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Customer Reviews: 176
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Teahouse Fox "...and this is my favorite store on the Internet!" RSS Feed (MD, United States)

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Galaxy S4 Case, Spigen Slim Armor View Case for Samsung Galaxy S4 - Retail Packaging - SF Smooth Black (SGP10343)
Galaxy S4 Case, Spigen Slim Armor View Case for Samsung Galaxy S4 - Retail Packaging - SF Smooth Black (SGP10343)
Price: $40.35
9 used & new from $33.71

3.0 out of 5 stars I should have loved it longer. BUT...., December 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I loved this case.

It is slim, tough, kind to the built in camera, fits snug and secure (more on that in a moment). It has a roll on the clip that fits around the frame of the phone, elevating the surface and allowing you to place the phone in its open case face down without scratching.

The s-view window is handy and a convenience that was the first thing that drew me to this case. It has, when completely closed, survived multiple 4+ foot drops, with no harm to the phone. If, however, the case is open, the slender hinge and clasp take brutal damage.

It was the clasp that snapped off first on my phone case. After that, every fall was an open case fall. Pro: thephone survived every single fall. Con: eventually this pricey case could not be secured in the closed position.

Now, should you say, "But Tea! The case did what it was designed to do! It fell on its sword in service to your more expensive phone!", I must reply:

"Yes. And it looked really good doing it. But, I could get that kind of peotection from a $6 Toru style wallet case, lacking the S view window, and the high price."

Would I buy it again? Yes. If it was at a better price point. Already the Toru that replaced it has lasted far longer.

Samsung Gear Fit Fitness Tracker and Smartwatch for Samsung Devices (US Warranty) - Black
Samsung Gear Fit Fitness Tracker and Smartwatch for Samsung Devices (US Warranty) - Black
Offered by aSavings
Price: $159.95
64 used & new from $74.99

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate for 6 weeks, until it died without warning. I am not a happy camper., October 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have enjoyed my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone, and the S Health app, and wanted to replace my activity tracker with the compatible Gear Fit. It was a little touchy to connect, as it requires not just Bluetooth, but also NFC to be enabled on the phone. You will have to download an additional app to get it to connect, and to sync you must also create a Samsung account. I was not fond of this, since I don't need yet another account where I have to deal with the privacy settings of my health app on the Samsung social network.

I generally got about 2 and a half days use out of it before needing to charge it again. The device comes with a charger and a teeny snap on cradle that you use to charge it by plugging in a micro USB cable. I have also charged it on a PC USB port.

Once I got it syncing, I had it recording steps (you have to manually start the pedometer). I wore the Gear Fit during weekdays to track my steps at work on a huge corporate compound. I also carried my phone much of the time, and I would compare the two pedometers, only to find them wildly off. The app will take the higher of these two numbers and record that when they sync. It also would randomly take my heart rate, which I thought was useful.

There is a pause mode for the pedometer which you'll need as the device is very sensitive, and while walking and looking at it, I saw that it recorded double or triple steps when I took only one. I would pause it on the drive home so that it would not think I'd walked another few hundred steps while seated in the car for half an hour.

I was kind of living with the quirks until this Sunday when I decided to take it on a walk instead of taking my phone, and it came out of the charge cradle at 100% battery power, then shut itself off and would not power back on. I reinserted it in the charge cradle 2-3 times until I got a screen on, then went on to my walk. By the time I returned an hour later, the device was down to 78% charge.

I took it off, and did some other things, and came back 2 hours later to see it was at 15% charge. I put it back in the cradle, on the original charger, and it wouldn't charge. I changed to a different Samsung charger, and checked it a few minutes later - 13% charge. I put it on a USB port on my PC and 15 mins. later, it was at 2%.

Samsung offered to take it back and replace it, in two weeks. Amazon offered an 80% refund since it was past the 30 day return window. Rather than deal with Samsung replacing a brand new item with a refurb that I had zero confidence would work better, I took Amazon up on the 80% refund.

Had the Gear Fit integrated better with S Health, and had it's performance been what I have come to expect of Samsung in the past several years, I would have tried a replacement. But not this. I'm still happy with my Galaxy S 4 phone, but this was a waste of time, and now I'm out $30.

