ARTOFUL Otoscope Ear Cleaning Kit

I have tried other otoscope ear cleaning kits but none so easy to set up and operate as this one, nor priced so well at just £29.99.

This kit is very nicely packaged and presented and contains not just the device itself but a range of accessories designed for ear health and cleanliness. In the rather simple product box can be found the Otoscope, USB-C charging cable, multi-piece accessories kit, and a well written but rather small and hard to read user guide. The accessories kit consists of a small brush, five Ear scoops and several silicone heads. I have no wish to know what some of them are used for, I can only shudder and guess at their purpose.

Build quality seems first-rate. From the presentation box onwards the item has a quality and upmarket feel to it with the otoscope itself lacking the clinical design that might be expected but instead having the subtle, smooth design of a high-end digital pencil.

The unit has a built-in 350mAh Lithium battery which can run for a full hour from a ninety minute standard USB port charge. A short USB to USB-C charging cable is provided and thanks to the avoidance of a proprietory socket replacement cables can easily be found.

To set the device up first download the excellent ‘Suear’ app, available for Android and iOS. The app walks you through the configuration process in which your phone connects to a 2.4Ghz wifi hotspot generated by the otoscope. The otoscope then sends live 1080p@30fps video to the phone where it can be viewed in real-time. Snapshots or videos can be recorded for viewing within the app, exported to other apps or devices or uploaded to your choice of online storage. The app does not try and sell you cloud storage and the otoscope itself has no internal memory.

Using it could not be easier as it has a built-in 6 LED light array and accessory heads can be easily fitted to the camera tip to clean or treat the area under examination. Video quality is excellent, sharp and judder-free thanks to the 30fps. However, be careful to keep within the 1.5-2 cm focus range. To switch on long-press the single button on the otoscope body, the tip illumination will light up as will a wifi status LED on the device itself.

Although designed for examining the ear I doubt I will use it much for that purpose. I tried it down my ear briefly and even though my ears were syringed just a few weeks ago the resultant images were too disturbing for public viewing. The device itself did a great job.

For home use, this would be an excellent choice as it is quick and easy to use and the non-clinical design will serve to reassure those intimidated by medical instruments. This is a specialised piece of equipment, but for those that need it, I doubt a better one could be found for the price.

More Info and Purchase

GNCC P1 Indoor Security Camera

The GNCC P1 Indoor Security Camera is a camera designed to watch over pets, babies or for general home security with 1080p video, motion detection and two-way audio using the newly developed OSAIO smartphone app. I must say that this little camera offers far more features than I was expecting for the remarkable £19.99 price.

Inside the nicely designed and attractive product box was the camera itself, rotary mount, screw kit for the mount, USB power adapter with UK plug. No micro SD card is included.

It has a rather nice matt white finish and is made from fairly lightweight plastic but nevertheless, the build quality seems good. On the front are the lens with Night Vision Infrared LEDs and coloured LEDs to show Wifi and network status and the microphone aperture. On the rear is the speaker port, reset button, and hard-wired power cable. The camera looks like an old-style PTZ camera but in fact, the lens only rotates side to side through the app, to move up down or to access the SD card slot the lens must be manually adjusted.

The first thing to do is to download and install the OSAIO app for Android or iOS, I tested using the Android app. You have to register the app for use but doing so is free and a disposable email address can be used. Take note that Victure camera users can use their old login/password with this app and their cameras will be recognised by the app.

All the setup and configuration of the many features of the camera is done through the app and this is one of the best I have used, easy to navigate and sensibly laid out. A wide range of options are available including multi-schedule monitoring, motion detection, in-app alerts etc. Even high ends features such as zones, motion tracking and 24/7 recording are possible. It will also send real-time push alerts to the phone app.

You can control the panning feature of the camera in real-time by just dragging the finger across the app screen to move the camera from side to side. Remember, this is not a true PTZ camera and so the lens cannot be remotely moved up and down.

