Short Review: Awesome Aquarium! I did have an issue with my hood but Aqueon took care of that! This is a nice large and deep aquarium.
1.) Wonderful Quality
2.) The black caulking looks amazing
3.) The bowfront allows excellent viewing of your fish and allows for a large viewing area
4.) LED lights add great bright lighting.
5.) Aqueon makes a matching stand for this and it looks very nice!!
1.) The lid hindge is very cheaply made.. mine broke first day but Aqueon has awesome support and corrected the issue with a new glass hood for it!
2.) The Included Light is simple with no timers or anything but that can fixed with a simple smart plug
Aquariums are simple but if you have a poor quality aquarium it can suck! It can leak, it can wobble, and it can cause a lot of other issues.. this Aquarium is awesome and has no issues other than the hood (but Aqueon corrected that)
Short Review: I mix these with the larger balls and ceramic bio media that came with my filter.. these balls are great, they are small meaning they are awesome for filler media! They are high quality! And they have a foam center for more bacteria!
1.) Small – I know to some, these balls being small is a downside! But that’s why I purchased them! They make great filler media to go with the other media already in my filter!
2.) Foam Center – Great for bacteria growth!
3.) Value – Excellent value. The are 75% cheaper than local pet stores and 50% cheaper than Big Box Stores!
4.) Bacteria Growth seems to be great on these!
5.) Bacteria grows quickly on these
Overall: I highly recommend these to anyone needing media! If you need a lot of media I’d suggest ordering extras! These are small but Excellent!
Short Review: Simply put, this is an excellent canister filter! Great value! Includes media (I recommend buying a few more bio ceramics though) and super easy to setup! Nearly silent opperation.
1.) Press the prime button about 10 times and you should be pumping strong!
2.) I recommend buying a little more bio media.. I felt it didn’t come with enough.
1.) Has a pump button to prime.
2.) Includes media (however, I would add more)
3.) Great instructions – I had no issues reading the instructions and they were very well written.
4.) Silent opperation
5.) Hides easily under tank
6.) Excellent value!
7.) Doesn’t spill or leak when you unhook tubes
8.) Tubes are thick and strong
9.) Premium packaging
10.) Multiple ways to setup! Want a skimmer? It’s included but not required.. need it to filter deeper in the tank? No issues here, extension is available and included.
11.) One year warranty
Overall this is an excellent filter! It works wonderfully well and I had no issues installing it! Installed it in under 15 mins
Awesome plug! The long slim design works great wall outlets because it doesn’t block the second outlet!! This plug works great with the “Smart Life” app which is a must for all the smart plugs I buy! Smart Life has an awesome Alexa skill that allows these plugs to be used with Amazon Echos or any other Alexa enabled device!! Smart Life also works with other brand outlets which is a must for me!
Note: A home hub is not required for these plugs but also know that these plugs won’t work with hubs like Wink! If that’s a must for you, look elsewhere.. but know that Google Home, Alexa, and a lot of other devices can communicate with this outlet via “Skills”, “app” or whatever
Note 2: These outlets work with other Apps but I have always used Smart Life (which the outlet recommends). Just keep in mind, the features I mention in this review are based on the Smart Life App
1.) Uses Smart Life App
2.) Plugs can be named (if using smart life app.. other apps might also allow names).. naming the plug allows you to say “Alexa, turn off the Aquarium Light” and if the plug is named aquarium light Alexa will turn it off
3.) Allows imer function (if using the smart life app)
4.) Smart Life App is compatible with other brand smart plugs
Overall: Great Plug! I highly recommend it
Use: I will be moving early next month to a larger apartment and I am purchasing extra smart outlets so that when I setup my new home, I can do it form the beginning! I can do it the day I move in, even if I don’t plan to use that outlet in my smarthome setup at that time.
Short Review: These round plugs are still my favorite, even after trying a few other options! They simply work the best, they are sleek, and they allow use of both outlets on a standard wall socket.
Pros (Please note, a lot of these pros are features of the smartlife app so your use might differ if you use a different app)
1.) SmartLife App – These are compatible with the smartlife app. This makes them easy to use with Alexa, easy to schedule timers, and most importantly not bogging down your phone with a bunch of pointless apps.. I’d hate to have an app for all 10 of the different brand outlets I have in my home!
