With all the hurdles and difficulties 2020 threw at us, our gadgets kept us connected, entertained, informed and well..sane. Despite the country being under lockdown for four months, companies quickly regained footing and continued with the onslaught of launches, albeit virtual. Paradigms shifted, innovations peaked, and new ground was broken, despite offices shut and factories working at half capacities. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles and headphones became our daily companions, and it is within these major categories that the jury picked their nominees for the Best Gadget of 2020 for the Indian Gadget Awards 2020.
Nominees for the Best Gadget of 2020 for the Indian Gadget Awards 2020
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
- Apple Macbook Air M1
- Apple iPhone 12 Mini
- Apple iPad Air
- Xbox Series X
- Sony WH-1000XM4
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a wonderful testament of a brand listening to consumer feedback, going back to the drawing board and returning with a product far more polished than its predecessor. The Z Fold 2 is Samsung’s second attempt at making a foldable smartphone which unfurls into a tablet. The primary display has all the cutting-edge features a flagship smartphone deserves while the cover display is now larger. The performance too is top-notch and there’s 5G connectivity to boot thanks to the Snapdragon 865 inside. But the reason for this being a nominee for the Best Gadget of 2020 award isn’t its specs. It’s the usefulness of the form-factor that Samsung has pioneered. Having a display that unfolds into a tablet is so much better for all the reading we do on our smartphones. You can actually get some work done on this one, without squinting your eyes or zooming into every line to read. The cost, however, kept it way out of reach for most people looking for a new smartphone. But that’s just the premium one needs to pay for being at the bleeding edge of smartphone design.
Apple Macbook Air M1
Apple is no stranger in designing every component of its products in-house. The iPhones are entirely designed by the company’s engineers, right down to the silicon they use. After years of evolving and reaching new heights with the iPhone chipsets, Apple finally felt it was time to carry them over to the PC side, starting with powering the Macbooks. The new ARM-based Apple M1 chip is a paradigm shift in PC computing. The chip is astoundingly power efficient and powerful enough to handle all sorts of heavy software, even ones primarily designed to run on previous x86-based Intel processors. And no other lineup benefited more from the move than the Macbook Air, which was quickly becoming reduntant over time. The use of the Apple M1 chip instantly made it one of the most powerful portable computers you can buy right now. And there’s no way of telling that with the weight of the device or the battery life it offers. The Apple Macbook Air M1 is PC computing finally taking that giant leap forward, and things will never be the same again.
Apple iPhone 12 Mini
By now, it’s clear that Apple got a lot of things done in 2020. On the iPhone side of things, Apple finally heard the cries of compact phone lovers. The iPhone 12 Mini is godsend for people who prefer smaller, but powerful smartphones. The 12 Mini’s size may be small, but it’s by no means a dwarf. It’s powered by the Apple A14 Bionic, the same chipset based on which Apple designed the M1 chip for Macbooks. It also rocks an OLED display with Dolby Vision support. The 12MP dual cameras lets you shoot astoundingly good photos and videos in almost every situation, effortlessly. And all this in a size that’s ideal for one-handed use. Apple made it water resistant and introduced MagSafe, a magnetic connector to attach cases, wireless chargers and other accessories. Small is the new big in 2020!
Apple iPad Air
It’s no surprise that Apple products find their way in the lists of best gadgets every year. The company has a penchant for making our eyes wide and gasp for breath. The new iPad Air is another such offering. Despite being 6.1mm thick and 458 grams in weight, the iPad Air is basically a computer that weighs less than a paperback. Attach it to the Magic Keyboard, and the iPad Air turns into a powerful computing machine capable of editing 4K footage, bashing some code or working on your presentation. With the Apple Pencil, it’s the smartest notebook to carry around where your doodles become masterpieces. The iPad Air is an exciting gadget, one that will keep you engaged and is useful in more ways than one.
Xbox Series X
2020 also marked the launch of next-gen gaming consoles. But while the Sony Playstation 5 continues to elude the Indian market, Microsoft wasted no time in launching the Xbox Series X and the Series S in India. It’s presently the most powerful gaming console money can buy in the country. The Series X is designed for games of the future with support for 120 FPS gameplay and 8K HDR visuals. The Series X has significantly reduced load times, backward and forward compatibility and enough firepower inside to let you enjoy games for the next few years. The Xbx Series X runs on a custom AMD CPU and GPU with support for ray-tracing and 3D spatial audio. Microsoft also redesigned the controller with sculpted surfaces, textured grip and a hybrid D-pad, and infused it with 40 hours of battery life. Console gaming sure is in good hands now for the next few years.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 may seem like one among many wireless headphones with active noise cancellation, but the sheer number of features and the sound quality is the reason why this is a hot favourite among mainsteam music lovers. The WH-1000XM4 rocks Sony’s noise-cancelling QN1 processor and two microphones in each earcup to deliver dynamic noise cancellation based on the acoustic environment. There’s support for Hi-Res audio with a LDAC inside and the 40mm audio drivers ensure crisp reproduction of the full range of frequencies audible by the human ear. The best part? The WH-1000XM3 delivers 30 hours of battery life on a single charge.