All posts by Michaela Madgwick

Going over your mobile data allowance?

Tips to avoid bill shock

Android

On Android smartphones, you can check your data usage and set alerts and limits to ensure you don’t receive the dreaded bill shock at the end of the month. Simply head to Settings > Data Usage (On some devices you may have to select Wireless & Networks or Network & Internet before Data Usage). You’ll see a graph showing your data usage over a specific period of time. You’ll be able to set both warnings and limits. Warnings will alert you when your device has used a certain amount of data, while limits will automatically turn off mobile data when your device has used a certain amount. For those with devices running Android 7.0 and up, Data Saver Mode is available. Data saver mode lets most apps and services get background data only via Wi-Fi. Currently active apps and services may use mobile data. To turn Data Saver Mode on or off, head to Settings > Network & Internet > Data Usage > Data Saver.

iOS

You can check your data usage by going to Settings > Cellular data.  You’ll be able to view a list of all your applications and the amount of data used for each. To turn mobile data off for an individual application, simply find it on the list and slide the toggle to off. However, you will have to remember to manually reset the statistics at the start of your billing cycle for this to be useful (The reset statistics option can be found at the bottom of Mobile settings).

Windows

Windows devices feature a ‘Data Sense’ app which offers a detailed breakdown of data usage on your Windows Phone and helps you avoid unexpected charges when you’re nearing your data limit. To track your usage, tap the Data Sense app and select ‘Set limit‘. Here you can choose your ‘Limit Type‘ from Pre-paid if you have a pre-set amount of data to use that expires on a specific date, Monthly if you have a limited amount of data you can use each month before you’re charged or Unlimited if your data is unlimited but you’d still like to monitor your usage.

Samsung announces the new Note 9

The Note 9 has been announced by Samsung and is their most expensive flagship to date.  The devices will be released on August 24th in two variants, a 128GB model at £899 and a 512GB model at £1,099, making the new Note 9/s more expensive than the Apple iPhone X. The specs and features, however, make up the price tag. The 6.4″ device provides a whopping 4,000mAh battery that offers all-day performance, while one of the variants available allows for over 1TB of memory. Users will be able to insert an expandable 512GB SD card that can take the 512GB model past 1TB of memory, offering a tremendous amount of  storage.  To put this into perspective, the average size photo is 500K so 1TB has the potential to hold around 2 million photos! The only downfall? The external memory may only be used for media such as photos, videos and music files but not applications.
samsung note 9Additional specs include an improved dual camera with a 12MP rear camera set up that has dual-aperture technology. The new features include automatic optimisation of colour settings such as contrast, white balance and exposure, making it nearly impossible to take a bad shot. A further key feature is the S Pen, designed to create a similar sensation as putting pen to paper, allowing you to create your very own electronic notebook, personalise messages and emails with your signature and even create art. Conveniently the S Pen can be used to remotely access the camera, removing the need for self-timers or straining for a selfie, and can be used to command your presentation slideshows. Finally, the stylus can be used to play, pause or switch media from photos in the Gallery to YouTube videos.

Image of person changing presentation slides with S Pen

The Note 9 will be available in Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple and Black and Copper colours, however the availability is expected to differ in each region. The monochrome metal frames surround Samsung’s largest Infinity display yet, with a near bezel-less, full-frontal glass, edge-to-edge screen. Each colour variant is available with a matching stylus. Under the hood, the Note 9 features the Snapdragon 845 processor and 6GB of RAM for superior multi-tasking.

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For more information on the new Note 9, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your account manager via email sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk or phone 01252 854352. Your account manager can provide you with information on pay-monthly or SIM only plans once available.  We are always more than happy to help!

New Apple iPhone Smartphone rumours

New Apple iPhone Smartphone rumours

Last September, Apple released the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, alongside the iPhone 10, using the roman numeral “X” to represent the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone release. This means it’s unclear whether the next flagship will be the iPhone 9 and 9 Plus, iPhone 11 or even the iPhone XI.

