Go gadget shopping this summer!

gadget shopping

A year ago, they were double the price, and are now available for a steal!

DOOR LOCKS

Yale YDME 50 Digital

Rs 9475, Buy it on Amazon

Yale is just what the security professional ordered. This zinc alloy marvel in chrome finish relies on four AA batteries to secure your home and office. You can lock using RF card, pin code, or a mechanical key, in case of emergencies. This nifty device can also store and recognise data of 30 RF cards and 78 pin code users. If the lock runs out of juice, it will alert you with an alarm sound and LED lights. To ensure safety and convenience, the lever handle enables automatic locking from the inside. This is a must-buy for apartment dwellers. One note, though: The lock works for doors with thickness ranging from 35mm to 55mm.

STORAGE DRIVES

Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD

Rs 10,392, Buy it on Amazon

The latest and greatest from Samsung is this privacy-focussed 500GB portable solid state drive (SSD). Compared to the hard disk drive (HDD) that comes standard with every operating system, the SSD is claimed to be 9.6-times faster than HDD. This particular edition (MU-PC500K/WW) scores in its embedded fingerprint and password security feature (AES 256-bit encryption). You can safely move around with the T7 as it is also shock-resistant (no moving parts unlike HDD). Sporting the faster USB 3.2, the nifty tool can read up to 1050 mbps and write up to 1000 mbps. As 4K footage is increasingly being captured, the demand for memory and quick transfer has never been more acute. This palm-sized 56-gram beauty is perfect for content creators, photographers, gamers, and anyone who uses a PC or smartphone to do any memory-intensive work. No wonder, the T7 was an honoree at the CES 2020 Innovation Awards. If you feel 500GB is too less for your needs, you have the option of picking up a 1TB or 2TB variant. And if you own the T5, this is doubly faster as SATA has given way to the NVM Express technology found in midrange and high-end laptops. Time for an upgrade if you have the need for more speed. While the device (available in black and silver) is claimed to be safe from falls of up to six-feet, you get the additional three-year limited warranty to boot. The T7 works seamlessly with PC, Mac, Android devices, and gaming consoles. Now you know why Samsung is the world’s number one flash memory since 2003. Sweet, sweet innovation. Cloud drives can be unpredictable and unsafe. Stick with a physical drive any day.

IRON BOXES

Rossmann Handheld Portable Garment Steamer (1500 watts)

Rs 2,649, Buy it on Amazon here

Compact, portable, and the size of an iPad, the Rossmann is a great accessory to have on-the-go, and at home. Perfect for hang drying or flat ironing (horizontal), the device gets hot within 25 seconds, and switches off automatically if it’s too hot or the water level is abysmal to avoid accidents. With a 300-ml water tank (distilled or RO water only), you can remove wrinkles on your clothes that are just off the washing machine. Use the steamer on any fabric. For thick garments, the extra brush will do the deed. You get a glove for added safety. Iron away.

AIR PURIFIERS

Philips AC 1215/20 Portable Room Air Purifier

Rs 9799, Buy it on Amazon here

You might have forgotten air purifiers, but they actually work well during COVID-19. They are known to not only clean the air of allergens, dust, mold, and smoke, but also remove airborne viruses in tiny suspended droplets. Such purifiers are perfect to remove the COVID-19 viruses too as they tend to linger in the air for hours before they settle on surfaces. The device from the Netherlands goes a step further than the others by offering an additional HEPA layer to remove 99.97% PM 2.5 (particulate matter), H1N1 virus and ultrafine particles that can weaken your respiratory system. The four-stage filtration process removes house dust mites and pollen to prevent you from allergy attacks. The company also offers 2+3 years of extended warranty if you register your product online. With a capacity to purify up to 333 sq. ft of space, expect disinfection of a 200 sq. ft room in 12 minutes. The machine offers real-time monitoring of air quality through its color-coded circular ring that turns blue when all is fine, but switches to red if the interiors are heavily polluted. The lights are less intense and the sound is feeble enough for you to have a sound sleep. The gadget is also independently tested to be 100% ozone-free. With a child-lock functionality, you can also prevent any accidental setting changes. Importantly, this 6.68kg device switches to the night mode automatically in case you forget. Smart.

ROUTERS

TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 Router AX1800

Rs 6299, Buy it on Amazon here

With almost everyone working from home, there can be enough bandwidth congestion to ruin your day, particularly if your significant other is streaming 4K on Netflix, and your kid is on a video Zoom call with 50 of their classmates. This is where upgrading to a Wi-Fi 6 router should help and also future-proof you. It is 30–40 percent faster than Wi-Fi 5, because it is much akin to adding new lanes to decongest Internet traffic. To make the most of these routers, you also need to have Wi-Fi 6 compatible laptops and smartphones. iPhone 11 is Wi-Fi 6 compatible, and so are all the 10th generation Intel core processors. Therefore, this dual-band router will max out at 1201 Mbps on 5 GHz band (802.11ax) and 574 Mbps (802.11ax) on 2.4 Ghz. No more buffering while gaming, downloading or streaming as you can get Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1.8 Gbps. Welcome to the gigabit club.

