ieGeek 3MP Wifi Security Camera IE-92

This £33.99 camera from ieGeek is typical of the new generation of home security cameras. It is budget-priced but high spec with better than FHD resolution, cloud storage (Paid For), SD card storage, in-app and email alerts, two-way audio, motion tracking. It is simple to configure, easy to operate, and works well.

The camera arrived in an attractive and well designed branded product box. Inside was the camera itself, a wall/ceiling bracket, UK plug power supply, wall mounting kit, USB to micro-USB cable, and a simple but well-written Install Guide. The build quality seems good throughout and although the camera is quite large it is well made and looks impressive if slightly old school.

On the front of the camera are the camera lens and an infrared 9 Piece LED setup, and a microphone. Easily overlooked are the Reset Button and SD card slot on the front of the camera but visible only when the wide-angle lens is tilted upwards. On the rear of the unit are the non-removable antenna, micro-USB power input port and Ethernet socket. On the underside of the base, there is the interface for the supplied mounting bracket or a standard tripod. There is no interface for an external alarm system. The camera is powered by a USB adaptor and so can work with any standard phone charger if the one supplied is unavailable. I was pleased to see that unlike with some rivals, a standard USB to micro-USB cable is used.

To use the camera it is necessary to install the “YI IoT” app to your Android or iPhone and register an account with it before use. You can use a disposable email address for this. Once registered just click the + button to add a camera with walkthrough instructions for Wifi (2.4Ghz only)or Ethernet Cable. This is an easy enough process using the camera to scan the barcode generated within the app. There is no need for a hotspot network generated by the camera, a hit or miss method still used by many older devices.

You can use the app to configure the camera in detail including trigger alerts, notification, with audio or visual triggers. the camera has motion tracking to keep moving objects automatically in the frame. Captured video and stills can be downloaded to both the phone and the camera micro-SD card.

This camera offers c0lour night time video, unlike the black and white that most cameras support. Unlike most rivals, it has two-way audio which means it can work as an effective baby monitor as well as a security camera. It is a pity however than an external speaker and microphone cannot be connected and neither can third party alarm systems. There is support for Amazon Alexa and Google Home systems allowing for voice control and display on a connected TV or other screens.

The better than FHD 2304 x 1536 video quality I found to be first-rate for the price, sharp, clear and with good colour fidelity, perhaps due to the use of the latest H.265 file compression. I have to say that it looks better on camera screen than it does from the SD card file. The camera offers full Pan, Zoom and Tilt control through the app. As my video shows there was very little latency between the phone and camera Pan and Tilt movements. This was better than I have found using some cameras costing several times the price.

I found a few issues with this camera: the lack of free off-site video storage and the need to register an account before fully using the app. That said, all the features most people will need are here plus a few more besides.

If you want a good quality and easy to use security camera or baby monitor and at a very reasonable price and with a well above average feature list then this would be an excellent buy.

The Good
Great price
iOs and Android apps
Two-way audio
Better than FHD H.265 video quality
Good build quality
Pan and tilt control in-app
Night Vision
Motion detection/Motion Tracking
In-app and email alerts
SD Card Slot

The Bad
No Audio out socket
No Audio In socket
No 5Ghz network support
The app needs to be registered

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Nooie Smart Plug PU13 2 Pack

I seem to be inundated these days with smart plugs. All the new generation plugs are hub free, small, stylish and easy to configure. At just £20.99 for two, this set from Nooie is one of the most attractive so far.

At home, 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 Nooie 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.

In the simple but attractive product box were the two plugs themselves along with a well written but rather small setup guide Guide. The Guide assists in setting up the Nooie Home 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 older 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 and a large and 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 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 Nooie Skill and follow the steps to recognise the plugs.

Using the Nooie app or Alexa/Google apps you can set up and configure all sorts of timers, schedules, or chained events for the plugs or in conjunction with other smart devices. For example, I have my living room lights turn on automatically at dusk each day and announcing ‘Bedtime’ will cause Alexa to turn off all TV-related devices plus the lights in the living room and conservatory.

This is a fine product in its own right but when integrated with Alexa or Google really can start to transform your home. There are now many rivals available but this one has to be one of the most compact, easiest to use, and least expensive 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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RUCACIO Dog Toothbrush

This is more than just a chew toy, in fact, it is designed to keep your dogs’ teeth clean through the abrasive effect of the rubber nodules and ribbed surface of the toothbrush on the teeth coupled with the action of canine toothpaste dispensed by the brush.

I bought the largest size, perhaps a mistake, as a smaller size might have suited my two dogs better. The result was that although neither dog showed any desire to chew on the product, it worked perfectly as a slow feeder and kept them both absorbed for long periods trying to lick the meat paste I rubbed into the recessed surfaces and grooves of the item. The item is heavier and better made than I expected and is strong and robust enough to defy all but the very largest dogs from chewing it to destruction.

