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An experimental republish from (my own content) on AAWP!

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The question is a tantalising one. How would someone get on setting up a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone from scratch... in 2020? i.e. a starting point of up to date security but no more updates to come - ever, plus a patchy set of mainstream services. I keep the latter tabulated and up to date here, but I also thought it worth documenting how everything comes together (or not) on a freshly factory reset Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, certainly the slickest and shiniest (and boy, is it slippery) Windows phone ever made.

Case round-up for the Google Pixel 4

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In the reviews of the brand new Pixel 4 so far, I note that the painted finish on metal and glass is worrisome - surely it's going to rub off and look tatty at some point? So here we go with some likely case contenders...

As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with most samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Pixel 4 cases and covers.

But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course.

(I'll update this initially-brief round-up as and when more cases arrive for review from MobileFun and from other sources.)

Olixar ExoShield, £7 No, that price isn't a typo. It's just superb value. You're getting a top quality clear case with 'slab' (read: grippy) sides, reinforced 'bubble' corners, and the clarity that shows off your Pixel's real colour.




The only small caveat is that you have to have good fingernails to peel off the protective film that …

Lightning cables: 2m or go home! (Choetech review)

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My family and I have discovered over the last decade of owning iPhones that the standard 1m cables, such as the ones Apple includes in the phone boxes, just aren't long enough: with the power adapter in a wall plug or a floor 4-way gang, the lead barely reaches onto the sofa or bed and then you've got to constantly worry about the iPhone being charged being knocked off. Or finding it hard to use while being charged.

The answer is, of course, to have a longer cable in the first place. Our home is now outfitted with 2m cables, giving masses of extra flexibility. And, in this case, with the Choetech cable here sent in for review, giving extra ruggedisation as well.


This is really thick, coated in tough TPE (ThermoPlastic Elastomer), and claims to be tangle proof. It's certainly the most substantial Lightning cable I've ever used. It's fully Apple 'Mfi' certified too and I tested it with an 18W mains charger, to charge an iPhone 11 Pro with PD (Power Delivery) …

Case roundup for the Google Pixel 4 XL

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In my reviews of the brand new Pixel 4 XL so far, I've pointed out that the painted finish on metal and glass is worrisome - surely it's going to rub off and look tatty at some point? So here we go with some likely case contenders...

As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with most samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Pixel 4 XL cases and covers.

But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course.

(Updated continue on this URL as and when more cases arrive for review from MobileFun and from other sources.)

Olixar Soft Silicone, Black, £10
A terrific option at the price, the feel in the hand is super-premium. Soft and smooth, yet not too smooth - there's still grip.


There's minimal corner protection, but you do get enough of a lip all round the front of the Pixel 4 XL so as to protect it when placed face down on a surface, or even from face drops.


The fit is…