What follows is a list of the absolutely best gadgets that, here at T3, we feel will help you live a smarter, better life today. From technology to help you commute and work, to gadgets that will allow you to better flex your creativity and artistic flair, and onto machines and systems that will entertain and amuse you during leisure times, these products are the best of the best, the crème de la crème of today's most advanced tech offerings.
Air Hogs DR1 FPV Race Drone
Fancy yourself as the next superstar of drone racing? Earn your wings with this epic, pocket-friendly first-person race drone. A drone-mounted camera beams all the action to a smartphone, giving wannabe pilots a front-row seat and enabling more controlled, immersive flights. Propeller guards and a durable frame take the pain out of crashing, and auto take-off and landing let you focus on perfecting your G-force turns and barrel rolls.
Sony Xperia Touch
Imagine a world where you could convert any surface into a TV screen, connected games board, photo frame, DJ decks or phone screen. Xperia Touch makes that dream a reality. The portable, Android app-connected projector beams a 23- inch screen onto any fl at surface, ready for you to swipe, tap and scroll within a digital world of games, apps and utilities. Magic.
Amazon Fire 4K
Connect Amazon’s new tellybox to your Ultra HD TV to play games and watch the latest films and TV in stunning 4K – simply speak into the Amazon voice remote to call up your favourites shows in apps. The Fire 4K box has been upgraded with quadcore processing power, a powerful Imagination GX6250 graphics engine and 2GB of memory for best-in-show performance.
Kobo Aura H2O 2nd edition
Come rain or shine, you’ll never miss a page of your latest ethriller thanks to the Aura H2O’s waterproof protection. The lightweight ereader will survive a dunking in two metres of water – ideal if you’re an accident-prone bath reader. You can store up to 6,000 titles on the 8GB device and customise the look of each page – from font to text sharpness.
2017 Atari Flashback 8 Gold
More often than not, nostalgia is a reminder of how far technology and fashion have evolved, but we’ll admit to getting a little emotional about the return of a ’70s console. The Flashback 8 Gold resurrects the Atari 2600, loaded with 120 classics including Space Invaders, with 720p HD output and two joysticks so you can take on your mates.
Sony PlayStation 4 Pro
The PS4 Pro delivers monumental 4K gaming and entertainment to your home, boasting twice the graphics power of the standard PS4, boosted frame rate and vibrant HDR technology, all for less than 340 notes. Most new PS4 games are enhanced to take full advantage of the Pro’s added punch, making them more realistic and immersive than ever, and 4K TV and film streaming means you’ll never need to leave the house again.
Q Acoustics M3
A decent TV can easily be let down by poor speakers. Despite its small size, Q Acoustics’ award-winning M3 soundbar turns everything from Eastenders to the latest big-screen blockbuster into a cinematic epic. Wide dispersion BMR drivers fill any room with clear, 180-degree sound while the built-in subwoofer handles the low end, and adjustable EQ means it’ll sound great wherever you put it. Nothing on? Stream music to the M3 from any Bluetooth or NFC-equipped device.
Philips 9002 OLED TV
Whether you’re kicking back with a film or getting stuck into a game, the P5 picture quality engine nestled inside Philips’ 55-inch OLED TV digitally optimises the image for flawless colour, sharpness and detail, while DTS HD Premium Sound delivers clear and rich audio. For added immersion and expression, Ambilight technology expands the viewing experience by beaming a dynamic glow beyond the edges of the TV and onto the wall.
Who needs friends when you’ve got Cozmo? The adorable, app-controlled robot will play, interact and learn before your very eyes. Four motors and 50 gears control movement, while a 30fps camera and facial recognition tech enable him to remember every interaction. Cozmo is a great tool for learning to code too – use the drag and drop interface within Anki’s Code Lab to teach your digital pal new tricks.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro
The Nvidia Tegra X1- powered 4K HDR streamer delivers rich colours and incredible picture depth, whether you’re watching the big game, streaming a series or delving into Nvidia Now’s library of PC games, playable on your TV without the need for a gaming rig – they’re powered by the cloud. The Shield controller and remote both feature voice control. Connected home control is on the way too.
