Looking back at 2017, we rounded up the favourite gear that the Gadgets 360 team bought over the year, with phones, game consoles, and some offbeat items as well. Here's a look at everyone's favourite gadgets from 2017.
Abhinav Lal: OnePlus Bullets (V2)
Of my few tech purchases this year, the OnePlus Bullets (V2) earphones stand out. The earphones thus far have served me well, offering balanced sound, a comfortable fit with plenty of different sized earbuds to choose from, pretty decent hands-free reception, and solid build quality across the board. They look quite good too.
Aditya Shenoy: MacBook Air
After patiently waiting for sales on e-commerce sites, I managed to pick up the one gadget that I have been waiting for: the MacBook Air. I wanted one since I started working but the price always put me off. I managed to buy the updated MacBook Air on PayTM for Rs. 44,250 after all the cashback and discounts. At that price, the MacBook Air was a no brainer.
After using the laptop for close to 3 months, I can say that it is probably the best purchase I made this year. It is lightweight and is easy to carry during my commute to office. The processor is powerful, 8GB of RAM helps me multitask easily, and the battery life is simply impressive.
Akhil Arora: Nintendo Switch
Of all the purchases I made this year, the red-and-blue Nintendo Switch has been my favourite. I can’t imagine why anyone would opt for the dour, colourless grey Joy-Con scheme. For someone who spends two to three hours on the road the days I commute, it’s been worth it simply for that time. Instead of spending it reading (mind-numbing and frustrating) news on my phone, I’ve invested that time in games that make me smile, laugh, or cry.
The Switch is perfect for on-the-go entertainment, not just because it has been the source of some of the best games this year in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8, and Mario + Rabbids, but also because you can pause at any moment, unlike TV shows and movies, which I’ve never been too fond of viewing on small screens anyway. It has its flaws, as the battery life and internal storage aren’t great, but that’s fine. It’s turned my most useless hours into the most fun.
Aman Rashid: Beats X
2017 has been the year of the death of the headphone jack. Almost every other top tier phone manufacturer doesn't have a headphone jack on their flagship device. And that brings me to my best tech purchase this year: the blue Beats X. Initially I used to think that the transition will be difficult, but I'm glad I went the wireless route. The audio quality is great, the fit is comfortable and it charges from 0-100 percent in like 20-25 minutes.
And on top of that, I'm able to squeeze out two days of use from them on a single charge. Though it's true that wireless earphones have their own set of disadvantages and on top of that to get a decent pair of them will cost you around Rs. 10,000 - 12,000. But if the price is not an issue then I can surely say the Beats X won't disappoint.
Ankit Chawla: Mi Air Purifier 2
I live in New Delhi and we have been plagued with the world's worst pollution for the past few years. After reading up on the benefits, I picked up a couple of units of the Mi Air Purifier 2 for me and the folks.
There are better air purifiers in the market but this one hits the sweet spot with the price and its minimal UI. Setting it up is super easy and everyone at home is now hooked onto the Mi Home app, tracking PM2.5 levels all day. And, yes, we had a safe Diwali this time around.
Gagan Gupta: Amazon Echo
It's a tough year to single out a single tech purchase that has been a game changer for me, since there were just so many of them. But gun to my head, I would pick the Amazon Echo. I was a bit concerned when I picked it up at launch, and I did have some trouble with the app initially, but now it's a very crucial part of my bedroom. It reads out the news to me when I'm up, it plays 'morning music' when I'm getting ready for work, and it even keeps my kid entertained without having her to look at a screen for extended durations. Though I don't use it as often as I would like, it rarely disappoints when I ask it to do something. It has inspired me to make my home 'smart' with the Echo speaker as the main control point.
Gopal Sathe: Nintendo Switch
After a lot of hemming and hawing, I bought a Nintendo Switch this year. Nintendo’s newest console reminds me a lot of my favourite console ever, the PS Vita, but with the added advantage of letting me plug it into the TV and game on the big screen without buying anything extra. The ability to start playing from your couch, and then just pick up the Switch and keep going is amazing, and makes even a (nearly) seven-year-old game like Skyrim shine again.
Jagmeet Singh: Apple Watch Series 2
While Apple launched the anticipated Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE support earlier this year, I bought the Apple Watch Series 2 as the new gadget in my bouquet a few months back. I didn't find it worthwhile to spend more on the Series 3 as its standalone voice calling feature is not yet available in India. Moreover, I can get all great features of the latest Apple Watch version right on my wrist - even at a lower price.
The Apple Watch Series 2 has a water-resistant build that makes it a perfect wearable for daily use. Also, there is a built-in GPS antenna that provides me with accurate distance and speed measurements. I'm not a fitness geek, though. There is a large number of watchfaces, and I own various wristbands and cases to personalise my Apple Watch. The best thing about the Apple Watch is its seamless connectivity with an iPhone. This is something that convinces me to pick my Apple Watch each day I leave my home. The Watch offers me real-time notifications as well as allows me to attend voice calls or reply to new messages or emails without bringing out my iPhone.
Jamshed Avari: iPhone SE 64GB
People are often surprised to hear that I don’t buy every single top-end phone that comes out. The truth is that while I do love using the latest and greatest devices, I have a mental block when it comes to spending so much money. This year, I picked up a iPhone SE 64GB online at a great price right around the time that it was being phased out, which means it was already a year old. I think it offers tremendous value, with pretty much the same hardware as the iPhone 6s.
