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It has been rumoured for quite a while and now it has been confirmed, Nokia doesn't just make Windows phones, it is also manufactures Android ones too. But in typical Nokia style there's a twist or two.

At MWC 2014 it unveiled the Nokia X, X+ and Xl smartphones, but as CEO Stephen Elop insisted these aren't just bog standard Android mobiles. He said that: "The Nokia X is built on Android open source software. We have differentiated and added our own experience." And that means keeping the company's Windows style tiles, inspite of the fact that the engine running the handsets is Android.

The phones aren't that high spec either, but are designed to fit somewhere in between the company's budget Asha mobiles and its Windows Lumia top-enders. The X sports a 4-inch IPS capacitive display, 1GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor, 512MB RAM & 4GB eMMC, a 1500mAh battery.3MP camera, dual SIM cards, expandable storage via a MicroSD card. Not surprisingly it still comes loaded with lots of Microsoft goodies including Maps, MixRadio, Skype and OneDrive.

The X+ also has a 4in screen and similar spec but with more RAM, while the XL boasts a 5inch screen. The handsets also come preloaded with Skype and other Microsoft friendly fair, including Maps and MixRadio, Skype and OneDrive.

The prices are as you'd expect very competitive with the Nokia X out now for 89 Euros, the Nokia X+ available in Q2 for 99 Euros and Nokia Xl coming soon at 109 Euros.
I guess these phones are aimed at emerging markets, but they could also build up a significant following among cash-strapped Britons too.

Tesco make 4G upgrades free

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Good news for Tesco mobile customers as the company have cut the price of 4G upgrades on their network - bowing to the inevitable 4G revolution that we're in the midst of.

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As of today, the £2.50 extra charge for 4G services has been dropped for both pay monthly and Pay As You Go customers - and existing customers will be compensated with credit on their monthly bill, which is nice.

This means that you can now get a SIM-only 4G tariff for rather attractive £7.50/month - which comes with 250 minutes, 5000 texts and 500mb of data. Sure, the data is a bit paltry, but what do you expect - this is Tesco. I guess, umm, every little helps.

Apparently the plan is to roll out further 4G data bundles in the coming weeks as well as enhance the range of phones available on 4G tariffs. Interestingly, despite being perceived as the budget option, they've got some decent phones available: including the likes of the Sony Z1 Compact and Moto X. So that's not to be sniffed at.

In an obviously made-up quote attributed to their Chief Marketing Officer, Simon Groves said: "As a network we hope that this move will challenge others in the market and encourage the industry to follow suit. We want to see 4G with no extra cost become the norm and networks making the very latest technologies accessible for all.".

Though obviously what he actually means is "As a network we hope to maximise profits whilst remaining competitive relative to the other networks. As such we've calibrated our range of products and prices to remain competitive as people switch to 4G... because that's what companies do."

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With a lot of technology coverage, it can be easy to get lost in a shower of acronyms - and if you don't know your RAM from your 802.11n, picking a new phone can get awfully confusing. So let's go back and look into it - what exactly is 4G?

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So... What exactly is 4G?

"4G" is the name given to the fourth generation of mobile phones. The generations are measured by the type of connectivity available on each phone - so chances are at the moment you have a 3G (third generation) phone, that can do things like access the internet and stream video to your handset.

You may remember the second generation of phones - but unlike 3G, "2G" was never used as they were the generation when mobile phones first hit the big time - when everyone first got one. First generation phones were the massive bricks that business people in stock footage of the 1980s used to carry around. We've come a long way since then.

What's the difference between 3G and 4G?

Essentially - speed. 3G phones were the first generation to really use the internet in a big way, and 4G handsets build on this. They can access the internet at much greater speeds - comparable to a fast home broadband connection, rather than the slightly slower 3G speeds that we're used to. Chances are in the future when more people are on 4G we're going to see the continued explosion of high quality video and music streaming as more bandwidth is available.

At the moment 4G is only available in a limited number of areas, but is being slowly rolled out across the country. EE's 4G network, for example, is now available in over 100 towns and cities around the UK. Eventually 4G networks will cover 99% of the country (and in the meantime, your phone can still use 3G).

I keep seeing LTE all over the place? What's that?

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution, and is the name for the technological standard that underpins 4G. Much like how all electrical devices have the same power plug on the end, LTE is the set of technical criteria that 4G smartphones must meet in order to work with the 4G networks.

