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Mobile apps without the hassle of coding?

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One topic that has always fascinated me is the development lifecycle. Everything that we use in our daily lives has some form of code running behind the scenes. It is the sad truth that as technology has progressed into this diabolical machine that requires reams of code and complex hardware to function, we find ourselves spending more and more time in the development world.

But what if things were easier, simpler, and more uninformed. I came across a company based in England, Nottinghamshire who take this into consideration and even made a business out of it.

App Institute is a company who created a platform solely aimed at those seeking a solid infrastructure to deploy their mobile app to both Apple and Android. But that isn’t all. Taking it that one step further they stripped down the development lifecycle that can take weeks, if not months, and built a system that allows you to do it in a matter of minutes.

But wait, there is more. They took all of that development time required to build an app and crammed it into a drag and drop builder. So you can build apps in a web portal. I mean, if that isn’t awesome I don’t know what is.

This simplification of the development process is seen in all walks of the tech industry.  Look at the likes of Wix, offering a free drag and drop website builder.

Anyway, I could talk all day about how awesome it is to see such a complicated and insane process streamlined into an elegant process. Check out their app builder today.

AUDIOMAX-HB-8A-5

Audiomax HB-8A Wireless Headphone Review

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INTRODUCTION

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the AUDIOMAX HB-8A headphones, Claybox very kindly provided us with todays review sample. The AUDIOMAX HB-8A headphones are bluetooth capable meaning you can take these out and enjoy your music without those annoying cables that seem to follow all geeks around, and rocking Bluetooth 4.0 these can produce a stable connection over a great distance. But let’s move onto what Audiomax have to say about their product, because who can explain this product better than them?

Exquisite Sound Quality

Streaming music, enjoying movies, and listening to your play list just got better, with the AUDIOMAX Wireless apt-X Bluetooth 4.0 Over-Ear Headphones. Now you can enjoy crystal clear, true CD quality sound from wireless headphones: apt-X Bluetooth is optimized to provide high fidelity audio, including crisp and perfect highs, dynamic mids, and deeply resonant bass that can literally move you!
Passive noise reduction technology keeps everything out except the audio you want to hear, to create the ultimate satisfying listening experience.

Ultimate Mobility and Portability for Active Listeners

AUDIOMAX Wireless apt-X Bluetooth 4.0 Over-Ear Headphones are lightweight, compact, and durable, built to withstand heavy use and keep on playing like brand new. They’re also foldable, to keep up with an on-the-go lifestyle.
Adjustable headband is designed to fit precisely on the ear, delivering a snug fit that is comfortable and precise.
Battery charges quickly and delivers long lasting performance to minimize downtime – up to 20 hours max play time from a single charge.

Streaming Music, Audio and Phone Controls at Your Fingertips

Controls are simple to use and place everything you need at your fingertips, including volume, microphone, pause, skip, and more. Use the microphone for voice-activated commands and hands-free use.

Product Warranty and A-to-z Guarantee, Plus FREE 2-Day Shipping

Each AUDIOMAX product comes with a 45-day money back; 18-month worry-free warranty.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Enjoy gorgeously rich sound, made possible by leading audio technology: perfect clear highs, dynamic mid-range, thumping bass; passive noise reduction isolates sound for an ideal listening experience
  • Snug, comfortable fit; adjustable headband maintains shape, is strong and secure; ultra-soft ear cushions deliver comfort for all-day-and-night use
  • Apt-X and Bluetooth CSR 4.0 allow 10 meter/33 feet range with full bandwidth transmission, no loss of audio performance; quick charge battery, up to 20 hours max play time per charge
  • Smart design, compact, lightweight; easy access to controls, including built-in microphone, volume, pause, skip, and telephone; use wireless or plugged in (cord included)
  • Compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 devices, including Bluetooth enabled TVs and tablets, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Samsung Galaxy / Edge / Note, Nexus, Android, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Windows Phone, more

PERFORMANCE AND TESTING

Generally speaking, these headphones are perfect at the current price of £46 in terms of audio quality. The bass is punchy and doesn’t hold back at all, in fact you might want to be careful how loud you take these, because they will literally blow your mind. For all of my dubstep, drum and bass, EDM, these headphones felt so nice in that ever so important low range. I would say it wasn’t jumping off my head, but I don’t think that should be a benchmark for assessing the quality of headphones. In my eyes, great bass is what really adds that depth to the track, so you don’t want the other parts of the audio to be in its shadow, it should compliment the mids and highs. And the AUDIOMAX HB-8A Headphones produce some of the nicest bass I’ve heard at this price point in some time.

Treble is something we often think of as the second most important component, being the counterpart to bass, everything felt sharp and rich. I actually can’t say anything I disliked about these headphones, if anything I was surprised at such premium audio quality with a great price. The next thing I found incredible about the drivers they packed into the AUDIOMAX HB-8A Headphones? They simply refuse to distort, even after tweaking the EQ to push certain aspects of the range to another level.

Bottom line? Insanely good audio quality.

USABILITY AND DESIGN

Firstly let me start this section by saying how surprised I was with the comfort of these headphones, given the cups are a rectangle design which can sometimes be slightly uncomfortable in comparison to generic round cup designs, but these simply feel amazing to wear on a daily basis. The band that connects the two cups is also soft but not overstuffed with foam, and this simple design just simply works. The cups themselves even swivel on their axis to allow for a tighter, more secure fit, something more expensive brands seem to forget about.

Apparently the actual band is made from Aluminium but there are many hints of plastic, but it doesn’t feel cheap and easy to break. I’d say these should last the test of time, regardless of how much you use them. You’ll also notice that you can control your phone via the panel on the side of the headphones, allowing you to answer calls using the built-in microphone, or simply change the volume.

