The best tech of 2019 (so far)

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We’re only halfway through 2019 and we’ve already seen a crazy number of cool, innovative tech releases. 

From camera-packed Android phones to long-lasting wireless earbuds to immersive wireless VR, there’s been no shortage of impressive gadgets to drool over. Once again, we awarded the very best with our Mashable Choice seal of approval.

There’s a lot more exciting tech on the horizon, but for now, these are the 10 best products of the year.

The OnePlus 7 Pro leapfrogged its competitors in several ways.

Zlata Ivleva / Mashable

10. DJI Osmo Action

Having conquered drones, DJI’s now setting its sights on GoPro with its Osmo Action. The action camera bests GoPro’s impressive Hero 7 Black with a color LCD screen on the front (perfect for selfies and vlogging) and back, super smooth in-body electronic stabilization, and a lens design that supports neutral density (ND) filters for capturing better footage in bright situations. Also nice: It’s $50 less than a Hero 7 Black.

Price: $349

9. Dyson V11 Torque Drive

The V11 Torque Drive is pricey, but nobody builds a vacuum like Dyson. At first glance, the V11 Torque Drive wireless vacuum looks nearly identical to the Cyclone V10 — it still resembles a ray gun! But look deeper and you’ll find a handful of notable upgrades, including suction that’s 20 percent more powerful, a 40 percent larger dust bin, and an LCD screen that displays battery life in real time.

Price: $699

8. Beats Powerbeats Pro

AirPods are great wireless earbuds for pretty much everyone, but if they don’t cut it for you, we highly recommend Beats Powerbeats Pro. Powered by the same Apple H1 chip as AirPods 2, the Powerbeats seamlessly connect to iOS devices and support faster audio switching between iOS and Mac devices. The wireless earbuds aren’t as compact as AirPods, but they do provide better fit, superior sound, and longer battery life (up to 9 hours versus 5 hours on a single charge).

Price: $249

The Oculus Quest and its built-in hand tracking made VR cool again in 2019.

Zlata Ivleva / Mashable

7. iPad mini 5 and iPad Air 3

The iPad mini (fifth-generation) and iPad Air (third-generation) may not look new — they’re rocking old designs — but they’re improved where it counts: inside. Besides differences in screen size, the iPad mini 5 and iPad Air 3 are virtually identical to their predecessors and are built to last for years to come. Both have powerful A12 Bionic chips, long-lasting battery life, and Apple Pencil (first-gen) support. These aren’t merely great tablets for watching video, playing games, and reading; iPadOS coming later this fall will make them even more capable alternatives to a laptop.

Price: Starting at $399 (iPad mini 5) and starting at $499 (iPad Air 3)

6. AirPods 2

Despite not adding any improvements to sound quality or listening time, Apple’s second-generation AirPods are still the best wireless earbuds for most people. The new wireless earbuds retain the same compact design, easy connectivity, and long-lasting battery life as the original, but improve talk time by an hour. AirPods 2 also have hands-free Siri voice controls and can be purchased with a wireless charging case.

Price: Starting at $159 (standard non-wireless charging case)

5. Huawei P30 Pro

Trump’s trade war with China continues to cripple Huawei, but that doesn’t change the fact that the P30 Pro has arguably the most impressive smartphone camera system ever crammed into a slab of metal and glass. Using a new “SuperSpectrum” image sensor and periscope system consisting of lenses and mirrors, the P30 Pro can shoot incredible nighttime photos and zoom all the way up to 50x.

Price: $818

The Galaxy S10’s three cameras make it as versatile as a DSLR.

Zlata Ivleva / Mashable

4. Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL

While everyone’s busy cramming in more features to justify ballooning prices, Google went in the opposite direction with the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. The materials aren’t as premium (plastic instead of metal and glass) and the performance is slower, but they still offer a best-in-class camera with Night Sight. The two mid-range Pixel 3a phones also come with a feature their more expensive siblings don’t have: headphone jacks.

Price: Starting at $399

3. Samsung Galaxy S10

A decade after releasing the first Galaxy phone, Samsung proved it hasn’t run out of steam yet. The company’s Galaxy S10all four of them — is easily the most uncompromising smartphone release of the year. Whereas other phones removed features to make room for new ones, Samsung added more without cutting anything. Big and gorgeous screens, versatile cameras, fast performance, headphone jacks, 5G — you name a feature and at least one of the S10’s probably has it.

Price: Starting at $749

2. OnePlus 7 Pro

After setting an impossibly high bar with the OnePlus 6 and 6T in 2018, OnePlus returned with the OnePlus 7 Pro, another beast of a phone. Not only does the OnePlus 7 Pro continue to undercut other flagship phones on price, it leapfrogs them with features such as a stunning notch-free display with a silky smooth 90Hz refresh rate, a rear camera system with three lenses (wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto), a pop-up selfie camera, and unmatched performance.

