Azhien 5W Recessed Ceiling Spotlights

This six-piece downlighter set from Azhien seems to me to be aimed at the professional or high end of the market despite the low price of £34.99.

The kit arrived in a well labelled and nicely designed product box with all the important information about the contents clearly given. Inside were the six separately bagged downlights each with 13 cm of two core cable attached and a small but nicely printed and well-designed User Guide.

Build quality could really not get better as each of the weighty and heavy duty 5w 400 lumens LED  lights are made of aluminium alloy and feels like a quality piece of high-end kit. Each light has a 120°beam angle of coverage with the light unit being able to pivot up to 40 ° within its mount. The LED’s are good and bright and should be able to cope with high ceilings and large floor spaces. The lights are warm white and rated at 2700 Kelvin. However, take note that they are not dimmable. One major selling point for me as they are designed to work directly with UK mains power with no transformer needed.

Fitting them is pretty much as with most other units of this type but be aware that at 10gm each these professional levels units are heavier than many lesser rivals, so a secure fit is needed.  To fit each unit a circular hole of 75mm diameter must be made and ensure you have a working depth of at least 40mm on the other side.  The light unit is itself 25mm thick, so the more working space the better. After connecting and testing the wiring to each light the unit can just be carefully pushed through the holes with the metal retaining clips expanding to hold it in place.

This a superior product that is well made, very functional and nicely presented. When properly fitted it should give years of service for a very reasonable price.

The Good
Great Build Quality
Great price
IP44 Water Resistant
No Transformer Needed
Bright, Warm White

40 ° adjustable Pivot

The Bad

Not Dimmable

FITFORT Alarm Clock/Radio Wake Up Light

 

I have already tried one or two wake-up lights and they have all tended to be variations on the same basic design. This new model from FITFORT has a new design and a few extra features and at £28.99 will not break the bank.

The unit arrived packaged in a moderately attractive display box but lacked the stylish and expensive presentation of some high-end rivals. Inside was the lamp itself, a short USB power cable, UK power adaptor,  and a User Guide. Build quality is excellent for the price and the lamp looks quite stylish and attractive without the flimsy feel of cheaper rivals.  The User Guide is large and easy to read and makes a pleasant change from the tiny poorly printed manuals so often received.

The unit stands upright with the top two-thirds of the large front facing taken up by the lighting panel and the rest by the digital clock display. Along the top of the unit are an at first rather intimidating array of buttons but most of these are needed only to configure the device. Once the timer, light, and alarm sounds are set all you need to think about is the snooze button. On the base are a large anti-slip pad and the backup battery access panel. The permanently connected trailing antenna at the rear is ugly but I suppose is easy enough to conceal.

Setting the device up is reasonably easy and aided the lack of too many annoying dual function buttons. When configured you have the option to be awoken by a combination of a slowly increasing simulated daylight and sounds from using either of the two separate alarms. You can choose between seven soft ambient sounds or the FM radio. For each alarm, you can set separate alarm time, light intensity and alarm sound volume.  It is a pity the Snooze and Radio buttons were not larger and easier to find in the dark.

The device functions well as a reading lamp and has a choice of seven colours should you want them. You can choose between twenty levels of brightness and the seven colour presets. The default white is a warm and relaxing one, however. It has a built-in FM tuner which will auto remember up to sixty stations. The built-in speaker is pretty OK but not fantastic but I doubt many people will spend time listening to it and perhaps that makes all the more effective as an alarm clock. One nice bonus is that the device has a USB socket on the rear which can charge your phone as you sleep.

This device looks nice once set up and is quite stylishly designed. It performs all the basic features well enough and works well as an incremental wake-up alarm clock and bedside lamp. The build quality although perfectly acceptable is on the cheap side and certainly cannot compare to my Philips unit – but that cost more than four times the price of this one.

The Good
Great price
Attractive lighting options
Nature sounds
Battery operation mode
Good User Guide
Dawn simulation wake up mode

Twenty Brightness Levels

The Bad
Ugly trailing radio antenna
Radio button poorly located

Snooze and Radio Buttons Too Small

Vebach Qi Certified Wireless Charging Pad

 

This rather chunky but distinctly upmarket looking Qi-Certified wireless charger from Vebach arrived impressively presented in a low key but rather posh product box. Inside the Apple style box was the charger itself, a medium length USB to micro-USB cable, a thin black pad, and a better than average but essentially unneeded User Guide.

