Photographer’s travel hack. Have you heard of Nitecore?

I’m so excited! I got this Nitecore charger for Father’s Day! Man, I wish I had this on my Japan trip. You can read about the ordeal in my Tokyo Post. I’ve been wishing for a USB camera battery charger for years! This is the model I just got, the Nitecore UCN1.



Basically, this little device can charge your camera battery via USB. I always carry a portable battery and one that is capable of charging everything I use, including my “mini laptop.” For reference, my portable battery is a 10,000 mah battery with 3A output made by Red Monster (model: power up mini), it’s roughly the same size as the Nitecore UCN1. There’s bigger/better battery packs out there but that’s the one I currently use. Anyways, back to the Nitecore UCN1.

While the packaging/advertisement indicates that it can charge two batteries, it doesn’t mention that it CANNOT charge two of the SAME battery. My wife and kids thought it could so they ordered me 2 units so I can charge 4 batteries at the same time. Oh well. Regardless, it’s still awesome! Being so much smaller than the OEM Canon charger, this Nitecore charger is easier to pack (no wires to mess with too)! Also to make packing lighter on trips, I pack a USB charging hub which is capable of charging 6 USB devices (at 2.1 A) so the four of us can charge our devices (including my batteries now) at the same time without the need to carry multiple chargers, multiple travel adapters etc.



The Nitcore UCN1 is very light and made of plastic but not the cheap feeling kind. It also doesn’t feel like it is 10 ft drop proof either. The USB cable is permanently attached via thick rubber and is enclosed within the unit when not in use. The display is bright and the data is easily readable. I really love this device and for the sake of preparedness, I’m looking for USB pocket solar panels, lol. Having said that, there are a couple of “issues” or “pet peeves” I have with my units.

1) The display is so confusing to read. It toggles itself between a temperature and mAh meter, then voltage and different mAh meter. One of the mAh meters is how much the battery has charged and the other is for how much is being outputted by the UCN1? This is just my guess as there’s no definitive documentation on the displayed items on the unit or manual. I find it confusing and would rather just look at a power level bar, which brings me to my next point.
2) On both my units, the power level indicators show either one blinking bar or full even though there are bars in between. Even if I put in a full battery, the UCN1 will flash one bar, show the mAh numbers then stop charging and show a full battery meter. After watching several youtube reviews, I’ve noticed that the reviewers UCN1’s battery meter shows varying bars, not like mine (only one flashing or full). So I emailed Nitecore to ask if mine were defective. Basically, they never answered the question saying only that their battery meter is more accurate than my camera’s meter and shows multiple bars. Doesn’t make sense to me, because it doesn’t matter if my camera shows flat battery, 2 bars, 3 bars or full, both my UCN1’s battery meter shows 1 flashing bar, charges then shows full bars and the word ‘end’ when charging is complete.



According to Nitecore, the UCN1 is capable of: Automatic Current Adjustment, Battery Status Monitoring, Reverse Polarity and Anti-Short Circuit Protection, Battery Recovery.

Here’s the sheer awesomeness of a USB camera battery charger. In a pinch you can charge your battery using your laptop, hotel room’s flat screen tv (a lot have usb ports) I haven’t tried but it should work, car’s phone charger, someone else’s portable battery, those charging stations at airports, convenience stores, the computers in library, PC game room, biz centres etc.

I’m so happy I got these chargers (even if I think the battery level meter isn’t working properly), it relieves a certain sense of stress when it comes to power management, especially since my batteries are getting old. The peace of mind is well worth the price and it’s more cost effective than buying multiple OEM Canon batteries. I think if you travel and shoot a lot, one of the Nitecore chargers is a must (hopefully they make one for your camera’s battery). Oh, I’m not endorsed by Nitecore nor affiliated with them. If I was I probably would have units that read the battery levels accurately, haha.

More info on Nitecore’s website and the UCN1 Manual

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, ūüėÉ please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. Thanks in advance!

