Issuu on Google+

Phones W e a ra bles audio T Vs ca rs ho m e

UPGRADE TO 4K HDR The besT neW TVs For The neXT generaTion oF shoWs

58 inside

ninT endo

He’s-A-BACK! MEET THE NEXT-GEN CONSOLE YOU CAN PLAY AT HOME AND ON THE MOVE

MARIO KART 8 • NEW LEgENd Of ZELdA • SpLATOON 2 • & ALL THE gAMES

airPods Vs The resT!

Wireless earPhones baTTle iT ouT

Vinyl reViVal ToP TurnTables To sPin your Tunes

google or amazon?

imPorT a google home or buy an echo?


p r e s e N t s…

New tech with the power to dent the universe

stag g e kg Want to add a little more bang to your rocket fuel in the morning? Don’t bother dashing to the nearest artisan caffeine establishment for your much-needed fix – instead, you can make your best cup of Joe ever in the comfort of your own home with this slick brewing gadget from Fellow, creator of the Stagg Pour-Over Kettle. an upgrade to its existing stove-top kettle, the Stagg EKG adds a bundle of connected features that elevate it to T3 status. The biggest difference between this and the regular kettle is the smart base that the EKG slots into. There’s no need to bother your hob – just power-up the base, select the temperature you desire (from 135 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit), and the built-in LcD screen will show you exactly when your water is ready. If you need to nip to the shops for a packet of Digestives, a hold function will maintain the chosen temperature for 30 minutes. If you want to raise your coffee-making game, the EKG’s bigger brother – the EKG+ – adds Bluetooth smarts to the mix, enabling you to connect up your phone and do neat tricks like set the temperature remotely and match the heat according to your chosen coffee beans. You can even use the EKG for getting your favourite cup of cha just how you like it, if you’re that way inclined. Price £TBc Available September 2017 URL fellowproducts.com Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

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issue 266 / MARCH 2017

Meet the team Meet our advertising team

Rob Carney

nick odantzis

Claire davies

EdiToR Rob is fascinated by the voice of Mario – so much so, he attempts an impression at least twice an hour (much to his colleagues’ chagrin). He can’t wait for the Nintendo switch to arrive (see p46).

dEPUTY EdiToR Nick has upgraded his home’s ground floor with smart bulbs, which automatically turn on when the sun sets. But he still goes for the cricket bat every time he gets home from work.

ASSiSTAnT EdiToR Claire has been shopping, tracking down 20 cool gadgets and accessories for the new T3 shopping feature (p32), and rounding up the hottest tech for Hype Preview. she’s rinsed us dry!

Paul dimery

luke o’neill

dan Grabham

PRodUCTion EdiToR We say a fond farewell to Dimmers this issue as he leaves T3 towers for a new journey. so if you spot any spelling mistakes (as if! ed) please don’t blame Mr Dimery (bye bye, all – PD).

ART EdiToR Luke’s quest for the perfect in-ear headphones came to an end this month as he finally decided on a pair of Noble Audio Katanas – the perfect in-ear monitors to bring Happy Mondays to life!

EdiToR, T3.Com Dan has been busy swanning off to Copenhagen this month, seeing the lovely people at B&O Play. He thought it would be colder than the uK, but it was actually warmer (true!).

Robert Jones

duncan bell

Spencer Hart

FEATURES EdiToR, T3.Com This month, Robert flew off to Dubrovnik, Croatia, to test-drive Nissan’s radically redesigned Micra. He also reported live from the swanky Nintendo switch premiere in London.

liFESTYlE EdiToR, T3.Com This month, Duncan’s been to a phone launch in the basement of a coffee shop, and a luxury-kitchen-gadget showcase in Luton. Tech life just doesn’t get more glamorous than that!

mobilE TECH EdiToR, T3.Com spencer has had a supercool (sorry) month testing out high-tech clothing in the Arctic Circle, and leaning how to drift like rally driver Ken Block in the nippy Toyota GT86.

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

ADveRTisiNG DiReCTOR RiCHARd HEmminGS richard.hemmings@ futurenet.com, +44 (0)1225 687615

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

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

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

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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@ futurenet.com; +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 T3.com. We’ve been at the heart of every shift in consumer

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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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issue 266 / MARCH 2017

Editor’s letter Can the Nintendo Switch really revolutionise the way we play games? Well, it certainly adds a new dimension to consoles…

3 for £6! Amazing subs offer on p62

Here at T3, we’re pretty excited about the Nintendo switch – it’s admirable how the company innovates and looks at new ways for us to enjoy gaming. it started with the undeniably ingenious Wii, and continued with the rather disappointing Wii u. But the switch looks like it could change the fortunes of the Japanese giant. We’ve had our hands on the console and it’s great – read what we think (as well as getting a heads-up on all the new games) in our giant feature on p46. if you’re still feeling the excess pounds from your Christmas binge (we are here at T3!), check out this month’s Man vs Tech (p76), where our writer tests out the latest in home gym equipment and clothing – we tried our best to knacker him out, but he just kept going! Also, AirPods. You’ve heard of them, right? You may not know that Apple’s wireless in-ears aren’t the only option, though, so we’ve put them up against two outstanding contenders from Bragi and earin. Find out who won our supertest in state of the Art, starting on p64. Finally, there’s never been a better time to subscribe to T3 - take a look at our brilliant offers on p62. Cheers!

Rob Carney, Editor rob.carney@futurenet.com 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 Zinio.com.

visit T3.com We’ve overhauled T3.com – 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,

fitness freak

illustrator

Sam Taylor,

Craig Stewart,

Drummer, drone pilot and fitness guru Chris has been testing all the latest techy exercise gear for Man vs Tech. is it possible to ditch the gym and set up at home? Find out by turning to p76.

Our Gadget Guru always needs a good illustrator, and there are few better than the sublime sam Taylor – who this month brings his humorous take to our tech genius’s wise words on p28.

Craig has been sitting on his arse so long testing out the latest in entertainment tech, his legs have gone numb and he’s put on three stone. But it was worth it for the feature on p58.

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writer

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issue 266 / MARCH 2017

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Contents

SUBSCRIBE

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Features 028

GadGet Guru Punching power, UHD Blu-rays, and are expensive HDMI cables really worth it? Our guru of tech answers all of your pressing questions

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t3 HOMe

064

state Of tHe art

076

Man Vs tecH

Discover all the details of Google Home (and how to set it up). Plus, a new stylish speaker from B&O, the ultimate objects of desire, and your questions answered by experts in our Smart Home Surgery

AirPods aren’t the only truly wireless headphones out there. We put them against some truly cool offerings from Bragi and Earin. Who will win?

Can you really ditch the leisure-club membership and do your workout routine from a smart home gym? We put our fitness guru through his paces…

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AND SAVE BIG MONEY!

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To subscribe to T3, point your browser at myfavourite magazines.co.uk, or turn to p62. The next issue of T3 goes on sale 10 March 2017

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issue 266 / MARCH 2017

Contents 010

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preView

leica tl

This month’s hottest tech, including HTC’s brand-new smartphone, Audio Technica’s latest over-ear cans, a badass two-wheeler and much more. Here’s where to keep up with the latest tech trends and gear

Lifestyle accessory or photographic tool? The Leica TL seemingly offers the best of both worlds. It’s a looker, and a real sharp-shooter

023 style

Oakley has unveiled its first snow helmet – and it’s amazing. See it here first!

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we can build yOu... Biking nut Nick Odantzis brings you six must-have gadgets and accessories to make you cycle like a pro. Froome, eat your heart out!

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talKinG tecH This month, our happy-golucky columnist Duncan Bell has his life saved by a piece of tech. Good grief – what would we have done without his scribblings?

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sMacKdOwn Google Home or Amazon Echo? We put them head-to-head in a battle of the voice-controlled devices. Which one will come out on top?

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yuneec breeze Breeze by name, breeze by nature? We find out whether Yuneec’s latest drone is as easy to fly as the name suggests

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Oneplus 3t

103 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

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The OnePlus 3 has been given a significant boost. But is it worth the upgrade?

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tp-linK Hs110 Is the latest smartplug to hit the market any good? We find out if it’s a Hive-killer…

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super six We get juicy with six top devices for pulping your fruit

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Essentials 003 GaMecHanGer 004 welcOMe 062 subscriptiOns 097 cOMpetitiOn 102 next issue 114 MOney nO Object Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


ThiS monTh…

issue 266 / March 17

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

12 audio technica ath-dsr9Bt 13 lithium cycles super 73 14 somfy one 16 canon Powershot g9 X ii 18 garmin driveluxe 51 23 style 24 winter cycling set-up 26 opinion

HTC U Ultra £tBc, www.htc.com/uk

Yeah, that looks kinda swish. Kinda? This is HTC’s ultra stylish new smartphone with an all-glass exterior and, um, no headphone jack. It’s a phone built to capture better photos, better audio, better video. Oh, and apparently you can make calls and stuff with it... But who cares about that when the U Ultra has a liquid surface? Liquid surface? T3, are you on drugs? What? Outrageous! We’ve never! No, HTC has spent megabucks developing a material that mimics the properties and looks of liquid. So not only is this phone smooth to touch, HTC says it’ll reflect light and colour in sensational ways. There’s a 5.7-inch Quad HD display to soak up, with a second screen (a two-inch strip) sitting to the right of the front-facing camera, acting as a hotspot for notifications and favourite contacts. And what about the camera? It rocks. New Phase Detection Auto Focus helps you take pics with less blur, a 16MP front camera captures high-res images with immense depth, and UltraPixel mode tackles low light conditions. Nice. Anything else? Yes, AI. The Ultra U is touting HTC’s Sense

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Companion, which learns what you do and helps you do it better. For example, it can read the weather forecast to help you make appropriate wardrobe choices, or dig through your calendar and emails to remind you what you need to take to your next meeting. Wow. When is this out? The HTC U Ultra will be available to buy as of this month. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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Dual DiSplay The u ultra’s second inset screen provides fast access to your favourite contacts and apps, and displays quire-fire notifications and updates, all without interrupting what you’re doing on the big screen

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Hype htc u ultra Be The BanD are you one of those people who films gigs instead of, you know, just enjoying them? if so, the u ultra will impress with its four omnidirectional mics that capture positional sound in your videos, delivering more immersive, 360-degree audio that’s true to life

Vital stats 5.7-inch 360-degree The Quad hD (2560 x 1440 pixels) liquidlike display

The sound captured by four onboard omnidirectional mics

16mp 64GB+ The front camera, with light-sensitive ultrapixel mode

choose 64GB or 128GB storage, expandable to 2TB via microSD

Great screen, camera and sound quality – HTC has really hit back with its new smartphone nick oDanTziS, DepuTy eDiTor

iT’S GooD To Talk The u ultra has voice recognition built-in. Speak to unlock your phone, take or reject incoming calls, snooze alarms, send messages (voice dictation) or use hands-free navigation if you need directions when driving or walking

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preview

vital stats 24-bit/96kHz 45mm

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT

High-res audio playback is supported via USB connection

15 hours 310g

£499, audiotechnicashop.com

The typical battery life of these Bluetooth headphones

I’m hearing a lot of buzz about these cans... That’s because they’re the first Audio Technica wireless headphones to use Pure Digital Drive technology, built around the Trigence Semiconductor Dnote chipset. And, er, what does that mean exactly? In simple terms, that tech keeps the original audio signal completely digital from source to driver. Dnote has been used in the automotive market before, but never in headphones. The snazzily named ATH-DSR9BTs also employ four-core voice coils, rather than the standard single core. Each voice coil receives a particular frequency range for enhanced precision and clarity.

The size of the True Motion drivers in each ear cup

The relatively light weight of these premium headphones

Fine-TUned To minimise vibration and improve mid- to lowfrequency performance, the Audio Technica ATHdSR9BTs use an ingenious dual-layer aluminium isolation structure that’s light but rigid

Are they high-res audio compatible? Naturally! You can listen to high-res audio tracks via a USB connection to your PC. The headphones also support wide frequency range aptX HD, as well as aptX, AAC and SBC codecs up to 24-bit/48kHz. These cans will always look for the highest level of codec available. They certainly look fancy. Yes, the build quality is beautiful. Their over-the-ear cups are supremely comfortable, and memory foam helps personalise the fit. Usability is great, too: touch controls handle all the usual stuff, such as playback, pause, volume and answering/ending voice calls. NFC makes pairing these with compatible devices a snap, too. These sound ace. When can I buy them? The Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT headphones, packaged with a twometre USB cable for charging and PC hook-up, plus a hard carry case, are available now. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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SMART diSplAy Bright leds indicate when the headphones are paired, which codec is in use, and how much battery life you have left

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Hype PREVIEW

Lithium Cycles Super 73 From $2,999 (£2,486), lithiumcycles.com Nice looking bike. Where’s the engine, though? This badass two-wheeler is all electric, baby! The Bafang BBSHD electric mid-drive motor pumps out a mighty 1,000 watts of power. Nudge the thumb throttle and you’ll hit speeds of up to 27mph (not too shabby for a bicycle), while the custom-engineered motor controller will dish out ample power uphill as well as down.

But if it’s electric, why the pedals? The Super 73 features five levels of pedal assistance, which will extend the bike’s range and enable you to sneak in some exercise at the same time. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, simply hammer the throttle and let the electric motor do all the work. Sweet. So what’s the range? A single 3.5 hour battery charge will cover 20-30 miles of your daily

Vital stats 4.25 inches 27mph The width of the shock-absorbing pneumatic tyres

The top speed of the Super 73 on the flat

1,000 watts 3.5 hours The Super 73’s power output, courtesy of the mid-drive motor

The time it takes to charge the battery

commute, or a chilled weekend cruise, and with your behind perched on the plush bench seat and the 4.25-inch pneumatic tyres soaking up the road, you’ll enjoy each mile in supreme comfort. Nice! Any other cool features? There’s a full colour, high contrast, 3.2-inch IPS matrix screen on board, displaying speed, battery life and more. There’s a built-in cup holder,

a USB port to charge your phone and even a bottle opener. When can I sling my leg over this? The standard Super 73, as well as a cheaper Scout model and a burly, off-road Adventure model, are available now. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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STyle The bench seat, fat tyres and steel tubing give this electric bike a distinctive look. you can customise that further with lights, mud guards, cargo racks and more

Go The diSTance on a single charge the Super 73 will cover 20-30 miles. Upgrade to the dual battery rack and you can push it to a sweet 50 miles

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preview

vital stats

Somfy One

130-degree 100dB

$229 (£187), www.somfyprotect.com What’s this, T3? Another voice-activated home assistant? Nope. This is the Somfy One, an all-in-one home-security solution that’ll handle video surveillance of your gaff. It comes with intrusion detection, an integrated 100dB siren, a central alarm and multi-user security profiles.

The wide-angle lens surveys more of the space it’s monitoring

The built-in siren is loud enough to startle intruders

Ten seconds 1080p The length of free video clips stored in the cloud for 24 hours

The camera captures Full HD video and has night vision

Where in my house can I use it? Any space that needs monitoring. The Somfy One has a Full HD wide-angle-lens camera with night vision, and uses motiondetection technology called SomfyVision to spot intruders. When motion is detected, a ten-second video is recorded and stored in the cloud for 24 hours. Will it spy on me when I’m at home, though? This ain’t Big Brother! The Somfy One has a motorised shutter that can be activated to cover the camera’s lens and mic when you’re at home. Via the companion app, you can enable other users to customise the privacy settings, too – for example, automatic closing of the shutter when the Somfy One detects (via facial recognition) those users in the house. And what happens if someone does break in? The Somfy One comes with an IntelliTAG vibration sensor for doors and windows that, via vibration analysis, detects break-ins before they happen. If it detects such movement, the 100dB siren kicks in. You’ll also be alerted (via SMS, push, etc) as to what’s happening.

Play nicely Built to protect your connected home, the Somfy One is compatible with a range of smart devices and systems, including nest, amazon echo and iFTTTenabled gadgets. it’s also compatible with its own line of connected locks, gates, blinds and more

I like the sound of this. When is it out? The Somfy One will be available this spring. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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circle OF FriendS Via the app, you can create groups of users with the same security privileges as you – useful if you’re planning a holiday and have asked a neighbour to take care of your house

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preview

Canon PowerShot G9 X II

vital stats 206g 28mm

£449.99, canon.co.uk Hey, haven’t I seen this camera before? Yes and no. The Canon PowerShot G9 X II is a refreshed version of the breakthrough 2015 model and shares much of its classic good looks. But there are some decent improvements here to tempt any smartphone snapper looking to upgrade their photography game. I want to make stacks of cash on Instagram. Can this camera help? Dude, it’s a compact camera – not Jason Stein. You’re on your own with the monetising thing, but this souped-up Canon can certainly help you take gorgeous photos and Full HD video to populate your account. The G9 X II has many juicy features, including a large 1.0-type CMOS sensor and wide-aperture lens for nailing low-light shots without blur, plus a 3x optical zoom and Canon’s powerful Digic 7 image processor.

Wide load instagram fans will love this pocketfriendly, ultra-slim Canon with classic styling. With its large 1.0-type 20.1MP sensor, it’ll easily capture those big, bold, shareworthy photos – and you can enhance them in-camera via a range of effects

This lightweight Canon camera won’t weigh down your pockets

The wide-angle lens, for capturing sweeping landscapes

Three inches 8.2fps The size of the touchscreen LCD with full controls

The sustained continuous shooting speed

Nice. What else is good? It has Wi-Fi, Dynamic NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can transfer images from the camera to your smartphone, then tweak the images in your favourite filter apps before sharing the results on social media. And what about modes and stuff? You’re in luck there too because the G9 X II has plenty of creative modes for capturing interesting shots – tinker with Time-lapse, a Water Painting effect or Handheld Night Scene for after-dark imagery. Sounds good. When’s it coming out? The Canon PowerShot G9 X II is on sale now. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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SMooTh TouCh The Canon PowerShot G9 X ii has a three-inch touchscreen lCd at the rear, plus a control ring at the front of the camera. Shooting outside? The touchscreen has five levels of brightness as well as a Night display Mode

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preview

vital stats

Garmin DriveLuxe 51 £309.99, garmin.com Can’t I just use my phone as a satnav? Not like this you can’t. The Garmin DriveLuxe 51 packs all the best elements of Garmin’s Drive range into a sleek metal design that attaches to your dash via a powerful magnet. Features include live traffic updates, live Parkopedia parking information to save you time when you arrive at your destination, and LiveTrack, a service that shares your location data with family and friends so they know when to expect you. What’s more, preloaded TripAdvisor data displays ratings for attractions and services along your route.

One hour 5 inches The life of the rechargeable lithiumion battery per charge

The size of the multitouch, dual-orientation glass screen

800 x 480 231g The resolution of the DriveLuxe’s touchscreen

The weight of the Garmin DriveLuxe 51

Road TRippinG With the Garmin driveLuxe 51 in your car, you can boss every journey thanks to live traffic and parking updates. Heck, you can even choose the best restaurant at your destination thanks to Tripadvisor integration

Is it a pain to set up? What about taking calls? Are you kidding? Built-in Wi-Fi makes map and software updates a doddle. And fret not, Mr Popular, as Bluetooth calling and smartphone pairing for text and app alerts means you can keep your business empire trucking when you’re on the road. The DriveLuxe even includes voiceactivated navigation for that true Knight Rider vibe. Wow, you’re so retro T3! Is there anything this thing can’t do? Yeah, it can’t drive your car for you. However, forward collision and lane departure warnings will certainly make you a better driver. Plus, a built-in dash cam with audio recording ensures that any collisions are captured as evidence. It can also text a userdetermined contact with location details in the event of an accident.

deep impacT The driveLuxe 51’s builtin dash cam kicks in when a collision is detected and automatically saves the footage and audio to microSd, ensuring you have evidence if needed

Sweet. When can I get hold of this? The Garmin DriveLuxe 51 is out now. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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style

HIt tHe slOPes all-Day Wear

style Oakley has unveiled its first snow helmet – and it’s badass. If you’re heading to the mountains, protect your head in style with the Mod 5 Factory Pilot Helmet £175, www.oakley.com

Oakley has designed the Mod 5 (available in a range of colours) with zero-pressure earcups for maximum comfort. the cups won’t cancel out noise, though, so you’ll still hear what’s going on around you. a magnetic Fidlock buckle keeps the helmet snug in place, leading to quick and easy magnetic fastening of the Mod 5 even if you’re wearing thick and cumbersome snow gloves

GO WItH tHe FlOW the Mod 5’s patented Modular Brim system works with any goggles, so you know it’ll work with your existing gear. Hot-air flow is managed by an integrated venting system, including brim ventilation to reduce the risk of your goggle lenses fogging up in the heat of the action. the helmet’s one-piece inner liner is removable and washable, too, so no excuses for helmet stink

Get three issues of t3 for just £6! see p62

DeeP IMPact Whether you ski or snowboard, you need to cover your skull – and preferably with a degree of style. cue the Oakley Mod 5, a form-fitting helmet designed to protect your head against major impacts. the hybrid-shell construction (aBs and In-Mold) increases the Mod 5’s durability without weighing it down. MIPs, a patented brain-protection system, safeguards your head from impact in any direction

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wE cAN bUilD yoU…

A wiNTEr cycliNG ToolkiT The top biking gear to keep you snug and toasty, and make you stand out like a beacon the reader

t h e e x pe rt

James turner

nick odantzis

James is a fairweather rider looking to expand his riding portfolio into the winter, but he’s worried his fingers will fall off and he’ll blend into the night. Let’s get him decked out.

