Archive for February, 2015
Happy Tuesday! We’re back with more hot deals on tech and games and today we’ve got some bargains on some very cool gadgets!
Headphones: First up, we’ve got the Philips FIdelio M1 headphones. We featured these yesterday and they’ve been so popular we thought we’d bring them back for another day! We’ve reviewed these headphones and they are genuinely fantastic. What’s more, while they used to cost £180, they’re currently available for less than £60 at Amazon.co.uk!
Bluetooth speaker: Need a portable speaker for days out, weekends away, camping trips or festivals? There’s currently a great deal on the Creative Airwave HD – down from £129.99 to £40.23 at Amazon.co.uk
Camera: The Nikon L330 20MP bridge camera enables you to shoot full 720P HD movies with the one touch capture button and lets you watch it back instantly on the large 3 inch LCD screen. Capture crisp images with the 20MP CCD image sensor and never worry about night time shots again with the pop up flash! It’s currently down to just £89.99 at Argos.co.uk
Hard drive: Need a new external hard drive for your laptop? You can currently get a portable WD drive with a 2TB capacity for just £65.99 at Amazon.co.uk. That’s actually cheaper than the 1.5TB version!
USB Stick: Need a new USB stick for transporting your files and folders? Check out this 64GB USB stick for just £16.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Honor Holly 16GB 5″ Dual SIM-Free Smartphone – Black – Now only £74.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Officially Licensed White PS4 Wired Headset – Down to £19.99 at argos.co.uk
Apple Magic Mouse – Reduced to £39.99 at Amazon.co.uk
NETGEAR WNCE4004-100UKS N900 Universal Wi-Fi Adapter – For as little as £22.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Brother HL-1112 Mono Laser Printer – Now only £39 at tesco.com
BT Mini Wi-Fi 500 Home Hotspot Power Adapter Kit – Down to £49.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Ion Audio Profile LP | USB Vinyl-Archiving Turntable – Now £54.99 at Amazon.co.uk
VIBE Alpha 5.1 Premium Home Cinema Speaker and Active Subwoofer System – For as little as £125.98 at Amazon.co.uk
Saints Row IV Re-elected/Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell PS4 – Now only £29.98 at zavvi.com
Murdered: Soul Suspect – Ps4 – For as little as £9 at tesco.com
inFAMOUS First Light PS4 Game – Down to £12.99 at argos.co.uk
Rayman Legends – Only £15 at Amazon.co.uk
Need For Speed: Rivals (PS4) – For as little as £16 at Amazon.co.uk
It’s Monday and we’re back with more hot deals on tech and games from the UK’s biggest online retailers.
Today we’ve got deals on a whole range of awesome stuff so let’s get stuck straight in to the good stuff…
TODAY’S HOT DEALS
Nintendo Wii U: If you’ve been waiting to pick up a Nintendo Wii U, now could be the time to strike. You can get the console with tablet controller and a copy of Super Smash Brothers all for just £169.99 at GAME.
Headphones: Here’s a great deal on some superb on-ear headphones. The Philips M1 offer excellent sound quality – we’ve tested them ourselves – and are now drastically cheaper than they once were. You can currently get them for just £66.95 at Amazon.co.uk
Nikon compact camera: Need to pick up a decent compact camera to keep in a bag, take on nights out or on holiday? You can currently get the Nikon Coolpix S9300 with its 16MP sensor and 18x optical zoom for just £151.97 at Amazon.co.uk.
Bluetooth speaker: There was a time when all portable speakers were tinny monstrosities. But these days, you can get startlingly good sound at crazy small sizes and amazing prices. You can currently pick up the Arctic S113 wireless speaker, originally costing £79.99, for just £29.99 at Amazon.co.uk.
Wireless touchpad: Want to use Windows 8 or Windows 10 touch gestures but don’t have a touchscreen monitor or laptop. No worries, get a wireless touchpad! This one from Logitech is now drastically reduced to just £21.76 at Amazon.co.uk.
