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Best cutting-edge products: the 10 most popular Gadgets of 2017

Ian LexxusDec 13, 20174 7034 votes +4 rating

Technology companies like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and more are constantly finding new ways to improve their cutting-edge products, whether it’s with stunning new hardware designs, useful software improvements, or by coming up with entirely new products we didn’t even know we wanted.

When it comes to new gadgets and gizmos, 2017 was the year of several big changes. First and foremost, it was the year of the voice-activated assistant, with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home invading homes everywhere. It was also the year that smartphone designers figured out how to pack a massive screen in a device that’s still easy to hold, as seen in the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8. And it was the year that consoles like the Nintendo Switch meant gaming on the go no longer meant making big sacrifices in terms of game quality.

Here is a review of Top 10 Gadgets of outgoing year.

© Article’s author: Lisa Eadicicco.
© Source: Time

10th place: Sony Alpha A7R III

Amazon’s user rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Buy it on Amazon

Sony Alpha A7R IIIWith notable improvements over its predecessor and a cheaper price than Sony’s A9 Alpha, the recently unveiled Sony Alpha A7R III stands to be one of the best mirrorless cameras ever made. It can shoot at twice the resolution of the A9 and has an auto focus that’s twice as fast as the A7R II, although it’s worth remembering that the A9 offers faster burst shooting. But the lower price and heightened performance are likely more than enough to impress pro and novice photographers alike.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

I finally have the perfect camera. I sold all of my L glass last year and jumped ship to Sony. I posted an honest review of the A7RII which I ended up returning due to several complaints that I and many others had regarding that camera. After some time I decided to buy it again and keep it once the 5D Mark IV came out. I was tired of the lack of innovation from Canon coupled with it’s inability to listen to it’s customers. I was tired of micro adjusting lenses that cost me thousands of dollars. Over the last year I have invested in every Sony 1.4 prime and G Master prime/zoom lens other than the 100mm STF. I could not be more pleased with these lenses. I also purchased an A6500 for sports. These two cameras covered my photography needs quite nicely. Now I have the A7RIII. I will not go into all of the bells and whistles and exact tech specs. I will assume most folks reading this have viewed at least one of the many detailed video reviews already out there. I will point out what most A7RII users want to know because that is what I would want.

9th place: Apple Watch 3

Amazon’s user rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

Buy it from Apple

Apple Watch 3Apple’s latest smart watch finally lets you leave your phone at home. Since it supports LTE, you can receive calls and texts on your wrist even when your phone is out of range. The third-generation Apple Watch also brings a faster processor and a new barometric altimeter for measuring activities like the numbers of stairs you climb. The Apple Watch isn’t meant to replace your phone, and just about anything you would usually use your phone for is better on a larger screen. But the freedom to leave your phone at home when you step out to walk the dog or go on a run may be just enough to persuade smart watch skeptics that the Apple Watch is worth considering, especially for athletic types.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

Awesome watch. All you have to do is call your cell phone company and the pay the same rate as a iPad with LTE and boom your all set! I believe that this is a great accessory for you iPhone. With the edition of LTE now you can go anywhere and not have to worry about carrying your phone around. This is great for the gym, you can still answer text and calls and leave your phone in the locker or car. I got the 42mm and the screen is plenty big.

8th place: Xbox One X

Amazon’s user rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Buy it on Amazon

Xbox One XIf you’re still not convinced that the days of buying large, cumbersome consoles to get the best gaming performance are over, look no further than the Xbox One X. Microsoft’s latest console crams six teraflops and native 4K gaming support into a sleek package, making it the choice console for players who want screaming performance for less than the price of a high-end gaming PC.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

The extra horse power is easily apparent from the get go, from the Dashboard and guide being super quick and slick, to the 4k HDR options or on certain titles that can’t reach 60fps you have 1080p 60fps ultra settings options and a mix of in between for some games. Games like Gears 4, Halo 5, AC Origins and Shadow of War are awe inspiring in 4k and 1080p performance mode is a dramatic upgrade on some of these same titles. Hell even games without a patch are running seemlessly and to be honest look a little better by smoothing over a lot of jaggy areas. The console it’s self is sexy minimalisum and runs pretty quite. Controller is standard with added texture in the grips. Haven’t streamed in 4k yet but I have captured and screenshot 4k and it’s fast and beautiful. Basically I’m completely happy with buying it, I know 500 seems a bit steep but the console preforms and will no doubt be a part of the next generation will all the power still untapped.

7th place: Amazon Echo (second generation)

Amazon’s user rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Buy it on Amazon

Amazon EchoVirtual assistants like Siri have been around for years, but it wasn’t until the first Amazon Echo launched in 2014 that voice-enabled gadgets really started to take off. Three years later, Amazon’s true successor to the original Echo improves on the first version in every meaningful way. The design is shorter and more attractive, the improved speaker includes a woofer and a tweeter, and most importantly, it’s noticeably cheaper at just $99.99. These enhancements should help keep Amazon at the top of the smart speaker market as competition from rivals like Google, Microsoft and others heats up.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

Sound is not great. A review of the Echo as a music speaker. We are new Echo users and have never owned the 1st generation products. We have two 2nd gen Dots and one of the new Echos. While the Echo sounds better than the dots, it’s inferior to even mid range Bluetooth speakers. I understand it’s not supposed to be a stand alone speaker but Amazon touted this as “Dynamic bass throughout the room.” Not even close. The low end is not very good and the sound starts to distort at max volumes. My comparisons are based two older model speakers, JBL Charge 2 and Bose Mini while listening to Classic Rock, Pop and Classical music. All other features work as advertised.

