Category: Features

Update to Swiftkey Keyboard brings winter cheer.

The latest update to SwiftKey keyboard brings improvement to the installation process, but most importantly also brings a bit of winter cheer with a new keyboard theme. After switching over to the new “Ice” theme, you’ll be greeted by a deep blue background with snow-capped keys that drop …

British Airways to allow use of gadgets during takeoff/landing

British Airways is to become the first European airline to allow the use of electronic devices, including phones and tablets, during take-off and landing. Thus bringing the end to a 1960’s ruling. The decision was approved by the British Civil Aviation Authority according to a BBC report, and follows an earlier relaxation …

Improvements to Evernote’s Android app

I must admit I’m a heavy Evernote user, I use it for everything – shopping lists, I take a picture of where I park the car, and when ever I buy anything on line I always clip the receipt/order confirmation page to Evernote. An update to the Evernote app is …

Make your own Street View, right now on your smartphone

Those Google Street View cars are great. We’ve all quickly got used to the fact that we can log onto Google Maps and instantly view pretty much any road, lane or house in the country. There’s even a bike and back-pack version for covering the more remote areas, …

My 2014 wishlist – Windows Phone Edition

Last year we all wrote up our hopes and dreams for the year to come, I wrote about Windows Phone as it’s something I’m fond of and the other guys will all just want to write about Android. So here we go, here is what I would like …

Are we failing the next generation?

Many months ago I watched this YouTube video showing a baby using an iPad. The baby seems to have grasped the iPad interface pretty well, but is then presented with a magazine. Expecting it to work the same, they tried to swipe the pictures around the magazine. Sure, …

The Brick – Hands on

Remember when all mobile handsets were huge? Do you remember the big hairstyles from the 1980’s? Leggings? Yo-Yo’s? Wham? Aha? A short while ago we spotted this, which is suitably named “The Brick”. It’s designed to look like those early mobile handsets, but with a couple of key …

Google Nexus 5 – Unboxing

The Nexus 5 must have been one of the most leaked phones of all time, thankfully the wait is over and on 31st October Google announced the Nexus 5 to the world at 6pm…… and the next day it was available in Carphone Warehouse to purchase! Not wanting …

Cash4Phones – Have you experienced a reduced offer?

It was pretty interesting to see Cash4Phones appear on the BBC consumer show “Watchdog” last night. Like those “We Buy Any Car” operations, they seem to be providing online quotations which are attractive but, when you send off your handset, they suddenly find “issues” with your handset and …

Tracking your bike ride? Watch out, you might get burgled.

Today I received an email. That, in itself, isn’t remarkable. I get a few. However, this one was from the Police. Luckily it arrived to inform me that a number of bikes had been stolen from the local area. This, in fact, was the second such email and …

Have mobile phones stopped evolving?

There is, if we’re honest, a bit of a problem with phones now. They’re all a little bit too good. Personally, sitting here, apart from making me a cup of tea or driving me to work, I can’t think of much else that I want my phone to …

BBM for Android and iOS put on hold

Following on from my last post about a number of fake BBM apps in the Play Store, BlackBerry has finally given a statement on the status of the BBM rollout for users on Android and iOS, and it looks like things are on hold for the time being. …

Nokia Lumia 1020 camera hands on

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a hands on event with the new Nokia Lumia 1020 at London Zoo. After a brief explanation of how the pro cam app worked and the capabilities of the device, it was onto the more important …

Smartwatches – Just a plaything or the next essential item?

A smartwatch isn’t high up on my shopping list if I’m honest. For me, I’ve got into the habit of checking my phone for the date or time. I simply never wear a watch, but there’s no denying the fact that many still value them. The Sony Smartwatch …

The Bluebo Beast – A Galaxy Note by any other name

Selling for around £137.34 from places like Ali Express, this is the Bluebo Beast B6000 MTK6589T. Yes, it does look a lot like a Samsung Galaxy Note. In fact, in the hands-on I was quite surprised at the build quality and speed of the device. It’s slightly thicker …

Feature – Parcel tracking with just your smartphone

A short while ago we detailed our new challenge. It seemed simple enough, but we immediately hit problems. The challenge was to put a smartphone in a box and send it to a destination whilst tracking it. It didn’t seem like a big ask, but sadly the battery …

Huawei Ascend P6 photo special

Yes, I’m busy writing another review, but I figured you’d like to see some up-close shots of the new Ascend P6 from Huawei. The specs include a 4.7″ 1280×720 display, a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, Android 4.2 and is an just 7mm thick. On the lower left of the …

Charity MVNO – Donate Mobile

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a type of MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that we had not covered before; Charity MVNO’s. I have since been contacted by Donate Mobile, pointing out that I had missed them from my article. I’ve updated my original post but …

Buying your next phone – a third option

Let’s be honest, times are hard. The next smartphone you buy will probably be bought in one of two different ways. You’ll either get an unlocked phone or you can get a contract handset and sign up for two years or so. Getting out of that contract, by …

[Opinion] The Moto X is Motorola returning with a bang!

The Moto X phone should be great, an important evolution of the smartphone in some substantial ways and a resurgence for Motorola. How have I come to this conclusion? Let me explain… A couple of weeks ago I bought the Motorola RAZRi which we reviewed here. This phone …

HTC One mini announced

HTC have today announced the smaller version of the HTC One, the HTC One mini. Packing a lot of the same design language seen in the One, the mini does have a few changes to mention which we will go through now. First of all the screen is …

MVNO Feature – giffgaff

We’ve covered a number of virtual network operators recently but perhaps the most well known is giffgaff. Sure, let’s be upfront, they’ve had a couple of bumps in the road with outages and the fact that a small selection of customers abused their “unlimited” data packages, but what …

[UPDATED] A lot of work for charity, don’t like to talk about it…

Don’t worry, this is not a cry for help from the impoverished staff here at CoolSmartPhone! Continuing in our irregular series of articles about MVNO’s (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) we turn our gaze to charities. There has been such a large uptake of mobile phone usage in the …

The end of a special relationship.

If you’ve followed my mutterings on Twitter then you’ll know that I recently made a big change in my life. We’ve actually been together since 1995, so I tried my best to work things out. However, recently I decided that it would probably be best if we went …

MVNO Feature – Ovivo. Plans from £0 per month

Welcome back to our irregular look at the various MVNOs (virtual networks) here in the UK. You know what they say, you get nothing in this world for free. Well… perhaps from that nasty rash I had from that girl the once. Ooh.. But what about a free …

MVNO Feature – Tesco Mobile

We’ve been looking at those “virtual network operators” lately and have already checked out Virgin Mobile and TalkTalk. Both of those networks were keen to get you on board if you were already using one of their other services (like TV or broadband) and, in the case of …

MVNO Feature – TalkTalk Mobile

Over the next few weeks we’re taking a look at the many MVNO’s here in the UK. That acronym, by the way, is just fancy talk for a network using masts owned or operated by others. With the shift and merger of Orange and T-Mobile into “EE” you, …

MVNO Feature – Virgin Mobile

I was having a think last night, which is pretty unusual for me. It was a good think. It occured to me that here on Coolsmartphone we’re always mentioning the major networks when mentioning which new phones are arriving and when, but we don’t mention the MVNO’s – …