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, August 31, 2017

JETech Carbon Fiber iPhone 6 Case Review

JETech Carbon Fiber iPhone 6 Case Review

Buy it at Amazon: JETech Carbon Fiber iPhone 6 Case [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Average protection against scratches, bumps and drops; comfortable in hand w/extra grip bar.

The JETech case is composed of two pieces: the outer plastic bumper case and an inner TPU rubber layer. The plastic bumper is thin and flexible but under enough stress or impact, could snap or shatter. The rubber button covers for the sleep and volume keys are part of the inner rubber layer and there's an airgap between the bumper and the inner layer that distributes and absorbs some shock from impacts. The interior of the rubber layer has a striped pattern for shock distribution and is soft and flexible as to not scratch the back of your phone. The iPhone 6 slips in smoothly and stays firmly in the case once installed. Around the screen is a raised edge that protects your phone's screen when placed on a table face down.

On the back is a carbon fiber texture with precise cutouts for the camera, sensor, flash, and Apple logo. Towards the bottom is a raised bar for additional grip for your fingers which is nice because the case actually feels somewhat slippery in the hand. The only issue i had with it is there was a small bump on the bar (from the molding process) which caused a raised area right in the middle. It's slight but still noticeable, though I was able to remove the bump with a razor blade. Along the bottom you have fitted cutouts for the Lightning port, headphone jack, speaker, and mic. Lastly, on the side you have access to the mute switch, but it's set pretty far back. The case itself is lightweight and moderately protective. It'll be able to absorb everyday bumps and hard contact but a drop from a few feet might shatter the bumper and direct hit to the phone's screen wouldn't be covered at all. However, the body of your phone will be shielded from most dents, scratches, and scrapes.

Buy it at Amazon: JETech Carbon Fiber iPhone 6 Case [Affiliate Link]
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Solar Motion Activated Ultrasonic Pest Repeller Review

Solar Motion Activated Ultrasonic Pest Repeller Review

Buy it at Amazon: Solar Motion Activated Ultrasonic Pest Repeller [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Seems to work against birds to reduce damage to garden veggies.

The pest repeller can be mounted to a wall or post or planted on the stake in the ground. The main body of the pest repeller measures 5.25" x 4.25" x 1.75". It has a solar panel on top for charging the internal battery pack, an ultrasonic emitter in the front, a motion sensor, flashing LED lights, and two control dials. The one on the left controls the frequency ranges it outputs and the one of the right controls the sensitivity or distance the sensor will be triggered. The unit comes with an instruction sheet and a frequency range chart. For example, low frequencies like 3.5 – 20 KHz is supposed to be effective against mice, foxes, and canines while 25 – 34.5 KHz is supposed to deter bats and birds. Each setting emits a particular range of frequencies that is supposed to surprise/annoy the target animals, while setting 5 emits all the frequencies for all critters. The maximum hearing ranges for humans is typically around 18-20 KHz so when in settings 1, 2, and 5 you'll probably hear a bit of high pitched ringing as it cycles through the frequencies. In setting 3 and 4, the unit is silent because our ears can't detect those frequencies.

I'm trying to keep away primarily birds in my garden, so I can choose either setting 3 or 5. I leave it on 5 just in case there are other animals like mice, rabbits, and groundhogs who might want o steal my vegetables (though I haven't seen any lately, but this doesn't mean they're not out there!). When assembled the stake is 12.5" long with the bottom 4.5" inches meant to go in the ground. The main unit simply attaches to the top of the stake and will sit about 8" high. However, you can also use the hanger and attach this to a wall or post so it's higher up.

The unit charges each day from the sun so you don't need to worry about turning it on and off or replacing the batteries often. When the unit is triggered, the sensor will turn red and it will emit the specified range of ultrasonic frequencies twice over the course of 30 seconds. The LEDs will also flash several times during this time to visually frighten the animals, which should be more effective at night time. The range of the motion sensor on the lowest setting is about 8 feet while on setting 5 I was able to trigger it from 25 ft away.

I've had this device in my garden fora couple weeks pointed right at my tomato plants from a distance of about 6 feet. My personal observation is that it seems like there are fewer tomatoes with holes in them from bird pecks. While I I haven't seen any birds in the garden when I tend to it, I only get out there in the evenings which may not be their prime feeding hours. Birds typically they peck small holes in the tomatoes which makes them rot, so hopefully I'll see less of that over the rest of the harvest season. I'll keep an eye out to see if I notice birds hanging out int he path of the repeller which could indicate that they're simply getting used to the sound and lights and no longer afraid of it. With all the rain we've been getting, the repeller is still working normally so at least I know it's waterpoof. As a side note, my cats didn't really seemed bothered by the sounds when it was triggered, some curious looks, but not enough discomfort to move away from it. Perhaps they aren't as skittish as feral cats/animals or maybe they don't like it and are just too lazy to get up and move.

Buy it at Amazon: Solar Motion Activated Ultrasonic Pest Repeller [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wall Mount Combination Key Lock Box Review

Wall Mount Combination Key Lock Box Review

Buy it at Amazon: Wall Mount Combination Key Lock Box [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Sturdy/durable box, easy-to-set, smooth scrolling nums, but small interior, no backup way to open.

