Samsung Note 7 – And All the Extras PLUS new phones from CAT and Lenovo

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The new Samsung Note 7, the dual sim version, also known as the Samsung Note 7 Duos has arrived. Over the next few days and weeks, I will be releasing a number of articles as I put this phone through its paces.

Also, I have received a number of official and third party cases/accessories so hope to get some thoughts up on these too.

Whilst all this is going on, I will be testing the CAT S60 and Lenovo Vibe K5 smartphones thanks to Clove Technology .

Looking slightly further ahead I will also be looking to review the LG V20 and iPhone 7.

Plus I will record a video of whats on my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone and why.

So if you have any questions for any of the above devices please either leave a comment below or catch me on social media.

Lindy USB DAC and Headphone Amp – Review

Lindy review items

Welcome to my review of the Lindy USB DAC and Headphone amp.

Key Specification

– Provides audiophile sound quality up to 24bit/192KHz (96KHz maximum for USB)
– Accepts 2 channel digital audio and works with any PCM stream with Dolby Digital or DTS disabled
– Built-in headphone amplifier and TosLink Optical, SPDIF Coaxial and USB Digital Audio interfaces
– Input selector switch and headphone volume control
– USB 2.0 interface compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and Mac OS X (no special drivers required)
– Can be powered via the USB bus or an additional USB power supply (not included)

Lindy review items

Main Review

Lindy has released a USB DAC to for less than £50 which will enhance any digital music collection by upgrading the sound quality from PC, HDTV, CD/DVD player or other audio device.

The USB DAC fits discreetly alongside the selected audio player, and outputs to headphones, amplifiers or powered speakers via a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack or analog phono stereo output. Optical, Coaxial and USB inputs allow for a variety of music sources, with the USB 2.0 input compatible with Windows XP onwards, Linux and Mac OS X with no special drivers required. The LINDY USB DAC also supports hi-resolution music up to 24-bit/192kHz.

I connected the Lindy USB DAC to my computer and plugged in various pairs of headphones. The Lindy USB DAC improved the overall sound quality. Based on the specifications, I would not recommend connecting headphones over 150 ohms.

The video review below includes the remainder of the review as well as further technical information.

More information and the latest pricing on Amazon Click HERE.

Conclusion

A budget priced USB DAC from Lindy which does exactly what it says on the tin.

Video Review

Lindy CROMO IEM-75 – Dual Driver In-Ear Monitors Headphones – review

Lindy 1

Welcome to my review of the Lindy CROMO IEM-75 Dual Driver in ear monitor headphones.

Key Specifications

Driver Diameter: 15 and 7mm (dual driver)

• Frequency Response: 8-20kHz
• Impedance: 26 Ohm
• Sensitivity (S.P.L.): 105dB ±3dB(@1kHz with 1mW input)
• Nominal THD: <3% (@1kHz with 1mW input)
• Max. Power Input: 50mW
• Cable Length: 1.2m (0.85m to split, 0.35m from split to each earpiece)
• Connector: 3.5mm stereo
• Weight: 16g

Main Review

The Lindy CROMO IEM-75 dual driver design has been developed to deliver a more spacious and defined sound. Each earpiece contains a 15mm driver for bass and midrange and a 7mm driver for high frequencies, which are then tuned within the acoustic chamber to deliver high quality and accurate sound. The housing is a black chrome aluminium enclosure, which offers rigidity for the drivers when playing music. What is impressive is the price. Just £69.98.

In the box there are 3 sizes of super-soft ear tips. The CROMO IEM-75 comes with an attached 1.2 m cable, which is terminated with a 3.5 mm gold-plated stereo jack plug. Also included within the box is a carry pouch to protect the CROMO IEM- 75’s when not in use. The headphone cable is thin and not user replaceable.

I tested the Lindy in ear headphones using my Samsung Galaxy S7 and also using a headphone amplifier – the Oppo HA-2 and iBasso D14 Bushmaster. The good news is these in-ear monitors are relatively easy to drive straight from my Samsung Galaxy S7, but like all headphones using a dedicated amplifier adds extra control, finesse and drama. Lindy classify these as in ear monitors with a dual driver setup. One driver for the mid and bass, and the other for the treble. Listening to a range of genres, the CROMO IEM-75 have a distinctive characteristic that allows for the mid and treble to flourish without the bass killing the music. These are tonally accurate and at times feel like a little bass light. However, not everyone wants over processed thumping bass. With modern pop, rock, classical, jazz and blues the Lindy headphones were engaging, with nuances coming out in the tracks that I had not heard before. The sound stage was reasonable too. I enjoyed listening to these for hours on end.

