Product Reviews

Sep 012014
 

Papago GS260-US Rear View Mirror Full HD Dashcam - Product Review on CoolPile.com
The Papago GS260-US or GoSafe 260 as it’s also know is a cool dashcam that attaches to your car’s interior mirror and allows you to record your car trips without crowding your windshield.

Why do you need a dashcam in your car? Well … for first … it’s cool! Remember those crazy driving Russian videos all over Youtube? They’re all recorded with car mounted dashcams, just like this one! Second … many insurance companies accept dashcam footage to identify fault in car accidents. Third … high quality dashcams come with G-Sensors and motion detection which can activate the recording feature even if your car is sitting in a parking, so chances are if someone bumps your car it’ll no longer be a hit and run. Four … you record cool trip footage that you wouldn’t be able to record otherwise (unless you’d hold a camera in your hands while you’re driving, but we’re sure you wouldn’t do such crazy things, wouldn’t you?) … And so on …

Now let’s take a closer look at the Papago GS260 windshield dashboard camera. I used this camera for a couple of weeks and here are my thoughts about it:

The camera comes with an impressive set of features:

  • Full HD (1080p) and HD (720p) recording capabilities with zoom in/out while recording
  • Wide angle visibility (it literally covers the entire windshield – check the user videos below)
  • G-Sensor that “feels” the bumps and shocks
  • Auto save feature in case of accidents
  • Motion detection (useful for recording parking accidents) – if the camera detects any movement around the car will automatically start taking snapshots.
  • Multilevel EV adjustment to improve recording quality if needed
  • One touch snapshots (even while recording video)
  • GPS ready – hook up an external GPS unit and take advantage of advanced features such as speed recording, navigation coordinates and so on
  • Large front buttons for easy menu navigation and recording controls
  • MicroSD card for media storage
  • Mini USB for PC and Mac connectivityPapago GS260-US - How To Mount The 12V Car Charger Around The Dashboard
  • Audio-Video out in case you need to output the signal to a TV
  • Recorded movies and in .mov format (can be played with most PC and MAC video players)

ALSO CHECK the Papago GS330, another cool Papago dashcam we featured a while back.

The dashcam is dissimulated in a windshield mirror that clips over your existing interior car mirror. The attachment system is very simple and is powered by two mobile hooks secured by an internal coil to keep the cam safe. Simply pull the two levers, attach the unit to the mirror and you’re ready to go.

The mirror unit is auto-dimming and, being a bit darker then classic car mirrors, takes a couple of kilometers to perfectly get used to it, but, once you get used to it, it helps night driving by automatically filtering the strong back lighting from cars in your back. The right side of the mirror hosts a 2.7in LCD which displays the video being recorded and some recording related information such as video length, current time, recording status and so on … The LCD can be turned off and the entire mirror real estate can be used to monitor back-coming traffic.

The Papago GoSafe 260 is powered by your car’s 12V cigarette lighter plug (a charging unit and cable are included in the package) as well as by an internal battery which also allows recording while the engine is turned off (remember I told you about the motion detection feature and automatic recording even when sitting in parking with the engine turned off?). The cable is long enough to be hidden around the dashboard of your car, and, as it sports an on-wire adapter, can be hooked up straight to your car’s electrical system.

Check the videos in the article for a hands-on review as well as the three real-life dash recordings (day and night) to have a glimpse at the recording quality. Note that the actual recording is better than these samples. Some quality was lost during video editing and Youtube upload.

$164.78 | BUY NOW
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Aug 292014
 

Midland XTC-280 Wearable Action Camera - A Decent Alternative For GoPro Recorders
While the premium quality, the strong build and the extra set of features make the GoPro action cameras the favorite choice for all extreme sports lovers (and many more), we have to admit that lower end models pack just enough power for casual use and for most regular people out-there! You know what I mean, Mr Regular Guy going on a motorcycle vacation with a couple of friends, Mr Family Guy going to the beach with the kids, Mr Student going on a camping trip or the neighbor’s 10 years old kid recording his biking adventure to impress grandma and grandpa …

Let’s take a closer look to the Midland XTC-280. This action camera is small and light enough to be worn without feeling it and packs a lot of power. It records Full HD (1080p) and HD (720p), it sports a large ON/OFF recording button so it can be easily used by someone wearing motorcycle or ski gloves, wide angle lens, microphone, 5.2MP, image stabilization to make sure you get crisp and stable recording and comes with a submersible case (down to 200 feet or 60 meters) and an universal mount which allows users to use it attached to helmets, motorcycles, snowboards and basically anywhere you can stick an adhesive pad.

We used the Midland XTC-280VP for about a week and and the recordings as well as the camera usability and packed features were OK. The quality could have been better at some points, but hey, don’t forget this is a $90 action camera, not a $400 GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition! Check the attached video to see it for yourself.

