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BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

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The BLU Vivo 6 is a new phone that offers some fairly impressive features at a very compelling price point. An affordably priced device, it nevertheless comes with a 97% metal body, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a few other surprisingly high-end features. Like any affordable device however, it also presents a number of compromises which are apparent straight away.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

From the front, this is a rather stock-looking smartphone that seems to take design cues from other smartphone. It’s entirely white with a single home button with a dot on either side to indicate the capacitive buttons. The back is a bit more exciting though thanks to a rose gold, matte finish that I actually really like. It manages to look fairly premium and eye-catching without essentially being an oblong mirror for a change. This also bodes well for fingerprints. BLU saw fit to include a soft, transparent case for the back too which is a nice touch.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

The display is a 5.5-inch IPS panel of 1080p resolution and while it’s not QHD resolution, it is very bright and you’ll need to inspect closely to see that this isn’t QHD. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 provides some welcome protection and there’s also an included screen protector in the package. There’s a strange raised piece of glass – which is almost imperceptible – around the entire front of the device that I kept trying to peel off at first; this might be the ‘curved display’ that BLU keeps talking about but I’m not sure I get the appeal.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

There aren’t many surprises in terms of the hardware either. The home button features a fingerprint scanner that works in any direction and seems to work well enough from our initial tests. There are also two SIM card slots making the Vivo 6 one of the few handsets to natively offer dual SIM functionality in the UK. USB-C is a forward-thinking choice and while I haven’t had a chance to test it, the 3,130mAh battery is promising. For the times when you’re running low, Quick Charge helps get you topped up, with the Vivo 6 slated to offer a 40% charge in around 30 minutes.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

On the rear, the Vivo 6 has a 13MP Sony IMX sensor coupled with f/2.0 aperture, HDR (in software, not on the lens), Phase Detection autofocus and laser focus. Video recording tops out at 1080p at 30 frames per second while the front facing camera is capable of taking 8MP selfies.

In my quick tests, the camera seems to perform pretty averagely, with a lack of detail and lack of vibrancy prevalent throughout these quick snaps. Of course, we’ll be testing this further for the full review.

Under the hood, the BLU Vivo 6 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor clocked at 1.8GHz and this is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage, that can be expanded by a further 64GB using the microSD card slot. It’s not the best processing package on a smartphone but, considering the price tag, it’s more than capable of getting the job done.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

The Vivo 6 is running Android 6.0.0 Marshmallow with a few tweaks from BLU. It’s a fairly light skin but with some weird choices. Like many custom Android implementations, there’s no app drawer (though this is easily fixed) and for some reason Opera appears to be the default browser. There isn’t much bloatware, but most apps that come preinstalled, such as McAfee Security, can be easily removed.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

The BLU Vivo 6 certainly won’t set the world alight but it is one of the few handsets at this price to offer a solid set of internals. While the design may seem unimaginative, the rear panel is quite nice and overall, it’s a functional design that gets the job done. It won’t replace your flagship but if you’re in the market for a device that offers a solid experience – say, for your tech-shy uncle perhaps – the Vivo 6 certainly seems to tick that box.

Of course, we’ll be bringing you a full review in the coming days so stay tuned but for now, let us know what you think of the BLU Vivo 6 in the comments below! If you’re interested in buying the Vivo 6, it’s available now at a cost of £239, however as a Black Friday launch special, it’s reduced to just £184.99! You can pick it up from the link below.

