Product Reviews

Blurrb is a review website that offers informative product reviews on the latest products and gadgets. Unlike some product review sites; our reviews are honest and informative so that you can glean the relevant information that will help you to make a considered decision. We love doing gadget reviews and hope that this comes across on our site. Please visit our About Us page for more information. If you have a product you would like us to review, please get in touch. We are PR friendly (in case you're wondering)!

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Philips Senso Touch 3D RQ1250 Shaver Review
Rating: 4 Stars
The Philips Senso Touch 3D RQ1250 is a cordless wet and dry rotary shaver, with a pop up trimmer. It has 3 shave heads for a closer, quicker shave. The RQ1250 is certainly not the cheapest shaver on the market, but it looks good and feels solidly built, and can be cleaned with water under a running tap.


The Philips GyroFlex 3D system follows the contours and curves of your face to minimise pressure and irritation, almost hugging your skin to provide a close shave. The flexi-moving 3D heads make it possible to cut the hair with minimal strokes.

In operation, the Senso Touch 3D is quiet in operation and doesn't vibrate too much. The shaver is comfortable to hold and doesn't feel overly weighty or unwieldy. It is gentle on the skin with no noticeable discomfort whilst shaving.

The shaver copes very well with both long and short hairs, including stubble and achieves a quality smooth finish, that is close and comfortable.  This is due to the UltraTrack heads which are designed to catch a variety of hair lengths including stubble.

The pop up trimmer is a bit of a let down as it is quite small, and you do struggle to get a neat edged finish, but that is the norm with these type of shavers. 

A fully charges battery provides nine shaves, so in theory should last you throughout the week. However, if you're running late and low on charge, the quick charge feature takes only 5 minutes, and gives you enough power for one full shave.

This Philips shaver is quiet and comfortable to use, it's also easy to clean and provides an excellent shave.
LG G2 Mini Review
Rating: 4 Stars
You will have no doubt noticed the number of middle and low-end mobile devices being introduced into the market. These devices operate with the basic functions of a smartphone for a fraction of the price. The market is slowly becoming popular as we see a number of handsets designed for the market pulling off some impressive specifications. Today we are looking at the LG G2 Mini, and while the phone is not as cheap as others are within the market, it is much cheaper than its G2 counterpart is.


The first thing we noticed is that the G2 Mini has brought over quite a few aspects of its bigger brother. The first feature to be included is the placement of buttons on the back of the phone. The buttons can seem somewhat unusual at first, but they are positioned to compliment where your fingers are when you hold the phone. While not overly revolutionary, it is not a hindrance either. 

The screen, as you would expect, is smaller. The display itself is a 4.7 inches in size with an IPS display. The resolution, however has been reduced. The G2 Mini has a qHD resolution, which is 960 x 540 pixels. While it may seem quite a big sacrifice when you read it in black-and-white, it is not as bad as you would imagine. Fine text can prove to be a problem to read at certain times, so while the screen quality is very good, it could have done with a few more pixels. 

Another feature that has been carried over from the G2 is the large battery, which is  2440mAh and sits behind the back cover. The price point delivers the expected feature for a middle-end phone including a Snapdragon 400 and 1GB of RAM. There is also 8GB of storage that can be expanded via the Micro SD card slot. 

The LG G2 Mini runs the Android Kitkat 4.4.2 operating system, which is skinned with LG’s Optimus User Interface. The skin is not as intrusive as others, but can sometimes get in the way if you are used to the standard operating system. The home screen can be altered to suit a user’s preference, as can the way app icons are displayed. The browsing of complex web pages can result in the phone in running a little slow as can the introduction of the on-screen keyboard. 

The camera included with the LG G2 Mini is quite impressive for a mid-range phone, coming in at 8-megapixels and can generate some quality photographs. As you would expect it can't capture the amount of detail of the higher-end models and you may end up with some other saturated images, but still the overall quality is very impressive for a budget handset. 

