Gadgets, technology that works for you

5 Essential tech related items



Heres a list of items that are essential for everyday life. Seriously, how are you even alive if you don’t have 3 out of the 5 mentioned here?

So I was coming back home from uni one day in the train, really late and I suffered what everyone else would have suffered many a time by now, a dead battery on my cellphone. Yes I know it is as frustrating as anything you can think of in the world. So I thought to myself, “I need to get one of those portable power bank things. So first thing I did when I came home was look online for one. I started recommending it to friends as they were constantly running out of battery or texting “I’m on 5% so if you can’t get through meet me at *wherever*”. That is beyond annoying when you can’t get through to someone cos their smartphone has lost its juice!

Taking all this into consideration, I compiled a list of items that you have to have on you at most times, if you are travelling or out and about.

here they are :

1. Power Bank 


It is much like a regular bank, just instead of money, it gives you power, that you have previously put into it. Yes, you charge this device and it stores enough power to recharge your phone another full cycle. These power banks come in many shapes and sizes so you can pick what is most comfortable for you. They are measured by the amount of charge they store. most start from around 2000mAh and go all the way up to 10-20 thousand mAh. For those of you who don’t know what that is, your iPhone has 1400mAh on full charge. So comparatively these will give you another full charge at the very least.  I prefer a light slim one with about 5000mAh, that way you can accidentally forget to charge it one day and still have enough juice for another cycle.

There are even power banks that double as wristbands that make it really easy to carry them around if you are concerned about “excess baggage”.

Whoa! nevermind, lets stick to the slim pocket sized ones

2. Phone cable


Yes you should pay $30 bucks and get yourself a spare cable, because it is that handy. Even without a power bank, it’s still possible to charge your phone if you find one of the many mystical devices that has a USB port. By having a cable on you at all times, you can charge, access or even use your phone as an access point to the internet. Pretty handy considering it is just a piece of cable, and weighs less than 100grams. Trust me, a phone cable could save your life.

3. Headphones


Ever been on the train, and staring out the window, only to realise you forgot your headphones and now you literally can’t listen to anything on your phone without anyone else hearing you. Or been scrolling through Facebook and come across an interesting video link, but you can’t listen to it cos everyone else will hear you? well this is why you need your headphones. Your standard smartphone headphones should do. Many a time headphones have saved me from a gruelling bus or train ride, or just a day at work from boring me to death. If you want to live, get some headphones!

4. Storage Media


Storage media ranges from USB thumb drives to SD flash cards to Portable USB Harddrives. Why is it essential? Well I guess this is more of those niche requirements. But a lot of information is shared digitally these days and whether for work or personal use, you may need to be able to take information from one place to another. For example, I need to take some of my work with me to uni, or from uni back home. Or even if I visit a friend who has tonnes of TV series that I would like to watch, I would need to copy that over. Especially for those working in tech centric jobs, a portable hard drive is essential to take your work with you. Or if you need those photos from your trip to the Bahamas so you can get them printed out at the Photo kiosk. Whichever. you still need one, even for backups.

5. Smartphone


Lastly but certainly not least, a smartphone. What is a smartphone? well if you don’t know by now none of this will matter to you. A smartphone is an internet enabled device that has more capabilities than your standard early 2000s desktop computer. Yes a phone that you can use to take calls, send messages, email and browse the net. It also has features such as music playback, fitness tracking, GPS and a host of other helpful services that make it an essential part of your life. I would feel dead without my smartphone, I wouldn’t even be able to find my way home from somewhere I have never been before, nor will I be able to call anyone because I wouldn’t remember any of their numbers. A smartphone is as essential as an ID card these days, if you don’t have one, go out and get one right now! they are free with most mobile plans by any of the Telco providers.

That’s my list, according to what I feel are essential. If you have any suggestions of other gadgets or devices that are essential, drop a comment below to discuss them. (if you are viewing this on the feed, the comment link might be on the left). Thanks!

Gadgets, Old School, technology that works for you

Vintage photos are back with the Fujifilm 50s


I was introduced to the instant print camera scene by a friend, who was looking to purchase one while visiting. Now polaroids as we all know have stopped being produced and the films themselves are pretty expensive if you need to buy them. But with technology evolving ever so quickly and the popularity of instagram, people have started wanting to get back into shooting polaroids because they are fun and unique and instant! So my friend was eyeing this piece of hardware called the Fujifilm instal mini 50s. At AU$100-120 it is worth the money for something so cool and handy. Why get an instant camera you ask? well let me elaborate.

