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Product Reviews

20 (95% helpful)

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  1.  Genuinely impressive.


    Despite having quite enjoyed the first two GTA PSP games, I wasn't too excited about Chinatown Wars, especially after seeing it make a Nintendo DS appearance.

    Just goes to show that first impressions aren't always right.

    GTA CW is, from what I've played so far, an excellent game. The overhead view is fantastic and makes a welcome return to the original look of the first GTA games.

    Despite there being a lack of voice acting and a very simple (but effective) music collection, the game is hugely enjoyable. A variety of missions and apparently brand new material not featured in the DS version.

    I nearly didn't give this game a chance but I'm very glad I did. This for me is an essential purchase for any adult gamer who likes a good mix of action, humour, 'grown-up' subject matter with a dash of old school GTA action. Brilliant.

  2.  Top F1 racer, if a little flawed


    Decent F1 games (on any gaming platform) are few and far between but this is really great for a handheld game.

    Visually it's good but not a patch on the likes of Gran Turismo or Motorstorm. The menus and interface are fully featured without being too overcrowded.

    Obviously the team and driver data isn't up to date (it is 2009 of course) but if you want a seriously fully featured F1 game on the go then this is it.

    Based on value for money alone, this is a great purchase and once you've got the hang of the handling and which driver assists to leave on, you'll find a lot of playing time here. I can definitely agree that the analogue stick is just far too sensitive for this game, resulting in snaking all over the track. Use the D-Pad, it's much more effective.

    Not the best racer on the PSP but a solid F1 game which will provide many hours of entertainment.

  3.  Very impressive indeed.


    Having played and loved Resistance on the PS3, I was sceptical about a PSP version.

    I'm happy to be proven wrong though. The graphics are very impressive and the controls are very well thought out and generally work pretty well.

    The story and voice acting is great plus you can even play online which means you're getting a serious amount of playtime out of this game.

    At today's price of 12.99 it's an absolute must-buy.

  4.  Incredible Value Bundle


    After having decided to opt for a new PSP-3000, this was the bundle I kept coming back to time after time. The Glossy Black console looks and feels incredibly classy but there are plenty of reviews and videos out there so let's just concentrate on this bundle.

    This Modnation Racers Bundle includes the Black PSP 3000, the full retail version of Modnation Racers in game case with manual, Modnation Racers stickers for the rear of the console and a grey leatherette zipped pouch/case.

    You can find reviews etc for Modnation Racers elsewhere but it was part of the reason why I bought this bundle. Great game, lots to do and online play too (with the included PSN voucher code).

    The stickers just went back into the box. Two stickers which go over the rear battery cover and the other non-removable cover on the rear. Nice enough stickers but I'm not about to ruin the look of my new PSP!

    The pouch is a nice inclusion but it's not exactly classy or top quality. It's definitely more useful than the old soft slip pouches which used to be included. Inside the zipped case you'll find storage for the PSP (which can be held in place by two elasticated strips) and the top half/lid of the case contains a mesh net for a couple of games or headphones etc.. It's ok but again, I just put it back in the box and have got the Exspect Hemp case which is much nicer but of course doesn't have any extra storage.

    Incidentally, the PSP console is in its own usual 'solus' type packaging inside the bigger outer Modnation branded box.

    For 129.99 it's an absolute bargain and some of the best PSP games are now available at crazy prices. Brilliant.

  5.  Who gives you extra? Ultimate Ears, not just the Halifax.


    Having been quite happy with my Sony mdr-ex71's for almost five years, it was time for something new.

    I've always preferred in-ear 'head'phones due to their portability and sound quality.

    Having never paid much attention to the Ultimate Ears brand, I was glad to see that these MetroFi 220's were available for significantly less than their $80 price tag.

    The most important part is the sound and having read just about every review and scrap of information about them I wasn't sure what to expect!

    In my opinion the sound is fantastic - regardless of the price. If you want to bring the price into it then for the money, these are an absolute steal when it comes to sound clarity and quality.

    If you pick the correct sized ear cushions to get a nice tight fit, you will get solid bass and wonderfully clear highs and midrange sound.

    The best way to describe the sound difference in terms of clarity compared to other earphones I've had is simple:

    You hear 'MORE' of the music.
    One of my favourite albums, Depeche Mode's Violator, is around 20 years old. I've listened to that album hundreds if not thousands of times and with these Ultimate Ears I have heard details that I've never noticed before when listening on any of the audio equipment I've ever had (that includes some fairly expensive home Hi-Fi gear).

