Best Mac Tips to Follow

Things That Make You Love Wireless Earphones and Headsets

There’s always been a constant banter running in our mind when someone asks us to choose between a wired and wireless earphone. Let’s be honest – picking between wired and wireless earphones can be troublesome because both are good. As per the research conducted by report buyer, the global earphones and headphones market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.31% during 2017-2023 and cross $20 billion in revenue by 2023. But there is something that keeps the wireless earphones above the wired one.

Now, let’s jump straight to the point as to why should you choose wireless headphones/earphones over wired ones.

#1 No more jumbled cables

The biggest relief or should I say the biggest benefit behind purchasing a wireless earphone is that it frees you from the problem of juggling with the cables and makes it straightforward for you to tune in to your favourite music whenever you like. No more tangled earphone wire, no compelling reason to try and take your gadget with you.

#2 Easy to Carry

Wireless earphones may work great for you when you need to tune in to music while you do fitness activities. Also, it is easy to put in the ear and will remain set up for the span of your exercise.

#3 Easy to use

With most wireless earphones, you ought to almost certainly associate them to any Bluetooth-empowered gadget. Numerous wireless earphones are perfect with the most recent adaptations of Bluetooth and might be in reverse good with more seasoned gadgets that utilisation of a prior rendition of Bluetooth.

#4 Constant Improvement

If we go back to the beginning of the earphones, sound quality was crap and costs were insanely high. Nowadays, the cost of the earphones is genuinely reasonable at this point. Blending it as straightforward as tapping an NFC tag or flipping open the cover of your earphone/headphone case. Also, the Bluetooth utilised in remote earphones works comparably good to Wi-Fi yet its frequencies are extremely low and are not viewed as hazardous for human use.

#5 Extraordinary battery life

Wireless earphone battery life can without much of a stretch last ten-hour mark contingent depending upon the pair you purchase, all that anyone could need to playback for a whole day at the workplace, a few outings to the exercise centre or innumerable laps around the square.

So, these are five extremely straightforward motivations to give Bluetooth earphones a shot. Considering a portion of the extraordinary remote earphone bargains going around, you can get a respectable pair of earphones and see with your own eyes how incredible they are. The best piece of all, however, is that purchasing Bluetooth earphones doesn’t mean you need to discard your old cable ‘telephones. Use them when it’s advantageous and change to cabled when it’s most certainly not. The inquiry isn’t generally why you should purchase remote earphones, yet is there any good reason why you wouldn’t?


Here, at Technology Traders, we have a bunch of wireless earphones/headsets option available for everyone to choose from.

HOCO E37 Wireless 4.1 Long Standby Headphone With Microphone

Hoco E37 Wireless 4.1 Long Standby Headphone with Microphone

Bluetooth Version 4.1

Lightweight design, very comfortable to wear.

Music playback time: 15 hours

Continuous talk time: 15 hours

Standby time: Approximately 340 hours

Effective working distance: Approximately 10m

Battery display, support for Apple phones and some Android phones.

Compatible with iOS/Android systems.


HOCO ES15 Soul Sound Wireless 5.0 Headset with Charging Case

Hoco ES15 Soul Sound Wireless 5.0 Headset with Charging Case

Bluetooth Version 5.0 for clear calls

TWS: True Wireless Stereo technology

Lightweight design, very comfortable to wear

Music playback time: 4.5 hours

Continuous talk time: 4.5 hours

Standby time: Approximately 210 hours

Effective working distance: Approximately 10m

Battery display, support for Apple phones and some Android phones

Compatible with iOS/Android systems



HOCO ES20 Original Series Wireless Bluetooth V5.0 Headset With Charging case

Hoco ES20 Original Series Wireless Bluetooth V5.0 Headset with Charging Case

Headset wireless specification: Wireless V5.0, support protocols Headset Hands-free A2DP Avrcp, therefore earphones stream clear and continuous music with a more stable signal.

Transmission frequency 2.4GHz for balanced sound, clear treble and powerful bass.

Transmission range is 10 meters, so you can move around freely without being bound to your device.

Charging voltage DC5V, charging time is about 1 hour. Talk time is 2 hours, music time is 2 hours which is perfect for a long run or workout.

Charging case battery capacity is 400mAh, left and right earphone battery capacity 40 mah each, giving an awesome standby time of 200 hours.

Weight is 44.8g (including charging case), single earphone weight is 3.8g. Compact and lightweight wireless earphones stream high-quality sound without tangled cords.

Battery display supported for Apple phones and some Android phones to show the battery level of the earphones on your iPhone, so you will know exactly how much battery is left when paired with your device.

Finally, the headset is convenient for driving, cycling, working and those situations where both hands are occupied.


