 174 g (6.14 ounces)

·       Storage: 64GB or 256GB

·       Super Retina HD display

·       5.8-inch (diagonal) all-screen OLED Multi-Touch display

·       HDR display

·       2436x1125-pixel resolution at 458 ppi

·       1,000, 000:1 contrast ratio (typical)

·       Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

·       Water and dust resistant - rated IP67

·       Processor: A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, Neural engine, Embedded M11 motion coprocessor

·       Camera: 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras

·       Video Recording: 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps

·       1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps

·       Face ID/True Depth Camera:7MP camera

·       Portrait mode

·       Portrait Lighting (beta)

·       Animoji

·       1080p HD video recording

·       Retina Flash

·       Apple Pay

·       Video Calling: FaceTime video calling

·       Wireless:802.11ac Wi‑ Fi with MIMO

·       Headphones: Ear pods with Lightning Connector

·       Operating System: iOS 11

·       Power & Battery: Last 2 hours longer than iPhone 7 

Good Bits

·       Improved camera

·       Improved screen with more surface area

·       Longer battery life

·       Face ID

·       It looks great!

Not So Good Bits

·       Bloody expensive at around £999

·       No fast charging plug

·       Software needs to be updated for larger screen

·       Silver variant shows up fingerprints

iPhone X has a high-resolution OLED (organic light emitting diode) screen.  The Apple website states that the screen shows accurate stunning colours true blacks, high brightness and a million to one contrast ratio.  I don't know what it means either it but sounds great, right?  

So what are the MAJOR CHANGES compared to the last models?

·       FACE ID

·       Larger screen surface

·       Animoji feature (copies your facial expressions and creates an emoji)

·       Home button replaced by swipe upwards to display home screen


For a comparison to the last two iPhone models in the series, here's a quick summary of the differences.  The point being, there aren’t that many.

iPhone X

5.8” Super Retina HD display
12 MP wide-angle telephoto camera
Face ID
Processor A11 Bionic chip
Wireless charging (Qi chargers)
Storage 64GB or 256GB
Super Retina HD display 5.8-inch all-screen OLED
2436x1125-pixel resolution at 458 ppi
TrueDepth camera
Battery: up to 2 hours longer than iPhone 7

iPhone 8 Plus

5.5” Retina HD Display
12 MP wide-angle telephoto camera
Touch ID
Processor A11 Bionic chip
Wireless charging (Qi chargers)
Storage 64GB or 256GB
Retina HD 5.5-inch widescreen LCD
1920x1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi
FaceTime HD camera
Battery: about the same as iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 8

Retina HD Display
12 MP camera

Touch ID
Processor A11 Bionic chip
Wireless charging (Qi chargers)
Storage 64GB or 256GB
Retina HD 4.7-inch widescreen LCD
1334x750-pixel resolution at 401 ppi
FaceTime HD camera
Battery: about the same as iPhone 7

I suspect devoted iPhone users won’t mind paying the extra money for a monthly contract to receive this thing of beauty which in itself is a bit of a status symbol these days. 

£999 is a lot of money for a smartphone and only Apple can get away with that at the moment.  I do take issue with big companies who develop new cutting edge technology and push it out into the marketplace with a hefty price-tag before it’s fully fit-for-purpose.  The reviews on the Face ID feature are saying it's good but it's not perfected yet.

iPhone fingerprint ID was another example of this where they relied on later versions of the software before getting it right by which time the customer has already stumped up the cash and had to deal with it's teething problems.

That said, the reviews I’ve seen so far of iPhone X have been quite positive.  Apple are a great brand and the design, look and feel of the iPhone series is second to none. 

Hopefully once the fanfare is over for iPhone X, the price will reduce making it more accessible us mainstream users.


How was this blog post?


Do you have the new iPhone X?  Share your experiences and leave a comment.


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LENOVO YOGA 510 – Product Review

The Lenovo Yoga 510 (14” screen) 2-in-1 laptop/tablet is lightweight, fast and effective for everyday usage.  I was recently in the market for a new laptop and the LENOVO YOGA series came highly recommended.

 Lenovo are a Chinese brand, around since the 1980’s developing PC, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, servers and storage devices.  They grew in popularity after acquiring IBM’s PC and laptop business in 2005 and Motorola in 2014.

 Their 'Yoga' series of laptops caught my eye with one of the key selling points being the 2-in-1 feature where it can be used as a laptop or tablet with a touch screen.  With a decent battery life (5 hours +) and good processing power, it suits me down to the ground.  My usage is fairly standard - internet browsing, watching movies, creating and editing documents (using Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and of course, writing.

 The design is slick and lightweight.  Another selling point for me was the ‘backlit keyboard’.  You can turn on/off backlight on the keys which is small thing but a big bonus for me when writing in the lounge in the evenings.  Little things please little minds I suppose.

