YotaPhone 2 Review

Considering the YotaPhone 2? Heard about it but want to know all about it in more detail from someone who has actually used the handset?

If so check out my full written review here or video review below.


Remember the Motorola Moto Defy+

There have been countless ‘flagship’ phones on the market over the years.  Some have been better than others and some will live in history for ever.

One of the devices which has perhaps been more forgettable is the Motorola Moto Defy+, however what surprised me is how this is actually the most viewed video on the Clove YouTube channel.

Now of course many other reviewers and channels will have very different stats for what their most viewed video is, but I was a little surprised at 418,000 views this was the top considering the devices I have unboxed in the last couple of years.

My first unboxing video

Back in the dark ages, 2008 to be precise I setup the Clove Technology YouTube Channel.

Video was not quite such a thing then, but it slowly grew and in what seems like a lifetime ago, (but is was only March 2011) I completed my first ever smartphone unboxing.  The phone in question was the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.

I cringe when I watch it back now, but the phone I unboxed was a personally favourite.

Now, in 2014 unboxing a phone is second nature and the Clove channel has in excess of 17.5 million views.  But for those who want a laugh!

I am a smartphone evangelist

I love technology, but I love smartphones a lot as well and I have to come clean and announce that I am a smartphone evangelist.

When someone buys a smartphone, be it Samsung, Sony, Apple, HTC or Motorola.  Be it an entry level handset or the all singing all dancing flagship model, I believe in every user getting maximum value and benefit from it.

Truthfully many of us get excellent value from our phones, but there are plenty who do not and they are left with a negative felling towards that handset, manufacturer, that retailer or phones in general.

It pains me when people ask if their phone can do something and to be told it can, but have spent the last 6 months thinking it was not possible.

It frustrates me when people are mislead by marketing or pushy sales people to believe the phone they are buying can do what they want when in truth it can not.

Do I know everything about every smartphone? Far from it.  Do I know more about smartphones than the general public? I would say so (my job helps with this).

Do I believe in telling people that they can do something easier one way than selling them something that can do it another? I do.


It is because I have a passion for mobile technology and telling someone how to maximise value from what they have, goes further than selling them something they do not really need.

It is too because I believe in restoring some faith in people.  It is all too easy today (in many areas of life) to be taken advantage of.  I do not believe in this.  If I can instil that little bit of satisfaction in someone that they have learnt something or understood something with no or limited expense then that makes me feel good.

Am i condescending when I speak to those with less knowledge? I certainly try not to be and I tailor my approach based on the responses I get. What I do though is start at a simple level to ensure I do not lose those that I am passing the information onto.

I do not think there are enough of us out there who do this.

How often have you wished someone just explained something a little more.  When a builder, plumber, mechanic or similar told you x needed to be done and this would affect y and cost z.  Did you just agree for the sake of it or did you really understand?

Whether it is technology, automotive or even gardening how often do you gain that added value of knowledge or assistance from others and come away feeling rewarded in some way?

Of course this is just my judgement, but for what it is worth I think we all can look to do more to help others and make a difference.  Taking that little extra time to ensure things are explained and demonstrated to leave each other feeling satisfied.

Image Source:Broadband World Series

Dreams – The bedding store that serves up a mix of good and bad dreams

I have never trained or worked as a ‘true’ salesman.  I have worked in roles where I gained commission based on a sale, and whilst there was a mentality to do what you can to close the sale quickly, it was never that aggressive hard sell kind of work.

So, not ever pushing people into a sale I always let them decide when the time was right, but if someone tells me they want to buy something, I know they are ready to pay and get something very soon.

In my daily role at Clove, if someone phones up and says they are wishing to buy the Samsung Galaxy S5, I begin taking that order for a Galaxy S5 as the customer is primed and ready.  Even when a customer ask’s I wish to buy X but is Y better; even if I believe Y is better and present a reasoned argument, 9 times out of 10 they will opt for X because they have realistically made that decision already and I would need to point out some new fact that they were unaware of from their own research to sway their decision.

I have therefore the tendency to think most others in a sales oriented role would take a similar approach.

Recently I went in search of a new mattress. I was keen to actually try one out in store as you spend so much time on a mattress; for me the high street purchase was more important that completing online.

After spending some time deciding on which one to opt for based on testing them and price, I found a member of the team at Dreams (the bed store) to place my order through.

dreams-beds-salisbury.jpg (1001×704)

I happened to get the attention of the store manager who said it would be a few minutes before he could process the order as other members of his team were using the available PC’s as it was a busy bank holiday Monday, which meant special prices.

As I waited, he explained there was a £40 delivery charge, which whilst kind of expected was a little deer in my opinion, considering a mattress is not something we can all just pop in the boot of your car.

He went onto explain that if I ordered online it would be free.  Naturally I asked, that if I can save myself £40 online, could he do anything on the cost.

After a bit of number bashing on his calculator he told me he could reduce it to £10.  What? Why not match it? Why tell me I can get free delivery online?

