Premium Huawei P8 Smartphone Offers Built In Screen Protection

A new, premium smartphone is a joy to behold – until the day you drop it and smash the screen that is.

To help avoid that disappointment, the new Huawei P8 comes with 12 months free screen repair due to accidental breakage.

Hopefully you won’t need it but if you do it’s great to have the peace of mind.

The P8 brings with it much more than a broken screen-free guarantee, this is perhaps the best phone that Huawei have yet produced and the price, just $799, is incredible value for money.

The Huawei P8 is crafted from a single block of aluminium in a process that takes 810 minutes for each unit and includes diamond shape blasting which creates a finely textured surface.

The 5.2” FHD display is covered with Gorilla Glass while the phone itself is incredibly thin at just 6.4mm with a camera which sits perfectly flush.

As you can see from the photos, the P8 and it’s sister device the P8 Lite are stylish devices that wouldn’t look out of place at the club or in the boardroom.

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The Huawei P8 introduces “Rich Touch” allowing the display to differentiate between parts of the hand. Double-tapping a knuckle captures a full-length screen shot, while using your knuckle to draw a circle on the screen quickly selects and captures content.

A new “Find my phone by Voice” function allows users to give their smartphone its own name and then call out to it when misplaced. The P8 will respond through its speaker to tell you where it’s hiding.

For photography fans, the P8 leverages a combination of hardware and software to help users capture beautiful images, even in the worst lighting conditions.

Features include: 

  • The  Optical Image Stabilizer technology, enabling high-quality photos and videos, and managing camera shake so images are consistently sharp.
  • The world’s first four-colour RGBW 13MP sensor and DSLR-level independent image processor enabling noise reduction when shooting and intelligent detection of a high-contrast lighting environment.
  • Four professional quality low-light shooting modes giving users access to a virtual photo and video studio to capture artistic inspirations.
  • For example, the Light Painting mode utilizes a manual camera shutter to capture broad swaths of light. It can capture a stream of light from a ferris wheel, or allow users to “light paint” their own freehand images using a torch in the dark.
  • The Huawei P8’s Director mode allows users to direct and control up to three other Android phones when shooting a video scene from four angles simultaneously and to synchronize video clip editing.

The Huawei P8 is available in two attractive colours: Titanium Grey and Mystic Champagne.  Both models are available Spark, 2degrees, and other major retailers with an RRP of only NZ$799.



Gadget Roundup – Top Tech for Kiwi Springtime

In this month’s gadget roundup we’ve got a jumping drone, a premium hairdryer and a smartphone with a gnarly zoom lens, proving once again that the world of tech is constantly evolving.   To find out about these products and many more, read on…


Drone On

 Kids of all ages went gaga over the Parrot AR Drone but the relatively high price kept the enthusiasm in check. That’s not a problem for the new, Parrot Rolling Spider drone which clocks in at an affordable $149. This ultra-compact drone, controlled by a tablet or smartphone, flies indoors and outdoors with surprising speed and stability. Acrobatic tricks are available from the free app and you can even steam video from its integrated mini camera. It’s guaranteed to generate hours of fun as is its stablemate the Parrot Jumping Drone (pictured).

ParrotJumpingSumo-B1 RS_RED_FrontView_Wheels_Sticker

Heart Beat

Gadgets that measure body movement are all the rage but this is one takes biometric measurement a step further. The TomTom Runner Cardio GPS sport watch, $399, has a built-in Heart Rate Monitor which accurately measures changes in blood flow in the wrist by shining light through the skin. As heart rate monitoring is the most accurate way to understand how the body is responding to exercise, runners can easily use the heart rate settings in this TomTom watch to improve their performance.


Portable Sound

The Haka strikes fear into opposition teams but you don’t have to wait for the next big test to hear the All Blacks rousing challenge. This special, limited edition All Blacks UE Boom portable Bluetooth speaker, $299.90, sports the silver fern design and plays part of the Haka when you turn it on. Like the All Blacks the UE Boom is known for its power and ability to perform under all manner of extreme conditions.


Zoom In

Most smartphone cameras are fine when you want to take a selfie, but they’re not so good for long distance photos. The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, $799, solves this problem by packing a 10 X optical zoom lens into the rear of a flagship Galaxy smartphone. That means that you’ll always have a zoom camera with a 20.7 megapixel sensor at hand, allowing you to capture the moment whether it’s right in front of you or many metres away.