LG W7 Wallpaper TV
At just 2.57mm deep, LG’s razor-thin screen looks more like a work of art than a TV, but there’s more than just impressive dimensions. LG’s latest HDR technology means you get the most accurate colour representation, while self-emitting pixels ensure blacks are deep and rich. The LG OLED Hub houses the connections, and includes a set of speakers that work with Dolby Atmos.
Nintendo’s latest console keeps the game going whether you’re at home or on your travels. Hook the Switch up to your TV, grab the controllers and enjoy games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and The Legend of Zelda: The Breath Of The Wild in HD. Heading out? Grab the lush 6.2-inch screen from the dock, slide a controller onto each end and finish that race on the go.
V-MODA Crossfade M-100 and Boom- Pro microphone
These gaming headphones that take you straight to the heart of the action. 50mm Dual- Diaphragm Drivers create lifelike 3D audio, with clean, rumbling bass and clarity across the frequency range, from dialogue to explosions. The BoomPro mic is one of the best in the business, too.
Get VR gaming on the go with this seriously powerful machine. Dell’s top-specced gaming laptop features an overclocked Intel Core i7 processor and 32GB memory for unrivalled in-game performance, while NVIDIA’s formidable GeForce GTX 1080 video card and vivid 15.6-inch 1080p display take care of visuals. The TactX keyboard offers hardcore gamers rapid keystroke response.
This ultra-wide 35-inch curved monitor fills your vision with your favourite films and games. The AGC352UCG features G-Sync tech and a 100Hz refresh rate to deliver responsive gameplay without any bothersome lag. That 3440x1440 screen offers a crisp picture, too, with Low Blue Light tech filtering out harmful blue light and reducing eye fatigue during gaming or movie marathons.
From climbing Everest in your front room to exploring a post-apocalyptic wasteland in Fallout 4, the Vive’s 32 360-degree motion tracking sensors enable VR explorers to truly interact with the virtual world in front of their eyes. The 110 degree field of view, 2160x1200 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate make for slick, realistic action, and smart accessories like the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap with integrated headphones make this T3’s favourite VR platform by far.
Logitech Harmony Elite
Take charge of all your electrical devices and smart home gadgets using this clever remote. You can tap its built-in touchscreen display to control individual devices, or create activities so that you can control multiple things at once. You can even set schedules, allowing you to fully automate your devices and make them work when you want them to. Or you can ask Alexa to do these things for you, without even touching the remote.
Most smart home gadgets rely on your smartphone for control. In the case of something like smart lighting, having to whip your phone out each time to see where you’re going at night can be a pain. The Logitech POP starter kit – consisting of a Wi-Fi hub and two POP switches – sticks onto your wall and lets you control your smart stuff with button presses.
Neato Botvac Connected
The Neato Botvac Connected is the ideal way to pick up detritus around the home. The two blade brushes and side brush will help to clear anything in the Botvac’s path, and it works across any type of flooring. You can choose from Eco mode if you’re covering larger surfaces, or if you want a really deep clean, Turbo mode sucks up even more debris.
Most of us equate air pollution with standing next to an idling diesel car, but air pollution within your home can also be hazardous to your health. Foobot is an air quality monitor that tells you what you’re breathing in: blue is good; orange is bad. It measures for a variety of pollutants, such as volatile compounds, and the app will notify you when pollution is dangerous.
Yale Conexis L1 Smart Lock
Who needs keys when you can use a smartphone? The Yale Conexis L1 Smart Lock replaces your existing multi-point lock; when you want to unlock it just tap your phone against the reader. You can even send access to friends and family. If you’re worried about losing your phone, Yale provides backup access in the form of smartkey tags.
