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Florin O. (Bucharest, RO)

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Bird Home Automation Group D101S DoorBird Video Door Station and Intercom - Strato Silver
Bird Home Automation Group D101S DoorBird Video Door Station and Intercom - Strato Silver
Offered by Create Automation
Price: £327.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good concept but the device needs more work, 9 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I just got the camera so my review will be short.

INSTALLATION is pretty straight forward and easy. I read somewhere that someone complained about the wires being two thin and fragile. I did not find that true. What I did not liked is they are not covered by any protection so I added some additional layer of insulation to the power wires (black-red pair).

For internet you can either go wireless (which is not recommend by the manufacturer) or wired. I tried wireless with a powerful router behind the front wall but the link varies from Good to Fair and Poor. So I will link the camera over with an ethernet cable. For this the camera has two options:
- a cable with an rj45 connection
- a cable with separate wires that you tie together with electrical connector (provided by the manufacturer or you can use your own). For these you have to connect the rx+/rx- and tx+/tx- from your ethernet cable.

The second option is very handy when you don't have enough space behind your doorbell. It was not my case so I went with the first option, also because I don't use POE.

THE APP seems to be a beta version of what an app like this should be. Android and iPhone versions differ in functionality, the app feels cheap, like it was written by a programmer that no one controlled. The date for example is shown like 2017-04-01 17:22:12 instead of a more humane format like '2 days ago', 'yesterday', etc. You cannot make the image bigger, you cannot pinch to zoom in it, you cannot even watch it in landscape mode. I also have Canary (the indoor versions) and Netatmo cameras and Doorbird app cannot be compared with neither one of those.

THE CAMERA is one of the features that could break a device like this. And I don't know yet if this is the way the night vision should look or my camera is broken, but what I see at night can't be called night vision since I can't distinguish much of anything. I had an older chinese intercom system on which the infrared vision was way better then this one.

The infrared is not permanent during the night. If the camera catches some light it will turn the infrared off and try to generate images like that. Which sometimes fails in a big way with images rendered on only half the sensor, the rest of the image being grey.

I'll attach two photos, one with a day view, another one with a night vision.
Comment Comment | Permalink

Netatmo Presence Outdoor Security Camera with Person Animal and Car Recognition - Black Aluminium
Netatmo Presence Outdoor Security Camera with Person Animal and Car Recognition - Black Aluminium
Offered by Maplin_Webdeals
Price: £249.99

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best exterior camera, 24 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm pretty impressed by this camera. I installed it almost a month ago and I wanted to see how it performs before writing the review. It has some plusses (big ones) and some minuses, of course.

The first little problem came up during installation. The black box that functions as a base for the camera, although hallow in the back, does not have much free space in it. I installed the camera flash on a wooden pole. And I had to press the wires inside and then the base against the pole. Those wires are a tight fit behind the base if there's no additional hole in the wall.

Then WiFi setup. After the initial installation, the camera would drop its connection a couple of times in a day. After the first 2-3 days or so, the connection seemed to stabilise. I would have expected this camera to get a better signal, being this big. But its wifi reception is weaker than my iPhone 6. The phone showed 2 bars right near the camera, while the camera showed just one (the dot). Drops in wifi connection does not affect recordings as those are stored on its internal SD card. It's just annoying if you want to access your camera in that moment.

Storage. This comes with an SD card which is preinstalled. I don't know if it's 8 or 16GB and there is no mention of internal storage in the app. From what I saw in the app, the camera saves bits of videos on the card and then from the card they are uploaded to the cloud (and your additional storage, if you have one). If you setup FTP or Dropbox, the videos will be uploaded twice, so if you watch your bandwidth. I set up an FTP storage inside my home, on a Synology NAS.

Light. The light is very bright. I had a 100w lamp that had a similar brightness. But because on Netatmo the light can be used dimmed, I dimmed it at about 80%. Another nice feature to have. Plus these are leds, so should last quite a few good years, and you can't beet that wattage. If with full brightness it has 12w, probably I have it now on 10w and it lights the whole front of my house at night.

Camera. The camera saves videos in 4 formats: 1080p, 720p, medium and low. I save them 1080p and a day takes around 3GB.

