I provide honest ratings and reviews on tech, toys, and consumer home goods that I've purchased and used. Reviews are based on hands-on testing and personal observations. All opinions and comments are my own.

Disclosure: ReviewedbyPhil is reader-supported. If you click on or buy something via an affiliate link on this site, I may earn a commission.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 1 (Week 0/Day 1)

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 1 (Week 0/Day 1)

Buy it on iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!

Takeaway: My first laser session: June 30th, 2016. Follow me on my 6 month journey to see if I can get my hair to grow back in thicker and stronger.

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Day 1, week 0, Episode 1:
I’m not sure yet if this is going to be a weekly thing or if progress is slow it might be a monthly update but I’ll definitely let you know at the end of each video when I’ll be posting my updates. Ever since my late 20s I've been self-conscious about my thinning hair and I try really hard to hide my thinning hair on camera. The truth is, my hairline has been receding especially at the temples and my forehead seems to be gaining ground in the war against the hair on my head. When my hair is parted, or teased out and fluffy, you can generally see straight to my scalp and the sparseness in hair density at the root.

The product is basically like a glorified bike helmet. It’s made of a lightweight plastic and inside are 30 LEDs and 21 lasers that’ll be beamed at your scalp to help stimulate blood flow to the scalp and follicles of your hair which in turn supposedly helps your hair growth thicker. The helmet is designed to be one size fits all and has foam filled cushions for the top of your head and the band that will sit around your head, keeping the lasers a uniform distance from your scalp. Nothing is really adjustable, though the back of the band portion expands somewhat to fit your head shape. The helmet can be used by both men and women that have certain hair loss patterns.

The helmet is attached to a wired remote on a 3 ft cord with an LCD screen, a power button and a start/stop button. The remote has a port of the AC power adapter which is just about 8 ft long so you don’t have to be sitting right next to an outlet, though, still fairly close to one. Each session lasts 25 minutes but you can pause and take a break if you need to. It’ll also pause automatically if you take the helmet off. The normal course of treatment is every other day for 16 weeks, so check back in a week or two and I'll update you on the progress!

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Buy it from iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!
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Friday, June 24, 2016

Peralng Automatic Timer Scheduler Remote Outlet Switch Review

Peralng Automatic Timer Scheduler Remote Outlet Switch Review

Buy it on Amazon: Peralng Automatic Timer Scheduler Remote Outlet Switch [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Works remotely w/internet connection, timers are off by 1 hr, schedules cannot be updated, only deleted.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tangkula Costway Cash Box Drawer Review

Tangkula Costway Cash Box Drawer Review

Buy it on Amazon: Tangkula Costway Cash Box Drawer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Smooth sliding drawer, Easy to use, No locking feature, Occasionally jams if you move it around.
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Handheld Bidet Sprayer Installation and Review

Handheld Bidet Sprayer Installation and Review

Buy it on Amazon: Handheld Bidet Sprayer Installation and [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to install, gentle flow and spray, 3-way shutoff valve included, works well with no leaks.
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GGMM M4 Bluetooth/WiFi Portable Multi-Room Speaker Review

GGMM M4 Bluetooth/WiFi Portable Multi-Room Speaker Review

Buy it on Amazon: GGMM M4 Bluetooth/WiFi Portable Multi-Room Speaker [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Great build & sound, loud, decent bass, semi-portable but bulky, easy connectivity, multi-speaker syncing.
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Kedsum Automatic Scheduling Timer Outlet Switch Review

Kedsum Automatic Scheduling Timer Outlet Switch Review

Buy it on Amazon: Kedsum Automatic Scheduling Timer Outlet Switch [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large LCD, easy to press buttons, straightforward schedule setting, works well.

The automatic timer outlet comes with a simple instruction sheet, however, a more detailed instruction manual is emailed to you by the seller after you place the order, so keep an eye out for it. The unit measures 5.25”H x 2.5”W and will stick out 1.75” from the wall.

