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Hands on with the Samsung Gear Sport and Gear IconX headphones

We’ve been busy trying out the new Samsung Gear Sport and Gear IconX wireless headphones – two additions to Samsung’s wearables range designed to work completely independently of a smartphone. Will these new arrivals keep you fit, or frustrated? If you’re looking for some tech to track your steps or keep you company on an evening jog, either of these new Samsung Gadgets could be on your radar.

We’ve had some hands-on time with both, so see our first look reviews for initial impressions. Best Buy smartwatches[1] – Comfort, style and plenty of features

New Samsung gadgets in our test lab

Samsung Gear Sport

The ?299 Gear Sport is Samsung’s latest smartwatch, featuring a 1.2-inch touchscreen display running at a 360×360 resolution. Samsung says that the wearable will help you stay healthy with regular exercise updates and calorie-counting tools, so we took it for a spin to see if it’s an effective gym buddy.

Sat next to the older Samsung Gear S3, we think the Gear Sport is a touch sleeker, but take a look for yourself and see if you agree.

Fitness fanatics have plenty of features to get stuck into, whether you’re running, cycling or swimming (the Gear Sport is water resistant up to 50 metres). It will measure steps taken, calories burned and changes in heart rate throughout the day. The gadget will even tell you to stretch regularly if you’re on a long flight, and if you’re hitting the slopes after landing you can try out the altimeter, too.

A swipe up on the screen will take you to the Moment Bar, which essentially acts as a settings menu.

From that single swipe, you can adjust screen brightness, turn on Airplane Mode, set alarms and more.

NFC functionality on the Gear Sport means you can make wireless payments

Take a look at our full Samsung Gear Sport first look review[2] [3]to see if we think this wearable deserves a spot on your wrist.

Samsung Gear IconX wireless headphones

The second of Samsung’s new releases is also part of the Gear family – the Samsung Gear IconX. These wireless earbuds are the successor to last year’s model[4] of the same name, which hardly took the market by storm. Samsung’s to-do list included improving the battery and sound – pretty important features in a set of wireless headphones that cost a hefty ?200.

The new IconX is pretty feature-packed.

It has 4GB of storage space so you can copy songs locally onto the earphones and use them without a phone. Samsung doubles-down on the independence by building in a fitness-tracker as well, which can log time, distance and calories burned, and even includes a running coach that will help keep you motivated with reassuring voice prompts. All of this can of course be synced to your phone when you’re back home.

As part of Samsung’s ‘Gear’, it should connect seamlessly to other wearables like the new Sport smartwatch above and predecessors like the Gear S3[5] and Gear S2[6]. Practically speaking this means you can control music, exercise routines and tracking through the watch, while remaining completely wire (and smartphone) free. We put all this to the test, and walk you through our first impressions in our Gear IconX First Look review[7].

Torn between wearables?

Find out whether you’re better off buying a fitness tracker or a smartwatch[8].


  1. ^ Best Buy smartwatches (
  2. ^ Samsung Gear Sport first look review (
  3. ^ (
  4. ^ last year’s model (
  5. ^ Gear S3 (
  6. ^ Gear S2 (
  7. ^ Gear IconX First Look review (
  8. ^ fitness tracker or a smartwatch (

Decorate your home with augmented reality

How would you like to see how a new sofa, wallpaper or paint scheme looks in your home before you go out and buy? With augmented reality (AR) and your smartphone it’s perfectly possible, and these sorts of apps are becoming more popular by the day. Augmented reality works by overlaying things into the world around you through a camera, typically the one on your smartphone.

If you remember the Pokemon Go phenomenon that gripped the world earlier this year then you’ll understand the basics. Point your phone anywhere you like and the app will overlay images into the environment – making it look like they’re actually there. You can often interact with these objects too, making them larger or smaller, changing colours, or changing where they are in the space, and it’s this functionality that makes augmented reality so useful.

Apple and Google have put their considerable weight behind AR and huge retailers, including Ikea and Amazon, have jumped on the idea too, creating apps that let you preview how furniture, rugs and even paint will look in your home, so you don’t buy a new sofa that doesn’t fit your space or match your decor. Top smartphones for 2017[1] – choose a great phone to begin your AR journey

Amazon’s new AR app

Amazon has recently launched ‘AR view’ on its Amazon shopping app. For now it’s only available for customers with an iPhone 6S and higher, using iOS 11, but the concept could well be the future of online shopping.

The idea is simple – choose a product you’re interested in from Amazon’s website – from small appliances and cookware to tables and tech, and you can hold up your phone to see how it will look in the home. This may not be as useful as checking the size of a sofa, but it will help you decide if the walnut or oak finish on the 2nd generation Amazon Echo looks best on your book shelf, or whether you want a 55 or 60-inch TV. Take a look at how it works below – and be sure to check out our guide to Black Friday deals on home products[2] to narrow down your shopping list.

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Ikea Catalogue – sofas, tables and more

For some, a trip to Ikea is a fun day out. Grab some Swedish meatballs, sit on a few sofas and end up buying a spatula. Great fun.

But for others, it’s a hellish, one-way trip around crowded aisles desperately trying to find that one rug that will really tie the room together. The Ikea Catalogue app is great if you fall into the latter camp, but even if you love visiting the big blue warehouse, the app is a great way to get your fix between visits. Unsurprisingly, it lets you browse the entire Ikea range, but that’s the boring bit, it also lets you see how all that Swedish furniture will look in your house.