 Optional extras are available when buying a brand new laptop and you can opt to have Microsoft Office 365 installed giving the familiar suite of applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).  Also, it is advisable to install anti-virus software, the reputable ones being Norton and McAfee.  Again, these can be expensive for what they are so there are free alternatives out there.


·       Screen size 14"

·       RAM 8GB of Memory

·       2.5-3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (or i7)-7200U CPU

·       (i3 and i7 available in some markets and retailers)

·       Screen Resolution  (pixels): 1366x768

·       Operating system Windows 10

·       Hard disk capacity 1000GB Storage

·       802.11ac Wi-Fi

·       Bluetooth 4.1

·       Weight 1.76kg

·       USB 3.0 ports x2

·       HDMI port x1

Good Bits

2-in-1 feature laptop and tablet/touchscreen

Good battery life (Rapid charge feature)

Backlit keyboard (I’ll shut up about that now)

Slick design, thin and lightweight

Not So Good Bits

Power adaptor is not universal

Good battery life but there are better ones out there

Optional extras such as Office 365 and Anti-virus software can end up pushing the price up


Priced from around £449.99 to £699.99 (depending on spec and processor) at Currys at the time of writing.

This is a no frills good quality and value for money laptop.  Not as high end as the Microsoft ‘Surface’ or the Apple MacBook range but then this is reflected in the price as those models live at the more expensive end of the market.

I probably sound as if I’m bleating on about how good this laptop is but having used it a lot over the past few months, it does what is says on the tin and has some very nice features.



Was this product review useful?

Or not?

Either way, I’m always keen to hear feedback so let me know.

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Online Video editors are an alternative to installing software for making an editing video footage.  With the explosion of social media and video clip sharing,  home-made videos are more popular than ever before.  With a reliable internet connection, there are a number of websites where you can upload photos and video footage and do the editing online.  Oh yes, and they’re free. 

Below are a few of the better ones available.


Good Bits

Supports video files of any size to be uploaded and edited completely free.  Features are standard such as trim and splitting or inserting video sequences in different order.  The fact that the video is already on YouTube when you’ve finished is an advantage if into posting your video to go viral on the web. 


Not so good bits

The editing tools are buried deep in YouTube’s settings and there is no option to make accurate cuts to frames meaning if you want to trim or insert clips, you have to guess where the cutting point is or keep attempting it.  This is a minor point though.


Good Bits

This editor is good for producing professional looking videos from simply adding several clips together.  Includes different editing styles and soundtracks can be added easily.  The software recognises good shots and face recognition in your footage allowing for boring bits to be cut out.


Not so good bits

The free version has advertising attached to it but that’s about it


Good Bits

A shared online video editing service which accommodates more than one person to work on a particular piece of video or project.  It has an interface with Google Drive so all footage can be saved in one place not taking up space on your machine.  Also includes an Android app.


Not so good bits

The free version also has a watermark inprinted across the videos which is only removed by subscribing to the paid for service.



Good Bits

Free version features include conversion of files and compression.  Good features for trimming, cropping and editing longer videos.  Easy access to upload to social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. 


Not so good bits

Quite expensive for the paid for version around £5.80 per month.  Limited features in its editing features in that it does not allow for appending clips together.  Can only convert 5 videos per month.



Good Bits

A wide range of transition effects and animation features held in their library which allows for beginner level and professional use.  Very flexible for customising and personalising video footage.  No registration required.


Not so good bits

Not the best of interfaces and reported to be unreliable with certain web browsers and operating systems.

Good Bits

This company were acquired by GoPro but kept the free web service element for its users.   Features include text overlay so titles can be added to the video and basic transitions for variety.  God for edits short video clips from mobile devices.


Not so good bits

Good for short clips but not longer pieces of footage.  The free service only allows for video files limited to around 100MB in size to be uploaded.  Editing can be delayed slightly while you wait for previews to be created at their end before you can continue working on them.

The service hasn’t been updated for developed since being bought out by GoPro 18 months ago.


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VODAFONE SMART N8 – Product Review

This is a budget smartphone priced under £100 and an upgrade to the Vodafone Android Smart Prime 7. 

Coming out at the top of its league, Vodafone's latest Smartphone is highly rated and priced around £85 (at the time of writing).

The handset's casing comes in classy colours including Gold and Graphite has the look and feel of a higher spec handset along with fingerprint recognition which is good going for a phone in this price range.

Good bits

Moderately priced @ £85 (but a complusary £10 pay as you go voucher)

Front facing 5-megapixel camera

Front facing flash

Fingerprint reader

Textured back casing

Good value for money

Not so good bits

Short battery life

Screen not so good in bright sunlight

Sluggish speed/performance

Compulsary £10 voucher when buying from Vodafone

Thick boarders around the screen

The Spec

Dimensions: 145 x 72 x 8.6 mm

Weight: 151g

1.5GB Memory

Quad-core Mediatek MT6737 processor

16GB storage

720 x 1280 pixel resolution display

microSD memory card slot


13-megapixel rear facing camera/5-megapixel front facing camera

Android 7.0 Nougat software


An impressive Smartphone for under £100.  With a number of upgraded features including a fingerprint reader and Android 7 Nougat software.  The highlight is the camera features and 13 megapixels (compared to the Smart Prime 7’s 8 megapixels).  The microSD slot allows for storage for up to 32GB which is quite small by today’s standards but ok in budget Smartphone terms.