    On top of this, they do give some isolation to external noise but this very much depends on you choosing the correct silicone ear cushions.

    Design/Build quality:

    Shiny shiny shiny. The earphones look pretty classy with their chrome appearance. I find that the fit is great when you've picked the correct size silicone cushions and they aren't as heavy as they look. You'll see what I mean!

    The cable is really my only dislike. It's much better than the one on my Sony earphones as the 220's have got a rubber/plastic feel. This helps stop them getting tangled up compared to the likes of more rubbery ones (iPod for example). It does mean that the cable naturally doesn't want to stay curled up so keeping them in a pouch or the supplied case (we'll get to that in a minute!) is best.

    Further up the Ultimate Ears range you do get better quality cable but of course that all comes at a price. The cable covering is fine and the cable within it has to be of a reasonable quality to provide that clear sound.

    The plug/jack is a straight type like iPod/iPhone earphones. I've generally never been a fan of this type and preferred the right-angled plug. However, the straight connector means that having a case or shell on your phone or mp3 player should still allow this connector to have a smooth fit. It's certainly the case with my HTC Hero fitted with a rubber case. The straight jack fits better than the right-angled one.

    As previously mentioned, the cable has a mind of its own and isn't easy to keep neat without putting it in a pouch or case. A case is included and it does the job but it's not going to last with regular use. The case itself is a great size and shape but the hinge will definitely wear out over time regardless of how careful you are. It'll do for a while but I'm using the case that came with my Sony's.

    So let's sum up.

    The Good:
    Incredibly detailed sound
    Stylish/expensive looking earphones
    Exceptional value

    The Bad:
    Cable appearance/feel

    The Ugly:
    Cheap case won't last

    At 17.79 they are an absolute steal.

  6.  Nice T-Shirt Different Colour compared to the picture though


    A good quality 'Gildan' T-Shirt. The print is exactly as pictured (with a purposely 'worn' loook) but the colour is not right as already mentioned. The picture makes it look like a Cherry Coke Red but it's actually the 'normal' brighter Coca Cola red. Having said that, it looks great.
    Another reviewer mentioned that the fit was on the large side. I'd agree with this as I'm generally an XL and there was definite room to move in this T-Shirt. So let's call it a baggy or loose fit but certainly nothing close to being a size out or similar. I suspect after a few washes that it may shrink in which case it'll be a perfect fit. Lovely product, I bought it at the five pounds price.
    *Update* After a quick trip to the tumble drier, it's a much less baggy fit. Result!

  7.  So long TomTom?


    My first Satnav purchase was the 'original' TomTom Go about 5 years ago. I paid around £400 for the unit and was just blown away by it. Even as the years have gone by I've been happy to keep using it.

    But now that prices have come down so much and there are some really useful improvements, it was time to look for an upgrade.

    There are SO many different TomTom models that I literally couldn't work out what to go for. I didn't simply want a newer, slightly better version of what I already had - that seemed pointless. I rapidly started to end up in the £200-£250 price range to get the kind of features I liked the sound of.

    And that's when I started to stray over to the dark side. OTHER Sat Nav manufacturers!

    My needs were clear to me. A bigger screen, enhanced services and features, easy to operate (as I won't be the only user) and a slim size.

    And basically, the Navman/Mio Spirit 500 Traffic started to tick a lot of those things off. The maps are very clear, the voices are clear and loud, routing is fast and the GPS signal is picked up very
    quickly. On top of that, this unit has the TMC feature (detailed Traffic information provided via RDS radio signals) built in to provide traffic problem information and re-route where appropriate.

    The unit is very light, very slim and has a modern, if simple, style. Operation is simple but some key presses on the menu do need to be given a brief moment to work. You can also re-arrange the menu icons with the PC software which I like in particular.

    Having owned a TomTom for so long, it's impossible not to make comparisons. I found though that the Navman unit has some advantages over TomTom despite being inferior in other ways.

    Adding new addresses/locations to 'My Places' (i.e. TomTom Favourites) initially seems overcomplicated but it's simply a different way of doing things. That's generally the theme, it's basically the same end result, done in a different (and sometimes better) way.

    The best way I can compare it is if you've had a SonyEricsson mobile for 5 years and then switch to a Nokia. You'll initially get annoyed that they do similar things in different ways but no doubt will prefer some of them whilst missing others.

    For the money, this is a fantastic unit. On a journey this morning I was alerted by the TMC to an overturned Lorry which helped me to change my route (eventhough I was only in queued traffic NEAR the problem - technically the incident wasn't on my planned route but I could see what was affecting me very clearly on the unit's display).

