Tag Archives: smartphone

Gadget Man – Episode 172 – Cat S42 Smartphone

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of talking to Tim Shepherd, Senior Director of Bullitt Group. Bullitt is the sole manufacturer and license holder of CAT Smartphones and Feature-phones.

You can also read the announcement of the CAT S42 Smartphone

The S42 can be cleaned with soap and water
The S42 can be cleaned with soap and water

During the interview, Tim talks in-depth about the ‘Anti-Microbial’ CAT S42 Smartphone which is the world’s first Anti-Bacterial Phone.

You can listen in to the interview in full and if you would like to read about the new device, read out blog-post here.

The CAT S42 Smartphone is currently available to purchase for £229 directly from CAT Phones and the new Anti-Microbial version will be available in early 2021.

You can also purchase the CAT S42 Smartphone from Amazon from the link above, we may earn a commission from sales through this link.

 

The First Fully Antibacterial Smartphone Announced

Bullitt Group, the global licensee for Cat® phones, today announced that the Cat S42 has been enhanced by advanced antimicrobial product protection, making it the first anti-bacterial phone. Every exterior component of the product has been treated with Biomaster® antimicrobial technology and tested to ISO 22196.

Based on the inclusion of silver ions during manufacturing, the process creates a permanent level of product protection, inhibiting the growth of microbes on the phone surface and therefore reducing microbial levels on the surface.

The S42 can be cleaned with soap and water
The S42 can be cleaned with soap and water

Research shows that our phones are home to thousands of germs, with a University of Michigan study1 finding in excess of 17,000 bacteria on handsets. We interact with our mobile devices many times a day – around 47 times, on average, according to research from Deloitte2. Mobile phones are handled and pressed to our faces, meaning that any bacteria or other microorganisms can easily transfer back and forth between the hard surfaces of your phone and your skin.

Bacteria found on mobile phone, SEM
Bacteria found on mobile phone. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of bacteria cultured from a mobile phone.

The Biomaster active antimicrobial agent is proven to inhibit bacteria cells from replicating. In testing, a reduction of over 80% within 15 minutes was shown and 99.9% within 24 hours. Combined with the existing Cat phone rugged credentials that ensure the device can be thoroughly and regularly washed with soaps and water, sanitisers, and even bleach, the Cat S42 represents the next generation of hygienic product protection in smartphone design.

Bacteria found on mobile phone, SEM
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of bacteria cultured from a mobile phone.

“Throughout 2020 we have consistently been driving awareness of the importance of mobile hygiene for us all, but this is vital for those among our customers working within a health or social care setting, and those visiting multiple sites for their job,” said Peter Cunningham, VP Product Portfolio at Bullitt Group. “Using a Cat phone already allows them to have confidence that they can wash and sanitise their Cat phone regularly or between visits. The addition of antimicrobial product protection into the Cat S42 is another first for Cat phones, and will make the Cat S42 safer for users – such an important feature in the current climate.”

The Biomaster-treated Cat S42 will be available from early 2021, with the treatment coming to other devices in the Cat phones range later in the year.

The CAT S42 Can be washed under a tap
The CAT S42 Can be washed under a tap

Tested to Cat phones’ demanding rugged standards, the Cat S42 features MIL SPEC 810H and IP68 and IP69 ratings, and surpasses our rigourous and repeated drop testing from 1.8m onto steel, including multiple drops onto every side and corner. It’s fully waterproof, tested submerged in water at depths up to 1.5m for 35 minutes. Like all Cat smartphones in the range, it is also put through vibration and tumble tests, salt mist conditions, and it’s built to operate in high and low extremes of temperature and to survive thermal shocks. Take it with you anywhere and everywhere. It’s built tough to help you thrive in challenging outdoor work situations and extreme leisure pursuits alike.

The CAT S42 Can be washed under a tap
The CAT S42 Can be washed under a tap

The Cat S42 smartphone has an MSRP of £229 / €249. The S42 with antimicrobial protection will be available in early 2021. For more information visit www.catphones.com.

If you buy after clicking on our Amazon links, we may earn a commission.

