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Fujifilm Instax Pal review: a pocketful of fun
8:33 pm | September 29, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Cameras Computers Gadgets Instant Cameras | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Fujifilm Instax Pal: Two-minute review

Today’s cameras are so good, and so serious, that it’s proved cathartic to review the Instax Pal, a camera that’s seriously enjoyable and no more. 

This fuss-free ball of fun – it's about the size of a golf ball, to give you an idea – is suitable for all ages, and the closest a camera can be to a digital pet; it lights up and emits a happy jingle when powered on, and a sad sound when inactivity sends it to sleep, while the compatible Instax Pal app gifts you digital rewards for your activity. Tamagotchi, eat your heart out.

As a self-respecting adult I didn’t fall for such blatant manipulation to motivate me to use the app (okay, I did). And you only have to make the Pal available to the whole family – which you can, because you don’t need to be precious about this low-cost snapper – to appreciate that it speaks to all ages. 

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Instax Pal app device pairing process on phone display, with white Fujifilm Instax Pal in the background

(Image credit: Future)
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White Fujifilm Instax Pal alongside smartphone with Instax Pal app on the display

(Image credit: Future)

This is an Instax camera that might actually be used day-to-day, and not stowed away in the cupboard once your film supply has run dry, as is so often my experience with analog Instax cameras. 

The Pal might well have the Instax name, but it’s not an instant camera as we know it. It’s a digital-only camera that fits better in the hand, printing via one of Fujifilm’s Instax Link printers, which come in ‘Mini’, ‘Square’ or ‘Wide’ formats; directly via a Bluetooth connection; or through the new Instax Pal app.

So while you don’t get the analog-only experience of traditional Instax cameras, which can be a wonderful remedy in this digital world we live in, you're more likely to take your tiny Pal with you everywhere, and you’ll also print your candid moments with one of Fujifilm’s portable Link printers more often than you would with a desktop printer. 

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White Fujifilm Instax Pal in the hand

(Image credit: Future)
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White Fujifilm Instax Pal in the hand with power button illuminated blue

(Image credit: Future)
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Underside of the White Fujifilm Instax Pal showing the tripod thread and photo mode switch

(Image credit: Future)
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White Fujifilm Instax Pal resting on the detachable ring on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)
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White Fujifilm Instax Pal with detachable ring attached to the top

(Image credit: Future)

To me, the Pal feels like the best of both worlds; it’s a camera that’s not weighed down by a built-in a printer, while the shoot-to-print experience – either directly, or through the app – is seamless. 

You can print blind the old-school way, directly to a Link when the switch on the underside of the camera is set to ‘L’, or be selective via the convenient app, and not waste your expensive film by using the ‘F’ setting instead. That’s not the analog soul, but these days I’d rather have the control. 

I’m a big fan of Fujifilm’s Instax Link portable printers – and it was the Instax Square Link printer that really completed my Pal experience. You can also use this printer to print the higher-quality photos in your phone’s gallery using the relevant Link app.

The Pal doesn’t even have a screen on which to compose and view your ultra-wide angle snaps, like the Instax Mini Evo hybrid Instax does, and nor does it produce technically excellent image quality images – this is essentially a basic 2560 x 1920 pixel stills-only camera, clothed in cuteness.

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White Fujifilm Instax Pal in the hand with a white table in the background and harsh shadows

(Image credit: Future)
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The rear side of a white Fujifilm Instax Pal, in the hand, with a white table in the background and harsh shadows

(Image credit: Future)

As a camera, the Pal isn’t great. But what it does bring to the table is a fine-tuned experience with the app and printer, in colorful packaging for all to enjoy, and it has one or two surprises up its sleeve. 

Selfies and group shots are made easy via the self timer on the app, with the camera supported by the included detachable ring (that you’ll need as a kind of wrist strap if you don’t want to keep dropping the ball-like camera). The Pal even has a tripod thread that's compatible with small table-top tripods. 

Also, it was a real curveball to discover that the Pal is a discreet snapper; no one batted an eyelid as I took candid street photos around London with the Pal nestled into the palm of my hand (although the automatic fill-in flash caught me out a few times). 

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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of DJ indoors in darkly lit bar

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of a London bar with person in motion blur walking past

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of DJ indoors in darkly lit bar

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of highrise buildings reflected in water

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of DJ indoors in darkly lit bar

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of selfie with two people on colorful backdrop

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of old building along a canal on sunny day

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of DJ indoors in darkly lit bar

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of London streets on a sunny day

(Image credit: Future)
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Digitized instant photo taken with the Fujifilm Instax SQ40 of old building along a canal on sunny day

(Image credit: Future)

Fujifilm has put a lot of thought into the new app, too. Automatically wiping photos from the 50-shot internal memory once they’ve been uploaded to the app is a smart move, while there’s also a micro SD card slot for those that want to double up on storing their photos. 

In-app images filters, basic edits, plus output to the various Instax Link printers cover your bases and ensure that you remain active, provided you don’t run out of paper. And the beauty is that when you do run out you can keep using your digital Pal until you top up your supply again. 

The Fujifilm Instax Pal is not one of the best instant cameras – it’s not even an instant camera, technically – and on paper it can’t compete with the Instax Mini Evo. However, sometimes you’ve just got to go with the feeling, and Pal gives all the feels. 

Ultimately, Pal isn’t a technically great camera, but it is one that I want to use more than most others, and that says a lot. 

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Blue Fujifilm Instax Pal on a white background

(Image credit: Fujifilm )
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Green Fujifilm Instax Pal on a white background

(Image credit: Fujifilm)
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White Fujifilm Instax Pal on a white background

(Image credit: Fujifilm)
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Pink Fujifilm Instax Pal on a white background

(Image credit: Fujifilm )
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Gem Black Fujifilm Instax Pal on a white background

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

Fujifilm Instax Pal: Price and release date

  • Available in the US, bundled with the Mini Link printer only, for $199.99
  • Available in the UK and Australia as the camera only, from £89.99 / AU$149

The Instax Pal is available in five exotically named colorways: Milky White, Powder Pink, Pistachio Green, Lavender Blue, and Gem Black. 

In the US the Instax Pal is bundled with the Instax Mini Link printer only, for $199, while in the UK and Australia you buy the camera separately, for £89.99 / AU$149 respectively (while the Gem Black version with a shiny, reflective surface costs £104.99 in the UK).

In the box you get a detachable ring that can act as a support to rest the Pal on, or slide onto the top as a 'viewfinder' (you don't need to do that), or, most helpfully, use as a kind of wrist strap.

As for the cost of paper, that depends on which format printer you're outputting to; Mini, Square, or Wide. Twin packs of 10 sheets of Instax Mini film start from $14.99 / £14.99 / AU$34.95

White Fujifilm Instax Pal in the hand with a white table in the background and harsh shadows

(Image credit: Future)

Fujifilm Instax Pal: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

White Fujifilm Instax Pal resting on the detachable ring on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)

Fujifilm Instax Pal: also consider

If our Pal review has you interested in instant cameras, here are a couple of other options to consider...

Fujifilm Instax Pal: How I tested

  • All the family played with our new Pal
  • Printing directly to portable Link printer, and via the app

I had the Instax Pal in my pocket for over a week, and in my family home with two generations getting to grips with it. Throughout this time, I've became very familiar with the accompanying Instax Pal app, through which you can access most of the Pal’s functions. The camera device itself is super-simple, and I also operated it bypassing the app altogether and making direct-to-Link prints, for a more ‘authentic’ Instax experience. 

I’ve used the camera for family snaps, as a discreet street photography snapper, and for all-round every day moments. I played around with the in-app editor, and made lots of prints from the Instax Link Square printer, which is my favorite size of Instax print, collecting plenty of in-app rewards in the process. 

  • First reviewed September 2023
Nokia G42 5G review: great intentions, not so great execution
3:30 am | September 18, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Nokia G42 two-minute review

The Nokia G42 5G sees the nostalgic phone brand continue on its quest to bring sustainable, repairable phones to the masses. This time around (following the previous release of the also-repairable G22) Nokia has further pinned its hopes on consumers’ penchant to stand out by making it oh So Purple. Don’t worry if you prefer to blend in, you can get it in So Grey, too. 

Overall, it’s a largely inoffensive device that does everything you’d want a phone to do just fine. But remember this is an entry-level to mid-range device, with a price tag and performance to match. If you’re looking for the bells and whistles exhibited by the best phones, then you’ll be disappointed. Its performance is perfectly acceptable for daily use, but an ageing processor means you’ll want to steer clear of anything too graphically intensive. 

On paper, it’s closely matched with the Motorola Moto G53 5G. Motorola is so often the king of budget phones and indeed when comparing its wallet-friendly device with Nokia’s, there really is little to separate them. If anything, the Motorola wins, for its 120Hz display and even more affordable price tag. The Nokia gains a depth sensor camera and repairability, but just how useful these will be to you in reality is subject of debate.

The display is HD only, with a maximum resolution of 720p. The Nokia G42 isn’t alone in offering this amongst a sea of wallet-friendly devices, but the fact is there are devices that exist for similar money that do offer full HD 1080p displays. I feel Nokia has missed the mark in this regard. The display also only offers up to 90Hz refresh rate. Again, this will be fine for most people under regular use, but given competitor devices support up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and navigation, it’s a mark against the G42. The differences will be negligible, it’s just a little confusing as to why Nokia hasn’t included these features by default. 

With the Nokia G42 5G’s selling point being that it’s repairable, it would have been nice to have made the phone really worth holding onto. Nokia expects you to keep the G42 5G for many years to come, but with its specs being outdated at launch, I can only see customers becoming even more envious of those with more up-to-date mid-range devices in the future. 

Easy-to-source parts and tools from iFixit mean you can replace the battery, charging port and even the screen at a small cost. And, while I didn’t get to carry out the repair process myself to see if the claims of it being easy were true, I have been able to watch videos online. The process does look simple, which I would expect from the involvement of iFixit, but I do have to question how many people will realistically want to repair a budget phone. Nokia’s claims of people wanting to be more frugal in the current financial climate are certainly valid, but I feel the repairable nature would make more sense combined with a more flagship-like device. 

Ultimately, the cost of the Nokia G42 5G in comparison to its specs and with the Motorola Moto G53 5G looming in the background makes it hard to recommend. If you’re looking to spend as little as possible on a phone, then you admittedly need to understand there will be compromises to make. Considering you need to make similar compromises for both the Nokia and the Motorola, then the Moto G53 5G would be the one to get.

Nokia G42 5G review: Price and availability

  • On sale in the UK and Australia from August 10th, 2023
  • US availability TBC
  • 6GB RAM / 128GB storage in UK/AU - select EU markets 4GB/128GB

Nokia launched the G42 5G in the UK and Australia on August 10th, 2023. At the time of writing, there is no sign of it being available in the US. In the UK it costs £179 – it’s launch price was £199 but there appears to be a regular £20 discount – and in Australia it retails for AU$449. Both markets get the version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Select European markets also have a 4GB / 128GB version to choose from. 

In comparison, the Motorola Moto G53 5G launched in the UK and Australia for £190 / AU$329, undercutting the Nokia's launch price by some margin. On paper, the two are closely matched, with the camera being virtually the only point of difference. While the Nokia's launch price can still be considered affordable, there are even more affordable phones out there that won't require you to scrimp on specs. 

  • Value score: 3 / 5

Nokia G42 5G review: Specs

Nokia G42 5G review: Design

Nokia G42 rear panel

(Image credit: Future)
  • So Purple colour is eye-catching
  • 3.5mm headphone jack will please some users
  • Finish makes it seem more premium than it is

The Nokia G42 5G follows a familiar design language as other phones that don’t cost the earth. It employs a plastic build and is available in either So Purple or So Grey color options. I had the So Purple on loan and I have to say it’s certainly different to the majority of grey and black (and occasionally white) slabs you see when walking down the street. 

The rear panel has a shine effect to it which I like, and in the hand, the phone certainly feels slightly more premium than its price tag would suggest. On the right you’ll find a volume rocker and the power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner. On the left there’s the SIM card and microSD card tray and on the bottom is the USB-C charging input and a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is certainly a rare sight to see in the phone world. 

There are noticeable bezels around the display, particularly at the bottom, but the surround around the central front-facing camera is kept to a minimum to avoid taking up as much screen real estate space as possible. 

