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MatP2

MatP2
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Member since: 11.10.2013

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    • More +
      23.10.2013 07:58
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      Would be perfect without the glitches.

      I bought the Humax because of three main features.

      1. It's free!

      Once you've paid just over £100 for the box itself anyway. There's no hideously expensive Sky contract or anything here. The humax lets you watch freesat channels which - funnily enough - are free. You get all the big channels that you'd ever want to watch (all the BBCs, all the channel 4s including film 4, the ITVs and so on) and countless more small channels (CBS action and Dave etc.). Unfortunately, there are also many Teleshopping channels and a few "unsavoury" ones too. They are well down the channel list (no.800 or so) so children are unlikely to stumble on them and you can remove any channel, if you want, from the box. Note that you can always re-tune to add back any removed channels.

      2. Loads of space for recording.

      When I bought this it had by far the biggest hard drive out of the competition. 320GB - the same as my then PC. We've only filled the Humax up completely a couple of times. This was mostly from recording an Attenborough series in HD which took up an insane amount of space. If you record in standard definition (personally can't tell the quality difference) there's room for many hours, days even of recorded shows.

      3. Pause and rewind, live.

      The killer feature. This was just when that advert - the one where someone rewinds a golf swing on their flashy new tv set - was new. With the Humax, you can pause a live show and it all sorts it out behind the scenes so that you can rewind, and watch what you've already seen, or fast forward. (You can only fast forward up until you're watching live, it's not a time machine). This absolutely brilliant if someone calls you right in a really exciting bit. Pause, have your phone call, play and it starts back where you left off.

      Verdict:

      The number of channels is great, but not as excessive as a Sky box for example. Recording and pausing shows etc. is good also, but not as good as it might be. The software often lets down the experience. When you resume a show it often puts subtitles on, even if you didn't put them on and it's really difficult to turn them off. You have to be very careful, and a little bit lucky when you record shows - it sometimes cuts the last, often crucial, 15 minutes off a film. And once it failed to record a whole series when we went on holiday. When you've paused something and are watching behind live, it's very easy to press the change channel button instead of the volume. This changes the channel and if you change back, the Humax has skipped forward to live broadcast and won't let you back. I have been massively irritated by this a few times.

      Iplayer is also available - some of the time. Often iPlayer doesn't work because there's "no signal". This is strange because it only needs an internet connection to work and not a TV signal. When it does work it has to buffer a program every five or ten minutes. I won't blame the Humax for this though, it's probably just my internet connection being too slow.
      ==========================================================================
      This review is also posted on Ciao under the same username.

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    • Sony Micro Vault 4 GB / Flash Drive / 15 Readings / 14 Ratings
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      20.10.2013 10:37
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      Was good value at the time, but unreliable and now outdated.

      I bought this flash drive a couple of years ago in my local tesco for roughly £7. I needed something to transfer basic documents between two places I worked.

      Storage:

      The whole point of buying a flash drive. First off, instead of the advertised 4GB the flash drive that I have only has a total capacity of 3.6GB. That's 10% less than advertised. It seems to be common practice amongst all forms of storage to label them as slightly more than they are. All the other brands do it so I suppose I can't really be that harsh on them, but it would make for a pleasant change if the 4GB flash drive I bought actually had 4GB.

      With 4GB ( or 3.6 actually) you can store a decent amount -

      - Pretty much as many text-based documents as you like (each one is very small)
      - A few thousand pictures (depending on the quality)
      - Just under 1000 songs (depending on the quality again)
      - Several hours of video (provided it's not HD which has absolutely massive file sizes)

      I would only ever use mine for documents and one or two pictures because I have a portable 250GB hard drive which is far more suited to multimedia.

      Storage technology - like all aspects of technology - advances very quickly. I would no longer recommend buying this particular flash drive since now you can buy 16GB flash drives for about the same price as the Sony. And even 64GB ones (yes that's right!) are only about £20.

      Personally, I don't actually use flash drives very often anymore. The boom in popularity of cloud storage services like 'Google Drive', 'Box' and 'Sky Drive' makes it far easier to store, and even create or edit your documents on the internet. This means you don't have to worry about mixing up versions of the same file updated at different times. It's all sorted out for you.

