Category Archives: Reviews

Belkin Classic Leather Apple Watch Strap review vs Nike Sport Band


Welcome to my review of the Belkin Classic Leather Apple Watch Strap with a comparison with the Nike Sport Band. 

Key Features 

– The classic Apple watch strap is made from genuine high grade Italian leather

– Custom designed fittings ensure a secure fit and easy band exchange. That is black metal to match the Apple Sports Watch frame!

– 3 mm thick band and extra holes for maximum comfort and fit for your wrist

– Fits 42 mm Apple watch, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Edition, Apple Watch Nike+, Apple Watch Hermès, series 1 and 2

– Available in three different colours black, tan brown and grey

– A lot cheaper that the Apple Leather Strap. 

Available from Amazon UK.

Video Review

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Beats Studio Wireless Headphones Review 


The Beats Studio Wireless Headphones are the flagship headphone from Beats and Apple. 

Key Features 

– Beats Acoustic Engine uses precision sound to deliver music the way artists want it to be heard.

– Rechargeable battery lasts 12 hours whilst connected through Bluetooth and up to 20 hours when plugged into your device.

– Adaptive Noise Cancelling blocks out the world in two modes.

– Battery fuel gauge lets you know how much power is left.

– Available in 8 colours. 

– Mic and controls built into ear cup gives you solid playback control, plus crystal-clear hands-free calling on your iPhone.

– Folds to a compact size and then fits in hard case which is included. 

Available from Amazon UK.

Video Review 

AUKEY Desk Lamp LED with Touch Control & More – My Review

The Aukey Desk Lamp with LED Touch Control review.

Key Features

– 3 brightness levels selected by touch control.
– 3 light modes – cool white, warm white, medium white.
– Built in memory function which remembers your previous settings.
– The lamp section completely folds down and the lamp body is designed to be slim, so that it takes up little space
– The lamp can be flexibly adjusted from from 0°to 180°and light coverage can be extended in different scales to meet your needs
– High Tech looks
– Good value at just £14.99
– Weight 540 g
– Dimensions 26.8 x 7.8 x 5.6 cm

The Aukey Desk Lamp has a total of 18 LED’s. A simple touch control to the bottom front controls the 3 different modes and also acts as an on of off switch. Brightness varies from a centre luminance of 600 LUX (Max). The three modes provide a kelvin colour temptation varying from 2900K, 4100K and 5200K. It is powered via a micro usb cable which is provided in the box. After plugging the usb cable into your computer or other charging device, you simply tap and hold the bottom right panel to turn on the light and then tap the front panel to toggle between the different modes.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Aukey Desk Lamp is a neat product, simple to use and power and takes up very little space. Available from Amazon UK.

Poetic Lumos Companion case for iPad Pro 10.5 – Review – Fits with Smart Cover, Pencil & Keyboard 


The Poetic Lumos Companion case is pure genius. Mine arrived a few days ago and I absolutely love it. And it costs just £10.95. This was not a review sample, I bought this and am extremely happy with my purchase. Poetic also offer this case in the other iPad sizes along with a range of other cases. 

So what’s so great about it. Cutouts for everything. Speakers. Mics. Headphone jack. Lightning connector. The power and volume keys are covered and have their own raised buttons. Makes it easier to adjust the volume. But it gets even better. 


The case has a space for the Apple Pencil. It allows for easy removal too with a cutout underneath as shown. You can fit the Apple Pencil into the lightning connector and charge it still too. The camera no longer crashes down as it’s protected by the case. And there’s still more. 


The case allows you to attach your Apple Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard and use them without any issue. Plus the Apple Pencil when in use can be slid into the pen slot. Or when you are charging the Apple Pencil, the tip can be placed there. 

The Poetic Case is just £10.95 from Amazon. 

Update – Here is the video review and the Poetic Case compared to the Apple iPad Pro Sleeve. 

How to shoot YouTube videos with your iPhone 7 Plus

I have been asked several times, what gear do I use to shoot my YouTube videos. Well to answer your question it’s the following. 