For more information visit Lindy Headphones.

Conclusion

The Lindy CROMO IEM-75 add to Lindy’s affordable headphone range, offering good value and sounding headphones. These are recommended for those that desire in-ear monitor sound and not an over processed bass heavy headphone.

Video Review

B & O Beoplay H5 Wireless In Ear Headphones Review – Ideal for the new iPhone or Android devices

B & O H5 headphones

Welcome to my review of the B & O H5 Wireless headphones. B & O also call these headphones the Beoplay H5.

B & O H5 headphones

Key Specifications

– DIMENSIONS Earphones: 39 x 28 x 23.5 mm
– Cable length attaching earbuds: 52 cm
– Charging Cube: 28.8 x 28.8 x 29.2 mm
– WEIGHT 18 g
– MATERIALS – Aluminium/Textile/Rubber/Polymer/Foam/Silicone/Nylon
– LOUDSPEAKER – Electro-dynamic, 6.4 mm diameter
– FREQUENCY 20 – 20,000 Hz
– COLOURS Black/Dusty Rose
– DESIGNER- Jakob Wagner
– MICROPHONE Omnidirectional
– BATTERY Two rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries (one in each earpiece)
– Capacity: 2 x 50mAh each
– Up to 5 hours playtime at moderate level
– Charging time: approximately 2 hours
– CONNECTIVITY Bluetooth 4.2
– Supports aptX, aptX-LL and AAC codecs
– BEOPLAY APP Compatible with Beoplay App which will enhance your B&O PLAY experience.
– INCLUDED IN THE BOX Beoplay H5 earphones, USB charging cube,Comply™ Sport ear tips with SweatGuard™ (S, M, L),Silicone ear tips (XS, S, M, L),Cable clip (3 pcs),Carrying pouch,Quick start guide

The Main Review

The Beoplay H5 wireless headphones are superb sounding in ear headphones. They include the AAC and APT-X codecs making them excellent for new iPhone and other Apple devices as well as android phones. The Beoplay app also allows you to change the sound signature with a range of presets and also update the firmware. I didn’t alter the sound signature.

If you own an Apple Watch, you can change the sound profile directly from your Apple Watch.

B & O included a wide choice of ear tips including Comply™ Sport that have a membrane to prevent moisture interfering with the electronics. These rugged and breathable tips create a near perfect, protective grip in the ear canal that is ideal for exercise or life on the go. And for relaxing with your favourite tunes, four pairs of silicone tips provide a relaxed, comfortable fit. However, I did find that during any exercise they would fall out. Also when the cable rubbed against by clothes the sound got picked up which was annoying.

After listening to your music, the earbuds attach magnetically together, meaning they shouldn’t fall off your neck. This also powers them off. See video below. The connecting chord appears fairly tough and should last a while. B & O also mention that these are dust and water resistant but they do not mention to what level in their technical specifications.

Being wireless headphones the battery life is limited to just 5 hours. To recharge them you have to use the cool looking but bespoke charger. The sound signature of these headphones is one of a decent level of bass, good treble and mid range. A crowd pleasing sound! I tried a range of genres and all sounded really good.

Don’t forget to watch the video review which reveals even more information and the rest of the review.

Conclusion

A high quality in ear music wireless headphone, that reproduces a lovely bass rich sound. Great with iOS devices (iPad/iPhone) and android phones with APT-X. The 5 hour battery life is the shortcoming along with a bespoke charger. However, these sound so lovely that they are now my default in ear wireless headphones. These are not recommended for running or the gym as they have a habit of falling out of your ears.

For more info and the latest pricing on Amazon – Click HERE.

Video Review

The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet – Just 800 calories a day – Week 5 – Disaster Strikes

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On the 16th July 2016, I started the 8 week Blood Sugar diet that is just 800 calories per day. I completed week 5 on Saturday 20th August 2016. Week 5 disaster struck, although overall there was some light at the end of the tunnel.

The lows. My work routine was tough this week, pulling me out of my normal routine and not being able to have my home made soups with me. I also made a few mistakes on the calories/carbs calculations meaning I was higher than expected on a few days. This has meant my weight has stayed the same this week.

The highs. Despite being static in my weight on the scales this week, I mustn’t try and forget that my overall well being is so much better than 5 weeks ago and that I have still lost loads of weight and more. I did lose half an inch off my waist this week, so sometimes the scales may not change, but your physical measurements do, hence why it is important to measure everything as below.

