Fatshark Dominator HD Refresh

I finally bit the bullet and pulled the trigger on my first real FPV goggles. I’m used to the wide field of view of my OTG receiver with Android phone mounted on a VR headset so I wanted to have the widest FOV possible. The widest would have been the Dominator HD2 at 50 degrees but I’m actually fine down to the 42 degrees of the Dominator HD3. So when I spotted a well-cared for Dominator HD at 45 degrees, I grabbed it.

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First Impression: Apple Watch Sport

apple-watch-sport - 10I got my hands on Edong’s Apple Watch Sport and, with his permission, I unboxed it, took some photos, and played with it a bit.

The packaging is unusually big and bulky for Apple who have been steadily reducing the size of theirproductpackaging for years. But it seems to be part of their premium and luxury message for the Apple Watch.

The 42mm case is rectangularand made of aluminiumwith a space greyanodized coating. Everything is smooth and roundedwith no sharp edges or corners to be seen or felt. Knowing beforehand that it is 42mm, I wasn’t expecting that it would be quite smalland light. But it is.

The Ion-X screen covers the whole faceand is roundedat the edges. It is blackand shiny when off and the display is verysharpwhen on. Nice to look at in either state. It has force-touch which means touching it with varyinglevels of force result in different actions. It is also very responsive though force-touching needs somegetting used to.

The digital crown on the right side is big and quite effortless to turn and push. So withthe other button.

The back has those scifi-looking sensors for reading your heart-rate.

The strapis black silicone rubber with a clever clasp. You buttonit on and slip the excess strap under the clasp. Very neat. And you can change straps or braceletswithout any tools.

The whole watch is well-built. It looks and feels the high-end device you expect from Apple. Even more, it looks and feels like a futuristic device from science fiction. But aside from small nods to traditional watches it doesn’t pretendto be a watch but instead steps ahead and defines itself as a new class of wrist wear, the so-called smartwatch.

It looks like Apple has another winner on its hand (or wrist).

Orient Mako

orient makoSince the demise of my Suunto Observer, I’ve been looking on-and-off for a stainless steel watch that is more casual and less toolish than my Casio G-Shock.After a whole lot of research, I finally got an Orient Mako.

Heard of Orient? I haven’tuntil fairly recently. Orientis supposedly Japan’s largestmanufacturer of mechanical watches. It was founded in 1950. Since 2001, it has been a subsidiary of Seiko Epson Corporation, one of three core companies of the Seiko Group. But it operates independently from Seiko Watch which is owned by Seiko Holdings, another core company of the Seiko Group. Ithas its own product line and manufactures its movements in-house.To me that means itis a serious watch maker instead of someone who designsthe outer bits and just throws in someone else’s movements.

The Mako uses the Orient Cal. 46943 movement. Itis a tried and tested automatic movement but it doesn’t have manual winding and hacking (stopping the seconds hand). However a few shakes is all it takes to get the watch started and you can approximate hacking by very slowly turning the crown clockwise when adjusting the time. The movement also has day and date complications with quick set. The day is set is done via apusherat 2 o’clock. The date is set the conventional way by pulling the crown further out and turning it.

The dial is a very deep metallic bluewith a radial raypattern. It is absolutely gorgeousto look at. On the upper half of the dial theres an applied Orient logoand just below it is”Orient” and just below it “Automatic” in script. On the lower half, theres Water Resist in script and just below it 200m. It has big applied Arabicnumerals at 6, 9, and 12 hours and rectangular indices for the remaining hours. All are chrome-outlinedand lumed. The hour and minute swordhands are also chrome-outlined and lumed. The seconds hand is chromed with a red arrow tip. No lume this time.

The bezel is a deep blue and oftenappears black in dim lighting. It is unidirectional with 60 clicks. It has scalloping all around with slightly bigger scallops at the 5 minute mark and every 10 minutes onward. The scalloping appear to have been stamped instead of machined. Or maybe it was overpolished. Anyway, the result is that the scallop edges are smooth and makes ita bit harder to grip and turn the bezel.

