Product recommendation- Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Purifier fan

Is the jury still out on the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Purifier?

As an outcome of WFH (Working from home), we decided to get an air purifier, due to the time spent at home, and the desires to improve air flow within it.

So we’ve reclaimed our study, which had been a ‘Room of requirement’ for years, after furnishing our second bedroom as a study before we are finding out that wifi signals didn’t reach it. Ah! But after investing in the Google Nest Wifi router, and no immediate end to WFH, we tossed out what we could and reclaimed the study as a study. But what we found after settling ourselves in, was that the study has real bad air circulation, so much so that I was getting headaches only 2 hours into my working day. So we decided to get an air purifier to improve the airflow in our home.

Not knowing much about air purifiers and not wanting to spend huge amounts of time researching, we ended up going with a brand we know and trust- Dyson.

Dyson produces a range of air purifiers, from the large which sees to an entire room, to the small which only services your individual needs. But there is a product for each unique need, and a corresponding cost to your choice. Although we ended up going with the most expensive option, but we think it’s the most value for money option.

 Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Purifier fan

The Hot+Cool is $899, but our thoughts were, even if the air purifier functionality is a gimmick and we don’t have an air quality issue, at least we end up with a Dyson heater? As there’s a cool only air purifier which is around the $700 mark, while the cheapest purifier fan was still around the $500 range, and it only sits on your desk and only purifies for one. So for these reasons, I’d say the Hot+Cool is the most value for money.

We’ve owned it for 6 weeks now, and I have to admit that I’m not sure if it’s a good buy or not?

Does it cool?

Hard to say really, as immediately after we bought the thing, we went through a month of cooler weather in late Oct and early Nov. However when we had the super-hot 40-degree day? Although we had set the temperature at 22 degrees, however the fan wasn’t working hard to cool down the room! Leaving the apartment still quite warm, although it was at least 10 degrees cooler than outside. But hard to say if that was due to the fan, or the natural differences between indoors and outdoors?

Does it heat?

Now, we cannot answer this question either, as we haven’t used the heat functionality at all. 

Does it purify the air?

Again, hard to say. At first, I believed that the air in our apartment was purer. Sitting directly in front of the fan, I thought that the air coming out was purer (but was it only my own imagination?). And I thought in the first 2-3 days, I was less mucus-y. But like these things, after a week I wasn’t sure if there was an actual change, or has it always been like this? As it’s harder to put a finger on the differences, as we’ve adapted to the new norm. 

But what we have liked about the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Purifier fan has been:

The app and metrics- with the fan, it comes with a companion app. With the app you can remotely control the fan (even when you’re not at home), you can schedule when it comes on or off, and you can view all sorts of live and historic metrics. Like the external temperature, humidity, and air quality. Compared to your internal air temperature, humidity and air quality. To know what is your actual internal temperature, that feature alone is a double tick from me, as short of having an old school thermometer in your home, how else can you tell what is the ambient temperature inside your own home?

Power saving and set and forget- the app allows you to schedule when you’d like the Dyson to be on. I’ve got it scheduled for 7am-9am, 12noon-2pm, and again for 5.30pm-8pm. And once it’s set, it continues on its merry way until the end of time and a day, until you tell it otherwise. So since I spent 10 minutes setting it up on the first day, I haven’t had to bother with it ever since.

Quiet and responsive- when the air in your home is at a good level, the fan is super quiet. Like almost silent! Sometimes the only way you can tell it’s on and operating, is to place your hands in front of it and feel for a breeze. It’s really that silent. And once it detects a drop in air quality, it works hard to bring things back into alignment. On the first day, as soon as we started cooking, and the smells wafted into the living room, the fan started to go crazy, trying to purify the air. And most times after it wakes up from its slumber, it goes crazy again for a couple of minutes, until the air quality is good again, before settling down to a quieter and more chilled fan mode. So this response alone, kind of proves to me that it does really work.

And some elements which I have to point out due to its negatives are:

It’s not as portable as you like- weighing in at 4-5kgs, and I’ve been told that you’re not meant to hold it by the top. So it’s not as portable as you like it to be. Once you have it set-up in a good spot, you’re unlikely to move it from room to room.

Climate control isn’t really climate control- although you can set its temperature, when on auto it doesn’t work to achieve your set temperature like what you’d expect from a car’s climate control system. As an example. The fan only goes crazy when it detects a change in air quality, not due to a change in ambient temperature. So the setting of your exact desired temp, is just as good as selecting between 1-3, on an old school fan if you want the fan force to be higher or lower. The temperature control is no indication of how hot or cool it can make your room.