Video Review 

List of Equipment 

The below are all links to Amazon so you can see the latest pricing and learn more about the piece of equipment. The Studio Neat Tripod mount is a new phone mount and is incredible. It has 3 tripod screws positions and if you watch the video you will see how it all works. 

Shoulderpod Tripod Rigs
Rode VideoMicro Compact
Manfrotto LED Light
Zecti Lightweight Tripod
Studio Neat Glyph 2 Tripod Mount

Conclusion 

If you want me to review any of the gear mentioned please let me know. The Zecti Tripod has already been reviewed. 

Weekend Reading – All Your Favourite Reviews in One Place

It’s the weekend and you are not sure what to do. Well how about reading some good old tech reviews, covering a wide range of products.

You will notice below sub categories for various tech devices, so hit the menu that interests you the most. If ever you need to find anything on Gavin’s Gadgets, you can use the search icon top right, or tap menu, and then the sub menu of your choice.

Phones, Tablets, Chromebooks and Laptop reviews

Smartwatches, Fitness and VR reviews

Audio, Headphones, Amp DACs, Projectors & Sound Bar Reviews

Photography Accessories – Add on lenses, gimbals, tripods, photo apps

Connected Home and Apps accessory reviews

Accessories – cables, power, cases and more

If you are buying anything on Amazon, please use the link below. This will help support Gavin’s Gadgets with all the running costs and more and won’t be any different in cost. Thanks in advance.

GavGadgets@Amazon

Even E1 – In Ear Headphones Review – The headphone with a hearing test built in for the bespoke sound EQ


Even E1 in ear headphones review. Welcome to my review of the unique Even E1 in ear headphones. The headphones perform a short hearing test to create a bespoke EarPrint sound EQ just for your ears. 
Key Features 

– EarPrint Technology – quick and easy hearing test that tunes music to fit your hearing, so you never skip a beat or miss a note again. Stored on your device, you can enjoy music from any source – any time. 
– Beautifully Made and Comfortable Enough to Wear All Day, Anytime. 
– Interchangeable earphone tips for a perfect fit; Two-toned cables to easily differentiate left from right; Tangle-resistant, lightweight nylon cords.
– 10mm dynamic drivers and a unique acoustic shell design
– Headphone Jack: 3.5mm
– Impedance: 32 Ohms
– Microphone
– Battery: Lithium Ion
– 12 hours continuous play
– Weight: 22g
– Frequency Range: 20-20,000 Hz
– Total Harmonic Distortion: <3%
– Sound Pressure Level: 110+/-2db
– Controls: Volume, Play, Pause, Call Controls
– Remote: Inline

Video Review 

Main Review 

When you first turn in the headphones, a voice assistant takes you through a hearing test to create your own EarPrint. This bespoke sound EQ can be turned in or off. It also means the module needs charging but this does provide over 10 hours usage. The EarPrint EQ created for my ears provided more bass, clear vocals and midrange. The difference was dramatic but it was noticeable. 

Conclusion 

The Even E1 are a unique pair of headphones. The bespoke sound EQ will ensure you get the best sound for your ears. Available from Selfridges.

iPevo Pad Cushion Stand – Be Posh & Sensible – The Smart Cushion for your iPad – Review 


The iPevo Pad Cushion review. Disclaimer. I bought this thanks to a recommendation by my friend James. I first looks it looks like an insane product. Actually, it’s the opposite. It’s pure genius and costs just £9.99. 
Key Features 

– Soft body pillow offers comfortable extended use of your iPad, eBook reader, and tablet computer
– Comfy like a pillow, but sturdy enough to place iPad on your lap or stomach at the perfect angle
– From couch to bed and from chair to floor, Pad Pillow’s ready to go wherever you do
– Folds out to provide space for a wireless keyboard, complete with ample wrist support
– 100% cotton denim cover is ultra-soft; cover is removable and hand-washable, Compatible with all generations of Apple’s iPad

Video Review

Useful Links 

iPevo Pad Cushion latest pricing on Amazon

Aukey Bluetooth Wireless Headphones – £25 budget – My Review

Aukey Bluetooth Wireless Headphones review. Just under £25 and a pair of wireless headphones. So just how good are these. Well let’s take a look at the key features.