Comments & Critiques are always welcome. As are upvotes and resteems, if you like what you see.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes,


PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

Fine Art

*** This post was originally posted on Ray’s Steemit Blog.

My journey to the Pingyao International Photography Festival 2017

Documenting my journey into China. I thought it would be a good idea to visit some historic sites on my way to the Pingyao International Photography Festival 2017, which is the largest photography festival in China and set within the ancient city walls of Pingyao in the Shanxi province. Hopefully my exploits will help some of you if you happen be in similar situation(s). I will put my visit to each tourist site in separate posts with links in this post. It was quite a privilege for me to participate as part of the Photographic Society of Singapore’s curated contingent. Here’s me with my entries:

My large prints on exhibit at the Pingyao International Photography Festival 2017

My large prints on exhibit at the Pingyao International Photography Festival 2017

NOTE: Yuan and Renmenbi are used interchangeably as the name for China’s currency. Yuan is the official name, I think.

My daughter and I flew out of Singapore on China Eastern Airlines into Shanghai’s Pudong Airport and had a few hours layover before our flight to Datong so we got some breakfast and ate it at the gate lobby. Although the flight was on time and we were sitting outside the gate, we almost missed the flight!!! Between my daughter and myself we heard only one call to board roughly 30 minutes before the printed boarding time on our boarding pass. As we got to the counter, we noticed that we were at last call with roughly 10 minutes left and being rushed and a bunch of people were starting to stir behind us. Apparently, there were 2 flights leaving from this gate and the attendants were sifting through the passengers. So we got through with a bunch of other people and had to get on a bus, there was enough of us stragglers to fill the bus! Then it took us roughly 25 minutes to get to the plane. We all boarded the plane, no hassles, plenty of overhead cabin space and the flight went by smooth. No horror stories, no bad service, zip.¬†Three hours later we land in Datong

View of Datong Airport’s terminal from the runway.

Datong airport has a tourist transportation kiosk that you can see as soon as you step past security after collecting your bags, it’s a big red sign in English. The lady we spoke to didn’t speak English though but we managed to ascertain that the free bus that goes into the city had just left and that a taxi would cost 50 yuan. So instead of wait 30 min. for the next free bus (which would have stopped in front of our hotel) we chose to take the taxi she walked us out to get the cab and made sure the driver knew that the fare would be 50 yuan. The ride by (speeding) taxi was roughly 30 min. I imagine the bus would take twice as long.

NOTE: I was told prior to leaving for this trip that everything was negotiable and that it is imperative that you ask for the price BEFORE you get into the taxi. This lady dictating/reinforcing the fare really set this process in my mind.

Our Itinerary (will link to reviews when I write them):
First Day: Yungang Grottoes.
Second Day: Wooden Pagoda, Hanging Temple, Hengshan mountain
Third Day: Datong Great Wall and inner city walk around.
My full review of Datong Hotel

So we got to the hotel, Datong Hotel, roughly 20 minutes later and was able to check in early. There was a guy (tall with glasses) that could speak a bit of English that helped us check in. He took my details and was quite pleasant. He informed me that I had to use my credit card for security deposit and I understood a charge of 1/3 the quoted price would be charged. He actually charged 1/3 over the quoted price and said the difference would be “returned”. I didn’t really think I’d get ripped off and if I did I can dispute, right? Not really. Anyways, got the keys and went to the room to drop off our suitcases. We were excited and wanted to go see stuff already. We spent roughly 3 days and 3 nights in Datong. There are many eateries around but none looked like they would have English menus so we just picked a joint that had pictures on the wall and pointed out our order. Here’s a picture of the hotel front yard:

Datong Hotel

Front view of Datong Hotel.


