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Reviews Written by
Trevor "schmorgs" (London)

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Garmin Vivoactive GPS Smart Watch with Sports Apps - Black
Garmin Vivoactive GPS Smart Watch with Sports Apps - Black
Price: £127.94

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs a bit of polish but so far so good, 22 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Been using a Vivofit activity monitor for the best part of the last year and was very impressed with it. Wore it 24x7 with the heartrate monitor, and loved the fact it was so easy to use. I literally had to press two buttons to start monitoring heart rate and then sync to my phone. Also haven't changed the battery yet!

So when I saw this announced in Jan and it could be used to check emails, etc, was very excited.

It arrived yesterday and to be honest, isn't as good as I hoped.

On the plus side
- battery seems to be good so far. It's at 80% but I have played with it constantly over the past day with a lot of GPS which is a known power eater
- It's very thin and light and I wore it to bed and didn't notice it was there so that's a good plus point.
- apps on the ConnectIQ site are free so downloaded a few extras to see the type of thing
- tested in the swimming pool today and it's definitely waterproof (phew!) as that's my main activity
- ANT+ heartrate monitor I already had works just fine (although I had to take the battery out of the monitor for it to sync with this and not my vivofit - not sure if that's normal)
- Notifications from my iPhone work but you need to make sure notification on your phone are set to appear as "alerts" if you want the sent to the watch

On the down side :
- The display is a fair bit smaller than the overall watch face size
- It's not very intuitive and I actually had to read the manual to work out a couple of things
- I know it's a more complex beast, but on the vivofit, I had to press one button to start monitoring my heartrate and it would automatically measure my workout). Here, I have to explicitly tell it I'm going for a run, etc. Would be good it if could automatically monitor and capture workouts
- I would like to be able to monitor my heartrate in real-time without specifying "I'm going for a walk", etc.
- Would like the watch to sync with the calendar on my phone (I use Google Calendar) but I believe it uses a Garmin calendar
- Vibrate function on the watch is very subtle. This could be a good thing I suppose, but if you're moving about, it's really easy to miss. The screen does light up as well though, so in the cinema today, I got quiet notifications of new emails which were easy to view inconspicuously.

Some of the down-side things may be due to my lack of knowledge on the product so far, and happy to be corrected on them, but they do detract from the overall usability.

So a mixed view at the moment, but I do like it, and it means I don't have to swap my watch when I go swimming/
There is a good scope for better apps and I'm hoping some keen people will come up with some killer apps, and that the watch framework doesn't limit what should be possible, and I'm hoping some of my usability issues will be fixed in future software upgrades.

VivoActive vs Apple Phone?
I'm sure the Apple quality will shine through, but for me, battery life is key and with this, it looks like it will easily last more than a week and I couldn't bear charging a watch which I use as an activity monitor (and watch) daily, and the Apple phone is not waterproof so I would have to keep taking it of, etc.

Like I said, for the price, I'm happy with it and I think it has a good future.

Bose ® MIE2i Mobile Headset (discontinued by manufacturer)
Bose ® MIE2i Mobile Headset (discontinued by manufacturer)

3.0 out of 5 stars Great quality *IF* you *ONLY* use them in a quiet environment, 1 Oct. 2014
Mixed feelings about this product.

My last in-earphones were Bowers and Wilkins C5. These sounded awesome, but were let down by two things :
1) Getting a good fit with the unique earpiece fitting was troublesome and they kept falling out.
2) The cable broke inside 3 times in a year (internally so lost sound in one ear). Believe me, I treated them well.

So time for a new pair, and I settled on these, because surely, Bose are the best, right?

They come with 3 ear fittings and I tried them all and to be honest, I could use any of them and the fit is really good. There's no pressure on the ears and I had them in for 2 hours today with no discomfort and no sense of them coming loose. After my C5's, this was awesome!

