For more of the latest and greatest product releases, check out our full collection of the best new gear.
December is typically a slow month in terms of new gadgets — as most companies have already released their “latest and greatest” gadgets ahead of the holiday cycle or they are waiting until early the following year (most likely at CES) to do so — but there were still quite a few notable announcements. Here’s what you missed.
(For the best announcements of last month, November 2022, click here.)
DJI Mini 3
The DJI Mini 3 Pro — a drone with many of the same advanced flying and shooting capabilities as the company’s midrange Mavic Air 2, but packaged in a much smaller 249-gram size (so no permit is required to fly) — was announced earlier this year. Fast forward to more than a half-year later and DJI has released a more affordable version.
The “non-Pro” DJI Mini 3 looks basically identical, but it lacks the same object avoidance sensors so it’s more difficult to fly. And doesn’t support the same advanced shooting abilities, one of those being ActiveTrack, which allows the drone to lock onto a subject and continuously keep them in frame as it flies. On the plus side, the new DJI Mini 3 is $200 cheaper than the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
LG UltraGear OLED (27GR95QE)
The LG UltraGear OLED (27GR95QE) is one of the most hyped gaming monitors of the year. It’s a 27-inch monitor with an OLED panel, a 2,560 x 1440 resolution, a 240Hz native refresh rate, a 0.03 millisecond response time, and covers 98.5 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut.
It’s optimized for Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles thanks to two HDMI 2.1 ports, but it also supports both AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync technologies, making it a solid match for PCs as well. The LG UltraGear OLED was technically announced earlier this fall, but LG finally announced pricing this week — and it clocks in at less than a grand.
Native Union Belt Cable Duo
Native Union announced a new charging cable with its signature braided design. However, the Belt Cable Duo is different, because it’s a single cable with a unique “dual-headed” design: one for USB-C and one for Lightning heads. This means you can charge a gadget via USB-C or via Lighting, making it twice as versatile as other cables. Unfortunately, it cannot charge two devices simultaneously. It’s available in several different colors.
The Dyson Zone is the company’s first-ever wearable. They’re wireless noise-canceling headphones that look traditional enough, but they actually can purify the air breathe via an attachable visor. The Zone was announced last April, but Dyson left out some key details including price and availability — but they released that information this week. The Dyson Zone will cost an eye-watering $949 and they’ll be released in March 2023.
Symfonisk Floor Lamp Speaker
The Symfonisk Floor Lamp Speaker is the newest addition to Ikea and Sonos’s collaborative line. It’s essentially a Sonos One SL speaker (no built-in voice assistant) that’s disguised as a floor lamp. It stands about three feet tall and comes with a bamboo shade, which you’ll be able to swap with a number of other lamp shades that Ikea sells. It’s essentially a taller version of the existing Symfonisk Table Lamp Speaker. It’ll be available in January 2023.
iFi Go Link
The iFi Go Link is the company’s newest portable DAC/amplifier that you can use to connect your wired headphones to your smartphone, tablet or computer. It connects via USB-C, but don’t worry iPhone users as iFi includes a Lightning adapter (as well as a USB-C to USB-A adapter) right in the box. The Go Link has a built-in 32-bit ES9219 Sabre DAC and supports high-resolution audio files up to 32-bit/384kHz. It’s also pretty darn affordable.
Satechi Duo Wireless Charger Power Stand
Satechi announced a new hybrid device that’s both a portable battery pack and a wireless charger. It has a 10,000mAh battery capacity, which is enough to charge most smartphones several times over. It has a neat foldable design that transforms into a magnetic wireless charging stand, but when doing so it also reveals a second Qi-wireless charging spot for AirPods. You can wirelessly charge two devices at the same time, but there’s an additional USB-C port that allows you to charge a third device via a wired connection.
Audeze is well known for its planar magnetic headphones — which compared to traditional headphones with dynamic drivers, are able to deliver high-resolution with extreme distortion — and the Maxwell promises to bring that same sort of sound to a wireless gaming headset. It’s designed to work with PC, PlayStation, Switch and Xbox (although the Xbox model costs an extra $30). They have a detachable boom microphone and built-in Bluetooth, including support for Sony’s LDAC audio files, so you can use them as regular wireless headphones when not gaming.
Price: $300 ($330 for Xbox version)
Retrospekt CP-81 Portable Cassette Player
Retrospekt is well known for making new-age versions of vintage tech. Its latest creation, the CP-81 portable cassette player, is capitalizing on both the resurgence of cassette tapes and the recent popularity of transparent gadgets. And yes, those wired headphones with orange ear cushions are included.
Zens 4-in-1 and 3-in-1 Modular Charging Stations
Zens announced two wireless charging stands that are fully compatible with MagSafe, meaning they’re both capable of charging any supported iPhone (12 or later) at the max 15-watts. The two charging stations are identical, but the 4-in-1 (shown) model has a magnetically-attaching station that adds an Apple Watch charging puck. You can buy both these models directly from Apple.
Price: $150 (3-in-1); $180 (4-in-1)
Wrensilva Loft (Tuxedo Special Edition)
The Wrensilva Loft is an all-in-one hi-fi system with gorgeous retro appeal. First released in 2020, the system consists of a turntable, preamp, 100-watt amplifier (by Bang & Olufsen) and two-way bass reflex speakers. It also has built-in Sonos compatibility. The Loft was originally released in 2020, but the company has now released a special edition “tuxedo” colorway. Only 100 of these models will be released. However, this special edition console will cost you a grand more than the regular models which come with a black grille.
UAG Lucent Power Battery with Kickstand
The Lucent Power Battery with Kickstand is a new MagSafe-compatible portable battery pack for any supported iPhone (12 or later). It has a 4,000mAh capacity, which is enough to give regular-sized iPhones about 70 percent more juice. As given away by its name, it has an integrated aluminum kickstand that supports both horizontal and portrait viewing angles.
Rotel S14 Integrated Network Streamer
Rotel has announced its first integrated network streamer. The S14 is an all-in-one hi-fi player complete with an amplifier (150-watts per channel at 4 ohms) and a 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC, and it boasts native support for several major wireless streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz. It supports AirPlay 2, Google Cast and Bluetooth aptX HD, if you want to stream from a device. And there are numerous analog connections as well. It is available in black or silver finishes.