Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo review Pt2

This post forms part of a three post review Hands on | Part 1 | Part 2

Evening,

As promised in Part one this is part two of the Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo review. This part will talk about the hardware, how it performs to similarly priced devices and the phones strengths and any physical weaknesses that we may find.

Now it's here I remind you this is a budget handset with only a few recently released equals, three of those being the EE/Huawei Kestral/P6 and the Motorola Moto E and Moto G LTE. with budget 4g devices being in high demand these days it's good to see a fair few available from multiple manufacturers.

Many budget phones are a pure plastic affair, with many being a bit poor on the build quality side of things, but here the build quality looks and feels great compared to other similar priced devices. The phone has a more premium feel thanks to a metal casing, but that's not where the goodness ends. The NFC enabled back cover has some clever tricks under it's sleeve, housed under the rear casing are two little retaining clips which hold both the memory and SIM cards safely in place, to prevent these coming out or becoming damaged if the phone flexes too much, which in this case won't happen as much thanks to the metal side housing.

The metal side casing houses the headphone jack, Micro USB port at the top, and on the sides a volume rocker and a lock/power button, while it looks good here the USB Port annoys me as it's not angled to protect the port and prevent the user from putting the charger in the wrong way. But we all use common sense here, right?

The Smart 4 Turbo's 4.5inch lcd display boasts a low, but acceptable resolution of 480 x 854 pixels with a 218 pixel per inch density, it boasts good colours, with very acceptable readability in sunlight.

The touch panel is a standard panel with no apparent tempering or oleophobic (anti fingerprint) coating. Sadly the handset went through an ultimate strength test, the device suffered a fall onto the pavement as a result of me falling flat on the ground on a wonky pavement, causing the panel to crack, it fell from my hand at around 30 centimetres away from the ground, I feel here Vodafone and Yulong should have have used a composite plastic/fibre glass panel as used on many lower end LG's and Alcatel devices to toughen up the glass, or bundle a screen protector into the box to help prevent panel damage.

The Smart 4 Turbo has a storage of 4 gigabytes and while perfectly usable in day to day situation it's not a huge amount and means many people will require a MicroSD card as well. It'll make a worthwhile improvement in the long run especially at the low price of removable storage these days!. The Smart 4 Turbo's 1Gb of RAM is perfectly paired with the Qualcomm MSM8926 Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU making multitasking a breeze, more intensive applications seem to run without any problems or complaints. Add in the Adreno 305 Graphics processor and it a silky smooth, butter like user experience and a perfect entry level kick into perfectly acceptable fast paced gaming on Android.

Battery life is VERY Impressive, and I genuinely wish more expensive devices held up this well, I was testing it this weekend just gone in predominately 4G areas, Chessington, Surbiton and Kingston Upon Thames. The 1880 mAH battery lasted over a day with calls, 4g YouTube for the kids, app downloads and syncing photos to my computer at the hotel via dropbox It was taken off charge at 6:40AM and put back on charge at 11:40 with 9% left in the battery, leaving me confident it would keep going well into the following day. This was a huge win for the device in my eyes as it holds up as well as higher end devices. The charger is a a 1000mA device, which does what it says on the tin!

Now I did do a lot of speed tests for comparative purposes and also to make sure I was not seeing any erroneous results.
4G seems to be very dependant on the area still as the Upload speeds were vastly better than Download speeds with the odd exception in Kingston Upon Thames as shown on my left. However as with all speed tests you do need to take them with a pinch of salt as they are not the most accurate, especially when many connections could be throttled by the servers or websites you're visiting or the content you wish to stream.


Now the camera is a 5MP sensor with Autofocus, While it's not the latest and greatest it does work fairly well as seen by this sample image taken in low light. I only have one complaint here and that's the how the camera's interface lags at times for next to no reasons, but images are more than acceptable.

The camera can also record in HD 720p, SD 480p and 640*480 resolutions,
Below are some test clips, filmed on the Luton and Dunstable Busway as pre-emptive test due to the items in the fore and background and the flattish nature of the track, despite my wobbly camera work. In my opinions it's good for small videos and quick YouTube videos, but in the right light and conditions it'll do a good job for vlogs.

