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The foldable phones from Huawei or Microsoft may not be here yet, but you can't go wrong with our pick of cool gadgets to stay tech-happy this festive season
twitter-logoNidhi Singal | Print Edition: November 3, 2019

  • Apple iPhone 11

No iPhone lover can resist its powerful cameras (12 MP wide and 12 MP ultrawide), which capture stunning shots in bright and low light. Its all-new A13 Bionic chip with an eight-core neural engine is a performance-booster as well and just right for power-hungry apps. Apple says it can carry out one trillion ops a second. So, shoot 4K videos at 60 fps or play the most graphics-intensive games on this phone. You can buy the 64 GB version for less if you go for cashback and festive discounts. The Pro and the Pro Max offer a little extra, but what you will mainly miss are the OLED screen (iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch LCD screen) and the 12 MP telephoto lens.

  • Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FN and ZenBook 15 Pro

Here come a couple of premium laptops. ZenBook 13 offers a capacitive touch-based number pad embedded in the touchpad. The LEDs beneath the touchpad light up when the number pad is activated. It is sleek, ultralight and comes with an 8th Gen Intel Core CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and an MX150 graphics card. Try the ZenBook Pro 15 if you are looking for more power and innovation. This one features an incredible ScreenPad that acts like a regular touchpad and doubles up as an interactive display (essentially, a small second monitor). You will also find pre-installed ScreenPad apps for running a variety of programmes on that second display.

  • GoPro Hero8 Black

Nothing can beat GoPro if you are out to capture action and adventure footage. The latest one is compact enough to sit in your pocket and enables frameless mounting, thanks to built-in and folding mounting fingers. It can capture 4K videos at 60 fps and features HyperSmooth 2.0 video stabilisation (for all resolutions and frame rates), in-app horizon-levelling and TimeWarp 2.0 for automatically adjusting shutter speed based on motion, scene detection and lighting. Plus, you get three new accessories called Mods (short for modular) for optimising performance.

  • Dyson Pure Hot+Cool

A multipurpose marvel that cleans the dirty air, streams back the clean and cool air (but can't replace your air conditioner) and keeps your room warm in winter. To begin with, the air passes through a 360 degree glass HEPA filter that captures 99.95 per cent of fine particles. Then the clean air flows from the front and rear of its bladeless fan. The heating bit is thermostatically controlled, which means it shuts off after reaching a pre-set temperature and resumes heating when the temperature falls. Dyson has also introduced the PTC (positive temperature coefficient) technology, commonly used in aircraft heating systems, for quickly and evenly heating the indoor space.

  • Apple Watch Series 5

Apple fans would lose their hearts to this latest series of wearables, and so would others. They not only track your activity and heart rate but also inform you about erratic heartbeats. The ECG app can record it in 30 seconds, which is similar to a single-lead reading. Using accelerometer and gyroscope, the watch detects a hard fall and sounds an alarm. If the person fails to respond to the alarm, it places an emergency call and even shares the location. You will also love its sleek design, waterproof body and notifications mirroring (those coming on your iPhone).

  • Kindle Oasis

Bibliophiles are bound to fall for this premium e-book reader. Amazon's Kindle Oasis comes with a 7-inch, 300 ppi display, uses the latest e-ink technology and lets you customise the screen tone. Sleek and ergonomic, it is perfect for one-handed reading and replicates the feel of a book with page turn buttons. This water-resistant Kindle can withstand light rain, water spill and even a dip in a bathtub. The capacity to store thousands of books and long-lasting battery life make it an ideal companion.

  • Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

One of the best products as far as noise-cancelling goes, but you get much more. Besides great looks, comfortable fit and good sound, it provides different levels of noise cancellation to customise your environment. There is a dedicated Conversation Mode button for pausing music and letting in surrounding sounds and a four-microphone system for calls and conversations with Google Assistant and Alexa.

  • Google Nest Hub

An elegant, cameraless and connected home multitool, powered by Google Assistant. This is an excellent combo of a smart speaker and a smart display and paired with Google Photos, also works as a digital photo frame. So, ask all you want (time, weather, traffic, appointments and more), and it will instantly respond to your voice commands, and you can view it on the touchscreen. Pictures and videos look particularly sharp on the screen due to the ambient light sensor while a control panel screen helps you run smart home devices.

  • BenQ W1700M Projector

The eye-popping UHD entertainment is here, thanks to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but are you ready for a spectacular cinematic experience? The W1700M from BenQ takes care of all that and more. The 120-inch screen (can project up to 200 inches) features maximum clarity and colour accuracy, a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, a brightness of 2,000 ANSI lumens and an awesome audio experience. You can mount it on the table or the ceiling. The addition of backlight to the remote makes it easy to use.

  • Xiaomi Mi Home Security Camera 360 degree

Smart surveillance is the order of the day and this Wi-Fi-enabled device has loads of features to help you cope with any emergency. The dual motherboard ensures a 360 degree horizontal and a 96 degree vertical view and offers AI-powered motion detection. The feed is accessible via the Mi Home app from almost anywhere in the world. Its infrared night vision mode gets auto-activated and captures a clear black-and-white feed even when it is pitch dark. Plus, it automatically deletes old recordings to make way for new footage.

  • Sony Master Series AF9 OLED TV

The king of screens is right here if you are ready to splurge. This TV sports a 4K ultra-high-definition panel and offers a multichannel, immersive sound system, including three actuators and two side-mounted woofers. The HDR support covers HDR 10, HLG and Dolby Vision, and displays deep blacks and sharp, realistic natural colours. The X1 Ultimate processor detects hundreds of different objects on the screen and intelligently enhances brightness, detail and colour. The OS is Android Oreo, and you would want to use the smart and clean interface.

  • Apple iPad 7th Gen

Chic, sleek and well-priced, this is a complete package for content consumption and creation. Key features include a 10.2-inch Retina Display, the full-size Smart Keyboard from Apple, A10 Fusion chip, advanced cameras and sensors, and the new iPadOS with support for a desktop-like browser, external USB drives and gestures. It also supports the first-generation Apple Pencil that comes in handy for sketching, drawing, signing documents and more.

  • Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Mi LED Bulb

The latest smart speaker from the Echo line is powered by Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa. And it does everything other smart speakers do. It means the new device listens to voice commands, answers queries and controls smart appliances, even those connected to smart plugs. You can pair it with any smart LED bulb from Mi, Syska or Wipro over Wi-Fi (priced separately). Finally, there is the built-in LED alarm clock in the front that also displays temperature and timers.

  • OnePlus 7T

If you are an Android loyalist, you are spoilt for choice. There is the iconic Galaxy Note10+, one of the most advanced smartphones. But in case you are not willing to part with Rs 80,000 or more, go for the recently launched OnePlus 7T that looks premium and packs a punch. It features a 90 Hz fluid display, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, 48 MP ultrawide triple camera, Warp Charge 30T charging and face unlock. Although there are a few bugs in the camera app, the company is working to fix those. More importantly, it runs OxygenOS 10 (based on Android 10), a clean user interface which is very close to stock Android.


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