We found the LG G2 Mini to be functional in every way it should be. Sure, there are problems here and there, but none that you wouldn’t find in any other budget model. What’s more, the LG G2 has a higher sense of quality when you use it. The LG G2 Mini certainly does not feel budget-like. If you are looking for the latest Android phone with all the features you could ask for and more, then the LG G2 Mini is not for you. However, if you are happy to make a few small sacrifices in some specifications and you are on a budget, then this may be the handset for you. 


WD My Cloud Mirror NAS Drive Review
Rating: 4.5 Stars
The Western Digital My Cloud Mirror is a dual bay NAS drive available in 4TB, 6TB and 8TB sizes, and provides access to your files. Western Digital has tried to remove most of the frustrations of initially setting it up via setup wizards and numerous apps that are there to assist you. The WD My Cloud arrive with the HD installed already which goes a long way to endorsing the plug it and go philosophy.

Design and Build

The My Cloud Mirror is compatible with Windows and Mac, and looks nothing out of the ordinary. Although, there are a few touches that point towards an Apple-ish design mantra. It's a well built piece of kit, with blue LED lights to show you what the My Cloud is up to. The drive eject buttons are a nice touch too.

It is available in 3 sizes (4TB, 6TB and 8TB) with half of the capacity immediately available whilst the other half is used for a duplicate copy. In the event of a data failure, your data is safe on the copied space. The My Cloud Mirror is also USB 3.0 compatible (via the two USB ports) thus allowing more storage space without having to mess about with additional hard drives.

Setup

Setting up the WD My Cloud Mirror is quite easy, with it being a case of plugging in the drive and connecting to your router. The Auto Network Discovery mode makes it easy to find and connect to your Wi-Fi. Although, be warned that on occasions it can be confusing when you are prompted numerous times for different passwords and it isn't clear what it is for - i.e. for app access or content access. This could be slightly more user friendly in our opinion.

Performance

The WD My Cloud Mirror is very silent in operation, almost stealth-like with an occasional whirr and the small blue LED light informing you that it's working away. Once setup correctly, it's autopilot on the backup aspect with absolutely minimal user action required. This is a big bonus.

There is lots of space for storing all your videos, music files and photos on the My Cloud Mirror. It's easy to store your data via the drag and drop method. Your data can be accessed via the apps whilst you are out and about which is like having your own personal cloud.

Verdict

Although the Western Digital My Cloud Mirror may not be the cheapest product on the market, it is one of the easiest to set up and get running. It is an excellent back up solution, and a safe option with RAID as default. The WD has been designed to be easy to use, and is compatible with both Windows and MAC. The complimentary apps on iOS and Android are an added extra which are a snip to use. In a nutshell, it's an excellent product that delivers with the minimum of fuss.
Panasonic MC-CL934 Bagless Vacuum Review
Rating: 3.5 Stars
The Panasonic MC-CL934 is Panasonic's only bagless cylinder vacuum in its current product line up. The MC-CL934 promises to offer high power and continuous high suction via its Eco-Max motor and 3D Inducer Fan, whilst using less energy.
 

Panasonic claim that the unique hourglass shape combined with dust compression technology allows the MC-CL934 to compress 33% more dust than a standard bagless canister. The vacuum itself looks quite bold with the vivid inner green colour combined with the black bodywork. The large rear wheels and the short wheel base assists with manoeuvrability.

What's included?

A washable HEPA filter is good news for allergy sufferers and helps save money on replacement filters. A standard head with a drop down brush for hard floors is included, along with a crevice nozzle and dusting brush. These are both stored under the excellently designed handle, which helps enormously when changing the heads. The handle has a telescopic tube extender, which saves storage space and the need to fit together separate tubes but it does limit the reach considerably. The Panasonic MC-CL934 does not have a rotating brush tool.

How does it do?

The MC-CL934 is quite responsive and can be easily moved about on all types of floors. This is due to the large rear wheels, short wheel base and 8.7kg weight. On carpets, you will need a strong arm to manoeuvre the cleaning head as the high suction power has a tendency to almost snag the head on the floor.

We tested a variety of different substances to test the vacuum out. This included talcum powder, bread crumbs, crushed biscuits, trampled cereal and more. The Panasonic MC-CL934 vacuum did extremely well and removed all visible mess from both carpet and hard floor. It even worked competently right up to the edges of skirting in a very pleasing fashion. The main thing we found was that you don't need to use lots of passes to clean an area thoroughly, between 1-3 is normally more than sufficient. This high level of cleaning is probably down to the high power motor. 