Build quality seems first rate. The metal-bodied  97mm diameter 178g charging pad appears well made and robust with a high gloss finish to the pad and stainless steel look to the bezel and 10.9mm deep sides. It has a micro-USB port on the side along with a single blue status LED. It is a pity that in the new USB-C interface could not have been used at least as an option.

Unlike many low-end rivals, this charger is fully Qi certified which hopefully means the power output is correct and as promised. It has three charging modes which are automatically selected according to the device attached: 10W, 7.5W or 5W. Take note that to get the advantage of the higher speeds a QC2.0 or better power adapter must be used. The one that came with the phone being charged should be suitable. You will see from my video that it also works with other devices, such as my Motorola smartwatch. The LED shows you the mode in use: flashes for three seconds when first plugged in, for thirty seconds when charging begins and then turns off,  sustained flashing indicates an error. It has built-in overheating and over-charge protection.

Currently priced at £21.99 (plus a 6% Amazon checkout discount at the time of writing)  this is is a mid-priced high-speed charger with a distinctly upmarket look and feel to it. If you have a wireless charging phone or other devices this would be a nice addition to your desktop.

The Good
Good Price
Great Build Quality
Up Market Looks
Attractive Packaging

Auto Selected Charging Modes

The Bad
No USB-C

No USB adapter included

Fairywill 3 Mode Rotary Toothbrush (FW-2209

 

I have tried several toothbrushes from Fairywill and have always found to be excellent quality and well priced although all of them very similar with only minor changes in specifications to distinguish one from another. This new model, however, is distinctly different from the rest.

The toothbrush arrived nicely packaged in a mid-market display box inside of which aside from the toothbrush was a spare head, a rather basic looking but stable charging stand fitted with a two pin EU bathroom plug. Some imported brushes come with a three-pin UK plug, illegal for bathroom use but not so here. A well written and easy to read User Guide was also included and I append this to my unboxing video. Having become accustomed to the tiny, badly written poorly printed and hard to read User Guides found with so many imported products it was a pleasure to find an instruction booklet of a decent size, nicely printed, well illustrated and written by a someone that actually understands English.

The build quality seems excellent and although this is not a high-end device and feels rather less premium to me than others in the Fairywill range, nevertheless the toothbrush feels robust and sturdy and is satisfyingly chunky and easy to hold in the hand.  The head is of the rotary type with nylon bristles and makes a not unpleasant buzz when in use.  It is rated IPX7 waterproof which means it can survive being dropped in the bath.

Using the toothbrush was fine. After an initial 24 hours, full charge the toothbrush worked fine in all three brushing modes (Clean, Sensitive and Massage)selected by the single large button with a single status light confirming operation below although the sound varies from mode to mode for easy confirmation.  One twelve hour charge should give up to thirty days of daily use.

The brush felt good in the hand and was nice and quiet in use.  I am more accustomed to square-headed sonic toothbrushes but this rotary design which gives 8800 oscillations per minute felt reassuringly positive in use. My mouth felt just as clean and refreshed after use as with the more expensive brush I usually use. Of course, it has the usual two-minute timer with 30-second alerts.

This is a first-rate budget toothbrush, well priced and well made, that works excellently, is easy to use and looks good in the bathroom. The current Amazon price of just £25.99 makes it a sensible and well-priced buy.

The Good
Good price
Robust build quality
Three modes
Auto Timer
EU Bathroom plug fitted
Good User Guide

Three week use per Charge

The Bad
Only two brushes included
No travel case

Reenuo Mini USB Battery Desk Fan

 

I have tried several fans from Reenuo and although excellent though they are, I have always felt they are let down slightly with their rather dated and chunky design. Not so with this one as although it is made entirely from plastic it does incorporate a more modern look and is lightweight and easy to use almost anywhere. However, unlike others in the Reenuo range, this one does not have an option to act as an essential oils diffuser.

The fan arrived presented in a rather plain branded product box containing the fan, USB cable,  and a well written, large and easy to read User Guide.

