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OMG! It's got a plug! (Winchester)

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Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avant-pop-jazz oddessy, 21 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Blackstar (MP3 Download)
An Avant-pop-jazz oddessy and more or less a song of two halves. The first 4 minutes are programmed beats with saxophone drifting in and out of the mix and Bowie, both lyrically and vocally, sounding very much like a latter day Scott Walker. After a spooky interlude the song completely changes direction and I suspect that Bowie has spliced two seperate recordings together. Musically it's more upbeat, optimistic and conventional sounding with plenty of hooks although a nagging (and addictive) synthesised "I'm a Blackstar" vocal refrain ensures that things never get too comfortable. It then cleverly drifts back to the sound of the first half of the record and closes out with added flute and some brief fractured saxophone blasts. An adventurous record that bodes well for the forthcoming album which, if this is anything to go by, will be a much more complex affair than The Next Day.

TeckNet® M002 Nano Wireless Mouse,6 Buttons,18 Month Battery Life,2000 DPI 3 Adjustment Levels-Black
TeckNet® M002 Nano Wireless Mouse,6 Buttons,18 Month Battery Life,2000 DPI 3 Adjustment Levels-Black
Offered by Hippidion.Store
Price: £9.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Value for money wireless mouse, 8 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been using this for 6 months and it's still using the same battery. It's smooth with responsive buttons and scrolling wheel. The buttons did seem to click loudly at first but I don't notice it now. The USB connector is tiny and small enough to leave in my laptop at all times even when it's being transported around in it's case. It also works perfectly with my Android TV box and is so much easier to use than the remote. The build is decent (not quite the standard you get with a £30 Logitech mouse) but more than good enough for home use. All things considered, it's a bargain.

Loaded: Reloaded 45th Anniversary Edition
Loaded: Reloaded 45th Anniversary Edition
Price: £48.17

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overloaded 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition, 2 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just like the three other VU 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe editions, Loaded Reloaded comes in a large book style format. It contains fives CDs and and one audio DVD but I think this one is only for VU obsessives and collectors who own the previous three releases. All of the demos, alternate versions and outtakes feature on the 1997 two disc "Loaded: Fully Loaded" edition. There's a "Promotional Mono Version" of the album and "Live at Max's Kansas City" is also included but 'Who Loves the Sun' and 'Sweet Jane (Version 2)' that featured on the 2004 two disc reissue are both missing. The 11 track Live at Second Fret, Philadelphia set from May 1970 proves that no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. It's unlistenable. The notes do acknowledge that it's only included for "historical significance" but as a listening experience it really is insignificant and the worst officially released recording I can recall.

The DVD is strictly for serious VU aficionados who also happen to be serious audiophiles. It consists of a 5.1 Surround Sound Remix, a 5.1 Surround Sound to Stereo Downmixes and a Flat Transfer of the Original Stereo album. I haven't played it and won't ever be playing it but if you're into that sort of thing then I'm sure it's something to get excited about.

Overall, time has been kind to Loaded. It's the band's most straightforward album but it's a quality album that does contains some classic songs, especially the three opening tracks and 'New Age'. If you already own "Loaded" and are thinking of upgrading, opt for the two disc Fully Loaded edition instead because it represents much better value than this excessively bloated box set. I suppose I don't blame the label for releasing it and it does sit neatly alongside the other three Super Deluxe releases but when taken out of that context, it's just another chance to cash in and exploit blokes aged thirty-something and upwards like myself who really should know better!

One For All URC 7110 Essence TV Universal remote
One For All URC 7110 Essence TV Universal remote
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Works with Sainsburys Celcus except for a couple of buttons, 12 Oct. 2015
I needed an inexpensive replacement remote control for a cheap Sainsburys Celcus TV and this was less expensive than buying a Celcus one. Set up was easy and it works OK except the Guide button doesn't work. However, you can see what's on now and next without going through each channel individually by using the Info button and the Up / Down keys. Also, the option to change the screen size/ratio button doesn't work but you can change it when it doesn't adjust automatically by going into the television's settings menu. Surprisingly, it takes 4 AAA batteries.

TTfone Jupiter 2 Big Button Easy Senior Sim Free Mobile Phone Emergency Button and Dock Charger
TTfone Jupiter 2 Big Button Easy Senior Sim Free Mobile Phone Emergency Button and Dock Charger
Price: £32.31

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good phone with some decent and some pointless features, 8 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Small, slim and lightweight this phone worked straight out of the box after inserting an existing Vodafone PAYG SIM card. It feels solid and the screen is big and bright and the backlit keypad has big and easy to see and press buttons. By default an (annoying) voice tells you which numbers you have pressed on the keypad, but this can be switched-off if it’s not needed.

