Apple,  Apple iPhone,  Christmas,  Christmas Gift Guide,  Doorbell,  eReader,  eufy,  eufy,  eufy Security Wireless Video Doorbell,  EufyHome,  Fitbit,  Fitbit Sense,  Fitbit Sense 2,  Fitness,  Gadgets,  Hardware Reviews,  HF500,  Home Security,  HomeKit,  Hoover,  Hoover HF500 Vacuum Cleaner,  iPhone 14 Pro Max,  iWALK,  Kobo,  Kobo Sage,  PICO,  PICO 4,  Portable Charger,  Power Bank,  PowerA,  PowerA MOGA XP7-X,  PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus,  Reviews,  Sat Nav,  Sennheiser,  Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3,  Smart thermostat,  tadoº,  tadoº smart thermostat,  Tech,  Tech Review,  Techmas,  TomTom,  TomTom Go Discover,  True Wireless Earbuds,  Vacuum Cleaner,  Virtual Realirt,  Virtual Reality,  VR,  Wi-Fi Camera,  Wireless Earbuds,  Wireless Video Doorbell,  XP7-X Plus

The 12 Days of Techmas

Reading Time: 21 minutes
lighted christmas tree
Photo by Brett Sayles on

Welcome to the 12 Days of Techmas! I will post a mini-review of some of the tech products I’ve used recently. You’ll read about various products, from Apple iPhones to video doorbells. We hope you enjoy learning about all of the products that will feature in this article. Merry Christmas from all of the team at Rapid Reviews UK!

Day 12 – PICO 4 All-in-One VR Headset

It’s Day 12, Christmas Eve Eve! I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading our 12 Days of Techmas article. I’ve loved sharing my thoughts on all of the amazing products that we’ve featured. Our featured product today is the brand new PICO 4 All-in-One VR Headset. This isn’t a review, more of a preview, as the PICO 4 has been with me for only a week.

My initial impressions though are extremely positive. Firstly, the design and feel. The PICO 4 is a great looking product, and is noticeably smaller than the Oculus Quest 2. The PICO 4 is also lighter than the Quest 2, and it feels very comfortable to wear for long periods of gaming.

PICO 4 All-in-One VR Headset
Take a peek at the PICO 4

What impresses me the most so far is the speed of the headset, clarity of the screen, and battery life. Navigating the PICO 4 is snappy, and apps load very quickly, meaning you’ll be immersed in your VR game in no time. The games I’ve got to enjoy so far are All-in-One Sports VR, Walkabout Mini Golf VR, and my current favourite, the excellent Shores of LOCI. Shores of Loci is a VR world-building game where you rebuild a broken world using your own hands as if you’re remodelling the world.

Shores of LOCI is my current favourite.

Games look incredible, and onscreen graphics are detailed. This is thanks to the PICO 4’s 4K Dual LCD Display, with up to 90 Hz refresh rate. I was also pleasantly surprised at the audio quality and volume too. In terms of battery life, I’ve been able to game for around 2-3 hours.

Look out for a full review of the PICO 4 in 2023. For now though, head to the Official PICO website to find out more, and head to Amazon to purchase your own.

Day 11 – PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus

With the rise in popularity of cloud gaming, more and more exciting new products are becoming available, allowing gamers everywhere to access their favourite games on the go.

PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus

We’ve reviewed several mobile gaming controllers at Rapid Reviews, including the excellent Backbone and the terrific Nacon MG-X Pro controller. The latest one we’ve tested is the designed for Xbox, PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus. Read on to discover if this feature-packed mobile controller is for you.

The best thing about the MOGA XP7-X Plus is the number of different ways it can be used. Firstly, you can use the included 6.6ft micro-USB to USB-A cable or the included USB-C adapter to plug it straight into a Windows PC or gaming laptop. This allows you to use it as a standard controller.

Secondly, you can slot a mobile phone or tablet (up to 11.86″ wide) into the controller and game on the go without any wires holding you back. In my testing, my phone felt very secure, thanks to the rubberised grips at each end of the controller slot.

Lastly, you can use the detachable phone stand, and the MOGA XP7-X Plus becomes a wireless Bluetooth controller. This option is helpful if you want to use a slightly larger phone or small tablet, as it can feel quite heavy after a longer gaming session.

In terms of design and comfort, the MOGA XP7-X Plus has all of the buttons you’re familiar with on a traditional Xbox controller, including the coloured ABXY buttons. The controller feels well-built and solid, weighing around the same as the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, and the textured grips make it easy to hold.

