iPhone 5S Battery Case Review

Normally battery cases like this are relatively large and bulky but to be honest this case doesn’t add a huge amount. Granted, it is thicker and longer, but compared to others I’ve used this is on the smaller size.

The build quality is good, sturdy and well put together. It comes with two plastic surrounds, a smokey brown and a clear plastic. These clip around the iphone, holding it in place and protecting the surround. It feels secure and the case hasn’t come apart once since using it, which is extremely positive. It’s a little fiddley taking the case apart, but you know that means it is nice and secure. One added little thing is that this case redirects your speakers so they are front facing, absolutely amazing for media and also for conference calls on loudspeaker!

The one thing that feels like a let down regarding the quality is the kickstand. It’s a great addition and comes in handy, but on the flip side it is very thin and I can imagine it will quite easily snap off after a knock.

The battery charging, probably the main reason you’re looking at this product, is fantastic. It offered me another two charges which was fantastic. One thing I tested was whether or not this case could charge my phone from flat and I’m happy to say that it could. Other cases I’ve used have failed to do this, so I’m more than happy with this feature. Also the added fact that I no longer need to carry a lightning cable around as this case acts as a Micro USB adapter is a massive win!

At first glance I was concerned that a lot of head phones would not be compatible with this case, but after looking through the box I found the supplied headphone adapter which will help resolve that issue. Everything you need comes provided which is a bonus.

So is it worth the cost? Yes, definitely. It’s well built, solid and offers the power user everything they could need. If you’re looking for a case with built in battery then look no further!

 

 

 

Aukey Portable Battery Review

This is a product that is not only extremely handy to own, but it also looks fantastic! The first thing that struck me after receiving my package was how nicely this device is presented. The packaging and box is like something you’d expect from Apple, sleek and well put together. You get to open it all up, slowly getting to the product itself.

It comes with a nice little case that is a good fit for the device itself, which also has a small pouch on the front to store the very flexible USB cable that comes included.

The device charges from Micro USB, so it’s universal with no need to carry around a spare charger for your device. Oddly with other portable chargers I’ve used in the past they have had chargers such as Mini USB or their own, which becomes a bit of a hindrance. This device however does not suffer from that issue.

The device has a standard USB port for charging your devices and charges your gadgets very quickly. I used it with my iPad Air and my android devices. For my phones I was able to get 3-4 charges and my iPad got a single charge. There was no slow down in charging which is fantastic and this comes in very handy for on the go charging,

The charger is sleek, its rubberised finish almost perfect as it doesn’t slide everywhere and also allows for you to put your phone on top without it sliding off. That might sound like an odd plus point but the charger is almost the perfect size to rest my phone on, so it was nice knowing that if I accidentally knocked my phone it would go sliding away.

The cable that is included is a nice touch as it is very flexible. It’s not like the ones you get included with your gadgets which makes storage easy but also using your device while it is on charge is exceptionally easy.

The small LED lights display how much juice is left in your charger, helping to prevent you getting caught unaware, avoiding times when you might run completely out. This is extremely handy.

Compared to other similar products this is the best I’ve used. It’s functional but absolutely premium. It looks and feels great and the additional case and USB cable really complete the package. For those who are running out of juice on the go, this is an absolute must have!

 

iPad Air Keyboard Case Review

This is a really nice keyboard case, especially for the price. I’m used to using a Belkin, all in one case, which has been fantastic up until recently when it has started to fall apart.

The case itself is very nice, feels great and offers a good level of protection. The lock/unlock function on the case works as advertised which comes in handy. The case feels soft and well made, wrapping around the entire iPad to cover and protect the entire body. All buttons and ports are accessible when the case is closed meaning the user doesn’t have to open the case to use it e.g. charging.

Moving onto the keyboard and I must say I am more than impressed. It’s lightweight and feels solid, the metal casing really adding a premium feel to the device. The keys are slightly smaller than a conventional keyboard but they most certainly aren’t tiny. I found typing on the keyboard to be pleasant and easy to get to grips with. The keyboard has a conventional layout unlike some other iPad keyboards that oddly sacrifice the caps lock and tab keys. The other nice feature is that this keyboard has dedicated functions for all the major operating systems, meaning you can use this with a number of devices, not just your iPad.

So to sum up this is a fantastic buy, especially for the price. Normally in this range you get an average product, but both the case and keyboard feel premium and work fantastically. The only issue I found with the entire package was the magnet that fastens the keyboard to the case when close is not very strong meaning that the keyboard will normally come loose in my bag. Not a massive issue, but slightly annoying.

With a number of styles to select and a fantastic product for the price, this is definitely worth the investment.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

Introduction

The Nokia Lumia 1020, a beast of a handset wielding a monster of a camera. Some would say it’s crippled by its operating system, whereas some truly enjoy the Windows Phone ecosystem. I decided to give it a try, taking the phone for a spin and giving Windows Phone a chance on a high end handset. So what did I think?

Look and Feel

The Lumia 1020 is a big phone, but it feels nice in the hand. It has curved edges with no horrid sharp corners like some phones have, making it much more comfortable. The polycarbonate shell looks fantastic and promises to keep your phone looking smart throughout it’s life.

