Review: AUKEY Lightning Cable [ Apple MFI Certified ] 2 * 3.3ft / 1m

Review:

Great quality charging cables which work as well as the ones Apple supply in the box. The cables feel well made and sturdy, and the charge times are great. I used mine to sync up to my Macbook, and to also charge my iPhone 7 and iPad Pro. With both devices the cables worked great without any issues.

Getting two for the price of one is obviously handy as it means you can carry one around with you, while also using one at home. Definitely with the small price!

Manufacture Description:

  • Apple MFI Certified: Apple official authorized certified, quality assurance. Advanced technology for your phone to provide high quality accessories.
  • Built to last: premium materials, dirt-resistant TPE (same as Apple OEM cable), enhanced durability tested and safety technology ensure that AUKEY Lightning cable can live longer than most cables on the market.
  • Lightning 8-pin sided-plug, data and current transmission is more stable. High-quality internal wires support charging and provide fast data transfer rates up to 480 Mbps, more efficient and saving power.
  • Compatibility: 100% compatible with any lightning products with IOS system, such as iPhone SE / 7 / 7 Plus / 6 / 6 Plus / 6S / 6 Plus / 5S / 5C / 5, iPad 4 / Air / Air 2 / Pro / Mini / mini 2 / mini 3 / mini 4 / iPod Touch 5 / Touch 6 / Nano 7 / 9.7 inches iPad Pro.
  • What you can get: 1 x AUKEY 3.3ft / 1m USB Cable with Lightning Connector [2 Pack]; 24 Months Worry-free Warranty and Friendly Customer Service.

Check it out here: Amazon

Review: Wireless Headphones SmartOmi Boots Wireless Earphones Bluetooth 4.1 with Mic

Review:

I was pretty skeptical of these little headphones when I was offered the chance to review them. After seeing so much about other similar products from a well known company, I didn’t really think that this sort of design would be a good idea. My biggest concern was that they would fall out easily, and soon get lost.

They are oddly comfortable, and seem to stay in my ears much better than expected. The ever so slight angle to the design means that the top edge nestles just under the top of my ear, securing itself. I used these a fair bit while doing house work, and moving a lot of stuff around, and at no point did either one of the buds fall out. I don’t know if its because normal headphones normally have a cable that tugs, but these felt much more secure than any other in ear headphones I’ve used before.

The two buds are very small and come with a charging cradle. To pair them up, you push and hold the power button on one of the buds, search for it in your bluetooth settings, then pair up. Once paired, power on the second bud, and they then communicate together. When you power down one, the other also shuts down! Sadly, they don’t do the same when powering on, but that isn’t a huge deal.

Sound quality is really good considering their small quality. Music came out loud and crisp, and I never felt the need to go about half volume. Anything louder would have just been uncomfortable.

At the time of writing they are retailing for £70 and I believe this is pretty reasonable.

Manufacture Description:

  • ✔ FULLY WIRELESS EARBUDS DESIGN − Eliminate stethoscope effect of all wired headphones and noise reducing. Enjoy rich sound from bass to treble. Great for calling in car, navigation, fishing and travel.
  • ✔ SWEATPROOF − This completely wireless earphones are withstand dripping sweat, no any affect running, jogging, hiking, biking, gym or other workout.
  • ✔ SIRI AND GOOGLE NOW WITH ONE TOUCH − Quickly press the main button twice on the buttom of master earphones for starup, hand free to control your mobile phone.
  • ✔ QUITE SIMPLY PAIRING − Just open one earbud to connect your device, then open the another one, all connected. Single or both as you like.
  • ✔ 5 HOURS CONTINUOUS TALK OR MUSIC TIME − Longest Battery life among Similar small earbuds, 200 hours of standby, also fit for people who wear glasses.

Check it out here: Amazon UK

Review: FM Transmitter, Aukey Wireless FM Transmitter Radio Car Kit with 3.5mm Audio Plug

Manufacture Description

  • Wirelessly stream and broadcast all your favorite tunes to your car’s audio system; simply connect to your audio device via 3.5mm jack
  • High visibility display with prominent and intuitive buttons for full control
  • Multifunctional design: USB port to charge your favorite device (e.g. smartphone, tablet, etc) during audio transmission
  • Truly universal: works with any device with 3.5mm jack including Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices, and other popular audio devices
  • Package Content: Aukey BT-C4 Wireless FM Transmitter Radio Car Kit, User manual, Aukey 18 Months worry-free warranty & 100% Customer Satisfaction

Review

This is an awesome bit of kit that comes in at an exceptionally low price. The beauty of it is how easy the set up is. Literally, just plug it in, tune your radio in to the same frequency displayed on the device, and you’re ready to go. Once paired up, you can begin playing your music and it will come through your car speakers.