Ongoing maintenance and costs- and lastly, there’s an ongoing maintenance cost to owning a Dyson air purifier. To achieve air purification, the Dyson uses a filter. And this filter needs to be replaced each year (as we were informed by the salesman)- the app also tells you how much more life you have on the filter. The filter needs to be replaced, not cleaned or washed, as the particles aren’t trapped on the surface of the filter, but inside the filter between two mesh layers and in-between there’s squishy stuff like sand. We’ve been told that the filters cost $150 to replace, so expect a yearly $150 cost to maintain your Dyson air purifier. Which I have to admit is pretty pricy. That’s like more than Netflix for a year, even more than Office 365 for a year!

But coming back to the core reason in why we purchased the Dyson? And did it meet our initial needs?

I think it has, I think air circulation has improve in our home, although the fan is in the living room. There seems to be more air movement around our apartment, so that I haven’t been experiencing those headaches from being in our study anymore. So that alone is a win!

I think, and it is only a thought. But I think the air quality is better now. If I’m going off my own senses alone.

And the fact that I can monitor my internal home temperature, humidity and air quality? That has been a nice gimmick to have. 

But would I recommend it to someone else? Probably not, unless if you have plenty of spare cash to splash around at the moment. But so that you can make your own informed decision, click HERE to check out the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool purifier fan.

Product Recommendation- Apple MacBook Pro

Mac V Windows, Voiceover V JAWS. Which is best?

So, I bought a Mac. Crazy hey? Just like a 35+ year old deciding for the first time to buy a manual car, after only having experience with owning auto vehicles. What motivated this change for a blind user!?

To be honest, I was just sick and tired of being held ransom by Freedom Scientific and their once market leading Screen reading software- JAWS. I was tired of needing to upgrade the $2000+ software each time I upgraded my hardware. Therefore, what ought to be an affordable purchase of $1500-$2000 laptop, immediately became a $4000 investment. So, I decided to cut off this dependence on a third-party screen reading software and go with a device which had its own built-in screen reader.

My thought processes were that, I’m already an iPhone user, so adapting to Mac shouldn’t be that hard right?

But I was so wrong, so wrong. The first week after purchasing the MacBook Pro, I was almost in tears! It took me 2 days to work-out even where the Documents folder was located, and then another 2 days before I was able to work out how to even open a document! Crazy right!? As nothing is simple nor straight forward on a Mac! No Windows start key, no leftt clicks or equivalent keyboard key, and the Enter/Return key was no longer the universal key command to activate an action! Grrrr!

Everything became a keystroke, and everything is hidden under different rocks! This function under this menu, that function under that menu! It truly does test the memory and the patience of this old guy……. But after all of this, and now that I’ve crested the Mac learning curve, I honestly believe the Mac is the far superior product, and here are the reasons why.

Integration

I keep telling my wife, now I’ve got an entire Apple ecosystem! My phone talks to my computer, the software and hardware are now at one, and most importantly they all talk to me! And I no longer have those annoying performance issues where the third-party software slowed down my computer, stressing out the RAM as the software wasn’t designed for that device, and the device wasn’t designed for the software nor a blind user of it. Now everything works seamlessly, the computer doesn’t crash for unknown reasons, and now I can actually browse a website without losing cursor focus every 5 minutes!

Sleek design

This is expected from Apple, as Afterall they spend millions on R&D, and they have the smartest minds in the world working on their products. So, you can expect it to be well designed, modern, and of high build quality. And it’s all that and sleek, clean, sturdy, light, and super quiet. Not once since I’ve gotten it, has it overheated, seemed stressed, nor have I needed to switch it on and off because it had shat itself and stopped talking. The thing which I really love is it’s instant on! Just lift up the lid, count to 5 and Voiceover already asks you to plug in your pin. Within 30 seconds you can be on the web!

Screen reader

Whereas JAWS eloquence was responsive, but the voice was so robotic! Embarrassingly so! But with Apple’s investment in life like voices, now I have Siri as my every-day reading voice. It’s so good that I’ve slowed down the speech rate so I could better admire her sexy voice. Haaha. Previously JAWS was just a means of pulling out information from your computer so after a while you don’t hear the voice anymore, but now listening to Siri, hearing her voice is a joy and an experience in itself so much so I just find random articles for Siri to read- admiring how human she sounds! Sure, I’m less efficient in everything that I do now, but everything about interacting with my device is more pleasurable now. *Eyes rolled into the back of my head*. 

