A guide to keeping your gadgets safe in the home

Home insurance is used as a safety net for many of us, giving us the opportunity to replace anything that is damaged or stolen, but unfortunately insurance cannot compensate for the loss of sentimental value and the feelings of violation which can occur.

To prevent costly and sometimes upsetting replacements, we’ve pulled together the top five ways to keep your gadgets and personal items secure in your home.

 

  1. Use protective casing
    Screen protectors and protective cases are a must to keep your gadgets safe, especially with the sleek designs of handsets nowadays. Dropping your phone is very easily done and the results can be catastrophic, leaving you with a shattered screen at the very minimum. Protective cases are manufactured to be shockproof with enhanced grip, leaving you with peace of mind that accidents can happen but shouldn’t result in a smashed phone.

  2. Think ‘out of sight, out of mind’
    Don’t leave anything on display that may tempt a thief to break in. This applies to your phone, but also tablets, laptops or car keys. Similarly, refrain from leaving a spare key in an obvious place such as under a flower pot or where a passer-by could see you hiding it.

  3. Don’t leave your phone ‘on the edge’
    Be vigilant about not placing your phone on the edge of any worktops or other surfaces. This costly mistake accounts for many phone disasters every day and is super simple to remember. Another smartphone tragedy which can be avoided is dropping it down it the toilet. This is much more common than you might think, so take extra care when using back pockets.

  4. Keep out of reach of pets (and babies)
    Mistaking a chewy toy for the latest tech is an easy mistake to make, right? You’d think so with the amount of times pets get their teeth into our devices. Similarly, curious babies and toddlers love to spin a smartphone round in their hands before dropping it on the floor, which can also lead to damage. To prevent this, never leave your phone or any other valuables lying around – you never know what will look like a toy to your furry friend or giggly baby.

  5. Don’t advertise your whereabouts
    Don’t disclose future holiday plans with tradesmen or anyone unfamiliar and be careful of broadcasting holiday plans or pictures of yourself while you’re away on social media. Whether you’re leaving the country or just popping next door, it’s important to keep all doors and windows locked when you’re out too. Many break-ins are opportunistic, so be sure not to make it easy for them.

To insure your phone with Better Buy Insurance just click here

A guide to the best messaging apps for your mobile

Our latest research shows that 40% of us Brits find making a phone call stressful and that text message, WhatsApp, Snapchat and other forms of communication are dominating the way we contact friends, colleagues and loved ones. With so many different messaging apps available, we’ve pulled together details of the top five messaging apps to download.

WhatsApp

By far the most popular and well-known messaging app, WhatsApp is free to download and can be synced with your phone contacts. You send text, photos, voice and short video messages to contacts, and the app is continuously updating and adding new features. However, the phone does require phone functionality so can’t be used on all devices and in the past there has been concerns around privacy and data sharing.

Viber

Viber, although not as popular as WhatsApp, encourages you to “Connect. Freely” with its app for Windows 10, Mac and Linux computers, and iOS, Android and Windows phones. The app lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users on any device or network.

The app is known for being easy to use and it also reads your phone settings and contacts. It also offers HD-quality voice calls, video calls, and messages with text, photos, and stickers. It has also introduced encrypted messaging features to the app, with a color-coded icon indicating chat security and encryption. You will need a SIM card and phone functionality.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is a dedicated messaging app that builds on Facebook’s existing chat format and adds more mobile messaging features. Users need a Facebook account and can send other users the usual chat messages, as well as voice messages and voice and video calls to other Messenger users, with extra features like GIF support and photo and location sharing. Just make sure to manage your settings to prevent Facebook from sharing your data.

Slack

Slack has been a huge hit for corporations and small businesses alike with its mix of messaging, scheduling, management tools, and app integration. The app covers your IM basics with real-time messaging synced across devices and also supports file sharing, direct and group messaging tools. Slack archives your messages, allowing you to search through old messages, channels and shared files, and includes integration with a variety of services such as cloud storage, Asana, Zendesk and more. Premium plans provide more features, such as expanded file storage and better app integration.

Snapchat

Snapchat is known for being popular among younger users. At its core, users can send each other ‘Snaps’ — photos, short videos, or messages that are only visible for a limited time before disappearing. Over the years the app has added more features such as filters and photo editing tools, a more advanced story sharing system, bitmojis, adaptive chat and more, evolving constantly in a fast-moving social media landscape. It’s a fun way to stay in touch with friends.

