Chinese New Year gift guide

Gear up for the New Year

Red-and-gold gadgets to get your hands on, handy apps and more

It feels like yesterday when we first greeted the Year of the Goat. But in five days' time, the goat will be skipping away.

Yes, Chinese New Year is next Monday - the Year of the Monkey beckons. Also beckoning is shopping - for tech gear to spruce up the home, gadgets for you and your loved ones, or perhaps apps to kill time during those visits.

For this festive-focused gift guide, we rounded up red-and-gold themed personal gadgets, handy appliances that could come in useful this festive season, apps that teach you the right protocol for greeting your relatives during visits, and more.

Most importantly, we would like to wish everyone a prosperous and joyful year ahead. Gong Xi Fa Cai!


FOR HOME


PHOTO: LG

LG CORDZERO HANDSTICK

$599

Swish away the spring cleaning blues with this compact cordless LG vacuum cleaner. The CordZero HandStick comes with two battery packs that let you clean for up to 60 minutes. It can also transform into a handheld vacuum for hard-to-reach crevices at the press of a button. LG says its anti-tangle technology prevents hair from getting stuck on the vacuum's brush.


PHOTO: LINN

LINN SERIES 5 FABRIK MUSIC SYSTEM

$19,990 (520 System), $25,990 (530 System)

Jazz up your living room with the new Linn Series 5 Music System. Not only does this two-speaker system provide excellent audio quality, its floorstanding loudspeakers can also be customised to fit your home decor by changing their fabric covers.

The system includes the Akurate DSM network music player that can stream digital music from other devices on your network and even connect to a turntable.


PHOTO: OSIM

OSIM UDIVA CLASSIC

$2,499

It can be tiring to spend an entire day out visiting friends and relatives. Wouldn't it be great if, at the end of the day, you could just sink into a massage chair and let it work the knots out of your muscles?

The compact uDiva Classic is perfect for small homes. It looks like an armchair, but can be extended into a lounger with a retractable leg massager.


PHOTO: PHILIPS

PHILIPS FUZZY LOGIC RICE COOKER HP4515

$139

Planning a reunion dinner? Philips' latest rice cooker has a "Tornado Cooking" function that reduces cooking time to just 25 minutes, so there is no need to worry if guests turn up at the last minute.

And if you prefer something else besides steamed rice, this cooker has 10 preset menus for porridge, glutinous rice and even soups and noodles.


PHOTO: GOOGLE

GOOGLE CHROMECAST 2

US$35 (S$50)

Chinese New Year gatherings are perfect for catching up with relatives and friends. With a little help from the Google Chromecast dongle, you can easily stream your photos and videos to the big screen. It can even be used to play multiplayer games such as Monopoly on a TV with a smartphone or tablet.

While Google does not sell the Chromecast here, it is available online at websites such as Qoo10, albeit with a slight markup.

Vincent Chang


FOR YOURSELF


PHOTO: BEATS

BEATS SOLO2 WIRELESS ROSE GOLD

$490

Do you have an iPhone in rose gold finish? Get the Beats Solo2 Wireless on-ear headphone in rose gold to complement it and add to the auspicious mood.

This Bluetooth headphone gives you freedom of movement by doing away with cables.

The close-fitting streamlined design of the headband and ear cups provides comfort. You can even take calls with its built-in microphone.


PHOTO: APPLE

APPLE WATCH SPORT CHINESE NEW YEAR LIMITED EDITION

From $518

Exclusive to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China for this festive period, this limited edition Apple Watch Sport has a gold aluminium case with a red Sport Band.

Current Apple Watch Sport models do not have a red Sport Band pairing as an option. This particular gold Apple Watch version's red band comes with a matching gold aluminium pin instead of the regular silver pin.

The watch is available in both 38mm and 42mm models until Feb 22.


PHOTO: LG

LG CLASS (GOLD)

$398

This golden smartphone looks elegant and luxurious, and it won't break the bank.

The LG Class has a sleek metallic finish in a 150g lightweight body that is only 7.4mm thick, which belies its affordable price.

This Android 5.1.1 smartphone has a 5-inch display with a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 8-megapixel front-facing camera.


PHOTO: NEW BALANCE

NEW BALANCE MIDNIGHT BLOOM ZANTE (RED)

$169

If your festive visiting schedule is looking daunting, you might want to look at wearing a pair of comfortable shoes like the New Balance Midnight Bloom.

This pair of sneakers is adapted from the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante running shoes, and refreshed with floral adornments that seem uncannily appropriate for the occasion.


PHOTO: CASIO

CASIO EXILIM EX-TR70 (GOLD)

$1,399

Want to look good in every picture taken during the Chinese New Year? Grab the Casio Exilim EX-TR70.

It features Advanced Make-up Mode that has a redesigned Skin Brightening function. This function enhances skin tone and adds a rosy tinge for a radiant and glowing complexion.

This 11.1-megapixel selfie camera has a flexible aluminium frame and rotatable 3-inch touchscreen display, which make selfie taking a cinch.

Trevor Tan


FOR VISITING


PHOTO: DIMDIM GAMES

CHINESE NEW YEAR SOUNDBOARD BY DIMDIM GAMES

Free (iOS and Android)

Need some good Chinese New Year music to get the party started? Let this Chinese New Year Soundboard turn you into a DJ for the day.

There are 12 tracks available - one for each year of the zodiac - and you only have to click on an animal portrait for a cheery song to ramp up the festive mood. You can also add a short delay so that the music starts just as everyone's chopsticks are raised for the first toss of the lo hei.


PHOTO: MOBPAGE HOLDINGS

RELATIVE TITLE CALCULATOR BY MOBPAGE HOLDINGS

Free (Android only)

What is the proper way to greet your father's younger brother's wife at Chinese New Year? Is she a gu gu or a shen shen?

If you are not sure, input the connections between the two of you into this calculator-style app, and it will churn out the correct Chinese title to help you navigate your network of relatives.

The app is also useful for other sticky situations where you find yourself surrounded by distant relations, such as at Chinese weddings and tea ceremonies.


PHOTO: LINE CORPORATION

LINE BY LINE CORPORATION

Free (iOS and Android)

Popular messaging service Line has introduced a new official set of animated Chinese New Year stickers.

In line with the Year of the Monkey, the eight-sticker set is inspired by the Chinese classic Journey To The West.

It features popular Line characters such as Brown and Cony decked out in clothes inspired by the novel, bearing festive wishes such as "Huat Ah" and "Happy CNY".


PHOTO: METOO

2016 CHINESE NEW YEAR FRAME HD BY METOO

Free (Android only)

Adorn your pictures with an assortment of Chinese New Year borders and frames with this app. You can snap a picture while in the app, or add the festive trims to an existing photo.

Once you have found a frame you like, you can save the image and post it on social media, or send it to friends and relatives over a messaging service as a Chinese New Year greeting card.


PHOTO: BIDOGAME

LEON RUN BY BIDOGAME

Free (Android only)

If you need some downtime between the numerous relative visits, try Leon Run.

In the simple game, players control Leon the Lion Dance lion, and have to navigate him through a series of obstacles to collect points and avoid danger.

The aim of the game is to get Leon to run as far as possible, and to collect treasure-filled chests along the way.

Lisabel Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'Gear up for the New Year'. Print Edition | Subscribe