Good Hair Day

When is a hairdryer not just a hairdryer? When it’s made by British brand ghd, makers of the iconic hair straightening irons, of course. The ghd aura, $300, promises to give salon quality results at home by virtue of its patented Laminair technology. This aligns hair in a single direction leaving it ultra-smooth and shiny. Meanwhile the Cool-Wall feature creates a ring of cool air around the hot air, so the user can get closer to the scalp for volume and increased root lift.

 aura_stood CMYK HR

Laser Like Focus

LG may have launched the G3, $1049, their new global smartphone with the mantra “simple is the new smart” but this sleek phone is packed with sophisticated technology that puts it well ahead of the competition. The 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display has four times the resolution of current HD smartphone screens while the 13MP camera has a revolutionary Laser Auto Focus system that shoots stunningly sharp images in a fraction of the time required by conventional phone cameras. Simply stunning.


 Be Safe, Be Seen

Exercise is important at most times of the year, but if you’re running or cycling in the dark, it’s just as important to be seen. The Halo Belt 2.0, $55, is a reflective, fully adjustable belt that also emits a solid or flashing light. While it’s designed to be worn buckled around the waist, it is also commonly worn over the shoulder or even clipped around a backpack. The belt recharges quickly through a USB connection and is available in red, blue and green.

Vincent Pilot Ng Halo Belt 2.0 Blue

Game On

Serious gaming requires serious power, and the Asus G750, $3,599, is one of the most powerful gaming laptops currently on the market. The eye-catching design draws inspiration from stealth fighters, while the keyboard layout is ergonomically designed to give gamers greater comfort during long playing sessions. With specs that include a 17.3 inch screen and Nvidia’s most powerful graphics card yet, this 4.8kg powerhouse is a force to be reckoned with.


Light Sleeper

Frequent business travellers know how off-putting jet lag can be. Re-Timer glasses, $395, promise to knock jet lag for six using the power of light therapy. All you have to do is wear Re-Timer glasses for 30-50 minutes a day for four days before you leave on a long-haul flight. The gentle exposure to the green light will gradually and naturally shift your sleeping pattern, so you can arrive feeling on the ball for that important business meeting.

Retimer clear cut

Behave Yourselfie

The Fujifilm Instax Share, $246, is a wireless device that allows you to instantly print the special moments you’ve captured on your phone. The Instax share app lets you customise your image before sending it wirelessly to the printer. If you want a reminder of the date, time and even the temperature when each pic was taken, no worries; one of the templates allows you to add this to the image prior to processing. It’s one way of making sure each shot is a one of a kind.

Fujifilm Instax SHARE

Streaming Sounds

 It’s a first world problem but a lot of homes have older speakers that can’t stream audio from modern wireless devices like tablets and smartphones. That’s where the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter, $69.90, comes in. This small adapter connects to a speaker or hi-fi system through an RCA or 3.5mm input, instantly adding Bluetooth functionality. You then simply pair your phone to start sending big beats or classical compositions over the air. Problem solved.


Top Tablets

If you’re in the market for a new top-end tablet, you’re going to love the look of Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S. The premium Android Tab S comes in two sizes, a 10.5-inch, starting at $749, and 8.4-inch version, $599. They are the first tablets to feature high-resolution Super Amoled screens and as a result images are brighter and more colourful than similarly priced tablets. Parents will love the “Kids Mode” feature which gives little ones a safe place to play and prevents them from deleting any of Mum or Dad’s apps.

[Image] Galaxy Tab S 10.5-inch_5


Content created by John Buckley, orginally published in KiaOra Magazine, published by Bauer Media, 2014.


What are the top tech and social trends for 2013 – One News Report

If you are interested in hearing about the top tech and social trends for 2013 you can’t go past JWT’s excellent Top 100 things to watch in 2013.  The full, easy to read report is available here on Slideshare.

TVNZ News picked up on the trend-setting report and asked me to contribute a couple of brief insights on tonight’s news.  At the risk of sounding nerdy, I’m particularly proud to claim the first ever demonstration of NFC tags on a New Zealand prime time news programme (probably).  I can’t wait to see how this particular technology rolls out in the coming months.

