Tech journalist and frequent traveller Nafisa Akabor looks at new tech you can use on your travels and shares her experiences in cutting-edge Zurich.
This month we recommend the new Airpods Pro, Huawei Watch GT 2 and a dashcam to make road trips fun. We also try the Xiaomi wireless blender and share a top travel tip.
Apple AirPods Pro
The AirPods Pro has already been well-received due to its active noise cancelling feature. The updated earbuds come with three tips inside the box for a better fit, that sits in a battery case. It features a pressure-sensitive stalk for controls and has an IPX4 rating for splashes of water. A must for any traveler with an iPhone.
Price: R3 999.
Xiaomi 17PIN Juistar Blender
If you’re a traveller obsessed with having a fresh smoothie each day, the Xiaomi portable and wireless blender is your new best friend. A single charge can make up to 15 drinks based on a 30-second blitz that can be enjoyed straight from the 300ml glass. It also fits into your hand luggage.
Price: R599, takealot.com
Transcend DrivePro 110
Dashcams are cool if you’re going on a road trip and want footage to add to the mix, or for insurance purposes. Whatever the case, the DrivePro 110 is a nifty little dashcam that works via plug and play. It takes photos and videos, has a driver fatigue alert and headlight reminder.
Price: R1 500, firstshop.co.za
Huawei Watch GT 2
The Huawei Watch GT II is a multi-sport wearable that supports up to 15 workout modes, well suited for the adventure seeker. It runs on Huawei’s LiteOS operating system with a two-week battery life from the 46mm variant. It provides detailed sleep and stress level stats and will notify you of irregular heartbeats outside of sport mode.
Price: R4 999, huaweistore.co.za
Though not new, here’s a tip for the Booking.com app, which should be an essential in your travel apps folder. Not only do you get the best deals, if you book with the free cancellation and no prepayment method, you can search for last minute deals before you leave on holiday without additional costs.
Free: Android and iOS.
I had the opportunity to visit Google’s office in Zurich to learn more about its AI advancements in its everyday tech products, such as Google Translate, Gboard and Maps.
Aside from getting an inside look at the tech, I got to spend time in the city, having previously only explored in transit.
What stood out for me the most were the Lime electric scooters parked at every corner; I simply had to experience one. In no time, I had downloaded an app, loaded credit and scanned to unlock a scooter to ride.
It was intimidating as I’d never been on an electric scooter before, but it’s crazy to think that all I needed was a smartphone to rent it and no human interaction.
I was also impressed with the public transport, which takes you to the airport from a nearest main station.
However, the trip wasn’t complete without a day trip to the Swiss Alps where I travelled 3 020m up in the world’s largest cable car for the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen. I’d highly recommend Zurich for a quick stopover.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org