Christmas is just about a week away. It’s arguably the biggest shopping season of the year, and if you’re still not done with your shopping, or need some gift ideas, well, here’s some ideas of tech gadgets you can consider. You could buy yourself a gift too! These are mostly based on items that have been reviewed here.
I reviewed quite a number of headphones this year. One of my favourite, for a Bluetooth headset, is the Jabra Eclipse. This is perfect for people who drive. You should stay safe by avoiding use of mobile phone while you drive, of course, but if you have to take quick calls from time to time, or your work sometimes require you to keep your hands free while speaking on your phone, the Jabra Eclipse is a great tool. It’s small, light, and unobtrusive, yet delivers great call clarity.
The Jabra Eclipse retails at S$219.
For music listening, and here I mean music being the primary function, because this headphone here also works as a headset for you to speak on your mobile phone, check out the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear. It has great sound quality, and I personally love in-ear style of headphones. It’s easy to carry around, and really good for those who need to commute on public transport regularly.
The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear retails for S$149.
For more serious music listening at home, consider the Sennheiser RS 175. It’s wireless, but it needs a base station, so this has to be something you use at home or at the office, certainly not something you carry around. This is great for home theatre setups, particularly for enjoying entertainment individually without disturbing others in the home.
The Sennheiser RS 175 retails for S$399.
Continuing with music, how about Bluetooth speakers? Logitech’s UE Megaboom can make a party come alive with 360° of sound at 90 dBA, or you can tone down the volume for more personal listening. The sound quality is really good, with strong punchy bass. The speaker is also rugged, and waterproof. Yes, you can put it in a pool, though of course don’t expect sound to travel far when you push the speaker underwater.
The Logitech UE Megaboom retails at S$399.
For music during exercise workouts, check out the Jabra Sport Coach. It’s not just for the music, but the Jabra Sport Coach also delivers personalised in-ear coaching during workouts. It does lack heart rate monitoring functions though, and for that reason I would prefer last year’s Jabra Sport Pulse. But hey, different people have different needs.
The Jabra Sport Coach retails at S$248. Last year’s Jabra Sport Pulse was retailing at S$298.
In the sports and fitness category, the Wahoo TICKR X is a really capable workout tracker. It’s really affordable too. It’s in the form of a chest strap gadget that incorporates a heart rate monitor and motion sensor. A big bonus is that this device can work offline, without a smartphone, so you can go on a run (or swim) without your smartphone, then connect back to your smartphone later to sync the workout data.
The Wahoo TICKR X retails at S$139.90.
In the wearable category, there’re quite a number of smartwatches to choose from this year. My favourite is the Pebble Time, or better yet the Pebble Time Steel (not yet retailing in Singapore). This smartwatch features a colour e-paper display with battery that lasts 7 days. That’s not an exaggeration. Seven days. You can forget about charging for a few days in a row and still be fine. It has its own app ecosystem, and while neither part of Apple nor Android, the Pebble Time will pair with both iOS and Android smartphones.
The Pebble Time retails at S$329.
ASUS ZenWatches are another good catch. This year’s update, the ZenWatch 2, comes in enough varieties, including two size variants, that you can make the watch feel more personalised. You can build your own watch faces too. The ZenWatch 2 is beautifully built, runs Android Wear, and has a bunch of many useful ASUS apps.
The ZenWatch 2 retails at S$229.
ASUS has a great line up of Android phones, so many that sometimes I feel quite lost trying to identify and differentiate between them. Their successful ZenFone series includes the ZenFone Selfie, which features 13 megapixel cameras and two-tone flash on both the front and back of the phone. The front camera is every bit as good as the back one. The automatic beautification mode is addictive too.
The ZenFone Selfie retails at S$399.
Another good consideration is the Alcatel Flash 2 I recently reviewed. The Flash 2 is a really capable mid-tier Android smartphone, but priced like an entry-level smartphone. It is dual-SIM, both with LTE, so it’s good for those who travel frequently.
The Alcatel Flash 2 retails at S$199.
Other notable phones include the OnePlus 2 (S$598 from Lazada), and OnePlus X (S$438 from Lazada).
Note prices correct at time of review.