I should start by saying a huge thank you to Powerpackxl for sending out these review units to have a play with.
Starting with build and aesthetics I would have to say that the PowerPackXL Mini comes up trumps due to it’s small and compact size. No bigger than a credit card and only as thick as maybe three or four credit cards it fits easily and discreetly into a wallet or shirt pocket. Made from plastic and very lightweight you never know it’s there. Build quality is nice and only shows a small seam around the back.
I was sent one black and one pink, so a choice for the ladies purse is available too. Their website claims the ability to charge a flat phone to 70%, though there is no mention of the phone itself.
The built in cables are short and fit very snugly into the end of the body of the 1020 mAh battery hiding there until required, one is a standard Micro USB and the other is a MFi certified lightning connector. I was able to test this battery on an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus giving very consistent results with a completely flat iPhone 6 taken to 37% and from 50% to 88% before needing a recharge and the 6 Plus gaining 21% and 22% which is more than enough for those end of day calls, texts and Facebook notifications that you were desperate to look at while the boss was around. Charging is easily facilitated via a supplied USB to Micro USB lead and takes approximately 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes from your USB port on any laptop or desktop or a standard USB wall charger. Charge level is also indicated by four green LED’s giving you an idea of battery percentage, a huge plus point on such a surprisingly cheap product.
Definitely worth having in your arsenal of weapons against that dreaded flat battery and the sulky face your other half will ask about when you arrive home.
They offer corporate branding for those of you looking to get your name out there (a damn fine way to get seen in my opinion) and the price is very fair indeed. You can pick one up from the company website using the link at the top of this post or pop over to Amazon UK and try your luck on a deal.
As always a huge thank you to MPow for supplying this device for the review.
I have just one gripe with these but I shall get to that later, first here’s the unboxing video.
So for you’re money (fairly reasonable pricing) you get more than enough parts to customise the fit into your ear canal and keep them there. The fit is comfortable to say the least, and if you are a big user of in ear cans then you should have no problem wearing these for fairly prolonged times.
I found the smallest buds the best for me. The stabilising silicone parts have two types, you get one type described as indoor sports (only one size) which I found a little strange, and another type (three sizes) which look very stealthy with their perforated design are classed as outdoor sports and fitness training, again with these I found the smallest the best, however if the going got rough then the next size up weren’t too uncomfortable. There’s a cable tidy to keep it short and a useful little clip for when not in use too.
From a sound point of view, not the loudest at this price point, they’re not bass heavy but give very clear sound right throughout the range and gave a rather nice listening experience, crystal clear pretty much top to bottom.
Connectivity as always from MPows range is spot on and gives no trouble whatsoever and in my opinion of all the Bluetooth devices I have tried from them these (once first connection is made) are the fastest to connect to your device, finding and connecting within a second in most cases.
My review video.
And this brings to my one true bug bear (other than the lack of a bag) which is charging them. A full charge is two hours, giving approximately five hours of play back and calls (and use of siri), and although aesthetically pleasing and good for keeping dust and splashes out, getting that cover off to charge them is fiddly to say the least, there is a little nick in the black outer casing allowing for a finger nail to get in there, but nothing to actually hook onto so you can lift that little lid off to gain access to the micro USB charge port. Not a huge deal breaker but it can get pretty frustrating at times. Other than this one small but annoying caveat I would happily recommend these to any sportster out there for outdoor sports or for gym based training.
Amazon UK Would appear to not be selling them at the time of writing this post, however the AmazonUS link is below.
First up is a huge shoutout to MPow for sending this unit out for the review. You should definitely check out the web page at the link for all their products and a new section being added to the site for giveaways.
The MPow Muze touch BT 4.0 Headphones are by no means the loudest headphones you can find, but at this price point there aren’t many, in my opinion, to beat them.
The touch controls, once gotten used to, work well and I had no problems with them at all, very smooth and intuitive. A neat touch if I might say so.
From a sound point of view, they are driven more towards the bass happy of us. When connected via Bluetooth to a device I found the best thing to do was turn the device to it’s max. volume then use the touch controls to find your happy place, they are pretty bass laden but connected via iOS I could not get them to distort, believe me, I tried with many genres of music and the limiting on the volumes prevents it but still allows them to be loud, and the sound cancellation prevents the wife or kids from lowering your enjoyment. A full range of sounds is easily heard right through to some pretty high trebles too.
If you run out of battery, though 12 hours is more than enough, then you just plug them in via the supplied flat anti-tangle cable using the 3.5 mm headphone jack and you’re good to go again. Once home you just plug in via the micro USB for a couple of hours and you have that care free unto 12 hours of wire free music again.