The G42 only gets an IP52 rating, which protects it against dust and "direct sprays of water." You'll want to keep it away from sinks, pools and puddles, but it should be ok if you get caught in the rain. 

It’s not exactly a revolutionary design and the familiarity will likely please most customers. While I haven’t seen the So Grey in the flesh, I would say if you are thinking about getting the G42 5G, the purple model would be the one to get. 

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Nokia G42 5G review: Display

Nokia G42 display

(Image credit: Future)
  • 6.5-inch display only HD+
  • Brightness is impressive
  • Colors not the best when streaming video content

Nokia has gone large for the G42 5G, gracing it with a 6.5-inch display, making it great for viewing plenty of content in one hit, such as this review. But the good news doesn’t really continue much further. This is only an HD+ 720p display with 90Hz refresh rate and 720 x 1612 resolution, which for the price of the phone, is a bit disappointing. The Motorola Moto G53 5G, which retails for around £190 / AU$290, also uses a 720p display but has a 120Hz refresh rate for slightly smoother navigation and motion. 

Compromising on display quality is certainly part and parcel of a more budget-orientated phone and had Nokia given the G42 5G 120Hz support, or a full HD 1080p display with 90Hz refresh rate, it would have been slightly more positive. But the omittance of both is certainly surprising in 2023. 

That doesn’t mean the display is totally unusable, that would be doing the Nokia G42 5G a disservice. Nokia’s own wallpapers – I left the default purple system wallpaper active for my review duration – have vibrance and clarity to them. But change these for your own images or load up content from third-party apps such as Netflix and flaws start to show. Watching Detective Pikachu, a movie with plenty of dark scenes and bright colors (Pikachu’s yellow fur, for example) proves tricky for the Nokia G42. 

It struggles to find the finer details in darker areas such as shadows and images overall lack any real depth. This is despite it serving up acceptable brightness levels. I found whatever I was looking at on screen could hold up well outside in strong sunlight. Nokia claims a typical brightness of 450 nits and a maximum of 560 nits using brightness boost, 

The display is also one of the four parts that can be replaced should anything untoward happen to it. You can pick up the complete repair kit including the display and necessary tools directly from iFixit. It would have been great if it was possible to replace the display with a full HD 1080p one, but I assume other internal circuitry prevents this from happening. 

  • Display score: 2.5/5

Nokia G42 5G review: Cameras

Nokia G42 5G camera module

(Image credit: Future)
  • 50MP main camera functions well in good light
  • Night mode more impressive than you might think
  • Macro lens performs better than rivals

Where the Nokia G42 5G trumps some rivals – on paper at least – is in the camera department. Alongside the 50 megapixel main camera you get a 2MP depth sensor. There’s also a 2MP macro camera with a dedicated macro shooting mode to accompany it, enabling you to get up close with your subject. 

As we’ve said numerous times here at TechRadar, more megapixels doesn’t always equal better quality images. But in this instance, the Nokia G42 does take nice pictures when compared with its closest competitors. In good lighting, colors are punchy and vibrant, and there's even a decent amount of detail if you choose to zoom in. 

There is also a Night Mode you can enable to help improve images taken in low light, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The image taken in a bar in the gallery below is a dimly lit space; the kind where virtually all customers need to get their phone light out to see the menu. I expected the shot I took to come out either looking over-exposed or blurry, but the result is quite the opposite. It’s not one you’d want to zoom in on or enlarge, as outright detail does get lost, but when viewed on the phone it’s more than acceptable. 

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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

The Nokia G42 camera struggles with fast-moving objects, such as this waterfall feature. (Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

A good amount of detail is retained in this macro image (Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)

The macro camera does a better job of close-up shots compared to the Moto G53 5G too, but just how useful this feature will be in practice remains to be seen. I feel an ultra-wide sensor would have been more beneficial.

The front-facing camera does little to instil confidence in your looks. In good lighting, I looked white as a ghost. I almost didn’t want to include an example image here, but for the purposes of the review, I have. Taking a selfie using the rear camera generates more positive results, but the portrait mode – which creates a bokeh effect – nearly nails it. In the gallery image above, you'll notice a smudged line around the top of my hair. The computational software was clearly unable to properly distinguish where the background ended and my hair began. 

And since the G42 5G runs on Android 13, it benefits from Google’s photo processing magic, including Blur and Magic Eraser, although they are locked behind a paywall and require a Google One membership. 

  • Camera score: 4/5

Nokia G42 5G review: Performance

  • General navigation is smooth
  • Wake-up can be fast
  • Not the best for graphic intensive games

The Nokia G42 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 480+ chipset. This is a pretty dated processor and one with not a lot of power, but it does, crucially, allow for 5G connectivity. Booting the phone up takes some time, but once it’s on, I found waking it up and unlocking via the fingerprint sensor to be pleasingly quick (so long as the sensor was clean and could recognize my fingerprint). 

On Geekbench, the Nokia G42 returned a single-core score of 725 and a multi-core score of 1819. These are both higher than the Moto G53’s Geekbench scores, although not by much. I also ran 3DMark’s Wild Life and returned an overall score of 978. The Moto G53 5G scored 979 in the same test, which isn’t all that surprising considering it uses the same processor. Nokia's score does place it well above the Samsung A23 (which costs similar money to the G42) so it’s not totally bad news. 

I did find web pages took a while to load throughout my review period, and on more than one occasion, pages didn’t load at all, despite being connected to a fast Wi-Fi connection. General navigation is perfectly acceptable, but you will want to steer clear of any graphically intensive games.

Audio playback is an area that scores well for the Nokia, however. The G42 employs OZO Playback, which claims to create a wider stereo image from the speaker. While I wouldn't agree with the full claims made – such as creating an "exceptional listening experience" – I can attest to the volume created by the single speaker. Vocals when playing music from Apple Music are crystal clear and there are at least some signs of bass. 

If you're after some added bass, you'll want to connect a pair of headphones. And, fortunately, that can include a wired set of headphones here, as the Nokia includes a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

  • Performance score: 3.5/5

Nokia G42 5G review: Battery life

Nokia G42 5G charging port

(Image credit: Future)
  • Will easily get more than a day of use
  • Battery one of the four replaceable parts
  • Charging time is slow

Battery life is something the Nokia G42 5G can shout about. It has a 5,000mAh unit (which can be replaced) which will comfortably get you more than a day of use. Nokia actually claims you can get up to three days of use from it, based on regular usage for five hours a day, for three days. 

To put those claims to the test, I loaded up a 12-hour YouTube video and set screen brightness to 50%, turned adaptive brightness off, and left it playing on my dining room table during the day at home. Once the video had finished playing, there was still 25 percent battery left, which the phone reckoned was good for another 10 hours of use. This was after the battery had been used, both to play the YouTube video and while the phone was idle, for 1 day and six hours. 

I can barely make it through a full day using my iPhone 13 Pro these days, and that’s with general web surfing, messaging and checking social media feeds. So in this regard, the Nokia is certainly a winner if longevity is important for you. Recharging the battery from empty to full took one hour and 54 minutes, just shy of the two or so hours needed for the Moto G53 5G to fully recharge. This isn’t the most impressive figure ever, as other competitor devices such as the Motorola Moto G82 and Samsung A54 can recharge to full in around an hour.

  • Battery score: 4/5

Should I buy the Nokia G42 5G?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider...

Reebok Nano X3 review: Outstanding cross-training shoes for every athlete
11:30 am | September 16, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Reebok Nano X3: One minute review

The Reebok Nano X3 has garnered a reputation for its performance and style in the CrossFit domain. While it marks the latest in a long line of iterations, the Nano X3 is unique in being Reebok’s most versatile Nano shoe to date, and one of the best gym shoes around.

In the design department, it adopts a minimalist and sleek aesthetic, which is bound to appeal to a wider audience of gym enthusiasts. There’s also a variety of color options on offer, from Future White to Core Black, catering to different tastes.

Performance-wise, these shoes shine in many gym scenarios. The 7mm heel-to-toe drop, though higher than previous iterations, provides exceptional stability, especially during weightlifting sessions. The standout feature is the Lift and Run (L.A.R) Chassis System, a game-changer for agility and support. This upgrade sets it apart from earlier Nano models.

The shoe's breathable FlexWeave upper ensures comfort and ventilation, although it may not match the durability of some competitors, such as the Nike Metcon 8. Another minor downside is occasional slippage of the insoles, particularly in the heel. Tightening the laces or swapping out the insoles might help here, though.

While the Nano X3 shines in most gym settings, it's not the best option for running due to limited cushioning. Its rigidity, which makes it ideal for heavy lifting, also means it might take some time to break in. However, this is a top-performing and versatile gym shoe that will suit the needs of most fitness enthusiasts, especially lovers of CrossFit and HIIT. 

Reebok Nano X3: Specifications

Reebok Nano X3: Price and availability

Reebok nano X3 being worn in white

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • Around $140 in the US
  • Under £110 in the UK
  • AU$199 in Australia

The Reebok Nano X3 is available to buy now directly from Reebok, as well as most big online fitness retailers. They have an RRP of £110 in the UK, $140 in the US and AU$199 in Australia. 

However, these prices are largely dependent on the colorway. For example, some variations in the UK, such as the Cloud White model, are currently on sale and available from as little as £72, offering excellent value for money for a gym shoe of this caliber.

  • Value score: 4.5/5

Reebok Nano X3: Design

Reebok nano X3 being worn in white

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • Stylish and minimal 
  • Revamped FlexWeave upper
  • Available in various colorways

Dubbed "the official shoe of fitness" by its creators, the Nano lineup has seriously shaken things up in the fitness world since its first release way back in 2011. 

Multiple iterations later, the 2023 edition of the series comes with a revamped FlexWeave upper that promises to be more breathable, a fresh tread pattern, and a whole new chassis system that helps the shoe perform well across different workout types.

What stands out about the latest Nano, however, is its pared-back design. Reebok has gone for a very minimal aesthetic this time round, which will likely appeal to a wide remit of gym goers. The only thing no longer minimal about it is the lift: the 7mm heel-to-toe drop may be a little high for some. Those who are used to older versions of the Nano, which featured a 4mm drop, might need some time to get used to it. I found that the higher drop still offers great stability - especially for lifting heavy weights.  

The Nano X3 shoes are available in a host of colors, including Future White, Core Black, Hunter Green, Cold Grey, and many more.

  • Design score: 5/5

Reebok Nano X3: Performance

Reebok Nano X3

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • 7mm heel works well for heavy lifting 
  • L.A.R Chassis System offers support for high-impact activities
  • Insoles can feel a little slippy
  • Breathable FlexWeave upper helps keep you cool

While looks are important, what really matters when it comes to buying a gym shoe is performance. So how do these training shoes fair when push comes to shove?

They actually perform brilliantly in most gym scenarios thanks to their versatile design, breathable upper and solid base. With the higher drop, I could still plant my heels solidly on the ground and power through. It gave me a grounded feeling without squishing me into foam like some other high-drop training shoes might do.

The biggest upgrade in the Nano X3, however, is the all-new Lift and Run (L.A.R) Chassis System. This midsole tech allows the heel to change its rigidity depending on your activity. While it might sound like nothing but marketing guff, you’ll come to realize - after using the shoe a few times - that this component really does help up the ante when it comes to performance. Whether pushing through a heavy lifting session or taking part in an agility-focused workout that requires sprints and jumps, you can really feel the chassis system doing its job and giving you that push you need - especially compared to previous Nano models that lack this feature. 

During sweaty, high-intensity workouts, the Nano X3 keeps things cool with its breathable knit upper made from Reebok's trusty FlexWeave material – a familiar sight from the previous Nano versions. This ensures your feet get the air they need and allows for some flexibility. It’s not quite as durable as you might find in some of the Nano’s rival shoes, such as the Nike Metcon 8, for example, however, the toe box has been reinforced to reduce the risk of puncturing the shoe's upper. So, while you might not get tank-like durability, you're definitely getting a more forgiving forefoot and midfoot.

Negatives? Well, I did find the insoles a little slippy here and there, especially in the heel when I needed to push myself off a surface at speed. This required me to tighten the laces a little more than I would usually, which did solve the problem somewhat. But you might need to swap out the insoles altogether if you find the slippiness a persistent problem.

You should also note that the shoes’ rigidity in the heel and midsole means they’re not well suited for long-distance running.

