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Boss Pure, is a EDT that I personally don't think gets enough credit. Rarely heard of as advertising for it is minimal most folk I know aren't really aware of its existence! That said...everyone that has had a smell is instantly hooked on it.
The fragrance is presented in a light blue/silver glass bottle, to present the image of water, in line with the fresh smell of the fragrance itself. A fairly minimalistic design which looks good on you table without being too showy.
As the official Hugo Boss description says, ''Boss Pure is a bright, aquatic accord. It rests on a sensual woody drydown of massoia and treemoss, conjuring elegance and sophistication.'' Now if like me you DO NOT understand what this means one bit, it is a fragrance best described as fresh with a sweet citrus scent. Being a fan of such scents I have found that Boss Pure is probably my favourite citrus EDT, the only downside to the scent is that it does fade faster than others, probably due to the subtle nature of the scents.
Available in all major retailers for around £25 it is competitively priced along side other popular brands. Next time your shopping for a new EDT I strongly advise you grab a bottle and have a test!
It has to be said, the majority of Jack Daniels drinkers these days are primarily drinking it with mixers rather than straight. This is a niche that Mr Daniels has very successfully cornered over the last decade...the social more accessible whisky, bourbon to be precise.
Gentleman Jack is a widely available alternative to the classic No7 label. Coming in the standard 70cl it retails at a few pounds more than the standard Jack in the same size... usually between £25 and £30. Released in 1988 to the USA consumer initially, it was known as a 'superpremium' whisky , of a higher quality to the Jack Daniels No7 brand.
If you are a Jack fan, and are looking for that familiar smooth taste with a little bit extra then it may be worth grabbing a bottle and giving it a shot. The taste is very 'woody' similar to more traditional whiskies, so a good way for casual drinkers to get acquainted with some traditional tastes.
Its alcohol content, although equal to No7 does taste a little stronger and is arguably more enjoyable to drink straight due to the extra taste and bite. In the common , with coke combination it is also a very tasty drink which I personally could drink all night long.
I am going to approach this review as someone who does NOT understand jargon in the world of photography. And honestly, anyone looking at potentially buying one of these cameras will be of similar mind. The reason being that this is a good accessible camera for people who want to take good photographs without getting too bogged down on the technical aspects.
We'll start with the cosmetic appeal of this camera. Personally I find it an extremely good looking piece of kit. Sleek black design with fairly large silver lens and 'Sony' etched in silver along side it. Nothing too brash but stylish none the less as you would expect from Sony. Its a good size for your pocket too.. unlike many other compact cameras it has an internal battery so doesn't have the bulk of many that use replaceable batteries.
Performance wise it is perfectly reasonable for what you pay but as I got more into chasing better photographs, you start to notice cracks in the performance. Low light it struggles to take sharp pictures without the use of flash, which if your looking for a photograph focusing on anything past 10metres away could be a problem. So this is a camera best used in high light. From studying many pictures I have taken it is clear it focuses increasingly better at increasingly brighter light....ideal for holiday then!
Feature wise everything is worked from a small spin wheel on the back which lets you flick between video, simple photo and more advanced ones where you can change the focus from near focus portrait pictures to panoramic far focusing pictures. Other useful features that are simple to enable/disable include full screen photo, wide-screen 16:9 ratio pictures, flash types, picture quality if your running low on memory.
All photos and videos can be viewed on a fantastic clear and crisp display screen on the back of the camera. Battery life is not great, perhaps 4 hours of continued use but the battery is rechargeable so no major issue there.
I thoroughly recommend this camera to anyone who wants to take good pictures without the cost and hassle of carrying a larger specialist camera. It is possible to achieve near professional level photos with this camera....if its bright.
One last parting piece of information, this camera has been to many countries with me and lain on many sandy beaches, and been dropped countless times, it still works as well as day one. A very sound purchase.
I am surprised nobody has reviewed Dusit Zoo as of yet as it is a fantastic day out in Bangkok. Located in Dusit which is a couple of miles north of the centre of Bangkok, it can be reached easily enough by taxi. Beware though taxi drivers have been known to try and persuade you or take you to other wildlife parks which they will get a cut of the money for taking you so make sure you are clear that Dusit Zoo is where you expect to end up!
