Samsung Ultimate Accessory Pack Review

Samsung Ultimate Accessory Pack Review

Feb 16, 2015

Ah the fun of buying new a smartphone! It’s always great having a brand new device to fiddle with, play games on or just enjoy using, especially if it’s a behemoth like the amazing new Note 4. However, a new phone means having to buy a new raft of accessories. Luckily, our friends at Mobilefun have a useful bundle of vital accessories available to get new owners of Samsung’s phablet up and running.

Billed as the Ultimate Note 4 Accessory Pack, this kit contains everything that a new smartphone owner might need.

First is the ever useful Micro Suction Desk Stand. This is a universal stand that will work with any phone model. It is a small, easily portable stand with a micro suction pad that sticks instantly to any phone. Using it is as simple as pushing the phone firmly onto the pad. Mobilefun have managed to do this in such a way that the sticky pad does not feel sticky at all to the touch and does not leave any nasty sticky residue on your device. The connection between the phone and the stand is very strong too; shaking the stand around will not dislodge the phone and you can rest assured that it will not fall or slide off. The stand even includes a plastic plate that can be stuck to the stand. This allows phones without flat backs, such as those in cases to be used with the stand without having to remove the phone from the case. This is a really nice feature.

Next is the Universal In Car Mount. This is a very important item for most any mobile phone owner. It sticks securely to the dash of your car and allows a clear view of your phone for actions like GPS and voice replies to SMS. The holder’s arms support any phone from the gigantic Note 4 to smaller iPhones. The suction cup uses a unique twist-lock mechanism that causes the device to stick fast to glass. It also includes an adhesive pad that allows it to stick to other surfaces like plastic.

I found this a bit problematic however. I tested this by sticking the phone to my fridge. After about half a minute the phone holder itself came away from the suction part and my phone ended up on the floor. The second item I tried, the suction cup failed and the entire holder ended up on the floor. While a great idea and very simple to use, I would not trust this device with very heavy phones.

Next is the Universal Car Charger. This is a familiar charger than plugs into your cigarette lighter and charges your phone. The device also includes an additional USB port to allow charging of two devices at once. This is very good.

There is also a smaller mini desk stand/desk stylus included. This is small enough to fit in a wallet and is very useful.

Also included is a basic Perspex case. It only covers the back of the phone, but it feels solid and does the job. 5 screen protectors are also included.

All up the Samsung Note 4 Ultimate Accessory Pack is a solid pack of useful items. The stand and the car charger work great and the case and screen protectors are a good starter set, although the car holder is a bit unreliable. For $30.99 its a bargain. Recommended!

Thanks to our friends at Mobilezap for providing the items for this review.

Olixar Light Bulb Speaker Hardware Review

Olixar Light Bulb Speaker Hardware Review

Jan 7, 2015

We get pitched a fair amount of accessories to take a look at, and, frankly, some are very, uh, unique. Not all work, either; some are ambitious, but might have a fatal flaw. Or two. Or seven. In any case, mobile accessories can be interestingly varied.

I’d like to say I am open-minded, and I do feel like a decent assessor of product, but every now and then, I am surprised.

But hold a sec; let’s talk about the Olixar Light Bulb Speaker.

The name says it all: it’s a light bulb that doubles as a bluetooth-enabled speaker. The review package MobileFun sent us highlights the unit; in hand, it is mostly white, with a gold mid-section. It is more streamlined than “regular” bulbs, but also weighs a bit more. It sports LED light too, and emits 3W light (which the distributor says is equivalent to 50W from a standard bulb. It screws into regular receptacles (the package comes with an adapter piece for European light sources) and works the same way. Turn on the switch, and it bathes the room in bright, warm light. It functions well upright and upside down.

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Now, the part that is of special interest is the speaker functionality. The Bulb has a 4.0 bluetooth module, and when it is on, one can pair it to a bluetooth audio source. Anyone who has paired bluetooth devices will do this instinctively: search and tap to pair, and after this, the Light Bulb Speaker streams the audio seamlessly. The audio quality is pretty nice, and it continues working with the constant electric source.

All in all, a surprisingly effective and portable audio solution.

But back to the opening premise. Light Bulb speakers are not an overly unique or new idea. Pricing and efficacy might be the biggest barrier to adoption. That’s where this piece just might be successful, in that it works well, and won’t break the bank (at $32.99 via MobileFun).

And, by and large, it showed one reviewer that the proof is in the pudding.

enCharge Power Jacket Case Hardware Review

enCharge Power Jacket Case Hardware Review

Sep 26, 2014

You’re device battery is probably not bad. Wait… hold the rocks for a hot second.

I understand that y’all smart-device newbies think it’s bad, but trust me: power management has come a long way. There is still so much more that can be done, yes, but if the amount of OEM batteries I have carried over time is an indication of the progress we have made (three down to zero), I think we can gently tap ourselves on the back. It wasn’t too long ago that I foreswore devices with non-user serviceable batteries; my last two devices actually had/have sealed batteries. Go figure… having a device that lasts 24 hours on one charge might not be that futuristic after all.

Still, being prepared is the name of today’s mobile game, and this is why external batteries seem to be the most talked about mobile accessories. Finding device-specific cases that double as external power sources is also an option, and the enCharge Power Jacket Case looks like the tool many a user could get used to… as a semi-permanent tool or ad-hoc solution.

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The review unit that Mobile Fun sent us was the black model (there is also a white version); the unit shows the deliberate crafting to make it fit the M8. The “main” back of the piece is molded in hard plastic, with a micro-USB piece at the bottom off-center, made to fit the corresponding micro-USB piece port on the M8. Beside that there is a cutout for audio cable, and on the back, there are holes for camera and flash. Towards the top, one finds and extensible portion that can be pulled to facilitate quick insertion and removal of the device. On the bottom, front, towards the right, there is an on/switch that toggles juice from the unit when needed; on the back one finds a kickstand.

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I have seen and used several battery cases, but hadn’t seen one with a front cover. I liked that this one did, as it is a nice touch, with cutouts for speaker grills. When the device is in use, the front flap can be folded out of the way.

Insertion was relatively easy; with the way I like to use battery cases (as a temporary solution in a pinch), putting one one and removing can be points of contention. Not for this, as putting it on and taking it off was painless. The unit came with a charge, so I was able to check out the real world usage immediately. Pressing the on button gives an immediate measure of power left via four (4) blue LED lights, and it charges thus.

I like the protection afforded, and the size of the battery (4500 mAh), and adore the fact the device can be charged while in use. On the flip side, it does add some bulk to the device (which is almost an expected hazard), and the flap can be stubborn with regards to completely covering the front.

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At $47.99 (via the Mobile Fun website), it feels like a decent value when protection and utility are considered, and the ease of use is a cherry on top.