Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

features, Football, Gadgets, Websites

10 things we changed our minds about in 2012 – from red trousers to big phones

By Stefano on December 23rd, 2012

We are British, and let’s face it we can be fickle. We might have a thing for an underdog one year, but the minute they start realising their potential and being successful we enjoy nothing more than taking them down a peg or two.

Here then are ten things we changed our mind about in 2012. These are things that we accepted as wisdom for at least some of the year, but revised our opinions on. Some in a negative way, but a surprising number in a positive way.

What have I missed?

10 Draw Something

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There was a time last Spring where you couldn't go anywhere in public without seeing iPhone-toting 20/30 somethings trying to guess what each other were drawing. The company was snapped up by Zynga for $180 million and its future seemed assured. And then, quite weirdly, we got bored with it and Draw Something became not the must have app of 2012, but rather this year's Chatroulette.


Brandish Christmas List #14 Paul Smith Snow Globe £149

By Stefano on December 14th, 2012

I wouldn’t normally recommend paying £149 for a snow globe, but then this one might just be worth it. It is a limited edition Paul Smith Snow Globe which features the iconic Paul Smith ‘Love’ symbol.

Sure it looks very cool, but the big question is – is there a market for collectable snow globes? The answer is most definitely yes – pop here for the evidence. The best part of £2000 for a Narnia Snow Globe!?

If you have a bit more cash, then this rug might be worth a punt too.

features, Gadgets

2012′s 21 hottest gadgets – iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, I’m Watch and more

By Stefano on December 10th, 2012

Our pals over at Tech Digest have seen an awful lot of gadgets this year. They have checked out the latest Smart TVs, weighed up whether the iPad mini is worth the extra dosh over the Google Nexus 7 and snapped away on the latest cameras.

So we asked them to help us come up with the year’s 21 best gadgets. Obviously it is tablets and phones that grab the limelight, but we have also added TVs, cameras, watches and whole load more.

Here then are the 21 gadgets that we consider to be the be desirable of this year’s selection.

What have we missed? Tell us in the comments.



Google Nexus 4 £239.99

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The Google Nexus 4 is the best smartphone bargain we've ever seen. God only knows what sort of subsidised deals the search giant has lined up in order to deliver a smartphone just as powerful as its premium rivals at almost half the price. But we're not complaining; for the cost of a mediocre smartphone, the Nexus 4 delivers the latest version of Android, a super-fast processor, a beautiful display and superb new camera functionality. At its £239.99 entry price it's a steal, and one we can't recommend highly enough

Other gadget round ups

Weirdest gadgets

Best sub-£200 gadgets

Best retro gadgets


Accessories, Cameras, Clothing, features, Gadgets

Christmas shopping for men; your complete guide – gadgets, jumpers, scarves, randoms…

By Stefano on December 7th, 2012

Over the last few weeks we have been ultra busy putting together a series of guides which may prove very useful if you are buying presents. Here then is the full list


Top weirdest gadgets and gifts

Best gadgets for under £200

The ultimate tech Xmas present

Retro gadgets that are actually very cool

Best Android phones

Best PC games

Best mini tablets – iPad mini, Nexus, Kindle Fire HD

Best ereaders


Best classic jumpers

Best trophy jumpers

Best under £30 jumpers

Cashmere jumpers on the cheap

Best scarves

Five party shirts

Velvet party jackets

Iconic rock band t shirts

Cool Chambray shirts


Top debut albums

Top psychedelic albums

Random gifts

Best Blu-ray movies

Bikes, scarves, accessories etc

Gadgets, Shoes

The best selling items this Christmas in the US so far – North Face Coats, the iPad 2 (!?) and your worst fashion nightmare

By Stefano on December 5th, 2012

Yep according to industry fashion bible WWD the big story in retail in the US in the last couple of weeks has been the revival of, wait for it, Ugg boots. Yep the surprisingly comfy, yet utterly hideous boots are once again a huge hit with the guys and gals across the Pond. Haven’t they (or at least the women) read this?

