Voger ME720 Wireless Security Camera

New to the market with this indoor/outdoor wireless rechargeable security camera Volger, are pitting against the likes of Arlo and Nest in a very competitive market. For the budget price of just £79.99, what do they have to offer?

In the well designed mid-market box is the camera, UK Power adapter, USB cable, double-sided sticky mount, wall mount, magnetic mount, screw set, tweezers, and a short, well designed but not very useful user guide. Although compact and lightweight, everything seems pretty robust and well made.

The camera is small-sized with a rounded bay front holding the lens, PIR, Night Vision LEDs, microphone, and status LED. On the rear is a metal screw mount, on the base another screw mount along with a recessed bay for the Power/Reset buttons, micro-SD card and micro-USB charging port. A heavy-duty grommet for the bay is provided which still allows access to the charging port.

To configure the camera just install and register the Cloudboom app and then follow the instructions there. Although it worked in the end, I found the instructions did not exactly relate to what the camera was doing and there was no confirmation I was online. I only discovered it was by returning to the front page of the app. I had no more issues after that, and once connected the camera performed well. Both the User Guide and app install wizard need to be rethought.

After connection, the camera uses the easy to use and well designed Cloudboom app to configure and use the camera. The app configures targeted motion detection, scheduling, app alerts, cloud storage, camera sharing, format the SD card (maximum size an impressive 128gb), access and edit alert videos and pictures. The app is very user friendly with all the main features immediately accessible on the front page.

Once set up the camera offers good quality 1080p video with 2-way audio at around 15-20fps. Videos and stills can be saved to the optional cloud service as well as to the micro-SD card in the camera. Unlike many rivals, the camera works perfectly well without the cloud storage option.

Battery charging takes as long as eight hours, but given that battery life is between 3 and six months depending on usage, that is not too bad.

My only bugbears are the ill-thought-through initial setup, and the hard to access port bay – for which tweezers are most certainly needed, although the puny plastic ones provided are not really up to the job.

Voger is entering a market already crowded with rival cameras but this one is well priced, well-specified and well priced and is surely worth a look.

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TECKIN SP27 Smart Mini Plug 2 Pack

Having changed my connected home from a hub-based to a hub free setup I have encountered quite a few of these smart plugs which vary only in price and the app they work. Available now at £19.99 for a set of two, this newly updated set from TECKIN is one of the easyest to setup and use I have tried yet.

The latest generation of IOT products, like these from TECKIN requires no hub, connects directly to the router, is assigned its’ own IP number and is easy to identify online. The devices can be controlled through their own various native smartphone apps but is also recognised by the Amazon Echo and Google Home and seamlessly blends in their home automation ecosystems.

Presented in a simple but attractively designed mid-market product box were the plugs themselves along with a well written and easy to read User Guide. The Guide assists in setting up the Smart Life app and for linking the device to Amazon Alexa and Google Home. I attach a partial scan the guide to my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

The plugs themselves are well made, nicely designed and feels robust enough for long-term everyday use. It is smaller in size than many rivals and less obtrusive in use. I was pleased to see that it is not too wide and should fit fine into a multi-socket wall fixture. It has a power status LED on the side which doubles as a proper clicky off/On button. Rated at 13A 2990W load, unlike many rivals these plugs handle more powerful domestic devices.

Setting it up was easy enough and can all be done by following the in-app instructions. Open the app and begin the procedure to add a new device. Plug the socket in and the LED starts flashing quickly, select the device type from the list in the app, input your wifi password, let the app then detect the device on the network. My unboxing video also walks through the initial configuration. Once the device is set up and online simply switch to the Alexa app, enable the Smart Life Skill and follow the steps to recognise the plugs. Again this is covered in detail in the printed User Guide.

The Smart Life app is excellent and does much more than just allow you to add the plug to Alexa and Google. The app will also allow the plug to be triggered by events such as you entering and leaving the house, sunrise/sunset, etc and will work in conjunction with a wide range of wifi devices from the same manufacturer. I doubt most users will use the app but will control is just through voice, as I do.

This is an excellent product in its own right and when integrated with Alexa or Google really can start to transform your home. I have seen similar products from other suppliers but this one has to be one of the easiest to configure and use yet.