Nanoleaf Aurora Smarter Kit
If you want to make a big statement in your home, while upgrading its lighting smarts, the Nanoleaf Aurora could be the ticket. Its modular design, which wouldn’t look out of place in Tron, allows you to fit individual triangular pieces together (up to 30 at once) to make almost any shape you like, and program each panel to display one of its 16.7 million available colours. Where things get really impressive is being able to program the lights with animated colour-cycling patterns, and you can even get them to work in tandem with your music – a good excuse to show off your new sci-fi lighting rig, and throw a house party, then.
If you want the ultimate in smart home control, there’s no finer piece of tech than Amazon’s Echo. With Alexa’s voice-activated service at your beck and call, you can simply ask it to do your bidding, whether it’s turning your lights on, playing Van Halen’s greatest hits from your Spotify account, or just finding out what the weather is like on any given day. The built-in speaker offers impressive 360° sound, so the Echo can work as your main source of audio in the home as well as your one-stop voice control shop.
The Somfy One is a security camera with extra smarts, including an advanced type of motion sensor and a 90dB siren to give intruders’ ears something to think about if they dare to step foot in your home. It records super-wide 1080p video automatically when it detects an intrusion, and snaps a photo of the event just for good measure. Unlike other security cameras, Somfy One’s lens has a physical shutter, so you’ll know nobody can watch in on you when you’re at home.
Ikea Trådfri Smart Light Dimming Kit
Ikea’s been getting in on the smart home action for a while now. It’s latest connected tech is this Smart Light Dimming Kit. Consisting of an LED light bulb and wireless dimmer, the setup enables you to control what the light does, straight from your phone. You can change its brightness, alter the temperature between warm and cold, and set up a lighting schedule. And then you can add more compatible lights.
Tado Smart Thermostat Starter Kit
This smart thermostat is an easy way of upgrading your home’s heating. You can adjust the temperature from the Tado’s LED matrix display or use the mobile app to control it remotely. If you want to be handsoff, you can create heating schedules via the app. Tado’s trump card, though, is its multi-zone heating, which ensures every room is warmed to perfection.
Security cameras tend to be designed either with the indoors or outdoors in mind, but the Canary Flex aces both. Thanks to its weatherproof shell it can stay outside all year round, no matter the weather. Or, you can place it in the corner of a room. The beauty of the Flex is in its wire-free design - with a battery powering its 1080p video feed, there’s no need for a cable, so you can put it anywhere you like.
A smart plug is one of the least-expensive, yet most-useful, smart home products you can buy. The TP-Link HS110 smart plug makes all your dumb electricals clever. Just plug it into a wall socket and then connect a TV, lamp or coffee machine. You’ll then be able to turn devices on or off remotely, or you can even set up a schedule. The switch will also tell you how much each device is costing when it’s in use.
Most of us have got a smoke detector of some sort in the home, but none of them comes close to the capabilities of the Nest Protect. This smoke and carbon monoxide detector monitors for hazardous pollutants, and gives you a head’s up by pinging you an alert on your phone if it detects anything serious. If you’re just cooking a meal, you can silence an unnecessary alarm before it sounds.
Netatmo’s Presence camera offers the perfect solution for those wanting to boost their home’s outdoor security. Attach it to a wall at the front or rear of your house (or both) and, using the app you can keep an eye on who’s coming and going. Its smart motion detection can tell the difference between people, animals and cars, and it’ll alert you immediately so you can view its 1080p video feed. To deter nighttime prowlers, the camera’s built-in floodlight will activate when its infrared sensor detects movement, so you’re always covered.
Hozelock Cloud Controller Kit
If the idea of having to actually go outside and water your garden by hand makes you feel slightly nauseated, then you’ll love the Hozelock Cloud Controller. Simply attach it to your outdoor tap, hook it up to one of Hozelock’s drip kits and you can supply water to your whole garden or pot plants when required. Then download the app to your phone, set up a watering schedule and you’ll never have to worry about parched soil again. The app instantly notifies of weather changes so you can easily adjust the watering schedule.