Navigation and Control

Although it took some time to learn all the keystrokes, and nothing is intuitive- however once you get the hang of things you just have a greater control over where you want to go, how to get there (as  there’re multiple ways of  performing most things), and once you’ve put in the hard yards to learn  all its intricacies, the sense of mastery is so satisfying! Returning back to the car analogy, maybe that’s why purists prefer driving manual cars- as it’s that sense of control and needing to be focused- on a Mac you can’t just mindlessly tap away, allowing your fingers to run on muscle memory, but you  need to be totally engaged as you use every key on your keyboard.

While the aspects which I don’t like about the Mac, also starts with navigation and control.

Navigation and Control

As I mentioned before, there are always multiple methods of doing things, and everything has a keystroke- however this is also it’s downside. In JAWS you   basically only use and need the arrow keys and tab key for navigation, and the enter key, sometimes space bar, and at worse the virtual left mouse click to interact with any interactable feature. However, on Mac, different scenarios require different keystrokes to enable, like a keystroke to open folders and documents; a different keystroke to enter a list or table; and a 3-finger combination to click on a link? Why so complex!? In that first week, I’d be left asking “why? Why? Why?” way too often. And the one thing which really annoys me, and still does to this day, is the assignment of keystroke combinations which are impossible to carry-out! As for non-sighted users of a computer, it’s all about touch typing and having your hands and fingers always settled in the same spot- index fingers on the F and J keys. But the keystroke assignments require you to lift up your right hand, slide it under your left as the assigned keystroke requires 5 fingers, a 4-finger combination which can’t be pulled off by one hand alone! And because you’re not sighted and the opposing hand isn’t use to seeking out the Q key (as an example), so I find myself searching out the  Q key with my  ring finger on my left hand, then using my  right hand to trail down the left to secure it over the Q key, before continuing to find the rest of the other 3 keys with my left hand to complete the keystroke. And the annoying thing is that in many cases these complex keystrokes are commonly used functions. Makes no sense!

Losing myself in menu bars

Sure, in this age of social distancing, losing myself in a bar would be a welcomed change now- but losing myself in a menu bar? What the? So now and again, I just randomly find myself in the menu bar, when seconds before I was happily writing in Word, or browsing a website. And to get back out of the menu isn’t as simple as just hitting ESC. But you have to actually find your way out of the maze, oftentimes I just save and exit the document and then re-open, as it’s quicker, or to shut the page down and re-launch another instance of Safari. It’s really that bad. I’m still trying to learn and recognise the virtual doorways out of menus, but I’m still not there yet 1 month on.

Screen reading

And the basic task of screen reading, it can sometimes be so hard! In JAWS, Caps lock key + arrow down from any part of a document or website would start the reader to read out loud from that point on, to the end of the document/website (unless you stop it earlier). But with Voiceover, this simple task is fraught with problems. Either the cursor doesn’t come with you, so if I stop reading at any point, and start read all again, it would literally start from the beginning of the document again! It’s so annoying, and I still haven’t worked out how to remedy this. *Teeth bared*. Or the fact that there is a keystroke to read headings, and the next text paragraph, and another to just read links. But with each of these methods they don’t read everything on a page. Just reading paragraph text, it misses links, just reading headings it skips everything else. While the other alternative is to read line by line, but that’s so much effort on my part! And when editing your work in Word, I never know where the cursor has landed, is it after the last letter, or is it Infront of the first letter of the next word? So, editing my work is now so slow- shudders to think how long it’s going to take me to proofread/edit this long-ass post!

Design

And although I had praised Apple’s sleek design, but the power pack annoys me somewhat, as it’s pretty huge! Sure, all laptops have that big charger pack, but not everyone has the charger pack connected to the actual PowerPoint plug. So, when you have it plugged into the wall, it feels like the wall socket is propping up a heavy load, sure it’s not, but it just seems that way- not to mention the clearance space required, gone are the days of using a powerpoint hidden behind furniture. The oversized touch pad is also a problem, I kept unknowingly brushing it with my sleeve or something, thus moving the cursor so after typing for a while, I’ll find my work completely jumbled as the cursor was moved here and there- causing me to spend just as long fixing up everything. These days I’ve just de-activate the touch pad. Giving up the chance of using my iPhone touch gestures as an alternative to move around the screen. And the last design floor, is the sharp edges. After typing for a while, I’ll have indented lines on my wrists from the angular aluminium edges, and the corners where there is an indentation to open the lid, the corners are particularly sharp, wouldn’t want to cut your wrists on that!