480P video test clip


HD720p Video Test Clip


NFC works well, it had a few wobbles on advertisements on the trains but 9 times out of 10 were great. I didn't test the pay by tap options as I would prefer to rack charges to a review unit, but I've been told it would work with contactless payment, including the tube's oyster system. file sharing via NFC and Bluetooth also work great too. I also tested it with a friends NFC embedded Nokia BH-121. It paired perfectly worked well.
On top of this Bluetooth worked great, audio and voice quality were great and file transfers worked well. I tested it with both my Nokia BH-214 and Plantronics discovery 957 and also my friends BH-121 as mentioned above. No complaints from me.

Ringtones and vibrate functions were clear, loud and vibrate was strong, this alone is enough for many end users.

Now for the Benchmarks. I'm not sure how good these are compared to some phones but I assume they are better than many. Programs used were Quadrant Standard, AnTuTu Benchmark and Vellamo.


Starting with Vellamo beta,
It seems to think the phone is at the lower end of the spectrum which is expected from a beta benchmarking tool still in testing with multi core SOC's, due to the beta it's lower than many devices but it holds up well.

In this instance we're beating the MotoG in many cases and some considerably older but more expensive phones are beating us, while I feel it's not the best test I'd rather show you truthfully!


















Next We go to Quantum Standard, It's again at the lower end of the spectrum but still better than could be expected for similar devices. Beating the HTC One X is a darned good achievement for a budget phone. I like that a lot, Well done Yulong and Vodafone!

Our AnTuTu Benchmark tests shows very confident results and holds up well to quite a few more expensive, midrange devices.


The benchmarks are very good from how I understand these tests.
My conclusion is the Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo is a well thought out 4G phone, with a good design, feel and a perfect user interface, at a price point that to me is still a huge bargain, It's performance may not be as fast as the latest and greatest devices but considering it's stellar battery life, 4g functionality and build quality I would easily recommend this as a daily driver phone for a wide variety of people. While the touch panel broke on me in a fall I'm certain it's not going to happen to everyone. If you would like to try a demo handset pop into your local Vodafone store, I know the new Dunstable store has some for you to try out, and many stores are getting them over the next week or two.

My final question....

Is this worth your money?

I would have to say depending on your needs yes, yes, YES! It's a decently thought out phone, good connectivity, and not an all plastic design. At £26.50 a month or £135 prepaid it's well worth a punt in my opinion.

Paul

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo Review Pt1



This post forms part of a three post review Hands on | Part 1 | Part 2

Over the last two weeks I've been putting one of the newest handsets from Vodafone, the Smart 4 Turbo through it's paces.

As there will be a lot to cover this review will be a two part affair, part one focusing on the phone, it's software and ease of use from day to day use and the main question on my mind, is it worth the £135 price tag.
With part two will focus on the hardware including the battery, screen, optics, 4g vs 3g speed tests, device strengths and weakness and benchmarks

The phone itself is very similar in size to the Samsung galaxy s2, but feels a a lot better in the hand, while it's the usual plastic back we're getting used to with Vodafone devices in the past but with a hugely premium feel for the market it's aimed at. The device have very good flexibility while in the pocket and does not seem to creak when tested, on top of this the rear of the case also holds the SD and Sim cards safely in position to help prevent removal by flex as they are not lockable. It feels great in the hand with a sturdy feel and well suited to both the larger and daintiest of hands, much to the joy of my children who've loved playing games on it.

Software wise the Smart 4 and the smart 4 turbo are both rocking the latest version of Android, similarly to the Moto G lte, Similarly they've left it as a stock setup, while it does have Vodafone services installed on the device they are non intrusive and easily disabled in settings and/or removed from the main home screens, while I know these are not to everyone's tastes and I'm not overly keen on them but in this instance they are finally utilising new tools inside these to help find wifi hotspots and tell you batter life and storage space in handy indicators.

