Review – Capdase Karapace Touch Case for Nexus 5

Full disclosure – the review unit was supplied by Mobilezap. You can find this device and others at the Mobilezap category page at:

The good guys over at Mobilezap have provided me with another Nexus 5 case to review here. This one is more your traditional cover in that it simply fits over the back of the phone. It leaves all the Nexus 5 buttons and fitting available for use directly.
This means that in some areas the cover doesn’t completely cover the edges of the phone (like around where the power cable plugs in). This potentially leaves the phone un protected at that point, so if you drop it and it fall at a certain angle your phone may get damaged.
What I like about this cover is that it is really thin and add little bulk to feel of the phone. I also like the material that it is made out of. The feel is much better and ‘gripper’ that other neoprene style covers.

The cover is easy to pop on and off while fitting the phone like a glove. If you want something light, convenient and like a skin on your phone with a great feel then I’d recommend this cover.
Thanks again to Mobilezap for the opportunity to evaluate.

Review – Spigen SGP Neo Hybrid for Google Nexus 5

Full disclosure – the review unit was supplied by Mobilezap. You can find this device and others at the Mobilezap category page at:

This is a pretty handy cover for the Nexus 5 in my books. It basically comes in two pieces as you can see above. This first is the case which the phone fits into snuggly. The second is a band that fit around the border to hold it in place, which is easy to attach. The case even has rails to ensure the band fits correctly and stays in place.

It is hard to even notice the cover when it is place. It adds very little bulk or weight to the phone and protects it very well. All the guide holes align perfectly and the surface makes the phone nice and grippy.
I like simple covers like these because they protect the phone while not making any more cumbersome to use. Certainly would recommend this case to all Nexus 5 users.

Review–Otterbox Defender Series for Lumia 920

Full disclosure – the review unit was supplied by Mobilezap. You can find this device and others at the Mobilezap category page at:

One of the downsides to mobile devices these days is that they are generally pretty fragile. If they get dropped from typically waist height they seem to have an alarming ability to twist in the air and fall on their screens or a corner. In the worst case this results in a unusable device, in other cases a fairly damaged unit.

Now many people need to use their phones in hostile environments where they really need more protection than a standard case or ‘bump’ can provide. This is where the Otterbox comes in.


It is basically an enclosed shell that you insert your phone into and then you encapsulate that in a neoprene like skin. The result is a very protected device.


Initially when I opened the Otterbox I couldn’t work out how to get it open to insert the phone. Turns out that you need to remove the neoprene like skin from the Otterbox and then you can open the case to insert the phone.


It fits snuggly and everything clips together with a resounding ‘click’. Once you place the neoprene-like skin back around the box holding the phone you need to ensure that it mated all the way up to the lip of the box.

With all the done your phone is now pretty much indestructible. You can them clip the phone into the holder which you can attach to your belt. Again, there is a resounding ‘click’ when you mate the Otterbox to the holder. That says ‘it ain’t going nowhere’.

Now there are some minor issues with the unit. Firstly, the hole for the external headphone jack doesn’t line up with the phone jack. You can of course still open the flap and still use any headset but seems strange that it doesn’t line up. The unit does have a number of locations where the elements could gain access to your phone, so don’t go thinking this is a waterproof container.

Here’s a quick video demonstration of the unit I did so you can get a better idea:

Having all this protection does make the phone that much bulkier and you really need two hands to get it on and off the belt holder which may prove a little tricky at times, however as something that will provide almost 100% protection for your Lumina 920 then this is the protective case for you.

In summary, if you really need high end protection for your Lumia 920 so it will survive incidents that would render a other phones inoperative then this is the protective case for you.

Review–Power Jacket for Lumia 920

Full disclosure – the review unit was supplied by Mobilezap. You can find this device and others at the Mobilezap category page at:
When I upgraded to the Nokia Lumia 920 one of the biggest issues I noticed was how quickly the battery drained compared to my previous phone. Admittedly, I have been using it more intensively but it would be hard pressed to get through a full day’s usage from the standard battery.

