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Mr Baz
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Samsung E1270 flip mobile phone in white on EE pay as you go
Samsung E1270 flip mobile phone in white on EE pay as you go
Offered by EE Direct
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple no nonsense flip phone with a long battery life, 28 Mar. 2015
This is similar to the E2121 bar phone I bought a while back (there are some differences though)
As a flip phone the E1270 is pretty basic in every respect, but offers budget buyers a stunning battery life and surprisingly robust build (I've dropped this countless times and it's still going strong!)

There are a few improvements on previous models, but they are quite modest overall. This isn't the phone to buy for feature fans, but if you are looking for a budget sim free handset which just does the basics.

Pros:
+ Awesome battery life, if you are not a heavy call user you'll get weeks out of it on standby
+ Call quality is fine, no problems hearing people or speaking
+ Reception works well too, no notable issues to date with picking up my provider
+ 3.5mm standard headphone jack, at last Samsung got the message no more proprietary inputs!
+ Quite slim and whilst the keypad is a simple moulded affair it's not caused any issues for texting or making calls
+ Has a radio, which is at least something that I find very useful
+ Comes with some pretty basic games, applications like calendar and alarms
+ Dual band GSM (900 / 1800MHZ)
+ The 1.77" LCD is fairly basic 160 x 128 resolution, colours a bit better at 65k. Improved over previous models, I find it easy enough to read in most lighting situations (but it is simple and won't look great next to a more expensive handset)

Cons:
- Has no camera at all nothing (unlike the E2121) even a basic camera can be useful for a quick shot (model number of a product of something you need to remember)
- Cannot accept memory cards, so no good for playing music or putting content on the phone like video clips
- FM radio requires headphones (again unlike the E2121 which does not) Headphones are not included

In some ways the bar phone I got is better (it has a camera and a card slot for music playing)
On the other hand this phone is really almost disposable and at least they added a radio to it and a normal 3.5mm jack
I've bought a few of these as inexpensive gifts and they seem to take quite a bit of abuse too. And if the worst happens and you either lose your phone or it gets crushed under a lorry. You'll be a lot less unhappy if it's this handset takes the fall rather than your expensive smart-phone!

Recommended if you want a very simple phone that just the most important stuff ie making calls and texting. If you want something a bit better try the E2121 which has a few more features.
Battery life is really excellent and on that alone worthy of 4 stars


SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB microSDHC UHS-I/U3 Memory Card 95MB/s Read (SDSDQXP-032G-G46A)
SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB microSDHC UHS-I/U3 Memory Card 95MB/s Read (SDSDQXP-032G-G46A)
Price: £38.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the fastest micro SD card out there, 28 Mar. 2015
I bought a few of these for dual use in tablets and with an SD adapter for use in camera
This is the top model from SanDisk it is very fast (fastest I've used and tested to date) but it does attract a price premium and for mobile devices the speeds are probably overkill.

I tested the card via a USB 3 card reader and got the following results:
Read speed: 90MB/s
Write speed: 79MB/s

There was a slight variation in speeds but only a few MB/s and trying out a few different card readers gave very close results.
Dropping files across yielded similar results to the benchmark tests I ran, but it is worth remembering not many devices phones or tablets can take advantage of such break neck speeds. For dual users those who might use these cards in faster cameras it's worth considering.

If you don't need the super speeds the Extreme Plus model offers a similar read speed, but a somewhat reduced 60MB/s write speed (still plenty fast) and a bit more appealing price wise too.
The card has the usual resistance to X-ray, water, temperature as expected I've never had a problem with a micro SD card durability wise but it's not a bad thing to have a bit of protection. It's an excellent card but it does attract a bit of a premium


8 x Lloytron AAA 1100 mAh NiMH Rechargeable Batteries 1.2V HR03 Cordless Phone
8 x Lloytron AAA 1100 mAh NiMH Rechargeable Batteries 1.2V HR03 Cordless Phone
Offered by UK Home & Garden Store Ltd
Price: £6.89

4.0 out of 5 stars A little under the stated capacity but still a solid battery, 28 Mar. 2015
I bought a few packs of these to add to my ever growing battery collection. These are the newer "green top" ones I have a few packs of the gold ones from Lloytron. This set is rated at 1100mAh, I found that closer to 1000mAh after running a set through a capacity tester, though that is still above many offerings for higher capacity AAA cells.

