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Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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AmazonBasics Dual-Layer Case for iPhone 7 Plus
AmazonBasics Dual-Layer Case for iPhone 7 Plus
Price: £13.58

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the third of the AmazonBasics iPhone 7 + ..., 9 Nov. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the third of the AmazonBasics iPhone 7 + cases i have tested and also the most expensive. The Dual layer iPhone case does come in 2 parts, a soft rubber liner and a harder plastic outer case. This 2 part case works well for me as I use a magnetic vent holder in my car and this design allowed the metal supplied to hold the phone to the magnet to be placed between the hard case and the rubber, stopping my phone being scratched.

The two part design removes some of the stiff case anxiety when slipping or removing the phone from the case; as you put the rubber inner liner on; and then the outer liner. The case has also been designed with a grip on the outside which makes it easier to hold the phone in your hand; the cheaper cases are all smooth on the outside. Onde they are all in together the case itself feels solid and protects the phone well from those silly fumbles that occur from time to time.
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1home Cantilever Glass Stand with Swivel Bracket for LCD/LED TV Upto 30 to 55-Inch
1home Cantilever Glass Stand with Swivel Bracket for LCD/LED TV Upto 30 to 55-Inch
Offered by bracketsales123
Price: £52.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get past the assembly and you have a nice elevated stand for your tv, 30 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The 1 Home Cantilever glass stand; was a mild pain to build. The instructions are pictorial but the link between them and the parts could be better. It still only took 20 minutes to build (and I had to retrace my steps at one point.) I wanted a raised stand i could use in my bedroom and see from my bed. The kit comes with all the parts (and tools) you need to assemble it - though using a power screwdriver saves time. I quickly had my tv mounted; and was happy to discovered there is a pivot to allow you to tilt the screen side to side which. The holes in the pole allow you to tidy the cables up; and the TV bracket does its best not to block the ports on the back of you tv. I didn't use the glass shelf; rather i kept the metal shelf as it was a good size to balance an apple tv on.

The stand was a little frustrating to assemble; but that was 20 minutes at the start of our relationship. Everything you need to build and mount your tv is in the box. Once past the assembly it has just been a part of the furniture.


AmazonBasics LED Bulb GU10, 3W to 35W, 230 lumens - Pack of 10
AmazonBasics LED Bulb GU10, 3W to 35W, 230 lumens - Pack of 10
Price: £18.81

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All 10 together still use less power than one bulb they replace, 30 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The AmazonBasics GU10 - 10 Pack lives up to the amazon basics history. An easy to open package; cut one sticker and you are in; then you have 10 bulbs protected in one cardboard pack; rather than individual packs as Philips GU10 bulbs were shipped. Fitting a GU10 is a lot like any other lightbulb. Make sure the power is off (safety first) then remove a retaining spring. The bulbs are held in place by a push and twist action; take out the old bulb (in my case a Once the bulb was a 35w halogen bulb) and replace with the 10x lower power rated amazon basics 3w bulb. Finally put the the spring back in place; and use the light switch switch to check your handwork. The immediately noticeable thing about these bulbs next to Philips LED and the generic halogen bulbs that I had in place before is a short delay from activating the switch to the bulbs illuminating (I have tried 4 and all have the same slight delay,) the light is also a little cooler (more blue) than the halogen bulbs or the Philips led bulbs I have in the house.

Neither of the short delay or cooler lights is a deal breaker; the delay is a fraction of a second. Side by side with a halogen light the cooler light is only noticeable where you have a mixture of bulbs; with a pack of 10 you can swap them all out if you want. The third thing that when added up cost the star is the bulbs aren't quite as bright as the 35w bulbs I had in place; the reflector is smaller and the output is slightly less.

The energy saving from LED bulbs is phenomenal; all 10 together use less than one of my halogen bulbs. The light is very nearly as good as the light from my remaining halogen bulbs. The irritations are minor; and the price is such that using all ten will allow you to recoup the purchase price in about a year and start saving money from then on. I use a lot of amazon basics products; from the case on my phone; the sheets on my bed to these bulbs. None of them feel basic; they all come in frustration free packaging they work and feel well made. 4*s because LED's still aren't quite as nice as halogen; but they will save you money compared to the halogen bulbs they replace.
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No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Held my light strips up better than the tape Phillips supplied, 27 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered some 3M double sided tape to fix a problem with Led light strips that didn't want to stay in place. The 3m tape is promised in a clear bag; and it wasn't. Removing the barcode proved a challenge. Once removed though it did the job I was looking for; attached 3m Hue lightships to gloss paint and keep them there.


Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting 1 m Lightstrip Plus LED Extension Kit (Includes 1 x 1 m LED Lightstrip Plus Extension, Works with Alexa)
Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting 1 m Lightstrip Plus LED Extension Kit (Includes 1 x 1 m LED Lightstrip Plus Extension, Works with Alexa)
Price: £19.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicer Whites; not enough glue, 27 Oct. 2016
Im torn on the light strips plus. Im torn in the price; which is as much a meter as 5m of other led strips; and the Hue ones aren't safe in wet environments. Once you try them though the Led strips are streets ahead of the cheap chinese competition when it comes to the light they generate. The hue strips are RGBWW - RGB Color and two types of white led. They are capable of doing color change as well as hard and soft white light; which makes them a great room accent or main light. My second angst is with the strips is the 3m tape on the back. Its applied in lots of short sections (which makes removing the backing tape a repeated task rather than one pull; and doesn't too a good job of sticking - particularly in a horizontal configuration; vertically they seem much better. After weeks of them falling of the walls i bought my own 3m tape roll (3M 9088 Double-Sided High Performance Clear Tape) and applied it to each of the 1m sections i was using. After this the lights have stayed on the wall and delivered a lovely mix of colors

The light strips are fantastic when you get them in place; far better for whites than looking than generic strips; for colors its a wash. Before you can use the light strips extensions you need a lightships starter kit and a hue bridge to use these before you start


Wireless electronic ballast FLS-PP lp with Power PWM interface for RGBW and RGB lights (12/24V LED/LED stripes), ZigBee certified product
Wireless electronic ballast FLS-PP lp with Power PWM interface for RGBW and RGB lights (12/24V LED/LED stripes), ZigBee certified product
Offered by dresden elektronik wireless
Price: £51.72

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Job, Works with Hue, Not HomeKit Certified, 21 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read the reviews for the Dresden Wireless electronic ballast; I decided to give it a go over Phillip's lightstrips. Price is the obvious reason; if you need more than the standard 2m Philips provide the solution becomes very expensive very quickly. The device itself is tiny; the pictures on the website are excellent quality the actual device is Wireless electronic ballast 141 x 30 x 13 mm. The box has a small instruction guide; the main ballast and a wire retaining cover and screws to protect the terminals. You don't get a power source or a led strip with the kit. I bought a LED kit with the power supply and cut the connector off and re-used it (having checked it wasn't too powerful for the ballast.

When it comes to setting it up; I put it on my desk and wired it up to check how it all worked; before getting behind a cupboard to do it for real. A number of the reviews say the connectors are weak; having gingerly set mine up three times now (I wanted to test a pair of strips to decide which to use; then did it for real) the pressure needed on the connector is minuscule. They depress less than a mm to release the cable stay. I used the cables that came attached to the led strips when I bought them in each instance. The terminals are nicely labelled; the wires on both my strips didn't correspond to the colours they controlled; so if you find yourself wondering why your wall is a strange green its likely they are swapped around.

Once wired up the device appeared on my Hue app's list of devices very quickly. Sadly it displays as two devices; the colour and white being separated out - this seems to break the scene functionality as the white shines up brightly regardless of the setting. You can label the device easily; as if it were a Philips device and manually controlling the colours it works nicely. The other disappointment was when I tried to set up Siri; Philips has disabled non-Apple Home certified devices from working with Siri. Whilst I can ask Siri to turn on my downlights; my led strip needs me to open the app (or widgets)- this isn't an enormous hardship but it is a difference to the Philips' lightstrips.

Overall it does a good job; I think if they could reduce the price slightly they would sell far more; as the current price gets it awfully near the cost of the Philips device which is much less hassle to set up - and works with Siri...
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Malée Verdure Moisturising Oil 100 ml
Malée Verdure Moisturising Oil 100 ml
Price: £38.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Effect Moisturizer; not sure about the bottle and perfume, 21 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
On my super dry, itchy, eczema prone skin I try a lot moisturizers - and vary them regularly. I didnt try the oil on my hair at all. Out of the box the Malée Verdure oil; comes in a nice looking textured glass bottle. I just dont like having glass in my bathroom; in this case its worse you are going to get this oil on your hand making it slick whilst still trying to hold onto the glass bottle. There is texture which gives you grip but the risk is always there.

Like the rest of the packaging the experience of getting the oil out of the bottle has been engineered to make it seem precious; the oil is retained by a small drip hole - there isn't a vent hole so you either need patience to extract the oil or you have shake to get the oil quickly (remeber glass + oily hands.) As an oil though so 3-4 drops quikcly covered my hands, far less than a cream would need, but if you are using it on a wider area it is infuriating.

For quickly calming itchy dry skin; applying oil to skin is the fastest way to do it - and generally offers long lasting relief. The Verdure oil achieves that - and unlike a bath emolient doesnt result in a bathtub scrubbing session. The verdure oil works best coming out of the bath or shower. Though onto dry skin it does make your skin look oily; using it before bed the sheen is gone in the morning. The Verdure oil isnt absorbed quickly into the skin like creams. The upside is the barrier lets your skin develop its own moisture too.

The Verdure oil itself is non mineral and made from a number of nuts and other plant oils; its nice and smooth - it isnt a tacky oil; and didnt have any haze in it. Frustratingly for me verdure has a light citrus scent which comes from added perfume rather than the ingredients; generally this isnt a good thing - and i wish they werent there - but it didnt seem to irritate my skin. The scent is nice; and if you are lucky enough to have tolerant skin its similar to verbena type shampoo's only its not in your nostrils strong; which is maybe why so far it hasnt caused a breakout.

