Category: Features

Christmas 2020. Oh, what a year that was!

Each year I tend to sign off for a couple of days over Christmas to unwind. This year, for all of us, has been one to remember – and perhaps not for the right reasons. Things started off quite well at Coolsmartphone HQ. We’d put the final touches …

Don’t moan about 4G or 5G, you guys don’t know you’re born!

I do have to kick myself at times. Sitting in this hospital, I’ve got a gloriously fast 5G connection on Vodafone and unlimited data to enjoy. The speeds massively outclass the WiFi in here and it’s all just so straightforward and worry-free. Back in the late ’90s, phones …

Starlink on test.

A few weeks ago even more Starlink satellites were launched. It’s part of an internet connectivity solution provided by the Elon Must SpaceX company. Even though space-delivered internet has been done before, the reduced height of the satellites means a faster and better experience. A recent batch of …

Now you can watch Hulu with friends.

If there’s one thing that 2020 has brought us, it’s isolation. Sitting at home, unable to enjoy all the things we’ve been so used to. Meeting with people, talking and shaking hands – it seems like such an alien thing now. Yes, having all these online services is …

Switching and choosing – UK mobile networks explained.

Here in the UK it’s very rare for people to switch their bank. Likewise, people have in the past been quite loyal to their mobile network too. However, this has changed lately and it’s become much easier to switch. Not only that, but there’s also a great deal …

Liberty Global announce new Virgin TV 360 box

This looks similar to the existing Virgin Media V6 TV Box and indeed, it is. Although built by a different supplier, the hardware inside is broadly the same in the new Virgin TV 360 set top box. There’s also a new “Virgin TV 360 Mini” which is essentially …

Buying a phone without a contract – making it easier.

It’s Christmas, and mobile phones are high on a lot of gift lists. However, unless you’re going to take on the monthly payments and enter into a contract for someone else, it’s definitely quite an expensive gift. So how do you afford a phone and pay for it …

Getting your music in your car. The easy way.

I come from a different world. A world where, if you wanted to get your own music in your car, you had to buy a CD and put it in your car CD player. Heck, who am I kidding? I come from a world even earlier than that. …

5G …. from a plane!

You may have accidentally left your phone on during a flight and, if you’re a geek like me, you may have spotted that sometimes – for a brief moment – you get a mobile signal. Even 7 miles up, your phone can lock onto the odd network mast …

SMARTY – On test

Just a few days ago I ran out of data. Stuck in hospital, and with only a relatively slow WiFi connection, I’d basically nailed all my allowance and was a bit “stuck”. Luckily though, a lot of phones now have dual SIM trays, so – even if you …

Starlink – Now 800 satellites up in orbit

Earlier in the year I sat in the garden and watched the string of Elon Musk Starlink satellites fly by in the night sky. They’re relatively easy to see because they’re quite low and there’s a lot of them. In fact, there’s now even more. A launch today …

Another real-world 5G test

My son and I headed to Wembley a year ago and, while I was in the area, I decided to check out the new 5G connection that had popped up on my phone. Getting 5G back then was a hit-and-miss affair, and it was really only to be …

The hidden Vodafone SIM-only deals you need to know about

I’ve spent a couple of hours looking for a new SIM-only deal. I had one requirement – it had to be with Vodafone or one of the virtual networks (like Voxi) running on the Vodafone masts. This is because, in the areas I’ll be needing it, Vodafone is …

Everything is awesome, at 60fps

If you’ve got kids, chances are that you’ve watched the Lego Movie or one of the spin-offs. They’ve been created to look as if everything is filmed in traditional “stop motion”, however in reality it was done on a computer. Anyways, stop motion filming has long been used …

The new normal has been forced upon us, but it’s here to stay.

With a second coronavirus spike now sliding into view, the idea of “going back to the office” is fading into the background. Remote working is rapidly becoming the “new normal” and the idea of cramming ourselves onto public transport in order to spend time in an expensive office …

Find your local mobile mast – 2020 Update

With 5G masts being thrown up at a rapid rate and concerns over signal or safety, there’s always been a keen interest in where local mobile masts actually are. Back in 2011 we started looking into this, and back then the mobile networks were reporting where all their …

The mobile numbers that will never, ever work

Watch a movie and, if a phone number is ever given out, you’ll always hear and see that fake area code… It’s used in nearly every US-made movie because, if you try calling it, nothing happens. However, did you know that here in the UK there’s something very …

Working from home still? Get the sounds of the office

Sitting at home can be a solitary affair. The enforced coronavirus lockdown has led to many working from home and many companies have no plans for that to change any time soon. Many previously saw home working as an ideal solution to the stresses and strains of commuting, …

Sky TV to increase prices again

A few months ago I decided to leave Sky TV after many, many years and get myself a Netgem TV box. The transition, considering how many streaming services are out there to fill the void, has been really rather smooth. I’m not a bit football fan and didn’t …

Is a film age-appropriate? Streaming services can’t agree.

