Review of the Amazon Echo Dot (UK version)

The Echo Dot is Amazon’s smaller and more affordable option for those looking to satisfy their home (voice) automation curiosities, without laying down a more substantial investment. Priced at a modest £49.99, it is considerably cheaper than its bigger brother, the Echo unit, which is priced at £149.99. I have already reviewed the standard Echo unit (CLICK HERE). In a nutshell, the Echo Dot carries out exactly the same functions. There are however a few differences as well, which I will also highlight.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Review of the Amazon Echo (UK version)

I first heard about the Amazon Echo earlier this year. I knew it was not out in the UK (yet), so passed over it without too much curiosity. On September the 14th 2016, I saw that Amazon were now taking preorders here in the UK. I was enticed by discount being offered to Prime members (£99). This resulted in me checking out some YouTube reviews and reading more into home voice automation. Ever watched Ironman or Avengers? Then you may know who JARVIS is; Tony Stark’s automated personal assistant. This is pretty much the beginning of that technology. The Echo unit can control a whole host of things that you already use your smart phone for (and more!). I was actually very excited and am glad that I didn’t pay too much attention to these units (which have been available in the US for well over a year now), as I would have been a little disappointed not to have one here. It really didn’t take long, and I was convinced. I promptly took advantage of this offer and preordered my own Echo. Here are my thoughts.

img_4062

Continue reading

Canary all-in-one home security camera

There are a number of home surveillance cameras available on the market, and as a tech reviewer, I am often invited to review these. The only one which has worked well for me, with minimal effort, is the Philips inSight, which I have in my living room. This allows me to view live footage, but nothing more. Quality is also mediocre at best. I have recently purchased a Canary “all-in-one” home security device. In short, this is a camera from which live footage can be viewed, as well as a history of footage, along with a plethora of additional features. It is these other features which make this probably one of the best home security cameras available to consumers today. Here are my thoughts.

Continue reading

iPad Pro; to buy or not to buy?

I have been contemplating the purchase of an iPad Pro, ever since it’s unveiling at Apple’s “Special Event” in September 2015. Featuring a gorgeous 12.9” touch screen retina display, full-sized keyboard and an intuitive stylus, it wad the iPad all techies had been waiting for. To top it off a powerful A9X chip to handle ‘real’ productivity, a feature which has been lacking from iPads of the past. Yes, this all seems very familiar and Microsoft Surface has been on the scene for a few years now, but we all know that no company can provide the same intuitive and seamless experience that Apple can. So launch day has finally arrived (11th November) and I am sitting here writing this blog post on my retina MacBook, and not the iPad Pro. This has been one of the least hyped Apple launches I have seen for a new product category, and I am wondering why. Let’s take a brief analysis.

Continue reading

My first hoverboard! Review of the Phumitech self balancing scooter

Having seen these hoverboard-like devices increase in popularity, I have always been curious about the actual purpose they serve. Are they easy to ride? How are they controlled? Are they really safe? How fast can they go? A number of questions popped into my mind, and I passed by them without too much excitement. I was fortunate enough to be sent one to review and report my own thoughts on. I was curious for sure, but never did I expect to be so very impressed!

UNBOXING
The self balancing wheel ships in a very attractive box, and would make for an ideal gift. Included in the box is the scooter itself, a wall mains plug charger, warranty card and instructions.

Continue reading

Apple Watch, a 3 month update

After years of speculation, months of anticipation and weeks of waiting, I finally took delivery of my Apple Watch at the end of May (2015). It was a real buzz to be the proud new owner of a highly anticipated and somewhat envied piece of technological gadgetry. So after almost 3 months with the Apple Watch, what are my feelings? Well, in a nutshell, I am a left a little underwhelmed. There is no doubt that Apple have forever changed the way I look at a watch, and have really raised the bar from what I now expect from wrist wear. For example, all of my other watches (which just tell the time…) are pretty much obsolete, and I highly doubt I can ever look at them in the same way, reducing their functionality to aesthetics and jewellery.

You may have read my previous blog post about the Garmin fenix 3; this is what I consider to be my first ‘real’ venture into the ‘smart-watch’ market. It does so much more than simply tell the time and record my fitness activities; informing me of notifications from my smart phone, viewing the weather, my calendar and even having the ability to control music from my smart phone were all very novel and welcome features. The Apple Watch does all these, and probably better, but recently, I have still found myself wearing my Apple Watch far less, and my fenix 3 far more.

Continue reading