HOCO ES21 Wonderful Sports Wireless V4.2 Headset

Hoco ES21 Wonderful Sports Wireless V4.2 Headset

Bluetooth Version 4.2

Cable Length 60cm

Lightweight design, very comfortable to wear.

Music playback time: 3.5 hours

Continuous talk time: 3.5 hours

Standby time: Approximately 80 hours

Effective working distance: Approximately 10m

Battery display, support for Apple phones and some Android phones.

Compatible with iOS/Android systems.


HOCO ES7 Fitness Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphone Headset with Hands-free Mic

Hoco ES7 Fitness Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphone Headset with Hands Free Mic

Meticulous design and quality.

Bluetooth V4.1 for lower power consumption and fast pairing.

Built-in microphone for hands-free phone calling.

Ergonomic designed earbuds, ultra-soft, very comfortable to wear.

Double battery built-in for approximately 6 hours of talk/music.

LED light to show working status.

The ear hook makes it ideal for driving, running, jogging, or other outdoor activities.


HOCO M16 Wired Earphones with 3.5mm Jack and Microphone

Hoco M16 Wired Earphones with 3.5mm Jack and Microphone

M16 Ling sound metal universal wired earphones with 3.5mm audio jack.

One button control and microphone – listen to music and take calls.

1.2m high elastic cable with TPE braid.


HOCO M38 Rhythm Earphones with 3.5mm Jack and Microphone

Hoco M38 Rhythm Earphones with 3.5mm Jack and Microphone

Earphones cable are TPE high elastic with enamelled wire, length: 1.2m

Functional single-button operation to control music playback + for answering the phone.

Microphone provides hands-free calling function.

Speakers provide quality stereo sound.

3.5mm jack provides compatibility with a wide range of devices.


HOCO UPA11 AUX Audio Cable With 3.5mm Jack

Hoco UPA11 AUX Audio Cable with 3.5mm Jack

1m Cable with 3.5mm to 3.5mm Jacks.

Durable TPE outer cover.

Foam line, core specifications: (14/0.08 foam line +250D nylon wire) *3C OD3.0±0.1MM.

Pure copper gold-plated plugs for quality connections.

100 centimetres in length.


JOYROOM JR-T03 Wireless Earphones with Charging Box

Joyroom JR T03 Wireless Earphones with Charging Box

Bluetooth Version 5.0 for clear calls.

TWS: True Wireless Stereo technology.

Supports wireless charging, automatic pairing and SIRI call function.

Lightweight design, very comfortable to wear.

Music playback time: 2.5 hours

Continuous talk time: 3-5 hours

Standby time: Approximately 20 hours

Effective working distance: Approximately 10m

Compatible with iOS/Android system


So, these are some of the options for you to consider before you go for a wireless headphone/earphone. Just hop in to any of our stores or call 07 3245 2238.

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10 SECURITY MEASURES TO TAKE BEFORE HANDING OVER YOUR MOBILE PHONE FOR REPAIRS?

Things to keep in mind while handing over phone to repair shops
Things to keep in mind while handing over phone to repair shops

We are living in a digital world where smartphones have spread its roots in our daily life. Those days are gone when it was used only for calls and messages. Now-a-days, it is an all-in-one device which fulfils our daily needs like banking, business, social connections, information keeping & sharing, camera, reading news, online shopping, learn something new, etc. It’s not only limited to the usage but has become an addiction.

              As crucial it has become, they sometimes start malfunctioning for several reasons like – broken screen, water damage, speaker & mic damage, battery damage, home button doesn’t work, logic board fault, Wi-Fi & signal issues, SIM & SD reader faults etc. It doesn’t make sense to buy a new phone instead of repairing the old one. If it is something that can be fixed one should always visit the repair shop. But there are few things that should be considered while handing over the phone to a repair shop. Phone security and safety should be the foremost priority before taking any steps.

Let’s go through all the aspects in step-by-step:

  • Remove your SIM card & SD card.
  • Remove all the security locks.
  • Remove all the accessories from the phone like phone covers & cases, chargers and cables.
  • Backup all the information on the phone. Using Cloud-storage could be the best idea to back-up all the important documents, photos, videos, messages, mails, Wi-Fi Passwords, other device settings etc. in Google Drive, iCloud, Google Photos, Dropbox, or other cloud-services or manually in a computer. This will help prevent the data loss.
  • Back-up bigger data or documents to an external storage or HDD.
  • Back up all the texts and call logs. One of the easiest options is to use Google Play (SMS Backup and Restore).
  • Clear all the personal data from the phone. This includes photos, videos, chats, messages, call logs, memo, calendar entries, etc. only if needed and data is confidential.
  • Unlink your phone from email, messengers and all the social-media accounts or any other devices the phone may be connected with only if you are really worried about data privacy.
  • Encrypt your data before wiping off anything from the phone. For this, data must be backed up first, wiping the data from the device should be second and then perform a factory reset.
  • Erase your device. For Apple user, go to settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings. If asked, enter your passcode and Apple ID password. For Android user, go to settings > General Management > Reset > Factory data reset. If needed, enter password or Passcode.

