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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bucket Tech: LG G3 - First Impressions

Last week I was invited to the Durban leg of the official lauch for the LG G3 mobile phone. The venue, one of Durban's finest 5 star hotels, the Osyter Box. With such an extravagent venue, one would be inclined to think that the device that was due to be launched was equally elegant and fancy and we were not disappointed! After the brief meet and greet with the folk from LG and formalities it was onto the business, what is so special about this phone?


Taking off from the success of the previous models, the G2 and G Flex, the G3 embodies most of those those qualities that made the previous devices so great but with a lot more added to make it probably the best phone on the market right now. I know, that is a pretty bold statement to make but after taking everything into consideration, and seeing what it can do, I can't see any other competitor in the market right now to rival it. 


Simplicity
The tag line for the phone "Simple is the new smart", which may appeal to the the average Android user. You see many of the brands that use the Android OS on their devices tend to make the user interface a bit too expansive, with various menus, side menus, drop down menus, flick menus, widget menus, god knows what menus but with the LG it's much less complicated and cluttered. Everything you need is easily accessible and in front of you, with LG's smart notice it displays various updates and calendar events at different times of the day, it also incoperates Google Now which tracks your various activities during the day and is like your PA. 


The Screen
The screen has become one of the most key features of the mobile device of recent as many manufacturers opting to do away with the keyboard for the touch screen option. It offers the user a bigger display to use and more freedom for applications. On the G3, it is the first phone to have a Quad HD LCD display, technology that is just new to televions are now on this phone! Thats 4 x HD = 2,560 x 1,440 at 538ppi. The clarity and picture definition on the 5.5" screen is incredible, seeing is really believing with this one. 


The Camera
The phone comes with a 13 megapixel rear camera with OIS+ and a 2.1 megapixel front facing camera. Though the stand out feature of the primary camera is the focus speed, it has auto laser focus which enables the camera to focus and capture almost instantly. It takes 0.278 seconds to focus and then snap, thus eliminating blurred, out of focus pics. Also with the dual flash it makes the pictures much brighter and clearer. The front facing camera is nothing special but also has a cool feature to it. We are living in the selfie generation at the moment so knowing this, LG have devised a way for the user to taake a self with just hand gestures. Open palm to signal to take the picture and then close it to snap. 


Verdict
That just some of the key aspects that make this phone great, obviously just playing around with it for a few minutes won't tell me much about the phone but we will be getting a test unit soon to put it through its paces and see if it lives up to their hype. Other note worthy things about the phone is it's wireless charging capabilities and a key security feature being the new knock code unlocking method. The phone is available in various colours and has a custom made cover to suite. Look out for the full review later on this year.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Choon: TST & Moguai & Amba Shepherd - Real Life


There's a few DJ's that go under various alias's, normally its done because they tend to do different type's of music with the under each name. TST is Tiesto but he chooses to use this name on his label Musical Freedom when straying away from his normal Club Life stuff. On this track "Real Life", he combines his talents with that of Moguai and sultry vocals by the gorgeous Australian Amba Shepherd. The track is doing rather well on the charts and getting plenty of air play, not hard to see why though. 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

#MissionSamsung Blogger Challenge: Mission 2



It's the second week of the #MissionSamsung Blogger challenge and after the first mission of the viewing party went well, the competition just got a whole lot hotter! ...well sweatier. In this weeks challenge contestants were asked to download one of the many fitness apps on the Samsung Smart hub and choose from a variety of exercise programmes to partake in. Seemed simple enough right? Well, it was, to a certain extent, here's why. 


Most of us go to gym regularly, or at least try to go to gym, as with many of us leading busy lifestyles we find it hard to get in that balance of work and exercise. When we do manage to get into the gym, it is often very busy and one finds them self spending more time queueing to use a machine than actually getting a work out done. Then there is the personal trainers, we see them at the gym, we know they would be helpful in our quest to lose those extra kilo's but it is always daunting to go for a session with them in fear of us dying on the gym floor. What if I told you, that you could have your own personal trainer at home?