$89.82 | BUY NOW
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Aug 112014
 

Bee Towers Universal Tablet Stand by XARMotion

We are always on the lookout for a good tablet stand! Here’s what we usually look for when checking out new stand: ease in accommodating various sized tablets (from 7″ mini tablets to the 9.7″ iPad and the 10.1″ Android tablets); fully adjustable to reach most positions without the need of moving it around; strong build to resist wear and stress at home and office and universal design to fit into the decor.

During the past two weeks I had the pleasure to use and test the Xar Motion Bee Towers.
This stand has 6 adjustment points that allow users to place the table in almost any position. You can raise or lower the tablet height, twist or tilt the tablet holder, extend the telescopic arm to extend your reach, spin the arm 360 degrees to get the best view, and so on… (check the video in the post for an extensive walk-through of of all features).

The Bee Towers is designed to work with all tablet sizes. You can adjust the tablet holder to fit any tablet sized between from 7″ to 10.1″ (this includes Google Nexus 7, the iPad and the most Android and Windows tablets out there). Mounting the holder was an easy job and did not require any special tools (check the mounting instructions in the pics below). Simply screw the arm into the base, snap the base cover in position, mount the tablet holder onto the upper side of the arm and you’re ready to go. The rest is simply a question of adjusting the holder to the desired position.

The XAR Motion Bee Towers is well built and does a good job as floor tablet stand. It comes in two color versions (blue-orange and blue-black) as well as a metal base version. For more details about the Bee Towers or to order one check the XAR Motion website.

$199 | BUY NOW
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Aug 052014
 

Cammy Or How To Efficiently Video Monitor From Your Smartphone

If, only a couple of years ago, setting up a professional video monitoring system had a huge price tag and was reserved mostly to big companies, today, due to the amazing technology advancements and low prices on the tech and gadgets market, video monitoring solutions are available for everyone.
Take for example Cammy – in just seconds (literally) one can setup a video recording and monitoring system using the Cammy Online Cloud for as low as for FREE (assuming you already have an IP camera).

Cammy is a monitoring solution which allows users to keep an eye on their businesses, homes, kids, pets, you name it … Cammy allows you to hook up as many cameras as you need, store your historical footage on their cloud service, easily research on your smartphone by date and time recorded events in case of need, as well as fully online management of your recording devices and recorded footage.

The Cammy system includes free iPhone, Android apps that allow easy system setup, manage your cameras and check out recorded files, cloud storage where all files are securely stored and an online Browser application if you prefer it over the smartphone apps. Check out the below video for a complete review and walk through of their smartphone app and browser application, including the initial setup as well.
In order to use Cammy, you’ll need to hook up at least one IP camera. Check this link for an Amazon selection of IP cameras starting as low as $30 US.

The Cammy recording, video monitoring system and video cloud storage is offered to users for free. Simply get an IP camera, hook it up, check the video to see how to set it up and you’re ready to roll!

FREE | GET IT NOW
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Jun 182014
 

Salutoo iPhone Sticky Skins And Cases
Salutoo, the German company behind the cool adhesive smartphone skins and cases, just released their latest case collection (SM)ARTPHONE by Salutoo!
Build in collaboration famous artists such as French Graffitti drawer Shuck One, NY based Chris Uphues, California’s David Choate and at last but not the least Mark Kessell, the Salutoo-Art collection brings the world of art into the geeky world of smartphones.

Just as the regular Salutoo skins, the new collection features the same ingenious quality epoxy build which confers your smartphone sticky capabilities. You can easily stick your phone to the bathroom ceramics or mirror, to your car dashboard, to your PC screen’s frame, your fridge or any other flat surface around.

The Salutoo skins are available for various models such as iPhone 4 and 5 series, Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 and even for iPad Mini, come in a range of vibrant models and colors (some of the pictured above) and are available for purchase on Amazon.

Check out the attached video for a hands-on review where I also mount one of the skins on an iPhone 5. Although this was the first time I ever mounted a such skin on a phone and the iPhone also had a screen protector (which did not help my effort!), the entire action took less than two minutes. Another cool thing about the Salutoo skins (which also helped my effort!) is the fact that the skins can be removed as easily as they can be applied.
In the end, if you’re not into mingling with the skins to perfectly apply them on your iPhone, Salutoo also offers classic iPhone cases with the same impressive designs and functionality.

Check the post for more pics and a Youtube video review of the Salutoo cases and skins.

$19.90 | BUY NOW – US Market
£19.90 | BUY NOW – EUROPE

 

May 162014
 

FLOTE m2 Floor Stand Or How To Use Your Tablet Hands Free!

