Archives January 2024

Ambitious handheld gaming PC fuses Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Surface

PC gaming is taking on a rather interesting turn in terms of design, with the rise of handheld gaming devices. Valve’s Steam Deck fired the opening salvo, and soon the likes of ASUS, Lenovo, and now MSI have followed suit. While the big brands took their sweet time joining the bandwagon, other manufacturers have already been playing this game for quite some time and have even iterated over a few unusual designs. One of those happens to be arriving soon, with what could only be called the love child of the Nintendo Switch and the Microsoft Surface tablet, offering a single device for both work and play that stretches the definition of what “handheld” really means.

Designer: ONE-NETBOOK

To be even considered gaming-worthy, these handheld computers need to pack enough power to satisfy the greed of AAA titles. Of course, that power can also be used for other activities, but the design of a relatively small handset device isn’t exactly conducive to anything but gaming. You can, of course, connect the handheld PC to a dock and other peripherals, but you can only do that at home or in the office.

In order to satisfy the needs of both entertainment and productivity, the OneXPlayer X1 shatters a few conventions, especially when it comes to screen size. If you think the Lenovo Legion GO’s 8.8-inch screen is already massive, then you’re jaw will probably drop at this 10.95-inch 2.5K screen. That’s pretty much “netbook” size, which means it’s a little bit more comfortable to view documents and spreadsheets, especially when you have to type them out. Of course, that does also mean you have a larger view of your games, but it comes at the price of portability, though ONE-NETBOOK advertises the device will only be 789 grams thanks to the use of 6000 series aviation aluminum.

The OneXPlayer X1’s inspiration can clearly be seen from the detachable controls. Flanking the sides of the large tablet are removable controllers clearly inspired by the Switch Joy-cons. When it’s time to start typing, however, the keyboard cover, ala the Surface Pro, comes into play. While the laptop use case is a proven design, it remains to be seen whether the promise of lightweight handheld gaming will actually be delivered.

It’s interesting to see how the OneXPlayer X1 combines multiple designs gathered from computing history, from the canceled Razer Edge Pro to the unexpected Microsoft Surface Pro to the successful Nintendo Switch. Of course, simply combining successful designs doesn’t guarantee the same successful outcome, especially when that combination itself is still unproven and almost questionable. With an Intel Core Ultra processor and Intel’s ARC GPU, there might be some doubt as to its actual gaming chops. And with a price tag that starts at around $950 for the baseline specs, that’s too expensive a risk to take as well.

Non-invasive glucose monitor concept can save lives with its holistic design

Although smartwatches and wearables are becoming more adept at tracking our health, there are still some biometrics that can’t simply be measured by these tiny sensors. Or at least not with the ones we commercially have. Of the serious diseases we need to keep on top of, it’s diabetes that is often the most difficult, but not for a lack of tools. Checking blood sugar levels is one of the most uncomfortable and painful monitoring one can experience because of the need to draw even just a drop of blood from a finger. That’s why there’s a race to develop reliable and accurate non-invasive glucose monitors, but this design concept focuses on a different angle to nudge people to keep tabs on their health more regularly and avoid worst-case scenarios.

Designers: Harry Moorman, Adam Haynes, Viviane Mosso, Callum Beal, Mary Chan (Cambridge Consultants)

Having a blood sugar monitor that doesn’t require a single drop of blood is an important part of the solution, though it isn’t the only one. After all, we already have tons of smartwatches that can read heart rates and heart rhythms, but not everyone actually makes the effort to watch those figures until it’s too late. The other side of the problem is more psychological and emotional, with people tending to shy away from using these medical devices precisely because they are medical devices.

Zedsen is a concept design that tries to present both a unified branding language and an overall user experience with a design that’s focused more on the human side of the product. The actual device, for example, is made to look so unlike any other home medical equipment, breaking down psychological barriers to using a health-related tool. The top or front of the device looks very minimal and unassuming, while the bottom has a ripple-like surface that is reminiscent of ripples on a pool or a Zen garden. In other words, the design is meant to evoke feelings of calmness, something you’d probably never associate with a glucose monitor.

