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?
Recent Reviews - Windows Phone 8
Apple's AirPods have proved very popular in the iPhone world, despite the high price and likelihood of losing one of the earbuds. Principally because of the sheer convenience of having no wires at all. And so we shouldn't be surprised that third parties have stepped in to copy the idea for the Android and (here) Windows phone worlds. Blitzwolf's attempt at this category succeeds on the power front but fails in actually supplying decent audio, sadly.
Bluetooth headphones have existed for years, of course, though anyone who really cared about audio quality usually stuck to the traditional wired headphones and a phone's 3.5mm jack (this being AAWP, the DAC and output in the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro is exceptional). But over the years, with new codecs (e.g. aptX HD at the high end) and faster and more capable chipsets in both phone and accessory, quality has been rising, prompting me to experiment with the mass market 'state of the art', exemplified here in the Tribit XFree Color.
You'll see in the Apple and even now Android worlds that wired headphones are falling out of fashion. Sadly. But not in my household and not in the world of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, with every single handset ever made having a 3.5mm jack. And striking one more blow for quality in-ear headphones rather than tinny, plastic outer-ear headsets, here's my review of the latest 3D-printed (yes, really) design from Brainwavz.
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...
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.
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.
Back in 2012, Ewan reviewed the ebook reader Freda for Windows Phone 7.x, i.e. back in the dark ages(!) But this is 2018 and the UWP version for all Windows 10 devices has been out for a while. Which means that it's time for the formal review treatment here on AAWP. Freda+ is a cracking app that opens up whole new worlds of content, so read on...
OK, I say this every time, but... we have a new winner. In the power bank stakes, at least. The combination of input and output flexibility, capacity, ruggedness, coupled with a camping-grade torch, all make the slightly cheesily named EasyAcc MegaCharge D20 the accessory to beat at the moment. Just a fabulous bit of kit.
I know, I know, Sygic GPS Navigation is something I'd been meaning to review for years here on AAWP*, but it never quite worked right, despite multiple attempts. Yet the continued failure of Microsoft to offer real time traffic avoidance in Windows 10 Maps, added to the 'old' maps used (I'm still chasing that one down), led me to experimenting with Sygic all over again. And... it's a story of brickbats and bouquets. The latter because it's a first class navigation solution, the former because it's not 100% stable and because it too has old (2016) maps.