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    7 Game-Changing Tech Products You Need ASAP

    A Kodak mini portable projector, a pair of Bose headphones, a Casio Illuminator watch, and more gizmos, gadgets, and apps tried and tested by BuzzFeed editors.

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    This post features a mix of items that we purchased with our own money and those that were provided to us at no cost for the sake of review. (But! We’re under no obligation to write a review of those things, let alone a positive review.)

    1. A set of Bose QuietComfort headphones truly worth the splurge, for top-notch audio quality and comfort whether you're commuting or just chilling at home.

    Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

    I’ve lusted after the Bose QuietComfort headphones for years, ever since I learned of their existence. I used to dabble in video editing but I’m by no means a sound professional or audiophile. What I am is a person with a large head who is unable to find headphones that don’t kill my ears after five minutes and who lives and commutes in NYC where construction and subway noises are constantly giving me a headache. Believe me when I say I’ve tried at least a dozen headphones before committing to these Bose babies, and I’m so glad I bit the bullet. (It took a while to save up!)

    When I put them on, the world instantly goes quiet, and that’s before I even turn on the active noise cancellation. I find that in a normal office environment, the noise isolation is enough for me. I feel super focused and productive when I have them on since I don’t have random sounds attracting my attention. The sound quality is excellent — music sounds crisp, and speech even more so. These especially excel when it comes to phone calls, especially those made in transit, because they cancel out wind noises. Since the band is so flexible, they feel very comfortable on my head, but they aren’t so loose that they slip off. The little ear cups are like fluffy little clouds of goodness. I wear them all day at work, and I won’t even notice I’m wearing them until the end of the day. The Bluetooth was easy to connect the first time, and they now automatically connect to my phone when I turn it on.

    The design (from the packaging to the power switch) is very simple and intuitive, so it’s not intimidating to use. It couldn’t be easier, in fact! In terms of battery life, I can use them at work for three whole days (for a total of approximately 24 hours) before having to juice up again. That’s a win in my book. While I don’t really use them for working out, I have seen people in my neighborhood taking a jog with them. The headphones come with a hard travel case, which ensures they won’t get crushed in my bottomless bag. The price of these is pretty steep, but they’ve brought so much joy and productivity into my life that I can confidently say they’re worth it. —Yi Yang

    Get them from Amazon pr Walmart for $299 (available in black and silver). You can also check out BuzzFeed Reviews for a detailed review of the Bose QuietComfort headphones, our top pick for high-end wireless Bluetooth headphones.

    2. A Casio Illuminator watch, which can make sure you're always on time and take ANYTHING you throw its way.

    Treye Green / BuzzFeed

    When it comes to my watches, I typically air on the side of budget-friendly and minimal designs, seeing that I like a clean look but I'm also still pretty rough on my wristwear.

    That’s why I immediately fell in love with my Casio Illuminator watch, which I scooped up at a Target last summer while casually browsing their accessories section. 

The watch has since become one of my faves, especially when I’m rocking more sporty looks. It features an LED backlight, comfortable plastic strap, and a display that can show time in both 12-hour and 24-hour increments. It also features a helpful alarm feature and a timer. 

The watch looks best with more casual, sporty outfits, and I really like how thick and solid it appears — easily allowing it to be the only accessory you wear with an outfit while still looking pretty darn sharp. And after a year of owning it, the battery has held up perfectly and I haven’t experienced any issues at all with it, or the performance of the features like the alarms and timer.

    Given how affordable this watch is, I’m glad to say there is no sacrifice in quality when it comes to how well this beauty performs. —
Treye Green 



    Get it from Amazon for $13.99 or Target for $13.99.

    3. A Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector for watching your favorite movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos from your device without losing tons of space to an entertainment center.

    Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

    I live in a really tiny studio apartment, so space is always at a premium issue. I try to get miniature versions of everything because I simply don't have enough storage or counter space for full-size appliances. For this reason, I don’t own a TV; I find that it would overwhelm my walls, and I didn’t want to sacrifice floor space for a TV stand. For a long time, I searched for a compact projector that I could use to watch movies and shows and then store away when it wasn't not in use. My wishes were granted when I discovered the Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector, which is so small, it can literally fit in the palm of my hand.

    Despite its compact size, this little guy can actually project quite far (I tested it at 14 feet or so, and the image measures approximately 50”x60”). I’ve used it to watch films and shows, and it truly feels like I have my own personal movie theater. (The darker the room, the clearer and crisper the images are, so I always use it at night with the lights out. However, blackout shades would work, too!) It can connect to a phone or computer, AND it has its own speakers (though you can connect it to an external speaker as well). For longer binge sessions, I like to have it plugged in so it doesn’t run out of juice, but it can last through a couple of 40-minute episodes unplugged just fine. The best part is once I’m done with it, it fits nicely into my drawers for storage. Easy peasy. It’s a lot simpler to deal with than the full-size one I used to own.

    Though I haven’t taken it on a trip yet, I’m excited that it’ll fit easily in my duffel bag or carry-on suitcase. Last month, when my parents came to visit, my dad saw my projector and was very jealous (and may or may not have tried to steal it) and thought it would be perfect for business presentations on the go. Until my dad actually follows through with his plan to steal my projector, I will continue to enjoy elaborate movie nights with my pals. If you are looking for a really compact and portable projector, this is a great choice. —
Yi Yang

    Get it from Amazon for $199.95, Walmart for $199.95, or Jet for $196.95.

    4. A free Life Trekkers subscription to have you ruling that productivity game.

    lifetrekkers.me

    I’m not the biggest fan of self-help-y, DIY meditation, breathing exercises, or the myriad productivity hacks I’ve come across while casually perusing the internet. Trying to meditate is the easiest way for me to induce an anxiety attack, and I often feel most productive during the act of reading about a hack, which I’ll forget about once I close my browser window. Now that we’ve established how bad I am at moderating my moods and conquering my productivity in this era of immediacy and constant distractions, let me tell you how I not only cope but thrive in my 9-to-5 and beyond.

    I signed up for Life Trekkers earlier this year, and it changed my life. Every Sunday I get an email with a small actionable item that takes between five to thirty minutes to complete. The activities are designed to make me aware of my own blind spots, and comfort zones and really examine self-created roadblocks — like unhelpful habits that have become second nature, ways in which I may be wasting my energy, or unhelpful ways I may be interacting with coworkers without knowing it — in order to overcome or manage them and access my best self. The prescribed activity always has a thought-provoking introduction, and once I’ve completed it I feel almost as if a small part of my brain has been rewired so I’m seeing things more clearly, and from a position of agency. Each weekly activity draws from the sciences, the arts, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and best-in-class-companies, which means I’m never bored, and each time I’m exercising a different part of my brain. It’s like a detailed user’s manual for my mind. —Zainab Shah

    Subscribe to the Life Trekkers email list here; you can check out some sample Life Trekkers emails here.

    5. A waterproof SkinIt iPhone 6 and 6S case that'll keep your precious phone safe without sacrificing a bit of your personal style.

    Treye Green / BuzzFeed

    When my faithful iPhone 6 recently fell face forward onto a concrete floor, I quickly reached down to retrieve it, confident it had survived another brush with being a cracked-screen victim out of a phone ower's worst nightmares. But unlike the damage-free drops before it, this tumble actually resulted in a series of jagged lines throughout my once perfect screen.

    Lucky for me, I was YEARS out of my contract and eligible for an upgrade. As I debated which version of the latest iPhone I wanted to get, I knew I needed a solution to ensure that my screen wouldn't didn’t crack more or get water-damaged in the meanwhile That’s when I remembered I had a waterproof SkinIt case stored away that I'd been planning to test out for a few months. I slipped the case, which features a plastic screen protector, over my phone and was immediately put at ease. The screen cover guaranteed that no accidental spills or drops of rain would render my screen completely out of commission. And the sturdy case gave me confidence that I could make it a few more weeks — or more — as I continued to contemplate my forthcoming phone purchase.

