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New gadgets, gizmos & technology:

Smart Home Hub – SmartThings Hub

Are you building your own smart home?  Getting all of your devices to talk to each other is an essential part of the journey and making sure you have the right smart hub is important.  A smart hub will allow you to join up all of your smart devices such as lights, thermostats, cameras and much more – all from one app.  Getting the right smart hub will not only connect your devices, but in a new way where they can all talk to each other.  This allows for example, when you go out and lock your door via your smart lock, the smart home hub can then tell your lights to go off and your thermostat to go down.  It’s a great first step to create your smart, automated home.

The SmartThings Hub by Samsung is one of the best options on the market and comes with both Zigbee and Z-Wave which provides the ability to connect to 100’s of devices which is more than other hubs.  The app is full of functionality which you can use to create a wide range of scenarios for all your smart devices and you can use if for Nest devices which you can’t with other hubs.

To use the SmartThings platform to achieve all of this you will need to buy the Aeotec Smart Home Hub as Samsung no longer make their hub or you could find another compatible hub, but is worth doing even though the actual hub is no longer available from Samsung.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £99.99 (Amazon)

Our Rating:

Google Nest Protect Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector

As we all increase smart products in our home, smoke detectors are the devices that we can quite often forget, yet they are so important to keep you and your families safe in the event of a fire.

Nest, one of the leaders in smart thermostats also provide smart smoke detectors, so can you protect your family and home from anywhere in the world. As with any smart product the Nest Protect smoke detector connects via WiFi or IFTTT (if this, then that).

The design is simple and looks subtle which is great for a smoke detector so blends in with décor better. It is simple to get up and get active. If the Nest Protect detects a fire or smoke it will alert you wherever you are in the UK or across the other side of the world – meaning you can always be rest assured.

You manage your Nest Protect via an app – well designed, easy to use to set up and access alerts and notifications.

It is something that we hope that you will never need but recommended to get to provide you with peace of mind and priced at under a £100 a well worth investment.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £87.00 (Amazon)

Our Rating:

Gardener Smart Irrigation Control

During the summer months the last thing we want to see is continual rain but the keen gardeners amongst us, want to keep their hard work protected in the garden and watering is a key part of keeping the grass looking great and flowers and shrubs flourishing. But who wants to stand there after a long day with the hose, dragging it around the garden?

The Gardena Smart System is just the answer. It takes the work out of watering your garden using a bit of smart technology. There are setting options but simply this easy-to-use sprinkler works through a smart gateway that connects to your router. You can do this via your WiFi or ethernet, the water control unit is then connected to your outside tap.

Once you have set it up you control the sprinkler from an app that you download to your smart phone. You have the option to start the sprinkler watering manually from your app or set up a schedule where it will start automatically at the selected times. As an option to take it to the next step you can choose to add a smart sensor from the Gardena range – this then judges when your soil is getting too dry and then will activate the sprinkler system – what could be easier and makes sure all your hard work in the garden continues to bloom even in hot weather.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £248.65 (Amazon)

Our Rating:

Nest Thermostat

Google have been focussed on improving their Nest thermostat for each new model launched.  The look and feel still remains the same with its round shape but it is now slimmer.

The newest model now comes with a side touch interface which streamlines the hardware into simple slide and tap controls – this means you no longer have to turn the entire ring to access and browse the settings and then press down on the device to make the selection you desire.  You can also access the Nest remotely via the Google Home app.  This a positive step forward away from using the Nest app since the acquisition by Google in 2014.  The acquisition has also made Nest more affordable which is great news.

You can opt for one of four colours from snow, sand, fog and charcoal which means you can match it to your room.  The new slimmer design means it only weighs just under 5 ounces with a 3.3-inch diameter and depth of just 1.1 inches so it won’t look obtrusive wherever you decide to locate it.

It has a premium look and feel to it with it stainless steel ring and slick design and now mirrored display. It comes with the mounting hardware so you can get it installed straight away.  Installing it without the trim plate makes it look better as an option.  The Nest comes complete with temperature, humidity, ambient light and built-in motion sensors.  You can also automate your heat and air conditioning around the ambient temperature in your rooms by using the compatible Google Nest Temperature Sensor accessory.

As with previous models in the Google Home app you can change your thermostat settings wherever you are if you have an internet connection, set automatic schedules and preferred temperature ranges which will adjust automatically when you leave or go home.  An energy saving setting is indicated by a leaf icon on the thermostat and on your phone – clicking on it will provide you with an energy dashboard which will give you a more detailed look at energy usage of the last days, weeks and months.

If you don’t already have a Google Home account when you install your Nest, this isn’t a problem as you can just download and install it and create an account.   You can then easily add your device by going to the ‘set up device’ section which will walk you through the steps to get your thermostat up and running.

It is a great all rounder at a good price and simple to use yet looks good on the eye.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £190.00

Our Rating:

Sonos One

Quite often we think we need to choose between Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant but there could be an option that you are missing, meaning that you do not need to choose.  The Sonos One supports both popular smart assistants so you can opt for the Sonos speaker whichever is your preference.

One big bonus is that from a sound point of view, the Sonos is head and shoulders above the other smart speakers in the price range.  The flexibility is that it also connects to other Sonos speakers like the Beam, Move and Arc – this means you can enjoy the better sound quality plus the voice assistant throughout your home.  Another great and innovative solution from Sonos.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £179.00

Our Rating:

Meeting Owl Pro

The pandemic has created new ways most of us must work, the most common being working from home and online meetings.  One of the challenges of online meetings is getting yourself heard and hearing others via our laptops or other devices that we use – this can be frustrating, especially when online meetings aren’t going anywhere.

