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Reviews Written by
K Wren "K Wren" (the Welsh borders/Wye Valley)
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CSX Heart Rate Monitor Watch with Chest Strap, HRM C536X, Pink
CSX Heart Rate Monitor Watch with Chest Strap, HRM C536X, Pink
Offered by CSX Direct | Aspire Desire
Price: £42.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good heart rate monitor backed by excellent customer support and 18-month warranty, 5 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disclosure: I received a complimentary product in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review

I have been really impressed with this heart rate monitor. Years ago I had one which cost nearly twice the price but was so complicated to set up and performed so erratically that I gave up with it. This couldn’t be more different.

It is supplied as a multi-function/training wrist watch which fits my slender 16cm circumference wrist well. It’s slightly bulky but unlike even some watches, it doesn’t overlap my wrist so is comfortable to wear. The watch can be set to display heart rate (and time), time but also has a stopwatch function, countdown timer and alarm making it a useful and comfortable replacement for my everyday watch. An elasticated and fully-adjustable strap fits around my chest, securing with a novel twist-buckle arrangement. It needs to be fairly tight to work correctly and felt tight at first. However, after about 20 minutes I’d become accustomed to it and haven’t noticed since during the 2 weeks I’ve been wearing it.

I found the monitor very easy to set up thanks to the clear user manual written in correct English with no Chinglish in sight. On entering my date of birth and gender it automatically calculated my maximum heart rate (MHR). Throughout exercise, my heart rate is then shown as a percentage of MHR. If my heart rate should rise above (or fall below) the training zone range then the monitor will sound a warning been and the LED will flash red. The display is very clear and benefits from a backlight for use in dark conditions.

This is comfortable, accurate (checked via oximeter!) and a very good aid for personal training. For anyone who goes to a gym then the continuous ECG- accurate heart rate transmitter is compatible with most gym equipment. Personally, I don’t use it at a gym but while walking, cycling, occasional jogging and for bio-feedback, particularly for dealing with stressful situations when I can actively work on reducing stress levels and reducing my heart rate.

The heart rate monitor and chest strap are both water resistant, ie will withstand sweat and a light shower but neither are waterproof. Personally I would have liked a waterproof watch I could wear in the shower and have to remember to remove it. The elastic strap can be detached from the transmitter for washing however.

Manufacturer support is very good and reassuring. I would definitely recommend a visit to the manufacturer’s website which includes an instructional set-up video, downloadable instructions and further tips along with an online-chat facility providing full backup and support. The monitor also has a reassuring 18 month warranty.

For anyone keen to monitor their heart rate either as part of a fitness and exercise training programme, for bio-feedback or medical reasons, then this is a very easy heart rate monitor to use which is both comfortable to wear, reliable and accurate. Should mine ever be lost or broken then I wouldn’t hesitate to replace it instantly.


Noah And Theo Semi Metallic Disc Brake Pads fit Promax DSK-310, DSK-710, DSK-715, DSK-717, DSK-720, DSK-913, Decipher, Solve, Render and Render-R
Noah And Theo Semi Metallic Disc Brake Pads fit Promax DSK-310, DSK-710, DSK-715, DSK-717, DSK-720, DSK-913, Decipher, Solve, Render and Render-R
Offered by Noah And Theo
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to fit and very visible. Grip well in all conditions and silent after bedding in., 5 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered these for use on my folding hybrid bike for use in all weather. I live in a hilly area and wanted brake pads which will be sufficiently durable and long-lasting to cope with a lot of long, downhill runs, often in wet conditions and on lanes prone to mud in winter.

These were easy to fit and are supplied with a spring. I also found the bright yellow colour easier to see than the more conventional black when aligning the pads beside the rotor. They took a few miles and heavy braking to ‘bed in’ and there were a few low squeaks rather than squeals but after 10 miles they worked perfectly and silently.

Very happy and would buy again.


Etekcity High Precision 5kg-180kg Slim Design Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale with Backlight Display, Black
Etekcity High Precision 5kg-180kg Slim Design Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale with Backlight Display, Black
Offered by Etekcity Corporation
Price: £35.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sleek and stylish, easy to use and accurate, glass-topped bathroom scales, 4 Feb. 2016
Disclosure: I received a complimentary product in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review

This is a very sleek and stylish set of bathroom scales which look smart in any setting, especially a modern bathroom or bedroom. They are also some of the easiest ever to use.

