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danielparnell

danielparnell
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Member since: 14.03.2011

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      01.08.2011 15:03
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      Best camera I have owned - definitely won't feel the need to upgrade for years to come

      Sony are renowned for making quality products. This product lives up to these expectations, although there are a few niggles.

      First and foremost, this takes fantastic pictures without having to adjust any settings. If you want a point and click camera (which is what I wanted) then this would be a great choice. I have attempted to use the other settings, however I found them to be more trouble than they are worth. The pictures are outstanding in the mode the camera comes out of the box with and any tampering didn't get me any nicer pictures.

      The zoom is very good for the size of camera, it means you don't have to walk back and forth with it but rather just zoom in to the pertinent details. It seems to keep fairly steady when you take pictures, one of the best features for me. I must have shaky hands, because some cameras I find are unusable, especially phone cameras; the pictures come out blurred usually, but not on this camera.

      This does not have a decent video recording function, but I don't really think I would have used that anyway if I am honest. The sweep panorama feature is brilliant if you like taking panoramic pictures. Definitely give that feature a try, especially if you are taking family pictures and have a big family!

      The screen on the camera is not that great. It shows the picture, of course, but the resolution is poor. As soon as you upload the pictures onto your PC, you will be astounded at the quality however.

      Battery life seems fine to me - charge it, it will last all day on a trip out. If you want to use it again, charge it and it will last all day again! it seems to hold its charge for quite a while, so if you don't use it you can leave it in your bag and it will be fine to use within the next month, which I find useful.

      The in camera editing is a feature I used once and dismissed, just like all other editing features on cameras and phones.

      The camera itself feels solid and is relatively light so it won't feel like a brick in your bag, but equally you won't be scared that you will break it easily.

      Buy a decent sized memory card - 12mp pictures take up a lot of room, so I would say a 4gb card would be a minimum, 8gb would be better.

      Transferring photos is easy - just plug the memory card into your pc and drag and drop the photos. I believe there is some software which can be used, but I didn't find this necessary when I can drag and drop.

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      • Citroen C1 Vibe / Car / 14 Readings / 9 Ratings
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        21.03.2011 15:01
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        Decent enough car, some of the basics feel cheap and could be better on the motorways

        I purchased a Citroen C1 as my previous car, a Vauxhall Tigra, was eating up too much fuel. The C1 certainly uses less petrol than a Tigra, so in a nutshell does what I bought it for.

        The C1 is quirky with a very polished design, and the best looking of the 106 the C1 and the Aygo (all the same car believe it or not).

        The car itself is very nice to drive. it is reminiscent of the tiny hatchbacks of old: nippy, quick steering, close to the ground little things which were fun to drive. The seats in mine are bucket seats (extra) which are very comfortable. Please do not get the normal seats, they are terrible. You do yearn for more power, but if you are considering buying this car you are already prepared to make this compromise.

        If you drive this car properly, economically (slowly with little revs) then you will save a bundle. With £15 (£0 on never models) road tax you can't go wrong. Insurance is decent too; with two sub 25 drivers we pay around £800 - bear in mind one has not been driving for even a year yet. Driving on motorways is a different story. At 70mph the C1 revs at 3500. At 80, this is much increased. As I said, you MUST drive this car economically if you are buying it to save money, as 'razzing it' down the motorway at a ton will shake it to pieces, literally, and will cost you much more than you would expect in petrol too. Ideally you would want to go about 60-65 on the motorway. You won't, but you should! As an aside, this car is the easiest car to stall I have ever driven. I still stall it occasionally, usually on hills. This is probably just because it is a very low powered car and I am used to driving a 1.8 petrol Tigra.

        I have been fairly disappointed with the interior decor. I bought a few extras with the car - a glovebox, parcel shelf and chrome finishes. "A glovebox?!" I hear you cry, that is not an extra, surely? Yes, unfortunately quite a lot of basic items are extras on this car and again, unfortunately, they aren't very good. The glovebox (£35) is broken already and the parcel shelf constantly falls off it's hinges when putting shopping in the boot. Another niggle is the stereo - briefly, the sound quality is very poor as are the speakers. Small niggles, but niggles nontheless - these affect my everyday driving of the car, and every day it annoys me.

        One worry you may have is the size of the car. I wouldn't' worry too much about that - the boot is of a surprising size and normal sized passengers in the back have enough room to sit comfortably. Beware - if you have shopping in the back with 3 passengers, you will be travelling home slowly.

        All in all this car does what it says on the tin IF you drive it correctly, with a tardis like amount of space inside. It is very easy to park, but I would say that the view is slightly obstructed by the front pillars, especially on the drivers side. Rear visibility is quite good however.