  • Performance score: 4.5/5

Reebok Nano X3: Scorecard

Reebok Nano X3: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: an old color screen on an improved ereader
10:30 am | September 14, 2023

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PocketBook InkPad Color 2: one-minute review

It’s fair to say that color ereaders still have a way to go before they become mainstream, but one company looking to make sure we get there is PocketBook. The European brand’s InkPad Color 2 ereader takes what worked on the original model, improves upon it slightly, encases it in a sleek, new design and throws in waterproofing to make sure you can take it on your next poolside holiday. 

If you primarily read comics and graphic novels, then the InkPad Color 2 isn’t a bad option and I enjoyed using it more than its predecessor. Firstly, I found it faster and more responsive than the original – read my PocketBook InkPad Color review to find out more – thanks to a new quad-core processor. I also like the fact that it’s got IPX8 waterproofing (the previous model had none) and adjustable light temperature which strains the eyes less when you’re reading in the evening or at night.

I also found that some colors look marginally better on the screen – that’s thanks to a new filter. But it retains the older-generation E Ink Kaleido Plus display found on the older model when the latest color screen to be had is the Kaleido 3. While the colors are still not as saturated as I would have liked, some hues do look richer and they get better as you increase brightness. Other colors, however, still look quite washed-out (muted) and I’d probably hold out for a color ereader till someone decides to use E Ink’s Gallery 3 screen technology that promises saturation similar to what we’re used to seeing on our phones. Sadly the screen also lacks in contrast when compared to other similar models.

The InkPad Color 2 features a small speaker (you can see the grille on one edge of the device), but I think it’s unnecessary – the sound is decent, but it doesn't get very loud and, with Bluetooth 5.0 support, you’re better off pairing with a set of headphones to enjoy audiobooks.

While the improvements look good on paper, the user interface is still not as streamlined as we’ve seen on other ereaders and you can’t purchase content directly from the device’s book store if you live outside of the European Union. 

Still, it’s good to know that you get these improvements – as incremental as they may be – for the same launch price as the older InkPad Color ereader.

Library displays book covers in color on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

Some colors on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 look richer than before, but not all (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: price and availability

  • Announced April 2023
  • Available to buy now for $329 in the US
  • Available in UK and Australia as international imports via Amazon

Two years after PocketBook announced the original InkPad Color ereader, it released the second-generation model… and for the same price too! Which is good news as there’s more bang for your buck here than before.

Available to buy directly from PocketBook or from some third-party retailers, the InkPad Color 2 will set you back $329 in the US. If you happen to be in the UK or Australia, your best source of picking up the InkPad Color 2 would be Amazon UK and Amazon AU respectively, where you can get the German import for about £345 and AU$595 respectively.

That’s not a bad price for a 7.8-inch color ereader, although for a little extra money ($399 in the US), you can get the older Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color that also has writing capabilities. 

A more up-to-date color ereader would be the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, with a 7.8-inch E Ink Kaleido 3 screen, an octa-core processor and running Android 11 for a slightly smoother user interface and full-featured writing capabilities, costing $450 / £450 / AU$765.

While still not cheap, the InkPad Color 2 could well be worth your while if you really want a color-screen ereader and don’t need to take notes on it.

• Value score: 3.5 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 screen when booting up

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 is faster to boot and more responsive compared to the older model (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 specs

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Design and display

  • Refreshed design reminiscent of PocketBook Era
  • Good-sized screen
  • Older-generation display technology with new color filter

All PocketBook ereaders have a signature design – either rounded or cut-off corners. The latter came with the PocketBook Era and the InkPad Color 2 inherits a similar, more modern look compared to the rounded corners of the older model. I’m a real fan of this design aesthetic – it’s refreshing and the InkPad Color 2 looks even better thanks to the metallic silver (what PocketBook calls Moon Silver) trim around the side of the chassis.

That’s not the only design aspect the InkPad Color 2 inherits from its Era cousin – the PocketBook branding is now on the lower left corner of the tablet compared to being in the center (as in the older InkPad Color) and matches the color of the silver trim.

Four buttons on the bottom edge of the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

There are four barely-there buttons on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The front bezels and the rear panel is black plastic that is a magnet for oily fingerprints, and given the rear is textured, not that easy to wipe off either. 

Barely visible on the edge of the lower bezel are four control buttons. These are marked but, again, quite faintly. I’m not a fan of their placement – they’re so close to the edge that I find it easier to tap on the screen to turn pages. I had the same issue with the PocketBook Era too where the buttons aren’t quite where my thumb sits on the side of the device. While I didn’t quite enjoy the buttons on the older InkPad Color either, at least they were higher up on the bezel so my thumb could rest on the two middle ones. 

I still stand by my statement that the buttons on both models of the InkPad Color should be slightly raised or textured differently as they’re hard to find by feel alone and it becomes difficult to put the device to sleep if you’re reading in the dark (which I often do).

Where the older color ereader had a separate power button on the bottom edge, the button on the right corner of the lower bezel doubles up as the sleep and power buttons. You need to go into the device’s settings pane to set that up though. I customized mine to work as a sleep button with a single press and a double to power down. The left corner button gets you to the home screen (and can be customized for another function), while the middle two are the page-turn buttons.

Speaker on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 gets a mono speaker for listening to audiobooks (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The lower edge now just houses the USB-C port for charging and file transfer, beside which is a tiny indicator light that glows when you press a button, when the screen refreshes or while charging. The right edge has two tiny slits which is the speaker grille.

All in all, it’s a clean, minimalistic look that is now waterproof. An IPX8 rating means the InkPad Color 2 can survive in 2 meters of water for up to 60 minutes.

As before, the main selling point here is the color screen. For me, 7.8 inches is a good size – decent amount of screen real estate so you don’t have to constantly keep turning pages and, thus, eating into the battery life, and it’s still portable. That said, this screen doesn’t always display full pages of a graphic novel – depending on how the file has been set up.

What I’m not quite a fan of is the fact that a 2023 ereader model is using an older-generation screen technology. PocketBook has stuck with the E Ink Kaleido Plus screen it used in its original color ereader, but has tried to improve on it by using a new color filter. This filter, PocketBook says, adds more saturation to the colors displayed compared to the older model. While that’s ever so slightly true for some hues, the overall results are quite mixed. For example, there are some blues that look a lot richer compared to what I saw on the InkPad Color, but some reds and browns still look washed out.

USB-C port on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 is beside a small indicator light

There are no buttons on the sides of the PocketBook InkPad Color 2, giving it a clean look (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The screen retains a 300ppi resolution for grayscale reading (black and white only) and has just 100ppi resolution when viewing in color. The latter is quite low, considering you can get ereaders with 150ppi color resolution. This may not mean a lot to you if you’ve never used a color ereader before, but I found a significant difference when comparing the InkPad Color 2 side by side with the newer Kaleido 3 display on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (see the Performance section for details).

What the InkPad Color 2 does better than its predecessor is offer adjustable light temperature. To be able to change the frontlight hue to warmer tones in the evening or night reduces eye strain and can help maintain your sleep pattern. One thing to note, however, is that if you are reading in color, warmer light will affect the colors slightly. 

The InkPad Color 2 gets what PocketBooks calls its SmartLight functionality – when selected, the device will automatically adjust the frontlight temperature to suit the time of day. While that’s nice to have, I found that the auto-selection of the warm tones are just too warm and the display is just too… jaundiced for my liking.

• Design and display score: 3.5 / 5

Rear panel on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

The textured rear panel is a magnet for oily fingerprints and not that easy to wipe (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Software and user interface

  • 1GB RAM and 32GB GB internal storage
  • Arguably the best file format support of any ereader brand
  • User interface could do with some improvements

As I’ve mentioned before, the InkPad Color 2 gets a new processor – while no specifics have been revealed of which precise chip it is, it’s now a 1.8GHz engine compared to 1GHz in the older model. This is paired with 1GB of system memory (or RAM), which might not sound like much but is more than enough for a low-power device like an ereader.

Where the previous model had 16GB of internal storage alongside a microSD slot that can support an additional 32GB, the second-generation color ereader gets non-expandable 32GB of storage. This is usually a lot if you’re mostly storing a library of ebooks, but if most of them are comic file formats – they are typically larger than your average ebook – and audiobooks – which can be larger still – you could eat through that storage space. Even then, it’s a lot!

As with any PocketBook ereader, the operating system is Linux based and I’m still not quite a fan of the user interface. It’s not too bad, really, but it’s not as smooth and streamlined as other ereader setups from the more popular brands. Even Onyx’s Android-based interface is a bit smoother, but the staggering number of customizations available there can be a little mind-boggling. 

That said, I like the fact that audiobooks are stored separately from ebooks on the PocketBook, making them easier to find when you want to listen rather than read. Another thing I like about the audiobooks on the InkPad Color 2 is that it continues playing if you go back to the home screen or jump into your library to decide what you’d like to read next. In fact, it will continue playing even if you open an ebook and start reading… handy if you can multitask like that.

Highlight colors on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

You can highlight in four different colors on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Updates to the user interface since I tested the PocketBook Color have helped make the UX a little better, but I still find it lacking. While the general layout of the home screen is good, I would like to be able to sort my library out as I see fit. On PocketBook ereaders (all of them), your library gets sorted alphabetically by title, but you can filter by author name.

Another thing to commend PocketBook on is the staggering number of file formats its ereaders can support. The InkPad Color 2 can handle a staggering 36 file types, which includes document, images and sound. That’s very impressive indeed. You may not even have some of these file formats, but it’s good to know that the support is there.

The onboard book store, while accessible in any region, will display prices in Euro. You can set up an account if you live outside of Europe and don’t mind purchasing in a different currency. That said, the store doesn’t have a lot of titles you’ll see from the top publishing companies, so your choices will be quite limited.

• Software score: 4 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 comparison against the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (left) displays some colors well; the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C is on the right with more contrast (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Performance

  • Improved performance over InkPad Color and Era models
  • Speaker sound is good
  • Screen color resolution is disappointing

Giving the InkPad Color 2 an updated processor was a good call. Issues I noticed in the PocketBook Era – sluggish refreshes, slow loading of page numbers – are no longer a problem. However, I am a little disappointed with the screen. 

Despite the 300ppi in grayscale, the screen lacks contrast. A side by side comparison with other monochrome ereaders shows a distinct lack of sharpness to the text displayed on the screen. This makes the InkPad Color 2 comparatively harder to read indoors unless you raise the brightness up. During my testing, I found that the screen looked best at 90% brightness even when using it in a well-lit room. That, however, becomes an issue if you’re reading at night with your room lights off as it can strain the eyes (even if you change the light temperature to warmer hues).

The lower color resolution is also an issue – which is evident when comparing alongside the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, a 7.8-inch color ereader sporting a Kaleido 3 screen. While some colors look better on the InkPad Color 2 compared to its predecessor, I could see lines and textures that kept distracting me while I was reading a volume of The Sandman graphic novel. Other colors look a lot better on the Onyx ereader, with no texturing evident at all and I think I would pay extra to have a better screen experience.

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 text comparison against the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

The PocketBook Color 2 (left) doesn't have a lot of contrast as compared to the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (right) (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Aside from the disappointing screen, the new processor has made page turns faster, which was a complaint I had with the InkPad Color 2’s predecessor. The screen is also more responsive than before. However, the refresh rate isn’t as good as what I’ve seen on other ereaders and ghosting can be a problem till a page refreshes. For example, if you’ve selected some text to highlight, you will see light ghosting within the highlighter’s circular color choices. At other times, the cover page takes a second or two to refresh to look its best in color.

If you’re a fan of audiobooks, the built-in speaker is pretty good, but I still think it’s unnecessary. The sound doesn’t get as loud as I’ve experienced with some Onyx Boox models, and I found using Bluetooth headphones an easier experience as it gave me the freedom to move around without the sound getting too faint. Where the sound quality from some Onyx Boox speakers was tinny, the InkPad Color 2 in fact has better sound despite its mono speaker. Not bad, PocketBook!

Battery life is also quite good. The 2,900mAh pack inside will get you about 4 weeks between charges, but that will depend on how you use the ereader. Just reading about 30 minutes a day can get you up to 5 weeks between charges, for example. However, if you read longer or listen to audiobooks more often, you could get less than 4 weeks. The screen brightness setting can also affect the battery life.

Topping up that battery can be a little over an hour from 30% to full, depending on the kind of USB-C cable you use. The one packaged with the ereader itself is quite slow and took me 2 hours and 23 minutes to go from 34% to full. I used an USB-C Type 3 cable plugged into a 65W GaN wall plug and that took1 hour and 17 minutes to go from 30% to 99%.

