We see a lot of products every week here on Stuff. But come Friday, which are the ones we actually want to take home with us?
Every week, we condense all of the many products we see into the Hot Five — the definitive list of the best new gadgets to lust after, buy and use. These are the best products, the top apps and games, and the best tech accessories to blow this week’s savings on.
Read this, and you’ll have absorbed the best of the week on the Stuff website! But please, do also read the rest of the website.
5) Puma’s 1980s wearable gets some 21st century innards
You might think wearable tech and activity trackers are relatively new phenomena, but no: Puma was forging a surprisingly pioneering path way back in 1986 with its RS-Computer Shoe. This smart sneaker used an integrated chip to track time, calories and distance, uploading the data to an Apple IIE or Commodore 64 once your workout was over.
This week, Puma brought it bang up to date. The styling stays untouched – no bad thing, given its glorious retro flair – but the new version sports an accelerometer, USB-chargeable battery and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair with smartphones. So there’s no need to dust off your old Commodore…
4) Samsung A8s nixes the notch in a new way
Like tall smartphone screens, but not so keen on the accompanying notch? Samsung’s forthcoming Galaxy A8s mid-range handset takes an alternative approach that we suspect might spill into pricier future models: it “punches” a round hole out of the screen and places the front-facing camera within in.
In truth, it looks a bit weird, and it’s perhaps not the solution that never-notchers were hoping for – but it’s an interesting development all the same, and perhaps a halfway house before manufacturers find a way to hide a camera lens inside the screen itself.
3) Klipsch’s smart speaker sparkles with old-timey charm
If retro looks and the latest tech are “your bag”, you might just fall in love with the curiously-monikered Klipsch The Three (with Google Assistant) speaker, which oozes 1970s vibes while packing Chromecast, aptX, Bluetooth 4.0 and, yes, Google Assistant. That means wireless audio and voice control of Google-friendly smart home gear, plus the ability to request your favourite ditties and find out if you need to put on thermal underwear before leaving the house.
Its sonic performance, courtesy of two drivers and a subwoofer (the eponymous “Three”, you see), is a little varied, but if you can put up with the occasional lumpen rendering of a beloved track, this makes for a decent, decidedly smart-looking smart speaker.
2) Nintendo gets the gang back together for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Nintendo’s most beloved brawler is back, baby – and it’s better than ever. And we really mean that: in our opinion, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch is the finest game yet in the series, offering something for players of all levels, be they seasoned experts or wet-behind-the-ear noobs. With a bunch of different game modes – including Classic and an involving adventure in the new Spirit mode – this really feels like it could satisfy both casual players and hardcore fans.
1) OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition might be the best phone-car collab ever
We know what you’re thinking: 10 days before Christmas is not the optimum time to launch a new flagship smartphone. Everyone’s minds are on snapping up last minute presents, attending boozy work parties and seeing how many mince pies they can cram in during lunch – bagging a new handset is a long old way down the list of priorities.
But the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition isn’t really a new flagship, is it? It’s essentially the existing 6T with a handful of design tweaks – the use of carbon fibre is a particularly impressive touch – and some slightly enhanced specs: 10GB of RAM rather than 8GB and a super-speedy new fast charging mode that gives you a day’s power in just 20 minutes.
The 6T was already excellent, and this thoughtful collaboration gives it an engine tune-up that makes it even more delectable.