When I tried these out at home, I was immediately impressed. The bass was deep, there was possibly treble and detail I hadn't heard before, and was (possibly visibly!) excited :)

But the acid test was a trip to work on the underground, and herein lies the problem.

The buds don't go "in" the ear but kind of nestle just on the entrance to the canal, and unfortunately, do a terrible job of blocking external sounds. When the train goes underground, the external noise is way too much and even on full volume, the quality of these headphones is lost and they sound no better than a cheap pair.

After using for about a week, I now find that even busy roads overpower the sound, and it's such a shame. Especially at the cost!

I'm really disappointed by this as the quality in a quiet environment is really good, but I would seriously steer clear of these if you want to use in a noisy environment.

Bunny Alarm Clock Blue Child Sleep Trainer
Bunny Alarm Clock Blue Child Sleep Trainer

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but flawed, 4 July 2008
Our two year old can't tell the time and come summer time, was getting up around 5am, despite the blackout curtains. We decided to try this clock and it had the desired effect. We gradually got her up to 6:30 which was fantastic.

However, the device is mechanical and so if you set the alarm for 6:30 and your child is still asleep (rare I might add), then the loud "clunk" as the rabbit wakes up will almost certaing wake up the child.

Also, the alarm setting works on the 12 hour clock, so if you want to set the clock for 7:00, you won't be able to set if until about 19:15 as it's a bit sensitive.

Overall, a good idea, but would have been much better if the waking rabbit was not mechanical, and you could set the clock digitally.

A Present For Everyone
A Present For Everyone
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £4.63

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Life - Enjoy Busted, 26 Oct. 2003
This review is from: A Present For Everyone (Audio CD)
Okay, I've not heard the whole of the new album, but based on the last album and new single, I've no hesitation in recommending this one!
You know what it's like - you hear an album so good that before you've even heard the next album, you must have it?!
Well, that's me.
I'm probably older than 90% of the average Busted fan, but I still find their first album a breath of fresh air in the "fog" of mediocrity that's out there.
They write their own stuff, aren't the architypal boy-band look-alikes, and seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves in their careers.
So I eagerly await this album, and and based on the new single and accompanying video, I'm sure I won't be disappointed.
I only hope the Busted "jump" that I've been practising for the past year is still in fashion!!
Good luck boys.

Wouldn't it be Nice: My Own Story
Wouldn't it be Nice: My Own Story
by Todd Gold
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story and storyteller, 25 Oct. 2001
Without wanting to sound too over the top, this is by far and away the best book I've read in ages.
If you don't know a lot about Brian Wilson (as I didn't), then this book will be an eye-opener.
It's a shocking story of how easily Brian went from top of the world to rock bottom (no pun intended), and how hard he had to work to claw back even an ounce of dignity.
The book contains so many different storylines, you'd be forgiven for forgetting this is an autobiography. Child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, clinical depression and the "unconventional treatment" for it are only a handful of the things Brian has had to deal with.
What's really tragic about all this is that the people who were closest to him seemed only to care about helping him if it would help themselves.
The events in Brian's life make fascinating reading, and the story telling is frank and at times, shocking.
The book was written as part of the therapy for Brian's treatment for depression, which makes up for the majority of the book, but what a story!
It shows just how far in life (down and up) someone can go.
Whether you like the Beach Boys or not, this is an excellent example of how an autobiography should be written, and by the end, had felt most emotions at some point.
This book fits the "can't put down" category perfectly.

Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
by Tony Hawks
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, inspiring, and brilliant, 22 Jan. 2001
I only bought the book because it was cheap, but what a bargain!
Within 2 pages, I was hooked by the intriguing bet, and made sure I had the book open at every opportunity.
This is by far the funniest book I have read in the last year, and the way Tony Hawks effortlessly injects humour into even the most seemingly dull situation is brilliant.
Like the previous reviewer, I have ordered the "Round Ireland" book, and if it is half as entertaing as this, I won't be disappointed.
Have I mentioned brilliant yet?

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