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MattJames

MattJames
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Member since: 02.11.2009

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    • More +
      31.08.2011 20:57
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      Beautiful smell, less beautiful price.

      First of all, the bottle is extremely aesthetically pleasing. It's really simple but really standout and will have people asking what it is. Coupled with the brand name, you're on to a sure winner when people ask you about it.

      And then the smell. The smell is brilliant, it's sort of a soft smell, but at the same time a little bit spicy, it's hard to place, but like the bottle, really is premium. It's a little bit citrus, a little bit natural, and a bit sweet. It's not overpowering at all, but it definitely is noticable. Further to this, in comparison to other rival sprays on the market, the smell does not diminish quickly, remaining noticeable for hours.

      With a high premium feel and smell, the price itself is also, unfortunately at a premium. I personally paid £28 for a 30ml bottle, which while not perhaps the best value for money, I feel was still a good purchase, because you really do go out with a nice smell on you and it makes you feel confident about the night ahead!

      Overall, everything about this product is premium, from brand name, to smell, to price. Therefore its a decision you have to make whether it's worth it, but to me, it is.

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    • Samsung ST5500 / Digital Camera / 14 Readings / 13 Ratings
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      31.08.2011 19:20
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      To me, 5* for what I use it for, but I'm sure many of you will feel it undeserving

      As the title suggests, I am not a massive photographer or anything like that, but I use a camera for partys, when I'm out at concerts or on holiday, so will be reviewing from this angle rather than as a proper photographer.

      First off, the main thing that drew me to this camera is the amazing 3.7 inch touch screen which dominates the back panel of the camera. In fact, there are no buttons on the back, just the touchscreen which you input into. This may sound inconvenient, but in practice is actually really good because of two things. The screen is extremely responsive, and so you always get what you want, where with buttons you may skip past what you wanted (for instance, choosing level of megapixels). Secondly, the screen is so large that you have a multitude of options at your fingertips, not hidden away in loads of sub menus allowing quick changes. This is a real bonus when you're at events such as concerts.

      The camera takes a decent photo also, which is fairly important. Going up to 14 megapixels, it has all the options in between so allows for a variety of options. If you're simply at a party with the intention to load to facebook, then there is a good setting for this, but if you want a detailed widescreen shot for a poster for instance, this is easily done too. Colours are bright, and the dark colours are distinguished. Lighting is dealt with with what seems reasonable efficiency, but as I say, I'm not a photographer as such and so while I view it as good, others may think it's poor. Anyway, at concerts I've been to, its more than held up to the mark with things such as Muse's massive screens and lasers, or in intimate gigs. There is really good optical zoom of 7x as well, so you can really get good zoom on objects in the distance (starting to feel out of my photography depth now)

      There is an option for wi-fi on the camera which lets you sync with facebook and upload from a wifi hotspot, but with these a rarity, its usually as quick to go home and upload yourself.

      The only things that disappoint me about the camera are battery life and lack of editing options on board. Sure you can use photoshop at home, but it's nice to edit on the go. It's a shame, but not a deal breaker, as there are some options, such as fisheye, just not many. In fact my mobile phone has more. Battery life will last you a day of heavy use, but if you're going on holiday you'll definitely need a second battery or your charger with you.

      Overall, for people looking to use a camera for what I do, then it's a cracker. However, I feel it may not be quite up to scratch for the more serious photographers out there.

      Ps. Apologies if this review doesn't go into enough depth, I'm just writing purely on my own experience with it and what I use it for.

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    • HTC Desire S / Smartphone / 21 Readings / 20 Ratings
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      29.08.2011 17:27
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      Great upgrade or introduction to the world of HTC

      I upgraded from a HTC Hero to a HTC Desire S a little over a month ago now, and the difference two years can make is astounding.

      While the Desire S is not the high end phone from HTC (that is the HTC Sensation), it is still certainly built with a premium feel. It's very nice to hold, and never gets warm in the palm like the Hero did. In fact if anything, it feels a little too cold thanks to the metal back! The phone is aesthetically very pleasing and I've had a number of comments from people praising how it looks. It's very simple, but it works. On the front there is a VGA camera for things like SKype which work excellently on the phone, with minimal lag. Then there are the 4 buttons on the bottom. Except they aren't buttons, more like touch pads. I worried this would lead to me accidentally pressing them all the time but I believe this has only happened once and they are very responsive when used whenyou want.

      The phone is able to run every app I have thrown at it so far, including graphics intense games (Reckless Racing) and your basic Angry Birds. Even with many apps open, I haven't noticed any lag. The internet is very good, very quick, precise and easy to use. It plays flash so yousee websites like you do on the internet, unlike on the iPhone which is a nice bonus.

