It’s back. The expected and mandatory round up of the best gadgets of the year. 2018 turned out to be excellent for breakthrough products. Over the next two columns, I’m going to take you through the best of 2018. Let the ‘best of’ games begin.
Apple Watch Series 4
Three letters. ECG. Yes, a wrist device that can give you medical grade ECG anywhere and at any time. The Apple Watch Series 4 has other great innovations like a bigger screen, an eSIM built in, great call quality, better battery life, but the amazing ECG feature built into this tiny form factor makes this the innovation of the year.
Dell XPS 13
This laptop is just plain awesome. It weighs just 1,200g, is ridiculously thin yet super powerful. But it’s the near borderless screen that makes the real difference. The bezel is just under 4mm, which is why the laptop is extremely portable. Plus you can get touchscreen or non-touchscreen versions.
Samsung Note 9
Close run up between the Note 9 and the S9+. Actually both should be on the list. The Note has that extra edge with the stylus. This is a near perfect phone. From looks, material, design, screen, hardware, features, optics and camera performance – there literally isn’t anything that isn’t just right. And with Samsung finally getting the price points perfect in India, you can’t go wrong with the Note 9 phone.
GOQii Vital and ECG
I find GOQii to be one of the most innovative fitness companies in the world. And the fact that it’s an Indian company makes it 10 times better. This company makes some of the best fitness trackers, has heart rate and now ECG built in, has an eco system of coaches + doctors + insurance that is world class, and prices products and plans that beat anything else globally.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
What can I say when a phone is made to showcase the R&D and innovation ambitions of a company? There is no other phone out there that compares right now. Curved glass front and back, stunning OLED screen, gorgeous design, serious horsepower hardware, triple focal length cameras, in display fingerprint scanner, wireless charge give and take – this is the phone that literally has it all.
Microsoft SurfaceBook 2 – 15”
Microsoft has been totally killing it with the Surface Book series but with the SB2 15-inch, it has pulled out all stops. Excellent build quality, a hinge that is an engineering delight, four modes for the display, a screen that may well be the most stunning ever, battery life that carries on forever, and sound that defies its footprint. This is the ultimate hybrid.
Sony WH-1000XM2 NC headphones
Other than the terrible name, these are the best noise cancellation headphones out there. I’ve been a huge fan of the Bose QC series, but finally they’ve been edged out. Better noise cancellation, better sound, better battery life of up to 30 hours, excellent touch controls and a better fit on the ear.
Apple MacBook Air 2018
It took them 10 years to get the Next Gen Air out, but boy did they get it right. It’s just perfectly tuned in all ways. Thin, light, razor-edge on one side, powerful enough for anything you throw at it, a great screen, recycled aluminium chassis, great sound and an excellent keyboard and touch pad.
Adidas Futurecraft 4D
These shoes are so high tech they can make most other gadgets here look bad. The world’s first commercially available true 3D printed shoe. It uses a process called Digital Light Synthesis to create a unique lattice structure on the midsole that gives outstanding energy return.
Apple iPhone XR
With the same hardware inside as the XS, better looking with better colours, a single camera at the back that pulls off pure magic, a big LCD screen that looks better than most other OLEDs and a price almost 35 per cent lower than the XS – this is Apple’s undiscovered gem of the year.
Lots more coming up in part 2!