There’s also a sense of mystery and discovery when you slide the device open to show the actual functional part of the monitor. Even then, the tech is kept to a minimum and acts more like a treasure that’s revealed every time you measure your blood sugar level. The visual theme, especially the ripples and fingerprint marker, are also present in the mobile app user interface to form a stronger mental connection between hardware and software.

The design of Zedsen is admittedly not a ground-breaking one, especially as it is aiming for a more minimalist and understated motif, but it’s a design that appeals to the human side of the equation, something that few medical equipment do. With the non-invasive glucose monitoring technology already in existence, what’s needed to successfully get people to actually use it is more than just nagging reminders but something that won’t intimidate people just by looking at the device.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds x Kith collab are fashion conscious pair of clip-on-buds that are glasses friendly

Open-fit earbuds have tickled the fancy of music listeners who don’t want those intrusive in-ear buds shoved in their ear canals all day long. The likes of Shokz OpenFit, 1More Fit S50, Soundpeats RunFree and Sony LinkBuds are good options for people who want a fashion-first, active lifestyle without any ear itches. Bose was the first major brand to release the Sport Open wireless earbuds back in 2021 but phased them out in just one year due to a lack of popularity.

While Bose has a good stronghold on the market with the Quite Comfort earbuds when it comes to ANC performance, they still want to take another chance with the rising trend of open earbuds. We saw a glimpse of that in the shape of Ultra Open earbuds (something like the Huawei FreeClip earbuds) spotted at CES 2024 and now the audio accessory is official.

Designer: Bose and Kith

They’ve launched the buds in collaboration with Kith, a fashion and lifestyle brand founded by Ronnie Fieg. Bose also created a version of the QuietComfort Earbuds II in close quarters with singer Normani, but this collaborative effort goes much deeper. It’s the start of a loṇg stint with Ronnie who’ll now be the creative consultant for integrating fashion, culture and sound to develop interesting audio products.


The open-style pair of buds have a very distinct design with a clip-on configuration that’s not at all intrusive if you wear glasses or want to sport sunglasses on a sunbaked day. The cuff-shaped buds hook onto the outer ear for all-day-long comfort wear and beam audio into the ear canal without disturbing others in your vicinity or compromising environment awareness in busy streets. The two sections of the earbuds – speaker on the inside and battery on the outside – are joined together by a flexible joint for easy on-and-off fit for active individuals.

The earbuds are being pitched as a “breakthrough audio wearable” for enjoying music while “still hearing the world around you.” The technical specifications are scanty at this time and all that is known is that they have 7.5 hours of playback time, Bose Immersive Audio and water resistance. As you can see they have a very prominent Kith branding on each of the buds and charging case as well, with the font done in Bose styling.

Kith edition Bose Ultra Open Earbuds will be available to buy in the US and Europe starting 22 January for a price of $300. These buds will come in limited numbers and it’ll be interesting to see if Bose releases a more mainstream version in the coming months.

Interactive jellyfish robot responds to hand gestures

When I visited Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium in Auckland last year, one of the most fascinating things I saw are the jellyfish. They were very pretty and captivating and looking at them gave me a certain sense of calm. I still don’t know much about them except for the fact that they don’t have the usual organs we see in animals like hearts, brains, and even eyes. It would be interesting to know more about these creatures and this project may just be something that can connect humans more to these “free-swimming marine coelentrata”.

Designer: Adonis Christodoulou

The aim of the project is to establish a sort of communication between humans and jellyfish, even if it’s not the actual animal but an interactive robot driven by machine learning. After going through several prototypes, they came up with something that has actuators with reels that are able to wrap around the “tentacles”. The sides also have holes that will keep the threads perpendicular to each of the reels. There are fours strings attached to a single level of the reels and the next tentacle is located above the previous one.

The software design is where things get really interesting. There are connected through communication channels among Wekinator, Processing, and Arduino. They teach the machine hand gestures that are then translated into “emotions” for the jellyfish robot. Raising the hand will induce a calm attitude while doing the finger heart will make the jellyfish happy. If you want to make it mad, do a fist and if you want to make it sad, do a thumbs down. Once the robot processes this emotion it triggers movements in the robot.

It’s a bit unclear how this will actually translate to understanding jellyfish more. But by the anthromorphization of the jellyfish through servos, LED, and robotic articulation, they are able to “give life” to this mysterious but interesting specie. It’s also cool to see different robotic transmutations, as long as they don’t someday overthrow humans.

