In this review, we will be talking about the best case for your iPhone. We have tried and tested a number of cases by keeping in mind the practicality, protection and the aesthetics of the case. We believe we have just found the best case!

This case comes from a UK based company, Tactus, which specializes in tech accessories like phone and laptop cases. Although the company has a variety of different cases for the iPhone, but the one we have chosen has a nice trick up its sleeve. Behold all the selfie lovers! This case sticks to any glossy surface and gives you the freedom of taking a better selfie with a large group of friends. Furthermore, it can also be used as a hands-free companion to make you extra productive! The name of the case is Smootch, which quite literally sticks with any glossy surface.


Practicality of the Smootch Case for iPhone

  • The case has a minimal foot print, it snugs in the back of the iPhone and there are cut out for all the ports.
  • Available in 4 colors to suit your taste and preferences.
  • The back of the case has a micro-suction dotted design which sticks it to the glossy surface.
  • When using in your hand and purse, it does not gather dust particles like most sticky cases do.
  • The case does not provide any protection for the top and bottom of the iPhone as the cut out extends from one end to the other.
  • The overall sturdiness of the case makes it easier to grip the iPhone.

Verdict on the Smootch Case for iPhone

Considering all the above mentioned points and the user experience of over 1 month, it’s safe to say, that this is by far the best iPhone case that we have tested. However, one area that needs improvement is the protection. Despite being grippy, the case does not provide any protection for the top and lower part of the iPhone, which makes it vulnerable to scratches. Another important thing to mention is the price. It is available for £19 which is quite reasonable considering the functionality of the case. Hence, the Smootch Case for iPhone gets the approval from yourtechdose!


 

Microsoft Modern Keyboard keys layout view
Microsoft Modern Keyboard

Microsoft just announced a new keyboard for Windows 10 devices. The new keyboard has a very minimal foot print, which is complimented by its strong and sturdy aluminum body. The hype of the keyboard is created by its inconspicuous finger print scanner housed in the Windows Key. This makes it extremely convenient for users to log in and use it with other Windows Hello compatible apps.


What we know about the New Microsoft Keyboard

  • It can be used via Bluetooth or a USB connection.
  • According to Microsoft, it is only compatible with Windows 10 devices.
  • It uses a 2.4 GHz Bluetooth signal, which translates into a maximum working distance of 33 feet.
  • Thanks to the Low Energy Bluetooth 4, the battery can last up to 4 months on a single charge.

Our Take on the Modern keyboard

Despite the higher price of $129, the keyboard lacks backlit keys, which might be a deal breaker for users, as other companies like Logitech already offers backlit keyboards that are much cheaper as well. However, none of them has the integrated finger print scanner. Having said that, the new Microsoft’s keyboard is expected to be available soon in stores.


We’ll update our review once the keyboard makes an appearance in the market.


 

Microsoft Modern Keyboard finger print reader

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberry has been the king of the business class of phones for a long time. However, the dynamic nature of the Tech Industry has changed a lot of things in the recent years. Many new companies like Huawei and OnePlus have sprung out and captured a significant market share of the smart phone industry. However, the competitive edge that Blackberry had is still not taken by one specific company yet. Many tech gurus argue that Blackberry died the day it gave up on their Operating Software (OS) aka Blackberry OS. Whereas, others say that moving on to the Android gave a new life to the company.

In this review, we’ll test these theories and see how Blackberry Passport, the last Blackberry before the company ditched its Blackberry OS, performs as the daily runner. To check the detailed specifications of the Blackberry Passport, click on gsmarena.


The Aesthetics Of BB Passport

Setting aside the nitty-gritty specs, let’s just focus on the odd aesthetics of this phone. BB Passport is quite literally the size of a passport. It’s squared design makes it almost impossible to use single handedly. Similarly, the odd screen ratio makes HD media consumption a nightmare. Pretty much all the HD videos have a letter-boxing effect, which means that the top and bottom of the screen is blacked out to show the video in its native, 16:9 aspect ratio.