Features
Good price
Works with Alexa
Works with Google Home
Excellent App
Compact Size
No hub needed
Part of a family of devices
Off/On button
Status LED
13A/2990W Load

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WILLED Interior Car Lights

If you want to brighten up your life starting with your car, this new £14.99 kit from WILLED I might be just what you need.

The kit consists of four 8.8 inch 12 LED strips hard wired to a small control box. The LED strips are of flexible plastic and are sticky backed for easy mounting, as is the control box. Two of the strips are linked to the box with 47-inch medium weight robust cables, the others with 70″. The control is linked to a USB socket for power with a non-standard plug on the control box. What a pity that a regular USB plug could not have been used.

Connecting up has been made as simple as possible with all the components sticky backed and bag ties provided for the excess cable. The difference in cable lengths, of course, is to allow for front and back seat mounting.

Once in place, the lights are controlled with a Bluetooth connection to your phone using the LED LAMP app. This app will automatically connect to the strips and allow you to control colours, lighting modes and react to music using the microphone in the phone. The app is confusingly laid out and designed for use with a range of devices but does do all it claims to. The controller will remember the last setting used and will revert to it next time the car starts.

The best thing about this set for me is that due to using a standard USB port rather than a car cigar lighter, means that it need not be used solely in a vehicle. The set can be used at home, for under counter lights, inside drawers and cupboards. It no more expensive than many domestic strips and is very much more versatile.

This kit looks great, is cheap to buy, easy to install and, if you have that sort of car, a great addition to your ride.

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TECKIN Smart Plug SPN23 – 4 Pack

Priced at £47.99 for a set of four, this remodelled and updated Smart Plug set is not the cheapest on the market but it is one of the best. I have encountered quite a few smart plugs that vary only in price and the app they use. However, TECKIN has a good reputation for Smart Gear and so I was interested to see how the new plugs got on.

The latest generation of IOT products, like these from TECKIN requires no hub, connects directly to the router, is assigned its’ own IP number and is easy to identify online. It is recognised by the Amazon Echo and Google Home and seamlessly blends in their home automation ecosystems. The old TECKIN plugs used to interface with the Smart Life ecosystem with the Smart Life app but now TECKIN have their own app and although I suspect the underlying code may be from Smart Life/Tuya the new app is very much TECKIN’s own.

In the simple but attractively designed mid-market product box were the plugs themselves along with a well written and easy to read User Guide. The Guide assists in setting up the TECKIN app and for linking the device to Amazon Alexa and Google Home but is not really needed as the app does it all for you. In fact, there are two ways to connect the plugs to your home network and the TECKIN app walks you through both simple procedures.

The plugs themselves are well made, nicely designed, and feels robust enough for long-term everyday use. They are smaller in size than many rivals and less obtrusive in use. Each has a power status LED on the side which doubles as a proper clicky off/On button.

Setting it up was easy enough and can all be done by following the in-app instructions. Open the app and begin the procedure to add a new device. Plug the socket in and the LED starts flashing quickly, select the device type from the list in the app, input your wifi name and password, let the app then detect the device on the network. My unboxing video also walks through the initial configuration using the slightly more involved AP connection method. Once the device is set up and online simply switch to the Alexa/Google app, enable the TECKIN Skill and follow the steps to recognise the plugs.

The TECKIN app is excellent and does much more than just allow you to add the plug to Alexa and Google. The app will also allow the plug to be triggered by events such as you entering and leaving the house, sunrise/sunset, etc, and will work in conjunction with a wide range of new TECKIN wifi devices. I doubt most users will use the app but will control the plugs just through voice, as I do.

This is an excellent product in its own right and when integrated with Alexa or Google really can start to transform your home. I have seen similar products from other suppliers but this one has to be one of the most compact, easiest to use, and best designed yet.

Features
Good price
Works with Alexa
Works with Google Home
Excellent App
Compact Size
No Hub needed
Part of a family of devices
Off/On button
Status LED

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PWAY USB Sharing Switch PW-SU0204

For those of us that work with two computers, this little device from PWAY can reduce clutter on the desktop, speed up workflow, and reduce stress, not bad for £14.99.

