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Amazon Customer "colonel_smasher" (London)

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Region Locked Smartphone - White
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Region Locked Smartphone - White
Offered by GameCyberShop
Price: 429.98

29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Note 3 Genius, 15 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I recently upgraded from the iPhone 5s to the Galaxy Note 3.

This phone is a revelation and I want to try and give some indication why.

I have been using iPhones for many years with a detor to Android every few months (itchy feet!).
Whilst Android is clearly the more technically advanced platform, I always end up dumping the Android phone a few weeks later and returning to the iPhone.

Why ? mainly for two reasons. 10 years ago we used to say that a phone is mainly for phone calls. Internet was a limited and frustrating experience. Today I realise that I only use my phone 5% for calls, the rest is email, general messaging and browsing. The keyboard and user experience therefore become very important.

Apple software engineers really "get" user experience. I don't know how they do it but the keyboard on the iPhone is psychic. My typing is terrible but it manages to mostly get the right keys and if not, do the correct word substitution. It must estimate if you hit between two keys then pick the best letter in the context of the word you were typing or something like that. And then the word lookup is terrific and terribly accurate
Now Android keyboards gave me much worse typing. Not only that, but the word substitution was not automatic (no way of setting it). I could never get used to clicking on the correct word substitution after practically every word. This whole keyboard thing made me feel like chucking every Android phone in the bin after a few weeks (aka to ebay).

Recently, epiphany! I discovered whilst testing an Android phone, that savvy users actually never used the default keyboard (duh!). I found that SwiftKey app was pretty popular, installed it and bing!, now I had 95% of the apple keyboard experience.

That's the thing about Apple, you see it works great out of the box. Android you need to fiddle with it, and for many users they just don't have time or want to do this.

Step in the Note 3.

Ok, now the keyboard is great. I don't know whether it's the latest version of Android or a Samsung developed keyboard but many of the issues have been solved out of the box. One other thing though, due to the size of the screen they have taken the liberty of adding a fifth row of keys, the numeric ones. Genius! You know how frustrating it is when you are typing in passwords or email addresses with a mixture of letters and numbers, always having to flick between numeric and letter keyboards. Now problem solved. For the first time it seems an Android keyboard is better then the Apple one!

The other thing that frustrated me was the speed. Despite having better specs, Android phones have always had the occasional stutter. This can occur anytime, when scrolling, opening an app, etc.
The Note 3 seems 99.9% free of this. Again not sure if this is software development or brute force.

So whilst we are on the subject of brute force let's talk specs. The Note 3 has 3gb of memory, a quad core snap dragon 800 cpu running at approx. 2.3Ghz and a Adreno 300 GPU (yes, thats right, a graphics co-processor). The screen is a full HD 1920x1280 and is an AMOLED with Gorilla glass 3. AMOLED was invented by Samsung and its simply the highest contrast phone screen you can get. IPS screens, as used by the iPhone, have slightly more accurate colours and a slightly brighter maximum brightness, but the contrast on an AMOLED is quite striking. As well as 32gb of internal storage it has a microSD card. I put in a 64gb one so now I have 96gb of storage. Note that with Android you can install apps on the external card if you want, which is very useful.
This spec approaches many full computers!

Completing the specs it has a truly monster 3200MAh battery and a removable stylus built into the body. A stylus you say, back to the Pocket PC ? not quite, this is a whole new technology. For taking notes (aka the phone name) or drawing, its really very good. It also has a switch on it for a pop up menu and other fun.

Lets talk about the elephant in the room, the size. Samsung have been crafty here, the screen size is 5.7", only 0.7" bigger then the S4 but of course a world different from the iPhone 5. Samsung do have phones with bigger screens (e.g. the Mega) but in this bracket have clearly restrained themselves, e.g. compared to say the HTC One Max , Sony Xperia Z Ultra, etc.
This has paid off. The screen is larger and much more comfortable to use then a smaller screen, but due to the extreme thinness, lightweight and minimised bezel of the device, does not feel gigantic in the hand.
Its a personal taste thing and you have to push yourself to even try a device of this size. But the danger you run is that there is no going back. Even 5" screens look pokey, let alone the iPhone 5.
It fits fine in a jean pocket and you get use to it faster then you would think.

The main reason for me trying this in the first place was to attempt to replace both my iPhone 5s and iPad mini, which I take to work every day, with one device. Also cutting the need for two contracts. On a side note I have 4G contracts from EE and vodafone. Again its something you don't think you need, but once you have you can't go back to 3G. The EE network is more mature and has better coverage, I assume Vodafone will come up to the same coverage in time.

Lastly lets talk accessories. Samsung just get this much better then anyone else. There are all sorts of things, from charging backs (so that you can use wireless charging) to docks and headphones. However the key breakthrough is the S-View wallet type cover. This has a window in to allow the phone to show status reports of phone calls and texts as they come in, without having to open the cover. The phone is "cover aware" and formats a small square window to fit this window. It also switches on when you open the flip cover and switches off when you close the flip cover. This is just sheer genius. It sounds simple but it raises the functionality to a whole new level. The final piece of genius is that the cover replaces the back of the phone, so it doesn't add much to the bulk (although it does clverely add a less then 1mm overhand to protect the sides).

Samsung has always made excellent phones, but its no use denying that its basic design has been influenced heavily by the iPhone 3, which it has kept to slavishly.
With the Note 3 Samsung has finally carved its own genuine innovation into the market and created something quite special which is going to permanently change the direction of phone development.
Put it this way, Apple will be responding to this either this or next year, and not the other way round.

Lastly to mention the region lock. Samsung say it goes away if you initially switch on the phone with a sim card in the right region. I have no reason to doubt them here but will be testing shortly when I go abroad.