As for the other stuff that’s flying out of the stores, well Coach handbags and North Face coats are selling well, and in the tech space it is all about the iPad (with the 2 apparently outselling the 4!?), Google Nexus 7 and Dr Dre Beats headphones.

Anyhow you can read more about the list on WWD here. And look at a much better shopping list here.

features, Gadgets, Gallery

Stocking fillers – 2012′s 20 weirdest gadgets and gifts

By Stefano on November 29th, 2012

Ever wanted a pair of sunglasses that can shoot video? A USB based hand warming system? Or even a cushion that can moonlight as a remote control? Nope me neither. But I sure love reading about them.

Here then are 2012′s weirdest gadgets. Some are actually quite cool, others are borderline useful, but all are just plain weird.

Stockists under the gallery.


Electronic Guitar T shirt £29.99

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Ok, it might just look like a black T shirt with a pretty naff design, but this is actually one of the hottest bloke gifts this Christmas. That's because that guitar print is (kind of) a real guitar which lets you play chords and strum along to your favourite rawk tunes. It even comes with a mini amp that apparently goes up to 11. If you are more Hot Chip than Van Halen there's also a drum machine kit in the range too.

Electronic Guitar

Table Tennis

Camper Van

Viper R/C copter

USB hand warmer

Shower curtain


Bluetooth shower speaker

Bike Light

Remote Pillow

Camera Lens Mug


Baby suit

Video sunglasses

iPad joystick


Self-stirring mug

Thumbs Up

iPad retro music centre




Apple’s new version of iTunes lands today – but are you still using it?

By Stefano on November 29th, 2012

Well of course die hard Mac heads are still on board and there are obviously still millions of people across the globe who use it as their main source of music, but two things are crystal clear. Firstly that at the moment iTunes is a bit of a mess that’s slow to load and not easy to operate. Secondly that even a lot of Mac users have migrated to Spotify and other music playing options.

Anyhow Apple’s next-generation iTunes application is set to land today, following a month’s worth of delays that saw the media library tool slip from its original October launch date.

Obviously if you own an Apple device like an iPad or an iPhone then you do need to use, which means it is essential that Apple gets the next incarnation right.

Anyhow what do you think? Tell us in the poll and the comments.

Btw Here are a few suggestions from two years ago!


5 reasons to put the new 2012 Apple iMac at the top of your Christmas list

By Gerald Lynch on November 27th, 2012

Hoping to bag a new computer this Christmas? If you put style and functionality on equal footing when it comes to picking your gadgetry, you’ll be looking to pop one of Apple’s new 2012 iMac models at the top of your wishlist. 

Though many feared the futuristic-looking new machines wouldn’t hit stores in time for the holidays, Apple today confirmed that UK stores will be seeing the all-in-one desktop computers touch down in good time on 30 November.

Here are Brandish’s top 5 reasons why this is the computer you should hope to find under your tree come Christmas Day.

1) It’s slimmer than a gnats arse

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but with an edge a mere 5mm thick, the latest Apple iMac’s are incredibly thin. Using a manufacturing process called friction-stir welding (commonly used on airplane wings and rocket booster tanks) it uses a combination of “intense friction-generated heat and pressure to intermix the molecules of the two aluminium surfaces — creating a seamless, precise and super-strong joint”, according to Apple. It’s even more insane when you consider that all of the computer’s powerful components are housed within that super-slim chassis. The screen is as pretty as a picture

2) Its screen is as pretty as a picture

It may not be the Retina display that many had hoped for, but the 27-inch iMac’s 2560×1440 resolution LED-backlit display is still as beautiful as they come on a desktop computer. Each is individually calibrated to make colours pop in as life-like a way as possible, while this year’s model is 75% less reflective than previous versions.

3) It’s super-fast 

The latest iMacs pack in the latest generation of Ivy Bridge Intel processors that are not only significantly faster than earlier ones, but also are far more efficient too. Cranking up to an impressive 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 in the top-tier configuration, they also feature an intelligent Turbo Boost mode that boosts speeds up to 3.9GHz when demanding applications require it. Dedicated NVIDA graphics cards (configurable to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB of GDDR5 memory for the tech-savvy among you) mean that you’ll be able to play the latest games without a problem on the new iMacs too.