 

Cat S62 Pro Smartphone Reveals Potential Fire Risks from Working from Home

The possible electrical dangers faced by Britain’s army of home workers are today revealed with the help of mobile thermal imaging technology.

For millions of us, our homes are now our offices, but very few of us are aware of potential electrical safety hazards in our home-office setups or how to ensure we safely accommodate the equipment we use every day.

Laptop and Phone (Thermal)
Laptop and Phone (Thermal)
Laptop and Phone (Thermal)
Laptop and Phone
Laptop and Phone

These images, captured with the new Cat S62 Pro thermal imaging smartphone, show the fire risks that poorly thought-through domestic office setups can cause.

Bullitt Group, the makers of the Cat S62 Pro, have partnered with Electrical Safety First to highlight the issue and offer tips and advice on how to make your home office set up safer.

The gallery of images, captured in a home working environment, shows the varying levels of heat invisible to the naked eye that is produced by different electrical setups and devices. The images show common habits including:

  •      Charging laptops and phones on flammable surfaces
  •      Stacking equipment due to lack of space
  •      Daisy-chaining extension leads because you’ve got more to plug in than usual
  •      Overloaded sockets
  •      Routers covered with office materials / or boxed in
  •      Extension cables covered with household items

Working from home is now commonplace but little thought is given to the set-up of our temporary work desks, many just working wherever there is space.

New research commissioned by Bullitt Group, shows electrical safety checks by employers have dropped by nearly half (a decrease of 46%) since lockdown.

The research, compiled by Censuswide using a 2k sample of people working at home due to COVID, also shows:

  •      Many home workers surveyed (41%) operate in cramped workspaces and things often get piled on top of extension units
  •      Over a third don’t have enough plug sockets (36%)
  •      Over a third say that have to daisy chain extension cables to get the length they need (35%)
  •      There is a high level of complacency around electrical safety with more than half (56%) of respondents saying they are not worried about electrical dangers
  •      When asked about where they currently work, more than a third (36%) say they often move their laptop and charger around as they work in different spots
  •      Almost a third (30%) have never considered the dangers of working in some domestic spaces
  •      23% are sharing electrical sockets for work with other domestic items
  •      21% do not have a dedicated workspace at home and 19% feel the quality of work is affected by not having a dedicated workspace

Working closely with Electrical Safety First, Bullitt Group has come up with some simple guidelines to make the home office environment safer.

Key tips include:

  •      Avoid overloading sockets
  •      Do not leave phones or laptops plugged in to charge overnight and don’t charge on a bed – always charge on a hard, flat, non-flammable  surface
  •      Don’t “daisy chain” extension leads. If your cable doesn’t reach, don’t plug it into another adaptor. Move your workspace closer to the socket or use a longer lead
  •      Regularly check electrical cords and extension cords for damage
  •      Only use extension cords on a temporary basis
  •      Do not plug a space heater or fan into an extension cord or power strip
  •      Do not run cords under rugs/carpets, doors, or windows
  •      Make sure cords do not become tripping hazards
  •      Keep papers and other potential combustibles at least 1m away from space heaters and other heat sources
  •      Make sure you use the right wattage for lamps/lighting
  •      Only use chargers provided with the product and buy any replacements from reputable retailers you know and trust
  •      Keep your work area tidy and keep drinks away from electrical items
  •      Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Test them monthly and replace the unit every 10 years or as directed by the manufacturer

“When the country first locked down, homeworking was seen as a temporary situation. Now it’s looking more long term, it’s important that both employers and employees are fully aware of the risks and how to mitigate them,” said Nathan Vautier, CEO at Bullitt Group.

“The thermal imaging technology built into the S62 Pro is a quick and simple way to see a world that’s invisible to the naked eye and can improve safety in any working environment.  Tradesmen have used our thermal phones to spot electrical faults and issues for some years, but this is also a genuinely useful tool for anyone who wants to improve safety and monitor what’s going on with electrical equipment in their homes,” continued Vautier.