The gold tipped set I have is rated to 800mAh so there certainly is a benefit to these if you want longer lasting cells though I have never been unhappy with the gold Lloytron's for most uses. These are "Accu Ultra" or in plain English they are supposed to hold a charge whilst stored compared to normal cells and they do over a period of time though not as well as some of the top makers (not really a huge problem though). I found the pack I got did have some charge but it's advisable to give them a full charge out of the pack.

Performance so far is quite good these are not top tier as the price suggests, but they are vastly better than some of the budget supermarket offerings or some of the unknown makers selling on auction sites. It's not rare for cells to be somewhat off in actual rating a tolerance of about 10% is acceptable, these at least are near to rating though it would be better to have them listed at 1000mAh. This range is available in various ratings 550/900/1100 mAh depending on what you are using the batteries for it's no harm to go for the top model which these are. Higher ratings are better for heavy drain devices (digital cameras, flashes) but some devices like phones, radios or garden lights are fine with the lower rated cells.

Overall a decent budget battery no real complaints for the price


5 x UKDapper - Lloytron AAA 550 mAh Rechargeable Batteries (Pack of 5)
5 x UKDapper - Lloytron AAA 550 mAh Rechargeable Batteries (Pack of 5)
Offered by Ukdapper
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for replacing home phone batteries, 28 Mar. 2015
I bought a pack of these to replace the cells in a cordless house phone. These batteries are rated at 550mAh identical to the 2 batteries in the phone. I tested the actual capacity and it varied between 510-534 mAh there is usually a bit of variation between the headline figure and the actual capacity, that's broadly in line with other batteries I've tested and used.
Being the Accu type these do hold a charge longer in terms of storage but that's rarely an issue with replacement cells for a phone which gets frequent charging.

There are 3 different capacities in the Lloytron range for AAA cells I've used all of them this is the lowest at 550mAh, the next one up is the 900mAh and the 1100mAh is the highest capacity. For low drain devices the lower rating is just fine, but for high drain appliances you are better off with the 900/1100mAh version.

These work fine for lower drain uses such as: Cordless home phone, low power torches, TV/DVD remote controls, clocks
Some examples of "higher drain" items include, Digital cameras, motorised toys, flashguns, game controllers

Whilst there are no real disadvantages to using high capacity cells in low drain devices, the low capacity batteries are more cost effective.
So far not had any problems to report with the batteries they work as well as the original house phone cells and are good value.


Vida IT vBud Bluetooth Speaker For Casio G'zOne Ravine 2 MOBILE PHONE - Connect Wireless or with Audio Cable - Stereo Music and Phone Audio
Vida IT vBud Bluetooth Speaker For Casio G'zOne Ravine 2 MOBILE PHONE - Connect Wireless or with Audio Cable - Stereo Music and Phone Audio
Offered by MemoryCardsIE
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "Chunky build" speaker with good sound quality, 28 Mar. 2015
Note: The supplier sent me a review sample for evaluation, the review reflects my own personal opinion of the product

Taking this out of the box I was surprised to see a very thick metal rim on the casing this has a nice brushed effect finish to the aluminium and it certainly makes the speaker feel very solid build wise. This is one of the smaller speakers I've tested standing just 5cm high and a diameter of about 19.5cm.

Controls wise a phone icon indicates the "Multi function button" used for taking/ending//redialling call and you press and hold this on for about 7 or 8 seconds to enter "pairing mode" you get a blue/red LED flashing when it's ready to pair up. There is a small microphone hold, a micro USB charging port, and a 3.5mm input for inputting non Bluetooth devices to the speaker.

You get a micro USB lead for charging, and a surprisingly long 3.5mm male, to 3.5mm male stereo cable for the aux input this measures about 1.2m in length way longer than the cables normally provided. It's also gold plated and a "flat design" the quality feels very good here.

Back to the speaker on the base there is a removable cover, one taken off this has a surface like the underside of a gel mount mat, you also have a supplied "mini mat" which has the same glossy grip surface and a matt side too. Placing the speaker on the mat and it holds the speaker firmly in place and also dampens any vibrations and seems to beef up the bass response a bit too. It's a nice touch and a good bundle overall some way better than most makers

No issues to report pairing it up or range which I tested at over 8 metres, I played the speaker most of the day so that's over 9 hours use and it's still holding up battery wise no complaint endurance wise but this will vary depending on the volume and use. The built in microphone worked fine a little above average in clarity quite acceptable for a speaker like this.