If you are reading my diet blog for the first time, my secret for living on 800 calories a day is to think positive. Phrase the journey in your head as it is only “8 weeks of my life” and “this is such a small amount of time in reality and in 8 weeks I could fix so much because of the diet.” Make sure you have plenty of support. And really important, plan like hell your meals for the next week(s) along with all the ingredients you need and make sure each day has the correct balance of nutrition needed. I have learnt a lot about the meals and now have mapped out every day for all the weeks remaining.

My breakfasts on work days are simply a healthy shake from one of the menus in the Blood Sugar Diet book using an Andrew James soup maker. (More info and Amazon link on the Andrew James Soup maker –  Click HERE. ) Apart from incredible soups that I create for my lunch, it also does shakes which makes light work of creating a superb shake each morning. The shake is made from Fage Full Fat Greek Yoghurt, Green Tea, Blueberries (sometimes I use raspberries or blackberries) and flax seeds. It may sound boring having the same breakfast and lunch, but I need simplicity during workdays.

However, this week I was away from home due to work and was not able to make my soups. I now realise I need a spare thermos for days like this so that I can save a meal and reheat in a mug if necessary.

To keep my body going to the loo properly, I am drinking 3 litres of water a day but obviously drinking that amount of water has side effects of needing to pee a lot. I also find if I can plan my day’s calories correctly to include a small banana, this helps with the other aspects.

Just as a reminder to help me make this diet work, I am using various gadgets to help me record and monitor accurately my progress. I am also taking selfies along the way which I will reveal the final before and after at 8 weeks. If you want to recap all the items I’m using , read my first post –  Click HERE. I also have a dedicated page where all my diet posts are being kept. This can be found using the Menu or Click HERE. . It is worth checking out each week’s posts as I also show a selection of the meals I ate.

Feedback. Thanks again for all the positive feedback received. All your support is really helping me keep to the plan. Every week more of you get in touch which is fantastic. I have spoken to many people who have reversed their Type 2 diabetes, which is incredible, lost lots of weight, feel healthier or who have just lowered their high blood sugar levels. I don’t have type 2, but my blood sugar levels were very high and close to being pre diabetic and my weight was too high.

As mentioned before I am using a notebook to plan my week’s food out in advance. I am using many of the of the suggested menus in the Blood Sugar Diet book. Amazon Link to Blood Sugar Diet book – Click HERE.

Below are a selection of my meals from this week, from lunch, breakfast and dinner. These are all from the Blood Sugar Diet book and or slightly adapted from the original menus by me. What amazes me is the fact that full fat items are used in this diet. The full fat helps keeping you feel full and is healthy. Who’d have thought that! Click on any photo to open the gallery to see photo in a larger size. Don’t forget to check out Result Week 1 to 4 Posts which have more food photos🙂 The dish at the top of the page is falafels and salad with beans.

So how did week 4 go in terms of weight, blood sugar levels and more ? Below are the measurements from Saturday 20th August, exactly five weeks after being on the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet.

Here we go – 

– Weight – lost 0 lbs this weekOverall weight loss – 1 stone 11lbs. I am only 3lbs away from losing 2 stone in just 4 weeks!!. Start weight was 21st 10lbs, current weight 19st 13lbs.

– Waist – lost 0.5 inch this week. Overall 4 inches loss on my waist. My overall body shape looks a lot slimmer.

– Neck – Neck stayed the same this week. 2.5 inches overall since start of plan

– Blood Sugar levels – Continued to read at normal levels. That’s 3 weeks in a row now.

– Blood Pressure – My blood pressure is now just a fraction above the normal healthy range. My pulse is normal

– Body Water Percentage – now increased by 1.4% since the start of the diet.

As a consequence, my BMI and body fat has also dropped again.

Finally I would like to say thank you again to everybody who wished me good luck. It really helped keep my motivation up!

So all that remains is to complete the next 3 weeks. Amazing to think I am already half way through the diet. 

PS – Just to re-iterate I went to my doctor to discuss going on this plan as recommended by the book. My doctor was very supportive and offered a number of ways of helping me at different intervals. In fact, I was surprised just how helpful and supportive my doctor was when I mentioned I wanted to start the 8 week blood sugar diet. When I finish the 8 weeks plan, I will move to the 5:2 diet, which is no calories tracking for 5 days but still on the Mediterranean style food plan, and 2 days at 800 calories.

The Deal of the Month – £99 for a Chromebook – It’s Awesome – Updated Again!

