These Were September’s Coolest and Weirdest Gadgets

These Were September’s Coolest and Weirdest Gadgets

Boy, what a month. With Apple, Microsoft, and Meta hosting some huge events, it’s safe to say that September, as usual, was one of the biggest months for tech gadgets of the entire year.

Moving on from August’s list, Let’s get stuck into the gadgets that defined September, with some of the below points summarising a range of devices.

Apple’s big announcements: News and reviews

Let’s kick off with Apple, which usually dominates this time of year with its iPhone launch. This time around; the iPhone 15, with the range now supporting USB-C charging. We’ve reviewed the iPhone 15 Plus and the iPhone 15 Pro, and of course both phones are brilliant. The standard model and the Plus both received updates that pretty much bring it into line with last year’s iPhone 14 Pro, while the 15 Pro and Pro Max received a new ‘Action’ button to replace the mute switch, a new titanium chassis, and a new chip powerful enough to run some console games. The iPhone 15 Pro Max also received a new telephoto lens, and although there weren’t huge updates for these devices, Apple also released the Watch Series 9 and the Watch Ultra 2, along with a USB-C-charged AirPods Pro 2nd gen.

Microsoft wanted some of the spotlight too

The Surface Laptop Studio 2. Image: Microsoft

Microsoft took the time to announce its new range of Surface laptops, including the Surface Laptop Go 9 and the Surface Laptop Studio 2, the most powerful laptop the company has ever created. Microsoft also announced a new AI for Windows 11, called Copilot (that helps out with system processes), and an integrated AI for Office 365.

You too, Meta?

The Surface Laptop Studio 2. Image: Microsoft

Meanwhile this month, Meta announced its own suite of AI apps across its product range at Meta Connect 2023. The company also debuted the Meta Quest 3, its latest virtual reality headset, and the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, a second-generation pair of the company’s smart glasses that can live stream what you’re looking at.

Oh, alright, why not Amazon as well?

The Echo Hub. Image: Amazon

Amazon also announced its own refreshed suite of devices in September, mostly including updated models to its smart speaker and display portfolio, including the Echo Pop Kids, the Echo Show 8, the Echo Hub, the Eero Max 7, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, Echo Frames, and the Fire TV soundbar. All of this said, many of these devices won’t actually be coming to Australia (not, at least, at the time of writing) – the new Fire Stick and the Echo Hub are the only devices confirmed to ship down under. I just shrugged.

Sonos whips out a new portable speaker

The Sonos Move 2 Bluetooth speaker. Image: Sonos

Alright, we’re done with the big gadget announcements, right? Well, here’s Sonos with its ‘most powerful speaker ever’, the Move (2). That’s the tagline it’s going with for this thing, anyway. It weighs 3kgs, which is the same as the Move (1) – a speaker that we labelled just too darn heavy in our review. The Move 2 boasts an overhauled dual-tweeter acoustic architecture, which in more simple terms, means that it promises to deliver wide, spacious stereo sound and crisp vocals. Other specs/features include an IP56 rating, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (previous model was an ‘or’), a wireless charging base, a replaceable battery, a USB-C line in (can charge via this too), the addition of touch controls, and voice-enabled use.

Hands-on with the GoPro Hero 12 Black

Image: Kyle Barr/Gizmodo

GoPro announced its latest generation Hero 12 Black heavy-duty action camera, with a particular focus on vertical video (for platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts), and now wireless audio support. The new camera is much of the same as the Hero 11 Black, but for creators looking to pivot to portrait-orientation content, the Hero 12 might be a worthwhile upgrade.

Reviewed: The BMW iX1 electric SUV

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Smaller than photos tend to make it look, the BMW iX1 is a great quality SUV at the under $80,000 price point, though much of its price can be dedicated to its badge. It’s a comfortable and spacious car to sit in, with a fun boost button behind the wheel and a great operating system, but compared to other electric car makers like Hyundai and Kia, it’s difficult to say you’re getting that best bang for your buck.

[Checks notes] A… Petrol-powered phone charger

Image: Rory Carroll/Jalopnik

On Ali Express, you might find a petrol-powered phone charger, with the petrol engine repurposed from things like R/C cars, boats, and planes, which are no longer produced in the same volumes as they once were in China (with massive electric uptake taking small petrol motors out of factories). Well, our friends in the U.S. tried one out, costing about $US100, and found it to be quite a nifty little thing, if a bit pointless and demanding the question: “Why”? It’s a novelty. But a fairly quirky one.

Dyson’s $900 lamp

Image: Dyson

Dyson isn’t exactly notorious with ‘affordability’, so why not launch an actual light that costs $900 to keep the vibe going? That’s what Dyson has done with the Solarcycle Morph Desk light. The Solarcycle Morph adjusts the light it emits depending on the user’s task, age, and mood, in addition to the light outside. You can fiddle with the settings in the MyDyson app, too.

A BYD SUV built to boat

Remember last year, when Tesla boss Elon Musk proudly proclaimed that his electric pickup, the Cybertruck, would be able to “serve briefly as a boat?” Well now, while we were all waiting for that car to materialise, Chinese automaker BYD has only gone and made an electric SUV that can manage just that. The latest model from Chinese automaker BYD is the YangWang U8, a luxurious off-roader with a neat trick: Yachting Mode.

