Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Mailerlite website builder

Mailerlite can help you build your own website and send out mass emails without you having to take the time to draft each one. Now you can write personalised emails and help your business keep track of customers without meticulously creating your own lists by hand. 

You won’t accidentally send out boring emails with walls of text - Mailerlite provides the tools you need to add automation, images, create a newsletter, and more. Everything works through a drag-and-drop editor, so you can personalise your emails entirely, or choose from hundreds of templates. Mailerlite makes it easier to reach a larger audience in just a fraction of the time.

The pricing of Mailerlite's premium plan depends on how large your list of contacts is

The pricing of Mailerlite's premium plan depends on how large your list of contacts is (Image credit: Mailerlite)

Plans and pricing

Mailerlite offers two main services in both its paid and free plans. First, there’s the website builder portion, and second, there’s the email marketing side. When you sign up for free, you gain access to all the main features Mailerlite provides, including automation, landing pages, up to 1,000 subscribers, and the ability to send up to 12,000 emails per month. You have the option of upgrading to the premium plan at any time.

The premium plan’s prices solely depend on how big your list of contacts is. If you have up to 1,000 subscribers but want to send more than 12,000 emails per month, you can upgrade to an unlimited number of emails for $10 a month. Have more subscribers? Up to 2,500 will cost you $15 per month. Up to 5,000, it’s $30. This rising scale continues up to 600,000 subscribers ($1,915 per month). Beyond that, Mailerlite asks you to contact them directly for a bespoke quote.

The free plan includes a file manager, which will help you create multiple email campaigns while keeping everything organised for you.

Get Approved

You can’t just start using Mailerlite - you have to be approved first (Image credit: Mailerlite)

Business check

Before you can start using Mailerlite, the service has to check out your registration and approve your business - this is likely to curtail any spam artist trying to use their service for nefarious purposes. This means you can’t immediately send campaigns out, but it is possible to try out the various features and start building webpage, while you wait to get approved.


Choose from hundreds of templates to start building your landing page (Image credit: Mailerlite)

Website building

The website building side of the service offers you hundreds of templates to choose from, subdivided by category to make it easier to find the one that appeals the most to you (there is no search field however).

Website Builder

Customise the template to make it suit your exact needs (Image credit: Mailerlite)

Customising each section is relatively straightforward. You can find the usual contextual editing tools at your fingertips, depending on which element you are altering.


The undo menu is an interesting approach (Image credit: Mailerlite)

We really liked the undo feature which presents you with a list of changes you made over time, making it easy to choose how far back you want to go.

Add a Section

Choose a new section from a drop down list (Image credit: Mailerlite)

Adding a new section is as simple as clicking on the ‘+’ button that appears in various areas as you mouse over the page, and select a new element from a pop-up menu.

Don’t expect to be able to do too much, though. This service is there to help push your marketing campaigns and essentially lets you create landing pages, not complex, multi-layered websites. Still it does offer a vast array of comprehensive tools for you to achieve that goal. Sections just as contact forms, survey, quizzes, and countdowns, for instance, along with more traditional elements such as image galleries, testimonials, and social sharing icons.


Your media is automatically stored into folders, and Mailerlite not only lets you upload photos from your computer, but also from Google Drive, Giphy and Unsplash, giving you access to a vast array of stock images.

Image Editing

You are offered extensive tools to customise your images (Image credit: Mailerlite)

We were also quite impressed with the service’s image editing capabilities. Not only can you perform colour corrections, but you can apply filters, add text boxes, have access to brush tools, add frames or overlays, the list is impressive, especially when you consider so many other website builder services don’t even offer basic adjustment or even cropping tools.

Email Campaigns

Build impressive looking email campaigns (Image credit: Mailerlite)

Email campaigns

The interface feels different than when building your landing page. For instance you can’t edit text straight on the page, but need to select it there, and alter it in the sidebar on the right. But these changes aren’t jarring enough to frustrate you.

You build your campaign in sections. First you give Mailerlite your email’s subject and details of the sender, next, you add content, followed by choosing which subscribers you’d like to send your campaign to (you can select all your subscribers, or subdivide them into groups to narrow down your target audience - useful if you offer multiple services you know won’t be of interest to all of your followers).

Your options are quite extensive. You can personalise your emails so they connect more with your readers. For example, instead of emails coming from a generic address, you’ll be able to personalise the “sender” address so that it looks like the emails are coming directly from you. There’s even a setting for time-zones so you can easily schedule emails to be sent at a specific time no matter where your recipients are located. Another great feature is content blocks. You can make certain portions of your emails so that only certain groups will see it. This can help you speak directly to certain audiences without creating dozens of emails.  

The competition 

GetResponse, Mailchimp, and Sparkpost are just a few of the other email marketing software solutions available. However, not all email marketing platforms are directed towards small businesses. Mailerlite comes with a variety of plugins, making it easy to connect your email account with the other services you use for your business. Mailerlite comes with built-in Shopify, WordPress, MailerCheck, Zapier, and WooCommerce integrations. This makes it easier to keep track of customers who are already visiting your website and may be interested in your product or service.  

Final verdict

Overall, Mailerlite is a great email software that can help your small business grow. With Mailerlite, you can start taking advantage of email marketing and upgrade the way you reach your customers. Many people still use email, and now you can reach out to hundreds, create personalised emails, and do so quickly. The personalisation features that come with Mailerlite really make it stand out from other email marking tools available. You can easily reach people all over the world and still personalise your message. If you’re trying to find a better way to manage email and own your own business, then mailerlite might just be the tool you need.  

