From start to finish, this year has been wild. Not only did we collectively witness a lot of great new devices hit the market, but I also achieved a lot personally, and I'm hoping the same for everyone else out there. This year has had its highs and lows, with saucy industry drama to boot, but I'd like to focus on the bright side and highlight the best ten moments of the year for me.
Between relocating to one of my favorite countries in the world and traveling abroad to attend a convention for the first time, here are my top 10 things from 2023 in no particular order.
MagSafe adapters are finally mainstream and I'm here for it
Big-name brands like Spigen, ESR, and PopSockets all rolled out MagSafe adapter rings for Android devices and previous-gen iPhones this year. While adapter rings aren't new, I'm glad that so many companies are finally picking up on the trend. There's a lot I dislike about Apple, but MagSafe is one of the few golden and genuinely innovative creations from the brand.
Say what you will, but I think MagSafe is such a smart way to use accessories with your phone. With a MagSafe adapter ring, you can bring this Apple-exclusive feature to literally any phone or mobile device. Anything from grips to stands is just better with MagSafe added in. To be able to simply pop your wallet or car phone holder on and off at will, without any mucking around with 3M adhesive, is an absolute dream.
I'm so excited to see how accessory makers will leverage this and create even more interesting and fun MagSafe accessories with both Android and iOS devices in mind. With USB-C now on the iPhone and Qi2 looming on the horizon, we're closer than ever to unification in the accessories industry, and this is great news for everyone.
A year in and I am still in love with my Pixel Watch
It's been almost exactly one year since I bought my precious first-gen Google Pixel Watch, and I'm just as in love with it as I was the day it launched. Before you come at me with pitchforks and knives, yes, I am fully aware of its painfully irksome flaws and misgivings. But you see, despite the newer Pixel Watch 2 being out and the many, oh so many flaws of the original Google smartwatch, I absolutely adore it.
Pixel fans like myself waited a long time to see the dream of a pure Google wearable be realized. From the rounded pebble-like design and deliciously easy-to-use interface to the delicate case and perfect size for women, the Pixel Watch does more for me than any other Wear OS watch. It's a stunning piece of hardware with unbeatable haptics, even if you need to charge it before the day's out.
Maybe I'm biased, or maybe I'm just a minority with teeny tiny wrists, but whatever the case, I just can't get over the lovely Pixel Watch.
ASUS proved once again that small phones can have it all
Speaking of things I can't get over, there's absolutely no way that I can leave the Zenfone 10 out of the conversation. Once again, ASUS put the rest of the world to shame — including Samsung. The tech giant is responsible for many a powerful machinery. After mastering the world of computers and gaming, ASUS is honing its craft in the smartphone sector.
The Zenfone 8 was boring but otherwise perfect. Then came the Zenfone 9, and with it, everything changed. It was easily the best small phone of 2022. Happily, ASUS decided not to fix what ain't broke, so we got the tiny but mighty Zenfone 10 in 2023. Not to be repetitive, but ASUS did it again, and I have nothing but respect for the company. The phone can do no wrong, from the eye-catching design to the well-rounded cameras, not to mention incredible performance, battery life, and display specs. There's more! Water resistance. Headphone jack. Need I say more?
If my Pixel 6 were to crap out on me today, I'd waste no time buying myself the brilliant and powerful little ASUS Zenfone 10 in a heartbeat. With the way my phone has been acting, the day might not be very far away.
Relocating to Malaysia was the best move for me as a tech enthusiast
This is very high on my list of the best moments of 2023. Malaysia is a country that's very close to my heart for numerous reasons. The fact that I was finally able to relocate there is something that makes me stupendously happy. I can't believe that I'm back in this beautiful nation, eating some of the best food known to man and exploring stunning landscapes during my free time.
Culture and scenery aside, Malaysia has one of the most vibrant tech scenes anywhere in the world. You expect the unexpected, with cute old aunties rocking foldable phones and nerdy teenagers battling competitively on their gaming phones. With an abundance of smartphone brands, the competition is furious, and the local tech industry pulsates with life.
