Trending December 2023 # The 8 Best Student Tech Projects At Microsoft’s Imagine Cup # Suggested January 2024 # Top 17 Popular

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At the afterparty for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, a worldwide student technology competition, some of the smartest students in the world are singing “Like a Virgin.” One of them begs me to get him a beer; the line is impossibly long and I’ve finally reached the front. But really, you can’t blame them for wanting to unwind. It’s been a long week in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the students have largely neglected the sights in favor of long nights of coding and honing their business pitches.

It all culminated on Thursday, in the Alexandrinsky Theatre, at the lengthy and lavish awards ceremony hosted by the Doctor himself—Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame, so chosen because “we wanted someone who would embody the Imagine Cup qualities of creativity, ingenuity and a lot of last minute running about,” says John Scott Tynes, the Imagine Cup competition manager. Several teams walked away with cash prizes ranging from $3,000 to $50,000 to grow their businesses and improve their inventions. Winniers included a quick blood type test, an app that syncs music playback on your phone, and a social network for nonprofits and volunteers.

“We’re giving people a platform to showcase their idea and it seems to me that [considering] the quality of some of the ideas, if you weren’t to invest a little more in the research and the development, it would be a real shame,” Smith says.

Though there are approximately one million smaller awards and challenges that students compete for at the Imagine Cup, the main three categories are Games, World Citizenship and Innovation, the only real difference between the latter two being that World Citizenship projects are supposed to be altruistic and the Innovation ones don’t have to be (though they still sometimes are). The winner of the World Citizenship competition devised a tool that lets you quickly and easily test for blood types. The winning team in the Innovation competition created an app called soundSYNK that lets you sync up smartphones to play music simultaneously.

The focus of the Imagine Cup has shifted somewhat from past years when it really emphasized using technology to solve the world’s problems. There’s plenty of that remaining, but it seems that the competition is embracing inventiveness in all its forms, including projects that are really just for fun. There’s space for a game called “Piggy Spanker,” which is pretty much what it sounds like, to be in the same room as an app that diagnoses malaria.

Students are encouraged to treat their projects like startups–to come up with business plans and think not only about what their projects could theoretically achieve, but how to actually make them a reality. As Microsoft Corporate Vice President Steve Guggenheimer reminded the attendees at the awards ceremony, “Microsoft is a student-run startup…my hope for all of you is that you end up in the same place someday.” That never seemed to be far from the students’ minds. They are consummate salespeople, walking the floors during showcases, pulling you aside and asking “Have you heard about our project?”

I saw some amazing ideas at these showcases, both from teams that won and teams that didn’t, from all over the world. Team MaskedNinjas from Egypt created an app that turns a newspaper into a Harry Potter-esque experience, scanning text and bringing up relevant videos to enhance your reading. It isn’t magic though, just an algorithm.

The author, wearing Team M1R’s augmented reality helmet

The author, wearing Team M1R’s augmented reality helmet

Team M1R from Spain, which is really just one guy, Sergio Rivas Gomez, created one of the craziest projects I’ve ever seen at any Imagine Cup—an augmented reality helmet that has 3-D vision and responds to the movement of the wearer’s eyes, and her brain waves. When I wore it, and looked at a piece of paper with Russian text on it, the helmet translated it, displaying the text in English right below. It’s like Google Glass, except that, in Gomez’s view, it could do everything from give surgeons super-vision to create more immersive video games. “If he doesn’t win something, I’ll eat my hat,” I thought, because I actually think things like that. But he didn’t, so I guess I have to. It just goes to show how steep the competition is. As Matt Smith put it, “I was completely astounded by the level of some of these projects,.I was expecting, like, volcanoes that blow up and stuff.”

Volcanoes they are not. The projects use cutting-edge technology, mostly Microsoft’s, of course—these teams know which side of the bread their butter is on. But many of the app developers acknowledge the reality of the market and plan to roll out their products for Apple and Android technology too, in the future. Unlike a normal science fair, when these students pack up and go home, it’s hardly over. All of them are eager to tell me what’s next, what they’re improving for the next version, what business they’re going to talk to for funding. So it may not be long before we’re writing about some of these students again.

