Showing posts from 2019

Review: Moshi USB-C Digital Audio Adapter

As many of you know, I'm into my audio, and have been fighting the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack from smartphones in recent years. However, well over half of modern flagships have now dropped the jack (I'm still blaming Apple for starting the fashion!), so it's something I'm just going to have to work around if I want wired audio, i.e. zero latency, no recharging needed, maximum quality music and soundtracks.

Which means investigating USB Type C to 3.5mm adapters. And not just 'dumb' adapters (typically a few quid on eBay), which are only suitable for phones that support analogue audio output via spare pins on the Tye C connector. But principally 'proper' adapters, with a built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter), which take digital audio and render it to analogue audio waveforms for putting through headphone earpieces. These DAC-dongles are typically £12 or so, usually supplied in the box by a manufacturer or available on their web site, but you can…

Don't chuck your old DVDs and Blurays! They'll save the day...

I've heard countless times of people getting rid of their old DVDs and even Bluray optical discs - you can verify this by popping into a charity shop and seeing them at "2 for £1" or similar. The argument is that you don't need physical (optical) media anymore since Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and countless other digital streaming services exist.

And to some extent this is right - it's usually far more convenient to dial up a movie you want to watch on a streaming service rather than find the old DVD in the loft. OK, so you're paying multiple £10 a month (or so), but then you're also not buying physical discs for newer films, so surely it all comes out about the same in the end?

True, but there's a huge loophole that few people realise. Each streaming service has to license each title (whether TV or movie) from the appropriate studio and these licenses come to an end. I've lost count of the number of times that I've searched for a TV show or …

Super premium leather cases for life? Noreve for the Huawei P30 Pro

Specifically, I've been sent a couple of Noreve's 'Tradition E' leather cases for the Huawei P30 Pro - the USP being, as usual with Noreve, that no expense is spared in terms of presentation and materials.

Leaving aside the fancy box and cloth pouch (I still don't really understand the latter - once the case is on the phone, why would you ever need the pouch again?), the bonding of the various leathers to the tough metal backplane is incredible - we're talking premium leather, premium fit, premium feel in the hand.

Which is not to say that I haven't got some complaints. But we'll start with the geek porn, the eye candy - since you can't smell the cases via the web (yet), so you'll have to take my word for the latter!

I was sent the 'Ambition' finish in 'Mimosa' colour (a pale yellow) and the "Horizon' finish in 'Abaca Nero' (black!), there's no direct link to either, so you'll have to juggle with the inte…

Why Google Stadia will be a flop

You'll have read about Google's new gaming initiative. Here's the write-up on Wikipedia. Essentially, it's cloud-based gaming, with all rendering and visuals generated in the cloud and delivered to 'dumb' terminals - Chromecasts, laptop screens, and so on, which is OK up to a point. But the bandwidth requirements are horrific - an absolute minimum of 10Mbps and a more usual ramp up to 35Mbps.

Now, these connection speeds aren't impossible, especially in the tech world of 2019. I mean, look at the average family these days and there's a good chance that most family members are using the Internet in some capacity. It doesn't take many iPlayer or Netflix streams to add up to 50 or 60Mps, for example.

BUT. There's a huge difference between video streaming/downloading i.e. content consumption, where there's a huge background buffering factor that makes sure that nothing is missed, and a real time gaming experience, where you're playing multi-…

Case roundup (part 1) for the Google Pixel 3a XL

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 Pixel 3a XL cases and covers.

The Google Pixel 3a XL is extraordinary value when you factor in the superb camera and guaranteed three years of updates, including two complete Android versions.

There aren't that many third party cases in stock as yet, so I've marked this post as 'part 1' and I'll deliver a fuller version in a couple of weeks, if all goes well.

Olixar Ultra-Thin, £7 There's not that much to this case, by design. When it's on, you don't really notice any increase in bulk, which is a very good thing. You also get to see your Pixel 3a XL's original colour scheme. Some manufacturers choose to put this sort of 'grip' case in the box, but not Google - hence this inexpensive third party TPU case hits the spot.

Obviously you don't get very much in terms of drop resistance,…

Case roundup: Huawei P30 Pro

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 Huawei P30 pro cases and covers.

The P30 Pro is a super device with an imaging focus: 5x stabilised telephoto, 40MP stabilised main camera, plus wide angle, with tremendous versatility. But how best to protect the phone from drops and damage?

Hand-picked by me, in no particular order (and forgive the first entry, but it has to be the baseline!):
Huawei in-box silicone cover, £free Of course, Huawei and Honor phones normally come with a cheap clear cover in the box, so that no one ever has an excuse for carrying a 'naked' phone.

There's little actual protection or cushioning, mind you, the case's main goal is that it provides a far grippier surface than slippery glass and so there's far less chance of dropping the P30 Pro in the first place.

The fit is perfect, as you might imagine, and there's minimal …