15 January 2015

Review - Lumia 535

I have been so super excited to share this post with you guys.  A little while ago, just before Christmas the awesome people over at Microsoft gave me the chance to be one of the first lucky peeps to have a peek at their new phone that they hadn't released yet.  I was so excited to get the phone and have a play around with it and see how it compared to all the other Lumia's that I have been trying out especially as it was unreleased, we all love a bit of an exclusive, don't we!

So let me give you the lowdown so far on this phone....
As most of you will know Microsoft bought over Nokia (well the part of it that makes phones) last year.  All the new Nokia phones were already using the Microsoft software so nothing much had changed so far with any of the devices until this phone.  This is the first official Microsoft branded phone, basically where any Nokia label would have been on a phone it's now a Microsoft label in it's place, so the full blown takeover is complete and Nokia mobile phones are no more (3410 you will always have a place in my heart, memories of spending countless classes at school playing Snake will never be forgotten, love you longtime Nokia).  So there is the back story.  This phone was being billed as a more accessible entry level phone, meaning more affordable, less of the stuff you don't need on it and more of the stuff that you will actually use whilst still trying to keep the same sort of performance as the higher performing Lumia's have.   So shall I get on with telling you if I think it lives up to all that hype then, why the heck not, right....

Appearance and Design - Even though this is the first Microsoft branded phone it's kept the same design of all the other previous Lumia's, give or take a few tweaks.  It's still pretty big but has lovely curved edges which sets it apart from say the more angular features of the 930.  It doesn't feel as bulky either there is a lightness to it that I've not felt from the other Lumia's, which I personally love.  The design seems more playful than their other phones and definitely like it's aimed at a different section of the market.  Because it's a more affordable phone I feel like the design is reflective of the type of customer who would buy it, someone who is looking more for a phone that will not only do everything great but still has to be a stylish phone.  I love that the back shell of the phone is interchangeable too, you can buy an array of shells to put on (the matte black looks just beyond beautiful and the glossy blue looks so pretty too).  That part of the design actually reminds  me of when Nokia first started to do that with their old phones back in the day, I think that's another reason why I feel like this is a phone aimed at a slighter younger market than the other Lumia's.  I can't imagine  someone who buys a phone because of its awesome specs to really care about changing out a shell cover whereas that would be a big pull for someone like me who maybe cares more for stuff like that.

Screen - Like I said above the screen is super big.  It's a 5 inch screen and its really impressive.  The 960 x 540-pixel resolution makes for really clear and sharp colours with easy to read text and fonts.  Most budget phones that this will be competing with don't have screens anywhere near as big and this really does make a difference especially if your watching youtube or skyping.  Oh and I also wanted to mention here that you might have heard rumours about the touchscreen on this phone being a little sluggish and unresponsive, I had seen a couple of tweets about it before I got the phone so I was interested to see what I thought of it.  I am happy to say I had no problems at all with the screen, I thought it was really quick and I didn't have any kind of problem at all with it.  Also I hear that Microsoft had/are rolling out an update to fix any problem that there may have been with the screens before they hit the shelves, so hopefully anyone who had any problems have got them fixed.

Camera - There is a front facing and back facing camera on this phone both with 5 Mega-pixels.  The front facing camera is genuinely awesome its really clear and has a wide angle view which means that you can get more into your photos (or let's be honest selfies, right?) and when you Skype you will be able to get your whole face in without holding it as far away as possible from you and looking all kinds of awkward (We've all been there people).  The back facing camera has a LED flash too.  There is a really cool selfie app on this Lumia and it has great effects and filters and makes it really easy to upload to twitter/facebook etc.  I really feel like all the cameras on Lumia phones are their big selling point and this one is no different. Similarly prices phones just don't seem to be able to compete with the Lumia cameras in my opinion.

The Extras - The phone comes with 8 GB of internal storage and because its a Microsoft phone it comes with all the Microsoft benefits like having 15 GB of free OneDrive storage too.  It also has Office and Outlook intergrated into the phone and of course comes with the sparkly new Cortana experience. 