The Meeting Owl Pro is a great bit of kit that could be your answer.  It look as it’s name suggests like an owl with its sleep and quirky design.  It comes complete with 8 microphones so you can make sure your contributions to a meeting can be heard and as the name Owl suggests – a 360 degree camera making it super versatile.  The target was to create a device that aimed to replicate an in-person meeting whilst you and your colleagues or clients can’t be together. 

Watch Video here

To replicate more realistically as if you were in a meeting it comes with an 18-foot audio pick up and a great tool is that it comes with an automatic zoom which responds and turns to whoever is speaking – meaning you and your colleagues can sit easily round a table to conduct your meeting and remote colleagues or clients.

The Meeting Owl Pro integrates with Google Hangouts, Zoom and Slack making it a great bit of kit for the new way that we work.

Price: £999.00

Our Rating:

Corsair One a200 Gaming Computer

Are you looking for a small gaming computer which still gives you the punch that you need, take a look at the new offering from Corsair One.

The Corsair One is a popular choice in the gaming sector and one of the most unique gaming Pc’s on the market.  The Corsair One a200 is a welcome addition to their range and is a powerhouse computer of gaming.  It comes complete with the below, all in a chassis that is 14.96 inches tall and 7.87 inches deep: –

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
  • 32GB of RAM
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Now, we did say it packs a punch for a small gaming computer, and the price is no exception, costing approx. £3,300 with extra costs depending on any configuration that you opt for.  This does make it a lot more expensive than other PC’s for gaming and you need to ask yourself spec for spec is the cost worth it for the specification.

With the Corsair One a200, you are paying for the compact nature and cool look. If you are limited for space and want something small, then you probably can’t go wrong if you are willing to pay the price.  It does also come with all the necessary ports that you would get with a regular PC which in essence it still is – 2x USB-C ports, 5 more USB-a, an Ethernet, and a number of dedicated audio jacks, plus a great addition of antenna ports for built-in WiFi.  Other gaming PC’s that provide more ports are a lot bigger so for its size this is great.

The case is easy to access should you have to, but with the size of complexity of the inside, it could be a challenge to do any upgrades yourself – maybe consider using a professional to do this for you.  However, you probably wouldn’t need to upgrade it for some time.

The gaming experience is excellent, mainly down to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 providing no frame drops making a full day of gaming a great experience.  Even the more complex of games are no problem for this little powerhouse.  The quality of images and the picture is superb with the 1080p with ultra-settings.

Overall, this is a great gaming computer which is powerful, neat and a pleasure to use, however, it is counted as more of a luxury product which is down to the cost and essential if you don’t have a lot of space for a traditional size gaming computer.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £3300.00

Our Rating:

iPad Air 4

Apple have created a mid-range iPad for those wanting a pro-level performance and functionality without paying the price for it.  The iPad Air4 comes with a flat edge design with a 10.9inch screen with the cool colour options that come with an iPhone 12.  What is great is that you are able to use the Apple pencil and magic keyboard with it, giving the capability of replacing a laptop.  With A14 Bionic performance it is fast and by losing the USB-C charging may mean you need less cables.

To provide some more detail.  It comes in green, rose gold, silver, blue and space grey – there is a colour choice for everyone.  By removing the home button they have been able to fit in the larger screen.  Upgraded from its predecessors with a fingerprint scanner hidden inside the lock button – great idea.  It means that the button slightly protrudes which makes it easier to find – different to some of its competitors. 

The lightening port for the USB-C has gone which some people my find frustrating but at least less cables my be required and you can just use the one you will be using for your phone.  Something else you may love or hate is the removal of the headphone jack.  They are simply following the trend as with their other devices. More and more people are converting to wireless headphones so it shouldn’t cause too much of an issue. 

The iPad itself is light and thin compared to other models so super easy to take on your travels or pop in your bag.  The display is sharp although in comparison to other tablets, it could be a bit brighter but it doesn’t take away from the visual enjoyment.  Watching a film or program, you will hardly notice.  To compensate it comes with full lamination and anti-reflective coating which makes it more resistant to glare and your fingerprints.  You will notice this when watching a dark scene of a film – you will notice less reflection.

The touch ID senor makes it fast to turn off and authenticate when using passwords or Apple pay.  The speed absolutely is increased with the A14 bionic chip giving it an advantage to its competitors, you will notice hardly if no stutter with gaming flicking between functions or streaming. 

Speakers really enhance your experience and give out enough sound for a small to medium sized room so enough for what you will need.  The fact that you can also use your Apple pencil and magic keyboard make it super versatile although the prices of accessories do need to come down but at least if you have invested in them they are compatible with the iPad Air4.

Although iPad are not typically used a lot for taking pictures, Apple have included a great camera to encourage usage.  It comes with a 12 mega pixel wide range webcam and the 7 mega pixel front facing webcam also provides sharp and accurate images.  You can notice in them when online in face to face meetings where you get great detail and colour. 

Lastly the battery should provide you with all day usage – lasting for 10 + hours – just above average for tablets.

The iPad Air4 is a great all round tablet and definitely ahead of the other iPads and the fact that you can use with the magic keyboard could be a game changer to use more as a laptop.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £549.00

Our Rating:

Small and powerful laptop

Priced from £999, the Dell XPS 13, is one of the best laptops you can opt for right now.  With the increased working from home that appears not to be disappearing, laptops are more popular than ever.

The Dell XPS 13 is a lightweight option which is great when you need to return to the office or when you are able to get back out and about and is slim to neatly fit into your work or handbag.  From the screen configurations you can opt for a non-glare screen, full HD or UHD, making it great for watching your favourite film or programme and also comes with touchscreen versions making it really versatile.  Dell have added Tiger Lake processors and Xe graphics meaning it is ideal for basic gaming which isn’t bad for a laptop of this size. 

