Rather than doing oodles of separate stories on various announcements, we’ll gather them all together on this page, updating daily as new gear is announced. Enjoy!
Back in late 2015, Nixon launched a new range of watches to celebrate the release of The Force Awakens, each one with a ‘Dark Side’ theme to tie them together. Now, to balance things out, Nixon has updated the set with the ‘Light Side’ range, and two of them have caught our eye.
The Nixon Men’s The Sentry SS Star Wars C-3PO Special Edition (£220) has a custom face designed to look like the doddering droid’s chest plate, while the Time Teller Star Wars R2-D2 Special Edition (£100) mixes silver and blue in a more subtle way than you’d expect. These are great watches, and they whisper Star Wars rather than screaming it in your ear.
If you go down to the Apple Store today (and we imagine after the Apple event later today you’ll probably be in need of a fix) you’re sure of a big surprise. An artsy, Italian speaker surprise, to be exact. The sleek and sultry piece of audio tech is now available on the Apple Store for £499.95 and boy is it one attractive bit of kit.
Designed by renowned Italian artist and speaker designer Francesco Pellisari in collaboration with legendary Israeli architect and big name designer Ron Arad, the Zemi Aria isn’t just a cool upgrade to your home (complete with removable silver grille and black cloth grille) – it’s a powerful and robust audio device, too. It’s patented parabolic sound chamber has an 125W amplifier and a 2.1 single stereo driver set offer serious sound, regardless of how big the room is.
Virtual reality is here, and it looks every Tom, Dick and Harry is getting in on the act with VR-orientated tech. And that includes Nokia with its new virtual reality camera, the OZO. Designed to capture 360 degree footage for use with VR headsets such as HTC Vive or Samsung Gear VR, the OZO can even broadcast audio and video live. Want to capture your favourite music concert in high-quality 360 degree style? This is the gizmo for you.
With eight synchronized video sensors, the OZO can capture audio and video from any angle and can capture up to 45 minutes of 3D footage at 30 frames per second. That’s some impressive tech, but it also comes with an equally spicy price tag. If you fancy adding an OZO to your VR collection, it will set you back 55,000 euros (that’s roughly £43,000).
And while that is a pretty hefty outlay, you’ll also get access to a post-production service that will help clean and edit your footage into its best possible form. Digital effects companies such as Deluxe and The Foundry are part of the program, with the idea of breaking down the intimidating first impression of professional VR production. And with the likes of broadcast giants such as Sky getting in on the act with new dedicated VR production studios and channels, tech such as the OZO could become a mainstay.
If, like us, you’re a fan of giving your favourite films, TV shows or videogames that big screen treatment, then ViewSonic some news you’ll want to hear. The Californian electronics firm has just announced the latest additions to its popular LightStream family of high-quality projectors – the Pro7827HD,PJD7828HDL and PJD7720HD.
All three offer Full HD 1080p quality, with the top-of-the-line Pro7827HD boasting a RGBRGB 6-segment colour wheel – this means it offers picture quality with 709 individual colours. Add that to its 2,200 lumens of brightness, five different viewing modes and vertical lens shift and you’ve got a meaty home cinema experience just waiting to be projected onto a wall or screen of your choosing. The Pro7827HD will be available later this month for £599, the PJD7828HDL will be released next month for £509 and the PJD7720HD will drop in May for £479.
Keeping things on the home cinema setup theme, Pioneer has just revealed three brand new AV receivers to link all your audio and visual equipment into one high-quality hub. The VSX-531, VSX-831 and VSX-1131 all offer a bevvy of features for a range of affordable prices, with the VSX-1131 being the first to offer GoogleCast and FireConnect multi-room audio functionality.
Available next month for £549.99, the VSX-1131 has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity built in, including support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, meaning you’ve got one versatile bit of kit for connecting to and calibrating multiple audio devices in multiple locations. If you’re the kind of person that gets a kick out of controlling the minutest detail of your home cinema system, then one of these three AV receivers (the VSX-531 will retail for £299.99 and the VSX-831 will go for £449.99).
