Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rowkin Bit Stereo - Wireless Earphones

Rowkin has mastered the art of truly wireless earphones. They make the smallest wireless earphones in the market today. Their Rowkin Bit series - with Bit Charge and Bit Stereo - is the most popular, while they have the Rowkin Mini Plus+ and the Rowkin Pulse in the lineup.

I have got a Rowkin Bit Stereo very recently. And, I have to say they exceeded my expectations.

The Rowkin Bit Stereo
The Rowkin Bit Stereo

The earbuds are tiny! They were much smaller than what I expected from the product images. That's a good thing: the smaller the better. Any smaller and I would guess they'd go in to the ear cavity.

The earbuds are tiny
The earbuds are tiny


When you buy it, it comes in a nice little box, which you can keep using as a storage box when you are not using them.

The box they come in...
The box they come in...

Inside, you have the 2 Rowkin Bit Stereo earbuds, and the charging case.

The 2 Rowkin Bit Stereo earbuds, and the charging case, in the box
The 2 Rowkin Bit Stereo earbuds, and the charging case, in the box

The charging case is cylindrical, with a slightly larger diameter than the earbuds themselves, and about 8 CM limg (~3 inches). The charging contacts are at the inner edge of the circle and the pin in the middle.

The charging contacts of the case
The charging contacts of the case
You basically pop in the earbuds, at the two ends of the charging case, which gets attached magnetically. The earbuds will have a red light when charging, which will turn off when the charging is complete.

The earbud popped-in and charging
The earbud popped-in and charging

The charging case itself can be charged by splitting its two pieces - which are again held magnetically - and plugging in the included micro-USB cable.

The charging case opened, showing the charge port
The charging case opened, showing the charge port

The box also comes with the mentioned micro-USB cable (it's quite short however), and a set replacement of ear-tips in different sizes (small, medium, large).

The micro-USB cable, and the replacement ear-tips
The micro-USB cable, and the replacement ear-tips


Each of the two earbuds can work independently - they are identical - or, they can be paired together to make them stereo. 

To connect just one earbud with your device, press and hold the button on the earbud for 6 seconds, until the LED on the earbud starts flashing red and white alternatively. Then, search for "Rowkin Bit S" from your device and connect. Once pairing is complete, the earbud will be flashing white.

To pair the two earbuds together to make them stereo, make sure they are first powered off, and then press and hold the button on both of them for 6 seconds, until both of them are flashing red and white alternatively. Keep the two earbuds close together. They will pair with each other automatically, which should take 10 - 30 seconds. Once paired with each other, one earbud will be flashing white, and the other will be flashing white and red alternatively (indicating it's the primary, and ready to pair with a device). Now, search for "Rowkin Bit S" from your device and connect. You should only see one device named "Rowkin Bit S" if the earbuds paired with each other correctly. Once pairing with your device is complete, one earbud will have a single blink of white every few seconds, while the other will have a double blink. The one with the single blink is the primary, and should be used as the left earbud. The button of the primary is the one you use to answer calls, and control music.

To turn off, press and hold the button on either of the earbuds for 4 seconds, and they will both turn off (only when paired with each other).

Where to get

Mine was from Amazon. You can order from here - Rowkin Bit Stereo Bluetooth Headphones.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The New Echo Look - The Smart Camera

Amazon's been putting a lot of emphasis on it's Echo device range, the Alexa AI enabled smart devices. Now, with already 3 Echo products - The Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap - Amazon now introduces the Echo Look - an Alexa enabled Smart Camera.

The Echo Look
The Echo Look
It works like a hands free selfie camera. Being Alexa enabled, you can activate it by saying "Alexa, take a picture", or "Alexa, take a video". It takes full-length photos and videos - tall, not wide. It's meant to be used as a fashion and style assistant. With the companion app that comes with it you can view a 360-degree view of your outfit in real time.

With the companion app, you can keep a 'personal lookbook' of your outfits, and it has the option to enhance your outfits in the photos with computer vision techniques.

But the most exciting feature of it would be the "Style Check". Basically, you take two photos of you with two different outfits, and the Echo Look will use advanced machine learning algorithms to say which one works best for you, based on how it fits, the colors, the styling, and the current trends.

The Echo Look is currently available by invitation only.
You can check it out at the Alexa Products Page at Amazon.

