Mobile Phones Can Inhibit Sleep According to Latest Research

Smartphones have rapidly become an integral part of daily life and many people are extremely addicted to social media websites. As a result, it’s quite common for smartphone users to take their handsets to bed and casually post status updates. According to a paper published in Frontiers in Public Health, this is detrimental to your health and results in sleep deprivation. The research shows that blue light from smartphones delays people’s natural body clock and keeps them awake during later hours.

Professor Paul Gringras, a doctor from Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, said every new model was:

“bluer and brighter.”

He also criticized smartphone manufacturers for not implementing a “sleep mode”. In an interview with the BBC, he argued:

“There is converging data to say if you are in front of one of these devices at night-time it could prevent you falling asleep by an extra hour.”

“It’s not good enough to say do less and accept this is the world we live in, they’re fun devices but we do need some protection on what they do at night-time.”

The bright light shining into people’s eyes is a major distraction. Additionally, instead of the brain slowing down late at night, the barrage of messages, videos and icons on modern smartphones makes this pretty impossible. If you value your sleep it’s imperative to switch your smart-device off, before you go to bed. Manufacturers have to do more as smartphone addiction is a reality.

Do you take your smartphone to bed?

Image courtesy of NeonTommy.

Individual Wins Disability Grant After Claiming To Be Allergic To Gadgets

Well you learn something new everyday, a French individual has won a payout for being allergic to gadgets, and yes you read right, not gas but gadgets.

Marine Richard, 39, explained to a court that she is allergic to electromagnetic radiation with is emitted from gadgets. As a result, the ruling states that she may claim €800 (£580) per month for three years. After the ruling, Marine stated that it “is a “breakthrough” for people affected by electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS)

This condition has some validity as WHO, what, yes WHO which stands for the World Health Organization, recognises it as a genuine condition, although as yet the causes are still unclear. As a result, Ms Richard has resorted to living in the mountains of south-west France – in a barn that has no electricity.

The symptoms sound quite severe considering a sufferer is likely to encounter headaches, fatigue, nausea and palpitations. I do feel this is a genuine condition but wonder how you would counteract it, after all, it is pretty impossible to escape these gadgets which include phones, Televisions and even Microwaves which emit electromagnetic waves. I do feel further research is needed to better conclude the health implications of certain devices.

It is a difficult one, if you’re a sufferer and it is recognised then it is not very pleasant, but, is it right to receive £580 pounds a month and call it a disability? Only time will tell.

Thank you bbc for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of mytechportal

Apple Pokes Fun at Android in new Commercial

When you have two competitors as large as Apple and Google, or Apple and Samsung, Okay Apple Vs the World; things differentiating between the two (or more) companies can become extremely petty. In the newest advert launched by Apple, they seem to poke fun at the software and hardware compatibility.

Apple design most of the hardware and software in-house, the boffins know that in every single iPhone, it will feature 99% the same parts; so software writing is essentially a simple process. This then means that the software can better utilise the hardware to increase efficiency and/ or performance.

When the magnifying glass points at Android, the operating system has to be compatible with hundreds, if not thousands of different hardware configurations. In some cases, it works perfectly fine, in others it flops. This is why each manufacturer releases their own version, so it works better with the phone in hand.

https://youtu.be/wl3PlrPq8sw

Personally I don’t like Apple, but I have to admit that they are onto something here. Google released the Nexus a few years back which took the Android world by storm thanks to the optimised performance (and screen), and that is what Apple do with almost every iteration of the iPhone.

What smartphone do you own? Do you wish you went for the competition? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to BGR for providing us with this information.

No Packing Heat With Your Cab To Go

Since its inception in early 2009, Uber prides itself on being at the forefront of both convenience and also cutting edge technology which has made the relatively mundane task of requesting a cab as simple as ordering a Mocha Choca Latte (I checked and as long as I don’t put “Ya Ya” at the end, this does not infringe a Lady Marmalade lyric) Anyway, by tapping an app to request a cab, Uber has expanded into 57 countries and has generated over 8 million users and counting.

