HandFan Handheld Misting Fan

This clever little portable fan from Handfan is the first I have seen with a misting feature built-in and in fact, it works much better than I expected.

In the box are the fan itself, metal mounting clip, rechargeable battery, charging cable. water dispensing bottle and a well written if rather small, User Guide. Build quality is lightweight, this is a handheld fan, but everything seems well made and robust enough for daily use.

The handle of the six-blade 4″ fan folds back to form a base for when the device is on a flat surface, there are also hooks on the rear for use inside an umbrella and it comes with a separate clip-on metal support which can be used for further mounting options, although I found it a bit fiddly. It has a single button that controls the three-speed fan and misting option which can be used alone or in conjunction with the fan. The misting is provided from a small water tank above the blades which can be filled using the bottle provided.

The fan is powered from a supplied rechargeable 1865o 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery, which can be easily removed and replaced when needed. A short USB charging cable is provided. One charge will between two and ten hours of operation depending on the fan settings.

I was very pleasantly surprised by how effective the misting was, even with the fan turned off. The fan itself when handheld is very quiet in operation and is powerful enough to be best used at no more than level two when at arm’s length.

For the £14.99 price, this is an excellent buy and great for use at the beach or when out and about in the summer as well as at home.

The Good
Great price
Clever Design
Effective Misting
Powerful Fan
Quiet Operation
Replaceable Bettery

The Bad
Fiddly Metal Clip
Dated Looks

More Info and Purchase

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HETP S8 Wireless Earbuds

I have said previously that it is time to raise the bar and in judging this new True Wireless Earbud set from HETP I will attempt to be so. However, let me say first that this £24.95 is at least as good as a set costing five times this price of 18 months ago.

In the attractive mid-market box are the usual contents: buds, charging case, power cable, three gel pairs (one fitted) and an excellent User Guide in good English. Build quality is excellent although not quite to Premium quality, but nothing to complain about.

So what is so good about this headset.

1. Sound Quality. After selecting the correct size gel set (very important) the sound is one of the best I have ever heard from a TW headset. Clean, undistorted if understated bass, clear and well-defined mid-tones, and a high end, detailed and with only a trace of harshness.

2. Bluetooth 5 connection quality. Easy pairing and then auto on and off when the buds are taken from and returned to the case. Great Bluetooth range, only a few dropouts after several weeks of use. The green pulse light on the buds goes out when a connected, a handy feature.

3. Good touch controls; tap either once for play/pause/ answer call, tap twice to reject a call, tap Right bud twice to advance a track, tap Left twice to go back a track. Tap three times to access your Apple or Google Personal Assistant. There is no way to adjust audio volume from the buds, a great pity. The buds will work separately from each other and stand-alone.

4. Long Battery Life. So far I have not had a battery warning from them after extended use. The five-hour playtime claim is no exaggeration. The charging case LED indicates the charging status of the Case and Buds.

5. USB-C Power input. It is good to see the new standard being adopted here. The supplied USB to USB-C cable is an added and welcome bonus.

The main selling points for me are, the compact size of both the case and buds, the use USB-C for the charging port and the easy to see bud connection status LED.

So is there anything to criticise? The sound quality is good, but even more bass would be better for me, as would bud control of audio volume and the smooth casing of the earbuds means that retrieving them quickly from the magnetic charging case can be tricky sometimes. I struggle to open the case too as the smooth surface and small opening notch makes this difficult.

All in all, this is a fantastic earbud set and due to the short and spasmodic Amazon shelf life of such devices, I have bought two more pairs to keep hold of, just in case.

The Good
USB-C Charging
Compact Size Buds
Compact Size Case
Bud ConnectionStatus LED
Great Price
Good Build Quality

The Bad
Hard To Open Case
Hard To Remove Buds
No Volume Control
More Bass Needed

More Info and Purchase

Aschef 11 in 1 Silicone Spatula Utensils Set

Priced at £14.99 this silicone spatula and measuring spoon would be perfect for a new home or a student house with all the basic cooking utensils here.

The spatula set consists of 27cm Large Spatula, 27cm Spoon Spatula, 24cm Jar Spatula, 21 cm Pot Brush, 20.5cm Brownie Spatula, 20.5cm Small Spatula. The kit also includes a five-piece plastic measuring spoon set sized from 1ml to 15ml (tablespoon). The only thing missing, I suppose, is a wall bracket or storage box.

Build quality seems fine. Each spatula has a stainless steel core and is flexible but not overly so, which is a good or bad thing according to your preference but seem robust and long-lasting. They are nonstaining, easy to wash. dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe (up to 450 F). The various shapes and sizes should cover most cooking and baking needs. The lightweight plastic measuring set has markings but they are very hard to read although the set is colour coded which means their use will soon become intuitive.

This an attractive, well priced, simple set of basic cooking implements, well made and robust they should find a home in your kitchen for many years to come.