1st Place, Innovation: Team Colinked, United Kingdom

Team Colinked’s soundSYNK app improves that moment when your friend insists that you have to hear this new song RIGHT NOW, and a large group of people crowds around a small smartphone to listen. One person with the app can “throw” the song to another, who then “catches” it, each with a small shake of the phone. The app then syncs up the song on both phones, so they play it in perfect unison. With enough phones, you can spread the song like a virus. “Whenever you want to listen to music with your friends, it’s all together, it’s in the moment,” says team member Jonathan Neumann Massey. So they created soundSYNK as an “impromptu social network,” that you can use at the beach, on a train, or wherever. The app is operated on a Bluetooth mesh network, meaning you don’t need to have Wi-Fi access to use it. Theoretically, the network could support up to 65,000 devices, though of course the team hasn’t tested quite that many yet. In addition to the $50,000 Team Colinked received from winning the Imagine Cup, they’ve also snagged a £10,000 grant from Creative England and £8,000 from the University of Exeter, where they study.

2nd Place, Innovation: Team DORA, Slovenia

DORA is a software program designed to serve as an interactive physician’s assistant. The team wanted to improve the efficiency of medical treatment using technology, and created DORA. The software displays patient information for easy reference before and during surgery, and allows surgeons to consult with their colleagues during procedures. Team DORA claims that using their program would cut the cost of surgeries by about 20 percent, according to UKC Maribor, a Slovenian hospital that the team worked with.

1st Place, World Citizenship: Team For a Better World, Portugal

Ana Ferraz, the one and only team member of Team For a Better World, made a cheap, portable device that can quickly determine someone’s blood type in 5 minutes. It has six containers for blood, into each of which you put a reagent. A small centrifuge in the device mixes it up, causing agglutination in some containers, or not, depending on the blood type. The lid of the device contains LED lights and a camera, which takes a picture of the test results and sends it to the software program on a computer. The software analyzes the photo, and determines the blood type. Ferraz says the system could be used in the future to test for other diseases that would react with agglutination to certain reagents, such as syphilis. “With this portable prototype that eliminates travels to the laboratory, [you can] earn up time to save lives,” Ferraz says.

2nd Place, World Citizenship: Team Omni-Hearing Solution, Taiwan

1st Place, Games: Team Zeppelin Studio, Austria

Light is power in Team Zeppelin Studio’s game Schein. A weird little dude named Irrlicht explores a dark and murky swamp, using light to defeat monsters, solve puzzles and more. In the team’s bio on the Imagine cup site, they said they were inspired by ghost lights: “illusions which are said to most often lead lost wanderers into peril.” “Our goal is to mix science and art, creating new fantastic worlds with ingenious gameplay,” says team member Philipp Schäfer. Apparently, along the way, Irrlicht’s “difficult journey challenges his sanity,” which sounds promising.

Facebook Creativity Award winner: AYNI, Ecuador

KFC Russia Award winner: Team Sano, Canada

The Russian branch of Colonel Sanders’ empire offered an award to a team with a health-focused Kinect project, which is just too rich coming from the creator of the Double Down, but anyway, the award went to Canada’s Team Sano, which battles the developed world’s number one health problem: our own laziness. Sitting kills, we all know that by now, and the Sano system monitors several of the user’s health indicators while they’re sitting at a computer and notifies them when they should take a break and exercise. A 3-D virtual trainer guides them through the exercises, and a Kinect recognizes that they actually perform them. Users can also create and save their own exercises, if they wish. As part of the prize, Team Sano’s system will be displayed in a KFC restaurant somewhere in Russia.

1st Place, Windows Azure Challenge: Team Y-Nots, India

“When we are bored, we end up being on social networks, just sitting in front of the computer,” says Team Y-Nots member Anshal Anand. “The point of social networks is to be social.” So the team created Zoik It!, a social network that lets you put in your location, and an activity that you want to do and finds people in your area for you to hang out with. For example, if you had a long layover at an airport and wanted to grab coffee with someone with similar interests, a quick Zoik It! Post could find you a new pal. Team Y-Nots also won first place in the chúng tôi Group-sponsored Connected Planet Award.

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2023 Toyota Highlander Official: 8 Seats, Hybrid Tech, Pricing

2023 Toyota Highlander official: 8 seats, Hybrid tech, pricing

Toyota has revealed the new 2023 Highlander, pairing more memorable design with the promise of greater driving refinement while still seating up to eight inside. Set to arrive in dealerships this month in gas form, the 2023 Highlander Hybrid will follow on early in the new year for those who prefer some electrification in their SUV.