Rumours have speculated the following models:

  • iPhone SE 2
  • iPhone 9
  • iPhone 9 Plus
  • iPhone 11 (XI) – possibly expanding to 6.1in
  • iPhone X Plus

Image result for new apple iphone rumours

The iPhone XI is rumoured to feature faster mobile data speeds, possibly with support ready for the launch of 5G technology, alongside a Dual-SIM card slot. A Dual-SIM Smartphone is capable of holding two SIM cards. This allows you to have two numbers and two identities at once, so you could make or receive calls and send or receive texts on either number and give each number only to people of your choosing. If you’re already on the line on one SIM, and another call comes through on the other SIM, you can choose to put your first call on hold while you take the second or the second call will go to voicemail, ensuring you don’t miss a call. Dual-SIM devices feature a SIM Manager, so you can decide various capabilities such as which is your main SIM and manage data usage separately. The SIM’s can also have different call and text rates.

What are the benefits?

  • Separate business and pleasure– Dual-SIM devices allow you to keep work and play separate with the potential for one SIM card for business and one for personal use. And you’ll be able to differentiate between work and personal calls before answering the phone. Better yet, you can get properly reimbursed for work calls with a clear line between personal and business expenses. 
  • Cheaper rates abroad–  Dual-SIM phones are highly useful for trips abroad as you’ll have the ability to put a local or travel SIM in one slot, that will match the country’s cheaper rates. 
  • More storage– Having two SIM cards means double the storage and the choice to store different content on each SIM, or to use one as a back-up.

In the past, the likes of Sony, Motorola, LG and Huawei have provided Dual-SIM models so this would be a nice update from Apple. Further speculations point to an included fast charger, removing the previous requirement to separately purchase a charger from Apple in order to take advantage of fast charging capabilities. Previously, the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were the first Apple devices to support quick charging – offering up to 50% of juice in just 30 minutes. Despite the new devices being capable of quick charging, the feature did not work with the included standard Lightning cable and iPhone charger. To take advantage, users had to purchase additional accessories that are compatible with USB Type-C charging, for a costly £74 (£25 for the adaptor cable and from £49 for the USB-C charger) so this will be welcomed news for those looking to purchase the next iPhone. Facial ID, a new chipset, possibly the A12 and a dual-lens rear camera are also expected to feature. For more rumours leading up the traditional September release, check back at the CMM blog.

The new Xiaomi Mi 8 is making waves in the smartphone industry

Introducing the Mi 8, Mi 8 SE and Mi 8 Explorer

Xiaomi has announced the all-new Mi 8 in three variants, “regular”, “Explorer Edition” – which differentiates itself with a transparent glass back and a pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint scanner. Finally, the Mi 8 SE (Notably similar to the iPhone SE) is a smaller variant, offering a 5.88” screen and Snapdragon 710 processor, versus the 6.21” and more powerful Snapdragon 845 processor on the larger Mi 8 and Mi 8 Explorer Edition models.

xiaomi-mi-8-wallpapers2

The standard edition of the Xiaomi Mi 8 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage and a 3,400 mAh battery for a base price of around $420, converting to around £315 (for the 64GB model), providing serious value for money. The Explorer Edition however, is the model tech fanatics are most excited about.

The in-screen fingerprint reader has only featured on one or two other devices in smartphone history. The reader is pressure-sensitive so that the device will only scan your finger to press down on the display. This is designed to save battery life, as the Explorer will not have to constantly scan for your fingerprint. The second stand-out feature is the 3D facial scanning mechanism, similar to the technology used in Apple’s iPhone X. The mechanism uses infrared light to create a 3D map of your face. This means it is able to identify you far more accurately than solutions that only use a front-facing camera. This mechanism can also be used for portrait lighting effects and animated characters similar to the Animoji on the iPhone X.

Spec overview

Xiaomi models

The standard Mi 8 will also provide 3D Face Unlock, combined with a whopping 20MP front camera. The camera is also provided in the iPhone SE however various other specs such as the processor have been downgraded to compensate for the budget price. However, as recently featured on some of the latest smartphones such as the HTC Desire 12+, iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and BlackBerry’s all new KEY2, all the new Mi 8 variants will feature a rear dual camera (12+5MP rear dual camera for the SE, 12MP for the Explorer and Mi 8). Impressively, all models run on the latest version of Android Oreo and feature Quick charging technology, but can be faulted for the lack of a headphone jack.