The great look of the laptop is increased with the removal of the bezel on the InifinityEdge display which helps keep the laptop small yet keeping the display as large as possible.  Coupled with a comfortable keypad and touchpad the overall user experience is enjoyable and spot on.  The small laptop packs a punch with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and comes complete with over 12 hours of battery life – a must with a laptop especially if you are travelling.  Although this laptop came out at the end of 2020 it is still coming out on top against newer laptops that have been released. 

Price: from £999

Our Rating:

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3

Each year there are new models of our favourite phone, better, sleeker and with more functionality.  Samsung have been the brave leaders in foldable phones and their new model is even smaller and the one that reviewers find may just be worth a go.

Previous foldable phones came with huge price tags and a whole host of issues, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 for starters comes with a more affordable price tag of £949, so cheaper than previous models and puts it on a par with the latest Apple and Google devices that you opt for on contract.  There is also no compromise needed on the processing power or the features that come with the phone – the Flip3 comes complete with an octa-core processor, a 120Hz display and plenty of RAM and as a bonus for a foldable phone it is waterproof.

When you fold the phone, the display will be then split into two which enables you to watch a film for example, by easily sitting your phone on a table.  So you can see notifications when the phone is shut, there is a small display screen on the back making it super easy to use.  It is a little bit too early to know if there are any hardware issues – as more become used, it will be interesting to see what is reported.  Fingers crossed there aren’t too many as this could be a great solution for tablets moving forward. 

Price: £949.00

Our Rating:

Google Nest Hub Max

Smart displays for the home are on the increase – there are so many ways that they can be used, we are sure that they will soon be in every household.

We seem to hear about the smart display available from Amazon more, but the Google Nest Hub Max is getting popular.

It has an attractive design which is sleek and would look good in most settings and comes with a stand that slants it more towards the eye level making it easier to use.  With the increased use of facetime, skype and online meetings a front facing camera is essential when choosing a smart display and this one comes with a 6.5MP camera.

Compared with using a tablet, the size of the screen at 10-inch is a great addition which comes with a 1280×800 resolution which is ideal for this size of screen and will provide an enjoyable experience.  Use it as an addition to your home security by allowing it to record when there is movement in the room.

Using a smart display is the future of smart homes, by using them as a portal for other devices in your home and gadgets rather than just a speaker.  They are coming with more options built in, such as Netflix with more to come.  As with any new smart device that is there to integrate with other smart devices, there are always some early niggles, but these with the Google Nest Hub Max are minimal.  It is one of the best on the market now, a good looker, great screen, good integration, and the audio is decent.

Price: £219.00

Our Rating:

Wireless Earbuds from Cleer

Earbuds aren’t going away as we listen to music, podcasts or catch up with friends on the go.  The lower priced earbuds often don’t provide great performance or a good experience.  The new earbuds just launched from Cleer goes against this trend and it is great to see.

They have literally just launched and the pricing is yet to be finalised but it is expected to be around £59.99 but you get a lot for the money.

These are the features you can expect:-

  • Active noise cancellation which have the ability to block out environmental sounds of up to 25dB
  • The earbuds come with 5.8mm dynamic drivers and aptX support – this means that listening with hi-res audio files will be really clear
  • You won’t need your phone to control the earbuds – they will come with touch sensitive housings which you can configure within the Cleer+ app where you can also adjust the strength of the noise cancellation and flick through different EQ requests
  • You can use them whilst working out due to an IPX4 water resistance rating
  • Complete with built in microphones with Qualcomm’s cVc technology which will provide you with clear calls
  • The battery life is ok with five hours playback provided by the earbuds themselves and a further 10 hours which comes from the charging case

 

A great option which is expected to come in at a great price.

Price: £59.99 (approx)

Our Rating:

Anker Nebula Mars II projector

As we enter the summer and the nights when we get a chance to sit out in the garden, wouldn’t it be great to enjoy a film, alfresco? This nifty little gadget could be a good way for you to do just this.

It is a cool compact project, almost like a little box of tricks. Really simple to use it comes with built in WiFi to enable access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, plus BBC iPlayer. Even though fairly small, the speaker packs enough punch to enjoy your favourite film or programme. It is re-chargeable so if not plugged in you will get around 4 hours of run time, plenty for a film!

Super easy as a plug and play solution. It comes with automatic focusing and keystone correction – this just leaves you to put in position and point it at a blank wall, leave the little box to do the rest. It is best to keep the picture as small as you can making sure it is comfortable to watch as it comes with up to a 100 inches with a resolution of 720p HD.

Obviously the darker it is outside, the clearer the picture will be – with an output of 300 lumens, it won’t give you the brightest picture but for fun, alfresco evenings and something to do on those dark, warm summer nights – this is a great little projector.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £449.99

Our Rating:

Denon S716H Sound Bar

Sound bars are becoming more and more popular with endless options now available.  As TV’s have got flatter and slimmer, this sometimes has an impact on the sound quality so getting a soundbar is a great way to create a better and more enjoyable viewing and entertainment experience.

Denon have launched this great soundbar.  They have designed the soundbar to be paired with TV’s that are 50-55 inches in size.  It is a weighty soundbar weighing in at 4.8kg and measuring over just a metre in length – you definitely need to make sure that you have the room so do check out the full specifications.

It comes complete with multiple HDMI ports – four input and one output.  This is a great feature and these ports allow you to use the soundbar as a HDMI switching hub meaning you are able to attach other devices such as your games console, set top box – they also can switch 4K HDR and Dolby Vision sources making it super flexible.