X-1 Audio H2O Women’s Momentum Ultra Light In-Ear Headphones – White – Now only £9.09 at Amazon.co.uk
SoundWave SW50 Portable Bluetooth Speaker – Reduced down to £9.99
12 Month Xbox Live Gold Membership – For as little as £23.89 at cdkeys.com
LG 42″ Smart LED TV – Now only £199.99
MOTOROLA Moto G 2nd Generation – 8 GB – For only £124.99 at pixmania.co.uk
Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 4D™ Stereo Headset – Now only £39.99 at dabs.com
Belkin Dual Band N300 Universal Wireless AV Adapter with Smart TV Link – For as little as £9.99 at maplin.co.uk
Trust GXT 280 LED Illuminated Gaming Keyboard – Now for only £20.99
Jabra Rox Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset – Only £65.82 at Amazon.co.uk
Roku Streaming Stick – Reduced down to £39 at Amazon.co.uk
Xbox, Nintendo, PlayStation
New 3ds Xl Hw Metallic Blue – Reduced down to £116.65 at grooves-inc.co.uk
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – Now down to £25 at Amazon.co.uk
Zombie Army Trilogy (PS4) – For only £26.99 at graingergames.co.uk
Lords of the Fallen PS4 – Now only £19.98 for only £19.98 at zaavi.co.uk
FIFA 15 (PSVita) – Only £21.58 at Amazon.co.uk
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – For as little as £20.12 at Amazon.co.uk
Fresh off their president defending the company’s design ethos, Motorola is planning to unleash something new next week, courtesy of a mysterious box being hand-delivered to the press.
9to5Google today reported that Motorola is busy emailing members of the tech press, giving them a heads-up about a mystery package scheduled to arrive on just in time for the mid-week “hump day” on February 25.
Unfortunately, Motorola is playing coy on exactly what the box might contain, beyond the invitation’s teaser which explains that “everything you need fits inside one box, which we will deliver to your doorstep on Wednesday.”
It hasn’t been that long since Motorola last refreshed its flagship Moto X smartphone, and the report speculates a followup to the Moto 360 smartwatch could be what’s in store, but details are otherwise scarce.
Jack in the box
“Motorola is making an exciting announcement next week and wants you to be in the front row. The best part? You get to choose where and when you’d like to experience it,” the media invitation from Motorola reads.
That will likely come as music to the ears of journalists still recovering from the CES 2015 early last month, who will soon be on a plane bound to Barcelona, Spain for MWC 2015, which kicks off March 2.
Assuming none of Motorola’s mystery boxes wind up leaking out before next Wednesday, we’ll all have to wait and see what kind of potential new product the now Lenovo-owned manufacturer might have up its collective sleeves.
Virtual reality products continue to make headlines, but it’s anyone’s guess who will eventually dominate the market – but armed with a stack of new patents, Apple is showing a renewed interest in this space.
Patently Apple reported Tuesday that Apple has been granted another 41 patents published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and one of them in particular appears targeted directly at virtual reality (VR) rivals Google and Samsung.
First filed in 2008 and credited to inventor Quin Hoellwarth, patent number 8,957,835 describes a “video headset frame” which works in tandem with an iPhone or iPod to supply video and audio content.
It’s probably not much of a coincidence this headset sounds a lot like the Samsung Gear VR, which uses a compatible Galaxy smartphone attached to the front and beams virtual reality entertainment to the wearer.
iPhone-powered VR? (credit: Patently Apple)
Line of sight
In addition to just broadcasting iOS-based picture and sound to the headset, Apple’s patent also describes a picture-in-picture (PIP) feature, which can be used to keep an eye on the real world around you while wearing the device.
Judging from the patent details, Apple plans to incorporate some amount of tactile physical controls on the headset itself, but is also leaving the door open for other options, such as Siri voice control.
The headset patent also elaborates on “advanced haptics” located within the earplugs, which can be used to enhance sound effects and music from the movie content being viewed.