Now in its fourth-generation, the Highlander uses the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) as its underpinnings. That’s the same platform used in the Toyota Camry, Lexus ES, and the RAV4, and for the 2023 Highlander it should mean a stiffer structure, smaller turning circle, and smoother ride.

It’s also a bigger vehicle than the outgoing SUV. 2.36-inches longer, in fact, which Toyota has used entirely in the cargo area; that’s now 16 cubic feet with the third row up. Drop the rearmost seats and it rises to 48.4 cu.ft.; folding the second row expands that to a capacious 84.3 chúng tôi The second row seats also slide 1.2-inches further up for the 2023 model, adding greater legroom between the second and third rows.

There’ll be two drivetrains. First to market is a 3.5-liter V6, which promises 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and will be available with a towing package with 5,000 pounds of capacity and Trailer Sway Control.

Following on in February 2023 will be the Highlander Hybrid. That combines a 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with two electric motors, for 243 hp of total system horsepower. It’ll be offered in 2WD and AWD too, a first for the SUV, and Toyota is estimating a 36 mpg combined rating on the EPA’s tests. That’s an impressive 24-percent increase over the old Highlander Hybrid’s 29 mpg combined. Better still, the hybrid’s battery pack now fits under the rear seats, rather than eating into cabin or cargo room.

There’ll be the choice of FWD or three different all-wheel drive systems. The Highlander Gas L, LE, and XLE will be offered with optional AWD that can send up to 50-percent of the torque to the rear wheels when conditions demand. The Highlander Limited and Platinum grades get Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD, which can also shift power between the left and right rear wheels.

Finally, there’s the special AWD system in the Highlander Hybrid. That uses a separate electric motor for the rear wheels, with no mechanical connection to the front.

Outside, the styling is bolder and more memorable. L, LE, and XLE trims will get a black front grille with silver trim; Limited and Platinum pair the black with more chrome, along with projector headlamps and 20-inch alloy wheels. There’ll be eight paint colors.

As for the cabin, Toyota is promising generally more comfort and tech, with the choice of 7 or 8 seats. There’s more sound dampening and insulation, and Limited and Platinum grandes get laminated front side window glass too, along with ambient LED lighting. Wireless phone charging is available, while Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Alexa, and WiFi are standard across all grades. So, too, is Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 and 3-zone climate control.

Seating is cloth in L and LE trims, Softex artificial leather in the XLE, and then perforated leather in the Limited. Embossed, perforated leather is featured in the 2023 Highlander Platinum. Navigation is standard on the Platinum, with a 12.3-inch display; a 1,200W JBL audio system is standard on Limited and Platinum.

As for pricing, that kicks off at $34,600 for the 2023 Highlander L Gas FWD (plus $1,120 destination) or $36,200 for the same SUV in AWD form. The cheapest hybrid will be the Highlander LE Hybrid FWD, at $38,200, or $39,800 in AWD form. The Platinum grade starts at $46,850.

Manage Tasks & Projects In Windows 8, Windows 10 With Telerik App

Manage Tasks & Projects in Windows 8, Windows 10 With Telerik App






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Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

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readers this month.

Most of us have our calendars full of tasks that we have to do, and some of them suffer no delays, while others are pushed for the next day. But if you have multiple projects or a high workload, all the tasks that keep piling up will take their toll on you and your productivity will go down.

Also, is these cases, chances are that you will forget some tasks that you feel are less important. With our already full calendar getting more stuffed with stuff to do, it would seem only natural to look for a good task manager that will allow you to keep track of all your tasks and let you know what you have to do. Enter Tasks by Telerik, a Windows 8, Windows 10 task manager that keep all your tasks in order.

Tasks by Telerik for Windows 10, Windows 8 – The best personal assistant

If you want to have a place where you can store all your tasks and organize them depending on importance or due dates, then Tasks by Telerik for Windows 10. Windows 8 is the app you are looking for. This free app can be downloaded from the Windows Store and installed on your Windows 10, Windows 8/RT device and it will act as your personal assistant that never forgets anything.

At first, you might find the user interface a bit confusing, as it offers users many features, but after only a few minutes of fiddling with the app, you will see that it is very simple to use. The app organizes your tasks very neatly and it provides you with the option to create categories, projects or tasks. A task can be added to a category or to a projects, so, you can have a neat schedule, where everything has its place.