Key Features 

– Comfortable, noise-isolating in-ear headphones with APT-X technology. 3 EQ sound settings. – Magnetically clip together for convenient and secure carry around your neck.
– Bluetooth 4.1, two devices simultaneous connections
– Built in remote for managing audio playback & calls, volume controls, multi-function button, and built-in 6th generation cVc noise-cancelling microphone
– Comfortable ear-tips (in three sizes) provide a smooth seal for your ears, isolating you from external noise
– Package Contents: AUKEY EP-B40 Magnetic Wireless Earbuds, Micro-USB Cable, Three Pairs of Ear-Tips, Three Pairs of In-Ear Ear-hooks, Carrying Pouch, User Manual, 24-Month Warranty Card
– BT 4.1, A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP, aptX
– Charging Time: 1.5 hours
– Up to 8 hours playback
– Battery Type: Li-Polymer (2 x 60mAh)
– Operating Range: Up to 10m / 33ft
– Weight: 13g

Video Review 

Main Review 

£25, yes £25 for these headphones. Surely they won’t sound good. Well actually they punch above their price easily and have a reasonable bass punch, with clear mids and vocals. With the included ear clips these also become ideal for using while moving around. Personally, I was happy wearing them without ear clips.  These are really enjoyable to use. They are not the ultimate in audio quality but definitely as good as many headphones costing twice as much.

They also feature an EQ Switch gives you a choice of three sound signatures- treble, bass, and vocals. So if you want to listen to a podcast the vocal mode is ideal.

As these are bluetooth Headphones you don’t need to worry about a headphone jack. So whether you have an Echo Dot, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Android Phone or Tablet, a Samsung S8, HTC U11, LG G6  or if you’re really unlucky a Windows Phone, these will work just fine.
For iOS users, these also have a Siri Wakeup option.  All you have to do is short press both volume buttons + & – while the earphone is in the standby mode, and siri is activated when a prompt tone is heard. Cool.

Conclusion 

One of the best budget Bluetooth headphones available.

Useful Links

Aukey Bluetooth headphones latest pricing on Amazon

Aukey Quick Charge 3 – 16,000mAh Portable Battery charger review – Holiday Power for iPhone, Samsung & More


Aukey offer a large range of portable battery chargers. I am going to look at the QC3 16,000 mAh charger. 

Key Features 

– Charge compatible devices up to 4 times faster with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology
– Quick Charge 3.0 Port + AiPower Adaptive Charging USB-A port with dedicated 2.4A output
– Compatible with all USB powered devices including Quick Charge 2.0 & Apple phones & tablets
– Built-in safeguards protect your devices against excessive current, overheating, and overcharging
– In the box – AUKEY PB-T9 16000mAh Power Bank, Micro USB Cable (20cm), User Manual and 24 Month Warranty Card
– Capacity: 16000mAh
– Micro-USB Input: 5V 2A
– Output 1 (AiPower): 5V 2.4A
– Output 2 (Quick Charge 3.0): 3.6V-6.5V 3A, 6.5V-9V 2A, 9V-12V 1.5A
– Dimensions: 6.5” × 2.87” × 0.74”
– Weight: 12.6 oz
– Built in Torch

Video Review 

Conclusion 

For less than £20, the Aukey power bank is ideal for taken on holidays or a long weekend. It’s a decent power bank with a few neat touches. There’s not much more that can be said 🙂

Useful Links 

Aukey QC3 Power Bank 16,000 mAh latest pricing on Amazon

Aukey Clip on Wide Angle & Macro Lens for iPhone, Samsung & More – My Review

Aukey Clip on Wide Angle & Macro Lens review. This is a slick Clip On lens attachment from Aukey that cost £18.99. It’s provides a 140° Wide Angle and 10 x Macro lens. 