The hotel is old, but not dirty. A bit dark in places but overall, ok. It’s kind of close to many of Datong’s attraction.¬† Only ran into 3 staff that could converse, kind of, in English. All were front desk staff. Although the hotel’s rates are relatively inexpensive beware of this scheme:

My quote from was in the amount of 684 Yuan for 3 nights. Upon checkout, they did not reverse the security deposit charge and charge the subsequent correct amount of 812 yuan (we room charged dinner one night in the amount of 128 yuan). When questioned, they punched a bunch of stuff into the machine it spit out a long paper that had the correct amounts on it but was difficult to read. Now going on at the same time, the taxi we had arranged, had not shown up yet (20 min late) and I was worried we would miss our train to Pingyao. So I figured I would give them the benefit of the doubt and deal with this through my credit card if necessary. Also the converted potential loss would be around $38 dollars (my currency) which would be cheaper than missing my train.

UPDATE: As of 9/30/17 The security deposit is gone from my credit card statement and the proper charge is reflected.

So we got the hotel to get us a taxi to the train station. It cost 15 yuan and took roughly 20 min. We got to the train station, went through security, bought some drinks and took a toilet break, 10 min later it was boarding time. Here’s the train station:

Datong’s railway station.

TIP: get your tickets early and try not to get the standing or hard seats (standing literally means standing in the aisle of the hard seat section). I used (their website’s in English and you can pay via Mastercard or Visa) and collected the tickets the day before the train ride (again 15 yuan from Hotel). Take a picture of your ticket(s) before you board.

Although the sign says pick up tickets here (where the lady in yellow is in the above picture), behind all those doors is the security line of bag x-ray machines and security personnel with metal detectors. To pick up tickets, go through security and walk down the corridor on the right (as if you had walk straight through the doors where the lady in yellow is in the photo above). The corridor opens up and you’ll see ticket counters from which you can get your tickets. If you’re catching your train, after security check, show your ticket to the last security personnel and they’ll point you in the direction you need to go. Well at least that worked for us, the lady security guard even spoke the directions in English.

We booked the Hard Sleeper seats which are bunk beds three high on either side of a cubicle. One train car has like 4 or 5 cubicles. I couldn’t pick seats so we got one way at the top and one on the opposite side bottom (at least we were in the same cubicle. Don’t be surprised if someone is on your bunk, they will move when you get there if not show your picture of your ticket. The person who took your ticket when you boarded the train will give you a plastic card when the train starts moving. This card is what you will need to show if you get questioned when/if you walk around. There is a dining car, but was locked when we tried to get food. You give back the plastic card when the train personnel comes by presumably to tell you your stop is coming up.

Train tickets from Datong to Pingyao

Plastic cards given on train with seat/bunk number

TIP: Know how many stops and keep count of the stops you’ve passed. There are either NO SIGNAGE or they are very hard to see/find or not in English. Arrival time may be off by 15 min (ours was and we almost didn’t get off the train, a fellow passenger my daughter befriended told us that we needed to get off the train). Some train stops seems really close together so it may not be obvious even though the train personnel came to take the plastic card. Here’s the Pingyao train station (slow train) the high speed train station is some where else.

Pingyao train station platform.

Outside of Pingyao Train Station.

The outside of the station had some construction going on so I couldn’t get a better frontal shot. But all you would need is the characters on top of the building to show anyone if you needed to get to Pingyao’s regular train station (as in not the high speed train station).

So we booked a hotel (Hong Changyu Inn, review here) within the ancient city walls and while it is technically possible to walk from the train station, I’m guessing 30 min walk. I wouldn’t. We tried and abandoned the task within 5 min. We both had wheeled carry on sized suitcases and the surface is not conducive to rolling them on. The way is a patchwork of nice brick surfaces, to cobblestone to dirt patches. Then the “sidewalk” would end and you’d have to walk on the street (that in itself is a harrowing experience). Better just to get one of those “tuk tuk” looking taxis for 20 yuan or better yet have the hotel go get you some hotels offer it for free mine didn’t.

