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John "Kat's the brains" (London, UK)

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NIUTOP Apple Watch Strap, Premium Genuine Leather Replacement Watchband with Secure Metal Clasp, Apple iWatch Band Leather Strap Wrist Band Classic Buckle for Apple Watch & Sport (Black 42mm)
NIUTOP Apple Watch Strap, Premium Genuine Leather Replacement Watchband with Secure Metal Clasp, Apple iWatch Band Leather Strap Wrist Band Classic Buckle for Apple Watch & Sport (Black 42mm)

4.0 out of 5 stars Great value for money leather replacement for Apple Watch, 28 July 2015
Having reviewed on Amazon for a while, I was pleased to receive this replacement Apple Sport Watch strap in return for an independent and unbiased review.

Like many people I've been a bit shocked at the price of the replacement straps from Apple, and was therefore looking for a cheaper alternative.   While probably not quiet at the top quality soft leather of the Apple strap (I do believe you get what you pay for), this is a viable altenative.

Open up the quite impressive packaging to reveal awatch strap measuring 23 centimeters long (including Watch), and 22mm wide.  It clips in easily into the watch, and takes just a few seconds to remove.  In terms of length, I'd guess it's almost certainly long enough for almost anyone.  Although I have quite a narrow wrist, there's five free holes left, with about 4.5 centimeters watch strap left.

In terms of look and feel, it certainly feels comfortable, (I've been wearing it every day for the past two weeks), but I still find the leather a little bit stiff, and there's slight signs of surface cracking in the leather although I'd expect it'd last for years without wearing out.  It certainly feels pretty durable.

Overall, a reasonable, if not outstanding leather replacement for the Apple watch strap.  I'd expect the genuine one's from Apple to be better - but as I say, you do get what you pay for, and you'll pay £129 for the geninue Apple strap.

Overall - good value for money.
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JollySports Swim Goggles with Anti Fog, Best for Adult Men, Women and Older Kids - Nose Clip, Ear Plugs and Case Included (Black, One Size)
JollySports Swim Goggles with Anti Fog, Best for Adult Men, Women and Older Kids - Nose Clip, Ear Plugs and Case Included (Black, One Size)
Offered by Grabbits
Price: £20.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning Swim Googles. Top quality, cool look, and very comfortable., 28 July 2015
I have to say, I personally don’t like normally like wearing swimming goggles (I just swim with my eyes shut), but my little girl uses them all the time, and I was pleased to receive these in return for an independent and unbiased review.

They're really impressive.

Clearly impired by "Speedo" design and build quality, the experience starts with the packaging, as they come in a custom designed tough plastic case.  It was a bit of an exercise in dexterity, but I finally managed to open the case by twisting the end, which allows the top to open.

Inside you'll find a really quite impressive pair of quality swimming goggles.  To start with they have a UV protection built in, so great for sunny days.  The lenses are silver mirrored, and look really cool (a bit like "Scott Summers" as Cyclops in the X Men). 

Build quality is excellent, (probably better than Speedo to be honest), with an thick rubber edge into which the lenses are fixed, and then a deep, soft durable cup to protect the eye socket. 

The head strap continues the quality theme, as it's really thick rubber, and unlikely to break even after months or years of daily use.  There's two independently adjustable straps with thick "tank track" ridges to secure the headband in place, and lots of length to fit even the biggest head.

Finally, the straps are secured at the back of the head with a smokey grey plastic tab that easily clips together easily - even when you've got your hands behind your head doing it by touch and fee.   Lovely design feature.

My little girl tried them out in the pool today and is delighted.  Despite an hours hard swimming (she’s a real enthusiast!), there was no leakage and they stayed de-mistified - no fogging up either.   For once I tried them, and I'm going to buy a pair for myself.

Almost forgot, in addition to the tough carry case (so you can fling them in your kit bag without worry of being scratched or damaged), you also get a free pair of ear plugs, and (my favourite bit), a free "nose clip" so you can dive without getting a nose full fo water.  Lovely!

Questions I’d ask myself?

1.  Would I buy this myself?  Yes, without question.  Just did.
2.  Is it worth the money?  Absolutely - terrific quality.
3.  Would I recommend this to others.  Read above.

Absolutely top quality swimming goggles.  Highly Recommended

Disclosure: I was kindly sent this by the manufacturer to give an independent unbiased review.  Glad to say, I’m delighted!
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GOtek® 13000mAh Deluxe External Battery Power Bank For iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, Galaxy S6 S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3, Nexus, HTC One, Most other Phones and Tablets (Black + Red Stripe)
GOtek® 13000mAh Deluxe External Battery Power Bank For iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, Galaxy S6 S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3, Nexus, HTC One, Most other Phones and Tablets (Black + Red Stripe)
Offered by GOtek
Price: £15.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great power bank - works a treat, 26 July 2015
Having reviewed on Amazon for a while I was pleased to be offered this smart power bank in return for an unbiased and independent review.