You might also want to check out our other web hosting buying guides:

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G review

Two-minute review

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G is a quality smartphone that goes for top specs rather than novel features. While its cameras are a top feature, its software is a bit unrefined, leading the phone to feel less polished than the best phones on the market.

The Axon 30 Ultra 5G follows the ZTE Axon 20 5G, which was the first phone to pack an under-display front-facing camera. It was a large smartphone with its 6.92-inch display. 

The ZTE Axon 30 5G Ultra went back to a simple punch-hole for its selfie camera as well as a more modest (but still large) 6.67-inch screen; two choices that push the design closer to that of mainstream phones. Still, its display’s 144Hz refresh rate is the best on the market.

The ZTE Axon 30 5G Ultra may not have the novel features introduced by its predecessor, but it packs top specs and cameras that rival the best Android phones on the market. Chief of these is the leading Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset paired with 8GB, 12GB or 16GB of RAM, and 128GB to 1TB of storage – specs matching those in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. 

The ZTE Axon 30 5G’s cameras are also top-notch, with a quad rear camera featuring a 64MP main shooter and 8MP periscope telephoto lens capable of 5x optical zoom and impressive 60x digital. While that maximum zoom doesn’t produce as refined photos as the 50x digital ‘Space Zoom’ in the S21 Ultra, it’s still a far superior telephoto experience than most phones have.

That makes it more disappointing that the software isn’t quite comparable to the polish of that on other Android phones. The camera app was finicky, occasionally opening to a fully black screen, while other apps occasionally crashed. Otherwise, the MyOS overlay had some appealing tweaks to Android that made controls larger and more accessible, which we preferred.

And while its design – the back and front glass both curve into a narrow metal side – looks a lot better than it feels to hold, the phone is undeniably pretty and more stylistic than its ‘black rectangle’ contemporaries. The camera block is undeniably huge, and is so noticeably thick that the phone wobbles when placed on a flat surface, but its aesthetic flourishes make it far from an eyesore.

That physical aesthetic contrasts wildly with the MyOS UI overlay, which has boxier icons and older aesthetics than Android skins on other phones, let alone stock Android 11. But it does have all the modern bells and whistles that come with the latest version of Android.

All in all, the ZTE Axon 30 5G looks and operates like a flagship, albeit one with some shortcomings in its interface. At its price point, though, it’s a solid Android phone with a lot to offer.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G price and release date

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G went on sale on June 4, 2021, in the US, with a later release planned for Canada, Europe, Japan, and other countries, though ZTE wasn’t clear when it would be available in these other regions. We don’t yet know if the phone will be available in the UK or Australia.

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G retails for $749 / £649 (around AU$965) for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration, and up to $849 USD, £739 GBP (around AU$1,095) for the 12GB RAM and 256GB configuration. That’s more than the ZTE Axon 30 Pro 5G, which reportedly retailed for €400 (around $485 / £345 / AU$630).

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G comes in traditional black and white hues, as well as a light blue and light brown.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)


The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G looks plenty sleek, despite its massive camera block. That’s its most defining feature, but the handset has more refined touches that make it look even more premium than other flagship phones. 

For instance, the Axon 30 Ultra’s front glass has waterfall curves, which isn’t too uncommon in high-end phones – but much rarer, the Axon 30 Ultra’s rear glass is curved too. 

Curved glass on front and back means the chromed metal sides between them are very thin. It looks premium but is too minimal to get a good grip on. Thus it’s awkward, and even a bit unpleasant, to hold one-handed. The buttons – a textured lock button and a volume button rocker – are necessarily thin to fit in these sides. 

Those thin sides curve seamlessly into the top and bottom, which are attractively chromed. The top has a single microphone, while the bottom has a central USB-C port, speaker on the right, and SIM slot on the left. There’s another speaker near the earpiece on the top of the display, and both combined produce a very even (and evenly-distributed) sound, which is great for watching media on the go.

The glass back of the phone has a frosted finish, but it’s the camera block that will draw eyes – a massive rectangle on the top left corner. There’s three standard circular lenses, a flash and a LiDar sensor, plus a squared periscope lens on the bottom. This gives the camera block a bit of a hodgepodge look, but the chromatic finish on the surface between the lenses contrasts nicely with the non-reflective frosted glass of the phone’s back cover.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)


The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G has a 6.67-inch AMOLED display, which is large already, but looks even bigger with the waterfall curved sides. The screen’s 20:9 ratio makes the phone feel a bit wider than other flagship phones.

The display’s picture is bright and crisp, capable of showing an alleged 1 billion colors and rendering HDR10+ content. Its Full HD Plus (2400 x 1080) resolution is pretty standard among phones, so it’s not the sharpest screen out there – the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s Quad HD (3200 x 1440) resolution display has it beat in terms of sheer pixel density. 

What the Axon 30 Ultra 5G does have over its contemporaries is a 144Hz refresh rate screen, which makes everything from web browsing to gaming buttery smooth.

In tests playing 4K video, the Axon 30 Ultra 5G’s display produced a picture with stunning clarity, a true testament to its screen’s rich color palette despite the Full HD resolution maximum. In side by side tests with other phones playing the same video, the Axon 30 Ultra 5G’s display tended toward a higher-saturated picture, with colors that were noticeably brighter and richer than other phones, though not too much as to feel unrealistic.