Its not surprising that this is one of the world's best selling phones. A busy central London Vodafone shop told me recently that Samsung had long ago overtaken Apple with sales volume, especially the S4, but now the Note 3 is their best seller. No surprises there.


Sony a7 Full Frame Interchangeable Lens Camera Body Only - Black (24.3MP) 3 inch LCD
Sony a7 Full Frame Interchangeable Lens Camera Body Only - Black (24.3MP) 3 inch LCD
Price: 1,142.90

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Landmark camera, 4 Jan 2014
After using the D800E, E-M1, X-pro1 and M9 I can say this is a landmark camera.
A classic in the same way as the Canon 5D originally introduced FF to people in general.
Its a very fast camera, but because it takes a tiny amount of time to do each thing, start up, etc. it doesn't feel as fast as the E-M1 or 5Diii, but its still pretty fast.
AF is very fast and accurate. As the light drops it starts to hunt, and therefore one has to look for higher contrast to focus faster (e.g. black/white boundaries). This is the same for every contrast detect camera I have used. The fastest focus is the E-M1, but the A7 is definitely in the next band
The picture quality is, especially with the 35mmm and 55mm primes, sublime.
Everything I can wish for my photography.
best rgds


KataNimble-3 DL for DSLR Camera with 2 Lens Kit and Flash
KataNimble-3 DL for DSLR Camera with 2 Lens Kit and Flash

5.0 out of 5 stars kata bags are the best, 28 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you are happy with the size/shape then everything else you can be sure is maximum quality and very well thought out


Case Mate Tough Case for Apple iPhone 5 - Black
Case Mate Tough Case for Apple iPhone 5 - Black
Offered by total digital stores
Price: 11.58

5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect shell, 28 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was looking for a shell to protect the iPhone 5 as much as possible but be as small and as unobtrusive as possible.
Essentially a conflicting set of priorities.
After trying many many cases this is clearly the best and the best thought out. Not to mention it is very good looking:

1. Two part design. Inner part protects the phone from impact but is soft so also prevents scratches when fitting the main case.
2. Slightly raised about the screen, very subtle but plenty enough to protect when its put upside down
3. Bottom with charge port fully protected, I don't like cases which are merely open to the two corners. However this can cause an issue with the apple old port to lightening adaptor
4. Looks very smart
5. Texture grippy for holding.
6. All sides well protected
7. Multiple colours are nice. I chose black.
8. Reasonable price compared to some

highly recommended!

.


QNAP TS-220 4TB (Desktop Class HDD) 2-bay home & SOHO NAS for personal cloud and social sharing
QNAP TS-220 4TB (Desktop Class HDD) 2-bay home & SOHO NAS for personal cloud and social sharing
Price: 371.60

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fast, easy to set up and full featured, 28 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a massive step up from custom enclosures I have used before.
Worked as 4gb raid from the word go, easy to setup, fast in usage, look nice - what more do you want ?
Full of features as well, multiple types of server, even a server to record from IP cameras for security !!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2013 12:28 PM GMT


FoneM8 - Samsung Galaxy S3 White Wallet Flip Case Cover - INCLUDES 5 Screen Protectors
FoneM8 - Samsung Galaxy S3 White Wallet Flip Case Cover - INCLUDES 5 Screen Protectors
Offered by FoneM8store
Price: 9.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent for the price, 17 Jun 2012
Really smart case with white plastic phone tray.
Virtually full protection for the Samsung galaxy s3
Very stylish
Strongly recommended


Kata DC-433 DPS Shoulder Bag For DSLR Cameras - Includes Elements Cover
Kata DC-433 DPS Shoulder Bag For DSLR Cameras - Includes Elements Cover

5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for small camera, 24 April 2012
One of the best bags I have ever used.
Perfect for Leica M9 and Fuji xpro-1 with room for a medium size spare lens, filters, cleaning cloths and SD cards

Small enough just to cover camera with a bit of room.
Hard sides ensure protection
Yellow interior make things easy to see
Clever swivel strap connectors mean that you can never put it on the "wrong way"

a top bag for protection and comfort


Summarit-M 50mm F2.5 E39 6-BIT Coded LEICA M8 M9 (Leitz 11644)
Summarit-M 50mm F2.5 E39 6-BIT Coded LEICA M8 M9 (Leitz 11644)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent optics, 1 April 2011
Want Leica optics on your M and f2.5 is enough light ? Look no further

Sharp at f2.5 and as sharp and within a micro-whisper of the eye-bleeding sharpness of the Summilux at f4

Leica's latest lens set also have Leica's latest optic technology (Leica do not compromise on optics). Best quality availale in the world from a non-ASPH and non-floating lens.

Great metal construction quality.
Light and very compact.

How have Leica saved money ? (i) no passport, only 1 year guarantee. (ii) soft lens bag as opposed to hard lens case. (iii) no hood included - extra. (iv) some aluminimum instead of all steel and brass

Strongly recommended!


The Case for Israel (History)
The Case for Israel (History)
by Alan Dershowitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

16 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well argued and factual, 20 May 2010
Despite the emotion expressed here by the anti-israel brigade who have obviously never read the book, this is a consisley argued and factual assessment of the common barbs directed at israel.
There is no other country in the world in which such attacks would be described as anything but loony and fascist.
I don't agree with everything he says, as there is no legal argument against any Jewish town or village in israel, especially ones involving ethnic cleansing, which anti-Semites are so keen to see done to Jews from their native land - I wonder why.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2011 8:19 PM BST


From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine
From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine
by Joan Peters
Edition: Paperback

5 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History not opinion, 12 Feb 2003
Unfortunately this is one conflict where the facts are on the side of the Jews. This makes uncomfortable reading for those opposed as can be seen from some of the responses here.


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