On the stairs.

The MC-CL934 falls slightly short on stair cleaning. The main downside is the hose is not long enough and only reaches about half way up an average flight of stairs. It is light enough to carry, but you shouldn't have to. A dedicated stair tool is also not included. Using the main brush, what it does clean, it cleans well with the help of some manoeuvring. It's satisfactory but the Panasonic could have done better on stair cleaning.

Coping with pet hair.

The Panasonic MC-CL934 does not have a rotating brush or turbo mode, which in our experience helps immensely with removing pet hair. Using a mixture of long and short pet hair, it took a good while to clear up all the hair in a small circle. We counted it as nearly a minute or so. The pet hair seemed to get spread out over a larger area as we tried to go over it again to remove it, and seemed to get caught up in the cleaning head. Unfortunately, this model may not be a sensible choice if you have pets, especially those that moult a lot.

Verdict

The Panasonic MC-CL934 is a powerful, good looking and easy to manoeuvre vacuum with a decent 1.5 litre capacity. It copes very well with hard floors and cleans well on carpets. However, the limited reach and the poor performance with pet hair means it may not be the ideal vacuum for those that have pets or prefers stairs to be cleaned easily.
Rating: 4 Stars
The Tefal Avanti Classic is available in a plastic outer casing. There is also an Avanti Royal model which is the same, but is available in stainless steel. The latter costs approximately £20-£30 more.

The Avanti front panel appears very busy with lots of buttons and levers, and the design is functional rather than stylish. Although, the manner in which the four slots are tilted towards you, makes it easy to access especially when stored under overhead cupboards.

Like most toasters, each pair of slots has its own separate control. Think of it as two toasters stuck together. The browning dials don't exude a well built feel and instead seem slightly loose and low cost.  The buttons have a lack of feel when pressed, but they do illuminate so this should help. Most of the usual features found in toasters are present, with buttons for reheating and frozen bread. There is no single side bagel mode.

The extra levers in the middle are a nice addition for lifting out small items. Coupled with the easy access slots, the Tefal Avanti is a good choice for those that like crumpets and muffins.

The slots on Avanti are 40mm wide, which are quite wide and should be able to accommodate even the thickest of slices. It does seem to take a while to toast the bread, although this probably depends on the way you like your toast to be. It took us roughly two and a half minutes.

The Avanti does quite well at toasting the bread. Both of the slices were evenly toasted except for a small corner. This is probably due to the angled design. The toast was slightly crispier when compared to other models, but again this is probably down to individual taste.

Like most toasters, crumbs can start to build up so some shaking might be needed to loosen them so that it falls into the crumb tray. The tray could have been slightly deeper we feel.

The Tefal Avanti is a solid buy for its price point especially so if purchasing the Tefal Avanti Classic which is cheaper. Some thought has been put in the design of the toaster to help with tight spaces, and the angled slots and extra lift really do make a difference. The toasting results are good, and don't give any cause for concern at all. 
Rating: 4 Stars
Portable speakers come in many shapes and sizes, and now Sony has come up with the SRS-X3 Portable Wireless Speakers which have a 'Distinctive Outline' design. It's a rectangular shaped box with slightly sloped edges, and the shape is distinctive in the way you wouldn't mistake it for another shape! The front and rear grilles are metal, whilst the top and sides have a rubbery plastic and the edges are made from a hard plastic. It's a safe design that works well, and is unobtrusive.

This is a clever little box that offers about 7hrs battery life, Bluetooh 2.1 connectivity, 3.5mm input and Near Field Communication for easy pairing. A microphone is also included. There is a plethora of buttons that include: power, volume, audio in, answer call and bluetooth pairing and Sound Mode. This is similar to an equaliser setting for a wider sound stage, and you definitely notice a difference with this switched on.

For those that like a bit of bass, there are two passive radiators - one at the front and one at the back. This is definitely a bonus as most portable speakers either don't have any, or only have one! The two 34mm drivers are driven by a 10W amplifier.

