MONOJOY Car Key Signal Blocker Box

Owners of high and middle range cars are increasingly being targeted by thieves using sophisticated electronic devices to clone the radio key code of a parked vehicle by sending a radio signal to the car keys inside the building which response with the unique code for the car. This can quickly be loaded onto a blank remote key then be used to start the vehicle. Storing the keys inside this clever little box can prevent that happening.

The 4.57 x 2.28 x 3.54 in. 280 g box can hold up to 4 normal sized radio keys and is actually rather attractive and will not look out of place on your bedside or hall table. The case is quite weighty and robustly made and has a padded interior lined with special Occlusion Cloth to stop any radio signal entering or leaving the box. The upmarket looking box has a tan coloured PU leather finish with a padded top, a non-slip base and a non-lockable metal clasp.

That is really all there is to it. No batteries or electronics are needed. This is an entirely inert little Faraday Cage that just sits there doing its job. For the £23.99 Amazon price (currently with additional discounts) if you own a vehicle that may be under threat, this would be a small price to pay for the peace of mind and security it can deliver.

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ALWUP i9 True Wireless Earbuds

At one time you had to pay out to get decent quality True Wireless Earbuds but the introduction of Bluetooth 5.0 seems to have changed all that. Before Bluetooth 5.0 all but the most expensive earbuds would continually drop out, crackle, pop and generally prove more trouble than they were worth. Of the many sets, I have tested so far the best for audio quality are the Zolo Liberty+ (£109), for exercise I use the Jabra Elite Active 65t (£165) and for general use and the ones I use as my go-to earbuds the Jabra Elite Sport (£218). This new set at £27.99 is much less than half the price of the cheapest of these but really do give the high-cost rivals a run for their money.
This new ALWUP i9 headset arrived in an attractive display box, a step up from what you would usually expect at this price point. Inside were the earbuds themselves, 5cm x 4cm charging case, a short USB to micro-USB charging cable, three sets of buds (one set prefitted), and a User Guide. The User Guide is well designed and easy to read, very nicely printed but rather small. I append a scan of it to my unboxing video.

The case has an internal 400mAh battery which is charged using the supplied USB cable and it is the internal case battery which charges the earbud batteries. The case will be able to fully charge the 50mAh earbud batteries two to three times with each charge taking about one hour. There are LED ’s on each bud to show charging status, red when charging, blue and the off when charged. The buds will charge automatically when placed into the case.

These earbuds use the latest Bluetooth 5 technology which is currently only supported by the latest high-end smartphones but of course, they will also work with older Bluetooth versions. Bluetooth 5 adds longer range and greatly improves both the stability of the wireless connection and battery life.

Pairing them I found to be far easier than often is the case. The buds turn on automatically when removed from the case and pair together. If there is no already paired device at hand then they enter pairing mode and the LED flashes red/blue. Pair your phone with nearby device i9 and there you are. When you return the buds to the box they will turn off automatically and begin charging. When taken out again they will automatically remember and pair to your phone. You can use the buds together or individually in mono mode and they should need no further configuration.

Audio quality was good and far better than I was expecting. There is a reasonable level of bass (although I would have rather had more) with mid and upper tones clear and well defined. The sound although lighter on bass than I would prefer is certainly neither thin nor tinny and I found it perfect for use when running. I would say that for me selecting the larger sized gel for the buds helped the sound greatly.

Each bud has a microphone and can be used to receive and make calls and when testing I found the conversation was clear and audible both ends perhaps due to the dual microphones (some headsets only have a mic in one bud). Calls can be rejected/ended by pressing the button on either bud. Unlike with many TW earbuds, the call audio comes over both buds together.

Full audio control can be made by pressing the on-ear button, which is of the proper clicky type, and you can Play/Pause, jump tracks forward or back and change the audio volume. You can also make and receive calls and even invoke Siri (seems not to work for Google Assistant, however).

Battery life is good and comparable all of my high-end sets and I have obtained over five hours of music playing time following a charge. The charging case is rather lightweight but is well made and magnetically holds the buds. The buds are described as sweatproof rather than waterproof, so keep them out of the rain.

For the price, this headset compares well with the high-end rivals I have tried as regards sound quality and features.

Even at this budget price, this is not the least expensive TW headset available but as the market cools down a new generation of less expensive but well-specified and good sounding TW headsets such as these is emerging.

