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Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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SHIELDON Classic Handmade 100% Genuine Natural Leather Wallet Case Flip Book Style for Apple iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inch only), with Stand Function, ID Holder, Credit Cards Slots - Mysterious Black
SHIELDON Classic Handmade 100% Genuine Natural Leather Wallet Case Flip Book Style for Apple iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inch only), with Stand Function, ID Holder, Credit Cards Slots - Mysterious Black
Offered by SHIELDON
Price: £65.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Crash tested, 25 Nov 2014
My Shieldon Flip case for the iPhone 6+ came well presented in a nice box; that reminded me of the presentation of a Sena case's packaging. open the box and you find the case was inside its own pouch. On first inspection after taking it out the actual phone case was well finished; the leather die was even as was the stitching. Opening the wallet fold revealed a rigid plastic phone holder on one side and 3 (very deep so they don't have to touch the screen) credit card slots as well as a receipt slot that opens from the spine. The plastic iPhone holder has cutouts for all the buttons and speakers on the phone so you can plug in your headphones or charger cable - and its easy to slot your phone in and out of the holder. After buying a phone case with card slots last year; I'm sold on benefit; it gives me an always with me slot for my work access key card; car park tickets and all the small things you need quickly during the day.

Having tried all kinds of phone cases in the past I generally avoided folding cases after a having a samsung that didn't fold back when you opened it so the case was always part open; even in your pocket. The Shieldon case has a nice supple leather that isn't showing cracks for dozens of calls made and closes up; but it stays closed thanks to magnets that hold it closed. The case does a great job in your wallet or bag in protecting the phone; when you are on your desk it has one more trick up its sleeve; it acts as a desk stand so you can easily see the screen even on the desk.

Being a klutz I have dropped it more than a few times since getting the phone; and the magnets keeping the case together has helped it protect the phone from dents or scratches - and unlike my Sena iPhone 5s case which sacrificed itself to save my phone when dropped; the shieldon case itself has survived the falls too without much of a scratch. Protection is really the most important task for a case and it has passed with flying colors. The card holder and desk stand features are lovely extras in a good looking case.

I was sent a Sample from Shieldon for review; I took off the official apple case to do this; and haven't put it back.


Sky News
Sky News
Price: £0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Needs a facelift., 15 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sky News (App)
One of the nicest things about the Amazon Fire TV is the excellent interface; tiles of content with descriptions being the general still. The Sky news app for Fire TV doesn't follow that trend and the presentation of the content makes it difficult to find content. The actual news articles are fine; but the app needs a facelift.


Willow Organic Beauty Classic Box, Lime & Lavender
Willow Organic Beauty Classic Box, Lime & Lavender
Price: £55.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Combination of Presentation and Quality that makes it stand out, 15 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Willow Organic Lime and Lavender gift set is excellently presented; the two soaps, candle and moisturiser come in a nice box; the bar of soap is even wrapped in tissue paper.

The four items in the box are Liquid Hand Soap, a bar of soap, a hand moisturiser and scented candle. All come in the lime a lavender fragrance; I like lavender and lime on their own; Willow and Brown have gone for more a hint of fragrance rather than overwhelming you with it; I do feel the overall effect of the two diminishes the earthier smell of the lavender.

The quality of the actual products is very high; using the pumped hand soap (in a nice 250ml sized square bottle) is very good and leaves my hands feeling nice and clean - though perhaps a little drier than I would have liked. After washing you can reach for the matching fragrance hand and body lotion; also in the squared pump bottle; and this was a pleasant surprise - often the moisturiser lets these gift sets down. The Willow and Brown organic moisturiser is feels rich and silky when you pump it onto your hands; it absorbs quickly and doesn't leave your hands feeling too greasy afterwards.

In both cases the pump dispenser itself gives you a good dose of the product and second pumps are rarely needed (unlike molton brown pumps.)

The bar of soap gives a lovely rich lather which is always nice to experience when you are used to liquid soaps. It doesn't have the lime and lavender fragrance of the other products being Orange, Lime and Bergamot which for me is a much nicer citrus combination than the lavender and lime of the other products. The final element is the candle; this has a subtle fragrance; in a typical spa effect it enhances the atmosphere of a room rather than choking it with perfume.