      Battery life is where the phone slightly falls down though, in that if you aren't happy to charge every night, then this isn't the phone for you. However, if you are happy to, then the phone is fine. I will have wifi and autosync on nearly all day, send a few tweets, play a few games, and be left with 30% within 15 hours or so, when I can just plug in again. A further average spec is the camera, which takes nice photos, but is certainly not a market leader.

      Overall, the phone (which I have on £18 a month contract and got the phone free) is extremely affordable for what you get. It looks brilliant, plays brilliantly and has everything you could want from a phone, unless you are after that little bit extra of speed for the future.

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    • Stella Artois Cidre / Beer / Cider / 13 Readings / 10 Ratings
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      02.07.2011 22:12
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      Great new cider on the market!

      Stella have branched into the cider business finally and have come along with a top quality product.

      The drink is affordable (from supermarkets, not seen it in pubs yet), at around £3.50-4 for a pack of 4 cans. This means even those on a budget. such as students, can enjoy a high quality cider without paying through the nose. The taste is strong while the fizz is fairly subdued, meaning it is very easy to drink with a meal or on it's own whilst relaxing. Bet served cold, the drink definitely benefits from being chilled as when it is warm, it loses the flavour and can generally taste a bit flat. This is an issue if you are sitting outside and not planning to consume rapidly, as unless kept cooled the drink taste will dramatically reduce.
      Being from a reputable brand, cider drinkers will no longer feel looked down upon by beer drinkers as many people I know have been intrigued to know what it tastes like, and a strong majority have walked away very pleased.
      Overall, the drink is very refreshing on a summer's day, and can be enjoyed almost anywhere, so long as you don't overexpose it too heat or take too long to drink it.

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      02.07.2011 22:05
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      Very good device for music lovers

      Away from the glare of the App Store that now dominates the iPod touch range as well as the iphone one Apple continues to create a classic range, which is surely dedicated to those whose main hobby is music, rather than cheap gaming on the go.
      160GB roughly translates to around fifteen thousand songs now that MP3 quality has improved so much in recent times. It is the largest of all Apples portable products in terms of hard drive space so naturally fits more on than any other Apple media player.
      The wheel mechanism used to control the device is far less intuitive than the touch screen gracing other Apple products, and can make navigation much longer to find the song that you really want, however, everything is ordered in the same way as the touch, so it is easy to find, just the process is slown down. The screen is bright and for sure big enough for using as a music player, and is acceptable for videos, even if this is clearly not it's primary purpose. YOu certainly would not watch inception on here, however having said this, if you want portability, than other screens aren't drastically bigger on the touch and so for a full experience you would not choose portable anyway.
      Music quality is typical of Apple in that it is good if not groundbreaking, but one gripe of this product is that the volume is capped fairly low down so if you are listening to a quiet song on the bus it can be hard to hear even at highest volumes.
      Overall, this device is extremely portable and a great way of carrying a large music collection. If you are after games, you should choose the touch as the ones included in this are average. As a music player this gets 5* but as an overall media experience this falls to perhaps 4 stars.

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        07.07.2010 21:29
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        Must have for PC users, and a great benefit to Xbox 360 users to have such a good controller.

        Personally, I only use the xbox 360 controller for PC games, as it is much better than anything else on the market for the PC!

        Unfortunately, that does mean the remote is wired, but for Xbox 360's I imagine, where it is wireless, it adds well to the experience you get from the controller. A benefit of the controller being wired is that it means you do not have to charge batteries or buy new ones, so a fairly effective price saving exercise!

        The game has left and right triggers on the back, your standard face buttons and two analogue sticks. The analogue sticks are excellent to use for first person shooters, where you can move with one, and move your gun with the second. In racing games, you use one analogue and the 4 ABXY buttons to go. Its a very simple design but very diverse for different games, something other controllers can often be accused of not being.

        Another help is the size of the thing, for those with average hand sizes, each button is easily reachable, and very comfortable to hold. It's also a very good build quality, it never feels like you could break it and therefore is very durable.

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      • Nintendo Wii Zapper / Game Controller / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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        07.07.2010 21:15
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        Worth the price.

        This Wii gun is one of the better models that are on the market. Insert your wii remote and you're good to go, as well as this, the nunchuk is very easy to use.

        The actual look of it is fairly poor, it looks quite cheap, but this is perhaps reflected in the price, where they can be picked up for under ten pounds. As nintendo have shown everybody though, it is all about gameplay over looks, and that is certainly the case here.

