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, November 2, 2018

Crenova YG600 LED HD Projector Review

Crenova YG600 LED HD Projector Review

Buy it at Amazon: Crenova YG600 LED HD Projector [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Bright LED suitable for daytime viewing, but best in very dark settings. Great audio, color saturation, and contrast for its price class.
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Silkworld Quick Dry Mens Beach Short Swim Trunks Review

Silkworld Quick Dry Mens Beach Short Swim Trunks Review

Buy it at Amazon: Silkworld Quick Dry Mens Beach Short Swim Trunks [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Modern cut and fit, ample waist but not baggy, comfortable; made with durable quick-drying fabric.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Separatec Basic Bamboo Fiber Dual Pouch Underwear Review

Separatec Basic Bamboo Fiber Dual Pouch Underwear Review

Buy it at Amazon: Separatec Basic Bamboo Fiber Dual Pouch Underwear [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft and silky, comfortable and breathable, great range of movement without bunching or sweat retention.
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Friday, August 31, 2018

Ulikit Corner L-Shaped Computer Desk Review

Ulikit Corner L-Shaped Computer Desk Review

Buy it at Amazon: Ulikit Corner L-Shaped Computer Desk [Affiliate Link] UPDATED: All discount codes are gone and the promotional period mentioned in the video is now finished.

Takeaway: Clean modern look with natural wood grain pattern, easy assembly, lightweight but sturdy and durable under a decent load.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

HiCool 120 Inch Portable Fabric Projection Screen Review

HiCool 120 Inch Portable Fabric Projection Screen Review

Buy it at Amazon: HiCool 120 Inch Portable Fabric Projection Screen [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large screen size, lighweight, good quality, easy to set up but doesn't always stay "square."
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Monday, August 27, 2018

Three Gun Boxer Briefs Review

Three Gun Boxer Briefs Review

Buy it at Amazon: Three Gun Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Nicely cut and fit, with a low profile, ample contour pouch, unnoticeable seams, and smooth breathable fabric.
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Friday, August 24, 2018

AUAG Immersion Sous Vide Cooker Review

AUAG Immersion Sous Vide Cooker Review

Buy it at Amazon: AUAG Immersion Sous Vide Cooker [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Precise temperatures, easy operation and cleaning, built-in safety shutoff; delicious results.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

MOZA Mini Mi Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer Review

MOZA Mini Mi Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer Review

Buy it at Amazon: MOZA Mini Mi Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Lightweight, fully featured, good stabilization, though app is a bit finicky
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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Awake Lion Sous Vide Immersion Cooker Review

Awake Lion Sous Vide Immersion Cooker Review

Buy it at Amazon: Awake Lion Sous Vide Immersion Cooker [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to use, a cinch to clean; but fine adjustments to temperature are not possible, especially in F. Still makes amazing restaurant quality food.
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Monday, August 13, 2018

FiveHome WiFi Extender Repeater w/LAN port Review

FiveHome WiFi Extender Repeater w/LAN port Review

Buy it at Amazon: FiveHome WiFi Extender Repeater w/LAN port [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Quick and simple to setup, extends WiFi and improves signal from host router but only at close-medium range.
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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Vogyal Blue White Red Stripe Swim Trunks Review

Vogyal Blue White Red Stripe Swim Trunks Review

Buy it at Amazon: Vogyal Blue White Red Stripe Swim Trunks [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Nice cut/fit, comfortable, quick-drying, though not every stitch is perfectly hidden or aligned.
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Silkworld Swim Trunks Style 0714 Navy Blue Fish Review

Silkworld Swim Trunks Style 0714 Navy Blue Fish Review

Buy it at Amazon: Silkworld Swim Trunks Style 0714 Navy Blue Fish [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Fun style and print, comfortable, and well-made.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

AUAG Gaming Racing Chair Review

AUAG Gaming Racing Chair Review

Buy it at Amazon: AUAG Gaming Racing Chair [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Comfortable, cool look/style, wide seat and shoulders, easy to assemble but plastic covers are a bit cheap.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Zen Bidet Cascada-350 Sink Installed Bidet Sprayer Review

Zen Bidet Cascada-350 Sink Installed Bidet Sprayer Review

Buy it at Amazon: Zen Bidet Cascada-350 Sink Installed Bidet Sprayer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Durable all-metal construction, easy to install, strong or gentle spray.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ti-Muses Earbuds Tiamat's Newest True Wireless Bluetooth Earphones (WA-01) Review

Ti-Muses Earbuds Tiamat's Newest True Wireless Bluetooth Earphones (WA-01) Review

Buy it at Amazon: Ti-Muses Earbuds Tiamat's Newest True Wireless Bluetooth Earphones (WA-01) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Affordable truly wireless earphones with decent sound quality, but has connectivity and video sync issues.
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Friday, July 20, 2018

Barrel Shape Electric Wine Dispensing Decanter Pump Review

Barrel Shape Electric Wine Dispensing Decanter Pump Review

Buy it at Amazon: Barrel Shape Electric Wine Dispensing Decanter Pump [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Budget friendly, good aeration, quiet operation, but spatters when you reach the end of the wine.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

More Dental Lab Custom Bruxism Night Guard Review

More Dental Lab Custom Bruxism Night Guard Review

Buy it at Amazon: More Dental Lab Custom Bruxism Night Guard [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to create custom mold of your teeth for a highly durable and perfectly fitting bruxism night guard. Quick turnaround and affordable.
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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cute Silicone Tea Infusers from Free Walker Review

Cute Silicone Tea Infusers from Free Walker Review

Buy it at Amazon: Cute Silicone Tea Infusers from Free Walker [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to use and clean tea infusers, super cute shapes, but may not fit on all cups/mugs.
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FiveHome 12-piece BBQ Grill Tools Set Review

FiveHome 12-piece BBQ Grill Tools Set Review

Buy it at Amazon: FiveHome 12-piece BBQ Grill Tools Set [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Versatile, durable, and functional grill tools in a handy travel case.
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Monday, June 25, 2018

Holrbos Portable Travel Blanket Review

Holrbos Portable Travel Blanket Review

Buy it at Amazon: Holrbos Portable Travel Blanket [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Waterproof, lightweight, quick drying; easy to layout and pack up.
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ol Olive Oil Sprayer Review

Ol Olive Oil Sprayer Review

Buy it at Amazon: Ol Olive Oil Sprayer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Sprays a fine mist with thin liquids, but oil comes out as a thin stream.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Maono Lavalier Lapel Microphone Review

Maono Lavalier Lapel Microphone Review

Buy it at Amazon: Maono Lavalier Lapel Microphone [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Boosts speaker audio and reduces ambient noise, but can add line noise or too much gain which causes distortion.

You'll receive a spare LR44H coin cell battery, 2 foam wind screens, a ¼" microphone jack, metal alligator shirt clip, and the microphone with built-in TRRS/TRS switch for using different devices. You'll also receive a faux leather carrying case and an instruction manual. You'll find the second foam wind screen in the carrying case and a battery is pre-installed in the mic. The 1/4" mic plug is an adapter that connects to the built-in 1/8" (3.5mm) mic jack. This is a TRRS (4-pin) plug that can be used with mobile phones but can also be switched to TRS (3-pin) for other devices (e.g. computers, laptops, and digital cameras). The foam windscreen slips over the end of the microphone to reduce ambient noise and wind noise when recording. It's a little tight at first so you have to pull and stretch it out a bit to get it on. The alligator clip snaps onto the mic collar just below the wind screen. The in-line switch is fairly large for what it does, but it's made of a durable/lightweight aluminum metal and has an integrated shirt/belt clip. The length of the cable from the mic to the switch is 4 ft and the remaining length is just over 15 ft for about 19 total feet of cable from the plug to the mic.