But as a recent policy change shows, Uber would like its cab drivers and also customers to be more approachable and has subsequently placed a “No weapons policy” within the Legal section of its terms and conditions. This certainly differs from Uber’s previous stance which stated in April 2015 that it was fine to carry a firearm as long as the country or state law permits it.

So why has Uber had a sudden change of heart? Well as is often the case with an unexpected policy change, it’s more reactionary and is in response to an Uber driver who shot a man who was firing a pistol into a gathering of people in Chicago.

From a spectators point of view it’s interesting to see two very different worlds collide, one which is up to date tech and the other fairly primitive. Uber would have made this decision to avoid any potential incidents like the one in Chicago, but the effectiveness of this policy change may be questionable considering Uber cannot influence or monitor both drivers and customer’s actions.

Thank You Uber for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of misiongeek and BizPac

These Eight Characters Crash Skype

Users have found a rather interesting bug in the popular voice and video calling application, Skype. The problem (now fixed in an update) caused skype to crash when you sent “http://:” via an instant message.

Once the message has been sent, if you re-open Skype – it will instantly crash again because it is in the chat log.

The bug has so far been discovered on Windows, Android and Ios. However, it doesn’t have an effect on Skype for Mac or Skype on Windows 8 (the metro interface application). Several users commented on the Skype forums and stated:

“clearing chat history not helps, because when skype download chat history from server, it will crash again.”

On some platforms, Skype now filters out the offending characters, yet it doesn’t work on all platforms and the characters still crash the application.

Microsoft have now fixed the bug and issued the following statement on their forums:

“Hello everyone

We are aware of a problem that was causing Skype clients to crash.  Our engineering teams worked hard to resolve this issue, and have released updates for all impacted Skype platforms. “

To resolve the issue, they suggest that you download the latest version of skype from www.skype.com/download and install it on your device. You don’t need to uninstall the old version first though.

Thank you to VentureBeat for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Skype

Kids Do a Lot Better When Schools Ban Smartphone usage

Tap, Tap, Tap. Smartphones are rapidly taking over children’s free time and social life, but is it affecting them at school?

A recent study undertaken by the London School of Economics showed some very interesting results. Students that were banned from carrying phones showed a clear improvement in their test scores.

“We found the impact of banning phones for these students equivalent to an additional hour a week in school, or to increasing the school year by five days,” researchers Richard Murphy and Louis-Philippe Beland said. That is quite a substantial figure, especially with the curriculum as vast as it currently is.

91 policies in regards to mobile phones have changed since 2001 and that data has been compared to exam results from national exams that students sat at the age of 16. In total, the study covered 130,000 pupils across the UK. It showed that after a ban was put in place, the students average test scores rose by 6.4%. It also showed that the impact on underachieving students was even more significant, a whopping 14% rise.

“There are, however, potential drawbacks to new technologies,” Murphy and Beland said, citing the temptation to text, play games or chat on social media.“Schools could significantly reduce the education achievement gap by prohibiting mobile phone use in schools, and so by allowing phones in schools, New York may unintentionally increase the inequalities of outcomes.”

Thank you to CNN for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Aol

Court Rejects Lawsuit Challenging the Use of Personal Electronics During Flights

A court has overturned a lawsuit challenging the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to loosen restrictions on the use of personal electronics in-flight. A Washington, DC court said Friday that the FAA had the authority to allow the use of gadgets at various stages during a flight, Ars Technica reports.

The lawsuit argued that the use of personal electronics during flights could pose a danger by distracting passengers from the various safety announcements before take-off or becoming projectiles during turbulence or other issues. Due to differences in aircraft the rule was not always applicable but in all modern aircraft there is little to no risk from having a personal device.

In 2013, the FAA made the official decision to allow the use of electronic devices during most phases of a flight. By 2014, around 96 percent of US commercial plane passengers were allowed to use small electronics during takeoff and landing, the AP reports.

The FAA stated in 2013:

Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones.    If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services.  You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.

1. Make safety your first priority.

2.  Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.

3.  Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.

4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.

5.  Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use.  You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.

6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.    

7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.

8.  It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew’s instructions during takeoff and landing.

9.  In some instances of low visibility – about one percent of flights – some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.

10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.

I’ve used my phone and laptop on a plane before and I’m still here!

