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Chromebook convertible

Garmin Fenix 5

   the next


big g   adgets


Samsung Galaxy A

hotlist  Big-value tech you can’t resist!



Kuri home robot



next-gen E-CARS!

smarter  & much 4K TVS! MORE!

p r e s e N t s…

New tech with the power to dent the universe

Dashbot Amazon Echo may find its place in every home within a year, its voice control over connected gadgets a powerful upgrade. And soon you’ll be able to enhance your vehicle in the same way, thanks to Dashbot: an in-car robot that enables users to dish out commands for tasks – like playing music or sending texts – while they drive. Once you’ve placed Dashbot on your dash (well, where else would you put it?) and paired it with your smartphone, you’ll immediately be able to ask it things as you would amazon’s alexa. for instance, to play music you just say “Dashbot, play S Club 7’s greatest hits” (if you’re into that sort of thing). It’ll also guide you to your destination without you having to squint at a tiny map on your phone – LeD prompts on the display (think Knight Rider’s KITT) will show you which direction to turn, accompanied by audio cues through your stereo. and it gets better: the makers have also baked in alexa, so if you’re already used to living with echo, you’ll be able to reel off all manner of requests using alexa’s 1,000+ ‘Skills’. Integrating the Dashbot in any car (new or old) is easy – just plug it into a uSb or 12V socket for power, and connect it to your stereo via audio jack or bluetooth for sound. best of all? This auto upgrade is a mere $49 (£39). Price $49/£39 (pre-order) Available July 2017 URL Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 3

issue 265 / FeBRuARY 2017

Meet the team Meet our advertising team

Rob Carney

nick odantzis

Claire davies

EdiToR Rob is very much into the resurgence of vinyl, and he had to have a brilliant set-up, of course. His Rega Planar 3 lets him listen to ‘The Best of The Beatles’ in epic style.

dEPUTY EdiToR Nick’s only new year’s resolution for 2017 was to actually have no new year’s resolutions at all. But somehow, he still managed to fail at that…

ASSiSTAnT EdiToR Claire’s 2017 health kick is under way – on p70 she looks at gadgets to boost fitness, whether you’re into HiiT and weights like her, or walking, running, swimming or cycling.

luke o’neill

Warren brown

dan Grabham

ART EdiToR Luke has been full steam ahead this month, juggling the never-ending holiday deadlines. The only thing getting him through this busy time is the amazing gadgets coming soon (p48).

diGiTAl ART EdiToR Warren – our resident gaming fanatic – has been getting hands-on with the latest gaming headsets, just for your pleasure of course. Check out his verdict on p88.

EdiToR, T3.Com After spending a week in Las Vegas for Ces, Dan returned broken but unharmed. His biggest problem? Does he want a new samsung, sony or Panasonic OLeD TV?

Robert Jones

duncan bell

Spencer Hart

FEATURES EdiToR, T3.Com This month, Robert reviewed a load of top tech for, including the impressive Lucidsound Ls20 Amplified Gaming Headset, as well as writing our massive ‘next big gadgets of 2017’ feature.

liFESTYlE EdiToR, T3.Com Our Dunc has been trying to control as much of his house as possible using Alexa and eve. He also bought an app that generates a new Brian eno album that literally never ends.

mobilE TECH EdiToR, T3.Com Consumer electronics show virgin spencer found the event (not to mention Vegas) surprisingly big, which is unusual given that it’s the world’s biggest gathering of gadgets.

Get in touch to see what T3 can do for your brand! COMMeRCiAL sALes DiReCTOR ClARE doVE clare.dove@ +44 (0)1225 687226

ADVeRTisiNG DiReCTOR RiCHARd HEmminGS richard.hemmings@, +44 (0)1225 687615

ACCOuNT DiReCTOR AndREW TilbURY andrew.tilbury@, +44 (0)1225 687144

ACCOuNT DiReCTOR CRiSPin mollER crispin.moller@, +44 (0)1225 687336

The global magazine T3 is currently licensed worldwide, from Australia to Mexico



How to license T3 interested in publishing a licensed version of T3 in your territory? Please direct enquiries to T3’s senior Licensing & syndication Manager, Matt ellis (matt.ellis@; +44 (0)1225 442244)

Life’s better with t3... Tomorrow’s Technology Today, to give T3 its full name, was launched in 1996 and has been helping readers select the right gadgets to improve their lives for nearly 20 years as a magazine (print and digital) and at We’ve been at the heart of every shift in consumer

technology ever since – from DVDs and HD TVs to smartphones and virtual reality. But our mission has remained the same throughout: to help you live a better life through technology, and to filter the latest gadgets to ensure you only ever buy the best of the best.

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F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 7 T3 5

issue 265 / FeBRuARY 2017

Editor’s letter The next wave of gadgets are here – and will change your life over the course of the year. From stunning 4K TVs to home robots, we’ve got them all…

3 for £6! Amazing subs offer on p58

Of course, technology is always evolving – and we’re always at the forefront of it to share how it can make your life better. But i truly believe that 2017 will be one of the best years for gadgets yet. i mean, take a look at what we’ve seen at this year’s Ces show (which happened last month in Las Vegas). The range of tech and gadgets was outstanding – from super-slim ultra HD TVs to futuristic e-cars to the new robots that promise to automate your home. it’s a hugely exciting time, and we share with you our picks of the best gadgets for 2017 on p48. speaking of controlling your home, this month in our new T3 Home section (p37), we focus on a very smart security cam. And we take the security theme further in Man vs Tech as i tool up my house with the latest in smart home-security tech – can our burglar break in and steal all of my beloved gadgets? Flick to p74 to find out. Finally, if you’re still trying to shift the Christmas pounds, flick to p60, where we test out the latest high-end fitness trackers. until next month!

Rob Carney, Editor Tweet me @robcarney

Discover more great ways to enjoy T3…

Digital edition The iPad edition of T3 features a raft of fresh content, including video reviews and interactive articles. T3 is also available on Android devices, and on your desktop via

Visit We’ve overhauled – the best site for gadget news and reviews now has a great new look and is fully responsive, enabling you to enjoy it on any device.

Key contributors Chris barnes,

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Sneaky Racoon,

damian Hall,

drone expert


Fitness guru

Man-of-action Chris likes nothing better than honing his aerial skills, and scaring small animals with dive-bombing antics in the park. Check out his review of DJi’s new Phantom 4 Pro on p82.

This issue’s contribution from design guru sneaky (p46) highlights the process of setting up a smart garage door, so you can bring your pad bang up to date and be the envy of your neighbours.

Damian is fitter than a butcher’s dog, and drools like one too – at least he does when he’s testing three of the best fitness watches and running hundreds of miles to tell you which is best (p60).

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

issue 265 / february 2017



Features 032

GadGet Guru


t3 HOMe

060 074



Keep burning the toast? Gagu can help make breakfast time better! Also, baby monitors, fitness clobber and whether earphones are bad for you.

An upcycled designer chair that costs more than most monthly mortgage payments, a slick home security system and a gadget to help you view your dog’s antics while you’re out at work. Only in T3 Home.

state Of tHe art Looking to buy a fitness tracker but don’t know where to start? Here we test three of the most exciting, feature-packed fitness bands to help you decide.

Man Vs tecH Security tech is making it easier than ever to monitor our homes, but does this gear actually work? T3 plays burglar to find out… GUYS?



Get three issues for just £6 on p58


To subscribe to T3, point your browser at myfavourite, or turn to p58. The next issue of T3 goes on sale 10 february 2017

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 0 9

issue 265 / february 2017

Contents 012


first lOOk

dji pHantOM 4 prO

We get our hands on the outrageously sexy Audi R8 Spyder. Beast alert!

Not even a year after releasing the Phantom 4, DJI released a Pro version. But does it have enough new tech features to justify the £300 price hike?


preView This month’s hottest tech, including a stunning smartphone for less than £250, plus vintage-style headphones and LG’s new SUPER UHD TV

026 style

Keep warm and up your fashion game with tailored roll-necks


we can build yOu... Six must-have gadgets and accessories to make your daily snooze-fest of a commute way more fun and productive.


talkinG tecH Duncan Bell’s at it again, this time recalling how Facebook targeted him with an ad that left little to the imagination. What did the ad show? Well, it rhymes with ‘hang’.



sMackdOwn Think you need to spend a fortune to get a killer TV? Not always, as the sub-£500 4K sets from Finlux and Hisense prove.


aMazOn ecHO dOt Is the Echo’s younger sibling an inexpensive way to upgrade your smart home or simply a waste of 50 sheets?


super six Get ahead of the competition with any one of these six dedicated, multi-platform, hi-tech gaming headsets

discOVer tHe best buyinG Guide knOwn tO Man!

From thermostats to tablets, and cameras to cars, our pick of the very best tells you what to buy Plus! T3’s £100 Hotlist



akG n40 dali katcH Luxury earphones and a designer Bluetooth speaker, reviewed by us.


GaMes Final Fantasy 15, Mario Run and the best games for 2017.

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Essentials 003 GaMecHanGer 005 welcOMe 058 subscriptiOns 099 next issue 102 cOMpetitiOn 114 MOney nO Object Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

issue 265 / FeBruary 17

this month… 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 28 32

your guide to the hottest tech, PeoPle and styles right now

Audi r8 spyder

t3 gets to grips with Audi’s 533bhp convertible masterpiece. And boy, is it a beauty!

lg suPer uhd tV huawei honor 6X Motiv ring Meters oV-1 tern Vektron reMarkable revell control c-me roll-neck jumpers commute-friendly tech gadget guru

first look

From £129,990, Despite the fact Audi produces some monstrously powerful machines, the Teutonic marque never quite evokes the same giddy reaction as a Lamborghini, Ferrari or even a Porsche. Perhaps it’s because Audi always crafts cars that can be used every day (and by pretty much anyone with a driving licence), despite boasting enough power to out-sprint almost everything on the road. However, its latest R8 Spyder might just be one of the most exciting cars Audi has ever made, ditching the understated approach of previous iterations for top-down glamour, sharp styling and an exhaust note that borders on the illegal. The showpiece of this marvellous machine is its mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10 engine, which develops a staggering 533bhp - enough to see the R8 Spyder sprint to 62mph from a standstill in 3.6-seconds. Better still, you get to enjoy that face-melting prowess with the folding fabric roof stowed neatly away in the boot. And the noise. Oh, the noise. Prod the little Sports Exhaust button on the brilliantly button-festooned steering wheel and the full aural delight of the monster V10 engine is unleashed.

It’s like someone shoved a variety box of the world’s biggest fireworks in the back, lit the fuse and ran away.

styled for speed The latest model packs a raft of styling updates, which see the handsome machine become more angular, squat and more aggressive than ever. Laser lights at the front cut an imposing figure during the day and positively astound at night, while the Spyder features the model’s characteristic carbon ‘Sideblade’ design for the very first time. These carbon inserts sit just in front of the rear wheel arch and assist with cooling the brakes and creating additional downforce. Previously reserved for the Coupé version, the Spyder now gets the blades as standard. Of course, the alloy wheels are enormous and intricate, with 19-inch creations offered as standard and the ability to upgrade to even larger rims if required. Plus, the selection of colours ranges from subtle to totally in-your-face.

refined And rArinG to Go the Audi r8 spyder’s exterior has been sharpened up with carbon sideblades as standard

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liGht but no liGhtweiGht At his point, supercar purists will be quick to point out that a drop-top version of any speed machine is never as good as its fixed-head counterpart. We’d beg to differ, because Audi engineers have created a beautifully complex electrically folding roof mechanism that manages to weigh just 44kg, despite featuring a 175-bar pump and nine electro-hydraulic actuators. There’s also a brand new Multi-material

Hype audi r8 sPyder

Hit the Sports Exhaust button and the V10 roars! rob CArney, editor 12.3-inch interactive tft display can display a raft of driving data

Vital stats 20 seconds 197mph the time it takes the origami-style fabric roof to open and close

the top speed you can reach...with the roof down

10 125kg the number of cylinders this naturallyaspirated engine boasts

the amount of extra weight over the Coupé counterpart

Audi Space Frame, which is fashioned from aluminium and carbon fibrereinforced polymer to keep overall bulk down to 1,720kg. That’s just 125kg heavier than the hardtop version. So both weight and lateral stiffness aren’t an issue, which means the Spyder truly deserves its supercar moniker. The quattro all-wheel-drive system ensures the car feels planted and sure-footed in normal driving conditions but push it harder and it reveals its true colours: a yowling hooligan of a machine that never feels like it’s going to bite you in the behind. But because this is an Audi, it comes with parking sensors,

first test

great visibility (with the roof down) and a genteel low-speed manner that makes it really easy to thread through busy cities. Granted, the cubbyhole that’s located in the nose of the car is small, just about big enough for two weekend bags, and there’s only room for two inside, whereas a Porsche 911 Cabriolet will deliver a couple of backseats and two boots, but that’s nit-picking.

CreAture Comforts Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system doesn’t fail to impress. The space that typically houses classic instruments and dials is replaced with a glorious 12.3-inch interactive TFT display, which has been fettled in this latest iterant to deliver even sharper imagery. This screen can be customised to bring up an almost unending stream of data, from navigational instructions to G-Force read-outs and beyond. The marque’s MMI navigation plus system has been given a mild refresh, meaning the interface is more responsive than before and accepts gesture inputs via a little scratch-pad located on top of the rotary controller. Using the system is as simple as reaching down to the centre console, twisting the dial or prodding the various menu screens and watching in wonder as the Virtual Cockpit arranges its visuals accordingly. One slight niggle is that the beautiful flat-bottomed steering wheel can get

in the way of the screen if the rake is lowered, while it pretty much obscures nav instructions when winding on full lock during a stressful round-about experience, for example. The Spyder’s designers have come up with some very neat tech tricks just for this car, including microphones that have been placed in the seatbelts for an ultra-clear hands-free telephony experience, even with the roof down. An optional Audi smartphone interface also sees a phone holder with inductive charging thrown into the luxuriously appointed dash. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll get bored of that engine note but if you do, there’s a new Bang & Olufsen

Controlling the Audi Virtual Cockpit is simple via the tunnelmounted dial

sound system, which is offered as a £1,750 optional extra. This colossal, 550-watt amplifier and 13 loudspeaker system packs some seriously beefy sounds. On top of this, the cabin is finished in Audi’s typically classy manner, with leather-clad electrically adjustable sports seats, hand-stitched trim and smart carbon fibre inserts dotted around the dash and sills.

hAndles with CAre There’s something to be said for a vehicle that manages to be both approachable and utterly outrageous when the mood takes, but this German supercar seems to excel in both departments. The suspension is beautifully judged and manages to crest over potholes and imperfections in the road without causing massive spinal injuries. The optional magnetic

reAr window the tiny rear window’s purpose is to enable the occupants to listen to the naturally aspirated, dry sump V10 doing its best impression of golden-era f1 engines

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Get three issues of t3 for just £6! see p58

Hype audi r8 sPyder dampers improve things further. Flick the switch from Comfort to Dynamic and this machine transforms from a genuinely relaxed motorway cruiser to a full on, track-devouring race car in a millisecond. However, it remains a thirsty old beast – expect to struggle to hit the 20mpg mark.

fine fiGures the bang & olufsen option is a cracking sound system (for £1,750 extra, that is)

the spyder’s wheel is wonderfully-laden with a host of buttons and dials

Although £130,000 might sound like a lot for a new car, that figure is a veritable bargain when you consider the weight of advanced technology and performance punch the R8 Spyder offers. A Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet will cost you about the same and delivers one hell of a drive, but its infotainment system and driver assist functions are no way near as advanced. The Audi R8 Spyder lives in a league of its own and now the styling has been ramped up and the performance sharpened, it goes some way to shed the ‘sensible supercar’ label. More importantly, that 5.2-litre V10 engine is one of the last remaining naturally-aspirated greats. A thumping powerhouse that will soon be phased out by something smaller and turbocharged, such is the emissionsobsessed way of the auto industry. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8



left: the interior is typical Audi. luxurious and hugely stylish

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f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 1 5


model panel The 55-inch SJ9500 is a rather slender 6.9mm (that’s less than an iphone 7) at its thinnest point, with an attractive crescent-shaped stand

Why all the caps? STOP SHOUTING T3! That’s because this is one of the most impressive TVs we’ve ever seen. It also happens to be the name of this TV, so don’t blame us, and the ‘SUPER’ bit a hint at its capabilities. Can it fly? Sadly not, though one day we hope to see flying TVs on T3. What this means, in more grounded terms, is that LG has given the TV a boost of performance in the panel to put it ahead of the competition, or at least we think. The headline-grabbing feature here is Nano Cell technology. So they’ve shrunk the TV like that guy out of The Avengers?! No, silly - what that means is the panel is made up of particles about one nanometer big, enabling the screen to produce more accurate colours, improving its performance in bright scenarios, and boosting viewing from any angle. LG boasts of a picture superlative to even TVs with Quantom Dot displays. Which is… wow. What about this HDR business then? We get it - everyone’s talking about High Dynamic Range right now, and LG’s upped its game here too. With Active HDR with Dolby Vision built in, there’s support for all HDR content, including the latest and highest quality formats. Then there’s HDR Effect, which upscales SDR content, improving brightness and contrast in regular 4k content. I need this TV in my life. The 55-inch LG SUPER UHD SJ9500 will be released in April. CAN YOU WAIT? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


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Hype lg super uhd Tv

vital stats 6.9 3.5 The width of the screen at its thinnest point in mm

The version of lG’s web oS interface. The latest and best

Three 60 The number of models available in the lineup of this TV

The angle (in degrees) the TV can be viewed at without colour loss lG says the crescent-shaped base gives ‘the illusion of floating in air’. we just think it looks sweet…

LG is showing the world that its LCD panels can go toeto-toe with OLED screens and come out on top nicK odanTziS, depuTy ediTor

Show Time This TV features the latest version of lG’s web oS – 3.5 – giving you improvements like faster browsing, and instant access to 4K content from netflix and amazon

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f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 1 7


vital stats

Huawei Honor 6X £224, That’s a lot of phone for little cash. Am I missing something? Don’t let the budget price tag fool you – the Honor 6X is an Android powerhouse offering a raft of features to rival the big boys. We mean, just look at that stunning 5.5-inch curved glass HD screen and smooth metal styling, the rear fingerprint scanner and vertical dual lens camera. Dual lens? What’s the point of that? On the rear you’ll find one 12MP lens, plus an additional 2MP autofocus camera with a wide aperture range, enabling you to capture more depth in your photos and tweak the focus after the picture has been taken. There’s also an 8MP shooter on the front for endless selfie sessions or crystal clear Skype calls. I’m a mobile gamer. Will it keep up with my quick-fire skills? A high-density 3340mAh battery works alongside a powerful Octa-core 16NM CPU, so whether you’re playing hours of Crashlands or Final Fantasy, or juggling multiple apps on the go, the Honor 6X’s performance won’t falter. The 6X also packs 3GB of RAM, plus 32GB of internal storage with the option to add an additional 128GB via SD card. I’m due an upgrade soon. When can I buy this one? The Huawei Honor 6X is available now in grey, silver or gold. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


11.5 hours 162g The amount of video you can watch on a single charge

The weight of the Honor 6X, including the battery

3.5mm 32GB The 6X includes a standard 3.5mm headphone port

The internal storage. Another 128GB can be added via SD card

Power uP running out of juice? 5V/2A fast charging tech means you’ll be back to full capacity in no time

MAGic finGerS As well as unlocking the 6X, the smart fingerprint scanner also enables you to swipe through photos or take calls with a single tap

9 10

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Motiv Ring $199 (£162), Wait, is this some techy version of the One Ring? Does it look like something forged in the fires of Mount Doom? No, fanboy, of course it isn’t. It’s a fitness and sleep tracker, not the One Ring to rule them all. Although, according to Motiv this is the only ring you’ll need to take your health and fitness to the next level. Sweet LOTR references, T3. I’m impressed. You’ll be even more impressed when you slip the Motiv Ring onto your finger – lightweight and slender at 8mm, this ring-shaped tracker packs in a beefy amount of tech. We’re talking an optical heart rate sensor, a custom li-ion battery, Bluetooth Smart syncing tech, a three-axis accelerometer and tri-coloured LED indication for charging and data syncing. So what does it actually do? The Motiv Ring, available in Rose Gold or Slate Grey, and formed from a lightweight titanium shell, will track your activity type, time spent moving, your active and resting heart rate, calories burned and steps taken/distance covered. It’s also swimproof (waterproof to 50 meters) and shower and washing-up friendly.

Just slip the Motiv ring on your finger and you’ll be able to track activity

SMArT blinG The Motiv ring works with a features-packed companion app to fire you up and keep you on a healthful track. Via the app you can earn Action Cards (think of them as gold stars), view your sleep stats and find out when your biggest activity achievements and slumps happen

if you don’t fancy rose Gold, the Motiv ring is available in Slate Grey

Vital stats 3-5 days 90 minutes The typical battery life, dependent on use

The maximum charging time for the ring

8 x 2.5mm 5 ATM The dimensions. And it comes in seven sizes

The Motiv is swim-friendly, being waterproof

Does it have a cool app? Yes and it’s bursting with features. Via the Motiv Ring companion app you can create weekly fitness goals and adjust your daily activity targets. You can also get the skinny on the quality and duration of your sleep. Ok, I’m in. Why can I buy this? The Motiv Ring is available for pre-order now, with shipping to start this spring. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


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PuT A rinG on iT The Motiv ring is a fitness and sleep tracker packing microtechnology. When worn 24/7, it provides robust tracking of your health and wellness, helping you make more insightful choices about your activity, sleep and diet

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f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 1 9


vital stats 20Hz-20kHz 467g

Meters OV-1

The frequency response of these active noise cancelling headphones


The weight of these cans with built-in, patented VU meters

190 x 180 x 90mm 1.2 metres

Er, T3, your headphones appear to have swallowed some kind of guitar amp. Yes, if an Ashdown amplifier were to fornicate with a pair of retro cans, this would be the offspring. Why Ashdown? Because it’s the sister company to Meters Music, so there’s some serious engineering pedigree here.

The height, width and diameter of the vintage-style OV-1s

The length of the cable, giving you room to move

NATUrAl SelecTiON ethical fans will love the protein leather (a synthetic material) that covers the ear pads and headband (genuinely, we can’t tell the difference), and the alloy surround of the ear cups is of a high standard

Those meters look cool and all, but do they actually do anything? What, you mean besides looking like something The Allman Brothers would’ve rocked in the Seventies? Well, in actual fact, the VU meters sat on each cup do have a practical use. They work in tandem with the volume of the music being played, so the louder the music, the higher the needle goes. Ok, but what’s the benefit to me? Keeping an eye on those meters could be handy if you have kids who want to listen to music on headphones, yet you’re concerned about them blasting their eardrums. With the OV-1s, you can easily monitor volume levels, helping to prevent potential hearing damage. What else do I need to know? The OV-1s have built-in Active Noise Cancelling tech to help you suppress outside noise. And with 40mm dome drivers stuffed into each cup, your music will sound splendid, especially with the company’s signature balanced-sound style coming into play. These sound good. When are they out? The Meters Music OV-1s are available to pre-order now, in black or tan, with shipping to begin by March. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


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ONe fOr VU Patented Ashdown VU meters display the current sound output of the headphones. The lightweight alloy, custom ergonomic headset delivers total comfort for all those prolonged listening sessions

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Vital stats 250 300 The power (in watts) of the bike’s Bosch electric motor

Tern Vektron

2.5-3.5 21.8

£3,100, I think I saw this bike in the Tron movie! Indeed, that may be the reasoning behind the name, and this folding electric bike is certainly a lot smarter and more futuristic than the usual raft of commuter machines you come across on the morning run. Wait a minute – you said folding and electric. That’s pretty neat... You heard right! And this means that not only can you take the bike on public transport, you won’t break a single bead of sweat on your onwards journey.

The maximum capacity of the battery (in Wh)

Depending on how much power you’re using, it will go between 40 and 80 miles before it needs recharging. When does it go on sale, then? The Tern Vektron will be going on sale any time now, so you’ll be able to get pedalling (a bit) real soon. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Will it take me ages to fold it up? Nope, just ten seconds of your precious time is all that’s required to fold (or unfold) this baby. Simply pop the seat post down, undo a lever on the handlebar post and frame, and job done. No fuss. Folding bikes are usually heavy. Will it actually be able to make it up any hills? A shiny Bosch motor in the crank of the Vektron provides instant power, enabling the bike to get up to speed (15mph) in an instant. There are four specific riding modes to try out, including Walk Assist.

