Bowls for cats with tired whiskers, Geocaching, smartwatches and more – Weekly roundup

week

I don’t know where you are right now, but here in Indiana, it’s hot. Not just hot, but humid AND hot. Ugh… When it’s like this outside, the best place to be is inside with your favorite cool website,  which I hope is The Gadgeteer! To stay cool (intellectually), I’ve created a quick list for you that will help make sure you didn’t miss any of our stories from the past week. So grab a cold beverage and click through to see the full listing of this week’s gadget related news and reviews.

Reviews

News

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Bowls for cats with tired whiskers, Geocaching, smartwatches and more – Weekly roundup originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on July 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm.

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Avegant Glyph may look like a pair of headphones but it’s really a video headset

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The Avegant Glyph is a portable and lightweight theater that can go with you on all of your adventures. You might look like Geordi La Forge while you’re wearing the Glyph, but you won’t care because you’ll feel like you’re watching a 60-inch TV and will be enjoying hi-definition digital audio. It connects to your smartphone, tablet or gaming console so you can enjoy movies and games.

The Glyph doesn’t even have a screen inside, it replicates natural human eyesight by using over two million micro-mirrors to reflect light that shows images instead of individual pixels. You might not even need to wear your glasses with the Glyph, it can adjust from +1 to -7 to accommodate a wide variety of prescriptions and pupillary distances. Note that it cannot adjust for astigmatic eyesight.

When you are done watching movies and playing games, you can flip up the visor and listen to music through the Glyph like a traditional pair of headphones.

The Avegant Glyph is priced at $699 through Amazon and you can find more info at avegant.com

Filed in categories: Audio, Video, TV, News

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Avegant Glyph may look like a pair of headphones but it’s really a video headset originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on July 23, 2016 at 10:15 am.

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Ulefone GW01 smartwatch review

Ulefone_3If you ever wondered about taking that step into owning a smartwatch but were afraid of the complexity and the price then I think the GW01 from Ulefone will be a pleasant surprise in the right direction.

With cell phones in everyone’s pocket and the progression of day-to-day technology, having a smartwatch on your wrist would be a welcome addition towards the path of your technological lifestyle. For those interested in taking that step of owning a smartwatch, the GW01 smartwatch would be a great choice for a first time user and even for someone who has previously owned a smartwatch.

The GW01 is a stylish and easy to use stainless steel smartwatch with numerous features and functions. First off, it has a traditional watch look with a circular face as opposed to the squarish or rectangular face like many other smartwatches on the market today. I like this round watch face better as it appears more like a regular watch than the obvious square or rectangle face of most smartwatches out there.

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It has a black leather band which gives it a more pricey look than the typical plastic resin watch bands. The face of the watch is a 1.3″ in IPS touchscreen with a 240 X 240 screen resolution. It has 64 megabytes of RAM and 128 megabytes of ROM. The leather bands are replaceable and the GW01 comes in three colors: Shine Silver, Luxury Gold and Knight Black.

The GW01 is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 to communicate with your Android or iOS phone. It supports Android 4.3 and iOS 7.0 and above.

Since there are around 40 features and functions I think listing them all would be ongoing. And rather than me list every function that the GW01 has installed I will just touch on some of the main functions and features. Of course, you have your standard functions like a calendar, call logs, alarm, stopwatch, and phone book but there are some nicer main features that the GW01 has.

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For example, there is a Health Tracker which includes a Heart Rate Monitor, Sleep Monitor, Sedentary Reminder and Pedometer. There are also handy features such as a Camera Remote, Bi-Directional Find Device, Voice Memos, Phone Dialer and Messaging Notification.

Although many of the functions communicate through Bluetooth, you need to install the Ulefone apps to get the full Ulefone experience. One of the icons on the GW01 brings up a QR code to take you to the Smartwatch app download page. There you can choose between the Android and iOS versions plus one or two other apps to install if you choose to. For those needing the watch in another language, the GW01 supports multiple languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Arabic.