When is the phone out and Price - Well the phone officially launched in the UK yesterday and you can buy it unlocked on Amazon for £97 and I expect you will be able to buy it on contract from all the big phone providers soon, I'll keep you updated if I hear anymore.

Verdict - This phone is perfect for me or someone like me.  What do I mean buy that, well it definitely doesn't have as high spec's as the other Lumias that I have reviewed in the past so in a way it can't complete with them but it's not supposed to.  It's competing with completely different types of phones, the ones I would buy and it definitely beats them all in my opinion.  I love phones and gadgets and getting to test out all the cool and impressive things they can do but when it comes down to it, I like a phone that can do everything amazingly well, look super pretty but also be kinda cheap.  And if I'm honest that's the most important part for me, the price.  Not everyone can afford the £300 price tags that are on so many phones but for those of us that can't (um..me) why should we have to settle for awful quality, big clumpy phones that don't always last out till the end of your contract.  So that's where this phone fits in, it fills that void for people like me great.  I want a phone that can do all the fancy stuff and work amazing but I don't want to pay the cray, cray price tag.  So I understand when you read some reviews for budget phones that say they aren't as awesome as the latest iphone or something but you have to remember that's not what they are meant to be and to compare them is a little silly in my mind.  A phone like this is awesome in it's own right and is great value for money too.  If you want a fun, affordable phone that still has all the awesome capabilities then this is for you...um, and me.  Let's all buy one and swap shell coloured covers like its 1999......
You can find out more about the phone on HERE too.

Let me know what you think and if you are a fan of the phone?


10 January 2015

Life Lately #2

-  Hello! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all that jazz.  I took a good few weeks off of my blog and twitter over the holiday period and I just wanted to let you all know I'm baaaack.
Did you have a lovely time over Christmas? I hope you all did.  I had a great time but it sort of feels like it was over in the blink of an eye, right. I can't believe we are in January already!

-  The holidays were great but just as they were ending and everything was starting to get back to normal and I was getting ready to start posting again I took a horrible flu, so I have been curled up in my new fluffy dressing gown I got for Christmas (thanks Santa) and keeping cosy and trying to shake it off (just try and get that song out of your head now, ahh sorry!) and feel better for this week so fingers crossed it's starting to shift.  Although the only good thing to come out of having the flu is I finally took the plunge and gave Netflix a go, after finding out that I have honestly, genuinely seen every romantic comedy they have in their library apart from 4, and accidentally watching a Christian movie, which I didn't even know they made and it only dawned on me after they had quoted scripture from the bible like 5 times in one scene, so I then swiftly moved on to the TV shows section and my god that whole binge-watching being addictive thing really isn't a joke is it? I have got through nearly two seasons of a TV show in under a week, it's like I keep telling myself maybe you should stop after this episode but I literally can't....it's quite amazing! So at least I've got Netflix to keep me entertained until I'm flu-less.

-  I know everyone has been doing blog yearly round ups and goals for the year ahead type posts but I think I've kinda missed the boat on that one and it's not really my thing anyway, I love reading other peoples but I'm much more of a go-with-the-flow kinda gal (yep, I did just use that phrase in a non-ironic way) but what I will say is I really want to get back to posting daily and trying to keep my content as varied and fresh as possible on here.  I love that I still love blogging, you know?  After all this time I still get so excited when I see that y'all have been checking out my blog or left a comment or tweeted me and it makes me super happy when I come up with content and ideas that you like and I just want to keep doing more of the same.  I feel for such a long time I was so set on having to fit into a category or a role like I had to be either a fashion blogger or a beauty blogger or a whatever blogger and I had to only post about certain things and I couldn't cross over and change to a different topic and I feel finally that I'm over that.  I don't know what category my blog fits into anymore and that's fine, I love that actually.  I think in a way that's what make me enjoy my blog so much more now, if I see something that I think you would all enjoy reading about or hearing about then I post it and I don't care if it falls into a set category just as long as it's something you all would like.  I like my blog being sort of undefinable and I have so many ideas for new posts that I cant wait to share with you and I really hope that you have enjoyed my blog over the last year (and many years before that) and I hope that you'll continue to see things you like on it and fingers crossed maybe even see something that inspires you and makes you smile too.

