Don’t let this week end without making sure that you’ve read every single article that we posted on The Gadgeteer in the last seven days. Click through to see a list of all the news and reviews that we’ve posted this week. [click to continue…]
iPhone 6 Plus owners should be aware that Apple is recalling a select number of iPhones for an iSight camera defect that causes blurry shots. If your 6 Plus has a serial number that is in the range of the potentially defective group of devices, Apple will replace the iSight camera (which is the back facing camera on the phone) free of charge. However, one of our long-time readers Douglas Forrester found out that it’s not quite as simple as that.
I have an iPhone 6 Plus that has a serial number that is included in the recent camera recall. When I discovered that my phone was affected, I made a Genius Bar appointment, which was this morning.
To make a long story short, they will not replace the camera unless it is demonstrating symptoms (i.e. blurry photos). They told me, basically, to wait until the problem surfaces and then come in for the repair. Attached is the photo they took with my camera to ascertain that my phone is (currently) unaffected.
Anyway, I thought of you and thought that I might be able to save someone a trip to the Apple Store. At least mine is close to my house!
Click through to see the iSight camera test image. [click to continue…]
If you have used computers for any length of time, you have experienced it. Your computer hard drive or your cellphone dies for one reason or another, and all your files are gone, including all those photos and videos you painstakingly organized into those little yellow folders. In fact, if you are me, that has happened numerous times. So over the years I have invested in every kind of backup solution that you can think of, including: jump drives, external hard drives, DVDs, Zip drives, CDs, floppy discs (yeah, I’m that old), and most recently all the popular online backup services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Google+, OneDrive, Box, Mozy, and Carbonite. I really, really, don’t want to lose any files, so I still use all those things I just listed, except for floppy discs and Zip drives. You gotta draw the line somewhere, right? So when the Seagate 4TB Backup Plus drive came out, I was of course attracted to it and the new features that I haven’t had before in a backup solution. But is it really just another external hard drive, or is it something more? Let’s find out.
“But officer, he caused the accident, not me. Really, I swear!” Although you may be telling the truth, you need evidence to back up your claims when it comes to traffic accidents. One way to do that is with a dashcam. Dashcams are windshield mounted cameras that automatically record everything you see out of your vehicle’s front window from the time you start the engine, until you turn it off. Actually some of them even record longer than that, but I’ll talk more about that later. Today I would like to show you the Papago GoSafe 520 dashcam. It has some extra features not found in other dashcams that I’ve reviewed, let’s see if it earns a permanent spot in my car.
I love to collect and analyze data, especially my health data. I like seeing the changes that take place as I make alterations to my exercise program or eating habits. The BodiMetrics Performance Monitor (this is how it is marketed in the United States; it is also known as the CheckMe Monitor according to Gizmodo) sounds like a promising device that will collect your ECG, blood oxygenation levels, temperature, and systolic blood pressure (the top number of your blood pressure, e.g. 110/70: systolic bp = 110). It also provides you with a medication alert and functions as a pedometer. By holding the device at heart level and placing your hand and fingers on the sensors of the monitor, the device will display your information within a minute. Body temperature is collected by placing the top edge of the device on your temple and moving it across your forehead (reading is completed in three seconds). All this information is transmitted via Bluetooth to their app on your iOS or Android device. The BodiMetrics Performance Monitor is due to be released any day now; the BodiMetrics website reported that it would be available by August in Bloomingdales and online for $249. [click to continue…]
Oops, they did it again. The nice people at Apple, with their new products and popularity, are inspiring an entire ecosystem to sprout up around Watch accessories. We’ve reviewed several here, and I’m sure that trend will continue. This latest charging stand that I was sent comes from Boostcase, and is a rather formidable presence. It consists of a very monolithic stand, which hides a cable management system and a battery pack. Unless you look under it or view the right edge, which shows the battery’s charging port and power level indicators, it looks like a solid block of aluminum with a hole made for the puck of the Apple Watch magnetic charger. [click to continue…]
There’s a new Kickstarter campaign for something we’ve not seen a lot of on The Gadgeteer – a thermal flask. It’s called the Kole, and is handmade from stainless steel and oak. It can hold 2.4 ounces, and hold hot espresso (4 shots!) or cool whiskey, unaffected by the atmosphere in your pocket, bike bag, or backpack. The stainless steel cap holds about 2 oz., and it comes with a funnel for filling. Why is this considered a gadget? Well, it’s just so cool-looking, useful, and well-made that it is a siren call to my gear lust. I want this in my gear bag – today! It’s a bit spendy, at $93, but like a leather bag or a quality set of hand tools, it’s something they’re going to fight over when you’re gone! Visit the Kole Kickstarter page for more info.