But after this seemingly long list of gripes, I still thing Voiceover is better than JAWS, and Mac more satisfying to use than a Windows device, just due to the fact that there is a sense of accomplishment after pulling off any simple task (pleased that I’d remembered the 4-finger combination). But all cynicism aside, the MacBook is prettier than any other laptop, more powerful for a portable device, the battery life is great, the screen is high res (so I’ve been told), and the sound quality is truly hi def! 

So, if you’re considering a change in your life, looking for a new challenge? Checkout the line-up of Apple MacBook’s, once you master it, it’s so satisfying! Click HERE to see the range of MacBook’s on offer. 

Specs:

13 Inch MacBook Pro

16Gb RAM

2.0Ghz Quad core Intel i5 processor 

512 Gb SSD memory

Product Recommendations- Waterpik Waterflosser Ultra

Have you ever turned a high-pressure hose on your own mouth? In the name of oral health of course.

I hate flossing, never have taken to it and it was not a habit that I was going to change any-time soon. But like all people, I’m still concerned for my oral health, as in the end you only have one set of these chompers and they’re meant to last you 50 odd years?

So, when I heard a review of Waterpik products (namely the Electric toothbrush +waterflosser) it piqued my interest. After several days of online research, I concluded that I didn’t need a hybrid electric toothbrush flosser combo (as I already have a pretty good electric toothbrush)- but the standalone waterflosser was definitely what I wanted!

By far Chemist Warehouse was the cheapest at $144.99, a genuine savings of $54.69 off the recommended retail price. And if you want a contact-less experience, you can purchase it off their website and have it delivered FREE of charge!

For us, I wanted it immediately, so we rocked up to our nearest Chemist Warehouse and it was in-stock. What you get in the box is the Waterpik Waterflosser Ultra- which consists of a base (where the motor and power source resides); a removeable reservoir which holds around 400ml of water (reservoir= kidney shaped tub); a removeable lid which also acts as a container for your floss heads; the wand where you attach the floss heads to; and 6 different floss heads (they call them tips).

The Waterflosser Ultra requires a standard plug in power source, approx. 2.5 inch by 4 inches of real estate on your bathroom sink countertop, and you have to be semi-disciplined about your new night-time routine. As using the Waterflosser can easily be seen as ‘too much effort’, particularly if it’s late and it’s cold etc.

To get started, run your hot water tap for a few seconds so that the water is warm, then fill up your Waterpik reservoir (not too full, as you don’t want to be spilling water all over the place especially as there’s electricity about). Select and snap on the flosser head of choice, switch on the power and allow the motor to run, just for 10 seconds or so. And then position the flosser head on your first gap between teeth and flick the switch on your   wand and experience the power of a mini pressure hose in your mouth!

You don’t need to spend too much time on each gap, we’re talking about 2-3 seconds per gap. Just keep moving along the row of your pearly whites while you’re bent over your sink (as you’ll be dribbling all over the place). And a tip, just remember to flick the switch to off on the wand when you’re moving to the next section of your mouth i.e. from front to back of your bottom row of teeth, or when moving from the bottom to the top row. As pointing the flosser to anything which isn’t your teeth, can be risky. Point it out of your mouth and you’ll cause a mess. And if you point it to a softer part of your mouth, it’s really quite painful. Like sticking a pin in your tongue and shooting yourself in that tender squishy part under your tongue is particularly unpleasant. *Shivers*. And you def don’t want to Waterfloss yourself in the eye! I can’t imagine how painful that might be, not to mention potentially dangerous……

If I’ve painted a picture of a lethal weapon for you, don’t be frightened off, as the Waterflosser has 10 power settings. So, you can adjust it to a level which you can tolerate- for me, I have it on 8 ATM. Not to mention, after cleaning all 32 teeth, if you have some water remaining in your reservoir- you can use it to blast away mould near and about your bathroom sink! #Unintended benefits! 

So, after using the Waterflosser Ultra for 6 weeks? What do I think?

On the company’s marketing material, it states that it blasts away 99.9% of plaque, and clinically proven to be 50% better than conventional flossing. But to me? Yeah, after blasting my teeth with pressurised water, everything feels clean of course, but is it cleaner than how things feel after a brush? Hard to say. To tell you the truth, I thought it would be more ‘amazing’, like that feeling you get after coming home from the dentist, and you’re able to suck air through the gaps of your lower front teeth (as they’re completely devoid of plaque.). But is it easier and more fun than conventional flossing? Definitely! That’s a 100% yes! So, after 6 weeks, I’m still persisting with water blasting my teeth each night. And if it reduces the guilty feeling of not flossing with string? then That’s a win for me!