The manager also proceeded to explain that with the delivery arranged by the store, they would deliver the mattress to the room of your choice, whilst with the online delivery they would leave it in your hallway. Slightly odd I thought.  Most would like a mattress in a bedroom, why leave it in a hallway?!

For the sake of £10 though, I was in the store, I was ready to pay and save me the hassle of having to go home and order it.  Thus I waited and waited a little longer until the wait was past about 10 minutes and still no computers were free to take orders as other customers were taking out finance agreements which take longer!

Not wishing to wait any longer and with the underlying thought of free delivery online I decied to leave.

I said the the manager I would go and order it online, I didn’t wish to wait any longer and truthfully I could have ordered it on my phone in store during the time I was waiting.  The online ordering process was simple, I saved myself the £10 on delivery and it was with me just a week or so later.

You can probably guess the next bit can’t you….

They put it in the room of my choice. Without prompting the delivery guys asked which room and within seconds it was where I would have preferred it rather than in my hallway.

What frustrates me a little is that when I ordered online I did not see anything obvious that explained that the delivery drivers would not take it to the room of your choice, thus I wonder whether the store manager said this to try and get me to place the order with him there in store instead.  But when I decided to leave because of the wait, absolutely no resistance was put up and he let me walk out of the store not ordering the item I wanted.

For Dreams it must be good to have all available computers taken with orders being processed, but to let customers leave the store, on the assumption they will order online is fairly bold. I would hate the thought on loosing out on the sale.

If I was that manager, I would have done all I could to ensure I could put that sale through, as I imagine he would have received a small bit of commission on the sale.  I would have said  why not have a lie down for a while (not many places you can say this) would you like to browse the other shops nearby and comeback in ten minutes. Take a number to call the paying customer back.  Perhaps even begun taking some of the key details manually so he did not need to ask for these as he completed the computer order process.

If is had not mentioned about the free delivery online, I may never have left the store as I had genuinely not looked online.

As you have probably assumed he did none of this which surprises me.  Whether you have hit your targets or not, surely letting a customer who is ready to buy walk out the store is a massive no! I was surprise to get no resistance at all.  That said even as the paying customer where I wish for little sales hassle I expected him to try and make me stay.

Whatever the reasons, Dreams made a sale, primarily because I had invested time already and did not wish to go through the same process elsewhere. They then in turn surprised me with putting the mattress in the room of my choice as I did not expect this to happen so all ended well and I am happy.

What gets to the business oriented person in me is how a salesperson, in fact the store manager, the one who demonstrates to his team how to do business just let me walk out the door.  If that was my business I would not like to think my staff would do such.  In the fiercely competitive world of sales and offers we live in, letting sales slide like this is in my opinion poor.

International Wheels Festival – Bournemouth 2014

Can Bournemouth Council get lucky twice?

Following the success of the Bournemouth Air Show (now an annual event), the council are launching a new initiative;International Wheel Festival.

Set to launch in May 2014, Bournemouth will be aiming to provide world-class entertainment for local residents whilst benefitting the local economy through ‘Investing in Tourism’ according to their announcement here.

Sounds great, but that is a serious target the Council have set themselves and it certainly sets the standard very high.

The festival will be held along Bournemouth seafront on Saturday 24th May – Monday 26th may and will include themes such as Historic, Classic, Hot Rods, Cycling, Motorcycles and customised cars.

Attendees to the event will apparently enjoy high-energy outstanding displays, including skateboard and BMX stunts, monster trucks, parades and demonstration racing.  In addition there will be selected themed vehicles along the beach front and jumps over Bournemouth Pier.

This sounds brilliant, I like my cars so it is right up my street.

I see a couple of issues here. 

1. How are Bournemouth Council going to put this all along the seafront and surrounding areas. 

I just can’t see how they will manage to get all this along the seafront. The air show is tight for space and the main attractions are in the sky above.  Ok most cars will be parked up but I can’t quite see it myself just yet.

2. Rarely will a council get such success twice.

The council have done a great job with the air show.  I take my hat off and say well done. However, I think it is a big and bold ask for them to achieve similar success with this wheels show.  I hope they do, but I am not sure if people will give it the same time of day as the air show.

Bournemouth Council, like many others have made some ‘less favourable’ decisions on how to spend money in the past and it would be a real shame if this became the next one on the list. It needs local people like me to get behind it and make it a success I guess.

Time will tell how good the event really turns out to be.  Fingers crossed for another good one.

You can find out more HERE.

3g signal surprise

ID-10098049I recently spent a few days at Centre Parcs, in Longleat Wiltshire. To my surprise I had a very good 3G/HSPA+ connection the majority of the time thanks to O2.

Others with me who were on Three had very poor signal.

I was quite surprised by the disparity, but of course this can be common, but being in dense woodland I thought I may have suffered more than I did.

However I then think twice about it and think why should I be surprised?!  I pay for the service and O2 are one of the biggest networks and they are now rolling out 4G.

I think this just sums up how many feel and perceive their network coverage. We want but do not expect to get signal in certain places, yet other places where we would imagine perfect signal, we get patchy at best.

The rollout of 4G is supposed to improve signals across the country so this should become less commonplace.

Image Source: freedigitalphotos