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.

Click to check the current prices: DIY Car Mount Holder

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.

TAGreat.com offers you a wide array of the latest and best Fire HD 8 2016 Cases.

Top 2 Best Kindle Voyage Cases

Textured Leather Origami Case for Kindle Voyage – The Thinnest and Lightest PU Leather Cover for Amazon Kindle Voyage

  • Origami Stand Design, Could set your hands free during your reading. Only 2.8 oz, protect your device without adding unnecessary bulk or weight
  • Wake or put your device to sleep by opening or closing the cover. Magnetic clasp ensures cover is securely closed, secures your device without straps covering the front
  • Full access to all features without removing the case from your kindle Voyage
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Leather Origami Case for Kindle Voyage

This is a great product. The quality is acceptable for less than $15 dollars. It holds the Kindle Voyage in portrait and landscape mode very well. Sometimes the reading angle in portrait is too steep depending on how I sit. If I need a less steep angle (maybe 40-45 degrees?), I take the Voyage out of the case and then shoehorn it back in upside down. Then carefully stand the Voyage back up in portrait mode with the text right side up. You may need to skew the top fold a bit to the left so Voyage isn’t standing on a tilt. It’s a workable solution but ensure you don’t let the Voyage go to sleep (power button hole doesn’t line up).

Click to check the current prices: Best Kindle Voyage Cases

Cartoon Printing Series Case for Kindle Voyage – [The Thinnest and Lightest] Protective PU Leather Cover with Auto Sleep/Wake for Amazon Kindle Voyage

  • Ultra slim lightweight protective hardback with premium quality PU leather. The no-scratch microfiber interior adds comfort and an additional layer of protection
  • Premium protective edition. The exterior provides a true leather feeling to the touch. The thick shell of this case heavily guards your device from damage
  • Wake or put your device to sleep by opening or closing the cover. Magnetic clasp ensures cover is securely closed, secures your device without straps covering the front
  • Available in a variety of bright and fun colors.
Cartoon Pattern Leather Cover for Kindle Voyage
Cartoon Pattern Leather Cover for Kindle Voyage

I LOVE this thing so far.

Fits my Kindle Voyage perfectly and the Origami folding means it will keep it standing in both portrait and landscape reading mode. As should be, the front (magnetic) cover turns the Kindle off/on as you close/open the lid. Great cover that also feels great when you are reading.

As an on the side funny positive, I found out by accident, that this thing turns your Kindle into a large refrigerator magnet.. 🙂 Maybe not unusual these days, but I did not have magnetic covers for my older Kindles. The whole cover, including the back, is magnetic, so it sticks (quite hard) to flat surfaces. Stick it to the refrigerator while cooking and you can read on the run.

Mine stuck to the side of one of my desktop computers by accident. On a black metal casing it later took me a heck of a time to find the now camouflaged Kindle after forgetting about it. 🙂 )

It glues on so hard than you can probably stick it to the side of your car and take it for a spin down the road. 🙂

Click to check the current prices: Best Kindle Voyage Cases

Top 5 Best Amazon Fire 7 Cases (5th Generation)

As a lucky buyer of the Black Friday 2015 Fire 7 for $35, I needed a very handsome and strong case to protect my new toy! Below slim shell cases give the proper protection and support for my tablet, for a minimal price. I liked the different color choices.

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1. England Flower Flip Cover for Amazon Fire Tablet 7 Inch

Excellent fit, stand-up feature works smoothly, nice magnetic cover.

The basic black at $10 is excellent value if dull for Project Runway fans – the more colorful and complex versions are more like $19 and are so fine that discerning eyes cannot decide which is best.

Haven’t tried controlled drop tests, but 11 year-olds may be a found experiment. The former base 7″ Fire broke once (no case) and SquareTrade promptly replaced – but with the case on we’ve had no problems, even in a backpack to and from middle school.

Haven’t counted lately, but we have at least 4 with one more in the mail.