Bosch EasyCut 12
The Bosch EasyCut 12, a sort of mini chainsaw, takes care of the smaller jobs that its bigger brother would be overkill for, such as removing tree branches, cutting through planks of wood, or even fending off smaller hordes in a zombie apocalypse (please check they are definitely zombies first, though). There are no cables to accidentally saw through either – with a lithium-ion battery built into the base, you can use it anywhere, and the removable battery is interchangeable with other Bosch tools in the Power for ALL System.
There are health perks to running outdoors, but what if you routinely run alone, especially on remote trails? If you want to enhance your personal safety, use Run Angel. This Bluetooth alarm has a built-in 120dB siren to scare off attackers. When the alarm sounds, Run Angel also sends an SOS text to your emergency contact, showing the date, time and location of where the alarm was triggered.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
A Bluetooth toothbrush with Smart Sensor tech to track your teeth cleaning, provide personalised feedback and help you create a complete oral care routine? We’ll take it! Philips’ latest electric toothbrush has five cleaning modes and three levels of intensity, and comes with a travel case that doubles as a charger. There are five sensors keeping tabs on your brushing, plus a 3D Mouth Map (via the companion app) to point out whether you’ve missed a spot.
Clarisonic Alpha Fit
Sure you can cleanse your skin with a hot cloth and facial wash, but if you want to ensure a thorough cleanse and tone every time you hit the shower try Clarisonic’s Alpha Fit. This waterproof, multi-bristle facial brush produces over 300 movements per second with a flexing action that dislodges dirt, excess oil and impurities. The result? Clean skin in under a minute.
Is your snoring loud enough to rattle windows? Cut it out with Nora, a sleep solution comprising a pillow expander and smart sensor. Place the expander inside your pillowcase and put Nora on your bedside table. Once Nora detects the earliest snoring, the pillow expander inflates, gently raising your head to stimulate your throat and encourage quieter breaths.
TomTom Spark 3 Cardio+Music
With its built-in heartrate monitor and onboard storage for 500+ songs, the third generation of TomTom’s durable GPS fitness watch is perfect for those looking to monitor their heart rate and listen to music without having to bring a smartphone along. Play tunes from the watch to your headphones, or take advantage of the Spark 3’s route tracking.
Fitbit Alta HR
A fitness tracker is an essential part of keeping tabs on your daily activity and health. Fitbit’s Alta HR offers monitoring that goes beyond simple step counting. It’ll automatically track your heart rate, using PurePulse tech, and your sleep and exercise (SmartTrack Auto Exercise Recognition). It’ll also help you understand the relationship between the calories you consume versus how many you burn – always essential for weight loss.
Nokia Body Scales
Looking to make changes to your weight? The Nokia Body Scales offer full weight tracking and BMI data to help you monitor weight loss or weight gain. The Body Scales work with the Nokia Health Mate companion app, enabling you to keep tabs on your weight and spot repeating patterns in your weight loss or gain each week. Up to eight users can use the scales, with a specific Pregnancy Mode for mamas-to-be.
Stress, anxiety and other health conditions can make falling asleep an onerous task. Thankfully there’s an easy method for overcoming this, and the low-tech Dodow will help you master it. Once activated, Dodow projects a blue light onto your ceiling. You breathe in time with the light, which blossoms on the exhale and shrinks on the inhale. The slower your breath, the more you relax and the faster you fall asleep.
Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition
Take your swimming to the next level with the second generation of Misfit’s best-selling AI swim coach, designed in collaboration with Speedo. The lightweight and waterproof Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition automatically counts your swim time and laps in the pool, as well as general activity out of the pool. Data is captured via the tracker’s built-in sensors and pinged to the Misfit companion app, giving you an overview of your progress.
Braun Series 9 Titanium
This titanium-coated beast makes quick work of tricky facial hair, thanks to Braun’s SyncroSonic tech that ‘reads’ your beard or stubble, checking its density 160 times per minute to deliver up to 40,000 cross-cutting actions every 60 seconds. The Series 9 utilises fi ve shaving elements, including a HyperLift&Cut trimmer to lift then cut fl at-lying hairs, plus a Direct&Cut trimmer to align any pesky hairs growing out in different directions.