Adding a task to any project or category is pretty simple. Open the New Task window and fill all the information you want. Also, from here, you can set voice memos or location for tasks that need to be completed in other places. Photos can be added to the task to make them easier to find, and for each task, you can set a reminder or a repetitive alarm.

To be sure you don’t forget any of your tasks, you can sync all the information that the app contains to other devices by using the integrated Google Tasks or Microsoft Exchange. If you are worried that the device you have the app will crash, or if you just want your information to be safe, you can sync it to the Telerik Cloud at any time. Users can also use the Search charm if they add multiple tasks, in order to find them quickly, as well as share them with friends via the Share charm.

Keep in mind that not all the features are free to use, and some of them, like the cloud sync will require you to subscribe to a monthly plan. If you don’t want these options, then you can use only the local storage.

Overall, Tasks by Telerik for Windows 10, Windows 8 is one of the best task managers apps that I’ve seen so far and thanks to its great design and top notch stability provided by the Telerik controls for Windows 10, Windows 8, I feel that everyone will have much to gain by using this app. The only reason I can think of that someone wouldn’t want to use Tasks by Telerik for Windows 10, Windows 8 is if they want to forget some tasks.

Download Tasks by Telerik for Windows 10. Windows 8

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The Best 8 Gaming Mice Of 2023

Quite literally, getting your hands on a new gaming mouse can completely change your ability to aim in all PC games. However, with so many peripheral manufacturers on the market, it can become quite difficult to find which ones are the best.

Truth be told, there are only two main indicators that can tell you whether a gaming mouse is good or not. Firstly, you have the sensor. This is the technology that’s used to track mouse movement and it’s very important for gaming.

Table of Contents

For some people, the appearance of a mouse can matter, too. Some manufacturers add LEDs to their peripherals or create unique designs.

In this article, we’ve found 8 great gaming mice. We’ve tried to pick out the most gorgeous-looking gaming mice while putting priority on the sensor and build quality. We also tried to include links to the mice on Amazon, so you can see the reviews. The links are not affiliate links and prices are subject to change. 

SteelSeries Rival 600

Firstly, let’s just get things straight with the sensor quality in the SteelSeries Rival 600 and any other SteelSeries mouse for that matter.

The SteelSeries Rival 600 uses the TrueMove3+ sensor. As it should, the sensor feels as snappy and accurate as you could ever ask for. You’re never found fighting the mouse, and once you’ve spent a few weeks getting used to it, it almost feels like the mouse cursor bends to your wheel.

The SteelSeries Rival 600 is quite a weighted mouse, although there are included weights so that you can adjust it to your preference.

You will also notice that the Rival 600 looks beautiful without breaking the standard ergonomic design seen in other high-end gaming mice.

SteelSeries Rival 600 – $79.99

SteelSeries Sensei 310 

If you’re looking for a mouse with a reliable sensor but you’re not interested in paying extra for all of the bells and whistles such as LED lighting and adjustable weights, then the Sensei 310 may be for you.

The Sensei 310 is a smaller mouse with a lighter chassis. It’s also ambidextrous, with two additional buttons on each side, making it a great choice for left-handed gamers or even those looking for a cheap option with a wider selection of buttons.

The sensor in the Sensei 310 is a generation behind the Rival 600, but in terms of real world performance, you won’t notice much difference – both mice still have incredible accuracy.

SteelSeries Sensei 310 – $49.99

The Finalmouse Ultralight Pro 

If you’re a competitive player that needs to rely on swift mouse movement and 100% accuracy, the Finalmouse Ultralight Pro will be the mouse for you.

Let’s first start with the lightweight design. The Ultralight Pro has been built from the ground up to be as light as possible.

The unique honeycomb design has been implemented on this mouse to remove as much plastic and unnecessary weight as possible. As you can imagine, it almost feels like you’re not holding anything at all when using the Ultralight Pro.

To give some perspective, the lightest the SteelSeries Rival 600 can go is 96 grams, while the Ultralight Pro is just 67 grams.

The sensor in the Finalmouse Ultralight Pro is also very good – it stacks up with all of the other gaming mice on this list.