The switch only needs to be on when using the mic with TRS devices. When using TRRS devices like smartphones, you do not have to turn the switch on and therefore it won't run down the battery. If using with a digital camera, like a DSLR or mirrorless camera, remember to turn the switch on otherwise it won't pick up any sound. When using the Maono lapel mic with my Sony a6300, the Maono mic offers a more focused sound which captures my voice better and more loudly, versus the on-board mic on the camera. There's also a bit less of the ambient background noise, however, there's a slight hum of line noise. When I tried the mic with my smartphone (with the switch in the OFF position and wearing in the same position) the microphone didn't perform as well, in terms of audio quality. While my voice captured sounded louder, there was significant distortion and clipping making the audio sound constrained and buzzy. I was able to somewhat alleviate this by moving the mic lower on my body, but this might look strange or awkward depending on what you're wearing.

Overall, the Maono mic does a nice job boosting the audio of the person speaking and reducing ambient noise when it's used as a lapel mic. However, performance was inconsistent across devices with the same placement. There was a tiny bit of line noise creeping in with TRRS devices like my camera and noticeable distortion and buzzing with my smartphone when positioned on my collar.

Buy it at Amazon: Maono Lavalier Lapel Microphone [Affiliate Link]
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Yinenn PEVA Shower Curtain Liner Review

Yinenn PEVA Shower Curtain Liner Review

Buy it at Amazon: Yinenn PEVA Shower Curtain Liner [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Impermeable, mold-resistant, and durable; includes stainless steel hanging rings.

You'll receive the shower curtain and a pack of 12 stainless steel curtain ring hangers. The curtain is made from 100% PEVA plastic, a kind of polyethylene vinyl. The listed size of it is 72" x 72" which is pretty accurate to the actual measurements. Along the top are 12 metal stainless steel grommets and at the bottom there are several small magnet weights to hold the curtain to your tub. The magnets are not so strong that they stick to each other.

The curtain hooks measure 2.5" long and have a 5 ball bearings that rotate freely, allowing you to slide the rings smoothly along your curtain rod. To open the ring, squeeze gently and move the inner bar out of the catch. These rings were easy to attach to my curtain rod, although I did need to stretch the opening a bit to get the ring onto the rod. The diameter of the top of the ring is 1.5" which should accommodate most shower curtain rods. Once attached to the rod the curtain slide smoothly along the rod without a problem, and because the rings are completely closed, the curtain can't fall off out of them nor will they accidentally dislodge from the rod. It has good strength too and won't tear easily even if you're a little rough when opening and closing the curtain. The magnets do indeed stick to a metal core tub to prevent water from spraying out.

The plastic material is pretty thick and durable with a clear, yet slightly opaque color. There's no plasticky smell from the curtain like a pure vinyl shower curtain might have. The curtain is slightly less flexible than I expected and the material is somewhat stiff in that it crinkles easily but the weights help pull and straighten it out. The thickness is about 6 mil, similar to the plastic sheeting used in hoop style greenhouses. The curtain is wide enough to provide full coverage of my tub and shower and doesn't let the water escape keeping my floors nice and dry. The PEVA material is water resistant, mold resistant, and completely impermeable, making it less likely to harbor any harmful bacteria that might grow in wet conditions. Water repels and drains down easily via gravity allowing it dry quickly and avoid mold growth, and it's also easily wiped clean with a sponge of damp cloth. Overall, this shower curtain liner has performed well within my expectations over the past month and so far hasn't ripped, torn, or gotten moldy. For increased privacy, use it with an external decorative shower curtain as a second layer that will hang outside of the tub.

Buy it at Amazon: Yinenn PEVA Shower Curtain Liner [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Sens8 All-in-one Home Security System Review

Sens8 All-in-one Home Security System Review

Buy it at Amazon: Sens8 All-in-one Home Security System [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Records video and alerts you with it detects unusual activity, able to monitor remotely, free cloud backup sync.

You'll receive the sensor tower, a power adapter, 5' USB power cable, and an instruction manual. The Sens8 unit measures about 2.75" square and 7.25" tall. It has a futuristic geometric hourglass shape and metalized powder aluminum finish. On top is a loudspeaker, thermometer, and light and humidity sensors. On the front is a 1080p camera lens with night vision infrared lights, and below that you have the motion detector sensor. On the back is the power button just below the logo, and on the bottom is the power port, microphone, and reset button.

The unit is really simple to setup and only takes a few minutes. After downloading the Sens8 app to a mobile device, register your e-mail and then go to the ‘Me' menu to add the Sens8 to your profile. Simply follow the on-screen instructions which only takes a minutes. After the unit is added to your profile, you can start using your Sens8 for remote monitoring from anywhere you have an internet connection. However, you may need to update the firmware in the app in order to get the latest features and bug fixes. The Sens8 has a couple of different ways it can monitor your home and send you alerts about important events. The first is the camera, which can be viewed live at any time via the app. During live view you can take still photos, listen to the audio from the video feed, or transmit audio to the Sens8 using the microphone on your mobile device. You cannot, however, trigger remote video recording. In order for the camera to record video, you have to "arm" the Sens8 either manually or by setting a schedule. The scheduler lets you add any number of blocks of time when you want the unit armed with the option to repeat that schedule on any day of the week. You can also have the Sens8 detect the location of your smartphone and auto-arm when you are not home, provided you take your phone with you.

When armed, the unit record events when the motion detector is triggered. Each recording lasts 90 seconds and will backtrack 5 seconds prior to the motion event. If motion continues past 90 seconds, a new file will be created for that clip. There's no option to record a different length clip or continue the video file if there are back to back motion events, so one of the things that isn't super convenient is that you end up with a series of short clips rather than one longer video file. The video quality of the recorded footage is pretty good though with 1080p HD resolution that provides plenty of detail, even in pitch black conditions using the night vision mode. However the audio can sometimes sound a bit muffled and transmitted audio is boxy/staticky and at times, garbled.

The video files are saved locally to the Sens8 device which has 8 GB of internal storage, or enough for about 800 video clips (90 seconds each). The unit will automatically record over the oldest video files when the storage is full. You can link the Sens8 to your DropBox or Google Drive account for free cloud storage and automatic backing up of the video clips and it will upload them automatically in real time. This feature is great because it allows you to use a cloud storage solution that you may already have and you don't need to pay for yet another subscription for this service, unlike other security systems; free if you're already using DropBox or Google Drive. If you don't have a DropBox account, sign up for a free one using this referral link and you'll get a bonus 500 MB of storage when you sign up!

In addition to recording video and sending alerts to your mobile device, you can also have the Sens8 trigger a loud audible alarm/siren when it detects motion, a loud noise, or changes in temperature and humidity beyond a chosen threshold. These alerts are also useful if you want to use them to let you know when you may want to trigger other remote smart home devices like an air conditioner if the room gets too hot or dehumidifier if the humidity is too high. You can also turn the alarm on manually during live view to scare away intruders or speak to someone in the room using the talk feature. There are three alarm sounds to select from which sound off at a loud 95 decibels. The Sens8 includes a built-in backup battery (non-replaceable) which will keep the unit running for 90 minutes in case of a power outage as well you you'll be protected for a while even if the power goes out or the breaker is tripped.

You can also add multiple Sens8 units to your profiles to monitor multiple rooms and locations and share these devices with family members, so they can keep a lookout for you too. Overall, the Sens8 gives you a lot of ways for you to monitor your home while you're away from home for a bit of peace of mind.

Buy it at Amazon: Sens8 All-in-one Home Security System [Affiliate Link]
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Friday, June 8, 2018

Oittm Outdoor Smart WiFi Outlet (New 2018 Version) Review

Oittm Outdoor Smart WiFi Outlet Review

Buy it at Amazon: Oittm Outdoor Smart WiFi Outlet [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to connect and control, reliable, works with Alexa.