What phones work with 4G?

Most phones manufactured in the last year or so will support. Some 4G handsets include the iPhone 5, 5S, and 5C, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Essentially, if you pick up a suitably modern phone it will almost certainly support the new standard.

How can I try a 4G phone?

Our friends at Gizmodo are currently running a competition, looking for people to test a whole bunch of 4G phones on their 4GEE network over a three month period. You can find details of the competition here.



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archos_45_titanium.jpgProduct type: Android smartphone
Price as reviewed: £100

Over the years Archos has primarily been known for manufacturing and selling tablet style entertainment devices. However, this has now changed with the firm grabbing a slice of the mobile market with its very own range of Android smartphones like this budget-orientated offering, the 45 Titanium.

Design

Interestingly the design of the 45 Titanium reminds me of the Sony Xperia T. Which, while it won't mean that Archos scores highly for originality means that is has delievered a stylish and solid looking and feeling handset.

The front houses a, these days average for a budget smartphone, 4.5- inch display. Above that, you'll find the speakerphone and a front-facing camera. Below the display are three touch-sensitive buttons: menu, home and back.

The left has been kept completely blank, with the right stealing the limelight with both the volume rocker and power/lock button placed next to each other. The top is where you'll find a 3.5mm audio jack and micro-USB port for charging. Kudos to Archos for placing everything in a nice order.

Display

Archos has done an OK-ish job with the display for the 45 Titanium, espcially bearing in minds its budget status. Its 854x480 resolution is capable of providing an overall satisfactory contrast and density for viewing photos and watching videos. Maybe blacks could be a tad darker, but every other colour seemed OK. Oh, and whites - they seem too yellow for my liking.

Interface

The 45 Titanium comes pre-loaded with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, so sadly not Kit Kat, the latest version. That said, you do get access to all of Google's latest services and apps, including GTalk, Gmail and of course, the Play Store.

Little customisation to the user interface has been implemented by Archos, with the handset sporting a more stock feel. This isn't a necessarily a bad thing, but with the 45 Titanium I found everything to be too slow for my liking - which isn't me being awkward.

The keyboard, particularly, is problematic. It seemed that I was having hassle with it
constantly: you could be typing out a perfectly short email and it wouldn't do anything but freeze and stop altogether.

Power

I hate slow smartphones, and the 45 Titanium is one of them, despite being powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor which you could argue is quite reasonable for a device of this sort of price. And to be even more negative (I'm by no means the Grinch), you only get 4GB of internal memory.

The battery life also disappointed me. After a full charge, the phone 45 Titanium barely reached three-quarters of a day - and I had only been using it for sending a few emails and browsing the net.

Camera

Archos has supplied the 45 Titanium with two cameras: a 5-megapixel rear-facing and a VGA front-facing. The rear-facing is obviously the main camera for taking photos and videos with (which is at 720p quality), though I found the quality rather poor compared to pricier models. That is often the case with budget smartphones though.

Verdict

I must admit I am not too keen on the phone. It is slow, with a poor battery performance and a not great camera. There are better budget smartphones out there.

three-feel-at-home.jpgSome interesting news from Three, especially if you are a regular Transatlantic jetsetter. The network has announced that it is extending its Feel at Home service- which basically allows the subscriber to use their current data and text plans outside the Uk for the same price - to several new countries, and top of that list is the USA.

So why is it a big deal. Well as Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, says:

"It is the addition of the USA that now makes this plan really stand out. A fifth of Brits have returned from a trip across the Atlantic to a mobile bill shock - averaging over £90 - so this could be make a real difference to Three customers.

Other destinations that Three users can feel at home include Austria, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Macau, the Republic of Ireland, Sri Lanka and Sweden.

rsz_1tumblr_inline_mx5s24djec1rkrghv.jpgType: Android phablet
Price as reviewed: £450

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 combines the Note moniker's raison d'etre for combining both the power and performance of a tablet PC, but all chucked into the slim body of a phablet. Thanks to that glorious 5.7inch screen it has been built to add delight to daily tasks such as browsing the internet, playing games and watching videos. It also sports an overall improved design and spec line-up when compared to its predecessor.

