We take a look at the Amazon Echo

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Amazon Echo  

Is this the answer for you and your smart home?

The Amazon Echo is much more than a wireless speaker. In fact, playing music isn’t its number one feature.

The main theme for this device is the Amazon Alexa voice-assistant – and Amazon’s desire to be a permanent fixture within your home.

Alexa is designed to answer your every whim. Whether providing information such as the news and weather, adjusting you’re heating, or controlling your audio visual system, Amazon’s Echo speaker promises to do it all. After launching in the US last year, the Echo is now widely available. But does it deliver on its cloud computing promises and what about its wireless speaker?

Aesthetics

The Echo is a straightforward upright, cylindrical speaker, available in black or white, and while not exactly screaming top-end desirability, it looks good enough to merit a place in the average home. And it feels robust and solidly built for a £90 wireless speaker.  (The Alternative is the Echo Dot with no speaker at under £50)

Inside are seven microphones, alongside its voice technology to make sure your commands are heard, it also allows multiple speakers to work out which is nearer to you.

Also inside are a dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a couple of speaker drivers, a 6 cm woofer and a 5 cm tweeter.

Amazon is keen to emphasise that this is a first class speaker as well as a clever personal assistant, and it also promises 360-degree sound to give you plenty of flexibility in terms of placement.

Functionality

On top of the device you’ll find the ‘volume ring’ as well as the mute and action buttons. LED lights around the ring will show you when Alexa is listening, though you can mute the assistant entirely.

Getting started is simple. Plug in the speaker, download the Alexa app and you can be in command seconds later. Once up and running, it’s all about your voice.

But you do have the option of adjusting the volume on the Echo itself, while opening up the Alexa app will also give you some more control options. There’s also an optional Amazon Voice Remote for £20.

Operation

‘Alexa’ is the word used to activate the system, after which you can ask the speaker to play or pause music, read the news, weather, football scores. Both the success of these voice commands and the number of available services is crucial.

Alexa is learning all the time and Amazon is aiming to add new partners at an equally rapid rate.

Providing you speak clearly and use the systems recommended phrasing, Alexa is pretty impressive. A change in the tone of your voice can cause a little confusion, and while the Echo doesn’t find every singer songwriter we asked for, it has a fairly good strike rate.

Amazon makes a great play of how well Echo can hear its name, even in busy rooms or when there is more than one device.

But it’s not just about finding and listening to music; Alexa has many talents and skills, which are enabled through its various partnerships with content providers, including Sky Sports, The Guardian, Telegraph, National Rail, EDF Energy to name a few.

Getting locally based news and weather updates is easy enough, while some other skills require simple linking of accounts. Add an Uber account and you can ask Alexa to find a cab. A notification will arrive on your Uber app to confirm it’s on the way.

For some apps, the lack of a screen on the Echo means it may just be simpler to use your phone app.

However, the more compatible products you have, the more you will get out of Alexa, so it’s down to Amazon to keep adding ‘skills’ and partners.

Alexa’s other skill is connecting and controlling hardware, with Amazon aiming to give you complete control of your smart home.

We’re talking lights, switches and thermostats. Commanding the lights to turn on as you walk in the door is no longer the preserve of the rich and famous. This works.

On the Audio Visual side, custom installers already have Crestron support, allowing you to add voice control to a complete home cinema system.

Sonos and Amazon have also announced a deal to bring Alexa voice control to Sonos gear. We hope to see more Audio Visual brands getting involved.

We should also mention Amazon’s Echo Dot, a puck-sized unit that’s designed to be connected to your existing speakers, systems or even headphones.

The Echo Dot has the same Alexa voice assistant and skills, and looks like the top of an Echo speaker, complete with control buttons and volume ring – plus added volume up and down buttons. It also has seven microphones inside as on the featured Echo, so it can hear all your commands.

There are small speakers, so you can hear Alexa, but for music playback the aim is to connect to your existing system. It has a 3.5mm stereo audio output for this purpose, as well as wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

The Amazon Echo Dot could prove to be a clever addition to any array of existing audio and video products that would benefit from its voice control.

