Gadgets :: June 14, 2017

By Gregg Ellman

Typically when I unbox a gadget to test, I use it until it does what it’s supposed to or doesn’t do it – either way it doesn’t take that long. But after unboxing the Rova flying selfie, I couldn’t wait for the batteries to recharge and use it again.

The Rova might look like a drone and act like a drone but it’s not really a drone. It’s called a flying selfie, includes a camera and is shaped like a quadcopter. It has a 98-foot communication range, via the Rova WiFi network. Maximum height is 33 feet from launch.

A red button on the Rova gets it flying. Before I used it, I watched a video on the Rova site, where they have it taking off and landing in the palm of your hand. That was the first landing I tried and sure enough, there it was in my hand.

I rarely read manuals or instructions on gadgets (like everyone else) but I did this time and I recommend that to anyone using a flying object since there are safety issues.

It’s not as small and portable as a selfie stick but it’s certainly a lot more fun and provides a far great variety of images.

The camera has a wide angle lens and has image stabilization. Four propellers are enclosed in a polycarbonate frame, which you can use with or without bumpers.

The Rova app (App store and Google Play) controls the device, with settings for 12 megapixel JPEG photos or HD video in 360-degrees (MP4, 1080p@60fps, 1080p@30fps or 720p@120fps). Still images can be taken automatically or with a specific timed interval and there’s a flash built into the camera.

Out of the box it measures 8-by-8-by-1.4-inches and weighs 10 ounces. Included are a hard carrying case, a 16GB microSD card, two lithium ion batteries, charging cradle, USB cable and four disposable bumpers. Each battery is good for about 8 minutes of flight time and recharges in 90 minutes. $299

While the term USB is common in most everyones vocabulary, USB-C might draw some curiosity.

The oval-shaped 24-pin connector cable allows devices to be connected for transferring data and power and is slowly becoming an industry standard for Apple and PC systems. What I really like is there’s no up or down for the connection, like micro USB cables. Instead it’s similar in to the Apple Lightning connection, just plug it in.

This brings me to a new set of USB-C cable accessories from Ventev, which include durable AC wall outlets, car charger and durable, flat, tangle-free cables.

The wallport pd1300 charger ($44.99) has a single C connector, with folding AC prongs for an easy connection and storage. It supports power delivery up to 45 watts.

You get six feet of cable with the chargesync UBC-C cable ($29.99), with the C connections on both ends making it reversible to plug either end into your device or power source. The cables can be used with the dashport pd 1300 charger ($34.99), which plugs into any standard auto 6V (cigarette lighter) port.

And don’t let the new technology or the higher cable prices scare you; once you try them, you’ll see the speed, versatility and the durability Ventev is known for.

Invisible Shield, an industry leader when it comes to protecting the display on many of today’s portable electronic gadgets, has announced a new model for the slick looking Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones with its edge-to-edge HDR display.

The Invisible Shield Sapphire Defense Curve and Glass Curve install in seconds and fit perfectly with or without a case.

According to the company, the Sapphire Defense Curve ($59.99) is infused with sapphire crystals that provide a smooth, glassy feel so you get unbeatable scratch protection. It’s out of the box with EZ apply tabs and provides high-definition clarity along with seven-times shatter protection of an unprotected screen.

The Glass Curve ($49.99) goes edge-to-edge on the existing unprotected curved screen thanks to its meticulously designed composition. Once it’s installed the clarity makes you wonder if it’s there.

Both protectors come with a limited lifetime warranty, so if it gets worn or damaged during the lifetime of your device, you get a new one.

According to a recent press release, “In 2016, adult smartphone users in the U.S. spent about $16 billion repairing or replacing a damaged phone with the average cost being $162.” Knowing that, this is a great investment.

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