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. This week, as it's been CES, we've got double the gear to talk about - lucky you!
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.
10) DJI’s second gen mobile Steadicam is a smooth operator
The Osmo Mobile 2 takes the concept of the first Mobile – a gimbal for your smartphone that uses sensor technology to help you capture silky smooth handheld footage – and cuts it down to the basics: an integrated battery instead of a removable one; a grip made of plastic instead of metal; simplified controls.
The result? A brilliant handheld gimbal that’ll only cost £139 at launch – around half the price of the original. If you want those Instagram stories to glow with a professional sheen, this thing will handle the stabilisation like a champ. Look out for it from 23 January.
9) Sgnl turns your finger into a phone
It’s not often a totally new type of wearable lands on our radar, but Sgnl is just that – even if it perhaps isn’t the most obviously useful gadget we’ve spotted at CES 2018.
It’s a wristband that handles activity tracking and notifications, but its main party trick is that it lets you take calls by conducting sound along your finger. So when your paired smartphone rings, you literally stick your finger in your ear to answer it. Nobody will think you’re crazy at all!
Oh, and it’ll also work as a wristband for the Apple Watch.
8) Acer debuts its thinnest ever notebook
Skinny is always in fashion when it comes to laptops, which is why Acer’s new Swift 7 made us sit up and take notice. At a wafer-esque 8.98mm thick, it’s the company’s thinnest notebook yet.
The sub-centimetre depth does mean the specs are constrained to merely acceptable (a 14in 1080p screen, last year’s 7th-gen Intel CPUs, up to 8GB of RAM and only 256GB of flash storage), but on the plus side there’s built-in 4G LTE connectivity, which you won’t find in many of its rival ultraportables.
7) Lenovo’s Smart Display is a smart speaker with a screen
Smart speakers are all well and good (we mean, who doesn’t love being able to order up a pizza, check the weather or request a beloved tune with a few spoken words?) but Lenovo’s new Smart Display cranks things up a notch by pairing a 10W Google Assistant-equipped speaker with a touchscreen.
Available in 8in or 10in sizes and in two colours, the Smart Display gives you a little more functionality than a standard voice assistant speaker, with video calls on the agenda as well as the ability to get visual results for your requests, be they YouTube clips, map locations or a live feed from your Nest security camera. Clever stuff, if you’re looking for a more visual-led smart home hub.
6) Garmin’s new sports tracking watch brings music playback to the party
Garmin’s Forerunner smartwatches have long been prized by fitness-likers, but the company’s newest addition to the lineup fixes one of the brand’s major problems: a lack of built-in music playback.
The appropriately-named Forerunner 645 Music (available to pre-order now for £400) comes with space for up to 500 tracks and Bluetooth for pairing it up with a set of wireless earphones, meaning keep fit fanatics with a need for motivational tunes no longer need to bring their phone to the gym or for a run. Offline sync with Deezer is promised in a future update too – and that all goes alongside a handsome device with built-in GPS, Garmin Pay, heart-rate monitor and advanced running sensor, plus up to a week of battery life per charge.
5) Panasonic puts 4K front and centre with Lumix GH5S
Fancy yourself a filmmaker? Want to take YouTube by storm with your insanely detailed make-up tutorials? Or just want to capture your kid’s first steps in retina-slicingly sharp image quality? Then you might want to prep your wallet for £2,199’s worth of pain – courtesy of the Panasonic Lumix GH5S.
The latest addition to Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds Lumix camera range, it will record Ultra HD footage at a silky smooth 60fps with HDR and 10-bit colour, making it a superb video powerhouse when teamed up with the right lenses.
4) Sony squeezes Dolby Atmos into a sleek soundbar
Dolby Atmos incorporates a height dimension into home cinema audio, massively boosting the immersive effects of surround sound, but hitherto it’s required quite a bit of space to achieve – it takes a decent-sized speaker or speakers to create.
Sony has succeeded, however, in adding Atmos to its compact HT-Z9F soundbar, using only three drivers – and having heard it in action ourselves, we can attest that it definitely works as advertised. Check out our hands-on review below for some in-depth musings.
3) Ryze Tello is a tiny drone with a tiny price
We loved the DJI Spark (despite it slicing up at least one idiotic Stuff team member’s thumb…) but there’s no denying that it’s still a little too pricey to appeal to many prospective drone pilots.
Step forward (or should that be “take off”?) the Ryze Tello, a similarly-sized mini drone (small enough to launch off and land on your palm) that costs only £99 – about a quarter of the Spark’s asking price. Coming with Intel and DJI tech inside and some performance limitations like 720p video and a 13-minute flight time, it’s almost in impulse buy territory.
2) Sony’s AF8 promises a more affordable flavour of OLED TV
Sony’s Bravia A1 range of OLED tellies got us drooling at their picture quality, but bawling at their £3,500-plus price tags. So we’re excited for the company’s 2018 OLED arrivals, headed up by the AF8 range – and the promise of a less punishing asking price.
Set to be available in 55in and 65in varieties, this 4K flat screen looks beautifully sleek while delivering a beautifully impactful image with those all-important deliciously dark black levels and juicy colour reproduction. With both HDR10 and HLG flavours of HDR included (and Dolby Vision likely via and update), it seems like this TV has everything a movie or game lover could desire – but we’ll reserve judgement until we’re able to give it a full review.
1) HTC takes VR to the next level with Vive Pro
The HTC Vive is arguably the most powerful VR headset around – but maker HTC has refused to rest on its laurels. The result? A brand new Vive Pro model is launching within the next few months, bringing with it a host of improvements.
Despite it being lighter than the Vive, the Vive Pro has built-in headphones, plus a comfier strap, a second mic for improved voice control functionality, and two front-facing cameras to boost its augmented reality scope. But the star of the show is likely to be its display, which increases the resolution by 78% to 2880 x 1600 and should mean a less pixellated VR experience.
Check out our hands-on review at the link below to find out what we made of it.