 

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

0

The BLU Vivo 6 is a new phone that offers some fairly impressive features at a very compelling price point. An affordably priced device, it nevertheless comes with a 97% metal body, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a few other surprisingly high-end features. Like any affordable device however, it also presents a number of compromises which are apparent straight away.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

From the front, this is a rather stock-looking smartphone that seems to take design cues from other smartphone. It’s entirely white with a single home button with a dot on either side to indicate the capacitive buttons. The back is a bit more exciting though thanks to a rose gold, matte finish that I actually really like. It manages to look fairly premium and eye-catching without essentially being an oblong mirror for a change. This also bodes well for fingerprints. BLU saw fit to include a soft, transparent case for the back too which is a nice touch.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

The display is a 5.5-inch IPS panel of 1080p resolution and while it’s not QHD resolution, it is very bright and you’ll need to inspect closely to see that this isn’t QHD. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 provides some welcome protection and there’s also an included screen protector in the package. There’s a strange raised piece of glass – which is almost imperceptible – around the entire front of the device that I kept trying to peel off at first; this might be the ‘curved display’ that BLU keeps talking about but I’m not sure I get the appeal.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

There aren’t many surprises in terms of the hardware either. The home button features a fingerprint scanner that works in any direction and seems to work well enough from our initial tests. There are also two SIM card slots making the Vivo 6 one of the few handsets to natively offer dual SIM functionality in the UK. USB-C is a forward-thinking choice and while I haven’t had a chance to test it, the 3,130mAh battery is promising. For the times when you’re running low, Quick Charge helps get you topped up, with the Vivo 6 slated to offer a 40% charge in around 30 minutes.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

On the rear, the Vivo 6 has a 13MP Sony IMX sensor coupled with f/2.0 aperture, HDR (in software, not on the lens), Phase Detection autofocus and laser focus. Video recording tops out at 1080p at 30 frames per second while the front facing camera is capable of taking 8MP selfies.

In my quick tests, the camera seems to perform pretty averagely, with a lack of detail and lack of vibrancy prevalent throughout these quick snaps. Of course, we’ll be testing this further for the full review.

Under the hood, the BLU Vivo 6 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor clocked at 1.8GHz and this is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage, that can be expanded by a further 64GB using the microSD card slot. It’s not the best processing package on a smartphone but, considering the price tag, it’s more than capable of getting the job done.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

The Vivo 6 is running Android 6.0.0 Marshmallow with a few tweaks from BLU. It’s a fairly light skin but with some weird choices. Like many custom Android implementations, there’s no app drawer (though this is easily fixed) and for some reason Opera appears to be the default browser. There isn’t much bloatware, but most apps that come preinstalled, such as McAfee Security, can be easily removed.

BLU Vivo 6 Hands On and First Impressions

The BLU Vivo 6 certainly won’t set the world alight but it is one of the few handsets at this price to offer a solid set of internals. While the design may seem unimaginative, the rear panel is quite nice and overall, it’s a functional design that gets the job done. It won’t replace your flagship but if you’re in the market for a device that offers a solid experience – say, for your tech-shy uncle perhaps – the Vivo 6 certainly seems to tick that box.

Of course, we’ll be bringing you a full review in the coming days so stay tuned but for now, let us know what you think of the BLU Vivo 6 in the comments below! If you’re interested in buying the Vivo 6, it’s available now at a cost of £239, however as a Black Friday launch special, it’s reduced to just £184.99! You can pick it up from the link below.

 

BLU Vivo 6 starts selling in the UK; special Black Friday deal available today only

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BLU, the smartphone manufacturer based in sunny Miami, announced the Vivo 6 last month. A great looking unibody device made from aircraft grade aluminium.

Starting today, the company’s latest device is available in the UK. BLU is selling it unlocked through Amazon for £239.99. However, if you hurry up and buy the device today, you’ll get quite a substantial discount. Keeping up with the Black Friday spirit, the Vivo 6 is featured as a Deal of the Day at Amazon and can be yours for £184.99. That’s £55 off its regular price, which will kick in tomorrow — November 26.

And what exactly do you get for that price? The Vivo 6 has a 5.5-inch Full HD display with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 sitting on top for protection against scratches. You’ll find the 64-bit Mediatek Helio P10 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz under the hood, alongside 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of expandable storage. Looking at the back, the main camera has a Sony IMX258 sensor with 13 MP (1080p video), Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), and an f/2.0 aperture. There’s also an 8 MP wide-angle selfie snapper at the front.

