Our favorite gadgets of the year, as chosen by gadget geeks
This has been a great year for gadgets. New goods and technologies have made our lives so much easier. There are a lot of choices out there, whether you want to find the best home speaker to bring your favorite music into the living room or the latest smart home hub that connects everything in your house. We’ve tried out a lot of these gadgets ourselves, and some of them even made it into our homes. Here are the ones we liked best:
Samsung SmartThings Hub v3
The Samsung SmartThings Hub v3 is a great place to start if you want to bring your home into the future. It works with more than 1,000 smart gadgets, and you can use the app or your voice to control it. If you have an Amazon Echo device at home, you can even use it as an Alexa speaker.
The hub comes with two remotes that let you handle things like lights and thermostats without having to get off the couch or go downstairs, where your phone might be charging or missing. This is especially helpful in the winter, when turning on and off heaters can mean the difference between staying warm and dying before spring.
The best compact turntable we’ve ever used is the Sony PS-LX350. It is easy to set up, has a built-in phono preamp, can play 33, 45, and 78 rpm records, and can be linked to a computer via USB. The sound quality is great, but if you want to listen at home on your computer or laptop, you should use headphones or an external speaker. The speakers aren’t very good.
Scosche BoomBottle Speaker with Bluetooth
The Scosche BoomBottle Bluetooth radio is a portable radio you can use anywhere. It’s portable, runs on batteries, and is waterproof, so you can bring it with you wherever you go.
This little speaker doesn’t need to be charged because it has lithium-ion batteries built in that can play music for up to 12 hours at full volume or 30 hours at lower volumes. With Bluetooth technology, you can connect your phone or laptop and listen to music from any device that supports this feature. It also has an extra input jack for when you don’t have any devices with Bluetooth but still want to plug something in!
The sound quality is great for how small it is. There are two tweeters (small speakers) on each side of the unit, as well as two passive radiators inside that help project sound better than one big driver alone. This also helps give deeper bass tones when listening through headphones.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
The Galaxy S9 Plus has a 6.2-inch screen, a 12MP camera on the back, and an 8MP camera on the front. It comes in black, blue, and purple and has a 4,000mAh battery.
The phone also has Samsung’s voice helper, Bixby, which can do things like make calls or open apps when you say “Hi Bixby.” The phone has an Exynos 9810 Octa chip (2.8GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad) and runs on Android Oreo 8.0.
Sonos Sub and Sonos Beam Soundbar
The Sonos Beam is a soundbar with a subwoofer, so it’s great for people who want the benefits of surround sound but don’t have room for multiple speakers. The Beam comes in either black or white and has Dolby Atmos built in. It also comes with Alexa, so you can use your voice to control your TV, music, and smart home gadgets, or ask her questions.
Google Home Hub
This is the right smart display for you if you don’t want to spend too much money and don’t mind that it doesn’t have a camera.
It has all the same features as the other Google Home Hubs. For example, it can handle your smart home devices and answer questions about the weather or the news. It also has speakers built in, so you can listen to music without an extra speaker or headphones (though there are still some limits). The biggest difference between this device and the others on our list is that it costs about half as much as most of the other choices.
Sonos One is a smart speaker that works with Alexa.
The first speaker with Alexa built in is the Sonos One Smart Speaker. It works just like an Echo Dot and is compatible with Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more. You can use voice commands to play music or check the weather report. But don’t worry if you don’t want to listen to music through Alexa. You can still do that! With the Sonos app, you can handle all of your other Sonos speakers from one place, even if you’ve bought more since you bought this one.
What’s the best? It has built-in microphones that pick up commands from anywhere in the house, whether they come from upstairs or downstairs, so the sound quality is good even if there is no Internet link.
Logitech Crayon Wireless Presenter for iPad and iPhone (iPad Air and iPad Pro).
The Logitech Crayon Wireless Presenter is a great addition to your iPad or iPhone. It’s small enough to fit in your hand, but big enough that you can write on the screen without having to stretch your fingers or hand. The pen works well with both the iPad Air and the iPad Pro, so it’s a good choice whether you have an older or a newer iPad.
The battery lasts up to 16 hours between charges, so you don’t have to worry about having to stop what you’re doing because the battery ran out! The Crayon also comes with a charging cord, so even when its power goes out, it can still be used. This wireless presenter can also be used with Windows or Mac computers, Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, Chromebases (via USB dongle), and more!
These are the best things that came out in 2018.
These are the best things that came out in 2018.
We love finding new cool gadgets, so we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites from 2018 and 2019. This list should help you find something special for yourself or someone else, or if you just want to see what’s out there.
We hope you liked our list of the year’s best tools. As always, we can’t wait to see what comes next!