Category Archive: Technology

Oct 28 2014

Technology: HTC One M8 Pink At Carphone Warehouse

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Way back when, one my first ever mobile phones was pink, it was of the flip variety, and I loved it, then came crazy phone covers, who could forget my love of Hello Kitty, and now it seems that smartphone companies are incorporating a little personality into the handsets themselves by offering them in various colours.

The latest to be added to my collection is the HTC One M8, which has been given a feminine makeover with a dusky pink matte shell that is exclusive to Carphone Warehouse. Everything else about the phone is the same as the original HTC One M8, a spruced update to the HTC One that I absolutely loved.

I have only been using this pretty pink phone for a few days but I am already impressed with its large screen, not quite as big as the Samsung Note 3 but still impressive, excellent resolution, as well as a super fast quad-core processor. But as always what always makes a great HTC device, other than the sharp, sleek, all-metal design, has to be the camera, which has a unique duo Camera that lets you create 3D-like photos, and the addition of its UltraPixel technology means you can capture your photos in nearly any light, which I love.

I have to be honest not much seems to have change, it just looks more glossy and put together, it still has HTC Zoe to create cool mini movies, still utilises the very best of the Android system, puts all your social media and news in one place thanks to the HTC BlinkFeed, and it has the best speakers of any mobile I have owned with its HTC BoomSound. But hey if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!!!

I don’t have any negatives about the colour, I do love the matte finish, and I think no girl can have too much pink, my only downside about the HTC One M8 has to be the weight, its sleek all-metal design comes at a cost that you instantly feel it weighs more than your previous smartphone.

What do you think of the pink version of the HTC One M8 – would you buy it over the standard silver?

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**I was gifted the HTC One M8 Pink by Carphone Warehouse, but as always my opinion is my own**

Sep 29 2014

Technology: Samsung Galaxy Tab S

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I am currently on my finally countdown to my wedding, constantly compiling to-do lists, pinning styling ideas to my secret Pinterest boards, reading wedding magazines just to build on the excitement, as well as munching on candy meant for my wedding guests, I promise there are lots left. One thing that has made the experience a lot easier this month has been the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, Samsung’s latest Android-based tablet.

First up this is my fourth tablet, I have an iPad, which I basically just use as the house Spotify controller, then I have a mini Lenovo Windows 8, which is so perfect to take anywhere in my handbag, then I also have the Acer Iconia A1, which is a similar size to the Samsung Tab S but nowhere near as good. What makes this Samsung tablet stand out from the rest has to be the incredible screen quality, the colours are so vibrant that searching for the perfect finishing touches for my wedding has been really easy – as it really does offers true-to-life colour reproduction.

As well as the screen being a perfect size and colour, I am also loving the slim, lightweight design, it is 6.6mm thick, which is super skinny in technology terms, and it has a great battery life, similar to my Samsung S5, which is probably down to it being on the Android platform, which is just another of many plus points for this great tablet.

Like my Samsung S5 and Note 3, the tablet also offers the multi window feature for multi-tasking, so I can make orders via the Internet and check on my e-mails with my wedding suppliers all at the same time, and it really does make it easy to compare items I have found on Etsy with the ones I have squirreled away in my Pinterest folders.

The tablet can also connect with the S5 using its SideSync app allowing you to view your smartphone screen and control it, as well as make and receive calls on your tablet, which comes in handy when you left your phone in the other room. It can also connect to your PC so you can easily share files and documents, features that I love about my Windows tablet.

The Galaxy Tab S also has a fingerprint scanner to unlock the device, so you simply swipe your finger on the sensor and it unlocks, which I think is much easier and quicker than adding in a PIN code, plus you can also add other family members so they can get in as well.

There really are a lot of cool features that I love about this tablet, I have to be honest there isn’t anything yet after a short spell of using it that I have been disappointed with, some people have said that the storage is a little on the small side but you can add extra with a MicroSD, and I can’t really comment on the camera as I haven’t used except to Skype with, but then again I don’t really take many pictures with my tablets.

What I will say is, if you are looking at tablets and think all there is out there is an iPad think again, this Samsung Galaxy Tab S is a great alternative and in my opinion better.

Are you considering buying the Samsung Galaxy Tab S? 