Too good to be true? Unfortunately those looking to purchase the new device from Xiaomi will be subject to import fees which may take the price up a notch, however, the value for money is still worth the extra effort.

How to use O2 Charge to Mobile

Goodbye to bank cards.  How to use O2 Charge to Mobile

Charge to Mobile is a mobile payment technology that allows you to make purchases that go directly onto your monthly mobile bill or are deducted from your available credit. Compatible with the iPhone, Android and Microsoft models. The technology can be used in the Apple app store, Microsoft or Google Play. Allowing you to pay Apple Music or Spotify subscriptions, buy PS4 or PS3 content, Facebook Games or Apps or purchase books, movies and more.

The service is safe to use and only works with trusted sellers that meet industry standards. The technology also means you do not need to share or remember any bank details, as the purchases are billed directly to your Pay monthly bill or Pay As You Go credit.

Getting set up:

On iPhone:

  1. Go to the App Store.
  2. Select Account
  3. Tap ‘Apple ID’ and sign in.
  4. Go to ‘Payment Information’.
  5. Select ‘Mobile Phone’.
  6. Tap ‘Use This Mobile Number’.

On Android:

  1. Choose what you want to buy on Google Play and go to buy.
  2. Go to the ‘Payment Methods’ window. It should appear automatically. If not, go back to the window with the ‘Buy’ button and open the dropdown menu by tapping the arrow next to the price.
  3. Choose ‘Use O2 Billing’, follow the steps and then enter your details and save as your payment method.

On Microsoft:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Store
  2. Select the content you want to buy.
  3. Select “Mobile Phone” and “O2” as your payment method.
  4. Enter your phone number, and the verification code when prompted.

If you need any help getting set up with O2 Charge to Mobile, please do not hesitate to contact our support team via support@cmmtelecoms.co.uk or phone 01252 854352. We are always more than happy to help!

EE aims to launch UK’s first 5G trial this October

EE intends to be the first operator to initiate a live trail of 5G technology at London’s Tech City in October. In total, 10 5G sites will be trialled around London’s Tech City, where five businesses and five homes will have the chance to get connected using new technology such as prototype 5G broadband devices.

The aim of the 5G trial is to provide the highest speed mobile data connections, including in some of the most densely populated urban environments. To find participants for the UK’s first ever 5G trial, EE will be using social media.

“We want the UK to be a global leader in 5G as part of our ambition to create a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone.” Minister for Digital Margot James

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Not only will the trial benefit EE as a network but alongside the Government’s test beds and programmes, these initiatives combined should ensure the UK is at the forefront of 5G technology and will help deliver the benefits of this new revolutionary technology to businesses and consumers across the nation.

What’s so special about 5G?

5G will be the fifth generation of mobile network, and is expected to dramatically out-do the performance of the current 3G and 4G networks.

“Ericsson predict that 5G’s latency will be around one millisecond – un-perceivable to a human and about 50 times faster than 4G.”

5G is expected to be capable of delivering extremely fast data with estimates between 10 – 50 Gbit/s compared with today’s average 4G download speed of 15 Mbit/s. In fact, back in 2013 Samsung tested 5G at 1Gbps and journalists reported that a HD movie could be downloaded in less than 30 seconds. Fast track to 2014 and Samsung set a mobile speed record of 7.5Gb/s in another 5G trail, while estimates predict the speed will reach 10Gb/s, with transfer rates as high as 800Gb/s further down the line, taking your download time of a full length film to around a second!

While the use of a very high frequency spectrum, above 6 GHz, could support a variety of uses including financial trading, gaming and entertainment, holographic projections, and the potential to support very high demands users in busy areas such as city centres. It’s also predicted that the new 5G network shouldn’t break, offering you the same reliability that you currently receive from fibre connections.