Additionally, the phone comes with no demos on the device, something of a refreshing thing to see, especially as these trials are usually 30 second limited things with little value to many so with this, and in many cases non-installable without rooting and voiding your warranty in the process so it's great to see. Thanks Vodafone for a double barrelled win.

I've used the phone as a parent and blogger rather than a geek here on this side of the review to provide a real world view of the device so it's had the usual application I use day in day out installed being YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Molome, with Google Calendar, G+ and Yahoo Email for good measure. There were some glitches I will mention soon, just in case it's an isolated issue with the firmware.

For you music lover you get Google Play Music bundled in and while I prefer Winamp Pro for it's graphic equalizer and extra audio tools bundled in it seemed to match audio quality with Google Play Music here. Audio playback was good with little distortion and good overall sounds. But I seriously would consider not using the the built in headphones, they look awful and identical with the ones bundled with many cheaper (£10) phones I've used in the past. I can't say how good the online side of Play Music is as it requires purchase and I felt it was not relevant to the review in itself at this point.

Day to day usage of the phone was fantastic with decent voice quality, a decent quality camera, fast processors and memory for multitasking and games. add the phones internet and radio capabilities (2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 3.75 and 4G) and you have an impressive device I will probably be purchasing in September and happily use it as a daily driver phone as long as Vodafone tweak one or two things on the device in the near future you'll have a perfect starter 4g phone rivalling the MotoG.

There are two issues I run into with the phone but not major enough to discourage purchase, one of them has since stopped so I'm assuming it was an issue with Google's side of things more than the devices software.

Instagram would take an image and store it on the phone itself but it uploads a black image with the filter you added. Reinstalling or updating did not fix this. I've reported it so I hope it'll be fixed soon. But until fixed it those snap happy Instagrammers may feel left out. Here I tell them to try Molome!
The more concerning glitch/setting was from the Google Play Store. By default I always set auto updates via wifi only so not to gobble data from my plan and also reduced the risk of app corruption while out and about but in the first few days the Google Play store ignored this setting and tried updating anywhere it could. This is concerning as many contracts are given capped data allowances which could be gobbled with no warning. It's not good to receive a scary data bill.

As with all things glitch related I've contacted Vodafone, Instagram and attempted to reach out to Google about this so they can resolve this in the future.

For the phone's price of £135 prepaid or £26.50 on a fixed term contract it's an absolute bargain. A high quality device with some solid specs for the budget market. A solid phone you know could cope with what the day has in store for you. Now while my reviews are hopefully good enough for many to make the decision to buy or not to buy I would always say go into a store and play with a demo unit. Thankfully my local store, which happens to be the spanking new Dunstable store has demonstrator models so you can try it and see why I like it so much!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Why is an Invasive Ultrasound Important?

Image credit: Isabelle Ultrasound : Flickr CC BY 2.0


An invasive ultrasound is rarely pleasant, but it’s often necessary to ensure a woman’s health and also to protect her against potentially harmful medical situations. If you are uncomfortable with the procedure, talk to your doctor about your concerns to ensure it is medically necessary. There are some cases where other tests can be run, but in other cases an invasive ultrasound is the only way to really understand what is going on inside your body.

This type of ultrasound gives the doctor a clear picture of any problems that might be plaguing some of your internal organs. Like any ultrasound, your medical staff will be able to see what sorts of problems or issues you are having, which gives them a chance to make a more accurate diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment. It’s a rare opportunity to take a look inside your body and identify anything that looks like it could lead to larger and more serious problems.

One of the most common reasons a woman will need an invasive ultrasound is to detect an ectopic pregnancy. This type of pregnancy is dangerous to a woman’s health because the fertilized egg will attach itself to a fallopian tube instead of settling into the uterus. This can be life-threatening, and an invasive ultrasound is required to confirm the pregnancy and prepare for the removal of that egg. These types of ultrasounds are also extremely helpful in identifying cysts, tumors, fibroids and other harmful growths that could be causing you to feel ill.

