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This review is from: Pioneer MVH-X370BT Digital media receiver with Bluetooth
Pros: - Phone connects quickly once it's paired with the radio. - I used to have an older JVC head-unit (must be 4 or 5 years old at this point) that took forever to connect with a phone.
- Picks up playing right where you left off. - My JVC did NOT have this feature; let's say your playing a song on your phone through the radio via Bluetooth, you get to where you're going and shut your vehicle off. Come back some time later and start the car back up and the Pioneer MVH-X370BT continues playing the song you were just listening to!
- Easy to install. - If you've EVER installed a car stereo before, nothing has changed.
- Good call quality. - My wife says that with my old radio... it definitely SOUNDED like I was using the hands-free Bluetooth in the car (lots of background noise), but with the Pioneer MVH-X370BT she says she can't tell whether I'm using the phone normally against my face or on the hands-free Bluetooth.
- Removable head-unit face plate. - Good anti-theft feature.
- HD radio capable! - Not everyone may hear the difference, but there was a noticeable difference to me... when listening to an HD station, it sounded more like CD quality rather than "radio" quality. Plus, you get the track info if the station broadcasts that data.
- Awesome sound. - ANY after-market radio will instantly sound better than the stock radio, but this Pioneer sounds GREAT!
Cons: - No CD. There IS a model in the same family as this radio that has a CD player, but it's $20 to $40 more expensive just to have the CD playing capability. I was on the fence about purchasing this radio when I had learned that it lacked a CD player... but ultimately I'm glad I got the MVH-X370BT. I stream the majority of my music and only listened to CD's if I didn't have a data connection.
- Menu's can be a little confusing. - They're not the easiest to navigate, but they get the job done. Given enough time, you'll eventually find what you're looking for.
- Can't display the time and track info at the same time. - You can cycle through a bunch of info: for instance the current frequency of the radio station you are listening to, the track info (if they are broadcasting the HD radio data) or the time, BUT you can't do a combination of any of those options. Not a huge deal... the dash on my car has a clock, but it might be annoying if you vehicle relies on the radio to display the clock.
- Screen color cannot be customized. - Again, not a huge deal... I don't mind the electric blue screen color. If you want a Pioneer radio that you can match the color to the rest of the stuff on your dash... there's one for that, but it'll easily cost you $50 to $100 more. In my mind, not worth it to pay the extra... but thought it was worth mentioning.
- Does not auto-dim. - This was sort of a surprise to me... most radio's I've ever had, have always auto dimmed when you put the vehicles lights on. This one has 2 options: a. Manual dimmer. You hold down one of the buttons on the head-unit for a few seconds and the screen dims. b. Schedule dimmer. You set times of day when you want the screen to "auto" dim; start at / end at. I tried the second option of just setting a schedule from 6 pm to 6 am, however one particularly bright evening, the screen ran it's "auto" dim according to the schedule I programmed and I could NOT see the screen at all. I then switched back to the manual dimmer. Again, if you NEED to have the radio dim by itself whenever you put your lights on... there's a Pioneer model for that... but it'll cost you some more $$$.
Other Thoughts: This came recommended via the Wirecutter as "The Best Bluetooth Car Stereo Receiver".READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Samsung Gear VR (Virtual Reality Headset)
Pros: - Very well designed.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Can charge phone through the headset.
Cons: - Could not get the focus clear enough. Using the provided focus ring, I could not get the screen on my Samsung Galaxy S7 super clear... don't know if it's just my eyes (even with my glasses on / glasses off) or if my screen protector was interfering with focusing the screen. I expected something much more clear than what I was able to dial in.
- Had to take phone out of OtterBox case. Not a huge deal... the Commuter series case for the Galaxy S7 is fairly easy to remove. However, I can see it being more difficult to take off a Defender series case or something similar.
Other Thoughts: Take this for what it's worth: I am a person that gets motion-sick very easily. If I am in a car, I have to drive or else I get car sick. I have to take medication before getting on a boat or else I get very sea sick. With all of that in mind, I wasn't expecting to get super motion-sick when using the Gear VR headset, however, I was very wrong. After watching about two videos (the first one wasn't so bad, it was a VR boxing video) I was very near being sick to my stomach. The thing that did me in was watching a music video of a very famous well-known band... you were in the middle of the band and every where you looked in 360 degrees there was a different band member performing the song. I was very ill-feeling for most of the rest of that day... had some ginger ale and it started to make my stomach feel slightly better. I pass along my experience not to alarm, but to warn those who get motion-sick very easily while traveling or those who can't do roller coasters... you may want to avoid the whole VR experience entirely... or at least make sure you've got the proper remedies at hand if you are going to take the VR plunge.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: The Linksys WRT1900ACS has killer wifi signal… no joke. Where there were gaps of 2.4GHz and 5GHz coverage with my old router… I now have full signal.
Speed tests don’t lie… here’s the numbers I got from my LAN speed test trial:
Wifi client to wired client
10MB - 98 Mbps write \ 140 read
100 MB - 126 Mbps write \ 144 read
1000MB - 164 Mbps write \ 224 read
wired client to wired client
10MB - 668 Mbps write \ 855 read
100MB - 727 Mbps write \ 824 read
1000MB - 745 Mbps write \ 870 read
Linksys WRT 1900ACS
Wifi client to wired client
10MB - 207 Mbps write \ 298 read
100MB - 162 Mbps write \ 204 read
1000MB - 189 Mbps write \ 311 read
Wired client to wired client
10MB - 704 Mbps write \ 836 read
100MB - 714 Mbps write \ 835 read
1000MB - 705 Mbps write \ 797 read
As one can see, the wired speeds were pretty comparable, but the wifi speeds on the Linksys WRT1900ACS are just flat out faster… must be that dual-core CPU and 512MB of RAM under the hood.
Like most other routers of today in the same class, the Linksys WRT1900ACS features dual-band wifi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) that utilizes Beamforming technology to focus wifi signal at connected clients. It also has a USB 3.0 port and an eSATA port that will also function as a USB 2.0 port.
If one doesn’t care for the stock router firmware… that’s more than alright, because this router was developed for use with OpenWRT.
Modifying certain router settings may require the router to “think” for a little bit, but never any longer than 15 - 20 seconds without fully have to save and reboot.
After attaching the four external antennas, it’s time to get to plugging things in and turning stuff on. Plug in the internet feed from your router (ie. WAN) and attach a computer to one of the four gigabit ethernet ports. Plug in the 12v power and switch the power switch on. So far, so good… just like every other router.
I didn’t even have to navigate to the router’s IP address to start the setup… upon firing up my browser, I was met with a Linksys SmartWifi setup screen. Follow the on-screen instructions by selecting the appropriate options and click next. After a few steps… everything is done! Voila! We have a network!
In general, the router GUI is super fast and very responsive.
Cons: THIS THING IS HUGE! Measuring at approximately eight inches long by twelve inches wide… this has got to be the biggest router I’ve ever laid my hands on.
Once logged into the router, Speed Test did not work for me… kept giving me a warning that it needs Adobe Flash. Not a huge deal, as I can do speed tests by myself… but if you’re using Chrome like I am, you may get the “you-need-Flash” warning.
Other Thoughts: I did NOT set any part of the this router up using the suggested Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app, but it’s nice to know it’s available if I ever choose to utilize it. If you DO want to go this route… you have to setup an account on linksyssmartwifi-dot-com.
At it’s current street price of approximately $230, this is an expensive router. Don’t let anyone fool you of that. However, you do get what you pay for… the Linksys WRT1900ACS has the horsepower under the hood to go the distance and then some. It’s super quick with file transfers; super easy to setup. Get this one and never look back.