Real World Consumer Tests and Product Reviews

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Echo Show multimedia device by Amazon

Detailed review of Amazon's new media device - Echo Show


Echo Show is the newest and probably the weirdest devices manufactured by Amazon so far. You are all familiar with their popular Kindle products like the Kindle Fire tablet or the Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader. The Echo Show is completely different story and I am not quite sure what is its main purpose, that is why I will present you with all of its features and specifications as well as its price info.

Make hands-free voice calls to any of your contacts, or video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. When you're busy making dinner, just ask Alexa to place a call from your Echo Spot to anyone. You can also enable Drop In for when you want to connect instantly with other Echo devices in your home or closest family and friends. For example, you can drop in to ask what time dinner will be ready, see the baby's nursery, or check in with a close relative.
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Star-Light 32DM3500 32 inch HD LED TV

Star-Light 32DM3500 is one of the cheapest 32 inch HD LED TVs on the European market


European tech and home appliances manufacturer Star-Light offers some of the cheapest LED TVs on the market these days. Today we are taking a closer look at one of their affordable 32 inch HD LED TVs - the Star-Light 32DM3500. Its specifications are very similar to what we see in another of their LED TVs, the STAR-LIGHT 32DM100:

AUDIO
Sound Output (RMS)
2 x 10 W

VIDEO
Screen Size (cm): 80
Resolution: 1366 x 768
Brightness: 250 cd/sqm
Response Time: 6.5 ms
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Native Contrast: 3000:1

Picture Quality
Comb Filter 3D; De-Interlace; Digital Noise Reduction
Viewing Angle: 178/178 grade

TUNING
Digital Tuner
DVB-T/C
SPECIAL FEATURES
Built-in Multimedia Player: Yes

CONNECTION

Connections: HDMI, D-SUB, 1 x PC Audio in, 1 x Jack 3.5mm, SCART, Slot CI
PC Input (15 pin D-sub): 1
USB 2.0 Input: 1
Component Input: 1
Scart Input (RGB): 1
HDMI Ports: 3

MISCELLANEOUS
Size (W x H x D ) Without Stand
737 x 437.7 x 82 mm
Power Consumption
65 W

Special features
Ultra-slim; PVR via USB for DTV; EPG; Sleep Timer; Teletext

Samsung UE-32H5030 cheap 32 inch LED TV


As you can see the Star-Light 32DM3500 doesn't offer anything special compared to the competition from Philips or Vestel in this class. But of course the price is a huge buying factor. You can easily find this 32 inch LED TV for 180 Euros (offered in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and few more countries) which makes it one of the cheapest offers in this price segment.

So, if I have to answer to your question "would you recommend the Star-Light 32DM3500", the answer would be yes, I would - it is cheap, but it would do a great job as a TV for your kitchen or bedroom.
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HAIER AS09TA2HRA/1U09BE8ERA air conditioner review

HAIER AS09TA2HRA/1U09BE8ERA Tundra digital inverter  A/C - features and specifications



HAIER AS09TA2HRA/1U09BE8ERA is an affordable inverter air conditioner with very good characteristics and extremely appealing price tag. I have used couple of Haier A/C systems so far and I can say I was very pleased with they performance, especially with the cooling part. Heating was not OK, but not great, mostly because these were regular split systems rather than digital inverters.

Here are HAIER AS09TA2HRA/1U09BE8ERA  main specifications

BRANDHAIER
NAMEInverter A/C
MODELAS09TA2HRA/1U09BE8ERA
CAPACITYCOOLING2.600 KW
CAPACITYHEATING2.800 KW
POWERCONSUMPTIONCOOLING0.810 KW
POWERCONSHEATING0.780 KW
INVERTER MOTORYES
ON OFFNO
EER3.21
SEASONAL EER6.20
COP3.61
SEASONAL COP4
ENERGY CLASS COOLINGA++
ENERGY CLASS HEATINGA+
NEGATIVE IONNO
BACTERIA KILLING FILTERYES
PLAZMANO
AUTO RESTARTYES
NOISE LEV.INSIDE UNIT MIN/MAX54
NOISE LEV.OUTSIDE UNIT61
AIR CIRCULATION (M3/H)500 М3/Ч
WEIGHT INSIDE UNIT8.8 kg
WEIGHT OUTSIDE UNIT25.5 kg
REMOTE CONTROLYES
WARRANTY24 MONTHS


Product features


• Completely silent operation: Through sophisticated Quiet setting, you can achieve noise reduction up to 20db (A), by controlling the compressor frequency, the fan speed and air flow.

Smart air distribution: Automatic airflow upstream in the cooling or vertically during heating that air is automatically distributed throughout the room without direct exposure to the human body.

Seeping comfort: The temperature setting and the background noise can be adapted to the more ideal level when you select the function "Sleep" during sleep.