As with many other soundbars Spotify is included but it also includes other audio formats from Deezer, Amazon Music, Soundcloud and Napster – some welcome additions – all joined together by the HEOS app which is used to login and get streaming.  If you are a retro lover, there is also a jack port for your retro devices and a USB port if you want to listen to your own downloaded music.

It is a good looking soundbar which you can wall mount under your TV or simply sit in front of your TV on your stand – do check the dimensions.  It is easily connected wirelessly or you can wire it in if you are close to your router – then simply connect your HDMI lead from your TV to the soundbar.  You can use the HEOS to set it up and control its operation – you can even control the volume from your phone which is really cool – it does come with a small remote control if you wish not to use the app.

It comes with a simple and balanced soundscape for real enjoyment – you can alter how the sound is delivered via its nine drivers which are arranged in trios for left, centre and right channels plus a virtual surround mode which creates the illusion of having more speakers around the room – really cool but you will probably use it in the standard mode.  The best sound quality you experience is when you are closer to the soundbar, this shouldn’t be a problem as we mostly use soundbars when we are in the room.

The soundbar is a great option in the price range, performs well and is easy to operate whilst looking good.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £799.00

Our Rating:

Apple Homepad Mini

After the launch of the Apple HomePod, many Apple lovers have been waiting the launch of a mini version – some 3 years later and here it is.

As the name suggests it is small at just 8.4 cm tall and 9.8cm wide, in comparison it is smaller than the Echo Dot.  It is small enough to fit anywhere, comes in a simple black or white finish where the fabric has been chosen for its acoustic properties – it will look great in any room in the home.

When talking to Siri, you can see this is active when the glass panel on the top which is opaque jumps to life with a swirling orb of colour.  It is classy and appealing and encouraging you to engage with it.  You won’t see any buttons on the mini but when the panel is lit on the top you will see plus and minus symbols to operate the volume.  By tapping the centre of the panel you can pause, resume with a double tap skipping you forward and a triple tap taking you backwards – simple and effective.  To get Siri to listen you simply give the panel a long press. 

Power is supplied by a simple fixed power cable with a USB-C plus that goes into your charger.  Don’t be tempted to plug the mini into your Mac or MacBook Pro as it won’t like the underpowered port and will light up to tell you so.

Technically the mini has been manufactured to provide 360 degree sound and a system to reduce distortion.  Coming complete with 4 microphones, 3 that listen out for your Siri command with the fourth making sure you can be heard over background noise.  It is smart technology which somehow recognises when you are speaking to the mini and not your iPhone which may be closer to you.

You can use it for more than listening to music, control any HomeKit compatible devices, set alarms, shopping lists or even make a phone call but it’s real strength is in its music.  It’s set up allows you not only to play your favourite music from lists but you can simply ask it to play something that you will like and it will search and find something not from your play list but a new song that fits with the type of music you have been listening to – don’t like it just ask it to play something else and it will switch genres.

In the list of developments Apple is adding third-party services where the mini currently lacks.  It is expected that development will include Spotify, Tidal, Deezer type integration but the music that you can access sounds great and packs a punch more than you would expect for its size. Even at high volume it performs well with no signs of signs of distortion or strain.  It seems to have a natural ability to play a song and pick out the right tones and sound for the track, it pulls out the prominent tones and sounds that are appropriate to the song.  The spherical shape of the mini makes sure the sound is distributed all round, filling a space naturally and easily.  It is a great product from Apple which will only get better with development.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £99.00

Our Rating:
Vaha Smart Mirror

Vaha Smart Fitness Mirror

The trend to stay fit at home was sparked by the pandemic but recent research has showed that the trend hasn’t gone away and is expected to be a permanent activity. The last 12 months has seen a surge of new fitness apps, trackers, home workout kits and gadgets to keep you fit at home.

The Vaha Mirror to look at, just looks like your average mirror that you would have in your living room or bedroom. Sleek and unobtrusive it doesn’t look out of place. When you switch it on, you will be amazed as it comes to life as a digital personal trainer.

The mirror comes complete with over 100 pre-loaded, on-demand fitness classes, plus a rolling timetable of live classes – covering weights, yoga, pilates and cardio, providing something for everyone. The live classes are bookable through the Vaha Mirror app.

The mirror is a full HD 43-inch touchscreen and completing a class is like being there, with the instructor showing you the moves in front of you. You can see your reflection, so you can visually see if you are doing the exercise correctly or simply check your posture.

A really innovative and imaginative way to do exercises at home whilst having a piece of kit that easily blends into your décor. You can either pay for the Vaha Mirror for a one of cost of £1950 or you can opt for monthly instalments of £50 per month over 39 months. In addition to be able to access all the classes and a free personal training session each month, you will also have to pay a monthly membership of £39 per month.

Great fun and a good way to get yourself fit at home.

Price: £1950.00 (or £50 per month, over 39 months)

Our Rating:
LARQ Water Bottle

LARQ Smart Water Bottle

We all want to be a bitter trimmer ready for the summer and it is also the time to ensure you stay hydrated. The use of water bottles rather than using plastic throw bottles is continually on the increase. How many of us though have thrown away our own water bottles because we left them in the car, or lock at the gym and therefore hadn’t been washed for a while? A fairly common answer will be yes.

Then look no further than the Larq Bottle Movement PureVit (trademark). Not only does this smart water bottle purify your water it also actively self-cleans. The Larq’s proprietary and patented PurVis (trademark) UV-C LED technology is the coolest bit of tech and most advanced in the world that cleans your bottle. It provides the world’s first portable digital water purification system, includes a rechargeable lithium polymer battery that just keeps going and the UV-C LED’s that supports their cleaning system.

