A new batch of products from AliExpress/GearBest has arrived, and I documented the process of opening and testing them. An Android TV box – something that I've wanted for some time, as I was getting tired of carrying the laptop from one TV to another; an ambiance light – it's hard to classify it as a lamp as it's not a very efficient source of light, but a cool-looking piece with a unique way of turning it on, and a couple other things that are pretty neat as well.
The video with the products is right below, but if you'd rather read it at your own pace – the posts with the product links are right after the video.
P.S.: The lamp and the TV box have been provided to me for free by GearBest.
LED AMBIANCE LIGHT
Price: $17 | Rating: 4/5 (cheaper on GearBest)
An ambiance light, not a lamp – for a simple reason that it does not product a lot of light.
The 2 balls in the middle have built-in magnets, and when they are close to each other (they don't physically connect, so there is a floating effect), the bulb turns on. The switch is linked to the lower ball.
The light works off of a USB-C power cable, and can be used with either a wall power adapter (no included, comes with just a cable), or with a power bank. There is no battery built into it, so you can't use it without a cable. I would add it to the category of “cool to have around, not extremely effective otherwise”. I like it though, it looks pretty and adds a more high-techy vibe to my setup.
ZORRI WATER BOTTLE
Price: $8-11 (depending on the size and color) | Rating: 5/5
Sent to me for free by the seller, asking if I would make a review. When they do that, I agree as long as they are okay with me giving the product a bad review if the product sucks. When I got it though, I was really surprised with it, and here is why.
First, it's a BPA-free, I am not a chemist but I know enough to know that means it won't be slowly but gradually poisoning my brain and prostate gland over the course of its use, which is a good thing unless your goal is to get your family to reap some life insurance benefits.
Second, it has a locking cap that works well – the bottle does not leak, which is great if you want to carry it in the backpack with your electronics, expensive or otherwise (you do shop on AliExpress, afterall 😂).
Third, it has a little filter thing inside (as seen in the second image), which means you can use the bottle as an infuser, i.e. put fruits, veggies and greens into it for a more bourgeoisie feel.
And lastly, it comes with a few extras – a cleaning brush (fits inside the bottle) and a replacement silicone cap seal for when the original one wears off.
Overall, not bad for a cheap-ish bottle! Gave it to my SO as her Nike bottle is really leaky. It's her new everyday bottle, she loves it.
Price: $1 | Rating: 5/5
1 Meter roll of cable ties. There are options for 3 and 5 meters as well, but I didn't really need that many. Very sticky and hold well, and the Velcro part feels very durable – it's really fine so I am not concerned with it wearing and becoming useless over time (not unless we get rid of cables altogether, which I am really looking forward to).
EARPHONE CLEANING SWABS
Price: $0.45 | Rating: 5/5
These are advertised to be used for cleaning Airpods, but they really can be used with different-styled earbuds – I used them with 3 other types.
I really wanted to give these a lower score because once you take one out of the packaging, the rest of them are kind of a pain to keep inside, but I decided to be rational, and understand that it's not really meant as a case, and any other upgrades would mean a higher price, which I would like even less. They are different than regular cotton swabs, the cotton tip is shaped sharper a lot sturdier, and so are the plastic tubes.
The shape of the tip lets you really get inside the earphones and pick out all or most of the earwax and dust that has accumulated inside over time. I would also be really tempted to dip it lightly in Isopropyl alcohol to desinfect them. My old roommate refused to let me film what the swab looked like after his first cleaning because “he didn't want people to think he is nasty” – to be fair, the color of the swabs did look very unappetizing.
ANDROID TV BOX
Price: $20-24 (cheaper on AliExpress) | Rating: 3.5/5
I have 2 TV's at me place, bedroom and living room (there was a third one that I inherited, but it was recently given away), and no TV cable service – I think it's a waste of money. I have an old laptop that carry between rooms, but I don't like it because the living room setup makes it difficult to unplug the laptop charger all the time. So a TV box seemed like a decent idea.
The reason for the low rating is the UI (it's Android-based, running 8.1, but it looks like something a first-year IT dropout would build), the fact that it comes with pre-installed useless software which get safety warnings, and the remote control that I can't get to work. Instead, I use it with a wireless keyboard.
Overall, it works okay. It has a build-in WiFi adapter (I use it with a LAN cable though), the browser works fine, additional apps can be installed and it doesn't freeze needlessly. The capacity of the drive is 16 GB, 5 of which are system files).