As mentioned above, the display’s waterfall sides look classy, though there are no controls or functionality using the screen’s edges – it’s just for looks. The front-facing camera is located in a punch-hole at the center of the top of the screen, unlike the under-display camera of the Axon 30 Ultra 5G’s predecessor. Curiously, the phone’s more affordable sibling, the Axon 30 Pro, retains this feature.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)


The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G is a step backward in terms of its front-facing camera, which is in a punch-hole instead of its predecessor’s under-screen selfie camera – not in terms of capability, but just as a display progression. However, its main suite of cameras is impressive – main, ultra wide, telephoto, and even an intermediate ‘wide’ camera with laser autofocus. As a whole, the system is pretty handy to shoot at various distances, with its 5x optical periscope lens maxing out at an impressive 60x digital zoom. 

Practically, that means I could sit in the cheap seats at a baseball stadium a few hundred feet above home plate and read the name on the back of the hitter’s jersey. At the 60x digital zoom maximum, Axon 30 Ultra 5G’s cameras might capture so much smudged color that the picture belongs in the Impressionist section of an art museum, but that meant more conservative zoom levels up to 20x caught good detail, though the clarity washed out closer to 30x.

Otherwise, the phone handled daylight and well-lit environments well, though it struggled with contrasted lighting – for instance, letting dark foregrounds drown out in deep blacks but capturing bright background areas well. That said, the 64MP main camera still captured plenty of detail in bright photos with even lighting. 

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)

The photo software processing struggled in some areas but not others. In one instance, a portrait selfie taken by the 16MP front-facing camera rendering impressive depth but left a scattering of bright red dots – which were hats and jerseys featuring the home team’s signature red hue. 

At other times, decreasing the zoom level from 60x didn’t actually zoom out the picture until it hit between 30x and 20x, which seemed like a failure to register control inputs.

That said, the actual camera app deserves acclaim, with the most-used settings (timer, resolution ratio, composition grid) tucked away in a sensible drop-down menu. While the English localization isn’t perfect, the interface feels thought out – for example, the multi-camera mode shows small live previews of the various lenses primed to take simultaneous shots inset in the screen’s bottom-right corner, visible but not in the way. 

The camera app has the expected assortment of sub-modes for taking different shots like panorama, mono, and macro as well as rarer ones like long exposure and moon for taking shots of our favorite satellite. The camera suite’s rear video capability maxes out at 8K video at 30fps or 4K at 60fps. 

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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)

Camera samples

Zoom comparisons: from far out to all the way in (60x)

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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)

1x wide lens

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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)

Other zoom:

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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)

And most importantly, how it shoots food.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)


The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G packs top-level smartphone specs, starting with its Snapdragon 888 chipset. The phone starts at 8GB of RAM, up to 16GB; on paper, it’s one of the most powerful smartphones you can buy.

In practice, the phone runs smoothly, with no hang ups or slow down while performing even demanding tasks like watching media or playing intensive games. That leads to a Geekbench 5 score of 3594, a respectable result given the model we tested had the phone’s minimum configuration of 8GB of RAM and just a bit lower than the comparably-specced OnePlus 9’s score of 3654.

The Axon 30 Ultra 5G has Android 11 out of the box, giving users access to universal dark mode and other current Android features. The MyOS overlay is a bit more noticeable than other Android skins, with more pastel colors and larger, squared-off icons than other phones. 

The phone’s software isn’t as refined as that on rival flagship phones. We noticed apps delayed or failing to load every so often: the camera app, for instance, failed to fully open from the Lock Screen several times and just displayed a black screen. 

It’s a lack of polish that’s fixable with updates, of course, and blemishes the otherwise appealing software choices. The easily-accessible menu options in the aforementioned camera app is an example of intuitive interface design found elsewhere, like in the control center, which has often-used menu options (flashlight, bluetooth, WiFi) in big buttons on the top. The brightness bar is wide and easy to toggle. It might be too oversized for some users’ preferences, but I found the extra accessibility far more appealing than perhaps a more aesthetically attractive button arrangement.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)

Battery life

The Axon 30 Ultra 5G has a 4,600mAh battery, which is comparable to the capacity in other premium phones – like, say, the 4,800mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus. There is no wireless charging, nor reverse wireless charging, but there are battery-saving modes to eke out more running time. 

All that capacity enables the Axon 30 Ultra 5G to last over a day and well into the second on a full charge. Tasks drain the battery at a rate that's in line with other flagship phones: watching a 30-minute TV episode or playing a 10-minute match of a graphically-intense game (in our case, Call of Duty: Mobile) will sap about 3% of the battery's main capacity. 

But that doesn’t matter much given how fast you can recharge the phone using the 65W charger included in the box. In one instance, we juiced up the phone from 3% up to 84% in 30 minutes. 

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy it?

Buy it if…

You want a top-specked phone for a lower price
The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G has some of the best specs among top-tier flagship phones, and yet, it’s priced at or below the price of other premium Android phones.

You want great zoom cameras
The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G has very little competition for telephoto cameras in today’s phones market, and even other high-zoom camera handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra are priced notably higher.

You want a great media-watching device
The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G’s large 6.67-inch display shows pristine visuals, and the single speaker belts room-filling, even sound, making the device great for watching shows or movies.

Don’t buy it if…

You want an affordable flagship
The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G isn’t the most expensive flagship phone out there, but it’s not the best value, either – if you want top specs at a lower price, try the OnePlus 9.

