The holidays don’t just have to be about the latest toys and games that kids want this year—adults should get to have some fun, too. And all of the biggest tech companies are happy to oblige as they have released a slew of new products, including the latest iterations of all of the gadgets people already love using. This is just a small taste of the new offerings available that you may want to ask your friends and family for this holiday shopping season.
Smart Display: See Even More
Amazon’s latest Echo Show ($299.99) is adding a few new features that will allow you to connect to more devices and people. For instance, the two-way talk feature that works with Ring doorbell will allow you to see who is at your door and even communicate with them. Additionally, compatibility with Skype means you can make Skype calls to people no matter what device they are using. And with a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, you only need to say, “Alexa, discover my devices,” in order to automatically detect and connect your other smart home devices.
Headphones: A More Advanced Silence
Sony claims its new WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones ($349) offer the most advanced noise-cancelling technology on the market with the ability to cut out more outside sound than ever before. They also personalize noise cancellation to each user by analyzing the sonic characteristics caused by head size, glasses, and hair, and then optimize sound to that person. Plus, the headphones’ Adaptive Sound Control feature automatically detects your activity, such as traveling, walking, and waiting, and then adjusts for the situation. For example, if you are walking, you will still be able to hear your surroundings.
Computer: A Power Boost
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 ($899 and up) keeps the same basic design on the outside while providing a significant boost on the inside. Now with the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processor, this 2-in-1 (laptop and tablet) is 67% faster than the last model. It remains ultraportable at 1.70 lbs with up to 13.5 hours of battery life. And the PixelSense Touch Display offers a more seamless experience using the Surface Pen, including features like intelligent inking.
Smartwatch: A Healthy Upgrade
Yes, the Apple Watch Series 4 ($399 to $799) has been redesigned with a thinner, smaller case and 30% larger screen, but the real upgrades have been the improvements in the watch’s health offerings. Granted FDA approval for two new features, the Apple Watch can now perform electrocardiograms (ECGs) and detect and notify the user of an irregular heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation. Additionally, a new accelerometer and gyroscope are able to detect hard falls and provide a prompt for the user to contact emergency services if they need help.
Smartphone: Powered by AI
Google’s Pixel 3 ($799 and up) and Pixel 3 XL ($899 and up) are powered by artificial intelligence to make your smartphone even smarter. Choose to screen your calls and the AI assistant will answer the call, show a transcript of the caller’s response, and then let you decide to answer or not. The camera’s Top Shot feature can take multiple shots and then the AI will recommend the best one. Plus, Google Lens is built into the camera so you can scan and translate text, identify plants, find similar styles of clothing to what someone is wearing, and much more.