Gary Beeston, adds: “There are such a vast range of different apps available, whether you want to chat to your parents, stay in touch with colleague or just gossip with your friends. Once you’ve found the perfect app for your needs you won’t have to stress about a phone call.”

A guide to the best festivals this summer

Our research shows that 70% of us Brits are festival goers so, to make choosing which one to go to easier, we’ve pulled together details of the top 10 festivals to visit in this summer including dates, locations and where to buy tickets.

 

Throughout July, August and September, there are all kinds of fun festivals lined up – so whether you fancy heading to Hyde Park for Barclaycard presents British Summer Time or chilling out at Tabanca Caribbean Festival in Grimsby, there’s something for everyone, no matter what your music preference.

 

When What Where Purchase Tickets
July
6th – 14th Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park, London To purchase tickets starting from £69, click here
6th – 8th Wireless Finsbury Park, London To purchase tickets starting from £62, click here
14th Cocoon in the Park Temple Newsam, Leeds To purchase tickets starting from £30, click here
26th – 29th Kendal Calling Lowther Deer Park, Cumbria To purchase tickets starting from £169, click here
August
2nd – 5th Bestival The Lulworth Estate, East Lulworth, Dorset To purchase tickets starting from £175, click here
9th – 12th Boomtown Matterley Estate, Hampshire To purchase tickets starting from £216, click here
23rd – 26th Creamfields Daresbury, Cheshire To purchase tickets starting from £69, click here
31st – 2ndSept Sundown Festival Norfolk, Showground, Norwich To purchase tickets starting from £40, click here
September
13th – 16th Tabanca Caribbean Festival Grimsby To purchase tickets starting from £40, click here
22nd MINT festival Leeds To purchase tickets starting from £30, click here

 

Our research revealed that one in seven people have lost their phone at a festival and around half don’t know what to do if that happens.

Gary Beeston (Sales & Marketing Director) from Better Buy Insurance, says: “It’s shocking to see that so many Brits lose their phones at a festival. We are seeing more and more people taking out insurance policies in preparation for all their summer plans and it’s reassuring for them to know that if the worst does happen, you’re not without your device for long.

“With so many exciting festivals taking place over the summer months, we hope our customers find our advice helpful and for the three quarters of people that think it would be a nightmare to lose their phone, we hope we can make their life just that bit easier!”

Essential phone coming to the UK

A new Android mobile phone is to launch in the UK, the Essential PH-1 handset comes from Essential Smartphone, a company set up by Andy Rubin, a former Google Executive.

 

Phone info

The phone will also launch in Japan, France and Canada, the company hope that this will be a boost to sales after mixed results in the US.

The handset will cost around £330 but crucially will not, for the time being, be distributed by The Carphone Warehouse or any UK network.

The handset comes with a generous 128 GB of storage as standard, a cool edge-to-edge Quad HD display. It is available in four colours: Black, Pure White, Stellar Gray and Copper Black. The handset is robust due to solid Titanium casing and the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass.

 

More info and next steps

Mr Rubin was co-founder of Android Inc that was purchased by Google in 2007. He was the man behind pushing the technology to become a big player in the mobile market. He founded a hardware incubator called Playground Global which focuses on Robotics.

The handset was generally fairly well reviewed – Wired Magazine gave the handset a score of 8/10. However, iFixit magazine said they found the handset ‘almost impossible’ to repair because it is so hard to open.

The company have said that the PH-2 is on the way so it’ll be interesting to see if the Essential can make in-roads into the seemingly unassailable grip of Apple and Samsung on the world smartphone market. We would think that a distribution deal with a big network or Carphone Dixons would be crucial if they were to really become a big player. We wish them the best of luck.

 

Essential phone insurance

If you want to insure your new Essential mobile phone you can of course do so here at Better Buy Insurance. Insurance starts from just £2.99 a month.

Apple launch PRODUCT RED iPhone

Apple have announced the launch of PRODUCT RED, which is a range of products coloured Red (not surprisingly) where some of the proceeds from these products will go to help those living with HIV / AIDS.

 

PRODUCT RED launch date

The US giant announced the launch of an iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus PRODUCT RED Special Edition which will be available online from 13th April, orders can be made from 10th April. Pricing for the new handsets starts at £699 in the UK.

 

Geographical availability

Initially at least the handsets will be available in: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark,  France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy,  Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, UK and US, with the handsets becoming available in other countries in time.

