Tag Archives: phone

Review: 1byone magnetic windscreen phone mount

Rating: ★★★★★


  • Excellent design
  • Good value for money
  • Available in 3 different types to suit all cars and drivers

RRP £12.99, best price at time of writing £5.99 on Amazon

I tell you one thing that really gets on my nerves is the cheap, “universal”, Chinese windscreen phone mounts that you can get for your phone. They rattle, they fall apart after a couple of dozen uses, they are bulky and they are a nightmare to set up perfectly.

So you can imagine how happy I was when 1byone gave me one of their newly designed magnetic windscreen phone mounts to try. They actually come in three different flavours – one for the windscreen, car vent and – interestingly enough – the CD drive for your car.

I opted for the windscreen mount as that tends to work best for my particular car (Mk7 Ford Fiesta). This windscreen mount is different to many others that are available on the market as rather than actually holding your phone with a grip of some sort, a magnetic force is used to keep your phone in place.

Inside the box you get the mount itself, a very thin rectangular magnet and an extra circular thicker magnet.

It works like this – first of all you stick the mount in your car as you normally would. Then, you can either

  • place the thin rectangular magnet inside your phone case – between the phone and the case
  • or place the circular magnet to the back of your phone or case with pre-applied adhesive.

I chose to use the small rectangular magnet which fits snugly inside the official iPhone 6 leather case. You wouldn’t even know it was there – the phone barely appears any thicker than it was.

Once you’ve got your magnet fitted you simply place your phone in front of the mount and, of course, it’ll be magnetically stuck to the mount.

The solution works brilliantly for a number of reasons. First of all, it looks really neat and tidy. Looking at it from the right angle (from the drivers seat) it almost looks like the phone is floating in mid-air!

Second – it DOESN’T RATTLE! I know I tend to be melodramatic about these kinds of things but without doubt this is the first phone mount that doesn’t rattle at all while I’m driving. It’s probably one thing that’ll annoy some people more than others but for me having things rattling in the car drives me mad!

Finally, with it being magnetic, it’s really easy to mount and dismount. Rather than having to find  a small button on the side of the mount to release the phone, now you simply just pull the amount away firmly. And then to put it back, just place it in front of the mount again. Easy!

In this particular case I really can’t find anything to complain about. It’s a simple yet very smart idea that works perfectly in the car.

Overall, this is a fantastic phone mount that will definitely have a permanent place in my car. At just £5.99 (at the time of writing), it’s barely any more expensive than a conventional phone mount, almost making it a no brainer!

Buy now from Amazon

Ice Cream Sandwich imminent for HTC Sensation and Sensation XE in the UK

This week has brought a whole load of important Ice Cream Sandwich news. The Samsung Galaxy S II has apparently started getting updates today, and earlier this week brought ICS to the Sensation XE is some European countries such as Germany.

HTC has said that they’re expecting the roll out to spread to the rest of Europe in the coming weeks – and we sure hope it does as they promised it would arrive on our phones before the end of March.

I’m frequently checking my phone for updates and also regularly keeping up with the news online to make sure I’m one of the first in line!

All I can say is that if it is set to arrive with us before the end of March, HTC should issue it within the next two weeks. We’ll update you as soon as we have more news!

Android 4.0 ICS for the HTC Sensation XE is nearly here – what to expect?

Well, HTC have told us recently that we should expect Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC Sensation XE (as well as many other HTC phones) by the end of this month. This is great news for me as I’ve been looking forward to it since I got my phone back in November last year. But what are you to expect? Here’s a round up.

  • New(ish) home screen – HTC haven’t really changed it massively themselves, but with ICS some changes have been brought in. The famous rounded bar that shows at the bottom of the screen in Gingerbread (with the big phone button) has been replaced with the ICS equivalent. You can now set four shortcuts on the bottom bar. You can also specifically set how many home screens you want (up to 7), rather than being stuck with empty home screens.
  • Face unlock – the new software brings in face unlock – so you can use your camera to unlock the phone. Handy, I guess.
  • Updated web browser  – the web browser has got a couple of minor new features – like being able to force websites to load desktop pages.
  • Other new stock ICS features – Whilst some ICS features aren’t added in (probably for compatibility reasons), there are some new things like data cap settings which could come in handy. You can tell the phone how much data you get per month, and the phone will moderate itself accordingly.
  • Better app organisation – you now get app folders (finally). In addition, the recent apps feature has been overhauled to give you a much better preview of what is going on in the background.
  • Access to notifications from the lock screen – pretty self explanatory, but this will be useful.
  • Updated Google apps – some Google apps like Gmail and Google Maps have been updated somewhat.
  • Sense 3.6 – An update to HTC’s Sense software.