If you want the voice-controlled music experience, you will need to use Amazon Prime Music, Spotify or Tune In radio.

You can stream music from any source – as you would a standard Bluetooth speaker – but remember apps that aren’t associated won’t have voice control function.

Amazon wants to integrate Alexa with more devices, but for now Amazon Music is the default service, though that can be changed to Spotify. Whichever service you use, you can see the track playing on the Alexa app.

You can also ask Alexa what track is playing and other voice commands include playing by song, artist, genre or even playlist, and pause, shuffle and volume controls.

 The success rate isn’t quite 100 per cent. Less known bands with may take a few attempts to connect, but there are no issues getting commands to work from a reasonable distance.

But the Echo’s sound quality is a different story. Listening to music via Spotify, the Echo speaker plays it safe at both ends of the sound spectrum to avoid any unwanted harshness in the treble, but you don’t get a whole lot of bass depth either.

The speaker can play reasonably loud, but turn it up too high and you’re more likely to get the speaker itself shaking than any room-shaking bass.

The Echo is perfectly listen able, but for more discerning listeners, you can get a whole lot more detail from some of the alternatives in the market.

Of course, the Echo is much more than just a wireless speaker. If you simply want a Bluetooth speaker to listen to music, you should look for alternatives.

But by adding voice control to the equation, and bringing some futuristic functionality into play, the Echo is a satisfyingly clever little speaker.

The Echo demonstrates that Alexa is a slick, useful voice assistant, and one that should improve over time.

And while Alexa isn’t the only one – Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant spring to mind – it’s currently most likely to make a real impact throughout your home, and not just on your phone.

The more compatible apps, and devices you own, the more you will get out of the Echo. So we look forward to seeing more Audio Visual brands offering Alexa support.

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The Rise of the Electric Auto, Tesla overtakes Ford by market capitalisation.

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 Tesla has overtaken Ford to become the second-largest US car maker by market capitalisation, behind General Motors.

 The electric car maker’s stock has surged 7.4% to an all-time high after reporting better than expected first quarter sales.

 At the close of trading, Tesla had a market value of $49 billion dollars, compared with Ford’s value of $46 billion.

 Ford’s sales have fallen behind amid concerns about the ability of the US market to keep growing.

 Elon Musk has seen Tesla take the electric car to new heights in terms of desirability, with the introduction of the model 3. 

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The new Jaguar I-Pace revealed, a first with Smartechnologies

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  • First picture of the Jaguar I-Pace being road-readied on route around Stratford
  • The Tesla-rivalling I-Pace is out on test ahead of its launch next year 
  • The £60,000 ‘supercar inspired’ SUV, will be put on sale next year
  • Jaguar promises a range of 310 mile and Zero to 62 mph in less than 4 seconds
  • More spacious than the current F-Pace 4×4, despite being smaller.

 

Jaguar is powering ahead with preparations for the launch of its first ever electric car the I-Pace next year. 

So much so, that a preview car has already been pictured driving on London’s roads without its disguise and long before the production model is officially unveiled.

Jaguar’s I-Pace is an all-electric SUV that’s due to go on sale in 2018, priced from around £60,000 and aimed at challenging Tesla and others.

And the I-Pace could come with Tesla-rivalling performance too. It will be powered by a pair of electric motors; one at each axle delivering 396 bhp and a 0 to 62 mph time of less than four seconds. Range is claimed to be around 310 miles.

The iconic British car manufacturer says its pictures show the I-Pace hitting the streets for the first time, using a route around Olympic Park in Stratford, East London.

And if it can repeat even some of the success of Jaguar’s first SUV, the F-Pace, then the Coventry-based car maker could be on to a winner. Jaguar’s figures show strong sales for the F-Pace since launch and its sales people have told us that it’s the vehicle that’s pulling new 17-plate buyers into the showrooms.

The I-Pace concept vehicle in this current state of development was shown in Europe for the first time last week at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. 

At 4.6 metres long and 1.9 metres wide, the overall footprint is smaller than the F-Pace and also Tesla’s Model X electric SUV.