The Whipping Post roll top backpack is a nice looking bag reminiscent of days gone by. This backpack is made of brown polished leather with a vintage look and feel that reminds me of walking to school a hundred years ago. The rustic bag is large enough to hold a laptop along with your daily gear. Let’s take a closer look at this old-school gear bag. [click to continue…]
Do-it-yourselfers who love checking out new tools are going to want to get their hands on the GLM 50 C measuring tool from Bosch. Not only does this modern day “tape measure” use lasers for precise measuring , but it also features a large easy to read full color backlit display with large numbers, and Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone. Why would you want your measuring tool to connect to your phone? So you can transfer measurements of course. The Bosch app will let you save measurements so you won’t have to write them down yourself, possibly incorrectly. Now you can take your phone to the hardware store and know exactly how much material to get for your next weekend warrior home improvement project. The Bosch GLM 50 C has an accuracy of 1/16″ and an overall range of 165 ft. It is powered by two AAA batteries that supply enough power for more than 10,000 measurements. The GLM 50 C is priced at $149. For more info visit Bosch.com
Kids and many adults like myself enjoy playing with the iconic multi-colored LEGO bricks and mini figures. But if you’re looking for a new construction toy that is both educational, and can also be used with LEGO bricks, Laser Pegs light up construction toy sets are an interesting choice. I was sent the 4-in-1 Helicopter set which can make a T1 Super Cobra, Rescue Helicopter, Cargo Helicopter, or an Attack Helicopter. Let’s take a look.
How many times do you need to use a flashlight only to discover that the batteries are dead or so drained that the light emitted from the flashlight is too dim to be of any use? The VuPoint kinetic emergency flashlight sounds like a wonderful alternative to traditional flashlights that use standard batteries. The VuPoint is a flashlight with a built-in 700mAh Li-Ion battery that you can charge with a USB cable or just by twisting the handle back and forth. One minute of twisting yields 15 minutes of light. Five minutes of twisting will fully charge the internal battery. This will provide up to 45 minutes of light and the charge will last up to 1 year. It features a rugged waterproof casing with a 3W LED that puts out 200-lumen beam of light. It has three brightness settings as well as an SOS feature which blinks the light in Morse code for emergency survival situations. Speaking of emergency situations, the handle of the VuPoint holds several handy tools including a compass, mirror, can opener, and a whistle. The flashlight can even be used as a backup battery to charge your mobile devices. The VuPoint kinetic emergency flashlight is priced at $69. For more info visit the VuPoint page on Grommet.
Nowadays, when you bring up the words record player people automatically assume the ones with two steel chrome turntables with some DJ, wearing Beats headphones, at a rave spinning EDM and trance music and wearing dark sunglasses in a dark club. But that’s not the record player I speak about. This is the classic record player with a yesteryear feel and with a touch of today’s technology all built-in to a suitcase-style enclosure.
Leave it to RHA (Reid Heath Ltd) Audio to continually surprise us with new products. After years of going upmarket with model after model at dizzying speed, RHA has dialed back a bit by releasing an extremely affordable earphone, the S500i. The 500i aluminum shell is ultra compact in size partly because of its micro dynamic driver—a first for RHA. What’s interesting is that this new design is an entry-level model selling for $49.95 U.S. “The S500i is for those seeking an affordable, compact in-ear headphone that doesn’t sacrifice sound or build quality,” explained Lewis Heath, Product Director at RHA. [click to continue…]
Raise your hand if you have power strip outlets that are covered up by obtrusively large or awkwardly shaped AC adapters? Yeah, me too. The Etekcity 10 pack of one-foot extension cables are what we need. These will add enough length to get those adapters out of the way to free up outlets or even give you just the right amount of added length for your devices or power strips to reach around your nightstand or bookcase to access the hidden outlet there. Each one-foot extension cord is 16AWG/13A and has a 3-pronged cable plug. This 10 pack is available from Amazon for $19.99 (try the code EXTEN6FF to get them for $13.99 – expiration date unknown).
