Housmile Personal Blender with Two Travel Sport Bottles

Firstly, I have to say that this little blender although not perfect is very much better than I was expecting for the money, which at just £29.99, has to be a great buy.

The item arrived nicely packaged in a reasonably attractive display box which would make it very suitable as a gift. Inside the box was the blender base, one 600ml bottle, one 400ml bottle, two drinking caps, blending jug, grinding cup and a User Guide. The User Guide although simple is instructive enough and I enclose a scan of it in my unboxing video. The build quality seems fine although lightweight, as you would expect for the price. I would have preferred it had the bottles been made of glass but since they are labelled as being for sports use and are BPA free perhaps the lighter weight plastic is better.

Using the device is the same as with any blender. Attach either the mixing jug or grinding cup to the motor base, add ingredients, replace the cap and turn the rotary dial to the position you want. The non-slip base prevents the unit from sliding around but it is best to keep hold of it just in case. The bottles and jug can be washed out quickly and easily and the grinding cup, which is not designed for use with liquids, can be wiped clean.

I was very happy indeed with the results which have been blended very well each time I used it. It will even deal with small pieces of frozen fruit and other hard ingredients with the two speed 300w motor being powerful enough to cope with the relatively small amounts needed for the 600ml bottle.

This would be perfect for a person living alone or for athletes needing a quick and easy way to make smoothies, or for general use in a small household. This is a unit ideally suited for a single person or even a single person with a friend since two bottles are provided.

For the price, this is a great buy and although it is no Tefal or Moulinex nevertheless it has proved to be a much better item than I was expecting for the low price.

The Good
Great Price
Good build quality
Quiet motor
Suction cup feet
Grinding head included
Two speeds plus pulse

The Bad
Lightweight design
Grinding head not waterproof
Rotary dial stiff to use

More info and Purchase

New Bee Wireless Charging Headphone stand

New Bee are well known for their budget but good quality headphones and I guess this new stand is designed to complement them.

In the attractive mid-market product box was the headphone stand supplied as a click together base, upright, and headphone support, together with a good quality USB to micro-USB charging cable and a well written but rather small User Guide. I include a scan of the User Guide at the end of my unboxing video.

Assembling the stand is simple and obvious and once assembled the aluminium alloy stand is reasonably robust and stable with four non-slip grips on the base. At the rear of the base is the single micro-USB power in port. Annoyingly there is no USB output port to charge standard devices. There is an indicator on the stand where to position the phone and although a similar logo is on the headphone support there is no charging coil there.

Once connected up to charge your phone or another device – I found the stand can also charge my Moto 360V2 watch perfectly well, just place it on the indicated charging panel on the base. I suspect this device has a single charging coil inside and so correct positioning is important and at first, it may take a time to find the sweet spot. The bright LED indicator on the base will change from red to blue when charging and switch off when charging is complete. Charging is reasonably fast and comparable to other wireless chargers which means it is far slower than with a normal cable connected charger.

Aside from the charging feature, probably the main reason to buy this device, it is a perfectly decent headphone stand and can serve this purpose just as well as any other in the budget price range. This brings us to the next selling point of the device, the price. Currently discounted from £21.99 to just £14.99 this represents a very good buy indeed.

The Good
Great price
Good build quality
Efficient charging
Good User Guide
Bright LED status indicator

The Bad
No USB charging port
Accurate positioning needed
No USB-C

More info and Purchase

YonRui 10×22 Foldable Mini Binoculars

Currently priced at just £16.99, you have to wonder just how they can make a profit. It is not like these are cheap and nasty binoculars, they are not, they are well made and have a premium feel to them. If they were on sale in a specialist shop I would expect to see them priced several times higher. It is not even like these are the cheapest, I have seen other similar binoculars priced even less.

The only cheap looking thing about them is the box they came in, which is rather plain and uninspired. Inside were the binoculars themselves with a lanyard cord attached, a small cleaning cloth, a soft drawstring carry bag, and a large but rather poorly printed User Guide. I enclose a scan of the User Guide in my unboxing video, but it does not really tell anything you do not already know.