However, because there’s no engine up front, Jaguar has taken advantage by extending the cabin – and front wheels – further forward making it more spacious inside than the compact dimensions suggest. 

That electrified thrust won’t be available in just short bursts, Jaguar promises. It says the 90 kWh lithium ion batteries can cover 310 miles on a full charge, however that’s when driving the European test cycle for measuring emissions and fuel economy – a fairly unrealistic interpretation of real world driving that certainly doesn’t include four second sprints to 62 mph. Expect a shorter range in reality.

That said, charging the I-Pace shouldn’t take long – Jaguar says it will reach 80 per cent charge in 90 minutes using a 50kW DC charger. 

With the SUV sector continuing to grow in the UK, Jaguar is entering the best market space to launch an all-electric model. The looks will certainly make it appealing, though we’ll have to wait for the production car to arrive if the range meets expectations, Smartech believes Jaguar is onto a winner.

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The Smartech Guide to Understanding Earphone specification

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Buying Earphones in most people’s mind is a simple process. We choose based on the following:

  • How aesthetically pleasing are they.
  • The Brand
  • The Price

While these three factors are significant for most on deciding what to purchase, there are many other factors that we must take into consideration. Most consumers overlook the technical specifications marked on the packaging. It would do well for the manufacturers to educate us on the significance of these terms. Knowing what these aspects mean will make you a much more informed purchase. Don’t take this knowledge for granted either; most employees in music retailers themselves do not know what these specifications mean. Knowledge is power and it’s generally better when you’ve researched it yourself. Armed with the right knowledge, you are on a much better path toward buying what you really wanted and you will be able to accurately guess whether the pair you’re considering will deliver the kind of output you have come to respect and love.

  • Frequency: This information comes with every set of Earphones. You’ll see numbers like 16-21,500 Hz. But what does all of this mean? Well the sound is measured in hertz. The lower the hertz, the more bass the speaker will deliver; therefore, a speaker that promises you 15 Hz is going to have  much deeper bass than one that delivers at a starting range of say 60 Hz. The higher the hertz, the more treble. Usually, the kHz (kilohertz) doesn’t matter, because the specifications are thrown so far out of proportion, that there really isn’t any cause for argument. A human ear can only hear up to roughly 20 kHz, and even that number is enough to make someone deaf.  That said, we mustn’t just rate the quality of a pair of Earphones on its frequency alone.
  • Impedance: Your Earphones run on electricity, and they can certainly wear out over time if you don’t have a strong enough pair. That having been said, electricity itself carries a vibrational frequency. Vibrations emit sound. The type of sound electricity emits isn’t the most attractive; it lets out a hiss. In order to eliminate hiss, we need impedance. Impedance is measured in ohms, and my personal rule is: the higher the ohms, the lower the phones. In other words, high impedance means a much clearer sound definition. You want to buy a pair of headphones with the highest Impedance you can afford so that you hear pure sound.
  • Sensitivity:  Sensitivity is measured in decibels and sound pressure levels (dB Sound Pressure Level). Let’s not make this complicated. The lowest audible sound is at 0 decibels. This is as close to as silence as it can get while still giving us the ability to hear things. You don’t want to go higher than 85 decibels, because this can cause hearing loss. When buying a pair of Earphones, you’ll want something that can get loud, but you don’t need anything obnoxiously loud. That having been said, most people love their music loud, and the sounds may certainly exceed 85 decibels. Just make sure you keep exposure to such volumes at a minimum. The rule of thumb is that if somebody has to shout in order for you to hear him or her, your music is too loud. Loudness is fine, but retaining your hearing is even better
  • Nominal Power Handling Capacity: You need to know how much power your Earphones can take before they wear out. Wouldn’t it be nice if the packaging revealed such information? Well generally it does! Maximum power is simply the highest beating your Earphones can take before sounding like they have just exploded.  Operate your Earphones at lower power levels, and they will last much longer. In other words play your Earphones at a comfortable volume.
  • Drivers: Drivers are probably the BIGGEST reason why over-the-ear headphones sound significantly better than In Earphones that are sold for the exact same price. The fact is; over ear headphones are big enough for manufacturers to easily place the best drivers for the best possible sound. In order to get excellent sound in Earphones, we must place powerful drivers in them as well. The issue is,Earphones are so small that building appropriate drivers for them isn’t easy. Nonetheless, the stronger the driver, the better the overall sound. Drivers tend to really boost the bass, and they give an overall richer experience. They really thrust a lot of power into the Earphones. Over-the-ears normally have four drivers. Each driver is meant to target a different audio quality: bass, mid and treble. Some Earphones come with more than two drivers, making the Earphones larger. It also makes them more expensive when you add additional drivers. If you add power to these drivers, the Earphones will certainly go up in price. In hindsight, the £156 Beats headphones by say Dr re have a 40 mm driver set within them. The Ultimate Ear Pro 18’s, in direct comparison, can cost nearly £1350. The main reason they are priced to high is that each Earphones has six drivers.
  • Lows, Midrange, and Highs:Just to give you an example of how all of this information ties in together,

