New Product Pros & Cons

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by Rachel Harris, Managedmoms.com

azfamily.com

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 2:45 PM

Since I have my managedmoms.com website and I do these weekly TV segments, I try a lot of products.  Lately, I've noticed some of my gal pals have questions about some of the products that I have been currently testing like the Nokia Windows phone versus the iPhone.  I have also had several friends ask me how I made them my magical frothy vanilla latte in 3 seconds.  That is due to the coffee maker that I've been testing.  So I decided that if they are that curious, then you would be too, when it comes to hearing what my tried and true results are from some of my recent product tests.  Read on to get the scoop on smart phones, fancy coffee makers, beauty products and more.

Let's Talk Smart Phones

For this I have tested three different smart phones.  The iPhone4S, the iPhone5 and the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone.  Here are my results...

*One of my gal pals said it best...the fact that you have to purchase all new accessories, like a different sized charging cord, for the iPhone5 versus the iPhone4S is the deal breaker.  And a lot of my friends feel that way.  I went ahead and bought the iPhone5 because my contract was up.  The big differences are the price since the iPhone5 costs about $100 more than the iPhone4S, the screen size and a few other added features that really didn't impress me much.  I found out by doing some research that the 4S is being phased out and that an iPhone6 is on the way.  I couldn't get any more details as to how much it will cost or if it will need different-sized accessories from the 5...I hope not!  If customers are looking for a 4S, they won't find it at Verizon as I'm told they are sold out and not getting any more.  They can look at places like Radio Shack, but no guarantees since they are being phased out.

As far as the big difference between the iPhone4S and the iPhone5, it doesn't seem to me that there are that many.  The screen is bigger and the phone is thinner, which is nice, but the fact that I had to spend additional money on a new cord, etc. was an unpleasant surprise.  The 5 also gives you panoramic picture taking ability, but I haven't needed that.  An interior designer or realtor probably finds that beneficial, but for the rest of us, it is just an extra feature that doesn't get used much, in my opinion.  Some of my friends have told me that they believe that their iPhone4S can do everything a 5 does if you get the right apps.  I was going to research that for this piece, but since the 4S is being phased out, I decided it wasn't worth my time.  My bottom line....I agree with what my gal pals said about the needed new accessories being a deal breaker.  I wished I would have saved my $100 and stayed with the iPhone 4S, however it looks like we are all being forced to switch soon, if you stay with iPhone. 

One way to save money on an iPhone is to consider purchasing a refurbished one on the Apple website at www.apple.com.  Simply go to the store section and scroll down to the refurbished items.  Although the iPhones, iPods, iPads and more aren't new, you get the same warranty as a brand new Apple product would give you, so that is a good deal to know about.

*The Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone is my newest smart phone to test and there are several impressive differences from this phone versus the iPhone.  The Windows phone has Live Tiles, so customers can customize their Start screen with what's most important to that person.  For me, I love having my calendar pop right up with the day's events and appointments because I run fast as a busy mom, who also has a freelance career.  So I made my calendar live tile larger than some of my other live tiles.  With the iPhone, I have to slide the screen to open, find the calendar app and then open that to get to my events.  The Windows phone brings my appointments right up and I really love that.

I'm also a fan of the parent-friendly feature called Kid's Corner.  With one touch on the keyboard, you can program only the games, videos, etc. that you want your kids to have access to and it locks them out of your programs, too.  Great feature for sure.

For picture taking, which I do a lot of, the Nokia Lumia 920 has a high quality camera that takes great images, even in low light. 

Also interesting to note, the Nokia phone is made of the same material that hockey helmets are made from, so this phone is sturdy and I like that.  The Nokia Lumia 920 phone starts at $99.99 with a two year contract and is available on AT&T.  Oh and in case you are wondering, your iTunes music can be synced to your Windows phone.  For more information about the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone visit www.windowsphone.com.

Keurig New Vue Coffee Maker

Keurig has become a very popular brand.  This brand quickly makes single serving instant coffee, hot cocoa, iced tea and more.  They are showing up everywhere from homes to break rooms to businesses like cupcake and donut shops.  So when the new Keurig Vue came out, I wondered what made this new version so different and if it is really that much better than the standard Keurig, especially since it costs more.  The prices I looked up varied based on where the product is sold.  I found it on Amazon for $229.99 and at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $199.99. 

Like the iPhone, Keurig frustrated me by requiring new accessories.  The K-Cup coffee servings are housed in bigger containers and the K-Cup holders, if desired to nicely store your K-Cups, are bigger, too.  So now I can only get my Vue K-Cups at Bed, Bath & Beyond or at amazon.com.  The regular K-Cups for the machine that came before the Vue are sold almost everywhere now, but since I upgraded to the Vue, it has become a hassle to find and buy my coffee.  There are some cool features that I love about the Vue, but I don't think it is worth paying more for the Vue and dealing with the new inconvenience of being required to find and buy the bigger Vue K-Cups.  So my bottom line recommendation is to pass on the Vue.  However having said that, let me tell you below what I do like about the Vue.