Key Features 

– Macro lens gets you 10 x closer to your subject for extreme close-ups. Wide Angle Lens opens up your field of view for breathtaking landscape photos or selfies. 
– Pair with 58mm CPL filters for beautiful effects.
– Made with aluminum alloy and multi-element coated glass to minimize ghosting, reflections, lens flare, and other artifacts
– Detachable soft rubber clip is easy to adjust and that won’t leave any scratches or marks on your mobile device
– In the box – AUKEY PL-WD07 Ora 2-in-1 140° Wide Angle + 10x Macro Lens Kit, Lens Clip, Carrying Pouch, Cleaning Cloth, 24 Month Warranty

Video Review

Main Review

I have owned many Clip On lenses, some cheap and nasty that I threw in the bin, some lenses from well known companies that are a bespoke fit for your current smartphone. Change your phone, and that bespoke clip on lens is now redundant. This is why I really like the Aukey solution. I tried it with my iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung A5 and it worked just fine. 


The above shot was taken using the iPhone 7 Plus without the attachment. This was a good as a macro shot I could achieve, and this is a crop too to try and make it look as good as possible. Now the same flower, but using the Aukey macro lens. 


The detail and bokeh is so much better. A winning result here. 


Now for the wide angle lens. So here is a normal shot taken on the iPhone 7 Plus. Unfortunately, the Aukey wide angle shot I took at the same time had my lovely fingerprint over it, so an hour later, slightly darker I took the same view using the Aukey wide angle lens. The shot that had my fingerprints on did look identical in brightness to the shot taken without the lens added. 


As you can see there is some softening on the edges and a bit of artifcating, but overall it’s a reasonable result and if you need to capture that extra amount this is one way to do it. 

I like the fact the lens can be protected when not in use and that you get a little pouch and micro fibre cloth. You will need the cloth. Fingerprints are easily added to the lens. 

Update – Here’s another macro I took. 


Conclusion 

A cheap but polished clip on lens that should not become redundant when you change your phone. Recommended. 

Useful Links

Aukey Clip on Lens latest pricing on Amazon

OnePlus 5 – Camera Review – Flagship or Sunken Ship?

OnePlus 5 camera review. Clearer Photos. Working with DxOmark. These were the buzz words OnePlus 5 used at the launch. So if you say your phone has an epic camera it better deliver. So does the OnePlus 5 deliver?

Well after some extensive testing using the latest firmware 4.5.2 it does and at times it doesn’t. It is consistent and does pull off some masterstrokes. So lets delve deeper.

Auto Mode

Press the shutter button and you will get a good shot. Focus is good. Overall exposure is good.

2 x Lossless Zoom

In my testing this works very well as shown in the video review below.

Low Light

Struggles a bit producing grain and noise but from firmware 4.5.1 to 4.5.2 , low light has improved. Also using the Google Camera app improved all photo results, so I would imagine more firmwares will improve low light. However, as there is a high pixel count, you can crop more on all modes. I love this ability to be able to crop and still have pixels to spare.

RAW

If you have the time, the 31mb RAW files hold a lot more data and you can really improve a shot. Helpful in low light scenarios.

Front Camera

Photos are surprising ok. The front screen selfie flash works well. Front video is fairly good too and has auto focus tracking so long as there is a face to track.

Panoramic

Use a different camera app. The default app is awful.Really awful!

Rear Video

4K and 1080p at 60fps is wobbly as hell if holding handheld. 1080p at 30fps uses EIS and looks good.

Burst

Phone takes 20 shots in about 1-2 seconds. It is very fast and has great results. The phone had no issues taking in focus shots of my 3 dogs running. I took over 200 burst shots of my 3 dogs. All were in focus. See video review samples.

Motion

In reasonable light, the camera in auto takes and locks focus fast.

Portrait

Excellent results with this mode.

Camera Review

Conclusion

Overall, the OnePlus 5 can take some great photos and video. I was impressed by the results with the modes that worked well. Those that didn’t aren’t worth using until the software is updated or you use a different camera app to achieve the result.

Useful Links

Buying on Amazon UK, shop & help support Gavin’s Gadgets

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – Review – Best Bluetooth Headphone of 2017

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT Review. £499 of world class technology providing hi-res bluetooth and USB Audio sound. These are pure digital headphones meaning there is no headphone jack. Actually there isn’t a DAC either.

