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Before my new Nokia, I had a Huawei Vision which I picked up on pay as you go for £60 with £10 topup which I also didn't want but had to buy to get it for that price. I thought that this seemed very cheap for the specs that were given and I had a quick play in the store and was impressed enough to buy it so I did.
It comes packaged in a nice little white box and assembly is easy enough as the battery is internal so you just flip down the bottom hatch and pop in your sim card and micro SD if you have bought one (doesn't come in box). Then, you charge it up for a few hours till it gets to 100% and away you go.
I'm not sure how I'm going to structure this review and I don't like being fastened down to specifics so I am going to ramble a little bit which if you don't want to read then skip to the end review score.
As a touchscreen one of the most important features is the touchscreen itself and how responsive it is. I was very pleased with this touchscreen as it was sharp and responsive being powered by a Quadcore Snapdragon processor. The only issue I had with speed was that it couldn't run the more high action intense games like Temple Run but could easily handle the likes of Angry Birds which comes on the phone as default. So on this front, I will give it 5/5 for a cheap smartphone which it is.
Next, on to apps which are normally seen as important for phones. It is running Android's latest operating system so has access to the Android store and all of its apps which are available which are a lot. Again, 5/5.
Now, the actual purpose of a phone is to text and call so how does it perform in those departments? Well, calling is very easy on this phone and the quality of sound is fairly decent but not exceptional. Sometimes, I would press call however after putting a number in and it would just go back to the home screen so a couple of bugs in the software there. With regards to texting, I'm not a fan of texting on touchscreens but it does have a pretty good predictive text already and if you download some of the paid predictive text apps then it is superb. You can also turn it on its side for bigger keys and there is plenty of customization how you want your keyboard. Again, sometimes it just wouldn't recognise any button presses and would just not input text. So for this, I am going to give it 3/5 as when it worked it was good but when it didn't, I was left stranded.
As I just mentioned this phone seemed to crash every now and then and not respond to touches. At one point in its use, it just completely froze and I had to wait two days for it to run out of battery before charging back up which is just plain terrible.
The camera on this phone is meant to be 5mp which is fairly decent and it has a strong flash on it which can also be used as a torch on dark nights. However, the photos that come out are never too good and often appear very average. I would give them a 3/5 as it is a phone after all and there are plenty of options including HD video even though it doesn't look HD.
The battery life of this phone is pretty similar to other smartphones out there lasting around a day meaning that you have to charge it every night as you go to bed. This is expected but is still a pain. It can be extended to around two days if you turn the brightness all the way down and use it sparingly but the screen on this phone is quite beautiful and one of the best features thus you often want it on high brightness. 3/5
In terms of reliability, I bought this phone in March and used it until October so it lasted about 5/6 months which most people would say is terrible but I put some of the blame on myself. I dropped it whilst out once and its screen smashed and from then on, I didn't treat it very well and it eventually broke completely after losing the casing on the bottom and top. Still, it was buggy and I would only give it 2/5 as it scratched easily in your pocket.
Screen - 5/5
Touch responsiveness - 5/5
Processor - 4/5
Apps - 5/5
Calling and Texting - 3/5
Battery Life - 3/5
Reliability - 2/5
Would I recommend this phone? Maybe but only if you look after your phone and don't often need it in emergencies as it has a tendency to stop working just when you need it. It is close to being fantastic and if they had increased the price just a little and put the extra money into truly perfecting the phone then it could have been a wonder at the £100 mark.
I bought this a while back after reading such great positive reviews on here about the product. I had always been in the market for a wine cooler as it would be fair to say that I enjoy a glass or ten. I picked it up from Amazon where I buy everything for £20. £20 is pretty standard I would say for a mid-range wine cooler as you can buy them in the hundreds but can also buy them for a fiver.
Anyway, it is a sleek silver with an inner piece which you take out and pop in the freezer to cool and take out when you plan on having a glass of wine and don't want to get up to get the wine. Size wise, it should fit into the smallest of freezers as it doesn't take up a lot of space. Give it around twenty minutes in the freezer and it should be plenty cold. Then you just pop it back in to its holder and carry it over to your seat. Once you put your bottle of wine in, it will only take around three or four minutes for the bottle to start going cold and it will last for around three hours from my experience which is plenty long enough for a single bottle.
