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Profile for Chris Hoare > Reviews

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Content by Chris Hoare
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Reviews Written by
Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Ogario London Revive and Shine Shampoo, 100 ml
Ogario London Revive and Shine Shampoo, 100 ml

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a regular use shampoo, 7 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have given the Ogario Revive and Shine shampoo a fair hearing. The first time i use it i felt my hair felt like straw even whilst the shampoo was still in. I made a mistake; i have soft water and used it like a regular shampoo. Deciding this cant be right; i read the instructions and i discovered i was using it wrong; it a strong shampoo and you don't need a lot - just squirt a tiny amount into your hands; then run your hands to create a lather and and rub the lather into your hair and scalp. Even then this is not a rinse and repeat shampoo; it strips your hair very effectively almost making conditioner a requirement rather than a treat.

The shampoo didn't cause any allergic reactions in my highly sensitive skin; and whilst my scalp didn't have any flare ups. Its a great shampoo to get your hair squeaky clean; i vastly prefer using my more usual kiehl's. As an occasional strip down its very effective; for me and my fine hair its not a regular use shampoo. 3*


AmazonBasics Clear Case for iPhone 7 Plus
AmazonBasics Clear Case for iPhone 7 Plus
Price: £7.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic Resilient iPhone Case, 29 Sept. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The AmazonBasics iPhone 7 Plus case arrives in a slightly over large Amazon Frustration free package.

Out of the box you have a clear slightly sticky feeling plastic case; it feels secure in your hand. Slotting your phone in is simple; as is getting it out- the plastic moves easily around your phone but it wont fall out on its own. The plastic itself isnt sticky it just feels grippy in your hand. It does slip over smooth surfaces which isnt great if you leave it on a shelf in your car whilst driving.

The plastic holds up against keys; it took a lot of pressure to leave any marks on the plastic (more than you would achieve in your pocket before questioning what was going on in it. The plastic is as thick as the camera bump; but there are tiny feet in the corners to lift it up further on the back so it protects the lenses from scratching. The front of the case protrudes past your phones screen to give it some protection; but it doesnt cover the screen so if you drop your phone you way want to get a screen protector seperately. The lower speaker is left uncovered; as is the lightning socket. The volume and wake button have plastic covers over them; but the switch is uncovered.

Tranparent cases like this would show off the gloss finish of the jet black phone if you went for one. If you have a traditional silver and while phone like me; you can put photos or other slips inside the case which can come in handy.
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Kelodo Bluetooth Earbud Smallest Wireless Earphone in Ear Headset Mini Headphone Handsfree with Mic and 5.5 Hour Playtime for iPhone Samsung Galaxy Huawei Mobile Phones and Tablets-Black
Kelodo Bluetooth Earbud Smallest Wireless Earphone in Ear Headset Mini Headphone Handsfree with Mic and 5.5 Hour Playtime for iPhone Samsung Galaxy Huawei Mobile Phones and Tablets-Black
Offered by KELODO Direct
Price: £50.98

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and they aren't kidding - there is a photo attached linked to my with the Kelodo next to my already small Bragi Dash wireless he, 28 Sept. 2016
When Kelodo approached me asking for a review they described this as the smallest headset; and they aren't kidding - there is a photo attached linked to my with the Kelodo next to my already small Bragi Dash wireless headphones - they Kelodo bluetooth headset looks like a miniature next the high tech Bragis . Opening the box you get a small black pouch and an folded instruction booklet. Opening the pouch there were two usb cables; a couple variable size of ear adaptors. The headset itself is dwarfed by the pouch - see the photo. The Kelodo earbuds are so small they don't have the space for a standard USB cables so to connect to them you need to use one of the included usb to round dc pins.

There is a single button on the headset; press and hold it until a blue and red flashing light appears; and then you can pair it to your phone, tablet or bluetooth equipped PC. My headset spoke Chinese when i started to pair it; the included instruction pamphlet helped me get there - though it is as simple as hold the button till it prompts to be paired. The device will remember the connection settings for two phones; if you are cursed as i am with a work mobile you can use it with that and your personal phone. The speech quality for people you are speaking sounds a little clipped - when you stop talking there is a change in ambient noise which is the only way you notice it but its no worse than my Bragi's. Callers could hear me when i made calls from a variety of places and understand what i was saying. It has been windy in the week i have had it and even in strong winds i could record voice memos and make calls with clear speech; though in wind the phone was better as it had noise cancelling microphones. The people you are talking to come through nice and clear (and you can play music or stream the radio to the speaker which is handy). When playing music the battery lasted a comfortable 4 hours with the odd call in between.