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Although the GW01 is listed as waterproof, my initial experience with it is that I would consider it more water-resistant than waterproof. I originally had a previous watch I was reviewing and wore it in a hotel wave pool. I wasn’t diving or swimming in the pool yet, I was just wading in the shallow end. Not even five minutes later I checked the time on the watch and noticed the screen had dimmed a little. A little while later the watch started buzzing and from then on I couldn’t get it to stop buzzing and the screen stopped working. I eventually took it off and brought it to my hotel room and left it on the table to let the battery run out because I couldn’t get it to stop. After a while, the battery died and it stopped buzzing. I had gotten word to Ulefone of the incident and I was immediately sent a replacement watch. Needless to say, I was completely satisfied to get a replacement watch delivered so quickly to continue my review. I would say that was a great response time from the company. So in my experience, the GW01 would be more suited to be water-resistant in the rain or washing your hands, or if you spill any liquid on it.

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When using the touchscreen I found it to be fairly responsive when I swiped the screen or when I tapped it. I did have times when I had to double tap on an icon to open it but I felt like maybe the pressure points on the screen weren’t being properly pressed by my fingertips. However, the screen is very snappy when it does respond. The GW01 only has one physical button which takes you to the home screen and back. And with this type of touchscreen watch,is one physical button is all you really need.

Ulefone_2On the back of the watch lies the speaker. The volume and sound from the watch is surprisingly loud and clear. When taking a phone call I could hear the person on the other end clearly while carrying on a decent conversation with them. Obviously, there is a little bit of sound muffle due to the fact that the speaker is laying on your wrist but other than that the sound quality is decent. However, I wouldn’t carry on a long conversation with just the watch speaker, especially out in public. Unless you crank up the volume, the sound could get drowned out from the ambient sound. Plus, no one wants to hear your conversation. Nothing rubs me the wrong way than people who talk so loud on their phones in public places. I don’t mind if you answer your phone for a minute or two but when you’re in line at the store and you have this long and loud conversation then that’s very bad phone etiquette. Remember to be considerate of people around you.Ulefone_13

Also, on the back of the watch is the Heart Rate Sensor which is used with the Heart Rate Monitor and ECG functions. Both functions are real time and fairly straightforward. There is also a Pedometer feature to measure your steps. It offers setting options such as Goal, Height, Weight and History. There is also a Sedentary Time feature to remind you to get up and move or exercise after set to a specified time. There is  a Health Index to check your health status, a Sleep Monitor checks the quality of your sleep and you can always check the Sleep History to see how your sleep quality has been. Keep in mind that the measurements to input your height is in centimeters and your weight is in kilograms. So, for those used to inputting your height in inches and your weight in pounds you are going to have to do a little bit of math to convert these measurements.

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And continuing with the back of the watch, this is where and how you can charge the GW01. It comes with a round magnetic point-contact battery charger base which is basically connected to a MicroUSB cable. The watch stays magnetically connected to the charger as it charges. Just make sure the watch is sitting correctly on the round charger and that the metal contact pins are aligned with each other. The watch will display a message when it is connected. There is no light to indicate when charging is complete or on going. It would have been nice to see an indicator light somewhere on the charger.

Ulefone_4Unfortunately, the charger is proprietary to the GW01 so make sure you bring the round charger base with you if you go on a trip or you will be out of luck in getting the watch charged. Obviously, having a standard MicroUSB to charge the GW01 would be ideal since many people already own devices that use a MicroUSB cable. The battery on the GW01 is a 310mAh battery and can be fully charged in about 3 hours. It has a standby time of up to 5 days.

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The GW01 also has some helpful functions such as a Remote Control for your music player on your device as well as a remote control for your device’s camera. I found the camera remote to be very useful, however, there is about a one-second delay after you press the capture button on the GW01. After you press the shutter button you have to make sure not to move the phone or you will miss your shot. This feature is more useful if the camera is placed on something stationary like a tripod or even just resting on a steady surface like a table or counter so it has that second to capture the picture.

