KIT Power Bank review – is £15 too cheap?

Hello to all.

– Before I start this short review, I’d just like to let you all know that I am encountering some troubles with the Huami Amazfit smartwatch, and likely will not be continuing with the comparison review. I will soon be buying a Pebble Time Round, despite the lack of warranty, and will post a review about that soon. I may also post a short blog about which I think is the better smartwatch, and what actually using the watches is like – a personal opinion, ignoring the reviews. 
– Anyway, this is a review of the Kit 4,000mAh battery pack (or power bank, whichever you prefer). I’ll start by saying that I am disappointed, and this is a negative review. 
– I purchased this power bank from a Carphone Warehouse store in the UK (I am unsure about availability elsewhere). It came in little packaging, and included a small micro USB (Android) cable, an instruction manual and the power bank itself. I was sold the device with no warranty – I was told that because it was a battery, it could explode, blah blah blah… Understandable, I thought. I wasn’t worried in the slightest as the battery pack only cost me £15, which isn’t too big of a loss if the device did turn out to be faulty. 
– Opening the packaging, the power bank has a very nice look. A small, black, rectangular box with rounded off edges and a battery inside. It has small bumps on the front, which serve absolutely no purpose but improve aesthetics. The Kit logo is printed on the front. 

– Hardware wise, this power bank has everything it needs – a port to charge it, a port to charge another device, an LED indicator and a battery. It has no fancy features like pop out cables – it’s simple, and cheap because of it – which is no bad thing.
– And here we come to using the power bank. This went as expected for the first few charge cycles, with me charging my phone to 100% each time, from around 7% – a full charge. It was easy to use, with the charging indicator showing red when it was flat and on charge, and green when the battery in the power bank was fully charged. However, after these first few charge cycles, the power bank began to stop charging the phone. This was because of a failure in the output port of the power bank – it only charges if I hold the cable upwards to this day. 
– Overall, because of the issues I’ve had, I would not recommend this device. With no warranty, and a broken product, I would tell everyone reading this to shop elsewhere, and to buy a different product. Maybe if this device had lasted a year it would be worth the £15. Ah well.
– That’s it. Sorry for the short review, but I thought I’d post something while I decide what to do with my Amazfit. Hopefully the return process will go smoothly – I may post a blog about my experience. Probably not. But I might. Anyway, hope you all have a good day, and hope you have a better experience with power banks than I do. Until the next blog – see you all, and thanks for reading.

Top 5 Most Novel Pieces Of Technology You’ve Never Heard Of

-Today’s Tech 5 was made possible by the attendants of the digital age-

-Without further ado I bring you today’s Tech 5.

  • #5. Sony Rolly

-This is no ordinary Bluetooth speaker. With cool lights, flapping arms, two wheels and a unique shape this dancing robot/speaker hybrid thing is oozing with novelty. It packs within it’s egg shape, a G force sensor (accelerometer), rotating independent wheels, stereo speakers, 2gb of flash memory and programmable accoutrements! Yes you can program it via the Sony Rolly Choreographer software. 

-It doesn’t have to be programmed however. It will improvise for lack of a better word. I highly recommend watching YouTube videos on the Rolly, words don’t do it justice as they don’t for a lot of things. This is an old piece of technology, it released in 2007. No one knew of it then, and that still holds true today.

-Sony has since discontinued the Rolly, however you can still buy them online. This speaker makes for great party favors. Entertain guests or family with this little novel gadget!

  • #4. AlphaSphere

-The AlphaSphere is basically a sphere shaped MIDI controller with touch/pressure sensitive pads and LED lights all of which are programmable. It’s actually called The AlphaSphere Nexus Electronic MIDI Controller. The Future of musical instruments is now folks. This has that 2200 a.d. feel to it. You can hook it up to your computer and program the pads with whatever sound you want. 

-This novel instrument is brought to you by Nu-Design. It features 48 touch and velocity sensitive pads. The interface is the included software ‘AlphaLive’ however it can be used as a standalone MIDI controller.  It is also compatible with any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) setup, as well as DMX Lighting rigs for use as a performance tool.

The world of electronic music has continually evolved from the synthesizers of the 80’s to the Dubstep pads of today. This is indeed a novel evolutionary step in the right direction. As with the Sony Rolly, I encourage you to watch videos on it. The AlphaSphere with its neo-modernism and amazing design brings novelty into the “beat”  as it were.

  • #3. Solowheel

If you’ve never heard of Solowheel then I guess….you’ve never heard of it lol (to use instant message lingo). Follow along and learn how this tech is completely novel. From the picture above you’ve more than likely deduced what, in essence, the Solowheel is. This motorized unicycle has some revolutionary pieces of tech within it’s futuristic casing.

