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Apple Wireless AirPods (a comprehensive Review)

Review Category: 

Review: 

They’re here; they’re finally here!
At their event in September, where they presented the iPhone 7, Apple also showcased two tiny earphones they called the AirPods.
Offering a truly wireless experience, these Bluetooth earphones claims to simplify our life by offering a seamless integration to Apple’s other line of products, especially the iPhone 7 without the headphone jack; and no, this does not come with the new iPhones. You have your Lightning headphones and adapter for that.
They were scheduled to be launched in October, but got held back because of issues with both pods communicating with one another.
Anyhow, they became available in December, and I managed to get my hands on a limited pair within the first week before they went out of stock. The estimated delivery time is now 6 weeks, so if you order now you would have to wait until 2017.
Before you order however, I hope this review will help you decide if you should.

Unbox and setup
It comes in a small square white box with 2 embossed AirPods on the lid, which is a nice touch.
Opening it up, you get the user manual. Under that is the charging case for the AirPods and finally a Lightning USB cable to charge the case.
The AirPods themselves are inside the case.
Once I opened the lid, my iPhone detected them and ask if I wanted to connect to them, which was very cool; no need to fiddle around with pairing buttons.
It took two attempts to get them connected, the first few times saying that there was an error connecting. After they’re connected, a tone is heard in the AirPods and all audio is now directed to the pods.

Appearance
These look exactly like the wired AirPods, but obviously without the wires. Imagine someone chopped off the wires of your wired AirPods, leaving a little bit on the end, and that’s it; so the design could be better.
When wearing them, they do look a bit odd, and one person confused them for hearing aids, especially when I was using a single one.
Usage
I had some initial issues when using them, when I wanted to summon Siri, I’d perform the double tap on the right AirPod but Siri came up on my phone’s speaker instead, furthermore it didn’t respond to any of my commands. This was solved by me using the best solution to any tech support, turning the phone off and on!
After that slight hiccup, the AirPods functioned fine, I was able to listen to music, hear Voiceover, make calls, and talk to Siri.
To summon Siri, I just had to double tap either of the AirPods, and I could ask my normal questions about the weather, set up meetings, request an Uber, and one extra command to check the battery on the AirPods; just ask, “What’s my battery level?”
Media Controls
These small earphones has no physical buttons, and every control has to be done via Siri. You have to ask Siri to turn up the volume and play the next track.
Answering incoming calls is simple, just use the two tap on the pods as if you were summoning Siri and it will pick the call up; repeat this if you wish to end the call.

What Did You Say?
At any point you’re listening to music or watching a video, and you pull out one of the pods to hear something, it will automatically pause the media, just pop it back in and it will resume playing.
You can still listen to your phone with one pod in, just hit play after it automatically pauses.
If you take both out, it will automatically disconnect from your phone, very convenient as it allows me to use my phone without messing around with Bluetooth settings or turning them off.

Sound Quality
With both AirPods in my ears I can just about shut out the outside world, I can still hear the rumble of a London tube as they do not have noise cancelation. This really depends on the level of volume, and whether you’re listening to a song or a book, but they are really audible!
The quality itself sounds better than the wired version, with a bit more kick to the bass, but it’s far from perfect, and you can get cheaper options for the same quality.

Mic quality
Siri understood me perfectly, even in noisy environments, this is achieved by the two beam-forming microphones located on each long end of the bottom of the pods, this technology allows AirPods to filter out external noise and focus on the sound of my voice, which is pointing towards my mouth.
I have to say though, with one pod in, Siri had issues understanding me when I’m walking on the street.
When on the phone people noted the better quality, they said it didn’t sound like I was using headphones, it sounded like I was talking through my actual phone.
Using third-party apps such as      WhatsApp and Skype seems to be a hit and miss, the quality will vary, like if it was encoded in a lower sample rate
If you want a sample of the microphone quality you can take a listen here, but it’s not brilliant, but with phone and FaceTime calls, they sound fantastic.

Privacy
There is no way to have a private conversation with these in public due to the position of the microphones. You won’t be able to put your mouth close to them like the wired AirPods, and they aren’t really close to your mouth so whispering won’t be an option as well. Any phone calls, or command to   Siri will be heard by people near by.
“Play Justin Bieber!”

Are They Secure?
For me? Yes. Instead of using earbuds with interchangeable different sized tips, Apple’s adopted the one-size-fits-all approach, which means due to the size it should fit the majority of people.
If you have issues with the wired ones staying in, there is a good chance you will struggle with these as well.
Just a heads up if you decide to sleep with these on, on the first night, I was listening to an audio book, and by the morning one had fallen out, ended up in the gap between the bed and the wall.
This might be my notorious tossing and turning, but when in contact with something like a bed or a coat hood, they do shift.
Once in though, they are really comfortable, at times I hardly notice they were in, and as much as I tried they just wouldn’t come out!
Lost & Stolen
One thing I have to say is how easy they come out when pulled, someone can very easily come up to you and yank them out and run off with them, and not promoting any theft here, there isn’t even any deactivation procedure to make them useless to thieves, but I would expect you need the case for them to pair to a new device.
Replacing one of these isn’t cheap too.

