Big bang tech ending to 2014

The year 2014 may be drawing to a close, but there’s still a lot happening in the world of technology. Rajiv Makhni gives a sneak peek into some of the big launches that are sure to leave the gadget freaks happy.
Updated on Nov 09, 2014 12:23 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByRajiv Makhni

It’s almost the end of the year. For most companies the big launches and big ticket releases are over.

We’ve had some huge events in the last few days with the Apple iPhone twins and the new iPads; the Samsung Note 4, the Alpha, the new Tab S slates, plus their new Gear Smartwatch; HTC One M8; Motorola’s second generation of G and X phones and the Moto 360 Smartwatch; Lenovo’s big bomb Yoga 2 Tablets, Sony’s Z3 and Z3 Compact and about a dozen more headline-making products. That makes it some of the most productive 60 days on the tech calendar.

Thus, most companies will wait it out and make the next market-shaking announcements in the new year. This is offseason for new stuff, the ho-hum gap in which you pause for breath. At least that’s how November and December usually pan out. But this year, even the last few days have mega-awaited devices all set to be unleashed.

iMac 5K
Once again, Apple hits a home run with a product that may not be radically out-of-the-box, but makes it seem like the ‘Coming Of The Next Tech God’ device.

This is the iMac getting retina resolution on a seriously big display. And, as Apple has determined that there must be a certain number of pixels per inch for something to be called a retina display, they had to go for a 5K instead of a 4K for this iMac to qualify.

May I suggest a totally different reason? Other 4K display desktops and even laptops are now available and this is Apple’s way of ensuring headlines with the first 5K on a computing machine.

The good thing is, the product has super high specs and the screen looks gorgeous. It’s going to be gorgeously expensive too. Talk about disastrous launches! We’ve been hearing about this phone and this brand coming into India since July. Finally, the company seems to have got their act together and the One should be here in another three weeks.

The OnePlus One is called the smartphone-flagship killer as it delivers almost everything you need in a top-level phone at about 1/4th the price. Pretty much another Xiaomi.

And, this phone looks good with a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 3100 mAh battery, magnesium chassis, full-HD screen and a price point under Rs15K.

Samsung Note Edge

Many call this the most anticipated phone of 2014, and yet most people didn’t even know it existed till it was announced with the Note 4 recently.

The Note 4 has started off selling very well in India, but the Edge is what a lot of people are now waiting for.

While the specs are amazing and the ergonomics really good – it’s the curve off the screen from one side that makes this a standout device. In a world where companies now play safe and don’t do anything radical, the Edge is just, well – really edgy.

The second screen on the side has a life of its own, has actual utility built in, can be a life-saver in a pinch and is a truly radical way to rethink smartphone use and efficiency. Expect the Edge in India in December for about Rs65K. Nexus 6

The rumour was that the Nexus line may get killed off and only Android One will take things forward. The Nexus 6 is big and solid proof of things being just the exact opposite. This time, Google got Motorola to make it for them and they’ve gone for the absolute top-of-the-line with no compromises at all.

A 5.96-inch, 2560x1440 quad-HD display, a 13MP rear camera, 3GB of RAM, a 3220 mAh battery and most critically, stock Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The only difference this time is that there may not be Nexus-level aggressive pricing and this phone may well be priced upwards of Rs35K.

Gionee S5.1
Gionee set the market on fire with the S5.5 which also took on the coveted title of the world’s slimmest phone.While that title may be at stake with Oppo’s new super slim phone (there is controversy there too, as the camera protrudes a fair bit out of the body on the Oppo), Gionee’s brand new S5.1 is eagerly awaited for far more than just its extreme thinness.

This is a phone that is now going to be trying to claim the title of the world’s most good-looking phone. And, in a world where there are some seriously awesome looking phones, the S5.1 actually takes form, factor and design to a whole new level.

Great specs, excellent optics and a price point that may well be less than Rs20k could make this one more huge winner for Gionee.

Hope you’ve saved up some cash to get your hands on all this great stuff that the last 60 days of the year seem all poised to bring out. All of this ensures that the curtain on 2014 draws close with a big bang.

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

From HT Brunch, November 9
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