The world is getting more and more digital, and this means we are losing touch with tangible objects. Photos are now always viewed on a screen and we have lost our love for physical art. With all of this happening, more people want to go back to their roots. There are more painters popping up, more print designers doing amazing work, and the love for all things purist, is re-emerging. with that, the instant camera is coming back in and a low-cost solution like the Fujifilm 50s is doing it’s best to make that love stay.

What is it? and what does it do ?


The camera comes in two colours and looks like the old school polaroid ones. It has a standard point and shoot type lens that has a focal distance of 60mm, and prints out photos on InstaXpaper film which is 62 x 46mm in size ( about the size of a business card). It has a few flash modes to enable different lighting conditions and a small LED screen to display vital information about the modes and number of shots remaining.

Here’s a list of all the specifications it has in detail , but do you know why that doesn’t make a difference? because the point of the camera isn’t to be great pixel ratio, high shutter speed or lowlight capabilities. The point of the camera is to take instant pictures with decent enough clarity and print them out instantly.

Why go Insta-print?


well like I said, it’s for those who want to collect photos, take pictures of the moments that cannot be edited or changed, so that you remember them exactly how they were. To unplug yourselves from the digital word and have photos in your hands for once. The other reason is that if you do take pictures of someone as memory, you can just give them the picture, which has more value than uploading the picture on Facebook and tagging them in it. We are a generation so lost in our digital world that we have forgotten the real one. This also makes for fantastic collages that you can create to make special thank you cards or posters to show people you care. 🙂

The camera also comes in a wide version which is called the Instax 210s which I has a bigger print size of 62x99mm, which means bigger photos. It has less focusing power and zoom.

Have an interesting tech device that brings back the old school vibes? let me know in the comments. and what would you prefer? the bigger 210s or the 50s? I am currently debating that myself.




Gadgets, technology that works for you, Uncategorized

3 upcoming exciting tech devices

Moto 360

What is it?

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 4.00.36 pm

Moto360 is a smart watch, wearable that gives you the time, syncs with your android phone, has remote capabilities, shows notifications, a stopwatch and lets you read the news amongst a host of other things. In a world where wearable tech is getting more and more popular, the moto360 (as Motorolla points out) aims to be push it beyond pure gimmickry and make it a necessity. I know what you’re saying, there are so many smart watches out there..why is this smart watch different? well heres why :

  • stylish and high quality design – The 360 is made from high quality leather and steel, making it look unique and classy.
  • round screen, making it look like a regular watch – a regular form factor making it look like a regular watch means you don’t have to compromise style for functionality
  • water resistant – The 360 is meant to be water resistant (probably not for the leather strap ones)
  • standalone apps – The 360 is meant to function on its own with apps that can be written for the device it self.

Razer Nabu

What is it?

razer-nabuRazer Nabu is defined as a “social and fitness wearable”. It has two tiny LED screens, one an icon based notifications screen and the other a LED strip that can display text and icons in scrolling fashion. The Nabu syncs with your phone using bluetooth 4.0 and delivers notifications, monitors your sleep, vibrates as an alarm, monitors distance travelled, calories burned, steps taken and floors climbed and also tells the time.

why is it different from other smart bands?

well its mainly the ergonomics and its dual screen feature. The design enables a user to quick view any notifications that come in by glancing at his wrist and checking the symbol. The list of icons include, a phone for incoming calls, chat bubble for SMS, envelope for email and other custom icons for many apps that can be written by developers to use its API. This enables the user to not “phub” (what they call snubbing a person they are conversing with by looking at their phone) anyone, while not missing an urgent call. The best feature of it is its motion detective input system, where users can shrug off (by waving their hands) incoming calls if they are doing something more important or do not wish to be disturbed.

The dual screen also lets you quick read emails or messages that mights sometimes not require replies. Imagine you are talking to someone you met after ages, and catching up. If you had previously asked a friend a question and you were waiting for an answer, and your friend replies with a yes or no, how awesome it would be to just glance at ur wrist while talking and see the answer quickly and effortlessly? instead of taking your phone out, unlocking it, or looking at the screen to see if its urgent etc. This can reduce a lot of hassle for users and I see it being practically used in everyday life.