If you are still facing problem making backup of your data, simply contact us or call 07 32452238.


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SSD VS. HDD

Samsung Galaxy S10 Rumours


Samsung has announced its upcoming Galaxy S10 launch date (i.e., 20th Feb 2019) during the CES 2019 show. Samsung will organize a separate event to Mobile World Congress, in San Francisco (in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium). Samsung will also launch its much-anticipated 7.3” Foldable OLED device during that event.

Currently, Samsung is the largest phone brand company by sales volume (https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44188018) followed by Huawei (2nd), Apple (3rd), Xiaomi (4th) and Oppo (5th).


Technology Traders - Samsung Galaxy S10 Rumours
Pic Source: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44188018

Technology Traders - Samsung Galaxy S10 Rumours

Pic Source: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44188018

Well the rumour says that this smartphone may have the following features:

Sizes

  • Infinity O Display
  • There will be three versions of S10.
  • 5.8” (Lite Model)         – Rear-facing Camera and LTE            – Beyond 0 (SM-G970F)
  • 6.1” (Regular Model) – Dual Rear-facing Camera and LTE    – Beyond 1 (SM-G973F)
  • 6.4” (Plus Version)      – Triple camera set                             – Beyond 2 (SM-G975F)
Technology Traders - Samsung Galaxy S10 Rumours
Pic Source: Evan Blass/Twitter  

Storage

12GB RAM and 1TB of internal storage.

  • S10 (Lite)         –          Comes only with 128GB storage option
  • S10 (Regular) –          Comes with both 128GB and 512GB storage option
  • S10 (Plus)        –          Comes with 128GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options

Specs

  • Ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanner (3D Sonic Sensor) that can read the ridges of a finger in 3D.
  • IC – Exynos 9820 chipset or Snapdragon 855
  • Improved Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that handles on-device Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes, as well as an improved LTE modem capable of downlink speeds of up to 2.0 Gbps.
  • The Exynos 9820’s advanced Image Signal Processor (ISP) support up to five sensors. The improved silicon will also improve the speed of the autofocus.

Camera

  • Three lenses on the back, two on the front.
  • Could include a 16MP wide-angle, 13MP telephoto and 12MP standard lens.
  • Could have up to six cameras.
  • Resolution of 600 pixels-per-inch
  • The new chipset supports encoding and decoding of 8K videos at 30fps.
  • 12MP f/1.5-2.4 paired with a super-wide angle 123-degree lens with 16MP sensor and f/1.9 aperture.
  • 13MP f/2.4 aperture sensor.

Battery

40% improved power efficiency

  • 4000 mAh (Plus version)
  • 3500 mAh (Regular Version)
  • 3100 mAh (Lite Version)

Price

Likely at least AU $1,349

Sources


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10 Tips to keep your Phone safe

In this blog, you can read how to keep smartphones safe and secure from spams and viruses. Here are the top 10 tips that you can use to keep the phone safe and secure.

Tips to keep your phone safe
Tips for Phone safety
10 tips to keep your phone safe

NEW YEAR GIFT IDEAS

4 TIPS FOR BUYING A USED SMARTPHONE

FOLLOW THESE 4 TIPS FOR BUYING A USED SMARTPHONE AND YOU CAN’T GO WRONG.

 

1. If Possible, Meet Face to Face

When buying a used phone, we strongly advise against buying it online and insist on an in-person meeting.
Take it from us (we do this for a living): you don’t want to buy a used smartphone on the internet and have it sent to you, without checking it out first. Whatever images your see, even if the other person is willing to do a video call, they are no guarantee of what you are going to receive in the mail.
Technology Traders stores can be located here and are staffed by expert technicians for your piece of mind.
 

2. Bring These Items with You

At the meeting (or when you get the phone in the mail), you need to bring a few things with you:

• Your own charging cable (if you don’t have a compatible one, borrow from a friend)
• A laptop
• Your SIM card or a friend’s, which can fit into the phone. Read up what type of SIM the used phone needs so you aren’t stuck with a microSIM card when the phone uses a nanoSIM.
• Headphones
• A microSD card (if the phone has a slot for it)
 
 

3. Inspecting A Used Smartphone

Once you have the phone in your hand, you should run a minimum of 5 checks:

 

i. Note The Phones Overall Condition.