Finalmouse Ultralight Pro – $69.99

Zowie FK2 

The Zowie FK2 is another ergonomic, lightweight mouse that has been designed for competitive gamers.

Whilst the Zowie FK2 isn’t as lightweight as the Finalmouse, it’s still a very sturdy device, and it features a no-nonsense design that could easily double up as an office mouse.

The FK2 also features two buttons on each side and can be used by both left-handed and right-handed gamers.

Zowie FK2 – $59.99

Corsair Dark Core RGB SE

If all of the gaming mice so far have been a little too bland for your taste, you’ll want to keep reading. The final four choices are far more interesting.

The contoured shape makes the Dark Core RGB SE very comfortable to use, and there are 2 interchangeable side grips to choose from. This device is certainly made for those with larger hands, and it’s a little on the heavier side.

While wireless was a concern in the past, the Dark Core RGB SE has a response time that’s on par with wired mice. The only issue is that you cannot use this mouse while it’s charging.

Corsair Dark Core – $89.99

Razer DeathAdder Elite 

The Razer DeathAdder Elite will always stand out as the best ergonomic mouse for those with big hands. This mouse is a beast, both in size and form factor.

Despite having such a large physical presence, the DeathAdder Elite doesn’t go over the top with its design. It’s quite clearly a gaming mouse, but you could only tell by the subtle inclusion of LEDs under the mouse wheel and on the palm rest.

Razer DeathAdder Elite – $57.99

Logitech G Pro

In comparison to many of the other gaming mice showcased in this list, the Logitech G Pro looks quite funny. It’s smaller and almost looks squished from some angles, but you certainly shouldn’t underestimate it.

The Logitech G Pro has been made to be as lightweight as possible. That, in conjunction with its esports focused sensor, makes the G Pro an incredible mouse for playing competitive shooters.

All buttons on the mouse are tactile and the mouse wheel feels more like a durable, sturdy additional as opposed to a typical wheel. This mouse is certainly for those with smaller hands, however.

Logitech G Pro – $45.99

Logitech G903

The Logitech G903 has enough of a unique design to catch people’s attention, but it doesn’t take anything away from the ergonomics of a proper mouse design.

Not only does the Logitech G903 have one of the best sensors on the market and one of the sturdiest designs, but it’s also 100% wireless.

You can pair the Logitech G903 with the Logitech powerplay wireless charging system, which is essentially a wireless charging mouse mat that allows you to charge while you play.

The Logitech G903 completely rips apart the negative association gamers have had with wireless mice in the past and presents a truly competitive choice and a clear road for the future of gaming peripherals.

Logitech G903 – $115


We hope this list has helped you to find a suitable new gaming mouse. There’s no doubt that all of these gaming mice are good, it just depends on which mouse suits you the best.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a physical store that you can visit to test all of these mice, so your best option is to buy from a store that has a good refund policy. Sometimes you have to try a couple of mice before you find the one that works for you. Enjoy!

Best Tech Gifts For Christmas 2023

You’ll get lots of inspiration here, but we’d also recommend checking out the best tech deals – especially during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Smartphones – Our choice: Poco X3 Pro

Who wouldn’t love a new phone for Christmas? Especially now that you can get solid discounts on premium handsets that launched at the beginning of the year or late last year.

You don’t have to be Scrooge to be put off by the £500-plus price of some of the flagship phones. The phone shown here is the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro, which is our top budget buy at £229.

There are plenty of other incredible mid-range and budget phones that could make anyone envious thanks to top-notch performance and features.

(And if your recipient isn’t picky, you can find fabulous discounts on refurbished phones in top condition too!)

Follow the links below to find a phone to suit your budget and your recipient:

If you’re buying a new phone, consider also a power bank, wireless charger or other accessories such as a case.

Tablets – Our choice: iPad Air (4th gen, 2023)

A tablet makes a great Christmas present for your nearest and dearest, as always-on devices that let you work and play.

We’ve found that tablets can be a big hit with the over-50s, as well as teenagers and commuters. At the top of our tablets chart right now is the iPad Air (4th gen), which you can buy from £579/$599 from Apple. 

There are plenty of other excellent options too – best tablet deals. And if you’re looking for a tablet for a younger users, you can check out our round-up of the best kids tablets here.

If that’s out of your budget, check out our round up of the Amazon Fire HD 10 currently reduced to £79.99/$74.99 on Amazon.

