From consumer electronics that include smartphones and televisions and everything in between, to future technology, Stuff Magazine features reviews and previews of all things tech. When we knocked on the doors of the Stuff India office, the staffers were busy closing their annual issue. We managed to hold them hostage, snag a few pics and asked them questions about their gadgets of choice, wish lists and more. Here’s the team at their busy best.

Nishant Padhiar, Editor

nishant

What are your tech must-haves?

I can’t do without a phone like everyone else but now, even the Apple Watch is a must since it just makes my 3 hour car commute everyday so much easier. Replying to texts hands-free and using Siri does change your life if you use it regularly!

What’s on your gadget wishlist?

I’m looking to upgrade my entire display chain to 4K UHD since prices are crashing and 4K content is becoming more commonplace. So, a Sony 4K projector, an Oppo UHD player and a healthy collection of 4K Blu-rays should be great.

An app that keeps you busy?

Instagram does keep me intrigued without tracking time. It’s like a vortex of some of the best photographs in the world, if you know whom to follow!

What innovation are you keen to see become a big thing?

Definitely Jet Packs given our traffic situation in Mumbai at least. But on a more realistic level, autonomous Ubers and electric cars with practical battery range is something I’m really hoping it happens sooner than later.

Name a technology you’d like Mumbai to adopt to become a smart city?

WiMax has been under development and experimental stage for a while. And yes, solar power harnessing. With so much heat and sunlight in the city, it’s almost criminal that the Government is not taking steps to make it mandatory on a corporate CSR level to have the major business hubs switch to solar power. Newly developing residential spaces and projects should follow suit.

What are your travel essentials?

I can’t travel without noise cancelling headphones. It’s amazing how much more relaxing they make a long haul flight, cutting out the annoying engine drone and ambient noise. It’s one of those things you don’t appreciate until you have experienced it.

Where do you get your music from?

I cannot listen to MP3s so the music I have “liked” on Apple Music, i later try to source in Hi-Res formats from HDTracks.com or Tidal.

 

Yatish Suvarna, Deputy Editor

yatish suvarna

What are your tech essentials?

I love photography and the camera is the most important thing for me in a smartphone. At the moment there is nothing that can beat the iPhone 7’s camera as far as picture and video quality is concerned. I use it to shoot and edit movies in a jiffy! When i need to watch a movie in Full HD I switch to the iPad pro with its insanely amazing screen and four speakers, sort my movie needs. One of the reasons I love the Bomber & Co duffle bag is because it is completely waterproof, super light and looks sexy as hell. I can easily pack enough stuff for the entire weekend or a night out camping!

What’s on your wish list?

The upcoming Nintendo Switch, the new DJI Karma Drone and the Nissan GTR

A game that you love?

CSR Racing 2

What innovation are you keen to see become a big thing?

HDR for TV will soon become the buzz world and hardware wise, home automation and integration will be huge in the coming years.

What technology you’d like our city to adopt to become a smart city?

We need to tap on solar energy and use rain water in a way that it benefits people.

What’s the one gizmo you need for every travel trip?

I always carry my iLoud portable Bluetooth speaker along with me, it fixes me up with high-fidelity sonics on the go.

What’s your source of music?

Apple Music, Soundcloud

 

Farhan Kapadia , Web Editor

farhan

What are the gadgets you can’t live without?

MacBook Air:

– Super light and portable which is great since I can carry it to work every day with ease

– Runs the latest MacOS which I find superior to any other option on the market

– It’s a top-spec machine so it runs all my applications smoothly and has ample storage for my files

Google Pixel XL:

– It’s running the latest version of stock Android which is my favourite smartphone OS

– It’s got one of the best smartphone cameras in the world so clicking photos on it is an absolute pleasure

– It’s running a flagship Snapdragon processor so the device never stutters.

PS4:

– It’s my main media device in the living room since I use it for Blu-Rays, Netflix and gaming.

– Superb selection of titles available for the console

– Recently became HDR-enabled thanks to a simple software update making it future-proof

Chromecast 2.0:

– I often share photo albums / YouTube videos with my family on the TV via my smartphone / tablet

– It’s a cheap device that instantly turns any TV into a smart TV

– Neatly tucks away behind the screen making it virtually invisible once installed

What’s on your wish list?

I’m eager to get my hands on a DJI Mavic, Nintendo Switch, BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100, LG E6 OLED TV

Games that keep you hooked?

I’m hooked to PVZ 2 on my Nexus 7 and Uncharted 4 on my PS4.

What innovation are you keen to see become a big thing?

I can’t wait for every vehicle to go electric in the future, both public and private.