They have plenty of soft padding in all areas and you only start to feel them after long 3-4 hours sessions of listening and even then I didn’t find them too uncomfortable to carry on listening. If you’re in the market for such a set of cans and you’re on a budget then you can’t go far wrong with these.
Amazon UK link Amazon US Link
The Plinth is not just any stand for your tablet device, It is a must have if you like to travel light and get your typing and browsing done easily and with no fuss.
The video above shows just how compact it really is, and how easily it can be opened and closed again down to the size of an iPhone 4.
It has a clean and simple design yet on closer inspection you will see that it is a pretty intricate collection of small carefully designed parts put together to create what is probably one of the most innovative designs this year.
I love it, and what’s more I just love playing with it, it’s just so satisfying when you set up and start typing from you’re iPad or whatever your choice of device, within seconds.
I funded it back in the Kickstarter stage and after it was very quickly funded and a few months later it arrived, I truly haven’t looked back, even though my iPad has a cover with a built in stand I still prefer this for speed and adjustability. Try it out, you should be quite surprised.
I’ve always tried to shy away from third party charge and sync cables for my iOS devices lately due the fact that I don’t want to take the risk of damaging my prized possessions since Apple took control of who’s after market products would be allowed to work with them. So when I was asked to review a rather nice looking cable from Winnergear I was going to be sceptical from the start.
So if you watch the above video you will see I was pleasantly surprised and very satisfied with the results. This cable is cheaper than Apples own cable and looks better to boot. The aluminium plug casings are tough and durable, and match your MacBook or other aluminium laptops superbly which adds a nice touch to an already nice braided cable tough and tangle free so no more cursing as you get it out of your bag. My only criticism of the one I was sent is the fact that the braid is white and will eventually show up the general dirt and skin oils from handling but that of course has absolutely no bearing on the fact that tis cable is perfect in it’s operation and is much cheaper than the genuine Apple branded cables which let’s face it, are expensive and don’t stand up to the wear and tear of every day handling. Hit the links below to get hold of yours, before they’re all gone.
Only Amazon US or Winnergear website
This is the first time I have reviewed a BlueTooth speaker myself. I have had hands on with many over the last few years with a view to possibly buy one and I just could never make up my mind.
I was always put off by the price or the looks or just the pure "do I need one" side of it.
So with all this in mind and the fact that I'm more of a home listener, this one from MPow ticks all the right boxes and more.
I am a Mac user, and because of this the minimalist solid aluminium aesthetics are on the nail straight away. Then you turn it on and get immediately wowed by the crisp sound that comes from this relatively small device (not by any means the loudest I've heard) but very clear and only slightly phased by the deepest of bass.
Easily charged in approximately three to four hours, giving around eight hours of playback time, all for a very fair price, especially when compared to some others on the market.
If you are in the market for such a device then you should definitely consider this in your list of speakers to try out.
So being the lucky guy that I am, I was sent a case to review for my iPhone 5 by Newtrent. This case of theirs is the “Trentium Ultra-thin rugged” case for the iPhone 5/5s.
I unboxed the case and installed it to my iPhone 5 on camera.
The first thing you notice is that it adds a reasonable amount of bulk to the device (not a bad thing, it’s for protection remember). There is a noticeable addition to the weight too, most of which is from the second part to the case which is a rubberised material in black, which has all the port covers and rubber nubs built in to control all the buttons on the phone.
As you can see from the packaging you will also receive three interchangeable back plates of different colours, so you can personalise your device somewhat. Once installed you get an immediate feeling of strength and ruggedness as the name suggests, now I wouldn’t want to immediately slam it to the ground but, as a manual worker in a workshop and site environment I have to say it does give me a good sense of that extra protection, which at the end of the day is the main objective of purchasing such a case.
I have no fear of my keys or coins being in the same pocket and less fear of banging it against the edge of a workplace bench now due to that fairly thick feeling front screen protector, which contains the only bad point for me, which is that home button cover that reminds me of a rather weak condom. Not that it has split but I fear it will in the not too distant future. However I get the feeling it is so thin for the finger print sensor built in to the home button of the iPhone 5S, where I believe it would be much less of a worry as this button would require less physical movement causing any wear and tear.
In rounding up I would say for the money you couldn’t go far wrong in purchasing this case, I have used it in the rain with no water ingress, as it is water resistant (NOT waterproof), so don’t go for a bath with it. Great for us hard working guys out there. A huge thank you to Newtrent for sending the case out for my review and if you are interested the Amazon links are below.