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Steve.J (Glos. UK)

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Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini UK Sim Free Smartphone - White
Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini UK Sim Free Smartphone - White
Offered by Prepaymania
Price: £141.85

4.0 out of 5 stars A great 'little' phone, but a few too many pre-installed Apps for SIM Free, 23 Sep 2014
The S3 is a great `little' phone, well suited to those of us who do not live on our phones. It is not quite what I would call a mini phone - it measures 120mm x 60mm x 10mm approx., with a viewable screen of about 4". Still, when compared to the full `pocket filling' S3 and S4 phones it is quite compact.
The screen is reasonably clear, sharp and responsive to the touch and fairly quick in flicking from screen to screen.
Signal reception seems to be generally decent (on Tesco Mobile/O2) but does sometimes struggle to deliver a full 3G connection. I do not really know if this is down to the phone, the signal or a combination of the two. I have rarely found this to be an issue though.

As a SIM - free version, it does not come too overloaded with Apps, which is a blessing (but still a few too many 'useless ones' for my liking), leaving you free to load those that you really need. You do get a few Samsung and Google Apps, which you may or may not use. Email, Internet, Maps and the SATNAV are my mainstay ones. I just wish it was easier to completely get rid of the little used pre-installed Apps, without having to resort to 'rooting' the phone, which is a minefield for inexperienced or 'non techie' users! (This is typical of Android devices though).

I also liked the soft earbud type earphones that were supplied with the phone, I find them quite comfortable.

The supplied Email and internet seem to function without issue for me and the Maps and SATNAV, whilst not up to Garmin standards, have served me well when travelling. Do make sure you have an in car charger, as the phone obviously needs Wi-Fi and GPS running when using this and the battery will drain quite quickly. I have loaded and use the Viber App to call friends abroad (they need to have it on their phones as well) and this uses about 17MB of data for a 45minute call. As I never get through my 500MB allowance each month, this is a great way to make international calls `for free'.
The 5MP camera is OK, but does seem to be a bit slow at times. I have not really used this too much, but is handy standby if you do not have your camera to hand.

If battery life is important to you, remember to switch off Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and Mobile Data until you actually need them - these are easily accessible from the swipe down top menu bar. Also there is a power saving option, which I do use as well. As I mainly use the phone for short calls and texts, I can quite regularly get 4 days out of the battery before recharging, which is pretty good, I think. Leaving Mobile data switched on significantly reduces battery life, in my experience. If you need to shut down any Apps that use too much in the way of resources, a long press on the centre 'HOME' button will bring up the Task Manager, allowing you to shut down any persistent Apps. Strangely the Task Manager does not seem to be available by any other means, which I found a bit odd.

If there is one thing I don't like it is the on screen keyboard, I find it a bit small and easy to mistype with, but have not found it annoying enough to bother loading one of the larger keyboard Apps which are available. I did acquire one of those little soft nosed stylus, which makes typing more accurate, if slower.

So, overall a nice little package and the phone is upgradeable via the Samsung Kies software that you can download to your computer. It is not the best bit of software in the world, but I have upgraded both of our phones to Android 4.1.2 using it, without too many issues. Also, this is used to back up contact data, photos etc.

A useful addition to get is a wallet case with a stylus to protect the phone and give the assistance of easier typing. there are a few options available on Amazon or EBay. Also treat yourself to a 32GB microSD card (the maximum it will accept) as these are cheap enough now and allow storage of photos, music etc.

The only real downside that I have experienced is the extremely poor customer service available from from Samsung UK - you ask them a question or for guidance and you would be better asking a fish how to ride a bicycle!! They are really that bad!!

60mm (1/4") Hex Quick Release Bit Holder plus 60mm Magnetic Bit Holder
60mm (1/4") Hex Quick Release Bit Holder plus 60mm Magnetic Bit Holder
Offered by EJAY ONLINE
Price: £4.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Seem fine for DIY use!!, 19 Sep 2014
This is a twin pack of a quick release and magnetic holders for screw bits etc. They have worked OK with both my Makita Li-Ion 14.4V drill / driver and my WORX 18V Li-Ion drill / driver and seem sturdy enough for general DIY jobs. I am not sure that they would prove robust enough for hard use in commercial / trade applications, but that is reflected in the price and I don't tend to be 'heavy handed' with my kit. (I don't think that these are suitable for use with impact drivers though - I think you would have to spend the money on DeWalt / Makita kit or similar).

As stated they are about 60mm long and will accept both 25mm and 60mm driver bits. With the quick release holder, 25mm bits do sit a bit low in the holder, with just the nose of the bit showing, but this is only a problem in tight, restricted or difficult to reach applications. The magnetic holder, seems to grip well enough, unless you really get a screw bit stuck into the head of a screw.