Using the Larq botte ensures you will eradicate 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses (when in Adventure Mode), it is chemical free and you don’t need to replace any filters. It is made of a lightweight stainless steel so easy to carry with you wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It’s design is sleek, comes in 2 sizes with colour and design option. It retails at £78 but for a first smart water bottle, giving you filtered water and a product you don’t have to clean, maybe this should be your next gadget purchase.

Price: £78.00

Our Rating:
sense-HeroStatic-carbon-side

Fitbit Sense

As we are getting more focussed on becoming fitter and healthier, smart watches are growing in popularity.  Fitbit have always been at the forefront of options and now they have the Fitbit Sense. 

It is the most expensive Fitbit they offer so you need to make sure that it is right for you.  It follows the trends and is a good looking watch with rounded edges making it comfortable and a square face.  To create a more premium it has a stainless steel case and they have introduced a sensitive button on the left-hand side which gives you a quick access to your most frequently used apps.  One tap, you get one app with a double press you get four shortcuts displayed – great when you want to access your favourite workouts without having to scroll through menus. 

Sharp and bright, the display is covered in Gorilla glass and is really responsive.  If you swipe down from any screen it will reveal a shade that contains all your notifications – you can customise these in your Fitbit app.  Swipe the right and you get your settings, where you can set your sleep mode, change the screen brightness and anything else you need to do. 

You get an Infinity Band strap with the watch, made from soft silicone with no hard buckles or catches making it super comfy so great to wear overnight.  It is suggested that when you are working out you wear your watch a little tighter so ensure that you get an accurate heart reading.  The bands comes in 2 sizes so check the circumference of your wrist.  To keep it clean just using warm soapy water. 

As you would expect is comes with a choice of watch faces to choose from which you choose from your Fitbit app where you are able to pick 4 for quick access. 

You get up to six days battery life but the more you access the various sensors the lower this will be as will use the always-on screen.  Coming with a small USB charger with a square dock which easily attaches to the watch using magnets making it impossible to misalign.  Coming with the expected voice controls via Alexa (Google Assist not available yet) and Fitbit pay (subject to your bank being supported). In addition you can receive SMS notifications, calls from your phone plus tell it what to put in a text message with Bluetooth call answering coming. 

One of the notable features is the stress monitoring.  This is measured by electrodermal activity (EDA) responses.  These responses come from your skin and will be affected by sweat – this isn’t monitored just from emotional stress but physical stress from exercise and heat will affect them as well.  Running the scan is straight forward – make sure the watch is secure on your wrist, swipe left and select the EDA scan option, placing your other hand over the face for two minutes.  This will prompt a gentle vibration to show the scan is starting and again when it is finished.  The calmer you are will generate less EDA responses.  You will be asked to enter how you are feeling once the scan is completed for example calm, neutral, stresses or even very calm – you can then review the result in your app.

In the app you can access via the Mindfullness section all the results, past scans and calendar which shows your moods and recommended activity to combat any stress.  Set goals and prompts and reflect on your results – it is a great addition and tool.

There are more options and tools available for monitoring your wellbeing for sleep, temperature, blood oxygen, menstrual cycle tracking and more. As well as wellbeing there is a whole host of fitness activity from bootcamp, circuit training, golf, hike, interval workout, kickboxing martial arts, pilates, run, spinning, there is something for everyone. Water resistant upto 50m, you can also wear when you go swimming.

This is a great addition to the Fitbit range.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £299.00

Our Rating:

Tangram smart skipping rope

Loved skipping at school or just looking for a great fitness cardio workout.  Skipping is still a popular choice and now with a range of smart skipping ropes to choose from.  The Tangram skipping rope could be the perfect option for you if you want more than just a rope. 

The Tangram provides a truly immersive fitness experience by tracking your workout for you and sending the information straight to your smartphone – ensuring the workout is engaging and motivating as you can see your achievements.  Track your progress and challenge others – all designed for you to use skipping as your choice of fitness. 

By using Smart Rope Pure you can store up to 100 data sets of your workout which are synched on your phone in the Smart Gym app.  This app helps you to keep track of your fitness activity and stay motivated – you can: –

  • Track your jump count, calories burnt and workout times
  • Select interval training so you jump smarter to reach your fitness goals
  • Enter in competition with your friends with daily activity
  • Check where you are on the worldwide jump ropers leaderboard

The Tangram rope is great quality with accurate sensors – using the workout mechanics of the rope to accurately track your jumps and ball bearings will track full revolutions as you complete a full jump. You can also adjust the rope length according to your height, ideal for a height upto 6ft 10.  The battery life is great, charge your rope for just 2 hours and it will continue to work for a month and a half giving you 45 hours of active use for your jumping.

A great all-rounder. 

Price: £59.95

Our Rating:

Xbox Stereo Headset

Wireless headsets are still more popular than ever when gaming but wired headsets are still common, preferred by some gamers, and quite often cheaper.  Microsoft have recently launched a wired headset, priced at just £55.  It doesn’t compete with all the bells and whistles that you get with their wireless headsets but for the price it is a great option.

The design of the wired headset is pretty similar to their wireless version, nice soft rounded earcups flexible boom arm, padded headband, dial controls – although you don’t get the audio mixing option.  The main difference of course is the wire that you need to plug into your Xbox – or for other uses any device with a 3.5mm jack port.

Xbox are confident users won’t be disappointed, promising across the frequency range a strong sonic performance.  It also comes complete with the support that you get with the wireless headset the Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone from your box (some subscriptions required).