Day 1
Well with the fitness app on Samsung's LED Smart TV, that is exactly what you are getting! Once downloaded, all you have to do is input your details and your measurements, including weight. The app then calculates your BMI. From there you can set yourself goals, my goal was to loose a kg of weight in 8 days. It calculated an 8 step program which required me to burn just over 1100 calories with various exercise routines. One step 1 per day, equalled to three 20 minute videos which helped me burn approximately 65 calories per video. The videos were great, each of them starts off with a mild warm up and works their way into a rigorous workout, by the end of it you will be enjoying it so much that you actually forget about the intense workout you're getting!


Day 2
After the success of day 1, I was keen to get onto day 2! Well first I had to get out of bed! You see, my gym routines has remained the same over the past 3 years so I was only focusing on a few areas of my body, with this 8 step program, it focuses on every aspect of your body so the next day, muscles that I never knew existed were telling me hello! Never the less, I soldiered on through the day and was ready for the next step. The cool thing about the app, is that it updates the number of calories you've burned while doing the various videos. So you can track the progress you're making. 


Day 3
Getting used to the sore muscles and convincing myself that it is a good thing, getting up on the 3rd day was much more rewarding but after a stressful day at the office, I was not in the mood to continue with the program that was chosen for me but the great thing with the fitness app is that you can break away from the routine and opt to do something else. So I tried out some Yoga, the thing is, if I had gone to the gym, I would NEVER chosen to do Yoga, firstly the classes are at times I am simply not available and by doing it at home in the comfort and privacy of my own home, I didn't have to worry about making an ass of myself trying to pull off some moves. I was quite blow away by the many videos available, from beginner level all the way up to master level. It really was a great experience and will definitely try it again. 


The thing that stood out for me was the workout you get from these programmes, I for one never did buy into the whole exercise TV thing and always felt the need to go out to the gym to get the workout you needed. After these past 3 days I can safely say it was more intense than any work I've had before, even though I might burn more calories at gym on a daily basis, I could feel the muscles in my body getting the work, getting tighter and of course, feeling the pain the next day but as I got to realise it was a good pain. The challenge might be over but I am definitely going to continue with the exercise routine for as long as I got the TV.


PS: I opted for the video the trainer which does use up a lot of bandwidth, there are other training programs that do not require video downloads that one can train along with. 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bucket Seat: Toyota Etios Cross


With the ever expanding model ranges that manufacturers are dwelling into, we're seeing more and more different types of vehicles hit the road this is a good thing since it gives us the consumer more options when it comes to buying a car. Last week I was invited to the launch of the new Toyota Etios Cross, I read somewhere that it is the angry version of the sedan/ hatch which sort of fits it's profile well. The car being equipped to be a crossover has a menacing look to it, with a wide body kit, bigger wheels and molded bumper which extends over the grill to make it look like a bull bar. The car which forms another variant of Toyota's Sub B Segment model the Etios, will be looking to ride on the success of its brothers the hatch and sedan. The Etios which replaced the trusty Tazz has been on sale for just under 2 years and has already sold in excess of 45,000 units which is the highest in its segment. 


Power
The Cross retains the 1.5 litre, 16 valve DOHC engine that can be found in the sedan and hatch. It has an output of 66kW of power @ 5600 rpm and 132Nm of toque @ 3000 rpm which is adequate for the vehicle  as it is comfortable in all facets of driving, be it running around town or on a highway, as I found out when driving around the outskirts of Johannesburg (getting lost on more than one occasion). This car won't win you any drag races seeing that 0-100km/h takes you 11.3 seconds but prospective buyers won't be looking at that figure when buying this car. as with the ever increasing petrol price, one would be pleased to see that Etios Cross averages out at 6.0L/100km! 


Design
As mentioned before, the car has an overall more rugged look which is courtesy of the blacked out chunky body kit that wraps around the vehicle with embossed logo's on the side and at the front the grey grille hard that extends all the way into the bumpers, mimics the appearance of bumper overriders. The car also comes equipped with fog lamps with integrated turn indicators, the head lights are more full which blends in with the new grille. At the back there's a rear roof spoiler and embossed in silver the logo of the Etios Cross which sits in bold just above the rear bumper. A higher ground clearance along with bigger wheels wrapped around 15" multi spoke diamond cut alloy rims ensures that the Cross can manage any type of road.  The car also comes with two exclusive colours which are Inferno Metallic (metallic orange) and Jet Grey Metallic. 