The device delivers great quality and I didn’t experience any hissing or dropped signal unlike other devices I’ve tested before. The music sounded great, and the addition of a mic on the transmitter means you can also handle calls through this as well. When using this for hands free I found the persons voice to be clear, and they reported that they didn’t hear any echoes and I sounded fine on the other end.

The devices feels well made is is very easy to set up and the charging section also has a spare USB port so that you don’t have to sacrifice charging your phone while using this. Another big bonus.

For the price, you really can’t go wrong. This is an amazingly simple bit of kit that delivers all around!

 

Review: APIE Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers Portable Wireless Speakers

Manufacture Description

  • 2000mAH capacity, up to 6-8 hours play time. Great mini USB charging port, which can be charged by power bank anywhere in emergency
  • Enjoy crisp, clear audio with impressive volume powered by 5W driver. Hear the soaring highs and deep lows of all your favorite tracks, excellent listening enjoyment
  • speaker size is 4.8*4.4*2.36 inches and weight is only 13.75 ounces, you can carry it with you easily at anytime and anywhere, especially when you out for bike riding, beach, camping or indoor for shower.
  • Adopt IP65 rated dustproof and waterproof technology design, with seamless surface treatment; it will be a water resistant, dustproof speaker, perfect for outdoor party, camping, poolside, shower, beach etc.
  • APIE Bluetooth waterproof speaker, micro usb charging cable, 3.5mm aux-in audio cable and user manual

Review

This is an awesome little speaker. Great quality audio, but also very rugged. It’s a bit of a beast, but then what can you expect from something like this? Straight away to look at it looks great. A big chunky beast that reminds me of a G-Shock watch.

The fact that it’s water resistant makes it a great partner for those who want music or calls on the go in situations where it’s going to get duty, muddy, or just wet. The hard plastic is really easy to wipe clean, and because of its water resistance you don’t need to worry about it getting damaged.

I found that the bluetooth connection was very reliable, handling calls and audio without interruption.

The device itself has most controls you could need built in, so you can control your music and calls without having to take your phone out. It also has a screw on the bottom so you can mount this on a tripod which is a nice little feature.

Despite its size and ruggedness this thing also delivers fantastic sound quality. The audio was great and it handled a fantastic range, including delivering great bass.

All in all this is a superb speaker.

Review: AUAUA iPad Mini 4 Case, iPad Mini 4 Leather Case With Smart Cover Auto Sleep/Wake

Manufacture Description

  • Automatic adsorption after closing, easy&convenient to use, while solving the WIFI signal problems of traditional magnetic button impact .
  • External high-quality leather, delicate texture, screen protection with more effective internal flocking lining.
  • 1MM spacing between the leather edge and the liner , effective buffer drop damage, better protection for the iPad mini 4.
  • Upgrade the pressure-process of iPad mini 4 case, using explosion-proof voltage processing technology, the wear resistance is improved , and the durability is increased by 6 times.
  • Automatically wake/put to sleep your iPad mini 4 ,use more convenient, more power saving. High quality heat dispersing materials, effectively alleviate heating phenomenon of the iPad.

Review

The good points are how it looks. I love the look, with the red strip on the front and the small silver strip towards the top. Design wise it looks great. The exterior case feels durable and hard waring, and will definitely protect the iPad. It also doubles up as a stand, and there are two angles provided which both work well, offering a stable base for the iPad when it is kept upright. Finally, it locks and unlocks the iPad when flipped open or closed.

So those are some of the good bits, but the problem is, it’s not overly great to use and makes the iPad almost difficult to hold. The front part of the case doesn’t fold into a triangle grip like most cases for the mini do which is really disappointing. This wouldn’t be the hugest issue if the back of the case just folded flat when flipped over, but because it’s designed to allow the iPad movement to become a stand, the case will often move too much while you try and hold it.

I mentioned that the front flap of the case feels very durable which is great, but it’s less impressive inside. The plastic that grips the iPad seems like it’s almost too small, only gripping the lower half of the bezel at the top and bottom. This leaves the screen edge, and the top of the bezel completely exposed, so if you drop it, well, there’s no protection. It also makes using the power key very awkward because of its positioning.

So, as I mentioned, it looks great, but doesn’t perform as well which is a real shame.

Review: Sunvito Quick Charge 2.0 20000mAh Ultra-Slim Aluminum Intelligent Power Bank

Manufacture Description

  • Quick Charge Technology: Quick Charge 2.0 compatible devices up to 75% faster than standard chargers. Also charges all non-Quick Charge TM 2.0 phones and tablets (5V / 2.4A Max)
  • Huge capacity: 20000mAh charges an iPhone 6S & 6 almost 7 times, a Galaxy S6 almost 5 times or an iPad Air more than once
  • Support Multi Voltage Outputs: Outputs 5V/2A for universal smartphone devices; Outputs 5V/2.1A for tablet devices; Outputs 5V/2.4A 9V/1.67A 12V/1.2A for compatible QC2.0 devices
  • With 4-LED battery level indicator, 100% safe circuit protection; charger automatically shuts down if short circuit or overload occurs to protect your devices
  • Big Convenience: The 3 USB output is ideal for desks and office spaces or at home in a living room so the entire family can charge

Review

This is one of the nicest portable batteries I’ve used, with a real premium finish. I love how nice it feels and looks, the metal casing giving it a real top end look. Throw in the fact that it has such a large capacity and you’re on to a winner!

