Missing the older gadgets? Some of them are back, in new avatars
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Apple has just retired the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, which means two of the oldest iPod music players will no longer be made. And many users who loved the compact and simple designs are missing them already. In fact, the more modern gadgets get, the more many seem to yearn for the past. So, as some gizmos acquire new shapes and sizes, some others simply step back, adding a touch of nostalgia to our lives.
Here are some gadgets that haven’t forgotten their roots.
It looks like the classic radio transistor that occupied pride of place in living rooms in the 1960s and 1970s, but the Saregama Carvaan is actually a music player with preloaded music. You can hit buttons to opt between artists and moods, turn the large dial to change them, and switch between songs. Yes, it can play songs off a USB drive, Bluetooth and FM radio too. But the real strength of this beauty is the fact that it comes preloaded with more than 5,000 classic Hindi film tracks, classified by mood and artist, and the complete Geetmala, with commentary from the iconic Ameen Sayani. No, there are no hardware specifications, and some might complain that the sound quality is not high-definition, but we found it more than adequate for our needs (and for the classic tracks, mostly recorded in the analogue era). Battery life can last days, and it can be charged using any micro USB phone charger. It is easy to carry the Saregama Carvaan around. Now we are waiting for music options in other languages too.
Fossil Q x Cory Richards
Whoever said that smartwatches have to look geeky and digital has clearly not set eyes on the Fossil Q x Cory Richards edition smartwatch. Yes, it is a smartwatch, designed in collaboration with photographer and alpine climber Cory Richards. It runs on Android Wear 2.0 and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. But no one (and we mean no one) will be able to guess that it is a smartwatch. It looks like a classic analogue watch when it comes to the design. The stainless-steel round body and strap scream high-end wristwatch rather than smartwatch. But it will notify you about incoming calls, mails and social network alerts, and track fitness data.
Nintendo SNES Mini
$80 (Rs5,120, shipping extra)
No, it has not been officially released yet, but it is one device that retro gamers are trying desperately to get their hands on. Originally launched in 1990, the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) was Nintendo’s second home console, after the NES, and became a big hit owing to its high-quality library. The company is now relaunching the console in a much smaller form factor that will fit easily into your palm—hence the name Mini. It comes with two controllers, can plug into any HD TV and also has 21 classic titles preloaded (including a Zelda title). Yes, the games will be 2D and will seem almost clunky to the young, but we can see people lining up for this blast from the past (with hopefully better graphics and sound) when it does get released on 29 September.
This is the return of one of Nokia’s most iconic devices, the 3310. But it comes with a colourful frame and has a colour display. The classic Snake game too looks slightly different on it. There is no 3G or Wi-Fi, and this is one phone that is dedicated to handling calls. It’s a joy to type out text messages on the keyboard (sorry, no WhatsApp) and you can easily get through an entire week by charging the phone just a couple of times. However, getting your hands on one will not be easy, because it is almost never in stock at stores.
Fujifilm Instax SQ10
While everyone is talking about dual cameras on smartphones and faster DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, Fujifilm has kept the focus on instant cameras. You takes a photograph and the camera can print it out instantly. The SQ10 has a square retro look. However, unlike most instant cameras, it also lets you edit pictures before printing. The photographs are printed out in a square format, with that delightful old- world Polaroid look. Some might prefer the Russian roulette of the classic instant cameras, but for those who want nostalgia prints with greater control, this is a great option. Each cartridge costs Rs699.