Recordings can be made either through Motion or audio detection or manually through the app. The recordings can be viewed within the app, from video files saved to an SD card or from cloud storage. Cloud storage offers several subscription models and is not expensive. Unlike with some rivals, the camera performs perfectly well using just the SD card and functionality is not hobbled in any way. If the option is selected you can even have 24/7 automatic recording to the SD working as like a dashcam continuously recording short video files and recording over the oldest video when the card is full. 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.

This model has 1080P image quality and is clearly not just upscaled 720p as on some lesser rivals. Video and audio quality are first rate with audio quality not being overlooked as so often happens with security cameras, Sound from the built-in speaker is a bit thin, as to be expected and it is a pity there is no audio out port to get around this. It supports two-way audio which means it could serve well as a Baby Monitor or home intercom.

This is a high-quality security camera capable of excellent results. The smartphone app is one of the best I have used for this purpose and is a major plus for the camera. The price is brilliant for the features on offer and puts to shame many high rivals at several times the price of this one.

The Good
Great Image quality
Excellent Android app
Night Vision
Motion detection alarm
In-app real-time push alerts
Scheduled monitoring periods
Two-way audio
SD card slot
24/7 Recording

The Bad
No 5Ghz wifi support
No audio output port

More info and purchase

Wantek A602 Corded USB Headset with Mic

As people increasingly work from home equipment formerly only used in the office or workplace is finding its way into the home environment. If you work from a home or small office and find yourself continually dealing with phone calls then you may well have a need for this self-contained call centre headset.

In the rather plain and business like product box was just the headset itself and a well written and nicely printed single sheet User Guide The headset has a fully adjustable boom mic and has a pair of comfortable on-ear memory foam padded leather earcups which feel far nicer than the cheaper foam padded earcups too often used. The headset feels comfortable and light in use and I would guess would be fine for extended use. The extended cable hard-wired has a standard USB plug on the end and a large inline control panel with volume up and down buttons, mute buttons for the headset and microphone and status LEDs for power and microphone. All is explained in the user Guide which is large, well written and easy to read and I include a scan of it in my unboxing video.

The non-detachable microphone stalk can be rotated 330°, positioned as close to the mouth as needed and then folded up and out of the way when not. The microphone comes with a foam pop filter prefitted which can be removed when required. The microphone can be muted when not needed using the control panel with a status LED to confirm status.

Sound quality is not usually of prime importance when designing call centre style headsets but this model is the exception with headphone sound quality that is more than adequate for home use for music and speech. The microphone too is better than I expected, not fantastic, but certainly above average for the price. I found the gain was a little low and needed to be boosted for my video and there was some background hum but remember this is a call centre microphone not intended for audio recording use.

Call quality seems fine on both ends of the conversation and I had no trouble making and receiving calls through this headset. The headset is lightweight and comfortable and the unpadded headband can be flexed to almost any position for comfort. It is very suited for long office sessions and the user soon forgets it is being worn. However, due to the light weight, it is probably not very robust, so take care not to drop or sit on it.

Priced at £29.99 it is not inexpensive and there may be cheaper and better rivals out there, but it is nicely made, works well and gets the job done and is probably a decent buy.

The Good
Good Price
Excellent Build Quality
Comfortable
Good Call Quality
Mic Mute Button
Excellent User Guide

The Bad
Expensive
Lightweight Construction
Headband Not Padded
No Storage Case

More Info and Purchase

GNCC C1 Indoor Camera Baby Monitor

The GNCC C1 Indoor Camera Baby Monitor is a camera designed to watch over pets, babies or for general home security with 1080p video, motion detection and two-way audio using the newly developed OSAIO smartphone app. I should say that this little camera offers far more features than I was expecting for the £24.99 price.

In the box can be found the camera, UK power supply, USB cable, wall mount screw set, and a nicely printed and well-written User Guide. Although lightweight, build quality seems fine and the camera has an attractive and modern design. On the front is the lens with Night Vision LEDs, a status LED and the microphone opening and on the rear, the speaker grill, power in port and reset aperture. On the side is the easy to access micro-SD card port. It features a built-in adjustable stand with wall mounting slots on the underside. There is no Ethernet port or external antenna and the cameras have an emphasis on compact size and stylish looks.

