Are you ready for your close-up? Smartphones that outshoot cameras, 4K ultra-high-definition actioncams and a kettle that charges your phone.
GoPro Hero4 Black
It’s the market-leading action camera for good reason. And yet again, GoPro’s found a way to outdo its rivals. The new Hero4 Black shoots in 4K ultra high-definition at 30 frames-per-second, but doesn’t, unlike its 4K actioncam rivals so far, take up any extra space. It also now takes 12MP stills at a burst of 30 per second and features improved Wi-Fi and now Bluetooth. The higher specs sit well with GoPro’s reputation for class-leading image quality in all conditions, toughness and wide range of mounting options. And if you don’t need ultra-high-def, the Silver edition costs £290 and manages 2.7K video at 30fps.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2
Bowers & Wilkins original P5 headphones were already award-winning. But now they’ve had a fairly radical internal revamp. The P5 Series 2 keeps the foldable and on-ear form factor, and the external materials - they’re all leather and metal. But internally it’s all change. Series 2 shrinks the driver technology developed for the fairly new P7s - with suspended diaphragms much closer to traditional speaker drivers than most headphones. The result is, according to its makers “more precise, ‘pistonic’ diaphragm movement - and more accurate sound reproduction”. Best ever sounding on-ear headphones? At that price, they probably should be.
BioLite’s CampStove was a small fire container to heat food, that also charged your mobile devices using patented tech that “converts heat from fire into usable electricity via a thermoelectric generator”. Designed for use not just by outdoors enthusiasts, but for developing world applications too, the company’s new idea is a kettle that does the same. Stick the KettleCharge on any stove and heat it - you’ll get 10W usable power for a 750ml max fill boil. Again, the aim is clearly not just to let campers recharge their mobiles wherever, but also to provide a new way of powering remote locations.
Dainese Manis range
Respected motorbike and extreme sports protection specialist Dainese has turned to the Asian and African pangolin mammal (scientific name: Manis) as inspiration for its new back protectors. Like the roll-up pangolin, the Manis protector is designed with overlapping hard scales hung off flexible joints (silicone in this case). The result here is a back protector that can bend and flex in all directions - including twisting laterally by up to 25 degrees. As well as offering greater freedom of movement, Dainese says the Manis protector will work with a wider range of user positions and postures. It’s also perforated, so less sweaty.
nVidia Shield Tablet
from £240 (controller £50)
This makes a lot more sense than the original Shield Portable - a rather ugly cut-and-shut of console gamepad and phablet screen. This, instead, is a high-end Android tablet with gaming specs, that wirelessly connects to a gamepad and lets you play PC games wirelessly on it. The tablet itself features 8” Full HD screen, 2.2GHz quad-core Tegra K1 processor, and stereo front-mounted speakers. The tablet will not only play the full Android games library (with hundreds modified for the controller specifically), it’ll also let you stream your PC games from your desktop, wirelessly to it over Wi-Fi or LTE.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1
Panasonic’s new CM1 rivals the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom in merging smartphone and compact camera into one device. While the K Zoom features a 10x optical zoom, the CM1 goes down a different route: no optical zoom; instead a 20MP 1”-sized sensor, 28mm/f2.8 Leica lens and physical control ring, with modes including focus, aperture and manual. ISO and white balance are also controllable, and the other specs are good too - 4.7” Full HD screen, quad-core processor and RAW-capture as an option. The obvious letdowns: a mere 2600mAh battery, availability only in France and Germany initially, and that hardly-surprising price.