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Philips Hue

Philips Hue Starter Kit: Review Summary & Guide

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Introduction to Philips Hue Starter Kit

As you’re here already, you probably already know that Phillips Hue Bulbs are some of the best-selling smart light bulbs available. With them you can easily create the right ambience for any situation. Waking up? Going to bed? Need to concentrate? Philips Hue has you covered. They can be adjusted to fit several moods ranging from sombre to full party mode. They also allow different color shades. For example, shades of red include; bloody red, ruby red, and orange-red…not just ‘red’.

The lights can be remotely controlled from either your iOS or Android device, that way, you can decide when the lights in your home come on or off, or you can control them via voice-activated smart assistants or  movement sensors, which help in conserving energy.

 

 

 

Philips Hue Starter Kit Features

There are quite a number of Phillips Hue Starter Kits to choose from, depending on your needs.

The standard Phillips Hue Starter Kit has three LED light bulbs, the Hue Bridge, appropriate screws and a dimmer switch (there’s also another kit that has the same contents, but without the dimmer switch, as well as kits that only contain white bulbs instead of the color-changing ones).

The Hue Bridge is essentially the brain behind this group of products. It wirelessly connects between your phone and the light bulbs in your home – all you need to do is connect the bridge to your router

Once that’s set, the bulbs are all connected to each other and do not have to be close to the bridge to receive commands. Even though they are connected, you can, from your smartphone or using voice commands, select which bulbs you want performing any particular function at any given, rather than all the bulbs doing the same thing. With this arrangement, you can have a cozy ambience setup in your lounge and a serious one set up in the study.

You will need the app to set-up and be able to adjust settings when you’re away from the house.

Pros

The bulbs can fit into the regular light fittings so there’s no need for rewiring or special installation. After setting up the bridge, all you need do is follow the simple instructions on the screen and your new lighting system will be ready.

There’s a lot to discover with the Hue App and it’s available both for iOS and Android phones and tablets. You can use it in a simple way to control lights and select pre-programmed scenes but if you’re quite creative, you’ll probably spend some time testing out that claim of 16 million colors available for use

The Hue App works perfectly well with iPhone’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. When integrated with your smartphone, you can simply tell Siri to turn off the lights in the house, or change the scenes to fit just what you want.

Cons

From our review of the Phillips Hue Starter Kit, the main disadvantage is the fact that it’s quite pricey for a lighting system when considered alongside some of the alternatives. This is a major turn off for some.

Other smart home devices work perfectly well without a bridge, but for the Philips Hue there’s no direct Wi-Fi option, so you’ll have to use a bridge instead. Annoyingly, that’s another plug socket taken up.

Summary

If you need an easy to use smart lighting system and don’t mind using a bridge, then this is a great option. Even though it might seem like a bit of an expensive way to get started with smart lights, the Starter Kit (Bridge, 3 LED bulbs, a dimmer switch) provides a far cheaper option than buying each part individually.

Alternatively, there’s the cheaper 2 bulb kit (both white) that also comes with a bridge, but no dimmer switch, and another starter kit that includes color bulbs but no dimmer. From our experience with smart lighting, you’ll probably want that dimmer sooner or later.

  • Easy installation process
  • Diverse applications
  • Integrated with virtual personal assistants

  • It is expensive
  • You need a bridge

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OnePlus

OnePlus 5T Review, Summary and Guide

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Five months after the initial introduction of the OnePlus 5, the Chinese company moved on to greater things; literally.

The new OnePlus 5T is regarded as a cost-effective rival to some of the most powerful smartphones on sale today, in fierce contention with the likes of iPhone 8, LG V30, and Samsung Galaxy ranges. But how does it stack up?

OnePlus 5T Review: Design

The OnePlus 5T is 156.1mm tall and 75mm wide and 7.3mm thick.

The sleek metal unibody makes it aesthetically pleasing, and it got a modest makeover with smaller bezels, and a gently-curving rear.

Even though the OnePlus 5T is neither dust nor water resistant, the 2.5D Gorilla Glass, anodized aluminum, and ceramic coating are basic protective measures.

Lastly, it weighs 163g, making it fit the description of big, bold, and beautiful. The OnePlus 5T colors are Lava Red, Sandstone White, and Midnight Black.

OnePlus 5T Review: Display

This is perhaps, the single biggest improvement on this device. The OnePlus 5T boasts a 6.01-inch full HD (18:9) AMOLED panel, making it one of the few handsets available with a screen larger than 6-inches.

One disappointing feature, however, is its full HD resolution; a mere 2,160 x 1,080 with a 401ppi pixel density. For the price, sacrifices have to be made, and this is obviously one of them for the 5T. It’s not ‘bad’ as a screen though.

Display Modes:

  • Adaptive mode
  • Reading Mode
  • Night Mode
  • Lift Up Display
  • Ambient Display

Software

Equipped with OxygenOS 4.7 and Android 7.1.1 (Nougat), the OnePlus 5T is upgradable to Android 8.0 and Oxygen OS 5.0.3.

Face Unlock uses a plain 2D recognition feature, which makes it faster and easier to use for unlocking the phone, however, it is unfit for any other authentication outside the lock screen – so you won’t be able to use it for payments, for example.

Its chipset is the Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 and the OnePlus 5T has an Octa-Core (4 x 2.45 GHz Kryo & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo) processor. It offers 6GB/8GB of RAM and 64/128GB storage, depending on where you are in the world.

There is no external memory slot available, however.

OnePlus 5T retains the 3.5mm headphone jack and the company announced that it will continue to support this connector until USB-C headphones garner enough momentum to making the switch painless. There is also an active noise-cancelling microphone to make audio quality clearer on calls.

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OnePlus 5T Review: Camera

The OnePlus 5T is home to dual cameras; the primary 16-megapixel and the secondary 20-megapixel. OnePlus employs what it calls ‘Intelligent Pixel Technology’, which is useful in brightening dark scenes without causing a distortion.

The camera features a pro mode, panorama mode, time-lapse, slow-motion video mode and a rear fingerprint sensor that can be long-pressed to take photos with either camera.

It also comes with a face unlock interface which allows you seamlessly unlock your phone. On the other hand, the removal of the telephoto lens makes an optical zoom impossible and the front camera lacks a portrait mode.

The face unlock is not as reliable as that of the Samsung S8, however.

OnePlus 5T Review: Battery

Like its predecessor, the OnePlus 5T comes with a 3,300 mAh battery.

Tests reveal that the life-span under heavy usage is 11 hours, 22 minutes, however, some users find that they get a lot less than that under any conditions.

On paper, it’s about on par with the Samsung Note 8 and Google Pixel 2, as long as you don’t suffer the same problems as some of those other users linked above.

OnePlus 5T Review: Pricing & Availability

The OnePlus 5T is available in almost every country in the world.

The phone price ranges from $450-$600 depending on the specifications you choose, and it’s available directly from OnePlus, third-party retailers or on contract deals – again, depending on what country you’re in.

OnePlus 5T Review: Rating

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