Best Gadgets & Gizmos For Your Smartphone & Tablet This Summer

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Here at KYM, we get sent A LOT of accessories and gadgets. And by a lot we mean, like, the stuff is literally piled up on our desks. Things like speakers, cases, Bluetooth gizmos, weather stations, robots and headphones are all present and accounted for, as well as other, weirder things – although the less said about them the better.

Then we got a bit bored of looking at our big pile of swag and decided to do something with it, which is why you’re reading this – our always-growing gadgets and gizmo list. We’ll be adding new things each week, so be sure to bookmark this page (or follow us on Twitter and FB) to find out what’s hot in the weird and sometimes wonderful world of mobile gizmos.

Niwa

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The world’s first smartphone-controlled growing system turns any home into a personal hydroponics farm and signals the dawn of smart food tech devices. Plants inside the Niwa take all the nutrients they need straight from the water so there’s no need to worry about messy soil. Niwa also monitors irrigation cycles, lighting, ventilation and heating so your crop isn’t limited by climate or season.

Niwa pairs with a free Android and iOS app making the whole growing process easy, fun and interactive. You just tap and grow. Niwa is currently only available via Kickstarter.com with pledges of £180 for the full sized unit. 

MisFit Shine

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If you’re looking for fitness activity monitor that’s a little more discreet than others, the MisFit Shine is the wearable tech for you. Roughly the size of a £2 coin, Shine is a metal disk that can be worn on the wrist, as a necklace or slipped inside your pocket. Fully waterproof, the Shine can monitor a wearers walking, cycling, swimming and even your sleeping patterns, which is all tracked via the Shine app available for Android and iOS.

Shine connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth and provides you with real time information on your daily activities. Shine also features 12 LEDs which show you the current time when tapped twice. Shine is available from John Lewis for £99

Oree Pebble 2

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Qi wireless charging is a feature that’s become more and more common in mobile devices but there seems to be a lack of well designed chargers available. This is where Oree steps in with the Pebble 2. With a choice of wood or marble, Pebble 2 combines Qi charging technology and audio in a very elegant and sleek looking device.

The Kickstarter project is made from natural materials and features a 5W loudspeaker, so you can use it for hands-free calls or as a music audio system. The Pebble 2 is available in premium wood or white Carrare marble, starting at $250 from Kickstarter.com

Supertooth D4

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Lightweight and loud the D4 is a must-buy for anyone looking for a portable speaker. The D4 weighs less than 500 grams, and features a Bass Reflex system which adds a surprising amount of bass for an 8 Watt RMS device. The D4 is also has an impressive battery life of up to three hours on a single charge at full volume and up to 12 hours on medium volume.

You’re able to pair your mobile device via bluetooth or NFC, and if you’re have neither you can plug in any audio device into the stereo line input. The D4 is available for £50 from John Lewis in five colours including ‘meteor’ (black), ‘sand’ (white), ‘juicy’ (red) and ‘spectrum’ (purple). 

SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive

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What can only be described as your own personal Netflix for your pocket, the Connect Wireless Media Drive from SanDisk is a 32GB wireless storage and media streamer. Using its own wireless network, the device can stream movies, photos, music and documents to five devices, up to 150 feet away, simultaneously.

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive works with iOS, Android, PC and Mac, features an expandable storage slot and can stream up to eight hours of movies on a single charge. The Connect Wireless Media Drive is available for £90 from www.sandisk.co.uk

Launchpad Mini

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The famous Novation Launchpad MIDI controller now has a baby brother in the form of the Launchpad mini. Much like its larger sibling, the mini features 64 programmable buttons letting you play loops, sounds and effects all from your iPad. Ready to use straight out of the box with the Launchpad app you can upload your own sounds or use the pre-loaded professional sound library to create your own live performance.

The Launchpad mini is smaller and lighter than the iPad allowing you to take it with you wherever you go, meaning you can unleash your music on anyone. Compact and robust, the Novation Launchpad Mini is available from www.dawsons.co.uk for £79.  

Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard

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The ultra-slim Wedge Mobile Keyboard is the perfect mobile keyboard for tablet users constantly on the go. Thin and lightweight the Wedge is easy to carry and also gives users of smaller sized tablets such as the Nexus 7, the freedom of a full qwerty keyboard.