Interior
Not much has changed in terms of design of the interior with it still looking very similar to the sedan and hatch but it gets an all black treatment with high glass piano black plastic used on the dash and chrome detailing around the air vents. The fabric seats feature white stitching and the Etios Cross logo's embroidered into the back rest. The radio has been replaced with a double din audio system which has built in USB and AUX ports but the major feature being bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming and hands free mobile. 


Space
Even though the cabin is basically the same size as the hatch, it does feel more spacious and is more than capable of transporting 4 grown adults in comfort. The boot is decent with a capacity of 251m cubed, so enough space for your shopping or luggage for a weekend away. 


Verdict
Overall I was pretty impressed with the car, you have to see where the guys at Toyota are coming from with a car like this. They're offering, as far as I'm concerned, a full package, that is a vehicle with their quality, durability and reliability, combining it with the rugged looks of an SUV with outstanding fuel efficiency at a fraction of the cost. Thus opening a new segment to the market and offering the lower paid consumer a chance at purchasing an urban crossover. The main competition for this car would be the Nissan Livina Range and the Renault Stepway, both of which are priced more, as the Toyota Etios Cross enters the market at just R159,800. That's just R16,800 more than the Etios Xs Sedan, fair enough it might not have full off roading capabilities but on gravel surfaces it managed fine, as I found out while getting lost a few times.


Specifications
  • 1.5 litre, 16 valve DOHC engine
  • 6 speed manual gear box
  • 66kW
  • 132Nm torque
  • Consumption: 6ltr/ 100km (claimed)
  • 0-100kph: 11.3 seconds 
  • Price: R159 800

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Monday Choon: Cosmic Gate & Orjan Nilsen - Fair Game


The last time I saw the duo of Cosmic Gate perform live was on my birthday, just over 2 years ago in the engine room of Origin night club in Durban. There is something special about their sets and the music they make. Besides being one of my favourite artists from a very young age, they continue to make music that is appealing to their fans but still true their style. This time round they teamed up with baby face Norwegian DJ Orjan Nilsen to bring us this banging tune, it's already racking up the views on youtube with it being released in just over a week. It's the perfect way to get a start of your week. 



Friday, July 18, 2014

#MissionSamsung Blogger Challenge: Mission 1


So recently Samsung sent me one of their brand spanking new 40" Samsung LED Smart TV along with a Galaxy S4 Active smart phone. The reason for this was, I along with 19 other bloggers from around the country were selected to take part in their 2nd #MissionSamsung Blogger challenge. I along with the others will get to keep these devices for 3 weeks and during that time, get missions to complete with them. At the end, a winner will be selected and they get to keep the products... FOREVER! 


The product
The 40" Smart LED TV is one of Samsung's Series 6 panels which offers the user a smart interface which takes watching TV to the next level. Besides full HD capabilities, the set also has full internet connectivity via means of a LAN port or built in WiFi. Once set up, you can browse the various internet applications that are pre-loaded. Some of them being Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo.


The Challenge
Now, being a tech nut I am over the moon with this challenge and will give it my up most to win! The first challenge came through on Monday this week, the mission? Host a viewing party with some mates to showcase the brilliant picture quality and definition of the LED Smart TV set and at the same time have some quality fun with your mates. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

The invite

The invite
The way I saw it, the viewing party was an event, MY event and although they were close mates, the invite had to look the part. So I took a picture of the TV with the Smart Hub menu active and edited the blocks to suite the details of the evening and this was the end result. 


The viewing party 
The party started off with some pre-movie dinner of pizza and beers, all of which was captured on the Galaxy S4 Active. There after we made our way to the viewing room, where a giant bowl of popcorn awaited us along with more refreshments. The movie I chose was the Lego Movie, seeing that it was animated, watching it in high colour, full definition would be great. The sound quality on the set is incredible, so much so, that I didn't have to make use of my surround sound system. The guests were blown away by the features of the Smart TV, sound and crisp picture quality, to quote a line from the movie, "Everything is awesome!". The already amazing night was completed with the final part of the challenge, a "welfie", which is a selfie but with many people. 


Looking forward to mission 2! AMG133, over and out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Durban July, Nokia Experience


A few weeks back I was lucky enough to be treated to a true VIP experience of the Durban July courtesy of Nokia South Africa. The day started off by me being chauffeur driven from my house to the venue, Greyville Racecourse. From there we made our way to Jack Daniels Boomtown marquee, which is where the Nokia hospitality area was located. From a full 3 course buffet to a complimentary bar, the hospitality area had it all! With a deck overlooking the stage to watch some of the best local artist from to the lounge area for one to sit back and relax, it truly was the place to be.