Smartwatches – Our choice: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

The Apple Watch and Fitbit lines have popularised wearable tech for all, and will feature high up on plenty of Christmas wish lists this year.

The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (pictured) tops our list of the best smartwatches of the year with prices starting at £349/ $349.99.  See our full review of the Watch 4.

If you’re on a strict budget, check out the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini, which offers an AMOLED display and costs just £49.99 at Argos.

best smartwatch deals.

Activity trackers – Our choice: Fitbit Charge 5

With so many of us pledging to lose weight or get fit for the new year, a fitness- or activity tracker is an ideal Christmas gift. Fitbit is one of the biggest players in this market, but there are plenty of alternatives to choose from too, especially given all the recent releases.

Our pick of the year is the Charge 5 (£169.99/$179.95) but you can find last year’s still excellent Fitbit Charge 4 (RRP £129.99/$149.95) for just £89.99 at Amazon. See other excellent best Fitbit deals here.

We’re comparing all Fitbit models here too to help you decide.

Want to see options outside Fitbit? See our favourite activity trackers.

Gifts for kids – Our choice: Osmo Coding

There are many cheaper options when it comes to tablets and other techy gifts for kids, as demonstrated in our round-up, which you can read here, along with our separate guides to the best robot toys and coding games for kids.

In addition to being lots of fun, these gifts are often educational too – a lesson in disguise like the Osmo Coding games (£99.99/$129.99, which teach children (ages 5-12) how to code using physical blocks.

Headphones – Our Choice: Sony WH-1000XM4

Our list of the best headphones to gift this Christmas has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for the best audio quality or the best price.

If you’ve got cash to splash on the very best, you’ll want to pick up the Sony WH-1000XM4 (£350/$349.99). See our overall round-up of the best headphones for other excellent options.

For cheaper headphones that still offer impressive quality for the price

These days it’s wireless earbuds such as the new Apple AirPods 3 (£169/$179) which that really impress – however, check out the best Bluetooth earbuds ( as well as some cheaper options).

Bluetooth speaker – Our choice: EarFun Uboom

The best speakers can cost hundreds of pounds, but getting better (or simply louder) audio from your phone, tablet or laptop is easily achievable without spending a fortune.

The EarFun Uboom is a great affordable option and currently tops our best budget Bluetooth speakers list. It costs £59.99/$79.99 on but you can get it for a lot cheaper from Amazon.

If you’ve got more money to spend on a speaker (perhaps this is a Christmas gift for yourself!) then check out our overall best speakers chart here.

Of course, it’s also worth considering a smart speaker, and Amazon has some incredible deals on Echo right now.

E-Readers – Our Choice: Kindle Paperwhite (2023 model)

The ideal gift for a book worm, an e-reader lets you hundreds of books into a single slim and light digital device. E-readers are cheaper than tablets, optimised for reading, and with much better and battery life.

Our pick of the best is the new Kindle Paperwhite (2023), but the previous generation is still an excellent option, now at a fraction of the original price on Amazon. In fact, we’ve crowned it the best value e-reader in the list of our favourite e-readers this year.

Drones – Our choice: Ryze Tello

Drones are the new remote control car, and they don’t have to cost the world.

round-up of the best cheap drones here.

Check out the DJI Ryze Tello for just £99 on Amazon and $99 on Best Buy.

Games consoles – Our choice: Nintendo Switch

A new games console is one of the most exciting gifts you can open on Christmas morning, because the endless entertainment that follows can last all the way until next Christmas (and you’ll know just what to get them next time – a game or two!)

Oculus Quest 2 and the new PlayStation 5 seem to be the big-hitters this year, but PS5 at least is also as easy to find as gold dust. The stock situation for the updated Xbox Series X and Series S is better, and don’t forget the Nintendo Switch which is now £20 cheaper thanks to the arrival of the Switch OLED Model. 

We’re rounding up all the best Nintendo Switch deals and taking a look at how to get the Switch/Switch OLED for for free with a phone contract (two presents for the price of one? Why not!).

We also have the best Switch games in this handy round up.

See the best games consoles available in our chart here.

Instant cameras – Our choice: Instax Mini 11

You’d think instant cameras would be consigned to the past, but nostalgia has dragged them kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, and surprisingly enough they’re actually a welcome presence.

