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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Product review: OQUEENZ Women's Cotton Sanding Long-Sleeve

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I wanted a loose shirt to wear over a sweater. I got the shirt label XXL, which was supposed to be US XL. I expected it to be loose and turns out and I can't even button it at the chest level. I measured it under arms and it is 37.75". This does not match the manufacture size chart for XL. The shirt is also too tight at the upper sleeves area.

Based ont he shirt I have if the label says XXL it is equivalent to the low end of L (not XL) to match the size in manufacturer's size chart. I hope this helps someone not to be disappointed. You need to order two sizes up minimally.

The shirt itself is nice looking and the cotton material has an attractive thin herringbone design. If only it fit...

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★☆☆☆☆

Friday, November 28, 2014

Product review: Polaroid POLC3 Cube HD Digital Video Action Camera

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Update: I am downgrading the rating from 5 to 4 stars. Recently I tried to set up CUBE to record continuously overwriting the old files. There is a setting which is supposed to enable this feature. It does not work. When the camera runs out of space it stops recording.  It records less than 1 day of video, how many hours depends whether the video is shot at night or during the day as night time videos are smaller.

 Original review:

I own a couple of small cameras and I am impressed with Polaroid cube. It stands up well to competition.

First and foremost the quality of the video and the photos is very good. It also has a sensitive microphone and captured the sound well. Second, it is intuitive to use. This camera has no display so an intuitive interface makes a big difference.

This camera has a unique magnetic mount. The magnet is quite strong. I put the camera on the roof of our car. At first I drove in the parking lot to build up confidence that the camera is not going to fly off as we drove and then we drove in downtown Boston which included hitting a couple of huge pot holes. I was worried that the camera would be gone by the time we arrived because the pot holes really jarred the car. When we arrived to our destination the camera was still there. We were impressed!

Attached video contains:
(1) Setup of the Polaroid camera
(2) Day time video taken by the Polaroid camera (mounted on the dash of the car)
(3) Low light night time video taken by the Polaroid camera (mounted on the roof of the car)
(4) The first 2 clips were taken on a grey day and at night, so the final clip is during a sunny day with a bright sky

SETUP
~~~~~
You can use the camera as is without running the configuration software. The configuration software allows you to change 5 settings.

♦ Whether the camera overwrites old files when it runs out of space (the default is no)
♦ Whether you want to see a time stamp (the default is no)
♦ The volume of the buzzer (the default is good if there is no noise around, if you are using a camera as action camera it might be too low)
♦ Light frequency (50 Hz or 60 Hz). Default is 60 Hz
♦ The date/time (default was in July 2014)

If you want to run the software you will need to attach the camera to a computer (Windows or Apple).

1. Format the memory card. If the memory card has some old stuff on it the camera will not load its software on it.
2. Power off and power on the camera and connect
3. The camera will load configuration software and will create directories for storing videos and photos.
The micro SD card will contain
At the tom level it will create DCIM directory and sub-folders 100PHOTO and 100VIDEO. Photos are stored in jpg format and videos in mov format.
At the top level Polaroid setup files PolaroidCube.app.zip for Apple operating system and PolaroidCube.exe for Windows operating system. After you run the software it will add two more files Settings.txt and Time.txt which will contain the setting you configured.

OPERATION
~~~~~~~~~
There is one button on top of the camera that controls everything
♦ To turn on the camera press the button for 3 seconds (green light turns on)
♦ To take a photo press once (red light turns on briefly as it saves the photo)
♦ To start video recording press twice (red light starts blinking as it records)
♦ To turn of video recording press once (red light stops blinking)
♦ To turn off press to the button for 3 seconds (the light goes off)

In the back of the camera there is a water resistant cap which covers. The cap is opened by turning a coin in a slot. At first I thought "Shoot, I am going to loose this cap". But then I realized that it has a magnet and can be attached to the magnetic mount of this camera while the camera is opened. Cool!
♦ A slot for micro SD card. It supports up to 32GB capacity. Class card 10 and above is recommended (will work with Class 6 and above).
♦ Micro USB connection to charge the camera or to connect it to the computer
♦ A switch which allows you to switch between 720p and 1080p resolution

OUTPUT FORMAT / SOUND
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The video output is generated in .mov format (QuickTime/Apple) so for those who want to use Windows Media Player an extra step is needed to convert the files. The video can be converted either to .WMV or .mp4. Without the conversion there will be no sound when the video is played on the Windows PC. In my video I converted the .mov format into .mp4 and as you can hear in the clips I included the camera is quite sensitive to sound. Yeah, Boston drivers honk a lot!

