Matthew Torres / July 25, 2019

What Is The Best Dash Cams?

They record what’s ahead on the road. If a deer runs in on the road, they’ll see it. They record what’s inside your vehicle. They can even sometimes record all around you. Dash cams have been proven time and time again to be invaluable to everyone that drives a car, since there are literally people that will try to sue you by creating a false accident. In these times, the dash cam in your car (if you have one) has your back, legally and figuratively. So, what is the best dash cams? I’ll be showing you examples of the very best dash cams you can buy, today.

The Best Front/Rear Dash Cam

NextBase 422GW modular dual-channel dash cam – $219.95 on Amazon.com

A bar-raising dash cam, it may be pricey, but it also features an HDMI port, outputting video and accepts any kind of rear port. Phone-syncing, GPS, touchscreen, alexa-voice support are just the highlights of this wonderful cam. The biggest downside is that there is no infrared lighting for interior. Personally it would be great for daytime-use, but if you want a clear view at night inside of your vehicle, this wouldn’t be the one, though it’s front-facing lens is powerful.

The Best Budget Front/Rear Dash Cam

Viofo A129 Duo 2-Channel Cam – $169.90 on Amazon.com

With awesome daytime video quality and image stabilization, this cam is actually pretty nifty. With a polarizing filter for the lens ($20), it can cut down on glare and really make a difference in clarity. Night-time video recording is super-clear as well, and it’s possible to view license plates or even signs and faces in low-light situations.

The Best Front and Budget Front Dash Cam

Vantrue N1 Pro Dash Cam – $79.99 on Amazon.com

Being a compact, light, and relatively inexpensive option for recording front-facing video, this one would serve you very well. It has a backup battery inside just in case the 12-volt battery fails, recording a little more video right after impact, be it a car collision, or anything else that could disrupt the video. There is an optional GPS-mount for this device, and it comes highly recommended, since GPS would make a massive difference in life-or-death situations in vehicles. This is a very tiny dash cam, so if you want something that is minimal, then you’ve got it, right here.

Runner-Up For Best Front Dash Cam

Garmin Speak Plus – $164.99 on Amazon.com

One of the few dash cams that can be controlled using your voice, it has powerful guidance features. You’ll need your smartphone handy to use these features, though, so don’t forget it!

Other Awesome Mentions

APEMAN 1440P&1080P; Dual Dash Cam – $99.99 on Amazon.com

A cheaper and neater option compared to the others, this dual front/rear cam combo actually can record in 1440p in the front, and 1080p in the rear, and allows you to see the interior of the car, as well as the side windows in case someone walks up to the car, with a motion sensor in place. It has a 2.7-inch LCD widescreen, wide field of view, and also has a picture-in-picture mode. APEMAN also offers a one-month free return, and a 12-month warranty on this cam! Another amazing feature, is the G-sensor – this means the camera automatically detects a big shake or collision of the vehicle, then starts recording whatever is happening. These “G-sensor” videos will remain locked and can’t be overwritten by any loop- recording, helping to solve disputes.

AUKEY Dash Cam, 1080p Dash Camera for Cars with 6-Lane Lens – $36.99 on Amazon.com

Being the cheapest on this list, it is far from being the worst, as it too has motion detection, loop recording, and night vision! Boasting a 1080p 2.7-inch LCD display, you’ll be sure to see whatever life throws at you, on the road. The internal battery also can withstand a much higher temperature than other dash cams, so that makes this one the most durable of the pack! This is a front-facing camera, and no rear camera included, but for nearly half the price of others, it makes it that much easier to experience the relief of knowing you have a dash cam as your backup!

What You See Is Also What You Get

Having both a front and rear dash cam could mean the difference between a lawsuit, and preventing accidents. The dash cams listed above are some of the best dash cams that money can buy, and will help keep you out of trouble, and in the safe zone! Don’t forget that these models all support micro SD cards, so being able to switch out storage is cheap and quick! Compact and covert, it can be your trusty “eyewitness that

never lets you down.”

