Author: Mr. Cool

Best Pocket Drone with HD Camera

jjrc-foldable-rc-quadcopter-drone
MAIN FEATURES

  • FPV CAMERA:REAL TIME Video Camera (0.3MP), which provides you FIRST PERSON VIEW, is able to take aerial videos and photos horizontally with the smartphone device (both IOS and Android systems are ok). Images and videos will be shown in both app and mobile album system.
  • MOBILE/APP CONTROL:Control the drone with the APP in a smartphone. And multiple functions can be activated.
  • ONE KEY TAKE OFF/LANDING:When get started, the drone would fly to a preset altitude. And during the flying, the altitude is adjustable which makes the drone easy to control, especially for beginners who are not skilled yet.
  • LIGHTING SYSTEM:Equipped with LED Navigation lights for night flights.

jjrc-foldable-rc-quadcopter-drone-7
The JJRC quadcopter is pretty awesome. Yes, it flies using the app on your cell phone (once downloaded and installed) and I prefer using a transmitter, but for what you get with portability and easy setup and operation, it’s worth the trade-off to use and fly this quadcopter when you need it.

I won’t say this is my daily go to quadcopter, but it has its time and place like everything else. This folds up and is very light weight and makes it very easy to shove in a pocket or bag and carry with you when you leave the house or are going somewhere. This comes with a velvet carrying bag with a drawstring to carry this around with and store all the parts that come with it, which include 4 extra props and the battery charger.

The camera looks to be a 0.3 MP camera capable of shooting 720p. Not the greatest, but still holds detail and isn’t grainy looking and some people can’t tell the difference between 720p and 1080p anyway. The attached video has some video in from the drone camera in it.

This has three speeds at 30, 60 and 100% and with this being so lightweight, you need to be at 100% if there is any wind out in order to control this and fight the wind. The altitude hold on this (without GPS) is spot on and holds very well. It may float side to side but holds the altitude. The yaw and pitch on this are also pretty good and reactive and actually has some pretty good range on it for a WIFI drone.

You connect your phone to the drone WIFI, start the app and connect the app to the drone and away you go. The controls take a little getting used to and if you play games on your phone, should be no problem for you at all.

This does have one touch, takeoff and landing and will also autoland when the battery gets too low, so it doesn’t fall out of the sky and crash, nice feature. This also can be flown using the gyros on your phone and you can fly this by tilting your phone side to side and forwards and backward instead of using the on-screen controls.

This also has a 360 button on it to allow you to do flips. It’s not great at flipping but it does work, but it loses a lot of altitude, so you need to be up high enough not to crash it into the ground when you do it. It’s a selfie drone and not a sport drone, so I wouldn’t expect much in flips.

The lights on this (front white and back red) are very bright and easy to see and make this great for flying at nighttime as well.

Overall, nice portable and foldable quadcopter that takes decent pictures and videos (you’re not making a movie here) and flies pretty decently.

No Fly away tip: Turn off your mobile data on your phone/tablet and go into your settings and tell it to forget any WIFI connection you may have in the area you are flying this at the time. You do not want the WIFI to drop the connection to the drone and connect to another WIFI while you are flying this or you will lose connection to the drone and may get a fly away drone and possible lose it forever.

Click to check the current prices: JJRC Foldable WIFI FPV Drone

Samsung Galaxy S8 Hands-on Review

Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy S8

The first thing I want to talk about is screen: it’s big, it’s high resolution, it’s bright. Its aspect ratio is stretched out, so wide-screen content fits it better. The extra visual real estate is nice but using it one-handed is not very easy.

The second thing is the design. I mean, visually it looks amazing but it’s more than that. This is the first phone that I’ve used where the curved screen felt really comfortable in my hand. When it comes to phones, I don’t care too much about millimetres and grammes and stuff like that I just want to feel comfortable my hand and most curved screens just don’t feel good in the hand. But this one does and that’s because of the frame. The transition from the front glass to the frame and then to the back glass feels almost seamless, there’s just nothing with texture. It’s really nice to hold but it’s also really slippery. I would strongly recommend getting a skin for S8, or even a case.

The other things I like are the wireless charging, the headphone jack and Bluetooth 5.0. I love the micro SD slot, the USB-C port and the performance feels really quick so far.

The camera hardware is similar to the Galaxy S7 Edge. But, let’s be honest, the camera on the S7 was awesome, so it’s not too big of a deal to me that they didn’t upgrade the camera. The front-facing camera has improved quite a bit and considering how many selfies I take every day I think this was a good call.

So this device has a large screen that is super bright and has high resolution so there’s a lot of pixels to process and the battery size isn’t huge, so I wasn’t expecting amazing battery life. The first full day of use I end up the day with thirty-one percent left. Relatively heavy use over the course of the day. At night I charged it back up, watched some YouTube videos with maximum volume and maximum screen brightness, highest resolution (WQHD+) and when I checked it eight hours later it was at thirty-six percent. The screen on time was basically the same. I think that’s not bad I mean on iPhone 7+ I’d probably got some very similar numbers.