To check-out or to  purchase the Waterpik Waterflosser Ultra now from Chemist Warehouse, click HERE!a144

Product recommendations- When considering the purchase of a Performance vehicle

Breaking the code behind Motor manufacturer’s recommended retail price!

It must be nice, it must be nice, if you’re in the financial position to be considering the purchase of a new Performance vehicle in this current recessionary climate. Or perhaps you’re just like me, always day-dreaming of the next Performance vehicle, but when it comes down to it, you rarely go through with it- as who has the cash these days? But you can always dream? Can’t you?

So being a motoring enthusiast, price conscious by nature, and a data analyst by trade- I’ve developed a formula which might have cracked the code behind why motoring companies price their products the way that they do. And knowing this secret, can potentially help you identify the most ‘bang for your buck’ Performance vehicle the next time you’re in the market for one. Thus helping your hard earned cash go further, or should I say, go faster!?

Sure, before you make any big ticket item purchase, you do your research. You read/watch reviews from so called ‘Motoring professionals’ and for cars of course, you take them on test drives. However motoring reviews are based on other people’s personal opinions, and test drives come down to what the vehicle makes you feel when you’re sat behind the wheel- as of course, if you do have the cash, it’s hard to say no to a Porsche if you’ve ever had the privilege to drive one. But what about a soulless binary method of comparing simular products to each other? What if we left this emotional decision to maths?  

I’ve dubbed this formula the ‘Bang for your buck’ equation- how much car/performance are you actually getting for your cash? The formula is as follows:

(Recommended Purchase Price divided by the Vehicle’s Kilowatts of power) divided by the Vehicle’s Torque) multiplied by the Vehicle’s 0-100Km Time equals The Bang for your buck value. 

I.e. ($ / K) / Tq) x T = V

And the lower the bang for your buck value is, the more bang you’re getting for your buck! Pretty simple really. Let me give you an example, so you can see the formula in action!

The two rivals in the Hyper hatch segment, is Mercedes Benz’s A45 AMG S pocket rocket, and Audi’s RS3 beast of a hatchback.

If we place the vehicles through the Bang for your buck equation, we learn that:

A45 AMG S ($93,600 / 310Kw) / 500nm) x 3.9secs 0-100Km Time = 2.4

RS3 ($83,800 / 294Kw) / 480nm) x 4.1Secs 0-100Km Time = 2.4

Although the A45’s power on paper seems to have an obvious advantage over the RS3, however you will be paying a premium for that extra push-in-your-back when accelerating off the lights. So when it comes down to it, the two vehicles are neck and neck with an identical 2.4 Bang for your buck value. So your end decision might be, do you prefer 4 interlacing rings, or the three-pronged star? Or do you prefer more power and speed, or do you like to save almost $10K in cash?

Ok, perhaps the Hyper hatch example was not the best example in how the equation can help you in these decisions, as in this first example it’ll come down to your own personal preference to break the deadlock.  However this example illustrates why I believe I’ve broken the code behind how Motor manufacturers price their Performance vehicles. I say this Because we have two vehicles which on paper have obvious differences in both power and  speed, however both companies have priced their products accordingly- placing a fair value on what you’re getting for your money, hence the identical bang for your buck (BfYB) values. If you want more power, then you’ll have to pay for it. And if you don’t need all that grunt, then you’ll pay 10 grand less for it. Both vehicles just as worthy and value for money as each other- according to our formula.

But now let’s try a better example, in proving the worthiness of our formula.

What’s more ‘Bang for your buck’? A proper M vehicle? Or is an M-light sufficient?