Simply plug the hardware in and drive worry-free that Dash Cam is continually recording and auto-saving footage if any kind of incident occurs. Voice control, driver assistance, and other features help keep you on the road, and out of trouble!

Matthew Torres / May 21, 2019

Navigation Apps For Android

Knowing where you’re going is helpful, right? I mean, you’re driving down the road, and suddenly, you take a wrong exit, maybe. Looking at the street signs, you’ve just realized you’re on the wrong path, and you get lost! Well, fortunately, there are many apps that can really show you the way so that you can keep driving, save fuel, and get to where you need to go efficiently.

Using Mobile Apps On Your Smartphone


A great way to aid your journey on the road is to use the thing you take with you every day – your smartphone! Having it mounted in your car dashboard or overhead, with a phone holder or mount, is a convenient way to be able to glance at your smartphone when you need to know the correct road or exit leading to your destination.

Most of the apps shown here also have detailed 2D and 3D driving lane maps to help you stay safe in real-time. You can see nearly any traffic slowdown or stop with the apps shown, and even routes re-planned in case you decide you take a detour to avoid any traffic jams or road hazards.

Types Of Navigation Apps


Google Maps – This is probably the most popular app for navigation, and relatively easy to use. Mostly pre-installed on android smartphones, simply click on the app to open it, type in or use the GPS to show your location, and then type the destination to get a route mapped.

Google Maps – This list wouldn’t make sense without this app. Covers nearly everything you would need, such as traffic, points of interest, using the commute tab to see saved places at a mere tap, offline maps to use without WiFi or data connections, even adding a stop to your trip to pick up a friend!

Even booking an Uber or Lyft ride for times without a vehicle is easy, and you can share your location with a friend, drop a pin to show your friends your location, and even use Augmented Reality to guide you in the right direction!

A truly do-it-all navigation app that’s become a wonderful tool.

Waze – A new app that has a nice, simple interface to helping get you where you need to go. It is very practical, and not too flashy, making things easy for most people to use.

Maps.me – A quirky app with a nice interface that has many options aside from other third-party apps. Seeing traffic is a sweet spot of this app, so you can plan accordingly in case you are about to run into a big traffic jam.

Komoot – Great for showing paths for the outdoors as you go hiking, cycling, or even off-roading! Has terrain-level charts that can produce great paths to get you back on track.

Verizon VZ Navigator – Not only for Verizon customers, this app has many great features within a decent interface that can be easy to use, as well. It has traffic, terrain and interest locations, so you can keep an eye out for that new cafe or restaurant you haven’t been to, yet.

CoPilot GPS – An app with great GPS tracking and a basic interface that’s easy on the eyes. You won’t have any problems using this app, as everything is clean and easy to read. If you want something that’s feature-loaded, then this is it. The basic version is free, but the fully-loaded version with voice assist will cost extra.

MapFactor GPS – An app that’s not associated with Google, like others, so it’s a tad different that what many people are used to. Still, it’s a great app that has support for many apps, and even offline apps for those times you may lose connection.

Using GPS To Pinpoint Location


Using a mobile navigation app to guide you along the way is a simple way of getting around locations, but to do that, you must first enable the GPS connection in your device. This way, satellite and WiFi data can track your exact location on earth. Loading maps offline can be another data-saving feature that can help to keep you on track, so that way you can have the routes you need, even when connections are few and far in-between.

Just be sure to look ahead and not always at the screen!

Solutions For Staying On Track


When going from point A to point B, you now have a great asset that can really be a guide on your journey to wherever your destination lies, be it at a coffee shop, restaurant, store, gym, mall, or even home! The Greatest feature of having access to GPS is that you can easily bring up one of the navigation apps by downloading from one of the app stores.

While some apps may charge a small fee, usually the majority of them are free to download and install. Just be sure to keep your phone or mobile device charged!

Know Where You’re Going


If you get lost on the road or walking down the street, you can be assured that the apps listed above can really help you get back on track to where you need to go. Getting lost is the exact last thing that we all want, and possibly getting into trouble, so be sure to always carry your phone with you. These apps may consume more battery power, since voice navigation and GPS, along with the phone’s display, are constantly transmitting data. Having a spare power bank for charging would be a good idea to keep things going.