This MagSafe SSD doubles as PowerBank and USB-C Hub, Revolutionizing Storage Solutions for everyone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI8iOQwCUWg

The MagDisk is a device that really shows how far technology has come. It brings together a MagSafe-compatible SSD, a power bank, and a USB-C hub, making it more than just another gadget. It shows that technology is getting more integrated, packing storage, power, and connectivity into one sleek package.

Designer: EON Electronics

Click Here to Buy Now: Starting at $109 $149 (27% off). Hurry, only a few left! Raised over $185,000.

The MagDisk stands out due to its storage capacity, ranging from 512GB to an impressive 4TB, making it suitable for everyday users and avid content creators. However, its real strength lies in its speed – it can read and write data at speeds of up to 2,000MB/s, courtesy of USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 technology.

This feature is particularly beneficial for those who work with large files, such as video editors and photographers, as it significantly reduces data transfer times, allowing you to resume work sooner.

Pairing the MagDisk with the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max ensures ample storage and extra battery life when needed. As an iPhone user for over a decade, I’ve witnessed its evolution into a powerful tool for content creators worldwide. The iPhone 15 series sets a new standard with its 48MP camera, marking a significant stride in mobile photography.

In addition to its impressive photo capabilities, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max stand out in video capture, thanks to Apple Log and ACES (Academy Color Encoding System). ACES, a global color standard used in major films, provides unrivaled color accuracy to smartphone videography, rivaling professional equipment. Apple Log further enhances this by capturing a broader color spectrum, producing videos with balanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) and rich details. However, high-quality recording requires ample storage, and that’s where the MagDisk comes in. It pairs seamlessly with the latest iPhones, allowing users to capture high-resolution photos and videos, supported by fast and reliable storage. The MagDisk offers sufficient storage space for large video files. This ensures users can fully utilize the iPhone’s advanced video features without worrying about storage, paving the way for new possibilities in mobile content creation.

The MagDisk offers varying recording times depending on the model: 34 minutes on the 512GB drive, 69 minutes on the 1TB, 138 minutes on the 2TB, and 278 minutes on the 4TB version. Personally, I would choose the 4TB version to prevent running out of storage during crucial projects. The design of the MagDisk is both stylish and practical. Made from a rugged aluminum alloy, it’s strong but not heavy and resists corrosion and UV damage. This means it’s built to last, whether you’re using it in a professional studio or out in the field.

The MagDisk is a versatile device that serves as a wireless power bank and is compatible with MagSafe. It has a 2400mAh capacity and Qi2 certification, making it faster and more efficient than traditional Qi wireless chargers. This feature significantly benefits anyone who relies on their devices all day, whether a busy parent or a professional videographer. The MagDisk is compatible with both Apple’s Find My and Android’s Find My Device networks. This allows users to track their devices using encrypted Bluetooth signals, ensuring that valuable data remains secure and accessible. This feature is handy for those who frequently travel for events and projects, where the risk of misplacing our devices is always present.

Another crucial feature of the MagDisk Pro is its Dynamic Thermal Guard technology. This feature maintains the device’s safe operating temperature, crucial for its high-speed performance and data-heavy tasks like 4K60 video recording. It protects the device and safeguards the stored data while keeping the surface temperature low. This adherence to the international safety standard IEC62368-1 ensures users won’t suffer from low-temperature burns during use.

It’s noteworthy that MagDisk also includes a genuine USB Type-C cable. This is significant because not all USB-C cables provide the same data transfer speed or charging rate. The company suggests using the provided cable to ensure the best performance and to prevent the device from being recognized.

In our technologically driven world, the integration of various tech advancements is key to making our lives easier. The MagDisk is a perfect example of this. Not only is it an excellent external hard drive, but it also seamlessly interfaces with other technologies like gaming consoles. Moreover, it offers interoperability between Android and iOS. The team recently announced that MagDisk now fully supports Android devices for external storage during filming. This is achieved through the use of apps like mcpro24, similar to the capabilities enjoyed by iPhone 15 Pro users.

In simple terms, the MagDisk is not just a new gadget on Kickstarter. It shows how technology is evolving and connecting us. It has various uses – storage, wireless charging, and easy tracking. As we keep adapting to new technology, devices like MagDisk will become standard in our daily lives, shaping our everyday use of technology.