The battery has three USB ports, two that charge at the standard rate and a third (the red one) that charges at a faster rate with compatible devices. This comes in very handy if you have a compatible device, giving you a full battery on the go a lot faster. The only issue is that due to the capacity of the battery it takes a long time to charge and doesn’t support fast charging input. That would have been a great feature.

So back to the build quality. It’s a great looking device which only has a few flaws which let it down. The logo stands out and looks out of place on the otherwise minimilist finish which is a shame. I feel it would have been better positioned on one of the ends, either near the USB ports or the opposite side. Also, it picks up finger prints and small marks very easily, so I’m not sure how the premium finish will look after a while.

So, its a great looking device and feels high end. I personally prefer the more rugged portable batteries as they seem to keep on looking good for much longer, and I’m also not sure how well this one will last if it is dropped or knocked, and considering that it’s portable, that seems like something that could very well happen! Despite this however it charges devices quickly, especially if you have a compatible device for the quick charge feature.

 

Review: THL T7 Smartphone 4800mAh Powerful 4G

Introduction

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was offered this phone to review, given it’s price tag and specifications, it seemed a little odd. From what was advertised, it seemed to pack in a lot for such a low cost. The question is, does it match what is on offer?

Manufactures Description

  • 4800mAh POWERFUL BATTERY: It is a big challenge for techniques and technology to have 4800mAh big battery in only 9.1mm thinness phone, but we finally achieved both in THL T7
  • FASTER 4G LTE NETWORK: Provide fast web connection for downloading apps, streaming content and staying connected with social media
  • EFFECTIVE UNLOCKING METHOD: The fingerprint technology has 360 degree accuracy, which means that the user doesn’t have to bother about what position the finger should have when it touches the sensor. Gently press your finger on the sensor and your fingerprint will activate the phone and unlock it. Up to 5 fingerprints can be saved. Supports unlocking of homescreen.
  • 5.5” HD IPS SCREEN: The 5.5” HD screen with IPS material has excellent color reversal conversion performance, so not matter from which angle viewing, you can enjoy the bright,saturated, nature screen

Pro’s

  • Well designed
  • Premium feel
  • Good quality screen
  • Snappy response

Con’s

  • Made for lefties?
  • Average camera

Design

So let’s talk about the design and build quality first. The first thing that struck me about the THL T7 was the size. It’s a nice big screen, but there isn’t too much wasted space. The screen is extremely close to the edges, and the top and bottom of the device aren’t overly large. This has enabled them to keep the phone from becoming too big, but it is still worth noting, this is a big phone, it is a 5.5 inch display after all.

The build quality is much better than expected, and when compared to other devices in this price bracket it’s top class. The phone has a solid feeling metal frame that looks and feels great. On the back you’ll find a plastic casing which feels metallic at first touch, the camera at the top with a flash, and the finger print sensor just beneath, and finally a small speaker grill on the bottom of the rear casing.

There is a dual sim set up for those who need it, but if you don’t need multiple sims, then the second sim slot doubles up as a MicroSD slot. This is great for users who want more memory.

The only thing that I found a bit odd is that the lock/power key is on the left of the phone. It’s not a huge issue, but it definitely feels like a phone built for lefties.

Functionality

The phone is a speedy little beast. I found pretty much all apps loaded quickly and that switching between menu’s was seamless. The hardware inside of this phone really handles everything, giving a smooth experience throughout.

It’s also worth noting that there was a software update available straight out of the box, so once you’ve got the phone connected to the internet you might want to do this.

One thing that really let the phone down, especially how good it is in pretty much every area, was the camera. Capturing photos is extremely slow, so slow in fact that I could never get anything more than a blurred shot of something that moved. Even taking a completely still photo gave average results, which is a real shame given the camera specs. I’m not really sure what it is that causes the lower quality, software or hardware, but no matter what I did with the settings, photo quality was average at best.

On the plus side, the video quality I captured was good. I managed to get some good looking video which made up for the lacking camera quality when it came to stills.

Battery life on this is good. The phone packs in a large battery, but given the screen size and spec, it needs it. From what I found, I got between 4-5 hours of screen on time out of the phone which was easily enough to last a full day. This included checking emails, surfing the web, using whatsapp, keeping my Twitter account updated, and a few calls.