What is it and what does it do?
----------------------------------------
Open the simple cardboard packaging to reveal a 5.5" x 2.5" and 3/4 of an inch deep battery in quite smart but tough white plastic. In terms of weight it comes in at 289g which to put this in context is relatively quite light - an iPhone 6 or Samsung S4 is 133g without case. Certainly small enough to carry in a back-pack or bag, and with enough power for a weekend away.

In terms of output (to charge your phone or tablet), this is 2 USB sockets, so you've the option of charging power intensive devices (eg. an iPad) using the faster 2.1A rate, and charge a smartphone using the 1A port at the same time.

Great if you've got a tablet computer and a smartphone.

Nice to see the ubiquitous 4 amber LEDs to indicate how much power it has left, and each counts down in 25% units from 100% to zero as you drain the battery. There's a single micro-USB socket and a short cable to plug into your existing smartphone charger, although at this size, you'll need to leave it charging over night.

Finally, this charger comes with a short (6” long) USB to micro-USB cable so you can charge it. It also comes with converters for an iPhone 30 Pin (the wide older one), and the lighnting cable (for the iPhone 5 and onwards). This is a great bonus if you’re an iPhone user as otherwise you’d need to carry your cable around with you.

Does it work?
------------------
Glad to say, yes. it charged my wife's iPhone 5S from absolutely flat to 100% in around 90 minutes.

The battery is rated at a 13,000 mAh which should recharge most smartphones several times. To put this in context, here’s the battery size of a range of smartphones:-

* Google Nexus 5 - 2,300 mAh
* Samsung Galaxy S3 - 2,100 mAh
* Samsung Galaxy S4 - 2,600 mAh
* Samsung Galaxy S5 - 2,500 mAh
* Samsung Galaxy S6 - 2,600 mAh
* Apple iPhone 5 - 1,400 mAh
* Apple iPhone 5S - 1,570 mAh
* Apple iPhone 6 - 1,810 mAh
* Apple iPhone 6 Plus (Phablet) 2,915 mAh

You never get 100% power out of these devices (typically around 70% is acceptable), but you should get about 5-6 charges for a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone 5S.

What's Good about it?
-----------------------------
* Two USB output sockets means you can charge two devices at once
* Sizable power bank - lots of power for the entire weekend
* Relatively small and light - means you could carry it in your bag without noticing it
* Converters for the iPhone 4 and newer 5

What you should be aware of
----------------------------------
* It doesn’t come with a wall charger or USB to iPhone cable (but these devices never do).
* It doesn’t come with a built in light or carry case (which would be handy to carry your cable and power bank together).

Overall Opinion
---------------------
Build Quality: 4 Stars
Design and features: 4 Stars
Value for money: 5 Stars

Conclusion
-------------
Great power bank - works a treat

Highly recommended.


GOtek® 12000mAh Deluxe External Battery Power Bank For iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, Galaxy S6 S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3, Nexus, HTC One, Most other Phones and Tablets (Black + Red Stripe)
GOtek® 12000mAh Deluxe External Battery Power Bank For iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, Galaxy S6 S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3, Nexus, HTC One, Most other Phones and Tablets (Black + Red Stripe)
Offered by GOtek
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great power bank - works a treat, 26 July 2015
Having reviewed on Amazon for a while I was pleased to be offered this smart power bank in return for an unbiased and independent review.

What is it and what does it do?
----------------------------------------
Open the simple cardboard packaging to reveal a 5.5" x 2.5" and 3/4 of an inch deep battery in quite smart but tough white plastic. In terms of weight it comes in at 289g which to put this in context is relatively quite light - an iPhone 6 or Samsung S4 is 133g without case. Certainly small enough to carry in a back-pack or bag, and with enough power for a weekend away.

In terms of output (to charge your phone or tablet), this is 2 USB sockets, so you've the option of charging power intensive devices (eg. an iPad) using the faster 2.1A rate, and charge a smartphone using the 1A port at the same time.

Great if you've got a tablet computer and a smartphone.

Nice to see the ubiquitous 4 amber LEDs to indicate how much power it has left, and each counts down in 25% units from 100% to zero as you drain the battery. There's a single micro-USB socket and a short cable to plug into your existing smartphone charger, although at this size, you'll need to leave it charging over night.

Finally, this charger comes with a short (6” long) USB to micro-USB cable so you can charge it. It also comes with converters for an iPhone 30 Pin (the wide older one), and the lighnting cable (for the iPhone 5 and onwards). This is a great bonus if you’re an iPhone user as otherwise you’d need to carry your cable around with you.