If we’re covering cycling in T3, you can bet your life that Nick will have something to do with it – what he doesn’t know about riding on two wheels isn’t worth knowing.

01CyCliq fly 12

When the sun goes down, you want to make sure people see you coming when you’re pedalling along. The Fly 12 has a 400-lumen beam with a multitude of lighting modes, but if for some reason the blind buggers don’t spot you, the 1080p camera that craftily sits beside the light will capture them, so no matter the situation, you can be sure your back (er, front) is covered. £275, cycliq.com

Cafe du CyCliste 04 Genevieve

This ridiculously stylish sweater from Café Du Cycliste (despite the name, it’s a men’s pullover) is designed to keep you warm and looking like a boss when you’re down the pub. The Merino-blend material is a thing of genius, doing double duty by staving off the chill while keeping you cool if you’re pedalling like a lunatic to get to your destination. £127, cafeducycliste.com

02 Gore element urban 05 raPha winter Gloves Everyone knows that your core dictates the way your body functions. What you need is a technical jacket in your cycling wardrobe. Gore’s Element Urban is a softshell with Windstopper built in, so it’ll protect your vitals from the icy wind and, to a degree, rain, while a hood keeps your noggin warm. With hidden reflective inserts, you’re also covered at night, whether you go for full-on fluoro or ninja-assassin black. £199.99, goreapparel.co.uk

03 Proviz led x-vest

If your current jacket is letting you down when it comes to night-time rides, this neat vest from Proviz will ensure you grab the attention of dozy motorists thanks to six powerful LED lights in the rear, with hi-vis accents adding even more visibility. The X-Vest uses a breathable nano-tex material that claims to stop you overheating (fat chance!), while its waterproof design means it works in any weather. £29.99, provizsports.com

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When you’re riding along, admiring the crisp winter scenery, there’s nothing worse than frostbite fingers. This upsetting scenario is avoidable as long as your mitts have appropriate protection – cue the Rapha Winter Gloves. The wind- and waterresistant nylon fabric prevents the elements getting in, while the brushed lining gives you toasty insulation, and a Pittards goatskin palm with high-density foam padding makes the handlebars a pleasure to hold. £85, rapha.cc

veloCity 06 ortlieb hiGh visibility

Here at T3, we love stuff that looks normal but has hidden powers. At first glance, this Ortlieb bag appears black, but look closer and you’ll spot loads of micro hi-vis dots, thanks to the bag’s ‘high-luminosity reflective yarn’. This means the pack is a giant reflector but you don’t look like a giant roadsign. £110.99, ortlieb.com

02 soft, but a hard worker Despite its name, softshell fabric feels quite substantial, so surely you’ll sweat buckets? Not so, because the Gore Element Urban is also breathable, so you stay warm but dry inside. And because of its inherent wind and water resistance, it’s the perfect cycling material

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layers of warmth

03

if it’s single digits on the mercury scale, don’t expect to don the Genevieve and feel like you’re sat next to a roaring fire; it’s best used as a layering garment - pop it over a decent base layer, then top it off with a wind- and water-resistant jacket and you’re good to go

04

hidden qualities Partner the lED X-Vest with the Proviz rEFlEcT360 cycling jacket (£74.99) and, thanks to its full-360-degree reflectivity, you’ll be lit up like a christmas tree on even the darkest of nights

“A few well-chosen pieces of kit and clothing make winter riding a pleasure” niCk odantzis

blinded by the liGht finGers of fanCy if you’re struggling to keep your digits warm – maybe your circulation is poor, or it’s glacial outside – consider adding the rapha Merino liner gloves (£40) for a heat boost to these superb mitts

The Fly 12 light also boasts Strava integration, which overlays riding data on your video. Plus you can add tramlines to check if cars are passing you at a safe distance

01

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PaCkinG it in All luggage in ortlieb’s line-up is waterproof (and seriously rugged) thanks to the polyurethane-coated cordura, and though this bag only permits 24 litres of storage, its rollneck closure enables you to squeeze out unwanted air and pack in extra things

06


talking tech

OPINION

Duncan Bell is still alive t’s easy to take tech’s life-changing advancements for granted. That’s because of the incremental way it usually advances. Every day, we see ridiculous claims for new products that are, in most cases, the same as slightly older products, but with a marginally faster processor, or more pixels, or a case that’s ‘jet black’. Mmmmm, jet black. Take a longer view, however, and tech’s key innovations – the internet, mobile devices and the subsequent interconnectivity of everything – have had effects as profound as the invention of electricity or the printing press. I met my partner on the internet; we’ve been together eight years. I have a profound inability to read maps, and the sense of direction of a cardboard box. Doesn’t matter, thanks to Google Maps. Entertainment-wise, I have access to just about every song ever, and soon every game and movie ever, too. Perhaps most profound of all, I can now know exactly what the President of the United States is thinking at any given second, even if I don’t want to. You’ve done all this too. Apart from meeting my partner online. I hope. Now, tech may have done something new and amazing for me: prevented an early death.

I

has grown, and the most recent addition was a blood-pressure reader. It’s like at the doctor’s, but far more techy looking, and with Bluetooth in it. You strap it on, hit a button on your phone and it inflates and does its thang. That’s the theory, anyway. I just couldn’t get it to work. I gave it a few goes but it refused to take a reading, and I consigned it to the tech knacker’s yard which is my spare room. However, in the run-up to Christmas, I started feeling like crap. This didn’t worry me unduly. I always assume guys my age generally feel like crap. That’s due to the end of carefree youth, and the dawning realisation that you’re unlikely to acheive immortality either through your work and deeds, or – my preference – through not dying. One evening, I also found myself feeling stressed for no reason. Very,

Had I not been tipped off by that bit of tech, I’d never have dreamed of burdening the doc

Withings and I Over the years, I’ve built up a little suite of connected things from French brand Withings. There’s a sleep sensor that goes in my bed that looks like it detects incontinence, but is to monitor snoozing. There’s a set of scales that tells me my weight and body-fat percentage. There’s a watch for counting steps. I’m not sure this is stuff I’d pay for, as I’m already aware I walk and sleep. But as part of my job, I’m lucky enough to get sent it for nothing, so what the hell. So my little suite of Withings things 2 6 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

very irritable, even by my standards; really struggling to concentrate. To put it in layman’s terms, like a heart attack waiting to happen. Almost as a joke, I thought I’d give the techy blood-pressure thing one last try – either to put my mind at ease or to be able to tell my boyfriend, “See, I told you I was ill. Happy now?” So I strapped it on, hit the button and thankfully, it worked this time. Well, perhaps ‘thankfully’ isn’t quite the right word, as at this point a klaxon

went off, a red light started flashing, and my phone blew up. Okay, that’s a lie, but the numbers were high. Way, way higher than they should be – I’d looked it up on the web. Of course. This finding was immediate. When I went to my GP, I found that the NHS is rather less immediate, so I still have no idea what is wrong with me. High blood pressure is a condition in itself, but it’s also a possible symptom of all manner of things, from relatively trivial to, erm, not at all trivial. The thing is, had I not been tipped off by that bit of tech, I would never have dreamed of burdening the doctor, quite possibly until I was literally at death’s door. As an added bonus, I also got to wear the NHS’s equivalent ‘portable’ device for tracking blood pressure. This is a big, Walkman-like box that attaches to your belt – how chic! – with a fat, rubber tube that runs under your clothes, to an arm cuff that looks like a mental-hospital restraint. Not quite the funky, totally wireless consumer tech version. This has been an eye-opener. When we can test ourselves at home for a range of conditions, that’ll be another one to chalk up to ‘truly world-changing’ rather than ‘comes in jet black’.

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

IllustratIon: sam green

Hallelujah! My life may just have been saved by a bit of smart-home tech


Presents

This issue does gagu dream of electric sheeP? yes, and then some…

Should i buy flashy Hdmi cables? are film cameras worth the fuss? How can i de-ice my car windscreen? can i get a hot meal while hiking? what’s the deal with uHd blu-ray? i want to know how hard my punch is!

Ken Hall, Hereford

Is it worth splashing out on expensive HDMI cables?

ILLUSTRATIONS: SAm TAyLOR

A

You probably know this already: spend big bucks on the thing that links that one thing to the other thing and you are, in the most part, paying for pseudoscience and lies. That said, GaGu will now offer up some legitimate situations in which you may be allowed to buy higherend cabling, while maintaining his right to send you to the naughty corner if you get conned into an extortionate copper purchase by a shifty salesman with commission falling out of his pockets. First up, active HDMI cabling. It draws a bit of power from the HDMI

socket on your TV to give the signal a little boost, which helps when you have longer cable runs or thinner wires, and, in a very small way, also helps in reducing the occasional error being sent from device to screen. You don’t need active HDMI for the latter reason, though – indeed, the HDMI standard allows for the equivalent of one pixel per frame to come through completely garbled,

above “argh, you told me that little capsule was a fruit gum!”

“don’T TruST claimS THaT acTive Hdmi will preTTy-up foliaGe or add exTra deTail: iT can’T and iT won’T”

and your TV’s error-correction regime will generally be on top of the rest – but if there’s distance in your set-up, Guru will allow you to use it. Don’t trust claims that it’ll pretty-up foliage or add extra detail: it can’t and it won’t. You are also, naturally, permitted to spend a little extra on high-speed HDMI cabling, as long as you do so in the knowledge that it will make no difference whatsoever to standard HD signals. Even if you’ve not upgraded to UHD yet, picking up cables that support higher bit rates – using technology not mumbo-jumbo magic – is a recommended move. If you take anything away from this, Guru hopes it’s the following: as long as an HDMI cable meets the standard’s stringent specifications, it’s going to work perfectly. Spend £5 or £100, GaGu doesn’t care, but take the latter option and you’re paying for a cosmetic upgrade to a thing you’re going to hide behind your telly anyway.

send your questions to: inbox@t3.com or www.facebook.com/T3mag 2 8 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


your questions answered

dave devenauld, lincoln

Are film cameras really worth the effort?

A

Guru remembers the good old days. Guru especially remembers the ‘it’s your fault, not ours’ sticker applied to almost every one of his hastily captured moments, forever immortalised on special paper as a sticky blur of melded inks. Perhaps, in hindsight, a tripod might’ve been a better investment than roll upon roll of wasted film. And perhaps GaGu should stop looking to the past, given his general disdain for nostalgia. So here’s the thing – film photography is, apparently, on its way back. Of course it is, just as poorly pressed vinyl is appearing in supermarkets and every retro band is pumping out poorly duplicated cassette tapes. But modern film or instant paper is good for the odd nostalgic tummy-bubble, and not much more. The world’s current obsession with photography – well, selfies – is based on its convenience and ease. Whip out the ol’ black rectangle and

you’ve done all the hard work already. That’s something film simply can’t replicate, as Guru’s messy family albums disappointingly prove. While there are certainly well-made instant cameras coming out (see the really rather sexy Leica Sofort at £230, which takes credit-card-sized shots), they’re expensive novelties. Brandish one and your chums, depending on their level of drunkenness, will either hail you as a photographic party god or a hipster ass. GaGu wouldn’t risk it. Guru is not even fully convinced of the quality of modern 35mm film or processing, given the tiny market and complete lack of, er, development in it since digital took over. So even if you venture out and pick up an old-school SLR, now available for a bargain price from photographers who’ve finally gotten around to cleaning out their lofts, you’re by no means guaranteed of anything like that Instagram-filter old-school quality. If you must buy an old film camera, do it only to harvest those classic lenses.

above “Seriously, we really need to fix the heating in the garage”

GadGeT Guru’S maGic box With Guru’s own

it perfect for a tricky

personal assistant

commute, but it’s the

departing for pastures

potential to show up those

new after GaGu’s light-

teenagers at the skate park that

hearted jibes got a

GaGu’s really interested in.

little too personal, he’s been on the search

Finally, Guru’s precious Pebble Time is starting to (metaphorically) burn his wrist a little

for a digital replacement that can take a little ribbing.

since Pebble the company shut up shop, tore up its

And while Amazon’s Alexa is lovely and thick-skinned,

warranties and sold its assets to Fitbit, so the hunt

Mrs Guru insists that the Echo go nowhere near her

is on for a fancy new smartwatch with reasonable

precious living room (much like the old PA) on account

battery life. While it’s tempting to play with those

of its black-and-blue LED cyber-styling. Guru is instead

Apple Watch knock-offs on AliExpress (from £10,

attempting to sell his other half on the Lenovo Smart

which gives you a clue as to their quality), Guru is no

Assistant (pictured), which seeped out at this year’s

idiot. The Nixon Mission (£340) looks utterly beautiful,

CES: it’s a more neutrally coloured Alexa tube with

but Guru’s lax attitude to extreme sports doesn’t

nice fabric on the bottom, and there’s a neat Harmon

match up to its ambition. Google’s clandestine work

Kardon edition (due, hopefully, in May), which should

on a flagship smartwatch, due for release this year,

retail for about £150. Let’s see if she bites.

is also exciting; the big G could pull something special

Far more exciting, and far less likely to receive

out of the bag, or it could push out something a bit

clearance from Guru’s family coffers, is the Cycleboard

mundane, as it does all the time. Perhaps Fitbit will

(£1,100, above right), a three-wheeled, wood-decked

make the most of Pebble’s e-ink tech and cough up

scooter that promises to send you hurtling through

a new watch with a high-contrast, better-saturated

the streets at up to 20mph. Its 25-mile range makes

colour screen. But Guru isn’t holding his breath...

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

ZacK peTerS, dundee

Can you help me de-ice my car?

A

Guru loves a good chemical, and can see no reason why you wouldn’t just squirt aerosolised ethylene glycol on your windscreen (cans go from about £2) and be done with it. You can also cut a potato in half and rub it on your glass the night before – the glycerol within should cut down on the frost, although you’ll end up with a potato-coated windscreen. If you must have toys to play with, though, first be wary of temperatures and the difference thereof. Take a freezing windscreen to super-hot too quickly, and you’re liable to crack the thing, so Guru won’t recommend anything too extreme. Try something mild like the 12vconnector-powered RoadPro RPSC-818 (£17.50), a combination de-icer and hairdryer that, in conjunction with a 12v extension lead, will give your glass (and follicles) a good going over with warmish air. Be warned – online reviews suggest that it might not last long before transforming into a puddle of melted plastic and smoke, so you may wish to stick to the magic spray.

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your questions answered

crowd-funded

clicKer STicK

wHaT iS iT, Guru? It’s a £20 product that’s so stupidly ingenious, it transcends idiocy and loops all the way back round to brilliance again, before finally exploding in a massive multi-hued fireball of dumbness. no, really: wHaT iS iT? Right, so. You know how you’re always losing the remote controls for all those fancy devices in your living room, and how the housekeeping staff now refuse to explore the cavernous recesses beneath the sofa cushions after what they found last time? Just Guru? Oh. Anyway. This is basically a big stick onto which you glue all your remote controls. See, GaGu said it was genius. iS THaT iT? What more do you need? Bang all of your controls on here and you’ll never lose a single remote again. Unless, that is, you happen to lose the Clicker Stick, in which case you’ll have lost all of your remotes at once. any benefiTS? Well, there’s a neat wire stand that you can sit your hexagonal remote-control chimera on top of, giving you one-handed access to the buttons, and a handle at the bottom so you can (Guru presumes) brandish the Clicker Sticker menacingly at home invaders. So no, not an awful lot. any iSSueS? GaGu’s cable remote isn’t going to work with it, for a start, given that it has the temerity to have a rounded back. And, as the creator so shamelessly admits on the Clicker Stick’s Kickstarter page, he initially came up with the idea after simply velcroing his controls to a chunk of wood. So if you really want a big, ugly remote rat king in your living room, there’s no reason to actually pay for it. Guru is charmed, as ever, by entrepreneurial enthusiasm, but that’s about it.

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jay GarreTT, bodmin

Can I get a hot meal while I’m out hiking? You could pack one of Coleman’s Campingaz stoves – about £30 for the Twister Plus PZ, which includes a dinky little pot to cook in and the gas canister – but Guru finds they’re supremely awkward to use unless you have the right spot on the right day. Make like the military, then, and bag yourself some self-heating MREs, meals ready to eat. GaGu hasn’t personally eaten any of the fare from hotpackmeals.co.uk, but his gardener (who’s not allowed within 15 feet of an open flame for complicated reasons) says they’re less disgusting than you might think. A sample pack of all eight meals goes for £40, or you can ensconce 20 of your own meals in its sorcerous self-heating bags for £30.

above He was the world bluerinse champion

owain joneS, newporT

Can I test my punch power?

roberT HarrinGTon, ayr

Guru generally rounds up a volunteer or two from the housekeeping staff and asks them for ratings, but that’s both unscientific and, apparently, inhumane, so other methods are required. There’s a free Android app (Punch Power) – clutch phone in fist, throw a haymaker at the air and it’ll offer up some spurious figure. It’s rubbish and will likely break your phone. Hykso’s Punch Trackers ($228) do a similar job but with a bit more focus. A bundle of accelerometers to strap to your gloves when training, they track the arc, power speed and frequency of your swings, so you’ll get a lot more than a number on how hard you thump.

Is UHD Bluray worth it? While GaGu would never affix his eyepatch and parrot for an illicit voyage through the internet’s content high seas, he will forever malign the bloody faff that’s required to actually reach the good bit of optical discs. So that’s a no. Ranting aside, direct comparisons of the few UHD movies currently available and their straight Blu-ray versions make a few things absolutely clear. The resolution jump isn’t super-noticeable unless you have eyes like an owl with binoculars. The colours, though? Guru wasn’t previously aware we’ve been getting bastardised TV-friendly visual remixes of films for the past 30 years, but he’s certainly aware now. UHD means movies as the director intended: so dark they’re invisible if you have even the slightest glare on your screen.

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

“THe reSoluTion jump To uHd iSn’T Super-noTiceable unleSS you Have eyeS liKe an owl wiTH binocularS”

SubScribe today! See p62

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


shopping Forget the groceries – this is the stuff you need in your basket…

03

5

SWAnn 4k UlTrA HD SecUriTy SySTem

1

scuf infinity 4ps Carbon Fiber Collection Supercharge your gaming with a customisable controller. Modify the thumbsticks, trigger function, grips, back paddles and more. There are options for Xbox and PC users, too.

