Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Fitbit
Profile for Botanics > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Botanics
Top Reviewer Ranking: 164,918
Helpful Votes: 116

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Clip-On Book Light LESHP Mini Flexible LED Book Reading Clip-On Light Bright Lamp for reading Book Travel & Bed headboard Black
Clip-On Book Light LESHP Mini Flexible LED Book Reading Clip-On Light Bright Lamp for reading Book Travel & Bed headboard Black

3.0 out of 5 stars OK. Somewhat overpriced for what it is., 18 July 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this light for a fiver which was supposedly discounted and also makes it one of the cheaper Amazon fulfilled (and Prime delivery eligible) products of its type. The cheaper similar offerings direct from third parties are perhaps pitched at a more realistic price. Indeed I could imagine seeing something similar in a pound shop.

It is basically a single white LED on a short length of flexible cable attached to a clip housing the battery box. I haven't opened it up, and there weren't any instructions, but the box suggests the included batteries are type CR1220, one of the usual suspects.

If the cable were any less rigid, the clip any larger or the light any duller it would be useless. As it is it gives just enough light to use with a Kindle in the dark, though it's a tad too directional so you get a brighter pool of light in the middle of your page.

It does the job but only just.

CaféPod 10 Intense Lungo  Nespresso Compatible Capsules (Pack of 10 total of 100 Capsules)
CaféPod 10 Intense Lungo Nespresso Compatible Capsules (Pack of 10 total of 100 Capsules)
Price: £27.50

1.0 out of 5 stars Pods are hopeless, coffee a bit variable., 22 Jun. 2017
I've tried four Cafe Pod varieties, all lungos. They shared the problem that the pods (mine were all still the black ones) were utterly useless. The genuine Nespresso capsules pierce reliably and produce consistent flows that vary for each variety. The Cafe Pod capsules sometimes fell straight through the machine, sometimes got crumpled by it, sometimes got stuck in it, more often than not took three goes to pierce, if they did pierce often waited several seconds to do so giving you lots of water in your cup, and produced flows varying from a bit slow to a trickle that left the machine crying for mercy. To be fair all the other brands of compatibles have been a bit pants too, but these seem to be the worst.

As for the coffee. The pods don't do it any favours. Intense particularly suffers from the inconsistency and can end up quite nasty. The others seemed more tolerant. Livewire was consistently indifferent but Ethiopia and Sumatra can be quite pleasant. Generally though it would be the best coffee of any of the compatibles I've tried if only the pods worked.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2017 12:43 PM BST

[12 Pack] RFID Blocking Sleeves - Contactless card protection. Credit & ID Card Protector Sleeves, Ideal for Wallet / Passport - Full Protection by Shielding Contactless RFID & NFC Radio Chips - Aluminium
[12 Pack] RFID Blocking Sleeves - Contactless card protection. Credit & ID Card Protector Sleeves, Ideal for Wallet / Passport - Full Protection by Shielding Contactless RFID & NFC Radio Chips - Aluminium
Offered by Acacia Products
Price: £20.00

4.0 out of 5 stars They seem to work., 16 May 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use a contactless card for PAYG travel. The other day I had to carry a second card in the same holder and a payment failed. Assuming card clash I thought I'd try these to help prevent issues in future. They certainly stop my phone scanning the cards so they should do the job.

The passport sleeves are of no interest.

Polar H7 Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Sensor Set
Polar H7 Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Sensor Set
Price: £44.35 - £109.89

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is basically a nice piece of kit, let down by a low battery only being highlighted by weird readings.., 14 Jun. 2016
The appeal of this product was that it simultaneously supports Gymlink (Polar watches, gym equipment) and Bluetooth, which made it an upgrade from the T31 in terms of functionality. In some ways I prefer the T31 design, apart from the sealed in battery, as it is just as comfortable, a lot more robust, and it separates out the active bit from the chest band. However the H7 has been working fine for months, doing exactly what you expect it to do. It either worked exactly as it should or it didn't get a reading at all meaning it needed a bit more moisture.

After a few months use it became a little more erratic. It started with a tendency to read either 200-ish or 00 until it got it's act together, and then the typical behaviour became to read about 120 when it should have been reading about 60 or 80. Slight adjustment or more moisture sometimes helped. Other days it just didn't want to know and it eventually became useless.

More curious, to me, is that on one occasion I found it was sending out sensible readings over Bluetooth but completely different and unlikely readings over Gymlink.

