BlackBerry through the updates…


With the new BlackBerry Priv set to be released before the end of the year, we wanted to have a look at how the renowned ‘for business’ device has evolved over the years. Diving into our own treasure trove of historical phones, weeding our way through the large and unbranded to the tiniest of Nokia’s, we managed to find a fascinating collection of Blackberry devices.

The BlackBerry 5810 was launched in 2002 and was the first BlackBerry to feature a built-in phone, as they had previously been used as data-only devices. The device however lacked a speaker and a microphone, therefore the only way to use it was via a headset to make and receive calls – although it was a step in the hands-free direction it was far from the Bluetooth technology we use today.

privSince then there has been, like all mobile, an annual release of an updated device. This year is set to be no different with the release of the BlackBerry Priv. After years of the BlackBerry trailing behind Apple and Android and some criticism over the quality of apps available for the BlackBerry, it has listened to consumers and now joined forces with Android to produce the Priv.

BlackBerry have stated that Priv stands for ‘privacy’ and ‘privilege’- as in to maintain privacy. This is based on the main features of the phone, combining BlackBerry security and Android OS.

“Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform” John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO.

We will have to await its arrival to see the success, however why not share your BlackBerry models with us? Did you own one of the original devices as shown above and, if so, what was your experience of using it?

2015 Comms National Awards Shortlist

At Total we are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the final of the Comms National Awards in the Best Mobile Distributor category.  The Comms National Awards have been running for the past 15 years – and this year received a 30% increase in entries from 2014. Total has been selected as a finalist for this category for the past three years. In 2012 and 2013 we were Highly Commended and last year we won the award, and so we are delighted to be shortlisted again this time around.

Total launched the Focus Partner Programme in 2010, to deliver a true wholesale mobile proposition, along with the tools and support to ‘make it simple’, and enabling our partners to drive significant additional revenue for their own businesses whilst aiding retention through a converged offering.   Working closely with our partners, we have since grown the programme to develop new strands within the Focus family, launching a Focus 360 proposition to increase its scope by offering additional tiers and support structures, whilst Focus Connect is tailored to the needs of IT resellers.

2016 is set to be an exciting year for Total and within the Focus channel we are ready to meet our mission and vision – to ‘realise the full potential of ICT’ and ‘enable growth for all’.

The awards ceremony will be held in the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on the 22nd October, where we look forward to an evening of entertainment, industry networking and celebration.

To find out more about the CN Awards and see a full list of this year’s finalists, why not take a look at the CNA website.

CNAwards Banner

Jack reviews the iPhone 6S

As many Apple fans will know, September is new release month and this time around it’s the iPhone 6S.

As expected, Apple have gone from the iPhone 6 to the 6S, as they did with the iPhone 5 to 5S in September 2013. The design of the device hasn’t changed significantly in regards to the looks, however a Rose Gold version has been added to the range. Apple have also responded to criticism with regards to the bending problem of the previous incarnation and now use a new less pliable 7000-series aluminium.

As a wise man once said “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”, the new iPhone 6S is a perfect example of this with the upgrades applied.IPhone 6S

The 6S boasts the next generation of multi-touch which has been named ‘3D Touch’.  It’s like a right-click mechanism for the IPhone 6S and has been compared to the ‘force touch’ on the Apple Watch and the new Mac Book. It enables the user to make calls to favourites or view directions from an address sent via iMessages amongst other features.

The 12MP camera on the new iPhone 6S is superb, with accurate skin tones and an incredible depth of field. Videos are shot in 4K, with an 8MP rear camera whilst the front facing camera is 5MP with a TrueTone flash that is simulated with the retina display, lighting up the screen 3 times brighter than normal.

The 6S features all-new ‘A9’ processor and an embedded ‘M9 motion coprocessor’ making Apple’s system-on-a-chip is snappier than ever. The CPU is 70% faster than the IPhone 6 and the GPU also benefits from a 90% performance boost.

Apple as ever are evolving and revolutionising the mobile industry and I can’t see any reason why not to upgrade to this device. The specs that come with this phone are very powerful indeed and I personally cannot wait to get my hands on one.

With September 2016 set to see the release of the iPhone 7, will you wait for the 7, or take the plunge with the 6S now?

Total dons the denim for Jeans for Genes.