SAmSUnG GAlAxy A5 Want Samsung tech and a big screen without a premium price? Try the Galaxy A5, with its 5.2-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, 3D glass back, 16MP camera and fingerprint scanner. £369, samsung.com/uk

A weatherproof system to keep tabs on your home. The four UHD 4K cameras offer night vision up to 30m, intense zoom and live video streaming. £TBC, swann.com

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From £126.32, scufgaming.com/uk

02

BryDGe 12.3

Considering it’s only 0.3 inches thick, this keyboard brings massive functionality to the Microsoft Surface Book. There’s a backlit keyboard, 180-degree screen rotation and an adaptive trackpad. £149.99, brydge keyboards.com

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WAir SmArT ScArf

Sony nW-A35 WAlkmAn

Protect yourself in built-up cities with Wair’s anti-pollution scarf, made from soft recycled polyester and designed to filter out 99 per cent of bacteria, microparticles and harmful gases. ¤65 (£55), wair.fr

Leap into spring with Sony’s funky new high-res audio player. It offers up to 45 hours of play, 16GB of memory (expandable via microSD) and Bluetooth technology for hooking up wireless cans. £180, sony.co.uk

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


7

Terraillon R-Link Get clued up on your weight, fat, muscle, bone and water mass with this multi-user, Bluetooth bodycomposition scale. Data is displayed on both the LCD screen and Terraillon’s Wellness Coach app. £120, terraillon.com

08

09

cAnnonDAle moTerrA lT 1 If you’re a fan of trails but sigh at the thought of climbing hills, Cannondale’s flagship e-mountain bike will be a revelation. You can fly up any steep terrain thanks to its Bosch 500W motor, while the downhill leg is taken care of with the amazing Fox full-suspension set-up. £5,499.99, cannondale.com

10 TrAckr ATlAS

myZone mZ-3 Enjoy precise heart-rate tracking during your workouts with Myzone’s updated, chest-based HR monitor. Data is displayed via the Myzone app and can be synced with third-party apps such as Strava and Runkeeper. $149.99 (£118), myzone.org

Find your Bluetooth tracking devices with this plug-in hub that maps out your house, giving you room-specific updates on where your things are. The Trackr app is compatible with Amazon Echo. £32.11, thetrackr.com

11

Withings steel hR Heart-rate tracking comes to the analoguestyle Withings Steel HR. This handsome, fully featured activity- and sleep-tracker offers 25-day battery life (depending on use) and a digital display. From £169.96, withings.com

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 3 3


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Tumi Alpha Bravo Luke Roll Top Backpack This carry-all pack will house work and commute essentials, plus weekend gear. Padded straps ensure comfort, while a pass-through section at the back gives you access to the main compartment.

Bell AnD WySon Pix+ BUlB

GArmin fenix 5

Bulbs are no longer just bulbs, as proven by this Wi-Fi LED number with 720p camera and two-channel mic. Motion alerts will be pinged to your phone via the app. £127, bell-and-wyson.com

SnAkeHive Slimline collecTion WAlleT Designed in the UK and crafted from premium leather, this smartphonecase-meets-wallet contains slots for your bank cards and paper money, and doubles as a kickstand when you fold it over. £21.95, snakehive.co.uk

3 4 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

A multi-sport watch with GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning, the Fenix 5 has wrist-based Elevate heart-rate tech, and comes pre-loaded with activity profiles so that you can track from the get-go. £499.99, buy.garmin.com

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£395, uk.tumi.com

13

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Beeline See familiar places in a new light with the handlebar mounted BeeLine, a nifty device controlled via your smartphone’s GPS. It gives you options on different routes to take, and directions once you’re exploring them. £99, beeline.co

lenovo leGion y720 Be VR-ready with this slick gaming laptop, featuring a 15.6-inch UHD display and immersive sound. 7th Gen Intel Core processors bring the power, while graphics are handled by a NVIDIA GTX 1060 card. From $1,399.99 (£1,140), lenovo.com

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18

JBL Flip 4 Available in several colours, this waterproof speaker offers top sound for up to 12 hours. Voice integration means you can speak to make calls, check weather, chat to Siri and more. £TBC, jbl.com

19

fUjifilm x-T2 GrAPHiTe Fujifilm’s mirrorless digital camera just got even more desirable with the launch of this stunning graphite silver edition, featuring a 24.3MP X-Trans TM CMOS III sensor and 4K video functionality. £1,649, fujifilm.com

20 smart polish pro Make your car gleam with this chemical-free, waterless car wash with carnauba wax. Simply rub it on your car and watch it remove dust, pollen and grime, all without needing water. £15.99, smartpolishpro.com

m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 3 5


home your complete guide to modern living edited by claire davies

t3 home

|

february

|

2017

this month‌ 38

41

42

44

the set-up: google home the internet giant turns home butler for t3 this month as we test-drive google Home

lost in music b&o’s new wireless speaker is here with a big, 360° sound

desire Homewares to help you eat, drink and relax in style

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


T   he seT-up Each issuE, wE show you how to sEt up a kEy piEcE of connEctEd-homE tEch. this month… GOOGLE HOME

HOME STYLE Google Home can be customised to suit your home décor. Just twist off the speaker grille and replace it with a differentcoloured one. Yes, you’ll have to buy one separately, but it’s worth it to make Google Home fit your room’s colour palette

3 8 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


THE SET-UP

Bring voiceactivated search to your home today!

GOOGLE iS cOMinG TO YOUR HOME – in STYLE

P40

T3 HOME

|

MARcH

|

2017

YOU MAY HAVE TO iMPORT OnE BUT, TRUST US, GETTinG GOOGLE HOME iS WELL WORTH iT…

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

The voice-controlled speaker market is heating up. Amazon Echo continues to make strides, and now Google Home, a voicecontrolled device in the same vein as the Amazon Echo, but with the advantage of having access to Google search, is here. As with Echo, you can control a range of smart home devices and play music via Spotify and Google Play Music. You can also control connected Chromecasts around your house, meaning you can ask Google Home to play something on your TV without you having to lift a finger (or a remote). Google Home hasn’t officially launched in the UK just yet, so the services attached to it aren’t as wide-ranging as those linked to Amazon Echo. For instance, while Amazon’s Alexa app enables you to control all manner of smart home devices – from Netatmo thermostats to Philips Hue lighting and more – Google Home only enables control of Hue and Nest. This will undoubtedly change when the device officially launches in the UK, but it’s something for early adopters to bear in mind. The device itself is more compact than Amazon Echo and looks a little like an air freshener or a small vase. The base can be swapped out, too, enabling you to change the colour to suit your living space. And because of its diminutive nature, while its speaker is decent enough it’s not as powerful as Amazon’s offering. However, you can hook up a few Google Homes for a multi-room audio system – something you can’t do with Echo. Anyway, let’s discuss the search function, because this is where Google Home excels. Whereas for more obscure questions Amazon Echo typically responds with an “I’m Sorry, I don’t know how to answer that”, Google Home will pull the top search result from Google and read it aloud to you. So out of the box it’s a great device for quickly finding answers to questions without you having to dive into the app – as with Echo – and add new skills. It soon becomes second nature to quickly ask Google Home a fact. Yes it’s currently more hassle to import Home from the US, but the effort is worth it.

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seT up google home… THE BEST GOOGLE HOME Add-OnS Upgrade your smart home and control it via voice

you’re only six steps away from getting google voice search in your home and controlling all your devices 1

2

3

1

cHROMEcAST Of course, Google’s Chromecast devices pair up perfectly with Google Home, enabling you to ask the device to play music on a certain speaker, or even play YouTube videos on your TV. Home will work with both Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra.

2

adapt it!

gEt thE app

connEct to homE

As Google Home isn’t officially available in the UK, and doesn’t charge via Micro USB or USB-c, you’re going to need an adapter to use it. While some are concerned about voltage, we’ve found that a cheap US-to-UK travel adapter works just fine. You can pick one up at Argos or Maplin for just a few quid or so.

The new Google Home app controls not only Google Home but any chromecast devices you have around your house. it’s available for iOS and Android, so go to your chosen app store and download. next, tap the devices button (the small speaker and TV icon, top-right). The app will scan for a Google Home device. next, hit Set Up.

The app will find your own Google Home and connect to its temporary hotspot to begin the set-up. it’ll then play a test sound on Google Home to make sure you’re setting up the right device. Tap on ‘i heard it’ to continue set-up – next, we’ll name Google Home properly so all devices work with it correctly.

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nETfLix By going to Devices>Home>Settings> More>Videos and Photos, you can link your Netflix account and then control the service using Google Home. Want to play an episode of Stranger Things? Just ask! And you can skip and pause, etc.

3

PHiLiPS HUE/ nEST THERMOSTAT Smart-home devices can be controlled via Google Home – most notably Nest (rather unsurprisingly) and Philips Hue. Ask Google to turn up your thermostat to a certain temperature, or turn off some, or all, of your lights. It’s as simple as that.

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namE your homE

googlE assistant

musical homE

The app asks what room your Google Home is in, and you can name it using a preset, or by choosing Other. Once you’re all good, hit continue and choose a Wi-fi network to connect Home to. Enter your Wi-fi password and hit continue. Home may install an update at this point, so wait a while.

Google Assistant is only available in US English at the moment, so you’ll need to change your phone’s default language. Once you’ve done this sign into Google using the Home app and go through the steps, giving it permission to access your data, such as your calendar and to-do lists. Set the Location next.

if you’re subscribed to Spotify or Google Play Music you can add these accounts – but you can only have one service as a default. Spotify is the most popular; to add this, select it on the music services screen and then hit Link to link your Spotify account. And you’re done – ask Google Home anything you like!

“Google Home brings Google search to your home, making it easy to ask any question from the comfort of your sofa. It’ll also control your smart home and play music from many services” ROB cARnEY, EdiTOR

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


L   ost in music Enhance your home’s style with the Beoplay M5, a wireless speaker with room-filling sound

Small and perfectly formed, the smart yet subtly styled Beoplay M5 speaker delivers high-quality, well-balanced sound all around the room

Enjoy fabulous sound with the latest addition to the B&O Play line. Dressed in a dapper, acoustically transparent and replaceable wool-blend fabric, the Beoplay M5 wireless speaker is here to add beauty, warmth and Bang & Olufsen’s Signature Sound to any space you place it in.

Designed by the awardwinning Cecilie Manz, a Danish royalty-approved industrial designer, the M5 will flatter most homes’ decor. Using the speaker’s

Enjoy True360 degree sound with the stylish Beoplay M5 speaker built-in cloud-powered Chromecast, you can stream music (via your phone) from a huge array of streaming sites, and Beolink Multiroom lets you team up multiple M5s to create a seamless multi-room experience. True360 degree omnidirectional sound –

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

via three evenly distributed tweeters, a front facing mid-range driver and fiveinch neodymium-powered long-stroke woofer – delivers sumptuous, roomfilling sound. Because of its unique acoustic set-up, the M5 has beam direction and beam width control,

a simplified version of the tech used in the high-end BeoLab 90 speaker. The M5 can be freestanding, wall-mounted or sat in a corner, with three pre-set modes on board to optimise the acoustic performance depending on which position you choose. If you’re ready to infuse your home with B&O’s Signature Sound and style, the Beoplay M5 is available now, in black or natural (seasonal colours to follow). £529, www.beoplay.com

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Desire Furnish your pad with the ultimate in modern living accessories

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DeSire

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04 MiSSoni hoMe SanTiaGo DiaManTe pouF Put your feet up with Missoni’s big, bold, squishy pouf. The velvet-jacquard material feels plush under foot, while the vivid stripes andunusualdiamanteshape catch the eye. £542, www.amara.com

05 laBoraTory perFuMeS aMBer SCenTeD CanDle Well-blended aromas can really transform a home. Add notes of rich spice and balmy ambergris to yours with this candle’s energising, long-lasting scent. £39, www.laboratory perfumes.com

01 BoSka Copper FonDue SeT

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Dip away with Boska’s fondue set for four, which features a copper pan with a flat bottom to prevent burning. This thing houses a litre of melted cheese! A base, a spirit burner and a set of forks are all included. £75, www.souschef.co.uk

02 norlan WhiSky GlaSS The double-walled construction of this glass, the shape of its walls and the protrusion forms within intensify the colour, taste and aroma of your whisky. A dram never tasted so good. £42, norlanglass.uk

03 Meural DiGiTal CanvaS Change your wall art daily with this app-controlled canvas. It’s motion-activated – just wave your hand in front of the frame to change images – and the anti-glare display makes it look like a real print. $595 (£478), www.meural.com Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

06 hoerBoarD CoM.Four DJ TaBle Available in Night Black or Traffic White, Hoerboard’s neat DJ Table houses turntables in either classic or battle mode, and also stores up to 350 records in its open-sided base. £1,835, www.hoerboard.com

07 DreaM paD Dream Pad is a plump, app-controlled pillow that utilises the latest Intrasound tech to reduce unwanted waking at night. Calming music and gentle vibrations flow through the Dream Pad, triggering your body’s own relaxation response. From $169 (£136), dreampadsleep.com

08 Mia Fleur ‘MaraThon Boy’ BookenDS Terracotta is a big colour for home interiors this spring, so why not add a splash to your living space with these striking ceramine bookends? They depict the face of ‘Marathon Boy’, a classic Ancient Greek sculpture. £88, www.miafleur.com

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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 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.

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.

steVe may If you’re looking for advice on the best new goggleboxes around, Steve is your man. All your homecinema woes will be remedied with this telly sage’s expert advice.

Carl Perkins, Bury st edmunds

I want a new TV. Which should I buy? steVe may rePlies: It’s a given that your next telly should be a 4K UHD model. With even budget screens now offering 3,840 x 2,160 resolution it no longer makes any sense to buy a regular HD model. Samsung has a fleet of next-generation Quantum Dot TVs inbound. Dubbed QLED, its Q9F (flat), Q8C (curved) and Q7F (both) models feature newly formulated metal core QD technology for better colour and improved off-axis viewing. They also boast a peak luminance between 1,500 and 2,000 nits, which should really make your HDR (High Dynamic Range) content pop! LG more your brand? The company is refreshing its SUHD LED TV line-up this year with a new range of screens that

use nano cell technology to similar effect. Sony is also revamping its ultra-thin X range of LED LCD sets. Featuring a revised Slim Backlight Drive + (Plus), the X930 and X940 promise better contrast for 4K HDR, and could be a great buy for 4K gamers. The big TV trend for 2017, though, is OLED. Panasonic will launch the 65-inch EZ1002 this summer. Image quality rivals that of a Hollywood Pro-OLED screen, thanks to its Studio Colour HCX2 processor. It’s a stunner! Sony is also going OLED with the A1 series. Available in 77-, 65- and 55-inch sizes, these minimalistic sets use novel Acoustic Sound transducer technology that actually turns the screen itself into a speaker! And they sound great. Prepare to be spoilt for choice – the TV scene has rarely been this exciting.

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kaZ roBerts, Cardiff

What new gadgets can I buy to smarten up my kitchen for less? Claire daVies rePlies:

gary watkins, newCastle

How do I get super-fit without leaving my warm home? niCk odantZis rePlies: We get it – going outside the comfort of your house, especially at this time of year, is about as appealing as a slap to the face. But that’s where home-based fitness tech comes in. And we’re not talking about a ropey old workout bench or anything here. As long as you like cycling or running (we’re guessing that’s a lot of you) then we have one word for you: Zwift, an online virtual world in which you can train your body without leaving home. With Zwift running on your laptop or tablet, acting as your view to the virtual world, you can race yourself, or others, in real time. Cyclists can get that mountainconquering experience when Zwift is paired with a turbo, such as the Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer (£999.99, uk. wahoofitness.com), while runners can power up their marathons with the beta of Zwift (it’s launching in spring) and a treadmill like the Technogym MyRun (£2,650, technogym.com). You’ll also need a footpod such as the Polar Stride Sensor (£59.59, polar.com) for Zwift to recognise your runs.

We’re assuming, Kaz, that because you’ve written to T3 and not, say, Kitchens, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, that by ‘smarten up’ you mean adding a few new gadgets to your kitchen – not some home decor. So, if we are talking more Tefal and less Dulux, here are some affordable buys to make your kitchen more connected this year... Bins. Can’t stand touching them. If you’re a germophobe too, the world of smart bins will delight. First stop, Simple Human. Its 45-litre Semi-Round Sensor Bin (£149.99) with infrared fields opens when you wave your hand across the top, and has a nano-silver clear coat to protect it from grubby fingerprints and germs. Want cheaper? Russell Hobbs has a battery-operated 50-litre sensor bin for £49.99. Enjoy cooking? Terraillon is bringing out a smart food scale with a tiny onboard SCiO sensor that analyses the molecular composition and nutritional value (calories, fat, water and protein percentages, etc) of your food. It also works with the Terraillon Wellness Coach app and uses e-learning tech to better understand your eating habits. Keep running out of eggs? Preorder the Smarter FridgeCam

(£99.99), designed to help you peek inside your fridge when you’re away from home. This wireless camera fits inside any fridge, enabling you to view your eggs, broccoli and Toblerone stash via the Smarter App. The FridgeCam also tracks expiry dates, alerts you when it’s time to replenish items, and can suggest recipes based on what’s in the fridge. Toblerone frittata, anyone?

the smarter fridgeCam and app keep tabs on the contents of your fridge

ComBat wi-fi deadsPots at home Quick and easy solutions to your at-home wi-fi worries Traditional routers aren’t always able to reach the furthest corners of your home, resulting in Wi-Fi deadspots. The number (and thickness) of walls between you and your router is usually the main culprit, but a Wi-Fi extender could solve your problem. The Velop Whole-Home Mesh Wi-Fi System (from $349.99/£291), for example, is built to deliver a fast, full-strength signal. The modular design means you can place nodes in any part of your home, creating a blanket of Wi-Fi. Also try BT’s Dual-Band Wi-Fi Extender 1200 (£49.99), with built-in signal indicator and Ethernet port.

The plug-in D-Link DAP-1320 (£38.99) is even smaller, yet delivers up to 300Mbps for whole-home coverage, while the Netgear EX3800 (£54.99) has speeds of up to 750Mbps and an extra Ethernet port for connecting wired devices to your extended network.

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nintendo switch

Nintendo’s new console gives you the ability to move and play

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nintendo

switches it up With a fantastic mix of traditional gaming titles and a reneWed emphasis on local multiplayer, the NiNteNdo Switch offers something found noWhere else… words: rob jones

nintendo is renowned for its innovative approach to gaming and paying attention to how gamers really play. And it’s excelled itself with its latest launch – the switch is a handheld and a living-room console in one, enabling you to essentially undock it and carry on playing wherever you go. Set to launch in the UK on 3 March, for a recommended retail price of £279.99, the system will be available in two standard configurations. The first includes the Nintendo Switch console, a Switch dock, a Switch Joy-Con controller in grey, Switch controller straps and an HDMI cable. The second configuration is identical to the first, but features a red-and-blue Joy-Con controller instead of a grey one. Other themed Switch docks, Joy-Con controllers and straps will be available

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nintendo switch

Your favourite Italian plumber is making a holiday-season comeback…

at a later date – including a The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild iteration. The Switch console itself features a 6.2-inch capacitive-multitouch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720. As such, when the console is being used in handheld or tabletop mode,

confirmed that battery life is gamedependent, with anywhere between 2.5 and six hours possible (we’ll have to see how that pans out when we do our full test, coming soon). The first thing we noticed when picking up the Nintendo Switch was

unLiKe the wii u’s Light And pLAsticKy gAmepAd, the switch feeLs reAssuringLy soLid games will run at up to 720p. When the system is slotted into its dock, however, games can be played at up to 1080p. In addition, the launch edition of the Switch comes with 32GB of internal storage and a maximum battery life of six hours. However, Nintendo has 4 8 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

how well-built it felt. Unlike the Wii U’s light and plasticky gamepad, the Switch seemed high-end, with cold metal and glass making it feel reassuringly solid in the hand. The dock, too, while not exactly heavy, didn’t feel lightweight and cheap,

which is important as you don’t want to splash out £280 and then feel like you’re docking your well-built console into something unfitting. The process of taking the Switch out of the dock and then re-inserting it was seamless, with the screens immediately switching from one to the other. We could also see no way that the dock could scratch the Switch’s screen through clumsy insertions or extractions. While the experience on TV is as good as usual, it’s when the console is taken portable that its main strength comes to the fore. The Nintendo Switch works with two new controllers – the Joy-Con, which comes bundled with the system, and the Pro controller, which is a more traditional gamepad that retails separately. The Joy-Con controllers attach and de-attach to the side of the Switch via two buttons, and can be used attached either side like a Wii U


controller, detached and separate like a Nintendo Wii remote, or connected together to form a gamepad for when gaming in tabletop or TV mode. The Pro (similar to the Wii U Pro), which we used at the launch event, was fine if not something to write home about. Each Joy-Con controller has an accelerometer and a gyroscope for Wii-style motion control, as well as advanced haptic feedback. Nintendo refers to this as “HD Rumble”, and it enables the controllers to simulate a greater array of feedback experience than prior controllers. Finally, the Joy-Con controller has an IR camera, individual shoulder buttons located on the inside of the controller to use when separated for cooperative play, and a capture button for taking images and, later, videos in-game. So what can you play on this thing? Nintendo has revealed a number of games that are to launch either alongside the Switch in March, or later on throughout 2017. These include, but are not limited to, The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem

Warriors, Skyrim, Super Mario Odyssey, 1-2-Switch, Arms and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The major launch title for the Switch is undoubtedly The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, which both looks and plays spectacularly. Boasting a huge open world, the game features stylish cell-shaded graphics and all the classic locations, species, weapons and game mechanics that the series is known for. Super Mario Odyssey, despite not launching until the holiday season, is arguably the other titanic title coming to the system this year. Featuring a Super Mario 64-style open world and control mechanics - there’s even a magic hat that grants the portly Italian plumber special powers - it is, from what we’ve seen here at T3 Towers, set to be one of the games of Christmas 2017. While The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Odyssey are games in the traditional mould, 1-2-Switch and Arms are geared more towards social, motion-control play with the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers.

