Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

gadgets for out and about

Price: to be available for free from most Irish operators

Price: to be available for free from most Irish operators

There are two things that those working outdoors look for in a smartphone: robustness and a decent battery life. There are very few full-featured smartphones that come anywhere near fulfilling this requirement.

But Sony's latest high-end model, the Xperia Z1, makes a good fist of it for two reasons. First, it's waterproof. That doesn't mean that it will survive a night at the bottom of the slurry pit.

But it does mean that it is guaranteed not to go haywire if it falls into a puddle or is used in the rain. Secondly, the Z1 has a better battery (3,000mAh) than most rivals. In practice, this means that it rarely runs out of juice during the day, even for fairly heavy users (in this reviewer's experience, only Samsung's massive Galaxy Note 2 outperforms it on battery performance).

Otherwise, the Z1 has a number of high-end features that impress including a 20-megapixel camera and a bright, five-inch screen.

There's also lots of firepower under the hood (a quad-core processor 2GB of Ram and 16GB of storage). Its only drawback for outdoor use is that its glassy case could become a fingerprint smudging nightmare.


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Price: €80

Headphones are all the rage. Noise-cancelling models are particularly popular with those travelling or who spend time in noisy environments. But the problem with your standard Beats By Dre cans is that they're not really meant for robust, outdoor use.

In general, there are very few headphones that combine proper noise-cancelling technology with water-resistant materials.

A good compromise, though, is Sennheiser's sports range of in-ear headphones. Because of the way they fit into the ear canal, they naturally block out a lot more noise than many similarly fashioned headsets. Being primarily geared for sports enthusiasts, they're also designed to be water and perspiration resistant.

Finally, they don't fall out of your ears flimsily like the cheaper ones on the market.

Irish Independent

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