The Nintendo Switch OLED

I was scrolling through my list of blog post ideas and realized that I never posted my review of the Nintendo Switch OLED model. It has been out since October 8th of 2021 so this review will only be a year late haha!

My history with Nintendo & the Nintendo Switch

I am a huge Nintendo fan. I was born in the same year that the NES was widely released in America and I have owned every Nintendo system released in the US to date (yes, even the Virtual Boy & Wii U). When Nintendo unveiled the Switch, the company was not doing great. The Wii U was pretty much a disaster right out of the gate and the 3DS, while doing much better than the Wii U, was really showing its age.

Enter the Nintendo Switch. Ever since it was revealed, I was super hyped for it. One of my buddies and I planned a trip to PAX South (R.I.P.) to play the system before it was released. We fell in love with it once we had some hands on time with it and we found ourselves at the midnight launch for the system at our local Best Buy. Fast forward three and a half years and the Switch is a runaway success. Nintendo has completely turned their fortunes around with the Switch. The have not only sold a ton of hardware, but they have also sold a ton of software too. So when Nintendo announced the next model in the lineup, The Switch OLED, you can bet that I preordered it and received it on launch day.

The Hardware

The Switch OLED, while not the Switch Pro that everyone wanted it to be, is a substantial update to the original Switch. I want to hit on all of the improvements in this section.

  • The Display: The main selling point of the Switch OLED is obviously the new screen. Gone is the original 6.2″ LCD and it has been replaced with an absolutely gorgeous 7″ OLED panel. This is a massive upgrade for the system. Nintendo makes some of the most colorful games in the industry (Mario, Pokemon, Smash Bros., Splatoon) and the colors are just stunning on the OLED display. The panel can get super bright and I also really appreciate the bigger screen size. It is very noticeable. Even nearly a year later, every time I play my Switch in handheld mode, I am blown away by the screen.
  • The Kickstand: The original Switch came with a kickstand, which is a great idea. The problem was that it was a horrible kickstand! It was extremely flimsy and I got to where I didn’t even trust it enough to use it. Nintendo completely overhauled the kick stand on the OLED model and it is so much better than the original one. The kickstand now runs across the whole rear of the system & it is super adjustable. I would compare it to the Microsoft Surface Pro kickstands if you have ever used one of those.
  • Built In Storage: While the original Switch came with 32gb of internal storage, the OLED model doubles it to 64gb. While serious players will still need to expand their storage with a microSD card, it is a nice addition nonetheless.
  • Sound: The sound quality of the built in speakers on the OLED is considerably better then the built in speakers on the original model. Again, some may use headphones most of the time they are on their Switch but it is a nice upgrade.
  • The Dock: The Dock that comes with each system has been redesigned as well. It has two benefits over the old dock. First is that the dock now includes a LAN port for wired internet. The old dock does not and requires you to purchase an adapter for wired internet. The second is that, at least to me, the dock is more aesthetically pleasing. As something that sirts on top of my entertainment center, I like the look and shape of the new dock more.
  • Color Options: While the Switch OLED model is still available with the same red and blue joy-cons as the original system, it also come in a new white colorway, complete with a white dock. This is the color that I opted for. I am very into white electronics so this was just perfect for me. I love the clean look of the dock and joy-cons!


In conclusion, the Switch OLED is in my opinion, the version of the Switch to buy if you are in the market for a Switch. It is also a decent upgrade if you are coming from an original model. It is by no means a necessary upgrade and it runs all of the games the exact same as the original Switch and the Switch lite. But if you are really into the Switch and would appreciate all of the little upgrades over the original model, I see no reason not to go for it! Thanks for reading.

Arcadia: A Great Apple Watch App

I was recently browsing the games tab in the iOS App Store and came across a game called Arcadia – Arcade Watch Games that piqued my interest. I had tried several Apple Watch games years ago when I first bought an Apple Watch but none of them had ever stuck with me. This game, or collection of games, had excellent reviews though. I ended up researching it a bit and decided to buy it for $1.99.

