Category Archives: iPhone Accessory Reviews

Review: Ztylus Revolver M6 Series Lens Kit for iPhone X

I’m always intrigued when a company takes a successful existing design and sets it aside in favor of something that they believe is better, rather than continuing to iterate on what they already have. It is often a brave decision that leaves the safety net behind and shows a company’s conviction in their ideas and designs. A notable example of this from the tech world would be Apple and Steve Jobs’ decision to kill off the wildly successful iPod Mini in favor of the new iPod Nano in 2005.

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Review: Vaja Agenda MG Leather Case for iPhone X

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I am a huge fan of both quality leather cases in general, and Vaja’s leather cases specifically. I’ve had the opportunity to review a few of their products over the years, including their Niko Wallet-Leather Case and Leather Back for the iPhone 7 Plus earlier this year. I have always come away impressed, and I’ll save you the suspense- this time out is no exception. Their Agenda MG for the iPhone X just adds a couple of new wrinkles to Vaja’s formula of consistent quality and attention to detail.

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Review: ElevationLab’s BatteryPro

A few weeks ago, I took a look at a couple of battery packs from Griffin and Belkin for the Apple Watch. My interest in Belkin’s Valet Charger and Griffin’s Travel Power Bank was related to the increased battery demands that LTE and Apple Music streaming can place on the Watch’s battery life. Using these new features extensively will require topping off the battery during the day at times, and what better way than with compatible portable battery pack. With watchOS 4.2 now released, everyone with an LTE-enabled Watch can use Apple Music streaming and it wouldn’t surprise me if these battery packs suddenly become a lot more popular because of it.

Another Watch-compatible battery pack caught my eye when I was researching for the original review, and I was fortunate that the manufacturer was kind enough to send me one to take a look at this week. This is the BatteryPro from ElevationLab, which is also has an MFi-certified magnetic Watch charging pad built-in. This manufacturer is well-known for their high quality accessories, most notably the DraftTable for the iPad Pro (which I will also be testing over the next week for a coming review). After spending a few days using the BatteryPro, I can assure you that it is no exception, but another high-quality and very useful accessory in the ElevationLab lineup.

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Review- Apple Leather Folio for the iPhone X

I’ll be completely honest in saying that I’ve never been a big fan of Apple’s case solutions, in general. I loved the original iPad Smart Covers for the iPads 2 through 4, but that’s about it. They changed that design to a setup that I don’t prefer, and I haven’t bought another one, or any other Apple cases or covers since. Despite my skepticism of past products, however, I have been eyeing some of their Leather iPhone case colors for a bit and thinking of picking one up. When I saw that the new Apple Leather Folio for the iPhone X had wallet-like storage pockets and was also the first case ever to bring sleep/wake functionality to the iPhone, it nudged me over the edge.

As is the case with many Apple products, the deciding factor comes down to whether it is worth the typically higher Apple price to you. This has been a barrier for me, since most of their previous cases were more about looks than compelling functionality, with the Smart Cover being a notable exception. However, the Leather Folio adds a bit more in the functionality column, so it was well worth taking a look at in my book.

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SaharaCase Protective Kit Makes a Solid Starter Case for the iPhone X

Have you ever found yourself spending money on a case that you absolutely knew you wouldn’t keep using right when you get a new iPhone? I know I have. In my years as an iPhone user, I have found that there are case people and “naked” people when it comes to smartphone users. Most are one or the other, and from what I know, this usually doesn’t change. You are what you are, I guess. I fall somewhere on the case side, myself.

Some people don’t care what their phones look like or if the screen collects a crack here and there, and others will attempt to encase their phone in carbonite to prevent anything from ever coming into direct contact with the device, including their own fingers. If you fall on the case person side, then you are probably working on getting one for your iPhone X as I type this. I’m with you, as I ordered mine yesterday.

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Review: The Power Packer

A few months ago, I wrote a Cool Things article about a Kickstarter product from Side by Side called the Power Packer. It is a compact zippered carrier designed to hold all of a user’s most important mobile accessories in such a way that they are kept safe and secure, and also remain easy to access. Considering that I carry a ton of gear around with me every day, I knew this was a perfect accessory for me.

I backed this product soon after writing the article, and I finally received it a couple of weeks ago. After finally taking some time out of my recently very busy schedule to load it up with a backup battery, charging bricks, charge cables, watch bands and other odds and ends, I’ve been carrying it with me every day since then to give it a shot. Let’s take a closer look.

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Review: Ztylus Switch 6 Camera Lens Case for iPhone 7 Plus

A few weeks ago, I reviewed the Ztylus Revolver RV-3 Camera Lens Case for the iPhone 7 Plus. I have had that case since the Spring, but got my best look at it during a recent vacation in New Orleans with my wife. I also had the Ztylus Switch 6 with me on that same New Orleans trip and posted a collection of photos with it, along with the Revolver while I was there. I ran into a bit of trouble with my first set of lenses for the Switch 7, so I waited until I got my warranty replacement set to write this final review.

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Review: Ztylus Revolver RV-3 Lens Case for iPhone 7 Plus


Ztylus has stepped forward as an interesting competitor to olloclip in the market for higher-end enhancement lenses for iPhone cameras. There are plenty of knockoffs and cheap alternatives available from Amazon, eBay, and other online outlets, but Ztylus’ products show a level of creativity and polish in their designs that the lesser products don’t. However, good design alone does not a good picture take. Does the picture quality from Ztylus’ lenses match up to their case and lens design? Read on to find out.

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Pictures from New Orleans- The Ztylus Switch 6 for iPhone 7 Plus

I’ll get into the details more in the head-to-head review, but unfortunately, the Ztylus Switch 6 camera lens case is a more flawed product than the Revolver case I shot with yesterday. It has more potential, as a couple of the lenses are REALLY useful. However, the Wide Angle lens, which is the one I use the most, had a lot of issues with focus, which was very disappointing.

Our time in the Big Easy is drawing to a close, as my wife and I have to head back home this afternoon. So, I’ll get straight to the pictures, and save the rest for the review in a few days.

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Pictures from New Orleans- Ztylus Revolver for the iPhone 7 Plus


The stock camera on the iPhone since the iPhone 4 has been one of the best, if not the best that you can get on a mobile phone. However, what we have today with the dual cameras and Portrait Mode of the iPhone 7 Plus makes even those really good to great cameras of the past pale in comparison.

As we have progressed to this point where the smartphone that we carry in our pockets every day can make a solid point and shoot camera seem unnecessary and irrelevant, many companies have tried to bolster and augment the iPhone’s camera to make it even more competitive with cameras that have optical zooms and wide angle lenses.

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My AirPod Adventures Continue- An Apple Store Replacement and iOS 11 Upgrades

I’ve been covering my experience with Apple’s AirPods in a series of articles since I got them a little over a month ago. Over the first two installments (here and here), all was well and Apple’s popular new wearable really grew on me more than I expected. Unfortunately, I ran into a few problems that I covered in my third installment.

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