Victure MP3 Player M5

To my surprise, it seems there is still a big demand for MP3 players as and this new entry-level player from up and coming brand Victure perhaps shows why.

The shirt pocket-sized device has an attractive matt finish to it and supports TF cards up to 64Gb in addition to the 8Gb internal memory. It has proper clicky buttons, comes with headphones, charging cord and well written and easy to read User Guide. Build quality is excellent and belies the budget price.

Below the bright 46mm colour TFT screen are touch screen navigation buttons for Menu, Back, Up, Down, Play/Pause/OK, Previous/Rewind and Next/Fast Forward. . On the base of the unit are the headset/audio out socket, USB power port and the micro SD card slot. On one side of the unit are proper clicky buttons for Volume Up and Down and Power.

As well as MP3 and WAV audio files the unit will also play video on the bright and colourful 46mm TFT screen, although only in the rather obscure AMV format. It has the 3.5mm traditional audio out port and no other ports aside from the micro-SD port used for charging the 320mAh Lithium Polymer battery, which can give up to 20 hours playtime.

The device uses an integral 320mAh Lithium Polymer battery charged through the micro-USB port (which can also be used for OTG file transfers to a smartphone or computer) with a 1.5- 2-hour charge giving a claimed 20 hour playback time. It comes with 8GB of internal storage and up to a further 64GB can be added using the micro-SD card slot.

There are plenty of other features supported by this device some of more use than others. They include a pedometer, FM radio (you can record live off-air, which is good), video player (AMV, 128 x 150 only), audio recording, and Ebook reader. They do all seem to work but some are far more useful than others. Video playback does work but the low screen resolution and limited file formats make this not worth the effort. Ebook playback does work and the screen is bright and with good contrast but again the small screen size makes this not very practical. FM Radio works fine, using the wired headset as an antenna. Audio recording works but is best used for note-taking rather than music recording.

Sound quality is excellent, clear and unmuffled with decent bass. The menu system is good and easy to negotiate to find the tracks and albums needed. The built-in storage is enough for a vast number of songs in standard format and music can be listened to whilst browsing folders, images and ebook files on the device. The supplied headphones are no more than OK and to get the full potential from this device replace them with a decent set and you will really notice the difference.

If you are one of the people that favour a dedicated player for the music, then this new, compact and stylish device may be for you and at £19.99 it will certainly not put you in the poorhouse.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Great Price
Good Audio Quality

The Bad
No USB-C
Limited Video Capability

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Teckin Wifi Smart Plug SP27 – 2 Pack

As I change 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. Discounted now to just £16.99 for a set of two, this newly updated set from TECKIN is one of the most easy to setup and use I have tried yet.

I currently use LightwaveRF switches with my Amazon Echo and Google Home devices and this works well but needs a hub to be connected to the router. 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.

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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AWOW Celeron N3350 Windows 10 Pro PC Stick


The suppliers tell me they are seeking a limited number of European users of this product to report on the technical performance over time of this device in exchange for substantial purchase discounts. Before purchasing please contact kafka22@outlook.com.


For a 30% Discount use this Amazon Checkout Code: AWOW2020

 

Yes, this is perfectly functioning PC with built-in wifi running a fully licensed legal version of Windows 10 on a USB stick. Priced at £169.99 this is a professional quality PC stick sporting an Apollo Lake N3350 processor with 4Gb of RAM and 64Gb of onboard storage with more than enough power for most computing needs.

In the Box is the PC Stick itself along with an HDMI extender cable, International Power Supply (including a UK plug) and a short but handy User Guide. Build quality seems a cut above rival devices I have tried with a weighty and substantial feel to it due to the metal body frame.

There is no more setup required than with any other new computer. Connect the power supply to the USB stick and the USB either directly or using the supplied extender cable to your TV or monitor and switch on. You will then be presented with the standard Windows 10 setup screen which walks you through getting the computer up and running. You will need to connect either a normal keyboard and mouse you might try using a wireless keyboard/trackpad combo which needs just one USB port and no trailing wires. Once configured you can then update Windows 10 to the latest build and security version.

The device can be used as a normal stand-alone computer and I was surprised just how snappily it worked. I was expecting it to be slow and sluggish but this was not the case. It uses a Celeron N3350 processor with 4MB of RAM and can easily deal with most tasks short of rendering 4K video. For word processing and web browsing, running a media server or as a TV streaming box, it is more than adequate. It is well specified for the size and price with Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band Wifi, USB 3, Gigabit LAN and with a good range of ports: HDMI, micro-USB, two USB 3, and a TF card.