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
♦ This camera is very small. It is 1.25" cube.
♦ The lens on the camera is a wide angle (124 degrees)
♦ The battery is sealed in the unit and I don't see a way to replace it if I ever need it. At some point this will become a problem. When the camera goes down to 10% charge it beeps a warning. I am getting apaproximately 1.5 hours of continuous recording from it with the fresh battery.
♦ The camera can record while it is plugged in. This is handy if you want to have it permanently recording. The camera has an option to cycle, so it can overwrite old videos when it runs out of space.
♦ The camera has a magnetic mount (there is no 1/4 mounting screw). The magnet is pretty strong and hangs on well to anything metal. I was able to drive 35 miles an hour with the camera mounted on the roof of the car.
♦ The camera does not come with any other mounts, but the documentation states there will be additional mounting option available in the future. From the pictures it looks like they will attach to the camera magnet and provide grippers and suction cups.
♦ The camera comes without a micro SD card, you need to supply your own.
♦ The camera charges with a regular micro USB cable. It works in all my chargers include a car charger.
♦ The camera comes with a short data cable (rather than a charging cable). This cable allows you to transfer files from the camera to the computer. If you decide to use your own longer cable (which I am doing) make sure you are using a data cable not a charging cable (those often come with external power banks). In a charging cables the two data connections are shorted together (rendering the cable useless for data transfer), but this fools devices to see the cable as an AC power connection and thus the battery accept a higher current for charging. For moving data from the camera to the PC you need a data cable.

I like this camera! Nice quality video/picture and easy to use interface make it stand above the other small cameras I have.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Product review: DBK 23000mAh Multi-voltage 2USB Portable Charger External Battery Pack Power Bank

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♦ size: 4.75" x 7.25" x 0.75"
♦ weight: 20.90 oz
♦ number of ports: 2
♦ flashlight: no
♦ pass-through charging: YES (i.e. the battery can charge while being charged itself)
♦ cable: 10.5" mini USB charging cable. Also included are 10 AC connectors for laptops as well as an AC cable to recharge the battery.
For Android devices it matters if a cable used to charge the device is a charging cable or a data cable. In a charging cables the two data connections are shorted together (rendering the cable useless for data transfer), but this fools devices to see the cable as an AC power connection and thus the battery accept a higher current for charging.

The DBK 23000mAh external battery charger has two ports. It has an excellent performance for my Android devices on both ports. My current monitor shows that the left USB port is 2A and the right USB port is 1A port. I got excellent performance for my iPad mini on the right port (2A) and below average performance on the left port (not surprising, since Apple devices need more than 1A for optimal performance).

To tell how various battery packs perform I measure their performance with a current monitor. The current monitor results are interesting for relative comparison with other external batteries. I test all my external batteries using the same charging cables, running the same apps while charging, and starting all tests at same charge level of the phone to account for non-linear charging. This allows me to compare different external batteries to each other keeping everything else constant.

Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1A port: 0.98A/5.10V (Excellent!) -> my own charging cable
2A port: 0.98A/5.10V (Excellent!) -> my own charging cable
1A port: 0.98A/5.10V (Excellent!) -> cable enclosed in the package
2A port: 0.94A/5.10V (Excellent!) -> cable enclosed in the package
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1A port: 0.92A/5.09V (below optimal)
2A port: 1.62A/5.10V (Excellent!)
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

I like this external battery's performance and its huge capacity.

You can find it by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, November 24, 2014

Product review: FlePow 18650 2600mAh 3.7V Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries and Universal Smart Li-ion Battery Charger

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FlePow charger can charge one or two 18650 batteries at a time. It also works for 18500, 14500, 14430, 10440, 16340, 22650 batteries. I use 18650 in several motion sensitive lights as well as flashlights. Some of them run on a single 18650 battery, so the fact that can handle recharging single batteries as well as two at a time is very useful for me. Foxnova capacity tester showed capacity of these batteries to be 2827 mAh at 3.89V.

FlePow charger is 5.125"L x 2.25"W x 1"H. The AC cord is 40". The charger becomes only slightly warm during charging (normal), while the batteries themselves remain totally cool. The charger has a bright charging status indicator. Green LED light indicates full charge, and red LED light indicates charging is in progress. This charger does not have a discharge option that is available on some chargers.