Does it work?
------------------
Glad to say, yes. it charged my wife's iPhone 5S from absolutely flat to 100% in around 90 minutes.

The battery is rated at a 12,000 mAh which should recharge most smartphones several times. To put this in context, here’s the battery size of a range of smartphones:-

* Google Nexus 5 - 2,300 mAh
* Samsung Galaxy S3 - 2,100 mAh
* Samsung Galaxy S4 - 2,600 mAh
* Samsung Galaxy S5 - 2,500 mAh
* Samsung Galaxy S6 - 2,600 mAh
* Apple iPhone 5 - 1,400 mAh
* Apple iPhone 5S - 1,570 mAh
* Apple iPhone 6 - 1,810 mAh
* Apple iPhone 6 Plus (Phablet) 2,915 mAh

You never get 100% power out of these devices (typically around 70% is acceptable), but you should get about 5 charges for a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone 5S.

What's Good about it?
-----------------------------
* Two USB output sockets means you can charge two devices at once
* Sizable power bank - lots of power for the entire weekend
* Relatively small and light - means you could carry it in your bag without noticing it
* Converters for the iPhone 4 and newer 5

What you should be aware of
----------------------------------
* It doesn’t come with a wall charger or USB to iPhone cable (but these devices never do).
* It doesn’t come with a built in light or carry case (which would be handy to carry your cable and power bank together).

Overall Opinion
---------------------
Build Quality: 4 Stars
Design and features: 4 Stars
Value for money: 5 Stars

Conclusion
-------------
Great power bank - works a treat

Highly recommended.


NIUTOP Fitbit Charge HR Charger Cable, Replacement USB Charging Charger Cable Cord for FitBit Charge HR Wireless Activity Bracelet ,Black
NIUTOP Fitbit Charge HR Charger Cable, Replacement USB Charging Charger Cable Cord for FitBit Charge HR Wireless Activity Bracelet ,Black

4.0 out of 5 stars Works for me! Just wish it was longer., 25 July 2015
Having reviewed on Amazon for a while I was pleased to receive this charge cable in return for an independent and unbiased opinion.

I’ve had my FitBit HR for a couple of months now, and typically find it runs for about 2-3 days before being charged. I have to admit, I was a bit annoyed with fitbit to find they’ve used a non-standard charging cable, so it’s handy to have a spare cable for the office.

Effectively this is exactly the same as the original cable which came with my device, I even had to keep it separate so’s not to confuse it. It’s 10 inches long (which I think is too damn short), and has the same odd connector for the FitBit and a USB at the other.

When plugged in, it charges my HR without issue. My only gripe (aside from the length), is it feels a bit loose - although I think this is a design feature of the FitBit - as it’s exactly the same with the original cable.

Personally, I’d have preferred a standard 1 meter cable, but I’ve a suspicion these are actually exactly the same manufacturer as the original. Still, at least it means you’re getting the same product.

Works for me! Just wish it was longer.


OZ Naturals Facial Moisturizer - This Sea Infused Face Moisturizer Is Not To Be Underestimated - Contains Powerful Vitamin C & Algae Keratin Extract For Superior Moisturizing & Antioxidant Benefits. The Vitamin C Infused Seaweed Proteins Act As Powerful Collagen Building Blocks For Your Skin.
OZ Naturals Facial Moisturizer - This Sea Infused Face Moisturizer Is Not To Be Underestimated - Contains Powerful Vitamin C & Algae Keratin Extract For Superior Moisturizing & Antioxidant Benefits. The Vitamin C Infused Seaweed Proteins Act As Powerful Collagen Building Blocks For Your Skin.
Offered by OZ Naturals EU
Price: £17.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A top quality beauty product which left both myself and my wife's skin beautifully soft, 25 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’d never even heard of OZ Naturals before, but now both myself and my youthful looking 52 year old wife are using this every day - it’s wonderful. The normal arrangement in our family, is my wife and daughters test the beauty products, and I write the review - in this case I was tempted to try it myself. This was provided for free in return for an unbiased opinion, and it's now costing a fortune, as everything I review from OZ is subsequently ordered again from Amazon.

OZ Who?
-------------
Like many people I assumed this was from Australia, but It turns out that "OZ naturals" is one of the top US skin care specialists with a focus on producing top quality anti-aging and skin care products containing all natural organic ingredients. In fact this moisturiser is clearly a huge hit in the USA with 562 reviews and an astonishing 85% 4 or 5 stars.

Even a bloke like me can see it’s a quality product. Nicely packaged in a box, with very simple design. Both my wife and daughter commented on the fact it was provided in a tube instead of a pot. This meant it was much easier to use, and it’s very easy to dispense. It also means you’re not dipping your fingers into a pot, and therefore contaminating it.