The experience these titles deliver is fast and fun, leaning on the Nintendo Switch’s emphasis on local as well as global multiplayer. While the Wii U was never as bad as it was made out to be, there’s no denying that Nintendo needed to move on and move on in style. With the Switch, it’s achieved that. That said, it’s not a radical departure from its forebear, being more of a sleeker refinement of an innovative idea - ie being able to remove the home-console experience from a big-screen TV. By offering not just one, nor two, but three different - and very practical - ways to play games, in a variety of locations, and have the experience so unified and seamless, it’s testament to the good work Nintendo started years back. It seems – at first glance, that is – to combine the strengths of both of Nintendo’s classic consoles, offering the traditional Nintendo software library, as well as the Wii U’s secondscreen experience and the Wii’s motion-control magic. The Nintendo Switch is looking surprisingly wellset to tackle the console war to come.

Now turN over to check out all the New games for the NiNteNdo switch

Advanced haptic feedback and an IR camera are among the features of the Joy-Con controllers (top left of picture)

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ninTendo sWiTch

The Legend of ZeLda: BreaTh of The WiLd Breath Of The Wild is the crown jewel in the Nintendo Switch’s launch line-up on 3 March 2017. Wondering what all the excitement is about? Here’s the quickest of primers: the game strips Zelda back to its barest essentials, then builds a new kind of adventure on top of those solid old bones. No more strict dungeon-item order – now you can explore the world as you wish, by running, climbing, swimming and even hang-gliding. And no more Master Sword worship – now you can wield any (roughly humansized) weapon you find in the game. The story? Link awakens in a mysterious Sheikah resurrection chamber after a 100-year nap (or death), grabs some musty clothes from some old chests, and heads out into the world to explore. That’s the intro. Rather than direct players to the next 5 0 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

temple, important NPCs or significant items with a nagging fairy partner and a linear path, those types of directions are now more like gentle nudges. Right away, you can jump off that cliff to the right (not recommended), scale a far-off mountain, climb a tree to collect apples, or rush a Bokoblin camp in search of treasure. Before you talk to anyone, you already have plenty to do. Don’t worry, you won’t have to explore the whole world on foot. At some point, a trusty horse whose name probably rhymes with Shamona will come into the picture, and you’ll even be able to find a hang glider. But if you choose to, you can skip all the dungeons and items in the game and head right to the final boss of the game – if you can figure out how to get to him. Producer Eiji Aonuma said at E3 this year that you can beat the game without completing the story. Now, that’s an open world.

ABOVE: The latest in the Zelda series releases the reins and enables you to explore with freedom

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Whatever skin cream Princess Zelda wears, we want some of it!

expLore The WorLd as you Wish, By running, cLimBing, sWimming and hang gLiding

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ninTendo sWiTch

mario KarT 8 deLuxe Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (released 28 April) is an enhanced version of the exceptional Wii U racer that we all know and love, complete with new characters and the return of fan-favourite modes. Why is it so interesting? Another time-tested Nintendo mainstay, an intense round of Mario Kart is guaranteed to deliver the elation of victory to one racer, leaving their competitors with a burning will to win after bitter defeat. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe wraps up all the existing DLC characters and tracks into one enhanced package, and invites additional characters like the Splatoon Inkling squid-kids, King Boo, and Dry Bones. But best of all might be the revamped Battle Mode, which includes more courses and brings back those classic Balloon Battles (with support for up to eight players via local wireless multiplayer).

spLaToon 2 The follow-up to the Wii U’s best multiplayer shooter, Splatoon 2 has new weapons that make use of the JoyCon’s dual-wield feel. Those adorable Inklings are back, and the territorial mayhem of this 4v4 shooter sequel is looking even better than the inventive Wii U original. Splatoon 2 is expanding Turf War battles with a bevy of upgrades; additions include tons of new weapons and items (the highlight being the twin Splat Dualies), maps designed with streams of airborne Ink that you can use to ‘grind’ across the level, and the ability to Dodge Roll towards your prey or away from incoming ink splatters. We can’t wait to see what Callie and Marie have been up to these past two years. It’ll be released in the Summer.

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sKyLanders imaginaTors Another launch-day title, Skylanders Imaginators is an expanded sequel in Activision’s playful toys-tolife franchise, giving you the power to create your own customised in-game Skylander. You might already know that amiibo and Skylanders figures can peacefully co-exist on a Nintendo platform, though you won’t see Crash Bandicoot popping his head up in this version. As long as you’re comfortable with the idea that this game is effectively a gateway into collecting and amassing a toy collection, Skylanders Imaginators is good fun - we had a blast designing our own Skylander hero, collecting tons of empowering loot, and learning from the mystic, air-bending art of Sky-Chi from Sensei Skylanders.

super BomBerman r The classic multiplayer mainstay comes to the Nintendo Switch on release day – where players try to blow each other up with bombs without trapping themselves near their own explosive. It’s hard to go wrong with a raucous round of Bomberman. The instantly understandable game design, mixed with intuitive pickup-and-play controls, should make Super Bomberman R perfect for those late-night parties with your best mates, and things can get really intense once you start to recognise certain strategies and all-power item pick-ups. Up to eight demolition experts can partake in either local or online play, and you can also make your way through a straightforward Story mode (complete with two-player co-op). Fun times are a certainty. ubsc

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ninTendo sWiTch

The eLder scroLLs 5: sKyrim Released in the autumn, this portable version of Bethesda’s much-ballyhooed RPG means you can ‘Fus Ro Dah’ anywhere you damn please. With its massive world, abundant gameplay styles, and myriad side quests, Skyrim is the kind of game you could play for years and still not be bored. That’s why the prospect of starting all over again on the Switch is more exciting than terrifying (what with Skyrim’s ability to devour our free time), and the ability to take your Dragonborn should make long plane rides absolutely fly by.

1-2-sWiTch One of the launch titles, 1-2-Switch is an inventive head-to-head multiplayer game that makes use of the twin Joy-Cons which come with every Switch. It may seem a bit goofy in name and concept, but 1-2-Switch could end up being the Switch’s analogue of the wildly popular Wii Sports. Instead of looking at a screen, players gaze deeply - almost longingly - into each other’s eyes, using the Joy-Con to compete in a series of simple-yet-hectic minigames. You might play a volley of invisible ping-pong, mimic the other person’s movements, or have a Wild West-style shootout showdown – all made possible by the Joy-Con’s increased capacity for better gyroscopic motion-sensing and rumble feedback.

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The sTages LooK LiKe coLourfuL BacKgrounds WiTh no Boundaries in sighT

super mario odyssey Super Mario Odyssey is the next adventure for everyone’s favourite plumber – only this time, Mario is leaving the Mushroom Kingdom behind for the real world (and plenty of others). There’s also Bowser, dressed to the nines like a pimp. And oh yeah, Mario’s hat now has eyes on it. Yup, Mario’s next 3D adventure, due on the Switch in late 2017, sure looks different. Like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Odyssey is giving players a variety of sandbox worlds to explore. Beyond that, it’s mostly what you’d expect: Mario hopping and bopping through colourful Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

environments, “yippee”-ing and “wahoo”-ing along the way. Taking in the sights and sounds of a fresh Mario platformer is always exciting, but Super Mario Odyssey looks truly out there (in the best way possible). The sprawling stages look like colourful playgrounds with no boundaries in sight, and the additional mobility options provided by Mario’s cap - like throwing and jumping on it as a makeshift platform - should expand your exploration capabilities even further. Plus, you’ve got Bowser dressed up like a magician cavorting around a NYC-esque metropolis called New Donk City. What’s not to like? m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 5 5


ninTendo sWiTch

arms Remember the fun of boxing in Wii Sports? Well, Nintendo has just revealed Arms at its Switch press conference, which takes that concept of flailing wildly in the air to the next level. Starring colourful characters like Spring Man and Ribbon Girl, the game has you ducking, dodging and trading punches using the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers as your motionsensing controllers. There’s full 3D movement throughout the fighting arenas, and the wacky characters make this feel like a mash-up of the aforementioned boxing minigame from Wii Sports with Power Stone. Arms will be released in spring 2017. We’re sure it’ll be a knockout.

JusT dance 2017 Come on, admit it – at the first sight of one of those dancing machines at the local amusement arcade, you’re up on that podium like a flash. If that’s how you roll, then you’ll be well aware that dancing games have long since made the transition to games consoles. The latest in Ubisoft’s long line of dancing games, perfect for parties or a full-body workout, comes out on day one. Why’s it so interesting? Well, it’s not really all that interesting – but it does round out the list of Switch games you can buy on launch day, so it seems right to include it here. Though this is technically last year’s iteration of the Just Dance series, it’s still got plenty of hit songs to shake it to, and should benefit from the improved motion-sensing of the Joy-Con (with smartphones acting as extra controllers using a special app, allowing for up to six players).

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now ThaT chriSTmaS iS over, you can STarT SpendinG money on yourSelf aGain, and have we GoT Some TreaTS for you! T3 preSenTS The laTeST muST-have TeleviSion and audio KiT…

Onkyo TX-SR373 Onkyo’s new entry-level 5.1-channel A/V receiver is the perfect hub for creating a surround-sound environment in smaller spaces. Using AccuEQ Room Calibration technology, the 4K-ready TX-SR373 sets speaker

Netflix Netflix’s roster of UHD content is growing and growing – the company now makes all of its original programming in stunning 4K definition. And with a brand-new, original Netflix show seemingly released every other week, the streaming giant should be the heartbeat of your entertainment hub. £8.99/month (UHD plan), netflix.com

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distances according to listening position, adjusts output, selects crossover for the subwoofer, and performs audio equalisation. The result is balanced sound in pretty much any space. £299, uk.onkyo.com

Panasonic DMP-UB900 Physical media has taken a pounding from the upstart streamers in recent times, but Panasonic is here to help Blu-ray bounce back. The DMP-UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player delivers fabulous HDR performance to deliver rich colours and deep contrast to your 4K TV – and it has UHD Netflix and Amazon on board, too. £599, panasonic.com Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


best entertainment buys

Don’t forget these

Essential add-ons

enhance your homeentertainment set-up with these accessories

Q Acoustics M3 Beefing up your telly’s vocal chords is as simple as plugging Q Acoustics’ M3 soundbar’s HDMI into it. This single-box Bluetooth banger features Q Acoustics’ MoviEQ functionality, which has TV and games settings, tailoring the sound to your needs. And if you’re having a house party, you can stream music from your smartphone or tablet, too. £299, qacoustics.co.uk

LG Minibeam PF1000U ultra-shortthrow projector LG has decided that quality projectors should be available to everyone – even those with titchy rooms. The Minibeam throws a 100-inch screen onto your wall from just 38cm away, and is Full HD with a 150,000:1 contrast ratio, meaning sharp images, vivid colours and deep blacks. Plus it has smart TV built in. £965, lg.com

Sennheiser RS165 Whether you’re playing games or watching movies, sometimes you don’t want to disturb others – so you need a decent set of headphones designed specifically for televised audio. Sennheiser’s RS165s provide punchy, clear audio pumped directly into your ears. And what’s more, your pals ’n’ pets won’t get tangled in any cables, because they’re wireless. £180, sennheiser.com

loGiTech harmony eliTe As well as your TV, set-top box, console and Blu-ray player, the Harmony Elite will take charge of lights, thermostat, multi-room audio and security. £280, logitech.com

Sky Q Sky’s super service enables you to watch what you want, when you want. Engineered to be QHD-ready from the outset, Sky Q’s main hub and its Sky Q Mini satellites will

beam QHD movies, sports and TV series – whether recorded, on-demand or Sky Store purchases – to your TVs, tablets and phones. From £99 (set-up) and £42/month

philipS hue This Wi-Fi lighting lets you control the colour of your room, flash the lights and create a romantic ambience, all from your phone - buy the starter kit to get going. £60 (starter kit), philips.co.uk

amazon echo Echo can control your home entertainment set-up hands-free, even hearing you from across the room during Marvel explosions, thanks to clever farfield voice recognition. £150, amazon.co.uk Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

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B&W MT50 Surround systems come no classier than Bowers & Wilkins’ mid-range 5.1 system, which packs punchy power and harmonious, well-balanced acoustics into its matte-black

or matte-white speaker units. Soundbars simply cannot compete with B&W’s brilliant boxes, which put you right at the centre of the action. £1,090, bowers-wilkins.co.uk

Sony PlayStation 4 Pro Sony’s curveball ‘oh-lookit’s-not-the-PS5’, the PS4 Pro is an essential purchase if you’ve got a 4K HDR set-up in your home. OK, it’s lost some ground in the style stakes to the Xbox One S, but the PS4 Pro is a massive step up from the standard PS4. Not only does it deliver lifelike 4K graphics, but the 1TB hard drive ensures you can store all your games. £349, sony.co.uk

LG OLED65E6P Despite some manufacturers turning their back on the technology, OLED is LG’s route to television brilliance – and the E6 is still one to beat. Its dazzling picture-on-glass screen is absurdly thin, and combining HDR with OLED creates a glorious image that has earned Ultra HD Premium certification. £3,699, lg.com

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Arcam Solo Movie 2.1 Wot, no 4K? Arcam’s latest Solo Movie is also down on speaker capabilities, enabling only two channels and a sub-woofer. But forget the spec – the Solo Movie system includes Class G amplification to make movies and music sound stunning, and acts as a network audio streamer and a DAB+ player, all featuring Arcam’s ace sound quality. £1,499, arcam.co.uk

Roku Ultra The Ultra is Roku’s first media streamer designed for top-end equipment. It streams in 4K and HDR, and includes an optical-digital audio port, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus decoding, and a USB port for playing additional media. It features upscaling, too, and still has Roku’s brilliant voice-search remote with headphone jack. £130, roku.com

Sony VPL-VZ1000ES This compact short-throw projector, revealed at CES, turns any wall into a 100-inch screen, projecting HDR 4K images from just six inches away. Around half the size of the company’s previous short-throw champ, the LSPX-W1S, the new high-end beamer will also be less than half that gadget’s £40k price. Still beyond our budget, mind! £TBC, sony.co.uk

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best entertainment buys

Sony XD80 Sony has really upped its telly game, and the XD80 is leading the way, providing extraordinary skills for the price point. This native-4K stunner delivers glorious visuals while retaining an impossibly slim design.

Elsewhere, X-Reality PRO picture processing means a crisp picture – and it has Triluminos HDR to keep your colours nice and vivid. £800, www.sony.co.uk/electronics/ televisions/xd8005-series

Cambridge Audio CXU

Samsung UE55KS9000

Cambridge Audio’s CXU brings stunning performance and flexibility into your living room – no fewer than 11 audio and video sources can be played through this incredible unit. So calling it a mere ‘Blu-ray player’ is selling it a bit short – it really is all the home-cinema connectivity you need. £900, cambridgeaudio.com

Slender and curvaceous, Samsung’s UE55KS9000 is just about the most seductive TV around. It backs up those looks with aplomb, featuring one of the richest and most detailed 4K HDR screens you can buy, with impressive subtlety of colour and tone. Samsung’s Quantum Dot tech is key, and it works a treat. £1,700, samsung.co.uk

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Yamaha YSP-2700 Yamaha’s Intellibeam technology calibrates this soundbar’s drivers to perfectly complement your room’s acoustics. It enables the true-7.1-channel-surround YSP-2700 to utilise its 16 speakers in just the right combination to ensure aural ecstasy. Just about the sleekest, most sophisticated ’bar to park under your TV. £899, uk.yamaha.com

KEF LS50 If you think these speakers look sensational, wait until you hear them. The compact LS50s deliver serious sound from their colourful drivers, and chuck out a surprising degree of lowfrequency bass from such diminutive boxes. Pair these with a decent home-cinema amplifier and your TV will put bass right in your face. £799, kef.com

M a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 6 1


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State of the Art

6 4 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

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State of the Art

wireless earphones w hat’s on test…

1

Earin M-1 cylindrical earbuds with balanced-armature speakers, bluetooth 4.0 and a recharging capsule, but no phonecalltaking capabilities. Price: £199 URL: earin.com

2

Apple AirPods with built-in sensors, accelerometers and a w1 chip that interacts with siri, are these the smartest wireless in-ears ever made? Price: £159 URL: apple.com

3

Bragi The Headphone Featuring balanced-armature speakers, bluetooth 4.0, digital mems microphones for taking calls and a nifty audio transparency mode. Price: £120 URL: bragi.com

no STRinGS ATTAcHEd Free yourselF From the tyranny oF cables with these truly wireless in-ear ‘phones words: Danny phillips

photography: neil Godwin

f yoU’vE EvER SnAGGEd yoUR EARPHonE cABLE on A fELLow coMMUTER, oR PULLEd A TAnGLEd BALL of LEAdS fRoM yoUR BAG, yoU’LL know THAT wiRELESS EARPHonES ARE A GodSEnd.

i

Cutting the cord means you’re not tethered to your phone, making life easier on your daily commute or at the gym. With no dangling wires and your device safely stashed in your pocket, the threat of earpieces being unceremoniously yanked from your lugholes is all but eradicated. Wireless earphones come in all shapes and sizes, but here we’re focusing on in-ear buds that form a tight seal in your ear canal. They’re light, compact and able to deliver superb sound quality, provided you get a snug fit. The beauty is that most wireless earphones Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

afford the same features as their corded counterparts – hands-free microphones, playback control, volume adjustment – which means you don’t have to pull out your phone every time Janet from accounts asks you a question. Some take things to the next level with voice interaction, motion sensors and nifty tech that lets you hear external noise without having to remove the buds. Of course, these wireless inears gobble up power. The amount of battery-sapping Bluetooth playback they provide varies; some enable you to recharge on the go in their carry cases, others need charging at home after they conk out. So, read on to find out which of these wireless wonders is most deserving of your cash…


State of the Art

test 01:

EARin M-1

dESiGn

which earphones offer the best blend of comfort and style?

ireless earphones need to be light and compact enough to stay wedged in your ears for long periods, but large enough for the drivers to work their musical magic. Best of the bunch on that score are the Earin M-1s. As the lightest on test (3.5g each), they don’t feel bulky and their ergonomic cylindrical shape nestles nicely within the ears, particularly with the supplied stabilisers fitted. The ridged body is a little plasticky and stripped down to the minimum, but they’re well made overall. The M-1’s cylindrical aluminium charging capsule has a premium feel. A pop-up compartment houses the earbuds, with a red light indicating that they’re charging. A micro USB port is on hand to juice up the capsule. The AirPods are an acquired taste. Despite sharing Apple’s much-loved design language – curvy, white, minimal – the long arms look daft, hanging down from your ears like a futuristic Pat Butcher. We also found it difficult

W

The Earin M-1’s compact, cylindrical design fits snugly in the ears

Their ergonomic cylindrical shape nestles nicely within the ears to get a secure fit. It depends on your ear shape, of course, but the hard body didn’t form a tight seal in the ears, and they only come in one size. As a result, it feels like they’re slinging sound into the cavities rather than piping it directly into the canal, which will almost certainly affect sound quality. It’s worth trying before you buy, if the Apple Store permits it. The AirPods come in a curvy charging case that looks like a box of breath mints, with a Lightning connector on the bottom to charge it. Bragi’s The Headphone’s curvy gloss-black body is very attractive. Crucially, they’re light enough to sit in the ears without falling out or feeling uncomfortable, with three sizes of ear tips fitting tightly in the canals – great news for gym-goers. Tiny buttons on the right earbud control volume, track skipping and other functions. You have to locate them by touch – fiddly at first, but it’s worth persevering so you don’t have to keep pulling out your phone. The buds snap into a black carry case, the only non-charging holder in the test. Recharge them at home via the microUSB port. 6 6 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

specs EARBUd diMEnSionS: 14.5 x 20mm EARBUd wEiGHT: 3.5g (each)

BATTERy LifE: up to three hours cASE diMEnSionS: 21 x 95mm cASE wEiGHT: 42g

the perFect Fit which of these in-ear ’phones are the most comfortable to wear? A decent fit is the difference between good earphones and great ones. With their stripped back, cylindrical design and 3.5g weight, the Earin M-1s are the easiest on the ears. The

foam tips come in two sizes and squeeze securely into the ear canals, while the supplied stabilisers provide extra security when you’re running. Bragi’s The Headphone is

cHARGinG TiME: 70 minutes BATTERy: 60mah rechargeable lithium-ion

slightly bigger but similarly light, with three silicon tip sizes helping you find a secure fit, which is crucial when it comes to sound quality. The Apple AirPods’ one-size design suits some ears better than others. They’re difficult to push deep into the ear, and the inch-long arms dangle awkwardly downwards.

