Furibee F36

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the Cheerson CX-10 got me hooked into quadcopters. My browsing sites and watching videos eventually led me to the Furibee F36.

The F36 is a clone of a very popular [primarily] indoor quadcopter called the Blade Inductrix whose most distinct feature are the ducted fans (hence Inductrix). Of course, being very popular, it was just a matter of time before the clones came out. There’s the the Eachine H010, the Nihui NH010, JJRC H36, and the Furibee F36.

The F36 is a bit different in that it’s got a bit more power (or punch) than the others mentioned above. I’ve been flying this quad a lot lately and you certainly can feel it. It’s very stable and docile when you’re gentle with the sticks. But if you’re not careful, it becomes fast and furious (hence Furibee).

This is especially true in speed 2 where it pitches forward deeper, banks deeper and turns on a dime. You better be ready to handle it or you’re in for quite a few crashes. Luckily, the ducts act as prop guards so it’s quite a durable quadcopter. The ducts also limit damage or injury to whatever or whoever you crash into. This makes it probably the best quadcopter for indoors use.

Outdoors, the F36 struggles against the wind due to its light weight and the relatively large surface area of its ducts. But if there is little to no wind, you can definitely as have much fun outdoors as you have indoors.

Flight time is 4-5 minutes and batteries recharge in about 30 minutes. But they are removable so with a few batteries, you can fly for quite a while. Of course, as much as you won’t want to, you’ll have to let the motors cool down eventually.

If you’re interested in quadcopters or you want to try it out, I highly recommend getting the Furibee F36. Plus a few batteries.

Cheerson CX-10

This tiny guy is LOADS of fun!

The Cheerson CX-10 is a toy quadcopter. It’s so small, it fits the palm of your hand! It comes in a variety of fun colors (pink, green, orange, blue). As you can see, I got an orange. The battery is built-in (good for 3-5 minutes flying) but the USB charger recharges it in just 30 minutes. It also comes with 4 extra propellers which is handy since you WILL break propellers. Finally, there’s a basic user manual. Yeah, you should RTFM!

Thanks Cez and Euge!

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’t until fairly recently. Orient is supposedly Japan’s largest manufacturer 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. It has its own product line and manufactures its movements in-house. To me that means it is a serious watch maker instead of someone who designs the outer bits and just throws in someone else’s movements.

The Mako uses the Orient Cal. 46943 movement. It is 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 a pusher at 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 blue with a radial ray pattern. It is absolutely gorgeous to look at. On the upper half of the dial there’s an applied Orient logo and just below it is â€ťOrient” and just below it “Automatic” in script. On the lower half, there’s “Water Resist” in script and just below it “200m”. It has big applied Arabic numerals at 6, 9, and 12 hours and rectangular indices for the remaining hours. All are chrome-outlined and lumed. The hour and minute sword hands 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 often appears 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 it a bit harder to grip and turn the bezel.

The 41.5mm case is round and made of stainless steel. The sides and bottom are mirror polished while top is circular brushed. The face, unfortunately, is just mineral glass. The caseback has nicely detailed engravings including the Orient logo. The screw-down crown is big and easy to grip. It is signed with the Orient logo. The day pusher has a screw-down collar that prevents accidental pushing and changing of the day (and flooding if you were underwater).

The bracelet is 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 a quintessential dive 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

 

Nokia 105

nokia105frontThe Achilles’ heel of smartphones is their battery life. Sure they provide voice calls, SMS, video calls, chat, email, navigation, games, etc. But when your run out of power, it’s no more than a very expensive paperweight. You don’t even get to call or SMS. I’ve sometimes gotten into such situations. Sometimes disaster (in a manner of speaking) is averted by meeting a preset meeting place (that itself is a good practice but that’s another story). But it is definitely a bummer when your phone runs out of juice.

To lengthen their smartphone usage, people resort to battery cases (expensive), carry extra batteries (somewhat expensive and limited to a specific phone model), power banks (less expensive but can get bulky), or chargers (needs somewhere to plug in). Also, more and more public spaces such as malls and cafes are offering charging stations. But then there also the possibility of a prolonged power outage as in a disaster scenario like the recent Yolanda supertyphoon. Of course, cellular signal was also affected but at least the telcos were able to restore some within 3-5 days.

Enter the Nokia 105 with a whooping 35 days of standby. That should be good till the telcos restore service and the US Marines and the Red Cross arrive (never mind the government). It’s probably the perfect smartphone backup. It’s small and light albeit a little chunky due to its relatively big battery. But still, it’s quite handy and fits in some small pocket in your cargos or [bug out] bag.

It’s got the basic Nokia phone functionality we’ve grown up with as well as an FM radio (requires headphones, not included) and flashlight (which unfortunately doesn’t work without a SIM). The keyboard is splash and dust proof but the unit itself is not so you’ll need to wrap it in a Ziploc or something. It’s also relatively inexpensive (lowest I’ve seen so far is P950).

nokia105backTo complete my backup phone kit, I also got a nano SIM to micro SIM to SIM adapter as well as an iPhone SIM extractor tool. And they all store inside the phone. Nifty!

Of course, don’t forget to keep a copy of important numbers either on the SIM or on the phone itself.

 

iPhone 5s Case

iphone5scasefrontI’ve said that putting the gorgeous iPhone inside a case generally fuglifies it. But there are exceptions such as the Sena UltraSlim Leather Pouch that I used for the iPhone 4/4S. And now there’s the Apple iPhone 5s Case.

Probably one of the things that Apple learned from the antennagate controversy is that bumpers and casings are good business. So along with the recent iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, they released corresponding casings. The iPhone 5c case looks like Crocs and won’t be mentioned again. Ever.

The iPhone 5s case is a full back and side coverage case made of aniline leather reinforced with plastic. The inner side of the back is lined with a soft velvety material to protect the glass and aluminum back of the phone from scratches. That’s three layers but the overall casing is still very slim. The power and volume buttons are covered but remain easy to use. There are precision-cut(!) cutouts and holes for the Lightning port, silent switch, headphone jack, camera, and speakers. The holes for the speakers are especially neat.

iphone5scaseback

The case comes in several conservative (black, brown, tan) and trendy (blue, red, yellow) colors. Supposedly the aniline dyeing process infuses the color deep into the leather and not just on the surface. This means that minor scuffs might not be very visible. Unfortunately, aniline leather is rather fragile and in this case, no pun intended, rather thin. This case is definitely more stylish than protective. But I believe that’s the intent. A premium case for a premium phone. It is a perfect match for the iPhone 5s.