Gizmo Crate Unboxing: May 2014

Gizmo Crate Unboxing: May 2014

I’ve been knee-deep in other projects so when my Gizmo Crate arrived this Thursday, I didn’t get around to blogging about it for an additional day. My Christmas gift 3-month subscription had expired just in time for my wife to extend it for a few more months as an exceptional birthday gift. I’ve really enjoyed receiving the Gizmo Crate, playing with the contents and then sharing my impressions on the blog.

Food Units

Once again, this Gizmo Crate’s food item did not survive the writing of this blog. Nor did it even make it past the first night. I hungrily chowed down the candy while waiting on friends to pick us up for pizza Thursday night. Because it was candy, my wife’s interest was easily piqued. Being the sensitive husband that I am and knowing that she intensely disliked sour things, I warned her that it was sour. Being the mischievous miscreant that I am, I talked her into eating one anyways. Oh, the faces she made! Next time I manage to pull that off, I need to get it recorded on video. Needless to say, I don’t think Julia will be eating any Sour Patch Kids in the near future.

Geek Items

This month’s Gizmo Crate featured five different geeky items! A stylus, a sticky mount for holding your Phone/iPod in the car, a solar charger & battery, a Bluetooth headset, and a Bluetooth Camera remote for your phone/tablet. This is the most items that I’ve received in a Gizmo Crate since being a customer from day one.

For the first time ever, I did not have any luck finding the exact same product (or damn near) on Amazon, but in this case, I couldn’t quite find anything that lined up close enough. I’ve linked to 9-pack of similar styli just for the sake of reference. There’s really not a whole lot that can be said about the stylus. It seems to work just fine on my Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and iPad Air. I’m not sure entirely how much utility I’d get out of stylus but maybe it’ll come in handy in the future; it may even wind up in my backpack.

I didn’t really know what to call this thing. It’s a sticky mat that you can put on your dashboard and it’ll keep things from sliding around. It is shaped like a smartphone, so that’s what I assume it’s for. I value having my phone convenient and handy within the car, which is exactly why I evaluated quite a few options when coming up with my Ultimate Car Dock for Android Phones blog, which diminishes my need for a product like this. Furthermore, if I had something sticky on the dash of my Corvette, I think that’d just be a personal challenge to see if I could drive wildly enough to get it to fall off the pad. This probably isn’t the wisest of ideas, so I won’t be getting much use out of this particular item.

This item was the most enigmatic in May’s Gizmo Crate. I’m always intrigued by the different solar chargers I’ve seen out there. Ever since childhood, I’ve been curious about solar power. I made it through math classes covering/uncovering my cheap little solar calculator’s cell up and watching the display fade to black. This charger is interesting to me, because it also includes a 1800mAh battery. The solar cell charges that battery, which in turn charges the device you plug into. Based on the user’s manual, it takes roughly 20 hours for the battery to be fully charged. Unfortunately, this is another item I won’t get much use out of, because I have chargers everywhere: my desk, my car, my bedroom, my TV room, my office at work, and 2 “emergency” battery chargers in my backpack. I’ll keep this charger around because I’m interested in it, but I don’t expect it to be very useful unless the power grid fails.

I’m a bit surprised that it took four months before a Bluetooth headset popped up in a Gizmo Crate. When I was theorizing what might come in my first Gizmo Crate, a Bluetooth headset was among the items I expected to see. I’ve actually been quite pleased that this has been the case, because I hate Bluetooth headsets. I have never found them to be comfortable or usable. Of the items in my Gizmo Crate, this is the least likely to be used.

This is by far my favorite item in May’s Gizmo Crate: a Bluetooth input device used for controlling your phone’s camera remotely. The first thing I did after opening the Gizmo Crate was to get this set up and paired to my phone. I proceeded to use it to take an outrageously stupid selfie. Afterwards I sat my phone down in front of the TV and took a picture of my wife and I lounging around. I don’t really anticipate having to remotely take pictures with my phone or tablet that often, but I am a little curious about what other things I can think to do with my new toy. I’m hoping that I can use Tasker and use the remote to do interesting things. For example, sometimes Julia can’t find where she left her phone. I can’t imagine it’d be all that difficult for Tasker to crank the volume way up, play an MP3, and start vibrating the phone when you press the button on the remote. These kind of possibilities are what I find exciting about this item.

Watermelon Sour Patch Kids Phone/Tablet Stylus in Package Phone/Tablet Stylus Phone Sticky Mount in Package Phone Sticky Mount Solar Charger and Battery Bluetooth Headset in Package Bluetooth Headset Bluetooth Camera Remote in Package Bluetooth Camera Remote in Package


I really hate to say that any Gizmo Crate is disappointing, but this particular crate has been my least favorite so far. I seriously enjoyed the Sour Patch Kids, and I’m pretty jazzed about what all I can do with the Bluetooth Remote Shutter. But beyond that, I’m not finding much utility in the other items. It was exciting to open a crate and find six items, but it was also disappointing when I realized that most of them just weren’t going to do it for me. The good news for everybody else is that the utility out of this box is entirely subjective. Your usefulness for these items could very well be entirely different than mine!

Just like with past boxes, I went through and tried to math out how much value there was in this crate. I could only find prices on Amazon for 4 of the items; I couldn’t find a price for the Bluetooth Headset. Those four items’ value adds up to the neighborhood of $43.00. I shopped around on Amazon a bit and it looks like a comparable no-name Bluetooth headset the same size and shape starts somewhere between $5 and $10. That brings the total value of the box up to around $50. Assuming that you can find more utility in these items than I did, I think it’s still quite a good value.