The ATH-DSR9BT feature an exclusive “Pure Digital Drive” system keeps audio signal completely digital from source to driver for exceptionally pure sound. This is a first. A Dnote chipset controls driver amplitude directly with digital signals – no DAC converter required.

The Key Features / Specification

– Features Qualcomm aptX HD, aptX, AAC and SBC codecs, enabling wireless transmission with a resolution up to 24-bit/48kHz.
– 45mm True Motion Driver, with 4-core twisted OFC-7N voice coil and diaphragm with diamond-like carbon coating.
– Mic and volume/control switch are built into the earcup for convenient control of smartphones and other Bluetooth wireless devices / NFC touch pairing.
– Save up to “eight” Bluetooth wireless devices paired.
– LED indicators display pairing, charging status, battery level, and the codec currently in use.
– Heat-reactive soft foam earpads and an easily adjustable leather headband provide a comfortable fit with outstanding sound isolation
– Internal battery provides approximately 15 hours of continuous use (1000 hours on standby) on a full charge
– Includes a 2.0 m (6.6′) USB cable, for charging and Hi-Res Audio playback, and hard carrying case
Frequency Response – 5 to 45,000 Hz / Sensitivity – 97 ohms / Impedance – 38 ohms / Weight – 310g
– Microphone -condenser/Sensitivity -44 dB (1V/Pa a 1 kHz)/Frequency Response 50 – 4,000Hz /omnidirectional
– Input Jack: Micro USB Type B
– Communication System: Bluetooth Version 4.2 / Bluetooth Specification Power Class 2
– Maximum Communication Range: Line of sight – approx. 10 m (33′) / Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP

As you can see from the key features and specifications noted above, these ATH-DSR9BT are certainly something special and in terms of absolute sound quality are the best so far in 2017. However, I personally did not like them, so check out my review below to find out the incredible highs and disappointing lows.

The headphones were tested using an iPhone 7 Plus (bluetooth AAC), LG G6 (APT-X HD, USB Audio using USB Audio Player Pro & Tidal), MacBook Pro (USB Audio and APT-X).

The Audio Review

Useful Links

More information on the Audio Technica DSR9BT Headphone and latest deals on Amazon UK
More information and the latest deals on Audio Technica headphones on Amazon UK.
Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – First Impressions and Unboxing

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – 24bit Hi-Res Bluetooth & USB Headphones – First Impressions


Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT First Impressions and Unboxing. The ATH-DSR9BT are over-ear wireless headphones that feature a lot of crazy bluetooth technology to deliver 24bit hi resolution sound. Plus they connect via USB for a true digital connection. No headphone jack required! Actually there isn’t a headphone jack. These are true digital headphones through and through.

So as an example with my Mac or PC they connect via a USB cable with a huge frequency range as shown below. With my LG G6 they can also connect via the USB connection or via Bluetooth APT-X HD (24bit/96) Hi Resolution bluetooth.

The Key Features / Specification

– The ATH-DSR9BT feature an exclusive “Pure Digital Drive” system keeps audio signal completely digital from source to driver for exceptionally pure sound. This is a first.

– Dnote chipset controls driver amplitude directly with digital signals – no D/A converter required.

– Features Qualcomm aptX HD, aptX, AAC and SBC codecs, enabling wireless transmission with a resolution up to 24-bit/48kHz.

– 45mm True Motion Driver, with 4-core twisted OFC-7N voice coil and diaphragm with diamond-like carbon coating.

– Mic and volume/control switch are built into the earcup for convenient control of smartphones and other Bluetooth wireless devices / NFC touch pairing.

– Save up to “eight” Bluetooth wireless devices paired.

– LED indicators display pairing, charging status, battery level, and the codec currently in use.