**Sound quality**

This is obviously important for any speaker but I have to take into account the small size of the unit, clearly you're not going to get that "big stereo sound" from such a small 3 watt speaker. For the most part the sound was quite impressive with a decent spread across the spectrum not bad in the bass area and vocals to mids/highs were quite clear too. It's also fairly loud and I can see why the mat was provided as the speaker can move a bit at high volume settings despite the added weight of the case.

Areas for improvement:

At high volume levels with the Aux input being use you'll have to dial down the volume a bit from the device you are playing music from I found at high levels sometimes I got some distortion, but in some cases not so much so it seems to vary depending a lot on the device being used playing at normal volume levels the sound was quite clear and defined though. Maybe the speaker needs a volume limiting chip in the circuit design I didn't notice any audio problems when paired with Bluetooth devices sound was very good for the size of speaker.

I'd like to see maybe a volume control on the unit, it's not a huge issue but you'll have to control the volume from the input device be it 3.5mm or Bluetooth. In most ways though this is fairly impressive speaker and it comes with a good bundle I esp liked the long 3.5mm lead which is handy to have. Despite a few minor points this is an very nicely made speaker and worth looking at.


Vida IT vBud Bluetooth Speaker For T-Mobile Pulse MOBILE PHONE - Connect Wireless or with Audio Cable - Stereo Music and Phone Audio
Vida IT vBud Bluetooth Speaker For T-Mobile Pulse MOBILE PHONE - Connect Wireless or with Audio Cable - Stereo Music and Phone Audio
Offered by MemoryCardsIE
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very solid build with good sound output, 28 Mar. 2015
Note: The supplier sent me a review sample for evaluation, the review reflects my own personal opinion of the product

Taking this out of the box I was surprised to see a very thick metal rim on the casing this has a nice brushed effect finish to the aluminium and it certainly makes the speaker feel very solid build wise. This is one of the smaller speakers I've tested standing just 5cm high and a diameter of about 19.5cm.

Controls wise a phone icon indicates the "Multi function button" used for taking/ending//redialling call and you press and hold this on for about 7 or 8 seconds to enter "pairing mode" you get a blue/red LED flashing when it's ready to pair up. There is a small microphone hold, a micro USB charging port, and a 3.5mm input for inputting non Bluetooth devices to the speaker.

You get a micro USB lead for charging, and a surprisingly long 3.5mm male, to 3.5mm male stereo cable for the aux input this measures about 1.2m in length way longer than the cables normally provided. It's also gold plated and a "flat design" the quality feels very good here.

Back to the speaker on the base there is a removable cover, one taken off this has a surface like the underside of a gel mount mat, you also have a supplied "mini mat" which has the same glossy grip surface and a matt side too. Placing the speaker on the mat and it holds the speaker firmly in place and also dampens any vibrations and seems to beef up the bass response a bit too. It's a nice touch and a good bundle overall some way better than most makers

No issues to report pairing it up or range which I tested at over 8 metres, I played the speaker most of the day so that's over 9 hours use and it's still holding up battery wise no complaint endurance wise but this will vary depending on the volume and use. The built in microphone worked fine a little above average in clarity quite acceptable for a speaker like this.

**Sound quality**

This is obviously important for any speaker but I have to take into account the small size of the unit, clearly you're not going to get that "big stereo sound" from such a small 3 watt speaker. For the most part the sound was quite impressive with a decent spread across the spectrum not bad in the bass area and vocals to mids/highs were quite clear too. It's also fairly loud and I can see why the mat was provided as the speaker can move a bit at high volume settings despite the added weight of the case.

Areas for improvement:

At high volume levels with the Aux input being use you'll have to dial down the volume a bit from the device you are playing music from I found at high levels sometimes I got some distortion, but in some cases not so much so it seems to vary depending a lot on the device being used playing at normal volume levels the sound was quite clear and defined though. Maybe the speaker needs a volume limiting chip in the circuit design I didn't notice any audio problems when paired with Bluetooth devices sound was very good for the size of speaker.

I'd like to see maybe a volume control on the unit, it's not a huge issue but you'll have to control the volume from the input device be it 3.5mm or Bluetooth. In most ways though this is fairly impressive speaker and it comes with a good bundle I esp liked the long 3.5mm lead which is handy to have. Despite a few minor points this is an very nicely made speaker and worth looking at.


