From disappearing bezels on smartphones to wearables that learned new tricks to buzzwords like AI (Artificial Intelligence), 2018 saw big changes and some cool new gadgets. We round up our favourite objects of tech desire from 2018.
SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S4
Productivity meets fun with Samsung’s new Tab. The 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display (2560×1600 pixels) is perfect for those Netflix binge-watching sessions. A 7300 mAh battery guarantees 16 hours of video playback, while a host of accessories (including the in-built S-Pen and the optional keyboard) make it a powerful productivity tool that is further bolstered by Samsung’s DeX connectivity.
PRO Huawei’s partnership with Leica put its smartphone cameras in a different league. We were dazzled by the P20 Pro earlier this year, and the Mate 20 Pro takes it a notch higher. The triple Leica camera setup offers a wide-angle mode and stunning low light images, while hardware enhancements include a new in-display fingerprint sensor.
Apple unleashed three phones this year, including a cheaper XR and the first iPhone that crossed the 6-inch display threshold – the XS Max. It’s the iPhone XS, however, that is our favourite from this lineup. Agreed, it’s an ‘S’ update with no visible cosmetic changes over last year’s iPhone X, but an improved camera, the new A12 Bionic processor and iOS 12 make this phone a sheer joy to use.
Rs 99,900 onwards
SONY MASTER SERIES A9F BRAVIA OLED
Sony’s premium OLED TVs have been at the cutting edge; the A9F consolidates Sony’s position. The key to the A9F’s stunning picture quality is over 8 million self-illuminating pixels that are precisely controlled by Sony’s latest, state-of-theart processor – the X1 Ultimate.
Rs 3.99 lakh onwards
GOPRO HERO7 BLACK
GoPro’s 2018 flagship redefines the action camera, with a whole new suite of capabilities. There’s HyperSmooth Stabilization, which offers gimbal-like stabilization without the gimbal. TimeWarp video allows you to shoot super-stabilised time-lapse videos up to 30x speed. It’s the Live Stream feature (that lets you share live feeds straight off your GoPro via an app) that most users will find most appealing.
A new noise canceling chip (QN1) is one reason why Sony’s latest premium, over-theear headphones trump the competition in the noise cancellation sweepstakes. That’s a big deal for frequent fliers and audiophiles, who will also appreciate the ergonomics – the larger and deeper ear space structure makes it more comfortable for long periods of use.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 4
Our favourite Apple gadget of 2018, the fourth generation Apple Watch is a radical overhaul. There’s more screen real estate – the new 40 and 44 cm sizes expand the screen by 30 per cent. It’s powered by a new S4 chip, and the speakers and microphone have been rejigged, dramatically improving call quality. The watch is also equipped with an electrical heart sensor.
Rs 40,900 onwards
A Fitbit’s best smartwatch ever is our pick for Android users seeking a smartwatch and a fitness companion. Aside from all the fitness credentials that we’ve come to expect from Fitbit, the Versa boasts of a refined form factor and tonnes of watch faces that can match your mood for the day.
Rs 21,999 (for the Special edition)
GOOGLE PIXEL 3XL
The showcase of everything Android, the Google Pixel 3 twins knocked the bezels off and added a gorgeous new colour – ‘Not Pink’ – as part of their makeover. They’re the perfect blend of hardware and software – Google’s all-new Android 9.0 (a.k.a. Pie) makes this one of the best smartphones out there. Then there’s the stellar camera, which aces selfies and low light photography alike.
Rs 83,000 onwards
BOSE SOUNDSPORT FREE
Don’t let the compact size of these earbuds trick you; they punch way above their weight in the sound quality department. They’re almost weightless – just 10 gms apiece – but won’t fall off your ears, thanks to Bose’s proprietary StayHear+ sport tips solution. The edgy, futuristic charging case is truly pocketable.
AMAZON ECHO PLUS
The second generation Amazon Echo comes with a new design and improved sound, with premium speakers powered by Dolby. The Echo Plus connects seamlessly to Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service that is smarter than you think. From answering queries to news and weather updates to connecting with music streaming services like Saavn and Amazon Prime Music, Alexa doesn’t disappoint.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 9
Samsung totally nailed the Note 8 last year, and the Note 9 is a further improvement. The new S-Pen comes with a whole new bag of tricks, including Bluetooth capability. It’s arguably the smartphone camera to beat in low light, while hardware upgrades mean that it can now pack over 1TB of storage – no kidding.
Rs 67,990 onwards