Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category
Friday, July 25th, 2014
Today we’ll be looking at some of the best iPhone 5S cases available today. Let’s get right into our selections and recommendations!
The Spigen SGP Touch Armor is our first case, offering considerable protection against a range of hazards including scratches, knocks and impacts. The Touch Armor uses a combination of TPU and Polycarbonate to produce a stellar defense, while maintaining a light weight and small dimensions. The case is available in many colourways too, including gold (shown above), black, slate, white and silver.
This case is quite unique, adding wireless charging to the iPhone 5S’ list of capabilities. That means you’re able to recharge your iPhone just by placing it on one our Qi wireless chargers, and you’re free to say goodbye to the hassle of plugging and unplugging cables forever.
The Zenus Estime Diary is one of the most stylish cases we have, with a traditional leather design that looks as good in the bedroom as the boardroom. The Estime Diary has a smart design, with a flip cover protecting the vulnerable screen and obviating the need for iPhone 5S screen protectors. A series of credit card pockets and a secure fastening complete the picture.
This award-winning bumper for the iPhone 5S adds some tremendous curves to the device, made of aircraft-grade aluminium. The bumper provides considerable rigidity and impact protection, but unlike some other metal cases doesn’t interfere with your iPhone’s signal. A beautiful, classy case that should appeal to almost everyone.
The Moshi SenseCover is our winning case today, providing a unique way of answering incoming calls and seeing the time without opening the flip cover. This is achieved through a small cutout window, which shows the time and caller ID of your iPhone while keeping the screen protected. When you want to answer or reject the call, it’s a simple case of swiping along the strip on the front of the cover. The case is stylish too, in steel black or brushed titanium.
Thanks for checking out the article and be sure to let us know what you think of the iPhone 5S covers we’ve selected in the comments below!
Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
There are many methods to charge an iPhone 5. Let us count the ways.
The simplest method for charging your iPhone is the one that everyone will know: just hook your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable. That provides a small amount of power (500mA), so charging takes a while. Of course, the USB connection is also used to sync music, films and apps to your phone.
There are plenty of Lightning cables on the market, but I’m a fan of this extra-long two metre cable from iBoltz. It’s convenient, inexpensive and still rolls up into a nicely portable loop for easy transport. If you’re looking for something different, why not try a coloured Lightning cable or this reinforced version?
The next method that most people will know is to use an AC adapter that plugs into the wall. This gives you faster charging (1.1A, or 1100mA), letting your battery fill up more than twice as fast.
You can get wall chargers in both detachable and one-piece varieties, but I favour the flexibility of the detachable option. This example from Belkin is a good choice, with a sensibly long four foot cable, 2.1A output (for iPads too!) and a simple plug design. Belkin also do a line of coloured versions sans cables, in red, pink, blue and purple.
If you’re on the road, then you’ve got access to another option for charging your iPhone. Using a car charger, you can plug your iPhone into the cigarette lighter / auxiliary power socket, letting you draw power at a rate equal to a wall socket (1.1A).
It’s fairly likely that you’ll have some other people in the car with you, so it can make sense to get a car charger with multiple USB inputs. The Kensington Powerbolt is my go-to option, with a reasonable 3.4A output spread across two USB ports. A cheaper Olixar car charger is also available if you’re on a budget.
Another good specialised charging solution is a dock. These typically serve as a combination of desk stands and chargers, keeping your phone topped up while holding it at a convenient position to watch videos or see notifications. It’s important to note that the dock has to be plugged into a power source, which’ll determine the speed of your charging. Plugging directly into a PC will provide that familiar 500mA, while a wall charger should provide the faster 1.1A speed.
My thinking for desk docks is “the simpler, the better.” That’s why I favour this minimal Lightning charge and sync dock, which provides an upright position for the iPhone 5 with a simple Apple style in black or white. If you want to get fancier, why not go all the way and get a KitSound speaker dock with clock radio?
If you’re away from sockets in buildings or cars, what options do you have for charging your phone? One good option is a portable battery pack, which you charge beforehand to have a large stockpile of energy ready when you need it. These battery packs typically pack at least one full recharge, and some can charge a phone half a dozen times or more.