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9 10

The time (in hours) it takes to recharge the onboard battery

The total weight of the bike, in kilograms

TAke A BrAke The Tern Vektron might be built for convenience, but with powerful Shimano Deore brakes at each end, you’ll have the confidence to stop in any weather

Super fiT The Andros adjustable stem enables you to adjust the handlebars, so you can set your riding position to low and fast, or upright so you can just chill

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ReMarkable $716 (£573), What’s this then, T3 ? It’s a digital journal. A connected sketchpad. An upmarket e-reader. The blank canvas for that novel you’re longing to write. The ReMarkable is a tablet with a paper-esque, glare-free display called Canvas, which combines E Ink Carta tech with ultra-thin, high-friction surface materials to deliver a premium reading, writing and sketching experience.

ZeRo diSTRacTionS The ReMarkable features no Web-browsing functionality – so you’re not going to be distracted by tweets, Facebook or random emails

Sounds fancy. So I can draw and scribble all over it? Yes, but not with your jumbo crayons; the ReMarkable pre-order bundle comes with The Marker, a stylus that enables you to quickly put black digi ink on digi paper. The tip has been designed with the optimum amount of friction to replicate a pen-on-paper experience, and you don’t need to set it up via Bluetooth or even charge it. There’s also a variety of brushes for you to sketch with. Can I read and edit work documents on this thing? Of course. Via the ReMarkable app, you can share notes and documents instantly, wirelessly transferring PDFs, ePubs and more. You can also organise multiple notebooks on the ReMarkable and create new notes via a variety of templates. There are several tools for reviewing documents, too, such as a highlighter and tags. When’s it out? The ReMarkable is available for pre-order now, at a special price of $379 (£303), with shipping to begin in August. 1 2 3 4 5 6


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Full-bodied The ReMarkable paper tablet is over twice the size of the average e-reader, so you have more display to play with. if you use it for around two to three hours a day, the battery should last a week

vital stats 10.3 inches 350g The size of the monochrome digitalpaper display

The weight of the device. The size is 6.9 x 10.1 inches

8GB 2,048 The internal storage, equivalent to 100,000 pages

The levels of pressure sensitivity supported by The Marker

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Revell Control C-me £TBC, Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a flying phone! This is a tiny phone-shaped flying camera that’s going to supercharge your selfie game in 2017. The C-me’s smartphone-esque dimensions and collapsible propeller arms make it small enough to sneak into pockets, while the gutsy 8MB, 1080p camera matches the iPhone 6’s. All meaning you can get shots of yourself from every angle!

SizE MaTTErS The C-Me’s size and weight means it’s the ideal gadget to snap high altitude HD footage of your next big trip

24 T3 F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 7

It must be difficult to fly? The C-Me connects to a smartphone controller app via built-in Wi-Fi, auto calibrates and is ready to fly in seconds, so in theory it should be dead simple to fly. Take-off and landing is automatic. It’s almost too easy. What else can it do? The camera features a full 90-degree range of adjustability

so you’re guaranteed to frame the perfect shot, and built-in image stabilisation means shaky videos are a thing of the past. In Follow Me mode the drone will track you to capture every minute of the action, and there’s even a built-in flash and video light to snap those late night shenanigans. Got your shots and videos in the bag? Share them straight to social media from within the companion app.

vital stats 8Mp The camera shoots 8Mp still images

90 degrees The camera’s full range of adjustability

1080p The resolution of the on board HD camera

15 images Shoot up to 15 continuous shots in burst mode

This is bonkers! Tell me, when can I buy one? The C-me will be available in gloss black, red, purple or teal from Amazon and all good toy and model stores this May. It’s time to take your selfies to the next level (drone selfies, whatever next!?). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


9 10

EnGaGE auTopiloT You’ll need zero experience to fly the C-Me; auto modes make it a breeze to capture HD video and high-res snaps of your adventures

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style style

Roll up, Roll up!

Give your oversized jumpers a rest – it’s roll-neck time! Whether you’re channelling your inner Mod or want to smarten up your office-to-pub wear, these knits pull double duty

01 RichaRd JaMes MayfaiR oMbRe A classic style gets a modern update here, thanks to a playful ombre design. Lightweight and made from 100 per cent Merino wool, Richard James’s fine-knit roll-neck will make a solid staple in your winter-capsule wardrobe. Buy it in grey or blue, and wear beneath your tailored suit jackets and blazers for a relaxed yet stylish look. £110,

02 cashMeRe step-textuRe Crafted from 100 per cent Scottish cashmere, spun on the banks of Lochleven, Kinross, by world-leading yarn spinners Todd & Duncan, this soft-touch jumper (which is available in grey mix, pictured, or an equally classy navy) feels every bit as luxurious on as it looks. Designed with a flattering slim fit to skim over your body, this flagship jumper from M&S’s Best Of British range offers premium warmth without feeling either stuffy or heavy. Wear it and feel like the laird of the manor. £169,

03 haRdy aMies cashMeRe

01 02

Bring the much-loved Savile Row brand to your wardrobe this winter with this timeless classic. Designed with “the modern gent” in mind, each item in the Hardy Amies line exudes a quiet, effortless style – and this cashmere roll-neck is no exception. It features lightly ribbed trims to banish the cold weather and ensure a tailored fit, and looks pleasingly refined when worn under peacoats and wide-lapel designs. £195,

04 united coloRs of benetton MeRino Wool tuRtleneck



Whether you wear it with slim-fit trousers or your best dark jeans, you’ll feel ready for work or play when you slip on this snug Merino wool turtleneck. With six colours to choose from, including dark blue (shown here), there’s a shade to suit every skin tone. We love the extra-fine knit-stitch Merino wool, complete with ribbed knit trims at the neck, hem and cuffs. And it comes at a bargain price. £35, f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 2 6

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we can build you…

a commuTeRfRiendly seT-uP you’ll actually look forward to your journey with our expert’s pick of gadgets the reader

darren wicks Darren has just landed a new job that involves a 50-minute train commute. He’s looking for some tech treats that’ll keep him entertained and help him to do some work on the move.

t h e e x pe rt

Robert Jones’s Features Editor knows a thing or two about tech. He also spends a good deal of his time on the move, so he’s your man to suggest some commuter-friendly kit.

new nintendo 3dS XL deSiGnS 04 peaRL white 01topo X ChaCo RoveR paCk You need reliable storage for your tech when you’re on the train or bus, which is why something like the lush Rover Pack should be high on your list. Rocking a classic silhouette, a robust internal sleeve and pockets for laptops, tablets, phones and more, this durable backpack is a commuter’s delight. £149.90,

knomad 02 knomo SuRfaCe fabRiC

A digital organiser is an excellent addition to your tech arsenal. The Surface Fabric is capable of securing your tablet, phone, charger, smartcards, pen, watch, e-reader, gaming console, sunglasses and more in its stylish interior. It sports a sturdy canvas design with full-grain leather touchpoints and elastic ties for gathering up loose items. £59,

You can game on most handheld devices these days, but nothing comes close to the mobile joy delivered by Nintendo. The hot New Nintendo 3DS XL is not only the definitive version of the console, it also boasts the best mobile-gaming library on the market today. If Link took the bus to Hyrule Castle, he’d definitely pass the time on one of these bad boys. £179,

poweRCoRe+ 05 ankeR 20100 uSb-C

Keeping your tech operational while travelling is key to a good commute, so invest in a power bank. The compact PowerCore+ 20100 is ideal – the external battery is capable of fully charging a MacBook, iPhone and iPad Air 2 all on a single charge. Its slim form makes it ideal for slotting into bags or organisers. £45,

& wiLkinS 03 boweRS p7 wiReLeSS 06 miCRoSoft SuRfaCe pRo 4 When you’re commuting, it’s sometimes nice to be able to block out the incessant din of the world around you. That’s why a pair of top-notch headphones are a crucial element of your setup. Bowers & Wilkins’ P7 Wireless are the best wireless cans on the market, combining advanced acoustic technology with aptX Bluetooth connectivity and a foldable design, so they slip neatly into your bag. Or you could just hang them stylishly around your neck. £319, 2 8 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

Hybrids are perfect for commuting, enabling you to beaver away in laptop mode before kicking back to enjoy your media of choice in tablet mode. The best of these right now is the Surface Pro 4, which delivers serious power and portability. Ultra-thin, super-fast and versatile, it has a sixth generation Intel Core processor and a vibrant PixelSense display. With up to 1TB of storage, you have plenty of room to run prograde software and store tons of files. From £749,

01 Load it up dubbed the “Goldilocks of rucksacks”, the Topo designs X chaco Rover Pack sports an internal sleeve to securely house a 15-inch laptop, plus two exterior zippered pockets and a waterbottle side pocket for guzzling on the go

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SoRt it out available in army or charcoal, the 12-inch Knomad surface fabric organiser will house all your tech and travel essentials. slot your smartcards, pens, usb drives, glasses and more into the pockets and pouches, or fasten them with elastic ties


Commute ComfoRtabLy with stellar sound a given, comfort is crucial when choosing headphones. The b&w P7s feature over-pads with memory-foam cushions designed to optimise air flow without putting pressure on your ears


poweR up anker’s premium portable charger is usb-c-compatible and uses smartcharging PoweriQ and current-stabilising Voltageboost tech, enabling you to juice up your devices quickly and safely


GaminG to Go The two-screen design of the new nintendo 3ds Xl is far more than a gimmick, with almost every game benefiting from the extra real estate and, as a consequence, making them way more immersive. The best way to kill time!

“Prepare for any commute and you can crush boredom and brighten your day with some excellent entertainment” RobeRt JoneS

woRk, then pLay for working during your commute, team the microsoft surface Pro 4 with a Pro 4 Type cover (£110). when you’re done with slogging, remove the keyboard, bust out the included surface Pen and fire up a relaxing painting program. or freestyle it and sketch


talking tech


Duncan Bell is not that small here’s this sinister idea about tech that’s very popular right now. It’s that tech brands – primarily Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon – know everything about us. They track our every click and like, to build up a profile of our buying habits, political affiliations, social attitudes and sex lives. They know all. Mainly, they use this knowledge to show us other things we might like, and, to put it bluntly, sell us stuff. Uh-huh. Well, if that’s the case, I’d just like to raise a few queries about the targeted advert Facebook showed me this month: the one with two massive wangers on it. Yup, there I was, browsing through my timeline when I was shown a ‘sponsored suggested post’ - or ‘advert’, as I quaintly like to call them – offering ‘Men’s Health Tips’. It was, in fact, using the logo of the popular magazine for anxious narcissists, Men’s Health. The ‘tip’ in question took the form of an uplifting tale from an unfortunate chap who’d turned his life around: “My wife and I had a row because of my poor performance.” Hmm. Luckily, a ‘friend’ shared “this pic and the story behind it,” and he “went from five to eight in just two weeks. Yesterday, she came back and said, ‘Wow!’” And well she might. I, too, said “Wow!” when I scrolled down to be confronted by what I can only describe as a pair of big dongs, in an excited state.


Girth in advertising Technically speaking, since one schnitzel was 13cm and the other 19cm – a fact confirmed by a handily placed tape measure – they weren’t both ‘big’. And being strictly accurate, it was actually one wang, shown twice. It was like a Weight Watchers before and after picture, but with pink oboes. Regardless of that, on my phone screen,

while sat on the bus, the dongs were still considerably larger than I’d have liked. These weren’t cartoon John Thomases either. They were fleshy, lifelike, and frankly looked like they could have your eye out. Next to them was something more like an image from a biology or sex-education lesson, with a cutaway view of the male, er, anatomy, showing some sort of pulsating red light in the, erm, inner thigh area. This was presumably the cause of the really quite incredible 6cm-in-two-weeks growth, although they didn’t actually explain how the meaty miracle had occurred. So. Without wanting to labour the point, what I’m saying is that Facebook sent me a picture of two old fellas. It was a Little and Large of front bottoms. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins, only with willies.

It was like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins, only with willies “Why am I seeing this?!” I spluttered, as my monocle flew out. Now, just to be clear, I was not upset about being shown two schlongs. It was more the very clear implication of why I was seeing them. As I said earlier, Facebook et al suposedly monitor us at all times, and know everything about us. Their ads are meant to be targeted. So, blatantly, Facebook was saying I don’t have much going on downstairs. It had read all my posts, followed all my

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links, and concluded that Little Duncan was, in fact, Very Little Duncan. Luckily, on Facebook there’s a little thing alongside the ads that you can click on – ‘Why am I seeing this?’ So I clicked on that. All it said was, “The advertiser wishes to reach male Facebook users over 30.” That was it. Now, logically, some men over 30 – NOT ME! – have worries about that, shall we say, ‘area’. That’s how in-depth and sinister the advert ‘targeting’ was. You could get the same effect by placing the ad in any men’s magazine. In fact, maybe it’s in our classifeds this month – don’t all rush at once, now. I contacted Facebook and a spokesman said, “Adverts are subject to strict guidelines, so this shouldn’t be happening.” I immediately pictured Mark Zuckerberg personally vetting all the ads, getting to that one and going, “Meh, who’s gonna complain? I’ll let this one go. It’s educational.” In an age when we’re terrified that tech is watching us and knows all, it’s oddly reassuring to know that it can get things badly wrong – even simple things like realising that I have no need for dubious penis-enlargement therapies, thank you very much. f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 3 1

IllustratIon: sam green

A Facebook ad for, ahem, ‘intimate health tips’ shows its algorithm is coming up short


This issue

how can i make my breakfast better, Guru! will wearing earphones damage your lugholes? what’s the best baby monitor? can you make painting less of a chore? Do you cube, Guru? i want to stay warm on my bike but not sweat!

some say he’s smarter than einstein and mit Put together

PeTe enGlanD, DuDleY

How can I make my breakfast better, Guru!



Breakfast, they say, is the most important meal of the day. That insidious ‘they’ again, always telling Guru what’s right and what isn’t. They had better not have anything to say about GaGu’s official breakfast of champions – three Freddos and a can of Kestrel – or things are going to get even nastier than they already are. Anyway, where were we? Gadgets, yes. Let’s start by pepping up those morning eggs a little. A Rollie ‘vertical grill’ (£25), or its excellently named equivalent, the Elgento Verteggo (about £15 if you shop around), is ideal if you want to have your eggs cooked

into a disconcertingly droopy cylinder shape and served up on a stick. Or why not trick your still-shelled eggs into thinking they’ll be nicely incubated in the VonShef Electric Egg Boiler (£15), but instead cook up to seven of them at a time using super-hot steam? It does poaching, too, although this option leaves you stuck with a pathetic single egg, and that’s just not breakfast enough for Guru. Not even

above Don’t be a-fried, be veRY a-fried

“foR The ulTimaTe in PRe-woRk bReaD-buRninG, GuRu RecommenDS The TRieDanD-TeSTeD DualiT claSSic”

close. Perhaps, if you were extracunning, you might also buy a Tefal Toast n’ Bean (£30), a combined toaster/cooker thing that’ll heat up your beans (or an egg) while simultaneously crisping up a couple of slices of wholemeal. That’s not the tip-top of toast, though. You could singe rude messages onto your breakfast slice with the Toasteroid (around £70), previously lampooned by GaGu in issue 261 of T3, but you shouldn’t. You could keep an eye on the brownness of your bread through the magical window of the Magimix Vision (£145), but it can only manage a pair of slices at a time. For the ultimate in pre-work bread-burning, Guru recommends the tried-and-tested British engineering of the Dualit Classic (£199 for four slots, £219 for six), which looks the dog’s dangly bits, toasts like a boss and should last you 50 years. That’s a lot of toast.

send your questions to: or 3 2 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

your questions answered

Gavin webSTeR, caRmaRThenShiRe

Is wearing earphones likely to damage your lugholes?


Are you ready for a bit of science? Yes? Then let’s begin. Guru probably doesn’t need to tell you that shoving anything deep into your earholes could potentially be a bad idea. Your earbuds fire out sound. Contain it within the tiny echo chamber of your ear canal and, if you’re raising the volume to overcome loud environmental noise, you could be hitting your eardrums with 90dB without even knowing it. Spread this sound over a day’s listening and, according to the experts at Center Point Audio, you’re looking at subjecting yourself to the equivalent of a shotgun blast that somehow lasts a full 30 seconds (imagine that!). In context, that’s a really bad idea. Now, before you go binning your buds, know this: you’re unlikely to be listening at 90dB. European audio devices are, by law, supposed to be limited to 85dB output without a warning, and a maximum of 100dB if you choose to ignore it. Regular comfortable listening volume generally

falls below the 80dB mark considered safe by professionals, unless your lugs are as mangled as Guru’s. Yes, the actual sound pressure in your ear depends on the type of isolating tips your buds have, and the impedance of your headphone drivers – as well as, to a certain extent, the type of music you’re listening to. GaGu’s favourite is Chris De Burgh’s The Traveller, so he’s never had any problems. If you’re sensible with your volume, you shouldn’t ever cause yourself any serious problems. If you’re truly worried, a set of bone-conduction headphones might well do the trick. They use what Guru presumes is actual magic to vibrate the bones within your skull to send sound to your brain. Since they bypass your eardrum entirely, producing no air pressure whatsoever, their output can’t actually be measured in decibels. The only real negative is that you can’t use something like the Aftershokz Sportz Titanium (£49.95) to rudely block out Mrs Guru’s mother’s incessant wittering. Not that, er, you’d want to.

above houdini’s mum loved showing off his baby pictures

GaDGeT GuRu’S maGic box As the many acres of Guru’s estate

temperature control – GaGu’s cheeks have never been

succumb to the unwelcome touch of

rosier, so it seems to be working its magic so far.

frost, he’s both glad that he’s getting

Guru Sr, directly inspired by Mrs Guru’s electric-

a brief reprieve from gardening (or, er,

bike exploits, picked up his own cheater’s wheels

paying the gardener) and sad that he’s

just in time for his annual period of hibernation,

now forced to spend more on keeping

so it’s too early to report on the foldable six-speed

his good-for-nothing family warm.

E-life Voyage. The ever-enigmatic pensioner is not

After repeated pleas, Mrs Guru has been

revealing how much of Guru’s inheritance it cost,

granted access to the remaining

and that particular model appears to be all but absent

incandescent lightbulb in the house,

from Google, so GaGu isn’t exactly brimming with

the kids have received a USB-chargeable

confidence. Expect some feedback once Guru Sr’s

HotRox Electronic Hand Warmer (£20) between them, and Guru has treated each of the hounds to a Dyson AM09 (£400, pictured left). The fact that

knees have unseized in the warmer weather. Finally, Guru’s Christmas haul included a present from his son – the not-exactly-new LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit (£229, right). While such an

they automatically shut off when tipped over is handy

outdated gift would usually result in

considering Chompsky’s randy enthusiasm for warmth.

severe sanctions, it turns out this

Guru himself has equipped his personal central-

box is brilliant, enabling GaGu to

heating loop with a Wave Smart Heating Control

construct his own phone-

(£239), mainly to take advantage of its unique

controlled brick robot and get

relationship with Worcester Bosch boilers. It promises

a headstart on his world-

to make the boiler run more efficiently as well as

domination plans. You’re off

dealing with the usual app-linking and smart

the hook this time, underling.

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lilY JameS, woRkSoP

What’s the best baby monitor?


When GaGu’s lad was just ten months old, he graduated from Oxford University with a first-class degree in History. Now 12 months old, he’s given it all up to be a plumber. But anyhow… Guru is quite amazed at how far baby monitors have come. Once a static-laden radio link to help you hear your babe’s gurgles and chuckles (or philosophising in the case of GaGu’s little one), they’re now digital super-spy devices, clear as a blue sky, with better range and lots of extra features. There’s a caveat, though: these data-heavy devices usually come with a reliance on the government-approved wireless frequencies that are also used for Wi-Fi. If you’re OK with ruining your network speed (and perhaps waiting that bit longer for Westworld to buffer), then Gadget Guru points you towards the AngelCare AC1100 (£205), which serves up crisp video, infrared vision, and even a mattress-movement sensor to enable you to keep ultimate tabs on your sprog. Or you could just pop down to your local Argos and get your hands on a Fisher Price one…

f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 3 3

your questions answered



whaT iS iT, GuRu? It’s an AI robot for your car. One that looks like someone’s hacked a bit off Short Circuit’s Johnny 5. So will iT DRive mY caR foR me? Nothing quite that complex. You’ll need to wait a few years for that sort of thing to hit Kickstarter (after all, Tesla is only just cracking it!). This is, essentially, a car-bound analogue of Amazon’s Echo. Stick it on top of your dashboard and you can go all Michael Knight, shouting at it when you want to roll your tunes, read or reply to your messages, and a whole load more. how much moRe? Quite a lot. It’s not only analogous to the Echo, y’see. Dashbot has, at the time of writing, just managed to secure actual Alexa support, meaning you can boot into a special mode and use any of the Amazon AI’s skills while behind the wheel. The recipe skill might be a tad less useful when driving, but you could turn your lights on from your car on the way home, or set your heating to make the house nice and toasty. whaT elSe DoeS iT Do? That LED display on the front can integrate with, for example, Google Maps for a quick visual indicator of which way you’re supposed to go. And there’ll be a host of apps in the future that expand it further; Dashbot comes from the same people as the tiny $9 C.H.I.P Linux computer – and indeed uses the C.H.I.P inside – so it’s heavenly for those geeky developer types. Pick up the $65 expansion pack and it’ll even read your ODB-II (On-board diagnostics Parameter IDs) codes should your car be a bit broken. GuRu… Do You acTuallY like ThiS? i can’T Tell… Don’t tell anyone, but Guru has ordered two. At $49 each, he can see no reason every car wouldn’t have a Dashbot glued to it, at least until this sort of technology becomes standard in every motor. Alexa, turn right, turn left…

3 4 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

kevin haRleY, eaST SuSSex

Can you make painting less of a chore? Guru can do anything, you should know that by now. There are, of course, a bunch of plasticky gadgets out there. Black & Decker’s Speedy Paint Roller (£25), for instance, sucks up a bunch of paint into its shaft and enables you to dispense it through the roller, dodging trips to the can, but GaGu suspects it doesn’t work awfully well. Rolling and wiping paint on things, though? That’s so oldfashioned. Guru prefers, where possible, to eschew manual labour in favour of blasting things as hard as he can, and that’s where the Wagner Wallperfect W-665 (£125) comes in. Fill it with paint, and it’ll squirt a jet of it at your walls and ceiling to get the job done in no time. Just be wary of splashback.

above The jalapeno marmalade was a bad idea

chaRlie TownleY, weSTon-SuPeR-maRe

How can I stay warm on my bike without getting sweaty?

aDam PeTeRSon, leaminGTon SPa

Do you ever cube, Guru?

Bad news: if you get hot, you’re going to sweat. There are things you can do to mitigate this. Breathable gear will allow that steamy sweat to escape, and let the cold air in. Botox injections will kill off your sweaty pits, but GaGu does not support this unless medically sanctioned. You can try a different clothing balance, warming other areas and going lighter on your moist bits but, fundamentally, Guru’s solution is to have a nice shower on the other end and wear antiperspirant.

Ah, your venerable Guru is always multiplying numbers by themselves three times. Big fan of maths. But GaGu presumes that you’re actually talking about what non-nerds would know as the Rubik’s Cube – and yes, Guru has a fair few Chinese import cubes. He even has a bunch of ‘cube lube’, perhaps the most hilariously named fluid in his extensive collection. None of us are ever likely to break Mats Valk’s ridiculous 4.74-second world-record solve at any point in the future. Gadget Guru instead wavers around the six-second mark – a performance that’s echoed in his lovemaking. His personal-favourite QiYi Thunderclap V2 (£10) is worlds ahead of the clunky, scratchy thing that’s sold under the Rubik’s banner.

Don’t miss another instalment of the legendary Gadget Guru!

