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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Purelux Gibbon Bathroom Sink Faucet Installation and Review

Purelux Gibbon Bathroom Sink Faucet Installation and Review

Buy it at Amazon: Purelux Gibbon Bathroom Sink Faucet Installation and [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy installation, smooth gentle water flow, leak-free and comes with deck plate.
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Silicone Number Lollipop Mold Review

Silicone Number Lollipop Mold Review

Buy it on Amazon: Silicone Number Lollipop Mold [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Great for candies and non-candle wax toppers.

This mold comes with 12 reusable plastic lollipop sticks. The mat measures 11.25” x 6.5” and each number is about 1.75” inch wide and 2” tall. You can use the mold to make candies with or without the lolly sticks, though when the sticks are not in place, some of the candy may run into the stick channel beneath each number (depending on viscosity). The tricky part is getting the sticks to stay in the mold because they tend to want to pop out. I found it necessary to put something under the ends of the sticks to keep them in the candies as they set. If you'll be transferring the mat into the freezer to speed up the setting process, fill your mold on top of a cookie sheet as moving the mat without something under it is difficult since it is so flexible.

I do not recommend the mold for baking as the batter would be so thin as to burn easily and the sticks are not oven safe. You can also use this to make wax number toppers for birthday and anniversary cakes, but because there is no space for a wick you’ll have to be creative to make them into candles. If you do use a wick, keep in mind that all the numbers aren’t solid so some won't melt linearly and can fall apart while melting (e.g. the number 5). The numbers are also only about 1/4” thick which is great for a small candy serving (~ 0.5 oz) but makes for a fast melting candle.

Overall the molds worked fine for making chocolates, hard caramels, and wax number toppers. Each material released easily from the mold without having to grease the mold before hand. The sticks were convenient for eating candies without getting your fingers sticky and also for holding the wax toppers on the cake. The only drawback is that there is only 1 of each number, so if for example you need a whole bunch of the number 3, you’ll have to make them one at a time. You only get 12 reusable plastic sticks but you can buy the paper disposables ones to use with this mold as well.

Buy it on Amazon: Silicone Number Lollipop Mold [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, August 15, 2016

Apeman M4 Mini Wireless Pico Projector Review

Apeman M4 Mini Wireless Pico Projector Review

Buy it on Amazon: Apeman M4 Mini Wireless Pico Projector [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Good clarity/color saturation, but limited uses, slow WiFi streaming, no audio out, low brightness.
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Forsining Mens Automatic Watch (Rose Gold) Review

Forsining Mens Automatic Watch (Rose Gold) Review

Buy it on Amazon: Forsining Mens Automatic Watch (Rose Gold) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Handsome watch, easy to set, fairly accurate though gains a few minutes over time, cheap band.
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Ufriday White Fabric Shower Curtain Review

Ufriday White Fabric Shower Curtain Review

Buy it on Amazon: Ufriday White Fabric Shower Curtain [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Thick polyester fabric, water resistant, no bleed through, mildew resistant, dries fast.
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EZcap Cassette to MP3 Converter to USB Flash Drive Review

EZcap Cassette to MP3 Converter to USB Flash Drive Review

Buy it on Amazon: EZcap Cassette to MP3 Converter to USB Flash Drive [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to use, clear audio, little digital distortion, not compatible w/all USB drives.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

4K XDV Action Camera Review

4K XDV Action Camera Review

Buy it on Amazon: 4K XDV Action Camera [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Decent audio and video but compression noticeable, spotty app performance, good on a budget.

The action camera comes with a waterproof housing, a microUSB charging cable and adapter, an extra battery, an extra housing door, and a variety of clamps, mounts, sticky pads, straps, and other accessories for mounting this camera to just about anything. This review will focus on the camera itself and not the accessories.

The camera is a GoPro-type action cam; it has a very similar look, style and function. On the front of the camera, you have the power/mode button and a 16 megapixel 170 degree wide angle lens. On the left hand side is where you’ll load a microSD card up to 64 GB, which is not included, and find the port for charging and a microHDMI output port. The LCD screen on the back has a 2 inch diagonal and is not a touchscreen, but the text is easy to read and the playback is fine (also has an external speaker). On top is the OK/shutter button with the menu selection keys on the right hand side, and on the bottom is the battery bay with removable door. The unit comes pre-installed with a battery which should last about 2 hours of use when fully charged though this will depend on whether or not you use the WiFi or LCD screen, so it’s nice that they include an extra battery. I didn't like that the WiFi mode didn't have its own key or at least dual use with another key because it's buried in one of the Settings menus and is a pain to get to for something you'll probably use often. There's also no external mic port.

