Huawei Mate 20 Pro case roundup

Another flagship in for review - the Huawei Mate 20 Pro (sorry for the delay on looking at cases for it!) Anyway, more cases to try out and score!

This is all thanks to the folks at MobileFun, see their Mate 20 Pro case selection in full.
Official Huawei Clear TPU, £6 This is a good place to start, it's minimalist and yet provides some protection from all sides, even corner drops, with slightly raised edges at top and bottom. Don't rely on this to stop a cracked screen when falling onto tarmac, but it'll cope with drops around the home.

And, as you'd expect from an official case, it fits like a glove. It also adds very little bulk. It's the sort of case which really should have been in the Mate 20 Pro retail box (maybe it is, in some regions?)

Of course, being clear, you get to still enjoy the paint job on your shiny new Huawei - which is 'a very good thing indeed'.

Top value too, for an official case at a pocket money price. At the very least,  put your Mat…

Why the Google Pixel 3 XL has a 'chin'...!

After weeks with the Pixel 3 XL, an aspect of the phone's slightly odd design dawned on me.

The 'notch' at the top of the phone has rightly caused controversy because of its depth - it's needed apparently because of the size of the front facing cameras and the use of a decent earpiece speaker. Regardless, it does let content flow up in the 'ears' to the top of the phone and it works well enough on the whole.

But the bottom 'chin' looks wrong when you first see the phone - why is it quite so large? One theory is that it's to make room for (again) a loud speaker (and it's very loud), but I have another.

You see, when a design takes the screen almost to the bottom edge of the phone and there's a notch at the top, media watching suffers by the playback window being off-centre.

I realise that this is something of a nit-pick at some other phones, but could one reason for the Pixel 3 XL's bottom chin be that it matches the notch's depth, me…

Google Pixel 3 XL Case roundup

Another flagship in for review - this time it's the bigger, notched Pixel. And it means more cases to try out and score!

I've taken a likely cross-section of Pixel 3 XL cases, thanks to the folks at MobileFun, kind people that they are, and also to the folks at Totallee and Noreve.

See Mobile Fun's complete range of Pixel 3 XL cases and covers here.

In no particular order(!):
Ringke Fusion, £13 This has been one of my favourite cases for the last few years, on several phones. It's crystal clear (it comes with protective layers that need stripping off), ruggedly made, and has moulded bracings in the corners, to protect the phone from corner drops.

Being clear has the huge advantage in 2018, with phones now coming in premium finishes, usually glass, that you actually get to see the expensive smartphone you just bought.
The corner bracings double as feet when the phone's laid down on its back, plus there's a lanyard hole, should you be into hanging this from a wris…

Review: Blitzwolf Smart Socket (BW-SHP4)

The 'Internet Of Things' (IOT) has gotten itself some bad press - and probably for good reason. Hooking up gadgets in your home to the wider Internet has all sorts of security implications. The usual example is that vulnerabilities in the Internet-facing APIs in each gadget could be exploited for a bad guy to take control.

Real life exploiting of such vulnerabilities is rare, though. Not least because there's nothing in it for the 'bad guys'. How would taking over your lights or heating or sound system benefit anyone else, other than causing chaos?

But all this was in my mind as I unboxed a couple of (240V/10A) Smart Sockets here, from Blitzwolf (£16 on Amazon UK or try Banggood or see the product home page here). How far would I extend my home's electrical functions onto the Internet? I decided that as long as I stayed away from gadgets which provide heat (toasters, fan heaters, kettles) then I'd be OK. I mean what's the worst that could happen with ot…