You'll receive the outlet and a brief instruction manual. Last year, I reviewed the original Oittm outdoor outlet and the new version is a little bit different. The new one is slightly more compact, measuring 4.5" x 2.25" x 1.5". It has the same 7" three-prong grounded plug, now with a round shape, and a 3-prong receptacle on the bottom, newly covered by a rubber door. On the back you have the same hanging hole and added are rubber covers for the screw holes. The on/off switch on the front is now rubberized and less likely to stick versus the original hard plastic button. The max Watts rating has decreased slightly to 1875W from 2000W and only outputs 15Amps versus the original 16A. However, it remains IP44 rated for water resistance and should be able to handle wet outdoor conditions just as well and my older unit has been installed outdoor for nearly 6 months without a problem.

To use the WiFi remote control feature, you'll need to connect the device to your home WiFi network and use a mobile device with a control app. The manual recommends the Oittm Smart app, but since I'm already using Smart Life for most of my IoT devices, I use that instead. the unit only takes about a minute to setup and is super simple by following the on-screen directions in the app. The timer and remote functions are great for outdoor lighting installations like holiday or landscape lighting. The ability to track the electricity usage it nice for budgeting and tracking those kinds of stats when you have new devices. Overall, the outlet works exactly as I expected it to, and is pretty convenient to control remotely. Even if you don't use Alexa, you can control the outlet from anywhere there's an internet connection with your smartphone.

Buy it at Amazon: Oittm Outdoor Smart WiFi Outlet [Affiliate Link]
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

FeiyuTech vimble 2 Smartphone Handheld Gimbal Review

FeiyuTech vimble 2 Smartphone Handheld Gimbal Review

Buy it at Amazon: FeiyuTech Vimble 2 Smartphone Handheld Gimbal [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Eliminates shaky movements and creates smooth motion video with your phone, but Bluetooth is unreliable and app crashes often.

The Vimble 2 comes in a semi-rigid zippered carrying case that's got a handle on one side, though no shoulder strap. Inside you'll find the gimbal, a wriststrap, a small tripod with ¼"-20 screw that can be attached to the bottom of the gimbal. When folded up, it extends the length of the handle by several inches allowing for a better two-handed grip and when open you can stand the gimbal up hands-free. In the zipper pocket you'll find the microUSB charging cable and instructions manuals in Chinese and English. On my unit, the tilt axis motor's metal accent cover wasn't adhered properly and had fallen off, though I was successfully able to stick it back on. Other than that, the construction is mostly a lightweight plastic, with a rubberized phone grip that can accommodate phones with widths of 2.25" to 3.25" and with max weight up to 210g. On the side against the motor is another rubber bumper for your phone to rest against. There's a microUSB port covered by a rubber door on top of the mounting arm that's supposed to allow you to charge your phone off the gimbal's battery, but it requires a special cable which is not included. All three axes have a limit of 320° rotation and cannot continuously rotate in the same direction past a certain point, so you won't be able to get 360° pans or revolutions and may encounter resistance or odd behavior from the gimbal in certain positions that approach those limits.

The mounting arm can be extended about 1.5cm to allow you to balance the roll-axis depending on the weight of the phone you use. The positions are marked so that you can easily set it to the same spot each time you attach your phone. The mounting bracket can also be rotated 90° to put your phone in portrait mode for filming vertical video and panoramic photos. On the handle are the LED status light, 4-way joystick for manipulating the position of your phone, a mode key, and a Bluetooth shutter/record key. On the right side is a slider that allows you to adjust the zoom of the camera when the gimbal is paired to your phone over Bluetooth and on the left hand side is the microUSB charging port for the gimbal's battery covered by a rubber door. Opposit the thumb controls is a trigger accessible with your index finger for locking the orientation of the camera. Towards the bottom of the handle is a small bridge where you can attach the wriststrap for extra security. In the hand, the gimbal is pretty light at 0.5 lb and is comfortable to hold and operate. Charging takes several hours, and when the battery is full, it can run for 5-10 hours depending on usage. This gimbal also serves as a selfie-stick with a telescoping handle that adds an extra 7 inches of reach while stabilizing. The column extends and retracts by simply pulling and pushing the pan axis motor in and out of the handle.

Due to the restrictive size of the phone mount, for most larger phones you'll find that you need to remove your phone case in order for it to fit in the bracket. Another issue I found was that due to the camera and charging port placement on my phone, I wasn't able to charge my phone in landscape mode while using the gimbal. In portrait mode, however, charging the phone would not have been an issue. Before turning on the gimbal, you may need to do some minor balancing by adjusting the side-to-side position of the mounting arm to get your phone as close to level as possible; however, it doesn't need to be perfect. You'll need to download the Vicool app and pair to it via Bluetooth if you want to use all the features of the gimbal. Unfortunately, I found the Bluetooth performance on the gimbal to be inconsistent, sometimes pairing, and sometimes not pairing and oftentimes disconnecting at some point during use. Some features are not available if the gimbal isn't connected to the app via Bluetooth either, for example zooming with the slider on the handle, using the onboard shutter for snapping photos or starting and stopping video. Bluetooth is also required for adjusting the gimbal and camera settings like motor power and speed, calibration, and wireless updating of the gimbal's firmware.

In addition to normal photo mode in the Vicool app, there's also a panoramic and time lapse photo mode. For time-lapse videos, you can setup the pan and tilt speeds in the auto rotation menu. The time-lapse function worked well and resulted in a pretty cool fast-forward style rotating video clip. The other feature that I though worked well was the face tracking feature, although your face has to be well lit and you should be at least several feet away from the camera otherwise it may not follow you correctly. One feature that didn't work at all during my testing was the object follow feature. You would think that because face tracking worked, this would work just as well, however, I couldn't get it to capture or follow any object and most of the time the app would just crash when I entered the mode. In general the app doesn't seem to be entirely stable most times and in addition to the Bluetooth connection cutting out, the app would also crash fairly reguarly, like in the middle of filming which was frustrating.

As for stabilization performance, the gimbal did a nice job with its primary function. There's a few quirks with setting the pan, yaw and tilt speeds just right and you have to try and avoid approaching the rotational limits otherwise the gimbal can change position unexpectedly, but with practice you can get pretty smooth shots. The deal breaker for the app though is that the video recorded in the app doesn't have great quality. The compression used dropped plenty of frames making footage look choppy. The video captured using the stock Android camera app with the gimbal was much smoother with a consistent frame rate, but the drawback is that you cannot use the onboard shutter and zoom controls. Overall, as a stabilizer the Vimble 2 will remove most of the shake and wobble from handheld filming with your phone. The Bluetooth connection isn't the best and the app could use a lot of work as it crashes a lot and doesn't capture great quality video. However, if you can live without the physical zoom and shutter controls, there's no reason why you can't use a different camera app while stabilizing with the gimbal.

Buy it at Amazon: FeiyuTech Vimble 2 Smartphone Handheld Gimbal [Affiliate Link]
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DIY Washer Clutch Liner Replacement and Review

DIY Washer Clutch Liner Replacement and Review

Buy it at Amazon: DIY Washer Clutch Liner Replacement [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Quick and simple repair for my washer to make it spin again, works great.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Separatec Dual Pouch Everyday Boxer Briefs Review

Separatec Dual Pouch Everyday Boxer Briefs Review

Buy it at Amazon: Separatec Dual Pouch Everyday Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Two pouch design improves airflow, comfort, and freedom of movement while keeping you cool and dry.

Separatec's Everyday dual-pouch boxer briefs set includes 7 boldly colored pairs of underwear; so, if you like to coordinate, you have plenty of options and can choose something different for each day of the week. These soft-to-the-touch intimates are made with 96% cotton, 4% spandex for a silky smooth and stretchy feel perfect for an active lifestyle. The easy tear off tags mean you'll never have to worry about scratchy uncomfortable tags ruining your day.