• Performance score: 3.5 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 comparison with the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

Another example of the lack of contrast on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (left) compared to the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (right) (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I buy the PocketBook InkPad Color 2?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If you think the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 isn't for you, take a look at a few other alternatives below, with a full specs comparison to help you choose.

How I tested the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

  • Used it to read for about 7 weeks, in both color and B&W
  • Used it to listen to audiobooks
  • Compared it directly to other 7-inch and 7.8-inch ereaders, both color and grayscale

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 screen when switched off

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I’ve used the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 as my main ereader for just under two months now. While it came preloaded with a lot of titles already, several were in European languages (German, Polish, etc), so I sideloaded a bunch of my favourite DRM-free titles that I own. 

As a voracious reader, I used the InkPad Color 2 to read a minimum of 2 hours a day, sometimes more. I did browse the onboard store out of curiosity to see what was on offer, but refrained from purchasing anything.

While most of my reading was word-heavy – so ebooks in grayscale – I read a couple of graphic novels on it to test its color rendering and resolution. I compared how these same titles were rendered on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C to come to my final score of the InkPad Color 2.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed September 2023

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine review: does the handstick king’s first vacuum mop sink or swim?
9:02 am | August 22, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine: Two-minute review

The Dyson V15s Detect Submarine (try saying that quickly a few times!) is the brand’s first mopping vacuum cleaner. This isn’t just a hard floor specialist as it comes with an improved Digital Motorbar cleaning head designed to tackle carpets. The Fluffy Optic – first introduced as the Laser Fluffy in the Dyson V15 Detect – has also been upgraded with an LED light instead of the laser, which offers a brighter and broader beam to illuminate more floor space. The latter hard-floor cleaning head, however, only comes with the V15s Detect Submarine Complete (oh, that name is tiring!), which is the model Dyson sent for this particular review.

It's important to note that there are physical differences between the V15s Detect Submarine and the Complete model – the former is based on the original Dyson V15 Detect released in 2021, while the latter is based on the Dyson Gen5detect from 2022 and comes with the integrated crevice tool.

No matter which model you choose, the star of the show is the brand-new Submarine wet roller head that’s been designed to handle wet and dry spills. Whether it’s a thick, almost-dry food spill, muddy boot prints or just a regular mop of your hard floors, the Submarine can handle it all and mops very well. That said, it suffers from one design flaw that makes it a little hard to recommend as it is now – the dirty water tank is not fully sealed and, as it gets full, it can spill. The handstick’s LED display shows the clean water level only, meaning there’s no way to know how much dirty water is collecting.

Moreover, as the wet roller continues cleaning, at some point it can start to leave dirty streaks, particularly when you’ve paused at a spot. As long as you keep moving, it’s fine. But when you do stop to remove the Submarine cleaning head to give it a wash, not only will the saturated roller leave a streak, you'll get some dirty water spilling out too which even its drip tray – yes, Dyson has thoughtfully included one – can't prevent.

If you can figure out how to avoid those spills – I sure couldn’t in the few weeks I was testing the V15s Detect Submarine – then Dyson’s new cordless vacuum mop is a great cleaner. In fact, its mopping skills are par excellence! If Dyson can fix this design flaw on the Submarine head to prevent dirty water spills, then the next version of the machine is sure to go into TechRadar’s list of the best vacuum cleaners.

Another thing I like about the V15s Detect Submarine is that Dyson has gone back to the 60-minute battery pack, meaning it’s not as heavy as the Dyson Gen5detect, making it a lot easier to manoeuvre – like the V15 Detect. However, the integrated crevice tool that we first saw in the Gen5detect is here and it does not work as well as the one you get separately with the base model of the V15s Detect Submarine or the older Dyson models. Its length is too short to get deep into nooks and crannies, and it doesn’t create as good a seal as the separate attachment does, so it barely sucks up anything from skirting boards.

Despite its flaws, it’s hard for me to not recommend the V15s Detect Submarine to Dyson fans – it vacuums and mops very efficiently indeed – and considering it’s a Dyson with dual functionality, it’s priced rather well too.

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete tools and attachments hanging from the Free Dok Multi

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine review: price and availability

  • Announced July 2023
  • Currently only available in Australia with prices from AU$1,549
  • Not available in the US or the UK yet; Singapore gets the Dyson V12s Detect Slim Submarine (from SG$1,299)

Dyson’s been testing its products by launching them in specific markets at first before releasing them elsewhere. For example, the Dyson Airstrait was released in the US only in May 2023 (yet to be sold elsewhere), while the robot vacuum cleaner called Dyson 360 Vis Nav is still stuck in Australia before heading elsewhere.

It’s the same with the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine – it’s currently only available in Australia, with a potential global release sometime in the future (no official timeline has been offered by Dyson yet). Strangely, Singapore gets a Submarine model, but it’s the V12s Detect Slim Submarine, meaning the handstick has a smaller bin.

To confuse matters further, Dyson has two models of the V15s Detect Submarine in Australia – the base model is identical to the V15 Detect but comes with two cleaning heads – the Digital Motorbar and the Submarine roller – at a cost of AU$1,549 (around $995 / £779 at the time of writing), while the Complete model resembles the Gen5detect handstick – integrated crevice tool is here – and ships with a freestanding dock called the Free Dok Multi and the newly designed Fluffy Optic in addition to the other two heads at a higher price of AU$1,649 (about $1,059 / £829).

This is the same price as the Gen5detect models in Australia and costs just AU$100 more than the V15 Detect. In my opinion, this is better value than either of Dyson's previous two offerings from 2021 and 2022. That’s because you’re not just getting a very good mopping head, but the Complete option also has an improved Fluffy Optic for hard floors that I much prefer over the original Laser Fluffy. However, the Complete option is exclusive to the Dyson Store.

  • Value score: 4 / 5

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine wet roller head

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine: Specs

The below specifications are for the Australian model of the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete.

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine review: Design

  • Power trigger returns
  • Integrated crevice tool in the Complete model; separate attachment in the base model
  • New Submarine wet roller head for mopping

If you looked at the V15s Detect Submarine handstick, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just the V15 Detect. And if you saw the V15s Detect Submarine Complete, then at first glance it might resemble the Gen5detect as you can see the red button to release the integrated crevice tool, but then you’ll see the power trigger on the newer machine which was replaced by a button on the 2022 model. And that saddens me – I breathed a sigh of relief that I no longer had to keep a trigger pressed to make a Dyson work… and it just went away again. Still, it’s not a major complaint, just something my arms would have preferred, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

The power trigger on the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Resemblance to previous models aside, the standout here is the new mopping head. It took Dyson a long time to get here but it’s finally competing with the likes of the Samsung Bespoke Jet and the LG CordZero A9 Kompressor Aqua. With typical Dyson aesthetic, the new Submarine wet roller head has clean lines, a velvet roller, a small clean water ‘bottle’ (yes, it does resemble a water bottle) and, somewhere behind it all, a small compartment for the dirty mop water to collect. 

This is where someone at Dyson didn’t think things through as the compartment isn’t well sealed. That means that after you finish mopping and you want to remove the head to clean it, you will be dripping water on the floor as it sloshes around due to the movement. The only way that I found to avoid this is to make sure the drip tray – a grey plastic tray that fits under the Submarine head – is placed by the sink you’re going to be cleaning the head at before you start to mop. The moment you finish, place the drip tray under the head and then detach it. It’s not foolproof though and you might just need the head again to mop up the spill you just created.

Just going by the size, I thought the Submarine roller head would be heavy, but it’s surprisingly not. Even with water filled, the roller’s movement begins to pull the handstick as soon as you press the power trigger, so moving it along a hard floor is very easy. 

Maintaining the Submarine is easy as the velvet roller comes off and is fully washable, and you can rinse out the entire cleaning head – press a marked red button and the two parts slide apart.

If you opt for the Complete model, then you also get an updated version of the Fluffy Optic. Instead of the original laser light that I thought was superfluous in the V15 Detect, there’s now an LED light that functions a lot better. As I’ve said earlier in this review, the beam of light is now broader and brighter, so you can see it in any kind of ambient lighting condition and see more of the floor to let you clean more efficiently.

While the Digital Motorbar on the base model of the Submarine is identical to the V15 Detect’s, the one on the Complete model has been given a bit of a facelift to match the gold aesthetic of the handstick – the inner roller is also gold.

As I’ve mentioned before, the integrated crevice tool from the Gen5detect is here and, while useful, I prefer it as a separate attachment. That’s because the integrated version needs to fit inside the tube of the handstick, resulting in it being short and the opening too round and broad. The cutaway for the opening is angled too acutely, so you don’t necessarily create a seal when vacuuming a corner or skirting boards, and no dust gets sucked up. With the separate attachment, which comes with the base model of the Submarine, the slim opening is more efficient and it can be attached to the end of the tube, giving you more reach.

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Dyson V15s Detect Submarine's new wet roller head

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)
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The inside of the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine's wet roller head

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)
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The velvet roller under the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine mopping head

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)
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Dyson V15s Detect Submarine wet roller head separated into its parts

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Another thing I have to talk about with the Complete package is the Free Dok Multi. It’s not often Dyson includes a free-standing dock for its cordless vacuum cleaners and they’re restricted to exclusive models only, as is the case here. However, the dock is far from what I expect from Dyson. The plastic feels flimsy, the parts aren’t easy to fit together and feel like they’ll break if I apply too much force, and the white plastic clashes really badly with the rest of the Dyson color aesthetic. Moreover, if you do get the Free Dok Multi, you can’t stick it into a corner or against a wall. There is only one spot to hang one of the three large attachments that come with the machine, so at least one is going to be hanging off the side slots, and you have to account for its length. So the space the Free Dok Multi takes is more than its slimline look would suggest.

Everything else is inherited from the other Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners – the HEPA filter on the top is washable, as are the rollers on the Submarine and Fluffy Optics. In fact, the entire Submarine wet roller is washable. Cleaning the bin is the same as before, although you will still need to watch out for the hair that gets tangled around the bin’s inner metal cylinder – these can be hard to remove and, as before, not the most hygienic cleaning method as Dyson would have us believe.

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine LED display showing water percentage

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

The LED display is the same as we’ve seen on the V15 Detect, with the graphical representation of the dust and dirt the same vertical graph (as opposed to the horizontal one on the Gen5detect). When the Submarine tool is attached, it displays the percentage of clean water available. A button below the display will let you change the power mode.

Unlike both the Gen5detect and the V15 Detect, I find the V15s Detect Submarine a lot easier to move around, no matter which cleaning head I’m using. According to Dyson’s spec sheet, the Complete model weighs 3.8kg, compared to the V15 Detect at 3.1kg and the Gen5detect at 3.5kg. I think that’s a mistake as it feels lighter than the V15 Detect in the hand, and the Submarine roller just makes it super easy to drag along a floor. I’ve tried measuring the machine myself on a weighing scale, but because I have to hold it in place, the measurements aren’t accurate and come in at just under 3kg, which can’t be right either.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine HEPA filter casing

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine review: Performance

  • Excellent mopping capabilities
  • Dirty-water spills can happen, which can be mopped up with the V15s Detect Submarine
  • Same vacuum prowess as the V15 Detect

Considering the V15s Detect Submarine is Dyson’s first vacuum mop, I think the company has done quite well. The appliance’s vacuuming skills are, as before, quite good. It’s the same vacuuming performance we saw from the V15 Detect, just quieter. So carpets are well taken care of, as are hard floors. The dynamic suction we’ve seen in the last few Dyson models is here, so most users will only need to leave the machine in Auto mode and it will do its thing and, as before, I still think the Digital Motorbar is the catch-all tool for any kind of floor. However, if it’s mostly fine dust in your home and you don’t have pets, then the Fluffy Optic that ships with the Complete model is good and no longer the novelty that I thought it was when I tested the V15 Detect.

So let’s talk mopping here in more detail. The Submarine wet roller cleaning attachment is pretty impressive when it comes to cleaning spills, both wet and dry. For the latter, however, you do need to remember that there’s no suction when using the Submarine, so you’re mopping up a dry spill, not vacuuming. If you need to clean up breakfast cereal, for example, you can mop up the milk, but you’ll need to use the Digital Motorbar after it’s all dried up to suck up the cereal itself. The Fluffy Optic, however, will only scatter the dried cereal as there’s not enough space between the roller and its case to pull in large cereal like Cheerios. However, spills with smaller bits of food, like rice, can be mopped up easily by the Submarine, but you will need to give it a good wash and allow it to dry fully before using it again.