You can also put the big bottles of cider in it or any other wine sized bottle. I have dropped it a couple of times but it has easily survived these drops, with the worst being a minor dent in the side which doesn't affect functioning; just appearance.
If you're in the market for a wine cooler, then I have to say that you should look no further as for £20, you can pick up one of the most effective wine coolers that I have used for a while. Functional, rugged and cheap, can't ask for more.
One issue that many people have with FIFA is that with just a year between every version, some find it hard to justify the expenditure for often small improvements. For me, however this is inconsequential for the amount of hours that I plough into the game. In terms of value for money, it always works out well for me.
I think that most people are aware of what FIFA is by now but just in case you have lived on Mars for the last twenty years, then it is a football simulator where you take charge of one team and control the players. There is also a mode where you can play as just one player but the weak and boring AI displayed on almost every FIFA has resulted in this often being a chore.
FIFA 14 includes the traditional career mode where you manage and control a team, Be A Pro mode where you are a single player in a team and can get sent out on loan to clubs etc. as well as the likes of kick off which is just a single game. It allows up to 4 controllers to be connected at once to your XBOX allowing for some great 2v2 action if you have some friends around and have plenty of spare controllers.
Graphically, I feel there has actually been a large improvement over FIFA 13 which many people may not agree with but after putting in FIFA 13 the other day, it just didn't seem quite as sharp. Gameplay wise, FIFA is fantastically fluid and outperforms any other football game out there. They have nerfed finesse shots considerably but appear to have buffed chip shots making these rather easy to score.
The online side of the game for FIFA is huge. Playing against someone from across the world and dominating them has never been so satisfying. There is the introduction of coop seasons where you can play with a friend who is at his house against two people elsewhere in the world but I have not tried this yet but can only assume it would be similar a standard 2v2 game. Pro Clubs is still present where you can form a club as a single player and recruit friends and play against other peoples pro clubs.
Ultimate Team being the now most popular game mode on FIFA deserves a paragraph of its own. It is similar to trading cards in the way that you acquire players through packs which can be bought for match-earned coins or through paying real money for them. You can then trade these players on the auction house and buy new players to improve your team before trying to work your way up the divisions starting from Div 10 and going all the way up to Div 1. This years is similar to last years and is still a great game mode which will keep you hooked.
Seasons is also a popular online game mode where you pick a real life club to play as and get matched against other teams and players from around the world playing for points to try and advance up your own personal division with a fixed number of points required to avoid relegation, achieve promotion and to win the league. With ten divisions to compete in, it take s a while to try and work your way up the divisions but really creates some intense games when you require just one point or a win to either stay up or to get promoted.
This FIFA also has new menus compared to the old clunky ones. I can definitely say that they are an improvement and seem a lot faster but you need to get used to them as everything appears to be in quite a random order but the last played game mode being the first option does make it very quick to get to your favourite game mode if you played it last and always play it.
Overall, I would strongly recommend this new FIFA 14 which you can pick up for around £30 now although I paid £40 on release day. The squad updates are always welcome and keeps you up to date with transfers when you can't follow them normally. The gameplay is better than ever with a fluid fast paced game flowing every time and the graphics are sharp.
The Microsoft Touch Cover is a case/keyboard accessory for the Microsoft Surface. It is priced at around £65 which I will start with by saying is very expensive for both a case or a keyboard but you can pick it up as a bundle with your Microsoft Surface which is often the best solution as you will want this for both a screen cover as well as for a quick flip-down keyboard.
As a case, it is superb for a screen cover as it hugs the screen nicely and has so far protected my screen from any scratches. It is entirely flexible and allows you to flip it behind your tablet for when you are not requiring it and are short for space.
However, as a keyboard, I must applaud it as well as criticise it. It's design is almost flawless and suits the Surface perfectly. It suits the ideal of the Surface as an actually useful tablet rather than as a little gimmick like most other tablets. It does take a little getting used too but once you get used to not pressing keys but instead tapping where they are placed then you will be okay. However, if you are a fast typer like myself then you will most likely dislike this as tactile feedback is often quite important for touch typing whereas if you look at the keyboard when you are typing then this keyboard will be perfect for you. Thus, I cannot type on this keyboard as fast as I can on a normal keyboard. I'm tempted to do a little wpm test right now to test this theory out....