LVL Wearable Hydration Monitor
When you consider how dehydration wreaks havoc on energy levels, it’s crazy how few of us drink enough water to function, let alone to optimise a workout. The LVL is an app-controlled tracker that monitors your body’s hydration in real time. It uses infrared light to measure water in your blood, prompting you to drink more when needed and to work out how much extra you need for the exercise you do.
Earbuds, but not as we know them. Here One’s buds, each individually powered and wire-free, filter outside noise and do a great job at blasting music. But that’s just the start – activate the listening mode and you can control the balance between outside sounds and your tunes, adjust the volume if you can’t hear quiet sounds, or engage noise filters which filter out specific frequencies.
Gramovox Floating Record Player
Vinyl is made to be enjoyed, and one of the key factors behind its modern resurgence is the tactile and visual thrill of the records themselves. If you really want to make the most of your collection – particularly those luridly coloured special editions – this vertical turntable combines that warm sound with a neat display. Built-in speakers mean you don’t need a separate amp (though you can use one if you prefer) and the belt-driven mechanism ensures fl utter-free playback.
Clint Digital Freya Bluetooth Speaker Special Edition
An elegant wireless speaker with beautiful Danish design from Phillip Bodum, the Red Dot award-winning Freya speaker looks even more awesome in this copper and black trim. It’s not just a Bluetooth speaker, though; grab two Freyas and you can pair the 7-watt units for perfectly synced stereo output and run them for a solid eight hours on the built-in battery.
It’s impossible to appreciate how good digital music can sound until you’ve heard it put through a proper conversion and amplifi cation process, and listened with high-end headphones. Once you have, you’re not going to want to give it up. Chord’s aluminium-milled Mojo is the ideal portable headphone amp, with a 10- hour battery life, a custom DAC, and line-level output. It sounds just awesome.
Majority Barton Retro DAB Radio
Compatible with DAB, DAB+ and FM signals, the small-footprint Barton Retro Radio can pick up Radio 4, which means it’s all but essential for the modern kitchen. It also features alarm and sleep functions, so it’s perfect for your bedside table, and its retro styling is neither too retro nor offensive. Don’t be fooled by the low price, because there’s nothing small about the sound of this unit.
Bose QuietComfort 30 in-ear headphones
Take advantage of Bose’s audio engineering experience and heritage with these precise and super comfortable bluetooth headphones, with fully-adjustable noise cancelling and adaptive EQ. There’s no need to fiddle with the in-line buttons to get your settings just right, since Bose’s Connect app offers up a handy visual representation of your noise levels and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Amazon Echo Dot is a great idea – a cut-down version of the Echo proper that you can pair with your own amp. If you don’t have the amplification on hand, or you’d like something a little more streamlined, the cunningly designed Vaux has you covered. Slide your Echo Dot into its perfectly sized niche, plug in the cables, hide them by closing the rear panel, and you’re set for wire-free Echo amplification for up to six hours.
The unique design of these bookshelf speakers isn’t just for the sake of looks. What seems to be a single cone is actually a pair of nestled drivers, with a 25mm vented aluminium tweeter located in the centre of a 16.5cm driver which handles the rest. KEF calls this complex engineering arrangement Uni-Q, and this latest Q-series iteration delivers some quite incredible audio clarity and power for a unit that’s so small. Probably the best mid-range speakers you can buy.
Audio Technica ATH-SR5BT
The truly impressive battery life, a claimed 38 hours, shouldn’t be what draws you to these Bluetooth-capable cans: it’s the hi-res audio logo on the box. With support for aptX high-quality audio streaming, sound is brilliantly bright and clear. Cable up the ATH-SR5BT headphones and even more range is revealed. This is a truly great-sounding headset, full of bass and clarity without sacrificing any of that all-important overall soundstage.
