Review: DODOcase from Mobile Fun

Friday, May 24th, 2013

A few weeks ago, Mobile Fun suggested that I try a different case for my Nexus 7, and they kindly offered a DODOcase for the review. Mobile Fun stock a whole range of Nexus 7 Cases, so at the higher end of the price range (£24.95), I was interested to see what this case offers.

I’ve been using the case now for a couple of weeks, and do you know what; it’s a very nice case. As with many cases (except, as I understand it, ironically the official Asus cases) all cases have a little magnet in them to allow the Nexus 7 to automatically turn on and off the screen as the case opens and closes, and this is no exception. The case also features an elastic strap to hold the case closed, which seems to work really well. My previous case wrapped around to the back and had a magnetic type clasp, but I’ve not had any issues with this new style.

My previous case also had a tri-fold front panel to give the ability to be folded up iPad-style to allow the device to be stood up (though at a very shallow angle); the DODOcase has a different approach, and one that I have found even better; a little plastic clasp on the elastic strap can be used to make the case stay open, and ensures it is at a good angle. So far, this has never failed to work, and seems a really neat way of allowing the Nexus 7 to stand up.

The Nexus 7 is held in the case with 3 adhesive strips, which although very strong, aren’t so strong the Nexus 7 can’t be removed (equally, the Nexus 7 has never fallen out of my case). It gives a much neater case than others I’ve seen, and still allows access to the 4 Pogo pins on the side, which many cases don’t in reality; I don’t have the official Nexus 7 Dock to be able to confirm whether or not you can use the stand with the case still on, but this issue affects most cases. The hard cover (front and back) is made (according to the information included) using the same techniques that bookbinders use, and the quality shows through.

This is a very functional, yet pretty case. My only concern with the case is that the speaker slot on the rear is facing into the case, but I’ve yet to have any major problems with that.

The case costs £24.95 from Mobile Fun, and they sell it in Black or Purple; in terms of combining aesthetics with protection, I think this case is one of the best value cases out there, but if you are not convinced, it’s still well worth looking at their range of Nexus 7 Cases to find something that does suit.

Disclaimer: Although Mobile Fun provided the case, they had no editorial input into this article.

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Mobile World Congress roundup

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

It’s been a few days since the end of this year’s Mobile Web Congress, where many (but not all) device manufacturers announce their new products for the next few months. Of course, many are well into planning future products, but right now, there’s been a lot of products announced (ie launched, not yet actually available), and I thought I’d summarise the devices that caught my attention the most…

So, in no particular order…

Nokia PureView 808

This device can’t be ignored. Yes, it’s running Symbian (but the newest version of the OS, which makes it much closer to Android), yes, people still feel Symbian is past it’s best, but this device has a major selling feature; that 41MP camera!  One of the best features is to use all those megapixels not to produce a very hi res photo, but to reduce the resolution of the end picture.  This can either be because it’s a low light situation, and having much bigger groups of pixels collecting the light will make for a better picture. The other reason is to allow for a decent quality digital zoom without any interpolation going on. As the successor to the Nokia N8, I believe this phone will sell well. Nokia have indicated that this is not a one-off device, and we will see future devices with equally high megapixel counts. For some, this may be good enough to actually replace a low to mid range camera too…

New Nokia Lumia devices

On top of the Nokia Lumia 800 and the Nokia Lumia 710 launched last year, we now have the Nokia Lumia 900 and the base model, the Nokia Lumia 610. The Lumia 900 was expected (as the US version was already launched), but I suspect this will be popular as it’s the current top of the range model, with a slightly larger screen than the Lumia 800. Personally, I don’t feel WP7 needs such a large screen, and many people will cope much better with the rest of the range. The Lumia 900 should ship around May time.

The Nokia Lumia 610 is the new base model, and will need the slightly updated Tango version of WP7 to operate. With a slightly lower spec than current WP7 models, there may be the odd application which will need some tweaks between now and June to work fine on this device, but it’s going to allow the networks to sell an even cheaper WP7 device (this could be very popular on PAYG). Microsoft and Nokia’s aim is to get WP devices below £100, which I don’t quite think they’ll manage with the Lumia 610, but given in all other respects it’s got the same capabilities as devices like the Lumia 710, it should sell well.

