Top 20 gadgets of 2013

July 29, 2015

NEW DELHI: The year 2013 witnessed a slew of gadget launches. While some were better versions of existing gadgets, many showcased innovations and new possibilities. Here’s our pick of twenty best gadgets of the year 2013.

Apple iPhone 5S In 2013 Apple launched iPhone 5S, which the company calls its most forward thinking phone. One of the first phones to be powered by a 64-bit processor, the iPhone 5S comes with a major performance boost, an improved camera, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor for authentication and better battery life. It also comes in a brand new Gold colour variant.

Apple iPad mini with Retina display
The first iteration of Apple’s compact 7.9inch tablet had everything a best-seller could offer barring a low-resolution display. The year 2013 saw the Cupertino giant close the gap by bringing its Retina display (2048 x 1536 pixels) to the second-generation iPad mini, and give it brand new internals. The iPad mini with Retina display is powered by the same 64-bit A7 chip that drives the iPhone 5S. It still retains the premium aluminium chasis.

At a time when most flagship Android smartphones offered flimsy plastic bodies, the HTC One emerged as the answer to the iPhone with its solid aluminium frame and chamfered edges. Its dual front stereo speakers and the first ultrapixel camera lens was among the phone’s major USPs, along with Blinkfeed that brought news and socialmedia feeds to the home screen.

Motorola Moto X Motorola made a big comeback with the Moto X, the made in America, for America phone, that shifted the focus from the specs-war to usability. With Google also involved in the development of the phone, it is the first one to offer touch-less control via the ‘Okay, Google Now’ voice commands. It also offers an Active Display offering information on the screen while the screen is off, making use of the AMOLED panel, and customizable back shells.

Apple iPad Air The world’s best-selling tablet got slimmer and lighter, with a fresh new design in line with its younger sibling, the iPad mini. It was hard to believe how Apple managed to fit a 9.7 inch into a super thin frame and even retain the same, stellar battery backup. With the 64-bit A7 chip and M7 coprocessor, the iPad Air is a beast when it comes to performance.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tablet features an 8.9-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels resolution and pixel density of 339ppi leaving behind the iPad Air. Under the hood, the tablet is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, and runs the new Fire OS 3.0 which is based on Android Jelly Bean. It also comes with Mayday, a unique button that offers a 24×7 connection to Amazon’s customer support.

LG G Flex The LG G Flex is one of the first curved display smartphones featuring a 6-inch display that curves from the top to bottom, making it easier to hold. The phone also sports a self-healing rear panel, which is a truly unique feature. The self-healing back fixes any minor scratches or scruffs that the rear casing suffers. The phone is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB RAM.

LG G2 The LG G2 is LG’s flagship Android smartphone that features an almost bezel-free full-HD display panel. In a first, the phone’s power and volume rocker keys have been placed at the back of the phone below the camera lens, for easy access. The phone is light-weight and one of the best things about it is its comparatively better battery backup. The LG G2 is powered by a 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and has 2GB RAM.

Sony Xperia Z1 The Sony Xperia Z1 is one of the best Android phones of 2013. It ticks all the right boxes when it comes to features, offering an excellent 20.7MP camera with Sony’s G Lens, 27mm wide angle and f/2.0 aperture, and the BIONZ image processing engine that takes great outdoor and low-light shots. The Xperia Z1 is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, and features a 5-inch full-HD display that employs Sony’s Triluminos technology.

Made by Russia based Yota Devices, the YotaPhone features a backlit liquid crystal display (LCD) screen on one side and an electronic paper display designed to mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper, which is always switched on, on the other. The always-on electronic paper screen can stream social media feeds, text messages, maps, weather and breaking news and work as an e-book reader. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and is powered a 1.7GHz dual-Core CPU and 2GB RAM.

Jolla smartphone The Finnish mobile startup comprising of a group of ex-Nokia employees launched Jolla, a smartphone that runs the new Sailfish OS, which is based on MeeGo the OS that powered Nokia’s N9 smartphone but was abandoned by Nokia, for Windows Phone. The phone comes with changeable smart covers that are also linked to some of its UI elements. The phone’s OS is compatible with both Android apps and hardware. The Jolla phone sports a 4.5-inch Estrade (540×960 pixels) display, and is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM. It has an 8MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera.