If you are not bothered about plugging in a wire, then this is an affordable option that will still give you a great performance.

Price: £55.00

Our Rating:

Brook Power Bay Nintendo Switch Dock

The Nintendo Switch has been a huge success but getting hold of accessories has been difficult and, on many occasions, pricey.  Manufacturers Brook spotted an opportunity and launched a switching dock which is affordable and comes with some great features. 

It almost looks like a mini games console that provides output video so you can play on your large TV via HDMI and also provides 2 built in Game Cube controller ports for playing Super Smash Bros, Bluetooth headset audio and mains power when playing away from your TV.

Aesthetically it looks a bit different and not as sleek as you may expect, it appears a bit chunky with an almost retro look and feel but it is attractive and funky yet small enough to fit in your pocket. On the dock you can adjust the angle to get the best viewing whilst you play.

It doesn’t come with a charging mains unit which helps Brook to keep the costs down, but they have made it super easy to use by slotting in your console underneath the purple flap and away you go beaming your game onto your TV.  Although it does not come with the charging mains unit, they do make assurances that as long as you use an official Nintendo power supply – there will be no risks around potentially dangerous power fluctuations.

A great feature is that you can hook up two Bluetooth audio devices for your comfort sat on your sofa without the need for additional adapters.  Although it is not as slick or robust as the premium Nintendo devices, the functionality and price make up for it.

Some additional features include the fact that you can remove the HDMI lead with the device powered on and use your Nintendo Switch with the screen on and powered without losing any of the features of the dock – also opens its use to Nintendo Lite users.

In summary it is a great addition if you love playing Smash Bros with a GameCube pad with the flexibility of the wireless audio experience at a budget – but you must remember that you will require an official Nintendo Power supply.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £64.79

Our Rating:

Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 Gaming Router

This is the new gaming router on offer within the Netgear range offering high-end WiFi 6 performance.  It comes with the Netgear DumaOS system which provides advances features – as this is aimed at gamers – it locates the fastest servers available in the world to gain the best gaming performance.  It is a dual band router so does come out a little pricey compared to other dual band routers, so you need to ensure you are choosing it for gaming and the right reason.

If you look at the images you will see that it is very sleek in design, futuristic looking and pleasing on the eye, complete with 4 antennae for range and distance.  Providing a maximum speed of up to 5.4 Gbps/second it is fast enough for gaming and 4k.   Complete with a gigabit ethernet port plus 4 additional points is it flexible to connect other devices plus a printer or hard drive via a USB 3.0 port. 

It will auto select and use the best band for performance from 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz without you having to think about it.  The operating dashboard is clear and easy to navigate and from here you can see other devices that are connected so you can pause or delete to improve performance or if you need to stop your kids gaming late at night, simply disconnect their device.  If you have several visitors or your kids have friends over – you can also go into the router and set up a guest network.  Not great on parental control options though – so be aware. 

When setting up the router, there are easy to follow guides and installation tips making it super easy to get started with simple features to control your network.  You do however, have to browse the router interface to find the key gaming features but well worth doing.  In here you can also prioritise gaming, streaming, whatever it is that is your priority at the time. There is a cool heatmap that shows where the fastest gaming servers are in the world which you can also finetune. 

We recommend this only if you are serious gamer or have one in the house, ready for WiFi 6 as you need to remember that PC’s and mobile’s have to be WiFi 6 ready – this is a essential as if you not wanting to use if for gaming it is a little pricey for a dual band router.

All in all, it is great for gaming with some innovative and cool features – you definitely won’t be disappointed.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £329.99

Our Rating:

Helio Sunset Lamp

Are you looking for something a little bit different for your lighting? Do you have a room that you would love to see lit up with sunlight? The Helio Sunset Table Lamp could be just what you are looking for.

Designer Fiorenzo Trentini is know for his unique and quirky designs taking his inspirations from his travels and experiences. Imagine being on holiday in Santorini, watching the sunset. His vision was to create a lamp that would give you this experience in your home with a simple click of a button.

The lamp is simple in design and won’t look out of place in your living room, dining room, kitchen, wherever you choose to have your sunset. It comes with a 180 degree adjustable lamp head, providing you the ability to position it to give you the best experience. It provides a warm and comfortable light to lift the mood and create your own sunset whilst being energy saving. Black in colour, standing at 27 cm high with a cord length of 1.2m. If you want something a bit different to light up your room, try the uplifting Helio Sunset Table Lamp.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £65.00

Our Rating:

LIFX Smart Bulbs

LIFX have grown in popularity and are a great alternative to Philips Hue – one of the differences is that they connect and take commands directly when connected to your WiFi and not in a mesh type environment like the Philips Hue, they are also a very elegant design.

They are easy to use as they link directly to your WiFi and require no hub and separate control panel, making it easier, although if thinking about multiple bulbs, do check out the price compared to competitors who work more on a mesh and integrated network.

LIFX have got the colour just right with just the right shades and brightness.  They easily connect to your choice of smart assistant and response well to all commands.  Can be operated with one-touch control and deeper controls and features available but overall easy to set up and use.

They have a range which includes the standard mini LIFX bulbs – they also provide a Plus range with bulbs that work well with your smart security cameras, included infra-red LED’s which even if your main lighting is off will remain on.  Definitely worth taking a look at.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: Variable (depending on bulb type)

Our Rating:

Smart lighting for the garden – Sengled Smart LED

Smart lighting does not need to be just for in the home, as we head to the summer, there is nothing better than coming home to a lit path or sitting in the garden and enjoying a gentle glow of light in the garden. 