      Of course there still are times when you need a trusty old flash drive. Like when you don't have an internet connection or if you do but don't trust Google or some other big company with your personal documents. When I think about that it really makes me nervous.

      Appearance and general operation:

      The Sony has a fairly standard black plastic housing which isn't particularly stylish but which is unassuming enough, perfect for business meetings. The USB connecter (the bit that goes into the computer) slides in and out of the plastic shell for protection. A problem I've had is that the catch holds the connector in place (once you've slid it out with the thumb grip on the side of the case) has become worn out and is so loose that when you try and insert the flash drive into a computer, it just pushes the USB connector back into the casing of the flash drive. Struggling to put the flash drive in my computer has led to the connector on the flash drive getting bent. For now I just bend it back again, but there are only so many times this will happen before it snaps. I'm sure it would be really annoying if it snapped when it contained important files.

      I've plugged it into all sorts of computers - Macs, Windows XP, 7, 8, Linux and even my Android tablet - and I've never been presented with any problems. Computers always seem to recognise it and bring up a list of the files no problem. No fiddling about in device manager like I've had to with other flash drives.

      In conclusion, at the time of purchase this did the job very well but now the worn out catch makes it nearly unusable. The increased prevalence of 'Cloud computing' means anyway, that in most cases flash drives have been rendered irrelevant. If you do still need a flash drive (you have no internet connection or whatever, I suggest getting a more modern, cheaper flash drive which, due to technological advancement will likely have more storage space.

      When purchasing remember the advertised total space is probably slightly exaggerated.
      ==========================================================================
      This review is also posted on Ciao under the same username.

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    • More +
      18.10.2013 22:32
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      Apart synchronising badly a useful, stylish product that works very well.

      I have owned an 80GB model iPod Classic since 2007. And for the most part it's been great. First off, I received it as a gift so I can't comment on value for money. Besides: Apple and value in the same sentence? Not a chance.

      What stands the iPod classic apart from most other mp3 players - new and old - is its seemingly incredible amount of storage space. I have 2000 songs and only 15% of the total space is taken up. And that's on an 80GB version, Apple have since made an 160GB model too.

      This iPod has a spinning hard drive, rather than more commonly seen flash memory. This should mean three things as far as I can see:

      1. More storage, more songs. Check, definitely.

      2. A shorter battery life. Spinning up a hard drive to load a song requires a heap of energy. Err... Nope. The battery still seems to last ages. I get days and days out of mine with the brightness turned all the way down.

      3. It'll break when you drop it. Hard drives are notorious for breaking easily if subject to impacts. All I can say is, I've dropped mine down the stairs - by accident of course - and nothing visibly dire happened. In fact, nothing dire at all happened. I have got a case though.

      Whether you want it or not, as with all Apple products, when you buy an iPod classic you get a whole lot more than an mp3 player. You get a really, really stylish mp3 player. I have the silver, stainless steel one (I think there's a matte black option too) and it looks great. It's very minimalist having only the quintessential Apple click-wheel and hold button marring its perfect lines. You can even use the shiny back as a mirror if you so choose.

      I've never noticed a problem with sound quality (not good at noticing these things) and the volume goes high enough even to clearly be audible on the loudest of planes or trains.

      Operation is very straightforward. Scroll round the wheel to scroll through songs. Left and right to skip songs. Centre button to make selections and the play/pause button to, well, play and pause. Anyone, even a complete technophobe could work out this device.

      It's not just music either. You can watch films on it, but it's a bit of a headache-inducing experience what with the very small screen. It also came preloaded with a couple of games: A card game and a (hideously difficult) quiz which seems to ask you questions based on the sort of music you have on the iPod. This isn't good if you share it and you keep getting asked questions on types of music you don't like.

      There are various extra features like an alarm, calendar, clock and stopwatch. Nothing especially special, but they've all done the job when I have needed them. It's a strange association to make I think: "I need a stopwatch..... Ahh, good thing I have my mp3 player!"