In an age of instant filters and digital backups, there’s something to be said for a camera that doesn’t let you pick the perfect photo out of ten options, and that immediately gives you a physical print to hang onto.

We’ve tested a selection for our guide to the best instant cameras, but for gift giving one of our favourites us the affordable Instax mini 11 (£69.99/$69.95).

Gaming keyboards – Our choice: Logitech G915

Another option for gamers, this time the PC-loving variety, is a new gaming keyboard.

We’ve picked out 10 of the best gaming keyboards available to buy in the UK, so take a look here.

Among the best is the Logitech G915 gaming keyboard (£209.99/$249.99) which is available direct from Logitech.

Gaming mice – Our choice: Razer Naga Trinity

Alternatively, how about a gaming mouse? You’ll find 10 of the best gaming mice to buy for Christmas

The Razer Naga Trinity (£99.99/$99.99) is one of the most user-friendly mice we’ve tested, and could make the perfect gift for PC gamers. It’s currently on offer at £48.99 at Amazon.

Laptops – Our choice: Huawei Matebook 14s (2023)

A laptop could make an amazing present this Christmas, and it doesn’t necessarily have to break Santa’s bank.

See our favourite laptops to gift this year, and here to go to our favourite budget laptops. You’ll also find some great laptop deals this time of year.

Top of our overall best laptops chart right now is the Huawei Matebook 14s (2023), available from Amazon with £250 off!

Laptop bags – Our choice: Ogio Alpha Convoy

If your gift’s recipient already has a laptop, how about a laptop bag? We’ve reviewed our favourite cases, rucksacks and messenger bags for style, comfort and practicality.

The Ogio Alpha Convoy 525r backpack sits at the top of our best laptop bag list for being strong yet lightleight.  See our favouite laptop bags for Christmas.

The Best Android Phones At $700 And Above

The huge inventory of Android smartphones available is what makes Google’s OS the best out here. But if you are looking for the best in the premium market, there’s a need to get a little picky because you are spending a lot of money on a handheld.

If you are spending more than $700 on a smartphone, it better be worth it. And in this post, we have a list of phones that we think sit at the very top end of the best Android phones that you can buy right now.

Of course, this page will be updated regularly to reflect the best there is at the moment.


The best Android phones [June 2023]

Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+

Samsung is the leading smartphone vendor in the world for a reason – it makes the best smartphones, too. The Galaxy S10 5G is the baddest of them all, but the limited 5G coverage means it’s pointless getting one for most people. But then there’s the Galaxy S10 and S10+, the best that you can get right now.

The S10 and S10+ have the best quality of any smartphone display screen, and being the premium offerings from Samsung, they don’t skimp on specs and features. But if the 6.4-inch panel on the S10+ is a little bigger for you, the slightly smaller Galaxy S10 is your next stop. Mostly, everything else remains the same on both phones, as seen below.


Galaxy S10

6.1-inch 19:9 QHD+ (3040×1440) Curved Dynamic AMOLED display

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855


128GB or 512GB expandable storage, up to 512GB

Tri-lens main camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP

10MP front camera

3400mAh battery

Android 9 Pie with One UI

Galaxy S10+

6.4-inch 19:9 QHD+ (3040×1440) Curved Dynamic AMOLED display

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

8GB or 12GB RAM

128GB, 512GB or 1TB expandable storage, up to 512GB

Tri-lens main camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP

Dual-lens selfie camera: 10MP + 8MP

4000mAh battery

Android 9 Pie with One UI

These two also come with extra features that include Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, fast wired and wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, Wi-Fi 6, IP68 dust and water resistance, AR Emoji, in-display fingerprint scanner, face recognition, heart rate sensor, etc.


Samsung Galaxy Note 9

It won’t be long before the Galaxy Note 10 arrives, which makes it the perfect time to snag the Galaxy Note 9 on a bargain. The Note 9 might be a year old, but you are getting one of the most powerful handsets available today.

What makes the Note 9 stand out from the rest is the S Pen, a tool that opens a whole new world of possibilities. But you also get plenty of other extras on the device such as IP68 dust and water resistance and a 3.5mm audio jack, a feature that’s said to be going away with the arrival of the Note 10.