The Sengled Smart LED can help you to achieve this and comes with a motion sensor making it ideal for a pathway or a dull area of your garden.  It lights up to 1000 lumens creating a bright light and with the motion sensor it will turn out when it detects movement within 30 feet.  When you are coming home and it is dark it is a great solution to light up your path to your front door and down the side when putting your bins out. 

The Sengled Smart LED works with Alexa and Google Assistant and also SmartThings so great for flexibility.  You can opt for push notifications and set it to trigger other smart home actions when the light detects motion – routines can be added.   To control the Sengled Smart LED you will, however, need to buy the Sengled Smart Hub or opt for another compatible smart home hub. 

Benefits are that it has a built-in sensor, integrated daylight sensor, weatherproof but do be aware it comes with no HomeKit support and a hub is required – but a great outdoor smart option. 

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: Variable (depending on bulb type and options)

Our Rating:

WiFiTron WiFi Booster

Getting a good WiFi signal across our home can be a challenge, there is always a dead spot somewhere.  Even when you place your router in the optimal place, you can still end up with parts of your home with a bad signal.  WiFi boosters are a great way to resolve this.

The WiFiTron is a great product for you to resolve this and is aimed at eliminating all your dead zones in your home by providing full signal strength no matter what room you are in.  It is a compact unit that comes with 2 built-in antennas.  So you can enjoy the benefits of high-speed internet in seconds, it comes complete with a single-push WPA button.  To give you peace of mind with network security it supports WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryption keeping you and data safe.

It is so simple to set up, plug it in to your wall socket and press the WPS button.  To provide connectivity, whatever network you are on, it covers all WAN networks.  The signal indicator on the unit shows clearly so you can see at a glance, the signal strength.  You can easily see by the signal strength via the LED lights, where it is best to place the unit to get the best signal.

It will provide you with 1200Mbps in speed so you can easily watch a 4k film and play all your favourite games – all this without any buffering issues.

This is one of the best extenders on the market, so if you are struggling with dead spots, it’s worth the investment.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £39.99

Our Rating:

EERO mesh network router

A mesh network is a great way to fix and address dead spots in your home but it won’t necessarily solve your problems if you don’t have decent broadband or the best for your area that is available.  Ultimately a mesh system is designed to increase or solve bad signal strength. Mesh networks often get compared to when using using WiFi extenders which connect to your wireless network and then simply repeat the signal from your router under a new network name. 

A mesh network provides a more seamless and efficient way to address any issues in the home.  A mesh system is usually a complete replacement for your home WiFi.  You can use them with your current router but there is usually no reason to.  They replace your router and then you install multiple identical devices around your home that work and are used together.  They all are running from the same software and don’t require you to have different network names.

EERO mesh provides small devices and kit which are fairly inexpensive.  Owned by Amazon, they have been working hard on the design and performance, providing a smaller mesh network kit for home use.  The devices are small and white in design and look good in a rounded corners design – the size is 3.9inches by 2.4inches tall to smaller than some of its competitors. 

You have the flexibility of the EERO acting as a router or as an extension depending on how you set it up.  They come in a 3 pack and then you buy additional extensions and there are other plug-in wireless options in their range. 

The units have a two gigabit ethernet ports so you are not just restricted to wireless, making them a great option for plugging into a printer or any network storage device.  EERO say that there is no limit to how many devices you place in the network but expect that there will be reduction in performance after 5 or 6 extensions.  Even so you get 1500 square feet coverage with each device so the three pack is ideal for a 5000 square foot home.  This makes it a healthy competitor by price to other options available on the market.  For a home or small office the performance is great but you may get a superior performance from some of its more expensive competitors. 

The set up is easy and straight forward when you download their app which is available for android and iOS – you can’t however use a web browser.  It can take a little time to get the validation email but it is still no more than a matter of minutes.  Once it connects to each device you can see it in your app and the colour changes colour on each device showing it is connected and ready and easy then to add in your extensions.  From the app you can get reports to which will give you a weekly activity log of malware scans, threats and ads blocked and here you will find access to the family online content filters.  You can change and configure anything from the same app. 

It is small, easy to use and good price and great for the average home and you can also add and extend.  There could be better options available but for the price it is worth giving it a go.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £249.00

Our Rating:

TP-Link RE650 AC2600 WiFi Range Extender

TP for some time has been ahead on in-home WiFi extenders.  Generally good on performance and affordable they have been a householder option for many years.

This addition to their range is no exception.  It is a fairly chunky unit so you do need to consider where you place it so you don’t block other outlets.  The unit comes complete with four LED’s which act as indicators for power and connections and covers 2.4 and 5 GHz networks.  When the unit is too far from the router an LED ring glows red and when blue it is in range and at an ideal distance.  You can opt to turn off the LED’s if they are in your view and causing a distraction.

Its Intelligent Processing Engine will detect and opt for the most efficient route for the data to travel from the router to extender to client.  It is designed to accommodate many connected devices at once with a dual core processor that controls the extenders operations and streamlines the delivery of data to your devices.  Some people think it looks funky with it paddles that fold out at 2.5 inches rather than the traditional antennas.  You can also use the circular signal strength indicator for WPS to quickly connect with a router or device.

Within the TP-Link connected app you can monitor connections from your phone or tablet and manage the network name and security passwords.  Easy to set up and online and use for scheduling – great if you have gaming kids!

TP-Link do stand out with their 2-year warranty which includes 24/7 support, their website also offers some great support from videos to downloads and troubleshooting.  You will also find a software emulator which if you are new to their products, helps you to navigate and familiarise yourself with the device and range.

A good but pricey extender which you may find a little large. 

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £79.99

Our Rating:

Smart Alarm System

Smart cameras are more popular than ever with single cameras now being used in homes across the UK. You can now take your smart home alarm solution one stage further by using a system.

