5 Gadgets to help you unwind
Samsung S8, £689
Curved screen. Waterproof. Wireless charging. It’s hard to know what you could possibly want from a modern-day superphone that the S8 doesn’t deliver. Samsung has reduced the bezel (the “frame”) to virtually nothing, so there’s a delightfully fulsome screen, yet the handset remains comfortable to hold.
Some users will struggle to accept the lack of a physical home button (a pressure-sensitive pad at the bottom of the screen mimics its function), but even iPhone devotees will concede that the S8’s MicroSD slot, offering expandable storage and an old-fashioned headphone port—meaning you can still use old headphones as well as wireless ones—provides welcome flexibility. Dazzling.
That Ultrabeer Thing!, £19.99
Craft beer is everywhere these days: you can even buy it in Wetherspoon’s. So how to maintain your sense of superiority as you sip pale ale from the comfort of your man cave? Why, give your beer a creamy, foamy head with a wave of a wand, of course!
This ultrasonic device, about the size of an electric toothbrush, gently pulsates in your pint, forming carbonated bubbles at the top. It’s delightfully easy to use—within moments, half-consumed grog is magically revived and looks like it could have emerged from behind the bar at the world’s trendiest microbrewery.
Good fun—and a nice little way to impress your mates.
A camping stove that charges your smartphone? It may not surprise you that this is a world first: if it didn’t exist, it wouldn’t exactly need to be invented. And yet—if you’re going to bother taking a gadget out into the wilderness with you, set it up next to your tent and burn butane gas with it—why shouldn’t it do more than simply warm up your baked beans?
You’re going to need something to eat, and you’re going to want a full battery on your phone. This can help with both, and it looks the part too. That’s a thumbs up from me.
Apple App of the Month: 3 Minute Mindfulness, Free
The pinging of this nannying app notifying me that it’s time to chill out is anathema to me.
The American voice-over on its three-minute tutorials also grates my nerves, which is surely unintentional. But if all you’re after is a quick burst of stress-management meditation, or some yogic breathing exercises, this easy-to-use app does the trick.
Android App of the Month: Very Chic, Free
If you like luxury hotels at affordable prices (and who doesn’t?), this app is worth a gander. Signing up is straightforward if you have a Facebook account, and the featured venues are attractively presented.
You can search by country, but not by city, which rather underlines the limited selection of destinations on offer. Still, it did offer up some nice choices for a five-star hotel in Barcelona for three nights this month.
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