The idea of the toothbrush is a good one and cleverly realised here with an opening on the top of the toy into which canine toothpaste can be squirted which will then be automatically dispensed to the chewing surface through tiny apertures in the body of the unit. The toy is also mildly scented with a creamy flavour appealing to dogs. After use, the toothbrush can be cleaned using the tiny brush provided which slips neatly into the grooves of the item for storage.

Priced at £14.99 for the largest version with the smaller proportionately cheaper. this is a great way to keep your dogs’ teeth clean or to use as a slow feeder and chew toy. For the price, it is a great buy (but be sure to buy the right size!)

The Good
Good Build Quality
Clever Design
Paste Dispensing Holes
Good Price
Cleaning Brush Included

The Bad
Important to Select The Right Version

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TECKIN Mini Smart Plug Set – 3 Pack

As I move 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 use. At just £30.99 for a set of three, this set from TECKIN is far from expensive.

At home, 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.

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 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.

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 most compact, easiest to use, and least expensive 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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FM London Mens Work Socks (12 Pair Pack)

These medium to heavyweight socks are fine for general purpose or work use. Too thick for formal wear and perhaps not thick enough for outdoor extreme winter wear they are fine for most purposes in the cold season. I wear them as everyday socks and for country walks. They are not things of beauty but they look good enough and certainly get the job done. At just over £1 a pair you cannot fault them on price.

Manufacture seems fine with reinforced toes and heels and moderate elasticity. So far after quite a few weeks of daily wear, none of the socks are showing any sign of excessive wear or working into holes. Usually, socks don’t last long for me and after a few weeks of wear, they always seem to wear into holes and fail at the toes or heels. Not so here, these socks are going strong after several months of use with some slight colour fading and a small reduction in elasticity being the only signs of age,

The current price of £13.49 is a good one for this 12 pair pack of everyday decent quality work socks.

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HangRui 8.0MP Rechargeable Kids Camera

I have reviewed toy cameras before and most of them are just that – toys. I was not expecting any more from this little camera but in fact not only do you get a lot for your money but the results from the camera were far better than I expected.

In the box as well as the camera and a few throwaway items were an external memory card reader and a prefitted 32GB micro-SD card. The camera itself has soft silicone skin and feels pretty child safe. It is about the same size as an action camera, and I suspect the inner workings and hardware had once been used in action camera a few years ago and have been reused here with adapted firmware. There are now a few filters and frames available as well as some simple games which can be played on the 2.4″ screen but in essence this is a normal camera. The camera even has a selfie camera and flashlight built-in. The camera is not listed as being waterproof but does have a grommet sealed side panel for the ports and SD card, so it may well be splashproof at least.

Results were far better than I expected. Had this been a more expensive action camera I might have been annoyed. But for a kids camera, the results not half bad. Some highlights were blown out but the 1080p video was reasonably sharp and free from any colour casts if slightly flat. Although I did not process any of the pix or video in my review I feel that with a bit of tweaking the final results would have been fine. Yes, so it is possible to get perfectly acceptable results from this little camera, much to my surprise.

Using the camera is easy enough for older users but I suspect three-year-olds may struggle a bit, mainly because the camera has so many features. There are five buttons on the rear and one on top which allow you to switch between video and stills mode, turn the flash off and on, switch between front and selfie camera and review and edit files. Most kids will just need the top button to take photos and video. The User Guide helps with this and is well written and nicely printed.

If you have a budding photographer or YouTuber in the house then for the Amazon price of £29.99 this would be a great way to start them off.
The Good
Good Video Quality
Good Stills Quality
Great price
Good Build Quality
SD Card Included

The Bad
Maybe too complicated for very young children

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LPOLER 8 Pieces Stainless Steel Travel Cutlery Set

This attractive set of cutlery would be perfect for a single person or to pack in the car for use when on the road. The eight-piece kit contains all the items needed for normal dining either when travelling or for a proper sit-down meal. The only drawback is the lack of a travel or storage case given that the set is sold as being portable and for travel or camping use.

The kit is nicely presented in a branded product box with all the items within individually protected in plastic bags. No paperwork or other items are included.

The cutlery is made entirely from high-grade stainless steel and is robust and well made enough for long term use, there is nothing here liable to bend or buckle. I was pleased to see that the kit includes a super thin brush to clean inside the two metal straws. The set is pretty much the same quality as you would find in any mid to high-level restaurant, with an easy clean high-gloss stainless steel finish.

If you need a traditional dining set with the addition of two metal straws, one straight and the other angled, then for the £9.99 Amazon price this would be an excellent buy.

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