I did lubricate the quick release holder with tiny bit of WD-40, as the action felt a bit tight, but apart from that, they are a useful bit of kit to have available and I will probably buy another set to have one with each drill/driver.

Cool Gear 600 ml Printed Chiller Cup with Straw, Blue
Cool Gear 600 ml Printed Chiller Cup with Straw, Blue
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars great for the car and outdoors!, 5 Sep 2014
A good size plastic glass / beaker, which is BPA (Bisphenol A) free. The screw lid has a a removable (for cleaning) seal in it to reduce the chance of spills and leaks. There is a hole in the centre of the lid for the plastic straw, which is fitted with a little collar at the one end, to prevent you accidentally pulling the straw out in use. Being BPA free, this beaker is made out of a hard and possibly brittle plastic, so be wary of giving it any hard knocks or dropping it, as I suspect it would shatter. The straw seems to be made of the same material. You need to be a bit careful fitting the lid as it is possible to cross - thread it and lose the seal.
Being double lined, it will keep drinks cool for a bit longer, especially if you drop in a little ice! It actually holds 500ml of liquid (just under a pint) and the other 100ml is taken up by the insulating air gap around the inner skin.

Great for the cup holder in the car, outside use to keep dust and flies out of the drink and handy to keep by the bedside, if like us you often need a sip of water at night. It is easy to wash and we have found no need to put it in the dishwasher yet. so far, we have mainly used it for filtered water, so we have not seen any issues with staining, we will have to try it with cola or lemonade or similar to see how it does. Not sure if it is OK for use with hot drinks.

Overall, a pretty decent travel and outdoor beaker - just be careful with it and be careful to fit the lid properly.

Cheeki 1 Litre Stainless Steel Water Bottle - Ulysses White - BPA Free
Cheeki 1 Litre Stainless Steel Water Bottle - Ulysses White - BPA Free
Offered by BestSellersEU
Price: £12.95

5.0 out of 5 stars An attractive, good quality and sturdy water bottle., 1 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this Cheeki 1 litre water bottle for my wife, as she prefers drinking our filtered water to standard tap water, when at work or out and about. It is well designed and has an attractive butterfly design on it, is made from stainless steel, so the water does not pick up any odd tastes and comes with a standard screw top and a sports flip top. It even has a little carabiner clip on the lid to secure the bottle to bags etc. It is very easy to keep clean, being stainless steel and the outside has a coating over the design, and so it should wear pretty well. It is BPA free (bisphenol A ), unlike some other bottles, so no worries about contamination.
It is quite lightweight (~ 175gm empty with the standard screw lid), but should stand up well to everyday bumps and knocks and the seal on the lids seem to be reasonably good.

Just be aware that the bottle is not insulated, so drinks are not going to stay very cold in it. This is not an issue for my wife, so we are happy to give it 5*.

There are also other designs and sizes available in the range. The 1 litre size is approx. 300mm tall and 73mm in diameter.

5 Star Laminating Pouches 250 Micron (2x125) for A4 Glossy [Pack of 100]
5 Star Laminating Pouches 250 Micron (2x125) for A4 Glossy [Pack of 100]
Offered by Shoplet-UK
Price: £7.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent budget laminating A4 pouch, 27 Aug 2014
These are a decent quality laminating pouch for the price, they feel like they are a genuine 2 * 125micron pouch and worked very well in my laminator, when used on the 125 micron setting. They did not seem to suffer too much from static when trying to position paper or card in them. The only slight issue is that they are a little skimped on size when using full A4 sheets. The top seal is a little bit too thin and better sealing results are obtained if you trim a couple of millimetres of the top and one side of the paper. This is only an issue if you plan to use the finished laminates outside, where moisture ingress is an issue (or if you have a large laminating project to complete). For inside use, or small projects, the tight fit will not be a problem.

Overall, good value for money and seem to be reliable in use, with no bubbling or uneven sealing, they have given a decent result in the 50+ items I have completed so far.

Offered by Nightingale Nursing Supplies
Price: £4.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy addition to your tool kit or crafting gadgets, 21 Aug 2014
These 10ml syringes have come in handy for all sorts of little DIY jobs around the house, my wife has used them on her crafting projects and I also use them to either refill or rinse out E-Cig cartridges. The ones that I bought came with 80mm long needles, of about 1.5mm diameter and they did have a blunt tip. Other reviews have mentioned them being supplied with very sharp hypodermic tips, thankfully mine were not. The needles are a push fit onto the syringe, via a little cap. Dependent on what you are using them for, I have found that they can be washed and re-used, for glues, greases or more 'gunky' uses they are cheap enough to use once and dispose.