Gee, thanks Samsung. In the future, if you are going to have your customers pay to beta test your not-ready-for-prime-time stuff, please ensure it dies within 30 days so we can at least get all our money back.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2014 10:24 PM PST

Aleratec TunePhonik iBTx 3.0 Bluetooth Headphones Hands-Free Stereo Wireless Headset
Aleratec TunePhonik iBTx 3.0 Bluetooth Headphones Hands-Free Stereo Wireless Headset
Offered by Aleratec
Price: $44.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, simple bluetooth headset for cellphone/audio, but Windows is a pain (pardon the pun), May 7, 2014
My last foray into Bluetooth headsets was so disappointing, I admit I was not willing to shell out $100 or more to be so disappointed again. I'm happy to say that with the TunePhonik iBT, I was pleasantly surprised, both by the quality and the price. I was asked to review this device on behalf of the manufacturer, and was provided a preview version of the headset for this purpose.

It's a fairly simple headset, which charges using a USB cable that you can run off a PC port or standard charger. It doesn't take long to charge up. In the box I received the headset, an audio cable for a wired headset/mic connection and a micro USB charge cable. The headset has an on/off button, a micro USB port for charging, a tiny pin-hole status light next to a pair of small buttons marked + and -.

Put your audio source in discover mode and with the headset off, press and hold the on/off button until the tiny light by the buttons flashes red and blue alternately. As long as your timing of this is right, the unit should be picked up quickly as the "LB918". Windows reports the device has the following Bluetooth (v3.0) services:

Audio Sink
Handsfree Telephony
Remote Control
Remotely Controllable Device
(HFP 1.5, A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.0)

On a cellphone: Connecting to my Android phone was easy, and the sound was very good. The fit might seem snug to some, but the earpieces have good cushioning, and I found it comfortable. The headband is also cushioned, and the earpieces extend about an inch lower on each side. The headset also folds in on itself. Not a compact fold, but enough that you could tuck them into a bag easily for a trip.

On a PC: Windows does have an annoying issue, and it's actually a Windows problem, not a problem with the headset. Connecting to my phone the audio is perfect. Connecting to my computer, sometimes Windows uses a low quality audio service that sounds, at best, like a radio. From 1945. In a war zone. When this happens, you have to remove the device in Windows and re-add it. As far as I can tell there were several complaints online about the Bluetooth audio connection in Windows 7 and 8, for any headset.

::FIX:: Under Bluetooth, Show Bluetooth Devices, and view the Properties for the headset. Under the Services tab, UNcheck "Handsfree Telephony" if it is checked. If it is NOT checked, check it. It's stupid, I know, but it forces Windows to reassociate the better audio service for Bluetooth headsets. For some reason, the BT service in Windows tries to use the lowest quality audio when it reconnects. Checking or unchecking seems to cause Windows to reapply the right audio quality. The if the service is unchecked, the headset microphone will still work, and I have it configured as the default communication device.

When Windows connects correctly, the sound is great, and I used it for four hours or so at work before I left for a meeting and set them to charge. The + and - buttons don't increase or decrease the volume, in spite of the markings. Instead, while playing audio using the Amazon Cloud Player, it switched between tracks in the play list. They could have used a < and > on the buttons instead since that would cover either volume or tracks.

So, bottom line, I think these are great for cell phone audio for those who want an over-the-ear wireless headset, and I use mine daily. Through no fault of it's own, it's problematic in Windows - check/uncheck that one Bluetooth profile for the device and your audio will be great.

MyPC Backup
MyPC Backup
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A little too squirrelly for a cloud backup service, December 2, 2013
This review is from: MyPC Backup (App)
I nearly got suckered by the glowing reviews posted on their website. You can try the product by signing up for a free account. Reviews on their site would have you think that this was going to backup all your files and be so wonderful you'd sign up on the spot.

The truth is that the free trial backed up a little more than 6MB in a suspiciously short amount of time, then indicated a backup successfully copied all the files. I don't expect the sun, moon and stars in a free trial. But I do expect that when a backup product gives a backup result of "All your files are protected!" that it really means all the files I told it to, and had it backed up less than that, it would inform me of what was or wasn't backed up, and hopefully why.

I had to go back to the cloud and count the files present to confirm that contrary to the MyPC Backup client status, the back up was not complete.

I did hope for more data to be able to extrapolate how long it might take to back up the meat and potatoes of my files - the GB of larger files, or larger directories. No such luck.

The free trial comes with a 20% discount if you signed up with a personal backup subscription. The app here is a free way to hopefully access your clouded files on your mobile. If you're asking "Well...20% off of what?", you're not alone. So was I. They ask for your credit card information for their cloud service subscription without ever telling you how much they intend to charge you, what fees might be tacked on, cancellation fees, or anything, really.