Due to time constraints I had to limit our stay in Pingyao to 3 days and nights. The Pingyao International Photography Festival spans a week. Within the city there are 22 tourists spots which you can enter using one ticket. Which usually costs 130 Yuan. This ticket¬† during the festival was on sale for 65 yuan and has a bar code on it that gets scanned at the entry of each tourist destination (sometimes scanning is self service). There are some attractions that aren’t included with the ticket (so look for the turnstyle gate thing). We allotted a whole day (our last day) for the attractions and only finished 11. We did see an additional 2 attractions (temples) from the outside because they were closed. The attractions close around 18:00 / 18:30. So keep that in mind. Pingyao Ancient city is way bigger than it seems especially if you plan to walk everything.

The people are friendly, most can tolerate the language barrier and we found more English practitioners in Pingyao than in Datong. Food prices can very widely and coffee is scarce and when I did find it it was 48 yuan a cup, beer was only 18 yuan and bottle drinks 5 yuan. Street food stall prices vary too. I had a sausage on a stick for 15 yuan at one stall and at a different stall I had two on a stick for 10 yuan.

My review of Pingyao International Photography Festival 2017.

Even being able to speak Cantonese didn’t help with the language barriers as everyone spoke Mandarin, but according to my daughter the Mandarin we encountered is different than what she learned in school. If you can speak another Chinese dialect I would encourage you to try if only to negate the crassness of some people who find it unreasonable that a Chinese person can’t speak “Chinese”.

The hotel we stayed in was the Hong Changyu Inn and it was exactly as advertised on Shaw, the inn keeper can converse in English and was extremely helpful. He also (at my request) arranged a cab to drive us to Taiyuan Airport for 380 yuan (the driver was conscientious and safe). Payment inclusive of security deposit was paid in full upon check in (just remember to get your receipt and you should be fine). Deposit was refunded with no issues. Actually I got 6 yuan extra because neither of us had small bills. Here’s a photo taken from within the courtyard:

Courtyard of Hong Changyu Inn

My review of Hong Changyu Inn

From Taiyuan we flew to Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport, and had 10 hours layover so we rode the subway into town (peoples square), it was raining so not much happening in the park so we walked around the malls, then took the subway to Pudong Airport for the flight back to Singapore. Food prices and trinket stuff in the malls were not so bad but the branded stuff, I found, were more expensive than Singapore. There is a distinct shift in friendliness too, Shanghai being way less friendly than Pingyao, Datong or Taiyuan (though we only spent time in the airport).

There are a lot of bad reviews for China Eastern Airlines but for us, the only thing to complain about was the age of the plane, it was readily apparent. Some planes had no screens for movies, broken tray tables, broken cup holders, torn seats, lumpy seats (I used the blanket as a cushion on one flight). Other than that it’s not bad (especially for the price). Every flight had a meal, AWESOME!. My daughter and I love airplane food! Oh conversing with the flight crew in English may be an issue at times, for example, we asked for apple juice they said yes and gave us orange juice.

I really wish I had more time in both Datong and Pingyao. I really loved both places. The air quality everywhere we went was noticeably bad, especially in the morning. It literally leaves a bad taste in your mouth but by noon most of it was gone, not the taste though. Maybe that’s why people spit so much in China.

1. Horns, bells, whistles and verbal sirens are all indicators that the person is coming through and will not give way (for the most part) so it’s best if you move, especially if you’re a pedestrian.
2. Spitting is loud and everyone does it, it seems. Chances are quite high you’ll step in a big wad of spit/mucous if you don’t watch where you’re going.
3. Children (boys and girls) will pull down their pants and pee wherever. In Pingyao we saw numerous toddlers with pants that had no back side to facilitate the easy of relieving themselves I guess.
4. If you leave even the slightest gap, someone will cut in and think nothing of it, it’s normal. People will get mad or shove you through if you don’t do it.
5. You’ll be lucky if you get a sitting toilet, expect to squat. ALWAYS bring your own tissue.
6. For this trip (since I have a very intolerant digestive system), I followed the pharmacist’s advice and used Duolac then when my stomach got a bit queasy (only 3 times)¬† I took Imodium. My whole trip I had no problems and was even eating street food!!!
7. Smoking is allowed almost EVERYWHERE it seems.