A spokesman for Electrical Safety First said: “There is simply not enough awareness out there about the possible dangers of poorly set up home office environments. Thermal technology is certainly one way to monitor electrical equipment for overheating issues and the images that Cat phones have created here show very clearly just what is going on and highlight some of the common dangers we regularly warn people against.”

Other survey results:

  • Before lockdown, 40% of respondents’ companies had a procedure in place to regularly check electrical items. This has now dropped to just 22% since working from home began
  • Almost a third (31%) feel their employer should be doing more to provide safety and other guidance about home working
  • Only 19% have received safety advice/guidance from their employer concerning their home working set up
  • Almost half (45%) don’t know when work specific electrical items were last safety checked

The Cat S62 Pro smartphone has an MSRP of £599 and is available to buy from Amazon and multiple retailers and operators.

We may earn a commission for sales from our links

4 Simple Ways To Make Your Smartphone More Unique

We all carry a smartphone on us at all times these days and we rely on them for so many things. But if you carry something around on you at all times, shouldn’t you make it look good? A lot of people don’t really think about how their phone looks and they aren’t bothered that it looks just the same as everybody else’s phone, but if you want to make your phone more unique, there are some simple ways to customize it and make it your own. These are some of the best ways to personalize your smartphone and make it more unique.

Image From Pexels CCO License

Choose A Different Brand 

Everybody is walking around with iPhones or Samsungs, so if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, why not go for something different? When you are choosing a phone, look at some of the less popular brands and see what they have to offer. In a lot of cases, the phone itself will be just as good as the well-known brands, but it will be a lot cheaper. You’ll get a more interesting phone that not as many people have and it will save you a lot of money at the same time. 

Get A Good Case 

Getting a good smartphone case is important because phones are fragile and the screen will easily break if you drop it. But you should also see your case as a good opportunity to personalize your smartphone and make it more unique. There are so many amazing cases out there, so when you are buying one, think about something that reflects you and your interests. For example, if you love cars, you can get some great Formula 1 Phone Cases online. You can also get custom made photo ones with pictures of your friends and family. The right case can make your phone a lot more unique to you while also protecting it from damage. 

Customize Your Wallpaper And Lock Screen 

The case makes a big difference, but you should also customize the wallpaper and lock screen on your phone. Usually, your phone comes with a default wallpaper, which will probably be pretty boring. If you want your phone to be unique to you, make sure to change it to something different right away, like a photo of your family and friends or a great picture of something that you are passionate about, like your favourite place. You can also make a live wallpaper with dynamic moving images, which is much better than a boring static picture. 

Add Widgets To The Home Screen 

You can improve the look of your phone and boost the user experience at the same time by adding a few widgets to the home screen. Most people already have things like a clock or the weather on their home screen, but why not add something more interesting?  You can get some great note-taking widgets to keep things organized or even use a custom widget-maker to create your own. 

Make these simple customizations and you can make your smartphone a lot more unique to you.

Choosing The Best Phone For You

There’s a lot of talks around mobile phones these days, and we are all looking for the best mobile phone for our needs. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and advertising, but when it comes to choosing her phone for yourself, then there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before taking the plunge. Many of us average a fair few hours on our phones every day according to studies, so if we have a phone that doesn’t suit our needs this can be frustrating and reduce our enjoyment of the activities we choose. So try and stick to these simple ideas and make a decision that’s right for you.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Experience

Sometimes it can be simple to find the perfect phone for you, and thebigphonestore.co.uk can help you with this, but sometimes we need to draw on our experience and experience of other people to make our decisions. If you have always had an iPhone then it may be difficult for you to make a decision to switch, but if you speak to other people who have experienced the switch before, then you may find you have a better idea of what you are about to decide. Your own experience is also important and something that you need to ensure is taken into account. Also if you have had a bad experience with a brand in the past and this can also alter your opinion. And rightly so. So make sure you take into account your experience and that of others, and even have a look at YouTube videos with people reviewing these phones to see which one you like the look off.