There is a small price to be paid for these tiny sized earbuds and that alone would have made them good value; that they are so cheap and so discreet only helps make them brilliant
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iPhone 7 Plus Case Icarer [Folio Flip Genuine Leather] Snug Fit Cover [Handicraft Vintage Series] [Anti-Scratch Soft Suede Interior] with [Magnetic Closure] for iPhone 7 Plus 5.5inch (Brown)
iPhone 7 Plus Case Icarer [Folio Flip Genuine Leather] Snug Fit Cover [Handicraft Vintage Series] [Anti-Scratch Soft Suede Interior] with [Magnetic Closure] for iPhone 7 Plus 5.5inch (Brown)

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soft touch outside; soft on the inside with a rigid frame, 28 Sept. 2016
Choosing a case to live with your phone is a difficult one; and having received my iPhone 7 Plus the first thing i needed to do was find a case. Especially after having a good laugh at the man in the apple store trying to sell me a £50 original apple case.

Icarer got in touch and offered me a Leather case for free for review purposes and it is that version I'm considering. My case is a well dyed brown wallet style phone case. You slot your phone into soft finish interior; the outer frame is rigid especially in the corners and this outer frame has cutouts for the camera and wake up button on the side and on the bottom the speaker and lightning port are left clear. On the outer case there is a magnetic catch to hold the flap shut ( there is an exposed metal element but this doesn't appear to come into contact with the screen) and a speaker hole so you can use the phone with the screen covered The stitching on the case is nice and even; inside and out and there aren't any signs of fraying cotton. The volume switches are inside the case when closed and there isn't an opened to access them.

With your phone in the case picking it up the leather feels waxy but you get a good grip. This style of case adds little to the overall size but protection; if you are wanting a full wallet style case the Icarer doesn't have any card slots; just rigid protection for your phone.


ACE Breathalyzer AF-33, TU-Vienna-measurement accuracy: 97.9%, UK-Version
ACE Breathalyzer AF-33, TU-Vienna-measurement accuracy: 97.9%, UK-Version
Price: £86.47

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Study to overcome the Learning Curve before you get your drink on, 25 Sept. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Ace Breathalyzer is one of the more fun devices I have had the chance to review. Anything in the name of vine; so in for a penny in for a g&t. The device comes in a functional box; inside is the device, 2 aaa batteries are included, along with 6 individually wrapped tips and a cushioned case. You have to detach the tip to put it into the case You plug a tip in on the left hand side (the ACE logo looks like your breath going into the device with helps.)

The ACE Breathalyzer is a bit like the Mogwai; it comes with a set of rules to help you get the most out of it. The most important of these is waiting 15 minutes before using it; i tried after just drinking something and had very high readings (the photo below was after a slug of gin and tonic and read just over the legal limit (80mg in England) 15 minutes later i was well under the limit. So the rules are there to help you get an accurate reading. Though some of them are infuriating (again medical instrument so i can understand why but this is overly vague "Do not keep the ACE AF-33 in cold, hot, moist or badly ventilated places.") My interpretation of that rule is don't leave it in your car. One important note is you can only use the device 500 times before you need to send it back to germany for recalibration.

Having learnt how to use the device itself; i now find it fairly simple top operate. Up until that point I though I had imagined writing a review about it making a great drinking game; you drink until you can get it to take a reading. The trick to my use of it as exhalation speed; its a shame the device screen wasn't specced up to something they could display sensible messages on; there is a message FLO for not enough breath but there isn't one for over flow... So the trick is to blow out a slow steady breath for about 5 seconds until it beeps and doesn't give you a cryptic message. If you are out and it won't read a value; please get an uber and don't take the chance.

When you power the device on it counts down; the manual says inhale when it gets to 2 seconds; and place in your mouth ready to exhale. When it takes a reading you can see the numbers on a nice clear screen. Its definitely worth practicing before going out and using it as coming to the unit in a bar you will get beeped at a lot and quickly get frustrated with it.