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2. Cartoon Deer Flip Cover for Amazon Fire Tablet 7 Inch

This Case is Absolutely Marvelous! I love it! I have 2 tablets and an ipad…this cover exceeded my expectations. Other reviewers said they did not feel it would protect their 7 inch fire. ??? That seems to be a very strange remark about this case. It’s has a hard shell on the bottom which gives better protection than any other case I’ve ever seen or used. It certainly protects better than a slide in padded case and better then the thicker bulkier leather cover I have for my 10.1 tablet. Ok if you want to throw your tablet across the room no cover will protect it. I really appreciate the invisible magnet on the cover that goes over the screen. It’s very much like the cover on a surface or an i pad but better and stylish too. I wanted a smaller tablet to slip into my purse everyday but I needed a cover that would protect it yet not add lots of bulk. This cover fits that description. It has a nice pebbled texture leather like feel. The texture makes the case much less likely to slip out of my hand. Have it next to my bed for end of the day reading or a quick check of something in the internet. I expect to order another one soon to go with a 7 inch tablet I’m gifting for Christmas.

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3. Colorful Plaid Flip Cover for Amazon Fire Tablet 7 Inch

This is a great looking case! The Fire 7 snaps into the case which fits the tablet perfectly. It has perfect sized openings for all buttons, speaker and memory card slot. It’s not leather, but it sure looks like it. The 2-tone front cover, to me, looks classy! This is exactly the kind of case I was looking for. Flipping the cover back and rolling it up, you can prop the tablet up in landscape mode for video viewing. The case offers very good corner protection. It also protects the screen well. In a couple of test drops (not on anything too hard…), the front cover stayed shut thanks to the two magnets. The materials seem to be good quality so far (a couple weeks of use). The openings for buttons, ports and speaker line up just right. I definitely recommend this case.

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4. Sunflower Flip Cover for Amazon Fire Tablet 7 Inch

What I really like about this case is the Fire snaps right in and is completely snug with all the ports easily accessible. This is a big plus because I really hate those other covers that lock the unit down with those thin bungie-like things. That just looks cheap, and sooner or later those things lose their snap, leaving you with a loose fit.

As others have mentioned, when you close the cover, the fire does not turn off, but I believe that’s by design of the fire and not of this cover, so I take no points away for that. You can’t blame the manufacturer of this for something out of their control, and really, it’s not that hard to hit a button, am I right?

The cover, when closed, stays closed. It has a little bit of weight to it (maybe magnets? I don’t know, I’m not a scientist), and won’t flop open when it’s in your bag.

The kickstand is surprisingly sturdy. When I first folded it over, I figured the weight of the Fire would just knock it back, but not here. That sucker held up just fine.

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5. Stand Cover Case for Amazon Fire 7 inch Tablet

This is a great cover for the 5th generation Kindle Fire 7″!

The design feels very sturdy and there are two separate angles you can rest the kindle at (I don’t really ever sit the Kindle down; I basically always just hold it if I’m using it or watching anything on it). The shape is perfect for the Kindle: it fits snugly in place and none of the buttons, outlets (mircoSD slot, headphone slot, mini USB slot) or the speaker on the back are blocked in any way. Additionally, the case adds very little to the overall size of the case/Kindle combo. It is very compact. The fit is so accurate that it seems as if it was made by Amazon!

Can’t really comment on durability, because I’ve only had it for a week, so that aspect hasn’t been tested yet.

The magnets that keep the kindle closed seem sufficiently strong to keep it from coming open, but not too strong to where the cover slams shut.

The only thing that I don’t love about the case is that it DOES NOT put the Kindle to sleep when you close it. My previous kindle case for an older Kindle did do that, and I found that to be a very nice feature. As I’m getting used to this, I do find myself closing the case without pressing the power button to put the Kindle to sleep. But, all I have to do then is press the button after I close the case lid, so it’s not a huge deal. However, I can’t take away a star for that because I knew that when I bought it.

Overall, I would highly recommend this case. it’s very slim and fits the Kindle perfectly in all ways. It stays shut due to the magnets, but it doesn’t put the Kindle to sleep.

Fire Tablet 7″ Display Review

After spending quite a bit more time with the device, I would give it a 4.5 due to a few specific gaps that are a bit annoying. However, you are still getting an amazing 7″ tablet, with front and rear facing cameras, a gorgeous interface, fairly snappy performance and durability, all for under 50 bucks! I can’t imagine not buying these for myself and my whole family, but not a primary tablet for a techie adult by any means. For background, I have every Kindle, a couple Fires, and multiple tablets from Apple, Microsoft and Samsung. Note that my review with 5 stars considers the value equation, not just performance and how that may or may not compare to other tablets – if you are expecting this to compare to a tablet costing several times more, don’t bother. But if you are looking for a great entry level tablet that does most of the things people want, this little tablet definitely delivers the value!