Okay so I decided to do it and here are the results:
Before I give you them, remember that I have not typed on a classic keyboard for a couple of months now due to not having one with me but now I do and I have been using the Touch Cover for around two months now.
Normal Keyboard WPM: 83 with 97% accuracy
Touch Cover WPM: 66 with 56& accuracy
These results have actually really shocked me and it may result in me going back to using a keyboard connected via USB. Adjusted for accuracy, then my WPM would be 82 for the normal keyboard which is definitely still in the faster range especially considering I haven't used one for a while and for the touch cover it would be 37, which is only slightly above the average....and the average person can't type.
The mousepad on the keyboard isn't the best but it is useable and I find myself using it every now and then. You can always plug a mouse in the USB slot provided if you use your mouse a lot.
In terms of reliability and toughness, it has not yet succumbed to much damage although one of the corners seems to have opened out a little which could be a future worry if it splits completely and its magnet clip on design is fantastic and is working as well as ever. Overall, if you have a Surface then you really do need either this Touch cover or the Type Cover which I feel may be a better keyboard but it is slightly more expensive. With the WPM results, I will definitely say still get this cover as it is required for when you can't carry a keyboard with you separate and it is a good screen cover but also consider keeping your old keyboard for use at home.
Considering James Bond is such a famous series, I wondered to myself why I had never read the books so I decided to rectify this situation. Live and Let Die is the second book in the series and for some reason, I started with this one (I will go back and read the first one).
Without giving away too much of the plot, James Bond travels to America to takedown the notorious Mr Big who has setup an old coin smuggling cartel using Captain Morgans buried treasure. The girl in question in this James Bond is called Solitaire.
To give a quick rundown of these three main characters is as follows: James Bond is the classic 007, he drinks, smokes and is delightfully charming, tough and a stud with the ladies. Mr Big is a massive man who has created a Voodoo fear of himself amongst his followers as they believe he is the reincarnate of Samedi, the famous voodoo frontman. He is extremely smart, strong and has a stronghold in Harlem. Solitaire is a beautiful girl who is being held by Mr Big against her wishes after he discovers her telepathic abilities.
Bond is classic Bond and I feel is a strong character as always in this novel. Mr Big is a fantastic villain who really instils fear in you. If any character lets the novel down then I feel that it must be Solitaire who just doesn't seem to have the charismatic nature that most Bond girls have.
It is quite a well written novel however I feel that the pacing was off a bit at times and if I'm perfectly honest, I felt that I could have skipped twenty pages at one point and it would not have changed the story and it may have even made it a better, faster paced story as a Bond novel should be. The ending I feel had some terrific pacing at times but I feel was rushed at other times and could have been stretched on for another 20 pages or so to really juxtapose the situations that each character was in with their final outcome.
It must be noted that you will notice the dated nature of this book with its repeated use of 'negro', 'negress' etc. but I believe that we can overlook this as it is not being used in a derogatory tone and it should take nothing away from the book itself.
I would recommend that you read this second instalment in the Bond series. It isn't a very long book at just under 200 pages and took me less than a day to read making it ideal for a short journey or a plane journey. It will definitely keep you hooked as you want to see how Mr Big will outsmart Bond and how Bond will respond to this different challenge.
I have the Nokia 105 which is the latest version of the Nokia 100. The only difference is that the keys are all together with no gaps between them and that it is in a blue colour. I paid 99p for this phone from Carphone Warehouse but had to buy £20 credit which I don't want as I have a contract sim which I use.
I will openly admit that I am going to have no structure to this review and am probably just going to ramble for a few hundred words so if you don't want to read it, then just go and buy the phone as it is great.
This phone is well known across the world as the Nokia brick or the classic Nokia. It is what it is....a phone which rings and calls........... and has snake. As a phone it works perfectly. On my old phone, I rarely got signal in many places that I live but with this phone, I have almost full signal everywhere so obviously nothing is interfering with the signal like there was on the old phone. Texting on it is great and fast, far superior to a touchscreen and the volume on the phone is great for calls with a strong loudspeaker element.
The other important 'app' that you get on this phone is the alarm which is very fast to set and loud enough to wake even the heaviest sleeper, especially with it's 'it's time to get up, the time is...' alarm which always amuses people.
