Chinese New Year tech-gift guide: Gadgets to crow about

Some great Chinese New Year themed gifts to give your loved one this year include the Beats Solo3 Wireless Special Edition (Product) Red headphones (left), iWalk Extreme Trio 10000 (centre) and the Sony Walkman NW-A26HN.
Some great Chinese New Year themed gifts to give your loved one this year include the Beats Solo3 Wireless Special Edition (Product) Red headphones (left), iWalk Extreme Trio 10000 (centre) and the Sony Walkman NW-A26HN.PHOTO: BEATS, IWALK, SONY

Clothes or tech gear, bright and cheerful colours are good for visits and as gifts this Year of the Rooster

The Year of the Rooster is upon us this weekend.

And there are plenty of things to look out for during the annual Chinese New Year visits.

For example, you are not supposed to wear all black, which is bad luck. The best thing to do is to wear clothes that are red and put on accessories that are gold, or vice versa.

The same goes for the gadgets you take along to immerse yourself in. We rounded up eight (Huat ah!) that are decked out in auspicious colours and designs, as gift ideas for you and your loved ones for this Chinese New Year.

Plus, they might come in handy when you need to tune out those dreaded questions like "when are you getting married?" or "when are you having kids?"


BEATS SOLO3 WIRELESS SPECIAL EDITION (PRODUCT) RED

$398

Block out the noise and questions from your nosey relatives with the Beats Solo3 Wireless Special Edition (Product) Red headphones.

Its cushioned ear cups provide a buffer to outside noise for an immersive audio experience.

It offers up to 40hr of battery life on a full charge, and a mere 5min of charging will give you up to three hours of playback.

Fitted with the same Apple W1 chip found in Apple's AirPods, the Beats Solo3 Wireless provides the same easy and instant set-up with supported iOS devices such as your iPhone 7. You can take calls, control your music tracks and activate Siri on your iOS devices with Solo3's multi-function on-ear controls.

The Solo3's bright red exterior will add to the auspicious mood as well.

Plus, being a (Product) Red item, part of the proceeds from its sales will go towards fighting Aids in Africa. So you are doing a good deed too.


CASIO G-SHOCK G-STEEL GST-200CP-9A

$399

Not everyone can afford an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak timepiece. But most can probably afford the Casio G-Shock G-Steel GST-200CP-9A that looks uncannily like it.

This model has sleek combination gold and black accents. Its silicone band, bezel and digital displays are all in black, while the watch face is in gold.

The face, hour markers and dials are all layered, for a three-dimensional look that adds up to a nice visual impact.

Furthermore, with its G-Shock pedigree, this G-Steel is very shock resistant, thanks to its "layered guard structure". The bezel has a layer of metal over a shock-absorbing resin layer for more protection.

The watch is also water resistant down to 200m. So you do not need to worry about the watch getting wet when you spill soft drinks over the mahjong table.


CANON POWERSHOT SX720 HS

$499

Your smartphone camera might be great, but it is never going to have a telephoto optical lens like the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS.

Finished in a festive shade of red, the 20.3-megapixel SX720 HS has a 40x optical zoom lens with a focal length that ranges from 24mm to 960mm. So you can snap a wide-angle photo of the sunrise on the first day of Chinese New Year, and then immediately zoom in to the festive decorations you see in the next block.

Coupled with the optical Image Stabilisation (IS) feature that reduces the effect of camera shake, you can focus on composing your shots without worrying about blurred images. The built-in Auto Zoom function analyses a scene automatically and determines the appropriate size and framing for the shot.

All these technologies are packed in a body that is no thicker than 3.6cm and which weighs a mere 270g. So you can put the camera together with your mandarin oranges in a small bag.


DJI PHANTOM 4 CAMERA DRONE - CHINESE NEW YEAR LIMITED EDITION

$1,849, available only at Apple Online Store

Fancy capturing footage of the festivities this weekend? Do it in style with the Chinese New Year Limited Edition DJI Phantom 4 Camera Drone.