As I mentioned before about the sound quality while taking a phone call, with the GW01 you can also make a phone call with it too.  You can dial straight from the watch to make a phone call. However, unlike more expensive and higher end smartwatches that can make a phone call without a phone connected to it, you need your phone to actually make the phone call. With the GW01, you are using the smartwatch as a paired Bluetooth handsfree headset.

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As this is my first Smartwatch I found it useful and it has plenty of features and functions I could need in a smartwatch. I really like the clean bright screen, the loud speaker and even the look of the watch. I prefer the traditional round watch face in contrast to the square or rectangular smart watches out there. To me, the square or rectangular face type smartwatches scream, “Look at me I’m a smart watch”. With the GW01, it keeps the style and look of a traditional watch.

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For anyone looking to get a smartwatch, I would definitely suggest this watch from Ulefone. It exceeded my expectations for a smartwatch and converted me from my normal everyday metal watch to wearing this stylish techie smart watch.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Everbuying. Please visit their site for more info.

 

Product Information

Price:$54.05
Manufacturer:Ulefone
Retailer:Everbuying
Pros:
  • Clear and bright screen.
  • Make and take phone calls.
  • Stylish looks.
  • Long battery life.
  • Health Tracker features.
  • Remote Functions.
  • Sleep
  • Many features and functions.
Cons:
  • Proprietary battery charger.
  • Can't make or take phone call without your phone.
  • No charging light indicator.

Filed in categories: Bluetooth Gear, Reviews, Watches and Clocks

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Ulefone GW01 smartwatch review originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on July 23, 2016 at 9:19 am.

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Scratchproof Nonstick Pan Set makes cooking easy

scratchproof-nonstick-pan-setDo you love to pitter potter around the kitchen? Some of us might feel that the hassle of actually going out to purchase the necessary ingredients, in addition to preparing them and cooking, not to mention the cleaning up later, is time that is far better used to do something else while you pay through your nose to eat outside. Well, you need not have to indulge in gourmet meals, but simple pan-fried items would also be able to keep any rumbling tummy happy. If you love to fry eggs or even sausages, then the $119.95 Scratchproof Nonstick Pan Set sounds like the ideal utensil to have around any kitchen.

It might sound expensive at first, but the Scratchproof Nonstick Pan Set is actually a set of three pans that sport a non-stick, scratchproof ceramic-titanium coating. This particular coating makes it a whole lot easier to cook, in addition to cleaning up afterwards. Fried eggs will slide off the ungreased pan as if cooked on air, while the impervious non-stick surface suffered no damage when scrubbed with an abrasive pad and scratched with a metal fork. In addition, the pans will also enable chefs to cook confidently without oil or butter. You know what this means — reduced calories and fat with each meal.

[ Scratchproof Nonstick Pan Set makes cooking easy copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

IQAir HealthPro series promises cleaner air using 4-stage filtration

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Pollen, pet dander and spores: These are the bane of the existence of anyone with asthma and allergies. But be prepared to breathe easier: The IQAir HealthPro Plus removes 99.97% of pollutants including VOCs, particulate matter and ultra-fine particles, which are the most insidious because they can be breathed into your lungs and go directly into your blood stream – all in an “astonishingly quiet” Swiss-made, energy-efficient unit. 

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The medical-grade air is distributed evenly in all directions without creating harmful byproducts such as ozone or ions. The unit’s modular tower design allows for easy filter replacement in the four-stage filtration system, which also boasts gas and odor filtration that is the equivalent of 50 gas masks in the V-5 Cell Filter MG series. The filters are designed to last 20 percent longer than conventional filters, a handy cost-saver for the consumer.

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The result is air return that will be at least 99.5 percent clean, and cleaned quickly – providing fast relief to allergy and asthma sufferers – though without using any more power than a conventional lightbulb. The HealthPro prices range from the $799 Compact to the $899 Plus model. But if you value design and hand-made craftsmanship as much as function, the wood-encased art deco Klaus Series Limited Edition model sells for $2,500. For more info visit IQAir.com

Filed in categories: Health, Fitness, Sports, Home and Kitchen, News

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IQAir HealthPro series promises cleaner air using 4-stage filtration originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on July 23, 2016 at 7:00 am.

