Monday, 30th October 2017

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Gadget Talk

Three devices to get excited about

By Mathures Paul
  • Published 22.07.19, 8:56 PM
  • Updated 22.07.19, 9:17 PM
  • a few seconds read
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Samsung Electronics
Photo Credit: Samsung Electronics
Power up with a wireless battery pack: Yes, smartphones now come with bigger batteries and the software on them is optimised better than ever before. Yet, all that Netflix and gaming ensure juices run out quickly. Obviously, a power bank is not a luxury for those always on the move. While one can do with a wired battery pack, we tried Samsung’s 10,000mAh wireless battery pack over 10 days and this is how it went. As light as any flagship smartphone in the market, the battery pack has a sleek design in a metal shell. Weighing only 235g, it easily slips into your pocket. What makes the device 2019-worthy is the built-in wireless charging pad with a rubberised surface to prevent devices from slipping off. Just about any Qi-compatible device — from smartphones to smart watches and wireless earbuds like Galaxy Buds — can be charged on the mat. At one end of the device is a standard USB port for wired charging. But the question is how fast? It allows 15W on wired charging and 7.5W on wireless, which means if your phone is plugged in, a full charge (or thereabouts) would require around one hour, which is great. And it can charge two gadgets at the same time, one on the mat and the other plugged in. Priced Rs 3,699, the battery pack is particularly helpful if you wear a smartwatch and sport wireless earphones all the time. It’s just the device to help you power up on a busy day.
Picture: Wacaco
Photo Credit: Picture: Wacaco
Espresso on the move: “During camping or trekking, I carry the Nanopresso,” a friend announced during his recent visit to Calcutta. The thirty-something takes a break from his job at an IT firm in the US every year to go trekking during which the Nanopresso travels with him. The machine from Wacaco has, in fact, become such a beloved companion that it also travelled to Calcutta. Weighing a little over 300g, all you need to provide is finely ground beans, hot water and some muscle power, which the manual pump requires. To prepare a cup, add the powder to the portafilter and then tamp the grounds down. Tighten the portafilter, which is on the top side. Pour hot water into the tank (bottom). Turn the machine upside down and there is a small pump on the side, which needs to pressed again and again to create 18 bars of internal pressure. Keep pumping and espresso starts flowing into the cup in no time. If you are using coffee beans, ensure the grind is not to fine. The other option is to use a coffee pod. Either way, the machine is quite easy to clean. Though very little to complain about the quality of espresso, a bit of muscle power is required and when the coffee does flow, it’s not as hot as one may get at a cafe. A question: How does one purchase it? It’s available on Amazon India (Rs 4,599 onwards, which is the mini version). Should you buy it? Well, it does make espresso that’s cheaper than in cafes and the device should last long enough to be worth an “investment”.
Picture: Xiaomi
Photo Credit: Picture: Xiaomi
Get a smart shave: Xiaomi and beard trimmer don’t add up but the Beijing HQ-ed company is expanding its range of products, going beyond smartphones and TVs. Recently, the company entered into the personal grooming space with the Mi Beard Trimmer, which is equipped with “self-sharpening blades”, a long lasting battery and an IPX7 waterproof body. It comes with two combs and 40 length settings, making it suitable for all kinds of beard styles. A five-minute charge allows for 10 minutes of use, which is enough for a quick trim. And charging the device is simple — use the charging cable which comes in the box. The product is available on Mi.com, at Mi Homes as well as on Amazon.in for Rs 1,199. We are also excited about Mi Rechargeable LED Lamp which is currently in crowdfunding mode on Mi.com. It comes with three levels of brightness.