Geeky sidebar: A few times in the past I have been asked about the internal resistance of the batteries I reviewed. I recently put together instrumentation that allows me to calculate internal resistance. I tested this battery under load of 6.6Ω(Ohm) and calculated the internal resistance by dividing the voltage drop (0.16V) by the current through the load (0.608A). The internal resistance is 0.263Ω.

The description states that the batteries achieve their full charge capacity after 4-5 recharge cycles. I used a different charger to do 4 extra discharge cycles and so far the batteries hold the charge very well. The light has been on using one of these batteries for several week without any signs of dimming. These batteries appear to be just a little larger (1 mm or so) than my original batteries that came in my light. The batteries do fit, but they are harder to put in, I need more force to push them in.

Overall, I like the charger and despite the tight fit the batteries work well.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Product review: Yubi Power Desktop Surge Power Charging Station

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I like charging stations that combine AC and USB ports as I always have a mix of devices that need different ports. This charging station has a 47" inch AC cable, 4 USB ports, and 2 grounded AC ports. The station size is 5" x 5" x 1.25". AC outlet are positioned in such a way that they will accept regular size plugs. If you have a large plug it will cover up both outlets. There is room on the box to space the outlet more, I wished they were positioned further apart.

I measured the performance of 4 USB ports. I used both an Apple device and an Android device. I tested each device when it was the only one charging as well as when both of them were charging on the shared ports. Both devices worked, but the performance was a bit disappointing for my Android devices on all 4 ports (AC rate but below optimal), and very good for Apple devices on one ports but below optimal on the other ports. I am including the detailed current monitor readings below for those who like to see the technical details.

➨ Test results
======================
--------------------------
✔ Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone (the only device charging)
--------------------------
Port 1: 0.71A / 4.95V
Port 2: 0.66A / 4.95V
Port 3: 0.74A / 4.94V
Port 4: 0.73A / 4.93V

--------------------------
✔ iPad Mini (the only device charging)
--------------------------
Port 1: 0.47A / 4.95V
Port 2: 0.93A / 4.90V
Port 3: 1.41A / 4.89V
Port 4: 0.93A / 4.93V

--------------------------
✔ iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone at the same time
--------------------------
Nexus phone - Port 4: 0.79A / 4.95V
iPad Mini - Port 3: 1.59A / 4.95V
--------------------------
Nexus phone - Port 3: 0.76A / 4.95V
iPad Mini - Port 4: 0.95A / 4.95V
--------------------------

To summarize I like that the charging stations combines USB and AC ports without an additional charger. However, USB ports on this charging station did not perform as well as other wall chargers. The decision here is between the convenience of having a charging station and relatively slower speed of charging.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Product review: Okra Smartphone & GPS Dashboard Grip Mount Holder

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This holder is made out of a very odd feeling material, it feels sticky on the back side as well as the cavity and the sides. When I first touched it and my fingers felt the stickiness I had to test if my fingers felt dirty from some goo... they did not. Yet they felt like was holding something very sticky, like glue on the back of the packing tape.

It sticks well to the dash and does not leave any residue. I always have a lot of small items I want to carry in the car either a pen, or some change I need for the meters. It is good for lots of thing. I also use it for a small camera that has a magnetic mount (no suction cup). This little camera would slide around on the dash before this holder and now it sits perfectly still even on turns.

Note that I do not use this mount to hold the phone in the slots when I drive. The slots are fairly shallow and on turns or bumps the phone can escape the holder.

The holder does attract dust and dirt, however it cleans up well with soapy water.

Its size is 6" x 3.75".

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Product review: Small Silicone Suction Lids

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I like these silicone lids. They provide a very nice hold on mugs. In my video you can see that suction is strong enough to lift the mug by the handle on the lid. I don't use this way in real life, but I thought it was a good way to demonstrate when seal works and when it does not. I also show how the lid works with a small glass jar and a plastic yogurt container. You can see that when a glass container is too small and the opening is not big enough to form a good seal. The edge of the yogurt container also does not form a great seal I can only lift the container briefly before the seal breaks.