        It offers accurate and precise shooting, which is obviously very handy with the first person shooter genre. Unfortunately, not many games of this type are available on the wii, so unless you own the majority, it may not be worth getting this product. However, it does what it does very well. One issue with the product I personally have had is using the buttons on the nunchuk (C and Z) , they can be quite hard to use, and if anything needs to happen with the front facing buttons on the wii remote itself, they can be quite hard to use. It must be said this isn't a major issue though and should not put you off a purchase. Many shooting games just require the nunchuk stick and B button in most of the gaming.

        Overall, a vital wii accessory if you play lots of shooter games, but completely redundant if not, its all about personal taste.

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        07.07.2010 21:05
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        Well worth the premium in price for the gameplay

        Bundled with the ever popular guitar hero for wii, this accessory is the controller for the entire game.

        Therefore lets look at it's long term build quality first. It is a fairy sturdy piece of equipment, it never feels like it is going to break while in your hands. The place where you insert the wii remote into is extremely fiddly however, and I can imagine with prolonged use will begin to falter, as it is thin plastic holding it in. It has 5 note buttons, guitar whammy stick and a "star power" button that are all fundamental to gameplay, and all feels very solid even after a while.

        Another issue is that when the wii remote is plugged in, you can no longer use the motion sensing and have to use the joystick on the controller. Not only is this unsightly to the design, but it is quite haphazard with how it works, it's quite confusing knowing which way it thinks is forward.

        It must be said though, the device for the actual gameplay is brilliant. Of course it doesn't feel overly realistic, but there's enough to rock out with here, thanks to the size. There's also a whammy bar to make weird noises with your notes, which is always fun to use. You can really rock out.

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        07.07.2010 14:23
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        If you haven't played on a wii using this, then where have you been?

        The Wii remote was the first piece of equipment that truly revolutionised the at the time stagnant home gaming industry. Companies were merely adding extra graphics to their consoles, when Nintendo decided to divert away from this and focus solely on gameplay.

        The wii remote certainly helps with this. It offers many new gameplay techniques, and particularly helps with first person shooters, driving and platform games. Its a shame Nintendo consoles don't specialise in the former two as that is what the remote is really good for! For instance Metroid Prime is very popular on the console, and I believe that is due to the new control mechanisms.

        Unfortunately, sometimes its use is limited to waggle only, and by sometimes I mean on about 80% of the games. Many developers seem to want to cash in on the very popular device, and it is easiest to do it by just adding simple movements. However, there are games that use it effectively so look for the quality games!

        The remote fits very kindly into the hand, and all the buttons are very easy to access and use, even though there are only a few. But it is the motion use of the device that has caused Sony and Microsoft to quickly develop motion controls for their consoles, and surely there is no better testament to the device then this.

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        07.07.2010 14:14
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        Buy one!

        The Wii seems overrun with accessories for different games, but this is definitely king of the bunch. As you stand on it, it can sense movement, weight change, and this offers many excellent gaming opportunities.

        The build of the balance board is fantastic, it is a very sturdy piece of kit. However, this does mean it weighs a massive amount, especially for young children. Storage of the device is not easy, as it is about 2 feet by 1 foot in length and width. On the other hand, for such a device, I suppose you could say it is well worth giving up the space.

        An issue of the board is that it runs on batteries, and boy can it eat them. You will find you have to replace them every week if you use it daily. Alternatively you can buy a connector which plugs into the Wii itself which then powers the device for you, and makes a lot more sense. It does mean it loses the idea of being wireless however.

        For wii fit, the device is extremely effective, as it can sense displacement, weight shift and motion, and is therefore very good for its game such as extreme hula hooping! Other games also use it, such as Avatar and snowboarding games, with the latter being excellent on the board, as it makes very fluid sense.

        Overall, it may be an expensive piece of kit (around £50!) but it i well worth it, as after many months of heavy use, mine still works as new, and it can offer new gaming experiences.

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        07.07.2010 14:06
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        Must have accessory

        The Nintendo Wii Wheel can be bought on it's own, or as part of a package with games, mostly with Mario Kart.

        The price is very cheap for such a piece of kit, and when bundled with Mario Kart, does not appear to add any expense onto the overall price of the game. It's design is very minimal, with one end having a little cut away so you can still point the wii remote at your tv screen. One issue that can arise from this is when you are racing, your hands tend to block this, which can cause control issues. This has only happened once to me, and I am only presuming that is the reason, and it may not be the case, but it is worth noting that this could be a design flaw. Usually, it is very responsive, and motion follows exact control.

        The controller fits very easily into the design, with room for your wrist strap to still hang out so you can wear it during gameplay. The B button is made more accessible by a large-ish trigger on the back, so you are not fiddling into the crannys of the wheel.

