Covid-19 has confined us indoors, with the home becoming the world for many of us. Working from home has become the de facto standard for most; keeping in touch with friends and family virtually is the norm these days; and watching a movie now means curling up in front of the television with some popcorn. If the mobile phone has become our lifesaver in these strange times, the television has found new uses—besides entertaining us, it often becomes a virtual platform for family get-togethers and connecting with friends over video calls. Being forced into a sedentary lifestyle means we need to exercise indoors to stay fit, and, of course, keep a check on our vitals. And, if we do need to step out, wouldn’t it be great if we could disinfect our clothes with the click of a button?

A look at five categories of devices which can make our lives easier in these unusual times.

Televisions

LG ZX 88: ₹29,99,990.
LG ZX 88: ₹29,99,990.

The pandemic has ushered in a new golden age of televisions, with movie halls going vacant and the rise of OTT platforms. Now, the drive is to replicate the theatre experience.

SAMSUNG
NEO QLED 8K QN900A: ₹15,94,900.
SAMSUNG NEO QLED 8K QN900A: ₹15,94,900.

With these massive 8K televisions (Samsung and Sony feature 85-inch screens, while LG has an 88-inch one), not only do they give a taste of the big screen, but also do so in great detail. They also give a plethora of connectivity options.

SONY KD85Z8H 8K: ₹14,99,900.
SONY KD85Z8H 8K: ₹14,99,900.

The LG and Sony TVs feature OLED panels, while Samsung has a Neo QLED panel. The one from Sony runs Android, the one from Samsung runs the Tizen OS, while the LG TV runs WebOS.

Headphones

BOSE HEADPHONES 700 (Left): ₹34,500 ; APPLE AIRPODS MAX: ₹59,900.
BOSE HEADPHONES 700 (Left): ₹34,500 ; APPLE AIRPODS MAX: ₹59,900.

Work from home (WFH) means one needs an oasis of peace within the daily humdrum of a household. While there are both supporters and haters of active noise cancellation technology, one of the benefits of headphones with this capability is that they can deliver pin-drop silence, which could do wonders for your productivity. WFH also means regular calls, both video and audio, and these cans are capable performers. And, of course, it’s a bonus if they can also deliver an enjoyable experience while listening to music. While the Bose Headphones 700 comes from an established audio brand, the AirPods Max is the new kid on the block from Apple.

Fitness watches

APPLE WATCH
SERIES 6 (Left) STARTS FROM
₹40,900; FITBIT SENSE :
₹22,999.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 6 (Left) STARTS FROM ₹40,900; FITBIT SENSE : ₹22,999.

While some people had sedentary lives even before the pandemic, Covid-19 and its associated restrictions have confined us to our homes. And in such times, we not only need to remain active indoors for a healthy lifestyle, but also keep a check on our vitals. These watches support tracking various forms of workouts and the calories burnt, blood oxygen levels, and other vitals. They also remind you to go for a brisk walk if you have been stationary for long. These two watches come with fitness apps, and also support the ECG function. Plus, they can be paired with your phone for notifications and/ or music controls

‘Smart’ wardrobes

SAMSUNG AIRDRESSER (Left): ₹1,27,000;
LG STYLER: ₹1,84,990
SAMSUNG AIRDRESSER (Left): ₹1,27,000; LG STYLER: ₹1,84,990

The pandemic has necessitated that you not just have to sanitise your hands every time you step out, but also sanitise your clothes. What if you could just put the clothes in a hi-tech wardrobe and it will take care of the hassle of sanitising them? Yes, that’s possible with LG’s Styler and Samsung’s AirDresser, which claim they can remove 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. What’s more, you could also use these connected wardrobes to take care of your expensive clothes at home. These wardrobes can be ‘smart’ replacements for your dry cleaners in these tough times.

Mobile phones

APPLE IPHONE 12 PRO (LEFT) STARTS
FROM ₹1,19,900 ; IPHONE 12 PRO MAX FROM
₹1,29,900; SAMSUNG GALAXY S21 ULTRA 5G (RIGHT) STARTS FROM ₹1,05,999
APPLE IPHONE 12 PRO (LEFT) STARTS FROM ₹1,19,900 ; IPHONE 12 PRO MAX FROM ₹1,29,900; SAMSUNG GALAXY S21 ULTRA 5G (RIGHT) STARTS FROM ₹1,05,999

There are myriad reasons why the mobile phone is at the centre of our universe, especially during these times. The flagship lines from Apple and Samsung boast of top-of-the-line specs, including very capable cameras, blazing-fast performance, superbright screens, brilliant designs, and future-ready networks. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, with its 6.8-inch screen, also bundles in its popular stylus from the Note line, the S Pen, while Apple gives a choice of screen sizes: a 6.1-inch one for the iPhone 12 Pro and a 6.7- inch one for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

(This story originally appeared in Fortune India's June 2021 issue).

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