You want a smaller flagship
It’s possible that you aren’t someone who likes big phones – and the thin edge makes the Axon 30 Ultra 5G harder to hold. If you want a smaller flagship, try the iPhone 12 mini or Asus Zenfone 8.

You want the absolute best cameras
The ZTE Axon 30 5G’s cameras are impressive, but the software doesn’t produce quite the best photos – try the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for our top camera phone pick.

First reviewed: June 2021

Motorola Defy rugged smartphone

It’s been more than a decade since Motorola launched the Defy, a device that was one of the first rugged smartphones to hit the market. The product line lasted just over one year before Motorola Mobility, which was just about to be purchased by Google, called it a day after it launched the Defy+ and the Defy Mini.

Fast forward to 2021 and Motorola - now owned by Lenovo - has partnered with rugged smartphone and brand-revivalist specialist Bullitt Group to relaunch the Defy as a way to tap into the seemingly growing market of independent gig-operators (think Deliveroo and Uber Eats bikers).

Pricing and availability

The Motorola Defy will be available in select European and Latin American markets in the coming weeks starting at €329 / £279 (about $390) though pricing may vary per country. No date has been given for the launch of the device in other territories.

SIM Tray

(Image credit: Future)


The Defy is unlike any rugged smartphones we’ve handled lately: it is taller than most, not as wide as we’d expect and surprisingly thin. At 170 x 78 x 11mm and weighing 234g, it is lighter than any recently tested IP68 smartphones while offering MIL SPEC 810H as well as being drop-proof and waterproof.

Backside of Device

(Image credit: Future)

Aesthetically, it is one of the rare outdoor smartphones that come close to the design of a normal consumer handset. You’d think - from a distance - that it is a phone with a protective TPU hard wearing outer case with a textured rubber finish.

Front Camera Notch

(Image credit: Future)

The teardrop hole that hides the 8-megapixel selfie sensor is located on top of a large 6.5-inch HD+ display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. The latter is covered by a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus layer that’s 0.7mm thick and is recessed by 0.5mm; great for avoiding unwanted scratches.

Volume and Power Buttons

(Image credit: Future)

The SIM card tray is located on the left side of the phone while the volume rocker, power and customized (push to talk) buttons are located on the right. On top is a 3.5mm headphone jack, a rarity on phones launched in 2021.

USB-C Port

(Image credit: Future)

The bottom edge hides a downward firing speaker and a Type-C USB port, with no protective flap, not a good idea in our opinion. At the back, you’ll find three camera sensors (48-megapixel, 2-megapixel depth and 2-megapixel macro), a flash LED and a fingerprint sensor adorned with the Motorola logo.


(Image credit: Future)

Note that there’s a slot for a lanyard on the bottom left of the smartphone, a well-thought addition. Motorola hasn’t confirmed whether there will be other accessories, which may have been useful for digital nomads, tradesmen or site/field workers.

Rear Camaeras

(Image credit: Future)


Spec Sheet

The Motorola Defy comes with the following hardware:

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662

GPU: Adreno 610


Storage: 64GB

Screen size: 6.5-inch 

Resolution:  1600 x 720

Weight: 234g

Dimensions: 169.8 x 78.2 x 10.9mm

Rear camera: 48MP, 2MP, 2MP

Front camera: 8MP

OS: Android 10

Battery: 5Ah

The Defy is one of the few rugged smartphones that doesn’t run on Mediatek. Instead, it uses the tried-and-trusted Qualcomm Snapdragon 662, an octacore mid-range system-on-chip that does 4G. Also on the spec sheet is 4GB of RAM and 64GB onboard storage that can be augmented with a microSD card.

The screen is a 6.5-inch one with a 1600 x 720 pixel resolution. That’s far less than smartphones in that price range and it will translate into blurrier pictures and images - although that varies enormously depending on the user.

There’s also NFC, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, a 5000mAh battery, a 20W charger, lanyard, a Type C USB cable and depending where you are, a pair of headphones.

In Use

(Image credit: Future)

In use

The phone is well built and pleasantly portable compared to some of the behemoths we’ve tested in the past. Its larger footprint means that it doesn’t feel wieldy as its weight is spread over a larger area. Its taller form factor means that one-hand use is very entirely possible.


This is how the Motorola Defy performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

PCMark (Work 2.0): 6456

Passmark: 5055

Passmark CPU: 2282

Androbench (sequential): 305 (sequential read); 223(sequential write)

Androbench (random): 125 (random read); 53 (random write)

3DMark  Wild Life Vulkan: 376

LinPack MFLOPS: 1131

Motorola decided to launch the Defy on Android 10 rather than the newer Android 11 because of the maturity of the platform. They have however committed to delivering Android 11 further down the line as well as security updates till 2023.

Don’t expect the Defy to perform like a mid-range smartphone; entry level is where it belongs; the Motorola Moto G9 Play being the smartphone on which it is built, a device that retails for less than half. It scored some of the lowest numbers we’ve recorded in 2021 across the board with graphics, the Adreno 610 GPU being a particularly sore point.

There’s hardly any bloatware on the phone other than a communication app for business teams called Mototalk and a dedicated Moto app that simplifies the often complicated path to seamless customization. There’s no business-focused features like Samsung’s Knox which allows you to create a digital clone of your phone.

Final verdict

When it comes to sheer value for money, the Defy is squarely located in the bottom of the pile with components usually present on entry level handsets compared to the likes of the Ulefone Armor 9. But it’s not all about how fast your phone is, it’s also about what happens when things go wrong.