The updated Fluffy Optic with the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Tracked muddy shoes through the house? The Submarine will take care of that and do an impressive job of cleaning up the mud – whether dried or wet – and the stains on the floor. Some stubborn food stains may need a few passes over them, but the Submarine is perfectly capable of handling that. Spilt water on the floor? The Submarine roller will mop that dry too. I used it in the bathroom of my test space (aka my own apartment), not just to mop the floor but also dry out the shower stall and I was very impressed indeed.

Even more impressive is the fact that the roller seems to pick up a heck of a lot of fine dust that the Fluffy Optic misses and doesn’t even illuminate, leaving your floors spotless and a lot cleaner than just vacuuming. I’m basing this on the color of the mop water and how dirty the roller gets after just a few passes on an already-vacuumed floor.

What was not all that impressive was the subsequent dirty water spills I had as I walked from said bathroom to the laundry room sink where I was going to wash the Submarine roller head. So I had to empty the dirty water and use the Submarine to mop up the spills anyway.

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete's integrated crevice tool button

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

This is far from ideal and clearly something Dyson didn’t think through. There’s no way to know how much mop water is filling up in the compartment behind the roller as the display only shows how much clean water you have left to work with. If it was the other way around, perhaps the unsealed compartment wouldn’t have been such a bother and I could empty the dirty water after mopping each room (which, again, is not ideal). Not everyone is going to lug the drip tray around as they mop or remember to place it exactly where you finish. And while this design flaw might seem like a small one, it ends up being a bigger issue for the end consumer to deal with.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Submarine attachment doesn’t hold a lot of clean water. You’ll be able to do a large living room only before you’ll need to refill the little bottle in the cleaning head. So if your multi-room home is all hard floors, you’ll need to fill it often and empty the dirty water just as often, which may not be ideal for everyone.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete's redesigned Digital Motorbar

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine review: Battery life

  • Up to 60 minutes of fade-free power
  • Average of 42 minutes with motorized cleaning heads
  • Replaceable battery pack

With the V15s Detect Submarine, Dyson’s gone back to the 60-minute battery pack it uses in the V15 Detect. That, I think, is a good move because the 70-minute battery used in the Gen5detect made the machine quite heavy and hard to move around or used as a handheld unit.

While it’s possible to get a full 60 minutes of runtime from the V15s Detect Submarine, that will only work with the non-motorized tools like the Hair Screw Tool and the Combination Tool or achievable in Eco mode. You’ll also get almost the whole 60 minutes with the Submarine roller head as the suction is switched off with it attached, however you'll run out of clean water long before you'll need to recharge the machine.

With the motorized tools – namely the Digital Motorhead and the Fluffy Optic – you can get anywhere between 40 to 45 minutes in Auto mode, depending on how often the dynamic suction comes into play. If your home is particularly dirty and the suction changes often, you may get less than 40 minutes, but you can also get up to 50 minutes if there isn't a lot of dust.

During my testing, I managed to get 62 minutes in Eco mode, but I wasn’t quite enthused by the clean I got in this mode. On the other hand, Boost is great for carpets but you can expect to run out of juice in about 8 minutes.

Topping up the battery, according to Dyson, should take 4.5 hours, but my test unit went from 20% to full in a smidge over 3 hours, so I expect empty to full shouldn’t take more than 3.5 hours.

Attachments and tools of the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete hanging from the Free Dok Multi

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Should I buy the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If you’re not sold on the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine, then take a look at the below alternatives as solid competitors instead.

How I tested the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine

  • Used up to three times a week as main vacuum cleaner
  • Spilt milky cereal, water and sauces on the floor to test mopping capabilities
  • Avoided using detergents

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete standing next to a bookshelf

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

I’ve used the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine two to three times a week for four weeks as my main vacuum, while also running the Dyson V15 Detect to compare suction during vacuuming. I allowed hair and dust to accumulate on the carpet in one room before the first test run.

I also scattered different-sized grain on the floor to test vacuuming, including sugar, rice, Cheerios and tapioca pearls. I then used the Digital Motorbar and the Fluffy Optic to vacuum to determine which one does best on such debris.

To test the mopping prowess, I poured cereal and milk on the floor, allowing it to dry. I first vacuumed up the cereal, then used the Submarine wet roller head to mop the dried, sticky milk. I also poured water on a patch of floor to mop up to see how well the patch dries. Dusty shoe prints and dried food on the floor were also mopped during different tests.

I’ve actively been testing and reviewing vacuum cleaners of all kinds for the last six years and have learnt what to look for when choosing a machine that’s best for different kinds of homes. I also place high importance on value for money in any appliance I test.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed August 2023]

Alienware Aurora R16 review: a little less Alien, a little more office
7:01 am | August 3, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Alienware Aurora R16: Two-minute review

Last year saw the release of the Alienware Aurora R15, Dell’s powerful and expensive gaming PC outfitted with some of the highest specs on the market. The Alienware Aurora R16, however, attempts something different. While it’s still a gaming desktop, it’s undergone a redesign to make it both more lightweight and to better fit an office desktop. 

Further aiding that office-friendly look is its surprisingly benign black box shape, which completely defies the normal “alien-eques” aesthetics of Alienware PCs. The only minor flaw this desktop has is the glass side panel that lets you see all the innards, aka the components. Unfortunately, the look inside is a bit boring, as Dell didn’t bother to change the interior layout from previous models.

The port selection is quite excellent, with pretty much everything you could possibly need to hook up to the desktop. It includes four USB 3.2 Gen Type-A ports, three USB 3.2 Type-C ports, one audio jack, two SPDIF digital outputs, one side surround output, one rear surround output, one center/subwoofer output, one Ethernet port, one line out port, and one line in port.

Its ventilation is also excellent, with the Alienware Aurora R16 never coming close to overheating or even feeling particularly warm around the vents during intense gaming sessions. This is due to the several vents on the top and on the side of the case, an internal liquid cooling system, and a honeycomb vent located under the glass side panel. The latter is effective but visually bizarre as the R16 doesn’t need it shaped that way, unlike the R15.

It performs extremely well with any of the best PC games you can possibly throw at it like a champ. Titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Dirt 5 run smoothly at 1080p, which is what it was meant for. And while Dirt 5 can also handle 4K while maintaining over 80 fps, Cyberpunk 2077 suffers greatly without DLSS 3 active.

Alienware Aurora R16: Price & availability

black gaming PC with glass side

(Image credit: Future)
  • Starting at $1,749 / £1,349 / around AU$2,670
  • Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Alienware Aurora R16, while still a bit on the expensive side, is one of the most affordable gaming PCs equipped with current-gen components like the 13th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia RTX 4070 graphics card. Starting price is at $1,749 / £1,349 / around AU$2,670, with upgrades not skyrocketing the price nearly as much. And there’s another, even more affordable option that will be available later in 2023.

Dell confirmed that the R16 will launch in US, UK, and Australia. And while pricing has been confirmed for US and UK, there’s no official Australian pricing at this time. Unlike the US release, which is August 3, 2023, the UK release is August 8, 2023.

  • Price score: 4 / 5

Alienware Aurora R16: Specs

black gaming PC with glass side

(Image credit: Future)

The Alienware Aurora R16 comes in two configurations, with a planned third cheaper one coming later in 2023. The one given to me for review is as follows: an Intel Core i7-13700F processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDRR6 graphics card, 32GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD storage.

Meanwhile, the current starting configuration for the US is an Intel Core i7-13700F, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD storage. Starting configuration for the UK version is a bit different as it comes with an Intel Core i7-13700F, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD of storage.

Being that this is a PC and not a laptop, each component can be upgraded. However, the tight fit within the chassis could make certain upgrades more difficult. And if you’re not the self-upgrading type, there are plenty of configuration options available to customize your PC.

  • Specs score: 5 / 5

Alienware Aurora R16: Design

black gaming PC with glass side

(Image credit: Future)
  • More compact and takes up less desk space
  • Glass side panel is pointless
  • Great port selection
  • Great ventilation

The Alienware Aurora R16 is fascinating as a desktop gaming PC, as its aesthetics are both subdued and a departure from the usual Alienware design. Though it’s still a gaming machine through and through, the plain black case, subtle RGB lighting, more compact box shape, and single clear side panel create a PC that’s a perfect fit for the office. It’s impressive how little space it takes up on a desk and as for its weight, it’s easier to maneuver around than the previous model, though it’s still a bit hefty.

While I do enjoy the striking look of the clear side panel, it’s a bit out of place for a PC that’s meant to fit in a more professional setting. Not to mention there’s nothing particularly interesting to see, since the interior is set up pretty much like any other Alienware desktop. It’s actually a bit less interesting due to the lack of RGB lighting and the almost claustrophobic insides.

black gaming PC with glass side

(Image credit: Future)

It does have an impressive port selection, with plenty of ports on the front and back tailor-made for pretty much anything you’d want to connect the PC to. There are four USB 3.2 Gen Type-A ports, three USB 3.2 Type-C ports, one audio jack, two SPDIF digital outputs, one side surround output, one rear surround output, one center/subwoofer output, one Ethernet port, one line out port, and one line in port.

Ventilation is also some of the best out there among gaming PCs, with not a single moment of overheating during long gaming sessions. There are several vents on top and on the sides of the chassis that aid in that, along with the 240mm liquid cooling system inside. Not to mention how whisper quiet it is, you would be hard-pressed to hear any sound coming from it. And though the honeycomb-shaped vents below the clear panel are solid, it’s an unnecessary design choice considering that the R16 doesn’t need it, unlike the R15. A regular vent would have been more than sufficient.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Alienware Aurora R16: Performance

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black gaming PC with glass side

(Image credit: Future)
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black gaming PC with glass side

(Image credit: Future)
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black gaming PC with glass side

(Image credit: Future)
  • Excellent all-around performance
  • Works well for gaming, productivity, and creative/editing
Alienware Aurora R16: Benchmarks

Here's how the Alienware Aurora R16 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 73,829; Fire Strike: 36,116; Time Spy: 17,203; Port Royal: 10,934
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 17,664 points
GeekBench 5: 1,935 (single-core); 15,764 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 8,194 points
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 133 fps; (1080p, Low): 310 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (Ultra): 16 fps; (Low): 56 fps
Dirt 5 (Ultra): 82 fps; (Low): 168 fps
25GB File Copy: 20.9
Handbrake 1.6: 3:52
CrossMark: Overall: 2,076 Productivity: 1,921 Creativity: 2,328 Responsiveness: 1,858

As with most gaming PCs, the Alienware Aurora R16 not only performs well with high-end PC titles, but can also double as a productivity and creative/editing machine.

It handles titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Dirt 5 well, with the former scoring nearly 60 fps consistently while the latter hits over 150 fps on lower settings. However, it gets a little dicey for Cyberpunk 2077 when you kick up the resolution to 4K, dropping the framerate to 16 fps without DLSS 3 active. Dirt 5 drops as well but the framerate is still an excellent 82 on average. This tracks with the focus of the R16 being on 1080p and QHD gaming, so having it run at 4K resolution isn’t an ideal condition.

Dell made an interesting claim that the R16 matches or is superior in performance to the R15 while maintaining mid-range pricing. And when looking over the benchmark scores you can definitely see where that claim comes from. In 3DMark, the R16 is surprisingly close to the R15 in Night Raid and Fire Strike, only losing out in Port Royal and Time Spy. Though the latter far surpasses the former in Cinebench R23 results, the R16 either matches or exceeds the GeekBench 5 and PCMark 10 Home Test results.

Of course, benchmarks aren’t the end all be all of the actual performance, and naturally, the R15 outperforms the R16 when it comes to gaming due to having a better graphics card. But for what the R16 has and for its lower cost, it’s a solid machine for those wanting solid game performance without paying close to or over $4,000 for the top-tier specs.

It also scores well on other benchmarks like the 25GB File Copy test, the Handbrake 1.6 test, and the CrossMark test. If you need a PC for creative and editing projects, it would be worth investing in a monitor with a solid color gamut to take advantage of this PC. 