This phone actually comes with several games on it such as Cricket, Treasure something, Suduko and most importantly, Snake which I find myself regularly playing and putting in quite impressive high scores. This is great for a quick game whilst you wait for the bus or when you have a 5 minute break. I kid you not, this is the best game that can be played on a phone and puts to shame all of the apps that can be had on £500 phones. I have friends who ask to borrow my phone to play Snake on despite having smartphones themselves.
Overall, this is the best phone that I have ever owned out of about 15. It is reliable, fast and lightweight. I really do love this phone and recommend it to all even as a spare phone or a phone to take to a festival. And if you lose it, just buy another one!
First of all, this is a Tesco Value kettle so lower your expectations, it isn't going to last ten years like some kettles but it will boil your water for a quick brew. Quite appropriately, I am currently brewing a pot right now using this kettle.
In a white kitchen, this will look like a fairly sleek decent but low cost kettle. There are no logos on this kettle or anything like that but it is a plain, fairly ergonomical looking kettle.
Filling the kettle is well filling a kettle, you lift the lid and pour water in from the tap. It does seem to me to be a fairly slow kettle for boiling water, so much so that I will walk away and come back in 5 minutes when I am certain that it will be boiled. For some this may be an issue, for me it is a minor inconvenience.
You can pick this kettle up for around £5-£10. This is definitely in the budget range and for this price, you can make tea or whatever you fancy for twelve months most likely before you experience any issues.
My current version of this kettle is my second version however with both kettles after several months of use, it has started to leak when pouring boiling water out of it. I think this is a design flaw with a slightly loose lid which seems to leak water. This can lead to burning yourself so be careful and get a new kettle when this occurs, especially if still under warranty.
A decent useable kettle but don't expect it to last your lifetime. At the end of the day, it's a kettle.... and it works.
I didn't buy this TV but it was the present TV in my rented house. You should be able to pick it up for just under £200 which is pretty standard for a budget 32" TV these days. Would I recommend it at this price? No, simply because I know that there are better TVs out there at this price having bought one myself at this price three years ago which is still going very strongly.
Let's start with the aesthetics which are never the be all and end all but which normally compliment a device like a nice sauce to a meal. It is a fairly attractive television but it does look like a budget television with its slightly clunky bottom bar where the power LED is. So therefore, 3/5 as for a budget television, it isn't good or bad looking.
The picture quality is probably the most important factor in a television. This TV outputs at 720p which is fairly decent and can provide a nice HD appeal to it. TV generally looks good and movies are of a decent standard but don't expect the incredible immersion of stunning vistas that you would get on the top end sets. 3/5
Freeview is built in on this television which it generally is these days but this is always a positive as it means you don't need a clunky box next to your TV. However the negative with this is that it performs very averagely, the menus are slow and navigating through channels is a pain which it shouldn't be as this is the primary function of a television. There is a similar feel to the start up and switch off of the television, it is slow taking around 5 seconds to boot up from standby which is slightly too long from a standby.
The remote which comes with the television is fairly sturdy and takes some throwing around. It has a lot of buttons on it, some of which I don't even know what they do and the menus are slow and tricky to navigate to get to the HDMI and PC ports. Again though it comes with a solid number of ports (2x HDMI, 1x PC) so you will be accommodated for if you can navigate your way around.
If you see this television for very cheap in a stock clearance and you want a spare TV or a TV for the kids then pick it up but technology has advanced so much recently that it just doesn't quite lead the race of budget TVs but comes in as a midpack finisher.
I received the 4th generation iPod Nano in 2009 as a gift but I know that at the time the 8gb was available for around £100 at various stores but £129 on the Apple store. Aesthetically, it is a very good looking device and the scroll click wheel is great for browsing music and navigating the device. The headphones that come with the device are sufficient if not great and many people will choose to replace them with their own.
The primary function of an iPod is to play music. You may disagree but honestly you don't buy an iPod nano unless you want to listen to music on it. You can watch a film on it but who wants to watch a film on a 2" screen. I tried it once and was left perplexed why they even offer that experience afterwards. In terms of music playing, the iPod is the number one device out there. I have tried other MP3 players and I have never had anything like the user experience or quality that I have with the iPod and I'm not a fan of overly expensive goods like most apple products are. The menus are clear, playlists can be easily created and although not a fan of Genius which matches your song to similar ones to make a playlist, it can be fun to play around with and find songs that you had forgot about.