Backing all of this up with up to 20 hours of playback, you get an awesome pair of cans that you can take out and about with ease. And from an aesthetics point of view, they’re gorgeous to look at.

Bottom line? Amazing to use and packed full of features.

CONCLUSION

So in conclusion, would we pay for the AUDIOMAX HB-8A Headphones. They are simply a great piece of kit, and I can’t recommend them enough. For the price you can’t really go wrong, but the Bluetooth at this price range was a real treat.

I would like to find some bad points about the headphones, but in truth I don’t think there are any. Amazing audio quality at a great price. For Audiophiles I think this is a pair of headphones that will surprise you, and for those who are new to the audio game? You can’t go wrong with these headphones, they’ll give you many years of easy listening.

Big thanks to Claybox for arranging this sample, if you want to check out their Amazon store you can here.

Bottom line? Buy them, you won’t regret it.

Smoking-Buds-1

Smokin’ Buds 2 Wireless Earbuds Review

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INTRODUCTION

Welcome to our first review EVER on a wireless in-ear headphone solution, we have reviewed many audio products but this will be a first for us. Skullcandy were kind enough to send us a few of the recently released products, so firstly a big thank you to them. Now let us start this review off by saying what awesome products we have had in the past, products like the Skullcandy Strums and the Skullcandy Grinds. Those products exceeded my expectations, but the Skullcandy Smoking Buds are an entirely different product range, in fact they are so special they don’t require any cables to connect to your phone.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • BLUETOOTH WIRELESS

    Whether you’re walking down the street or gaming on the couch, Bluetooth functionality makes it possible to take your audio anywhere you go. Wireless freedom also means no tangling cords and makes for easy storage when you’re done listening.

  • 6-HOUR BATTERY LIFE

    Enjoy the comfort and sound of your earbuds for a full 6 hours, without having to worry about recharging. Carefree listening is yours wherever you choose to take your soundtrack.

  • REMOVABLE FLEX-COLLAR

    Unlike other bulky and stiff products on the market, this low-profile collar is made of moldable plastic that gently hugs your neck, and can be removed entirely if you prefer. Use the notches in the collar or the provided “S” clip to adjust for the perfect fit or keep cables secure in place.

  • ONBOARD MIC/REMOTE

    Take calls and navigate your playlists with the easily located microphone and remote just under the left earbud. Use the + and – buttons to adjust volume or switch up music tracks. Press the middle button to answer/end calls or play/pause the music.

  • OFF-AXIS TECHNOLOGY

    No ear canal is a perfect circle, so why should your buds be? The Smokin’ Buds 2 feature an angled and oval-shaped nozzle that aligns better with the natural shape of the ear, improving comfort and noise isolation.

  • SUPREME SOUND

    Experience attacking bass, crisp vocals and precision highs, so you can hear your music with the highest quality possible.

CLOSER LOOK

Upon removing the Smoking Buds 2 “wireless” from the packaging you’ll notice something very interesting, wires are a thing of the past with the Skullcandy Flex Collar which is designed to be lightweight and sit closely to your neck avoiding any annoyance with those pesky cables. I actually really liked their take on how to make in-ear headphones usable with a wireless design, you can also adjust it to be lighter by removing this part of the headphones entirely (although I really liked it without following this step).

Out of the box you can see the charging port located at the bottom and the nice Skullcandy branding Please note you can basically remove everything that is white in the following picture as explained above, although it is quite tricky to put everything back together so I would consider keeping it this way. Not to mention the cables will be more prone to damage without this additional part to the headphones.

Personally, I think that Skullcandy have created something that looks really cool, but not only does it look like something out of the space age – it feels incredible to wear. I’m usually not a fan of in-ear headphones, mainly because I hate the cables and accidently ripping headphones out whilst doing sporty activities or taking a bag on and off. The Plantronics Backbeat Sense I reviewed surpassed my expectations because of the weight, and I think the Smoking Bud’s 2 Wireless are the counterpart to the over ear headphones I felt so strongly about.

And lastly the buds themselves, which are seriously comfortable. When I reviewed the Skullcandy Strum headphones a while back I was really impressed with the quality of the actual buds and how they feel inside your ear, and the Smoking Buds follow a similar path when it comes to providing exceptional comfort to the user. All of these things really do add up and what we are left with is a sublime product in terms of “design” but I’m sure you are all dying to hear what my thoughts of the sound quality are.

PERFORMANCE AND TESTING

My favourite part of the review, I get to listen to music for hours on end and try to compare the sound to other products on the market. Skullcandy claims that the Smoking Buds offer “Experience attacking bass” and “Crisp vocals”, which I hope is the case. Now with cheaper headphones usually the audio quality actually becomes very flat and dull, so we look for audio that is rich, almost warm. For those that listen to audio across a range of platforms you’ll know what I mean by this. Lastly, we want audio that doesn’t feel overwhelming, bass that is subtle yet lifts the vocals into existence.

So do the Smoking Buds offer meet any of my criteria? They are definitely rich, bringing songs to life which is a rare thing in the headphone industry. However, these headphones definitely run an equaliser to balance the audio out then tweak the bass to be a little on the edge for me. I’m a bass junky, but I did feel slightly overwhelmed using the product for a long period of time. And this extra bass really brings down the overall crispness of the treble, my conclusion is a little less bass would be perfect, balancing out the audio and letting the drivers work on a little more sharpness. In regards to the bass? I think these are probably the most bass heavy in-ear headphones I’ve reviewed thus far, making it a nice treat – but I don’t know if everyone will enjoy it, you have been warned – Skullcandy definitely delivered on the bass promise.