-The Solowheel features 3 axis gyrosensors and accelerometers working in conjunction with the soloware software and turning support technology. The soloware system performs functions for safety as well as auto balancing operations.  With turning support technology the Solowheel can detect a turn and automatically adjust it’s balancing algorithms. This quite frankly is impressive.

The Solowheel is an envisioned post modern, If I may, or futuristic transportation device. It’s also supposedly easier than it looks to operate.  Is it me or does this remind you of…… Gizmoduck!

Speaking of Robots… Kind of…

  • #2. The Nao Robot

-Meet Nao…This little humanoid robot looks the part of novelty wouldn’t you say? Nao was developed by a company called   Aldebaran Robotics, a French company. Nao started his journey in 2004. He has had 5 incarnations. It’s an advanced robot not very big that is also programmable.

-This robot has a sonar rangefinder, two infrared emitters and receivers, inertial board, nine tactile sensors and eight pressure sensors. 

-The sky’s the limit with the programming that can be done with this robot. It’s equipped with all sorts of Tech.  The OS powers the robot’s multimedia system, which includes four microphones (for voice recognition and sound localization), two speakers (for multilingual text-to-speech synthesis) and two HD cameras (for computer vision, including facial and shape recognition). 

-Since 2011 over 200 academic institutions have made use of Nao. Nao robots have even been used to teach autistic children who seem to connect with it’s child like ambiance. Over 5,000 robots are in use in over 70 countries.

-Aldebaran has revolutionized a particular section of robotics with their Nao robot. It’s available to consumers as well though not cheap. This novel little robot will set you back $8,000. 

-All Nao Academics versions feature an inertial measurement unit with accelerometer, gyrometer and four ultrasonic sensors that provide Nao with stability and positioning within space. It has up to 25 degrees of freedom, 4 direction microphones, bumper sensors, a strong grip and get this…In July 2015, Nao robots were shown to demonstrate a basic form of self-awareness in a philosophical experiment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. 

-Suffice to say, The Nao Robot is something to which the modern consumer has no idea about. You won’t find this at Best Buy in other words. It remains novel nonetheless. 

  • #1. Microsoft HoloLens

-This is some straight up Iron-Man and or Minority Report stuff here folks. In my opinion this should be advertised during every commercial break on every channel. The HoloLens is the epitome of AR (augmented reality).

-Everyone seems to know what virtual reality (VR) is, with companies like Samsung and Sony pushing VR in the market. Augmented reality (AR), vr’s lesser known cousin, on the other hand is what’s brought to the table with Microsoft’s HoloLens. AR made strides in the mainstream with Pokemon Go. However that was a very limited form of Augmented Reality. The key to HoloLens lies in the glasses.

-These glasses pictured above are extremely novel and high tech. Imagine slipping these on and watching Netflix on your wall, you get up to go to the bathroom and the movie goes with you! Before we get more into that here’s the spec list for you spec geeks out there..

-Now that we have that out of the way let’s get down to the nitty gritty. If ever there were a cyber-punk product this is it. The HoloLens mixes reality with the virtual in a seamless new experience. Insider reports state that it isn’t perfect, it has minor glitches that Microsoft is smoothing out. As of right now, if you want that cyberpunk experience, be prepared to shell out $3,500. 

-There are countless possible applications for this product outside of the consumer space. Within the developer industry it’s uses seem endless. A developer could use this to view, in 3d space, a product he or she might be developing. And tweak it accordingly. See your video game landscapes and or characters as you develop them. It could be a useful tool in architecture and design, in the medical field, with technicians and electricians, land surveyors etc.

-Not to mention Minecraft! This is something to which any gamer can see the sheer awesomeness of Augmented Reality. Imagine getting visual instructions and diagrams in real space for repairing things like plumbing, automotive, air-conditioning and things of this nature. I can envision future classrooms using this for a more interactive learning experience. As previously stated the possibilities are only limited by our imaginations. This is a truly novel product. I hope the price comes down soon.

-This concludes our Tech 5 list for today, please leave your comment after the Beep…….. “BEEP”

Anxiously Awaiting The Galaxy S8

-By now we all know about the Note 7 fiasco. The official report from Samsung states it was a design flaw, there was so much stuff crammed into the casing that the battery had no room to expand. Did this, or I should say, will this hurt the upcoming launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8? Is the name of Galaxy now tainted? Only time will tell.