PRICING/CONFIG: I prefer this tablet with ads and no accessories to keep the costs down. You have the option to spend more money, but I recommend against it. You can easily see the specs online, so I won’t do you the discourtesy of simply cutting and pasting those here. Here is the price breakdown:

– 49.99 base price – what an incredible price point! Or buy 5 and get a sixth one free! This puts it into reach of schools and non-profits.

– No sponsored screensaver ($15) – big deal that each time you turn it on it shows you something interesting you might want.

– MicroSD card ($19.99 for 32GB) – you probably already have one laying around somewhere. Beyond that, there is memory in the device, and you are using the cloud for storage mostly anyway. If you end up needing this, just buy one off Amazon, it certainly won’t be more expensive. Also, the SD is likely less useful than you might think, since it is currently a bit limited in what can be stored on it.

– Amazon Fire Case (24.99) – it is supposed to be 2x the durability of an iPad. No case needed.

– Accident Protection (9.99) – who wants to spend 9.99 to insure a $49 device? During your install, they will give you another chance, and you can get the two year for 15.99 if you like. But to me, insurance is for catastrophic things, not a <$50 tablet. UPDATE – after looking into the accident protection, if I were giving it to kids, I might get the insurance. You can get a 1 year pretty cheap as long as you are in the US, and it covers everything from dropping it off a building, running it over with the car, or accidentally hitting it with a baseball bat. As long as you have the pieces, you are good, and there are no back and forth shipping charges to pay.

– That is a total of $119.97, or almost triple the price. If you’re buying this device, you’re probably a bit price sensitive – if you aren’t, you’re buying a different device and this review is somewhat irrelevant.

Fire Tablet, 7
Fire Tablet, 7″ Display

GETTING STARTED: Here is some timing for me to get started with this device:

– 1 minute – open box and read instructions

– 18 minutes – download and update to latest Fire software. If you are giving it as a gift, it is simply good form to turn it on first to get the updates done, even if you are not setting it up under your own name.

– Battery started at 65%, so I had plenty of time to connect, download, and play around with the device.

– I ordered it without my account being integrated, just as if I were buying it as a gift, unregistered. However, it came pre-configured with all of my information. If you are giving them away, I would double check this.

– Tutorials are super simple and quick, and well worth doing if you are unfamiliar with the Fire interface. It is really nice that they integrate your own data into the tutorials.

– HINT: While setting up, go to settings, select security, and take care of adding a passcode to your device. If you ever lose it, someone can cause some havoc if you don’t.

APPSTORE: Appstore Underground is fantastic. Simple to use, lots of great apps. Nice to know I won’t get gouged here for other fees since everything is included. I have not yet explored the quality of apps available here, so more on that in a later update. Had all my critical apps – LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Skype, etc. However, as noted, you cant use apps from the Android store, so you have to wait for them via Amazon. Not too big of a deal for me, but others might find it a problem.

EMAIL: Email setup was a breeze. In less than 3 minutes, I had my Office 365 account, yahoo account and gmail all set up and flowing perfectly. The interface for switching accounts is one of the easiest I have ever used.

CAMERA: The camera and video functionality were easily accessible, and I liked the quality. Not quite the same experience as using the iPhone, perhaps, but it may be that I also don’t have the apps yet installed that make it look so great, so more on that later as I experiment. The camera is 2MP, and the video is 720 HD. If you need something higher res, the Fire HD has 5 MP camera and 1080 HD. But then you don’t have a $49.99 tablet ‘ Same goes for the added speaker and lack of Dolby sound – this is a single speaker that sounds OK, but it is certainly not the same as the Fire 8 or an iPad. UPDATE: Have played around with the camera a bit more, and added a composite image – the first picture you’ll see that it does a very poor job in low light conditions. As the light increases, you get some more detail, and brightly lit is not a bad picture at all, with good detail. This is not the same level of camera you will get on an iPhone or Lumia, so don’t expect that, it is fine for casual photo, selfie, Skype, etc.

OS: The new OS is fantastic. It is simple to use, even for my fat fingers, and makes sense. Just as advertised, it puts the things you are likely to want to do front and center, makes it easily accessible to find new TV shows and the like, and just overall is a super clean and simple interface. Rotation responsiveness is immediate, unlike many other tablets, and I found the Silk browser on this to be quite snappy in performance. Watching video I found absolutely no lag when I streamed my Prime TV shows.