Rating 3.5/5



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GOOGLE HOME – Product Review

The voice controlled smart speaker market is really taking off and Google have jumped on the band wagon and brought out GOOGLE HOME.  Amazon's rival product 'Echo' which came out in 2015 still holds the top spot.

Smart assistants or virtual assistants such as Apple Suri, Google Assistant or Windows Cortana are basically a form of artificial intelligence.  The installed software agent  carrys out tasks given by voice command and integrates with other smart devices around the home.  You can tell it to play music, report on the weather, check cinema listings and so on.  I don’t believe it can make a cup of tea or pour a pint just yet.  It looks like the machines are finally taking over!

Smart speakers are the next step forward in the technology where the device sits anywhere in the home ready to perform tasks again by voice command.  Here we look a bit more closely at GOOGLE HOME.


The Spec

Dimensions: Diameter: 3.79 in (96.4 mm), Height: 5.62 in (142.8 mm)

Weight: 477g

Wi-Fi: supports 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5Ghz)

Speaker system High excursion speaker with 2" driver + dual 2" passive radiators

Operating systems: supports Android 4.2 and above and iOS 8.0 and above

Connects power by DC standard jack and Micro USB port

Good bits

Integrates well with your Google account and apps

Good quality speaker inbuilt

Can integrate with music streaming services such as Spotify

Customisation options to change the colour of the casing to match the sofa

A bit cheaper than Amazon Echo

Uses the Google search engine (of course, what else would it use)

Not so good bits

Two far-field microphones (Amazon Echo has seven)

Only connects to one Google account at a time

No Bluetooth pairing

Not yet fully compatible with popular smart home products e.g HIVE


Priced at £129.00 (Currys at the time of writing) this product is slightly cheaper and more versatile than its arch nemesis Amazon Echo.  GOOGLE HOME looks promising especially as it evolves with updates for compatibility with more services.  The touch sensitive pod-like unit sits nicely in any household and integrates with all Google’s services especially its world dominating search engine uncle.  Smart speakers have come under scrutiny when it comes to security.  GOGGLE HOME’s ‘always listening’ feature does raise privacy questions but this wouldn’t put me off buying it.

After carrying out my comparison with Amazon Echo (as ya do), GOOGLE HOME came out slightly ahead in the range of functions it can perform.  However, I have noticed it doesn’t yet fully integrate with other smart home systems (namely HIVE which I have at home).  Google have indicated they will be updating HOME’s compatible services in the near future so I will wait in the wings until it does.

*I will be reviewing Amazon Echo in a separate post soon.

Rating 4/5



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BT WHOLE HOME WI-FI – Product Review

BT WHOLE HOME is a multi box wireless MESH router which provides a stable Wi-Fi signal around your property and removes dead spots.

It creates its own Wi-Fi network ignoring your existing network.  This isn’t exactly an issue but a workaround for this would be to disable Wi-Fi on your existing router.  Priced at around £194.97 (Amazon, at the time of writing), it is competitively priced and one of the fastest of it’s kind.


The Spec


  • 3 boxes
  • Spreads Wi-Fi signal evenly acting like a Wi-Fi repeater
  • Plug & Play with App download and follow the steps instructions
  • Connects to your existing router on its Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Duel Band Wi-Fi (2.5 GHz & 5 GHz)
  • Speed up to 1733 Mbps over 5 GHz and 800 Mbps over 2.5 GHZ
  • Uses Band Steering (finds the best frequency to give strongest connection)
  • 3 Units placed around the house to give best performance
  • Pause feature
  • Wall mountable or free standing
  • Faster than BT Smart hub
  • Faster than SKY Q hub
  • AC2533 (1733 & 800 Mbps) Dual Band
  • 4 GHz 802.11b/g/n
  • 5 GHz 802.11a/n/ac
  • Duel core CPU
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port

Good Bits

  • Improved Wi-Fi speed around the house
  • Full coverage with no dead spots
  • Straightforward Plug Play setup

Not So Good Bits

  • Needs to connect to an existing base router
  • No USB and one Ethernet port per unit
  • Sold as a set of x3 units when x2 units would suffice for smaller areas


BT Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi provides better coverage than the average home Wi-Fi router.   It may well be the next evolution of home Wi-Fi or perhaps a gimick.  Time will tell.  

Although there are more powerful Mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market, BT generally do a good job with this sort of  product.  The only real drawback is that it needs an existing router to operate.  Wi-Fi extenders do the same job at a cheaper price.  If you have a large area to cover, then Mesh Wi-Fi is worth considering.  There is the option to buy additional units which makes the set-up quite expensive.

Rating: 4/5







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