The overall quality of each of the the products is excellent; the moisturiser exceptionally so. The presentation is first rate; and as such it would make an excellent gift or treat for yourself. 5*


EXTRA Cool Breeze Sugar Free Chewing Gum 10 Pellets (Pack of 30)
EXTRA Cool Breeze Sugar Free Chewing Gum 10 Pellets (Pack of 30)
Price: £12.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Less intense mint than spearmint, 10 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like wriggles spearmint; and thought I would try these for a change. The texture is the same; an initial crunch with a nice soft gum and the flavour lasts reasonably well. That first crunch comes with a less intense mint hit than I prefer. For me the more intense hit of the extra spearmint gum is better. Otherwise these come in the same packaging and I love that my gum is shipped to my office from Scotland once a month.


Masterplug SRG62-MP 6 Gang Surge Protected Extension Lead 2m 13 Amp Fused
Masterplug SRG62-MP 6 Gang Surge Protected Extension Lead 2m 13 Amp Fused
Price: £10.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterplug's surge protected sockets were the choice for me as ..., 9 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Masterplug's surge protected sockets were the choice for me as they are very slim compared to a lot of other surge protectors and have sockets for wall mounting. I placed two into the backs of my entertainment cabinets to power up my home theatre system. Bulkiersurge protecters would have robbed the cabinets of space. The power lead at 2m long gets the extension lead from a socket to where you need it. There are two indicator lights to show you its powered up and surge protected.


LINDY 28 Super-Bright LED Torch Black
LINDY 28 Super-Bright LED Torch Black
Offered by EnergyMonitorWorld
Price: £9.03

4.0 out of 5 stars The rubberised power button is easy to find with your fingers and has a clean ..., 9 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Lindy 28 is a Light, bright-enough torch; weirdly powered by 3 triple a batteries- rather than 2 or 4. Its small enough to fit in a glovebox; or a bag (i always take a torch when i travel having suffered through a few power failures over the years.) Its bright enough to light a wide area; thought the light has a bluish led tint. The rubberised power button is easy to find with your fingers and has a clean light action.

Its a great value torch.


Manfrotto Professional 50 Roller Bag for Camera
Manfrotto Professional 50 Roller Bag for Camera
Price: £209.95

5.0 out of 5 stars No more backache, 9 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have carried tens of kilos of camera gear on my shoulder and back around the world for years now. After a trip earlier this year I was aware I had a very long trip planned in October - over 60 hours of flying - I decided enough was enough and it was time to stop carrying all that kit. Having been using a Manfrotto Pro backpack I looked at the range of roller bags; and settled on the /smaller/ one.

It may smaller than the 70 series but it still carries a enormous amount of equipment on the inside. The AW50 has a fully configurable camera interior using thick velcro attached padded cells. They are arranged in 3 channels by default but you can reconfigure it to your hearts content (or remove the lot to use it as a regular carry on bag. The bag as strong zippers - with plastic clips to prevent accidental opening. The zippers come together to form a padlock hole if you need a bit of security. On the outside the bag is discreet with a Manfrotto red dot and otherwise its black. On the outside the carrier has a tripod mount;and the other a quick access pocket for tickets or headphones. The whole bag also came with a rain jacket to cover it up. The bag has a fairly sturdy telescoping handle as well as carry handles on either end of the bag.

When packaging cameras into the bag the first thing to note is that this bag is deep; a Canon 28-70 sits vertically in the bag; a 70-200mm is too long to be packed vertically but sits horizontally with plenty of vertical room. The bag is deep enough that whilst test packing I was able to get the Sigma 150-500 into the bag with a pro body above the lens. The camera compartment is padded all under the lens as well; the lid of the bag isn't padded though. The lid has a couple of pockets; one for a very large laptop; a full width deeper pocket for a tablet and two zippered pockets for filters or cables.

Unless you are going to a professional photoshoot you can't really take the bag around with you all day so I took a small day pack (A Manfrotto Advanced Active Camera Bag Backpack) as I walked around each day.

