Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nextbook Flexx 10 Quad-Core 10.1" 2-in-1 Tablet Review

Up for review today is the Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 tablet. It seems the size of computers we use is continually shrinking. First came desktops, then laptops. But that wasn't small enough, so next stop in the evolution came tablets. While tablets are handy, they have lost some of the convenience as they don't have a keyboard. Now we have the 2-1 Nextbook Flexx 10.

Features and specs:
• 10.1 inch High-resolution 1280 x 800 IPS Screen
• Intel® Atom Quad-Core / 1.8GHz (Z3735F)
• 2GB DDR3L; 32GB onboard storage
• WIFI 802.11 b/g/n
• Bluetooth 4.0
• Front-facing Camera 2.0 MP
• Back Camera 2.0 MP
• Micro HDMI
• Pogo Keyboard with two standard 2.0 USB Ports
• Micro-SD card slot for expansion to 64GB
• Support 3 -axis G-sensor
• Built-in microphone
• 7000 MAH Internal rechargeable battery
• Charging indicator light
• Windows 10
Office Mobile

The Nextbook Flexx 10 came shipped in a nice looking color printed box, with pictures of the tablet and it's features. Also included was the changing cable, and manuals. Materials used in the construction was mostly a soft plastic. Quality of materials used, as well as fit and finish is very good. Buttons and connections were put together well, were sufficiently responsive, as was the mouse pad. The touchscreen was also nice and responsive.

All in all I was impressed with the quality of the Nextbook Flexx 10. I liked the feel of the soft plastic. The keyboard and tablet ports fit together really well. The roller mechanism of opening and closing them was quite smooth. Detaching the tablet from the keyboard was as simple as pressing a button. Attaching the tablet back onto the keyboard was as simple as setting it back into the slot. And you could hear it lock into place, so you know it is secure.

One thing I did notice was that the keyboard is not Bluetooth. It will not work wirelessly with the tablet. The tablet needs to be connected with the keyboard. There are some metal contact points on the side of the keyboard that connects the two together when you mount the tablet to the keyboard.  So you don't need to worry about the keyboard not working when you want it to unlike some wireless products, since it has a hard connection.

When it came time to testing the Nextbook Flexx 10, I was glad to see things have not changed for Nextbook. They provide a great product at a nice budget price. They aren't as cheap as some lower tier budget products, and they perform very well. So in that aspect, the Nextbook Flexx 10 has lived up to their name.

Using the Nextbook Flexx 10 with the keyboard worked very well. There were no issues with the keyboard not being responsive. From that aspect, it worked just like a laptop. Whether you are typing a word document, or just surfing online, the keyboard worked great.

Using the Flexx 10 was fun.  The color display provided great colors and contrast with good saturation.  The screen was also sufficiently sensitive to use just as a tablet, without the keyboard.  The Intel Atom quad-core processor provided plenty of processing power.  Whether you are playing games, watching video, viewing photos, or using the split-screen more, the Intel Atom quad-core processor provided plenty of power.  The built-in camera didn't provide much resolution, but worked fairly well.  And with the microSD expansion card slot, you have access to much more of your content.
One aspect that was just a tad subpar would be the sound.  There are two speakers that are rear firing on the back of the tablet.  They provided adequate volume for you, as well as a few close by if you are sharing something, like a video.  But given the performance of the Netbook Flexx 10 up to this point, I was expecting a little more.  Not that the sound was bad.  You can't expect too much from the sound in a tablet, but I have heard better sound in other tablets.  The sound was just on the bright side and sounded a little tinny.  There was also a lack of lower midrange and bass.  The highs did sound crisp, clean, with good resolution.  The sound is easily usable and had plenty of volume. I was just expecting a bit better is all.