The main feature on these undergarments are the dual-pouch system which separates the male anatomy with port hole access to the front pouch for your member and separate lower support pouch for your goods. This design promotes air flow, reducing heat buildup, and dryness by wicking away excess moisture, keeping you cool and dry. The minimal flat seams are neither scratchy nor noticeable during wear, and the front pouch lifts up from the bottom for easy access so you can let it all hang out. The unique contouring of the garment gently lifts and provides support where you need it most and prevents uncomfortable ride ups in the rear and around your legs so you don't have to constantly readjust yourself. After extensive wear and testing, I can definitely vouch for the comfort and freedom of movement experienced during exercise and daily activities while wearing these. Overall these undies are eye-catching, comfortable, and functionally designed.

Buy it at Amazon: Separatec Dual Pouch Everyday Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, May 21, 2018

MuveAcoustics A+ Bluetooth Speaker Review

MuveAcoustics A+ Bluetooth Speaker Review

Buy it at Amazon: MuveAcoustics A+ Bluetooth Speaker [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Compact, clear/bright sound, fine for video but some distortion at high volume.

You'll receive the speaker, gold-plated male-to-male audio cable, microUSB charging cable, and instruction manual. The speaker is small and compact, measuring 3.25" square and 1.25" thick. It is made from a lightweight plastic with a nylon fabric wrap and small hanging loop that snaps down using a metal button clasp. On the front is the 4W driver and the silver logo in the bottom left is the power button. On the back is the AUX-in port for wired connection and microUSB charging port. The unit has a 500 mAh internal battery which can last up to 7 hours of continuous music playback depending on volume level. The battery takes about 2.5 hours to charge fully. On top you have plus and minus keys for volume control.

The speaker is pretty simple to use. Just press the power button for 3 seconds to turn it on. Then in your phone's Bluetooth menu, select "MuveAcoustics: A+" Once connected, you'll be able to stream music and audio from your phone to the speaker wirelessly. The wireless range of this speaker is about 30 ft and in general the connection is stable and reliable. The sound quality is clear and bright which is decent for a speaker this size. It gets pretty loud too and can fill a small room, but with the volume at the max setting or when there's a lot of mid-bass and sub-bass in the track, you'll tend to hear some distortion in the audio and vibrations from the lightweight housing. While there is no track navigation on the speaker, you can control play/pause by short pressing the power button. You can also answer incoming calls when paired to a phone by pressing the power button and there's a microphone built into the speaker for hands-free calling.

When watching video, I found that there wasn't much noticeable lag between the video and the audio and they seemed to be in sync. For a no-frills basic portable Bluetooth speaker, the MuveAcoustics A+ is a tiny pocket-able unit that delivers decent quality and audio performance.

Buy it at Amazon: MuveAcoustics A+ Bluetooth Speaker [Affiliate Link]
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Friday, May 18, 2018

Smart WiFi Socket with USB Port (AWP01L) Review

Smart WiFi Socket with USB Port (AWP01L) Review

Buy it at Amazon: Smart WiFi Socket with USB Port (AWP01L) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to set up and use, responds quickly, reliable connection.
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Monday, May 14, 2018

Xgody S800 True Wireless Earbuds Review

Xgody S800 True Wireless Earbuds Review

Buy it at Amazon: Xgody S800 True Wireless Earbuds [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Decent sound reproduction and battery life on a budget, lightweight, but occasional connectivity blips.

You'll receive two individual ear pieces, one for left and one for right, a dual-charging microUSB cable, two extra sets of silicone eartips, and an instruction manual.
The earpieces are made mostly of plastic with a rubber ear hook that is fairly flexible. Each earpiece has a microphone, status LED, charging port, and multifunction button on the outside of the driver. The earphones come pre-installed with the medium size eartips, but you'll also get a small and a large size. Before first use, you'll want to charge the headsets up using the included cable which can charge both units at the same time. This takes about 90 minutes and a full charge can last up to 6 hours of continuous playback, depending on volume level and up to 5 days of standby time.

To pair these together and to your phone, first select which earpiece you want to be the primary one that connects to your phone and press the power button for five seconds to enter pairing mode. The prompts are fairly loud so I recommend doing this while not in your ears. Then go to your phone's Bluetooth menu and pair with ‘S800'. Then, to pair the second earpiece to the first, simply power it on and it should connect to the first automatically; I found this operation to be quick and reliable, always within 1 second of turning on the second earpiece. After this, you can simply power on both earpieces and they'll connect with your phone automatically going forward.

When wearing the headsets, the large bulky side wraps around your ear in order to keep it in place during rigorous activity like running and working out. They're also sweatproof and water-resistant rated IPX67. I thought the main body attached to the hooks would be big and uncomfortable but I really didn't notice them much. I did notice that the passive noise isolation isn't impressive and even with the ear tips creating a good seal, I could still hear plenty going on around me. That is, until I started playing music. At moderate volumes, ambient sounds are blocked almost completely. In fact, the earpieces can get quite loud and I never had to turn it up to max volume, which could potentially damage your hearing. That said I never had the volume up high enough for there to be any distortion. Note though too, that there is no volume control on the earpieces themselves and volume is controlled solely by your transmitting device. I found the sound quality to be round and well-balanced with a full bass, although the mid ranges tended to sound slightly muffled. While enjoyable most of the time, the signal was occasionally unreliable with the sound periodically dropping from one or both earpieces for a fraction of a second before resuming, even while I was sitting still with my phone nearby. This resulted in a somewhat inconsistent listening experience.

Overall, these wireless earpieces did a decent job with sound reproduction and are light weight and comfortable to wear. If you can deal with an occasional blip in the audio they're not bad for the price since they give you freedom from wires and a decent amount of run time between charges.

Buy it at Amazon: Xgody S800 True Wireless Earbuds [Affiliate Link]
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Friday, May 11, 2018

Sbode M350 Bluetooth Shower Speaker Review

Sbode M350 Bluetooth Shower Speaker Review

Buy it at Amazon: Sbode M350 Bluetooth Shower Speaker [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Compact, clear/bright sound, fully featured waterproof travel speaker.

The Bluetooth speaker comes with a microUSB charging cable, male-to-male audio cable, and instruction manual. The speaker is a compact cylinder with a fabric wrapped grill exterior and rubberized top and bottom rims. Inside are two 6W drivers and dual passive radiators located on the top and bottom. It's got a chunky knit wrist strap loop, and below that you'll find a rubber door to protects the USB charging port, AUX-in port, status LED, SD card slot, and pinhole reset. While this speaker has a waterproof rating of IPX6, and can get wet but not fully submerged, it is only water resistant if the rubber door remains closed. When charging, the LED indicator will be orange and turns off when the battery is fully charged. The unit will take about 4 hours to charge and lasts up to 6 hours of continuous playback at 70% volume.

On the opposite side from the ports are the playback controls: power/mode key, plus and minus for volume and track navigation, and play/pause button. There are 4 audio source modes for the speaker: Bluetooth, FM radio, TF card, and Aux-In. Switching between modes is performed by short pressing the power key. In all modes, the sound from the speaker is clear and bright with boosted high frequencies that add a touch of extra sibilance in the upper ranges. The volume on this speaker can get decently loud too without much distortion creeping into the audio. The bass ranges are a bit lacking in presence, but despite this bass beats are generally tight and punchy. What impressed me was the clarity and sound quality from the FM radio mode. I was expecting the grainy muffled audio that you sometimes get from portable radios, but when used in areas witha strong signal like outdoors or near a window, the stations it picked up were crystal clear and sounded CD quality. Of course, if the signal is not so good, there's plenty of static and the speaker is a bit picky when it comes to location, orientation, and what objects are nearby that might amplify the signal (oftentimes, holding my hand above the speaker gave the signal enough boost for clear audio, but I'm not going ot hover my hand over it constantly just to listen to NPR). In radio mode, you scan for local radio stations by pressing and holding the play/pause button and it'll store any decently strong signals it encounters. After the speaker has found all available stations you scroll through them the same way you'd skip tracks in a playlist, by short pressing the plus and minus buttons. You cannot, however, choose which stations to save and which to discard. In all modes, volume can be adjusted by long pressing the plus and minus keys.