Before use, you have to set the current day of the week and time, which is straight forward. Just hold the Clock key and use the Hour, Minute and Week buttons. Pressing the Timer button will switch from 12 to 24 hour clock format. If your region follows Daylight Savings time, while holding down the CLOCK button, press the ON/AUTO/OFF button and the word "SUMMER" will appear on the LCD when DST is activated; the time will spring forward one hour and can deactivated the same way. This timer can remember up to 10 schedules. Press Timer and it will display the schedule number in the bottom left. You have to set each On and Off time individually. To rapidly advance through the timers, hours, or minutes, press and hold the corresponding button for several seconds. The Week buttons lets you choose the day and/or repetition cycle for each schedule. You can also choose from pre-set selections of multiple days like: every day, weekdays, weekends, Mon-Sat, Mon/Wed/Fri, Tue/Thu/Sat, Mon thru Wed, Thu thru Sat, or Mon/Wed/Fr/Sun. You cannot choose combinations of days outside these.

After settings the On time, you should also set the Off time. You do not have to choose the same day of the week repeat as the On time. This allows you to do things like turn on lights Monday night and shut them off Tuesday Morning. One thing to keep in mind is that if you set a schedule and the current time falls after the On time, the unit will not switch the power on until the time triggers the next On setting. When you’re done, you can press Clock to return to the main screen. To clear a timer, press the RES/RCL button when the setting appears. The Random setting is useful for if you go on vacation and you want it to appear as if someone is home. After setting your timers, press the random button and Random will appear on the screen. This will trigger the on/off times within one hour before/after the scheduled times. Note that this feature only works for schedules between 6:00PM to 6:00AM and the time interval must be more than 30 minutes. You can manually switch the timer from the schedules to Always On or Always Off by pressing the ON/AUTO/OFF button. The current mode will be displayed on the screen.

In general I like the features of this timer and it’s very easy to program. The LCD has nice large, easy-to-read text and the buttons are also sizable, easy to press, and self-explanatory. The timer functions exactly as expected and works well. I use it for my window A/C unit to cool the bedroom right before returning home from work.

Buy it on Amazon: Kedsum Automatic Scheduling Timer Outlet Switch [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

V4Ink TN660 Replacement Printer Ink Toner Cartridge Review

V4Ink TN660 Replacement Printer Ink Toner Cartridge Review

Buy it on Amazon: V4Ink TN660 Replacement Printer Ink Toner Cartridge [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Cartridge works, but had to force printer to 'reset' the toner life.

The toner is like any standard TN-660 OEM toner for Brother printers. You'll need to remove the protective orange cover over on the front before using it. The cartridge is physically almost identical to the original Brother cartridge and has the same physical dimensions and characteristics. Follow the included instructions for distributing the ink powder inside the cartridge, which involves shaking it and cleaning the corona wire on the drum. Then seat the ink cartridge into the drum until the lever clicks.

I'm using this with my Brother HL-L2380DW printer. If after installing the ink, my printer did not recognize the cartridge as having being changed so I had to manually reset the toner life. To do that: Go into Settings on the touch panel, then All Settings, General Setup, scroll down to Replace Toner, and finally select Continue. After that I was able to print without any problems. The first test page is always a good indicator of how well the cartridge may perform. On my test page there were no streaks or light areas and the color was even and smooth. Subsequently, the prints from this cartridge were just fine. However, it will take some time to determine how many prints/pages I’ll be able to get out of it. Because I manually reset the toner life, the printer doesn't seem to be able to track the toner life for me, and I won't get a "low toner" warning. I'll just have to wait and see when the print quality degrades.

Buy it on Amazon: V4Ink TN660 Replacement Printer Ink Toner Cartridge [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, June 6, 2016

Vibrant Canvas 5 pc Wall Art Ocean Wave Seascape Review

Vibrant Canvas 5 pc Wall Art Ocean Wave Seascape Review

Buy it on Amazon: Vibrant Canvas 5 pc Wall Art Ocean Wave Seascape [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large, high resolution prints on canvas, easy to hang, cool beach-y feel.
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TomAmeri MP4 Player Black 16GB New 2016 Version Review

TomAmeri MP4 Player Black 16GB New 2016 Version Review

Buy it at Amazon: TomAmeri MP4 Player Black 16GB New 2016 Version [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Not bad as an MP3 player/FM radio, but poor screen resolution for videos/photos.

The MP4 player includes a micro USB cable and a set of headphones. The player is made of a brushed aluminum shell and has a 1.75" diagonal LCD, but note that the screen is not a touch screen. On the right hand side of the player, there is a slot for loading a microSD card, but the unit also has 16 gb of built-in storage and a card is not required. Along the bottom is a microUSB charging port, the microphone, and the headphone port.