Name a technology you’d you like Mumbai to adopt to become a smart city?

One tech I think the world desperately needs to switch to is solar power. The death of fossil fuels has been long overdue.

What are your tech travel essentials?

Travel essentials: Nexus 7, GoPro Hero 4, JBL Flip portable speaker, Jaybird X2 wireless earphones, Google Pixel XL

Where do you get your music from?

My primary source of music is SoundCloud.

 

Shanth Swaroop, Sub-Editor

shanth

What are your tech must-haves?

By virtue of where I work and a natural affinity towards all things tech, affords me to be in a position where I get to stay abreast with the latest, quirkiest and most amazing gadgets out there. But to try and incorporate a lot of those in one’s daily life would be unnecessarily cumbersome, if I may say so. Hence, I try to minimise the clutter by going with just the bare essentials for my day-to-day activities. Basically trying to keep it on more of a need only basis. For the most part, the modern smartphone is more than capable of providing anything and all that I need. I use the seemingly humble Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, the 3GB version. At a modest price point, I believe it’s a cracker of a device. Besides the zippy UI and decent camera, the 4050mAh battery definitely helps take on an entire day of heavy duty usage (social media will be the death of me).

Besides my smartphone, another device I can’t do without is the JBL Clip 2. I’ve been a fan of JBL’s Clip series of speakers for a while, having used every model since generation one. There are better ones available but I love the simplicity of the Clip series. Easy to use and portable, the Clip 2 is now waterproof too to boot. It’s moderately loud when I need it to be, with decent bass. I’m not the kind to bugger others around with my music and this offers a decent solution to my requirements. Why not use headphones, you ask? One word: wires. Bluetooth-compatible headphones tend to get in the way too. The Clip 2 just ticks off all that I require in this regard.

Another gadget that I enjoy on almost a daily basis is the Wacom Bamboo Spark. Besides being a logophile, I love physically writing things down. From notes, scribbles to even random caricatures, few things can get close to the feeling of putting pen to paper for me. The Bamboo Spark offers the wonderful option of uploading every stroke on paper, digitally onto a cloud where it’s stored and from where I can access, modify and even share them, as I please. This, for me, is a beautiful amalgamation of old school romance with modern technology.

What gizmos are you keen to get your hands on?

One thing that I’m pretty keen to get my hands on is the Sony Smart Tennis sensor. Yes, I play tennis and this device helps one better their game by bringing you various stats regarding your swing and such. Very nifty, if you ask me. I’d also like to get my hands on a hi-res player like the FiiO X7. Another gadget I really look forward to play with is the DigiTech Trio Band creator pedal. If you’re a guitar player still looking for a band, ahem, this is a blessing in disguise for those jam sessions you’ve been missing out on. Basically, the pedal’s brilliant chip creates beats and other elements based on a basic groove that you provide. From blues, to rock to a lot of other genres, this baby can handle them all. Plus, the videos on YouTube are pretty encouraging, to say the least.

What’s an app or game that keeps you busy?

You mean besides the usual social media ones? I’m guessing Tinder’s out of the equation too then. Well, I don’t use any one app in particular that much. It’s more a group of apps that usually helps me with my day-to-day requirements. I must mention that one gaming app that really kept me engaged was Nihilumbra. Dark, a bit grim with a very engaging storyline, enjoyable graphics and game layout – I was obsessed with it for quite a bit. Miseria was another game in pretty much the same genre. Then there are a host of guitar tuning apps like gStrings, ear trainer (excellent for training one’s ear, scale-wise) and Rhythm Teacher (helps you with simple and complex timing) that I use to try and better myself as a musician. An app I do spend a lot of time on is Walk Band. This app lets you create music – simple. You can add drums, guitars, bass, play with the tempo and just go nuts trying out the various combinations available. Very engaging and gives a basic, very basic understanding of how music production works.

What innovation are you keen to see become a big thing?

Electric cars/ automobiles that outperform conventional ones AND are available at a practical cost – that would be one tech that I’m really looking forward to manifest. But, if I may be a bit non-pragmatically wishful (or pragmatically wishful, who knows) I’d really like VR to reach a stage where one can download information and acquire skill sets in a manner similar to the one shown in the Matrix movie series. Call me lazy but I wish to do a lot of things and there just isn’t enough time.

Name a technology you’d you like Mumbai to adopt to become a smart city?