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Up to 40% off All Moto Mods for the New Moto Z Droids from Verizon

Moto Z Droids and Moto Mods - photo by Chloe Becquet

If you have your eye on one of the new Moto Z or Moto Z Force Droids, then you likely already know that they will be compatible with Moto Mods — a line of magnetically attached accessories that turn an already great phone into a super phone!

Moto Z Droids and Moto Mods - photo by Chloe Becquet

photo by Chloe Becquet

Right now, if you buy a full-priced Moto Mod, you’ll receive 40% off VZW.com and 20% off at Verizon corporate stores off of each additional Mod.

What’s a Moto Mod (I can hear some of you saying)? Well, I’m glad you asked! They are a line of specially designed, magnetically attached add-ons that can turn your Moto Z into a projector, a boombox, add extra battery life (fashionably, I might say), and more!

You can preorder your new Moto Z Droid and the Moto Mods directly from Verizon. Oh, and get this — if you have a select phone, even with a cracked screen, Verizon will give you up to $300 off your new Droid!

I’ve got both the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force in hand; their reviews along with my reviews on all of their mods will be coming soon.

“Legend of Dungeon” Developer Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for “Upsilon Circuit”

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I love quirky fun games with a great sense of humor, such as “Frayed Knights” or “Legend of Dungeon”. The developer of the latter game, Robot Loves Kitty, has launched a crowd-funding campaign for their next game Upsilon Circuit: Death is Forever and Viewers Rule!
upsilon-circuit-header

Here is what the company says about this unique game:

“Upsilon Circuit is a Video Game Show that takes place in an online Action RPG that only eight people, in the whole world, can play. Oh, and once a player dies they can never play again. Ever.

Upsilon Circuit will be exclusively live streamed during “show times” in which the rest of the world interacts, in real time, right as they watch! The game has fully integrated Hunger Games style abilities: viewers can level up contestants, send in power ups, monsters, and items as they watch.

This isn’t just a game, it’s a one time experience.

In every show, the actions that the players and audience take will have permanent consequences. Your collective decisions will affect the world forever, as puzzles are solved and bosses are defeated only once. There is no reset, no restart, and definitely no respawn.

There are no walkthroughs, guides, or spoilers, because no one has ever gotten further in the game than where it is that moment!”

Here is the video for the campaign:

Head to IndieGogo and get in on the early tests of Upsilon Circuit!

The Insta360 Spherical Video Camera gives you the full picture

Insta360 Spherical Camera

Life is a flowing collection of moments, each of which are so unique that it’s hard to properly capture or describe them. It makes sense then that we love taking pictures as it’s the only way to give an accurate portrayal of a specific point in time. While getting a camera on your phone was a big deal years ago, now we’re worried about the quality of the images we take.

If you’re wanting a new way to capture your moments, the Insta360 Spherical Video Camera will give you the necessary tools. It’s not going to be the only option for your images, but it will add some diversity to what shows up on your Instagram feed. It consists of two 210 degree fisheye lenses that together can produce 3040 x 1520 res images, and the same quality at 30fps for videos.

Not only will you be able to take video and pictures, but you can use this for live feed and streams as well. It is compatible with iPhone 6/6s and 6/6s Plus, or you can use it as a standalone camera. There is a free corresponding app, and thanks to the small size of the device it can easily go wherever you do. You’ll be looking at paying out $215 to get this goodie, making it affordable only for the people who found a way to make Instagram their full time job.

Available for purchase on Fancy
[ The Insta360 Spherical Video Camera gives you the full picture copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

The Clairasonic Mia 2 helps clear up complexions

Mia 2

When you meet someone new for the first time, the place you’re both going to look at the most is the face. That being said, it’s no wonder that we worry about keeping our teeth white, hair in check, and a complexion free of blemishes or breakouts. When we have a glowing, clear face, we not only feel more confident in dealing with others, but it helps us to feel better about ourselves.

