Browsing Category Electronics

10 Innovative and interesting gadgets

In this post we are going to see a brand new compilation of unique products from AliExpress that we have selected for you. We have added products at all price points from as low as $1 to up to $100, so expect a various, but a comparable level of innovation.

We hope you enjoy them!

XIAOMI NIGHT LIGHT + WIRELESS CHARGER

Price: $17.99

Here is another item by Xiaomi: a wireless charging dock with a portable little nightlight. The light also does not need to be plugged in to charge – just put it in its dock. This light comes with a magnet and it can be attached to metallic surfaces.

What I thought was interesting about it is the fact that it has a built-in object detection, which will power it off if it comes in contact with sharp metallic objects, to avoid getting shocked if the wire is cut by accident – a pretty useless thing unless you live with Edward Scissorhands, but an interesting addition nonetheless.

WALL KEY RACK

Price: $2.44

Another unique household item is this deer keyholder that can make a great gift for a unique home decor aficionado.

The holder comes with all the necessary mounting hardware.

MODULAR WALL LIGHT

Price: $44.50 – 129.49

This is a fully customizable smart wall light. It is compatible with Amazon Echo, i.e. Alexa, and with Google Home, which means you can control it with voice.

There are two options, a more expensive Xiaomi, which is triangle-shaped, and a generic no-name version, which is in the shape of a hexagon and is a fair bit smaller than the Xiaomi ones.

These things are pretty sweet, you can set the color, the mode with which the colors change, you can also set the time when it turns on and off, preset the mood settings, and the best part is when it is setup properly and when you are done with it you can just tell turn it off, and it will comply.

RGB MOUSEPAD

Price: $14.35

The second product is a big mousepad that comes with extra entertainment features.

It’s said that all that glitters is not gold, but this RGB LED mousepad is definitely an exception. I just got mine and it’s awesome. My workstation now looks like a spaceship with the LED strip running on the outer edge of the table, a backlit mechanical keyboard, LED mouse, a few LED’s inside the PC case, and now – this.

The mousepad has 13 different lighting modes, between which you can switch by clicking the button on the side. It comes with a pretty long braided cable, but you can use any micro-USB cable that you have at your disposal. Material-wise it isn’t any different than a regular standard pad, except that it has a flexible light strip goes all the way around the edge. 

IPHONE SPLITTER

Price: $8.46

As we all know, newer iPhones only come with one port that serves for both charging or data sync and for earphones, but when you need to do both at the same time, you are left with nothing but sour disappointment, which is not something you expect after paying over a $1000 for a device that is supposed to be a pinnacle of technology.

An elegant solution easily attaches to the back of your phone with the fancy nano-washable glue, and it comes with a ring holder that doubles as a stand and is compatible with magnetic card holders.

The chip inside optimizes the sound output for your earphones that reduces static noise to an absolute minimum.

SUNGLASSES WITH BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS

Price: $42.93

Sunglasses with Bluetooth.

Why, you may ask, and it would be a reasonable question. But the answer might surprise you.

They have built-in bone conductive speakers, which means that they transfer the sound by coming into direct contact with your temples. You can listen to music and answer and make calls when pairing them with your phone – according to feedback the sound is very strong.

When being used indoors others can hear your music, although it is not a big issue, as sunglasses are generally not used indoors, unless your name happens to be Chad or Kyle.

SURFACE VIBRATION SPEAKER

Price: $46.63

Here is a really cool speaker concept.

This speaker uses the surface that it is placed on as a massive speaker – similar technology as the bone-conductive sunglasses, albeit on a much larger scale as the speaker is stronger.

There is a Bluetooth mode which does not require any wires, or if you wish to conserve the battery or use it with an audio source that does not support it, you can use a simple AUX cable. If you happen to have more than one of these speakers, you can use them in a sequence for a greater result – i.e. for more loudness.