N22

A few days ago, I decided to take a gamble and buy the Lenovo N22 Chromebook that was on sale at £99. It is still on sale today, Saturday at £99.

N22 shots

The Lenovo N22 has 2gb ram, 32gb storage, 2 x USB 3, HDMI, headphone socket, stereo speakers, bluetooth, wifi, a 11.6 inch HD anti glare screen and more. It is a semi rugged design with stronger framing, a thicker cover, reinforced hinges and ports too. The screen hinge opens out to 180 degrees. Due to all these factors, the N22 is drop resistant from a height of 70cm. It is also fanless and has a non slip material.

It has an intel celeron N3060 processor that enables massive battery life of 14 hours. On top of all of this the integrated web cam rotates 180 degrees. The battery is user serviceable/replaceable.

N22 shots

The Lenovo N22 chromebook arrived yesterday morning and I used it all day yesterday. The battery is at 70% still!. Not only that it has an integrated carry handle and is a semi rugged design with a water resistant keyboard. The touchpad is sealed too.

N22 shortcuts

It has more too. The help guide also had a page of keyboard shortcuts. So cool. I will add a photo of these shortly too along with a video, but I just wanted to make sure you all new about this deal before it disappears. There are also shortcut keys.

N22 shots

N22 shots

N22 shots

Being a chromebook, all I had to do is sign into my Google account and all my music, videos, photos, email and documents were available. It is such a good experience. Not only that I am trialling wevideo to allow video editing using the cloud to process all the heavy lifting.

Last night I was streaming my music to my bluetooth headphones and also casting from the Chrome web browser to my TV. All from a £99 machine that actually has replaced my now defunct and wounded 6 year old macbook pro.

One more thing. There are 2 offers. First is 100gb Google Drive storage for 2 years. And if you havent had a Google Play Music trial before, you can redeem a 3 month trial.

The N22 is also ready for android apps. Don’t miss out on this great bargain.

More on Amazon – http://amzn.to/2bsMBQb

Lindy Lightning Cable Protector Kit – Review – Give your iPhone & iPad cables extra longevity

Lindy review items

Welcome to my review of the Lindy Lightning Cable Protector kit.

Lindy have released the Lightning Cable Connector Protector Kit, which is aimed at saving money on expensive Lightning Cables for Apple products. The Protector Kit provides a tough, rugged shell to protect existing cables thereby prolonging the life of Apple Lightning Cables at a fraction of the cost of any replacements. The Lindy Lightning Cable Protector kit is currently £3.49 on Amazon UK.

So what do you get with the kit? The Protection kit features a two-piece design and a silicone centre, the compact kit simply snaps together to shield the weakest part of the cable. The kit also contains a protector for the USB Type A connection.

The silicone centre is fluorescent to make it easier to see at night. The Protection kit is available in 3 colours, blue, green and pink.

Conclusion

The Lindy Lightning Cable Protector Kit is a simple idea and solution. Recommended.

For more information and the latest pricing on Amazon – Click HERE.

Video Review

Sony Xperia X Performance – Sony’s Latest Flagship Phone reviewed

Sony Xperia X Performance

Welcome to my review of the Sony Xperia X Performance. This is Sony’s current flagship phone. Its design is similar to the Xperia Z series as you can see from the photos. My thanks to Clove Technology .

Sony Xperia X Performance

The Key Specifications

– 64 bit quad-core processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
– 3Gb RAM
– Android 6.0.1
– 23MP 1/2.3 rear camera with Predictive Hybrid Autofocus – Lossless 5x Clear Zoom and <0.1 second autofocus
– 13MP front camera 1/3
– Low-light photography: ISO 12800/3200, SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode – video stabilisation, Superior Auto Mode, Full HD 1080p Video Recording, Pulse LED Flash
– 5.0″ Inch 1080 x 1920p Full HD display, 441ppi
– LTE Cat 9 support
– WiFi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n
– Bluetooth 4.2 with apt-x, A2DP
– NFC
– 32GB storage & micro SD support up to 200GB
– Sony 3D Surround Sound technology (VPT), Clear Audio – Sound improvement software, xLoud™ Experience, DSEE HX, High-res audio
– Fingerprint sensor
– PS4 Remote Play
– Battery 2,700mAh
– IP65/IP68
– Dimensions 143.7 x 70.5 x 8.6 mm
– Weight 165g

Phone Basics

Call quality was good. Cellular, bluetooth and WiFi all worked well and the Sony X Performance maintained a good signal strength compared to my Samsung S7. Screen viewing angles were good and visibility in sunlight was average. Battery life was excellent with a day and a half achievable and 5 hours screen on time, despite its 2,700mAh battery. If I had used some of Sony’s power saving modes, a longer battery life could have been obtained. As an example at 71% battery the estimated time remaining is 101 hours. in ultra stamina mode this increases to 240 hours.

