It's telling that with the arrival of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) and some better weather, companies are pushing outdoor smartphone accessories again. Two such just arrived at AAWP Towers - both are fully weatherproof and neither will break the bank. The HiHill Lantern, in particular, is something I'd never seen before - strip light and smartphone recharging power!
Recent Reviews - Page 8
There are 'old' Windows Phone 8.1 apps and then there are UWP apps for Windows 10, working on all screen sizes and displays. And then there are UWP applications where the developer has crossed every 't' and dotted every 'i', which just work faultlessly and comprehensively, optimised for whatever you run them on. Project Studio UWP is, quite simply, amazing, though its purpose in life is probably beyond the mundane activities of you or I!
In a change from my periodic look at ultimate accessories, such as the Lumsing Glory P2 Plus, with 45W output(!), I had a different aim over the last few weeks - to find a genuinely pocketable way to carry around USB Type C high current output. I found a capable - and novel - solution in the AUKEY 'Halo'.
Guest reviewer Anthony Fear brings us our first full review of the Alcatel IDOL 4S in Windows 10 Mobile guise, released at first as a T-Mobile exclusive in the USA and then SIM-free for North America. There's still no official release of a 'world' version, but MWC is just around the corner. In the meantime, here's Anthony's assessment of this latest premium Windows 10 Mobile smartphone.
Yes, this is Google Drive and Google Photos - except it's not programmed by Google, but by a Windows 10 third party developer instead. GDrive.NET has in fact been around as a WP8.1 application in various forms for a few years and functionality was always a bit hit and miss, but the last few months have seen both a full UWP version and lots of bug/API fixes. It's now ready to be reviewed, giving you some of the best of Google as well as can be expected on a rival (and different) platform.
I've always been a sucker for applications which curate/aggregate free live video streams from around the world - it's true that (even on Windows Phone and W10M) we have dedicated channel apps, Netflix, YouTube and more, but perhaps there's also a place for old fashioned, niche interfaces like this - though 'Live Sports and TV' doesn't quite live up to its name, in that the Sports section is very underwhelming.
The review process for smartphones used to be simple - the device would arrive, I/we'd test it for a week or two, and then deliver an illustrated verdict. However, things are more complicated with the HP Elite x3. There's the long, drawn out initial availability cycle, there's the premature nature of early firmware and then there's the same all over again for the Lap Dock, such an integral part of the Elite x3 'vision'. So this isn't a true wrap up, a true verdict - yet. It's... a summary of the product(s) so far!
It's all very well having expensive accessories like the HP Lap Dock, at £500 or so - but what about at the other extreme in the market? In this case under £13 in the UK. More than a simple Bluetooth keyboard, this BATTOP accessory brings in capacitive multi-touch to your Windows 10 Mobile experience as well.
In part 1 of my HP Elite x3 Lap Dock review, I looked at the hardware proposition in detail, along with some initial impressions and teething problems. In part 2, I look at what it's like to use the Lap Dock with cables as part of a real world mobile computing set-up. And, yes, this entire review part is being written on the x3 Lap Dock, away from home, as a real world test.
Thinner than the thinnest netbook or ultrabook, very solid and made (almost) completely from premium materials and components, the HP Elite x3 Lap Dock is a curious piece of technology. Designed as a laptop form factor to function as a Windows 10 Continuum display, is it a glimpse of the future of mobile computing or an ultra niche accessory? Actually, a little of both. Does it work? Is it finished? Is it over-priced? These are questions that I'll be answering in my multi-part review here on AAWP.