SMARTPHONE GAMING CONTROLLER

Price: $11.45

Smartphone gaming is a big thing (especially in developing countries, where gaming PCs are just too expensive for most people).

if you find that controlling the game is not as comfortable or if you require better range of controls, or if you are more used to a console setting, here is an external gamepad.

The brackets are adjustable up to 10 inches, so it can be used with both smartphones and tablets, although the tablets can only fit if you use them vertically.

HOUSEHOLD TOWEL SOCKET

Price: $0.96

Another cheap item is a household towel socket.

It comes with a pre applied double-sided adhesive tape. Also pretty simple to use, place it anywhere you need it, whether in the kitchen or in the bathroom, and insert the towel or rubber gloves into it so that they are always somewhere handy.

REMOTE CONTROL COVERS

Price: $2.29

Here is a cheaper item, a 25-piece set of shrink tubes for remotes.

No longer do you need to worry about making the remote wet by accidental spills, or dirty from Cheetos dust. It is really easy to use, just put it over the remote, cut off the excess plastic, and heat it with a heat gun or a handheld hairdryer.

If it rips, there is a plenty of them to serve as a replacement.

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Ambiance light, TV box, and more. Unboxing Vol. 11

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.

CABLE TIES

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).

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Best Chinese smartphones under $300

Latest flagship smartphones are pricey, but every once in a while you come across a phone that makes you wonder why people spend nearly a thousand dollars on new smartphones.

With the flagship smartphones of 2019 coming out with less surprising and innovative features, cheaper phones are here to pick up the slack, just like an orange toupe does it to Donald Trump’s receding hairline. Lots of people are getting excited about the cost of new models from Chinese brands, and for a good reason: Chinese smartphones give us flagship specs for budget prices.

Today we will look at 4 best smartphones under $300 that we chose according to the hardware specs, display quality and the presence of typical modern features like USB type-C charging ports, fingerprint sensors and fancy display camera notches that all the new high-end phones have.

FASTEST CHINESE SMARTPHONES OF 2019 FOR LESS THAN $300

XIAOMI MI 8 LITE

A more simple sibling to Xiaomi's 2018 flagship, the Mi 8 Lite is delivering a premium design, decent performance and some surprisingly capable cameras. It has almost every design aspect usually associated with phones in the $500+ bracket. If you told someone you paid twice as much for the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite, they would likely believe you. It’s body is metal and there’s a display notch and slim screen borders. Mi 8 Lite gets a very good 24 MP front-facing camera and the rest of the hardware is also quite good for a mid-range device.

The difference between its screen and the displays of some $700 phones is not very obvious. Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite can make content look rich and natural. It has a Snapdragon 660 processor, an octa-core chipset with Kryo 260 cores, and an Adreno 512 GPU. This is much more powerful than the CPUs of the Moto One, Nokia 7.1 or the Samsung Galaxy A7. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite’s video is interesting, too. It can shoot footage at up to 4K resolution (30fps) and it also has electronic image stabilization for 1080p and 4K capture. And just to mention, stabilised 4K is almost unheard of at this level. There’s no wireless charging hardware in the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite, but it does have a USB-C input and fast charging, which is now an important feature in making a phone seem current.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite sets a pretty high standard for affordable phones.

POCOPHONE F1

If you have done research on affordable and fast phones, you likely came across Xiaomi’s Popo F1.

The jewel in this phone’s crown isn’t just its low price, it’s what you get for your money. Not only does the Pocophone match OnePlus 6 or Honor 10, it beats phones like the Galaxy S9 or Pixel 2. The company’s decision to load the F1 up with Qualcomm’s fastest ever processor is a very bold move. By some tech wizardry they used Snapdragon 845, the same chip that powers phones costing upwards of twice the price. Then to shoot a final nail in the coffin of the high-priced phones Xiaomi paired it with options for 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Pair that with a choice of either 64GB or 128GB of storage, and you’re looking at a proper mid-range moonshot. You even get a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is quite refreshing, and the phone’s 4,000mAh battery is topped up via a USB Type-C charging port on the bottom edge.

