Here at SonnyDickson.com we review hundreds of products throughout the year. As we approach Christmas here are our picks of the bunch for 2019.
The benchmark in wireless in-ear headphones sits firmly with Apple and the new AirPods Pro. Super light-weight and with incredible sound dynamics, these will be the gift that keeps on giving for any audiophile in your life.
Danish high-end luxury consumer electronics company Bang & Olufsen is synonymous with style and sophistication. B&O have been this way for decades now and their experience is overflowing in the 3rd generation of H9 over-ear wireless headphones with active noise cancelling. Like the M&D above, the H9s are available in 4 colors – Chestnut being our favorite. Voice assistants are built in as is a larger batter giving 25 hours of active noise cancelling from a single 2.5 hour charge.
Starting at $400 from Bang & Olufsen
Easily the most stylish portable bluetooth speaker on the market. It is also one of the heaviest – which is a great thing. Firstly it means the battery life is great (up to 24 hours) and secondly the sound quality rivals much larger in-home systems. Available in three colours the Beolit 17 is also very useful with the flat top a great place to set your drinks on a picnic.
Not all sound bars are created equal. The Soundbar 700 is a very smart speaker with Alexa built-in and 8 microphones to ensure every word you say is heard loud and clear. Speaking of loud and clear – that is how you will hear every sound at any volume level on the Soundbar 700. Match it with the Bose Bass Module 700 for sound you will hear and feel. WiFi, Bluetooth and AirPlay 2 are also standard features.
Mini in size. Mega in sound. The Phantom Reactor 600 wireless speaker is just over 8 inches on its longest side. With full wireless connectivity as well as built-in Spotify, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth and UPnP these speakers will fill any room with great music at any level.
Starting at $1,090 from Devialet
Possibly the most comfortable over-ear wireless active noise cancelling headphones on the market. Desperately good looking as well. Available in 4 colours that make these headphones very cool. Bluetooth range is 3x industry average at 20+ metres/65+ feet and they have up to 24 hours battery life. Dual built-in microphones for crystal clear calls.
Another brilliant portable bluetooth speaker which would make a brilliant Christmas gift. The Sonos Move takes all of the experience that Sonos has built with their One smart speaker and drops it into this stylish and functional unit. Boasting 10 hours battery life as well as built-in Alexa and IP56 weather resistance this is just the unit for those summer and winter trips away or just around the home.
This is the ultimate all-in-one sound-bar for the home or office. With the woofer and tweeters built-in to the single unit, there’s no large bass box to have to house somewhere in the living room. Thirteen (yes thirteen!) individual speakers (also known as ‘drivers’) make this a mind-blowing sound-bar for any television or music collection. A load of HDMI and RCA connections mean all of your music system can enjoy the wide audio range of this powerful piece of hardware.
If you want to see what engineering progress looks like – Google ‘steadicam’ and see what it takes to get stunning smooth video for professionals. Now look at some of the video shot with the Insta360 GO and you will marvel at how smooth the video is that this tiny (the size of your thumb) piece of hardware can produce.
It has been over 15 years since the HERO was launched and with every new version that GoPro bring to the market, the benchmark by which all cameras of this size and quality is measured, skyrockets. Weighing less than 1 ounce, this camera now boasts 4K 60fps video at a staggering 12MP. The HyperSmooth feature is now in version 2.0 and has to be seen to be believed.
Cameras have been the darling of the tech world in 2019 and the Fujifilm X-T30 is the one that impressed us the most this year. The lightweight design and robust build quality mean this is a rock-solid performer in almost any condition. Featuring a 26.1MP sensor and the X-Processor 4 – packing 4 CPUs means you get crisp stunning shots in split second timing. For the sporting enthusiasts there is a 8fps burst mode with the mechanical shutter which can be increased to 30fps with the electronic shutter – that’s DSLR territory!
$1,099 in a great bundle from Amazon
This is an incredibly powerful laptop with every square inch made purposeful an functional. With a large 15.6″ 4K main screen and an additional tool screen above the keyboard, this is one of the most versatile new PC designs in decades. The latest Intel Core i7 processor, Harman-Kardon speakers, and 1TB solid state flash drive make this a dream machine for any serious work (or gaming!)
The Surface Pro has been around for a while now and this new X version continues the trend towards powerful portable computing with the latest Microsoft Office suite of tools at your fingertips with precision control with the Surface Slim pen. 8GB of RAM and 128GB of solid state memory (expandable to 256GB) this is a real workhorse when it needs to be and is just as easily a great tablet to watch your favourite show on, or to read a great book. 4G LTE connectivity is an attractive option to allow you to create an office literally anywhere.