Durability
I am not brave enough to put them through gruelling tests, but I have dropped them from head height before and they worked fine, after trying to find them.
They aren’t officially sweat proof, but I notice they can take a bit of water, I got them wet before by walking home in the rain and they worked okay.
For a more thorough durability test, check out this video from YouTuber EveryThingApplePro

Battery Life
The small case that it supposed to sit in when not being use act as a charger too, so when you’re not using them they are charging.
From a full charge, the AirPods lasts roughly for 5 hours which is impressive given their size. Once they are dead you can pop them back in the case for only 15 minutes and it will give you 3 hours of use.
Obviously the case itself needs charging as well, and when full will give you 24 hours of charge.
For those who can see it, you can check the battery status of your AirPods by checking on the tiny LED light between the slots where your AirPods sits, and they will give you an idea how much life you got left, green means it’s fully charged, amber meaning it’s still charging, just take them out and the lights reflects the battery life of the case and not the AirPods.
For a more accurate report, just ask Siri “How much battery do my AirPods have?” or you can look at the Notification Centre.
For the case itself, just open the lid near to your iPhone and it will automatically display the battery life of the case.

Accessibility
Probably the most common question I get ask by blind users is, “Is there lag when using Voiceover?”
Yes, but hardly noticeable. These are using Bluetooth so no matter what Apple does, there is no way to provide the same latency as wired AirPods.
The latency is maybe 0.2 seconds maximum, and certainly a smooth experience.
Just like the wired options, Voiceover works really well, but I have noticed a slight bug with selecting audio destination via the Voiceover rotor, once you set the audio to your phone, you can’t flick to switch back and would have to connect via the Control Centre again.
Third-party Devices
These are Bluetooth headphones so as long as your other devices have Bluetooth, they should work with these, all be limited.
There will not be the instant initial setup found with your Apple devices, and you won’t be able to control music as there are no physical options and Siri won’t be there to help; but you can still listen to audio fine.
To connect them you will need to hit the paring button found at the back of the case, it’s tiny so it might take some time to find, hold that down and it will start to allow other devices to connect to it.

What Is The Range?
These have great range, I can leave my phone charging in the Living Room and move freely around in the adjacent room, my kitchen, without any loss of quality or cut-outs to phone calls and music.
They do start to struggle if I go upstairs though.
How Much Do They Cost?
They cost £159 in the UK, $159 in the US.
To replace either an AirPod or the charging case, Apple will charge you £65 – or $69 – for each item.

Personal Thoughts
I would not be keeping mine, despite its great features, there is one deal breaker for me.
I mentioned that there are no physical way to control your playback, and everything needs to be done via Siri.
I love Siri but as a voice assistance software it is lacking behind competitors such as Alexa on the Amazon Echo. I’m not sure how you’re like speaking to Siri in public, personally I don’t mind, I get a few looks my way when I suddenly start talking, but with the wired AirPods I am able to place my mouth closer to the microphone, it would not be possible with these, and from a passerby’s point of view, not sure how I would have felt if the person who was quiet a minute ago, out of the blue just burst out with a command! Also there is a point where using Siri might not be as sufficient, for a basic command such as volume up, do I really need Siri? What about skipping tracks, do I really want to be sitting there with the person next to me hearing “Next, next, next”?
However, the main issue is connectivity. As you know, Siri requires an internet to work, without Wi-Fi or cellular it will not function. I commute to university and work on the London Underground, and unlike other cities, our subways have limited coverage in the stations, and non-existent connectivity in the tunnels. This mean throughout most of my journey I would need to be reaching into my pocket for my phone to raise the volume and change the song which somewhat defeats the purpose.
One more little thing, it wasn’t as integrated as I expected, I was expecting that I could raise my wrist to check the time on my Apple Watch whiles using my phone, and audio will be streamed to my ears, but no. You would have to go into the Control Panel and select the AirPods via AirPlay.
Currently it only supports streaming from one device at a time, and without automatic switching doesn’t really do it for me.
It’s still early days, and I look forward to software updates.

