Recent Reviews - General

Review: Xiaomi Smart Band 4: the Band evolved

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It's a fair cop, this new accessory from Xiaomi doesn't connect (anymore) with Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile. But it's a good data point as to where the wearables market is going and will be of special interest to any fans of the old Microsoft Band, since this is very similar in many ways - except that it runs for a month on a charge and only costs £30! It's something of a technological miracle, saved from perfection only by holes in the Xiaomi integration into Android's notifications system - and in my phone's battery each day.

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Review: Saver for Instagram PRO (UWP)

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Instagram, for a service that's not officially supported under Windows 10 Mobile anymore, is actually quite well represented. Winsta UWP is a nice general client that lets you post and interact with others, but it has a few functionality gaps, not least being able to see posted images in original detail and not being able to save media to your phone. Enter Saver for Instagram PRO, also a UWP for all Windows 10 devices, and which offers a different Instagram feature set, see the review here.

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Review: Word Block Stacks UWP

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What do you get if you combine word searches and Tetris? You get Word Block Stacks, a full UWP game for all Windows 10 computers, including phones - and it's rather terrific. Fast, attractive, clever, fun, and - most importantly, these days, effectively free forever. I couldn't put this game down and it therefore comes highly recommended.

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Review: Microsoft 'Your Phone'

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Part of Microsoft's stated 'plan B' after pulling out of plan 'A' (Windows on phones) was to integrate Android and iOS smartphones into Windows on Desktops and, after many betas/Insider versions, this has emerged as Your Phone, a pair of applications on the phone and Desktop. These work together to bring across notifications and text messaging to the latter. And the system works... after a fashion. It's just currently all too laborious to set up and a little underwhelming in possibilities, I contend.

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Review: Anki Universal UWP

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Flash card apps are perennially popular on all computing platforms, partly because they're relatively easy to program and partly because they're genuinely useful when trying to memorise long data sets (e.g. foreign language words). Anki Universal is created to access AnkiWeb flash card 'decks', of which there are thousands online - that this is also an almost perfect UWP application for all Windows 10 devices, polished to within an inch of its life, and also completely free, boggles the mind...

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Review: Happy Superman: Mech Racing Karting Game UWP

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New UWP games aren't that common and first impressions here aren't brilliant, in terms of display scaling and ad placement. But look past these and there's a semi-decent 'Mario' style racing game with freemium elements that, for once, aren't totally oppressive.

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Review: Tronsmart PB20: Personal Percentage Power?

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Quite a few power banks get pitched at me here at AAWP, but I do like to cherry pick the best for highlighting here, in illustrated review form. In this case a whopping 20,000mAh in a form factor no larger in plan than a small phone, though obviously a lot thicker. The real USP here (well, rare, if not actually unique) is a digital readout of remaining capacity, so no more guessing based on the illumination of a handful of 25% LEDs... [Update: promo code below now too!]

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Review: Choetech SC001 19W Solar Charger

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With just about the hottest summer sun in the UK since records began over the last few days, what better time to review this, the Choetech 19W Solar Charger, offering twin USB output at (up to) 2.4A per port? Free charging from the sun for all your USB-charging gadgets, especially your smartphone(s), with an IDOL 4 Pro and Galaxy S9+ shown below, to prove it works with both Windows and Android(!) Summary? You don't quite get what you expect, but what you do get is superbly designed and the energy is as advertised - completely free!

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Review: Choetech T521/S - 10W Fast Wireless Car Charger Mount

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It's not often that one can say that an accessory has changed the way you use technology, but this Choetech gadget is one such. Prior to this, I'd been pretty happy with the heavy duty sprung dash clip reviewed here. But, while very secure in my Renault, you had to keep faffing about finding the charging lead and inserting in manually, usually at full arm's stretch. This Choetech mount uses Qi charging and that means that it's a simple 'drop in and go' operation. And it's just as well made, with industrial design. Plus we've got over a third off with a special offer (before June 23)! [Update: new code]

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