Apple’s video headset ambitions date back to at least 2008, but the iPhone maker has been relatively quite of late on VR-related patents, with the last batch having turned up nearly four years ago – and recent job postings related to the technology having been mysteriously scrubbed from existence.
Apple released the iPad Air 2 to great fanfare in October last year, bettering its predecessor by shaving off precious millimetres to take it down to a dizzying 6.1mm thick; improving the screen’s colour and fidelity; including the Touch ID sensor, and bumping up the power with Apple’s latest A8X chip to round off the winning package.
Unlike previous iPads, the iPad Air 2 has exactly the same bezel sizes, but the thinner form means that many cases compatible with the original iPad Air simply won’t fit the new model.
With the new svelte form and lighter weight of just 437g, you’ll no doubt be tempted to whip it out at any available moment, so keeping that beautiful aluminium shell and glass screen protected is even more crucial than ever.
There is an almost bewildering selection of iPad cases available on the market; some are simple yet effective screen covers like Apple’s own Smart Cover, while others will give your iPad the appearance of a mini Apple laptop with the inclusion of a full qwerty keyboard.
Before you plump for a new case, think about how you’ll be using the iPad. Is the addition of a physical keyboard really that important to you? Do you need an adjustable kick-stand? Are you planning on taking your iPad with you on an outdoor adventure but fear you might drop it? Would you prefer real leather, plastic, silicone or something altogether more unique?
As it stands, here are our favourite iPad Air 2 cases for a range of budgets, tastes and requirements:
The ClamCase Pro
If you saw an iPad Air 2 equipped with the stylish ClamCase Pro all-in-one keyboard case and stand, you would be forgiven for thinking that you had just clapped eyes on some kind of Apple netbook. The ClamCase Pro is a pricey combination that justifies its price tag with an excellent chiclet-style physical keyboard which connects via Bluetooth, and a hard polycarbonate shell into which the iPad snugly fits. It also has a full 360° hinge which allows for a range of viewing angles, automatic iPad wake and sleep functionality, a range of special function keys while also keeping the ports easily accessible.
The ZAGG Slim Book
If the idea of a physical keyboard companion appeals, but you aren’t sure that you want it as a permanent addition to your iPad Air 2, then the ZAGG Slim book tablet keyboard & detachable case might be the right duo for you. The Slim Book has a backlit Bluetooth keyboard with a moveable hinge that gives you a variety of viewing angles – comparable to the similarly priced ClamCase Pro, but with movement more restricted to just 135°. The Slim Book does however make up for this with its variety of ‘modes’. You can either use it like a laptop in ‘keyboard mode’, Flip the case around into ‘book mode’, face the tablet away from the keyboard in ‘video mode’, or do away with the keyboard entirely in ‘case mode’.
Apple Smart Case
It’s no surprise that Apple knows its consumers well enough to offer a wide range of cases alongside the iPad Air 2 on their online store, but despite the price being higher than some very similar unofficial cases, none is more popular than the official Smart Case and Smart Cover. Unlike the Smart Cover, which only protects the screen, the Smart Case provides full coverage by also protecting the back with the same dyed leather material. As you would expect, the front cover is compatible with the iPad’s automatic wake and sleep features, and can also roll back to also act as a two-way stand. It can either support the tablet upright for watching a film or using FaceTime, or alternatively be used to tilt the iPad Air 2 into a usable typing position.
MOFRED Ultra Slim Leather
Looking for something similar to Apple’s official Smart Case, but at a fraction of the cost? MOFRAD’s Ultra Slim Leather case might just be the perfect alternative. Priced at less than half that of the official product and available in a wider range of colours, this case provides full protection for your iPad Air 2 while capable of exactly the same automatic wake and sleep functions. It can also be used as a stand in the same two ways as the official case. Unlike the official model which has an all-leather exterior, MOFRED’s case has a hard-shell case that clips onto the iPad, but provides just as much protection, and still has all the necessary cut-outs for access to buttons, charging and the camera.
