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Curlynob (Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Life Trak Zone R420 Waterproof Fitness Activity and Sleep Tracker with Heart Rate Pulse Monitor - Black
Life Trak Zone R420 Waterproof Fitness Activity and Sleep Tracker with Heart Rate Pulse Monitor - Black
Price: £69.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A good value and well specified activity tracker., 26 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’ve had this Lifetrak R420 a little over two weeks and I’m really pleased with it. It has the basic activity tracking features you might expect such as Steps, Distance and Calories burned, but it also has a Heart Rate monitor and a Sleep Tracking Function. The thing that really sold it to me though is that this isn’t a gadget that you need to keep charging and syncing. You can view several days’ data right on the watch, and the battery is a regular watch battery that should last about a year.

It took a day or so to get familiar with all the different information the R420 can display, but after that it really is quite a simple thing to navigate. The big silver button in the middle, when held down for a couple of seconds, records an ECG accurate Heart Rate reading. I use a WAHOO chest strap when I run, and I’ve regularly compared the Heart Rate reading from both devices. If not exactly the same, they are consistently very close. A light, double-tap of the same silver button backlights the display so you can see it in the dark. The same button also acts as the View button so you can flick through your Sleep, Distance, Calories and Steps. A little progress bar gradually makes its way across the screen, depending on how far away you are from reaching your daily goals. The top button is the Mode button to switch between Time, Hourly stats, Weekly stats and Workout. The bottom button is to Start and Stop a workout, and when held down can be used to Sync the watch date to the Lifetrak App.

Goals can be set either on the watch, or with the Lifetrak app which can be downloaded for free from the iOS or Google Play store. I’ve been using the Lifetrak app on my iPhone 5C and I’ve found it very simple to use. The two main screens are the Goals screen and the Dashboard. On the Goals screen you can set daily goals for Average Heartrate, Steps, Distance, Calories and Sleep using a simple slider system. It’s worth pointing out that once you’ve set your goals on the app, you then need to go the Settings screen and choose Sync settings to watch, otherwise the app will keep complaining that the watch and app have different settings. The Dashboard screen shows you how far you are from completing your daily goals and a simple tap will then let you review your stats by day, week, month or year. If you’re tracking your Average Heartrate you’ll need to be disciplined enough to take regular manual readings by holding down that silver view button. The R420 doesn’t continually track your heartrate like a Bluetooth chest strap does. Obviously if you only take a reading during or just after a workout, your average heart rate will be artificially high. You need to take further readings to keep it balanced.

I’m curious to know how the Sleep Tracking function actually works, but it does seem to be at least approximately accurate. I have three young children, so my sleep is at best considered… disrupted. The app shows a graph for your night’s sleep, detailing the time your sleep started, Sleep efficiency, Wakes after sleep onset, Number of awakenings and Sleep onset latency. You don’t need to set the time when you fall asleep; the R420 just seems to know..!

I’ve really enjoyed using the R420, and for the money I’d thoroughly recommend it as a good value and well specified activity tracker. It’s quite discretely styled and doesn’t look too big on your wrist, which suits me very well. My only minor niggle is that the strap can get caught on things and involuntarily release, but it’s a fairly minor complaint in an otherwise overwhelmingly positive experience.


A Visit to London for Thomas the Tank Engine (Thomas & Friends Picture Books)
A Visit to London for Thomas the Tank Engine (Thomas & Friends Picture Books)
by Vv Aa
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A simple, nicely told story with big colourful illustrations, 24 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At approx 25cm square, A Visit to London for Thomas the Tank Engine is much larger than the traditional Thomas the Tank Engine story books. Although it’s a bigger book, there are typically fewer words on each page, with the focus instead on the large and colourful, classic style Thomas the Tank Engine illustrations. The story has obviously been created to tie in with The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. Thomas is chosen by The Fat Controller to take him to London to meet The Queen. Along the way they get to see lots of London’s big landmarks, including Tower Bridge, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye. My three year old son loved it, as he loves all Thomas the Tank Engine books. It’s a simple, nicely told story with big colourful illustrations and a nice way to introduce London landmarks to a young audience.