FORM FACTOR: This is light and easy to hold, with smooth, rounded corners that don’t dig into your hands if help for extended periods. It is heavier than a kindle – if you are used to reading on a Kindle, it is not a replacement for that. Given the lower resolution on this device at 171ppi, I will DEFINITELY keep my Paperwhite for extended reading sessions, and would not recommend this tablet if your primary purpose is reading books, and you do quite a bit of that. I included a screenshot, along with comparison to one of our phones, and you can definitely tell a big difference when looking at fine print, and brightness does not compare. I did enjoy the fact that during several hours of use, I never accidentally hit any buttons, something that always drives me nuts on other devices, so button placement is one of the most convenient out there.

SD CARD: Note that I saw in another review that you can have all of your music on an SD card, you just have to download it through your laptop first. I have not personally tried this, but I imagine that several things with the SD card will change in future updates to make it more broadly valuable, and Amazon has said this in support interactions. I don’t have any view of when that update might be coming, however.

OTHER: Have to love all the kid-friendly (or rather, parent-friendly features) that this comes with. Again, buying a pack of these things for the fam is definitely a no-brainer. Charging is not fast – I ran it to zero, then charged for exactly 30 minutes, which brought it to 11%. Doing the math, you’re looking at somewhere in the 4.5 – 5 hour range to fully charge.

SUMMARY: There is plenty more to say about this, but basic summary is this is an amazing product for the price, and delivers much more than $50 value, especially if you have a Prime account. I have absolutely no hesitation recommending this enjoyable product. This is my go to tablet for just carrying around in my car. I will still keep my Paperwhite for reading, and I have another more expensive tablet for really watching movies, doing actual work, extended email sessions, etc. But this makes a great 3rd device, and I far prefer it vs trying to do similar activities on a phone. It is perfect for Skype, games, Facebook, browsing, watching videos, emergency reading, etc. There is tremendous value in this device.

NOTE: There are 3 attached pictures/videos. First is one of the Fire next to my cat to show the nice size. Yes, the cat is huge and I only had seconds before he covered it with his massive body – why do cats do that? The second is a screenshot comparison between the Fire and my phone – big difference in text clarity. The Third is a video showing my 3rd drop test, with no cracks, fractures or other damage. I am now done dropping it, rest assured, it seems quite durable.

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iPhone 7 Plus Cute Cartoon Smart Touch Case Window View Flip Cover

Cute Cartoon iPhone 7 Plus Smart Touch View Window Flip Case Cover, compatible with iPhone 7 Plus, designed and Manufactured by TAGreat only, a professional manufacturer of cell phone case and tablet case and ebook case since 2008.

Unique Creative Design, with a soft sensitive silicon slide bars to answer the phone without opening the case and soft silicon well protected your iphone glass screen not to scratch comparing with the metal strip bar, the smart silicon slide buttons are ingenious sensitive enough to answer/decline the phone even with tempered glass screen placed. Perfect cut outs for the speaker phone and microphone, built in stepless stand while folding into a kickstand position to watch videos hands free, magnetic closure to auto lock the case, also the front cover can magnetize to the back cover when completely flipped open.

Viewing window, able to see some information like incoming calls, messages, time without case open. Your iPhone will fall in love with this ultra slim thin lightweight professional protective functional user friendly iPhone case.

cartoon-flip-cover-case-for-iphone-7-plus
iPhone 7 Plus Smart Touch Case S-View Window Flip Cover

I have to say that this is nicer than I expected. I received it in great condition, no issues. I ordered the gold color because the rose gold was an add on item (I hate that). Anyway, it is still nice and looks really good on my phone.
It fits well & it was very easy to put on my phone, it just popped right in. The inside part of the case is like silicone…soft and bendable. I have been using this for several days now and have no complaints.
It shows you perfectly the date and time through the window. Does not show notifications, you have to open it for that.