We mentioned in April how, during lockdown, the various TV streaming services have become increasingly popular. It was so popular that, as more and more people were furloughed or sat inside during the coronavirus lockdown, streaming quality had to be reduced in order to keep the internet pipes …

The 5GBioShield. How to make money easily.

You’ll have probably seen this one in the news recently. Today we’ve decided to dig deeper and find out how much money was being made from this. Recommended in a report prepared for Glastonbury Town Council, and mentioned heavily in the 5G conspiracy forums / Facebook groups, 5GBioShield …

What does a kid think of a laptop from 1997?

I’m redecorating right now. We’ve had to wait quite a while due to the coronavirus lockdown, but now things are finally moving forward. A new cupboard has been constructed, I’ve ripped all the skirting board off and the plasterer has been in. Last night I moved onto installing …

Boost your digital skills with the giffgaff Academy

While we’re mostly still stuck indoors, it’s important to make use of this extra time we have. Mobile network giffgaff have launched their new giffgaff Academy. It’s the place to go if you want to increase you digital skills. You don’t have to be a giffgaff customer – …

Pimp my horn!

I have a very mad belief that there’s a direct correlation between the quality of a car and the sound of a car horn. Get in a Fiat Cinquecento and sound the horn. You’re gonna hear a “meep”. However, get yourself in a big Merc and you’ll gear …

Ditching Sky. Life after cancellation with Netgem TV.

I’ve had Sky TV installed for about 15 years. I’ve seen it grow from a normal satellite TV box to a “timeshifting” one and then, as on-demand TV increased in popularity, we got more choice and flexibility than ever. However, we consume TV differently now. There’s a huge …

Vodafone extend their free NHS data and add in care workers too

It’s been over a month since Vodafone started dishing out free data for NHA staff and now they’re giving unlimited data offer to both NHS staff and care workers. Free access to unlimited mobile data will now continue for a massive six months. Vulnerable customers can also benefit …

Working from home could last for a lot longer

Good morning lockdown crew. Hope you’re well. Yesterday, and for the first time in a while, I found myself in a couple of local shops. There’s a mixture of coronavirus changes, with the local Co-op implementing a “one way only” and “one in, one out” system and keeping …

Free unlimited data for Vodafone customers

If you’re a Vodafone customer, head into the “My Vodafone” app on your phone and, within the “VeryMe” section, you’ll be able to claim 30 days of unlimited data right now. This is all part of the Vodafone “#KeepingtheUKConnected” mission during the coronavirus lockdown. The data should be …

COVID-19 – Donate via giffgaff goodybank

We’ve all heard about the flexible giffgaff goodbags, but now there’s something new – the giffgaff goodybank. It’s a new way to help communities in Britain and members of the giffgaff community during the coronavirus outbreak. You can help by directly contributing towards a local Community Fund or …

Home Active – DJ Mixes and videos to keep you moving

OK, you’re trapped at home but, in order to keep fit and healthy, we’re bringing a selection things to keep you mentally and physically strong during the COVID-19 crisis. We might be on lockdown but we can keep things moving hopefully. I’ve just finished off my daily P.E. …

Masts on fire as insane 5G coronavirus conspiracies continue

We spoke about the wild rumours connecting 5G to coronavirus cases over a month ago and, well, we got some “interesting” emails after that (mainly threats). Over the weekend, in the midst of a global pandemic and a lockdown here in the UK, some people have taken it …

Home Active – Improve your IT skills

Pluralsight, which is a great online IT learning platform, is now offering all their courses for free during April. It’s a great opportunity to learn some additional skills during the lockdown. Head to this page and you’ll get a whole month of their IT videos and training. There’s …

Daily Joe Wicks PE Lessons – All ad-revenue heading to the NHS

We recently mentioned the Joe Wicks daily workouts which are keeping us all active. With schools mostly shut down and kids stuck in the house, his daily PE lessons have been part of the morning routine for many. His YouTube channel, as you can see from the numbers, …

BT Sport – Now you can pause your subscription…for a bit.

We earlier stated that BT Sport and Sky Sports wouldn’t let you pause your subscription despite the distinct lack of sports right now. The reason, of course, is the coronavirus pandemic, which has stopped our lives in many ways. Sky Sports, just a day after we ran that …