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Five best gadgets for Mother’s Day, from Bluetooth speakers to crystal-covered phone cases

Rod Chester

FORGET about giving Mum slippers this Sunday and think about giving her something shiny and smart.
Whether it’s a Bluetooth speaker that looks as good as it sounds or a smartphone case that’s covered in crystals, there’s a tech gadget for everybody’s Mum.
Here are five top gadgets, reviewed, that can make shopping for your Mum, easier.
BeoPlay A1
B&O Play / 4.5/5 / $379 / beoplay.com
The B&O Play A1 is the smallest Bluetooth speaker in the B&O Play range. It has a 24-hour speaker and designed by award-winning Danish designer Cecilie Manz
The B&O Play A1 is the smallest Bluetooth speaker in the B&O Play range. It has a 24-hour speaker and designed by award-winning Danish designer Cecilie ManzSource:Supplied
The world’s oldest audio brand, Bang & Olufsen, extends its consumer-friendly BeoPlay series with this compact A1 Bluetooth speaker that offers impressive sound from a small body. With a designer look that echoes oversized radio microphones, it has a domed, aluminium top and polymer base designed to withstand knocks and bumps. Its 360-degree sound is loud enough to fill a room, powered by two drivers and a pair of 30-watt amplifiers, and just one battery charge will deliver 24 hours of sound. Surprisingly, it doesn’t come with a travel pouch but uses a leather strap so users can hang it from a hook or carry it like a bag.
Halocase for iPhone 6/6s
iWorld Australia / 3.5/5 / $60 / iworldaustralia.com.au
The #Halocase for the iPhone 6/6S has a row of LEDs on either side to provide better lighting for selfies and using your iPhone as a make-up mirror.
The #Halocase for the iPhone 6/6S has a row of LEDs on either side to provide better lighting for selfies and using your iPhone as a make-up mirror.Source:Supplied
Buying a phone case just so you can take better selfies seems like an exercise in self-obsession but there is a lot to like about the Halocase. It’s a hard plastic case with an LED lighting strip down each side, powered by a 300mAh battery so it won’t drain your phone. A rear switch controls the lighting, turning it on and off, adjusting brightness, and even flashing in a “distress” mode. While LED lights don’t offer the colour-matching feature of the Apple iPhone 6S, it offers a better lighting solution for the iPhone 6. When you’re not taking selfies, it doubles as a make-up mirror.

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OtterBox Symmetry Series Crystal Edition
OtterBox / 4/5 / $199.95 / otterbox.com
The OtterBox Symmetry Series Crystal Edition is a rugged case disguised with Swarovski crystals.
The OtterBox Symmetry Series Crystal Edition is a rugged case disguised with Swarovski crystals.Source:Supplied
This Apple iPhone 6 case proves what all mothers know: you can be both tough and beautiful. The special edition case features a back panel thoroughly covered in genuine Swarovski crystals, each faceted and set at a different angle to reflect the light. It’s a credit to both companies that its sparkling surface retains a smooth feel, and that this case features a dual-material interior to protect the phone from impacts. OtterBox says its testing now includes exposure to hand lotion, make-up, sweat, and tight jeans pockets, ensuring any mother can safely slip her phone into her handbag.
Apple MacBook 2016
Apple / 4/5 / $1999-$2449 / apple.com/au
Apple re-released its MacBook in April 2016, bumping up its specifications and adding a rose gold model.
Apple re-released its MacBook in April 2016, bumping up its specifications and adding a rose gold model.Source:Supplied
Don’t buy this updated MacBook for your mother just because it now comes in rose gold. Its metal, 1.3cm profile is prettier in pink, but you should buy it for the upgrades beneath its rosy exterior. They include Intel’s updated dual-core M chips at speeds up to 1.3GHz, 25 per cent faster graphics, and an extra hour of battery life. Its flash storage is significantly faster, making the 12-inch, 920g machine feel less like a compromise. Its achingly beautiful design is still let down by having just one USB-C port, of course, but those willing to accommodate it will receive a beautiful, speedier machine.
No More Ugly Camera Bags Large
No More Ugly Camera Bags / 3.5/5 / $84.95 / nomoreuglycamerabags.com
No More Ugly Camera Bags has produced this leather-look satchel that doesn’t look like it has space for a DSLR camera.
No More Ugly Camera Bags has produced this leather-look satchel that doesn’t look like it has space for a DSLR camera.Source:Supplied
Unless you’re carrying a tripod with you, no one would guess this bag conceals a DSLR camera. The largest satchel from No More Ugly Camera Bags is thoughtfully designed, in addition to its disguise, and fits plenty of gear. Its highly padded main compartment offers space for a large camera and two lenses, and you can even slip a 13-inch computer behind them. Two generous pockets at the front of the bag add space for phones, chargers, memory cards and pens, while an additional pocket at the rear makes a great paper stash spot. The bag’s finishes, PU leather and thin lining looks inexpensive beside its high-end rivals, but its price is lower too

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