Recent Reviews

Review: The mobile audio Holy Grail? Veho ZS-3 Water Resistant Sports Earphones

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The Holy Grail? For a mobile and active person? Whether walking, running or cycling, the ultimate smartphone headphones should be slimline, produce audio quality as good as cushioned over-ear monitors, while sticking in place whatever contorted positions you get into or whatever vigorous motion you've involved in. That's a tall ask, yet I think I've found something that fits the bill.

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Review: Pool Tour Masters

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Can you imagine going back from CD to cassettes? Or colour TV to black and white? Or (struggling for a more modern analogy here) from 3G and LTE back to GPRS? It's much the same with pool and snooker games - there are some cracking first person 3D titles, not least my favourite International Snooker Pro, so why on earth would someone want a relatively coarse and fiddly 2D pool game in 2016? For the head to head action with players around the world, of course. And on the whole Pool Tour Masters doesn't disappoint in this aspect.

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Review: Terrapin Full Body Shock Resistant Armor for Lumia 950 XL

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Buoyed up by the first batch of Terrapin Lumia 950 and 950 XL accessories reviewed, I went further and got in the polar opposite of the leather folio design - yet still with kickstand - I can't do without my media.....(!) Here then are the Terrapin Full Body Shock Resistant Armor cases for the Lumia 950 XL - and they do them for the Lumia 950 as well, so the same applies for that model. Not only do they do what they claim to do, they're unbelievable value at under £7 each.

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Review: Stickman Soccer 2016

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One of the surprise hits of the Windows Phone gaming world was, for me, Stickman Soccer, with amazingly fluid and fun gameplay, along with a simple freemium model and just a single IAP to get rid of ads. I loved this game and it's been on every Lumia since. And now we have the follow-up, built specifically for Windows 10 Mobile, laptops and, yes, Continuum, with extra modes and capabilities. It's ultimately best by far on the phone, of course, this is a touch-screen masterpiece.

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Review: YouTunes!

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One of the worst kept secrets in the modern world is that almost no young people 'buy' music anymore, at least in the traditional sense. They either stream it through the likes of Spotify (or Groove, though this is less likely) or just play tracks, as needed, via the official music videos on YouTube - the latter is completely free, though rather inefficient if all that's required is the audio. But, given the latter, why not craft an application to direct the same audio stream into a local music file on the phone? Welcome to YouTunes! - it's beta-ish, but does work on the whole.

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Review: BeFriend (emergency SMS/call)

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The concept here is pretty compelling, especially if you venture anywhere where you might come a cropper. The great outdoors or the inner city at night spring to mind. However, letting an application, especially one that's demonstrably a little 'beta', take control of your smartphone's SMS and telephony via 'silent' mechanisms does require an element of trust that the developers know what they're doing. At least BeFriend is Open Source, so maybe we can trust it after all?

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Review: Terrapin leather folio cases for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL

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Although I feel naturally more inclined to the back-replacement Mozo leather accessories for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, there's also a lot to be said for a wrap around 'folio' case that provides a genuine layer of extra protection, adds storage for one or more cards (and thus aids as a wallet) and, potentially, provides landscape mode support for media consumption. Terrapin are a new name to me in this sphere, and I've been looking at three likely suspects from their extensive range.

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Review: Copy Space

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You may remember Microsoft's abortive OneClip project from a year or so ago? The idea of a cross-platform, cross-device clipboard is something that's perennially attractive yet seemingly fraught with showstoppers. OneClip never arrived in public, but Copy Space is a new (Windows 10) UWP app that's along the same lines and well worth the modest £1.50 in-app-purchase to enable syncing, even if Copy Space itself doesn't quite deliver everything it promises. 

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Review: Phablet to Laptop: ZAGG Pocket Keyboard

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I have a dream. A dream where my smartphone is my computer, my work horse. Within 10 seconds and almost zero preparation I want it to deliver me a big screened, QWERTY keyboarded experience. Continuum is one way to go, but we don't yet have the HP Lap Dock, plus that's going to be quite expensive and heavy/bulky, i.e. it won't fit in any pocket. The ZAGG Pocket Keyboard does, it's £60 (or less) and I'm writing this review on it. In my car, while waiting for family, with almost no preparation needed. 

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Review: Playcast

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The concept of 'casting' content from phone to TV or other media player isn't new, of course. We've had screen sharing and DLNA and so forth for a while, on all platforms and all devices, though sprinkled with rather a lot of compatibility issues. Playcast is a UWP application for Windows 10 Mobile that attempts to bring sense into the world of casting whether it's to a Miracast-capable TV or to a Google Chromecast accessory, presenting your own media to the destination player in a sensible and hopefully glitch-free fashion.

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