Thanks to The FAA and The Verge for providing us with this information.

Sony Xperia Phones Get Lollipop Update

Sony are continuing their Lollipop roll-out to their Xperia range of devices. The electronics company released on their blog today. The 5.0 upgrade will be available for the Xperia Z3 Dual, Xperia Z1, the X1 compact and the Xperia Z ultra.

Sony plans to bring updates to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, the Xperia ZR and the Tablet Z in the next few weeks.

The update includes features such as multi user profiles, a new and updated user interface and advanced sync features across your other android powered devices. It also includes security features such as trusted devices for your Bluetooth and NFC capable accessories.

Hi-definition voice calling will also be available as part of the update, this will give you ultra-clear voice calls between compatible devices.

Sony have announced that the update won’t be available in all countries at once, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to become available for your device. My device in the UK hasn’t shown that the update is available so I’m just going to hold tight for now.

It is said that the update is approximately 1.2GB so make sure you have plenty of room available on your handset. It is also a good idea to have a charger and a full battery as sometimes the upgrades can take a fair amount of time.

Image from sonymobile

Flip Phones Still Popular in Japan While Smartphone Sales Stall

Remember flip phones? Phones like the insanely popular Moto Razr? They were all the rage before the smartphone came along. Well, actually, flip phones aren’t dead yet, not in Japan at least.

Sales of flip phones grew by 5.7 percent to an amazing 10.58 million units, compared to a 5.3 percent decrease in the sales of smartphones –  down to 27.7 million units sold. The MM Research Institute, who conducted the research, says that this isn’t unprecedented – sales of smartphones in Japan were also down last year too.

So why is this? Apparently Japan’s sales of smartphones are heavily reliant on subscription cycles. Hideaki Yokota of MM Research told Reuters that “Smartphones are also peaking in terms of functionality and they tend to last a long time as well, so there are fewer renewals.” This is also down to the high price of contracts in Japan; flip phone contracts are seemingly much cheaper, making them more attractive despite their lack of features.

Source: Reuters Via: Engadget 

Kodak Launching Android Smartphones in 2015

Kodak is launching some Android smartphones, with the first to be shown at CES in January. However, this is not a comeback for Kodak in a different business per say, this is more like Kodak licensing their brand to someone else’s phones.

As well as that first phone, there will be a “4G handset, a tablet, and a connected camera” all designed by British company Bullitt Group.

“Kodak is one of the world’s most recognisable brands. It is trusted by consumers as a marque of quality and innovation,” says Oliver Schulte, CEO Bullitt Mobile. “We’ve taken that heritage and used it to inspire a range of beautifully designed devices that will let users take great pictures and edit, share, store and print them in an instant.”

This is a practice that isn’t too rare these days, especially for now former giants like Kodak. Polaroid for instance slaps their logo on TVs they don’t even have a say in. The question is though, will this help a previously almost bankrupt Kodak get back on its feet?

Source: The Verge

Why do Android Phones Need So Much RAM?

A question that has haunted Apple and Android fans for years has now been answered. Why do iPhones get by on 1GB of RAM while most Android handsets need an extra 1 or 2GB?

Well Glyn Williams on Quora thinks he has the answer. Apparently Android apps rely on Java which utilises a process called “garbage collection”. This is essentially the recycling of memory used up by apps that have been closed. These processes require 4 to 8 times the amount of memory being used, which in turn slows things down considerably when there isn’t enough RAM available to meet the request.

This also usurps the power consumption of the device, suggesting why iPhones can last so long on standby (about 10 days). Glyn’s post on the question-and-answer site has more than 3000 upvotes, including ones from ex-Google employee Kevin X Chang and Jeff Harris who is apparently a Project Manager on Google Glass. 

Source: Phone Arena

Apple has Disabled TLC Memory

Due to a high reported rate of functional defects, Apple has decided to stop using TLC NAND flash memory technology in their iPhone 6 devices. According to insiders talking to IThome, on November the 6th Apple decided to deactivate all TLC NAND flash technology, believed by them to be plaguing their 64GB iPhone 6 and 128 GB iPhone 6 Plus models with defects directly due to the nature of the flash memory chip.