I have certainly found it useful to have a few of these available in my toolkit and will probably try to get a range of sizes.

Wolfcraft - Waterpump Attachment for drills - 1300 Ltr/Hr
Wolfcraft - Waterpump Attachment for drills - 1300 Ltr/Hr
Price: £10.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy and cost effective addition to your toolkit for small pumping jobs., 27 July 2014
I bought this as a cheap option to drain and refill a 40 litre garden water feature. Also used to move water between a variety of water butts for the garden and small watering jobs. The packaging recommends a maximum of 2800rpm - but I have used mine at 2700-3200rpm with no issues. Also states a minimum 600 watt power drill, but I have used an old (and I mean old!!) Black & Decker 370 watt mains drill and a cheap 18V Li-Ion battery drill with reasonable results (~12-14 litres per min. from both). I have had no issues with priming the pump, although when I remember I do pour a bit of water down the inlet hose to help charge the pump and avoid dry running. The instructions say that it will tolerate 30 seconds of dry running, but I prefer to avoid that if at all possible. It will pump the water up at least 2 metres from the outlet in my experience, but that is with a feed from a water tank, so the pump is below the level of the tank - I do mean to see how high it is really capable of, but have not done a test as yet.

If your drill does not have a trigger lock, then I have used a large spring clamp (on the battery drill) to hold the trigger in. Just make sure the drill is rotating in the right direction and not set to reverse. Arrows on the pipe connections show which is the inlet and the outlet. Also, the pump should be screwed to a block big enough to hold the pump stable and support the drill, when in use.

As a cheap water pump this has done the job well and seems fine for occasional use.

We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board, Multi-Colour
We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board, Multi-Colour
Offered by UniStore
Price: £14.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant little envelope maker!!, 26 July 2014
I bought this item for my wife, who as a crafter, said it was a ‘must have’ after she had used a friend’s. It makes great envelopes and is so easy to use. She does give a word of warning though - always start with the right size paper and no matter what size the finished envelope, your paper is always square to start with. The board has instructions printed on it, and imperial measurements (inches) for the card size and the paper size to use for the envelope. These instructions were followed and in no time at all made some envelopes for the first time ever! There is also a glossy instruction leaflet giving slightly clearer instructions with pictures. On the leaflet, the measurements are all in metric (cm) and there is a printing error – the last card size is shown as 12.2 x 21.6, this should read 15.2 x 21.6. The board itself is small at only 10.5” x 7.5” (27cm x 19cm) and lightweight with the creasing tool stored in groove underneath when not in use. It has two built in punches, to take out notches where the folds come together and another to round of the corner of the envelope flap. It must be said that it is a very neat unit. This gadget will make 66 sizes of envelope, to fit a card size of 5.1cm x 9cm (2” x 3.5”) up to a maximum card size of 15.2cm x 21.6cm (6” x 8.5”).

• Fabulous results were achieved when lining the flap with a matching paper to the background of the card to fit the envelope and when using scrap booking papers, with the pattern as a lining and the plain side outside.
• Crafters narrow double sided tape on a wheel was used to seal the sides and base and worked a treat
• Envelope gum can be bought if you want to add this option for sealing or use a narrow double sided (peel off backing) tape.

There are quite a few hints and tips in the other reviews for this product, so it is well worthwhile reading them to help get the best out of this piece of kit.

GP Batteries 192, AG3, LR41 Alkaline Button Cell (Pack of 10 cells)
GP Batteries 192, AG3, LR41 Alkaline Button Cell (Pack of 10 cells)
Offered by Premier Solutions
Price: £0.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and do the job!!, 24 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A cheap replacement for the original batteries in a couple of mini LED torches that I use on the odd occasion. They seem to supply sufficient power and have lasted well so far. At the price they are a reasonable replacement for the originals and even if they do not last quite as long it is still a much better option than paying high street prices. They are exactly the same size as the originals, so no issues with fitting them!! No issues with delivery either.

GP LR54 Battery (AG10 189 389) Pack of 10
GP LR54 Battery (AG10 189 389) Pack of 10
Offered by Premier Solutions
Price: £1.74

4.0 out of 5 stars They do the job!!, 24 July 2014
I bought these batteries to replace those in a couple of mini torches and also a back up battery in a calculator. They have lasted well in both applications and for the price are a reasonable replacement for the originals - and at a sensible price too!! A cost effective option if you need this size of battery and they fitted without any issues. Delivery was prompt as well.

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