6th place: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Classic

Amazon’s user rating: 2.1 out of 5 stars

Buy it on Amazon

Super Nintendo Entertainment SystemNintendo’s iconic grey-and-purple Super Nintendo gaming machine made a huge comeback in 2017. The SNES Classic comes loaded with 21 retro titles, including Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country, and a previously unreleased Star Fox game. Everything from the games themselves to the way the controllers feel in your hands are exactly as you would remember from the 1990s. Catering to players’ nostalgia has seemingly paid off: the SNES Classic was the second best-selling video game console during the month of October, according to research firm NPD, and it’s been nearly impossible to find since its September launch.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

My brother bought one online through a secondary market retailer on Amazon. After the way the NES Classic turned out last year, he felt justified in paying more not to go through the hassle. Ironically, I found one at my local retailer and paid regular retailer price. I have bought the Atari Flashback 8 Gold HD: Fortieth Anniversary and the Sega Genesis Flashback HD and now the SNES Classic Edition. All three purchased from the same retailer and at regular SRP. I like them all, but the Nintendo definitely feels like a higher quality product in terms of the build materials and the games play exactly like I remember them, but not as sharp as they looked on an ordinary 13 inch tube. I really love the Atari and the Genesis works well and is under appreciated for a flashback system. My point in writing all of this is to give a quick comparison and let you all know that the SNES Classic is out there, but you have to ask. If you can’t though and you got to have one then this is actually about average price for what they are selling so just buy it and be done with the expense. Otherwise, there are affordable systems that play back the cartridges and they work great. I bought my father one. If not and you have not checked them out, give the SEGA and Atari Flasback HD systems a try. You will have hours of fun regardless. Thank you.

5th place: Samsung Galaxy S8

Amazon’s user rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Buy it from Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S8Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Android handsets set the standard for smartphones in 2017. It may have not been the first phone with a nearly borderless screen, but the Galaxy S8’s exquisitely curved display certainly made it the among most attractive phones of the year. Not to mention its eye-popping OLED display, which for a long time was the best you could ask for on a phone. Samsung also made an effort to simplify the phone’s software, cutting a lot of the extraneous features that made its older phones feel clunky.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

Fragile but impressive piece of machinery. Great phone and an excellent upgrade from the S6 I had before. I unfortunately cracked the screen the day I bought it from an 8” drop. I purchased a case and screen protector RHE same day. I can’t complain it’s the nicest phone I’ve ever personally owned. I just am waiting for some innovated person to design a case & glass protector that does not interfere with the functionality of the phone and conforms to the curved glass. I did need to mention that the seller refused to even acknowledge my desire to return the unopened item when I received it. I am happy I still own the telephone so all is good.

4th place: DJI Spark

Amazon’s user rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Buy it on Amazon

DJI SparkDJI’s palm-sized drone is a big step in the direction of making drones easier and more convenient for the average person. The Spark’s standout feature is that it doesn’t require a remote control for navigation. Just tap the button on the back of the drone twice, and it will prepare to take off from the palm of your hand. You can also pilot the Spark with your hand, prompting it to fly higher, lower, or in a certain direction with a wave of your arm. Of course, these features work best under optimal conditions, and the Spark doesn’t always operate flawlessly, but its size and simplicity are a feat in their own right.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

I purchased this drone to use on an overseas trip. I tested it a bit before leaving and it seemed ok. But the first time I flew it on my trip, it dropped straight down after 50 seconds. Fortunately, it fell in an area where I could find it. From reading reviews on Amazon and other websites, I was more fortunate than others, who couldn’t find their “falling from the sky” Spark Palm drone. Mine cracked in several places when it fell from 42 feet, and I did not have the confidence to try it again. I’ve flown other drones, so it’s not my lack of experience. Refer to the photo of the flight log from the moment it fell. The flight log shows everything looking normal.

So thankful that I ordered from DJI, but through Amazon and that the problem occurred within a short few days of purchasing. Amazon customer service worked with me to get a full refund approved from DJI. Had I purchased directly from DJI, I don’t believe I would have been given a refund. DJI has some kind customer service reps, but their policies are very rigid and their communication and follow-through is very poor. Even warranty repairs are not free and they work hard to prove it was not a defect and they blame issues on user error. Be sure to read their policies carefully before buying from them.

