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.

Friday, December 29, 2017

RavPower 3200mAh External Battery Pack RP-PB064 Review

RavPower 3200mAh External Battery Pack RP-PB064 Review

Buy it at Amazon: RavPower 3200mAh External Battery Pack RP-PB064 [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large capacity, compact though a bit heavy, durable and travels well.
Share:

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Periodic Table Wine Coasters Review

Periodic Table Wine Coasters Review

Buy it at Amazon: Periodic Table Wine Coasters [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Fun, nerdy, durable coasters for science and wine enthusiasts.
Share:

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Andoer 4K 48MP Handheld Video Camera Camcoder Review

Andoer 4K 48MP Handheld Video Camera Camcoder Review

Buy it at Amazon: Andoer 4K 48MP Handheld Video Camera Camcoder [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: A nice budget camera for home videos, clear crisp images but low volume capture.

You'll receive the video camera in a carrying case, a miniHDMI to HDMI cable, an A/V to RCA cable, miniUSB charging cable, and instruction manual. The camera is small and compact measuring 5.75"L (including battery) x 2.5"W x 2.5"H. It weighs 12 oz w/battery installed. The camera has a hand pad and strap pre-installed, though comes with no lens cap. The battery has a decent capacity and will last you a little over 2 hours of continuous use/recording. On the front of the unit you have the lens with 48 MP sensor, mic, and IR lights for night vision.

The flip out LCD screen rotates 270 degrees and can be folded flat when open to keep the camera on. If the LCD is shut facing in, the camera powers off automatically. This camera accepts both microSD and full size SD cards and both slots can be used simultaneously for up to 64 GB of combined storage. No memory card is included, but one is required to make recordings. The screen is also touch sensitive and you can access to functions by tapping the icons on the screen. Each mode has its own group of settings, but some settings do apply to both video and photo mode. In general the touchscreen works well, but you have to be precise where you tap otherwise it's easy to make a wrong selection.

This camera has a WiFi function that's supposed to allow you to connect to an app for remote monitoring and control, but I was not able to get the app working nor transfer files wirelessly. Hopefully the app will be improved and be functioning in a future update. There's also a ¼" mounting hole on the bottom of the camera for tripod mounting.

During the day the image quality of the video and photos is clear and detailed. The video is HD at 1080p, 2K and 4K, although at 4K the frame rate is only 24 frames per seconds, so it tends to be more choppy. The best image quality for video is achieved at 1080p at 60 frames per seconds. The footage has a lot of detail, less shakiness with anti-shake activated, and smoother transitions during fast movement and panning in general. The microphone from the camera picks up sounds and voices within a few feet from the camera but it's generally not that loud, and I had to bump up the gain in post processing (+15dB). Even with loop recording off the longest video clip length is 25 minutes before the camera starts a new file. At 4K,1 min video file takes up about 200 MB, at 2K 150 MB, and at 1080p 100 MB, so at the highest resolution a 32GB can store a little more than 2.5 hours of footage.

The zoom is all digital and goes to up 16x magnification. Zooming in and out is generally fairly smooth though there's not a great way to do a slow speed zoom and the resolution is compromised when zoomed in. The camera does a decent job on the auto setting with white balance, color balance, and ISO. These menu options are only accessible in photo mode, even though they'll carryover to video mode (with the exception of black & white and sepia). In video mode, you can also adjust the exposure live when recording by tapping on the icon on the LCD screen.

The biggest drawback of having a fixed lens is that the focus range is only good after about 6 ft. Anything closer than 6 ft and things will start to look blurry. In dark conditions, the infrared light works really well. It lights up pitch black areas in black and white similar to night vision goggles so you can see everything in the dark. Overall, the camera captures video and photos at very high HD resolution. The image quality at 1080p/60fps is smooth, crisp, and detailed, and still serviceable at other resolutions. It doesn't do great with fast motion though, and the 4K mode is choppy at 24 fps I recommend a tripod or steadycam) but otherwise it's a solid entry-level handheld camera that will make for decent quality family videos, YouTube productions, and B-roll footage.

Buy it at Amazon: Andoer 4K 48MP Handheld Video Camera Camcoder [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Pubmind WiFi Smart Electrical Outlet Review

Pubmind WiFi Smart Electrical Outlet Review

Buy it at Amazon: Pubmind WiFi Smart Electrical Outlet [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Quick setup, easy voice/app control, can set timer & schedules, works well.
Share:

Monday, December 25, 2017

Oittm Smart Plug Socket Review

Oittm Smart Plug Socket Review

Buy it at Amazon: Oittm Smart Plug Socket [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Quick replacement installation, easy setup, voice commands and remote app work great.
Share:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Hua Wind Acoustic Concert Ukulele Review

Hua Wind Acoustic Concert Ukulele Review

Buy it at Amazon: Hua Wind Acoustic Concert Ukulele [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Nice build quality, sound, and extras; small details could be improved but not big issues.