Now the external battery for the Lumia 920 seems to the job of providing an extended charge for the phone. This is really handy for those who need the extended life and may not always have the ability to recharge throughout the day.
At first I though it was a battery extender but what it really is an external battery, much like those USB charging bricks you carry around.
The unit can be charged stand alone via the same standard micro USB cable you use with the phone.
On the back you’ll find an on/off switch and a number of charging lights letting you know how much charge the external battery has.
The phone slips neatly into the external battery case and has a nice neoprene/non-slip feel to it. It does add some bulk to the phone but that is to be expected given what you are trying to achieve. Even with the external battery connected, I still found the phone fitted snuggly in my hand.
The external battery comes with an arm you can extend so you can prop up the phone on a desk for viewing. I found the arm to lack a ‘grippy’ end. This meant that it tended to slide around a little on a smooth desk when you tried to use the phone. Maybe some form of neoprene tip would prevent that? However, in practice the arm worked well and allowed me to watch a video on the phone with relative ease.
The basic process is that you charge up the external battery and connect it to the phone. When the phone runs low you press the on/off switch on the back of the battery and the battery then charges the phone. You can repeat this process until the external battery is exhausted, then you can use the normal battery in the phone.
I found this process to be pretty straight forward and convenient. I think it is also a much better idea than having to cart around a generic USB charger brick.
If you look at the ‘standard’ type cover I had previously you can see that it has a front lip that comes almost up to the glass on the phone. The extended battery doesn’t have this lip, which means the front face and some of the sides are somewhat exposed. If you therefore accidentally drop the phone with the external battery attached and it hits at just the right angle (which it always does when you drop it right?) you may find your phone subject to more damage that with the standard case.
It should also be noted that the instructions for the external battery say that you shouldn’t drop it, which kind of means that it isn’t really meant for that sort of protection even though that is the most likely thing that is going to happen right?
Another thing I noticed is that the ‘standard’ case has recessed areas for the buttons on the side of the phone as shown above. The extended battery doesn’t cover these buttons but with the unit on the phone these buttons can be a little hard to operate.
The final issue I will note is that with the external battery unit on the phone plugging a headset into the phone can be problematic. A ‘non-standard’ headset (i.e. didn’t come with the phone) doesn’t fit flush onto the phone so it may operate correctly. A jack with a finer plug, like the headset that comes with the phone, would be ok but there probably needs to be a greater recess around the headphone jack at the top of the external battery to allow for this if you, like me, have a ‘non-standard’ set of headphones you like to use.
All in all I think this is great unit for the Nokia Lumina 920. It is a much better bet than a USB charging brick. I like the power button and charging lights on the rear and even though it does make the phone more bulky with it added that is small price to pay for the extended charging range it provides. I think it is most handy in the car when you want to use GPS and the like without having to always have it plugged into the charger. I like the fact that I can throw the external battery into my bag and attach it when I need it to extend my trips between power points. Apart from a few minor ergonomic quibbles I think this external battery is a very handy addition for Lumia 920 owners who are heavy phone users and need more battery life than the standard phone battery provides.

Clever Windows Phone ad

Go the Windows Phone

This is a clever ad for the Nokia Windows Phone. It is an interesting commentary on the current state of affairs around technology these days. I am still of the opinion that a Windows Phone is a better overall device but I fully accept that others can make their own choice based on their own preferences.

Perhaps what it signals most is the fact that mobile technology is moving so fast. People are turning over their devices at least every 2 years. That means that manufacturer’s need to come out with new models incessantly. That is pretty demanding.

It will be interesting to see whether this growth levels off or continues to accelerate. If history is any judge we’ll continue to see rapid growth until we reach a point whether only small incremental changes are made. Most modern devices are probably powerful enough for what people need to do these days. What we really need is more bandwidth to overcome the choke point to cloud services.

So sit back and enjoy the video, I’m sure it won’t be the last in this vain.

Mobile rules

If you have any doubts about how fast things are changing in the technology field I recommend you take a look at a presentation recently given by analyst Mary Meeker. You can find the completed slides at:
For example, here is a slide that is worth considering.

What it basically says is that Windows based machines now represent only 35% of the market, Apple and Android together are now the dominate players. Even worse for Windows is that both iOS and Android continue to grow at accelerating rates.
If you are in the IT market in any way shape or form you need to spend some time and have a look at all the information in the slide deck. I am confident that you’ll walk away having learnt something (good or bad).