However with this said they are by no means bad, in fact I think that if you love bass? These are going to rock your world, but if you prefer cleaner more subtle audio you might want to consider another pair of headphones. But the Smoking Buds 2 “Wireless” are a fantastic little set of headphones which also produce zero distortion (I even ran these through some of the most crazy songs I could find). Now whilst I seem to suggest them far too much in my reviews, the CX300’s from Sennheiser set the perfect example of perfect audio with an affordable price tag, if you fancy yourself as more of a classical / folk music listener the Buds might not be for you.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the day the Smoking Buds 2 set you back a massive £44.99 on Amazon, which is a large investment. Now the comfort was the first thing I really loved about this product, they feel light but secure which makes them ideal for using in sports or those days you don’t want wires in the way. The audio was impeccable, really only let down by the overwhelming bass, albeit some people will enjoy this incredible bass potential so this isn’t a negative about the product. Other features? A six-hour battery life plus handy controls create a very usable product on a day to day basis.

You can purchase the Smokin Buds 2 Wireless from Amazon, alternatively on the Skullcandy store.

skullcandy-uproar-7

SKULLCANDY UPROAR WIRELESS HEADSET REVIEW

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INTRODUCTION

Welcome to a review on a relatively new and incredibly well-priced pair of headphones from Skullcandy, today we will be taking a look at the Skullcandy Uproar Wireless headphones. With Bluetooth being such a big trend I have noticed more and more companies creating products that are aimed at those who hate wires and personally I really dislike wired headphones after using a good set of Bluetooth headphones.

SPECIFICATIONS

BLUETOOTH WIRELESS
Whether you’re walking down the street or gaming on the couch, Bluetooth functionality makes it possible to take your audio anywhere you go.
10-HOUR BATTERY LIFE
Enjoy the comfort and sound of your headphones for a full 10 hours, without having to worry about recharging. Carefree listening is yours wherever you choose to take your soundtrack.
ONBOARD MIC/REMOTE
Take calls and navigate your playlists with the built in microphone and easy-to-access buttons on the ear cup. Use the + and – buttons to adjust volume, change songs and hit the circle button to take answer/end calls or play/pause the music.

CLOSER LOOK

Once you get the Uproar wireless out of the box, you’ll be greeted by a pair of headphones that feels like it fits in the price range chosen for it. Made entirely from plastic with an adjustable headband you should probably use these with a little bit of caution, whilst most headphones are made from these materials I can speak from experience that plastic bands are the easiest of them all to break. Which is surprising, because the Skullcandy Grinds featured a metal headband making them super sturdy.

On one side of the headphones you’ll see the TapTech remote which allows you to skip tracks, change the volume, pause music and answer calls all without getting your phone out of your pocket. The headphones also feature a built-in microphone, and very soft ear cups.

PERFORMANCE AND TESTING

My favourite part of the review, I get to listen to music for hours on end and try to compare the sound to other products on the market. Skullcandy claims that the Smoking Buds offer “Experience attacking bass” and “Crisp vocals”, which I hope is the case. Now with cheaper headphones usually the audio quality actually becomes very flat and dull, so we look for audio that is rich, almost warm. For those that listen to audio across a range of platforms, you’ll know what I mean by this. Lastly, we want audio that doesn’t feel overwhelming, bass that is subtle yet lifts the vocals into existence.

Now the uproar wireless looks and feels very simple, so the audio should be something similar? Well in Skullcandy fashion they have yet again out done themselves. For £30 in the UK, these headphones are some of the cheapest Bluetooth headphones on the market, but the sound doesn’t pull any punches. For those that love bass, the Uproar will impress you. Whilst punchy bass is part of the symphony, we really want a lot more to our headphones, so what about the other frequencies? Well, the high end compliments the punchy bass line, but does feel a little drowned out. The mid range also brings the track into existence, but it is very clear that the bass is overwhelming on most of the tracks I tested.
As I’ve said about a few Skullcandy products, the performance is excellent and delivers crisp tones that are backed up by an intense bass line. Whilst this might not be to everyone’s taste, I think the target market will really enjoy the product. And for those that love bass, you’ll love these headphones.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the day Uproar Wireless headphones set you back a modest £30 which puts them in the budget sector market. With enough pinch on the headphones to ensure a good grip on your head without feeling tight, and the cups themselves feel good on a day to day basis. Without wires the product has already paved the way for a good review, providing ten hours of battery life and easy listening the Uproar headphones are great for the price. My one dislike with the product was actually the lack of a 3.5mm cable to use the product if the battery runs out. Other than that? These headphones produce audio that will appeal to bass junkies and aesthetics which will make people envious of your new pair of cans.
The good?
– Wireless, 10-hour battery life.
– Easy to use and control.
– Great audio (a little on the bass junky side).
The bad?
– No 3.5mm cable.

feartured

Plantronics Backbeat Sense Review

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INTRODUCTION

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Plantronics Backbeat sense Bluetooth headphones, a combination of style and function we’ll see if they’re really worth the price tag. Plantronics is a company that is quite well known for creating audio products, and the Backbeat sense have clearly been aimed at those seeking a lightweight alternative to heavy headsets. We have included a quick unboxing for you to watch, or you can scroll down to see our thoughts on the product:

SPECIFICATIONS

Richly detailed audio
Lightweight comfort
Automatic pause/play
Non-stop music for up to 18 hours
Stream up to 100 m/330 ft
Multiple Bluetooth connections
Hear your surroundings
Whispered status alerts
Ready for travel
Locate lost headphones

PERFORMANCE AND TESTING

Testing the performance of these headphones was actually enjoyable, being a very lightweight pair of headphones I was expecting a trade off when it came to the audio quality. With a closed cup design, the sound can reverberate a lot better, giving bass depth, but with the Backbeat sense headphones you still get a huge amount of bass even though they are basically an open cup design, meaning the cups sit flat against your head. Whilst this might not seem like a big deal, the acoustics can greatly change based on the size of the headphone cup.