This ukulele comes with all the accessories that you need to get started - minus lessons of course! You'll receive the ukulele in a canvas carrying bag, a clip on tuner w/CR2032 battery, a neckstrap, an extra set of nylon strings, a cleaning cloth, and two felt picks. The case for the ukulele has a zippered front pocket for the accessories, a side handle, and a shoulder strap on the back. The 24" body is made from mahogany that is both durable and resonant with a handsome medium-walnut stain. The neck is stained a lighter color which I think gives it a nice contrast. The bridge is rectangular and unpolished though (quite plain looking) and it has a bit of a rough feel to it. Along the fret board I noticed the ends of the frets were clipped in such a way that they have very tiny "burrs" on the end. This is different from the soprano uke that I have whose fret ends are tapered and polished smooth. On the Hua Wind uke this results in a slight catch at each fret as I run my hand along the side of the fret board; it scrapes a little though isn't sharp enough to cut my skin.

On the back of the head, you have four worm drive tuning pegs with plastic grips. This ukulele is also outfitted with two strap buttons for use with a snap-on shoulder strap. However, the included strap is a sound hole hook-style strap which you wear around your neck and it wraps around the bottom of the uke and hooks into the sound hole. While you can't go hands-free with this neck strap, this design makes it compatible with ukuleles that don't have the strap buttons too.

The clip-on tuner comes with a battery that you install in the back of the LCD panel, and the unit is really easy to use. The large brightly lit display is easy to reada nd determine when your strings are flat/sharp or in tune. When the strings are tuned, the LCD turns a bright green for easy identification. The uke isn't tuned when you receive it and the strings will be very loose. Tuning the ukulele for the first time went quickly with the tuner. With new strings, you'll end up tuning the strings pretty often, sometimes several times in an hour long practice session. But after the first week or so, the strings stretch out and settle and you'll need to tune less frequently. The sound from this ukulele is warm and round with full sounding tones. It's great for beginners like myself, though perhaps it's meant for those with a bit of experience as there weren't any instructions as to which notes to tune to nor a primer to reading ukulele tabs. I was able to find a few tutorial videos online which helped immensely. Overall, for someone who's new to playing the ukulele, like myself, I found the sound and construction from this instrument really nice. It's also a great size for kids and a lot of fun to play.

Buy it at Amazon: Hua Wind Acoustic Concert Ukulele [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Friday, December 22, 2017

Coredy AC1200 CX-E120 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender Review

Coredy AC1200 CX-E120 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender Review

Buy it at Amazon: Coredy AC1200 CX-E120 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Improved signal on the 1st floor from router on the 3rd floor, 2.4 GHz a bit finicky.
Share:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

MKDGO Reversible LED microUSB Charging Cable Review

MKDGO Reversible LED microUSB Charging Cable Review

Buy it at Amazon: MKDGO Reversible LED microUSB Charging Cable [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Reversible, charges my devices, works for data transfers, cool lights.

The microUSB cable comes in a drawstring carrying bag and inside you also receive a cable organizer with double-sided sticker on the back. The cable has a Velcro tie attached to it for organization, and it measures 34" long. The cable sheath is rubber and semi-transparent, so you can see the LEDs inside. The cable is pretty flexible though has some shape memory that can make it difficult to unbend. The USB-A connector at the end is pretty big measuring 1.75" so it may not fit in tight spaces. The microUSB side is smaller at 1" and it is reversible so it can be plugged into any microUSB device in either orientation. No more fumbling to figure out which side is "up".

The strain relief behind each plastic connector is thick and sturdy to prevent the cable from breaking at the end of the connector. When the USB cable is plugged into a power source the LEDs will light up and move slowly. However, when a device is plugged into the microUSB side to be charged or powered, the lights start to travel rapidly resulting in a cool flowing light effect. The cable works for both charging and data transfers to the computer and works as expected while displaying a cool light show. I haven't had any issues with it so far.