More Datong photos in this Flickr Album
More Pingyao photos in this Flickr Album

DIY remote live view on the cheap ! ! !

Review: DIY Remote Live View

Table of Contents
Intro Who is this for How I use this Whats to like
Whats to hate My Verdict Where to buy Alternatives

Introduction to DIY a remote live view for your DSLR


If you’re looking for a budget method of getting remote live view for your dslr, then check this out. You will need

1) DSLR compatible with #3
2) An Android device compatible with #3
3) DSLR Controller (in Google Play Store)
4) TP-Link TL-MR3040 (or another #2)

This setup will get you wireless remote live view for your DSLR. Whether it’s for remote shooting, selfies or taking vids. This will help a lot.

Who is this for


If you’re on a tight budget, The cheapest way, is to have 2 Android devices capable of running DSLR Controller and linking them together instead of using the¬†TP-Link TL-MR3040. But from my experience it’s a bit laggy and can get frustrating. However, I was using older phones that have since went the way of the dinosaurs. You will have to be comfortable with a replacing the firmware of the TP-Link TL-MR3040 essentially making it a dedicated DSLR Controller router for you DSLRs

Where to buy (also alternate versions)
How I use this


I’ve used¬†my phones (Samsung Note 5, Sony Neo V, Note 2) with DSLR controller with a Canon 7D, 7D II and a 5d II. Using 2 phones is a bit laggy but doable but since my Note 2 and Neo V busted, I bought the¬†TP-Link TL-MR3040. The¬†TP-Link TL-MR3040 is a battery powered portable router which you will need to change the firmware available from DSLR Controller. Firmware and easy to follow instructions HERE.

So basically, I can set up my camera on a tripod, compose for the scene then walk away and remote trigger when I see something interesting walk into view. I can tap the subject in my scene to focus on that. But mainly I use it for taking action selfies and discreet street shots while having coffee.

Whats to like


All the “extras” you can do remotely via DSLR Controller, more stealthy street shooting, this method is cheaper than anything I’ve found at the time of this writing. Unless you’ve got two recent android phones you can use.

Whats to hate

The¬†TP-Link TL-MR3040 is discontinued and getting harder and harder to find at regular/original price. There are a few “scalpers” out there selling them at double the price.

If you want to change your firmware back to factory, it may be as simply as finding the original firmware and following the same directions as before but there’s no guarantees.

My Verdict

Absolutely LOVE THIS!!!



Et tu, Starhub?!?!

Ok, so because Singtel refused to honour their advertised special (free modem/router) I switched everything to Starhub. Maybe I should have changed to M1

It seems Starhub likes to play the “old switcheroo”. As seen in the photo, the advertised package has fibre tv.


So the technician comes over today (Sept. 6, 2015) and tries to install the exact same cable tv box as the one I’m already using. So I asked why. The response was that my plan is cable tv, I have to specifically declare that I want fibre tv and that sales didn’t explain it to me.

Wait, what?! Seriously? Explain what? The “plan” is on a friggin’ flyer for cryin’ out loud. What’s to explain?!

So I call customer service and they basically said the same thing except in a condescending, “I know I’m right, so just take it” kinda attitude. So I got more mad and was rude and abrupt and got put on hold for what seemed like 30 minutes but probably only about 15. So he asked for my particulars and said a person from Sales will call me within 48 hours to solve the problem. Somehow it didn’t sit right with me so I went to the customer service centre where I signed up for the plan.

