Recent Reviews

Review: Monoprice Triple XXX Driver Earbuds

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Don't worry about the 'XXX' bit, these headphones aren't at all 'adult'(!) Except that it takes someone with a bit of experience to really appreciate what these smartphone headphones offer. Away from my Bluetooth adventures (here, here, here and here), I'm also still striving for unobtrusive headphone nirvana from my wired smartphones. After all, every single Windows-powered phone has a 3.5mm audio jack. So why the heck not use it? Despite the unassuming name and packaging, this smartphone headset is top-notch when it comes to audio quality.

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Review: Noreve 'Wallet Case for a Smartphone'

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With most of us taking two things everywhere we go - our smartphones and our wallets - an obvious question to ask at some point is "Why not put the two together?" Now, while there have been 'folio' cases for many smartphones for years, usually with a few token card slots inside the front flap, this brand new Noreve accessory takes the concept and dials it up to 11. With understandable caveats for bulk and (here) price!

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Review: Adventures in Bluetooth part 5: SoundPEATS Q30 Plus

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My quest to find some decent value Bluetooth headphones which actually deliver good audio continues. I rejected Samsung's new Galaxy buds after five minutes, but these lasted a full day. Ultimately, they fell short, but there's lots to say along the way in the full review, tested with both Windows 10 Mobile and Android.

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Review: GNews - Google News Reader UWP

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The latest in a series of web-scraping super-apps from developer Fetisenko, GNews - Google News Reader UWP presents (as it sounds) the might of Google's news gathering abilities from around the globe, but presented in full dark-themed, carded, glossy form for Windows 10, especially on the AMOLED-screened phones, where the dark theme can save a lot of battery power. It's free, though you do have to skip over the occasional in-line advertorial headlines. A price worth paying, I think...?

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Review: Adventures in Bluetooth part 4: Blitzwolf BW-FYE3 (integral power bank)

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Bizarrely, the FYE-3 featured here is actually a development of the FYE-4 reviewed previously. Perhaps Blitzwolf is working down the numbers, not up?! Regardless, it's an Apple Airpods competitor for the rest of the smartphone world - and, unlike the FYE-4, it does a lot of things right (including acting as a part time power bank), even though it too ultimately falls down when considering audio fidelity.

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Review: Tronsmart Element Force

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What would you say to a Bluetooth speaker that really delivers in 2019? 40W of music power, USB Type C fast charging, NFC Tap-to-pair, IPX7 water andand sh proofing, microSD and Aux input, all for less than £50? That sounds a lot like the Tronsmart (slightly pretentiously named) 'Element Force'. Yes, it's a Bluetooth speaker, but on steroids.

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Review: Perfect Tools UWP

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I know what you're thinking - such a 'many tools in one app' is a staple of phone and PDA software since the dawn of time - the tools are often trivial and easy to write, which is why this genre keeps re-appearing. Except that Perfect Software's version has had an unusual amount of time invested in its various tools/utility. Enough for a full review here - you'll thank me later.

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Review: A true Wallet Case: the Olixar Primo Universal

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No, don't snigger at the back. Far from being a geek case, this has the potential to make you think differently about what you carry around. For example, I carry a fairly fat wallet (not all money, I should add!) and a cased smartphone around all day, every day. What if the two could be fully combined? And not just with a couple of token card slots, as with most 'folio' cases, but a full wallet complement?

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Review: Blitzwolf BW-TH3 Type C 4-way USB hub

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Although this can apply to Windows 10 phones as well, it's less likely than for the Surface Go, which is more likely to need to hook up with USB accessories. Either way, this is an ultra lightweight, cheap way to expand a single USB Type C jack to four USB-A jacks. It only weighs 35g, costs just over £8 (including shipping), and is a no-brainer to pick up if you have a Go. Or indeed a recent Macbook or you just like having adapters and dongles in your kit bag!

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Review: Choetech T535-S 5-coil two-device Qi charger

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Apple announced something like this a year ago, but have yet to ship it. Meanwhile, Choetech has come up trumps with a 5-coil array that can handle the most casual charging positions or, side by side, can wirelessly fast charge two smartphones/gadgets at the same time, at up to 2A each (depending on the recipient's capabilities). And it works exactly as advertised, with a theoretical 20W total output.

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