See also:

Several BLU phones have been secretly sending personal data via third-party app

1 week ago

The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the Home button below the screen and should wake up the device in less than 10ms. Android 6.0 Marshmallow runs the show while the 3,130 mAh battery keeps the lights on. The device is available in two color options – Gold and Rose Gold.

If you’re thinking of getting your hands on the BLU Vivo 6, we suggest you act fast in order to secure the £55 discount. Just head over to Amazon’s sales page by clicking the button below.

So, any thought on BLU’s latest smartphone? Is the deal good enough for you to want to pick one up? Let us know.

Buy the BLU Vivo 6

EE 4G coverage now exceeds all the UK’s 3G networks

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The UK might not have the fastest LTE speeds or the best typical coverage compared with other countries, but carrier EE is pulling further ahead of the pack after switching on its 800MHz spectrum across 700 cell sites around the country this week. This roll out means that EE’s 4G network now covers more land area than any 3G network available in the country.

Flicking the switch has filled in a 5,000 square kilometer black-spot in EE’s 4G network, and has either hooked up or improved coverage for around half a million homes up and down the UK. The low frequency 800MHz band is better at permeating trees and buildings than higher frequency spectrum. EE is also looking to add 800MHz capacity to 3,000 more sites before the end of 2017, and the carrier wants to have 95 percent of the UK covered by 2020.

The roll out offers up additional and new 4G coverage across parts of Shropshire, Somerset, Snowdonia, Oban, Glasgow, Berkshire and Derbyshire. However, some of these areas are only covered by 4G and not 3G, meaning that customers will need a VoLTE smartphone in order to make calls on the network in these areas.

See also:

Countries with the fastest 4G LTE in 2016

2 weeks ago

As part of its announcement, EE is also calling for the industry to begin publishing mobile coverage in terms of geographical area, which the carrier is further ahead in, rather than using population coverage, which is a closer run contest. EE says that it now covers 75 percent of the UK in terms of land area, and wants consumers to be able to better compare how coverage levels vary across the country.

The news will also likely please the UK government, which has previously considered requiring operators to share their networks to cover up gaps in coverage. This proposal was dropped after carriers committed to a £5 billion infrastructure investment, but there have been calls by MPs to amend the Digital Economy Bill to allow Ofcom to fine operators who fail to meet 2014 coverage targets.

What’s the coverage like where you live?

EE 4G coverage now exceeds all the UK’s 3G networks

0

The UK might not have the fastest LTE speeds or the best typical coverage compared with other countries, but carrier EE is pulling further ahead of the pack after switching on its 800MHz spectrum across 700 cell sites around the country this week. This roll out means that EE’s 4G network now covers more land area than any 3G network available in the country.

Flicking the switch has filled in a 5,000 square kilometer black-spot in EE’s 4G network, and has either hooked up or improved coverage for around half a million homes up and down the UK. The low frequency 800MHz band is better at permeating trees and buildings than higher frequency spectrum. EE is also looking to add 800MHz capacity to 3,000 more sites before the end of 2017, and the carrier wants to have 95 percent of the UK covered by 2020.

The roll out offers up additional and new 4G coverage across parts of Shropshire, Somerset, Snowdonia, Oban, Glasgow, Berkshire and Derbyshire. However, some of these areas are only covered by 4G and not 3G, meaning that customers will need a VoLTE smartphone in order to make calls on the network in these areas.

See also:

Countries with the fastest 4G LTE in 2016

2 weeks ago

As part of its announcement, EE is also calling for the industry to begin publishing mobile coverage in terms of geographical area, which the carrier is further ahead in, rather than using population coverage, which is a closer run contest. EE says that it now covers 75 percent of the UK in terms of land area, and wants consumers to be able to better compare how coverage levels vary across the country.

The news will also likely please the UK government, which has previously considered requiring operators to share their networks to cover up gaps in coverage. This proposal was dropped after carriers committed to a £5 billion infrastructure investment, but there have been calls by MPs to amend the Digital Economy Bill to allow Ofcom to fine operators who fail to meet 2014 coverage targets.

What’s the coverage like where you live?