Not content with the release of flagship handsets the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, as well as the launch of Gear VR, Samsung prepares to swing another technical haymaker with the announcement of the Galaxy TabPro S. The firm’s latest sleek tablet, the TabPro S is a 2-in-1 affair with full PC functionality crammed into its slim, premium form – not to mention the inclusion of Windows 10 as its OS.
And it really is a svelte little beast at only 6.3mm thick and 693 grams. You also get a crisp Super AMOLED display, multi-touch display and a 94% true colour reproduction (in other words, it looks really nice for a tablet). Samsung also says you’ll get 10.5 hours of use out of a 2.5 charge – something you can put to the test with its Xbox One functionality that enables you to stream games direct from Microsoft’s eight generation console. You can pre-order one of these meaty little 2-in-1 tablets from £849 in the UK.
Need to order an Uber? Love using Google Maps? Well, those two words have collided as Google patches in Uber calling functionality into its vast navigation system. As long as you’ve got GPS enabled, you’ll be able to select the Uber service from a dedicated tab on the smartphone app and essentially request a lift (so we’re told), “in a single tap.”
Google Maps will then show you which cars are available in your area, as well as the cost of your requested journey. If you’re happy with it, Google will then send you to the official Uber application so you can get it paid for and confirmed. This isn’t the first taxi service the big G has patched into its Maps software, but the inclusion of the in-vogue Uber name will no doubt go down a treat. The update will hit Android in the next few days as iOS in the near future.
Keen golfer? Then you’ll be well used to spending money on gadgets ‘guaranteed’ to help your game. The TomTom Golfer 2 could improve your handicap too, with very judicious use, but mainly it’s an invaluable way to track your progress around 40,000 supported golf courses worldwide, analyse your round afterwards and, obviously, add to the never-ending, increasingly drunken post-game banter fest.
Using GPS – TomTom’s Special Attack – Golfer 2 determines distance to the pin and hazards in the way. It knows the difference between practice swings and actual shots (how? Because it knows you’ve walked off in pursuit of your ball… Clever huh?). That means it can score your round automatically too.
After the round, you can view your zig-zagging progress to the pin on that tricky, dog-leg par 4 and tell your plus-four clad golfing pals, “Maybe next time I’ll use a seven iron for the approach. Now how about shome more booze? Hic.”
Sleek enough to match your best J Lindberg golfing gear, the Golfer 2 is also both lightweight and water resistant.
On the smartphone side of things, LG has announced the latest additions to its mid-range K series. Joining the K10, K7 and K4, the firm has revealed the K8 and K5, the new budget end of its already affordable smartphone range. The K5 is the one headed for Europe.
The K8 will offer plenty of premium features for its mid-to-low-end position with its 2.5D Arc Glass curved edge screen, 5MP camera and HD quality display. The K5 will offer a 5-inch display, sleek metallic body and 2MP front camera for those all-important selfies. It will also be available in gold, silver or titan (a really light grey). Both handsets will launch later this week for all you LG Android fans.
2016 is already shaping up to be a big year for watches and smartwatches alike, but for veteran timepiece maker Casio, sometimes it’s just as important to celebrate the past as it is to embrace the future. That’s why we’re more than a little excited for the company’s new retro take on the G-SHOCK series – the DW-5600M.
That retro take isn’t just aesthetic, with its rad ’70s/’80s-style face and strap design – it’s about stripping out all the pageantry of modern smartwatches and dialling things back to a simpler time when watches told the time, and maybe, if you were lucky, they had a stopwatch and an alarm. Available in orange burst, dove grey, black and good old military-esque khaki, the DW-5600M has a robust resin strap, an underwater resilience of 20BAR, shock resistance, multi-alarm and, you guessed it, a stopwatch. With a two year battery, you can retro up your wrist for a tidy £100.
The connected home is definitely, really a thing. No really, it is. Nest remains at its forefront, and today – in fact, right now – it unveils its latest updates: three of ’em.
