Tag Archives: Premium

Realme GT review: Premium Android specs at a bargain price, so what’s the catch?

With so many Android devices filling stores shelves, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. However, that’s exactly what brand Realme has managed to do with the launch of its new GT smartphone. How has Realme managed this feat? Well, the Shenzhen-based firm has stuffed some serious specs into their latest Android handset at a price that’s genuinely hard to believe. At time of writing, you can pop one of these smartphones into your online shopping basket for as little as £332, making this one serious bargain.

So, is the Realme GT worth considering, or has the Chinese firm cut some corners to hit that ludicrously good price tag? Express.co.uk has been putting this phone to the test and here’s our full review.

There’s no denying that the Realme GT is incredible value for money. For less than half the price of a Samsung Galaxy S21, you’ll be treated to a device that includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor – the fastest chipset you’ll find inside any Android smartphone right now. While it’s true that Qualcomm is launching its new 888+ chip soon, no devices are currently using that slightly upgraded chip, so the budget Realme GT can still gloat about packing one of the best processors available.

Most handsets with the flagship Snapdragon series cost in excess of £700 and it’s incredible that Realme has managed to squeeze the 888 into a smartphone that’s so ludicrously cheap.

And it’s not only that pricey processor that makes the smartphone feel fast and insanely underpriced. The Realme GT also includes a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display, which is not only sharp and bright but also silky smooth thanks to its fabulous 120Hz refresh rate. Not even the £999 iPhone 12 Pro can top that as Apple is still shipping phones with a measly 60Hz refresh rate.

You’ll also find a reliable fingerprint scanner tucked under that slick display, which can unlock the device in a flash. Hiding the fingerprint scanner under the glass screen means Realme can push the screen to the very edge of the case, meaning there are minimal bezels.

Elsewhere, there’s a 4,500mAh battery which just about lasts a day, but users can refill it to 100% in around 30 minutes, thanks to the nifty 65W SuperDart charging. Realme includes the fast charger you need, while other brands, including Apple, don’t even include any mains charger.

Realme GT can take advantage of the latest and greatest 5G data speeds enabling downloads to be blasted onto the device at speeds in excess of 300Mbps. That’s almost five times faster than the average home broadband speeds across the UK right now.

Flip over the Realme GT, there’s a triple rear camera system that features lens technology from Sony. This set-up includes a 64MP main lens along with an 8MP Ultra-Wide camera and Macro option for close up shots.

Overall the photography experience is pretty good with pictures looking bright and full detail. There’s also a bunch of fun effects, filters and all the usual settings such as manual mode and AI Scene Enhancement.

Videos can be shot in 4K quality and image stabilisation keeps your home movies looking shake and wobble-free. It’s a solid camera, but it’s by no means the best and it can struggle at times, especially when the lights get low. In fact, during our tests, we found the Night Mode is pretty much useless especially when compared to more expensive rivals, which can make gloomy night shots look as bright as day without the flash blinding everyone in the photo.

The camera is one area where the Realme GT’s bargain price tag starts to show as it’s definitely not one of its strongest points. And it’s not the only niggle we have with this phone.

From head-to-toe, the overall case design does pretty plasticky and, unless you opt for the bright yellow model, it all looks pretty bland too.

Realme also bundles way too much bloatware on the GT, which means you’ll have to spend quite a lot of time deleting the endless selection of pointless apps pre-loaded on your new phone during the set-up process.

While the high refresh-rate screen might be stunning to look at, it’s marred by a weird auto-brightness setting that has a weird habit of being way too dim. Not only that, but there’s no wireless charging, which isn’t a surprise considering the price, which some may find annoying.

If none of that bothers you, then you’re going to be seriously impressed with your new purchase …although buying the GT is a bit of an odd experience.

Right now, the only place to grab one right now is from a site called AliExpress, which is an online retail service based in China. It’s been around since 2009 and is clearly an official store, but it’s simply not as easy as popping one in your Amazon basket, which is where most other Realme phones.

Realme GT review: Final Verdict

FOR: Ultimate power from Snapdragon 888 • Cheap price • Great screen • Fast charging
AGAINST: Hard to buy one • Camera could be better • Some models are a little bland

There’s no doubt that the Realme GT is a seriously impressive phone at a ridiculously low price. The fact it lands with a Snapdragon 888 processor, fast-charging, a high refresh-rate display, and a 4,500mAh battery …for less than £350 still boggles our mind.