The phone’s screen should be your primary concern when you’re examining a used phone. Any chips or cracks are an immediate deal breaker, as replacing a screen is costly ($70 and up) and can indicate other problems with the device. And check for scratches on the camera lens for the same reason.
Watch for damage to the body, like dents and scratches, it indicates a device has been dropped repeatedly. That could start to cause separation in the body of the phone or damage to the internal components.
The 9News has recently featured Technology Traders regarding buying used phones.
You can check the video on our YouTube channel.
If the phone you are purchasing is a model where the battery can’t be removed and you want to check for water damage, the water damage indicator is usually placed in the SIM card slot. But every model is different so you are best off to Google it.
 
 ii. Check Everything That Opens and Closes.
Any flap, cover, port that can be opened needs to be tested, so open it and check that it that it works as intended. 
 

iii. Check all the ports.

Check that your head phones work.
Connect the charger cable you got to your laptop and see if it’s charging by that port. If it charges by laptop, it’s going to charge by wall socket. Also run these checks with other accessories too. 
 

iv. Insert your SIM card.

Make a call, send a text, and Google something. It’s the easiest way to check that these things work. This check will also tell you if the phone is locked to a carrier that your SIM isn’t from. Simples! 
 

v. Run the service code test.

If you want to test the phone to make sure every sensor, camera and every colour is working correctly, you can. Each smartphone has a service code that you can use to access a special menu to check whether different parts of the phone are running. Google it to find the one for your device.
 
 

4. Check For a Warranty

Since this is a used phone, you should be looking for a warranty and the longer the better for hassle free usage.
Ideally you want a warranty that you do not have to pay extra for. Trusted used phone retailers like Technology Traders (who offer an industry leading 6 months warranty on used phones) will offer a warranty on both parts and labour.
 

Most often if your device needs to be assessed under warranty the device will need to be returned to the phone retailer you bought it from. Ensure you are aware what the process for a warranty claim is and how long it will take to resolve. Being without a device for 30-45 days while the refund or replacement is arranged can make life very difficult.

Remember if all this seems to be a bit more willing than your willing to do, we at Technology Traders have done all this for you.
Each pre-owned device we sell has passed a rigorous 20 point check-list to ensure our quality guarantee. They are all unlocked, so our pre-loved mobile devices aren’t restricted to any one service provider, and so neither are you. Best of all, our pre-loved phone come with an industry leading 6 months warranty on both labour and parts, so if the part should stop functioning properly, we will repair it again at no additional cost for you (excludes user abuse and user damage).
 

And we offer ZIPMONEY as a better way to pay. Buy now and pay later with no deposit, no interest and low monthly repayments. Check out our range of pre-loved devices here.

 

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LCDs and AMOLEDs DISPLAYS: WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

Even though they’re not usually the main specification phone manufacturers like to showcase, smartphone displays play a large part in the quality of user experience. There are heaps of display types used in smartphones today- all of which seem to go by confusing acronyms like TFT-LCD and Super-AMOLED. So, what does it all mean?

 

LCDs

LCD, short for Liquid Crystal Display, is a display panel where a layer of liquid crystals is illuminated by a backlight. These panels are a popular choice because they’re relatively cheap and perform well in direct sunlight. However, they’re not the best at colour representation, especially in comparison to other panel types which are not illuminated by a backlight- but more on that later.

 

The LCD displays in smartphones are either TFT or IPS liquid crystal displays. TFT (Thin Film Transistor) is a little more complex than a basic LCD, with each pixel being attached to a transistor and capacitor individually. When each pixel has its own transistor and capacitor, it’s referred to as an Active Matrix. TFTs are cheap to produce and have enhanced contrast compared to standard LCD displays. However, they chew through battery power due to being constantly illuminated by a backlight, and still fall behind other alternatives in showing color and contrast. 

 

IPS (In-Plane Switching) LCDs is the next step up from TFT panels, with improved color representation and viewing angles, made possible with the use of two transistors per pixel and a stronger backlight. The downside is IPS LCDs also consume a fair bit of power like other LCD panels.

 

AMOLEDs

Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode displays, otherwise known as AMOLED displays (thank goodness), sound a lot more complicated than they really are. Active Matrix refers to each individual pixel having its own transistor and capacitor, which we’ve seen before in some LCD panels, whereas “OLED” is just a different approach to thin-film display tech. OLED (or Organic Light-Emitting Diode) refers to an organic material that emits light when a current is passed through it. This means that there is no need for a backlight (unlike LCDs), which has several benefits. For example, it lowers energy consumption and enhances contrast and colour representation because black pixels are technically “off”. AMOLED displays also have faster refresh rates and better viewing angles. However, they’re not as good as LCDs when it comes to visibility in direct sunlight. 