That warning aside you will arrive at a large front gate and perhaps see a giraffe's head gazing over the wall, heading inside there will be ticket offices which will charge tourists 100 Baht and locals 50b. So this will equate to around £2 which although double the local price is still very reasonable and I think considering the gap in earnings is a pretty fair system. Make sure you pick up a map on the way in too, as this is a very expansive piece of land!
There are large areas with all the well known animals you would expect to see in a zoo, many of which are far more open and put you in close proximity to the animals than you would be in many other zoo's. Unsurprisingly there is a huge reptile area too with every snake and lizard you can imagine. Luckily there are many small cafes and even some beter known food outlets such as KFC dotted around the park which provide welcome rests as you wonder around in the heat and humidity. If you feel the heat is too much there is a hop on hop off bus/train kinda thing which will take you from one area to the next.
It is slightly pointless listing the species of bird, reptile, mammal etc that you will find in there as it would actually be quicker to list species they do not have! One stand out that they do not have is pandas, but they do have red pandas which in itself is quite unusual so goes a long way to making up for that!
With Thailand being more relaxed in terms of health and safety regulations than western countries, expect some random animals to just be lying around the place... We took a seat beside some bushes to realise that one of their pythons was sitting under the bush...don't worry a minder was at hand! So snakes, skunks, parrots, and other animals will be around the zoo that you can pet and get photos with for a small fee.
There are a few shows going on frequently around the zoo, the elephant show is a big draw for tourists and locals alike.
I can't recommend this zoo highly enough, its got so much going on at such a good price and maintains that slightly untamed wild feel that makes it so much more entertaining!
Siam Ocean world is a large indoor aquarium in central Bangkok, Thailand. Firstly I'll just start off by stating that in my opinion this is a FANTASTIC day out and far surpasses any aquariums I have been to in the UK or Europe.
Its location is ideal for anyone staying in or even just passing through Bangkok. You will find it a short walk from the 'Siam' station on the Skytrain/BTS (which is the most efficient way to travel central Bangkok). Using this service will cost you between 10 and 25 baht, equating to around 50pence to get there. From the BTS head for 'Siam Paragon' shopping centre and Ocean World is located in the lower level down an escalator. Hard to miss!
When you arrive you will be greeted by the usual friendly locals and have the option of booking a variety of packages. Basic Entry, or a full day special package which will allow you to go behind the scenes and take a boat in the shark tank, free popcorn and drinks, and a showing in the 4D cinema at the end. This option will cost around 900baht, close on £20. You can pre-book and sometimes get special offers on the website so that would be worth trying if you plan a visit. Admittedly the price is quite steep but it does feel like you get your moneys worth and it is a good option if Bangkok decides to have one of its rainy days.
You will walk through walkways lined with massive tanks full of exotic and interesting sea life and through different zones with species associated with places such as rainforests, deep ocean etc. There are so many extras threaded throughout the complex that put it above any other aquarium I have visited. Aside from the massive range of wildlife they have various interesting little exhibits and extras along the way, such as giving your feet a clean in a pool of fish that like to nibble the dead skin from your feet! These wee extras make it a highly enjoyable way to escape from the humidity for 3 hours or so.
Grand Theft Auto 4 is the only next gen release of GTA thus far and according to the creators of the franchise will be the only one on current gaming platforms (ps3 and xbox360)
So my advice will be don't wait around, go and get a copy because it is a fantastic gaming experience.
Centred around a young Easter European arriving on the shores of Liberty City (themed on New York) and fast becoming embroiled with organised crime before aggressively rising up the ranks. Missions will provide a mixture of car chases, gun fights, robberies, assassinations and everything in between...
The driving mechanics of the game are really impressive, with a huge variety of vehicles at your disposal and each responding differently and even needing different driving styles. The character control is not quite as impressive but still functional. It has been said that the character controls and movement are in need of a complete overhaul and I think given how far the rest of the game has come on, this could have used a little more work. Many other games make better use of character control and movement for example with cover controls.
Personally I found the real highlight of the game is the setting. Liberty City is based on New York City and it looks glorious in full HD, buzzing and glowing like the real place. Simply wondering around can provide hours of entertainment as the atmosphere is fantastic.