Click Here to Buy Now: Starting at $109 $149 (27% off). Hurry, only a few left! Raised over $185,000.

The Ultimate Example Of Upcycling: Repurposing Discarded Movie Screens Into Interior Products

In a groundbreaking collaboration with CGV, South Korea’s leading movie brand, designer Haneul Kim has unveiled a remarkable initiative to address the environmental challenge of waste generated by discarded movie screens. These screens, often several meters long, are typically cast aside due to damage, contamination, or the dismantling of theaters. Haneul Kim’s innovative approach transforms these seemingly obsolete materials into stunning and functional lighting designs, marking a significant step towards sustainability in the design industry.

Designer: Haneul Kim

Kim’s inspiration struck when he noticed the perforations on the discarded screens, recognizing a visual similarity to aluminum perforated plates commonly found in industrial applications. This revelation led to the ingenious idea of repurposing the screens’ sound-transmitting function into a source of light emission. The result is a series of portable lamps that ingeniously utilize the small holes in the screens to emit light, turning waste into a source of illumination.

The Waste Screen Recycle project also pays homage to the legendary designer Mario Botta’s iconic shogun lamp. Known for its clean lines and geometric precision, Botta’s lamp incorporates perforations or cutouts, allowing light to diffuse elegantly. Haneul Kim’s homage work demonstrates the potential of waste screens to replace traditional lampshades, showcasing a fusion of sustainability and design aesthetics. The project not only repurposes discarded materials but also reimagines them in the context of established design classics.

The versatility of waste movie screens is further highlighted as Kim extends the project to include furniture pieces such as tables and chairs. These pieces showcase the original patterns found in waste movie screens, adding a touch of uniqueness and character to each creation. By exploring the potential use of these screens as interior materials for the future, Kim is pushing the boundaries of sustainable design and encouraging a shift towards more environmentally conscious practices.

The repurposing of waste movie screens into lighting designs and furniture pieces not only addresses the issue of waste in the entertainment industry but also demonstrates the potential for meaningful utilization across various domains. Kim’s project underscores the exceptional functional and aesthetic qualities of waste movie screens, positioning them as valuable resources for the creation of sustainable and visually striking designs. As the design world continues to grapple with environmental concerns, Haneul Kim’s innovative approach serves as a beacon, pointing towards a future where discarded materials are transformed into objects of beauty and purpose.

The Ultimate Example Of Upcycling: Repurposing Discarded Movie Screens Into Interior Products

In a groundbreaking collaboration with CGV, South Korea’s leading movie brand, designer Haneul Kim has unveiled a remarkable initiative to address the environmental challenge of waste generated by discarded movie screens. These screens, often several meters long, are typically cast aside due to damage, contamination, or the dismantling of theaters. Haneul Kim’s innovative approach transforms these seemingly obsolete materials into stunning and functional lighting designs, marking a significant step towards sustainability in the design industry.

Designer: Haneul Kim

Kim’s inspiration struck when he noticed the perforations on the discarded screens, recognizing a visual similarity to aluminum perforated plates commonly found in industrial applications. This revelation led to the ingenious idea of repurposing the screens’ sound-transmitting function into a source of light emission. The result is a series of portable lamps that ingeniously utilize the small holes in the screens to emit light, turning waste into a source of illumination.

The Waste Screen Recycle project also pays homage to the legendary designer Mario Botta’s iconic shogun lamp. Known for its clean lines and geometric precision, Botta’s lamp incorporates perforations or cutouts, allowing light to diffuse elegantly. Haneul Kim’s homage work demonstrates the potential of waste screens to replace traditional lampshades, showcasing a fusion of sustainability and design aesthetics. The project not only repurposes discarded materials but also reimagines them in the context of established design classics.

The versatility of waste movie screens is further highlighted as Kim extends the project to include furniture pieces such as tables and chairs. These pieces showcase the original patterns found in waste movie screens, adding a touch of uniqueness and character to each creation. By exploring the potential use of these screens as interior materials for the future, Kim is pushing the boundaries of sustainable design and encouraging a shift towards more environmentally conscious practices.

