Monday, 16 May 2016

[Review - follow up] Kromkendama Viking Zebra Horizontal revisited.

How Long Playing Kendama:
- A month.
First Impressions, Out of The Box:
- This is a big boy. The tama is heavy, very beatiful with the two-coloured wood.
  A beatiful box with dark design , inside of box clad in a golden surface.
Recommended for, Suggestions, Comments:
- Perfect for trying out new stuff with and even for presenting Kendama to a person who never has tried it before. (My colleagues were reallly into this one)
The natural, non-sticky surface is good for really getting into those hard to learn tricks.
Star Rating (out of 5):
- 5/5 .

Overall the Kromkendama Viking Zebra Horizontal  easily takes a place as a "daily driver".
Mostly because of the larger size,enabling you to attempt those tricks that still are a "learning in progress",  but also the nice feeling you get handling the natural hardwood Ken and Tama.
It goes well as a comforter as well, when failing everything on a regular sized Kendama, there is always something i am able to land with the Viking.
Yes, the Tama is heavy but it still is not heavier than the Tama, causing any imbalance doing tricks.

Wear and tear on the Tama shows, but most of the scuffing you can see in the photos are due to the fact that i am at a beginner stage with all this new, fun and challenging Kendama:ism.
The Ken has taken some heavy hitting too, but no large chunks of wood have flewn off or any large dents have been born so the Viking Zebra Horizontal holds together nicely .

This one should be in any home where Kendama is played.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

[Review] Jynxbox M8 Turbo

Jynxbox has been featured earlier on Androidistica and now they have a new device on the block .

The Jynxbox M8 is packing some serious punch when it comes to hardware.
We are talking Quad-core, Cortex A7@ 1,2GHz.
A Mali400MP2 GPU and 1GB of DDR Ram.
Built in 8GB of EMMC Nand storage should get you started and get you onwards to begin with.

Interfaces ?
There is  1 HDMI port with 1920 x 1080P, RCA out for audio , 2 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 2.0 OTG.
1 Ethernet port (10/100MBIT) and a built in Wifi supporting a/b/g/n .
A Wifi Antenna has also been added to the gear , which should help connecting with Wifi naturally.
The Jynxbox is rocking Android 5.1, with Google Play store and the famous Kodi preinstalled.
Included in the package is also a manual ,HDMI cable, a remote controller and batteries included.

So that's the hard and soft stuff we have at hands .
How does it play out then ?

Initial setup works as coded.
Plug in the power and HDMI cable, push the physical power button and off we go!
Choose your screen resolution, adjust the screen position and key in your google account details.
The last step can be skipped of course and you still land on the Homescreen.
Preinstalled apps are Netflix, Kodi, Youtube , Facebook, APK Installer and Google Play Store.
There is also a photoviewer and file browser included.
The Jynxbox M8 responds really quickly to any remote controller input and a neat feature which is also included is the OTA update manager .

So what software do we have ?
As mentioned earlier, there is Android 5.1 , preinstalled with a handful of apps.
As you can see in the screenshot it is the usual ones for many of us.
Netflix, Youtube, Gmail ,Chrome webbrowser, skype, calendar, a file manager and Kodi.
We also have a default video player, image viewer, speech recorder, Google Playstore, an APK Installer and Devtools.

For the review , a couple of apps was installed.
Bushido bear, Creepy and a Bandwith counter.
Now for gaming, you might want to use a keyboard and a mouse.
Gaming with the remote control does give you the option to switch between "mouse - mode" and "Regular - remote" mode.
For easier games, where quick action is not essential the remote might do well, but for the likes of Bushido bear and Creepy, the remote did not work well.
As far as bandwidth with the built in WLAN adapter , which is enhanced by a antenna, the speeds were satisifying.
On a 24/12 MBit connection with the ISP were having, the Jynxbox M8 went all the way up to 13Mbits down and 2,5 MBits upstream.
This is pretty good on a wireless connection, the speeds surely picks up even faster on the built in Ethernet adapter.

The Jynxbox M8 has decent hardware , there is no doubt about that.
Using it as a Media streamer device, or even as a desktop replacement it does the job well.
The remote is responsive and lightweight in hand, and the software loaded onto the Jynxbox works as coded.
Some apps seem to go into portrait mode, even though landscape mode is what the Jynxbox presents, this is undigged into by me why but it could be that apps sometimes get installed in "phone mode" due to the fact that Google Play Store does not recognize the hardware on the Jynxbox ?
(Just guessing here as i said.)

Gaming was not extensively tested here, but with the proper third party keyboard/mouse or gamepad combinations , the Jynxbox surely can run most of the games out there today.
(Check the hardware specs in the beginning of this article)
Software updates are handled by the Jynxbox Team themselves, you can find the firmare updater in "Settings" under the "About " section.

Looking to upgrade your Flatscreen TV to a "Smart-TV" ?
The Jynxbox M8 is your device!
Need an extra device to run a webbrowser, check some series or movies and write documents ?
The Jynxbox M8 could also be your device !