It’s going to receive iOS updates for quite a few years and the processor handles all my dozens of apps without any hiccups. It takes great pictures, though this is admittedly one area in which it lags behind more up-to-date models. Apple finally got its entry-level pricing and storage capacity strategies right, and I wholeheartedly recommend the current 32GB and 128GB models every time they’re discounted online.
Naina Gupta: LG Q6+
This year, I decided to change my smartphone that had already started to look old and dated. After going over the endless smartphone options satisfactorily, my eyes stopped on LG Q6+, which was launched this year. The LG Q6+ packs a FullVision display that has an 18:9 display aspect ratio. I am more of a person who loves binge-watching shows on my phone and this year's hotly adapted trend of larger-than-usual mobile displays came as a delight with Q6+.
Other that this, I love clicking photographs on my phone as the camera is good enough for novice photography (I'm not a good photographer). The only thing that concerns me is the battery life, but this doesn't stop me from loving this phone.
Pranay Parab: Apple AirPods
I bought the Apple AirPods in 2017, thanks to a sale that brought its price down to Rs. 9,000. Initially I was too scared to use it while running (“What if it falls?”, “It’s not waterproof, will sweat damage AirPods?”) but since when did that stop a Gadgets 360 staff member from taking a chance? That is how AirPods became my favourite headphones for listening to music while running. Now I sync music to my Apple Watch Series 2 and go for a run without my iPhone. Yes, that means I’m out of touch with people when I’m out running but it’s good to be offline once in a while. From short 5km tempo runs to half marathons, I’ve run all distances with the AirPods and faced no issues. That’s why AirPods are my favourite purchase of 2017.
Ravi Sharma: iPhone 7
Having been in the Android camp since I purchased the Moto Defy in 2010, I finally decided to move over to the iPhone side this year. Though not a fan of a closed ecosystem and not much impressed with iOS on my iPad, I still decided to go with iPhone 7 because I was tired of replacing Android phones once a year.
iOS on the iPhone 7 offered more features than I expected it to, and several synergies with the iPad that made working on two devices very cohesive. The iPhone 7 experience has been good enough so far to make it my favourite purchase of the year, ahead of the Amazon Echo Dot.
Rishi Alwani: Xbox One X
Last year I singled out what was known as Project Scorpio - Microsoft’s answer to the PS4 Pro - as 2017’s hottest piece of tech. Now known as the Xbox One X, it’s delivered on most of Microsoft’s promises. From cutting-edge visual fidelity in current titles like Halo 5 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, to the ability to play games from the original Xbox that released back in 2001 like Crimson Skies and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, it’s my favourite tech purchase of 2017.
The Xbox One X has more or less replaced everything else that I usually game on when I’m at home. All that’s left is Microsoft India to realise that there’s real demand for iterative consoles (if sales of the PS4 Pro here are any indication) and release it here officially. Something for 2018 perhaps?
Roydon Cerejo: Sony MDR-1000X
Call it a weird coincidence but like last year, my best tech purchase this year has also been a pair of headphones. This time, it’s the mighty Sony MDR-1000X noise cancelling cans. I’ve been itching to get my hands on either the Bose QC35 or the MDR-1000X for a while now, but when I found the Sonys for $299 (roughly Rs. 20,000), it was simply too good a deal to pass up. Other reasons for leaning towards the Sony more intuitive controls (touch-based) and the high resolution codec support (LDAC) for music. It’s only been about two months since I got it but so far, it’s been absolutely fantastic.
Sandeep Kumar Sinha: Vu 39-inch Smart TV
After surveying the market, I found the Vu 39-inch Full-HD Smart TV as the best bet for my living room. The TV has a bunch of web services, including Netflix and YouTube among others, that mainly inclined my buying decision. And once I installed it in my room, I observed that apart from these integrated services, there are many good features that makes the Vu TV a compelling option. The A+ Grade IPS panel produces decent colours. The TV also has three HDMI ports and two USB ports that are enough to connect the screen with other devices. Further, the stereo speakers on the TV produce decent audio across my room.
The most attractive point of the Vu TV however is its affordable price, which is significantly lower than the likes of LG, Samsung, and Sony.
Shubham Verma: Amazon Echo
When Amazon announced that its Echo smart speaker range is hitting Indian marketplaces, I was completely convinced to get myself a unit out of the first batch of Amazon Echo. I got my Amazon Echo speaker in the beginning of November and have been using it sparingly. The personal digital assistants such as Google Assistant, Cortana, and Siri are already available in India where Google’s Assistant enjoys an upper hand, solely because Google and its services are driven heavily by the behaviour and usage patterns of Indian users. Having tried all of them, it was time to unbox the newcomer (to India), Alexa.
Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant, has been adapted to suit to multiple Indian accents for English, along with integration with Bollywood, English, and other Indian regional music. Alexa’s promptness to listen to my voice, even from a reasonable distance, is quite admirable. Talking about the speaker itself, Amazon Echo is pretty decent at filling a particular space in your house with loud, clear, and distinctive sound.
Yousuf Jawed: Apple Music
2017 has been more about app purchases and subscriptions for me. The one app to which I am consistently subscribed to is Apple Music. I used Airtel Wynk and Play Music, but Apple Music is the app which I like, for many reasons.
It has a nice UI, I can also see what my friends are listening to, and it help me to share their music taste and vice-versa. The music recommendations made by the app serve me well and are quite useful most of the time. It’s been six months since I got it, and I’ve no plans to change in 2018.