 

Samsung is notably one the largest manufacturers and users of AMOLED displays in their smartphones and devices, including popular flagship handsets like the Galaxy series, and it shows in display repair prices. Samsung phones and other AMOLED devices are typically a lot more expensive than LCD devices (like the iPhone) to repair. Some tech repair stores are even known for replacing broken AMOLED screens with duller, less efficient LCD displays because they’re cheaper to source. However, if you damage your Samsung screen, Technology Traders offers genuine Samsung AMOLED display repairs at an even lower cost, ensuring those deeper blacks, vibrant colour, and authentic AMOLED experience. 

 

In short, AMOLEDs are pretty much the next step up from LCD displays in all regards except performance in direct sunlight and, being newer technology, cost- and if you damage your AMOLED display, get it repaired at your nearest Technology Traders to ensure you’re getting the real deal.

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Keeping up: how and when to buy a new smartphone

It can be daunting when you’re in the market for a new smartphone. There are new models being released constantly, and depending on your lifestyle or what you do for work, keeping up with and having access to their new features may be a necessity. However, having to update your handset regularly can be expensive, but there are smarter and cheaper ways to shop for new tech. Here are our tips on getting the timing just right, so you can buy without breaking the bank.

1) Shop with the seasons

Like most industries, technology has seasons. New releases and brand new tech from various phone manufacturers are released in clusters. As always, it’s handy to keep tabs on various manufacturer’s release schedules and what they mean for tech prices.
For example, Apple tends to release new iPhones predictably around mid-to-late September, whereas Samsung has a history of releasing new Galaxy models yearly at the start of April. So what does this mean for you?

Well whether you’re looking to buy an older iPhone or the newest model, the best time to buy is in September at release. While the newest models around release are expensive, they will most likely just increase in value until their successors are released the following year. What’s more is that prices for the previous iPhones will be at their lowest around the debut of the new models.

It’s a slightly different story for those in the market for Androids, as flagships from manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei slightly decrease in value from release each year instead of increasing like Apple’s handsets. However, the beginning of April is often said to be the best time to purchase older models for cheap.

2) Do you really need to buy?

Another thing to consider when you’re looking for a new phone is actually whether you really need one. Holding off for a little longer might end up better for you and your pockets.

A cracked screen or sub-par battery performance might not warrant a brand new model. Instead a screen or battery replacement by the expert technicians at Technology Traders could lengthen your smartphone’s life for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

However, the most important thing to determine is whether your current smartphone can keep up with operating system updates. If not, you leave yourself without cool new software features and with bugs that are fixed with the updates. These bugs and other flaws in older versions of your phone’s operating system may also compromise the security of your data.

3) As good as new

A smart way to stay on top of the latest smartphone technology while staying money savvy is to buy secondhand. Even though you can get great deals all year round with traded-in and refurbished smartphones here at Technology Traders, a great way to maximise value is to tie this in with our first point: timing is key. Shopping with the seasons and keeping an eye out around major tech releases ensures finding the best value secondhand handsets, as others trade in their recent models for the newest renditions.

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Preventing Infection: How To Steer Clear Of Viruses And Malware

For most of us, the internet is essential for keeping up with everyday life. But, with our never ending use of the web, we’ve made our computers far more vulnerable to infection by viruses and malware (shortened from “malicious software programs”). So, we can assume a lot of us have also experienced what it’s like trying to use a computer ridden with malware. It’s annoying, frustrating and a very true test of patience. 

Although some instances of malware are merely annoying, others may put you at risk of data loss or identity theft. And like a real virus, when it comes to computer viruses and malware, prevention is definitely better than cure. Here’s a few tips on how to avoid infection:
 

1) Use your common sense

Common sense can save you a lot of strife, especially when it comes to avoiding malware on your PC. This basically means going with your gut feeling as well as being a bit more vigilant with a few things.

Click carefully! It might seem daunting, but it’s important to know what and what not to click. It’s best not to open attachments or links from emails you don’t recognise or cannot verify. Also, avoid web pages that have downloadable pirated material, or clicking on suspicious ads. If a website or email looks dodgy (spelling or grammar errors, no contact information etc.), skip it.

The right website. Another common trap is downloading from, or uploading personal information to the wrong website. For example, if you were to download Google Chrome, make sure the site you’re downloading it from is Google.com, without any typos. So, before downloading or giving your information to a website, make sure to check its URL first.