Now the clarity and general tones that the headphones produced was quite remarkable, although the size is somewhat lacking they can still provide incredible audio. For the size they have the volume to back themselves up, running almost distortion free into the higher end of the volume scale. Testing these on a variety of genres was a pleasant experience, with the vocals being clean and not drowning out songs with instrumentals you’ll be really happy to know these headphones actually work well no matter the audio source. Unlike some more expensive brands that use some form of EQ, I didn’t get the feeling an EQ was trying to compensate for poor build quality.

I would say one of my biggest dislikes with the headphones was the sound could often be ruined by loud ambient scenarios, but in quieter places these cans really do shine. With the clean and almost rich tones that are produced the headphones don’t feel horrible to use for long periods of time, which can often be a hindrance on some products that use heavily tweaked EQ’s to make them sharper and more bassy. So overall? An incredible audio experience. Considering the size I don’t think they could get much better, and give clarity on the go which is a nice change from the larger products I usually review.

USABILITY AND DESIGN

Moving on from the performance we wanted to talk about the usability and design of the product, this is everything from comfort to functionality. These wireless headphones are powered by Bluetooth, which is the industry standard for creating products that don’t require annoying cables! When you combine this fact with the lightness of the product, these become one of the most wearable pairs of headphones I’ve ever tested. Aesthetically they really are a product that should belong in a fashion show, they look impeccable in every aspect.

The band on the headphones is constructed from stainless steel which makes them very sturdy, and further down the band is plastic to keep the headphone cups attached to the band. Whilst I pray for a company to one day make a pair of headphones entirely out of metal, these do feel very sturdy even though they’re incredibly light and with the included carry case they’ll stand the test of time. These might actually be one of the best pairs of headphones for traveling you can currently buy, with up to eighteen hours of battery life you’ll be fine for those long plane journeys and you can use the optional 3.5mm cable if the battery runs out.

On the headphones are all the controls you need to manage your music without actually using your phone, from volume to skipping tracks, everything is on the headphones making these a brilliant example of how to make a product seamless. There is even a pressure sensor so the headphones can pause your music when you take them away from your head, now if that is not great design I don’t know what is!

Did I also forget to mention how comfortable the actual cups are? The cups simply feel so nice on your ears, it actually makes me a little bit annoyed at larger headphones that don’t feel this good. And because of the materials used there isn’t any headphone pinch which you can sometimes find on heavier more bulky headphones that attempt to noise cancel without having to raise the volume.

CONCLUSION

So after all of our testing, what would be our final opinion on the Backbeat sense? Well. I think this is a product that really sets the tone for what companies should be doing in the headphone market. The design is simply stunning, and Plantronics have clearly put the time into creating a product that works so well you’ll often wonder why more companies don’t include all of the little features you can find in the Backbeat sense.

And the performance of these headphones is beyond words, bass that isn’t overwhelming, and clean rich highs that enthrall the soul. Generally the full package is what makes these headphones, if the design was lacking I would expect a lower price but with all the added features and the high quality carry case? I would happily recommend this product.

Bottom line? Impeccable in every aspect if you don’t require closed cup headphones and a heavy bass line.

1

Peak Design Range Review

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INTRODUCTION

Welcome to another review from Plexus Hub, and today we’ll be taking a look at something that we have wanted to review for such a long time. In fact, it is more than one thing. Peak Design is a company that makes some incredible photographic products that are really really cool, and we got sent a few pieces from their arsenal to review. They create products that make the synergy between a photographer and equipment a little better, from mounting the equipment to storage. So it is no surprise that today we’ll be taking a look at two camera straps and two mounting solutions that make using your camera that little bit easier. Here is a great video from Peak Design to better describe the functionality of their products before we jump into the review:

Firstly let me explain how all of the technology works and some of the things you’ll see in common with all of the Peak Design products. Now the mounting mechanisms usually involve small peg that threads around to create a tight grip, then you lock it into the adjoining product from peak design, making most of their products semi-modular and easy to swap around. And all of the mounting mechanisms can support a variety of mounts for different sized products (like the go pro mounts).

With that out of the way, I wanted to express how insanely awesome Peak Design products can be. For most of our testing we rocked the Clutch camera strap on the spare studio camera, and then the slide camera strap for our main point and click. We actually ended up with enough gear to mount all of our camera equipment straight onto the slide camera strap including our second camera, pretty cool right?

CLOSER LOOK

Taking a closer look at the products can give you a better idea of what you are buying, and helps us explain a few things. Firstly remember we are taking a look at several products at the same time, mainly because Peak Design is supposed to be modular so we want to see how well they all work together. The clutch camera strap was one of the first things we got out and tested, and you can see how a small clasp is used to attach one side of the strap to the camera, we really liked this and the standard bottom mount using an Allen key. We also think the strap looks fantastic and takes seconds to put on, which is great when you are using lots of equipment.

Next up is the Slide camera strap which I’ve actually being using as my replacement main camera strap because I think it is fantastic. The idea of the mounting system allows you to either use the camera with the strap mounted on the top two corners, or with one of the sides mounted to the bottom. Which might seem odd, but it enables your camera to rest gently to your side if you are carrying lots of equipment. And remember, you could mount additional products onto the slide camera strap using the mounting kits, see what I was saying about modular design?

And finally the Go pro mount and Standard mount, these are designed to enable you to quickly snap your gear on and off when you need it. Quite simply the red button releases the spring loaded mechanism which keeps your camera from falling off, and you just tighten it up onto whatever you want. I found these worked so well and the possibilities are endless, especially when used in tandem with a great photography bag.