Your doctor will likely order an invasive ultrasound if a particular test comes back as inconclusive or something leads your healthcare providers to believe that further scrutiny or testing is required. Don’t focus on what will be required of you during the procedure, or any pain or discomfort you fear you will feel. Instead, try and turn your thoughts to something positive. It’s a benefit to medical science that such technology exists, and that you are able to learn so much about your body and your health from these types of procedures.

Your medical staff members are professional and well-trained. They will do whatever they can to ease your anxiety before and during the procedure, and they will explain to you exactly what is going to happen so you know what to expect. Ask any questions you might have, and keep the lines of communication open with your doctor so you’re aware of what’s happening with your body and how you can best keep yourself healthy and strong. If this type of procedure is not absolutely necessary, your doctor will find another way to treat you, however if such a procedure is ordered, gather all the information you can and prepare yourself for the medical necessity.


This post was written for I’m Well Confused by Glenn Josephik. Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC, the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Getting the most from your camera

Hi everyone.

I admit my camera really needs more love and use but whenever I experiment with the settings and options the images can really come out poor, making a camera phone from 2003 look like a professional shot. Now in many cases it's my own fault as I've not paid attention to what the camera has shown me on the screen or worse, taken it without paying attention and fluffing the entire shot up. Some of my sports day photos were notoriously poor this time and frustrating when I looked at some of the photos and they don’t look quite like I had envisioned at the time!
It only takes a fraction of a second for a perfect photo into a perfect fail. And this is where Photobox come to the rescue.

Photobox have teamed up with Sheffield-based freelance photographer Charlie Barker to offer her top tips for taking the perfect photos will useful advice and help to make the most out of both your camera and phone no matter the occasion or camera itself.
And for the more adventurous they also gave me this set of 10 tips to share with you, some of these are more complicated but can transform a photo instantly.

And the tip's don't stop there, especially as I love you all so much, I had a chat with some amazing bloggers and friends asking them to give me top secret tips on how they take the perfect photo - Thanks ladies :)


Andrea from All you need is love and Cake says, "For me not being a great photographer, the photos I like the best are totally natural ones of my little one having fun. Quite often taken on my phone, they are so much better than 'perfect' posed photos"

Carolin from Mummy Alarm adds, "Take a lot of photos, there's bound to be one that stands out when you go through them."

Maggy from Red Ted Art offers  "Take lots of shots in one go, so at least one shot is good. Try and take shots when people don't realise - more natural and avoids cheesy grin. Check background- does moving one step hide an ugly bin? Or a piece of road. Basic editing like cropping and brightening photos can do wonders. Avoid flash if you can."

 Aly From Bug Bird Bee continues "I use flash near enough all the time during the day now.I think it's important to look at different angles when taking photos.Try to get behind a subject or by the side rather than face on.Get higher or lower too can create different perspectives especially with kids.I take test shots when I arrive somewhere (the bonus of digital eh?) before I start taking actual photos.
I do use Hipstamatic app a lot but I have been using HDR on my phone too.Oh if it's a dreary day black and white never fail"

Anya from Older single mum mentions "Use HDR if it's available on your camera or phone" and PinkOddy stops the press at the last moment with "Take pictures from different angles"

Now while many of these tips are similar it shows how in some cases taking a great shot can differ from moving a few inches to the side, your mood, and even the options a camera or phone has built into it can all make huge differences to how a photo looks.

If you've got any tips you'd like to share with us, please drop them in a comment below. 

Now get out there and get snap happy!

Disclaimer - This guide was sent to me and created by Phototbox. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo - initial hands on

This post forms part of a three post review Hands on | Part 1 | Part 2
Heya

Today I get to play with a fresh new 4g device from Vodafone. The Smart 4 Turbo. Minus the racing stripes sadly. But for two weeks I'll be chatting about the device from both a budget concious users perspective and a parents perspective.



Firstly let's do the initial hands on thought.
On seeing the device I was worried the phone would be a cut corners to cost Alcatel junker, but no. They've used a new manufacturer, hugely popular in China to create a well specced device on a darned good price point, now to many specifications mean nothing but for the budget concious geek the more bang you can easily get for your buck the better. So for you to decide I've pulled the specs of GSMArena as they're listed in the best format on the GSM scene in my opinion. - Thanks Guys!