The initial setup is relatively straightforward but technophobes will almost definitely need a helping hand. Thereafter, finding, calling and texting contacts stored on the phone is very easy. The reception is strong and clear at both ends and texting is a breeze with the big buttons.

Features include a FM Radio, torch, alarm, speed dial and an SOS alarm. It also has a headphone socket, a built in speaker and comes with a handy charging cradle and a pair of basic earphones.

For the SOS alarm, you can add up to five contacts who will all receive an SOS text message and the phone will then automatically call each contact until it receives an answer. It’s possible to pre-set 8 speed dial numbers but you’ll need to memorise them or write them down.

There are four buttons – two on either side - for adjusting the volume, turning the radio on/off, locking/unlocking the keypad and turning the torch on/off. They’re quite small but not too fiddly.

The reception on the FM Radio is very good but you need to use the earphones or a 3.5mm jack lead (the wire acts as an aerial) to get the clearest reception. You can pre-set and individually name up to 60 radio stations!

It can be fitted with a MicroSD card for storing music and photos and I've fitted it with a 16GB MicroSD card. For the phone to recognise mp3 files and photos I had to put the them into the relevant folders – 'Music' and 'Photos' respectively - that were automatically created on the card (along with a few others) when I connected the phone to my laptop using the supplied USB cable. Music plays back fine via the built in speaker but if you connect it to a portable speaker using a 3.5mm lead (see photo) it sounds amazingly good. It's really not worth bothering with photos – they’re just displayed as tiny thumbnails.

It also has Bluetooth but I'm not entirely convinced that a phone aimed at the senior market needs it – it's not always the most straightforward of technologies and having connected the phone to a Bluetooth speaker, the sound was very weak and tinny and it sounded worse than the phone's built in speaker. The user manual mentions sending and receiving files via Bluetooth (including business cards!) but if anyone really wanted that sort of functionality, they wouldn't be buying a phone that is basic in almost every other aspect compared to what's available nowadays.

For the money this is an all round very good phone that's straightforward to use and has some really useful features. I'm not convinced that the Bluetooth functionality is altogether necessary and the option to display photos is pointless given they're displayed too small to distinguish one from the other.
Comment Comment | Permalink

Nobo Barracuda Mobile Easel Whiteboard Flipchart with Magnetic and Height-adjustable features - 1000 x 700 mm
Nobo Barracuda Mobile Easel Whiteboard Flipchart with Magnetic and Height-adjustable features - 1000 x 700 mm
Price: £124.67

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good white board / flip chart holder but needs a bigger and better bolt, 4 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Assembled in less than five minutes, this is a sturdy whiteboard that can be wheeled around the primary school that my girlfriend teaches in with no problems whatsoever. Its height can be adjusted, the whiteboard is magnetic and chip resistant and it can be used with a flip chart. It has a tray for pens and you can lock it into position using the wheel brakes. I've included a couple of photos to give an idea of what it looks like when set up in a classroom.

Overall it's very good with just one negative aspect regarding the bolt used to hold it at your desired height. It’s way too small (see photo) to get a proper grip of making it very difficult to turn as you hold the board at the height you want to adjust it to. It’s made of plastic and it just feels like it could easily sheer and break because you've got to turn it really hard for it to hold the adjustable pole in place. It needs a bigger steel bolt with a wing nut type turning handle because as it is, it takes two people to adjust the height.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2016 3:41 PM GMT

OPPO R7 Plus Dual SIM-Free 4G Smartphone - Golden (Amazon UK exclusive)
OPPO R7 Plus Dual SIM-Free 4G Smartphone - Golden (Amazon UK exclusive)

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive feature packed phone with very long lasting battery, 2 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
From build quality to performance, the Oppo R7 Plus is a very impressive phone. Running Android 5.1.1, it’s overlayed with Oppo’s ColourOS that gives it an almost Android/iOS hybrid look. I like the clean look and layout and it all makes for a really smooth experience with plenty of cool features. There was an update of ColourOS waiting to be installed.

Build – slim design, subdued gold aluminium back and a full gorilla glass sheet front, it feels solid, reassuringly heavy and it has a LOT of screen space. It exudes class and style.

Battery – the 4100 mAh capacity is massive and it lasts for a couple of days during relatively heavy usage (I can get 8-10 hours usage when browsing the web whilst streaming music to a Bluetooth speaker, with the screen brightness turned down (the screen is the biggest battery drainer)). It comes with a fast USB charging cable and a full charge takes around 90 minutes but 30 of those minutes are spent filling up the last 15%. The back of the phone is non-removable so there's no option to change the battery.