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Youmeet 18MP Compact Camera

I had my doubts about this little camera when it first came my way but, in fact for the £29.99 price, it is not a bad buy.

In the branded box is the camera, battery (installed), charging cable with UK adapter, software CD, lanyard and a well written if rather small and hard to read User Guide.

The camera is better made and more robust than I was expecting. It has a rechargeable battery which can be replaced if needed, and a large, bright if rather low resolution 2.7″ LCD screen on the rear. It has a macro mode switch and grommet protected USB port on one side and battery/Card bay on the other. On the rear are two multi-purpose buttons and a small and rather difficult to use menu navigation ring. On the front is the lens, flash, timer LED and a tiny selfie mirror. On top is the microphone along with shutter and power buttons.

For a budget camera, there is a surprisingly wide range of configurable options – ISO, EV, timer, frequency, white balance, date, as well as on-screen image editing. I get the feeling that this may have been a much more expensive camera in another life a few years ago, now rebranded, repackaging and reduced in price.

The camera takes still pictures and a range of sizes up to 18M and video up to 720p. The image quality is again better than I feared and although there is a tendency for highlights to blow out, with care it is possible to get perfectly good pictures. Video also works and is sharper and clear than I expected but let down somewhat by a slow shutter speed and the same blown highlights the still images are prone to.

With a little effort, perfectly good results can be got from it, this together with decent build quality and a wide range of image options makes this a camera worth considering if your budget is tight.

The Good
Great Price
Good Build Quality
Highly Configurable
Decent Image Quality

The Bad
Slow Video Frame Rate
Hard To Use Controls

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Nooie Wifi Alexa Smart Plug – 4 Pack

Now reduced in price to £39.88 for a set of four, this newly updated set from Nooie is one of the easiest to configure smart plugs I have yet tried, and I have tried plenty.

I currently use rather outdated LightwaveRF plugs 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 box were the four plugs 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 but in fact the app walks you through the whole process.

The plugs are well made, nicely designed and feels robust enough for long-term everyday use. They are smaller in size than many older rivals and less obtrusive in use. I was pleased to see that they are not too wide and should fit fine into a multi-socket wall fixture. They each have 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 as the LED starts flashing, 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 an excellent 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 best made yet.

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

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Gvoo 10” LED Ring Light with Tripod Stand

Well priced at just £20.60 this kit consists of a 10″ ring light, selfie stick with a phone mount, mini tripod, Bluetooth remote control, ball and socket mount, phone mount, and lanyard strap. The build quality, although lightweight, seems fine for the price.

The selfie stick has metal extension tubes to give a full reach of about 65cm with a rotatable phone clamp on the end. The stick has a fold-out base so it can double as a tripod. The separate mini tripod although made of plastic is robust and stable and the small gooseneck Phone mount is made of metal and has a fully rotatable ball and socket setting. The separate tripod ball and socket mount is again made of metal and is robust and strong. The ring light and phone can be interchanged between selfie stick and tripod mounts.

The USB powered 10″ ring light although constructed of lightweight plastic, seems well made and works well with in-line controls for 10 stage dimming, and the three preset colour temperatures. The power button is backlit and can easily found in the dark, a thoughtful touch.

The Bluetooth remote can be mounted on the selfie stick for easy access or removed for longer range use and again works reliably and well for me. There are two buttons on the remote but I found both triggered my Android phone.

The kit as a whole is pretty much all you need to improve your selfie shots at home and outside and is suitable too to help with a first step ino the world of YouTube and video making.

The Good
Great Price
Comprehensive Package
Easy To use
Metal Gooseneck and Ball Mounts

The Bad
Lightweight Build Quality
No Storage Case

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Sofirn SP40 1200 Lumen Headlamp

This £35.99 headlamp set from Sofirn is not the cheapest around but it has a premium feel and build quality that the low-end rivals lack and if you need a professional level product then it is worth paying a little more for it.

In the small and distinctly downmarket box was the headband, flashlight, 18650 battery, charging cable, two O rings, 18350 battery tube adapter, and a small but worthwhile User Guide. Build quality seems first-rate with both the aluminum alloy torch and nylon headband having a robust and built to last feel to them. It is a pity that no storage case was included.

The L shaped torch slips easily but securely into the two fastening rings on the front of the headband and with easy access to the single large control button on the torch top. Short press the button to turn on and off, long press to cycle through the three light output levels, double click to activate turbo mode.

The 1200 Lumen flashlight is good and bright, and distinctly more powerful than would be expected from such a compact unit. The torch comes with a widely used 18650 Li-ion rechargeable battery but included in the kit is a replacement body tube to allow the use of the smaller but almost as powerful 18350 battery (not included).

This is a high quality, rugged, and robust professional-level piece of kit well suited to outdoor sports, caving, biking, and other high impact activities as well as for fishing, cycling, and other less intense pursuits.