Even thought the lid does not form a great seal on plastic edges of the yogurt container it is still good enough to cover it for a day or so. This is my most common use for the lid. I really miss the days when all yogurt containers had resealable covers and this has become an reasonable substitute.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Product review: StayFresh Ethylene absorbing Pods - controlled experiment

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These pods are small plastic balls with holes. Inside the balls are sachets with crystals that absorb Ethylene Gas. Lots of fruits and vegetables emit ethylene gas, and this can shorten the life of produce that absorbs it. You can avoid the problem somewhat by storing them separately, but an ethylene gas absorber can extend the life of your fruits and veggies without the trouble.

Fruits that produce ethylene:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Apricots, Avocados, Bananas, Cantaloupes, Honeydew melons, Kiwis, Mangoes, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Tomatoes

Fruits and Vegetables that sensitive to ethylene:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Apples, asparagus, broccoli, potatoes, watermelons, and more

I was curious to see how much of a difference the Stayfresh pods would make. To test how effective Stayfresh pods are I selected two two bananas, two apples, and two cucumbers and put one each in two separate refrigerator draws. One with a Strayfresh pod, the second without. Attached video includes the comparison of the the fruits and vegetables in the two draws and how they held up.

I started this controlled experiment on 9/15, I did not open the refrigerator draws until 14 days later which was 9/29. My video include photos taken on 9/15 and 9/29. To be extra sure that I don't mix up the two groups I attached labels to them "A" for fruit and vegetables which were stored with a Stay Fresh Pods and "B" for the ones stored without Fresh Pod. The banana appeared to be darker in the draw with the Stay Fresh Pod, however the apple appeared to ripen less and tasted slightly crisper. The ripeness of the cucumber appears to be the same in both groups.

So what is the bottom line? I do see the difference between the two groups but it is not a huge difference.

Stayfresh pods do their job for 3 months. I received Stayfresh pods from Trific for testing and review as part of the product introduction. I asked Trific if the pods can be refilled with new sachets after three months to make them more economical to use and was told that though refills are currently not available they will be available by the time these sachets expire in 3 months.

You can find these pods on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Friday, November 14, 2014

Product review: Kassa Chalkboard Blackboard Contact Paper

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This chalkboard roll is a roll of black contact paper. One side is black, the other side is white paper with guide lines so you can make a straight cut. You can cut the roll into any shape you need to make labels or cover some larger area. You can write labels with regular chalk or use a Chalk Pen. In both cases you can erase the writing and do it again. To erase I use a slightly damp paper towel.

I found many uses for the chalk labels, my favorite use is for labelling my seasonal clothing. I give myself extra room in the dresser by packing away the opposite season clothing in storage boxes that sit on the top shelve of the closet out of the way. I like using chalk labels because now I can change the label as easily as I can change what goes into each box.

I like the roll more than individual pre-cut labels because the roll is more economical and I can decide how big each label needs to be. For writing I prefer a chalk pen to regular school room chalk because it allows me to write in smaller more legible handwriting. In attached video I show how I use both. Both write and erase well, my preference is based on my ability to write in a neater smaller handwriting.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Product review: Catch Caddy Car Seat Catcher

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I saw a similar product on Shark Tank. This is not the same product but it has the same function. I have not used the Shark Tank product so I can't compare all features, but I remember that it was soft made out of neoprene where as this product is made out of plastic.

Catch Caddy is a plastic pocket that goes between the seat the central console. Catch Caddy width flexes but it is pretty stiff and has a minimum width of 5/8" of an inch. It fits only on one side of the console in my car (I never realized my car has gaps with different width). But the side that it fits into is the near the driver side, so if I had to pick one that would be that one. The edges of the caddy are hard so I lowered the caddy below my seat so I don't accidentally hurt myself on the edge. If the car seat is moved the caddy needs to be repositioned, but that is not an issue for me as this hardly ever happens. The benefits of the hard pocket is that it is easy to take out and clean. Because the fit is tight it does not move as I drive or corner. The opening is very narrow so it is not a general purpose storage area, however I did use it to store driving directions once until I needed them. I am attaching a video which shows how it fits into my car (Honda CRV).

The caddy is 14.25" long. The top is 3" uncompressed, the bottom is 5/8". 5/8" gap is required, if you gap is smaller than 5/8" at any point (as it is on my passenger side) the caddy will not fit.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Monday, November 10, 2014

Product review: Product review: Large Silicone Suction Lids

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These silicone covers work really well. I have a couple of Corelle pots that don't have lids and these covers work very well on them. They form a nice tight fit. In my video you can see that the hold is strong enough for me to lift the pot by the handle on the lid. I don't recommend doing this in regular life, but I thought this was a good way to demonstrate how well the lid seals the container. These lids work in the refrigerator and microwave. As you cook and open up a lid to see how the content is doing be careful - it is easy to get a steam burn as the steam really builds up inside.