One of the things that Blackberry did right with this phone is the touch sensitive navigation on the physical keyboard. Basically, the user can just swipe the fingers on the physical keyboard to navigate and scroll through pages. This feature has become quite popular and therefore used in the new Blackberry’s Flagship devices as well.


How about the App Support for the BlackBerry OS?

Well this is another area in which Blackberry fails miserably. Even the essential social media apps are not well optimized specially if you are coming from an Android or iOS device. Many important apps like WhatsApp are withdrawing their support of the Blackberry OS. For instance, as soon as you open the WhatsApp, you are greeted with a message asking you to change your device before 30th-June-2017 or else it won’t work.

blackberry passport WhatsApp support

One of the primary reasons for BlackBerry to adopt Android OS was the level of development and supported apps. They first gave up their exclusivity as soon as they made the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) available to iOS and Android devices and then everything started to fall apart. Hence, when it became apparent that they could not compete with Android, they unfortunately killed the BB OS themselves.


Verdict

By considering all the points above and using the BlackBerry Passport for over a month, I would have to say with a heavy heart, that true BlackBerry is actually dead. Although, the company has tried to rejuvenate the brand by adopting the Android OS, but it has lost its feel and image. We hope that in future, Blackberry can come up with better devices, which are more Blackberry than Google. Till then, it’s really hard to recommend one.


 

 

sony 4k UHD display with playstation
Sony 55″ 4K UHD Display (Wall-Mounted)

4K TVs have been around for a while now and they have always been considered a luxury item for your living space. Many people blamed lack of 4K supported content for the slow adaption rate of these Ultra High Definition (UHD) displays. However, things have changed drastically due to the exponential increase in the 4K supported content. But is it the right time to upgrade?

In this review, we will be providing a detail insight about common questions that influence the buying decision of consumers.


What is 4K and Why is it so hyped up?

4K refers to the resolution of a display, which basically shows the number of pixels packed in it. It is called 4K because it packs 4 times the number of pixels than a 720P (HD) display. We have done the math for you and in short it has a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. These extra pixels result in a much clearer and detailed image. A reason for all the hype is the life-like image quality, which has won hearts of a lot of enthusiasts.


Is there enough 4K content available?

In order to fully utilize the potential of the Ultra HD display, content availability is of great essence. Luckily, the amount of 4K content has been growing at an unprecedented rate. From movies to games, the arsenal of 4K content is rapidly increasing. Just this week, Microsoft launched the new Xbox One X, which is capable of 4K gaming at 60 Frames Per Second (FPS). You can check our first impressions of the new Xbox One X by clicking on the link below

Apart from games, many video service providers like Netflix and YouTube have also started offering 4K content. Thanks to 2017, there is a plethora of video services available that allow you to upgrade to 4K content for an additional fee. Hence, the odds are definitely in the favor of 4K displays.


How Expensive are 4K TVs?

A few years ago, 4K displays were quite expensive, however, thanks to the rapid growth, they are available in all shapes and sizes. You can get yours as per your budget and there are a number of decent options available under $1000. Check out the list of Best 4K TVs, you can get in 2017 (courtesy, TechRadar).


Verdict

 If you are upgrading from a Full HD LCD, then you would most certainly feel a lot more crisp and detailed image quality. However, other factors like screen size, display panel and the OS would make a huge difference as well. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to experience the display for yourself before choosing one. Having said that, it would be pretty hard to be disappointed from an upgrade to a 4K display!


 


Microsoft has just unveiled the latest generation of Xbox, called Xbox One X, this was previously code named as the Project Scorpio. At the E3 conference last night, the tech giants also unveiled over 40 new game titles which will be coming soon to the new console.