The 600g fan is quite compact at 180 x 140 x 220mm but lightweight for the size and with a large and ultra stable base.  It uses plastic for almost all the fan assembly which can be looked on as either an advantage or disadvantage according to your needs. The light weight makes it easy to move and reposition but the plastic construction makes it feel rather cheap. However, the build quality is excellent and the fan seems robust and well made.  The fan can only be used as a tabletop unit and has no other mounting options, which is a pity.

The fan has a single head that can be manually tilted upwards through 90 degrees but there is no automatic oscillation and the fan cannot be rotated from side to side – but of course, this can be easily done by just adjusting the position of the fan itself. The device can be powered either from the internal non-replaceable 2000mAh battery rechargeable battery or directly from any USB power source using the micro-USB charging port on the side. A small blue LED lights up when the device is powered on which also indicates which of the three fan speeds has been selected.  A short USB to micro-USB cable is included but no  power adapter is included.

The fan is almost silent in operation on the desktop, is considerably more powerful than I expected and gives a pleasant breeze across the desk when set to lower power. When set to maximum it can be compared to a normal 10″ office fan in output with about the same noise level.

This is a versatile, well made and very functional multi-use fan available at the time of writing for just £16.99 from Amazon. For the price, it is a very decent buy.

The Good
Good build quality
Three Fan Speeds
Quiet operation
Great price
Battery/USB Power Options
The Bad
Plastic Construction
No automatic oscillation
Does not rotate
No Wall Mount Option

No Oil Diffuser option

APEMAN TRAWO Action Camera

 

Currently priced at £89.99 (currently with an additional £20 discount at the Amazon checkout)  the  TRAWO action camera, the latest from the APEMAN range show just how much action cameras have developed over the past year or so.

The camera and accessories arrived packaged in an attractive upmarket box which again shows that increased care given now to the presentation of budget products.   A full range of accessories and mounts are included, too many to list here but they are all shown in my video. The only notable omissions are an SD card and a wifi wrist mounted Off/On button. It is a pity about the SD card as they are cheap enough these days and would not add greatly to the cost and would allow the camera to be used straight from the box. It could be said that the wrist mount feature is included in the phone app but that is not a practical option when engaged in active sports. The printed User Guide is better those usually found, is a decent size, well printed, in good English and easy to read but not as detailed as I would wish.

Physically the 2 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ x 1″ camera is well designed and a pleasure to use. All the buttons are recessed and the port flap and battery cover are secure but easy to remove and a great advance on many rivals where I have struggled for hours to remove (and replace) the battery cover. The 2″ IPS screen is bright and easy to read but is not touch sensitive.  On the side is the grommet protected panel housing the micro-SD card, micro-HDMI, and USB ports.

The camera has four basic modes of operation accessed by short pressing the power button on the camera top: video, photo, playback, settings. The camera can also function as a webcam and car camera, although I do not think it has the G-Sensor needed to record and flag impacts. For me, that is no big deal as I have yet to find an action camera that will actually work effectively as a Dashcam.  It has HDMI video out and so can be connected directly to your TV, although a separate micro-HDMI cable will be needed for this. It can also be connected directly to a PC or video display to view files and function as a webcam.

Gone are the days when budget action cameras gave you grainy, low-resolution video with colour casts and artefacts.  Video quality is certainly amongst the best I have encountered for an action cam in this price range, and a definite step up from the cheaper no-name GoPro clones of the past. Unlike with so many others, here there is no substantive daylight colour cast. The 170° wide angle lens is great but with the barrel distortion common to all of this type You can correct for this in the settings but I suspect this may be achieved by simply electronically cropping the image. Image stabilisation is also available and although not perfect does make a noticeable difference without image quality suffering unduly, unlike with too many budget rivals/. The camera does an excellent quality 4K@30fps ( 3840×2160) as well as several other rather more useful modes including 1080@60fps. Slow motion is available at 120fps@720p, 240fps@720p and 120fps@1080P.  Still images were good and free from colour fringing or casts.  Remember that the sample footage in my unboxing video will have been heavily compressed during posting and not reflect the true quality.  I would say the image quality and features are at least as good as those from a high-end phone.

The camera is claimed to be waterproof to 40M and I have no reason to doubt it. It should certainly be fine for all normal swimming and diving use.

