To me anyway this is a totally new Chinese phone company, I first heard of them a few weeks ago when I received an invite at short notice to their new UK store at Westfield shopping centre, which due to conflicts I could not make, however I was sent their latest phone the Mi 8 Lite. Looking at their website sees they are far more than just a phone company as they are big – like the world’s fourth largest - in Internet, Connected Homes and Software.
On first look this looks like any of a recent breed of quality mobile phones, however it has plenty to offer. It is 15.5x7.4x.7cm; the diagonal imperial screen measurement is 6.26 inches. The screen is 1080x2280. It weights 171grams. It runs Android 8.1 (the last but one version) with a skin of MIUI which unlike certain other skins does not seem to affect performance. The processor is an Oca-core Max 2.2GHz. It comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of Internal storage and around 50GB is available.
The Fuzzy family needs help. Are you up to the task?
Gems of Magic - The Lost Family is a Match 3 game that has been developed by Graphium Studios. When playing this game you can create profiles for individual players. These profiles will record the progress of the specific player as they progress through the various levels. You can also adjust the volume levels for sound effects and background music plus opt for full screen mode and use of the game cursor.
Power over Wi-Fi, range extenders and Wi-Fi Extenders are all ways to allow you to get a signal where you may not be able to do so normally, here an offering from Devolo called Magic 2 to allow places that otherwise would need a carrier pigeon to get information in or out help to allow you to stay in touch. Be it loft or basement you can now have connection.
The Devolo Magic 2 Whole Home Wi-Fi Kit consists of three units which each connect to a mains outlet. First the master that needs to be placed near your Modem it is 13x6.5x5cm and has an Ethernet port on the top of the unit and a 13amp plug on the face so whatever was in that socket before you plugged in the Devolo Magic LAN can still be inserted without affecting the Devolo.
Even 45 years later, the Rubik effect continues to be felt.
1974 proved to be a challenging year for those of us who enjoyed the thrill of solving puzzles. In this case the puzzle, that was dominating the brain power of users in 1974, was the creation of the Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture, Emo Rubik. As you have probably already guessed by now, the puzzle was the Rubik Cube, originally known as the Magic Cube until it took on the name of its creator and become a must buy product.
Not everyone can afford all the bells and whistles available from top of the range panels, so here a basic offering that still offers a good sharp image and it is of course flicker free to give an excellent panel available at a budget price.
The AOC 27E1H 27inch Monitor measures 62x37x1.5cm and it sits on a stand that is 20cm square that raises the screen by 8cm from your desk. It has a lot more back tilt than most other such offerings at close to 20 degrees and amazingly offers nearly half that of forward tilt. The viewable screen is 59x33.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 27inches. The display is 1920x1080. This is described as a ‘Business’ Monitor.
It is that time of year when many people decide on a route to improve their lifestyle but some care should be taken.
Have you made your’s yet? I must admit to be rather lax in this particular matter and have allowed other issues to take up my time. This situation had already arisen before I received an email that stated “those that do, could well find themselves vulnerable to a particular type of scam.
A streaming service for more than just music as you listen via a small box and either input to your TV or from the 3.5mm port on the back of the box to external speakers, it is also possible to listen via a soundbar connected to your TV.
The box is either red, blue or black it is 13x13x2.5cm it has an on/off button on its top and a line of five connections under a small overhang at the back. These are 3.5mm socket for external speakers, USB, Ethernet, HDMI for connection to the TV and power input. In the box you also get a 17.5cm long wand/microphone/controller that is 3x3cm and also the same colour to match the box, don’t lost this as the box relies on it to function.
With a bargain basement approach, this next offering consists of five separate titles.
Belonging to the Hidden Object game genre with game play aplenty, this next offering consists of five separate titles. Appropriately entitled "Hidden Object Stories 5 in 1", these five titles are not connected apart from the style of playing. Each of these five games allow the player to turn off background music, sound effects, check out a brief Help feature and reset the game's default settings.
While a 1TB hard drive for a decent desktop machine is now the norm larger drives are available and as the size of the machine gets smaller a second drive bay gets rarer so having multiple partitions may be the way to go with a single larger drive. However with Windows making the formatting of anything over 2TB more difficult this 8TB offering may be more for those with more specialised uses.
While it is not impossible to format this as a single Windows drive the will require more knowledge than most have to do so. In fairness would you want such a large single drive anyway especially if it was the boot drive. It is most likely to end up in a NAS unit where even this huge capacity can soon be swallowed up by backups and the like. The drive measures 14.7x10.2x2.6cm which normally gets called a drive to fit into a 3.
Edifier continues to offer a choice of speaker systems.
Forming part of the Edifier family of speaker systems is the R1580MB multimedia model. This kit consists of two speaker units, a remote control device and a selection of appropriate leads. The R1580MB speaker system also provides support for Bluetooth connectivity through the introduction of mobile devices to supply the audio content. As might be expected, the pair of speakers making up this system consists of a passive and an active unit.