Let’s talk about the main features first. It now offers

  • 6-Teraflops of graphical processing power, for reference, the PS4 Pro has 4.2 Teraflops whereas the Class Leading GTX 1080 GPU has a 8.9 Teraflops of graphical power. In terms of performance, it is capable of running 4K games at 60 FPS.
  • An 8-core CPU clocked at 2.3GHZ with a 12GB of GDDR5 RAM, which would definitely make the overall processing much smoother than before.
  • 1 TB of storage comes standard as well. Considering it will be running 4K games, so 1 TB is definitely an improvement over the original Xbox one’s 500 GB HDD
  • Backward compatibility with all the Xbox games is definitely a great feature for all the Xbox enthusiasts.

Some Interesting Facts about Xbox One X

  • In order to keep the temperatures under control, it uses an advanced liquid-cooled vapor-chamber cooling solution. It is a much more sophisticated cooling solution and is used in the high-end GPUs like GTX 1080.
  • Despite being the most powerful Xbox, the new Xbox One X has the smallest foot print than all its predecessors. Definitely, a commendable job done by the Microsoft engineers!
  • It will be the first console capable of processing 4K games at 60 FPS. For folks who haven’t upgraded their displays to 4K yet, they will also experience a clearer and smoother gaming experience due to its superior performance.

Value for Money?

Xbox One X launches on November 7th at a retail price of $499 in the US. This is $100 more than its prime competitor, PS4 Pro, which is also capable of 4K gaming but at 30FPS. Unlike the PS4 Pro, the Xbox One X would have backward compatibility with all the previous titles, however all the titles are also available on Windows PC as well. In a nutshell, if you don’t want to spend on a PC and are a die-hard fan of Xbox exclusive titles, then the new Xbox One X is definitely for you! Otherwise, in terms of specs, right now it is quite hard to justify the $100 premium on the Xbox One X.


 

 


Smart watches have been around for a few years now and with every passing year, new players are entering in to the market. In the tech world, Samsung was one of the earliest entrants in this industry. They had a whole line up of Samsung Gear that was exclusively supported by their flagship devices. As the time went forward, other tech giants like LG, Asus and Apple also jumped in to the market with their own iterations.

Today we have a handful of tech companies who are already working hard to increase their piece of the pie. Apple for instance, was a bit late in making an entrance. However, since the debut of Apple Watch in early 2015, they have worked hard on their WatchOS as well as the hardware. Where most of the watches have a circular face, Apple watch stands out with its rectangular appearance. Despite being late, Apple has managed to take the lead by capturing 55% of the global market share of smart watches. (www.smcp.com).


Is a smart watch ready to replace your conventional watch?

By this time, most of the companies have already launched 3 or 4 generations of their smart watches. It is safe to say that this rapid growth has resulted from an increase in the global demand. Initially, people were hesitant to adapt because they did not want to have another screen on their wrists. But now, developers have learnt different ways of making that screen ever so productive and aesthetically pleasing.

Here are the core reasons why you should replace your conventional watch with a smart one!

  • Enhanced productivity, smart watches work coherently with your phones to provide all the updates in a glance.
  • Active voice command helps you keep your hands off of your phone.
  • Physical fitness is enhanced by a wide array of sensors and monitors.
  • Plenty of customizable watch faces and bands makes it easier to match your outfits.

Well, despite these impressive features, there are still a few factors that keep people from choosing a smart watch. For starters, the dependability on a smart phone is a letdown for many. Especially for those, who do not like to carry their smart phones everywhere. Although, there are a lot of software upgrades coming in, however, no smart watch is fully independent yet.

Secondly, many people have a strong association with a watch. It acts as a status symbol, the craftsmanship that goes into making a classic watch is way beyond than any existing smart watches. Having said that, a lot of Luxurious watch companies are also adding a smart watch to their offering, however, for now there are only just a few of them.

Lastly, there is a need to charge smart watches. Although there are magnetic chargers and docks available to save yourself from plugging in, but the bottom line is that you need to charge them or you’ll be looking at a blank screen instead of time.


Verdict

The future certainly seems to be going towards smart accessories and watches are no exception either. The enhanced level of productivity and a plethora of customizable options makes life much easier. If you are future oriented and wants to keep up with the tech then I would definitely recommend going for a smart watch!