One gripe I have is with the cover flow feature which many people actually like. This was a new feature of the 4th gen and it allows you to scroll through your album covers by turning your iPod on its side. However I find this frustrating as sometimes my iPod will be on its side in my pocket or on a dashboard etc and it is frustrating to try and turn it back to normal. The other new feature of the shake to shuffle feature when unlocked is however very nice for when you are bored of a song or just fancy a change but it is a bit of a gimmick as most of the time you could simply just tap the next button.
Reliability wise, you may think that the fact that it has lasted three years is a good sign but unfortunately, during this time, my use of it has not been at all heavy. I would say the maximum number of chargers that it had was around 100 which really isn't a lot when some people charge theirs everyday. I very rarely dropped it but I would throw it in my pocket with keys or coins. This obviously left scratches but it wouldn't cause proper damage. The death of my iPod was sealed on a run....i was jogging along listening to my music when the volume suddenly dropped. When I came to a break in my run, I checked my iPod and the screen was almost fully black but my music was still slightly audible. Eventually the screen completely blacked out and it doesn't respond to any form of charging etc and the screen is effectively dead from what must be sweat. A music device that is susceptible to sweat is pretty poor in my opinion.
In conclusion, I think that the iPod is a very good music player but in terms of an overall device then I have to be worried about its reliability as it isn't a cheap device being on the pricier scale of MP3 players.
We all like to see if we can cut down our spending a little by trying the cheaper brands on the non-essentials and gel definitely comes in as one of those so I thought why not...not a lot to lose. Unfortunately, I lose 25p as this gel is useless. It's texture is like the stuff you used to get in the fake shark bowl things and it just slides straight off your hand.
The gel itself is a light blue colour in a reasonably large size pot of 300ml. It definitely does look cheap, which it is so you can't really complain about that too much! The smell of the gel is also rather unpleasant being a sort of swimming pool-esque type of smell which really isn't the one you want following you around during the day.
Now onto the big question, does it work? The simple answer is no. You could put a whole pot of this cheap stuff on your hair and it would just make is slimy and greasy, and wouldn't hold it in position, not even with really short hair. With long hair, it is pathetic and you would do better just putting water on your hair.
I abhor you not to buy this gel as despite the bargain price, you would do better using water which is even cheaper, smells nicer and has a nicer texture!
You would struggle to find a hair care brand better known than Wella and the Shockwave Range; a leader in gels, waxs, and hairsprays so with them you do have high expectations. Are these expectations always met? I would say yes but always with mixed feelings. My experiences with the Shockwave range has been good in general but when I compare the products to those that are available but at much cheaper prices, they just seem all too similar.
It is no different for the Ultra Firm Extra Hold hairspray which does perform it's job of holding hair in place but personally, I prefer other brands (see my other reviews) which are less than half the cost. The canister is a long red tube with the silver Shockwave logo across it, as far as aesthetics go, it does look the part and wouldn't go amiss in even the most upper range hair salons.
The price is somewhat the issue here but not in its entirety as £3/£4 a can is not horrific for something that will last you a month but again compared to it's competitors, it does nothing to make me want to pay that extra £2/£3 a can for it. I also find that it doesn't last anywhere near as long as it's competitors (maybe it sprays faster?). Overall, I would recommend this product only if you are exceptionally style conscious and must require only big name brands all over your house including in your bathroom/styling area.
After reviewing the general product in my last vaseline review which you can find on my profile, I thought that I would tailor this review slightly more specifically to the 'Rosy Lips' version of this Vaseline. But just in case you don't want to go and read my other review, then I will quickly summarize.... Vaseline Lip Care range is without a doubt the best range of lip care for dry and chapped lips out there and incredibly affordable and handy to carry around in these little metal tins with no risk of explosions or spillages. It really is a great product!