-  On that same kind of topic, is there anything you would like to see more of on here.  Certain topics or features?  I would love to know what you think and what bits of the blog you enjoy the most so that I can improve and tweak things.  Also for reviews of books/movies would you rather read a written review of them or do you think you would enjoy a video of me reviewing them more? I am kinda scared of YouTube but I do love the idea of trying to make some awesome videos and I thought it would maybe be fun to make my reviews videos instead of posts, but let me know what you think and what you would find easier and more enjoyable.

-  I know that was a bit of a rambly catch-up but I just wanted to say a massive thank you again for everyone reading my blog and I hope you all have a fabulous 2015 and you know, spend a little bit of it checking my blog out hahah....!

17 December 2014

Coffee Table Book - Letters of Note

I know I'm not doing a traditional 'Christmas Gift Guide' on my blog this year but I really wanted to post about this book as I honestly think it makes the most perfect gift for someone and you've still got a good few days left to order it for it to come on time for Christmas day.

I got this last Christmas from my mama and it was one of my favourite presents.  It is one of the most beautiful looking books and it really is the most perfect coffee table book as no one can walk by it without having a peek inside and it looks stunning on display too.

This is the book version of the super popular blog 'letters of Note'.  The book and blog are both created by Shaun Usher who has found some of the most wonderful, beautiful, sad, happy and down right inspirational letters that you will have ever read.

All the letters are sent from people of note, some you will recognise and some you might not have heard of but it doesn't even really matter because by the end of the letter, its like you feel  you know them just that little bit more. There is something just so beyond personal about reading peoples correspondence to each other.  It's like you get a glimpse into their world for just a moment.

I have poured over this book for hours and I always find something new every time I look at it.  Some of the letters have really, really made a massive impact on me and I think you can't ask for anything more in a book than that.  There are also some really sweet letters that will make you laugh and smile like one of my favourites above from Roald Dahl.

I can't recommend this book enough, even if you've done all your Christmas shopping, treat yourself as it really is such a worthwhile read.  It is absolutely massive too so if you do buy it as a gift, it does look like you've spent a mass amount of money buying someone a super luxe book, it looks super impressive.

You can buy it from Amazon  for £20.40
And if your in America you can also get it from Amazon too for £25.30

10 December 2014

Review - Nokia Lumia 930

So the awesome people over at Microsoft got in touch with me again to see if I'd like to review one of their phones for my blog as I loved the last one they sent me to try (You can read my review of it HERE)

As always with these types of reviews, this is my complete honest opinion.  I am not swayed by the company or the fact that they gave me the phone to try out and review.  I feel like there is so much talk at the moment about reviews and how honest some of them are and I just want you to know that I will never ever put something up on my blog and not tell you my true, honest thoughts on it!

So on with the good stuff.
I got sent the Nokia Lumia 930.  This is a new offering from the brand and is an updated version of the older Lumia models.  I had so much fun trying out this phone, here is what I thought...

 Appearance - It's super similar looking to the other Lumia models, the same large screen and coloured back. I would say the 930 looks a lot more sleeker and less bulky though, the silver trim round the edge gives a really nice chic touch to the design and it's definitely my favourite looking model yet. I got sent the green version of the phone to try.  This is definitely not my cup of tea, its super duper bright and well, green which just isn't one of my colours but that really didn't take anything away from the phone as it comes in 5 different colourways and I am in love with the black one, it so pretty and stylish looking and I know I would love that one.  Its all just personal choice with the colour shells and there would definitely be one that you are more drawn too as there is a large choice on offer.  The phone is really nice to hold as the back has a soft textured feel to it so it makes it easy to grip and makes you feel a little more confident that you won't drop it (which I seem to do all the time with phones)

Screen - It has a mahoosive screen. 5 whole inches to be exact.  This is what really appealed to me when I tried the last Lumia phone as well.  The phone has a full HD super sensitive touch screen that is so responsive to use.  The colours and pictures displayed beautifully on the phone, so sharp and bright and really clear to see.  Again it was so simple and quick to scroll though and use all the apps on the phone as the windows 8.1 system works so well on this type of screen.  The display really is amazing and it makes the phone a joy to use.  Oh and it also has sunlight readability, just like the Kindle, so you don't have to do all that squinting and hand over the phone business when its sunny outside as the screen is totally readable in sunlight too.

