By: Nick Gambino
We’ve covered a lot of tech releases this year from headphones and phones, foldable and…unfoldable, to robots and video games. In a year that’s not winning any popularity prizes, there have been some great new toys added to the market that offer a bit of convenience and, in the best case scenario, a means of escape.
iPhone 12 Pro
This one might seem too obvious, but after a delayed release, the iPhone 12 Pro was a welcome close-out to the year. I made the jump from the iPhone X to the 12 Pro which in itself was a big difference, but there were some, like my sister, who upgraded from the iPhone 7 Plus, and for her it was a completely new phone experience. The biggest draw of the new iPhone is its camera which works wonders in low-light situations like no other phone I’ve seen.
The frenzy that accompanied trying to snag a new PlayStation 5 quickly went viral with memes saturating the internet. The common theme was the absolute impossible quest many undertook to get their hands on the PS5. One particularly cunning eBay seller even made bank when he sold a picture of the new PS5 for $500. He very explicitly described what buyers would get, but many failed to read the details and spent hundreds of dollars on a piece of paper. All this is to say, the next-gen PlayStation is the best Sony console on the market and earns a spot on the best tech releases of 2020.
Apple’s wireless AirPods are absolutely everywhere. After nearly two decades as the dominant leader in cool, slick tech products, it was surprising that the company would still find new ways to permeate every sector of society with little earbuds visible anywhere you go. Apple decided to up their game by releasing a more feature-heavy iteration they clumsily titled AirPods Pro. The noise-cancelling earbuds are certainly more expensive with a $249 price tag, but there are plenty who find them necessary to truly drown out external noise.
We have entered an electric-centric age where cars and bikes are now powered solely by electricity. With Tesla dominating the e-vehicle market, Ride1Up is busy killing it on the e-bike front. I’m far from an expert on what makes a good e-bike, but I finally got a chance to ride one when my sister received her brand-new Ride1Up LMT’D. When I say I was a kid in a candy store, I mean I was a kid riding high on an electric-powered bike that zipped up and down the street with little effort on my part. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but after mere seconds I was sold. And with the ability to charge up by simply plugging into a wall outlet, getting the Ride1Up LMT’D is a no-brainer.
Oculus Quest 2
For years, VR tech was like that far-off mirage in the tech desert that had many of us hoping to one day finally see it released to the general public at a level worthy of our anticipation. Oculus finally gave it to us with the Rift. Soon, others would follow with products like the Samsung Gear VR, PlayStation VR and HTC Vive. After Facebook bought Oculus they began to work on ways to make it more affordable with less PC requirements to power it. This resulted in the Oculus Quest which worked on its own, making it more accessible to the average consumer. This year, Facebook released the sequel to the stand-alone VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2. They made several improvements over its predecessor, including making it lighter and tweaking it for a better refresh rate.