However, despite the compatibility and performance issues there are some redeeming features here. The first is that the Redfly is a very usable little device. The keyboard, though a little clacky is just about spacious enough to touch type on with a little care and precision. The whole of this review, in fact, was written on the Redfly in conjunction with my HTC TyTN II smartphone and once I’d got used to it, I found myself able to get up to a reasonable typing speed. The tiny touchpad below the keyboard is very good too – sensitive and accurate, with plasticky yet responsive buttons below it – and the screen is bright and readable too.
More important than all of this, perhaps, is the device’s battery life. Since the Redfly allows your smartphone to shoulder the entire processing burden, there’s very little for the Redfly’s battery to do and as a result it offers quite simply staggering battery life – more than I’ve ever come across in any full-blown laptop, in fact. In a light use test, I managed to extract 11 hours 16 minutes from the Redfly connected via Bluetooth – that’s enough to power the machine on a flight to New York and back without the need for a charge! Even the latest Intel Atom-based mini laptops can’t get close to that sort of longevity, while full-sized laptops with respectable battery life – the Lenovo X300, for instance – tend to cost a heck of a lot more money.
But despite all this, ultimately I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s not really worth paying more than £300 for a machine that’s effectively a luxurious Bluetooth-enabled keyboard, screen and powerpack for your smartphone.
Perhaps if it worked perfectly with all phones and mobile applications, and made a better effort at web browsing, video, and audio, I might have had grudging respect for it, but given its many flaws, I’m afraid it can’t possibly be recommended.
Score in detail