Design

Ok, so it is big, but then again nowhere near the size of the Galaxy Mega. It measures in at 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm, which means that you could well need a suitcase to carry it in. Maybe that is a bit of an over exaggeration, because it should fit into most trouser pockets quite reasonably - but it's definitely a large device to use as your daily driver. However, in saying that, it is a lot lighter than its competitors, weighing only 158g.

Looking at the front of the Note III, you can clearly see that it is a Samsung product due to the fact that it sports pretty much the same layout that has been used right across the Galaxy range for the last two years. The rest of the Note III's facial is dominated by the 5.7- inch display that I have already said is large.

On the left side, you'll find the volume rocker which I personally found very responsive, with the power on/off button located to the right that also felt extremely good to use. The top houses a 3.5mm headphone jack, with the Micro-USB placed at the bottom, alongside the loudspeaker.

The back is where you'll find the camera sensor, but interestingly, it now offers up a faux leather look, which I found much more appealing and nicer to touch and feel when compared to other Galaxy Models that I've seen in the past. Some people do dislike that it's not real leather, but it works for me.

Display

Samsung has an excellent track record for producing gorgeous displays, and they have done it yet again with the Note III. Thanks to its 1080x1920 resolution, colours look amazing, perfect for watching a movie or two. And when I took it outside (on a nice day), I found out that it's viable when in the sunlight - which impressed me, because when testing the Note II back in 2012, I found that it needed to improve in this area. Plus, the 5.7- inch touchscreen is nice and responsive to use.

Interface

Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, chucked on top of Android Jelly Bean, is in my opinion, much better than the stock version and competing UIs such as HTC's Sense. I love the whole simplicity of the UI and how sleek it is, yet sporting apps that you could arguably say are suited for people who you may call 'tech experts'. And if you want to download more, then you can easily head over to the Google Play Store where there are thousands of options to choose from.

One of the main plus points of the Android operating system has to be the ability to personalise the whole layout. During the testing process, I haven't once stopped fiddling with the Note III's homescreen, constantly adding new widgets and taking old ones away. Don't ask, but I've always found that a lot of fun! Perhaps it's because I've been using iOS for far too long.

One of the main software features of the Note III is the ability to use the S Pen - which has been redesigned, now looking a lot better than ever before - to take down notes and draw pictures. I found the S Pen very useful when I needed to write something down and couldn't find a pen or any paper. Some people won't like it, but others will think it's awesome.

Media

I have to be honest, the Note III is probably one of the best options to go for should you want a device for entertainment purposes. Watching videos and playing games is a dream, and it has a good speaker, too.

Power

If you pay more for a phone, then the chances are that it's going to be impressive in terms of power and performance. The Note III is exactly that, producing amazing speeds as the result of a quad-core 2.3GHz processor, backed up with 3GB of RAM and choices of 16/32/64GB of memory. The battery life was also great, lasting a whole day and a bit on a full charge - much better than my iPhone 5.

Camera

With the Note III, you get a 13- megapixel camera and 4K video recording - a feature for Samsung to brag about, as it's something most current smartphones/phablets don't offer. In terms of the overall quality, I was very happy with photos taken with the Note III, although I didn't really find the flash strong enough when using the camera in the night. However, in saying that, I had no obvious problems when it came to taking videos - the quality is quite superb - I really do mean that.

Verdict

The Note III may be huge, but it's certainly not as big as some of the phablets that you can find on the market today - using the HTC One Max as a great example - meaning that if you want a something bigger than the average smartphone, yet don't want it to be humongous, then the Note III could be the best option to go for. This is a sound re-invention of what is fast becoming a classic device.

samsung-galaxy-granbd2.jpgSo, after the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy mega Samsung has announced the impending arrival of yet another large screen mobile, The Galaxy Grand 2 boasts a 5.25-inch display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

It also comes with a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, just 8GB of internal flash storage and a 2,600mAh battery with a promised 17 hours of call time and 10 hours of video playback. There is also an 8-megapixel rear camera which is accompanied by a slew of Samsung software features like Best Face, Best Photo and Continuous Shot.

It comes in white or pink and features twin SIM card slots but is not 4G compatible.

I guess this is Samsung offering a lower specced cheaper big screen phone largely for buyers in emerging markets. There are no details yet on whether the handset will be available in Europe or the US. I hope they do bring it over as I think it could tempt some British buyers who liked the idea of the Galaxy mega, but may have been put off by its non Quad core processor.