The excellent OSAIO app for Android and iOS app from GNCC offers a simple walkthrough connection and is the same app is used by the rest of the GNCC security camera range. The older Victure app can also recognise and use this camera.

Setting up the cameras is simple enough. The first thing to do is to download and install the OSAIO 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. Take note to ensure the phone used to configure the camera is connected to a 2.4Ghz network, not 5Ghz. After installing and registering the app and plugging in the camera follow the in-app instructions to add a new camera aided by audio alerts. After inputting your home wifi details the app automatically and very quickly sends this to the camera which then connects automatically to the wifi network. 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 a clean 1080P image quality which is clearly not the upscaled 720p of some lesser rivals. Video quality from the 120° wide-angle lens 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 nighttime infrared filter to ensure good colour fidelity daytime images. Night Vision works well with coverage up to around 9M from the 8 camera LEDs. It supports two-way audio which means it serves well as a general-purpose communications monitor and in fact audio quality recorded by the camera is excellent. It also integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice and automated control and live video streaming.

Like most rivals, this camera has both audio motion detection triggers and even offers detection zones although there is no motion tracking. The lack of audio in/out ports means external hardware cannot be used to improve the speaker quality. The camera is not weatherproof which means it should be used indoors only.

The camera has the option to save video and audio manually within the app as well as to the SD card or to an optional cloud connection, which offers a 15-day free trial. There are two cloud storage plan types, the first gives access to all alert triggered videos, the second is for always-on 24/7 recording access. If you use an SD card (none is provided) make sure you use a Class 10 or better 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. A card of up to 64GB can be used.

This is a high-quality security camera set capable of excellent results. The price is fantastic for the features on offer and allows me to overlook the lack of a web-based User Interface and lack of a few high-end features.

The Good
Stylish design
Great price
Night Vision
Motion Detection
Detection Zones
In-app real-time push alerts
Two-way audio
SD card slot
Good Video Quality
Voice Alerts
Supports Amazon/Google

The Bad
No Direct Access To SD card Video
No 5Ghz wifi support
No audio out port
No audio in port
No Web Interface

More Info and Purchase

Prograce Kids Smart Watch

I was not expecting too much from a smartwatch designed for children aged 4-12 but in fact, it is far better made and in some ways on a par with watches aimed at the adult market. Priced at £37.99 it is not the cheapest out there but the build quality and attention to detail shown are reflected in the price.

In the simple and rather garish box is just the watch, a rather short charging cable and a small but well written user guide in colour. Build quality seems fine and provided it is kept out of water there is no reason this watch should not last the course.

The watch looks good and does not actually look like a watch designed for children. My one is made from blue ABS plastic but looks quite stylish and I would not be embarrassed to wear it on my own wrist. On the front above the 1.5″ LCD colour screen is the selfie camera which can be rotated to get the best shot and flipped onscreen for best viewing, Below the screen is the Return button and microphone and below that is the 3.5mm headphone jack and speaker. On one side of the watch body is the reset aperture and torch and on the other within a grommet protected port are the micro-USB charging port and micro-SD memory card slot for cards up to 32GB in capacity.

The bright and responsive colour touch screen by default has a clear and easy to read display showing the time, date, battery level and step count. Side swiping gives access to screens including Camera, Photo Album, Music Player, Audio Recorder, Calculator, Calendar, FM Radio (plug in headphones to serve as an antenna), Bluetooth Headphone Connection, Step Counter, Tools (Alarm, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer, File Manager), Games, and Settings.

The included games, as to be expected, are simple but can be entertaining enough and include GalaxyWars, Flying Bird, Car Race, Pie In The Sky, and 2048.

The Settings sub menu allow the date and time to be set, volume adjusted and the factory resetting of the phone.

Don’t go expecting too much from the camera. It does work but is slow and clunky to operate and the final results are dim, murky and small in size. But then this is a kids camera and no doubt they will be happy with it. There is no video option but the still images can be selected and deleted on the watch itself.