Starting at $999 from Microsoft
Weighing much less than a loaf of bread, the Mavic Mini is the take anywhere – fly anywhere drone from the market leaders at DJI. Stunning images from the 12MP camera are stored on-board via a microSD card. The ergonomically designed remote control easily integrates with most smartphones so you can see what the Mavic Mini is seeing. Up to 30 minutes of flight time is the main benefit of this super light-weight performer.
One of the most anticipated drones for the adventure enthusiast arrived this year and it didn’t disappoint. The Skydio 2 sports 6 HDR cameras providing it will phenomenal flight capabilities. The AI brain of the drone can see almost every obstacle in-flight and can fly itself leaving you to get on with the job of living life and having fun. The addition of the Skydio Beacon remote control means you can leave the smartphone at home and still control the Skydio 2 with ease. Capable of doing 36mph for up to 23 minutes you won’t miss a thing!
It’s hard to believe that the fifth generation of the Apple Watch is here. It only feels like yesterday that Tim Cook was on stage showing off the first generation (that was 2015). The latest version shows just how committed to personal health and well being Apple really is. Slightly larger and taller, the slightly fatter Apple Watch packs a whole lot more punch. More storage, more waterproof and more functional. The ultimate wrist accessory just gets better and better.
After all the recent controversy with the recent Peloton ad, this as it turns out, is a pretty incredible piece of exercise equipment. Whilst it looks like it is for the cycling extremist, this is a very simple way to get out there – virtually.
Starting at $2,245 from Peloton
A great gift at Christmas time where delays and queues can spring up at a moments notice. This convertible gaming console is three units in one – it can be connected to a TV for the real console experience. It can also be used on a table top where two players can battle it out, and you can just use it as a one-player hand-held console. The addition of the Joy-Con controllers make the gaming even more engaging.
After being bought by Facebook for $2B in 2014, Oculus has been building and shipping some of the best VR headsets on the market. The addition of the Oculus Controllers means your handheld movements are tracked and represented with brilliant accuracy as you play.
Starting at $1,080 from Oculus
The new Xbox One S takes gaming to a whole new level with the introduction of what they call ‘disc-free-gaming’. All your games are stored on a 1TB drive on the console meaning they are as fresh and responsive as the day you download them. The console comes with 100 games pre-installed so it’s fun right out of the box.
Starting at $179 from Microsoft
The ultimate in customisation – pick your board, pick your wheels, pick your range. Now go! With 50km and 15km range choices and wheels built for the road and for no so much road, the Evolve range will suit all motorised skateboard enthusiasts. Evolve will also kit you out with everything from headlights to helmets and knee-pads to eye-wear.
Starting at $1,399 from Evolve Skateboards
Compact, internet connected security systems have boomed in the past decade and the Arlo Ultra is a class leading security system boasting 4K image quality during the day or night, with 180º field of view. Out-of-the-box compatibility with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit greatly expands the usefulness of these great cameras so you know you have the home or office secure.
The first and very much one of the best streaming and content players on the market today. With the launch of the 4K version of the Apple TV in 2017 Apple stepped into millions of homes just as the streaming wars kicked off. A definite buy for anyone loving The Morning Show on AppleTV+
Another of the super cool and super efficient Dyson products, the Hot+Cool Fan is a triumph of design and engineering. Whisper quiet and easy on the eye means this fan will find a place in any home where more intimate management of temperature is required. The unique design also ensures minimal fire risk and injury caused by spinning blades.
Like the other Dyson products over the years, the handheld vacuum range from Dyson just gets better and better. With almost an hour of battery life at maximum power, the V11 will easily get into every nook and cranny of your home and be at the ready for any spills and breaks around the home. The V11 is also specially designed to manage pet hair for those who are susceptible to allergies. A wall-mounting for the charging dock means the V11 is always ready for action
The must-have companion in the kitchen – or anywhere else in the home. The Google Nest range is now so useful and versatile – we wonder what we did without them?! The addition of the vibrant screen to the limitless capabilities of this voice command companion means more use in the home with step-by-step videos and tutorials assisting with everything from recipes to teaching the kids how to tie shoe laces. The addition of smart plugs or Smart Lights makes the Nest Hub Max even more useful everyday.
Busy families need reliable and easy to use tools to help them stay on-track and on time. The Lenovo Smart Clock is the perfect addition to any bedside table to make sure you get the most from every minute of every day. A perfect gift for every member of the family.
Smart Globes are the perfect way to ease your home into the ‘connected’ world. A minimum of fuss and extremely easy to set-up, the Smart Light is just the way to turn dreary into fab. The smartphone app offers great functions like timers and being able to change the mood of a room in an instant. Works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana.