What my wife said about it?
----------------------------------------
"Firstly I love the fact that it comes in a tube. Sounds a simple thing, but it means you can control the exact amount you need - and you don't need a lot. It sits nicely in the bathroom, and the top pops off easily so there's no messing around with screw top pots first thing in the morning. The colour is a bit odd as you’d normally expect it to be white and it’s a soft brown colour, but it has no perfume at all"

We then went on to discuss exactly how much you needed (not a lot - but what does that mean?). We finally agreed upon about the size of a pea or a bean (but not a kidney bean) for your face and again for your neck.

"I tried it every day for two weeks, and my skin feels lovely and soft. It's not at all greasy like some moisturisers I've used, and it's quickly absorbed so you could use it with make-up - although I personally don't wear any".

I’ve also been (secretly) using it myself, and I’m even more impressed. I firmly believe the skin of a 54 year old bloke is much harsher, and find it dries out very quickly - especially around my neck. This stuff has no scent at all, and is not thick and creamy or white like other moisturisers. I’d say OZ Naturals have a perfect product for men as well as women. I love the fact it’s smooth (almost a liquid), and is absorbed into the skin in seconds.

Conclusion
----------------
A top quality beauty product which left both myself and my wife's skin beautifully soft, and is now costing me a fortune!

Highly Recommended.

Disclosure: I’ve been writing reviews on Amazon for years, and was approached by OZ Naturals to give an independent unbiased review of this product. Glad to say, it was a pleasure.


GRDE® Foldable Touch Table Lamp, 8W Eye Care LED Desk Lamp, 4 Brightness Modes for Living Room Bedroom Lighting, Portable Touch Sensitive Reading Light with USB Power Adapter Function (Output 5V 1A)
GRDE® Foldable Touch Table Lamp, 8W Eye Care LED Desk Lamp, 4 Brightness Modes for Living Room Bedroom Lighting, Portable Touch Sensitive Reading Light with USB Power Adapter Function (Output 5V 1A)
Offered by UK tree
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully designed lamp with a lovely range of light options and angles, 25 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having reviewed on Amazon for a while, I was pleased to receive this LED desk lamp in return for an independent and unbiased review. It really is quite beautifully designed, and in a market crowded with LED lights - it’s stands out in terms of design and build quality.

First impressions opening up the packaging is they’ve clearly taken some effort, even in the box it comes in as it’s well protected with lots of padding and foam.

The lamp itself is a 15” aluminium stand (with a 10” arm which houses the LED lights) attached to a heavily weighted, softly curved white base. Overall look and feel is one of quality and style. Comparing prices, this appears to be slightly more expensive than the alternatives, but having reviewed a few already, this is certainly in the “premium” end of the market.

In terms of functionality, you get a range of lights, adjusted from a touch sensitive switch on the base:-

* Study - which is bright white light
* Relax - which has a pale yellow hint
* Computer - which is not quite as white and bright
* Sleep - which creates a gentle yellow night light effect

There’s also a USB power socket, so you’ve effectively got a built in smartphone charger as well.

Finally, one detail which highlights the attention to design detail, is when you switch on this light, it remembers the last setting. This means if it’s been in “sleep” mode, and you switch it on during the night, you’re not accidentally “blinded” by it going into a default “Study” mode. Nice touch.

What's Good about it?
-----------------------------
* Very smart style - aluminium on a white base which is nicely weighted
* Lots of options including mode and dimming to set the light exactly as you want it
* You can charge your smartphone without an addition plug

What you need to know
----------------------------
* Not quite as adjustable as an “angle poise” lamp
* Doesn’t have a “timer” built in so you can’t have it automatically switch itself off after a while.

Conclusion
---------------
I’m trying hard to be critical, but this really is a beautifully designed lamp with a lovely range of light options and angles


Foscam C1 720P Mini Wireless Cube Wide Viewing Angle IP Camera - Black
Foscam C1 720P Mini Wireless Cube Wide Viewing Angle IP Camera - Black
Price: £53.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully designed tiny camera - great for baby watching, or home security, 25 July 2015
Having reviewed on Amazon for a while, I was pleased receive this indoor surveillance camera in return for an independent and unbiased review. It’s a terrific little device, which you can use to monitor your baby, pet or house remotely on your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Standing just 5” tall (when fully set up) on a 3” deep base, it really is a tiny little device with a matt black plastic camera mounted in a 3” wide circular disk on a base which looks like a tiny version of a angle-poise lamp. My overall impression is of great design. These things are normally a lot larger, and look like a shrunken down Dalek, whereas this looks more like a small black lamp - the kind of thing you see at the start of a Pixar Movie.