The Good
Good audio quality
Auto On/Off
Good battery life
Single bud operation option
Bluetooth 5
Magnetic Bud Retention

The Bad
No Google Personal Assistant Integration
Lightweight
No USB-C
Fewer Case Charges than with some rivals

NB – 10% Discount at the Amazon Checkout with this code: :BCH4BMFF
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Drkao Hematite Magnetic Therapy Necklace

I recently reviewed a product from Drkao which came with a magnetic bracelet gift, which to our surprise my partner found seemed to help alleviate a long term problem she has had with a tendon in her foot. So I was interested to try this necklace which uses the same magnetic effect for health benefits. This new necklace set is better finished and rather more attractive than the freebie I received and is as much a fashion item as an aid to health.

As with all the items I have tried from DrKao, the bracelet arrived very attractively presented in a Chinese style silk effect pouch with an internal zipped pocket to hold the anklets. No box, instructions or paperwork was included other than a simple promotional card, a scan of which I append to my unboxing video.

The 19.75″ 150g necklace is made from Hematite magnetic stones but with an attractive Gun Metal Polished Black finish. The stones are of uniform size on an elasticated cord with an appearance that is both understated and attractive. The clasp is itself magnetic and one of the easiest to use I have ever tried, no more fiddling with minuscule hooks.

Hematic stones are claimed to help with a range of ailments and frankly, I would previously have thought this to be nonsense until my partner, formerly as sceptical as me, did seem to find an immediate benefit from wearing the hematite bracelet. I can’t judge it myself as I am not suffering from any health issues at present.

For the current price of less than £7 this necklace is certainly not expensive and if it really does improve your health then it is a bargain indeed.

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Gueray Portable DVD Disc Player

It has been years since I last played a DVD, but although most of my viewing comes from streaming, I do still have a large archive of DVDs which at present I can only watch on my computer or by playing them on my old X-Box. This little DVD player will come in handy if and when I need to play them, It can also be used to repurpose an old TV or monitor in the bedroom or spare room.

The DVD player arrived in an attractive mid-market box inside of which was the player itself, a full-sized infrared remote control, HDMI cable, a/v cable set, USB to micro-USB power cable and a large and well-printed User guide.

Build quality is rather lightweight but more than acceptable for the £27.99 Amazon price and I was pleased to see the remote is full-sized with proper clicky keys. The cables all seem good quality and the User Guide is very comprehensive although the English section lapses into german from time to time.

In use, the DVD player works well enough. It supports all the usual DVD and CD formats and upscales standard-sized videos to 1080p. A limited number of other video and audio file types can be played from any attached USB drive up to 32GB in size. A few newer video formats such as MKV are not supported and the User Interface is a bit clunky and dated but it gets the job done.

As a backup player, or a budget way to view your old DVD’s this player is fine. I would probably prefer to pay more for a better-specified machine with a more modern interface if I planned to use it for daily living room viewing but for the price, it would be churlish top criticise it too harshly. It is a multi-region DVD player and it plays DVD perfectly well. If you need more than that then expect to pay much more.

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Kohree Garden Lights – 4 Pack

This £39.99 4 piece lighting set from Kohree is designed for use in the garden but in fact, is neat and elegant for use inside the home or office. The clever design reduces to a minimum the number of trailing wires and the modular format means that there is no need to use all four lights if so desired.

The lighting kit arrived in a branded cardboard box with all the essential product information printed on it. Inside were the four lamps, 4 16xm ground spikes, Wiring loom connector, 4 Moisture seals (to protect unused power sockets), UK multi-voltage 3 pin Power Supply, and a well written and easy to read User Guide.

Build quality seems first-rate. The lamps themselves are made of aluminium alloy with glass lenses, the spikes and wiring loom from water-resistant plastic, the 4m cables are thicker than normal and clearly built to last. The User Guide is well printed and easy to read, although largely unnecessary as setting the lights up is pretty much self-evident.

Unlike many garden lights, this set is a true warm white and is rated at 3000k. Each lamp uses a 3W COB LED rated at 270 lumens with a 24-degree beam. COB, by the way, is the latest LED technology and stands for ‘Chip On Board’. COB LEDs are basically multiple LED chips (typically nine or more) bonded to form a single module. This means a small, brighter and more robust LED using less power.

Setting the set up is perfectly simple and intuitive. Take care to insert the two-pin plugs the right way into their sockets and ensure that all the protecting covers are screwed tightly in place. Four spare moisture seal covers are provided to keep unused sockets dry should not all be in use. There is a two-metre cable connecting the 12v power transformer to the wiring loom, and each light has a 3metre cable connecting it to the loom, The lights cannot be daisy-chained together but must be used in parallel connected to the loom. This means that the furthest distance apart the lights can be positioned is 4 metres.

I found the light from each lamp to be warm, pleasant and not harsh or too bright. The set will work perfectly to highlight a garden area or indoors to illuminate a large object or multiple smaller ones. Be aware that these are not tightly focused spotlights but designed to give wider and less intense coverage.

