Date Joined: 02/11/09
Pros: Hold's a bulky Moultrie D-55 IR camera. Made of tough, powder-coated metal. Goes in the ground easily. Can be stuck just about anywhere.
Cons: The adjustment knobs that let the mount tilt and the pole extend don't hold terribly tight - I have sometimes checked my camera only to find that the camera is pointing down at the ground. And the triangular end of the pole doesn't do the greatest job of holding the whole affair in place - in a storm or soggy ground it might tip over. Matte black finish stands out in green summertime foliage.
Overall Review: It serves its purpose well enough. I was able to mount my Moultrie using nylon straps. I put camouflage duct tape on the pole to mask the black (I'm using the camera for property surveillance). I recommend this mount for the older, bulkier cameras - the mounting surface is overkill for the newer, smaller cameras.
Pros: The 2.1 amp outlet registers between 1.5-1.9 amps with my S4's battery current app. The LED isn't as annoying as some similar units I've seen. It barely sticks out of my 12v outlet, which is good because I use a bank of 4 outlets (my car being an older model that hides the outlet in a hidden ashtray) and they're mounted in such a way that bulky chargers interfere with the cupholders. The supplied cable is stout and long enough for me to use the phone while plugged in. Snug fit means no random loss of charge or corrosion or accidental removal.
Cons: If you switch cars a lot, the nearly flush-fitting design and aforementioned snug fit of the charger might prove annoying to dig out of your 12v outlet. Not an issue for me, so no problems here.
Overall Review: I purchased this charger both for my Kindle Fire and for my Galaxy S4. Most of these kinds of chargers either don't fit flush, feel very flimsy, don't put out near the amps that they claim, or come with flimsy cables that provide too much resistance for charging (or come with no cables at all). I was pleasantly surprised with this charger as it was exactly what I wanted at a reasonable price. I wish I'd purchased this charger a long time ago instead of my last couple of shoddy overpriced ones.
Pros: It's very small. Cheap
Cons: 2.1 amp port didn't put out anywhere near that current. More like .9 amps initially. Over time this became about .46 amps - not enough to charge my Galaxy S4 when turned on. Tried different cords and tested with different 12 volt outlets and the results were the same. the 1 amp port was about the same in output. I bought a name brand charger for slightly more (something I rarely do as name brands often mean nothing for electronics like these) and it put out a hearty 1.5-1.9 amps.
Overall Review: It would probably charge a non smartphone but high-end power hungry phone users need not apply.
Pros: I put this knife through its paces and it held up well. Sharpens well, holds an edge. Chops wood. Whetstone and fire steel work well. I started a fire with just dry tinder with relative ease. I like the sheath - it's a combination of sturdy nylon, pleather, and ABS plastic, and the knife clips into place and is easy to remove quickly. I wrapped some paracord around the sheath as well.
Cons: It's ugly. Actually, the orange/grey color scheme is ideal for a survival knife (imagine dropping a camo or black knife at night in the woods), but the Bear Grylls branding all over the thing makes it look cheesy. The little whistle on the lanyard is barely functional. Could be a tad longer. Grey finish will surely die a slow death and make the knife look worse over time.
Overall Review: Be sure to buy THIS knife and not one of the older versions. If you're contemplating buying a BG Survival knife, buy the one with the thicker orange stripe immediately behind the hammer pommel. This is the upgraded version that doesn't have the breakage issues that the older one had.
Pros: • Fits well (though not quite)
• Really does protects against shocks and water as advertised.
• Looks pretty good and doesn't make the S4 too much bigger.
• Call sound quality only suffers a little.
• Your camera, IR blaster and sensors will still work fine.
• Buttons still work well.
• Doesn't seem to effect screen sensitivity.
Cons: • Really expensive. I know that protecting your S4 is worth it, and I wouldn't trust cheaper cases, but...dang.
• The materials are sturdy but have a cheap vibe (you'll know what I mean when you handle the case).
• I wonder how long the flaps will hold up under repeated use, especially the flap over the USB port. Speaking of which, this flap was almost impossible to open in the beginning. Over time it has loosened up, but it often requires two hands to flip open.
• The plastic front screen is supposed to fit flush to the phone screen - it doesn't quite. You can feel screen cover flex as you push against it. It's a weird feeling that I've never quite gotten used to. I'm also worried it will accumulate scratches over time.
• Loud speaker quality suffers, but that's a given.
• If you already have any holsters or docks for your S4, be prepared to give those up. I had to switch to a holder in my car made for GPS units.
Overall Review: I fish a lot, and I'm also a bit clumsy, so this case does it's duty. Just wish there weren't so many trade offs.
Helpful hints - clean the inside of the case with a microfiber lint-free cloth and alcohol screen wipe and let it dry before you install the phone. I had to take it apart 3 times to get rid of lint and hairs.
Pros: Easy to use. Just charge it, plug it in, and go. Pairs easily with my Galaxy S4. Cheap.
Cons: It doesn't seem to turn off automatically. If I disconnect my phone and leave it plugged into my car stereo, it's dead by the next day. If you're using it in a car, it may dangle freely from your stereo.
Overall Review: I have a powered USB hub in my car so I can leave it plugged in to charge if I want.
Pros: Does what it's supposed to do in my Xperia phone. Not sure about write speeds but is currently holding and playing 8GB of media.
Pros: - Small, lightweight, waterproof.