Here is the One News segment by ace reporter Kristin Hall (click the image to view on

One News JWT Top 100 for 2013

The customisable NFC tags shown come from Tagstand and if you’re into this sort of future tech, you can easily pick up a hobbyists starter pack here:

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 launch

An impressive event all round. Expect the Galaxy Note 2 in New Zealand around the last week of November. Approximately $1100.  TBC.

Looking for NZ pricing details. Here’s me in the meantime.



I don’t know who these people are. Ricki-Lee? Sam Sparro? Okay.

We’ve had the galaxy camera and ativ range. Now for the main event.

Todd Sampson there.

Getting interesting now. That’s a big stage.






Live from the halls of industry in Sydney.

TomTom Via 620 Giveaway

UPDATE 2: Okay, the e-mail has been sent.  And responded to.  Congratulations Peter from Lynfield in Auckland.  Your prize will be with you shortly. Happy navigating with the all new TomTom Via 620.  Thanks everyone who entered – I’ll keep an eye open for other cool giveaways.

UPDATE 1: Today is the day for the draw for this lovely Tomtom Via 620. Emails received before midday will go into the pool and I will e-mail one randomly drawn entry shortly thereafter. If you entered your name – good luck!

Original post:

It’s the next big thing in satellite navigation. With an extra-large 6-inch screen the Via 620 features sharper screen clarity as well as bigger menus and buttons, helping drivers enjoy a clearer, easier and safer navigation experience.

The team at TomTom have given me one unit which I have tested and can now give away through my blog.

To go in the draw just e-mail me at and tell me your favourite NZ destination. I will pick one lucky person and let them have the Via 620 valued at $329.

Read more about the TomTom (and find the small print about the draw) after the jump.

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Galaxy SIII (S3) Hands On Review

What’s the old saying? When it rains, it pours? Well, at the moment we are experiencing a deluge of super spec’d up smartphones.  Mere weeks after the HTC One X hit the market the new Samsung Galaxy S3 has swooped into view.

For those of you who don’t know, the previous version of the Galaxy (the S2) was just about the only phone that managed to keep up with the all powerful iPhone.  20 million units of the S2 were shipped in it’s life cycle – and Samsung are expecting 30m unit sales for the S3.  That may sound like a tall order but you’ll be pleased to know that they have already clocked up 9m pre-orders before it goes on sale in the middle of this week.

A limited number of test units made their way into New Zealand this week and I’ve been lucky enough to have one for the past 24 hours.  Many, many blogs have already benchmarked the S3 technically (links below) so I decided to put it through some “real world” tests.

First up – The Ponsonby Road Media Lunch test.  As you know, this is a critical test. There is absolutely no point in owning a high end smartphone if it doesn’t get envious stares when placed on the table in front of you during lunch.

At lunch, the S3 was on the table for 1m 20seconds before I was asked “is that the the new Samsung?” Not a bad start given the phone has a fairly sleek profile.  The phone was then passed around a group of smartphone users (four iPhone and one Galaxy 1st generation owners). The general consensus was 1. It’s lighter than you expect. 2. It’s big (meaning larger in physical terms than an iPhone). 3. It looks great (screen resolution) and finally 4. It’s “nice”. Phew, social embarrassment neatly avoided.

Later, having had a chance to use a few of the features I drew a few more conclusions. I like the size of the phone.  The 4.8 inch screen displays rich content so nicely the S3 is a must have on my gadget shopping list. (read on below)

Click the image to view the review on

The next feature I tested was the dual wifi ability.  The phone has the ability to pull two signals down from a wifi router and provide a smoother faster stream of video content.

The guys at Samsung suggested I try out a Youtube test and have a “race” between the S3 and my iPhone 4. So I did. I streamed the Prometheus 2minute trailer to both devices and yes, the first thing that became apparent was that the S3 delivered the stream faster. However the more important thing was the fact that the trailer looked beautiful on the S3 and it looked woeful on the iPhone 4.

There were two reasons for this, the S3 has a 4.8 inch screen versus the iPhone’s measly 3.5 inch screen. Secondly the rendering of colour on the S3 was just much better than on the iPhone.  Personally I have always preferred the screen on the Galaxy range to the display on the iPhone 4 series.  Some people think the colour and brightness on the super AMOLED screens are too brash.  Not me. But then I have already admitted to being a Ponsonby-Road-Media-Lunch-Goer so I have no problem with brash.

