The best phones, TVs and gadgets to buy this Diwali

  • Rajiv Makhni, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2015 11:44 IST

You can feel it in the air. Diwali. That slight nip, that aroma of pollution hanging heavier, that awesome feeling of being stuck in even more bumper-to-bumper traffic, that super-romantic fog all around that never lifts after Ravan has been vanquished with loud and smoky bombs.

Yes, Diwali is in the air and even your arms are feeling the extra weight of handling newspapers with 27 cover pages of sales and 17 back pages of awesome e-commerce burn-out offers. It’s a great time to be alive. It’s also a very confusing time to be alive.

As a special pre-Diwali gift to all of you, I’ve tackled the toughest questions that have been at the back of your head with honest and forthcoming answers. Have no fear, Diwali TechMan is here!

iPhone 6S Plus or Samsung Note 5?

Look, its Diwali. Forget about the Xiaomis and the One Pluses. It’s time to splurge and buy the absolute best that the smartphone industry has to offer. This is the time to go into money-is-no-object mode. After all, you aren’t going to buy another phone for the next three months! So the quest to buy the best phone in the world is an important one. It doesn’t matter if it’s for yourself or if you’re giving it as a gift, or sending it as a legal bribe to all those who did you favours this year.

Better than the best: The Samsung Note 5 (above, right) with better hardware, beats the prestigious iPhone.

The iPhone 6S Plus leads in premiumness, prestige, snob value, rose gold colour, new peek and pop with force touch, great camera, new live photos and better selfies. The Note 5 beats the pants off other phones in being a rebel, more businesslike, more corporate, good looks, better hardware, better screen, better 4K video, an awesome stylus and a slightly better battery life.

It’s a close fight so let me narrow it down. If it’s for yourself, buy the Note 5; if you already have a Macbook Pro/Air/iPad/iAnything then buy the 6S Plus. If you’re gifting it, send the Note 5; if it’s a bribe masquerading as a gift, then send the 6S Plus. After all, Apple bhejoge toh hi toh fruits of your labour milega na?

Curved or Flat TV?

Curves are good except when they’re on a TV. Apart from sexism, that statement also has wisdom. Curved TVs are amazing and LG’s OLED Curved TVs are a sight to behold. But they cost a lot more money. Money that doesn’t necessarily justify the premium.

Loaded extra: Curved TVs are amazing but you pay big money for them.

Curved TVs cost more, much more and give you less, much less screen size. It’s time to go big and go 4K. With more and more 4K content now appearing, 4K disc players being launched in December and almost all good phones and cameras now capable of shooting in 4K – you would be foolhardy to spend big this Diwali and then get thrown a curveball!

Panasonic, Sony, LG and Samsung have some amazing TVs and offers on those big TVs, they throw in so many extras that you’ll need a separate room to keep the freebies. Go as big as you can, make sure its 4K and make sure it’s as flat as a carpenter’s dream.

DSLR or Mirrorless Camera?

None of the above. This Diwali, do something different. Buy an action camera. A GoPro or a Polaroid Cube or a Xiaomi Yi. You’ll thank me for this Diwali bomb of advice. The good part about these is that they’re hardly only for action junkies. Being super-small, wide-angled, waterproof and practically mountable anywhere – you can shoot angles and points of view that you didn’t think were possible.

Action jackson: Rediscover your love for movie- making with an action camera.

The plethora of accessories and add-ons, plus the fact that you can do some really quirky things with them (shoot the inside of a washing machine while it’s washing your clothes, strap it on your dog and send him off for a run), makes them a no-brainer to choose! If you really want to rediscover your love of photography, movie-making or love plain fooling around with optics – this is the way to go. Live a little, live on the edge and shoot off it too!

BlueTooth Speaker, Dock or Headphones?

Once again, none of the above. This Diwali, start your journey towards fully wireless music across the house. Room-to-room music systems that are all network-connected are a whole new way to enjoy music without compromise in sound, and yet using all the technology that wasn’t even possible a few years ago.

Musical note: The new Bose Sound Touch is miles ahead of other wireless music systems.

All our music is digital now and it’s strewn all over. On our phones, on USB sticks, on network hard drives and on laptops and tablets. These whole-house systems go and collect all that music from all these sources and automatically index and filter them into intelligent categories.

You can play any music from anywhere, in any or all the rooms. While a lot of companies offer these solutions, it’s Sonos and the new Bose Sound Touch systems that are miles ahead of the rest.

Now that Diwali TechMan has taken the festive bull by the horns and answered the most important questions of this season, it’s time for you to start your personal scanning of newspapers, websites and shopping apps.

I hope you find one of the above at a 50 per cent off with a 100 per cent cash back, a free Uber ride, plus a gold coin and a five-bedroom apartment thrown in for free. If you still have more questions on what to buy this awesome Diwali, send them to me on Twitter. Don’t forget to hashtag #DiwaliTechMan.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, November 1

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