Jalapeno Limeade is back at Trader Joes which can only mean that pool season is upon us (if you haven’t had margaritas made with this, you’re missing out). And with the days staying at home getting longer and longer, it can’t come a second too soon.
At our house, we’ve had the benefit of already spending plenty of time in the pool (don’t be too jealous, in a month it’ll be 100-degrees outside with 100% humidity). That’s given me the chance to check out some new tech that promises to enhance your springtime poolside fun.
Nikon COOLPIX W150
Nikon COOLPIX W150
All the pool floats and toys in the world can’t keep my family occupied in the pool like a good waterproof camera can. My daughter will spend hours filming underwater stunts and cracking herself up with spontaneous challenges (that always end up with some sort of gigantic splash).
The COOLPIX W150 from Nikon is a perfect poolside companion. It sports a 13.2 MP low-light CMOS sensor, 3x Zoom-NIKKOR lens, a 2.7″ 230k-dot TFT LCD, and can capture 1080p full HD video with stereo sound. It has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi so that it can connect to your phone via SnapBridge, automatically transferring images and videos.
The camera is nice and compact and can fit just about anywhere. With an IPX8 rating, the COOLPIX W150 can operate underwater for 60 minutes at a depth of 10 meters, more than enough durability for your average pool.
Operation is simple and clear. The LCD is easily navigable, even when wet. The video and still images it captures in and out of the water are crystal clear. Playing back video on the camera itself is a little subpar (tiny screen and tiny speakers), but perfectly acceptable if you’re just trying to see if what you captured is worth saving. The output on a computer or even your TV is fantastic.
At $169, the Nikon COOLPIX W150 is a great way to bring some interactive enjoyment to your poolside quarantine. You can find out more or pick one up from the Nikon site.
Marshall Kilburn II
Marshall Kilburn II
Sure, you can drop any cheap Alexa by the pool and listen to tinny-music pumped out at a volume so high it renders your favorite tunes completely unintelligible. Or, you can upgrade to a Kilburn II from Marshall and have superior sound in a water-resistant package that’s stylish and portable.
Right out of the box, the latest iteration of the Kilburn II is possibly the nicest-looking portable speaker I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. The deep indigo of the speaker exterior (it also comes in black, burgundy, and grey), with the leather carry strap and distinctive volume, bass, and treble knobs on top of the unit all exude style inspired by Marshall’s famous amps.
At just 5.5 pounds, you wouldn’t expect the Kilburn II to pump out as much sound as it does. But “Immigrant Song” at full volume was loud enough to garner rebukes from my neighbors. What’s more, the sound was crisp and clear, with bass that rattled and treble tones that didn’t get buried in the song. At low volumes, the sound quality is fantastic as well, making this my new favorite office speaker.
It has an IPX2 rating, meaning that you’re not going to be dunking the Kilburn II in the pool, but getting it splashed or dripping on it while you’re adjusting the volume isn’t going to do any damage. Not that you need to get hands on with the speaker – it can connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously so multiple people can control the music from up to 30 ft. away. Integrated edge caps also keep it safe from minor dings and scrapes.
The Kilburn II will last 20 hours on a single charge and a 20-minute quick charge will get you 2.5 hours of playtime. If you want a portable speaker that sounds as good as it looks, head over to the Marshall site. The Kilburn II retails for $269.
OK, so the pHin isn’t exactly “fun.” But you know what’s not fun? Waking up the morning after spending all day Saturday in the pool only to have your Sunday plans dashed by a stew of sickly green water.
pHin is a connected device that floats along blithely in your pool, keeping an eye on the alkalinity, hardness, and chlorine levels in your pool’s water, alerting you when things start to rise or dip into unsafe territory. It doesn’t matter what kind of pool you have, you can set the pHin to work with chlorine, salt, and bromide pools.
pHin also monitors your pool’s temperature. It’s much handier than trying to find and fish out a floating thermometer (thought the little polar bear on a pool float one that I have does have more character).
pHin comes with one free year of monitoring service (it’s $99 annually after that). That gives you access to historical charts, on-phone alerts, chemical dosing directions (if you’re maintaining your pool yourself), the ability to share your data (like with your local pool store), and an unlimited warranty on the device itself.
It’s good that the pHin comes with a year of service, because the $349 retail price is a big ask up front. Though the peace of mind that you get knowing exactly what you need to do to keep your pool in top shape is worth it. Head over to the pHin website and see where it’s available for sale in your area.