The 41.5mm case is round and made of stainless steel. The sides and bottom are mirrorpolishedwhile top is circularbrushed. The face, unfortunately, is justmineral glass. The caseback has nicely detailed engravings including the Orient logo. The screw-down crown is big and easy to grip. It issigned with the Orient logo. The day pusherhas a screw-down collar that prevents accidental pushing and changing of the day (and flooding if you wereunderwater).

The braceletis stainless steel and based on the popular Oyster design. It has polished sides and brushed top and bottom. The links are solid (not folded)but the end links are not. Adjustment is done with split pins. The clasp is made of sheet steel. It has a triple locking design and signed on the outside with the Orient logo.

The overall look and feel of the watch is unmistakably that of aquintessentialdive watch as heavily influenced by the (in)famous Rolex Submariner. But it is different enough to have its own identity and just as refined enough to be worn on a day to day basis and not just on dives.

But the best thing is that for all these good qualities, it is a quite a bargain at less than $200.

Rating: 5/5


OtterBox Resurgence

otterbox-resurgence-frontiPhones don’t exactly have the best battery life. With normal use, they last me about a day. But with heavy use, which is often, I’d be lucky if they last tillthe evening. So I considered either a battery case or a power bank to address this limitation. Once, I spotted a Mophie Juice Pack but due tobudgetconsiderationsI didn’t get it. When I finally decided to, I couldn’t find one anymore. So I settled for a power bank which does work but can sometimes a bit unwieldy and often get leftbehind. Then last Friday, I was looking at OtterBox cases when I saw the Resurgence. Being an avid OtterBox fan, I immediately got it.

The Resurgenceis composed of two pieces. The front piece covers the sidesand wraps around the edges giving the screen a slightly raised protective bezel. This protects the screen from direct contact when the phone is face down. The buttons have touch-through covers that areeasy to press. Unfortunately, they are a bit loose and rattle when your shake the case. There are ports for the speakers that channel sound to the front. Finally, there are cutouts for the silent switch andthe charging button on the back piece.The silent switch is still easily accessible with a finger.

otterbox-resurgence-backThe back piece isa big chunk that holdsthe battery.There arecutouts for thecamera, flash, and silent switch.At thebottom portion, it hasan internalLightning plug, a micro USB port, a through-port for headphones, and the charging button which also acts as a battery level and charging indicator. It is coated with a blacksmooth material which seems less rubbery and moredurable than similar coatings.

To install, you slide the phone inside the back piece and into the Lightning plug. Then you snap the front piece over the phone. The case comes with just a bit of charge from the factory sothe first step is to charge using the included micro USB cable. Once charged, you press the charging button to see the batterylevel. There are four lights arranged around the button which shows the charge level in 25% increments. To charge, you press and hold the button for 3 seconds. To stop charging, you do the same thing.

The whole case fits the iPhone snugly and in fact it is very difficult to remove the phone. It looks quite rugged and could bounce off the floor. In fact, it is military-rated fordrop protection(MIL STD 810G-516.6; Do note the Applicability to “ruggedized” consumer products section). So for a rugged battery case, I think it’s pretty good. I like it better than the Mophie Juice Pack though I’m not sure if it’s as rugged as the Mophie Juice Pack Pro.

Now for the bad stuff. The battery, although advertised to give you 2x (as in phonelasts twice as long), so far only get me (starting from belowthan 10%) to just around 70-80%. Quite frankly, that sucks. I’m hoping a few cycles will result in improvements. Another problem is that the charging button seems to be prone to cracking. Finally, there are quite a few molding imperfections on the casing. They’re small but they’re there. All these is unfortunate as OtterBox has, in the past, been known for quality. It seemsthe stiff competition isforcingit to cut corners. That’s bad news for both OtterBox and us.

Rating: 3/5

Oakley Fives Squared Replacement Lenses

20130425-065559.jpgA few months ago, I decided to refurbish my quite old Oakley Fives Squared. I polished the metallic Os and the lenses. But the lenses still left a lot to be desired so I ordered replacement lenses from Visionary Lenses via Amazon. The first package got lost in transit. I got in touch with VL and they immediately sent a new package which finally did arrive. Well actually I had to go to the post office and pick it up. The lenses were just as described and fit perfectly.