SMART DISPLAYS

Echo Show 5

Rs 4,999, Buy it on Amazon here

Imagine a 5.5-inch monitor that sits on your tabletop or kitchen counter, and takes orders. That’s the Echo Show 5 for you, weighing all of 410 grams. The magic word is ‘Alexa’, and the rest of your words will be heard and immediately actioned. You can ask the device to play your favourite songs or movies from a streaming service, or ask to see the feed from the Wi-Fi cameras monitoring your kids room. It’s a smart display with a camera that allows you make video calls to people who also have the Alexa app or Skype installed on their devices. If your home is host to other smart devices, you can also control the geysers, AC or bulbs in your house through the Echo Show 5. This voice-enabled device makes your entire day ultra convenient. You can wake up and ask Alexa to read the day’s top headlines or play your favourite song, or remind you of your day’s ‘to-do’ list. It will be the Jeeves you were looking for but didn’t know where to find. Fret no more. Now you can dim the lights, pay your utility bills through Amazon Pay, check in on your aged parents or young kids (through smart cameras), or switch on the geyser or AC with just your voice. Don’t worry about privacy either. You can disable the camera (1MP) and microphone when you are not using it; the camera shutter can physically cover the lens too. If you prefer a larger screen real estate, you can go for an 8-inch (Rs 9,999) or a 10.1-inch Echo Show (Rs 16,999). The future is now, where are you?

TELEVISIONS

Sony Bravia 65X8000H

Rs 1,19,990, Buy it on Amazon here

In the era of COVID-19, there is nothing quite like some good old couch potato pastime: television watching. Sony’s Japanese technology of superior High Definition Range (HDR) visual reproduction makes the pictures more vivid and rich in detail. Thanks to its ultra-new 4K X1 processor, you get to see life-like colour and contrast with a picture quality that is two-times better than the full HD televisions ruling the marquee. Even better is the Bravia’s ability to upscale 2k videos to 4k with its X-Reality Pro technology. This 65-incher 4K HDR TV boasts of Dolby Vision for cinematic imageries, with a screen refresh rate of 50hz that is perfect for general viewing and low on energy consumption. Besides, the Bravia has four HDMI ports, two USB slots, and 20-watt speakers with Dolby Atmos. The TV is available in lower and higher screen sizes… take your pick.

ACTION CAMERAS

GoPro Hero8 Black

₹ 30,100, Buy it on Amazon here

GoPro is making videography more immersive, so you can come back to treasure your visits to beachfronts, road trips, and other sojourns. Selfies are best taken with this 12MP action camera. Just use your voice to turn on the camera or start recording. You can go down 33 feet, and still come back with a rugged camera that knows how to survive it in the rough. Forget 1080p, 1440p, and start recording in 2.7K and 4K. Not just HDR but also night lapse videos. The LiveBurst features helps you capture the perfect image from the 90 visuals you’ve taken. The hyper smooth functionality of this gadget is game-changing — it levels the horizon within the app. You can even choose the kind of images you need as there are four lenses helping to capture the most optimal view: narrow, super view, linear or wide. The biggest advantage of a GoPro device is its modular design that allows you to attach extra lights, mics, and so on. After capturing everything for posterity on its 32GB memory, you can use the GoPro app to edit and share on social media. If you are looking for hyper smooth image, video, and sound quality, Hero8 is at your service.

E-READERS

Amazon Kindle Oasis

₹ 21,999, Buy it on Amazon here

Oasis is the only waterproof e-reader in the market that oozes class. On a seven-inch screen, you get to read 30 percent more stuff than the average six-screen readers. With 300 pixels per inch, the dark text mimics the inky clarity of a paperback. Ultrathin at 3.4mm, the aluminum back and lightweight avatar is available in 8GB (Rs 21,999) and 32GB (Rs 24,999). You can read eight-times more books from its previous generation, giving you more reason to treasure this lifelong companion. You can either press the buttons to turn the page or just touch the screen. Importantly, you don’t have to keep toggling the brightness setting, as its adaptive front light will do it for you. The more expensive model also comes with free 3G for automatic firmware updates wherever you are. Choose from innumerable fonts to customise your reading experience; Bookerly is my favourite. The biggest benefit of a Kindle is that you are insulated from social media. What’s even better? You can read an eBook in the bathtub or a swimming pool as Oasis is soggy-proof. Immerse yourself to beat COVID-19!

GAMING CONSOLES

PS4 Pro 1TB

₹ 29,990, Buy it on Amazon here

4K-TV is the future, and the future is now with PS4 Pro. Enter the world of Avatar and enjoy super-clear visuals and jaw-dropping immersive experiences on your 4K TV. The best games that will make this scenario come alive on PS4’s 1TB machine include Spider-man, GT Sport and Ratchet & Clank. If you are a video game nerd, Play Station brings surreal images to life with HDR technology that generates vibrancy you’ve never seen before in video games. When you are done with gaming, you can stream 4K videos, movies and TV shows as your PS4 doubles as a streaming device. If you have non-4K games, the gadget ramps up the resolution to near-4K. Some PS4 Pro enhanced games include Resident Evil 2, Assassins Creed: Odyssey, Kingdom Hearts 3, and Spider-Man. Game on.