4) Its Fusion Drive may be the future of computer storage

The iMac can be configured to come with a Fusion Drive, a new take on traditional computer storage space that mixes the best bits of hard drives and flashy new Solid State drives (SSD). Traditional hard disk drives are much slower than Solid State drives, but are far cheaper and come in far higher storage capacities. The Fusion Drive puts the two together, offering a small amount of SSD storage alongside a big whack of regular hard disk storage, and intelligently learns which applications you use the most and moves them to the faster SSD portion. Essentially, this hybrid means you still get loads of storage space, plus the speedy application loading and file transfer advantages of an SSD.

5) OS X is a great operating system, with great built-in apps

Forget Windows 8, Apple’s Mountain Lion OS X is the best operating system on the market, and it comes pre-installed on all iMac computers. If you’ve already got an iPhone or iPad it’s a no-brainer; OS X’s iCloud online storage features make syncing up an iMac’s files with your other Apple products and their calendars and contacts simple. Then there’s the intuitive gesture controls that Apple pioneered and everyone else has since ripped off, letting you swipe and pinch your way though many features of the computer. Add in the impressive array of free, built in apps (the Garageband music recording suite is regularly used by pro popstars while the iMovie and iPhoto applications let you play inventively with your snaps and videos) and it’s the most comprehensive out-of-the-box computing offering there is.

Apple’s latest iMac models hit shops on 30 November 2012, with prices starting at £1,099. Click here to check out the range on the Apple website.

Cycling, Gadgets

Brandish Christmas List #10 Sparta RX PLUS Cross-Bar Electric Bike

By Stefano on November 26th, 2012

Electric cycles, or E-Bikes as they are commonly known, are big sellers in cycling-friendly parts of Europe like Germany and Holland. As for the UK it is still early days. One company that is doing its best to get more Britons on to E-bikes is JustEBikes. It has a large range of models and on its websites you’ll find a very useful – which E-bike is best for you? questionnaire top help you choose the best bike.

I went through it and landed on the top end model the Sparta RX PLUS Cross-Bar Electric Bike. The key to this bike; performance is that it has a very lightweight Lithium Ion battery. This means that it has a range of up to 65 miles from a single charge which is way more than most E-Bikes. The Level of assistance is directly proportional to pedal pressure – so the faster you pedal the more the engine carries you. there is also a thumb switch selects Zero, Low, Medium or High assistance levels, depending on whether you are about to tackle a huge hill or not. There are eight in-hub gear to choose from too.

You can see how fast you are traveling on a large clear display that also shows power setting, battery charge level, range, time and temperature. The bike has a very comfy seat too courtesy of a sprung seat post and front fork suspension.

It is on sale for £2,175.00. Other cheaper models are here.

Clothing, Gadgets

C.Vox – the sound system in a £65 jacket hits the High Street

By Stefano on November 26th, 2012

Intelligent clothing, or wearable gadgets are big news at the moment and only likely to become mainstream next year. we especially like these Bluetooth gloves - brilliant idea.

Now smart clothing is hitting the High Street courtesy of Debenhams (?!) which has just unveiled the C.VOX range which are outwerwear that include built in headphones, speakers and control system that allows wearers to skip, pause, play music as well as answer and hang up calls. The range goes on sale at Debenhams today (18 November 2012), just in time for Christmas.

And, in case you were wondering in what Debenhams claims is a world first the coat is designed by C.VOX (Communiqué Vox) and incorporates a stylish jacket with a top of the range sound system and hands free set, that is completely machine washable.

We kind of like the jacket too which is barbour-esque and padded with no real collar. Prices start at £65 for men and £33 for kids. The jacket in the picture is £95.

Paul Baldwin, Head of Menswear Buying says; “We are thrilled to be offering such an innovative product to our customers. The range incorporates fashion, technology and practicality at a competitive price.”

