Simplehuman 8-inch Round Sensor Mirror

I’m going to have to say that I believe that Simplehuman is one of those companies that really can make a home a home. You know how some people have IKEA furniture all over their place, and it makes their home a little less classy as a result? If there was a house with Simplehuman products all over, I believe it would make a home more classy.

After all, I think we all need products like the Foam Cartridge Sensor Pump, another great Simplehuman product that we had the opportunity to review. I believe that there would be many a bathroom that would benefit from this 8-inch Round Sensor Mirror, which we also had the opportunity to review.

The Sensor is for what happens when you get close to it, as the ring of light around it will illuminate. If it is somehow too bright, you can turn down the brightness by tracing your finger around the side, and it will adjust.

Believe me, that light is helpful. It can go from 100 to 800 lux, and the mirror itself is 5x magnification. I’m not one for doing make-up in the mirror, but something like this could really help out if you need to put your “face on”. Just a word of warning, the circle of light that the sensor mirror makes creates this odd ring effect on the eyes. It kind of reminds me of the way the replicant eyes would kind of glow in Blade Runner.

In case you are wondering where the light comes from, it is rechargeable via micro USB cord. I am told that one charge is good for five weeks, which means that you can use this for quite a while before you have to plug it in again.

So, yes, I would recommend this product from the get-go. It is available for purchase without any shipping for about $200.00 on the Simplehuman site.

The Simplehuman Foam Cartridge Sensor Pump

We’ve reviewed some items in the past from Simplehuman- including a rechargeable liquid sensor pump. This item that we’re reviewing today is similar, but different. This sensor pump is for foam soaps.

The stainless brushed steel is very elegant looking for a bathroom or kitchen. It actually comes in a variety of finishes. You can get brushed, polished, rose gold, and even Mickey Mouse(for an extra $10). The dispenser is rechargeable and will last up to three months on one charge.

The little disc pictured there is how it charges. The orange button pops out cartridges, which are easy to insert as well. It’s good to have the ability to turn it off if you aren’t going to be using it a lot during a certain time.

When the lid is down on top, the dispenser is waterproof, so you can easily clean it by running it under water.

The package comes with an included 10 oz. cartridge of foaming hand wash. The one we received was lavender, although there are other scents you can buy like cucumber, spring water, mandarin orange, fragrance free, and many more. You can get a single cartridge for $7, or save and get a 6 pack for $30.  There are also other brands of soap you can buy like EO, which is made with pure essential oil. The soap can be used for hands or dishes. You can get a six pack of the EO on the Simple Human site for $40. Amazon.com runs $72.90 for a similar six pack. Not sure why there is such a difference. There are more expensive brands as well.

The dispenser retails for $50 on the Simplehuman site (the price is $20 cheaper than the one we reviewed about four years ago). It’s a great little gadget for those who don’t want to push down on a pump. There’s also a 2 year warranty, so make sure to register your product!

Simplehuman was nice enough to send us this product for free to review in exchange for an unbiased, fair review.

iHome Bluetooth Headphones (iB90) and Color Changing Speaker (iBT76) Review

We’ve done many reviews of iHome products in the past. They’ve sent us a couple more more products for us to review, so we’ll do that today. We’re going to review the iB90 Bluetooth headphones and the iBT76 color changing speakers.

These lightweight wireless headphones with a long last battery (up to 43 hours of music and talk time) might not be of the same high quality as Beats or other more costly brands, but for what they do, they are well worth the money you pay.

Once you open them up, they are quick to hook up to any Bluetooth enabled device like iPhone or Samsung. From there, you can download an app called Melody which can be found in the App Store or Google Play.

Melody is a music assistant that will help you listen to songs without having to scroll through your phone. Melody works with Spotify, iHeart Radio and also NPR.

Here is a video on the Melody app:

As you can see, you can use this app with other iHome products, and with the headphones, you can simply tap the headphone to tell Melody what to play.

These headphones are also nice for answering calls, and you can use voice control to access Siri and Google Now. The have 40 mm drivers and enhanced bass response to provide a nice sound. Of course, the true audiophiles will probably disagree, but they are spending way more than $49.99 (on iHome’s site, or less on Amazon and other places).

Another product that works with Melody, and is very cool is the iHome Color Changing Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker. This item plays your music like the headphones do, but this lets you share your music with all around you, AND… it changes colors!

Yes, my favorite part about the speaker is that the lights pulse to the music, you can make them fade slowly, change quickly, or keep it on your favorite color.