      Another handy thing is you can use it as a portable hard drive provided you have the USB cable. It's really small, handy and seems to me to be better as a hard drive than most exclusively-hard-drive-hard-drives.

      Occasionally, when you skip to the next song it struggles to load and freezes for several seconds. I'm not really one to skip songs, so this has never bothered me.

      What does bother me though is syncing. There's some sort of software bug, either on my PC or on the iPod itself, that every so often causes iPod to wipe itself and the PC to crash. Each time this happens I have to go through a massive faff of rebooting, restoring and trying to make it work again. This can take quite a while. I've taken to only syncing the iPod when I have a LOT of new music to put on it. Otherwise it's not worth the risk.

      In short: when it works well it's really good, but the synchronisation issues are incredibly frustrating. I haven't really seen this mentioned elsewhere on the web so - like the deodorant-induced underarm itching mentioned in another of my reviews - it's probably just me.
      ==========================================================================
      Also published on Ciao under same username.

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      • More +
        17.10.2013 14:29
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        Brilliant for monthly contracts, but pay as you go is simply OK.

        I've had a phone on the Tesco Mobile network since 2008, before then I didn't have a mobile phone. I've gone from "pay as you go standard" to "pay as you go lite" and most recently to a £7.50-a-month "pay monthly" deal.

        Pay as You Go
        ==========================================================================

        If you have an unlocked phone, or a phone locked to the Tesco Mobile network, to sign up all you need to do is buy a sim card for 99p from a Tesco supermarket or a corner shop. Otherwise you just have to get your phone unlocked so that it can be used with any network's sim. This means either:

        Calling up your current network and paying a hefty unlocking fee (normally about £20).
        or
        Paying someone on eBay to email you an unlock code (I'd be very wary doing this but it is the cheapest option).
        or
        Taking the phone to a mobile phone repair shop (they normal charge £5 per unlock).

        A newly bought Tesco sim card has 20p of credit pre-loaded onto it. I know from personal experience that this really doesn't last long. To add more credit, you have to:

        Call 4444 from your mobile phone and follow the instructions to pay with a credit/debit card.
        Or (if, like me, you don't like entering card details on the phone) you can buy a top up voucher from a Tesco supermarket and, again dial 4444, but enter the details of the voucher instead.

        The minimum amount of credit you can add to a Tesco Mobile phone is £10.

        Pay as You Go Standard (Triple Credit)
        ==========================================================================

        This is currently the only tariff available to new customers and the call tariffs are as follows:

        Calls to UK landlines or mobiles----------25p/minute
        Texts to UK landlines or mobiles----------10p/message
        Listening to voicemail------------------------15p/minute
        Video call to the UK--------------------------50p/minute
        Picture message to the UK----------------25p/message
        Using mobile data in the UK---------------10p/MB
        Calling customer care-----------------------20p/call
        Calls to 0845/0800/0870 etc.---------------20p/minute
        Calling 4444 to top up-----------------------free

        A few things stand out here. Calling numbers starting 0800 should be free. It's not. Calling customer care is also not free. You normally call customer care when there is a problem with the service you are receiving. Having to pay to let Tesco know this is just wrong.

        Compared to other networks these charges are pretty high. Especially compared to the 3 network (3p/minute, 2p/text, 1p/MB).

        They make up for this with a triple credit deal. For example, when you top up £10 Tesco puts £30 on your phone. This extra £20 lasts for a month and can be used for internet, calls and texts. This effectively, unless you are a very heavy user, gives you a free month. Note that this so-called free credit cannot be used to call/message to/from abroad.

        You can purchase bundles with your credit. These are better value if you are a heavy user (but still you'd probably be better off on a contract, pay monthly deal). The deals available are:

        150 minutes-------------£5--------------equivalent to 3p/minute
        5000 texts----------------£5--------------equivalent to 0.01p/message
        500MB--------------------£5--------------equivalent to 1p/MB
        1GB-----------------------£7.50----------equivalent to 0.75p/MB

        These bundles last for a month from the date of purchase. There are also specific bundles available to users of Blackberrys or iPhones. Plus, when you top up at least £15 you receive a "free reward" which is one of the first three bundles listed here, but for free.