In my video you see my test a couple of lids on several different containers. You can see that they work really well with glass and not as well as on plastic containers.

These covers are very practical with many uses and especially good if you broke or misplaced a lid for one of your favorite containers.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Product review: 5w Wedge White LED Light Bulb (dome, map, door, trunk) - not for Honda CRV

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My car's user manual did not the describe the type of bulbs I have in my dome, map, and cargo lights.Turns out some cars have bulbs which have two contacts on one end (they are mounted vertically) and other cars have bulbs which have contacts on opposite sides (they are mounted horizontally). These lights are compatible with bulbs that have contacts on one side and are mounted vertically. After I got the lights and opened the cover I discovered that my car (Honda CRV) has the bulbs that are mounted horizontally, so these bulbs did not work in my car. In attached video I show how I removed the light cover (this is the trickiest part of the install and I hope people will find it helpful) and what I did to test to bulb and putting the cover back on (which again is a generic operation and should be helpful for any light cover).

Finally, since I wanted to have some way to test if the bulbs in the package I received work and to see how bright they were I used a car jumper cables (they run at 12V just like the car) to turn on a couple of the lights. As you see in the video they worked, and they produced a bright white light. LED lights are a diod and polarity matters, which means the current flows in one direction, so if the bulb does not work on the initial attempt flip the contacts to change the direction of the current flow. Note that 12V is a very low level of current and it you touch the wires by hand it will not hurt.

Bulb size: 1.125" long, 0.25" at the widest part.

Overall, the lights produced nice bright light. Its too bad that my car does not take these bulbs but this, as they say, is a user error not the issue with the bulbs themselves. If you are not sure what type of a bulb you have (or don't realize there is more than one type as was the case with me) open one of your covers before ordering.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Product review: HD Vision Visor for your car

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This visor was designed to be used instead of the built-in car visor. However, I am short and my car is tall with a large windshield and what I needed is to have the visor to extended below my built-in visor because when the sun is low and my car's visor is down the sun gets into my eyes. I mounted my visor different from the way it is shown on Amazon photos and documentation. I attached the visor not to the top of the car's visor but the bottom. My second goal was to have cover the area between the car's visor and mirror which now also covered by the HD Visor. You can see how I attached HD Visor in my video: it mounted to the left of the center (leaving my built-in mirror on the back of the visor still operational).

The clip that holds the visor extends slightly below the visor when the HD Visor is retracted. Because I am short this protrusion is not in my field of vision. When I attach the visor this way, I can use either the dark colored visor or double up both visors for extra protection, but the light colored visor cannot be used on its own.

The visor is 12" long, 5" wide. It clips to the car's visor by a large tight plastic clip. The visors themselves are made out of plastic and come covered with thin plastic film for protection from scratches. When I removed all four sheets of film the visors were in excellent shape, no blemishes or scratches.

The visor does help with sun shine during sunsets and does not get in my way otherwise. I am pretty pleased with it.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Product review: Yubi Power Desktop Power Charging Station

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This charging station has a 47" inch AC cable, 2 USB ports, and 3 grounded AC ports. The station has a retractable tray stand for the phone. The tray is a bit sticky at first, so it takes a little force to open it for the first few times. The tray is on the opposite side from the AC outlets. I include the video of opening it in my video. The charging station size is 4.625" wide x 3" tall and 3.375" front to back when the tray is extended, and 2.75" front to back with the tray retracted.

Two AC outlet are positions close to each and accept regular size plugs, one is spaced out enough to accept a large plug. However a battery charger such as SONY Eneloop does not fit because there is no enough room to extend beyond the outlet.

I measured the performance of the 4 USB ports. I used both an Apple device and an Adroid device. I tested each device when it was the only one charging on each of the ports, as both of them charging at the same time. Both devices worked, the performance for my iPad Mini was very good, but the performs for my Android phone was below optimal. I am including the detailed current monitor readings below for those who like to see the technical details.