 

Extreme bottom below 32 Hz
Low bass, bottom octave 20 to 40 Hz
Mid bass 40 to 80 Hz
Upper bass 80 to 160 Hz
Lower midrange 160 to 320 Hz
Midrange 320 to 2,560 Hz
Upper midrange 2,560 to 5,120 Hz
Highs, lower highs 5,120 to 10,240 Hz
Extreme highs, top octave
10,240 to 20,000 Hz

 

As we mentioned earlier, 20 khz is way too high for our ears, so you do not have to really shop around for Earphones that indicate a high level of kilohertz. Ideally, you want a pair of Earphones that has a very low bass (Hz) and a very high treble (also in Hz; but towards the higher end of the spectrum you may see kilohertz instead). The greater the range, the more dynamic the Earphones will be. It is good to have all of the information as part of the bigger picture; however, your eyes should be focused more on the drivers themselves. If the drivers are excellent, then great Hz-kHz ratings will boost the end result. If the drivers are poor, then no amount of hertz or kilohertz will give you a good pair of Earphones

As we mentioned earlier 20khz is way too high for our ears, so you do not have to really shop around for Earphones that indicate a high level of kilohertz. Ideally, you want a pair of Earphones that has a very low bass (Hz) and a very high treble (also in Hz; but towards the higher end of the spectrum you may see kilohertz instead). The greater the range, the more dynamic the Earphones will be. It is good to have all of the information as part of the bigger picture; however, your eyes should be focused more on the drivers themselves. If the drivers are excellent, then great Hz-kHz ratings will boost the end result. If the drivers are poor, then no amount of hertz or kilohertz will give you a good pair of Earphones.

In conclusion, when shopping for Earphones, the most important thing to look for is the number of drivers a set has. After that, look at the decibel rating, because a high decibel rating guarantees greater sound levels. It is pleasing to look at the number of hertz, but realize that its only part of what makes a good sound. One of our low priced recommendations the Plex37M.

For the active sporty types who would prefer the wires were out of the way take a look at our Wire free offering here 

We at Smartechnologies  hope you found this guide useful. If you did please like our Facebook HERE

 

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The Smartech guide to buying and using a dash cam in your car.

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Dash cams are a good way to make sure that you always have a witness in a collision situation.

This brief guide is intended to help you decide which type of dash cam suits your needs.

Dash Cams; Your Smartech help guide

Dash cams “in-car cameras” are quickly becoming popular and for good reason. These handy little gadgets will record your car journey, providing some much-needed peace of mind on the road and they are ideal in case of a car accident, recording what actually happens as well as protecting you against insurance fraud. Dash Cams can also mean cheaper car insurance, always a plus!

How Do They Work?

Dash Cams sit on your windscreen behind or below your rear-view mirror, and record the road whilst you’re driving. They work by filming in stages. When the memory card’s full, the oldest segment is recorded over, so footage is looped and you never run out of memory. This is known as ‘loop recording’. If there’s something you want to keep, you’re able to save a segment at the push of a button, meaning it isn’t overwritten. Some are also capable of taking still photos. Once you have some footage or photos you require, you can simply download it to your computer or appropriate App.