Malée Verdure Moisturising Oil is a mixed bag for me; and that is why im only giving 3*'s. I dont like holding a glass bottle with oily hands in my bathroom; that is a recipe for disaster for someone. That it hasnt triggered any allergies for me is a positive; especially as it has provided itch relief at night. As a moisturiser it is effective; but it isnt a stand out against other oils.


Westcott iPoint Evolution Axis Sharpener for Pencils Upto 11mm - Black/Grey
Westcott iPoint Evolution Axis Sharpener for Pencils Upto 11mm - Black/Grey
Price: £68.62

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smooth wooden finish with a sharp point, 14 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 0:04 Mins

I should start this saying I am not in the market usually for such an impressive pencil sharpener. I have however read How to Sharpen Pencils and after doing so I feel I have a grounding in the basics. The Wescott iPoint Evolution pencil sharpener takes up some real estate on your desk; it doesn't appear to be wall mountable like the crank grind pencil sharpeners I remember at school.There is about 1/2m of power cord, plugging it in is the only step to getting it setup. On the front is a rotating disk that lets you select from size 6 to 11 (!) pencils. I tested it with my trusty Staedtler Noris pencils; something normally shaped by a pedestrian manual sharpener. The west point has helical carbon steel blades; and using it is an utter pleasure; you insert the pencil the blades start to whir; you do have to grip it as they can spin the pencil if you aren't paying attention - not that it causes any damage to pencil or sharpener. After a few seconds tone of the machine changes and your pencil is done. The shavings are all caught in a huge bin - are are tiny helix slivers. When you pull the pencil out after sharpening out the most notable thing; after the point, is just how smooth the wood is; there are no burs or lines where the razor stopped cutting. If you work with a lot of pencils the Wescott proves the best point with a smooth finish; now where is my rubber tubing to protect the tip.


AmazonBasics Slim Case for iPhone 7 Plus (Navy Blue)
AmazonBasics Slim Case for iPhone 7 Plus (Navy Blue)
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, everyday cars, 13 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have had a pair of Amazon basics iPhone cases to test with my 7 plus. The first was the clear model; a great case that stands up to abuse; and lets you leave a picture or other keepsake or just see the phone case - if you have the shiny jet black phone it will let you show it off too.

This review is for the Navy Blue version. It comes in the amazon frustration free box (though you need to get through a sticker so its not entirely frustration free as there isn't a tab to release it like other frustration free boxes.) Unlike the clear case the blue one has a soft flecked inner the case has a cutout for the larger camera on the back of the case, the side buttons are protected by movable pads on the case. There is a wide cutout releasing the lightning port and speaker ports. The outer case is a nice navy blue and has an embossed texture that holds against marks and scratches from keys and other things in your pocket. The case extends out past the screen a millimetre to protect against direct drops. The frame of the case is rigid; though not so rigid as to make it difficult to extract or insert your phone. The navy blue case actually resembles the apple original leather case (there isn't any branding on the case.)

The dimpling and navy blue look great; its clearly not the leather case when you pick it up when its plastic it feels smooth not tacky like the clear case. Amazon calls its products basics; but they are really everyday products and this is particularly good value
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Joseph Joseph Wash and Drain Plus Washing Up Bowl with Dish Drainer - Dark Grey/Grey
Joseph Joseph Wash and Drain Plus Washing Up Bowl with Dish Drainer - Dark Grey/Grey
Price: £34.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for a few mugs but not much more, 12 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used the Joseph Joseph Arena dish rack for a few years; and it has held up to regular abuse and cleans back to look as good as new. For my sink I have never used a washing up bowl; and having been using the Wash and Drain Plus (i guess the days of simple names like Arena are gone) i have been wasting a lot of water. The Drain Plus has come in basically the same grey as my Arena so if you like things that match Joseph Joseph has that going for it.

The drain warrants a plus is because this washing bowl in 4 parts; a small cup for cutlery, a spiky draining rack, the bowl itself which has a plug which can be opened or removed to act as a strainer. You can use all the pieces together or split the spikes out as a drying rack. You will need a water catch on your sink to use them as a drying rack - and then it is best used only for small things like cups as it doesn't have a lot of adhesion with the steel of my drainage sink - also unlike the arena the spikes aren't high enough to reliably hold a plate. They will but you need to counter balance the tray to avoid it tipping. If you use the spikes in the washing bowl; they block access to the plug, so they are best used in or out of the bowl to hold cups ...

My plates (and even pasta bowls) are far too big to soak in the drain plus; you can obviously wash them by spinning around. The area of the bowl is around 6 mugs on the spikes - for occasional washing up its a great way to save water; or have somewhere to soak something small. The drying rack works best in the bowl - but you can't empty the water. The Drain plus feels well made; and has thoughtful touches like the cutlery cup but it doesn't work well for washing or drying the things in my kitchen.


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