Nokia Application Updates

Nokia Drive will be updated in the next few weeks to v2. This will add speed camera warnings and full offline searching and routing, functions critical to anyone who travels abroad and wants to minimise data roaming bills by turning off data completely. The current version allows you to download maps for multiple regions, but needs an online connection for routing, re-routing and searching. By allowing the data stored within the maps to be used, this nearly brings Nokia Drive inline with the functionality of the Symbian version. What’s missing? Traffic data and automatic re-routing, although I’ve heard this will be coming in v3, but I have no knowledge of a release date for that version.

Nokia Public Transport will also be released. Back at Nokia World last year, I was very impressed by this application (at that time running on Symbian, but as I reported at the time, it would come to WP7), and the new WP7 version does seem to be well thought out. Two minor issues with it; firstly, it’s an online application (which in the future will allow real time data to be included within the information presented), and currently I understand that although it includes Tubes, Busses, DLR and possibly even Trams, for some reason the various London train lines are still not included. Of course, within Central London, this is not a major problem, and the app in fact looks like it could shine in the suburbs when the train lines break, and only non-train options remain available!

Asus Padfone

Finally, a non-Nokia device; the Asus Padfone was first shown off last year, but is now ready for production. It’s an Android phone (ICS, 4.3″ screen) which can be placed inside a screen dock to create a tablet device. By only using one device it means you can have both a phone and a tablet, but only need one mobile phone contract, and you won’t suffer annoying sync issues between the devices (although Android is good at syncing contacts and calendar, most other apps have no sync capabilities). By placing the phone in the 10.1″ screen dock (Station), you’ll benefit from the battery within the dock to recharge and keep the two devices going for much longer than the phone would last on it’s own. There’s also a keyboard dock (very similar to the Asus Transformer tablet keyboard dock) which has another additional battery which will increase battery life even further.  The keyboard dock also adds a memory card slot and a USB port, which really does give the impression (like the Asus Transformer) that it could replace your laptop.

This is due to be made available in April, although prices are not yet available. I suspect the keyboard dock will be an optional accessory, but I suspect (and hope) most networks will offer the phone with the main Station dock as standard.

Overall, this was a good year for MWC, and I think we’re going to see some very nice devices released and available over the next few months. I’m putting together a separate post on the HTC devices that have been released this week.


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Garmin-Asus launching 2nd nuvifone

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Garmin nuvifone M20

On the back of the nuvifone G60 announcement (the linux smartphone, first announced roughly a year ago), Garmin-Asus have announced a 2nd nuvifone, the M20.  Now, this phone is a Windows Mobile 6.1 device, so it looks like it’s come more from the Asus end of this joint venture, but running a version of Garmin’s Mobile XT.  The specs include a 2.8″ touchscreen display, HSDPA up to 7.2Mbps, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, support for real-time traffic and weather (we’re waiting for confirmation whether these will be available in the UK), 4 or 8GB of storage, and Garmin’s Ciao! service, which is their social networking application.

More details and prices will be revealed at a later date, although we may see more detail next week at MWC.


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Garmin and Asus team up for nuvifone

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Garmin Asus nuvifone

Garmin and Asus have announced a strategic alliance, which will design, manufacture and distribute co-branded location-centric mobile phones under the Garmin-Asus nüvifone brand.  They are planning to launch a number of handsets this year and the Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60 (previously Garmin nüvifone) will be the first to be formally launched in two weeks time at MWC (Mobile World Congress), the trade show in Barcelona.

Garmin hope this model will be shipping in the first half of 2009, and have stated it will offer location-based services such as the Garmin navigation software, connected local search and Ciao, “a social networking application that bridges the gap between multiple location based social networks and integrates them seamlessly into one device”, which certainly sounds interesting.