Why GPS and G-sensors

G-sensors are available on many good Dash Cameras. When these sensors detect an impact they automatically save the footage, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. Some more expensive cameras also include GPS which records location and speed to go along with your video, providing even more information in case you need to use this as evidence.

Video Quality and Night Vision

If you want to be able to identify cars in your footage, it’s really important that the video quality is high enough to be able to make out number plates. A high definition Dash Cam is a minimum and means you’ll have the best chance of getting clear footage. While some will say that six element lenses give a better quality picture we are not convinced this is entirely necessary. Good quality night vision however should be considered.

Parking Mode

If your cars parked out on the road, a camera with a parking mode can be a good idea. They turn on and record footage if there’s an impact whilst your car’s parked so you’ll never miss anything. Is it necessary? Your choice.

How do dash cams work?  

Most dash cams use Micro SD cards, and a card that is class 6 or better means that video quality doesn’t suffer, even on those at the top end. There’s no point buying an HD camera and then using a memory card that is substandard for the purpose.

Cards with more memory will of course hold more video, so it’s up to you to decide how much you want to spend. A 32GB card should be enough for most people, but a smaller one’s fine if you make sure that you wipe it clean regularly.

Where to Place Your Dash Cam:

For most vehicles we recommend positioning for your Dash Camera is just behind or below the rear-view mirror on your windscreen. This is the best location to capture a clear view of the road ahead along with ensuring that the driver’s view isn’t obscured.

Wi-Fi Capability:

Inbuilt Wi-Fi is available on some of the more expensive models. It’s debatable whether this is a necessary requirement as simply removing the SD card and copying the content to a computer is more than sufficient for most. Why purchase what you don’t need!

So what next?

There are many good Dash Cams in the market with prices that range into the hundreds. The choice is your’s. We hope you found this guide useful. If you did please like us on our face book page here.

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Smartech’s guide to comparing mobile phone tariffs

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Our Guide to helping you compare mobile phone tariffs

Trying to work out what is the best mobile phone tariff for yourself can be a challenge. That’s why our Smartech guide is here to help.

According to a recent Ofcom-accredited survey, seventy five percent of Britons on pay monthly deals are spending too much on their mobile phone contract. With the total overspend standing at a massive 3 billion plus each year.

More alarming is the fact this is happening despite a massive range of contracts to choose from and comparison sites that help you track down the best deals.

So we will try to answer your question: “what’s contract is best for me?” and help you avoid paying over the top for something you don’t really need.

Finding the right mobile phone tariff

If you’re getting a new mobile phone then there are two major things you need to consider: the handset and the tariff itself.

If you don’t know what mobile phone you’re after, we’re in a great position to help you. Take a look at some recent  mobile phone reviews . Here you’ll be able to filter deals by length of contract and cost. You’ll also be able to sort them by data, calls or texts allowance, so that picking a deal is easy no matter what your priority is. But before you even start to look here, you need to know what you are truly using in terms of Data, minutes and texts. Why? Because most people use far more or less than they actually need, resulting in the wrong contract being purchased. So to help, we are introducing you to a clever little site called bill monitor.  It determines your usage so that you do not buy what you don’t need.

Pay monthly or pay as you go, it’s your choice. Choose wisely.

Monthly contract mobile phone tariffs allow you to make monthly payments and usually include a set amount of minute’s data and texts. Exceed those minutes, data or texts and you could end up with a nasty shock and a large additional bill.

Pay as you go tariffs allow you to top-up your phone with credit in advance and then use your phone until that pre-paid credit runs out. People who like to have complete control over what they are spending prefer to use pay as you go.

What can be included in a phone tariff?

There are many elements to a mobile phone tariff, from inclusive calls and texts to emailing and data applications.

Inclusive minutes

Every mobile phone tariff should offer a deal on inclusive minutes, the amount is usually dependent on how much you pay each month.

Compare mobile phone and free calls deals through a comparison website. There’s many to choose from.

