Apple recently unveiled three new phones: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.
- The iPhone 8 64 GB is $1079 AUD. The 256 GB is $1329 AUD.
- The iPhone 8 Plus 64 GB is $1229 AUD. The 256 GB is $1479 AUD.
- The iPhone X 64 GB is $1579 AUD. The 256 GB is $1829 AUD.
There isn’t a big difference in price between the 8 and the 8 Plus and between the 8 Plus and X. That’s deliberate and designed to compel you to spend just a few hundred dollars more for a better smartphone. Still, $1829 AUD is a lot of money for a phone. Maybe you’re a hardcore Apple fan and you’ll upgrade because you like to have the latest iPhone, but if you’re interested in exploring other tech, $1829 can buy you quite a few toys. Here are other cool gadgets could you buy instead of an iPhone X.
DJI Mavic Pro, $1700
This drone can reach up to 65 km/h, has a 12 MP camera, 4K video resolution, and 47-minute flight time. Before you take to the skies, be sure to check out Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules for flying drones. Also, if you’re buying your first drone, you might want to go for something cheaper. New users often crash their first drone.
Once upon a time, 3D printers were big, loud, clumsy machines that were unknown to most people. While the 3D printer isn’t exactly a common household product, it has become affordable. If you’re a creative or just someone who likes to experiment with new technologies, you’ll find a range of styles and budgets. The FlashForge Creator Pro 2017 is a mid-range model. You can find cheaper and more expensive models.
HTC VIVE, $1100
The HTC Vive is one the best first-generation virtual reality headsets in the world right now. Keep in mind that you’ll need a computer with the recommended specs that include high-end graphics processing.
Records have made a comeback. This is a cool upgrade for vinyl-lovers.
The Chromebook is basically Google Chrome built as hardware. It’s simple, lightweight, and very secure. It can’t perform all the tasks a laptop can so it’s not for everyone. You can’t install desktop software such as Photoshop or PC games. Because it’s designed for web-based services, it has very little storage and so you won’t be able to store your movie or music collection. But if all you do is check email, browse the web, and spend time on Facebook and Netflix, it’s a good choice. There are several Chromebook options, but the ASUS Flip C302 is one of the best of 2017.
Mayku FormBox, $650
The FormBox is a tabletop device that allows you to create your own moulds. You can make them out of wax, plaster, plastics, silicone, concrete, clay, and even chocolate. Once you’ve got your mould, fill it with whatever you want to create your product. This seems like a super cool gadget for creatives. It won’t be available until March 2018, but you can pre-order it. It is a U.S.-based product and they will ship it worldwide.
Nintendo Switch, $500
The Switch is a genius gaming device. Hook up the console to your TV, prop up the stand attached to the console for tabletop gaming, or pick it up and take it with you.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 is a top-of-the-line headset offering active noise-cancelling and wireless Bluetooth operation. It has an integrated rechargeable battery rated at 20 hours, but also works in wired mode and includes a cord.
Imagine being able to turn down the volume of a wailing baby or turn up your friend’s voice in a crowded bar. That’s what Here One promises to do in addition to providing premium audio and noise cancellation.
If you want something more on trend than Bose, check out Beats by Dre. Although the new Studio3 Wireless looks like its predecessor on the outside, it has received internal upgrades. The battery life is rated at 22 hours – 40 if you turn off the noise cancelling, which has been updated along with the sound quality.
Voice control system, $350
Control the smart devices in your home with voice commands. With a voice control system, you can adjust your lighting, music, television, home alarms, and more. Besides home automation, smart units can tell you the weather, call your Uber, answer questions, and provide assistance. The dominant players in the market are Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit.
Amazon offers various products, most notably Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot. These range in prices. Although Amazon doesn’t ship these products to Australia, you can still obtain them using a third-party shipping service or a friend in the U.S. that’s willing to post it to you.
Google Home is built around Google Assistant, the company’s voice recognition and response intelligence. Google Home has Google App functionality including Calendar, Maps and Chromecast, which makes it pretty powerful. Google Home is about $200 AUD and can be purchased on the Google Store online as well as JB Hi-Fi.
Apple’s HomeKit uses Siri. The nice thing about it is that you don’t need to buy an extra device. You can control HomeKit-enabled smart accessories through the Home app. It provides a seamless experience with your other Apple devices so you can control your automated devices using your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. Siri isn’t as good as Google Assistant. Therefore, Apple’s HomeKit isn’t as good, but it may be good enough for some people especially consumers who already live in Apple’s ecosystem and want to stay there.
Philips Hue, $300
Philips Hue is a smart wireless lighting system. The Hue White and color ambiance Starter kit E27 shown above lets you create “16 million colors” to change the look and create the ambience you want. You can sync the lights with music and movies, adjust it to your gaming experience, adjust it for sunrise and sunset, and set timers, notifications, and alarms. Control it all from your smartphone or tablet via the Philips Hue app. Philips Hue also works with Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit and Google Home. You can pick it up at Harvey Norman.
Weighing in at a hefty 979 grams and measuring 100 x 100 x 115mm, you might not think it’s so portable, but this power bank has a whopping 41,600 mAh capacity and six USB ports. It’s a powerful option for charging multiple smartphones and tablets. It can be hard to find in Australia but check eBay. If you’ve got a contact in the U.S. willing to post it, you can order it on Amazon.
Snapchat Spectacles, $130
If you love Snapchat, you might want to check these out. They do one thing: record video for Snapchat. Originally you could only buy them from a Snapchat Snapbot vending machine or from the dedicated pop-up store in New York, but they are now available online. They come in coral, black, and teal.
There you have it, a few cool gadgets you could buy with $1829 instead of an iPhone X. Will you be upgrading your mobile phone or getting a new gadget this year?