The facial recognition is awesome – it works fast and it’s reliable. I tried it with sunglasses and it didn’t work very well.

Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy S8

The fingerprint scanner isn’t in the best location. I have to stretch for it but since the facial recognition is so good I’m totally fine with it being on the back.
The Galaxy S8 is packed with a lot of cool techs. But hardware specs aren’t everything. For me, the user experience is by far the most important thing when it comes to any kind of device. And with this, there are a couple things that kind of detract from the user experience.

The first is that on-screen home button. I think it could or should be a little bigger. And the haptic feedback isn’t good, it feels like a regular phone vibration.

The speakers are also not stereo and I know a lot of people don’t care about this. But I consume most of my media on my phone and it’s so weird watching a super high-res video that looks gorgeous on the screen while having tinny audio that just comes out from one side of the phone. It just feels off.

The screen is also difficult to use one-handed. So a wide phone like the Google Pixel XL is already wide and a little bit uncomfortable to use but it’s okay – I manage. The S8, because of the tall screen, the vertical stretch is crazy.

The last thing is, probably, my most personal opinion I know a lot of people are going to disagree with this, but I don’t love where they’re going with Bixby. And this time it comes with a dedicated hardware button which you cannot reassign to some other function.

So if you’re interested in this phone and you enjoyed the S7 Edge user experience (as I did) you’re going to love the S8. It’s just a basically an elevated version of this phone. Truly next level hardware, you’re going to love it.

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3 Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Cases

Power your phone and show off your style. There’s a whole range of cases and accessories made just for Galaxy S8.

1. Defender Shockproof Protective Case for Samsung Galaxy S8

defender case cover for samsung galaxy s8At first, I was skeptical about the fit. When I took the case out of the packaging, the gold part fell right off. I was scared that my phone could slip out if the it ever fell off while I was using my phone. However, once on your phone the case is snug. There is no way that bottom part is falling off without you intentionally pulling on it.

All of the cut outs align perfectly with the buttons and I am able to use my charger and headphones with the case on. The case is not “ultra thin” but it’s a good size that does not make your phone feel bulky. The coral and gold colors are the exact shade as they are in the picture. The layer of felt/cloth inside the case is a nice touch. It feels so soft and will definitely help keep the back of your phone scratch free.

I use my phone all the time. It also spends a lot of time flying around in my purse. I’ve had it for a week so far and I don’t see any discoloring or scratches on the case yet. I will keep you updated if/when I do see something.

Overall I’m very happy with the case. It looks classy and protects your phone very well. The quality of this case is great.

2. Slim Leather Case Flip Cover for Samsung Galaxy S8

leather case flip cover for samsung galaxy s8Usually, they are simply as expected and don’t warrant anything being said. That is not the case for this product. First, the packaging is fantastic. The box looks and feels really good. The case itself comes in a little felt pouch which I thought classed up the joint a bit. There is also a little card thanking the customer for purchase and giving warranty details. Very nice touch.

The wallet itself is great. I bought this one specifically because I tend to break screens and a portfolio case is the only way I have found to keep from doing that. I do not plan to keep cards or money in this wallet as I have a small wallet that I really like, so I can not speak to that portion of this product. However, I can say that without cards in the wallet, the magnet is very strong. I have the utmost confidence that I will not be breaking this screen while my phone is in the case. The stand portion seems to work fine. I have a feeling it will be even better once I break in the leather a bit more.

I really like my S8e, and only issue has been finding the right screen protection and case that works! Problem is whatever screen protector applied would have edges popped up when typical cases were installed making the screen protector bubbled to the point of wanting to rip it off the device. So decided to try a flip wallet cover again to use without a screen protector and let the wallet flap be the protector . Problem with past flip wallets I have tried on previous devices is the “clasp” or magnetic closure was a pain, and made slipping the phone in and out of a pocket difficult. Bottom line on case is it has clean minimal lines, good looks, fits in pocket easily, slim profile, and simply just works well. Since it is new can not attest to durability- only thing could be the point of wear on the leather at the “hinge” ? Just will have to see how it holds up!

3. England Series Leather Cover Case for Samsung Galaxy S8

leather cover back case for samsung galaxy s8

This is a back cover and not a full phone case so if you are considering this you (hopefully) understand that this offers minimal protection from drops. If you want that, go with an Otter Box or one of the Spigen armor cases. That said, I wanted a case for my new S8 that offered a little more grip and would offer some protection. I also wanted something that would work with the wireless charging feature of the S8.

The case is still new but appears to be well made, fairly rigid and fits surprisingly well. All buttons are easily accessible and the fit is great but not too tight to take off. The leather has just enough grip when compared with just the phone without case.

