Saturday, 31 January 2015

[Review] Rubberized USB Cable With Self-Locking System (Micro USB)

Smart things are good , easily adopted and not bulky.
GMYLE has got just that in their:
'Rubberized USB Cable With Self-Locking System (Mirco USB)'.
Ever been asked by a friend or colleague if you got one of those "USB Cables" to lend for charging their smartphone or transfer some files to or from their PC?
I have, and a rummage through the drawers has been a follow-up action on that particular quesstion.
No more.
GMYLE's USB Cable comes along as conveniently as your home keys, USB stick or anything you attach it to.
Whoah! There's that cable again! Awesome!
In the box you get the rubberized USB Cable.
And it's quite smart. 
You just push both sides of that plastic holder with the ring and out pops the cable!
As you can see in the image above it's really no bulky "carry-along" . 
Very nice addition to anyones daily life , carrying a smartphone along.
Looking at the price, the convenience and design we are looking at a winner.
No doubt, this will simplify life.

A snow-filled truckload of warm thanks to GMYLE for having Androidistica once again try out their products.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

[Review] OBDLink MX Wi-Fi

We have now had a look at the OBDLink MX Wi-Fi, which is the successor model of the OBDlink LX Bluetooth scanner reviewed earlier here on the Androidistica blog.
The key differences in this beefed up model are that it connects to your device via Wi-Fi instead of via Bluetooth as the LX model does, also there is added support for all Apple iOS devices and the Single-Wire CAN (GMLAN) and Medium-Speed CAN (MS-CAN) protocols which enables owners of select Ford and GM car models to remotely, from your device, start the engine, lock and unlock doors and honk the horn of your car if need be, perhaps an efficient way to keep nosy bypassers at a safe distance from your precious vehicle while it is parked outside your favourite diner.
Similar to the LX model , the MX comes bundled with apps for both android and iOS , and a license key for the Windows software ,OBDwiz.

Packaging and first impression.
The MX WiFi comes in a neat see-through box with all the necessary information printed on the box.
Getting inside the box was frustration free , no wrap rages or bleeding finger incidents occurred during unpacking .





Inside the box
Once opened , the box revealed the MX Wi-Fi device, and separate quick start guides for all the three supported platforms. The Windows guide contains the license key for the included OBDwiz software and a download link while the iOS and android guides also contain WiFi setup instructions and links to downloadable apps.





Installation.
Getting the device up and running was quite easy , as with the LX model.
The WPA2 key is printed on a sticker on the side of the MX , and should be noted down before installation since it will be difficult to read while the MX is plugged in.
Once plugged in to the OBD 2 socket , The MX immediately started up the ADHOC Wi-Fi network and allowed connecting with my android phone, using the WPA2 key noted down earlier.
It is also possible to configure the MX WiFi to join an already existing WIFI network if needed, the MX has a built in web configuration page for this purpose.




Functionality:
The MX Wi-Fi was tested using the included OBDlink app ,but it is possible to connect via WiFi to the adapter using other third party Android apps such as Torque and DashCommand.
The OBDlink App supports detecting and resetting ECU trouble codes as well as customizing and setting up gauges of your liking into dashboard views.
In addition ,is also supports logging of your mileage and fuel consumption and sharing the logs and maps with trip data from your phone or tablet.
The source information for the app to produce graphs and gauges consists of a customizable blend of your android device's accelerometer , GPS and the ECU PID data pulled from your car.
The refresh rates of the displayed gauges are really fast ,as promised by the manufacturer ,the values are seemingly updated in real time.The responsiveness can clearly be proven by checking the fuel consumption while accelerating , the built in display in my car was dragging behind with a second compared to the OBDlink gauge's display.

Verdict:
All in all this is an impressive gadget , which should be in every toolbox of a any car mechanic or car enthusiast , considering the support of most car makes and models on the market including support of the CAN protocols used to remote control some of the GM / Ford cars.
The list price of $119.95 might seem steep compared to other OBD adapters on the market , but the cross compatibility between car brands ,and the amount of supported devices and platforms and a three year warranty helps with softening the blow.

More information and specs: http://www.scantool.net/obdlink-mxwf.html









Monday, 19 January 2015

[Review] GMYLE Bookcase Vintage for Nexus 6

It's time for another Nexus 6 case review, this time the case is coming from GMYLE.
Bookcases can be practical in many ways.
You can bring your vital credit card, drivers license and your library card with you if you like.
If you have a a foldable stand in the case it adds even more usability , providing you with a hands-free option for viewing videos, pictures or reading while eating breakfast for instance.
All this is accomplished in the Bookcase Vintage for Nexus 6.