First up is Family Accounts. This allows family members to have their own logins to your Nest ecosystem, so they can view your Cam, change the temperature on the Learning Thermostat, and, via the Nest Protect smoke alarm, find out if the house is on fire, so that they may depart.
What they can’t do is change the home or publicly broadcast your Cam footage. We HATE it when our spouse and children do that! Only you, as the home owner and primary account holder, may do that. Phew.
Next, there is improved Home/Away Assist. Rather than just using your phone’s location, or just the sensors in the Nest products to tell if you’re home, it uses a combo of both, abetted by smart algorithms. It also draws on Family Accounts, so if you go out, your family won’t be plunged into cold (because the Thermostat turns the heating off) and dark (because it deactivates Works With Nest-compatible bulbs such as Philips Hue.
Finally, there’s now an official Android Wear app for controlling your Nest devices. An Apple Watch one will follow later this year.
The app upgrade is available to download now.
Do you like cameras, sir? Today, we bring you a set of cameras with two very different purposes. First up is Canon’s new addition to its entry-level camera range – the Canon EOS 1300D. Entry level cameras can often end up feeling like a stripped down version of a manufacturer’s more sophisticated models, but this new offering from Canon is actually pretty robust, offering crisp, super-sharp shots right out of the box. Features such as Responsive Auto Focus and Scene Intelligent Mode that lets the camera take control and pick the best filters and options for a given shot.
This being 2016 and all, there’s also the ability to share your new shots with the world thanks to NFC and W-Fi capabilities. You can simply tap your smartphone to transfer your high-res shots in an instant, or shoot remotely with Canon’s bespoke app. It’s a pretty impressive entry-level bit of kit, with enough options on offer to provide extra depth as you improve as a photographer. If you’re thinking of snapping up the EOS 1300, you can grab one now for a tidy £289.99 for the basic model.
Next, we have a new partnership between French electronics firm Withings and IFTTT, a web-based service that connects your devices into one controllable, customised network. The new integration will see its Withings Home HD Camera retroactively updated to work with IFTTT, meaning it will now be compatible with plenty of other leading smart home products, including Phillips Hue and WeMo products.
With IFTTT, you can create bespoke commands or ‘recipes’ that effectively enable you to automate your home. For the Withing Home HD Camera, that could mean programming it to cover a certain field of view in your home for security, for instance. With an in-built Baby Monitoring Mode for parents and a VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) sensor that can detect toxic chemicals in your home. You can automate your home with one today for only £169.95.
Roberts’ award-winning smart radio/streamer (it’s won ‘Product of the Year’ two years in a row at the What Hi-Fi? Awards) is one nifty little bit of kit, offering 20,000 internet radio stations (meaning you’ll surely find something to suit your musical tastes) as well as DAB, DAB+ and FM tunings if all those web stations fail to float your boat. Now availble in Gloss White and Gloss Black, you can add one to your home for as little as £160.
Now, Roberts has released two brand new accessories to make its mini box of tricks even more appealing. Want access to even more tunes? Then you’ll want to get your hands on the Stream 93i Smart Radio Bluetooth Adaptor. This handy little add-on fits onto the back of your radio and enables you to stream songs directly from your smartphone! It’s priced at £40 and a perfect add on if you’re looking to give your phone-stored music a better blasting.
There’s also the Stream 93i Smart Radio Battery Pack. Also priced at £40, this gizmo also fits onto the back of your smart radio and provide a whole ten hours of playback when fully charged. Better yet, with the Battery Pack installed you can now take it anyway, giving those 20,000+ stations a useful portability.
We all love a nice slice of toast in the mornings (or late at night – hey, we’re not judging!), but what happens when you want to toast some of that tasty artisan bread in cupboard, or that loaf you’ve made from scratch with its giant slices of homemade goodness? Well, worry your carb-loving head no more because British kitchen equipment maker Dualit has the solution – the new Dualit Long Slot Lite Toaster.