  • Performance score: 4.5 / 5

Should you buy the Alienware Aurora R16?

Buy it if...

You need a well-rounded PC
Showing by its benchmarks and general performance, this PC can handle it all and well. You can use it for gaming, productivity, and creative or editing projects.

You need a diverse port selection
The port selection is excellent, a well-rounded selection that caters to many devices. 

You need a smaller PC for the office
Compared to other models from the same line, this one is more compact and a bit lighter, which lets it fit right in an office environment.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a strict budget
While the cheapest option is nice to see, it's still not a budget machine and the highest configurations can get a little pricey.

Alienware Aurora R16: Also consider

If the Alienware Aurora R16 has you considering other options, here are two more gaming PCs to consider...

How I tested the Alienware Aurora R16

  • I tested the Alienware Aurora R16 for about a week
  • I tested PC games at both low and high settings
  • I used a variety of benchmarks as well as general gameplay to test performance

First, I tested the general weight of the Alienware Aurora R16 by lifting it up and around my apartment. After I set it up, I ran several benchmarks to test out both the processor and graphics card, as well as in-game gameplay performance. Finally, I stress-tested titles like Dirt 5 and Cyberpunk 2077 in various settings to see both overall performance and ventilation quality.

The Alienware Aurora R16 is specially made as a gaming PC, which meant the brunt of my testing revolved around checking game performance and looking for any ventilation issues.

I've tested plenty of gaming PCs and laptops, making me more than qualified to understand benchmark test results and how to properly stress test machines to see how well they work during both casual and intense gaming sessions.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed August 2023

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro review: This top outdoor watch gets the Pro treatment
2:30 pm | July 29, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: One-minute review

The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro is a new version of the Fenix 7, which launched in early 2022. This isn’t the first time Garmin has launched a Pro version of its feature-packed watch aimed at lovers of the great outdoors and is likely to fill the void before we see the Fenix 8.

For the Fenix 7 Pro, the headline news is that one of the best Garmin watches is seeking to improve things even further in the display and heart rate tracking departments and now wants to help you better understand how well-equipped you are at tackling hills and endurance events.

The Fenix 7 was an impressive watch and it’s more of the same with the Pro, offering a rich array of sports profiles, metrics, training and analysis insights and the kind of battery life that can keep you away from a charger for weeks.

The problem that the Pro has is that many of the big software features have headed to the older Fenix 7 series, making the Pro version more of a sell for older Fenix owners and those that really want the newest outdoor features that Garmin has to offer.

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Specifications

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Price and availability

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • $799 in the US
  • £749.99 in the UK
  • $1,349 in Australia

The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro is available to buy now directly from Garmin and from a host of other retailers including Amazon. It has a current RRP of £749.99 in the UK, $799 in the US and $1,349 in Australia.

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Design and screen

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • New, clearer screen
  • Same rugged form factor
  • New flashlight added

The Fenix 7 Pro like the standard 7 is all about being a watch that’s built for some serious rough and tumble, so unlike Garmin’s Forerunner watches such as the Garmin Forerunner 265, you can expect a thicker case design, more tougher metal and generally a stronger level of protection against water.

Like the 7, the 7 Pro comes in three case sizes. I had the 47mm version, which is very similar to the 47mm Fenix 7 in terms of how it feels to wear and what you can expect in terms of weight and the space it soaks up on your wrist.

It’s a polymer case with steel around the back and a bezel built from stainless steel, which helps this watch to weigh in at 79g. Garmin pairs that with 22mm QuickFit straps, so you’re just a simple button press away from removing it and putting on a new one. As a package, it’s waterproof up to 100 metres making it safe for pool and open water swimming time.

Front and centre is a 1.3-inch, 260 x 260 resolution transflective memory-in-pixel display, which Garmin says is an improved one on the display included on the non-Pro 7. I’d say it’s a touch clearer, but there’s not a massive amount in it. It’s still a display technology that offers good visibility indoors, outside and the responsiveness of the touchscreen support is as good as you’ll find on a sports watch right now. It’s never going to be as bright as the Epix’ series AMOLED display, but is excellent for battery conservation. 

On top of that screen lies Garmin’s PowerGlass, which does mean you get solar charging powers here to boost the already big battery numbers Garmin promises, as long as you’re spending enough time out in the sun to enjoy the benefits.

The 47mm and 42mm Fenix 7 Pro now also grab the LED flashlight from the Fenix 7X, so you now have an extra source of light that can be enabled from the quick settings and can be configured to light up when you’re in tracking mode and is actually a useful extra to have if you don’t want to grab your smartphone.

Garmin uses the same charging cable to power it up as the one provided with the Fenix 7 and as a package you’re getting a lovely, well-built watch that doesn’t weigh too heavy or too light and has a screen that’s big enough to make sure you can absorb your real-time stats and view onboard maps.

  • Design score: 5/5

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Features

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • New weather overlays for maps
  • Endurance and Hill Scores now added
  • Heart rate sensor promises improved workout HR accuracy

The Fenix 7 Pro is a watch for the outdoors and doesn’t disappoint with the level of features on offer here for those who like to spend more time outside than inside. 

Along with core running, golfing (there's a reason Garmin fills out a lot of our best golf watches entries), swimming and cycling modes, there are the usual outdoor profiles aplenty covering everything from hiking to surfing, skiing and you're getting activity-specific metrics for most of those profiles as well.

On the navigation front, you’ve got preloaded topographic maps, road and trail maps and ski resort maps, with touchscreen support to navigate around those maps. Garmin has enhanced that mapping mode with Relief Shading to offer more detailed maps, the ability to see a split of your metrics and map on one screen and view weather information like temperature, although that isn’t available during the tracking mode screen. Up Ahead also offers trail runners and cyclists the location of Points of Interest nearby.

Along with the rich training analysis and metrics you already get on the Fenix 7, Garmin has introduced new Endurance Scores and Hill Scores metrics to help you better understand whether you have put in the right amount of training to handle a hilly route or really go long in training or an endurance event. It analyses hilly workout history and VO2 Max estimates to score your endurance and ability to tackle hills and make it easy to understand whether it’s good or bad.

Many of the Fenix 7 Pro’s training and analysis features are driven by good heart rate data and Garmin has sought to improve things on that front with a new optical heart rate sensor onboard and new algorithms to deliver improved accuracy, particularly when you’re exercising. 

You do still have the ability to pair up external sensors and while the accuracy during workouts has been solid overall, I don’t think you should be ditching that dedicated heart rate monitor just yet.

  •  Features score: 4.5/5 

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Performance

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Great multi-band mode
  • Endurance and Hill Scores are nicely presented
  • Same great battery life

All of the good traits from the Fenix 7 are retained for the Pro. Garmin’s great multi-frequency positioning GNSS mode, which improves tracking accuracy in return for sucking up more battery life than other GPS modes, performs really well and Garmin’s mapping support remains the best you’ll find on a watch right now. The mix of touchscreen and button interaction makes it easy to navigate the now more detailed presentation of those maps as well.

The new Endurance and Hill scores are interesting additions to the already rich array of metrics Garmin offers, but how reliable and useful they are going to be for most Fenix 7 Pro users is certainly up for debate. You need a few weeks of data to kick things off and while there’s some useful advice offered around those scores they weren’t scores that drastically changed the experience of using the 7 Pro over the regular 7. Plus, those features are coming to the older Fenix as well.

Something that thankfully hasn’t changed with the new hardware and software features on board is the kind of battery life you’ll enjoy on the Fenix 7 Pro. Garmin promises the same numbers with up to 22 days in smartwatch mode, which can be boosted by solar charging. If you’re planning to spend multiple days out on your feet, you can sacrifice the best GPS accuracy and opt for the Expedition mode to get you 40 days of watch time and potentially more again if you can expose the watch to enough sunlight to boost battery.

If you want to use the Fenix 7 Pro as a smartwatch, it has the same features as the baseline Fenix 7. The notification support is the strongest of those smartwatch features and you do have good music player and controls features as well. You do have Garmin Pay and access to Garmin’s Connect IQ Store, though don’t expect to pile on loads of big-name apps here. Some changes have been made to the user interface, mainly in the workout mode, but if you were hoping for more smartwatch skills than before, that’s not the case here.

Ultimately, this is a watch that can last for weeks, even with regular use of workout tracking, mapping and smartwatch features. Make use of the onboard power manager features and turning off features you don’t use and that will make things go further.

  • Performance score: 4.5/5 

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 hands-on review: an excellent watch, but an iterative update
2:00 pm | July 26, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: One minute review

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is on track to be another stellar smartwatch from the Korean brand. We can see that after just an hour of playing with it. The fast screen refresh rate and response time for the apps we were able to use mean the overall experience is butter-smooth, and the design is nice – both externally and internally, thanks to Wear OS 4 and Samsung’s One UI 5 Watch interface. We can clearly see the potential for it to knock the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 off the top of our best smartwatches list. 

It’s packing some nifty new features. Notably, the processing power and RAM have been boosted, Samsung Wallet has expanded to be able to include documents other than cards, such as airline tickets. 

A new Custom Workout option allows you to put together multi-stage workouts, and a redesigned Sleep app experience makes it, in Samsung’s words, “the best device on the market for monitoring your sleep” which is a big claim. Using the watch as a photo viewfinder is also a lot of fun, and will certainly attract some ‘ooohs’ at family gatherings.  

However, we’ve not yet tested this watch’s longevity, which is going to be the real kicker. The battery life may have been improved by the more efficient processor, but if the watch won’t last two days it’s going to be extremely frustrating to use for that best-in-class nightly sleep monitoring. Otherwise, little else has changed over its predecessor, which makes the Watch 6 an excellent device in isolation, but a largely iterative update.    

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

(Image credit: Future / Matt Evans)
  • 40mm model in the US starts from $299
  • Starts from £289 in the UK
  • Starts from AU$599 in Australia

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 was announced at Samsung’s July 26 Unpacked event in Seoul, alongside the Watch 6 Classic, Galaxy Z Flip 5, Galaxy Z Fold 5, and Galaxy Tab S9 series. 

The Galaxy Watch 6 comes in four different varieties, and that’s before you consider the alternative Classic model – see our hands-on Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review for our early impressions of that device. You have the 40mm and 44mm sizes, each coming in Bluetooth-only and LTE models, the latter of which grants you internet access away from your phone.

In the US, the 40mm models start from $299 for Bluetooth-only, while the 44mm models are $329.99 for Bluetooth-only.

In the UK, prices start from £289 for the 40mm Bluetooth model and £339 for the 40mm LTE option, and from £319 and £369 for the 44mm Bluetooth-only and 44mm LTE models, respectively. 

In Australia, the 40mm watches go for AU$549 (Bluetooth) and AU$649 (LTE), with the 44mm models going for AU$599 (Bluetooth) and AU$699 (LTE). 

These prices put the various Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 in roughly the same ballpark as corresponding Apple Watches and Google Pixel Watches, obviously dependent on sizes, models and deals available. Considering that the Watch 5 started at £269 / $279.99 / AU$499 for a 40mm Bluetooth-only model, a small price increase since last year is to be expected. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Design and screen

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

(Image credit: Future / Matt Evans)
  • New Exynos W930 processor
  • Redesigned strap-swapping functionality
  • Butter-smooth super AMOLED screen

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 sports a slightly thinner bezel than the Watch 5, which has also necessitated a slight tweak to the case. However, the screen sizes and button functionalities remain identical, so the watch does look very similar to its predecessor. This is no bad thing: the Samsung Galaxy line are good-looking watches with the right face choice, and the super AMOLED screen is excellent, with smooth transitions and a high refresh rate. 

The watch’s screen remains a high point, from the little workout animations available on previous Samsung Galaxy Watches to using the Watch as a viewfinder to take selfies and group shots when your phone is propped up on a table or other surface. Not only can you use the watch as a remote shutter button, but you can see a tiny picture of what the camera sees to ensure the composition is as you want. It’s a neat trick, and I was surprised how good the picture-in-picture camera view looked on the watch when I tried it with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. Swapping between apps was seamless and pretty responsive, although the main cloud of apps typical of Wear OS watches is looking rather tired, withApple having switched its best Apple Watch models to displaying the widget stack for its most-used features. 