Inclusive texts

Much like inclusive minutes, most mobile phone tariffs will offer a set number of inclusive texts. This often includes a number of free texts that can be bumped up with an add-on bundle.

Data refers to content or information that you can access over the internet from your mobile, such web pages, music or video calls.

If you are someone who likes to make the most of the advanced technology available on your phone, you should make sure your mobile phone tariff includes a data bundle. But remember if you have broadband in your house it is usually far cheaper to have your mobile automatically switch to this if your there. This can be a huge saving.

International

Calls from mobiles when you’re abroad can be very expensive. However, if you plan to use your mobile abroad a lot, you can sign-up to a mobile phone tariff that gives you a good rate on international roaming. For example 3 has a Tariff that allows you to use your contract like you were in your home country. See here

Contract lengths

Phone contract lengths vary considerably. If you’re the kind of person who upgrades your phone regularly, it might be a good idea to choose a 12-month contract. But there are other options. Purchase you own handset Sim free. Then buy a Sim card from the network of your choice. Many bundles start as low as £5 per calendar month. You do the Maths.

The main advantage of longer term contracts is that the length of the contract can sometimes mean you’ll pay a lower monthly premium.

You are also likely to pay a reduced sum for the handset itself or even pay nothing. But remember there is no such thing as Free. The price will have the purchase of the phone factored into the bundle.

We hope you found this useful. If you did, please like us on Facebook Thank you!

 

Coming shortly SIM Free Phones to give you the edge.

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Smartechnologies review the Mi Band 2 Fitness Tracker by Xiaomi

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The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is probably one of the best value Fitness Trackers around today. With a 1.0668cm OLED display it lets you monitor your steps and pulse as well as the time, without you ever having to pick up your phone.

With a class leading 20 days use between charges from a 70 mAh battery, Xiaomi’s lack of a battery indicator on the screen really doesn’t matter.  The only real down side here is the fact the Mi Band 2 still uses a proprietary cable for recharging, so you’ll need to be careful not to misplace it.

In order to scroll through options the Xiaomi has a button. This anodised button lies flush with the display, and is activated with a simple touch rather than a press. It’s large in comparison to the tracker itself, but we don’t think that detracts from the overall design which looks cool. In fact, we think the Mi Band 2 looks much more like a premium device than many of the others in its price range

While you might pay more than the RRP due to the fact Xiaomi products are not officially sold in the UK, you can pick up the Mi Band 2 from just £29.99. That’s from smartechnologies which supplied our Mi Band 2 for appraisal. Okay, so the price is a little more than the original Mi Band which, costs around £21. But even at this price the Mi Band 2 offers fantastic value for money. More so when you consider that Xiaomi has within this budget managed to add an OLED screen.

As a Fitness Tracker the Mi Band 2 retains the optical heart-rate scanner and can also track your sleep quality and duration. While we can’t vouch for the quality of our sleep, its timings do seem to be very much in line with when we think we dropped off to sleep or indeed woke up.

The Mi Band 2 remains an incredibly lightweight Fitness Tracker. The removable tracker itself weighs just 7g and comes with a 155- to 210mm adjustable hypo-allergenic band. As before, the entire thing is waterproof (rated IP67), and lifting it to your face (as you would a watch) returns a status update.

The Mi Band 2 has introduced a new polycarbonate band which is a lot tougher than those supplied on its predecessor. Even if you have issues, it’s relatively easy to get hold of spare bands, and these come in various colours should you not fancy the standard black version!    Mi says it has upgraded the pedometer algorithm for the Mi Band 2, and much to our delight it has also tweaked the accompanying Mi Fit app. Not before time.

As before Mi Fit syncs data with the band as soon as you launch the app. It offers the usual step-, sleep-, pulse-, distance and calories burned counters, and you can track your activity, sleep and heart-rate by day, week or month. The Mi Band 2 also lets you set alarms, idle alerts and have the Mi Band 2 warn you of incoming calls and texts by gently vibrating on your arm.