Features include; a connector point in the pocket which is compatible with all mobile phones and MP3 players and allows the wearer to connect and conceal the devise, a built in washable speaker and a microphone and control system on the sleeve that allows the wearer to skip, pause and play music as well as answer and hang up calls. The earphones are wired through the jacket and concealed in the collar.

The C.VOX range for men and kids includes jackets, gilets and hooded sweatshirts which all incorporate the groundbreaking technology.

So would you buy one?

C.Vox jacket £65

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Accessories, Cameras, features, Gadgets

21 of the best gadgets for under £200

By Stefano on November 23rd, 2012

We talked to the gadget experts at TechDigest and Shiny Shiny as well as a few of our techy chums on Facebook and Twitter and have puled together what we think is the ultimate list of gadgets for under £200. All are on sale in the UK at the moment.

There’s no phones included, but we have plenty of tablets, gadget, audio stuff and cameras. There are also a few very cheap stocking fillers too and the brilliant gloves that control your smartphone wirelessly.

Have fun looking through them

Stockists are underneath the images

Blue Yeti USB Microphone £129

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It has been around for a few years now, but if you ever need to record anything this stylish mic is the one to plump for. It is a great performer and very versatile with it. Works with Skype too.


Blue Yeti 

Bluetooth Gloves

Canon Powershot

Crosley Hunter



Fitbit One




Amazon Kindle







USB snake



Dr Dre Beats


features, Gadgets

The 8 retro gadgets that you actually might want to own – Crosley, Fujifilm, Timex and more

By Stefano on November 20th, 2012

A few years ago retro gadgets seemed like quite a fun idea. Oh how we chuckled when we saw that iPhone case made to resemble a 1970s Motorola brick. And yep I loved all those games consoles styled like ones I had a few decades ago yet stacked out with contemporary processors and graphics cards.

Somewhere along the line though it all went a little too crazy. Now every gadgets site has a bonkers array of iPhone cases designed to look like ancient devices and music players that take their style cues from a few decades ago. And sad to say that an awful lot of what is being produced is, whisper it, not that great.

So finding 10 retro gadgets that are actually quite stylish as well as being rather useful too proved to be quite a tough task,. In the end we gave yup at 8, so if you do know of any others we can use to pad out the list let us know in the comments.

Links to the various products are included under the pics.

Crosley Collegiate £160

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Crosley is a brand that definitely gets it in that it excels at producing high quality design-led reproductions of classic electronics products. This, the Collegiate, is a small-ish Dansette style record player that has an aluminium grill speaker a leather handle and USB connectivity. It plays singles, albums and 10inch discs. It is available in several colours and you can buy one in the UK from Urban Outfitters


Crosley record player

Fujifilm XF1

Ikon Jukebox

Spectrum bag

Vyconic clock

Philips Radio

Timex 80



Brandish Christmas List #5 Disgo 9104 10inch tablet

By Stefano on November 15th, 2012

The jury is still out on tablets with seven inch screens. Sure they are small enough to take with you anywhere, but probably won’t cut it if you plan to spend a lot of time watching TV or video on your device.

So if you want a 10inch tablet and the iPad and the Tab are beyond your budget then take a peek at the Disgo 9104. This has been out for a while now and some of the early reviews were a little negative as it didn’t come with Google Play – basically the Android app store – built in. This has now been fixed and you can download Play easy enough via a web link.

The tablet itself is reasonably well specified given its regular price of around £180 (and much much cheaper if you take a punt on a second hand model). It runs Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), boasts a 9.7” capacitive IPS display with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, features a 1.2 GHz Boxchip Cortex A8 ARM processor, 16GB flash storage (which can be upgraded via a micro-SDHC card) and front 0.3MP & 2.0MP rear facing cameras.

So what do you lose out on if you go for this cheaper option? Well not the display which is very good quality and boast excellent colours. With a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels it isn’t far off the iPad 2. Not the general operation either. Ice Cream Sandwich has improved Android tablets to the point where the sluggish response of earlier models is now a distant memory.