Johnson's Gentle All Over Baby Wipes - Pack of 12, Total 672 Wipes
Johnson's Gentle All Over Baby Wipes - Pack of 12, Total 672 Wipes
Price: £10.32

4.0 out of 5 stars Great pack design, and a decent wipe (but a little too scented), 22 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This box includes 12 packs of a slightly slimmer, 56 wipe pack of Johnson’s “Gentle all over” baby wipes. I’m pretty sure these “all over wipes” are Johnson’s standard wipe rebranded. I did email them and ask, but they didn’t reply. The new pack is a very convenient size for our bulging change bag. The extra layer of plastic around the dispenser makes the pack easier to open one handed, and to only get one wipe at a time - rather than the magician’s handkerchief effect. Having previously used mainly “sensitive” wipes, I found these to be quite strongly fragranced with the traditional Johnson’s baby lotion scent - a little overpoweringly so. Having said this, there was absolutely no hint of irritation with my 7 month old. Compared to other brands of wipe, these Johnson’s “Gentle all over” wipes are moist and thick, with a nice cotton soft like feel - as opposed to say the slightly papery feel of Huggies. You certainly won’t rip or put your fingers through these. Overall, a great quality product as you might expect from Johnson’s, but I think I’ll stick their slightly less scented, Extra Sensitive products in future.


The Art of the Jersey: A Celebration of the Cycling Racing Jersey
The Art of the Jersey: A Celebration of the Cycling Racing Jersey
by Andy Storey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An attractive hardback with many wonderfully photographed Jerseys, 17 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a keen club cyclist and ardent fan of the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a very attractive hardback with many wonderfully photographed Jerseys. On most pages (with very few exceptions) there is a photograph of a single Jersey with maybe 100 words of text. I loved looking at the stuff from the early nineties like the Vetement Z / Cycles Peugeot / Halfords jersey - it’s hard to believe that was 25 years ago! It's clear that the scope of the books ambition is to be a design book, rather than a history book. If you're looking for more of a historical resource than a compendium of Jersey design, you may be disappointed.


Brabantia BBEK1052 Stainless Steel Blender, 1.5 L, 1000 W
Brabantia BBEK1052 Stainless Steel Blender, 1.5 L, 1000 W
Price: £79.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Smoothie Operator, 14 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Arriving just in time for the good weather, this lovely looking Brabentia Stainless Steel Table Blender is just the job for making summer drinks and smoothies. I’ve already used it several time to crush ice for for a nice long Pimms and Lemonade, and earlier today I blended some frozen mixed red fruit with some apple juice for a lovely ice cold fruity drink. The striking feature about this product is the large, good quality 1.5L glass jug that sits atop the stainless steel power base. It’s heavy and clicks into place firmly and reasuringly. There are three settings, Smoothie (high speed for a smooth finish) Ice (high speed for a second then a half second pause and back on again) and Pulse (for a burst of high speed whenever you press and hold the button). There’s also a Min to Max dial where you can set your own speed. The six stainless steel blades are a mixture of serrated and smooth. Two blades point down to pick up sediment at the bottom of the jug and four point up. Together with the 1000W motor, this blender has made pretty light work of the ice and frozen fruits that I’ve thrown at it. There’s even a little measuring cap in the top of the glass jug's lid, presumably for making drinks that are a little more fun that this father of three gets to drink these days.

If you don’t leave this Brabentia Table Blender standing around too long after use, it’s also pretty easy to clean. Just half fill it with hot water and add a dash of Fairy liquid (other hand washing detergents are available) and run it on low for a bit. It’s a decent quality thing as you might expect from Brabentia and comes with a 3 year guarantee. My only real criticism is that the instructions are a little weak. Although they cover the basic operation of the product, there’s no hints or tips or recipes for basic smoothies -which would have been nice.


The Best of Paolo Conte
The Best of Paolo Conte
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £14.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Chips! Chips!, 12 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Best of Paolo Conte (Audio CD)
This CD only arrived yesterday and I've already fallen in love with it. If you're only familiar with the first track Via Con Me, you're pretty much in the same position I was yesterday, The great news is that this isn't one of those CDs that you only end up liking the one song that attracted your attention in the first place - it's full of great music! I don't even think that Via Con Me is the best track, Sotto Le Steele Del Jazz, Boogie, Elisir, Come Di or Sparring Partner could all be worthy of that crown - and that's just the first half a dozen songs on this wonderful CD. The songs are all loosely jazz based and sung in Italian, although there is occasional and playful use of English - as in Via Con Me's "s wonderful, I dream of you". I don't understand a lot of the lyrics, but I have lots of foreign language CDs and you can usually find a translation of the lyrics if you search online. I don't find it strictly necessary to enjoy the music, but I like to have a loose understanding of what a song is about. Oh and regarding the famous "Chips! Chips" from Via Con Me. The best explanation that I've found is that Conte simply liked the percussive sound of the word. In fairness it works perfectly.


Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4)
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4)
Offered by Bonisell
Price: £43.50

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful game I’ve played on the PS4, 11 May 2016
I ordered my copy of Uncharted 4 on release day using the excellent Amazon Prime Now app, and received it two hours later, with a decent first order discount to boot. Over the last couple of evenings I've progressed to chapter 8 in this 22 chapter story. Having played The Last of Us Remastered and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, I’m pretty familiar with developer Naughty Dog’s style of gameplay. If you’re a fan too, there’s nothing to disappoint here. The game looks gorgeous and offers an immersive storytelling experience right from the start. If you’re not a fan, Uncharted 4 will probably do little to change your mind. The early stages are a little slow moving, and there are too many cut-scenes and on-rails sections even for my taste. It has to be said though that the game does really shift it up a gear after the first couple of hours, so if you're sat there wondering what all the fuss is about - stick with it, you're about to find out.

Underneath the initial wow factor of the graphics, Uncharted 4 actually offers a fairly generic and well-worn style of gameplay. There are puzzles to solve, hand to hand and weapon based combat and plenty of free running / parkour. Everything is done exceptionally well though. There seems to be an increased emphasis on free running and climbing, and the improved climbing mechanic, where you can reach for the next ledge with your left stick, is really nicely done. The game is delivered at 1080p / 30 fps and 900p / 60 fps in the online. Whilst that may fall short of the 60 fps story gameplay that was once pledged at E3, it would be a tough critic who said there was anything wrong with the quality of animation here. The use of real-time rendering over pre-recorded video is worthy of note and means that you drop in and out of on-rails and cut-scenes with amazing smoothness. I frequently got a genuine, “oh wow, it’s me playing” as I exited out of a cut-scene and back into the gameplay.

I’ve played through Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection before playing Uncharted 4, but I don’t think it’s entirely necessary to do so. Yes, the story works well as a complete arc, but this game’s story is pretty stand-alone if you’re new to the franchise. If you were to score a game on the scope of its ambition, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End deserves nothing less than the rave launch reviews it is currently enjoying. Still, if I was being completely honest with myself, Uncharted 4 hasn’t quite delivered the knock-out blow that I was hoping for. Despite the stunning visuals, and meticulous attention to detail, I think it’s simply a matter of Naughty Dog delivering more of what you’d expect from them. You expect a great story, but the innovations found here are more of a technical achievement rather than a gameplay one. Still it really is the most beautiful game I’ve played on the PS4 and if you’re looking for a showcase of what the hardware can do, you’ll certainly find it here.


500 Amazon Coins
500 Amazon Coins
Offered by ACI Gift Cards UK, Inc

5.0 out of 5 stars Bank of Mum and Dad, 7 May 2016
This review is from: 500 Amazon Coins
I wanted a way of putting credit on my son's tablet without putting any banking details into it. Gifting Amazon Coins to him was straightforward and easy to do - and solved the problem nicely. With the credit offered by the coins he was able to download Terraria, a game that he desperately wanted.


Playmobil 5309 Master Bedroom Doll House
Playmobil 5309 Master Bedroom Doll House
Price: £13.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Master Bedroom, 4 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Master Bedroom is a lovely Playmobil set and comes with everything you might want in your Playmobil Bedroom. It’s the second set that we’ve ordered for our Playmobil Deluxe Dolls House and is the clear favourite of my five year old daughter. It’s nicely designed and well-made as you might expect from Playmobil with some lovely little touches - such as the lamps either side of the bed that actually light up! Again there are some small pieces supplied with this set, so be careful if there are younger brothers or sisters around. My daughter’s only comment about the set is that it would have been better if you could take the little play persons skirt off so she could sit down properly. Bless!


Playmobil 5307 Vintage Bathroom Doll House
Playmobil 5307 Vintage Bathroom Doll House
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Vintage Bathroom, 4 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The bathroom is a lovely set and comes supplied with everything you might reasonably expect, from a claw foot bath and a toilet with a lifting lid to a toilet brush. It’s ideally suited to accompany the excellent Playmobil Deluxe Dolls house which we also have. It’s nicely designed and well-made as you might expect from Playmobil, but it’s quite a fiddly set with lots of small bits which could present a choking hazard if you have younger children around. Playmobil suggest this set is suitable from 3 years. My daughter is five but we’ve still put some of the smaller bits to one side, mainly because they're just going to get lost. The supplied Playmobil character comes dressed in a bikini with a towel that goes over the top. It would be nice if she also came supplied with a dress so that her story can continue outside of the bathroom to the rest of the house. Overall thought it’s a nice set that looks great in the Playmobil Deluxe Dolls house.


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