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Mr. N. Bell "n99" (Bournemouth, UK)

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Samsung Extended Battery and Cover for Galaxy S II - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Samsung Extended Battery and Cover for Galaxy S II - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by total digital stores

4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, should have been supplied as stock, 4 May 2013
This is a great add on purchase. It adds hardly any weight or bulk - the new back panel is maybe 1-2mm further out. Given that the S2 is a very slim phone anyway and is not equally thick all the way across the back it really makes *no* difference to the look and the handling of the phone. In fact I wonder why Samsung did not use this as the stock battery - perhaps that last 1mm was important to them, or they wanted to generate extra profits by developing an extended use accessories market.

I am not a heavy phone user (no games, fair bit of 3g & wifi, internet radio, web browsing, music playing etc.) and can get two days and two nights from one charge from this battery. So a very handy improvement over stock.

Would have given it five stars if Samsung had released 'official' phone cases for this battery, or at least made all their standard cases fit. Given the tiny increment in size it should not have been too difficult. As it is you have to waste time on Google and xda-developers threads to figure out if the case you want will fit. Many do, but some official slim-fitting cases have been tested by online stores and do not. See below for my case choices.

Note there is a Samsung official larger case/extended (+1300Mah) battery for this phone that Amazon also sell. It adds a lot more bulk and some users report difficulty in its use as it has no on/off switch. I don't know if that only works with the stock S2 battery fitted or this one - again, Samsung missed a trick by not making it clear what accessories work together. I chose to order a generic version of the larger case instead which does have an on/off (and can also be found on Amazon) for long plane rides. I'll try and remember to edit this post after I have tried it with this extended battery and report if it fits, or if only with the original one. *UPDATE* the generic extended battery/case mentioned above will not fit when this extended battery is used. The extra 1mm or so is enough to stop it fitting tightly.

To conclude; this official 2000MaH extended battery is a goodie. It will stay in the phone as my daily driver, inside either a Momax iCase Pro or a SGP Ultra Capsule case.

Samsung Power Pack for Galaxy S II  - Black
Samsung Power Pack for Galaxy S II - Black
Offered by ENERdan
Price: £39.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Generic alternative may offer more features, 30 April 2013
I was put off buying this item thanks to the comments about how it constantly charges the phone. I have noticed that there are several generic (non-Samsung branded) alternatives to this model on the market now that are almost identical and do offer an on/off switch. Some of these have a battery meter on the back and the button for that *also* functions as a on/off button for the case. Seems to me this is a feature Samsung should have included.
Granted generic items often don't have the quality of OEM accessories but in this case I decided it is worth a try for the low cost.

Etymotic Research Moving Coil In-Ear Headset with 1-Button Control and Mic - Black
Etymotic Research Moving Coil In-Ear Headset with 1-Button Control and Mic - Black
Offered by nVOOD:Store - everything available immediately

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great as always, 4 April 2013
I have used Etymotic products for a few years and think they are great. Not cheap certainly but always the best sound quality, for my non-audiophile ears anyway. Recently I tried another couple of headsets that were rated well for Android and cheaper but the sound quality disappointed. Others always seems muddy compared to Etymotic. I really wanted a 3 button control for my Android phone but the only one I found (NOCS brand) does not compare to these for sound quality. So I keep the NOCS now for rough use and use these Etymotics for best.

For info they ship with a carry bag, some different ear tips, 2 spare filters and the filter insertion tool. The carton sadly was not designed with the environment in mind, more with making it attractive for retail.

The only other minor complaint I have is the high cost of non-USA shipping for items bought direct from Etymotics - which is another reason to use Amazon :) But its a flaw they could easily solve as most of their headphone accessories (which I have also bought) are very small and light. With a little effort they could get their non-USA shipping fees down to a reasonable level and then users would be more likely to get filters, accessories etc - which you can't get on Amazon - direct from the Etymotic online store.

I should also mention I got these as I lost my last set - they did not wear out. I find they are quite long lived, which is fair given the price. I did need to replace the wax filters once or twice in my old set when the sound in one ear failed, but this is as designed.

So if you have not tried this brand give it a go, you won't be disappointed. Given the high cost you might need to have a cheaper pair for rough use. And Etymotic, reduce your direct shipping fees and go more green with your packaging and I will make the 4 stars a 5.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2014 11:53 PM BST

Tivoli Model Pal Black
Tivoli Model Pal Black

5.0 out of 5 stars Great radio, 26 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the second Tivoli Pal I have owned. Was never quite sure why I got rid of the first one, no other radio of this size ever sounded as good. Great deep rounded (mono) sound, fond memories of Friday night Pete Tong dance sessions and this providing the soundtrack in the bathroom.

My 2nd model is a chromed version which I don't like as much as the matt coloured finishes. It does match typical kitchen decor (the idea) but is always showing fingerprints. Will avoid the chrome next time.

Rechargeable battery & 3.5mm aux in makes this great radio perfect for me. Its often used this days to play back an audiobook or music from a phone or iPod. I wished the battery lasted longer (I get a few hours) but that is a limitation of the size. As it is its just the right size to sit on the bathroom cabinet. A nice touch anyway is that the indicator light lets you know the battery is running down.

In summary this is a lovely product, great design, great features, beautiful sound. Not cheap but quality stuff never is. And if you ever sell it they hold their value very well.

