From wireless headphones to spiffy smartphones, there are some exciting new gadgets and tech products arriving in the Republic this holiday season. We’ve rounded up some of our most-anticipated that we can’t wait to get our hands on:
Garmin Virb Ultra 30
Can your action camera do this — prove how far, how fast and how high you went? The Virb Ultra 30 can. This waterproof Ultra HD action camera captures 4K/30fps video with GPS data overlays. It also features voice control, so you can tell the camera to start, stop and “remember that” – pretty neat. That means more hands-free selfies when you’re trying that death-defying skateboard trick on your mom’s patio and easier editing when the action’s all done. For adventures in wet conditions or snow, you’ll love its LCD touchscreen display and high-sensitivity microphone that even work through the waterproof case. Plus, you can live-stream your video adventures with friends online.
Electric skateboards are the new form of travel for inner-city and suburban-dwellers, and Houdt is introducing its very-own battery-powered board this season. Weighing just around the 7kg mark and measuring at 92cm, the Houdt Freeboard boasts speeds of up to 30kms/h, which is perfect – because you can cover around 30 kilometres on a sngle 4-hour charge. The Freeboard can also tackle inclines of 25% meaning a reasonable mountain pass shouldn’t be too challenging. The Freeboard is also available in two forms – Cruiser and Rider.
Price: TBA (Available December 2016)
Zowie, a brand dedicated to the development of professional eSports equipment, has entered the South African market, bringing some high-end peripherals for local gamers to enjoy. Zowie prides itself on its specialised mouses, and the new ZA11 provides a comfortable feel and high performance for both right-hand and left-hand users thanks to the palm support and fast response time. The ZA Series also comes in three different sizes, so you can find the exact mouse for your needs.
Samsung Gear Fit 2
Price: R3,999 RRP
For those looking to finally dive into the world of fitness trackers, Samsung’s Gear fit 2 looks to be a winner. The sleek and comfortable Gear Fit 2 advanced sports band includes an embedded GPS and a heart rate monitor that offers accurate and robust fitness tracking, while providing instant feedback on the user’s workout. What makes it stand out, though is that it features a standalone music player and options to check and respond to text messages and get training technique advice, while also being dust and water resistant.
Samsung Icon X headphones
Price: R3,499 RRP
Wireless bluetooth audio solutions are the new thing, and Samsung’s latest Icon X earbuds give you the ability to take your music on the road with you with nothing else. Why? Because the Icon X feature 4GB internal storage, in each ear, to fill up with your favourite tunes. Providing a lightweight, secure and comfortable fit with three different sizes of eartips and wingtips, Gear IconX earbuds are activated by simply placing them in your ears. They feature their own heart rate monitor, with voice guided fitness training and are also dust and water resistant.
DJI Mavic Pro drone
If you’re a drone-fanatic, this is the pinnacle of the current drone market. The new Mavic Pro is DJI’s most sophisticated flying camera ever created. At one-sixth the size of the DJI Phantom 4, there are no cutbacks. The Mavic Pro has a range of 7km and maintains the 4K Camera. It’s also the first drone that can be folded up to the size of a sub sandwich and can be easily stored in a backpack. An improved and simplified smartphone app means that drone flying is even more accessible, especially for new pilots.
Hisense Elegance E76 and Faith F31 smartphones
Price(s): Hisense Elegance E76 — R3,999 / Hisense Faith F31 — R2,999
Hisense has introduced two new smartphones into the SA market – namely, the Elegance and the Faith. Both devices have a sandblasted aluminium design to ensure that they are not only lightweight, but strong, and also both feature a biometric fingerprint recognition.
The Elegance is the larger of the two devices, boasting a 5.5-inch Full HD display that offers 400 pixels per inch (ppi). The Faith might be slightly smaller with its 5-inch screen, but still commands HD visuals and 294 ppi. Although different in size, the Elegance and Faith are quite similar in the specification department. Both models are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.4GHz Octa-core processor. The difference between the two, however, is that the larger Elegance has 3GB of RAM with 32GB of on-board storage, compared to the Faith’s 2GB and 16GB capacity. To cater to extra storage, both offer a microSD slot that can cater for up to 128GB of additional memory, while the slot also doubles as a second SIM (4G) slot.
Both models feature a 13MP camera on the back, as well as a 5MP front facing one for the avid selfie taker.
Alienware 15 gaming laptop
Price: TBA (Available February 2017)
Alienware has become the go-to brand for high-end gaming laptops, delivering the specs of a powerful gaming rig while still being portable and robust enough to take on the road, and the new mid-size Alienware 15 is no exception. With more power in a thinner frame, the Alienware 15 comes with the VR-ready Nvida GeForce GTX 1060, a 15.6-inch FHD, IPS anti-glare, 300-nits display, and a 68 watt-hour lithium ion battery to have the capabilities to deliver some serious gameplay sessions away from a plug.
Asus Transformer 3 Pro
If you’re in the market for the kind of hybrid the Asus Transformer 3 Pro represents, then you should have this one on your list. It offers a screen you won’t find elsewhere, pen support, solid specs and a Thunderbolt 3 port, all tucked inside a well made and good looking body, paired with a matching Keyboard Folio. Under the hood, the 6th-generation up to Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM let you blast through the toughest tasks, and the up to 1TB SSD gives you lightning-quick app load and boot times.
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