This chip is manufactured by Anobit, commonly known for their SSD manufacturing facilities. Anobit was acquired by Apple in 2011 and utilized to create their TLC NAND solid-state flash memory.

Why did Apple choose TLC NAND if it’s so unreliable? It’s cheaper and reads/writes data faster than SLC and MLC equivalents. Apple’s future plans have now been based around MLC NAND memory, including it’s announced iOS8.1.1 update alongside their 100,000 units sold in South Korea and Taiwan alone.

Reportedly, not all latest-gen iPhones have TLC NAND installed. MLC NAND is located within the 16 GB iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and some 64 GB editions, however all 128GB models have been released with TLC NAND hardware.

The apparent adoption of TLC NAND is due to cost saving constraints for the 128 GB edition of Apples latest release, so we may expect a higher sale price once MLC NAND has taken over. So, if your iPhone has been performing a little slower out of the blue – it’s possibly not the apps your running or your 40 open Google Chrome tabs; it could be because Apple has disabled your TLC NAND.

Rightfully so, many users are outraged. A growing number of Korean customers have been spamming Apples online community portals asking for their slowing iPhones to be replaced for free – we think it to be rightfully so.

Image courtesy of IThome

US Marshals Spying on Phones From Planes

The Wall Street Journal has made some startling revelations regarding a new spying programme being undertaken by the US Marshals. Apparently they’ve been using special fake cell tower devices attached to aeroplanes in an attempt to track mobile phones. Those devices, called an IMSI catcher, can be used to track individual suspects, jam the signal and even access images and text stored on the phone.

The initiative, which hasn’t yet been officially revealed, is usually conducted with a court order, but as The Verge points out, it’s not yet clear whether the order specifies the elaborate and quite frankly creepy means of carrying this sort of thing out.

It’s estimated that many millions of Americans have been affected by this initiative, due to the fact following one mobile phone will almost certainly mean the IMSI catcher, or “Stingray” picks up many other mobile phones in the process.

Source: The Verge

Toshiba Launching 20 Million Pixel CMOS Smart Phone Sensor

Ever since the Motorola Razr’s debut in 2004, the phone industry has been all about making your devices thinner, lighter and faster. Thanks to Toshiba, we can now possibly see slimmer phones being produced due to their new 20 million pixel sensors as announced recently. How is a phone generally engineered to be razer thin? Often things like size of casing, thickness of battery and placement of components is taken into account – but what about your phones camera?

This sensor release by Toshiba isn’t their first 20 million pixel variant, but this one can be labeled as ‘new and improved’ – offering a frame rate increase to 22 fps, maximum supported resolution of 5384 x 3752 and an overall claim of an 83% performance boost alongside it being thinner than previous editions. Said to be sitting at only 6mm in thickness, this new camera technology may see our next generation of phones as wide as a broadsword, but thinner than a hair on your head.

On top of these factors, Toshiba have claimed that digital zooming through this new sensor will provide “almost no perceived loss of image quality” and will be shipping out as of February 2015.

We haven’t however, received any information as to which manufacturers will be taking up Toshiba on their new offering, but we’re very interested to see who takes up this slimming opportunity.

Image courtesy of  PR Newswire

BT Launches “One Phone” Mobile Service For Businesses


BT is returning to the mobile market for the first time in 10 years with its “One Phone” service that allows business users to make fixed-line and mobile phone calls using the same handset.

Designed specifically towards small and midsize-businesses (SMBs), One Phone lets users to transfer all home, office and mobile calls directly to a smartphone.  All that is required is a BT SIM card and a picocell in the office to help broadcast the 4G signal.

Once an employee leaves the office and enters the field, calls will be transferred to EE networks – and includes access to BT’s Wi-Fi hotspots, which number more than five million.

Here is what Graham Sutherland, BT business chief executive said:

“With an increasingly mobile and demanding workforce, businesses need communications technology that is as flexible as they are.  Missed calls mean missed business.”

Mobile is an “exciting area” for the company, as the communications market is largely leaving behind traditional land lines and transitioning towards mobile solutions.

BT One could also be a test platform for the company to jump into the consumer mobile market before the end of the year, though nothing has been confirmed just yet.  However, the consumer offering is expected to transfer between 4G in the office/home and use EE’s network or Wi-Fi.