Buy it at Amazon: MKDGO Reversible LED microUSB Charging Cable [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Big Ant Heated Car Seat Cushion Cover Review

Big Ant Heated Car Seat Cushion Cover Review

Buy it at Amazon: Big Ant Heated Car Seat Cushion Cover [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Heats up in a few minutes, nice gentle warmth, not too hot, thin padding deflates quickly.
Share:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Zomei 24" Camera Slider Track Review

Zomei 24" Camera Slider Track Review

Buy it at Amazon: Zomei 24" Camera Slider Track [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Smooth sliding but tricky to control speed, durable and light, versatile mounting points .
Share:

Monday, December 18, 2017

Clevedaur Micromodal Boxer Briefs Review

Clevedaur Micromodal Boxer Briefs Review

Buy it at Amazon: Clevedaur Micromodal Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft, silky, good fit, form fitting and breathable

I have the blue version of these boxer briefs in size small. They are made of a soft, silky material that is 92% micromodal and 8%spandex. The advantage of micromodal fabric is that it's shrink resistant and unlikely to fade, so hopefully that means the color will stay bright and bold. It's also super lightweight and moisture-wicking for active wear. These are machine washable in cold water and can be tumbled dry on low. These did not shrink or bleed in the wash.

The front has a traditional fly pocket and the waist band measures 1" wide. It's pretty stretchy all around for a form fitting comfortable snug. The back of the boxers is flat with no contours. The size small fits great on my 29" waist. The legs cutoff around mid-thigh and aren't loose at all. The material is soft and smooth against the skin and more breathable than cotton. The stitching on the garments is even and neat without scratchy seams or edges that might chafe. Overall, I like these boxer briefs for their comfort, fit, and quality.

Buy it at Amazon: Clevedaur Micromodal Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Maxcio WiFi Smart Outlet Plug Socket Review

Maxcio WiFi Smart Outlet Plug Socket Review

Buy it at Amazon: Maxcio WiFi Smart Outlet Plug Socket [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to setup and control remotely, various useful scheduling options.

You'll receive the WiFi outlet and instruction manual. The outlet has a plastic housing and measures 2" square and 1" thick. It has a three prong grounded plug and a single power button on the left hand side with an embedded status LED. To set up the socket on your home WiFi network and control it, you'll need to download and install the Smart Life app to a mobile device.

Just plug the device into any outlet (it shouldn't block the other outlet in a dual socket panel). Adding the device via Smart Life to the WiFi network was quick and easy in under a minute. In the app you can turn the outlet on and off by tapping the socket icon. You can add weekly schedules for the outlet with specific on/off times on different or multiple days of the week. There is also a 'countdown timer' mode that will flip the status of the light from off to on or vice versa and a 'cycle' and 'random' mode as well.

To use the outlet with Alexa enable the Smart Life skill in your Alexa app. Then run discovery mode to add the outlet to your list of devices. For Alexa commands, I've only been able to control on and off for the outlet and not set timers via voice control.

The outlet works as expected and the various timers/schedules are easy to setup. It's great to be able to control devices like lights, air conditioners, fans, and even the slow cooker remotely from anywhere I have an internet connection. I can also shut off appliances that I may have forgotten to like a space heater.

Buy it at Amazon: Maxcio WiFi Smart Outlet Plug Socket [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Aucos iPhone 6 2200 mAh Battery Replacement Kit Installation and Review

Aucos iPhone 6 2200 mAh Battery Replacement Kit Installation and Review

Buy it at Amazon: Aucos iPhone 6 2200 mAh Battery Replacement Kit [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy/quick replacement, good illustrated instructions, long-lasting battery with high capacity.
Share:

iATO Surreal Slim Case iPhone X Review

iATO Surreal Slim Case iPhone X Review

Buy it at Amazon: iATO Surreal Slim Case iPhone X [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Low-profile, slim, easy to install; provides side and back protection to phone
Share:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mileagea 50 Inch Popup Tabletop Projector Screen Review

Mileagea 50 Inch Popup Tabletop Projector Screen Review

Buy it at Amazon: Mileagea 50 Inch Popup Tabletop Projector Screen [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Compact, light, durable exterior, wrinkle-free, pure white, flat backdrop for projectors.

The projector screen when folded up measures 47"L x 2.5"W x 1.25"H and weighs about 4 lbs. It has a metal exterior case and the fabric screen pulls up out of the base. On top are two folding up plastic handles for opening the screen. On the bottom of the unit is a pivot foot that also serves as the screen lock, to prevent it from opening. When the foot is rotated out at 90 degrees, this unlocks the screen and the foot helps stabilize the screen in the back. The screen pulls out easily from the case but takes a bit of force to initially get it started. The final height of the screen is 29.5". The viewable portion (white area) of the screen measures 24.25" x 43.25" and has a 49.5" diagonal so not quite the advertised 50" but pretty close.