TECNO's PHANTOM V Flip launch event was memorable for several reasons
TECNO took the world by storm, blowing us away by pricing its foldable PHANTOM V Flip at an unbelievably low cost. The foldable's launch event took place in Singapore halfway through the year, and it was memorable for more than just the price tag.
It's refreshing to see brands like TECNO experiment and play around with concepts rather than just offer cheap dupes of more popular products on the market. The event and everything it represented reminded me of Xiaomi's early days. Creating crazy concepts and toying with ideas is what led to the massive success that Xiaomi has achieved today. Could TECNO be the next Xiaomi, I wonder?
Besides the exciting launch, it was a fabulous experience overall as I traveled to attend a tech event in person for the first time ever. It's always nice to meet our fellow colleagues from the industry in the flesh (especially if they're as handsome as Ben Sin from XDA Developers).
Jokes aside, chitchatting about the geekiest, weirdest, most niche topics with someone who is just as passionate is one of the many upsides of attending such events. Fingers crossed that 2024 brings many more cool phones and great events like this one!
Enabot gives me hope that robots aren't just gimmicks anymore
This year presented me with an opportunity to review the Enabot EBO X, a smart guardian robot that is like a beefed-up Alexa speaker on wheels. It can follow you around, mind your kids, guard your house at night, and let you check in on loved ones (human or otherwise) when you're away. It's the smartest form of combining and using multiple technologies together in a user-friendly format.
Enabot had me intrigued from the very first demo at CES 2023. While the early prototypes instilled doubts, I am positive that the final retail version of the robot is something to marvel at. A walking, talking, intelligent robot that "sees," "hears," "talks," and "walks" is something right out of the movies. Just imagine how far this concept can and will go in the years to come.
My cats actually liked something I bought them
Cats aren't the most grateful creatures. They especially dislike anything we spend lots and lots of money on to make their lives better. I, like every other cat parent, am constantly subjected to such rude awakenings. So imagine my surprise when my feline companions actually used, nay, liked something I bought them.
A cheap as-seen-on-TV purchase turned out to be one of the best kitty comforts I have ever purchased for my pets. It's called a cat window perch or cat window seat, and it is marvelous. You mount it on any window, and your cat can sunbathe, sleep, and carry out other such important tasks.
I found the definitive travel accessory
Anker can do no wrong, it seems. On my hunt for the perfect air travel-friendly portable charger, I came across the ingenious Anker 511 PowerCore Fusion 5K. This 5,000mAh power bank passes all IATA travel regulations, so you can onboard planes without any hassle.
But what makes this the definitive travel accessory is that it is a hybrid charger with foldable prongs that pop out. Once you find a mains socket, you can simply plug it in and top up your devices at 20W wired charging speeds instead of draining the 5,000mAh cell. Plus, it simultaneously refills the battery, so when you pull it out of the socket, the Anker 511 PowerCore Fusion 5K is ready for on-the-go charging once more.
Motorola's glow-up was a real-life Cinderella story
The brand's glow-up this year was the closest thing to a real-life Cinderella story I've seen. We went from boring, bland-looking mid-rangers to sleek and sexy flip phones that one-up everyone else out there. After taking in the gorgeous Motorola Razr Plus, I think whoever conceptualized this phone needs a big fat raise.
The Razr Plus makes the most of its cover display, giving us more screen than any foldable flip phone has ever given us. Not only is there a lot of screen real estate on the front, but you can actually use it to do almost anything. It's easily my favorite foldable released in 2023, and I think most of my colleagues have resonating sentiments. So all I've got to say is this:
Flexispot made the ultimate aerated chair for people with back pain
I've struggled with back pain for several years now. After using numerous chairs, I got my hands on the Flexispot C7 ergonomic office chair, which was released sometime in 2023. This aerated mesh chair is perfect for the humid climate in my region. Most importantly, it has an adjustable section for lower back support that does wonders for anyone who has chronic aches and pain in the area.
Investing in your health is one of the most vital things in life. Money can buy everything, but it can't buy health. That's why I implore you, the reader, to purchase the right equipment for your own needs. It may be expensive, but the Flexispot C7 is such a worthwhile product. It is the perfect office chair for my needs, but it may not be the right fit for you. Do your research, buy the right fixtures, and take care of yourself!
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