The performance of the Nextbook Flexx 10 was very good, and in most aspects has exceeded my expectations.  I loved the 2-in-1 functionality.  The attached keyboard definitely made it easier to use, and also doubled as screen protection.  If you are in the market for a tablet, the Nextbook Flexx 10 should be on your short list.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Nextbook Flexx 10 has earned our Highly Recommended Award.  With an MSRP of only $178, you get a 2-in-1 product at a great budget price.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

OtterBox Defender Series Case And Alpha Glass Screen Protector Review

When it comes to smartphone cases, it's all about protection. And when it comes to protection, it doesn't get much better than OtterBox. They provide great protection with multiple difference case options. These options also give you color options, for your own look and style. And for screen protection, they also provide glass screen protectors.

Features and specs:
Defender Case:
U   Ultra-rugged protective case to maximize your daily adventures
·         Built-in screen protector safeguards HTC One M9's touchscreen against scratches
·         Port plugs allow easy access while locking out dust, debris and pocket lint
·         Holster clips to most straps and belts, plus locks in place for hands-free viewing
·         Two-piece internal polycarbonate shell snaps around HTC One M9
·         Synthetic rubber slipcover wraps around the shell to absorb additional shock

·         Built-in clear, membrane screen protector guards your precious HTC One M9 display against scratches and scuffs

Alpha Glass:
·         Fortified HTC One M9 glass screen protector with anti-shatter technology guards against scratches, scrapes and scuffs
·         Choose Vibrant or Privacy Glass
·         Vibrant: crystal clear touchscreen experience
·         Privacy: conceals your display from side views
·         Crystal clear HTC One M9 screen protector keeps your display fully visible — and protected
·         Reactive-touch technology retains your touchscreen’s sensitivity while offering a premium feel
·         Custom-fit glass screen protector fits your HTC One M9 touchscreen perfectly

·         Included tool kit for simple and precision installation

The OtterBox Defender Series case came in a great looking clear plastic package so you can see the product. The materials used in the construction of the Defender Series case was mostly made of plastic, with a synthetic rubber exterior cover. Quality of materials used are excellent. Quality of construction as well as the fit and finish is also excellent. The same can be said of the Alpha Glass Screen Protector, which came in a nice looking color printed box with photos of the glass. Quality of materials and construction was excellent. The Defender Series Case also came with a belt clip case holder, and manuals. The Alpha Glass Screen Protector also came with manuals, instructions and microfiber cloth to help with the install.

Installation was rather simple. For the Alpha Glass Protector, it was just a matter of 1st cleaning the glass screen of your phone. Then you take off the clear plastic film on both sides of the glass protector. And finally you carefully line up and press the protector down onto the screen.

Installation of the Defender case was even easier. The internal hard plastic frame is two pieces. One piece is the bottom, and the 2nd piece is the top. It was as simple a placing the phone on the bottom piece, placing the 2nd piece on top, and then snapping the two pieces together by pressing the two together at the edges. Then the rubber exterior cover wraps around the hard interior.

Having been an OtterBox user for years, I have seen one small downside to the Defender Series in the clear plastic screen protector. It is built into the top half of the internal hard plastic shell. It starts off clear, easy to use, see through, and work with. But after time, dust can get underneath it, and it is no longer as clear. If that happens, the clear plastic protector is easy to take off.

I thought I would experiment and try something different. I installed both the alpha Glass Screen Protector as well as the Defender Series case. So the clear plastic screen protector built into the Defender case was pulled out. I didn't know if it would work, but it did fairly well. And using both gives the best of both - glass screen protector for excellent image, and the Defender case for the best protection. The performance is top notch, as the installed case is a tight fit and provides protection on all sides!

When it comes to smartphone protection, the OtterBox Defender Series Case and the OtterBox Alpha Glass Screen Protector provides top of the line performance and protection. Protection doesn't get much better than that. At an MSRP of $49.95 for the Defender Series Case and $34.95 for the Alpha Glass Screen Protection. They are worth every penny. Based on the design, features, quality and performance, the OtterBox Defender Series case and Alpha Glass Screen Protector has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at  

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Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

Up for review today is the new Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2. I remember back in the day, if you wanted to share your tunes with friends while on the go, you got a boom box. Our boom boxes of today have gotten much more sophisticated. They are much smaller, provide good sound and can play music from multiple sources. These new players can even do so wirelessly. The Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 is one of those players.