Friday, 22 April 2016

[Review] Krom Viking & MimoeXKrom Kendamas

Little did i know that there was a country southeast of Sweden that produced Kendamas, and have been doing so for quite a while,since 2010 actually.
The Danes strike again!
Kromkendama were kind enough to supply Androidistica with two of their beauties of Kendamas for review purposes.
Remember, these things are a lot of fun and need no software updates, google accounts or charging.
Those three facts dont match too many common day activities anymore, which is why i feel they are presenting a welcome break to our binary existences.

MimoeXKrom and Viking

First one tested is the "Mimoe X Krom". Available in three different colours.
A love child born out of the collaboration between Team Krom and Tokyo Based Freelance illustrator Mimoe Dono.
The review- Kendama is "Mimoe Geometrix Blue".
A standard size Kendama , the "Ken" made out of Beech and the "Dama" with a slip-safe rubber top and a slightly larger hole for "endless spikes" as Team Krom describes it.
Neatly packaged, with an extra string and a rare "MimoeXKrom Sticker", this Kendama is a beauty to lay ones eyes on.
Pretty as a picture one could say.
The Ken itself, as with the cups are very well-crafted.
This Kendama breaths quality at first glance.
No rough edges, bumps or uneven surfaces anywhere on the actual Ken.
Well-balanced , with a good quality string (blue) this feels as a long-runner in terms of durability.
The non-slip surface on the Dama (the ball) seems durable as well,even after testing by me and our 5 year old no visible paint chipping or cuts are visible.
The MimieXKrom feels like a quality Kendama which should hold for a lot of jamming.
Visually stunning and well-balanced .


Krom Viking

The second one is the "Krom Viking".
Made out of hardwood, and slightly larger than your average Kendama the Viking really sticks out.
Bear in mind, this is not an X-large Kendama, more a larger one that standard.
There is a great video on Youtube describing the need for a larger sized Kendama, it all makes sense really and make sure you watch the clip.
The Viking is really smooth all over, the hardwood Dama and Ken glows dignity and "Vikingness" all the way.
The Viking is a lot of fun to play around with.
Those harder tricks, "Around the world", "lighthouse" and just "spiking" gives a higher success ratio with the Viking for me as a novice in the Kendama-field.
The overall feel of the Viking is geniune, heavier than the average Kendama but in that also bringing stability.
I can imagine the Viking to "age with beauty", due to the hardwood material in the Kendama.
Even a few marks on the "Tama", gives it just a little bit more patination.
If you buy a Viking, and have kids who are into Kendama make sure to buy the kids ones as well because they will not let you have it by yourself!
Klick away!

A whopping high-five to the Kromkendama for having Androidistica review their beauties, keep an eye out for an interview with the Krom-team !

Thursday, 11 February 2016

[Review] Illumibowl , the dark side left behind.

Ever since we humanoids started walking, talking and figuring things out ,we evolved.
Sometimes going forward and at times, seemingly the opposite direction.
The industrial revolution brought us automation, electricity and more comfortable ways to solve the "nature calls" tasks in our lives.
Now , in this day and age there is a lot happening with the details we still want to tweak a bit.
The things that at first seem to be of little importance , but in practice proves the impact being overwhelming.
Let us have a look at one of these overwhelming "life-improvers".
Behold the "Illumibowl".
Again we are witnessing a successfull Kickstarter financed product that could be in every home.

The Illumibowl Team are aiming for :
"utter extinction of the boogie man, monsters hiding under the bed, and all things that go bump in the night."
You can't go wrong with that kind of mission statement can you?

So what this nifty little product does, it lights up your toilet bowl once entering the bathroom (as long as you set it up correctly).
It's essentially a LED , some suctioncups and a motionsensor powered by batteries.
You can either have a single chosen colured light or alternatively let the Illumibowl cycle through all available colours.

So how does it work in practice ?
Very well i'd say.
Once set up in the familys second bathroom an impressed family experienced the light in the dark.
The kids were amazed of the coluring of the lights, and the possibility to alternate colours.
Wife appreciated it due to the adult-factor, no need to blind yourself during nightly visits to the restroom.
The motionsensor is fast, and without delay lights up the bowl once entering the bathroom.
Four suctioncups are attached on the backside of the motionsensor so it surely stays where put on the side of the bowl.
The LED itself has one suctioncup, which is sufficent for keeping it in place.
People who bought the Illumibowl are satisfied with their purchases and many have bought numerous devices as gifts, or adding one to each bathroom in their homes.
The verdict stands clear:
The Illumibowl is a must-have , without flaws and at a price that needs no argument.

Androidistica sends Illuminated thank-yous for having us review this device to the Team at Illumibowl.
Exit night, enter light.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

[Review] Goat Story Mug

When first discovered, the Goat Story Mug made me smile and a fuzzy feeling entered my soul.
Without really understanding the whole concept i just felt there was something there that needed more investigation.

