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 .

Sunday, 18 October 2015

[Review] The Shoe That Grows

This time we are having a look at something different.
We are not talking screen size, android versions or cpu cycles.
Have a look at the shoe that grows.

Founded in 2007 by Kenton Lee, the founder and Executive Director of The Shoe That Grows, while visiting Nairobi and watching a girl walking her way to church wearing too small shoes.
"Wouldn't it be great if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand - so that kids always had a pair of shoes that fit ?"

The concept is to have a shoe that lasts five years and grows with sizes.
Developed by "Proof of concept", the shoe that grows is made out of real leather , compressed rubber and snaps.

The team were kind enough to ship a pair over to make a review of a pair.
These guys deserver more than a review.

Looking at the state of the world currently, a lot of suffering is happening worldwide.
Refugee numbers worldwide breaking the total amount of refugees during world war two gives a bit of perspective to the situation at hand.

This review started with an idea of reviewing a pair of shoes with a cool design concept.
And that is all part of the deal here , the desing is really good.
When looking at good-intentioned suppport initiatives, there is always a risk of money-making taking priority of the quality on the support coming out of the fundraising.
Androidistica will not throw itself into any deep political analytics over the state of world affairs, this is done much better by other channels.
A scepticism that there's someone hogging that piece of cake before the receiver gets it to an extent that there are only crumbs left when all middle-men have taken their part .

I am pleased to realize that The Shoe That Fits is not one of them .

So what is the shoe all about then ?
I let our five year old try the shoe on, what better judge than a person who can wear them right ?
After doing a few adjustments, which were really easy to do thanks to the snaps on the shoes we had a good fit .
She walked around with the shoes a few minutes before uttering the words:
- I want to wear them at daycare as my indoor shoes !
What better verdict than from a five-year old claiming the shoes for herself ?

(Now remember were in Scandinavia, our mornings start with 28 degrees fahrenheit, so we will have to wait another seven months before temperatures start rising to more spring-like conditions).

Now, the parental side in me started looking at the actual seams and build quality of the shoes.
Take a look at the pictures and you will see what i'm talking about.

There is no loose threads, and everything is made very tight and professionaly.

If you're looking for a nice shoe to donate to daycare, a refugee camp or even buying a pair for your own kids , make sure to check these out.

There is a lot of ways to help children in need, either buy buying the shoes or chipping in with the team behind the shoe what grows with various tasks.

Head over to their webpage and check out the extensive information they provide of the efforts they put into this .
Androidistica sends humble thank you's to the team behind The Shoe That Grows and a bow for making a diffrence in the world.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

[Review] Misfit Flash

We met Misfit earlier here on Androidistica ,that time we made aquaintance with the Misfit Shine activity/sleep tracker.
Misfit keeps design in focus in their products and for anyone looking for stylish wearables the Misfit product range is a must-see.

This time we are having a closer look at one of their newer products called 'Misfit Flash'.

Nicely tucked in a small box we have the misfit flash ,a clip and a wristband .

So you have two options for wearing the Misfit Flash, and besides the wristband in the box, there is a plethora of other colours you can purchase for it as well.
The misfit Flash does not need any charging, powered by a standard cr2032 battery it is said to last for a loooong time. 6 months or more.

Once unpacked and on your wrist all you need to do is to download the misfit app. Available for both iOS and Android.
Once in the app, you set the device up for bluetooth syncing with your goals, activity and sleep data.
Some social options are also built in the app , allowing you to share and compare your activity with other misfit users out there.

What does the Misfit Flash track then ?
Well, the usual walking,running and sleeping to begin with.
Tracking your goals can be made via pushing the built in button of the actual device, and the LEDs light up in a circulare shape around the edges showing your daily progress.
You also get a customized watch, which highlights the hours and minutes via the built in LED:s once you double press the Misfit Flash.

Activity tracking is fairly accurate , this is while comparing the activity tracking of the Polar A300.
No big mismatches were found in the steps taken per day.

Unfortunately i was not able to get any readings for the sleep tracking on the Misfit Flash.
There seems to be no user interaction needed for the sleep tracking to get activated but on the review unit none was registered over the week i tested the device.

The Misfit Flash is a low-weight unit even with the wristband and does not interfere in the everyday life.
Waterproofed down to 30 meters it is also suitable for swimmers and showers.
This is always a plus with wearables.

Misfit has put in some nice features in their app as well.
You have the option to set an app to start on your smartphone or tablet once double clicking your flash device, or single clicking.
This feature is quite unique , adding customisation to your Misfit Flash experience.

Misfit Flash can be used in combination with other devices from Misfit.
There are plenty of options for tracking our days and nights from Misfit.

Who is the Misfit flash for then ?
I don't think the hardcore mountainbikers, marathon-runners or elite athletics will use the Misfit Flash as their primary device for activity tracking.
With focus on appearance, the Misfit Flash represents a low-budget-stylished version of a activity tracker.
Without the charging need and colourful options for wristbands this device has strenghts compared to other ones.
Without GPS, LED or other type of display we are looking at a minimalistic approach of a tracker .
There is no device to rule them all, we are all individuals with different needs and desires.
Misfit Flash will attract those looking for style, low-price ,simplicity and bare-bones tracking.
The option to wear it on a wristband or on a clip at your waist for example makes the Misfit Flash versatile.
On the other hand we have the app with customization options for starting apps and the social plugin.
The app feedback is of the non-intrusive kind.
If you move less than your set goals, no military-styled motivational quotes are presented urging you to move more.
Some people like it like that i am sure.
It all comes down to personal preferences and the Misfit Flash is sure to attract it's own audience.