The speaker has an option to use as a speakerphone with echo noise cancellation. And if you have iOS 10, you can know when to answer a call, as it will announce the name of your incoming calls.

It’s really portable, and comes with an attachable strap, so great to take to parties or picnics. You CAN hook it up to a stereo with a 3.5 mm in-aux jack, but that is not included.

It has up to 16 hours of playback on a rechargeable battery. If this works for you, you can buy it for $49.99 on the iHome website, or at stores like Wal-Mart.

Thanks to iHome for sending us these products to review. As usual, we are not compensated for these reviews, but we were sent these review items for free in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Our Review of Nite Ize Steelie Freemount Windshield Kit and Tabletop Stand Component

If you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia,  Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands  and have a cell phone, you probably know that it is illegal to hold your phone while driving. But what is a person to do when using their Maps app to navigate? Maybe you want to be like all the people who make videos for social media in their cars? This windshield mounting kit by Nite Ize could be the perfect solution!

The Nite Ize Steelie Freemount Windshield is composed of a couple different parts.  You get the windshield mount which is a metal ball on the end of a suction cup extension.

This attaches easily to the windshield, and adjusts for the viewing angle you desire. It also has a locking lever so you can lock it and release it quickly and easily. The Freemount bracket adjusts to fit most phones from 2.24 inches to 3.54 inches wide.

This kit can be purchased for $44.99 on the Nite Ize website. Here’s a video that explains how the system works:

There are other Steelie Nite Ize solutions for mounting your phone. We also received the tabletop stand component to review. A pretty straightforward system- this stand sits on your desk or table, and can hold a phone or tablet on the magnetic ball.

This system costs $29.99 on the Nite Ize Site and can conveniently tilt your phone at different angles. The downside is that the magnetic attachment on the back of your phone becomes permanent, but if you have the Freemount from the above kit, you could attach it to the Steelie on the tabletop stand. TaDa!

We were sent these products to review free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review, and the verdict from us is that these are both very useful products for those who want a system to hold their phones hands-free.

 

 

Gourmia GTA1500 Digital Electric Air Fryer, Griller, and Roaster

I was honestly surprised that I hadn’t heard of Gourmia before, but I have to say that this company has a definite mission to bring cooking technology that helps people cook meals easier, faster, and healthier. I was more than pleased to try out the Gourmia GTA1500 Digital Electric Air Fryer, Griller, and Roaster as evidence of their vision.

At first I thought that the GTA1500 was some kind of deep fryer, but I quickly discovered that no cooking oil or fat is required. That alone is going to make my arteries happy, and it works by circulating hot air around the food, which is more than enough to make food crisp and juicy.

In addition to being an air fryer, the GTA1500 also functions as a grill, steamer, convection oven, air saute and rotisserie. Yes, that is a lot, and the list of foods that it can prepare is just as numerous with pizza, grilled fish, beef kabobs, steamed rice, and a whole lot more, including brownies, for crying out loud.

The GTA1500 comes with accessories for cooking such as a classic rotisserie spit and spit forks. As you might have guessed, they are made for spinning the food so you can have that fresh rotisserie chicken from the get-go. There is also a frying tumbler that is good for stir-fry foods and French fries, without all the yucky grease. Then there is also a high/low rack for grilling, barbecuing, and frying.

Much of the recipes can be done in 15-25 minutes, which makes cooking rather quick. It is also pretty easy with a programmable lid, and you can see inside. Just to let you know, there is a vent for the steam. As for cleanup, it has a removable cooking pot that can be removed very easily.

All and all, I’m pretty pleased with this, and I’m wondering if I can review more of them. In the meantime, if you want to get on the Gourmia train, this GTA1500 is available for $199.99. It is available for a cheaper price on Amazon.

Leviton Part 3: Decora Digital

Leviton 3I suppose that this is a good time to end our discussion of the Leviton Decora Digital. I have to admit that this illustration looks like the product I reviewed last time.

The Decora Digital Controls has Bluetooth technology so you can use your Decora Digital Timer app to control, adjust, as well as time lighting for daily activities. Yeah, this does sound like the product that I reviewed.

So, the Decora Digital Dimmer and 24 hour timer with Bluetooth Technology, and it has Universal 450W 120VAC Dimmable LED and CFL, 1000W-120VAC Incandescent, and 1000 VA mark 10, along with 60 Hz Single Pole and 3-Way/Multi-location control.

Other features include an LED locator light which can be turned off via app, an automatic daylight saving time adjustment, as well as an astronomical clock that can automatically adjust to local sunrise/sunset times.