The medium-priced silicone Hideaway from Gumdrop is billed as a ruggedised case that offers maximum protection for an iPad Air 2, while including a ‘hideaway’ stand that offers two different positions for viewing or typing. As long as you are happy to eschew the stylish looks of Apple’s latest tablet, the Hideaway encases it in a grippy, textured silicone, with a rigid polycarbonate frame inside to absorb the impact of drops and shocks.
Belkin QODE Ultimate Pro
The QODE Ultimate Pro case from Belkin is another ingenious case for the Apple iPad Air 2 that combines the smarts of a thin and light Bluetooth keyboard with the convenience of a detachable hard-shell case. The magnetic hinge is quite a different design to other keyboard cases we’ve featured, but holds the iPad securely and means that the tablet can be used in either portrait or landscape modes. Belkin claims some unique features such as a full year of battery life from one charge, a backlit keyboard, and the ability to easily switch between two connected devices.
After spending hundreds of pounds on your new iPad Air 2 – far and away the best looking tablet on the market – we’ll forgive you for choosing to cover it up in a case as stylish – and expensive – as the Access Case from Nodus. Made from luxurious leather in either a ‘chestnut’ brown, or ‘ebony’ black, this is the kind of case you could happily wrap your iPad in while taking it into a board meeting or any other classy setting. It allows you to read your iPad like a book or prop it up for Facetime and watching videos. As well as adequately protecting your tablet, the Access Case includes a utility pocket to hold cash, cards or a business cards.
Pad & Quill Aria
Some people would rather their tablet look, well, less like a tablet when they’re carrying it around. For all those folk, the Pad & Quill Aria is the perfect case. Forgoing plastics and other materials, the Aria case wraps your tablet in a hand-finished solid birch frame, and can be easily removed using the signature ‘bookmark’ ribbon. On the outside, real American leather in ‘Whiskey’ brown or ‘Dark Chocolate’ hues is about as luxurious as it gets. Despite all this pricey opulence, the magnetic auto wake/sleep hasn’t been forgotten, and there are still rear camera aperture and holes to provide access to all the buttons and sockets.
Incipio has become a well-regarded name in quality, good value gadget protection over recent years, and its Tuxen snap-on folio case for the iPad Air 2 is no exception. There might not be the plush leathers found in some of cases featured here, but the ‘Plextonium’ polycarbonate hard shell has a soft touch, making it comfortable to hold on the outside, while a suede-like material treats your iPad kindly on the inside. Like so many other cases, the cover folds back to allow it to stand upright for hands-free video, or lay down at a slant for easy typing. As you would expect, there is also the magnetic clasp that keeps the front cover closed and is compatible with the iPad’s sleep/wake function.
Otterbox Defender Series
With credentials that would make Bear Grylls happy to pack his iPad, Otterbox’s Defender case features triple-layer protection, a built-in screen protector and optional port plugs to keep out unwanted dust and dirt, while adequately protecting from almost anything life would throw at your iPad – short of a full-on aquatic dunking. Despite all this protection, the camera and all ports and buttons are still usable. Otterbox has also included a snap-on stand that allows for comfortable typing or video viewing. Taking this high level of protection and the three colour choices into account, the Defender Series case is keenly priced considering how much it’ll save you if your iPad goes for a gravity-powered flight.
This is an expert round-up from TechRadar – a list of all the best iPad Air 2 cases we’ve seen on the market at the moment. However, it’s by no means exhaustive and we’ll be adding more to the list through updates in the future.
If you’ve seen any iPad Air 2 cases you want reviewed, let us know in the comments below and we’ll get them in for review!