Build quality seems first rate. The binoculars are made from metal with the lenses made from FMC coasted optical glass. They feel robust and well made and unlikely to fail anytime soon. They are described as being ‘life waterproof, whatever that means. It is a pity no IP rating was given. They have a magnification of 10x with an objective lens diameter of 22mm, a BAK-7 prism and a close focusing distance of 4M. The binoculars are 9cm long by about 7cm wide. There is a focusing wheel in the centre and the right eyepiece can be focused separately to allow for variations between the eyes.

As with all miniature binoculars getting used to the small apertures can take a time but the eyepieces have a rubber surround to make using them with glasses easier. Image quality for the price is excellent with little sign of chromatic aberrations, or colour fringing. Due to the limited lens diameter, which means they pull in less light, the image can be a bit dim in certain conditions as would be the case with any similar binoculars.

I still find it hard to believe that a decent quality set of binoculars can be produced for this price. If you need a set of mini binoculars to keep in the car or rucksack then these would be an excellent buy.

The Good
Great Price
Good build quality
Soft carry bag

The Bad
No hard carry case
Unattractive packaging

More info and Purchase

 

Pioneer 1Ltr Vacuum Insulated Leakproof Food Flask

We use a wide mouth food flask to make yoghurt. The old one, a Thermos original that belonged to my parents and must be at least 50 years old, finally gave up the ghost and so needed to be replaced. Large mouth flasks of a decent size are surprisingly hard to find on Amazon but after a search, we came up with this one from Pioneer priced at just £14.37.

 
It came packaged in a reasonably attractive box, which makes no difference to us but if you wanted it as a gift makes it a more attractive purchase. Inside was just the flask itself, all the product information and instructions were clearly printed on the box itself. The product consists of the flask itself, made of brushed stainless steel, and no less than three lids. There is an outer steel lid which I suppose can be used as a cup or serving bowl, an inner white plastic lid which is described as a serving cup but it is a bit too shallow and too wide for that, and a standard inner screw fit sealing lid.

 
I have to say that for our purpose, yoghurt making it is almost perfect. The wide mouth makes it easy to get the finished yoghurt out as well as making adding the ingredients easier. The day after adding the milk and starter to the flask the results were was thick and creamy and almost the same temperature as when it went into the flask. Cleaning the flask afterwards was easy due to the wide opening mouth.

 
This is an excellent flask to keep food warm over an extended period, although you have to remember to warm it first with hot water. As a device to make yoghurt with it is close to being perfect. The only problem for me is the rather pointless addition of the second lid.

More info and purchase

Vemico 1050mAh Rechargeable Batteries (3-Pack) with USB Dual Charger

Currently available from Amazon for just £12.99 I bought this for the three additional batteries as the Vemico 4K Action Camera already comes with an external charger. The batteries are of a standard design and should work just as well with many other action cameras.

 
Inside the plain white box are the three Li-ion batteries, marked as delivering 3.7v 1050mAh 3.885Wh, the dual port charger which according to the label outputs 4.2v 800mAh, a short USB to micro-USB charging cable and a warranty card.

 
The charger is easy enough to use. It can charge batteries singly or in pairs and shows a bright red LED for each charging port which changes to blue when the battery is fully charged.
That is pretty much all there is to say. The batteries seem good quality and last at least as those supplied with the camera and the charging period is faster than the charger supplied with the camera.
If you have a compatible camera then this is a great addition to your action camera kitbox.

 

More info and purchase

Vemico V1 Wifi 4K Action Camera with Extra 1050 mAh Battery

 

Currently discounted on Amazon to just £33.77 this new action camera from Vemico falls into the budget range for the price but not the features. A year or so ago you could not get a decent sports camera for under £150 but excellent cameras can now be found for less than half that amount. This one boasts some high-end features for what seems a ridiculously low price.

 
The camera and accessories arrived packaged in a large and rather upmarket box which belies the low price. You get plenty of kit for your money as my unboxing video shows. A full range of accessories and mounts are included including a send battery and external charger. The only omissions are the lack of a carry case and SD card. It is a pity about the SD card as they are cheap enough these days and would not add greatly to the cost and would allow the camera to be used straight from the box.

 
The User Guide is reasonably well printed and easy to read and informative but somewhat small and hard to read. I attach a copy of the guide to my unboxing video. Run the video full frame and pause as needed to read it.