As we prepare for Jeans for Genes Day this coming Friday, we thought we’d look into the annual fundraiser a little more and drop a few clues as to what we’re up to on the day.

Jeans for Genes day was set up by the charity Genetic Disorders UK and this year it is celebrating 20 years of running this fundraising day. Their vision is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by genetic disorders. Jeans for Genes day is a simple concept and it works – don a pair of jeans or double-denim for the day, raise awareness of the charity and donate to the cause.

We are hoping to raise a substantial amount and with a little encouragement Toby, a member from our Business Intelligence team, has pledged to shave all his hair off if £500 is raised. We’ve even found a barber willing to do it to help us raise money on the day.

blog pictureSo, what are we up to and how can you help?

Total support Jeans for Genes annually and this year we have upped the ante and have come up with a range of activities and denim themed prizes to help us reach our ambitious £500 target.

We are hosting a raffle where a range of prizes have been donated by local and national businesses, including an LG G Pro Tablet which is also up for grabs.

The Total team is enthusiastically encouraged to wear as much denim as humanly possible, there will be a ‘Name the Denim Divas’ quiz in our breakout room, where the team will have the opportunity to guess as many names on the board as possible.  This raffle is open to anyone who would like to enter, including you. To be in with a chance of winning, simply donate £5 (per strip of 5) via JustGiving and email your confirmation and contact number to Winners will be announced by the end of Jeans for Genes Day.

So make sure you keep an eye out on our Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn pages, you might just get to see Toby’s head being shaved!

Also keep up-to-date with how we are doing on the fundraising for Jeans for Genes via our JustGiving page. And don’t forget to donate to be in with a chance of winning!

Total’s Avaya Gold Accreditation

Avaya has chosen to reward our commitment, experience and dedication to customer satisfaction by elevating us to the level of GOLD PARTNER.


Total is delighted to be accredited as ‘Gold Partner’ and ‘Partner in Customer Excellence’ as one of only 7 (Gold) and 11 (PCE) out of over 300 Avaya Partners in the UK.

Avaya’s prestigious partner programme rewards partners for value and competency. It recognises that in order to sell Avaya solutions to their customers, partners need to demonstrate high levels of product-focused skills and service to customers.

We could not have achieved this accreditation without the positive feedback we receive from our customers, so we extend our gratitude to those who have assisted us in obtaining this status.

If you would like to know more about Avaya solutions or our Gold Partner status, call us on 0345 0705460 or email the team at


As Simple as 0845

Let’s talk about ‘Non-Geographic Numbers’ and, in particular, those beginning with 084/0870/09/118/0800/0808.

Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs) are telephone numbers not assigned to a geographic location. The owner may forward their NGN to any geographic, mobile, or international location. Call costs depend on the prefix of the number called, not on the final destination.

numbersOfcom recently introduced various changes in relation to Non Geographic Numbers. Whilst this was specifically aimed at consumers, not the B2B market, in the interests of transparency we have also decided to incorporate these changes.  The main issue Ofcom identified was that whilst advertising stipulated how much a number costs to be called from a BT landline, other networks and mobile ‘varied’. This ultimately made it difficult for the caller to identify how much that call would cost.

As a result, calls to the NGN’s with the prefix of 0843, 0844, 0845, 0870, 09 and 118 will now be split into an Access Charge and a Service Charge, both in pence per minute. Still with us? 

So who sets the charge? The Access Charge is set by your phone company. In your case that is Total Ltd and we have set these in line with other network operators:

  • O2 Mobile at 37p per minute*
  • Vodafone at 37.5p per minute*
  • Fixed Landlines at 2.876p per minute*

The Service Charge is set by the number range holder and has been agreed by Ofcom and the companies promoting these can choose a number based on the charge. If the company with the Non Geographic Number is dealing in a consumer market, then they must ensure that all advertising and promotional material clearly identifies how much the service charge is next to the number in question.

Whilst this new regulation was brought in to simplify the charges, there is no indication that the call charges will be cheaper.

In addition to this calls to 0800 and 0808 Freephone numbers will now be free to call from a mobile as well as a landline and will also not be taken out of any minute bundle allowances.

Please note that Access Charges and Service Charges will not be separately identified on your invoice.

In light of all of these changes Total has also decided to change our 0845 contact numbers to the following:

0345 070 5450 (Solutions)
0345 070 5460 (Customer Care)
0345 070 5461 (Fax)

Calls to these numbers should cost no more than calls to a standard 01 or 02 landline number, or will be taken out of any minute bundle allowances.