Detection. We'll here Netatmo shines. It's so good that you start to get annoying when it gets something wrong. I will post some pictures to see how it detects animals, people, cars. It can spot cars through my fence, it can spot them at night based only on the headlights, it spots my neighbours cars in his yard, when he starts to pull it out. It's a marvel. It spots people from back, side, front. And again, it spots my neighbour from across the street when he gets out of the house :)

Two problems I had with detection:
1. The exhaust from my boiler is on the front on the house. It blows off burnt gases from the boiler. During daytime there's no problem with this. On some foggy days I got some "Motion detection" alarms. But at night it's a nightmare. I get tons of person detected from that smoke. You can see how the smoke looks in one of the night pictures of this review.
2. I tried setting the light to come on only for person detection at night. And although it says it detected a car, the light comes on as usual.

Overall I'm very impressed with the camera build quality and the work put in the software. I activated the netatmo learning option, maybe they get this fake detections and make the system better in a few months.

UPDATE. After a couple of snow storms I found the design to have a small flaw. Due to the small edge the camera tends to keep the snow, which builds up until there's no image. I uploaded an image for this too. They should have made the camera casing flush with the housing to allow liquids to drain properly. Whenever it snowed, the black square where the camera is got filled up with snow which then froze. And it is difficult to clean it. You have to melt it somehow.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2017 2:44 PM GMT

Angelcare AC1120 Digital Video and Sound Baby Monitor
Angelcare AC1120 Digital Video and Sound Baby Monitor
Price: £114.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best baby monitor by far., 8 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We had 3 different monitors before we discovered this one, so this one was our forth. All the other 3 were used for just one child. We had to change them either because they broke or due to dying batteries. Anglecare is still going strong after 3 years. It has a brilliant design, both for how you put the monitor in the base for charging (you can do this even if you're half asleep) and for using regular AA rechargeable batteries. Every rechargeable battery has a limited number of charge/discharge cycles and with a baby monitor you usually go through 3 cycles a day so in maximum a year every battery will die. But this does not mean the end of life for this product, as you can easily replace the dead batteries with new ones. We use AmazonBasics and we are very happy with their lifetime. When the rechargeable batteries are new, we get 5 hours of use without the base. We change them when they start to last under 30 minutes.

The camera also has the possibility to be battery powered (although this unit does not recharge the batteries, so these ones have to be changed from time to time). This thing is great if you go in holiday and forget the power plug at home - happened to us once. And is also great if live in an area with power outages. The camera will continue to monitor and send images to the monitor during the blackouts.

Now when it came the time to buy another monitor (not that this one broke, but we need to monitor a second room) I went again for this product, although I was tempted to buy Motorola MBP36S, but when I checked the negative reviews I went again for this one. Standard rechargeable batteries and a plug that does not break (as opposed to the mini-usb on motorola) are very important in a baby monitor.

Canary All-in-One Home Security Device - Black
Canary All-in-One Home Security Device - Black
Price: £119.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bought two cameras, used them for a month. After a few power drops both cameras are dead., 23 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The one star rating is based solely on the fact that after a month of usage both my cameras were dead and unusable. I haven't seen this kind of experience in all the reviews. Amazon again very helpful, sending replacements for the cameras. Don't know how the second ones would last.

I wanted to review these cameras after a little more time using them and if it was not for this I would have probably gave them 4 stars. They don't have 5Ghz wifi and for a new device that's a big minus. Especially since this is a HD camera. I had to migrate some of my other devices to 5G.

I bought the 7 day plan (that I cannot use right now since both my cameras are dead). The included 12 hour window is way too short. The price seems reasonable given the unlimited amount of storage you get in that time. The setup is easy, I also get to close the app a few times because after the camera is paired with the phone and starts doing the software upgrade, apparently the communication brakes down. Of course another problem is with 5Ghz wifi networks. If your phone is connected on 5G and you want to use wifi, the app will let you but the camera won't find the network.

I bought one camera to see how it works and after another week I bought my second one. There were a couple of days with thunderstorms when the power would go out for half a second. Barely noticeable. Most devices whouldn't even shut down. Like the wifi routers for example. The cameras would also work without restarting. But after one of this short power failures, both cameras (they were plugged in different sockets, on different circuits in the house) stopped working, although they had the bottom ring with white light on.

