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Friday, May 27, 2016

Roidmi 2S Car Charger review: Seamlessly stream music to any car


I was one of the lucky ones to get one of the currently crowdfunding(indiegogo) Roidmi 2s car chargers for review all the way from China. For those who does not yet know the brand, it's one of the Mi ecosystem companies.


The slogan: Your ultimate bluetooth music player and smart car charger. Yes, they lived up to that with the number of mainstream car brands supported as I would explain further.


For design, it was  fill black which somehow gives it the classy leather look with the shiny Roidmi logo on it coupled with the shiny crome metal contacts.


 Upon plugging in, you would notice the port backlight which one could switch between colours.


Closer look at the ports. Somehow it reminds me of the runway airport lights which guides your USB head plane into it =) Did I mention that the car charger supports quick charging that charges much faster than other car chargers/powerbanks. I have tested this connecting my phone which uses GPS on a 5 hours drive. On previous drive using powerbank/other charger, the battery would continue to deplete but at a much slower rate. With roidmi chargers, it's actually slowly increasing.


A comparison between the first generation of car charger distributed by Mi. I actually prefer the old generation design of full metal which also supports most car cigarette lighter ports but I would like the technology from the 2S incorporated. Do note that the 2S doesn't properly fit into certain car ports and would require a separate adaptor(Tested with my family Mazda MPV)


 Setting up is easy. Just download and install the app from google play store. Set to a frequency which no radio stations in your country is using or just set a recommended frequency. Then set your radio to the same frequency, start streaming music from your phone. You could also use it as a handsfree for calls or even broadcast from your phone(Navigational etc)


The part which I kind of like is the voltage check. It could possibly alert you that your car battery or wiring is having some issues. So no more dead battery on the roads with this.


Price starts from 29USD from the indiegogo campaign to a normal retail price of 65USD

So here's the summarized pros and cons

Pros
+ Good for batt voltage check
+ Good for older card that doesn't come with bluetooth connectivity
+ Very good fast charging

Cons
- Doesn't connect to those with straight-through type of cigarette charger though an adapter is always available on a separate purchase

Suggestions
+- would be good if the USB port supports a plug in pendrive for playing music on the drive
 
My verdict? I would give it a rating of BUY!!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Samsung Gear S2 review



First thing when I get the gear was to do the unboxing of the drum box.
 


The full complete set contains the wearable gear, adapter with cables, wireless charger module, spare straps and also the quick start guide.



My first impressions of the Gear S2 was “wow, the display does really look like a real watch and look ma, a rotating bezel *twists and turn to the next function display*”





Then there’s the interchangeable watch face which is also controllable through the phone app where you could download new ones from the phone app and update it to your phone. You could also design your own watch face and then load up on your gear.

Then comes the real usage test. No, I didn't run over it with a truck, went diving with it or that sorts but I used it for a week as my main wearable. I like the fact when I twist my wrist to look at the time and it automatically turns on showing the time.


Pedometer function


Heartbeat measurement function



Then there’s the other world time function which was good for me as I am also talking to friends from other time zones and many a times I tend to wrongly message them when it is their sleeping time.



The trouble for me starts after pairing it with my phone. I am basically using a non-Samsung phone. Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 and Mi4i to be precise. I have also installed the S Health app and there’s where my miseries starts.




The vibration notification to remind me to get up of my @$$ and go for a walk when I am in the middle of a meeting. The gear tends to act like a nagging granny when you remain still at your workplace so you get some exercise. I think one improvement that could be done is that there should be some settings where you could set your “inactive hours”.




Then there’s the phone notifications. When you have a group on WhatsApp that could go to about 2-3k messages in an hour, you could literally use the gear as a vibrator. Oops, I mean massager. *winks*. I have also compared it to usage while I was in the car. For a while the notification was a little disturbing and as the screen could only show one single message and you need to twist/swipe to the next notification, it's a pain in the rear. I am not really condoning using of devices in the car but my phone that is on a GPS holder which is on waze is a much better choice as using one single hand, I could swipe the notifications away. On the gear, I need to use both hand which was more dangerous.



Comparing to replying on the phone, I could use a single hand but on the gear, I need to use both hands. One to raise the other to type on the T9 keyboard. I know the designers put some effort into this but is this function even feasible in terms of usability? Just like the music function, music still have to be played from the phone instead of directly from the gear. 


The design of the wireless charging is definitely a win over the other wearables I had where you have to plug in but with the Gear, I just put it on the magnetic charging platform.



In terms of design, I think as a sports band/wearable, the rubber straps looks good for sweat proof but it’s also making me sweat between the gear and my wrist. It would be good instead of coming with a spare rubber strap, it should come with stainless steel and leather strap for the classy look.

Seriously for the price of a wearable at 1399MYR and 1899MYR, it’s not even feasible. For that same price I could get 2 workable smart phones. And wearables from my point of view, should be less painful if you lose it. Say when you are active in sports which has a high contact between your wearables and external elements, you should be prepared that it would suffer some damage scratches or even breaking the straps. I would consider it if it was priced at 200-400MYR with a comparison using Mi Band Pulse which has the pedometer and also the heartbeat function at sub 100MYR. I would pay more say anything from 600MYR up to 800MYR in total for the extra straps (stainless steel and leather)

My final rating for this gear would be 2.5/5
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