Features and specs:
  • System ConfigurationOne-piece
  • DimensionsSpeaker: 51.0 x 188.0 x 109.0 mm (2.0 x 7.4 x 4.3 inches), Power Adaptor Cord Length: Approx 1.7m, USB Cord Length: Approx 0.7m
  • WeightSpeaker: 1kg (2.2lbs), Power Adaptor: 150g (5.3oz), USB Cable: 26g, UK Interchangeable Adaptor Plug*: 19g, CE Interchangeable Adaptor Plug*: 17g
  • Bluetooth® VersionBluetooth 3.0
  • Bluetooth ProfileA2DP (Wireless Stereo Bluetooth), AVRCP (BluetoothRemote Control), HFP (Hands-free Profile)
  • Supported CodecsAAC, aptX, SBC

The Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 came in a nice looking box with photos of the product as well as its features. The Roar 2 was well protected. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some metal, and was of very good quality. Quality of construction as well as the fit and finish was also very good. The Creative Roar 2 was very well made, and had good heft to it, so it felt very solidly put together. The buttons and connects were well put together as well. Also included was the charging cable, micro USB, Cable, and manuals.

I was very impressed with the design of the Roar 2. The Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 uses 5 drivers. These include 2 stereo drivers for the highs, 1 subwoofer for the mids and lows, and 2 passive radiators. The highs, mids and lows are top firing, with the passive radiators on both sides. And the work is divide up between 2 separate amplifiers: one for the highs, and one for the mids and lows. And it all came together very well.

The host of other features is also impressive. The Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 features Bluetooth, NFC, Micro USB, micro SD card slot, 3.5 mm audio input, USB, and microphone. So you can use it as an external speaker using the 3.5 mm audio input. The USB input or micro USB will also allow you to charge your other devices such as your smartphone. You can use the microphone to record memos. You can also save your music collection to a micro SD card, and use the card slot on the Roar 2 to play it. The Creative Roar 2 certainly provides a lot of functionality!

I was very impressed up to this point, and excited to see how it performs!  The wireless performance was nothing short of stellar!  Linking it to my HTC One M9 smartphone was a breeze.  Living in a large home I left the Creative Roar 2 in my bedroom upstairs, and proceeded to walk all throughout my house...upstairs, downstairs, with several walls between me and the Roar 2.  To my surprise there was not a single drop in signal!  Now I set it on my porch and proceeded to walk to the end of my cul-de-sac.  It wasn't until I got close the the end of the cul-e-sac that I started to get drops in signal, which was at 170 feet!  And continued to get signal for up to around 200 feet!  The wireless performance was amazing!

Now it's time for it's audio performance.  Here the Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 continued to perform in spades!  I was able to hear the music in stereo.  I thought I would turn to some old school Michael Jackson: Billy Jean.  Vocals sounded very natural.  Percussion was very crisp and clean with good dynamics. The bass had impact with depth I was not expecting from such a small device!  Next I went to one of my favorites for critical listening, Mannheim Steamroller: Going to Another Place.  Again, it was the great sound that I have been hearing.  Percussion was crisp and clean, drums had good impact.  The flute was smooth with good air.  I continued with other tracks as well, from multiple bands and genre, all with the same result.  The highs and mids were clean and natural with bass that actually had some impact and also had more depth than expected from such a small device.  The Creative Roar 2 also played sufficiently loud to fill a small room, such as a bedroom, or den.

I was impressed all around with the performance of the small Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2.  It does a lot, and sounds great!  If you are in the market for a similar device, the Roar 2 should be on your short list.  With an MSRP of $199, it has also been able to be found online on sale for much less.   And don't forget the available carry case for it that can be had for a measly $39.99.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Creative Roar 2 has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  Kudos to Creative for a great product!  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

HTC One M9 Premium Smartphone Review

Not all smartphones are created equal. For premium smartphones HTC makes some of the best, such as their HTC One M9. So many are on the go, and rely on our smartphones for everything. Whether it is a GPS for direction, checking email, going on line, listening to music, taking pictures or video, watching video, playing games, premium smart phones can do it all. Having owned the HTC M7, I was excited at the opportunity to review the new M9.