That’s the main key feature update. I’m looking forward to it – but I would have liked to have seen HTC working on some of their own apps – such as the Music app which, I feel, needs some fixes and updates!

O2 leaks customer phone numbers online; reminds us “trusted” partners are allowed our numbers

O2’s in the doghouse today after an angry customer pointed out that his phone number was being handed out to the webmaster of every site he visited over a 3G connection. It turns out that if you visited a webpage from a 3G connection on your phone between 10th January and 2pm UK time today, chances are your phone number has been handed out to at least one person.

Obviously, this caused quite a lot of uproar from customers. O2 quickly responded by fixing the issue within a few hours and then posted rather a long Q&A post on their blog detailing what had happened.

It would seem the company also took the oppertunity to remind customers that some “trusted” partners are allowed to get hold of our mobile numbers if they decide it is necessary. They claim that some companies using premium rate services need phone numbers so that any charges can be added to your bill – but many customers are questioning whether O2 are actually being transparent here.

Nonetheless, this is a pretty big blow for O2 and the customer outrage has attracted the attention of the Information Commissioner. O2 also say that they’re in touch with Ofcom to discuss what happened.

Five top tips for selling your phone to recycling companies

You may well have got yourself a brand new phone this Christmas, which is always a nice present now-a-days. I, myself, got a brand new HTC Sensation XE for Christmas (technically it was an early Christmas present – or at least part of it was!) – which I adore.

But it does beg the question, what happens to the old phone? Mine always seem to end up sitting in boxes until they’re no use to anyone at all. This time I thought I’d sent it off to a recycling company. There’s method in the madness – people will pay you to recycle your old phone, but you have to be careful when you do so. So here are some top tips for recycling your old phone:

  • Shop around – find the best price. You’d normally see that phrase when buying a gadget, but it does also applying to selling gadgets too. Just because a phone recycling company advertises on TV, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll give you the best price. In fact, there’s actually quite a lot of mobile phone recycling companies around – so you’re more than likely to find a better price if you do some hunting. Take a look at sellmymobile.com – just type in your make/model and it’ll do the rest for you.
  • Check the price you’re getting is consistent. Make sure you read the terms & conditions carefully when you’re selling the phone. Some buyers will only offer you a certain payment within a number of days – after which point they can lower that offer by a substantial amount. Also make sure that you’re not under any contractual obligation – it’s your phone,  you can change your mind if you want.
  • Make sure you’ve backed up anything you want to keep… If you want to keep anything (like camera shots, contacts or messages), make sure you’ve got a copy safely stored on your computer or on another phone. Once you’ve sent off your phone, you may not get it back (and if you do, it may well have been flashed to remove all content). Most recent phones include software to back up content on your phone – so make use of it!
  • …and deleted anything you don’t want to keep. Make sure to ‘restore factory settings’ on the phone before handing it over. You don’t want any of your personal details (or friends’ personal details) to end up in someone else’s hands. Restoring factory settings will put the phone back to how it was when you first got it, and should delete any content that was once there.
  • Remove any accessories that you aren’t required to hand over. As already mentioned, you may not get your phone back – even if you request it. So make sure you remove any accessories you don’t have to hand over (perhaps accessories that you bought yourself) like memory cards, cases and spare batteries. Memory cards may well come in handy on new phones, and if not they’re a handy portable storage medium.

There you have it. Five tips to make the most of phone recycling companies. It’s debatable as to whether you’re better off auctioning your phones on sites like eBay – but if you just can’t be bothered with the hassle, you’re quickest way to get some cash is to hand it over to one of these companies. Just make sure you’re not being ripped off!