If you’ve used an Xbox controller, the thumbsticks are in a similar location and will feel natural to use when gaming. The triggers have slightly less travel and more resistance than those on the Xbox controller. However, you get used to this quickly.

For those who want more control over their gaming, two pro-style mappable advanced gaming buttons are found on the rear of the controller, and mapping the buttons is a simple procedure.

An excellent feature that is particularly useful for gaming on the go is the fact that it has a built-in power bank. This means that you can charge a compatible phone as you’re playing. Thanks to the LED indicator lights, you can see how much battery life is left in the power bank. Charging the power bank is as simple as plugging the controller back into a USB power source.

If this mobile gaming controller sounds like it could be for you, you can find out more about it on the Power A website, and you can purchase one from Amazon using the link below.

Day 10 – Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 Earbuds

We’ve reviewed many pairs of earbuds here at Rapid Reviews UK, and while the focus has rightly been on the sound quality, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 Earbuds are quite possibly the pair that look as good as they sound. These earbuds have been my daily drivers since I’ve had them, and thanks to the aptX Adaptive codec, listening to all genres of music and podcasts is a delight. All the other features you’d expect to see on a pair of earbuds in this price range, for example, Adaptive Noise Cancelling and Transparency modes, can be found and work very well.

The material covered case is so different to the plasticky cases that are the norm, giving it a stylish look that screams high quality. You can charge the case using a USB-C lead or a wireless Qi charging pad. An LED indicator light also gives you information about the earbuds’ charging status or battery life. Regarding battery life, I got around 7 hours of listening time between charges, and the case provides a further 28 hours. It takes about 1.5 hours to fully the earbuds, and a quick ten-minute charge will get you around an hour of playtime.

The Sennheiser companion app is another outstanding feature of this product. Using the app, you can customise almost all aspects of the earbuds. You can adjust the EQ, customise the touch controls, and adjust the transparency and adaptive noise cancellation modes. As someone who listens to podcasts daily, I was very impressed with the podcast-specific sound mode in the equalizer settings in the app. Hosts and guest voices sound very clear, and the difference is noticeable when the mode is disabled.

Two standout features, however, are Sound Check and Sound Zones. Sound Check allows you to create as many unique EQ presets as you want to, so technically, you could have an individual EQ for each album you listen to.

Sound Zones is something that I’ve never seen before! Let’s say you go to the gym and want to focus on your workout; you’re more likely to want noise cancellation enabled. Then if you get on public transport to travel to work, you’ll want transparency mode enabled to let in external sounds. Using this feature, you can create up to 20 Sound Zones, and depending on your location, your sound settings will change automatically.

If you’re in the market for a new pair of true wireless earbuds and want something that sounds and looks the part, you can’t go far wrong with the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3. Head to the official Sennheiser website at the following link,

Day 9 – iPhone 14 Pro Max

I’ve been reading and watching many end-of-year tech videos recently in which people have been naming their favourite smartphones of the year. With this in mind, I thought I couldn’t have a 12 Days of Techmas article without naming my favourite, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max.

I’ve been so fortunate over the past few years to have been given the opportunity to test out some of the latest Apple products, and when asked if I’d like to test out the new iPhone 14 Pro Max, I jumped at the chance. Apple iPhones have been my phone of choice for most of the last decade, but I’d never experienced the Max models.

The Purple seems subtle but looks stunning in the correct light.

This isn’t going to be a full review, there are so many of those available to read online. Of course, this new iPhone has a better camera system, better battery life, and the powerful A16 Bionic Chip, all of which means that this is the best iPhone launched to date. What I am going to do is tell you my favourite features of the 14 Pro Max.

The display – Now that I’ve experienced the Max model and the 6.7” display, I don’t think I’ll go back to a smaller model. The Super Retina XDR display and the added screen real-estate make viewing content a real treat. Another improvement is that the screen is a lot brighter this year at a maximum brightness of 2,000 nits. What does this mean in practical terms? Well, it means you’ll be able to see your content clearly, even in bright sunshine.

Always-on display – Many Android phones have had this ability for a while, so it was great to see Apple join the club. Thanks to the new, more advanced OLED display, the screen refresh rate can go from 120Hz to as low as 1Hz. This means that the always-on display doesn’t use up too much battery life. I must admit that I thought the always-on setting would lead to a drain of the battery, but it doesn’t.

Since the iPhone 14 Pro Max has launched, Apple has improved the functionality of the always-on display mode by allowing users to hide notifications and wallpaper. I love having the option of just being able to glance at my phone to see the information I want to see quickly, without necessarily engaging with it.