I love this case. Fits great, looks really nice and the quality is pretty good. It’s rubbery enough that it seems like it should offer pretty decent drop protection. Also there isn’t any cheesy looking logo stamped anywhere, giving the case an understated, classy look. The case fits great over the buttons and doesn’t hinder functionality in any noticable way. I bought three cases when I got my new S8 and this is by far the best. Highly recommended.

Still searching Samsung Galaxy S8 Cases? Well, your search ends here. 
check our exclusive list of some of the best Samsung Galaxy S8 Cases and Samsung Galaxy S8+ Cases which you can purchase now.

HUAWEI P10 Hands-on Review

I’ve said this many times: Huawei makes great phones. They’re built to last and their software won’t cause you many headaches after you get used to it. All the Huawei phones I’ve tested in the last couple of years worked very well, even after I’ve been using them a while (which can’t be said for many Android phones).

But while the company’s latest flagship, the Huawei P10, follows in that path, it has one pretty big flaw: it’s boring. It doesn’t bring any truly exciting features, and it’s not even keeping pace with competitors.

There’s no huge screen. No waterproof design. No significant design changes compared to the last year’s model, the Huawei P9.

The only major change between this model and that one is the placement of the fingerprint sensor, which also replaces Android menu buttons, from the back of the phone to its front.

That’s right: When every other major phone maker is removing buttons from the front of their flagships, Huawei is actually adding one.

HUAWEI P10
HUAWEI P10

A new button and little else

So let’s start with the fingerprint sensor. It’s a nice thing: No moving parts, resides under the glass, reads your fingerprints fast, and after a while it’s nearly as good as using the standard Android menu buttons (which can be enabled in the settings).

But does it offer any advantages over the onscreen buttons? Absolutely not. It’s located right below the screen, so it prevents Huawei from making the screen any larger, contrasted by the big screen of the LG G6, which also launched during this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The button’s “home” and “back” gestures (a simple long and short presses) worked well, but getting the recent tasks to show up — which is supposed happen when you swipe the button left or right — didn’t always happen for me.

Regardless of your experience, the button is just another way to do things, and perhaps it’s a mid-step toward actually placing the fingerprint sensor under the screen. And while that would be pretty cool (Apple is rumored to be planning something like that for its next iPhone), it’s not here now, and I don’t really care for learning new gestures to perform the simplest of operations on the phone.

Beyond the button, the design of the phone can best be described by an anecdote. When Huawei handed out the review units to journalists in Barcelona, absolutely everyone opted for the blue one. Why? Because it’s the only one that stands out — the standard white and silver colors look bland.

Don’t get me wrong: The Huawei P10 is a nice-looking device. But besides that button on the front, and a rougher surface on the back that prevents slippage, it’s very similar to the P9, which is in turn very similar to the P8. It’s an OK design that won’t wow anyone, and it’s getting pretty old.

HUAWEI P10
HUAWEI P10

A healthy mix of features

Specs-wise, the P10 is actually a hybrid between the P9 and Huawei’s bigger flagship, the Mate 9. It has all the Mate 9’s innards: the Kirin 960 chipset, the 20-megapixel monochrome/12-megapixel color camera combo, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage.

On the outside, the P10 is more similar to the P9, but it has a smaller screen — 5.1 vs. 5.2 inches. It’s once again a full HD (1080p) screen — a notch down from the current flagships, which typically boast 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. If you want that many pixels, look towards the 5.5-inch Huawei P10 Plus, which I haven’t had a chance to try out yet. It also has a slightly larger battery (3,200 vs. 3,000 mAh), a nice improvement but not one that will make you rush to buy it.

With GeekBench 4 benchmarks, the Huawei P10 performed a little better than the (already great) Huawei Mate 9. Its multi-core score was the best around, while the single-core score lagged only behind Apple’s iPhone.

There’s absolutely nothing bad about these specs; in fact, the Huawei P10 performs great and has never felt slow in daily use, no matter what I threw at it. But there’s also nothing entirely new; it’s essentially the Mate 9 in a smaller body.

Software gets smarter

The Huawei P10 comes with Android 7.0 and the latest version of Huawei’s UI software, EMUI 5.1. You won’t notice many visual differences compare to EMUI 5.0, which was introduced on the Huawei Mate 9.

For this version of the software, Huawei decided to focus on performance. The phone now responds to touches quicker and even prepares the next app you might want to use in advance for an even faster response. A feature called Ultra Memory is a RAM optimizer that learns from your usage habits and frees the RAM from the stuff you probably won’t need.

One new feature that will be familiar to anyone who’s ever used Google Photos is Highlights. The phone will automatically sort your photos and create highlight reels of the best ones; this happens in the background when the phone is idle, so you don’t have to worry about slowdowns. To see how it works, open the Gallery app and tap on the Discover tab.

Generally, I like the last few iterations of EMUI and the new version is not an exception. It’s solid, stable, easy to get used to and fairly unobtrusive. Die-hard stock Android fans might disagree, though.