When Will Nexus and Pixel Phones Loose Support

Google has revealed when the current Nexus and Pixel phones (and tablets) will loose support. That is, when will Google send out the last security patches for those phones.

The Google Pixel -

Current Supported Nexus Devices

DeviceLast guaranteed
Android Update
Last guaranteed
Security Patch
Nexus 6October 2016October 2017
Nexus 9October 2016October 2017
Nexus 5XSeptember 2017September 2018
Nexus 6PSeptember 2017September 2018

Current Supported Pixel Devices

DeviceLast guaranteed
Android Update
Last guaranteed
Security Patch
PixelOctober 2018October 2019
Pixel XLOctober 2018October 2019

Also, for reference, these were the end-of-support dates of already unsupported devices,

DeviceLast guaranteed
Android Update
Last guaranteed
Security Patch
Nexus 7 (2012)June 2014June 2015
Nexus 10November 2014November 2015
Nexus 4November 2014November 2015
Nexus 7 (2013)July 2015August 2016
Nexus 5October 2015October 2016


Monday, April 24, 2017

Make Your Echo Dot Portable

Do you own an Amazon Echo Dot? And are you disappointed that it's not portable enough?
The Echo Dot is the perfect size to be portable, but having to plug it in always makes it a bit of a hassle to take it with you.

Sure, Amazon already has a portable Alexa-enabled device - the Echo Tap. But with a price more than twice that of the Echo Dot, maybe you're looking for a more economical solution.

Wouldn't it be cool if there is sort of a power-bank adapter that turns your Echo Dot portable?

Well, good news! Because that's exactly what the Fremo Evo is.

The Fremo Evo

Fremo Evo is an intelligent Battery Base for the Echo Dot - specifically, the 2nd Generation Echo Dot.

The Evo is designed so that the Echo Dot magnetically latches on to it, and has a connector that powers the Dot from the 5200mAh battery of the Evo.

The Evo Power Connector

The Evo can power the Echo Dot for 6 hours from a full charge. And the Evo itself can be charged by plugging in the same cable and power adapter that came with the Echo Dot. The charging circuit is intelligent enough so that you can keep the Dot connected to the Evo plugged in to the power adapter, and only disconnect the power adapter when you're taking the Dot with you. It also has a 4 light charge indicator to show how much charge it has left.

Get your Fermo Evo here at Amazon, and make your Echo Dot portable!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Limited Time Deal When Buying 3 Echo Dots

Amazon Echo Dot is awesome. It's small, inexpensive compared to other smart devices, and packs all the features found in many other smart devices. It's the cheapest among the 3 Echo devices - the original Echo, the Echo Dot, and the Echo Tap. And it's more awesome when you have several Echo Dots setup around our house. Amazon knows this too. That's why they now give a discount when you buy 3 Echo Dots.

The Echo Dot - 2nd Generation
The Echo Dot - 2nd Generation
In order to get the discount you need to buy 3 Echo Dots, and you need to use the promo code DOT3PACK during the checkout.

Remember, go to the Echo Dot product page, and set the Qty to 3 before you click Add to Cart. And then, at the checkout, use the promo code DOT3PACK. The discount will be evenly spread across all 3 Echo Dots. It should be made as a single order, and don't use 1-Click ordering. And one customer is limited to one 3-packs of Echo Dots with the offer.

You can check the full details of this offer at the Terms and Conditions page.

The offer is only available until 25th April 2017, so you should hurry up if you  want to buy.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Lexar Professional 2000x 300MB/s SD Cards

If you are a serious photographer, you'll probably know the importance of good memory cards for your camera. Whether your camera is a DSLR, Mirror-less, or a Point-and-shoot, your images gets stored in the memory card, and if the card's not up to the standard, you're going to miss a lot. A non-capable memory card may mean a missed once-in-a-lifetime shot.

When it comes to High-end SD cards for digital cameras, Lexar is considered one of the top. Although expensive, they have good build quality giving durability, and more importantly, unparalleled higher speed. The Lexar Professional 2000x is one of the fastest SD cards in the market currently, giving a 300MB/s speed.

The Lexar Professional 2000X
The Lexar Professional 2000X
The package includes a high-speed SD UHS-II reader which give the full speed of the card, which is a nice touch  since it's quite hard to find quality USB 3 compatible card readers.

