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 - Accessories
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.
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.
There have, of course, been a number of third party clones of Apple's innovative (/crazy, depending on your own preferences!) Air Pods - the individual Bluetooth audio buds that charge in a little pocket case, that itself gets charged up occasionally. But this is the first I've tested, so here goes. Pros and cons, brickbats and bouquets, all here tested with a Lumia 950 XL, this being AAWP!
A 'different' (and somewhat pricey) accessory here, but one which should be of interest to almost everyone who drives. It's a dual port power bank for your smartphone and a powerful torch - that's also an emergency car starter. Up to 30 times over. It's well conceived overall, but the power bank side is poorly implemented.
The search for a great Bluetooth keyboard - for on the go 'real' typing - has been going on for years. Full size and reduced size keys, one-piece and folding, gapped and continuous key layouts, membrane and full travel keys, I've tried the lot. Have I found my perfect accessory this time? Not quite. But it's still the best darned pocketable Bluetooth keyboard on sale in 2018, I think.
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.
Veering definitely towards form over value is the cosmetically stunning Blitzwolf BW-AS1 20W stereo Bluetooth speaker, styled in machined aluminium to fit right in with Apple Macbooks, Microsoft Surface Pros, and so on. At £60 or so, it's not cheap, but it's in for review, works well, and will appeal to many from a stylistic point of view, I suspect, price being no object...
Possibly THE biggest 'Frequently Asked Question' in the Windows phone world is 'Where can I buy a spare battery for device X?' Yes, we're dealing, in many cases, with phones with replaceable batteries - an admirable attribute but only if you can buy the spares! With this in mind, I'm 'reviewing' a third party Lumia 950 battery here - and it's not terrible. Somewhat to my surprise!