GENERAL2G NetworkGSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G NetworkHSDPA 900 / 2100
4G NetworkLTE 800 / 1800 / 2600
SIMMicro-SIM
Announced2014, Q2
StatusAvailable. Released 2014, Q2
BODYDimensions134.5 x 67.5 x 10.4 mm (5.30 x 2.66 x 0.41 in)
Weight155 g (5.47 oz)
DISPLAYTypeTFT capacitive touchscreen
Size480 x 854 pixels, 4.5 inches (~218 ppi pixel density)
MultitouchYes
SOUNDAlert typesVibration, MP3 ringtones
LoudspeakerYes
3.5mm jackYes
MEMORYCard slotmicroSD, up to 32 GB
Internal4 GB, 1 GB RAM
DATAGPRSYes
EDGEYes
SpeedHSPA+; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetoothv4.0, A2DP
NFCYes
USBmicroUSB v2.0
CAMERAPrimary5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels, LED flash
FeaturesGeo-tagging
VideoYes
SecondaryVGA
FEATURESOSAndroid OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat)
ChipsetQualcomm MSM8926 Snapdragon 400
CPUQuad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
GPUAdreno 305
SensorsAccelerometer, proximity
MessagingSMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
BrowserHTML
RadioFM
GPSYes, with A-GPS
JavaYes, via Java MIDP emulator
ColorsBlack, White
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- SNS integration
- MP3/WMA/eAAC+ player
- MP4/H.263/H.264 player
- Organizer
- Document viewer
- Photo viewer/editor
- Voice memo/dial
- Predictive text input
BATTERYLi-Ion 1880 mAh battery

While the specs are possibly low to mid range compared to some of the latest and greatest 4g devices it's a well thought through device, especially with additions like NFC and even a 3g only variant (I won't lie! Get the 4g version it's worth it) 
I won't lie I think vodafone have done a great job here on the first few hours. We live in an area where signal is hard to come by without a Sure Signal, in places where the go to Nokia 3510 can't squeeze any signal out the Smart 4 Turbo seems to pull it through, even Edge/2g seems to work better where it refuses to on my main sim! (I should say Vodafone have lent me a 4g sim to play with too.) We'll be trying the device in 2g, 3g, faux g(Hspa) and 4g LTE networks over time.

I'll let you know more about the phone over the next two weeks. Including benchmarks, gaming with the kids trying it out and a few other bits and bobs.

If you have any ideas drop them here and I'll test them out.

The Smart 4 Turbo is avaliable for £135 in Vodafone stores prepaid, and avaliable on contract with Vodafone Red 4g plans. you can get more information online or if local visit the new Vodafone Dunstable store in the Quadrant Centre to have a hands on play with the phone itself.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Remember your #PartnersToo

Morning all.

Today I'm here to chat to you about Supporting Our Partners Too, a new campaign by the miscarriage association. It's a bitter sweet post as I understand how some people need help, not the usual help but the kind when you're told you've lost a baby in miscarriage and feel lost in the mud with no escape. Now for many people we stick by our partners and try to support where we can, sometimes we don't know what to do and many feel useless or a failure, especially when you know your partner is probably feeling the same!

When the good times turn to tragedy we are usually powerless to change this and I'll admit I'm tearing up while talking about this here so rest assured it's normal for everyone!

As many who've contacted me in the past will understand miscarriage and ectopic or molar pregnancy can be one of the lowest, scary and most isolating experiences for both men and women and partners. The questions that float into your head are awful, especially ‘Why?' I'm only thankful to be able to offer my support to anyone who needs help, as for many it's extremely hard to find people who understand, who can offer support and a listening ear.

New research amongst 160 people whose partners had been through a miscarriage showed that:

Before the miscarriage the majority of partners said they felt ‘happy’, ‘excited’, ‘thrilled’ or ‘delighted’ about the pregnancy. 55% had already picked a name for their baby, over half had read a pregnancy book and a third read parenting books too.