This game is a true classic and now that it is available on Platinum and widely available for around £15 there it would be a crime of GTA proportions to let it slip by!
I feel it is right to only review a car now that I have had it for 3 years to give a fair view of how it has performed over an extended period of time.
Appearance wise the 207 is fairly similar to its predecessor the 206. With many of the classic aggressive lines now familiar on Peugeots I personally find it a very good looking modern styled car. For anyone familiar with the 206, the 207 is a slightly larger vehicle which seems to work to its advantage, the cabin space is ample for 2 adults in the back seats, although 3 would be a bit of a squeeze. The front seat are large, almost armchair like and fantastically comfortable. You would struggle to find a more comfortable car to sit in without spending a lot more. Boot space is reasonable although the classic golf bag test would show it perhaps could use a few more inches of space either way.
The performance is as to be expected, a 1.4 engine makes it punchy enough to perform safe overtakes and will comfortably travel at motorway limits in 5th gear but it is quite a heavy car so a lot slower than the likes of 1.4 corsa's or fiestas. The 1.6 option will obviously give it a fair bit more power and from owning the 1.4 I would advise going for the extra power if that is a option.
The drive is a positive of the Peugeot, smooth and comfortable, gear changes similarly smooth. Everything about the drive of this car is best described as smooth. Nothing too exciting but a nice experience helped along by a good sound system as standard with decent quality speakers.
Reliability has not been an issue thus far and all MOT's have been passed without issue. On the flip side though there as been issues with the electrics as is widely reported with Peugeots. In my case nothing too serious but lights frequently cease to work when the bulbs are fine and warning lights will intermittently come on just to be fine the next week. Fuel consumption is comparable to the majority of other small to medium sized petrol engined cars of the last few years and is capable of getting around 40mpg on the motorway.
Overall a good car available for around £6000 with low mileage. If your looking for a comfortable good looking package that would fit the bill for familys and young drivers alike this is a good choice.
Nintendo Wii brings a whole new angle to gaming and with it the potential to capture a whole new user group who previously may have found games consoles not to their liking.
The console itself is best described as a stylish small white box only slightly larger than the area of the disk that will be inserted into it, far more compact than both Microsofts Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3. Comparatively it is a far weaker console in terms of raw power, so you won't see the same kind of sharp graphics on the Nintendo Wii. This however is largely intentional as the draw of the Wii lies in the control system for its games...
The Wii is the pioneering console for motion gaming. It has a two-part control, one piece held in each hand and you control movements and actions within games by moving your hands and pressing action buttons on the controls as you do so. With the purchase of additional controls up to 4 people can participate in a game together. The motion controls are very responsive and accurately capture what your occasionally dangerous flailing arms are doing!
So that is the brief details of the system and it is worth noting that it is not intended as a direct competitor with the other consoles on the market. Less of an all round entertainment system and just a pure gaming , fun filled experience.
Its unique way of gaming has brought many new people into gaming and for this Nintendo must be commended. It is a truly enjoyable experience and the idea to make people participate in gaming in a more active manner than previously is a massive positive.
The price is far more reasonable than the other consoles as you can now get one for as little as £100 which makes it an ideal option for children or casual gamers. Additionally, Nintendo have a rich heritage of making quality games so it brings some exclusives to the Wii which are absolutely top class further justifying the very reasonable cost of the console.
Modern Warfare 2 is a sequal to the massively successful first ps3/xbox 360 game by the same title. Centred around fictional events world wide, you take on anti terrorism missions around the globe as part of teams of crack soldiers.
The gameplay is best described as mad. The call of duty games are now famous for putting you in the centre of conflicts with impressive set pieces and explosions whilst enemies fight you on all sides. The controls are typical of most shooter games but MW2 is more responsive and smoother than most which is why it is widely regarded as one of the best shooters available.
The online multiplayer is the big draw of the Call of Duty franchise as many millions of people world wide play together to level up and better their scores. Game modes online include free-for-all's and team based game modes such as 'Demolition' where each team attempts to bomb targets on the map whilst the opposition try to prevent this. These different game modes keep the online mode fresh and fun meaning the longevity of this game can go on years.