Fitbit shows of the Charge 6

Image: Fitbit

Announced to be packing ‘Google smarts’, Fitbit revealed the Charge 6 fitness-focused smartwatch in September. The Fitbit Charge 6 is the successor to 2021’s Charge 5, which we liked even though it shipped with missing features. Regarding the design, the Charge 6 isn’t a significant departure from its predecessor. But at least it seems more like a finished product.

Reviewed: The Soundcore Liberty 4 NC

Image: Chris Neill/Gizmodo Australia

We reviewed the new Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC earbuds in September, and applauded it for its premium sound at an affordable price point (just $170). We thought that these buds were even better than some more expensive alternatives, packed with noise cancelling and transparency modes.

Hyundai’s best EV gets cheaper

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Hyundai announced in September that it would be giving its Ioniq 5 lineup a refresh, restructuring the three models available by removing one and introducing a new, entry-level cheap model, now starting at $64,500. The entry-level model will now come with 384km WLTP range (58 kWh battery), a substantial downgrade from the entry-level model of 2024, which offered 507km range (at the higher price point of $72,000).

Oh, how I love the Motocompacto

Image: Honda

Honda is looking to redefine mobility by doing a modern take on a unique classic with the newly announced Motocompacto e-Scooter. While it looks like a mobility concept of what Honda envisions people riding around on in the late 2030s, it’s not. Honda’s Inspiration for the Motocompacto was the foldable Motocompo scooter from the 1980s. Not a bad place to start. Unlike the Motocompo, the Motocompacto is built for 21st-century mobility. Designed in conjunction with Honda’s studios in Ohio and California, its design is sleek and modern and most importantly, foldable.

Reviewed: The HP OfficeJet 250Mobile

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Look. I got the chance to play around with the HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile, a small and portable printer (with a removable battery included), capable of printing on the go up to an A4 page size. It was honestly really cool and I’m fully aware that I’m talking about a printer, but although it’s quite an expensive unit, this printer does address my main problem with printers: space required. It’s really small and I love it, truly.

Logitech gives pink gaming peripherals another go

Image: Logitech

Logitech has revealed its latest range of high-spec gaming peripherals to fully refresh its Pro series line – a new TKL keyboard and a new Superlight mouse – and this time, the company’s being a little more sensible about pink tech. The Pro series represents the highest-spec peripherals Logitech has on offer, under the Logitech G umbrella, with a focus on competitive-level gamers. Logitech doesn’t have much pink tech on offer (like many tech companies), so it’s good to see some of its best gear now available in the finish.

Let’s run over some cables

Image: Alice Clarke/Gizmodo Australia

The big news of the month was very much Apple switching to USB-C on the iPhone, meaning iPhones can now use USB-C to charge, but… Which USB-C cable is the most durable? Well, we tested a bunch and ran over a few to prove how strong they really are. Cables from Apple, Belkin, and Satechi were tested, and in the end, it turned out that all the cables we tested were surprisingly strong, compared to cables from a decade ago. Obviously, don’t try this at home.

Speaking of cables…

Image: Intel

Intel revealed the next generation of its Thunderbolt cable, Thunderbolt 5, based on the USB-C and power delivery framework with a standardised charging and data transfer speed across the board. Unlike USB-C, Thunderbolt cables try to limit the confusion by providing a simple thunderbolt logo, which users can expect approximate speeds from. Thunderbolt 5 can transfer files at up to 80Gbps, and is supposedly capable of running three 4K monitors at up to 144hz with 4K resolution.

Reviewed: the Ring 2nd generation indoor camera

Image: Courtney Borrett/Gizmodo Australia

We love getting our cats involved with reviews, and an indoor camera provides as good an opportunity as ever. Ring’s 2nd generation Indoor camera turned out to be great for keeping an eye on furry friends. This time around, Mochi the cat was the star. The camera costs $99, and a live camera feed can be viewed live or saved footage can be viewed on the cloud (through a subscription).

Lenovo goes Steam Deck

Image: Florence Ion/Gizmodo

Our friends in the U.S. went hands-on with the Lenovo Legion, Lenovo’s new Windows-powered gaming handheld, and found it to be quite a satisfying gaming experience. Though Australian pricing is to be confirmed, the device offers gaming laptop levels of performance in a lovely ergonomic handheld casing, with removable controllers similar to a Nintendo switch.

The Lotus Emeya is rocking a video game engine in the front seat

To the confusion of many people online, the new Lotus Emeya EV features the Unreal Engine in the centre console – a gaming engine that powers games like Fortnite and Borderlands. But not for playing games, mind you, this isn’t a Tesla — but for making the UI pop as much as possible.  It’s kind of fun, right? But it’s also very much an unnecessary feature, slapped on an iPad-sized screen in the middle of the dashboard. Responses to it online have been mixed, including fans praising it, and critics scratching their heads at why anyone would want this kind of functionality.

That’s all for September, but check out the others:

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.