I've been using Lexar SD cards with my DSLR camera for years (although, I've been using the Lexar 1000x 150MB/s cards mostly). And I can say that the speed they give is  unparalleled. They really shine at Wildlife and Sport photography, where speed is a must. I do a lot of wildlife photography, specially bird photography. And I have practically experienced that a slight delay where your camera is trying to write an image to the card could mean missing of a once-in-a-lifetime shot. I assume it would be the same with sports photography as well. Having a high speed Lexar card avoided a lot of otherwise missed opportunities.

Apart from the speed, the other thing Lexar cards has given me is reliability. I have worked with them on sub-freezing temperatures - at -20C during a snowstorm at Boston, MA - to high-humid and scorching hot environments - northwest Sri Lanka during the sunniest of the year. And in all of those environments, the cards worked perfectly, they delivered the speed, and preserved the shots I captured.

Yes, Lexar cards are expensive. But I think they are worth the investment.
Once you capture a once-in-a-lifetime shot, then you will feel that the investment is worth it.

Get your Lexar Professional 2000x 32GB SDHC here at Amazon.

Remember, these are the highest speed SD cards in the market right now.

Monday, March 20, 2017

ELEGIANT Bluetooth Speaker

I actually found this through a recommendation fro Amazon. The ELEGIANT is a cube shaped Bluetooth Speaker that is about the size of your palm. It's portable with it's size and looks awesome.

The ELEGIANT Bluetooth Speaker (Image from
The ELEGIANT Bluetooth Speaker (Image from
It works on Bluetooth 4.0, and has a range of about 10 Meters. It's compatible with almost anything: PCs, Macs, iPhones, Androids and so on. It gives 8 hours of playback from a single charge. It has a 3.5mm input jack if you want to plug-in an audio source. It also has a memory card slot, through which you can play mp3, making it a portable music player on it's own.

But the best thing is its look. It's perfectly cube shaped, with color changing LED lights on its sides, with tap buttons on the top discreetly placed into its design. I think it looks awesome.

It has a built-in microphone as well. So, you can use it as a speakerphone with your mobile or PC as well.

Oh, and it has a FM Radio built-in as well.

You can get your ELEGIANT Bluetooth Speaker here at Amazon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jabra Speak 510 - Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Do you take a lot of conference calls?

Then, you know the pain of trying to get the audio working almost every time. 99% of conference calls start with one party asking another whether they can hear them. Half the time there's no sound, and the other half the microphones don't work.
If you're alone you might be able to use a headset. But what if there's a group?

Isn't there an easy way to get audio to work on a conf. call?

That's where the Jabra Speak 510 comes in.

It's a portable speaker and a microphone bundled together into a compact design.

The Jabra Speak 510
The Jabra Speak 510
It's 360 degrees microphone and the superb speaker can effectively cover a medium sized meeting room. The sound is crystal clear, and the microphone can pick up the sound of a person speaking from across the room.

It works with your PC, Tablet, or Smartphone. You can connect to it using the built-in USB cable, via Bluetooth, or (if all else fails) via the 3.5mm audio jack. I've never has any connectivity issues with it (so, I've never used the 3.5mm jack on mine).

It's simply plug-and-play. I've tested it on Windows, Linux (Ubuntu and Mint), and Mac OS for USB, and both Android and iPhone for Bluetooth, and it worked every time. It simply show up as a new audio device, you just need to select it.

Settings for Jabra Speak 510 can't be simpler
Settings for Jabra Speak 510 can't be simpler

I've tested it with Google Hangouts, Skype, and Polycom for conference calls, and it simply works.

It charges from the same built-in USB cable. It gives about 15 hours of talk time from one charge. And, you can use it while it's charging also.
It comes with a nice carrying case to take it with you anywhere.

Simply put, it's a life-saver for conf. calls.

Get your Jabra Speak 510 here at Amazon.

Oh, and it's not just for conference calls. It's pretty good for music playback also.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Limited Time offer for Kindle Devices at Amazon

Update 14/Mar/17: The offer has ended now.

For all the book lovers out there, Amazon is having a limited time offer for Kindle e-readers. The deal is for the Standard Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite, and the Kindle Voyage. With the offer, Amazon is giving away each of them at $20 off their regular price.