Conclusion
To conclude, these are fantastic earphones giving me the sense of freedom and movement only wireless earphones could achieve. They are comfortable, and work extremely well with your Apple products.
There is no noticeable lag with Voiceover, and audio quality is great for music and books.
They do not fall out easily, and would make excellent earphones for sports such as running.
These are the best earphones I have tried out so far, the price might be a bit steep, but it’s certainly cheaper than current high end earphones.
If you been holding back in going wireless, or tried Bluetooth earphones with bad results, I would recommend these, you will not be disappointed.
I just wish it wasn’t so dependent on Siri; also a physical way to control my music would be nice. Looking forward to the next generation of these!
Obviously it’s different for everyone, so I would recommend going into an Apple store to try them out. Don’t worry, they sanitise them after each person is done with them, and they will also allow you to pair them to your personal phone.
Another option is to buy them, and try them for 14 days, as long as you return them within this period, Apple’s return policy allows you to give them back.
I hope this review has helped and answered your questions, if not drop me a comment below and I will answer them.
Please do share your experience as well. I would be very interested to hear them.
Happy New Year!

PS: First time posting on here, so if an AppleVis editor wish to change something and add headings please do, it was a lot easier posting this on WordPress 🙂

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone
iPad

Rating: 

4 Stars

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via IFTTT

JETech Milanese Loop for Apple Watch

Review Category: 

Review: 

This third-party Apple Watch band currently sells for less than $20, a fraction of the price of Apple’s own offering. It is available from Amazon or at . It comes in black and silver, like the Apple one, but it also comes in rose gold. Like the original from Apple, it consists of a single, flexible, lightweight mesh band with a clip at one end and a magnetic tab at the other. A metal clip slides freely along the length of the band. The band is designed so that the metal clip cannot accidentally slip off either end of the band. To attach the band to the watch, the two metal clips are inserted into the two slots on the sides of the watch, and the watch then can be slid over the hand. Then the free end of the band can then be simply pulled to fit the band to the desired length.

The magnet on this clasp is strong, and I have not had any problems with the band slipping. So far, the watch has stayed firmly in place with this band, and I haven’t had problems with having to adjust it constantly as with some of the other band types. Once I have adjusted the band, the watch feels very comfortable, and it never feels heavy or becomes sweaty. The feel of the mesh is difficult to describe, like a towel made of flexible metal. The band looks and feels very dressy, but it is also appropriate for everyday wear. This is how I
might imagine Bilbo Baggins’ chainmail shirt to feel.

I have not done a side-by-side comparison with the Apple Milanese Loop, but the JETech band is 2 inches wide while the Apple version is only 1.5. This makes the Apple one considerably slimmer by a full half inch, but I still do not feel it is too heavy and bulky, even for this girlie girl. The JETech band is approximately the same length as the Apple band. One Amazon customer reviewer reported that she had an allergic reaction to the band, even though the manufacturer states that it contains no nickel. Neither the Apple nor the JETech Milanese Loop band is waterproof.

I have tried wearing the Apple watch with other types of bands, and have not liked any of them as much as this band. I have tried a nylon band, which is very attractive and surprisingly light-weight, but I find that the holes are all either too loose or too tight, and the watch tends to slip around too much, forcing me to make small adjustments all day, so that sometimes I just take off the Apple watch in frustration and go back to my trusty Braille one. The nylon band is also a little small for those of us of a certain size. Although the sport band is not as uncomfortable as I would have expected it to be, given that it is made of rubber, I still find it heavy, inflexible, and cumbersome, and it tends to get sweaty if I wear it for a long time. I thought that the Milanese Loop would remain completely out of my league until I discovered these JETech bands. I purchased both the silver and black for my black watch and couldn’t be more pleased, especially for the price. I hesitated for a long time on buying third party bands. This one made it possible for me to get the kind of band I really wanted without breaking the bank.

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone

Rating: 

5 Stars

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via IFTTT

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger

Review Category: 

Review: 