GuRu haS a bunch of ‘cube lube’, PeRhaPS The moST hilaRiouSlY nameD fluiD in hiS exTenSive collecTion

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home your complete guide to modern living edited by claire davies

t3 home

this month‌ 38




the set-up: blink boost your home security with a sleek, wire-free Hd camera that eyeballs any bad guys

pets Wanna feed your dog treats via your phone? Furbo can help

desire Homewares to help you stay warm and snug this month

smart home surgery our panel of connected-home experts are here to answer your questions





T   he seT-up

Upgrade your entire homesecurity set-up See man VS TecH, p74

Each issuE, wE show you how to sEt up a kEy piEcE of connEctEd-homE tEch. this month… thE blink cam

3 8 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

THe SeT-up

SmarT Video SecuriTy anywHere in THe Home

T3 Home





THe blink cam iS one of THe eaSieST wayS To capTure Video THrouGHouT your HouSe

SuiTS you The blink cam is exceptionally versatile, with no wires to connect, you can place it anywhere you like, enabling you to capture the action wherever it may be. inside the box, you also get a mount for attaching it to the wall, giving you the option to install it high and out of the way for added stealth Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

The smart home is booming right now, which means more gadgets, more wires and less wall sockets available, right? Not if Blink has anything to do with it. You see, instead of wires, its new smart security system – the Blink Cam – uses batteries. AA batteries, in fact. But unlike most battery-powered gadgets that run out of juice after roughly ten minutes, the Blink Cam will keep powering its security camera for up to two years. The obvious benefit is that you don’t have to plug in every single gadget you own. The other, bigger, advantage is that you can place the Blink Cam anywhere you please, without being tethered to a socket – if you want to pop it in the corner of your living-room ceiling, you can. Or if you want to attach it to the outside of your front door, you can do that too. Provided the Blink Cam is within range of your wireless, it can – in theory – go anywhere. The Blink Cam isn’t technically an outdoor camera, though, so it won’t be able to withstand rain (an outdoor version is launching this year) but provided it’s under cover, you’ll have no problem. We probably don’t need to highlight the advantages of it being totally wire-free, but we will anyway – no drilling unsightly holes through exterior walls or routing ugly wires. Feature-wise, the Blink Cam is bursting with great tech. You get 720p video recording, activated by a motion sensor. It doesn’t have face detection, but you can set a schedule to only arm or disarm the camera at certain times of the day – handy for those with active households. There’s also a temperature sensor, a one-way microphone enabling you to hear what’s happening during video, and low-light recording. IFTTT (If This Then That) functionality will be coming later this year enabling you to connect the Blink Cam with other devices. On top of all this, the Blink Cam is relatively inexpensive (£110). But here’s the kicker: the more cameras you buy initially, the cheaper the purchase price. A Three-Camera System costs £260 (a £70 saving), and when you want to add another camera at a later date, it’s £20 less than the original price.

f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 3 9

Build your securiTy sysTem make THe blink cam eVen SmarTer How to upgrade your smart-security set-up

once you have your Blink cams, you’ll want to know how to install and manage each one within the Blink app 1




ScHedule recordinGS If you have pets/people/ robotic helpers around your home, you don’t want to be constantly notified of suspect characters. You can schedule specific times of the day that the camera is armed or disarmed, so your camera only works when needed.


nEw systEm

add moduLE

connEct to wi-fi

download the app for your smartphone or tablet, open it up and sign in. To do this, you’ll have to create an account first. once you’ve verified your email address, head to blink and tap the blink logo at the top of the screen. Then tap ‘add a System’ and give your new system a name (for example, T3 Home).

before you can start hooking up any cameras, you’ll need to install the blink Sync module – this will create a secure wi-fi network for them all to connect to. So tap the Sync module in the lower left-hand corner of the app. enter the serial number – you can find this on the back of the sync module.

when the lights on the app match those on the sync module, you can continue to the next step. Go to the wi-fi settings on your mobile device and join the blink network. back in the app, connect the module to your wi-fi network by tapping the one that appears. The module should now be installed.




adjuST moTion SenSiTiViTy By default, the motion detection on the camera is set to high sensitivity, but if you have pets roaming free you’ll want to reduce this. Check you’ve got the level right by making your pet move past the sensor, to see if it’s still picked up.


waTcH all your HomeS If you’re lucky enough to be living the high life, you may own more than one property. If this is the case, you can install Blink Cam systems throughout each home and check both properties within the app by changing the system at the top of the screen.

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add camERas

choosE Location

adJust VidEo

on the next screen that appears on your device, you can add a video camera by tapping ‘add a blink camera’. enter the serial number on the back of the camera you’re adding – this is located on the inside of the back cover. To open the cover, push the switch on the lower edge of the camera and gently remove it.

The app will now look for your camera. when it’s been found, you can change the name of your camera to suit its location. put your camera where you want, tap the snapshot button and once you see the video feed appear, tap done – the image it captures will show on your Home screen for that particular camera.

Get a live video feed by tapping the camera button inside the image you captured. Tap on the cog in the top-right corner to adjust motion-detection sensitivity, check the temperature and change nighttime illumination. on the Home screen, you can access saved clips by tapping the folder in the top-right corner.

“If you thought installing smart security in the home was tricky, the Blink Cam will change your mind - it can be installed anywhere, with no wires to worry about, and set-up is a breeze.” nick odanTziS, depuTy ediTor

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animal magic It may look like a tea caddy, but the Furbo could in fact help you to monitor and feed your pets remotely Instead of moping about, eagerly awaiting your return, your dog can sit and stare at the Furbo in the hope of a random treat

The sad truth is, your beloved dog hates being left on its own at home all day while you’re out at work. Or maybe you’ve struck lucky with a pooch that doesn’t mind some alone time... so long as they’re free to chew the sofa or dig up a house plant. Either way, getting eyes on the situation can help.

That’s where the Furbo comes in. Designed by a team of vets and animal trainers, this app-controlled smart dog camera enables you to watch and talk (hello,

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With the Furbo, you can make your dog feel loved when you’re away from home built-in mic and speaker) to your dog while you’re away from home. Via the Furbo smartphone app (iOS 8+, Android 4.1+) you can view a live stream of your pet’s antics and have a two-way ‘conversation’.

Even better, the Furbo has a refillable Treat Tosser that shoots out titbits for your hungry dog to munch – tap the app to dispense a treat. Working nights? No problem! The Furbo’s HD Camera has infrared

LED night vision, so you can still keep a close eye on your snoozing pooch. If your dog is distressed and barking, the Furbo will send you a push notification so that you can discover (via the app) what’s up. Set-up is simple, too: download the app, connect the device to your Wi-Fi and start using the camera. Reassurance for you and your dog. The Furbo is available now, exclusively from Amazon at £199,

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Desire Furnish your pad with the ultimate in modern living accessories




05 04

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DeSire 01 Parkray aSPecT 5 Slimline STove Designed to sit upon a shallow hearth, this real wood-burning stove offers full views of the flames flickering inside. Energy-efficient, and therefore cost-effective, it brings warmth and cosiness to any room. From £899,

02 roberT Welch helix hurricane lamP Robert Welch’s DNAinspired lamp has three flowing stainless-steel arms that enclose a thermal-resistant glass cylinder. The light cast from the candle inside creates an impression of perpetual movement on the steel. Fancy stuff. £60,

03 liGhThouSe cockTail Shaker


This super-shiny replica of the lighthouse shakers made during the Prohibition era in the States (so that the police wouldn’t spot ’em) is crafted from silver-plated brass and overlaid with nickel. Go on, give it a shake. £175,

04 mackenziechilDS courTly check STockPoT Add some vintage charm to your kitchen with this hand-painted, enamelledsteel stockpot, featuring an antique bronze-finish daffodil-sprout topper and a bronzed stainlesssteel rim. Time to cook! £180,

05 WooD Tub chair Looking for a statement piece to sit next to your new B&O brasstoned speakers? Try this Wood Tub Chair from tree surgeon/designer Adam Birch. It’s handhewn from eucalyptus. £1,800, www.

06 marble-mural WallPaPer Jump on the marble bandwagon with this wallpaper collection, which comes in a range of colours, including the eye-catching Deep Blue Clouded Marble. From £25 per sq metre, www.muralswallpaper.

07 PiG PoT-PlanTer Breathe life into dull corners with a vibrant, mint-green planter. Crafted from wipe-clean ceramic, it’s ideal for growing indoor plants, herbs and flowers to decorate your home’s balconies, shelves and console tables. £9,

08 vicToria + alberT baThS PeScaDero baTh

08 Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

Unwind in total style with this freestanding, volcanic limestone bath. Compact for smaller rooms, yet deep enough for a luxurious soak, the Pescadero features a wave-shaped rim and comes in seven colours. From £2,976,

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SmarT home SurGery your connected-home queries answered by t3’s experts

The experTS

There’s nothing these lot don’t know about smart homes

rob carney Editor of T3 and an expert on all things smart home, Rob is particularly interested in connected lighting, and gets all excited when his Hue lights flash when his doorbell rings.

nicK oDanTZiS

cLaire DaVieS Sleep expert Claire knows all about wellbeing tech and keeping yourself healthy around the house. She also knows more than is healthy about kitchen gadgets!

Duncan beLL Lifestyle editor Duncan is a connectedhome – and multi-roomaudio – expert, and can advise on everything from setting up your Sonos to getting Amazon Echo to order you a puppy.

Dan Grabham editor Dan is a self-confessed magpie for luxury audio/visual goodies, and voice-controlled tech in general. In fact, he counts Siri, Alexa and OK Google as his BFFs.

Tom SuTTon, LancaShire

How do I make my garage door a little smarter? nicK oDanTZiS repLieS: For years, wealthy types have enjoyed the lifestyle benefit that having an automated garage door brings. But thankfully, you no longer need to be filthy rich to achieve this sort of wow factor in your humble abode, as connected tech has made it accessible to everyone. Having said that, the tech you need to make your door automatically open or close depends on what you already have installed. For example, if your current garage door is opened by physically unlocking then lifting it, the Skylink Atoms Garage Door Opener ($299/£245, will convert your system so that it not only opens without any effort on your part, but also adds a

whole stack of smarts thanks to the scope of IFTTT. These can include having the door open when it detects that your phone is nearby, or getting the Philips Hue lights in your house to come on at the same time. The tech is only available in the US at present, but we’re told a UK version is on its way. If you can’t wait for that to happen or you already have a dumb electric automation system (by that we mean one which opens at the press of a fob button) installed, you can make it smart, with the aforementioned benefits of IFTTT, by simply adding a Wi-Fi enabler. The Belkin WeMo Maker (£60, www. comes to mind here. It’s not exactly plug and play, as there’s a little bit of electrical wiring involved, but it’s an inexpensive way of making your old garage just that little bit smarter.

send your questions to: or 4 6 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

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Paranoia has taken hold of deputy editor Nick, and therefore he’s become a smart home-security expert. He has no fewer than 11 connected cameras dotted around his house.

John DawKinS, FiFe

How can I control my smart heating in individual rooms? cLaire DaVieS repLieS:

FeLiciTy huGheS, reaDinG

I need to get more organised. Can Amazon Echo help? Dan Grabham repLieS: Yes. We find the Amazon Echo most useful at the start of the day, helping us get up to speed with the news and our calendar appointments. To do the same, configure your calendar in the Alexa app (we use Google Calendar) and ask Alexa to read aloud your appointments. If you commute via train, Alexa can check the National Rail app for journey information or call you an Uber if you’re running late. The Echo also supports IFTTT, so you can create ‘recipes’ to get organised in and out of the home. For example, tell Alexa to email your shopping list (and add items to the list) as you leave the house (using your phone’s location), add to-do lists to a cloud-based app like Todoist, or create iOS reminders. Alexa can also be asked to time stuff (so you can ask it to set a cooking timer) and set alarms, even ones that repeat. If you have devices like Philips Hue linked to Alexa, you can ask her to ‘lock down your house’ last thing at night (this uses an IFTTT rule). This command turns off your devices and, if you have Android devices, it’ll even mute them.

Hold onto your hat, John, because there have been some big developments in the world of smart heating: namely, smart radiator valves! Whilst they might not be the most desirable pieces of tech ever invented, they will help you gain increased mastery over your indoor heating. How? The majority of smart radiator valves (which attach to your radiator and open/close the valve as directed) enable you to control the heating in individual rooms. The majority of these valves are app controlled, so you can create custom heating schedules for different rooms, instead of blasting them all at once and wasting heating in unoccupied spaces. Netatmo, Tado, Energenie, Honeywell, Devolo and others each make smart radiator valves. Which manufacturer you buy from depends upon what type of smart heating system you currently have (or don’t have) in your home... The Netatmo Smart Radiator Valves (from £60), for example, are designed to work exclusively with the Netatmo Smart Thermostat. These valves are also compatible with Apple’s Home Kit, which means you can ask Siri to turn the heating up or down. Next month, Tado will begin shipping its Smart Radiator

Thermostat, an app-controlled system that also enables you to control your home’s heating on a room by room basis. Tado’s Starter Kit costs £179, but if you already own a Tado Smart Thermostat you only need to buy the Smart Radiator Thermostat (£59). Energenie’s Nest-friendly MiHome Heating Pack comprises three eTRVs (electronic thermostatic radiator valves) and a MiHome Gateway. These appcontrolled valves can be fitted to any radiator (instructions are included) with an existing TRV. If you have a manual radiator valve, though, you’ll need to get a standard TRV fitted first. Best call the plumber in for that one.

Tado’s one of several companies helping you get smarter with heating

meDia STreamerS 101 what are they, why you need one and which to buy Media streamers deliver the latest in TV and film from services like MUBI, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix. They can transform your old telly into a smart TV (try the NOW TV Smart Box, £40), and some, like the Nvidia Shield (£170) and Minix Neo U1 (£109.90), work as mini consoles. Most are simple to use, especially Amazon’s Fire TV Stick (£35), Google Chromecast (£30) and the Roku Streaming

Stick (£30). Roku also wades in on the HD streaming scene with the Roku 3 (£80), as does Google with the Chromecast Ultra (£69 for up to 4K Ultra HD) and Humax with the H3 Espresso, which enables you to stream live TV without an aerial connection. Part of the iOS ecosystem? The new Apple TV (from £129) is a no-brainer.

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2017’s top gadgets

   the next

big g   adgets


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2017’s top gadgets

there’S an avalanche of hot tech headinG your way thiS year! from teSlabeatinG electric carS and Super uhd tvS to beaStly GaminG laptopS and a manSion’S worth of connected-home GadGetS, here we round up the tech that’ll be iGnitinG your world in 2017 words: rob jones

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2017’s top gadgets

01 razer Project Valerie tHree-sy does it

Multi-monitor set-ups are nothing new. However, what is new in 2017 is portable systems rocking them, enabling extra-wide viewing experiences to be taken anywhere. razer’s Ces-unveiled project Valerie is a good example of this new wave of multi-monitor portables, with the powerful gaming laptop ingeniously squirreling away two auxiliary displays behind its central screen. when the three 4K iGZo displays are all extended and operating together, they deliver a total screen resolution of 11,520 x 2,160. wowzers.

02 Kuri Smart robot

03 audio-technica ath-dSr9bt 04 SamSung galaxy a

whether or not 2017 is the year that robots finally go mainstream we’re still not sure. However, they’re still being developed and put to market in record numbers. the cute Kuri robot, which was designed by an ex-pixar employee, is a good example, offering the ability to entertain children, keep an eye on your property, search the web for you, play music and podcasts, among other things.

digital-to-analog converters (daCs) unlock the convenience of digital music by converting it back into an analog signal for listening. but it could go the way of the dodo now that audio-technica has unveiled its atH-dsr9bt wireless over-ear headphones. they feature a state-of-theart trigence semiconductor dnote chipset that can process complex digital signals without the need for analog conversion.

HouseHold robots will Happen

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Goodbye to daC?

Mid-ranGe sMartpHone MaGiC

2017 will see high-end features being implemented in mid-range devices. the new samsung Galaxy a series is a great example of this, offering waterproofing, dustproofing, quick charging, five-inchplus screens, always-on displays, microsd support up to 256Gb, and type-C usb compatibility, among other features. elite performance is no longer going to be the preserve of the enthusiast.

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2017’s top gadgets

05 griffin connected toaSter 06 nVidia Shield tV

07 aSuS zenfone ar

all sorts of smart products got released at Ces, but one of the most notable was the Griffin Connected toaster. it can be controlled by your phone and remembers how you like your toast, tweaking bread type, temperature, thickness and more. naturally, it also connects up to all other Griffin Home products. surely, it’s only a matter of time until a toaster reads you the morning news while it makes breakfast.

it could easily be argued that the benefits of ar haven’t really reached the consumer in any meaningful, massmarket way right now. that looks like it could change in 2017, though, thanks to innovative products such as the recently announced asus Zenfone ar, a Google tango-enabled handset with a massive screen, impressive specs and – importantly – serious ar credentials.

bread winner

4K fabulousness

the new nvidia shield tV supports 4K in both video-watching and gaming, and also features 2017’s new visual hotness, Hdr imaging. what’s more, it’s been upgraded with Google assistant, enabling users unprecedented control over the media they want to enjoy. sounds exciting – and you can expect plenty more of this next-level smart tech integration in set-top boxes in the near future.

a biG year for ar?

08 toyota concePt-i it’s eleCtrifyinG!

a plethora of concept cars were unveiled at this year’s Ces show in las Vegas, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, many of them looked like props from the latest Tron film. How the cars look is arguably their least important asset, however – especially to a tech magazine such as this – and all of these motors continue the autonomousdrive, electric-vehicle trend that began a few years back. the pick of the bunch so far is arguably the toyota Concept-i (pictured right), which represents the japanese company’s vision of motoring in 2030. the future starts here…

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2017’s top gadgets

09 dell canVaS

worKinG MiraCle

touchscreen tech, and the tools used to interact with them, are going to the next level in 2017, with hot new products such as the dell Canvas enabling creators to digitise their workflows like never before. the Canvas, for example, is a horizontal smart workspace that features a 27-inch QHd screen and support for touch, totem, dial and pen input. excitingly, it can be powered by basically any windows 10 pC. it’s work, but not as we know it…

10 4KKodaK PixPro Vr 360 camera

360-deGree Video is set to explode

your home videos are about to become more immersive than ever, thanks to the pixpro 4K Vr 360 Camera, another product to be unveiled at Ces 2017. not only does it enable you to take 360-degree video, it captures it in stunning 4K resolution. what’s more, you can edit your recorded video and imagery through the camera’s pixpro editing and stitching software.

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11 lg leVitation Station

12 lenoVo legion y720

levitating-speaker tech is nothing new, but a major manufacturer bringing such a product to market is. the lG levitation station features a floating, egg-shaped speaker that hovers above a base unit and pumps out your tunes of choice. what’s really impressive, though, is that the speaker delivers audio in 360 degrees and will descend automatically back into the base when it runs out of juice.

at the outskirts of the pC-gaming market, we’ve seen a shift away from traditional desktops, with high-end specs crammed into notebooks or ‘consolised’ systems in an attempt to unshackle the hobby from an office setting. that trend looks set to continue in 2017, with new products such as the legion y720 gaming notebook offering a crazy-high gaming spec capable of 4K, Vr and dolby atmos.

floatinG speaKers Go MainstreaM

pC GaMinG to Go portable

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2017’s top gadgets

13 PanaSonic ez1000 tV

14 faraday future ff 91

15 SamSung ch711 Quantum dot

while we wait for 8K to become widely available, 2017 tV tech will be all about boosting colour range and brightness. panasonic’s eZ1000 tV not only delivers a 4K resolution but also twice the peak brightness of conventional Hdr panels, along with an almost-full dCi colour space. throw in an absolute black filter, designed to soak up ambient light and reflections, and the difference becomes striking.

tesla has made great strides in both the eV and ad sectors over the past couple of years. However, with brand-new vehicles being brought to market both by established players such as nissan and less-well-known manufacturers such as faraday future (you can see its brandnew ff 91 vehicle above), it looks like more people than ever will adopt electric, driver-assisted cars this coming year.

while the 3d tV craze is now dead in the water, curved screens look set to remain bang on trend, with non-linear panels finding themselves popping up in many tech categories. indeed, 2017 is set to see curved displays on a variety of phones, tVs, laptops and even computer monitors. and we’re not talking gimmick, either, with new panels such as the samsung CH711 Quantum dot offering impeccable imagery.

resolution isn’t eVerytHinG

tesla Has new riVals

CurVed sCreens are Here to stay

16 lg tone Studio ear we Go…

wireless charging looks set to continue its ascendancy in the next 12 months, with products outside of already-established markets picking up the technology. the Ces 2017unveiled lG tone studio bluetooth headset is a good example of this, with the personal wearable system boasting wireless earbuds that charge whenever they’re stored inside the neckband, making them easy to carry and charge at the same time. this is impressive considering the tone studio also features a hi-fi daC (digital to analog converter) and delivers audio in awesome 3d surround sound.

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2017’s top gadgets

17 huawei honor 6x tHe power of 6x

the established order of smartphone manufacturers looks set to shift even more in 2017, with Chinese maker Huawei continuing its rapid rise to serious-contender status alongside samsung, apple, HtC and lG. indeed, Huawei has gained so much traction recently that sub-brands such as Honor are pumping out really competitive smartphone specifications for some super-low price points. the new Honor 6x, for example, boasts a 5.5-inch full Hd display, a brushed-metal chassis, 3Gb of raM, 32Gb of storage space, a powerful octa-core 16nm Cpu and a dual-lens camera, all for an unbelievable rrp of £229.

18 acer Predator 21x

19 hyPerx cloud reVolVer S

20 lenoVo miix 720

elite gaming performance is really – despite the narrowing of the gap by super consoles such as the ps4 pro – the preserve of pC gamers. the highest resolutions, frame rates and load times are all on pC, thanks to some crazy-powerful hardware – and with enthusiasts willing to remortgage their houses, it looks like they’re going to stay there. take the absurd predator 21x from acer, a curved-display laptop that comes packed with an overclockable intel Kaby lake i7-7820HK processor, 64Gb of raM and two nvidia 1080 Gpus in sli configuration. the price? $9,000 (that’s £7,500 in pound sterling)!

in T3’s ‘best gaming headsets of 2016’ guide, we were spoiled for choice in terms of what to include, with top-quality sets from steelseries, astro, turtle beach and many more competing for an entry ticket. in 2017, that choice is set to get even bigger. Hyperx, for example, has just released the well-received Cloud revolver s gaming headset, while new maker lucidsound has pushed out a great range of sets including the ls30, ls20 and ls40. all of them provide top performance both in and out of games, making your playing more immersive and thrilling than ever before.

we liked Microsoft’s surface pro 4 and surface book a lot last year, with both transforming from a powerful and capable laptop into a tablet or slate in the blink of an eye. as such, we fully expect the hybrid market to continue to grow, with a slew of competitors hitting store shelves. products like the lenovo Miix 720, a hybrid two-in-one that features a 12-inch, 2,880 x 1,920, 3:2 screen with a kickstand, a seventh-generation intel Core i7 Kaby lake processor, an intel Hd 620 Gpu, up to 16Gb of raM, and an ssd drive of up to 1tb. serious power and performance whether you’re typing, illustrating or gaming.

power player

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Heads up

twin peaK

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2017’s top gadgets

21 lg Signature oled tV

22 Sony walKman nw-a35

23 netatmo Smart SmoKe alarm

tV panels getting thinner is nothing new. However, in 2017 they’ll be getting ludicrously thin, thanks to lG. another piece of tech to be launched at Ces 2017, the company’s new signature oled tV is only 2.5mm thick, which means it can be mounted to the wall using magnets alone (yes, really!). and what makes this dazzling new set even more amazing is that, despite it being thinner than a pane of glass, it has dolby Vision and dolby atmos built-in, giving you a cinema-like experience in your own living room. it might leave your wallet a tad thin, mind.

to date, portable players offering high-res audio have been few and far between, and have costed a small fortune. but luckily for us, 2017 seems to be shaping up into the year when the tech goes mainstream. sony’s latest iteration of its legendary walkman series, the nw-a35, comes packing high-resolution audio, an intuitive user interface and quality wireless playback. partner the player with a decent pair of noisecancelling headphones and it (as well as other new players) promises to deliver unparalleled portable fidelity.

as we’ve mentioned elsewhere, the smart home will be hot in 2017 – whether it’s lighting, home appliances or entertainment systems. one other area of this smart revolution currently seeing large growth is the smart home-security sector, with smart locks, alarms, cameras and more being produced. the netatmo smart smoke alarm is a good example of this push, with the clever new device not only triggering an 85db alarm when it detects smoke, but also sending real-time alerts to the user’s phone. the message sent depends on which room the smoke is detected in, too.

tHin just Got tHinner

HiGH-res audio is now MainstreaM

sMart HoMe seCurity is tHe future

24 lenoVo Smart aSSiStant speaKers Corner

the rise of the smart home has been coming for a while now (hence the arrival of our Home features in T3). However, in 2017 it’ll go truly mainstream, with a raft of new connected products hitting the market. one area that’ll see extra-large growth is the virtual assistant, with amazon’s alexa and Google’s Home incorporated into many pieces of tech, including speakers and tVs. one such item is the smart assistant from lenovo – an amazon echo-rivalling speaker that comes packing alexa but at a reduced cost (and that’s what we all want to hear, right?). it also looks better and boasts superb ifttt compatibility. as such, more people than ever before will be able to play barry white and set mood lighting with the power of their voice in 2017. Get three issues of t3 for just £6! See p58

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2017’s top gadgets

25 technicS grand claSS Sl-1200gr taKe it for a spin

Many things are only truly appreciated once they’re gone. Vinyl is a great example of this, with a concerted movement over the last ten years or so to bring its rich, analog delivery back to the mainstream audio market. as a result of this renaissance, we’re seeing a wealth of brand-new high-tech turntables hitting the market. one such record player is the red-hot technics Grand Class sl-1200Gr, which is setting new benchmarks for audio fidelity and build quality. all you have to do now is get your old boney M and bee Gees albums out of the attic, and you can get the vinyl party started.