    The unit can include street names in instructions but I found the voices WAAAAY too robotic and the pronunciation isn't usually quite right. I now use one of the 'normal' voices which are similar to TomTom but I found they're clearer and louder whilst adding a few subtle changes to the info provided.

    The Good:
    Slim & lightweight design, (Free!) Traffic Updates, clear mapping, overally features for the price.

    The not-so good:
    Robotic 'place names' voice, POIs slightly more awkward to work with, PC Software not as intuitive as TomTom Home.

  8.  Fantastic specs at a cracking price


    Following the untimely demise of my PlayStation 3, I decided that my best option was to buy a dedicated Blu-ray player.

    Having looked at the various options around the £150-£250 price point, I ended up opting for this very well specified Samsung.

    For me it ticked a few essential boxes beyond the obvious picture/sound:
    Upgradeable, good connectivity options and stylish.

    The unit certainly looks very inoffensive and even the remote is one I could live with (although I'll be using it to program my universal remote). Apart from that you only get a manual, start-up guide, batteries and RCA (red white yellow) cable.

    Switch on time!
    After around five seconds the screen comes to live with a pleasant little Samsung screen and tune. I had already connected an ethernet cable to the unit as my router is by my TV. This immediately prompted me to update the firmware which I thought was excellent (rather than having to manually activate the process seperately). You can of course choose to skip this if you wish. After the update it's a case of setting up a few things like language options and audio/video settings to suit your set up.

    In goes the first Disc, Wall-E (a solid 'test' disc in my opinion). Now I was the first to expect the "here we go, this is going to take waaaaay longer to load up than the PlayStation 3" scenario. But short of getting a stopwatch out and timing things, the loading time didn't seem wildly different either way.

    But the differences between the two were about to become apparent. The picture on this Samsung is simply fantastic. I couldn't quite believe that there was so much of a noticable improvement after hearing that the PS3 is one of the best. Using exactly the same cable that the PS3 was using, the picture looks so much sharper and vibrant. Great start.

    The same could be said of upscaled DVDs. A quick blast of the Toy Story DVD and there are moments where the picture really does look VERY close to an HD image. Impressive stuff and for comedy fans you'll be pleased to hear that the Zoolander DVD is also ridiculously good looking.

    On to the audio and a similar surprise was in store. Using the same optical digital cable to the same surround sound amplifier, the sound had real clarity and separation. I don't know how the PS3 deals with Blu-ray audio but the Samsung does all the hard work before putting out the signal to the amplifier. Either way, there was a noticable improvement which I did not expect.

    BD-live (interactive functions) work without problem and are just as slow as on the PS3.

    In summary, a superb player for the money in terms of features, picture, sound.

  9.  Slim fit and no messing!


    This T-Shirt is great quality with a great print but do not underestimate the 'Slim Fit' description! I usually wear an XL (42-44" Chest) and based on that I'd call this XL a Medium to Large size. So bear this in mind as your shape will show wearing this one.

  10.  Genuine = Best?


    I'm a real stickler for buying genuine/original accessories rather than 3rd party ones. I've found in almost every case, although not always, that they do the best job.

    I've had my N95 8gb for well over year and it's still looking very much like new as I'm pretty careful with my gadgets. But as I've decided to stick with this phone a while longer, I thought I'd play things safe and get myself a case/cover.

    Having looked at the various options of crystal cases, silicone covers and leather/material cases I always ended up back at the same place - the official Nokia CP-235 case.

    I'd seen the comments of the case slapping the user in the face during calls and suggestions that the plastic arms which hold the phone in place can scratch the phone. Nevertheless I just felt that this was the one for me.

    I'm glad to report that I feel I made the right choice.

    There's no annoying belt clip (something that some people actually want. Seriously people this thing is chunky enough already!!), the case is a perfect fit and really suits the classy image of the N95 8gb.

    So - those face slapping, case scratching problems? Well, the outer flap indeed will get in the way if you just open the case but it can be bent back on itself without any real resistance (suggesting that you're not going to wreck it over time) allowing "face-slap free" calls.
    And the scratching? I held the phone (in the case) and looked at it from the end. The plastic clips/restraints don't actually touch the phone. It's a tiny and I mean TINY gap, but a gap nonetheless, so I don't see why sliding the phone open/closed will be a problem, even over time. Add to that the price, which has dropped considerably since launch, and it's an easy decision.

    A great quality product and at this price it's hard to ignore.