The Wedge comes with a simple snap on cover which also acts as an ‘on-off’ switch, with the keyboard only powered when the cover is removed. The bluetooth connectivity provides an effortless way to connect with your tablet, creating the ultimate mobile workstation. The Wedge retails for £80 at www.microsoft.com

Cat ACTIVE URBAN Case

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Who better to make a protective case for the new Galaxy S5 than the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, Cat. Turning its durability expertise to the mobile accessory market Cat has released the Active Urban case designed to toughen up the S5. Made from an ‘active material’, the case will protect the phone from drops of up to 1.8 meters as well as keeping the phone lightweight.

The case adds almost no bulk to the S5 with its slender and stylish design and offers high level protection from everyday wear and tear. The Cat Active Urban Case is available for £19.99.

STK Micro USB Keyring Power Bank

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We all hate that dreaded feeling when your smartphone shows less than 10% battery life, but STK Accessories has a solution to give you extra time to find a power supply before your phone dies. The keyring power bank is a light and slim power storage device perfect for giving you emergency power when you need it.

The small device can be attached to keys, a bag or a belt loop and is avaialable from www.Accessoryvillage.co.uk for £14.95. A small fee to pay for emergency power.

Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo

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A small form factor USB and flashdrive, the MicroDuo is ideal for mobile users who would rather store photos, movies and documents on a USB and not on the cloud. The MicroDuo uses a phone or tablet’s on-the-go feature to allow you to transfer files without plugging into a PC, freeing up space and allowing for the sharing files between mobile devices easily.

A sleek little device with a built in key loop is available in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities, letting you take your entire music library with you wherever you go. The Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo costs between £4 and £12, respectively.

Razer Kraken E-Panda Hooligan Headphones 

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Tailor made for Bruno Mars’ drummer, E-Panda, these headphones provide a deep bass and deliver crisp mids and highs. The foldable ear cups make these full sized headphones compact when travelling, but if you plan on using these for drumming like Mr. E-Panda, the headphones also come with a 2m extension cable.

The Hooligan headphones have a gold finish with pandas donning the ear cups and ‘HOOLIGAN’ on the headband. Made by Razer these headphones are also perfect for gaming either on your mobile device, PC or games console. The Hooligan headphones cost £69.99. 

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition

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The famous quadricopter has become even more menacing with the new Elite Edition. Now available in 3 versions – sand, snow and jungle –, the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 brings a distinctively Call of Duty-esque experience to world of mobile piloting. Controlled via an app available for iOS and Android, the drone features an HD 720p camera for shooting videos and photos. 

The drone has up to 12 minutes of flight time, can perform front, back or side flips and is able to stabilise itself in challenging conditions. The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition is priced at £280.

Fitbug WoW Scales

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A new addition to the Fitbug family, the WoW scales allow you to measure your weight and upload the data to your device via Bluetooth. The free Fitbug app enables you to track your weekly progress as well as set targets for yourself. You can even set targets for anyone else in the household. 

The Fitbug WoW scales support multi-user profiles and cost £69.99. Not too shabby! 

House of Marley Rise Up Headphones

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Available in 5 designs, these headphones are created almost entirely from recycled and eco-friendly materials. The 50mm drivers provide a rumbling bass, and the punchy mid-and-high range tie everything together nicely, creating a warm, engaging sound.

The Rise Up headphones come with a 3.5mm gold-plated connector, fabric covered cord and a carry case. House of Marley Rise Up headphones are available for £149.99 at www.thehouseofmarley.co.uk

Nomad ChargeCard 

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The ChargeCard is a thin smartphone cable designed to fit in your wallet, allowing you to recharge and sync your phone with ease. The ChargeCard features a USB port on one end and a microUSB (or lighting cable, if you’re into that sort of thing) on the other for your mobile device.

The ChargeCard offers customers who have previously purchased the ChargeCard the opportunity to earn another through bartering or referring friends and family. The ChargeCard is available for $29 at www.hellonomad.com.