My science experiment tracked an increasing count through several gins and tonic. Then in the two hours after it it slowly tracked down. The unit stores the last 10 readings and indicates their age which made my experiment much easier. If you are going on holiday in france it is a requirement to have a breathalyser in your car. If you are going out and driving its a great way to remove the risk. I just wish the science of the unit made it easier to operate.

Im torn on 3 or 4*s for this; I got it to give a reading out in a bar. So i went for 4*; put in the time to learn how to use it and it gives readings that tracked with my alcohol consumption so i don't doubt the quality of the readings ACE just need to get some Californian known how on the user interface.
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Belkin 1.2 m Lightning to USB Charge and Sync Cable for Apple iPad Pro/iPad Air 2/iPad Air/4th Gen/iPad Mini/iPad Mini Retina/iPhone SE/5/5s/5c/6/6s/6 Plus/6s Plus (MFI Approved) - Black
Belkin 1.2 m Lightning to USB Charge and Sync Cable for Apple iPad Pro/iPad Air 2/iPad Air/4th Gen/iPad Mini/iPad Mini Retina/iPhone SE/5/5s/5c/6/6s/6 Plus/6s Plus (MFI Approved) - Black
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Length, Quality easy in an easy to open pack, 25 Sept. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Belking 1.2m Lightning cable came in a nice brown amazon basics inspired box; so much simpler to get your cable than a blister pack. I received a 1.2m version of the cable; and its a nice length for running a cable around something on; or from under your desk. Its a bit too short for using in my car; as it doesn't get from the car usb sockets to anywhere i can leave my phone. Its a Belking Product; so that cable is a nice high quality - more substantial than the wire apple uses; but still flexible and the wrapper seems good at resisting getting caught. Unlike the standard apple cable there is a good strain relief as the cable enters the sockets; which should keep it going longer as you twist and turn the wire. Data transfer and power both worked fine on a variety of apple devices.

You pay a bit more for Belkin than new to the market chinese brands; but from experience with other belkin cables i use they can survive abuse in the real world.The cable and connector quality doesn't feel like it has gone backwards so i have rated it 5*
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Vax TBTTV1B1 Cordless SlimVac 22.2 V Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, 0.6 L - Graphite Silver/Blue
Vax TBTTV1B1 Cordless SlimVac 22.2 V Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, 0.6 L - Graphite Silver/Blue
Price: £98.10

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Clean, Slow charge, 18 Sept. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The VAX TBTTV1B1 is an interesting vacuum; it is cordless and fairly lightweight. In the box you get the vacuum, a single battery, a power adaptor, wall mount, extension tube,a narrow nozzle and a turbine head. Assembly is easy; the battery has a nice slot in the handle; and the socket for the power adaptor is close by. The tubes connect together with good positive switches making a nice tactile connection and disconnection. Wth the extension tube connected its a nice upright vacuum; remove it and its a compact hand held you can comfortably take to the car.

Being battery powered you have to charge it up; and the first charge is a leave it overnight job; and once thats done the suction power is pretty good for the size and it holds up well as you discharge the battery. it is in fact far better than the full size Vax battery vacuum I tried earlier this year. Its light weight is particularly great on the stairs; and as the turbine head is powered by the battery rather than suction so it seems to do a good job lifting dirt from the stairs. there is a switch on the top of the unit to turn the head on and off; turning it off helps the battery life. After the stairs its a useful second vacuum for those times you make a small mess; rather than general cleaning.

The downside to the TBTTV1B1 (aside the name) is the battery charging time; the batteries last around 25 minutes but take 5 hours to recharge which is ludicrous. The battery is lithium so you can charge it up and leave it till you next need it; but the charging system isn't neatly integrated in the way some competitors solutions are; the power brick has a cable you need to manually seat. Its not the most major disadvantage but it does make it less tidy overall solution.


LEGO 60124 City In/Out Volcano Exploration Base Construction Set
LEGO 60124 City In/Out Volcano Exploration Base Construction Set
Price: £49.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The kids enjoyed playing with this Lego set, 14 Sept. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The kids enjoyed playing with this Lego set. The exploding volcano is great fun when its assembled. Its an big box of lego with lots of different smaller builds to tackle. This meant two kids could build a bit each (the Volcano and lava are quite complex but a 5 year old happily tackled the tracks.) As its lego there were hours of fun in one box assembling the various bits; then playing with it, then destroying it and making a mess.

