Technology writer Amy Thompson and Roshni Patel wrap up some of the top gadgets on show at this year’s Gadget Show Live
1. LG G5
This phone cannot be raved about enough, with even technology expert and Gadget Show Live presenter David McClelland singing its praises not once, but twice, in the space of an hour! The G5 is the boldest phone in the market this year, with LG taking a great risk in reinventing the wheel with their flagship phone. The G5 is the world’s first modular flagship phone, enabling users to take the phone apart and swap in different parts to enhance and expand the phone capabilities and features. From additions to improve music playback quality to an addition for manual camera controls, the modular nature of the G5 is only going to grow, pick up steam and even more publicity.
2. Otone: Blufiniti
Otone’s portable speakers Blufiniti were one of the most impressive products at this year Gadget Show Live. The product has some of best sound quality to offer in a small compact speaker. With its beautiful curvy design and hard plastic exterior the Blufiniti is great portable speaker for any student, ideal for house parties, or simply for chilling and listening to your favourite tunes. Otone’s product is similar to others on the market like the Beats pill in terms of sound quality, but oh so much cheaper, for only £49.99. Also the product is available in 6 colours. These portable speakers can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth, using near field communication or you can simply plug them into your phone. With a rechargeable battery offering between 8-10 hours’ worth of usage, what is not to like about the Blufiniti! The Blufiniti design also includes a carry clip allowing you to hook them to anything, for example on a bag for easy transportation so you can play music while you’re on the go. The speakers also contain a built in microphone allowing you to answer telephone calls without you having to stop the music and disconnect the speakers.
3. Phillips Screenio
When someone mentions home cinemas, our minds usually think of expensive ceiling mounted projectors and surround sound speaker systems. But this year, Phillips has compacted all of those technologies into one simple to use device, which requires no careful installation or hours of precision calibration. The Phillips short throw Screenio projector is the size of a small bucket and is integrated with its own speakers system, to produce screens as small as 50 inch to as large as 120 inch effortlessly. With the potential to replace your TV and usurp other traditional expensive home cinema set ups, this gadget is an easy way to bring the cinema experience home. Chosen by TV presenter John Mason as one of his favourite gadgets of 2016, the Screenio produces good quality projections in even a well-lit exhibition halls, showing visitors that they’re not required to black out their living rooms to watch the football. Priced at around £800, the Screenio is an alternative to those expensive home cinema set ups and is ideal for smaller rooms, and considering many student homes are filled with white washed walls, home projectors for students have never been such an appealing option.
4. FollowMe Drone
Drones are everywhere, a hot trend of the decade. Rising the ranks from must have toy to an essential gadget for filmography, they’re often fitted with 4K cameras, to enable almost anyone to take high quality footage, which would have once only been attainable from helicopters and cranes. With drones being sold in there masses worldwide and drone film festivals taking place across the US and Europe, it’s never been so easy to get involved. The FollowMe drone, which TV presenter John Mason called “the ultimate tool in narcissism”, makes taking 4K footage so easy that users don’t even have to know how to pilot a drone. With one button to lift off, the FollowMe drone follows a user worn wristband like a pro cameraman, circling around you on command to get every breath-taking shot. Priced at around £300 and easy to disassemble, not only is this drone effortless to use, its effortless to store and travel with. With this drone and similar hitting internet shelves, expect even more amazing drone photos on Instagram and stunning aerial footage on YouTube.
5. Withings watches: Activité Steel
This product is without a doubt the most stylish products at this year’s, Gadget Show Live. Unlike other fitness trackers, the Activité steel looks like a normal watch, with multiple bright coloured wrist bands to choose from and a beautiful stainless steel face. The Activité steel has second dial on the clock face which shows you how close you are to reaching, 100% of your daily activity goal. Unlike other fitness trackers, for example the Fitbit, there are no flashing lights, so no distractions. You might think the watch would be too precious to wear when working, but shouldn’t be deceived by the watch’s sleek design. The Activité steel is made from durable materials; therefore it is water proof so you can wear it while swimming. Also its sturdy design allows you to wear it while you sleep without the worry of breaking the watch face. The Activité Steel also contains an inbuilt alarm, by setting an alarm on your phone, the watch then vibrates to wake you up. Furthermore the watch has a matching app, called Health Mate, which is where your watch syncs all of its data, so you can get a breakdown of your daily activity levels. The biggest bonus of the Activité Steel is that it has a battery life of more than 8 months.