Using them is as simple as inserting the two supplied AAA batteries on the underside, pressing the button to switch to imperial weight if you prefer not to use the default metric kg setting and then standing the scales which switch on automatically. My first observation was how large and comfortable the weighing platform is: on other scales, I’ve had to stand with my feet very close together because they’ve been so narrow, or stand with my ankles almost hanging off the scale, which doesn’t make for the most accurate weighing performance. These are a more generous size at 30cm square.

They are completely stable in use with no wobble and, thanks to non-slip rubberised pads on the reverse, they don’t slip either.

The top plate is glass which is cold to step onto (so I kept my socks on) but this also means that if used in a damp bathroom, there is nothing to rust ensuring a long life

Weight is registered within about 3 seconds of standing on the scales, displayed on a clear backlit LCD panel and is accurate. After use, the scales turn off automatically.


Weiyi Portable & Waterproof 5W Wireless Bluetooth Speaker With 12 Hour Battery Life & Multi-Functional With AUX and TF Card Slot- Bass and High Definition Sound (Yellow)
Weiyi Portable & Waterproof 5W Wireless Bluetooth Speaker With 12 Hour Battery Life & Multi-Functional With AUX and TF Card Slot- Bass and High Definition Sound (Yellow)
Offered by WEIYI TECHNOLOGY STORE
Price: £20.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Well-designed and well made quality waterproof 5W speaker for indoor or outdoor use, 4 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disclosure: I received a complimentary product in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review

This is a well-made, unusually designed and interestingly-packaged Bluetooth speaker which arrives very well presented inside a plastic display casing also suitable for storing and carrying the speaker plus its supplied audio and USB cables. The Bluetooth speaker itself is robust and sturdy with a strong and durable tough, rubberised outer casing and is designed for real life, ie where it is going to be used, maybe dropped, splashed or mis-handled but that’s not a problem because it will survive them all.

At 7.5cm diameter and 4.3cm thick, it is very compact, easy to handle and perfect for slinging into a bag for use when traveling – which it is ideal for, or carrying in its plastic travel case. Being splashproof, it can be used outdoors in the rain or in a steamy bathroom. A carabineer is also supplied with allows it to be hung from a backpack, bike, tent or tree to suit your needs.

The speaker charges via micro-USB with its charging port accessed beneath a silicone-rubber covered port with firmly-fitting cap, one of the best I’ve seen. Adjacent to the USB charging port is a micro-SD memory card slot enabling music/audio to be played directly from a card. All other controls (volume up/down, repeat/skip track) are similarly rubberised and can be operated easily with wet or gloved hands thanks to its large buttons. My Ulefone Android phone, Toshiba laptop and various-brands of Android tablets identified it (Weiyi WY-M1) within seconds and paired quickly with a confirmatory male voice prompt (“connected”) from the speaker together with a tone, indicating it is ready for use. There is also an auxiliary input via the micro-USB port and a combined audio jack (out) to micro-USB (in) allowing the speaker to be used with non-Bluetooth devices.

Audio quality is good. It offers 5W which is louder than many similar-size speakers which tend to offer just 3W output. The audio is also superior, as expected, to the speakers on my phones, tablets and laptop with reasonable bass, good volume and no tinny rattles or vibrating in use. During an incoming phone call, music is paused and the phone call routed via the speaker which, again, is so much clearer than my phone (and I would always recommend a Bluetooth speaker to anyone with hearing difficulties when using a phone). Battery life is extremely good at up to 12 hours hours of playback from its large 1000mAh battery which is double the capacity found on many similar speakers of this size.

Pros:
Smartly presented
Rugged build – built to withstand real life
Splashproof
NFC
Micro-SD socket to play music direct from memory card
Easy to pair with
Very good volume (5W) for its size
Large 1,000mAh battery
Small, compact, lightweight
Perfect for travel

Cons
Struggling to find any....

This is perfect for anyone who needs a more rugged Bluetooth speaker for use in damp/wet environments and is especially good for use when traveling due to its long battery life .


TaoTronics Wireless Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker (6W Dual Stereo, Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, NFC Pairing, 10 Hour Battery Life) for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Nexus, HTC, Smartphones, Tablets
TaoTronics Wireless Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker (6W Dual Stereo, Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, NFC Pairing, 10 Hour Battery Life) for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Nexus, HTC, Smartphones, Tablets
Offered by Sunvalleytek-UK
Price: £99.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality waterproof speaker producing quality, mellow sound, 4 Feb. 2016
Disclosure: I received a complimentary product in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review

This is a well-made and very smartly designed Bluetooth speaker with a rubberised top and bottom and grille to the front and rear. It stands proudly on any desk or worktop and with its rubberised base, doesn’t slide around and won’t scratch delicate surfaces either.

