It's that time of year, when the sun starts making regular appearances in the sky and when I start to think about walks, camping and the great outdoors. Which means smartphone accessories that - ideally - prove really useful, doing multiple jobs with minimal bulk. In this case, a USB power bank that you can leave facing the sun to charge itself from empty, and which doubles as a powerful flashlight or tent lantern.
Recent Reviews - Accessories
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!
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'.
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.
I seem to have become synonymous with various things, one being smartphone imaging and another being power bank reviews, with the flexible and future-proof Lumsing Glory P2 Plus being the latest and best. Yet the OUTXE (OUTdoor Xtreme Energy, apparently!) Rugged Power Bank offers a totally different USP - it's fully waterproof (to a maximum of IP67) and pitches itself as the ultimate accessory for the outdoor enthusiast, with a seven LED 200 hour floodlight that's perfect for camping or emergencies.
Lumsing is at it again, upping the ante just as I think I've already found my perfect smartphone power bank. The Unique Selling Points of the Glory P2 Plus are notable here - I'd normally consign a charger review to the 'Flow' column but this one needs more comment - this is not your common or garden power bank. Parallel charging through two inputs, adaptive high-spec outputs, sublime flexibility and there's an exclusive 10% offer too (see my PS).
Once every couple of months, I rave about a new power bank as the best thing since sliced bread. However, I justify this by pointing out that technology moves on and power banks have been adapting at each stage. I'm very picky about what I accept for review, and this Lumsing gadget has both microUSB and Type C input, plus USB-A QuickCharge 2.0/3.0 and Type C output, all in a compact and robust metal body with terrific internal capacity. What's not to love?
It's a fair cop, my title was more descriptive than accurate - this little gadget is actually called, on Amazon, the 'EC Technology 5200mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank', a typical SEO-heavy name that's not as interesting as the product itself. You see, this fills a very real need, at least in my household.