-Personally I believe that Samsung will not be affected and that they will deliver a superb phone in the S8. Samsung will not be announcing the phone at the annual Mobile World Congress event as they have traditionally done. Instead they’ve opted for a solo debut at a Samsung event later this month. I think that’s a good marketing/pr move. The launch will likely be about a month after the debut, so look for it to launch in late March, perhaps early April. 

-These are some of the renderings of possible design and build of the Samsung Galaxy S8. If they are even remotely as beautiful as the concepts pictured we are in for a treat folks. Samsung prides themselves on the aesthetic quality of their phones. A pride that didn’t really come into being until the Galaxy s6 lineup. Hardware rumors aside I would like to delve into what we should expect and a little of what we hope to see with Samsung’s upcoming flagship. 

-I’m hopeful for the edge variant to possess a 4k ultra high-definition super AMOLED display. This would be perfect for the VR (virtual reality) trend sweeping the nation. It’s the next logical step, we’ve seen screen resolutions (with the exception of iPhone) continually increase. There is a possibility that the iconic home button will be retired. And many believe there will be a dual camera setup.

-Incremental upgrades are always present in phone successors. Better battery, faster processor, more ram, etc… And we will expect this. Hopefully they keep the micro SD card slot for expandable storage. The “no home button thing” for this Phabletguru is no big deal. However if they pull an Apple and get rid of the headphone jack many might be upset.

-Expect to see the Note 7’s Iris scanner technology. There are also speculations that the iconic “S Pen” will come with the larger “edge” variant of the Galaxy S8. if this is true would that imply that the Galaxy Note series is dead? I hope not. Wireless charging will assuredly return along with water and dust resistance. 

-Other than that the most drastic changes, in my opinion, will be in design and camera. Samsung might try and give “S Voice” a facelift to compete with Siri and Google assistant. I think that Samsung should nix  SVoice and just use Google Now. I don’t see that happening though. It would leave more room for advancements in other areas.

-Lastly, Samsung being the Consumer electronics giant that they are, will undoubtedly make an amazing smartphone. After all Samsung is the “Apple” of Android. I’m allowed to say that right? Keep the channel locked here for more on the Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8 Edge.

-This has been a Phabletguru News Brief-

HK Onyx Studio 3 Big Speaker, Big Sound!

-It’s been several weeks since Phabletguru brought you something juicy to read. We took a brief hiatus, a regrouping if you will but fret no more kids, and prepare for the juice. This speaker brings a savory sound to please any ear. The Onyx Studio 3 is a Bluetooth speaker made by the legendary Harmon Kardon company. Before we get into my opinion on the sound, I would like to disclose the geeky specs.

  • Frequency Response 50Hz-20kHz
  • Transducers Woofer 2x75mm Tweeter 2x20mm
  • Battery Up to 5 hours of playtime with 3.7v/2600 mAh lithium ion battery
  • Bluetooth 0-9dBm version 4.1
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Charging port with 19v/2A
  • Noise canceling mic w/call support

-Basically the HK Studio 3 is high end speaker at a high end price. It will run you about $459 dollars, unless you did what I did and purchase one at a Sprint retail store. If you do that you can get 2 of them for less than the cost of one. Walk out of the door with 2 Studio 3’s and only pay $318.00! That’s $600 off! Can you say hell of a deal? If you have Sprint as your mobile phone provider you can even pay that $318 over the course of a year, which works out to about $26 bucks a month. You just have to pay the sales tax, about $27 upfront. 

-All deals aside, Harmon Kardon has produced a speaker that gets plenty loud with a deep loud bass sound, crisp highs, and well rounded mids. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to various genre’s of music on it. From jazz to rock to dubstep and triphop. It has a very immersive sound that might get the cops called on you if you blast it at 2:00 am.

-A lesser known feature of this speaker is the fact that if you have 2 of them you can actually pair them together to give an even richer extensive sound. You could have one playing in the living room and the other in the kitchen. Entertain guests on the patio by taking one speaker outside with the built in ergonomic handle. 

-For you audiophiles, or “purists” who aren’t big fans of the slight compression involved in Bluetooth, HK has got your back. They have included a High fidelity 3.5 mm headphone jack. Pair that with the LG V20’s 32 bit quad DAC, and you’ve got quite the listening experience. Although, truth he told, any phone will sound great on this monster of a speaker.

-If you’ve got the money, and you love music I can highly recommend that you buy one, immediately or throw caution to the wind and acquire 2. That choice is yours of course. I can only say that if you are a human being then you want this speaker. And let’s not forget that the human ear enjoys the archaic expression of the human soul, imagination and experience. Your ear will thank you later.

-This has been another edition of a Phabletguru Review. I hope you enjoyed it, stay tuned for news from mobile world Congress. Until next time remember kids, a happy ear is a used ear.