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Conclusion

So, the real question is, should you consider this phone? The short answer is yes. For the price you can’t go wrong. It’s powerful and has a great looking screen with awesome build quality. Yes, the camera is a little lacking, but for the price it’s not actually bad, just not what I was hoping for considering how good everything else is on this device.

It’s a very reasonable price for a pretty great bit of kit. Definitely worth checking out!

Review: Lecxci AC Universal World Travel Adaptor with 2 USB Ports

Review

Ok, so where to start with this product? It’s the perfect companion for so many purposes. If you have multiple gadgets, then you’ve got two USB’s, and you also still retain a plug! I took mine away with me for work, and the hotel had a limited amount of plugs. With this I was able to plug my iPhone and Apple watch in via the two USB ports, and also plug my tablets mains adapter directly into the unit. All of my devices charged without any issues.
Next up, you’ve got the car charging adapter so you can use this while in the car. Again, this gives you multiple ways to charge different devices, and is very welcome if you’re on the road a lot.

If you’re traveling to different countries then you’ve also got multiple plug pins built in. Just chose which one you’re going to need, push the small slider on either side of the device and bam, you’re ready to plug in and go. This is so handy as it means you won’t need multiple chargers or pieces. It’s all just in one unit!

The unit itself feels durable and well made, and considering how many parts are inside, it feels very solid.

I really can’t praise this thing highly enough, it really is an awesome bit of kit. If you’re traveling around a lot, needing multiple sources to charge your gadgets, then look no further!

Features

  • Advantages: Travel adapter with US Standard, Australia Standard, Europe Standard, UK Standard and car charger, a good choice for your travel.
  • Solve all major problems of universal travel adapter. Compactness, Smaller Size, More powerful compatibility and security, simpler operation and user-friendly design.
  • Lightweight and compact design. Combo of power strip and USB charger, reducing mess and clutter caused by too many chargers and devices, slim and lightweight, convenient design for home, office and travel, It is your ideal solution for travel power supply.
  • Compatibility: 110V or 220-240v / 1500w (Max) Work in: USA, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Australian, New Zealand, Argentina, Hong Kong, UK, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Maldives, Qatar, Germany, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Republic of Korea and so on. Compatible with South Africa Standard products, but NOT work in such as: South Africa, some area of India, Russia.

Uncharted Goes Mobile

If you’re a console gamer you’re likely aware that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was just released as the latest addition to the Uncharted series. Published by Sony, it’s exclusively available for the PS4, though it’s still being regarded as one of the biggest game releases we’ve seen yet in 2016. Reviews will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, but in the meantime I wanted to take a look at a smaller release that came out as a sort of companion to A Thief’s End: the UNCHARTED: Fortune Hunter app by Playstation Mobile, which was uploaded to app stores earlier this month.

While some might envision a console-like app game the likes of which we’ve begun to see related to some other titles, what Fortune Hunter provides is actually more akin to some other spinoff games we’ve seen of late. The clearest example might be Lara Croft GO, which accompanied the release of Rise Of The Tomb Raider on consoles. It basically took the setting and image of the larger console game but twisted into a puzzle solver/obstacle course game built for mobile. A similar spinoff was designed in the form of Hitman GO (to accompany the recent console game, Hitman), and both of these titles were developed by Square Enix.

Regarding the Uncharted series, there have actually even been some similar arcade and mobile games that almost seem like indirect adaptations of the main series. Perhaps the most intriguing is Betfair Casino’s Daring Dave & The Eye Of Ra, a slot machine game that closely resembles Uncharted in image and character. “Daring Dave” has a similar Indiana Jones vibe to Nathan Drake (indeed, the game even says it allows you to channel your inner Indiana Jones), and the idea is to spin a slot reel into a treasure hunting adventure.

Others might imagine a mobile spin on the Uncharted series and think of games like Imangi Studios’ Temple Run series. That particular series has been around for some time now and has gone through different themed versions, but the original game does evoke the same general sense of adventurous treasure hunting.

However, while all of these games certainly seem similar to the Uncharted series in their own respective ways, UNCHARTED: Fortune Hunter is the true mobile accompaniment in the spirit of Lara Croft GO or Hitman GO. In this game, your only task is to guide Nathan Drake along different puzzle grids (basically from a bird’s eye view), avoiding obstacles and “switches” as you work your way toward a prize on a pedestal. That’s about it as far as what the game entails, though there are plenty of little features built in to keep it more engaging than the average mobile puzzle experience.

To begin with, there’s at least some action involved in the form of little animations of Drake taking on obstacles, and that sets the game head and shoulders above Hitman GO, at least. You’re also tracking down famous treasures from history (as you do to some extent in the larger console games) and interacting with Sully, another key character, along the way. Naturally the puzzles grow progressively more difficult, and the prizes more significant – but unlike in some similar games there’s actually value to the greater prizes. You can essentially use them to unlock new puzzles, get new character outfits, or even link to your PlayStation Network account to earn rewards in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

UnchartediOS_1Ultimately, it may not be the most intricate or mind-bending puzzle game you’ll be able to find on a mobile device, but it may still be the most satisfying game of its type. Both as a mobile version of an Uncharted game and as a specific side game to A Thief’s End, it’s quite a lot of fun.