What's it like?
------------------
I really liked it. First download the Foscam App from Google or Apple (depending upon your smart phone or tablet). Just search for “Foscam” in the App store, and download the free App. Good to see it has a WPS (WIFI Protected Setup) switch which means you can quickly secure the connection between the camera and Wireless Router. In terms of features, you can use it wirelessly (to watch video from a web site or your Smartphone), or plug in a (not supplied) LAN cable. You can also plug in a micro-SD card and record video to the device.

Once installed and set up (about 30-40 minutes for the “hard of thinking” like me), you can view your camera via the smartphone App or the Foscam web site. The web controls were pretty good, and image quality was excellent, even in dark situations using the built in infra-red LEDs. It has a microphone built in, and the sound is two way so you can talk to as well as listen to the room - great for confusing the dog. Motion sensitivity is a nice feature, especially if combined with the ability to trigger an eMail. In theory (as I was not actually burgled myself), you could set it up to receive an email to warn you when you’re being burgled. Of course the down-side is any pets at home might trigger lots of false alarms.

Lots of other “IP cameras” have a remote control to move the camera around the room (handy if you’ve covering a very large area - like a warehouse), so it’s worth noting this camera lens is fixed. It’s quite a wide angle image though, so should cover most rooms without issue.

What’s in the box?
-------------------------
* The camera unit, very small with a fixed camera (i.e. not motorised tilt like some others) on an adjustable stand.
* Pair of screws and plugs to fix the camera to a wall
* Micro-sized CD ROM with software and user manual
* A quick start guide on how to set it up and a warranty card

What's Good about it?
-----------------------------
* Clever little device which allows you to “watch” your home or business while you’re away
* Works on both network cable (direct to router) or secure WIFI - so place the camera wherever you need it.
* Very small and discrete - the smallest camera I’ve ever seen
* Picture quality (on screen) remarkably clear - very high quality indeed
* Excellent quality night vision - really impressive
* Can also write to a micro-SD card (not supplied), or you can store it in “the cloud"

What's not so good?
----------------------------
* It doesn’t come with a LAN cable - but I suspect this wouldn’t be used by most people as you’d rely upon WIFI anyway
* Neither does it come with a Micro SD card which is a pity - but about standard for these kind of devices
* Also the camera doesn’t have a “Tilt” feature of many other cameras - but it does have a very wide angle (115 degree) viewing to make up for it
* The CD is the “micro-size” so it can only be used on a “tray” loaded CD drive. If you’ve a “slot loading” CD ROM you’re out of luck

Conclusion
-------------
Beautifully designed tiny camera - great for baby watching, or home security

Highly Recommended.


OUKITEL U8 5.5inch 64bit 4G FDD-LTE Android 5.1 Smartphone MTK6735 Quad Core 2GB 16GB 13.0MP Fingerprint ID Cellphone White
OUKITEL U8 5.5inch 64bit 4G FDD-LTE Android 5.1 Smartphone MTK6735 Quad Core 2GB 16GB 13.0MP Fingerprint ID Cellphone White

4.0 out of 5 stars 5.5 inch IPS screen, 2GB memory and Quad Core processing - but is it any good?, 25 July 2015
Having reviewed on Amazon for a while, I was really pleased to be invited to produce an independent review of this 5.5 inch Smart Phone. While it’s definitely at the budget end of the smartphone market, it’s still got a lot going for it.

I’ll avoid the technical jargon and numbers, and focus on the actual experience of using this device. After all, it doesn’t matter if it has a “Quad Core 32 bit processor with 16 gigabytes of storage” if it doesn’t work very well.

Size, Weight and Build Quality: 4 Stars.

Open up the smart bright orange packaging to reveal the now standard 5.5” screen size Android smartphone. With an overall size of 6” x 3”, and weighing 198g, it’s not the smallest or lightest smartphone on the market, but certainly fine to carry around in your pocket. Having said that, almost all of the surface area is taken up by the massive screen - which is a pleasure to see.

As a comparison in weight, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is 138g although it costs around five times the price. Build quality is surprisingly good at this price, and it certainly feels well built. The back feels like a plastic material, but there’s a rounded aluminum band around the edge which gives a classy feel, and ironically the weight make it feel “chunky” in the hand.

I did find though the design a little odd in placing the power button directly under the volume rocker, and I kept switching off the phone instead of adjusting the sound. Irritating, but not a deal breaker.

Screen: 5+ Stars. (Terrific)

As with nearly all budget devices, the screen is plastic rather than the tough “Gorilla Glass” of the top-end Samsung - but it’s doubtful either would survive "face-planting" on concrete anyway. There’s also a noticeably reflective screen so you won’t be able to use this in bright sun-light, but that’s also true of almost any smartphone - including the ultra expensive iPhone 6.