 


When iPhone 7 & 7 Plus were launched last year, a massive hype was created by the dual-lens camera system on the iPhone 7 Plus. Many consumers assumed  that it can be used as an alternative to DSLR cameras. The hype of dual-lens created a tremendous amount of curiosity amongst users, especially photographers. In this review, we will do some camera crunching and see if the assumptions are true.


How does the dual lens camera work?

The dual lens mechanism is capable of utilizing both lenses together as well as independently. These lenses are fixed at two focal lengths, in iPhone 7 Plus case, 28mm and 56mm with an aperture of f1.8 and f2.8 respectively. The lenses work coherently to take a “Portrait Photo” in which the background is digitally blurred. This results in a shallow depth of field, which is ideal for capturing portraits and close-ups.

Apart from working together in Portrait mode, these lenses can also work independently at their respective focal lengths. For instance, in Photo mode, 28mm lens is used unless the user decides to zoom in. At 2x zoom, 56mm lens powers up the image. Hence, one clear advantage of having two lenses is that they can attain an Optical Zoom of 2x instead of Digital Zoom (which just digitally crops the original picture). Hence, it translates in to a much refined and better picture quality when zoomed in.


What about the Video Quality?

With better lens and a mighty A10 Fusion chip inside a sleek form factor, this is the area where iPhone 7 stands out the most. It’s ultrafast and responsive when it comes to capturing videos. It has plethora of video qualities to choose from, maxing out at Ultra HD resolution at 30 frames per second (fps). It is also capable of recording slow-motion videos at up to 240 fps. The new iPhone also comes standard with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which in theory should reduce the jerkiness while recording handheld videos. However, this is one area that needs a lot of refinement, as the OIS didn’t work as expected.


Is it good enough to replace a professional camera?

Let’s find out.

Starting with some numbers. A new iPhone 7 Plus starts from around $850 and goes up to over $1000 for its 256GB version. So for the sake of this comparison, we’ll be using a combination of a Digital SLR camera and an upgraded Lens, which collectively costs around $950. The lens paired with the Nikon D5200 DSLR is from the popular Sigma Art series, which has a Focal range of 18-35mm at f1.8.

Camera Comparison of iPhone7 Plus and Dslr
Camera Comparison of iPhone7 Plus and Nikon D5200

From the comparison, it can be deduced the pictures taken from the DSLR are much more crisp and well lit. Another important thing to note is that the iPhone struggled a lot while focusing on the subject and it required a lot of effort to engage the “Depth Effect” or blurred background in simple words.


Verdict

iPhone’s camera has definitely improved a lot and it boasts class leading technology. However, replacing a professional camera with an iPhone 7 Plus would be a stretch. Serious photographers know the worth of wide optical lenses and the iPhone definitely isn’t capable enough to replace them as yet.

However, having such an advanced camera system in such a sleek form factor is definitely commendable. Apple has done an outstanding job in blurring the lines between portability and professional quality. Hence, it is definitely a step in the right direction!


 

 


The idea of smart home has been around for quite a few years now, however, still majority of households and commercial users rely on the conventional lighting setups. The slow rate of adoption is primarily due to the high initial cost associated with the smart accessories, especially the Philips Hue lineup. About a month ago, I decided to give it a try, hence, this review will talk about various aspects of owning Philips Hue.

Starting with some numbers, this review is based on the 3rd generation of Philips Hue’s starter bundle. It consists of three 800 Lumens, 10W multi-colour bulbs with standard A19 fittings. Apart from the 3 bulbs, the bundle includes a Philips Bridge (Hub), which is connected to the WiFi router with an ethernet cable for a stable connection. This bridge acts as the brain of the Hue network, as all the user inputs are communicated through it. The bridge is also capable of connecting and controlling up to 50 Philips Hue devices simultaneously.

This starter bundle will set you back around $200, which is definitely not cheap for 3 LED bulbs.


