T2022 was an interesting year for consumer electronics. It was the year the world began to recover from the pandemic. But as I wrote in one column, this it’s also a year that smart phones, especially, became boring.
Even though this piece is about the best in the business, I hope you didn’t have to shop.
Yes, 2022 was the year the smartphone became the PC, wasn’t it only in terms of technology suffering from the law of diminishing returns, but also in terms of stagnant sales.
Meantime, the smartwatch space has exploded in 2022. There are new offerings in ultra premium and affordable category. True wireless headphones have also become a thing. Despite Meta’s best efforts, VR still hasn’t hit prime time, but that will happen sooner rather than later when the “fruity” company jumps into space.
Consumer electronics have matured in 2022, but they haven’t changed the game.
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The usual suspects
As you can imagine when talking about phones, my picks were the new iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Plus, Google Pixel 7 Pro, Vivo X80 Pro, Xiaomi 12 Pro, Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G, Pixel 6A, Nothing Phone (1) , Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and OnePlus 10R.
Excellent phone here Yippee iPhone 14 Plus, which I think should be the default choice in the high-end category. 14 Pro is only for someone who wants to show off and latest Apple iPhone. For Android purists and camera fanatics, it will be the Pixel 7 Pro. People looking for a more versatile Android experience should go for the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Vivo X80 Pro.
For people who are looking phones in below Rs.40,000 category, the Pixel 6A is a great choice. The new Nothing Phone (1) is just as impressive., and its design is a conversation starter. Perhaps the best package remains the OnePlus 10R, who Yippee fast, powerful, and has great battery life. The new iPhone SE is an option for iOS folks, but its battery life can be a hindrance.
For those who wants a foldable, we recommend the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The Redmi Note 11 Pro + 5G is an excellent choice for a basic smartphone with 5G support.
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A wearable and audible gang
When it comes to wearables and hearing aids, Apple is once again the 800-pound gorilla in the industry as it dominates smartwatches and TWS earphones. Its update to the Apple Watch Series 8 was lukewarm at best, with the company not introducing any design or processor update and only bringing sensor set update.
The big change came in the form of the Apple Watch Ultra getting titanium frame, larger display, sophisticated sensors with IP6X 100 meters dust and water resistance, which professional swimmers and divers need. Adds a GPS antenna for better triangulation for dual-frequency GPS, action knobdual speakers, and AND 36-hour battery life, which can be extended to 60 hours with a low power setting.
There’s also an 86-decibel siren to attract people if you’re in trouble an MIL-STD 810H certification.
Samsung matched it with yours Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. It also got a bigger battery, titanium frame with sapphire crystal glass, and more sophisticated software features that would appeal to those who are to hiking and fitness. It also plays nicely with Samsung smartphones and other Android gadgets, but it may not be as sophisticated as the Apple Ultra. Regardless, it’s a great option.
The Fitbit Sense 2 was also launched this year in India, which brings the best smartwatches for personal fitness in an elegant design. It’s the one you should give your parents.
When it comes to wireless headphones, Apple, after almost three years, launched AirPods Pro 2, and they are simply amazing. They sound like AirPods Max, which is wild. They have AND great battery life and stunning noise cancellation an amazing transparency mode that allows you to use them as earplugs to protect your ears from loud noise Surroundings.
Microphones and noise annulment they are sublime, which means they are excellent for calls. And they come with the magic trick of surround sound, who, when paired with Apple Music or the right video content, provides a dazzling experience. But it only dazzles with an iPhone.
However, Google’s Pixel Buds Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro2 are very handy. I’d say Samsung’s headphones sound even better than Apple’s, thanks to their support for lossless codecs, but that’s only Samsung’s experience. Their cut is discreet and excellent. But if one is looking for a unified experience, I would choose the Pixel Buds Pro, who is rather a jack of all trades.
For people who want bigger wireless headphones, the new Sony WX-1000M5 are simply the best in the business. Best in class noise cancellation, battery life, fit, and excellent sound quality are its hallmarks.
The return of the PC?
This year it has marked somewhat of a second coming for Intel, as demonstrated with many AlderLake based devices. If 2020 and 2021 were about Apple’s M-series Macs, which dazzled with battery life and performance never before seen in a portable notebook, then “chipzilla” would have something to say.
Be it gaming laptops, regular workstation laptops, or even a desktop, new Intel processors are starting to turn heads. It is delivering the performance expected from the company that put the word “silicon” in Silicon Valley. My last one column gaming laptops are proof of that.
But perhaps the craziest thing we’ve seen in the PC space still came from Apple. It was Mac Studio, which came out of the blue with an M1 Ultra chip that outperforms even an Intel-powered Mac Pro that costs more than BMW. Mac Studio is expensive, but it’s far from priceless AND BMW, but it’s great if you have a use case for it.
Also read: Why iPad stands out as the next-generation computer for everyone—from kids to professionals to seniors
What to expect from 2023
Year 2023 will be an exciting year as many of us expect Apple to enter the VR/AR space with Apple Glasses, which is likely to take this category into the mainstream. This year it was boring as regards Apple, but we can expect a new Mac Pro with a new M-series chip, that will blow our minds.
New MacBook Pro models will also be available, which will be even better than the current crop, along with the iPhone 15 series, which will likely have a newer design. A redesigned iPad Pro will also be available. So for Apple, 2023 is going to be exciting.
Google is expected to enter the foldable phone space, which could give the category another boost, while Samsung is expected to double its leadership in the category. Big things in IoT are also expected from Samsung.
Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, Everyone and MediaTek are expected to launch “new silicon” that further pushes the envelope of technology that will trickle down Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products. So, 2023 can be expected to be more exciting than 2022 and 2021, but maybe not as fun as 2020.
Sahil Mohan Gupta is a technology journalist from Delhi. @DigitallyBones tweets. Views are personal.
(Edited by Tarannum)