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Madventure 360 Camera

Ever since Google released Jelly Bean I have been taking photo spheres.

Especially when travelling, there are places I will not visit again! Taking photo spheres is a nice way of remembering how the place looked like during my trip…

Yes, using my phone means zero cost to taking a photo sphere, but using a dedicated camera means the photo will look better, with me inside it.

So I bet you’re reading this post because you’re considering to buy a 360 camera…

Before making that purchase, you have to know that you don’t need one!

It’s nice to have, but it won’t replace your phone, camera and GoPro and I don’t think you have an extra hand to use it.

Resolution of my Hero 5 is much better, distortion on a 360 camera is highly noticeable, and you even get lower resolution when you share it on Facebook!

I guess it’s time to start talking about the Madventure 360 Camera.

*photo*

It’s Orange! – Yes, people will notice it once you start taking a selfie

Compared to Xiaomi’s (black) version, MadV gives you a selfie stick with remote and GoPro mount. (Bought my Madventure 360 from Lazada and price was the same with the Xiaomi version)

I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of sample photos/videos taken by the Madventure 360 Camera. I was impressed with the quality even in low light.

Few issues which no one mentioned before I purchased the camera.

1. You can’t use 1 side only, once you turn it on, you can only take 360 video/photos
2. U3 memory cards are recommended
3. It gets really hot

Physically, this camera is well built, even the monopod and case that came with it look and felt really good.

Camera is bulging out, make sure you have the case all the time.

Power button will also select between photo and video mode, then beside it is the Wi-Fi button, shutter button is the 3rd button available.

*photo*

USB-C and Memory card slots are on the side with a rubber cover.

Bottom has the tripod mount and contacts for the selfie stick control.

The phone app is pretty basic and will need lots of imporvement. Once connected to a phone, you can use the phone’s volume buttons to take a photo/video.

Editing 360 Videos only allows you to cut the videos, you cannot join 2 videos together.

Once connected to the camera, you’ll notice that 360 photos were automatically stitched by the camera. For videos, you will need to extract the video and save on your device.

Haven’t tried using the PC App, but it’s only available for Windows.

Thanks to inexpensive VR headsets (where you put your phone inside as the screen), Google Photos and Facebook’s support for 360 photos/videos. You can justify why you need a 360 camera. Personally, if you can afford it, why not?

But, I personally have one for the memories…

Am I buying a better one in the future? Probably not.

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Olympus PEN E-PL2

Time to let go of another “gadget”

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I find myself actually lucky to find a buyer for my E-PL2.

Sold the body only as the original kit lens that came with it is no longer working.

The E-PL2 was an excellent back up to my E-M10, but that role has been taken over by my phone.

It’s also a big plus that it works with my Meike MK320 flash.

My E-PL2 had less than 2 thousand shutter count, been to 2 countries (Indonesia and Hong Kong) and has been a trusty walk around camera for my daughter.

My personal reason for selling? Video capabilities… It can only take 7 minutes videos at HD.

Do I regret holding on to the camera for so long? Yes. Should have sold it earlier!

Sony HT-CT80 Soundbar

Just purchased my first ever soundbar… And after watching TV last night… I’m wondering why it took me this long to buy one.

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Bought my HT-CT80 from Sony Singapore’s Official Lazada Store.

Why did I choose the HT-CT80?

I was initially searching for soundbars. So under Categories -> Electronic Devices -> Home Entertainment -> Soundbars! Sort by: Price low to high, clicked the brands I want to see in my living room (underneath my TV) – Sony, Samsung, LG and Bose

Sony’s HT-CT80 was the cheapest at S$138.00! Don’t get me wrong, I was so close to get Samsung’s HW-M360, I was willing to pay extra for the wireless sub-woofer which I can place behind my sofa… But after doing my research, I preferred the wired sub-woofer of the Sony.

First thing you have to know is that this thing is big…

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My TV is 42 inches, the woofer was also bigger than expected.

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Had it delivered to my office and the packaging required me to book an Uber home.

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*Shoe cabinet behind if from Ikea*

As for the sound… Better than expected!

I’m not an audiophile and I know there are other Soundbars that sound better.

For it’s price, free delivery (option is available) and features (BT and NFC for easy pairing with your phone) the HT-CT80 is a good start if you want to improve the sound of your TV.

You’re not buying it for convenience, looks and ease of set-up… It’s all about the price!

Oreo on Asus Zenfone 3 (ZE520K)

Zenfone 3 Oreo

I must admit.

I was surprised to receive Android 8!

The phone was released in 2016 with Marshmallow, received Nougat and now it’s running Oreo!