26 lg Sj9 Soundbar

27 SamSung chromebooK Pro 28 Sony 4K ultra hd blu-ray diSc Player ubP-x800

dolby atmos took immersive surround sound to an awesome new level last year, with cinemas and clubs utilising the audio tech to great effect. in 2017, though, dolby atmos is coming home, with a selection of products featuring it having already been announced. one of the most notable is the lG sj9, which is the world’s first soundbar to support dolby atmos-encoded effects. it also features what lG is calling “4K sound”, which means it also supports high-res audio, and can upsample lowbitrate audio files to 24-bit/192kHz quality.

samsung’s new Chromebook pro sure looks like a tasty alternative to apple’s ipad pro and Microsoft’s surface book, offering full access to android’s app store, a two-in-one hybrid experience, and stylus support. throw in the fact that it features a 12.3-inch, 2,400 x 1,600-resolution screen, 4Gb of raM, two usb type-C ports (which support charging and 4K video output) and 32Gb of internal storage that’s expandable by a built-in sd card slot, and suddenly the heat is most definitely turned right up.

bar none

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booK of dreaMs

bonZer blu-ray

streaming movies may be superconvenient (especially when you get home from the boozer at midnight and fancy watching Transformers), but right now the quality they deliver at the 4K+ end of the spectrum (both in terms of video and audio quality) is far lower than delivered on 4K ultra Hd blu-ray discs. until the balance is righted, expect to see far more products along the lines of sony’s magnificent ubp-x800 4K uHd blu-ray player in the coming months.

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2017’s top gadgets

29 htc ViVe

Vr is GoinG wireless

Cheapo options aside, the biggest problem with the current generation of virtual-reality headsets is that they have wires sticking out of them, which means it’s all too easy to get tangled up and trip over the dog while you’re battling monsters and aliens in their immersive worlds. but don’t fret, virtual adventurer, for high-end Vr headsets will start to go wireless in the next 12 months. indeed, the T3 award-winning HtC Vive will be cutting the cables as early as March, keeping it one step ahead of the chasing pack.

30 canon PowerShot g9 x marK ii

CoMpaCt CaMeras aren’t dead

smartphones have severely eaten into the compact-camera market in recent years. phone cameras have their limits, though, both in terms of picture quality and longevity (those batteries get depleted lightning fast) – which is why new products such as the powershot G9 x Mark ii are being pumped out in the coming year. Canon’s pocket-friendly shooter is a super-streamlined, portable powerhouse, offering a 20.1-megapixel sensor, a diGiC 7 processor and a lightfriendly f/2.0 lens and auto-nd filter.

31 SamSung Q9 Qled tV MoVe oVer, oled

if you’ve just invested in a new oled tV, we have some bad news – it looks like oled is now old hat. samsung reckons that Qled (Quantum dot led) is the future. as demonstrated in the company’s new Q7, Q8 and Q9 range, the technology can deliver enhanced colour range and detail compared to oled – all thanks to the metal-alloy Quantum dot material, which enables users to ramp up colour performance without compromising brightness. this is maintained regardless of viewing angle, how light or dark the scene is, or how brightly lit the room is. neat.

32 garmin fenix 5 watCH tHis spaCe

the wearable market’s rapid growth over the past five years has now well and truly halted. However, established key manufacturers are entrenching themselves with rapid iterations of existing products. take the recently announced fenix 5 family of smartwatches from Garmin – each one is carefully targeted at a specific consumer (men, women, casual, enthusiast) and, while costing a fair bit, sports excellent build quality. after all, if smartwatches are truly going to challenge the existing watch market, they need to prove they have the staying power, elevating them from a disposable augment to an essential investment. Get three issues of t3 for just £6! See p58

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State of the Art

Stick to your new year’s resolutions with the help of a premium activity tracker – we find out which of these three is top of the tree

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State of the Art

activity trackers w hat’s on test…


Samsung Gear Fit2 highly customisable, curved touchscreen, GPs, wi-Fi, 4GB space. is this the first true smart tracker? Price: £149 URL:



Fitbit Charge 2 Boasts continuous hr monitoring, multiple sports modes, (connected) GPs, smart notifications – and guided breathing. Price: £129.99 URL:

Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Garmin’s waterproof tracker offers smart notifications and hr monitoring, as well as real GPs. Price: £169 URL:

Bands on the run

accurate GPs, heart-rate monitors, colour touchscreens. activity trackers really are the mutt’s nuts nowadays... words: damian hall

Photography: neil Godwin

aCk in THe miSTS oF SPoRTS-TeCH Time, THeRe waS a SimPLe diViSion. Two TRibeS. THey did THe Same THinG bUT in a diFFeRenT way. and wHaT THey woRe on THeiR wRiSTS waS THe GiVeaway SiGn.


There were the Brownleewannabe sport Billies and Betties, who wore GPS sportswatches. And there were those who merely wanted to go down a waist size, who wore activity trackers. The former needed exhaustive data for distance, heart rate (HR), pace and so on. The less-ambitious latter cared more for calories burned and steps counted. The uber-sophisticated GPS sportswatches boasted (cheststrap) heart-rate monitors and GPS tracking. The trackers were little more than pedometers, really. But now all that’s changed… Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

Activity-tracker design, hardware and software have progressed quickly and impressively; premium-end trackers are now so sophisticated, they offer many of the things sportswatches do – GPS, pace and various data-carpeted sports modes. But on top of these features, you get performance enhancers that most of those watches don’t offer, such as wrist-based heart-rate monitoring, smart notifications and colour touchscreens. We’re at the point where you have to ask yourself if you need to pay an extra £300 for a sportswatch, when activity trackers can do so much. We’ve taken the best three premium trackers and given them a workout. These’ll suit anyone in the middle of the fitness spectrum – ie those who aren’t running to and from work every day, but who are interested in their health. And who like a bit of fancy top-tech… f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 6 1

State of the Art

test 01:

SamSUnG GeaR FiT2


which tracker best balances sporty substance with cocktail-bar style?

here’s a risk that as the race for fitness-tracking features reaches Olympic levels, the devices become too cumbersome to be comfortable. Likewise, if they’re to be worn 24/7 for maximum tracking data, are they subtle enough for those who don’t want to shout about their calorie counting? The water-resistant Samsung Gear Fit2’s Super AMOLED screen is simply amazing for a tracker. It’s bright, colourful and intuitive, and can be customised with several watchface options. It’s also curved, which adds to its sleekness and viewability outdoors. The strap is soft, malleable and purr-invokingly comfy against the skin, and comes in small and large sizes. The unit is the lightest on test (by 1g), and you soon forget you’re wearing it. The Fit2 has two buttons, but the perfectly responsive touchscreen gets more of the action. The large screen enables it to display more information than its rivals, and, combined


Samsung’s Gear Fit2 uses a Super amoLed display. it’s the only tracker on test with a curved – and colour – screen

The Super AMOLED screen is simply amazing for a tracker with the bright colours, this makes it very easy to use. Overall, the device is subtle and sleekly stylish, yet also eye-catching enough to prompt curiosity from others. When it comes to style, the Fitbit is more functional than the Samsung, but more sassy than the Garmin. The crisp, customisable and decent-sized non-colour OLED screen is impressive, while the interchangeable silicone band is comfy (there are quality leather straps, too, for £60). The Fitbit comes in three sizes. Garmin’s Vivosmart HR+, also waterresistant, feels chunky on a slim wrist. Like the Samsung it comes in two sizes, but this unit is significantly bigger and never quite felt as comfortable. Aesthetically, there’s little pretension towards wine-bar acceptability, but the rugged design is deceptively thoughtful. The 160 x 68-pixel, non-colour screen is fairly small and seems dull compared to the Samsung, but it’s easier to read in direct sunlight. Notifications take a fair bit of scrolling to read through, but then trackers aren’t designed for reading lots of text. 6 2 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

sPecs diSPLay Size (H): 38.6mm diSPLay ReSoLUTion: 216 x 432 pixels deViCe weiGHT: 30g

baTTeRy LiFe: up to five days with low usage; up to nine hours of GPs

touch or taP? only two of our three are touchscreen units; the other, you just have to tap The Fitbit Charge 2 sports a super-crisp OLED black and white screen. Curiously, it’s not officially a touchscreen display, but tap it with medium force and it swishly spins to the next

screen option. The Samsung Gear Fit2, despite having a fully paid-up touchscreen, can perform the same trick. The Fitbit and Samsung are both perhaps at their most

waTeR RaTinG: resistant up to 1.5m for 30 mins GPS: yes HR moniToRinG: yes ToUCHSCReen: yes

pleasingly subtle – to T3’s eyes anyway – when the screen is blank. However, a quick flick of the wrist (stop that) and the screen lights up, initially showing the time. It’s a neat trick in theory, but also a tad annoying at night, when turning over in bed prompts the tracker to light up the entire room.

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State of the Art

activity trackers FiTbiT CHaRGe 2

GaRmin ViVoSmaRT HR+

The Fitbit Charge 2’s oLed display is tap- rather than touchscreen, but it works well enough

you can choose which way you view your notifications and data on the Vivosmart HR+’s screen – either vertically or horizontally

sPecs diSPLay Size (H x w): 32 x 20mm diSPLay ReSoLUTion: n/a deViCe weiGHT: 36g

baTTeRy LiFe: up to five days waTeR RaTinG: sweat-, rain- and splashproof, but not showerproof

sPecs GPS: no (connects to smartphone) HR moniToRinG: yes ToUCHSCReen: no (tap-responsive)

wrist assured which of these three trackers is the best companion for climbing and swimming? Made from plastic encased in a rubber strap and body, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is more rugged and durable than its two rivals here, both of which you would worry about if scrambling

up a mountain – especially the delicate Samsung. But not the Garmin. It easily survives knocks, scratches and drops to the floor by clumsy journalists. It’s also

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diSPLay Size (H x w): 25.3 x 10.7mm diSPLay ReSoLUTion: 160 x 68 pixels

water-resistant to 50m, so few worries in rain or the post-run shower. The Samsung is only good up to 1.5m for up to 30 minutes, which is fine for short swimming sessions. This isn’t the case with the Fitbit. It’s not officially water-resistant, although it did survive when we forgot to take it off in the shower a few times.

deViCe weiGHT: 31g regular; 33g x-large baTTeRy LiFe: up to five days; up to eight hours of GPs

waTeR RaTinG: resistant to 50m GPS: yes HR moniToRinG: yes ToUCHSCReen: yes

Test 01 winner samsunG Gear Fit2 It’s less rugged and durable than the others, but so stylish, colourful and comfortable – we enjoyed wearing this one the most f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 6 3

State of the Art

test 02:

SamSUnG GeaR FiT2

FeaTUReS which of our tracker trio is the undisputed heptathlon champion?

ll of these gadgets do the things trackers do best: track your every step, snooze, climb of a stair and calorie burned, and offer feelgood notifications and reminders to be active or go to bed. They all auto-detect a workout – an excellent feature that most GPS sportswatches don’t have – and include smart notifications and built-in wrist-based HR monitors. The Vivosmart HR+ has everything you’d expect from a high-end tracker. The move bar is a great touch. Instead of an out-of-the-blue alert, which can irk, you can see the bar building up, and act before being alerted. The Vivosmart’s sport modes are limited, however – there’s Running, Cardio or Other, and only Running has GPS (though Other still offers distance, time, BPM and calories burned). Virtual Pacer is neat, with a continuous view of how you’re doing against a target pace – great for marathon training. There’s plenty else, too: music controls, weather updates, find my


Samsung’s Gear Fit2 offers so much on-device information that there’s almost no need for a smartphone and app to complement it

It monitors your heart rate, then sets you a breathing challenge phone, auto lap and auto pause – you can even answer and decline calls from your band (though you can’t actually converse). The Gear Fit2 takes things up a level. It does all of that (bar continuous HR) but bypasses the smartphone. As well as Spotify compatibility (admittedly only when your phone is in range) and Wi-Fi connectivity, you can store up to 4GB of music and listen on wireless earphones. There’s so much data available on screen, you don’t feel the need to go to the app after a day or run – you even get a nominal map of your route, graphs showing HR and speed, and more. There are reams of sports modes, from yoga to rowing machine. Customisation is so far-reaching, you can even change the font. The Fitbit’s most original feature is Guided Breathing, which monitors your heart rate for 30 seconds, then sets you a breathing challenge to help make you more tranquilo. Its PurePulse HR tracking is continuous, and the numerous sports modes include elliptical trainer and weight training. Though there’s no GPS, it can track distance travelled via a smartphone. 6 4 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

heart ache all of our trio include heart-rate monitors, but only two of them are continuous Like the Apple Watch, the Samsung Gear Fit2 monitors HR using infrared light blasters and green LEDs to track the rate of blood flow. Oddly, though, the Samsung only

takes HR readings every ten minutes (unless in a sport mode, when it’s continuous), whereas the Fitbit and Garmin both monitor your heart rate continuously. One of the

Samsung’s many neat touches, however, is when you request a current HR reading. While you wait, you watch a red line zigzagging up and down across the screen – your heartbeat. The Vivosmart HR+ uses Elevate™ wrist tech to monitor HR, and Fitbit calls its technology PurePlus.

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State of the Art

activity trackers FiTbiT CHaRGe 2

GaRmin ViVoSmaRT HR+

The Charge 2’s SmartTrack detects your workout if you forget to start recording, and the Peak, Cardio and Fat burn zones make using HR accessible

stay communicado these trackers will channel all your alerts and notifications to you when you’re out If you really can’t go for a run without unplugging from social media, you’ll like these trackers, though you’ll want to pick carefully. If you bring your smartphone along for the ride,

the Fitbit facilitates call, text and calendar notifications, but you can’t respond without getting your phone out. The Vivosmart HR+ offers a fuller suite of smart

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as well as weather updates and music controls, the Vivosmart HR+ offers performance graphs on screen, and shows the current battery power

communications: emails, calls, texts, social-media alerts, app alerts and so on, all via a gentle vibration. But again, Samsung takes things up a notch. Not only do you get smart notifications, you can do (pre-written) responses to Samsung app messages, Facebook, Gmail and WhatsApp messages.

Test 02 winner samsunG Gear Fit2 All but bypassing smartphone dependence, it’s rammed with features, with music storage and on-screen info being most impressive f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 6 5

State of the Art

test 03:

SamSUnG GeaR FiT2

PeRFoRmanCe never mind the theory, who wins when the gun goes off?

here’s something fun as well as emotionally supportive about the Fitbit – this, after all, is the device that encourages you to calm down and take a few deep breaths. On top of the standard on-tracker notifications for fitness goals reached, Fitbit emails you weekly stats. We liked getting, “112 lifetime kilometres; you just matched the distance of March Of The Penguins”. And you get a skydiver badge after climbing 1,000 floors. The Fitbit app is excellent, with easy set-up via a walkthrough video. The charger is the most practical and fuss-free, and the battery should last over four days (Fitbit claims five). On the downside, it’s not waterproof, and there’s no battery indicator or GPS. It does a decent job, but it’s outshone by the other two. The Garmin’s battery also lasts around four days. It can take a minute to locate GPS, but with the company’s pedigree you know it’s reliable. The touchscreen works just fine, and impressively well in sunlight. When you’re


The Samsung Gear Fit2 recorded the most-accurate heart-rate readings of the trio, compared to a benchmark GPS sportswatch with chest-strap HR

It offers so much onscreen info, you barely need to refer to the app working out, HR can be slightly delayed during higher intensities, but it does catch up. The Samsung battery only lasts about three days, but it does offer wireless charging – just drop the tracker onto a pre-charged cradle – and a power-save mode. Surprisingly, it’s incompatible with Apple products, which is a huge shame. We had some minor performance concerns; despite having ample battery, it turned itself off during a run in the December cold. Like with the Fitbit, triggering the screen to wake up can be awkward at times, and requires some curious wrist manoeuvres. Other than this, the Samsung is a dream activity tracker. It offers so much info, you barely need to refer to the app or have a smartphone accompanying it. For example, a graph in the 24-hour log shows how much of your day you were inactive. Customisation options are fun, and it’s startlingly stylish for a tracker. HR stats are a little iffy once intensity is ramped up, but that’s the same with most wrist-based (compared to chest-strap) HRs. 6 6 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

all heart they’re certainly addictive, but do you really need a heart-rate monitor? Heart-rate monitors have been a game-changer for fitness bods. Various factors influence how hard we think we’re working out; HR is the most reliable way of gauging your real effort. It also

measures your progression. For runners, as your cardiovascular fitness improves, you should notice that the pace you’re doing at, say 145bpm, gradually increases over the weeks. HR is

most useful for ensuring you do the majority of your endurance training relatively slowly, rather than blatting along at 200bpm to chase a Strava record – saving you from burnout. Also use HR to check that you’re not fatigued or overtraining, by comparing your average resting heart rate – if it’s higher than usual over several days, take a break.

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State of the Art

activity trackers FiTbiT CHaRGe 2

GaRmin ViVoSmaRT HR+

The lack of GPS on the Fitbit Charge 2 is a bit of a bummer. but then the continuous HR is better than the Samsung’s default periodical option

what’s aPP? our premium trackers’ accompanying apps vary surprisingly in quality and usability The Fitbit app is really userfriendly – a handy tutorial talks you through set-up – and stuffed with interesting bits and bobs. To keep you motivated, it offers challenges and comparisons

with friends and other people in your age group, and there are a number of social features. Garmin Connect, on the other hand, while indisputably packed full of data, bewilders

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Tap the Garmin Vivosmart HR+’s heart-rate display to see a graph of your last four hours of data

with numbers and screens. Once you’re used to it, it’s an excellent resource, but it’s not very beginner-friendly. In third place, the Samsung S Health app is surprisingly bare-bones – but then the tracker itself takes on much of the work. You do need the app, though, if you want to properly track your stats.

Test 03 winner samsunG Gear Fit2 While the Fitbit Charge 2 is fun and feelgood, the Samsung – like an iPhone – just makes you want to repeatedly interact with it f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 6 7

State of the Art

The overall winner is…

1st samsung Gear Fit2 Price: £149


T3 RaTeS: the price, colour touchscreen and general gorgeousness. it has plenty of substance to go with the style: it can do things that both other trackers and much pricier sportswatches can’t. T3 SLaTeS: Battery life could be improved, and the lack of ios compatibility is a black mark against it.

that said, the tracker holds so much info anyway, some people may feel they don’t need an accompanying app. T3 SayS: the sweet spot where design, features and performance collide to make beautiful podium fireworks. a true smart activity tracker.

2nd Garmin vivosmart hr+

3rd Fitbit charge 2

T3 RaTeS: the amount of data is superb; great features. T3 SLaTeS: the design is basic; the modes for non-runners are limited. T3 SayS: not as flash as the samsung, but still an excellent premium tracker.

T3 RaTeS: it has the best app, and the user experience is the most fun and feelgood. T3 SLaTeS: lack of GPs and waterproofing are major omissions for a tracker. T3 SayS: still a great bit of sports tech for the money.

Price: £169 URL:

Price: £129.99 URL:

FiVe wayS To GeT moRe FRom THeSe aCTiViTy TRaCkeRS 01 SHooT FoR THe moon Customise your goals. The trackers will start with default daily step, floor and sleep goals, but once you get an idea of what numbers you tend to rack up, you can set some goals for yourself that are both a little elusive but also attainable, which will ideally prompt you to gradually increase the time you spend exercising.

02 STReSS LeSS Eh, eh, calm down. Once you have a handle on the patterns of your HR, a tracker can help you keep an eye on your stress levels. The Fitbit’s guided breathing sessions won’t appeal 6 8 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

to everyone, but they can help stressed folk de-stress.

03 moniToR FiTneSS HR is a great gauge of your improving health and fitness. As you exercise regularly, you should see your resting HR come down over time. Sporty folk should expect a resting HR in the region of 40-60bpm. Over time, you should be able to run at a pace, such as eight-minute miles, with a lower HR score than you used to get, as your fitness increases.

04 GeT yoUR SHUTeye Prioritise sleep. Training is a cycle of stress then rest, but

so few of us get the rest part right. A good tracker is the perfect device to help you consolidate the gains you should get from your training, by getting enough shuteye. Even if you’re not in training as such, good sleep is always good for you.

05 CHaLLenGe yoURSeLF Floor climbing is better for burning calories than simple step counting, but it also builds strength in your legs and backside, and helps make them curvier. The tracker apps include many social and challenge options, so if motivation starts to dwindle, give them a go. Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

State of the Art

activity trackers


Gear Fit2


SaLomon S-Lab SoniC PRo

accessories Get running with your best-in-class Samsung activity tracker…

Salomon’s S-Lab Sonic Pro shoes are thrillingly light (240g) – it barely feels like you’re wearing any. Designed for light and city trails, they switch effortlessly between canal paths, fields and tarmac, while the patented lacing system means they’ll never come undone in the middle of your run. £110,


inoV-8 aT/C windSHeLL

Inov-8’s new full-zip, nylon Windshell, only 106g, has vented zones to ensure optimal breathability, offers good weather resistance and looks damn stylish. A large, music-device-friendly chest pocket doubles as a stash bag, while thumb loops and an elasticated hood are further bonuses. £75,


monTane TRaiL SeRieS LonG TiGHT

These tights are claimed to be uniquely cooling and quick-drying, and also odourresistant, with breathable panels behind the knees; while the lower-leg material is abrasion-resistant. They have a zipped, phone-friendly pocket, plus gel pockets. £70,




SamSUnG GeaR iConx

Seeing as the Samsung Gear Fit2 enables you to listen to music directly from the device, you may as well use it as an excuse to buy a set of earphones. The Samsung Gear IconX are completely wire-free, for full freedom of movement. £169,


SamSUnG GaLaxy S7




The Gear Fit2 is designed to work with the Galaxy S7, and indeed most Android smartphones – but sadly not Apple phones. It’s far from an essential add-on but for maximum compatibility, team it up with its soulmate, the Galaxy S7. £539.95,

FiVe THinGS To make yoUR SamSUnG GeaR FiT2 eVen beTTeR

01 FanCy FaCe

02 GeT aPPy

03 SPoTiFy me

04 mUSiC maeSTRo

05 wiCked widGeTS

There are nine tastefully stylised watchfaces to select from within the tracker or by using the Samsung Gear app. And you can download even more options from the Galaxy App Store. Fill your boots.

We recommend the Samsung Gear and S Health apps. The latter of those is a metrics-tracking app that pulls in tracker data and builds trends to help guide you along your fitness path.

Get Spotify and you’ll have up to 500 songs to assist your fitness sessions. If you can’t decide between Eye Of The Tiger and Simply The Best, there are motivational playlists in Workout.