Price: Starting at $669

AirPods 2 are still the best overall wireless earbuds for most people.

Zlata Ivleva / Mashable

1. Oculus Quest

Believe us when we say we weren’t expecting Facebook’s Oculus Quest to be one of our top gadgets of 2019. The VR headset blew us away when we tried it at CES and then again when we got to play an extensive library of immersive VR games (like Beatsaber and Super Hot) when it launched in the spring. Quest isn’t a breakthrough for VR simply because it doesn’t require a beefy PC or smartphone or external sensors to track your head and hand movements. It’s a new milestone for VR because it’s actually fun to play with. The same can’t be said for pretty much all other VR headsets.

Price: Starting at $399

  • Senior Tech Correspondent

    Raymond Wong

  • Tech Editor

    Keith Wagstaff

  • Photos

    DJI, Zlata Ivleva, Stan Schroeder, Raymond Wong

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7 of the most popular online dating sites in 2019

A kiss that is never tasted, is forever and ever wasted.
A kiss that is never tasted, is forever and ever wasted.
Image: getty images

Knowing which dating site best suits your needs can be a minefield. 

Dating is a competitive market. So to make the process easier for you, we’ve gathered 7 of the most popular dating sites — whether that’s sites that are easy to use or have good customer service: 

Elite Singles

Image: Elite Singles

The theme of Elite Singles is pretty self-explanatory, with the target demographic being successful, educated professionals (82% of members hold a degree), who boast deep pockets and are searching for a serious, long-term relationship with someone of the same ilk. Although you can sign up via the Elite Singles mobile app, we recommend that you sign up through a desktop to get more of a personalised experience, such as pop-ups explaining how best to use the site and tips on how to start a conversation with your matches. You’re also able to see your full personality profile on a desktop, a feature that is lacking in the app. Unlike most dating sites, Elite Singles asks you to fill out an extensive personality questionnaire (I’m talking 45-minutes-extensive) in order to match you to the most appropriate users. Observing the answers you give to the questionnaire, the site then uses this data to show you quality, data-driven matches.  

Ashley Madison

Image: AskMen

55 million users have joined the infidelity website Ashley Madison since 2002, making it one of the world’s leading married-dating websites. The user base is generally married people looking to have an affair but that’s not to say that there isn’t single people on there too. Signing up is easy and only takes a few minutes. Post signing-up, members have the ability to search and bookmark profiles. What’s unique about Ashley Madison is that users have a feedback rating on their profile from other users they have interacted with. 

Adult Friend Finder

Image: AskMen

Adult Friend Finder has been around for over 20 years and attracts a huge user base. It is consistently growing in popularity even though new dating websites are launching every month. Members are typically single people looking for casual hookups, and also those who are already in relationships, whether it is open or committed. The site operates on a points system, making it feel like a ‘game’. Points enable you to ‘tip’ other members for their updates, images, videos or you can use them to watch videos and gain access to other areas of the site.

Match

Image: AskMen

Match is one of the most recognizable names in the online dating industry. It’s been around for 23 years and claims to be committed to finding a serious relationship for you. It consistently and actively listens to feedback to improve and optimize the user experience. Unlike other sites which bombard you with lengthy questionnaires and notifications, Match has a unique algorithm which takes into account what exactly you want. It also monitors your on-site habits, and then presents potential partners to the user based on this information. For example, if you put brunette as your preferred hair colour but then you begin to look at blondes, Match’s algorithm will pick this up and begin to add more blondes in your searches. 

eHarmony

Image: Mashable

With over 15 years of experience in online dating, eHarmony‘s unique selling point is perhaps their advanced matching algorithm. The site claims to lead to more marriages than other dating sites using its Compatibility Matching System. Registration is lengthy as it requires you to fill in an in-depth questionnaire, although this enables the site to get to know what exactly you’re looking for in order to begin sending you suggestions straight away. 

XMatch

Image: AskMen

With over 75 million members, the sex-focused site XMatch adheres to your short-term needs, whether you’re looking for a no-strings attached one-night-stand or someone who shares a unique sex fetish. Registration is extremely easy and allows members to plunge into their sexual fantasies. Unfortunately, when you note down details (like gender, age, location) XMatch doesn’t really take this into account. While this means you’ll match more users, compatibility suffers. However, users have a compatibility score, so you’ll get some indication of how well you and another member match.

Guardian Soulmates

Image: Pintrest

Guardian Soulmates is a UK-based dating site ever-growing in popularity since it was created, and is naturally dominated by Guardian readers. If you’re a Guardian reader yourself, you can bet that you’ll find someone on the same wavelength as you on this dating site. The questionnaire you’re prompted with when you first sign up is basic and doesn’t determine who you’ll match. The attractoin comes when users see your profile, where you will have to fill in a 2000-word essay about yourself, and then another 2000-word essay about what you’re looking for in potential partners.

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