Life isn’t easy for most of us especially in this recession, as we try and keep up with the pace of the world. If the Internet is to be believed, 2016 has been one of the worst years of our lifetimes. But it’s time to stop carrying the burden of the world on your shoulders. All those efforts you put in to make life worth living – they need to be rewarded. The year is ending, and if you haven’t pampered yourself to a technological wonder that can bring you some joy that you deserve, now is the time.
Here are some interesting options that you could pick up this upcoming holiday season.
1. LG OLED55C6V 4K TV
While the 4K revolution is still firmly in early adopter mode, we’re starting to see enough content – and lower-priced hardware – to believe it’s about to hit the mainstream. But if you’re looking to spend big on a marvellous set, look no further than LG’s 55C6V.This curved, 55in OLED display is absolutely remarkable, and not only does it handle 4K footage (either streaming or from a connected 4K Blu-ray player) with grace, but it also supports both HDR standards for ultra-vibrant lighting and contrast. The £3,000 asking price ain’t cheap, obviously, but this dazzling set is ready for the future. Are you?
2. SKY Q
Given how much more appealing cord-cutting looks by the month (thanks, Netflix!), it’s admittedly nice to see Sky fight back with a big, modern upgrade and try to convince us to stick with a dish. And if you’ve got the cash for Sky Q, then it might well be worth it.
Sky Q brings an ultra-fluid and sleek new interface, which learns from your viewing habits and lets you easily tap into multi-room viewing with the add-on Mini boxes. All told, it’s a pricey pickup between installation costs and the monthly fee, but this is the best version of classic TV on the market – and the coming addition of 4K will only sweeten the pot.
3. DJI Phantom 4
DJI continues to rule the drone market, and although it costs a pretty penny, the Phantom 4 shows exactly why. It’s not a dramatic shift away from last year’s model, but the enhancements are numerous and meaningful and it’s still the easiest drone to pilot if you’re not a pro.
Key to that are improvements like obstacle detection and automatic flying modes, plus the ability to maintain focus on a person or thing while in flight. Add in steady and tremendously sharp 4K video shooting and the £1,229 list price becomes (a bit) easier to swallow for enthusiasts.
4. CULUS RIFT
After years of prototypes and giddy impressions from trade show demos, the modern age of high-end virtual reality officially began with the consumer release of the Oculus Rift. And it certainly didn’t disappoint on performance, offering immersive VR experiences and an ultra-refined build and fit.
Availability has been an ongoing issue due to parts shortages and ill-considered retail moves, plus a competing headset released a week later, and… well, keep reading ’til the end. Still, that shouldn’t diminish both the importance and quality of the Rift, and the coming release of the Touch controllers should give it a big boost, as well.
5. APPLE IPAD PRO 9.7
Goodbye, iPad Air. Hello, smaller iPad Pro. Rather than refresh the old line after a longer-than-usual wait, Apple opted to shrink down last year’s 12.9in iPad Pro to the more travel-friendly 9.7in – luckily while keeping the enhancements that came with the big guy.
That means support for the Apple Pencil and the addition of the Smart Connector, which fits the Smart Keyboard and potentially more peripherals ahead, plus the tablet sees a big power boost and the TrueTone screen impresses. You’ll pay a bit more than the previous model (starting at £499), but you won’t find a better tablet around.
6. SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 EDGE
If we’re being practical, the standard Galaxy S7 is the smarter pick of Samsung’s latest flagship duo, offering incredible performance and perks at the lower price point. However, if we’re giving into our deepest urges, we can’t help but choose the beautiful curves and unrivalled look of the Galaxy S7 Edge.
The Galaxy S7 Edge looks much the same as last year’s phone, but the enhancements aren’t tiny: along with a performance boost, the phone itself is just a hair larger, plus it adds microSD support and waterproofing. Beyond that, it’s every bit the stunner we saw with the Galaxy S6 Edge, making it one of the best phones on the planet right now,
7. Apple TV 4th Gen
Considering buying a smart TV? Perhaps you’d be better off getting a ‘regular’ TV and instead use the extra money to buy the Apple TV 4th generation. It’s a small box that connects to any flat TV using HDMI. It runs tvOS, which is Apple’s TV-oriented operating system and is easy to use with the bundled remote that comes with a touchpad. The remote also accepts voice input and acts as a motion controller when you’re playing games. Many popular iPhone apps and games have an Apple TV counterpart as well.
Apart from games, the Apple TV 4th generation supports most popular video streaming service like YouTube, Hotstar, Netflix, Spuul, Eros Now etc. It can also pair with Bluetooth headphones so you can use it without disturbing other people in the room. At Rs. 13,500, it’s one of the most reasonably-priced Apple products you can find. What more you can ask for?!
8. Huawei Watch
You may think of a smartwatch as a redundant accessory that does the same thing as your phone. But think of the number of times you check your phone in a day – estimates suggest most of us do it about 100 times. A smartwatch is a second screen that’s easier to glance, rather than taking the phone out of your pocket each time.
You can dismiss useless notifications and they clear off the phone too. The Huawei Watch is an Android Wear smartwatch that does all this and more, for a price tag of Rs. 22,999. For one, it looks pretty classy and will pass off as a regular timepiece at first glance. Other than checking notifications, you can use your voice to reply to WhatsApp or other instant messages and ask Google for answers to questions like you would on your computer. You can even take phone calls right on your wrist, or even track your fitness-related activities.
Now that’s a good purchase for the holiday season, don’t you think?
9. Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2
If you’re living in India, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the alarming pollution levels many cities are experiencing. Now we agree to the notion that air purifiers aren’t the solution to cleaner air – strong government, corporate, and individual action to reduce pollution is. But until that happens, it may be ideal to take precautions to avoid breathing impurities, at least when we’re at home.
The Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2 is an elegant-looking purifier that comes with an accompanying app, that shows you the real-time quality of air around. It covers a room that’s up to 400 square feet in size, and can restore air quality back to normal in as fast as 10 minutes, depending upon a variety of factors. Using the app, you can schedule when it should turn on and off, depending upon the times you’re generally at home. At Rs. 9,900, it’s not very expensive either, but may require a change of filter every few months, depending upon the ambient pollution around you.
10. OPPO F1s
Holidays means spending quality time with your friends and family. That also means taking pictures of those sweet memories. This is why we ask you to check the OPPO F1s. Dubbed the ‘Selfie Expert’, this phone takes fantastic selfies with its 16-megapixel front-facing camera sensor. Thanks to a large 1/3.1-inch image sensor, the camera on the OPPO F1s is able to capture more light, which takes selfies well even in low-lighting conditions. The built-in Beautify 4.0 enhances the quality of selfies captured. Next, there’s also a selfie panorama mode, letting you take wide-angle selfies without the need of a selfie-stick.
Apart from the camera abilities, the OPPO F1s is also an able performer; with a 64-bit octa-core chip and 4GB of RAM. There’s also ample 64GB of storage, so you can click away without worrying about a ‘low on storage’ error message. At Rs. 18,990, the OPPO F1s may be priced reasonably, and it looks way more expensive with the metal unibody construction.
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