Spotify only works if your smartphone is nearby. If you want to leave it behind during your workout, you’ve got 4GB of space to upload your own tunes, so Shania Twain can still keep you company.

Widgets – heart rate, calories burned, floors climbed and so on – can be customised (added, deleted, re-ordered) via the touchscreen, and new ones can be downloaded from the Galaxy App Store.

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Give your 2017 fitness drive a boost with our pick of smart sports gadgets and clothing



01 Lazer Genesis LifeBeam


Get fit with tech


This clever, lightweight helmet monitors your heart rate via a rechargeable sensor in the headband. A processing unit sends data to your cycle computer, smartphone or smartwatch via Bluetooth, so you know whether to pedal harder or ease up. ÂŁ193,



words claire davies

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01 Saucony Triumph ISO 3

02 JLab Epic2

03 Ashmei Ultimate

Find your stride with Saucony’s Triumph ISO 3, a colourful running shoe that delivers maximum energy return via an Everun Landing Zone under the heel. The Isofit system ensures a responsive fit by adapting to the shape and motion of your foot, while a Tri-Flex outsole creates flexibility.

Compatible with iPhone and Android phones, JLab’s chic Epic2 wireless earbuds feature a ceramic Bluetooth antenna that reduces signal drop-outs. You also get deep bass and an IPX5 waterproof rating that’ll handle sweat. The tangle-free cable has a remote and a mic.

Both wind- and waterproof at the front, with a blended Merino wool back to offer breathability, this softshell jacket with a two-way offset zip is versatile enough to wear all year round. Storage is good, too – stash your phone in the side pocket and your keys in the internal pocket.

$99.99 (£80),


04 Oakley Radar Pace

05 Garmin Forerunner 235

Smart eyewear for runners and cyclists alike. Made in collaboration with Intel, these glasses feature a real-time, voice-activated coaching system. Three mics and a suite of sensors handle the input, and you can manage workout goals via the Radar Pace app.

Train whatever the weather with this GPS-enabled, shockresistant running watch that boasts a built-in accelerometer and Garmin Elevate heart-rate (HR) tech. Running-specific features include pace and time/ distance alerts, plus capability for scheduling interval training.







02 Bkool Smart Pro



Ride thousands of classic or user-created cycling routes from the comfort of your home courtesy of Bkool’s Bluetoothconnected turbo trainer and simulator app. It even recreates the gradients and conditions of each route, and delivers detailed analytics at the end of each ride. £449,

03 Garmin Edge 820

04 Pearl Izumi Pro Escape

Whether you’re training for a race or looking for insight into your riding style, this GPS bike computer – compatible with ANT+ sensors, and able to record speed, cadence and HR – can help. The high-res screen autoadjusts its brightness, and the touch display works with gloves.

This softshell cycling jacket features three-layered panels in key areas to keep the elements at bay, plus fleece sides and back to aid core warmth in temperatures down to -10 degrees. If you get too hot during your ride, side vents help temperature regulation.

Your road racer is ideal for summer blasts but not so when it turns icy. Avoid the winter training dip with this superb steed, which you can build to your exacting needs, complete with disc brakes, mudguards, and grippy Continental tyres.



From £1,199,

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05 Ribble CR3 Winter Training Bike

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01 02

02 Bragi The Dash

Track laps in the pool with Misfit’s wearable (waterproof to 50m), which communicates via a vibrating motor and multicoloured lights on the display. Program the Countdown Swim Timer and the Shine 2 will vibrate on your wrist when your time in the water is up.

This wireless hearable, waterproof to one metre, uses biometric sensors to monitor your performance in the pool, giving you real-time audio feedback on your heart rate. You can also listen to music direct from the integrated 4GB Dash music player, and take calls.


¤299 (£255),

03 Arena Powerskin ST Limited Edition Jammer

04 Speedo Fastskin Prime Mirror Goggle

These high-tech shorts are made from Lycra-infused fabric to deliver built-in compression. This reduces any chafing or muscle stiffness, and boosts recovery. The chlorine-resistant Jammers fit like a second skin to help streamline your shape.

These FINA-approved goggles sport a hydrodynamic design. Speedo’s IQ Fit keeps them in place, with a 3D seal to prevent leaks. The wraparound shape increases your field of vision, while anti-fog, mirrored lenses reflect bright light.



StRength tRaining


01 Misfit Speedo Shine 2

04 03

01 Beast Athlete

02 Adidas Techfit Power Tee

03 Nutri Ninja Pro

04 TRX Home Gym

This wearable for strength training uses an accelerometer to measure the power, speed and force of your movements. It can help you prevent injury and perfect your form. Data is pinged to the companion app, where you can adjust workout goals to your taste.

Support your core muscles and boost your power with this tech-infused compression shirt. Adidas’s breathable, mesh-esque Climachill fabric keeps you cool during workouts by wicking sweat away from your skin. The result? You can train harder with increased personal comfort.

Smoothies made with whey powder, plus fruit, vegetables or seeds, are a great way to nail your protein quota and some of your recommended five a day. This 1,100-watt blender will help you get the most nutrients from your drinks, thanks to Auto-IQ and Smooth Boost tech.

Turn any door frame, or even a suitable space outside, into a gym with this cool bodyweight training kit. The TRX Home Gym suspension trainer (with app) can help strengthen your core and build tone. Just anchor the kit to the apparatus in question and follow the instructions.





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02 Monster Roc Sport SuperSlim

The new Moov HR Sweat has a heart-rate sensor worn under a fast drying, sweat-absorbing headband to monitor and coach you through different cardio exercises, including HIIT. Voice coaching (via your smartphone) guides you through each move and pushes you to work harder.

These streamlined, wireless earphones will spur you on with their bass-heavy sound. Sweatproof and designed with one-touch Bluetooth pairing, the noise-isolating buds will help you stay in HIIT’s fatburning zone for longer.

$99 (£80),


03 Under Armour HeatGear CoolSwitch Supervent Sleeveless Shirt

04 Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle

02 03

This compression vest with four-way-stretch material uses CoolSwitch technology – a coating on the fabric that draws heat away from your skin. A mesh back panel enhances breathability and dries sweat.

Doing HIIT on an indoor bike is low-impact yet seriously effective, and the Bluetoothenabled M3i – designed with magnetic resistance to ape riding a road cycle – is a HIIT favourite. Real-time workout statistics are displayed on the backlit digital display.


$1,995 (£1,568),



01 Moov HR Sweat


02 Salomon X Ultra Trek GTX

01 Suunto Ambit3 Vertical (HR) GPS Watch


Hike all year round with these lightweight boots, featuring a full Gore-Tex bootie to keep you dry, plus robust lugs to help those Contagrip rubber soles dig into any surface. The OrthoLite sockliner and EVA heel cups deliver superior support and cushioning.


Explore the great outdoors with this GPS smartwatch. Use it with Suunto’s Movescount app to plan routes (topographic maps and altitude info). You can also get real-time hill-incline data in-app, with general activity stats viewable at the wrist.



03 Montane Ultra Tour 22 The body of this lightweight pack is constructed from durable, tear-resistant Raptor Zero fabric. Large, stretchy mesh pockets will swallow gear such as maps, water bottles and sunscreen, while the rolltop closure gives quick access to the main compartment.

04 Canada Goose HyBridge Perren Jacket 03

One of the most stylish hiking jackets we’ve seen, the Perren uses Strati-Forma 3D, a durable, water-resistant nylon fabric. The laminated outer has four-way stretch so you can move easily, while a micro polar-fleece backing ensures breathability.

04 £75, Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58


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The mission Can the latest in smart security tech deter even the most sneaky of burglars? We put all the best new kit to the test to find out…

The man Rob is editor of T3. His house used to be more Fort Not than Fort Knox. Can security tech protect all of his precious ‘review’ gear?

The tech Yale Conexis L1 Smart Lock £270, Ring Video Doorbell £159, Netatmo Presence £250, Yale Smart Home Alarm and View Kit £599, Yale Home View PTZ Camera £119, Hive Window/Door and Motion Sensors £Varies,

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T3 CAm 01 15 / 12 / 16 16:37





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I’ve never been one for masses of home-security gear. In fact, my idea of home security is making sure I close the front door after a night out. But in a world where everyone is becoming more security-conscious – and with a raft of new hightech options available – it’s time I got my house kitted out. And let’s see if the latest in kit can deter even the smartest of burglars… INSTALL ATION PAIN Installing a bunch of super-high-tech smart security gear takes time. It also needs, for some products at least, some DIY nous – which I don’t have. I start by tackling the Netatmo Presence, which installs in place of an outdoor light. Luckily, I have an old rusty light on my outside wall, so, after flicking the electrics off, I rip the old light off the wall and assess the options. My house was built in 1900, so I’m greeted with old wiring. Still, it’s a pretty simple affair to connect the Presence, screw it on and fire it up. If you don’t have an outside wire, you’ll need to get an electrician in. Next on my home-security list is the Yale Smart Home Alarm and View Kit. After looking at the box and instructions (yes, really), I’m terrified that I’ll activate

The Ring Video Chime plugs into a socket and gives you a number of doorbell sounds

this thing (it emits 104dB outside and 94dB inside) and not be able to turn it off. So I cheat; I get Yale to install it for me – which, luckily since the kit costs £599, is included in the price. This involves screwing the alarm unit onto the outside wall and then setting up the door sensor and PIR image cameras around the house (enabling you to get still images beamed to your phone). Once all the battery tabs are pulled, the system is available to be armed. This can be done using the Yale Home app or, if you want to do it in a more traditional

way, via a keypad. Disarming is done in the same way, and you can also just arm certain parts of the house (say, just the downstairs if you’re asleep upstairs).

NO KEY TO SUCCESS One piece of tech I’m really excited about is the Yale Conexis L1. This is a keyless lock for an external door that enables you to open it via low-energy Bluetooth using your phone, a fob or a keycard. Again, I’m no locksmith, so I opt for Yale to install this – and it

SECURITY-CONSCIOUS TECH The best high-tech gear for protecting your house from baddies…




This stylish security cam has the neat ability to differentiate between people, animals and cars, meaning you’ll always know who’s coming and going. It doubles as a rather powerful outside light, and installs into existing wiring with very few problems. £250,


For the ultimate in smart security, get yourself this Yale kit, comprising a brain-shattering 104dB alarm (with a key pad), a sensor, PIR cameras, and a smart hub and app to control it all. You can remotely arm and disarm with a simple swipe in the iPhone or Android app. £599,

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If someone opens your window or door when you’re not at home, you want to know about it, right? Well, that’s exactly what Hive’s Window/Door sensors do, notifying you via the Hive app if anything has been tripped. Pair them with motion sensors for more security around the home. £Varies,



This is a real gamechanger – a true keyless lock that you can open using either your smartphone, key fob or smartcard. You can also open it remotely with the Yale Wireless Module, and share keys with your friends, family and neighbours all via the app. You need never lose keys again! £270,



There are loads of smart security cams available, but we love the Home View PTZ as you can pan, tilt and zoom, all via your smartphone. It also integrates nicely (as you’d expect) with other Yale Smart Home products, giving you notifications as specified in the app. £119,



The Ring Video Doorbell is easy to install, cheap to buy and offers something really cool – the ability to see who’s at your door wherever you are. You could tell the postie to leave your parcel around the back, or simply tell ‘unwanted guests’ that you’re not interested. £159,

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BELOW Installing the Netatmo Presence is easy – as long as you have the right wiring in place RIGHT 01 The Ring Video Doorbell is a smart security option 02 Open your door with just your smartphone!


03 Hive Sensors alert you if a window has been opened 04 This crowbar is not a connected device 05 The Yale Smart Home Alarm is deafening!



04 05

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JA N UA R Y 2 0 1 7 T3 8 7

He may look like a ninja, but he had no luck getting past the Netatmo Presence

Yale’s Smart Home Alarm Kit is controlled via your smartphone – but also has the traditional deterrent

He got in but the police were already on their way to take him to the clink

THIS PAGE Rob was so busy checking Twitter, he didn’t notice the menacing dude climbing through the window

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THIS PAGE The Yale Home View PTZ Camera enables you to control its viewing angle remotely

“What happens next is a deafening noise that makes my ears bleed” takes a couple of hours (I imagine if I’d done it, it would’ve taken a good couple of days). Once up and running, it works brilliantly, enabling me to open my door with a twist of my iPhone – and even send digital keys to friends and family (and revoke them as necessary!). With the wireless module plugged in, it’ll also talk to the Yale Home app, meaning I can unlock my door from wherever I am in the world.

RING, RING The next thing to install is the Ring Video Doorbell – a winner at last year’s T3 Awards. This is a cinch, and it’s all set up in ten minutes – including screwing it onto the wall and adding a ‘Chime’ accessory. Installing Hive’s Window/Door and Motion sensors is as simple as hooking up the Hive Hub, then pairing the sensors and choosing notification preferences. Finally, I add a couple of Yale Home View PTZ Cameras. These are set up in the Yale View app – it takes five minutes. So now I’m all set. My house is like Alcatraz (in The Rock movie) – and not even a moody Connery or a camp Cage could get in. Or could they? So enter the robber. We can’t give his identity away, but let’s just say he once

did a stretch at Her Majesty’s pleasure (he was her personal trainer). We set him the task of trying to sneak into my house unnoticed. Arriving at my front door, his first stumbling block is the Ring Video Doorbell – I can see he’s there. This is a neat device to have if someone rings at your door in the early hours – you can simply fire up the app on your phone and tell them to f**k off. The next obstacle is the Yale Conexis L1. Our burglar thinks he’s clever by poking his hand through the letterbox to open the latch, but he’s thwarted by the fact that you have to push in and turn the dial to unlock the door. The lock also sounds an audible beep as he fiddles with it, which alerts me to his presence. What’s more, via the app, you can set the Conexis L1 to auto-lock, which means you’ll never accidentally leave it open. As an experiment, we now arm the Yale alarm and leave the door undone for our burglar to come in. What comes next is a noise that makes my ears bleed – any tea leaf would be hot-footing it in no time. Ordering him back outside, we now leave the front window unlocked for him to climb through. The Hive Window Sensor

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You’ll need to hook up the Yale Smart Home Alarm Hub directly to your router

immediately throws me a notification, giving me a chance to get out. And when I’m out of the house, I can zoom and pan using a Yale Home View PTZ Camera to see what’s going on before calling the rozzers. And so to the back garden. The Netatmo Presence is always on guard here – and will recognise the difference between people, animals and cars. It’ll throw a spotlight out as well. As our bandit approaches, I’m notified that a person has been detected and get the video clip straightaway. So, do I feel safer with all of this tech in and around my house? Yes, a lot. It’s not that I didn’t feel safe before, but connected kit ramps up the security and gives me the ability to check on my home from wherever I happen to be. Right, I’m off to the pub. NEXT mONTH Our man bids to become a drone-flying champion – in just a few hours!

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issue 265 / February 17

reviewed in depTH THis mOnTH... 82 dJi phantom 4 pro 86 £500 4k tvs 87 amazon echo dot 88 gaming headsets 90 akg n40 in-ears 90 dali katch 92 Our/your gadgets 96 games 101 apps

Aerial ace

dJi’s new drone is a moviemaker’s dream come true p82

How we test… Our missiOn is tO bring yOu the clearest recOmmendatiOns we can – and that means a great deal Of hard wOrk happens befOre a prOduct even reaches Our pages! ediTed by nick Odantzis

Because we only feature products the T3 team would happily use ourselves, we end up discarding a significant number of options in each category before settling on a final shortlist to review. In this respect, T3 Select does exactly what it says on the tin, picking only the best of the best to test; the gear we know you’ll want to seriously consider purchasing.

And that should mean an end to you having to undertake hours of painstaking research and product comparisons. You won’t see any duff products featured in our tests, but you will come away with clarity on which one is the best in its category or for a specific task: our awards badges (see below) ensure that everything T3 recommends is clearly highlighted on the page. It goes without saying that every product in T3 Select has been thoroughly tested by our team of experts, enabling you to buy with total confidence.

The scores explained Forget it

below average Good for the price

very good all round an exceptional, best-in-class product

Our five awards

Only the best products – those that score five stars – receive our coveted Platinum Award

This is given to winners of our group tests, so you can see exactly which is the best at a glance

get three issues of t3 for just £6! see p58

This accolade and others like it show you which gear is best for specific features or tasks

For kit that demonstrates exceptional industrial design and refinement, in addition to being great

Awarded to products that are energy-efficient or help to protect the natural environment

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aPP iN ThE air intelligent Flight modes such as ActiveTrack, TapFly and Draw enable pilots with a creative eye to capture aerial gold with just a few taps

Flying first class

JuST TEN mONThS aFTEr lauNChiNg ThE PhaNTOm 4, DJi haS aDDED SOmE NEw TriCkS TO iTS markET-lEaDiNg DrONE. BuT DOES ThE PrO mODEl JuSTiFy iTS £300 PriCE hikE?

JI had a bumper year in 2016. It launched the Mavic Pro, a portable and lightweight quadcopter rocking precision flying technology, obstacle sensors and autonomous features for easy filming on the go. Then came the Inspire 2, an overhaul of DJI’s weapons-grade film-making UAV. In March they introduced the Phantom 4, strutting skyward with a new look and a glut of performance enhancing upgrades like single touch autonomous flight, subject tracking and obstacle avoidance sensors. The Phantom 4 set a new benchmark for drone design and technology, which is why the November launch of the Phantom 4 Pro came as a shock to many. On paper the Pro reads like a Phantom 4 on steroids – there’s an upgraded camera, added obstacle sensors and new Intelligent Flight modes – but are these features enough to steer you away from the formidable Phantom 4,


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the cheaper Mavic Pro, or even sway your allegiance from another brand?

Get up, Get on up Getting airborne with the Phantom 4 Pro is noticeably easier than with previous DJI drones. A full controller and battery charge takes three to four hours and you’ll need a smartphone or tablet running the free DJI Go 4 app to control the in-flight features, adjust camera settings, view telemetry data (your battery life, altitude, etc) and observe the camera’s live feed. The app guides you through initial set-up and advises on any necessary firmware updates. Updating earlier Phantoms was the stuff of nightmares; with the Pro you update directly from the app and you’re ready to fly. Propellers lock in place with a simple push and twist, and the controller, aircraft and app power up and connect within seconds. Once the app confirms you’re good to fly, take-off is engaged with a simple

aBOVE Looks good and won’t end up smashing into a tree thanks to superior obstacle-sensing tech built in

on-screen swipe. The Phantom whirs into life, hovering a short distance off the ground ready for your first move. The controller feels robust in the hands and nudging the sticks elicits a precise, controlled response. Beginner mode imposes tight restrictions on speed, altitude and range, which is ideal for newbies, and controller sensitivity can be tweaked too. In the past, manually achieving smooth, controlled aerial movements, the kind you’d see on Imax epics or BBC nature docs, has been tricky, but the Pro moves through the air like it’s fixed to rails, producing no obvious

SPECiFiCaTiONS PriCE £1,589 url wEighT 1,388g (with battery and propellers) TOP SPEED 45mph (in Sport mode) FlighT TimE 30 minutes CamEra Shoots 4K at 60fps, 20MP stills BaTTEry 5870 mAh LiPo 4S raNgE 7km aPP DJi Go 4 app requires iOs 9.0 / Android 4.4.0 or later kEy FEaTurES Five-direction obstacle sensing, fourdirection obstacle avoidance, intelligent flight modes get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

Select DJi PhAnTOM 4 PRO

SOmEThiNg iN ThE way Multiple sensors mean the Pro can detect obstacles underneath and on all four sides, opening photographers up to more location options and fewer crashes

30-miNuTE FlighT The new 5870 mAh LiPo 4S battery can deliver an impressive 30 minutes of flight time

You don’t need to be an expert pilot to fly the Phantom gracefully NiCk ODaNTziS, DEPuTy EDiTOr

get get three three issues issues of of T3 T3 for for just just £6! £6! See See p58 p92

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New camera shoots video and stills in stunning detail

SimPlE SET-uP Lightweight, quickrelease propellers can be installed or removed with a simple push and twist

Capture epic shots with intelligent Flight modes

DJi’s go app is fiddly on a small screen

turbulence on-screen. Even in windier test conditions and accelerating to the drone’s 45mph top speed, our image remained poker straight. Testing the drone’s cat-like agility at high speed is bags of fun, but the real purpose of the Pro is to shoot broadcast-worthy aerial footage and stills, and that’s where the new camera comes into play. The gimbal mounted shooter has been redesigned to house a one-inch, 20MP sensor with a mechanical shutter, which bids farewell to the rolling shutter distortion that blighted older models. A tricked-out video processing system enables the camera to snap 4K video at 60fps, and at a whopping 100Mbps bitrate. The result is some of the finest high-res slow mo footage we’ve ever shot with an ‘off the shelf’ drone. And if your aerial footage has

aBOVE The Pro can fly up to 7km from the controller before any noticeable image disortion

ever suffered from unwanted noise in low light, 12 stops of dynamic range means the camera produces better quality footage in darker conditions. The camera spec is no marketing fluff. The results are crystal clear, colours are reproduced beautifully, the detail of features on the ground is perfectly duplicated and in darker settings, such as woodland, there’s no significant change in image quality. In fact, the camera practically justifies the extra 300 sheets on its own. Elsewhere, the new 5870mAh High Capacity Intelligent Flight battery boasts 30 minutes of flight time, an improvement on most commercially available drones. At best we squeezed 28 minutes from ours, but emergency troubleshooting such as gimbal re-alignment and compass calibration can quickly eat into those precious

minutes. Ideally you’d want at least a couple of spare batteries for those long shoots, but at £172 a pop they don’t come cheap.

All seeinG eye While it may look much the same as the Phantom 4, the Pro now has eyes in the back of its head thanks to dual rear vision cameras (in addition to the dual front and downward-facing cameras of the 4), plus right and left infrared sensors that 3D map the surrounding environment in real time. The result is five-direction obstacle sensing and four-direction obstacle avoidance at speeds of up to 31mph. A new Narrow Sensing mode also means flying through tight spaces is more precise and confidence inspiring. Testing the obstacle sensing system on a £1,500 gadget was

The alternatives DJi maViC PrO

DJi iNSPirE 2

With a similar spec to the Phantom 4, the cheaper Mavic Pro packs a punch with 4K video, a compact, collapsible design and four-camera obstacle avoidance. It’s a portable drone that’s always ready to film your adventures. £1,099,

The original Inspire was the number one choice for professional broadcasters. This second gen can shoot 5.2K video, while forward, downward and upward obstacle sensors enable flight in tight spaces. £3,059,

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yuNEEC TyPhOON h PrO rEalSENSE Loaded with Intel RealSense obstacle detection tech that maps the world in 3D and helps avoid collisions. It shoots 4K video and comes with an Android tablet-equipped controller. £1,549,

get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

You’ll get some of the finest slow motion video you’ve ever seen

SharP ShOOTEr This is the best Phantom camera yet, featuring a one-inch, 20MP sensor with a distortion-free mechanical shutter that shoots 4K up to 60fps

NiCk ODaNTziS, DEPuTy EDiTOr always going to require gigantic balls. We started by flying (with some trepidation) towards a stone wall. Sure enough, the on-screen obstacle alerts and frantic heart monitor-style beeps kicked in, with the drone coming to a self-assured stop about a metre from the wall. The rear sensors proved just as effective with the drone in reverse and even a skeletal five-bar gate couldn’t outfox the all-seeing tech. While the confidence boost is welcome, it’s important to note that the obstacle sensing features don’t work in every setting (in Sport Mode, for instance), so understanding the connotations of each flying mode is advisable. It’s still possible to crash.

choose your moDe The Phantom 4 introduced new Intelligent Flight modes loaded with automated trickery to help pilots achieve pro results. There are even more options to choose from here. In ActiveTrack mode, the pilot draws a box around a moving object on-screen and the camera locks onto it, leaving them free to adjust the speed, altitude and direction of the drone. It was launched on the Phantom 4, but a new algorithm has boosted precision and enables the camera to recognise more objects. Another feature from the 4, TapFly sends the drone to whichever point is

tapped on the smart device screen. It’s been upgraded to include multidirectional flight and is a great tool for nailing a simple, buttery-smooth shot. Gesture mode is a non-essential yet fun feature. Gesture at the camera and it will take a still without any controller input. We can’t imagine many people dropping £1.5K on a drone just to take selfies, but it’s there if you want it. Draw mode became an instant favourite. Simply take the drone to your desired altitude, draw a flight path on-screen with your finger, select the cruising speed and hit Go. The Phantom flies precisely along that path, avoiding obstacles as it goes (natch), maintaining altitude and leaving you to control pitch of the camera and angle of the aircraft. Whether tracing around the edge of woodland or skirting along a clifftop, our results were consistently brilliant. Drone purists might denounce auto modes as cheating, but these slick features make light work of shots that would usually take months to master, and they enable anybody with a creative eye to produce video gold without years of practice. All positive then? Not quite. When delving into modes and settings the DJI Go app can feel confusing and overcrowded, particularly on our 4.7-inch iPhone 7 screen. An iPhone 7 Plus, or smaller tablet like the iPad

get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

aBOVE Match the Phantom’s stunning image quality with the optional controller, with built in 5.5-inch 1080p screen

Mini, would fare much better. The Phantom 4 Pro+ model offers a controller with a built-in 5.5-inch, 1080p CrystalSky screen. It’s a nice touch if you can afford the extra £230, but it’s not a deal breaker. The Phantom 4 was best in show before this pedigree drone turned up. So, do the upgrades justify stepping up to the Pro from an earlier model, or investing in one as your first drone? If you already own a Phantom 4, no – it’s still a formidable bit of kit with plenty of life left in it. But if you have the budget, and you’re in the market for a futureproof drone centred around a formidable camera and powerful processing technology, the Pro should be at the top of your list.