Other notes? I like the feel of the S3 in the hand.  Apparently inspired by nature, the phone is supposed to feel a like a large, smooth, river pebble.  I have no doubt it would skip merrily across a body of water if thrown with the right force at the right angle.

The rest of the “natural” effects don’t quite do it for me – the rain drop sound when you touch the screen, the nature inspired ring tones (including Blowing Dandelion Seeds and Fairy Fountain) are just a bit too tree-huggy for my sensibilities – and I’m a Green voter!

I could go on for a lot longer but I won’t, I’ll give a thumbs up to these additional features:

Smart Stay: As long as you are looking at it it stays backlit. Not exactly a must-have feature but smart, innovative and its inclusion is gift to the PR and marketing people looking to capture attention.

Direct Call: It knows when you want to talk to someone. If you are typing a txt message then decide to call the person you’re txting, you simply have to lift the phone to your ear and it will automatically dial that number for you.

S Beam: Place two GALAXY S3’s back-to-back and you can transfer pictures, music, videos, and more.

Finally, if you’re in New Zealand and you want to buy one of these phones, Vodafone has an extra incentive for you.  Vodafone is giving smartphone lovers who purchase the new Samsung GALAXY S III the opportunity to win a trip of a lifetime into space, valued at $270,000. This is the first time a space travel prize has been offered in New Zealand, and all customers who purchase the new Samsung GALAXY S III from Vodafone between 31 May and 15 July will be eligible to enter.

The first phones go on sale from 12:01am on Thursday 31 May at the Queen Street, Auckland and Riccarton Mall, Christchurch Vodafone stores. I can’t wait to see how that goes.

External reviews:

Big Screen Star – HTC One X

If I had to choose a music track to sum up the HTC One X it would be Superstylin’ by Groove Armada.  That’s because there’s a whole lot of stylin’ going on with this great new top of the range smartphone.

As you can see from the pic above, the case is a smooth plastic, semi-curved, shell. While it looks very tasty, you actually have to see it in real life to get some perspective on the size of the phone.  Without fail, the first thing people say when they see it is “wow, that’s a massive phone”.  I suspect that when they say massive, they mean “bigger than my iPhone which has a 3.5 inch screen”.  That’s because the One X sports a luscious 4.7 ” hi-def touch screen. That means you get a hell of a lot of screen real estate on a phone that feels slightly larger in the hand than a phone normally should.  It’s another phone, like the Samsung Note, which follows the philosophy of “if less is more, just think how much more more would be” (I think I read that quote somewhere else but it works well here).

So, the design is beautiful and the screen gorgeous, deep and rich; could there possibly be any drawbacks? I have to say yes.  The sound promises much, but delivers little.  The beats audio logo is unmissable on the case of the phone, appearing to promise great sound reproduction. Unfortunately, during my testing, I can only say that the inbuilt speakers provided a similar sound to any other high end smartphone. That is to say, not great, and certainly not as “rich and authentic” as the literature promised.

One area where the One X does excel is in the camera department.  For a phone, the optics and features are really quite good.  The 8mp camera and smart LED flash work well in low light conditions. My favourite feature though is the ability to take a photo while recording in HD.

The HTC One X is a great quad core powered, Ice Cream Sandwich toting beaut of a phone.  Some users will take a while to adjust to the size, others will opt to reject the smooth white casing in case it attracts scuffs.  However anyone looking for a super stylish Android phone with a bunch of high powered connectivity apps and features will be throwing money at this handset.  It’s definitely going to be an interesting battle between this and the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy SIII.

The HTC One X is available now on the Telecom Smartphonenetwork priced at $0 on a 24 month $100 smartphone plan.

Samsung Smart TV Launch – April 2012

Ah television, let me count the ways I love thee.

Fans of the goggle box would have got a buzz out of Samsung’s 2012 TV Range launch at The Wharf in Northcote Point this morning.

Samsung rolled out their 2012 Smart TV range at the premium Auckland location where the TV’s (just) held their own with the amazing water view.