However, as you might expect given the price, there are some minor niggles, including the bucketloads of bloatware preinstalled, the lack of charging, and lacklustre camera – especially at night.

We can forgive Realme for most of these issues as the GT is an incredible phone for its £330 price. And if you’re looking to upgrade to a new Android handset and don’t want to break the bank, the Realme GT is a great choice.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

Get Spotify Premium for FREE thanks to this brilliant TikTok trick

Music fans can now get their hands on Spotify Premium without raiding their bank accounts. The music streaming firm has joined forces with social network TikTok to offer four months of free access.

Spotify does already offer free streaming, however, these accounts include a number of limits, including the ability to listen to music offline, stream to smart speakers, advertisements, and more. Spotify Premium unlocks advert-free music streaming, offline listening, unlimited skips, and much, much more. It usually costs £9.99 but that fee has been scrapped for anyone who uses the popular video sharing platform.

If that sounds like something you’d like to enjoy, there are a few simple ways to unlock find the offer.

First up, TikTok users can find the offer on their mobile in a few ways: on their ‘For You’ and ‘Discover’ Pages, on a profile icon on the ‘Me’ Page, by searching for ‘Spotify’ on TikTok or by clicking on the link below from their mobile devices.

FIND THE OFFER HERE 

Spotify says the offer is available to eligible users who are age 18+ with a TikTok profile in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Turkey, and who have not subscribed to Spotify Premium previously.

Those who are eligible will receive a unique code that will enable them to redeem the Spotify Premium offer.

Speaking about the deal, David Nunez, Head of Growth, Europe at TikTok said: “TikTok is a sound-on, immersive experience, with music sitting at the heart of how people create and engage with content on the platform. We’re delighted to bring this offer with Spotify Premium to our community, helping them gain even more enjoyment from the artists and tracks they’ve known on TikTok.”

And Marc Hazan, Vice President, Global Head of Premium Business Development at Spotify added: “As the world’s leading audio streaming service, we are thrilled to offer eligible TikTok users in several markets access to all the music and podcasts they love anytime, anywhere.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

Scalpers Set Their Sights On The Shin Megami Tensei V Premium Edition

Earlier this week, pre-orders went live in the US for Atlus’ upcoming release Shin Megami Tensei V. If you missed it, the premium edition contains a copy of the game, steel book, backpack, soundtrack and more.

Like every exclusive item nowadays, it sold out in record time. Some factors in play included limited stock, high demand, and as always – scalpers. While Atlus has since announced additional pre-orders would be available at select retailers, they continue to sell out.

What’s worse is the fact that scalpers are now at it again – charging well over the $ 119.99 USD retail price. If you head on over to places like eBay, you’ll see plenty of high price listings for this particular version of Shin Megami Tensei V. As usual, we urge you not to support this – so hold out and fingers crossed official retailers get more stock soon.

Via eBay...
Via eBay… (Image: Nintendo Life)

Metroid Dread is another recent victim of scalpers – with the two-in-one amiibo pakc and special edition copy also disappearing in a flash. Have you been able to secure the Shin Megami Tensei V Premium Edition? How about a standard copy of the game? Tell us down in the comments.

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

NS&I announces U-turn following plans to change Premium Bonds prize cheques system

However, NS&I has currently restored call waiting times to normal levels and cleared outstanding complaints, the savings provider confirmed.

NS&I Chief Executive, Ian Ackerley, said: “In a hugely challenging year, I regret the impact of operational issues on our customers, and apologise that they did not receive the levels of service that they have come to expect from NS&I.

“We are in a better position now, despite the ongoing pandemic, but there is more to do in the months ahead.

“Despite the challenges faced, I am proud of what we have achieved in an exceptional 12 months.

“We have delivered unprecedented levels of financing for Government and served millions of savers, as well as evolving our operation so that we can learn from this year and build a stronger and more resilient business that continues to attract the loyalty of millions of savers.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

How to buy Premium Bonds: NS&I offers four ways to purchase the savings option

Nowadays there are a range of ways to buy Premium Bonds. Whichever way they are purchased though, each investment must be at least £25.

The odds of winning currently stand at 34,500 to one.

So, how can one buy Premium Bonds?

NS&I explains one way to do this is by buying them online via the NS&I website.

“You can buy Premium Bonds online using our secure online system,” the government-backed savings provider said.

DON’T MISS

“Please have your debit card details at the ready.”

It’s also possible to buy them from NS&I via telephone.

Again, customers are asked to have their debit card details to hand for this.