Happy to say in terms of viewing, the screen really is a stand out feature - which is critical because it’s what you spend all your time watching. Colors are great and images absolutely pin sharp and clear, and there was no sign of “ghosting” watching videos on YouTube or playing graphic intensive games. It also has an IPS screen which means it looks great from every viewing angle.

I tested it next to an iPhone 6, and it was an absolute pleasure to watch a video on the much larger screen.

Performance and Speed: 4-5 Stars.

Because you’ll most often use your smartphone to surf the web, it’s important it works faster well. The Daily Mail online is one of the most demanding web pages, as there’s so many photos and so much text on screen. Pleased to say this phone just breezed through the web pages like a hot knife through butter, and scrolling and zooming in and out was a breeze with none of the “lag” associated with cheaper devices. Clearly the “Quad Core Processor” and (more importantly) the surprisingly large two gigabytes of memory make a huge difference. I compared it to a cheaper smartphone (admittedly about half the price), and it wasn’t anywhere near as pleasant to use browsing the web or looking at photos.

I did test it with a few games, and found it terrific for low power/graphics games like “Clash of Clans”, and it even managed a respectable performance with Real Racing although it took absolutely ages – I mean about an hour to download. Pleased to say the “medium graphics” but highly entertaining “Air Wings” was an absolute pleasure to play.

Sound Quality: 1 Star. (Poor)

As expected at this price point, the sound quality is just terrible. Really tinny and poor with a rear facing speaker near the bottom which is easy to accidentally cover with your fingers. Having said that, it comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack (but no headphones supplied), and a bluetooth connection. I paired it with my £20 Audio Dynamix speaker, and music quality was terrific.

Bluetooth (1 Star) and Camera/Video: (4 Stars)

One word of warning though – the Bluetooth connection is just terrible! On an iPhone 6 I can get 30-50 feet away from the speaker and it’s still going, whereas this phone managed barely a few feet. A real pity.

The rear facing 8Mp camera is surprisingly good for the money, and both close up and landscape shots are beautifully displayed on the crisp screen. There’s also a 2Mp front facing camera which you could use for taking “selfies” or more usefully for Skype calls. I did a test call, and it worked great.

In terms of recording and playing video, it was surprisingly good quality for the money. While it took a short delay for the camera to readjust as I was moving around indoors, video images were clear, and there was little evidence of the “ghosting” and blurring you find on cheaper, lower quality cameras.

Storage: 4 Stars. (About what you’d expect).

In terms of storage (for Apps, photos, music and video), it comes with 16Gb as standard, but again (as you’d expect on almost any phone), you don’t get all that for your stuff.

In fact, straight out of the box I found I had 7.98Gb which is fine for a few Apps, photos and the odd video, but you’d be well advised to buy a 32Gb SD card for as little as £10 on Amazon. This will give you plenty of additional storage so you’ll have plenty of space to download games, record photos and videos. Don’t however take this to be a big issue – you’ll be quoted 16g on almost any phone, but you’ll need a 32Gb upgrade before too long.

Battery Life: 4 Stars. (Fine)

Of course you’ll need to re-charge this device every night, and it does come with a standard USB to Micro-USB cable. Personally I found the battery life to be fine. It’s worth noting, on a device with a screen this big, that the screen is the greatest drain on battery, so turn the brightness down a little – especially indoors.

I used it for most of the day, and it went from 90% to 34% with some pretty intensive testing, video playing and YouTube watching. Incidentally battery size is rated at 2850 mAh which is pretty sizable (and explains the weight). That compares well with the top end Galaxy S6 which has a much smaller 2,550 mAh battery.

As an extra tip, I’ve also reviewed loads of “Power Banks” - external batteries for a smartphone or tablets. These are terrific as you’ve always got a emergency power supply with you. The best I’ve tested are sold on Amazon by Lumsing, Anker and EC Technology. (That’s three separate companies - sounds a bit like a firm of solicitors). Power Banks come in varying sizes, and I’d recommend a small/cheap one you’ll carry with you all the time. You can buy powerful batteries from 3,000 to 20,000 mAh, and the biggest will re-charge this device up to 5 times over.

Toys and Stuff: (3-4 Stars)

Unusually for a device at this price point, it comes with a fingerprint reader. Register your fingerprint on the rear (the index finger is the easiest), and in theory you can unlock the device with your fingerprint rather than typing in a pin code.

Ironically, I found after I updated the phone with the latest software which said it improved the fingerprint recognition, that it became more flaky – but that may be just a coincidence. Personally, I’d take the fingerprint reader as a free bonus. It’s very unusual to find this feature on a budget phone, and I found it worked about 80% of the time. Having said that, I find about the same hit rate on an iPhone 6 – so it’s not doing that bad really.