I was told the same thing, the plan’s sales rep didn’t tell you, explain to you blah blah. So I asked why call it a fibre plan and put fibre tv on the flyer? They’ve never once answered that. Instead kept shifting “blame” to Sales.Then they said they can’t do anything until my “order” is completed and it usually takes a week to close. Then they can reschedule another technician to install the fibre tv box. I’m getting pissed and I guess it showed so he muttered something to the effect that he will schedule it, then recanted and went to find the original sales guy.¬† He came back and said the guy was unavailable and would call me back regarding rescheduling. What kinda lame crap is this?!

The original “sales person” contact me at around 8:00 pm to tell me that it was a miscommunication between us, that he apologizes and that he was talking about cable tv when we were discussing plans. Still trying to put the blame on me for not falling for their “bait and switch”. He promises to call me back tomorrow with a reschedule date. We’ll see….

As I’m reflecting on the day, I’m wondering why 2 employee’s of Starhub would discourage me from getting fibre tv by saying “in the event something happens to the fibre, then I lose both tv and internet.” Why would they say that? Why would Starhub advertise, in print, fibre tv in a bundle package and (up to this point) renege on the deal?

Something doesn’t seem right….we’ll see…

So I got a call from the sales rep (the same guy that signed me up with the plan) today (24 hours later). I was hoping for a resolution but no. Here’s what went down aside from being informed that they call fibre tv “IP TV”.

He informed me that I should keep the cable because the serial number of the set top box I refused to let them install is already entered into the system and he and his technician recommends it on the basis of:

  1. Fibre tv and cable tv has the same quality
  2. The tv must be within 5m of the fibre point or else I will be charged extra because they will need to install a new fibre point.
  3. Cable is more convenient because if I wanted to watch tv in another room I can just move the set top box. Not so with fibre tv.
  4. Fibre tv is connected with the fibre internet, so if 1 goes down, so does the other.
  5. Switching plans to fibre tv will disconnect my internet.
  6. There is a limitation difference on the number of set top boxes / connection points for fibre tv vs cable tv which makes cable tv better. There was a whole explanation on this but it didn’t make sense to me).

This just doesn’t make sense. If i wanted to watch tv in any other room I would still need a connection point (jack), right? Speaking so frequently of “if one goes down, then I lose the other too” is making me doubt the reliability of their service, are they really that bad? When I questioned the reluctance to fix the problem, he just told me the feedback of fibre tv customers indicate that cable is better. When asked how long my internet will be interuppted, no answer, twice. When asked when the technician will fix the problem, he didn’t know and spoke of a plan change. The call ended with no resolution whatsoever.

I’m still waiting for a call with the appointment date for the technician to install my fibre tv. As I’m still within the 48 hours resolution time frame I got yesterday, I won’t raise a ruckus yet.


OK. so 48 hours have come and gone, I emailed their customer service (Sept. 9, 2015) regarding my situation and requested an email with details regarding if they are billing me for tv and when the technician will come.


I got a call from the sales rep (Sept. 12, 2015) with the exact same bullshit as before…system this system that. Still no info whatsoever. I did get a somewhat tentative, “…give you a call Monday with scheduling details.”


It is now Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 15, 2015) still nothing. Let’s see what kinda trees I can rustle…


Finally, they sent out a guy to “install” fibre tv (Sept. 21, 2015). Basically, just plugging in the set top box to the tv, power outlet and modem/router. Not as sophisticated as what they make it out to be. So prior to this install, I received the bill in which they charged a full months use. When I called to inquire, they said that their billing cycle is such that they first bill is a “deposit” which will be refunded when the plan is finished. For some reason that seems kinda sketchy to me. But what else can i do, eh?!

Just got a Polar Loop activity tracker

I just spent the last hour or so fitting, installing, charging and updating the software (desktop and android) as well as the new firmware. The whole process seems buggy having stalled twice. Syncing to my Samsung Note 2 Android smartphone was a pain too. Although all good once I figured out that you have to wear the Loop in order to get the Bluetooth to pair.