There is one caveat – if a person is buying Bonds for someone else’s child, they can’t be bought by phone.

Another option is to buy them via post.

To do so, the relevant application form must be filled out and sent to NS&I.

This must be along with a cheque that is payable to NS&I.

Another option for those who already have Premium Bonds is to make a bank transfer or standing order.

“If you or a child you’re buying for already have some Premium Bonds, you can buy via bank transfer (including standing order),” NS&I explains.

There is a guide available on this option, and it is important to read this first.

It is possible for any adult to buy Premium Bonds for children who are under the age of 16.

However until the child’s 16th birthday, the parent or guardian named on the application looks after the Bonds, and this is regardless of who bought them.

Parents or legal guardians can buy Bonds for their child online, by phone or by post.

When buying for someone else’s child, the options are limited to applying online or by post.

Those in this situation must make sure the parent or guardian is happy to look after the investment for their child, and agrees to their details being given to NS&I.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Premium Bonds: Have you won in June 2021 prize draw? NS&I releases details of millionaires

Premium Bonds are a popular savings method available through NS&I which give Britons the chance to win big. Each month, under the lottery bond system, NS&I undertakes a prize draw which creates a whole host of winners. Today, there will be individuals who are starting their month off with a bang, as the millionaires’ details have been confirmed.
The first lucky millionaire was revealed to be a woman from Leicester, with a holding of £50,000.

Her winning Bond number was stated to be 404XK887196, and it was purchased less than a year ago in July 2020.

However, the second fortunate winner purchased their Bond a while ago, all the way back in November 2008.

The individual is a woman from Cleveland who has a Bond holding of £41,450.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson urged – let Britons ‘retire early’ to lower unemployment

A total of five people will be waking up this morning £100,000 richer as the prizes have been released.

These individuals come from Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, South West Wales, Leeds and Inner London.

Some 10 people also secured a prize winning of £50,000 in the June 2021 draw.

One person even secured their £50,000 winning with a Bond worth just £50. 

This month, the prize fund for Premium Bonds stood at a staggering £91million.

NS&I stated this prize fund was shared between over 3.1million lucky winners, who secured a range of prizes.

A life-changing sum of money could be won from NS&I, but there are a range of prizes to be secured.

These range from the staggering £1million, all the way down to the tidy amount of £25.

Regardless of the sum, Premium Bonds holders are likely to want to check if they have secured a winning this month.

However, for those who cannot find their number on the high value winnings at present, or who want to double check, waiting a while longer is necessary.

This is because NS&I has said it is to update its prize checker tomorrow to help Britons see if they have won.

NS&I has stated that using the prize checker is the quickest way to find out if a person has won a prize.

It is available on the NS&I website, updated on the day after the first working day of each month.

The same information is also available via the NS&I Premium Bonds app on smartphone devices. 

Amazon Alexa-enabled devices can also be used to check for prize winnings. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Premium cars lift Volkswagen's margins despite chip woes

Premium cars lift Volkswagen's margins despite chip woes© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Volkswagen logo is seen as it launches its ID.6 and ID.6 CROZZ SUV at a world premiere ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show, in Shanghai, China April 18, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

By Christoph Steitz and Jan Schwartz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen (DE:) raised its operating margin target for this year after strong demand for profitable Audis and Porsches in the first quarter, but warned it remained in “crisis mode” over a global shortage of semiconductor chips.

Europe’s biggest carmaker said on Thursday it now expected an operating profit margin of 5.5-7% this year, versus a previous forecast of 5.0-6.5%, with vehicle deliveries and sales both up by more than a fifth.

The better guidance is mainly driven by improved demand for high-margin premium cars, a trend also seen at General Motors (NYSE:), Daimler (OTC:), Ford and Stellantis.

That helped the group cushion the impact of a shortage of automotive chips, which it warned would intensify in the second quarter.

Chief Executive Herbert Diess said the problem had cut production by around 100,000 cars in the first quarter, and there was more to come.

“We’re still tasking our supply chain people to recover the losses of quarter two, which we expect,” he said.

Volkswagen shares were flat.

To try to secure supplies over the longer-term, the German group is talking directly to chipmakers including NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:) and Infineon (OTC:), as well as foundries such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, Diess said.

“We are, for sure, in crisis mode,” he said.

During the first quarter, deliveries of Porsches and Audis both rose about a third year on year, Volkswagen has said. Sales of electric vehicles more than doubled to 133,300 vehicles.