Specifications:

You’ll no doubt want to compare this device by specification to every other one at the same price point, so here’s the most important specs you’ll need in priority order:-

Operating System: Android 5.1 (Lollypop)
Screen: 5.5” IPS
Processor: Quad Core 1GHz
Memory: 2Gb (important!)
Rear Camera: 8MP
Front Camera: 2MP
Other: Dual SIM Card & Fingerprint reader.

Conclusion:
-------------
Considering this is at the “budget” end of the market, you’re really getting a lot of phone for your money. It’s fast, well built and comes with the very latest Android operating system which is (praise indeed from a iPhone owner), a real pleasure to use.

The screen is just amazing, and although it’s a bit heavier than the top end phones costing five times the price, it’s 80% of the experience at 20% of the cost.

Where the phone really falls down is sound quality and Bluetooth. Sound quality I could forgive, but the failure of the Bluetooth is just unforgivable in my books. It may not be a big deal to you, but I listen to a lot of music on my Bluetooth speakers. Having said that, it’d be fine for Bluetooth headphones, assuming you keep the phone in your pocket (and therefore physically near) your headphones.

Overall, I’d therefore give it 4 stars, although 6 stars in terms of value for money.

Note: Photos below show the smartphone (larger of the two) next to an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 5.
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OUKITEL T80-U8 4G FDD-LTE Smart Phone MTK6735 Quad Core 5.5" IPS OTG Android 5.1 OS Hotknot Finger Print Smart Wake Finger Gestures 2G RAM 16G ROM 2MP 8MP Dual Cameras
OUKITEL T80-U8 4G FDD-LTE Smart Phone MTK6735 Quad Core 5.5" IPS OTG Android 5.1 OS Hotknot Finger Print Smart Wake Finger Gestures 2G RAM 16G ROM 2MP 8MP Dual Cameras
Offered by ilastore-eu
Price: £112.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Quad core, 2GB memory, Android 5.5 and 5.5 inch IPS screen - but is it any good?, 25 July 2015
Having reviewed on Amazon for a while, I was really pleased to be invited to produce an independent review of this 5.5 inch Smart Phone. While it’s definitely at the budget end of the smartphone market, it’s still got a lot going for it.

I’ll avoid the technical jargon and numbers, and focus on the actual experience of using this device. After all, it doesn’t matter if it has a “Quad Core 32 bit processor with 16 gigabytes of storage” if it doesn’t work very well.

Size, Weight and Build Quality: 4 Stars.

Open up the smart bright orange packaging to reveal the now standard 5.5” screen size Android smartphone. With an overall size of 6” x 3”, and weighing 198g, it’s not the smallest or lightest smartphone on the market, but certainly fine to carry around in your pocket. Having said that, almost all of the surface area is taken up by the massive screen - which is a pleasure to see.

As a comparison in weight, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is 138g although it costs around five times the price. Build quality is surprisingly good at this price, and it certainly feels well built. The back feels like a plastic material, but there’s a rounded aluminum band around the edge which gives a classy feel, and ironically the weight make it feel “chunky” in the hand.

I did find though the design a little odd in placing the power button directly under the volume rocker, and I kept switching off the phone instead of adjusting the sound. Irritating, but not a deal breaker.

Screen: 5+ Stars. (Terrific)

As with nearly all budget devices, the screen is plastic rather than the tough “Gorilla Glass” of the top-end Samsung - but it’s doubtful either would survive "face-planting" on concrete anyway. There’s also a noticeably reflective screen so you won’t be able to use this in bright sun-light, but that’s also true of almost any smartphone - including the ultra expensive iPhone 6.

Happy to say in terms of viewing, the screen really is a stand out feature - which is critical because it’s what you spend all your time watching. Colors are great and images absolutely pin sharp and clear, and there was no sign of “ghosting” watching videos on YouTube or playing graphic intensive games. It also has an IPS screen which means it looks great from every viewing angle.

I tested it next to an iPhone 6, and it was an absolute pleasure to watch a video on the much larger screen.

Performance and Speed: 4-5 Stars.

Because you’ll most often use your smartphone to surf the web, it’s important it works faster well. The Daily Mail online is one of the most demanding web pages, as there’s so many photos and so much text on screen. Pleased to say this phone just breezed through the web pages like a hot knife through butter, and scrolling and zooming in and out was a breeze with none of the “lag” associated with cheaper devices. Clearly the “Quad Core Processor” and (more importantly) the surprisingly large two gigabytes of memory make a huge difference. I compared it to a cheaper smartphone (admittedly about half the price), and it wasn’t anywhere near as pleasant to use browsing the web or looking at photos.

I did test it with a few games, and found it terrific for low power/graphics games like “Clash of Clans”, and it even managed a respectable performance with Real Racing although it took absolutely ages – I mean about an hour to download. Pleased to say the “medium graphics” but highly entertaining “Air Wings” was an absolute pleasure to play.

