We all know around this time of the year, a lot of sites talk about what was the best of the best for the year. While this is good to know information, each one of us personally think the best of the year is the items we bought or the items we used during the year. These items were our favorite, so this year instead of a “Best of” awards posts, we got together and chose what our favorite items from 2014 were. This might not be considered a best in specs race or had the best price, but they were the items we gravitated towards the most. So without further adieu, for 2014 these were Team G Style’s favorites
A smartphone that has been under the radar this year is the OnePlus One. While it isn’t the easiest to obtain, once you get it in your hands you won’t want to let go of it. It has a mid range pricing with high end specs. Its software is built from the ground up and customized to fit just about all your needs. With a built-in custom launcher and a sexy sandstone back, the OnePlus One is one device you wish you got in your grasp sooner.
Motorola Moto 360
This was a good year for smartwatches and specifically for Android Wear. We saw a number of smartwatches come out and ended the year with a nice update that added support for watch faces. Customization aside when it came to smartwatches one clearly took the biggest lead here at G Style. And this was the Moto 360. When it came down to it at G Style this was the smartwatch to get. The Moto 360 when it comes to the OS was similar to most of the other Android Wear watches, but this one came down to looks. Makes sense since this is G Style. The Moto 360 hands down was the best looking smartwatch of the bunch, the one looking most like a watch you’d want to wear. Others were either too big, too bulky, or just lacked the elegance that Motorola put on the market. The Moto 360 was our favorite smartwatch this year!
Google Nexus 9
This one really came down the wire. We were deadlocked twice on our favorite tablet for the year. It came down to the Nexus 9 and the iPad Air 2. But when all the chips were in on the 3rd go around the Nexus 9 came out on top. I can say as a Nexus 9 user that I truly love using it. I thought it would be tough coming from the Nexus 7 because of its size but I’ve adapted and love using the Nexus 9. It has all the Nexus goodness, direct tap on software updates from Google, and is a slightly bigger size than the Nexus 7. Add the most updated OS out now in Lollipop and a keyboard accessory for typing (which I have and currently loving) and the Nexus 9 is quite the stand up tablet. The new pricing scheme may throw off some who were used to the very cheap price the previous Nexus tablets went for, but at the end of the day if you want a good experience and love what you are using the cost can be rationalized. It all depends on what you want out of a device, and if you are coming from Team Apple, you should feel right at home lol.
V-MODA XS Headphones
A favorite in the headphones department this year would have to go to V-MODA with the XS. While it looks like such a small pair of headphones, the audio it pumps out gives you a killer punch. Its headband uses SteelFlex tech so you can bend it back and forth as much as you like. The headphone design itself fits snug and leaves no gap for a great look and the memory cushions on your ears feel pleasant. These are great for any season as in the summer I’d throw them in my shorts pocket or the winter with my heavy jacket.
SOL REPUBLIC RELAYS
SOL REPUBLIC has been a favorite of ours here at G Style period, so it is no surprise that the RELAYS was our favorite this year. The RELAYS are a great pair of ear-buds. Great for very active use and one of the few pairs of ear-buds that actually stay in my ears! Once you get pass that fact, the RELAYS sounds really good. I always keep my pair in my jacket pocket and pull them out when I need to listen to something. Though many times a good pair of over the head type headphones get the most love, you can never go wrong with having a pair of ear-buds on standby. When that moment present itself, the SOL REPUBLIC RELAYS is what I reach for!
Logitech UE Boom
The Logitech UE Boom has everything you need in a wireless Bluetooth speaker. It’s easy to pair to the UE Boom with NFC tap. The sturdy speaker isn’t only water and dust resistant, it can play from two devices at once. The cylindrical shape gives you great room filling sound. If that is not enough for you, you can pair it with another UE Boom using the (UE Boom app) to get rich stereo sound. It comes in many colors and designs to suit your personal styles. You’ll enjoy your music for a long time thanks to the Boom’s great battery life.
Some might say this was the year of the wearables, although I think 2015 might actually be the year of that. 2014 to me is the beginning wave of the wearables. I fully expect to see tons of wearable devices next month at CES with everyone and their momma trying their hand in it. But as far as 2014 is concerned, our favorite was the Fitbit Flex. Fitbit as a whole has been the leader in the wearable fitness tracker space and their products are in use by a lot of our team. The Fitbit Flex was definitely our favorite this year. The Flex is a simple tracker that measure all the basic items a tracker should from steps to distance, to calories burned and activity levels. Then when you consider it comes in at a great price of $99.99, you can see why this one is a crowd-pleaser. While Fitbit has a new line of products that will more than likely dominate 2015, 2014 belonged to the Flex!
As New Yorkers who are always on the go, we’ve come to rely heavily on the Transit app. The Transit app gives you nearly real-time arrival times of trains and buses. It picks up the routes based on your location. It includes different transportation options (MTA bus, subway, NJ Transit, PATH and even Citi Bike and Uber). You can also “fave” your most used lines so they always appear on your feed regardless of where you are. This is great to use when deciding between alternate routes. Using public transportation daily, the Transit app helps out a lot.
These were definitely our favorites this year and I can only imagine what will become our favorites in 2015. Next week will be at CES in Las Vegas and I’m sure we’ll see a ton of new items that will be hitting the market. Next year I’m sure in addition to these categories, there will be one for Smart Home tech. So keep your eyes out! What are some of your favorite gadgets this year? Let us know in the comments![Product notes by Jason A, Jason M, and Analie C.]