The Exynos W930 processor is said to offer an 18% faster clock speed, and the Watch is packing 2GB of RAM compared to 1.5GB in the Watch 5. I’m hoping to see the watch operate faster and more efficiently on a day-to-day basis thanks to the increased processing power, hopefully putting less strain on the battery, the size of which is still only slightly increased at 425mAh for the 44mm model and 300mAh for the 40mm model. It’s not a small battery, but Samsung’s watches, like Apple’s and Google’s, are really quite inefficient compared to Fitbits and the best Garmin watches, which you’ll get a week of wear from at a minimum. At least the Galaxy Watch 6 has WPC-based fast charging. 

The strap-swapping functionality is easier than ever, provided you have decent thumbnails for pressing down and releasing the strap. It makes it extremely simple to swap straps on the fly from, for example, daywear leather (which looks great) to the silicone sport band. With two sizes, a range of colors and a variety of straps, there are ample options for having your Galaxy Watch, your way. I loved the black leather strap with the black 44mm watch: the word ‘executive’ came to mind when I slipped it on, and I’d consider wearing my Galaxy Watch with this strap in a formal setting, which isn’t something I can say for most smartwatches. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

(Image credit: Future)
  • Lots of new health and fitness features
  • Redesigned on-watch sleep app
  • An early issue with the body comp feature

The Watch is stuffed to the brim with features, most of which I wasn’t able to test during my hands-on session; after all, I wasn’t going to have a nap or go for a run when I had such limited time with the device. Sleep coaching remains similar in functionality to what you get on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro, and on those devices it’s excellent: after sleeping with your Watch for several weeks you’ll be assigned a ‘sleep animal’ or chronotype, and get sleep-coaching tips based on that analysis. 

Changes on the Watch 6 mean that you’ll see your Sleep Scores, Sleep Animal, coaching and more on the watch directly rather than having to dive into the app on your phone, so you can access more of your sleep stuff on the watch immediately after waking. It doesn’t sound too dissimilar to Garmin’s Morning Report feature, and I’d be excited to see something like that implemented here. 

On the fitness side, Custom Workouts allows you to create multi-stage workouts that you can flick through with a press of a button to move yourself onto the next stage, perfect for triathletes. High-heart-rate alerts and mid-workout heart rate zone notifications are both new, although I was unable to try them. 

I was able to try the body composition feature, which uses the same bioelectric impedance analysis process as a smart scale to gauge your skeletal muscle and fat percentages on your body. I tested the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro against a leading smart scale last year and found it to be pretty accurate, and it looks set to be so again. I did, however, have a little trouble getting it to work on the smaller 40mm watch, as I was continuously prompted to move the watch further up my wrist; it was halfway up my forearm before it triggered, a problem I didn’t have on the 44mm.  

Otherwise, the watch is stacked with possibilities thanks to Google Play integration, so you can download all your favorite Wear OS apps, giving the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 an awful lot of possibilities. WhatsApp, for example, can be used independently of your phone. When synced to a Samsung watch and the Samsung Health app, it’s going to really shine with seamless transference of data. However, it looks like your Samsung watch still won’t automatically share your data with Google Fit again, which was a disappointment last year. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Early Verdict

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

(Image credit: Future / Matt Evans)

Based on my brief and restricted hands-on time, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is on track to be another solid 4/5 device. It’s a well-designed, attractive-looking, easy-to-use Wear OS watch for existing Samsung users looking to manage their health, fitness, sleep and delve into on-wrist communication. It takes the brilliance of the existing line and builds upon it nicely, although at this early stage it doesn’t look like it’s fixed enough of the Watch 5’s few flaws to merit that elusive five stars. 

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro smartwatch review: Premium feel, average features
4:13 pm | July 25, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro: One minute review

If you dabble in multi-sports and are looking for an attractive watch, which gives your basic stats for an array of sports and exercises this watch could be a great choice. With over 100 exercises to track its inclusive, while it even has a separate running app, but its statistics are very basic and won’t beat its competition. 

The look of the watch is smart, with a choice between a black rubber strap or brown leather and a sapphire glass watch face with 1.47" AMOLED screen – it’s beaming with colorful apps, which are clear and easy to navigate. However, it's a chunky watch, with its watch face really standing out on the wrist. 

The S1 Pro app, called Mi Fitness, is easy to set up but doesn’t offer much more than the watch itself, while it still has some features which need personalization. 

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro: Specifications

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro: Price and availability

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro on wrist

(Image credit: Sarah Finley)
  • $330 in the US
  • £300 in the UK
  • AU$391 in Australia

The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro was launched in China in August 2022, but was released officially around the world this February 2023. Its UK price is £299.99, with prices starting in the US at $330 and in Australia at AU$391. 

The price is surprisingly high for what you get, especially compared to its contemporaries. It looks and feels premium, but doesn’t hold a huge amount of value unless you’re a die-hard Xiaomi fan. 

  • Value score: 3/5

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro: Design and screen

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro on wrist

(Image credit: Sarah Finley)
  • Large watch face for a smartwatch
  • Quality AMOLED touchscreen
  • A heavy and chunky model

The first thing you notice about this watch is its size; it’s huge, and sat on my dainty wrist looking quite chunky indeed. If you want a discreet watch, this is not it. The main reason for its size is its large watch face, all sapphire glass, paired with a stainless steel case. It's certainly attractive, looking more like a standard watch than a smartwatch.  

Like its predecessors, the Xiaomi Mi and Xiaomi S1, you can choose from a brown leather strap or a black silicone strap – I liked that the brown strap worked as a more formal accessory, and I was able to pair it with not just gym wear, but smarter outfits too. With two buttons on the right-hand side of the watch, the top button is more prominent, and the dual use of buttons and touchscreen was effective. 

The quality of the screen, 1.47" AMOLED, is one of its best features, gliding through the apps and features effortlessly. It’s a colorful display, which looks more attractive than some of its competitors’ offerings. There were no niggles as I tried to open any of the features and we appreciated the quality,of the display, especially when I was out on a run . I also used the watch for hiking on a bright day and it really held its own - never letting me down when I wanted to check out stats as I hiked. 

It’s an expensive watch and really does look the part, but we’d love to see a more lightweight version, as at times this felt quite heavy on the wrist. There are no smaller size options in the same way there are in the best Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy model lines

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro: Features

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro on wrist

(Image credit: Sarah Finley)
  • Easy to set up
  • Needs more personalisation 
  • Lacking sleep details

Setting up the S1 Pro’s adjoining app, Mi Fitness, is really easy and it only takes you a few minutes. The install process takes you through a variety of features, helping you sync your device and add in personal goals, from the number of calories you want to burn while you are exercising to the number of steps you want to achieve every day. This is something I personally think is important for any smartwatch – it has to be tailored around your own activity goals and personal life.

As well as giving you data on the watch itself, you can delve into the app for the details of your workouts, with the app tracking your exercise over the week: illustrating your calories, steps and moving time via a colourful rainbow design, similar to the Apple watch's circle design.

Clicking into the details of the workout, however, each tracked performance seemed to have some randomized values attached to it, which didn't give it a personal feeling - perhaps a bug they need to fix in the app. The Sleep section of the app didn’t provide much detail either, just giving me a score from ‘poor’ to ‘good’ without any details on how to improve or what those scores meant. All of the best sleep trackers and sleep tracking apps break your sleep down into light, deep and REM cycles, and offer actionable advice for getting better sleep. Fitbit, Samsung and even Pokémon Sleep offer chronotype-based sleep profiles, so this is a huge content hole for Xiaomi. 

We like the ‘competition’ element of the app which allows you to add friends, who also have the watch, and compare your exercise routines. A feature which could rouse up some motivation between your group of friends, or cause an argument – providing you all have the S1 Pro. 

  •  Features score: 3.5 /5  

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro: Performance

Mi Fitness app showing workout mode

(Image credit: Sarah Finley)
  • Some inaccurate statistics 
  • Easy to navigate 
  • Basic features, with phone pairing

I used the watch for a couple of months, putting it through its paces on various runs, hikes and at various fitness classes. I also tested it against my everyday smartwatch (a Fitbit Versa), to see if it tracked the same amount of calories and output.

As a runner, I loved the separate app on the watch for different running activities, with everything from a timed basic walk or run to advanced intervals. I mostly used the watch as I sweated through spinning classes and it was great to see real-time statistics, however, it didn’t provide me with anything different to the competition. Tracking was also off compared to Fitbit, and registering a higher calorie burn on the S1 Pro and a lower anaerobic threshold.

At least the watch is easy to navigate day-to-day. Clicking the large button takes you to the home screen, then it changes into a touchscreen, as the home screen gives you shortcuts to tracking your chosen exercise, heart rate, sleep metrics and many other options. We particularly liked the extras, which we haven’t found on other smartwatches, such as skin temperature, a compass and even a flashlight, so you no longer have to rely solely on your phone. 

The home screen also has apps to sync your calendar, your contactless cards and your music, providing you have an Android 6.0 or higher or iOS 11 or above. Personally, I’m not keen on syncing emails or phone calls to a smartwatch, as I primarily use them for fitness motivation, but it’s nice to have the choice. 

After tracking a couple of hikes, the app gave me a detailed breakdown of my cardio output, with speed, cadence and elevation tracked, but no information or further breakdown on these individual metrics. It claims to have a 14-day battery life, but if you’re using it regularly you will only get around a week out of it based on our tests. Remember to take your charger with you if you’re going on holiday. 

However, charging is quick and just 10 minutes will give you two days. It’s a good watch, but to beat its competitors such as the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy watches it will need to have more accurate stats and more stand-up features – especially for just under £300.  

  •  Performance score: 3.5/5 

Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested

Our writer wore the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro for over a month and used it during a variety of workouts, including runs and spin classes. She compared its workout statistics to a contemporary Fitbit for accuracy, wore it overnight to test its sleep tracking capabilities, and hiked with it to examine its GPS credentials.  

First reviewed: June 2023

Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: a powerful but expensive robot vacuum cleaner
2:44 am | July 20, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Dyson 360 Vis Nav: Two-minute review

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav – I’ll call it just the Vis Nav going forward – has been seven years in the making, according to the engineers involved in the project. It’s not Dyson’s first robovac, although it is for Australia, where the cleaning machine has been released before heading to other markets.

When I saw the robot vacuum cleaner being demonstrated at its launch event in Sydney in May 2023, I thought those seven years were well spent. The Vis Nav sure can utilize its entire 65 air watts of suction in Boost mode, with the evidence of its prowess quite clear when the dust canister is emptied. It’s also the only robot vacuum cleaner I’ve tested that’s capable of doing a decent job of room edges and around furniture legs thanks to an automatically extending side duct.

After having used the Vis Nav for a few weeks now, I’m rethinking my assessment of those seven years of work put towards the Dyson 360 Vis Nav – I’m not as impressed any more. Firstly, its navigation leaves me confused – it tends to stop in the middle of a room while cleaning, get its bearings, then start again. That’s not to say it misses spots, but the stopping can be disconcerting until you get used to it. It will clean an entire section or room, then head to the edges, before moving on to another room.

Another thing that has me scratching my head after every single cleaning run is the dust map that’s displayed in the MyDyson app. According to that, the dirtiest places in my test space are the ones that I’ve already vacuumed with the Dyson V15 Detect (sometimes in Boost mode) minutes before the Vis Nav.

I’m also not really sold on its battery life either. While it manages to run for 47 minutes in Auto mode on a full charge, it barely gave me 15 minutes on Boost, which isn’t enough to finish a decently-sized bedroom.

If you mostly plan to use it in Auto mode, though, the Dyson 360 Vis Nav is arguably the best robot vacuum cleaner I’ve tested in terms of dirt pick-up. It’s very simple to use, has a clear touchscreen and the dust canister is supremely easy to empty. It won’t mop, its D-shaped body won’t really go into corners, and there are no plans to offer the Vis Nav with an auto-empty station. While I love its suction, I really can’t justify its premium price point.

Dyson 360 Vis Nav moving away from its dock

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: price and availability

  • Announced May 2023
  • Currently only available in Australia; US and UK availability TBC
  • Retail price of AU$2,399; US and UK price TBC

It seems Dyson is releasing specific products in specific markets to test the waters. Like the Dyson AirStrait hair straightener, which has only been released in the US, the 360 Vis Nav is currently only available in Australia. There’s no confirmation on when the robovac will roll into other markets, but we’ll keep you updated as soon as we know.