Project Ara


What is it?

simply put, it is a modular smartphone being developed by Google and Motorola. the term “Modular” means, it’s components are compartmentalised or separate, so that they can be each removed individually. What does this mean you ask? well it means with the backing of google and motorola, they can create upgrade modules for each of the components. This means once you buy the main phone, if they release a better camera, you may buy the camera module, and fix it on instead of your existing camera module, and voila you have a phone with a better camera. That’s quite insane isn’t it? technically this phone could last you 5 years without slowing down! because you could possibly upgrade all the features, component by component.

Project Ara is due to launch in 2015, and if anyone would ever need a reason to switch to android, this would be it. Being an apple user I love my phone being able to last for 2 years without giving me too much issues with speed and quality. But I do wish I had a better camera sometimes, possibly even a better battery module.

The phone concept :

the phone concept was launched by a company called phonebooks, who were later joined and acquired by Google / Motorola.
here is the concept in a nutshell

The phone concept states that this is the phone designed for 6billion people. In the sense that it is fully customisable. You could downgrade your camera module to make room for additional battery life etc. This means each phone becomes a custom phone just like the user wishes it to be. The blocks slide in and out like lego bricks to make it easy to upgrade for even most layman of users.

Why this concept is interesting..

need I say more? If you can customise your phone beyond its wallpaper, menu and phone case… shouldn’t that be reason enough? It is also made to reduce Electronic waste, because you won’t be throwing away your phone anytime soon.

technology that works for you

5 Tech related services worth paying for

I was just signing up for spottily premium when I realised, there’s are few services out there that are worth paying for. This made me think that it would be helpful for people in general to know a few services that are actually worth paying for. Most people will be put off by something that says it costs “$10 a month” on the website, but here is a list of 5 services that I think are actually good deals. They save time and make your life a little more convenient.

so here is a list of 5 :

iCloud subscription – ( starts at $20 Annually)


This applies to everyone who has an iPhone. 5GB of iCloud space is barely enough for you to manage your photos, especially when you have had an iPhone for 3+ years. I recently upgraded my free plan to a 10gb plan (which gives you 15gb in total) for just $20 a year! I had to get this upgrade because my phone back up and camera roll had become in excess of 5GB. But whose doesn’t? and this beats the hassle of trying to make sure you prune your camera roll and your images, your videos and other app back ups to make sure you sparingly use the 5GB you are given. The convenience of having your data backed up to the cloud means you can pick up where you left off whenever you upgrade your phone. Trust me, it does happen a lot, when your phone gives hardware trouble, you will wish you could back it up as easy as that and restore your new phone straight off the cloud.

The measly cost of $20 a year works out to a little more than $1 a month! we spend more than that on coffee in a day. This service has saved me a lot of headache of trying to make sure my back up is less than 5GB and / or syncing to my pc, which eventually changes as well.

Spotify (AUD$12 monthly)


For those of you who still buy your music and haven’t heard of spotify, get on it! It’s free to stream, and by signing up for premium, you can get rid of ads and get offline content.

Spotify is an internet music database that has all (yes ALL the music) the music ever made. You can play music online using the web player ( or you can download the application. Theres a pretty cool iOS app for iPad and iPhone as well.

you can basically create playlists with any of the songs you search for, or listen to. Or you can subscribe to any number of constantly updated playlists by other users. Even DJ’s have their own playlists which they update from time to time. With these you can stumble across new music with ease and see what other people are listening to. The best part is that its synced across all your devices. So for example say you create playlist on your laptop at home, you can listen to it at the gym on your phone, or even on ur office PC at work! It’s so convenient you will never buy music again. (bye bye iTunes)

limitations on the free service include

  • adverts (almost once every 5 songs)
  • no offline playability (if you don’t have internet you are pretty screwed)
  • Mobile App cannot play on demand tracks
  • Mobile app doesn’t have offline content either
  • You can’t skip more than 5 songs an hour

So why pay for something you can get free (with a few minor compromises)?

heres why :

Offline content – when you sign up for premium, you can automatically sync your music to ur phone from the spottily app, so that it gets stored locally, and plays without using your data connection. This comes in handy when you have wifi at home and want to listen to music on the go. It also saves you time in trying to find music that you want to purchase off iTunes (which you then have to sync to your pc etc and comes with so many limitations)

Mobile app playability – You can select any track you want, and play it instantly on demand off the net streaming service. Instant access to music means you can create an impromptu playlist for a party while you are actually there, and most importantly change the track when needed.