Eurovent Certification is certified by Eurovent organosmo for ektimiseis performance of air conditioning units in accordance with European standards. Warrants to the end user that the listed features of your machine (power consumption, performance, noise, etc.) is accurate and in accordance with design features.

Ease of Installation
Easy and fast motor repair
Connect tubing from 2 sides
Intelligent air distribution

HAIER AS09TA2HRA/1U09BE8ERA Price

This A/C costs around $350.
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ASUS ZenPad Z170C - cheap 7-inch Android tablet

Specifications and consumer opinion about the affordable 7 inch Android tablet ASUS ZenPad Z170C


 

I have never been a huge fan of ASUS tablets and actually never owned one. But I have to admit there are some cheap and yet very affordable offers by ASUS that I think are pretty good. One of them is the affordable ASUS ZenPad Z170C which is a compact 7 inch Android tablet powered by a quad-core Intel processor. Today we are taking a look at its main features and specifications as well as short video review.

ASUS ZenPad Z170C tablet specifications


Brand: ASUS
Model: MPN Z170C-1L018A
Product Line: ZenPad
Screen size: 7 inch
Operating System: Android 5.0.X Lollipop OS
RAM: 1GB
Screen resolution: 1024 x 600
Internal storage: 16GB
Processor: Intel Quad-Core
Processor speed: 1.1GHz
Camera: 2MP Rear / 0.3MP Front Camera
Color -  Silver
Internet Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Battery: 3450 mAh Lithium-polymer Up to 9 hours
Features Bluetooth, Built-In Front Camera, Built-In Rear Camera, Colour Screen, Email, Expandable Memory, File Browsing, FM Radio, HD Compatible, Integrated Speakers, LCD Display, Media Player, MP3 Player, Touch Screen, Video Recorder,Web Browser
Weight (g) 270 g
Specifications Intel Atom x3-C3200 - Quad-core - 1.1 GHz Processor, 10-point multitouch screen, Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
Warranty 1 Year

ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380M review


With the Asus ZenPad Z170C 7" Tablet you'll be able to browse the web and stay entertained comfortably and easily, on the move or while relaxing at home.

Smart processing 

An Intel® Atom™ x3-C3200 Processor helps your ZenPad run smoothly so that daily computing stays fun.

Android 5.0 gives you a fantastic experience - its bold, colorful new design looks great and features layered windows for simple and intuitive menu navigation. Notifications for messages, emails and updates now appear over the top of the screen, so won't interrupt you browsing the web or watching a film unless you want them to.

If you have several Android devices, all your data and options automatically transfer between them, so you can move seamlessly between your tablet and smartphone and instantly pick up where you left off.

Other improvements include estimated battery life and charge times, plenty of new quick settings like Flashlight and screen cast, and Smart Lock which keeps the tablet unlocked while it's within a certain distance of a trusted device such as a smartwatch or PC.

A screen for easy computing 

Use your apps, navigate through web pages and display photos with ease on a 7 inch IPS LED display. You'll always be able to find what you're looking for.

This 10-point multi-touch screen offers an intuitive user interface – combined with a 1024 x 600 resolution and comfortable 178° viewing angle, the ZenPad Z170C is the ideal blend of great visuals and practicality. Asus TruVivid technology delivers a better visual experience, with brighter, more vivid colours and details.

Good storage and battery life 

The 16 GB internal memory allows you to store music, pictures and other essential items on your Asus ZenPad Z170C for easy access. The tablet's built-in battery offers up to nine hours of use from a full charge, so you can work and play for longer.

Great for photos and video chats 

Use the 2 megapixel camera on your ZenPad Z170C to take photos and videos of special moments with family and friends – or unexpected things that are happening right in front of you.

A 0.3 megapixel web camera on the screen side of the tablet allows for clear web chats – carry the tablet around the house while you talk, or just prop it easily on your lap while chilling on the sofa.

Light and portable 

Take the ZenPad anywhere without hassle. It's just 8.4 mm thick and weighs only 270 g, so it won't add much bulk to a bag or backpack.
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Problems and issues with Samsung J5 (2017) fingerprint scanner

Many people are reporting issues with their fingerprint scanners, including the one installed on the latest Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)


 

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) is a great smartphone - very well made with solid build quality and nice, attractive design. All of its functions and components run quite smoothly but that is not the case with its fingerprint scanner (reader) which may cause some issues during operation.

After less three weeks of using my J5 (2017) I found myself in a tough situation trying to unlock my phone with fingerprint. Sometimes I need to slide my finger couple of times and still my J5 remains locked. Most of the cases the root cause happens to be dirt either on my finger or on the scanner. But there are many times when the scanner looks pretty clean but it returns an error and I need to unlock the phone using previously set up number combination.