With its long 260mm slots, this new toaster is perfect for giving those more unusual breads in your larder an extra toasty dimension. Because it’s so wide and deep, you can ensure your slices get evenly toasted (rather than having uncooked bits sticking out of the top). It’s good a high wattage for faster toasting and a nifty Peek & Pop feature that enables you to check on your toast without cancelling it. If you want to get a loaf of Dualit’s new toaster, you can pick one up today for £99.95.
In keeping with today’s kitchen based theme, there’s the new Dial and Dial Baby ranges from food storage specialists Joseph Joseph. The big selling point here is the ability to manually set the date on the lid of each container with a cute little – you guessed it – dial. The idea being that we often stick bits of homemade grub or leftover takeaway in containers, but we too often forget how long they’ve got left before they go off. So being able to set the day and month is a really useful function.
The main Dial range ranges from 0.7l to 2.4l in size, with prices ranging from £9 for the 0.7l size to £45 for a five-piece set. There’s also a great range aimed at parents – considering how popular homemade baby food is becoming, the Dial Baby range offers a decent range of sizes designed for different age ranges. You can nab a 10-piece set for six-to-nine months at £14 and a five-piece set for 8-12 months also priced a £14.
Sick of the endless rigmarole that is keeping your garden or driveway weed-free? Ready to cast all those weed killing sprays in the bin? Sounds like British gardening tool manufacturer Hozelock has the green-fingered gizmo for you. The Hozelock Green Power Thermal Weeder uses thermal shocks of heat (as hot as 600 degrees Celcius), instantly killing the weed and enabling you to pull out its remains with ease.
Priced at £74.99, the Green Power Thermal Weeder has a long neck and ergonomic handle, meaning you can use it standing up so you don’t have to break your poor spine trying to banish all those unwanted green squatters. Oh, and since it doesn’t use any chemicals so it won’t make your garden toxic to wildlife or your pets.
If burning weeds out isn’t your thing, how about a portable DAB radio with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Spotify functionality already built in? See, now we’ve got your attention. The Heritage 2 Connect Portable from Goodmans isn’t just packing a rad retro look (complete with leather handle and real wood enclosure available in ivory white and piano black), it also features digital sound processing for high quality audio output, wherever you might be.
It comes with fully featured Digital Tick radio tracks, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality, the ability to link to other Wi-Fi devices for multi-room audio and a handy high-power rechargeable battery. Oh, and you can even pair it up to your smartphone and control your portable friend remotely with a few taps and swipes of your dog and bone. If that sounds up your audio avenue, then you canpick one up now for £169.99.
With road, hybrid and mountain bikes getting flashier (and more expensive) with every passing month, we all get a little anxious leaving such a prized possession at work or locked up in the town centre. Security is always a hot topic, so that’s why industry specialist Master Lock has come up with this clever Bluetooth-enabled padlock. The Smart Padlock range stores your details in a special online vault, which you access via an app on your smartphone or tablet.
If your smartphone is out of battery, you can also use the directional keypad on the lock itself. It’s a handy little gadget for locking everything from bikes to laptops and will help fight the eternal struggle that is lost keys and forgotten combinations. The Master Lock Bluetooth Smart Padlock retails at £69, while the slightly more rugged outdoor version will cost you £89.
Looking to invest in an aerial companion that doesn’t require feeding or preening? Sounds like you need a drone, friend – and the new DJI Phantom 4might just be the flying gadget for you. It’s a pretty nifty bit of kit and offers plenty of features to coax you into dropping a cool £1,229 on its state-of-the-art package.
It’s got an enlarged and upgraded battery for almost 30 minutes of flight time, as well as obstacle avoidance sensors that will stop it from flying straight into the side of a building or cliff. It’s also really stable in flight, making it ideal for shooting some seriously awesome aerial footage – its on-board camera can shoot in 4K and 1080p, too. It also comes with ActiveTrack, meaning it will follow you automatically on autopilot like a faithful robotic friend.