CONCLUSION

These products are a fantastic purchase if you want to add a little more fun to your camera use because I found myself worrying less about getting the shot knowing my camera was always around to use, and the simplicity of the products does make it feel like you are more connected to the product. So from a design point of view? The products really are impeccable and anyone would be happy with their purchase. However I do feel the price is somewhat high, making it tough for hobbyists to justify the cost. But if you are in the market for something to ease a multiple DSLR setup, or perhaps you just like the look of the sliding camera strap, they are all fantastic products which work insanely well on by themselves and as part of a team. Don’t fear, we will be returning to touch on the individual products featured in this review at a later date in case you wanted some more details. However we really recommend the Clutch camera strap if you want something light, the Sliding camera strap is a must have for ANY pro photographer and we love the idea of the mounting systems which add ease of use to any photographers life.

You can find the full range of Peak Design products on their website, we can happily recommend everything they sell based on the superb quality of the products we received! Finally, a huge thanks to Peak Design for taking the time to send us the products!

The good?
– Just about everything is amazing about the Peak Design range, and for those who love photography? You’ll appreciate these products.
The bad?
– Quite expensive, so quite an investment for hobbyist users.

2

MiVue 658 Dash Cam Review

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INTRODUCTION

Welcome to our latest review of a gadget everyone should have. The world moves on and cars are everywhere, and protecting your car with video footage is something very few consider. However if you own an expensive car, or simply live in a country full of vehicle fraud then you’ll probably want to read on. Let me first start this review by saying why on earth would you want to spend nearly £200 on a Dash cam? Well in the UK it costs a huge amount to insure your car, and if you are in an accident you can usually say good bye to that no claims bonus you have spent years and years building up. But what if you are not at fault? Well, how do you go about proving that?

The answer is with a Dashcam. Mio produce some awesome products and I was super excited to test out the MiVue 658 Dash Cam. So much so I have been using for several months before deciding to write the review, just to ensure it didn’t have any faults. I can safely say that this is one of the best products on the market to date.

SPECIFICATIONS

2.7 Inch Touch Screen

Offers true ease of use: intuitive and user friendly

Extreme HD recording
with the latest H.264 technology for high quality videos at a smaller file size

Integrated WIFI

easily send your videos to your smartphone for back up, or share your experiences on Facebook via the MiVue app.

Safety Camera Warnings

Free safety camera data with monthly updates for the lifetime of your device, so you’ll always know where to drive extra carefully*

*Excludes France, Switzerland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia. Safety camera updates for the lifetime of your device.

GPS Tracking

automatically records your driving information, including speed, altitude, longitude, latitude and heading.

Wide Viewing Angle

140° wide-angle lens to capture every detail at critical moments

Bright F1.8 lens

This results in brighter and clearer videos, even in low light conditions.

3-Axis G-Sensor

When the G-sensor detects sudden motion, MiVue will save and lock the event recording to protect it from being deleted/overwritten. The integrated 3-axis Sensor records G-forces, which show the direction and force of accident impacts.

Rotating Mount Design

Mount is easily rotated to any desired angle for video evidence collection

Parking Mode

motion detection activates and records from a parked car with no driver present*

*Requires constant power supply accessory Smartbox, available separately.

Switch to photo mode

Use the dash cam as a camera for close-up accident evidence collection. The pictures include your GPS coordinates, so you know the exact location of what happened

Speed Alarm

offers a sound alert if you go over the speed limit

Event recording mode

Record critical moments with the Event Recording Mode. When the 3-axis G-Ssensor detects an event of sudden changes in motion, MiVue instantly saves a protected files for future analysis.

Auto power on

The MiVue™ 658 WIFI starts recording when you turn the key to start your car. You can even choose to have the device always on recording, which is possible in vehicles with constant power supplies.

MiVue Manager

Intuitive interface allows you to browse recorded videos with speed control. Records your driving directions with a 3-axis G-Sensor for post accident analysis. Combine videos and share them to social media sites like YouTube™ & Facebook®. Track your routes with the GPS receiver. Play video with tracks on Google Maps.

PERFORMANCE AND TESTING

The footage produced by the MiVue 658 Touch Dash Cam can be seen below, please note we compressed down to 720p for YouTube / Bandwith reasons. But as you can see the quality is still fantastic even in low light conditions. The footage is also usually watermarked with the time / location and speed.

HOW TO USE THE DASHCAM?

Firstly let me say, I did use the product in a variety of positions and my final opinion is the dashcam should be mounted as low down as possible. Whilst this might not give the best coverage of the road, with the wide angle lens a huge amount of the road is covered. It is also illegal in some countries to have objects high up on the windscreen, so I opted to place the MiVue 658 Touch Dash Cam on the left of the car away from the drivers side.

However, this depends on a few things, like the style of the car and what other gadgets you have. Aside from that, setup is very straight forward; simply mount the device using the suction cup and plug the charger into your 12v power socket. You can install two micro SD cards into the product which can provide a huge amount of storage, from that point though? The device is set up and will start recording.

The device is built around a touch screen which makes navigation incredibly simple, you can also take still images should you require any “evidence”.

Talking about all of this recording, what can we actually do with it? Using the application Mio have developed called the “MiVue Manager” we can browse through all of the footage and even get details on the location and speed. The most interesting data it records is actually the g-force the car experiences, which can help a lot in the eventuality you do have an accident.

One further point I wanted to make about the product in this section was about placement of the product. I did manage in another car (with a slightly less resilient interior) to route the cable around without it being obtrusive, through the pillars / roof. Whilst I would not recommend this, if you plan on a 24/7 dash cam? It might be worth seeing if you can hide the cable so you can run it around your cars interior.