Chinese manufacturers - the Doogee, Ulefone, Blackview and Oukitel - can’t really compete when it comes to after sales support given Motorola and Lenovo’s global reach.

The phone comes with a two-year warranty, Android Enterprise support (with Google Zero Touch enrolment), security updates for two years and enrolment and basic policy provisioning tested with leading EMM (enterprise mobility management) solutions. 

So while its performance is solidly below average, its overall finish, build quality and aftersale rank amongst some of the best we’ve seen. SMBs or those looking for a business smartphone with a bit more oomph will need to consider the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. 

Guerrilla Mail secure email

The best secure email providers are designed to help you send and receive sensitive or private information without exposure to hacking or data breach risks. Temporary anonymous email services are also useful, particularly for those who don’t want to use their standard email address for a particular purpose. 

Our Guerrilla Mail review takes a close look at one of the world’s most popular temporary email platforms.

Founded in 2006, Guerrilla Mail has been providing secure anonymous email services for more than 15 years. Over 13 billion emails are claimed to have been processed through the system, which speaks volumes about the quality and reliability of the platform. 

Premium Services

Guerrilla Mail’s premium services weren’t available at the time of writing (Image credit: Guerrilla Mail)

Plans and pricing

Like many similar anonymous temporary email services, Guerrilla Mail is 100% free, forever. You won’t ever be asked to pay for a premium subscription, and all features can be accessed without even creating an account. 

In the past, GuerillaMail offered a premium service that enables you to use your own domain with a temporary email address. However, this tool was recently retired due to a lack of demand, and new orders are unavailable. Existing customers can continue using the premium platform, but expect it to be closed down completely at some point in the future. 


Guerrilla Mail enables you to send and receive emails fast and efficiently (Image credit: Guerrilla Mail)


Like many similar platforms, Guerrilla Mail offers a bare-bones temporary email service. Advanced tools and features are virtually non-existent, so don’t expect anything too fancy if you decide to use it. 

In simple terms, it enables you to create a temporary inbox that you can send and receive emails from. All emails are deleted one hour after being delivered or opened, ensuring your privacy remains intact at all times. 

One noteworthy tool is the email address scrambler. Due to the nature of the service, anyone can access any inbox if they have its address. By scrambling this, it becomes easier to maintain your privacy and reduce the risk of prying eyes viewing sensitive information. 

Another interesting feature is the Guerrilla Mail API, which enables tech-savvy users to connect the system to their own app. This tool won’t be useful for most users, but some people will love it. 


The user interface is simple and intuitive (Image credit: Guerrilla Mail)

Interface and in use

To get started with Guerrilla Mail, simply navigate to the platform homepage and select a temporary email address. You can create your own address or generate a random one. What’s more, addresses can be scrambled to reduce the risk of others accessing your inbox without your permission. 

The inbox itself is quite basic, but it does what it needs to. Messages are presented when you navigate to a specified inbox, and you can view, forward, reply to, or delete them as required. All messages are automatically deleted after an hour, or you can delete them sooner for added privacy. 


You can speak with the Guerrilla Mail team via Facebook or Twitter (Image credit: Facebook)


Unfortunately, Guerrilla Mail doesn’t provide very much information about its security practices. All messages are held in “quarantine” until you access your inbox, and they will be deleted if not claimed within one hour. All read messages are also automatically deleted after an hour, reducing the risk of your mail falling into the wrong hands. 

Terms of Service

Guerrilla Mail provides clear terms of service on its website (Image credit: Guerrilla Mail)

On the plus side, there’s a clear privacy policy and terms of use. You won’t ever have to create an account or provide personal information to use Guerrilla Mail, which is good to see. No information is stored once emails have been deleted, which means that there’s virtually no risk of your data being stolen by a malicious third party. 

The competition

Guerilla Mail is one of the best temporary email service providers we’ve used. If for some reason you don’t like what it offers, you might consider Dispostable. This platform offers very similar services, and it’s backed by a solid reputation and a streamlined interface.

Alternatively, you might like to go for a true secure email provider like ProtonMail. Here, you will benefit from your own dedicated inbox, end-to-end encryption, and a solid zero-access policy to ensure your data is never viewed by prying eyes. However, you will have to pay for a premium subscription to access most features. 

Final verdict

All things considered, Guerilla Mail is one of the best temporary email services we’ve used. It enables you to generate a random inbox address, and receive messages that you don’t necessarily want in your normal inbox. All messages are automatically deleted within an hour, and the platform is simple and easy to use. 

Be aware that anyone can access your inbox if they have its address. Support is limited, but there’s really little else not to like. 

Ultimately, you could certainly do worse than to use Guerrilla Mail if you’re looking for a streamlined temporary email address that’s fully anonymous. 

Trust GXT 323X Carus Gaming Headset for Xbox

Two-minute Trust GXT 323X Carus review 

If there’s one thing the Trust GXT 323X Carus Gaming Headset for Xbox proves, it’s that you can get the bare essentials right for less than the price of a game. The GXT 323X Carus is equipped with a decent microphone, on-ear volume and mute controls, a 1.2 meter braided cable, and works across PC and consoles. It’s even packing 50mm drivers.

However, it’s important to be clear that the cutbacks compared to pricier headsets are abundantly clear. These are an ugly pair of cans, and are more reminiscent of a child’s toy. The all-plastic build creaks and cracks under any sort of pressure, and we found the headset’s band to be difficult to adjust, often sticking in place as we tried to find a comfortable fit. If you’re after decent build quality, then, you won’t find it here.