The app will overlay rugs, tables, sofas, lamps and more into any room of your house. The products are to scale, so you’ll know whether a new arm chair will fit in your nook without getting your tape measure out. If fitted kitchens are on your radar, be sure to check out our list of best and words kitchen brands[3].

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Dulux Visualizer – painting and decorating

Before you pop out for some testing pots, you might want to give the Dulux Visualizer app a try to narrow things down. You can choose any colour from Dulux’s enormous range and a quick tap on your phone screen will instantly paint the wall in your chosen colour. There’s the option to take a picture too, so you can easily compare different colours and, once you’ve made you choice, you can buy the paint from within the app.

All things are not equal when it comes to DIY supplies, as our guide to best DIY shops and websites[4] explains. [embedded content]

What do you need to use AR?

The beauty of AR is it’s really easy to give it a try – all you need is a smartphone. Many AR apps will work whether you’ve got the latest software from Apple and Google, but you may find some of the more advanced ones don’t work if you’ve got an older phone. iPhone users should update their devices to iOS 11 to get access to ARKit, as Apple is calling it, and a whole host of AR apps.

Android’s software is called ARCore. It’s currently available on Pixel 2 handsets and the Galaxy S8, but Google is planning to roll it out to as many handsets as possible by the end of the year.

What’s next for augmented reality?

Much like virtual reality, the sky’s the limit. The fact that Apple and Google are getting involved by creating a platform for people to build more AR apps means they clearly see potential for future growth.

Useful apps like Google Translate – which allows you to hold a phone up to a street sign or menu written in a foreign language and see it in English, and Layar, which brings magazines and landmarks to life when you hold your phone up to them, are just two examples of a wealth of content around today, and plenty more is expected in the future.

Keen to get involved in more virtual worlds?

Find out how to get started with virtual reality[5].


  1. ^ Top smartphones for 2017 (
  2. ^ Black Friday deals on home products (
  3. ^ best and words kitchen brands (
  4. ^ best DIY shops and websites (
  5. ^ how to get started with virtual reality (

GoPro Hero6 Black action camera: our first impressions revealed

The GoPro Hero6 action camera is now available, and we’ve tried our hand at creating some action-worthy videos and stills. See some of our first impressions below, and take a look at our other recommended GoPro cameras ahead of Black Friday. With so many action cameras on the market, and rivals producing models with more features, GoPro has been playing catch-up with the likes of Sony, Garmin, and Olympus.

Like its predecessor the Hero5 Black, the new Hero6 Black is waterproof up to 10 metres without a protective case. But what else can this camera do? Best Buy action cameras[1] – rough-and-tumble cameras for all budgets.

GoPro Hero6 Black

The Hero6 Black is the latest camera from GoPro.

It records super-smooth 4K video at 60fps (frames per second), captures Full-HD slow-motion video at 240fps, and snaps 12Mp still images. It has an improved dynamic range, which means it’s more effective in mixed-light conditions and in low light, as well as better image stabilisation to keep your videos free of shakes and bumps. It’s not cheap, priced at ?499, so it’s worth weighing up the benefits of this latest model over previous GoPros.

We tried out the Hero6 Black for ourselves to see the video quality, and to identify how much the image stabilisation has improved. To find out exactly how we got on, take a look at our GoPro Hero6 Black first look review[2].

GoPro action-camera deals ahead of Black Friday

If you like the look of the Hero6 Black but you’re not willing to spend that amount of cash just yet, we’ve rounded up some of GoPro’s older action cameras that are still available at significantly cheaper prices. See how they stack up below.

GoPro Hero5 Black

Last year’s camera, the GoPro Hero5 Black, is still a worthy alternative.

It combines all the best features of the Hero6, such as 4K video recording, image stabilisation, and 12Mp still-image capture. But it lacks some of the newer features the Hero6 Black has, like higher frame rates with 2.7K and 1080p video, and digital zoom. Currently, you can find it online and in retail stores for ?369, and the price may drop further once Black Friday 2017 rolls around.

Definitely one to keep an eye on. Read our full GoPro Hero5 Black review[3] to see how it performed in the lab.

GoPro Hero5 Session

The slimmed-down GoPro, the Hero5 Session, has a more compact cube-shaped design. Ideal for those looking for a small and lightweight camera, this waterproof model can record 4K video at up to 30fps.

It keeps your videos steady with image stabilisation, and can capture 10Mp still images, but there’s no display to review or frame your footage. Ahead of Black Friday, it’s available in stores for ?255. Visit our GoPro Hero5 Session review[4] to find out if it beat the Hero5 Black in our tests.

GoPro Hero Session

Simply called the GoPro Hero Session, this camera replaced the very similar GoPro Hero4 Session.

In fact, at ?169, it’s the cheapest camera available right now from the range of older GoPro cameras, especially since the Hero4 Silver is becoming harder to find.

While it may lack some of the features seen in the Hero5 Session, including higher video resolutions and frame rates, image stabilisation and voice control, this is a great entry-level action camera to start with.

Read our in-depth GoPro Hero Session review[5] for the lowdown.


  1. ^ Best Buy action cameras (
  2. ^ GoPro Hero6 Black first look review (
  3. ^ GoPro Hero5 Black review (
  4. ^ GoPro Hero5 Session review (
  5. ^ GoPro Hero Session review (

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