Fold it, watch it.

Cards on the left, phone on the right.

Nicely rested


Bookcase makes sense, book-like view.

Backside of the bookcase.

Plastic case cutouts for power and volume button accomplished.

Non intrusive plastic holder.

No obstructions here. Carry on..
The Bookcase Vintage holds your Nexus 6 inside the case via a hard plastic holder,with a snug fit.
This case is not a slim one, but neither is the Nexus 6.
Build quality is solid, no creaking from the plastic  holder and all stiching is without loose strings on the faux-leather case giving your Nexus 6 a classy look.
One colleague of mine asked me if i brough the bible to work, funny guy !
Protection-wise this case provides with some protection for drops, unless the case unfolds mid-air and your Nexus 6 lands face first.
A leather strap of some sort would have been nice to keep the package together.
All in all the Bookcase Vintage for Nexus 6 is a decent one with some room for improvement.
Looking at the pricing there is no reason to complain.
GMYLE offers you quite a lot for a small prize here.
If you are looking to add some classic vintage style to your Nexus 6, this is the case to go for.



Saturday, 17 January 2015

[Review] Dbrand Nexus 6 Skin.

DBRAND have made a name in smartphone customisation via their "Skins".
Now what is a Dbrand-Skin ?
Well, it's a collaboration together with M3, where Dbrand has developed skins to be applied to your smartphone , macbook, tablet ,gaming console of choice or your wearable.
And results are smashingly beautiful.
There is a level of protection to the surface of the unit where the skin is applied although it's not an impact protection but rather scratch-protection and a level of swagger via the beauty of the different variations available in terms of appearance.
Those of us who are weary applying other than snap-on cases can get good instructions via the videos Dbrand offers .
Mahogany being todays flavour.

Notice the structure of the skin, very lifelike to wood.

Structure on the glue-side of the skin.

And so it begins...


Dbrand is my name, skins my game!
Dbrand skins give a whole new feel to the Nexus 6 device.
The number of available flavours are many, ranging from carbon, metal , leather to wood structures.
For this review only backpiece was tested but i imagine brining a front skin only adds beauty to your chosen device.
Applying the skin was a 5-minute job really thanks to the great instructional video provided by Dbrand.
Challenge lying in getting the skin to position correctly over the microphone gap but as you get many attempts you only need to keep trying until you are there.
There are no downsides on Dbrand skins.
For this review a particular inspection was done to see if the skin leaves a lot of glue residue on the device after removing the skin.
No glue was left on the Nexus 6 after removing the skin which is a big plus.
Not that you will want to remove the skin after finally getting it there, but as a reviewer one tries to find facts you readers might enjoy.

All in all, Dbrand has got their game together here.
Expanding into gaming consoles is a step forward while making awesome stuff for our smartphones , tablets and wearables.
Androidistica can gladly recommend anyone to get a Dbrand skin for their device.
Their website for ordering skins is working well, giving you a preview of what your device will look like with various flavours of skins.
Customisation en masse!


A winter warm high-five to the folks at Dbrand for having Androidistica testshoot their skin for Nexus 6 !


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

[Review] GMYLE Wallet Case Classic for Google Nexus 6

New year brings new Things.
GMYLE has been around since 2005, making cases for Macbooks,tablets and all kinds of devices since then.
Todays deep-dive will go into the Wallet Case Classic for Google Nexus 6.
Available in different colours the review piece is the 'Denim Blue / Mud Brown '
As you can see in the image above the Denim Blue is being the predominant colour on the front.
Once we open up the case we see two credit card cutouts and a larger pocket for all your dollar bills, or whatever currency makes your day work .
The little fellow on the side keeps the case toghether via a magnetic clasp.
(And no, Nexus 6 has not got a "Secret Activate device with magnet-Trick".)

Looking closely, the stiching work is good and well done all around the case.
Material is Faux-Leather on the insde and a kind of coated fabric on the front and back.
Looking at how the Nexus 6 is attached , there is a soft rubber case which fits nicely around keeping the Nexus 6 in a tight grip.

On of my favourite parts about wallet cases on phablets is the folder mount.
As seen above, the back of the case is pre-folded to make mounting easier.
Holes for all buttons, camera, headset and charger is generously made and without misalignment.
Good for the OCD:ers ,all in the right places.


This case will keep the Nexus 6 protected and useful for pennies worth of money .
Needless to say it's a bargain.
Add to the fact there is a 1 year warranty , there is no way to wrong with this.