Early in 2018 One Plus 6 had a worldwide launch for their flagship new phone in the Olympic Park in Stratford, here a phone from OnePlus 6 with an added ‘T’ that has a lot of the features but at around half the price.
The OnePlus 6T measures 15.5x7x.7cm and weighs 186grams. The viewable screen is 14.7x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of over 6.4inches. The right side has a slider switch which goes between silent, vibrate and ring and this is far easier than swapping things in settings. Also on the right side is the on/off button with three second switch off and fourteen second switch on. The base has USB ‘C’ port for both charging and connection of an On The Go device.
Swedish by design and Chinese by manufacture deliver a set of earphones.
With a company name derived from the words “Revolution” and “Next”, the Swedish company RevoNext has added to its product portfolio with the release of its in-ear QT3 earphones. With the brand number of RN-QT3, this in-ear headphones set come with a designed QT3 quad driver to help deliver a superior audio experience to the listener. Although Swedish by design and concept, these in-earphones have been manufactured by Dongguan City Tuotui Co Ltd.
One of the latest batch of notebooks to come on the market from Acer and not only is it powerful but has the absolutely latest version of Windows 10 that is V1809. Another of the recent inclusions is just USB ‘C’ ports on the unit. However for those that still need standard USB2 and USB3 an adapter unit is supplied in the box to attach.
The Acer Swift 7 measures 32.5x23.5x.7cm and weighs 1185grams, so very thin and light as the width was at the thickest point at the back at the front it is only .5cm thick at the edge. I normally spend quite a long time upgrading to the current version of Windows and here this was not needed as it is even more recent than my PC as this has V1809.
Are you up to the task of completing 200 levels of Match 3?
Heart of Moon – The Mask of Seasons is a Match 3 game. Developed by UNIKGAME, this title places you in the company of Clara and her adopted father as they set about on a journey to recover an ancient artefact known as the Mask of Seasons. Before setting out on this Match 3 adventure, you can adjust the volume levels for music and sound effects plus select from options to include a tutorial and play the game in full screen mode.
I am sure we all have all the devices – and more – available as single tools, however in this small multi tool offering, but when you need them can they be instantly located. You are more likely to find them if located on your keyring and this comes with such a ring attached.
The tool comes in a fabric case with the keyring attached to the ‘multi tool’ via a short 3cm chain, this enables the tool to be in the case rather than rubbing a hole in your pocket as it would without the case. The total weight with the case is 81grams. The multi tool is when folded in on itself is 8.5x3x1.5cm and as it fits snugly in the case that has a Velcro flap, that is the overall dimension as well.
With its new UK store and plenty of new products, Xiaomi has been busy of late.
What’s in a name? In the case of this next review product, the name is that of Pocophone F1. As part of Xiaomi’s product portfolio, the Pocophone’s brand of smartphones forms part of the more than 100 million smartphones shipped during 2018 by the company although what its percentage would be, I have no idea. Available in a choice of Graphite Black (my review sample), Steel Blue and Rosso Red, with dimensions of 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.
A visit to a barber between Liverpool Street and Old Street for a totally new brand to me had a presentation for a 99 year old company found me leaving after a very pleasant haircut from a barber at a shop called Ruffians and with a sample of the WAHL hair trimmer to try out in my own home, and before you ask the barber did use one for part of the haircut.
To give it the full name on the box it’s the Aqua Blade Wet/Dry Stubble & Beard Trimmer. It weighs 150 grams and is 16cm from base to tip 4cm wide near the head and 3cm deep at the same point. 8cm up from the base is the single on/off button. Just below this is an LED, the two pin power lead plugs into the back 2cm up from the base. The unit is matt black with silver coloured trim curving up from the front to the sides starting just below the on/off button.
This next headset combines Bluetooth, Noise Cancelling and Hi-Res delivery at a sub £80 price point.
Private listening headsets come in a range of formats that vary from the small ear-bud types to those featuring ear cups of different sizes. You could opt for the almost invisible in-ear type or the more obvious on or over-the-ear product with a choice of tethered to the audio source or the walk-about freedom of wireless (ie Bluetooth) for your listening pleasure.
A Wi-Fi security camera from Time2, this is an internal offering but I see this range of releases also has an external offering that I shall ask to look at when this one returns home. So what can this camera offer to help secure your home?
The camera is 9.5cm tall, 5.5cm wide and 5cm back to front. There is just one visible connection in the rear of the back of the unit a supplied micro USB cable. Setup is just a matter of downloading an App from either the iOS or Android store and following the instructions, there is a small Start Up Guide supplied but it just duplicates the instructions in the App.
