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Entertainment gadgets: life on a screen

BY Olly Mann

9th Jun 2020 Technology

Entertainment gadgets: life on a screen

Whether it's squeezing out a selfie, streaming Centre Court or download your driving routes, here's how the latest gadgets can enhance your day.

Philips ADR 610 Dashcam

Philips ADR 610 Dashcam

Only rarely do I drive a route I’d want to relive on my TV screen. Highway 1 in California. The approach into Keswick as the Lakes come into view. Sure. My commute to Borehamwood? Not so much. However, dashcams—previously the preserve of petrol-heads and professional drivers—are becoming increasingly mainstream and this one features an HDMI connection, so that you can review your journey on the big screen. The real benefit, of course, is proving your innocence if you’re involved in a collision, at which point the device auto-saves relevant footage. There’s no GPS or wi-fi, as there are on comparable products, but no doubt the trusted Philips brand will encourage even more consumers to dabble.

 

HTC One

HTC One mobile smartphone

For some time, smartphones have been evolving into indistinguishable black rectangles—but now physical differentiation is back in vogue, with Samsung’s curved displays and rumours of an upcoming all-glass iPhone. HTC have put pressure sensors on their latest blower, introducing squeezability. Want to take a selfie? Squeeze the sides to activate the camera. Want to focus? Squeeze again. Our natural instincts are to squeeze as well as stroke and tap, so it’s satisfying to use and there’s less faff than standard swiping. 

 

Band & Olufsen Play Beolit 20

Beolit 20 Powerful Portable Bluetooth Speaker

What do you look for in a Bluetooth speaker? If it’s portability and waterresistance, look elsewhere: this 360- degree boombox isn’t weather-proof and, though the tactile leather strap makes it convenient to lug about, at a hefty 2.7kg you won’t exactly be hanging it from your belt. But, if your priorities are battery life and audio quality, I’ve never tested better: it sounds stunning and plays for 24 hours on one charge. Considering the premium price tag, it looks a little rubbery, and there’s no built-in mic for taking a call if someone rings while you’re listening—but it’s elegantly designed, intuitive and powerful.

 

Apple app of the month: Wimbledon 2017, free 

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Whether you’re on the edge of your seat at Centre Court, or following along at home with a glass of something cold, this app is a great way to deepen your tennis experience. Filter matches by players, style of event or nationality, watch news and videos from The Wimbledon Channel, and peruse live data from IBM’s team of statistical analysts.

 

Android app of the month: Zone V, £39.99 or £1.99 monthly 

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The surprise rebirth of the Nokia 3310 has proven that simplicity still sells. Now one of that iconic phone’s designers is making Samsung Galaxy phones more accessible to elderly and visually impaired users. Zone V is essentially a “skin” that sits atop the standard Android software and makes the menus shorter, text larger and colours easier on the eye. A worthwhile attempt to woo over the last of the digital refuseniks.

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