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Profile for Andy Sweeney > Reviews

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Content by Andy Sweeney
Top Reviewer Ranking: 230
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Reviews Written by
Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (West Norfolk)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Strongbow Original Cider, 20 x 440ml
Strongbow Original Cider, 20 x 440ml
Price: £11.00

2.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst ciders on the market right now, 22 Aug. 2016
This isn't cider. OK, OK, maybe it technically is, but cider is generally a lovely tasting, golden, apple-y beverage that is a pleasure to quaff in quantity whereas Strongbow is a weird fizzy, acidic liquid that tastes nothing like apples. It's the cider equivalent of Carling. Seriously folks, if you enjoy good cider, with a rounded flavour, avoid this like the plague. The Dark Fruit or Citrus options are marginally better, but, really, this whole range is an insult to the good name of cider. For the best mainstream brands, I'd suggest you go for Thatcher's Gold or Stowford Press and let them flog this second rate stuff to captive audiences at summer festivals.


Scrumpy Jack Original Cider Can, 4 x 500ml
Scrumpy Jack Original Cider Can, 4 x 500ml
Price: £3.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value falling down juice, 22 Aug. 2016
6% ABV, decent tasting and easy to drink? If you like your drink to get you there quickly and easily but you don't want something like Special Brew that makes you wince with every intoxicating mouthful, you could do worse than spending less than a pound per can on Scrumpy Jack cider. Takes me back to my youth, it does...


Salter 10 Kg Contour Digital Kitchen Scale, Black
Salter 10 Kg Contour Digital Kitchen Scale, Black
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Phwoar!, 22 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As somebody who, for my entire adult life, had relied upon a set of kitchen scales a couple of decades old (which really have been showing their age over the last few years), the chance to upgrade to this lovely looking bit of kit was a bit of a no-brainer. It is superior to my old, basic model in so many ways: it weighs a greater quantity, you can change the measurement (grams, ounces, fluid ounces, etc.) and it simply looks attractive in my kitchen. I genuinely feel bad for my old scales - years of faithful service and I'm trading it in for a younger, hotter, more adventurous model. Still, nobody said life was fair, old pal. In the bin you go.


Alcatel POP 4 UK SIM-Free Smartphone
Alcatel POP 4 UK SIM-Free Smartphone
Price: £79.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive for the price, with just a few limitations, 22 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I obtained this phone for my youngest child as her first mobile phone as she will soon be going to school on her own and wanted something not too expensive, but also a smartphone that will do everything she would want it to do. For a first phone at a decent price point, you can't really go wrong with this Alcatel POP 4 and, given that it isn't tied to any network, it means that you can shop around for the best deal, whether you're interested in a contract or pay-as-you-go. It's an Android-driven device, so all applications are downloaded from the Google Play store (Google account required). It actually looks very similar to an iPhone, so kids who care about that kind of thing can look as if they own a phone many times more expensive than it is (obviously not a concern to most adults, but, for some reason, it seems to be important to young people to have a desirable device).

The set-up is quite simple, (if a little time consuming, but that's the same for any phone really), especially if you already have a Google account and the screen very crisp and clear. The speaker is decent, but not amazing, but the sound quality with the enclosed pair of earphones is good and the processor is fast enough to watch streamed videos and keep up with the associated memory demands, but it does slow if you have too many apps open at once. The outward facing camera is excellent at 8 megapixels (5 megapixels for the forward facing one) for a smartphone in this price range. What loses this handset marks is the fact that although I thought that, at 8Gb, it would have plenty of memory for everyday use, but it appears that over half of that is used on system programs, leaving very little for apps and storage of photos, music or other files. A memory card (which slots in by the SIM card) is pretty much essential if you want to make the most of your new phone.

Would I give up my iPhone 6S for this handset? Well, of course not; that would be silly. However, this smartphone is about an eighth of the price of my phone, so I am impressed by the performance and the quality of this handset - the value for money it represents is extremely good. Battery life is also more than decent, so that's one thing it has over my overpriced Apple product. For an entry-level smartphone, you'd have to really look far and wide to find better than this, so - as an 11 year old's first smartphone - it is pretty much perfect.


Joseph Joseph Shake-It Self-Tapping Sieve, Light Grey, Large
Joseph Joseph Shake-It Self-Tapping Sieve, Light Grey, Large
Price: £18.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully built posh sieve, 20 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A simple but clever idea that works well, having the sieve able to move from side to side means that you can sieve flour with minimal effort and no mess. It's on the pricey side, but it's very well built and a quality item of kitchen equipment. By no means a necessary addition to your drawer, but if you have this kind of money to spend on a sieve, then you will probably be happy with your purchase.