One cool feature of this speaker is if you have a two of them, you can pair them together for true stereo playback with one playing the left audio channel and the other playing the right channel, but unfortunately I don't have a second unit with which to try out this feature. I have seen this feature on other speakers and have liked having that capability, but I can't vouch for the ease of setup or connection quality using the Sbode M350s from my own experience. The speaker also supports wireless calling when connected to a phone over Bluetooth and call quality is clear without too much lag. Overall, this compact speaker has a lot of features and surprisingly good audio performance packed into its small frame. Its weatherproof and durable design makes it great for travel, using outdoors, or even in the shower. Just keep in mind that it does not sound as awesome when it is waterlogged, just FYI!

Buy it at Amazon: Sbode M350 Bluetooth Shower Speaker [Affiliate Link]
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Tocode Leather and Canvas Messenger Bag Review

Tocode Leather and Canvas Messenger Bag Review

Buy it at Amazon: Tocode Leather and Canvas Messenger Bag [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Rugged and durable, classic traveler style messenger bag; roomy, though a bit hefty.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Indigo True Large Bamboo Cutting Board Review

Indigo True Large Bamboo Cutting Board Review

Buy it at Amazon: Indigo True Large Bamboo Cutting Board [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large cutting surface, nice quality, medium durability w/shallow juice groove.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Waerator W2 Electric Wine Aerator Dispenser Review

Waerator W2 Electric Wine Aerator Dispenser Review

Buy it at Amazon: Waerator W2 Electric Wine Aerator Dispenser [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Simple to use, easy to clean, good aeration of the wine for instant 'breathing'.
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Monday, May 7, 2018

ehomful SQ11 Mini DV HD Sports Camera Review

ehomful SQ11 Mini DV HD Sports Camera Review

Buy it at Amazon: ehomful SQ11 Mini DV HD Sports Camera [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Compact, smooth footage, decent video, audio, and battery life; short range night vision.

You'll receive the mini camera, an alligator clip mount, a wall mount, a reset pin tool, USB charging/video cable, USB microSD card reader, and an instruction leaflet. The camera unit is super compact and lightweight measuring a little less than a cubic inch and weighing 3/4 oz. The exterior has soft-touch rubber coating and a single rainbow accent stripe sticker. On the front of the unit is the camera lens which is able to take 12 MP photos and 1080p video surrounded by a ring of infrared lights for night vision and motion detection. On the left hand side you have the 8-pin USB charging port, pin hole reset, wrist strap sling, and microSD card slot. Note that an SD card is not included, but the unit requires one up to 32GB to function. On top are two buttons: the power button and mode button and LED status light.

The unit has a 200 mAh battery inside that lasted a little over 90 minutes when recording continuously in 1080p. Charging the unit fully takes about 2-3 hours and the LED should be a solid red when complete. There are three modes: 720p video, 1080p video, and still photo mode. For each of the video modes you can also activate motion detection and/or the night vision IR lights. The battery saver feature shuts the camera off if it is not recording and no buttons are pressed for 1 minute. The quality of the video and audio is decent for such a tiny unit with a 30 frames per second frame rate that results in smooth object motion. There doesn't seem to be much difference between the 720p and 1080p video, maybe a slight increase in detail and obviously the dimension are different for the video file. The IR lights for night vision only reflect a certain distance, so the camera may need to be fairly close to the subject in order to get a clear picture (within 4 ft). For motion detection, each triggered video will be 1-5 minutes long depending on when the camera stops detecting motion in the scene.

You also have the option of using timestamps in your videos/photos but you will need a computer. After loading the SD card in the unit a text file will be created called TIMEREST.txt. To set the correct date and time, open the file and change the string of numbers to the current year, month, date, military hour, minute, and second. Then to turn this feature on the following character should be a ‘Y' or change it to ‘N' if you don't want it in your videos before saving the file.

The clip mount snaps onto the camera easily and lets you access all the buttons and ports while installed. You can then clip this to your shirt or backpack for easy carrying. It also works in conjunction with the wall mount which has a slight degree of angle adjustment via the ball head joint. Each one minute clip takes up about 100 MB so a 32GB card can store 320 minutes or just over 6 hours of footage before the card is full. One thing to note though is that the unit does get fairly hot to the touch while in operation. Also because there's no spring in the SD card slot you do have to pry it out with your fingernail which can be a little tricky. Overall this mini camera performed nicely and while from the front it's pretty obvious that this is a camera, without the LEDs on when it is recording, the camera is fairly discreet.

Buy it at Amazon: ehomful SQ11 Mini DV HD Sports Camera [Affiliate Link]
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Friday, May 4, 2018

Superbody Men's Swim Trunks Review

Superbody Men's Swim Trunks Review

Buy it at Amazon: Superbody Men's Swim Trunks [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Good fit, comfortable, quick drying, but small pockets.

I ordered the swim trunks in size medium, which is according to Asian sizing should fit 28-30" waists and is equivalent to US men's small or extra small sizes.and runs a bit small for US sizes. The trunks come in two color choices, green with white and orange accents or blue with black and white accents. The trunks have the words ‘Take Seriously' embroidered in the front (go figure!). The only other accent on the front is a stitched in overlay athletic number '9' on the outside of the front left cuff. The material on these is a thin and lightweight quick dry fabric. The waistband is fully elastic and a fairly wide 1.75". The waistband cinches on the inside front via a hidden drawstring. The front features a false fly with the stitching but no actual opening. Inside, there is a mesh privacy lining made of black athletic mesh that is soft to the touch and eschews the need to wear underwear. In general, the seams and sewing work is pretty good with only a few stray threads that needed to be trimmed upon receipt. On either side of the garment is a shallow side pocket, and on the back there is an open top pocket on the right-hand side. The outseam is about 15" and cuts at about mid-thigh with a short 4" in-seam and 10" wide legs that can be expanded an additional 2" via the side zippers.

The medium size was accurate and fit nicely on my 28" waist though it stretches enough to probably accommodate a 30" waist comfortably. With the drawstring tied, it can be hidden on the inside of the trunks for a seamless look, and it's decently snug; I didn't feel like the suit could easily be pulled off by a big wave or fast moving water and it didn't slide down despite some rigorous tugging. The pockets are a bit too small though to be very useful for carrying things like your cell phone or wallet. The overall workmanship for the garment is good and the material dries fairly quickly which make these really nice for the pool and beach. The shorter leg length also allows for greater freedom of movement especially when being active like running on the beach or playing beach volleyball

Buy it at Amazon: Superbody Men's Swim Trunks [Affiliate Link]
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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Gabbay Silicone Kitchen Utensil Tool Set Review

Gabbay Silicone Kitchen Utensil Tool Set Review

Buy it at Amazon: Gabbay Silicone Kitchen Utensil Tool Set [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Durable, high-heat resistant, non-scratch, and easy to clean kitchen utensils.
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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

HDX Internal Pipe Wrench Nipple Removal Tool Review

HDX Internal Pipe Wrench Nipple Removal Tool Review

Buy it at Amazon: HDX Internal Pipe Wrench Nipple Removal Tool [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: This tool makes it easy to remove stuck, broken, or frozen in place small pipes and pipe nipples.