        I like this car -- for my purposes it is perfect. If I have children, I will probably get rid of it as it would be too awkward to get a child in and out of the back seats with it being a 3-door.

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      • Blackberry Curve 8520 / Smartphone / 8 Readings / 5 Ratings
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        21.03.2011 13:56

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        A good phone for the price, but probably are better ones if you want a good camera, 3G and wi-fi

        This phone does what it claims to do:

        * it has an excellent qwerty keypad, which is much easier to use than I expected ;

        * it has blackberry chat, which saved me a fortune in text messages ;

        * it makes excellent (and quick) use of email handling

        * it has a nice trackpad which makes it easy to access all the features of the phone

        * has access to apps

        * it has a decent rubbery feel to the edge which means you are much less likely to drop it, which is especially useful for clumsy people like myself

        * has easy to use menus

        Now, this phone, unfortunately, is let down by a few issues. The camera is poor and has no flash. You really feel as you are using it that a touch screen would be easier than a trackpad. The headphone jack is for some reason on the side of the phone, making it uncomfortable in your pocket. Most of all, this phone lacks 3G and wi-fi, which is a real shame.

        On the whole, this phone is good. If you are like me you will be more than happy with it, but after 6 months or so you will be hankering for a better model. The lack of 3G or wi-fi, a good camera and touch screen meant for me this wasn't the right model to have chosen. I really enjoyed using the keypad though and have actually seen people type up documents with it!

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      • More +
        18.03.2011 17:29

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        A nice little phone

        The Samsung Genio is a nice looking phone, there is no doubt about that. Small enough to be comfortable in your pocket, but with a large enough screen so that you don't have to squint. The phone feels solid and is aesthetically pleasing.

        As a phone, it isn't bad: the sound is clear when making and receiving phone calls and texting isn't too much of a chore. A qwerty keyboard would be better, but I believe the limitations of the touch screen made this impossible. The touch screen is responsive enough, but isn't incredibly accurate. The well designed menus and lack of qwerty keyboard, on the whole, negate this problem.

        The menus are very well laid out, and this was probably the first phone I experienced with multiple desktops - you can slide back and forth with different backgrounds. you can also add 'widgets' (pictures, music player etc) which add a certain uniqueness to this phone. One downside for me was the camera, which was quite poor.

        It isn't the fastest phone around. The menus aren't super quick, the internet is fairly slow and there aren't a multitude of apps. However I did find this a useful, hard wearing, solid phone, which did the job I bought it for.

        In short, if you are looking for a quirky little phone and only very occasionally use the internet or apps, then this would be a good choice. A nice little phone.

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      • Netgear DGN1000 / Wireless LAN / 15 Readings / 9 Ratings
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        15.03.2011 20:11

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        Ok

        This router is OK, and nothing more.

        When using wired connections, the router can handle several things plugged into it at once. The problems come when you want to use wireless. The router has a poor range and will drop the connection for no apparent reason.

        Want to use use your laptop upstairs? Prepare to be frustrated.

        The security settings and menu options are brilliant, however, and are a real selling point.

        Although I am reviewing this product I did not pay for it, it came free with my Orange Broadband. When I noticed the price however, I felt compelled to write a review - £40-£50 for this is too much in my opinion when you consider the poor wireless performance. You would be better spending more for a router which will not disconnect you all the time, unless you only plan to use it for wired connections in my opinion

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      • Nokia 5230 / Smartphone / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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        15.03.2011 20:05
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        A bad, cheap phone. Avoid like the plague.

        This phone is an attempt at the most basic and cheaply made smartphone possible. In many ways it is a success - it does everything you would expect a smartphone to do - push emails, apps, internet, it has a touch screen - however in my opinion it performs these tasks poorly.

        The touch screen, for example, is very unresponsive and doesn't give a clear picture. The speed of the phone when navigating is very slow, which when combined with the poor and inaccurate touch screen makes the phone very clunky to use. I often found myself becoming frustrated with the phone, pushing menu options and writing texts only to find it had not registered my touch, or had registered two touches. There is no qwerty keyboard displayed, so you need to have predictive text activated, which makes it difficult to text in my opinion.

        The annoyances detailed above are compounded when you consider the bizzare menu system Nokia seem to persist with. Want to change your ringtone? Go to settings, personal, profile, normal, customisation, ring tone. Why Nokia? A normal phone requires only settings, ringtone. Simple. This theme continues with all settings, requiring you to resort to randomly guessing which menus you need to enter to change any given setting.