SSL certificate? An extra security measure being utilised by web pages is having an SSL certificate (or Security Sockets Layer). This ensures that the information you submit is encrypted, and thus more difficult for a third party to gain access to. You can spot if a site has one by checking if there is a small lock icon next to it’s name.

 

2) Antivirus software

Even with all the common sense in the world, you would still probably need antivirus software. Luckily Windows Defender- the antivirus software available to download for every Windows computer and pre-installed on all with Windows 8 onward – is a good and free alternative to most expensive antivirus software. It runs in the background and has surprisingly non-intrusive notifications. Bulky paid software, although perhaps being more thorough and protective of your personal information, could potentially slow down your computer.

 

3) Keep your OS up to date

Your operating system, whether it’s Windows or Mac OS X or another OS, needs to be up to date. Keeping up with the routine updates makes sure all the security leaks are being plugged with each patch.

 

4) Back up your stuff

In order to prevent the blow from getting a virus, it’s important to back up your data. You should aim to have your data backed up in at least three places: the device you use them on, and on two separate storage devices kept at two different locations. This way, your files are super secure, and you’re likely to suffer little to no data loss if your computer is hit with malware.

 

Even with these tips, there’s no 100% surefire way to keep viruses and malware at bay, simply due to the fact that they’re constantly evolving, but these tips will give you a fighting chance. 

Getting rid of a computer virus is just as frustrating as having one. If your computer comes down with one, pop down to your nearest Technology Traders for help!
 

HOW TO LEVEL-UP YOUR PHONE PHOTOGRAPHY

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HOW TO LEVEL-UP YOUR PHONE PHOTOGRAPHY

Nostalgia is a powerful feeling, and you’re bound to feel it when you take a virtual stroll (or scroll) down memory lane through your camera roll. We’re obsessed with using our camera smartphones to try and capture our best moments, whether we end up sharing them on social media or just saving them for later. By now, most of us have our phones within arm’s reach, poised for just the right second to tap the capture button. But if you want to get the most out of your smartphone camera, there’s more to it than just point-and-shoot. 

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your smartphone camera:
 

1) Prepare yourself and your phone for photo taking

 

  • Get to know your phone’s camera

Before you get serious about smartphone photography, it’s important to know what you’re working with. Take a look at your phone’s camera settings. Chances are, your phone has a preset resolution and various default options for controlling focus, exposure and so on. Even though it might seem daunting, the more you can control with your phone’s camera, the better.

  • Clean your lens

This one might seem like a no-brainier, but making sure your lens is clean is a must. Our phones are constantly being handled and often kept in lint-ridden handbags and pockets, so fingerprints and flecks of dust on phone camera lenses is common. Both of these things can ruin your shot, so be sure to keep a microfiber cloth handy (a sunglasses cloth or face tissue also work).

  • Get comfy

Having a steady hand is essential for taking a crisp photo with your phone. If you know you’re going to be taking heaps of photos, make sure you can hold still without getting too tired. Using both arms to hold your phone, or resting your arm on a sturdy piece of furniture might help you do this. It might also be worth considering investing in a tripod with a smartphone attachment or- dare I say it- a selfie stick, for steady wide-shot selfies that won’t make your arms burn.

 

2) Photography basics

 

  • Learn about composition

The very backbone of a good photo lies in its composition, or how you balance the elements of your picture. There are various “rules” about the positioning of your subject, background, foreground that are definitely worth scratching up on. For example, the rule of thirds, where instead of placing your subject in the centre, you place them towards one of the outer thirds. Another is the rule of odds, which is where odd groupings of objects appear more satisfying than even groupings due to our nature to look for symmetry and consistency.

However, rules are made to be broken. After you’ve gotten the hang of the different aspects of composition, being creative with your compositions makes for equally as, if not more eye-catching photos.
 
  • Lighting, lighting, lighting

Where there’s leeway in how you might play with composition, lighting can make or break your smartphone photography game. If photographers could control the weather, we’d have bright, diffused light like that on an overcast summer day all the time. But we can’t always be so lucky. Smartphones are becoming more and more capable of taking pictures in less-than-ideal light, with many having night photography features. When in doubt, try to take your photos in daylight or at least have your subjects facing a light source.

 

3) Don’t zoom!

 

Using your camera app to zoom instead of moving closer with your feet is the first step towards taking bad smartphone photos. Unless your smartphone happens to have optical zoom (most don’t), using the digital zoom feature, which works by enlarging pixels, will result in noisier, more pixelated pictures. It’s best just to walk closer if possible, or do some clever cropping when you edit the photo later.
 

Hopefully these tips come in handy next time you want to take a really good photo of your brunch for Instagram, or the view from your hike for Facebook. Whether your path to camera phone skill nirvana is through acquiring some smartphone photography accessories, or upgrading phone models altogether, hop down to Technology Traders where we offer a great range of both!

