We are approaching the end of 2016 and it suddenly comes to my mind to have a quick look back on my most favorite gadgets that I got and have been using on a daily basis over the year.
Undoubtedly, the Apple Watch Series 2 is a much improved version comparing with the first generation Apple Watch in terms of features and hardware performance, yet I can still enjoy all my Apple Watch band collections accessories. It is definitely worth the upgrade for a more pricy model, i.e. the Stainless Steel Apple Watch, for the major hardware improvements right on the launch day.
This is a brand new member to my top gears for 2016 as soon as I see a quick 20% off from the official price from Apple at an Apple authorized premium retailer in late November. I have got myself with the Special Matte Black Edition which is quite difficult to find somewhere around.
The sound quality has much improved with a more balanced treble and bass. Notably speaking, the W1 chip makes the Bluetooth connection much more stable than normal Bluetooth 4.0/4.1 headphones. However, commonly for all on-ear headphones, you can’t really use it for long time or it will lead to some fatigue on the ears.
I joined the expensive Sony mirrorless FE family in March and I really enjoy using this much faster camera with premium full-frame capable lens, for all my leisure and family photos and review photography.
I have already got quite a few premium, fast lens and accessories for the camera, including the followings:
- ZEISS Batis 1.8/85
- ZEISS Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70 mm F4 ZA OSS
- Sony E 50mm F1.8
- LA-EA4 35 mm Full-Frame A-Mount Adapter
The only complaint for most photographers who reviewed the camera is battery life. You can barely run through a full day out with a conscious of preserving the battery life when you are walking and not shooting for a while. But the boot up time takes 2-3 seconds depending on what lens and Micro-SD card you may have so you may easily miss some precious shots when it becomes a habit to switch off the camera regularly, unless you carry an extra battery or power bank with Micro USB charging cable.
I have been needing a great Bluetooth speakers for music playback and movies after two short-lived low-cost speakers including the BÖHM SoundBlock Wireless Bluetooth Speaker that I got with discounted price.
At one point I was luck to get hold with a clearance sale in April on the upgraded Beats Pill+ Wireless Bluetooth Speaker around $130 as it is the last unit in store. It is still much cheaper than the sale ongoing from Apple at $199 and $188 on Amazon. The performance has been excellence and I really enjoy the sound quality and bass delivered. The battery life, however, is a bit disappointing in my opinion. I do have to charge it once a few days and will need to switch to over-ear headphones when it is being charged, which is kind of bummer.
I have got the Black/Mint model at a discounted price for around $110 in April which is still $20 off from Amazon listed price. and I am very pleased with the performance. As usual for Bose headphones, the base is not overwhelming, the mids and highs are crisp. This has been my go-to headphone for movies and YouTube videos at home.
It does feel very comfortable to wear for couple hours for a movie without any ear fatigue as the The only downside is that the headphone is wired and the connector to the headphone is 2.5mm which is less commonly found around the stores nearby.
Thanks to the new iPad Pro release, the iPad Air 2 received a very nice price drop along side with the refurbished models which I purchased for around $330 only.
I am not utilizing it enough except for YouTube and jailbreak testing purposes, or sometime when my iPhone battery dies at home. For reading or document handling, I usually go for my Kindle Paperwhite and MacBook Pro.
This is not something new as I reviewed the Prototype in late 2015. However, Amber released a new Space Gray color option which looks gorgeous with the glossy glass front cover, chamfered edges and matte finish around the body.
I carried Amber with me when I was travelling earlier this year for best convenience. And I have been using it every day since I received it for my Apple Watch Series 2 and use the second prototype to charge my secondary first generation Apple Watch. It does clean up quite a bit on the deck and at the same time looks very sleek aesthetically.
I was at one point addicted to Pokémon GO and my current juice pack could not fulfill my need of full day hunting Pokémons outdoor without any charger.
Thanks to the sponsor from ChargeTech, I was able to get the huge 27,000 mAh power bank that has basically unlimited juice for more than a day’s usage.
I saw this on an advertisement on Facebook and I fell in love with this gadget right away. This is another very nice addition to my setup that I can have a much better cable management on my wall socket.
Now I can have one single adapter for my normal daily needs – MacBook Pro, iPhone, Apple Watch all in one with a spare USB charging slot for other devices. It frees up one socket slot so I can now plug in the chargers for my external monitor, smart LED lightbulb and mini lighroom studio setup at the same time without having the MacBook charger occupying one precious slot.
Last but not least, the OnePlus X. I purchased at the first wave when the phone launched in late 2015 but I had barely used until middle of this year as the blog grows and I do need a secondary phone. Great value for money for its specification and the performance has been outstanding with regular daily use for messaging, phone calls, emails, occasional photo taking, etc. With the update to relatively up-to-date Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the OnePlus X is able to keep up the performance and stability for frequent usage.
What are your top 10 gadgets or tech gears? Let me know in the comments.