Review: Avantek iPad Pro Bluetooth Keyboard

Features

  • Connects perfectly to your iPad Pro via the Bluetooth 3.0 technology; super-thin (only 8mm) and lightweight for easy portability during travel
  • Standard Mac keyboard layout with larger keys for a more relaxed typing experience
  • Unique slot-in hinge securely attaches your iPad Pro in place; just clip it on and you’re ready to use
  • 130-degree adjustable tilting angle allows for a more comfortable viewing experience
  • Built-in magnets for auto wake-up and sleep; instantly wake up your iPad Pro when you open it and your iPad Pro goes into the sleep mode when you close it

Review

This case is very nice, adding some real functionality to the iPad Pro. The keyboard is a great size, and the keys feel fantastic to use, with a good level of response. They felt well spaced, with no cramping unlike other tablet keyboards I’ve used in the past.

The only thing that would have made the laptop experience feel better is if this had a trackpad and Apple finally supported a mouse in iOS. Why they don’t is beyond me. I get that they want people to interact with the touch screen, but when we have a device this size it could really benefit from mouse input! Oh well, maybe in the future?

The keyboard case feels robust, and has a good amount of weight to it which helps to balance the iPad Pro. I was able to use this comfortably on my lap without it constantly falling over.

The hinge has rubber lining on the inside of it to clamp the iPad in place. At first it felt a little tight getting the iPad into place, but it also meant it didn’t budge when slotted in. This is handy as I was able to lift the iPad and keyboard without it ever slipping out. The rubber is also handy as it will prevent the edges of the iPad from getting marked by metal.

When closed, the entire thing fits snuggly, with the entire screen protected.

This case really helps to convert the iPad Pro into a mini laptop at a fraction of the cost of the Apple keyboard. Granted, it’s not quite as easy to switch into tablet mode, but I’m sure once the rubber loosens a little that will become quicker. I’m really impressed by this!

Review: 1byone Apple Watch Charging Stand

It might seem a little odd to have a charging stand for my phone and watch, but when I also noticed the additional USB ports I jumped at the chance to review this product. The stand feels good quality and is relatively light weight. It’s a pretty plain design, glossy metal with the 1 by one logo on the front. On the back there are 2 USB ports for charging additional items and a power in slot.

Getting the Apple Watch charging pad attached is really easy. There’s a slot underneath the stand that opens with a USB port inside. Plug in the cable, loop it around the four prongs and attach the pad in place at the top of the stand. There’s plenty of cable management on this thing so you don’t have to worry about the cable hanging loose and looking out of place.

The iPhone charging section is great. There’s a pad against the stand so you don’t have to worry about scratching your device, but most importantly the stand on which the lightning charger is mounted is flexible, moving back and forth. This is great, meaning if you knock your phone it will just rock forwards rather than risking the lightning port snapping!

Everything looks great and this stand helps me to keep my cabling in order and organised. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who has an iPhone and Apple Watch!

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Review: Garmin Vivosmart HR

Pro’s
• Great design
• Fantastic battery life
• Always on display doesn’t drain the battery
• Waterproof
• Comfortable to wear

Con’s
• Unpredictable software
• Poor stair counting accuracy
• Limited insights into stats

Introduction

I’ve been using the Garmin Vivosmart HR for a couple of months now, and all in all I’m left with mixed opinions. The design and hardware are pretty much unbeatable at this price point, it’s a great design, comfortable to wear, and includes almost everything you could need. It’s just a shame that the software side of things is a polar opposite.

Hardware

As mentioned above, the hardware is great. It’s a very comfortable fitness band to wear, lightweight and relatively compact. The screen is always on, which means it can quite easily double up as your main watch, and the touch function works very well, letting users glance at their stats on the fly.

Double up with the fact that this thing is waterproof, rather than water resistant, then you’ve got yourself a winner. I really cannot, fault the hardware here, it’s the best I’ve used at this price point. The only thing it lacks is GPS, but really I can’t complain.

Despite having an always on display and 24-hour heart rate monitor, I consistently got between 5 and 7 days of battery life which is the most I’ve had from any fitness band or smart watch. This is a huge advantage as it meant my band just kept on going.

The sensors on the Vivosmart all seem reliable. My steps were always counted and my heart rate matched what I expected, averaging out to what I recorded on other devices. The only thing that seemed completely off was stairs! The VIvosmart very rarely records stairs climbed which is really disappointing.

