2012 has been a big year for consumer tech products, with a range of new smartphones, visual technologies and entertainment products being released over the course of the year. Ventures Africa now presents the Top 5 Gadgets of 2012, according to us.
Indeed, the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone. The iPhone 5 is widely regarded to be this year’s biggest and best innovation on the tech scene, and has set a new level for rival handset producers to overcome. The device has significantly better measurements than its predecessor the iPhone 4S – measuring 7.6 mm thick and weighing 112 grams, it is 18 percent thinner and 20 per cent lighter than the previous model.
Importantly, the iPhone 5 boasts the latest Retina technology – such high picture quality that the eye cannot tell that images are pixelated – on a 4 inch screen, alongside the newest technological innovations such as a specially designed nano-SIM card, and an 8MP camera with extensive capabilities. The iPhone 5 is also made for LTE connection, featuring single-chip LTE technology.
Nike +Fuel Band
This latest innovation by Nike combines healthy living with fashion, in the form of a stylishly designed exercise watch. Unlike other exercise watches, the Nike+ Fuel Band looks more like a futuristic piece of jewellery than a piece of sports equipment, making it easier for users to combine a healthy lifestyle into their daily routine.
The Fuel Band allows users to keep track of the health value of daily activities, exercise measured in the form of Nike Fuel points, calories burned per activity, and similar health related statistics – all shown on the 100 white LED screen. The watch can be connected to PCs and Macs via USB, and can connect to Bluetooth devices; and there is also a Fuel Band iPhone app.
Nokia Lumia (900)
The Nokia Lumia 900 was widely praised on its release as the best-looking smartphone to date – at 127.8 mm tall, 68.5 mm wide and only 11.5 mm thick, the design is in-keeping with current tabletesque fashion trends.
Powered by Windows Phone 7.5, the device boasts a single-core 1.4 GHz processor, 16 GB storage, 8 hour talk-time battery, 8MP camera as well as a 1MP front camera. The AMOLED touchscreen display features ClearBlack technology, which is polarised to allow outdoor use at any angle making this device practical for on-the-go users to an unprecedented extent.
Importantly, this smartphone was quickly made available to multiple African markets.
The Wii U was released this year as the latest innovation to gaming technology. While the console looks much the same to previous Wii models, the main excitement surrounds the console’s “Gamepad”. The 6.2 inch Gamepad features touch-screen, HD technology and allows users to play Wii U edition games in HD – a host of popular branded games having produced Wii U enabled games in time for the console’s launch.
With added capabilities such as television remote control, and enabling concurrent TV and gaming via the two-screen functionality of the console, the Wii U is widely expected to revolutionise the games console sector.
Raspberry Pi Model B
Released by non-profit organisation the Raspberry Foundation in an initiative meant to reignite interest for the technology and science sectors among school children, the Raspberry Pi Model B has excited the global consumer population with its neat tiny design, and accessible pricing.
Hosting a 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), the 3.4 x 2.2 inch motherboard has 516 MB of RAM, 10/100MB ethernet including a VideoCore 4 GPU capable of a 1080p video output.
Priced at only $35 per unit for the Model B, this little device has captivated the computing market this year.