    The case isn’t too heavy, but still feels very secure in your hands. I also like the fact that the plug-ins for your phone charger and headphones are protected from the elements as well; the lighting plug and headphone jack are both covered with flaps you can open when you need access to the jacks and then they close securely when not in use.

 Plus, the Mickey Mouse design was just what I needed to add a little more joy to my life. 

It comes in two pieces that snap together around your device, adding another security element that left me feeling like my phone could truly take on anything I threw its way.

    Overall, the case did an excellent job of keeping my cracked screen intact and preventing any additional damage. But even if my phone hasn't already been on its way out, I would be quite comfortable housing my device in the sturdy SkinIt case in the future to prevent damage in the first place. —Treye Green

    Get it from SkinIt for $39.99+ (available in 50+ styles).

    You can check out the full range of SkinIt cases here.

    6. A chic-looking Apple HomePod so you can take your love of music to epic new heights.

    Whitney Jefferson / BuzzFeed

    I've been using a HomePod for only the past couple of weeks, but I swear it's completely reignited my love of music. Sounds dramatic, I know, but the bass on this thing is A+ and really makes me want to have dance parties in my apartment at all hours of the day. (Even when I'm doing chores!)

    The unboxing was easy and I was so pleased at the ease of setup: You basically just need to have your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, and it's done after a few taps. Once it's set up, you can begin using it immediately — so no startup or loading  time. It connect directly to your iPhone, so being an Apple Music subscriber, I could listen to music as soon as it was set up. This was a major plus for me, as I was finally able to listen to all of my playlists outside of my headphones during my walk to work! 

    I've noticed that it's easy to be conversational with the HomePod. If you're like me, using the Alexa is basically a chorus of sternly shouting "Alexa!" and pausing to see if the light turns on — then going into the commands. With the HomePod I'll spit out, "Hey, Siri, could you turn the volume down just a little, maybe?" and it'll do it, no problem. I guess what I'm saying is that the HomePod is kind of like talking to a friend, whereas the Alexa is a robot that I shout at, sent here to do my personal bidding. 

    I ordered the space grey version and found the device itself to be really pretty. The geometric design is chic and I bet it'll look good in any context. Apparently this thing makes phone calls through your iPhone, too! I simply cannot wait to try that out and live my best cord-free life. —Whitney Jefferson

    Get it from Apple for $349 (available in white and space gray).

    7. A VSCO subscription to transform your photos from ordinary to fashion-editorial-levels of extraordinary.

    itunes.apple.com

    When it comes to my Instagram and other photos on social media, I typically have a very specific vision. Sometimes my images are instant perfection. But other times, my original shots need just a little bit more work done to them — and that is where the phenomenal VSCO app comes in, breathing new life into my pictures.

    With VSCO, you can to edit any photo you snap on your phone or download onto your device. It offers standard editing options — like adjusting the contrast, shadows, brightness, and other details — but the it also has a range of awesome filters you can use on your images to match whatever aesthetic moves you. (The app comes with a few set filters, but you can also purchase themed filter packages.) Navigating the app takes a little practice. But it has a very minimal design that is pretty easy to learn. And I absolutely adore how simple it is to test out the different filters and then adjust the levels to make your pics look exactly how you want them to.

    I’ve been using VSCO for years, and it's has become my go-to for adding a little extra attitude to my images without having to deal with complicated editing tools or software. 

If you're an avid Instagrammer, I definitely recommend giving it a try — especially because it doesn't cost a thing! —Treye Green 


    Get it from the iTunes App Store or Google Play for free.

    These are just a few of our favorite tech things!

    Hulu / Giphy / Via giphy.com

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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