Size/weight - The phone is big, there is no getting round that fact.  I took a picture of it next to my little Blackberry to try and give you a good idea of its true size.  I don't have an iphone and never have but I'm pretty sure that it's around the same size if only slightly larger so I know most people are used to phones of this size and weight its just a big change for me as the Blackberry is just the complete opposite as its teeny and super light.  I definitely wouldn't say the 930 was heavy but it is substantial in weight although nothing about the size and weight would put me off it as I think the benefit of having that size of screen out weighs the fact that its a little heavier.

Camera- Ahh I feel like there should be harps playing in the background when I talk about the camera on this phone as its that good.  I was really impressed by the camera on the last Lumia phone I tried and I know that's a massive selling point for these phones but to say that the 930 has upped its game is an understatement.  It has both a front and back facing camera.  The camera is 20 Mega pixels and has a dual-LED flash too.  It also has surround sound for when you are taking videos, so the sound quality is crazy good, it really does feel so impressive watching the videos with such sharp sound.  I took some pictures of me using the camera to try and give you an idea of how sharp and on point it was.  There are so many things you can do with the photos on the phone too, they have this amazing editing suite on the phone that is just so much fun to use and there are tons of different options and shooting modes too.
I really do think that if you use your phone primarily for taking pictures then you should definitely check this out as it really is pretty awesome. 

Cortana - This is basically your virtual personal assistant.  Its a voice activated service in the same vein as siri.  Cortana will tell you when you have things scheduled or if the traffic is busy on the road your going to be driving or if the train you booked tickets for is delayed.  She'll help you remember all your meetings and everyones birthdays too.  I think this is a fun feature and adds a little something extra to the phone although I probably wouldn't use it too much as I'm not really into things like that but I think it would be such a help to people who use their phone at work and to schedule things on too. 

Verdict - I have fallen head over heels for this phone.  I don't know if its because of the sleeker design or the amazing camera I just felt like this seemed to me to be more of a tablet in a phones body, if you know what I mean, which for me is just the best thing ever.  It seems to do just about everything to such a high level and I am just really impressed by the phone overall.  I can't rave about the quality of the screen and sound enough and I really would urge you to take a peek of it if your interested in getting a new phone with an awesome camera.

You can buy the phone on its own or get it for free with most monthly contracts from O2, Vodafone, Tesco and EE

Are you a fan of the Nokia Lumia 930? Let me know if you have it and what your thoughts on it are?

3 December 2014

Stories About Famous People

These made me laugh.
They are all New Yorkers real life stories about run-ins with celebrities.
I could listen to people talk about meeting/seeing/observing famous people all day.  I think there is something just so fascinating about hearing someones real encounter with people who we hear so much about and then getting to actually hear what they are like in real life situations. 

'Meeting Famous People' stories make me laugh the most though because most people just end up saying/doing the craziest things in front of celebs, it's like everyone loses their social skills for a minute when you come face to face with someone off the telly as it's such a weird thing and no matter how hard you try and not say something absurd it normally just always ends up happening.  Unless your my mum, she is one of those people who is just always ready in life for her next celebrity encounter, its like she was born for it.  If we are somewhere and  I'm like 'omg is that -insert famous persons name- and she's like, right I'm off to casually strike up a conversation about the weather,  She has no issue with talking to these people, unlike me who runs in the opposite direction due to my sheer awkwardness.  On a side note I should also point out that I think I see celebrities everywhere, I'm one of those people who even in the most unlikely of places for a famous person to be,  I'm always 100% sure its them, until they turn around and I'm like oh, so Brad Pitt isn't in the local Post Office after all then.  But I am always on alert for a good celeb spot.

Other that my big moment with Liza (you can read the story HERE) I've not had many celeb run-ins , obviously due to the aforementioned inability to not run away from them but I want to hear about your stories. How do you deal with celeb encounters and have you got any funny celeb run-ins you can share, I would love to hear....

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