Shopping for others can be difficult. However, nobody can be unhappy with new tech! Check out some new smart products, gadgets, and gear below!
New Announcements in the Apple Camp
Apple celebrates its ten year anniversary with the upcoming launch of this new special edition iPhone. Pronounced “iPhone Ten”, the latest and greatest iPhone is quite a device to behold. The impressive display stretches to each edge of the screen, and gone is the traditional home button. Other features include an OLED panel, adaptive facial recognition, capacity up to 256GB of storage, a six-core CPU, dual 12MP rear cameras, and a water resistance rating of IP67. Check out the full breakdown of the iPhone X.
Apple TV 4K
Better late than never, Apple has finally released a version of the Apple TV for 4K content. It also supports HDR, or high dynamic range, which improves the color and lighting for a greater immersive experience. Apple is also adding new apps to the app store for the Apple TV 4k that would allow users to stream live video in native 4K. Apple plans to add more functionality to the HomeKit, Apple’s smart home hub, which will most definitely make buying choices difficult come the holiday season.
Google Major Announcements
Place, or clip, this little camera and record events unfolding around you. No, it isn’t a camera for creeps. It is being marketed for parents and pet owners to capture events that happen while your camera or phone sits in a pocket or charging on the nightstand. Google is stretching their AI learning muscles with this neat little device.
New Smart Speakers
The original Google Home was a fun, interesting device, and the only other like it on the market was the more popular Amazon Echo. Nowadays it seems like everyone is jumping on the smart speaker bandwagon, and Google’s already felt a bit dated. Introducing two new smart speakers, the Mini and the Max. Aesthetically better, and sounds better too, you now can have the right speaker for your space (or 2 in stereo mode with the Max).
New Pixel phones with Pixel Buds
Yes, the headphone jack is officially looming towards being obsolete with the new Pixel 2 announcement from Google. What the end user gets instead is a powerful wireless earbud device that is intended to be worn around the neck. The coolest feature is by far the real-time language translator. As for the specs, Google compressed a ton of high-end tech into the handset; a whole new camera (possibly the best phone camera to date), a fancy CPU, high capacity storage, improved water resistance, front-firing stereo speakers, and a gorgeous display. Pre-orders are available now!
Google originally released a “joke” product with the Google Cardboard: a VR experience created with folded cardboard and a magnet. Now, the tech giant has gone full-dive. The new updated Daydream VR is aiming to be the industry-leading experience for mobile virtual reality, now complete with a top strap for stability and of course, Pixel 2 support.
Chrome OS has been an interesting splash into the laptop market, with emphasis on the lower end or budget devices. The early versions of Chrome OS lacked a lot of basic computing functionality, which was remedied later with newer versions of Chrome. Google is looking to target the higher-end market this time around. Starting at $999 and up to $1,649, the device is entering MacBook Pro and Surface Pro territory. It would be interesting to see what uses there are for enthusiasts and business once we get our hands on one.
Amazon New Products and Features
Amazon shocked the world with the launch of the original Echo. Who knew it would blow up to the level it is today?- Which is why they went to work making it better, and more affordable. The new Echo has basically the same internals with improved audio quality, and nearly half the price ($99). They also released the Echo Plus, which is a power-house of a device. At $149 (still cheaper than the original Echo), the Plus has a smart hub housed within and they even throw in a smart bulb. It’s an Echo, Plus a smart hub!
Much like the Echo Show, the Spot has a display, speaker, and the usual array of microphones. It operates similarly to the Show while not being as “showy”. The Spot boasts a smaller design, an attractively little 2.5 inch round display, and a design ideal for the nightstand. At $100 less than the Echo Show, it’s going to be hard to pass this up come the holiday season!
The first dedicated Echo accessory (or Alexa gadget), the Echo Buttons require an existing Echo smart speaker to use. The Echo acts as the console whereas the buttons act as the controller. Jeopardy! anyone? at $10 per speaker, that’s a small price to pay to see who’s got the trivia chops at family gatherings.
New Fire TV
Almost inevitably, the new Fire TV was announced to support all the high-end technologies to compete with Roku’s Premier+ and the new Apple TV. However, it has features the other two don’t have. One of those is simply Alexa! For less than the cost of the Echo, you can have Alexa in your bundled remote. Check out the new Fire TV.
Nest Updated Product Line
Hello video doorbell
The first major competitor to Ring’s video doorbell, Nest’s iteration of the smart doorbell features a facial recognition mode. However only planned through a subscription, this device will be the first video doorbell to offer this feature. Imagine being able to be notified of who’s coming to the door before they even ring the doorbell. The Nest Hello also has the ability to detect suspicious activity. We’ll have to see how this feature when it finally launches to the public, but we remain optimistic! Check out the demo breakdown of the Nest Hello.
Nest Outdoor IQ
Packaged inside a tamper-resitant and weather resistant housing, the Nest Cam IQ outdoor contains a boat load of cool tech. It can intellegently detect suspicious activity and push photo notifications of the alerts (while ignoring familiar faces with Nest Aware), captures video in 4K with HDR with 12x digital zoom, has an “enhance” feature for 1080p screens they call Supersight, infrared night-vision, 360° rotation tracking, and HD Talk and Listen with microphone and speaker. What can’t this do?! Check out the details HERE.
Nest’s new security system is focused to provide an easy-to-operate security system that can know the difference between an intruder, or a household member. Using Nest Tags (keychain ID chips), you can easily arm or disarm the system without frantically punching in passcodes; which the Guard also supports. Thanks to the Guard’s integration, no more rushing to leave the house before a preset timer as the system can be armed from your smartphone! Check out some Nest Guard examples.