That’s it, that is all there is to it. The watch is well made and looks nice and performs well enough provided you do not expect too much from the camera. I am far from sure that children as young as 4 will be able to use it fully and indeed it may well be too large for young wrists but for bigger children it will serve as a music player, timepiece and a stepping stone towards a more expensive watch in the future.

More Info and Purchase

Belling Cookcentre90G Gas Range Cooker

As part of a general rebuilding of our kitchen, we decided to replace our ancient Rayburn solid fuel cooker with something more modern and easier to use. At first, we looked for a dual fuel range cooker but when we discovered it would cost us the price of the cooker to have a suitable high power kitchen electricity point installed we decided to go for gas. We were also limited by size with 90 cm being the widest we could sensibly accommodate. Wirth out options thus reduced the 90 cm Belling Cookcentre seemed the best solution with Black our choice of colour.

The Belling Cookcentre is available in three finishes: Black, Stainless Steel and Professional Stainless Steel in three sizes: 90, 100, 110 cm. Both ovens of the larger models are wider and there are 7 rather than the 5 hob burners of the 90cm model we bought. There are standard rotary knobs to control the ovens and burners and buttons for ignition and illumination for the two ovens.

The cooker arrived very well packaged in a complicated crate made from wood and polystyrene but both the ignition and light switch buttons were loose in the packaging. Belling immediately sent us two replacements but in fact, these were not needed as the original buttons just clipped in place.

As range cookers go, priced at around £1000, this is a budget model and this is app[arent in the weight and overall feel of the unit. It looks great but the doors feel a bit tinny when compared to a high-end rival and the gas ignition has a separate button rather than the burners lighting automatically when turned on. That aside the appearance and functionality seem fine.

The cooker has five burners of varying sizes including a 4KW Wok burner in the centre. The grill is gas and works well although is low level and hard to monitor when in action and has an automatic fan designed to protect the knobs above the grill from damage. This fan and that for the secondary oven are quite noisy and remain on for several minutes after the burner is turned off. The main oven is gas and at 48L in capacity, I would describe it as medium-sized. More interesting is the secondary oven, 86L in capacity but not very wide and runs almost the whole height of the cooker. This oven is electric not gas and has an air circulating fan. To me, this is perhaps the main selling point of the oven as because it is the only electric powered component the oven can be connected using a standard 13 amp plug. Yes, unlike the majority of dual fuel cookers, this one can just be plugged into a normal wall socket.

In use, the cooker is excellent with just a few minor criticisms. The knobs for the burners and ovens are stainless steel with numbering on them that is very hard to read due to reflections.The fans are quite noisy and stay on for quite a while after ujse.

If you need a dual fuel cooker and don’t have a dedicated electric cooker point, then this could be for you. Likewise, if you need an attractive and well-specified gas range cooker that will not break the bank this one could be a very decent buy. In the month or so we have had it, I have to say we are and remain very pleased with our purchase.

More Info and Purchase

YABER Pro V7 Projector

Priced at £189.99 this is not an inexpensive projector, there are plenty of cheaper rivals out there, but for the build quality and feature set, this projector from YABER takes some beating. That said, ultimately I found the image quality, although good, to be less than I expected.

Inside the box aside from the projector itself was a full-sized remote control, a power cable with UK plug, AV Cable, HDMI cable, Lens cap, cleaning set, cleaning cloth, a carry case and an English language User Guide.

This projector has a stylish design lacking from the more old fashioned looking and angular rivals. Build quality is excellent, the plastic casing of the projector feels well made and robust as does the remote and other accessories. Nothing feels flimsy or about to fall off or break. The power cable is heavy duty with a standard UK plug, although a longer cable would be better for ceiling mount use. The User Guide is nicely printed, well written and tells you all you need to know. The infrared remote control is full-sized with proper physical clicky buttons and a dedicated button for automatic keystone correction. The main control buttons can also be found on the top of the projector itself. It has all the usual ports and connections: x2 HDMI, x 2 USB, audio out and AV.