I did try the app in the user manual XDV to view the camera’s feed on my phone’s screen remotely. However, I found that the camera didn’t always connect to the app and responded to the softkey shutter somewhat unreliably. Sometimes it would capture the photo or video, other times it would not which was frustrating when you missed a moment that you were sure you were recording and found that the file was not there afterwards. The camera worked much better using the physical shutter button on top and the buttons through the waterproof case worked well but you do have to press them fairly hard.

The video through the waterproof case is surprisingly clear; at 4K resolution the detail was good and the color saturation deep. The recorded sound actually isn’t that bad either, even through the case. There is a bit of a fisheye effect at the edges of the screen, though this is typically of wide angle lenses. When used underwater the housing was air and watertight and did not leak. I also believe there is some anti-shake applied to the video that stabilizes it. When set to slow motion mode at 720 and 60 frames per second, there was some noticeable video compression and sometimes the slow motion recordings had skips and frozen frames. Even at the supposed 4K resolution you can see some compression in the video which makes it appear grainy on large screens. Overall, the durability of this action camera when used in the case is very good, and the audio is decent though the video quality isn’t super sharp or crisp for 4K due to the compression of the video files. However, it’s a decent budget action camera that can do some cool stuff like go underwater and record in slow motion, somewhat reliably. Just don’t expect to get the same quality as you would get from a $400 GoPro. Hopefully the app gets improved or a third-party app may be able to work better with the camera.

Buy it on Amazon: 4K XDV Action Camera [Affiliate Link]
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Merry's Polarized Aviator Sunglasses Review

Buy it on Amazon: Merry's Polarized Aviator Sunglasses [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Dark lenses, crisp and clear vision, durable and heavy weight metal but comfortable.

The sunglasses come in a handsome leather semi-rigid case with a magnetic clasp. You’ll also receive a microfiber cleaning cloth and a soft microfiber drawstring carrying bag. The glasses themselves have dark translucent lenses that measure 65mm W x 51mm H have a 21mm bridge and 140mm arm length. The metal that the frame is made of is heavy and dense with a durable feel to them; it has chromed silver accents at the nose bridge and arm joints. The inner side of the lens has a blue sheen to it that filters blue light which purportedly makes viewing things through the lenses clearer and sharper. The lenses are also polarized protecting you from harmful UV rays.

The aviator style of the glasses is a good fit for my facial structure, though there is a little light bleeding on the sides because the edges of the lenses aren’t curved inward. That said, they're ever so slightly wide on me and have a tiny bit of play, though I don't feel as if they're always on the verge of falling off my face. They do feel heavier than my plastic frame glasses but aren’t uncomfortable even after several hours of wear because there's no pinching at the sides of my head. These do a nice job keeping light at a comfortable brightness on a sunny day, though things will look quite dim indoors. I've had mixed reviews from a few friends that have tried it on about the ability of the blue light filter to improve clarity. I will say that I think things are in sharper contrast, which can give the appearance of reduced "haziness" especially from reflections on very sunny days. These crisper outlines help make details standout and appear to give everything more depth and color saturation (although darker, of course). The style is cool and classic and as an accessory go with a number of clothing styles.

Buy it on Amazon: Merry's Polarized Aviator Sunglasses [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 3 (Week 4/Day 32)

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 3 (Week 4/Day 32)

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: 2nd Update: Aug 2, 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 32, Week 4, Episode 3:
This is my 1 month update on my progress with the iRestore Hair Growth Therapy Helmet. Not a lot has changed since my 2 week update and if you compare the condition of my hair today to the before pictures from the first episode.... there isn't much difference. Of course, this is to be expected as I've already covered, you won't see results in as little as 1 month. You won't see results in as little as 2 months either. The manufacturer of the system has said 3-6 months is the minimum amount of time you'll need doing the treatments regularly to see good results, so it's just a waiting game and dedication to the use of the product till we get there.

My hair is a little longer, of course, and I'm experiencing a good amount of shedding as it seems weaker hairs will be lost naturally over the course of the treatment, especially in the first couple of months. It doesn't mean these hairs won't grow back though, and hopefully when they do, we'll see some improvement in the thickness and quality of the hair growth.

I also will be adding a few other products from iRestore to my treatment plan/regimen to help support the hair growth. I don't yet have the products in my hands but they'll include a special shampoo, serum, and supplement made from all-natural ingredients, so I'm excited to get those and show them to you in future updates. Keep your eye out for more videos on my progress over the next few weeks!

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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