My favorite Vue feature is the yummy frothy Vanilla Latte drinks that this new coffee maker makes in 3 seconds.  Whenever I entertain and serve this after dinner latte, my guests are always super impressed and want to know how I whipped that up so fast.  I also like that is has the larger travel mug size, too since my hubs and I are constantly on the go with our kiddos. The Vue coffee K-cups also cost a few bucks more and I bet that doesn't surprise you.  I do like that the new Vue K-Cups are now recyclable, so that is a big plus in my mind. 

Blending, Chopping and Dicing Made Easy

You can probably tell by the title I chose for this next product that I'm a fan of the DeLonghi Triblade Turbo-Power Motor Hand Blender.  I have used a regular knife, a food chopper from Pampered Chef and a fancy food processor, but my favorite by far is the De Longhi.  I like that it is lightweight, easy to use and easy to store, unlike my big and bulky food processor.  I also like that it chops onions and more in seconds, unlike my food chopper that takes more time and effort.  The DeLonghi Triblade also includes a whisk attachment that makes fluffy egg whites or homemade whipped cream in an instant.  This can also be used to thicken soups while cooking in the pan and the Soup XL attachment won't scratch your pan.  Smoothies and scrumptious milk shakes are also easily prepared.  I say that this is worth it because it has replaced my blender and food processor, so it takes up a lot less space and my food results are always good when I use the DeLonghi.  It sells for $83.09 on amazon.com.

A Curling Wand That Comes With A Glove

This was interesting to me because I had never heard of such a thing.  The NuMe is a clipless curling wand, so a glove is worn to protect your hand as your wrap each strand around the 25mm barrel that I tested on my hair.  I like that the size of  the curls can be created depending on how tight you wrap the hair and how long you hold the hair to the wand. 

The NuMe wand does have a high temperature, so you get your curls faster than if you use a typical curling iron and the less time it takes to apply heat on your hair results in less damage. The rotating cord makes this easy to use as well.

As far as the glove goes, beginners will want the glove or you will probably end up burning your hand, but after you get the hang of it, you may not need the glove.  I'm glad that NuMe provides the safety glove as I get used to using this unique hair tool.  NuMe's website says that the NuMe Signature Titan 3, that I tested,  uses negative ion technology to quickly get curls that last without the damage of conventional irons and curlers.  The Titan 3 that I showed sells for $194 at www.numeproducts.com.  It is pricey, for sure, but it does deliver with less damage to my hair, so I give this an overall thumbs up.  NuMe offers less expensive curling wands, too and the entire selection can be found at www.numeproducts.com.

Keep Wine Cool

The Corkcicle Color wand keeps white wine chilled and red wine at the perfect room temperature.  Simply freeze the wand, then place it in an open wine bottle (not completely full or the Vino will spill out) and wait for the Corkcicle to either chill the white or keep the red at room temperature.  Your white wine will stay chilled for an hour.  The Corkcicle sells at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $22.99.  If you are serving white wine outside, this is hassle-free and will keep your white nice and chilled.  This product has also appeared on Oprah's favorite list of products.

Easy Breezy Jewels Cleaning

I have seen all kinds of bulky jewelry cleaners, which is why I was interested in testing the Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stick, which also received the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.  I like that this lightweight brush easily brings the cleaner to the surface with a few twists and it is easy to use.  The thick suds may alarm you at first as you see it collect in the grooves of your diamonds and gems, but it rinses right off and does leave your sparkler shiny and clean.  The price is right at $7.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Moisturizing Socks?

My daughter swears by the Earth Therapeutics All Over Moisture Gel Booties, which are sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $19.99 a pair.  Yes, I agree that paying $20 for a pair of socks is excessive, which is why I say pass on these, but I must tell you that my girl says that her dry feet have improved with these socks.  And she did truly have problems with the skin on her feet, so they may be worth trying if you suffer from dry and cracked skin on your toes and feet.  However, the packaging does warn that people who suffer from Eczema or psoriasis should not wear these socks.  The socks contain a hydrating gel that is made up of aloe vera, jojoba oil, Vitamin E and olive oil.  They can be worn overnight and it is recommended that they be worn 2 to 3 times per week.  40 treatments can be used wearing the same pair and hand washing with air drying is recommended. 

So that does it for my most recent batch of product testing.  Have you tried any of the items that I mentioned?  Have you tried something that you want to tell us about?  Tell us in the comments section and be sure to visit my website at www.managedmoms.com for more product reviews, recipes, parenting talk, pet stuff and more. 


 

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