We’re back with more deals and today we’ve found a fantastic deal on a brilliant Panasonic compact camera, so let’s drive straight in with that…
TODAY’S HOT DEALS
Compact camera: The brilliant Panasonic TZ60 is a versatile camera that’s ideal for taking on trips either for business or pleasure, and its huge zoom and focal range will appeal to both beginners and more experienced photographers. With a 30x optical zoom, built-in EVF and an 18.1MP sensor, it’s Panasonic’s flagship compact camera and TechRadar gave it a near perfect review score last year.
So what’s the deal? Normally it goes for £329.99 but it’s available for just £194 on Amazon.co.uk – but only for the rest of the day! That’s a saving of £135.99.
Headphones: Next up today we’ve found a super deal on the Klipsch Image ONE on-ear headphones. The original price was £129.99 but today you can get them for just £34.99 at Amazon.co.uk.
Wireless speaker: And how about this wireless Bluetooth speaker from the audio gurus at Altec Lansing? It’s a rugged speaker as home outside as inside, it’s shockprood and waterproof, has NFC and it’s currently down to just £59.99 on Amazon.co.uk – down from £129.99.
Action cam: If you’re after a new action cam to capture your skateboarding. skiiing, driving or cycling antics, how about the Garmin Virb Elite? With a built-in display, it’s wifi-equipped and has a large battery! It was £350, but it’s now £139 at Amazon.co.uk
Earphones: And finally, if you’re after some new in-ear headphones, check out the SoundMAGIC E10. Down to just £26.99 at Amazon.co.uk, they’re available in several different colours!
MORE HOT DEALS
Gaming headset: Turtle Beach DPX11 PS4 Wired Headset – For as little as £39.99 at argos.co.uk
Fitness: Fitbit Charge HR Large Heart Rate Monitor Wristband – Reduced down to £95.99 (With code FIT20) at Argos.co.uk
Home wi-fi: NETGEAR EX6200-100UKS Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Range Extender – Now only £67.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Soundbar: Philips HTL2101A 40W 2.0 Channel Soundbar (Black) – Now only £49.99 at ebay.co.uk (Co-operative electrical)
Headphones: Parrot Zik 2.0 Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones – Reduced down to £199.99
Mouse: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse – Down to £22.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Gaming: Nintendo Handheld Console 3DS – For as little as £69 at Amazon.co.uk
Bluetooth headset: Jabra Rox Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset – Black – Reduced down to £63.95 at Amazon.co.uk
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – PS4 – Pre-Order for as little as £35 from gameseek.co.uk
MASS EFFECT 3 – SPECIAL EDITION (WII U) – Reduced down to £4.95 at thegamecollection.net
Far Cry 4 Xbox One – Now only £27.98 at Zaavi.com
inFAMOUS: Second Son – Now only £18 at Amazon.co.uk
Murdered: Soul Suspect – For as little as £9 at Amazon.co.uk
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed – Reduced down to £9.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Assassin’s Creed Black Flag Full Game Download Xbox Live – Now only £3.99 at simplycdkeys.com
TechRadar searches the web every day to bring you the best deals on the best tech and games from all the biggest retailers.
Let’s kick today’s post off with some deals on gaming hardware. You can currently pick up the Nintendo 3DS XL with its 90% bigger screen for just £99 at Tesco Direct, and that includes the XL Stylus and a 4GB memory card.
Or if an Xbox One is more to your taste, Microsoft is currently doing a deal where you can get the white Xbox One with Sunset Overdrive AND £20 of store credit all for £299.99.
TODAY’S HOT DEALS
There are lots of great Android tablets out there but perhaps none better than Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S. The 8.4-inch version of the Tab S, with its fantastic screen and powerful innards, is currently reduced to £249.99. If you trade in an old tablet, you can get that knocked down to as low as £149.99!
Bluetooth speakers are among the most popular items in our TechRadar Deals posts and this is a good one from Philips. The BR1X is a rugged speaker designed for indoor and outdoor use, and currently down to £49.83 at Amazon.co.uk – down from £100.