The repurposing of waste movie screens into lighting designs and furniture pieces not only addresses the issue of waste in the entertainment industry but also demonstrates the potential for meaningful utilization across various domains. Kim’s project underscores the exceptional functional and aesthetic qualities of waste movie screens, positioning them as valuable resources for the creation of sustainable and visually striking designs. As the design world continues to grapple with environmental concerns, Haneul Kim’s innovative approach serves as a beacon, pointing towards a future where discarded materials are transformed into objects of beauty and purpose.

Designers envision a stylish face mask to dive right into polluted air

The COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. Some (would be an understatement) almost all of us have given up on face masks and are breathing fresh air. Are we actually? There is a reduced risk of the virus but new subvariants are propping up with time and the air pollution levels, almost everywhere, are crashing past the WHO particulate matter ratings. As a result, high-grade fevers, cough, cold, lung and heart diseases are catching us faster than ever before, and the only instant solution in sight is to put air purifier on our faces that can prevent viruses and polluted air from traveling down our gut.

In an analogy of a post-COVID environ where we must wear a mask for clean air, with equal necessity of a scuba diver for breathing underwater; this capable face mask, modelled after the fish and the functions of the gills, presents a novel solution. Dubbed the Air-Diver, the face mask is designed because “in the polluted air, we become a diver;” and a diver is no good without a face mask pumping in oxygen to facilitate breathing.

Designers: Doyoon Kim and seongmin Ha

The Air-Diver is not instinctively doing that; primarily with onboard filters, it is meant to help the wearer breathe in clean, fresh air and help reduce exposure to airborne particulate matter. This electronic mask helps regulate air purification and the supply of clean air depending on the pollution level of the surroundings.

To that accord, it can be used in crowded places or in everyday moments to help filter pollutants. The white mask which seems a rip off of what Darth Vadar might prefer on Earth, it allows the air from outside to be filtered through its external filter. This is then refiltered using a photocatalyst filter and an H1 class HEPA filter inside the mask before it is inhaled.

Through the left and right air intake holes fresh air is available for the user, which can be increased at will with the releasable oxygen capsule (that is inserted into the sides of the mask) for extended usage or in densely polluted spaces while the heat and exhaled carbon dioxide is released through the opening on the front. The air capsules are provided separately. The Air-Diver is designed with an air presser – silicon ribbing – that inflates to adjust the mask and fit snuggly to the face so you are nicely covered and safe for walking into the polluted air.

nubia Z60 Ultra Review: Challenging Conventions

PROS:

  • Distinctive boxy design
  • Gorgeous, hole-less screen
  • Large, long-lasting battery

CONS:

  • A bit on the bulky and heavy side
  • “Metallic glass” material attracts dust too easily

RATINGS:

SUSTAINABILITY / REPAIRABILITY

EDITOR’S QUOTE:

Taking the road less traveled, the nubia Z60 Ultra’s unconventional rectangular design, flawless screen surface, and choice of camera focal lengths are sure to leave a lasting impression on consumers tired of the same old things.

Despite how smartphone manufacturers try to differentiate the designs of their products, most of them still jump on the same trends, like the curved edge screens of the past, today’s flat sides, or camera bumps of different shapes and sizes. The same is true even for features you don’t immediately see, like camera sensors and lenses that everyone is using, just advertised under a different marketing name. It’s almost too easy to just do what everyone else is doing, riding the waves in the hopes of making a large catch as everyone else. Fortunately, there are outliers that dare to take a different path, and the nubia Z60 Ultra easily stands out as a nonconformist, so we take a closer look to see if it has more to offer than just a different yet oddly familiar face.

Designer: nubia

Aesthetics

The design of the nubia Z60 Ultra is admittedly divisive. Some will appreciate a fresh break from the smooth curves of the current breed of smartphones, while others might scoff at the blast from the past. Anyone who still remembers the Sony Xperia of the past might indeed see some resemblance to this late 2023 newcomer, and it’s not exactly a bad light to be in.

The nubia Z60 Ultra is unabashedly flat and angular, giving off an air of maturity and hardness at the same time. Even the camera bump diverges from circles, squircles, and any other round shape found on most smartphones. Two of the three cameras sit on a strip, not unlike the Google Pixel 8’s visor, except it’s also completely flat and more like a thin block stretching across the width of the phone. This boxy aesthetic is going to be subjective, even more so compared to other phone designs, but there’s no denying that it will leave a lasting impression, positive or otherwise.