Naim Uniti Atom
Everything you need for home hi-res audio streaming in one place: a 40 watt class A/B amplifier, inputs for phono, optical and USB sources, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, and compatibility with just about every streaming service from Tidal to Spotify. Just plug in speakers, fire up the iOS or Android app, and you’re playing. Premium Burr Brown DACs and a 40-bit SHARC DSP processor ensure a brilliant output that’s a treat for the ears whatever your source.
Astell & Kern Kann
If you’re a digital audiophile, you’re going to be pushing for the highest resolution and the finest digital-to-analogue conversion tech at all times. You get it here. A&K’s Kann, which supports just about every format and features the superb AKM AK4490 DAC, will make you wonder why you’ve been playing music on your phone for so long. It’s not just a player in its own right, either; hook up your computer and you can pipe your sounds through that immaculate DAC.
Salomon Sense Pro Max
Wave goodbye to runner’s foot and leg fatigue with the cushioned Sense Pro Max, Salomon’s high-tech trail shoe fitted with an Endofit neoprene sleeve for a lightweight, sock-style fit. If you find yourself on uneasy footing when running outdoors, you’ll love the midfoot stability and precision provided by the Sense Pro Max’s welded Sensifit overlays (upper) and kevlar Quicklaces. Get ’em in blue or green and start eating up those trail miles.
Ditch the fugly Bluetooth headset and transform your phone into a voice-controlled, Alexa-powered smart assistant for the car. Snap your handset onto Logitech’s magnetic vent or dash-mounted gizmo and the ZeroTouch app (Android) launches automatically, leaving you free to call, text and email, select tunes, control navigation and command Alexa without taking your eyes off the road.
Bluesmart Series 2
Never lose your luggage again, thanks to Bluesmart’s long-haul cases featuring GPS and 3G global location tracking that syncs with your smartphone. A built-in battery has plenty of power in the tank for your laptop and other travel essentials like your phone and ereader, while built-in smart weight sensors coordinate with your flight information, alerting you if you’re over the weight allowance for your next flight.
Exploring by car is fun. Pumping stinky emissions into the atmosphere is not. It’s time to go electric, especially when Renault’s playful, Fiesta-sized hatchback ZOE is so attractive. This five-door can run for up to 250 miles on a full charge and comes with a wall-mounted faster charger for installation at your home. Buy the car and the battery together, or lease the battery separately for a monthly fee.
Inject some fun into your off-road pursuits with the URB-E Sport, a 30lb folding electric vehicle for messing around or commuting. Open it up and the Sport zooms along at 14mph, with a 16-mile range. It’s fitted with retractable, anodised handlebars, eight-inch ‘never-fl at’ tires and a quad-bank charger so that you can use it to juice up your laptop or smartphone (USB 2.0 and Type-C) in an emergency.
Range Rover Velar
Land Rover’s most stylish SUV yet is packed with premium tech. In-car multitasking is easy via dual 10-inch touch screens, enabling you to engage the sat nav, crank the multispeaker sound system and set climate control. A beefy four-cylinder V6 engine brings the power, while Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning systems help you travel from A to B safely.
Thinkware F800 Dash Cam
If the Wi-Fi- and GPS-enabled F800 detects you’ve been in a car accident, it sends location data to your emergency contacts. Via the Thinkware Cloud, it also connects to your smartphone, enabling you to check your car’s location if stolen. Front and rear video footage is captured by 1080p Sony Exmor R Starvis image sensors, along with nighttime footage.
Take a tumble on your bike wearing Livall’s smart lid and a built-in sensor instructs the companion app (iOS/Android) to ping your exact location and an SOS message to your emergency contact. Two Bluetooth speakers, Sound Wave Control and a distortion-free, windproof mic mean you can take and make voice calls without lifting your hands off the bars. If you’re cycling with other Livall-toting riders, you can communicate with each other walkie-talkie style. Rad!