 

Other PRODUCT RED products

Also available is a new PRODUCT RED iPhone X Leather Folio priced at £99in the UK.

Other PRODUCT RED products include:

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones,

Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker

As well as accessories for other iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

 

The proceeds

Proceeds from the sale of products will go to the Global Fund HIV/AIDS grants that provide support to people with HIV / AIDS. Since 2006 Apple have donated $160 million to the fund. This equates to 800 million days of ARV medication that helps prevent the transmission of HIV from months to babies.

Stylish new handsets all in a good cause, sounds good to us and it almost goes without saying that all the PRODUCT RED mobile phones can be insured here at Better Buy Insurance.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models can be insured for only £6.99 a month or £74.99 a year. We have one simple policy that covers loss, theft and damage, more details can be found at our website.

Moto phone sales growing

Moto sold around 1.5 million devices in the UK over the last 12 months. The Moto G is proving a strong seller in a market that is marginally in decline.

UK Managing Director Miles Norman said that the company had enjoyed growth of nearly 30% in Quarter 4 year on year.

Moto are now pushing for third place in the UK in the hugely competitive world of mobile phones. Interestingly another old war horse from the early years of mobiles is also in the running. Nokia have enjoyed some success with new updated versions of old classic phones and some brand new phones too.

Moto is, of course, the name now used by Motorola for their mobile phone division. Like Nokia they were in a much more dominant position in the mid to late 90s with their iconic flip phone designs.

The company is working hard to try and cement and improve on their strong position in the market. The Moto Z range of mobile phones are getting great reviews.

Features on the camera such as selective focus, selective black and white shots and shoot like a pro are proving popular. The phones also come with shatter proof screens that are guaranteed to not shatter. The processor is very fast giving the users a great high-speed experience. The phone also comes with a selection of click on accessories called Moto Mods – these change the nature of the handset as soon as they are clicked on. For example, the Polaroid Insta-Share Printer. It is exactly as it sounds. A mini printer on the back of your phone – take a photo and print it out. The Amazon Alexa speaker – good quality music with the added support of Alexa. The list is impressive – a zoom camera, a higher booster speaker, and mini projector, an extra battery pack, a game pad and stylish wood shell for a cooler look to your phone.

As we move into a world with 5G could Moto be the manufacturer who will break through and challenge Apple and Samsung as an alternative to the big two in market share shaking up the mobile phone market? No one can afford to sit back. Exciting times.

Samsung Galaxy S9 release date

The latest and greatest phone from Samsung has finally been unveiled and if you pre-order you can get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+ on Friday the 9th March. If you don’t pre-order you will need to wait another week.

But is it the greatest phone that Samsung have ever produced? Well if you read the reviews online from the industry experts the answer is probably yes with a but. The but is that it’s the best phone yet but only slightly better than the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Price

If you are going to upgrade from the S8 to the S9 it’s not going to be cheap. The Samsung S9 64gb is priced at £739 sim free and the S9+ 128gb is £869. It might be that Samsung fans that still have the S6 or the S7 might be tempted and the S8 owners might hang on for the S10.

So how is it different from the previous phones from Samsung?

Samsung Galaxy S9 Camera

Well the big change is the quality of the camera, if you want to know the technical stuff explaining how and why the camera is so great you might want to check out the Samsung website. From what we’ve read it does sound pretty good.

It also has a slow motion facility which if you like a bit of slow motion might just convince you to upgrade.

The thing that your friends are going to be showing you down the pub however will be the animated cartoons of themselves that will mimic their expressions. Samsung are calling these AR Emojis, they are a bit like the Animojis that Apple have given anyone who bought an iPhone X but these are human rather than animal. Not for everyone but it just shows what mobile phone manufacturers need to do to differentiate themselves from the competition.

If you want to sign up to Samsung Galaxy S9 insurance you can do so here at Better Buy Insurance. Cover is just £5.99 a month or £64.99 a year.

Get a mobile phone insurance quote now!

If you’d like to see what the wider market is offering in terms of insurance pricing and cover we’d recommend the comparison sites Go Compare or Money Supermarket.

Broadband news for people in the country

Folk living in rural areas might finally have some good news on the horizon for better broadband speeds. Two developments announced recently suggest that significant improvements will be seen relatively soon.

Church buildings might help WiFi and 4G signals

Firstly, the Church of England and various Government Departments have announced that the Church’s buildings could be used to enhance both WiFi and 4G signals.