Sound quality is extremely lackluster, too, with imaging almost non-existent, while the bass lacks the sort of low-end oomph that the manufacturer promises in its marketing materials. We also found that the left earcup sounded a touch louder than the right, with small details that we’d usually hear in our games coming across as muffled or inaudible altogether.

Yes, this headset is only £34.99, and while there’s a few unexpected surprises that bely its price tag, the rest of the Trust GXT 323X Carus’ flaws only serve to drive home that this is indeed a cheap and no thrills headset, one which we can’t recommend unless you don’t care about sound quality or comfort.

Design and features

Trust GXT 323X Carus

(Image credit: Future)

The Trust GXT 323X Carus captures the typical “gamer” aesthetic, which results in a rather garish, childish looking design. The headset’s plastic frame feels noticeably cheap in the hand, and leads to it almost feeling as though it's an open-backed pair when worn due to the thinnest of the material used. Our particular review unit exhibited some left over resin or glue on the headphone jack housing itself, which only reaffirmed the fact quality control isn’t exactly a priority when it comes to making a headset at this price. 

Glossy silver accents are found on either side of the headset band – which we found to be overly stiff and hard to slide during our testing – and a large green piece of foam rests at the top of the headset to offer some mild form of pressure relief. The circular earcups have a green and black mesh-like appearance, and thankfully this reviewer’s ears didn’t press against the drivers inside. However, we did find the clamping force to be a touch too strong for our liking, which led to discomfort occurring rather quickly.

The headset is equipped with a boom mic and 1.2 meter braided cable, neither of which are detachable, though the boom mic can be moved around freely. There’s also a volume wheel on the left earcup, along with a dedicated microphone mute switch.


Trust GXT 323X Carus wearing headset

(Image credit: Future)

Ultimately, this is where the Trust GXT 323X Carus’ price makes sense. If you were hoping for a rich, detailed sound with an impressive low-end thump, think again. The GXT 323X Carus’ sound is below average, and when you compare it to headphones worth only £50 more, the difference is stark. Imaging is particularly bad, making it hard to distinguish directional queues in games. We found mids to be recessed, and the sound to be generally unbalanced overall, which didn’t do our favorite titles any favours. 

When you compare the Trust GXT 323X Carus to something like the Xbox Wireless Headset, which isn’t vastly more expensive at £89.99, it’s no contest. We’d honestly recommend saving your money and opting for Microsoft’s official headset which comprehensively outclasses the GXT 323X Carus in every single department.

Should you buy the Trust GXT 323X Carus?

Buy it if...

Price is king
For £34.99, you could do a lot worse than the Trust GXT 323X Carus, but it’s clear cutbacks have been made to hit that super low price point. If you simply want a no thrills headset that lets you communicate with friends over Xbox Live, it’s hard to argue against the value the Trust GXT 323X Carus provides.

You want a decent microphone
One area where the Trust GXT 323X Carus shines is with its microphone. We were told that we sounded loud and clear over voice chat, which was honestly a bit of a surprise. The headset also has a dedicated microphone mute switch on the side of the left earcup if you want to make sure you’re not broadcasting to the world.

Don't buy it if...

You care about sound quality and comfort
When it comes to sound, the Trust GXT 323X Carus doesn't deliver the type of audio experience we’re happy with, but it’s hard to be too critical at this price. The bass is fairly decent, but when it comes to clarity, imaging and soundstage, the headphones fall noticeably short. We also didn’t enjoy wearing this headset for prolonged periods of time due to the firm clamping force. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet

One-minute review

IKEA isn’t a name that springs to mind when you think of smart home devices, but the Swedish furniture giant has offered a range of gadgets to automate your home since 2017. Starting with smart lighting, it has since expanded to include smart plugs, blinds that can be controlled wirelessly, and even a range of multi-room speakers that it developed in conjunction with Sonos. 

The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet is a single socket that can be plugged into a power source and controlled via the IKEA Home Smart app. However, unlike other smart plugs we’ve reviewed – such as the Amazon Smart Plug and the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Slim KP105 – the IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet doesn’t pair directly with your Wi-Fi network. Instead, it requires the Tradfri gateway that connects to your router, and a ‘steering device’, which essentially groups smart home devices together. As such, it could prove an expensive purchase if you only want to make one outlet smart. 

Using the IKEA Home Smart app, you can switch the outlet on or off manually, or set schedules for the smart plug to be activated automatically. The Tradfri wireless control outlet also offers interaction with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit, so you control it using your voice, and even ensure it switches on or off at the same time as other smart devices in your home. 

If you’ve already invested in Tradfri smart lights or other IKEA smart home products, or plan to, then this is the smartest option when it comes to choosing a smart plug. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet price and availability

  •  List price: $9.99 / £10 / AU$20 

The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet is priced at $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$20, which makes it one of the most affordable smart plugs around. However, you do need to purchase the IKEA Tradfri gateway, at a cost of $35 / £22 / AU$49, along with a ‘steering device’, before you can use and control the smart plug.

This is IKEA’s term for the remote control, wireless dimmer or wireless motion sensor. Prices start from $6.99 / £6 / AU$14.99 for the wireless dimmer and rise to $15.99 / £15 / AU$24.99 for the remote control. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Single smart socket
  • LED on/off indicator
  • No manual control button

As with most of the best smart plugs, the IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet has a simple, white design. It measures 3.9 x 2.1 x 2.5 inches / 10 x 5.3 x 6.2cm (w x h x d), but unlike other smart plugs we’ve tested, the outlet is offered in the same size across the US, UK, and Australia. However, in the US it has a horizontal orientation when inserted into a power outlet, while in the UK and Australia, it sits in a power outlet vertically.  