If the shape and back of the phone are what immediately catch your attention, it will be the large 6.8-inch display that will probably draw you in. Admittedly, it’s not the brightest nor the most colorful panel, but it’s the flawless, unbroken surface of this screen that will really impress you. Under-display cameras (UDC) aren’t exactly novel, but they’re so rarely used that you’d still be surprised to see one up-close. Even better, the nubia Z60 Ultra uses the company’s fifth-generation UDC technology that improves the pixel density of that spot above the front-facing camera. The result is a screen that is full from edge to edge, and thanks to its completely flat surface, also visible and usable in its entirety.

There are different colorways available, including a “Starry Night” that makes no effort to hide its Van Gogh inspiration. nubia introduces an “AG Metallic Glass” material that covers the rear of the phone, and for the most part, it does offer your hand a new sensation that almost feels like metal. Unfortunately, for some reason, it also seems to act as a huge magnet for dust. It may stay free of oily fingerprint smudges, but you’ll still want to put on the included clear case to keep it clean, among other reasons.

Ergonomics

There’s still an ongoing debate on which design is better for your hand and your grip. Curved edges are claimed to be gentler on the skin, but some claim it makes the phone slip more easily from your grasp. Flat edges and sharp angles add a bit more tooth to improve your grip, but there are those who feel uncomfortable with how it bites into their palm. The latter, of course, is what applies to the nubia Z60 Ultra’s sharp figure, and like its design, is going to split camps.

What everyone will agree on, however, is how bulky and heavy the phone feels in your hand. At 8.78mm thick and 246g heavy, it’s definitely going to give your hand a bit of strain when held up for long periods of time. Add that to the phone’s sharp edges, and you might indeed find your hand feeling a bit uncomfortable sooner rather than later, at least with the protective case that makes all those moot. Fortunately, that heft isn’t without good reason, but it’s still something that prospective buyers will need to consider if they prefer phones that are impossibly thin and light instead.

Performance

The nubia Z60 Ultra has been compared to its gaming-focused cousin, the RedMagic 9 Pro, and the comparison isn’t without basis. Both sport top-notch hardware available in the mobile market, starting with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 that can be paired with up to 16GB of RAM. In terms of raw performance, the nubia Z60 Ultra is pretty much a gaming phone, sans the bells and whistles like a tiny fan or extra buttons on the edges. In a way, this is the more subdued and stylish version of the RedMagic 9 Pro.

The phone’s extra-large battery definitely supports that use case and then some. Rated at 6,000 mAh, it’s definitely one of the highest capacities in the market today, and while you might not hit that advertised 47-hour uptime with average use, you’ll get pretty close to more than a day’s worth. Charging, however, won’t be blazing fast, given it only supports 80W wired charging, pushing the charging time to a little over 30 minutes. This chunk of power is definitely to blame for the nubia Z60 Ultra’s size and weight, but it’s a price worth paying for those who value battery life over comfort and thin profiles.

It isn’t only in design that the nubia Z60 Ultra bucks the trend. While it does put a heavy emphasis on its cameras like any other flagship smartphone, it’s the details that truly make it unique. In a nutshell, nubia has opted to adopt narrower fields of view compared to most smartphones in an effort to appeal to photography enthusiasts who would be more familiar with these focal lengths.

The main 50MP camera, for example, has that 35mm focal length used by classic camera lenses, which is great for taking sharp photos, especially with a natural bokeh effect. Unfortunately, this field of view will be too narrow for videos that will look cropped at the edges. That’s probably why nubia used an ultra-wide camera with a similar 50MP sensor (though from a different manufacturer) to make the transition to a wider view look more seamless. That said, this ultra-wide camera is also narrower than what you’d find in the market, using an 18mm focal length only.

In practice, the nubia Z60 Ultra’s cameras perform impressively, producing images with rich detail, at least in well-lit environments. The small exception is the 64MP telephoto camera with an equally narrow 85mm focal length, which makes close-up shots less doable. The narrow field of view might find fans among more seasoned photographers, but it is also an odd and awkward detail for those already used to the wider range of camera smartphones, especially when it comes to video recording.

