Stilo Stylus Hardware Review

Stilo Stylus Hardware Review

Dec 24, 2016

It’s true, we live in a touch-happy world. I do know this one bloke who believed that fingers would never supplant the glorious innovation known as a stylus. I…I mean… “he” was wrong, but, hey, I wouldn’t call it a comeback, because styli never really left.

Here’s to you, Note series and iPad Pro. Well done. Very well done.

There are some occasions when a stylus can be an elegant, effective means of smartdevice navigation and/or usage, and Stilo 2A looks to be a contender in that space.

As epitomized by the review piece we received, it’s a sleek item, with an even heft and a black finish. At the “writing” end, there is a cover, and popping this off reveals the fine 1.99 mm nib. At the other end is a ridge for the cap to be stored while the pen is in use (kind of like how markers use), and there is a very subdued “on” button on the body. Stats-wise, it is 6.7 x 1.9 x 0.6 inches, and one can also get it in white, rose and gold.

The review package also includes a battery; this is installed through the back, which has a screw-on cover.


When the battery is installed, it can be turned on by pressing the aforementioned button (this opens up the electrical signal to the tip); with cap off, we’re ready to go. In our testing, it worked very much like a pen, though it is a tad wider along the barrel than most ballpoints. It is still easy to hold, and feels good in hand; the unit works well to replicate taps and even gestures, and worked with every Android device we tested it on. The precision can be adjusted via the tip, and the battery didn’t conk out in the fortnight we tested it (we didn’t find a way to have a reading on battery). When not in use, the unit turns itself off.

Now, the interesting usage came when we used it with a recommended app that we tried before: MyScript. This is a replacement keyboard that we looked at a while back, and have used with other styli. As a handwriting utility, it is the perfect test bed for a precision stylus such as this. The Stilo 2A acquitted itself reasonably with it.


We had to try drawing as well.

Once one gets used to the bore, handling the unit becomes easier. There was a teeny bit of lag with the drawing app we used, but not nearly so much as do make it uncomfortable to use. It truly feels like writing on a touchscreen. With regards to taping and dragging, it is very effective.

It’s probably different from the standard stylus most folks are use to, but its overall functionality helps it to possibly supplant options with thicker tips. It can be used as well as one’s finger, and probably better in some use cases.

Won’t call it a comeback… moreso a valid reminder of what can be better.

Can be.

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.

GoSmart Stylus Hardware Review

GoSmart Stylus Hardware Review

Nov 17, 2014

It’s cool to rock styli again.

But beyond cool, can it be useful? Accurate? How about affordable?

Could the GoSmart 200 Stylus bring all these traits to the table?

The review unit GoSmart sent us looked nice in the silver finish; it also sport a black cover, such that it looks like a dual-colored pen. The finish on the silver has just a hint of polish, but not too much, lest one mistake it for tween writing instrument. It feels quite comfortable in hand, and altogether, it looks and feels professional, at home on the lapel of a doctor or in the jeans of a brash venture capitalist. For kicks, it is possible to get this unit with red, white or blue covers.

If one does mistake this for an executive pen, he or she might be excused if the top is on. Removing said top reveals the intricate nib, a metallic, coiled affair that opens into a round end piece that makes the actual contact with the screen. The coil allows for an allowance of give, and angles the flat circle for a “natural” motion on the screen. It’s a bit atypical when looked at the first time, but I’d be lying if I did not find it at least a little cute and intriguing.


But in this game, looks aren’t everything, and we were quite eager to try out on a host of touchscreen devices. It lived up to its promise when we put it through the paces as the main means of input. On our Samsung Note 4, the GoSmart Stylus proved to be a surprisingly worthy alternative to the stock unit. When oriented correctly, it mimicked a finger quite capably. It works on gesture keyboards, and even did okay as a handwriting tool.

I have to admit the unique nib gives me pause, especially with regards to long-term durability. Also, before use, I found it prudent to ensure the end was angled right, as the input is off when the end isn’t flat on the screen. To be fair, there are replacement pieces for the former concern, and with regards to the second, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the unit.

I haven’t yet made the permanent shift to styli as my primary mode of smartdevice interaction, but tools like the GoSmart Stylus make it easy to incorporate it into my workflow. At $19.99, it’s easy to give it a shot.

TruGlide Pro Universal Stylus Hardware Review

TruGlide Pro Universal Stylus Hardware Review

Sep 26, 2014

Walk with me…

There was a time the stylus was a sign of having arrived. Why? This was before smartphones, when Palm and WinMo battled to win the PDA market. True capacitive touchscreens as we know them were not on the scene yet, and a good stylus was more important than having fingers.

Then, in 2007, a lot of that changed.

As screens get bigger, brighter and more responsive, styli have made a comeback. As tablets and smartphone (and everything in between) become more comprehensive means of data entry, and creatives use digital tools to output thought, having tools that mimic traditional modes of data entry is especially invaluable. This is where tools like the TruGlide Pro Stylus are potentially worth their weight in gold.

The review unit Lynktec sent us highlights the units design; once removed from the packaging, it was surprising how elegant it feels, more akin to a high end pen than a prototypical stylus. The body is mostly grey, with a black screw-in front and a black clip. The tip is made out of a microfiber (5 mm conductive), with the stylus main body having an aluminum finish. Dimensions-wise, it comes in at 6 ounces and 4.7″ in length. It looks good and feels natural in hand.


The stylus comes ready to use; first, I tried it out as a navigation tool in lieu of my finger. In my experience, it works exceptionally well, and each screen I used it on recognized it with ease. When I used it to for notes, it took some getting used to to write, but I was able to glide in reasonable cursive very quickly. Drawing works too, but I did feel like I’d be better off with the optional digital paintbrush, which can be screwed on.

I did like the fact that the microfiber tips can be replaced and/or swapped out with other ends. I think i would have preferred a more tapered tip, but the stock one is far from shabby.

The extensibility trumps most drawbacks, and the minimalist design works to underscore its effectiveness. It’s an enjoyable extension, and one that practically begs to be utilized.

The TruGlide Pro Stylus can be purchased for $24.99 via the Lynktec website.

Presenting TouchPico, a Touchscreen Projector

Presenting TouchPico, a Touchscreen Projector

Mar 14, 2014


Now here’s an idea that looks like it should’ve been created long ago. TouchPico is a simple, tiny projector that can project any phone’s touchscreen onto any solid surface. User has a special stylus to interact with the projected screen, spawning a mouse cursor on it. If you’re curious, you can get additional info here: Developer’s Website.