➨ Test results
======================
--------------------------
✔ Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone (the only device charging)
--------------------------
Port 1: 0.89A / 4.95V
Port 2: 0.87A / 4.95V

--------------------------
✔ iPad Mini (the only device charging)
--------------------------
Port 1: 1.43A / 4.95V
Port 2: 1.42A / 4.90V

--------------------------
✔ iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone at the same time
--------------------------
Nexus phone - Port 4: 0.79A / 4.95V
iPad Mini - Port 3: 1.59A / 4.95V
--------------------------
Nexus phone - Port 3: 0.76A / 4.95V
iPad Mini - Port 4: 0.95A / 4.95V
--------------------------

To summarize I like that the charging stations combines USB and AC ports without an additional charger. However, USB ports on this charging station did not perform as well as the other chargers for more Android phone. If you have Apple devices this is a no brainer good charger. If you have an Android devices it is not as clear cut. The decision here is between the convenience of having a charging station and relatively slower speed of charging. I am using this charger to charge the speakers attached to my TV rather than to charge my phone and I always can use a couple of extra AC outlets near the TV. Because the phone holder is retractable it does not take up any room when it is not used.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Product review: My Konjac Sponge All Natural Fiber

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I like using sponges to wash my face as well as my body. The sponges I use on regular basis are made from cellulose (i.e. wood pulp). Konjac sponge is made from the root of the Konjac plant (which is a potato-like plant). By comparison to a cellulose sponge my Konjac sponge has smaller holes and feels softer and more resilient. I included a photo of the Konjac sponge next to the cellulose sponge in my video, you can see the difference just by looking at them side by side.

The Konjac sponge feels very soft when wet and very hard when totally dry. It absorbs quite a lot of water. It suds up fairly well. It takes quite a long time to dry. Out of curious I left one sponge to dry without using it for several days and it took 3 days to totally dry. Each sponge has a string loop that allows you to hang it to dry, which helps to dry it on all sides. Because the sponge is soft it has a fairly limited life span. Based on what I read I expect to get 3 months out it.

I got 6 different sponges to compare them to each other as it was not clear if they would feel significantly different from each other. I they feel quite similar to each other in terms of softness and resilience. I was happy to see that none of them had a scent. The difference in color comes from what the sponges were injected with, but none of them bleed any colors. The water runs clear as you can see in my video.

♦ Volcanic Scoria Kojac sponge is recommended for mature skin as volcanic scoria supposedly is good for purifying skin. Size: 4" x 3"
♦ Bamboo Charcoal Konjac Sponge is good at gentle exfoliation. Size: 4" x 3"
♦ French Green Clay Konjac sponge is recommended for Oily skin because it absorbs dirt and oil. Size: 4" x 3"
♦ Original Pure Konjac Sponge works on all skin types including very sensitive. Size: 4" x 3"
♦ Red Clay Sponge improves elasticity and texture of the skin. Size: 4.5" x 2.5"
♦ French Pink Clay Konjac sponge is good for dehydrated skin. Size: 4" x 3"

I have been using two sponges on regular basis for about 2 weeks now. I have to say that other than color I am not able to tell the difference between the sponges by either how they feel or by the effects on my skin.

The sponges feel pleasant and soft. I like how my face feels after using them. If I have some flaking on my face the sponge removes the loose skin very effectively. Does it reduce the appearance of the pores? I can't say I notice any difference.

The sponges are very soft, so they do very gentle exfoliation. If you like the feeling of something rough on your skin this sponge is not going to give you that feeling. It is very gentle and soft. I think some of the marketing is just marketing (i.e. is a bit exaggerated). Don't expect miracles this is just a nice sponge.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Product review: Hallomall Solar Powered Pink Mosaic Glass Ball Garden Light

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This light is pretty during the day because of the color glass ball, and pretty during the night to rainbow glow of the LED light within the glass ball. It is an attractive lawn ornament, but don't count on it to provide any light it is purely decorative. I hope the video gives you a better idea what to expect.

The glass ball is quite heavy, weight 14 oz. The stake is metal with a plastic tip. The plastic tip was not sharp or strong enough to pierce the rocky New England soil and I used one of my garden tools to prep the hole for the light. The solar battery has a switch on the under side, which can turn off the light when it is in storage.

Installing the light took about 10 seconds. All I had to do is attach the ball to the stake with a butterfly spring, and assemble the two parts of the pole. The total height of the stake is 26" (from the ball's base to the tip) and the ball is 4".

The battery came pre-charged, so it was nice to be able to see how the lights look with the lights on right away. These garden lights are photo sensitive, they only come on when it is dark outside. The light runs on AA 600 NI-MH and recharged by a solar recharger.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