This projector has some high end features not often found at this price point: Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080 with 4K downscaling, an impressive contrast ratio is of 12000:1, brightness a remarkable 9000 Lumens (380 ANSI Lumens). The best projection distance is 50-350 ” (Optimum is 120″). Aspects ratios of 16:9, 4.3, and Auto are supported. Keystone correction is horizontal ±50, and vertical ±50 and can be controlled in two modes. It offers dual mode wifi and Bluetooth 5.00 wireless connectivity.

To operate you can use the supplied remote control, or the button set found on top of the projector itself. The projector can connect to your home wifi network for streaming and offers Bluetooth 5.0 for lag-free audio although the projector does have decent quality stereo speakers built-in. I used it with an Amazon Firestick connected to the HDMI port with a USB port for power and used the Firestick’s own wifi and Bluetooth connections. External drives and other devices can be connected via USB.

One of the main selling points of this model is the dual mode and powerful keystone correction. Most basic models offer manual correction only controlled manually from the projector itself. Here you control it from the handset either by moving any of the four points of the image or automatically using their own ‘6D’ system which automatically compensates for movements of the projector which misalign the image. Just press the 6D handset button and the image magically correct itself. I have to say this system is easy to use and works well.

I found it gave a good, bright, well-saturated image at a throw distance of around 5m with a stable focus and good keystone stability when used in a darkened room. There are various modes available through the on-screen settings panel that give a choice of colour saturation and contrast. The image can also be zoomed from the handset to get the best picture size between 50 and 100%. I found the image to be larger and brighter than from my normal projector and in fact, I had to scale the image down to about 75% to fit my screen area. The sound from the built-in speaker output is pretty decent but for anything larger than medium sized rooms an external speaker will be needed and there is an audio out port to allow for this. The fan is not the noisiest I have encountered but is by no means quiet but the fan noise is not sharp and grating but more of a dull background hum.

The mid range price gets you some high-end features but if you are after a projector for professional use then keep on looking. The light output is fine for home use but works best in a darkened or semi-darkened room. The image quality is clear and bright without fringing and it holds focus well. The colours are great for the price but less saturated than you would find on a pro level projector. The native 1080p resolution will be enough for all HD and below image sources but there is no native 4K as to be expected for the price. This means it will work with most current devices and the wide range of inputs including smartphone mirroring over wifi supports this.

I did have high hopes for this projector and in many ways these hopes have been realised: the image is bright and clear with good saturation, the projector is well made, well-specified and easy to use. In the end, despite the large size and brightness of the image, I did not feel it was as sharp as on my usual projector and had a slight fuzziness to it. I did not like the focus wheel which I found a bit stiff and less smooth in operation than I am accustomed to. Despite having read many good things about this device I decided, in the end, to stick with my WiMiUS P28, which is not as bright, well made or easy to use, but ultimately yields a better image, at least to my eyes.

Those in search of a good quality mid range projector with decent image quality and with support for all the standard functions may well find what they need here. For most new home theatre owners with a small to medium sized projection room, this would be very well suited. If you want an autofocus unit with perfect colour fidelity for professional use in an undarkened room and with a huge image then this one is not for you and expect to pay very much more to find it.

This is a good quality device with good quality and above average resolution. It is priced far below high end professional projectors but it is by no means a budget device as regards its capabilities. It punches a good deal above its price point and offers probably the best feature set and design quality I have yet found in this range.

If you need a decent mid range projector or to upgrade from your entry level model then for the price this would not be a bad choice although I do think a sharper image can be found elsewhere.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Very Bright Image
Short Throw Lens
Excellent User Guide
Dual Mode Keystone Correction
Image Zoom
Full Size Remote Control
Manual Control Option
1080p Native Resolution
Two USB ports

The Bad
Image Quality Disappointing
No Batteries Included
Needs Darkened Room
Non Intuitive Lens Cap
Power Cable Too Short

More Info and Purchase

Massway 3 Way Flexible Extension Lead

This tough and well made three-way power adapter works well and gets the job done although there are cheaper rivals out there.

In the attractive but simple product box are the plug adapter itself and a small and rather hard to read information sheet and user guide. Build quality is first rate. The adapter feels tough, robust and built to last and feels a cut above the budget no-name rivals available from the bargain bin stores. The unusual short cable design allows the plugboard to be positioned where a normal adapter could not fit but without the inconvenience of a long trailing cable.