The sound is dynamic, full of energy and quite powerful for a little thing. The bass is pronounced and adds weight without being over bearing to the rest of the frequency range.

These Sony SRS-X3 speakers have a sense of presence, and the sound never seems like it's coming from a little box. There is a nice scale to the sound. When you turn the volume up to silly levels they do struggle, but we don't think you need to do that anyway as they are loud enough. These speakers are made for open spaces.

The SRS-X3 weighs in at a very portable 850g, and comes with its own foldable carry case. However, the SRS-X3 are not waterproof, and whilst the build quality is strong, the paint on the metal grilles can chip quite easily. In a nutshell, you have to be careful when and where you use it.

The Sony SRS-X3 is an excellent bit of kit. It is feature packed, and offers a sweet punchy sound. The build quality is more than adequate for most situations and you can move it about and take it with you without feeling silly. We like it.


Plantronics BackBeat FIT Headphones Review
Rating: 4 Stars
The Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless Bluetooth headphones aims to solve some of the issues that fitness loving people face, especially if they are a bit of an audiophile. Sweat, loose earphones and trailing wires are often a bane for music loving fitness people.

The BackBeat FIT is available in green or blue, with a flexible neckband design and a reflective finish. It is an open-ear design so the outside world is not completely blocked out, and instead allows some noises to seep in. In our experience, many people find the added airflow a more comfortable experience and does somewhat result in a more natural listening experience.

The headphones hook over each ear and there is hardly any movement. The rubberised loop helps with stability and comfort too. The headphones are a snug fit, and even with a few different types of cardio exercises the FIT did very well. It is also worth noting that the sweat proofing did an admiral job too, courtesy of the p2i liquid repellent coating.

The headphones feel quite light in use, and weigh in at 24 grams. The rubberised material feels solid. If you wear clothing with collars, you might find that the BackBeat FIT has a tendency to snag slightly if you tilt your head back.

A neoprene smartphone armband is included, and this doubles up as a storage pouch for the headphones. Although, you can't really use or see your smartphone screen when it's in the armband.

The BackBeat FIT have a good, pretty decent sound quality. Mid-rand and High frequency sounds were clear, rich and vibrant. There is a distinct lack of bass in our listening experience, and this may be due to the 50Hz frequency limit. The FIT headphones can be turned up high without worrying about excessive sound leakage.  In very noisy environments, you may find yourself pushing the ear buds that little bit further in.

As the BackBeat FIT are Blutooth wireless, you don't have to worry about getting them tangeld or catching them when you are using your favourite gym equipment. The range is approximately 10m, so as long as you are roughly this distance away from your phone or MP3 player, you shouldn't have any problems with media streaming to your FIT headphones.

Power is provided by the non-removable Lithium-ion battery which last for about 8 hours (if listening) or 6 hours (if talking). The right hand earbud is used to accept or reject calls, whilst the left earbud can be used for playing, pausing, skipping tracks and adjusting the volume. The headphones take about 2.5 hours to charge fully via a micro USB connection.

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT are not cheap, and some may have real gripes with the price. Sport headphones are often an extra pair to supplement your favourite earphones whilst you go through your fitness regime. However, if a secure fit and sweat proofing are important considerations, along with the need to have a better than mediocre audio experience, then the BackBeat FIT may be ideal as a good, solid contender.
Siper Elite 3 Review
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Anyone who has played the previous incarnation in the series probably are not too excited at the release of a new addition to the series. “Sniper Elite V2” had a few issues that made it far from a great game. It was by no means an awful game, but for all its glorious aesthetics, it became very repetitive very quickly and offered nothing for players to come back to long-term.

Fortunately, the series has had an overhaul and has omitted the stiff game play a much more fun game has been introduced.

The first and most popular attraction is undoubtedly the x-ray vision cams. When a player fires a shot, they will see the journey of the bullet start to finish. Whether it hits the enemy’s skull, eyeballs or lungs, players will see the path of destruction in its completeness.