I wonder if other consumers experience the same type of issues with the fingerprint scanner of the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) and if this happens to be a common issue or it is just an isolated case. Please feel free to share your view in case you are owner of a J5 or you've just heard something about this problem.

Latest update:


I gave up on using the fingerprint scanner for unlocking my phone and just disabled the feature, it is just not as responsive as it should be. I would recommend you to use another of the security options on your Samsung J5 (like PIN or pattern) unless any of the software updates fixes it.

 
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Top 3 things I like about the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Short list with the features I like most about my new Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)


 

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) was released couple of months ago and it has been a real star on the show since then. Together with its bigger sibling the J7 (2017) they become real best sellers on the European and Asian market. I have my J5 (2017) for almost two weeks now and I have to admit I am quite pleased with it. This smartphone does a great job in all aspects of a modern gadget - it is fast and responsive, it looks great, the price is quite reasonable and it being offered by the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world I am sure it is also quite reliable.

Top 5 things to like about Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)



So, here is the short list with the top 3 things I really like about the new J5 (2017):



  • Design and form factor - the new J5 looks really great. It is offered in blue/gray, pink and black. I got the black version and I have to say it looks amazing. Its unibody design makes it feel solid in the hand and the build quality is absolutely fantastic. It's a shame that most people will use the J5 with additional case (just like myself).

  • Performance - with fast processor, 2GB or RAM and good battery this phone has everything that an average user may need throughout the day. So far I have no complaints whatsoever in regards to performance.

  • Value for money - considering you can have the J5 (2017) for $250 I think it is great value for money smartphone. Well, the camera and fingerprint could be better and I've seen a bit better in this price segment but overall it is definitely the best smartphone in its segment.


Samsung Galaxy Note 8 costs over $1000 and has much to show to the audience

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 costs over $1000 and has much to show to the audience


Samsung Galaxy Note has always been one of my favorite smartphones. I personally owned a Note 3 Neo for around 2 years and I was very pleased with it - great design, durable battery, great AMOLED display and amazing overall functionality considered the price.

Recently Samsung released the latest generation Galaxy Note after a pause in production after the relatively successful Note 7. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has plenty of changes compared to the 7 but more about that in the following video review:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 video review


The Note 8 impresses with amazing screen to body ratio with extremely thin top and bottom frame, while on the left and right side it is all display. And what a display that is, the vivid 6.3" 1440p AMOLED Infinity Display is in a league of its own, it really is.

I would also recommend you to check the new Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) which promises to become one of the best-sellers in the segment.
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New LED TVs - Samsung UE32M5002 32 inch Full HD LED TV

Samsung UE32M5002 32 inch Full HD LED TV - my quick review

Samsung UE32M5002 TV review
Samsung UE32M5002 TV

Samsung UE32M5002 TV review - today, at our consumer blog we will take a look at one of latest TVs offered by Samsung this year - the UE32M5002. This is an entry-level 32 inch Full HD TV, offering very good picture quality and solid build quality.
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Sony WE75 LED TVs - FULL HD, TRILUMINOS, HDR

Sony WE75 LED TV series with one of the best image quality in class thanks to TRILUMINOS™ display technology and HDR


I have always been a big fan of Sony LED TVs and that is why I own two of them - the Sony Bravia KDL-40WD650 which does a great job in our living room and the smaller 32 inch Sony KDL-32EX650 which is in service for over 5 years now and I can only mention superlatives about it. The Sony WE75 LED TV series is relatively new, even though we don't have 4k resolution here. The main benefits of the WE75 LED panels are the TRILUMINOS and HDR technologies which allow them to compete with the best premium TVs in the segment, even those offering 4k picture.
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HP 14-bs044na notebook specifications

HP 14-bs044na laptop specifications and video review


 

HP 14-bs044na is a compact notebook offered mostly on the European market. It features compact dimensions and good performance thanks to its balanced hardware and 14 inch monitor. This laptop features HD display with diagonal 35.6 cm (14") which is far from the top performing displays in general. I personally think that even in the lower price segment all notebooks above 13' should have Full HD resolution. Unfortunately, not the case here.

Which are the new HP laptops with Intel’s fifth-generation Core i processors



Here is the list with HP 14-bs044na full specifications


CPU, Memory and Operating System:

Intel Pentium n3710 quad core processor
1.6GHz processor speed
4GB RAM
128GB SSD storage
Microsoft Windows 10

Display
14 inch screen
High definition display
Resolution 1366 x 768 pixels

Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics405 graphics card.
Shared graphics card.

Interfaces and connectivity:
SD media card reader
Secure Digital (SD),
1 USB 2.0 port
2 USB 3.1 ports
1 Ethernet port
1 HDMI port
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi enabled

Multimedia features:
HD webcam
Built-in mic
Built-in audio sound system

Size/Dimensions: H2.37, W24, D34cm.
Weight 1.7kg.