With the options shown above, you can have offline maps for those times when you may not have a data connection with your phone service. Be Always sure to practice caution and safe habits when driving and using Navigation – never keep your eyes on your phone or GPS device for too long when driving since that would possibly create a hazard and endanger you and everyone in the vehicle. Stay safe out there, and when using your chosen navigation app, be alert, and enjoy the journey!

Matthew Torres / May 18, 2019

Mobile Devices Today

Things in technology can change on a whim, being that people want the latest and greatest, or even the shiniest. I want to talk with you about Tech Fads, and the current mobile products that are popular in today’s consumer world. 

Mobile Technology, At A Glance

Mobile phones have evolved over the years, from the bar phones, to the flip phones, and the most popular, the iphone, years ago. Today, there is a huge abundance in the different brands of smartphones, over 90% with the bar form factor. Displays on phones have also gotten way bigger over the years, from tiny 1 inch screens, all the way to 7 inch monsters. 

The size of the phones themselves have also gotten way slimmer, from thick brick-style layouts, to the slim pencil-width thin designs. This has made carrying the devices much, much easier, from slipping a phone into your pocket, or even just carrying it in a small, thin bag. 

Connectivity

We’ve come a long way since simply making a phone call. Often enough, everyone overlooks the simple call quality, and goes for other features in phones of today. Bluetooth has become a standard way of connecting wireless keyboards, mice, headphones, speakers, even other computers such as laptops and tablets to your smartphone. This allows you to share music, pictures, apps, and other info between devices. Very convenient, to say the least. 

Another method of connectivity is something called NFC (Near Field Communication), which allows 2 smartphones or other devices, to simply transfer data between each other by touching. This can be great for two people nearby that want to share contact details, or even file transfers in-person. 

Lastly, WiFi connections have given us more than internet connnectvity – it allows us to make calls, without using cell phone data by using the internet itself to power the call! This can be a huge money saver for people that use phone plans with limited data plans.

Video Calling

In addition to all of the other features and connectivity with mobile devices and apps, video calling has become a big way of keeping in touch with people. Familes can see each other no matter where they are in the world, and even businesses can see their employees and clients with virtual meetings. 

It has become a staple of today’s world, by both being a wonderful tool for business use, interviewing, and even learning and teaching online! Using either WiFi or a data connection, you can simply make video calls through Skype, Facebook, Google, and many other apps that will allow this feature. 

Keep in mind, though, that if you’re using a data connection through your smartphone, data usage will be very high, probably more so than any other streaming service or downloads. 

Tablets

It first started with the iPad, and then popularity of these exploded. Being bigger than a phone, but smaller than a laptop overall, tablets often have the benefit of a much bigger display screen, and usually more power and battery life. These can supplant a smartphone by offering great connectivy for users of a same platform (iOS for iPads and iPhones, android for both android tablets and android smartphones). 

Some really consider tablets to replace notebook computers, but it’s still not enough to have a mobile device replace a full-blown device designed for work, or creation. Here’s the simple breakdown of things-

  • Smartphones and tablets are for content consumption
  • Notebook and desktop computers are for content creation

So by themselves alone, tablets cannot fully replace a desktop OS experience with content creation, being that they use a mobile OS (Android or iOS). The prices on tablets may vary, as well – some of the cheaper android tablets can go for as low as 60 dollars, but the higher-end ones (iPads and Galaxy) tend to go for a higher range of $300 to $600, though you can expect these to have much more features, power, and battery life, along with a better display screen.