- Decent responsive touchscreen.
- 5MP Camera better than many budget Android phones, has really bright flash (that also makes a great flashlight).
- Sony's Xperia/Android interface is pretty good, not too much bloatware (just some "active lifestyle" apps).
- Micro SD expansion (8GB internal memory).
- Newer version of Android (ICS) came pre-installed when I got it. ICS is awesome. Swipe and voice texting and all that good stuff.
- Unlocked from the factory, works fine with my old-as-the-hills Cingular/ATT (yes, that old) Go-Phone SIM.
Cons: - Even though it has a dual-core processor, 500MB of RAM just isn't enough. You'll need a task-killing app for sure. It lags and freezes about once a day. I've heard this is an issue with ICS but I can't compare because my phone came preloaded with it.
- Battery life is not the best. It's fine on standby, but if you have everything on (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS) and you're watching movies or streaming Pandora, you'll drain the battery as fast as a good laptop (about 4-5 hours). At least it takes a standard Micro USB charger and can charge from a computer. The battery is not replaceable.
- Screen isn't quite up to today's standards. It's small and you can see pixels. But unless you're used to an iPhone or S4 that's not a deal-breaker.
- Camera takes 5-10 seconds to open up. If you're trying to take candid shots, leave the camera on.
- Flaps that cover the headphone and charger jack are a little annoying. I feel I'm going to break them off given enough time.
- The phone feels a little flimsy, even though it isn't really. A lot thinner and lighter than an I-phone (it's about the size of an old-school Razr).
Overall Review: This is certainly a "niche" phone, and apparently I was in that niche. I needed a reasonably-priced (although I'm not sure if you can call $200 reasonable) unlocked touch-screen Android phone that could take an AT&T prepaid SIM, was reasonably rugged, had at decent camera, etc. I really like this phone, especially since I upgraded from a 5-year-old Nokia E63. It does everything I want it to do - just sometimes, it does it very slowly. That's really the main issue with this phone is the lag...well that and battery life (I just keep a charger in the car and one at work). If this isn't your first Android, and you scream at computers when a webpage takes more than 5 seconds to load, then you may want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, it's a perfectly decent phone.
Pros: Works as advertised. Made my friend happy.
Cons: Make sure your beverage is actually hot.
Overall Review: Pour in hot beverage of choice, such as coffee. Watch the TARDIS fade from one side to another. Giggle at the absurdity of it and enjoy. Made a great birthday present for a friend.
Pros: Low price, big screen, Lifetime maps, simple interface, customizable
Cons: Simple interface lacking some features, occasionally gets confused, touch screen not that sensitive.
Overall Review: I borrowed a cousin's Garmin a few times and loved it, so I decided to purchase a similar one. After some research, settled on this Nuvi 50. I've only used it a couple of times since its purchase and it gets the job done. I like the big, bright screen, free lifetime maps, and the custom icons available. But sometimes it takes a bit to get locked onto the satellites, and it doesn't always give accurate data, so be warned. It's missing some of the map features of its bigger brothers like the 1490. And the touch screen sometimes doesn't respond very well. Honestly, Google Maps is probably more accurate, but a little harder to use while driving. If you travel a lot and need a cheap GPS (and can make up your own mind about the information it gives you), buy one.
Pros: This is my first tablet and I already love it after two days. I'm already imagining the possibilities. If you're a freelance or student graphic designer on a budget, get this thing now. The price alone makes it worth it, and this particular model is getting harder to find. It's bigger and more professional looking than the Bamboo Fun yet cheaper than the very similar Intuos 3. I can find no real faults.
Cons: Like others have mentioned, this thing isn't just like drawing on paper. It's somewhere between that and using a mouse. It's more sensitive than pen/paper and requires a steady hand for smooth lines. Not a fault of the tablet, just something you have to get used to.
Overall Review: Make sure you have compatable software for this thing to reach its full potential. Readily interacts with many Vista/Office programs. Photoshop loves it too, I was making realistic sketches in no time.
Pros: This is an easy phone to recommend. It's stylish, especially in red, I get complements on it all the time. The keypad is a joy to use in texting compared to other phones I've used - raised, rubberized keys with good backlighting. Nice screen (not touch though). Endlessly customizable. Good intuitive interface. Loud speaker. Excellent reception - gets four bars where I used to get one. Decent battery life. 3.5mm headphone jack and microSD card slot. Built in WiFi. Lots of productivity features installed, and lots more available. Decent camera with LED flash (that also becomes a handy flashlight!).
Cons: Ok, a few caveats...call volume is tricky to figure out how to adjust (do this while making a call w. the rocker buttons). USB interface is this a hard-to-find Micro A cord (but Newegg has 'em :). WiFi reception is sketchy sometimes. Those used to the iPod touch/iPhone internet browsing may not like this phone's browser, but it still works. A little slow at times. Needs a wired headset to listen to radio. No shuffle for music. No GPS (but there's an adapter available I guess). Number buttons occasionally a little awkward. That's pretty much it.
Overall Review: This is my first smartphone, replacing an aging but trusty Razr which recently bought the farm. I wanting something that was easy to text with, as well as good features. Of course I wanted an iPhone, but seeing as how I'm on an AT&T Go-Phone plan, no dice. This phone does indeed accept a SIM card from a Go-Phone...I pay half of what a friend does for calls/internet/texting, even with heavy use.