Replacing the strap made no difference so I tried changing the battery and that does actually seem to have fixed the problem. So why didn't I try that first? Well I have the Polar Beat app installed purely to allow me to configure the H7 and monitor the battery level and it was reporting the battery level as 'full'.

Update: Polar Beat was again telling me it had a full battery but I noticed Gym link and Bluetooth were giving different readings, this time with Gymlink being the more convincing. This was a cue for more bizarre behaviour to begin. There is a lot to be said for having a Polar watch to monitor Gymlink as mismatched readings seems to be the low battery indication.

Wahoo WFPODCAD2 RPM Cadence Sensor
Wahoo WFPODCAD2 RPM Cadence Sensor
Price: £29.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather expensive for what it is., 20 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wahoo RPM Sensor (Sports)
Not a lot to say about this, other than it is rather expensive for what it is, even at Amazon's competitive price. That seems to be normal for Wahoo products though.

The instructions in the packaging just consist of a very basic sheet about the Wahoo Fitness (bizarrely they describe the app as 'included' on the packaging) and the obligatory warranty etc sheet. Absolutely no instructions for the RPM at all. You have to get them for yourself online.

I was planning to wear it on my ankle rather than on my shoe or fitted to a bike. Initial tests suggested this should be fine. In practice it worked perhaps 1% of the time.

Wahoo Fitness RFLKT Bike Computer for iPhone and Android
Wahoo Fitness RFLKT Bike Computer for iPhone and Android

3.0 out of 5 stars A little clunky. Android support could be better. Third party support very limited. Rather expensive., 14 Mar. 2016
This is potentially a useful bit of kit and well worth thirty quid so it is a shame it retails for about seventy. Connecting it to a phone can be quite slow and although it works more often than not it is always a relief when it finally succeeds.

To get the most out of the RFLKT you really need to use the Wahoo Fitness app which has bags of potential but does make a bit of a pigs ear of times and distances sometimes, especially where pauses are involved. Rather than having a backend it syncs to a number of apps including Runkeeper. Unfortunately it isn't quite as good at this as it needs to be.

The Android app could be improved to support phone notifications and be able to display the phone battery level as one of the data sources. It should also be possible to see the RFLKT's own battery level more easily and to display the ambient temperature from the phone's own sensor, if it has one, or a Garmin Tempe (the app can only read temperature from the discontinued RFLKT+).

Some apps do support RFLKT. Ride with GPS does a reasonable job once you've learned when you need to turn it on, though it doesn't seem to like auto-pause at all, and if it turns off in the middle of an activity that's pretty much your lot. Runkeeper does actually talk to it but you only get limited information in a very small font so it is something of a token effort. It is a shame it isn't better supported in more apps.

Withings Pulse O2 Health and Fitness Tracker - Black
Withings Pulse O2 Health and Fitness Tracker - Black
Offered by YouLookHot Black Friday Deals
Price: £64.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Got it for a bargain price so I think it is OK. App needs some work., 23 Feb. 2016
For me the Withings Healthmate app came first and this tracker followed on. I probably wouldn't have bought it otherwise and I got it for a real bargain price. I wouldn't consider purchasing it at the typical retail price, and even at half that price I'd be hunting for special offers.

The illustrations of the product are highly misleading in showing a crystal clear blue display. If you hold it at just the right distance from your eyes then yes you may find it nice and sharp, however at any other distance you may find it isn't close to crystal clear and you may feel it is downright fuzzy. It is certainly readable though. It also isn't even close to being the blue it is shown to be. There is perhaps a slight hint of a very pale blue to it but it is basically white. It works fine inside but really isn't at all good in daylight. Even on a dull winter day you may need to shade the display to read it. In bright sunshine it is close to useless. The display only turns on (briefly) when you press the button on the unit.

So far the step tracking, with the tracker worn on the wrist, seems to be quite conservative. I am happy with it. The unit remembers ten days worth of readings, something I find to be of little use, and on one of the few times I've looked out of curiosity it had actually zeroed them (fortunately they had already been synced to the app).

The sleep mode isn't anywhere near as good as a Misfit Flash but is much better than a Mi band. It can record short periods awake when you were actually asleep and it inevitably records periods when you are awake but not moving about as light or even deep sleep. You do have to put it into sleep mode manually but it does have a setting to automatically turn it off once it has decided you are awake, though I rather suspect it takes about fifteen minutes of moving around before it makes that call.