2.) Easy to schedule timers (Use smartlife app)
3.) Outlets can be named (Using smartlife app)
4.) Very durable and high quality
5.) Will work with heaters
Overall: great outlets! I think from now on, round is what I am sticking with
Short Review (Summary): Great WiFi Outlet that works with the “Smart Life” app meaning it is VERY SIMPLE to use with other smart outlets and very simple to use with Amazon Alexa or Google Home!! I always look for these “Generic” outlets that are compatible with “Smart Life”. Why? Because I don’t want to have 50 different outlets using different apps!! That’s hard to manage..
Use: Purchased this to use with Christmas Tree this season (Video review will be up when I finish getting my Christmas Tree setup something later this week I know, it’s early but we always do it BEFORE Thanksgiving). I have already tested the outlet with Alexa (Amazon Echo) and it works GREAT!!
1.) No Hub Required – This is also my only Con because it also means it doesn’t work with Wink which is what I use to control the rest of my smarthome in conjunction with my Echo (Alexa) devices
2.) Easy Setup – Hold the button then follow prompts in “Smart Life”. It really is that simple!
3.) Works with “Smart Life” – I am not sure if Maxcio has their own app or not, I just saw that this worked with the Smart Life app which is great!! That’s my app of choice because so many of these outlets work GREAT with smart life
4.) Can be Scheduled – If you use the Smart Life app, you can create schedules for this.. I will be having it turn off my Christmas Tree late at night and then turning it back on by itself..
5.) Can be controlled with your voice (Alexa or google home) – For Alexa, simply download the smartlife skill.. That’s it!! I can now say “Alexa turn on the Christmas Tree” and it will!! Even if the outlet is scheduled to be off.. Simple!!!
6.) Outlet can be named – At least if you use Smart Life. I know I keep saying if you use that app, but that’s because these do work with other apps, but Smartlife is one of the best apps out there for these outlets.. I am not sure how other apps function
7.) Very GOOD QUALITY
1.) Not compatable with Wink Hubs meaning while these work GREAT with Lamps and stuff, I normally use them with other products that way Wink compatable plugs can be used to control my home lighting.. (Wink is a hub that controls smart things such as light bulbs.. I use mine to control my lighting mainly and can control it from my Echo)
Overall: This is an EXCELLENT OUTLET, one that I highly recommend!! I am happy with mine and it is offered at a very good price
Short Review (Summary): This is a wonderful camera! I used to work security so I will also try to answer some of the design questions with this camera.. Overall, the camera is very easy to setup, it integrates very well and easily into the other home cameras Yi makes, and a cloud subscription IS NOT Required!
First let’s mix things up and do the cons
1.) Echo Show – While Yi finally released an Alexa skill, that skill is pretty much useless.. Sorry Yi, but it is! Basically all it does is turn on/off the camera.. you can say “Alexa turn on/off the porch camera” and it will! I really hope they update the skill so we can see vidoe on the Echo Show or the upcoming Echo Spot.
Aside from that, I can’t really name any other cons at the moment!
1.) Local Storage – No need for cloud plan.. The local storage works great! Cloud might be nice if you’re afraid someone will steal your camera but remember your camera will send “Alerts” to your phone that can be saved! Save the alert and if they steal your camera you will still have proof. Yes the SD card slot is protected meaning it would take a crook several mins to get the SD card out if they tried.. Yi did a great job designing this camera
2.) Easy to install and setup – Just follow prompts in the app
3.) Includes everything needed for setup (might require a USB extension cord if not around a power outlet)
4.) Wonderful picture and video quality
5.) Alerts work Very Very well! I have been using alerts from Yi cameras for years and never had any issues
6.) Easy to setup with other cameras of the same brand and works well with other models of the same brand
7.) Powered via USB so if worse comes to worse, very easy to setup a portable battery pack to power this camera.. and you can even grab a nice quality solar panel such as GoalZero or any other brand and charge the battery pack with it! I’d suggest a 20 watt panel or higher and a fairly robust battery pack 50,000 plus mAh and it might still die at night
8.) Cloud is optional.. some makers force you to subscribe to cloud just for alerts. They do not! I have never paid a dime for the cloud and get all my alerts
9.) Auto upgrade – Cameras upgrade on their own
10.) Speakers and mics work great so can be used as an intercom to speak with guest outside
11.) Saves packages! I installed an indoor version looking out the window beside my door after I had packages stolen for 5 straight days. I made sure the camera was able to be seen by the guys stealing packages.. day after I hooked it up, a shady character shows up on my patio and then runs off because he saw the camera.. I have yet to have another package stolen! That camera is now replaced by a real outdoor one so it can be seen even clearer!