CONCLUSION

It is safe to say the Mivue 658 isn’t short of any fancy features, in fact this is one of the most feature-packed products on the market that I could find. But does this make it an amazing dash cam? Well for the sake of this review I took myself back to a car accident I personally had a few months, and remembered the ordeal of insurance. The MiVue 658 is a drop in the ocean in terms of cost when compared to repairing a car if an insurance company can’t find the other driver at fault (even if it was their fault).

Should the worst happen you can simply send off the video footage of what actually happened ensuring everyone in the accident is fairly compensated, for instance if a driver crashes into you because of another driver’s actions – you have the proof even if there is no physical evidence it happened. So the product might seem expensive, but the fact it records in super HD quality and fantastically in low light conditions you will be hard pressed to find such good alternatives.

And during the entirety of this review I left out other small features that make this product complete. This particular dash cam records telemetry data that can pin point the exact direction and position of your car making it invaluable in insurance cases. The MiVue 658 Touch Dash Cam can even tell you if your car is crashed into whilst parked, and this is why I think the product is a great option for anyone thinking about purchasing a dash cam. We have tested this for several months and I can’t fault the product in any way, so I’m really happy to award Mio a 5/5 for the 658 dash cam.

cyclo-200-mounting-2

MIO CYCLO 200 REVIEW

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INTRODUCTION

Being a cyclist I rely heavily on navigation from point a to point b more so than someone in a car for a variety of reasons; with cycling its so important to be aware of the changes in the road well before they happen, this so the rider can safely be in the correct position at all times. This particular product was designed to provide navigation at the push of a button letting the rider focus on what really matters. Often when you’re cycling there will be so many more unexpected turns and odd routes to navigate. Until recently I would use my phone attached to either my handle bars or in a bag sitting on the top tube of the frame. Now, I don’t think a phone is that bad because we live in the age of 4G, and with a great variety of phone-based applications I’ve always had something to aid me in my journeys. Personally I use applications like Strava or Google maps, but the Mio cyclo 200 is an alternative to all of this that won’t require the use of an internet connection, therefore it won’t rack up large bills for those without hefty data plans. This being the first huge selling point of this product – you can use it literally anywhere in the world and it doesn’t require an internet connection.

The Cyclo 200 comes with a 3.5″ screen which has great clarity allowing the user to see the product during those long rides regardless of the time of day, although I would note the brightness will have to be turned up during those sunny days. For those who are looking for a product that works even in bad weather? The Cyclo 200 is also waterproof and packs a ten-hour battery life, which means you can have some very interesting adventures. However, if your planning on an even longer ride you can charge it via an external battery pack to extend the battery life significantly.

The first thing that really took me by surprise was a feature called “Surprise me” which automatically creates routes for you that are completely randomised! How cool is that?! Sometimes you want to just enjoy the ride and not to focus so much on the most optimal route. You can still use the product like a sat nav, inputting your destination, but for those seeking an adventure it’s a feature they will love. And as a cyclist I think variety is something that will not only make you a better rider, but keep you from trading in the bike for a pizza at home.

For those who are interested to know the Cyclo 200 is also powered by OpenStreetMaps, so it comes preinstalled with all of the cycle path routes out of the box meaning you shouldn’t be bound to the roads when other quicker routes are accessible, which is a nice feature to have. Although this won’t include every “MTB” route, all of those cycle paths and bridleways will be on the device ready to go. Something I really enjoyed straight away with the Cyclo 200 is its ability to be so easy to use, including the setup process, everything is simply amazing.

THE RIDE ITSELF

To test the product was actually quite easy and a fun experience, basically it meant getting out on the bike and racking up some miles. Whilst in the English weather this is something that can be a challenge at times I don’t mind getting a little bit wet, and with the IPX5 rating it handles a little rain just fine. Mio were kind enough to send me a mounting bracket to affix the device to the handlebars and not the stem, however along with the device you’ll find a simpler mounting kit. I decided to not use this due to having a waterproof GPS bag mounted on my bike, however in the past I’ve tried the included mounting bracket and think that it provides a firm secure grip to the GPS, however I personally like being able to store all of my cycling stuff in the same bag that the GPS lives in, this is so that I can easily take off everything at once. I’d also say as a keen 1X10 rider I like the feeling of having clean handlebars at all times, it enables me to pay attention to the road and obstacles easier, but for those without a GPS bag to put on their top tube, the included system will work perfectly and for reference this is how it looks:

Now this bracket simply cable ties onto the location you want to mount the device, but for the sake of having a nice clean setup I wanted to show you the alternative mounting mechanism that Mio create for their products, its simple and I love it.

I found this to be a much better alternative, because as mentioned before you really want your handlebars to be clean and tidy, it’s also worth noting you can change the orientation of the Cyclo 200 and other units to landscape which is a nice feature if you perhaps want to see more of whats in front of you. It’s a great alternative for those, who like me run a really short stem on their bike. Also for those with a short stem please note you’ll struggle to put the GPS on in the center of the bike and I would really recommend the additional mounting kit you can find here, I think it’s a reasonable cost for the more secure fixture.

Now the general feedback you get from the product is fantastic, it keeps track of pretty much everything going on during the ride from speed to calories used. Literally no complaints in that department. Compared to Strava it provides as much information as you need, and if you require more information regarding the riders performance in terms of cadence and BPM you’ll want to check out the 505HC review that will be published soon. However I’ve included a few screenshots of the data the product collects and how it can be used:

As you can see the product collects a huge amount of data, in comparison to Strava you literally won’t have any complaints with the device. I also really enjoyed the fact you could simply download tracks straight to the device, it makes riding so much easier. Now in case you want to actually use Strava instead of the Mioshare website to track your data, then why don’t you? Simply download the .GPX file and upload it into Strava.

