New features are still broken on the All About sites - but Reviews seem fine, so here goes. Sent over for me to test is the UGREEN 100W GaN Fast Charger, designed to charge just about any mobile tech you may have - and then some. It's not cheap, at £80(!) - but it might be a genuine space and complexity saver in your office or kitbag.
Recent Reviews - Hardware
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.)
You'll have seen my unboxing and first impressions of the new NexDock 360 - a lapdock? A portable monitor? A fancy screen-enabled USB hub? Well, just as with the previous NexDocks ('2' and Touch), the NexDock 360 is all of these. Slightly smaller than its predecessor, the '360' adds a twist in being able to fold back from laptop to tent to tablet. Which is pretty cool, even if the bezels and speaker situation mean that you might not do this very often. The highlight for 'All About' fans is, of course, that this can expand your Windows 10 Mobile or Android* smartphone to a desktop experience. Plus it's a flexible HDMI monitor for everything else. Including iPhones and games consoles.
What would a 2021 smartphone look like if you turned all its sustainability dials up to 11? Six years of security updates, five Android OS versions, five year hardware warranty, and with the entire phone coming apart with one screwdriver in minutes, for part replacement? Thankfully, we don't have to guess, since this is the Fairphone 4, which I review below. While it won't win any prizes for performance or value (or even cosmetics), it's miles out in front of the rest of the pack for 'right to repair'. And electronic waste neutral all the way, apparently.
2017’s Project Andromeda, four years on, has evolved through Surface Phone (unreleased), Surface Duo (2020, poorly received and very poorly selling), to the new Surface Duo 2. It has specs right up with flagships of today, a truly innovative form factor (as per the original concept), and is priced at an absolute premium. But is it for you? I attempt to answer that in my full review below.
These being the 'All About' sites, there has been an emphasis on phone cameras over the years. Both my interest in the topic and Nokia's obsession with imaging has meant lots of chat about classics like the Nokia N8, 808, Lumia 1020 and 950, then recent iPhones and - here - my review of the 2021 Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. With a few caveats, this is the single most capable phone camera system I've ever used.
It's not that often that I review a new Nokia, especially here mid-2021. True, this is the 'new' Nokia, under HMD Global, and true, most of the new Nokia handsets are somewhat 'meh', but the XR20 is a little different, as covered in my head to head and imaging showdown pieces here recently. So here I wrapped everything up in a review, in text and - yes - video form, all below. Summary? It's a nice idea but completely the wrong form factor, I contend. Note that because of the brand name, this is, I think, of interest to all the err.. 'All About' sites!
What a great idea and implementation. One high current braided (non tangle) cable to suit everyone. USB-A or Type C to Lightning or (again Type C) - a few of these in your gadget bag and it really doesn't matter which one you pull out, since you just adjust the ends as needed. Supporting up to 60W power transfer, at under £20 this is a cable that thoroughly tickles my gadget brain!
Whether a fan of Windows (for AAWP) or Mobile in general (for AAM), one thing you'll have been keeping an eye on from Microsoft is their affordable ultra-mobile PCs, the Surface Go range and Surface Laptop Go. Despite the headline, this isn't as easy as a simple A-B comparison, since each is available in a surprising number of variants - thus, I'll try a compare using broad strokes and concentrate on giving a flavour of what each is good at.
I think this is the highest score I/we've ever given a product on the All About sites - simply because this is both mightily impressive and just about a perfect product. I honestly can't think many ways in which the Marshall Major IV Bluetooth headphones could be made better. It does everything it claims and then goes a few steps further, to delight and entertain. Since it arrived at the start of the week it has quickly become my favourite 'thing' (after my smartphones!)