I have a dream. A dream where my smartphone is my computer, my work horse. Within 10 seconds and almost zero preparation I want it to deliver me a big screened, QWERTY keyboarded experience. Continuum is one way to go, but we don't yet have the HP Lap Dock, plus that's going to be quite expensive and heavy/bulky, i.e. it won't fit in any pocket. The ZAGG Pocket Keyboard does, it's £60 (or less) and I'm writing this review on it. In my car, while waiting for family, with almost no preparation needed.
Recent Reviews - Accessories - Page 4
Charging your smartphone in the car has always been something of a necessity, especially on long journeys, where the phone may also be a music or podcast player and a sat-nav. And with the new breed of current-hungry USB Type C phones - think Lumia 950 and 950 XL, what's needed is something that's both jack compatible and also capable of supplying enough power. Enter the latest lteration of the Tronsmart car charger - with both 3A Type C output and a generic Quick Charge 3.0 Type A socket.
Desktop docks are sometihng of a love 'em or hate 'em thing, but when they work well, they work very well. And thankfully this new Kidigi accessory is in the latter camp. Aside from the use of plastics rather than metal, this is a beautifully thought out USB Type C accessory that adjusts to any smartphone, cased or uncased, with perfect solidity. In this case, to my Lumia 950 and 950 XL.
Qi chargers are pretty common these days, but Microsoft has upped the stakes with this, the DT-904, throwing in NFC and software tricks when used with a Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile device, alerting you of notifications for just about any applications you choose with a pleasant ring of white LEDs. After a few teething troubles with the Bluetooth pairing, this was almost the perfect Qi charging plate, not least because its charging coils extend over a larger area than on most competing products, so you don't have to be too fussy when positioning your phone.
A couple of months ago I managed to get hold of some sample replacement backs from Mozo, sorely needed for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, in that these flagships only really look (or smell!) premium once the plain plastic back from Microsoft is upgraded with some Mozo TLC. I fell in love with the 'Cognac' leather for the 950 XL and now I've finally got my hands on the same style for my preferred Lumia, the 950. Here's an illustrated look!
You have to hand it to the Chinese when it comes to naming things on product pages, with the aim of better Google page rank. In this case, as sold on AliExpress, it's the (deep breath) 'Qualcomm Certified Tronsmart Titan UC5F 5 Ports Quick Charge 2.0 USB Smart Desktop Charger QC2.0 90W Turbo Charge Fast Charging'. More snappily and usefully, Tronsmart itself just refers to the charger as the 'Titan' and it's not hard to see why when you look at the specifications - the key part is the 'Quick Charge 2.0' bit, across all ports, making this accessory, handling almost a tenth of a kiloWatt, rather special.
Miracast (screen sharing over Wi-fi) adapters have been available for ages, of course - many TVs and monitors even include the necessary electronics, stating 'Miracast-compatible'. But you can never be too sure of complete compatibility, at least when it comes to the really advanced stuff, like Continuum, in this case from the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. Which is why I wanted to look at Microsoft's own, first party, adapter. It's black, it's small, it's utterly devoid of style, yet it works flawlessly. Well... sometimes.
Don't switch off, cables are something we all need in the smartphone world. Moreover, at least two of these have unique features that might well have you reaching for your wallet: reversibility and indestructibility. No, really....
There's something you should know about the Display Dock and Continuum. The hardware component itself is beautifully made (think Apple Mac build quality) and the concept really, really cool. Truly your smartphone could be your entire computing experience. Except that the software that ties everything together and that should make Continuum a reality is currently (December 2015) only in early beta, at best. So what follows contains a lot of disappointment, albeit mingled with glimpses of genuine utility and hope. Appropriately, for Christmas!
Shown off at the Lumia 950/XL launch, the Mozo leather backs impressed everyone who saw them - and now they're here - or at least some varieties are. Others (fit/material/colours) will arrive over the next few months. However, we have a winner already with one of the colours here - but that's just my subjective opinion. Take a look at the photos below.