Features and specs:
Size: 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm
CPU:  Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810, octa core; 64-bit, 4 x 2.0GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz
Network: 2G/2.5G - GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
3G UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
4G LTE: FDD: Bands 1,3,5,7,8,20,28
TDD: Bands 38, 40, 41Connectivity: NFC; Bluetooth® 4.1; Wi-Fi®: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz); DLNA®; HDMI MHL 3.0; CIR; 3.5 mm stereo audio jack; micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port
Multimedia: Audio supported formats: Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma, .flac, ac3, ec3, eac3;Recording: .aac
Video supported formats: Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv, .avi, .mkv; Recording: .mp4Weight: 157g
Android Format: Android™ 5.1 with HTC Sense™
Memory: ROM: 32GB / RAM: 3GB; Extended memory: microSD™ up to 2TB
Sound: HTC BoomSound™ with Dolby Audio™
Battery: Capacity: 2840 mAh; Talk time: Up to 25.4 hours for 2G/ 21.7 hours for 3G; Standby time: Up to 391 hours for 2G/ 402 hours for 3G
Display: 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p; Corning® Gorilla® Glass
Sim Card Type: nano SIM
GPS: Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS
Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor, Sensor Hub
Cameras: Main camera: 20MP with sapphire cover lens, auto-focus, BSI sensor, f/2.2, 27.8mm lens, 4K video recording
Front camera: HTC UltraPixel™, BSI sensor, f/2.0, 26.8mm lens, 1080p video recording

The HTC One M9 came shipped in an attractive liking white box. Opening the box revealed a well-protected phone. Included were the USB charging cord and detachable wall power adapter. So you can charge it thru a wall outlet or USB connection on your computer. Also included were some basic earbuds, and the manuals. As this is the unlocked version, a SIM card was not included, as the various networks have specific SIM cards for their network.
The HTC One M9 was mostly made of metal with the glass screen. Quality of materials used is excellent, as is the quality of construction. Fit and finish is excellent.  The HTC One M9 also feels solidly made in hand. It is obvious this is HTC’s flagship product, and it shows.
The design is also one of elegance. The slight curve in the back helps it feel really comfortable in hand. The two-tone aluminum body is stunning.  Most of it is similar to my old M7, only slightly more refined on the new M9. The charger connection remained on the bottom as well as the volume buttons on the right side. What has taken some getting used to is the power button now being on the right side as well, instead of on the top. But the side does seem to be a more natural place for it. The headphone jack was also moved to the bottom from the top. The side panel on the top still houses the IR emitter, for those who want to also use their HTC one as a universal remote control.
Last but not least of the design is the speakers. They are still mounted on the front. They are stereo speakers front firing with one on the top and one on the bottom. I absolutely LOVE this design! And I have no idea why it wasn’t done before the HTC one. It makes the most sense to me to have them front firing, and a stereo pair. The audiophile in me also loves the fact that they are also amplified, as well as the headphone amp for the headphone jack.
The display on the HTC One M9 is stunning. It is still 1080p while other manufacturers are starting to go to 2k on their premium models, but it still looks great. Colors are vibrant with good contrast and black levels. Just don’t expect this great picture in direct sunlight outdoors, as with any display. Brightness can be turned up to help compensate. And to me the color saturation was right on.
The BoomSound amplified front firing speakers provided great sound. It’s still a smartphone, so it obviously isn’t room filling. And don’t expect actual bass out of it. But they have been tuned well for what they are to be used for. Vocals sounded surprisingly natural for a phone. Highs and mids had some resolution, with tones going down into the lower midrange realm. They provided some dynamics, and some good harmonics. Volume output was also some of the best among smartphones. Being an audiophile, I remember why I got the original HTC One M7. Holding the phone up and sideways in landscape mode, I went to YouTube for some music videos, and other music content such as one of my favorite groups for critical listening: Mannheim Steamroller. The stereo speaker really did well, with good channel separation. Not only could I hear the distinct effect of the difference channels, I actually heard imaging I was not expecting to hear! After all, smartphone and audio imaging are usually not found in the same sentence, unless you are talking about the HTC One! If listening to the internal speakers is important to you, the HTC One should be toward the top of your list.
Now it’s time for the camera. When comparing it to the original M7, the UltraPixel camera on the M7 did not deliver as expected. They have gone away from it on the main camera on the M9.  Instead you get a full 20 MP sensor, which performs much better to me, and also competes better than it was on the M7. But when looking at just the camera performance, I would say that is probably the weak link in the HTC One M9. Don’t get me wrong, it performs good, very good for that matter. In well lit scenery, the pictures are sharp, well focused, with great looking colors. As the light goes down, so does some of the performance. It’s much better than it was, just not quite as good as some others out there. But at least it’s camera performance is closer now to the performance of the other top performers than it has been in the past.
Internally the HTC One M9 is a beast, with its eight core processor, and Adreno 430 GPU, using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset. I also love the microSD memory card slot. The HTC One M9 is a serious powerhouse, with the horsepower to do it all! So the memory slot gives you the ability to keep your photo, music, and video collection with you, even games. For those looking for proof of it’s performance, that it really does have the serious processing power. I’ll turn to the AnTuTu Benchmark V5.7.1=52830. That’s some serious scores!
When it comes to smartphones, HTC has once again proven that the HTC One is a contender and is worthy of its name. The HTC One provides excellent performance in all categories. If it’s about time for a new smartphone, the HTC One M9 deserves to be on your short list. Not only has HTC nailed the headwear performance, its design is also top notch. The all aluminum body with its curves is also quite sexy! MSRP for the unlocked version non-contract is $649.  Based on its design, features, quality, and performance, the HTC One M9 has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Magellan Cyclo 505HC GPS Bicycle Computer Review