An evolutionary upgrade

There’s absolutely nothing bad about this phone. It’s a hybrid of last year’s P9’s size and the newer Mate 9’s features, and it looks OK and performs great.

That said, there are few innovations here, and the new fingerprint sensor is not reason enough to go for this phone — in fact, I’m not even sure it’s a step forward.

Furthermore, while competitors such as LG are showing waterproof phones with beautiful, large screens, Huawei appears to be lagging behind. The price is 649 euros in Europe, which is on par with top Android flagships and a hundred euros cheaper than the iPhone 7. But it is also a whopping 100 euros more expensive than its predecessor, the Huawei P9, was at launch, and I don’t see how that price jump is warranted with what the P10 has to offer.

Huawei P10

The Good

Good specs – Great build quality

The Bad

Too similar to its predecessor – New fingerprint sensor isn’t an improvement – Pricey

The Bottom Line

The Huawei P10 is an all-around solid phone, but it does not stand out in the crowd.

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check our exclusive list of some of the best Huawei P10 Cases and Huawei P10 Plus Cases which you can purchase now.

Best Fly Catcher – Sticky Fly Ribbons

Flies like heat, light, low wind and are attracted by odors, and usually enter a building through open doors and windows near garbage and food. Trap flying insects. No pollution, no fumes and no chemical odor. Attracts and holds. Use as much or as little as needed. Just hang and cut off when full.

  • EASY USE – Pull-out tubes, easy for use avoid dirty your hand.
  • Can be wrapped around trees for gypsy moth control.
  • No Baiting, No Poisons, No Vapors, No Mess.
  • Indoor and outdoor use. Catches over 100 flies per ribbon, Catches and kills flying insects.
Sticky Fly Ribbons
Sticky Fly Ribbons

These are by far the best to eliminate mosquitos from my yard. I have tried everything over the past 3 years and these work the best. I do have to hang about 10 or so from the rafters on my porch to not get bit, but it does the job. If you think about how a mosquito breeds these are effective.

Catches tons of flies in my garage. Totally solved my fly problem in just a couple days.

To avoid a mess, I recommend put a tack or nail into a rafter before unrolling the strip. Once you have the thing unrolled, it can be difficult to then push a tack into wood — and that’s when things get messy. After doing it that way once, I switched over to driving nails into rafters around the garage and then hanging the strips from those nails. No muss, no fuss. Just lots of dead flies shortly thereafter.

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Sticky Fly Ribbons

Since flies are attracted to light, I left the lights on in the garage overnight for a couple nights and the strips nearest the light fixture were soon covered in flies.

Click to check the current prices: Sticky Fly Ribbons

Best Mini Camera Quadcopter Drone 2017

Up Up and away!! The CX-10W mini Wi-Fi drone lets you taker to the sky and with its first person view (FPV) this tiny drone beings a great aerial view as you fly high.

Mini Camera Drone for Minimum Size but Maximum Fun

Your very own pocket size eye in the sky, the CX-10W mini drone brings a bird’s eye view and lets you enjoy flying without having to invest $$$$ on an expensive camera drone. A great way to get into drones this inexpensive mini drone is control directly from your Android or iOS Smartphone and the intelligent app brings a FPV of your aerial antics direct to your phones screen.

The 0.3 megapixel camera will let you snap pictures as you fly around so you can experience the fun of photography with this mini drone. At just 17 grams and able to sit in your palm this little drone makes for great entertainment as you can take it anywhere you go. Its small enough to go where big drones can’t so you can explore the world around you in great detail.

A six-axis gyroscope brings extra stability to flight so even kids can fly the CX-10W mini drone with relative ease. It has a 15 to 30 meter range and works with both Android or iOS phones by just downloading and syncing it to the special app.

Amateur pilots, outdoor enthusiasts, adventures and kids will all love the possibilities this drone brings and at such a cheap price it’s the ideal learning tool for budding drone pilots with boundless potential for fun and excitement.

Key Features…

  • 720p-compatible 0.3MP Camera
  • Six-axis Gyroscope for Extra Added Stability
  • 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Control That Works with Android and iOS
  • Tiny 17-Gram Drone That Can Fit in Your Bag or Purse
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CX-10W Mini Drone – 6-Axis Stabilizing Gyro, 0.3MP Camera, Wi-Fi, 15 To 30M Range, 3D Flip, Android & iOS Compatible, FPV

This is a small fun camera drone. This doesnt come with a remote or screen. This is a wifi drone camera. Have 4 small motors and plastic blades. This comes with charging cable and extra plastic blades (which is extremely useful).

How it works:

First charge the drone completely through supplied USB cable.

Then there are QR codes on the outside of box, scan and download for appropriate mobile phone i.e. ios, android etc.

After download then you have to switch on the drone

Main thing is to change your wifi setting from home network to CX-10W…. (this will show up when you search for wifi network in your phone).

Once you selected this CX-10 from your mobile phone wifi setting then your phone will connect to drone

Now open the app and click play

app will connect to drone and you will see the first image of camera drone.