Having got back from my trip I am giving a review after 30, 000 miles of flying ; the bag was fantastic change- moving around airports dragging my camera's made the experience much more pleasant (and less sweaty) - even the long walks at Bangkok Airport were more comfortable dragging my camera's rather than carrying them.


Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV
Price: £69.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So happy with the way it works, 9 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Amazon Fire TV (Electronics)
I have been using a Samsung Lovefilm app to watch amazon prime video for a while; and never been happy with the way it worked. The Netflix app was far superior; it had better search and the video quality and streaming was far superior. When the Prime launch offer for the Amazon Fire TV came out I ordered one on the spot; and have been using it for a few weeks before using this.

I am not entirely happy about having another set top box connected to my TV; but the Fire TV is small. Unlike Apple TV the included remote is a good size; and the buttons are easy to use. Connecting the Fire to my TV used another HDMI port. If you have a surround sound system (and its out of HDMI or doesn't have any HDMI sockets) there is a fibre optic cable to hook it up for surround sound. Once started up a wizard takes you through connecting the Fire to your wifi (there is an ethernet cable socket if you want to wire it in) and then a small training video plays. From plugging it in to watching a test episode of Scrubs was under 10 minutes.

The Fire is an outstanding device for streaming Prime video; with large onscreen information with a picture of the poster and a small introduction text to let you know where you are going. If you know what you want to watch you can press the voice search button on the remote; talk into it and the Fire does a voice search returning a few results you can select from. Streaming the video results in a quick switch to high quality if your network supports it. The Fire TV also allows for buying video outside of the Prime free video from Amazon and streaming it.

On the menus are a few extra's besides video; you can play games (there is a an optional game controller to help with that.) Amazon have included a photo viewing option - and i was disappointed it doesn't support Flickr; Intriguingly on the menu was Music; and selecting it all my amazon purchased CD's and mp3's were listed. Finally There is access to the Amazon Fire app store; and from there you can download apps from the Amazon app store which will let you stream video from other sources like Netflix and the BBC News/ iPlayer. Once installed the Netflix app is good; but lacks support for the voice for search which is a shame.

Apple have been playing with their TV for years and haven't come up with something as well rounded as the Fire TV. It is light years ahead of the app system on my TV and blu ray player. A unified search across prime and the installed apps would make this device absolutely perfect for video streaming; until then this is a stunning first effort.


Cole & Mason 190 mm Dark Wood and Stainless Steel Oldbury Gourmet Precision Pepper Mill, Brown
Cole & Mason 190 mm Dark Wood and Stainless Steel Oldbury Gourmet Precision Pepper Mill, Brown
Price: £34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars If the look of you're dinner table matters to you, 9 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As soon as you pick up the Cole & Mason pepper mill you can feel where your money is gone. The wood on the body is uniform around the mill; its silky smooth and has a even dark finish all over. The mill's design is then accented with two tactile brushed stainless steel on the mechanical elements. The top grinding element is smooth to turn using the large top and the coarseness is adjusted using the narrow band at the bottom. The adjustment band i stiff to use; once you have selected your desired coarseness you get a fairly even grind.

If the look of you're dinner table matters to you this is a nice looking, feeling and functional item that will sit well on yours.


Energizer Lithium Aaa Batteries X4
Energizer Lithium Aaa Batteries X4
Price: £7.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Power when you need it, 30 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I'm travelling around the UK I do the environmentally friendly thing and use eneloop rechargeable batteries and tolerate having to recharge them and keep track of charged v flat batteries all the time. My biggest gripe with recharging batteries is travelling somewhere and finding I have flat batteries when i really need it. As a result I switch over and travel with Energizer Lithium's when i go overseas.

I have found these Energiser lithiums have a number of benefits over my good rechargeable batteries; they are considerably lighter and more temperature tolerant - delivering power even when they are very cold; they also seem to be able to deliver more charge quicker for devices like flash guns so they can recycle quicker; but most importantly they last considerably longer than rechargeable batteries for everyday day tasks like my GPS or LED torch. This combination of benefits means I can travel with less batteries in my bag in the first place and be more confident there will be charge in them (

They aren't cheap; but they keep their charge for a long time in storage and outperform rechargeables when you need them.


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