No, the second appearance of Baseus in these pages has nothing to do with sponsored products or freebies - I bought each with my own money and am renovating my entire home tech power system - more in a feature if Rafe can get (new) Features working again on the server. Here we have full 65W Power Delivery output from a car 12V socket - subject to power caps within your vehicle, of course!
Recent Reviews - Android
It's that time of the year, perhaps. Roughly once each annum I declare myself to have discovered the 'perfect' power bank. And the thing is that I always have justification for the new rating because the technology keeps moving on - here we have a metal bodied, high current, multi-output power bank, with no less than three digital display modes.
Features may be on hold, but I can still post reviews. Now, now... If you resent paying £120 for a Microsoft Slim Pen 2, and then either another £30 for a charger for it, or another £60 for the Surface Duo 2 Slim Pen Cover, there's another way. Go third party and save a fortune, plus you get standard USB Type C charging into the bargain. This Renaisser 'Digital pen for compatible Windows 10 devices' is perfectly good enough for most stylus activity on the Duo 2 or indeed any other Surface Pro or Go tablet...
Features may be on hold, but it seems that I can post reviews. Not there's a huge amount to tackle at 'All About Towers' right now, but for the sake of completeness, here's a look at two of my favourite new skins for the Microsoft/Android flagship, the Surface Duo 2, quite transforming its look...
OpenStreetMap has been a 'thing' for a decade, free-to-all mapping data for the world, and now with an open source application available for iOS and Android (and Windows 10 Mobile*). We highlighted it recently in a Flow story, but I did promise a deep dive into what it could do (and what it can't). In summary, it's fast, configurable, and (almost) always free (though admittedly so are Google Maps, Apple Maps and HERE Maps), with real time data being the only major omission. But still worth consideration, especially if you like to go off-piste, as it were.
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!
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!
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.
Leaving aside the whole 'started on Windows' back story (hence 'Surface Phone', its longed-for name for so long), the Surface Duo arrived with Android on board and we now have the Android 11-running Surface Duo 2, which I reviewed here two months ago. With a Duo 2 now permanently at 'All About' Towers, and in addition to software features, I'm going to be reviewing some of the accessories available for this unique dual-screened smartphone/tablet. Starting with the crazily priced but ultimately, dare I say, essential, official Duo 2 Bumper. Oh, and... Happy New Year!
It's... Google's latest and greatest. It really is. The highest specced Pixel ever made. But that doesn't mean that it's perfect, as you'll see in my review. Niggles include the 'zoom gap' and a plastic top edge, but don't worry, there's also plenty that I loved. Whether it's worth £949 for the recommended 256GB model is your call, of course, but there's no denying the raw power and future proof software set-up. (See also my imaging comparison with a flagship iPhone.)