6. TomTom Bandit Action Camera
These days it seems everyone has a GoPro or a similar action camera, taking great shots of them doing sports or on holiday. But many of those hours of footage will never be seen, recorded but never processed. And it is no surprise, as we film hours of content which often requires us to comb through it, to both find and edit together those money shots worthy of YouTube fame. The Bandit Action Camera from TomTom comes out of the blue to solve this unique problem GoPros and action cameras have caused, as it simultaneously films and edits your footage to produce a video created from all your best moments, ready for its YouTube debut. Filled with sensors and paired with one of their smartwatches the Bandit camera can be mounted to your helmet and can find the best shots to cut together in minutes, synchronising it to your phone for your instant play back pleasure. With the basic Bandit bundle costing around £270 it’s more expensive than some of the comparative GoPros, but with half the post production work and a built in USB to cut out the cables, it could be worth the investment.
Does your iPhone constantly run out of battery? Then the Infincase is here to solve your problem. The Infincase is the world’s first modular phone case. The product works by using an Infincase rubber phone case which fits on your iPhone, that then allows other modules to simply “snap” on to the back of your phone. Modules include: space, battery and sound. These module packs attach to the back of your phone, without the need for any wires. The battery pack simply attaches to the phone giving you additional charge so no need to carry around your charger and hunt down a plug all day. Another problem many iPhone users will have suffered from before is the inability to increase the space capacity. Using the space module along with the accompanying app you can transfer your files, therefore increasing your available space on your iPhone so need to delete things to give you extra memory space. Also available is sound, a speaker module that attaches to the phone allowing your phone to become a portable speaker, giving better, louder sound, without the need for a plug in device. The Infincase was created by young British designer, Ollie Daniels, and is currently available for iPhone5, 5S and 5C, with an iPhone 6 model currently being developed.
8. Chord Mojo
No need to splash the cash on the latest headphones, the Chord Mojo is here to provide you with the ultimate sound quality, for your phone! The Portable DAC and headphone amplifier is a small but powerful device. By plugging in your phone to one end and your headphones to the other end, you get a superior sound quality. The device is dream come true for any music lover, giving the greatest sound quality from your mp3 files. The Chord Mojo however is on the pricey side, at £400, but the little box transforms your music instantly, to give a fuller, rounder sound quality. The Chord Mojo is also incredibly easy to use, and involves just three buttons allowing you to change the volume and turn the device on or off. The buttons change colour showing your current volume level, meaning there is no need for a screen as you can easily tell how loud the device is simply from the colour of the buttons. The Chord Mojo also takes over the volume control of your phone, so you don’t have to get out your phone to adjust the volume while using the product. With the Mojo providing 10 hours of music listening after being charged, and giving you studio sound quality using just your smart phone and basic set of headphones, the investment is definitely worth it.
9. Samsung Gear VR
In the year of virtual reality, it seems everyone wants an Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive Pre, but before your spend over £300 on the big brands running in the publicity lead, it may be worth taking a look at the surprisingly affordable Samsung Gear VR. Designed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the headset can be thought of as a cheaper Oculus, as the Rift also uses a Samsung phone as its screen. Partnered with Oculus VR as a result, users will be able to access the same sort of content as the Oculus, such as Facebook’s VR films, which are vivid and can be deeply moving, immersing you in their stories and graphics from the very first second. Marketed at only £80, they are a worthy contender to be considered for anyone thinking of investing in VR. For those already planning to pre order the new Samsung S7, the company is offering the Samsung Gear VR as a free pre order perk. And with Virgin Airways set to offer VR as a first class entertainment option and new content added daily, the Samsung Gear VR is certainly worthy of being on this list of top tech.
10. 3DU: Whoosh 3D Screen Protector
Ever wished you could watch your favourite 2D film in 3D, on your phone? Well now you can! The 3DU looks like any other normal screen protector but, this one is just a little bit more special. The screen protector works to make your 2D video into 3D, via an app which also comes with the Whoosh 3D screen protector. But does it really work? The 2D avatar clips on the sample phones at this year’s Gadget Show Live, showed an incredible 3D effect. However the best 3D effects were demonstrated by the Whoosh, when watching a film already produced to be in 3D. The biggest positive of this product, is there is no need to wear 3D glasses when watching a 3D movie on your phone. In order to get the optimum results you have to hit the so called “sweet spot”, this means finding the perfect place to hold the phone directly in front of yourself at the best angle to ensure you get a 3D effect and not just a blurry image, which with a little practice is much easier than you think. Currently the screen protectors are only available for iPhone, and at £30, the Whoosh 3D screen protector is a must have for all those who love 3D movies, or those who simply want to watch their much-loved 2D movies in 3D for the first time!