Need more storage on your phone but don’t have room? Get this gadget from Toshiba and you can hook up your devices to an external hard drive wirelessly! So you can store all your photos and videos without having to plug yourself in. And it’s not just £18.99 at Amazon.co.uk.
The iPhone 6’s battery carries just 1,810mAh of juice. This portable power bank carries 20,000mAh meaning it could charge your phone or tablet many times over. Great for taking to festivals or on holiday! It’s also ridiculously good value – just £22.90 on Amazon.co.uk – down from £69.99.
Need a new USB stick? Of course you do, everyone does! This super compact 64GB one is currently available for just £18.99.
MORE GREAT DEALS
KitSound Ovation Slim Soundbar Speaker with Built-In Subwoofer – Only £99 at Amazon.co.uk
Sennheiser CX300-II In-Ear Headphones (White) – Reduced down to £16.99 at argos.co.uk
Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive + £20 store voucher – Only £299.99 at microsoftstore.com
AMD APU A6-6400K Black Edition – Reduced down to £34.20 at Amazon.co.uk
Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Silver – For as little as £99 at tesco.com
Acer Aspire CB5-3611 13 Inch Chromebook. – Now only £159.99 at ebay.co.uk (Argos)
Samsung S View Cover for Galaxy S4 – Orange – For as little as £7.95 at Amazon.co.uk
Boompods Flatline Lightning to USB Cable – Blue – Only £5.46 at Amazon.co.uk
AKG K 701 Headphones with Ear Hook – Cheapest ever on Amazon.co.uk at £139
IWANTIT ISBT10013 Wireless Speaker – Reduced down to £69.99 at currys.co.uk
Screamride (Xbox One) – Now only £19.85 at Amazon.co.uk
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS U (WII U) – Reduced down to £16.95 at thegamecollection.net
Far Cry 4 – Limited Edition PS4 – Only £27.98 at zavvi.com
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – For as little as £24.85 at Amazon.co.uk
BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS (WII U) – Now only £4.95 at thegamecollection.net
DRIVECLUB (PS4) – Only £19.95 at thegamecollection.net
Tomb Raider Definitive Edition (PS4) – Reduced down to £16.99 at base.com
Mario Golf World Tour 3DS – Only £19.85 at shopto.net
inFAMOUS: Second Son – Now only £17.86 at Amazon.co.uk
Each day TechRadar brings you great deals on tech products from around the web and today we’ve got some excellent bargains for you.
Let’s start today with some bargains on next-gen console games. Firstly, you can currently pick up the fantastic shooter Titanfall on Xbox One for just £19.85 at Amazon.co.uk – that’s actually slightly cheaper than the Xbox 360 version.
Meanwhile, inFAMOUS: Second Son can be had on PS4 now for just £21.39 at Amazon.co.uk and if you still haven’t played the Tomb Raider reboot, now could be the time to pick up a copy. It’s a brilliant game and now available for just £16.95.
TODAY’S HOT DEALS
Smart TV: Today’s first hot deal comes in the form of the brilliant 50-inch Sony KDL-50W829 smart TV. This was one of our absolute favourite TVs of 2014, and at the time represented the best value high-end TV out there. You can now get it even cheaper, it’s down to £679 at Currys.
Power bank: Need to charge your phone but don’t have access to a socket? Carry a portable power pack in your bag. This 2800mAh one is tiny and convenient and costs just £16.92.
Activity tracker: Want an activity tracker for keeping track of your exercise and sleep cycles? The Jawbone UP24 is one of the best gadgets out there and is currently available for just £77 at Amazon.co.uk – down from £124.99.
Speakers: Want a portable battery-powered Bluetooth speaker for taking away with you at the weekend or just for sitting in your kitchen? This one is down to just £16 from £59.99.
USB stick: Need a new USB stick to clip on to your keyring. This SanDisk model has 16GB capacity and costs just £4.14!
