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SeEnCreaTive

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About SeEnCreaTive

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  1. SeEnCreaTive

    AmazFit Bip: Smartwatch for everyone, nearly a year later.

    Yep! My bad! just snapped a few on my phone as soonn as I got home today
  2. AmazeFit Bip Review Methodology: Many would think a review should be objective. Which is true, a good review must take personal opinions out of the equation. But by nature, in the process of being objective, information can come across not as intended, or must be subjective in one way or another. For example, in reviews of this same product from others you may read: “Doesn’t have an OLED Screen”. Some reviewers may put this as a negative (subjective opinion), some may just make a statement. Either way it can, but not always, be perceived as a negative by many. Objectively compared to other wearables, correct, it doesn’t have an OLED. But this may not be a bad thing. So to avoid such a situation. This review will be far more in depth (try to be, first review, cut some slack heh). As I believe it should be; to better explain intention, and to describe as many of the true nitty-gritty details that can’t be experienced unless you actually use the device. As a reader, I’d imagine you can’t take such a device out for a test drive before you buy, hence why you are reading this, so as some reviews call the small things trivial (or are excluded as subjective details, but how do you know this detail exists?), as a device (or anything else) that will literally be attached to you all day everyday, every detail counts. About Me: My real name is Jonathan. Yes my screen name is SeenCreative. (Read S-E-E-N. Not Sean like the name. Instead like you have “seen” something; hindsight, poor mistake on my part). I have managed a cell phone store and now currently sell both cell phones and electronics for just over 5 years now. I have been a tech enthusiast just about all my life, with my Dad being a computer scientist. Based in BC (no, not near the coast or LTT sadly). Being in sales, I get the pleasure of using just about every piece of tech available in Canada, and more importantly, am on the front lines of support, product feedback, and customers directly, for everything we sell. I get to experience directly what products sell or don’t sell, and why. I see the impact of reviews and marketing, and how so many reviews with incorrect information, or just incorrect information about the product can affect consumers opinions and experience with the product, and how strong a factor marketing can be. For example, when people see any smart watch they ask “Oh is that an Apple Watch?”. So here I am, taking a whack of doing a full fledged review for the first time, as I believe with my good few years of direct experience from both customers and products, I will be able to deliver a valuable review. Perhaps I will make a video version as my first video project. Introduction: Following review is for the experience on Android (P20). I’ve been personally looking for a watch to replace my Pebble Time. Fitbit has ended support of Pebbles. It’s quite incredible how attached you can get to such as simple product, and until you start searching you realize how few eligible replacements are out there. But, I stumbled across the Bip. A very fitness focused tracker, but is a reflective type LCD touch screen and can do notifications. I don’t want a fitness tracker, but I ordered it that night. A quick search reveals the cutesy name, the retro look, the reflective based screen, and the promise of a VERY impressive battery life. Could this be the Pebble replacement? I’m sure around the internet you will see headlines that read something along the baity lines of “Is this a $100 Apple Watch?!?!?!?!?!!!!111!!!One?!” (obviously it’s not aimed at competing with it, but that doesn't stop reviewers). But today we will be taking a dive into the comparison to a Pebble, which some may say is a niche watch, but I personally disagree. Can it replace my Pebble? Features: Heart-Rate Monitor Motion Tracking, Sleep included GPS Compass Barometer 200 mah battery according to manual, website says 190mah(?) Reflective based always on display 20mm Standard watch band 31 Gram weight Touch based navigation Momentary Back-Light IP68 Vibration Exterior: The screen is covered by “2.5D” Gorilla Glass, although I’m unsure what generation of Gorilla Glass exactly. The glass slightly curves down matching up to the two piece textured plastic body. The plastic feels pleasing to the touch, but does feel a bit cheap. A year later it has held up rather well. There is a very small crease where the top plastic meets the plastic of the main body. It does have a extremely slight inconsistency as you look around the watch, but it doesn't have a gap of any sort, nor is an issue. On the side we see just a single simple button, no fancy rotating crown here. The button seems to be metal, and has a nice solid click. In fact, this is the only button on the whole device, as the rest of the navigation is done by touch on the 1.28” LCD screen . The glass feels nice and slippery under the finger and matches up very nicely to the top plastic. It seems Amazfit took some attention to this. I’m unsure what specific Gorilla Glass iteration this is (2.5d referring to the curve), but it doesn’t have any scratches on it even now. (Skiing, taking