If you do have Non Geographic Services with Total and you wish to discuss other options, such as 03 numbers that are not included within this regulation, or if you have any queries regarding any of the information outlined, then please contact the Solutions team on 0345 070 5450 or email We’re here to help!

*excludes VAT

David Reviews LG’s G4 !

When our Business Intelligence colleague, Dave McLellan told us he’d ordered the new LG G4, we were keen to see how he got on with it. Did the leather-bound executive styling match processor performance?


“Having owned the ground-breaking LG G2 I wasn’t hesitant in getting my hands on the G4 – and, when images were released, seeing the new slim arc design made me want it even more.  

“I’m pleased to see that all the features that made the G2 such a great device are back on the G4, teamed with an eyebrow raising leather design which makes it feel even better in the hand.

“The screen is absolutely unbelievable, super vivid and deeper black make the experience so much more enjoyable. QHD is definitely the way forwards with smartphones; you will struggle to find any pixilation even with the best eye sight!

“When it comes to processing power, Snapdragon 808 is powerful enough to run any application that you can think of without any hiccups. Games run silky smooth and look great paired with the QHD screen.

“For me personally, my favourite aspects of this handset is the camera. It simply beats any camera phone that I’ve ever used and is on the verge of SLR quality. With 16mp under the hood and an f/1.8 lens, photos are truly stunning in any conditions. For all you selfie lovers, the front 8mp snapper produces some great photos too.

“Unlike other new flagships the G4 comes with a removable back cover in which you can swap out the battery and pop in a micro SD card, ideal for movies and all of those high quality photos that you may want to store.

Dave“The phone also provides quick charging – 60% in just 30 minutes – making it perfect for heavy users.”

“There are additional things that you may not notice that make this device a solid choice. For instance, double-tapping the screen to lock or unlock, holding down the volume down button to take a photo within seconds and so many more.

“Overall the LG G4 is a great handset and certainly feels more luxurious than any other device that I have used.

“LG have made massive strides in the smartphone market and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

David McLellan is a member of the Business Intelligence Team at Total Ltd – the communications technology experts who deliver smart solutions to help your business grow and continually evolve.


Jack Reviews Samsung’s S6 Edge

This week, Total’s purchaser Jack Steele reviews the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, loaned to us for testing by the tech giants themselves.

39a“One of the best aspects of my role as purchaser is that I get to test some amazing technology. In this instance, Samsung sent me the Galaxy S6 Edge to test over a two week period. There’s only one way to start this review, and that’s to say how slick this device looks with the smooth edge and sleek look; in my opinion the designers have got this handset absolutely spot on. The S6 Edge is the ‘perfect’ size fitting in the hand with comfort; it just feels safe. It also feels incredibly solid for such an intricate and sleek device.

“I had high expectations of the processor prior to my trial. Even so, it is far more impressive than I expected. It is very responsive and just runs so smoothly whilst in use, it is clear as to why Samsung have opted for the Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz, Octacore application processor. Every ounce of thought has been put into this device and they have topped it off with a great processor.

edgeNow, you may be wondering what the benefit of owning an Edge over the standard S6 is. Personally, I found that being able to sit in a meeting with my phone face down and still being able to see if I have received a text, or an incoming call, very useful. Not only can you subtly spot a notification, but you can see who it’s from and even assign colours to certain contacts that are important to you. There are many more functions available on the Edge – these are just my favourites and the ones I found to be the most practical functions for everyday use.

“Addressing another point, there has been some discussion about not being able to remove the battery, or there isn’t any extendable storage. Given how much charge and size each of those hold respectively, I don’t feel it is a point of concern. You can purchase this device with up to 128GB of storage and, if you’re concerned about the battery, there is a lightning charger which will charge the device within just two hours.

“I would definitely recommend this device to everyone whether it be a personal device or a work device. Samsung have made a special one here.”

If you are also interested in the Samsung Gear S, why not take a look at Jack Steele’s previous blog here.

Jack Steele is a Purchaser at Total Ltd – the communications technology experts who deliver smart solutions to help your business grow and continually evolve. 

When Jack tested the Samsung Gear S!


Following the success of Total’s Technology Lounge at the Gloucestershire Business Show, Total’s purchaser Jack Steele (pictured to the left with the Samsung team) reviews the Samsung Gear S loaned to us by the tech giants themselves.