The display is adjustable with an option in the settings for image enhancement, X-Reality for mobile or super vivid mode. The white balance is also adjustable. You can also choose which system icons to display in the status bar.

Sony UI is a fairly light skin with the options of themes too. However, Sony does install a number of apps that could be considered bloatware like Facebook, Amazon Shopping, AVG Protection, Kobo eBooks and Spotify. Others might find it useful that Facebook has been pre installed! Within the settings Sony has included options for pressing power button twice to launch camera, tap to wake and glove mode.

The fingerprint sensor/power button was simply excellent. I never once had a failed reading.

Camera

The camera UI is fully shown in my video review, so please check this out. See below. In the meantime,
here are a range of photos from the Sony X Performance.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

This shot is to highlight an indoor lighting situation. The glass in the door is quite a bit overexposed.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

Above is a close up of another green plant leaves.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

From the same plant, but with different sunlight and shadows.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

A local church. I wasn’t too happy with this overall shot as it is not quite in focus.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

The above shot in Newquay beach.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

Slightly better shot of the church.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

The above shot is in manual mode, using HDR. 8mp.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

The above shot is another 8mp manual mode, without HDR. HDR in manual mode has to be switched on.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

And the last photo, manual mode, no HDR but at the full 23mp. Overall, I was not blown away by the image quality due to issues with Sony’s camera app and software. The actual camera sensor showed that it was capable of taking good shots, of not over exposing, being able to deliver good colours and more. This is why DxOMark gave it the number one scoring, due to the brilliant sensor. But the sensor is not the only part of the camera system. My bugbear was that so many shots were not in focus. The camera app had a mind of its own sometimes. I found issues with focusing at infinity and macro. But when the focus was correct, the actual result could be very good. The camera app does include many modes and options but the Sony X Performance does lag behind the competition as the software is too complex and does not get the basics correct. The manual mode only offered white balance and exposure. ISO could only be manually adjusted if you selected the 8mp photo file size.

In terms of video, I used the Sony X Performance to record 2 reviews. See links below. The audio from the video was ok but the video stabilisation did not help smooth out the footage. Selfies from the 13MP front camera were ok. The main problem is the Samsung Galaxy S7 camera outperforms the X Performance by a fair margin due to its good software and hardware working in unison. I also felt the video linked below was a bit jerky in a few spots despite the phone being on a tripod.

Sony Xperia X Performance – Video Sample 1

Sony Xperia X Performance – Video Sample 2

Audio Quality

This is the highlight of the Sony X Performance. It has stereo speakers which due to the water resistance only reach 78db. Plug in wired headphones or use bluetooth headphones and Sony provide a top notch audio nirvana with loads of options to improve your recorded tracks. See video review for more information.

Conclusion

The camera is the disappointment on this phone. However, there is still plenty to like about the Sony X Performance. It is comfortable to hold and easy to use one handed. It has good battery life and superb audio via headphones and bluetooth audio. Its main problem is its competition which for similar or less money, offer a more compelling phone.

My thanks again to Clove Technology for their great service.

Video Review

Samsung Gear Fit 2 – Fitness Tracking at its best?

Samsung Gear Fit 2

Welcome to my review of the Samsung Gear Fit 2. This is Samsung’s updated fitness tracker from the original Gear Fit which I reviewed along with 18 other devices. Click HERE to re read any of the previous reviews.

Key Specifications

– Display 1.5” Touch Curved sAMOLED 216 x 432
– Memory RAM: 512MB / Storage: 4GB
– Battery 200mAh / Typical usage time : 3~4 days /Standby time : Up to 5 days /GPS battery time : Up to 9 hours
– Sensor GPS, HR, Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer
– AP Dual-core (1GHz Dual)
– Compatibility Android 4.4/ 1.5GB RAM
– Water Resistant IP68
– Small Size fits wrists – 125 – 170mm
– Large Size fits wrists – 155 – 210mm
– Weight 29g

Main Review

The Gear Fit 2 includes a built-in GPS so that you track your running route, distance and speed in real time. It also has a built in heart rate sensor so whether your running, walking, cycling or elliptical training the Gear Fit 2 has you covered. Check out the video review to see all the different exercise options. The 1.5 inch display is excellent and shows all your stats needed as you workout. The Gear Fit 2 comes with a number of different watch faces, some are customisable too. The Gear Fit 2 comes in black, pink and blue. I have a black Gear Fit 2 in large. I would recommend large for most people. Samsung have added a feature called Together, which is one on one comparison with another person. S Health app is needed for this too. You can also connect a pair of bluetooth headphones and stream music from the Gear Fit 2.