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State of the Art

wireless earphones APPLE AiRPodS

BRAGi THE HEAdPHonE

The AirPods’ long arms look daft but the white styling is classic Apple

Audio Transparency lets you hear conversations without removing the earbud

specs EARBUd diMEnSionS: 16.5 x 18 x 40.5mm EARBUd wEiGHT: 4g (each)

BATTERy LifE: up to five hours cASE diMEnSionS: 44.3 x 21.3 x 53.5mm cASE wEiGHT: 38g

specs cHARGinG TiME: 30 minutes BATTERy: lithium-ion

case by case basis all three earbuds come in stylish cases, some of which have hidden talents… The Earin M-1s’ cigar-shaped capsules are machined from a single block of aluminium, ensuring robust, durable build quality. The earbuds charge when docked inside, extending

their battery life when you’re out and about. The Apple AirPods’ chic white case can also charge the earbuds multiple times, but also makes Bluetooth

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EARBUd diMEnSionS: not given EARBUd wEiGHT: not given

connection a cinch – simply holding the case next to your iPhone prompts a dialogue box to appear on screen. Click OK and they’re connected. Bragi’s The Headphone’s case is the only one not to offer on-the-go recharging, but it has a microUSB port to power them up when you get home or reach the office.

BATTERy LifE: up to six hours cASE diMEnSionS: not given cASE wEiGHT: not given

cHARGinG TiME: under two hours BATTERy: n/a

Test 01 winner earin m-1 Small and light, the M-1s are the most comfortable to wear, while their aluminium charging capsule has the air of a premium product m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 6 7


State of the Art

test 02:

EARin M-1

fEATURES which of our earphone trio gives you the most for your money? he AirPods integrate beautifully with an iPhone. You don’t even need to go through the usual Bluetooth pairing rigmarole – just hold your iPhone next to the charging case and a dialogue box appears on the screen. Tap OK and it’s done. The AirPods also boast optical sensors and a motion accelerometer to detect when they’re in your ears. Take them out and the music pauses; put them in and it starts up again. Brilliant. You can access Siri with a double tap, and when you speak, ‘beamforming’ microphones filter out background noise. With no buttons on the AirPods, you’re highly reliant on Siri if you don’t want to pull your phone out of your pocket, although you can reconfigure them in the settings to play or pause when double-tapped, instead of calling Siri. The brains behind this deeply impressive interaction is Apple’s W1 chip, which also lets you squeeze five hours of listening time from

t

The Earin M-1s have no microphone, so if you want to take a call, you have to disconnect the Bluetooth connection first

Optical sensors and an accelerometer detect when they’re in your ears a single charge. With multiple charges from the case, you can extend this by another 19 hours. The Earin M-1s seem stingy by comparison. There’s no microphone, which rules out taking phone calls, while the three-hour singlecharge battery life is the shortest on test. Thankfully, the charging capsule provides three charges, giving you another nine hours. The M-1s use balanced-armature speakers and Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX support, which offers a potential bump in sound quality. Earin’s app lets you adjust the balance and activate the bass-boost mode. It also tells you how much battery life is left in each earbud. The lack of a charging case is the Bragi’s Achilles’ heel, but the six-hour single-charge battery life is impressive. Audio Transparency is useful for hearing someone talk without removing the earbuds – it works brilliantly. Knowles’ digital MEMS microphones work well in noisy traffic and wind, while noise isolation does a great job of shutting out ambient sound. The Headphones are water-resistant, so they’re fine for the gym. 6 8 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

Using the well-designed smartphone app, you can control the Earin M-1s’ left/right balance, activate Bass Boost and check the battery levels

stay in control which of these wireless in-ears are easiest to use on the move? With built-in optical sensors, accelerometers and the custom W1 chip, the AirPods are the smartest of the bunch, integrating seamlessly with an iPhone.

Pull them out and the music pauses; put them back in and it restarts. Summon Siri with a double tap, and the supersensitive microphones relay your voice commands clearly.

Apple’s two rivals can’t hold a candle to this level of control – Bragi’s The Headphone’s three tiny buttons offer neat tricks like Audio Transparency (which lets external noise through), but they’re fiddly to use, while the Earin M-1s lack controls of any sort, forcing you to pull out your phone.

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State of the Art

wireless earphones APPLE AiRPodS

BRAGi THE HEAdPHonE

The AirPods’ custom-designed w1 chip offers seamless Siri interaction, and manages battery life to provide five hours of playback from a single charge

The Headphones come equipped with knowles’ versant advanced voice technology, which enables you to take calls in heavy wind or noisy traffic

you don’t need to manually pair your iPhone with the AirPods – just hold the charging case near the phone and a dialogue box will appear

Tiny buttons on the right earbud enable you to control volume, skip tracks, take calls or activate Audio Transparency. They’re fiddly but useful

Juice me up battery life is crucial for wireless earphones – which have the most stamina? The Bragi Headphones offer the longest battery life from a single charge (a very useful six hours), but because the carry case doesn’t recharge the batteries (missing a trick

in our opinion), it’s game over when the power runs out. In contrast, the Earin M-1s give you a measly three hours of playback time from a single charge, but a further three

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charges from the supplied carry case takes the total to an excellent 12 hours. But Apple wins the battery battle hands-down. Thanks to the efficient W1 chip, you get a good five-hour stretch from a single charge, and enough juice in the charging case to keep you going for 24 hours; double that of the Earin M-1s.

Test 02 winner apple airpoDs Interaction with Siri and motion sensors make the AirPods smarter than their rivals, and the case provides 24 hours of playback m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 6 9


State of the Art

test 03:

EARin M-1

PERfoRMAncE when you press play, which earphones are music to your ears?

he Earin’s two sizes of silicone tips ensure a tight fit inside the ear canal, which is crucial. They deliver tight, well-integrated bass, but the lean approach lacks the necessary depth and punch to get your head nodding. The Bass Boost mode offers an audible low-frequency bump, but feels forced. The crisp, natural treble doesn’t harden up at high volumes, while the solid mid-range gives vocals presence, but this only serves to draw attention to the lack of bass. The Bluetooth connection was troublesome, too. At first, it only played through the left earbud; when the right bud finally joined in, it intermittently dropped out. The problem is compounded when someone calls – the music stops and you have to manually sever the Bluetooth connection to speak. Not great considering they’re the priciest of our trio. The AirPods’ connection is resolutely stable, and iPhone interaction is flawless thanks to that talented W1 chip. But their sound quality

t

Earin has stripped the M-1s right down in a bid to keep weight and size to an absolute minimum, which means no microphones

Clear treble adds snap and detail to drum beats, and vocals are focused lets the side down. Because we didn’t get the snug, close-to-the-eardrum fit, they were quieter than expected and bass lacked impact, even with the iPhone at maximum volume. Push them into the ear and you get a better idea of their solid bass response and smooth treble, but they still don’t hit the spot, lacking subtlety, depth and detail. It’s a pleasant sound, but unlikely to send shivers down audiophile spines. As for the Bragis, it took a little while for the left bud to join in the party, but once connected The Headphones deliver terrific balance across the bass, mids and treble. It’s a more satisfying listen than both the AirPods and M-1s, with a louder, beefier sound. The secure ear tips keep the bass frequencies nice and full. Clear treble reproduction adds snap and detail to drum beats, while vocals are focused. Such pleasing richness and detail to the sound make them best in test performance-wise but, even so, they lack the outright depth and finesse that separates good earphones from great ones. 70 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

how low can you Go? Do these wireless in-ear ’phones boast enough bass punch to get your feet tapping? Bass performance makes or breaks a pair of earphones, and none of these three blew T3 away. Best of the bunch is the Bragi Headphones, whose balanced-armature speakers

deliver the deepest, beefiest bass output and the best overall balance. The Earin M-1s should offer similar levels of depth given their tight, noiseisolating ear tips and high-

precision, balanced-armature drivers, but their lean approach left us wanting more – and Bass Boost sounds a little unnatural. The AirPods’ bass performance depends on how well they sit in your lugholes. Find a good fit and they offer a decent sense of depth; otherwise, the bass sounds thin and overall volume takes a hit.

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State of the Art

wireless earphones APPLE AiRPodS

Apple AirPods only come in one size, so if they don’t fit your ears, you won’t get the best sound quality

FeelinG blue a stable bluetooth connection is crucial – how do these earphones measure up? Unexplained dropouts and failed connections are one of the big drawbacks of wireless in-ear ‘phones, and two of our trio prove there’s still work to do to ensure they perform

seamlessly. With our test samples, the worst offender was the Earin M-1s. Their left bud pairs with the phone then passes the signal to the right bud. However, the latter

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BRAGi THE HEAdPHonE

The Headphones come with three ear-tip sizes to give the tightest fit inside your ear canal – crucial for achieving optimum sound quality

refused to wake up for ages, and dropped out several times after finally joining in. Similar problems plagued the Bragi Headphones’ left ear bud, but to a lesser extent. The Apple AirPods were the only truly reliable performer, with both buds maintaining a stable connection throughout the duration of the test.

Test 03 winner braGi the heaDphone The Headphones offer the best sonic balance, boasting solid bass and crisp treble m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 7 1


State of the Art

The overall winner is… 1st apple airpods Price: £159 URL: apple.com T3 RATES: their seamless interaction with iphones and clever motion sensors make operation easy, as does the long battery life via the charging case. the strong, reliable bluetooth connection means no drop-outs. T3 SLATES: the bizarre longarm design won’t appeal to all, while the single size

won’t fit all ears. sound lacks bass depth and finesse. T3 SAyS: they’re not the best-sounding or bestlooking, but the airpods make up for it with slick, userfriendly features and lengthy battery life – and they’re not the most expensive either.

2nd bragi the headphone

3rd earin m-1

T3 RATES: beefy, well-balanced sound; audio transparency mode; comfy design; price. T3 SLATES: non-charging case; fiddly buttons. T3 SAyS: terrific sound let down by the case and clumsier operation than the airpods.

T3 RATES: light, comfortable design; decent smartphone app. T3 SLATES: short battery life; no microphone; underwhelming bass; pricy; connection issues. T3 SAyS: a lovely design can’t make up for the lacklustre sound and missing features.

Price: £120 URL: bragi.com

Price: £199 URL: earin.com

SiX wAyS To GET MoRE fRoM THESE wiRELESS EARPHonES 01 nicE TiPS The importance of snug-fitting ear tips can’t be overstated. You’ll only get the deepest bass and sweetest treble when the tips form a tight seal in the ear canal, which also provides excellent noise isolation. Most earphones include different sizes, but if not, you can buy universal foam or silicone tips from brands like Comply.

02 APTX BLUETooTH Because these in-ears use Bluetooth to transmit sound, the compression process involved means you’ll sacrifice sound quality. But earphones like the 7 2 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

Earin M-1s use the aptX codec to improve audio quality – although you’ll need a compatible device.

03 GET AcTivE

opt for higher-quality streams in music apps like Spotify.

05 widEn yoUR HoRizon

Music is a great motivational tool for your fitness regime, and your new-found wireless freedom makes listening in the gym a cinch. Stabilisers and water resistance also come in handy.

Instead of leaving that Barry Manilow album on repeat, why not sign up to a music-streaming service and explore new sounds? Services like Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and SoundCloud offer a treasure trove of music.

04 QUALiTy conTRoL

06 A BiT of TLc

Bluetooth puts a ceiling on sound quality, but the bit-rate of your music files still has a big bearing on performance. Rip tracks in the highest quality your storage will allow, and

Don’t be tempted to throw your earphones on the table when you get home – keep them in their carry case. Not only will they last longer, it’ll mean they’re charged next time you head out. Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


State of the Art

essential 1 Apple AirPods accessories 2

iPHonE 7

The AirPods will play music from any Bluetooth-equipped phone, but if you want automatic pairing and Siri voice interaction – made possible by the AirPods’ custom W1 chip – then you’ll need one of Apple’s latest smartphones. From £599, apple.com

Make the most of your new wireless AirPods with these excellent extras

onkyo dP-X1

Smartphones aren’t the only way to beam your tunes. This 432GB, high-res player pairs with the AirPods via Bluetooth, and handles high-res audio formats like FLAC, WAV and DSD – although you won’t get the full high-res experience over Bluetooth. £575, onkyo.com

3

SPiRE MindfULnESS And AcTiviTy TRAckER

Lie back, throw on some Enya and use your smartphone to keep tabs on your calmness level. The Spire tracker clips onto clothing and senses your respiratory patterns throughout the day, sending reminders to your phone if you become tense. £99.95, spire.io

4

TAnGRAM fAcToRy SMART RoPE LEd

01

Blast your gym playlist and work out with this hi-tech take on the skipping rope. Twenty-three LEDs connected to magnetic sensors display your fitness data in mid-air as you jump. The Smart Gym app records your calories burned and workout times. £69.95, tangramfactory.com

02

5

APPLE wATcH SERiES 2

03

04

05

As you would expect, the AirPods work with the Apple Watch, making it even easier to listen to music while you’re out running. With music and playlists downloaded onto the watch, you can leave your phone at home and enjoy total freedom. From £269, apple.com

fivE wAyS To GET EvEn MoRE oUT of yoUR AiRPodS

01 SPoTify THiS

02 GET SiRi-oUS

03 cLoUd ninE

04 PowER UP

05 Tv TiMES

Download Spotify onto your smartphone and you’ll have millions of tracks to stream to your AirPods via Bluetooth, with curated playlists that help you quickly find songs to match your mood.

Double-tap the AirPods and use iPhone’s Siri to skip tracks or adjust the volume. An accelerometer and beamforming microphones filter out background noise and focus on your voice.

The AirPods don’t only connect to your iPhone, but to every device linked to your iCloud account that runs iOS 10, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of pairing all your gizmos.

Snap the AirPods into the magnetised carry case and charge them while you’re on the move. Just 15 minutes of juice gives you an impressive three hours of listening time, depending on sound file size.

You’re not just limited to music. Try pairing the AirPods with a Bluetooth-enabled TV, and listening to your favourite shows while you move round the room – handy when the family are in bed.

74 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

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chal

The mission With the festive Quality Street eaten and the new year’s beers drunk, our man is feeling worse

76 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

The man for wear. Can he reverse the slump and feel healthier after a month using the latest fitness tech?

With his mid-30s fast approaching, Chris Barnes is up for doing whatever is necessary to fend off the

middle-aged spread before it takes hold. As long as it doesn’t mean joining one of those gym things... Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


bin The Gym?

The home workouT

llenge iS iT poSSible To diTch The Gym memberShip and inSTead kickSTarT your fiTneSS aT home wiTh The laTeST workouT Tech? our man findS ouT…

wordS

chriS barneS

phoToGraphy

joe branSTon

The tech Fitbit Charge 2 £129.99, fitbit.com TRX Home Gym £141, trxtraining.co.uk

Tangram Smart Jump Rope £69.95, tangramfactory.com Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine £860, amazon.co.uk

Beast Sensor $249 (£202), thisisbeast.com Moov Now £59.99, welcome.moov.cc

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

Bose SoundSport £139.95, bose.co.uk dhb Run Hoodie £30, wiggle.co.uk iPhone 7 from £599, apple.com

New Balance Vazee Pace 2 £80, newbalance.co.uk


it’s happened. for the first time in my life, i have a love handle. or the start of one. either way, i don’t want it to get bigger. ok, so i went overboard at christmas, but who doesn’t? anyway, it’s february and my resolution to hit the gym has flatlined. i feel sluggish and my clothes are tight. it’s time to act. Trouble is, my local gym is always rammed. Considering how it’s a bit spit-and-sawdust, the £40-per-month fee seems rather steep. On the walk back home, mulling over whether I really want to shell out hundreds of pounds a year to pump iron in a room that reeks of armpits, I remember something: I’m a tech journalist! Surely, there are umpteen gadgets to help me shape up at home? So, with the help of T3, I’ve set myself a challenge: to feel leaner, stronger and healthier in one month using some of the latest home fitness tech. Cue the training-montage music!

Week one: the hurt locker My challenge begins with a full-body cardio workout aboard the enormous Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine. I strap on a Fitbit Charge 2 to take advantage of its Pure Pulse heart-rate monitoring, and dip my virtual paddle in the water. The Model D’s backlit Performance Monitor

“bring it on, balboa!”

gives me workout options ranging from free rowing to targeted training. Feeling cautious, I opt for a 3km row. After 1km, I’m buzzing and can feel the rust flaking off my underused joints. A glance at the Fitbit reveals that my heart rate has jumped to 134bpm. Feeling saucy, I notch up another kilometre on this epic machine before crawling to the sofa in a sweaty heap. It’s 8am on day two, and I’m running laps in the park, tracking pace, calories burned and distance covered with the Fitbit Charge 2. SmartTrack auto exercise

recognition means that I didn’t have to fiddle around with modes beforehand. The OLED display is easy to read in daylight, too, and at the end of the run I’m rewarded with a personalised cardio score. When I get home, surprisingly, I’ve got energy to burn, so I opt for a bodyweight training session with the TRX Home Gym. It’s essentially a set of adjustable straps. And they look a bit, well, bondage. When I start hooking them over the

fiT kiT Feel the burn with these

six home-workout essentials

1

fiTbiT charGe 2

Whether you’re a HIIT freak or a pavement pounder, the Fitbit Charge 2 will log everything from heart rate to calorie burn and exercise duration. 24-hour tracking keeps an eye on your overall activity, and the Fitbit app displays your health stats in glorious detail. £129.99, fitbit.com

7 8 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

2

TrX home Gym This portable gym enables you to perform bodyweight workouts on the go; all you need is a door or anything that’ll take your weight. Download bespoke training sessions to the app or choose from dozens of exercises to build your own program. £141, trxtraining.co.uk

3

TanGram SmarT jump rope

The Bluetoothconnected Smart Jump Rope takes skipping to a new level. A smooth ball-bearing design eliminates tangling, and stats are beamed to the Smart Gym Pro app, with skip count also displayed in mid-air via the rope’s built-in LED. £69.95, tangramfactory.com

4

concepT2 model d rowinG machine

If you’re going to invest in exercise equipment, what better than gear endorsed by Olympic athletes? The sturdy, 227kg Concept2 rower delivers a satisfying full-body cardio workout, and the LED, backlit Performance Monitor displays real-time data to power you through. £860, amazon.co.uk

5

6

beaST SenSor

moov now

If you want to progress as a weightlifter, performance analysis is essential. The Beast Sensor monitors every curl, squat and press, feeding back velocity, speed and strength data to the app, enabling you to assess and build on each workout. $249 (£202), thisisbeast.com

The waterproof Moov Now fitness band and Smart Coach app work like a personal trainer. During each of the app’s preloaded workouts, the wearable tracks form and motion via nine sensors, telling you when you’re not moving effectively and encouraging you when you are. £59.99, welcome.moov.cc

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ThiS paGe “now i know why Steve redgrave was given all those medals!”

feelinG cauTiouS, i SeTTle on a ‘GenTle’ 3km row. afTer The firST 1km, i’m buzzinG and can feel The ruST flakinG off my underuSed joinTS. wow!

