Case round-up: Samsung Galaxy S9

In for review for The Phones Show, I couldn't resist reviewing the various case options for the Samsung Galaxy S9, the 2018 'flagship with everything'.

The cases were supplied by Mobile Fun, see here for their full Galaxy S9 case line-up.
Spigen Rugged Armor, £18

I'm starting out with my favourite - the Spigen Rugged Armor (yes, USA spellings) is, hands-down, the best combination of fit, protection and grip, to the extent that, when fitted, you forget that the phone is cased and the Galaxy S9 becomes this rugged, grippy object that's a pleasure to handle.

This all sounds like hyperbole, but I'd challenge you to grab this and not be impressed.

The fit and finish over the phone's buttons, the fit around the ports, the textured panels, everything's top notch, yet you still get access to the S9's curved front screen edges, thanks to the case's sides being 'lower', yet with protective raised portions at top and bottom, to protect against a fac…

Bluetooth keyboard incorrect PIN or password - SOLVED

Just in case this helps anyone else, I had a nightmare today with my Bluetooth keyboard and my Android phone - but I used some common sense and found a geeky solution.

In my case it was a ZTE Axon 7 running Lineage OS and a Microsoft Universal Folding Keyboard (UFK), but I suspect this cure will work for more general issues.

The symptom was that when I tried to connect a previously paired keyboard I first of all got just the raw Bluetooth address shown and not the keyboard name. And then, when I tried connecting, I got an "incorrect PIN or password" error message. No chance to reenter a PIN and no amount of restarting keyboard or phone would fix it.

The cure seemed to be to reset something in the phone's Bluetooth system, but what? The keyboard wasn't showing up as paired, so I couldn't 'forget' it.

I tracked it down in the end.

Settings, Apps, then 'Show system' on the '...' menu.Find and tap on 'Bluetooth extensions'.Tap on 'S…

Huawei Mate 10 Pro: Case round-up

In for review for The Phones Show, I couldn't resist reviewing the various case options for the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, a cutting edge 2018 smartphone that's picking up plaudits across the board.

The cases were supplied by Mobile Fun, see here for their full Mate 10 Pro case line-up.

I should also note that the Mate 10 Pro comes with a simple clear TPU case in the box, so the after-market solutions here are trying to 'best' this free case.

In no particular order:
Huawei Smart View Flip Case, £25 The most expensive option here, this is also the most premium in terms of using the Mate 10 Pro around the office. Adding only a couple of mm to the thickness, this uses 'synthetic leather' and plastic to excellent effect, foregoing the usual flip case 'card slots' in favour of keeping the affair super-slim.

In addition, the back shell portion is thin enough not to impede fingerprint sensor access (a problem below for another case). Really a terrific option if you ne…

Rant: Fault reporting and being 'first'...

This happens about once a quarter, with Virgin Media, my fibre-based ISP. I'll put the conversation down as it normally happens, for entertainment purposes, if nothing else(!):

"Hello, my broadband is down!"

"Sorry about that sir, but we've no reports of issues in your area."

"I appreciate that, but it's only just gone down, I strongly suspect that I'm the first."

"No sir, my system is showing no issues."

"I'm phoning you to REPORT an issue!"

"No problem, sir, I can book you a technician to come out and fix your equipment.... next week."

"But my equipment is fine, this looks like an issue on your network in the surrounding streets. Maybe someone has the cabinet open at the moment?"

"No, sir, there are no faults in your area. I've booked you a technician."

"But you're about to get deluged by all the other people in the area with reports of problems. It's just that I was first…

Apple iPhone X Case Review round-up (part 2)

In part 1 of my iPhone X case round-up, I looked at a trio of Olixar designs - here I present four others, three by different manufacturers. All of them kindly supplied for review by Mobile Fun - here's their full range of iPhone X cases and covers.
Olixar X-Ranger iPhone X Survival Case, £20
Providing a segue from part 1 is the last Olixar design, a really, really tough neoprene design (with faux metal on the back) with a hidden pocket, from which slides - almost magically - a credit-card survival tool!

Die cast in coated steel, the tool contains (nominally, and I quote) "Ruler (metric and imperial), filer, screwdriver, bottle opener, can opener, cable peeler, protractor, phone stand (to be used with a credit card or similar), letter opener, puller, knife blade, side blade, saw blade, keyring hole, butterfly wrench, a hex bolt wrenches in sizes ranging #6, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13 and #15"

Phew! In fact, take some of these with a pinch of salt, in view of what you migh…

Case round-up: Google Pixel 2 XL

Another month, another case round-up, for the new Google Pixel 2 XL, covering a variety of styles, and all supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Pixel 2 XL cases and covers.
Olixar Leather-style Wallet Case, £10
Darn it, this case is so close to being perfect. Admittedly you have to like the all-encompassing 'folio' style (I do, with caveats), but the materials (faux leather and neoprene, but hey, check out the price) are good, smell nice(!) and the Pixel 2 XL is protected from all sides.

In situ, the phone is held VERY snugly and the ports, camera and buttons are all accessible. The fingerprint sensor is recessed quite a way, but still worked in my tests, thankfully.

The magnetic flap is about right too, not too strong, not too weak, and it only gets slightly in the way when you want to flip the stand case open in order to watch some media.

My only concern is that the case is such a tight fit that you're not going to want to take it …