Display – colours appear rich, detailed and well balanced. Whether watching video, surfing or reading, it looks good. It's not amazing in strong sunlight but if you reduce the brightness it's OK.

Performance – it copes with ease even when I have a lot of apps running concurrently with no noticeable pauses.

Storage – 22GB of the 32GB capacity is available and it can be supplemented by a MicroSD card. I’ve fitted a 128GB MicroSD card which allows me to carry about half of my music collection with me at all times.

Phone – excellent reception and call quality. You can either fit dual nano SIM cards or one nano SIM and a MicroSD card. There's a little slide out drawer on the side of the phone making it easy to swap and change cards.

Camera & Video – neither are jaw-dropping in terms of quality but they're more than acceptable for social media and what I’d expect for a mid range phone like this. There are loads of features and functions – filters, GIF animation, Ultra HD, panorama, etc - and the menu is really well laid out and an absolute breeze to use.

Sound – the built in speaker is good and music sounds superb when using headphones. I normally use the paid for version of Poweramp but prefer the layout and design of Oppo's music player app.

Features - lots of cool features including the finger print recognition tab located on the back that just works as it should everytime. When playing music whilst the phone is sleeping you can pause it and skip backwards and forwards using pre-defined swipes and if the phone is sleeping and you want to use the camera just swipe a circle shape on the screen and the camera opens up immediately. You can set up custom gestures too. There are also three eye protection settings that filter out the blue light to reduce eye strain that works really well.

Apps – it comes pre-installed with all the usual Google apps and some useful multimedia, productivity and maintenance apps and a couple that I don’t really want or need that can’t be uninstalled but it's not really a problem given the 32GB capacity.

In the box there's a clear silicone case, screen protector (already applied), a pair of earphones and a plug with a high speed USB cable. The case and screen protector provide more than enough protection with the case adding very little to the overall size.

In summary, this is a quality phone that does what it does very well and I really do like the layout, design and functionality of ColourOS. It's good that you can upgrade its capacity at a time when a lot a Android manufacturers are ditching the MicroSD card slot. I'm not much of a camera user so it’s no big deal for me but if photo and video quality are a big deal for you, you're probably looking at the wrong phone. Most definitely recommended if you're looking for a phone to go with a SIM only contract (I'm using mine with a giffgaff rolling contract). 4½ stars.

UE BOOM Wireless Mobile Speaker - Black Night (discontinued by manufacturer)
UE BOOM Wireless Mobile Speaker - Black Night (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by TheBuzzer
Price: £149.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boom! Excellent speaker with loads of features and long lasting battery, 18 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
*Amazon are mixing up reviews for different UE speakers. This is a review for the UE Boom*

**To access all of the features (and there are some good ones!) that the UE Boom offers, you need to firstly carry out a firmware update (see link in comment below) and secondly, install the iOS or Android app (search 'UE Boom' in the relevant app store)**


Weighing 600g and about the same size as a packet of biscuits, the UE Boom is designed to be stood upright. It has a D-Ring that you can use to suspend the speaker (very useful in a tent!) or you can remove the D-Ring and mount it on a standard camera tripod. The outer shell is made of a tightly woven fabric type material and black rubber. It has two big buttons - Volume Up & Down - on the side with the Bluetooth button and the On/Off button on the underside and the USB lead and 3.5mm jack lead connections on the top.

I can confirm from a couple of wet camping weekends that it is definitely waterproof and if you get it dirty (which I haven't yet) the UE Boom website advises using soapy water to clean it.


The sound quality is rich & detailed and with the volume turned up to the max on your device and the speaker, it literally fills a house with music blasting out at 360 degrees. With the app installed, you can either custom set the Boom's EQ levels or use one of four presets.

As good as it is, even when adjusting the EQ levels, it does not have the overall depth of the Bose SoundLink Mini (I don't think any sub £200 speaker does) but the UE Boom is not really designed for stay at home digital audiophiles, it's designed for the great outdoors and parties where volume is everything. Having said that, it's perfectly acceptable for home use.


The battery takes a few of hours to get a full charge using the supplied USB cable and plug and when fully charged with the volume on my Android smartphone and the speaker both set around the 60-70% mark I've been getting more or less the advertised 15 hours of playback time. You can keep check of the battery level by pressing the Volume Up & Down button simultaneously.


Both my Android phone and iPad connect first time every time and you can have two devices connected to it at the same time (but it will only playback from one device at a time). The Bluetooth range is really good and when within 15 metres it never drops out. If you really have to wander any further away with your device, especially outdoors, then interruptions do start occurring.


It has some really well thought out and useful features and you'll need the app to access some of them.


Using the app, set the alarm time, select what music to play (either the last played music or select an album or track from your device's music library) and turn the speaker off. The speaker will then switch itself on and play the selected music at the time set. If the last played music was from a streaming service i.e. Google Play Music it will pick up from where it left off – amazing!