There was also a photo-booth set up in Jack Daniels Boomtown by Nokia which offered people the opportunity to get their picture taken with one of the Lumia devices on hand,one of them being the monster Lumia 1020 which has a 41 megapixel camera! The pictures were then uploaded to Instagram and Facebook. So if you had your picture taken at the booth, be sure to search the hashtag #LumiaJuly on Instagram or visit the Nokia South Africa Facebook page.


Apart from the entertainment on offer, the main reason for attending the event was for the horse racing, and with a viewing deck along side the final straight, it was the perfect view point to watch the favourite gallop to victory. The day was spent socialising, celeb spotting and partying the night away, after which I was again escorted to my awaiting taxi to take me back home safely. To the Nokia SA team, a big thank you from myself for making this all possible. Each and everyone of you made it an event to remember and personally my best July experience yet! Till next year!



Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Choon: Porter Robinson feat. Urban Cone - Lionhearted (Arty Remix)



American electronic music producer, Porter Robinson broke into the international arena with this hit track "language" back in 2012, from there he's enjoyed a good stay on the top with collaborations with MatZo and many other artists, most notably he co-wrote Zedd's hit song "Clarity". His latest release, Lionhearted featuring the vocals of Swedish Indie pop band, Urban Cone and sticking to the multinational theme to the track, Russia's Arty came in to make this explosive remix of the track which has enjoyed phenomenal success. Here's the track to kick off your week!



Friday, July 11, 2014

Bucket Babe: Kerry-Lee Cousins

South Afrrica is currently in the midst of winter with most of the country experiencing near freezing temperatures, what better way to warm you up than one of SA's hottest young talents? Today's model hails from Cape Town and as you will find out, she's pretty keen on sports and probably the only lady in the world that understands the off side rule in football, since the sport is so dear to her, just a pity about the team she supports. Anyway, here she is to tell you more!

Kerry-Lee Cousins


Bio

Hi ;) My name is Kerry-Lee Cousins, I'm 23 and live in the beautiful city of Cape Town. I'm a PA as well as a model. I love to be happy and busy and always apart of the fun. I'm nomrally quite a joker when it comes to my friends but at first when you meet me, I'm quite shy :) I'm sporty and have grown up with my dad being a football coach so I know quite a bit about football than the norm :) I am a huge Arsenal supporter. I also play action netball in the week and gym as often as possiible


I've always been one to work hard and strive for things even when they seem impossible. My goal  for the future is to do well in my modelling as well as get more involved with an events company as that's someting I've always been interested in.

Links


Twitter: @kerryleecousins
Vote for Kerry-Lee in the SA Lingerie competition here: Vote Kerry-Lee Cousins


Q&A

1. Hot girls and hot cars go hand in hand, what ride would you like to see yourself in?
  • I would definitely love to see myself in an Audi R8 :)
2. What sandwich are you most likely to make for me? and will it be toasted or plain?
  • I would make a toasted ciabatta sandwich with lettuce, chicken, cucumber, avo and alil bit of mayo :) 
3. What type of music gets your booty shaking?
  • Definitely House and Hip Hop
4. Dream cover shoot?
  • GQ or/and SA Swimsuit
5. If given a choice, full time model or full time executive, what would you choose?
  • Full time model because I'll be living my dream and it would have the same feeling of being an executive of a company, except I'm the executive of my own company modelling.
6. Everyone loves popcorn (well I think they do) what is your topping/ sprinkle of choice?
  • Hands down has to be fully loaded with salt n vinegar and smarties!!!
7. Growing up you must have had someone you aspired to be, so who is your role model?
  • I always aspired to be like Roxy Ingram, she always came across as humble and sweet and always friendly, as beautiful as she is, and I think any girl would aspire to be that way. Also my parents, they've been a rock through so many difficult times in my life and still they keep going and give their everything to their kids.
9. Anyone holding that hand yet? or is it available?
  • My hand is very much being held :) lol
10. Which city is your dream party destination?
  • I used to dream about going to London ans I finally got to go 2 years ago and the next ones on my bucket list are New York and Paris.