– Heat-reactive soft foam earpads and an easily adjustable leather headband provide a comfortable fit with outstanding sound isolation

– Internal battery provides approximately 15 hours of continuous use (1000 hours on standby) on a full charge

– Includes a 2.0 m (6.6′) USB cable, for charging and Hi-Res Audio playback, and hard carrying case

Frequency Response – 5 to 45,000 Hz / Sensitivity – 97 ohms / Impedance – 38 ohms / Weight – 310g

– Microphone -condenser/Sensitivity -44 dB (1V/Pa a 1 kHz)/Frequency Response 50 – 4,000Hz /omnidirectional

– Input Jack: Micro USB Type B

– Communication System: Bluetooth Version 4.2 / Bluetooth Specification Power Class 2

– Maximum Communication Range: Line of sight – approx. 10 m (33′) / Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP

First Impressions and Unboxing

As you can see from the key features and specifications noted above, these ATH-DSR9BT are certainly something special and I can’t wait to spend more time with these and share my findings both negative and positive. And there are both.

Useful Links

More information on the Audio Technica DSR9BT Headphone and latest deals on Amazon UK
More information and the latest deals on Audio Technica headphones on Amazon UK.

Honor 8 Pro – Review – including an Epic Camera Showcase & more!

The Honor 8 Pro review. Just how much better is the “Pro” version of the Honor 8? Quite a lot as it turns out. So first lets take a look at the key specifications and differences –

The Key Specifications

– 5.7 inch, 2560 x 1440 Quad HD display, 515 ppi
– Kirin 960 octa-core (4x 2.4 GHz + 4x 1.8 GHz)
– 6 GB RAM, 64 GB ROM
– Android 7 (Nougat)
– EMUI 5.1
– 12 MP + 12 MP dual-lens camera
– USB-OTG
– IR Blaster
– 184 grams
– 4,000 mAh battery
– 6.97mm thick
– Cardboard VR inside box

The Honor 8 Pro includes the Kirin 960 processor along with 6gb ram and 64gb storage. This phone flies. It is fast and nimble at everything I have thrown at it. AnTuTu clocked in at 150,000. And checking the storage speeds showed its storage was UFS 2.1.

What these baseline specs translate into is a phone that delivers the best performance for gaming, streaming and photography. All this capability is backed up by a large 4.000 mAh battery which works in tandem seamlessly with the latest SmartPower 5.0 technology, providing up to two full days of run-time from a single charge. Typically I managed 6.5 hours screen on time with excellent standby times.

The Honor 8 Pro is ultra-thin at just 6.97mm body, yet it has a QHD resolution screen which looks gorgeous with decent viewing angles. The phone box also doubles up as a VR cardboard headset. Jaunt VR app is included on the phone.

The Honor 8 Pro incorporates its third generation 12-megapixel dual-lens camera. The two lenses work in tandem to deliver the perfect shot – the monochrome lens captures a black-and-white image with incredible depth of detail, while the RGB lens ensures vivid colour reproduction. The camera’s wide aperture range (f/0.95–f/16) delivers DSLR-like depth of field effects, for both photo and video shooting. It has been evident from my time testing the Honor 8 Pro that the Kirin 960, 6gb ram and improved post processing has made improvements on the picture and video quality. I have included an epic camera showcase to highlight this point.

The device also supports shooting of 4k videos encoded in the efficient H.265 codec, which produces files twice as small as its predecessor. And EMUI 5.1 introduces Highlights, a new feature co-developed with GoPro that intelligently organises photos by category and automatically generates video stories that are easily customisable.

Below are a few samples from the camera, but to see the full camera showcase covering video and stills, check out the video review below.

Mystic Dartmoor Rock #honor8pro

Above shot taken in wide aperture mode. Really cool photo.

Courtyard Scenes - Shot on the Honor 8 Pro #honor8pro

Lovely close up of the blue bells.

Water droplets #magical #honor8pro

The detail on the water droplets is excellent.

Plus there is so much more to this phone, so lets continue to part 2 of my review and watch the video below. My video review also discussed the camera differences between various Honor and Huawei phones too.

Video Review

Camera Showcase

Conclusion

The Honor 8 Pro is a smashing phone with good battery life, looks, excellent camera and more and all for just £474.99. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

More info and latest pricing on Honor 8 and Honor 8 Pro on Amazon UK