This month our cover feature focuses on smart home – and more specifically how you can set up your dream smart home. We've got top buying advice for the best smart thermostats, lighting, sensors, cams and more – and we also show you how to hook it all up and control your entire home from your smartphone. From Nest to Philips Hue to the Ring smart video doorbell, we cover everything you need!
And if that wasn't enough! Also in this month's T3 (opens in new tab):
- We've gone all out to test the latest in tech drop-top sports cars. We've driven the latest Porsche, Audi and Mercedes convertibles. Which should you be driving this Summer? Check out our State of the Art feature to find out.
- Meat. We've ground it, grilled it and digested it (just about) in this month's Man vs Tech. I personally took up the challenge to use the latest in grill and kitchen tech to create my own bangers and burgers from scratch and then serve them up to the T3 team. Did they survive my culinary exploits? Find out inside the mag.
- We also bring you the best gadgets money can buy for under £200. You can get some cracking kit without breaking the bank – and we bring you an essential list. Not to be missed
- It's another tech-packed issue of T3. And I hope you love it.
Thanks for reading – until next month!
T3 Magazine Editor's blog
It's been an interesting month for me on T3. I've had a raft of gadgets to play with, and here I'm gonna tell you just what I think of them. For a start, I moved over from iPhone to Android. Firstly with the Huawei P9. I love the design of this phone – it's light, sleek and the dual cameras on the back are a real talking point. I loved everything about it, until I booted it up. The Huawei EMUI Android skin was, until a few days ago, pretty atrocious. My previous experiences with Android have been with Nexus devices (I also had a brief flirtation with Samsung). And to be presented with a bunch of extremely ugly, bordered icons was a definite turn-off. You may say, "What does it matter?", but to me it does. I want my UI to be clean and sophisticated – with icons as they look on the Play Store. Luckily, Huawei has just released an update that removes the borders. Thank goodness.
In terms of phone features, the P9 nails it. The camera is ace, the black and white shots being particularly brilliant. Battery life is average, but I got nearly a day from it. It's a solid phone and I thought I'd use it for a long time. But then I got the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. This is now my daily phone. As I'm sure you know, it's a lovely-looking device. It's sleek, fits in the hand beautifully and bridges the gap between 6P massive and 6S small. Touchwiz is less intrusive than ever before, and the fingerprint reader – although not as responsive as the P9's – is much improved over the S6. But there's one thing I don't like about this phone, and that's the 'edge' itself. While it looks beautiful (this is the best screen I've ever seen on a smartphone), it frustrates me. Why? Because if I'm holding it in one hand and touching the screen with another, sometimes it fails to register as it thinks my fingers are on the edge of the screen. OK, they are. Maybe I need to hold it differently.
But phones aren't all I've been testing this month. I was lucky enough to have the new Mini John Cooper Works Convertible in my possession for a couple of weeks. I love Minis, and the JCW is enormous fun. The automatic gearbox is wonderfully responsive and the handling is, as you'd expect, go-kart-like. Flip it to sport mode and the car comes alive – and it's noisy as hell. Subtle this is not. And with the top down on a sunny day, I don't think I've ever been as exhilarated by a drive. The infotainment system is a standard Mini affair, but as good as ever – and being able to hook up a GoPro via the Mini Connected app is a load of fun. I just wish I could keep it. However, next month I'm getting a Mustang (and, having driven one in California at the beginning of the year, I know how much fun they are).
And finally, I've been testing the Ring video doorbell. Yes, a smart doorbell. I was far too excited about this. Before Ring, I didn't have a doorbell, just an old-fashioned knocker. And now, if the postman rings and I'm at the office, I can chat to him directly and tell him to leave the parcel around the back – via my phone. What excitement! It was quick to install, but I wish I'd wired it into a mains connection, as having to charge it every so often by Micro USB is a real ball-ache – especially since it doesn't warn you that the battery is low (at least I didn't notice).
Rob Carney is editor of T3 magazine. Buy the latest issue here, or subscribe and save big (opens in new tab)