BMW M2 Competition ($109,900 / 302Kw) / 550nm) x 4.2Secs 0-100Km Time = 2.8

BMW M240i ($81,900

/ 250Kw) / 500) x 4.6Secs 0-100Km Time = 3.0

So according to our formula, although the proper M vehicle is more than $25K more expensive than the M-light, it is still the more Bang for your buck vehicle with a lower BfYB value of 2.8, as aposed to a BfYB value of 3.0. So if you were honestly tossing up between the two, go with the M2 Comp! Push back the purchase of the new vehicle for 6-12 months, use that time to save up the extra cash, and then go all out on the more expensive but more value for money vehicle! And this is another reasoning why we believe Motor manufacturer’s are aware of this formula, as in the majority of cases the top tier vehicle in a range, is almost always the more bang for your buck vehicle in their sporty line-up. It makes sense right? They want you to pay more, so they need to give you more! This holds true when comparing Audi RS and Audi S, Merc’s AMG63 and AMG43, Porsche’s Carrera and Carrera S, and the raging Camaro ZL1 with the Camaro SS- the $162K ZL1 is still more bang for your buck than the 50% cheaper Camaro SS, which also makes the ZL1 the most Bang for your buck vehicle on offer atm, with a BfYB value of 1.4.

We looked at a total of 140 Performance vehicles released in 2019-2020, and our findings have been interesting to say the least.

We learnt that, although heaps of people purchase a Mazda MX5 for its economic fun factor, however from a Bang for your buck point of view, it is actually the second least Bang for your buck vehicle- with an embarrassingly high total of 10.3. Ouch!

While the most bang for your buck exotic vehicle on sale, is the Mercedes Benz AMG GT- at a very impressive 2.7, for a vehicle which is north of $350K!

While these days everyone wants a SUV, so if you still want some Performance with your utility vehicle, then the most bang for your buck SUV is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Core at a Value++ 2.1.

And the most Bang for your buck Performance vehicle under $45K, is the Ford Focus ST with a respectable BfYB value of 3.0.

Of course, when considering a Performance vehicle it’s not all about the power, and it’s not all about how much you’ll be paying for it. But it’s also about how a vehicle handles, how it looks & feels, and how desirable a vehicle is- all of these factors playing a part in your decision making process. However if you just want another metric to help you decide, then test out the Bang for your buck formula! A vehicle’s price, kilowatts, torque and 0-100Km times can all be found from Redbook.com.au  You never know, this simple equation may just help you make a difficult decision……Um, easier? Or perhaps talk you off the ledge from making an unwise financial decision. For example, after using the equation, I’ll never consider purchasing a Porsche ever again! No matter how it might make me ‘feel’ when seated inside of it.

If you find this formula helpful, please leave us a comment? We’d appreciate that.

Notes:

What makes the Bang for your buck value needle move by 0.1? This occurs when the price of a vehicle increases or decreases by $5K; when a vehicle’s power increases or decreases by 10 Kilowatts; when a vehicle’s torque increases or decreases by 25nm; or when a vehicle’s 0-100Km sprint time increases or decreases by 0.1 Sec.

And obviously the Bang for your buck equation will be blown out of the water if you’re purchasing second hand or ex-demonstrator, and/or if you take into consideration a vehicle’s potential for an after-market ECU tune.

Product Recommendation- iPhone SE 2nd Generation

A poor man’s iPhone?

Haha, very funny. Keep laughing guys……… I tried to be a good sport and take it, as my mates ribbed me about my new iPhone SE 2nd Generation. The comments which were made which garnered all the laughs was “Oh, the iPhone SE, isn’t that a second hand refurbished iPhone 8 from Bangladesh?”

Yes, outwardly I was laughing with them, sure my new phone wasn’t a $1500+ flagship phone, but inwardly I was thinking “it’s no second hand refurb either!” I usually tell people that it’s the most advanced software and internals, but in an older phone’s body- that’s all. And I’ve been sprucing this line for years now, as my new SE is my second SE.

Even as recent as a month ago, I honestly believed that I was going to hang onto my iPhone SE 1st Generation for as long as I could. And tell you the truth, I honestly stressed out thinking about the day when it would finally fail like all tech eventually do, and what would I do then? As I loved my old SE, because it was small and compact- the very last of the small body phones. It fitted in my pocket so well, that you hardly notice that it’s there! And because I’m blind, I didn’t need a fancy big screen, and having a small surface area had its advantages as well, as all the icons were in close proximity so I wasn’t always blindly searching around for stuff on my phone.

However the scenario which made me think- ‘perhaps I need a larger screen’, was when my wife complained of eye-strain from watching ‘Terrace House’ on my tiny 4 inch monitor (SE 1st Gen used the old iPhone 5 body). And the second contributing factor which pushed me over the edge to purchase a new phone, was the fact that my 4 year old SE’s battery life was real bad- so bad that if I used it at all, I’d had to charge it twice a day to ensure that it would last the evening, and then last through to 8am the next morning. Not exactly all that mobile, for a mobile phone?