To turn the player on, press and hold the center play/pause button. The menu displays a list of options that you scroll left and right through. Note that the controls are a click wheel and not a touch sensitive scroll wheel. To select an option click the menu key in the top left corner of the control wheel. In Music mode press the up and down keys to adjust the volume and then the Menu key to accept the setting. The included headphones are not that great, so I recommend using your own set. Once you use a decent set of headphones the music quality is pretty good. Loading music to the player is easy using the included cable and you simply drop all the files into the root folder.

To exit out of a mode press and hold the menu key or use the back key in the top right corner of the controls. In video mode this player only supports AMV files, so you'll likely have to convert any files to get them to player on this player. The screen is awfully tiny, and the colors are somewhat washed out with fairly low resolution. There is a voice recorder on this unit and I recommend that if you do use it, to set the recording type to 256 kbps for better sounding quality. You'll have to go to a separate menu option to listen to the recordings. The radio mode functions and picks up a lot of stations in my area. The photo mode is as expected for such a tiny screen and the contrast will change depending on your viewing angle. In e-book mode you can read text files but not word documents, pdfs, or ebook formats. LAstly, there is a game mode with 1 game "Boxman."

Overall, for an inexpensive unit, it works as an MP3 player and portable radio. I wouldn't recommend it if you primarily want to view photos, videos and e-books. With 8 GB of storage and also the option to add an SD card up to 32 gb, you can also use it as a portable drive and card reader.

Buy it at Amazon: TomAmeri MP4 Player Black 16GB New 2016 Version [Affiliate Link]
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Ultimate Body Press Reversible Pull Up Bar Installation and Review

Ultimate Body Press Reversible Pull Up Bar Installation and Review

Buy it at Amazon: Ultimate Body Press Reversible Pull Up Bar [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Fits 16" or 24" studs, sturdy bar, multiple pull up grips, install can be done by one person.

This set includes a paper mounting template, installation instructions, 2 support brackets, the pull up bar, and a bag of hardware that contains: 6 lag bolts, 6 flat washers, an Allen wrench, 2 Allen bolts and 2 curved washers. The bar measures 41.5" from end to end with a curved section in the middle and downward sloping ends. The bar is wrapped in a firm neoprene foam that feels dense and has a soft non-slip texture. The support brackets also have two parallel bars for neutral grip pull ups.

For installation, you'll also need a pencil, a level, a tape measure, power drill, 5/16" drill bit, 17mm socket wrench, tape, and stud finder which are not included. First, you'll need to determine whether your studs are spaced every 16" or every 24". If your studs are spaced 16" apart, the brackets will curve inward towards each other, if they are 24" the brackets will curve outwards away from each other. Mark the center of each stud at the height you want to install the bar. Loosely attach the pull up bar to the two support brackets using the Allen wrench and curved washers. For this assembly, you want the curved side of the washers to face the brackets, away from the screw head. If you installed the bars in the wrong orientation (e.g. 16" vs 24"), rotate them both 180 degrees and they will be in the correct width. When assembled the parallel grip spacing should be 20" allowing you to targets lats, rhomboids, and traps.

The template lets you easily mark where to drill the holes for the lag bolts. I recommend pushing a sharp bit through the paper to mark the holes rather than drilling through the template itself, that way you can use the template again if you move the bar. Make sure to set the bar indicator line on the template to your desired height; the bar should be about 7' from the floor, more or less depending on what's comfortable for you and your ceiling height. You'll want 14-18" of clearance to the ceiling. Pre-drill the 6 holes to a depth of 3" using a 5/16" bit. Attach the support bars to the wall using the 6 lag bolts and washers. This was a bit tricky because it was awkward to hold the whole assembly up with one hand while trying to fit the bolt in the hole with the other. Having a second person hold the bar for you would be helpful here. Finally, tighten the Allen bolts on the pull up bar and check your level. Make sure the bar is secure before you attempt to use it.

The pull up bar was pretty easy to install (about 30 minutes) and comfortable to use. It feels strong and sturdy. The black paint will help the metal resist rust and corrosion, however, I don't recommend installing this bar for outdoor use. I think the grips would get moldy and if the paint chips the unit will likely rust. Overall, the construction is solid and the setup straightforward with well-written, easy to follow instructions. This bar is a great addition to my home gym and provides me with a variety of options for upper body strength training (standard grip, wide grip, neutral grip, chin ups).

Buy it at Amazon: Ultimate Body Press Reversible Pull Up Bar [Affiliate Link]
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