        Overall, the wii wheel is a must if you're a fan of racing games, for instance the F1 game works well with the wheel if you don't get the special bundle containing it's own version. It offers very good control wirelessly, and simply does its job excellently.

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      • Pogs Slammers & Kinis / Archive Game / 7 Readings / 6 Ratings
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        06.07.2010 22:41
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        The best games always die young.

        Seeing this product on this site brought back great memories for me, as I'm sure it does for many 1990's children/teens.

        Pogs and Kini's can be defined as a playground or a table top game, where a player has the circular disks, and play against each other to win one anothers, providing their competitive edge. Kini's were used to hit the pogs to try and turn them over by slamming them into a neatly stacked pile of pogs. If you turned any amount, those disks were then yours. If any were left, then the next player would then play their shot. They tended to come in sets, and some used to look better than others, and so some kids would offer 5 pogs in the pile for one good one. Oh the memories!

        Back in the peak of it's popularity in 1997-99, every kid had some of these disks, and it used to create a good atmosphere among us kids, who used to show off about our latest holographic pogs. You also used to get pogs in crisp packets, with pokemon ones being very popular, and everyone used to huddle round as you saw which disk someone else got.

        Will this game make a comeback? Well it definitely should, being very low in actual value, it doesn't cost the parent as much money as a new computer game. However, with the rise of technology these days, it could very well be the end of games like this in the playground. I for one shall miss it.

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      • More +
        06.07.2010 22:34

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        Good budget brush.

        Oral B are a renowned company for toothbrushes, being one of the market leaders. This is my first and only electric toothbrush, perhaps showing you the quality of it, as I have had it for a good while now!

        The head of the toothbrush is quite large in comparison to others and is elliptical, allowing a larger surface area to be targeted when brushing in comparison to others. The motion offered by the brush is oscillating, and has quick movement, so it effectively cleans very well. It's bristles can get into hard to reach places for instance, in between the teeth.

        The bristles themselves are quite soft, and so it does not feel bad in the mouth. I believe the reason for the soft bristles is to help those with sensitivity issues in the mouth. An issue with super soft bristles however is that they tend to wear out quite easily, and suddenly dont feel quite good.

        The brush is also quite cheap, and you do get a lot of bang for your buck, as it is not super basic, but it is superbly priced.

        A single charge can last for a few weeks, and so it is a good brush to take on holiday with you, particularly if you are in need of electric hygiene, and are on a smallish budget.

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      • Landmann Flatbed 580553 / BBQ / 13 Readings / 12 Ratings
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        05.07.2010 11:50
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        The perfect stay at home barbeque

        This barbeque is at the top end of the market, and is a very good piece of equipment.

        A rather large piece of apparatus, the barbeque is just meant to be used when hosting garden parties for 8-12 people. When you open the lid, there is a very large area for cooking the food. Like I say, it easily can fit many pieces of food on, enough to entertain for a fairly large party, and there are 2 main sections.

        One is your traditional barbeque, where you can let the flames tickle your food, to provide the well loved charcoal taste to barbeque food. The other is a hot plate, which works similarly, but doesn't let the food be licked by the flames. It means you can have many different things going at once, and so long as you are prepared to do a lot of moving around of the food, then everything can be cooked well and quickly. With the lid down, a lot of heat is trapped and so everything comes together very well.

        The barbeque's downside as well as its best feature is its size. It is very heavy, and the wheels are not the most well made, meaning it is difficult to move around. However, it can be argued it isnt meant to be moved around, and for its sole purpose of cooking food, its a brilliant piece of equipment.

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          05.07.2010 11:15
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          Well worth getting if you are planning not to drop your ipod any time soon.

          Ipod's are renowned for getting supremely scratched on the back, and being prone to damage to the front, through overuse or dropping it. With this in mind, it is best to buy yourself a case or cover for your ipod at some point, no matter what type you have, as it has always been an issue.

          This product is made by Belkin, a company who seem to specialise in making products like this for the ipod. They are well used and therefore seem to have the quantity to prove they know what they're doing. As this was the first generation of ipods with video, it is important to get a case which does not hinder the screen quality, and this one certainly does not.

          It must be said that this case is not to withstand multiple droppings, as it fits so snugly to the ipod. However, any scratches etc. that may occur are perfectly protected against. You can pick one of these products up off online sites for around a fiver, which is a worthy investment in the prolonging of your ipod's life. However, while it fits snugly to the ipod, it of course makes it a bit larger, which could go against why you bought an ipod instead of a competitor.

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