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The top 30 gadgets of 2016 – The Guardian


This first person-view drone can bank, twist and zoom through the heavens at nearly 50mph. Probably as close as you can get to flying without leaving the ground.

In a noisy market this speaker from the British hi-fi manufacturer cemented their reputation for beautifully constructed, connected speakers that produce a rich, authentic sound.

Aside from the vast, bright 5.5in screen, this device’s advantage over a regular iPhone 7 is the two lenses on its main camera, which enable professional-looking “bokeh” depth-of-field effects. No headphone jack but it is waterproof – which should avoid some insurance claims.

The Rega Planar 3 turntable.

The Rega Planar 3 turntable. Photograph: Rega

All the best people listen to their music on vinyl these days and the finest sound is delivered by this latest update of the award-winning UK-made turntable. Sounds and looks beautiful.

Cable-free vacuuming is less of a chore and this nifty Dyson combines the brand’s illustrious suction performance with a power pack that allows 40 minutes of cleaning on one charge – which should be sufficient for most residences.

After all the hype about virtual reality, Sony came out victorious by producing a headset at a lower price than their rivals that built on their powerful PlayStation gaming platform. “This genuinely feels like the future has come early,” said the Guardian.

A miniaturised version of the 1983 Nintendo Entertainment System featuring a greatest hits of retro fun from Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong to Ice Climber and Metroid. Described by the Guardian as “a visual celebration of console gaming’s birth, its past, its beautiful innocence”.

Cervelo P5X

The Cervélo P5X

A bike aimed at long-distance (and rich) triathletes. For the car-sized price tag you get wireless gears, the latest in aerodynamic design and even built-in storage for snacks. Stop sniggering, it’s the shape of bikes to come.

These unsealed headphones allow you to hear some background noise without sacrificing too much sound quality compared with sealed models on the market. Updated this year with new gym kit-complementing colours.

The Silicon Valley conglomerate’s first own-brand smartphone is a high spec (and price) competitor to the iPhone, featuring a fantastic camera, snappy performance and up-to-the-upgrade Android software.

The Amazon Echo.

The Amazon Echo.

Some might think it sounds creepy having Jeff Bezos’s bots listening in on your domestic life, yet millions of happy Echo owners have quickly become hooked on the metal cylinder that can make their wildest dreams of takeaway meals and never running low on washing powder a reality.

Tired of viewing films on your tablet or smartphone but not ready for the commitment and bulk of television? This tiny device, capable of projecting a 120in image on to a patch of white wall, could be the answer.

A bright screen, hardy aluminium casing, a snappy processor and a long-lasting battery make this tablet the winner in a crowded market. You can also add a magnetic keyboard to transform it into an Android-powered laptop.

Fancy yourself as a digital DJ? This competitively priced slab of tricks includes many of the features of pro-level decks, including powerful software such as Rekordbox. Compatible with PC, Mac, tablet and smartphone.

An elegant looking easel stand-mounted 4K TV that comes complete with it’s own soundbar and all the smart TV capabilities you’d expect. Delivering fantastic image quality, it even looks good switched off.

The Garmin Forerunner 35

The Garmin Forerunner 35

Lacks some of the frills of pricier running watches but it does include GPS tracking and a heart rate monitor – wear it all day long and it will also track your steps, resting heart rate and sleep.

A fantastic entry point into the world of 3D fabrication. Compared with its rivals the Mini 2 is simple to set up, produces finely detailed prints and looks pretty good when not in use.

This unassuming plastic ball of electronics is a great introduction to the world of coding – via a smartphone app it can be programmed to whiz around and interact with its environment in a multitude of different ways.

The Bose QC35 headphones

Best in the business: the Bose QC35 headphones Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose for the Observer

Bose is generally acknowledged to have the best noise-cancelling technology available and these combine that knowhow with Bluetooth and NFC connectivity for cable-free listening – plus fantastic sound of course. As the Guardian said, “They’re brilliant”.

A colourful waterproof speaker for the beach or hot tub that connects via Bluetooth to stream your favourite poolside tunes. Just over five inches wide, it has a built-in strap to hang it in the shower.

Wall-mounted flatscreen televisions tend to have tiny, tinny sounding speakers so a soundbar or soundbase will transform your viewing experience. This discreet number from Philips comes with a matching subwoofer that you can hide under your sofa.

The standout feature of this machine is the tiny bezel surrounding the screen, allowing the body to be smaller than you’d expect with a 13in screen. It comes with Intel’s latest snappy Core i5 processor and all the ports you need.

Mirrorless cameras are gradually supplanting chunkier digital SLRs as the first choice for serious photographers. This latest retro-looking model from Fuji is packed full of far-from-retro features. “Revolutionary” and a “dream camera” according to Amateur Photographer.

The bargain in the Kindle range, updated in 2016 with Bluetooth audio accessibility, and a slightly lighter, thinner casing. Other Kindles are fancier but the software and the library of titles to choose from is identical across the range.

The Moto G series has a well-deserved reputation for value and performance, and the new model’s price drop means you get even more bang for your buck: a 13Mp camera, a bright 5.5in display, dual sim capability and a MicroSD slot.

Withings Thermo

The Withings Thermo.

Measures your temperature when held near or on the arteries on your forehead. Great for children who don’t like having their temperature taken, the results for each family member are stored on a smartphone app.

The latest iteration of this ground-breaking hybrid car is bigger, quieter, with a more efficient engine and a hybrid system that boasts fuel consumption of 94mpg.

Not as slick and desirable as an iPad, and you need to be an Amazon Prime member to get the most from it, but for £90 there’s little to complain about.

No job is safe, with even the humble window cleaner facing redundancy from this automatic glazing cleanser. It coats the window pane with a proprietary cleaning liquid, which it then vacuums off leaving your glass shiny as new.

The GoPro Hero5.

Small and perfectly formed: the GoPro Hero5. Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose for the Observer

Pricier than the competition, but the newest GoPro delivers the best image quality around, including 4K video. It’s waterproof to 10 metres without a separate housing and even responds to voice commands.

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