3M(TM) Precise(TM) Mouse Mat with Leatherette Gel Wrist Rest - Silver - 22.1cm x 23.4cm x 1.9cm
3M(TM) Precise(TM) Mouse Mat with Leatherette Gel Wrist Rest - Silver - 22.1cm x 23.4cm x 1.9cm
Price: £27.19

5.0 out of 5 stars High quality & supportive, 26 Feb 2013
Having started three months of all-day PC use at home I found using scraps of paper or books as a mouse pad no longer did the job. They were fine for the odd short session at the pc but my wrist was feeling oddly unsupported after a few hours. This mouse pad & combined support does the job of providing support to my wrist perfectly.

From a sustainability view I think its better to buy higher quality items and have them last longer. This 3M product seems to meet those requirements nicely. Even the (minimal) retail packaging was all cardboard and no plastic (well done 3M). The item itself is just as described. I think the leatherette cover on the wrist support is a better choice than fabric as that tends to get shiny and worn. Size is good, top of mouse sits nicely 1cm-2cm back from top edge even though I have large hands. Does not feel like mouse will go off the edge at any time which was my main concern with this smaller-type pad. Bottom of product has a Post-it style sticky finish (which comes with a plastic peel off non-recyclable cover, -1) so it's kinda glued to the desktop. No movement on my glass desktop but easily peels off with no residue if needed. Overall looks as if it will last a long time.

In summary quite happy with the product. 3M has a good reputation for quality and this mouse mat does not disappoint. Well worth the extra few pounds.

HTC Desire C Sim Free Smartphone - White
HTC Desire C Sim Free Smartphone - White
Offered by GSM-Fonz
Price: £84.99

118 of 120 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little phone, 2 Dec 2012
I needed a small, light Android phone for my partner. I have a larger HTC (the One V) and was very pleased with it, so thought I would give the Desire C a try. I was a little concerned about all the negative reviews that complained about the lack of processing power, but phone reviewers these days do seem to mark a phone down if it can't play 3d games and run high quality movies. I did not need those features. The phone is to be used for messaging, Facebook and a little internet as well as calls.

After working on the phone for a day to transfer over photos, texts and contacts from a Nokia C5-03 I am pretty impressed. It is small and light and the white version is very cute. The screen is small but that means longer battery life and it is big enough for non-intensive browsing. The silver bezel makes the white version look smaller than the black version by the way. Had no problems with lag or stuttering screens. Everything in the OS worked seamlessly. It was a little slow to import 2500 old text messages but I think that is forgiveable :) We tried a couple of calls and the reception was clear and loud, much better than her Nokia C5-03. She is pleased to get her Audible library installed and have access to internet radio.

In summary if you want a small, competent Android phone running almost the newest Android OS then this is a good buy. The screen and processor is small so it wont suit heavy browsers or gamers but for us mortals does the trick very nicely.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2013 10:17 PM BST

Gardé Radio Men's watch Made in Germany
Gardé Radio Men's watch Made in Germany

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No English instructions, 21 Oct 2012
This item was purchased as a gift for my father. He wanted a watch with a very clear dial and this does the job. Unfortunately he struggled to set the time correctly as it did not include English instructions, just German/French etc. Otherwise very pleased with the purchase.

Blue Is the New Black: The 10 Step Guide to Developing and Producing a Fashion Collection
Blue Is the New Black: The 10 Step Guide to Developing and Producing a Fashion Collection
by Susie Breuer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible, 9 Aug 2012
Excellent informative read. This is a must-have book for anyone wanting to work in the fashion industry. For those that are interested there is a good NY Times blog interview with the author online ("asked-answered-susie-breuer").

No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unrepairable, 24 Feb 2012
I would advise any purchaser to check Mandarina Duck products very carefully before making a purchase. I bought a very similar (higher priced) version of this laptop bag for my partner. After just over 2 years light use the zip failed and was also coming away from the bag in two places. The retailer took several months (yes, months) to get a reply from Mandarina Duck that the zip was not covered under warranty. Fair enough, we could not prove that the bag was not abused. The next stage however was very disheartening, and the reason why I would never buy Mandarina Duck again.

The retailer was apologetic but was never able to get another reply from Mandarina Duck as to where we might send the bag for repair, even if we paid. Given that the bag had cost GBP250 it seemed unreasonable to simply throw it away because of a broken zip. The body of the case was almost as new but without the full length zip to hold it together was unusable.

So we sent it to a specialist luggage repair company. They advised us that DUE TO THE DESIGN OF THE BAG the zip was unrepairable. It had been designed hidden stitched into the body of the bag which meant that the entire bag would need to be disassembled to renew the zip. To dismantle and replace the zip would take many hours and cost more than the cost of the bag new.

So this is the reason for my extreme dissatisfaction with Mandarina Duck. I researched their products before purchase and was told that although not cheap the products were very well made. My experience however proved otherwise, that the brand is low quality, both in material used and design. I unfortunately now have no faith in this brand.

McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime
McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime
by Misha Glenny
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, awful cover, 11 Feb 2012
I must agree with the other reviewer that commented on the cover of this book. The cover is seriously naff and suggests this will be just another over-glamorized, under-researched true crime book that is long on allegations and hearsay and short on facts. I grabbed this book at an airport (surprise surprise) and was pleasantly surprised to discover that its actually well researched, well written and carefully referenced. A great read.

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