SMARTBULBS

Philips Hue

Rs 2,649 onwards, Buy it on Amazon here

Among all the smart bulbs, Philips has the costliest of them, but not without reason. They have the widest range to suit the most finicky amongst us. For the strictly illumination-seeking user, they have white and white ambiance bulbs whose brightness, from warm to cool, can be controlled by Philips’ phone app. Having a life of 25,000 hours, this 10-watt LED bulb has the brightness equivalent to a traditional 60-watt light. If you are adventurous, the white and color ambiance can help you experience 16 million colors to suit your many moods. Philips Hue transforms the indoors and your frame of mind. Perfect to combat the ‘stay safe stay indoors’ mantra of corona times.

MUSIC SMARTWATCHES

Garmin Forerunner 245

Rs 28,990, Buy it on Amazon here

If your workouts are not complete without music, this musical smartwatch is just right for you, as it syncs with music-streaming services like Spotify, Gaana, and Amazon Music, to play your favourite songs. It can even store 500 songs on its hard disk for offline listening as well. Made of rubber, it might appear cheap but the reason is to make it lighter and easy to wear. No wonder, this fitness watch has stood the test of time in its every iteration. With fibre-reinforced material in its bezels, it offers free fitness sessions and acts as your personal coach through the Garmin Connect phone app. You can create workouts galore, and the smartwatch will assess your training to check if you are under-training or going overboard. If you are worried about safety, the smartwatch sends your coordinates to your emergency contacts in case of an accident or injury while running or jogging. This gadget is perfect if you are preparing for a marathon as its coach training plans will fill the gap of a teacher. With metrics like cadence, ground contact time, and stride length, you will understand your running dynamics as you get more comfortable with your forerunner. The smartwatch is waterproof by up to 50 meters, which means you can take it to a swimming pool, but not on deep diving expeditions. The minus point? The smartwatch can only last for a day with GPS, and up to a week without it.

GPS KEY/PHONE FINDERS

Tile Mate

Rs 3299, Buy it on Amazon here

Here is a tracker that alerts you if the luggage, key, or phone is beyond the perimeter set by you. And you can set the perimeter by up to 200 feet. Half the size of a credit card, the Tile Mate is a Bluetooth finder you cannot do without. Store it in your keychain or attach it to your luggage, and trace your belongings with its phone app. Or if you lose your phone instead, double press the Tile Mat to let your phone ring, even if it’s in silent mode. Weighing under 5 grams, it’s powered by one lithium battery that lasts a year. The only minus point is the additional expense of a subscription if you want the tracker to alert you if the object moves way from its Bluetooth range. If the tile has gone beyond its boundary, you can see its last recorded location on a map before it went out of range.

THERMOMETERS

Dr Trust Forehead Ear Infrared Thermometer

Rs 1,999, Buy it on Amazon here

With Corona grabbing the headlines every minute, here is a gadget that will measure your temperature in a second. Yes, it’s fast. Just swipe the probe across your forehead or insert it into the ear canal, and you can read the level of the mercury in a jiffy. In ‘baby mode’, it’s perfect for a sleeping toddler you don’t want to disturb. The best part is that you don’t have to insert the probe into your mouth or uncomfortably place it under your armpit for over a minute and wait for the beep. No such waiting game anymore as the results are now laser-sharp and instant. With a large LCD screen and backlight to assist you in the dark, this sensor can store 35 records and is just the Jeeves you need to keep the lingering doubts of Covid away. If the device shows that you have fever, and you also suffer from dry cough and breathlessness, it’s time to call the 24/7 helpline at 011–23978046 for the next steps.

SAFES

AmazonBasics Portable Security Safe Box with Combination Lock

Rs 1,999, Buy it on Amazon here

With this nifty device, you don’t have to worry about the lightning-quick thieves who snatch your valuables at traffic signals or distract you and make away with your laptop, jewellery and cash. This safe box is heavy at 1.36 kilos and tied to your chair. The zinc alloy combination lock is providing the additional protection you need. It is a rectangular suitcase that can guard your jewellery, cash, and important documents. With a rugged steel shell, it’s pry-proof against an opportunistic thief. With a 1700-pound steel cable, the case cannot be stolen without a wire cutter. Perfect for those long road trips where you don’t have to worry about your valuables, as you can rest your case under the seat and secure it with the cable. This can also snugly occupy the confines of your home, office or luggage. If you are looking for a compact safe, this is right up your alley.

SMARTPHONE PRINTERS

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3

Rs 12,830, Buy it on Amazon here

The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 takes only ten seconds to print a photo from your smartphone/Instagram/Facebook accounts with the Share app through Wi-Fi. Pick between black and white, and revel in 320 DPI goodness, perfect for portraits and capturing details. The auto filter will ensure a Photoshop-worthy experience. Complementing this is a suite of templates for every occasion. For example, the ‘real time template’ offers you unique pictures as it prints the name, place, date, temperature, and humidity. As you cannot replicate this template, the picture that you print through this will remain the only one on the planet. Perfect way of gifting ‘exclusive’ memories to friends and relatives.

(Originally published in Provoke magazine)

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