The front of the smart plug features a single socket and a white LED that illuminates when the plug is switched on. It flashes when the plug is in set-up mode. Unfortunately, there’s no Wi-Fi indicator that alerts you to any connectivity issues, and there isn’t a manual power button, either – something many other smart plugs such as Eve Energy offer. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Instant control using app
  • Fiddly setup
  • Visual power-on indicator 

The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet proved fiddly to set up. In fact, it’s the most complicated smart plug with which to get started we’ve tested to date. As we’ve already mentioned, the outlet requires a gateway to work, which must first be connected to your router and then detected by the app. Next, a steering device must be paired with the gateway – and that’s all before you can start to set up the smart plug itself – this involves unscrewing the back of the steering device and pressing the button inside to pair the outlet to the gateway. 

Once that’s all been completed, you can rename it and manually control it. During testing, we found the plug switched on and off instantly when controlled via the app. The ‘click’ coupled with the LED illuminating when switching on and off was reassuring.

We were able to group devices together, although the maximum number that can be connected to a steering device is 10. If you want to add more smart home devices to the gateway, you’ll need to invest in another steering device. 

While we were able to set schedules for the smart plug to switch on and off at set times, we were disappointed to find there’s no Away mode that switches the plug on or off at random times. Nor are there any energy monitoring features. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Easy to navigate
  • Integration with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit
  • Quickly create schedules for the smart plug

The IKEA Home Smart app is extremely easy to navigate, with the different devices grouped in ‘rooms’ visible on opening the app. The clock icon in the top left-hand corner lets you easily set schedules, with as many or as few devices as you choose controlled at once. In the opposite corner, a cog provides quick access to settings for adding new devices and enabling integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, or HomeKit.

However, as already mentioned, features such as Away mode and energy monitoring features are lacking. 

Should I buy the IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet?

Buy it if...

You already have IKEA Tradfri devices
If you've already invested in IKEA Tradfri smart lighting, then you’ll have a gateway and steering device, so opting for the wireless control outlet makes sense. 

You want an easy-to-use app
The IKEA Home Smart is one of the simplest apps we’ve come across for a smart plug. If you want features such as schedules, super-quick control, and settings available with just a single tap, this is the smart plug for you.  

You want a simple smart plug
The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet is ideal for those who want to control a device in their home using their voice or a smartphone, but aren’t interested in features such as energy monitoring or an Away mode. 

Don't buy it if...

You want to keep a check on energy consumption
There are no energy monitoring features on the IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet, so those who like to keep an eye on power consumption should steer clear. 

You want a manual control button
Some smart plugs offer manual control buttons on the smart plug itself, so you don’t need your smartphone to turn it on or off. Unfortunately, the Tradfri outlet isn’t one of them 

You’re on a budget
The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet can prove an expensive buy once you’ve added a gateway and a steering device to your basket alongside the smart plug itself. This is one to avoid if you’re on a tight budget; consider TP-Link’s range of smart plugs instead. 

First reviewed: June 2021

Microsoft Family Safety parental control software

Microsoft Family Safety is the company's latest shot at parental control success, a simple Android and iOS app which uses a bunch of tricks and techniques to monitor and protect your kids.

Family Safety restricts screen time on Windows and Xbox, and limits app and game usage on Windows, apps and Android.

Multiple filtering layers block inappropriate web content in apps, games and Microsoft Edge (not Chrome, though, or any other browser.)

Location support places your child's current (Android and iOS) device position on a map. Unlike most parental control apps, this isn't purely about keep an eye on them. Family Safety calls the feature 'location sharing', and parents are also free to share their location with the rest of the family.

Sign up for a Microsoft account, if you don't have one already, and all this is available for free. It's a decent set of features for zero cost, especially with location sharing thrown in. (Qustodio and Kaspersky Safe Kids dropped location features in the free versions of their apps, although you can get a basic map tool in Google Family Link.)

Spend $10 a month on a Microsoft 365 Office Family account, though, and along with the regular benefits (Office 365 desktop applications, 1TB OneDrive storage), you also get a couple of location-based extras.

Geofencing support enables creating custom zones (home, work, grandma's, you get the idea) and receiving alerts when family members arrive or leave.

The really unusual touch is a Driver Safety feature which records your family member's latest journeys on a map, and logs 'how many times the driver uses their phone, their top speed, and even the number of times they brake hard.' (Beware, this is only available in United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.)

If you might be interested in Office 365 Family, for Driver Safety or just to get the Office apps, there's a 30-day free trial available.

Family Group

You'll need to join a family group to get started with Microsoft Family Safety (Image credit: Microsoft)

Getting started

We grabbed Microsoft Family Safety for our Android device, and began a simple installation process. This didn't involve much low-level Android work - it only asked for a single permission (Location), for instance - and the app was up and running in barely a minute.

App setup starts by building a family group. Enter an email address for each family member, give them a role (Organizers can manage settings, Members mostly do as they're told), tap the Invite button and Family Safety sends an invitation.

Next, Microsoft prompts your family member to create a Microsoft account and install Family Safety on their device.

This isn't an app which automatically allows parents to do whatever they like, and the profiles for older children may not allow you to limit their app usage, for instance. (If this is a young child and the monitor settings are still greyed out, check the child's birth date in their Microsoft profile. If they set this to make themselves appear older, that restricts what you're able to do.)