Despite Nokia getting the curves and the look right, the phone is chunky. One major area that makes this device uncomfortable to hold is the camera lens. Granted, its one of the phones best features, but it comes at a cost, sticking out of the back of the phone and making it awkward to hold in one hand.

Camera

There’s a lot to say about the camera on the Lumia 1020, but I can sum it all up with just one word, wow. This device takes the best pictures I have taken on any smartphone currently on the market. The picture quality is absolutely outstanding and the range of shooting features really is impressive.

The biggest thing for me that really stood out is the xenon flash. There are no situations where it’s too dark to take a picture with the Lumia, the flash helping to capture brilliant photos even in extremely low light conditions. The pictures aren’t void of life, or washed out like they are with a standard LED, and this feature has really come in handy.

Battery

Here’s where things take a turn for the worst. I’m used to smartphones and their tendency to drink battery, however the Lumia may as well be a landline phone! At best I’m lucky if I can squeeze 12 hours from my device, and that’s with relatively low usage. For anyone who needs a phone to last the day then look elsewhere, or at least stock up on battery packs.

What I liked

There are a few things that really impressed me. Obvious the camera is right up there, but the Nokia Here Drive feature offered amazing sat nav. It has a whole host of features and hands down blew every other devices built in GPS out of the water.

What I disliked

The battery! This is by far the most disappointing aspect of the Lumia 1020, ruining an otherwise great phone. I’ve tried all sorts, lowing my brightness settings, turning off most of my wireless functions, but no matter what I do, the battery is just poor.

Conclusion

So I thought I would hate this phone, only enjoying the camera, but oddly I’ve found myself growing very attached. The camera is great and I’ve even grown to like windows phone, something I never thought would happen.

The major things people need to consider when deciding if you want this device is the size and the battery. Phones are getting bigger, but they are also getting slimmer. The Lumia is big and relatively fat. The battery will most likely be a deal breaker for most people. Luckily I work with chargers all around me, but if I didn’t have constant access to the mains then I don’t think I could put up with this phone despite how much I love everything else about it.

If camera and price are at the top of your list, then give this device some consideration. If portability and battery are at the top, then turn away now.

Blackberry Q10 Review

Introduction

The Blackberry Q10 is the latest flagship qwerty device from the declining Canadian manufacture. It’s their premium model, the go to for business phones. So how well does it stand up against the competition and can it deliver something that other manufactures are missing?

Look and Feel

The first thing that struck me about the Blackberry Q10 is how well it is made. It feels premium and looks great. It has a good weight about it and feels durable, unlike some of the plastic competition out there. The textured back cover adds a little extra grip while also looking the part, with a carbon fibre look to it.

The main feature of this phone, its qwerty keypad, feels and responds excellently. I didn’t realise how much I missed using a hardware keyboard until I took the Blackberry Q10 for a spin. The keys are large and well spaced and the whole thing just fits nicely with the OS, especially when used as a business device.

User Interface

The operating systems is pretty good. I’ve only seen little short sharp bursts of Blackberrys own OS in action, playing with it for small amounts of time. This was the first time that I gave the OS any true attention and I must admit I’m impressed.

I love the multi tasking on the device and the gesture controls. You have your application panels, and when you finish with an app they will appear as tiles on your main screen, giving you the option to close them once you no longer need them. Having my open apps visible made me close them down when I was done with them, helping me to save battery where possible.

Gesture control works pretty well, swipe up to minimise an app and return to your main menu, really simple, effective, and above all, easy to use.

The operating system just worked, and it worked nicely. It’s main downfall… apps… or lack of. I loaded up the Blackberry application store and punched in the name of my two most commonly used apps to find neither were available. Now i understand you can side-load Android apps but for the average consumer this isn’t going to be overly appealing.

Battery

For a smartphone the Blackberry Q10 came out above average for its battery. I got a solid two to three days worth of juice out of this device and that’s with some good solid usage. It’s not quite as good as some of the Blackberrys we’ve seen before in terms of battery but it’s hand down better than the competition.

What I liked

I loved the keyboard. As I said before I didn’t realise how much I’d missed a hardware keyboard but using the Blackberry Q10 has reminded me how nice a physical keyboard on a smartphone can be.

What I disliked

Lack of applications has to be my biggest gripe with the phone. Why Blackberry haven’t started funding developers is beyond me. They are too reliant on the fact that this will be used as a business phone, or that people will just instal Android apps, but in reality neither is true.

Conclusion

My time spent with the Blackberry Q10 has left me with mixed feelings. It is a good solid device with a fantastic operating system, but the lack of application support leaves the device with an uncertain future.

I honestly thought I would hate the phone but I’m more than a little impressed. I would quite happily have this as my personal device. If applications aren’t overly important to you and battery life, combined with a fantastic keyboard are at the top of your list then this could be the device for you.

After my experience I wouldn’t write Blackberry off just yet. If they can work some magic and get developers on board, then there maybe some life left.