Despite this game being released in 2009 it is still amongst the best and online it is very well subscribed and will remain so until Modern Warfare 3 in late 2011.
The HTC Wildfire released in 2010 as an alternative to the higher end HTC Desire and mid level HTC Legend, came in with a much lesser price tag for a handset.
On the surface it does all the same things as these other phones, runs the same operating system (android) and enjoys the perks of doing so, such as free apps and regular updates to the system ensuring the phone doesn't become outdated.
It is unfortunately though far slower, without the same high resolution screen which can make running many apps a struggle and is prone to freezing occasionally. This sadly, makes it hard to enjoy the features that it offers.
I suppose these shortfalls are be expected when the basic cost is far less than other phones but if you are going to get a new phone on contract then there quite often is no need to opt for a low level handset such as the HTC Wildfire. Many wildfire contracts come in around the £25 mark on the major networks but with a little bargaining or just looking out for the better offers, you can bag a top level HTC for the same price per month.
Overall I DO NOT recommend this phone, it has a lot of potential but not the specifications it needs to pull it off.
So predictably enough, the i-pod shuffle is back with its 4th instalment. It still retails for around £40 and still comes in a variety of colours to satisfy most.
So what has changed this time around? Honestly, not much, BUT... crucially one thing... the sound quality.
Before the shuffle was essentially a budget mp3 player. While this fact remains, the sound quality has been significantly boosted with the latest model taking it up to a very reasonable standard on par with the likes of the i-pod Nano. While it is still screen-less , it is easy to navigate provided you don't store too many songs on it at once.
The other basic change is the size, reverting to the square shape rather than longer rectangle and knocking a little bit of weight off again.
Personally I use it when I run and it will clip onto clothing or a belt etc keeping it secured while you exercise making it perfect for such uses and in that regard couldn't recommend it enough. If you are looking for something more involved and of higher quality then perhaps you should look up the price range, although you will have to go a fair way up!
So the Playstation 3 slim is here and it replaces the original 'fatter' PS3. It is, in essence the same machine, just in a neater package and with a larger memory. Infact the most recent models are available in 160GB or 320gb which is substantially more than early 40, 60 and 80gb models.
It uses wireless controls, styled much like the ones used on PSX and PS2 but with dual shock (vibration) and motion sensitive features keeping them in line with the advances in controller technology.
The system itself is great to use, with a very simple and smooth interface whilst having enough features to keep it interesting. For example music playlists can be compiled with the memory capable of holding as many mp3's as you can find! Catch up television such as bbc i-player is available whilst Blu-Ray films can also be played through it since it comes with a built in player (the only console to do so).
As for the games, the PS3 library is extensive and most major titles are available on ps3 at similar prices to other consoles. Sony have a number of great quality PS3 exclusive titles too such as Little Big Planet 1+2, and Uncharted which are not available on other consoles giving much incentive to choose a PS3 over other consoles. Additionally the online 'Playstation Network' provides downloadable games, demos, and content to make sure that plenty of entertainment is at hand.
Now as a consumer that owned a 40gb model it will be of use to many of you to know that the slim console does NOT suffer from the same overheating problems the older models were known for. This means your console will last longer and if faced with the choice of paying a few more quid for a newer one personally I would recommend it as an investment.
Now lets be honest...when buying phones of late, you will almost inevitably compare to the 'market leading' i-phone. So when you next look for a new phone this is hands down one of the best out there.
Specifications of the HTC desire put it a cut above earlier models of the i-phone and on par with i-phone 4 so you are never going to be short on power. The screen is large and nearly covering the full body of the phone allowing a very reactive easy to use touch screen with great colours and definition on screen. The built in camera is of good quality for a phone too and your pictures will look great on the phone and still fairly good when transferred to computer etc.
It operates on the 'Android' platform which is essentially the operating system (by comparison to windows phones and i phone os) This system is arguably the strongest of all as it is constantly updated allowing your phone to evolve and never really become outdated. Additionally apps on Android are largely free unlike their counterparts.
For the boring but I guess essential things, call quality is decent with the usual in call volume controls available and speaker phone whilst not very loud will allow hands free calling.
Overall a fantastic phone, I certainly feel it is at least as good as an i-phone and to be honest its nice to support a different brand from everyone else..