Three Practical Gadgets That Will Last You Years

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Story Highlights:

  • Out of the many tech gadgets available, only few stand out in terms of longevity and usability
  • The G-SHOCK watch’s accuracy, simplistic functionality and weatherproof design makes it a good contender
  • The Nintendo 3DS’ basic graphics complement its gameplay and new games still play well on this old console
  • The Geonaute Bluetooth Heart Rate Belt stands out for its stellar battery life that extends well beyond a year

Out of the many tech gadgets out there, only few stand out in terms of longevity and usability. One such gadget is the G-SHOCK watch. It’s practical for many due to its accuracy, simplistic functionality and its weatherproof design. The Nintendo 3DS is another such gadget as its basic graphics complement its great gameplay — new games still play well on this old console! Last but not least, the Geonaute Bluetooth Heart Rate Belt is another amazing gadget that stands out for its stellar battery life which extends well beyond a year.

These days, the tech gadget market is diluted and there are far too many products available for consumers. While the products remain innovative, many lack the level of quality and don’t last long. Moreover, their usability is questionable.

There, however, are long lasting tech gadgets with very good usability in the market.

I’m reviewing three such products that I’ve been using for years. That’s right, they’re still functional after years of usage.

These products haven’t just proved themselves as durable, they’re usable too. On top of that, they don’t show significant deterioration.

1. G-SHOCK Watches

I’m the proud owner of an array of G-SHOCK watches that I’ve been using 24 hours a day for many years. The reason I have multiple of them is because I like to wear them based on which best suits the occasion: whether it’s a beach activity, or if I’m traveling, or for everyday use. Regardless of the occasion, it’s important that they serve their purpose.

A collection of G-SHOCK watches: older purchases left, newer purchases right

The most important functionality for watches is accuracy, and G-SHOCK watches are reasonably accurate. I don’t mean atomic accuracy, but instead, I mean that it doesn’t need to be regularly synchronized with another device to keep the watch accurate.

I also admire that they are weatherproof. I have no problem wearing them when swimming in the sea or during winter time. Once, I even forgot to remove my watch before going into the sauna room and, on a different occasion, I accidentally hit one of them to the door frame — no damage was sustained in both cases. Their design makes them resistant to wear and tear.

What’s more, the battery life of G-SHOCK watches are pretty decent, and I don’t remember changing the batteries in any of my watches in the past five years. That being said, I did once have to change the strap on my oldest model as I use it for swimming.

Another notable function is its backlight. The display is always visible in the day but at night, you need to press a button to light the screen up.

All in all, the watch has basic but useful functions — world time, stopwatch, and tide functionality are some of my favorite ones.

Once the time is set, you will likely be able to use your G-SHOCK watch for many years without hiccups, even if you use it 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year.

2. Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld game console with a solid housing shell and responsive control buttons — after all, it’s a console that’s made for gamers.

I bought mine more than five years ago. I’m not a frequent gamer but I do own a few games and, whenever I’m in the mood, can spend hours on it for weeks on end.

At other times, I don’t touch my 3DS for months. There was even a whole year that I didn’t use it for! After which, I switched it on and the device worked perfectly. Some batteries — when not used for a certain period of time — die completely. The battery quality of the 3DS is thus incredibly good.

To illustrate my point: I have batteries that are newer than my 3DS that have already deteriorated beyond usage. One such example is my power bank that I use to charge my mobile devices. There hasn’t been a significant deterioration to my 3DS battery, even after many years.

Nintendo 3DS console purchased in 2012 — photo taken in 2017

It’s not just the battery that comes with a certain level of quality — the Nintendo Store is organized and have the best games in the market.

Although the device is a couple of years old, it’s still supported today and most new games run fine on the old console.

Over the years, Nintendo has made small upgrades on their consoles without affecting the core characteristic of its products — to my knowledge, no incompatibility issues have arisen and old games run well on new consoles.

While graphics are important, gameplay and responsiveness are even more so. Other devices often overheat — from attempting to render the over-engineered graphics — and feel hot in your hands. The 3DS, however, has just the right balance between graphics and gameplay.

One downside to the device is that it does feel a bit heavy. I don’t know how many other handheld consoles weigh in comparison, but I do believe that the reason for its heaviness might stem from its housing shell, which is resistant against stronger key presses.

Recently, a new console called Switch, which allows for different play styles, was released by Nintendo. However, I don’t think it’ll replace the 3DS just as yet as its fanbase is still pretty much alive and will probably continue to stay so for many more years.

3. Geonaute Bluetooth Heart Rate Belt

This product is a heart-rate monitor that wraps around the chest. It can be used to monitor your heartrate during various exercises. Although it’s a cheap product without an expensive look, both the chest belt and the heart rate monitor itself are made of good material.

The heart rate monitor uses a bluetooth low energy standard. It only needs a single, non-rechargeable coin battery to operate.

I’ve been using the belt on a weekly basis and I haven’t yet needed to replace the battery in the past one and half years. It’s convenient to wear, and I don’t need to worry about charging it before use.

The best part about the Geonaute Bluetooth Heart Rate Belt is that it doesn’t depend on a single app. Instead, it’s compatible with many apps because the belt relies on open standards rather than on proprietary protocol. When connected to your mobile device, the connection remains stable. I don’t recall a time when the connection has ever dropped.

Geonaute Bluetooth Heart Rate Belt after one and half years of usage

Some exercises I’ve used this for include skipping, cycling, and floor exercises. During which, there were several times that I had to tighten the chest belt as it expanded due to physical movement. If this continues, I might need to replace the chest belt but, nevertheless, it’s a cheap product with good reliability.

What’s more, it even works with Windows phones. Currently, I’m using it with my Windows 10 Mobile with the Runtastic app. However, the app is no longer supported on Windows so I might need to start looking for another app.

Please note: I chose to review the three most favorable gadgets from my own collection which is limited and, obviously, does not include all the gadgets available in market. It is certainly right to assume that there are far better alternatives on the market that suit your individual needs.

This article previously appeared on Medium.

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