Arcadia is a collection of 21 arcade style games for the Apple Watch. I believe the games are also playable on the iPhone, iPad, & Apple TV, but they are designed to be played on the watch. Each one has clean and simple graphics & pretty intuitive controls for what they had to work with on the watch. These are the perfect style of games for the watch as well: simple, bite-sized experiences when you just need to kill a minute or two. Each game I have tried so far also has leaderboards so that you can try to beat your previous high score.

Some of the games I have tried and really liked were FastRun, an OutRun inspired arcade racer, RainBowling, CandyBall, a fun little pinball game, & Galaxy Invaders, a Galaga inspired shooter.

If you have ever had the desire to try playing games on your Apple Watch, I encourage you to give Arcadia a try. It is the best Apple Watch game that I have found so far. I have no relationship with the developer nor did I receive a code for this game. I bought it with my own money and just wanted to spread the word. If you have any Apple Watch games that you like, feel free to drop a comment below. Thanks for reading!

In The Bag: The Tom Bihn Medium Cafe

Welcome to a new series of mine I’m calling In The Bag. I am a long time lover of bags of all types. I’ve always been fascinated with the bags people carry and what they keep in them. Over the years, I have amassed a collection of backpacks, messenger style bags, slings, totes, & fanny packs. I also am constantly watching YouTube videos of bag reviews as well as browsing the onebag, manybaggers, & whatsinthebag subreddits. Suffice to say, I love bags & I have a lot to say about them. I’m starting this series to highlight some of my favorite bags and to tell you why I love them. I want to begin this series with a new bag in my collection, the Tom Bihn Medium Cafe.

The Tom Bihn Medium Cafe is a messenger style bag made by Tom Bihn. Several things drew me to choosing Tom Bihn to buy my next bag from. First, they are known for their quality. They make high quality bags and they stand behind their products. Second, the bags are made right here in the USA, Seattle to be exact. Lastly, they have a ton of accessories and customization options for their bags. They are available in various materials & colors and they have all kinds of different accessories both tailor made for specific bags, as well as accessories that you can use from one bag to another.

I ended up with the Medium Cafe bag due to its size and looks. The Medium Cafe is an 8 liter bag, so much smaller than my current backpack, but also larger than my sling bags. I also found a color that I really liked, Tom Bihn calls it logic blue with the cloud interior. As I said before, I typically alternate between my large backpack or one of my smaller slings when I leave the house. Often when I bring my backpack, I wish I had brought a smaller bag while when I bring a sling, I wish for a bigger bag so that certain items of mine could fit. This bag is a perfect middle ground for me. I can take all of the gear I typically need on a daily basis without any wasted space or bulk.

Interior look with everything packed inside

As far as the features of the bag, here is a brief overview. The bag has a seat belt like shoulder strap as well as a handle on the back for hanging on a hook. The strap is very comfortable and I appreciate the hook which I use to hang by my desk when not in use. The bag has three compartments: one large opened-top main compartment, a smaller zippered compartment in the front, and a slanted open-top pocket at the back of the bag. Starting at the front, the small zippered compartment is great for smaller items that you don’t want bouncing around in the main open-top compartment. The main compartment is very roomy, with four organization pockets on the inside front. Two of these pockets are perfect for pens or pencils. The other two are roomier, for reference I keep my MagSafe battery pack and external battery in one pocket & my sunglasses in the other one. Other than that, the main compartment is just an empty bucket to put your larger items. I keep my iPad Pro 12.9″ in it’s Magic Keyboard case, Nintendo Switch, Kindle Paperwhite, & a small pouch with my various charging cables, lip balm, microfiber cloth, & allergy meds inside. The main compartment also has three O-rings in it. Tom Bihn includes an 8″ key strap on one of them which I use to clip my AirPods Pro to. Tom Bihn also sells all sorts of different organizer pouches and accessories that you can attach to the other O-rings. I’m excited to eventually purchase some of these accessories at a later date when the bag fund is replenished. Lastly, the back compartment is not super useful, but works for holding documents or maybe a magazine in a pinch.

What I am carrying in my bag.

Overall, I am very happy with the Medium Cafe bag. It fits a gap I had with my other bags, I can tell it is a quality bag that will last me years and years, and I got it in a color I absolutely love. What’s more, I can now start researching all of the various accessories and other bags Tom Bihn sells and plot my next purchase!