Software

Now here’s where the whole package comes undone. The application you can download to your phone is just downright unreliable. For some reason the entire thing relies on having access to Garmin’s servers, server which spend a lot of time not working. I’ve gone days at a a time with Garmin’s servers being down, which meant I couldn’t sync my watch up with the app and view my stats. This is a huge let down.

Apart from it’s unreliability the app and dashboard is pretty lacking. It’s very pretty and well designed, clearly focusing on touch input, but it doesn’t really do much with your stats. They just kind of sit there and let you figure out what it all means. Coming from the Microsoft band, this is a huge letdown. Microsoft Health shows off where you are performing vs others in your age and fitness bracket, giving you advice on how to improve certain statistics, Garmin however does nothing like this.

It’s not all doom and gloom with their software. As mentioned, it looks good and is easy to interact with. Also I love how it sets you goals depending on your current performance, keeping them realistic. If you’re struggling to hit 10k steps every day, the software will adjust your goal and gradually build up to something, keeping it achievable for the user. You can also override this and set your own objectives.

Conclusion

As I mentioned at the start, this is a real mixed bag. The hardware is amazing, and I found myself wishing that I could link this up with either Microsoft Health or the Fitbit app. Both company’s have interfaces and software that absolutely destroy Garmin’s, and that’s a real shame as Garmin has fantastic hardware in this product.

The sheer fact that Garmin’s servers seem unreliable is a clear indicator that they shouldn’t go for a cloud based approach, but they have, and that means there’s a huge risk your device will spend time offline. As I mentioned, there were more than a few occasions where my device spent three days at a time no longer working with the software due to this issue.

Would I recommend it? Yes, if the software worked properly, but it doesn’t, so I’d really recommend you look at something else. There are better packages out there for you. I myself have chosen to go for the Fitbit Charge HR, and so far I’m loving it!

Review: Cover-Up #WoodBack Real Wood Skin for MacBook Pro 13″ Retina

Normally I don’t do skins. Not for phones, tablets, and definitely not my Macbook Pro. However, when I was offered the chance to review this one I decided to give it a try. The idea looked interesting.

The first thing that struck me was just how high quality this skin felt. I was expecting some kind of wood affect, or wood patter, but what I actually got was a real piece of wood! This thing feels really, really nice! It doesn’t just add style, but it adds a pretty thick layer to the lid of your mac which will help prevent scratching and damage.

I was expecting that something like this would really look pretty terrible and cheap when applied, but I couldn’t have been any more wrong. The skin fits perfectly, with small cuts that allow the skin to flex around the corners. The skin adds a look that leaves the macbook looking absolutely stunning.

The wood itself feels very smooth, while at the same time still offers enough grip that the macbook won’t slip from your hand.

Fitting the skin is extremely easy. First up, line it up and make sure it fits with your macbook’s lid, then, peal off the adhesive strip and place it on the mac. Once you’re satisfied with its position, give it a good rub and make sure it’s stuck in place. I had my skin fitted in under a minute and it looks great.

As I’ve said above, I didn’t expect much from this, but I’m glad I decided to give it a go. It really adds a new and unique look to my Macbook and is well worth the price.

Review: KVAGO for iPad Air 2 Case with Keyboard

This is a very neat and compact keyboard case that transforms your iPad Air 2 into a mini Macbook. I was very impressed with how nice this case was, with a premium feel and fantastic keyboard.

The keys are well spaced and very easy to use, despite this being relatively compact. I was able to type comfortably, and unlike with other bluetooth keyboards, there were no incorrect keypresses or missed keys. The connectivity is strong, and the keyboard kept on going, remaining reliable throughout my usage. The addition of having backlit keys is also very welcome, adding to the overall usability of this keyboard.

The one downside with this case is that it becomes very top heavy. It’s fine when using it on a desk, or when you are seated with your legs completely flat, but if you move slightly, or if you’re in a less than perfect position, the case tends to tip over. I expected this almost straight away, feeling how light the base feels, but it would have been nice if the keyboard could have been a little heavier to help prevent this.

Protection wise, this case feels pretty durable. It offers sturdy protection and I feel this would be a great case to pair up with anyone who needs to be more productive on the go while also protecting their device from damage. I quite happily popped my iPad in my bag with this case on, not needing to worry about the screen.

To sum up, you can’t really beat this case in this price bracket. I’ve used plenty of keyboard cases before, but at this price range you won’t find much better. It’s durable, functional, and the keyboard layout and design is fantastic.

3 Months With Windows Phone 10

Well it’s been 3 months now of using Microsoft’s latest mobile OS in it’s consumer iteration, and I thought I’d post a little on my thoughts. For a few months before the final release I was using an Insider build of the OS on my Lumia 640 which got me really excited about the future of Windows Phone. So how does it measure up to my expectations?