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger is a battery pack which supports a standard Developed by Qualcomm called Quick Charge 3.0, explained very well in this article This is a new type of technology, first brought out last fall. There are claims that compatible devices can be charged up to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.
Description:
The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger measures 6.3 inches long by 3.94 inches wide by 0.3 inches thick. TO put that in terms of how other devices compare, it’s slightly shorter, about as thick, and as wide as an iPad Mini. This battery charger is constructed of metal, unlike many on the market which are made of plastic. All of the ports you will need are on the front of the battery charger. With the front edge facing you, from left to right you have a micro USB port to charge the battery itself, 2 USB ports, and a button for turning the device on to begin charging.
Up to 80% in half an hour, really?
Yes, the claims appear to be true from what I could gather in charging a Galaxy s7, which supports the Quick Charge standard noted above. Unfortunately, even the latest iPhones do not support this standard, and since I’m more heavily invested in the iOS environment, I am not able to take advantage of the newer charging technology. This isn’t a shortcoming of the product though, rather, a failure on Apple’s part to keep up with the latest charging technology in their devices. The only criticism I would offer KMASHI is that the device description on Amazon doesn’t make it clear that iOS devices do not support this technology, but it does note that it works with the iPhone. In the description, though, they note that it’s only compatible with supported devices. Those of us who keep up with the trends in technology may be in the know regarding Quick Charge not being included on the iPhone, but I’m not certain the average customer would be aware.
SO How Does it Work on iOS?
When compared to other devices on the market, I found that the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger gives me back battery life about as fast as other newer chargers on the market by Anker. The prices are nearly comparable on Amazon, with the Anker 20100 version costing $39.99. For the smaller price, you get a device constructed of high quality plastic that weighs 2 ounces less, but doesn’t support the Quick Charge standard. If you use iDevices only, that may not be a concern to you. Anker does have a 20000 MAH external charger which supports Quick Charge 3.0, but it is currently selling for $44.97 at the time of writing. With regard to the number of times you can charge each device, this is also standard for this capacity of battery charger. It also takes about 14 hours to charge the device itself, though with the Quick Charge adapter, it seems to cut this time in half. One thing I found when comparing this to other external battery chargers is that the others all tend to get slightly warm, whereas, the KMASHI product does not. It’s also worth noting, though I don’t see this as a draw-back, that you have to press the above mentioned button to begin charging your devices once they’re plugged in. Other similar products on the market do not require this extra step.
Conclusion:
If you are someone who likes the feel of a well built product, you may enjoy the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger more than others on the market. It’s thinner and just feels more rugged to the touch. Also, if your devices are compatible with the Quick Charge standard developed by Qualcomm, such as the latest Samsung products, you will certainly have the ability to charge your devices faster than with the Anker charger. It’s worth considering for sure, even if you don’t have Quick Charge capabilities, as it seems to perform just as well as other external chargers I’ve tested. It’s a strong contender in its market, which is very crowded with lots of different options at similar price points.

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Rating: 

5 Stars

from AppleVis – Latest Accessory Reviews http://ift.tt/2gRv41q
via IFTTT

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger

Review Category: 

Review: 

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger is a battery pack which supports a standard Developed by Qualcomm called Quick Charge 3.0, explained very well in this article This is a new type of technology, first brought out last fall. There are claims that compatible devices can be charged up to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.
Description:
The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger measures 6.3 inches long by 3.94 inches wide by 0.3 inches thick. TO put that in terms of how other devices compare, it’s slightly shorter, about as thick, and as wide as an iPad Mini. This battery charger is constructed of metal, unlike many on the market which are made of plastic. All of the ports you will need are on the front of the battery charger. With the front edge facing you, from left to right you have a micro USB port to charge the battery itself, 2 USB ports, and a button for turning the device on to begin charging.
Up to 80% in half an hour, really?
Yes, the claims appear to be true from what I could gather in charging a Galaxy s7, which supports the Quick Charge standard noted above. Unfortunately, even the latest iPhones do not support this standard, and since I’m more heavily invested in the iOS environment, I am not able to take advantage of the newer charging technology. This isn’t a shortcoming of the product though, rather, a failure on Apple’s part to keep up with the latest charging technology in their devices. The only criticism I would offer KMASHI is that the device description on Amazon doesn’t make it clear that iOS devices do not support this technology, but it does note that it works with the iPhone. In the description, though, they note that it’s only compatible with supported devices. Those of us who keep up with the trends in technology may be in the know regarding Quick Charge not being included on the iPhone, but I’m not certain the average customer would be aware.
SO How Does it Work on iOS?
When compared to other devices on the market, I found that the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger gives me back battery life about as fast as other newer chargers on the market by Anker. The prices are nearly comparable on Amazon, with the Anker 20100 version costing $39.99. For the smaller price, you get a device constructed of high quality plastic that weighs 2 ounces less, but doesn’t support the Quick Charge standard. If you use iDevices only, that may not be a concern to you. Anker does have a 20000 MAH external charger which supports Quick Charge 3.0, but it is currently selling for $44.97 at the time of writing. With regard to the number of times you can charge each device, this is also standard for this capacity of battery charger. It also takes about 14 hours to charge the device itself, though with the Quick Charge adapter, it seems to cut this time in half. One thing I found when comparing this to other external battery chargers is that the others all tend to get slightly warm, whereas, the KMASHI product does not. It’s also worth noting, though I don’t see this as a draw-back, that you have to press the above mentioned button to begin charging your devices once they’re plugged in. Other similar products on the market do not require this extra step.
Conclusion:
If you are someone who likes the feel of a well built product, you may enjoy the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger more than others on the market. It’s thinner and just feels more rugged to the touch. Also, if your devices are compatible with the Quick Charge standard developed by Qualcomm, such as the latest Samsung products, you will certainly have the ability to charge your devices faster than with the Anker charger. It’s worth considering for sure, even if you don’t have Quick Charge capabilities, as it seems to perform just as well as other external chargers I’ve tested. It’s a strong contender in its market, which is very crowded with lots of different options at similar price points.