Time Limits

Easily set device usage and screen time limits (Image credit: Microsoft)

Time limits

Family Safety supports limiting device use by time and schedule. You could have a 5-hour overall limit, for instance, but only permit this within one or more ranges of times: 07:00 to 22:00, say, or 08:00 to 12:00, 13:30 to 18:00 and 19:30 to 21:30.

Device time limits work in one-hour increments, and schedules use 30 minutes, which might not always be convenient. (Net Nanny limits just use any whole number of minutes, so if you'd like to set a 247-minute limit today, 195 tomorrow, that's not a problem.) 

Family Link assigns schedules by device type (Xbox consoles or Windows 10 devices) rather than individual devices, unusually. It's smart enough to count usage of any device towards your daily limit, which is good. But you can't set different schedules for separate Windows 10 systems, maybe to limit use of a Windows 10 desktop used for gaming, while allowing more hours for a school laptop.

App Usage

Monitor app use and set limits whenever you like (Image credit: Microsoft)

App management

Microsoft Family Safety has a simple option to restrict Android, Windows and Xbox app and game usage by age (3-20.) Just head off to the Apps and Games area of the Content Filters section, choose the rating you need, and you're done.

Family Safety offers a much wider choice of app time restrictions. You can set an overall time limit ('use this app up to two hours a day...'), a schedule ('...between 19:00 and 21:00...') and even change the rules at the weekends ('...and up to 22:00 on Saturday and Sunday.')

These blocks and limits apply to Windows Store apps, not standard Windows applications, and that makes them easy to bypass, less suitable for older children to install on their own device. But they may help create a safer Windows environment for a young child, and the Xbox and Android controls have some value.

Microsoft Store Spending

Control what your child spends in the Microsoft Store and what they can spend it on (Image credit: Microsoft)

If you do make use of the Windows store, though, Family Safety has more tools to help. You can prevent your child installing new apps unless you approve them, for instance. Or just add money to their Microsoft account, and leave them to go shopping. (Set a maximum age rating, as we mentioned above, and the Store won't allow them to browse anything unsuitable.)

Web filtering

Family Safety has basic web content filtering, too, but, well, there's a catch. It's even more limited and Microsoft-centric than the app controls (and no, we're not kidding.)

Web Filtering

Web filtering only works in Edge but Family Safety can block other browsers (Image credit: Microsoft)

The core feature is an option to automatically block inappropriate content in Edge, and enforce Safe Search (built-in filtering to block dubious sites) at Bing. Bonus tools allow you to build website blacklists and whitelists, and Family Safety tries to block a stack of popular browsers to prevent your kids finding a way around the system (Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Brave, Tor - 25 in total, as we write.)

That's better than nothing - just about - but even the free competition typically does a lot more. Kaspersky Safe Kids blocks sites by your choice of category (Adult, Drugs, Violence and others), for instance, and supports Safe Search at Bing, Google, Yahoo!, Yandex and YouTube.

Location sharing

Microsoft Family Safety's location sharing features require a little setup, though nothing unexpected. You must explicitly turn on location sharing in the app settings, and enable the Android and iOS location permissions for Family Safety before it starts to work.

Technical details sorted, Family Safety displays your child's location both within the app and in the web dashboard. And assuming you've also enabled location sharing, they can see you, too. That's unusual in the parental control world, but it's certainly fair, and that might create a better impression with your child. If it's parents watching kids, that could seem like spying; if it's every family member sharing their location with each other, that feels more like a feature which benefits everyone.


Get alerts when your child arrives at or leaves a location (Image credit: Microsoft)

Pay for Microsoft Office 365 Family and simple geofencing support enables creating common locations (home, school, work) and getting alerts when family members arrive or leave.

We're reviewing the free app, not Office 365 Family, and so didn't test this, but the basics look good. Enter an address, give it a name, choose the size of a zone (Small/ Medium/ Large), and it's set up. We'd like a little more flexibility - ESET Parental Control can set a location by tapping the map, and set a zone to a specific size between 100-500m - but it's certainly easy to use.

Family Safety gives far more control over location alerts. If this is a school location, for instance, you can choose the one or more children who go there; opt for alerts when they arrive there, leave, or both; and decide to get these alerts every time, or just once (a better choice for one-off events, like going to a party.) It's a handy set of options, and more than we've seen with other parental control apps.

Driver Safety

You'll need to sign up for Family Safety Premium to test out Microsoft's Driver Safety feature (Image credit: Microsoft)

Driver Safety

Driver Safety, probably the most interesting Family Safety Premium feature, takes this to a whole new level. Turn this on and Family Safety not only tracks your location, it also analyses your driving, logs journeys, and keeps a two-week history. 

We didn't test this either, not least because it deserves an entire review all by itself. But the logs try to capture lots of detail, including the journey route, top speed, moments of fast acceleration or hard braking. It even tries to detect phone use by checking 'if the phone moves around like someone’s touching it and for how long.'

This is a useful way to keep an eye on the new drivers in your family, but it could help anyone check their driving, parents too. Whoever might benefit in your family, it's a welcome and unusual extra, and a definite plus for Family Safety's premium edition.

Final verdict

It's horribly basic in many ways, but if your family spends more time in the Microsoft Store than the Google Play Store, Microsoft Family Safety gives you some useful controls and options. The ability to track Android and iOS locations is welcome, too, and unusual for a free parental control app.


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