The screen has a painted black border and a viewing ratio of 16:9 for wide screen video. Since the background is a bright pure white, when projecting onto the screen with a video projector, the colors and contrast are rendered sharp and clear. This is much better than projecting onto my off-white walls which always gave the colors a weird tint. There are also no bumps or textures present in the screen. Overall, it's a good screen that works well for small rooms and for use as a work/travel screen since it's light, compact, and can easily be transported.

Buy it at Amazon: Mileagea 50 Inch Popup Tabletop Projector Screen [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Escential Co Blackhead Facial Peel Charcoal Mask Review

The Escential Co Blackhead Facial Peel Charcoal Mask Review

Buy it at Amazon: The Escential Co Blackhead Facial Peel Charcoal Mask [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Mild facial peel, works on the surface but doesn't grab deep blackheads.
Share:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Btopllc iPhone 6 Battery Case Review

Btopllc iPhone 6 Battery Case Review

Buy it at Amazon: Btopllc iPhone 6 Battery Case [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Fits and charges iPhone 6, but is slow and sometimes disconnects
Share:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Yidarton Feather Print Tank Top Review

Yidarton Feather Print Tank Top Review

Buy it at Amazon: Yidarton Feather Print Tank Top [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Thin/lightweight, stitching is so-so, different than photos, high neck and wide shoulders.
Share:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Taotronics LED Desk Lamp w/Touch Controls TT-DL030 Review

Taotronics LED Desk Lamp w/Touch Controls TT-DL030 Review

Buy it at Amazon: Taotronics LED Desk Lamp w/Touch Controls TT-DL030 [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Slim/sleek design, bright and dimmable, easy to adjust, convenient USB charging.

You'll receive the lamp head, base, power adapter, set screw, Allen wrench, cleaning cloth and instruction manual. The lamp head splits apart on a pivot joint and the LED lights are on a rotatable section in a translucent section. The rest of the lamp is made of metal with a matte black finish. The lamp head measures 16" inches long and swivels to about 160 degrees in both directions. The light portion is rotatable up to 270 degrees and can face all 4 directions: up, down, left, or right. The base weighs about 1.5 lbs and measures 7.75"L x 4.5" W x 1/2"H.

The lamphead is simply placed atop a slot with contact pins and tightened via the set screw from the bottom. On the left side of the base is a 1A USB port for charging a mobile device. The power cable plugs into the back of the base. The controls for the lamp are touch sensitive and located on top of the base towards the front. There's a mode, power, and timer button as well as a touch slider for brightness.

The touch controls are responsive and changing the settings is simple. While I appreciate the simplicity of one-button operation for the modes, you may have to cycle through them to find the one you want rather than being able to select the exact mode with one-touch. The differences between the mode are slight but they offer different color temperatures and overall brightness levels. Pressing the timer activates a 1 hr shutoff timer and a tiny red LED will illuminate, though it's a bit hard to see within the clock symbol. Tapping the timer key again will turn the timer off, and there's no way to see its progression at a glance e.g. 30 mins left. The USB works great for charging bedside.

Overall, this is a durably constructed desk lamp with modern touch controls. It's very bright on the brightest mode but able to be dimmed to a comfortable nighttime ambient glow. The light can be adjusted to suit your preferred color, brightness, angle and direction. Its modern, slim design is sharp and minimalist.

Buy it at Amazon: Taotronics LED Desk Lamp w/Touch Controls TT-DL030 [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

WoodyGaga Bamboo Wood Sunglasses (White/Green) Review

WoodyGaga Bamoboo Wood Sunglasses (White/Green) Review

Buy it at Amazon: WoodyGaga Bamoboo Wood Sunglasses (White/Green) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Cool style, lightweight and durable; good sun/UV protection for bright conditions.
Share:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Comzor iPhone 6 Slim Battery Case Review

Comzor iPhone 6 Slim Battery Case Review

Buy it at Amazon: Comzor iPhone 6 Slim Battery Case [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Thin/lightweight, soft-touch but grippy exterior, convenient battery pack.
Share:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

iDobbi Car Air Purifier Ionizer Review

iDobbi Car Air Purifier Ionizer Review

Buy it at Amazon: iDobbi Mini Smart Wifi Outlet [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Quick installation and setup, stable connection, simple voice/app controls

You'll receive the WiFi outlet and a brief instruction manual. The outlet has a plastic housing and measures 2" in diameter and 1" thick. It has a three prong grounded plug and a single power button on the left hand side with an embedded status LED. To set up the socket on your home WiFi network and control it, you'll need to download and install the Tuya Smart app (or other IoT control app) to a mobile device. Just plug the device into any outlet and the LED light should start flashing quickly indicating it's ready to be paired. Note that with the socket plugged into the top of a dual outlet panel (US), while the bottom outlet is still accessible, it may me partially blocked. Setup took less than 5 minutes. With the Tuya Smart app enabled in my Amazon Alexa app, I was able to easily control the power of the outlet via voice commands. The app also lets you add timers (count and daily/weekly schedules) and control the outlet remotely from anywhere you have an internet connection. the outlet works great, but keep in mind the load capacity maximums are 10A and 1100 Watts.

