TECH FOR THE NEW YEAR

Here are a few gad­gets to help you leap into 2016, write Jen­nifer Dud­ley-Ni­chol­son and Rod Ch­ester

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CLIP-FIT ARM­BAND + CASE

BELKIN

Belkin has long made neo­prene arm­bands for smart­phones but it takes a new ap­proach with this model for the Ap­ple iPhone 6 and 6S. You first put your iPhone into a hard plas­tic case with a clip on its back. That case con­nects to a hard plas­tic sec­tion on the back of the arm­band. The ad­van­tage of this sys­tem is you don’t have to squeeze your phone into a win­dowed pocket, yet we ini­tially found it fid­dly to quickly re­move the phone from the strap when snap­ping a photo dur­ing a run.

$50 / BELKIN.COM.AU

CON­NECT STA­TION CS100 CANON

This de­vice crosses tra­di­tional prod­uct lines in solv­ing the prob­lem of or­gan­is­ing your dig­i­tal photo col­lec­tion. It has a one ter­abyte hard disk to store your pho­tos and is also a me­dia hub so you can browse your pho­tos on your TV. You can use NFC to con­nect it to a Canon cam­era (but not other cam­eras or smart­phones) and send im­ages to a Canon printer. You can also put an SD card in it or use a clunky in­ter­face to con­nect a smart­phone or tablet. But it is dif­fi­cult to see a com­pelling rea­son to buy it for any­one other than those en­trenched in the Canon ecosys­tem.

$398 / CANON.COM.AU

SPORT PACE JABRA

With hooks to clip over your ears, th­ese ear­buds sit se­curely and we found them rea­son­ably com­fort­able. As in other Jabra Sports mod­els, they work with an app that gives au­dio feed­back on your work­out. The sound qual­ity is typ­i­cal of sports ear­phones, they have easy to use but­tons for mu­sic con­trol, an IP54 rat­ing that means they are re­sis­tant to splashes, and a 15-minute quick charge gives one-hour of bat­tery life. If you don’t want ex­tra fea­tures such as in-ear heart-rate mon­i­tor­ing, th­ese of­fer a rea­son­able op­tion in the Jabra Sport range.

$160 / JABRA.COM.AU

VIVOSMART HR

GARMIN

This up­date to Garmin’s orig­i­nal Vivosmart adds a bet­ter, al­ways-on screen and a swag of new func­tions — but the op­ti­cal heart-rate sen­sor is at the top of the list. The Vivosmart HR dis­plays your cur­rent heart rate and av­er­age rest­ing heart rate, and pro­vides more ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion in calo­rie burn and sleep track­ing. It’s wa­ter­proof to 50m so you can wear it swim­ming, it tracks flights of stairs you climb, and dis­plays how many “in­ten­sity” min­utes you com­plete against a tar­get of 150 min­utes a week. With smart no­ti­fi­ca­tions and a five­day bat­tery life, it’s up there as a se­ri­ous con­tender in the ac­tiv­ity tracker mar­ket.

$229 / GARMIN.COM.AU

JUMPDRIVE M20I

LEXAR

Whether you’re dili­gently back­ing up pho­tos for the New Year or re­gret­ting the lim­ited stor­age ca­pac­ity of your Ap­ple iPhone, this drive is a wise in­vest­ment. The JumpDrive M20i of­fers two con­nec­tions: an Ap­ple Light­ning con­nec­tor on one end and a USB 3.0 con­nec­tor on the other. Users switch be­tween them by sliding a lever. The JumpDrive comes in ca­pac­i­ties up to 64GB, and in its app you can drag files to the ex­ter­nal stor­age or sim­ply tap a short­cut to backup your photo or con­tact li­braries. This drive loses points for its flimsy plas­tic build, but it’s a handy de­vice oth­er­wise well ex­e­cuted.

$72-$165 / AU.LEXAR.COM

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