The unfortunate truth is that the current build of Windows Phone feels very much like it did when I used it 6 months ago. It is still a buggy and infuriating mess. This was something I could forgive back in the testing period, but now, when it’s meant to be in the hands of consumers, it needs addressing. The flaws of the OS are huge, with apps continuously crashing and just refusing to work. Since upgrading to my Lumia 950 I’ve found myself relying on a spare Android device for almost everything.

Go to use the camera, resuming, resuming, resuming, crashes. Repeat, crashes. Restart the phone, it works! This is the same for multiple applications, and no amount of software updates have made the OS any more stable.

To make matters worse it seems Microsoft are desperate for feedback. Right now it seems about 25% of the time I use an app I get a message pop up and stop me from using my device that says “Rate this app now!” No matter how many times I say no, Microsoft comes back with a vengeance asking again, and again, and again. Now we aren’t talking random free apps, we are talking about the phone book, the calculator, the damn built-in apps!

I won’t go into my thoughts on the Lumia 950, there’s not enough time in the day to talk about how flawed that device is, but Microsoft seem indifferent to their latest mobile OS. It seems that the current issues have existed for a long time, but they just aren’t getting addressed. Does Microsoft secretly want their mobile arm to die quietly? It seems that way.

What about all the good things though? What about Continuum? That looked awesome! No. It’s ok, but again, we are months in and nothing has changed, there are almost no universal apps outside of Microsoft’s own apps, and the entire experience is a laggy mess. It’s ok to use if you have nothing else at hand, but it’s far from perfect, in fact, it’s far from average. I expected more, but Microsoft seems lost in it’s attempt at getting people to develop for their mobile OS. We did just hear news about them scrapping their own app porting solution in an attempt to push developers towards their newest acquisition. Maybe in the long run this is a good thing, but in the short-term it delays everything again.

It isn’t all bad, and to be fair I’m too close to the situation. I’ve paid a lot of money for my device, and it’s the worst mobile experience I have EVER had. I love the idea of Windows Mobile, but I don’t think Microsoft are committed to the platform any more. Maybe they will surprise me, but I can’t stress this enough. If you’re curious to see what Microsoft’s mobile OS has to matter, turn away, bang your head on a wall, and chose Android or iOS. Window’s Mobile is still a beta OS and nowhere near ready for consumers!

Review: GreeGear Legend G9021 Mobile Gaming Wireless Bluetooth Controller

Getting a controller right tends to be a pretty difficult job, especially when it comes to the low end price point. This device looks great, but the question is does it perform?

Well, I’m happy to say that it works pretty well, especially considering the price. It feels comfortable in the hand, and for anyone who has used an Xbox controller, you’ll feel right at home with this.

Pairing up with my Android was a breeze, and playing games worked great. There was very little set up required, and the controller was working pretty much straight out of the box.

The phone grip is adjustable, and seems to have a pretty flexible range. When it comes to phones I can’t see there being many devices on the market that won’t fit this, including the larger phablets. The grip also feels sturdy, with two rubber pads to hold the phone in place, ensuring it won’t slip out during gaming sessions.

The controller is charged via Micro USB, a cable is kindly supplied with the device. This is pretty handy considering it means you won’t need to carry around multiple cables.

So you might be wondering why the controller lost a star. Well, it feels extremely light weight and the build quality isn’t quite where I’d like it to be. For the most part all the buttons worked well, but the right trigger felt a little loose, pressing in far too easily, especially compared to the left.

Apart from those small niggles regarding the build quality, this is a pretty great controller. You won’t find much better for the price, and for anyone who wants to game on their phone or tablet, this is a great accessory.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Get Official

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know pretty much all there is to know about the Samsung Galaxy S7 range. Today though, the devices have been officially announced, and there’s a nice little video to go along with the announcement.

The form factor of both devices remains very similar to last years models, but the internals have been beefed up, and the memory card slot is back!

Both devices will come with either a Snapdragon Qualcomm 820 SoC, or Samsung’s own Exynos 8890. Paired up with 4GB of memory, these devices promise some fantastic power. Throw in the fact that Samsung promises support for Vulkan, a new technology that will help developers to truly harness the hardware available for gaming, this years models truly could be something spectacular.

Another feature to return alongside the memory card slot is waterproofing, only this time, Samsung has gotten serious. Both models are IP68 rated, which means they are no longer just water resistant.

Camera wise, the S7’s pack a 12MP sensor, but the lower MP count isn’t something to turn away from due to an innovative technology in the f/1.7 aperture and Dual Pixel technology. The new camera promises fantastic low light shooting and super fast auto focus.

That’s just a quick overview of some of the features, mainly focusing on what’s returned or different from the previous versions. Check out Samsung’s video for more, and sound off in the comments below.

 

Review: Razer Nabu Watch Forged Edition

Well, I couldn’t help myself. I’m getting tired of conventional smart watches and their terrible battery life, so I decided to give the Nabu Watch Forged Edition a try. I’ve only had this watch for a few days now, so this is a review in progress which I shall update as we go.

I’m a massive fan of big watches and I’ve always wished that Casio would bring us a smart G-Shock, which they kind of are, but it’s pricey and not yet available. When I saw Razer’s Nabu Watch my heart skipped a couple of beats, and when I got an email confirming it was now available for purchase I gave in and ordered the Forged Edition.

Now, it’s not a conventional smart watch, but it has smart features. The watch has a normal watch feature, it will last between 12-18 months on a standard battery, but there is also a second screen just below the main display that handles your smart features. The smart features include step counting, sleep tracking, and notifications, pretty much all the things you want.

Look and Feel

The watch itself is a beast. It looks big in the pictures and is no smaller in real life, but it is surprisingly comfortable to wear. A few of my colleagues tried the watch on and commented on how nice it felt to wear. The screens both look good, with the lower smart screen being exceptionally bright and readable despite its smaller size.

The Nabu Watch feels very premium with a rubberized plastic surround, and metal trim and buttons. The one thing it lacks in comparison to the standard edition is the bright Razer green trim. Although that looks pretty nice in the pictures I’m really fond of the metal trim and buttons on the Forged Edition, so it’s a worth while trade off.

Conclusion

That’s it for now. I’ll be updating the review shortly, but after only having a few days with the watch, it’s not quite time yet to sum it all up. I’ll admit, I’m really enjoying this watch so far and I definitely prefer it to standard smart watches, but only time will tell how I feel about it. Check back soon!

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Review: Microsoft HD-500 Dock

One of the big features that we got to see with the newly announced Lumia 950 and 950 XL, was Continuum. After picking up my 950 I tried Continuum using wireless methods, and they worked pretty well, but with noticeable lag. Finally, I managed to get myself a Microsoft dock and took Continuum out for a real test drive.

I’ll admit, the results are ok, but until there are more apps supported, it’s not really worth the investment. The big problem, app support. For anyone who has stuck around with Windows phone, you already know that the platform doesn’t really get much support from developers, so I’m not holding my breath for anything to change with Continuum.

While using my phone on the big screen I found myself continually having to pick up my phone to use an application because it had no support. Continuum doesn’t even try to just scale it to the big screen, it just gives you the option to load on your phone. Granted, the Microsoft apps work amazingly well, Office for example is absolutely fantastic.

When I first started using the dock, I found it laggy, unresponsive, and just awful to use. Edge browser didn’t work, and most of the Microsoft apps were broken. After trying a full restore on my phone, I found that this fixed all of my issues (but it was a pain having to do a restore just to use my phone with a dock!)

So, I’ve said some not so great stuff about the dock, but it does have some great points. The dock itself is beautifully built, with a very premium finish. It’s heavy, so you won’t have to worry about it sliding all over your desk. A big win, it uses USB C to power the dock which means you’re not going to end up with multiple types of cables to carry around.

The experience is ok. The apps that work are fantastic and great to use. When hooked up with a mouse and keyboard Continuum almost fools me into thinking I’m using a full blown version of Windows, but then I click on an app that’s not supported, or try and multi-task, and I’m reminded it’s not even close. At this stage though, this is NOT a PC like experience, it’s a Windows 10 skin on a big screen that lulls the user into thinking it is more than it really is. As of right now you can’t really do that much, and to be honest, you’d be better off getting a cheap Windows tablet that runs a full version of windows and hooking this up to a display.

The overall experience is ok, average, but it’s not what Microsoft are bragging about. To be honest, getting an Android device and HDMI adapter probably works just as well, if not better than what Continuum can currently do, at least all of the apps scale to the large screen, even if they do look a little ugly. For the price, and the fact that you will end up carrying another accessory and more cables, I can’t really find it to recommend this. It’s a good experiment, and if Microsoft can actually get developers on side, then there is huge potential, but given their track record I’m not holding my breath.

Review: EC Technology 8-Ports 60W 12A USB Desktop Charger

I’ve used plenty of USB multi chargers and they are normally pretty average. The biggest problem I usually face is that when you start getting too many devices charging at once, charging becomes intermittent on certain devices, especially iPad’s and other tablets. I’m happy to say that with this USB charger that wasn’t the case.

This charger is pretty compact, with just the charger unit and the wire to connect it to the mains. Other devices of this nature will often come in multiple parts, or have a separate charging brick, however this device has everything built in.

Despite being plastic, the device still feels and looks good. It’s pretty nondescript, with only small blue LED’s that light up when a USB is in use. It’s not an eye sore and it’s definitely something you could have in a room without it standing out and looking ugly.

Charging time remained consistent and matched a standard mains charger, even when multiple devices were plugged in.

I tried multiple devices with this charger, including android phones, tablets, and also an iPad. Each device charged at full speed.

I would definitely recommend checking out this charger hub if you own multiple devices. It’s great quality and does a fantastic job.