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Published on March 20th, 2012 | by Greg

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Shoot, Save, Charge, Talk, Watch, Listen: VEHO Offers Something For Everyone

When we’re prepar­ing our cov­er­age, we work sev­er­al weeks in ad­vance (at least). And we will of­ten try to as­sem­ble a group of fea­tures- on au­dio gear for ex­am­ple, or kitchen ap­pli­ances- and oc­ca­sion­al­ly fo­cus on a giv­en prod­uct across mul­ti­ple com­pa­nies. But to­day’s set cross­es mul­ti­ple prod­uct cat­e­gories, and comes cour­tesy of a sin­gle com­pa­ny. Fur­ther, ev­ery sin­gle item here is im­pres­sive- not per­fect, but ex­treme­ly good val­ue, solid­ly built, well-de­signed, and over­all lead­ing us to strong­ly hope to see much more from this firm. You might not have heard of them- they aren’t as wide­ly dis­tribut­ed as some com­peti­tors- but with any luck you’ll be find­ing them all over the place soon.

VE­HO sent us a won­der­ful box of gear last year, at about the same time, and it in­clud­ed their cute Atom cam­era and the ca­pa­cious Peb­ble Portable Bat­tery Pack, which we still use on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. They’ve up­grad­ed the bat­tery in­to the Peb­ble Pro XT, and tak­en it from a pret­ty large 5000 mAh to an enor­mous 13200 mAh! We rarely see any­thing larg­er than 10000 ex­cept for lap­tops, mak­ing this the largest back­up bat­tery we have tried that isn’t aimed sole­ly at lap­top users. You’ll be able to get many hours of pow­er out of this for your tablet, a cou­ple for your lap­top, but up to 10 com­plete recharges for your iPhone! Plus it comes with ev­ery tip you’ll prob­a­bly need- ten dif­fer­ent ones for note­books and lap­tops, and an ex­tra four for smart­phones (in­clud­ing the iPhone and Black­ber­ry). Du­al ports al­low you to charge your phone and lap­top at the same time (though not eas­i­ly two mo­bile de­vices). Al­so, it does not in­clude adapters for any Mac­book. With a weight of un­der a pound, it’s an amaz­ing unit that now is re­quired equip­ment for our longer trips or times when pow­er might be an is­sue. Sleek, easy to use, and with a nice car­ry­ing case in­clud­ed, this is a no-brain­er: the best high-ca­pac­i­ty portable bat­tery on the mar­ket right now, and avail­able for un­der $100.

Those with less­er pow­er needs or look­ing for some­thing ul­tra-portable should take a care­ful look at the Peb­ble Smart­stick line. Avail­able in pur­ple, pink, sil­ver, and black, they of­fer 220 mAh of emer­gen­cy pow­er for all of your fair­ly low-pow­er gad­gets. Smart­phones will get one full charge, more or less, but tablets draw a bit too much for this one to han­dle. Again, there’s no need to buy ex­tra tips- in­clud­ed are ones for iPhone, Sony Er­ic­s­son, Nokia, and mi­ni/mi­cro-USB. List price was $45, which seemed a bit too high, but on­line we did find them for $20- a great price, since these have nice, sol­id cas­ings.

On­to au­dio! We’ve been test­ing out the SAEM Blue­tooth car kit, and there are a bit more com­pro­mis­es on this one. We’ve seen plen­ty of hands free speak­er­phones, and this mod­el is pret­ty good for it’s class but can’t com­pete with more ad­vanced mod­els. To be fair, at $60 or so, it is still ex­cel­lent for the pric­etag. Au­dio was good, though not great- noise can­cel­la­tion was a bit lack­ing, voic­es sound­ed a bit flat and dis­tort­ed, and we weren’t im­pressed with mu­sic per­for­mance. But mount­ing was easy on the sun vi­sor- some clips don’t work well, but this one did. Mul­ti-point pair­ing worked sim­ply as well, up to eight can be saved; de­vices con­nect­ed quick­ly and would re­con­nect when in range, even two at a time. Con­trols are sim­ple, though no voice con­trols are built-in. But the re­al fea­ture of note here is bat­tery life- as you may sus­pect, VE­HO does sol­id work with pow­er man­age­ment, and it’s on dis­play here. 32 hours of talk time hold up against com­pe­ti­tion of any price, and the two years (!) of stat­ed stand­by time couldn’t be re­al­is­ti­cal­ly test­ed but we would not be sur­prised. The mo­tion sen­sor seemed to work well, sav­ing bat­tery life and pow­er­ing the unit on and off as need­ed, pro­vid­ed the unit was mount­ed on the vi­sor. Sol­id, and great for those in need of a fair­ly ba­sic speak­er­phone that rarely needs charg­ing.