We also don’t have pricing information outside of Australia, where the Vis Nav costs AU$2,399 (converting to around $1,635 / £1,250 at the time of writing). While it’s easy to brush off that price with the excuse that’s “it’s a Dyson”, that really is a lot of spare change you’ll need to dig up, particularly considering you can get a more versatile robot vacuum cleaner for that kind of money.

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra in comparison costs $1,599 / AU$2,699 (not available in the UK), but you can justify that price tag as it’s a self-emptying and self-cleaning (aka it’s mop gets cleaned and dried too) robot vacuum cleaner. Take the Ecovacs Deebot Omni X1 as another example, which also has similar capabilities to the Roborock, and which sets you back $1,549 / £1,499 / AU$2,499. Both have more logical navigation pathways and, while they don’t necessarily have a dedicated Boost mode, they do have very powerful suction.

Value score: 2.5/5

Dyson 360 Vis Nav on a rug

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Dyson 360 Vis Nav: Specs

Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: Design

  • D-shaped body
  • Full-width bar brush and an automatically extending side duct
  • No side brushes to scatter dirt

The moment you lay your eyes on the 360 Vis Nav, you’ll be able to identify it as a Dyson machine. Whether it’s the blue body or the distinctive radial cyclones you can see on the top of the bin canister… I really can’t put my finger on it. What’s really interesting about the Vis Nav, however, is its shape. It’s the first robot vacuum that I know of to feature a D-shaped body that looks like it can get into corners but doesn’t manage it anyway.

Another major design change from anything else out there is the lack of the rotating side brushes you see on other robovacs because, according to Dyson and I agree, they tend to scatter dirt more than push them towards the bar brush under the vacuum. 

Speaking of which, that too has been specifically designed for the Vis Nav. Firstly, the bar brush spans the entire length of the vacuum’s body, meaning it can cover more floor than other droids. And second, it’s a fully redesigned combo of some of Dyson’s existing cordless vacuum cleaner brushes – there are hard bristles to tease dust out of carpet fibers, a soft roller for hard floors, and anti-static carbonfiber filaments to make sure dust doesn't stick to the brush or hard floors as it moves along, creating static energy. It’s also thick enough to ensure hair doesn’t tangle. It’s washable too.

The switch to open the bin of the Dyson 360 Vis Nav

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

As impressive as the bar brush is, I’m in love with the side duct. This little red tongue sticks out automatically when the Vis Nav gets close to a room’s edge or senses furniture legs, then retracts when it’s not needed. It will even stick out when there are large boxes in the way to make sure the edges along said boxes are cleaned.

The top of the Vis Nav is a 360º camera to allow for visual navigation as opposed to the lidar sensors most other robovacs use. When it’s in a dimly-lit room or under a bed, a light comes on to help it make its way around a home without bumping into anything. That said, it does have a tendency to bump into slightly reflective objects, like a large green glass vase I had on the floor of my test space.

Then there’s a touchscreen which, thanks to being a high contrast display, is easy to read in any kind of lighting. Well, touchscreen is a little misleading as I found that I had to press the screen, which also happens to be a button, to get the vacuum to do its thing. You can use it to start the machine, choose the mode, pause a clean and watch it tell you when the robovac is doing an edge clean or is mapping. It will even let you know it’s charging, how much of the battery is filling up (diagrammatically) and when it’s detected that you’ve taken something (brush, filter or bin) out. When not in use, the screen goes dark with a dim crescent moon and stars displayed to indicate it’s hibernating on its dock after charging up.

The touchscreen is basically a button you can press on the Dyson 360 Vis Nav

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Beside the screen is the filter. Just press the silver top to release its housing and you can take it out to give it a wash. Just make sure it’s fully dry before putting it back in again.

Arguably the best design element is the dust canister. It features the distinctive radial cyclones we’re used to seeing on the cordless handsticks, just smaller, and a red semicircular button releases it from its spot. The handle is usually folded down when fixed to the bot and houses the release button to open the bottom – similar to how the larger bins on the V series vacuums operate. The grill within is fully exposed, which is a good thing as long strands of hair get tangled around it and need to be cleaned out manually – it’s not all that hygienic as Dyson makes it out to be.

The dock, which comes in two pieces, is a small charging station with cable management on the rear.

• Design score: 4/5

A light comes on when the Dyson 360 Vis Nav is in dark rooms and spaces

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: Performance

  • Great cleaning prowess
  • Dynamic suction
  • Confusing navigation

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav comes with a decent 65AW of suction and a motor that spins at 110,000rpm. This combination is quite powerful, so much so that I was shocked the first time I emptied the bin – it was full! And that was just in Auto mode! 

There are a total of four modes here – Auto, Boost, Quiet and Quick. I’d recommend leaving the Vis Nav on Auto as it does well on this mode. And as soon as it’s finished the interior of a room, it will pop out its side duct to suck up dirt and small debris along the room edges. As mentioned, it will do this even when it senses large pieces of furniture or boxes on your floor – basically anything that creates a decently large ‘edge’ to warrant a clean.

Does this side duct or tongue actually do a decent job? Yes, for the most part. I did have hair and visible bits of dust along some skirting board edges and they all got sucked up, but I also saw it miss some spots. The way I see it, there is no other robot vacuum cleaner that will come as close to the edges of rooms and furniture as this one. So that’s a big tick in my books.

Emptying the bin canister of the Dyson 360 Vis Nav

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

In Boost mode, it’s really quite powerful, easily filling up its dust canister when running over a carpeted floor. As with any Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner, there’s just not enough battery life on the Boost mode to actually finish a large-ish room in one go. If your rooms are big, it will return to its dock to recharge after 13-15 minutes and return later to finish the job. I found it performs admirably well in Auto mode itself – it does, after all, adjust suction dynamically anyway and you’ll see the evidence of its suction power when you empty its bin.

The evidence of its cleaning prowess can also be heard when the volume of its usual hum goes up a little during this automatic adjusting. While Dyson was keen to point out that the Vis Nav is a relatively quiet robovac, it’s actually on par with most other new models out there. It averages about 62dB in Auto mode and can hit 64dB when dynamically adjusting suction power. The maximum I’ve recorded is 68dB in Auto mode. It hit 78dB in Boost. In comparison, I found during my Dyson Gen5detect review that the handstick got as low as 60dB in Eco mode, hits 64.5dB in Auto and is as loud as 75dB in Boost. There is a Quiet mode on board the Vis Nav which, Dyson says, is quiet enough for you to watch telly while it's working, but I’ll have to disagree. It recorded a low of 55dB during my testing in Quiet mode and I still had to increase the volume on my TV a little.

The side duct for edge cleaning on the Dyson 360 Vis Nav

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Its navigation performance also leaves something to be desired. Where models from iRobot, Roborock and Ecovacs move in a logical manner, the Vis Nav has seemingly been directed to start from the middle of a room and move outward – at least going by the images on the Dyson website. While that’s mostly the case in Auto mode when set to clean the whole home, I have occasionally seen it go wayward, although it doesn’t seem to miss any spots from what I can tell. It has a tendency to start and stop in this mode, where it reduces its power, stops seemingly to get its bearings and then continues with the job at hand. This start-stop routine was disconcerting initially as I kept wondering if it was in trouble.

It’s a completely different story if you set it to clean a specific zone. While it doesn’t do its usual start-stop for a small section, it absolutely does not move logically during zone cleaning, inadvertently missing spots. It also bumps into things, like furniture, in this mode which it doesn’t do when asked to vacuum the whole home.

Dyson 360 Vis Nav cleaning along the edge of a chest of drawers

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Unintelligent navigation isn’t something I expected from Dyson, but it’s not really a deal breaker as it’s possible to get fixed via over-the-air firmware updates.

Dyson has mentioned that it’s best to register the device so these updates can be rolled out automatically, making the app a necessity. To ensure older people who aren’t comfortable with phone apps also get support, Dyson Australia has set up a service where customers can call in and ask for a flash drive to be posted to them – plugging this into the USB port on the bot (yes, there is one) will begin the update process. I imagine this service will be available in other markets when the robovac appears on shelves elsewhere.

• Performance score: 3.5/5

The different modes displayed on the Dyson 360 Vis Nav touchscreen

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: App

  • Neatly designed app
  • Easy to use
  • Confusing dust map

You don’t necessarily need the MyDyson app to control the 360 Vis Nav, but it will help as there are more features in there that could prove useful. For example, you can schedule cleaning runs, say, three times a week while you’re away, create a new map or remap a home, and give your machine a name. I called mine Dyson Fury. You can also use the app to link other Dyson devices you might be using and find handy tutorials for them.

Screenshots of the MyDyson app for the Dyson 360 Vis Nav

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

It’s a nice app – clean interface and simple navigation. What I didn’t realize when I first let Dyson Fury run loose in my test space was that a map is not created automatically. You need to go into the app, and find the map creation bit under Settings for the robovac. What it will do on its first run is create a rough outline of your home that it uses as a dust map to indicate which parts of you home are dirtiest.

The dust map looks very much like a heat map, with the brightest bits indicating where the most dirt is. However, it doesn’t seem to match up with the bot’s performance. For example, in the dust map below, where I made it clean a fully-carpeted bedroom in Boost mode, it’s supposedly really dirty. And yet the amount of dirt and hair returned in the bin was very little – in fact, it sucked up far more than that on an Auto run just a few days prior to that specific zone clean.

Dyson 360 Vis Nav dust map and bin collection comparison

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

To test out a theory, I decided to first vacuum a section of the test space with the Dyson V15 Detect – in Boost mode, mind – then run the Vis Nav on Auto in the same space. It still showed me areas that were apparently very dirty and they weren’t even the edges. Go figure!

• App score: 3.5/5

Examples of the Dyson 360 Vis Nav's dust map in the MyDyson app

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: Battery life

  • Up to 50 minutes 
  • 2.5 hours to top up
  • No more than 15 minutes on Boost mode

While Dyson doesn’t specify what battery capacity is housed inside the Vis Nav, the company does claim you’ll get up to 50 minutes out of it on a full charge. I will have to agree with that number as I managed to get 47 minutes on Auto mode before it headed back to its dock for some time at the mains.

There is absolutely no loss of suction as the battery drains, which is typical of any Dyson cordless handstick as well. 

While 50 minutes might be enough to clean a small one-bedroom apartment, anything larger will require multiple runs. In comparison, far cheaper models from Roborock and Ecovacs offer much better battery life for about the same kind of performance (bar the edge cleaning, of course).

In Boost mode, I got 15 minutes out of a full charge on one test run and 13 minutes on another. That may not be enough to clean a full room, particularly if it’s a big one.

The light on the machine doesn’t seem to affect its battery life from what I can tell – even when running it on a dimly-lit space, it gave me the same amount of cleaning time. And, from going by the battery icon on the display, it looks like the bot only heads back to its dock after it’s just short of being fully drained. There’s no percentage indication on the display or the app, but it looks like it could be running till it goes under the 10% mark before needing to spend some time at the mains. Only once during my five weeks with the bot did it stop just centimeters away from its dock because it could go no further.

• Battery score: 3.5/5

Dyson 360 Vis Nav on its dock beside a low table

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I buy the Dyson 360 Vis Nav?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav is a powerful robot vacuum cleaner, but how does it compare to other robovacs out there? If you'd like some options, take a look at the alternatives below.

How I tested the Dyson 360 Vis Nav

  • Used in own home for five weeks
  • Tested on hard floors (tile) and carpet

Dyson 360 Vis Nav on a colorful rug

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

For this review, I ran the 360 Vis Nav a few times a week for five weeks, mostly on Auto mode doing a full-home clean. The test space consists of a home office, which also doubles up as storage space, a small hallway, open-plan living/dining/kitchen, plus a single bedroom. All rooms have hard floors, with the bedroom alone being fully carpeted. As a quick comparison with another robot vacuum cleaner, I ran the TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus (which I happen to have at the same time) once in that five-week duration.

To test every feature possible on the Vis Nav, I ran it on the other three modes – Boost, Quick and Quiet – a couple of times each. To see how accurate the dust map was, I also did a clean with the Dyson V15 Detect once, before running the Vis Nav over the same space immediately after.

While I had to empty the dust canister after every run anyway, I’ve also taken out the filter and bar brush to see how easy they are to clean for ongoing maintenance of the device itself. 

Before each cleaning run, I always made sure to check rooms for stray socks or charging cables on the floor that could cause Dyson Fury to get furious. I doubt that took me more than a minute to do a quick check.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed July 2023]

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