 

Purpose

The main purpose of your phone is going to help you decide, functionality and exactly what you need to do to be able to get the best out of your mobile phone, it’s something that we should all consider carefully. If you use your phone just for calls and texts, then you aren’t going to necessarily need to have a phone that is all singing and all dancing. It’s not always about having the flashiest phone and taking pictures all the time. Some of us just need a phone that works. So don’t feel as though you need to purchase the latest iPhone if it isn’t going to fit your purpose. However, if you do need something that works well, and has all of the access to apps, and functionality then, of course, go in for a top of the range phone is a good investment for you.

 

What matters

At the end of the day, what matters to you is the most important thing here, and making sure that people make the right decisions for themselves ultimately prevents any problems. Getting the right phone to the right people can be tricky, but eventually, we all find the right handset for us, and it’s all about trial and error. Some people have great brand loyalty, and some of us are just looking for a phone that works so decided on what is important to you will help you come to the right conclusion.

How To Be A Part Of The Smartphone Revolution

Each day the average amount of time a person spends on their smartphone increases, and now we have reached a stage in which some young adults spend upwards of 6 hours mindlessly scrolling. Getting involved with this from a business perspective can cause you to gain a considerable amount of profit, as you can join the smartphone revolution with your own unique company concept and become a great hit! Figuring out exactly how you can become a part of the mobile industry doesn’t have to be a difficult task, as there are a few unique ideas that may just be the perfect choice for you. So, if you want to know more about how you can cash in on modern societies smartphone obsession, then read on for some of the greatest pathways that you can take to reach ultimate business bliss in no time at all.

How To Be A Part Of The Smartphone Revolution
Image Source – Pexels

Get Creative With Applications 

One of the best things about smartphones is that you can download and play a seemingly endless amount of different games that can be tailored to suit your own specific likes and dislikes. The App Store contains a wealth of different genres for you to make the most of, whether that means education, socialising or just plain fun and games! If you have some knowledge regarding programming and previous technical experience to base your project on then feel free to dive straight in and code the algorithms yourself, as you will be able to get the most unique application that’s individual to your company. If you struggle with electronics then there’s no need to worry, as you can find bespoke iOS application Development teams that can do all of the hard work for you – simply approach them with your plans and explain your goals for the future so that they can fully understand your requirements. 

Repairing & Refurbishing

Despite the seemingly limitless selection of cases on offer today, so many people end up dropping, smashing or generally breaking their smartphones. It’s common to see a young person sporting a cracked screen, as it would seem that smartphone related built-in obsolescence has one of the shortest life cycles ever. As a result of this, getting into the repair business will ensure that you always have a job to do – people are always going to be clumsy, and smartphones will always be made just well enough for you to experience them in their prime for no longer than a couple of months. Sourcing old smartphones that can be refurbished into working models is also a good route to take, as you can buy parts for a very cheap price and make a full phone that can generate a nice profit, especially if you’re working with refurbished iPhones, which can still command a high price. It is, however, worth noting that there are already a lot of people offering this service, so you will need to ensure that your business is competitively priced if you want to be able to compete effectively with the competition.

Finding Your Next Business Phone in 5 Steps

Finding the right business phone is absolutely crucial if you want to be able to conduct business while you’re out and about. The right business phone will allow you to use the internet on the go, call and even video call your clients and team members and have plenty of apps that help you to keep track of things like business expenses. 

Below, you’ll find the steps you need to take in order to find the right business phone. Take a look:

1. Assess Your Budget 

Start by assessing your budget so that you can make sure you’re getting a phone you can afford. Even if you can afford the newest and best iPhone, that doesn’t mean you have to go out and get it. Look at the best iPhone deals first and see what’s out there. You might be surprised at how cost-effective some of the older models are, while still being feature-rich and perfect for what you need. 

2. Consider The Features You Really Need 

Make sure you consider the features you’re going to need in your business phone. Does the camera really need to be super clear? Do you really need the highest amount of memory you can purchase? If features aren’t all that important to you and you just want to be able to send messages, make calls, and use the internet, then looking outside of the Apple range may be a good idea. However, there’s a reason so many business people do choose Apple. Ultimately, it depends on what you need and what you prefer. 