In the plain unbranded box was the compact-sized switcher itself together with two 1.3m USB to USB cables, a 1m USB-Micro-USB cable and a well printed and easy to read User Guide. Build quality is first-rate, the switcher is made of metal with robust and well-seated ports. the cables are also all heavy duty.

This metal-bodied and robust unit has two USB-A ports and a micro-USB port power port on the rear, four USB-A ports on the front and a single small raised button with status LEDs on the top. Connect the USB devices to the front, most users would connect their keyboard and mouse, and the computers to the rear. Pressing the button will now swap the connected devices from one computer and the other with a status LED confirming which PC is currently connected. It works immediately and every time.

This really is a plug and play device. I just connected it up and it once began working and has never let me down yet. For me the switcher worked perfectly well without the micro-USB power cable connected, I suspect it may be needed when connecting high power devices.

For the budget price, you will may find your desktop life may never be the same again.

The Good
True Plug ‘n Play
Good Build Quality
Good User Guide

The Bad
No USB-C
Basic Packaging

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HG Black Mould Remover Spray

I have noticed for a while a black deposit building up on some of the walls in our house. The dreaded Black Mould had struck.

Removing it is actually not that difficult and there are a range of products available that will remove it, at least temporarily. In fact, simple household bleach will do the job and by the smell, bleach is one of the main constituents of this mould removing product from HG.

The mould remover comes in a 500ml pump action dispensing bottle with a two-stage lock to prevent accidental use. First, completely remove the clip beneath the nozzle and the twist the nozzle end firmly and put it in the active position. After use, it is important to lock the nozzle securely again.

The product is dispensed in the form of a thin wet foam. This sticks to the wall better than a thin liquid but does still drip and run, so be sure to put plastic or paper down to collect the runoff. Take care too to wear gloves and protective clothing – I did not and my black trousers developed bright red spots!

Using it is simple. Just spray onto the affected surface and in all but the worst cases, it then wipes straight off. If it is really bad then leave the foam to work for half an hour or so.

I got immediate and very satisfactory results. Of course, this product and those like it will only remove the mould and not deal with the underlying issue causing the mould.

This product works well, is still not too dear despite the price rising from £3.30 to £9.81 between my purchasing it and making this review. There are many cheaper rivals out there, including normal household bleach, but this one did the job for me.

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JEBSENS Car Voltage Meter Car Charger

There is no shortage of car USB chargers and voltage meters but too often they are cheaply made, unattractive and don’t work. This new model from JEBSENS despite the low £8.25 price seems to buck the trend.

In the box are just the unit itself and a small but well-written user guide. Build quality seems fine and the device has a more upmarket look to it than might be supposed from the Amazon page.

The device does two things.

Firstly it is a USB charger but claims to charge at up to 2.4 amps per port, which is higher than many rivals, and outputs up to 24w, which means although faster than most it is not a true fast charger. However, it offers overcharging and overheating protection, which is good.

It is also a battery monitor and allows you to monitor the output from the car battery to prevent accidental discharges and flat batteries. It monitors with the range 12V to 15V. If it is below 12V, then it is time to change the battery.

When no USB device is connected the displays shows the battery output in volts but when one or both USB ports are in use the display alternates between the battery status and combined USB output in amps. The display is good and bright but not distractingly so, which is just as well as the only to turn it off is to unplug the device. If your vehicle has a power port that is always on even when the ignition is off, then take care to unplug the device when you turn the engine off to avoid draining the battery as this unit does consume a small amount of current when in use. If you see a reading on the dervice screen when the engine is turned off, then unplug it.

How accurate is it? I don’t know, I do not have the means to hand to test it, but other more techy reviewers say that is with acceptable parameters for the price.

This is an attractive little unit, and taking the display readings on trust, seems a pretty good buy.

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Stynice Gaming Headset GH-2

This new headset from Stynice emphasises comfort and sound quality rather than flashing lights, novelties and gimmicks. This is a headset designed for extended gaming sessions and for this it works well.

In the box can be found the headset, cable splitter, and User Guide. Build quality seems fine and although the headset is quite lightweight nothing seems likely to fail anytime soon.