Cygnett’s ChargeUp Boost and ttec’s PowerStones Trio each offer a different approach to ensuring that you have backup power for you mobile when you need it.
How are your Match 3 game playing skills? You will need them as you set about restoring your world.
It is a cold and desolate world that faces you when you first enter the game of Jewel Match – Naturescape. This is a Match 3 game that has been developed by Suricate Software. As with some other Suricate Software Match 3 titles I have looked at, Naturescape is spread over numerous levels with each one containing connected rooms filled with decorated tiles populating grids. Profiles can be created to help record the progress made by individual players.
The Ultimate Carryall, Elite Backpack, and now it’s actual name Solo New York and as we all know everything in New York is big and this backpack is no exception, perhaps so good they named it three times is slight overkill but your laptop and much more will all fit inside.
It is 52cm from base to the carry handle on the top. It is 30cm wide all the way from bottom to top and 16cm deep at the base and up to 14cm deep at the top. The back has a pair of 7cm wide shoulder straps which have subsidiary straps for width and depth towards the base so whatever your size it can fit snugly to your back. The outside closest to your back is padded and pimpled for breathability.
With its expertise in developing speakers, it is not surprising Edifier also develops headphones.
Previously, whenever the name of Edifier popped up, as it does on numerous occasions, the subject matter would concern a speaker system offering a range of audio features and sometimes unusual shapes. However, with the arrival of the latest Edifier product, I will now need to widen my view of the company’s product portfolio. I had been sent an Edifier W800BT unit. The W800BT product is a Stereo Bluetooth set of headphones with AUX connectivity.
Occasionally I get the chance to stay in what is called a four - or even - five star hotel for a night and quite often I am left amazed as to how far standards have dropped, for instance finding a stained ironing board and iron in the wardrobe so when the opportunity to review a small traveling iron came up I said yes please.
Don’t get me wrong I am certainly not a snob and in normal circumstances only handkerchiefs and the occasional shirt get ironed but if one is in a top hotel you probably need to look your best for a dinner or other such event. This is a light unit at only 441grams (less than one pound in total weight) in the 16.5x15.5x5cm box. There is also a drawstring bag if you prefer to take it in that way. The iron itself is 12x7x2.
A smartphone costing under £60 is the subject of this next review.
A recent visit to what used to be a very run down area near Paddington found lots of new offices off a busy main road with what I assume was a small river or canal running through all very upmarket. My meeting was with a top man from Kaspersky Labs to chat about the latest threats that affect us all even if all we have is a PC or mobile phone.
While it has ‘Cloud’ in the name this need not be a worry as this is Kaspersky Total Security with a plus. The plus is all the Smart Home devices like Alexa are handled as well as the more obvious items that you have input into like a PC, Notebook or Phone. My copy was what Kaspersky call a Family offering which covers up to twenty devices. This is a slightly different context in that you can allow others to have secure protection but they never get to see anything of yours.
The 27P1 is AOC’s universal 27 inch business monitor. It has the features and facilities that businesses want today and, at the same time, can still be used as a replacement for legacy monitors.
Having a 16:9 aspect ratio IPS panel with WLED backlight it offers 1920 x 1080 resolution and is mounted on a stand that provides a full range of movements. As well as DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort inputs there is also a traditional 15-pin VGA so the 27P1 can easily become the standard monitor in an office with PCs of varying ages. Furthermore, it incorporates a 4-port USB 3 hub.
Is it an electronic book? Or is it a carry case? No it is Leap Frog’s new learning tool.
Leap Frog, well-known for its educational based electronic products, has recently released its LeapSmart 3D offering. Developed for the 2 – 7 years age group, this product provides on-screen animations to enhance learning. It has been designed to work with all LeapStart books of which there are currently 25 offerings covering various skills that are important to the development of the young child.
A trip to London’s Excel saw the world launch along with about 2000 others from around the planet of the latest flagship phone from Huawei, the Mate20 Pro. Apart from being that bit faster, larger screen and better featured this offered new features including AI effects as well as having no less than three Leica cameras in a square section on its rear.
The Huawei Mate20 Pro measures 15.5x7x.7cm and weighs 189grams. My unit was mirror black but other colours are available. AI which stands for artificial intelligence is a real buzz word these days and in a demonstration I saw a toy stuffed panda come to life and dance on stage with a real person via this phone. So how was that possible? The latest Kirin 980 processor and the triple lenses of the inbuilt Leica camera, plus a lot of skill.
Technology can help with your fitness by using an appropriate device.
As part of its recent marketing activity in the UK, Xiaomi, the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer, announced the release of its Band 3 Fitness Tracker product. This Activity and Fitness Tracker, joining an already crowded market for this type of device, consists of a wristband, Fitness Tracker unit and a USB charging cable plus a User Guide booklet covering numerous languages and making use of a small type face.