Thanks for reading!

The nGroove Snap By Mountek

SONY DSCI wanted to talk about my new favorite phone/tablet mount for my car. As some of you may know I have been a big fan of Mountek’s nGroove Grip for the last year or so. It is great for nearly any size smartphone and was the best mount that I could find. I love that it is easily installed and removed with no tools required.  I love how solid it mounts as well, I never worry that it will come unmounted or that it will allow my phone to fall out. The only drawbacks in my opinion were that it could not hold my iPad mini and that you could only angle it so far to either side.  Some people don’t like Mountek’s mounts as they mount into the cd slot of your car and therefore render your cd player useless. I however love that it mounts where it does. I never listen to CDs and while you can easily find a suction cup mount for any device they all have their own set of drawbacks. Most of these mounts gradually lose suction after a while and will eventually fall if you don’t remember to reapply them. Also, I live in Texas where any device mounted to the windshield will get extremely hot, which I am not a fan of. So the mount being secured in the cd player slot is a big win for me. A few months ago I found out that Mountek was developing a new mount, the nGroove Snap, and had put it on the crowdfunding website indiegogo. I backed the project and received the new mount about a month and a half ago. I have been using it every day since. It is simply the best mount that I have ever seen. It installs the same way as the nGroove Grip but improves on it in every way. Gone are the adjustable arms on the side. Instead you now simply place your phone onto the flat surface and your phone just attaches to it. It’s really quite magical. IMG_8790Mountek includes a couple of very thin magnetic badges which you stick to the inside of your devices case. These magnets are incredibly strong for their size, it’s really impressive. It’s kind of hard to explain how nice it is to get into your car, simply set your phone against the mount, and be able to easily glance at your screen but it makes me smile to this day. The new mount also fixed my other complaint about the older one, it tilts side to side a lot further. I have the two magnetic badges stuck to my iPhone 5S case and my iPad mini case and both devices mount great to the Snap mount. The iPhone is very secure and the iPad mini is slightly less but still works. Needless to say I am extremely impressed with the Snap mount and would recommend it to anyone looking for a mount that doesn’t mind giving up their cd slot. My wife just bought one as well. She replaced her old nGroove Grip that I had bought her. She absolutely loves the Snap as well. If you are interested in purchasing one of your own, it is available now to the public on Mountek’s website as well as Amazon.


The Pebble Smart Watch

The Pebble Smart Watch

The Pebble Smart Watch

I recently purchased a Pebble Smart Watch and have been using it for several days now. I wanted to give my thoughts on it for those interested, but first a little back story on the subject. The Pebble started as a Kickstarter project on April 11th, 2012 with a $100,000.00 fundraising goal for the project to be made. It quickly became one of the most successful projects ever on Kickstarter with a total of $10,266,845.00 raised by May 18th, 2012. The Pebble started shipping to backers on January 23rd, 2013. As of July 4th, 2013 they have sold over 85,000 watches. I followed the Pebble on Kickstarter but I did not back it myself. I wanted to learn a little more about it before spending the money on it. Several reviews have been posted by people & tech sites who have received their Pebbles in the last several months and after some research I had decided that I indeed wanted to purchase the Pebble. I just needed to find out how to get my hands on one. This proved to be harder than I had anticipated. The only place you could buy one was through Pebble’s website, which would let you pre-order one, with no real idea of how long you would have to wait to receive it. Thankfully about a month and a half ago, Pebble announced a partnership with Best Buy for them to be the first (and at the time of this post, only) retailer to stock the Pebble. It would be available in stores on the 7th of July, 2013 for $149.95. It would be available in two colors – Jet Black & Cherry Red. I decided this was the best way to get my hands on one. Unfortunately, my local Best Buy was receiving very limited shipments and were selling out of them as soon as they arrived in stores. After numerous phone calls &  several visits to my local store, I purchased a Jet Black Pebble a little over a week ago. Read on for my thoughts on the Pebble Smart Watch.

