Tuesday Toys

HTC One Mini 2



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20 May 2014 | 0


Sharp Aquos TU-UD1000

4K TV shows aren’t yet a reality in most countries, but with the Aquos TU-UD1000 Sharp has announced a unit that can receive and record them.

The TU-UD1000 has a 1Tb hard disk, which means it will be able to store about 53 hours of 4K TV shows.

In the absence of 4K TV broadcasts or 4K video, however, 4K TVs have upscaled incoming 3D or 2D signals to project a 4K image.

Overseas sales have not been decided yet due to the lack of 4K programming. Demand for the technology is expected to increase following  as YouTube, Netflix and Sky have been experimenting with 4K content.

On release in Japan from next month.

Price: ¥120,000 (€863)


Unlike your smartphone the Darma cushion can’t butt-dial anyone, but it can dial up stats about how much time you spend in a chair and how good your posture is while you’re there.

Darma works with two sensors. The first sensor detects micromovements that the software uses to determine your heart rate and respitory rate.

Once the app determines your pulse and breathing rate, software algorithms create a numerical stress level. If you’re starting to get stressed out, but you feel like you’re too busy to take a break, Darma’s companion iOS app can lead you through a one-minute guided meditation.

The second sensor measure pressure, so the app’s Posture tab can show you if you’re sitting upright or slouching forward, back, or to the side. You can get reminders when your posture starts to slip, as well as notifications when you should stand up and take a break.

Darma has some advantages over wearable heart monitors: you don’t have to wear it. Although it will be a little strange to have to get in the habit of charging the battery in a cushion that you fart on. As with any activity tracker, a smart cushion can be useful if it improves your mindfulness enough to affect your choices over time.

Darma and will be launched subject to a successful Kickstarter campaign some time this month.

Price: $150 (subject to reaching funding goal)

HTC One Mini 2

The Mini 2 retains the hallmark design of the One (M8). It shares the same ergonomic shape forged from metal and punctuated by a hairline finish. Colours are similar too, with the range including gunmetal grey, glacial silver and amber gold.

People who considered the One (M8) too tall will be drawn to the smaller Mini 2. The sceen is a smaller 4.5″, has a resolution of 720×1280 and a density of 326 pixels-per-inch – the same as Apple’s Retina display.

A notable omission is HTC’s DuoCamera. Instead, the Mini 2 makes do with a high resolution 13MP camera that can record videos in Full HD resolution. The front facing 5MP camera, along with HTC’s renowned front stereo speakers, are both inherited from the One.

The design and multimedia thus far inspire confidence in the Mini 2. Unfortunately things take a turn for the less inspired when you take a closer look at the internals. Beneath the metal-clad body is a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, half the RAM at 1Gb and 16Gb of internal storage. The Mini 2 will take a microSD card for more memory.

The Android 4.4 smartphone will run HTC’s Sense 6 user interface and will feature its BlinkFeed news aggregating software. Connectivity on the mini smartphone remains solid with 4G, dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11n), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and support for NFC.

Price: Varies by operator

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