Anyway, you should be able to purchase this on the Leviton site for about $58.00.

Leviton Part 2: Decora Smart Dimmer with Z-Wave Technology (and Bluetooth)

Leviton 2Well, this is another Leviton product today, and it is similar to the one that we reviewed the other one that we reviewed. It is the Decora Smart Dimmer with Z-Wave Technology.

The new Decora Digital Controls with Bluetooth technology allows for smartphone or tablet control with the Decora Digital Dimmer and Timer app. The app is easy to use, and helps to really set the mood in a room. It is what you need to adjust for timed lighting as well as daily activities for a “lived-in” look while you are away.

Since this is Bluetooth, that means that it has the usual range of 30 feet, and you don’t need any hub, gateway, or even an internet connection. Installation requires a neutral connection, but the dimmer switch allows for setting the brightness level. By the way, it supports Z-Wave Plus capabilities, and I still don’t know what Z-Wave is. It also has a built-in radio/TV interference filter.

If you would like to get with this, the Decora Digital Dimmer and Timer can be purchased on the Leviton site for about $58.00.

Leviton Part 1: Decora Smart Plug-In Dimmer with Z-Wave Technology

Leviton 1It has been a while since I have done trilogies of product reviews, but I have received some products post-CES 2017, and I need to review them accordingly. I’ll go ahead and start with the Decora Smart Plug-In Dimmer with Z-Wave Technology.

In case you don’t realize it, this is a universal lamp module. What you do is plug it into your wall and plug your hopefully two-prong lamp into it. From there, you have some dimming control for plug-in lamps. Because you never know when you want to have some dimming control, and it is good for 100 W dimmable LED/CFL, and 300W Incandescent, Halogen.

If you have the Wink Hub, Samsung SmartThings, and other Z-Wave controllers. If you aren’t familiar with Z-Wave technology, then this is the time where I am supposed to explain it. Yeah, I’m not certain what it is either. The good thing is that it supports Amazon Echo, Fire TV, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap for even greater control, like vocal control.

So if this is something that you want, the Leviton Z-Wave can be purchased on the Leviton site for about $44.99.

Sengled Pulse Solo, a Light Bulb/Speaker

sengled-1Here’s a really interesting product from Sengled known as the Pulse Solo, which has a function as cool as it’s name. It is essentially a light bulb that acts as a Bluetooth speaker.

Not just any type of Bluetooth speaker, but an integrated JBL speaker. It has 3-watt speakers, on two sides of the bulb. All you need to do is just screw it in, and you can hear the tones as you pair it.

From there, it is as simple as playing your tunes, and now what makes light also makes sound as well. Whoa, that sentence actually came out better than I thought. In case you are wondering why it is called the Pulse Solo, it is because it can only work on itself.

By the way, there is an Android/iOS app that can control the light, not to mention the sound. Now that is one useful feature!

Yes, this is something really great, but I will have to say that I wish the light was more spread-out, as it is only on top. Yeah, this is hard to explain, but I suppose if you have a product that is a stereo speaker, where else are you going to have the speaker.

You should be able to purchase the Pulse Solo on the Sengled website for about $49.99, which might be a mark down from the usual $59.99 price.

iHome for the Holidays, Part 1: Vanity Speaker or iHome iCVBT5

ihome-1Ah, yes, there is nothing like iHome for the Holidays. I have reviewed many iHome products many a time. So many times, that I just don’t feel like putting in hyperlinks. I’m going to close out this week with three different iHome products, and I’m going to start with the most unusual: the iHome Vanity Speaker or iCVBT5.

The iCVBT5 is essentially made to be that one vanity mirror that we all have to take a good look at ourselves. It has the 1x and 5x magnification settings, and it also has some bright LED action going on. The issue is that this vanity mirror is a speaker.

You can join it with a mobile device via Bluetooth or just a wired connection. The iHome Vanity Speaker is something that should be wireless, but it does require plugging it into the wall. I’m not certain if you should use it by your bathroom sink if you are worried that the cord could get wet. What is interesting is how the iHome iCVBT5 has a USB port, so you can charge something while you’re looking at yourself.

The one drawback for the iCVBT5 is that the box says full spectrum color, and I thought that meant you could make the LED light on it any color. That might be a great feature for the next version of this product, but sadly, the only color of the light is white.

Still, the iHome Vanity Speaker is a very, very useful item for any home in any room. It is available on the iHome website for $99.99.