The Kindle Paperwhite
The Kindle Paperwhite

Is there a catch in this deal? Well, the devices with the offer has 'Special offers'. What it means is that the devices will display promotional material (advertisements, offers) in it's lockscreen, and at the bottom of the home screen. These advertisements would not have any impact to your reading (as while reading, no advertisements will be displayed).  So, the deal seems quite good.

I haven't got a Kindle device with special offers, so can't comment with personal experience on how the advertisements looks like actually. But I will post a photo on how they look like as soon as I get one.

As for the devices, my favorite would be the Kindle Paperwhite. Out of the 3 devices, for me, it offers the best balance between the price and features. Unlike the Standard Kindle, it has a backlight - 4 LEDs that can help you read in both a dark setting, and a setting with too much light such as outdoors in sunlight. It also has better resolution - 300 ppi vs. 167 ppi. The Kindle Voyage has better lighting, and with an adaptive lighting sensor that adjusts the screen brightness to the surrounding light. The Voyage also has 2 touch buttons on the edges to turn the pages.

The offer might not last long, so get your Kindle devices soon. Check the following links.

Get then soon while the offer stands!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Case for the Official 7" Touchscreen for Raspberry Pi

Turn your Raspberry Pi in to a 7" tablet with this case, and the Official 7" Touchscreen for Raspberry Pi which I posted about earlier.

The case for the official touchscreen
The case for the official touchscreen

The case is designed to fit both the official 7" screen and your Raspberry Pi perfectly, allowing you to make it portable, OR to mount it on a wall. It still give access to all the ports of the Pi - USB, Ethernet, HDMI etc. - while hiding all the unnecessary bits. (It does cut you off from the GPIO pins, but then again you'll be using the GPIO pins to connect the touchscreen, so not much of an issue there). There's even a slot so that you can connect the Pi Camera board.

And yes, it works with Raspberry Pi 3.

Get your Raspberry Pi 7" Touchscreen Case here at Amazon.

Official Touchscreen Display for Raspberry Pi

If you are a Raspberry Pi enthusiast, and are looking for ways to make your Pi more portable, without the need to plug in to a display, keyboard, and a mouse repeatedly, then this is the perfect Pi Add-on for you.

The Official 7" Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Display

It's the Official 7" Touchscreen Display for Raspberry Pi.

It comes with the 7" Touchscreen (with dimensions: 194mm x 110mm x 20mm including the standoffs), a Display Adapter Board - which connects the Raspberry Pi to the screen through the DSI port while powering the screen through the GPIO pins, and the required cables (DSI ribbon, GPIO wires) and the standoffs and screws. Basically everything you need.

The screen has a resolution of 800x400, and is capable of handling up to 10 finger touch. Quite impressive!

It's compatible with all Raspberry Pi models. But the mounting holes in the adapter board might only fit newer models: from A+, B+, up to Raspberry Pi 3.

Get your Official 7" Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Display here at Amazon.

Check here for more official Raspberry Pi products at Amazon.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Amazon has a deal for Music Unlimited when using Echo

If you remember, I posted about the Amazon Echo Dot about a week back. One of the most common things that the Echo or the Echo Dot would be used in a home would be for music playback. So, it's good to have a Music Plan added to your Echo or Echo Dot.

The Echo Dot
The Echo Dot

Amazon has it's own music subscription service - Amazon Music Unlimited - which you can add to your Echo device. With Music Unlimited, you can get unlimited amount of music - as the name suggests - for a fixed monthly fee.

They now have an Amazon Echo Plan for Music Unlimited, which is half the price of the regular subscription. You just need to say "Alexa, try Amazon Music Unlimited" to your Echo to activate it. It will be on free trial for 30 days, so you can try it out before actually buying it.

Just keep in mind that the Echo Plan is only available for the Echo device you activate it on.

Get your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot at

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Nitecore D4 - The Ultimate Battery Charger

The Nitecore D4 should be called the ultimate battery charger. It can charge almost all of the household battery types. It can charge Ni-MH and Ni-Cd batteries of sizes AA, AAA, AAAA, and C. Li-ion batteries of type 26650, 22650, 18650, 17670, 18490, 17500, 18350, 16340 (RCR123), 14500, and 10440. And it's compatible with LiFePO4 batteries as well.