Lightweight and designed for extended comfortable wear, nevertheless the headset seems robust, strong, and more attractively designed than most gamer headsets I have tried – which is not saying much. It is nicely padded with PU leather and memory foam earcups, which are of the over-ear type and on the headband which at 4cm is wider than most. It is comfortable and easy to wear even for long gaming sessions. The headset has a traditional 3.5mm plug but an adapter is included to split the signal when separate audio in and audio out feeds are needed. The braided audio cable is longer than normal at 2m and sports a large and easy to use In-Line Control Box with microphone mute switch and audio volume thumbwheel. The non-detachable microphone rotates down up to 120° when needed but does not get in the way when folded back.

Although this headset does have LED lights, which is the only purpose of the USB plug as there is no vibration engine and consoles are not directly supported, they are subtle and discreet and not annoying.

The compact hard-wired microphone stalk is can be flipped up out of the way a full 120° and unlike with some I have tried the microphone audio is easy to hear the other end.

How does it sound?
The audio quality is good and punches above its weight for the £22.99 price tag. There is good bass, although not overpowering, with the mid and higher frequencies being clear and well defined without being too sharp or abrasive. When both gaming and listening to music it is becomes a very immersive and enjoyable experience. From a pure gaming viewpoint the lack of direct talkback through the console is a drawback but the fine sound quality and ease of use for general music playing more than makes up for it.

This is a comfortable and well-made set of headphones described as being for gamers but really they are fine for general purpose listening with a full and rich sound not often found at this price. If you are a serious gamer, particularly a console user then my advice would be to walk away. If you are looking for a budget headset for music, PC Gaming and general use then this would be a very worthwhile buy.

The Good
Good sound
Great price
Good build quality
Comfortable to wear
Audio/Mic Splitter
Adjustable mic position
Passive noise reduction

The Bad
USB Adapter Needed For some gaming consoles
Non-Detachable Mic
No Carry Bag

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JOEYOUNG Winter Ear Muffs

This new pair of earmuffs from JOEYOUNG may be just what I need as an English winter bears down on us.

In the bag were just the earmuffs with no additional padding or paperwork and none needed.

These lightweight, comfortable ear muffs fit neatly to the back of the head, or even over the top for children, and to my surprise once in place show little sign of falling off. They fit securely but without any feeling of pressure or that your head is in a vice, how they do it I am not quite sure.

The non-slip ear muffs are very light in weight but are well padded with a thick velour fleece. When removed the muffs can be folded almost flat and slip easily into even a trouser pocket. They are washable, we are told, but as no washing instructions are provided I would guess a simple hand wash is best.

Priced at £9.99 (discounts usually apply) they are a well made and comfortable addition to the winter wardrobe.

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ROFFIE HP20 Cordless Hair Clippers

In these troubled times, it is not so easy as it was to visit the barber or hairdresser and so increasingly people are turning to DIY solutions. This compact and stylish hair clipper set from ROFFIE has all you need to keep your hair in check at the price of just £29.99. I have tested other cheaper hair clippers and although worked perfectly well they lacked the premium feel of this device.

In the rather upscale product box were the clippers themselves, two clip-on comb cutting guides, a cleaning brush, lubricating oil, USB power cable and a well written and easy to read User Guide. Annoyingly, no carry case is included.

The clippers are rather lightweight, but none the worse for that and still feel well made and robust with a distinctly premium feel to them. There are no controls to worry about, there is just one large illuminated off/on button, press it and much of the front face instantly lights up and the quiet, non-annoying blade motor starts. It is simple and intuitive to use.

The clippers are powered by either the built-in Lithium 1500mAh battery or directly by the USB charging cable. Although any USB socket can be used as a power source, it is a pity that a non-standard interface has been used at the clipper end, so take care not to lose or damage the cord. In operation, the clippers are genuinely low noise and vibration free and despite this manage to cut neatly and well. The two cutting guide combs clip on and off quickly and easily and make it far easier to get a neat cut. The Ceramic Titanium cutting blade easily clips off and on for cleaning which is task quick and easy to perform.

For the low price, this is an excellent buy and perhaps an essential one at the present time when trips to the barber are limited. This is a cut above the rivals I have tried and well worth the difference. This has the feel of a quality piece of kit that should last well.

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