I must say… I was impressed with Asus’ update.

My sister’s Zenfone 5 did not receive Marshmallow, my other sister’s Zenfone Selfie did not receive Nougat… Now Asus just update my Zenfone 3 to Oreo!

Right now, it’s not perfect.

Some app icons are round, while Asus’ apps icons are still unchanged.

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App shortcuts (press and hold) is a big plus.

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Honestly, my Zenfone is due for a replacement around 4th quarter of this year. I was thinking of getting either a mid-range Android One device or Samsung’s “A” series (2019). But receiving Oreo on my Zenfone made me reconsider and maybe I should just replace it with another Zenfone.

It’s February tomorrow, so I still have a couple of months to think about it…

Receiving Android P will make my decision easier!

The Replacements: Google Wifi

5 years ago… Only PCs and 2 iPhones connected to my Airport Extreme.

It was a gift from my wife and since my home internet was only 2mbps, I felt like my router can last forever.

5 years later, my internet is now 200X faster and 7 devices at home are continuously connected to my router (more than 10 devices if we use our iMac and Laptops).

Videos, Apps and sites needed an extra time to load.

My router which once felt invincible started showing its age…

Google Wifi

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I know, there are cheaper routers in the market.

S$200 should be enough to buy me a router which looked like an evil spider.

But why did I choose Google Wifi? I basically wanted to use my phone to set-up and secure my network.

Buying a S$100 router will require me to do my settings using a PC.

(In Singapore) Google Wifi is exclusively distributed by Starhub. But a quick Google Search will show you that you can also buy it from 3rd party shops. I bought mine from Lazada which arrived in less than a week (even with free shipping).

Package included the router, adapter, and LAN cable.

You will also need to install the Google Wifi App to set-up the device. (Play Store | App Store)

Like my Airport Extreme… Google Wifi looks good

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LAN Ports and USB-C (for power) are at the bottom, so you’ll only see 2 cables outside the device (3 if you have a PC connected to it through LAN)

Starhub sells the pack of 3… For our 2 bedroom flat, we only needed 1 point.

The Google Wifi app has a function to test your internet speed and test the strenght of your connection.

The app also shows you how many devices are connected to it, and if you want to allocate more bandwidth to a specific device.

I’ve been using the Google Wifi over the weekend, heavy Full HD streaming of movies to my TV (Chromecast). 4K video viewing on our mobile devices. The router handled them smoothly.

I never thought changing my router will make such a noticeable upgrade on how my devices performed.

I guess we can no longer take our routers for granted.

The Google Wifi is not perfect, I would have preferred a black or gray color. Would have wanted an additional LAN port (it only has 1) and would want to have a control on the internet speed of the guest account.

But for the extra $$$ you’re spending on this device, you get simple set up and a router that looks good.

Xiaomi Mi Sports Bluetooth Earphones

Just purchased Xiaomi’s Mi Sports Bluetooth Earphones…

I find it strange that this is only my 2nd Xiaomi purchase. The first one was a Mi Band 2.

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I am not an expert on audio quality, I’ll have to leave that to experts…

As expected from Xiaomi, the item’s packaging looks familiar. It does not have the firm/compact feel of Apple, but it looks good.

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Inside the box, there’s a very sort charging cable, different sized ear tips and a manual.

It would be nice if Xiaomi updates the charging port to a Type-C cable, but since most of the powerbanks in the market still use a Micro USB, it’s not that big of a hassle.

I was not able to test it with an Android device, but I was surprised to see it’s battery level when connected to an iPhone.

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Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Can sync 2 devices at the same time
  • White subtle LED (turns red when shutting down)
  • *it will dictate the phone number of the incoming caller

Cons

  • Volume controls are the top of the earbuds (can be difficult to reach)
  • No next/previous song button
  • *it dictates the number of the caller… Not the name, even if the contact is saved in your device.

 

 

It was love at first sight for my daughter so I had to get her Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 Wireless while she uses the Mi Sports…

Skullcandy Smokin Buds 2

 

Battery life is so far so good…

My wife told me that sould quality is not as good as her Bose (she has the Apple Version)… But the Xiaomi costs less than half, and it’s wireless!

PGYTECH DJI Mobile Adapter for GoPro

Yes I know… You can easily make a GoPro adapter for the DJI Mobile…

I’ve tried using an old iPhone case with some rubber bands… And a Styrofoam with AA batteries on the other side as counter weights 🙂

But I wanted something that will look better.

Found this from Lazada

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It’s not perfect, but it already looks way better compared to my iPhone case + rubber bands and styrofoam + AA batteries!

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