The camera has a settings mode accessed using the rear screen and this is by far the best I have tried so far with multiple and easy to read options large and bright enough to be used outdoors. The camera comes with two 1350 mAh Li-ion batteries (better than the 1050mAh too often used) but no separate charger so you cannot charge the second battery when the camera is in use.

Like many more upmarket action cameras, it has wifi built in which means the camera generates a mini wifi network of its own which allows an attached phone have basic control of the camera and view live-streamed video. To use it you need to download the “YITUPRO” app from Apple or Android. The Android app is considerably better than most and will act as a  remote control, configure camera settings, play recorded videos, stream video, and save images and video to the app. I did encounter some stuttering when streaming video but that may be due to the limitations of the phone I tested it with. Certainly using the app is the easiest way to change the camera settings.

This is one of the most impressive action cameras I have used in this price range. Image quality is excellent, there is a wide range of modes and options available and it has genuinely useable Electronic Image Stabilisation, Field of View choice, 4K and slow motion. A good range of mounts is included but no carry case, remote control,  or battery Charger. Nevertheless, at his price, the APEMAN TRAWO really is a serious GoPro rival.

The Good
Great price
Good video quality with EIS
170° Angle of view
4K@30fps
1080P@120fps
720p@240fps
Wifi
Good  app
Wide range of accessories included
Rectilinear Distortion Correction option

Two batteries included

The Bad
No SD card included
No carry case
No Touch Screen

No External Battery Charger

Nooie Indoor WiFi Surveillance Camera

 

It was not so long ago that security cameras were bulky, ugly, hard to configure, unreliable and gave grainy washed out results. Those days have gone and the latest cameras are like this one, small, discreet,  easy to set up and yield high-quality video. Gone too are the high prices, and except for high-end big-name market leaders prices have fallen as much as quality has risen. This camera is small, discreet and very stylish and has the sort of looks and presentation that comes with Silicon Valley products although from the low price, of course, it must come from China.

It has a rather basic looking silk white and black plastic finish but nevertheless, the build quality seems good. On the front is the lens with Night Vision and multi-coloured LED to show Wifi and power status and the microphone opening. On the underside is the micro-USB power in port and on the other the TF card slot. It uses an angled plug micro-USB power cable but I think with a struggle hopefully any micro-USB cable should work.  A UK plug USB adapter is included but it will work with any standard USB socket.  Sadly, there is no Ethernet port and so wifi is the only way to connect the camera to your network.

The first thing to do is to download and install the Nooie app for Android or iOS, I tested using the Android app. You have to register the app before use but doing so is free and you can use a disposable email address to do so. After installing and registering the app and plugging in the camera follow the in-app instructions to add a new camera which does so by creating a QR code image the camera can read to input your home wifi password. After a few seconds, the camera will connect to your home wifi network and you can control it through the app. I found I had to restart the phone and camera before it would work, but that may just be me. The app can be used to control multiple cameras and I was pleased to find that upon connection it immediately me offered a firmware update for the camera. Unlike with older cameras, there is no web-based interface so you cannot connect directly to the camera using your web browser.

This model has 1080P image quality which is clearly not just upscaled 720p as on some lesser rivals. Video quality is good for the camera price and is one of the best I found for this price bracket. Unlike with older budget security cameras, this one boasts an i/r cut filter which when not needed removes the night time infrared filter to ensure good colour fidelity daytime images. It supports two-way audio which means it serves well as a Baby Monitor although the lack of audio in/out ports means external hardware cannot be used to improve the rather tinny audio quality.

It has motion detection alerts and it can capture images and send real-time alerts to the phone app and record pictures and video to the internal micro SD card. If you use an SD card (none is provided) make sure you use a fast Class 10 card – the card must be able to cope with the high-speed data stream from the camera otherwise the results will be jittery and poor. Unlike most cameras, this one can take cards up to 128Gb in size. There is also the option to save images automatically to the cloud but that is provided by Amazon and costs $5 a month.

This is a high-quality security camera capable of excellent results. The £27.99 price is brilliant for the features on offer and allows me to overlook the lack of web-based User Interface and lack of an Ethernet port.

The Good
Stylish design
Great price
Night Vision
Motion detection alarm
In-app real-time push alerts
Two-way audio
SD card slot

Standard micro-USB power interface

The Bad
No 5Ghz wifi support
No SD card included
No audio output port
No audio in port
No Ethernet Port

No Web Interface