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Rating: 

5 Stars

from AppleVis – Latest Accessory Reviews http://ift.tt/2gRv41q
via IFTTT

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger

Review Category: 

Review: 

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger is a battery pack which supports a standard Developed by Qualcomm called Quick Charge 3.0, explained very well in this article This is a new type of technology, first brought out last fall. There are claims that compatible devices can be charged up to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.
Description:
The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger measures 6.3 inches long by 3.94 inches wide by 0.3 inches thick. TO put that in terms of how other devices compare, it’s slightly shorter, about as thick, and as wide as an iPad Mini. This battery charger is constructed of metal, unlike many on the market which are made of plastic. All of the ports you will need are on the front of the battery charger. With the front edge facing you, from left to right you have a micro USB port to charge the battery itself, 2 USB ports, and a button for turning the device on to begin charging.
Up to 80% in half an hour, really?
Yes, the claims appear to be true from what I could gather in charging a Galaxy s7, which supports the Quick Charge standard noted above. Unfortunately, even the latest iPhones do not support this standard, and since I’m more heavily invested in the iOS environment, I am not able to take advantage of the newer charging technology. This isn’t a shortcoming of the product though, rather, a failure on Apple’s part to keep up with the latest charging technology in their devices. The only criticism I would offer KMASHI is that the device description on Amazon doesn’t make it clear that iOS devices do not support this technology, but it does note that it works with the iPhone. In the description, though, they note that it’s only compatible with supported devices. Those of us who keep up with the trends in technology may be in the know regarding Quick Charge not being included on the iPhone, but I’m not certain the average customer would be aware.
SO How Does it Work on iOS?
When compared to other devices on the market, I found that the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger gives me back battery life about as fast as other newer chargers on the market by Anker. The prices are nearly comparable on Amazon, with the Anker 20100 version costing $39.99. For the smaller price, you get a device constructed of high quality plastic that weighs 2 ounces less, but doesn’t support the Quick Charge standard. If you use iDevices only, that may not be a concern to you. Anker does have a 20000 MAH external charger which supports Quick Charge 3.0, but it is currently selling for $44.97 at the time of writing. With regard to the number of times you can charge each device, this is also standard for this capacity of battery charger. It also takes about 14 hours to charge the device itself, though with the Quick Charge adapter, it seems to cut this time in half. One thing I found when comparing this to other external battery chargers is that the others all tend to get slightly warm, whereas, the KMASHI product does not. It’s also worth noting, though I don’t see this as a draw-back, that you have to press the above mentioned button to begin charging your devices once they’re plugged in. Other similar products on the market do not require this extra step.
Conclusion:
If you are someone who likes the feel of a well built product, you may enjoy the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger more than others on the market. It’s thinner and just feels more rugged to the touch. Also, if your devices are compatible with the Quick Charge standard developed by Qualcomm, such as the latest Samsung products, you will certainly have the ability to charge your devices faster than with the Anker charger. It’s worth considering for sure, even if you don’t have Quick Charge capabilities, as it seems to perform just as well as other external chargers I’ve tested. It’s a strong contender in its market, which is very crowded with lots of different options at similar price points.

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Rating: 

5 Stars

from AppleVis – Latest Accessory Reviews http://ift.tt/2gRv41q
via IFTTT

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger

Review Category: 

Review: 

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger is a battery pack which supports a standard Developed by Qualcomm called Quick Charge 3.0, explained very well in this article This is a new type of technology, first brought out last fall. There are claims that compatible devices can be charged up to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.
Description:
The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger measures 6.3 inches long by 3.94 inches wide by 0.3 inches thick. TO put that in terms of how other devices compare, it’s slightly shorter, about as thick, and as wide as an iPad Mini. This battery charger is constructed of metal, unlike many on the market which are made of plastic. All of the ports you will need are on the front of the battery charger. With the front edge facing you, from left to right you have a micro USB port to charge the battery itself, 2 USB ports, and a button for turning the device on to begin charging.
Up to 80% in half an hour, really?
Yes, the claims appear to be true from what I could gather in charging a Galaxy s7, which supports the Quick Charge standard noted above. Unfortunately, even the latest iPhones do not support this standard, and since I’m more heavily invested in the iOS environment, I am not able to take advantage of the newer charging technology. This isn’t a shortcoming of the product though, rather, a failure on Apple’s part to keep up with the latest charging technology in their devices. The only criticism I would offer KMASHI is that the device description on Amazon doesn’t make it clear that iOS devices do not support this technology, but it does note that it works with the iPhone. In the description, though, they note that it’s only compatible with supported devices. Those of us who keep up with the trends in technology may be in the know regarding Quick Charge not being included on the iPhone, but I’m not certain the average customer would be aware.
SO How Does it Work on iOS?
When compared to other devices on the market, I found that the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger gives me back battery life about as fast as other newer chargers on the market by Anker. The prices are nearly comparable on Amazon, with the Anker 20100 version costing $39.99. For the smaller price, you get a device constructed of high quality plastic that weighs 2 ounces less, but doesn’t support the Quick Charge standard. If you use iDevices only, that may not be a concern to you. Anker does have a 20000 MAH external charger which supports Quick Charge 3.0, but it is currently selling for $44.97 at the time of writing. With regard to the number of times you can charge each device, this is also standard for this capacity of battery charger. It also takes about 14 hours to charge the device itself, though with the Quick Charge adapter, it seems to cut this time in half. One thing I found when comparing this to other external battery chargers is that the others all tend to get slightly warm, whereas, the KMASHI product does not. It’s also worth noting, though I don’t see this as a draw-back, that you have to press the above mentioned button to begin charging your devices once they’re plugged in. Other similar products on the market do not require this extra step.
Conclusion:
If you are someone who likes the feel of a well built product, you may enjoy the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger more than others on the market. It’s thinner and just feels more rugged to the touch. Also, if your devices are compatible with the Quick Charge standard developed by Qualcomm, such as the latest Samsung products, you will certainly have the ability to charge your devices faster than with the Anker charger. It’s worth considering for sure, even if you don’t have Quick Charge capabilities, as it seems to perform just as well as other external chargers I’ve tested. It’s a strong contender in its market, which is very crowded with lots of different options at similar price points.

