THE GEAR • June 2021
Tickets purchased, bags packed and hotel booked: you’re ready for your first journey abroad since Covid-19 and you’re wondering if it’ll be like before. We say, why not make it better? The Telegraph’s tech correspondent Jack Rear knows just the products to ensure your first flight back is smarter and more seamless than ever…
This palm-sized device (£1,349) is essentially a miniature laptop with the size and ease of use of a smartphone – ideal for if you need to do some work on your travels but don’t want to carry a bulky computer. All the usual productivity apps, from Microsoft Word to Excel, are on there, but it’s the two screens that offer the most possibility, allowing emailing and checking a spreadsheet at the same time, Zooming while taking notes, watching Netflix while Tweeting. The Surface Duo features a SIM card slot so you can keep a data connection wherever you go and even make calls. Plus, it’s big enough not to feel cramped (as your smartphone might) but also perfectly sized to fit into hand baggage.
If you worry about losing your cards or money abroad, then this might be just the thing to settle your nerves. And it also means you’ll be able to cruise through duty-free without ever needing to reach for your wallet. You simply connect the simple, stylish ring (£89.99) to your payment card – using the accompanying app on your smartphone – and then use it just as you would the card. Talk about contactless transactions…
Chances are you’ve heard of Fitbit, but if you’ve yet to get one for yourself, then the Luxe (£129.99) might just persuade you. As well as tracking steps, heartbeat, and calories burned, this latest model has all manner of other nifty tricks. It can examine your stress levels and offer guided breathing to calm you down (perfect for nervous fliers), record your sleep quality, and it’s fully waterproof to track your swims at the hotel pool. In a range of cool designs, it more than lives up to its name.
Billed as the iPod Nano for the streaming age, the Mighty Vibe (£89.99) certainly doesn’t disappoint. If you have either an Amazon Music or Spotify Premium account, you can load your tunes on to it and then listen without any phone, screen or internet connection whatsoever. The device weighs in at just 19g and is designed to be ultra-durable, so it’s handy for workouts on the go or if you just want to ditch the distractions. There’s space for more than 1,000 songs, plus its battery lasts upwards of five hours, making it an ideal travel companion for music lovers.
It’s probably too late to be brushing up on your foreign language skills on the plane, which is where Pixelbuds (from £179) come in. Using the power of Google Translate, these handy headphones offer real-time translation of almost any language directly into your ears (just don’t expect them to help you speak it!). They’re also a great set of wireless headphones that are comfortable without compromising on sound quality. You’ll get five hours of battery life and an extra 24 hours in the charging case, which should see you through any flight easily.