My favorite feature is the swipe to answer. It worked great and I love that I don’t have to open it up to talk on the phone. I can hear the caller perfectly and they have no problem hearing me either. It’s great!! If anything, I recommend this for that feature alone. I have had no problems swiping. If it doesn’t work on the first swipe, it does on the second. It also stands on it’s side nicely and does not fall. I use it to watch Netflix, etc most days and it has really worked out for me. Your power cable and headphones hook in with now problem and the buttons on the sides are all easy to use.Though you do have to open it up to adjust the sound/volume buttons. The only time I find that to be frustrating is when I need to turn the volume up for the other person when I’m on a call. Otherwise, this is a pretty solid and nice case.

Click to check the current prices: Best iPhone 7 Plus Cases

3 Best Cases for the Kindle Paperwhite

The TAGreat Case sports a simple and classy design. The back shell is made from durable polycarbonate material so you do not need to worry about any damages. It offers an easy clip-on application. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand. Our innovative cover was designed to specifically fit your Kindle Paperwhite and secures your device without any hinges or straps. Thin, lightweight, and durable, this cover is perfect for taking Kindle Paperwhite wherever you go. The TAGreat Kindle Paperwhite Case comes in a variety of bright, fun colors, the widest selections to suite your taste. Product may be available in a different size, colour, scent, version or platform.

1. Bear Case for Kindle Paperwhite

5d149425080406cf1637de7e22a3efad-image-220x264This case looks very elegant and it has the look as if it were an agenda or a book. I think it protects very well your kindle and for the price it is a very good purchase, because the official Amazon case is much more expensive. The Kindle recognizes when you open the case and when you close it, and it protects your kindle, so at the end it does the job for a cheaper price. The only thing you have to be aware of is that you have to make sure that the magnets in the case match the edge of it, so that the Kindle can recognize that you have closed the case and enters the sleep mode. Appart from that it is a good choice for a Kindle case.

2. Eiffel Tower Case for Kindle Paperwhite

f63c65f5f94b3cbdcf84e4c02de9d311-image-220x264This is a great little case for my new Paperwhite. Lightweight and will protect it when I travel or just toss it in my purse. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because the Paperwhite sits in it crooked. I finally gave up playing with it, trying to get it so that it was straight. I have seen other comments about this. One wonders how hard it is to make the case so that the device it was intended for sits in it properly? I have cases for other devices (iPad, NOOKS, iPods, phones, and another Paperwhite) and have never encountered this problem with any other case. I decided to keep it and ignore the crooked factor because of the cheap price and fact that other than that, it performs just as I wanted it to.

2. Colorful Plaid Case for Kindle Paperwhite

4255bdaa3be05ec41f43fe7f5a1764ae-image-220x264i knew I liked the way this case fit my Kindle Paperwhite and magnetically opened and closed it. However, the other night at the beach I became busy with other things and forgot to retrieve my brand new Kindle which had been left on our deck. Overnight, we had terrible thunderstorms with deluges of rain. When I realized where I had left my Kindle, I was almost afraid to go look at it. Thankfully, this case had kept it dry. Kindle powered right up. I had to remove it from the case so the case lining could dry, but it’s all good now. Highly recommend. P.S. It’s also keeping the blowing sand from harming the Kindle.

Best Sticky Fly Traps – Get Rid of Flies

There are so many great things about spring and summer. Vacations. Adventures. Warm sunshine… And then of course there are the bugs. Flies, mosquitos, and gnats to name a few. The door to your house swings open and closed far more often with the kids at home. And every time the door opens it’s another opportunity for one of these flying insects to enter your home. Once they’re in, they never seem to find their way out again. Worse, YOUR food becomes THEIR food. (And in the case of mosquitos, you become their food).

The current solutions on the market scream, “Check me out! I’m a fly trap!” Bright yellows and greens. Odd ribbons hanging from the ceiling. Sure they might catch some bugs, but then they look like a brightly-colored insect graveyard – unsightly, to say the least.

  • IMPORTANT: This trap is only designed to work when placed properly on windows where flying insects are frequently found.
  • NONTOXIC AND SAFE – No pesticides, No insecticides, No smells, No toxins, so you can feel confident that your loved ones are safe and secure. EASIEST EVER – Expose the sticky strip on the back of the trap and stick it to the window. What’s easier than that?
  • WORKS AMAZINGLY WELL – You won’t be disappointed. And just in case, we have a Satisfaction Guarantee, or YOUR MONEY BACK. No questions. No hassles. No worries.
Sticky Fly Traps
Sticky Fly Traps

We’re living in a new development where there are tons of flies drawn to all the exposed soil from excavations and new fertilized lawns. I put the traps into the corners of two windows where the house flies seem to congregate most, and within a day, had more than 40 house flies and numerous small gnats trapped in each. I’ve had to replace them every two-three days – these must be the “newer adhesive” versions, as they remove from the glass very easily and without leaving any residue. It’s a little gross hearing several flies buzzing away at any given time because they’re trapped, but it’s better than when they were flying everywhere in our home.

