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!
Recent Reviews - Accessories
You may remember that I reviewed the nifty BlitzWolf PF-1 last year? Ultra-compact build, Type C-equipped, but with a foot planted firmly in the past with regards to fast charging standards. Jump forward to 2018 and AAWP (exclusively) has access to its successor, the more current (pun intended!) and more capable PF-2, which is shaping up to my ultimate pocket power bank. There's only one catch...
Billed as 'Weatherproof. Dustproof. Shockproof', this super-tough accessory lives up to its billing, though it's behind the cutting edge in terms of charging technology. Still, if you're the outdoors type (or keep getting drenched in the UK winter!) then this is probably the biggest in its category.
Sometimes bigger is definitely better - yet in this case also slimmer. And while smartphones themselves have been getting rather too thin in recent times, power banks have remained necessarily bulky, usually because the internal Li-Ion cells are cylindrical. But what happens when you use phone-style 'flat' cells and arrange these to form a power bank? The PB-Y14 is the answer. Quad output, triple input, 20,000mAh, yet only just over 1cm thick. And yes, I said triple input.
What if... the whole world was USB Type C and 'traditional' USB Type A ports had been long forgotten? Seems very premature, even in 2017, yet many of us only now have USB Type C phones, so why not go all-in on Type C (as Apple did with the 2016 Macbook Pro)? What about your power bank?
Steve Heinrich and I have been trying out various cases for the new Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro - it's one heck of a droppable phone, so how best to sheath it? The odd camera button positioning, the stereo speakers, the fingerprint sensor, they've all got to be allowed for...
One of the annoyances of exercising while listening to music on a smartphone - for me at least - is stopping the headphones falling out of my ears, constantly pausing stride to poke them back in properly. Which is why these caught my eye - grippy outer-ear sports headphones with 'fins' that wedge into your auricle(!) to keep the 'phones in place, and that are Bluetooth, so a limited amount of heavy cabling pulling out the buds.
With some of may all time favourite power banks reviewed here, here and here recently, what possible reason could I have for featuring one more? Simply that this AUKEY unit has a higher power-to-volume density than anything else I've seen. It is, in fact, jaw droppingly impressive - despite an otherwise less-than-cutting edge electrical spec.
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.
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!