LG 42LB730V 42-inch Widescreen Full HD LED 3D Smart TV with webOS and Freeview HD
LG 42LB730V 42-inch Widescreen Full HD LED 3D Smart TV with webOS and Freeview HD
Price: £475.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Full featured TV with excellent picture and sound + "air remote", 28 Mar. 2015
This TV was purchased for a front room, the priority being a good picture and sound with smart functions. I helped set up the TV and will give an overview of the set, compared to a few other TV's I have used this one is excellent particularly in terms of the sound output with a good picture, though there are weaker points such as the interface. The model I used is the 42" one
The LG has an ultra slim bezel at the base is a metal stand, possibly the most interesting feature though is the included 2 remotes, one very much a traditional TV remote, but the second is a smaller rounder "air/fly remote" this allows you to select functions and control the TV by holding the remote and moving it around like an air mouse, you also have a build in microphone allowing you to use the TV for browsing via "voice search"

A quick list of the main features and stronger points of the TV

Good areas:
+ Very good picture clean crisp and clear
+ Sound is excellent 2.1 speaker that have a good bass output and clean across the spectrum from lows to high frequencies
+ 2 sets of "passive" 3D glasses included (ie non powered)
+ Option to convert picture to "3D"
+ Extensive connection options including 3 HMDI inputs, 3 USB, 1 standard scart socket, 3 RCA (composite), LAN port probably enough for most though an additional HDMI would be useful (if you are device heavy)
+ Optical S/PDIF, headphone jack
+ Voice control via the supplied super remote (air remote)
+ Nicely made case metal back, stand and low profile+
+ Wi-Fi worked well though it's not a huge distance from the box

Not so good:
- "webOS"Menu system isn't the best rather less obvious than I would like (panel appears at the bottom of the picture it doesn't invade the image some might find the "cute animations" annoying during set up
- Browser isn't as good as expected does the job but it's not as refined as some
- No DVI input
- USB recording functions limited

Notes:

A mention about unboxing this the TV isn't light about 10KG the supplied base is in 3 parts you have push them together and attach to the back case, make sure you support the TV properly (really a 2 person job to do safely) the stand is robust and strong but it is a bit fiddly to attach. The back panel has a black painted metal, so make sure you don't "miss" with the screwdriver it will scratch the paint off.

The TV supports freeview and freeview HD
You have an number of "apps" pre installed and Skype though there is no build in camera it is possible to add one later on. Netflix, facebook, twitter, amazon instant video iPlayer.
It has DLNA, Miracast, and Wi-Fi Direct

File support from USB playback (stick or HDD) is mostly complete with MP3, OGG, M4A, WAV, WMA Audio and MP4, AVI, DIVX, MKV, MOV and WMV video formats.

For me overall I like the TV though despite the claims of the super friendly menus and OS it did take a while to get used to it, control via the super revote is more intuitive though. Couple of stand out points really the picture is excellent with deep blacks bright whites, contrast and viewing angles are good. The sound is a significant step up from lower prices TV's this has a built in sub woofer and in addition to the normal speaker this really adds depth making in most cases the need for any additional output unnecessary (unless you have a really nice sound system set up) way better than cheaper TV's out there.

Took a while to get used to the LG navigation system, the 3d aspect is curious though I personally find it a little gimmicky it has a few settings to try so it's worth experimenting with. Quite well featured overall a solid TV though there are quite a few options out there at this price point.


Impressive-Power CASIO - MX8 - MX8 DESK CALCULATOR
Impressive-Power CASIO - MX8 - MX8 DESK CALCULATOR
Offered by Alex Whyte
Price: £14.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable desktop calculator, 28 Mar. 2015
I've owned this for a number of years (at least 6 or 7) and to date I have never had a problem with it despite some heavy use over the years.

It's dual powered with a solar panel at the top and a battery (LR54) which can be replaced if required. I have never had to change the battery despite having used it in dim light many times.

Keypad is large with a central circle on the 5 digit (to aid feel without looking at the numerica pad) Nothing fancy here normal calculations with MR/M-/M+ buttons % and square root. The calculator powers off when not in use so there is no "off button"
Quality is good with solid plastics, you get 2 rubber feet to stop movement on a desk. Larger clear LCD display is easy to read in most light. There is no backlight though so not really suitable for night use.

