Christmas for Mac Enthusiasts – iPad mini and more

Posted on October 24, 2012 | Amazing tech, iPad, Mac, Tech tips, Upgrade, Weigh In

Yesterday, at the California Theater in San Jose, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Vice President of marketing Phil Schiller took the stage to unveil their highly anticipated, pint-sized iPad Mini. However, that wasn’t all. To the oohs and ahhs of the audience, they also announced an upgrade on the iPad and revealed a whole host of new Macs.

With the unveiling of so many goodies, here’s our rundown of the latest Apple gadgets:

iPad Mini:

The smaller iPad has a 7.9-inch display with a 1024 x 768 resolution. It is 7.2 millimeters thick, 0.63 pounds, comes in white and slate black. The insides of the iPad Mini are on par with Apple’s other mobile devices, including a new processor called the A5, the Lightning connector and a 5-megapixel camera. With a starting price of $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, the tablet is the least expensive iPad ever made.

But how does it stack up against the competition? At the event, Mr. Schiller did a side-by-side comparison of the Mini to Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. He noted that the iPad Mini was thinner, lighter and more durable than Google’s tablet, and still had a bigger screen.

However, Apple’s competition is certainly fierce. Google Nexus 7 tablet costs $200 (about $130 less than the iPad Mini) and has a higher resolution screen than the Mini. Amazon recently introduced seven new Kindles, including a 7-inch tablet for $160 and an 8.9-inch tablet for $300 (it is also expected to launch its 10-inch Kindle Fire next month). Barnes and Noble’s Nook tablet, which starts at $200, has also sold well. Not to be out-done Microsoft is releasing its own tablet, the Surface, on Friday.

4th Generation iPad:

According to Tim Cook, Apple has sold 84 million iPads since their debut in April 2010. Their latest upgrade features an A6X processor, 5 megapixel iSight camera, expanded LTE chipset, front-facing camera with FaceTime and 720p video capture, faster Wi-Fi, and Lightening connector. The new iPad is priced at $499 for a 16 GB model, $629 for a 16 GB model with 4G LTE.

Macs:

Apple also introduced a family of new Macs, including upgrades for the MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini. The 13-inch MacBook Pro notebook includes a high-resolution Retina display (similar to the display technology on the current iPads and iPhones) and is 20 percent thinner, and a pound lighter, than the previous generation. It will start at $1,700. They also described updates to the company’s Mac Mini and iMac, with the latter becoming a razor-thin (80% thinner and 8 pounds lighter than its predecessor) all-in-one computer that starts at $1,299.

What do you think? Are you excited to get your hands on the newest Apple gadgets?

Don’t forget, we purchase iPads so, if you’re looking to buy a new iPad Mini or iPad, come to us first and sell your old devices to subsidize your upgrade.

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iPhone 5 cases edition

Posted on October 03, 2012 | cell phone, iPhone, Mac, mobile, smartphone, Tech tips, Upgrade

Looking for a case to fit your shiny new phone? Here are some of the best iPhone 5 cases to hit the market:

1. Having searched for the greenest iPhone 5 case available, the Grove case is the best we found. Handmade in Portland, Oregon, each case is milled from a solid block of sustainable bamboo, then hand sanded and oiled. It is made of 100% post-consumer fibers and, inside the case, a plant fiber composite core keeps your iPhone in place. You can even have your wood-grain case laser engraved with a pattern or a picture of your choosing.

Grove iPhone 5 case

2. As soon as the iPhone 5 was announced, Quirky and Fab.com teamed up to create accessories in just one day. Through the wonders of crowd-sourcing, users submitted ideas to Quirky who tested each design and created the best ideas. In just 24 hours the project resulted in 6 different cases. Our favorite is ‘The Keeper’ – a plain black iPhone 5 case with a “leather-feel” bi-fold wallet below the camera. One side of the wallet has a clear slot for an ID card or license, and the other has two slots for credit cards or money. Everything we need in one place!

The Keeper iPhone5 case

3) Imagine that you have just opened your brand new iPhone 5 and you can’t bear to defile its flawless, sleek design. It may be tempting to forgo the case but, if you want some added protection, Zagg’s Invisible Shield is for you. The durable, flexible and clear material adheres to the surfaces of your iPhone to make it more grippable and protect it from scratches, dings, and other damage. You can choose from four levels of protection and you can opt to cover the iPhone’s front, back, and sides, just the front and back, or just the front. There’s also a lifetime guarantee: if the Invisible Shield ever becomes scratched, torn, or damaged, Zagg will replace it for free.

Zagg's Invisible Shield iPhone 5 case

4) We are big fans of all of Case-Mate’s silicon case designs (the owl, panda and elephant are all brilliant) but we can’t get past the cute Waddler penquin with its flipper charm. What better way to indulge your inner child?