Samsung Galaxy Mega review

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Type: Android smartphone

Price as reviewed: £300

Fancy a really big phone? Well Samsung isn't just touting its high-end Galaxy S3 Note. There's also a cut down version - the Mega - which sports a huge 6.3inch display. That's significantly bigger than the Note 3. In fact only the Sony Xperia Z Ultra - from the big name makers at least - is bigger. Yet the specs, and the price are lower than the Note 3. I get the impression that this is aimed at people who can't afford both a tablet and a phone. In fact Samsung has even muttered about students being its prime audience.

Design

When you take the Galaxy Mega out of its box, the size is a real shock! It really is almost comparable to a 7-inch tablet...it's that big. And due to it being so humongous, I found it very hard at first to comfortably hold it. After a while, using it with one hand become easier, although you'll probably want to use two hands just in case you were to end up dropping the Mega or even causing physical damage to your arm or hand. It's also worth mentioning that it's not the lightest of devices at 199g, either.

Looking around the Galaxy Mega, you get a 3.5mm audio jack at the top, with the volume rocker on the left side, the power/lock button to the right, and the micro-USB charging port placed at the bottom - everything placed nicely as they should be! And all the elements are lovely and responsive to use.

Probably the biggest attraction - and excuse the pun - has to be the Mega's gigantic 6.3- inch display. Sporting a resolution of 720x1280 pixels (note the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Galaxy Note S3's screens are both 1080 x 1920 pixels), colours are not only sharp, but they're also vibrant and bold - perfect for watching plenty of YouTube videos. And thanks to the responsive capacitive touchscreen technology used, I had no problems whatsoever when navigating around the display.

Under the hood, the Mega is powered by a somewhat disappointing dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz, mainly because you would expect to see a high-end smartphone, especially a phablet, sporting a quad-core version. But nevertheless, I had no problems when it came to the overall performance - probably down to the fact that there's plenty of memory (8/16GB) and 1.5GB RAM. It has more than enough oomph for most applications, it just isn't as speedy and as highly specified as some of its rivals.

Interface and apps

While the Galaxy Mega is pre-loaded with Android Jelly Bean, Samsung's very own TouchWiz user interface is way more apparent. I currently use an iPhone, but I have used a few Samsungs in the past, and happen to really like TouchWiz - I find it sleeker and packing more punch that its HTC counterpart, Sense. Maybe that's just me, but I just think it is a lot easier to use and really enjoy customising the homescreen with the variation of Samsung widgets that are available to use.

More on the Google side of things, you get access to many of the search engine's popular apps such as Gmail, Talk and Google Plus, as well as the Play Store where you're able to download free and paid items such as apps, games, magazines, e-books, music and movies - just like with iTunes.

The stock browser is also impressive. I found it very easy to use and I really liked the overall look and feel of it! Plus, because of the Mega's huge display, I had no problems when it came to using the keyboard - its keys are spaced out well and it was very responsive. It made messaging a dream, too.

Another thing that I was happy with when testing was the dial pad. Again, just like the built-in keyboard, the keys have been spaced out nicely to ensure you never accidently press a different number. And call quality is excellent too.

Camera

Samsung has supplied the Galaxy Mega with a 1.9- megapixel front-facing camera for video calling, along with an 8- megapixel rear-facing sensor and 1080p video recording for serious stills and videos.

When using the camera for stills, I was very happy with the user interface - again, very easy to use - as it should be! And I was well impressed with the quality of my photos: they look lovely and crisp, along with the videos that I took.

Battery life

When it came to battery life, I never encountered any time where I was faced with the handset running out - unlike my beloved iPhone 5 - this is all thanks to the Mega's 3200mAh battery.

Verdict

Personally, I'm a huge fan of the Galaxy Mega and what it stands for. If you want an inexpensive big screen mobile, and aren't too fussed about the latest super fast processor and the highest res screen, this is ideal.


Review by Nicholas Fearn of GadgetXpert
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So what do we know about flexible screens?

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Everyone's calling them the next big thing - or at least the flex big thing (see what we did there?), but what's the deal with flexible screens? Are they going to revolutionise mobile phones like the iPhone did way back in 2007?

A... flexible screen?

Yeah, you know - a screen that will bend and flex - without giving you a massive repair bill at the end of it. They're going to be in-thing in the next few years.

Oh, like that Samsung that was announced the other day?