Wow! Amazing! For some reason we have had so many flies in our apartment this summer. We have tried a couple of different products this by far is the best!
The first day I used four of them on our two windows where the flies like to hang out. It’s a great product and very inconspecious as it hides the flies from sight. It hasn’t even been 24 hours and most of the annoying flies in our Aparmtment are gone!!!!

Click to check the current prices: Best Sticky Fly Traps

Homemade Dog Toys: Drinking Bottle Toy

The recycled drinking bottle toy is one of the simplest toys to make due to the fact all it requires is an old drinking bottle along with a little bit of effort. This style of toy is a favorite among almost all dog species because of the cracking and crinkly sound that it produced when chewed on by a dog. Just before handing the recycled drinking bottle to the dog, always make sure that the lid, and the ring, which is usually attached to the lid have all been carefully removed.

recycled-drinking-bottle

On top of that, if your pet is a serious chewer, you can consider giving him or her a different homemade toy as an alternative to the recycled drinking bottle. The careful approach is essential because plastics tend to form very sharp corners that can cause some serious damage to any dogs’ delicate gums and occasionally some the sharp pieces may be swallowed by your dog, there are three recycled drinking bottle ideas that it is possible to use when brainstorming for an ideal do-it-yourself toy.

You can possibly choose to remove the lid from the bottle, and then fill it with dry food such as biscuits. The main concept behind this particular design is that your dog would have to roll the bottle so as to get treats out it. One more dry bottle concept that you can opt to use is the pierced recycled bottle, you will be required to get an old dry plastic bottle then pierce several holes continuously on its side.

homemade-eco-dog-toy

Compared with the first recycled bottle concept that has the food coming out of the lid, the pierced recycled bottle concept has the food coming out of the piercings on its side. On the other hand, you can decide to take the plastic bottle and fill it with water about the half mark. Right after you complete the first step, you will then freeze the bottle on its side. This unique toy is ideal during the hot months when your dog will be in urgent need of some cooling effect.

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Best iPhone 7 Plus Qi Wireless Charging Receiver Case

The Nillikin iPhone 7 Plus wireless qi charging case arrived professionally packaged and instructions were clear and concise.

nillkin-iphone-7-plus-qi-wireless-charging-receiver-case

I bought a different case first and broke it soon afterward. There were two things that I hated about it. The Thunderbolt plug couldn’t be moved. That’s how I broke it. I pulled it out of the case and bent the plug. This one has a plug that will get out of the way so I can quickly plug into my phone. The other problem was that the bottom was thick enough that none of my headphones had plugs that were long enough so I had to take the phone out of the case if I wanted to listen to something in the car. So dumb. This one has full access to everything and the leather looks great. I can’t imagine what would make this case better. This case has an answer to everything.

I have had a few cases like this that are QI-based and they work well. This one though is top notch versus more basic. It has a leatherette covering to it, trimmed in chrome metal appearing plastic. This leather is a leather byproduct that has polyurethane incorporate into it(i had to do research). But for the price you can’t beat it because it looks very executive and top shelf.

The case fits my broken phone very snuggly and the cut outs for the buttons and charging/auxiliary ports are well-defined. The around the screen framing does stick above the screen a few millimeters so that it protects your screen when it’s facedown. I still recommend a glass screen saver to protect your phone even more.

After you place this case on your phone and plug in the lightning adapter your phone easily syncs to any QI charging pad. It syncs usually within one second. The charging speed for this QI case is one amp. This equates to the same speed as the wall charger that you received with your iPhone.

iPhone 7 Plus Qi Wireless Charging Receiver CaseIn conclusion, this is a great case that looks very expensive but is not. And also incorporates QI charging into your lifestyle. Which makes it convenient and easy to charge your phone without plugging it in.

I received this QI charging case for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. I am a registered nurse and my word/trust is my reputation!!! I will follow up with any negative results.

Click to check the current prices: Nillkin iPhone 7 Plus Qi Wireless Charging Receiver Case