Over many years use the calculator is still working great, with little to no signs of use.
A simple but well made an effective destop calculator


Citiwide CPL Circular Polarizing Filter for camera lens (37mm)
Citiwide CPL Circular Polarizing Filter for camera lens (37mm)

3.0 out of 5 stars Budget CPL does the job fine, 28 Mar. 2015
I bought a few of these filters (various types and sizes) for a friend as a first venture into filters, the idea to keep the budget down to an absolute minimum.

Quality wise it's not too bad threading seemed fine and rotating the front was easy enough not too much resistance and not too slack either. Coatings at this price point don't expect the super multi layers you get on some of the bigger brands (this is what you are paying for) nor the low profile frame (this is a standard one as per a normal filter it might cause some fall off on wider angle lenses so I'd advise going to thin frame filters for those)

Does it work? Well yet it works fine and surprisingly it didn't seem to have a notable impact on the sharpness either. The trade off is that you'll have to watch flare as this can be a problem with bright lights or the sun in the scene. As for the polarising effect it works well, simply rotate the front of the filter and you'll see reflections on non metallic surfaces disappear (one of the main uses of a CPL) you can vary the intensity depending on how far you rotate it. It's also useful for increasing contrast in scenes, but should be used with some caution as it can make images look a bit over cooked in some situations (esp the sky darkening) But a CPL is undoubtedly one of the most useful to have and the effect can't be mimicked in software.

If you're planning a longer term investment in filters it might be better to check out the higher quality offerings. But if you fancy a dabble with a CPL and don't want to spend a lot, this does the job reasonably well. At this price you can't expect a lot, but it's a viable ultra low cost option for experimenting.


Vida IT V7 Sports Bluetooth Headset 4.0 with aptX® For Panasonic Eluga DL1 P11 T21 T11 Mobile Phone Smartphone Tablet PC with HD Voice
Vida IT V7 Sports Bluetooth Headset 4.0 with aptX® For Panasonic Eluga DL1 P11 T21 T11 Mobile Phone Smartphone Tablet PC with HD Voice
Offered by MemoryCardsIE
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good sound and a solid design, 28 Mar. 2015
Note: The maker provided me with a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

I've looked at quite a few Blue tooth headsets/phone this one is an in ear type, and comes boxed with a micro USB charging cable, there are 2 other silicone tip sizes (a smaller and larger pair) as well as extra 2 pairs of the "ear hooks". I found the set of tips that were fitted to the phones were a good fit for me. This set has a "flat cable" that connects both ear pieces, whilst you can wear it in front, I think they work best with the cable on the neck.

Controls are very simple the right hand ear piece has the "Vida" (multi function) button press this to power on/off and play/pause/replay this also functions as a call button connect/end/reject and transfer. You can also pair these up to two devices at the same time which is useful to have. The +/- buttons act as the volume and track forward/back buttons a long press to skip tracks and s short one to adjust the volume. There is small hole on the right hand ear piece this is the microphone and it performed well, clear and very easy for people to hear you. The left earpiece has a rubber cover for the micro USB port.

Paring is straight from power on, just add the Vida name to the device and it's ready to go. There are voice prompts included with this set and it tells you if you're paired up, power on/off, even out of range etc etc. Charging takes about 1 hour 50 minutes from flat and the battery is quoted at 6 hours, be aware though that if you play at higher volumes you'll get less play time battery life seemed quite good in my testing. Blue tooth range was about 7-8 metres this will vary depending on the device you transmit from and if you have walls in the way it will reduce it quite a bit, more than enough range though for most uses (ie in the house or out and about playing music via a phone)

Sound wise much better than I expected bass is well represented and quite tight, mid and highs were clean and crisp with no obvious distortion and stereo separation was also above average, one of the better sounding phones I looked at (for their size/cost) If you like bass these will certainly be to your tastes though it doesn't drown out the other frequencies either.

Build is also to a high level, the casing is made from dense plastics and feels sturdy. Fitting wise no problems at all a good snug fit and quite comfortable. I've no obvious complaints about the headphones good sound and well designed overall, though the range was a little under the quoted figure it held a signal well without drop outs. One area for improvement could be to add a small retainer for the cable and to allow it to be "pinched" closed to take up the cable slack, this would help if you wear the phones with the cable in front.

Overall a good set of Bluetooth phones and very good sound quality an easy recommendation


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