The difference between the standard version and this version is firstly, the tin is a of a red colour instead of the more neutral blue which makes it much more popular with the females. Furthermore, the contents are of a light red colour which leaves your lips looking slightly red as if they have lipgloss or lipstick on them which may put off a lot of guys but when you're desperate, it is still the same great product. Definitely a women's version of the Vaseline but it can still be used by all and it is still the same great product at the same cheap, affordable price which is why I'm not going to give it 3 or 4 stars but keep with the great 5 star rating.
I had a tough decision in deciding whether to write a review for this product as it is one of those products which everyone already knows about and is already widely reviewed as evidenced by this being the 297th review on this site of this small, handy product. However, I felt that as this is such a great product and I wouldn't want it to somehow drop to a 4 star rating I would throw in my two cents and five stars on top of all the current ratings.
It comes in a small metal tin looking like something straight from the 1970s, slightly retro with it's clear cut straight lines and old school fonts unlike today's jazzy colourful products. Inside, is the petroleum jelly which is like a slightly sticky but slippy product which you put on to your lips to give them some relief when sore or chapped. All you do is dip your finger in the tub, get a little vaseline and rub it across all your lips or just the sore spots if you want but I feel that it is nice to just give all the lip some relief and softness. It drys after about an hour or so and then you just keep reapplying and it works terrifically in solving chapped or sore lips; there really is no better product.
I have never even finished a tin of this product without losing it so the longevity of the product is unquestionable unless you are careless like me. At around £1.50 a tin, it's a no brainer in terms of lip care. I've currently got 3 different kinds. I would strongly recommend keeping one handy in your house or on holiday especially in either really hot or really cold weather when your lips get dried out.
I think all of us have those moments between activities where we just don't have a time for a shower or to freshen up so that we look the part. Fortunately, there are many great products out there which don't take the time of a shower but give us at least a quick burst of freshness to make us look slightly less unsightly at 6am in the morning. Batiste has for as long as I remember been the first choice for nearly everyone in dry shampoos. Dry shampoos are sprays which you put on your hair which leaves your hair feeling fresher and rejuvenated. This particular bottle is the cherry version which as you can probably guess is cherry scented.
It comes in a small upright canister similar to all hairsprays. It comes in a light aqua colour with red cherries all over it, making it look moderately appealing and decent on the shelf however dry shampoo isn't the most adhering item to have on your shelf as some would maybe jump to the conclusion that you don't actually shower. To use, you simply push down on the plunger bit at the top and it sprays out the little nozzle hole...make sure to point at your hair, not your eyes...it hurts.....a lot.
Although this doesn't sound particularly appealing, I feel that it has a similar effect to if you rubbed talcum poweder in your hair as it drys up any grease and makes it softer which is great for a quick spray.The cherry scent is lovely and will receive a lot of compliments as it almost acts as a lovely fruity aftershave throughout the day.
At around £2.50 a can, it's not super cheap but it's also not ridiculously expensive as it can last a fair couple of months of use, if you are using it maybe once a week in those panic moments. I would definitely recommend having a bottle in your house for emergencies but don't use it every day...take a shower instead when you can as it is definitely better!
As a male, most peers would lend themselves more to waxes or gels but personally, I'm not too keen as I feel that it leaves my hair feeling and looking slightly greasy or unclean unless done really well. So, instead I have been using hairspray for the last couple of years and must say that for me, the best value to quality product is without a doubt, Boots Own Brand Maximum Hold Hairspray, coming in at around £1 for a can of 250ml.
Okay, fair enough, the exterior is cheap and isn't something that you would say in a make-up artists kitbag but who cares? We all do our hair etc. at home and personally I couldn't care less if people saw what brand I use because I personally feel that it is the best. Another thing that concerns people with hairspray is the smell of it as some can smell exceedingly cosmetic, but this one has a very neutral smell which is easily overpowered by deodorant/aftershave or just by leaving it to air and it goes naturally which is excellent.
Now on to the important part, the actual hairspray! Maximum hold suggests that it should be able to hold up most styles with little effort, which I find that it can easily achieve until my hair exceeds a few inches in length and then it will struggle and won't last all day and will require reapplying but this happens with all products. To make it most effective, I find applying it straight after showering whilst your hair is slightly damp (after towel drying) makes it look best and makes it most effective! Overall, I would thoroughly recommend this product over the more pricey versions. Furthermore, one bottle can last a couple of months unlike the other more expensive brands with their small bottles which last two weeks before stocking up again.