After the loss many partners reacted with feelings of sadness (85%), grief (63%) and shock (58%). But nearly a quarter didn't share their feelings with their partner, usually for fear of upsetting her more or saying the wrong thing. Those who did share their feelings often found that it helped them both through their loss.

Also many people forget partners when Miscarriage happens, it may not be much but to be asked if your ok can make the world of difference. I promise you that.

This is why I support the amazing work of the Miscarriage Association's Partners Too Campaign to highlight the simple fact that we ALL need support in situations like these and while I can't help everyone the Association will be there to offer a shoulder to cry on and offer practical advice to those at one of the worst points anyone can experience, they can be contacted by telephone on 01924 200799

Over the course of today I'll also be here to chat with if anyone needs to. My email address is in the contact/about tab and I'll be on twitter as much as I can be too and directing help where needed the most. I only hope i can help in any way possible.

Love and Support
Paul


Sunday, 20 July 2014

A #Wishlist of epic proportions Pt1

Evening all!

Wednesday I was invited to visit Amazon's Christmas Wishlist 2014 event to try out some of the latest, greatest and most anticipated Christmas gifts this year around the world. Little did I know I would be blown away by some of the things I'd see and wish I could sneak some of them home with me at that moment.

I won't lie my attraction to tech, cycling and a few things in-between pulled me to this event like a moth to a flame, including a few burning questions I had for the team at Amazon Instant Video and got the chance to put them direct to the marketing director Russell Morris! I must say he's a proper gent who took time out to listen to a concern I have with Instant Video, to discover it was already being addressed already by his team with a fix coming very soon. It was a refreshing to see a company listen to customers in this respect especially as the issue may not be as documented as I originally thought. That said I'll be focusing on Amazon Services in a separate blogpost as to someone who's not even used a kindle the list is enormous not mentioning the recent new additions to the Prime name so want to talk about these properly.

The whole event was choc full of amazing products, despite me wanting to spend all day at with the gadget and electronic goodness it would have been unfair to do so and with everything under one roof you could easily be forgiven for losing track of time here and I must admit I did lose track of time, barely making to school run on time, thanks to some train and bus ninja skills.

I won't lie I fell in love with a many things I saw but these are the things that caught my eye and screamed BUY ME NOW!!!!!!!!! So consider these my wishlist. Oh TheJess - keep eyes peeled! I have also applied to loan some of these amazing items for review too, with this means more videos and posts - YAYS!


Seeing as the tour begins in the electronics area let's begin with the the Hercules DJControlWave.
This is a Bluetooth enabled mixing deck for the iPad, and possibly other devices, I forgot to ask. It's very solidly constructed and worked well with the bundled software once paired to my somewhat battered tablet worked well. The free software bundled with it does a good job of laying down your beats, even if it's aimed in the middle of both learners and intermediate users. However it's downside is the lack of third party app support, which concerns me that for the price it could miss out especially with the WEGO 2 at a similar price point and third party app support, I only hope Hercules consider changing this as for some it would be a deal breaker.
From a hands on perspective I'm hoping to see if we can borrow one for a fortnight to review and bung a mix or two onto youtube for you all!


Next to get me excited under the collar was the Lenovo Yoga 10 tablet, I've had my eye on this for a while and plan to save and buy one now the ipad is dying on me slowly and for ease of use an android tablet would be easier to deal with, especially when utilising my Google calendar and other useful tools which help my day to day life run that smidge smoother (stop laughing) With it's 10 inch HD screen, large storage and enormous battery life of 18 hours and multiple modes and attachments available from launch day it sounds like it could be an ideal contender to apple's offerings without the ultra high price point. It's something I'll be happy to buy in the future.




While walking through I wandered through the kitchenware display, my cake baking senses went haywire when I fell in love with discovered these cake tins from Nordic Ware came into view. While I could not bake a cake in the middle of London the weight of these and choice of elegant designs are perfect for any occasions, from birthday parties to celebrations to those entirely random I WANT CAKE moments we all get here in the land of hooker1uk and these are the tins to make them in. Equally impressive was the Lékué bread maker silicone tin. This daddy's house will be full of the sweet smell of win while baking lots of bread and cake goodness if I get my way!
The Oracle coffee machine by Sage also got my attention, but as a tea drinker I'll leave that be for now.

