See the saw
Black+Decker GKC1825L20-GB 25cm 18V Chainsaw, £143, from www.amazon.co.uk
For DIY amateurs, chainsaws can be daunting - they are the go-to tool for horror films after all. However, this model couldn’t be more straightforward. Charge the battery (a full charge takes five hours), then pop the saw together, add some chainsaw oil where directed and you’re ready. It’s comfortable to hold and, whether you’re going through a tree base or pruning a thick bush, it’ll make light work of it. In terms of safety, you have to hold down two buttons at the same time to operate it, so you won’t turn it on by accident. Once you get going you’ll get through your entire to-do list - and perhaps your neighbours’ too as it lasts on average 220 cuts a charge. That’s due to the lithium-ion battery which, in addition to being long-lasting, doesn’t require you to run it flat before you charge it up again.
Fugoo Style Bluetooth Wireless Speaker, £169.99, from www.wiggle.co.uk
Despite it’s rather glamorous look, this speaker is drop-proof, waterproof, dust-proof and even mud-proof - not bad for a Bluetooth device that looks like a clutch bag. The technology isn’t limited to its ‘proofing’ capabilities though. It comes with six speakers to give a 360-degree crystal clear sound and there’s a microphone too which is fully-functional with Google Talk and Siri. Yet all of these benefits fade into the distance when you consider how long its battery lasts. On one charge, you can expect it to operate for up to 40 hours before you plug it in again - you’ll struggle to find other portable Bluetooth speakers that can do that.
Ringing the changes
Moto X Play, £299, from www.motorola.co.uk
When you consider phones have to function as portable computer, professional-standard camera, games console, mp3 player and work PA - in addition to making calls - it’s not surprising we’re constantly having to recharge them. Not so though with the new Moto X Play. This easy to navigate phone, comes with a 3,630mAh battery and, if you’re using your phone lightly, will give you 48 hours of battery life. Even if you’re using it for all the above functions, it will give you a good solid day and a half’s use. What’s more it comes with Motorola’s Turbo Charge technology, so when you do plug it in, you’ll have eight hours of battery life just 15 minutes later.
Exercise your right
Epson Runsense SF-810 GPS and Heart Rate Monitor, £199.99, from www.epson.co.uk
Traditional watches may only require the occasional battery change, but the more techie the watch - and the more tasks it carries out - you’re getting into charge-every-time-you-head-out territory. However, the SF-810 running watch breaks the mould. Despite offering GPS tracking and coming with an inbuilt heart rate sensor (so no chest strap required), it will last up to 20 hours without recharging. It’s not just its long charge capabilities that make this worth investing in, it’s a great sports watch too. It can analyse your movements whether you’re running in the park, cycling or working out in the gym. It’s easy to set up - it guides you through the process - and even the instructions are straightforward to follow.
Rollei ActionCam 400, £74.99, from www.amazon.co.uk
Action camcorders have become the perfect accessory for adrenaline junkies and exercise aficionados, whether it’s cyclists recording their commute, white-water rafters showcasing their thrill-seeking hobby or rock climbers showing a view from above. There’s many to choose from and this model from German manufacturer Rollei is worth investing in if you’re going to struggle to give it a battery boost when on your next adventure. Its battery life is rated at 240 hours, so you’ll have no shortage of footage to pick from. It comes with integrated WiFi and has full HD video resolution (1080p/30fps). What’s more, when you buy it you’ll get a wrist remote control, frame holder, bike mount, helmet mounting kit and underwater case all thrown in. Bargain!
Parrot Flower Power, £39.99, from www.parrot.com
Do your plants wilt when you water them? Struggle with sunlight? If so, this is the gadget for you. No longer will you need to become green fingered to keep your plants healthy, you can just pop this device next to them and it will do the hard work. The Parrot Flower Power comes with Bluetooth Smart technology and will tell you (via the corresponding app) how the plant is bearing up when it comes to soil moisture, fertiliser, light intensity and ambient temperature. Just pick your plant from the 6,000 listed on the app and you’re set to go! Can be used indoors and out. As for its battery power? It runs off one AAA battery, but because it uses Low Energy Bluetooth you can expect that to last up to six months.
APP OF THE WEEK
Battery Doctor, free from Google Play, Amazon and iTunes
Improve your Smartphone’s battery power with this great app. It will estimate your remaining battery time, including how much further it’ll go if you turn off your Bluetooth/Wi-Fi when you’re not using them, and it will turn off apps (when you’re not using them) to improve your battery. It will even pop your phone into Saving Mode when required.
TOP 10 BEST SELLING APPS
1 Minecraft by Mojang
2 Build Battle: Mini game by Orgonite Apps
3 Ravensburger Puzzle - the jigsaw collection by Ravensburger Digital GmbH
4 Plants vs. Zombies by PopCap Games
6 Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 by Scott Cawthon
7 Terraria by 505 Games
8 myPlayer Pro by SkyNetSoftware
9 The Mystery of the Mayan Ruins by Magic Frame Studios
10 Soccer Physics by Vector Entertainment
TOP 10 FREE APPS
1 BBC iPlayer by BBC
2 Crazy Kitchen by Zindagi Games Inc.
3 Inside Out Thought Bubbles by Disney
4 Netflix by Netflix, Inc
5 YouTube by softpedia
6 TVPlayer by TV Player
7 Red Ball 4 by FDG Entertainment GmbH & Co.KG
8 Candy Crush Soda Saga by King
9 Prime Instant Video by Amazon.com
10 Tubi TV by AdRise, Inc
(Both charts courtesy of Amazon Appstore)