Skipping songs – You have the ability to skip tracks an unlimited amount of times. No more will you get the message “You have run out of skips”. It is excruciating when you are listening to someone else’s playlist and when you have skipped a few tracks, you come to the song you really don’t want to hear, and you can’t skip it! definitely worth the upgrade..

No more adverts – Who wants to hear about Hungry Jack’s new flame grilled whopper every 15 minutes or so? not me. By upgrading you get rid of adverts permanently. So Jack Daniels and his friends don’t interrupt you during your listening chill out session.

convinced? I guess the AUD$12 a month is a little steep if you aren’t as passionate about listening to music. But if you commute, work out, and have a desk job that sometimes gets dull, Spotify Premium is the service for you. Try it for free for 30 days and cancel if you wish. I can assure you you won’t.

Adobe Creative Cloud suite ($19-$74 a month)


now if you are a creative type and work as a designer of some sort (or programmer) you will know about the Adobe Suite. Until the last iteration, Adobe Suites have cost anywhere between $1000 to $3000 dollars for one time purchase. This is a hefty price for a freelancer or even a small company starting up. More often than not it drives users to piracy (or bankruptcy whichever comes first).

Realising the Adobe released a cloud service for their Creative Suite. Basically you pay for the access to an Adobe Creative Cloud account, that lets you install the applications you need and lets you pay on a monthly basis. For as little as $19 a month! If you are a creative that earns his living by doing freelance work, you are going to cover that expense in about 5hours of work. Not only has this made the service more accessible, but definitely more affordable and almost eliminating pirated versions of the software being installed.

The pricing starts at $19 for students and ranges to $74 a month for the complete plan, or you can pay yearly at $599 (which comes to around $50 month). You also receive adobe cloud storage of 20GB (varies). Dont get me wrong, this isn’t ideal for the user that makes memes and posts it on their Facebook or retouches their selfies before uploading them. This is more suited for app debs, designers, coders, photographers and videographers that use these on a daily basis and use these for their work.

XBOX live GOLD (AUD$ 9.99 monthly or AUD$59.99 Annually)


Online gaming is an activity that takes a lot of stress away. Though that depends if you take the game to seriously. The Xbox community have a premium online gaming service called Xbox live (as opposed to their competitors Playstation, whose Playstation Gaming Network is free to play, but I’ll get into why its not as good later on). This service enables any gamer with a broadband internet connection, to play online against friends or unknown players. Any gamers reading this will know first hand that playing against AI never really lives up to playing against other players. And with the price you pay for console games (AUD$40-80), playing online can extend the life of a game, thus giving you more value for your money.

For example take Grand Theft Auto V, the latest title from Rockstar games. I bought the game when it came out, for around AUD$80, finished single player story mode in 4-5 days and instead of selling it or trading it in, got on XBOX live. The online multiplayer mode of GTA V is so good that I am convinced you won’t need another multiplayer game until the next GTA comes out. Playing online is so much fun in any case that even after the story mode of any game is complete, you can still keep playing till you find something better to do with your life :).

Now given that it costs money, as opposed to being free like Playstations service for online play, it is so much better. XBOX live offers better dedicated servers for hosting games (which means games will work faster between players from anywhere in the world) and they also have more vetted game hosting service protocols. It is a lot easier to find a game online where people won’t just quit hallway through it than on PS3.

The other services that XBOX Live Gold give you are access to FOXTEL TV services on your xbox. This converts your gaming console into a media centre. Access to apps like youtube, Facebook and social connectivity, make XBOX live an essential part of your media centre setup. You also get access to apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus and from last year, you get a free platinum title for download every month, to play at your hearts content. This means you don’t need to buy as many games as before. (a month ago I received HALO 3 as the free game of the month). These reasons and the overall quality of its online gaming network makes XBOX Live Gold, worth the fee.


