Profile for Richard Allen > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Richard Allen
Top Reviewer Ranking: 570
Helpful Votes: 2066

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Richard Allen (Wellington, Somerset)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Science in Sport 500g Chocolate Rego Rapid Recovery
Science in Sport 500g Chocolate Rego Rapid Recovery
Price: £7.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Speed Your Recovery, 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm a cyclist and specialise in endurance riding. The supplements industry does well out of cycling and other endurance sports; with gels, energy bars, hydration tablets and recovery drinks. If you let them, they can turn a bike ride into a very expensive day out. I suspect that in many cases the benefits are marginal, and in others you can produce your own products at a fraction of the cost (homemade flapjacks are a lot cheaper than energy bars, and taste much better). However, I think a good recovery drink is justified, and costs little more than a single gel. After a longer ride I often don't have much of an appetite when I first stop, and I understand it's in that first thirty minutes of rest that your body can best metabolise nutrition. A recovery drink is quick to make and consume. I wouldn't say that any of them taste great. I prefer neutral or vanilla flavours, but the SIS chocolate is no better or worse than its competitors. You'll need a shaker bottle to best prepare the drink (Wiggle's one is excellent value and quality). Take the drink as soon as you can after completing your exercise, and your muscles will start to recover quickly to prepare you for the next session.

In my experience all SIS products are as good as any of the competition. The price here is very competitive, so I would recommend this to anyone who takes their exercise seriously.


Frost On My Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer
Frost On My Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer
by Tim Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equally Funny and Interesting, 23 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I first read French Revolutions for it's cycling context, and thoroughly enjoyed Tim Moore's insights and self deprecating style. I've now read most of his books, and would say this is probably his best. It works both as a fascinating travelogue full of interesting historical fact, but also as a very entertaining and funny account of a proper adventure. Highly recommended.


Gironimo!: Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy
Gironimo!: Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy
by Tim Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equally Entertaining and Interesting, 23 Feb. 2015
If you've read any Tim Moore books before, you'll know what to expect; a wry and self deprecating account of an adventure, full of insightful observations and humour. As a cyclist, I first came to his books from reading French Revolutions, and that's certainly one of his best books. This one covers very similar territory, as you might expect from the title, and provides him with a great deal of scope to examine the history of the event and its personalities, alongside the tale of his own personal struggle to recreate the ride. Although he makes light of it, I've no doubt that riding the route on a vintage bike with two gears must have been incredibly tough, but it does provide him with a great deal of scope for his entertaining observations and self mockery. If you've read many of Tim Moore's books, like I have, then this is more of the same, but no less funny or interesting for that.


Igenix IG9516 4 Bar Quartz Halogen Heater, 1600 W, Grey/Dark Grey
Igenix IG9516 4 Bar Quartz Halogen Heater, 1600 W, Grey/Dark Grey
Price: £33.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality and Effective, 23 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not convinced that halogen heaters are hugely efficient or effective. They seem to give out as much light as they do heat. However, it's a more "comforting" radiant heat than you get from a warm air convector heater, and without the noise and the sense of the air feeling dry. We find them very effective in colder parts of the house that aren't regularly used.

I was a little perturbed by the photos here on the product page as the unit looks a bit wonky and flimsy (you'd think they'd have found a better example to photo). Ours is straight, although the main components are quite light materials. However, this is very similar to the Argos own brand heater we bought some years ago, so I guess this is the standard to expect. Overall the build quality is pretty decent.

In use it works just as you'd expect. You control the heat output by the number of elements you switch on, and there is a swivel setting that is effective in a larger room. The carry handle is a useful feature missing from the Argos equivalent.

And that's about it. Igenix offer a two year guarantee, which might be one reason to favour this in comparison with other options. It seems to be competitively priced against the competition, so there's no reason not to award five stars.


Igenix PF Brushed Stainless Steel Kettle, 1.7 Litre, 2200 Watt
Igenix PF Brushed Stainless Steel Kettle, 1.7 Litre, 2200 Watt
Price: £22.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, Attractive, No-frills Kettle, 21 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We've had a Russell Hobbs kettle for a number of years. It's a no-frills, basic kettle that still works well but, as brushed stainless steel kettles tend to do, looks a little scruffy after so much use. This Igenix kettle is of a similar spec and design, so it is easy to compare the two. Firstly, the Igenix is an attractive looking kettle, which I would expect would fit well in many kitchens. There is no fill level gauge, but I'm fine with that; the weight of the kettle is all you need to determine whether it's good for one cup, two cups or more. There is a filter inside the kettle, but as we don't suffer with limescale issues, I'll dispense with that. The spout is quite small and not ideal as a means to fill the kettle. That's a shortcoming for me; so much easier to fill via the spout rather than opening the lid and getting the whole of the kettle under the tap.

Other than that, it works fine. Does all that a kettle should. It sits well on its base and can swivel for left or right handed use. However, it's in a pretty crowded market place and you can buy a supermarket branded kettle for considerably less. That's where I'm a little confused as I suspect the production costs for both (i.e. supermarket and Igenix) are much the same, but Igenix have chosen to price their product alongside more established brands. I'm pretty sure we paid less than the current price of this Igenix for our Russell Hobbs kettle all those years ago, and I suspect people will be reluctant to pay more for a brand they've never heard of that doesn't appear to offer anything more. If Igenix want to establish themselves as a new brand, they may need to reconsider where they want to position their products.


AmazonBasics Bluetooth Stereo Headset with Microphone
AmazonBasics Bluetooth Stereo Headset with Microphone

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent (but with a noticeable hiss), 19 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm normally a fan of Amazon Basics; good quality and good value. This headset is aimed to be in that same bracket, but it's not quite as good as previous Basics products I've used.