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Rating: 

5 Stars

from AppleVis – Latest Accessory Reviews http://ift.tt/2gRv41q
via IFTTT

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger

Review Category: 

Review: 

The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger is a battery pack which supports a standard Developed by Qualcomm called Quick Charge 3.0, explained very well in this article This is a new type of technology, first brought out last fall. There are claims that compatible devices can be charged up to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.
Description:
The KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger measures 6.3 inches long by 3.94 inches wide by 0.3 inches thick. TO put that in terms of how other devices compare, it’s slightly shorter, about as thick, and as wide as an iPad Mini. This battery charger is constructed of metal, unlike many on the market which are made of plastic. All of the ports you will need are on the front of the battery charger. With the front edge facing you, from left to right you have a micro USB port to charge the battery itself, 2 USB ports, and a button for turning the device on to begin charging.
Up to 80% in half an hour, really?
Yes, the claims appear to be true from what I could gather in charging a Galaxy s7, which supports the Quick Charge standard noted above. Unfortunately, even the latest iPhones do not support this standard, and since I’m more heavily invested in the iOS environment, I am not able to take advantage of the newer charging technology. This isn’t a shortcoming of the product though, rather, a failure on Apple’s part to keep up with the latest charging technology in their devices. The only criticism I would offer KMASHI is that the device description on Amazon doesn’t make it clear that iOS devices do not support this technology, but it does note that it works with the iPhone. In the description, though, they note that it’s only compatible with supported devices. Those of us who keep up with the trends in technology may be in the know regarding Quick Charge not being included on the iPhone, but I’m not certain the average customer would be aware.
SO How Does it Work on iOS?
When compared to other devices on the market, I found that the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger gives me back battery life about as fast as other newer chargers on the market by Anker. The prices are nearly comparable on Amazon, with the Anker 20100 version costing $39.99. For the smaller price, you get a device constructed of high quality plastic that weighs 2 ounces less, but doesn’t support the Quick Charge standard. If you use iDevices only, that may not be a concern to you. Anker does have a 20000 MAH external charger which supports Quick Charge 3.0, but it is currently selling for $44.97 at the time of writing. With regard to the number of times you can charge each device, this is also standard for this capacity of battery charger. It also takes about 14 hours to charge the device itself, though with the Quick Charge adapter, it seems to cut this time in half. One thing I found when comparing this to other external battery chargers is that the others all tend to get slightly warm, whereas, the KMASHI product does not. It’s also worth noting, though I don’t see this as a draw-back, that you have to press the above mentioned button to begin charging your devices once they’re plugged in. Other similar products on the market do not require this extra step.
Conclusion:
If you are someone who likes the feel of a well built product, you may enjoy the KMASHI 20000 Portable Charger more than others on the market. It’s thinner and just feels more rugged to the touch. Also, if your devices are compatible with the Quick Charge standard developed by Qualcomm, such as the latest Samsung products, you will certainly have the ability to charge your devices faster than with the Anker charger. It’s worth considering for sure, even if you don’t have Quick Charge capabilities, as it seems to perform just as well as other external chargers I’ve tested. It’s a strong contender in its market, which is very crowded with lots of different options at similar price points.

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Rating: 

5 Stars

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Lodgitech canvas keyboard case for ipad mini

Review Category: 

Review: 

This is a case for the ipad mini which comes with a built in Bluetooth keyboard.

