Last year I was sent a large haul of products to review from Lorna, Anker, Soundcore and Eufy. We’ve already reviewed the Frames by Soundcore, now let’s see if this solar power bank is as good as it looks!
Disclaimer: I have not been sponsored or paid to write this review. The views and opinions written here are my own honest & unbiased thoughts. The PowerCore Solar retails at £79.99 & can be found here:
Please bear in mind that they are currently sold out.
Review equipment: ( I tried to review the PowerCore using a random selection of portable devices. ) ( Obviously the sun is not portable… ) Anker PowerCore Solar 20000. Anker fast charging USB type-C wall plug. Sol, Our sun, that we orbit every year. iPhone XS Max. Samsung Galaxy Note Ten+. iPad Pro 12.9″ 3rd Gen. Brydge 12.9 MAX+ keyboard & trackpad. Astell & Kern AK70. iBasso DX80. Logitech MX Master 2S. Royal Kludge RK61.
What’s in the box: PowerCore Solar 20000 solar-powered portable charger. USB-C to USB-C cable. Handy-Carry wrist strap. Welcome guide. 18-month stress-free warranty. Anker’s friendly customer service.
Build & finish: As I have come to expect from Anker & it’s sister brands the PowerCore Solar is extremely well built. It is rugged and robust and although I haven’t been camping or hiking with it yet, I feel 100% confident it would be in my backpack! As well as it’s tough exterior, it manages to have a stylish look to it with Anker’s blue tones included without being overkill. The accessories included are also well built and are all you need to get up and running.
Functionality: The PowerCore Solar 20000 is a flexible device in that it can be charged either through the solar panel or from a wall outlet. There is no need to switch between modes, it just charges automatically either way. You have the option of a USB-A or USB Type-C port, both of which charge your device quickly. Anker’s claim of five full recharges of an iPhone are correct, and I’ve been able to charge my iPad Pro pretty quickly as well, which is handy as hell considering I work outdoors in my “Summer-Shack” a lot, especially when the weather is nice! To charge your smartwatch, Bluetooth earphones, or other low-power accessories, all you need to do is press the power button twice to activate trickle-charging mode. It’s that straight forward. And if all of this wasn’t enough, Anker built a 3 mode flashlight into the power bank including an emergency mode!
On paper vs real life: Ok, so does the PowerCore solar perform as well and as reliable as Anker state on their website? Absolutely, I really don’t have more to say than that. It performs flawlessly & reliably! It does everything it says in the specs.
Final thoughts: For £79.99, Anker are offering a solid, robust charging solution with flashlight that will compliment either your EDC or your camping/hiking load-out perfectly. With its reliability and capabilities you can’t go wrong.
I have one in my EDC and it goes with me every time I’m out and need a portable charging product.
Thanks: A huge thank you to Lorna and the folk at Anker for supplying me with this item to review. I did get to keep it and I am glad this is the case! Otherwise I would have bought one soon after writing this review. Thank you so much to our readers, please remember to like, follow, subscribe and share. Every little helps after all!
In my first review under Appetite For Tech since the early 2000’s we have these very interesting and smart, well… smart frames from one of my primary contributors, Soundcore. Let’s see what I make of them…
Disclaimer: Soundcore has not paid or sponsored me for this review. This is an unbiased review and the views and opinions in this publication are my own. I’d like to thank Lorna & Soundcore for kindly sending the Frames out to Appetite For Tech for review & for their patience and generosity.
Open-Ear Sound Experience: Soundcore Frames has 4 speakers and a custom audio processor to deliver clear, immersive sound to the space around your ears. Enjoy your favorite music while maintaining awareness of your surroundings. Tap to Call: Simply tap the audio temple to answer calls. Dual microphones pick up your voice clearly over background noises and Privacy mode automatically activates to stop people around you overhearing your calls. Wide Range of Styles: Soundcore Frames audio smart glasses has a detachable front frame so you can switch between polarized sunglasses and blue-light filtering designs whenever you want. Lightweight and Comfortable Fit: Flexible hinges ensure Soundcore Frames Cafe audio smart glasses fit a wider range of faces. Frame Width: 144mm, Lens Width: 52mm, Bridge Width: 20mm, Temple Length: 140mm. Try on virtually via the Soundcore app. Extended Playtime: A single charge of Soundcore Frames audio smart glasses gives you up to 5.5 hours of listening—enough to keep you entertained while you hike, run errands, do chores, and more. You can choose to buy Soundcore Frames as a complete set with audio temples or as an individual front frame.