To measure heart rate and SpO2 measurements you have to remove the unit from the strap or clip and put your finger on the sensor on the back to take them. The associated app is capable of using a smartphone camera to measure heart rate (but not SpO2) in a similar fashion so you may just be gaining convenience and independence rather than a great deal of functionality. You do sometimes get spurious figures though once you've got the hang of it you do tend get consistent and seemingly accurate figures (for heart rate anyway, I have nothing to compare SpO2 with).

The Health Mate app that works with the device generally seems fine to me and indeed I found it useful even without a Withings device for manually recording weight and blood pressure measurements as it has just enough connectivity to get those measurements into other apps. There are a few issues at the time of writing. It really isn't clear under what circumstances the heart rate / SpO2 readings get synced but I have a suspicion that they only sync for me on days after I have forgotten to activate sleep mode overnight. Unfortunately you can't manually specify them as if you request to add a heart rate it triggers the camera to do a measurement. The app can get confused with interrupted sleep, showing the first part as the summary figure and the second part as the details. The app can sync with Runkeeper to bring in activity readings but it would be better if you could choose between Runkeeper and other apps.

I've only used the unit in the wrist strap, which is very comfortable to wear. It is supposed to go in a particular way because of the sensor on the bottom but you can actually put it in both ways without much difficultly. If there was any less friction it might push out when you press the button but as it is there seems to be just enough (so far). As with most other activity trackers I've tried, the strap is ridiculously small and seems unlikely to fit more than a 22cm wrist, though I haven't measured it carefully. With wrist watch straps I often have to use the tightest setting and even shorten the strap, with activity trackers I can only just get them on. Fortunately the cradle where the unit slides in is fitted with spring bars (18mm I believe) so you can fit conventional replacement watch straps.

One concern is that the unit isn't waterproof. Not only that but it has an open MicroUSB socket on the side. Battery life is quite reasonable and it charges quickly so it could easily have a cover for this socket to at least provide some token protection from sweat without being in any way inconvenient. I use one with mine.

Update: I now have two of these trackers, the second also being purchased at a bargain price. The above review holds for the second tracker too.

Misfit Flash Fitness + Sleep Monitor (Onyx)
Misfit Flash Fitness + Sleep Monitor (Onyx)
Price: £24.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent hardware let down by the poor accessories and software., 8 Jan. 2016
The Misfit Flash seems to be a conservative, but probably realistic, step counter. In one particular test a cheap and cheerful 2D accelerometer based pedometer recorded about 18,200 steps. A Mi Band recorded about 18,000. The Misfit Flash (worn on the wrist) recorded about 15,700. Those results seem to be fairly typical and I'm happy enough with them. I've also used the Flash on the waist and the ankle. The latter is useful as it covers cycling as well as walking. It does record something for cycling when on the waist but is perhaps a little over enthusiastic.

I'm not that interested in the Misfit Flash as a sleep tracker, but brief tests suggest it is better at it than some of its competitors. Realistically it has to be used on the wrist in order to give it enough movement to work with. The total time seems about right and there is a reasonable mix of light and deep sleep and waking periods. OK sometimes it shows sleep when you are awake but if you are very still how would it know? In comparison a Mi Band records hours less sleep, no deep sleep , and fails to spot that you've fallen asleep again so missing half the night.

The Flash can act as a watch of sorts, being able to use the ring of LEDs to indicate time to the nearest five minutes. You may find that useful. I don't.

The Flash can indicate progress towards an activity goal which is specified as a number of points by the associated app. It isn't clear exactly what a point represents and I'd like to see the raw data more prominent. It makes no real attempt to show you your progress beyond your goal.

Progress and time display are triggered by pressing on the Flash. Indicating the start and end of an 'activity' uses a long press. Unfortunately you need quite a firm press and that highlights the major weakness of the Flash, which is the utterly rubbish 'sports band' it is supplied with. The Flash fits into the band from behind but is really only held in place by friction and you are relying on the band being tight enough on your arm to stop the Flash falling out. Unfortunately the band has quite large gaps between holes so mine either flops around or marks my wrist. When I first wrote this I hadn't had the band on my wrist for about four hours but I could still see the image of the holes on my wrist, and an extra mark where the metal fastener pokes through. Could they really not come up with something a little better? All they need is conventional spring bars so the strap can be replaced. The band isn't very big either. It could do with another inch or two to give it scope to be used on the upper arm or ankle.