Sort of - that's the Galaxy Round - which at the moment is only heading to South Korea. It's really interesting as it's the first consumer phone with a curved screen. You can't actually bend it around yourself - it's been pre-curved in the factory to wrap around some glass. But is based on the same sort of technology.

It does show where this sort of technology could go in the future though. Perhaps not in phones - but the other screens we see everywhere will no longer be confined to flat spaces - perhaps the screens in airline seats, car dashboards and smart watches.

So properly flexible? How does that work, then?

The Samsung Geeks explain it nicely:

"Traditional AMOLED screens use organic compounds which create their own light source when a current is passed through them. As the OLED pixels create their own light source, they don't need a back light like LCD screen technology, but the circuitry to control the pixels is fused into glass. Flexible displays simply replace the layers of glass with layers of (flexible) plastic film, allowing for them to be bent and flexed without breaking anything."

I'm sceptical - how flexible are we talking?

Check out this video of a Samsung announcement from CES earlier this year. Skip to 4:20 and watch as you involuntarily brace for a shattering when the man on screen starts bending the phone - because you're just not used to seeing something work like that. It's pretty jaw-dropping.

Yikes - so when will my phone be able to do that?

It's still a work in progress, though Samsung and fellow South Korean giants LG are locked into something of a flexible screen arms race at the moment, with both showing off prototypes that are basically small black boxes with a big flexible screen poking out the top.

So will my dog be able to fetch my rolled-up phone like it were a newspaper?

Not quite - the technology isn't there quite yet, as some spoil sports like to point out. Apparently the screens can't bend too much, because of the electronics behind them - which have a harder time with being deformed than the AMOLED LEDs.

So when can I get one?

Patience is a virtue, as they say. Given the Galaxy Round is just launching in South Korea, and that's half way there, that's a good sign - I'd say about this time next year we'll start to see the first truly flexible screens. And who knows where we'll be with the prototypes.

And now for the confirmation, Samsung has launched has launched a smartphone with a curved display screen. The new handset is called the Galaxy Round and for now will only be on sale in Korea.

It sports a 5.7in (14.5cm) AMOLED screen (that makes it the same size as the Galaxy Note 3) whose curvature Samsung says will help consumers check information such as date, time and missed calls when home screen is off, with more ease. You can't actually bend the phone's screen, rather as it is curved you can tilt it to put the display on. Samsung calls this the Roll Effect.

Another benefit of the screen is that users can also change music tracks on their phone, while its display is off.

Here's what the company says on its blog

: "As a result of its unique curved design, users can take advantage of round integration experiences like the Roll Effect.

"That enables the user to check information such as the date, time, missed calls and battery easily when home screen is off, and the Gravity Effect for creating visual interaction with the screen by tilting the device."

There are ways of employing similar tech to cycle through images and change music tracks without the screen being on too.

The phone itself is 4G LTA-Advanced is made from traditional Samsung plastic and comes in the not that alluring shade of luxury brown.

It runs a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, expandable to 64GB with a microSD , uses the Android 4.3 OS and features a 2,800mAh battery. On board is a 13 mega pixel rear and two mega pixel front cameras.

Expect a worldwide version of the curved screen phone to debut across the world at either CESin january or MWC in February.

Big news from Samsung it seems that the curved smartphone that has been doing the rounds is imminent. An image of the device have been leaked on Twitter alongside a crescendo of gossip that the phone will be announced on October 10th - that's tomorrow. The rumour has been sparked by the date on the phone.

Samsung has been experimenting with flexible screens for a while and showed its first version at CES in January.

iPhone5s-firstpic.jpgFancy an iPhone, but put off but its rather titchy (when compared with its rivals) four inch screen? Well the evidence is mounting that the next generation of iPhone is very likely to have a much bigger screen.

The latest person to claim that an Apple Phablet is on the cards is Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek. Now Misek has been quite a good source of Apple info in recent times so it is worth taking what he says seriously.

His latest note to investors contained the following...

"Despite still seeing risk to CQ4 and FY13 revs, we now believe better [gross margins] will allow Apple to skate by until iPhone 6 launches with its 4.8″ screen."

He goes on to add that he thinks that the large screen will spark a significant upgrade as Apple owners surge to buy the bigger model. He also thinks that the brand has just about enough to keep consumers onside with the iPhone 5s and 5c too.