I tried removing the usb wire, leave them for one hour, two hours, for day without power, nothing helped. The minute I plugged them back, the ring would become instantly white, no booting, no nothing. Contacted Canary for support on hard resetting them, but there's no reset button. There's not even a power on / power off button. Now when you design a device without a power button, you would imagine no harm would come to it buy cutting the power while it is on.

I never had a device this expensive brake so easily. Imagine having an iPhone plugged to charge and after a short power failure you find the phone bricked.

Maybe they have a cheap socket adapter. The camera uses the classic 5V / 2Amps to work. And maybe they have not tested the adaptor with power drops.

Auto Finesse MR100 Mint Rims Wheel Wax
Auto Finesse MR100 Mint Rims Wheel Wax
Offered by Roaduserdirect
Price: £18.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It certainly works, 12 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Don't know for how long though.

When I received the product I throughly washed all my wheels and applied this wax only of 3 of them. I left them 2 weeks to get really dirty and then I washed them with my Karcher. The waxed wheels were almost clean after the water jet. The untreated one needed a proper scrub to get the dirt off.

And yeah, the day you apply this, there will be a minty smell around your car.

Omron C801 CompAir Compressor Nebuliser
Omron C801 CompAir Compressor Nebuliser
Offered by Activecare Online
Price: £45.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power in a small package., 12 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Compared to my old nebuliser this seems like a mini version. But when you turn it on it suddenly seems much much bigger. I hope it lasts several years, like my last Omron nebuliser did.

Crazy Jack Organic Raisins 375 g (Pack of 6)
Crazy Jack Organic Raisins 375 g (Pack of 6)
Offered by tools247
Price: £22.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Good raisins, 12 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good raisins, organic, good price. Would buy again.

You can also try Sultanas http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00555JHK4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s03

Esprit Women's 094EE1G009 Down Long Sleeve Coat, Cinder Blue, Size 12 (Manufacturer Size:38)
Esprit Women's 094EE1G009 Down Long Sleeve Coat, Cinder Blue, Size 12 (Manufacturer Size:38)

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stay away if you don't want to ruin your clothes, 3 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really don't understand how this coat has only good reviews. I bought a blue one as a gift for my wife. She wore it the first day she got it with a white body wormer underneath. The result? Blue marks all over her white body warmer.

Outside it was sunny and cold, everything was dry, but the ink from the coat managed to get transferred to the body warmer. I think this is simply unacceptable from a coat that has a retail price of 130£.

And the worse part of this is that ink does not come off completely. It transferred so easily but after 2 machine washes the body warmer is still not completely white.

Later edit: Amazon customer service is always the best so I'm in for a replacement. I'll test it when it arrives and update the review.

Jamie Oliver Pop Up Salt Mill
Jamie Oliver Pop Up Salt Mill

1.0 out of 5 stars The worst salt mill, 24 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There's so many wrong things about this salt mill that I don't know where to start. I don't know how Jamie Oliver would allow it's name to be tied with this failure. It's simply unusable. It's a monument of failure built from several big failures put together. You need really chunky salt crystals for it, then you discover that the "adjustable grinding mechanism made from Nylon" is another failure and if you manage to adjust that, then you'll be disappointed by the grinding results and process. And don't ever try to use course sea salt before letting it dry for several days if you don't want to destroy your newly purchased salt mill.

This is the single most useless thing I ever bought on Amazon. Do yourself a favour and buy a different one.

Philips Sonicare HX9112/02 FlexCare Platinum Rechargeable Toothbrush
Philips Sonicare HX9112/02 FlexCare Platinum Rechargeable Toothbrush

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Won't last you long, 2 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You can read all the positive facts from other reviews. Facts that I won't deny. I'm giving it a one star rating based on the relative short live span correlated to the higher price of this tooth brush . After 16 months the power on/off button died so there's no way to start the tooth brush anymore. Every other button is working fine but none of them is used as intensively as the start button.

I cannot understand products full of features that die in a year or two. I could buy an electric tooth brush for a fifth of the price of this one that lasts that long.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2015 2:06 PM BST

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