At 16cm long x 6.4cm tall and 2.9cm deep diameter it is a sleek but stable speaker which will look good on a desk, in the lounge, on a kitchen worktop or bedside table, ie suitable for use in any room within the house or in an office. Equally, due to being waterproof, it can also be used in a damp environment such as the bathroom or outdoors in rain. Build quality feels especially good and it is supplied with a clear userguide written in correct English(!) along with a USB charging cable and audio cable.

Beneath a rubberised cover on one end is the micro-USB charging port together with a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack allowing the speaker to be used with non-Bluetooth devices such as MP3 players, portable CD/DVD players and MP4 players.

The controls are easily accessed on the top surface – ie the play/pause, power button and + and – buttons which control the volume, skip and repeat functions.

On switching it on, the speaker plays a few tones . My Ulefone Android phone, Toshiba laptop and various-brands of Android tablets identified it (Taotronics TT-SK09) within seconds and paired almost instantly with a single confirmatory bleep and no synthesised voice prompts. Audio playback quality is very good – it always seems to be with TaoTronics products and volume is good although due the size of the speaker, I would have anticipated a 5W output rather than just the 3W it provides. The sound is rich and mellow and the bass is more prominent than on some other speakers I’ve used. It would be especially good for listening to classical music or ‘easy listening’ rather than ‘head-banging’(!).

During an incoming phone call, music is paused and the phone call routed via the speaker which, again, is so much clearer than my phone (and I would always recommend a Bluetooth speaker to anyone with hearing difficulties when using a phone). Battery life (1000mAh) is very good at 8 hours stated (I managed 6.5 hours stop-start) and a recharging time of hours of 3 is relatively short but there’s no need to wait for it because it speaker can be used during charging.

The speaker is also equipped with NFC but none of my kit has this so I was unable to test it but have no doubts that it will function as well as the rest of the speaker.

Pros:
Good quality build
Waterproof
Features include NFC
Attractive, simple design
Easy to pair with
Very long playing time (up to 8 hours)
Large capacity battery (1000mAh)
European CE stamp
Helpful user manual written in correct English
Perfect for indoor use

Cons:
No micro-SD card
Lower volume than expected for size (3W but anticipated 5W)

This is a good quality speaker with a quality build and quality sound. I would consider it to be more of an ‘adults’ speaker for listening to ‘easy listening’ music indoors or out and at home or away where it will produce mellow tones for up to 8 hours on a single charge. I would definitely buy this myself and recommend it without hesitation.
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2 Pack Universal Car Back Seat Headrest Hanger Holder Hook for Bag Purse Cloth Grocery (Black)
2 Pack Universal Car Back Seat Headrest Hanger Holder Hook for Bag Purse Cloth Grocery (Black)
Offered by hotonline
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious idea to hold bags on or behind car/van seats, 4 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disclosure: I received a complimentary product in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review

Although intended for use on the back of car seats, these are also useful for securing items on car seats too!

They are cleverly designed loops which clip onto the post beneath the head restraint and will hold a bag/bags, weighing up to 8kg, securely in place behind a vehicle seat. They work well for this but I am using mine to hold bags on the passenger-less seats instead. I often find that when driving down hills or braking that bags on the passenger seat/s tend to slide off onto the floor and into the footwell but by clipping one of these onto the head restraint and looping bag handles around them, they remain securely in place. No longer do bags tip over or slide off seats – and it’s thanks to such a simple, yet very effective, idea.

A great purchase. I’m surprised these haven’t been thought of sooner because they’ve been needed for a very long time!

Very effective for hanging bags behind seats or securing bags on seats – such a simple idea which works.
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Etekcity Steel Portable Rechargeable 560 Hours Recording Digital Audio Voice Recorder/ Dictaphone & MP3 Music Player with Built-in Loudspeaker, Digital Clock and Alarm Function (Black, 8GB)
Etekcity Steel Portable Rechargeable 560 Hours Recording Digital Audio Voice Recorder/ Dictaphone & MP3 Music Player with Built-in Loudspeaker, Digital Clock and Alarm Function (Black, 8GB)
Offered by Etekcity Corporation
Price: £36.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Highest quality voice recorder I've ever seen, with simple menus and crisp, clear recordings - very impressed!, 4 Feb. 2016
I use voice recorders almost daily so was very pleased to be offered this voice recorder from Etekcity in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review.