The dual-SIM slot on the left edge also allows for storage expansion up to 256GB in capacity, and the volume button sits next to a slightly rounded rectangular power button on the right. There’s an extended 6.18-inch Full HD+ screen that dominates the front of the F1, sporting a 2246 x 1080 resolution. There’s no HDR support or any such cutting-edge tech wizardry, but it’s nonetheless a display that has no business being on a $300 phone – and yet here it is, in all its visual delight.

UMIDIGI F1 PLAY

A few weeks ago we have uploaded a review of a Umidigi F1. F1 play is very similar, but it has some distinct differences, with notable changes in memory and camera. They both pack a 6.3-inch display with a waterdrop cutout, and each has a massive 5150mAh battery. F1 Play has more RAM – 6 GB instead of 4, and a higher-Megapixel rear camera – 48 instead of 16.

The newest Mediatek Helio P60 processor, 6GB of RAM and the Mali G72MP3 video chip, provide an acceptable number of frames per second even in demanding applications. The internal storage in 64GB may not be enough, but the microSD card slot is always ready to help. F1 Play features a gorgeous 6.3-inch FHD+ (2,340 x 1,080). UMIDIGI includes NFC and global radio bands. Anyone should be able to use the handset to make wireless payments and connect to a cell tower no matter where you are in the world.

Additionally, the UMIDIGI F1 Play, which runs near stock Android with no annoying apps and ads in the UI.

LENOVO S5 PRO

The Lenovo S5 Pro is a revamped version of its predecessor, the Lenovo S5. It is a mid-range smartphone with dual cameras on its front and back. Additional features of the dual cameras include optical zoom and support for artificial intelligence-powered portrait shots for the rear cameras.

For display, the Lenovo S5 Pro features a large 6.1-inch Full HD+ display which has a screen resolution of 1,080 x 2,246 pixels. There is a notch on the top-center of the screen, which is the common design on recent smartphones to maximize screen size. Besides that, the 3,500 mAh battery of the phone carries support for 18W fast charging. Lenovo S5 Pro offers an impressive camera and decent hardware specifications. It is not as high-performing as the top range smartphones, but it is enough to satisfy most users who love taking photos on smartphones and running multiple apps without issues.

There was another option in this list – Honor Play (Huawei's subdivision), however at this time it is not advisable to buy Huawei/Honor devices. They will stop getting official Google updates in less than 90 days. It is possible that Huawei will build their own OS based on Android, but it will likely not have any official Google services included into it.

If you are still looking for the higher-end phone packed with features like wireless charging and AMOLED displays, we will see them next week. And if you want to see other tech gadgets at bargain prices, head over to our shop section.

Adapters, Lights, Cases and MORE Pretty Sweet Gadgets for $1 or Less

It’s been quite some time since the last one dollar post, plus the 30 gadgets for $3 or less has been a main source for the views for the channel for the last little while, so I thought, why not make a separate post for the sub-1 dollar electronic gadgets?

Please keep your expectations proportionate to the price, though I have to say that these deals are going to be better than most of the stuff that you can find at your local dollar store.

Let’s begin!

CABLE PROTECTORS

If you already have cables that you care about, you can prolong their lifespan by using one of these wire retainer clips. These can be used for charging cables and earphones, on both the earbud portion and the end that inserts into the phone or into a music player. These will prevent your wires from bending at the place where most of the time the cables get damaged, which will keep the wire working longer.

If you have the original charging cables or expensive earphones, this is a cheap way to insure that they are going to last longer. This solution will also work with the cables that already started bending and ripping, to make them last for a little longer before the inevitable happens.

REINFORCED TIP CABLE

Generally speaking, OEM cables cost a lot of money, which is why they are a popular item to get on AliExpress. This is a very good deal on a cable, considering its quality and durability. The hard reinforced tip will prevent the cable from bending at an unusual angle, which will make it last a lot longer.