2-in-1 Notebook Computers

As I’ve stated before, tablets alone cannot replace a full-blown desktop experience, but now there are devices called 2-in-1s that actually can replace them, in some ways:

  • Full desktop OS – At the moment, Windows OS is the only operating system for these devices, but may change in the future. These are full Windows 10 devices, that has varying screen sizes.
  • Touch and keyboard – Offering the simplicity and versatility of a touch screen with a physical keyboard, 2-in-1 notebook computers can transform into a full-fledged laptop, and allow you to type full-speed with ease. When you need to click an app or object on the screen, you can simply touch it, or even use a signature, or even draw with it!
  • Detachable screen – Now these devices offer the versatility of having a detachable screen! You can simply use the screen itself as a standalone tablet, with a full desktop OS included, and touch away to get things done.
  • Mouse – Since the OS included with the device is a full desktop one, you can now use pretty much any wired or wireless mouse with the 2-in-1 notebook! This is great for getting things done much quicker, for times when you need to be really precise.

How It Affects Us Daily

As more of us go through the day, we see people using tablets and their smartphones on the go, walking, sitting at coffee shops, in restaurants, and even in vehicles. These devices keep all of us connected in many different ways, and even helps familes stay in touch with video calls. 

Although at times it seems that people talk less in person, it actually can make the world a smaller place in general, and makes communicating with each other easier when we’re physically away from one another. Expanding a business can be done online, through social networks, through websites, and even buying and selling is now done online, easily finding buyers and offers that you wouldn’t even get in person. The world of connectvity with mobile devices, not only keep us in touch, but keeps our world in touch. 

Matthew Torres / May 15, 2019

Fitness Tracker Reviews

In the health & fitness world, there are now many devices that can measure weight, such as weighing scales, measure blood pressure, with arm machines, and even heart rate, with EKG monitors, but how about steps taken, and overall calories being burned? Well, in the big, wide world of tech, there are now fairly new devices called wearables, which have smartphone connectivity, syncing, and a fitness tracker. I’m going to be reviewing the ones that are some of the best out there, as well as explaining the pros and cons of each. Here we go!

Design and Features

Fitness-tracking smartwatches like the FitBit line of wearables and watches are simplistic, sporty and durable wrist watches that have several functions to serve with fitness and health. The first feature I want to talk about, is the sleep tracking. Yes, that’s right! These watches actually can tell your sleep pattern, and heart rate while you sleep. They can track blood pressure, as well. They can also measure your geo-location, with the GPS inside of the watch, and really tell you how far you’ve come, fitness-wise, by telling you the amount of steps you’ve taken, and has some android messaging features, such as answering calls through the watch, and sending/receiving emails and text messages.

Music can also be streamed from your existing android smartphone, and the quality is actually pretty great. These are firstly for fitness-minded individuals and active people, as the activity tracker in this particular watch is powerful.

Battery Life

Great battery life is common for FitBit watches, as with normal usage you can expect 2-3 days before having to recharge again. This isn’t the best battery life, but better than an Apple Watch, for sure, which only eeks a day’s worth out of it’s battery.
If your main priority is simply exercising while just checking your fitness stats, and the time every once in a while, then it will serve you well for a few more days between charges.

Buying a charge cradle or wireless charging pad for any wearable would be very convienient, as it could possibly be a hassle plugging these into outlets. Expect to charge these everyday if you’re using them heavily. Keep in mind, however, that the batteries within these watches can only be charged several hundreds, to even thousands of times before they lose their efficiency, meaning they will eventually have to be replaced. This will take some years before it happens, though, so you can expect them to last quite a long time.

Syncing With Your Smartphone

Both the FitBit and Apple Watch have syncing capabilities. The FitBit brand of watches can sync with android smartphones, and Apple Watches can only sync with the iphone. Although this seems very limited, the ability to read emails, texts, and maps on your wrist is very impressive. Some apps can also be used with syncing as well, such as apps with news feeds and even some with podcasts. Isn’t this really impressive?

I bet you can just tell what you can do next, like being able to go for a jog and see an email or notification about a podcast that you’re waiting for, and now you can listen to that on the go! Staying connected while exercising and improving health is a big convenience for many, as well as being able to track your overall health. Having access to all of these features on your wrist, is pretty awesome, to say the least.