Overall the Gear Fit 2 is really polished affair.

Now check out the video review, which reveals more information from the app and fitness tracker, watch faces, options and lot’s more.

Conclusion

Samsung have excelled themselves with the Gear Fit 2. It is ultra comfortable to wear and is easy to understand and operate. It also is accurate and works really well. Recommended.

For the more info and the latest pricing on Amazon – http://amzn.to/2bcMHat

Video Review

Samsung Gear IconX Wireless Headphones review – The headphones with no cables & a heart rate monitor!

Samsung IconX headphones

Welcome to my review of the Samsung Gear IconX, a truly wire free headphone with a built in heart rate and fitness tracker!


Samsung IconX headphones

Key Specifications

– Dimensions – Earbud: 18.9 x 26.4 x 26.0 mm /Case: 35.3 x 30.3 x 92 mm
– Sensor – HR, Accelerometer, Capacitive Touch
– Storage 4GB *Usable memory is less than 3.5GB. *Can play up to 1,000 music tracks.
– Connectivity BT 4.1 (BLE)
– Battery Earbuds: 47mAh / Case: 315mAh
– Water Resistant -Splash Resistant (P2i Nano Coating)
– Audio Spec Frequency Range: 20~20 kHz / Speaker Sensitivity: 89.5 dB ±
– Microphone / 2 per earbud
– Compatibility – Android 4.4, RAM 1.5GB RAM
– Audio Playing Format MP3, M4A, AAC, WAV, WMA (WMA v9)

The Main Review

I will start with my review by saying that the Samsung Gear IconX is the best product I have reviewed in a long time. It is simply genius but also not without faults.

The IconX is totally wire free. There are no wires between the ear buds. The ear buds comes with 3 different size ear tips and wing tips. This means that once fitted in to your ears, they do not fall out. I tried everything to shake these out of my ears but to no avail. Then I did a really sweaty workout to see if sweat would phase them or make them fall out. It didn’t.

When you run with the Gear IconX, you get an in-ear voice guide to help you reach your vigorous-intensity zone. The voice guide is recorded by real human beings in 15 different languages. After a working out you can sync with your smartphone and check your stats and monitor progress on the S Health app.

Whether walking or running, the IconX is smart enough to track your activity and give updates on essential data from speed, distance and duration to heart rate and calories burnt via a dedicated voice guide.

If you are walking or running on the streets and want to hear the sound around you for safety reasons, you can turn on ambient sound in the Gear app on your phone, or by using the touch pad on the IconX.

The battery life is the IconX’s weak point. If you stream music from your phone you will get exactly 90 mins. If you play music directly from the earbuds the battery life increases to 2.5 hours. However, the protective case is also a battery pack and recharges the IconX earbuds 4 times in about an hour. So if you did 4 workouts a week, you would in reality only need to charge the case once. I did also experience a couple of drop outs when streaming music from my phone, and once the left earbud stopped playing music. All I had to do was restart the track.

The controls are simple to use. You select which side earbud you want to use as the control piece. Then with various numbers of taps you can start playing music, skip or rewind tracks, change the volume and even start a workout. You can also turn on ambient mode directly from the earbud or turn it off.

These play music so what do the sound like. Really good to be honest. Natural in their sound reproduction and plenty of volume too. Bass was accurate too. Whilst using these for phone calls, I had no issue hearing the caller and nor did the caller have any issue hearing me.

Do check out the video review as this shows the Gear IconX application and a lot more too!

Conclusion

Once you have used these headphones / fitness tracker, no other product gets close. Despite a few flaws, I highly recommend these big time. Simply an amazing product.

For more info and the latest pricing on Amazon – http://amzn.to/2aHVaFN

Video Review

The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet – Just 800 calories a day – Week 4 – My Epic Results & Journey

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On the 16th July 2016, I started the 8 week Blood Sugar diet that is just 800 calories per day. I completed week 4 on Saturday 13th August 2016. Once again it has been a week of highs and lows.

The lows. Not too many again this week, but I have had moments where I felt really hungry and my next meal wasn’t for a few hours. So my cure was to drink water and have a black coffee too. After 15 to 20 mins the hunger pangs tended to disappear. As they say “mind over matter”.