Misek isn't the first to claim that Apple is working on a bigger screen iPhone. The WSJ has also run a story about it and quite frankly it would be surprising if the next iPhone didn't have a bigger screen considering the way most of Apple's rival have moved.
We'll just have to wait and see.

Well this is a bolt from the blue. It appears that Samsung are on schedule to launch a smartphone with a curved screen by the end of the year.

The momentous news was dropped in the middle of the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 today and apparently it will land some time in Q4.

Samsung paraded a prototype flexible screen called the Youm back at CES in January (see above video), and it seems that the new version will be based on that design.

According to Park Sang-jin, CEO of Samsung SDI, the new device will use a similar OLED panel and will be curve-shaped, but not completely flexible. Interestingly that prototype was able to display notifications along the side.

Apple sells nine million iPhones in three days

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Well so much for those reports that demand for the new iPhones was low. Apple has announced it has sold nine million new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models in three days.

The company added that demand for iPhone 5s has exceeded the initial supply, and many online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks.

"This is our best iPhone launch yet--more than nine million new iPhones sold--a new record for first weekend sales," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "The demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and while we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly. We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone."

Reading between the lines it seems that the growth has been powered by the iPhone 5s and that the iPhone 5c has been a slower burner. The interesting part is whether sales of the 5c creep up as times goes by. Apple diehards would want the higher specced 5s at launch, but it could be that the cheaper 5c attracts a wider audience as time goes by.

To put the figure in some kind of perspective Samsung sold around 20 million Galaxy S4s within a couple of months of its launch.

Wearable tech goes vintage, well that is kind of the concept that designer Sean Miles had in mind with this collaboration with 02. He has basically created a collection of vintage fashion accessories made from recycled mobile phones, which have included Christian Louboutin heels, a pair of vintage Miu Miu gloves and an Alexander McQueen clutch bag.

The cool part is that all of them double as mobile phones.

The items, which 02 is billing as the O2 Recycled collection, was unveiled to coincide with the end of London Fashion Week.

Sean Miles said:

"We wanted to showcase the possibilities of wearable technology - from shoes to gloves to bags - and how fashion and technology can go hand in hand. Further, the hope is that all the creations for this innovative project will get people to notice what can be done with mobile phones rather than just sending them to landfill. If we can combine the best of fashion whilst also recycling gadgets we can be trendsetters in more than one way. This has been an amazing journey for me and really has opened up my eyes and wardrobe to new things!"

The creations included

"Walkie Talkies" vintage footwear (including a pair of brogues, Nike Air trainer, Hunter Wellies and a Christian Louboutin high heel shoe which all can be used as phones.)

"Talk to the Hand" vintage Miu Miu and Pineider gloves which had an old mobile phone's speaker unit embedded in the thumb and microphone built into in the little finger of the gloves while they chat through Bluetooth connection.

"The Bags That Talk" a vintage Celine box handbag, a Chloe shoulder bag, and an Alexander McQueen clutch bag, with old Nokia and LG handsets integrated into them.

The Guardian today ran with the story that according to one network demand for the new iPhone 5C was only a tenth of what it has been for previous new Apple mobiles.

A source told the paper

"It's been a big disappointment," said a mobile network source. "We are seeing a decline in the number of pre-orders. They are 60% to 70% less than we were expecting, and we didn't expect them to be massively high given it's not the flagship model."

But is it just the iPhone 5C that hasn't been anywhere near as popular as previous models?

It appears that even the retailers think that unlike in previous years when the phones sold out quickly this time there will be plenty to go round.

Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer at Phones 4u has said that his store intend to put 'five times more iPhone stock into store for launch, compared to any other year before.'

That either means that Phones 4u has got a special new arrangement with Apple or that demand for the phones is nowhere near what has been expected.

So is he putting a positive spin on the lack of demand, or is the opposite true and that the phones are still going to be hugely popular?

Here's what he said

"Apple mania has truly taken a firm grip on the nation this week, so we are extremely pleased to be putting five times more iPhone stock into store for launch, compared to any other year before, which will help enable us to meet this demand from our customers. We are also proud to announce that we anticipate to have iPhone stock available in every Phones 4u store across the UK at launch this Friday, as well as over the launch weekend. This is great news for all those iPhone fans who are wanting to get their hands on the latest smartphones from Apple!"