The game isn’t gruesome for the sake of being gruesome and offers a great deal of complexity. Despite the bloody violence found in the title, this isn’t your typical run-and-gun affair, in fact, the game prefers you to carry out your missions quietly and precisely.

Protagonist Karl Fairburne is not your armour covered super soldier, he takes damage, and if spotted he takes it quickly. In this regard, Fairburne must make his way through World War II North Africa using his initiative as well as the background noise to mask gunfire.

If players do break stealth, there is no penalty, other than an abundance of enemies on your tail once they have confirmed your location. The graphics are pleasant to look at, and while nothing ground breaking, they complement the game well.

The artificial intelligence of the guard can sometimes be humorous. For example if you hide away from a guard and they try and find you, they will give up walk away in a matter of minutes like you were never there in the first place.

The game also employs an “Authentic Mode” that has the player making their way through the game with no saves, threat radars or aiming aids, at an attempt to a more authentic approach. This mode makes things a little more exciting, knowing that you could be exposed and killed at any time.

Overall, the game is fun for those who enjoy taking the role of military personnel and discreetly shooting their way through enemies from a distance. What the games does it does well, in this case emulating the role of a sniper, other than that, it offers little for those who may be looking for the gunfire-filled antics of “Battlefield” or “Call of Duty.”

The graphics are pretty, if sometimes glitchy but the game’s biggest downside is the artificial intelligence that rather swings the title away from its realistic tone. If you are looking to kill a few weekends with some straightforward shootings, then Sniper Elite 3 will provide that, and of course, Sniper fans will be ecstatic with the improvements made to the franchise.



Dyson Cool AM06  Review
Rating: 4 Stars
The Dyson Cool AM06 is a follow up to the Dyson Air Multiplier with a new and improved internal motor which uses less power but provides greater airflow than the previous model. The unique design remains with the absences of fan blades to prevent air buffeting. As with the previous model, the Dyson Cool AM06 still has a premium price.

The Dyson AM06 has a chunky cylinder base that houses the electronics and motor, and the hoop at the top which acts as the fan. The base is a black matt colour, while the hoop is finished in a metallic silver. It definitely looks sleek, modern and beautiful and is much more pleasing on the eye compared to traditional white desktop fans. The AM06 is also available in different colours.


The Dyson AM06 is quite flexible and is able to oscillate to cover a wider area with cool air, and is able to pivot upwards or downwards to target a certain area with cool air as well. The small bright LCD display shows the current fan power level, and will also show the countdown timer. The bright display light cannot be dimmed.

A remote control is included for the Dyson Cool. This is able to control the power, airflow level, oscillation and timer settings. It can be stored on the top of the fan, and is held in place by a magnet. The pivot facility cannot be controlled with the remote and has to be done manually.

The AM06 is surprisingly light and weighs in at 1.8kg. Its easy to pick up and move around the home or office. The 1.8m cable help with placement if power sockets are scarce. In addition, the design makes it very easy to clean. You don't have to disassemble the fan, and it really is a case of wiping it down and it's clean again and free from dust.

The Dyson Cool AM06 is able to push out 370 litres of air per second. The sensation is very different to sitting next to a traditional fan as there is no air buffeting or white noise when the air hits your ear. The AM06 instead provides a stream of cool air - its similar to sitting next to an open window and feeling a gentle breeze coming through. The Dyson works by pulling air through a grille in the base unit, forcing it through the hoop via a brushless motor and a small slit in the hoop allows the air to be blown out of the hoop and into the room. Dyson point out that this design also forces the surrounding air behind the hoop and pushes that through as well, thus the "Air Multiplier" tag.

The Dyson AM06 is remarkably quiet in operation, but not silent. The higher the setting, the more of a hum you will hear. The hustle and bustle of a busy office or the sound of kids and the television all help in masking the sound of the AM06 quite easily.

The Dyson AM06 uses 5 watts when at the lowest setting, and 24 watts electricity at the maximum setting.

The Dyson Cool AM06 is unique in terms of look. It is undoubtedly stylishly designed and could be a part of the room no matter what the weather. You won't be hiding it away when it's not needed. It is also much much quieter in use than traditional fans and for light sleepers this could be a major plus point. The AM06 simply works. It's not a gimmick and does a sterling job. However, it is not cheap and with the price tag of approximately £230 it is not an impulse buy, and some may be put off with that price. If you buy it, there is a strong chance that you will not be disappointed. 