 

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Four essential Apps that Don’t cost a cent

Humans are the great toolmakers- and with the invention of the smartphone, it feels like we can fit a million different tools in our back pocket. We already use them for so much, like listening to music, talking to each other and watching cat videos, but when you think about it, the possibilities are endless! And that’s all thanks to the plethora of apps at your fingertips, just waiting to be downloaded. What’s more is you don’t even need to spend a single cent of your hard-earned cash to fill your device with useful apps. Yep, zero dollars. Naught. Nada. Zilch. The Google Play store and Apple’s App store are stocked to the brim with a tonne of free apps at your disposal that could change your life for the better.

Here are just a few of our favourites:

 

1) Sleep as Android

We all need sleep. This app by Urbandroid is a smart alarm clock that tracks your sleep cycles and aims to “wake you gently” at the optimal time so you’re up on the right side of the bed every morning. Sleep as Android is also packed with features that allow it to play you a soothing nature lullaby, record sleep talking as well as detect and prevent snoring. It can also prevent oversleeping with CAPTCHA wake-up verification, which makes you unable to turn off the alarm without completing a task first (i.e. solving a math problem, or scanning a QR code in your bathroom).
Since Sleep as Android is only offered in the Google Play store, an alternative for iPhone is Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock by Northcube.

2) Shazam

Have you ever felt like you’ve missed out on a new favourite song because you couldn’t catch the name of the song or the artist who made it? Maybe you took too long to scratch down some lyrics to Google search later. Well, Shazam is a handy app which allows you to identify a huge variety of media, including songs, T.V. shows, movies and advertisements, by providing a small audio sample. It’s an easy-to-use, free and available from on both Android and Apple devices!

3) SwiftKey

If you’ve ever felt like your smartphone’s keyboard is too fiddly, or you’ve recently made the swap from Android to Apple and you miss swipe-to-text, this might be the app for you. SwiftKey allows you to type by dragging your finger along the keyboard, customise your keyboard’s design, as well as easily transition between languages- which is a huge step up from the standard Apple and some Android keyboards which aim for simplicity. The app is available in the Google Play and App store, and they recently made every keyboard theme free!

4) Seconds

Sometimes it can be hard to keep on top of our fitness goals, but this free app can help you take the stress out of planning your workouts. Seconds is an advanced and intuitive interval training timer which allows you to make and save your own custom workout timers, and works seamlessly with music being played simultaneously on your device.

 

Now you can hurry along to your app store and help your smartphone become the ultimate tool without breaking the bank, starting with these amazing free apps! If you just so happen to need a smartphone to fill with these apps, head down to your closest Technology Traders!

 

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Repair or replace your broken tech: How to decide ?

Many of us rely on our phones, tablets and computers everyday. These delicate bits of tech have revolutionised the way we work and play, so much that sometimes it’s hard to go without them. And with brand new tech constantly refreshing the shelves, sometimes it’s also hard to keep up. So what do you do when one of your trusty can’t-live-without devices is broken or becomes too sluggish? Well then, you’re faced with a dilemma: repair your device or replace it. 

Here are some points to consider when you reach that fork in the road:

  •  How broken is it? A little or a lot? While some may see a crack in a phone screen and immediately jump on the latest iPhone, it’s best to resist the urge. Minor problems like a broken screen on your phone, tablet or laptop are almost always worth repairing. Same goes for other small issues like dodgy charging ports and battery issues, which can often be fixed quickly and painlessly for a lot cheaper than replacing your device altogether. However, fixing your device might not be the way to go. Although very little is beyond repair at Technology Traders, it might not be worth your money or time if it your device’s issue is complex, or if it requires multiple repairs.
 
  • Can you cop the downtime? If you decide to repair your device, it’s good to ask your Technology Traders technician how long your repair will take, especially if you don’t have backup devices. For example, if your laptop needs to be fixed, you could be without a computer for as long as the repair takes. And unless you take advantage of cloud storage, a phone repair might momentarily keep you out-of-reach. Replacing your tech, although it might be more costly, would eliminate the downtime caused by repairs. 
 
  • But when it comes to replacing tech, transitioning from your old device to a new one comes with its own downtime. The clumsy set-up phase when you’re still sorting out your settings and figuring out the bells and whistles can really hinder productivity. If the repair is quick or convenient, replacing your device might not be worth the hassle.
 

Feeling sentimental? What does your tech mean to you?