First impressions were good. It arrives packed in a a branded Etekcity presentation box complete with instruction manual written in real English (no Chinglish) amongst other recognised European languages and USB charger/connection cables and earphones are included.

Build quality is exceptionally good and the best I've seen with an all-metal construction offering durability. Measuring a mere 10x3.8x0.8cm, it is amongst the most compact voice recorders I have used and very much smaller than my Philips, Sony and Olympus voice recorders. To the top are stereo microphones, a micro-USB charging/connection port on one side and an audio-out 3.5mm jack socket to the other side. There is no microphone socket – disappointingly.

A particular strength of this recorder is its very clear menu system which puts some ‘top brands’ to shame. Simply switch on, select the mode and choose between MP3 or WAV and the bit-rate if you wish, or simply stick with the factory settings. 8013mb of internal recording space are available offering up to 560 hours recording time at 32KBPS in MP3 format or 10 hours at the best quality 1536KBPS WAV recording.

Recording quality is nothing short of excellent with crisp, clear recordings in every scenario tested, ie meetings, lectures (so much easier than scribbling notes and I find it easier to learn from listening to lectures again rather than reading through semi-illegible notes) and voice memos. I use mine mostly for recording meetings but also memos when out recording walking/cycle routes rather than writing up outdoors. It’s so easy to make a reliable recording, download it when home and then type it up. The best recording quality was when hand-held recording close to the subject where the quality is quite outstanding and greatly exceeded my already high expectations.

This is a superb voice recorder, ideal for recording meetings, conversations, show rehearsals, lectures, language class – anything at all and produces high-quality stereo recordings.


Valentine's Day Gift for Her #1 Elegant Ladies Titanium 4 Element Magnetic Balance Bracelet 1/4' in Gift Box
Valentine's Day Gift for Her #1 Elegant Ladies Titanium 4 Element Magnetic Balance Bracelet 1/4' in Gift Box
Offered by Starista
Price: £69.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual titanium bracelet with potential health benefits (and included link-removal tool), 4 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was intrigued by this bracelet and its apparent health benefits but as I was suffering with a nasty cold at the time of being offered it in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review, I jumped at the opportunity.

Described as recommended for people who:
- spend a lot of time driving (I live in a campervan for 3 days per week),
- a lot of time on a computer (18 hours per day – yep, I qualify),
- have cold hands/feet (tick again), catch colds easily (my second in as many months),
- have an ‘irregular lifestyle and are often sleepless’ (yes, that’s me again)

... I feel I am the perfect candidate to test it.

The bracelet arrived attractively packed in a Starista-branded gift box, well-presented in black velvet-flocked foam and, to my surprise, a free link removal tool is included for adjusting the length of the bracelet. This alone can be worth around £10, or more if bought from a jeweller for shortening watch straps. I have quite slender wrists and needed to remove two links immediately to gain the best fit.

It is a gold tone with silver, very durable but also a most unusual design. It fastens with a reassuringly firm clasp to ensure there is no danger of it falling off or becoming lost so can be worn with confidence.

I have now been wearing the bracelet for a few weeks and trying to observe whether I have felt any health benefits. My cold has subsided but whether this is due to the bracelet or a natural recovery is uncertain. One thing I have noticed though is that I am sleeping a lot better than I have in years and have definitely felt more relaxed. Only time will tell whether this can be attributed to the bracelet or not but even if it isn’t then it is still at attractive and unusual bracelet so earns its 5-stars anyway and any health benefits are an added bonus.


Litom HeadlightLITOM White/Red LED Headlamp with 168Lumen,110 Meters Spotlight, 6 Illumination Modes, Long Battery Life, Portable Work Lights, Cycling Safety Reflectors for camping, hiking, ect.
Litom HeadlightLITOM White/Red LED Headlamp with 168Lumen,110 Meters Spotlight, 6 Illumination Modes, Long Battery Life, Portable Work Lights, Cycling Safety Reflectors for camping, hiking, ect.
Offered by GoldenSwing
Price: £22.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good headtorch, very powerful for size - plus motion-activated option, 4 Feb. 2016
Disclosure: I received a complimentary product in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review

This is a good quality head torch which stands out from many of the rest due to having two light modes – white light for general use and a red mode which is good for night vision.