The design and build quality of this set should allow it to work throughout the year with no further setup needed and I do not expect them to fail after a while as too many of the cheaper sets I have tried seem to do.

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Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition Fitness Tracker

I am not going to attempt a full review here, there are plenty of them out there that will give you the full technical specs and a detailed analysis of how well the new tracker works. Suffice it to say that this tracker is indeed an advance from the Charge 2, with several new features and more detailed metrics, particularly with regard top sleep analysis. At £125, the Special Edition costs more than the standard version and offers Fitbit Pay NFC over the counter payments so it can be used in place of a bank card for wireless purchases in shops. It also comes with a standard black strap in addition to the garish coloured one supplied.

As a long term happy Fitbit Charge 2 user I was saddened when the metal wrist strap bracket suddenly broke rendering the Fitbit useless for anything other than counting steps, I had had the device for several years and although it was working perfectly until then I did not feel too hard done by as I had certainly had my moneys worth from it. I decided to move on to the Charge 3 and was happy to pay a few pounds more for the Special Edition as Fitbit Pay claimed to work with my bank, Santander, here in the UK. I already use my phone for Google Pay in-store purchases and thought it might useful to be able to do the same with the Charge 3.

I was happy enough when the device arrived but from the start, I found the screen small and fiddly to use. As a runner, I use the Fitbit device as a backup to my Polar watch when on the road and like to be able to start and stop tracking an exercise session quickly and easily, as I could with the Charge 2. Not so with the Charge 3 as multiple swipes and button presses are needed made worse by the small, dim screen and the single almost flush button.  The screen is often split to show two apps, which makes it even harder to use. The device is supposed to auto-detect activities but this does not seem to be reliable. As a workaround, I now start and end exercise tracking using the Fitbit app on my phone. I must say again that the Charge 3 does a great job of tracking sleep, steps, and the many other metrics it follows at least as well, if not better, than the Charge 2. However, these days I seldom interact with the Charge 3, it just sits on my wrist recording its data which I then check on my Android phone or PC. I do use it to get an instant display of my heart rate, which it does better than the Charge 2 and is always very close to that from my Polar running watch. I should also say that once or twice I have had problems getting it to sync to my watch, a problem I never had with the older model.

I was hopefull of the Fitbit Pay service and registered my Santander bank account with it through the app but each time this has been rejected with no reason given. It may be an issue with the Fitbit service or even with the bank but the upshot is that it does not work. In fact, I am not too bothered about this as using the service seems more fiddly than I thought and probably not worth the effort when I can just use my phone.

Knowing what I do now, I am still mulling over sending the Charge 3 back and getting another Charge 2. At the moment I intend to send it back but I may finish up keeping the Charge 3 due to the advanced metrics and treat it as a simple tracker.

If you have don’t mind the small and hard to read screen, are not bothered about Fitbit Pay, but appreciate the advanced metrics then this might be a good buy for you. For everyone else, I would advise getting the standard Charge 3, unless you have poor eyesight in which case I would suggest finding a Charge 2, currently available heavily discounted.

 
The Good
Advanced Metrics
Good Price
Good Build Quality
Good Battery Life
Great App
Great Web Interface
Two Wrist bands

The Bad
Tiny Screen
Dim Screen
Poorly Designed Button
Poor Fitbit Pay functionality the UK
Syncing Issues

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Drkao Magnetic Therapy Anklet – 2 Pack

I reviewed a product from Drkao a few days ago which came with a magnetic bracelet gift, which to our surprise my partner found seemed to help alleviate a long term problem she has had with a tendon in her foot. So I was interested to try this anklet set which uses the same magnetic effect for health benefits. This new anklet set is better finished, more attractive and larger than the freebie I received and of course, comes in a pair.

The anklet set arrived very attractively presented in a Chinese style silk effect pouch with an internal zipped pocket to hold the anklets. No box, instructions or paperwork was included other than a simple promotional card, a scan of which I append to my unboxing video.

This pair of anklets can just as well be worn around the wrists and are made from Hematite magnetic stones. They are heavier than you might suppose at around 20g each and 9.55″ in length also rather larger. Those with slimmer ankles or wrists may prefer to double them up for a snugger fit. The stones are polished and alternate between round and elliptical stones on an elasticated cord with an appearance that is both understated and attractive.

They are claimed to help with a range of ailments and frankly, I would previously have thought this to be nonsense until my partner, formerly as sceptical as me, did seem to find an immediate benefit from wearing the other hematite bracelet. I can’t judge it myself as I am not suffering from any health issues at present.

For the current price of less than £8 for the pair they are not expensive for such a simple but attractive anklet set and if they improve your health then they are a bargain indeed.

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