With in-car audio streamers becoming more and popular (because none of us like having to scour the glove compartment for the right wire), Pure has come along with its own addition to the market – the Highway 600. Think of it as a cross between an audio streamer (with in-built compatibility with Spotify) and a hands-free kit, enabling you to take incoming calls while out on the road.
It straps onto your dashboard and syncs up with a bespoke app (available on iOS and Android), while the easy-to-use interface on the Highway device itself offers traffic and weather updates and notifications at the touch of a button. Better yet, it comes with a handy DAB digital radio function – with 18 different stations on offer. Great if you like a bit of radio chatter on the way home from work. You canpick up the Highway 600 for £149.99 or the slightly less expensive Highway 400(which doesn’t include the hands-free functionality) for £129.99.
If, like us, you’re into your long runs or heavy sessions at the gym, you need a pair of in-ear headphones that are both comfy and free of too many wires. The new X2 In-Ear Wireless Sports Headphones from premium audio manufacturer Jaybird fits those two needs to a tee. An upgrade on the previous model, the BlueBuds X, the X2 headphones use an enhanced bit rate for a far crisper and cleaner audio signal, while its reformed foam ear pieces make for an ergonomic and comfortable fit.
The small streaming box clips to your sportswear while the headphones themselves can be customised for both in-ear and over-ear wear – making them ideal for both long distance runs and heavy weight sessions. It’s also available in variety of colours, so even the most fashion forward of users can keep coordinated while working out. With eight hours of playback time, you can pick up the Jaybird X2 In-Ear Wireless Sports Headphones for £139.99.
There’s nothing quite like having a swanky new espresso machine at home, but when you’re rushing about in the morning getting ready for work, brewing up a cup of joe can seem like a chore. That’s where the new Nespresso Prodigiocomes in – a new coffee maker that you can control with your smartphone. Linked via Bluetooth to the Nespresso app on your phone, the Prodigio will enable you to prepare your favourite Nespresso bean juice with a few taps of your screen as well as receive notifications when your filters are filling up or your beans are running low.
You can pick up a Nespresso Prodigio model for £159, or get your coffee-loving hands on the Prodigio&Milk version, which includes a built-in Aeroccino system for making frothy lattes or cappuccinos for £199. Find out more informationhere.
D-Link has announced the integration of ITTT (If This Then That) functionality into its mydlink Home app, which will help link many of its products together with simple, connected commands. ITTT uses ‘recipes’ that act as linked commands, creating a chain of statements that links apps and smart devices for a more ergonomic home or workplace. For D-Link, the introduction of this software is all about getting the Smart Home products in your house talking, with the firm’s mydlink Home Smart Plug, Motion Sensor and Siren products all being compatible.
You can find more here, with the Home Smart Plug retailing at £33.44 (exc. VAT), the Home Siren priced up at £41.94 (exc VAT) and the Home Wi-Fi motion sensor for £31.88 (exc VAT).
Audio-Technica made three very exciting product announcements at CES, a new range of audiophile-grade Art Monitor headphones, and two ranges of noise-cancelling hi-res audio cans.
Robert Morgan-Males, Marketing Director at Audio-Technica believes the new Art Monitor range delivers, “astounding audio performance so music lovers can enjoy the immersive, detailed, and widescreen high-resolution audio as it was intended by the artist.” Prices range from £199 to £529.
If you’re looking for something more portable, and crucially, wireless, AT has also developed a two ranges of headphones packing Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX for high-res audio. Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC packs noise cancelling, while Audio-Technica ATH-SR5 and ATH SR5BT are wired and Bluetooth, both capable of high-res.
These come at affordable prices, ranging from £99 to £249. We think sub-£150 for a pair of Bluetooth high-res headphones is great value (although, we haven’t tested them yet). More information can be found here.
New Balance (of stylish running shoe fame) has waded into the wearable technology segment by setting up a ‘Digital Sport’ division, aimed at developing wearable tech to improve athlete performance. There are very few details as yet, but the company has stated the first consumer product will be a smartwatch, which will launch in the 2016 holiday season. We can’t wait to try it out!