It is a compact and lightweight headtorch ideal for daily (or nightly!) use. It’s small and light enough to carry in a pocket until needed and very comfortable to wear on its firm, adjustable elasticated head band. The lamp unit can be angled to point downwards to illuminate the ground which is ideal for night walks through woodland or along footpaths. Angled straight ahead, it is ideal for walking along smooth roads or cycling.

On the white light, there are three brightness modes – high (168 lumens - ideal for walks in pitch black conditions), medium ( lumens - ideal for walks through non-hazardous areas on smooth ground) and dim (10 lumens - ideal for ensuring you are visible in the dark but will also provide limited illumination for walking) plus a flashing strobe. The red light is ideal for night walking particularly in areas of wildlife as it seems to affect deer, badgers and other wildlife less than a bright white light. The red mode has just one lamp mode producing a medium level light plus a flashing stroble.

Although the operation buttons ares easy to use, it can also be set to a motion-activated mode whereby the lamp is switched on or off by simply waving a hand in front of it. This is particularly useful when it’s not practical or easy to use the switch eg with wet hands, cold hands or dirty hands.

The torch is powered by three AAA batteries – I’ve used rechargeables and enjoyed good performance from them.

This is a good, well-made, IPX6-rated headtorch for outdoor use, ideal for walking, camping, cycling or other outdoor activities, performs reliably and well and is surprisingly powerful for its size. Packed in branded box so would be suitable for a gift.
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Luggage Scale FREETOO Portable Digital Scale Hanging Luggage/Suitcase Scale With Tare Function for Travel/Outdoor/Home Use,110 lb/ 50KG Capacity(Red)
Luggage Scale FREETOO Portable Digital Scale Hanging Luggage/Suitcase Scale With Tare Function for Travel/Outdoor/Home Use,110 lb/ 50KG Capacity(Red)
Offered by Freetoo
Price: £22.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Super, easy to use and very reliable scale for weighing luggage, caught fish, gas bottles..., 4 Feb. 2016
Disclosure: I received a complimentary product in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review

This is a very useful and accurate luggage scale capable of weighing up to 50kg. Using it is as easy as switching it on via the power button beside the display, hanging a suitcase, travel bag or other item to be weighed to the webbing hook and loop then suspending it freely to record its weight on the clear backlit LCD display.

It is always a bit awkward to hold heavy items on a scale but the best method is to keep the item to be weighed as low as possible or simply lift items slowly and gently off the ground via the scale. Once they are clear of the ground then their weight can be recorded. This method saves a lot of aching arms and swinging loads which can contribute to an inaccurate reading.

The scale is very well-made, reliable and accurate and it’s also very comfortable to hold. Build quality is good and I was especially pleased to see the webbing loop arrangement rather than just a hook. I find the scales with a hook can be difficult to use because the item to be weighed will often not fit conveniently onto the hook then slips and falls off and many suitcase handles are padded and too large to fit on. The webbing loop overcomes all of these problems and makes the scale easier to use. Although I use metric kg, the scale can also weigh in imperial pounds.

Using a scale such as this enables luggage weight to be checked at home rather than the airport so there will be no unexpected excess baggage charges or having to leave items at the airport rather than pay for them making them essential for all travellers with luggage.

I also use the scale for a range of other purposes such as weighing our pet rabbits who, at 6-8kgs, are too heavy for conventional kitchen scales but too light for a reliable weight from our bathroom scales. Fishermen/women will also find them useful for weighing a catch.

This scale is also perfect for weighing the gas bottles in our campervans. The bottles don’t have any sort of gauge so, before using this scale, it was pure guesswork to estimate how much gas might be left in the bottle. I now know the bottle weighs 9kg when full, it contains 3.9kg of gas so the bottle itself weighs 5.1kg. So, when the bottle weighs 5.2kg then I know it's close to empty and at 5.1kg will be completely empty which helps me plan ahead to ensure I don't run out of gas mid-way through cooking dinner. I think any campervan or boat-owner will relate to this scenario and appreciate the benefits of this scale as well as travellers needing to weigh luggage.

They are excellent sales, fast and accurate with a very clear, easy to read, backlit display. Also lightweight to carry with your luggage too. Very highly recommended and exceptional value for money.


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