The case opens like a book. The top part of the case houses the ipad mini while the bottom of the case is the built in keyboard. The ipad mini sits securely inside the top of the case. All buttons and ports are uncovered and visible. There are two magnets on the bottom of the cradle which allows the ipad to sit upright for typing. The case holds the ipad in landscape mode like a laptop. The case can also fold back to allow the ipad mini to sit flat on top of the built in keyboard.

The keyboard itself has butterfly style keys, which make for a very comfortable typing experience. The keys are well spaced with the F, J and A keys being marked which helps with orientation if you weren’t fully confident with typing on a keyboard.

The only down side is that the home button is directly beside the space bar so can sometimes be pressed accidentally. Once you are used to this though, it does not present a problem.

The current model i am using comes with a USB cable for charging, however the model i have linked to says it comes with batteries.

The keyboard case is a little pricey at £69.95, but is well worth it in my oppinion.

Over all this is a brilliant product. It fits nicely in to a bag and does not mean you need to bring multiple devices with you.

http://ift.tt/2feBrLq…

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPad

Rating: 

5 Stars

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DKnight MagicBox II Bluetooth Speaker Review

Review Category: 

Review: 

Reviewing the DKnight MagicBox II

A few weeks ago, I was browsing my “Tech Deals” list on Twitter. I read about some bluetooth speaker for $30, then had to re-read the tweet. No, I hadn’t read wrong: the speaker was on sale for $30, and normally cost around $130. I’d been wanting a bluetooth speaker anyway, and $100 off was too good to pass up. A few days later, I unpacked my
DKnight MagicBox II.

I bought this item not knowing how it looked, whether the buttons would be accessible, etc. I just knew it had a good rating and sounded nice. Plus… $100 off. That sale has passed, but if you’re looking at dropping $100-$150 on a high-quality speaker, you should consider this one.

From Amazon:

The DKnightMagicBox II Bluetooth speaker offers great quality sound with the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology. It features two highly powerful 40mm total 10W acoustic drivers for excellent sound. With the ultra-compact size and the soft touch rubber design, it can be easily fitted into a backpack, suitcase, or a travel bag. The built-in 2000 mAh rechargeable battery enables an 10-12 hours of playtime on a single charge.

This speaker is strong enough to fill up a kitchen, living room, or classroom. It is ideal for personal usage, indoor party or outdoor BBQ or picnic with friends and family.

Key Features

  • Same Size (6 x 2 x 1.6 inches) with the original MagicBox, but implemented with 10W total acoustic drivers and optimized passive radiator. It could provide 30% louder volume and richer Bass than the original MagicBox.
  • The latest Bluetooth V4.0 technology, Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices (2.1 and over).
  • Built in 2000 mAh rechargeable battery lasts up to 12 hours.
  • Connect any non-Bluetooth device via 3.5mm port.
  • Small and compact. Size is 6 x 2 x 1.6 inches. Only weighted 11.5 ounces.
  • Soft touch rubber that surrounds the speaker. No worries about slipping or scratching the wood.

Package Included

  • MagicBoxII Bluetooth 4.0 speaker
  • MagicBoxII Bass Pad
  • 3.5mm Audio cable
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • Quick start mannual

My Description:

The speaker itself is a rectangular prism (for the geometry geeks). It is a little taller than it is deep; if you look at just the smaller faces, the proportions remind me a bit of a matchbox, but scaled up slightly. The two drivers sit behind a grill on the front, the buttons are on top, and the ports and on/off switch are on the right side. The top and bottom are covered with a soft material that feels like a mix of rubber and silicone, as the Amazon description states. This material is also present on the edges of the front, back, and side faces, letting you place the speaker anywhere and still have only the rubber touch whatever is holding the device. This rubber also makes it less likely that the speaker will slide around or fall, and lets you position it on its base (completely covered with rubber) or on its back. The front, left, and back faces are a plastic mesh, which feels extremely sturdy with no give at all. The right face is smooth plastic.

One feature I need in a bluetooth speaker is physical playback controls. If I have to pull out my phone, pause my media so I don’t miss anything while VoiceOver talks, make the playback change I want, resume playback, then lock my phone again, the speaker isn’t as good as it could be. Fortunately, the MagicBox II includes a full set of controls. With the speaker facing you, the ports on your right, and the buttons facing the ceiling, your controls–from left to right–are:

  • volume down
  • volume up
  • play/pause
  • rewind
  • fast forward
  • answer phone call (press and hold to re-dial the last number your phone called)

The only other physical features on this speaker are for charging, audio input, and turning the unit on and off. These appear on the right face, near the back, in a vertical line. From top to bottom, they are:

  • on/off slide switch (the “off” position is closer to the ceiling)
  • micro USB charging port
  • 3.5mm jack

Using the MagicBox

In use, the speaker does very well. It can go loud, and it has a very nice sound to it. The bass won’t blow you away, but it’s not supposed to. It is certainly present, though, and I find audio to be well-balanced and pleasant to listen to. Yes, there is stereo separation between the two speakers built into the MagicBox, but you’ll hardly notice that from any distance.