On to the actual tracking, and how it navigated. I had no problems with the unit except for it being a little slow to recalculate at times, but this was alleviated by checking the map and making manual adjustments. In fact with the turn by turn feature the sat nav felt easy to use in terms of finding my way around, but if you want to get a better look of the route you can simply zoom out on the map which is nice if you plan on taking a detour. For the testing of this product, I went on several rides using the “Surprise me” feature and it really did plan out some fantastic adventures that took me by surprise, I discovered some amazing routes that I’ll definitely be riding again.

In terms of point A to point B riding it handled everything well and I found it easy to input new locations, the routes seemed to be the fastest to ride however it does struggle sometimes, for instance when you’re going down a one way street but on a cycling path it will tell you to turn around, but this isn’t really a problem with the GPS. Now when you take a step back and look at the product, it does everything a GPS unit should do and a little more.

CONCLUSION

This has been one of the most exciting products to test for me personally because it has taken me on some interesting adventures, allowing me to explore my local area and realising just how much of it I have not seen before. Now this is all down to this fantastic little GPS, they could have simply not included the “Suprise me” feature but I think it’s what makes this one of the best products you can own for your bike. Overall this product has been interesting to review, it has given me an insight into what an actual cycling GPS is like, especially in comparison to my usual setup. However with this said, is it better than a phone armed with a 4G connection and Strava? Well, £150 buys you the Cyclo 200, but at Plexus we’ve reviewed phones that cost £80 and offer 4G capability coupled with a 5″ IPS screen. So basically, would you rather spend a little extra on data and use an application like Strava, or spend the £150 on the Cyclo 200? I think I’d choose the Cyclo 200, it feels like a product that will outlast a phone in every aspect, from the updateable OpenStreetMaps to the rugged design of the product. However there will always be those who would rather a mobile phone because of the simplicity, the Cyclo 200 doesn’t offer the same integration that a mobile running Strava can, for instance loading your tracks, your data, wirelessly without having to connect it to a computer but I didn’t feel it was big chore due to the brilliant design of the desktop program.

Bottom line: It provides you with all the real-time data and information on your ride that you could need. It adds a huge amount of fun to your adventures, mixing up your bike rides and helping you explore places you would have never seen otherwise. Overall I can’t fault the product, everything works perfectly, and I’m incredibly happy to recommend this product at Plexushub because it simply redefines how much fun riding your bike can really be. In regards to awards? This product hands down wins the editors choice, and a full 5-star rating.

Thanks Mio for sending me this product to review, it’s been a pleasure.

Check out all of the Mio products on their website: http://eu.mio.com/en_gb/

final

Cryorig R1 Ultimate Review

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INTRODUCTION

Today we are going to take a look at a company that seems to have appeared out of thin air with a range of high-performance cooling products. With a focus around design, innovation and eye-catching aesthetics they are a company that you should seriously consider for your next cooling purchase. We received the flagship model from their impressive range of coolers, the R1 ultimate. For those who already know Cryorig, you will know this is the successor to the popular R1 universal. However unlike its little brother, the R1 Ultimate doesn’t seem as friendly. Performance is what the R1 Ultimate screams when you unbox it, with bigger fans and a meaner design this isn’t a cooler you want to mess with. With an all black design, it really stands out from other products on the market, especially with the subtle contrast between silver black and grey.

Straight away I wanted to talk about the first and only dislike I had with the R1 Ultimate. It looks incredible, but the glossy shrouds that surround the product are magnets for dust. But this is easily solved with intake filters and a decent case. It is surprising though, because the other products from Cryorig don’t feature much gloss, and with the current price tag of roughly £70 I would expect matte plastic. However, this was like I said the only thing I personally disliked about the product. Mounting fans and using the product is incredibly straight forward and something few companies have ever achieved. This already puts them beside our in-house favorite Noctua, and other premium cooling brands. Cryorig has appeared out of thin air, but they have taken no short cuts in the design of their products, which I think is fantastic.

Cryorig have set out to make this product sleek and stealthy, incorporating a pair of XF140mm fans which feature anti-vibration dampers out of the box. According to the specifications, these produce around 41dBA. The actual cooler has a few very unique design features: First up for discussion is the “Jet Fin Acceleration System”. If you take a close look at the fins you’ll notice cooler is divided into two sections which both feature different sized fins. Apparently, these help to supercharge the exhaust air speed by compressing the air.

They also use a method of soldering called “DirectCompress” which leads to an increase in contact surface between the heatpipes and heatsink fins. Whilst this might sound like a marketing gimmick, all of the information is on the Cryorig website and it is very interesting to read. I’ve got to hand it to Cryorig at this point, they have really taken the time to research how to make their products the best they can be.

Overall I was taken back by the immense build quality, gorgeous aesthetics and the insane size of the cooler. But whilst this is a gigantic cooler, the heatpipe alignment is designed to allow each heatpipe to work the best it can. Again going back to the point that Cryorig, as a company, are creating seriously well-researched products.

INSTALLATION AND USAGE

Installation is straight forward, just follow the included instructions and use the alcohol pad to clean any thermal paste on your CPU then mount the device using the extra long screwdriver included in the box. We don’t want to ramble into the small details here, but we can say the installation was something that well researched and simplified to provide a nice experience. For those who have ever mounted a cooler this big you’ll know what a nightmare some products can be, but the R1 Ultimate was one of the simplest.

We keep a spare mATX board knocking around just for photography, and installing coolers on. As you can see the R1 Ultimate is huge and at Plexus hub we have only ever reviewed one other cooler that comes close to the R1 ultimate, the Noctua D15. In terms of installation, and sheer size the two are very comparable. You’ll also notice with the R1 Ultimate you have no chance of using any high profile memory and the use of low profile ram is the only choice. So please remember before ordering this cooler that you will have to use low profile memory when running the additional fan.

