Welcome to the latest installment of Staff Picks. Each week, we’ll tell you about the tech we’re currently testing — everything from cameras to headphones, 2-in-1 laptops and home appliances — as well as the grail items we wish we could buy. For last week’s selections, visit here.
Sony Alpha A9
This camera is on preorder. And it’s $4,500. And it’s totally something I want/need. Sony has established itself as a dominant force in the camera world, and this is their pièce de résistance. It’s the mirrorless camera to end all mirrorless cameras, and something that everyone with five grand laying around should purchase. Trust me: if you aren’t already deep into the lens rabbit hole of Canon or Nikon, start your collection with Sony. You won’t be disappointed. – Matt Ankeny, Deputy Managing Editor
Huawei Watch 2
This smartwatch has a lot that I like: its water-resistant design, great battery life, and built-in GPS and heart-rate sensor (meaning you won’t have to have your phone near you to track your workouts). It’s not a true autonomous watch, though, in that you can’t see texts or calls without your smartphone nearby. And LTE models aren’t expected to become available in the U.S. Overall, it’s a solid smartwatch running Android Wear 2.0, but you’re ultimately paying for the look. – Tucker Bowe, Tech Writer
Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom
Asus’s latest smartphone is touted for its battery life and its great camera — plus it’s just $329. It has dual 12MP rear-facing cameras with 2.3x optical zoom (a better zoom than the iPhone 7 Plus) and full manual controls, so you can adjust the ISO, aperture and shutter speed. It also has a very good 13MP selfie camera. The downside is it still runs Android 6.0 and runs on the older Snapdragon 625 processor — so it feels slightly out of date. – Tucker Bowe, Tech Writer