Smart home alarm systems will usually include motion and door sensors to detect anyone entering your home, plus a keypad for you to operate the system. They link to an app that you set up on your phone so you know what is going on in your home wherever you may be.

The Yale Starter Kit is a great system to get you started. They have a great background in home security and now they have turned their expertise to the smart home world by creating a great starter kit. The kit comes with infrared sensors, both door and window contacts, a siren, keypad and a smart hub for operation.

The kit enables you to add to it, so it can be used on any size home or as you expand the system, it enables you to add upto 40 additional sensors to get your whole home covered, easy to use, plug and play range with a 200m range and so easy to set up yourself.

The sensors are small and unobtrusive, so not an ugly addition to your window or doors, the motion sensors need to be screwed to the wall so make sure you are choosing the best place to locate them. The hub which is at the centre of the kit, communicates with you via your smartphone and plugs directly into your network via an ethernet cable, being able to be mounted on the wall or simply sit on the side. The keypad is a welcome addition and sets it aside to some of its competitors who don’t include a keypad for setting and disarming.

In summary, it is a great starter kit for your smart home, easy to use and install and will help you to protect your home.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact an Approved Security Camera Installer .

Price: £245.34 (Amazon)

Our Rating:

Eufy SoloCam E40 Wireless Security Camera

This is the brand new wireless security camera launched by Anker.   A funky looking camera that is battery operated and weather proof.  Designed to push notifications to your smart phone when it detects motion which it will detect from its 130-degree field of view.  The camera comes with the ability for you to log in and watch the live camera feed.

When motion is detected the camera will automatically record 2k colour footage which is perfect for the day and for the night due to the infrared it will record in black and white so you can review the footage at a later date.  Setting itself aside to its nearest competitors, it will store 8GB of memory which is built in to the camera so there are no monthly subscriptions required.  It is expected that this will provide about 30 days of motion clips which assumed at 30 detections per day which last for approximately 10 seconds.

What is cool is that it has inbuilt technology that can detect if any motion is caused by a person or another source, coming complete with a speaker and microphone it provides the ability for you to speak to anyone in the view of the camera.

Good news is that it is compatible and integrates with the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so you can review the footage and use the camera for home automation too.

This new addition to the range doesn’t require a base station for connectivity to the internet, alternatively it comes with built in WiFi which you can connect directly to your router with the battery expected to last upto 120 days.  It retails at about £120 so it a great option for a battery powered, 2k home security camera.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact an Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £120.00

Our Rating:

Ring Video Doorbell – Gen 2

We have all come to know the Ring Doorbell and this is an updated and refreshed version of the entry-level product it launched some time ago.  They have integrated some of the more advanced features from their more expensive doorbells whilst keeping the price down.

One of the key differences to the first-generation model is the video, which is 1080p resolution, much higher than the 720p on their original product.  For customers using it, it means that the image you can see is sharper and clearer so you can identify people and generally see what is happening better.

With darker nights lasting longer than any of us would prefer, the new model comes with improved night vision plus a new motion zone setting – all great additions to get the most out of using a video doorbell.  Easy to connect to WiFi but you cannot swop out the batteries like later models so this could be a consideration.

When purchasing the Ring Video Doorbell, you may need to consider their Ring Protect subscription – without it you will be able use if perfectly and access the video when someone is there, all in real-time and two-way talk but not nothing will be recorded or saved – this is what the Ring Protect subscription allows you to do.  It is worth looking into the options available.

The video doorbell is easy to install with an easy fix bracket which the device easily clips into aided by a magnet.  To stop it being easily removed there are two security screws which are at the base – using the correct screws is essential as using longer screws could mean that you pierce the internal battery.  You can use the previous low voltage wiring from your 1st generation model if you had one as you do need to be mindful that to recharge the battery you need to move the device and take it inside to recharge.  To combat this, Ring have launched a solar panel that you can opt for as an extra which will then keep the device charged.

With any Video doorbell one of the downfalls can be false alerts when movement is detected from trees, animals, etc – this model has an optional ‘people only mode’ which is a welcome addition that works well.  If you do opt for the Ring Protect subscription it will snap a photo one per hour so you can see timeline of activity on your app.  The motion zones – left, centre, right and near field zone, each can be turned off to suit your needs.  What is cool is the privacy zone – if you live in a flat for example so close to your neighbour’s door, you can draw a rectangular privacy zone so it will only detect what is happening in the zone you highlight in front of your own door.

With Ring now being owned by Amazon, it operates easily in partnership with your Alexa – an example is you can program your Alexa to alert you when someone presses the doorbell but unfortunately it doesn’t operate so easily with the Google Assist.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £89.00

Our Rating:

SimCam 1S Home security Camera

Looking for a small and powerful little indoor camera, this could be the one for you.  This nifty little camera gives you a sharp 1080p video and comes with an accurate motion detector – essential for indoor home security.  What is different is that the SimCam 1S uses face recognition which can tell you who is coming and who is going.  The camera will detect who it is and send you an alert and it can differentiate not only between people but also cars and pets.  It looks cool and has a 360-degree mechanical panning mechanism, leaving no area uncovered.  The camera is equipped with a local storage to archive motion triggered recorded video.

When you buy the camera, it comes complete with a 16GB microSD card so you can start straight away.  As you would expect it comes with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support and can work with other smart devices.  To provide you with good coverage it has dual bank WiFi connectivity.

Overall, this is a nifty little camera that is a great for your indoor security and is easy to use, set up and interact with.

If you need any help or advice with your product, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installer by using the search box on our homepage.

Price: £99.00

Our Rating: