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

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Braun Series 9 9240s Men's Electric Foil Shaver, Wet and Dry, Rechargeable and Cordless Razor with Pop Up Trimmer - Black
Braun Series 9 9240s Men's Electric Foil Shaver, Wet and Dry, Rechargeable and Cordless Razor with Pop Up Trimmer - Black
Offered by Vendable Ltd
Price: £164.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Close, irritation free shave even with a few days of growth, 7 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Opening the 9240 box; something that ought to be a treat given the cost; you are confronted with a cheap box and pressed cardboard packaging which doesn't give the experience i would want for such an expensive device. The box includes a desk charger; a good hard travel case; the razor and a small brush to clean it up. Charging it up overnight i used it as a daily shaver for a week. Infuriatingly it uses a 1 amp two pin charger rather than USB which would be much more convenient at this point.

After a week of daily use I gave the 9240's the hardest test i can for any electric razor; i didn't shave for 4 days and then shaved using the razor on a dry face. The 9240; admittedly fresh out of the box and so as sharp as they can get; didn't flinch or pull or cut and left my face feeling very nearly as well shaved as using a gillette fusion. My skin was also irritation free; my previous favourite razor from Panasonic couldn't achieve such a close shave; so the 9240 is clearly a step forward. Its not all roses; it wasn't so good on the hairs that followed my neck - something a wet shave wouldn't have an issue with; I used a Phillips one blade to trim those back the razor was able to clear the remaining stubble. Regular shaving doesn't give the 9240 this issue; just letting the hair grow for a few days.

The 9240 is a very good dry shave; the battery life is good; its infuriating it uses a 1amp two pin wire at this point - a lot of hotels don't even have them anymore its time the razor and toothbrush people caught up. The ergonomics are good; the shave is close but without irritation; if you are giving it as a gift get some nice wrapping paper to make up for the lousy packaging. 5*


HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset for Xbox One/PC - Black
HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset for Xbox One/PC - Black
Price: £62.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good comfort and good sound, 7 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Getting the HyperX CloudX from the box is a treat; the box opens into two halves revealing a nice hard case inside a dense foam box. The headset case had the headphones; inside the box were a replacement set of ear cups and another connector.

Once out of the box; they were honestly a total; surprise - until i used the HyperX CloudX headset; i didn't realise how uncomfortable my Turtle beach headset actually was. This is the most comfortable headset I have ever used. Its nearly as comfortable as my B&W P7 headphones. The super soft ear cups gently grip your head without squeezing. The sound is only 2 channels but has a good response and separation when you are using it. To use with the 360 you need the rip off headset adaptor (my previous headset included one.)

The only negative's for me is that connector to the controller is straight rather than at 90 degrees which means it frequently gets caught when reclining and playing; the cable also has an inline volume adjustment which frequently changed the settings; even though the controller has them easily to hand - the connector isn't necessary. The microphone is nice and adjustable (and removable if you don't want to talk or use them to listen to music.)

The upsides are great audio and comfort and the downsides are so minor as to seem like quibbles; only on something high quality the little things make or break the experience.


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 [One Pcs]-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 [One Pcs]-Black
Offered by KELODO Direct (VAT Registered)

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: £89.26

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/Air 2/4th Gen/iPad Mini/iPad Mini Retina/iPhone SE/5/5c/6/6s/6 Plus/6s Plus/7/7 Plus/8/8 Plus/X (MFI Approved) - Black
Belkin 1.2 m Lightning to USB Charge and Sync Cable for Apple iPad Pro/iPad Air/Air 2/4th Gen/iPad Mini/iPad Mini Retina/iPhone SE/5/5c/6/6s/6 Plus/6s Plus/7/7 Plus/8/8 Plus/X (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: £109.00

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

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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