The Good
Powerful Torch
Easy To Use
High Build Quality
Comfortable Headband
Battery Choice Option

The Bad
No Storage Case
No USB-C
Cheaper Rivals Available

More Info and Purchase

VMEI X9 Adjustable Laptop Stand

This stylish and rather upmarket laptop stand from VMEI is certainly built to last. Made from a heavy-gauge Aluminium alloy it should give stylish support to any laptop between 10-18″, especially Macs, with which the silver brushed metal finish coordinates.

In the upmarket box was the stand itself, together with a single page user Guide and a large Allen key, used to tighten the hinges when they inevitably slacken over time. Straight from the box the hinges are stiff and need effort to adjust them, which reassures me that my laptop will be safe up there. The Z shaped stand has a padded shelve with lip to position the laptop on and soft anti-slip pads on the base. The base is well weighted and even when the laptop is at full elevation it feels stable and secure.

Priced at £37.99, this is not a cheap item, but it has a build quality and premier feel that the cheaper rivals certainly lack. I would have liked to have received a soft carry bag with to protect other items when carried together, but that is no deal-breaker. You get what you pay for here.

The Good
Robust Build Quality
Stylish Design
Stable at Full Extention

The Bad
Expensive
No Carry Bag

More Info and Purchase

HYLOGY Blood Pressure Monitor

At first, I had a cheap wrist position BP monitor but I was not confident in the accuracy of the results which seem to vary depending on how I positioned my wrist. My GP loaned me an upper arm cuff monitor which seemed so much easier to use and more consistently accurate I was impressed by the accuracy and ease of use and so looked around for one myself. Although one of the junior members of the well respected HYLOGY range of Blood Pressure monitors this device offers almost all the functionality of the more expensive models albeit with a slightly less upmarket finish.

In the box are the monitor itself, pressure cuff and a well written and easy to read User Guide. Build quality is up to the usual HYLOGY high standard with nothing looking likely to break, pack in or fall off anytime soon.

Powered either by 4 AA batteries or an external power unit (neither supplied) using the device could not be simpler and it really is Plug ‘n Play. Insert the tube end into the aperture on the side, fit it to the upper arm as shown in the User Guide, keeping the arm at heart level. Press the large Start/Stop button and wait for the cuff to constrict and the on-screen countdown to finish, which takes around 35 seconds. You can then read the blood pressure and pulse readings from the screen. The device supports two users with the last 90 readings remembered for each. The device can also detect and alert to irregular heartbeats and to measurement errors in real-time.

Comparing it to the similarly priced unit supplied to me by the NHS I have to say that the results are broadly comparable and well within the normal variance expected between readings. The display here is far easier to read with better contrast. The other has no memory function but then this is a feature I do not use as I log all my readings manually to my computer as I take them. The build quality is far better and the well-written manual is more informative and far easier to read and make sense of.

This is a well made and reliable device from a market leader in health-related products and for the £24.99 price is a good and reliable buy.

The Good
Accurate Results
Good Build Quality
Easy to use
Two User Option
Memory Function
Arrhythmic Irregularity Alert

The Bad
No Data Export
No Carry Case
No External Power Supply

More Info and Purchase

P&U 1080p Webcam with Microphone

Priced at £34.99 this new webcam from P&U has a couple of features I have not seen elsewhere in this for this price. The main features of note are a detachable USB cable and the use of the latest USB-C interface.

In the box there is just the webcam itself and a 150cm USB cable, no instructions or paperwork is included but none is needed as this is a true Plug ‘n Play camera. Build quality seems excellent, the camera is well made and robust with nothing looking likely to fail anytime soon.

The camera itself is nicely made with a folding monitor mount which doubles as a desktop stand and features a brass tripod screw, a feature lacking in many budget rivals. It is a pity there is no privacy shutter built in as many rivals now have. On the camera rear is a USB-C port and this is a big plus for the camera as it is one of the first I have seen using the new interface. There are what seem to be two microphone ports on the front so there may well be two mics and certainly, the sound quality is better than on many rival webcams I have tried. The video is bright and contrasty but less sharp than I would like. Weirdly, and I am not sure if this is a deliberate feature or not, the video signal is reversed with left being right and text back to front.

I plugged the camera into my Windows 10 PC and it was instantly recognised with no drivers or software needed. The Windows Camera app allowed me to configure it, with some reduced resolution options available, although the default settings were fine for me. I also tried it on my MacBook pro and again it was almost instantly up and running – although it is possible drivers were silently downloaded in the background, although I did not observe it.

If you want a decent quality no-nonsense webcam for Skype or other streaming purposes then this would be a sound choice for the price. There are many cheaper rivals available but they lack the convenience of true Plug n Play and USB-C.

The Good
Good price
Windows 10 Friendly
Good Build Quality
Plug and Play
Good Audio Quality
Twin Microphones
No Hard Wired Cable
Tripod Mount
USB-C

The Bad
No Privacy Shutter
Video Could Be Better
No User Guide

More Info and Purchase