With each new iPhone release comes a bevy of new products and cases to accommodate them. The most common new items seem to be new phone cases and with new cases come new ideas on how to use the case to better enhance your lifestyle. The iStand 6 phone case from Esorun is one such case. As its name implies, the iStand 6 is a phone case that is a stand, but it is much more.
We live in a world where there is a gadget for everything. Need extra power, get a power bank. Need portable internet, use a hotspot. Always losing your things, grab a Bluetooth tracker. Do you like music on the go, get a Bluetooth speaker. Imagine if there was a device that could do all that?
The iBackpack is the Swiss Army knife of gadgets. It can accommodate up to 40,000 mAh of backup battery power and has integrated USB ports capable of charging four devices simultaneously. The iBackpack includes a Bluetooth speaker system to allow you to enjoy your music while traveling. There is even a model that contains a Wi-Fi hotspot which will be eligible for discounted plans from several internet providers.
Additionally, the iBackpack has multiple security features to keep you free from worry. Built-in GPS and a Bluetooth proximity sensor will prevent you from ever misplacing it. If you ever find yourself the victim of a theft, you can activate the iBackpack’s alarm and it will repeat, “Stop! Thief! This man stole my bag!” You can then track the backpack through your smartphone.
The iBackpack is an IndieGogo project that has already reached its funding goals. There are several different models available, starting at $99. It should begin shipping in March of 2016. For more information visit the iBackpack’s IndieGogo page.
An apron? What? Yes. If you’ve ever undertaken a household repair project by yourself, you immediately discover that we humans are cursed with only two hands and not enough pockets. This may be the next best thing.
Fans of Saddleback Leather Company gear who also own an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus will be interested in learning that Saddleback has a case that has been designed especially for the iPhone 6/6 Plus. Made of full-grain leather and marine-grade thread like Saddleback’s other cases and bags, the iPhone 6 case is available in four colors including: black, tobacco, dark coffee brown and chestnut. It features a play-through design that has cutouts for all the iPhone’s features like the camera, earphone jack, power button and Lightning port. The corners of the case mimic bumper style cases to protect the phone from damage in the event of a fall. It’s not the most attractive or slim case I’ve seen for the iPhone 6, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Saddleback Leather iPhone 6 case is priced at $39.00 and $43.00 for the iPhone 6 Plus version. For more info on this case visit Saddleback Leather Company (affiliate link).
I have trouble with repetitive stress syndrome (RSS), and I have small hands, so finding a mouse that doesn’t make my hand hurt can be difficult. On the surface, the iPazzPort Pen Mouse Pointer, Model KP-810-38, seems to be a potential solution to the problem. However, there is one issue that makes this pen mouse less than ideal.
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I was researching at the Polk website for a review I am working on and I found out that besides speakers and regular headphones, Polk makes gaming headsets. Since I have recently joined the Xbox One crowd, the Polk Striker Pro Zx caught my eye. Compatible with the Xbox One, PlayStation4, Wii U, PC, Mac, tablets and smartphones, the Striker Pro Zx is a multi-tasking beast. The Striker Pro Zx accomplishes its compatibility with the Xbox One by including a Xbox One wireless headset adapter in the package. All of the Striker Pro series gaming headsets include a removable, flexible, omni-directional microphone with push button mute and three different detachable cables for all of your gaming situation needs. The Striker Pro Zx will run you $149.95 from various authorized Polk dealers, so if you’re looking to bring your gaming audio to the next level, you may want to check out the Polk Striker Pro Zx.