Thank you to FT for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Manchester Evening News

Gartner Believes PC Industry Will Receive Brief Reprieve in 2014

Shipment of PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones will grow 4.2 percent from 2013, reaching 2.4 billion units this year, according to research group Gartner.

It’s a welcome sign for PC OEMs, trying desperately to get consumers and businesses to upgrade their computers, which have a longer lifespan.  For those shopping for new PCs, they will find a number of competitively-priced models that should pique their interest, as the devices should last a minimum of five years.

Even though the PC business is expected to do better than previously, tablets should still outsell PCs in 2015, researchers note.

Here is what Ranjit Atwal, Gartner Research Director, said in a recent statement:

”2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market.  Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in western Europe.  This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets.”

Meanwhile, the tablet market is expected to slow down in 2014 while reaching 256 million units – but is still estimated to reach 320 million units next year, which will be higher than the traditional PC business unit.  However, analysts also believe tablet manufacturers are going to cannibalize their own market, with consumers keeping mobile devices longer – but with growing cost, many owners end up sharing their devices with friends or family.

Thank you to Gartner for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of New Anglia

Emerging Markets Embracing Low-Cost Smartphones as Competition Rises


The Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S smartphones dominate the United States and Europe, but struggle to sell their pricey models in emerging markets.  Meanwhile, local smartphone makers are finding great success selling their low-cost devices in China, India, Africa, and other select locations.

Handset makers Spice, Intex, Celkon and other companies release devices with starting prices as low as £17 to consumers, wooing first-time smartphone users.  Micromax, Lava Play and Karbonn have 31 percent of the Indian smartphone market, releasing smartphones for £50 – but lower-cost devices will make the booming market even more competitive.

Here is what Vishal Tripathi, Gartner research firm principal research analyst said:

“There may be a plethora of devices in the ultralow-cost smartphone price band, but their success will not be determined only by providing basic connectivity and access to app store, but they meet users’ expectations of decent camera quality, acceptable battery life, quick touch and response time, no heating issue at minimum usage.”

Mozilla also plans to jump into the market in India with its low-cost device running the Firefox operating system.  The popular software company looks to make it easier and more affordable for consumers transitioning from feature phones to smartphones.

Although many western smartphone users wouldn’t be interested in purchasing low-cost, entry-level models, expect Google to push its Android platform to eager first-time smartphone customers.  Chinese manufacturers such as Xioami, Zopo, JiauYu, Mogu, Meizu and Iocean also ship their products outside of China, prompting a price war in South America, Africa, and other select Asian markets.

Thank you to The Economic Times for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of SCMP

European Union Will Work With South Korea in Push to 5G


The European Union (EU) and South Korea plan to join forces in developing and promoting the next-generation 5G wireless standard – and they hope to provide a better glimpse of what can be expected by the end of 2015.

Assistance from South Korea is expected to be important for the EU, which initially struggled to roll out the 4G standard, due to slower – and inconsistent technologies.  South Korea has more than 100 percent mobile phone penetration rate, indicating everyone in the country has at least one device.

A one-hour high-definition movie takes about six minutes to download using 4G, but would take only six seconds on a 5G network.  It will be curious to see what is defined as 5G, because some believe it’s nothing by marketing hype.  However, officials in Seoul will set to create an official definition of what standards are defined as 5G moving forward, though will be important to promote the “Internet of Things.”

Furthermore, the agreement will lead researchers on both sides to “explore further possibilities” in their effort to coordinate research – Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, and other major phone manufacturers are expected to create devices based on guidelines agreed upon by both sides.

Thank you FT for providing us with this information.

Experiment By High School Students Prove That Plants Don’t Grow Near Wi-Fi Routers

Wireless routers and Wi-Fi is deemed necessary by many people all around the world, but it appears that the impact on health is severe. There have been multiple studies in the past suggesting the negative impact they may have on humans but the latest research could be the most compelling yet. And it comes from a group of high school students.

Five students came to the conclusion that sleeping near their cell phones at night caused them to have problems concentrating during school the next day. Intrigued, the students asked if they could study the effects of cell phone radiation on humans but the school simply didn’t have the resources to make it happen.

