Casing the best compact smartphone in the world: the Sony XZ1 Compact

Fans of The Phones Show will have seen my glowing report on the Sony XZ1 Compact - it's old fashioned in many ways, thanks to a 16:9 screen (i.e. BEZELS!) and it's 'old school' size, but it's a cracking handset that does everything (including having a headphone jack and stereo speakers) and yet fits in the smallest of pockets.

I even made the confident statement that its aluminium and reinforced plastic construction meant that it didn't need a case.

'Need'. Regardless, a case is till a good idea, especially if you're venturing into the great outdoors or live a rough and tough life. Which is where these two options come in, I'll link to the Mobile Fun pages that they were sourced from.

Both are highly recommended, though the second is undoubtedly my favourite, as you'll see.
Roxfit Gel Shell Slim, £15
The idea here is to be as minimal as possible, with ultra clear back to 'show off the phone' and with opaque outer rim with corner reinf…

'Waiting in' for the repair man/courier, etc. - when IS the best time to nip out?

I realise this is basic probability theory, but almost no one gets this right, so I thought I'd put it in plain English...

The situation. You're expecting a package delivered (and needing signing for), or perhaps it's a repair man. Either way, you know it's happening today, you just don't know when. You may even have taken the day off work to accommodate this.

So you're waiting in. It might be 10 minutes. Or it might be 10 hours (a 8am-6pm window). You just don't know.

Yet you want to either:
nip to the local shops for milkhave a shower/toilet/whateversome other task which only takes a few minutes but which will mean you're unavailable When should you do this? Is there a best time according to the laws of probability?

Common sense says that it's random when the courier or repair man comes, so it doesn't make any difference when you take your break.

But in fact, although the arrival is indeed random, the fact that your own unavailability is under …

Warning: the perils of proprietary backup software!

True story.

Back in 2006 (ish) era, for a couple of years we used 'Backup Made Simple', a well regarded backup utility for Windows PCs. Multi-CDR-support, selective restore, it all worked a treat. And we still have the backup discs from that era.

Except that we needed to access some of these files this week. And have utterly failed. The CDR are fine, it's the software. The app was written for Windows XP/Vista (that era, anyway) and I've had real trouble installing it under modern Windows 10, some 12 years later. Even with all compatibility modes enabled, the best I can get it to do is recognise the backup files - when I try to actually restore anything I get low level and very odd Windows library errors.

Now, if we were DESPERATE for the files back then I guess I could reformat an old laptop, try re-installing XP on it and then go from there. It's A solution. But that's multiple tens of hours of work in all.

The moral, of course, is obvious. When backing anythi…

Case round-up for Samsung Galaxy S9+

In for review for The Phones Show, I couldn't resist reviewing the various case options for the Samsung Galaxy S9+, the 2018 'flagship with everything’, here in its larger form.

The cases were supplied by Mobile Fun, see here for their full Galaxy S9+ case line-up. Spigen Rugged Armor, £18

My favourite design, after having tried everything - Spigen Rugged Armour is my ‘go to’ case for every phone I get in, and with good reason. From thick and protective, yet flexible TPU with lovely texture and detailing, to tough lips and corners, this Spine design is a classic.

It fits perfectly - I mean PERFECTLY - and when in place I quickly get so used to its feel in the hand that I forget the phone’s in a case. I was reviewing the Galaxy S9+ recently and it was only after finishing filming that I realised that the Spigen case was still on. It felt that natural!

Score: 10
VRS Design Single Fit, £15

Along the same lines as the Spigen but lighter and thinner, the VRS case comes in as a lighter a…

Case round-up: Samsung Galaxy S9

In for review for The Phones Show, I couldn't resist reviewing the various case options for the Samsung Galaxy S9, the 2018 'flagship with everything'.

The cases were supplied by Mobile Fun, see here for their full Galaxy S9 case line-up.
Spigen Rugged Armor, £18

I'm starting out with my favourite - the Spigen Rugged Armor (yes, USA spellings) is, hands-down, the best combination of fit, protection and grip, to the extent that, when fitted, you forget that the phone is cased and the Galaxy S9 becomes this rugged, grippy object that's a pleasure to handle.

This all sounds like hyperbole, but I'd challenge you to grab this and not be impressed.

The fit and finish over the phone's buttons, the fit around the ports, the textured panels, everything's top notch, yet you still get access to the S9's curved front screen edges, thanks to the case's sides being 'lower', yet with protective raised portions at top and bottom, to protect against a fac…