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To launch the Galaxy Tab S the geeks at Samsung constructed a rainbow installation built entirely out of the tablet device, and I think you will agree it really shows off the amazing picture quality I have been raving about, plus the London skyline isn’t a bad backdrop!!!

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is available in a number of versions, including Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi and LTE, and in 16/32GB* + MicroSD (up to 128GB). You can also choose between the 10.5-inch and 8.4-inch versions, in Titanium Bronze or Dazzling White. The 8.4-inch Wi-Fi version is priced at £319, and the 10.5-inch Wi-Fi version is priced at £399.

**I was gifted the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, but as always my opinion is my own**

Sep 12 2014

Technology: The Knomo Knomad Organiser

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I am a big fan of organisation, especially when it comes to fashion week, there is enough craziness without my essentials being a mess, and that is where this cute Knomo Knomad Mini comes in very handy. It basically keeps all my gadgets in one place and when laid flat becomes a mini office desk.

So what have I got in my Knomad for fashion week?

First up is my Lenovo Windows 8 tablet, a little bigger than the iPad Mini this beauty still fits perfectly into the cotton-canvas holder in its own special shockproof section for added protection. This tablet is great for fashion week as I can take notes, write up show reports when I have a spare moment, and unlike lugging my laptop it hardly weighs a thing.

There is also space for my 4G mobile wi-fi device, which comes in handy when I need to post a story and the LFW wi-fi is being really slow, plus my tablet charging cables and my earphones just incase I need to transcribe an interview after a show, or if I just want to listen to music.

In front of the tablet pocket are a few sections for you to put a slimline battery charger, I have a Monster credit-card size device, which I highly recommend, a notebook or two, and even a slot for your mobile, which is great when you have all your stuff laid out on the train.

There are also numerous other pockets to store an SD card, I know it is hard to fill them up but I have had a few that have somehow corrupted and needed to buy another one, a USB stick, your Oyster card, and those all important business cards as fashion week is a great time to network.

Finally there is also a place to keep a pen handy, I have found with a lot of technology organisers that old-school writing implements aren’t a priority and I am still a lover of writing lists so I am so pleased that Knomo added it in.

The only thing missing off this picture are my tickets, which can easily rest in the middle once the organiser is closed. I don’t think I am going to have any excuse this fashion week when I can’t find something in my bag!!!

The Knomo Knomad Mini comes in four colours – black, blue, sand and olive and costs £45.

Also don’t forget to follow all my LFW action by following my Twitter: @FashionNBarbie and my Instagram: @FashionistaBarbie.

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Sep 10 2014

Technology: Uncluttering My Life…And Bag

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For years I have been all about the larger handbags as I seem to have this need to carry everything, including the kitchen sink, well not really, but everything but, with me wherever I go. It weighs a ton, hurts my shoulder, my back, and because it is so big I can’t never find anything I need without tipping out all the contents.

Those moments are never classy, half eaten cereal bars, OK chocolate bars, receipts, lots of them, old train tickets, press releases and look-books that I have forgotten I have picked up from last weeks event, and that’s without the essentials – my diary, my notepads, yep I always seem to carry more than one, pens galore, USB sticks, and my take anywhere with you camera. Basically it looks like I have taken my entire desk contents out with me.

You often hear the phrase less is more, well I am finally getting on-board and I am embracing the wonders of technology, i.e my smartphone, which is always attached to my hand as I would never find it otherwise, and utilising all the pretty small bags that I own.

I am not saying that this approach will work for fashion week, I need a lot of stuff that even my mobile couldn’t handle on its own, but for every-day life, my mobile really can be a great substitute for my filofax, my notepads, my camera, and lets face you don’t need a pen when you have fingers to tap in notes.

My mobile has generally always been about emails, internet, social media, and of course I can’t go anywhere without snapping a picture or two, but I really have been missing out on the practical functions like the notes, which I love because it syncs with my desktop computer, Surface and tablet, plus creating lists is like my stress reliever. I have also been making full use of the calendar and I have even been conducting my interviews with this little beauty as it has a great voice recorder.

Don’t get me wrong I am not dependant on my mobile, well not much, but I do feel better about using the calendar and productivity apps as they all update onto the cloud, so even if my phone crashes I can retrieve and carry on with my day. So now I have uncluttered my bag, for the most part, next up my closet – I think that will be a harder task!!!