DeepMind’s new app will help alert UK doctors if a patient has a kidney injury

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DeepMind, the AI firm owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has announced a new five-year partnership with the UK’s Royal Free London NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust. Part of the agreement will include the launch of a smartphone app that’s designed to alert doctors if a patient has a kidney injury.

See also:

Four ways smartphones are changing the world for the better

July 24, 2016

The app itself is called Streams, and has been in development for the past year. It uses data collected from the NHS. Using DeepMind’s AI system, the app will offer alerts to doctors if any test results show that a patient is at risk of developing acute kidney injury. The system will make its official debut in UK Royal Free hospitals in early 2017.

DeepMind believes that its AI system, combined with the Streams app, can be expanded in the future to offer alerts to doctors for other medical emergencies, such as if a patient is suffering from sepsis or other organ failure issues. DeepMind says it hopes it can cut the time to alert doctors to a patient’s needs from hours down to just a few seconds.

DeepMind adds that it is also making sure the medical data it collects and uses is secure. It states that all access is logged and is reviewed by both the Royal Free group as well as the company’s own independent reviewers. Both the DeepMind software and its data centers will be the subject of regular and deep technical audits as well.

Deal: Get £70 off Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones at Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse is trying hard to get your attention before the holiday shopping season gets in full swing. The company started offering a free VR Goji headset with any pay monthly smartphone purchase a couple of days ago. Now, the retailer is taking it up a notch with its »Black Tag Event«. It’s currently offering a discount in the amount of 70 pounds for Google’s Pixel smartphones, which launched about a month ago. The smaller of the two – Pixel — will set you back 529.99 pounds, while the Pixel XL can be yours for 649.99 pounds.

See also:

Google Pixel XL review: a Pixel’s perspective

4 weeks ago

Do note that the offer is only valid for the 32GB version of the devices. So if you want to get your hands on the 128GB model, you’ll, unfortunately, have to pay full price – £699.99 (Pixel) and £819.99 (Pixel XL).

This is currently the best deal for Google’s Pixel smartphones we’ve seen in the UK. As always, the deal won’t last forever, so if you’re interested in getting it, head over to Carphone Warehouse’s official website by clicking the button below. You can choose between the Quite Black or Very Silver color options, while the Really Blue version still remains a US exclusive.

Are you thinking of getting this deal? Will you be opting for the Pixel or Pixel XL? Let us know.

Get the Pixel deal
Get the Pixel XL deal

Millions of customers’ private data at risk after Three network gets hacked

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Three UK, one of Britain’s largest mobile networks, has admitted that a cyber-security breach has compromised the private data of its customers. Hackers used an employee login to access Three’s customer upgrade database, which houses data including the “names, phone numbers, addresses and dates of birth,” of an estimated six million users.

Three confirmed the incident on Thursday evening, explaining that the hackers used their access to upgrade customers to new handsets, which they then intercepted, seemingly with the intention of reselling the smartphones elsewhere.

See also:

Three UK to more than double the number of ‘roaming-free’ countries next month

August 11, 2016

“We’ve been working closely with the Police and relevant authorities. To date, we have confirmed approximately 400 high value handsets have been stolen through burglaries and eight devices have been illegally obtained through the upgrade activity,” said a spokesperson for Three. “The investigation is ongoing and we have taken a number of steps to further strengthen our controls.”

Three men have been arrested in connection with the incident and have since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Three UK hasn’t disclosed who of its 9 million customers have been affected by the breach, but confirmed that the private data accessed did not include financial details.

If you’re part of the Three network and are concerned about your data, you can ask questions via its dedicated support page, and keep an eye on its Facebook timeline for updates.

Prime Minister May’s ‘Black Mirror-esque’ surveillance law is passed in the UK

I just finished watching the latest season of Black Mirror, and I can’t help but see the eerie similarities between the show and our world, and the surveillance law that was just passed in the UK is proof of that. Dubbed the snoopers’ charter, the new law will make it obligatory for internet providers to store every user’s history for up to a year, which can be accessed by government entities and decrypted on demand. See what I mean now?