If you like to be outdoors, cycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Just as we are continually getting more and more advancements in technology, this has also trickled down in our outdoor activities. With cycling, it is in the form of cycle computers. Magellan has entered the ring with their Cyclo 505HC. Magellan is known for their GPS receivers, which is exactly what is built in to the Magellan Cyclo 505HC.

Features and specs:
3" color transflective screen
Vibrant touchscreen providing direct sunlight readability.
Simple easy to use interface
Simple menu with large control buttons that are easy to use even with gloved hands.
Rugged design
Cyclo 505 and 505hc can take any sort of terrain you can. Built to IPX-7 standards the Cyclo 505 models can be submersed in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
Detailed Road & OpenStreetMap
Preloaded maps showing cycle lanes, cycle tracks and bike shop POIs. Discover new cycle routes and bike trails or record and share your own.
Programmable Cycling Profiles
Save up to 6 profiles based on the type of rider (touring, mountain bike and road) you are. Customize the type of surface you wish to use and for mountain bikers the % of dirt a trail you want.
Surprise Me™ Routing
Specify a distance or time and Magellan's Cyclo 505 and 505hc will present you with up to three routes to choose. The difficulty and grade of each route is presented so that you can choose the ride that is right for you or your group.
Bluetooth® Connectivity
Cyclo 505 devices are the only bike computers on the market to control the music on your smartphone and notify you of missed or incoming calls or text. Calls can be answered with a Bluetooth headset (not included) or set to automatically respond that you are riding. Cyclo 505 models are currently compatible with iPhone and select Android devices – with some features only compatible with Android.
Ant+ and Bluetooth Accessory Support
Supports over 180 ANT+ Speed/Cadence, HRM and Power sensors. Set up multiple cycling profiles and save sensors associated with each one .As more Bluetooth Smart sensors come into the market Cyclo 505 and 505hc are ready to support. Cyclo 505hc comes with ANT+ heart rate and speed/cadence sensors.
Shimano Di2 Electronic Road Bicycle Shifting Systems Compatible
Record and read shifting information from compatible Di2 electronic shifting systems that have the Di2 Wireless Unit (SM-EWW01). Information displayed in either gear position, gear number or visually by a chart or graph. Battery status and alerts or warnings are also visible.
Upload your ride data anywhere, anytime with or without your computer. Once you setup your Magellan Cyclo 505 for Wi-Fi transfers you can wirelessly sync your ride to the website. If you use Strava you can set your Magellan cyclo website to automatically save your data to your Strava account. More app support is coming so stay tuned.
Shake & Share
Easily share your planned route wirelessly with other Magellan Cyclo 315 and 505 devices by selecting the feature and shaking the 315 series back and forth at another Cyclo 315 or 505 unit. Make sure everyone arrives at the destination even if you are separated or ride at different paces.