1.) Cable coming out of the bottom – This helps with waterproofing the camera and if you are really worried about someone cutting the cable, sign of for alerts or even cloud storage.. I installed cameras for a security company and the cable location doesn’t matter.. most criminals just smash the cameras anyways so if the cable is in the back, they would just hit it with a hammer or bat.. I have seen it happen hundreds of times. Remember water runs down cables so if the cable was stretched up, through the back of the camera, water could pool and then finally work it’s way into the camera. I have seen that cause cameras to fail before, expensive real security cameras
Overall this is a great option for those wanting an outdoor camera and one that is Waterproof!
Short Review (Summary):. These Are my GO TO smart outlets for Amazon Alexa! They are simple to activate, very inexpensive, and they do not require a hub (but also note they don’t work with hubs like Wink as far as I can tell). I use these with my smart home light setup and they work very well!
Please Note: I own several brands of these but normally buy Tonbux BUT any brand that looks the same is probably that.. the same! I have about 3 brands of these from various retailers (here, Newegg, and others). Amazon seems to have the best prices unless a sale is being ran. Best app to use is “Smart Life” some makers have their own app but Smart Life will allow you to control all with the same app! And all should work with Smart Life. The Alexa skill is also called Smart Life
Use: I purchased a few more of that knowing my new Echo was arriving this week! I wanted to setup more items on my smarthome! I use these for pretty much anything other than lighting (I don’t use with lighting, because I use a wink hub in conjunction with Alexa for lights) I did use one on ym Aquarium light however!
I will also be using one my my Christmas tree in a few weeks!
Other uses I have these on
1.) Bathroom Heater
2.) Computer Monitor – For when an update decides to hit at night and it turns on my monitor for whatever reason
3.) TV – For when I loose my remote in bed
1.) Works with Alexa and Echo – Must Download the “Smart Life” skill on Alexa
2.) Can be used to set schedules – Do this in the smart life app on Android or IOS
3.) Work with heaters – At least for short periods of time! I have a heater in my bathroom setup with one and turn it on about 10 mins before i go in there.. never had any issues
4.) Can be individually named through the smartphone app
5.) Very inexpensive!
1.) Don’t work with hubs like Wink so probably not the best if you want to use them with lighting and control them from Wink ( Wink has great features that randomly turns on lights when you’re gone.. unlike a timer, it’s all random making people think your home)
2.) Being round it sometimes blocks two plugs, especially on powerstrips.
Overall: These are my go to outlet for my smarthome.. I use them on pretty much anything except lighting! (Aside from my aquarium light). I very much welcome these outlets to my home!
Please Note: The full review will be coming soon! My new Echo just arrived today so I am still working on testing it out fully!
Short Review (Summary): So where to start? First, while overall sound to me DOES sound a little better than the original, the Bass is somewhat lacking compared to the original BUT this Echo does cost $50 – $75 less!! Everything else is an improvement over the original ECHO!! I am very pleased with it!
Why I decided on this over the new “Plus” unit: I already own a WINK hub so I had no need for the built in hub the plus unit had. Keep in mind, the plus unit DOES have more of the original sound of the old echo (Bass wise), but the rest of the features such as the built in hub, I had no use for
1.) Size – The size is much smaller than the original! The original stands tall! This is much shorter making it easier to tuck places
2.) Looks – It is now easier to find one to match your home décor! This looks much nicer than the older version
3.) Price – This is much less expensive than the original! (Although I purchase my original during the “Prime” deal, making mine only cost $99)
4.) Much improved over the “Dots”
1.) Bass – The bass has been downgraded in this unit.. Some think its due to the fabric cover.. I believe its due to the unit not being as tall.. The original Echo had a built in tube to help increase bass.
Upgrades I wish they made
1.) USB – I wish they went to USB charging.. They did not! I assume this is due to the speaker using more power than your typical dot BUT they do make USB “C” cables that are capable of more power.. I just hate the very large power brick that is included.. Make that brick smaller or allow us to use USB “C”
1.) Smarthome – I control a lot of my smarthome devices via Alexa! And it works GREAT
2.) Music – My wife uses these like a Sonos. She ask Alexa to play her Pandora and she will leave these speakers running all day playing music!
3.) Flash Briefing – I love listing to this while in the shower every morning!