Instead, the students opted to perform testing on a Wi-Fi router which is comparable to the radiation levels put out by cell phones. They placed six trays of lepidium sativum seeds, a garden cress grown commercially throughout Europe, in a room with two Wi-Fi routers. In another room, the same number of seeds were placed without routers.

Over the next 12 days, the students examined an interesting phenomenon. The seeds in the room without the routers had blossomed into healthy plans while those in the room with the routers were either dead or hadn’t grown at all.

The students received top honors in a regional science fair but more importantly, a professor of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden was so impressed that he wants to repeat the experiment in a controlled scientific environment.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Best Phones for Under £35 Per Month

With the vast array of smartphones on the market, the price of monthly contracts really has been brought down to reflect competition, which can mean only one thing for the consumer: for less than £35 per month, you can acquire one of the hottest phones out there with a deal that could see you texting, calling and Tweeting until the sun goes down!

iPhone 5

Arguably the most famous phone that is released each year is the iPhone, and it is important to many users that they own the most up-to-date version. So it’s great that you can get a free iPhone 5 handset for under £35 per month.

The iPhone 5 was released last September and features all of the best apps, functions and style that Apple fans demand from their iPhones. The handset is remarkably slim when compared with previous models, and Apple’s commitment to a smaller screen than most other smartphones gives the device a smart and stylish feel.

And the iPhone 5 doesn’t fail to disappoint in terms of specifications either. With a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and the latest operating system, iOS 6. The phone is known for its excellent visual display which boasts 336 pixels per inch, which towers over the majority of handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nexus 4, and gives the iPhone 5 a crisp display.

Although on first release the iPhone 5 struggled to satisfy on features such as Apple Maps, though now these problems have been ironed out, there is no running away from the fact that the Apple app store houses more apps than even the Google Play Store.

Whether you’re new to the iPhone or want to upgrade from a previous model, you can join the Apple craze for as little as £33 a month on a Vodafone contract including 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. If your budget stretches that bit further than a £35 budget, you could opt for a T-Mobile contract which offers 600 minutes, unlimited texts and a whopping 1.5 GB of data for just £36 a month.

Samsung Galaxy S3

Now you’re bound to have heard about the Apple vs. Samsung battle in recent months, and this is largely based around the iPhone’s competition in the Korean manufacturer’s most popular smartphone, the S3.

When the S3 entered the mobile phones arena back in May last year, critics claimed that its 4.8 inch screen was ludicrously big for a smartphone that was designed to fit into one’s pocket. However, eight months on it looks like every mobile phone manufacturer has followed suit and the large screened S3 has paved the way for smartphones in the future.

The S3 isn’t just popular amongst its users because of its large screen size, though. With a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and the latest Jelly Bean version of the Android operating system, the S3 is one of the quickest phones on the market, and is often one that other models aim to compete with. The S3 sports an 8 MP camera which produces high quality photographs with an in-built photo editing suite. Although the S3’s display doesn’t pack in as high a pixel density as the iPhone 5, the large screen makes the S3 perfect for every function that you may ever require, whether it be to watch films or videos via the in-built YouTube app, or simply to browse your friends’ updates on social media sites.

Samsung has crept ahead of Apple in terms of smartphone sales last year, but not necessarily because its features are superior. Many people oft for a Samsung Galaxy S3 over the iPhone because it considerably cheaper: you can acquire a brand new S3 handset for as little as £26 per month on a T-Mobile contract with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1 MB of data. That comes in an almost £10 less each month than the iPhone 5, so if you want to save the pennies, but still want a top quality handset, the Galaxy S3 could be for you.

Nokia Lumia 920

The Nokia Lumia 920 is one of the best phones for under £35 because it represents the new series of smartphones operated by Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8 operating system. This fun phone stands out from the rest not only because of its colourful and smart looking polycarbonate casing but also its vibrant dynamic home screen display.

You can’t avoid the numerous TV adverts for the new Windows Phone OS which can be customizable in order to suit each and every user. The colourful home screen consists of live tiles which update in real time, making the phone look really dynamic and new compared to other more static home screens on models run by iOS or Android systems.