The world’s second largest carmaker by vehicle sales cheered investors earlier this year when it provided more detail about its electric vehicle strategy, including higher sales targets and plans to build six battery factories in Europe.

Volkswagen’s operating profit came in at 4.8 billion euros ($ 5.8 billion) in January-March, helped by cost cuts and higher sales, versus 900 million euros in the same period last year, which was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

X: Therefore doesn`t .

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

NS&I unveils May winners of £1million Premium Bonds jackpot and one bought Bond this year

The first working day of the month has arrived, and that means NS&I has published some details about the latest Premium Bonds prize draw. This month, there was a prize fund of more than £89million.
The Winning Bond was purchased only a matter of months ago, in February 2021.

Meanwhile, the second Winning Bond was 340LX170519, and it was purchased in September 2018.

It is part of the man’s £34,000 holding.

The second highest high value prize is £100,000.

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This month, five payouts for this size of prize were up for grabs.

Winners of this prize were from Surrey, York, Devon, Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire.

There were 10 winners of a £50,000 prize.

In the Premium Bonds prize draw, prizes range from £25 up to £1million.

NS&I says using the prize checker is the quickest way to find out if a person has won a prize.

The prize checker is available on the NS&I website, updated on the day after the first working day of each month.

The same information is also available on the NS&I Premium Bonds app.

Amazon Alexa-enabled devices can also be used to check for prizes.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Hours to go until NS&I announces May 2021 Premium Bonds winners – how to use prize checker

The Premium Bonds prize draw results are released at the start of each month. However, due to the weekend and the Bank Holiday Monday which followed, information on who scooped a substantial payout this month is yet to be revealed.
As such, it’s only a matter of hours until details about the latest winners of a life-changing sum of money are released.

NS&I always maintains the anonymity of winners, but some information about them is released.

For example, last month, it was announced that the two £1million jackpot winners for April 2021 came from Cumbria and Lothian.

In that month, there was a total of 3,068,376 prizes worth £88,215,800 to be paid out.

DON’T MISS

For those who want to check whether they’ve won, there is a tool specifically intended to help with the process.

The Premium Bonds prize checker is available on the NS&I website for instance.

It’s also possible to check this information via the official NS&I prize checker app.

Customers can also do this via their Alexa-enabled device.

The odds of winning per £1 Bond number currently stand at 34,500 to one.

There are limits as to how many Premium Bonds a person can hold though.

This currently stands at £50,000 per person.

At the other end of the scale, the minimum investment amount is £25 per person.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Premium Bond prize payments are changing as NS&I issues update – do you need to act?

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Premium Bonds are perhaps the most popular product offered by NS&I, the Government-backed savings institution, which protects 100 percent of all deposits should the worst happen. Each month, NS&I releases details of two lucky millionaires as well as a whole host of other prizes available through its draw. However, NS&I will soon be enacting an important change when it comes to how Britons can receive their winnings.
From Spring 2021, NS&I will start the phasing out of the use of Premium Bonds prize warrants – otherwise known as cheques.

The move was originally intended to begin in December 2020, but NS&I delayed the process due to difficulties faced by some customers when trying to update bank details.

Rather than receiving paper warrants, individuals can now expect to receive prize winnings paid directly into their bank account, or reinvested up to the value of £50,000 per person. 

For customers needing to switch from the more traditional payment of Premium Bonds, there are certain steps to take.

READ MORE: State pension warning: Britons urged check National Insurance record

Individuals who are already registered for NS&I’s online and phone services will be able to enter their bank account details online through their NS&I account.

They can do so by visiting “Your Profile” and then clicking “Your prize options” to choose to have prizes paid directly to them, or reinvested into more Premium Bonds.

However, for those who have not registered for this service, and do not wish to, the process will be slightly different.

These savers can visit the NS&I website to input their bank account details but will need either an email address or mobile phone number to be notified of any winnings.

He said: “Paying Premium Bonds prizes directly into customers’ bank accounts is quicker, easier and more secure for everyone.

“It will also mean we can reduce the number of Premium Bonds prizes that go unclaimed where we don’t have a current address for the winner.

“Customers can also continue to have any prize wins reinvested into more Premium Bonds up to the £50,000 limit to increase their chances of winning in future draws.

“There is an understandable affection for prizes being received by post, but since March 2020, nearly half a million customers have switched from receiving paper warrants to having their prizes paid directly into their bank account or automatically reinvested. 

“As well as being beneficial to our customers, this change will allow NS&I to manage Premium Bonds prize distribution more cost-effectively and with a much lower environmental impact.”