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Orange launch netbook with built in 3G

Monday, November 10th, 2008

We’ve covered the Asus Eee PC range many times before, but above is a variant of the 901 with built in 3G support.  Orange will supply this to you for free in exchange for a £25 per month 24 month contract.  The Eee PC 901 comes with Windows, 16Gb of Flash Memory, with (according to Orange) five hours of battery life, an integrated webcam, and features an 8.9″ compact design, weighing in at just 1.1kg.  It’s available in Black or Pink.

It comes with the “Internet Everywhere” tariff, which includes 3GB of data per month (well done to Orange for not using the “unlimited” word) and 100 texts direct from the laptop.

This should be available from the Orange Shop soon, although it was not yet available at the time of writing.


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Maplin minibook reduced for Christmas…

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Maplin have reduced the price of the Maplin minibook between now and 24th December. Instead of the RRP of £169.99, it’s now just £139.99. Maplin have offered discounts on this small netbook before, but this is the largest discount we’re aware of. Also available from that webpage is a downloadable Wi-Fi patch for the device to deal with wireless connectivity problems. From that webpage there is also a link to CnM Lifestyle, from where you can download system restore tools, a few extra applications and games, and even a driver for the Huawei E220 USB Modem for 3G access.

This may not be as feature rich as the Asus Eee PC units, but price wise it certainly may serve as a device for kids to have internet access.


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Asus announce Skype Videophone

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Here’s an interesting device from Asus.  The Asus AiGuru SV1 is a dedicated videophone for Skype.  It features a 800 x 600 display, built in mic and speaker (although there are sockets for both to plug in your own), and it can connect directly to the network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.  It doesn’t need a PC to be turned on, and even features a limited battery to allow you to move it around.

It should be available in October, although exact UK pricing is not yet available.

In other Skype news, the Unlimited Europe deal has been expanded again, and now additional covers Moscow and St. Petersburg, and still only costs €3.95+VAT per month.  As well as adding these to the Unlimited World deal, it has been expanded even further to also cover Buenos Aires and Córdoba (Argentina) within the €8.95+VAT per month cost.


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Asus to offer Eee users online storage and more

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

As well as offering low price laptops, the Chief Exec of Asustek has stated that Asus intend to provide 20GB of free online storage to all users. They are also hoping to offer free downloads of music, movies and educational or gaming software for a limited time (which maybe around 3 months from purchase).

Picture courtesy of linitx.com.


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Maplin announce their own minibook

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

After the Asus Eee PC, here comes Maplin with their own equivalent.  The Maplin minibook has a quite impressive spec:

  • Small on price and very small on size – ultra compact and just 650g!
  • Ideal for web surfing, email, word processing and spreadsheets
  • A perfect travel or business companion with built in Wi-Fi technology…be truly mobile
  • 7-inch TFT widescreen screen and stylish piano black finish casing
  • Easy to use Linux operating system
  • 3 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Stereo speakers and built-in microphone
  • Touch mouse pad
  • Email and Office (word processor and spreadsheet program)
  • PDF viewer
  • SD / SDHC Card reader
  • 10/100Mbps Ethernet port
  • 2GB SSD (soild state disk) shock proof storage
  • Expand the storage with USB or SD Flash Memory (not external hard drives)
  • Supports up to 4GB SD cards and 4GB USB sticks
  • Multi-theme display (Child or Adult mode)
  • DDR2 128MB memory
  • AC adaptor / charger
  • Complete with Xip office applications
  • 12 month warranty

Even better, it’s on special offer during August at £169.99, and will be £219.99 from 3rd September.


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Asus planning All day batteries for Eee PC

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Asus Eee 900

The latest rumours are that Asus are planning to provide longer lasting batteries for their Eee PC range to allow “All day usage”. Now, “All day” means different things to different people, and we suspect it means some different again to marketing folk, but this bodes well for the Eee range. No word as to whether these will only be available for new devices, or whether they will be available for existing devices.

Of course, if you can’t wait, there are already third party extended batteries available…

Story and picture courtesy of Eeeuser.com.


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