Indoor training
Create an indoor cycling profile that disables GPS functionality, but measures speed, cadence, heart rate and power. Pair with an ANT+ capable trainer and control grade, resistance or simulate the wind you want to endure.
Multiple mounts included
Both an Out-front mount and a universal cable tie mount are provided in each Magellan Cyclo 505 and 505hc package. Use the mount that is best for you and your bike.
Back track
Magellan’s Cyclo 505 models tracks your position from start to finish. Get lost in the journey and not the route. By using the back tracking feature you can always find your way back to where you started or deviated from a route.
High-sensitivity SiRFstarIII GPS
3-5 meter GPS accuracy provides a superior and accurate navigation experience for wherever your ride may take you.
Rechargeable Lithium Battery
Up to 12 Hours of battery life with a rechargeable Lithium Ion cell battery. Go strong for an entire day.
  • Dimensions (English):  2.4" x 4.06" x .74"
  • Weight (English)4.55 Oz.
  • Weight (Metric)129g
  • Battery TypeRechargeable L-Ion
  • Battery LifeUp to 12 Hours
  • WaterproofIPX-7
  • SpeakerYes
  • CPU533MHz
  • Temperature Range (F)14F to 140F
  • Temperature Range (C)-10C to 60C
  • Internal Memory<500mb span="">
  • Display Resolution, WxHWQVGA, 240 x 400
  • Screen Size3.0"
  • Display TypeColor, Transflective
  • Touch ScreenYes
  • GPS AccuracyUp to 3-5 meters
  • High-Sensitivity GPSSiRFstarIII™
  • TemperatureYes
  • Antenna TypeMultidirectional Patch
  • 3-Axis Electronic CompassYes
  • Percentage GradeYes
  • G-sensor or AccelerometerYes
  • Preloaded MapsOSM/Tele Atlas US or CA
  • Points of InterestYes
  • Turn-by-Turn RoutingYes
  • Vertical ProfileYes
  • Map UpdatesFuture S/W Release
  • Breadcrumb NavigationYes
  • Back to Start/LocationYes
  • Active Route PauseYes
  • Customizable ScreensYes
  • Backtrack NavigationYes
  • Data & Route RecordingYes
  • Surprise Me™Yes
  • Accepts GPX FilesYes
  • User Data Online SharingYes
  • Stores WaypointsYes
  • Stores TracksYes
  • Stores RoutesYes
  • Communication ProtocolUSB Mass Storage
  • USB PortYes
  • PC CompatibleYes
  • MAC CompatibleYes
  • BluetoothYes
  • Wi-FiYes
  • ANT+Yes
  • Trainer Control Support (ANT+)Yes
  • Phone Message AlertYes
  • Heart Rate Monitor (ANT+)Included in 505hc, compatible with 505
  • Bike Speed/Cadence Compatible (ANT+)Yes
  • Power Meter Compatible (ANT+)Yes
  • Music ControlsYes

The Magellan Cyclo 505HC came in standard great looking colored printed box with photos of the product as well as its features and specs. Opening the box revealed the Magellan Cycle computer, along with the handlebar mount, wireless wheel sensor, as well as cadence and heart rate sensor. Also included is the manual. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic, but quality of materials used was very good. Build quality and fit and finish was excellent, which is a good thing with it being water resistant.