Main Brands of Smartwatches With Fitness Tracking

Two of the big brands of smartwatches with fitness tracking are here, and they are both excellent devices for your everyday activity-tracking.

FitBit Ionic

These are primarily more fitness-based watches, but they also have messaging, GPS and other features as well, with decent battery life to boot. Not only
are these durable watches, but they are also mostly waterproof, and also excel in the fitness area by showing exactly how much sleep you’re getting, how many steps you’ve taken, and overall health. As stated earlier, battery life may vary, but you can usually expect to last 2 to 3 days with normal usage, and possibly 5 days with very light usage (checking time once in a while, fitness, etc.) Prices range around $200 in most places. This brand is the middle of the pack when it comes to pricing.

Apple Watch Series

With a premium look and feel, these smartwatches give the full experience with all of the great features from apple you’d expect, like GPS, apps, fitness, sleep, and heart tracking, as well. This watch can take calls from an iPhone, so if you have one, it makes a lovely pair. Battery life isn’t so great, being that only one day charge with normal usage (browsing, apps, tracking, messaging, and calls).
Prices range from $300 to $500 for these. Not exactly as cheap as the other brands, but you are getting a premium experience here with connectivity, as well as Apple’s good customer service.

A Big Convenience

With the products listed here, you can’t really go wrong if you’re looking for a good  smartwatch to impress yourself or anyone else. Having a tracker measuring your fitness, and smartwatch features are a great combination for devices that can really bring more productivity to your life. These devices may also aid in staying in shape and keeping connected with your smartphone, and can always be by your side when you need them.

Another way that these devices can improve your everyday living, is by requiring you to look at your phone’s screen much less often, and possibly even taking the habit of constantly looking at your screen, away. This happens by all notifications arriving on your smartwatch/fitness tracker, and not your phone, so you can just continue on with your task or exercise, and not stop to look at your phone! I hope you’ve gotten a better understanding of two brands of the best fitness trackers, as well as the benefits of owning one. Here’s to your health and connectivity! Thanks for reading!

Matthew Torres / May 6, 2019

Shopping Effectively Online

Online Shopping

Every day, you go to a website to look at products. These sites are huge, with many, many products on sale. Do you know what you’re looking for, or are you just browsing? Well, today, I want to help you understand just how you can simply look for what you want on shopping sites, and just how easily you can get what you want faster, while potentially saving you money. I will make this a simple as possible to help you understand.

Browsing Through Shopping Sites

It seems simple enough – you think of an item you want, then you go to a shopping site, and then browse through different items advertised. Once you start look for the item you intend on purchasing, however, you then have a chance of getting lost looking at other products, or buying other items that you originally did not intend to buy in the first place. This is all too common with online stores, and one of the best ways to prevent over-spending and buyer’s remorse when buying products online, is to just simply stick to your item list.

Shopping List Online

When you think about it, making a list when you go shopping in person makes sense, right? You list the items you need, and go seek them out. The good thing about that is you’ll be able to just stick with the list, and hopefully not buy anything you don’t need, and spend less. Believe it or not, making an online list for what you need is just as important. If it sounds weird, trust me, it’s not!

Making an online list of things you need to get online can make things much easier for you to spend less, and find what you need much quicker.

Creating an Online Budget

Going through the list, the next best thing you can do to help save money when shopping online, is to make a small budget chart. This can be just a simple list in a document on your computer, mobile device, or even just plain paper. Putting the total of all items combined, and including shipping, can really show a great estimate of how much you can expect to spend online, whether it be fitness tech, mobile devices, groceries, or really any kind of item online. Keeping track of each item you spend will create discipline and prevent over-spending.

Browsing Websites Properly

Upon entering a shopping site, you may see a layered list of products that may be on sale, or even special offers that the site advertises to send by email. While it’s tempting to jump right into the sales deals – most shopping sites have sales nearly every day – try to avoid clicking on those, since it may tempt you to browse through the specials first, rather than search for what you need.

The top of the main website page (usually the top center or top-right corner) will have a search bar, and you can just type in either a general keyword for your product, or the name, and clicking search should then take you to the page and section with the items you’re looking for.

