We’ve reviewed hundreds of electronic gadgets over the past 12 months. Alvin Thomas picks his favourites.
The duopoly of iOS versus Android was sparked again last year when the rivals both released new mobile phones. Samsung’s newest addition, from March last year, is extremely sleek and sensible. It also displays a gorgeous 14cm curved AMOLED screen, complete with a 12MP camera and heart-rate sensors. It also weighs in at 157g – about the mass of an apple (coincidence?).
The latest generation of iPhones was received with open arms by Apple lovers. However, critics took a shot at the iPhone 7 due to the lack of a headphone jack. But because Apple omitted the jack, you can now dunk your phone in water (although we strongly advise you not to). Apple’s latest phone sports a 12cm screen and weighs in at 138g. Similar to its Android counterpart, the newest product will also sport an exceptional 12MP camera to capture your moments like a pro.
Step inside your favourite PS4 game with Sony’s latest virtual reality (VR) technology. With a 100-degree field of view, 3D audio processing and a 600g VR panel, all you need is your PS4 console, controller and a camera bar. Enjoy specialised games such as Star Wars Battlefront, Batman Arkham and Farpoint with your new VR device. Released in October 2016 – the future of gaming is upon us. Go and grab yours.
The cutting-edge innovation from Apple is proving to be incredible for Mac users. It has a new touch bar, is dynamic to any app that you’re using, and boasts touch ID with Apple Pay. Just to please its fans some more, it also includes stereo speakers, faster core processing and longer battery life for those longer days at the office. This is a dream come true for many (maybe not the longer working hours though).
We’ve seen Bluetooth earphones in the past but none quite like this. The AirPods are tiny, and quite long, but they should fit in your ear like regular Apple EarPods (wired earphones). The sound quality is almost on a par with its wired counterparts, and you will also get a safe holder-cum-charging port for your AirPods. Apart from that, both the AirPods are touch-sensitive, making controls easier for listeners. The cancellation of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 also makes this the most controversial release of 2016.
The Pixel is Google’s first standalone smartphone, meaning there is no other manufacturer tag associated with it. The specifications of the device put this phone in a whole different league altogether. Underneath the Google skin you get a very fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 128GB worth of storage, making it quite a performer. The Pixel also allegedly has the “world’s best smartphone camera”.
The Samsung Gear 360 was a surprise release for 2016. The Gear 360 is essentially a spherical camera with two fish-eye lenses working together to give you 360-degree or virtual reality images and videos. It’s also dust and water-resistant, meaning you can go underwater to shoot pictures and videos. Clips can also be transferred, trimmed and shared with your Galaxy phone or edited on a computer. This is essentially the most economical way to create virtual reality videos and photos.
Panasonic wasn’t the first company to introduce 4K resolution televisions to Oman. However, it is the first to wrap up its own soundbar, smart TV capabilities and superior image processing into a tasty little package. Also, this isn’t so much a television; it is a design statement. You’re going to want to keep your kids from scribbling on this baby. This is the ultimate TV you can buy today.
The Nikon D5 was the best digital camera unveiled last year. It is so good that even local YouTubers have adopted it for daily vlogging. However, its unique selling point has to be the new sensor, which offers the highest light sensitivity to date, at ISO 3,280,000. So, if you like to photograph things moving really fast in really dim light, this is the camera for the job. Oh, and don’t forget: you can also record 4K videos on this.