Has your smartphone helped you ditch the bulky bags?

**Sponsored by Microsoft**

Aug 17 2014

My Style: When JD Met Tommy

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I spend a lot of my time in jeans, from skinny to boyfriend and even the odd flared cut, in dark blue, light blue, red floral print, grey, and even a stripy pair, I just love them, but this summer I have really been embracing the good weather **where the hell has it gone** and trying to wear more summery, girlie looks.

Last week, when the sun was shining, I wore this Tommy Hilfiger beauty that I found on Amazon’s dress store, yep that place where you buy books, blu-rays, and the occasional Barbie, **I call it the online shop for the three B’s**, has opened The Dress Shop, which has thousands of dresses from brands including Cacharel, French Connection, BCBG, Great Plains, Yumi and Hoss Intropia.

It was hard to just choose one out of thousands, but it was easy to find this short-sleeved blue and white checked dress using Amazon’s easy-to-navigate search for the ‘Occasion’ with dresses for work, evening, special occasion, and casual, which is so perfect for summer dresses. You can also ‘Shop by Trend’ choosing from lace, fit & flare, colour pop, pastels, or just white, basically they have a dress for everyone and for all occasions.

What I love about this dress is that it can be dressed down with gladiator flats and a matching skinny belt, or with fancy black heels and a statement necklace, it really is a versatile piece for my wardrobe that will definitely be perfect come winter time as well.

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I actually wore this for a day lounging in the park reading magazines and listening to music, which was the perfect opportunity to try out my new bright blue Monster N-Tunes headphones. I love the on-ear style, especially these ones as they are lightweight as well as being super comfortable with the padded cushions. I also loved that they come with tangle-free cables, you probably don’t believe me but trust me they really work, it is one of my pet-hates having to untangle my headphones for 10 minutes before being able to use them.

I also got to take out my new Moschino case out for my Samsung S5, this case is a limited edition style and features a peace pattern, and I love that it has a handy card pocket on the inside so you just need to take your mobile out with you on a night out. The only thing I need to get use to is the flip style, it makes it a little uncomfortable while on the phone. The best bit though is when you close the case it also turns the screen on and off, so saving battery, which is always needed with me!!!

Want to see how jealous JD got of Tommy scroll down to the bottom for a great photobombing gif!

So what do you think of my Tommy Hilfiger dress and new gadgets?

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My Style: Tommy Hilfiger dress, Amazon (c/o) // Flats, F&F // Skinny belt, New Look // Watch, Citizen (c/o) // Bracelet, Links of London // Glasses, Retro54 // Samsung S5 Moschino case, Samsung (c/o) // Monster N-Tunes Headphones, Monster (c/o) // Straw bag, Cath Kidston // Black cat accessory, just a regular moggy!!! //

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Apr 23 2014

Technology: Healthy Living With The Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear Fit & Gear 2 Neo

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I have kind of caught the Samsung bug, I loved the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom with its 10x optical zoom, then I was seduced by the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 not only is the screen perfect for updating my blog, the camera is amazing and I have become a scrapbooking whiz, but now my heart belongs to another, the new and improved Samsung Galaxy S5.

With its slightly bigger screen, fancy fingerprint security, improved camera, and incredible ultra power saving mode that will give you up to an extra 24 hours of juice – this is one great smartphone, oh and I nearly forgot this handset is water-resistant, yep you can  dunk it water for a short time, however I haven’t tried that out for myself.

For me any smartphone has to have a great camera and I thought it would be hard for any phone to compete with the Note 3, which I love, but this beauty does with its 16-megapixel camera. Key features that I love: It has a selective focus function, which means you can change the focus of your photos after you have taken them, so to either blur the foreground or background, I love anything that makes a better Instagramable piccie!!! Plus the camera also has fast auto-focus, so action shots are easier to capture, I can’t wait to try this out during fashion week. There is also a random Virtual Tour function, unless you’re an estate agent I am not sure when I would use this – but hey, never say never.

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But aside from the great handset, the S5 also launched with two wearable devices – the Gear Fit, a fitness-tracker smart band that can notify you of e-mails, phone calls as well as Twitter updates, and the Gear 2 Neo smartwatch, which you can do everything the Gear Fit does as well as make phone calls, yep it is very Michael Knight from Knight Rider.

The Gear 2 Neo is a much improved on the debut smartwatch, it is slimmer and more stylish, you can even change out the straps, so it does feel more like a conventional watch, while still having the added benefits of being able to read your e-mails and text messages, see who has hearted your Instagram pic, as well as take a phone call. But for me it is just a tad bulky for everyday use.

There are number of features I loved, other than notifications on my wrist, from the music player that connects with Bluetooth earphones – it really does make working out easier, as well as the personalised fitness S Health platform connectivity – from the pedometer counting your steps to tracking exercise activity from running to cycling, and if you want to you can even measure your heart rate. I do like that you can set yourself personal goals that can be measured on the wearable devices and then viewed within the app on the S5. I really love reaching my steps goal.

For me though it is all about the Gear Fit, I love how comfortable and light this device is to wear, I wear it day and night, and it is easy to personalise with any look as you can change-up the clock face, the wallpaper and colour – so from coordinating with my manicure to matching my bright pink trainers I love switching it up.

Much like other fitness-trackers, the Gear Fit is acts like my personal coach, it tracks my exercises like the Gear 2 Neo, counts my steps, checks my heart rate, as well as having a handy sleep function that measures whether I have had a good night sleep or not, lately I have been doing well as I have been around the 90% motionless for my nightly rests. I had been using the S Health app on my Note 3 to calculate my steps but using the Gear Fit has been more accurate and easier to make my goals. I also think it has been pushing me to achieve those goals as well – when I see that I am only half way through my goal I walk to the shop rather than drive.

If I had to buy one I think it would be the Gear Fit, it is slimmer and looks more like jewellery, so I can wear it with a watch, plus it does nearly everything that the Gear 2 Neo does except make and receive calls, which to be honest I am not sure how often I would do. I think it comes down to which one you think is more stylish, if you like big watch faces you will probably like the watch, if you are looking for something to work with the rest of your arm party the Gear Fit would probably work better.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is available nationwide and comes in four colours – charcoal black, electric blue, shimmery white and copper gold.

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**I was gifted the Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear Fit and Gear 2 Neo, but all opinions are my own**

Feb 17 2014

My Style: LFW Day 4 – Matching My Samsung Note 3 To My Bag

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This fashion week I have had a new toy, the Samsung Note 3, a smartphone and a tablet all rolled into one, or as the geeks call it a phablet. On paper you think it is going to be too big, as the screen has a 5.7” display – but it is this screen that really makes it perfect for taking pictures, answering emails, as well as doing a bit of blogging on the go. Plus it did feel good to have all my apps back after using a Windows 8.1 mobile for the past few months.

When Carphone Warehouse gifted me the gorgeous red version I was chuffed, not because I didn’t really like the white and rose gold, black or plain white versions, but because this red beauty really makes a statement, especially with its leather-effect back, which really helps with grip. Plus it really does look perfect alongside the gorgeous Russell & Bromley Gilt Edge handbag that I am finding hard to let go of.

I always love having a bright coloured mobile or case, as well as accessories as my wardrobe is generally black, navy blue or dark denim, and these red accessories really work well against this black leather skirt and silky black and grey top that I wore on day four of London Fashion Week.

Am I the only crazy one that accessories my phone to my outfit and my handbag??? Probably – but this Samsung Note 3 really did look at home with the Russell & Bromley beauty.

Also big shout out to Alex for these snaps in Hyde Park in between shows and chilling out at The Apartment, it was fun being photobombed by pigeons and squirrels!!!

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My Style: Black leather skirt, Next (c/o) // Black and grey top, New Look // Black ankle boots, Topshop // Gilt Edge bag, Russell & Bromley (borrowed from The Apartment) // Glasses,Karen Millen (c/o) // Coat, Dorothy Perkins // Orange bracelets, Fossil (borrowed from The Apartment) // Heart ring, River Island // Necklace, Primark // Samsung Note 3 (c/o Carphone Warehouse) // LFW Day 4 Outfit 10 My Style: LFW Day 4   Matching My Samsung Note 3 To My Bag %tag

**Carphone Warehouse gifted me the Samsung Note 3, but as always my opinion are my own**
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