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Case roundup: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

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As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with all samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Galaxy Note 9 cases and covers.

Note (puns intended throughout!) that I'm going to refer to the phone as the 'Note 9', as do MobileFun. Samsung's stylistic 'Note9' just won't catch on - it looks awful!

In no particular order (and with no winner picked, in that all the cases here are worthy of consideration for one reason or another!):
Spigen Rugged Armor, £18 As usual Spigen's Rugged Armor case is top notch and, if you're in a hurry, then look no further, this is the best in-situ case for the Note 9 bar none:


The matt exterior finish and cushioned interior is the perfect blend of materials and textures. Not too thick, not too thin, and fitting like a glove, as usual for Spigen:


The patterned gloss panels on the back serve to add interest and some extra grip - and the design has been much cop…

Review: BlitzWolf BW-LT8 Motion Sensor Cabinet Light

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Do you know of those little three-AAA-battery powered stick-on lights that you put in cupboards and under the stairs? Some even come with motion sensors, so that they come on automatically? Very handy little things.

The trouble is that the batteries run out. And faster than you'd like because a family member leaves the door ajar and then there's enough motion to keep activating the light, and so on. So you have to keep replacing the batteries over and over again. You could switch to rechargeables, but these are lower voltage, don't provide as much oomph and run out far faster, so it's a very tiresome job managing them.

Wouldn't it be easier to bring this lighting need into the 21st century?

Which is where this Blitzwolf strip comes in. Super-bright modern LED strip, internal rechargeable 1000mAh battery, accurate motion sensor, microUSB charging, 3 hours light per charge (so several months of life in real use).

What's not to love, for £15 or so? [Original buy l…

Review: XIIVIO 2 in 1 USB C to 3.5mm DAC Headphone Jack Adapter with USB-C PD Charging

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The story so far... Google decided to follow Apple in getting rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack, for the Pixel 2 range in late 2017. Perhaps just to play copy-cat, perhaps to genuinely make waterproofing more complete, perhaps to be more 'futuristic'? Who knows.

Some other manufacturers then followed suit, and while the trend to get rid of the humble and useful 3.5mm jack hasn't yet become mainstream, it's certainly a 'thing' to be aware of and to try to work around.

Why work around? Surely you can just use a USB Type C to 3.5mm adapter, and there's usually one in the box? For listening to music, absolutely, and these usually (HTC excepted) work well. But there's a catch. You can't charge your phone and listen to music on wired headphones at the same time. Ruling out listening while going to sleep, for example.

I guess you could use Qi wireless charging and hope your didn't knock the phone off the pad - or you could opt to listen wireless…

Case roundup (expanded): Google Pixel 2 XL

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Last year I covered a selection of the best cases for the Google Pixel 2 XL, but with the handsets new role as standard bearer for Android P testing, I wanted to highlight it again and also some new case options.

All covering a variety of styles, and all supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Pixel 2 XL cases and covers.

Rather than make you click on two different stories, I'm covering the three new arrivals here first, and then I'll paste in the previous five case verdicts afterwards, all in this story/URL. OK?

New then are:
Olixar Ultra-thin Gel, £8 The adage that you get what you pay for is true here - when Olixar says 'Ultra-thin' it's not kidding.


It adds less than 1mm to the phone, while protecting the back from scratches and stains. Just don't expect any protection at all if you drop the Pixel 2 XL - there are no reinforcements, no bubbles of air, no struts or structure. Just a thin and pliable layer of clear plastic…