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European smartphone shipments fall to lowest Q1 total since 2013

A new report from Counterpoint Research's Market Monitor service shows European smartphone shipments dropping by 12% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. That's the lowest Q1 total since 2013.
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Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
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Google announces new devices

Google announces new devices

Pixel Watch, smartphones, earbuds and more

Google's 2022 I/O conference for developers has seen the company previewing new products, including its Pixel 7 smartphone, a Pixel tablet and the first smartwatch entirely built by Google.
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UK advertising watchdog says Tesco Mobile ads were offensive

UK advertising watchdog says Tesco Mobile ads were offensive

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a number of recent Tesco Mobile advertisements were likely to cause "serious and widespread offence".

Newspaper ads, digital outdoor posters and a Twitter post were investigated after 52 complaints.
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Apple launches self-service repairs in the USA

Apple launches self-service repairs in the USA

DIY iPhone repairers can now order official spares

Apple has launched 'Self Service Repair' in the USA, enabling consumers to obtain repair manuals, Apple parts and tools from an official Repair Store. The service will be expanded into additional countries later this year.
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Opinion Articles

Friday, December 18, 2020

Whatever happened to all my tech?

Mark Bridge revisits his mobile technology reviews

Mark Bridge writes:

Over the past few years I’ve bought a fair amount of mobile technology. I’ve also been lucky enough to be given some. But times flies – nowhere faster than in the tech sector – and yesterday’s best-selling handset can quickly find itself at the bottom of the recycling bin.

I’ve been taking a look back at the devices I’ve written about during the past few years. Some are still faithful companions, others... well, let’s just say my faith was misplaced.

Kapture audio-recording wristband
Let’s start with the biggest disappointment: 2015’s Kapture wristband. Launched on Kickstarter in 2013, it arrived late with a trail of broken promises. It recorded sound into a ‘buffer’ that was constantly overwritten. If you heard something you wanted to keep, you pressed a button on the watch-like device and it saved the last 60 seconds of audio to your smartphone. Cool or what?

The reality was just-about-adequate recording quality, the need for watch-wearers to attach a device to both wrists, a patchy app and a reliance on Kapture’s cloud service. When Kapture quietly slipped off the internet a few years ago, my recording wristwatch stopped working.

Apple iPhone 6
“Would you like to borrow an iPhone 6 for a few days?” asked Three UK. I did. It was unremarkable. Not bad, just not as good for me as the Android-based HTC phone I was using at the time.

Nomad ChargeCard
Battery life may not be as glamorous or as headline-grabbing as other features but it’s an essential. So when Nomad asked me to try a couple of their robust ultra-portable charging cables, they received a very enthusiastic reply. I liked the idea of the ChargeKey cable on my keyring, although eventually the microUSB plug started wearing through my pockets, which isn’t so practical. However, the Carabiner version seems much better – so I bought one as a gift.

HTC One M7
Oh, I loved my HTC One. Great design, great functionality, great annoyance when the camera started playing up, great delight when they fixed it. I’m currently rocking a Huawei P20 Pro, which I’d like a whole lot more if it hadn’t just fallen off the company’s list of supported devices. There’s nothing wrong with my phone after two years – except a potential lack of security patches for the operating system.

Barclaycard bPay wristband
Another departed piece of tech, although this one’s largely evolved rather than died. bPay was effectively a tiny contactless debit card embedded in a wristband (or assorted other handy devices, such as key fobs). It worked in association with your phone for checking purchases and adding money to the account. When most payment cards weren’t NFC-enabled, bPay made contactless payment a simple add-on for anyone who wanted it. Today, with most debit and credit cards able to handle contactless payments – and contactless payment supported by all major mobile operating systems – bPay has very much become a victim of its own success.

Philips Voice Tracer DVT6000 recording machine
I love this. I was sent it to review by Philips and was allowed to keep it afterwards, which is something of a rarity. What an absolute delight. It’s designed as a voice recorder – some people would call it a ‘dictation machine’, although the sound quality is much better than that description suggests. I always use it for interviews, either as a main recorder or a backup, and I’ve even used the automatic timer function to record the Dawn Chorus. Still as good as new, six years on.






Mark Bridge is a freelance writer who continues to invest unwisely in new technology. You can find him on Twitter @markbridge.
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