The shortest option costs less than $1, and there are all three major types of plugs available, even including iPhones.

PHONE CASES

If you look, you can also find a number of good and inexpensive phone cases. Cases such as these are usually sold by stores for an upwards of $7 dollars, which is a bit too much for something that simple. There are a lot of different phone models available, and a lot of pretty and colorful designs.

A lot more cases for other models in this AliExpress store.

OTG ADAPTERS

OTG, or on-the-go smartphones can be used with different USB devices, for example with a mouse, a keyboard, a card reader, a gaming console, and so on. To connect them you will need something like this small adapter.

There also is an option for slightly more than $1 with the keyring.

CABLE HOLDERS (4 PCS.)

Cable holders for a more convenient way of carrying cables. Earphones and charging cables tend to form a tangly mess when transported, especially when you put 2 or more of them together, which is a big pain to untangle, especially on a regular basis.

Here you get 4 durable silicone cable knots, for less than $1 dollar including the price of the shipping.

BENDABLE USB LIGHT

This is a classic USB light, which I have a few of lying around.

This one is more suitable for reading, as it is not as bright, and there are several LED’s in the bulb. The light is bendable so that you can put it in a more appropriate and useful angle.

This light has a soft and smooth coating, and feels more expensive than its price.

MAGNETIC CABLE HOLDER

This is meant as a cable holder, which is their main use, but it goes a bit beyond that.

There are two magnets to keep the cables together, which adds a few additional use cases. These can be used to attach things to whiteboards and other applicable surfaces, or as a temporary bookmark.

You can get creative here, your fantasy is the only limit.

USB LED LIGHT

Here is a small portable LED light that can be used with your power bank.

The strength of this light is approximately 120 lumen, which isn’t a lot, but will be enough to find your way around during camping or in a dark room.

LEDs require a lot less power to run than conventional bulbs, which means it is not going to require that much power to run. It’s lightweight at only 7 grams or half an ounce, and it has a dedicated on/off switch.

WIRE HOLDER

Here is a wire holder that I have been using and recommending to you for a while.

This thing can hold up to 5 wires for the easy access, so you can keep them plugged in and ready to be used at all times. It will also keep the cables away from the floor to avoid them being stepped on.

The holder has a sticky pad on the back for the easy application, so you can remove the protective paper, stick it on and start using it.

If you haven’t bought one yet, get yourself a few, they are amazing.

AUX SPLITTER

If you have 2 pairs of ears, but only one music player, or 4 people, who are willing to use 1 earphone each, here is an earphone splitter.

It comes with an insert that goes into the output, and it comes with a keyring for better portability.

DIY ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS

On the off chance that you are into DIY electronics, AliExpress can be a good source for the different electronic components, the prices for which are said to be lower than getting them locally, except for the off chance that you live at the factory that makes them.

USB CARD READER

A simple USB card reader. These ones have almost 5,000 orders in this listing alone, and we have featured them in our very first $1 things video.

This card reader supports 2 different types of cards: SD and Micro-SD cards.

CABLE TIES

Not exactly a gadget either, but here is a sweet deal on cable tires, which can be used for electronics, as well as many other household or automotive purposes. Longer ones are even used by the police and adventurous couples when there are no handcuffs available. Of course, they are easy to get out of. There are different lengths available here.

A 100-piece set of the shortest ones, which are 6 cm or 2 inches long, can be bought for $0.55.

USB-C TO AUX OUTPUT

Many new phones come with no 3.5mm AUX input, supposedly to save space and make the phones smaller or lighter, but it comes at a questionable price of not being able to use your regular favourite earphones with them. A selection of earphones with USB type-C input is limited, but this issue can be solved with a handy adapter like this.

CABINET LIGHTS

And here we have a wireless light. It comes with sticky tape pre-applied to the back. You peel them off, and attach the light to any surface wherever you might need it – inside a cabinet, in the washroom for night use, or above the bed for reading at night. It turns on by a simple touch, and works off 3 AAA batteries.

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