Krups Inissia Nespresso Review
Rating: 5 Stars
The Krups Inissia is an entry level Nespresso machine with a compact footprint that takes minimal space. (It measures only H23xW12xD32cm). Combine this with its light weight (2.4kg) and you have a discrete coffee machine that can be moved about easily if the need arises. The Inissia is available in different colours including black, white, red and orange and its far from being ugly! It's made from plastic but it doesnt have a cheap look or feel to it. 


The Inissia has been designed to be easy to use. It only has two buttons! One button delivers a single shot of espresso, while the second button is for a lungo cup. The same buttons are also used for switching the machine on and off. The Inissa is easy enough to use, and is far from being complicated.

The large lever on the Krups Inissia is prominent, well designed and easy to use. You lift the handle up to open the capsule draw, and when pulled down you are ready to make your coffee.

In operation, we were surprised at how noisy the Inissia is in operation. There is a definite loudness to it, and there is no mistaking when it is in use. There is no cup warmer and there is no milk option.

The Krups Inissia makes a lovely espresso that's rich, aromatic and smooth. There was no bitter taste it. For something so affordable, it was very surprising to taste espresso of this quality, and it is simply a superb piece of kit.


 Nook Simple Touch eBook Reader Review
Rating: 4 Stars
Today we find ourselves surrounded by tablets that can deliver the latest HD movies and play the latest games, many of us may even use the device to read books, but what if we only read books, and have little use for anything else the tablet has to offer? Luckily, there is still a market for the e-book reader, a simple device that simply acts as book, while offering the option of taking many books on the go with you.

Today we’re looking at the Nook e-book reader, a simple straightforward device that faces competition from the likes of Amazon’s Kindle. The Nook has a cheaper price tag to counteract with, but don’t assume that the low price tag affects the quality of the product.


It doesn’t have all the features of the more high-end devices, but if you’re just a book reader then you’ll find the Nook more than adequate to suit your needs. The devices comes equipped with a six-inch monochrome eInk display that is capable of delivering 16 levels of grey. This makes the Nook remarkably easy to read as well as not being too tiresome on the eyes when reading in different levels of light.

The keyboard is a touch screen affair, which in some cases can be unresponsive. It only happens now and again but when it does happen, it can be very frustrating. The operating interface comes largely from Android, which offers a user-friendly feel despite some misgivings in the touch screen department.

The Nook Simple Touch comes complete with 2GB of flash memory to store books, so you can expect to hold about 1,000 books on the devices. The Nook Simple Touch also supports PDFs so you can simply transfer any books you may have on your computer over to the Nook with ease. There is also the Barnes and Noble store for users to look that offers a selection of titles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer the diversity of the Kindle or Kobo store, and is a little more expensive.

Overall, the Nook Simple Touch is an excellent device that offers great value for money. Books can be easily transferred and the clean crisp e-ink display means you won’t be rubbing your eyes after a few minutes of reading. Misgivings are the lack of a backlight, a bookstore that is outshined by Amazon and a sometimes sluggish touch interface; but when compared to other e-book readers it can stand tall at a fraction of the price.

The popular Google Nexus range was thought to be under threat due to recent movements by Google, namely the new range of Android Silver phones due for release in 2015. The head of Android engineering and the Nexus program, Dave Burke said that the company is still heavily invested in Nexus.

Burke declined to comment on the proposed Android Silver range, but it seems that Google are keen to continue with the Nexus range so they can focus on the open source code they are building. He called Nexus a “statement of purity,” a chance to show how the brand wants Android to look, reiterating that the Nexus brand will not be at the end of its lifeline anytime soon.

There has been a lot of information released in relation to the next Nexus reincarnation, with both a Nexus 6 and Nexus 8 mentions. With the recent news, it may be that only one of the devices is launched to coincide with the launch of Google Lollipop, which continues the trend of operating systems being named after sweet edible foods such as KitKat and Ice Cream Sandwich.