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Showing posts from July, 2017

Let there be light! Review: AUKEY Solar Light

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You've all seen the cheap LED garden lights, usually with a small solar panel on top. £5 each or thereabouts at garden centres and in bargain bins. And they put out a pitiful amount of light and stop working after a month in the rain.

This is something very different. 30cm long, with a full width solar panel, a large internal rechargeable cell, 18 high power LEDs with several brightness modes, proximity sensor, and a remote control to switch it between various modes.
I was a little sceptical, especially as it took a little perusing the instructions to even turn the light on (you'd have thought that it would default to 'on', but perhaps that would damage and drain the batteries in transit?)

However, this has proved wonderful in use. I mounted it (after initial testing) on a wall and it glows gently all night (i.e. when the sensor detects that light levels are low enough) and then the proximity sensor switches it to full brightness for 20 seconds when anyone comes near i…

PureView zoom alive and well on non-Nokia phones. (Zooming losslessly on Android)

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Did you know that many Android phones can do the same 'lossless zoom' trick as on the old Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020, i.e. smart cropping in on a high resolution sensor so that even when zoomed there's detail that's largely real and not interpolated, i.e. 'made up'?

Of course, you need a phone with a high resolution sensor in the first place and I'm lucky enough to have the ZTE Axon 7, with a 16:9 20MP sensor. Having taken several photos at default resolution, I looked at my snaps and thought "This is crazy, I don't need 15Megabyte 20MP photos - they're big and clumsy and something smaller would in almost all situations be better - I just don't need that insane detail."
Especially so when I zoomed in (say to 2x), at which point I had 20MP of digitally interpolated, slightly blocky 'detail'. It's all too much.
So I set the camera to take photos at 4MP in 16:9, a nice compromise between file size and resolution/detail. In fact,…

HTC U11 case round-up

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In tandem with my big review of the HTC U11, I've been kindly sent a batch of top U11 cases by Mobile Fun, so let's get started...
HTC U11 Genuine Leather Flip case, £35 This is the most premium option here, perhaps not in terms of 'feeling the leather' (though it is genuine), in that you get quality materials in a flip case that's super-protective yet doesn't make the U11 feel un-manageably thick.
The colour is advertised as 'Dark grey' and this  is accurate on the outside though it's black on the inside. The phone sits in  a clear plastic shell that's minimalist and glued to the back of the flip case in such a way that the entire fold can be angled to provide a landscape stand when needed:
This works surprisingly well and never feels flimsy.
The front flap of the case contains a rigid material, almost certainly metal, since it can't be easily bent, and there's a card slot for a bank card or similar.
Overall, I was really, really impress…