Credit: Pexels

3. Test Them Out In Person

Testing phones out in person is always a good idea, so go to a physical store and see what feels best in your hand. Some of the newer smartphones are huge, and may not be the best choice for you when travelling – especially if you have other devices and things you want to take with you, too. Testing them out in person will give you a better idea of what feels right to you. You might even find that you prefer a bigger phone with a larger screen for business purposes. It all depends on what you’re going to be doing. 

4. Ask For Recommendations 

Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from your team or friends. See what you get the most recommendations for and make a shortlist this way. You can read all of the reviews online that you like, but at the end of the day, you don’t know who wrote it and how much they were being paid. If somebody was given a free product for review, they may be a lot kinder than they need to be. 

5. Consider How Long You’d Like To Have This Phone 

Would you like to keep this phone for 2 years, or perhaps even longer? If you want it to last a long time, buying a newer model is a good idea, as software updates won’t have slowed it down yet. 

Which phones are on your shortlist? 

Gadget Man – Episode 130 – Why are people not upgrading their phones as often?

Many of us will remember the halcyon days when upgrading our mobile phone handsets was a six-month event.

No so now it would seem, instead, we are waiting much longer and are clearly looking for greater incentives to part with our beloved devices and even more importantly, our money.

You can listen into my interview with James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk where I talk about why the smartphone market is slowing down. Click on the link above to hear what I had to say. 

A Short(ish) History

My first mobile phone was bought in 1993 (some 26 years ago) from Dixons in Derby. It was an NEC P100 and I think it cost me £50 and then £7.50 per month for the contract with Vodafone, no calls were included, so I paid 50p per minute if I did need to call anyone.

The phone itself ran on the old 1G analogue network at 900MHz which was very quickly superceded by the digital 2G networks split between 900MHz for Vodafone and Cellnet and the alternative 1800Mhz for Orange and Mercury One2One.

Note: if you don’t recognise many of these names, it’s because due to buyouts, rebrands and mergers, Vodafone remained, Orange became EE, Cellnet became BT Cellnet, then O2. Mercury One2One became just One2One and then changed to T-Mobile which in turn is merged with Orange to become EE. Then of course 3 launched a 3g service later on and of course, two dozen or so ‘piggy-back’ operators such as Giffgaff, Sky Mobile, Virgin etc, who don’t, in fact, run their own networks but instead using the Big Four’s network. 

So my first phone was relatively cheap in today’s terms and in fact in ‘yesterdays’ terms too. the NEC P100 was meant to be a durable portable phone which it was and I kept it for some years until the analogue network was phased out and I had to get a more modern phone. The 2G network roll-out in the UK caused a market explosion and along with it came the Nokia 5110 and then 3310 phones which completely dominated the marketplace.

This explosion in popularity came with reasonably cheap phones with cheap and short contracts, this meant that phones could be renewed quite regularly and soon cupboards would start filling up with unwanted and out of date devices, fuelling development and in reality, a war between manufacturers and networks to provide more and more functionality. Heading this surge was Orange and O2 who had struck up a deal with little known manufacturer HTC to produce the very first Microsoft Windows CE based ‘Smartphones’, long before the birth of the iPhone.

HTC was at the time manufacturing the Compaq and HP iPaq Pocket PC and by adding cellular functionality, the Orange SPV (Sounds, Pictures and Video) and O2 XDA (extended PDA) began to be sold and the Smartphone was born.

Suddenly our dumb phones became ‘Smartphones’ and with it rapidly increasing prices. These costs had to be passed onto consumers via increased contracts with longer minimum terms (mainly to allow for the handset and network infrastructure costs to be absorbed ). Minimum six-month contracts became twelve, then eighteen, then twenty-four months. All of this was necessary to pay for the device and network overheads!

The phone networks began bundling minutes (and later, data), in part to placate phone users who were starting to become caught up in the ever increasing contract times.  Subsequently, devices became more expensive, resulting in more expensive contracts.