Netflix (US$8 per month)


Yes I know it’s not officially available in Australia, but there are ways to obtain it. You just need to get around the region block on its service. Find out more here.

Ok so lets talk about why Netflix is worth US$ 8 a month. Firstly its accessible over almost all your devices that can connect to the internet. That’s your tablet, smartphone, Laptop, Desktop, Game console, Smart TV and even your DVD media player / entertainment centre.
Netflix is a service that lets you stream movies, TV series and other media, legally (yes nothing illegal about it) straight to your home or device. It really is convenience highlighted by its multi device accessibility. You may watch TV Shows on demand, leisurely without it taking up space on your computer or without you having to do anything illegal.

For $US8 a month (which is way less than watching a movie on iTunes or buying a DVD) you can stream a movie or tv show as and when you wish to. This obviously depends if you have a high speed broadband internet connection, but everyone has one these days so that is not an issue.

Netflix has a huge library of movies including recent releases from big hollywood movie production companies such as Lionsgate, Weinstein Company, Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Paramount and Dreamworks. This means all the latest movies, that you possibly passed on going to see at the movies (at AUD$16-20 a pop) can be viewable in a few weeks from their release date. Talk about convenience. You can throw an impromptu movie night together with friends that doesn’t have to include your DVD collection of Sixteen Candles or Citizen Kane.

This and the convenience of catching up on your favourite TV shows when you have free time (without having to download it) makes netflix so worth it. Heres to hoping they sort out the issues with the Media companies here and release soon in Australia.

That’s my list for now, I’m sure theres more that I haven’t even considered. If you do have a suggestion of a service that is worth paying for, share it in the comments (either below or the link might be on your left). Remember, “Sharing is caring”


FitBit Flex – Motivate yourself to be more active


So over the last weekend, I acquired myself a Fitbit flex. I was actually looking for a Fitbit Force, but turns out there was a nasty reaction to the Force’s plastic / wristband that the product was called off the shelves and now is not available anywhere. So instead I went for the Fitbit Flex.

My main requirement was a activity tracker that would motivate me to reach goals every day. The Nike Fuelband SE was my other choice, but the feature that tipped me towards getting the Flex was its awesome vibration alert feature. The Flex monitors your steps, sleep, calories burned, active minutes and distance travelled. Other information can be entered into the mobile app or dashboard in order to be calculated. You can enter your weight every day to see a change in your BMI etc. pretty interactive app it is.

The lack of a screen gets me a little, as i would have loved to have a small screen with the time (like the Fitbit Force) and also which indicates who is calling you on your phone (that’s a pretty neat feature on the FitBit Force). The design is simple though, and mainly comfortable and light! no one wants a bulky wristwatch to weigh you down, especially since these work best when worn 24/7.

So lets take a look at the features in detail.

Indicative goals

simple.b-dis-jpg.h9ebcff558f01e311b4986a69a87905ea.packThe fibit is setup to notify you when you reach your main goal. You can set it to “activity” (which notifies you when you reach 30 total active minutes) , “distance” (Which notifies you when you reach 10Kms of distance travelled), and “Steps” (Which notifies you when you reach 10000 steps ) for the day. The goals are displayed on the band by 5 indicative lights, that appear once you double tap the wrist. (pretty sweet motivation as the dots fill in as your progress towards goal increases). Once you reach your goal, it vibrates and alerts you by doing a little lights dance.

Pedometer and activity tracking

The Flex acts as a pedometer and counts your steps. This may not seem important, but you will be surprised how many steps you take in a day. I constantly hit 15000 steps whilst in Singapore, as walking was the main form of transport. These numbers can be viewed via the awesome app, or web interface dashboard.

Activity tracking is another feature that calculates how long you have been moving for a continuous period of time. If you are stationary it does switch off, and recount from when you start moving again. I think there is a criteria of you have to be at least active for 5-8mins in a stretch for it to count. This feature is good motivation to monitor your gym sessions, in order to check if you are slacking at gym instead of actually working out.

Distance travelled

distance travelled is the main feature that people will find useful. If you go for a run you will want the distance travelled to be accurately monitored and the Flex does just that. It uses your height and steps in order to calculate how far you have walked. Most non-GPS based activity trackers use this method, and it proves pretty accurate. This too helps you push yourself when you see a number like a low 3.2kms, you make an excuse to walk another 2km to make it 5 and noteworthy.