Once you click the right hand side button to top then 4 motor will start working and drone will fly.

The height this small drone can attend is amazing. (please see photos)

I am impressed with the height it attend but also its to remember that its small, light weight drone with small plastic blades. Its little hard for me to handle it as its fast and quick. It falls down from that height for me and blade bent (its good that it comes with additional blades so I change it). Pretty easy to change the blades just pull it out and insert new one.

There are some option in the app. to take photo, video etc I am not sure, why they provide the reverse screen option and it turn to reverse while you are busy flying drone (see photos).

Photos are normal and clear. I clicked one photo from the height when drone is flying.

You will get good fun things with this drone. Need training as it take speed immediately. Good fun drone!

Click to check the current prices: CX-10W Mini Camera Quadcopter Drone

Best Handheld Pump Pressure Water Sprayers

I recently inherited a parrot from my beloved uncle. I read many reviews before purchasing a mister to use to bathe Sasha. I was not satisfied with those made for pets, so I purchased this mister from CoreGear. I am so glad I did. Sasha loves the fine most it sprays, and it makes bath time a very enjoyable experience. I also use it to clean the bottom grate of her cage by turning the nozzle to make a stronger stream. This product is a must buy for parents of parrots.

  • FUN & FUNCTION VARIABLE NOZZLE SETTINGS: High quality brass nozzle adjusts from a cooling mist which causes air temperature to drop 10-30 deg to a strong 20 foot stream for fun water battles or cleaning.
  • STURDY AND PORTABLE: High quality PET plastic, adjustable brass nozzle, stainless steel pump mechanism, carrying strap with belt/bag clip for on the go portability
  • MANY USES: Personal Cooling, Pet Cooling, Bird Baths, Horse Fly Spray, Auto/Boat/RV Detailing, Pet Training, Livestock Sprayer, Garden Mister and Weed Sprayer, Campsite cleaning, Water Balloon Filler, and more!
pump-pressure-water-sprayers
Handheld Pump Pressure Water Sprayer

We ordered this for our 7 yr old daughter who plays soccer. We fill it to the “FILL” line (which is slightly above where the bottle begins to taper towards the mouth) with water and ice. Ice makes for a particularly jolting cool spray. The mouth is large enough for normal sized ice cubes – but we often fill up with ice and water at a gas station where we have ice fall from the dispenser right through the just-large-enough mouth.

The bottle is larger than I thought it would be. It’s also more durable. The plastic bottle is thick and rigid. The pump cylinder is metal as is the spout. It is a little awkward to tote around because it’s bigger than anything that would fit in a conventional cup-holder.

The nozzle adjusts from a somewhat fine mist to a spray that (for us) would reach people about 10 feet away.

My daughter has taken this to several practices and games, where it has been used in heavy doses. I’ve gotten several comments from other parents asking where I got it. The mister was also a life-saver at the 4th of July parade this year,

I love gardening! It’s my means of a great stress buster. I was looking for a “Continuous” mist spray mechanism that would help me to reach out to all my foliage especially and not just the small pots/plants. This is fantastic product and definitely 5 star. Really does what the product describes and I’ve been glad and so happy that I stumbled upon this product.

Highly recommend that you purchase this. Spray on the back of your neck for the most effective cool-down.

Click to check the current prices: Handheld Pump Pressure Water Sprayer

Yellow Sticky Traps for White Flies, Aphids, Fungus Gnats & Leaf Miners

Yellow Sticky Traps for White Flies, Aphids, Fungus Gnats & Leaf Miners
Yellow Sticky Traps for White Flies, Aphids, Fungus Gnats & Leaf Miners

There are always these little gnats and flying bugs that like to gather in the coolness of my porch.

I did not want to hang a sheet where it would be unsightly or interfere with the opening and closing of my door.

So I hung one sheet rather low to the ground, about 2 feet high, from either side of my porch.

One sheet was in a very shaded area that really receives no amount of direct sun.

That sheet has caught a gang of insects in the last three days.

The other sheet is hung in a spot that receives a lot of sunlight throughout the afternoon.

That sheet has caught many insects as well, but not as many as the sheet in the shadier spot.

I must note (for as much as I was willing to investigate the dead bugs) there was an abundance of one type of insect caught in the shady side sheet. While the sunny side sheet caught mostly a different type.

Since these are non toxic and heat resistant I tried an experiment

I decided to use them and try to make a homemade flea trap.

I modeled my trap after ones I have seen commercially

I peeled only one side of a sheet and placed it sticky side up in a very shallow box.

Then I just placed it under a 40 watt desk lamp with a goose neck.

I bent the neck close enough so pretty much the entire sheet was illuminated, (but not too close for safety)

I made sure to eliminate any other light source in the room and shut the door.

I left it in there overnight and must say I was happy with the results.

There was not an extreme amount of fleas on the trap, but there were about a dozen, or so.

