As is traditional, I save this sort of accessory review for Friday. Bluetooth speakers are very common and commoditised by now, of course, but I chose this one to review because it has a single unique selling point. It has a carrying handle. Don't laugh - it makes a huge difference and is immediately likeable - every other speaker has to be held in a vice-like grip or cradled somehow. The DA150 here can be hooked around a finger while you carry other things, to the beach, to the garden, whatever. Read on...
Recent Reviews - General - Page 5
Last week, I unpacked and set up the Fitbit Versa, one of the remaining smartwatches with 'full' Windows 10 Mobile support. All went pretty well, though there were some questions about detailed functionality and logging. With a few more days of real world use under my belt (on the IDOL 4 Pro), here's my review of what works... and what doesn't.
Back in March (2018), I reported on Fitbit's UWP application for Windows 10 including support for the new 'Versa' smartwatch. Fitbit is one of the few accessory companies still believing in Windows 10 Mobile as a viable concern and their full range of trackers and smartwatches are supported by their UWP application. And the Versa is almost the perfect smartwatch, borne of five years of iteration (including the Pebble tech, which Fitbit acquired). Here are my first impressions of the hardware and of getting hooked up.
While uber-geeks like me might play around with (open source) KeePass secure databases, the wise user keeps things simpler and standardises on a commercial solution from day one. Enpass is one of the newer breed of properly supported secure stores - there are extensions on the desktop for password injection, but here I'm looking at Enpass on Windows 10 Mobile, the synced and backed up place for all your secret stuff. And apart from some 'fit and finish' and the usual import issues, it works pretty well.
It's rare to find a Windows 10 UWP application that's this slick, this polished - I guess I'm coming to Realarm quite late, since it's been out for a while, but so many people had recommended it that I couldn't ignore it any longer. The delay also means that it's had plenty of time for updates. In use, I only encountered one tiny bug - everything else one might ever want in an alarm utility is present and correct and working. With sophisticated rules, puzzles to solve to prove you're awake(!), and syncing to OneDrive, Realarm is the real deal.
Part photo compositor, part meme/card creator, Pic Collage is an interesting Windows 10 application that works on both desktop and mobile, but has a few UI quirks on the latter. Outputting at under 2MP by default, the in-app-purchase here is to enable HD exporting of your creations, which seems sensible. Let's hope enough people do this to justify updates to its developer.
Heavy, metal, yet stylish, this is a new Type C power bank that's worth a look, with a few caveats. Its headline feature is that it supports Type C 'Power Delivery' (PD), of which the Lumia 950/XL are just the lowest supported rungs on a power ladder. The main use here is to have a power bank that not only supplies Type C smartphones at full capacity, but can also charge 'PD-compliant' laptops and mobile devices.
This is no hacked on front end for system music playback - Neutron is a reimagining of digital sound rendering on all Windows 10 devices - including Windows 10 Mobile here. From native EQ and DSP effects to crossfeed, stereo widening and compressions, from 64 bit dithering to a virtual preamp, Neutron is like no other music player you've ever used. Does it work? On the whole, though you'd have to be a serious audiophile to really appreciate what it's doing, plus there's a UI sting in the tail for some people.
Getting news/feed headlines on your Start screen has always been a case of information overload. A feed reader will cycle through dozens of stories from hundreds of sites. A news app will cycle through the top stories it thinks are most important. But what if you just want the top, breaking story on just one site? What if you have specialist needs? This is where the new RSS Live Tiles UWP app steps in for all Windows 10 phones, tablets, laptops, etc.
Even though both NFC 'info' tags and QR codes seem not to have really taken off in the mainstream after a decade of availability*, QR codes are still a 'thing' and most people recognise them when they see the four corner dots and mass of encoded characters within. And most phones can now recognise QR codes, even if - as here - an extra application is needed. There are quite a few QR code scanners under Windows 10 Mobile, but this is the first that I've seen that focusses (pun intended) more on QR code generation and what you might do with such a graphical construct.