So what is the Pebble exactly and what does it do? The Pebble is a watch that connects over Bluetooth to your smartphone. You can use it with either an iPhone or an Android phone. As most people probably know, I am an iPhone guy so my thoughts on the Pebble will be based on using it with an iPhone running iOS6.1.3. It has a low power 1.26-inch 144 × 168 pixel black and white “e-paper” display and runs about a week on a full charge. The Pebble has a backlit screen that can be activated by pressing a button or by flicking your wrist.

Doing this never gets old!

Why push a button when you can do this!

It charges with an included magnetic USB charger that snaps onto the left side of the watch.  The Pebble will of course tell the time & date but it has several other functions as well. After you pair your Pebble with your smartphone over Bluetooth you can add quite a bit of functionality to the watch. You can receive text messages and phone call alerts to the watch with very minimal setup. Text messages come with a vibrating alert and phone calls show up as the phone number calling you, or if the person who is calling is in the contacts on your phone, as their name.

Text Message Notification

Text Message Notification

Phone Call Notification

Phone Call Notification

The buttons on the side of the Pebble allow you to either take the call or ignore it. Now, you can’t actually talk on the phone through the watch. You still need to be connected to your phone either by having ear-buds with a built in mic like the ones you get with an iPhone, by wearing a Bluetooth headset, or being connected to the Bluetooth in your vehicle. As I have Apple’s earpod headphones in my ears the entire time I am at my job, it is very handy to not have to take my iPhone out of my pocket to see who is calling or texting me. This functionality worked flawlessly in my testing. You can also enter in your email account information into the companion Pebble app on your phone to get email notifications sent to the Pebble watch. This however does not seem to always work. Sometimes I get my emails sent to the Pebble & sometimes I don’t. (EDIT: Pebble released an update to the Pebble iOS app & I now receive all of my email notifications. Yay software updates!)You can also get notifications from your other apps pushed to the Pebble as well, but it is not without its kinks. I like to get sports score alerts from the MLB & ESPN apps sent to my Pebble, as well as Twist updates, reminder alerts, Twitter alerts, etc. To accomplish this you have to perform what is affectionately referred to on the  Pebble forums as “the finger dance”. Basically, if you lose the Bluetooth connection from your phone to your Pebble, you have to go into the notification settings on your phone and toggle alerts on and off for each app that you wish to receive notifications for. This kinda sucks but it is due to certain limitations in iOS6. iOS7, which is due in less than a month will according to rumors drastically change the Bluetooth permissions and allow notifications from any app to be sent over Bluetooth. I do hope that this is the case, as this is the one half baked feature at the moment.

You can also use the Pebble to control your music playback. It will display song information on it’s screen and allow you to pause and skip whatever is currently playing. I really like this feature. Another fun thing to do is go to and download some new watch-faces and apps for your Pebble. You can store a total of 8 watch-faces or apps at a time. It is unbelievable how many different watch-faces you can find there. I will share a few of my favorites below.

Futura Weather Watchface

Futura Weather Watch-Face

The Futura Weather watch-face is the one I like the most. I use it 90% of the time. I love that it shows the current weather. You enable the weather by downloading the free httpepple app from the app store. This is a great little app that expands the functionality of the Pebble.

Mario Time Watch-Face

Mario Time Watch-Face

I love the Mario Time Watch-Face as well. Every minute he jumps up and changes the time.

Pebblis aka Tetris

Pebblis aka Tetris

I also installed the Pebblis app to my Pebble. It is just Tetris with a different/punny name. It is fully playable although you would have to be kinda crazy to spend more than a few minutes with it.

Overall I am very satisfied with my Pebble Smart Watch. Don’t get me wrong nobody needs to buy one of these for their life to be complete. It is a very first world product, much like heated seats in a car or wifi on a plane. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a nice thing to have and enjoy.  I recently bought a screen protector for my Pebble (it is not very scratch resistant) and had to leave it home as it needed to sit for 24 hours. I really missed having it with me that day. While it is not without its quirks. It drastically cuts down on the amount of times I pull my phone out of my pocket throughout the day. I think that over time it will become a better and better product.

Update: I found a cool iOS app called Smartwatch Pro which is $2.99 and adds quite a bit of functionality to the Pebble. I highly recommend it.