 
The action camera itself, which resembles almost exactly every other action camera of this type, is certainly better than I expected for the money. Video quality is good but not exceptional, but a definite step up from many of the cheaper no-name GoPro clones. The 170° angle of view is great but with the barrel distortion common to all cameras of this type. There was a time when this would have been seen as a high-end camera and now standards are moving higher even in the budget market. This camera does a perfectly decent quality 4K@30fps – the exact size of the claimed 4K is not defined in the manual but usually, this taken to be 3840×2160 -as well several other modes including 1080@60fps and 720P slow motion at 90fps.  Still, images were good, far sharper than I expected and with only a slight magenta cast in some light conditions. The 20fps burst mode at 16M is a nice bonus. However, with both still and video, I noticed a tendency for highlights to burn out. That said, with a right subject in even lighting it was capable of producing excellent results for both video and stills. Remember that the sample footage in my unboxing video will have been heavily compressed during posting and not reflect the true resolution.

 
We are told it is waterproof to 40M, better than most budget action cameras claim, but there is no mention if this means it has been tested and rated IP68 or what. I would prefer a more precise definition before diving with the camera. The camera has loop recording, which is often used for cameras and does indeed offer a Car Mode but I have not seen in the User Guide that the camera has the G-Sensor needed to record and flag impacts. When set to Car Mode it automatically begins recording when a USB power cable is connected. For me, that is no big deal as I have yet to find an action camera that will actually work effectively as a Dashcam.

 
Like many more upmarket action cameras, it has wifi built in which means the camera generates a mini wifi network of its own which allows an attached phone have basic control the camera and viewed live-streamed video. To use it you need to download the “XDV” app from Apple or Android. The Android app is better than most and will stream a decent quality video stream, save images and video to the app. You can also perform OTA firmware upgrades via the app, a nice touch indeed. I doubt I will need to use the app as it is limited to remaining within the wifi hotspot for operation but there are situations where others might find it useful.
When an SD card is inserted you will be prompted to format the card. I found this could cause problems and it is safer to format the card to fat32 format in your computer and ignore messages from the camera.

 
This is a good quality action camera that can give excellent video and images in the right circumstances. It comes with an excellent range of mounts and accessories. The current discounted price is crazy and makes this a very attractive buy indeed.

The Good

  • Great price
  • Good video/stills image quality
  • 170° Angle of view
  • 4K@30fps
  • 1080P@60fps
  • 720p@90fps
  • Wifi
  • Good smartphone app
  • Nice packaging
  • External charger
  • Spare battery included
  • Wide range of accessories included
  • 2-inch screen
  • OTA updates
  • HDMI output

The Bad

  • No Carry Case
  • No TF card included
  • Image highlights burn out
  • Problems formatting TF card in-Camera

More info and Purchase

 

Poweradd Aries I 10000mAh USB-C Power Bank

Although the mobile and computer world is increasingly shifting over to the USB-C interface, it is still not so easy to find USB-C compatible power banks at a budget price. This new  power bank from Poweradd is a welcome change as it offers not only USB-C and USB power out but also the option to charge the power bank from either micro-USB or USB-C.

 
The unit was supplied in a rather uninspiring plain box that contains the power bank itself, a short USB-C to USB-C cable, an equally short USB to micro-USB cable, a Well written but rather hard to read User Guide and a two-year warranty card.

 
The power bank is an attractive device with a brushed aluminium look to the body with a shiny translucent plastic strip running the length of one side which houses the small LED status panel at the top. On the leading edge are the three ports: USB-C in/out, USB out and micro-USB in. When the device is charging or discharging the backlit LED panel gives a digital readout of the current battery status. On the front on the side is the single control button which turns the device off or on and shows the battery status when pressed briefly. The USB-C port can support up to 5v/2A for power in and 5v3.1A for power out, the USB port up to 5v/3.1A output and the micro-USB for an input of up to 5v/2A. Using the USB-C cable it will take about six hours to charge the unit completely from flat. This is not the most capacious power bank I have tried but nevertheless should be able to charge an average high-end smartphone at least twice and smaller phone several times over.

 
This is an attractive and well-engineered device designed to work with the latest generation of high-end phones. It looks good performs well and at the current price of £19.99 is certainly well priced.

The Good

  • USB-C in/out
  • Good build quality
  • Attractive design
  • Great price
  • USB-C cable included

The Bad

  • short cables
  • User Guide hard to read

More info and Purchase