in 30-100 30lb order boxes at work ect) Around the back we find the smooth plastic bottom, with the charging connection points flush against the back, and the optical heart-rate monitor protruding with a small bump. The watch is held on by an included silicone band. The band is cheap feeling, with the colour matched loop to hold the excess strap being particularly thin and brittle feeling to the point where I feel that I may break it in the future threading the extra bit of strap through (yes it did quickly break). Luckily it is a standard 20mm strap that normal watches use. No proprietary strap connector here, which allows you to swap it to anything thing and everything you can imagine Display: The display is a 1.28” transflective screen, which means that it can be backlit, but more importantly also reflects light back to you. (Very different from an e-reader, but the same as a Pebble, and a GameBoy)(Aside: You should search up e-ink type screens found on e-readers, they are pretty neat) The colours are muted, and seems to be limited to a smaller number of colours available to display. The screen is always on, and due to the nature of the type of LCD, excels in direct sunlight, but once light starts dropping it does get harder to see. I have to bring up the panel depth, as the panel doesn’t seem to be sunken as far in as a Pebble which does help in lower light, as it allows light to hit the display from more angles. Viewing off axis does result in a colour shift and a rather rapid darkening to the viewer however. You can’t get away with sneaky looks quite as easily as it does force you to angle the watch to a more direct angle sometimes Once it does get dark, the LCD still does have a backlight allowing you to see the screen when that movie you’re girlfriend dragged you to, seems to be longer then she said it was. The backlight has adjustable brightness, and starts off at 3 out of 5 notches as a default setting. I find the 2nd notch is adequate, although others may want to keep it at 3. The light does have a blue hue similar to a Pebble or Gameboy’s backlight, and also heavily washes out the colours even farther. Think of the electroluminescent backlighting of digital watches, as it acts very similar. It can be activated through lifting (more on this later) or by pushing the crown (bare in mind pushing the crown unlocks the screen). The Bip doesn’t seem to have a light sensor, so it will always turn on with lifting regardless if you are in direct sunlight or a dark dungeon, but time of day can be set to enable or disable lift to backlight, however I’d like to see a basic light sensor to prevent the screen from turning on in bright locations. Even if you have the times set, a user might end up in a dark environment regardless. (Pebble Time does have a light sensor allowing it to keep the light off if it sees its bright out) Amazfit doesn’t specify resolution for the Bip’s screen anywhere, although it does seem a good; bit higher than a Pebble Time. It is more than adequate for reading basic info. Notifications do start to show the pixels, but is still very readable. There are some different watch faces built in, only one of which is 12 hour. Amazfit has comment say they will add more 12 hour compatibility, but even with rumors of the Bip 2 around the corner, they still haven’t added it. Comfort: The strap is rubber, and when I first unboxed it felt EXTREMELY cheap, and a year later, as proved to be so. The strap itself is nicely worn in and comfortable, but the loop to hold the excess strap broke in a month. The watch is very light. Some may be disappointed by how light it is, but I appreciate it. Most of the time I forget I’m wearing the watch, and being so light the vibration motor does a good job communicating with your wrist. Overall it’s a very comfortable watch, no sharp edges or excessive bulk. Watch UI: The UI is very simple to navigate, push the button to unlock the screen, swipe to the right and you will see weather, swipe down for DND, swipe up for past notifications, and swipe left to start digging into the watch features. Push the button to go back. You can customize these in the apps, what shows and in what order as well. The touch wasn’t the most responsive when I first got the watch, but in this latest update I just got early February, it’s actually impressively fast. It’s not the best looking UI, but it gets the job done well, and in an easy to read manner. There’s next to no learning curve at all. A few missing things there is no music control built into the watch or app, which is a big downer for me. Nor is there onboard storage for music (obviously if there’s no music control). And there also isn’t any quick reply options for texts or emails. Another big downer. Mifit App: The app is pretty mixed bag. It’s fairly clunky as a whole, and I will try to describe what I mean, but it’s really best to show it in person. When you first open the app, it needs to sync. When the watch was new before the many updates its had, you couldn’t do anything until it was done, but this was a long process. It would first “Syncing data”, then it would say “Updating GPS”, and then it would say “Updating A-GPS”. It would take 2-3 minutes plus, and this is with me not using any GPS features at all. I even have location off on my phone. It has been only recently that now, 90% of the time, it will just Sync data, takes about 20 seconds and done. The other 10% it updates GPS and A-GPS. Very odd. There