Many people will wish to use this as a home theatre media player and there are a host of applications to support this. The PC is silent in operation as it needs no fan and is easily small enough to blend in with other set-top box devices behind the TV. It can be plugged directly into a TV or monitor and even powered by it if the TV has a spare USB port. It comes with 64Gb of built-in memory and after Windows has updated itself there is about 35GB left, enough for a range of applications and use as a home theatre media player. Additional storage can be connected to one of the USB ports or micro SD Card.

This is an excellent mini PC and is fine for use as a dedicated single-purpose device or as a general-purpose PC for web browsing.

The Good
Good build quality
Easy configuration
Built-in wifi
Bluetooth 4
2x USB 3
HDMI
Gigabit LAN
Licensed preinstalled Windows 10
Smooth, fast operation
Compact size

The Bad
No USB-C
No Carry Case

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Victure M6X 16GB Bluetooth MP3 Player

I did not think that in 2020 that anyone still used MP3 players but if it looks like they do and if this new model from up and coming brand Victure is anything to go by then they still have plenty to offer.

The shirt pocket-sized device has a glossy, upmarket finish to it and supports TF cards up to 12Gb in addition to the 16Gb internal memory. It comes with a sports armband, headphones, carry bag, audio cable, charging cord and well written and easy to read User Guide. Build quality is excellent and the little has a distinctly upmarket feel to it. The supplied in-ear headset is of better than average quality but the player can deliver better results than they do justice to.

Below the bright and snappy 2″ colour TFT screen are touch screen navigation buttons for Menu, Back, Up, Down, Play/Pause, Previous/Rewind and Next/Fast Forward. On one side of the unit is the TF card slot and on the other proper clicky buttons for Volum Up and Down. On the base of the unit are the headset/audio out socket, USB port and Power/Lock button. On the back is the speaker grill and Reset access port.

The device uses an integral polymer lithium battery charged through the micro-USB port (which can also be used for OTG file transfers to a smartphone or computer) with a 1.5- 2-hour charge giving a claimed 30 hour playback time. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and up to a further 128GB can be added using the micro-SD card slot.

There are a range of other features supported by this device some of more use than others. They include a pedometer, FM radio (you can record live off-air, which is good), video player (AMV, 128 x 150 only), audio recording, Ebook reader, Stopwatch, Alarm, File Manager, Bluetooth Manager. They do all seem to work but some are far more useful than others. Video playback does work but the low screen resolution and limited file formats make this not worth the effort. Ebook playback does work and the screen is bright and with good contrast but again the small screen size makes this not very practical. FM Radio works fine, using the wired headset as an antenna. Audio recording works but is best used for note-taking rather than music recording. Bluetooth headphones and speakers work well and are easy to connect in the usual way but it is a pity the latest Bluetooth 5 system is not used.

Audio quality, the main requirement for an MP3 player, is excellent. The menu system is good and easy to negotiate to find the tracks and albums needed. The screen displays the album cover if this is included in the selected file folder. The built-in storage is enough for a vast number of songs in standard format and music can be listened to whilst browsing folders, images and ebook files on the device. Personally, I use it with Bluetooth headphones for MP3 playing. the other features either not of interest to me or not worth the effort of configuring.

If you are one of the perhaps growing number of people that favour a dedicated player for the music, then this new, compact and stylish device may be for you and at £27.99 it will certainly not break the bank.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Great Price
Good Audio Quality

The Bad
No USB-C
Limited Video Capability
No Bluetooth 5

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FUJIWAY 4 Head 80 LED Plant Grow Light Kit

At just £29.99 this impressive Full Spectrum LED Plant Grow Light kit from FUJIWAY is impressive, both for the quality and quantity of items it contains.

In the box is the four-headed grow light itself together with a UK USB power adapter, a useful if brief User Guide and a 15 piece seedling/bonzai gardening kit of tools and gadgets needed to deal with tiny plants and probably worth the asking price in itself.

The light itself is basically four 220mm strip full spectrum grow lights (440nm to 600nm wavelength) each on a separate 360-degree adjustable gooseneck with a robust central crocodile grip base and a control pad for light type, intensity and timer. It gives a coverage of 2-3 square metres with a lamp to plant range of 30 cm – 120 cm.