SteelSeries Stratus Wireless Controller

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A console-style controller for devices running iOS 7, the Stratus is a must have for any mobile gamer. With an impressive 10 hour battery life after a full charge, the Stratus is fully compatible with any controller enabled game on the App Store including Minigore 2, GTA: San Andreas and Dead Trigger 2.

The Stratus is available in black or white, weighs only 75 grams and comes with a USB charging cable. The Stratus is available for £64.90 at shop.steelseries.com

Sphero 2.0 

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Sphero is a robotic ball that connects via Bluetooth to your iOS or Android device. Once connected the accompanying virtual world is endless. There’s a huge range of apps available, which take advantage of the ball’s controller support and unique augmented reality capabilities. It’s a bit tricky to explain, to see it in action check out GoSphero.com

Sphero apps include AR shooter The Rolling Dead, multiplayer reaction game ColorGrab and controller support for the hugely successful puzzle game Dark Nebula 2. Sphero 2.0 is available for £99.99 at Gthe product website.

Netatmo Weather Station

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Netatmo’s Personal Weather Station does exactly what it says on the tin. The two-module system monitors air quality both indoors and outdoors providing real-time information to your iPhone or Android handset. The brushed aluminum devices are also able to monitor CO2 levels, acoustic levels, humidity and temperature. 

Real-time alerts are provided through the Netatmo app available on the App Store and the Google Play. The Netatmo Personal Weather Station is €169.00 at www.netatmo.com.

Holi Smart Lamp

An app controlled smart lamp, Holi is designed to imitate sunrise to gently prepare you for waking up. The Holi app features over 50 themes to match every mood and moment with a wide range of vibrant colour combinations at your disposal.

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Named after the Hindu festival of colours, the smart lamp provides ambient lighting, a soothing dawn simulator and can sync with Spotify to provide rhythmic light shows, bringing the music to your eyes. The Holi smart lamp is available for £180 at Firebox.com

53 Pencil

Pencil is a whole new stylus designed for 53’s Paper app. This beautifully designed piece of tech has no buttons or switches thanks to the onboard bluetooth LE, which holds a charge for up to one month.  Pencil features a regular stylus on one end and an eraser function tip on the other. When used with the Paper app, Pencil allows a more natural way to interact with digital drawings by allowing the user to flip the pencil around and rub out any mistakes.

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The 53 Pencil is available in a graphite brushed aluminium finish, or if you prefer something a little more natural there’s a walnut option. The stylus is crafted in an ergonomic design for long drawing sessions. The walnut finish Pencil is available for $60 with a magnetic snap to stick it to your iPad smart cover, whilst the graphite finish Pencil is available for $50.

Otterbox Commuter Wallet Case

A protective case for the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S4, the Otterbox Commuter features a discreet storage compartment for quick access to cash and important cards. The overall design is ideal for any commuter or for someone who’s out for a night on the town. The sliding draw conceals and secures up to three cards whilst adding no bulk to the phone itself.

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The Commuter Series Wallet is a convenient way to keep your cards and cash safe in a pocket friendly design. The case is available for £35 from otterbox.co.uk.  

Velodyne vBold Headphones

These cyberpunk style headphones connect wirelessly with any bluetooth capable device and feature easy-to-use controls. With the bass being the predominant sound, these headphones are ideal for electriconica or rap music, but will still provide balanced mids and highs for those who fancy a bit of folk or classical.

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The vBold’s hold over 10 hours of music listening time on a single charge, with a micro USB cable and 3.5mm audio jack cable also included in the box. The headphones can be switched on and used via bluetooth (and paired via NFC) or can be switched off and used like a standard pair of wired headphones. The vBolds cost around £200.

Jawbone UP24

The latest wristband from Jawbone connects wirelessly to your android or iOS device, monitoring how you sleep, move and eat so you can improve your routine for a healthier lifestyle. The UP24 app provides continuous feedback and real-time notifications to help aid you in building a healthy lifestyle.

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UP24 also works with UP Coffee to track caffeine intake over time, demonstrating the impact of caffeine on sleep. The wristband is smooth, hypoallergenic and made with a medical-grade rubber making it comfortable enough to wear day and night. UP24 is available in black, red and blue for £125

 

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