Many church buildings are in rural communities and they are often situated centrally within these communities, combining this with the fact that they have towers or spires they make perfect locations to send out a signal. The other factor that helps is that they are in place, so there are no big costs associated with building towers or local planning hurdles to jump through.

4G services for rural users

The second exciting development for rural broadband is that EE, the mobile phone arm of BT, has announced a scheme to bring high speed 4G services to nearly 600,000 rural properties.

EE will attach a special box to a subscriber’s home and this ensures a strong, reliable connection to the network’s 4G services. This service is about double the price of a normal broadband connection but it could be a lifeline to farmers, children studying and small business owners.

It makes perfect sense for EE to offer this service to make extra revenue from the infrastructure it is building associated with rolling out the new Emergency Services Network, the service taking over from the old radio communications network for the police, fire and ambulance services. Currently the network covers 90% of the country and this will increase to 95% over the next couple of years.

So rural users should be better connected by one of the two schemes very soon. This is good news for those living out in the country and for the conservative party who have been under considerable pressure to roll out super fast broadband to everyone in the UK, not just those living in towns and cities.

Broadband – is it over when mobiles get 5G?

The SIM only MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) GiffGaff recently released a report suggesting that data usage will soar with the launch of 5G mobile phone services.

Their report suggested that users will be using up to 100GB of data via their mobile phones by 2025.

Massive increase in data usage

The vast majority of this massive increase in data usage will be driven by video streaming of films, sports events, programmes, face to face connectivity, tutorials, lectures, comedy shows, live music events etc.

Even if they are half right it represents a dramatic change in our habits compared to how we use our phones and gadgets nowadays. This is especially true given that current data usage per month is somewhere between 2 and 3GB.

Where does this leave fixed line broadband services? Will someone visiting your home still ask for the Wi-Fi code for their mobile phone or will they simply use their 5G handset which is likely to be faster and more efficient.

It is possible to envisage a scenario whereby people living in an area of good 5G coverage will simply not bother to set up a broadband service which will cost, at today’s prices, anywhere from £20 to £30 a month. They will use the connectivity of their mobile for all their needs.

Broadband shares drop

This might be something in the minds of the City, the share price of TalkTalk, the broadband specialist, has dropped dramatically over the last few years. As recently as Summer 2015 the price was over £4, at the time of writing today it is hovering around £1.10.

BroadBand companies look to be in for a tough ride over the next few years competing with high speed mobile phone connections.

In urban areas and areas of strong mobile coverage the need for a broadband connection will diminish and this is the core bread and butter markets for broadband companies, i.e. densely populated areas that can be serviced relatively easily.

Now it appears that they might be marginalised and have to fight each other over the more difficult rural areas to maintain market share let alone grow.

Here at Better Buy Insurance we are ready and waiting to insure your brand new 5G handsets as soon as they become available.

image: www.freeimages.co.uk

iPhone X news

The iPhone X has been very popular here at Better Buy Insurance since it launched with a bang back in November 2017.

Most expensive iPhone

It’s the most expensive phone that Apple have ever produced. The iPhone X 64gb launched at and still costs £999 here in the UK and the iPhone X 256gb was and still is £1149. These prices are if you buy the phone sim free, deals of course are available if you buy the phone with a contract.

To insure these precious and expensive phones will cost £8.49 a month or £89.99 a year if you do so here at Better Buy Insurance.

If Apple are right with their sales predictions we might not be insuring as many of these phones as we have been. Reports are in that Apple have slashed production of the iPhone X models despite the phone selling like hot cakes in the three months since launch.

Limited availability

Apparently they have asked their suppliers to reduce the number of handsets produced from 40 million to 20 million (quite a reduction). News of this hit the share price quite hard before a slight recovery.

From an outsider looking in maybe Apple believe that a lot of people who want such an expensive phone have already gone out and bought it and demand will fall away. Leaving customers unwilling to spend over £1000 on a phone to upgrade to the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 7.

 Biggest quarterly profit in history

Regardless of all this speculation what we do know is that Apple are expected to announce a profit of over $19 billion, not for last year, oh no, for just the last three months of 2017! This will be the biggest quarterly profit in history so we shouldn’t feel too sorry that they might not sell as many iPhone X phones as they first hoped.

Interesting times in the phone world and I’m sure other manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and Huawei are keeping a close eye on all of this ahead of their own new models coming out in 2018.

Get an iPhone insurance quote now!