Build quality throughout, even of the bonus Bonzai kit, seems the first-rate with nothing looking likely to fail, pack in or drop off anytime soon. The addition of a USB adapter is a nice touch as this would be a corner very easy to cut. I like the way the light unit folds up easily for storage and after a brief struggle, I was even able to get it back into the shipping box which is robust enough to store it in.

The device is controlled through the small but nicely designed in-line control pad which features, I am happy to say, proper clicky buttons. There are just four buttons to work with. The top one controls the 9 step brightness level. Below is the button to scroll through the three lighting options: Blue (460-465nm), Red (Red:645-655nm), and Blue+Red. Next down is the timer scroll button: 3 Hours (Blue Status LED), 9 hours (Green LED), 12 hours (Red LED). At the bottom is the On/Off button.

How well does it work? Come back and ask me at the end of the season but so far everything grown under it is coming up nicely. It may well be that larger overhead lights work better, I am not qualified to judge, but so far I have few doubts about just how well this grow light is working.

This is a great little kit and a fine buy for the money.

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DIGITNOW! USB Digitiser Record Player

This very attractive and nicely designed new portable record player from DIGITNOW! can be used as a stand-alone way of revisiting your old discs using the built-in speakers or with an existing audio system connected either through the standard 3.5mm headphone jack or using the rear stereo RCA Phono ports. The unit comes with RCA and audio cables supplied along with a UK plug power supply, 45rpm jukebox disc adapter and a well written and easy to read User Guide. The body of the device is well made, stylish and robust, although the turntable itself feels a bit lightweight. The player has USB type B out and sending a signal from this port to a PC will allow discs to be converted to Mp3 or other digital formats. A CD is provided containing the excellent freeware application Audible to do this.

The damped semi-automatic turntable has a decent quality belt drive inside and a soft touch tonearm mechanism on the outside. It supports 7, 10, and 12″ discs at 33, 45 and 78 speeds. Unlike other devices in the DIGITNOW! range this one does not have connections for Bluetooth, cassette or CD and does not digitise the discs internally. Instead, it focusses mainly on being a portable record player and this it does rather well.

The controls are simple enough. There is a single rotary pot for Off/On and volume. A disc speed selector torrent switch and another to select auto Off/On or standard operation. A single status LED glows red when powered on.

It has built-in speakers and although the sound is loud, bright and well defined it does lack bass, as to be expected from the compact format. The integral speakers are fine for monitoring use or when top audio quality is not needed. For serious listening, external speakers or a HiFi system can be attached. When connected to a good quality external system the sound quality is perfectly fine. The device does look good, with a 1960’s retro feel to it and can play almost any form of record thrown at it, including shellac 78’s, old jukebox 45’s missing the centre spindle and more modern 12″ 45rpm singles.

For around £56.99 this is an excellent buy and an inexpensive way of breathing new life into an old record collection.

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Rybozen Muscle Massage Gun M678

Unlike other most massagers, this new model from Rybozen uses a percussive rather than vibrating technique which said to be better for the deep tissue massage often needed by athletes, and this £89.99 device is targeted more at the Sports rather than health market.

In the semi-rigid carry case can be found the massage gun itself, together with four fearsome-looking heads, a UK power supply and a short but well printed and informative User Guide. Build quality could not be better as the well named massage gun looks like it was constructed along industrial if not military lines.

The four heads, each with warrior sounding names – Globule Head, Bullet Head, Flat Head, and Fork Head – just click in place and are just as easy to remove. They are each designed to target specific areas: Globule head mainly used for large muscle groups. Suitable for arms, back, buttocks, thighs, calves, Bullet Head Suitable for meridians, palms, soles, etc, Flat Head Applicable to all parts of your body, and Fork Head Suitable for neck, spine, Achilles tendon, etc. The device has five-speed settings between 1300-4600 rpm, with the speeds confirm by a colour LED row on the rear. The device is powered on by a switch next to the charging port on the base and the speed selected by a button on the rear. Annoyingly, you have to turn the unit off with the power button, there is no Off position selectable by the speed button, which means turning the device off is a two-handed operation.

The unit features a 2400mA lithium-ion battery charged using a dedicated charger with one three hour charge giving around four hours of run time, which I found to be pretty accurate and should be enough for multiple massage sessions.

The effect of using the unit is immediate and dramatic and due to the power of the device, it should be used with care. It does a good job of imitating the pummelling massage technique often used in sports therapy and does seem to work for specific toning techniques.

It is not a cheap device but it is clearly built to professional standards if not for Pro use and should last for years. If you need this sort of sports massager, I doubt you will find a better one.

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