So in short MyPCBackup doesn't back up all the files you tell it to, much less all the files IT told you it did, and requires payment before you know how much you will be charged for this questionable performance. But hey... this app is free. Perhaps you can use it to double check and find out which of your files actually got backed up?

If you went ahead and gave 'em your credit card information anyway, consider this a life lesson. (Hint: Don't.)

Can You Escape
Can You Escape
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Escape Puzzler, November 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Can You Escape (App)
Enter the game at the first floor of a building with a locked elevator door. You work out puzzles of low difficulty, but which can vary in complexity, to find one or more keys to open the elevator and move to another floor.

It's a room escape puzzle game with good graphics that provides a decent challenge for the average player. It keeps you engaged enough to want to continue playing floor after floor, and lacks huge leaps of "sneaky trick logic" that some games of room escapes seem to lean on.

Unfortunately, so far it's only ten floors.There is a promise of more coming, but no idea when that will come. As the floors go up, they could stand to increase the complexity or difficulty gradually.

So far, it's been an amusing distraction while sitting in doctor's waiting rooms.

Lusterless Flat Lacquer Clear Coat Testors
Lusterless Flat Lacquer Clear Coat Testors
Offered by Best Service Stores
Price: $10.63
5 used & new from $5.89

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Same as Floquil Figure Flat - The Best Top Coat for Figurines/Scale Models, August 3, 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Prior to buying this, I used Floquil's Figure Flat, but as of spring of 2013, the Floquil line is being discontinued. On the bright side, Testors Model Master Lusterless appears to be exactly the same thing.

I paint miniatures, which I top coat in matte lacquer. I have had a can of Floquil Figure Flat since some time in the late 1980's. No I'm not kidding. You don't need much to top coat a figurine an inch in height. For actively used gaming figures, I splurge and put a second top coat on it. Maybe a third.

My can of Figure Flat spluttered dry in June 2013, mid project. I got a can of Krylon 1311 Matte to top coat the other half of the project. It may have been economical, but the results were so horrible. I spent the next two days repainting it because of the 'dusty powder' effect it left suspended in the (shiny!) top coat. No matter what I did, the results from the Krylon were never consistent. Sometimes I get a satin finish, sometimes matte.

So, bottom line, of all the things Krylon paint is good for, this is not one of them. You pay more for the Model Master, but when you get such wonderful results every single time, then it's worth it. The results are consistent, crystal clear and completely matte, even with multiple coats.

No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than blending, July 11, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Copic 0 marker is a sketch marker with no pigment, just alcohol. If you wonder why you want this and not just a bottle of rubbing alcohol, it's because it's the type and strength. Copics use 77% Ethyl alcohol, and the normal rubbing alcohol commonly available is 70% isopropyl.

You can still get interesting texture effects using isopropyl alcohol, but best go for the highest percent you can. Higher percentage = less water.

The use is for colorless blending of alcohol markers, but if you're thinking 'blend a blue smoothly to an orange', it doesn't work that way. I tend to use the lightest tints in a color family as a blender between family shades, and different brush strokes to blend two dissimilar colors together.

It's good at adding slight touches of a color to an area through transference though. It's also good to fade a color to the background (white) of the paper, but be careful which colors you try that with, as it can make irregular edges. Unless you want that, then it's cool.

The first time I tried blending (incorrectly!) it didn't do much, and I made a face at the marker and set it aside. The second time I tried it, I used it to add texture to a solid area of dark brown leather armor, giving that part of the drawing a beaten weathered look. It. Looked. Awesome.

Then, I went a little crazy. I hit up the bottom edge of a cloak, giving it a spattered travel worn appearance. I added pattern texture to a drawing of clothing, and touched careful highlights to spots where I wanted to indicate a shine. You can also use it to sort of flick color that has escaped an area back into line, but this takes a bit of patience and luck, but you can clear areas of your picture of errors made with colored Copics. Think of that as a cleanup technique for minor errors, and not so much a correction tool for major errors, though I once coaxed a 1/2" drip stain back in line.

I tried using a non porous palette to smear ink from a colored pen and pick it up with the tip of the blender to make delicate shading without needing a bajillion of the palest Copic markers (unless you need the actual markers for larger areas), or pick a little ink up by touching the blender tip to an inked marker tip and transfer it to a small area to blend in. I think I need more practice at this, but you can use it to combine two colors as well - again, in small areas.

Even if you never use it as a blender, it's worth it for the texturing alone. I don't think I'll do leather or fantasy characters without it.