HTC One Max pics leaked

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htc-one-max-main.jpgSo this winter looks like being a bumper one for big screen mobiles aka Phablets. The Sony Xperia Ultra Z is already in the stores with the Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 set to follow soon and whispers of a Nokia big screen mobiles too. And now HTC is set to follow suite with the HTC One Max - a phone that is rumoured to sport a 5.9inch screen.

Chinese social network Sina Weibo has published these images of what it claims is the device alongside Samsung's 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 and it does seem to suggest that the mobie will have a 5.9inch screen .

Other features that are also being suggested are a 1080p display, a 3,300 mAh battery, a Snapdragon 600 processor, and 2GB of RAM. The rumours also say that the large version of the HTC One won't share its smaller sibling's key features- that stunning aluminium screen and instead will be made from a combination of plastic and aluminum.

Are the young deserting Apple? Thats the question that's being posed by mobile phone comparison site, www.mobilephonechecker.co.uk. It has carried out a study aimed at uncovering the age of the average iPhone in the UK and found out that the average age of an iPhone owner has risen by a decade in the last two years.

The study polled a group of 2,083 adult iPhone owners aged 18-65 and asked them to state when they had purchased their first iPhone handset.

A surprisingly high 37% had purchased their first iPhone handset in the past 6 months; with the average age of respondents who'd purchased their phone in the past 6 months revealed to be '34.4 years.'

Contrast this with the 52% of respondents who had been an iPhone owner for two years or more, where the average age of making their purchase was '24.8 years.

Interestingly when asked if they were planning on extending their iPhone contracts after their existing ones had expired, 66% of people aged 35 and over said 'yes'; while just 42% of those aged 18-34 said the same.

Of the younger group 42% of respondents said they were going to swap the iPhone for a Samsung while 26%, claimed 'It's too expensive to keep up the payments on my iPhone contract.'

Adam Cable, Director of MobilePhoneChecker.co.uk, made the following comments on the results of the study:

"I am not particularly surprised at the rise in the average age of the iPhone owner over the past two years. I have even noticed that my parents and many of their friends are now proud iPhone owners, obsessed with downloading iTunes and apps, and engaging in social media more than ever."

"This, along with the expense of keeping an iPhone, may explain why many of the younger iPhone owners polled in our study are considering switching to another make of mobile phone once their current contracts run out, despite the recent announcements surrounding the release of the more economical upcoming iPhone 5C."

So what do you think?

I am guessing that this survey was undertaken before the launch of the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C, which will certainly attract some younger buyers. It will be interesting to monitor those iPhone sales figures in the next few months.

Solar powered concept phones have been around for a while now, Nokia did some interesting work in this area a few years back and again more recently there is a strong selection of solar powered chargers for iPhones and other mobiles.

But might solar powered phones be about to hit the mainstream? That's the rumours following new reports that Apple is working on solar powered elements to its batteries to reduce the strain caused by brighter screens and faster processors,

A recent job listing confirmed that the company has a requirement for a solar power expert within the company's Mobile Devices group.

The company filed this patent for a solar panel earlier in the year.

Good news for Apple from the UK. It seems as if British consumers are impressed with both the new iPhones.

Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer at Phones 4u has described demand for the new phones to be 'phenomenal' and easily outstrips that for the Apple iPhone 5.

He also points out that it is the young - 18-30 year olds who are keenest on the new mobiles, which hints that the 5C gamble might be about to deliver some pretty impressive returns.

Here's what he said

"The demand for the new iPhone 5c and 5s has been truly phenomenal in the first few days of pre-registration. We have already seen double digit growth in pre-registrations compared to the same period for iPhone 5 last year, and with the exceptional rate in which we are receiving these, we are predicting that the new handsets will set a record as generating the most pre-registrations ever at Phones 4u.

We know from looking at our pre-registrations that men are currently showing the most interest in the new Apple iPhones (65 per cent) and we have also seen a huge appetite for the new smartphones amongst 18-30 year olds, who have taken up almost two thirds of the pre-registrations. To date, this interest has also shown that 75 per cent are intending to purchase the new iPhone 5c or 5s on 4G, so not only are we expecting pre-orders of the iPhone 5c to go through the roof this weekend, we are gearing up for an exceptionally busy launch day on 20th September, when both officially go on-sale at Phones 4u stores across the country and online."

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