Doubling Up:

Using the app, you can set up two UE speakers to play from the same music source simultaneously (not used).

Adjustable EQ Levels:

As already mentioned, you can custom set the EQ levels in the app or use one of four pre-sets – The Standard, Bass Jump, Cramped Spaces & Voices. To my ears it sounds best on Bass Jump when listening to music and Voice when watching Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc. (there is NO synch lag when watching streamed video).


If your Android device has Near Field Communication (NFC) capability all you need to do is hold your device next to the speaker for a couple of seconds to connect and likewise to disconnect. It works but it's not always as responsive as other NFC Bluetooth speakers I've used.


It can be used as a speakerphone. When your phone rings, the music is paused and you just press the Bluetooth button on the speaker to answer it. You hear the caller over the speaker and they can hear you and when you press the Bluetooth button again, the music resumes from where it left off. It works really well.


Overall, this is a superb speaker that has some really unique and well thought out features. If you're a stay at home wannabe digital audiophile then the Bose SoundLink Mini is definitely the better option but if you want to party in the garden or go down to the beach or camping and like your music loud and need a speaker that can cope with the rough, tumble and dirt better and has a battery that keeps on going, get this. If I have to find fault, the Volume Up & Down buttons do not double up to allow you to skip bacwards and forward between tracks, a feature that a lot of sub £30 portable speakers now have as standard. At the time of writing the price of this has dropped to just below £100, making it an absolute bargain. Finally, not that it matters too much, the packaging is really cool!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2015 5:40 PM BST

BT N300 Wi-Fi Extender (Booster) - White
BT N300 Wi-Fi Extender (Booster) - White
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT buy if you want to boost your Wi-Fi speed, 17 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This extender is very easy to set up and it was just a case of pressing the WPS button on my BT Home Hub 3.0 router and the WPS button on this (if you don’t have WPS there are instructions for manually adding it to your network). I then found a suitable location in my hallway where the indicator buttons showed it as being in 'Good Range'.

I have BT Infinity with the router upstairs and should expect speeds of up to 60mbps but (unexpectedly) normally get speeds of between 20-30mbps downstairs (respectable but nowhere near its full potential). I thought this would boost the speed of my Wi-Fi downstairs but it doesn't. When connecting to this extender instead of boosting the speed, it halves it to around 10-15mbps!

I've reset the extender a few times and moved it to different locations in the house but when carrying out speed tests it nearly always returns speed results of about half those of when I don’t use it. I had hoped that with my set up being BT and this being a BT manufactured extender it would give me speed boost downstairs but unfortunately it has the opposite effect.

If you’re looking to boost your Wi-Fi speed, do NOT buy this. It might extend your Wi-Fi range (results are a bit hit and miss looking at other reviews) but it won’t boost it.

Gigaset G-tag Personal Bluetooth Tracking Device - White
Gigaset G-tag Personal Bluetooth Tracking Device - White
Price: £17.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Potential but you need to drain your smartphone's battery to use to it effectively, 17 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a 21st century update of the whistle-and-find key ring attachment from the Eighties. Lightweight and measuring 4cm x 4cm x 0.7cm, it's primarily suited for attaching to your key ring or bag. It's fitted with a Bluetooth receiver but not a tracking device and therefore its usefulness is limited.

When attached to something, download the app and keep your smartphone's GPS, Bluetooth and, although not strictly necessary (the app nags you to activate it when it's turned off), Wi-Fi permanently turned on. Doing this will allow you to find the G-tag's general location (the app monitors and updates your device's location when it's paired with the G-tag via Bluetooth) and when you're within a 30m range you can, through a combination of the app's graphics and beeping sounds, pin-point the G-tag's exact location.

With a large degree of patience during the final pin-pointing process, it does work. However, the fact that you have to have your smartphone’s GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi permanently switched on for it to work effectively makes it a non-starter. Having the three of them switched just sucks the life out of the smartphone's battery very quickly and I don’t think it’s a worthwhile trade-off. Basically, if you switch off your smartphone's Bluetooth and, particularly, its GPS when you're out and about, you're stuffed!

It’s worth noting that the battery, despite what the product states blurb, is NOT easy to change. Apart from drilling the three security pins out (and therefore destroying the G-tag), I can see no other way of replacing the battery. Also, on my Android phone I had to turn off alerts from the app because they were endless. Switch your GPS, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on or off and it will alert you with a beep and screen pop-up and likewise if the G-tag is outside of your device’s Bluetooth range.

This has potential but until smartphones have much longer lasting batteries and the app is refined it is, unfortunately, a non-starter.

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