Designer Herding and Sorting poles (Foxy Lady, 54")
Designer Herding and Sorting poles (Foxy Lady, 54")

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive; design doesn't last - not recommended, July 11, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Sept. 2014: This is a rare updated review in which I have to withdraw a recommendation. It happens. The designer coating on this herding stick doesn't seem to be well suited to the task. While at first, it is quite pretty, the coating fails, and ropy vein-like ripples form in the surface. The first time it happened, I chalked it up to leaving it in my car in hot summer weather.

The seller responded very well to my inquiry and replaced the design at no cost to me beyond shipping, but the coating failed again after several months in the house, and after it had been used only a half dozen times.

Perhaps the coating isn't really meant to be applied to a staff that flexes so much? Don't know. For functionality, it still works, but you'll pay far less for a functional herding stick without a design that seems doomed to fail.

The original review follows

I was in something of a pickle to get a herding stick, and chose this one because I wanted to buy once, and only revisit the purchase if I broke or lost it. I did find some places online that sold basic herding sticks for less than half the price, but I didn't want to buy a basic stick then wish for something nicer later on.

To be clear, you can get them cheaper, but a lot of people want something a bit fancier and less utilitarian. The herding pole itself is sturdy, with a good grip (black) and spring in the shaft if you bring it down on the ground. The designer part to it is the covering on the shaft. It's a 'sleeve' of high quality printing on an adhesive backed coating (some kind of plastic?) which is then wrapped around the pole. The wrap overlaps slightly, and there is a very thin seam that runs the length of the pole, which is 4.5 feet, and slightly tapered.

It is very pretty, and has gotten both compliments for its sturdiness and appearance while drawing some pursed lips at the price.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2013 9:53 AM PDT

14k White Gold 5mm Ball Stud Earrings with Screw-back
14k White Gold 5mm Ball Stud Earrings with Screw-back
Offered by The World Jewelry Center
Price: $32.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Screw post earrings - not just for little girls, July 10, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When I remove earrings from my second pair of holes, my ears seem to regenerate faster than kudzu vine. So, I always have studs in my second holes, even when my main earrings spend all their time on a jewelry tree.

Wearing studs 24x7 meant that they had to be comfortable enough to ignore, and sturdy enough to not take a walk while I was ignoring them. My last set were great at the first part, but not so great at the second part. Even when I replaced the backings with a tighter pair, I woke up and discovered last week that in my travels I'd lost a stud.

I bought screw back earrings out of frustration. The good part is that they look identical to the last pair of 14K white gold post earrings I had. The bad part is that in order to make them sturdy enough to hold a screw thread, the posts are ever so slightly thicker. The holes will adjust, I know, it's just right now, my ears are a tad cranky about it.

The backs are tiny, but screw on securely - They don't feel at all like they might spontaneously loosen. Not that I'm above using a tiny drop of Loc-Tite on them, but I'd rather not if possible. I've slept in them for a couple nights now, and find them comfortable, and the backs still secure.

Baxter of California Clay Mask, 4 fl. oz.
Baxter of California Clay Mask, 4 fl. oz.
Price: $18.00
3 used & new from $18.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong enough for a woman, but.... made for men?, July 9, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a facial mask noob. Like others, I kind of poo poo the idea of gender specific skin care. Mostly, people care about the scent they are left with, the price, and the results of the product.

So, before anyone makes me turn in my girl-card, I don't moisturize (oily skin), Pantene products are as pricey as I go, and I think Noxema and Ponds cold cream are pretty cool stuff. But, as I said, oily skin.

Enter the facial mask. It has something of an earthy smell to it. I consider it a pleasant smell, not overdone, and certainly after you rinse the clay off, it leaves hardly any scent at all. Noxema certainly can't make that claim. .

I first tried this on a weekend that I'd spent in the sun, sweaty with sunblock and bug repellent for skin care. To say that it was soothing is an understatement. Soothing only lasts as long as it takes for the mask to dry of course, and extends a little bit past the rinse off.

The ingredients include a lot of things that you might expect to find in a mask, like glycerin, kaolin and witch hazel. And clay. Looking at other similar masks, sure enough it's not unusual.

The mask directions indicate that your skin should already be clean before using it. My skin does feel great immediately after rinsing it off, and for a few hours after. Oil free, and toned, but not dry.

A lot of people my age might feel slightly ridiculous using their grandma's skin care routine, but I guess I'm not one of them. The clay mask was great to try out, but better than using Noxema with a witch hazel chaser? I don't know that it is, but I feel slightly ridiculous using a mask that gives me the same results at $4.50 an ounce.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2013 10:46 AM PDT

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