Scotch C38 19 mm x 8.89 m Dispenser and Tape 810 - Grey
Scotch C38 19 mm x 8.89 m Dispenser and Tape 810 - Grey
Price: £9.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality tape dispenser, 12 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a sturdy, moderately heavy tape dispenser. Heavy enough that it won't be knocked over easily or move when you're trying to tear the tape off the dispenser, but light enough to be easily portable. The tape with it is very good quality, although it loses marks for only coming with one, relatively small, roll. Quality product, though.


Accurist Women's Quartz Watch with Silver Dial Analogue Display and Brown Leather Strap 8043.01
Accurist Women's Quartz Watch with Silver Dial Analogue Display and Brown Leather Strap 8043.01
Price: £30.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful watch and a perfect gift, 18 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a lovely timepiece. With the rose gold embellished face and hands and the zirconia gems dotted around the outer circumference, it's a strikingly attractive watch and yet fairly simplistic in design - it's a watch and nothing but a beautiful old-fashioned watch, which is almost refreshing these days where everything seems to have to be something else as well! My daughter, who has been given this, is thrilled with it and, at nearly thirteen, a watch like this which is feminine, but not particularly fragile, seems to me to be a perfect first "proper" watch for a young lady who is starting to be interested in becoming a little more responsible and adult. With a name like Accurist, I'm confident that she will get years of enjoyment wearing it and, who knows, it may just last through her teenage years!


Sony HT-XT2 170W Sound Base with Wireless Multi-room, Google Cast and Bluetooth/NFC
Sony HT-XT2 170W Sound Base with Wireless Multi-room, Google Cast and Bluetooth/NFC
Price: £229.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound, but not suitable for older televisions without optical/AVC ports, 18 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The sound from this Sound Base is rather excellent and it is really quite simple to connect wireless devices to play music through the speakers (both Apple and Android devices have been successfully tried out), but if you don't have a television with optical or AVC outputs, then this sound base will be very limited in its use to you. Luckily, being only a few years old, my television has an optical output (my old sound bar was connected this way), but older TVs may not, so it's important to check before you order. Sky boxes, DVD players and modern Freeview boxes may have a sound output that you can directly connect this sound base to, but you will then obviously only get sound if you are using that particular device. So, despite the lack of backwards compatibility, it's still an improvement, sound-wise, on my last sound bar. It's just a shame that modern televisions are coming with such underwhelming sound that we feel the need to invest in these additional pieces of hardware.


House of Marley Jammin Chant In-Ear Headphones - Rasta
House of Marley Jammin Chant In-Ear Headphones - Rasta
Price: £23.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent earphones, but perhaps a case of style over substance, 24 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a fourty-something, I'm naturally suspicious of something with a heavy brand and an "artistic" selling point. To be honest, I don't care about the ethos of the product and, unless it is absolutely ugly as sin, what it looks like.

The good thing about these earphones is that they're actually pretty decent. A good all-round performance from bass to high frequency and a good quality build too. Are they anything more than a good pair of earphones wrapped up in a bit of a marketing gimmick? No, no really. Can you get just as good generic earphones for a much cheaper price? Well, yes you can. Would you regret buying these if you wanted them? Probably not.

If you like the look of them and the look is really important to you, go for it. If it's just sound quality and price you're concerned about, then look again. Thankfully, these earphones do have substance as well as style, but you do have to pay extra for the style too.


Canon PowerShot G5 X Compact System Camera (Wi-Fi, NFC)
Canon PowerShot G5 X Compact System Camera (Wi-Fi, NFC)
Offered by L&J Photo
Price: £579.00

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best camera I've ever owned, in my limited experience, 22 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is, by far, the most expensive camera I have ever owned, with my last one having an 8 megapixel picture quality, so obviously upgrading to a 20 megapixel quality camera is a massive step up and the definition so much sharper than what I've been used to. Most of the time I've settled for the convenience of using my iPhone to take photos, but - as decent as it is for a phone - they have their limitations. I haven't had much of a chance to give this camera a proper road test, with all I used it for is taking pictures of the family and a few outside shots, so I'm going to come back and add to this review when I've lived with the camera and used in more over the next few months. For now, it's certainly the best camera I've ever had the pleasure to use, so it'll have to be top marks.

To be continued...


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