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December 5, 2017

Hayato’s Favorite Things of 2017

by John_A

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Hayato’s Favorite Things

2017 has been sort of a rough year, but it’s at least been good to me, and good to the tech industry — there are more awesome gadgets out there than ever. I’ve gotten quite a few of them, and I figured I’d share some of my favorites. If you’re looking for a cool gift to put under the tree, or you just want something new for yourself, hopefully this list will help.

Sorry in advance that most of them are a little pricey.

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OnePlus 5

No, it’s not the best phone of the year, and now that the OnePlus 5T is out it’s not even the best from its own brand. But it’s the phone that I’ve spent the most time with this year, and — as much as I hate the term — it’s been my daily driver for the majority of 2017.

For under $500, it’s hard to find a better deal than the OnePlus 5. I love OxygenOS, and this phone feels like the perfect size for me (although I wouldn’t mind that fancy 2:1 display on the 5T). If I could change anything, I wish the OnePlus 5 were waterproof like almost every other phone this year, but I really can’t complain otherwise. Since the OnePlus 5 is no longer for sale, I linked the OnePlus 5T, which is slightly better and (sorry) slightly more expensive.

From $499 Buy Now

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Peak Design Everyday Backpack

I’m kind of obsessed with backpacks, so naturally I’ve gone through a few of them this year: I got the TimBuk 2 Parkside last holiday season, which was a bit too small and poorly padded; the OnePlus Travel backpack, which I love for general purposes (read: it’s not a camera bag); and the Tylt Energi Pro that, while full of handy compartments and a terrific included battery pack, is entirely too big for me. I’ve known about Peak Design for a little while because of their clever camera gear, and as luck would have it they’ve also got a clever bag. The Everyday Backpack has everything from adjustable shelves inside for smart packing to side zippers to quickly access the things at the bottom of the bag without having to rearrange everything up above. After talking to our own Andrew Martonik about his satisfaction with his, I finally decided to pull the trigger on Black Friday and I have no regrets.

From $259 Buy Now

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Sony WH-1000XM2

Thankfully active noise-canceling headphones are one of humanity’s greatest creations, and my ANC cans of choice are Sony’s second-gen 1000X. They’re Bluetooth-capable and last forever on a charge, and they sound great to boot. The noise-canceling is, ahem, jarring at first, but it works so well that even on a plane or in the midde of a noisy city like Manhattan, I can sort of live in a bubble of silence. Oh, and there are some crazy useful gestures like being able to put my hand over the right cup to mute my music and turn on the microphones so I can hear the world around me without having to take the headphones off.

$348 Buy Now

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Panasonic Lumix GH5

I’ve been shooting on the same Panasonic GH3 for years, and while it’s been a great 1080p camera, it was time to upgrade. The GH5 has been an absolute dream in the short time I’ve had it so far, but if you’re at all into video then you know that already. This is one of the most popular cameras around. The GH5 is one of the only consumer-grade cameras right now that can shoot 4K at 60 fps, and you can even capture 10-bit color, which is awesome for color grading and chroma keying. Add to that dual SD card slots and a USB-C port for fast transfers over USB 3.1, and this is pretty much the perfect camera for YouTube.

$1997 Buy Now

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Samsung T5 SSD

When I bought a new laptop last year, I figured a 256GB SSD would be plenty for me, given that I store almost everything in the cloud. Turns out I was right — I’m barely pushing past 100GB because all I store locally is apps and files synced from Google Drive. But then I got a job editing video. I like to edit off of external storage because I can instantly pick up and work on my desktop. Samsung’s new T5 series SSDs are insanely fast, tiny, and durable; I picked up a 1TB model, and the USB 3.1 transfer speeds are more than enough for me to edit off of.

From $126 Buy Now

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Nintendo Switch

Seriously, is there anybody who owns a Switch and doesn’t #$@%ing love it? Between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey (and the cute and addictive sleeper hit Snipperclips), it’s hard to put the Switch down, but luckily when you do you can just slide it into its dock and start playing on the TV. The Joycons are the first controllers from Nintendo that I actually enjoy using (the GameCube controller is hot garbage, fight me), and I love that it has a USB-C port, since that means I can charge it with my battery pack the same way I would a phone.

$299 Buy Now

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