As someone who travels a lot in and around Mumbai, I’d really wish that two things – one’s daily commute and waste disposal – take precedence over the rest. If we can make public travel a lot less like a WWE cage match gone awry and a lot more like, well, a simple commute that it should be, that’d be superb. This would, in my humble opinion be followed by clean energy generation from renewable resources. Internet speeds and all are fine, but what’s the point, if with all the tech already at hand we still can’t salvage the natural beauty of the city that’s given us so much? Look at Delhi right now. They’ve got tech, more or less the same as us, but how does sitting in Starbucks and sipping on your special latte and enjoying appreciable internet speeds negate the fact that the very air you breathe is polluted, many many times over the permissible limits? How about a machine or series of machines that, say, reside in Mumbai’s Mithi River and help clean it round-the-clock, while providing stats about the various levels of pollution in it, including where the pollutants enter it from? This would be redundant without an active civic body that makes sure that pollutants being dumped in the river are treated better or recycled or something. Simply put, let’s make the place we live in, just that very bit of the environment, habitable and clean. All the tech in the world would otherwise be pointless to own or use otherwise.

What are your tech travel essentials?

The Sony MDR-1000X is an amazing travel accessory to begin with. Superb noise cancellation, audiophile-grade output, Bluetooth, super-plush fit and a great battery life make this one pair of headphones worth the price. I mean I’m travelling and disturbing fellow travellers is not my style, even if it might be theirs. So shutting out the cacophony of humans is the best way to go about it, personally. As far as power banks go, the OnePlus power bank is one that I’d go with. Suave looks, relatively speaking, and a reliable out more than does it for me.

What’s your source of music?

I mostly try listening to hi-res sources when it comes to listening to music. So it’s mostly FLACs, CDs and the like for me. If it’s music streaming or such, I usually go with YouTube and Soundcloud. I’m waiting for Tidal to officially launch to personally verify their claims of bringing hi-res audio to streaming apps.

 

Kritika Dayal, Deputy Art Editor

kritika

What are your tech essentials?

iPad Pro, Apple Pen- drawing on the iPad Pro with the Apple pen is pure joy. It is good and as close to traditional drawing as it can get. I’m someone who carries my water brushes and paint cakes in my bag all the time since I love doing things the traditional way. It didn’t take me time to warm up to the iPad Pro and Apple Pen at all!

What’s on your wishlist?

I don’t mind a Roomba floating around cleaning up, without me having to do much.

What’s your favourite app?

Pinterest keeps me super busy. All my inspiration for art & design, recipes is easier to pin up in one place.

What innovation are you keen to see become a big thing?

Smart cars! Which can drive me around since I don’t have a driver’s licence.

What technology you’d like Mumbai to adopt to become a smart city?

Energy from Waste? I don’t know. Our country could do with more energy and less waste. And on a totally different line, a digital ticketing system for the Mumbai local trains. There is an app but isn’t up to the mark yet. Getting caught with an expired pass feels so unnecessary in this time and age.

What are your tech travel essentials?

A power bank and in my case, a lightening cable to go with it!

What’s your music source?

Apple Music and Youtube. I discover stuff on Youtube and then just find it on Apple music to listen to it on my phone.

 

Khumail Thakur, Writer

kumail

What are your tech must-haves?

Sony MDR-1000X wireless headphones. I need them everywhere I go. And since I like to capture almost all the fun stuff we do in and out of office, I carry around the handy-dandy GoPro Hero 4 Black.

What gizmos are you keen to get your hands on?

I would really love to have an ultra-wide gaming monitor (any brand as long as it’s 1080p or more) to make my gaming setup complete. (Already drooling)

An app that keeps you busy?

Not much of a mobile gamer because PC Master Race is life. Peace. But I do scroll a lot on 9GAG. It’s very toilet friendly too.

What innovation are you keen to see become a big thing?

Lightsabers. What? They haven’t started making those yet? Then I’ll just put my money on AR. Well, VR might seem like the better horse right now but give it a few years and you’ll see how AR is more useful and practical in everyday life. It’s expensive to incorporate in real life, hence VR. But that hasn’t stopped humans from moving forward, has it?

Name a technology you’d like our city to adopt to become a smart city?

Solar energy. Hands down solar energy. It’s important for a city like Mumbai. Musk has already started making solar panel that look exactly like roof tiles to power homes. Not that we have lavish houses like the US here in Mumbai but we can do a lot more to use solar power.

What are your travel essentials?

My lovely and ever charged Sony MDR-1000X and my JIO portable Wi-Fi router. Juicing on the free internet while it lasts without having to change my number or telecom brand.

Where do you get your music from?

YouTube, I don’t have time to sit and download music. All hail glorious YouTube. Though it floods me with ads every now and then.

Photographs by Tejal Pandey

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