The personal value of a broken device should also come into consideration when deciding whether to repair or replace it. Even though some people might not give a flying hoot about their tech, there’s no shame in becoming attached to your devices. Considering useful they can be, you might not want to lose that feeling of familiarity and efficiency once you’ve settled. If your device holds sentimental value and you believe it’s still got more to give, you might be more inclined to repair it even if the problem is dire and that’s okay. 
 

How recent is your device? 

When it comes to what to consider when deciding to replace or repair a device, this is a big one. If your broken device is a recent model, a repair is most logical. Replacing a newer device would very likely be more expensive than a repair, especially if it’s a simple fix like a cracked screen. On the other hand, if your device is older, replacing is probably the better option. With older devices, the cost of the repair might be more than the device itself is objectively worth, making it smarter and more economical to replace. 
 
Levelling up! It’s also worth keeping in mind that if you end up deciding to replace your broken device, it could be the perfect opportunity to upgrade. This might be as easy as entering the market for a brand-new device, but it might be smarter for you and your wallet to consider buying second-hand. It turns out, purchasing a refurbished smartphone, tablet or computer is a good alternative to both a costly repair as well as buying a brand new device. At Technology Traders, there is a great range of expertly-repaired smartphones, tablets and computers for sale that won’t break the bank and work (and look) as good as new! 
 
In the end, whether you repair or replace your poor, broken tech is completely, 100% up to you. Repairing can be painless and easy, or it could simply take too long and cost too much- and the same goes for replacing a device. It’s best to think carefully and weigh your options before deciding, and if your fondness of a particular keyboard’s clicky-ness or the feel of a specific shaped phone in your hand tips the scales, then so be it. If after reading this you’re still up in the air about what to do, pop down to your nearest Technology Traders today and have a chat with one of our technicians about your options!
 

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Common Smartphone Repairs: What to expect?

Owning a smartphone comes with a whole suite of new experiences, and one of those is the how much it stings when it’s broken. Whether you knocked your phone off the countertop, left it on the roof of your car, or went swimming with it in your pocket- unless it’s made out of one of those crazy indestructible metals from the comic books- it’s going to need a repair. Even if you’re lucky enough to still have a phone in tip-top condition, it’s always helpful to know what to expect. Here are the most common smartphone repair issues you might stumble across: 

Screen repairs

Ah, screen repairs- the bread and butter of the smartphone repair industry, if you will. Screen repairs are the most common fix, and it’s not hard to see why. After all if you take away all the cool tech or even just remove the battery, a smartphone is really just a tiny bad mirror we constantly pick up, put down, and swipe at. A cracked screen is practically inevitable, not to mention an eyesore and potential finger-sore (if you happen to cut yourself on the shattered glass). Luckily screen repairs are one of the most simple and inexpensive, often involving a simple screen replacement. Once fixed, future damage to the screen can be avoided by protecting your phone with a suitable case and screen protector (preferably tempered glass). 

 

Home button repairs

Another common issue you might run into during your time as a humble smartphone owner is a broken home button. This problem is just as unsurprising. In the words of Technology Traders technician John Benham, “The parts a user touches are always the most likely to fail!” A sticky or completely unresponsive home button can often render multiple functions useless, making opening or closing apps and simple navigation nightmarish at best. Fortunately, the fix for a problematic home button is often simple and usually involves a button clean or replacement. It’s also worth keeping in mind that replacing a faulty home button might affect fingerprint-scanning for smartphones with that feature like iPhone’s Touch iD. 

 

Charging port repairs

Smartphone charging ports are also a part often in need of repair. They’re in constant use and if you’re not meticulous about plugging and unplugging your cable gently, it can be hard to avoid charging port damage. Charging port damage can’t always be simple to fix, but unlike a sticky home button or barely-broken screen, you can’t just power through it. Your phone will eventually lose charge, so it’s essential to seek out a repair quicksmart!
 

Battery failure

Battery repairs are yet another common repair made by Technology Traders technicians. It can be frustrating when your smartphone has a battery that charges too slowly, loses charge too quickly or unexpectedly dies. All of these symptoms scream loud and clear that your battery itself probably needs replacing, which can be done quickly and painlessly by a trained technician.
 

Water damage

 
Whether you spilt a drink on your phone or accidentally dropped it in the toilet, water damage is sure to trigger chaos, but for goodness’ sake DO NOT try to turn it on. If you do, you might damage your phone’s motherboard beyond repair. The best course of action is to throw it in a snaplock bag full of rice and take it to a qualified technician at Technology Traders ASAP to see if it’s salvageable. 
Just as breaking your smartphone is part of the experience, so is getting it fixed. There’s no doubt your device is important to you, so to keep it in the best possible condition it’s smartest to have it taken care of by qualified and experienced technicians. If you experience any of these common smartphone breaks, you can find help at your nearest Technology Traders.
 

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