As part of a shutoff valve repair, I was having trouble removing a pipe nipple from the wall under my bathroom sink. I went off to Home Depot to get an internal pipe wrench set to remove the pipe nipple that connects the shutoff valve to the pipes inside the wall. I ended up getting their in-house HDX brand. In this pack you receive a 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4" pipe wrench tool. My pipes are 3/8" diameter, so I used the smallest one. It's real simple, you just stick the gear side of the tool into the pipe, then fit a wrench to the hex part that sticks out. Then twist counter-clockwise like you're unscrewing the pipe. The gears will catch on the inside of the pipe and give you the leverage you need to twist it off, even if it's stuck from overtightening or sediment build up. After a few turns I was able to remove the rest of the pipe nipple by hand. To extract the tool from the nipple, grasp the pipe in one hand and twist the tool clockwise to loosen and remove it (you may need a pair of channel locks or rubber grip pad if the pipe is slippery). Overall, the internal pipe wrench did exactly what I needed it to. It allowed me to remove a difficult to unscrew pipe nipple in just under a minute.

Buy it at Amazon: HDX Internal Pipe Wrench Nipple Removal Tool [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Totobay Ear Plugs Review

Totobay Ear Plugs Review

Buy it at Amazon: Totobay Ear Plugs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Versatile set, handy case, work well and comfortable fit.
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Monday, April 30, 2018

ZeroM Bone Conduction Headphones Review

ZeroM Bone Conduction Headphones Review

Buy it at Amazon: ZeroM Bone Conduction Headphones [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Decent audio for bone conduction headphones, good battery life, comfort is so-so.

You'll receive the headphones, a microUSB charging cable, a set of foam earplugs, and a brief instruction manual. The headphones are made of a lightweight plastic and consist of a single wrap around headband and two sound emitters. On the bottom of the right sound emitter is a small microphone so you can make hands free calls. There also a play pause button on the outside face of it. The two sound emitters are simple rubber pads that rest just in front of the opening of your ears. What they'll do is send sound waves through your skin into the bone beneath so you can hear the sound directly at your ear drum. This leaves your ears open and free to hear ambient sounds and be generally aware of your surroundings, for example, if you're on your bike and need to be able to hear traffic around you. It's also great for the airport so you can hear announcements for your flights while listening to your music.

On the bottom of the right arm is a status LED light, the charging port, under this rubber door, and plus and minus keys for volume. The plus key also serves as the power and pairing button. To turn the unit on and enter pairing mode, press and hold the plus button. The LED will flash blue then red several times, but continue to hold the plus button until the unit says "pairing" and the red and blue lights flash alternately. Then you can go into your Bluetooth menu on your phone and select the BC headphones device to connect with it. In terms of comfort, the plastic of the headband is flexible enough to stretch and accommodate a range of head sizes, but the band isn't padded at all. There's also no way to adjust the amount of tension on the sides of your head, so some folks may not like the sensation of having the area in front of their ears pinched, especially for long-term listening. While I didn't experience ear fatigue, I did experience a bit of head fatigue from the pressure put on the sides of my face after about an hour. The sound experience is decent for headphones that aren't pumping sound into your ears. It's not going to produce as good of a sound as music travel over the air and in general you lose details in the upper ranges and produces a fairly weak bass. Also, with the volume up pretty high, the stronger vibrations makes a sort of buzzing feeling against your face which may be uncomfortable for some. That said, the volume can't get quite as high as normal earphones, which the unintentional benefit of protecting your hearing somewhat. As for sound leakage, it's minimal unless you have the volume way up, then maybe folks around you might start to hear a bit of what you're listening to.

Overall, these may not be the most comfortable nor have the best sound, but if you're looking for a decent set of lightweight wireless earphones that let you stay on top of your surroundings, these bone conduction headphones have decent battery life at 6 hours on a 2 hour charge and functional easy-to-use playback controls.

Buy it at Amazon: ZeroM Bone Conduction Headphones [Affiliate Link]
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RavPower Dual NP-F550 Battery Charger Review

RavPower Dual NP F550 Battery Charger Review

Buy it at Amazon: RavPower Dual NP-F550 Battery Charger [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Long lasting batteries, both charge fully in about 6 hours.
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Friday, April 27, 2018

Kainnt Handheld Vacuum Cleaner VAC-626 Review

Kainnt Handheld Vacuum Cleaner VAC-626 Review

Buy it at Amazon: Kainnt Handheld Vacuum Cleaner VAC-626 [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Good for small clean up jobs, moderately lightweight but can cause fatigue
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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Suncast Elements Loveseat Bench Assembly and Review

Suncast Elements Loveseat Bench Assembly and Review

Buy it at Amazon: Suncast Elements Loveseat Bench Assembly and [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to assemble, durable, waterproof and lightweight.

We've had this loveseat for two years and it's just great. The color hasn't faded and there's very little noticeable wear in that time. We keep it out on the patio for the spring, summer and fall and put it in the shed over the winter, although I'm sure it could probably withstand the snowy winters we have in PA. The assembly took about 20 minutes after reading through the instructions and the only tool you need is a screwdriver. Everything else you need to assemble in included. We keep a long seat cushion inside the bench as the seat on its own is a tad hard, but it supports the weight of two adults or three kids easily. There are vent/drainage holes inside the bench, and I haven't noticed any water build up or damage from rainstorms inside, but this also leaves open the possibility of spiders and other bugs getting in. The bench is also lightweight so you can move it around but heavy enough to stay put in a wind storm. We got this to replace a wood/cement bench that deteriorated over the years from being left out in the elements so hopefully this will hold up better than that over time. Very little maintenance and easy to care for. Cleans up quickly with a hose and a plastic brush.

Buy it at Amazon: Suncast Elements Loveseat Bench Assembly and [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Leoter Aluminum Bath Bomb Molds Review

Leoter Aluminum Bath Bomb Molds Review

Buy it at Amazon: Leoter Aluminum Bath Bomb Molds [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Lightweight, easy to use and clean, sturdy metal molds.
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Friday, April 20, 2018

Spedal Electric Instant Wine Dispenser and Aerator Review

Spedal Electric Instant Wine Dispenser and Aerator Review

Buy it at Amazon: Spedal Electric Instant Wine Dispenser and Aerator [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Instant aeration, clean, precise pours; avoids spills, splashes, drips, and pouring off sediments.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sternsteiger Achilles Chef's Knife Review

Sternsteiger Achilles Chef's Knife Review

Browse similar knives at Amazon: All metal full tang chef's knife [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Beautifully designed, elegant, and satisfyingly sharp
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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cooya USB-C Charging and Data Cables Review

Cooya USB-C Charging and Data Cables Review

Buy it at Amazon: Cooya USB-C Charging and Data Cables [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Durable, tangle resistant, tight connections, quick charging and transfer speeds.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Echo Dot 2 Battery Base (by EAUOH) Review

Echo Dot 2 Battery Base (by EAUOH) Review

Buy it at Amazon: Echo Dot 2 Battery Base (by EAUOH) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Compact, easy to install, but can't charge w/Echo in use, resets Echo when unplugged from power.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Chew Fun 5.8 Qt XL Air Fryer Review

Chew Fun 5.8 Qt XL Air Fryer Review

Buy it at Amazon: Chew Fun 5.8 Qt XL Air Fryer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Heats up fast, cooks evenly, uses little oil, great tasting and healthy meals, easy to use.

I already have a 2.5 Qt air fryer, but I wanted to get this larger 5.8 Qt one, so I could make more portions at once and bigger meals like a whole chicken. This air fryer measures 16" tall and has a 12" diameter but is 15" wide including the handle. The power cable is 4' long and heavy duty. It comes with an instruction manual, though it has tons of spelling errors and pretty poor grammar. Luckily the unit is largely self explanatory. You'll also receive a short recipe book with a handle full of recipes, a stainless steel rack, and a 6" non-stick round baking pan.