This laptop is currently on sale at eBay for £299.99. It is a good price but you can still find many offers in this price segment. I personally would recommend you to check some of Dell's Vostro and Inspirion laptops - for this price you can definitely get Core i3 and at least 4GB of RAM.

HP ENVY 14-1260se laptop review

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Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) - the best mid-range smartphone today

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) is more premium than before and sets new standards in the mid-range smartphone league

Samsung Galaxy J5 2017
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) is my new personal smartphone and today I will be sharing my first impressions with it. It replaces a phone that I really liked - the 2016 version of the J5, which served me well for around a year. Honestly, it was a tough decision selling my previous J5 but I don't regret it, the extra money is well worth it. So, what is new and what is different in the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) edition?
  • Improved Selfie camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Premium Full-metal construction
  • Light sensitivity sensor
  • Faster octa-core processing
  • Latest Android OS
Samsung J5 2017 - in the hand
J5 2017 stands good in the hand thanks to its proper dimensions

original Samsung J5 case
The original Samsung case fits just perfect

Samsung J5 (2017) display
The display is big enough for most daily tasks

charging Samsung J5 2017
Charging the 2017 Ssamsung J5 takes about hour and a half (fully charged)

Fingerprint sensor

The latest generation Galaxy J5 has a new feature for 2017 - fingerprint scanner for improved security and quick access to your phone.

Full metal

The previous generation J5 which I happily used looked well but the 2017 edition is entirely made of metal. It looks premium, thin but feels solid in the hand. I bought the black version of the J5 which looks very stylish, Unfortunately, all that changed when I applied the original Samsung case that I bought ($20) and the glass screen protector - they made the phone a bit dull and it lost some of its premium feel.

Octa-core processor

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) has a much faster 1.6GHz processor, the same that you will find in the latest generation J7. Just to remind you, J5 (2016) had an average performing 1.2GHz quad-core processor which was OK and never had any issues with it (I never used my phone for gaming or anything else that requires advanced graphics and processing).

Samsung J5 (2017) or J7 (2017) – which is better?


13MP Selfie camera


Now the J5 (2017) has improved front-facing camera, a 13 MP one. It lacks auto-focus but produces some great selfies when used in good light conditions outdoors. The main rear camera is also 13 MP but it is just slightly improved since last year with better f1.7 aperture (f1.9 for the front camera).

sample photo J5 (2017) - camera test
Sample photo taken with the main J5 rear camera


The screen size and resolution, storage space and RAM remain the same as the 2016 model. Battery capacity dropped for the new model from 3100 mAh vs 3000 mAh for the new model.

I have only used the new J5 for couple and I can confirm that this is the new leader in the mid-range smartphone segment. Galaxy J7 (2017) is premium looking, very fast and responsive phone with great super AMOLED display and compact sizes. And while the new J7 2017 has even more improvements the J5 is still very well priced around $50 less than its bigger version.

Price - I purchased my J5 2017 for $250 which is a great price for what this phone has to offer. Unfortunately I never got the discount that my carrier promised. The 2016 model was a bit cheaper than that but it is well worth the upgrade.
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Samsung J5 (2017) or J7 (2017) - which is better?

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) and J7 (2017) are two of the current smartphone bestsellers - find out which is better or which one should you buy


 

I really like the Samsung J5 (2017) and J7 (2017) and most probably I will buy one of these very soon. The question here is which one should I buy. The J7 has the advantage of having larger 5.5 inch Full HD Super Amoled display (compared to the smaller 5.2 inch HD only in the J5) and more RAM - 3GB vs 2GB in the J5. But on the other hand J5 (2017) is much more compact and fits much better in the hand or in the pocket. Another thing that gives the advantage to the J7 is the always-on display which is a really nice feature when lacking LED notification light (both models) but consumes much of the battery life if actively used.

Check out how the J5 and J7 perform in real world testing in the next two video reviews:

Samsung J5 (2017) video review



 

Samsung J7 (2017) video review



 

I am quite positive that no matter which one of these smartphones you pick it is going to be a good choice. Find out how my Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 performed for more than a year to see how good smartphones from Samsung's J-series really are.
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Samsung T32E390SX 32 inch LED Smart TV

Samsung Smart TV T32E390SX 32" 1080p HD LED LCD TV with Freeview


Samsung T32E390SX is a very nice 32 inch Full HD 1080p LED TV with Smart TV functionality. Th relatively compact Samsung TV has build in WiFi which will help users connect to the Internet easily and most importantly - wireless. It is not a 3D TV but I would definitely recommend this TV set to UK customers looking for cheap and not very big screen for a bedroom or kitchen.
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