Gadgets that are out of this world
The latest in tech that’s due to land this autumn
The iPhone X boasts facial recognition, and its OLED super-retina display gives it a high-pixel density and allows for ultra-rich video content.
Ireland is finally getting a foothold in outer space, with the launch of the first Irish satellite, the Eirsat-1, in the next couple of years. It’ll be a long time, though, before we’re regularly zooming through space and visiting other planets, but with the right gear, we can live like starship troopers in the comfort of our own earthbound homes. Here are some out-of-this-world gadgets that are scheduled to land this autumn.
iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8
It’s a big moment in the ongoing war between the two mightiest forces in the tech galaxy. This autumn sees the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which is being pitched as the ultimate Android phone. But Apple is ready to retaliate with its new iPhone X, the 10th anniversary version of its game-changing smartphone.
Samsung has an asteroid to climb to erase the memory of last year’s Galaxy Note 7 debacle. The Galaxy Note 8 is packed with functions, but one thing it won’t do is catch fire. The infinity screen is present and correct, and it’s packed with enough storage and processor power to run a small starship. It’s got a dual camera, promising crisp, clear pictures, even in low light, and its optical image stabilisation eliminates blurry, wobbly photos. The S Pen stylus has been beefed up to meet the requirements of fast, modern living. The only complaint about the Galaxy Note 8 is its awkwardly-placed fingerprint recognition function
All in all, The Galaxy Note 8 is undoubtedly the master of the Android universe, but can it beat the new iPhone X? The iPhone X boasts facial recognition, and its OLED super-retina display gives it a high-pixel density and allows for ultra-rich video content. It’s almost all glass – with surgical stainless-steel side-band, with a 5.8in edge-to-edge display, and wireless charging to bring you even longer battery life. And Apple has finally done away with that pesky old home button – you just tap the display to wake it, and swipe up from the bottom to go back to your home screen.
iPhone X from €1,179, iTunes store
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 €949, from Carphone Warehouse
It will take something serious to challenge Amazon’s mighty Echo home speaker, and Sony just may have come up with the goodies in this little cylindrical beauty. The LF-S50G boasts superior sound quality – as you would expect from Sony – but it’s also out to give Alexa a run for her money with its built-in Google Assistant. That means the LF-S50G can perform all the functions of a Google Home speaker – performing searches, working your timers and giving you calendar reminders, all the while pumping out the jams. It’s a cute- looking little yoke, too – a mesh-covered cylinder that will sit unobtrusively on your table or shelf, and it has a handy LCD clock display. Only one thing they’ve forgotten to do – give it a catchy name. Let’s call it the Nifty S50.
£200, available in October
You’ve got your work computer, and you’ve got your laptop for working at home. And that’s fine. But now you need a badass gaming computer that can blast the opposition into kingdom come. The Acer Predator Orion 9000 packs a serious wallop of gaming power into a futuristic-looking chassis that looks like it could suddenly transform into Optimus Prime.
£1,500, available in November
Acer Pawbo Interactive Pet Camera and Treat Dispenser
It’s the moment you dread every morning – having to go to work and leave your pet on its ownio for the day. The Pawbo allows you to communicate with your pet while you’re out of the house via an app on your mobile phone, and let him know mummy hasn’t forgotten about him. If he’s been a good boy, you can trigger the treat dispenser and ration out the kibbles throughout the day. You can even play with your pet remotely, and keep them entertained until you can get home and interact with them for real.
€149 from pawbo.com/uk
Samsung Gear Sport
It’s tough enough to take on a successful rival product, but Samsung is hoping to kill two birds with one stone with its new Gear Sport smartwatch. It’s hoping to finally zap the Apple smart watch and knock the Fitbit into the next solar system. It does all the stuff you expect from your smart watch – but it also does the fitness stuff, including GPS, heart-rate monitor and activity tracking.
Price and release date TBC