Tag 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.

Knomo organiser black 5 Technology: The Knomo Knomad Organiser %tag Knomo organiser black 2 Technology: The Knomo Knomad Organiser %tag Knomo organiser black 6 Technology: The Knomo Knomad Organiser %tag Knomo organiser black 1 Technology: The Knomo Knomad Organiser %tag**I was gifted the Knomo Knomad Mini – but as always my opinions are my own**

 

 

Dec 29 2013

Fashionista Barbie Bakes: Festive Cupcakes

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The festive period is one of my favourite times to bake, mainly because I have a little more time, but mostly because you can have a little bit more fun when it comes to decorating. I bake cupcakes and muffins all the time, sometimes chocolate, occasionally carrot cake, and lots of blueberry ones, but no matter what I love to have a recipe to follow, it is kind of like a safety net that reassures me along the way.

I have tried the cookbook stand, it never really stays put, I have tried using the iPad on a stand, but getting cake mix on the screen is annoying, so when I heard that the Microsoft Surface had a Bing Food & Drink app that you could literally use with a swipe of a hand I had to give it ago.

Armed with my cupcake recipe ingredients, I turned on the hands-free mode on the app, so I could literally swipe my hand in front of the web-camera to get the page to turn, so it was easy to see what was next on my recipe. Plus you can search through lots of different recipes, so I decided to try out a new cupcake mix, which turned out really well.

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Ingredients:

Cupcakes

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature – I like to leave out for at least an hour before

200g caster sugar

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Buttercream

300g unsalted butter, at room temperature

750g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Green food colouring

Decorations

Festive toppers, sprinkles, stars, glitter – anything goes

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 160°C/315°F/Gas mark 2-3, and line the muffin tine with 12 paper cases.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until the mixture is pale and light. I use a free-standing mixer – the Kenwood K-Mix on a medium speed for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition, don’t forget to scrap down the sides of the bowl from time to time to make sure everything is mixed. Then add the flour, salt and baking powder, and mix together until combined. I use the fold setting on my free-standing mixer but you can easily use a large metal spoon or rubber spatula to do by hand.

Then using an ice-cream scoop or a table-spoon add the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes spring back slightly when pressed, and when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Add the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extra to a large bowl and beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. When mixed well, add a couple of drops of food colouring, remember if you are planning to use two colours divide the mixture first, then remix until all the buttercream is the chosen colour.

You can either then decorate with a palette knife or by using a piping bag, I prefer a piping bag as it is more fun. Try using different nozzles to create different effects on your cupcakes.

Once you have added the buttercream decorate as you wish – I added Christmas tree, snowmen, penguins and polar bear toppers, as well as pink glitter dust, candy stars and silver balls – I basically was going for mini Christmas trees.

As well as these cupcakes I also made a cherry and raisin loaf, mince pies and honeycomb brownies – what are you favourite festive recipes?

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**Microsoft Surface was gifted to me as part of my participation in the Microsoft Loop**

Dec 17 2013

Technology: Acer Iconia A1

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I have always been a lover of technology and gadgets and it seems over the years I have been collecting tablets and laptops in all different sizes. I have the iPad that seems to be a great size for watching movies, I then have the Microsoft Surface which is perfect for working wherever you are with the handy keyboard, and now it seems I have found a tablet that is perfect to place in any handbag including my new Rebecca Minkoff beauty that has been my weekend bag.

I find that I blog in all sorts of places, whether in my office, on the sofa while watching a film, or out-and-about at a cafe, but my larger tablets sometimes don’t fit into my go-to handbag and that is where this Acer Iconia A1 has been perfect.

It is easy to use as it runs on the Android system, the same as my HTC One, which means that all the apps I use on my smartphone are easier to use on the 7.9″ screen – especially the WordPress and photo-editing apps such as Snapseed and VSCO Cam that I use. Plus it is great to use with Skype as it is hand-sized so easy to hold and it is lightweight. It also comes with 16GB memory, which is generally plenty, but it also has a microSD slot if you want to add more or in my case want access to large photos to add to the blog.

Like with my Android smartphone the Acer tablet is easy to organise all my apps, I am kind of a little OCD on keeping everything clean, so it is great you can create groups of apps – so I have all my social media favourites together and my photograph app, as well as information apps and my reading material. Going through all my favourite blogs on Feebly is so much nicer than on my mobile.

I have only been using the device for less than a week but this budget tablet really is great value for money. Granted it doesn’t feel as good as the iPad, the plastic casing feels a little breakable but I always think a cover is the best way to go, and it might not be as fast, but this little beauty did really well putting this blog post together!!!

Have you try out the Acer Iconia A1? Would love to hear your thoughts on this budget tablet.

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Also as it is Christmas, I thought it would be fun to dress up my Acer tablet with a live wallpaper that I picked up for free in the Google Play store – come on who doesn’t want a Christmas countdown as their background? Plus that 3D Christmas tree is so pretty!!!

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Want to find out more about this tablet? Then check out Acer Tablet Reviews to find out the pros and cons of this handy sized budget tablet.

**I was gifted this Acer tablet – but all opinions are my own**

Nov 28 2013

Technology: Staying Connected With EE MiFi

EE MIFI 2 Technology: Staying Connected With EE MiFi %tagBeing connected is super important for bloggers, it’s more than just having great contacts, of course that is needed, but keeping connected on-the-go is probably more important. I wrote a blog before London Fashion Week on my top tips for a blogger on the move and EE got in touch for me to try out their Huawei MIFi device, which can connect up to 10 devices from smartphones to iPads, laptops and even your WiFi enabled cameras all at 4GEE speeds. I have a 4GEE smartphone and I couldn’t go back to a normal phone contract, and now it seems I can’t live without my MiFi.

I used this little device throughout fashion week – I connected my iPad, my camera and even my mobile to Instagram pictures and videos, pin images to pinterest, write blogs, edit images, and catch-up with my e-mails, the news, and my social media feed while I was out of the office. To say it was a godsend is an understatement.

In the past I have tried mobile dongles but the connectivity has always been sketchy at best – this little beauty even worked in the middle of the Norfolk Broads – I was super impressed and it meant that I could be confident about doing my work without having to rush back to the office.

To utilise my new found internet freedom I decided to pimp my iPad out with a cute little keyboard, I know everyone is about embracing the touch screen but I just find everything easier and quicker when I can type it. I picked this Logitech keyboard up from John Lewis for £69.95, it was actually cheaper than buying it in the Apple store. As well as providing me with keys to type it also has a handy stand to make my iPad into a makeshift laptop.

Another great thing about connecting on the go – lots of teas, hot chocolates, and iced buns!!!

Have you tried out EE MIFi?

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**Thanks to EE for the loan**

Aug 11 2013

In Pictures: My HTC Mini Break

HTC mini break 7 In Pictures: My HTC Mini Break %tagHTC have brought out a tinier version of the HTC One, the HTC Mini, so to celebrate the launch of the new smartphone the technology giant took everyone on a mini break to the seaside, well not quite, more like a cool roof top in East London decorated out with stripes, beach huts, and deck chairs to play around with the handsets camera features.

The phone itself is very similar to my HTC One, the only real difference is the size of the handset, there are more differences obviously as it is a lower priced phone but nothing that is really  that noticeable. The HTC Mini still has all the great camera functionality of its big brother, you can still capture cool slow-motion videos, get Zoe to compile a highlight reel and it takes excellent pictures in low light, which was pretty much needed as the night of the event was less summery and more wintry, but thankfully it didn’t rain.

The event played with perspectives, with very over-sized deck chairs, giant sticks of rock, and ice cream cones set into the distance to capture as though you were picking it up, as well as tiny food served in mini deck chairs and beer served in tiny buckets. There were lots of photo ops around the rooftop, which were made even more entertaining with swing dancers, actors dressed as crazy American tourists and a giant bubble blowing artist, which was hilarious until I got soaked by a bubble exploding!!!

It was such a fun night, lounging in giant deck chairs, being mesmerised by the giant bubbles, launching hysterically at the so-called American tourists, and devouring the tiny food – I couldn’t get enough of the tiny jacket potatoes, and drinking gin from bone china tea cups.

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Want to see the bubble-blower in action? Check out this slow-motion video I captured on the HTC Mini:

[Pics/video: all taken on the HTC One Mini]

 

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