The beast Sensor is an essential accessory for serious weight-lifters

need encouragement during that aerobic exercise? The moov now is the one for you

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The fitbit charge 2 tracks you 24/7 – yep, even when you’re down the pub

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Skipping is a great way to lose weight – and i’m not talking about skipping meals!

Snazzy new balance trainers? check. fitbit charge 2? check. motivation? er, not so much

Getting the latest fitness tech is only part of the job – you also need an ice-cold stare

his workout was put on hold for a few minutes while he caught the end of the eastenders omnibus

bedroom door, my wife looks at the straps, then does a runner. Was it something I said? The TRX Home Gym is simple to use: fix the anchor over the hinge side of a door (or a tree branch if you’re outside), close the door and get training. The adjustable straps enable users to execute a variety of bodyweight moves, guided by video workouts on TRX’s companion app. Aside from the app’s six free workouts, the TRX store offers many other paid-for workouts tailored to specific fitness goals. 8 0 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

Feeling cocky, I choose Military Fitness (£4.95). Big. Mistake. After 30 minutes of hellish single-leg squats and pull-ups on the sex swing – er, I mean the TRX Home Gym – I was 50 shades of shattered. This is a phenomenal piece of kit that could whip anyone into shape. Day three brings pain in body parts I didn’t know I had, so I rest up and begin regretting taking on this challenge. Thankfully, after a good night’s sleep I’m ready to move on. I pack in a 5km

row before breakfast, and schedule another TRX total body workout for tomorrow morning. Let’s have it!

Weeks tWo and three: simply the beast I’m really feeling the benefits of regular exercise now, but repetition in the workouts is grinding. It’s time to shake things up with weight training, and the Beast Sensor is just the tech to help in this area. The sensor, coupled with the

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NEVER MISS

SuBSCRIBE TODAy! P62

Beast Strength app, monitors weightlifting performance to maximise the effectiveness of each rep. Three accelerometers, three gyroscopes and three compasses feed back data to the app about rep speed, velocity and strength. Apart from the lurid colour, I hardly notice the Beast on my wrist. I’ve always enjoyed lifting weights, but the detailed feedback from the Beast is making me love this form of exercise. Via the app, I can see that I’m improving each session. I’m not Hugh Jackman-buff yet, but tickets to this gun show are selling nicely. HIIT is next. Designed to pack intensive exercises into a short period of time to burn maximum fat, HIIT could be the the perfect solution for time-poor gymophobes like me. Good form is key to maximising the benefits of exercise, but how do you maintain form without a personal trainer? Enter the Moov Now. This affordable fitness tracker attaches to the wrist or ankle, and utilises 9-axis sensors to analyse movement during any of the Moov Now app’s preloaded workouts – think shadow boxing and more. Apparently, it’ll coach me in real time. Let’s see if it actually works... I prepare for my first round of jumping jacks with a robotic trainer explaining the move, her words coming at me through a pair of gorgeous, sweatproof Bose SoundSport earphones. During the workout, feedback keeps my form in check. My first HIIT session with the Moov Now lasts just seven minutes, but by the time the last stomach crunch comes round, I’m spent.

Week 4: the final push

five minuTeS bouncinG around wiTh ThiS ThinG and i’m ready To STranGle Someone. buT The SadiST in me now reacheS for The rope each Time i wanT an enerGy fiX for this feature, chris wore a Saucony nomad running jacket (£81.90, www.jogging-point.co.uk), a dhb run hoodie (£30, www.wiggle. co.uk), an odlo raptor running Shirt (£40, www.odlo.com/uk), new balance vazee pace v2 trainers (£100), a max Speed Short Sleeve Top (£30), and Sport Style pants (£60), all www.newbalance.co.uk

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Jump rope is used by boxers to build stamina. I could use some of that, so I jump at the chance of trying out the Tangram Smart Jump Rope. It tracks the duration and number of skips in each session, beaming data to the Tangram app and displaying skip count on an LED strip built into the rope. Five minutes bouncing around with this thing and I’m ready to strangle someone. It’s hard. But the sadist in me now reaches for the rope each time I want an energy fix. While my six-pack is still a few (thousand) sit-ups down the road, this gorge of tech has helped me enjoy exercise again. My clothes feel looser and my energy is up. Best of all? The majority of this tech can be bought for the average cost of a one-year gym membership. I’m not encouraging you to ditch the gym, it’s just not for me. Thankfully, with fitness tech as accessible and portable as it now is, I can work out anywhere, any time. Right, I’m off for a skip in the park. Thanks to Argos for supplying us with the Pro Fitness Cast Barbell Dumbbell Set (£64.99, www.argos.co.uk) neXT monTh Can our man recreate the cinema experience in his own home?

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eaT c-Major • Elipson oMEGA 100 RiAA BT • reGa PLanar 3 • pRo-JEcT EssEnTiAl ii UsB

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inyl

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WITH VInyL oUTSeLLInG DIGITaL MUSIc For THe FIrST TIMe eVer, IT’S TIMe To GeT yoUrSeLF a ToP-noTcH TUrnTabLe. Here are FoUr oF THe beST…

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PHoToGrAPHY oLLy cUrTIS

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words rob carney


noW PLayInG: THe eaGLeS, HoTeL caLIFornIa LIVe

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The c-Major is eaT’s cheapest turntable, but it still looks super-stylish

EAT C-Major The C-Major is the latest deck from EAT (European Audio Team), and is also the company’s least costly design at £1,995 (including the matching C-Note tonearm). It follows in the footsteps of the company’s widely acclaimed C-Sharp deck (£2,500), but at a price that vinyl newbies won’t scoff at (too much, at least). It features a high-mass aluminium platter and a sub-chassis constructed from a sandwich of carbon fibre and MDF.

8 4 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

oNE For THE AUdIoPHILE

The sub-chassis is separated from the main chassis via thermoplastic elastomer columns to isolate from vibration, and the tonearm tube is also fashioned from carbon fibre for its rigidity and excellent strength-to-weight ratio. EAT manufacturers in the same factory as Pro-Ject (see opposite), which happens to be the world’s largest specialist turntable manufacturer. £1,995, absolutesounds.com

WHy I LoVe HoTeL caLIFornIa

rob carney, eDITor

In my mind, there’s no better album to test a turntable. The title track is multi-layered, has an amazing vocal and contains one of the best guitar solos ever. I find it impossible not to get the air guitar out!

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noW PLayInG: MIcHaeL jackSon, oFF THe WaLL

also rip your vinyl to digital files, archiving your collection at up to 24-bit/48kHz (so you can listen to it on the go on a portable player, for instance). But that’s just half the story – the Omega is a fine deck in its own right, and comes with the excellent Ortofon OM10 cartridge. It also looks the part with a high-gloss, acrylic-lacquer finish. What’s more, it’s a great-priced deck to get started with. £500, elipson.com/en

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

a

viv

Here’s something a bit different. The Elipson Omega 100 RIAA BT (yes, we know that’s a mouthful) is the world’s first Bluetooth turntable, meaning it can transmit your vinyl over the air to your Bluetooth-enabled speakers or amp. Elipson says it’ll work within a ten-metre range, and that it’s aptX (which will give you a sound closer to wired than standard Bluetooth. Cool, huh?). And not only that, thanks to the USB output, you can

inyl

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Elipson 100 RIAA BT

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It’s hard to believe, but this is the world’s first bluetooth turntable

oNE For THE TEcH-HEAd

WHy I LoVe oFF THe WaLL

cLaIre DaVIeS, aSSISTanT eDITor

off The Wall marked a shift in Mj’s musical direction, from the r&b/soul of Motown to the seduction of disco. I love this because it shows his tenacity; people said disco was dead, but he went there anyway.

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noW PLayInG: ThE BEATlEs, 1967–1970

Few hi-fi components have lived longer or exerted greater influence than Rega’s Planar 3 turntable. Its absolute simplicity helped inspire the ‘back to basics’ movement that rejected the complexities of much imported hi-fi, thus re-establishing the specialist British hi-fi industry that thrives today. The Planar 3 has undergone many changes over time, but the 2016 version is the best yet, offering remarkable value for money in an iconic design.

8 6 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

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Rega Planar 3

inyl

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The Planar 3’s iconic design has been tweaked to bring it up to date, and it’s a beauty

oNE For THE sTYLIsH LIsTENEr

What’s so good about it? Well, it’s incredibly lightweight for a start, and the beautiful acrylic-laminated plinth has been strengthened using a new, improved double-brace system. “This rigid plinth design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonance, which will add unnatural distortions to music,” says Rega. You get the RB330 tonearm, which is the result of Rega’s 35 years in the business. £550, rega.com

WHy I LoVe 1967-1970

PaUL DIMery, ProDUcTIon eDITor

Vinyl’s golden era began in the midSixties, just as The beatles were hitting their stride. This excellent compilation captures them at their inspired, psychedelic best. a frankly matchless collection.

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If you like your audio minimalist, then the essential II USb is the one for you

viv

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noW PLayInG: BoB dylAn, hiGhwAy 61 REvisiTEd

Pro-Ject Essential II USB

oNE For THE BUdGET-coNscIoUs

Pro-Ject is a huge name in turntables, and its Essential line looks to bring the company’s renowned quality at a great price – under £300, in fact. The Essential II Phono USB (to give it its full name) is about as minimal as it gets, but is stylish at the same time – featuring a no-frills yet sturdy plinth and a premounted Ortofon OM 5E cartridge. It’s also a lot quieter than the previous iteration, thanks to the low-vibration motor.

And there’s something else, of course, the clue being in the name. As well as having an RCA connection, the turntable will plug into your Mac or PC to enable you to rip your vinyl to digital files. And what’s more, you can output to RCA and USB simultaneously (so you can listen to your vinyl as you rip it). It may not have the bells and whistles of others, but it’s a great starter choice. £285, project-audio.com

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WHy I LoVe hiGhwAy 61

nIck oDanTZIS, DePUTy eDITor

Dylan’s sixth album is, for me, his best. It kicks off with the majestic Like a rolling Stone, and features my favourite Dylan tune, ballad of a Thin Man (which could’ve been written about me!).

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macOS

Sierra is here... iOS10 Essential advice in every issue

LET THE EXPERTS AT MACFORMAT BE YOUR GUIDES TO APPLE’S POWERFUL NEW OS

Av a i l a b l e f ro m w w w. m a c fo r m a t . c o m


issue 266 / marcH 17

reviewed in depTH THis mOnTH... 90 leica tl 94 amazon echo vs google home 95 yuneec breeze 96 Oneplus 3t 96 tp-link wi-fi smart plug 98 apps 100 slow juicers

Leica boss

wicked style meets powerful photographic cabilities p90

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

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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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Review

baCK TO baSiCS Leica has largely eschewed physical controls in aiming for a minimalist, futuristic design. what buttons there are have mostly been recessed into the bodywork, where a built-in flash also hides

Shoots to thrill

LiFESTyLE aCCESSOry Or PhOTOgraPhiC TOOL? ThE LEiCa TL SEEmiNgLy OFFErS ThE bEST OF bOTh wOrLdS – dESigN TO diE FOr, aNd imagES SO SharP yOu COuLd CuT yOurSELF ou might have stared at a shiny Leica in a glass case at Harrods, or pressed yourself up against the window of Leica’s flagship Mayfair store. Its red-logo’d cameras are handcrafted objects of desire and, as a result, scarcely affordable. Think of them as the Maseratis of the camera world… as much luxury lifestyle gadgets as photographic tools. The TL, fashioned from a single block of aluminium for a sleek, ultraminimalist exterior, is one of Leica’s less-expensive interchangeable lens offerings, at a ‘mere’ £1,450 (body only). The pitch is that here is photography reduced to the essentials, and physical controls are largely eschewed. Frustratingly, the TL doesn’t have an eye-level viewfinder for those who like to compose their shots with the camera held at head height – a clip-on Visoflex viewfinder will set you back an extra £360 – but it does feature a 3.7-inch touchscreen.

Y

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Leica sent us two lenses to try out with our silver review sample: an ultra-fast/bright 23mm f/1.2 for wide-angle shooting and shallowdepth-of-field focusing, plus an 1856mm f/3.5-5.6mm zoom as a jack-ofall-trades. Alternative body colours are black or bevelled-edge titanium. The TL is similar in length to a smartphone, though obviously wider. However, we were able to fit the TL with a 23mm lens into a winter-jacket pocket.

Big sensor, Big storage At the heart of the camera is an APS-Csized sensor of the same dimensions as those found in most consumer digital SLRs. Some may groan that we don’t get an even larger full-frame chip – ie equivalent in size to an old frame of 35mm film – as found in more professional models, but we’d argue that users of the TL are more likely to be amateur enthusiasts than pros. The Leica’s sensor is twinned with a Leica L lens mount, enabling the

abOvE Only two buttons protrude to mar the body’s elegant, streamlined aesthetic

camera to be used with six directly compatible TL lenses – three standard or ‘prime’ lenses, plus three zooms – plus Leica SL optics thanks to the shared L mount, and further M- and R-series lenses via an adapter. Unusually, the TL mirrors tablets and smartphones by featuring 32GB of built-in storage sufficient for up to 1,000 shots – rare for digital cameras, which instead rely on their users slotting in a memory card. Here, SD/ SDHC/SDXC cards can supplement the internal cache. Delve into the backscreen menus, each option presented via a virtual button, and we discover the camera is Wi-Fi-equipped, Leica providing an app for both iOS

SPECiFiCaTiONS PriCE £1,450 urL www.leica-camera.com rESOLuTiON 16 megapixels SCrEEN 3.7-inch LCD LENS mOuNT Leica L mEmOry 32MB internal cache, optional SD/SDHC cards CONNECTiviTy wi-Fi, USB, HDMi wEighT 384g dimENSiONS 134 x 69 x 33mm get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


Select LeiCA TL

There’s 32GB of built-in storage, enabling you to cache up to 1,000 shots NiCK OdaNTziS, dEPuTy EdiTOr

big-SCrEEN drEam A 3.7-inch touchscreen LCD swallows up the real estate on the camera back, its large dimensions not only good for composing and reviewing shots but selecting key functions

LEiCa L mOuNT it’s directly compatible with six TL lenses, plus Leica SL optics thanks to the shared L mount

aLumiNium gOES miNimum The TL has been milled from a single block of aluminium, ensuring it’s free of screw holes as well as being sleek and lightweight get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


Review

an aPS-C sensor delivers razor-sharp images

aluminium build makes the TL light yet strong

heavy reliance on the on-screen menus

and Android users that enables a smartphone to be repurposed as a remote control/remote viewfinder.

Plentiful oPtions Physical controls have been kept to a minimum to maintain the TL’s sleek appearance. The few that do feature work hard; for example, the on/off switch also houses the shutter-release button at its centre, and provides the means of raising the pop-up flash. This is a Leica, however, so as a nod to its rangefinder cameras we also get two thumb-operated control wheels positioned flush with the top plate. These enable on-screen options to be scrolled through as a tactile alternative to swiping a finger across its bright and clear LCD, which is so life-like that we forgot we missed an eyelevel viewfinder after a short while.

abOvE The large APS-C sensor and top-quality lens options ensure photos and video are detailed

To the right of the shutter release is a dedicated video-record button. Press this and the screen view immediately contracts to display 16:9 format, and recording starts. You can select up to 1920 x 1080 Full HD clips at 30fps. While some competitors additionally offer 4K video in this price bracket, that’s not the case here. Still, each control – whether virtual or actual – is as blink-and-you’ll-missit responsive as we’d expect to find on a full-blown DSLR, so it’s not like we’re waiting for the camera to catch up with our selections. Half-squeeze the shutter-release button and autofocus isn’t quite as rapid for busier scenes, though, the screen visibly adjusting before our eyes, and the small, square focus indicator changing from turquoise or red to green to let us know focus has been determined.

Due to the Leica’s smooth metal surface, there’s not a lot to get a firm grip on. There’s merely a gentle curve to the body, so we found ourselves holding it with both hands to line up and steady our shots. We’d wager the leather body case that Leica makes to house the TL at £105 might be worth additional investment, to give additional finger purchase. There’s a screw hole for a tripod at the base. What we’re also missing, rather inexplicably, is a dedicated review button. In lieu of this, captured images are retrieved from memory by swiping the finger either upwards or downwards across the camera’s LCD screen. The most recent stored images then pop up on the rear monitor. While this works alright, we found the process more of a fiddle than simply having a physical playback button,

The alternatives FujiFiLm X-PrO2 Like the Leica, this rock-solid, retrostyled camera features an APS-C sensor, but it offers a higher 24.3MP resolution. Build quality is impressive, as is its consistency of output, making it the one to beat. £1,349, www.fujifilm.co.uk 9 2 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

OLymPuS E-m1 marK ii Olympus’s 20MP, Four Thirds sensor range-topper isn’t cheap, but it comes with an integral electronic viewfinder and a 50MP high-res mode. It’s also dust-, splash- and freeze-proof. £1,849, www.olympus.co.uk

SONy a6500 Like the Leica and the Olympus, the robust-feeling A6500 is its maker’s newest system camera. It incorporates an APS-C sensor boasting 24.2MP, while its 2.4-million-dot electronic viewfinder is awesome. £1,499, www.sony.co.uk

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POwEriNg ThrOugh The rechargeable lithium battery has enough juice for up to 400 shots or 160 minutes of video – a respectable performance in its compact system camera class

Due to its smooth metal surface, there’s not a lot to get a firm grip on NiCK OdaNTziS, dEPuTy EdiTOr

and had to delve into the manual to discover the feature in the first place. A mains charger for the lithium-ion battery provided is included in the box, though the battery can also be replenished if left in the camera via a USB lead. A maximum of 400 photos can be captured before the TL needs recharging, which is very fair for this class of camera.

a la mode… The Leica’s shooting modes are also selected via the on-screen buttons rather than a dedicated physical dial. Here we get the familiar options of Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual shooting, with the fully automatic shooting option hidden within a ‘scene modes’ subfolder. This includes pre-optimised settings for night portraits, fireworks and snow – all tricky for the average digital camera to capture. If you want to use the camera’s built-in flash, even if you’ve raised it, you first have to delve into the on-screen menus to enable it, as well as select options such as redeye reduction to prevent glowing devil peepers. Because there aren’t obviously marked external buttons, the more you play with the TL, the more you discover, including a familiar nine-zone compositional grid overlay to help newbies produce better shots

by placing points of interest where the lines intersect. Another handy feature is a live histogram, which details areas of brightness in an image, and enables you to check at a glance whether your shot is evenly exposed or not. While Leica’s rival Fujifilm offers Film Simulation modes on its ‘X’ series cameras that act as a call-back to its analogue heritage, Leica has given this idea its own spin and named them ‘Film’ modes. The regular default option is Standard, and you also, unsurprisingly, get Vivid, Natural, B&W Natural plus B&W High Contrast. Sub-options include the ability to adjust contrast, sharpness and saturation for each of the above settings. We found the Leica often under-saturated its JPEG images, so Vivid is a useful option to add punch to shots straight out of the camera. Alternatively, there’s the option to shoot Leica DNG files – its version of RAW – which act as an unadulterated digital negative, if you like. They can be opened by many more software programs, and provide a high-res file that can later be tweaked to your heart’s content in Photoshop, or processing package of your choice. Generally, we found that the Leica TL delivered bags of detail. Lightening shadows to bring more detail out of the shade was possible without

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abOvE Just under £1,500 for a TL isn’t cheap, but it’s actually one of the most affordable Leicas out there

introducing grain/image noise, which suggests that sensor and lens are working well in tandem. So is the TL worth you spending your money on? Well, if you’ve convinced yourself that one day you might own an interchangeable-lens Leica, now may be the time to pounce. If you’d prefer more traditional styling and handling, however, you might first want to take a gander at similarly priced rivals in the Sony A6500, the Olympus E-M1 Mark II or the Fujifilm X-Pro2, all of which also allow lenses and accessories to be swapped and produce results that will satisfy the fussiest of camera geeks. At the end of the day, though, they’re not a Leica.