Having GPS on the bike sounded really cool, so I couldn't wait to get it on. Installation proved to be very simple. It was just a matter of mounting the bracket on the handlebar, and the speed and cadence sensor on the frame. The heart rate sensor was easy to wrap around my chest. Taking my time I had them on in about 15 minutes, and I was ready to ride!  One small potential problem is what was provided to mount ties.  While they work, they also do not allow for moving it from bike to bike....unless you want to go thru a lot of zip ties.

The Magellan Cyclo 505HC is truly a premium device. and it is loaded with features! All of the standard cycle computer features can be found, like speed and distance. In addition it also has premium features such as Bluetooth. Add to that the cadence and heart rate monitors, and you can easily monitor your workout. So for training, the Magellan has you covered. The Magellan Cyclo 505HC has the features you would find in a premium cycle computer. But add the built-in GPS, and it has just taken things to a whole new level. And I love the color display!

Using it was a cinch.  The user interface was really easy to figure out.  Having the large buttons on the touch screen made using it easy.  The touch screen was sufficiently sensitive.  And it was bright enough to see well during the day.  To save on battery life it also has sleep mode to turn off the display when not needed, and had different settings to choose from, such as 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, to always on.  Pairing it to my smartphone was easy.  Being able to see incoming texts and phone calls was very handy, especially on long rides.  Being able to control your music without having to pull out your phone was also really cool!

Up to this point I would have to say I was very please with the performance.  Magellan is one of those companies that continues to have me unsurprisingly impressed.  They continue to deliver products that time and time again impress and perform as promised.  Hence, being unsurprisingly impressed.  If you are in the market for one of their products, they are a safe bet.  Even though they are not a bicycle computer company at heir core, the standard bike computer features worked very well.

When it came to testing the GPS part of it's functionality, I was tickled pink!  It was as easy as entering in the address of where I want to go.  And then it gave me the option of using it for bike or car.  So you could also use it in your car as well.  I had the map on display, as well as a directional arrow of the direction, and distance to the next turn.  There was also an audible beep when I came to my turn.  There was also the menu, where you could select POI's along your way for pit stops, like a bike store.  When it was time to go back home from your destination, that was as simple as a button.  There was also a Home button, where you could program in your home address.  So if you had multiple stops, and Home was not where you immediately came from.....getting home would just be a button away.

The GPS functionality of the Cyclo 505HC was not perfect however.  It did turn out to not have quite the sophistication of a car GPS receiver.  GPS receivers do not always give you the fastest routes.  Being familiar with my area, I punched in a buddies address.  When I took a different street than I was routed for, I was expecting to get the standard "recalculating" and have the directions change to the route I was taking.  Instead, I got nothing.  It gave me instructions to turn around for the route I was originally given.  So while it seemed to lack the sophistication for recalculating and give you different route options when you deviate from the original route, it still worked.  Staying on the original route given always got me to the correct destination.  So in the end, I ended up getting to where I was needing to go.

The Magellan Cyclo 505HC is what a modern bike computer should be.  It gives you all your data such as speed and distances, will do cadence and monitor heart rate for training, and even has Bluetooth for pairing with your smartphone for text and phone notifications.  It will even control your tunes while you're riding.  But what had me the most impressed was the GPS functionality.  I just loved having the GPS.  It is one of those features that you may not have realized you really needed.  And once having it you wonder how you ever got along without it!  This would be especially true for anyone that uses their bike for commuting.  And if you ever hit the trails, that's what the USB cable is for.  Just download the trails from your computer, and pull them up on the Cyclo 505HC with the trails button.

This is a good example of a product that delivered a lot of synergy.  The sum appeared to be more than the parts.  The Magellan Cyclo 505HC ended up being a product that appears to have just about everything a cyclist would need.  It is a well made product that performed in spades.  With an MSRP of $499, it isn't cheap, but you do get what you pay for.  And it's worth it.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Magellan Cyclo 505HC has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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