Starter pack with 4 lights from $99 at Amazon
At last a multi-function remote that looks good and does more than just change the channel or turn up the volume. The Harmony Express works with Alexa and Google Assistant to ensure all the connected devices in your home work with each other, for you. WiFi and Bluetooth mean you can control devices without being in the room.
Get more from every keystroke with this super functional and brilliantly designed keyboard. With backlit keys and a multi-function crown, this keyboard can be connected to up to three devices at the same time – just switch from device to device with the tap of a button. Easily rechargeable via USB-C connection.
More than just a mouse. This peripheral has more buttons on it than you have fingers which is a good thing. The precision of this device is matched only by the coordination of your eyes and fingers. The mouse will work across multiple devices with the tap of a button. A fast charge will last for 70 days.
The extremes that this television achieves are nothing short of incredible. Weighing only 85 pounds and measuring 2.6 inches this 75 inch TV with 4K resolution will blow your mind. With 4 HDMI and 3 USB ports this TV will connect to any device. The addition of Apple HomeKit and AirPlay 2 from 2019 ensures endless compatibility into the future.
The majority of WiFi issues in the home are caused by the hardware we use – not the ISP or Telco providing the internet. The Nest WiFi product is a brilliant mesh service where the more devices you put in the home to cover an area, the more robust the connections for all our devices. Think of it as painting your home in WiFi. Nest also automatically updates itself to get new features and help your network stay safe and sound.
A two pack starting at $299 from Google
These funky and inter-connected light panels allow you to get super creative with the light in any room. Create your own shapes to throw light the way you want or to become a feature that becomes a talking point. All connected via WiFi the Nanoleaf Light Panels will respond to music and are full compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
9 Panel Starter Pack starting at $199 from Nanoleaf
The concept of having a wireless high definition camera attached to your front door earlier in this decade was the stuff of wild dreams! Today, the Door View Cam means even people living in apartments can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with the ability to install your own technology brings. With full 1080p HD video (including night vision) this wireless and rechargeable peephole replacement is a must-have.
Samsung have increasingly become the measure by which all other televisions are measured. The new 7 Series 4K television is no exception. This 75″ version is a masterpiece with image quality that your eyes won’t believe. Full compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant the 7 Series has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity as well as 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports. Easily mounted onto any wall the 7 Series is only a few inches thick.
Unleash the wonder of Aibo from Sony. This loveable robot will charm its way into your heart. Spend only a little amount of time with this amazing machine you will believe it’s a real canine.
Not to be outdone by tough competition from Samsung and LG, Sony has upped its game in the 4K OLED TV market in 2019 with the release of the A9G series TVs. As with most of the market in screens of this scale, they are impossibly thin and are considered works of art when hung on the wall. A software update late in the year brings Apple HomeKit to these stunning images.
With the launch of the iPhone 11 this year Apple took the smartphone from being a useful tool to being a critical semi-professional piece of hardware. The next-gen dual-camera array makes for stunning photographs and video. Bigger battery and a host of other hardware features make this the smart phone of the moment. Available in a host of colors makes this a great Christmas gift or upgrade for the new year.
They say ‘bigger is better’ and Google taken this very much to heart with the Pixel 4 XL this year. All the features are bigger – 6.3″ screen, longest battery life in the Pixel range and wonderful new gesture controls make this more than just another large smartphone. The camera is the other gem with its incredible low-light capabilities and dual lens array with 12MP and 16MP sensors. Under the hood, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip ensures super-efficient use of power and processor speed.
Almost a utility in most homes today, the wireless charger is a very important feature. The latest offering from Native Union means that more than one device can be charged at once. Hallelujah! This will also charge your AirPods and all Qi enabled wireless charging devices.
If you just want a phone to be a phone rather than a Swiss Army Knife then this is the device for you. Everything you loves back in the 90s is back again with 21st Century technology – even Snake has been overhauled. A great first device for the kids who just need to make calls and texts.
Always keep an eye out for these great coffee machines in hotel rooms. They make a huge difference to your morning routine. Perfect coffee every time. Small enough to hide in the corner of the kitchen and be used every day.
Sometimes the best thing about getting away into the great outdoors is just getting away. Other times getting away means you need to bring a few creature comforts along to make sure you get the most from your experience. The Ranger Pellet Grill is just that perfect travel companion. Purchase the freshest local produce in your travels and cook them to perfection on your own grill. Superb temperature control and Keep Warm Mode make this grill tiny by mighty. Measuring just 21″ x 13″ there’s always a spot for this in the trunk.
Turn any headphone jack into a bluetooth broadcaster with the AirFly Pro from Twelve South. Perfect for air travel and in the car if the kids want to watch the same show on a device. Bluetooth is your best friend as it eliminates the need for more cables.
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