        The internet is poor on this phone. The touch screen doesn't help, nor does it help that the text is not wrapped when visting pages with lots of text, requiring you to scroll back and forth frantically to read each line! Although it is 3G, I found it slow to download each page.

        There is a large selection of apps, but these predictably run slowly on this phone. There are far fewer apps in the Nokia Ovi store than one would find on an android phone or an iphone.

        The camera quality is abysmal when compared to other modern phones, so much so that you just will not use it.

        The speaker on the phone is also terrible, so you cannot play music on maximum volume and sometimes struggle to hear people speak.

        When you think of smartphones, you think of wifi. This phone has no wifi.



        All in all the problem with this phone is the price. You can get one for between £50-£80. This is too cheap for a smartphone - indeed you aren't really getting a smartphone. The spec is so low end it almost bridges the gap between ordinary and smart phone. The phone feels, and acts, cheap.

        I could not in good conscience recommend this phone and after struggling with it for 6 months I plumped for HTC's entry level smartphone, the HTC wildfire. I really cannot believe I waited 6 months, the difference in quality is so vast.

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        • HTC Wildfire / Smartphone / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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          14.03.2011 01:19

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          Great phone, great price!

          I recently purchased this phone craving faster mobile internet, a bigger screen and access to apps. This phone delivers this in a way I am more than happy with.

          The screen isn't the biggest on the market, but it is big enough. The internet is super fast on the 3 network. The touchscreen is fine, probably the best I have used bar the iPhone.

          Music plays fine on it - I can actually stream music from youtube and plug the phone (via the normal sized headphone socket on the top of the phone) into the aux input in my car!

          Contacts are linked with your facebook contacts, which is brilliant. Apps are so wide ranging you could never see them all.

          Typing can be a little difficult at first, but once you get used to it it is a doddle, with room for a full qwerty keyboard on the screen.

          The phone is incredibly customisable as well - I won't go into all the details, but no two phones will look alike!

          If you are looking for a phone on which you can play little games, access facebook, go on ebay, the internet, get instant football scores and take pretty good photos on with the 5mp camera, this is the phone for you.

          If you are looking for a fashion statement, shell out £500 for the iPhone, which does exactly the same.

          By the way - this phone actually works as a phone, the device's primary purpose.

          I highly recommend this phone. The only real disadvantage is the battery life, as with all phones like this. One solution a friend of mine used is to have a separate battery charged up, and swap them over. This can be bought on ebay for £10-£20. I haven't found the need to do this to be honest.

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        • Humax Foxsat -HDR / Set Top Box / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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          14.03.2011 01:07
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          Top notch equipment which I very highly recommend.

          With Freeview unavailable in my area and my unwillingness to pay a premium for content from sky, i had little other option than to buy a Freesat box. After much research and trepidation the general consensus seemed to be that a Humax Foxsat HDR set top box would meet my needs better than any other box.

          After paying £200 for a box (a bargain in my opinion), I set to work installing it straight away. The previous owners had kindly left a satellite dish up with two cables running into my living room, so it was just a matter of plugging the two cables into the back, typing in my postcode and letting the box do its work. A word of warning, there are three holes in the back of the box. Choose the right two! it is clearly detailed in the manual.

          Once scanned and completed, I proceeded to plug the box into the internet using an ethernet cable. All simple enough. Quite frankly, I was blown away by the image clarity, as was my other half. the HD pictures are amazingly detailed, although there are only three channels at the moment - BBC1 HD, BBC HD and ITV1 HD. I have heard rumours that Channel 4 HD will soon be added to the fold.

          The picture quality on the BBC iPlayer is also immense. A quick trick for anyone who owns this box - going to channel 999, wait a moment then press Green Green Blue Green Green, wait a moment longer and press the red button and voilà, you will be granted access to ITV Player!

          With regards to the menus, I find them easy to use. It is easy to record individual programmes, record series' and delete programmes after watching.

          An interesting feature is the 'move' option. I record a lot of films, so I created a new folder and moved all my films into this to prevent cluttering up the recorded items page! Other features include the ability to transfer recorded programmes to a USB stick and the ability to transfer your music and films onto the box. Another excellent, and very cleer feature, is that due to the way signals are received by the box, even when you are recording two channels at once you can sometimes watch another channel too! You can always watch a recorded programme when two channels are being recorded at once.

          I have found that recording space is plenty enough with the 320 GB version. I currently have at least 15 films waiting to be watched, with several HD series being recorded all the time, and I have not been over 50% yet.

          All in all, you really do get what you pay for. If you are sitting on the fence and considering a cheaper alternative, don't. I waited nearly a year before buying this, hoping it would drop in price. It didn't drop much, primarily because the demand is there.

          One of the best purchases I have made.

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