Case-Mate silicon iPhone 5 case

5) If you’re after something a little less playful, and a little more sophisticated, Mujjo’s handcrafted leather iPhone 5 sleeve may be just what you’re after. The company is based in Holland and their cases are sewn from top-grain, vegetable-tanned brown leather for a classy, minimalist look.

Mujjo iPhone 5 case

6) For anyone who uses their iPhone as a workout buddy, Belkin’s Ease-Fit Armband keeps it safely at your side while you run, climb, swing etc. The armband itself is adjustable for a tight fit, constructed from water-resistant material and washable (for those particularly sweaty workout sessions).

7) Whether you use your iPhone for tracking your fitness, navigating city streets or staying connected, the Scosche Regkase lightweight bike mount puts your phone front and center as you speed along on two wheels. The black silicone case integrates an adjustable strap with aluminum notches to mount the phone horizontally or vertically and fit any handlebar size. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road!

8) Perfect for any ravers or night owls, the iLuv Aurora’s color motifs are designed to glow in the dark. The soft, flexible, grippable case has a padded interior and comes in three color combos including pink/light blue, white/light blue, and green/black.

9) Over at SkinIt you can personalize your new iPhone by creating a customized ‘skin’ with any of your holiday snaps or family pictures.

10) Society 6, our favorite affordable art site, offers 100 pages of designs for iPhone 5 cases. We can’t even get our heads around that many designs!

Don’t forget, if you just upgraded to the new iPhone you can sell your old iPhone at ExchangeMyPhone.

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How does the iPhone 5 shape up against the competition?

The iPhone 5 is finally here. The reviews are in and Apple is looking as popular as ever. But the iPhone is not the only smartphone on the block. In the past couple of years, Apple’s competitors have been busy creating phones to rival the iPhone. So how does the latest Apple product stack up against the best and brightest in the smartphone industry?

Mashable has a pretty amazing chart that stacks the iPhone 5 against its three strongest competitors. We have weighed in on four of the iPhone’s strongest features, and explored how they measure up:

Screen shots

The iPhone 5 boasts a 4 inch screen, the largest iPhone screen yet, and maintains the crisp retina display of the 4 and 4S. However, if size is what you’re after, most Android and Windows phones now come with the same high-resolution displays at 4.3 inches. For the best in the market, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Droid RAZR HD and recently announced Nokia Lumia 920 measure up at 4.8”, 4.7” and 4.5” respectively.

Lights, camera, action

The iPhone 5 has an 8-megapixel camera, similar to the one in the iPhone 4S, but with a new sensor and lens. The iPhone 5 is faster, it is better at taking photos in low-light environments and the new Panorama feature enables you to take pretty incredible images of up to 28 megapixels with a simple on-screen prompt. The iPhone 5 camera holds its own against the Windows and Android models. The only area that the competition stands out is in photo tweaking capabilities.

iOS lowdown

iOS 6 is simple and works incredibly well, it is ideal for non-technical users. More over, there are more apps currently available on iOS than on Android or Windows Phone and most of the hottest apps come to iOS first (before being ported to other operating systems). Apple’s platform is arguably the best of the bunch, but the gap between the iPhone and its competitors is getting smaller by the minute. When Apple announced the iPhone OS back in 2007 it was ground-breaking. Today, the iOS 6 looks very similar to 5 years ago. Apple has added new features and services, such as iCloud and Siri, but there are some big things that iOS is missing, things that Apple’s competitors gained a long time ago. Android and Windows offer much more room for customization and flexibility, and they excel in everything from widgets to maps and quick setting toggles.

Battery power

Apple has claimed that the iPhone 5 can run on LTE for eight hours without having to be recharged. With the phone’s ultra-thin model and light feel, that level of battery power is impressive. However, if you are willing to opt for a slightly larger phone, the new generation of Android phones (most notably Motorola’s Droid Razr Maxx and Razr HD) offer close to 21 hours of battery life, with Motorola claiming that its Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD can go for over a day while on LTE. You just have to decide if you would rather have a small phone with above-average battery life or a large phone with spectacular battery life.

So what do you think about the iPhone 5? Are you a Windows, Android or Apple fan? Whatever your preference, there is no doubt that this will be an interesting year for smartphones users, as the competition does their best to improve upon the high benchmark that the iPhone 5 has set.

Inspired to buy one of the latest and greatest smartphones on the market? Take away the sting of the upgrade cost by selling your old phone at ExchangeMyPhone.

iPhone 5 Review – What the Experts are Saying

Posted on September 19, 2012 | cell phone, innovation, iPhone, Mac, mobile, smartphone, Tech tips, Upgrade

At its launch event last week, Apple’s vice president Phil Shiller described the iPhone 5 as “the most beautiful product we have ever made.”