Build & finish. If you’ve read my audiophile blog http://www.theaudiophilecafe.com ( shameless plug right there. ) you’ll know that I’m no stranger to Soundcore products. Up until now, I’ve had nothing but good things say about them as a brand and their excellent build and quality control. This review is no different. From the packaging to the accessories and the main product itself, the Soundcore Frames and everything that comes with them are manufactured to the highest standard with a superb finish. The materials used are robust and the aesthetics are fantastic, considering the price point. I really can’t praise them enough in this regard! A few things that I really like about the frames are the easy way in which they disconnect, allowing for quick and easy hot-swappable frames. The audio “temples” are obviously thicker than a regular glasses frame due to the electronics and speakers housed within, however, in pictures further down you will see that they really aren’t that much bigger than my pair of RayBan reading glasses. I also love the case and how it can be folded up when not in use, making it very compact and easy to store in either your pocket, handbag or backpack. The charging cable is easy to use and packs away neatly, not taking up much space at all. My only bother is extra frame storage. If Soundcore took one idea from this review it would be this: Please design a case that has a slim pocket for one pair of frames. This way I have a protective space for my reading frames while I am using the sunglasses. And that is the only complaint I have.
Software & functionality: The Frames use Soundcore’s companion app, which I already have installed for use with other Soundcore products that I either own or have been allowed to keep. I really like that I don’t need have a million different apps for products from the same brand. It keeps things simple and organised! The app itself is available for Android and iOS and is straight forward to use. As you can see in the spec sheet above, the frames have a number of functions that they are capable of. And they do every one of them well! The built in speakers do a great job of reproducing audio, whether it be music or from other multi-media. Though don’t expect thumping bass or an “audiophile” experience. It’s not their forte and quite honestly not what I believe they are designed for. I find I use them when I’m reading in bed and want some soft ambient music in the background without having to wear cumbersome headphones, IEM’s or having my speakers on in the late to early hours. I also use them for viewing movies when I want some decent background audio that doesn’t drown out background noise, so I don’t miss phone calls on the landline or deliveries. Using them for phone calls or alongside your voice assistant of choice is a good experience and they work really well in both situations. From the times I have made calls I have been told that the mics are clean sounding and my voice comes through loud and clear. The touch controls are easy to use and so far I haven’t had any issues with them. All in all they have become a very useful tool in my day to day life. Having the option of sunglasses or reading glasses is brilliant, especially at this time of year.
Comfort: I thought that being heavier due to the internal electronics, the frames would be uncomfortable, this isn’t so. I was able to wear them for 3 and a half hours until I needed to take them off for a few minutes rest.
Final thoughts: A fantastic and affordable introduction into the relatively new world of Smart Glasses. Although they lack any form of on-screen tech or built in cameras, the use of audio, both ways and the hot-swappable nature of the frames makes these glasses stand firmly above any regular glasses. As I mentioned above the app is easy to install and use and is available on Android AND iOS. The bluetooth connection is very stable and I experienced zero drop outs. For £149.99, with extra frames only costing an extra £32.99, you can’t grumble at all. Personally I love these Smart Glasses & I can’t wait to see what the next iteration have in store…
Thanks: Thank you so much for your time and for being patient with Appetite For Tech while we get back on our feet again after so many years of downtime.
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Until next time, All my very best regards, Paul.
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After 14 or so years of being pretty much done, we’re bringing A4T back…
It’s been 14 years since I made an official post of any kind under the Appetite For Tech banner. The website has been long gone for a long time now, which always saddened me. I won’t go into the long story, you can actually read it on my other blog, The Audiophile Cafe by following this link: https://theaudiophilecafe.com/2018/06/15/the-journey-begins/ I can’t help but feel both nostalgic and ashamed at my old setup when I first started my journey with PimpRig/PcApex then soon after, Appetite For Tech! Pic for S***s and giggles!
But me being me, I won’t let something stay dead forever if it had purpose. Appetite For Tech was a project I took on rather reluctently when it was originally named Voided Warranty. It was a run down gaming and pc modding website and forum that my team and I rebuilt from the ground up and had just started getting some big brands lined up for reviews before it all came to a grinding halt.
I’ve always wanted to bring A4T back online but never had the means or opportunity to do so. Until now. Since way back when, when I first started reviewing at PcApex, formerly PimpRig, I’ve been building on my reviewing skills and eventually I created The Audiophile Cafe back in 2018. That blog is now doing well, if a bit slowly. And it has an extended platform across social media, along with a dedicated group on Facebook which is nearing 1K members. Recently some review samples came in which are clearly not audiophile, nor are they pens. ( More on that later! ) And after my son asked me how will I review them and where will I publish said reviews?, only one thing came into my head… Appetite For Tech!
Now, things have changed somewhat in the past 14 years and I’m getting mixed opinions from the old crew and friends and collegues about whether to go all out and rebuild the old site, including the forums. Or use Discord etc? My vision would be to rebuild the website, along with the forums, then use it as a hub, including external links to mine and the admin teams various blogs, projects and businesses, all mostly based in tech one way or another. So I’m curious what others think? Leave a reply in the comments section and let me know what you think.
So for now, I’ve created this blog so that I and the others have a space where we can begin writing reviews and articles about anything tech related. I hope that we’ll soon have some nice content flowing through here for you to read! Watch this space!
I hope you’re all keeping safe and well. All my hopes. MOBEUS. Though I go by Soap these days, but more on that another day!
PS. Yes, We’re working on making the old design higher resolution. So please bare with!