Saturday, 27 December 2014

[Heads-Up] The ghost of christmas future.

With a belly full of Christmas  goodies Androdistica is plotting on future endevours.
Without revealing too much of the things to come a few keywords to remember are:

- OBD Link (For the vehicles that carry us)
A hands- on review to come in a near future.
Androidistica already did a hands-on on the predecessor past summer, and now it's time to revisit the magic made by Scantool with a Wifi-enabled device.

-Nexus 6. Yes, even Androidistica will get the opportunity to do a hands-on in-depth whatever they call it on the latest device from the Googleplex synergy with Motorola.
God knows what will come out of that.

- Skins. Yes, you most likely have seen these on the interwebs.
 Gorgeous-looking smartphones with cool skins altering the appearance of devices into steel, wood or other beatiful materials.
Dbrand being the lead provider of these and being the nice people they are, Androdistica will tell and show you just how awesome they are.



- And one more thing, but that will be revealed later on.

So the Christmas ghost of the future has now given you a peek into the future of Androidisticas scheme of 2015 .
Back to the fridge, where did i put the smoked salmon?

Friday, 14 November 2014

[Review] Mi Band Fitness monitor Sleep tracker


Wearables are a hot topic these days . 
And they do come in all shapes and colours,  purposes and designs.
Xiaomi are not late to the party ,presenting their  Mi Band on the market which is no less of a fitness band than the rest of the trackers available .
As you can see , the Mi-Band comes beautifully boxed with the Mi logo printed on top of the recyclable cardboard box.



So what's in the box then ?

We have the Mi-Band itself , a charging cable and a manual.
That is all. Xiaomi has put the "howto" parts into the "Mi-Band" app , which is quite a nice touch since tha manual is written in Kantonese which i miserably fail to read.
The device itself is used in conjuction with the "Mi-band" app , which is dowloadable for free in the Play store.
In the app, upon connecting the Mi-Band for the first time,you get step by step instructions on how it all works.
Mi-Band keeps track  and gives you information about your daily activities and sleeping patterns.
You also get the option to add an alarm, where the Mi-Band wakes you up by vibrating on the set time.
Another nice tweak is the option to choose what colour the Mi-Bands LEDS should light up with upon reaching your daily goals.

Features presented are :
  •  30 days of battery standby 
  • Unlock your Miui phone with the Mi-Band
  •   Fitness Level Monitor
  • Sleeping Quality Tracking
  • Smart Alarm
  • History Data
  • Seek Mi Band
  • LED Light Color setting
  • Work on both hands
  • Total Distance Display
  • Average Daily Steps
  • Sharing via Social Media
Quite a lenghty feature list for a Fitness band that doesn't cost you a fortune, and it all holds true.
The stats are there, working as coded and promised.
For this review the Mi-Band was worn for a week.
The low weight of the Mi-Band makes it unnoticed on your wrist.
Sleeping , working out , showering is really without issues at all.
The sensors are fairly accurate counting steps and distances while on the run.
Sleep tracking seems pretty accurate too, although i couldn't take time on my own sleep while sleeping for comparing those stats. (Doh!)
Software updates , even for the Mi-band itself are all handled via the Mi-Band app.
This is a good feature, no need to connect cables and running apps from PC:s to update the Mi-Bands firmware.
It all happens via the Bluetooth connection from your Android device, splendid approach!


Pros: 
  • Lightweight, does not feel like you are wearing the band.
  • Batterylife. 30 Days standby hits the ball out of the park compared to the other fitness bands on the market. That's an OT Goal on the competition.
  • App design and usability. Good design in-app, nice summaries and statistics for your workouts, steps taken and sleep.
    Alarm feature coming as a nice bonus.
Cons:
  • Lack of display on device . Although you get the flashing LED:s once you completed your daily goals regarding steps taken and the option to change the coulors of them a clock feature would've been nice. No showstopper really, just a feature less which in turns gives your 30 days of trouble -free standby time on the battery.
Summary:
If you are looking for a trouble free fitness band without all the bells and whistles but keeping the essence of stepcounts, fitness tracking and sleep tracking then the Mi-Band is a good choice.
What the Mi-Band does, is done without issues.
It will not dig a void into your wallet and it will track what is promised. 
A big plus for the batterylife, fitness bands and smartwatches in general seem to be needy of frequent charging, this is not a problem for the Mi-Band . 

The Mi-Band gets a 8/10 from Androidistica.