The Flote M2 adjustable floor tablet stand is one of the best stands money can buy.
Designed by Dave Cutler of DCS Concepts, the Flote is a premium product which follows the cool stylish design of Apple gadgets, is manufactured using high quality, resistant materials such as high-grade aluminum and solid steel and allows huge versatility in positioning, so you always get the best viewing angle and ease of usage!

The Flote M2 can be adjusted to any position. Literally! The iPad cradle features a metallic ball joint which attaches to the tablet stand via a strong magnetic mechanism allowing you to rotate the tablet and fluidly adjust it’s position to any direction. More than that, the sustaining pole rotates around it’s axe to help you get easy access when sitting down or getting up from your favorite chair (simply toss it on the side and you’re ready to pass unobstructed), the “boom” (which is the piece holding the tablet cradle) can be adjusted for the perfect height and a length extension allows easy reach when the stand can not be positioned near the sitting place.
Flote M2 Adjustable Floor Tablet - iPad Cradle The sustaining pole has a curved design for easy transportation, which, given the weight of the base, is a big plus when you need to move the stand around.

I used the Flote M2 tablet floor stand for about 2 weeks now and I must confess this is a gadget I did not know I always wanted!
My first thought was: “Why use a tablet stand when you can hold your tablet in your hands” (as most people do)!
Well … this is the part I was wrong with. Using a tablet stand means comfort! Comfort to take notes when you listen to a video tutorial on your tablet, or have the whole family in that Skype video chat (without constantly tweaking the tablet position so everyone fits in), or holding the kid in your arms when watching cartoons, or playing Candy Crash without Max the Kitten all over the tablet (yeap … that’s him, Mr Curiosity, in the user pics below), or cooking a cool recipe from the iPad without fearing flour or water damage, or fixing something by following a Youtube tutorial, or watching live sports on the tablet while still being able to manipulate the remote controller and the smartphone at the same time (yeap … I do that from time to time!!!)!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you can’t do any of the above without a tablet stand, I’m just saying it’s so easier to do them with the Flote M2. And I did not even imagine it before trying it!

Check out the picture gallery in the post for more details and close-up images as well as the video for a full 8 minutes hands-on review which describes all the Flote M2 features and how easy it mounts. For more information about the tablet stand or to buy one check the manufacturer site or their Amazon listing.

Also, if you’re in the market for a tablet stand but you’re looking for something smaller, more office-compatible, please check the Flote Desktop ($219.99 US) and the Flote Orbit ($129.99 US) from the same manufacturer and take advantage of a cool 10% OFF for Mother’s Month Sale (use coupon code MOMSTHEBEST to activate the discount).

$299.99 | BUY NOW
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May 072014
 

Stitch-less Leather Rivet Wallet by The Leather Shop
About a week ago I received my Leather Rivet Wallet from TheLeatherShop.com.
As you already know by now, and if you don’t, you learn it now, I have a sensibility for cool wallets. I own over 15 wallets and I like to constantly change them depending on my daily activities and my mood! So, knowing the Moose Brand (the leather gear brand behind The Leather Shop) and the high quality of their work from the two items I previously reviewed (the Palm Wallet and the Rivet Card Holder), I was looking forward to receive this new model!

When I first received the Rivet Wallet, I must admit I was a bit afraid it will not provide enough interior space for the basic stuff I like to have on me on daily bases. But, after using it for a week, I must admit (again!!!) that I was wrong, and it did provide more than enough interior space, while keeping the whole package slim and almost undetectable in my pants front pocket (don’t ask me why I keep my wallets in the front pocket, it’s a long story … but basically, because someone with bad intentions has to try twice harder to steal it than from the back pockets)!

I constantly held with me 3 credit cards, 1 ID card, a couple of bills for cash purchases, 4-5 business cards and a flash storage unit (either a micro SD card in a SD adapter or a slim USB drive). The Rivet wallet handled the task very well, and was a real head turner.

On the technical side, the Rivet wallet is made of one piece of folded saddle American leather, held together by a leather strip secured with two brass rivets. There are no stitches, zippers or buttons. The used leather is from the bend of a cow hide (the bend is the most expensive part of a hide and unlike the shoulder or belly – it does not warp), is hand dyed, glazed, and edge burnished. The entire manufacturing process takes place in US with US originating materials.
The Moose Rivet wallet comes in regular saddle leather with three tones available – Natural, Yellow and Tan (the one in the pics and video below is the Tan model) and in Shell Cordovan leather (available in Black and Dark Brown). Perfect for a gift to someone close to you … or to yourself, why not!?!

Check the video and the photo gallery in the post for a full hands-on review and visit TheLeatherShop.com for more info and buy one.

$45 | BUY NOW
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