Dynamic Island – The notch has long been my least favourite aspect of the iPhone ever since it was introduced in 2017. Thankfully, Apple have done away with it this year in the form of the Dynamic Island. When this name was announced, I read lot of negative comments about it with many people mocking it. However, I think Apple are on to something here. The Dynamic Island is a pill shaped cut out at the top of the screen, which looks much better and less intrusive than the notch.

The real magic happens when Apps take advantage of the Dynamic Island. It’s cool when two compatible apps run simultaneously, and the Dynamic Islands appears to “split”. The slideshow below shows some examples of the Dynamic Island in action. I haven’t found too many 3rd party apps that take advantage of this new space yet, but Apple has promised that more are on the way. I’m particularly looking forward to sports scores appearing.

So there you have it, my favourite features of the new iPhone 14 Pro Max. I hope you enjoyed reading about them. To find out more about the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you can visit the official Apple website on the following link,

Day 8 – Hoover HF500 Vacuum Cleaner

The Hoover HF500 is a lightweight, powerful, and extremely compact vacuum cleaner. This means that you can store the HF5000 anywhere you like and it won’t take up much space at all. Ours is stored next to the sofa in the living room, and you can’t see it.

Does this vacuum do the one thing that a vacuum should do well? The answer is, yes. There are two options to suit different floor types, carpet and not carpet, as well as a turbo mode. Hoover say that “the motor spins at 100,000 RPM and delivers 75AW of suction power.” I have no way of validating this, but what I can say from experience is that all dust and debris was capably removed with the HF500. There’s even an LED light bar built into the brush head to show you where you’re cleaning, perfect when hoovering under sofas.

Another impressive aspect of this vacuum is how easy it is to convert from an upright to a handheld vacuum. It takes seconds to do and is far less cumbersome than other vacuum cleaners I’ve used in the past.

In terms of battery life, if you don’t use turbo mode, you can vacuum for more than half an hour. This means you should be able to hoover most of your home with a single charge. There are two status lights on top of the HF500, one to tell you how much battery you have left, and the other that tells you if you need to clean the filter. It’s great to be able to see this information at a glance.

Hoover HF500

My favourite feature of the Hoover HF500 is that it’s the first vacuum cleaner I’ve used with anti-twist technology, and now I’ll never buy one without it. Living with a wife and two daughters has meant that I’ve spent countless hours cutting and removing hair from the brush head on our current vacuum.

Not only does hair around the brush head take time to remove, it also hugely reduces the efficiency of the vacuum cleaner. Thankfully the HF500 has all but removed this issue, meaning that vacuuming takes far less time, and I no longer need to remove hair manually.

If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner that’s not only small, but powerful, and hair tangling is an issue in your home, then I highly recommend the Hoover HF500.

You can find out more about the HF500 at the Hoover website on the following link,

Day 7 – Glowstone Flashlight + Charger Pack

Next, we have something for the hikers and dog walkers among you; the Glowstone Flashlight. Day 7’s piece of tech was tested out by our editor, Alicia, and her dog, Jarvis. In the Glowstone Flashlight + Charger Pack, you get the Glowstone Flashlight itself, a Nanosuction pad, a belt clip, and a 5V 2A wireless charging pad and USB cable (C-type). It boasts 60 hours of battery life, a two-hour charge time and 900 lumens. The flashlight is also waterproof, shock proof and can be used between 55 to -20 degrees.

Despite the nights drawing in, I still need to get out for a good hour or so each day with my dog. With only a few hours of daylight available per day at this time of year, sometimes it’s tough to make it out while the feeble winter sun is still shining. If the sun makes an appearance at all. This means taking a torch on walks. The clip that comes with the Glowstone Flashlight meant that I could attach it securely to the chest strap of my rucksack or the front pocket of my coat. This was convenient as it allowed me to have both hands free to play ball with my dog and negotiate stiles easily on my walk.

The Glowstone Flashlight provides ample light to see where you’re going at night, both in terms of brightness and the light spread. I also found that it maintained a consistent level of brightness while switched on. A great flashlight for intrepid explorers. Finally, there are a total of eleven light modes to try out, and If you’re planning on using the Glowstone Flashlight inside, you can attach the Nanosuction pad which allows you to place it temporarily on flat surfaces.

For more details about the Glowstone Flashlight + Charger Pack, visit the Glowstone website here.

Day 6 – Kobo Sage eReader and Accessories

It’s day 6 of our 12 Days of Techmas which means that we’re halfway there! Our featured product today is the Kobo Sage eReader. The Kobo Sage is a premium eReader with features and performance that I believe justifies its near £250 price tag.