On a more per­son­al lev­el, the VE­HO Z-1 Ear­buds (avail­able in black and white or black and or­ange) would rate as av­er­age but for a cou­ple of fea­tures that el­e­vate them above many of the oth­er head­phones and ear­buds that we’ve tried. The over­all aes­thet­ics aren’t ex­cit­ing, but few are. The pack­ag­ing- cute tubes- looks great even if it is a lit­tle an­noy­ing to get them out. The sound qual­i­ty is so-so: fair­ly flat on most mu­sic, with mediocre bass and some dis­tor­tion on the high­er ends es­pe­cial­ly at loud­er vol­ume. Sep­a­ra­tion isn’t great. Three sizes of buds were in­clud­ed, which is de­cent, even if they are ba­sic tips. They did al­right iso­lat­ing, but lack a re­mote of any kind. So what’s the big deal: the $13 cost and the an­ti-tan­gle flat ca­ble made us pret­ty hap­py. These won’t rock your world, but are pret­ty great in a pinch.

Fi­nal­ly, the su­per­star: the VE­HO Mu­vi HD10+ was sent to us with an amaz­ing as­sort­ment of mount­ing gear. We con­fess that we didn’t even get a chance to try it all out- there were sim­ply too many op­tions- but we still came away im­pressed. By de­fault, you’ll get a hel­met mount­ing brack­et, but oth­er op­tions in­clude ev­ery­thing from a head­band mount to a har­ness, a mono­pod and tri­pod mount­ing kit, a suc­tion mount, and even a uni­ver­sal pole/bar mount. In oth­er words, you’ll be able to put this cam­era just about any­where and cap­ture al­most any sort of ac­tion. Sports cam­eras are a cat­e­go­ry that we’ve seen quite a bit of ac­tiv­i­ty in (pun in­tend­ed), and VE­HO’s prod­ucts have al­ways of­fered sol­id if un­ex­cep­tion­al video qual­i­ty in a tiny pack­age. Un­like the Loox­cie, this one won’t be con­nect­ing to any apps or of­fer­ing a live feed, and it cer­tain­ly doesn’t of­fer a built-in pro­jec­tor like the re­cent­ly re­viewed 3M cam­corder. But it does match the res­o­lu­tion and frame rate (1080p at 30 fps or 720 with 60 fps), not to men­tion ver­sa­til­i­ty, of the Drift HD170 Stealth at a frac­tion of the cost.

Plus, this one in­cludes a handy re­mote! It’s not quite as easy to use as some (es­pe­cial­ly if you’re wear­ing gloves) but all things con­sid­ered we can’t com­plain. And the bat­tery life is im­pres­sive- again, this de­vice lives up to the theme, of­fer­ing three or more hours of record­ing time thanks to a sol­id recharge­able bat­tery. Mem­o­ry is han­dled via mi­croSD, and a 4GB card is in­clud­ed hand­i­ly. Like most oth­ers, there isn’t an op­ti­cal zoom, and we rec­om­mend avoid­ing the 3x dig­i­tal zoom if at all pos­si­ble. Un­like Go­Pro mod­els and some oth­ers, the Mu­vi HD10 in­cludes a screen and though it’s hard to use in bright day­light, it’s cer­tain­ly handy to quick­ly re­view your footage. One in­ter­est­ing fea­ture that we didn’t use much was the voice con­trol- it seemed to work well in qui­eter en­vi­ron­ments, but we pre­ferred the re­mote. On­board con­trols are a bit touchy, and cer­tain­ly it’s easy to end up with shaky video and cer­tain­ly pho­tos were of­ten blur­ry, but that’s true of al­most any ul­tra-lightweight cam­era in this seg­ment. An­oth­er sol­id hit­ter, es­pe­cial­ly for those who don’t want to risk their ex­pen­sive smart­phones while tak­ing video on boards, skates, skis, or in the wa­ter (wa­ter­proof cas­ing is avail­able, and rea­son­ably priced).Avail­able now, un­der $200.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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