See also:

EU demands clarifications over US involvement in Yahoo email surveillance

6 days ago

The bill was first introduced back in 2012 by Theresa May herself when she was the country’s home secretary. It was first blocked by the former deputy PM Nick Clegg, who labeled it a dangerous bill, which could demand “potentially limitless categories of data.” Fast forward to today: Theresa May is now UK’s PM, and the bill was finalized and passed by both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

Essentially, under the new law, UK internet providers will be obligated to store every user’s web history for up to a year, data that can be decrypted and accessed by gubernatorial entities on demand. Not only that, the law will allow for intelligence agencies to hack into electronic devices of citizens. In case you don’t remember, we saw a similar situation in the US with the San Bernardino shooting when the FBI demanded that Apple unlock the shooter’s iPhone and Apple refused. Well, under this law, that whole dispute on security, privacy, and ethics wouldn’t even exist in the first place.

UK internet providers will be obligated to store every user’s web history for up to a year, data that can be decrypted and accessed by gubernatorial entities on demand. Not only that, the law will allow for intelligence agencies to hack into electronic devices of citizens.

Of course, the bill has faced a lot of opposition and is still being criticized for its potential to encourage mass government-sponsored espionage. The UN has expressed its concerns already as well as a slew of other privacy and rights groups as well as some Silicon Valley companies. However, the UK government doesn’t seem to be deterred by all this: in asserting that the new law is simply a modified version of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, it has been trying to downplay the public worries, but ironically, even the RIPA was a shocking revelation of the government’s intrusive surveillance of its citizens.

It seems like whether it’s the US or the UK, with right-wing nationalism on the rise, government surveillance is set to increase. Be smart about what you search out there – and on a lighter note, if you haven’t already, give Black Mirror a try.

Prime Minister May’s ‘Black Mirror-esque’ surveillance law is passed in the UK

I just finished watching the latest season of Black Mirror, and I can’t help but see the eerie similarities between the show and our world, and the surveillance law that was just passed in the UK is proof of that. Dubbed the snoopers’ charter, the new law will make it obligatory for internet providers to store every user’s history for up to a year, which can be accessed by government entities and decrypted on demand. See what I mean now?

See also:

EU demands clarifications over US involvement in Yahoo email surveillance

6 days ago

The bill was first introduced back in 2012 by Theresa May herself when she was the country’s home secretary. It was first blocked by the former deputy PM Nick Clegg, who labeled it a dangerous bill, which could demand “potentially limitless categories of data.” Fast forward to today: Theresa May is now UK’s PM, and the bill was finalized and passed by both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

Essentially, under the new law, UK internet providers will be obligated to store every user’s web history for up to a year, data that can be decrypted and accessed by gubernatorial entities on demand. Not only that, the law will allow for intelligence agencies to hack into electronic devices of citizens. In case you don’t remember, we saw a similar situation in the US with the San Bernardino shooting when the FBI demanded that Apple unlock the shooter’s iPhone and Apple refused. Well, under this law, that whole dispute on security, privacy, and ethics wouldn’t even exist in the first place.

UK internet providers will be obligated to store every user’s web history for up to a year, data that can be decrypted and accessed by gubernatorial entities on demand. Not only that, the law will allow for intelligence agencies to hack into electronic devices of citizens.

Of course, the bill has faced a lot of opposition and is still being criticized for its potential to encourage mass government-sponsored espionage. The UN has expressed its concerns already as well as a slew of other privacy and rights groups as well as some Silicon Valley companies. However, the UK government doesn’t seem to be deterred by all this: in asserting that the new law is simply a modified version of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, it has been trying to downplay the public worries, but ironically, even the RIPA was a shocking revelation of the government’s intrusive surveillance of its citizens.

It seems like whether it’s the US or the UK, with right-wing nationalism on the rise, government surveillance is set to increase. Be smart about what you search out there – and on a lighter note, if you haven’t already, give Black Mirror a try.