Its a great Lego design and the lava bombs in particular had intricate detail to the parts.
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Kona Longboard Lager Beer, 6 x 335 ml
Kona Longboard Lager Beer, 6 x 335 ml
Price: £18.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liquid Aloha, a payday treat, 11 Sept. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was introduced to Kona Longboard; one of a number of smaller volume beers from the Kona Brewing company on holiday in Hawaii. The Kona Brewing company has a nice marketing strategy in the states; and some of that is in the presentation of its bottles; they bear the image of the state of Hawaii as well as their motto Liquid Aloha in the glass itself. Kona Brewing Co are not the american beers you are used to they have a varied range that started out as Craft brewing (if they are shipping to the UK i have to assume that is changing. The experience and taste are a definite step up from Corona's or the ubiquitous Budweiser beers.

Out of the bottle the beer is a nice golden color; there is a enough carbonation for a light head to form as you poor it. It has a faint citrus aroma and taste; its not striking like staaropramen, but has a nice hoppy taste.

The packaging from amazon was a bit ott; coming in a wine bottle carrier. The bar was imported to the UK; and even has a UK 1.6 unit symbol on it; not that it mattered but the beer had 7 months of shelf life renaming when it arrived.

Kona Longboard was a treat; and if you like trying new beers its definitely worth a try. Now we need the Maui brewing company to bring Bikini blond lager to make it to these shores. 5* for the memories; 4* if I'm looking at it for the first time as it is a bit expensive
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Simpeak 2-in-1 Mini Bluetooth 3.0 Transmitter Receiver, Enable Bluetooth Function to 3.5mm Audio Devices and : MP3, CD players, Car Audio Systems, Wired Speakers, Wired Headphones and More
Simpeak 2-in-1 Mini Bluetooth 3.0 Transmitter Receiver, Enable Bluetooth Function to 3.5mm Audio Devices and : MP3, CD players, Car Audio Systems, Wired Speakers, Wired Headphones and More

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use your existing headphones with your iPhone 7, 11 Sept. 2016
The Simpeak 2 in 1 bluetooth transmitter will serve two functions controlled by a switch that will help you with bluetooth audio. It is a compact device; its about the size of four 20pence coins in area and 5 in height. In the box you get a manual (simpler to follow pairing instructions are below) a usb charging cable and a 3.5mm jack.

The first is likely going to be a popular one; if your next phone doesn't have a headphone jack; and you don't want to spend 150 pounds on some name brand bluetooth wifi ear buds the Simper 2-in-1 bluetooth device is an affordable easy way to convert any existing headphones into bluetooth headphones. When it arrives you can charge it up using a USB; set the switch to RX (Receive) press the power button down till a red / blue led flashes in top of the case then in your phone pair it to BTI-020. Plug in your headphones and they are now bluetooth headphones. Tested with my B&W P5's the sound quality was only marginally reduced over the direct wire connection - the overall sound was a little less rich. The volume was comparable to being directly plugged into my iPhone. The only thing you use is the microphone / inline remote controls; you will need to judge how problematic that is for you. For me I found this a preferable solution to using my native bluetooth headphones as i like to talk into my phone (to get the better sound quality for my caller from the noise cancelling microphones ) rather than into the microphone on my headphones and when using the SImpeak 2-in-1 i didn't need to switch the mode. In this mode the battery happily lasted me a full day in the office; charging it back up takes about two hours. The transmission range in the open plan office was enough that i could walk 50m away (including down a floor) having left my phone on the desk. at home where there are more wireless signals the range was closer to 8m.

The other mode is transmit; and this is for people with bluetooth headphones; you can plug the included 3.5mm jack into a non bluetooth device and it will transmit the sound to headphones. Not having any bluetooth headphones to compare the quality I couldn't give this a serious test; but i was able to transmit sound from my iPhone to a creative labs bluetooth speaker. The sound quality was pretty comparable to directly beaming sound from my phone to the speaker.

As we head into a headphone jack free future bluetooth is the current solution; if you have invested in plug in headphones (or a new phone) and aren't ready to get rid of them just yet; this is a convenient alternative to getting a new pair of headphones it may also be a handy way to convert an older device to transmit over bluetooth.

Simpeak provided me a discounted 2 in 1 for review.
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