There are two directions you can go here. One way is to get one extra full charge in the smallest and most convenient form factor possible. The Power Bank Portable Charger is a great example of this, with an integrated Lightning connector and a 2600mAh capacity in a tiny pocketable shell. On the other hand, if you’re going to go big then you may as well do it properly – the Kit: High Power is a 15,000mAh portable battery pack that’s significantly bigger, but will let you charge your iPhone 5 almost ten times, which is frankly insane.
The other option for charging wherever you are is to use a battery case. This is a simple marriage of a battery pack and a protective case, where the battery is constantly providing power to your phone. The bulk of the battery provides additional protection from impacts and scratches, although your phone will get noticeably thicker and heavier.
Once again, there’s a choice to be made here – do you want to go all-out and get a much thicker but longer lasting phone case, or would you prefer a small boost that doesn’t affect the shape of your iPhone 5 too much? The former is exemplified by the Kit Magnetic Battery Case, which adds 2800mAh of charge to your phone in a bulky but easily removable package. On the other hand, the Boostcase adds about half that – just 1500mAh – but comes in a much tidier package. The choice is yours.
That’s all folks! I hope you’ve found this breakdown of iPhone 5 chargers helpful. For more information, please check out the links in the article above or ask us a question in the comments below or on Twitter @mobilefun. Thanks and have a great week!
Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
2014 is the year of the smartwatch. These wearable accessories offer notifications, fitness tracking and even the time, all on your wrist. In this article, we’ll share our recommendations for the five best smartwatches on the market.
5. Sony SmartWatch 2
Sony were one of the first mobile companies to create a smartwatch, letting them hit a second generation before most companies had come out with their first. The SmartWatch 2 is a solid choice, with a transflective display that’s easy to read in sunlight, decent battery life and a reasonable amount of apps. The price is right too, usually coming in a fair bit under £100. Unfortunately for Sony, Google’s new Android Wear OS is gaining speed fast, and the SmartWatch 2 is far less attractive as a development target – meaning we’ll see less apps in the future.
4. Samsung Gear 2
The Samsung Gear 2 is another watch to be released just before Android Wear, so it too will have to fight for developers to create apps for it, despite quite strong sales. The Gear 2 is the ultimate do-everything watch, with tons of functionality you won’t find anywhere else – including a built-in camera and speaker, so you can take phone calls and photos from your wrist. It’s all very futuristic, but poor battery life, medicore interface and relatively high price point make the Gear 2 a poor choice if you’re not interested in its additional functions and/or you don’t have a Samsung phone to use it with.
3. LG G Watch
The LG G Watch is one of two Android Wear smartwatches to be released this month, giving the watch a clean touch and voice interface and a rapidly growing stable of apps. The watch’s square design isn’t ground-breaking, but it does the job, and its 400 mAh battery and Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor provide lasting performance. At £150, the G Watch is decently priced too.
The Pebble is the first popular smartwatch, the result of a record-breaking crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter. Unlike the other watches on this list, the Pebble opts for a Kindle-style e-ink display, allowing it to last much longer – you can get about a week from a Pebble, compared to a day or two from LCD/AMOLED screens. The black-and-white display has a low refresh rate though, limited the kind of apps that can run on it.
In terms of style, the Pebble is a mixed bag. The original, cheaper model is plasticky and hobbyist in looks, although the later Pebble Steel improves on this front considerably. Another plus point is that the Pebble works with iOS and Android equally well, making it one of the few good cross-platform options. The final consideration, apps, goes the Pebble’s favour as well, thanks to a hearty developer community that has been working for a long time now.
1. Samsung Gear Live
The Gear Live is the other Android Wear smartwatch to debut this month. Compared to the G Watch, the Gear Live has a cleaner look with a more form-fitting shape, a neater watch-band and a higher-resolution Super AMOLED display. The G Watch does compare favourably on some points though, as the Gear Live has a 25% smaller battery and fewer watch-faces pre-installed. On balance, the Gear Live is probably the better option of the two, and that’s enough to give it the first place ranking this time around.
