We are inching closer to the new year and it’s the holiday season. At Smartprix, we came across scores of gadgets this year. And out of those, here we will be listing our personal favorites. These were the gadgets that launched in 2021 and that we fell in love with. We have wholeheartedly recommended these to folks in our friends and family circle. So, if you are on the hunt to purchase some tech products as gifts for your near and dear ones, you can give this a look. Also, this saves you from trawling through the hordes of products that got released this year.
Now, without any more ado, let’s get into the list of best gadgets of 2021:
1. Oppo Enco X
Enco X (review) is Oppo’s flagship true wireless earphones for the year. Still, it isn’t as pricey as some other leading brand offerings. So, its price-to-performance ratio is perhaps a reason why it rings in our ears even months after reviewing it.
This Enco earbud offers a cozy fit. It is light, compact, and comes with IP54 certification against water. The accompanying case is also comfortable to carry around in pockets. And when you take it out of the cradle and nudge it into ears, the thing works pleasantly in terms of its audio output, connectivity, and features like in-ear detection, ANC, etc.
2. Sony PlayStation 5
It won’t be an overstatement to call Sony’s PS5 (review) the next-gen console. It took over headlines upon launch for its polarizing look, but that form factor favors its thermal performance and helps it stands out as a centerpiece of the room that it’s kept in. Now that design aside the thing carries value for its tempting library of games. The graphics and physics of several titles have been unlike anything we have seen before. Even the bundled DualSense wireless controller with its haptic feedback adds to the whole immersive experience. Also, the PlayStation Store is now integrated into the console UI, and this new and revamped interface is pretty engrossing too.
3. Apple MacBook Pro/Max M1
If the regular M1 was a surprising feat from Apple, the M1 Pro and M1 Max come with an unprecedented amount of power within a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Besides this 10-core CPU, these machines boast mini-LED 120Hz adaptive refresh rate displays with a notch, up to 64GB of unified memory, faster memory bandwidth, up to 16 (Pro) or 32-core (Max) GPUs, a better thermal design, really long-lasting battery life, and more ports. The company also replaced the Touch Bar with a full-sized row of function keys.
4. ViewSonic XG270Q Elite Gaming Monitor
Elite XG270Q sport a 27-inch IPS LCD screen with a QHD resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 178-degree field of view. This is a 165Hz panel capable of keeping the response time to as low as 1ms (GtG). There is Nvidia G-Sync support as well. Among other things, the panel is also rocking 400 cd/m2 brightness, 16.7 million colors, 95% DCI-P3 color gamut, a 1000:1 contrast ratio, HDR400 support, and a blue light filter.
The display stands on a VESA mount that can be swiveled, tilted, or pivoted as well as adjusted for height. On top of this mount, you can also hang your headphones. Anyways, the monitor is also bringing connectivity stuff like a 3.5mm jack, 2 HDMI Type-A ports, and a USB Type-B port.
5. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MAX
Look-wise, this is a lot akin to other Fire TV Sticks. Even the user interface stays familiar. However, the remote you would use to interact with this UI comes with newer OTT hotkeys and a Bluetooth Voice control feature. Inside, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max (review) is housing an increased amount of memory (2GB of RAM), 8GB of storage, a 1.8GHz octa-core MediaTek processor that’s claimed to be about 40-percent faster than the Fire TV Stick 4K. Other goodies in the mix are WiFi 6, support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos.
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6. Dyson V11 Absolute Pro
Dyson is a brand synonymous with keeping our indoors fresh and clean. The all-new V11 Absolute Pro vacuum cleaner could be the best tool to tidy up your homes ahead of the festivities. The base machine looks like a gun out of a SciFi film. Anyways, the package comes with several attachments like the ‘Wand’ hose, Torque Drive, Soft Roller Cleaner, Mini Soft Dusting Brush, Mattress Tool, Crevice Tool, Combination Tool with a brush, Mini Motorised Tool, and Top-Up Adapter. These are simple to slot in and use. Even the battery is an easily swappable one making it cordless to move around the room/floor. The advertised runtime is 120mins (in Eco mode). Speaking of which, the thing can be operated in varied modes like Eco, Mid, and Boost and there are LED indicators for the same. The max suction it can do is at 185 Air Watts. The mechanical cleaner is armed with a Hyperdymium vacuum motor that rotates at up to 1,25,000 RPM and sucks in the dust, dirt, and other small particles into a transparent bin atop. You can see and clear the bin once a while and rest it would be ready to do its job upon a soft trigger.
7. Realme Book Slim
This was the year Realme entered the laptop category and what a way to do that. The Realme Book Slim as the name suggests is a thin and light notebook that packs a punch. It is a metallic machine with a 14-inch IPS screen. This is a 3:2 aspect ratio panel with 2K resolution, 100% sRGB color gamut, and 400 nits of peak brightness.
Inside, it is wielding the 11th gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor paired with Intel iRIS GPU, up to 8GB LPDDR4x RAM, and 512GB PCIe SSD storage. This combination of specs should suffice your everyday school, office work, and leisure with aplomb. The company claims the device can eke out up to 8.5 hours of battery life from a 54W cell. This can be topped up using the supplied 65W fast charger. The rest of the repertoire also consists of a Thunderbolt 4 socket, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, a USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and DTS-tuned Harmon/Kardon speakers.
8. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15
In my review of this monster, I called it A Real G from the ROG Brand of Gaming Laptops. That should tell you how good I felt about using the Zephyrus G15 (review). It is engined by an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU, and the graphics are rendered by an RTX 3060 GPU. Now this latter thing isn’t that powerful but proved to be a fine driver of several AAA titles in my experience. This is aided by 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB PCIe x4 M.2 NVME SSD storage. But all that performance metrics aside, what’s really impressive is the battery efficiency for a machine of this ilk. Then there is stuff like a 2K expansive display, decent speakers, clicky keys, a large touchpad, a separate FHD webcam, and the versatile port choice in its paraphernalia.
9. Xiaomi Mi TV 5X
This 4K TV brings a lot of value to the table including the 4K HDR visuals, HDMI 2.1 ports (with 4K60 output, ALLM, and eARC), a fairly loud 40W speaker setup, Patchwall software treats, a slim, sturdy, and attractive build. Coming back to that screen, it presents 10-bit color depth, 94% DCI-P3 color gamut, 178° of viewing angles, and support for HDR standards like Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+. For the price that it comes, the Xiaomi Mi TV 5X (review) is an easy recommend. Being an established brand, you get perks like a robust customer service network.
10. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
With the Galaxy Watch 4 (review), Samsung is rekindling the excitement of non-Apple users for this overhauled WearOS watch platform. Yes, the brand has shaken hands with Google for this brand new Tizen-Wear OS Unified Interface. This is said to deliver 30% faster load times, improved battery life, access to Play Store apps right from the watch, more tile customization options, better navigation, and improved features across popular apps. As for the ware, it has got a round dial with a touch-responsive bezel, super AMOLED display, fluoroelastomer made 20mm straps, sturdy but light armor aluminum chassis, IP68 ingress protection, pretty accurate health trackers for heart rate, body composition, SpO2, sleep, and stress. It is rated for 40 hours of battery endurance as well.
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That’s been our picks. If you have any favorite gadgets other than these, let us and other readers know down in the comments. Finally, we wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2022!