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Recent Editorial Content

Imaging and touch improvements are highlights of the new Surface Duo 2 update

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The Surface Duo 2 continues to dominate headspace at All About Towers, with major improvements arriving today, with a feature-packed January 2022 update hitting the folding communicator over-the-air. So whether you've only just finished reading about its faux-Continuum mode or its Lumia-like image processing or my Bumpers review, this update is well worth taking note of since it's yet another software step forwards for this somewhat ground-breaking device.

# Posted by Steve in News || Comments

Not quite Continuum, not quite DeX! (Surface Duo 2 with NexDock)

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Many have bemoaned the death of Continuum circa 2016, with Samsung's DeX taking up a lot of the slack, albeit in the Android world. And then we have the Microsoft Surface Duo pair of devices, ostensibly without a desktop interface but I hope to prove in the video below that the very nature of USB 3.1 (here over Type C), along with a landscape-first device like the Duo and a capable standard lapdock, means that 90% of the functionality you'd expect from a 'desktop' interface is in fact taken care of automatically.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Review: XtremeSkins

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That Microsoft went with glossy oleophobic Gorilla Glass for the back and front of the Surface Duo 2 is a contentious issue. When clean and new, it feels and looks tremendous. But as time goes on the glass does acquire fingerprints and dust, plus it's always slippery. And slippery isn't good for a relatively fragile folding smartphone. With physical 'in situ' cases almost impossible because of the Duo 2's 'fold back' mechanics, the next best thing is a 'skin', a grippy adhesive panel on front and back to take the brunt of daily wear and tear and to help ensure the phone doesn't get dropped. Enter XtremeSkins, also available for just about every other phone in existence if you want to make a naked phone 'grippier', and bringing 'wood' to my phone for the first time since a Mozo back graced my Lumia 950 XL!

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

The Fairphone 4 can now be ordered with the Google-free /e/ OS

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In this privacy-paranoid world people are often looking for ways to avoid Big Brother, and one of the latter is Google, it seems. "/e/ OS" (odd and problematic name, see below for a quote) is a fork of AOSP (Android Open Source Project) that deliberately strips out anything to do with Google, at all levels, enabling (in theory) a more private phone experience. See below for some news from 'All About' favourite Fairphone regarding their new '4' coming with /e/ OS if you like. Personally? I think it's all poppycock. Read on.

# Posted by Steve in News || Comments

Review: PU Leather Belt Pouch for Surface Duo 2 (and Duo)

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Surface Duo 2 month continues, it seems, with a belt case that almost perfectly fits my own requirements. Hey, it only took a month of searching, but I got there in the end. If you're a fan of belt cases (like me) then this is the one you want, run don't walk, etc. to AliExpress. If you're a confirmed 'pocket' person, pouring scorn over belt case wearers, then a) you're missing out(!), and b) this probably won't be of that much interest!

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

All About 'Wifi 6E' - and what supports it

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Having to confess that I hadn't even heard of Wifi '6E' until last week, I resolved to investigate on behalf of the All About sites and report back. It turns out that Wifi 6E is both very new and yet established, both at the same time. But it's significant in the way it opens up more spectrum and bandwidth to overworked home and office Wifi networks - and that's got to be a good thing.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Video capture on the Surface Duo 2: Verdict? Disappointing!

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'Duo 2 month' continues, it seems. Having already established that the stills imaging on the Surface Duo 2 is pretty impressive, perhaps even inheriting some of the Microsoft/Nokia expertise from the Lumia range, I turn my attention here to video capture, but am disappointed at every turn. From panning to stabilisation to zoom to interface, video capture using the Duo 2's camera (note the singular) is currently profoundly disappointing. See below for results with the December 2021 firmware. Hopefully future updates can improve things significantly.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Review: Noreve Leather Cover for Surface Duo 2

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Continuing our Surface Duo 2 coverage - a possible next step for Microsoft-loving Lumia enthusiasts and also a refreshing 'something different' for Android fans - we have a £82* leather case from premium accessory maker Noreve. In summary, beautifully made (though perhaps go for a different colour?) but there are some design and usability issues that you need to be aware of.

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

Is a compromise needed? Camera shootout - Duo 2 vs iPhone 12 Pro Max

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As part of my continuing 'Duo 2 season' here on the All About sites (which I think is appropriate, given the way the device spans the world of Microsoft/Windows, and Android, plus it also spans phones and tablets), I have been wondering again what imaging compromises (if any) are incurred by choosing such an odd form factor and Microsoft's first cut at 'pro' level cameras on a Surface. I did a shootout with the Lumia 950 XL months ago, but we now have updates galore, plus I wanted to pitch it against something a lot more current.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

When classic smartphones become collectables

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When a smartphone falls out of use in your life, there's a temptation to find a good home for it. Often a family member, often a second hand market like eBay, but sometimes - just sometimes - the phone is special enough, is unique enough, in fact is downright collectable enough, that you might like to hang onto it. Not necessarily just for pecuniary reasons, but perhaps sentimental reasons as well. As an example, I've picked out a dozen smartphones from my own collection that fit this bill. Classics one and all...

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

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