The highs. My overall wellbeing is improving every week. As you will read in a moment, my weight loss after 4 weeks is amazing and represented a major milestone for me. I haven’t confessed to my start weight because I was embarrassed but it was 21st 10lbs. For the first time, I am now under 20st, weighing 19st 13lbs. More below. My neck and waist are smaller. I am wearing smaller size clothes. I feel fantastic in Week 4. Full of more energy and highly motivated to keep going. Willpower is important and being in the right frame of mind. Somehow I have managed both. As you all know, typing this diary helps keep me motivated. Once again, I cannot stress how important all the support across the internet and at home makes to helping me through each day and week. It makes a big difference.

I have been asked what the secret is to living on 800 calories a day. Think positive for a start. Phrase the journey in your head as it is only “8 weeks of my life” and “this is such a small amount of time in reality and in 8 weeks I could fix so much because of the diet.” Make sure you have plenty of support. And really important, plan like hell your meals for the next week(s) along with all the ingredients you need and make sure each day has the correct balance of nutrition needed. At the half way mark, I have learnt a lot about the meals and now have mapped out every day for the last 4 weeks.

My breakfasts on work days are simply a healthy shake from one of the menus in the Blood Sugar Diet book. One of my kitchen gadgets is an Andrew James soup maker. (More info and Amazon link on the Andrew James Soup maker –  Click HERE. ) It also does shakes which makes light work of creating a superb shake each morning. The shake is made from Fage Full Fat Greek Yoghurt, Green Tea, Blueberries (sometimes I use raspberries or blackberries) and flax seeds. It may sound boring having the same breakfast, but I need simplicity during workdays. I normally use my soup maker to produce my soup for lunch, which is placed into a thermos. In addition to the soup, my lunch also consists of a banana or apple, and sometimes if I have enough calories a small cheese cube.

But just how easy is it to make restaurant quality, low carb soup? Well for this week I put together a short video showing you how. The video below includes a photo of the ingredients, then the prep, a time lapse of the soup machine (this was 20 mins into 10 secs), the soup served and the calories and carbs values. The ingredients shown are for 2 portions (or 2 people). But the calories per person are 126 calories and 14.9 carbs.

To keep my body going to the loo properly, I am still drinking 3 litres of water a day. I was drinking 4 litres, but I now find I can manage on about 3 litres of water. Obviously drinking that amount of water has side effects of needing to pee a lot. I also find if I can plan my day’s calories correctly, including a small banana helps with the other aspects.

Just as a reminder to help me make this diet work, I am using various gadgets to help me record and monitor accurately my progress. I am also taking selfies along the way which I will reveal the final before and after at 8 weeks. If you want to recap all the items I’m using , read my first post –  Click HERE. I also have a dedicated page where all my diet posts are being kept. This can be found using the Menu or Click HERE. . It is worth checking out each week’s posts as I also show a selection of the meals I ate.

Feedback. Thanks again for all the positive feedback received. All your support is really helping me keep to the plan. I still receive comments that you cannot manage on less than 2,000 calories a day. Well, that’s nonsense. First to understand why you can, read the book. Second, the diet uses food to help keep you feeling full, but also as a method to reset blood sugar levels. More and more people are getting in contact each week all amazed at their results on the Blood Sugar Diet. I have spoken to many who have reversed their Type 2 diabetes, which is incredible. I don’t have type 2, but my blood sugar levels were very high and close to being pre diabetic and my weight was too high.

As mentioned before I am using a notebook to plan my week’s food out in advance. I am using many of the of the suggested menus in the Blood Sugar Diet book. Amazon Link to Blood Sugar Diet book – Click HERE.

Below are a selection of my meals from this week, from lunch, breakfast and dinner. These are all from the Blood Sugar Diet book. What amazes me is the fact that full fat items are used in this diet. The full fat helps keeping you feel full and is healthy. Who’d have thought that! Click on any photo to open the gallery to see photo in a larger size. Don’t forget to check out Result Week 1, Week 2 & Week 3 Posts which has more food photos🙂 The dish at the top of the page is a pork stir fry using butternut squash noodle, carrots and onions.

So how did week 4 go in terms of weight, blood sugar levels and more ? Below are the measurements from Saturday 13th August, exactly four weeks after being on the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet.

Here we go – 

– Weight – lost 4 lbs this weekOverall weight loss – 1 stone 11lbs. Incredible to think I am only 3lbs away from losing 2 stone in just 4 weeks!!. Start weight was 21st 10lbs, current weight 19st 13lbs.

