Make your TV, phone and houseplants smart

Smarten up your home with these great gadgets reviewed by top technology expert Olly Mann.

Parrot Flower Power, £49.99

When you’ve inadvertently murdered as many pot plants as I have, you need all the help you can get. Slip this sensor into your soil to send your smartphone a wealth of data, allowing you to monitor your plant’s moisture and sunlight levels, temperature and humidity. Parrot probably developed this to boost brand awareness—they’re best known for making bluetooth headsets, which hardly attract as many column inches as this sort of caper. But it’s worth trying out if you fancy a glimpse into the connected home of the future. Take a look here.

 

Motorola Moto G, £149.99

At first glance, this appears to contain nothing terribly special for a top-end smartphone: a quadcore processor, a bright edge-to-edge display, a guaranteed upgrade to the latest Android operating system, a curved and easy-to-grip case. But this isn’t a top-end smartphone—it’s a budget smartphone. The only giveaways are that it’s a little heavy, it lacks a distinctive design and its 5MP camera is merely adequate. But if you want a modern, Google-centred handset, this is responsive, uncluttered and faster than some premium phones three times its price. View the Moto G here.

 

Roku 3, £99.99

This discreet box of tricks effortlessly turns your dumb old TV into a smart system, so you can watch Netflix, iPlayer, Now TV and Demand 5 in glorious HD (internet connection required). Find out more here.