To commemorate the Chinese New Year, this Phantom 4 drone features artwork from Spanish designer Martin Sati that is inspired by the plumage of the mythical phoenix. There are also drawings of wind, fire, water and earth elements on the main body of the Phantom 4.

The drone is bathed in red except for the base, camera and propeller engines. The remote controller also comes in red for this edition.

Otherwise, it is the same Phantom 4 smart flying camera drone from DJI. It flies intelligently with a tap, creates seamless tracking shots, and avoids obstacles by itself.

The drone is able to shoot 4K videos at 30 frames per second (fps) and full high-definition videos at 120fps. In addition, it can capture 12-megapixel RAW still images, for those lovely over-the-top aerial views of your HDB neighbourhood.


SONY WALKMAN NW-A26HN RED

$399

The red version of the Sony Walkman NW-A26HN gives audiophiles a great excuse to carry along their favourite music when they are visiting relatives.

This High Resolution Audio player is able to play high-res Audio formats such as FLAC, ALAC and HE-ACC, as well as normal audio formats such as MP3, AAC and WAV. Its DSEE HX digital sound enhancement engine upscales existing music to near high-res quality, while its S-Master HX digital amp cuts distortion and noise.

The Walkman's ClearAudio+ technology is said to deliver clean bass, crisp highs and consistent volume levels. It has a 2.2-inch display with handy direction and playback buttons, for easy navigation of your music. It has a built-in storage of 32GB with microSD card support of up to an additional 128GB of storage.

The Walkman NW-A26HN also comes bundled with colour-matching noise-cancelling earphones to make sure you can listen to the high-res audio files undisturbed.


LG GRAM 15 (15Z960-G.AA5BA3)

$2,199

Need a laptop that will not weigh you down but still provide you with plenty of computing power and an ample display? Get the LG Gram 15.

Weighing only 980g, measuring a mere 16.8mm in thickness and finished in gold, it will also attract plenty of envious glances from your relatives.

Despite its petite size, the LG Gram 15 is made of durable magnesium alloy.

Most importantly, it has a huge 15.6-inch full high-definition display with in-plane switching technology that allows accurate colour reproduction from nearly any angle.

The display also has customised optimal screen conditions for reading in Reader mode, or for watching movies in Movie mode. Great when you are tired from all the visiting and need to catch up with your latest Netflix shows.


TEFAL ADVANCED SPHERICAL POT RICE COOKER RK8115

$179

If you have a constant stream of visitors during the Chinese New Year and want to keep them well-fed, you might want to get Tefal's Advanced Spherical Pot Rice Cooker RK8115.

Its red-and-white exterior adds to the festive mood, while its cutting-edge spherical pot technology promises fluffy delicious rice.

The RK8115's spherical pot is inspired by traditional methods of cooking rice over a fire.

The pot is orbed at a 62-degree angle at the brim and bottom to ensure consistent heat circulation, by swirling the rice grains circularly rather than vertically. Spherical heating technology emits heat from the sides and bottom of the pot, so that rice cooks homogeneously. The result is consistently cooked rice.

With a capacity of one litre, the RK8115 can cook up to six cups of rice for as many as eight people.


iWALK EXTREME TRIO 10000 (GOLD)

$89

Whether you are playing Pokemon Go or just checking your friend's social-media updates on your smartphone, you will need a power bank to tide you through the entire day of visiting.

Add some festive bling with the gold version of the iWalk Extreme Trio 10000.

Its golden exterior has a nice glamorous shine with textured diamond patterns. In front, there is a small backlit LCD display that shows battery percentage, device-charging current and charging time remaining.

In addition, you will not have to worry about carrying extra cables when you have this power bank. It has a built-in micro-USB cable and a built-in Lightning cable - great for iPhone users.

It has an extra USB port for you to connect another charging cable if needed. Thus, it can charge three devices at the same time.

Its 10,000mAh lithium-polymer battery is able to charge an iPhone 7 for around five times.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'Gadgets to crow about'. Print Edition | Subscribe