        Pay as You Go Lite
        ==========================================================================

        This tariff has now been discontinued and only existing users of it can continue using it. This tariff offers (used to offer, now) a simpler approach. No free credit or free rewards, but it still offered the bundles. Just better value texts and calls:

        Calls to UK landlines or mobiles----------8p/minute
        Texts to UK landlines or mobiles----------4p/message
        Listening to voicemail------------------------8p/minute
        Video call to the UK--------------------------50p/minute
        Picture message to the UK----------------25p/message
        Using mobile data in the UK---------------60p/MB
        Calling customer care-----------------------20p/call
        Calls to 0845/0800/0870 etc.---------------8p/minute
        Calling 4444 to top up-----------------------free

        This was certainly my preferred pay as you go tariff (I'm on pay monthly now).

        Pay as You Go Extra
        ==========================================================================

        Also discontinued. I never used this tariff, because I wasn't ever aware it existed so I can't really comment on it other than listing the charges:

        Calls to UK landlines or mobiles----------15p/minute
        Texts to UK landlines or mobiles----------5p/message
        Listening to voicemail-----------------------15p/minute
        Video call to the UK--------------------------50p/minute
        Picture message to the UK----------------25p/message
        Using mobile data in the UK---------------60p/MB
        Calling customer care-----------------------20p/call
        Calls to 0845/0800/0870 etc.---------------20p/minute
        Calling 4444 to top up-----------------------free

        You might be able to find an old "lite" or "extra" sim card on eBay or Amazon and access the discontinued tariffs with them. I don't know if this would work for certain, but if you buy a cheap one (£1 or so) you're not risking that much.

        Pay Monthly
        ==========================================================================

        At the start of this year I decided to buy a smartphone. Not wanting to pay an extortionate amount for mobile data - 10p/MB would soon add up - I switched to Pay monthly.

        I chose the Huawei Ascend Y201, a basic android phone, based on the fact that it was the best phone available for free on a £7.50-a-month deal. The phone arrived within a couple of days and worked as advertised on the Tesco Mobile website with no problems.

        For £7.50 I get 100 minutes, 5000 texts and 500MB. This is astonishingly better value than any of the pay as you go options. Even pay as you go lite!

        Tesco offer family perks - bonus minutes or data for no extra cost if another member of your family also has a Tesco Mobile phone - which has resulted in me benefiting from an extra 250MB of internet per month.

        I have a 24-month contract but 12-month and even 1-month contracts are also available. Note that getting the same minutes, texts and data but for a shorter length of contract means you pay more per month.

        The higher-end contracts - although I haven't tried them - seem to be reasonably good value as well. You can get the latest iPhone for free (normally about £700) with 500 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB for £36 a month for example.

        General Service
        ==========================================================================

        Looking at the terms and conditions on the Tesco Mobile website, the terms regarding tethering weren't completely clear. Tethering is sharing the internet connection from a phone to a WiFi only device like a laptop or tablet. Being allowed, or not allowed, to do this was a deal-maker or breaker to me. I used the live chat function on the website to ask if tethering was allowed. I spoke to someone who was professional, and succinctly helpful. They told me it was allowed, but I took a screenshot of the chat just in case!

        Coverage of the network is reasonable (Tesco Mobile shares the O2 network). 3G is good in most built up areas with speeds of 2.5mbps-ish, sometimes more sometimes less. 2G is variable. It seems to be good in most places, built up or out in the sticks, on most phones, but my Huawei does seem to drop and pick up and drop again 2G signals frequently.

        You can set up payment with a direct debit. This is useful because, as long as you have enough money, you don't have to worry about paying the phone bills: they pay themselves on a certain day each month.

        Once, when I was still on pay as you go, I had an issue with my phone - a Samsung champ - and had to call up customer service. Apart from having to pay the 20p to call them, which made me angry, there were helpful enough. They sent me a prepaid envelope, I put my broken phone in it, posted it, got it back working a week later - all for free. Apart from the 20p! Grrrrrrrrrrr...