– Waist – lost 0.5 inch this week. Overall 3.5 inches loss on my waist. My overall body shape looks a lot slimmer. My butt has shrunk too🙂

– Neck – Neck stayed the same this week. 2.5 inches overall since start of plan

– Blood Sugar levels – Continued to read at normal levels. That’s 2 weeks in a row now.

– Blood Pressure – My blood pressure is now just a fraction above the normal healthy range. My pulse is normal

– Body Water Percentage – now increased by 1.4% since the start of the diet.

As a consequence, my BMI and body fat has also dropped again.

Finally I would like to say thank you again to everybody who wished me good luck. It really helped keep my motivation up!

So all that remains is to complete the next 4 weeks. Amazing to think I am already half way through the diet. 

PS – Just to re-iterate I went to my doctor to discuss going on this plan as recommended by the book. My doctor was very supportive and offered a number of ways of helping me at different intervals. In fact, I was surprised just how helpful and supportive my doctor was when I mentioned I wanted to start the 8 week blood sugar diet. When I finish the 8 weeks plan, I will move to the 5:2 diet, which is no calories tracking for 5 days but still on the Mediterranean style food plan, and 2 days at 800 calories.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – S View Standing Cover – My Unboxing & Review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is the latest smartphone from Samsung. This year they have adapted the S View Cover and called it S View Standing Cover due to its extra functionality.

So let’s take a closer look at my unboxing and review.

If you need any accessories for your Note 7, check out the latest deals on Amazon – Click HERE.

Samsung Lens Cover for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – My Unboxing & Review

Samsung has a range of accessories for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and one of these is the Lens Cover for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

The Lens Cover has been adapted from the Samsung Galaxy S7 which I reviewed extensively.

S7 & S7 Edge Lens Cover Review –

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

PART 4

Now for the unboxing and review of the Lens Cover for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and comparison with the S7 version.

And if you need any accessories for your Note 7, check out the latest deals on Amazon – Click HERE.

Pioneer SE-MHR5 Hi-Res Headphones – Review – The Latest Premium Headphone from Pioneer

Pioneer SE MHR5 headphones

Welcome to my review of the Pioneer SE-MHR5 Hi-Res headphones.

As you can see from my photos, the Pioneer SE-MHR5 look really cool. The can be connected in either normal or balanced mode too and come with a carry case/pouch.

Pioneer SE MHR5 headphones

The Key Features

– Fully enclosed dynamic headphones
– Large, 40mm driver
– 45 ohm
– Sensitivity – 102 db
– Weight 240g without cables
– 7 Hz – 50,000 Hz frequency response
– Soft memory foam ear pads and headband ensure comfort during long periods of use
– Comes with two cable options 1) 1.2m cable 3.5mm and 2) 1.2m balanced cable with a 2.5mm super mini plug
– Folds into a compact size for easy storage into the included carry case

Pioneer SE MHR5 headphones

Sound Quality

I spent a considerable amount of time listening to these headphones. I initially connected them to my smartphone and they sounded ok but as soon as I added an external headphone amplifier the SE-MHR5 started to show their colours. Based on my results I would recommend getting a small portable headphone amplifier like the Oppo HA-2. Obviously, using a balanced amplifier improves the performance even more.

Genres. What I did discover with these headphones is their preference to several genres over others. Rock was one area where the headphones could get a bit muddied. But move over to classical or jazz and the music reproduction was beautiful. Full of energy, attack and reasonable sound staging. I loved listening to female singers with these headphones too.

Conclusion

The Pioneer SE-MHR5 are a comfortable to wear headphone that suit classical, jazz, blues, modern and vocal genres really well and have a mesmerising engaging sound especially with classical and jazz. Recommended.

For more information and the latest pricing on Amazon – Click HERE.

Video Review

Choetech Premium TPE USB Type C Cable Review

Cables and adapters

Apart from the Choetech USB C to Micro USB adapter, I also decided to stock up on some more USB Type C cables and came across Choetech’s Premium TPE USB-C Cable.

The Key Features are –

– Premium TPE Jacket USB-C to USB-A Cable with 56k ohm resistor
– Eco-friendly TPE Cable Jackets
– The TPE is flexible recyclable and has excellent cold temperature characteristics
– Resistant against ageing in the sunlight, UV and ozone
– It also looks super cool

Video Review

More info and the latest pricing on Amazon Click HERE.

More info on the full range of Choetech products – Click HERE.