As an alternative to the watch style band there is a clip which seems a little more robust but again you are really relying on it being clipped firmly to something. It seems more effective at retaining the Flash than the band is, but the clip itself is easily brushed off. I use a wrist strap through the keyring hole to secure it to my clothing but what it could really do with is a hole on the other half of the clip so you could secure it through both and it couldn't fall off to start with.

The Android app isn't as good as it might be, though it does cream over the website which all style over substance. It doesn't seem to sync with the Flash unless you ask it manually. The app doesn't do a lot to start with, so knowingly doing it with old data seems a bit pointless. The activity tagging is rather limited with only a very small range of activities. Ideally it would allow you to define your own but you do get the sense that Misfit prioritise design over functionality and practicality and are more interested in having pretty icons. It would be useful if you could start and stop activities from the app as well as by the long press of the button.

As well as the Misfit app, there is a Misfit Link app that tries to get a bit more clever with the button on the Flash, using it for music remote control, a home automation trigger and so on. This app is a bit of a mess too, and the two apps and the Flash don't feel like they really form a coherent whole.

The biggest problem with the Link app is that is that you have to define a 'mode' for your Flash. So you define it as e.g. an 'Activity Tracker' or a 'Music Remote' and you get a limited range of functions you can assign to the button actions in each mode. This again seems to be design triumphing over function. If I want my Flash to act as an activity tracker, trigger photos and send texts why shouldn't I be able to? The functionality is all there, it is just being needlessly restricted for the sake of some pretty icons. [There is a Custom Button mode but it still lacks all the functionality.]

A relatively recent addition to the app is a separation alert. The very limited number of icons and labels for this assume you have your Flash inside or attached to something you are protecting and don't consider it might be the Flash itself you are worried about. They also assume you have your phone on you and it is the Flash that has become separated. So if you put your phone down at home/work/wherever and wander around with your Flash still attached to you the separation alert will trigger on your phone unnecessarily. Unfortunately there are no settings to conditionally disable the alert and nor does it have a timeout or a silence feature. What functionality there is seems unreliable at best.

The hardware and firmware are fine, they are just let down badly by the accessories and the software.

Xiaomi Mi band (miband) Smart Watch Fitness Tracker with Steps count, Sleep Monitoring, Standby 30days, Bluetooth, Alarm, Waterproof
Xiaomi Mi band (miband) Smart Watch Fitness Tracker with Steps count, Sleep Monitoring, Standby 30days, Bluetooth, Alarm, Waterproof

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many flaws. I've given up., 7 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK I've finally given up on the Mi Band and returned it. There are just too many flaws, chief of which is that the connection between the band and phone is just too difficult to achieve and drops too easily. You just can't rely on the band being able to communicate at any given moment or being able to reestablish communication within a reasonable timescale.

Others flaws are that the bracelet is too short, you need a third party app to make notifications even remotely useful and even then the vibration motor is just too weak to attract your attention (you hear it more than feel it), and sleep tracking is just hopeless. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how cheap it is if it doesn't do a useful job.

Sorry I wanted to like this thing and my previous review was somewhat more positive, but as time goes by you realise all you really have on your wrist is an OK pedometer which you can't even rely on being able to read.

Pebble Smartwatch - Black
Pebble Smartwatch - Black
Offered by Pyle Pro
Price: £50.17

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars When it works it is great, but it doesn't work for long ..., 8 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The whole Pebble experience is perhaps a little clunky on the classic model and it really needs upgrading sooner rather than later. Although there are supposedly about 8,000 apps and watchfaces, I've struggled to find even 10 that are really worth having, but then just having smart notifications makes the watch a good purchase if you can get it at the right price, which in my opinion is at most half the current recommended retail price. It has a built in accelerometer and magnetometer which arguably aren't being optimally exploited yet but it does have some potential in the fitness market, especially where it can also act as a remote display and control for smartphone apps. The real downsides are the ridiculous charging connector (fortunately it has a fantastic battery life) and the reliability of the screen. Although problems with screens are probably rare in terms of the number sold, they feature heavily in reviews and forums so they are still more common than they ought to be. Mine lasted just two weeks before the screen spontaneously became unusable. I'm getting a replacement because I can't find anything else that can do the job, but not with great enthusiasm. Pebble really need a replacement low end model with the design flaws fixed as it could be a really great product.

Update: The replacement worked well for all of two weeks and was even updated with the new 'timeline', which shows willing but isn't much use in practice. The first signs of failure then appeared and after three weeks it became unusable.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5