        In short, Tesco Mobile is a company that I've always had pleasant dealings with and I'll be sticking with them until I see a massively better deal elsewhere, which is unlikely. They have always been helpful when I've contacted them. In terms of value, the pay monthly deals are really good but since discontinuing the lite option, pay as you go isn't such good value.
        ==========================================================================
        This review is also posted on Ciao under the same username.

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        • More +
          16.10.2013 19:19
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          A deodorant which smells nice but made me itch.

          As deodorants go, this one is fairly inoffensive. It has a fairly mild, unassuming smell that just smells...clean. It makes you fresh without making you reeking of the latest lynx or whatever. I bought mine in Tesco a few months ago, attracted by the price - only a couple of pounds - and used it daily up until recently, when it ran out.

          And I must say, I was highly glad it did. I didn't want to bin it and waste my money, but every time I applied it I seemed to get quite an unpleasant itching sensation in my armpits. This was not nice to walk around with all day, I can assure anyone.

          It comes in a fairly standard plastic roll-on bottle that boasts: "0% alcohol"

          Ah, can't have been the alcohol causing the itching then. I've looked at the ingredients and I'm not sure which is the offending one. I just know it really itches. My new deodorant - Nivea men Cool Kick - is a major relief, it's positively soothing on the skin in comparison.

          To give it a fair chance it was very cheap, lasted a very long time (3 or 4 months) and de-odorised me perfectly adequately. Apart from the itching, there was nothing wrong with it. I might be allergic to something in it. It might just be me.

          I'm certainly never going to buy it again, but if you're planning to, be very wary. Otherwise you might end up very itchy.

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            12.10.2013 23:00
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            A great insight to the world of the lone adventurer that makes you want to do some adventuring too.

            Mark Beaumont is a 30 year old Scot who is best known for cycling round the world in just under 200 days in 2008. As well as undertaking big adventures - such as this - he often makes them into documentaries for the BBC.

            I bought his book, 'The Man Who Cycled the World' after, myself, having cycled a very wet Land's End to John O'Groats. I wanted to see what the real tough guys get up to on bikes.

            The achievement - cycling round the world - on its own is mind-blowing, but the fact that he did it and still had time to keep a diary is something else. I know that when I've been cycling and I get home, the last thing I want to do is write. Just eat and sleep. But Beaumont, every night, after cycling 100 miles took the time to write about his day before collapsing into an exhausted heap in his tent. I'm very grateful for this.

            The book itself is an edited version of this diary.

            Broken wheels in eastern Europe, dysentery in the middle east, getting arrested, being hit by a car in Louisiana: these are all little snippets, stories, of Beaumont's journey which are told to the reader. And told very well with a natural Scottish storytelling ability.

            At the start of the book Beaumont writes about his childhood. He grew up on a farm, somewhere in Perthshire, and his description of what this was like is fascinating. Especially if you started your days in a big city, it's very interesting discovering what a childhood out in the sticks is like.

            Obviously, cycling the world can at times be fairly monotonous and elements of this do creep into the book. Personally, I don't think this detracts from the reading experience. It just adds to the accuracy of his description of his journey (parts of which must have been very monotonous).

            On his journey, Beaumont passes through many places that we, in the west, often forget about and this book really opens our eyes to what actually goes on in the rest of the world.

            In short, Mark Beaumont's 'The Man Who Cycled the World' gives you real insight to what extreme cycle touring - and adventuring in general - is like. Even if you're not that into cycling, it still makes for an enlightening and interesting read. It's a book that makes you want to go out and do things: go for your own adventures. Buying this book, you will potentially receive a whole lot more than just a book. A lifelong love of adventuring and the outdoors, perhaps. That would be a fiver well spent.

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            • Superbad (DVD) / DVD / 20 Readings / 18 Ratings
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              12.10.2013 22:26

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              'Supergood' - One of the funniest films I have ever seen.

              A snap shot of three friends making the most of their last few weeks of American high school. They go to a party and all manner of completely unexpected things happen before they even get there.

