I seem to have become synonymous with various things, one being smartphone imaging and another being power bank reviews, with the flexible and future-proof Lumsing Glory P2 Plus being the latest and best. Yet the OUTXE (OUTdoor Xtreme Energy, apparently!) Rugged Power Bank offers a totally different USP - it's fully waterproof (to a maximum of IP67) and pitches itself as the ultimate accessory for the outdoor enthusiast, with a seven LED 200 hour floodlight that's perfect for camping or emergencies.
Recent Reviews - Hardware
The search has been on for several years for a replacement for the (now no longer produced) Proporta Pocket Power, an all in one, no cables needed, truly credit card sized emergency charger - and, right up at the premium end of the market we now have a candidate, offering full 2A output and able to deliver around 700mAh at 5V in about 20 minutes. While only around a one third charge for today's smartphones, that this fits unobtrusively in your wallet in a card slot makes this a terrific (if slightly pricey) accessory to get you to the end of a long day. Coming in deluxe packaging, with extras, it's also just about the perfect gift for a smartphone owner, as I explore below.
Even if you do the usual 3.7V/5V maths to calculate the actual power available at the voltage your smartphone needs it (i.e. the 5V level), you still end up with well over 15,000mAh of useable charge from this new 'Executive' power bank. Add in a unique backlit LED readout, triple output jacks and a torch function and you've got a really, really interesting mobile accessory.
Originally an Indiegogo project, Shoulderpod has just released its first product, the S1, and I've been testing it with my Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020. It's a combined stabiliser/grip/mount - it's fabulously constructed and it works really well. Here's to better smartphone-shot video (and, of course, you might find my tutorial helpful!)
Regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of the Proporta emergency chargers, from the tiny credit card sized Pocket Power to the mighty Turbocharger 7000. But, of course, there are many other brands on the market, especially at the higher capacity end of the market. Which is why I've been taking a look here at the new 'Kinkoo Infinite One 8000mAh Portable Backup Battery Charger'. In white. And yes, the colour matters, as I shall explain!
The world of accessories fascinates everyone, of course, the drive to make everything smaller and smaller, yet still doing the same job. In this case, the ChargeKey microUSB, a full data and charging cable (i.e. all pins are connected through) that cuts bulk to the nth degree and fits nicely on a key ring. It's even shaped like a key and is a really neat accessory, albeit a little pricey.
We've seen large portable USB chargers (e.g. the Turbocharger 7000), we've seen small all-wireless chargers (the Nokia DC-50), but the Mugenizer N11 seems to offer a feature set that's a very useful compromise. With 4800mAh capacity and both USB and Qi charging output, could the N11 really be the all-purpose mobile charger than many have been waiting for?
Symbian Belle - sorry, 'Nokia Belle', Feature Pack 2 has been available now for a few weeks and it's time to take stock. How many steps forward did this take the OS? And how many steps back? What's in Belle FP2 and how does it compare to other smartphone user interfaces in 2012?
Something very different for AAS here - what we have here is custom firmware for a Nokia smartphone, in this case created by a Colombian enthusiast and aiming to bring old S60 5th Edition phones up as close to the modern Symbian experience as possible. That 'CFW Symbian Anna 7.9' (links and caveats below) ultimately still disappoints a 2012 phone user is 99% down to the limitations of the hardware of the time, mainly in terms of free RAM - but such improvements are still tremendously interesting, which is why it's receiving the review treatment here.
In part 1, I looked at the Nokia 808's hardware, in part 2a, I showed how PureView works, in part 2b, I tested the 808 head to head with its predecessors, in part 2c, I looked at the new Camera interface and in part 2d, I looked at the 808's video capture capabilities, including the Rich Recording system. Most recently, in part 3, I looked at the 808's OS, performance and multimedia functionality. In this, the final part 4, I cover other applications, notes on updates and my summary of this landmark (in a number of senses of the word) device.