T3 raTES Solidly built cameracum-lifestyle accessory; large sensor; luxury feel. T3 SLaTES Lack of physical buttons occasionally hampers usability; there’s no built-in eye-level viewfinder. T3 SayS if you’ve long lusted after a Leica, this could well be your jumping-on point. it’s not perfect, but which of us are?

m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 9 3


VO I C E- C O N T R O L I N T h E h O m E

amazon echo

vs

Just say ‘alexa’ anD yOu’ll be able tO access a whOle lOaD OF services

google home gOOgle’s echO-cOmpetitOr brings a whOle new wOrlD OF vOice search intO yOur hOme

£150, w w w.a m azOn.cO.uk

$130 (£100), m aDeby.gOOgle.cOm

Design

Design

The Echo comes in white or black, and is a tall, cylindrical device. It’s sleek and well-designed, arguably looking better on a kitchen worktop than on a bookshelf in the living room. You wouldn’t call it a looker, but it’s by no means ugly.

Features

Features

The Echo is full of features from unboxing. After set-up via the app, you can quickly listen to any station on TuneIn, or anything on Spotify or Amazon Music. You can ask it to play a genre, artist or song. You can also get quick news briefings.

sOunD

usability

For such a diminutive device, Google Home doesn’t sound bad at all. It doesn’t have the power of the Echo – so can seem a little wimpy in comparison. We imagine you’ll want to pair it up with a Chromecast-enabled speaker.

usability

You can add ‘skills’ to the Echo via the Alexa iOS or Android app – meaning you can control your smarthome devices and even add quizzes and random fact services. You can change the ‘summon’ word from ‘Alexa’ to ‘Echo’, ‘Amazon’ or ‘Computer’.

9 4 T3 M A R C H 2 0 1 7

Google Home is much more about search than the Echo – you can ask it anything and you’ll get an answer straight from Google. You can also play music from Spotify and Google Play, and control a limited amount of smart-home devices.

sOunD

The speaker on the Echo is surprisingly good for such a compact device. It’ll easily fill a small room with sound, and bass is refined. For a kitchen speaker, it’s better than your average Bluetooth offering – you won’t be disappointed.

RaTeS It looks good, sounds fantastic and can control a wide range of smart-home devices. SlaTeS It can come a cropper when asked more random questions – something Google Home does brilliantly.

It looks a bit like a posh air freshener or a small vase, but it’s compact (much more compact than the Echo) and customisable (you can buy different-coloured speaker grilles to match your home décor). It suits a bookshelf nicely.

1st

Set-up is easy using the Google Home app, and in use it’s simply a matter of saying ‘OK Google’ and then your request or question. You can’t change this – it does, if we’re honest, feel a little less personal than the Echo’s ‘Alexa’ command.

2nd

RaTeS Amazing search functionality – as you’d expect from Google. You can ask it anything and it’ll answer! SlaTeS Sound isn’t brilliant, and at the moment it can only control a fraction of the smart-home devices the Echo can.

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


Review

Yuneec Breeze iS yuneec’S neweST 4K flyinG cameRa aS eaSy TO uSe aS The name SuGGeSTS? £449, yuneec.uk utside the world of topend consumer drones like DJI’s Phantom range, there’s an emerging trend of lifestyle and fun-focused personal flying cameras, designed to capture those extreme selfies and life-affirming moments as they happen. The collapsible design and minimal 385g weight of Yuneec’s Breeze make it a take-anywhere aerial accessory, and the ability to share your shots direct to socials from the Breeze Cam app makes it the serial selfie-snapper’s dream. The supplied 1,150mAh battery takes just 40 minutes to charge, but the average 11 minutes of airtime between charges was barely enough to get our shots in the bag, let alone give us the scope for multiple uses through the day – spare batteries are a must. (Parrot’s similarly priced Bebop 2 shoots Full HD rather than 4K, but delivers a credible 25 minutes of flight per charge.)

O

Control is via the Breeze Cam app (iOS or Android), which connects to the drone’s own Wi-Fi network. Firmware updates are handled in-app, and take-off and landing are automated. Pilot mode gives the option of manual flight, using onscreen or accelerometer/tilt controls. Reactions are precise and smooth, but we’d still opt for physical control sticks any day of the week. The autonomous features are the real headline grabbers if you want to take your selfies up a notch, and the app guides you through each mode clearly. Selfie mode is exactly what it suggests – position the drone using on-screen sliders for altitude, distance and camera angle, and tap the screen to take a snap or shoot a video. In Orbit mode, the drone flies in a circle, using the controller as the focal point. Again, distance and height can be set within the app. The Breeze sailed through our Orbit testing, and produced some

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aBOVe Getting airborne only takes seconds, so you’ll never miss an opportunity to snap an aerial selfie aBOVe RiGhT The lightweight, collapsible design makes the Breeze ideal for documenting life on the go

surprisingly slick footage. Follow Me mode tracks the subject holding the controller via GPS. Accuracy is spot-on at a slow pace, but anything faster than a brisk walk and the Breeze struggled to keep up. With a top speed of just 5m/s, the Breeze never feels out of control. GPS antenna, and optical and infrared ground sensors keep its position in the air, but turbulence did unsettle the tiny drone at altitude. Wi-Fi suffered beyond 30m, but built-in contingency flew the Breeze back towards the take-off point until signal was regained – a nice touch. What about the camera? It’s not a premium shooter by any means, but our 4K footage was impressive for the price, although a lack of active image stabilisation produced some distracting image judder. Dropping down to Full HD engages image stabilisation, which considerably improved the smoothness of our footage – it’s certainly Insta-worthy. The purpose of these auto drones is to make taking footage for your socials easy and fun. If you want a slick gadget to bust out on family outings, then give the Breeze a shot – just don’t forget spare batteries.

T3 RaTeS Small footprint and weight; app is simple and clear. T3 SlaTeS Short battery life; no image stabilisation at 4K means footage suffers; unreliable wi-Fi signal. T3 SayS Battery life aside, the Breeze is a capable and portable point-and-shoot drone that will supercharge your lacklustre selfies and deliver a whole new perspective on your adventures.

m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 9 5


Reviews

TP-Link HS110 STop TurninG off your leccy ThinGS wiTh a finGer - ThiS SmarT pluG will do iT, and more £34.99, uk.tp-link.com utwardly, the TP-Link Wi-Fi SmartPLug looks identical to the older model, the HS100, but it adds energy-monitoring to the mix, enabling you to view the power consumption, and work out the cost, of any lights or gadgets attached to it. With the companion Kasa app installed, it takes just a couple of minutes to add new devices – a smart plug, in this case. There’s plenty of Wi-Fi range in the HS110, so you can pop it almost anywhere around the home and maintain a connection with your router. As with most other smart plugs, the HS110 enables you to turn on and turn off anything plugged into it, no matter where you are in the world. You can do this manually or automate it. There’s no geo-location wizardry here, but setting up individual schedules is easy to do, helped out by the fast, easy-to-navigate app. There’s also a Scenes facility, which lets you apply pre-set actions with a single tap, such as a Good Morning scene,

O

OnePlus 3T The onepluS 3 haS been Given a new leaSe of life, buT iS iT a worThy upGrade? From £399.99, oneplus.net/uk hink of a flagship phone with a big screen, and you’ll probably conjure up images of an iPhone 7 Plus. The OnePlus 3T? Not so much. But that’s a shame because this is a high-end handset without the extreme cost of the more well-known brands. Exclusive to 02, the 3T is an upgrade on last year’s OnePlus 3, addressing some of that phone’s shortcomings, with improved battery life and faster performance. But should existing OnePlus 3 owners upgrade? Let’s find out… The OnePlus 3T retains the same design, which we liked, but adds a new colour variant to the 64GB model, so you can now choose gunmetal in addition to silver and gold. It looks and feels premium, as it did before, so you won’t feel out of place when you’re on the train or at a meeting. The massive and bright 5.5inch AMOLED screen is also unchanged, but that’s a good thing as it really stands out. The 16MP rear snapper is identical, but the front-facing camera has been upgraded to a 16MP

T

9 6 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

camera – identical in pixels, and a worthwhile boost over the original’s 8MP snapper. The main improvement in the 3T is found inside the handset. It sports the latest Qualcomm chipset – the Snapdragon 821, with 6GB of RAM for a level of performance that can topple even the best handsets out there. You can throw anything at this phone and it’ll lap it up. Elsewhere, the 3T has a bigger 3,400mAh battery (compared to 3,000mAh), so now you genuinely get a day’s use out of a single charge. The only downside is the 3T is slightly more expensive than the original, though you still get a hell of a lot for your money.

to multiple plugs. The nice thing about these one-button actions is that you can quickly make changes to all your plugs without fiddling with each one. The energy-monitoring facility gives you up to 30 days of energy-usage data – however, there’s no cost estimation, so you’ll have to calculate this yourself based on your electricity plan. The neat thing about the HS110, though, is Alexa integration; with the Kasa skill added to your Echo, you can command your plug with just the power of your voice. To top it all off, the HS110 is under £35, so you can deck out your entire home for less!

T3 SayS with energymonitoring and a multitude of ways of controlling this smart plug, including Alexa voice control, you’ll be able to quickly and easily start up your smart home.

T3 SayS The OnePlus 3T improves upon the original handset, making it a top choice for those wanting a flagship phone for less. But if you already own the 3, we wouldn’t bother swapping.

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


win!

oNe oF Five Tp-liNK smarT-home upgraDe KiTs

Kickstart your smart home with this trio of connected upgrades Within the last year, the smart-home scene has blown up – but if you’ve not yet jumped on the bandwagon, fret not, because we’ve got a gaggle of connected gadgets to give away to five lucky readers, courtesy of TP-Link. The kit starts with a Tp-link re305 aC1200 Wi-Fi range extender, which will boost wireless signal to all those hard-to-reach areas in your home, guaranteeing that all your connected gadgets will work wherever you put them. Next up is the Tp-link lB130 smart Wi-Fi leD bulb with Colour Changing hue, which, when plugged into a light fixture such as a table

lamp, enables you to control your lighting via your phone or tablet over Wi-Fi. With a tap of your screen, you can change colour (up to 16 million of them), and adjust brightness and softness. The final piece of the puzzle is the Tp-link Wi-Fi smart plug hs100, which enables you to take control of your electricals, so you can turn them on remotely and schedule their use. Both the bulb and smart plug have alexa voice control built in, so if you have an amazon echo you can use your voice to control them as well. To find out more about the Tp-link smarthome range, head over to uk.tp-link.com.

To enter, simply answer the following question: Which trio sang ‘You can’t hurrY love’? a The velveTTes B The supremes c The marveleTTes

enter today at www.t3.com/news/tplinkcomp

The competition closes 24 March 2017. By taking part, you agree to be bound by the competition rules: www.futureplc.com/competition-rules. Entries must be received by midnight on 24 March 2017 (UK time). Open to UK residents aged 18 years and over. There will be five winners, each entitled to one TP-Link smarthome upgrade bundle. The prize is non-transferable and non-refundable. There is no cash alternative.

M a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 97


super six

pulp fiction LookinG To round-ouT your dieT wiTh a daiLy juice? you’LL need a juicer, Then – and we’ve GoT Six popuLar modeLS on TeST here, ranGinG in price and Size. LeT’S GeT SqueezinG! Words: Claire Davies

BEST FOR dESign

01 One fOr big-batch Juicing

02 One fOr quiet Juicing

Juicy retreats Jr-8000s

sMeg slOw Juicer sJf01

£199.98, juicyretreats.com

£449, smeg.com

The JR-8000S may not have the pin-up looks of the Smeg or the celebrity endorsement of the Sage, but this is one mean masticating machine. Utilising JR’s Advance Squeeze Technology System, this 240W juicer crushes and squeezes foods whole – just throw and go. It’s slow and steady in use, has a wide 7.5cm chute to prevent clogging, and a reverse function is handy for recrushing particularly juicy fruits. Yes it’s heavy, and it does require extra attention during cleaning, but the JR-8000S is an exceptional machine that produces smooth, froth-free juices with little waste.

If you enjoy the ritual of juicing, Smeg’s Slow Juicer is the one for you – this quiet machine takes its sweet time! It has a more petite feed chute than we’d like, so we had to cut food into small pieces to enable it to fit. That said, this 43rpm beauty managed all fruits and veggies we fed it – the reverse function was handy for harder foods. Both juices came out velvety-smooth and bursting with flavour. There was a high yield from both, with little pulp in the Tritan collector bowl. There’s a range of accessories to enjoy, and a choice of two strainers (fine and coarse).

03 One fOr quick-hit Juicing

Masticating Juicer by philips avance cOllectiOn £250, philips.co.uk

9 8 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

There’s much debate about masticating versus centrifugal juicers. Philips uses MicroMasticating tech here, which it says opens up the cells in your food to squeeze out more nutrients. Our machine loved soft fruits but needed a more careful approach with handfuls of leaves; we used celery to ‘wash through’ debris, then used the Pre-Clean function to extract remaining juice. The feed chute is small and the power cable short, but the juices were vibrant. A drip-stop protects work surfaces, and the no-sieve design makes cleaning easy.

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62


Select

Juicers

h, juicing. While some extol its virtues, proclaiming increased vitality and a healthy gut, others dismiss it as a fad. Still, juicing is big business. And the scene

A

04 One fOr w hOle-fOOd Juicing

Zebra by ZOO slOw Juicer £399, slowjuice.co.uk

Compact and stylish, the Zebra slots into small spaces for juicing duty. This 38rpm machine with a simple on/off control will quietly crush, press, squeeze and grind, turning fruits and veg into flavoursome drinks that you can transfer to the included glass bottle to drink on the go. The texture of the juice was quite fibrous, but the yield pleasingly high. The double-mouth chute is also a winner: whole foods go through the larger chute, with the slimmer chute for smaller produce. We’d have liked a foam separator on the pouring jug. It takes its time but the results are worth the wait.

is growing, thanks to juicing advocates like Joe Cross (star of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead) and actors Owen Wilson and Gwyneth Paltrow. If you’re ready to drink your five-a-day, you’ll obviously need a juicer. T3’s been drinking our greens

for years, so we’ve used a lot of juicers, both masticating and centrifugal. Here we’ve rounded up six stunners, testing each by making one green juice (mainly veg) and one orange (mainly fruits). Time to join us in the kitchen...

05 One fOr Juicing On a budget

06 One fOr faMily-siZed Juicing

Juica cOld press Juicer by sensiOhOMe

nutri Juicer cOld frOM sage by hestOn bluMenthal

£34.99, amazon.co.uk

£179.95, johnlewis.com

If budget is your main consideration, this has you covered. The cheap and cheerful Juica Cold Press, with its fresh green accents, is pleasing to the eye and produces juice quickly. The filter on our machine let through more pulp than most other juicers on test here, leading to a more fibrous drinking texture. We also experienced a little clogging when juicing spinach and kale, but the Juica Cold Press happily chewed through carrots, ginger and oranges alike, keeping noise to a minimum. Cleaning and assembly were fool-proof.

A juicer that can handle an entire family’s juice needs? Sage steps up with its three-setting (low, high, off) juicer, packaged with a two-litre jug and an extraction system designed to source up to 70 per cent of nutrients from fruit. This easy-clean centrifugal juicer has a 1,250W motor, making quick work of food fed into its extrawide 8.5cm chute. It produced smooth, tasty drinks both times, but we had a lower yield and a higher level of waste. This (along with increased noise) is common among centrifugal juicers.

Get three issues of T3 for just £6! See p62

m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 9 9


ON SALE NOW

Your essential 180-page guide to the best films ever made www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/film


APPS S e v e n h o t A PP S f o r …

gOiNg frOm A tO Z Never get lost again, thanks to your smartphone and the internet

01

uK rOADs

Lots of features, but the main one is the zoomable map showing where the traffic hold-ups are in real time. £1.49; App Store

02

citymAppEr

Only works in London, Manchester and Birmingham, but covers departure times for all modes of transport. Free; App Store, Google Play

03 uBEr

This infamous app orders a cheap cab in minutes. Works well in main cities, but forget it elsewhere. Free; App Store, Google Play

04

trAiNliNE

The best app for live train times, station info and booking train tickets without it costing an arm and a leg. Free; App Store, Google Play

05

justpArK

Save time and money by booking your parking space via your phone; works well and operates in lots of UK cities. Free; App Store, Google Play

06 hAilO

If you’re having no luck with Uber, try this alternative for getting a taxi. Many major UK cities are supported. Free; App Store, Google Play

07 wAZE

A social driving app. Report accidents, petrol prices and speed cameras, and join a community dedicated to travel. Free; App Store, Google Play

A PP of the mon th!

Android Auto Free; Google Play

NOw EVEryBODy with AN ANDrOiD phONE cAN cONNEct it tO thEir riDE AND ENjOy AN iN-cAr-cOmputEr ExpEriENcE Android Auto used to only be an option for a limited range of cars, but thanks to Google’s latest update you can now connect your phone to any car and give yourself an on-board computer. Depending on your make of car, Android Auto connects in different ways. If you have a compatible display built in, then Android Auto will use that, but most likely you won’t so you connect over Bluetooth and it uses your smartphone’s display instead. This obviously requires some sort of holder in your car so you can access your phone.

ABOVE Ditch your satnav – thanks to Android Auto, you can use your smartphone for directions now

BOOmErANg frOm iNstAgrAm Free; App Store

mAKE ViDEOs thAt gO rOuND AND rOuND With Vine from Twitter now officially deader than a dead parrot, something needed to move into the space for creating shareable looping videos for social media, and Boomerang has stepped up to the plate, or, er, perch, nicely. Boomerang is almost celebratory in its lack of features, which makes it

Android Auto has modified all the apps to give them extra-large buttons, so you can use it easily while driving. Google Maps is the app we tended to use most, and that works flawlessly, but you can also use the music player for audiobooks, get it to read messages out loud and take calls. You’ll need an Android phone running version 5.0 or higher (that’s Lollipop, Marshmallow or Nougat in Android-speak) to run Android Auto. It’s not perfect by any means – we had issues connecting when not using Bluetooth, and we couldn’t browse our entire music library. But as with all Google products, you can expect it to be perpetually in beta, which means oddly named updates will keep raining down.

easy to use. It takes ten photos in quick succession, and turns them into an animated movie. You can save them or post them, and that’s about it! It uses Instagram for sharing your videos, obviously. The videos loop endlessly, so if you can manage to snap something like the exact moment your toddler is hilariously knocked over by your cat, you’ll be perfectly poised to go viral. Alternatively, if you’ve got an event to promote, it’s an easy way of adding a bit of fun video to your social-media post, and might attract you a few more followers.

m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 1 0 1


Coming next issue

future Publishing, Quay house, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1uA Editorial +44 (0)1225 442244 subscriptions & customEr sErvicEs +44(0)844 848 2852

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print 26,516 diGital 18,391

Jan–Dec 2015 A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations

T3 is… Editor rob carnEy rob.carney@futurenet.com dEputy Editor nick odantzis nick.odantzis@futurenet.com assistant Editor clairE daviEs claire.davies@futurenet.com production Editor paul dimEry (byE, paul!) paul.dimery@futurenet.com

issue 267 on sale

art Editor lukE o’nEill luke.oneill@futurenet.com diGital art Editor WarrEn broWn warren.brown@futurenet.com

friday 10 mar

Editor, t3.com dan GrabHam dan.grabham@futurenet.com fEaturEs Editor, t3.com robErt jonEs robert.jones@futurenet.com Editorial & art contributors Craig Stewart, Chris Barnes, Steve May, Danny Phillips, Gavin Stoker, Alex Cox, Graham Barlow, Siobhan Kelly, Sam Taylor, Sophie Spicer advErtisinG CoMMerCiAl SAleS DireCTor clarE dovE clare.dove@futurenet.com ACCounT DireCTor andrEW tilbury andrew.tilbury@futurenet.com ADverTiSinG DireCTor, TeChnoloGy ricHard HEmminGs richard.hemmings@futurenet.com heAD of STrATeGiC PArTnerShiPS clarE jonik clare.jonik@futurenet.com ACCounT DireCTor crispin mollEr crispin.moller@futurenet.com 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 matt.ellis@futurenet.com

subscriptions & back issuEs uK order line and enquiries: 0844 848 2852 overseas order line and enquiries: +44 (0)1604 251045 online enquiries: www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk email: t3@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Printed in the uK by william Gibbons on behalf of future. Distributed in the uK 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). www.futureplc.com

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All contents copyright © 2017 future Publishing limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. no part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored, transmitted or used in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. 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. if you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither future nor its employees, agents or sub-contractors shall be liable for loss or damage. we are committed to using only magazine paper that is derived from well-managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the fSC (forest Stewardship Council).

iT li ’S B ST A o CK f ! Co Th ou Pe M e r o PA Be An Pl n S n T M e. D ieS Te uA iS l S on An Ch iT ’T D , ! plus SURVIVE -20-DEGREE TEMPS nEw ElEcTRIc VEhIclES wIRElESS SPEakERS on TEST hoTTEST nEw caR TEch anD loaDS MoRE aMazInG TEch!

