Whether it’s Amazon moving into the smartphone space or Google moving into the smartwatch space, 2014 is already proving to be landmark year for consumer technology. While many of the biggest new devices and technology products are saved for the holiday season release cycle, we’ve certainly had no shortage of innovative and forward-thinking pieces of consumer technology in 2014 thus far. Some are only available for pre-order and others are modern twists on age-old technologies, but all of these gadgets are designed to make life slightly more awesome.
Arcam Solo Soundbar
LG launched a curved screen smart phone with a price tag of $1000 (approx). It is the most expensive smart phones to be available in many markets around the world. In this, if a bit of pressure is applied the screens bends a bit. It is also a self-healing phone. That is the phone is equipped with a self-healing back panel which repairs and heals itself even if there are some tiny scratches or cuts on the back side of the device. The display screen is of 6 inches with 720p resolution and it forms a vertical curve when bended slightly by applying some force. LG G Flex runs on Jellybean version of Android and with other specifications like a processor of 2.2 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800. The camera is 13 megapixel as the device is powered by a battery of 3500mAh.
Arcam’s joining the crowded soundbar space, with the £800 Solo, a product the brand hopes will have both classy looks and exceptional sound. Its looks great, with a sleek build and it’ll decode all HD formats of audio. There’s Bluetooth too, for easy streaming and if you want some extra ‘oomph’, you can add the £500 Solo sub. Specs wise the Solo pumps out 100 watts of power from six drivers, which includes a specially angled 40w tweeter that should disperse the sound better.
LG Lifeband Touch
There is now a “Fitbit for” just about anything. Dash is a Fitbit for your car. The device plugs into a car’s OBD input (all cars made after 1996 have them), tracking the car’s vital signs to identify problems before you get towed to the mechanic. The accompanying app offers discounts on servicing and roadside assistance.
Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard
With all kinds of wearable flooding the market the difference between a smart watch and a fitness tracker is beginning to decrease. However this gadget from LG, named LG Lifeband Touch bridges the gap between the two. It helps in closely monitoring your daily activities while giving you the options to make calls and send text notifications from your android device. This gadget can be paired with Heart Rate earphone of LG itself which has the ability of measure the heart rate from the insides of your ear. This wearable tech gadget is just perfect for you if you fancy something around your wrist. Also see Apple’s iWatch.
Sony Xperia Z2 tablet
The Logitech® Bluetooth® Multi-Device Keyboard K480 is designed for use with up to three devices, regardless of computing platform. Now, you can work on a report on your computer, and with the flick of the Easy-Switch dial, respond to a message on your smartphone or type a tweet on your tablet – all from the Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480.
Amazon Fire TV
The Z2 tablet would be an easy gadget to glance over and totally forget about. It might not stand out among the sea of Android tablets at Best Buy, but it’s by far the best to come out this year so far. This 10.1-inch tablet is absolutely gorgeous, showcasing Sony’s return to the simpler, more refined design sensibilities of its past. Beyond some nice integration with Playstation and the fact that it’s water resistant though, the Xperia Z2 is light on gimmicks. Instead, Sony has delivered a powerful, premium, light, and incredibly thin tablet that is the best Android alternative to the iPad Air on the market.
Amazon’s answer to the living room wars has been a winner. It’s fast and easy to navigate with spot-on voice recognition and an intuitive remote control. It’s especially good for Amazon Prime subscribers, as the system’s search function prioritizes Amazon Instant Video content over other apps. (If you own lots of content via iTunes, stick with Apple TV.) The Amazon Fire TV's main advantage over the smaller, cheaper Fire TV Stick or the Google Chromecast is its voice search and its ability to stream Amazon's more hardcore video games.
Pebble Steel Smartwatch
This one is one the best for next-gen with super sound system and Airplay standards. Integrated with an amplifier, web radio and streamer, CD, iPod dock and a tuner for FM this has options for wi-fi, DLNA, AirPlay and Flac support which is all in-built. Perfect for the pricing.
This year, Pebble managed to address the two biggest complaints people have about smartwatches: their lack of functionality and clunky looks. The new Pebble Steel channels the styling of a classic men's watch while also adding a number of new optimized apps to the mix. A new Mercedes one was particularly interesting. It provides stats like your current mileage, how much fuel is in your tank, and your current tire pressure, whether you're near the car or not. While driving, you can set the app to deliver vibration alerts to your wrist for different events, like if traffic is getting heavy ahead. You can also configure Pebble's three buttons for quick actions performed through the phone and over the car's dash system, like activating Siri. The Pebble Steel will cost $250 and will ship later this month.
Livescribe Echo Smartpen
These Lebron James-inspired wireless earbuds are resistant to sweat and motion, which makes them perfect for workouts. "I always come back to this pair for everyday use," Fortune writer JP Mangalindan says. "They're rugged and sweat-resistant, and the sound is among the best I've heard from Bluetooth earbuds." Bonus: They come in five bright colors.
The Livescribe Echo Smartpen allows you to record audio while you’re taking notes, and then play them back later. You can save and share interactive notes to your computer, iPad or iPhone via a micro-USB connector that also allows you to recharge your pen. The memory storage holds 400 or 800 hours of recorded audio, depending on the model, and includes an OLED display that makes it easy to navigate smartpen apps.
Parrot Bebop Drone
The G3 might not be the absolute, undisputed, best Android phone, but LG’s new high end Android phone the G3 is the physical representation of a company that actually listens to its customers. The result isn’t just a good phone—it’s a device that’s made the manufacturer a serious part of the high-end Android conversation again.
Fortune writer Robert Hackett is a fan of this new drone because it has a dedicated flight controller, so you don’t have to use a glitchy app on your phone, as required for previous models. (You'll pay extra for it, though.) It also has a fisheye lens with headset compatibility, so you feel like you're zipping around from a first-person perspective.
The DoorBot is a Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell that lets you see and talk to the visitors standing outside your entryway from an iOS or Android smartphone. When someone rings the bell, it initiates what is basically a video call on your phone. You don't even have to be at home, and you can set the DoorBot to work with multiple devices so that everyone who lives in your home can use it. It costs $200.
Metis, an Indian education startup, has launched a tablet for kids at Rs 9,999. The new tablet, named Eddy, runs on Android 4.2 and is aimed at educational content for 2-8 year olds. The 7-inch screen tablet sports a 1.6GHz dual-core processor with 1GB RAM and internal memory of 8 GB, which can be expanded to 32GB with a microSD card. A 3200mAh battery ensures more than 4 hours of continuous usage time on full charge. Children can read books, learn to play the piano, explore the world and the universe as well as practice math through games on Eddy. All the games preloaded on the tablet are violence-free. Eddy also comes with an exclusive recommendation engine for parents, the Kids Radar, which recommends the most suitable learning apps for their kids on the Play store.
Probably the best designed gaming controller for the iPhone we’ve seen so far, the Logitech Powershell is made solid, with a rubbery surface that’s comfortable to hold. It’s also sturdy and compact enough to be stored loosely in a bag or pocket. The Powershell is built to slot the iPhone directly inside, without having to pull the controller apart to fit it in (unlike the Moga Ace Power controller). The phone retains all of its independent functions while attached to the Powershell, and the headphone jack and lock button remain attainable so that users can listen to music and lock their phone at all times. Despite its great design, some reviewers have criticized the Powershell’s single D-pad and lack of analog sticks.