What a year...
Let's be honest, unless you're a complete twat, 2016 has been a shitter of a year. From political upheaval and war, to celebrity deaths and the rise of the Right, 2016 will always be remembered as that year that “was a bit arse, wannit?” Still, aside from all the unrest across the globe, we of 'The Pit' have been here testing lots of things and stuff. To close off the year we take our annual look back at our five favourite things. Awww.
So in no particular order...
Xiro Xplorer V Drone
2016 was the year of the drone, when Amazon began making drone deliveries right there in the UK, and when the use of personal UAVs literally sky-rocketed. We reviewed a handful of smaller toy-like quadcopters this year, but our favourite flying gadget had to be the Xplorer V from Xiro. We took it to Scarborough beach for a zoom around and loved how easy it was to fly, the quality of the onboard camera, and also the price – which is extremely competitive.
Check out our film here:
Dremel 3D Idea Builder 3D Printer
Personal 3D printers also took off this year, thanks in no small part to Dremel. We got out hands on one of their models, the very versatile and affordable 3D Idea Builder. We had a bag of fun making a few bits and bobs, and we were impressed both by the quality of the objects it could produce, and how easy it was to make something. We're excited to be reviewing Dremel's latest printer in early 2017, so stay tuned.
Until then, check out the review here.
LEGO Technic Volvo EW160E
We usually fondly remember a LEGO set in these annual Top 5s, and this year it has to be one from Technic. The Volvo EW160E wasn't the biggest Technic set we've ever built and reviewed, but it does seem to be one of the best designed. The model digger uses a pneumatic system to power the grabbing arm, and it was a fun and challenging build from the start. And it also looks like what it should be, which is always tricky with Technic. A great experience, and a fun toy.
Check out the photo-heavy review here.
Volt Pulse E-bike
Last year we also included an e-bike in the Top 5, and we're doing it again this year. However, whereas the GreenEdge CS2 was a rough and ready mountain bike, the Volt Pulse was a far more refined and crafted vehicle, built to ferry both commuters and adventurers alike. It was also the first product that we reviewed in our new YouTube video review style, complete with drone footage, yo.
Watch it right here:
Olfi 4K Action Cam
Just like the Xplorer V drone offered a cheaper alternative to the more well-established brands, so Olfi has gone and kicked GoPro in the face. Their 4K action cam features video recording at a number of different levels, including the highly coveted 4K, yet costs about half that of the bigger boys' cams. As well as reviewing it, we've also used it on several occasions throughout the year to film 'heads-up' reviews like this, so a great little camera indeed.
Check out our review here.
Those were our favourites of 2016, but what were yours? Let us know on Twitter, thanks for paying us a visit in 2016, and have a Happy New Year!