* All contents subject to chAnge

manaGEmEnt CreATive DireCTor: MAGAzineS aaron asadi eDiToriAl DireCTor paul nEWman GrouP ArT DireCTor GraHam dalzEll MArKeTinG DireCTor sascHa kimmEl


p112

p108 p111 p112

p109

p111

p110

Issue 266 / march 17

p106

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.

p112

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

Inside

p112 Stay up to date with the latest gadget news and reviews online at www.t3.com

104 106 106 107 107 108 108

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.

109 109 111 111 112 112 113

home audio headphones smartwatches fitness trackers connected home automotive £100 hotlist m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 1 0 3


the elite

01

03

02 04

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

W

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

01

samsung galaxy s7/s7 edge

www.samsung.com 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

02

dali katch

www.katchspeaker.com PRICE £329 TEsTEd T3 265 Denmark-based audio specialist Dali has an eye for design and has crafted one of the most stunning portable speakers T3 has ever seen, and it’s topped off with surprisingly powerful and accurate audio. T3 says Cool, with quality sounds to match.

b E s t ta b l E t

03

aPPle iPad air 2

www.apple.com/uk 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

04

akg n40

www.uk.akg.com PRICE £349.99 TEsTEd T3 265 A flagship pair of in-ear headphones that (almost) everyone can afford? Yes, it’s a thing - AKG’s N40 offer all-round audio greatness, thanks to supreme comfort and superb, user-customisable sound. T3 says Top in-ears without the top price.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more amazing tech, visit our website at www.t3.com

1 0 4 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7


Elite

Today’s besT gadgeTs

10 09 11

07 05 12

06 08

bEst tV

05

hi-sense m5500

www.hi-sense.co.uk PRICE £499 TEsTEd T3 265 Last month’s top slot TV was £3,500; this month’s is a fraction of that, yet still offers all the thrills one would look for in a new TV: a strong 4K HDR picture with supporting streaming services, and good looks. T3 says 4K HdR goodness on the cheap.

b E s t s m a rt wat C h

06

aPPle Watch series 2

www.apple.com/uk 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

07

roku 3

www.roku.com 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

08

samsung gear fit2

www.samsung.com 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

09

dell xPs 13

www.dell.com 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

10

netatmo Presence

www.netatmo.com 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

11

Panasonic lumix gx80

www.panasonic.co.uk 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

12

Porsche 718 boxster s

www.porsche.com/uk 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 www.t3.com

m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 1 0 5


SMARTPHONES / TABLETS

t3 focus:

tHE rEturn of noKiA finLAnd’s mobiLE PHonE PHoEnix risEs from tHE AsHEs… oncE AgAin

t h e s u pe r s i x

Smartphones

Tablets

01

01

What’s going on, T3? There’s a brand new Nokia phone, the Nokia 6, doing the rounds. It’s a fairly standard black rectangle affair, toting Android Nougat, a sharp-looking 5.5-inch display, 4GB RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and it’s available for the equivalent of around £205.

Equivalent? Well, yes: at the time of writing you’ll only be able to pick one up if you have a pocket full of Yuan and a ticket to Beijing, since it’s a collaborative effort between Nokia and China’s HMD Global and is exclusive to the Chinese market.

so that’s it? Not by a long shot. The Nokia 6 is unlikely to be the only handset to come out of Nokia’s revamped mobile division. Expect a slew of announcements at Mobile World Congress – including, possibly, the rumoured super-budget E1 Android handset – and the Nokia 6 may not be tied to China for long, either. Nokia has filed for FCC testing on a very similar device with only a mildly different model number…

02

03

04

05

What about Microsoft? Nokia did indeed sell up its mobile phone division to the boys in Redmond in 2013, and initially licensed its name for Microsoft’s phones, but the Finnish giant’s non-compete contract expired in 2016 and it has regained use of its name, leaving it free to re-enter the phone market while Microsoft forges its own path with the upcoming Surface phone. You can expect good things from a well-established company looking to recapture a little lost magic.

t h e s u pe r s i x

06

sAmsung gALAxy s7/s7 EdgE www.samsung.com 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 www.apple.com/uk 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 www.htc.com 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.

onEPLus 3t oneplus.net/uk PRICE £399.99 TEsTEd T3 266 If you’re looking for a flagship plus-sized phone with standout features like buckets of power, great battery life, and an amazing screen – for nearly half the price of an iPhone 7 – then look no further. T3 says an amazing phone for little money.

googLE PixEL www.google.com 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 www.vodafone.co.uk 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.

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APPLE iPAd Air 2 www.apple.com/uk 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 www.pixel.google.com 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 www.samsung.com 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 www.amazon.co.uk 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 www.apple.com 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 www.google.co.uk/nexus 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 www.t3.com

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Elite

TVs / sTreamers t h E s u pE r s i x

t h E s u pE r s i x

TVs

TV streamers

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hi-sense m5500

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roku 3

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panasonic Tx-65dx902b

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panasonic dmp-ub900

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www.hisense.co.uk PRICE £499 TESTED T3 265 Looking for a next-gen TV but don’t want to pay more than £500? Then step this way the M5500 boasts a beautiful 4K HDR picture and comes with essential 4K streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon. T3 SAyS A super screen on the cheap.

www.panasonic.co.uk 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 www.sony.co.uk 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 www.philips.co.uk 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?

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hiTachi 49hgT69u

06

sony kd-65xd9305

www.hitachidigitalmedia.com 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.

www.sony.co.uk 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.

www.roku.com 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.

www.panasonic.co.uk 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.

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google chromecasT

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roku sTreaming sTick

www.google.com 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.

www.roku.com 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.

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now Tv box

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apple Tv

T3 selecTs:

home cinema exTras exTend your av seTup’s capabiliTies wiTh These Tools

Hejsang HDMI Audio Extractor For those tricky devices that don’t offer audio outputs of their own. Supports 4K signals, 3D, and even ARC extraction for perfect replication of high-end Dolby audio streams. £30, amazon.co.uk

Neet HDMI Splitter Happy to handle up to 4K signals and the latest HDCP 2.2 copy protection, Neet’s, er, neat splitter is the perfect choice if you’re sending a single source to multiple devices – a TV and a projector, for example. £35, neetcables.com

www.nowtv.com 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.

www.apple.com/uk 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 www.t3.com

Logitech Harmony Elite Combine all your remotes into one with this Alexa-compatible universal system, complete with a network-connected IR blaster that means you can control your devices via the excellent mobile app or, indeed, via an Amazon Echo. Just don’t lose it down the sofa. £205, logitech.com

M a r c h 2 0 1 7 T 3 1 07


Laptops/ Cameras

T3 selecTs:

HigH-def webcams

sHow off your every imperfecTion wiTH a Hi-res pc camera

t h e s u pe r s i x

Laptops

Cameras

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01

02 Logitech C922 The C922 copes very well with low light conditions. It also incorporates a decent mic, and the fact that it comes with its own mini tripod is a great touch. Don’t buy it for its built-in chroma key features, though, as they’re rubbish. £85, logitech.com

Razer Stargazer Works with face recognition in Windows Hello and is capable of producing 3D scans of objects. Razer’s Stargazer is more than just a webcam; integrating Intel’s Realsense tech, it’ll efficiently strip out backgrounds. £140, razerzone.com

Microsoft LifeCam Studio With this intimidating cylinder atop your laptop screen, you’ll never forget you’re being watched – but the quality is sharp and the auto focus means you’ll always be pin-sharp in vision. Showing its age a little, though; despite the 1080p sensor, it can only stream at 720p. £60, microsoft.com

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t h e s u pe r s i x

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dell xps 13 www.dell.com 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 www.apple.com/uk 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 www.asus.com 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 www.pcworld.co.uk 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 www.microsoftstore.com 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 www.apple.com/uk 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.

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panasonic lumix gx80 www.panasonic.co.uk 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.

olympus pen-f www.olympus.co.uk 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 www.tomtom.com 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.

isaw edge www.isawcam.com 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 Tl www.leica-camera.com PRICE £1,450 TESTEd T3 266 If you’re looking at a way of entering into the desirable Leica fold, this could be it - for a surprisingly un-Leica-like price, you get an interchangeable lens, large APS-C sensor and minimalist aluminium body. T3 SayS a high-quality luxury snapper.

leica soforT www.leica-camera.com 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 www.t3.com


Elite

home audio / headphones t h E s u pE r s i x

t h E s u pE r s i x

home audio

headphones

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dali KatcH www.katchspeaker.com PRICE £329 TESTEd T3 265 This high-end portable Bluetooth speaker from Danish audio connoiseurs – Dali – is worth every bit of the lofty asking price - it sounds incredible for its size, looks great and battery life is a stonking 24 hours! T3 SAyS Pricey, but perfect portable speaker.

naim mu-So Qb www.naimaudio.com 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 www.beoplay.com 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 www.rivaaudio.co.uk 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 www.en.devialet.com 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.

Sony pS-Hx500 sony.co.uk 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.

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aKg n40 http://uk.akg.com PRICE £349.99 TESTEd T3 265 With top-notch sound, comfort and quality, and a personalised listening experience thanks to exchangeable filters which let you tune your audio, you won’t find a better pair of in-ear headphones for the price. T3 SAyS Ideal in-ears for audio enthusiasts.

t3 SelectS:

muSic canS you can feel Hear your muSic – and everytHing around you, too – witH boneconduction HeadSetS

SteelSerieS Siberia 840 www.steelseries.com 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.

SHure Se846 www.shure.co.uk 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.

Aftershokz AS600IG Trekz Titanium Imbued with Aftershokz’ Pitch+ tech, this lurid headset provides decent bass without causing your cheeks to vibrate too wildly. The titanium band should ensure they stand up to plenty of punishment. £109, aftershokz.com

jabra Sport pulSe wireleSS www.jabra.co.uk 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 www.plantronics.com 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 www.bose.co.uk 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 www.t3.com

KSCAT Open-ear Bone Conduction Headphones You’ll look like an extra from Lawnmower Man, but KSCAT’s headset does the job at a fairly low price. There’s an additional band at the rear to stop the unit weighing too heavily on your neck. £45, http://rdtsz.com

Panasonic RP-HGS10-W One of the slickest boneconduction designs on the market, although there’s no microphone, or Bluetooth. But if all you’re interested in is hearing your music and your environment at once, we can’t think of a cooler way to do it. £65, panasonic.com

M a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 1 0 9


get fit fast in 2017 with the very best tech for running, cycling and more...


Elite

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:

Smartwatches

Fitness trackers affordable

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01

02

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apple watch SerieS 2 www.apple.com/uk 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 www.mondaine.com 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 www.apple.com/uk 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 www.lg.com 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 www.nixon.com 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 smartwatch.

moto 360 2 www.motorola.com 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.

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SamSung gear fit2 www.samsung.com 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.

chronoS

give your wriSt more dialS for leSS money

microSoft band 2 www.microsoft.com 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 www.garmin.com/en-gb 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 www.withings.com/uk 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

diesel Overflow dZ4414 Two-tone leather and a hypermodern black dial don’t distract from the Overflow’s chronograph skills, although the green crystal might. It’s also available with clear and orange crystals – shop around and you should be able to pick one up for around £130. £185, diesel.com

Fossil Grant A classy watch at a very low price. The Grant’s roman numerals won’t be to everyone’s taste and the movement is, naturally, not top tier. But it’s elegantly designed, not as massive as some chronos, and straddles the line between making a statement and cool sophistication. £72, fossil.com

www.withings.com/uk 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 www.fitbit.com/uk 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 www.t3.com

Casio Edifice EFR-539d-1a2VUEF Chunky stainless bracelets are timeless, but Casio’s Edifice line is far from stuck in the past; it’s turning standard chronograph design on its head. With 100m water resistance it’s unlikely to let you down any time soon. £160, casio.com

m a r c h 2 0 1 7 T3 1 1 1


smart home / LifestyLe tech

t3 top tIps:

upgrade your wI-fI

ensure your flotIlla of wIreless gadgets are always connected

t h e s u pe r s i x

Smart home

Lifestyle tech

01

01

Better positioning If you’re struggling to get a decent signal from your Wi-Fi router, it might not be in the best spot in your house. Wi-Fi signals can bounce, scatter, be absorbed and refracted. Move your router away from walls, and take it out of that bookshelf – the clearer the path to your intended reception location, the better the signal quality will be. Make sure the receiver is on the same side of your body as your phone if you don’t want the fluids in your torso absorbing most of that signal.

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Reduce interference The 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies used by Wi-Fi networks are not exclusively reserved for home networking. Modern digital baby monitors, for example, will often operate on these frequencies – and they’re going to hammer out that signal without worrying about whether they’re killing your Wi-Fi or not. Move any similar transmitters away from your router, and switch them off completely when not in use. Dedicated transmitters are not the only culprit, either: keep an eye on your signal strength when you’re running your microwave, and you’ll probably notice a distinct drop.

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Better antennas Your ISP-supplied router might not have any visible antennas, or even a way to add one in – that is, it seems, the price of free kit. Pick up a third-party wireless router and you’ll likely see a notable increase in signal strength, particularly if you can direct its antennas to where you need it most. If not, an external high-powered antenna could be a good choice for increasing the relative loudness of your Wi-Fi signal or blasting it directly to those trouble spots.

1 1 2 T3 m a r c h 2 0 1 7

t h e s u pe r s i x

06

netatmo presence www.netatmo.com 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.

honeywell evo www.getconnected.honeywell.com 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 www.sony.co.uk 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.

tp-lInk hs110 uk.tp-link.com PRICE £34.99 TEsTEd T3 266 If you’re looking for an easy-to-use smart plug for kick-starting your connected home, look no further - the HS110 gives you Wi-Fi control over your electricals, with energy monitoring and Alexa voice control. T3 says Makes your electricals smart.

JuIcy retreats Jr-8000s www.juicyretreats.com PRICE £199.98 TEsTEd T3 266 The master of masticating, the JR-8000S uses Advance Squeeze Technology System to makes light work of whole foods, giving you maximum juice with little waste. T3 says a seriously potent slow juicer.

canary www.canary.is PRICE £160 TEsTEd T3 254 Though a little on the hefty side, the Canary looks slick. It offers excellent 1080p video day or night, and motion-triggered events, while the app is feature-packed and intuitive. T3 says The Canary is the best all-round connected security camera you can get.

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porsche 718 boxster s www.porsche.com/uk 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.

snooper dvr-4hd www.snooper.co.uk 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.

the north face access pack www.thenorthface.com PRICE £215 TEsTEd T3 262 The Access Pack gives you quick, erm, access to your tech thanks to its ingenious one-touch entry system, while a sturdy exoskeleton offers extra protection. T3 says Rapid gadget access on the move.

dJI phantom 4 pro www.dji.com 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 aspiring professional, with enhanced obstacle sensing and a superb camera. T3 says The dream drone for movie makers.

tesla model s www.teslamotors.com 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.

chIpolo plus www.chipolo.net 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.

To read more detailed reviews of these gadgets and lots more, visit www.t3.com


Elite

what to buy this month

£100

01

02

03

Hotlist 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

Y

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!

t h E S U PE R S I X

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PhiliPs shQ7900Cl

BooQ DayPaCk

www.philips.com PRICE £59.99 IPX2 sweat and water resistant, with four earpiece options depending on your lugs and level of activity, this Bluetooth headset is the perfect companion for dark road runs. T3 SAYS The open acoustic design both enhances audio and external awareness.

www.booqbags.com PRICE $80 (£65) A highly accessible bag with enough room to house a laptops with screens up to 16.4 inches, the Daypack’s cunning design and high capacity make it a must for. T3 SAYS With five muted colours and plaid interior, there’s a Daypack for everyone.

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Damson Cisor Bt5

Proflight Ufo Drone

www.damsonaudio.com PRICE £99.99 Mountable both horizontal and vertical, this Bluetooth/3.5mm surface speaker turns any flat thing into a huge sound resonator. T3 SAYS You’ll be amazed at its range: subtle tones and fat bass from your desk or window.

www.dronesdirect.co.uk PRICE £99.99 The perfect drone for new flyers, with a beginner mode and auto take-off / landing to help you learn the basics, plus the capability to pull off complex tricks. T3 SAYS Record 2MP footage or stream a live view to your smartphone.

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airBolt smart travel loCk

gear4 BUCkingham iPaD Case

www.theairbolt.com PRICE $79.95 (£65) A Bluetooth luggage lock – thread the steel rope through your suitcase zips and it’ll bolt whenever your phone leaves range. T3 SAYS Just make sure you get a suitcase with secure zips to go with it…

www.gear4.com PRICE £59.99 Constructed out of super-tough D3O material, your iPad Pro 9.7 or Air 2 will feel royally protected in this rigid matt case. T3 SAYS There are plenty of extras: card slots, magnetic clasps, even a pen loop.

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the bigger picture if you’ve got the snapping skiLLs anD you want to turn your home into a pseuDo art eXhibition, then you neeD a camera that’s up to the task: cue the hasseLbLaD X1D-50c

supersize me photos hasselblad is the master of the medium format, and the X1D-50c is a fine example of the form. unlike a regular DsLr, a medium format DsLr uses a larger sensor which makes photos look more detailed when enlarged.

the Dark horse the X1D-50c is available in two different styles: a silver version and this limited 4116 edition, all in black, built to celebrate 75 years of producing kick-ass cameras.

meDium format a medium format camera can capture a bigger, more detailed image than a conventional DsLr – which shoots a frame the equivalent of a 35mm camera – ever could. but medium format doesn’t just make photos look better when they’re blown up, it

Less boDy, more carry most medium format cameras are chunky, unwieldy things to carry, but the X1D-50c’s mirrorless design shrinks its dimensions (and weight – just 725g for the body) to an eminently more convenient size.

more than Looks

makes them look better full stop, even if you’re just looking at them on a laptop screen. medium format cameras have a much higher dynamic range and better colour reproduction, so you’re able to capture photos that mimic what you see with your own eyes…

aLL in the DetaiLs the sensor in the X1D-50c packs a whopping 50mp, so the increased footprint of the sensor is matched by the huge pixel count. images not only look big but also super crisp.

make it snappy!

it might be focused, so to speak, on capturing breathtaking imagery, but the X1D-50c packs tech, with wi-fi, gps and a 3.0-inch touchscreen for poring over your best shots.

getting gargantuan shots doesn’t come cheap; you’ll need a sizable £10,788 in order to pick up this badass hasselblad. Do some semi-serious window shopping at hasselblad.com.

nexT iSSue iS on Sale friday 10 March Join us for this year’s reveal of the very best tech the world has ever seen!

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T3 UK - March 2017