The adapter has a standard 13A UK power in plug with a very short heavy duty cable leading to the plugboard itself. On the front of the plugboard are the three 13A sockets widely spaced enough to allow non standard plugs to be fitted with above them a tiny status LED and a large proper clicky button to turn the sockets off and on. The sockets can only be controlled together and not separately. On the top of the device can be found three smart sensing USB A charging ports rated at 3.1A in total with a maximum output of 2.4A per port.

That is all there is to it. The plug adapter is tough and well made and a cut above most rivals in that respect. There are many cheaper rivals out there if you feel the £22.49 is too much but if you would prefer to pay more for quality then this would be a decent buy.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Attractive Design
Unusual Form Factor
Power Switch
Status LED

The Bad
Expensive
No Individual socket switches

More Info and Purchase

PROGRACE Kids Camcorder

You cannot really expect much for $33 but in fact, this little kids camcorder is distinctly better than I thought it would be. It is available at the same price in both pink and blue.

In the attractive box can be found the Camera, 32Gb Micro SD Card, Lanyard, Carry Bag, USB Cable, and a well written and useful colour User Guide. Build quality is lightweight, as to be expected, but the quality seems fine for the price.

The camera is basically a scaled down camcorder with all the usual controls and settings. There is a pull out folding colour 2.4″ LCD panel that can be rotated up to 270° to allow for selfies, which reveals a small control panel on the body with proper physical buttons for power, menu and track navigation. On top of the camera is a single button for video and photo taking and confirming menu selections. All are simple and easy to operate. The control buttons also give access to the 4 built-in Puzzle Games as well as the 8 Special Effects, 7 Image Filters, and 10 Image Frames included to enhance photos and video.

The camera can output video with audio at up to 1080p and still images up to 16Mp according to the user guide. Video quality at 1080p is not too good with poor resolution and a slow and stuttering frame rate but switching to 720p greatly improves the results and will surely be more than adequate for the small users this device is aimed at. The included filters and frames will make up for the relatively low image quality and add to the fun value of this as a toy.

Construction quality is fine for the price and if treated well there is nothing that makes me think it will fail anytime soon. I would worry about the longevity of the fold-out screen, not because of poor build quality, but from my knowledge of kids, but older youngsters should have enough common sense to treat it gently.

All in all, for the price this is a fun little camera that will keep young hands busy and perhaps be the first step for a future YouTube star.

More Info and Purchase: UK

Sealapack 4 pack Reusable Toaster Bags

This set of four toaster bags from Sealapack are priced at £3.40 which is pretty much par for the course and the bags themselves seem no better or worse than the many others I have tried.

The pack consists of two separately packaged sets of two bags. The bags are nicely presented in an eye-catching pack with all the information you need, such as it is, on the pack itself.

The bags are each 16×16.5cm in size can be reused multiple times and are washable and in fact, we are advised to wash the bags before first use. We are not told what the bags are made of but often it is from a Teflon coated polyurethane base.

I found that the bags will accommodate standard sized UK thick-sliced white bread with a thin to medium layer of cheese between the slices. It is a bit of a squeeze but it does fit and in fact, a tight fit is better as it holds the sandwich contents together. You do not have to just use the bags for toast and they can be used to warm up pizza slices or anything else you get in them but remember the bags are not watertight and if over filled may split along the seams.

When toasting a sandwich I find it best to lay the bag sideways into the toaster at first and then turn it upright with the bag opening on the top once the contents start to melt. The bags can be washed in warm soapy water or even in the dishwaher after use.

These bags, as with all the others I have used, will start to split along the seams with age will continue to work provided the contents are not too runny.

These bags seem as well made as any of the others and are similarly priced and are worth the price asked although so far as I can tell they have nothing to offer that the many rivals do not.

The Good
Good Price
Reuseable
Washable
Versatile
Dishwasher Safe

The Bad
Too small for non standard bread slices
Seams split over time

More Info and Purchase