User experience

It takes about 10 minutes to get everything up and running. Once everything is set up, the first thing you need is your smart phone. There is a dedicated app for Philips Hue in the Appstore that can be used to interact and try different colour combinations. There are even some presets in the app that can quickly change the lighting of an entire lounge. However, the app sometimes does not communicate properly with the bridge and there is a significant lag in changing the light settings. Apart from that, it works as expected. Now, let’s talk about a few nice highlights about Philips Hue.

  • It allows to personalize an entire room by providing numerous colours to choose from.
  • Users can download Hue compatible third-party applications and enhance the usability of their smart lights.
  • The compatibility with Apple HomeKit makes it extremely easy to communicate via Apple’s eco-system.
  • The Philips Hue family is continuously expanding to enhance the user experience.
  • The brightness and colour accuracy is definitely top-notch.

Moving on towards the cons of Philips Hue.

  • The official app needs to be updated to enhance the usability, the remote on-off feature is glitchy and should be fixed.
  • If there is a power outage, the entire system resets and when power’s restored, the bulbs light up in a default warm-white colour.
  • The cost is certainly quite high as compared with a normal LED bulb of the same capacity.

Verdict

Philips Hue is definitely a step in the right direction. However, it comes at a steep price and some flaws in the usability which makes it a hard sell, especially for the masses. Having said that, it’s certainly a stepping stone towards smart homes and a user focused equipment. However, Philips need to work on making it cheaper so everyone can familiarize themselves with the future.



The market for action cams has evolved a lot over time. With more players coming in the industry, it has become rather difficult to choose the right one. However, the pioneers of the actioncam industry, GoPro, has introduced their latest iteration of the ultimate camera, The Hero5 Black. I bought this camera in January and I have been using it along with the Hero 4 Silver. Hence, This review will briefly touch upon the comparison between the two generations of GoPro as well.


Unboxing Experience

The unboxing experience was quite similar to the previous generation of GoPro. It comes in a nice vertical box with the Hero 5 secured on the top with one of its mounts. Underneath the new matte textured Hero5 are a number of booklets which include instruction manuals, warranty information and GoPro stickers. There is also one removable battery included which has been redesigned with new charging pins and has a slightly higher capacity (1220 mAh/3.85V) than its predecessor (1160mAh/3.80V). Also included is the charging cable which has been upgraded to USB Type-C (step in the right direction).


First Impressions & User Interface

After putting everything aside and looking at the camera, the first prominent thing to notice is the newly developed 2″ capacitive touch screen. It is definitely more responsive, brighter and bigger than the Hero 4 Silver’s screen. Some new features that really makes the new Hero 5 standout include:

  • Voice Commands for easy control and more flexibility.
  • Completely waterproof body which allows the user to interact with the touch screen whilst inside its shell.
  • Although the resolution is still limited to 4K at 30fps, but it is also capable of recording 720P at 240 fps and 1080P at 120fps, which is great for slowmotion video recording.
  • The software is much more User friendly, probably due to more screen space.
  • The new USB type-C is definitely a welcoming change, as it makes it easier to use one cable for multiple devices.
  • Integration with Apple Watch makes it much easier to record and take pictures.

Room for Improvement

Although it is a significant improvement from the Hero 4 Silver, however there are still some flaws in the device

  • The Battery life has reduced marginally (about 10-15%), and the new battery terminal means that the Hero4 users won’t be able to use their charging accessories/batteries with the Hero5.
  • There are still a few glitches in the software specially regarding the Voice Command and touch screen interface.
  • The cost of waterproofing the body has translated into a bulkier Hero5 when placed next to its predecessor.

Verdict

After using the new GoPro for over 5 months, I can safely say that it is a worthy upgrade. However, there are a few bugs that limits the functionality of voice commands as at times it just simply ignores them. However, I am quite sure that the new software would easily solve this glitch. Furthermore, I would also much appreciate if the colors could be a bit more accurate. Nonetheless, it is definitely a significant improvement over its predecessor.