Self-balancing vehicles, artificial-intelligence-operated drones and holographic image devices. Just a few of the many things that dominated tech talk this year.
A good year for MS, with Windows 10 returning with a bang. But the true explosion came from this: a VR device that makes holographic images appear all around your physical environment, enabling you to interact with all that floating goodness. Absolutely delicious.
DJI Phantom 3
So here’s the thing. We will all own a drone in the future. And the reason is demonstrated by DJI. Easy to fly, butter-smooth 4k video recording and the artificial intelligence to do most things on its own, including coming back home. The same company also came up with one of the best handheld video cameras, the DJI Osmo. Double delight.
Qiku Q Terra
It not only won the #BestPhoneUnder20k title, but it also took on the phones priced between the range of `50k and Rs 60k head on. It’s got all that you want from a flagship and a little bit extra. A great X’mas stocking stuffer.
What’s not to love? It answers your questions, replies to the emails you have received, reminds you of appointments and also plays music and verbal games. All of these with one voice command, ‘Alexa’. This is the start of a beautiful relationship.
The world leader in fitness bands finally came to India with a full offering and an aggressive campaign. But the variant that truly stands out is the Surge. With a seven-day battery life, full GPS for runners and cyclists, it can track all your activities.
Giving Fitbit competition was the GOQii. Pairing real coaches who react and give you advice based on the data you generate, this is the future of fitness strapped on to your wrist. Rumours are strong that the GOQii 2 will be out in Feb 2016.
Samsung Note 5
The S6 and S6 plus are easily the best in their class, yet the Note 5 races a little ahead. The form and the ‘Holy Cow Stylus That Can Do Magic’ make this newsworthy. In a year when expensive flagship phones took a severe beating, this one was a notable exception.
No, it’s not a great product; but it is a great teaser of what it can evolve into in the future. The Apple Watch proved that there is a market for smartwatches. Only time will tell if its next generation manages to do away with the several niggling problems that plague this one.
It’s easily one of the best home-theatre projectors and is priced at half that of its competitor. It gives you a picture as large as 200 inches, has fantastic built-in speakers and provides true cinematic colour (REC 709). Why would anyone want to buy a big-screen TV?
Acer Chromebook 15
With a crisp full-HD 15.6-inch screen, good looks and great hardware, this is an exceptional notebook. Add to that an almost unheard-of low price and the deal only sweetens further. The only negative is that it runs only on the Chrome OS.
Lenovo ThinkPad Stack
The ThinkPad Stack is truly the most amazing modular component system for computers. The different modules can do different things and each can be stacked on top of the other. All of them work from one power source. King of the hill!
Segway was an amazing piece of transportation. But only for the elite (read billionaires). Ninebot’s latest takes all the cool stuff from Segway and makes it affordable. Plus, it looks better and is more responsive. Time for the Ninebotters to take over the world.
The action camera king’s latest is super small, waterproof without a case, easy to use, and capable of shooting breathtaking video. With a serious price revision (it is half the price now) this is the best action camera your money can buy today. Case closed.
Dell XPS 13 Laptop
It is expensive but blows the competition away in every way. Beautifully built, razor thin, a display that is love at first sight (3,200x1,800) and a battery life that lasts a full 15 hours. That’s not a wish list, that’s what this notebook does right now.
Sony a7R II
This camera breaks every rule and is so close to perfection that it’s almost scary. Full-frame sensor, 42-megapixel resolution, a high-speed processor, low-light photography option and a full 4k video. Sony, what are you doing to the competition?
When a device with half the price can shake up biggies like Sony and Microsoft, then you’ve got to give it a second look. The Nvidia device truly shines if you want a movie and media streamer that is on top of its gaming capability.
From HT Brunch, December 27
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