MORE HOT TECH DEALS
Samsung Galaxy 2 7 Inch Wifi Tablet 8GB (White) – Only £79.99 from ebay.co.uk (Argos)
G.Skill 16GB DDR3 1866MHz RipjawsX Memory – Now just £100.30 at Ebuyer.com
SanDisk 16GB Cruzer Orbit USB 2.0 Flash Drive – Just £4.14 from Ebuyer.com
500GB Toshiba STOR.E Steel S Portable Hard Drive – Only £31.98 from Ebuyer.com
TP-LINK TL-WPA4226KIT AV500 Powerline 300M Wi-Fi Extender – Reduced down to £44.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Nikon COOLPIX S9300 Compact Digital Camera (Silver) – Only £151.97 from Amazon.co.uk
Asus 16GB Google Nexus 7 1st Gen Tablet – Black (Refurbished with 12 month warranty) – £69.99 from the ebay.co.uk (Argos)
Asus X551CA-SX130H 15.6-inch HD LED Notebook – For as little as £279.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Ion Audio Pure LP USB Conversion Turntable (White) – Now just £54.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin – Only £31.99 at Amazon.co.uk
TOMB RAIDER – DEFINITIVE EDITION (PS4) – Reduced down to £16.95 from thegamecollection.net
Far Cry 4 (Kyrat Edition) – Only £39.99 from Amazon.co.uk
Game and Wario Wii U Game – Reduced down to £14.99 at argos.co.uk
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (PS4) – Only £20 at gameseek.co.uk
Need for Speed Rivals PS4 – From only £24.85 at shopto.net
inFAMOUS: Second Son – Now just £21.39 at Amazon.co.uk
Titanfall – For as little as £19.85 at Amazon.co.uk
Smartwatches have a lot of exciting functions, but sales are, shall we say, “steady” so far rather than massive. General consumers are struggling to see why they’d need one. “Surely it’s just a tiny phone that you strap to your wrist?” they cry.
Thing is, that’s more or less what everyone said about tablets just four years ago. Now everyone has one.
So what’s going to nudge smartwatches over the tipping point and into wild success? Here are the features hardware and software developers are working on right now that will soon be in future iterations of the Apple Watch, Moto 360, LG G Watch R, Asus ZenWatch, Pebble and the rest.
Control your house and everything else
You can already control your home heating with a Pebble or Android Wear piece, so long as you have a Nest smart thermostat and the right app. Oh, and you can start certain cars.
The smart home market is another area with massive potential, but where punters aren’t yet really biting. Tech brands would love to see home-based IoT provide smartwatches with their first real killer apps. And to that end, it surely won’t be long until you can heat the oven, fade the lights up and down, monitor your home security cameras and adjust your heating and music settings from your tech timepiece.
The big noise at the moment on this front is “Works with Nest”, the system devised by Google’s Nest that lets other sorts of devices be controlled using its own brand of commands. The important bit here is that it creates a standard that other smart gadgets can sign up to, rather than trying — and often failing — to do the job themselves.
With Samsung going balls out for IoT connectivity in 2015 and Sony et al using Android in their tellies, we’re confident most of this and next year’s TVs will be controllable via your Android Wear watch as well.
Just because Nest is owned by Google doesn’t mean the Apple Watch will be left in the lurch. There’s already a Nest app on iOS, while Apple’s own HomeKit waits in the wings.
Improve your health, save your life
Okay, there is some doubt that smartwatches, and wearables in general, will become massive as consumer devices. However, if legislation and medical practice allow, they will be massive in the health field.
An early application that could be genuinely life-changing is monitoring glucose levels for diabetics.
Google has already shown off a smart contact lens that constantly monitors your glucose levels, while Samsung has said it’s looking into non-invasive ways to do the same in future versions of is Gear watch line. The Gear S already monitors your heart rate, UV levels and air pressure.
Interestingly, a diabetes-monitoring watch can lay claim to being one of the very first “smartwatches”. The Cygnus GlucoWatch, released way back in 2002, monitored glucose levels through the skin every 10 minutes. It wasn’t perfect, with less immediate results and lower accuracy than the standard finger-prick test.