are some translation whoopsies, Ie: what I was alluding to earlier, the auto-backlight. In the app its labeled as “Raise wrist to view info”. Things are in slightly odd places, for instance updating your watch isn’t in watch settings, it’s in general settings of the app. Otherwise the app gets the job done, notifications and other settings are easy to manage once you get around the clunkiness. Thankfully you don’t need to spend much time in the app. Note: When using Huawei devices, it’s a serious process to get the app working properly. Due to the very aggressive background culling that Huaweis do, the app is difficult to keep running. At first there was no instructions, but since the app has been updated with Huawei specific instructions. There are many settings you have to change, and then you have to manually lock the app into running on top of it. Even with it locked open, every 3 days, or everytime I restart my phone I have to open MiFit manually again. When the app closes strange things happen. I still get 99% of notifications, but I don’t get text notifications... To be clear this isn’t the apps fault to my knowledge Battery: Battery life has been stellar, on average I get a whopping 26 to 33 days on a single charge. This is without heart-rate or GPS on. However this is with full movement and sleeping tracking on, as there’s no way that I’ve found to turn it off. That’s with about 30-150 notifications a day (usually around 65), with a consistent daily alarm as well. As you can imagine turning on heart rate sensing and GPS battery life can shorten substantially. Other Features: Heart-rate Sensor: This watch does have a heart rate sensor, it seems accurate enough, but it does take a rather long time to get a reading off of my wrist. Sometimes as long as 2 minutes before it will show. At first I thought it was broken, as even though I have it off, you can still measure it on demand, but when I tried it was taking such a large amount of time I’d get frustrated and exit out. Until I found out how long it really takes of course. You can set it for incremental sensing if you with. For example once every minute or every 5 minutes ect. However when I tried it once a minute, it didn’t really turn off at all, because how long it takes to get a good reading. GPS: GPS I tried out once, it will show you distance and a line of where you went, I’d imagine handy for joggers, but besides trying it once, I leave it off. Waterproofing: Rated to only IP68 I haven’t had any issues, I wore my Pebble 24/7 unless it was charging, shower, lake swimming everything. I don’t with the Bip, just out of fear of that IP68 rating. However I have heard rumors of alleged people that worked on the watch, they only “rated” it to IP68, but in fact the watch is capable of much more. From other people that have the watch, I hear they haven’t had any issues at all with water. That being said, I follow the box, and generally avoid wearing it in under water situations. However I have forgotten it a good few times, and it’s fine Charger: I made a separate note about this. The charger is a dock style...thing. It takes a bit of force to get it in, and the watch isn’t heavy enough to make it sit flat. And most importantly, yes it is USB, however its hardwired into the dock-thing, and the wire is VERY cheap. Probably the cheapest feeling part of the whole package. If it breaks you better have some DIY skills, or try and source a new one. I have mine in a dedicated place to which is only for charging the watch. Thankfully charging is such an infrequent exercise, the charger shouldn’t get much use. It is extremely sub-par. I would have like to see a simple micro-USB input on the dock-base-charging-thing. Bip vs Pebble Time: The watch is really really close to what the Pebble Time 2 was going to be. Touch screen, heart rate sensor, but the Bip takes it father, adding GPS and other sensors. Plus, you can tell it takes cues directly from a Pebble. Watch faces are the clearest evidence of this. I use to use a little cabin watch face on my Time, and there is a fairly similar one built into the Bip. I used to think the week long battery life was crazy, but the Bip blows nearly every other smart watch out of the water (Depending what usage YOU have of course). Even with the heart rate sensor on, you should still be getting 2 weeks out of it. There is one downside however. The community. Pebble’s are VERY customizable. Having dedicated SDKs for watch faces and watch apps. Allowing users to make and upload apps and faces to make them available right from the Pebble App directly. (My favorite app was an AeroPress timer that had recipes and steps built in). You can download 3rd part apps to change your watch face or add functionality to the Bip, but this isn’t a watch app. It requires a phone app to run the watch faces or whatever functionality you want. This really isn’t ideal, nevermind if you have a Huawei like I do. Conclusion: Do I recommend it? And to whom? Yes, and everyone. It’s a simple watch, filling the void that was left by my Pebble. Has (Nearly) all the functionality anyone (probably) could ever want. It is clunky to set up. But once it is set up, it is dead reliable. Why do I recommend it to everyone? It’s cheap, and very functional. As I said in my early introduction, I’ve been selling electronics for a good few years. Consumers do get excited by something like an Apple watch, and are willing to drop $450 on one. But the reality is, they