He demonstrated how the Apple engineers have improved on the iPhone 4S by creating a larger 4-inch screen, faster processor, improved camera, improved battery life, LTE support and introducing a new lightening connector.

In the days after launch, the phone became the fastest-selling device in its history. Pre-orders topped 2 million in its first 24 hours of availability and doubled the 1 million in sales done by the iPhone 4S in its first 24 hours of  its availability.

But what will everyone actually think when they get their hands on the much ballyhooed iPhone 5?

The phone is set to hit the shelves on September 21st but a few lucky reviewers have gotten a chance to get their mitts on the newest member of Apple’s family a few days before the rest of us.

So what do they think?

They are giving it a huge thumbs up.

The hardware is popular across the board with nearly every reviewer praising the new 4-inch screen, comfort in hand and ‘premium feel’.

Not surprisingly, many are disgruntled with the new dock connector. They agree that the performance is brilliant but they are frustrated that they it no longer fits any of their accessories.

With that quibble aside, their overall excitement is palpable:

TechCrunch: “I really do believe this is the best iPhone upgrade that Apple has done yet (besting the iPhone-to-iPhone 3G jump and the iPhone 3GS-to-iPhone 4 jump). As such, it’s the best version of the iPhone yet. By far.”

The Wall Street Journal: “The world’s most popular smartphone becomes significantly faster, thinner and lighter this week, while gaining a larger, 4-inch screen—all without giving up battery life, comfort in the hand and high-quality construction.”

Engadget: “Thinner. Lighter. Faster. Simpler. The moment the iPhone 5 was unveiled we knew that it was checking off all the right boxes, folding in all the improvements and refinements people have been demanding over the past year.”

The Telegraph: “Starting the phone, loading apps, or taking photos – everything is faster on the iPhone 5. Benchmarking with the Geekbench app has shown that the iPhone 5 is not just faster than the iPhone 4S but it also outperforms Samsung’s Galaxy S3.”

Next week, we will compare the iPhone 5 to its competitors in the field but, in the meantime, do you plan to buy an iPhone 5? What new feature are you most excited about? Let us know.

If you are tempted to buy the new iPhone 5 but are put off by the hefty price tag, you can always subsidize your upgrade by selling your old iPhone (or any other phone) at ExchangeMyPhone.

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Trading up to the next iPhone? Get a jump on all the other upgraders

Are you thinking about selling your old phone and putting the money towards buying Apple’s new iPhone when it comes out in September? If you are, then you may want to act fast.

iPhone trade in

From now until Apple announces the new iPhone (expected to be on September 12th), is the best time to get the highest price for your old phone online. Everyone will try to unload their older iPhones in droves after the new phone comes out. This means that the used value of older iPhones will drop as the new iPhone launch day approaches – so now is the best time to lock in pre-release pricing.

Obviously one rather large downside to selling your phone right now is that you will be phone-less in the interim while you wait for your new iPhone5. We have the solution! To make it as easy as possible for you, we give you 30 days to send in your gadgets after locking in your trade-in price. Basically, you can sell your old smartphone today and ship it to us 30 days later, once you have the new iPhone5 in your hands. Plus, there’s no obligation for you to go through with the trade-in so the whole thing is gamble free.

ExchangeMyPhone iPhone4S 3GS

As of today, we are paying $272 for an AT&T iPhone4S (32GB) in good used condition. That is more than enough to cover a subsidized upgrade from your carrier! If you’re feeling really generous you can even donate the payout to any cause that you care about (we have 765,000 non-profits for you to choose from to at checkout). Either way, you are bound to make someone very happy!

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Product reviews re-thought

Where do you go when you want to upgrade your old phone or buy a new gadget? You can chat to a sales guy in a store but it is often tricky to ignore that nagging feeling that he’s more interested in his bottom-line than getting you the perfect gadget. You can always do your own research on Google but, after hours spent reading through hundreds of reviews, you may have started to lose your sanity.

Finding the perfect gadget can be a very tricky decision to get right. At ExchangeMyPhone, we are big fans of gdgt. Essentially, they do all the hard work for you. They find and recommend the best gadgets out there and rate them with a single gdgt score. If you like what you see, they will then search thousands of retailers to show you the best bang for your buck.

We think it is all pretty cool, but our favourite piece about gdgt is the awesome sense of community. Essentially, you have the chance to interact with a bunch of very well informed guys and girls who will answer any personal tech questions you have, from advice on which phone to buy, to what everyone else thinks about the iPad3.

At ExchangeMyPhone we love our gadgets because they make our lives easier, ensure that our business runs smoothly and keep us entertained on many a subway ride. We think that figuring out which one to buy should be equally pain-free and fun. Luckily, gdgt feels the same way.

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