The current state of the art: there’s an app from DexCom lined up for the Apple Watch that receives data from DexCom’s tiny sensors, which actually sit beneath the skin.
Smartwatch makers and app/accessory developers would doubtless love to monitor our health in all sorts of ways. However, once you move beyond the current low-level fitness monitoring devices, you run into a brick wall of government regulation. And let’s face it, if you relied on a smartwatch HR monitor for medical-grade health updates, you’d probably spend a lot of time in A&E on precautionary visits.
As the mill pond of wearables become a great swirling ocean of tech, some brands are trying extremely hard to stand out. Trying harder than most is the Ritot, the first projection watch.
Each day TechRadar brings you great deals on tech products from around the web and today we’ve got some excellent bargains for you.
Let’s kick off with a great deal for Xbox One gamers. If you’re fed up with having to constantly find AA batteries for your controllers, consider picking up the Venon Xbox One Twin Charging Cradle for just £15 at Amazon.co.uk. It comes with two rechargeable battery packs and can charge two controllers at once!
Valentine’s Day deals: quick links
Today’s Hot Deals
Xbox One: If you’ve been waiting to pick up an Xbox One, you can currently pick one up with a 12 month subscription to Xbox Live Gold, all for just £329.49.
Cheap camera: Looking for a cheap compact camera to take on holiday this summer? Look no further than the Nikon Coolpix S9600. It’s got a 16MP sensor, full HD video capture and a 22x optical zoom and you can get it for just £109 at John Lewis!
Heart rate monitor: Looking to monitor your performance when exercising? The Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor will connect wirelessly to your phone or tablet so that you can review your workout. It’s down to just £93.82 at Amazon.co.uk.
Power bank: If your phone or tablet is always running out of juice, you should buy a portable power bank to charge your gadgets on the go. This one has a 12,000mAh battery which means it could charge your iPhone 6 six times over without needing to be plugged in itself! And it’s available for just £12.97 at Amazon.co.uk.
Bluetooth speaker: Get the X-Mini II capsure speaker for playing music when you’re out and about – great for camping trips or days on the beach! It’s currently half price – just £9.99 at Amazon.co.uk.
Apple Magic Mouse – Now just £42.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Lenovo MIIX 3 7.85-Inch Tablet – Down to £99.99 at Amazon.co.uk
SanDisk Ultra Fit High Speed USB 3.0 Flash Drive 32GB – Just £9.99 at Base.com
Kensington ClickSafe Keyed Laptop Lock – Down to £18.99 at Amazon.co.uk
SanDisk Extreme 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive – Just £18.25 at Amazon.co.uk
Razer BlackWidow 2014 Tournament Edition Essential Mechanical USB Keyboard – Get it for £59.95 at Amazon.co.uk
Plantronics GameCom 788 USB PC/Gaming Headset – Now down to £44.38 at Amazon.co.uk
Seagate Archive Hard drive 8TB Internal 3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s – Mega storage for just £202.59 at BT.com
NETGEAR GS208-100UKS 8 Port Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps Switch – Now £12.99 at Amazon.co.uk
August EP636 Bluetooth Wireless Stereo NFC Headphones with Microphone – White – Just £20 at Amazon.co.uk
Far Cry 4 Limited Edition PS4 – £29.86 at ShopTo
The Order 1886 for PlayStation 4 – Get it for £36.85 (Use code FEBGIFT10) at Rakuten.co.uk
FIFA 15 (PSVita) – Down to £19.85 at Amazon.co.uk
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo 3DS) – Now just £25 at Amazon.co.uk
BORDERLANDS: THE HANDSOME COLLECTION (PS4) – All for £36.95 at The Game Collection
Sunset Overdrive Xbox One – Digital Code – Just £21.99 at CDkeys.co.uk
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition – Classics (Xbox 360) – All time classic for £13.29 at Base.com