Transparent, waterproof pouches that enable us to use our tech in the pouring rain, down the beach or even, in extreme cases, underwater, have been around for a while, of course, I looked at Proporta's Beach Buoy last year. And now we have E-Case's eSeries 9, with smaller overall form factor and higher window-to-bezel ratio. Here's the eSeries 9 submersible case in action with a couple of likely candidate handsets. Summary? We have a winner...
Recent Reviews - Accessories
You know me, I'll jump at a special offer or, in this case, an out and out bargain. What would you say to a robust, well designed and well made 'tough' case for the Nokia 808 for an all-in price that other accessory providers would charge merely for 'shipping'? In this case the (white or) red Cellapod TPU Gel case for our favourite PureView phone - it fits beautifully, feels great in the hand, protects wonderfully and costs (£2.95 including shipping) less than a large coffee at your local restaurant. What's not to like?
Smartphone speakers are a mixed bag, but most of us make the best of what we have. While more and more people seem to be audiophiles and are making their audio opinions known online, there comes a point where you might say a smartphone speaker isn't enough. The question is then which are the best external speakers? Nokia are keen to push NFC paired Bluetooth speakers which come with hefty price tags. Today's review looks at the more affordable Veho 360 M4 Bluetooth speaker.
A few weeks ago I reviewed Mugen's 3000mAh Extended Battery for the Nokia 808 PureView - the obvious downside of this is that it comes with an extended back cover too, making the 808 rather thick. Which is why I'm now also reviewing the sister product, the 1500mAh Slim Extended Battery, slotting into exactly the same volume as the Nokia supplied original.
What do you get the Nokia 808 PureView owner who's got everything? Why, an extra 1700mAh or so of battery power, of course! This is the official Mugen Power extended battery, complete with replacement battery cover (and integral contact points and antenna for NFC, naturally) - and, as you might expect, it's not exactly cheap. But it is emminently worthy of a review - and on the whole the Mugen Power 3000mAh battery performs completely as advertised, notwithstanding a little confusion in the OS and a few worries over battery contacts.
I've reviewed all the Proporta Turbochargers so far and the trend so far has been for bigger and bigger, higher and higher capacity. At the expense of the accessory getting larger as well, of course. And now we have a lovely slice of lateral thinking in this, the unique Turbocharger Pocket Power, no larger than a credit card and only slightly thicker, yet able to deliver at least half a charge into (or to power) your smartphone in an emergency. What a wonderful accessory, here's my illustrated review.
As you may recall, I've been trying out a number of Bluetooth speakers, first the Jawbone Jambox (loud, but massive and expensive) and then the Nokia Play 360 (loud, but still big and expensive). And now the budget contender, the SoundWave SW50, at just over 7cm wide/high and costing less than £30, so roughly a quarter the price of the previous two speakers. I tested the SW50 with both my Nokia N8 and N86 from the Symbian world, with my Lumia 800 from the Windows Phone world and with my Android-powered Galaxy Nexus. Summary: it's almost as loud as the two pricier contenders and amazing value for money, with only one caveat.
Something a little different for a Friday. Frustrated that a lot of the Symbian and Windows phones I wanted to try day to day didn't have a built-in FM transmitter (I'll explain why that's important to me below), I opted to grab the Belkin In Car Tunecast 6 Universal FM Transmitter and try it out and about in the UK. Summary: it works brilliantly, far better (surprisingly) than the few phones which did have the functionality built-in.
As more smartphones are designed with non-replaceable batteries, the potential of getting through a day of heavy use by carrying a spare battery is going away. This has in turn created a market in external batteries. For instance, the first phone with a non-replaceable battery was the iPhone, which has an array of battery jackets. However, these are fixed to just one phone design. The alternative is external batteries that connect via cable. It's a less stylish solution, but guarantees that any of your devices can be topped up. That's where Nokia's new DC-16 external battery steps in, and we've been putting it to the test in this review.
As reported last week, Proporta's just launched a bike mounted version of their popular Beach Buoy waterproof case for all touchscreen phones - and I couldn't resist giving it a real world test. Here's my review - is it worth the five minutes set up time to have your smartphone always to hand in all weathers? Maybe - I'd say a more definite yes, if you live in the rainy UK and get lost a lot!