In my estimation this is a good measurement of the infestation that’s in my house right now, as it has been about two weeks since my house was treated for fleas, and they always bounce back a bit around now (flea life cycle and all.) Also. it was just in one room.

I cannot say how well my contraption works in comparison to other flea traps on the market, as I have never owned one.

These definitely do the job especially outdoors where it is fairly shady.

I received a discount in exchange for my honest review of this product.

Click to check the current prices: Yellow Sticky Traps for Flying Plant Insect

Best Car Mount Phone Holder for Smartphones

44699924529e36236dc88e4fdfa8081a-image-400x480I received this product at a discounted price for an honest review. I really like this product. It is made very well with really good material. I like that you can adjust the stand to where you want it for the phone you have. I like that the charger comes with two different plugs depending on the phone you have. I have had it on my dash for a week now and it’s never slipped or even started falling down. I like that the charging adapter that hooks to the base is magnetic so that if someone calls you can easily get your phone without unplugging anything. I like that I now have a place to put my phone…

  • The silicone backing of the rubberized car mount holds your phone firmly in place
  • Allows for phones to be used for navigation or dialing without excess motion
  • Convenient magnetic charging port with super fast micro USB 2 in 1 cable.
  • Charge your phone easily and quickly while traveling
  • The charger is magnetically held in place and moves for tangle free cords,Adjustable for all cell phones sizes and car dash styles

This is a very different design and I like it! I’m currently using a suction cup mount, which works well most of the time. However, when the windshield heats up, the suction cup falls off – that’s really annoying.

This kit comes with the pad, 2 stands, cigarette adapter cord, magnetic 2 in 1 cord (Micro USB + Lightning Connector),

Everything is easy to put together except for the stands. I had to stretch and pull the pad in various directions in order to place the pads where I wanted them (you’ll have to mess with the pad 4 times for each of the stands since the stand have 4 pegs – a total of 8 pegs). Good thing though, once the stands are in place, there’s almost zero chance that they will fall out. There’s a ton of holes to choose from so feel free to experiment on placement of the stands.

The bottom of the pad is sticky (it’s not glue or adhesive so won’t leave any residue on your dash). You’ll want to remove the plastic protective film before placing this on your dashboard. The pad stays in place. I’ve done a bunch of running around since I’ve installed this thing and the whole thing has stayed in place. Speaking of stickiness, be warned, if you have pets, their fur is going to find their way on to this pad.

I like that there is a lot of unused space in the front of the pad; great for holding my key fob, sunglasses, and even my cigarettes. The top is grippy, so anything I throw on there stays in place.

The stands are capable of holding a large phone that has a large case. It held my wife’s phone just fine (Note 5 with Otter Box Defender). Charging is very quick, on par with the newest rapid smart chargers.

The material is easy to clean; remove the cables, use soap and water on the pad, then let air dry.

Overall, very happy with this mount. I won’t be going back to my suction cup!

I hope you found this review useful.

I am a product tester and as such did receive this product at a discount, however I am not required or requested to write any form of review in order to receive the discount.

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All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet Review (6th Generation, 2016 release)

All-New Fire HD 8 TabletAs a background, I am a retired Information Systems professional and I am writing my first impressions of the NEW Fire HD 8 released on September 21, 2016 from the perspective of being a long-term Kindle user. I have all the current e-readers and Fire devices from Amazon including the basic Kindle, the Paperwhite (2013,2014,2015 models), the Fire HD6, Fire HD7, Fire HDX7 and Fire HDX8.9 (3rd and 4th generation), the old Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10. Here is a summary of my initial impressions of the new Fire HD8.

Amazon has replaced the original HD 8 released in 2015 with an “All-New” HD 8. Amazon is also removing the Fire HD6, which is a shame as it is a great little tablet.

The new HD 8 differs from the old version as follows:

BEST NEW FEATURE:

The price has been reduced! The 16 GB version of the old device cost $169.99 with special offers (ads). The new 16 GB version costs 89.99 and you can get a 32 HB version for $30 more.

SECRETLY REMOVED:

Amazon has removed the ability to mirror your display on Miracast devices such as TVs. Now that feature is now only available on generation 4 and 5 Fires including last years HD 8. However, you can still cast Prime videos to a FireTV or Fire Stick.

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX:

The HD8 Fire, a short 3-foot USB cord and a power adapter so you can charge and use the device right out of the box.

SIZE:

The new HD8 is a fraction thicker than the 2015 HD8. Leather cases for the old HD 8 will fit the new HD 8 but hard shell cases will not. However the auto wake feature of some older cases won’t work.

One complaint I had about the earlier versions was that the back was very slick and slippery to hold without a case. The new version is finely matted or textured so it is much easier to hold without dropping it and is no longer a fingerprint magnet on the back.