Color is Black Currant but it also comes in Black and Mystic Blue. The Polar Loop’s strap is custom fitted meaning you have to take the clasp off and cut it yourself. The tool to undo the clasp is included, as well as a measuring piece of paper to help you with sizing your wrist. Sounds difficult and a hassle but not too bad. Personally I like custom fitted for me stuff.

The “button” is not actually a button in the sense that there is something to depress. Its more like a button on a touch screen. A simple touch would trigger the screen to come on. See the carved oval with the line in the middle in the picture below?¬† That’s the “button”.


I will be back with more details…

Jan. 01, 2015

Ok, so I’ve worn this activity tracker for a few days now and I can add the following info:
1) Although I haven’t swam with it on yet, I have showered and washed dishes (fully submerging the Polar Loop in warm soapy water). It’s still working.
2) Although setting up the Polar Loop to sync with my Android Phone (Samsung Note II) was a bit finnicky, as in, it didn’t go smoothly at all the actual syncing was smooth. Fire up the app, it’ll tell you to tap the button on the loop and voila it syncs. Pretty quickly too.
3) Setting up the Polar Loop to my laptop didn’t go smoothly as well (Asus Transformer, win 8.2 touch screen) but after a few tries it completed.4) The button works. I haven’t experienced it not working. The water from the shower hitting the button will activate it. It’s more of a touch button rather than an actual “raised” button.
5) When cutting the band, I would suggest not cutting exactly the numbers indicated on the “measuring tape” corresponding to your wrist size. It may not be accurate. AND or you didn’t measure the exact place on your wrist where the Polar Loop fits most comfortable for you. I cut mine 1 ‘dot’ at a time and over the course of 3 days ended up cutting more than the tape measure indicated but I love the way it fits now.

My thoughts so far:
The software is very simple. Both on the android app and on my laptop. Honestly tho, I haven’t really looked into it yet. Haven’t had the time to or feel the need to. However, I did see the “social” part of the software and I set my profile to private and hope it really is private. I don’t need to know/see anyone else’s progress/stats or whatever and I don’t want to show the world mine either.Then there’s the inactivity notification, I saw it in the Polar Flow (Android App). The literature for the app indicate that there are no “real time” notifications within Polar Flow . The notifications are by LED on the Polar Loop and audible tone from your phone. For me, I’m getting “real time” pop up notification on my phones screen but no sound and no LED flashes from my Polar Loop.
NOTE: It seems there was an update that now crashes the app when you try to get into Settings/Notifications….

Jan. 8, 2015

Charged the Polar Loop for the 2nd time a couple days ago (not too bad, every 5 or so days I think it is). Ok, after the charge / sync with my laptop, I get the inactivity LED notification. Specifically, it is a message that scrolls across the display on the Loop. It says “time to move” (something like that). Still no audible sound from my phone AND it seems my data only syncs every other day now….Not that it really matters much right now as I’m only doing cycling and light weights and yoga.¬†Not high on arm movements thus hard for the Loop to track. I think when I recover and do a more strenuous work out, it’ll all work out maybe I’ll get the compatible heart rate monitor as well..

Get it as a set:

Jan. 21, 2015

Here we are after an update or two on the Android App, syncing the Polar Loop to Samsung Note II is hassle free. All the days sync, it connects on the first try and is done in minutes. Charging is pretty quick too. The Polar loop will display “low battery” on the display and when plugged in to charge, the battery’s capacity will be shown on the Loop’s display as a %. Without having actually timed it, from “low battery” to 100% charged, I’d say it takes around an hour. So far, the only noticeable wear and tear are the couple of scratches I got on the clasp. No fading or discoloration on the band and the silver colored trim has not faded or tarnished. ¬†All in all, I really like this band and would recommended it to people like me, who needs a visual cue and stats (for activity tracking) to break the monotony of prolonged desk work. To me it’s like playing character based mobile games but instead of “leveling up” my character, I’m actually making myself healthier!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a note in the comments. Thanks.