6.4-inch 18.5:9 QHD+ Super AMOLED display

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor


128GB or 512GB expandable storage up to 512GB

Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera

8MP front camera

4000mAh battery

Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.5

Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB-C, Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, 3.5mm audio jack, IP68, 1.2Gbps LTE, (Cat-18), rear-mounted scanner, iris scanner, S Pen, etc.

To remind you, the Galaxy Note 10 is around the corner, so if you want even more power, a better S Pen, a bigger battery, a better camera, and 5G support, you might want to keep saving more money.


Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

These two aren’t the shiny devices they were several months ago. In fact, they aren’t even the best performers out there, but they are here for those looking for the software-focused buyer. The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have the best software experience on any Android device, including the boasting the longest software support window of up to three major Android OS upgrades.

The icing on the cake is the camera. Despite only being a single-lens shooter, the Pixel 3 camera still competes favorably against the tri-lens S10 and even the quad-lens S10 5G in terms of photo quality. But what makes the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL the best right now is their massively discounted price of up to $300 off the RRP depending on where you buy either phone.


Pixel 3

5.5-inch 18:9 FHD+ OLED display

Snapdragon 845 processor

Pixel Visual Core co-processor


64GB or 128GB storage

12.2MP main camera

Dual 8.1MP + 8.1MP selfie camera

2915mAh battery

Android 9 Pie

Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, Rear-mounted scanner, Fast charging, Wireless charging, IP68, Stereo speakers, Active Edge, etc.

Pixel 3 XL

6.3-inch 18:9 QHD+ OLED display

Snapdragon 845 processor

Pixel Visual Core co-processor


64GB or 128GB storage

12.2MP main camera

Dual 8.1MP + 8.1MP selfie camera

3430mAh battery

Android 9 Pie

Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, Rear-mounted scanner, Fast charging, Wireless charging, IP68, Stereo speakers, Active Edge, etc.

Yes, it’s true the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones miss out on a number of big specs and features, but honestly, the cons are nothing compared to the pros.

FYI, Google recently gave us an early look at what’s in store for the Google Pixel 4 and boy, you might want to keep holding onto your aging Pixel 2 and wait for this one. After all, it’s only a few months away.


OnePlus 7 Pro

For a company that started out as a flagship killer, it’s such a huge step to be sitting on the same table with the big boys. In the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company has a smartphone that easily ticks all the essential boxes, that is, speed, software, battery life, and camera, but it punches above the sky with things like a 90Hz AMOLED display screen, 30W Warp Charge, under-display fingerprint scanner, and a pop-up selfie camera, among others.

As a brand built on value, OnePlus still had to price the OnePlus 7 Pro affordably despite all the device brings, which is super impressive. The fact that it can be had through T-Mobile financing makes it even better. What’s even more interesting is that it works perfectly on Verizon Wireless too, but you’ll have to get the unlocked model from the official OnePlus store.


6.67-inch 19.5:9 QHD+ (3140×1440) Fluid AMOLED display, 90Hz refresh rate

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor

6GB or 8GB or 12GB RAM

128GB or 256GB storage

Tri-lens main camera: 48MP + 16MP + 8MP

16MP (f/2.0) pop-up selfie camera

4000mAh battery

OxygenOS on top of Android Pie

Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, in-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock, USB Type-C, NFC, 30W Warp Charge, dual stereo speakers, etc.


Samsung Galaxy S10e

What if you are a Samsung fan but the Galaxy S10, S10+ and Note 9 are too big for your hands? Or maybe you just want a compact flagship smartphone that’s not a Google Pixel 3? Well, your answer is the Samsung Galaxy S10e.

Despite being termed compact, the S10e still gives you an expansive 5.8-inch display screen. On the inside, you have the same configuration as the S10 and S10+, but the S10e skimps on specs to accommodate its affordable price tag.

Still, there’s nothing inferior about the S10e hardware specs compared to the S10 and S10+, but keep in mind you’ll lose the in-display fingerprint scanner and the third camera lens on the back. You also get a flat-screen design with a lower resolution and not the curved edge-to-edge panel on the premium models.


5.8-inch 19:9 FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820 processor

6GB or 8GB RAM

128GB or 256GB of expandable storage, up to 512GB

Dual main camera: 12MP + 16MP

10MP front camera

3000mAh battery

Android 9 Pie with One UI

Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, fast wired and wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, Wi-Fi 6, IP68 dust and water resistance, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, face recognition, heart rate sensor, etc.


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