The unit comes in the typical Amazon Basic packaging; a simple brown box. You receive the headphones, USB charge lead, instructions and spare ear pads. The instructions run to just a few pages and are very simple to follow. Charging takes about thirty minutes.

The phones are of decent quality. Plasticy, as you'd expect at this level, though I thought the controls weren't as positive and "clicky" as I'd like, particularly when you use them whilst wearing the set. I found them comfortable and light to wear, even when wearing glasses, which is a real plus. I paired the phones to my Huddle 2, which took a few seconds, and all audio was then sent via the phones rather than the speakers.

Audio quality was pretty fair. Certainly not hi-fi, by any means, but decent enough for video and Skype calls. My surprise was that there was a distinct hum/buzz/hiss from the left earpiece. It was very noticeable when there was no audio coming through, and was still perceptible when audio volumes were low. At higher volumes it was barely perceptible. I'd say it was something I could live with, but I expected better.

I note that other reviewers haven't commented on a similar issue, so perhaps it's just my headset. And I am aware that this is a budget headset, so I have to set my expectations accordingly. But if a low level buzz is the kind of thing that really irritates you, be aware.


OPPO R8106 R5 16GB 4G UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Silver (Super AMOLED 423 PPI Display, Octa-Core Snapdragon 615 Processor, 2GB Ram, Android 4.4.4, VOOC Flash Charging)
OPPO R8106 R5 16GB 4G UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Silver (Super AMOLED 423 PPI Display, Octa-Core Snapdragon 615 Processor, 2GB Ram, Android 4.4.4, VOOC Flash Charging)
Price: £289.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quality Phone That's A Bit Different From The Crowd, 16 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
OPPO was not a make I had heard of before coming across the R5. Given the lack of knowledge I had about the brand I was initially unsure whether it would be right for me, not least because using it involved making the jump from iOS to Android.

It arrived in a really beautifully presented box that was very `Apple' in its look and feel. It gave me confidence from the outset that this would be a premium and quality product, and when got inside the packaging the device itself met this expectation.

The R5 is thin. Really thin! This is one of the main marketing points of the phone but to me I've always thought that manufacturers should focus on extending battery life rather than pursuing the fairly arbitrary goal of having the worlds thinnest (this week) phone. However, in this case, the slim design does also help in making the handset look and feel of real quality. As I said, it's very 'Apple'.

Other than the lack of knowledge of Oppo, there were two areas of hesitation I had prior to deciding to go for it and make the change - and these had come about from researching other reviews. Firstly, the memory is non expandable and given that this is the 16gb version that was a concern. Second, the battery was not favourably reviewed and that was an area of some deliberation for me.

After using the R5 for a week I can confirm that the storage is an issue. I would recommend going for the 32gb model if you have the choice. The operating system and pre-installed apps take up around 4gb meaning that there is slightly less than 12gb of useable storage. Not enough, and something that I also found frustrating with the iPhone.

The battery on the other hand has been fine. Certainly no worse than any other smart phone that I have used. I find I charge it each night to be safe. A welcome addition is the battery manager which will allow certain configurations to be automatically set (such as dropping 3G/4G, and screen brightness) when the battery falls below a certain level.

There is 2gb of RAM in the phone but given the size of the screen and the animations between menu navigation, there is sometimes a lag or judder when moving between menus. Not a huge issue actually but something that is not quite as smooth as some other devices, such as the iPhone 5S/6.

Given the slim design, it is actually too thin for a headphone jack! Fear not, they do provide you with an adapter in the box that plugs into your headphones and into the charging port. Again, does it need to be so thin that basic functions such as a standard headphone socket are not available? It's not been an issue yet as I leave the adapter attached to my headphones, but it's not ideal.

I've been impressed with the camera, menu navigation, screen, and sound quality. The size took a bit of getting used to but I really have been enjoying the video benefits of having a screen so much larger than the iPhone 5S.

A couple of quirks mean I can't give this 5 stars but, given the price, build quality and usability, its a firm 4 star review and a nice change from the conformity of having the same phone as everyone else.


Dog Poo Bags Large OXO Biodegradable by Easipet (100)
Dog Poo Bags Large OXO Biodegradable by Easipet (100)
Offered by Far East Direct Ltd
Price: £3.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Big Bags for Big Dogs, 11 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We normally use nappy sacks because they're cheap and do the job. However, with two German Shepherd dogs, the nappy sacks are on the small side and feel worryingly thin when you're using them. These bags are very much designed for the purpose. They are very big, and feel very robust. They perhaps don't slip into a pocket (prior to use!) quite as easily as a nappy sack, but that's to be expected. They're clearly meant for owners of large dogs, and for that purpose they can't be faulted.


Revlon PhotoReady Primer, Shadow and Sparkle - 2.8 g, Metropolitan
Revlon PhotoReady Primer, Shadow and Sparkle - 2.8 g, Metropolitan
Offered by L4RGE
Price: £6.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Range of Shades, 4 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a neat package of a range of eye shadow shades that will suit both a teenager and many adults who like to have a variety of shades to choose from. There are shades suitable for most circumstances, making this an ideal addition to a makeup collection. The application brushes are of decent quality, making this a very good value product.


Vanish Gold for Whites Oxi Action Stain Remover Powder 1.41 kg
Vanish Gold for Whites Oxi Action Stain Remover Powder 1.41 kg

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whiter Whites, 1 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We primarily use this product for my work shirts and a few other white items. I've never been a fan of the fashion for 30 degree washes; the collars and cuffs of my shirts gradually become grey (and I've separately read that a lot of bacteria will survive low temperature washes). However, a spoon full of Vanish in with the washing liquid and a 40 degree wash makes a huge difference. My shirts are now properly white.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20