Nokia has also contributed a lot to the Lumia 920; with built-in apps such as Drive, Nearby and Nokia Music. What makes the Lumia 920 really great is the fact that it offers something new and different, and while there’s no hiding the fact that Microsoft’s app store is limited when compared with the Apple and Google Play stores, all of the most popular applications are available, including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, the Nokia Lumia 920 can be yours for just £26 a month on an Orange contract offering 200 minutes, unlimited texts, and a massive 750 MB of data to make the most of the Lumia’s great interactive features. Or if you have a bit more cash to splash on your new handset, for £31 a month you can double your minutes to 400, have unlimited texts and 750 MB of data, also on an Orange contract.

iPhone 4S

If you’re an aspiring iPhone owner but don’t want to stretch your budget to the dizzying heights of the iPhone 5, why not opt for the slightly older iPhone 4S? In fact, sales figures show that most users are doing just that, and iPhone 4S sales are still outshining that of the iPhone 5. No, you may not be at the cutting edge of the smartphone world, but there are no features that you will be without by purchasing the predecessor to Apple’s latest release.

With a 1 GHz processor and the ability to update the device to the recently released iOS 6, the iPhone 4S offers everything you could ever need in a manageable, well-built handset. With a slightly smaller 3.5 inch screen and 330 ppi density, the device’s display certainly won’t disappoint.

For the budding photographers of you out there, the iPhone 4S has been proven to sport an impressive 8 MP camera which, after road testing on our behalf, performs to a higher standard than many other 8 MP cameras on the market. To find out more about the iPhone 4S, read our review on the iPhone 4S, or to see how well its camera matches up against other handsets, in our article, The Megapixel Myth.

To get a top of the range phone for less than Apple’s newest release, the iPhone 4S is available from just £26 per month with 100 minutes, unlimited texts and a whopping 750 MB of data on a T-Mobile contract. Or, if you want to push the boat out in order to acquire more call time, a great deal offering 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 100 MB of data on an o2 contract for just £29 per month.

Conclusion

As you can see, some of the best mobile phones on the market can be found for under £35 a month including a free handset. So whether it’s the latest iPhone, or the latest Windows OS that you’re after, many mobile phone deals can be found for as little as £26 for some models. Leading the way within the mobile phone arena doesn’t mean blowing the budget.

Researchers Discovered Stretchable Lithium-Ion Battery

A new stretchable type Lithium-Ion battery has been found which looks to be promising enough once the technology is practical and feasible enough to be used in our gadgets. The concept uses small dots that are capable of storing energy on the stretchable polymer. It’s also being indicated that these batteries can be used for wireless charging as well.

A report indicates that the prototype stretchable batteries as of now can only run through 20 charge per discharge cycle and that it still requires additional development efforts to perfect and make it feasible enough for mass production, but looking at the ideas that are brought forward itself, it looks to be very promising.

A number of stretchable electronics and its components have been on the rise, but having a stretchable power storage solution has been an issue and a latecomer in the stretchable electronics race.

There are many applications for such a stretchable product in day-to-day life. These can used on anything from health monitors to even roll-up displays. Wearable devices (just like Apple’s patent design) can benefit from this as well.

This is invented by a team in the University of Illinois at the Urbana-Campaign where they tested an initial prototype which was able to stretch up to 300% while powering an LED lamp.

Senior Author of this research John Rogers said,”Batteries are particularly challenging because, unlike electronics, it’s difficult to scale down their dimensions without significantly reducing performance. We have explored various methods, ranging from radio frequency energy harvesting to solar power.”

Prof. Rogers has been working with colleagues at NorthWestern University where they research on stretchable electronics made of different materials by using something that they call as “pop-up” architecture. This works by using tiny and wide-spaced circuit elements viz. embedded within the stretchable polymer and connected with wires where they pop up when the polymer is stretched.

There is also another where it involves stretching the polymer in which it has tiny solar cells embedded. This will make the cells become larger once it’s stretched. The best part is that this polymer will not taut even if its stretched 3 times more than its normal size.

Prof. Rogers explained,”The most important applications will be those that involve devices integrated with the outside of the body, on the skin, for health, wellness and performance monitoring.”