DISPLAY:

The resolution of the screen is the same 1280 x 800. However, the new HD 8 seems to have darker blacks with more contrast when compared to the older version. The display is nice and bright but still barely readable in bright sunlight. Amazon has added adaptive brightness to the new 2016 HD 8. When enabled, the brightness of the display changes depending on the level of light in the room. Practically speaking, this is only useful indoors when adjusting for night time reading because it is difficult to see the display in bright outdoor sunshine.

I do like that you can choose your own wallpaper! It comes with 9 stock images and if you don’t like one of them, you can choose your own image in your Amazon Photos folder.

PROCESSOR:

Both the new and old HD8 use a System on chip (SoC) platform where the CPU, GPU and Bluetooth are integrated on one chip platform. The new HD 8 has a faster MediaTek MT8163V/B 64-bit quad-core processor advertised as running at 1.3Ghz. Tests show that this processor operates with a CPU frequency of 1300 MHz max and 600 MHz min.

The old processor was a MediaTek MT8135 32-bit processor which was advertised as having one quad-core processor operating at 1.5GHz. Tests reveal that operating speeds were 1200 MHz max and 364 MHz min frequencies.

The GPU (graphics processing unit) on the new HD8 is an ARM Mali-T720 versus the older PowerVRg6200. Overall, the newer chip operates faster than the old chip.

BLUETOOTH:

Bluetooth version has been upgraded from 4.0 LE to 4.1 LE.

STORAGE:

The HD8 is now available with 16 GB and 32GB instead of 8 GB and 16 GB and Amazon still has a slot where you can insert a microSD card. The 2016 HD 8 accepts a MicroSD card up to 200 GB instead of the maximum 128 GB on the 2015 HD 8.

I recommend purchasing the 32GB version instead of ordering the 16 GB and adding an SD card. You will probably not need an additional card with the 32 GB version, but if you find that you are running short of space, you can always add one later. If you do add an external card, I do not recommend installing apps on an auxiliary card for several reasons. 1) Some apps WON’T install on auxiliary cards and those that do, use space on the internal drive as well as the microSD card. 2) the Fire apps seem to run faster on the internal drive. 3) If your SDcard goes bad, you are going to have devote some time reinstalling all your apps and resetting your settings.

RAM MEMORY:

More importantly, the new device has 1.5 GB of RAM versus 1.0 GB. Because of these upgrades, the new HD 8 is much snappier than the old version.

WEIGHT:

It is heavier: 12.0 ounces vs 11.0 ounces thanks to the larger battery

BATTERY LIFE:

The battery life is a big improvement. The new battery has been sized up to 4,750 mAh from the previous version which had a 3,210 mAh battery. The older model was rated at 8 hours but the new model is rated at 12 hours of mixed use. My biggest criticism of the old version was the battery which ran down very rapidly. I just kept the thing plugged in all the time because I could only use it for about 5 hours, not 8 hours, without being plugged in. The new version is definitely improved and it seems to last about 50% longer than the old one. Your own results may vary from mine depending on use.

WIFI CONNECTIVITY:

Sadly, Amazon installs a single antenna and has removed the 802.11ac wireless protocol from the new HD 8. What does this mean? In a nutshell, speed.

802.11 ac WiFi is much faster, but its peak speeds are not really the selling point. Its speeds at long range are. The AC protocol factors in “beamforming.” Beamforming is a “smart signal” which detects where connected devices are and increases signal strength specifically in their direction. So the performance as well as higher speed of 802.11ac are maintained far better at long range. Speed is not a factor for really short actions such as downloading books but if you plan on downloading movie videos, plan on taking a long lunch break.

When testing both my old and new HD8 devices from a far corner of my house, the new 2016 HD 8 connected at 65 Mbps but the old 2015 connected at 433 Mbps.

As you can see, the results show how much faster 802.11ac operates.

CAMERA:

The new HD 8 has been reduced to the same camera specs as the basic Fire. The camera quality is not as good on the new HD 8 as the old HD 8. Instead of maintaining a 720 HD front-facing camera with a 5 MP rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video recording, the new HD 8 comes with a VGA front-facing camera with a 2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording. The quality of the new camera is obviously inferior and it shows when taking pictures. The image inferiority is really obvious when used in indoor settings. There is no flash so the pictures often come out very grainy when used indoors.

SOUND:

This is where the HD 8 shines. Amazon includes Dolby Atmos and dual stereo speakers. The HD 8 has one of the best sounds, both in quality and loudness, as any tablet I own.

UPDATE October 14, 2016. I need to clarify my comment about the sound. The speakers are terrible on all the Fires, including this one. This has become so second nature to me that I always use headphones, bluetooth speakers and occasionally even pair up my device to my Amazon Echo. When connected to an alternate speaker device, the sound quality is excellent.

The volume buttons are placed along the top of the HD 8 along with the power button, the headphone jack and the power receptacle. So all the buttons you would touch are on top. No buttons are on the sides or bottom.