The lock box is made of heavy duty cast iron that appears to have good durability and security. The unit measures 4.5" x 3.5" x 1.5". On the back are four mounting holes for attaching the unit to a wall. In front is a slide-down door for weather protection that reveals the combination tumblers and release switch. The default code for the unit should be "0000" although when mine arrived it was set to "1000" which opened the lock. Inside you have the mounting hardware which includes 4 brass screws and 4 dry wall anchors. The combination is easily changed by moving the lever inside into "setting" mode. However, there is no backup opening function like a master key, so make sure you test the combination and write down the code somewhere safe. Overall, the lockbox is super simple to use, durable, and secure. The tumblers move smoothly and solidly click into each position so you can be sure you've set it correctly. We rent out rooms in our property on occasion and use the lockbox to check in guests while we are away. It's also a secure way to keep a spare key outside in case someone gets locked out of the house. But if you forget the combination it's a real time waster to brute force it, although it can be done. I also wish there were other mounting options. I'm considering buying a U-bracket and two hex nuts to attach this to a railing instead of drilling hole into the side of the house.

Buy it at Amazon: Wall Mount Combination Key Lock Box [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, August 28, 2017

Purelux Press Spring Pop Up Drain Review

Purelux Press Spring Pop Up Drain Review

Buy it at Amazon: Purelux Press Spring Pop Up Drain [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large plug, easy to install,drip/leak-free, looks great.

I got the brushed nickel version to match my Purelux Gibbon faucet. The unit is made with brass components and measures 8.5" long including the tail pipe. The plug was easy to install, with the hardest part actually being removing the old lever style old pop-up plunger. The press to pop-up drain works great and I don't need to worry about any plastic components breaking which always seems to happen with the lever stoppers. The overflow for the sink also works fine with the water draining through the holes in the side of the plunger assembly. I did add a ring of plumber's putty into the "cupped" portion of the mack washer under the sink because my sink hole was a bit too narrow for the silicone inner lip to fit inside the cutout. However, there were no leaks from any of the connections after I did this and the drain stops/opens when you press the center of the plug. Overall, I'm happy with the stopper's performance.

Buy it at Amazon: Purelux Press Spring Pop Up Drain [Affiliate Link]
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Saturday, August 26, 2017

iLive Concierge Wireless Alexa Enabled WiFi Speaker (ISWFV387G) Review

iLive Concierge Wireless Alexa Enabled WiFi Speaker (ISWFV387G) Review

Buy it on Amazon: iLive Concierge Wireless Alexa Enabled WiFi Speaker (ISWFV387G) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Works great for Alexa features, sound quality is decent, but could be better.
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Friday, August 25, 2017

Forager Go Metal Detector Review

Forager Go Metal Detector Review

Buy it on Amazon: Forager Go Metal Detector [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to assemble, lightweight, loud speaker, fun to use; comes w/handy field guide.
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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Jacia House Memory Foam Pillow Top Mattress Review

Jacia House Memory Foam Pillow Top Mattress Review

Buy it on Amazon: Jacia House Memory Foam Pillow Top Mattress [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft topper, medium firm support springs, comfortable but edges sink a lot
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

FL-V8 Oral Irrigator Water Pik Review

FL-V8 Oral Irrigator Water Pik Review

Buy it on Amazon: FL-V8 Oral Irrigator Water Pik [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Small tank, runs out quick, moderate pressure and cleaning, a bit noisy and messy.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

AntDisk Ant-2 WiFi Dashboard Camera Review

AntDisk Ant-2 WiFi Dashboard Camera Review

Buy it on Amazon: AntDisk Ant-2 WiFi Dashboard Camera [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Decent clarity/resolution, easy to use/setup, audio and night video avg, couldn't view GPS data
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Friday, August 18, 2017

C&A Home Bamboo Shoe Rack Bench Review

C&A Home Bamboo Shoe Rack Bench Review

Buy it on Amazon: C&A Home Bamboo Shoe Rack Bench [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Compact bench, fits 4-6 pairs of shoes, lightweight, sturdy but wobbles slightly.
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Foseal Compact Car Vacuum Cleaner Review


Foseal Compact Car Vacuum Cleaner Review

Buy it on Amazon: Foseal Compact Car Vacuum Cleaner [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Good for light cleaning in the car; picks up sand, dirt, crumbs, hair and dust; long cable, easy to clean.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Oneach Adjustable Bronze Floor Lamp Assembly and Review

Oneach Adjustable Bronze Floor Lamp Assembly and Review

Buy it on Amazon: Oneach Adjustable Bronze Floor Lamp [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Stylish look, easy assembly, durable though a bit heavy, bright w/3 light levels.
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Monday, August 7, 2017

Natural Bug Defense Mosquito Repellent Bands Review

Natural Bug Defense Mosquito Repellent Bands Review

Buy it on Amazon: Natural Bug Defense Mosquito Repellent Bands [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Somewhat effective, stretchy and versatile, reduces chances of mosquito bites but not 100%.
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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fifine K034 Wireless Microphone Review

Fifine K034 Wireless Microphone Review

Buy it on Amazon: Fifine K034 Wireless Microphone [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to set up, good clarity and reproduction, nice range, decent volume.Easy to set up, good clarity and reproduction, nice range, decent volume.
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Tenergy Geo Salt Water and Solar Powered Robot Kit Review

Tenergy Geo Salt Water and Solar Powered Robot Kit Review

Buy it on Amazon: Tenergy Geo Salt Water and Solar Powered Robot Kit [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Fun build kit, simple/quick setup, explains the science in manual, nice learning tool.
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How to Install Push Pop-Up Drain Plug Stopper and Review

How to Install Push Pop-Up Drain Plug Stopper and Review

Buy it on Amazon: How to Install Push Pop-Up Drain Plug Stopper and [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Nice finish and durable construction, easy to use but no install instructions, no leaks.
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