T3 raTES Confidence-inspiring obstacle sensing tech, intelligent Flight modes and a killer camera. T3 SlaTES DJi Go app can be tricky to navigate on a small screen. Spare batteries are expensive. T3 SayS whether you’re a drone virgin or aspiring movie maker, the DJi Phantom 4 Pro is the complete aerial photography package, and loads of fun!

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Finlux 48-inch 48uxe304b-P not just a buDget uHD screen, but tHe cHeaPest Freeview Play 4K tv yet


Hisense 50-inch m5500 tHis well-sPeciFieD uHD set Promises HDr tecH For less tHan you migHt imagine

£499, w w

£499, w w



With its wraparound chrome trim and shiny plastic feet, this 48-inch unit tries valiantly to look up-market. Connectivity is posh enough. All four HDMI inputs are 4K HDCP 2.2-ready, so you can upgrade your AV system with impunity.

With its silver-grey finish, the M5500 boasts a modern, understated look. Rather less cool is the miserly connectivity. Only two of the four HDMI inputs are 4K HDCP 2.2-enabled, which could severely limit your UHD system aspirations.



Freeview Play is the star attraction here. It mixes regular Freeview with internet delivered on-demand, via a roll-back programme guide, for fuss-free catch-up. There’s also Netflix 4K but (at the time of writing) no Amazon Video.

Catch-up TV may be limited to BBC iPlayer, but this Hisense delivers where it counts. Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video are all present and can be streamed in 4K. There’s also a decent media player for old-school file hoarders.



There’s no fancy image processing on board, but UHD sources look reassuringly sharp. T3 tip: for the best 4K quality, make sure the set’s Picture Zoom mode is on ‘Full’. HDR compatibility is missing, though, and the set’s audio is so-so.

Image quality impresses. Full HD and 4K sources dazzle, particularly in Dynamic mode. The set supports HDR, ensuring maximum impact from Xbox One S and PS4 gaming. Audio performance is average but that doesn’t deter us too much.



Navigation is reasonably intuitive. A Quick Menu option, with access-key settings and modes, saves delving around the main menu system. The big IR remote control is excessively clicky in use, but there’s a Finlux Smart Centre app available. RaTeS For a cheapie, this panel looks fine with Netflix 4K; Freeview Play is ace; four 4K-ready HDMIs is sensible. SlaTeS The set’s Picture Zoom mode can really diminish image quality; the audio is rather sharp.

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A quad-core processor makes navigating the unfussy UI fast. The remote’s D-pad enables onebutton access to a Recommendations bar, or timeshifts to a connected USB drive. You can also mirror your smartphone directly to the screen.



RaTeS Delivers rich 4K images and does a decent job with HDR; features the apps we simply can’t live without! SlaTeS The viewing angle can be somewhat limited; audio is loud but unimpressive.

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58


Amazon Echo Dot The SmalleR BROTheR TO The amazOn echO – The DOT iS an inexpenSiVe way Of upGRaDinG yOuR SmaRT hOme £49.99, w w w.a he full-size Amazon Echo is a beautiful piece of smart home kit, but at £150 it’s a bit of investment. Cue the smaller, more affordable Dot. Boasting the same Alexa voice control as the bigger Echo, but having a smaller built-in speaker (think smartphone standard) and a 3.5mm line out, enabling you to plug in your own sounds system or speaker.


Smaller iS better Imagine, if you will, that the rotating portion of the full-sized Echo has been sawn off – that’s what the Echo Dot looks like. It’s about the size of an ice hockey puck. In its raw form, you could use a Dot as a supplementary Alexa portal, in addition to big Echo. You wouldn’t want to listen to music through it, unless you lived in a monastery, and didn’t want the other monks to hear you listening to

Cradle of Filth. Use the 3.5mm output to plug in a decent speaker, however, and the Dot instantly becomes “Echo But With Better Sound Quality”. As such, it’s able to be used anywhere in the house, while Echo’s natural home remains the kitchenette. When you consider that this Echo But With Better Sound Quality will cost you just 50 quid, it becomes a must buy. Or if not a must buy, at least a “You might as well buy”.

muSic unlimited: echo’S killer app The sheer affordability of Echo Dot makes it easy to overlook the fact that, other than playing music and serving as a kitchen timer and to-do list maker, Alexa doesn’t excel at a hell of a lot, yet. However, the new Amazon Music Unlimited streaming app (or ‘Skill’ to use the official Echo terminology) is

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58

aBOVe Small, but perfectly formed – the echo Dot does away with the big echo’s speaker, meaning it’ll fit anywhere in the home aBOVe RiGhT The echo Dot comes with all the features of the big echo, bar the big speaker. you get all the Skills for smart home control, music and more.

undeniably fantastic. Spotify might not exactly be trembling, not least because its app – sorry, ‘Skill’ – works very well on Echo too, but it should be a little concerned. On Echo, Music Unlimited gives you 40 million tunes for just £3.99 per month. That, chums, is a very good deal. The great thing about Music Unlimited and the older, more limited, Amazon Prime service on Echo is the brilliant way it uses Alexa’s voice recognition and cloud database-mining skills. Tracks can be selected, favourited and skipped in all the usual ways, but thanks to the miracle of metadata you can also ask it for “happy 80s music” or “melancholic heavy metal” or even “Sad Abba tunes from the 70s”. Even more fabulously, you can actually ask for “That song that goes ‘blah blah blah’,” with lyrics available for “70-something per cent” of the 40 million tracks on offer. The Echo Dot is AI on the cheap. If you’ve got an old, beloved but underused speaker, it’ll give it a new lease of life, and To be honest, at this price, even if you don’t want to use Music Unlimited, the Echo Dot is still well worth it.

T3 RaTeS Stellar music, to-do list and timer apps; integrates easily with your existing smart home setup. T3 SlaTeS You do need to already own a speaker to get the most out of it T3 SayS Next-gen voice controlled wondrousness for less than 50 quid. if you already own a portable speaker, buying this is all but obligatory.

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super six 02 One





a right earful



a bu dg


With GaminG headSetS nOW Seen aS an eSSential part Of the Online experience, yOu’re GOinG tO need a Set that helpS yOu Get ahead Of the Game, Whatever the Size Of yOur budGet Words: Warren Brown

aming headsets have evolved massively over the last 15 years, thanks in part to the birth of Xbox live and the rise of online play. With modern games now featuring blockbuster-style sound effects, Dolby surround sound and positional audio, not having a decent pair will make all the difference between virtual life and death. You’ll want to replace those sub-standard bundled headsets from Microsoft and Sony with a dedicated set of cans, so here we present multi-platform options for those who do their gaming across all systems. If you’re in the market for a new pair, make sure you stick one of these on your bonce for total gaming gratification.




cO mf


fi t

01 One fOr a COmfy fit

01 O n e

02 One fOr buyers On a budget

hyperx ClOud revOlver

turtle beaCh px24



Although they’re a bit big, the HyperX Cloud Revolver cans are very ergonomic, thanks to a suspension fitting solution. The headband is a little firmer fitting, but the overall feel is light and comfortable. Pivoting cups deliver a deep and precise audio experience, for accurate in-game sound location that’s perfect for shooter and open sandbox gameplay. The only drawback is the cable – it’s slightly shorter than most and there are no direct volume or mic controls for console players (you only get it on the PC version). A detachable mic comes with noise cancelling for sound isolation.

Turtle Beach is the go-to choice for many a gamer. The PX24s may be cheaper-looking and smaller than the rest, but the audio doesn’t suffer and the surround sound is top notch. Cup padding isn’t leather, so the interweave finish can be slightly itchy compared to leatherette. The PX24 has a non-detachable mic arm, but it’s highly adjustable. Sound-wise, explosions, gunfire and high-end effects all hold up thanks to the Ear Force Superamp, an external unit that connects in-between headset and controller. It’s ungainly, but means this headset punches above its weight.

03 One fOr a premium feel

Creative sOund blaster x h7 £139.99,

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The H7s offer more than their price tag suggests. Build quality is premium, with a retro look to the leatherette cups and headband. Controls are on the flexible cable that connects to the gamepad, meaning you’ll have to look away from on-screen gameplay to adjust them – not ideal. Chunky cups give great noise cancellation, with a rich surround experience, and whilst volume level is decent, it does fall short when you want things really loud. The mic is optional, detachable and extremely flexible, so top marks there.

Get three issues of t3 for just £6! See p58



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e On

05 One f Or

es 06 On e fO r


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04 O ne













04 One fOr the stylish gamer

05 One fOr the squaddies

06 One fOr deep pOCkets

sennheiser game ZerO

lOgiteCh g231 prOdigy

steelseries siberia 840




Renowned for its high-fidelity headphones, Sennheiser delivers a striking set of cans with the Game Zeros. From the quality of leather used on the cups and headband to the finish of the mic, everything looks high end; it helps that they’re comfortable as well. The usual cable controls are ditched in favour of a volume click wheel on the cup, which feels very intuitive. Equally so is the mic, which self mutes when swivelled out of the way. Sound output is crystal clear thanks to decent noise cancelling. Everything folds flat for easy storage in the supplied carry case. Neat.

There’s a futuristic military look to Logitech’s G231s. With the majority of the build being plastic, the hinges can sound a bit rickety. The cups are fairly small and can feel a bit snug on the ears – not good for Dumbo types – while padding is a sports mesh cloth. The angular cups mean noise cancelling isn’t as effective, but the sound quality is of a deeper sort, if less refined than the others on test. The rigid mic is compact and folds away neatly when not in use, while controls are found on both cable and headset. You get a long cord, though both controls are on the small side.

The Siberia 840s sit at the higher end of the market. Cup padding sports a superior leather and stitch finish, with memory foam padding in the headband. Our only pet peeve is that the cups can feel a little too close-fitting for some. Being wireless, the headset has an external unit for control over source inputs and audio output, though intuitive on-ear controls give you remote adjustment. You can also use it to charge a spare battery, so you’ll never need to take a break from gaming. The only downside is that the rectractable mic is a little inflexible, but it still sits well.

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f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 8 9

Select AKG N40 / DAli KAtch


Dali Katch LookinG To upGrade your BLueTooTh Speaker? ThiS GreaT dane haS Grace To maTch iTS GrowL £329, hey’ve been crafting high-end speakers from their Nørager premises since 1983, and Dali’s latest work of art is the Katch – a Bluetooth speaker that serves up style and stomp in equal measures. It’s surprising how few manufacturers get style right, with most portable Bluetooth speakers resembling either a black brick or a white computer speaker from the Eighties, but Dali smashes it. The Katch comes in three colours – Dark Shadow, Cloud Gray or Green Moss – and, dodgy Zoolanderesque names aside, all three are deliciously swish – they’d all sit neatly alongside a wicker hamper and a bottle of fizz. The Katch is perfectly equipped for such outdoor occasions. Not only can you easily carry this slim unit in one hand (there’s a retractable leather strap tucked along the top, just above the plastic mesh grille), but the 2,600mAh rechargeable battery will keep you in music for a claimed 24 hours, in case you want to turn that picnic into an all-night rave.


AKG N40 here’S a Super-comfy, Super-SoundinG SeT of headphoneS wiTh neaT inTerchanGeaBLe fiLTerS £349.99, ith the N40 in-ears, AKG has focused as much on innovation as it has on great sound quality. But before we get onto the interesting features of these headphones, let’s focus a little on what really matters – sound and comfort. And for £350, you aren’t going to find much better than these. You’ll need a good source to get the most out of them, of course, but listening to them with an Onkyo DP-X1 (yes, we tried out Hotel California in 24-bit), they’re sonically superb. Hugely enjoyable to listen to, in fact, with clear highs and warm lows. Stick them in a Chord Mojo attached to your phone and they’re equally impressive. And to top it all, they’re really comfy – by which we mean really comfy. In fact, everything about the N40s screams quality – right down to the packaging and accessories thrown in (you get a couple of cables, a flight adaptor, a cleaning tool, four pairs of sleeves and a lovely pouch in the box). As well as this, AKG has enabled listeners to customise


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the sound to suit their source or listening preference. This is achieved via three ‘tuning filters’ – essentially, unscrewable (and tiny) filters that attach to the earphones to give more bass or more treble if and when they’re needed. Factory-installed are the ‘reference’ filters that produce neutral sound, but if you want things to be a bit bassier, you just attach the bass-boost filter. Some might argue that this is a gimmick – buy a pair of bass headphones if you want that sound, and so on – but we like it. It’s a great approach and one we’re sure you’ll love as much as we do – especially if you like tweaking your audio to suit different albums and tracks.

And what music! Whether you’re connecting via Bluetooth aptX or the analogue input, the Katch will bowl you over with its sound quality. Streaming some Ella Fitzgerald via Spotify, the tones were rich and multilayered, every nuance given space to breathe. Next up was an AC/DC classic, which of course warranted a volume increase. The 2 x 18W (RMS) Katch shook the room like a thing this size has no right to. To give the user a modicum of control, you can switch between two sound modes – Clear and Warm – but this feels a bit gimmicky, if we’re honest. It’s the only minus on what is a truly special Bluetooth speaker.

T3 SayS At £329, the superstylish Katch carries a premium price tag, but it’s easy to see why – its high-end looks and size-defying sound combine to devastating effect.

T3 SayS if you like tweaking your headphones to suit different music, you’ll love the AKG N40s. But you’ll love them more because they sound superb and are very comfortable indeed.

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SLeeP eaSy

the Simba is packed with tech to ensure you get some valuable slumber. will it work?

on teSt thiS Month the GaDGetS we’re LivinG anD breathinG PaUL DiMery SiMba hybriD As a perennial insomniac, I’m curious to see if this techy mattress will improve my sleep and make me feel rested and sharper on a daily basis.

nick oDantziS voLkSwaGen GoLf Gte My love affair with the hybrid Golf is, sadly, over. Am I left feeling electrified by this period of ownership or shocked at the whole thing?

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month 1 of 2

Simba Hybrid it’S ‘enGineereD for Perfect SLeeP’, bUt can thiS beD heLP inSoMniac PaUL DiMery Get SoMe ShUteye? SPECiFiCaTiONS Price From £399 UrL SizeS Single (190 x 90cm) to Emperor (200 x 200cm) DePth 25cm MattreSS tyPe Five layers inc. 2,500 conical pocket springs, Simbatex support, Visco memory foam, hypoallergenic air-flow sleep surface, seven-zone support base

s we all know, tech can improve just about every aspect of our lives: the way we listen to music, watch movies, get to work and secure our homes. So what about how we sleep? I needed to know this because I’m a bit of an insomniac. Ironically, this is partly down to tech – most nights, I stare at my smartphone till way after midnight tweaking my Fantasy Football team, or keeping up with the latest


celebrity gossip. But it’s also because I suffer from lower back pain, presumably from all those hours sitting at my desk with the incorrect posture. So I was curious to know if there’s such a thing as a ‘techy bed’ that can alleviate such problems. One morning, a press release fell onto my desk advertising something called the Simba Hybrid mattress. Made in Britain, it apparently contained “five layers of comfort”, including 2,500 conical springs that move horizontally and vertically to fit the shape of your body; something called a Simbatex (synthetic latex) layer for providing cool, gentle support; and a Visco memory-foam layer that moulds to your body shape. I felt sleepy just thinking about it, and the soundbites on the press release – “The most advanced mattress in the world”; “Engineered for perfect sleep” – as well as reviews found

Though it’s firm, it’s a comfy bed

Not sure the instructions are necessary!

That pong is a bit off-putting

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month 2 of 2

there are five layers in the Simba hybrid mattress, containing everything from conical pocket springs (2,500!) to memory foam

“i was expecting to sink into the Simba hybrid as if i was climbing into a bunk made of clouds” on an independent website hailing its prowess as a remedy for back problems – confirmed to me that I needed this thing in my bedroom. The mattress arrived in a box, and needed unravelling before it could be laid on my bed base (there were instructions on how to do this, though I don’t think they were necessary). The first thing I noticed was a rather off-putting chemical smell, though a quick look on the company website reassured me that this was common among mattresses containing foam, and would only last a few days. It was also suggested that the mattress should be left to air before lying on it. This I did, for several hours, so by the time I came to finally recline on my new acquisition, I was raring to rest my weary head. Having

once slept on a Tempur memory-foam mattress at a friend’s house, I was expecting a similar experience; to sink into the Simba as if I was climbing into a bunk made of clouds – so I was surprised to find that it was rather firm. Hmm, as a fan of the softer bed, this left me wondering whether I would enjoy a truly rewarding sleep. But sleep well, I did. Yes, I would rather have dozed off to the gentle aroma of lavender and not that chemical pong. And no, my back pain didn’t vanish as if I’d been massaged by some kind of magic sleep fairy. But I slept, and fairly soundly. Great start. By next month, I’ll have enjoyed a few more weeks on the Simba – so I’ll have a much better idea of its ability to restore, refresh and ultimately resolve my back pain.

Verdict so far

Although the mattress smells a bit chemically, I enjoyed a restful first night on it. A very promising start indeed PaUL DiMery, ProDUction eDitor

neXt Month i’LL TELL yOu iF ThE bEd haS giVEN mE aNy LONg-TErm bENEFiTS Get three issues of t3 for just £6! See p58

Volkswagen Golf GTE can PetroL anD eLectric Live in Perfect harMony? nick oDantziS GiveS hiS verDict… SPECiFiCaTiONS Price From £33,995 UrL Power 204bhp DoorS Five fUeL econoMy 166mpg 0-62MPh 7.6 seconds toP SPeeD 135mph GearS Six-speed automatic dSg PhEV

et me just say something right off the bat: I’ve loved every minute of driving this car. It’s (relatively) fast, it’s exceedingly comfortable, and it oozes style without shouting, “Look at me – ain’t I a bit of a geezer, innit?” Despite the Golf’s legendary status, though, it’s not been a completely blissful stint of ownership. First of all, the electric motor… though it’s handy for nipping around town in silence, smug in the knowledge that you’re not polluting your fellow citizens, the battery doesn’t have enough juice, meaning you have to charge it up every other time you want to go out. The indicated range of 30 miles is nonsense, too. You can head off from a full charge and five minutes later it’s showing 22 miles, even when you’re light-footed. There were other gremlins, too, like the car occasionally not responding when I pressed the start button, meaning I had to turn it off and on again, like some kind of naughty laptop. What I did thoroughly enjoy, especially on long journeys, was the active cruise control. Switch it on, sit back and the computer brakes if you get too close to the car in front, applying throttle again when the coast is clear. It’s genius because you never have to touch the foot controls on a motorway or A-road again. I may not be convinced by the hybrid scene yet but, foibles aside, the Golf GTE is an altogether brilliant driving experience.


Final verdict

The GTE is a fantastic way of getting from A to B, but it’s not been without a few niggles along the journey nick oDantziS, DePUty eDitor f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 9 3


your gadgets

Get involved

the technology that’s changed your life… for better or worse

we’d love to know about any tech you’ve bought. tell us about it at – and please include a pic of yourself

Kavson LKER One revieWed by iAN Frederick FrOM SOUTHAMpTON £49,

Penclic Mouse B3

Jabees Bobby Cake


revieWed by FrANk cHApeL FrOM cOUNTy dUrHAM



Why I bought it

Why I bought them

Why I bought it

I run a brand-design company and when we moved into our new premises, we decided to upgrade our equipment to fit in with our swanky new surroundings. We’re big on health and wellbeing in the workplace, so Penclic’s Mouse B3 – which is designed to combat repetitive strain injury (RSI) – seemed like a worthwhile addition.

I fancied some new cans and, although I had some Christmas money, I didn’t want to spend a huge amount. The Kavson LKER Ones are only £49 – cheap by today’s standards – and looked pretty swanky with their PU leather ear pads and folding design, so I thought why not them?

I actually bought it for my 12-year-old daughter. It’s a tiny, almost cubic Bluetooth speaker that enables her to play music from her smartphone. It comes in several bright colours (we have the black one but you can also get orange, blue and others) and, being cheap and cute, it made for an ideal Christmas present.

What I like about it Its pen-grip design promotes a relaxed way of working – perfect for a creative environment such as ours, and also for alleviating repetitive strain. The mouse’s Bluetooth capability means you don’t get the clutter of wires. It’s built for both right-handed and left-handed users, with a centralised scroll wheel that means no more awkward finger gymnastics. And finally, it looks funky and futuristic. Visitors often do a doubletake when they walk into the office.

What I don’t like about it

What I like about them First and foremost, they sound bloody brilliant for the money! I usually find that headphones are either too bassy (in some cases muffled) or too tinny, but the LKER Ones manage to cover all the frequencies to give a rich and rewarding listen, whatever the genre of music. Those ear pads are comfortable even when listening for long periods of time, and there’s an in-line microphone on the cable, plus an answer/endcall function, for taking calls during songs.

What I don’t like about them

What I like about it It’s perfect for a kid or a young adult. Measuring just 5cm across and weighing 62g, it easily fits inside a clutch bag, and it’s so simple to use – just pair it and you’re off. My daughter loves making the most of the ten-metre Bluetooth range while she’s at home, and when she’s out and about with her friends, she can get up to four hours of listening. It can even be used as a speakerphone so she can chat to her pals while she eats tea (hmmm, not sure I’m keen on that!).

What I don’t like about it

It did take some getting used to after years of using traditional mice, and it also doesn’t come cheap – but our employees can work in the knowledge that RSI is being kept at bay.

The cables detach from each ear, which has its uses I suppose, but means they could easily get lost – especially when you have kids. And the folding design leaves you prone to trapping your finger – something I’ve already done twice. Ouch!

Nothing per se. Like I said, it’s perfect for a young ‘un – a really useful and fun little sound box. It’s probably a bit tinny for my own personal taste, but it’s definitely good for the money.

Its funky and futuristic design complements our company – and it combats dreaded RSI

For under 50 quid, you get a cracking pair of cans, offering great sound and comfort

Kids will love this speaker. It’s fun, easy to carry and will keep them in music for a few hours


iAN Frederick, SOUTHAMpTON


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Your essential 180-page guide to the best films ever made


ga me of the mon th!

Final Fantasy XV A rAy Of humAniTy And wArmTh mAnAGeS TO Shine ThrOuGh even when The STOry leAveS yOu feelinG A BiT cOld From £34.99; PS4, Xbox One inal Fantasy XV revels in the small moments. It’s a surprising thing to say about a game starring four impossibly coiffed anime boys with big swords, taking to the streets in their souped-up roadster. Camaraderie is at the heart of the game’s adventure, and even when it falters, its four bros will be right there to see you through to the end. The world of Eos feels real and lived-in, resembling a place on earth as much as it is wholly alien, and its heroes are our window into this beguiling place. After the intro, the story pulls back to the beginning, where a young Prince Noctis leaves the safety of the grand city of Insomnia to head to the distant kingdom of Altissia. Along the way, Noctis learns that his kingdom has been invaded by the evil Nifelheim empire, and must change his plans to scour the countryside for ancient weapons and powers that’ll help him launch a counterstrike.


