BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition – Fisrt Ubuntu Smartphone
The BQ Aquaris E4.5 runs Ubuntu – the latest open-source operating system to hit smartphones – which uses home screens dedicated to topics like music instead of apps.
€169.90 (£126), ubuntu.com
The benefits of Open Source
Making something open-source gives all developers access to how it was built so they can improve or add to what’s already been achieved. The term can apply to just about anything, from your smartphone’s operating system to virtual-reality headset. Software source code is usually included free of charge with modding, customising and hacking actively encouraged. Sharing is caring and smart city gurus believe having an open-source network will rapidly increase urban development.
If you’ve any doubt just how tough the Olympus TG-860 is, it’s waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, dustproof, freezeproof to -10ºC… has GPS, Wi-fi, the Full HD video capture at 60 frames per second and has a selfie-friendly tilt screen.
£269.99 on amazon
Pure Evoke D2 Bluetooth DAB/FM
A digital & portable radio with a daydreamer flavour courtesy of British screenprint artist Rob Ryan.
£109.95 on amazon
Samsung MW8000J Hotblast
Samsung claims the Hotblast cuts cooking times in half by packing in a fan double the size of those found in its conventional ovens.
Fitbit Charge HR / Fitbit Surge
Heart rate and activity wristband the Charge HR is joined by the Surge fitness super-watch (left) to keep comprehensive tabs on how pumped you are.
Tiesto Audiofly Earphones
Dance DJ Tiesto grabbed a Grammy for a John Legend remix last week – his other collaboration is with Audiofly – producing EDM – ready earphones.
From £29.99 on amazon
A hi-fi amp in a seriously small package with all manner of digital and wireless connectivity.
£449 on amazon
Gizmo External TurboCharger 1000
Proporta’s thinnest and lightest external smartphone turbo charger is skinnier than a low-fat latte.
£14.95 on amazon
Lavazza Modo Mio Minù
A tongue-twister of a compact coffee machine that makes an espresso in seconds and offers ten blends to choose from.
£55 on amazon
On Test Vaccum Cleaners
Miele Dynamic U1 Allergy Powerline
If the Miele Dynamic U1 was a car, it would be a Range Rover: it’s massive and, heck, it even has a grille. Powered by the mains and carrying a six-litre bag, it could be called old-school but sometimes the old ways are the best. The 1,500-watt machine glides across the floor like a slightly overweight ice skater but leaves carpets looking like a freshly mown Wembley Stadium. Its omnidirectional neck makes manoeuvring tight spaces surprisingly easy. An ‘automatic’ button decides the best settings for the surface and we like that it’s designed for allergy sufferers by filtering 99.999% of pollen, and scores a dust emission ratting of ‘A‘.
Storage might pose a problem, and we don’t like cables, bags or the price, but for luxury clean the Miele Dynamic U1 is magnificent.
£312.97 (22% discount) on amazon
There is definite ingenuity to Vax’s new cordless range and the Lift is designed with upright machine’s nemesis in mind – steps. Remove the main cannister with the push of a button to set your ‘cleaning wand’ free, making it a cinch to go upstairs downstairs. If the Miele Dynamic U1 is a Range Rover, the 20V Vax Air Cordless Lift is a VW – pratical. It’s light, also omnidirectional and carries a boost mode for extra cyclone oomph. We also found it the most straightforward to use straight from the box but there are downsides. Capacity is just one-litre and the 25-minute runtime comes from a large lithium battery you have to stick in an even bigger charging unit. Neither look particularly pretty and both are bulky. We really want to love the Vax Air Cordless Lift; however, we simply respect its stair-friendly design and wish it was a bit cheaper.
£299.00 on amazon (£349.99 on vax.co.uk)
There’s hardly anything to the Dyson DC59 Animal. It’s only skinny cordless customer, not that you’d think so from the bewildering amount of clip-on accessories that come in the box. This makes the Dyson DC59 Animal a winner for small apartments where nooks, crannies and crevices are a constant dust trap. Very much the Smart Car of vacuums, capacity is a measly 0.4-litres, which is a shame because the 21.6V power added boost mode from the digital motor really do suck as much as Kanye West’s award ceremony etiquette. Cleaning time lasts just 20 minutes but it’s a simple case of plugging the Dyson DC59 in to recharge rather than messing about with removable batteries, and it can be neatly wall mounted.
£332.00 on amazon