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More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y48kprra

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y33mqadc

Priced at just £29.99 this new facial steamer from wokaar_ is pretty much the same as several others I have tried but this one comes with a skincare kit and headband and is better presented than most.

In the attractive branded product box were the steamer itself, a 7 piece skincare kit, a headband, and a well printed and easy to read colour User Guide. Build quality of everything seems fine with nothing looking likely to break or fail anytime soon.

The steamer is 9" high with a maximum diameter of 4.92" and weighs about 800g. It has a pull-out 60ml Water Tank on the rear which should give up to ten minutes of steam from the 280w internal heating element. The steam emerges from a fluted opening on the top of the unit which also houses the small UV light element. The steamer has an auto-off system when the water tank is empty as well as misting temperature control system to prevent overheating. The device is completely automatic in use with the only control being the simple On/Off switch on the front.

Also included in the box is a rather attractive lightweight headband with cute cat ears. The headband, I would suppose, is used to keep your hair away from the steam. The seven-piece skincare set comes in a separate leather zipped case and consists of a well made and professional looking range of blood-curdling metal tweezers and pinchers which all no doubt serve some purpose which I would rather not know about.

Using the steamer could not be easier. Remove the water tank from the rear, unscrew the cap, fill the tank to the designated level and replace. Just turn the unit on and it will emit a surprisingly large jet of steam until switched off or the tank runs dry whereupon it will stop automatically.

To get best results the device needs to be over a period of time and in conjunction with other skincare products but I see no reason why this unit is not every bit as effective as the more expensive rivals.

More Info and Purchase
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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Geographer: Airline

Peteme PE220 1080P WiFi Security Camera

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y5d7hzr2

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y54hbuly

This new camera from Peteme is typical of the new generation of stylish, easy to use and simple to configure reliable home security cameras. Like most current-generation cameras this one is simple to configure, easy to operate, works well and is bargain priced.

The Peteme PE220 arrived in an attractive and well designed branded product box. Inside was the camera itself, a wall/ceiling bracket, UK plug power supply, wall mounting kit, USB to micro-USB cable, and a simple, easy to read but rather basic User Guide. The build quality seems good throughout and although the camera is quite large it is well made and looks impressive if slightly old school.

On the front of the camera are the camera lens and night vision LED’s, the motion detector PIR and microphone, together with LED status indicator. Easily overlooked is the SD card slot which is on the front of the camera but visible only when the lens is tilted upwards. On the rear of the unit are the speaker, power input port, power status LED, Ethernet RJ45 connector and Reset button. On the underside of the base, there is the interface for the supplied mounting bracket or a standard tripod. Unlike with many of the Foscam clones that this resembles there is no interface for an external alarm system and there is no large external antenna. Also, no Ethernet cable is included perhaps for reasons I shall discuss later. The camera is powered by a USB adaptor and so can work with any standard phone charger if the one supplied is unavailable. However, a non-standard plug is used for the camera and so the device cannot be used with any USB cable.

To use the camera it is necessary to install the "YI IOT" app to your Android or iPhone and register it before use. Once registered just click the + button to add a camera with walkthrough instructions for Wifi (2.4Ghz only). You can use the app to add the paid for but optional cloud storage system to store stills and video or use a class 10 micro-SD card of up to 64GB (not supplied) to store the footage in the camera. The app will also receive push alerts from the camera when abnormal activity is detected. Like most similar devices it has motion detection for security use and this detection works well and is easy to configure. The user can customise the motion sensor sensitivity as well as configure scheduling so the sensor will be active during set periods only. However, it is not possible to define custom alert zones for selected parts of the image.

The camera has an IR cut feature which means the filter which is used for night time infrared use is removed during daylight to preserve colour fidelity, a feature some cheap Foscam clones lack. It has two-way audio which means it can work as an effective baby monitor as well as a security camera. It also has a Patrol Mode during which the camera will automatically pan to scan all areas in view. It is a pity however than an external speaker and microphone cannot be connected and neither can third party alarm systems.

One feature not mentioned for some reason on the Amazon page or user guide is that this camera works with Amazon Alexa using to allow full voice control, although you will have to delve into the settings panel to find it.

The [email protected] video quality I found to be fine for the price, sharp, clear and with good colour fidelity. I have to say that it looks better on screen than it does from the SD card file. The camera offers full Pan, Zoom and Tilt control through the app. As my video shows there was little latency between the phone and camera Pan and Tilt movements. However, this was better than I have found using some cameras costing several times the price.

I found few issues with this camera. The lack of free off-site video storage – you can only save to the SD card – the need to register an account before fully using the app, no motion detection zones, non-standard power cable. That said, all the features most people will need are here plus a few more besides.

If you want a good quality and easy to use Alexa enabled security camera or baby monitor and at a very reasonable price then this would be an excellent buy.

The Good
Great price
Full PTZ control
iOs and Android apps
Two-way audio
Good image quality
Good build quality
Pan and tilt control in-app
In-app alerts
Night Vision
Motion detection with scheduling
SD card
In-app alerts
Works with Amazon Alexa

The Bad
No Audio out socket
No Audio In socket
Non-Standard Micro-USB socket
No 5Ghz network support
App needs to be registered
No Zone Support

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Silent Partner: 7th Floor Tango

JBonest USB 3.0 Mini WiFi Adapter

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/yxflm8nw

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y6mnha38

This simple, no-nonsense, and easy to use Wifi adapter from JBonest arrived in an attractive mid-market display pack with all the key information about the product printed on the box. Inside the box were the adapter itself, a mini-CD of software and drivers, and a well written but rather poorly printed colour User guide. The User Guide just covers the installation of the drivers and support software, mainly of use to users of older systems, but nevertheless, I reproduce it at the end of my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

The adapter is indeed small in size at 3.1x0".98"x0.31", not the smallest I have seen, but certainly, it will not take up much space when plugged in. It has a USB 3 plug with storage cover attached. Build quality seems fine and more than suitable for office or laptop use. The device has a single LED to indicate power status and on the side an easily overlooked WPS button.

This is a dual-mode Wifi 5 device capable of receiving data at up 867Mbp on the 5. 8GHz band, and 300Mbp at 2. 4GHz. It can be used either as a receiver or Hotspot transmitter.

The CD contains software and drivers and these can also be downloaded directly from the website using the code supplied with the product. I found that with my Windows 10 machine that there was no need for drivers or software as the dongle was instantly recognised and supported by the OS. That suits me as software from unknown sources, particularly system-level drivers can often be the source of a range of troubles. None of that here as it quite literally just plugged and played.

I have not done formal speed tests of this device but I have to say I have been perfectly satisfied with the results and it has not failed me yet. I am happy to add this little device to my PC for use when my office ethernet repeater lets me down.

For the current Amazon price of £15.99 (currently with an additional 30% reduction), this is an excellent buy and well worth adding to your gadget bag.

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Geographer: Airline

Grebarley Waist Trimmer Belt

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y5udnp9g

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/yy2r9qae

The best and only sure way of losing weight is to exercise. When exercising your core body temperature goes up and you sweat and in so doing lose weight. You can increase the amount you sweat, and how hard your body works by pushing yourself harder or by wearing a belt such as this one when performing the exercise.

The belt arrived in a simple and unbranded plastic bag with no additional protection needed or provided. Inside the bag was the belt itself, a tape measure and a cleaning towel. No paperwork or instructions were included, which is a pity as a simple guide to getting the best from this product would have been useful. Better presentation, perhaps in a nicely designed upmarket box, would make the item more attractive as a gift and help with sales.

The belt itself seems well made and robust enough for regular sustained use. It is made from neoprene with a silver reflective lining made from what the suppliers call 'HOT-NANOSILVER' which is designed to promote sweating and allow the belt to be easily wiped clean after use. The belt comes in two sizes, Medium:110cmx21cm and Large L:122cm*23cm. I ordered the medium and that is just about large enough for my 34/36" waist but I suspect the large size would have been better for me. The belt has a large and very strong velcro pad which serves to secure the belt in place and this works well, perhaps too well, as it is quite a struggle to open it. The belt has a handy 15x10.5cm pouch on the front that can hold a phone or similar device. The cleaning towel is nice enough and is a rather useful item, but it is a bit of a stretch to describe it as a towel, a cloth is a much closer to the mark. The tape measure is rather cheap and lightweight but does the job.

Using the belt is easy enough. It is soft and comfortable to wear and provides good lumbar and back support but is better suited to exercises that do not entail too much bending or twisting. It certainly does make you sweat and has a sauna-like effect. This is not the sort of thing I would wear when running or exercising outdoors but for use in the home it is fine. As to how well it works, well that I cannot say, but you certainly do sweat more when exercising wearing it.

For the current Amazon price of just £13.99, this is by no means a bad buy and is certainly worth adding to your home exercise kitbag.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Price
Large velcro Pad
Heat Reflective Lining
Easy to Clean
Provides Back Support

The Bad
No Instructions
Poor Presentation

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Gunnar Olsen: Get Me On The Floor

More Info and Purchase:

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/yyjfyqsv

As I gradually evolve my connected home from a hub-based to a hub free setup I have encountered quite a few of these generic smart plugs which vary slightly in price and with which app they work. However, this new set of two plus from Meross has a particularly good price at £18.99 and includes an individual power monitoring feature

At home, I currently use LightwaveRF switches with my Amazon Echo and Google home devices and this works well but needs a hub to be connected to the router. The latest generation of IOT products, like this socket from Meross require no hub and connects directly to the router and assigned its’ own IP number and is easy to identify online. It is recognised by the Amazon Echo and Google Home and seamlessly blends in their home automation ecosystems.

In the rather plain branded product box were the plugs themselves and a well written and easy to read User Guide. The Guide assists in using the Meross app and for linking the device to Amazon Alexa and Google Home. I attach a scan the guide to my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

Each plug is well made, nicely designed and feels robust enough for long-term everyday use. It is smaller in size than some rivals and less obtrusive in use. I was pleased to see that it is not too wide and should fit into a multi-socket wall fixture. It has a large green/orange power status LED on the top which doubles as a proper clicky Off/On button.

Setting it up was easy enough and can all be done by following the in-app instructions. Open the app and begin the procedure to add a new device. Plug the socket in and the LED starts flashing quickly, select the device type from the list in the app, input your wifi password, let the app detect the device on the network. The switch can then be controlled by the app and you can add the Alexa and Google Home Meross skill to get in onto their ecosystem. The Meross app will walk you through this. Sadly, they seem not to work with the popular Smart Life app which will work with smart devices from a range of manufacturers. It means yet another app has to be installed on my phone. Actually, after setting it up with Alexa or Google you can always then remove the Meross app but I have kept it in place for when I install future devices. Unlike many rivals, these plugs have a 13A fuse and can control devices of up to 2200 watts, enough for most household heaters (but not immersion tank heaters).

In fact, the Meross app is excellent and does much more than just allow you to add the plug to Alexa and Google. The app will allow routines and timers to be configured to allow a range of events to trigger the plug switch alone or in conjunction with other devices. I doubt most users will use the app but will control is just through voice, as I do.

This is an excellent product in its own right and when integrated with Alexa or Google really can start to transform your home. I have seen similar products from other suppliers but this one has to be one of the most powerful and least expensive yet.

The Good
Good price
13Amp Switching
Works with Alexa
Works with Google Home
Excellent App
Compact Size
No hub needed
Part of a family of devices
Off/On button
Status LED

The Bad
Does not work with other Apps

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Diamond Ortiz: RESPECOGNIZE

Docooler Professional Acrylic Clapperboard

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/yypelo8s

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y2hwyt7y

Clapperboards have been used since the earliest days of cinema to allow filmmakers to easily identify rolls of film and when sound movies began they became doubly useful as an aid to syncronising the soundtrack to the movie footage. Clapperboards are still used today in filmmaking although professional boards will now have an electronic time code display to make synchronisation even easier.

A simple board like this can still be useful to YouTubers and other non-professionals when using a separate audio recorder. The release of the Aretha Franklin 1972 concert film Amazing Grace was delayed for 46 years due to young director Sydney Pollack forgetting to use clapperboards, making the film impossible to edit until modern digital methods were invented.

The clapperboard arrived very simply packaged in a plain and unbranded box but well protected within with foam packing. Aside from the clapperboard inside the box was a black whiteboard marker pen and a dual surface felt whiteboard eraser. Build quality of the 11.8 x 9.6in 14.2oz acrylic board seems fine. The board feels robust and well made with a heavy duty hinge for the clapper mechanism which does indeed snap shut with a resounding click. This clapperboard is based on that in use in the classic days of Hollywood as it does not have the colour bars found on later clapperboards used for colour matching and grading.

Using it is just as simple as it seems. The pen writes very easily to the acrylic surface and can just as easily be wiped clean. Depending on the pen used you may wish to give it a second or so to dry to avoid smearing. There is not much to say about it than that: it does what it says on the tin.

For the current price of £12.99, this is a very good buy. It would make a nice gift for any youngster that wants to start making videos or indeed a more professional user would still find it a useful piece of kit. It is built to last and no doubt will give some years of enjoyable use.

More Info and Purchase

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Price
Easy to Use
Quick Wipe Clean

The Bad
No Colour Grading Panels

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Silent Partner: How it Began

CUOKA MIRACLE 925 Sterling Silver Rose-Flower Heart Necklace

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y5b8qjnt

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y52nxals

Inspired by 'Heart of the Ocean' (Titanic) This charming little Rose Flower Heart pendant from CUOKA MIRACLE comes attractively presented in a quality display box and certainly looks like it cost considerably more than the current £26.99 Amazon price.

Presented in an attractive display box the pendant comes attached to a lightweight 925 Sterling Silver chain with a length of 18+2" and a combined weight of 0.145 oz including the tiny and rather fiddly spring ring clasp. Also in the box is a small jewelry grade cleaning cloth.

The heart shaped stone reminded me of Swarovski crystals but this non-lab made stone is of a different type but looks just as elegant and upmarket. The blue stone catches the light delightfully and seems almost to glow at times.

This is an attractive little pendant with a novel and unusual offset design with a striking appearance that belies the budget price. It would make a lovely gift for the right person for Christmas, birthday, or, indeed, just to tell them that you care.

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: ALBIS: New Land

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y6mv9wun

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y34dadrj

This new car Circuit Tester from VDIAGTOOL is an impressive piece of kit and priced on Amazon at £39.96 (before current discounts) it will certainly not break the bank.

In the rather low-end box was the device itself, a positive/negative probes set, a crocodile clip, and a well written and easy to read User Guide. I include a scan of the User Guide at the end of my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

The circuit tester is largely made of ABS plastic but the build quality feels good and is robust enough for workshop use, although it is a pity no case was included. The main control is a large turret selector which a good positive feel to it with a distinct audible click with new selection and is firm enough to make accidental selections unlikely. Powered by two AA batteries (not included) the unit has a large LCD status screen with a selectable 30-second backlight and features an alert beeper when readings are made and will power down after twenty minutes without use.

Although designed for use in the garage, in fact, it can just as well be used for general electronic testing in the home or elsewhere as all the usual features are supported. It has non-contact AC Voltage Sensor with Diode test; Load test; Multimeter voltage function; Voltage test; Resistance test; Continuity test; Data hold; Auto power OFF; LCD Display with 1999 counts; Maximum value hold; Sound and flash alarms; Frequency /duty cycle. This is a four-in-one product with the usual functions of multimeter (voltage, resistance, diode, buzzer. etc.), test lamp, lighting lamp and probe. It also features a voltage drop function for detecting bad contact or aging wires is included. It has a built-in selectable work lamp to help when using the probe in poorly lit or shadowed areas and a non-contact feeler for testing voltage without access to a terminal or wire stripping.

It works within AC voltage 199.mv to 750v parameters, and DC voltage 199.9mv to 1000v. It will measure Resistance between 199.0Ω and 19.99mΩ. The switching rate is e times per second.

The included User Guide is excellent but it is a guide to the equipment and not how to use it. To get the best from this product you will need a good prior knowledge of vehicle electrics. The User Guide assumes the reader will have such knowledge.

This is an excellent product and will be an excellent addition to the garage or home toolkit. It works well and is easy to use and at a price that belies its many advanced functions.

The Good
Great Price
Good Build Quality
Easy to Use
Good User Guide

The Bad
Aimed at professional level Users
No Carry Case

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Freedom Trail Studio: School Bus Shuffle

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y56aeu44

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y65eabkn

Available in a range of sizes from 10cm (4 inches) to 40cm (16 inches) this is an add-on that can be used with an existing cold shoe mount to extend the size and range of the hot shoe and to allow additional devices to be mounted. What is the difference between a hot shoe mount and a cold shoe mount? A hot shoe mount can electrically trigger a flash or similar unit, a cold shoe mount cannot and is just for mounting purposes. When fitted to your camera's hot shoe mount any flash guns fitted to this or any other cold shoe track will not fire and will need an external sensor to trigger them. It can also be mounted on a normal tripod 1/4" screw mount.

My 10cm model arrived well packaged in an attractive mid-market box inside of which was just the bar and a short and rather unnecessary User Guide. The bar is made from Dual Sided Aluminum which features two large knurled thumbwheel tightening nuts and a brass cold shoe fitment. The lower knob locks the bar cold shoe to the external cold shoe mount - not needed for me as I found the shoe to be a very tight fit - the upper knob locks the bar in place when it is rotated or slid into position.

My immediate use for this device is to allow me to film using a smartphone and a 14" Ring Light. With the phone in the default position on the ring light's cold shoe mount, there is light bleed and flare from the lamp. This extension allows me to mount the phone a few inches further forward soi avoid the light spill. No doubt in the future I will find further uses for it.

The current Amazon price of £14.95 is not unreasonable for this simple but professional-level piece of kit. There is nothing to break or fail and so unless I lose it no doubt it will be with me for many years to come.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Price
Attractive Packaging
Fits Hot/Cold Shoe Mount
Fits Screw Mount

The Bad
Integral Shoe mount is slightly oversized

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Au.Ra: Battle Royale

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y5kzv3rh

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y5ud6kfx

Priced on Amazon at £45.99 this is not the cheapest I have tried but for Skyping and video chats this new webcam from LOGITUBO is perhaps the best.

The camera arrived in an attractive but rather unusually designed product box, in that does not feature a picture of the product on the box. Inside was the camera itself, a small cleaning cloth, a User Guide, FAQ booklet, and a Specifications Guide.

The three printed User Guides are a bit intimidating and I thought there might be a lot of configuration and setting up involved but no. For what I wanted from the camera it could not have been more simple. I plugged the camera into my Windows 10 PC and it was instantly recognised with no drivers or software needed. The Windows Camera app allowed me to configure it although the default settings were fine as did Skype. The User Guide is there to help users use the camera with more sophisticated software which allows it to be used for greenscreen and other advanced video techniques and to resolve any issues with the computer.

The camera itself is small and lightweight, with a ring light surrounding the autofocus lens and with an adjustable mount below. The ring light offers three light levels, just touch the ring light to scroll between the three light levels and light OFF modes. The mount can be used to position the camera securely to the top of the computer monitor, as a self-supporting desktop stand, or using the screw hole to any standard tripod mount. The screw mount is plastic rather than metal and so may degrade over time if regularly used for tripod mounting. The hard wired USB cable appears to be the standard 2M in length but it is a pity it is not longer. There are no physical controls to vary focus or exposure but they can be changed using software.

Video and audio quality are both excellent. I have to say now that I was not expecting great results from the ring light due to its small size but in fact when used with a subject between one and two meters away - typical when used for desktop video chats - it gives a strong, flat and shadow free light very similar to that outdoors on an overcast day. Audio quality too from the twin internal microphones is excellent too over the same distance. Unlike many cheap webcams which are either fixed focus or at best manual focus this camera has a fast-acting and effective autofocus system built in. Manual focus and exposure control are possible but this has to be done through the software being used. When using the Windows Camera app full control is available along with the option to select a range of resolutions from 1080P downwards, although 30fps is the fastest frame rate available.

If you want a decent quality webcam for Skype or other streaming purposes then you would have to go a long way to find a better one than this. There are plenty of cheaper rivals available but I suspect few offer the high-quality results of this one.

The Good
Good price
Good Build Quality
Plug and Play
Excellent Video Quality
Excellent Audio Quality
Ring Light Works Well
3 Light Levels

The Bad
Plastic screw mount
No Manual Focus Dial
Cable too Short
30fps Only

Music: YouTube Audio Library: The Mini Vandals: Who's Using Who?

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y4784ohh

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y6gf2h9o

You may have just bought a gimbal mount for your smartphone and would like to use it with your GoPro or similar action camera but found it too small to fit in the gimbal mounting clamp. This little £11.99 device from the curiously named Mbuynow may be just what you need.

The device arrived simply packaged in a plain but not unattractive white box. Inside was just the mounting plate itself, mounting bracket and attaching bolts. Build quality seems first-rate. The plate and bracket are made from aluminium alloy with the attaching bolts from brass. There is very little to go wrong but it would not be hard to mislay the bolts and so it is a pity only one set was included and a pity too that there is no case or storage bag.

Fitting is easy enough. The camera goes into the grooved side of the opening, held in place by the bracket, themselves secured by the two bolts. Take note that the bolts lack screwdriver slots and can be awkward and fiddly to tighten using fingers alone and harder still to release.

You may have to play around with positioning the bracket on your gimbal to get the best balance. You may find also that the gimbal will be visible in shot due to the wide-angle lens fitted to most action cameras. Your camera may have an option to reduce the field of view to compensate for this. You may also find that some camera controls are blocked by the camera being too close to the gimbal. You may be able to get around this by mounting the camera upside down, which will put the control buttons on the other side, and then inverting the image either in-camera or when editing. I tested it with a Campark Xtreme V camera and a DJI Osmo 2 gimbal and got satisfactory results after a few adjustments and tweaking.

Do some research before buying, or be prepared to send it back if necessary, This is an excellent device but may not work with all gimbals or cameras. With the right equipment, it can add a whole new dimension to your action cam videos and images.

More Info and Purchase

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Vibe Tracks: Take You Home Tonight

More Info and Purchase:

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y3huk4tz

The plain unbranded box containing this little new shaving kit from Fairywill, better known as the manufacturer of high quality but budget-priced dental hygiene products, did not make a very encouraging start and neither did the two clearly budget-priced blister packs within. However, don't be put off by the appearance as in fact this kit is no letdown and lives up to the Fairywill name.

The kit consists of two separately packaged products, the Fairywill Razor with two blades (one prefitted), and reusable blade guard. The second is a refill pack of five further blades.

The razor is very much the same as those from Gillette and other big-name manufacturers and employs a similar (but not compatible) quick release secure blade release mechanism - just depress the button on the razor handle and the blade can be easily pulled free. In common with the more expensive rivals, the Fairywill razor has a multiblade system with four blades with a sculptured leading edge designed to aid water and soap dispersal.

Shaving with it was a smooth, comfortable and gore free experience that was quick to complete and gave very satisfactory results. The shave I got was every bit as those I have had from dearer rivals and far better than from even a high-end electric shaver. I have not yet had the razor to comment on the longevity of the blades but after a couple of weeks of daily use, I am getting just as good a shave as on day one and with none of the scraping and scratching you get with old blades.

For less than the price of a name brand razor, you get a razor just as good and with seven additional blades, which should be good for several months of daily use. The poor presentation and lack of a storage case will limit the appeal of this item as a gift. Had it been presented in a posh box and with a storage box as part of the kit I would have been happy to pay twice the price.

In conclusion, I would say that this is a budget-priced, good quality, shaving set that is just as good as the big-name rivals but distinctly less expensive.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Great Price
Quick Release Head

The Bad
Poor Presentation
No Storage Case

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Silent Partner: Don't Look

NoneMore Info and Purchase: https://is.gd/aqZNyE

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y53lfjl5

This simple little device does what it says on the nicely printed and rather upscale box. Using it you can access files on SD and micro-SD cards with any suitable device with a USB or USB-C socket.

Inside was just the device itself, no accessories or paperwork. All the information needed can be found on the box. In fact, the unit should work with any modern smartphone, PC, Mac or Linux computer. There may be a few exceptions and these are listed on the box and Amazon product page. The reader is made from robust plastic with detachable covers for the USB 3 and USB-C plugs and with both ports clearly marked.

Using it is pretty obvious, just plug it in and go. You may need to turn on the OTG option on some phones and you may be asked to format the drive before use. On most computers, you should just be able to plug it in and use it straight away. I tested it on a Windows 10 PC and two Android phones, one running an older Android version and using an OTG adapter cable, the other on a USB-C phone running Android 9. The reader worked fine in all my tests and I found transfer speeds to be good and fast. I just plugged it in and it worked with a minimum of fuss and bother.

For the current Amazon price of just £6.99, this is something of a no brainer and is well worthwhile buying to keep on hand in your gadget bag for if and when may you need it.

The Good
Great Price
Good Build Quality
Nice Packaging
Fast Data Speeds

The Bad
May Not Work With All Devices
NO OTG Cable Included

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Freedom Trail Studio: No Good Right

Jelly Belly Assorted Flavours Sport Beans

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y5cjlkaz

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y4zrad3e

Like many runners, I like to take something along to refresh me and hopefully give me more energy when I am out on the road. At one time I used to take gel packs - small packs of sugary paste which toy squeeze into your mouth - but I found them awkward to carry, tricky to open when running, and they invariably got my fingers gunged up and left me with the problem of having to dispose of a sticky and messy plastic wrapper. So iot was that I turned to sports beans.

I have tried various different types of beans and to be honest they are all pretty much the same and vary only price from expensive to crazy mad expensive. The pack lists a long range of flavourings, chemicals, vitamins and other nutrients for what that may be worth but do they work, do they help me run better? For me at least, as with the gels, they don't help me in any way physically to run faster or further. However, they are quite refreshing, prevent a dry mouth and as I always take one at the halfway point in my standard 10K run they give me a mental boost and something to look forward to on the outward half of the run. The beans are small and easy to keep in the pocket or running belt and I pop just one into a small sealed pouch inside my belt. On the road, they are easy to store and more robust than the squashy gel packs and far easy to manipulate when running.

As regards flavour, these beans, like all the others I have tried, have a strong and refreshing taste that does help with a dry or gunged up mouth and although they are fine for running they are not the sort of thing I would eat as a sweet in other circumstances. The beans come in a range of colours and flavours within each pack but I cannot say I have ever noticed any difference between them but as I only ever eat one per run and I suppose that is to be expected.

Like with all the rivals, these beans are not cheap but the manufacturers know that selling them as a sports accessory means they can inflate the price. There is no way I would pay nearly £2 for a packet of about a dozen small jelly bean type sweets otherwise but I still buy them at £13.29 on Amazon for a pack of six bags.

These are perfectly good sports beans and for me, they work but perhaps not for the reasons the manufacturer would have us believe.

More Info and Purchase

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: The Mini Vandals: Upsetter

SANBLOGAN Car Back Seat Organiser 2 Pack

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y49pvms2

Blog:https://tinyurl.com/y3w9n62e

This set of two complementary but not identical Car back Seat organisers takes a different approach than others I have tested and aims to help protect the back seat rather than pack the maximum number of pockets into the organiser.

The organiser set arrived very simply but securely packaged in a plastic shipping bag. Whilst this does the job it is a pity more effort could not have been made to present the product better. A well designed colourful package could surely boost sales, look better on the shelves and make the item a more appealing as a gift.

Each is a 23.6 * 15.7-inch multi-pocket organiser made from Polyester, Mesh fabric and PVC and is attached by adjustable straps to the rear of a car front seat with a loop going over and under the headrest. It can also be attached to the rear of a rucksack to hold items needed on the road without disturbing the rucksack contents.

The two organisers are very similar, the difference being that one has a single large zipped pocket taking up almost all the lower half of the item, the other has a smaller velcro secured lower pocket with two elasticated mesh pockets either side. The top of each unit is the same with a large PVC touch screen windowed pocket capable of holding a ten-inch tablet with meshed pockets either side suitable for a drinking bottle or power bank. The outside of the two organisers has a plain easy clean anti kick surface designed to protect the contents and the rear of the car set from young feet. All the pockets are well-sized and easy to access. Should accidents occur then the organiser can be easily wiped down or in the worst cases machine washed. The empty organiser can be easily rolled up or folded flat when not in use.

Fitting the organiser could not be more simple. There are two straps, the top 15 inches, the bottom 43 inches, both adjustable with large finger-friendly clips. The top strap loops over the seat headrest, the other about a third of the way up from the bottom of the organiser goes around the front seat. With both in place, the organiser can help completely flush to the rear of the car set which protects the contents better, saves space, and stops it flapping around.

This is a simple solution to a perennial problem and hopefully can make your next long family car journey more enjoyable and stress-free.
There are plenty of rival products available and they are all pretty much the same. This one is well made and gets the job done at a perfectly reasonable price and there is no reason not to recommend it.

The Good
Good Price
Well Made
Multiple pockets
Tablet pocket
Bottle holders
Washable

The Bad
Poor presentation
Many similar rivals

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Freedom Trail Studio: School Bus Shuffle

More Info and Purchase:

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/yyf6vn58

Here is the new flagship toothbrush from Fairywill and it perhaps a new generation of products for a company known for providing high quality, well presented, budget-priced health care products. The opening price of $49.99 is higher than that usually found for Fairywill products but it does come with a couple of attractive pre-order offers from the Fairywill website of a 20% discount coupon and a free cordless water flosser.

The toothbrush arrived nicely packaged in an attractive and distinctly upmarket product box inside of which was the toothbrush itself, two heads (one prefitted), a short non-standard USB Charging Cable, and a USB cable adapter. No USB charging adapter is included, but any standard phone charger will do. A well-written and nicely printed User Guide was also included and I append this to my unboxing video.

As usual with Fairywill, the build quality seems excellent and although this is a rather lightweight device, the toothbrush feels robust and sturdy and is satisfyingly chunky and easy to hold in the hand. The brush sports a new and rather more stylish design and this coupled with the new posh packaging and increased price kicks Fairywill into a new league. The head is of the sonic rather than rotary type and makes a not unpleasant high pitched buzz when in use. The toothbrush is IPX7 waterproof, so no need to worry if it falls in the bath!

Using the toothbrush was simple and straightforward. At speeds of up to 62000 movements each cycle - the fastest I have seen on any brush - the toothbrush worked fine in all three brushing modes: Clean (62K operation) Soft (56K operation), Massage (56-62 alternating). Selectable by pressing the large Power button, each mode is indicated by a LED display and marked change in sound from the motor. The LED display is attractive but confusing and it is hard to tell which mode the device is using just by looking at it. The automatic memory functions allow the brush to always start in the last mode used. It has a two-minute auto-off timer with 30-second alerts.

The LED display also functions as a charging indicator. The LED will slowly flash when the brush needs charging, show continually when charging is complete before turning off after two minutes. A two-hour charge should be good for at least three weeks of normal use. It is a pity that a non-standard USB cable is used rather than an easily replaced regular cable. A cable adapter is included but I am not sure what for as it allows the non-standard Fairywill cable to be used to feed two micro-USB devices rather than allowing the Brush to be powered from micro-USB.

The brush sat nicely in the hand and was nice and quiet in use. My mouth felt just as clean and refreshed after use as with the high-end brush I usually use. The brushes seem good and strong and look to me like the standard Fairywill type for which but replacements can be found online for £8.99 for a set of four.

This is a first-rate toothbrush, well priced and well made, that works excellently, is easy to use and looks good in the bathroom. My only criticism is the use of a non-standard USB charging port on the device itself, so take care not to lose the charging cable. The current price is not so cheap as usual but this is negated by the very attractive pre-launch offers available. No doubt the standard price will fall after launch.

The Good
Great price
Robust build quality
Attractive New Design
Two heads included
Super High Bushing Speeds
Three modes
IPX7 Water-Resistant
Auto Timer
Good User Guide
Upmarket Packaging

The Bad
Non-standard Charging cable
No USB Adapter
No Carry case
No Charging Stand

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Geographer: Airline

LC-dolida Sleep Sports Headphones

More Info and Purchase:

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y2nars2t

The first thing that struck me about this excellent product was face glaring out at me from the front of the otherwise plain product box. Strange but curiously arresting marketing... No matter that does not detract from the quality of this otherwise excellent product.

Inside the box along with the headband itself, was the control pod with hardwired 3.5mm jack plug, plastic waterproof control pod case, two seal plugs for the headband audio socket, audio cable, USB charging cable and a User Gude. The build quality of everything seems fine, well-made and with a quality feel to it. It is a pity, however, no carry bag for the headband and accessories was included.

The headband is nicely padded, comfortable and easy to wear. The speakers do not seem to be removable, unlike with similar products I have tried, and since the product is described as washable, I suppose this must be done with the speakers in place. Personally, I would take great care when doing so and make sure to insert one of the water plugs into the headphone socket. The headband can be used either as a normal headset using the supplied standard audio cable to connect to a phone or iPod or by using the Bluetooth control pod. I was very pleased to see that the latest Bluetooth 5 technology was has been used for this as this will greatly improve the sound quality, range and connection. The User Guide is well written in good English, nicely printed and easy to read. I append a scan of it to my unboxing video.

Pairing the pod to the phone is a matter of just pressing the single button and following the voice prompts. Using the button with long, short bor multiple presses allows calls to be made, received and rejected, to pause/play music and turn the device off. There are Up and Down buttons to regulate volume and navigate tracks. A single large and rather bright LED on the clip-on pod shows the current device status.

I prefer to use this headset for listening to music when in bed as it allows me to comfortably rest my head on the pillow when laying on my side, not possible easily with normal headphones and often uncomfortable with in-ear or True Wireless models. The headband is a little tight for me but for those with smaller heads, it would be perfect. It is soft and padded and the speakers do not press into the ears or feel intrusive in any way. I would feel it a little restrictive to wear for sports use but others may disagree. The control pod can either hang free or can be attached to clothing or to the headband itself using the built-in clip.

I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. Often headphones with unusual design tend to sacrifice audio quality but not so here. The audio is good with plenty of bass, clear and non-muddy mid times and high frequencies which are not sibilant or grating. These are not the best I have ever used but the sound quality is more than adequate and better than many conventional headphones I have used costing much more.

This is an excellent device for home or bedtime use with very decent sound quality but is well made and durable enough for sports use. The current Amazon price of £15.99 makes it particularly attractive.

The Good
Good Sound Quality
Great Price
Good Build Quality
Bluetooth 5
Washable
Case for Control Pod
Poor Packaging

The Bad
Tight fit for large heads
No Carry Bag

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Freedom Trail Studio: No Good Right

TrandPower 50 LED 7 Meter Garden Solar String Lights

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y5zwgds9

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y62a8mpg

Unlike many similarly priced rivals, this set of LED garden lights seems built to last and hopefully will not need to be replaced every year. The set also features both a larger sized solar array than usually found as well as a more powerful and capacious battery.

Being presented in a plain brown box does not help this otherwise above average product. Attractive presentation would allow surely help sales of this otherwise excellent set of lights and even allow the budget Amazon price of £12.99 to be increased somewhat. Anyway, inside the box are the set of 50 LED globe lights, garden spike mount set, wall mount screw set, infrared remote control. No instruction or other items are included or needed.

One of the selling points of this item is the larger than normal 14 x 10cm solar panel. The larger size in turn allows a above average sized 1200mAh battery to be fitted which when fully charged should be enough to allow the device to run the whole night, winter as well as summer - although the I would recommend, as with all solar power units, that this be brought indoors for winter storage with perhaps a brief outing at Christmas. True, the lighting set is IP65 water resistant, enough to keep it protected from everything short of water immersion, but you can never be too careful. The solar charger/battery box can be either mounted in the ground using the supplied ground spike or to a wall or other surface using the screw set included. The 50 LED set extends to 16.4ft with an additional 6.5ft of cable between the box and the first LED, after which the LED's are spaced 3.9in apart.

Controlling the item is easy enough. On the rear are two large and easy to identify proper clicky buttons, on to turn On/Off the other to scroll through the eight lighting modes available. The available modes are: Steady on, combination, fireflies flashing, waving, fading, chasing/flashing, slowly fading, twinkling/flashing. To allow the set to be position in a hard to access location a credit card sized remote control has been included with dedicated keys for all the principal features of the light set.

Once in position, the warm white lighting set does look good, aided perhaps by the large size of the glass effect lighting globes. When in the On mode the lights will come on at dusk and go off again at dawn or when the battery runs out. Certainly, when correctly positioned they can add some real style to your garden or patio. If you need a set of decent quality robust garden string lights then this would be a very good buy.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Price
Large size Solar Panel
Remote Control
Large Buttons
1200mAh battery
8 Operating Modes

The Bad
No Standard Battery Option
No External Power Option
Poor Presentation

More Info and Purchase
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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Silent Partner: Ticker

Blog https://tinyurl.com/yxqm2hwm

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y2822rc4

There are plenty of flashlights out there on eBay and Amazon making huge claims for their power and light output. A while back I reviewed one very similar to the one under test today that claimed a ludicrous 30000LM rating. The one today is not so bold but still claims a light output of 5000 Lumen, which if true, will still make it one of the most powerful handheld torches on the market. Later on, I will perhaps make a head to head comparison video of both torches.

The flashlight arrived packaged in a slightly scruffy and rather downmarket box inside of which was the torch itself, a USB to USB-C charging cable, a rubber hand grip, a lanyard strap, and a user guide. I cannot fault the build quality, it all seems heavy duty and made to last. Indeed, the torch is rated as IPX5 water-resistant, which means it should be fine in all but immersion or sustained water jets. The User Guide is rather small but is well written, well printed and in colour. I enclose a scan of it at the end of my unboxing video.

Looking at the torch itself, the twelve 12 CREE XM-L T6 LED lamp beads (assuming that is indeed what they are) can be seen behind the toughened glass lens. On either side about an inch or so down the body can be found on one side the grommet protected USB-C charging port and on the other, the flush fit power button with next to it the red LED screen showing the current battery level and three-stage light output setting. The supplied lanyard strap can be looped over one end of the torch and through the eyelet slots on the rear.

Before first use, or when the torch has not been used for some while it is necessary to press the Off/On button five times in rapid succession to switch it on. Do the same to switch it back into storage mode if you plan not to use it for a while. This is to avoid accidents when in storage. After that just press the button to turn on and repeat to scroll through the three light outputs levels. Press three times to enter Strobe mode. The button is completely flush and does not feel intuitive to use, a more sculptured feel to it would be better. Although sustained use it not forbidden the device does get distinctly warm after a short while, which is one reason the rubber hand grip is provided.

So how bright is this torch? Bright, very bright in fact and certainly one of the most powerful torches I have ever used. According to the CREE website each of the twelve CREE XM-L T6 LEDs can deliver up to 1040 lm maximum but this depends on the power supply and when driven to anywhere near their full potential light output they would generate a large amount of heat which would be hard to dissipate in a small metal enclosure. As regards the battery and power output we are not told much other than that the Lithium Polymer battery delivers up to 4.20 volts at 10 amps. That is a pretty powerfull output. 5000 lumens is not impossible by any means but I suspect 3000 is nearer to the mark. There is no easy way to disassemble the torch but I am tempted to do so to see just what sort of battery is in there. The other similar model I tested contained four 18650's and I would not be surprised to find the same in here.

This really is an excellent torch, powerful, well made and easy to use. Unlike some rivals, it does not require the purchase of specialised and costly batteries. For the current Amazon price of £32.99, you will get one of the most powerful handheld flashlights available and with the added advantage of rapid charging using the latest USB-C interface.

The Good
Great price
Great Build Quality
Rechargeable Batteries
USB-C Charging

The Bad
No Carry Case
No Charger
Doubt over claimed light output

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Au.Ra: Battle Royale

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y5zkyz74

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y584w62x

I did not think that in 2019 that anyone still used MP3 players but if it looks like they do and if this new £34.99 player from Gueray is anything to go by then they still have plenty to offer.

Packaged in an attractive but rather downmarket box was the MP3 player itself along with in-ear wired headset, micro-USB charging cable, soft carry case, three sets of earbuds (one prefitted), and a well written but poorly printed colour User Guide. The build quality of everything seems excellent. The 2.5 x 2.2 x 0.7 Inch MP3 player is built like a tank with a metal body, metal and tough plastic buttons, glass screen and is heavier than I expected, perhaps for that reason. The supplied in-ear headset is of better than average quality and superior to those usually supplied with budget audio devices. The User Guide is of decent quality and in colour but is small in size, poorly printed and hard to read.

Facing the screen on the left side of the metal body are buttons for Menu, Forward, Back and Return. On the other side are the large knurled volume knob and micro-SD card slot whilst on the top are the micro-USB and Headphone ports together with the Power On/Off button. On the front face is the 2.4" 320x240 TFT backlit screen which is bright and colourfull if but rather low resolution. The device uses an integral 420mAh polymer lithium battery charged through the micro-USB port (which can also be used for OTG file transfers to a smartphone) with a 4-5 hour charge giving a claimed 45 hour playback time. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and up to a further 128GB can be added using the micro-SD card slot.

This device is not just for music playing (MP3/WAV/OGG/WMA/FLAC/APE/AAC-LC/ACELP formats) it can also support these features:
Video (160x128 AVI)
Ebooks (TXT/LRC)
Images (JPEG/BMP)
FM Radio (87MHz-108MHz) with 30 presets
Audio Recording (MP3/WAV)
Bluetooth 4.2
OTG smartphone connection for file transfer
Direct USB connection to PC/MAC for file transfer

As regards these other features, they do all seem to work but some are far more useful than others. Video playback does work but the low screen resolution and limited file formats make this not really worth the effort. Ebook playback does work and the screen is bright and with good contrast but again the small screen size makes this not really very practical. FM Radio works fine, using the wired headset as an antenna. Audio recording works but can be best used for note taking rather than music recording. Bluetooth headphones work well and are easy to connect in the usual way but it is a pity the latest Bluetooth 5 system is not used.

Audio quality, the main requirement for an MP3 player, is excellent. The menu system is good and easy to negotiate to find the tracks and albums needed. The screen displays the album cover if this is included in the selected file folder. The built-in storage is enough for about 3500 songs in standard format and music can be listened to whilst browsing folders, images and ebook files on the device. Using the common LRC format song lyrics can also display on screen as the music plays. Personally, I use it with Bluetooth headphones for MP3 and FM radio only. the other features either not of interest to me or not worth the effort of configuring.

The Good
Great Build Quality
Good Price
Good Audio Quality

The Bad
No USB-C
No Touch Screen
Poor Video Quality
No Bluetooth 5

Music: YouTube Audio Library: The Mini Vandals: Who's Using Who?

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y3jtag2q

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y24zveaa

For full review see Blog

At one time you would not be able to get a good quality car dashcam for under £200, much less a dual camera model like this one, but now prices seem to be in freefall as more and better specified new models come on the market. Priced at a £49.99, this dual lens high spec camera system seems a particularly good buy.

As insurance fraud grows daily one way of protecting yourself from driving-related scams is to install a dashcam. Dashcams such as this one are positioned discreetly pointing forwards through the front window and record all your driving activity. The dashcam turns on automatically when the car is started and off again a short time after the engine is turned off. It records continuously in short recordings onto a memory card that seamlessly dovetail together when played back. When the card is full the camera records over the oldest recording. The point of having a mass of short video recording files it to make it easier to find the one you need to examine. The camera should have a G-Sensor that will automatically flag any recording containing a possible impact and not record over it.

Packaged in a large and rather upmarket box aside from the front camera there is also the small rear camera and cable set, rear camera mounting pad and screw kit, cleaning cloth, cable clip set, mirror mounting straps, short mini USB cable, long mini USB charging cable, car power adapter, cable mounting splunger tool, User Guide, Thank You card. The User Guide, unlike most, was well printed, easy to read and actually informative. I include a scan of the key pages on the end of my unboxing video, switch to fullscreen and pause as needed to read it.

Unlike with most dashcams, this system is supplied with a second small waterproof camera that is attached by cable to the front camera and can be positioned in the back window or above the rear licence plate to continuously record activity behind the car in addition to the forward picture recorded by the main camera. The video from the rear cam can be viewed on and is recorded by the front camera. The front camera has a wide angle 170-degree angle of view and the rear camera just 120 degrees. The front camera has a maximum resolution of 1080P, the rear 640v480. HDR can be selected in the settings to boost the colour range of the video and images displayed. Audio recording can also be selected if required and replayed through the built-in speaker.

The device is like an oversized driving mirror, and indeed so it is, that is held in places over the existing rear view mirror using the elasticated loops supplied. When in place it will serve as a normal mirror but within it is a 5" touch screen which can show the current video or recording from either camera with a picture in picture mode available. The device is configured by selecting from the on-screen options. On the rear of the mirror and facing forward into the car windscreen is the main camera which can be rotated and positioned to the best viewing position. On the other side is the speaker grill. On the bottom edge of the device is the Off/On button whilst on the top are the mini-USN power port, rear camera port, micro-SD card slot and reset button aperture.

I was pleased to see the front camera does not have built-in infrared night lights, as so many low-end dashcams do. LED illumination is a bad thing because when driving at night any built-in lights on the camera will just reflect from the windscreen and burn out the image. The rear camera does have four small infrared LED's but if the camera is mounted outside this will not be an issue.

Setting it up was not too hard and the menu could be navigated on the five-inch screen reasonably well. Fixing the camera to the mirror on my Toyota Aygo was easy enough and the cables were easily long enough for both cameras. The integral mirror camera is small and discreet, a distinct advantage as it makes it harder to spot from outside the car. The built-in display is large enough to make navigating the configuration menu easy enough but in any case, you should only need to configure it once. Fitting the second camera was more of a bind as the cable has to be wound through the car from front to back but once it is done there should be no need to adjust it again. For best results, the rear camera can be optionally wired into the reversing light circuit to allow it to automatically display on the screen when the reverse gear is selected. The rear camera is waterproof and can be mounted either inside or externally above the number plate. However, the dashcam can be used just with the main camera, which is the way I use it, to avoid the fuss and bother of the second camera.
For Full Review see my Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y24zveaa

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y5sehyeq

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y5qv5dlk

Identity Fraud is an increasing problem these days made worse by the increasing popularity of wireless debit and credit payment cards. When queueing up it is possible for suitably equipped criminals to scan the wireless card in your pocket or wallet and download your payment details from it. That cannot happen with this new RFID Blocking wallet from Tocode.

The wallet is supplied in an attractive upscale presentation box which greatly increases the value of the item as a gift and furthers the impression that this is indeed a quality product. Inside is just the wallet itself together but sadly without a product information sheet or promotional materials.

The 85g x 11x8.5 x 0.7cm-inch wallet is made from Genuine leather with a Super-fibre lining and expands to 22.5x8.5 x 0.35 cm when opened. Despite the slimline design, the wallet incorporates an RFID blocking layer, 1 windowed pocket, 1 external zippered balloon coin pouch, a quick access outside card slot with touch notch, 7 internal card slots, and a detachable steel money clip. The money clip slips into a slot in the wallet but can be easily removed and used separately.

Aside from the slimline styling, the main selling point for this wallet is the RFID protection it affords. There are no separate cards that need to be fitted, the RFID screening is built into the wallet itself and it offers protection for all 13.56MHz devices – credit, debit, Drivers Licence and most ID cards. We are not told if it also offers protection for the far less commonly used 125Khz frequencies used by some ID Badges, old style Hotel Cards, and building access cards. Certainly, for most people, it offers all the card protection you will need.

Judged just as a wallet it is perfectly fine. It is well made and robust, attractively designed, well presented and offers a wide range of pockets, all lined with an upmarket silk-like material, and at £15.99 is not overpriced.

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Music: YouTube Audio Lab: Silent Partner: Succotash

Olycism PUBG Mobile Game Controller

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/yy7yjte2

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y52r6wkt

Music: YouTube Audio Library: Chasms: Active Form

This new game controller from Olycism is designed for use with the PUBG but in fact, be used for more general gaming use with a wide range of apps.

The Game Controller arrived packaged in a colourful and attractive box themed to the Playerunknown Battlegrounds game. Apart from the box top, all the other information on the box is entirely in Chinese and this product has clearly been taken directly from the domestic Chinese market.

In the box can be found the Game Controller itself, a pair of finger sleeves, a USB to micro-USB charging cable and a pair of spare trigger button sleeves. No instructions are included either in English or Chinese.

The device consists of an ABS plastic phone holder with an adjustable grip for phones between 4.7 to 6.5 inches in size. On the underside of the holder is cooling fan with an integral 450mAh rechargeable battery. Turning the device over reveals the tiny On/Off switch and the micro-USB battery charging port. There is no electrical connection between the phone and the Game Controller. There are two shaped hand grips on either side of the phone holder with next to them metal trigger levers linked to the two in-game button pushes sited above the screen. The idea is that pulling on the triggers will then physically press the on-screen buttons in the PUBG game. When the Game Controller is used with other games these two mechanical buttons and up locked up and away from the screen to avoid obscuring the action. The whole mechanism for these buttons is of metal and it seems very robust and reliable. The package includes a pair of spare screen protecting button sleeves, should the originals get lost. Included two are a pair of soft elasticated thumb covers which can be worn to make gameplay smoother and more enjoyable.

For the current Amazon price of £14.99, this would be an excellent buy for serious PUBG gamers and in fact, the device is just as useful for any phone gamer as the device makes holding and manipulating the phone during gaming much easier and the built-in fact does a good job in preventing the phone overheating.

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: Chasms: Active Form

APEMAN 1080P WiFi Baby Monitor Security Camera ID73

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/y3u6zlde

Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y53pobxl

At one time security cameras were expensive, ugly clunky things with bug-ridden web-based interfaces, were unreliable, hard to operate and the province of geeks and the techy minded user only. Not so now as this new camera from Apeman is typical of the new generation of stylish, easy to use and simple to configure reliable home security cameras.

The camera arrived in an attractive and well designed branded product box. Inside was the camera itself, a wall/ceiling bracket, UK plug power supply, wall mounting kit, USB to micro-USB cable, and a simple, easy to read but rather basic User Guide. The build quality seems good throughout and although the camera is quite large it is well made and looks impressive if slightly old school.

On the front of the camera is the camera lens and the row of night vision LED’s, the motion detector PIR and microphone, together with LED status indicator. Easily overlooked is the SD card slot which is on the front of the camera but visible only when the lens is tilted upwards. On the rear of the unit are the power input port, Ethernet RJ45 connector and single antenna. On the underside of the base, there is the interface for the supplied mounting bracket and a metal tripod. Unlike with many of the Foscam clones that this resembles there is no interface for an external alarm system and the rear antenna is fixed in place cannot be removed when using Ethernet. Also, no Ethernet cable is included perhaps for reasons I shall discuss later. The camera is powered by a USB adaptor and so can work with any standard phone charger if the one supplied is unavailable. Unlike with some rivals, here a standard micro-USB socket is used and so the device can be used with any cable.

To use the camera it is necessary to install the IPC360 app to your Android or iPhone and register it before use. Once registered just click the + button to add a camera with walkthrough instructions for both Ethernet and Wifi (2.4Ghz only) connection with voice prompts to simplify the process still more. You can use the app to add the paid for cloud storage system to store stills and video or use a micro-SD card (not supplied) to store the footage on the camera. The app will also receive push alerts from the camera when abnormal activity is detected. Like most similar devices it has motion detection for security use and this detection works well and is easy to configure. The user can customise the motion sensor sensitivity as well as configure scheduling so the sensor will be active during set periods only.

The camera has an IR cut feature which means the filter which is used for night time infrared use is removed during daylight to preserve colour fidelity, a feature some cheap Foscam clones lack. It has two-way audio which means it can work as an effective baby monitor as well as a security camera. It is a pity however than an external speaker and microphone cannot be connected and neither can third party alarm systems.

Video quality I found to be excellent, sharp, clear and with good colour fidelity. As my video shows there was little latency between the phone and camera Pan and Tilt movements. This is better than I have found using some cameras costing several times the price.

I found few issues with this camera. The lack of free off-site video storage – you can only save to the open app or to the SD card – the need to register an account before fully using the app, no motion detection zones. However, all the features most people will need are here plus a few more besides.

If you want a good quality and easy to use security camera or baby monitor at a very reasonable price then this would be an excellent buy

The Good
Great price
Standard Micro-USB power socket
iOs and Android apps
Two-way audio
Excellent image quality
Good build quality
Pan and tilt control in-app
In-app alerts
Night Vision
Motion detection with scheduling
IR Cut filter
Easy to read User Guide
SD card
In-app alerts
Voice Prompts

The Bad
Dated design
No Audio out socket
No Audio In socket
Obtrusive when fitted to wall/ceiling mount
No 5Ghz network support
No web interface
App needs to be registered

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Music: YouTube Audio Library: The Mini Vandals: Who's Using Who?

Amazon Echo Show 5 UK First Thoughts
https://tinyurl.com/yyvm98qo

The latest Echo device from Amazon is here! The Amazon Echo Show 5 is a small desktop display unit, with a screen smaller than many mobile phones, is perhaps Amazon answer to the rather larger and more expensive Nest Hub device from Google.

The screen is bright, perhaps too bright for bedroom display at night, but at 960x480 the 5.5" display is sharp and clear. Build quality seems excellent, as you would expect from Amazon, and the device has a classy feel to it.

There are no controls or features on the front of the 148 x 86 x 73 mm 410g device other than the display screen and camera. Along the top of the device are the camera cover slider, volume up and down buttons, camera/Mic On/Off button and microphone ports. On the rear are the power, micro-USB slot and audio out 3.5mm ports. It supports ac Wifi (wifi 5 as it is now called), Bluetooth and is powered by a rather lowly but capable enough MediaTek MT 8163 CPU and has a 1MB front facing camera. In the box aside from the Show 5 itself are just a 15w three pin UK plugged power adapter and cable, a very basic Quick Start Guide and a Things To Try card.

Setting the device is easier than with some other Echo devices and can almost all be done using the 5's touch screen. To access settings swipe down from the top of the screen or simply ask Alexa to 'Show Settings'. Swipe from the right to access current groups and device types, this is a new feature that comes with the Show 5. Unlike with the larger Echo Show, this smaller model does not include a built-in Zigbee hub, no problem for me as I own no compatible devices. Unlike with the Google Nest Hub, your spoken commands do not show up in real time on screen, maybe this feature will be added later.

What new features does the Show 5 offer?
A mechanical shutter to cover the camera lens
Ambient light incremental wake-up alarm
3.5mm audio out port
Right Swipe devices menu
Small footprint

My initial thoughts are that this is a nice enough device with the small size allowing it to replace the Echo Dot on the desktop but perhaps being rather on the small size for kitchen or living room use. It is a nice size, however, for the bedroom, if the screen is not too bright for you, with the physical camera shutter making for peace of mind and the ambient light wake-up alarm an added bonus. The device was not quite as snappy as I expected, with some delays and latency when opening pages and my Arlo cameras - but how much was due to latency within my home network I am not sure. The screen display is good and bright although the big bezel design looks a bit old school to me. I will be keeping my Show 5 and will position it on my desk to replace the Dot that used to reside there.

The Good
Good Price
Attractive Design
Audio out
Good far field microphone coverage
On-Screen Setup
Sunrise Alarm

The Bad
On-screen information not displayed as well as on Nest Hub
Big Bezels
Voice input transcription not shown on screen
Snooze delay cannot be customised
Screen is too bright at night
No Zigbee Hub

More Info and Purchase: https://tinyurl.com/yyvm98qo

Music: YouTube Audio Lab: Quincas Moreira: Selfie Stick

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Created 1 year, 11 months ago.

560 videos

CategoryScience & Technology

My product reviews Blog (www.marcoscu.com) backed up here plus other stuff.