“We were in full preparation mode for the Gloucestershire Business Show, when Samsung sent us three brand new Samsung Gear S watches to trial and demonstrate in our Lounge! I was lucky enough to be one of the three testers.

“First of all, I have to say, what an amazing piece of technology this is! With its sleek design and curved screen it sits perfectly on any wrist: the level of investment in the design is very apparent.

“The watch was a great help in simplifying my day-to-day working life as it meant that I didn’t have to carry my mobile with me around the office and I wouldn’t miss a phone call. Not only is the watch good for making calls but its great if you’re on the move and receive and email that you just need to have a quick scan through. There is also sat-nav on the watch which is very helpful if you are going to a meeting which requires a little walk round a town you’re not too familiar with – saving your smartphone battery life as you don’t need Maps to do so. You can also change the watch face to your favourite design, whether that be analogue or otherwise.

“Of course, the Gear S needs to tether to something to enable functionality. I used my Samsung Note 4 to connect with it, however can also be connected to an iPhone which breaks the Android vs iOS barrier. I would definitely and highly recommend the Samsung Gear S – if you are using a Samsung mobile to connect it to. If you are using an iOS Watchdevice to connect be aware that there will be some functions unavailable on the watch.

“A smart watch that can look better than an ordinary watch and have some amazing features on top of that, what’s not to want?”

Jack Steele is a Purchaser at Total Ltd – the communications technology experts who deliver smart solutions to help your business grow and continually evolve. 

What do you know about #HashTags?

hashtag_corOddly enough, hash tags were invented alongside the pound (‘lb’) abbreviation, around 700 years ago. The initial appearance of ‘lb’ appeared with a line through the centre of it (‘lb’). Moving from the end of a number to the beginning, the hash tag evolved to replace the word ‘number’ (#1), eventually mutating into the Twitter friendly symbol – ‘#’ – we use daily with a very different meaning.

Hash tags are now a symbol of metadata, utilised to stipulate a topic or name which generates a clickable link, to enable users with similar interests or topics to engage in conversation or follow those topics. Hash tagged topics are not moderated and are never ‘retired’. A single hash tag can be used for many things, for example ‘#Tip’ can be placed within a post to relay useful information or absolute nonsense, by scholars or pranksters. Spelling can also be an issue.  But they do have their uses – want to know more about #WorldHealthDay or even some #PositiveThinking motivation? Click on the hash tag, read all about it, view the latest images and feel informed and inspired.

Originally rejected as being ‘too geeky’ by Twitter, hash tags have only been utilised in their current form since 2009. The hash tag now also provides a way for social media users to express their emotions, #great. There are plenty of #awkward posts out there too, thanks to the number of teenagers using the site.

When the same hash tag is used by many people, Twitter reports this via ‘trending topics’, which of course offer a direct route for Twitter voyeurs into the hot topics of the day. You stand more chance of your post being read if it relates to a hot topic, or ‘trend’.

EPky6qSoHowever, the hash tag has quickly outgrown the environment it grew up in. The text messages I receive on my mobile – outside of any social media app – contain #hungry, #tired, #bored, along with an endless list of abbreviations:  “HIG. POS. TTG. TBC, TTYL #awkward” is now an actual text conversation.

The word hash tag is even said in conversation: watch Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon demo how it’s done (or not!) here. US retailer JC Penney even ran a scheme where customers received a discount if they spoke the word ‘hash tag’ at the till.

Hash tags are now used across various social media sites; Facebook and Instagram are two which have recently bowed to the pressure to allow hash tags, whilst LinkedIn has introduced them, then removed them at a later date.

In short, utilise the hash tag sparingly to allow others to find your #topic. If you want to message someone on Twitter use their Twitter name instead (@Total_ltd for example).  You can use hash tags on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Tumblr. Grammar and punctuation has little to do with it; so it’s no to spaces in between words and no punctuation within your hash tag itself.

The question now is, how much longer will hash tags be utilised? With advancements in trend monitoring, I have a feeling their time may be strictly #limited and we’ll all be referring to the nostalgia of the hash tag in years in just a few years. What do you think?

Catherine Grayson is a Marketing Executive at Total Ltd – the communications technology experts who deliver smart solutions to help your business grow and continually evolve.