Sleep monitoring

This feature was amazing. Wearing the Flex to bed, you can monitor your sleep patterns (stages of REM or restless sleep) . You have to first set the Flex into sleep mode by tapping on it continuosly, and it monitors how many hours of sleep you have had and how long it took you to fall asleep.


Silent Alarms (awesome feature)

The Silent alarms feature takes the cake! basically through the Mobile app, you can set your Fitbit to wake you up from your sleep gently. This makes the wristband vibrate and slowly pull you out of Deep sleep. Which apparently reduces that horrible morning feeling of under sleeping and makes you feel a lot better. I have used this feature since i got it and find it really helpful. Also in Singapore when visiting my Fiancé, it also helped me wake up without waking anyone else up with those blaring tones that wake up the whole neighbourhood. I find this feature totally worth getting the flex for. You can set alarms during the day too to remind you of stuff that needs to be done.

Mobile App – realtime updates to motivate you to work more

screen568x568 The FitBit App syncs with your flex using Bluetooth 4.0 (this means there is no pairing required. The information is instantaneously displayed on a dashboard type view, and you can see your past few days activities while monitoring your progress. I find this feature very interesting as it shows you comparatively how active you have been today vs the previous few days. That almost gets you directly saying “C’mon you lazy bum, time to do something”. I have found myself looking at my app and realising I need to do a run or something to get my numbers up.

Not only is this a motivating factor, but it also helps you see which days you are more active. Help you analyse which days you can rather take a walk than drive etc.

The app contains all the important information, and settings which include :

  • setting your weight and height
  • Logging your calories eaten (you can select meals etc)
  • monitoring your most active times and days
  • setting your silent alarms (this is cool)


The app basically works as your access point to the wristband, this is your main control / remote over the Flex and it does everything you would want it to.


lets take a look at the pros and cons


  • Realtime activity monitoring so you can see how much you have done, and how much more you need to do.
  • Unobtrusive design, minimal screens, just the 5 indicative lights that surprisingly do a lot of explaining
  • a wide array of colours if you want to express yourself (also you can buy additional bands to fit the tracker into
  • Silent alarms and vibrating alerts that wake you up feeling well rested
  • simple goal based system that makes your targets and progress clear
  • 5 days battery life


  • The clasp can tend to come out during sleep
  • It is water resistant, but gets annoying when water gets in
  • No time / screen for indicating time or other information
  • Does not warn you when battery is low
  • Does not monitor floors climbed or elevation

Overall verdict

it is a pretty neat piece of hardware that comes in handy when you are trying to motivate yourself to stay fit. If it had a screen and was able to display notifications from my phone, It would be the dream device. But overall the silent alarms is a brilliant feature, that helps you wake up in the mornings (lord knows I need that). The design overall helps because it is a 24/7 wearable device.  all this for the price of AUD$ 120, is probably the best deal you can get on wearable activity trackers out there at the moment.


UPDATE : Based on a few commentsI figured this might help,


Places you can buy a fit bit Flex from :

Harvey Norman AUD$126 (with free 3 extra bands)

Dick Smith AUD$ 128

JBHifi AUD$ 126

Apple AUD$ 129.95 (exclusive Pink model only at apple)


Do you have a wearable or activity tracker? or have you been using a FitBit product? if you have any comments please feel free to reply below and let me know. If you also have hints and tricks with regard to the fitBit flex leave a comment.






Hi, My name is Teague. This blog is going to feature some interesting and amazing gadgets and tech related stuff that you have probably heard about, but never really took the time to read up on. It’s going to help you decide if you need it, or if its just a luxury bragging right. Whether it will help you live smarter, or just break your bank for no reason and end up becoming a paperweight.

Anyways I will be rounding up some of the newest and exciting gadgets and tech stuff within the following weeks so hope you guys will find this stuff interesting.

I will be speaking from first hand experience (or second at least) so expect some suggestions and helpful hints from a user’s point of view. Feel free to drop a comment or ask me anything, or even start a debate on why iPhones are better than Android (yeah.. they are). Well moving on to my first post, coming up next. I will be writing about this nifty Fitbit Flex by Fitbit which I bought over the last weekend. enjoy