The Sage is lightweight, and comfortable to hold for extended reading sessions in both portrait and landscape orientation. The 8” Flush E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen is both responsive to touch, and has no glare meaning that reading and turning the pages on this display is an enjoyable experience. You’re able to navigate the pages of your eBooks by swiping on your touchscreen, or using the physical buttons.

You can manually adjust the brightness of the display, and you’re also able to control the level of blue light. At the time you’ve indicated that you usually go to bed, the Kobo Sage display will adjust to a softer candlelight orange hue. As we know, blue light can keep you awake at night, so the ability to control this is something that I appreciate.

Thanks to the quad core CPU, navigating the Sage is seamless with no noticeable lag whatsoever. The Kobo Sage connects to WiFi meaning that downloading books from the onboard Kobo Store happens instantly, and you can keep your eReader firmware up to date using WiFi.

The Kobo Sage has Bluetooth support, meaning that you can connect a pair of wireless earbuds to the Kobo Sage and listen to your favourite audiobooks. If you’re someone who likes to read in the bath, then the Kobo Sage has you covered thanks to its IPX8 rating.

What makes this eReader different to any others I’ve used is that fact that it is compatible with the Kobo Stylus. Using the Stylus, you make handwritten notes in eBooks and PDFs, and with the Notebook feature, you can draw pictures and sketches, and create notes. Writing with the Stylus feels natural and instant. Another incredibly useful feature of note writing is the Sage’s ability to turn handwritten notes into text, and in my experience, this is very accurate. With Dropbox support, you can then save your notes in the cloud to use elsewhere.

The Kobo Sage and Stylus

The stylish leather Kobo Sage SleepCover feels premium and protects the eReader, and also helps to preserve battery life by putting it to sleep when closed. As you can see in the picture above, the SleepCover can also act as a 2-way stand.

If you want to find out more about Kobo and their excellent range of eReaders, you can go to their official website on the following link,

Day 5 – TomTom GO Discover

Day 5 and we have something for the drivers out there. The name TomTom has been synonymous with Sat Navs for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have tested out the new TomTom GO Discover. It’s extremely easy to set up thanks to the included Click-and-Drive Mount, long USB cable and car charger.

The TomTom GO Discover has a very responsive, bright 7” HD screen that’s easy to navigate, and the extra screen real estate displays all information clearly. The built-in speakers are surprisingly loud, meaning you’re able to hear spoken instructions and alerts clearly. When you’re driving, you can say “Hey, TomTom” to use the device hands-free, an important safety measure that ensures that you keep your eyes on the road.

Maps are incredibly detailed, and provide clear and accurate instructions. Exactly what you need when travelling to new, or unfamiliar locations. If you’re approaching an area of high or slow moving traffic, the TomTom will suggest alternative routes. You can save destinations as favourites, meaning that you can access previous journeys quickly. Maps can also be shown in night mode, meaning that it’s not too distracting. Updating maps is simple, and thanks to the built in Wi-Fi, is a far faster and smoother process than the days of having to upload the maps to an SD card, and transfer via computer.

If you purchase a new TomTom Go Discover, you get 1-year of live speed camera alerts, 1-year of live fuel pricing info, and 1-year of live off-street parking info. With fuel prices as high as they are, having live fuel pricing displayed on the screen is useful, and allows you to make more informed decisions about where you fill up. If you come across a speed camera that the TomTom hasn’t alerted you to, you can report it on the Sat Nav itself. These three things combined provide you with all of the knowledge and information you need to make your journey as safe and as stress free as possible.

You can find out more about the TomTom GO Discover and their range of Sat Navs here,

Day 4 – Fitbit Sense 2

The Fitbit Sense 2 is the latest and greatest smartwatch from the now owned by Google, Fitbit. While this smartwatch does everything you’d expect it to for those looking for advanced fitness tracking, it’s the health and well-being functions of this new watch that make it an excellent choice for me. It also goes without saying that the display is great, and with a full charge, you’ll be wearing your Sense 2 for days, not hours without needing to top up the battery.

The standout feature for me is the all-day body response tracking, and the notifications that remind you to take some time to check in with yourself and reflect on your emotions. It’s so important to take the time to be aware of how you’re feeling, and the Fitbit Sense 2 will help you to do that.

So what does the all-day body response do? Well, it uses all of the advanced sensors that the Fitbit Sense 2 had onboard to detect your heart rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, and electrodermal activity. All of this data is combined to identify signs of stress, sweaty palms, increased temperature and heart rate.

You can then use this information to learn about why you’re feeling stressed, potentially leading you to identify patterns and taking action to reduce stressful moments. The Fitbit Sense 2 offers many ways of reducing stress and improving wellbeing with guided breathing exercises and meditations.