It’s hard to realize how much having breakouts can affect you until you have them. For those that are still on the hunt to find what works for them, the Clairasonic Mia 2 might be able to help you out. This is a sonic skin cleaning system that will help to remove dirt and dead skin far better than your hands alone. There are two speeds so you can adjust to your skin type, as well as a pulsing T-timer for a 60 second cleanse.

This is meant to be used as the first step of your facial cleansing regimen so your face will be more receptive to serums and moisturizers. For those that are interested in trying out a new option, be prepared to pay out $118 and having to buy new brush heads every so often. You will need to stay on top of taking this apart and cleaning the brushes on a regular basis, unless you want it to be the cause of future breakouts.

Available for purchase on Amazon
[ The Clairasonic Mia 2 helps clear up complexions copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

2016 Lexus RX 350 Reigns Supreme in the Segment It Invented

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Sometimes automakers have to be careful with their own success. Take the RX for example, a vehicle that defined a new segment when it launched more than 17 years ago. That was the birth of the luxury utility vehicle and since then many have tried to dethrone the king. Does Lexus still reign supreme with the 2016 RX 350?

2016 Lexus RX 350/Images courtesy Lexus

2016 Lexus RX 350/Images courtesy Lexus

For its 2016 model RX, Lexus went back to the drawing board and has delivered an all-new midsize luxury ute for the masses. This fourth-generation vehicle brings more aggressive styling while not forgetting the comfort and amenities that got it here. In my week behind the wheel of the newest RX 350 I found many to be polarized by the edgier look of the new Lexus family of vehicles. One thing that was undeniable however is Lexus’ ability to deliver an overall solid performer.

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The 2016 RX lineup still features gasoline 350 models in front and AWD (where W stands for weather instead of wheel) and hybrid 450h gas/electric variant. All new RX models can be ordered with the F Sport package as well. Our tester was a “base” model RX 350 but with Lexus the term “base” is relative. The vehicle arrives with nearly every amenity or comfort feature one could wish for and at the end of the week we wanted for almost nothing else.

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Charting the changes for the 2016 model are proportions that see higher body panels and lower roofline for a more athletic look. Occupants sit a bit higher for a more commanding presence on the road and it feels as if Lexus added a ton of interior space inside the new model. Overall length has increased 4.7 inches with a longer wheelbase and ground clearance has increased nearly an inch. Wheel positions have been move forward and the spindle grille styling is even more aggressive in the new RX.

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The powertrain in the RX 350 consists of a nicely responsive 295hp direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers 267 lb. ft. of torque. It is mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission with fuel economy rated at 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Drivers can select one of three driving modes in the RX between Eco, Normal, or Sport, and manual shifting is available via the steering wheel paddle shifters. While we played with the various drive modes we found nearly all our needs met in Normal mode, even when the urge struck for more aggressiveness.

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Slipping inside the new RX the first thing you notice is the billboard across the top center dash. This is the infotainment display and it is huge – 12.3 inches wide to be exact. Enough real estate to work as dual displays providing more than enough information for drivers and occupants between audio, navigation, climate, and other vehicle systems. A controller in the center console allows the driver to “navigate” their way across the expanse of this display screen. The new RX also features a new color heads-up display for drivers, putting vital information higher in the sightline for safer driving.

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Thanks to the new dimensions, the 2016 RX features more rear seat legroom and more cargo space as well. Five occupants can ride in full luxury and the flat rear seat floor allows for more comfort for center passengers. Lexus interiors are some of the nicest around and the new RX is no exception. Leather is everywhere and craftsmanship is obvious, some may find themselves taking the long way to their destinations just to enjoy the RX experience a little bit longer.

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Pricing for the 2016 Lexus RX begins at $41,900 with our tester arriving with a final sticker of $54,025 thanks to quite a few add-ons (panoramic sunroof, Mark Levinson premium audio system, intuitive parking assist, touch-free power rear door, premium content package, Lexus Safety System+, etc.).

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Lexus created this segment and has enjoyed absolute success in it. This fourth-generation RX is destined to bring continued success to the automaker and not just because RX clients are very loyal. The new model will attract new buyers thanks to its more aggressive styling and driving experience as well its wide expanse of models offered. Lexus RX is still the king!