The fryer bowl is easily removed by simply pulling firmly on the handle. The bowl is a rounded square that measures 11" x 10". The inner basket is removable for easier cleaning and has a release lock and cover just above the handle so it doesn't come apart by accident. I like that this model has a small support tab in the back of the outer bowl that keeps the inner basket from rubbing and thus scratching the non-stick surface (a problem that I found with my other smaller air fryer). Both the bowl and fry basket have non-stick surfaces, and the frying basket has fluted sides and a perforated bottom to allow air to circulate uniformly inside the unit.

On the front face of the unit you have the display and touch controls which I like better than the analog dials on my Farberware unit. You can set the temperature in 10 degrees Fahrenheit increments from 180 to 400 and time from 1 to 30 minutes in 1 minute increments. After the timer runs out, the machine shuts itself off automatically and beeps loudly 5 times. There is no setting for "always on" for safety reasons. If you open the fryer at any time while it is on, the entire unit shuts down (display, fan, heating element) until the fryer bowl is replaced and then it will start back up and pick up where it left off. This helps prevents burns and undercooking as the timer does not continue to run while you are stirring or flipping your food.

There's a mode button to will select from a variety of preset modes, which you can also customize after choosing a setting. I've already made a number of things in the air fryer including a whole 4.5 lb chicken, corn tortilla strips/chips, French fries, potato chips, and kale chips. The only improvement I would recommend would be that the heating element have a mesh screen over it to prevent foods from blowing into it and burning as the kale chips and potato chips are sometimes light enough to "float" in the chamber and touch/burn on the heating element, but the stainless steel rack placed over them while cooking helps to prevent that. Everything came out delicious by the way and you don't have to use much oil to get things crispy and crunchy (but do use a little to keep things from burning too quickly or becoming crumbly).

Overall, the air fryer works great. It heats up fast and cooks food evenly and quickly. With this bigger air fryer, I can make more portions if I have guests coming over and don't have to do as many batches. Since more food can be placed in a single layer, I don't have to turn food as often as with my smaller air fryer. The touch controls are straightforward and exact versus analog dials, and I rarely go a week without using this appliance several times for cooking or reheating various foods. It does a very nice job with prepared frozen foods and reheating fried leftovers so that they're crunchy again.

Buy it at Amazon: Chew Fun 5.8 Qt XL Air Fryer [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, April 9, 2018

QQCute Handheld Electric Blackhead Extractor Review

QQCute Handheld Electric Blackhead Extractor Review

Buy it at Amazon: QQCute Handheld Electric Blackhead Extractor [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Powerful suction, deep clean, easy to use, promotes smooth/clear skin.

You'll receive the blackhead remover, four plastic nozzle tips, 2 x large, 1 x small, and 1 x oval, a USB charging cable, 15 cotton nose pads, a set of replacement rubber washers and screens, 2 bottles of pore relaxer, a microfiber carrying bag, and some instruction booklets. The blackhead remover is essentially a mini handheld vacuum that applies suction to a very small area on your face to extract blackheads, oil, and sebum from your pores. The unit is curved and fits nicely in the palm of your hand. It has a soft touch silicone exterior and has a single power button on the front. The unit charges via a microUSB port on the bottom.

The three different style tips are used for different purposes, for example the large tip (one is pre-fitted on the unit) is for strong suction that works best for oily and resilient skin. The small tip is used for gentler suction on sensitive or delicate skin and the oval tip is best for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production beneath the skin. To turn the unit on or off, press and hold the power button for a few seconds. The default mode is low suction indicated by the green light. Press the power button once to change to medium suction, indicated by the blue light. A third press puts it in high suction with a LED red light. The fourth mode is intermittent suction (high) which is indicated by a yellow light.

Using the tool is straightforward, following the directions in the manual and quick start guides. You do want to be sure to move the tool quick in short sweeps to ensure that your skin doesn't start to bruise. You will likely, however, experience some puffiness and redness, even from using the tool properly. This is typical and you should expect your skin to calm down after about 30 minutes. For me, the medium mode was the strongest suction my skin could handle, though I prefer the low mode for most areas on my face. Even without using high suction, the tool was able to extract plenty from my pores, leaving them clear and clean. The results are most apparent about 12 hours later so I like to do the treatment at night and wake up in the morning with smoother, brighter skin. I did find that you have to periodically clean out the tip while using it so that the oil doesn't build up too much in the tip and on top of the screen. This is also why it's important to sanitize the tips and screen before each use to avoid bacteria growth, contamination, and possible infection.

Overall, the blackhead does a good job with extracting stuff from my pores. It's a lot less rough on your skin than squeeze your pores with your fingers and over time you should see clearer, smooth skin with less visible pores and fine lines.

Buy it at Amazon: QQCute Handheld Electric Blackhead Extractor [Affiliate Link]
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Friday, April 6, 2018

Arrinew WiFi Smart Plug Review

Arrinew WiFi Smart Plug Review

Buy it at Amazon: Arrinew WiFi Smart Plug [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to set up but I used a different app for timers/schedules, works with Alexa/Smart Life.
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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Kimdecent iPhone X Battery Case with Wireless Charging Review

Kimdecent iPhone X Battery Case with Wireless Charging Review

Buy it at Amazon: Kimdecent iPhone X Battery Case with Wireless Charging [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: All-around protection, doubles battery life, easy to use, wireless charging.

The battery case comes with a tempered glass screen protector and a brief instruction sheet. The glass protector is simple to install though, a little tricky because you don't get any guide stickers to help you. However, once installed the glass is clear, durable, and scratch resistant. The case is a slide-in style shell case with a thick backside that houses the 4000 mAh battery (the iPhone X comes with a 2716 mAh internal battery). It just about doubles the thickness, weight, and battery life of the iPhone X. The back has a brushed nylon textured feel which is less slippery than the native glass back of the iPhone X. There's also a cutout for the camera and a power button in the left hand corner. Short pressing the button briefly displays the battery life of the case using 4 LEDs in the bottom right corner. Inside the case is a plain matte surface that is not padded. At the bottom of the inside is a flexible Lightning connector that plugs into your phone. This type of connector should be less susceptible to damage than a rigid connector which tends to bend, loosen, or snap over time. The case itself uses Apple's Lightning connector for charging but does not come with a charging cable; you'll need to use the one that came with your phone.

Alternately, the case also supports wireless Qi charging and if you have a compatible wireless charging pad, the case will charge when you set it down on the charging surface. Installing the phone in the case takes only a few seconds and the flexible connector makes it easy to line it up with the phone's Lightning port. The case fits the iPhone X snugly and the ridged sides give your hands a bit of extra grip on the phone. To charge your phone using the external battery, just long press the button on the back of the case. The cutout for the camera does not obstruct the lens and the rubberized buttons are fairly easy to press to use the volume and sleep keys. Overall, the case works well. When used with the screen protector, it provides side, front, and back protection against drops, scratches, and drops and the battery delivers at least 1 full charge for your phone on the go. It is easy to use and charges fine wirelessly. It does adds a bit of bulk and extra weight but not a ton.

Buy it at Amazon: Kimdecent iPhone X Battery Case with Wireless Charging [Affiliate Link]
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Sanhooii Mini Rotary Tool Drill Dremel Review

Sanhooii Mini Rotary Tool Drill Dremel Review

Buy it at Amazon: Sanhooii Mini Rotary Tool Drill Dremel [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Lightweight, easy to handle, good for sanding, polishing, engraving, and cutting plastic/wood/metal.

You'll receive the mini rotary tool, a canvas zippered bag, an AC Plug adapter, a box of tool tips, and a second larger set of tool tips. The tool tips and mandrels range from sanders, to grinders, disc cutters, drill bits, wire brushes, and buffing/polishing wheels. The rotary tool itself is 8" long and made from a lightweight plastic. Towards the back is a power rocker and on the end the DC power port. This unit only has 1 speed and spins at 16000 RPMs.