Sound Quality: 1 Star. (Poor)

As expected at this price point, the sound quality is just terrible. Really tinny and poor with a rear facing speaker near the bottom which is easy to accidentally cover with your fingers. Having said that, it comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack (but no headphones supplied), and a bluetooth connection. I paired it with my £20 Audio Dynamix speaker, and music quality was terrific.

Bluetooth (1 Star) and Camera/Video: (4 Stars)

One word of warning though – the Bluetooth connection is just terrible! On an iPhone 6 I can get 30-50 feet away from the speaker and it’s still going, whereas this phone managed barely a few feet. A real pity.

The rear facing 8Mp camera is surprisingly good for the money, and both close up and landscape shots are beautifully displayed on the crisp screen. There’s also a 2Mp front facing camera which you could use for taking “selfies” or more usefully for Skype calls. I did a test call, and it worked great.

In terms of recording and playing video, it was surprisingly good quality for the money. While it took a short delay for the camera to readjust as I was moving around indoors, video images were clear, and there was little evidence of the “ghosting” and blurring you find on cheaper, lower quality cameras.

Storage: 4 Stars. (About what you’d expect).

In terms of storage (for Apps, photos, music and video), it comes with 16Gb as standard, but again (as you’d expect on almost any phone), you don’t get all that for your stuff.

In fact, straight out of the box I found I had 7.98Gb which is fine for a few Apps, photos and the odd video, but you’d be well advised to buy a 32Gb SD card for as little as £10 on Amazon. This will give you plenty of additional storage so you’ll have plenty of space to download games, record photos and videos. Don’t however take this to be a big issue – you’ll be quoted 16g on almost any phone, but you’ll need a 32Gb upgrade before too long.

Battery Life: 4 Stars. (Fine)

Of course you’ll need to re-charge this device every night, and it does come with a standard USB to Micro-USB cable. Personally I found the battery life to be fine. It’s worth noting, on a device with a screen this big, that the screen is the greatest drain on battery, so turn the brightness down a little – especially indoors.

I used it for most of the day, and it went from 90% to 34% with some pretty intensive testing, video playing and YouTube watching. Incidentally battery size is rated at 2850 mAh which is pretty sizable (and explains the weight). That compares well with the top end Galaxy S6 which has a much smaller 2,550 mAh battery.

As an extra tip, I’ve also reviewed loads of “Power Banks” - external batteries for a smartphone or tablets. These are terrific as you’ve always got a emergency power supply with you. The best I’ve tested are sold on Amazon by Lumsing, Anker and EC Technology. (That’s three separate companies - sounds a bit like a firm of solicitors). Power Banks come in varying sizes, and I’d recommend a small/cheap one you’ll carry with you all the time. You can buy powerful batteries from 3,000 to 20,000 mAh, and the biggest will re-charge this device up to 5 times over.

Toys and Stuff: (3-4 Stars)

Unusually for a device at this price point, it comes with a fingerprint reader. Register your fingerprint on the rear (the index finger is the easiest), and in theory you can unlock the device with your fingerprint rather than typing in a pin code.

Ironically, I found after I updated the phone with the latest software which said it improved the fingerprint recognition, that it became more flaky – but that may be just a coincidence. Personally, I’d take the fingerprint reader as a free bonus. It’s very unusual to find this feature on a budget phone, and I found it worked about 80% of the time. Having said that, I find about the same hit rate on an iPhone 6 – so it’s not doing that bad really.

Specifications:

You’ll no doubt want to compare this device by specification to every other one at the same price point, so here’s the most important specs you’ll need in priority order:-

Operating System: Android 5.1 (Lollypop)
Screen: 5.5” IPS
Processor: Quad Core 1GHz
Memory: 2Gb (important!)
Rear Camera: 8MP
Front Camera: 2MP
Other: Dual SIM Card & Fingerprint reader.

Conclusion:
-------------
Considering this is at the “budget” end of the market, you’re really getting a lot of phone for your money. It’s fast, well built and comes with the very latest Android operating system which is (praise indeed from a iPhone owner), a real pleasure to use.

The screen is just amazing, and although it’s a bit heavier than the top end phones costing five times the price, it’s 80% of the experience at 20% of the cost.

Where the phone really falls down is sound quality and Bluetooth. Sound quality I could forgive, but the failure of the Bluetooth is just unforgivable in my books. It may not be a big deal to you, but I listen to a lot of music on my Bluetooth speakers. Having said that, it’d be fine for Bluetooth headphones, assuming you keep the phone in your pocket (and therefore physically near) your headphones.

Overall, I’d therefore give it 4 stars, although 6 stars in terms of value for money.
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