The nice feature of the volume buttons is that they are “sensitive” to the orientation of the tablet. So if you are watching a movie in landscape mode with the volume buttons on the left, the upper button increases volume and the lower button decreases sound. If you flip the tablet 180 degrees so that the buttons are now on the right, most devices will use the same buttons for volume but in order to increase volume, the button you will need to press is now the LOWER button. The Fire HD 8 is smart enough to reverse the functions so that the upper button still increases the volume.

Atmos is a surround sound technology, developed in 2012, that expands upon the current 5.1 and 7.1 set-ups. With Atmos, each speaker has its own feed, enabling new front, surround and ceiling-mounted height channels. I was watching a movie with cheap headphones and thought I heard helicopters fly by my house. It took me a minute to realize that the sound was from the helicopters in the movie. It really sounded like they were coming from the left and moving to the right OVERHEAD. Wow, I was impressed!! (Note: I used Bluetooth headphones to test the Atmos quality of the sound.)

GPS:

The new 2016 HD 8 location services are only WiFi-based. Some older Fires such as the HDX 7 and the HDX 8.9 also included GPS and a-GPS. Assisted GPS (a-GPS) significantly improved startup performance of a GPS satellite-based positioning system.

What this means is that location services in the new HD 8 really does not exist because there is no GPS location service utilizing satellites. Instead, the device approximates your location based on your WiFi IP address. When WiFi is turned off or not available, apps that utilize location services such as mapping apps do not work. This is a real bummer because I use my older devices in the car while traveling with downloaded maps and would like to replace them with the HD 8. The older Fires work so much better than my phone because of the larger screen size. This was a feature I really miss in the current Fires. I could connect to my car Bluetooth to listen to music and Audible books and receive driving instructions at the same time. I could also set my HERE map app to let me know when I was driving over the speed limit to ensure that my foot didn’t become a little too heavy.

CURRENT OS:

2016 HD 8 is Fire OS 5.3 based on Android 5.1.1, API level 22. 2015 HD8 is based on Android 5.1, API level 22. Effectively, the settings menus are slightly different.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS:

I like the new HD 8. It is a good basic tablet for those who love the Amazon experience. Even though it has some features that have been degraded, overall it is a snappier and brighter tablet at a very reasonable price. I cannot evaluate the Alexa enhancement nor On Deck for Prime members feature as they have not been released for any Amazon Fire yet.

The 8-inch size seems a good balance for those who want only one device. It is slightly larger than the basic Fire but not so cumbersome as the HD 10. If you only want one Amazon tablet, I would recommend this one, especially if you are an avid Amazon prime customer. If you have the older HDX 7 or the 2014 HD 7, it is probably not worth the upgrade unless you are running out of storage space.

If you want a device to read books, I recommend that you get the Paperwhite or the Voyage. They can be read ANYWHERE, even in bright sunlight, have incredible battery life and have a few features specific to reading that are not available on the Fires.

There are some default settings that I change for personal use. All changes are done from the Settings menu. For those who want to know what I prefer, some of the more important changes are:

1) I change the wallpaper. Amazon has some nice pictures but I like my own better.

2) I set the display sleep to 10 minutes instead of the default 5 minutes. I get sidetracked too often so need the extra time so that my display doesn’t go into sleep mode.

3) I set the “Find Your Tablet” to “ON.” You never know if it could be stolen or if you do stupid things like leave your tablet at Starbucks. :-}

4) I turn “Collect App Usage Data” to “OFF.” If you play a lot of games or use certain Amazon Underground apps that require it, you might need to keep this on.

5) I disable auto-correction. Under Personal->Keyboard and Language->Fire Basic Keyboard Settings->Text Correction->Auto-Correction, I select Off. I hate it when I am typing and I don’t catch it when the tablet changes my words because the auto-correction decided on something totally irrelevant.

6) I change my search provider from “Bing” to “Google” under Apps & Games->Amazon Application Settings->Silk Browser->Advanced settings->Search engine

7) I change my Email group into conversations settings. Go to Settings->Conversation Settings->Group Messages Into Conversations and set to “OFF.” Too many times, I can’t tell if I got a reply because it’s buried in the conversation.

8) I also change my “After delete, go to” setting to “Older message.” When I am reading an email and delete it, I prefer to go to the next message instead of back to the list of messages.

9) Under Home Settings, I turn Home Recommendations OFF as well as turning Show Apps on the Recent Page OFF. This helps to remove clutter.

10) On the Home screen, I move my more frequently used apps to the top so that I don’t have to scroll down to find them. The less used ones, I arrange alphabetically so that I can find them as I scroll down.

CAVEAT: The Amazon Fire tablets do not use Google play so many Android applications such as Google maps and a lot of games are not available. There are ways to get around this but I don’t recommend it unless you know what you are doing. I also noted that a few apps on my old tablet do not show up as available on my 2016 HD 8. I use HERE WeGo which is an excellent replacement for Google Maps. Now I don’t have Google maps or HERE. Amazon has its own Map app but it is inferior to the other two.

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