Recent Reviews

Review: DOSBox

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'Why on earth would anyone want to run programs written for DOS on a phone in 2016?' I hear you ponder. And you'd be right, the whole idea is somewhat crazy, yet there might just be a classic game or a specific utility written for DOS (so we're talking about 1980-2000) that you'd still like to have on hand. In which case run, don't walk, to this supremely well implemented DOS-on-Intel x86 emulation, complete with support for audio, games controllers, plus mouse and keyboard. It's newly updated for Windows 10 Mobile and comes highly recommended.

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Review: Dogfight Elite UWP (MMO)

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Take a classic cross-platform 2013 WW1 flight simulation multi-player game and update it as a full Windows 10 UWP, for mobile, tablet and desktop, add in loads more planes, tanks, scenery and weapons, upgrade all the visuals and music, put it all together and you've got Dogfight Elite UWP. It's impressive in a number of ways if you have a fast enough phone with enough RAM, even if it does require a fair amount of real world cash to get really immersed within.

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Review: KeePassReader UWP

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I'm in two minds as to whether I want my secure database app on Windows 10 Mobile to be a 'reader' or a full editor (and with syncing). For the latter, I'd have full adding-on-the-fly facility. On the other hand, with the former I get peace of mind that a potentially immature Windows UWP app can't 'mess up' the intricate data in my master Keepass 2.x data file. KeePassReader, as the name suggests, is the latter and works surprisingly well.

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Review: Specs Analysis UWP (Beta)

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Yes, this is a new UWP application, but it also exists for older devices in Windows Phone 8.1 form, so hopefully this developer has got all bases covered. There are a number of utilities for accessing the various Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile hardware reporting APIs - PhoNetInfo being one of my favourites. But we're now seeing UWP applications come along that bring the same (and more) functionality. Here, Specs Analysis not only reports on everything within your Windows 10 Mobile smartphone but also tests most of it too.

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Review: Audiobooked UWP

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It's great having the likes of Audible on Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, serving up audio books in an automated (though paid for) fashion. The new version of 'Audiobooked' is also rather interesting though, in that its new version is a full UWP app, in the same way as Audible. But unlike the latter, the idea here is to handle audio books that you source yourself - perhaps paid, perhaps free, perhaps even home-grown.

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Review: HP Elite X3: part 4 - Imaging

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That I've left imaging to part four of this multipart review is a clue as to the Elite X3's pretensions - it has an occasionally surprisingly good rear camera, but there are limitations. Everything else about the device is optimised for work and for productivity - the most an X3's imaging would typically have to cope with would be a shot of a building site, a white board, or a QR code. Having said that, you know me, I've been out and about shooting some lovely arty photos with it anyway. 

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Review: HP Elite X3: part 3 - HP Workspace

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In the previous two review parts, I looked at the positioning of the HP Elite X3 and who it's aimed at, plus I explored its phone hardware, and then I delved into performance and the Continuum-capable Desk Dock, but it's time now to break new ground, into the world of HP Workspace, extending the Windows 10 smartphone into genuine Win32 application space, albeit via a managed virtualisation service. But line up all your ducks in a row and it's possible to be 'using' Publisher, Access, Slack, Visio and many more popular desktop applications, using OneDrive as default storage and with hooks to Box, Dropbox and others.

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Review: Lumsing Grand A2 Plus

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Once every couple of months, I rave about a new power bank as the best thing since sliced bread. However, I justify this by pointing out that technology moves on and power banks have been adapting at each stage. I'm very picky about what I accept for review, and this Lumsing gadget has both microUSB and Type C input, plus USB-A QuickCharge 2.0/3.0 and Type C output, all in a compact and robust metal body with terrific internal capacity. What's not to love?

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Review: HP Elite X3: part 2 - performance, Continuum and the Desk Dock

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Last week saw my first review part, looking at the HP Elite X3's hardware and where it's pitched in the world of mobile computing. And I'm very glad that both HP and myself waited until the device was on the Anniversary Update for the formal AAWP review - this is a very different device to that which we handled in June and then played with in initial retail form in August. The Elite X3 is now fast and stable - and I try to quantify this below, along with a look at Office, Continuum and the Desk Dock, using the phone as a true portable computer.

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Review: HP Elite X3: part 1 - intro and hardware

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When most people think of 'smartphones', or even just 'phones', they picture sexily-advertised shiny high-tech in High Street manufacturer/carrier/network stores. The focus is on social activities, on imaging, on music, and so on. Even though it can handle most of that, the HP Elite X3 is a totally different beast - it's a three-in-one (hence the name), transforming mobile computer for professionals and the companies for which they work.

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