The Nitecore D4
The Nitecore D4
The charger has 4 slots for batteries, with 4 adjustable plates to suite any size.

The 4 adjustable plates, to suite batteries of any size
The 4 adjustable plates, to suite batteries of any size
It will fit most of the household battery types,

4 AA Batteries being charged
4 AA Batteries being charged
2 AAA Batteries being charged
2 AAA Batteries being charged
There's only room for one C Battery at a time
There's only room for one C Battery at a time 
It can handle 18650 Li-ion Batteries also
It can handle 18650 Li-ion Batteries also
The batteries in each slot are charged individually, so you can mix and match up to 4 batteries of any type. Here you can see 2 AA batteries and 1 AAA battery, with different charge levels, being charged simultaneously.

2 AA Batteries and 1 AAA Battery being charged simultaneously
2 AA Batteries and 1 AAA Battery being charged simultaneously
The charger detects the type of battery in each slot, and the type of charging required automatically. You can override this using the 'Slot' and 'Mode' buttons on the side.

The 'Slot' and the 'Mode' buttons to override automatic charging modes
The 'Slot' and the 'Mode' buttons to override automatic charging modes
You can power the charger with either the mains (100v - 240v), or a 12v power supply.

Plug in to mains power, or a 12v power supply
Plug in to mains power, or a 12v power supply
With all these features, the Nitecore D4 should be the only battery charger you'll need.

Get your Nitecore D4 from here at Amazon.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

TV-B-Gone v1.2 Kit - Shut-off any TV

The TV-B-Gone Kit is an awesome little gadget. Whit it, you can turn off any TV! Yep, any TV.
The latest is the v1.2 of the kit, which has been updated with the shutdown codes of 230 different TV manufacturers and models, that practically covers every type of TV we come across.

TV-B-Gone v1.2

TV-B-Gone v1.2
The TV-B-Gone v1.2, handheld device to shut-off any TV
The device is pretty simple: it fits in one hand, and just one button to press. Once you press, it cycles through the list of shutdown codes for TVs, starting from more common ones. It takes about a minute to cycle through all the codes. So, just press the button once, release, and keep holding it in the direction of the TV until it shuts off. For most TVs I tested, it only took couple of seconds to shut off.

It runs on just 2 AA batteries
It runs on just 2 AA batteries

The kit has 4 IR LEDs - 2 narrow beam long-range ones, and 2 wide beam ones. With 2 full batteries, it has a range of about 40 meters. It only needs 2 AA batteries.

You can even turn on a TV with it!
Click once to turn off, and once again to turn back on.
Check out the following video to see the TV-B-Gone in action,

You can get your TV-B-Gone v1.2 Kit from here at Amazon.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Amazon Echo Dot - 2nd Generation

You all know the Amazon Echo right? the voice-controlled smart speaker from Amazon, which connects to Amazon's Alexa service (the artificial intelligence personal assistant service). It has so many cool features. But, the price tag does make people reluctant to try it out. That's where Echo Dot comes in. It's less than one third of the price of the Echo. But don't let the lower price fool you - the Echo Dot has all the functionality of the Echo.

My Echo Dot just unpacked
My Echo Dot, just unpacked
Echo Dot is now in its 2nd Generation (released on October, 2016). It's speaker is not as powerful as the one in the Echo, but still capable of covering a small room. If that sound is not enough, there's a 3.5mm Audio Jack in the Dot to connect it to an external audio system. Or, you can also connect it to a Bluetooth speaker.

The Echo Dot has 7 microphones built-in, and uses the "far-field voice recognition" technology to recognize commands even in a noisy environment. What if you have more than one Echo Dot within the range of your voice? The new Echo Spatial Perception (ESP for short) will make sure that the Dot that's closest to you will only respond.

Get your Echo Dot from here at

I'll do a more hands-on review of my Echo Dot next.

Check out the Original Amazon Echo here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Welcome to Tec Spotlight -The home for all the tech gadgets.

If you, like me, are a technology geek, who loves electronic gadgets, then this is the right site for you.

Raspberry Pi 3 - By Sven.petersen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I'll be introducing new gadgets - and reviewing the ones I can get hands on - on a regular basis. Will be covering electronic gadgets, components and tools for electronic circuits, photography equipment, components for PCs, and much more.

Keep in touch to keep up-to-date with the latest tech gadgets.