So over a 4 week period I first convinced myself in, then convinced myself out, and eventually talked myself back into taking the plunge and purchasing a new phone- and these are my thoughts after week 1.

The pros of the phone, may also be its cons?

I purchased the base of the base model, SE 64GB in  black with no further accessories nor cases- setting me back a miserly $749 (there are 128GB and 256GB options).

The set-up of the new phone was more than simple! With your two devices in hand, you can elect to send your existing phone’s data and settings over to your new phone, what’s required from you is to simply tap a few commands and then you allow your old phone and new phone to get acquainted. It felt like a ‘handover’ session between an outgoing and on-boarding staff member, the two phones just sit side by side for a couple of hours, exchanging content (and probably gossiping about you in the process). And after a snooze on my part, my new phone literally looked and handled like my old phone did- right down to being able to pick-up part-way where I’d left all of my podcasts, audiobooks and videos. Saying that it was unbelievable- is an understatement!

However the downside of this obvious pro and seamless transition, was that the ‘new phone experience’ was taken away from me? So much so that after less than 2 hours of getting a new phone, the sense of having something new was already gone? If that makes any sense? In the past, the new phone experience was all about learning the new functions, adapting to something completely foreign, configuring and customising the settings to your preferences, choosing a ring tone and homepage, transferring phone numbers (ok, perhaps I don’t miss that part), deciding which apps and photos to keep or not etc. But this day long ordeal (and sometimes multiple-day long ordeal) was completely taken away from me, that by the end of the first day I had by in large forgotten that I was still meant to feel excited about having a shiny new phone. Not to mention, if you were previously struggling with having available storage space with your old phone? Even after a new phone, you’ll still have this same problem, as everything from your old device has migrated over to your new (unless you’d purchased a phone with double or triple the existing storage space- which I had not).

But I have to admit, at first when I purchased the new SE, I had planned to still use my old SE due to its compact size. As my old phone wasn’t ‘dead’ yet, just poor battery life, I had imagined to use it when going out- perhaps keeping my sim in the old and actually just using it as a phone- yes, you know, for making and receiving calls? While the new phone would be used around the home on WIFI, like a mini, mini tablet. But all thoughts of maintaining dual devices left, as soon as I found how sleek and nice the SE 2nd Generation is to hold. Its super smooth with its dual sided glass case, it’s nicely weighted, and although it’s made out of glass it feels super sturdy. So much so, that I hadn’t planned on using a protective case- however my wife happened to had an unused iPhone 6 case, which we were surprised to find that it fitted perfectly.  And even with the case, it still feels super sleek and thin! **Note: Probably not using a case is unadvisable, as the back facing camera lens protrudes and caseless living might result in scratching up your 12 megapixel camera. And although the screen is larger, the actual phone doesn’t feel all that large in the end. 

The improvements on the original SE I’ve found, have been the sound quality, now that the in-phone speakers are in stereo. The Bluetooth connection is more reliable. The processor is definitely quicker. And the haptic feedback and the strength of the vibrations are solid and a welcomed addition (although it first annoyed me, vibrating and clicking each time I interacted with the phone).

The feature which I’ve loved the most, has been the simple fact that it still has a fingerprint reader- my wife would now actually prefer my smaller sized phone, than her iPhone 10, just because the SE can still unlock the phone with only a single touch! And having 13 hours of video playback, and probably 2 days’ worth of battery if I’m a light user that day- that is definitely a plus+!

So the latest software and internals, inside the body of an iPhone 8 for a bargain basement price (in mobile phone terms that is), I’m laughing! Not at all, do I feel like I’m the povo who can’t afford a ‘real’ phone.

So if you’re thinking of replacing your old phone and perhaps you’re not looking forward to forking out $1000+ in this current climate? Check out the iPhone SE 2nd Generation, click HERE for a side-by-side comparison between the SE 2nd Gen, iPhone 8, and iPhone SE 1st Gen.

Product Recommendations- Nest Wifi

Because you need reliable connection everywhere!

Now that we’re working from home and spending more and more time within our own four walls, reliable internet connectivity has become even more critical! So we’ve been living in the same apartment now for almost 8 years, and ever since we’ve been here the internet connection in more than 50% of our apartment has been non-existent. I’m not talking about being bad, I mean 0 bar, non-existent!

We’re talking about a home study with 2 large study desks within it, with no internet connectivity; a master bedroom with two occupants within it, with no internet connectivity; an en-suite with a very comfortable toilet seat within it, without internet connectivity; and a second bathroom with an equally comfortable toilet seat within it and very good ventilation, without internet connectivity! How can anyone in the 21st century live like this!? So primitive!