9 6 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

It’s pure Final Fantasy nonsense, so thankfully the game focuses its attention almost entirely on our band of four anime misfits, including Noctis. They fight a bunch of deadly monsters, chat about the weather, give each other encouragement and praise when something goes right, and worry about each other when things go wrong. Together with your crew, you’ll take on larger story missions – which run the gamut from infiltration missions into the heart of an Imperial garrison, to spectacular fights against gods and monsters alike. Smaller side quests and hunts flesh out the activities, and you’ll complete for extra experience points and cash. Teamwork and companionship are the soul of Final Fantasy XV’s combat system, which drops the series’ mainstay turns and time gauges for real-time action. It’s a little clumsy at times but when it works, it’s amazing. The humanity of its main protagonists and how they react to

TOP Buddies doing what buddies do. They also do a few things (eg fight monsters) that most buddies don’t

the world highlights just how poorly the game’s supporting cast fares by comparison. Characters like the ridiculously dressed greasemonkey Cindy get varying amounts of screentime, but it’s not enough to really get a chance to delve into their history and get to know them like we know the main heroes. During the first half of the game, this isn’t a problem, as it’s simply a joy to take on quests and fight monsters with your buds, letting the narrative sort of wash over you while you drive between rest stops. Once the story starts taking over, though, Final Fantasy XV is practically on the rails, funnelling you through its final chapters with one encounter after another until you hit the finale.

riGhT “Seriously, though, whose round is it?”

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l o o k i ng f o rwa r d t o...

2017’S TOP releASeS The big titles we’re looking forward to this year - it’ll be a good one for games

reSidenT evil 7 The latest Resi is set on a derelict plantation in ‘murica (yikes!). This won’t be Resi of old, but will feature demented hillbillies and ghosts. It’ll also be VR-ready, so expect to be terrified.


Teamwork and companionship are the soul of the game’s combat system This half will go down as one of the game’s most divisive elements as it drops the open world and party-based structure almost entirely for a handful of linear events and one-off battles. There’s also a lengthy dungeon sequence that requires you to forget everything you thought you knew about its combat in favour of something so radically different, you’ll wonder if it originally belonged in another game. Story elements that were never introduced up until this point are now given sudden import, plot twists are thrown at you without proper explanation, and the ending has the kind of ambiguity we haven’t seen in the series since Final Fantasy VII. In all honesty, it’s a bit of a mess.

TOP lefT The open world is ambitious – there’s so much to explore TOP riGhT The graphics are so lifelike at times, you’ll feel like you’re actually shopping (is that a good thing?) ABOve This fella won’t be winning any beauty contests

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But even when the story makes no sense, there’s no denying what a gamble its final moments are, keeping you on your toes with a constant barrage of surprises. These final chapters are much darker and more bleak than anything that’s come before, testing our heroes’ friendship to its limits. When the lore is zipping past you faster than you can keep track, it’s this struggle that’ll guide you through to the game’s conclusion, largely earning the emotional pay-off of their journey, even as the main story itself bewilders.

T3 rATeS It’s a fascinating world to explore with four of the best game friends you could ask for. T3 SlATeS The story is largely nonsense, and the second half of the game is kind of a mess. T3 SAyS Even when it stumbles, the ambitious open world and the humanity of its leads make it a fascinating adventure to behold.

Bethesda’s space-themed, dark-action, first-person RPG, Prey (no relation to the canned Prey 2) is set to take the gaming world by storm, pitting you against a space-station filled with aliens. Oh joy.

red deAd redemPTiOn 2 Sometime in autumn (hopefully), fans of the Wild West sandbox shooter will get another stab at the genre, with new features like a stunning open world and long-awaited multiplayer action.

Tekken 7 Fans of the long-running beat-’em-up should salivate at the idea of a console release of the hugely popular Japanese arcade game. It’ll feature the series’ trademark OTT cinematic shenanigans.

f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 97


Super Mario Run he’S BAck, And On The iPhOne fOr The firST Time… £FREE (£7.99 IAP); iOS h, Mario – everyone’s favourite plumber. And he’s now on iPhone in the form of Super Mario Run, a one-handed feast of a game that’ll have you playing for hours. The premise is simple. Starting as Mario, you take on a number of levels in Tour mode using one finger to jump – and perform a number of other moves – in order to get to Bowser and rescue Princess Peach. Yes, it’s all very familiar but, like every Mario game, it works so well. There are six worlds in total, each with four levels. At the end of each, you’re faced with a rather easy-to-defeat boss – just three hits will send him flying. Conquering the levels is the easy part of Super Mario Run – you can do it in a couple of hours. Just hurdle a few koopas, avoid a few shells, avoid Lakitu, solve a few Boo-based puzzles and you’re there. Yes, all of your favourite meanies are here. But where the game really shines is in the extras – ie the challenges you need to complete to truly ‘finish’ the game. In each level, there are three sets of coins to collect – pink, purple and black. You can only collect the purple coins after the pink, and the black after the purple, so you’ll have to re-run the levels more than a few


9 8 T3 f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7

times to collect them all. Each level subtly changes as well, offering a new challenge as you try to pick up five elusive coins on each run. And, of course, coins are a massive part of this game. Collecting more enables you to buy more items to furnish your Toad kingdom. But some of these items are only available as you add more Toads to your kingdom. How, you may ask? Well, by challenging other ‘Mario runners’ to run different levels in Rally mode and collecting as many coins as you can. The more coins you get and the more ‘tricks’ (such as backward jumping and so on) you do, the more Toads you’ll be awarded. The more Toads you

TOP rally mode lets you challenge other Super mario run players around the world

BelOw you can unlock new characters, such as yoshi, by collecting more Toads in rally mode

collect, the more secrets and characters you’ll be able to unlock. So even once you’ve got all the coins in Tour mode, there are lots to come back for – even if it’s just unlocking Luigi. And yes, there are other characters you can unlock: Princess Peach, Toad, Toadette and Yoshi, as well as the green plumber. You may wince a little at the £7.99 in-app-purchase price, but you’ll soon realise it’s well worth it. This is a game with real longevity. Sure, Tour mode may be a little short and not offer many challenges to complete in its basic form, but if you want to collect all the items, it’ll take you a fair while to master. And building your Toad kingdom certainly won’t set your world on fire, but the expectation of what unlocks are around the corner will keep you plugging away. Super Mario Run on iPhone doesn’t disappoint. It’s a greatlooking, hugely fun one-hander.

T3 rATeS It looks great, there are a load of unlockable goodies, and it feels like a true Mario game. T3 SlATeS It costs £7.99 to unlock all the levels, and it may feel a bit short-lived if you don’t want to hunt for all the items. T3 SAyS One of the best games to hit iOS in a long time, Super Mario Run is pretty much a must-have for any iOS gamer.

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T3 is… Editor rob carnEy dEputy Editor nick odantzis assistant Editor clairE daviEs production Editor paul dimEry art Editor lukE o’nEill diGital art Editor WarrEn broWn Editor, dan GrabHam fEaturEs Editor, robErt jonEs Editorial & art contributors Joe Branston, Alex Cox, Neil Godwin, Rob Jones, Steve May, Duncan Bell, Paul Tysall, Graham Barlow, Spencer Hart, Chris Haslam, Robert Jones, Sneaky Racoon, Damian Hall, Warren Brown, Chris Barnes, Sophie Spicer, Siobhan Kelly, Dan Grabham, Sam Taylor advErtisinG CoMMeRCiAl SAleS DiReCToR clarE dovE ACCouNT DiReCToR andrEW tilbury ADveRTiSiNG DiReCToR, TeCHNoloGy ricHard HEmminGs HeAD of STRATeGiC PARTNeRSHiPS clarE jonik ACCouNT DiReCToR crispin mollEr circulation NeWSTRADe CHANNel MANAGeR andy Williams production and distribution PRoDuCTioN Co-oRDiNAToR nola cokEly HeAD of PRoDuCTioN uK & uS mark constancE licEnsinG SeNioR liCeNSiNG & SyNDiCATioN MANAGeR matt Ellis manaGEmEnt CReATive DiReCToR: MAGAziNeS aaron asadi eDiToRiAl DiReCToR paul nEWman GRouP ART DiReCToR GraHam dalzEll MARKeTiNG DiReCToR sascHa kimmEl subscriptions & back issuEs uK order line and enquiries: 0844 848 2852 overseas order line and enquiries: +44 (0)1604 251045 online enquiries: email: Printed in the uK by William Gibbons on behalf of future. Distributed in the u.K by Marketforce (uK), 2nd floor, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, london, e14 5Hu future is an award-winning international media group and leading digital business. We reach more than 49 million international consumers a month, and create world-class content and advertising for passionate consumers online, on tablet and smartphone, and in print. future plc is a public company quoted on the london Stock exchange (symbol: fuTR).

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be a real top gun with drones tech for warming up winter wireless earphone roundup upgrade your in-car display and loads more amazing tech!

* All contents subject to chAnge

future Publishing limited (company number 2008885) is registered in england and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1uA. All information contained in this publication is for information only, and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. you are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price and other details of products or services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any changes or updates to them.

APPS S e v e n h o t A PP S f o r …

dElighTful grAPhics Games can be artistic as well as fun. Here are seven perfect puzzlers that also pass for paintings


sAmOrOsT 3

Meet magical creatures in a magical world in this puzzle game from the makers of the classic Machinarium. £3.99; App Store, Google Play


ThE innEr wOrld

TIW is a lovely-looking 2D pointand-click adventure that explores a monastery built in a strange world. £2.29; App Store, Google Play


TAlEs frOm dEEP sPAcE

This looks like a platform game but it’s actually a puzzle game, serving up hours of educational fun for your kids. £2.99; App Store


BrOkEn AgE

A beautiful animated puzzle game with an all-star cast, including Elijah Wood, Jack Black and Masasa Moyo. £3.99, App Store, Google Play (£4.79)


nEVEr AlOnE: ki EdiTiOn

An atmospheric platform game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaskan native people. £3.99; App Store, Google Play

06 inks

It’s basically pinball meets paintball, which makes for some wonderfully artistic scenes throughout. £1.49; App Store


rOAd nOT TAkEn

This fairytale adventure game sees you navigating a vast forest after a brutal storm, and saving lost children. £3.99; App Store

A PP of the mon th!


Free; App Store, Google Play

This nEw APP fOr Turning yOur PhOTOs inTO ArT mighT jusT sTEAl ThE ThundEr frOm Our currEnT fAVOuriTE, PrismA Apps like Prisma have demonstrated the potential for turning your photos into works of art. They’re fun and simple to use – and you don’t need an artistic bone in your body. Just take a photo, apply a preset filter, then watch as it becomes a work of art. And by “work of art”, we really mean “looks like a painting”. So you’re still going to have to take a decent photo if you want good results. Prisma was good, but it had flaws – it took ages to render your artwork, and sometimes it timed out because it had to contact the Prisma

ABOVE The Pencil filter is particularly effective for making photos look like genuine handdrawn sketches

hyPEr nEws nEEd sOmEThing TO sTAVE Off BOrEdOm? Try VidEO-TO-gO On yOur smArTPhOnE Free; App Store We love watching videos on our phones, but unless your contract has unlimited data it can be expensive, because video gobbles up bandwidth like a Kardashian in a Botox factory. Thankfully, apps like Hyper News have come up with a solution. It preloads fresh videos while your phone is on Wi-Fi, ready for you to watch when you’re out

servers. Matissa (see where they got the name from?) is a rival app that has the same features, doesn’t seem to suffer from the same problems, and is generally quicker. The range of filters is equally impressive (including one called Hope that emulates the classic Obama poster), and there’s a nice feature where you can shake your phone for a random filter to be applied – this is a good trick to try if you want something quick and fun to post on social media. You can share your picture to all the social networks, but there’s a special button for Instagram, as this is your most likely destination. Matissa is quick and easy to use, and, as long as the craze for arty versions of your holiday snaps stays in fashion, it’ll serve you well.

and about without using up your precious data allowance. When you launch the app, a simple slider enables you to choose how much space to give to videos on your phone, then it downloads the next stack of five. Once you’ve watched the stack, they get deleted. It’s that simple. The videos come from an American news source, so they’re biased towards US news (apparently, they’re getting a new President – who knew?). But there are plenty of interesting science stories in there, too. Give it a whirl and you’ll never be bored again.

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one of Three paIrs of meTers oV-1 headphones

It’s time to rock ‘n’ roll with these awesome, amp-inspired cans… We thought we’d seen it all with luxe headphones, but we’re rather taken with the unique look of the new OV-1 cans from Meters Music. So taken, in fact, that we’ve teamed up with the company to give away three pairs of these stunners – worth £279 each. That’s one OV-1 each to three lucky winners. The first thing you’ll notice about these cans is the ashdown (bass amp supremos who work with U2, foo fighters and more) VU meters displayed on each cup. These meters track the music you’re listening to and display the volume output. other than

making you look badass, the VU meters help you check volume levels; handy if you’re worried about potential hearing damage during prolonged headphone use. The VU meters react in real-time to the sound level of the music you’re playing, just like a studio mixing desk does. rad, right? and if you want to block out the noise from your surroundings, active noise cancelling tech helps you do so, while also enhancing your music with a rich and balanced sound. To learn more about the oV-1 headphones, head to

To enter, simply answer the following question: who is the bass player for u2? a flea b adam clayTon C geddy lee enter today at

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The competition closes 3 March 2017. By taking part, you agree to be bound by the competition rules: www. Entries must be received by midnight on 3 March 2017 (UK time). Open to UK residents aged 18 years and over. There will be three winners, each entitled to one pair of Meters OV-1 headphones. The prize is non-transferable and nonrefundable. There is no cash alternative.


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Issue 265 / february 17


ONly the best Of the best – lOvINgly curated by Our team Of tech experts if you’re looking for the very best tech available today, you have definitely come to the right place.


edIted by nick odantzis

T3 Elite is the best gadget-buying guide you will ever encounter. To create it, we’ve ruthlessly filtered all the categories that count, to bring you rock-solid recommendations. We’ve selected a Super Six of elite gear for each of the categories


p112 Stay up to date with the latest gadget news and reviews online at

104 106 106 108 108 109 109

the elite smartphones tablets tvs tv streamers laptops cameras

listed below. If something’s not included, we don’t rate it – it’s that simple. Each Super Six is ranked in order, and the number-one product makes it into The Elite (p104), which is our pick of the 12 best products you can buy today. To make your next purchase as straightforward as possible, we’ve also included useful buying advice, and highlighted the hottest gear you can get for £100 and under.

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home audio headphones smartwatches fitness trackers connected home automotive £100 hotlist f e b r ua r y 2 0 1 7 T3 1 0 3

the elite





Introducing The Elite… Welcome to t3’s outfitting service, home of the 12 best gadgets in the World today hether you’re a seasoned tech aficionado or this is the first gadget magazine you’ve purchased, The Elite is the best possible place to start your gadget-selection journey. Here we present the best gadgets available right now in 12 key categories, to save you the hard work of doing all the research yourself – in short, if you’re starting from scratch and


want the very best there is, The Elite is your new shopping list. The Elite will only be updated when something new emerges that is capable of toppling an existing product from its perch; there may therefore be months when the 12 products featured here don’t change. But this is an exclusive club, and only tech that is capable of achieving a towering standard of excellence gets in.

b E s t s m a rt ph on E


samsung galaxy s7/s7 edge PRICE From £569 TEsTEd T3 255 No matter which phone you choose, you’ll get brilliant design, a stunning screen, a great camera and loads more features. T3 says This year’s premier handsets; it’ll be hard to beat this level of performance.

b E s t h om E aU D I o


naim mu-so Qb PRICE £595 TEsTEd T3 256 If you loved the original Mu-so but thought it was a little too big for your living-room space, the smaller Qb is the perfect solution, offering similarly superb sound quality with easy wireless streaming. T3 says The best compact wireless speaker.

b E s t ta b l E t


aPPle iPad air 2 PRICE From £379 TEsTEd T3 237 The Air 2 is the fastest, best-looking and most feature-packed iPad yet. Starting at £399, it’s expensive since you’ll want more storage, but it’s worth every penny. T3 says sleek, solid and a spectacular display – the air 2 is a pleasure to use.

b E s t h E a D ph on E s


shure se846 PRICE £769 TEsTEd T3 255 Yes, you’re paying an arm and a leg for, essentially, a pair of ear buds, but these will blow your mind (or your ears), with the best sound performance and comfort. T3 says simply put: the very best there is when it comes to in-ear headphones.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more amazing tech, visit our website at

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Today’s besT gadgeTs 05

10 09 11



06 08

bEst tV


Panasonic tx-65dx902b PRICE £3,299 TEsTEd T3 258 This big 4K beast has the wow factor, with a stunning picture, terrific sound and a range of features that include Netflix and Amazon. T3 says Getting the cinema experience on your home TV has never been closer.

b E s t s m a rt wat C h


aPPle Watch series 2 PRICE From £369 TEsTEd T3 262 Apple has gone to town with its secondgen Watch, bringing in GPS, a bunch of new faces and impressive waterproofing. T3 says The series 2 irons out previous issues and adds some smart new features.

bEst tV strEamEr


roKu 3 PRICE £99 TEsTEd T3 240 It seems that nobody can hold a candle to the original streaming box – the third incarnation is powerful, feature-packed and has loads of available content. T3 says The Roku 3 is the best choice for freedom of entertainment.

b E s t F I t n E s s t r aC k E r


samsung gear fit2 PRICE £169 TEsTEd T3 265 Samsung has dethroned the mighty Microsoft with this awesome fitness tracker. It does everything so well that it even rivals a full-on sportswatch. T3 says Get super fit with the Gear Fit2.

bEst laptop


dell xPs 13 PRICE From £999 TEsTEd N/a The best laptop around, and there’s not an Apple logo in sight. With this featurepacked machine, Dell proves it can do more than churn out desktop computers. T3 says Fantastic performance and build. It’ll serve you well for years to come.

b E s t C on n E C t E D h om E


netatmo Presence PRICE £249.99 TEsTEd T3 264 This isn’t your typical high-street security camera. Not only does it look cool, video quality is stunning and it comes with recognition tech - so no false phone alerts. T3 says This smart outdoor security cam is perfect for protecting your home’s exterior.

bEst CamEr a


Panasonic lumix gx80 PRICE £549 TEsTEd T3 260 Consdering it’s relatively-low price tag, the Compact System Camera GX80 punches well about its weight, with incredible images, classy retro looks and superb build quality. T3 says The best retro-styled CsC there is.

b E s t aU t om o t I V E


Porsche 718 boxster s PRICE From £50,695 TEsTEd T3 259 If you want the best convertible sports car on the market right now (in the £50K bracket, that is) look no further than this. T3 says summer motoring at its finest, now all you need is a stylish hat to go with it.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more amazing tech, visit our website at

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t3 sELEcts:

morE iPHonE storAgE gEt somE AdditionAL storAgE sPAcE And bAcK uP your PHonE

t h e s u pe r s i x





02 sandisk iXpand Flash drive With an included app that plays any store videos, and a neat curled design which keeps it in place when it’s connected to your iPhone, this is a great way to keep a media library handy without filling your internal storage. From £43.69 (64GB),

apple Lightning to sd card reader Although it’s mainly useful for backing up your device, the Lightning to SD card reader is a cheap way to back up photos and videos, particularly if you already own a high-capacity card. £29,

RaVPower FileHub Plus Why expand your iPhone’s capacity with something directly connected to your phone? The FileHub Plus sits on your Wi-Fi network, accepts Micro SD storage, enables you to back up, and deals with transferring files whenever you’re in range of your network. £35.99,

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t h e s u pe r s i x





sAmsung gALAxy s7/s7 EdgE PRICE From £569 TEsTEd T3 255 The S7 duo are superbly-designed phones with brilliant cameras, beautiful screens and some innovative additions. T3 says These Galaxies are simply the best phones of the year, whichever you go for.

iPHonE 7/7 PLus PRICE From £599 TEsTEd T3 262 Water resistance, great haptic feedback and an amazing camera set-up are just some of the features on Apple’s stunning new releases. Expensive but brilliant. T3 says If you can get past the lack of a headphone socket, you have a winner here.

Htc 10 PRICE £479 TEsTEd T3 256 HTC’s handset delivers the goods, with loads of power, a responsive interface, great battery life and incredible audio capabilities. The camera is terrific, too. T3 says HTC’s flagship smartphone absolutely lives up to the hype.

googLE PixEL PRICE From £599 TEsTEd T3 263 If you can forgive the Pixel, and Google’s plus-size handset the Pixel XL, for a lack of de rigueur water resistance, this is one of the best smartphones available today. T3 says Google’s first entry into the hotly contested phone arena is a huge success.

VodAfonE smArt PrimE 7 PRICE £75 TEsTEd T3 257 Vodafone’s mobile runs on a recent version of Android, has a great screen and power, and you get a decent camera. But here’s the biggie – it’s only £75! It’s a no brainer. T3 says The handset bargain of the century.

Lg g5 PRICE From £599 TEsTEd T3 256 Power, good looks and a great rear camera are joined by an innovative Magic Slot for adding cool accessories like an improved camera and a high-res-audio module. T3 says The G5 is a seriously interesting phone, with some great extras.






APPLE iPAd Air 2 PRICE From £379 TEsTEd T3 237 The Air 2 has been around for a while now, but it’s still the best tablet around. For an additional £100 over the base 16GB model, you can get the 128GB range-topper. T3 says sleek, solid and a spectacular display – the air 2 is a pleasure to use.

googLE PixEL c PRICE £299.99 TEsTEd N/a Probably the best Android tablet you can buy today, with a fabulous display, stacks of power and a design that’ll turn heads when you’re reading emails on the train. T3 says If you’re not inclined to go with apple, this is a brilliant alternative.

sAmsung tAb s2 PRICE £299.99 TEsTEd N/a A thinner and lighter design than ever, available in 8-or 9.7-inch versions. It has a new-style 4:3 screen that’s great for productivity, but might not be to all tastes. T3 says samsung’s ultra-light tablet is a definite iPad challenger.

KindLE oAsis PRICE From £269.99 TEsTEd T3 257 The Oasis is clearly aimed at people who want the best regardless of price. Battery life takes a hit, and it’s expensive, but it’s faster, lighter and more impressive than any other e-reader out there now. T3 says The best e-reader money can buy.

APPLE iPAd Pro PRICE From £549 TEsTEd T3 250 It’s not a laptop replacement but the Pro is a supreme version of the standard iPad, with a massive screen plus awesome power and accessories. You’ll get the best media and apps experience you’ve ever had. T3 says The powerful Pro is a top tablet.

googLE nExus 9 PRICE From £280 TEsTEd T3 241 An Android tablet without the manufacturer bloat, the Nexus 9 performs well and comes with some really premium touches. One of those, a 4:3-aspect screen, gives you more headroom on websites. T3 says The Nexus 9 is a great all-rounder.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more, visit

ON SALE NOW! Available at WHSMITH, MYFAVOURITEMAGAZINES.CO.UK or simply search for Mobile Choice in your device’s app store

TVs / TV sTreamers

t3 top tips:

reduce game latency

adjust your settings and get the very best from your games

t h e s u pe r s i x


TV streamers



What is this wizardry, T3? It’s that slight pause between you hitting a button on your game controller and your action registering on screen. Getting a picture up on that enormous panel takes a certain amount of processing time. Depending on the speed of your TV’s internals, the resolution you’re running, and the amount of processing being done to the picture, you could get a fairly significant amount of latency. OK, even at its worst it’ll be barely perceptible – perhaps not even noticeable at all – but if you’re playing fastpaced, twitchy games, it could mean the difference between a headshot and a complete miss.



What can I do about it? Your TV most likely includes a ‘Game’ mode that you can manually activate. This is a way of quickly deactivating unnecessary processing, thus cutting down latency significantly. If your television doesn’t have such a mode (or even if it does), hunt through its menu to switch off any picture smoothing, colour processing or other features, since these add a microsecond or two every time the picture has to pass through them. Power-saving mode, while it doesn’t process the picture directly, can have a huge impact if activated, so switch that off too.



