Transparent, waterproof pouches that enable us to use our tech in the pouring rain, down the beach or even, in extreme cases, underwater, have been around for a while, of course, I looked at Proporta's Beach Buoy last year. And now we have E-Case's eSeries 9, with smaller overall form factor and higher window-to-bezel ratio. Here's the eSeries 9 submersible case in action with a couple of likely candidate handsets. Summary? We have a winner...
Recent Reviews - Accessories
Following on from our review of Nokia's DT-900 wireless charging plate, we now turn our attention to the DT-910, which takes the charging plate design and turns it into a desk stand for your Qi enabled phone. Before you read either review, you should check out our discussion on how wireless charging and the Qi standard actually works. Read on to see whether a desk stand that wirelessly charges your phone is worth the hefty price tag.
The eternal experiment in how best to case one's expensive smartphone - the Lumia 920 is a little on the slippery side, plus it's quite wide (and thus you can't get your fingers and thumb round it to grasp it securely). I've already reviewed the Case-Mate Barely There sleeve, but the Noreve one opts to also cover the front, courtesy of a padded fold-down flap. See below for photos and my thoughts on the Tradition Leather.
Impressing from moment one with its metal-tipped packaging, Case-Mate has earned a place on my Nokia Lumia 920 - it's not perfect, but this is mainly due to the challenge of the form factor. This won't help if you drop your precious smartphone face-down, but for other angles and for day to day abuse this 'Barely There' case will help a lot.
This, wireless charging, is supposed to be the future - but I approached this latest accessory with extreme caution. I understood the theory behind the Qi charging standard - electromagnetic induction, and so forth, but I was sceptical about the value proposition ('how hard is plugging in a cable, after all?') and I was even more sceptical about how much power could be transferred in this manner ('surely it's going to take five times as long to charge a phone?'). Well, I've been using the Nokia DT-900 Wireless Charger with the Lumia 920 for the last week and it has made me a believer. Turns out this really is the future.
Maybe I'm destined to always be something of an edge case in the smartphone world - but it's hard to see how I'm so unusual here. I want to listen to podcasts and music on my Windows Phone and I want a wired headset rather than Bluetooth - I want the 'perfect' audio quality and I don't want to have to keep remembering to charge up yet another accessory. What about the headset that comes in each device box, I hear you cry? Ah, but I also want something that I've loved from Symbian devices - control of playback volume. Whether it's a quiet track and I'm now jogging along a noisy road or vice versa, I need to have volume control without having to stop and take my phone out of its case/pocket.
Smartphone speakers are a mixed bag, but most of us make the best of what we have. While more and more people seem to be audiophiles and are making their audio opinions known online, there comes a point where you might say a smartphone speaker isn't enough. The question is then which are the best external speakers? Nokia are keen to push NFC paired Bluetooth speakers which come with hefty price tags. Today's review looks at the more affordable Veho 360 M4 Bluetooth speaker.
The phone case is an oft-overlooked item these days. There was a time when having a phone in a leather case clipped to one's belt was the norm, not so much these days as thin touch slabs tend to casually slip into our pockets or bags. That hasn't deterred manufacturers like Noreve who claim to make 'haute couture' for mobile phones. We give its cases for the Lumia 800 and 900 the catwalk treatment.
I've reviewed all the Proporta Turbochargers so far and the trend so far has been for bigger and bigger, higher and higher capacity. At the expense of the accessory getting larger as well, of course. And now we have a lovely slice of lateral thinking in this, the unique Turbocharger Pocket Power, no larger than a credit card and only slightly thicker, yet able to deliver at least half a charge into (or to power) your smartphone in an emergency. What a wonderful accessory, here's my illustrated review.
Something a little different for a Friday. Frustrated that a lot of the Symbian and Windows phones I wanted to try day to day didn't have a built-in FM transmitter (I'll explain why that's important to me below), I opted to grab the Belkin In Car Tunecast 6 Universal FM Transmitter and try it out and about in the UK. Summary: it works brilliantly, far better (surprisingly) than the few phones which did have the functionality built-in.