              I watched it for the first time last year in the middle of the night with a group of hyper-hyper friends and it was a real laugh.

              A must watch for all teenagers. It's funny enough to watch multiple times (I'm on my fourth viewing) and even though you know what's coming, you'll still be bent double with laughter. There are several choice lines that get me every single time.

              All the ingredients for a classic teen comedy are present and have certainly cemented 'Superbad' into history amongst the ranks of: 'Mean Girls', 'The Hangover' and 'Ten Things I Hate About You'.

              If you are in desperate need of a sleepover film or just want to fill a couple of hours, 'Superbad' won't disappoint.

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            • More +
              11.10.2013 22:24

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              Perfect for changing tyres for those of us don't have thumbs of steel and the arms of a body builder

              Every cyclists worst nightmare is getting a puncture in the middle of winter on the most miserable, rainy, cold, wet and dark day in winter and not being able to get home because of completely numb hands and the inability to change a tyre that results. These levers solve that problem, stick a couple of these (handily clipped together) into your saddlebag and nothing short of superglued-on tub will stop you.

              I'm fairly weedy so I find that Pedros are an absolute god send for getting off and putting on tight tyres. The schwalbe marathon plus, for example, would be impossible if it weren't for Pedro and his ability to string together these plasticky miracles. And because they're plastic, they won't wreck your rim.

              I bought my first pair (Pink ones) a couple of years ago whilst on a bike ride when i forgot tools. Since then I've bought four more. They are snazzy looking (especially in pink), clip together to save space, are fairly cheap and are unstoppable when it comes to tyre removal.

              Go on. Get yourself a couple. You won't regret it when you're sitting at the side of a road, soaked through and waiting for someone - Anyone? Please? - to stop and rescue you.

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            • Nokia 100 / Mobile Phone / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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              11.10.2013 21:42
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              A phone that phones people and not much else. Perfect for kids, outdoorsy people and the elderly

              The Nokia 100 is a basic phone - a very basic phone. It phones people, it texts people and it does not much else.

              One of the main attractions of this phone, for me certainly, is the battery. In this day and age when most phones can do the same jobs as laptops, most phones barely last a day on battery. The Nokia 100 destroys any other phone in this respect. Its battery lasts from 3 or 4 days (if you're a text-and-call-aholic) to many weeks if you don't use it much (my personal record is 3 weeks and a day).

              When it comes to making calls, the sound quality is perfectly acceptable and the volume goes fairly loud - good if you're hard of hearing. There's enough room to store lots of contacts - I'm not sure how many exactly but I've got well over 100 on mine. An outstanding feature is the phone's ability to get a signal almost anywhere. I'm on the Tesco Mobile network and where I live 2G reception - this phone doesn't do 3G - is pretty poor. The Nokia 100 manages to find a usable signal in most rooms whereas my smartphone keeps on dropping and picking up and dropping atrociously weak signals. Even when you're in the middle of nowhere, with the Nokia you can just about always sneak a text through on a hint of a signal.

              The text message inbox is big enough for most, it stores roughly 300 messages before the phone starts getting angry with you. After adapting from the previous touch screen phones that I've owned I found I could actually type faster on the Nokia's standard alpha numerical button layout (2-abc, 3-def...) When opening the inbox to view messages it does take a few seconds to load and if you do a lot of texting this could quite easily become highly irritating, but it's fine for patient folk. Also, there is no camera so picture messages are out. That's a deal-breaker for lots of people I know.

              The screen is quite small and sometimes can be difficult to see if you have bad eyesight. I find this is most noticeable when writing long messages that you have to scroll through to read.

              Being under £10 on pay as you go means that this phone doesn't have a camera, a music player, expandable memory, complicated apps or internet access. What it does have is a calculator, a basic alarm clock function, a not very good calendar, a stopwatch, a converter (weights, distances etc.), the game 'Snake' (great fun!) and a radio. The radio gives a clear sound in most areas and can store up to 10 preset stations. You can play the sound through he loudspeaker - which is cheap, tinny and not at all nice sounding - or you can use your own headphones* in the 3.5mm socket. *Most headphones are compatible but one of my pairs of headphones aren't so make sure to test out expensive headphones before you buy them.