Good stuff! Anything else? Surprisingly, your TV is going to have certain HDMI ports that offer slightly lower latency than others. You’ll need to test it yourself to work out which is the best port for your console. It may also be worth hooking up external speakers to prevent your TV from having to process sound output, which can shave off another few microseconds.

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t h e s u pe r s i x


panasonic tx-65dx902b PRICE £2,499 TEsTEd T3 258 This big 4K beast certainly has the wow factor, delivering stunning picture clarity, terrific sound and a range of features that include Netflix and Amazon streaming. T3 sAys Getting the cinema experience on your home TV has never been closer.

sony kd-65Zd9 PRICE £4,000 TEsTEd T3 263 An amazing panel, that not only looks incredible, but is equipped with Sony’s Backlight Master Drive technology, meaning 4K HDR content is jaw-droppingly good. T3 sAys If you want to make the most of 4K HdR content - this is the screen for you.

philips 55put6400 PRICE £579 TEsTEd T3 255 Another 4K bargain – this Philips isn’t quite up there with the Panasonic at number one, but with loads of good features and stylish good looks, it isn’t far behind. T3 sAys A Philips 4K TV for just under £600. What are you waiting for?

hitachi 49hgt69u PRICE £499 TEsTEd T3 257 Vibrant 4K images, thanks in part to built-in 4K Netflix streaming, are married to future-ready HDMI inputs. A year ago, this lot would’ve cost a fortune, but you can pick up this Hitachi for just under £500. T3 sAys Mass-market 4K TV done right.

sony kd-65xd9305 PRICE £1,979 TEsTEd T3 258 Stylish simplicity meets a great set of features and cracking picture detail in this 4K Ultra HD panel with HDR. T3 sAys It’s not the best in its class, but you can’t go far wrong with this well-connected 65-inch sony telly.

hisense xt910 PRICE £1,699 TEsTEd T3 253 Hisense is challenging the OLED bighitters of the TV world with its curved ULED variation on the flagship theme. It’s cheaper and offers brilliant image quality. T3 sAys A great-looking 65-incher that won’t break the bank and performs nicely.



roku 3 PRICE £75.99 TEsTEd T3 240 Between the high amount of content available, a responsive interface and a remote with a built-in audio jack for private listening, there’s simply no better player. T3 sAys The Roku 3 is the best choice for freedom of entertainment.

panasonic dmp-ub900 PRICE £437.73 TEsTEd T3 257 This 4K Blu-ray flagship player dazzles with UHD HDR – you get awesome images and audio via 4K Blu-ray discs, with access to 4K Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. T3 sAys Take movie-viewing to the next level with Panasonic’s 4K Blu-ray player.

google chromecast PRICE £30 TEsTEd T3 252 A simple yet brilliant TV-streaming gadget that can do it all – and that includes casting a screen straight from your gadgets. There’s no remote; you use an app instead. T3 sAys Funky, simple and effective, this is a great alternative to the Roku streamers.


roku streaming stick


now tv box

06 PRICE £39 TEsTEd T3 252 The Streaming Stick apes much of the ability of its bigger brother – the Roku 3 (above) – in a smaller, more simplified package. It even comes with a remote. T3 sAys This Wi-Fi-only Roku offers top TV thrills for less than 40 quid. PRICE £14.99 TEsTEd N/A If you want Sky but can’t get a dish, this is a great option, enabling you to choose the TV subscription you want. Or you can watch terrestrial catch-up channels for free. T3 sAys For those who want to add a little smart to their TV, this is a cheap option.

apple tv PRICE £139 TEsTEd N/A Apple TV works flawlessly with Apple’s own-brand tech, meaning you’ll be able to peruse selected online content natively, and mirror any other content using AirPlay. T3 sAys A good option for integrating perfectly with other Apple devices.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more, visit


LAPTOPS / CAMERAS t h E s u pE r s i x

t h E s u pE r s i x





Panasonic lumix gx80


olymPus Pen-f






dell xPs 13 PRICE From £999 TEsTEd N/a The XPS 13 is brilliantly designed and outperforms its rivals under the hood. The infinity display gives you the expanse of a 13.3-inch screen on an 11.9-inch laptop. T3 says With its fantastic performance and build, it’ll serve you well for years to come.

aPPle macBook Pro PRICE From £1,749 TEsTEd T3 264 Supremely powerful with loads of innovation, including USB-C and that brilliant Touch Bar... But come on Apple, give us back that glowing Apple logo! T3 says The ultimate laptop for any task. It’s pricey, but worth every penny.

surface Pro 4 PRICE From £749 TEsTEd T3 252 A sleek design, bright display, upgraded pen and plentiful power make the Surface a brilliant choice for productivity fans looking for a Windows tablet to take on the move. T3 says Microsoft has arguably made the best Windows tablet there is.

HP sPecTre 13 PRICE From £1,149.99 TEsTEd T3 258 Stunning looks are married to a premium spec sheet, but the battery life could be better and you only get a Full HD screen. T3 says There are one or two negatives, but you get outstanding performance, future-proofing and a gorgeous design.

microsofT surface Book PRICE £1,299 TEsTEd T3 253 Microsoft’s next-level hybrid offers a flexible keyboard hinge and a detachable screen – it serves as both a tablet and a laptop. Nice looks, screen and power, but it’s pricey. T3 says The ultimate hybrid for work or play.

aPPle macBook Pro 13-incH WiTH reTina disPlay PRICE From £1,249 TEsTEd T3 227 Apple’s lightweight laptop boasts improved performance and battery life. It’ll delight road warriors and coffee-shop loungers alike. T3 says Reliable, powerful and practical.




06 PRICE £549 TEsTEd T3 260 With top-class image results, brilliant build quality and handling, not to mention an extensive range of features, you get a lot for your money with the Panasonic. T3 says Bang for your buck, this is the best retro-styled compact system camera. PRICE £999 (body only) TEsTEd T3 256 Super-retro looks, with styling taken from the original PEN-F. It’s Olympus’s first digital rangefinder-style camera, with lots of manual options and professional results. T3 says Replace your phone and dsLR with this swish, interchangeable-lens compact.

TomTom BandiT PRICE £159.47 TEsTEd T3 245 The ease of use, plethora of features and high-quality video capture make this an excellent action-camera choice, and a genuine rival to the GoPro. T3 says The Bandit takes action-camera movie making to the next level.

T3 selecTs:

slo mo cameras

caPTure eVery glorious deTail WiTH a HigH-fPs sHooTer

Chronos 1.4C Tearing through its Kickstarter goal after impressing a host of YouTube nerds, this remarkable camera maxes out at 24,000fps and can pull off 1,500fps at 720p. It’s not the sexiest object, and it’s not cheap, but it’s crazily powerful. $2,500 (£2,019),

nikon d5500 PRICE £472 TEsTEd N/a The D5500 offers SLR beginners a lot of creative control, the touchscreen display is a useful addition, and the sensor captures high levels of detail. T3 says This is ideal as your first dsLR, or as an upgrade from an older model.

isaW edge

Casio Exilim EX-ZR1700sR This top notch Casio camera with a pop-up selfie screen and 1,000fps shooting mode will serve you well at any event. OK so it can only pull off that mode at a tiny 224x64 resolution, but it also does proper 60fps 1080p recording. £260, PRICE £139.99 TEsTEd T3 251 With its Sony Exmor image sensor, 4K capabilities and built-in rear screen for viewing, the ISAW Edge is a very capable camera for shooting action movies. The GoPro-type mounting system is also a boon. T3 says a brilliant mid-range 4K action cam.

leica soforT PRICE £229 TEsTEd T3 262 Unsurprisingly, Leica’s Sofort is rather pricey as instant cameras goes, but it’s worth it. It’s responsive, with intuitive controls, and a sweet extending lens. T3 says Think instant cameras are cheesy? The sofort will make you think again.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more, visit

sony Cybershot dsC-RX10 II This may be a bit of a step up in price from the Casio, but it’s a step up in performance too, offering 1,000fps at 1080p and 24fps 4K shooting. It’s also one of the best bridge cameras on the market right now. If you want pro results without the DSLR hassle, take a look. £1,199,

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home audio / headphones

t3 selects:

bluetooth boomboxes forget that phone speaker – listen to music the right way!

t h e s u pe r s i x

home audio




02 Pyle street Blaster Pyle reckons that this cylinder of fun can pump out an impressive 1,000 watts, which is quite a boast! It’s true that it goes very loud, though, and it also includes a huge lithium battery so you can blast the streets for hours. £226,


Tunes2Go KoolMax This isn’t just a rocking boombox or a capacious drinks cooler – you can also use it to charge your USB devices. There’s even a 12-volt cigarette-lighter adapter on board. Charge the battery once and you’ll get a good 16 hours’ use out of it. $319 (£258),

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naim mu-so Qb PRICE £595 TEsTEd T3 256 With powerful, room-filling sound, exquisite detail, a rock-solid build and eye-popping design features, the Qb is a stunning wireless speaker in a condensed package. T3 says It might be smaller than the original Mu-so, but the Qb is every bit as incredible.

b&o a1 PRICE £199 TEsTEd T3 257 This portable speaker has an astonishing 24-hour battery life, making it perfect for long-listening on the move, aided by the hard-wearing, splashproof design. The sound is also remarkable, given the size. T3 says It’s small, powerful and portable.

riva s PRICE £174 TEsTEd T3 257 This is a beautifully made Bluetooth speaker, and IPX4 splash resistance makes it great for the poolside. Thirteen hours of battery life is impressive, while the audio performance makes music sound amazing. T3 says a great-sounding portable.


devialet gold phantom


b&w Zeppelin wireless


sony ps-hx500

ION Flash Cube It’s not as imposing as some, but this one has lights! You can set the LEDs inside to any colour you like, and they’ll pulsate in time with the music. Built-in music controls add flexibility, and you can pair two Cubes wirelessly for stereo output. £99,

t h e s u pe r s i x PRICE £2,190 TEsTEd T3 259 With spectacular sound and stunning looks, the Gold Phantom is a technical marvel, but you’ll need two to make the most of the experience – a snip at £2,190 each. T3 says a thing of audio brilliance. PRICE From £499.95 TEsTEd T3 253 The first Zeppelin launched nine years ago, and style-wise it’s hardly changed – but why mess with perfection? The latest model streams aplenty and sounds heavenly. T3 says a classic, now with a modern twist. PRICE £299 TEsTEd T3 258 Don’t throw all your old vinyl away – this super-stylish turntable enables you to rip it to high-res audio files, to revolutionise how you hear your favourite albums. T3 says There’s never been a better time to sign up for the vinyl renaissance.






shure se846 PRICE £769 TEsTEd T3 255 Four balanced-armature drivers and ‘True Subwoofer’ tech offer supreme sound, while the light, ergonomic bodywork and stiff over-ear cables give great comfort. T3 says The Rolls-Royce of in-ear headphones, for those who can afford it.

steelseries siberia 840 PRICE £299.99 TEsTEd T3 265 A high-end wireless gaming headset with optical audio for premium sound quality, plus a superb fit and finish. Suitable for all gamers, whether you play PC, Xbox or PS4. T3 says The ultimate gaming headset.

grado gr10e PRICE £327 TEsTEd T3 255 Seriously cool to look at, with beautifully built metal bodies in green/copper. The fit is a little tricky, but get it right and you’re rewarded with a big, detailed performance. T3 says These offer hipster looks and an incredibly meaty, welcoming sound.

jabra sport pulse wireless PRICE £99.99 TEsTEd T3 245 Ideal for sports, these offer immersive sound, effective isolation and even an in-ear coach for stats and motivation. T3 says In-ear ’phones for athletes wanting better sounds and a thorough workout.

plantronics backbeat pro PRICE £155 TEsTEd T3 261 While they don’t have the looks of more expensive headphones, the Backbeat Pros are loaded with features and sound stunning, if a little heavy on the bass. T3 says Top-notch noise-cancelling cans.

bose Quietcomfort 35 PRICE £290 TEsTEd T3 261 Low on features, and subtle with a capital S, these noise-cancelling cans don’t scream premium, but they’re comfortable to wear and the sound is breathtaking. T3 says Brilliant-sounding wireless cans.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more, visit


SmartwatcheS / FitneSS trackerS t h E s u pE r s i x

t h E s u pE r s i x

t3 SelectS:


Fitness trackers ultra neon








apple watch SerieS 2 PRICE From £369 TEsTEd T3 262 Apple’s wearable now packs GPS, water resistance for swim tracking, and even more styles – not to mention the ace watchOS 3, which keeps everything ticking over. T3 says apple has nailed it this time – the series 2 is the best smartwatch around.

mondaine helvetica 1 PRICE £650 TEsTEd T3 259 The Helvetica 1 is stunning on the wrist and packed with smarts, including fitness and sleep tracking contained within a sub-dial at the bottom – though further notifications can be found within the phone app. T3 says a stunning and smart timepiece.

apple watch PRICE From £269 TEsTEd T3 242 Recently superseded by the superior second generation watch, Apple’s original smartwatch still has a lot to offer, and it’s £100 cheaper than the newer version. T3 says Loads of apps, acres of style - this is the smart way of joining the Watch club.

lg g watch r PRICE £220 TEsTEd T3 240 The G Watch R marries the style and feel of a normal watch with all the features of Android Wear. It has a sharp P-OLED screen, and you get two days of battery life. T3 says If you don’t want to break the bank, the G Watch R will see you right.

nixon miSSion PRICE £339.99 TEsTEd T3 264 A surfer/skier’s dream-come-true, as far as smart watches go, the Mission looks super cool, is super tough, and thanks to the Mission app you can check local surfing/ skiing conditions 24/7, wherever you are. T3 says Niche, but capable smart watch.

moto 360 2 PRICE From £229 TEsTEd T3 259 One of the best-looking Android Wear watches, with a stunning screen that switches lighting modes automatically in the day. The battery life isn’t great, though. T3 says smart and painfully stylish – this Wear watch is still a satisfactory choice.






SamSung gear fit2 PRICE £169 TEsTEd T3 265 The Fit2 is a game-changing fitness tracker. It looks ace, with a colour touchscreen, but here’s the best bit: it has activity tracker and sportwatch abilities, bypassing the need to have a phone on you altogether. T3 says The first true smart fitness tracker.


get attention with theSe eye ScorcherS

microSoft band 2 PRICE £200 TEsTEd T3 256 The Band 2 is packed with great features for activity and sleep tracking, with an optical HR monitor, 11 sensors – including GPS and a barometer – and a brilliant AMOLED screen. T3 says Microsoft has launched the ultimate couch-to-5K-finishing-line fitness band.

garmin vivomove PRICE £139.99 TEsTEd T3 259 Pairing classic looks with fitness-tracking credentials, the Vivomove is one to take to work and the gym, with a dial for steps and a subtle white bar for progress notifications. T3 says No phone notifications but you get great looks and basic fitness tracking.

withingS activite Steel PRICE £139.95 TEsTEd T3 259 The latest entry from the king of covert smart features, the Steel is stylish and offers simple fitness tracking a la the Vivomove, plus eight months’ battery life. T3 says a cool watch with fitness tracking.

withingS go

Nixon Ultratide 45mm The Neon Yellow version of this surf watch makes a bold statement. It’s a rather smart cookie, too. You’ll get live updates on tides, swell, weather conditions and much more – powered by the surf data experts at Surfline – right on that enormous screen. £240,

superdry Urban Cheap it may be, but the neon green of this Superdry analogue watch is impossible to ignore. We’re fond of the Urban’s oversized hands and soft silicone strap, too, and the three-hand Quartz movement is reliable. It’s a no-brainer if you can handle the dazzling colour. £24.99, superdry.coma PRICE £49.95 TEsTEd T3 257 The Withings Go has a big attitude for such a small device. Battery life is impressive and activity tracking is accurate, but its main feature is the always-on e-ink display that gives you clear feedback on your activities. T3 says a simple but unique wearable.

fitbit blaze PRICE £149.95 TEsTEd T3 254 Although it’s lacking GPS, Fitbit’s latest “smart fitness watch” is feature-packed and attractive, while having a great screen and a smartwatch-busting five-day battery. T3 says a great wearable that straddles the smartwatch/fitness-tracker divide.

to read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more, visit

swatch Popover No lairy wristwear selection could be complete without a Swatch. The Popover’s two-tone yellow and orange split, combined with its super wide, dual colour strap, looks awesome. The fact that you can glance at its white mechanism is the icing on the cake. £57,

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ConneCted home / Automotive

t3 selects:

playstation vr gaMes feast your eyes on these virtual reality beauties…

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Connected tech




02 Polybius Named after the urban legend arcade game that supposedly sent players insane, this frenetic tunnel-racer is an incredibly trippy creation. It probably won’t drive you mad, but Polybius is definitely a VR experience not to be missed. £TBC,

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes In KTANE one poor soul, strapped into the PSVR headset, must defuse a bomb. Everyone else, equipped with tricky manuals, has to explain how to do it. Tense and hilarious in equal measure. £10.99,

Rez Infinite The Dreamcast’s best railshooter returns with added bells and whistles. In Rez Infinite there’s ace 1080p visuals, flawless head tracking, full 7.1 surround-sound support and much more to enjoy. Blasting baddies to the beat has never been so immersive. £24.99,

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netatMo presence PRICE £249.99 TEsTEd T3 264 The smartest outdoor security camera around, Netatmo’s Presence offers people/ car/animal detection, to minimise false alarms, so the light only comes on when it matters. 1080p video is top notch too. T3 says The perfect cam for mean streets.

dJi phantoM 4 pro PRICE £1,589 TEsTEd T3 265 Pricey, though it may be, DJI’s latest drone delivers the full works for aerial photography, whether you’re an amateur or aspring professional, with enhanced obstacle sensing and a superb camera. T3 says The dream drone for movie makers.

snooper dvr-4hd PRICE £112.50 TEsTEd T3 263 As well as a sharp 1080p image for recordings, Snooper’s dash-cam offers speed detection, forward-collision alerts and lane-departure warnings, and has a superb 2.7-inch touchscreen. T3 says The king of the dash-cam.

honeyWell evo PRICE From £249 TEsTEd T3 264 It might not be quite as en vogue as a modern thermostat, but it’s very smart. Standout features include a huge TFT touch screen and app, which gives you fine control over every radiator in your home. T3 says The smartest way to heat a home.

playstation 4 pro PRICE £349 TEsTEd T3 264 It might not look as good the standard PS4, but the Pro has it beat elsewhere, delivering life-like 4K graphics, while the 1TB hard drive ensures you can store all your games. T3 says If you’re set up for 4K HdR in your living room, a Ps4 Pro is a must buy.

chipolo plus PRICE £20.99 TEsTEd T3 263 Serial loser of things? Then you’ll love the Chipolo. It connects to your phone and helps you find whatever it’s attached to. If you lose your phone, you can find it using the Chipolo. Great range and the ringer is loud. T3 says Find lost things quickly and easily.






porsche 718 boxster s PRICE From £50,695 TEsTEd T3 259 With jaw-dropping looks, perfect handling and a 12-second roof, there’s little wrong with the latest Boxster – though the turbo flat-four might not be to everyone’s taste. T3 says The drop-top to drop your cash on.

bMW i3 PRICE From £29,950 TEsTEd T3 247 As well as boasting incredible looks and a quirky interior, the i3 is fast and fun, while an optional range extender makes it a long(ish)-distance proposition. T3 says your next small car could be all-electric, and it should be a BMW i3.

volksWagen golf gte PRICE £33,995 TEsTEd T3 254 An eco-friendly version of the classic Golf GTI hot hatch, with sharp styling, great performance and impressive fuel economy, though it’s pricier than GTI or R models. T3 says a sporty yet practical take on the hybrid – the Golf GTE is a brilliant drive.

tesla Model s PRICE £65,580 TEsTEd T3 240 A quick, slick and desirable glimpse into the future of electric vehicles. The true test is Tesla’s promise to build a full network of superchargers across the UK and Europe. T3 says attractive and speedy, the Model s is the best electric car you can buy.

renault zoe PRICE From £17,795 TEsTEd T3 247 With excellent range from its all-electric engine, quick charging and a seriously tempting price tag, the Zoe is one of the best small eco hatches on the market. T3 says a solid effort in small, affordable electric motoring from the French brand.

audi a3 sportback e-tron PRICE From £35,245 TEsTEd T3 254 The e-tron promises the battery-electric emissions purity of an EV, combined with the long-range, insta-fuelling ease of use of a petrol or diesel car. T3 says Modern tech motoring at its best.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more, visit

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what to buy this month




treat yourself to soMetHiNg NeW WitH our rouNd-up of tHe best kit for £100 aNd uNder


ou don’t always have to spend big money to get something you’ll love to bits. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our favourite products for £100 and under. Some of our chosen gadgets also happen to be the best things you can get in






their particular category, others are great-value alternatives to bigger ticket purchases, but all are brilliant products we’d be happy to use ourselves. So next time you get paid and there’s spare cash burning a hole in your trouser pocket, make sure you consult T3’s £100 Hotlist!

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Nuu Mobile N5l

Nodus Hifold Wallet PRICE £99.99 Stuck on Android Lollipop it may be, but this budget smartphone from Nuu has it where it counts: 4G LTE connectivity, a hefty 5.5-inch screen and a rather huge battery. T3 SAYS With barely any bezel on the screen, this phone doesn’t look cheap. PRICE £69.99 A beautiful, slim card wallet, internally RFID-shielded to prevent ‘card clash’. Pop your primary contactless card in the front slot and simply tap your wallet to pay. T3 SAYS Storage for a single key keeps your pockets from bulging on a night out.



aftersHokz sportz titaNiuM

HuaWei HoNor selfie stick PRICE £49.95 These bone-conduction headphones offer the perfect combination of sound, sports safety and visibly good looks. T3 SAYS Take out those sweaty buds and leave your earholes free for listening. PRICE £13.99 Lightweight, pocketable, extendable up to 66cm and perfect for those monopod moments, this mini selfie stick fires off via the audio jack on your Android or iOS phone. T3 SAYS A handy selfie stick with style.



sNooper tyrepilot stp1400 tpMs

NoNda iHere 3.0 PRICE £69.99 Keep an eye on tyre pressure to get an early warning on potential issues – and charge your USB devices while you’re at it. T3 SAYS Don’t risk a blowout on the motorway: this is info you need. PRICE £19.99 Hook this up to your keys and, if you’re in Bluetooth range, you’ll find them easily. Alternatively, find a lost phone (or trigger your camera) using the on-board button. T3 SAYS With a one-month battery life and USB charging, what’s not to like?

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music to our rears first cAmE thE LAmbo smArtPhonE. now thErE’s thE iXoost EsAVoX: A sound systEm mAdE out of LAmbo PArts for thE biggEst rAging buLL fAn. it’s cErtAinLy onE hELL of A stAtEmEnt.

A bit of A bAdAss the EsAVoX has been styled to represent the business end of a Lamborghini, with slash tail pipes, upward-firing intake ports and beautifully-curved pipes that wrap around the rear of the carbon twill 245 3k monoque chassis.

Any wAy you LiKE it this system wouldn’t be t3-worthy if it was merely equipped with an AuX connection for your music gadgets. so, you also get bluetooth - enabling you to connect a multitude of devices.

simPLE PLEAsurEs the iXoost EsAVoX really means business, with a bright red starter button for powering this beast and just the two knobs - one for maxing out the volume and and one for maxing out the bass. we like its style.

PowErfuL sounds

totAL controL

Like any good Lambo, this system is Loud. two side cabinets, housing a 6.5-inch and 8-inch speaker, stand either side, like a pair of doormen escorting the centrally-mounted 1-inch tweeters and 15-inch sub.

worth its wEight

Keeping all that volume in check are two stereo valve amps, one of which is devoted to feeding that bass-hungry monster of a sub, complimented by dual 24-bit dsPs.

if you hAVE to AsK…

despite the lightweight chassis, this Lambo is actually a bit of a heffer. it’s over 4 foot long and weighs 53kg, so you won’t be taking it to a track day anytime soon.

if you can afford a Lambo, chances are the £16,000 price tag (excluding VAt, for our monaco chums) is pocket change. Premiership footballers should head over to

nexT iSSue on Sale friday 10 february This year’s hottest smartphone – the all-glass Samsung Galaxy S8 - is revealed!

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Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p58



T3 UK – February 2017