Loading the different mandrels for the tool is quick and easy. Just press and hold the lock button near the tip and twist the collet nut to loosen or tighten. I've used this tool for a number of different craft and repair projects. The cutting discs work on plastic and wood, though if your wood is thick or very hard there may not be enough RPMs to go very deep. For those materials I still need to use my Dremel 3000 which has a max RPM of nearly double. The set includes buffing compound to be used with the buffing and polishing pads, although the container makes it a little messy to get the compound onto the pad; however, the results were satisfactory. The sanding bands also worked as well as expected for smoothing and rounding off edges on wood projects.

While in operation, the tool is pretty loud, about as loud as a dentist's drill, but not as loud as a hair dryer. Even though it doesn't get to a super high speed, it spins fast enough to cut and etch hard surfaces, as long as you go slowly and don't try to cut very deep all at once. You may need to make several passes depending on the material you're working with and the desired result. With all the various tool tips, this rotary tool is pretty versatile in what you can do with it, from precision craftwork to sanding and polishing different items. I've used it about a dozen times so far with decent results.

Buy it at Amazon: Sanhooii Mini Rotary Tool Drill Dremel [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Multi Purpose Rubber Grip Jar Opener Review

Multi Purpose Rubber Grip Jar Opener Review

Buy it at Amazon: Multi Purpose Rubber Grip Jar Opener [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Improves grip on slippery jar lids and allows you to side twist versus rotate your wrist.

The jar opener measures 6.25" long and 3" wide at the widest part. The opener is made from a thick rubber that is flexible but durable with multiple gripping ridge along the inside track. The jar opener rings can be expanded to accommodate jar/bottle lids up to about 3.25" in diameter. There are three different size openings depending on the size of the lid you need to grip, small, medium, or large. To use the opener, slip the appropriate size ring over the jar lid and squeeze it tight. Then twist. The opener allows you to get a firm grip on the lid if it is slippery, and you can also rotate from the side, using the rest of the grip as a handle instead rotating your wrist over the top of the lid. It does not, however, give you a lot more leverage to open the jars, so while this will keep your hands from sliding off the lids, you will still need about the same amount of force to open the jars as you would normally; however, some of the pressure might be alleviated from your wrist while twisting.

The jar opener works well on regular mouth mason jars; for wide mouth jars, you'll have to stretch the grip out a lot but it should still fit most of the way around the lid and does seem to handle those fine too. It also works on soda bottle tops, jam jars, and anything in between. For really stuck metal lids, run the lid/cap under hot water for a few seconds to allow it to expand and soften any sticky residues underneath. For sealed jars with large tops and liquid contents, smacking the bottom center of the jar with the flat of your palm may help decrease the vacuum pressure allowing you to open it more easily.

Buy it at Amazon: Multi Purpose Rubber Grip Jar Opener [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, April 2, 2018

YTE Anbes Smart WiFi Outlet Socket Review

YTE Anbes Smart WiFi Outlet Socket Review

Buy it at Amazon: YTE Anbes Smart WiFi Outlet Socket [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Quick and easy way to add smart/voice capability to an outlet.
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Friday, March 30, 2018

Wander No show Socks Review

Wander No show Socks Review

Buy it at Amazon: Wander No show Socks [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Low, invisible sock line when wearing shoes, thin, lightweight, and breathable.

The seven pairs of socks are made of a thin, breathable cotton-poly blend and have a stretchy center arch support band just behind the ball of the foot. The material is a lightweight and soft consisting of 85/15% cotton and polyester. At the heel, there are three silicone wavy strips to help the sock grip your skin and not slide down while you are wearing them, which work pretty well. The elastic at the top is minimal and stretchy though not too tight. When wearing the socks they come only just up to the ankle and do not fully cover the tops of your feet.

This material is comfortable enough for every day wear and while the thin material does not provide a lot of cushion or heat retention this makes them suitable for warm weather and active sports. With shoes, the socks won't be visible and the quality is decent overall.

Buy it at Amazon: Wander No show Socks [Affiliate Link]
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mixmart Vacuum Seal Storage Bags Review

Mixmart Vacuum Seal Storage Bags Review

Buy it at Amazon: Mixmart Vacuum Seal Storage Bags [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large roll, air tight seals, work just as well as brand name vacuum bags.

You'll receive an 11" x 50' roll and an 8.5" x 50' roll. I purchased these rolls at Amazon to use with my Foodsaver vacuum sealer because the brand name bags cost nearly twice as much (online and in-stores) and I wanted to see if these rolls perform just as well. One thing about these rolls is that they have a large diameter being 50' roll rather than the more typical 20 or 30 feet. The diameter of each roll is about 3-4" across so if you have a machine that stores rolls inside, these actually might be too big for it. Since these rolls don't have grid line or edge markers to help you cut straight lines, one thing I like to do is reuse old plastic wrap boxes that have the built-in sliding cutters will these rolls because it makes cutting straight, even lines much easier than trying to do it by hand with scissors. With my FoodSaver FM2000, the seal strip is nice and wide and you can make custom sized bags and pouches from these rolls easily. The seals are air and water tight and don't peel apart. With dry, frozen, and fresh foods, I didn't experience any problems with air leaking into the bag or it losing its vacuum seal even after many weeks so I'm confident that these bags will hold the seal and air-tightness for even longer term storage. The bags do feel a tad thinner than other bags I've used and as always, I recommend exercising cation when sealing hard or sharp foods int he bag like bone-in meats. It's best to pad sharp edges and corners with a layer of paper towel or parchment if you can to prevent punctures. Overall, these seem to work just as well as some of the more expensive name brands out there, but at half the cost.

Buy it at Amazon: Mixmart Vacuum Seal Storage Bags [Affiliate Link]
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Xidan Soft Cotton Pastel Baby Booties Review

Xidan Soft Cotton Pastel Baby Booties Review

Buy it at Amazon: Xidan Soft Cotton Pastel Baby Booties [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Very cute, soft material, squishy/flexible batting, secures with Velcro.
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Monday, March 26, 2018

No-Show Ankle Toe Socks Review

No Show Toe Socks Review

Buy it at Amazon: No Show Toe Socks [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Lightweight and breathable, a thin lining for toe shoes, keeps feet dry/clean.

The assorted pack from artfasion comes with four pairs of socks, two in each color/pattern. Toe socks are kind of like gloves for your feet. They have individual sections for each of your toes and work well for those that wear toe shoes like the Vibrams or Skeletoes athletic runners. Normal socks won't fit in those, so usually folks go barefoot in them, but others prefer to have an extra layer that you can remove and wash, and these socks fit the bill. They're also very low profile, rising just up to the ankle and leave most of the top of your foot exposed. The material is cotton but pretty thin and light which makes it breathable. In regular shoes, they are pretty much invisible but the tops of your foot may rub on the inside of the tongue of the shoe. At the back of the sock, inside the heel are three silicone stripes that helps the sock cling to your skin so that it doesn't slide down. While having separated toes in socks feels a bit odd at first these are so lightweight that it nearly feels like you're barefoot. They add a bit of warmth and keep your feet dry and off dirty floors. It does take some extra time to put them on since you have to get your toes into each section one at a time, but it's not too difficult. Like gloves, these socks have a distinct left and right (non-chiral), and you can't swap sides or use two of the same side socks. While they may wear out quickly due to the thiness of the mateiral, it's the best way to use your toe shoes with socks without adding a lot of unecessary padding. I like these socks for what they are and would recommend them for folks who don't want to go barefoot in their toe shoes.

Buy it at Amazon: No Show Toe Socks [Affiliate Link]
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