The Fitbit Sense 2 also offers advanced sleep tracking, providing you with lots of information about your sleep. You’re even able to track how loud you snore. If you wear your Fitbit Sense 2 to bed for at least 14 nights in a row, you’ll get a detailed analysis of your sleep pattern at the start of the month in what is called your Sleep Profile. An added bit of fun is that every month, you’ll get a sleep animal. This animal is chosen to match your own sleeping type. This animal can then be displayed on the dedicated sleep animal watch face.

You can learn more about the Fitbit Sense 2 and it’s advanced features here.

Day 3 – tadoº Smart Thermostat

With the cost of living crisis that’s currently happening, we’re all looking to try and save money, including on our energy bills. In order to do this, I reached out to tadoº to see if they would like to work together on a product review, and they kindly agreed to send me their Smart Thermostat.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m useless at DIY. This meant that I had to wait for my father-in-law to arrive to help me install the thermostat. Thankfully, the support provided by the tadoº app is incredible, and we were able to follow the simple, step-by-step instructions. In all, it took around an hour and a half to install and get everything up and running.

I was apprehensive at first, but it wasn’t difficult at all.

Using the tadoº to control your heating and hot water is very simple. You can do this using the App, your voice, thanks to Alexa integration, and even your Apple Watch thanks to HomeKit compatibility. As with all thermostats, you’re able to set up schedules for different times of the day, and days of the week. However, some of my favourite features of the tadoº smart thermostat are geofencing and open window detection. With geofencing, when you leave your house, the heating switches off.

Recently, we were on our way back from a night away and we were able to turn the heating on so that the house was warm when we arrived home. Open window detection means that if a window or door is open, and the thermostat detects a drop in temperature, it will turn the heating off, thus saving you money.

The tadoº app is brilliant and offers many ways to control your home

You can find out more about tadoº and their range of products on their website,

Day 2 – iWALK Chargers

Day 2 of our 12 Days of Techmas, and today, we’re talking portable chargers from iWALK.

First up is the iWALK Link Pod 4 Mini. This 4500mAh Ultra-Compact portable charger is small enough to fit in your pocket and provides enough power to fully charge your iPhone. It charges using the included USB-C cable and connects to any lightning port Apple product, including iPhones and AirPod cases. The iWALK comes in various colours, so there’ll be something to suit everyone.

Next, we have the iWALK MagSafe 6000mAh Portable Charger.

The charger fixes securely to the back of your iPhone thanks to the strong magnetic connection. Not once did I feel that the charger could come away from my iPhone 14 Pro Max. Thanks to the 6000mAh sharing capacity, it will fully charge your phone, with some to spare. The two most useful features of the iWALK Magnetic Wireless Power Bank are the LED display that indicates how much charge you have remaining and the ring on the back that can be used to prop up your phone, useful when watching cheesy Christmas films and charging at the same time.

Day 1 – Eufy Video Doorbell Dual

eufy Security Video Doorbell Dual Camera

We’re huge fans of the Eufy at Rapid Reviews, so we were thrilled when we had the opportunity to test out their Video Doorbell Dual.

As with all Eufy products, the packing includes everything you need to start, including the camera and a WiFi-enabled HomeBase that gives you 16GB of local Storage. Installation and set-up were so simple that even someone like me, who is dreadful at DIY, could install it in no time.

The best feature of this 2K video doorbell is that it has two cameras, one aiming outward and the other aiming downward towards the floor, meaning you can see everything, including packages. This video doorbell has a dual detection system, which uses radar and passive infrared (PIR) for object detection. In terms of battery life, a full charge will see you right for between 3-6 months, depending on how many times the cameras are triggered.

This camera has proved invaluable, especially at this time of year with parcels arriving daily. Several times I have not been home, and I’ve been able to speak to the courier using two-way audio with the excellent accompanying App, Eufy security, to ask them to put the parcel in a secure location.

Furthermore, if you miss an alert to say that the doorbell is ringing and the courier has left the parcel on the doormat for the world to see, it’s reassuring to know that Delivery Guard has your back. If someone tries to approach the parcel, an alert is automatically sounded, alerting the would-be thief that they’re on camera.

Another beneficial feature of the app is the timeline of daily events. Using this feature, you can see all of the times the camera has been triggered chronologically – especially useful if you’ve been away for an extended period and want to see if anything has happened or missed any parcels.

A busy delivery day!

If you’re looking for an excellent video doorbell that’s feature packed, reliable, and with a long-lasting battery, I recommend the Eufy Video Doorbell Dual.

You can purchase the Eufy Video Doorbell Dual using the link below.

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