With the Mi Band 2 (as with the original 1S) you can also add app notifications: you can choose up to five apps for which the Xiaomi will vibrate to alert you to new notifications. Do bear in mind, though, that the more you use this feature the lower the battery life will be.

Setting up app notifications isn’t easy since there is no order to the list of apps you can choose, and Mi Fit lists every service running, but you do this once.  Of more concern is the fact Xiaomi hasn’t better utilised the new screen for alerts. We accept that the display is too small for printing even just the subject line of a notification, but we’d like to see the icon of the app the notification relates to rather than the word ‘app’ when a notification is received.

The one place the Mi Band 2 continues to fall down unfortunately, is third-party app integration – particularly within the UK. Though it does now tie in with Google Fit. One of the most attractive aspects of Fitbits and other popular fitness Trackers is their ability to allow you to compete with friends when desired.

You can, of course, set your own activity and weight goals using Mi Fit, and by default you’ll get notifications when you achieve these each day. In Summary this is a cracking piece of kit and scores highly in terms of value for money.

 

You can find the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 at Smartechnologies priced at £29.99

Tips on setting up your first Smartwatch or fitness tracker

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Wearable devices such as Cubot and IDENT107  Fitness trackers have been a popular gift this season along with Smart Watches. But, once you’ve  opened up the box, it can be hard to know what to look for outside of the basic set-up. So let us give you a few pointers.

For these tips, we’ve looked at some popular wearables although our suggestions suit most types of product. Here are three things to think about as you set up your new device.

WHICH WRIST 

This sounds pretty basic, but choosing the correct wrist can be important for fitness trackers because your dominant hand tends to move a lot more throughout the day than your non-dominant hand. That, in turn, can affect the way trackers actually log your movement.
For example, you can tell it if you’re wearing the device on your more active hand or not in the app that links with your new tracker.
On some trackers, during set-up you can tell it which wrist you want to wear it on (right or left) and which side you want the digital crown to face if it has one.
Hopefully that should take care of everyone’s preferences for watch orientation.

SHARE OR NOT TO SHARE? 

Some Smart watches and Fitness trackers have a lot of sharing functions – so you can share your fitness progress throughout the day, or compete with friends. For some people, this is partly the point of getting a wearable. But, for others, it may be a step too far.

So, it’s time to get in tune with your privacy settings. For some wearable products, you can find your privacy settings by heading to your web-based dashboard, and diving into the settings menu. From there, you can control who can see your daily step counts, photos, location and other things that are tracked.

By default, some things – sleep patterns, your age, your weight and photos can only be viewed by you, but some things are also viewable by everyone, such as your average daily step count. Adjust to suit your own needs.

On some wearables, you can also share your activity for the day, but that is not set up by default. Where privacy can get tricky for example; with an Apple Watch it is in displaying notifications on your wrist. If you don’t want anyone who glances at your wrist to be able to read the start of your text messages, there is a setting that will let you limit what is shown on the watch face.

If you have the options as on Apple watches head to the watch application on your phone and hit the “Notifications” menu. If you switch on “Notifications Privacy,” you’ll have to tap to see messages and other notification details. It can be a little less convenient, but it could also save you some embarrassment in a meeting.

NOTIFICATION MESSAGES 

One thing that can quickly kill the joy of a wearable device is getting too many notification messages. It’s great to see who is calling or texting but it can be pretty annoying to be expecting a message and then get a tap on the wrist to let you know that an article about a celebrity you don’t know is trending on Twitter.

For some watches, you can set the watch to mirror all your phone’s messages, but that can become a pain very quickly. A better approach is to head into the Watch applications and find your “Notifications” section. Scroll down through all the apps to choose what you want to see on your wrist and what you don’t. Keep in mind that you may have to head back there if you install new applications.

On Ident107 devices some notifications can be controlled through the Veryfit application the Cubot Fitness tracker uses its own software Cubot band. On many models, you can choose whether you want to be notified about calls, texts and calendar events.

And on some more advanced models, you can also link your email account, as well messaging programs such as WhatsApp. For all models, keep in mind that to receive notifications on your wrist, you might also have to turn them on from your phone.

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