Buy it at Amazon: iDobbi Mini Smart Wifi Outlet [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Monday, December 4, 2017

Lead Edge 4K Action Camera Review

Lead Edge 4K Action Camera Review

Buy it at Amazon: Lead Edge 4K Action Camera [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: High resolution images and video, average clarity, sharpness of details, audio isn't great.

You'll receive the action camera in a waterproof housing, an extra battery, a spare waterproof housing door, microUSB charging cable, a selfie stick monopod, a variety of clamps, mounts, sticky pads, straps, and accessories camera mounting, and an instruction manual. The camera and all its accessories fit into the semi-rigid hard clam shell case it comes in.

On the front of the camera is a 170 degree wide-angle lens and power/mode button. On the left-hand-side you've got the microUSB charging port, microHDMI output port, and microSD card slot which accepts up to 64GB cards, however, one is not included. On the opposite side are the menu ‘up' and ‘down' keys and external speaker. The ‘up' button doubles as the WiFi key for connecting to the NTK smartphone app. On the back is a 2 inch diagonal LCD screen, and on the bottom is the battery bay. On a full charge, the camera runs with the LCD on for about an hour of recording time.

The quality of the video is decent. It got HD resolution, though fast motion tends to be blurry and somewhat choppy. The white balance and color control isn't always perfect it very bright or very dark conditions, and it takes a second or two for the auto white balance (AWB) to kick in. The anti-shake feature removes some of the shakiness caused by handheld filmed, but not all of it. Using the monopod helps, but a gimbal or steadycam would really be your best options short of a stationary tripod. The audio when inside the waterproof housing is pretty much entirely muted. Outside of the case the mic seems to work fine but I had to bump up the gain for the audio to be heard clearly even from only a few feet away from the camera. I liked the slow motion mode for this camera, as it makes your video much smoother and adds a dramatic effect. However, the setting claims 120 frames per second which would be 1/4 speed, but in video editing it turned out to be 90 fps so only 1/3 speed.

If you download the NTK Cam app, you can use your smartphone as a remote screen for the camera over WiFi. This app is very similar to the XDV app I've used with other action cameras, although this camera isn't compatible with both apps. This action cam is a budget conscious entry-level camera so it doesn't really compete in the same class as the GoPro in terms of video quality and video processing. I gather the video compression codec has a lot to do with that which tends to degrade the sharpness of the images. Although the resolution of the video is 4K, the footage isn't always super smooth or crisp but at least you get a nice, wide field of view and serviceable clarity and color reproduction.

Buy it at Amazon: Lead Edge 4K Action Camera [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Oaproda HDMI-VGA (F to F) Adapter Converter Review

Oaproda HDMI-VGA (F to F) Adapter Converter Review

Buy it at Amazon: Oaproda HDMI-VGA (F to F) Adapter Converter [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Works but depends on input/output resolution compatibility.

You'll receive the converter and 24" audio cable. The unit measures 2" x 1 ¼" by ½" thick. This adapter convert from HDMI signal to VGA video and 1/8" jack output. Not that this conversion only works in this direction and will not work for VGA to HDMI conversion. Note that your TV's VGA input must support the resolution of the input signal. For example, this adapter worked well with my computer's HDMI output in my 40" LG TV, but when I tried my Amazon Fire TV stick it gave me an Invalid Input message. However, the adapter did work with the Amazon Fire TV Stick on my 50" Sharp Aquos. Both the video and audio were clear and there didn't appear to be any loss of resolution as long as the TV could manage the resolution through the VGA input

Buy it at Amazon: Oaproda HDMI-VGA (F to F) Adapter Converter [Affiliate Link]
Share:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Auto-vox Imax Plus Holiday Laser Light Decoration Review

Auto-vox Imax Plus Holiday Laser Light Decoration Review

Buy it at Amazon: Auto-vox Imax Plus Holiday Laser Light Decoration [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to set up, plug-and-play, bright, fun kaleidoscope effect.
Share:

Contact Me

Name

Email *

Message *

Blog Archive

Ads

Get Email Notifications