Sustainability

So far, the nubia Z60 Ultra is proving to be quite the nonconformist, embracing designs already eschewed by most manufacturers as well as camera specs more popular among photographers than smartphone users. It would have been even more impressive if nubia also became a rebel and embraced sustainable materials and practices wholeheartedly for this smartphone. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

In this regard, the nubia Z60 Ultra is pretty typical when it comes to composition, durability, and repairability. It’s your typical mix of plastic, glass, and metal, none of which were made from post-consumer recycled materials, at least none that nubia is telling. The silver lining here is that the phone is IP68 rated, so it’s not going to join the masses of e-waste littering the planet after a slight splash or dive into water.

Value

The nubia Z60 Ultra is a premium flagship through and through, and its extra-large battery, hole-less screen, and pixel-dense camera sensors push it even higher among its peers. For all of that, you’d expect it to cost as much as your next late 2023 or early 2024 high-end handset, but here’s the clincher: it’s almost half that!

While it does start at $599 for a rather modest 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, the highest configuration with double that memory is only $779. And it’s not like nubia is a new, unknown, and unreliable brand, so such a price tag is downright crazy. Of course, there’s the matter of being able to buy one in the first place, since nubia isn’t available in all markets, but in those regions it does serve, the nubia Z60 Ultra is bound to make an irresistible proposition to go with its undeniable presence.

Verdict

While there is some wisdom in going with tried and true traditions, it’s never an excuse not to think outside the box. There’s no certainty that you will do better or worse, but what’s certain is that you will make some impact. That’s the kind of legacy that the nubia Z60 Ultra will have with a design that is both fresh yet classic, and features that have a clear purpose, even if it swings away from the mainstream smartphone crowd.

It definitely gets a lot of things right, like its impressive performance, its memorable design, and its blemish-free screen, but it’s far from being perfect. There’s no denying that part of its imposing character is its bulk and weight, and the narrow field of view will probably trip up some mobile shutterbugs. With a head-turning price tag, though, you might be willing to look past these flaws, especially if the flaws are features you actually value. Needless to say, the nubia Z60 Ultra is doing quite a difficult balancing act, and to its credit, it’s doing quite an admirable job in keeping on its toes.

Motorcycle riding on monster wheels is a Batcycle on steroid ready to steamroll anything that lies ahead

If ever the Gotham City vigilante desired for an upgrade to the Batcycle (or Batpod if I may) this would be it. The crazy DIY project by a bunch of friends from North Idaho, who’ve built unique automotive projects in the past, is something that’ll spark your instinct for dominance.

Starting their journey with hobby builds on YouTube, the dudes have now amassed millions of views courtesy of their out-of-the-box creations. Their previous builds include the world’s fastest snow bike, 100 HP jet boat, off-road Tesla Model 3 and a crazy fast shopping trolley.

Designer: Grind Hard Plumbing

Their latest exploration is a monstrous bike that looks like the love child of a monster bike and a powerful motorcycle. The power on this one comes from a KTM 1190 Adventure V-twin motor, riding on 46-inch monster truck wheels fitted with mud tires and actuated by a hydraulic steering wheel. Everything on this naked machine is kept together with a stellar trellis frame and those gigantic tires turn as intended (with some effort in standing position) with the pair of single-sided swingarms suspended from the wheels.

Label it as a Batcycle or maybe a Mad Max-style apocalyptic two-wheeler, the machine is built purely for entertainment purposes by the crazy pals. For that, the lay-back position of the chopper makes sure you don’t flex any muscles unwantedly to land in trouble with painful cramps. Turning this monster is not going to be something usual due to the huge size of the front wheel, so the team fitted it with a hydraulic steering system and a drive piston controlled by the handlebar to provide the needed leverage. Even with this assist, the bike seems like a handful while turning!

If you notice closely there is a certain lag from the time when the steering is turned and the wheels actually turn. A gamer would instantly refer to that as latency in the real world. From what we see, the machine is darn hard to control and maybe with some more subtle additions and tweaking it’ll get close to a normal motorcycle. Of course, the project is ongoing and we’re eager to see the monster chopper in action someday with silky smooth steering input and control mechanism.