Started as a Kickstarter in 2014, the Goat Story Mug entered the universe and gathered over 10 000 backers for the Goat Story Mug.
A great success achieved !

The mug is like nothing i've ever laid my eyes on before.
Coming with two leather straps for transportation, one longer one enabling you to carry it over your shoulder and a shorter strap for hand-carrying.
There's cool fearless design in this product and enthusiasm.

Now it does not run Android OS, neither does it need charging (other than your favourite brand of coffee poured into it or anything else that fits and needs warm-keeping) .
Available in two sizes, standard and grande and different colours from their websphop , the GSM really stands out in their uniqueness.

100 % leak proof, which is true.
Tested with coffee, held upside down, shaken and inspected .
Not a single drop escapes the Goat Story Mug.
Keeps the heat for the two hours promised in the specs, delivered as promised.
Smart design enables the holder to be put upside down on a flat surface and all of a sudden your Goat Story Mug sits tight in the holder , proud.

Does it have hipsterness ? Of course it does.
It is also irresitstible in it's own.
Some ideas that crossed my mind during the review was putting hotdogs, soup or any other food in the goat story mug for carrying along on your daily adventures.

Make sure to visit Goat Story Mug's website for the background video for the origins of the Mug and also have a peek at the nice products coming up from the Team behind Goat Story Mug.
There's coffee makers and cool design-ridden Goat- water bottles coming.
We have not seen the last of this teams products. humbly thanks the team at Goat Story Mug for letting Androidistica test-drive this end-user lifesaver .

Monday, 14 December 2015

[Review] Cover your assets.

 Sleeve Cushion for Surface Pro 3 Surface Pro 4

We all need protection. A true fact that applies to our loved ones, ourselves and our valued things.
(If you own more than seven items, the items will own you someone said somewhere)
As you might have figured out from the headline and the opening of this article , we are all about protection now.
Rest your eyes on the "Sleeve Cushion for Surface Pro 3 / Surface Pro 4".

Just a sleeve , if properly made and expressing coolness with style is ok.
A sleeve with three pockets in front and a large zipper pocket on the back is more than ok.

Gmyle are all about protecting our devices.
We have seen their covers earlier here on Androidistica and they have delivered function with protection so far.

The sleeve cushion comes in four different colour variations.
Charcoal grey & blue, Charcoal grey & pink, Charcoal grey & brown and Charcoal grey & mint green.

A nice feature is the magnetic lock on the front flap.
No need to try and find the magnets under the fabric, just close it and it locks nicely.
The outer shell is properly padded, protecting your Surface Pro 3/4 or even the Jide Remix Ultratablet .
Screensize is 11,6 inches , so any device with those measures should fit in this one.
The zipper pocket on the back is full size so easy storage for documents or notepads there.
The three pockets on the frontside are covered by the magnetic front lid.
All seams are tight and without gaps, everything is nicely put together here.

Androidistica easily recommends the ' Sleeve Cushion for Surface Pro 3 / Surface Pro 4' for anyone looking for a nice portable sleeve for their device.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

[Review] Minimal design , maximized storage.

Amongst things essential in our increasingly digitalized existence besides good wifi and killer apps comes storage.
We need storage.
Be it cloud storage via Google, Microsoft or Dropbox and the likes or your personal home NAS device or portable flash drives, there is always a need for just that, storage.
We need to store our photos, documents , excel sheets and presentations somewhere.
There is a need for storing our binary zeroes and ones somewhere safe.
Accessible, secure and unlimited in amounts .

One solution to this comes from Monster Digital.
Were talking good olde flash storage ,
Not your average flash storage, but versatile flash storage.
- What is this versatile storage you are talking about ?
We have USB storage , and micro USB storage in the same device here .
This is a convenient idea, since we are living in a standard USB and micro USB borderland with our data.
For this review , the ´USB 3.0 SUPER SPEED MOBILE OTG DRIVE´ was used.
We are looking at 80MB/s transfer speeds over the USB 3.0 interface.
The device itself is very compact in size, which is the trend we see with components such as digital storage.
Everything shrinks with time , except capacity. Capacity grows.
This little baby packs 64GB of storage , which is bordering to insane looking at the shere size of the device.
Insane in a good way.
There was no trouble connecting this monster to several various devices.
Tested on Nexus 6, Nexus 7(2012), Remix Ultratablet and Lenovo W540 laptop running Windows OS.
Overall the Mobile OTG Drive is a solid device for an excellent price.
It's one of the smallest USB Flash drives i have ever seen, and that is generally a good thing , which i believe the majority of people will agree on.
Androidistica puts thumbs up for this one!

The nice thing is the possibility of having both types of interfaces on the same device.
Micro USB for the USB OTG function on smartphones and tablets, and the standard USB for laptops, smart TV:s or such.

It's a good priced powerhouse of storage , with a size smaller than candy.

Now, Monster Digital are not only into flash drives of this kind.
Hailing from California, Monster digital are rocking a product range of SSD drives, action cameras and even data recovery if needed.

Make sure to pop by their homepage for more info on their items .