Nope its one major weakness is battery life which came in at just over half of the running time of our iPad 2 at around six hours.

Still that minor quibble aside if it is a 10inch screen (or 9.7 at least) then this is well worth a spin. More from here.


iPad mini versus Kindle Fire HD – search data in US predicts one clear winner

By Stefano on November 15th, 2012

So have you made your mind up which tablet you are going to buy This Christmas? Is it Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD? Apple’s iPad Mini or a Google Nexus 7? Well according to the latest search related data in the uS from a leading coupon codes website there’s only one winner and it isn’t the one that you would expect.

The site statistics, compiled by, indicate that the new Kindle Fire HD is the must-have tech gadget this Christmas scoring twice as searches as those made for the iPad mini. Of course how those searches translate into real sales remains to be seen but it is more evidence that Apple’s de fact position as the world’s number one tablet maker is under threat.

According to the site ‘During the last three weeks alone, unique on-site searches for the term ‘Kindle Fire HD’ have been more than 12,000 compared to just over 5,800 searches made for the term ‘iPad mini’. Searches for the Amazon- produced tablet totalled more in the first week following its launch announcement, than the first week of the iPad mini.

The survey polled 1,267 American site users, who admitted that they were interested in gadgets and technology.

Mark Pearson, Chairman of, had the following to say about the results:

“As the tablet becomes the must-have tech gadget in the states, we were interested to see which tablet was the consumer’s top choice. According to on-site statistics, the Kindle Fire tablets seem to be the clear winners in terms of popularity, size and most importantly, price.”

“It is no surprise that although some families would probably love to purchase an iPad mini device for every member of their family, they simply cannot afford the higher costs and would rather purchase a Kindle device instead. This may be one of the reasons behind the lacklustre reception that the latest Apple device has received. With so many tablets to choose from, it is truly a consumer’s market!”


New UK poll suggests Apple iPhone/iPad owners eyeing up gadgets from other makers

By Stefano on November 14th, 2012

We all know that it has been a fantastic year for Apple. However a new UK poll from Harris Interactive suggests that Apple’s position as the king of cool gadgets might be under threat as young consumers and early adopters take another look at other brands.

The figures highlight that the iPad is clearly the number one tablet with a massive 6:1 ratio lead over second placed Samsung. Apple can also boast the top smartphone of 2012 with the iPhone 5 selected by 39%, a nine point lead over Samsung’s high profile successful Galaxy S3.

However if you look at the figures among early adopters – the people who buy gadgets first and set the trends – the gap is narrowing. Apple’s lead over Samsung in tablets is reduced from a 6:1 ratio among all consumers to 3:1 among early adopters with those influencers eyeing up devices from Samsung, Amazon and others. Apparently the gap between the two brands is even smaller among 16-24 year olds.

Meanwhile the next generation iPhone is the most anticipated smartphone release, but its lead over Samsung is down to just 5%. And, most interesting of all, 25% of current iPhone users are anticipating the release of other smartphones more. And the list of the devices they are looking at includes new phones from Blackberry and Nokia – companies who once dominated the market but have hit hard times lately. Could it be that consumers are missing their old brands? It should be noted though that the research was completed a few weeks after Nokia announced its new Lumia 920 to the world.

As for the iPad Mini, the device entered a market segment that it not only crowded but features some high profile devices from well established aspirational brands.

Ultimately you can make of the report, which you can see in more detail here, what you will. Apple is clearly going to be the dominant force in consumer electronics in the UK for the foreseeable future. However the huge lead it created in the tablet and smartphone markets is likely to disappear. It is not a new problem for Apple though. For a while in the late 90s Apple’s iMac was a massive player in the PC market. However after a few years and a few iterations, consumers got bored of the product and began to spend money on new brands and new formats.

The gauntlet has been thrown down to Apple now to create something truly unique and innovative once again. Our money is on Apple TV.

Next year is going to be very interesting.

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