2016 has seen plenty of new electronic goodies hit the stores this year, and there are going to be a number of certain items that will inevitably appear on many wish list’s across the globe.
As you may have twigged, there are plenty of “smart” devices on the list, all designed to make our lives easier by capitalising on the ever present Wi-Fi networks that surrounds us. Let’s take a look at the list.
Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon have really been plugging their voice controlled Echo device this year, and the latest version is certainly their best yet. This is a great entry level smart home product at a good price and it does a surprisingly large number of things for such a small device.
Compact, light and powered by Alexa (the equivalent to Apple’s Siri) the Echo can do all number of things including ordering items to your shopping list, controlling your music playlists, playing the radio, getting you up in the morning, ordering an Uber taxi or a pizza, give you the latest news and weather, organising your calendar and even connecting and controlling other smart devices in the house including lights and thermostat.
All that – and more – can be done just by speaking to the Echo Dot. There is also a full size Echo on offer too with its own speakers included. An ideal present for friends or family looking to enter into the smart home solution scene!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth Speaker
This 2nd generation portable Bluetooth speaker from Ultimate Ears carries on the standard of superior sound quality that we enjoyed with the first version of the Boom range. Delivering 360 degree sound, an IPX7 rating for water resistance and clever gesture controls, this is one of the best valued portable Bluetooth speakers on the market today.
It’s small enough to make it easy to travel with, compact and available in a number of eye-popping colours, this speaker can connect with to Bluetooth music device like your smartphone so the party really can go everywhere! If you’re in the market for Bluetooth speakers, then you can’t go wrong with the UE Boom 2.
Fitbit Charge 2
The latest Fitbit is a greatly improved fitness tracker that is expected to be one of the best-selling in the fitness niche as 2016 draws to a close.
The Charge 2 replaced both the Charge and the Charge HR. This latest model in the Fitbit range features continuous heart-rate tracking, GPS location tracking, a handy OLED touchscreen, the ability to set reminders, calendar alerts as well as being able to connect to your smartphone to receive calls and texts, meaning you can keep the phone out of sight.
The device also has swappable wristbands for different moods and events. In addition to tracking health data and delivering smartphone notifications, the tracker can also help users unwind via personalized breathing exercises.
There is a lot of competition in the activity tracker niche, but the Fitbit Charge 2 is one of the top solutions and is reasonably priced.
Samsung UN65KS8000 65-inch 4K Smart TV
This Samsung UN65KS8000 is tipped to be the best value premium 4K TV on the market for 2016, and the reviews pouring in are nearly all positive. This massive smart TV set comes with a whole bunch of awesome features that are designed purely to enhance the viewing experience, including UHD Dimming for deeper and richer colours and Triple Black Technology for near perfect blacks.
Being a 4K TV, this TV set is sharper, crisper than any HD TV with a resolution of 2840×2160 pixels when viewing 4K content, and can fire off over 1 billion more colours than HDTV for more realistic images and videos than ever before.
This is the ideal TV for those that take their viewing experience seriously, and it’s one of the hottest selling TVs on the Internet right now.
The Fire Stick
What is the Fire Stick? Well, it’s the perfect companion to TVs that are not “smart”. You simply plug it into a TV’s USB port and voila – that TV now has access to a variety of streaming apps including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Showtime, HBONOW and many, many more.
Yes, you’ll still need to create your own accounts for the streaming services you wish to use (and for the premium ones, pay their subscription costs) but this is ideal if you want to stream video on a TV set in the house but can’t. The firestick has over 7000 apps, and also comes with a voice control remote featuring Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, so you can control your viewing experience with verbal controls (or just use the remote if you prefer to do it the old school way!)