Next on my travels I backtracked to Home automation.
There is a running joke in our house that when we move home will use more bandwidth than the people residing there. As bold a statement this is. the way it's going it's going to be true when I do implement  automation and security tools to help us save energy and protect my family and the walls we live in. Some of the devices shown were to me not important, for some they would be amazing due to their plug and play nature. However I'd prefer to be able to make everything work for the whole family which the HomeWizard HW-Amazon Exclusive Home Automation Kit can do with ease, with some of the additional hardware available this system can work side by side with the tiny computer all geeks love, none other than the Raspberry Pii
With inter-operable components and a good layer of compatibility I could see home automation becoming a more desirable thing in the near future. I actually plan using a dedicated system that can work with other devices and code when we move to ensure we can keep our future castle locked up and safe as best as possible!


After playing with a Raspberry Pi I took a walk around to the sport and fitness area, I'm looking to integrate wearable technologies into the new bikefit project we've got planned with local groups over the oncoming months and also to invest in a seperate bike just for training too, no trailers on this one just pure training for Balls Of Steel 2015! so tracking progress and being able to use this information to smash goals and be able to help others who join my project can also benefit too. time constraints meant I didn't get chance for a play with smart watches or fitness bands but did notice the Withings Pulse O2 Activity, Sleep, Heart Rate and SPO2 Tracker and the iHealth activity and sleep tracker. They are both compatible with for iOS and Android as good rounded bits of kit with many features the average user would love to use. There were a slue of android smart watches like the Sony SmartWatch 2 which could be fun to own, but for now practicality is more important to me right now.


I won't lie, I walked away from these purely as I'm looking for another singlespeed or 3 speed hub ride to make my own, but the Eastway FB 2.0 Alloy flat bar bike growled at me, while it could have been a toy behind me, I saw naughty potential in this bike, Especially when we've got a (dead) Naughtybike, retired Grumpybike and this could be our Evilbike. I wonder how it would pull the trailers?
These bikes were designed for city roads and can take a severe pounding on those less loved roads, something all cyclists wish our rides could deal with more.

I know the girls have their own wishlist as long as the m25 but with some things in life are a certainty worry is one of them but the Flamm Worry Eater is a beautiful idea to help children gobble their worries up. It's to me a simple idea but one that could work so, so well especially for those who worry or children with autism. It could benefit a wide range of children. I've mentioned on here that a few items are in my to buy list, and many will be money permitting, but this will be a buy purely to help the girls as they seem to be taking change a bit weirdly. Especially the change from early years at school to year one or year one to year two changes.

Here are some of the other amazing things that caught my attention through the event. Time got the better of me so I didn't get much playtime so I'll leave the reviews on these for now, but I'm hoping to get some hands on time with some of these amazing in the near future.

Plantronics
BackBeat FIT Wireless Stereo Headphones with Armband for Smartphone - Green


Autographer
The Hands-Free Intelligent Wearable Camera

Fujifilm
Instax Share SP-1 Printer
Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera Gift Bundle with 40 Shots

Huawei
Ascend P7 UK phone
Ascend Y330 phone

Homesurf
844 8” Tablet

NetGear
AC762S AirCard 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot

Alcatel
Idol Alpha Smartphone
Pop 7S Tablet

Gear4
Espresso Portable Wireless Universal Bluetooth Speaker

Vtech
KidiZoom Smart Watch

Barbie
Malibu House (why can't it be like the one in Barbie and the Dreamhouse web series)

Sony
Universal SmartWatch 2 SW2 with Bluetooth & NFC for Smartphones with Android 4.0

Lumie
Bodyclock Active 250 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Extra Audio Options

While I'd love to talk about more goodness right now I've got to get on with the Amazon services, including a review of many services Amazon have to offer now and in the future (Kindle Unlimited FTW)

If there is anything you'd like to see on the list reviewed I'll try my best to do these,
Paul!