Alvin Thomas checks out the latest travel gadgets that will pack a punch over the summer holidays.
WiFi, WiFi everywhere but not a… err… wave for me. Well, fret no more. Because with the Karma WiFi you can stop making unnecessary puns and get straight down to browsing. The personal WiFi hotspot comes with its own cellular reception to help you choose the network of your choice. There is also a variety of data plans that you can opt for. Best of all, you can connect all your personal devices to it when you’re on the go. Available at yourkarma.com for RO57.3.
Gone are the days your bags simply served as repositories or carriers; today, even bags are smart. And the Bluesmart One is one of the most versatile bags you can buy. The bag contains two charging ports that can charge your devices up to six times over, a GPS tracker for when the airport authorities play ball with you (yes, we’ve all been there), a built-in weighing scale and even a remote lock. Yours for a reasonable RO122 from amazon.com.
Traditional photos and videos are a thing of the past. If it ain’t 360-degree video, you’re at the bottom of the social media chain. That’s why you should invest in the Insta360 Nano. The gadget plugs straight into your iPhone (anything above the 6S) and lets you record videos and snap images in – yes, you guessed it – 360-degrees. It comes with two 210-degree fisheye lenses, which then stitch the footage seamlessly using your smartphone. Get this from amazon.com for RO75.
Trust me, everyone needs a travel partner. If you don’t have one alongside you, however, just carry them all in the palm of your hand with the Samsung Galaxy S8. Update them constantly on social media with all your latest endeavours using photos taken using your all-new 12MP camera. The phone also comes with Samsung Pay, which will help you pay by the currency of your choice; Bixby, for when you need to translate foreign languages; Google Maps for when you get lost, and a long-lasting 3000mAH battery, which will give you up to 20 hours of talktime. Don’t forget: it also has that gorgeous curved 15cm Super AMOLED Infinity display. Get yours from roumaan.com for RO268.
App of the Week
Google engineers seem to have loads of time on their hands to design apps no one else thinks about. Well, on the list is the Google Trips app, which can pull reservations from your email, help you add hotel bookings, car rental details and even offer you suggestions as to where you can eat, visit and even organise your trips in a timely manner. The app lets you store this data offline as well so you can access your itinerary and important information at any time. Yours for free from Google Play or iTunes.
Quick! Can you name a few of the best car racing games you can currently buy for your console? Well, chances are you said Forza Horizon 3, Gran Turismo 6, Project Cars and Need for Speed. You see, those are the obvious choices but now we have another contender: the Assetto Corsa.
And, you’re in for a treat. Assetto Corsa – which roughly translates to “race trim” – is a thoroughbred car racing simulator intended for racing enthusiasts or, as I call them, armchair racers (of course, I’m kidding).
But playing the game does require a great deal of talent. Why? Assetto Corsa possesses one of the most advanced physics engines in a game.
This is as realistic as a car simulator can get. This means you will understeer with a front-wheel drive hot-hatchback and oversteer uncontrollably in an American muscle car. But, that’s not where the realism ends: play the game with a steering wheel and you can feel the undulations on the racetrack. Weather conditions can drastically hamper the traction, crashes can alter your steering angles and braking and worst (or best, depending on how you see it) of all, you could blow your tyre if you don’t enter the pits on time.
The graphics are beyond belief, and the car collection is good enough to make Jay Leno’s garage look like a yard sale. There are hundreds of cars to choose from, starting with KIAs and Mazdas, all the way to hardcore racers like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bowlers, KTMs and even Lotuses. The detailing is even better when you switch to the interior, as each and every element inside the car is functional and interactive… like in a real car.
Of course, as with any game, there are negatives. Most of those come from the fact that the developers aren’t as established as those of other rival games. This means you will encounter the odd bug(s) here and there. The menu is unpolished and so is the online multiplayer option. I had to quit the game, thus relinquishing all my rewards, after finishing races online.
But all of those are small niggles when you look at the overall product. The game does very well as a car racing game.
It shows no intention to take on its rivals but rather keep its head afloat by remaining the true simulation game that it has been developed to be even though the world knows that the money is in arcade-style games (shame on you, Forza).
Developer: Kunos Simulazioni
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Mode: Single Player, Multiplayer
Genre: Racing Simulation