These TV’s look stunning, of course, particularly the top of the range ES8000.  I want one. Dammit, I want two.

Glen Chean MC’d us through the range, giving us a great “remote-free” demonstration of Samsung’s new voice and gesture control system.

The pitch is “5 different entry methods before you even need a remote.”

These are:

  • Voice.
  • Gesture. (through the buit in unobtrusive webcam)
  • USB wireless keyboard.
  • Mouse.
  • Galaxy S2 touch interface.

It seems that the hot new thing after 3d (2010) and apps (2011) is remote free navigation a la the Xbox Kinect.  We’ll have to wait and see whether this is what TV purchasers really want or whether it’s a solution in search of a problem.

In other news Samsung announced that all tv’s from the ES range up will have built in Freeview and PVR recording functionality.  Even though you will have to hook up your own USB hard drive this does seem like a great value add for TV buyers.


The top of the range ES8000 with voice and motion gesture control.


Step back in time – TV’s through the ages.


Glen Chean from Samsung demonstrates latest range of Smart TV’s.


While similar to the XBox Kinect gesture controls system, Samsungs solution uses proprietary technology.

Wearable Tech to inspire your workouts

Winter is still with us but around the country our roads and parks are beginning to fill with people getting fit for Spring.

That’s right, the season of boot camps and early morning bike rides is back upon us.

There’s nothing a gadget guy needs more than a bit of technology to test out on that run/bike/walk so this week I tried out the latest wearable technology that promises to keep your fitness on the right track.

The Looxcie 2 Wearable Personal Video Camera

The Loocxcie promises to let you record your life, hands free. The original version was the first wearable video cam and it allowed you to participate in the moment, while capturing it. With the Looxcie 2 you can also use your smartphone as a viewfinder, create a clip and post to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This unit records up to 5 hours of video, though it’s easy to transfer footage to other storable media. For fitness freaks its a great way of capturing your running, cycling and other activity – why not capture that magnificent putt and post it to Facebook for bragging rights. It’s worn like a Bluetooth headset, so the more vigorous your activity (ahem) you might want to consider extra steps to secure it to your ear. Using the updated Looxcie Moments Smartphone companion app, users can choose between either 320p or 480p video quality.

Recommended Retail Price: $275.00 plus $5.00 post and packaging

Product Website:

Rating: 3 out of 5

Geigerrig RIG 500 Hydrating Backpack

This is a pretty cool, pressure powered hydrating backpack. If you’ve ever used a standard hydrating backpack one you’ll know that you have to bite down on the mouthpiece and suck the water out like a mad thing. This system, developed by an ex-marine, has a pump pressure system so you can spray the fluid instead of sucking it. Spray into your mouth, spray into your dogs mouth, spray to wash a graze… The makers claim that users consume up to 30% more fluids while wearing a Geigerrig, therefore hydrating better. The bladders come with a lifetime warranty for leakage and are virtually bomb proof.

Recommended Retail Price: $199.00 incl gst.


Rating 4 out of 5

LED Lenser Headlamp

Running through parks before or after work, can be quite risky. The paths are quite dark so you really can put yourself at risk of an injury. I recommend you light the way with the LED Lenser Headlamp. This model, the H14, is one of the brightest headlamps you can buy with a super bright 210 lumens output. Features include the patented LED Lenser Advanced Focus System with one-handed speed focusing, as well as the NEW microswitch which allows you to customize the light output to your needs. The H14 is not just a headlamp. Thanks to an intelligent fastening system, the lamp head can be detached from the headband and attached to clothing as a hands free torch or mounted on bike bars using the supplied universal bracket.

Price: $199.00 including gst.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cool Cameras

Today’s cameras come in all shapes and sizes.

For most people, a simple point and shoot model is good enough to get the job done.

But what if you want something a bit special to help capture your memories? Here are some of the latest cool cameras…

To view the Breakfast segment with Rawdon Christie click here

And if you ever wondered what the view is like from the Breakfast sofa, here are a couple of shots from the segment…

Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 Camera

The world’s first 3D digital camera that can capture HD (High Definition) 3D movies.
The camera features two 10mp CCD’s allowing users capture 3D video and stills as well as traditional 2D digital images.

Pricing: $799
Available from: Leading camera shops
Product Website:
Rating: 4 out of 5.

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