I have so far made one phone call, which worked fine. The person on the other end was also on a bluetooth headset, so it wasn’t a great test of my speaker. Still, we heard each other alright. I’ll probably use this for conference calls instead of a headset or my phone’s internal speakers. Voices sound less shrill than they do on the phone, and I seem to be easily audible through the microphone built into the MagicBox.

What’s bad about this speaker? I’ve noticed that the volume controls don’t affect VoiceOver speech volume, which could be iOS and not the speaker. Still, they control media volume with no problem, so I’m not too concerned there. The speaker doesn’t make any noise when turned off, though it does make a series of tones when you turn it on. Finally, if I’m being very picky, the controls all feel the same. They are round rubber buttons with concave surfaces, spaced equally down the line. There is no shape or spacing difference to let me quickly pick out a given button, so I often find myself counting in from one edge or another. Of course, adhesive dots or some other tactile marker could easily fix this.

Conclusion

At the sale price of $30, this speaker was a true steal. It sounds great, feels solid, has tactile buttons and switch, and does everything I want a speaker to do, while being portable. If there are any downsides, they are minor and easily adjusted to. Is it worth $130–the normal price? I don’t have much experience with bluetooth speakers, so I don’t know. There’s a JBL Flip in the house which sold for $100, and this sounds as good as that, but includes a microphone and my beloved playback controls. The best I can say is that, to me, this speaker competes well with others in its price bracket. For a visually impaired user, the on/off switch and easy-to-feel controls are a big plus. I also appreciate the use of micro USB for charging; the Flip uses a special connector, so if I lose that, I’d have to try to find another. Micro USB cables, and power sources that work with them, are a dime a dozen.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the DKnight MagicBox II so far, and would recommend it. Only you can decide if it’s worth the full price, but if you ever see one on sale, consider picking it up. The only thing I can’t speak to is how long it will last. If it ever breaks, I’ll update this review.

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone

Rating: 

5 Stars

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LG HBS-770: LG Tone Pro Bluetooth Headset

Review Category: 

Review: 

Introduction

The LG Tone Pro bluetooth headset is a solid contender for the ear space of anyone who is looking for comfortable wear, long battery life and respectable audio quality.

Description

The headset consists of a thick, C-shaped cable worn around the back of the neck, with a slightly thicker control unit on each side of the opening in front. Each control unit contains a button and a slide switch, with the power switch on the right-hand unit. A small magnet on the front of each control unit holds an earbud in place. Each earbud includes a medium-sized ear gel. Thin wires connect each ear bud to its corresponding control unit.

In the Box

The box contains the headset, a bag of extra ear gels, a micro USB charging cable (without an AC adapter), the manual and some additional inaccessible paperwork.

My Experience

With an iPhone 7 on the way, I realized I would need to cope with its missing headphone jack. In addition to purchasing a charging case and lightning dock from Apple, I decided a Bluetooth headset might also be a good idea.

Since I needed to pick up an urgent IT product for our business anyway, I decided to check out the headsets available at our local Best Buy. I was looking for a pair of headphones with a sufficiently long battery life and short charging time for music, radio and podcast listening while going to sleep and doing housework.

When I go to bed, I plug my iPhone into its charging cable and listen to the headphones. They are surprisingly comfortable despite the cable behind my neck. When I start the early-morning part of my day, I continue listening while doing housework and working on my computer. During the day, while I am spending time with my baby daughter, I keep the headphones plugged into their charging cable, so they are ready for the next bed time.

Conclusion

After using the headphones for four days, I am pleasantly surprised with their comfort, range and reasonably good sounding audio quality. Although I am new to Bluetooth headphones, I have to say that my first experience has been quite positive with this product.

I would recommend the LG Tone Pro Bluetooth headphones for most people, especially those who want a reasonably priced way to listen to their iPhone 7 while charging its battery.

Someone said the iPhone 7 would be a boon to accessory makers, and, after spending just over $200 so far, I am inclined to believe them.

Best Buy Price (as of Sept. 15): $69.95

Pros:

  • Comfortable.
  • Long battery life.
  • Self voicing of battery, connectivity and pairing status.
  • Sufficient wireless range to listen around the house.
  • Surprising audio quality in a Bluetooth headset.

Cons:

  • Latency, especially when interacting with iOS while listening to VoiceOver.
  • Excessive beeping while editing or typing text with VoiceOver enabled.
  • Confusing way of interacting with Siri by pressing, rather than holding, a button on the headset.
  • Inaccessible paper and PDF product manuals.
  • Potentially complicated Bluetooth pairing process when connecting to another device.

Devices Accessory Was Used With: 

iPhone

Rating: 

4 Stars

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