BEST BIG TICKET GADGETS
Rod Chester and Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson hunt for the best big-ticket gadgets to put under the Christmas tree
FENIX 3 SAPPHIRE IN ROSE GOLD GARMIN
Garmin has joined the rush to release hi-tech gadgetry in rose gold with this running-friendly watch. The Fenix 3 Sapphire offers a fashionable look but it comes with a very large watch face that won’t suit everyone’s tastes or wrists. This is a true multi-sport GPS watch with navigational functions and smart features suited to a range of sports, from trail running to skiing.
$899 / GARMIN.COM.AU
HARMONY ELITE LOGITECH
If you live in a house where remote controls are too remote, the Logitech Harmony Elite kit can assist. It contains a hub, extra receiver, and controller with large touchscreen. Together they can control up to 15 devices. Setup is easy — entering a device model into its Android or Apple app programs the control’s buttons — and you can add “activities” such as “Watch a movie” that can dim smart lights, turn your TV on and prepare your Blu-ray player simultaneously. The kit turns phones connected to your wi-fi network into remote controls. It is a big expense, however, for convenience.
$550 / LOGITECH.COM
ALPHA 7R II SONY
Sony’s second full-frame compact camera aimed at pros is a 42.4megapixel beast most would be happy to unwrap this Christmas. The second A7R camera quickens its focus to just 0.3 second thanks to hybrid autofocus, adds a backlit CMOS sensor for greater light sensitivity, ably captures 4K video, and has five-axis image stabilisation to reduce motion blur. Its body is largely unchanged, with a comfortable grip, electronic viewfinder and tilting screen, and its wi-fi transfer feature is easy to use. On the downside, given its high resolution it pauses for 0.7 second between shots, only shoots five photos per second, and it also lacks a touchscreen.
$4499 / SONY.COM.AU
NEXUS 6P GOOGLE
Google calls this its “most premium” phone yet, and it’s no exaggeration. The Nexus 6P, made by Huawei, is far from a mid-range phone. It has an aluminium body, a Quad HD screen with more pixels than the latest Apple iPhone (518ppi), a USB-C port and a powerful 2GHz octa-core chip to run its new Android Marshmallow software. This phone introduces the Nexus Imprint fingerprint scanner, which works reliably and turns the phone on at the back, and its 12.3-megapixel rear camera leaps over its predecessor, thanks to an f2.0 aperture and larger pixels for lowlight performance.
$899-$1099 / PLAY.GOOGLE.COM
STYLISH WATCH A REAL SPARKLER