PERFORMANCE AND TESTING

CPU: Intel G3258 @ 4ghz – 1.275v
Memory: Corsair Dominator 1866mhz
Graphics: GTX 690
Cooler: Noctua C14S (Top Down)
Thermal Paste: Noctua NT-H1
PSU: Corsair AX860i

For our test setup we decided to start off with the G3258 processor, we chose it because we wanted to find a chip that would produce a decent amount of heat and stress the coolers. The G3258 is running at 1.275v at 4ghz. All of the testing was also done in an open air environment to ensure we get consistent results, benching is usually for an hour or so until the ambient temperature levels off to give a more accurate reading. Please note our testing was done with the two included fans, although we removed at a later stage due to problems getting it to fit in the Parvum R1.0.

Performance wise? This cooler is a monster. At first, I was wondering if all the marketing talk was true, but the quality does show. Weighing in at nearly the same price of a D15, I find it hard to not recommend the R1 Ultimate at this point. In fact, I enjoyed the cooler so much I was pushing voltages through my processor that I wouldn’t attempt on any other cooler to date. We managed to push our G3258 to around 4.5ghz before we started to reach the limitations of the chip. However at the voltages (1.375v – 1.4v) the R1 Ultimate wasn’t willing to back down.

We think this cooler makes for an excellent choice when considering a cooler that can handle a little extra heat. We also found the cooler didn’t produce any excess in noise when handling the higher temperatures of an overclocked processor. If I had one to spare, I would love to benchmark this cooler on an 8350 because I think it would be ice cold to the touch.

CONCLUSION

Cryorig are a new company for me to have reviewed a product from personally, and I really get the impression they sat down and put thought into their products. Quite a few companies will create a product just because they can, but Cryorig have taken the time to research and design a monolithic beast. In fact this cooler is so big you’ll be lucky if you can squeeze it into most cases. For our testing we even had to swap out our ram and install some low profile cooler ram for the benchmarking, which is a first at Plexus Hub.

I think my favorite part of the cooler was how nice it looks in our pre release Parvum R1.0 which you can see more of at a later date. Generally speaking the trend at the moment is to attempt to colour match builds, and the R1 ultimate fits into all of the possible colours I can think of. Making it hands down one of the most gorgeous coolers we have reviewed.

Bottom line? This cooler brings incredible cooling performance to the table. Although it is a beast and you might struggle to install this in a lot of systems. If you are struggling with the memory clearance issues we recommend installing the front fan at the rear of the case behind the cooler or dropping one of the fans altogether. We do feel the price is perfect, and the actual product is perfect.

Big thanks to Cryorig for sending this in for review!

AMK5000S1

AMK5000S REVIEW

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INTRODUCTION

Today we will be taking a quick look at the AMK5000S action camera, which is currently on sale for $69! Obviously in the world of action cameras it is hard to find one that is a good balance between quality and price. With GoPro action cameras being regarded as the best of the best, can this incredibly cheap action camera really be any good for the money? Well let me first start this review by saying, absolutely. The AMK5000S features a 1080p camera at 30fps, and can also record in 720p at 60fps. And unlike some other products on the market you can even control this via your phone to take pictures, and record footage. With the AMK5000s you even get all the accessories out of the box needed to film in a variety of situations. Making this not only an impressive product, but a versatile product.

Buying Link: www.aliexpress.com/store/group/5000S-Camera/1058133_253923479.html
Official Website: www.amkov.com

SPECIFICATIONS

The Sports HD Mini Action Camera captures all of your breath-taking moments in full 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. Armed with 170 degree wide-angle lens, 20.0 megapixels, waterproof encasing, and proprietary image stabilization software, the mini action camera delivers crystal-clear images in all situations. WiFi Control range of AMK5000s is 10-15m, ensuring timely transmission of data. Explore the world in a variety of ways:
● Attach the car mount and use the camera to record your road trips
● IP68 waterproof case allows you to take the camera underwater to capture
unforgettable getaways in the ocean
● Clip on the bike mount and track your journey through all terrains and weather
● Weighing at less than 1 pound, the action camera is an ultra portable solution to capturing every single moment life has to offer

Main Features:
● Sunplus 6330M Chipset
● WiFi remote control, support Android and iOS systerm
20MP CMOS sensor for better image capture and quality
● Noise remova, more clear images at night
● 4X digital zoom keeps you close to the action
● Sports design, stylish and matches your GoPro accessories
● Ultra compact and lightweight design
● IP68 waterproof up to 30m for capturing water action
● Multiple video formats: 1080P, 720P and WVGA
● Multiple photo modes: Single shot and Snapper
● Video recording while charging
TV-OUT function for aerial videos
● Crystal clear HDMI output and Motion Detection
● SD card up to 32GB (not included)
● Package includes waterproof case, helmet mount, bike mount and more
● Perfect for: Outdoor sports, extreme sports, water sports, home security, car DVR, diving, etc.

AMK5000S5AMK5000S6AMK5000S7

TEST FOOTAGE (720P)



TEST FOOTAGE (1080P)


CONCLUSION

With a product like the AMK5000S the proof is really in the footage it recorded, which you can watch above on our Youtube. We feel that for the money you really can’t go wrong, especially in comparison to more expensive products. You get quite a few additional accessories which allow for the AMK5000S to be mounted just about anywhere. The battery life seems equally good, offering several hours of recording with additional batteries being inexpensive. Quite simply this is one fantastic piece of kit, and I really enjoyed testing it! Don’t forget to checkout that test footage if you are still unsure on purchasing this product!

The bottom line really is, you can’t go wrong with this product! 

Buying Link: www.aliexpress.com/store/group/5000S-Camera/1058133_253923479.html
Official Website: www.amkov.com