              I've looked but haven't been able to find a case specifically for the Nokia 100. You could use a generic pouch-style one, but I've dropped mine and got it wet many times and nothing much has happened to it. Just a few small screen scratches. The indestructible Nokia brick memes which clog up Facebook are right! And even if you do somehow manage to break it, you can buy a new one for not much more than the spare change in your pocket.

              I have a smartphone as well now, and use it a lot, but when I'm out in the wilds (walking/cycling) and I need to have something I can rely on to be unbreakable and get a signal absolutely anywhere, this is still my first - and only - choice.

              If you want the internet, games (apart from snake of course), music, cameras, touch screens and all of that modern technology bling, this is the wrong phone. However, for the elderly, the outdoorsy-adventure-types and the teenager-who's-just-started-highschool: The Nokia 100 is just right.

              P.S. If anyone has beaten my battery record (see paragraph 2) then I'd love to know. Post in the comments if you manage to beat it. The challenge is on!

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              • More +
                11.10.2013 20:25
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                A one year old tablet that is still better and cheaper than most newly released tablets.

                Buying any Nexus device means you're get pure, unaltered android (currently Android 4.3 Jelly Bean) running on top end hardware. Google wants to use these devices to show off their software so they drive down the prices as low as possible. As a customer, this is win win: a powerful device running the latest operating system for not all that much dosh.

                I bought my 32GB WiFi model at the very start of this year for £185. That was, and still would be, phenomenal value, but now the 2013 model has been released, prices have been pushed down and you can get a 2012 model for £150 new or about £100 used. You can easily spend more than that on a 'budget' phone.

                It's been just over a year since the original Nexus 7 was released by Google. In terms of technology - tablets especially - this is a long time. This tablet however is by no means aged. As of writing this review I've not managed to find one single game or app that is any trouble for the Nexus 7's quad core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 and its 1GB of RAM. It breezes through even the most graphically intense games (Subway Surfers, Temple Run and Beach Buggy Blitz are all highly recommended) with no noticeable effort unless you play for AGES, then it gets a bit warm to the touch.

                These games along with hundreds and thousands of other apps are easily available to download - mostly for free - from Google's 'Play Store' which comes pre-installed on the tablet.

                Films, pictures, games and everything for that matter look beautifully crisp an colourful on the 1280 by 800 pixel 7" HD display. And as it's much lighter than any laptop at just 340g you can comfortably hold it up to watch a film. Or maybe some iPlayer?

                That's the beauty of this tablet, it's so versatile, you can use it to do pretty much anything. It has all the functionality of a laptop, but without the extortionate price, back breaking weight and feeble battery. You can even turn it into a mini laptop with a bluetooth keyboard (there's a huge selection of these on Amazon).

                I recently reviewed the Nokia 100 which has a nearly immortal battery. Clearly the Nexus 7 doesn't even come close to 3 weeks of battery, but for a tablet it's pretty impressively good. Thanks to the 4325mAh battery you can play games, watch films or browse away without worrying about power. In fact, I almost always manage to beat the 10 hour figure quoted on Google's website.

                The operating system, Android 4.3, works beautifully and looks beautiful with no lag whatsoever (the 4.3 update sorted out some minor 4.2 lag issues). Should any further issues arrive, it looks like the Nexus 7 will be supported in future android updates until Android 5.0 and that's at least two releases away.

                One thing that might be an issue for some people is the lack of rear-facing camera. There is a 1.2 megapixel front-facing one but trying to do anything other than use Skype or take a selfie is impossible.

                Unless you desperately need a camera on your tablet (Who takes pictures with a tablet? Just makes you look daft.) I think there's no real reason to buy the 2013 Nexus 7 over the 2012 Nexus 7. Sure it's more powerful, but not worth-£100-more-powerful.

                In short, although it's a whole year old, the Nexus 7 still outperforms almost all other small android tablets in every respect.

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