hardly use it for anything but notifications or fitness tracking (or the fancy ECG in the Series 4). After customers asking what watch I have and explaining what it does, it turns them off of most other smartwatches, unless they want the showpiece of an Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch (as much as I dislike Apple, the Watch is very impressive), they start to see what I mean about functionality. A screen that is always on, the brighter the environment, the easier the watch is to see, which is opposite of most others. Battery that can last an entire month, instead of 2 days. It costs ¼ of a Samsung or Apple. Standard watch bands. It may be a bit subjective, but if you are looking at smartwatches I challenge you to think about how you will use it, I understand you may not know until you use one, but I’d imagine some may not to talk on speakerphone, or scroll through photos on their watch instead of their phone which is a foot away. In short, there isn’t any watch (anymore) that competes against it. It’s truly a watch for the masses. It’s in a absolute league of its own in terms of battery life, and the transflective screen is the best realistic option in a smartwatch (IMO). The feature set is missing a few basics sadly, but there are some (not great) workarounds. But after being in selling business for long enough, I find that this would be the watch most people would decide on in the end if given the option. Sadly marketing says otherwise. Pros: Cheap Battery Life Always on reflective screen Very simple to use GPS, heart-rate, touch, simplicity Cons: Screen isn’t as pretty as others, for the sake of functionality No text quick replies No music functionality at all, no storage, or even just control. Cheap accessories (the charger really worries me) Clunky App Non 1st party app or watch face support (for extra ones that is)
  3. Turns out on this board (X370 Tiachi), even with manual multiplier settings and setting voltages, it insists in changing those voltages through an auto function. Kept running it at 1.408. So I flipped it over to manual offset, and magic. Just shortly after I posted this.... 4.0 ghz at 1.38v. That cleared prime95 for 20 minutes, and AIDA64 for 20 minutes. Pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I have 0 clue why that happens. I don't think it board switches the voltages on the fly That worked for about 4 days, no issues. 5th day, just didn't post. Posted once, restarted just to see what would happen, and that was that wouldn't post again. So pressed the CMOS reset, pull up my last profile and reapply it, but bumped the voltages up a single notch, now 1.392. LLC I have set also bumped up to Level 3. (AsRock boards are backwards, Level 1 or off is the most aggressive). Voltages still droop a tiny bit, but haven't had any issues under any sort of load. The concerning part is again today, didn't post. Throwing a code 68 like always. Hit the power button again, started up just fine. Not sure. Its just so inconsistent. PSU is a very nice EVGA 650w P2. Once its on and running I can throw what ever I'd like at it and be fine. Its always just on posting. Edit: I shut it down to play with my loadline calibration. I lowered it to level 4. I can't get it to post at 4.0ghz at all now. EDIT 2: Put it back up to 3, I also bumped Vcore to 1.375 from 1.35, offset up to 0.03125, for 1.406v total. Seems alright so far, Cinebench: 1340, Passmark: 14668 EDIT 3: 4.0ghz is now gone. 3.9ghz is the new norm I guess.
  4. Built an 1600x system with an Asrock x370 Taichi Originally booted up fine, worked for the day, started the overclocking process. Easy 3.9ghz at 1.375. But as soon as memory was touched, it wouldn't post. It got worse and worse and worse, then just wouldn't post all together. Quick call with newegg, bad board, RMA'd in a jiffy. New board, now RGB actually works (didn't on the old board apperently), I can overclock the ram no problem now. But now I can't seem to get over 3.7ghz at 1.375, I bumped the voltage up a single notch to 1.38 and I have it happily at 3.8ghz with XMP ram. Can't seem to get 3.9 now, and 4.0 is just out of the question without dumping in voltages. Originally on the new board 3.9 was alright, started crashing, bumped it down to 3.8. Passed all tests, ran at that for a week, and started crashing. That's when I bumped the voltage up a slight bit. Its a Noctua u14 so temps are more then alright. 56 degrees under Prime95, Ambient of 19C. What would be the likely hood of a bad board degrading processor as such? Give the evidence that seems to be the case...
  5. SeEnCreaTive

    BenQ RL2240HE

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  6. SeEnCreaTive

    BenQ RL2240HE

    Ive been looking to upgrading my 52.3lb (yes it really is that heavy) Multisync FP955 CRT monitor, power usage a wapping 120w to a nice modern gaming display. Although I am running it at above HD and there is literally no response time thanks to being a CRT http://puu.sh/8TuxA.png BlurBusters test on my CRT for no reason Ive found the RL2240HE. That yellow is just too good. http://www.ncix.com/detail/benq-rl2240he-22in-led-1920x1080-86-96781-1224.htm Unfortunately no reviews can be found. BUT Ive found reviews on the older RL2250H, not the HE, and they haven't been favorable. The thing is, the specs are different on the H and the HE. Leading me to believe the HE is completely new. Any thoughts?
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