Nokia Lumia 1020 After bidding farewell to Symbian, Nokia decided to bring its oversampling technology first seen in the PureView 808 to Windows Phone, putting the 41MP sensor on the Lumia 1020. With lossless zoom, that lets one take a big image and crop it without compromising on the quality, the Lumia 1020’s camera is undoubtedly the best compared to the ones on other phones, available at the moment. Other hardware specs of the Lumia 1020 include 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ Amoled display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, 2,000mAh battery and 32GB internal storage.
Curved TVs While 4K TVs are still in the process of infiltrating our drawing rooms, electronics giants LG and Samsung have already announced giant 105-inch ultra-HD TVs with curved screens. The two launched Curved OLED TVs with full-HD resolution, earlier in the year. The companies claim that a curved display panel offers equal distance from all parts of the screen to the eyes resulting in better viewing angles, less colour distortion, consistent contrast and an immersive TV viewing experience.

4K TVs Ultra HD TVs or 4K TVs are getting more mainstream with electronics giants expanding their 4K TV range with more models. For the uninitiated, 4K TVs feature over eight million pixels and a resolution (4K) four times higher than Full HD televisions (3840 X 2160 pixels). 4K TVs offer more details as the panel offers higher pixel density. This means that you can comfortably watch more action on a bigger screen, compared to a conventional HD TV.

Google Nexus 7 Google upgraded its popular 7-inch tablet, the Nexus 7, bestowing it with a high-resolution 1920 x 1200 pixels display, and an even more compact form factor. It also got a rear-camera for casual photography. The Nexus 7(2013) is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor running at 1.5GHz and 2GB of RAM and offers great performance. Google’s latest tablet is a complete package, with relatively good hardware, a brilliant HD screen and the promise of the latest software updates.

Sony PS4 Sony’s much awaited new-generation gaming console got an overwhelming response selling more than 2.1 million units after less than three weeks. The PlayStation 4 is powered by an eight-core AMD Jaguar CPU and features 500GB hard drive, 8GB of unified memory, built-in Blu Ray drive and the new DualShock 4 controller. The PlayStation 4 also features 802.11 b/g/n WiFi connectivity option, an Ethernet port, Bluetooth 2.1, and two USB 3.0 ports. It also features more entertainment and social features.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 The third-generation of Samsung’s popular Note range of phablet devices, Galaxy Note 3 offers a brilliant full-HD screen, a powerful Exynos Octa processor and a whopping 3GB of RAM. Its best feature though is its unique S Pen stylus that takes scribbling notes and creating other content to the next level. The international version of the Note 3 even offers 4K video recording.

Apple Mac Pro It looks like it just time traveled from the future. The new Mac Pro is Apple’s new-generation professional grade computer. According to Apple, the new Mac Pro is designed around a unified thermal core that allows the system to efficiently share thermal capacity across all the processors. So a fan draws in air and makes it as quiet as a Mac mini. The new Mac Pro is powered by the latest Intel Xeon processors with up to 12 cores, dual workstation-class GPUs, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.

Google Nexus 5 Successor to LG and Google’s popular smartphone, Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 created buzz ever since it leaked in a promotional Google video. The ‘made for Android purists’ features cutting edge hardware including a 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and an Adreno 330 graphics chip. Its 8MP camera is an improvement compared to its predecessor and its 5-inch full-HD display is one of the best in the market, at this point in time. Its low price, Android 4.4 KitKat OS and the promise of timely Android updates, makes the deal even sweeter.

Google Chromecast
One of the major USPs of Google’s new small thumb drive-like media player is its $35 price tag. The other is the ease with which it can be configured and used. You can just plug it into a TV’s HDMI port and access Internet video services such as Netflix and YouTube, and content from Google Play, beaming the content through smartphones, tablets and personal computers connected to it. The content is beamed via the internet and not mirrored unlike the Apple TV.

Originally posted 2013-12-28 04:51:22.

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