The reason for the lack of connectivity, is where the telephone line comes into the apartment, the port is in the centre of our living room. However between this point and our study is 2 double brick walls! Likewise, another 2 double brick walls in-between the modem and the master bedroom, the en-suite, and the second bathroom. Grrrr! And for 8 years we’ve put up with this. But 6 weeks ago, I said “No more of this!” With the confinement to our homes due to Covid-19, I couldn’t take being confined to only the living room as well! What are we? Animals!?

The solution? A mesh router!

So I started doing some research, there are many companies out there producing mesh routers, however as we already have a Google Home, and 2 Google Home Minis- it made a lot of sense to purchase a compatible device which could be easily integrated into our existing ecosystem.

So in the peak of Covid-19 lock-downiness, at Easter we finally managed to get our hands on a Nest Wifi (as many stores had already sold-out by then).

Out of the box you know its out-of-the-ordinary, for a router at least. Usually these things look like an old-school car radio player which someone had boosted straight out of a vehicle (with all the dangling wires) – but the Nest Wifi has a simple modern design and easily blends in with your existing home décor.

To me, it reminds me of a jar of lanolin, like some jumbo tub of hand cream ready-to-be-used. And the best thing is that you can hide it, or proudly display it for all to see – on your shelf – right among your other knick-knacks!

We purchased the Nest Wifi with 1 point – for $379 (AUD). The router itself already gives our apartment a much stronger Wifi signal than we had beforehand. But adding the point and placing this in our study, has given us 4 from 5 bar signal in all corners of our apartment! Gone are those 0 of 5 bar black spots in more than 50% of our home, now from wall to wall in all directions we have connectivity that we’re satisfied with. Which means our study can be used as a study again! The sleeping quarters can now be used to view Netflix and Youtube – late, late into the night! Hindering our REM sleep of course! And now we can be consuming all of our medias while on the …. Well…… You get the idea……..

The router has a second Ethernet port, so if you need to be tethered for super-fast internet speeds, you can connect one device directly to the source. The Nest Wifi utilises the same Google Home app as all of your other Google Home devices, so set-up and continued maintenance was easy-peasy. Not to mention the actual physical set-up of the devices took less than 10 minutes, using QR codes to recognise your new devices- to be connected to your existing Home set-up. And did I say ongoing maintenance is a cinch? With Nest Wifi now in your home, you now see a Wifi option on your Google Home app – interacting with this option allows you to view what devices are connected to your Internet (so you can easily kick-off any unwanted freeloaders); here you can prioritise which device gets preferential treatment if multiple devices are pulling and sending data at the same time (so Super VIPs in the home i.e. my wife, can always have perfect connection all-the-time); you can also set-up parental controls on specific devices (so limiting said wife from Bosistos’ online store); limit internet time for select devices (so internet is switched-off during bed time i.e. 2am-4.30am); and the feature I love the most is the ability to perform speed tests, both testing for the performance of your Home internet, and the performance of your actual device in the given spot that you’re in – it can be quite addictive (so we’re proud to report that we get 11.1 MPs down, and 0.8 MPs up. Woohoo!).

And the last aspect which I’ve fallen in love with, is the fact that our Google Home ecosystem has grown by another one speaker. Since the Point (that extends the internet signal into the dark recesses of our home) is also a Google smart speaker with ‘Ok Google’ assistant, this means that not only do we get internet in every room in our 2 bedroom apartment – but we also now have a Google Speaker in each room (including the 2nd bathroom). So when you group together all these devices in your Google Home app, you can now play music throughout your apartment! I mean throughout your apartment!

I’m at the front door, the music is literally right there coming out of the 2nd bathroom!

I’m in the living room now, and the music is right there as well!

I’m in the hallway in front of the study and the master bedroom, and here I can hear the music playing from both the study and the bedroom, but because it’s an ecosystem- they’re actually playing slightly different things, because now your music is playing in stereo! Left ear, right ear kind of stuff!

It’s so crazy, I find myself just walking around the apartment, taking in and enjoying the music from each aspect of our home. Yes, a little bit extravagant and unnecessary, but its wild I tell you! WILD!

For more information about the Nest Wifi, click HERE!  

**Disclaimer: This is not a paid post, and yes, I’m aware that our upload and download speeds is rubbish- so rubbish that it has become a bragging point!!!!!!!!