3rd place: Microsoft Surface Laptop

Amazon’s user rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Buy it from Microsoft

Microsoft Surface LaptopMicrosoft’s first crack at a real laptop (not a tablet-notebook hybrid) is a real winner. Between its light and elegant design, sharp screen, and long-lasting battery, the Surface Laptop is solid choice for anyone seeking a new Windows computer. Microsoft is positioning the Surface Laptop as a showpiece for Windows 10 S, the newer version of Windows that can only run programs from Microsoft’s app store. With Windows 10 S, Microsoft is essentially hoping to bring to Windows machines what Google has done for Chromebooks: making the software simpler to allow for faster performance, more battery life, and better security. But those who find Windows 10 S too restrictive can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro on the Surface Laptop for free for a limited time. The software upgrade will cost $50 after the promotional period ends.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

Everything worked great for 3 months. At first, everything worked well. I upgraded to regular Windows 10 so that I can install software unlike previous Windows version. Everything worked great for 3 months. The only issue I had was the face recognition sign in, which seemed to only work about a fifth of the time. It’s also a pity that the monitor wasn’t 360 degrees too. However, overall I really liked the laptop. It was nice and light, and could fit in my purse really well. However, after 3 months, it just stopped working without any reason. There was no physical damage to the laptop whatsoever, I simply closed it like normal one night, and it wouldn’t boot up 2 hours later. Monitor went black, and only the keyboard would light up.

So while it was working, it worked great despite the iffy face recognition sign in. The touch screen was sensitive enough, and it woke up from sleep reasonably well timed. I’ve contacted Microsoft support and thankfully there is a 1 year warranty, however, it means they will simply just probably replace it with refurbished one. It’s a bit saddening that it only lasted 3 months or so and that now anything on it will be wiped. Hopefully, the next laptop will be longer lasting. Overall, in working shape, it was relatively a 4 star. My only complaints were the face sign in, it wasn’t 360 degrees bendable, and the magnetic charging chord often would fall out.

2nd place: Apple iPhone X

Amazon’s user rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

Buy it from Apple

Apple iPhone XYes, it’s expensive, even for Americans. Yes, you’ll probably have a hard time getting your hands on one. And yes, Android did it first. But the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge screen and facial recognition system will undoubtedly set a new standard for phones to come. For one, Apple’s Face ID system, even despite the security concerns, is already being used in more creative ways than Samsung’s facial identification tech. Third-party apps like Snapchat and Warby Parker are taking advantage of the iPhone X’s face-mapping technology to project realistic masks over your eyes or select glasses that suit your face’s shape. That, combined with a sharp camera, long battery life, and large screen packed into a more palatable size, make Apple’s iPhone X a top pick.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

Too buggy. I liked my iPhone 8 better. The top part of the screen seems like such a waste. It looks cool, but still. I was hoping to have a solid contender to the Pixel 2 XL that Google sent me to beta test, but it didn’t seem to match up. The display itself on the iPhone X is beautiful. The colors are a bit better than the Pixel 2 XL’s, but not enough to look past the other shortcomings. The camera on the iPhone X is really cool, but for the type of photos I like to take, the Pixel 2 XL’s camera wins. If I still had my iPhone 8, I would definitely prefer it over the iPhone X. I think Apple went a little too high on the cost at first and didn’t properly delegate their time on the other aspects of the device that were also important. I know Apple will quickly fix the bugs and weird quirks the iPhone X has now, but it would’ve been nice to feel like the money was well spent when I received it. I’ll update my review in a month.

1st place: Nintendo Switch

Amazon’s user rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy it on Amazon

Nintendo SwitchFor about as long as game consoles have existed, players have had to choose between gaming in front of a TV or holding a tiny screen in their hands while out and about. Not so with the Nintendo Switch, the first console that’s truly designed for both at-home and on-the-go entertainment. The Switch consists of a tablet with a 6.2-inch screen with slots for attaching Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers on either side, turning it into a handheld video game machine. But when you’re at home, you can slide the slate into a dock that hooks up to your TV and play it like a traditional console. That “play anywhere, anytime” approach, combined with a stellar games roster, from the recently launched Super Mario Odyssey to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, makes the Switch a true knockout.

From Amazon’s “Top customer reviews” section:

Nintendo is known as innovation rather than super powerful graphics and for me, that’s all fine and dandy. I’m not going to argue and say graphics aren’t important but for Nintendo it’s all about family and friends near you, playing with you. That’s a very big reason i continue to buy Nintendo systems and continue to do so. With the switch, we are graced with a hybrid console/portable. You can take your game on the go which will give you 6 hrs of juice on 720p. Dock mode will be 1080p on unlimited power unless you didn’t pay your electric bills or you live in a hut in the desert.

The games of course came out slow because it was new. You only had Zelda which was also available on the wii u so really no amazing exclusives. Then Nintendo dropped Mario Kart 8 which is a port of the Wii U version with all DLC packed in. Then Nintendo decided to throw some punches as it released ARMS which is a fighting game. Then the sequel to one of the most amazing games on the Wii U, Splatoon 2. Nintendo killed off the Wii U so it has it’s focus on the Nintendo Switch and they are chugging out games like crazy. The best part is I’ve seen many third party developers get on board which has been the bane of Nintendo’s existence. A lot of people seem to be excited for the switch which continues to be sold out, something that was unheard for the Wii u as that bombed embarrassingly. I’d recommend to get one and it is fun for any age or any kind of gamer. It has hardcore as well as casual games.

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