Checking Reviews on Products

Getting to the product that you want is one thing, and making sure that it’s really worth it, is another thing, entirely. Checking product reviews by customers that have bought and used the products can really help you decide whether the item is worth buying in the first place. Looking at the worst reviews for the product can determine possible negative aspects of that product, whereas the positive ones can really show the product’s best attributes. Also, if there are any particular product reviews on another site that reveal more information, then those too can serve to help you decide if that product is right for you or not.

Most reviewers give honest, realistic info about the product that can help the customer with the pros and cons with the product.

Clicking Ads on Sites

An everyday occurrence on shopping sites are 3rd-party ads that you will see floating around different products on sites. These ads will redirect you to another website with the item shown in the ad, and it will lead to another product page or where you can purchase a product on another website, also taking you away from what you were look for in the first place. It’s best to be aware of any words beside pictures of products titled “third party websites” or “AD”, so that you will know what to watch out for just so you know where you’re going.

Website Account VS. Checking Out as a Guest

If you have an account associated with the shopping site, then it can make the buying process easier at checkout. Since you won’t be checking out as a guest, you can simply have payment details saved, as well as easily access shopping carts, and quickly pay for any other items during future visits to the site.

Without having an account with the shopping site, you will have to enter payment and billing information, such as address, credit/debit card info, and future visits will require you to re-enter this information.

Determine If the Site Has Great Customer Service

Sometimes, it’s best to look up reviews about customer service on a particular shopping site by other customer reviews in search engines, and on business review websites. Knowing beforehand if a company site could potentially give you problems returning a particular product is a must, and usually shopping sites will have some sort of certified approval symbols around their main site pages that you can see. If the site does not have any, then it could be trouble for you, so as a precaution, watch closely on the site you’re browsing through for these symbols.

Becoming A Pro With Online Shopping

As you follow the advice I’ve given you, there will be less time spent searching for what you want, and more money being saved, and fewer hassles you’ll face as you shop for the products you need. Be observant, be safe, and most importantly, have fun browsing!

Matthew Torres / April 30, 2019

About us…

First of all, thanks for finding this site! I’m glad to see visitors, such as yourself, wander into this wonderful world of product reviews and info that you can use daily! Here’s to great reading and awareness for you and everyone else!

MY STORY

I’ve always wanted to find a way to share my passion for everything technology online. Then I had an idea, and that was to start an online website which I could release that passion, through technology and product reviews. This site was started with the thinking that I could help people get what they need and help everyone learn about new technology, whether it be things that deal with mobile devices, fitness tracking and other health-related tech, computers, and much, much more.

Being able to share tech-related issues with everyone and raise awareness is a reward in itself.

 

HELPING PEOPLE WITH TECHNOLOGY, INFO, AND GENERAL PRODUCTS

Helping people understand and make good choices when it comes to making well-informed decisions about technology and tech products, and also raising awareness, is a blessing on it’s own. This is one of the two things I wish to accomplish, with the second being that whenever you visit this website, you’ll be at home, comfortable, and enjoy every moment here, and feel good about the information and reviews that you see on this site, and make better decisions with technology and the products you’re looking for.

I want to help YOU with understanding new tech and new tech products.

 

THE PURPOSE OF THIS SITE

The main goal here at The VANTAGE that I plan to achieve, is to inform the online web-goer about the benefits of new tech, new products, and overall awareness of the things related to many different areas and products, new up-to-date about trends and how those trends may affect them. Everyday, people buy things tech-related and use technology for many different things, whether it’s for personal use, fitness, business, gaming, health and many other reasons.

Whatever the case, it’s best that you become well-informed of products, information, and overall use of new technology everyday as this helps to make decisions that will benefit you, the consumer and the web-goer, by knowing what works, and what doesn’t work, as well as saving money! So here’s to you, reader, feel free to browse this site, and make yourself feel at home!

If you ever need a hand or have any kind of questions for me, then just feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best to you,

Matthew Torres
atthevantage.com