While the G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live are two great additions to the smartwatch ecosystem, there’s still much more to come that’ll certainly shake up the rankings. The Moto 360 from Motorola launches this fall and has a beautiful circular dial, and runs the same excellent Android Wear OS as the G Watch and Gear Live. Apple’s rumoured iWatch is another big contender, although we don’t yet know what exactly what it will look like. Knowing Apple though, it could be a blockbuster.
It looks like it’ll be an exciting few months. Stay tuned for the latest smartwatch news right here at Mobile Fun, and be sure to let us know what you thought of the ranking in our comments below! You can also reach us on Twitter @mobilefun.
Monday, July 14th, 2014
British inventions have reached their peak – someone has created a smart kettle. This unique kettle has wireless connectivity and can be controlled with an app on your smartphone or tablet, letting you put the kettle remotely – whether you’ve just woken up, gotten back from work or just fancy a brew. Let’s take a closer look at the iKettle, coming soon to Mobile Fun.
Wireless technology for remote boiling
The iKettle connects to your home’s wireless network, so you can easily control it from anywhere in the house. The app supports multiple users and devices too, so everyone in the family or in the office can request a boil. You can even adjust the iKettle to produce different temperatures – so you can have cooler temperatures for your green tea, higher for black teas and coffees and a full 100 degrees for herbal teas. With that kind of pinpoint accuracy, you’re always assured a proper brew.
The iKettle can also function as your alarm clock in its Wake mode. It will gently awaken you, and then ask if you’d like the kettle popped on. You can nap for a few more minutes, and then you’ll be asked if you’re ready. If you’re not, then the iKettle can keep itself warm for half an hour, so whenever you’re ready to get up you’ll be able to pour yourself a hot drink immediately.
This kettle is smart, but that doesn’t mean it lacks style. The base and kettle are made from stainless steel, with an LED backlit control panel, a soft-touch rubber handle and a easy to clean filtered spout.
The iKettle is coming soon to Mobile Fun. To place your pre-order, please visit the link below. Thanks for checking out the article and have a great week ahead!
iKettle Wi-Fi Kettle for Apple iOS and Android devices
Friday, July 11th, 2014
Case-Mate is most well known for their popular lines of protective phone cases, but that’s hardly the only thing that they’re producing right now. The company has also developed a couple of innovative wearable phone accessories. Today, we’d like to introduce the Case-Mate Page and Case-Mate Pair.
Let’s have a look at the Case-Mate Page first. The Page is a stylish bracelet, made with 14 karat gold and mother of pearl. It’s a glitzy look, and it doesn’t look like a gadget at all. But of course, this is Case-Mate – so underneath the classy outward apearance, you’ll find a very useful function indeed. The Page vibrates subtly, clueing you into notifications on your paired smartphone. These subtle vibrations won’t be noticed by anyone else, so you’re free to ignore them or attend to them without distracting from the conversation at hand.
Despite its inner circuitry, the Page remains quite hardy. It is water-resistant, fits comfortably and lasts for four weeks at a time, thanks to its use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology. If you’re looking for a way to get notifications from your phone but a smartwatch is too far, this is a nice way of getting that essential functionality without sacrificing style or comfort.
Next up is the Case-Mate Pair. Again, to a casual observer the Pair looks like a stylish bracelet – but inside, you’ll find another burst of hidden utility. The Pair conceals a flexible Lightning charging cable, ensuring you’re always able to charge your phone if you need to.
The cable is MiFi certified by Apple as well, a distinction that means full compatibility with the full Apple device ecosystem that uses Lightning connectors. The Pair is ideal for use with the iPhone 5S and other Lightning-enabled Apple devices like the iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPod Touch.
So there we have it – two stylish iPhone accessories from Case-Mate. Let us know what you think of the Pair and the Page in the comments below or on Twitter @mobilefun. Thanks for checking out the article and have a great weekend ahead of you!