With the launch of Apple’s iPhone, O2 and T-Mobile began offering ‘all you can eat’ data plans in order for these data-hungry devices to take advantage of the vast amount of content appearing. Once the iPhone 3G was launched, with its ability to consume vast amounts of bandwidth and data, the all-you-can-eat model was scrapped or altered with ‘acceptable usage’ policies to limit data consumption, unless you were prepared to pay more.

Now that the smartphone had become established as a Super-Gadget, the manufacturers began an ‘Arms-Race’ to establish themselves as the Go-To brand in the multi-billion dollar marketplace, the likes of Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, LG, Sony and HTC began pumping billions into product development, patent registrations, cross-licensing and all-out war!

In turn, the Smartphone industry has driven bigger, better, faster and more costly devices into the consumers’ hands! Meanwhile, in China, Xiaomi, Huawei and Honor are producing comparable and in some cases, better products, the market is now awash with products that were once competing with each other but are now blurring their differences making it difficult to see the differences

Summing Up

We now have a smart-device marketplace with astoundingly high-quality handsets costing £1000 plus! How can we justify paying over £100 a month for a mobile phone contract, when we are struggling to differentiate between ‘last-years’ model?

What is needed now is for the manufacturers to take a breath! They need to find out what their customers really want. Maybe we are becoming tired and bewildered of being told what functions we need by these companies and it’s time for them to start listening to their consumers.

Matt Porter
The Gadget Man

 

 

 

 

Gadget Man – Episode 121 – Too Much Smartphone Part III

As we enter the final year of the second decade of the 21st century, the smartphone will surely be considered the most revolutionary gadget of the last 10 years.

Our phones are now firmly ingrained in our lives, joining us at home, at work, at play, at the dinner table, in bed, they come with us everywhere! Our lives are documented in detail, where we go, what we do, what we think and what we eat. We’ve now become news gatherers, critics and voyeurs all without realising it was happening in front of us.

Too Much Smartphone III
Too Much Smartphone III

The use of mobile phones stretches to every age group, from the elderly to the very young and with this comes concern as to the use of these devices. Should young people be allowed to use their phones at any time of the day OR night? Does it reduce conversation? Are we become LESS social?

I have now covered this subject twice in the past, you can read a listen in here and here, however now reports are informing us that phones DON’T cause our children harm, listen in to the podcast, where I talk to Mark Murphy on BBC Radio Suffolk about this latest contentious report.

As ever, if you enjoy listening in, Like, Share, Subscribe and Comment, I will see you soon!

Matt Porter
Gadget Man

 

We’ve donated to British Red Cross

Red Cross Donation
Red Cross Donation

A little over a month has passed since we arrived back from the Scotland and as promised, we have donated the remains of our Gadget Road Trip fund to British Red Cross.

This afternoon, I transferred the remaining balance of £42.32 from our Monzo Card to the British Red Cross charity and thus rendered the account empty.

I was personally extremely upset by the Grenfell Tower disaster earlier this year, which I know also affected Paul. The British Red Cross were on the ground there immediately after it happened and provided much need assistance to the poor families that had lost their loved ones, their homes and everything they owned in a matter of minutes. It is because of this, that I wanted to donate to this charity. Since Grenfell, other disasters have continued to affect the people of our planet and the British Red Cross have continued to provide much needed support for these people who have lost absolutely everything they own and still lack the basics of clean water, electricity and food. If you would like to continue to help them, you can also donate via this link

Thank you so much again to the following people and organisations for their kind donations of funds or services!

XSItems Ltd
ACPlus
Favorite Fried Chicken
Free Reign Internet
Coderus
Gavin Dadd
Patrick Lohan
Jackie Robinson
Ian Brown
Olive Porter
Sandra Grilli
Callum McGilvery.

We wouldn’t have been able to feed ourselves during the trip and have something soft to sleep on. Thank you again.

Thanks also to Hillcroft Park in Ullswater for allowing us to stay at their lodgings for two nights (They will be featuring in the upcoming sitcom ‘Home from Home’ with Johnny Vegas, so keep an eye out!) and Far View Bed & Breakfast in Kilchoan (I won’t forget little Gracie exclaiming “My wellington boots fell over!!” as I took her and her dad on a little test drive).